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Plant Intelligence for Healing Ourselves and Our Fragmented World
Table of Contents
About The Book
An examination of the use of psychedelics for understanding ourselves, connecting with the world around us, and enacting outer change through inner transformation
• Explores sacred tools and technologies to help us reestablish a lost ideology of unity, with a specific focus on natural plant/fungi psychedelics
• Looks at the history of psychedelics and their role in facilitating natural intelligence’s ability to increase itself through ongoing analysis of its own experience
• Provides guidelines for safely using natural plant/fungi psychedelics and integrating them into society to access unified consciousness and restore balance to our world
Our ecological, social, and political issues all stem from the ideologies that drive our collective actions. In contrast to our innate humanity, which is rooted in unity, these ideologies have led us to believe that we are separate from each other, separate from nature, and separate from the results of our actions. Such a worldview encourages individuals to maximize self-interest, which then causes fragmentation, conflict, pollution, and the depletion of natural resources. Offering practical steps that we can take to heal ourselves and our fragmented world, author Daniel Grauer explores the use of sacred tools and technologies, such as natural psychedelics, meditation, and yoga, in order to reestablish an ideology of unity, work in symbiotic harmony with the Earth, and restore our world as a sustainable and prosperous whole.
Grauer explains how individuals--and by extension societies--benefit from safely accessing transcendent states of consciousness, such as those provided by psychedelics. He explores how psychoactive substances have been used throughout history all over the world for healing, personal growth, spiritual development, and revealing hidden truths, such as in the Eleusinian Mysteries, Soma practices in Vedic India, and rituals in several South American indigenous cultures. Drawing on the plant intelligence work of Paul Stamets and Stephen Buhner, Grauer shows that the growth of individual and collective intelligence is hindered by the prohibition of psychedelics, which naturally foster humanity’s capacity for analysis, innovation, and cooperation. In addition to creating a sense of unity with all things, psychedelics offer the mind a new perspective from which to analyze its experience and heighten its awareness. Drawing on his own experience and research, Grauer provides guidelines for how to safely use natural plant/fungi psychedelics in order to access the unified consciousness of our ancestors and induce the states of awareness we need to restore natural harmony to our world.
I’d like you to recall the earliest memory you have of viewing a clear night of stars. Try and remember the true awesomeness of the visual, the incomprehensible amount of space, the thoughts of infinity, and the feelings of immensity that overcame you as you wondered what it’s all about. Is there something other out there, what are we doing here, what does this all mean?
These feelings are, of course, not isolated to looking up at the stars. They find their way into our lives through various avenues if we are keen to notice. Other examples include profound synchronicities, witnessing an orange full moon rise just above the horizon, or recurrent visits from certain animals after a loved one has passed. Such moments remind us that there is something else happening here, and somehow, we each play a part. They suffuse us with an invisible type of magic we’re taught is reserved for the protagonist of childhood bedtime stories, but which we secretly hoped was real. Something of such high order and complexity could exist not just beyond the valley, underneath an unturned rock, or on the next page, but somewhere within us.
These spontaneous expressions of wonder allow us to temporarily transcend the materialism and egotism supported by the ideology of fragmentation, revealing a glimpse of unity underneath. What makes these experiences unique, is their inherent implication of an even bigger connection--unity is not just the predominate trait of humanity; it is the underlying principle of reality. Every organism and every action is connected through a highly complex web of often-unseen interactions. We all exist, and we all are, together.
Ironically, if we are to observe this reality as true, we must go beyond the capacity of the human eye. Just as mirrors reveal our own reflection, telescopes unveil the cosmos, and microscopes expose the smallest objects, sacred technologies illuminate unity as the underlying principle of reality. Given the importance of such an experience, these technologies have been carefully passed down through countless generations.
There are both practice and substance based sacred technologies, although the two are not always mutually exclusive. Practices include meditation, yoga, praying, fasting, dancing, drumming, chanting, breathing techniques, and various ceremonies and rites of passage. Substances include the consumption of certain herbs and plant/fungi psychedelics.
Each of these technologies has a unique purpose, but they all have the ability to turn our gaze inward, dissolve the facades of fragmentation, and reveal our innate unity. Some do so subtly, through years of daily practice. While others are so powerful, they can provide this perspective within just a few hours.
Due to this range, the perception and use of sacred technologies fluctuates with the shifting values and needs of a given culture. For example, subtle practices such as meditation and prayer have been used by many of our religions for thousands of years and are, at minimum, accepted as “normal.” On the other hand, ceremonies that involve accessing a non-ordinary state of consciousness have been regarded as sacred in some cultures, while being taboo or illegal in others.
