View Full Version : Neal Pollack on salvia and B O T H
04-06-2005, 01:20 PM
This is a rare tidbit from the conventional literary world, someone who was interested enough in what I was saying in the book to actually do some exploring for himself. I find it a bit unfortunate that he has to put down my spiritual journey because he doesn't "find other people's spiritual journeys very interesting." This seems to me like an incredible prejudice, a sad and shallow reaction, probably based on his fear of being judged by his peers. However his description of his salvia experiences are excellent and should be thought-provoking enough for him to continue his own spiritual search - even if he won't give it that name.
04-06-2005, 01:58 PM
"I really believe that, while on a DMT trip, Pinchbeck had an encounter with a white-mohawked lizard being at an intercelestial bar. That's a sign of gifted writing." Shit, that guy cant even remember that It was DPT, something completely different. I agree 100% about his unfortunate problem. This guy is a fool.
I too have been growing appreciation of chewing salvia(with a growing reverse tollerance also), I find it much more healing than smoking. Im not supprised to hear that he got nothing at the flaming lips concert. I wonder what kind of trippy music he listened to while on it. (Only because I was thinking about how the DPT seemed guided by the two distinct types of music.)(if Neal reads this, I actually dont think you're a fool, with all thoes books, although do tell.)
04-06-2005, 02:36 PM
Actually, I thought it a very positve flavour on the whole;
That's because, much to my great surprise, Breaking Open The Head is a lucid, funny, and deeply weird work of literary journalism, one of the best examples of nonfiction prose that I've read in years.
I do agree with you Daniel that his comment about your spiritual journey came across as... well.... ignorant.
Makes me wonder what "spiritual" means to him?
04-06-2005, 04:01 PM
Reading Pollack's review was a very bizarre experience. Still, I find it encouraging he tried salvia. Most importantly, I find it interesting that salvia found him. Neil Pollack is a well-respected mainstream literary author with a wide audience of skeptical intellectuals--people like Daniel himself before he traveled to Africa and took iboga. He has far more credibility in the straight world than even Daniel himself, at this point, thus far more potential to open people's minds. I had the same reaction when I first read the review of BOTH in the NYT book review. It made perfect sense to me that Daniel Pinchbeck, New York Intellectual, was the one chosen to receive these messages, because he was connected to a world that would review his work seriously. Indeed, BOTH even got a banner on the front page. That's what caught my eye and led me to the review, which led me to purchashing the book. I don't know how aware of it everyone is, but there is fierce competition to be reviewed in the New York Times. Just a fraction of the books published every year are. Not to say that BOTH wasn't deserving, because it most definitely is. I wonder what will happen to Pollack next? Neal, if you read this. Be prepared, your friends are going to think you're crazy. Don't worry. We'll be your friends. We're used to being called crazy, aren't we?
04-29-2005, 06:18 AM
I highly doubt anyone is reading this thread anymore, but I had a useful conversation with Daniel after I put up my blogpost and I actually removed the sentence disdaining his "spiritual journey." I appreciated his thoughtful response to my post, and we opened a nice line of communication.
As to "what happened" to me after my initial trips, I had another one that was pretty similar to my others, and since then I've been laying off the hallucinogens, just because life's been busy and I wanted to give my mind a chance to absorb.
I have been reading into the history of Jewish mysticism, because that is my heritage and that's where I want to connect with the psychedelic/spiritual axis. I refuse to do trendy Kabbalah studies a la Madonna and Britney Spears, but I'm interested in reading about how it's been done in the past.
I wouldn't be averse to a Kabbalah/psychedelia retreat if something like that exists.
Anyway, my friends already think I'm crazy, so this doesn't add much....
04-29-2005, 07:19 AM
I highly doubt anyone is reading this thread anymore...
When a new post is added it bumps the thread back up to the front of the line. If people weren't reading here, it's only because they either weren't interested to start with or because nothing more had been added since they last read it.
I refuse to do trendy Kabbalah studies a la Madonna and Britney Spears...
What kind of Kabbalah studies would Madonna and Britney Spears be doing if they weren't Madonna and Britney Spears? Or did you mean that in spite of your interest, you hesitate to become involved in Kaballah studies at this time because you fear that others might think you're jumping on a Madonna/Britney fan train?
Anyway, my friends already think I'm crazy, so this doesn't add much....
Heck, if you can accept that your friends already think you're crazy you might as well dive right into the Kaballah you want to dive into. I don't know if this is the way they used to do it, nonetheless, here's one of my favorite kaballah sites: ifdawn.com (http://ifdawn.com/)
04-29-2005, 11:09 AM
Neal, if you're interested in Jewish mysticism, you might want to pick up a copy of "The Magic of Abra Melim." It's a translation of a translation, but it's very interesting. I can't recall the name of the publisher as I gave my copy away; my paradigm conflicts with the system presented in that book.
"Modern Magick" by Donald Michael Kraig, published by Llewellyn is a good primer on High Magick. The writer is an initiate into QBL and he composed it as a text for a college course on magic. Once again, a lot of that work conflicts with my paradigm...but that's why I wrote my own guide to magic and the Sacred Teacher Plants.
I doubt that you'll have a lot of luck finding a retreat in the US that's dedicated to QBL/Entheogens. Such a place would have to be kept fairly well underground to prevent raids by gung-ho Leo's. You'd probably have better luck by checking in either Peru or Holland. I would actually like to set up a retreat here in the States and I've talked about it with my wife a few times, but we lack the resources to do so at this time and she's worried for our daughter's sake based on the US government's tendency to kidnap children with social workers and police officers.
Best of luck to you, mate.
