“We have drunk Soma and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered.
Now what may foeman’s malice do to harm us? What, O Immortal, mortal man’s deception? (Rig-Veda (8.48.3))”
Soma is important because it is a crucial source of inspiration for the people who wrote the Vedas, ancient texts that originated in India, making up the oldest scriptures of Hinduism (around 1st century B.C).
Is it that the great seers, mystics, poets and sages of the past transcended the ordinary conscious of the human mind by taking drugs, starving themselves or dancing into a cosmic rapport with great ideas beyond the thoughts of the time? We know that the great names of Greek philosophy attended the Eleusinian mysteries which included a drink that we would now view as psychoactive.
Are we missing something here in that these are banned by the governments around the world and in the past the taking of these things were classed as witchcraft? Maybe the idea of taking plants, dancing or starving oneself would change one’s mind so much that you break the normal indoctrination that has been foisted on you by society was always a step too far for society that wanted to control thought?
The problem is that we do not think from the mind-set of the people who did these things, it was not a ‘bit of fun’ in fact it is far from a bit of fun, it is the saga and quest that was alluded to in the stories of the ancients, it is the recurring theme of the facing of the death of the ego the facing of your fears in an initiation. Such events as these were fraught with danger and not for the light hearted.
The extreme searching conducted by these people were undertaken by societies that faced danger in ways that we do not in today’s society but as soon as something happens to us we have no resources to deal with them. Ok allow me to simplify a little on these things but I do believe that our mind-set creates the landscape for all decisions that we make and living in a ‘Nanny State’ does not allow us to face up to the fact that life is not fair, just listen to the way that people want to blame everyone else but not take responsibility for themselves.
There is much evidence for these extreme states of mind contributing to spiritual and the origins of religious thought of all of the major religions with the use of starvation and extreme stress. Visionary episodes caused by contaminated food and the consumption of liquids including those of VERY strong beers such as heather beer that was known to have psychedelic fungus on the plant referred to as fogg and a theory that the ‘wine’ that the early Christians drank was mimosa which was used as a dye for fabrics in the middle east, and it is known that it was used by mystics both Islamic and Christian giving rise as it were to the stories of ‘flying carpets’ and maybe Soma was such a drink. If one looks at this early Christian and Muslim art it is incredibly visionary and although different from the Hindu art is also 'otherworldly'.
I will look at how music can create 'higher' states in the future but just open your mind to the possibility that some of the great developments in society, art and thought may have come from activities that are illegal, why is that?.