Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by 0scar, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. 0scar J'aime La Moutarde Registered Senior Member

    I'm sorry if this subject has been discussed already, I thought I saw a thread about this before but I can't seem to find it.

    Does anyone know what Soma really is? I have asked some of my professors this question but they very vague or know nothing about it. I Terence McKenna discusses it in Food of The Gods. If I remember correctly his theory was that Soma was mushrooms that contained psilocybin that grew in the dung of cows, and I think they were also preserved in honey, then ingested during ceremonies. I think he also thought that this was a contributing factor as to why cows are considered sacred... :bugeye: It's been a while since I have read any of his material. (Sorry if I misunderstood or misstated any of his ideas)

    Do you think this theory has any merit? What really is Soma?
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  3. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Nobody "knows" what it really is.
    From what I have heard, the psychadellic mushroom theory is the leading one.
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  5. duendy Registered Senior Member

    Hi Oscar...I also have read Terrence McKenna's Food of the Gods, and his theory that Soma was orignally some for of psilocybin mushrooms that grow fertilized by cow dung.
    As far as i am aware, only he has come up with that idea. as you may know Gordan Wasson also had the theory that Soma was the amanita muscaria mushroom, and he reckons so because he compares the Vedic references to Soma with Siberian shamanistic references to it, which both include drinking piss that is potent with the hallucinogenic licquor

    What ever t was we can be assured it was hallucinogenic.

    The effects of aanita and psilocybin ae vry different, apparently (i have only had the latter)....i was working on a theory a while back regarding this difference and how it may have affected the beliefs that came from the differnt forms of inspiration. it is difficult to research cause...errr noone seems to explore about it.....
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  7. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Just some quotes and links:

    Among the suggestions of more or less convincing candidates have been cannabis, Ephedra, a fermented alcoholic drink, Syrian rue, rhubarb, ginseng, opium and wild chicory.
    In the late 1980s another highly plausible candidate was proposed by David Flattery and Martin Schwartz. They suggest that Syrian rue (Peganum harmala) was far more likely a candidate [than Wasson’s mushrooms] since its hallucinogenic effects are well-known in the Indo-Iranian homeland even today.

    Younger scholars have proposed other identities for Soma, including Peganum harmala , Psilocybe cubensis , and ergotized grain, or some combination of them.

    Cannabis was originally rejected outright by western historians researching the identity of Soma. It was not until 1921 and the publication of Braja Lal Mukherjee's article "The Soma Plant" in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society that "bhang" was put forth as a serious candidate.

    Thanks Oscar for launching me into a brief look at an interesting topic.
  8. kmguru Staff Member

    From what little I was exposed to the word "Soma" always connects with "Rasa" as in "Soma Rasa". Rasa, I think means, the liquid extract - can be termed as "juice". This means that whatever Soma is, the liquid is extracted from a fruit or plant (as in Noni juice). Since no such plant or fruit exists today (that we know of) that can give you a super high - then all are looking to Mushrooms, alcohol etc. Only if we could find out some berries that have those interesting properties....
  9. everneo Re-searcher Registered Senior Member

    That may be a contributing factor for him.
  10. Rajagopals Registered Senior Member

    Yes I know, but have not tasted both !

    1. Soma – a plant used during Soma Yaga
    2. Soma – special enzyme (a group of three) secretion from pineal gland

    1. Soma - Plant

    Used by Soma Yaji (priest of Soma Yaga) as part of preparation for Soma Yaga. This Yaga usually happens in Kerala, southwest state of India, there is place known as Trichur (Trissur) and the Yaga is conducted by Brahmasvam Madam (a Society of local Brahmin priests).

    2. Soma – enzyme secretion from pineal gland

    When we are born our brains are flooded with this enzymes, the brain is 40% more active and as we grow (by the age of 12 in men, and women I have no idea !!!

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    ) Pineal gland calcifies and stops the regular secretion. Every night we produce these enzymes, in fact they are in the cerebral spinal fluid right NOW, I feel like ‘don’t know what’, which contains neurotransmitters which the brain knows how to metabolise within 30 seconds. I would say very useful stuff for us men to behave like kids!