As we are currently experiencing a shift in needs and values due to the accelerating pace and magnitude of crises, it is imperative that we not let prejudice cloud our judgment on any of these practices and/or substances. By taking an unbiased and timeless perspective, we will now discover how these technologies can guide us out of an unnatural ideology of fragmentation and into a natural ideology of unity - a process that will not only save us from causing irreparable damage to our species and many others, but also show us how to prosper as respectful, creative, productive, and happy beings.
From Chapter 9. Natural Substance-Based Technologies
Perhaps you awoke this morning to flickering rays of sunlight entering gently though your blinds. Or more likely, an alarm jolted you out of a dream. In either situation, if you live like most of us in western society, you opened your eyes, realized you did not get enough sleep, and sought out a cup of caffeine before interacting with anyone else.
As we consider everything else that we ingest on a daily basis, we realize that the majority of these natural substances are indeed used for some sort of purpose. This can include survival (food/water), health (naturally derived medicines), alertness (caffeinated coffee/tea), and inebriation (alcoholic beverages). Despite the possibility of misuse or adverse side effects of medicine, caffeine, alcohol, and even certain foods, we still consume them and consider them normal because they provide us with value.
From this same perspective, we can now approach a class of naturally occurring substances that are as sacred and important as the practices discussed in chapter 8: natural plant/fungi psychedelics. Just like caffeine, alcohol, and certain medicines, these substance-based tools can alter our reality to better approach our lives. Yes, there is a possibility of misuse or adverse side effects, but even more so than the other substances just mentioned, they have immense value.
The plant/fungi psychedelics that I’ll be referencing for the remainder of this book--and the ones that have been used for thousands of years in various cultures as medicine, sacraments, and tools for personal development--are psilocybin-containing mushrooms, mescaline-containing cacti such as Peyote/San Pedro, and DMT-containing plant mixtures such as Ayahuasca.
These natural psychedelics are so potent in their ability to dissolve the facades of fragmentation and engender an experience of unity that they only need to be used once. While the safety and efficacy of such powerful experiences relies upon certain guidelines--having a trustworthy and knowledgeable guide, being in a comfortable set and setting, preparing for the experience, having support during it, and integrating it afterwards (discussed further in Appendix H)--their level of efficiency perfectly matches the needs of our current culture and calls for a reassessment of these plants/fungi. We will now go on to discuss these plant/fungi psychedelics in great detail.
- Publisher: Park Street Press (July 7, 2020)
- Length: 224 pages
- ISBN13: 9781644110317
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Raves and Reviews
“In Psychedelic Consciousness, Daniel Grauer undertakes a highly ambitious assessment of the very nature of life itself, and of the countless tangulations, from physical to spiritual, that afflict humanity and promote suffering and misunderstanding. Taking us from early ancestry up through modern discovery, from single-cell life to complex society, he weaves a case for the employment of psychedelics as psychic crowbars capable of opening us to more life-affirming and expansive awareness.”
– Chris Kilham, author of The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook and The Five Tibetans
“Daniel Grauer’s beautiful and insightful book Psychedelic Consciousness couldn’t be more timely. Philosophically intriguing and spiritually inspiring, Grauer provides a historical perspective on our collective state of mind, the dangers of our wayward world’s dark spiral into fragmentation, and the power of sacred tools and technologies--such as visionary plants, psychedelic fungi, meditation, and yoga--to restore personal, collective, and ecological balance. Grauer offers practical steps for how to dissolve these dangerous illusions of fragmentation, to promote experiences of boundary-dissolving unity, and to experience the transformative power of self-transcendence and mystical experiences. Interdisciplinary in its scope, hopeful and inspiring in its plea for sanity, Grauer’s wise words demonstrate how personal transformation can lead to radical collective change and a better world.”
– David Jay Brown, author of Dreaming Wide Awake and The New Science of Psychedelics
“In Psychedelic Consciousness, Grauer asks us how we are to overcome our lack of community and social unity and our sense that something is off. The author lays out his clear and sensible plan for transformation.”
– Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Future of the Mind
"With the right tools and the right mindset, Grauer offers up a path for finding symbiosis with nature. Tapping into the zeitgeist, Psychedelic Consciousness is a balm to every weary individualist who is ready to come back into balance and feel the unity inherent to all life."
– Louie Schwartzberg, director of Fantastic Fungi
"Overall, Psychedelic Consciousness is a wonderful resource for the tidal wave of people who are new to psychedelics and contemplating consciousness. It’s especially geared for Western minds who have had mystical experiences, or perhaps simply *an experience* with psychedelics and wondered what it was all about. I think it’s best for people experimenting or new to their journeys, though people who have been on a medicine path can also benefit from the questions it poses throughout to further refine their own practice and dream of what the possibilities and potentials are."
– Kat Grasso, Musing Mystical
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