PART 3 - The Entheological Paradigm - The empirical approach to God
In the main article of this website we discussed the concept of the neurotheological paradigm in the "Endogenous DMT and the establishment of Religion" section which discusses the theoretical interrelationship of religious experience and endogenous neurochemicals. Taking this concept one step further Martin Ball, Ph.D professor of religious studies presents a very interesting challenge: If we have come to the point where we now understand the nature of this phenomenon and are able to harvest or synthesize these God-witnessing compounds, does it not behoove a sincere God-seeking individual to take this path in its fullest meaning and seek to experience God? Actually, this is hardly a new concept, many ancient societies were well acquainted with entheogens and used them regularly and respectfully.
As Dr. Ball explains it, we are born with identities that are blank slates and as we develop our personal individual image and keeper of that image, the ego, we assimilate “constructs”. Constructs are the defining parameters of one’s personality, there are physical constructs: such as our sexual makeup and physical abilities, social constructs: the societal norms that we grow to accept, mental constructs: the language we speak modulates the way we see the world, economic constructs: the economic strata into which we are born, religious constructs: that determine our relation to God or higher intelligence and many more. All these constructs solidify our individuality and altogether they form the default human paradigm of each individual person.
The construct that Dr. Ball has focused on is religion. Religions do their best to clarify an almost universal human question and quest: what is God? Unfortunately, most religions do their best to ensure their own survival as a cultural institution and put God at the end of a carrot stick. Most religious followers spend their lives appeasing a distant judgmental being by doing good deeds, praying 5 times a day, meditating, warring, gathering on Saturday, gathering on Sunday, praying, exercising guilt and celibacy, sacrificing, suffering, baptizing, dancing and singing, bequeathing property ….and furthering the religion they have to happened to accept. While most churches promote a sense of community, most do not encourage a direct experience of God, in fact, in some cases, they condemn it; the church remains as the intermediary. The appeasement process never ends and then we go on to our maker after we die, that is, if we have fulfilled the requirement of our particular belief system.
Dr. Ball’s paradigm, the entheoglogical paradigm, has only one construct: experience God to the fullest. It appears that the higher intelligence who designed us incorporated a circuit in our mind-body that allows one to travel back, travel up, and experience the presence of the maker. In addition the higher intelligence also created the chemical key that activates this God-homing brain circuit, in fact, there are several of them, and they have been scattered about the plant and animal world. These chemical compounds are called entheogens, that is, chemicals that bring us into the experience of being with/of God. Human beings even generate these chemicals in their own chemistry, endogenous entheogens, though they are usually created in small amounts and are then quickly scoured up by another chemical in the blood.
His reasoning is this: If the Higher Intelligence created both the passage to the God experience and the key to the passage, would that not mean that the Higher Intelligence intended for us to respectfully use this tool at times to enrich, deepen and give greater meaning our human paradigm? Dr. Ball, who has studied religious issues all his life, has concluded that the answer to this question is a resounding yes. He has used the chemical key and he has had the experience many times. Furthermore, he has been able to return to the human paradigm and incorporate the fruits of this experience into his daily here-and-now existence and healing practice, and he encourages us to consider this path if we feel that we are properly prepared and open to yielding ourselves to an epiphany that will most likely change the course of our lives. This illustrates the theoneurological approach, the theory of how God created in our neurological makeup a homing passage back to itself.
In fact, Ball feels that now that we have the ability to pursue this path, it is our right to know ourselves as fully as we can, that this is the highest, noblest goal of what it means to be human. Ball does not see himself as special. What he has learned, what he has actually come to know through direct experience, is that we are actually all the same being. He has returned from these experiences with an even greater love and dedication for all humanity.
Let’s talk about this concept a bit: we are actually all the same being. Here’s an analogy to illustrate this point. Let’s take a complicated 3-dimensional shape, for example, a dove. If we were to take a light source and shine it on the dove's body, it would cast a shadow on the wall – a two dimensional silhouette. If you were to take an image that resulted from the light placed directly in front of a dove or directly above a dove and showed it to a person who had never seen a dove, they would probably be a loss as to what they were looking at, however after viewing several more perspectives, they would probably understand the dove as a 3-dimensional object. It’s that way with humans. Each of us is a single flash image of a much more complex organism, and in each human we see an additional perspective of the whole being that we are derived from.
That complex being that we are a shadow image of is from a more complex dimension. It’s a dimension that we existed in before we volunteered to enter this more limited dimension as an isolated individual on the physical stage of boot camp planet earth, forgetful of whereof we come so that we can exercise new aspects of our evolving personality. However, with each new human we meet, if we can see beyond the walls of ego insularity, we get a glimpse of another silhouette of the whole being, the totality of which is: who we are.