    Yogi’s in a particular state of Yoga can drink (or at least ‘try to’) this from their pineal gland using a (physical) method, for which they need to cleanse their body using Kriya Yoga. This Soma gives all sort of supernatural powers to a human being and that the reason for this search/research, right brother?

    More than this would be a waste and all unholy people will send funny questions back to me, before that I am stopping. You may also refer the following if you have nothing else to do

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    :m: Hrim to Shiva, may his blessing be there up on me !
  11. kmguru Staff Member

    A combination of V-B12, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Choline, Piracetam with POM juice can produce the same effect.
  12. everneo Re-searcher Registered Senior Member

    In ashtanga yoga, by raising the kundalini upto the topmost chakra, symbolized by 1000 petal lotus with the ambience of full moon (soma means moon) the yogi drinks the nector (hence called soma rasa) and gets siddhi/mukthi or whatever it is. All are metaphors for spritual states/experiences. Tatvam asi. I am that. YEHWA (sp?).
  13. 0scar J'aime La Moutarde Registered Senior Member

    Thank for all your posts and links.When I first started trying to learn about soma I had no idea it was such a vast subject!

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  14. Sicksixix Registered Senior Member

    ayahuasca is a drink, containing either n,n-dimethyltryptamine(DMT), or 5-MeO-DMT

    DMT is what is secreted by the pineal, and also classified by more modern studies as a true hallucinogen as opposed to LSD's pseudo-hallucinogenic properties of only altering perception rather than what is perceived
  15. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    You know what I saw on TV that really amazed me? There is a show called Global Traveler or something on PBS, and the girl took part in an ayahuasca ceremony!!

    The sick thing is it's now a touristy thing, and the drink is really watered down, they don't even boil it down to a thick brown liquid, and she didn't even talk about her experience. If it was real, I'm sure she would have mentioned something. But they just slept on a straw mat while the photogenic indian guy chanted.
  16. duendy Registered Senior Member

    total BHS. seriously psychobabble, and it makes no sense

    actually i was 15 when i had LSD. i suspect that in the time i took it, 1971, it was the real thing.

    i can assure you that at that afge i brought nothing to it regarding intellectual expectation. in fact the Hippies who gave it to me, were foxy and suggested--or let me ALLOW believe it was a bluey (which was speed in those days, which i had heard about on the news as a younger kid).....I remember it as clear as day, they prodcued this tiniest little HALF of a tab (it was tablet in those days) on a small pice of opened tinfoil.

    The experience was PROFOUND and everything
    and more a spiritual experience will be, has been written about, talked about....actually and in mythological context...and MORE

    so. dont believe the hype. rather believe the EXPERIENCE
  17. duendy Registered Senior Member

    HEY spidergoat,

    I feel exactly what you mean. But i spose watered down is miles better than just-words and text......but even so

    it reminds me of what i have learned about ancient Orphism. They were an intellectual cult grown within the orgiastic earthy Dionysian religion.
    They reformed it, started writing myth in text, tamed the celebratory orgia, and according to Susan Harrison, watered down the sacrament--which of course was hallucinogenic. Eventually phasing it out altogther. Then of course we are only left with men not even chanting, but regurgitating dead-text.
  18. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Yes, there was no mention of what ayahuasca actually is. It's a strange comment on what is happening to aboriginal cultures, they either water themselves down to appeal to hippy eco-tourists, or they die. If I was an indian shaman, I'd give them a jolt of the real stuff, let them try to make a casual tourism video about THAT (if they could even get enough footage without the vomiting).

    I have to say though, she looks like a fun girl to travel with.
  19. duendy Registered Senior Member

    regarding the indentity of's some interesting clues:
    ".....In the 7th C.E. the tantras became assimilated into monastic Buddhism. The actual ingestion of entheogenic sacraments by monks could be construed as breaking thei vow not to partake of intoxicants. At the very least, monastic disipline could become problematic with groups of tripping monks wandering the cloisters. So, the monastic commentators explained away the wider aspects of the tantras as being merely "symbolic" and the monks used oil and honey instead of soma. Yet even without real amiita [ie., hallucinogen], the homa ceremony continues to play a central role within Vajrayana Buddhism...........

