Tuesday, July 10, 2007
After studying the Amanita muscaria mushroom for some twenty years, I fell into the company of some very enthusiastic folks who insisted that I commit this study to writing. It is one thing to talk about the many various religious writings which I have been looking into, and found ample mushroom symbology to present a verbal case for ethnomycological reference, but another thing entirely to compile it into book form. For one thing, in order to present a full scope of significant inter-religious connections verbally one can jump from one religious context to another, traversing a wide scope of references in several religions, weaving an overall scope of the similarities found in each. But in order to write a book on the subject I found that separating the different religious references into their respective chapters was the best way to go. So I try to limit the temptation to jump from one religion to another, and keep it to a minimum. Within the study of world religion one finds philosophical systems. These are the philosophies that the respective believer adopts as their understanding of life itself. State-ism must be considered a religion in its own right, as even those who profess no religious preference or belief adopt a philosophical view of reality based upon a state/culturally conditioned belief system. These belief systems are also based upon religious philosophies that are brought into fruition through media and popular opinion. Were the many state and religious philosophies to be based upon truth and justice the world would not have an incredible history of bloodshed, wars and oppression. Therefore, religions and state indoctrinated belief systems share commonality of basic philosophical principles, and all of them must be looked into with an objective point of view. This must be done in order to dispel falsehood. It is not difficult to see that the condition of life on our planet leaves much to be desired. Societal conditioning plays an important part in developing individual belief systems. In some ways this could be considered a good thing, but in other ways it may be intrinsically bad. The study of ethnomycology cannot simply be the study of religion and its association with mushrooms per-se' because by its very nature it must examine the philosophical principles of the religions which have an ehtnomycological connection. I need to explain this in order to set the stage for what is to come within these pages. This is not only an examination of ehtnomycological associations throughout history but is also an examination of those religions which show evidence of having ethnomycological association, yet currently deny this association due to corruption of their root principles. So this study will deal with ethnomycology as a base, but will also delve into psychology, ethnology, philology, anthropology, archaeology, sociology, art, history, religion, myth, culture, symbology, and philosophy. I will begin this book with the study of Christmas and its associated symbols and icons because after studying most of the world’s religions and their associated philosophies, I have found this to actually be a religion in its own right and quite pure philosophically. What are the origins of the Christmas traditions? Most people never think to ask this question. Those that do, find a seemingly complete dogmatic system of explanation. Then, of course, one day there is that discovery that Santa Claus does not really exist. But... Does he? Many things have been written in an attempt to trace Christmas' development. You can find people who consider themselves experts in this field, and even books on this subject. I suppose you could call the field "Santa-ology", or perhaps even "Santa-ism". Yet, long lost, deeply underlying the realms of simple tradition, are very amazing symbolic connections and origins that are either long- forgotten or were/are intentionally overlooked. The basic philosophy behind Christmas is; if you are good you will receive a present under the tree, if you are bad then you receive no present. In some cultures those who are bad even receive punishment delivered by various means and personages. This is a very simple philosophical system. Santa Claus is an all-knowing icon that reads the hearts and intentions of everyone on the planet. Each child is told the story of the round-man (who wears red and white) and his associates; reindeer, little people and Mrs. Claus. They are also told the story of a miraculous worldwide flight in a sleigh which results in presents being delivered under a tree. Yet when a child reaches the age of reasoning he is informed that this story is all a fabrication. This revelation is devastating upon the psyche of a young mind. It is also at this time that the child is often comforted, and pacified from the shock, by very strong reinforcement that the religious system which the parents or guardians profess are indeed factual. And an attempt is made to incorporate the respective religious traditions into the holiday as the REAL meaning for the celebration. There is an alternative to this cultural conditioning and shock-relief system of indoctrinations, into the realities of life, which is based upon truth and is much more interesting than even the simple traditional understandings of Christmas themselves. The key to this alternative is encoded within the icons and symbols of Christmas. To know the meanings behind the symbolism to which most people only attach dogmatic explanations, is to open the doorway to understanding the very roots of many other religions as well. Several books have been written about the Amanita muscaria mushroom. This mushroom is found growing all over the world under Pine (& other coniferous trees), Birch, and sometimes Oak. The Pine tree is one of the well-known central relics of Christmas. Under this tree is where those who are deemed good find their reward in the form of a present. A big red and white rounded mushroom grows under the very tree we are to look under on Christmas morning to find our gift. If we can find that this present does indeed exist. If we can find that reindeer are thought to be able to fly for a very good reason, and we can show that traditionally they carry people spiritually through the air in a way that defies the laws of time. And further, if we can show that the philosophical idiom "be good not bad" is really the universal truth, would we have sufficient basis for discarding the established religious dogmas which traditionally replace the Christmas tale, and instead simply expand the story to reveal the more esoteric principles upon which it is based? It is my assertion that the traditional day of reckoning wherein it is revealed; Santa Claus is not real, Reindeer do not fly, there is no present under the tree (unless placed there by a deceiver), is a dis-information campaign geared towards conditioning the young mind to be unable to comprehend the information which is presented herein. I also assert that the devastating blow of the destruction of a belief, and the associated reinforcement of "Christianity" (or other religious system) is psychologically designed to support the replacement information which is given as a comforting foundation during a time of shock and crisis, and is explained as something that will never be revealed as false (like Santa and all that fantasy). It is also my conclusion that this event subliminally plays an important role for religious systems that wish to suppress the expansion of consciousness through fear of the unknown. The psyche is scarred deeply when it is forced to deal with realizing it has accepted a falsehood as truth. And when it deals with plants and things found under trees, subliminally, one armors oneself against these concepts. There develops an unconscious fear of falling into the same trap. Of course this is also pacified through replacing the meaning of things like the pine tree. Interestingly, in some traditions the Pineal gland is thought to be the seat of the human soul. It is shaped exactly like a pinecone (hence the name Pine-al). Apparently, it is also an autonomous part of the brain, resting in the dead center, not attached to any other part of the brain; sort of a floating pinecone in the center of the human brain. Perhaps we have a lot more in common with the Pine tree than we thought. This gland, and its endogenous secretions, as well as other relevant implications, will be further discussed in a later section. But it is interesting to note; due to cultural phenomenon, the pineal gland atrophies during youth, which corresponds to this timely day of reckoning, and even begins to calcify during puberty. This atrophy/calcification causes a reduction of Pineal endogenous secretions. The Santa Claus and Christmas traditions of today have metamorphosed out of many older mythologies. The icons, symbols, and relics that have managed to survive from the "Winter Solstice" celebrations of old, have a commonality that deserves some reflection, study, and perhaps even some reverence. Understanding that these traditions are borrowed ones, is central to getting at the heart of the true meaning of Christmas.
Posted by Mark Dixon at 10:49 AM