This is a great concept, a mental concept, but what Martin Ball is talking about is the actual real time conscious experience of this concept. 5-MeO DMT temporarily lifts our consciousness to a higher dimension of wholeness and gives a glimpse-more than that-the unforgettable experience of the incomprehensible infinitude of which we all are a part. Jurgen Ziewe has reported it, Rumi has described it, so do the many testimonies in Chapter 4 of William Buhlman’s book The Secret of the Soul… and many, many more. These people don’t just believe in a higher universal being, they know it with a certainty that infuses their entire being. This knowing is available to anyone who is properly prepared to experience the entheological paradigm
The entheogen that Dr; Ball prefers is 5-MeO-DMT, a slightly larger, more complex and more powerful version of DMT, which also occurs in nature, though in different plants and animals than DMT and usually in smaller amounts. He claims that 5-MeO-DMT is also endogenous in humans, but does not point to the pineal gland as a source, though it may be. As for acceptance of this practice, Dr. Ball says: “Setting supposedly moral, political, social and religious views aside, entheogens are simply tools for self-exploration and reflection, nothing more and nothing less. The fact that they are largely illegal aptly demonstrates the deep level of fear of facing and knowing the self that exists in many modern societies ”. This may be true, but unfortunately, shortly after this he wrote these words, 5-Me0 was declared an illegal drug in 2011…which brings the societal, political and religious constructs into full opposition. So there is a quandary here.
It may take years, decades, before our society accepts the use of entheogens as a legitimate form of self-exploration and growth. Perhaps there will come a time when inner growth facilities will be established with professional staff who can administer entheogens in a supportive atmosphere to qualified volunteers. Following this article are two declarations that attempt to legitimize this concept: one is universal and the other is restricted to those who have reached an age of full maturity and responsibility and, hopefully, wisdom. Readers who have personally experienced the presence of the Divine during an entheogenic experience should take part in the Johns Hopkins spiritual experience survey: http://flyer.psychedelicencounteringthedivine.org/
Dr. Ball warns that just not anyone should try to access this passage, and he does an excellent job explaining what it takes to be ready. At the onset of a 5-MeO-DMT experience, our little cloud of consciousness that has clothed itself in the comfy constructs of the ego can get very agitated as these familiar constructs are stripped away. As mentioned earlier in this paper, the lifelong well-developed ego does not surrender its grip very easily. There has to be absolute trust in the process as it progresses, if trust is lacking, the travelers consciousness may divert itself and suspend any upward travel by sidestepping into fantastic realm of its own making –which easily happens if the 5-MeO dosage is not potent enough or if fear is allowed to manifest. This is why it is so important to have an experienced guide present.
Many more considerations are discussed in his books, among these Dr. Ball also acknowledges the universal fractal framework of reality and the importance of symmetry in attaining a balanced state of being. You can meet him on YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfyGc9-jkaM and in any of his books: www.entheological-paradigm.net.
Universal Declaration of the Human Right to Direct Spiritual Experience
We recognize the following:
Human beings are innately spiritual. The human quest for spiritual meaning and experience is fundamental to the human experience. Personal spiritual experience is furthermore understood to be one of the most intimate aspects of person’s identity, sense of self, and worldview.
While the human quest for spiritual meaning and experience can be institutionalized through the formation and continuation of religious traditions, the drive for spiritual meaning and experience is not limited to religious activity or membership per se.
Religious practice and membership is not identical to spiritual experience. Religion, as a social institution, provides an opportunity for like-minded people to gather together in groups to collectively express their beliefs in the context of shared practices. Religion provides structures of ritual, ceremony, religious teachings, and a community of similarly-oriented individuals. Within the context of a religion, persons may be afforded the opportunity for direct spiritual experience, but this is not necessarily the case. As direct spiritual experience is primarily an individual matter, the locus of spiritual experience is necessarily the individual, and not a religious tradition or institution.
While religious membership and activity is universally recognized as a fundamental human right and is protected by law, individual pursuit of spiritual experiences has not been afforded the same legal protections. This act seeks to correct this omission from the list of universal human rights.
Because the locus of direct spiritual experience is the individual, protections for individual spiritual experience must be afforded directly to individuals, rather than to the institutions in which they practice. As a result, protection for direct spiritual experience is not limited to individuals who are members of religious traditions, but extend equally to all individuals, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof.
All practices that contribute to an individual’s cultivation of direct spiritual experience are hereby affirmed to be protected by international laws recognizing universal human rights, with the condition that such practices do not violate any other universally recognized human rights of other persons, such as the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.The previous has been displayed with the permission of Dr. Martin Ball