    SIVA saves the day by drinking the poison and retaining it in his throat, which turns blue as a result. Thus Siva acquires the epithet 'Nilakaa?a' ['/' means that instead of letter that can be typed on certain keyboards all i get is a vertical rectangular shape, thus i have put the question mark] ('blue throat' ). it is worth noting that his epithet can also be translated 'blue stem' or 'blue stalk'. a name befitting various psychdelic mushrooms which contain psilocin. When handled, the mushroom bruises dark blue (due to the oxidation of psilocin)" (Mike Crowley
  20. Sicksixix Registered Senior Member

    psychobabble? i can simply say the same about you since its all it seemed to take for you to make that reply.

    im happy you took lsd when you were 15, i had it first when i was 12.

    i go into use of any new psychoactive with intellectual/spiritual concern only.
    yes lsd can produce profound experiences, but they arent of the same type as DMT, they simply arent the same drug and will not produce the same effects.
    lsd alters how you perceive, things bubble and mutate, sounds slow and speed up, you can think easily, if i close my eyes i merely get a repetitious patterning that goes until i opened them again. most anything that will alter your perception creates a situation suitable for spiritual experience.

    dmt on the other hand transports people to entirely different landscapes as is claimed with salvia(the only thing close enough in experience characteristics). while you are fully aware you are under the influence of it, you know there is the regular world you are perceiving and you see it just fine. on top of this world however is a separate existence that can be seen if you take enough ayahuasca, under regular circumstances you take it at night and for the most part have your eyes closed. the visions come instantly like dream imagery and are ever changing. beings of their own intelligence are often encountered whom help guide the drinker through his experience. they often involve spiritual transformation, giving people a whole new view on life, that there is this entirely hidden reality where everything is connected. where some hallucinogens make you have grand realizations, dmt presents them in a visual manner, right in front of you and leaves no room for speculation. people have seen the entire creation of the universe unfold before them, theyve traveled back and forward through time, been to alternate realities, talked to gods, etc(up to the imagination). at first the experience seems to control you, and can be terrifying, but as you get used to it more you begin to control the visions. experience is everything, its up to how you perceive it.

    i am not discounting any other "hallucinogens" i am simply stating what has been said in what i am reading.

    I have read DMT:The spirit molecule - rick strassman
    Cosmic serpent - jeremy narby

    and am currently reading The antipodes of the mind: Charting the phenomenology of the ayahuasca experience - benny shanon

    the reports of experiences seem to blow anything else that i have personally experienced out of the water. ayahuasca as i have had it was the most powerful hallucinogen i have ever experienced.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2005
  21. duendy Registered Senior Member

    oh, i see, sorry, i may have misunderstood you before. but now i see what you mean

    i actually have never had experience with DMT and Ayahuasca, but have read lots about it. nearly got a chance last year...but.

    Yes, the diversity of the hallucinogens. this is not realized by many people. i have had dicussions at forums where people put CRACK into the same list as the hal;luconogens. total ignorance of course

    OK, they say your first lover is the best..haha. well although my first kiss was with LSD, i really am fond of magic mushrooms (and those listeningdont think this means i take them every week, or even every month etc, i dont. these experiences arfe profound and need integrational reponse)
    But LSD really was THe first --well it WAs the first literally, that turned me onto Nature. after -wth hindsight i was aware the job school and culture had done to tear me away from it. ie., as a really young kid i had been very natrue oriented--as i am sure many kids are, who live near Nature, but then got suked into semantic big city shitty trips

    LSd also revealed to me MUCHO the social masks people wear. so wjhat i am i spose challenging is your emphasis on INTERIOR visionary experience as being THe business. i am also trying to communicate the ally these psychcdeclis are for seeing THROUGh cultural semantic veils. which could be analogizes as seeing the Emperor naked
  22. Sicksixix Registered Senior Member

    akin to a fish being taken out of the ocean and shown it
  23. duendy Registered Senior Member

    on one level i can dig that analogy. but i have this feeling about oceans and sea life as really flowing, supple, and magical......but i know what you mean

    thing is. what would convince the materialistic-minded science person about the vision we mean?

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