We are seeing a shift occur in real time and most people are too fixated on the latest social craze to know what’s going on. To be fair, to see societal shifts you do need to exercise a degree of awareness that most do not possess.
For those who have been paying attention – the world is different now.
There’s a definite difference in the tone and expression baselines reality than from twenty or thirty years ago. The 1990s, 80’s and before…all had a marked “era” to them. However, those antiquated norms began melting away over the past 10-15 years, right about the same time when Social Media was introduced to society in mass.
The Mayan Calendar ended on 2012 (for the previous great cosmic year), meaning that the new calendar is now in effect. Within astrological speak, “we’ve moved into the house of Aquarius” and in terms of Hindi myth, “We’re in the Age of Kali” – Christians call it, “the end of days”.
All of these different myths eluded to a time where there would be “wars and rumors of wars”, and where a new age would take its place.
In 2012, nothing spectacular happened. The world did not come to a crashing end, we did not see the end of days, the Armageddon did not come.
However, perhaps we were missing the point. We humans like to hyper-fantasize these cosmological events and create epic showdowns between two visible forces battling it out to see who wins. The old vs the new, the young vs the old…a dualistic state of reality.
Yet when you look at nature, change happens gradually, almost invisible to linear beings incapable of watching their own lives objectively. How do sunny skies become raging storms? They do so drop by drop, evaporating over time, coming together and forming gigantic floating sky lakes that are then pushed by the wind and when coming into contact with other clouds – thunder down rain with trembling might.
We only begin to pay attention when it is undeniable that “there is a storm coming”, however, we are oblivious to all of the other elements in the puzzle.
Similarly, we are now undergoing a paramount shift in society and we will never be the same again. What this future may hold is still anyone’s guess, but there is one thing that we can definitely note – cannabis has been integrated into mainstream society.
This might be due to the fact that there has also been a great exodus from organized religion. According to some Pew Research, there has been a significant decline in Christianity in the US over the past decade.
In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009. – Source
The fact that people stop identifying with mainstream religion doesn’t negate their need for spiritual fulfillment. This is where substances like cannabis, psilocybin, DMT, LSD, and other psychedelics can help supplement the spiritual sustenance they got from their previous affiliations.
This isn’t saying that people will abuse these substances, but rather would rely on the intense psychedelia associated with some of the aforementioned “drugs” as a genuine subjective experience of spirituality in where they would be able to deposit much of their social anxiety and ascribe meaning to their existence.
After all, religion is simply a mechanism of engaging with society with a centralized authority running the show. Plant medicines and psychedelics on the other hand is another avenue to “experience divinity” without any centralized figures telling you what is right or wrong.
It’s like Open Source Spirituality or “Direct Interfacing Spirituality”.
As more people abandon their traditional representation of spirituality and embrace the “unknowingness” of it all – these “alternative approaches to wellness” are gaining mainstream attention. People are treating their depression with it, others curing their PTSD, and others utilizing it as a means of interacting with a spark of the “divine” – and the science is right there to document it all.
Yet while these psychedelics play a significant role in major shifts within the identity of a person and their interpretation of the world around them – cannabis has a far more subtle effect that will entrench itself within culture in many forms – one of them being a supplement for organized religion.
The Church of Cannabis
While psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, DMT and so forth can provide a person with significant transformative experiences in a short period of time – cannabis takes a more nuanced approach to wellness. Cannabis is something that people can consume daily without too much interruption of their daily activities.
In fact, most regular cannabis consumers are completely functional and utilize cannabis at specific times for specific purposes. Whether they are using it to go to sleep and unplug from a long day at the office, or to mitigate their anxiety or pain in order to be productive. Or simply for those who want to feel a bit of euphoria and enjoy themselves for the hell of it.
Most people are capable of sustaining a healthy cannabis habit and remain productive. Yet, cannabis also makes people want to try the crazies things like, going on hikes or learning a new sport. For some reason, when people begin to smoke cannabis – they begin to embark on new activities.
Potentially it’s about the self-reflective nature of cannabis. Say what you will about weed, but when you smoke enough weed you can turn your awareness on yourself and objectively see and say things about yourself you’d commonly like to ignore.
It’s as if the ego took a shot of the “Fuck-its!” and won’t take offense if you call it out on its bullshit.
It is in this capacity where cannabis can become a bridge that connects the “none religious” people in a way that organized religion does. This is one thing that organized religion excels at – creating community. This is also a fundamental problem with “open-source spirituality” in that they don’t have a “gathering protocol”.
In other words, people who smoke weed don’t come together at the community center every Saturday to smoke weed and listen to music a bit and then listen to some stoned dude talking about life stuff while others listen.
However, cannabis users “go out” and try new things. They take up hiking and meet other hikers (often who also are stoners). They take up mountain biking, surfing, cooking classes, etc.
This allows the individual to fill the void of community that is left when they abandon their traditional spiritual roots in search for something more. However, while this community is present, there will still be a sense of “lack” in their lives because even though cannabis can help an individual gain some perspective in their life – it is not a substitute for divinity.
