ernst jünger in cyberspace

mailing list archive - Annaeherung

	" Bruno is reticent with his allusions, but I suspect that he has lived in hollows made by plutonian and human efforts. They contain extensive gardens with a flora more splendid than that of the upper world. The constant warmth and the strange rays of light produce wonders. Botanists have released previously unknown forces of nature. I asked Bruno, "Doesn't that seem odd, since the biologists are on the side of the forests?"
	"Now you know that when Proserpine was picking flowers on a meadow, she was abducted by Pluto and carried off to the underworld."
	Of course; his answer pointed to times when luminaries of science fell into enemy hands, because of either cunning or force, and were ' turned around.' " 
Roberto Calvo:
Beatiful Thomas. That reminds me the marvelous Persefone_proserpine- Myhte. She was abducted by Pluto and carried off to the underworld. Then, her mother Demeter goes in her search. She goes to Eleusis: and that take us to the keys: drugs- wow! all is interlaced!. In Eleusis she was at first refused-"Dieu se retire", but after some maledictions people found the Mysterys- gods came again.Then she request to Zeus to take part for she. And Zeus and Pluto get an agree. Persefone keep living with Pluto in the underworld but came back every spring. Conclusion

[Thomas Friese]  Roberto,  I know the myth about the spring being a return of Persephone to her mother in the world of nature, but what of Junger's analogy - it is now not a cycle of one year in which she disappears and returns but a much longer one. Where are we in this cycle - in midwinter, or is the sap already awakening in the limbs, the roots warming up and beginning to feel themselves again, the first buds perhaps starting to emerge from the cool, concealing bark. But what is powerful about this myth is the fact that sooner or later Life always returns. (We might add, as do the gods....)   
[Roberto Calvo Macias]  Thats also my vision, and my hope. 
About this I recomend you "Searching Persefone", and "Road to Eleusis", by RGordon Wasson, Albert Hofmann, Carl A. P. Ruck, Jonathan Ott and Robert Graves. 														Page 361.

[Thomas Friese]  I've heard about the Eleusis - drug hypothesis but I am not convinced intuitively that there must have been drugs present. Have you read Junger's "Annaeherung" - I particularly remember the chapter which referred to Beaudelaire's artificial paradises. Modern man may need drugs to artificially reach these planes of experience but that doesn't mean the ancients also required such help. We should not judge past psycho-spiritual conditions by today's reality. Eliade makes the same point about modern shamanic use of drugs - modern shamans apparently believe that their ancestors were more powerful and did not require drugs. So for Eliade spiritual drug use is a degenerate condition.   

[Roberto Calvo Macias]  I must differ here. Im not agree with Mr. Eliade - thought i like his works-,in this aspect. Modern shamans use drugs, and also did antique ones, as investigations have demostrated. Its also clearly that greeks take psycotropic drugs in common life, its documented judicial cases about ilegal inebriations. Certainly, its not sure its use in Eleusis, but why not?.
Mr Eliade seems to have a prejudice against drugs. Drugs are mostly obtained from plants, and EJ himself has said we are very close to plants, to nature. Then, why is this a degenerate condition?. Its truth that experimented shamans low its use within time- they get capable to manipulate their own minds, as we can segregate adrenaline in a danger situation-, but drugs seems to be a powerful tool to learn. Ancient shamans- in South and North America, India, Siberia, etc had taken drugs- as arqueology rests demostrate- by milennias. Why a degenerate condition?. I have not read EJ Annaeherung cause I think there is no spanish edition, and at this moment I read german with a lot of difficulty, so I am sorry we can not discuss over his work. But he is - i had let the errata- a personal friend of A. Hofmann and I think he problably was agree with this idea. Does he put something of this in Annaeherung?.

[Thomas Friese]   Unfortunately I do not have Annaeherung with me anymore - given your interests I think it would be a worthwhile effort for you to read it - even in German. It is a remarkable book - it deals with a greater diversity of drug experiences than anything else I have ever read. And it is not just the author's personal experiential point of view but includes literary, political, sociological, esoteric, historic, psychological sources.  I wish I hadn't lost my copy!  Junger's insights are as usual based on an amazing sensitivity and thorough research and they are not overly fantastic, as other books on this subject tend to be. This is my objection with a lot of other literature on the subject - it seems that once a person tries some of these substances they entirely lose their skeptical side and with it all sense of restraint. Junger's book is refreshingly different. 

I also looked back into the Hervier Junger interviews published in English as "The Details of Time" and there is almost a full chapter on drugs. Junger compares  the entry of wine into the Greek world with the introduction of LSD and similar drugs into our own society. He even feels that wine had the greater effect of the two. Of course another difference is that wine's power was eventually sacralized and incorporated into a cult whereas LSD so far at least remains a recreational drug at a social level ( the individual's "spiritual" experience may be entirely valid but it is not yet part of any cult.) 

I agree that Eliade does seem harsh on this subject - as you say, we are so close to the plants, physically and biochemically perhaps spiritually. Using them for altered states would seem quite natural. (If you have real audio, check out this BBC program on Man's relationship to the plants - it includes discussions on psychoactive plant use. )  

I don't place any judgement on the fact that it may now be necessary to use artificial means to achieve ecstatic states - the climate changes and one adapts. It simply may be impossible to do it any other way - for anyone. Look at how interested a man of Junger's level was in artificially altered states. But it is certainly not for everyone - as Junger says, it is very slippery terrain and the fall may be a great one if one is not extremely careful. 

(Where did you get the information that shamans lower their use of drugs as they learn how to manipulate their own minds? )

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