A very readable and grounded introduction to Kabbalah is available on line, by Colin Low here: http://www.digital-brilliance.com/kab/nok/
I've learned a lot from it. And i don't wear a red wrist band. Can't afford one.
[ April 29, 2005, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: Thom ]
04-29-2005, 02:39 PM
Thanks for that link, Thom. I've only scanned a bit thus far but it appears well-grounded and versed in (relatively) plain language.
05-02-2005, 04:38 PM
i dunno know that i'd reccomend Abra Melin or Modern Magick... Abra Melin is a bit obtuse, and fairly dated. Modern Magick is a bit too....mmm easy. Kinda like Magick for Dummies really, it takes some of the hunt out of the game and takes some of the art out of it too.
Dion Fortune's Mystical Qabbalah is great, accessible and rich at the same time. Crowley's Book of Thoth, Book of Lies and his Thoth deck are great fairly enjoyed glimpses into the kabalah. of course i think any real kabalist would laugh at how superficially both of the above authors dealt with the system.
best primer i've seen for indoctrinating a new mind ready to be twisted is the disinfo dvd and the disinfo book of lies. between those two you get enough ideas, techniques, and questions for a thousand bad mistakes.
05-03-2005, 01:48 AM
From Neal's Blog: "That said, baseball season, in all its post-steroid rationality, has begun. I feel very sorry for Pittsburgh Pirates fans. It will also be a long, boring summer in Washington . . . "
Neal, "A long boring summer" . . . Whoa! You ARE crazy! Check the standings in the NL East, only 1.5 games back, & keep an eye on Vinny CAS-TEEEEE-AAAA! :D I went to RFK on a Monday night, and it was electric. Maybe the lit-world tribal consciouness will be surprised & refreshed by the reality of subtler realms too. Seems it's been washing the same old clothes a long, long time now.
[ May 03, 2005, 02:50 AM: Message edited by: craazyman ]
I agree with Sire_012, i think its also important to remember that the Golden Dawn system, which underpins most modern magic and 'Qabbalah' is substantially different from the Kabbalah of Jewish tradition.
05-03-2005, 06:00 PM
Very true, Thom. The actual Hebrew mystical system KBL was only to be taught to the eldest son in each lineage; this is what drove Abra Melim to find another way to teach to his younger son.
It's said that when Moses walked down the mountain the first time, the tablets he carried contained the KBL, actually written by YHVH personally to be given to the Children of Jacob. When Moses saw them having sex with an idol, and behaving like general dolts, he felt that they were truly children and smashed the tablets. The next set he carved contained a list of what you shouldn't do, rather than the way to reach your full potential and assume the role of the creator rather than the creation.
05-04-2005, 04:36 AM
think its also important to remember that the Golden Dawn system, which underpins most modern magic and 'Qabbalah' is substantially different from the Kabbalah of Jewish tradition.
Do you have any recommended links or books to suggest as related to the Golden Dawn system, Thom? I did a quick boo around the net yesterday, but it's nearly always better to ask for a reputable source from someone who's familiar with it.
I'm not really the person to ask about Golden Dawn stuff. My experience doesn't go far beyond Dion Fortune and Yeats (who i know pretty much by heart). I do think The Mystical Qabalah is very good, here it is: http://www.televar.com/~dgalpin/Mystical_Qabalah.pdf
and diving into Yeats' poetry is in my opinion one of the best ways there is into 'magical thinking.'
Most of my research into this subject has been centred around the renaissance Cabala and alchemy - Giordano Bruno, Pico della Mirandola, Boehme, Blake etc...so a fair bit before the Golden Dawn.
Hope this helps!
Perhaps someone else could recommend some decent contemporary stuff within the Golden Dawn system? Is there any?
05-05-2005, 02:18 AM
Thanks for that Thom. I took a quick look through and it looks very thorough.
05-05-2005, 07:18 AM
dunno if people are still doing golden dawn stuff or not. not sure it even exists any more. of course israel regardie published several books on the golden dawn and it's rituals one owhich is called "the complete golden dawn system of magick" or soemthing like that. do an amazon search and you'll find it. it's available in most barnes & nobles.
crowley absorbed some bits of the golden dawn and worked up a more interesting system, although the OTO is pretty dated and hokey at this point as well.
05-05-2005, 09:01 AM
dunno if people are still doing golden dawn stuff or not.
I have no doubt it's still being done -- perhaps it's simply fallen out of fashion in the reverse mannerism of "Madonna and Britney's Kaballahism".
What has currently piqued my interest is the similarities I see between the Golden Dawn system and other esoteric paths such as gnosticism, alchemy and the work of Bailey, Crowley, and others. It appears to me that all such paths share a number of familiar processes and symbols, all of which seem to reveal one essential underlying process.
Meanwhile, here's a site I found last evening that also appears to offer a great deal: www.hermeticgoldendawn.org (http://www.hermeticgoldendawn.org/index.shtml). It could easily take a lifetime to move through the wealth of their links (http://www.hermeticgoldendawn.org/links.htm) page.
05-05-2005, 11:16 AM
You'll have a difficult time finding any accurate information on the exact practices of the Golden Dawn due to their vows of secrecy and the number of members who disappeared or died during its existence. Anyone who has written a book claiming it's the precise system used by the Golden Dawn is misleading the public, be it intentional or not.
The Golden Dawn is based on the KBL. If you want to learn the actual KBL, there are a number of accurate texts out in Hebrew that will walk you through the precise instructions that were taught by Moses. If you want to go a little deeper than that look and see who was available to teach Moses, and then you'll be getting somewhere.
Of course, when you hit the very bottom rung on the chain of information, you'll find that someone pulled it out of thin air, as a magic trick itself.
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