Psychedelics and plant medicines are amazing tools that allows us to experience temporary moments of blissfulness and deep understanding. It warps out perceptive filters in such a way that we get to see a bit more than what we typically are capable of processing under normal conditions.
Yet these are still merely objects within our scopes of focus and while they may elude to the divine, they themselves are not the divine.
This is the second purpose of organized religion – a means of engaging with the divine.
How does one interact with the divine?
While cannabis is not a supplement for the divine, it can be utilized as a sacrament to it. The truth of the matter is that organized religion is nothing more than people telling other people “what the correct way” of believing in an undefinable being that supersedes our understanding.
What religion has in its favor is a well-organized approach on how you can submit yourself to a “code” in order to access the divine under certain conditions. For example, going to church on Sunday and worshipping with your community invokes the divine. This is true for all religions. If you go to a place where earnest people are calling to God (whoever that may be to them), you’ll witness an immersion of “something beyond” into the crowd.
Perhaps it is a type of mass psychosis, but for anyone who has truly experienced the touch of the divine, irrespective of their faith – they know it’s “something greater than them”.
Conversely, open-source spirituality doesn’t have a “text book” you can follow to engage with the divine. Rather, there are tools available and you construct your own mechanics of interaction – “Your Own Personal Jesus!”
Cannabis helps set the stage, it can help grease the individual’s mind and open them up to experiences of divine. But it would be a mistake to think that it is cannabis itself that is providing a source to the divine. Rather, it acts as a means for the ego to let go of trying to control the moment, and shuts down the inner-critic – allowing the participant to fully engage with their moment of divinity.
The question is, if cannabis isn’t the source of divinity, then how does one sustain a deep spiritual practice?
The good news is that the divine manifests itself when someone earnestly seeks it, irrespective of their faith. This technically means that if someone can believe earnestly enough in a particular model of engagement – they will be able to witness the divine express itself through it.
For example, if you believe that planetary alignment plays a role in what you can and cannot do in this life, the divine will utilize this system to communicate and engage with you. If you believe that the divine resides in nature and go to nature to be in the presence of the divine – it will be there!
This is the underlying lesson of all of these plant medicines – the divine is within, not without. However, it is through the meaning you ascribe to your actions that you invoke the divine. The rituals you engage with generate the results you live with.
Many people are tapping into ancient practices and modifying it to their lifestyles. Things like Yoga, Breathwork, Meditation, Magick, and other practices are all suitable systems for engaging with the divine.
A particular current of magick entitled “Chaos Magick” is essentially a paradigm where any element of any belief can be incorporated to construct your own system of engaging with the world. Your own “Psychosm”.
Within these practices, cannabis may be able to play an important role.
The role of cannabis in organized religion
Not many people know this, but cannabis was part of the traditional Jewish tradition. It’s even mentioned in the Bible & is a critical element in the making of the Holy Anointing oils. These oils were doused with cannabis, which then would be poured all over a prophet or king. Jesus was doused with pints of cannabis, which most certainly got him some degree of stoned.
The burning bush that Moses so famously spoke too is also theorized to be an Acacia bush according to some which contains trace amounts of DMT. There is also a theory that the Mana in the desert were actually mushrooms.
The point being, “drugs” have long played a role in the formation of spiritual practices. There is no reason why cannabis would not play a similar role as the entire human race reexamines their value systems.
Similarly, more people are going to look to substances like Ayahuasca, Peyote, Magic Mushrooms, LSD and more to help them redefine their spirituality according to their own preferences. For a while, this will spark a rapid evolution of belief systems some of them that may be a little “crazy”, but over time there should be an emergence of new currents of beliefs.
These new “religions” will either create new or modify old systems and shape it to suit the needs of the modern human. In all likeliness, you’ll see some sort of “techno-oriented religion” spark up in the future. Transhumanism is already a thing and is growing in popularity.
The old religions will become myth, and the new religions will become central in the formation and interaction of society.
Thus, as we see cannabis become legalized all over the world – this is merely the precursor to the major shift that will follow.
Psychedelics will become more mainstream and eventually enough people will abandon their old religions to adopt more dynamic means of interacting with their spirituality. Cannabis will play a major part in all of this.
The sticky bottom-line
Whether you like it or not, we’re currently in a major paradigm shift. The pandemic has accelerated a lot of the change, but the real fundamental things will happen once the institutions of old are weakened enough due to their inability to adapt fast enough with newer means of engagement.
It will probably take two or three generations for mainstream religion to take a more passive seat and would be considered similar to the “old wives tales” of today (in reference to antiquated beliefs of the previous generations).
Right now the establishment is still desperately trying to hold things together, the technocrats betting on a dystopian future – but underneath it all is a bubbling new paradigm about to wreak havoc on the world.
The great disruption is coming…so pack a bowl and let’s watch the madness unfurl.