Last Word
from Clark Heinrich's
Strange Fruit

At the beginning of this book I stated that many of its contentions and suggestions are of a highly speculative nature; the reader, having come this far, will doubtless agree. Whether one agrees with the ideas themselves is a different matter. What I hope can be agreed upon at this juncture is that entheogenic drugs, of whatever kind, must have been used at some point by the various people and groups I've discussed [Enoch, Moses, Jesus, the author of Revelation, the alchemists and others]. All of that eating and drinking and going to heaven — could it all be mere metaphor? I think not, especially when one compares these ancient accounts with the now well-known effects of certain psychedelic drugs. I do understand that accepting this proposition is difficult for those who have not taken any of these drugs, but for those who have the connections are clear and undeniable. I don't know if I am right or wrong in my speculations about Amanita muscaria, ergot and psilocybin, but it seems unlikely that every suggestion is wrong; this of course leads to the disturbing likelihood that at least some are right. And what if they are?

That certain plants and drugs can produce high spiritual or ecstatic states has been established beyond question, whether or not these experiences are accepted as valid by the religions or governments of today. Through the expedient of consciousness-enhancing substances a class of 'knowers' has once again arisen in society and it is receiving the same welcome the Gnostics and other 'heretics' received in the past: scorn, ridicule and sometimes active persecution, from both religion and government. These chemically-aided spiritual experiences are real; they are psychological facts that meet all the criteria of what is classically deemed a 'religious experience'. Religion finds this bitter pill impossible to swallow; governments declare it illegal and fill prisons with the 'illegally religious' just as surely and irrationally as the Romans filled theirs with early Christians. The religious persecutions of the past have not left us, they have merely changed form.

Entheogenic drugs have the capacity to show us things that we otherwise cannot even imagine; they can reveal our kinship with all life and the universe at large; they can inspire awe, reverence, humility and great love. Because some of them are also capable of inspiring fear and confusion or loss of body-consciousness, their proper use requires maturity, education, instruction and guidance, as well as a safe and protected setting. They are not right for everyone and they can also be misused, as we saw with Moses and others; but no one has the right to say they are wrong for everyone, or to imprison experimenters and confiscate their possessions. The entire 'war on drugs' mentality is about as wrong-headed and misdirected as it could possibly be, yet governments continue to waste billions of dollars annually trying to force people not to alter their consciousness with anything but the inferior state-sponsored drugs [alcohol and nicotine].

While decriminalization of all drugs is probably the first step towards a rational approach to drug policy, I am not going to enter into that debate here. Other books have been and will be written that deal in a much more comprehensive fashion with drug-law reform and the degeneration of society, and they should be read and acted upon. [See A Drug War Reading List.] What I will say is this: psychedelic or entheogenic drugs should not be criminalized. They have played roles in our past of which we are not even aware, as the present work has endeavoured to show, and they continue to influence the life of the planet through its human inhabitants. Never before have so many people known so much about such a wide variety of psychoactive plants. The unprecedented reach and pervasiveness of the electronic and mass media coupled with growing interest in the subject ensures that this trend will continue. Whether one approves of the situation is immaterial: there is no going back to the ignorance of the past. Let us therefore treat the situation with intelligence and compassion.

The informed use of entheogenic, consciousness-enhancing plants and drugs presents a direct and powerful challenge to any system that seeks to spoon-feed the masses with false ideals of nationalism, racism, sexism or pre-digested religion, and this is precisely the reason they have been criminalized. One does not go back to being led around by the nose once the fullness of one's humanity is realized, nor to eating pap once the full pleasures of eating are learned; besides, we need roughage or we fill up with our own waste. Expanded consciousness is one genie that can't be put back in the bottle and we're better off for it.

The cat is out of the bag. Pandora's box lies open. The cover has been blown off the ark of the covenant. Wisdom cries in the streets and shouts from the rooftops, once again trying to make herself heard above the din. Whoever has ears should listen. Whoever has a voice should consider speaking up, for the time of the end is near, as it always is in this brief life.

Let me testify in no uncertain terms: the kingdom of heaven is much closer, and far easier of access, than we have been led to believe. And it is worth the trip.

Here's the truth on a plate:
   you don't have to wait —
   nobody is coming
   so get a new date

You've just been stood up:
   now at last you can sup —
   host your own dinner
   and fill your own cup

The text above was scanned from the book Strange Fruit
and put into HTML by Peter Meyer (with additions in []).
Published on Serendipity 2001-08-07 CE (revised 2001-08-17 CE).
Thanks to Clark Heinrich for his excellent book.

"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men:
for ye neither go in yourselves,
neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."
— Matthew, Chapter 23, Verse 13

Or in more modern language:

Fuck you, legislators and politicians, hypocritical bastards!
for you close the doors to direct experience of the spiritual world,
and neither use psychedelics yourselves to enter
nor allow those who would so use them to do so.

A Brief Explanation of an Unusual Book Forbidden Knowledge
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