Author of the Month :  The Official GrahamHancock.com forums
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3 months ago
Stephen Gray
Thank you Brian. Skepticism is healthy of course, although not so much if it remains a fixed position. Then it solidifies into dogma, a self-protecting narrative of the ego mind. I think the Buddha is reputed to have said something like, yes, be skeptical, but then if something makes sense or calls you, don't let stubborn resistance or fear prevent you from finding out for yourself. I would l
Forum: Author of the Month
3 months ago
Stephen Gray
What if you if you were asked to boil down the essence of spiritual guidance to one word? You couldn't do that effectively of course. Waking up from illusion and landing on what is—on the unconditioned reality of the awakened-heart state—almost certainly requires learning from the wisdom and insight of those who have traveled far on the path. How do you do it? What obstacles and dangers should on
Forum: Author of the Month
3 months ago
Stephen Gray
"What I really value about cannabis is the way in which it allows one to be taken by surprise by unexpected ideas." - Terence McKenna Despite the dismissals of skeptics and cynics, there is no doubt that in the right hands cannabis can be of benefit in creative work. Perhaps if you have no imagination to begin with there will be nothing for cannabis to work with, but people engaged i
Forum: Author of the Month
3 months ago
Stephen Gray
As always, much more needs to be said on topics like this than is appropriate for these short Author of the Month posts in the forum at grahamhancock.com. Some of the missing relevant info will be revealed if you read some of my other posts from this month, and a lot more if you get your hands on a copy of Cannabis and Spirituality. I'm the editor of the book but only one of 18 international cont
Forum: Author of the Month
3 months ago
Stephen Gray
I imagine some people reading that title are thinking, "Are you nuts? My mind just gets busier when I'm high on pot." That point is where both the challenge and the potential lie. To clarify, I'm speaking primarily of simple, follow-the-breath, bare-attention kinds of meditation practices. As I've said in several of the other posts on grahamhancock.com this month, cannabis is a non-s
Forum: Author of the Month
3 months ago
Stephen Gray
The purpose of these shorts posts is to function as triggers for people to undertake further examination and exploration. For this one I'll start with the claim that in the years ahead cannabis will be taking a much larger role in both spiritual and medical contexts. This is an exceedingly complex plant and although—believe it or not—it has been studied more than any other plant on Earth, we a
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
One of the themes touched on in Cannabis and Spirituality is the idea that cannabis could be the sacrament of peace for the universal religion of the future. Not that there must be a sacramental substance involved, or even anything that closely resembles current religious structures, but cannabis can be of help in important ways. All of this potential is predicated on people being able to surrend
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
How about, "Keep It Simple Sweetheart"? Someone replied to one of my earlier posts with the following comment. "My experiences with cannabis have never been anything other than nausea and loss of balance." I wrote a somewhat detailed reply on July 10 that included this: "I've become convinced that most negative effects are the result of not working effectively
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
This is more or less a follow-up that started with my post "Has Cannabis Been Corrupted for Spiritual Use?" and the reply someone wrote that she suspected the spiritual qualities of cannabis have been seriously compromised by all the hybridization and push toward high THC strains. I replied that though that may be true, intention is the guide at all stages. I also posted that conver
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
greengirl5. Thanks for the response. I wasn't being overly serious about those suggestions. And no, you probably don't need it if you're happy where you're at with yourself. However, if you ever get the opportunity and do it right (as discussed in the book), you might be surprised at the "bonus features" the plant can bring into your life. And continuing in the light-hearted mode, I
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
Naveen responded to my post "Cannabis and the Adolescent Brain" with some very interesting insights. Here's my response. Naveen: Overall I agree with your concern about cannabis use and the adolescent psyche and I made mention of that issue in a chapter in the book on cautions and obstacles with cannabis use. I've quoted part of that section as follows: "Whether or not there’
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
Good insights Naveen. Thanks for sharing that. At the suggestion of the forum manager I'm going to reply in a new post.
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
While this subject isn't central to the Cannabis and Spirituality project, it is important of course. The problem is that as Kirsten Weir put it in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Psychological Association Monitor on Psychology, " . . . the evidence against marijuana is frustratingly mixed." It's an extremely complex issue, and one that's vulnerable to misappropriation by those with a
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
Someone who had read one of my posts here wrote me an email wondering if the rush toward high THC strains was destroying cannabis as a spiritual medicine. Here is her brief letter, (reprinted anonymously with her permission) followed by my off-the-top-of-my-head reply and then another very short reply from her. ----- Hi, I just started reading your hancock.com article on the plant and it b
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
greengirl5: Without looking back at your previous post, I seem to recall you've been reading Cannabis and Spirituality. A couple of my chapters provide reliable,"field tested" guidance on the best ways of meeting the plant. I have no idea what to tell you about how to find some where you are. Pray maybe? Move to Sydney and ask young people you meet who look sane and kind? Move to Van
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
And not just ayahuasca. Before saying more, I want to stress that we're talking about careful use of these plants in ritual environments in the hands of experienced people. When skillfully combined with other entheogens like ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, and others, cannabis can potentiate the effects of the other medicine, smooth and soothe, prolong, and clarify. For example, two
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
Contributor to Cannabis and Spirituality Jeremy Wolff has written (elsewhere), " We are naked before pot, and what we see first is ourselves." Of course that doesn't always happen by any stretch. You can cloud over the vulnerability that cannabis can induce by filling your mind and the external environment with distractions and activity. But cannabis can indeed pull back the curtain
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
Short answer: No . . . and . . . yes. First the "no." There is no valid scientific evidence to support claims that cannabis is bio-chemically addictive to any great degree. Many millions of people have gone cold turkey after years of heavy pot smoking with only minor transient withdrawal symptoms that pass in a few days - maybe some irritation, sleep pattern interruption, etc. Kind
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
People who work with entheogenic plants, including cannabis, consider set and setting to be important, maybe even essential, for reliably safe and effective experiences. Set refers to everything you bring to the encounter: things like your short and long term state of mind, your attitude toward the plant, your intention, your preparation, and your willingness and ability to be moved and even chan
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
Naveen: Thank you. I've copied and pasted your testimonial in the Facebook group Cannabis and Spirituality.
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
That's really lovely to hear eighttwenty. Dee Dussault, who I mentioned in the post you responded to, has a very interesting description in Cannabis and Spirituality of where cannabis took her yoga practice after all those years of "straight" yoga. She teaches Ganja Yoga classes in San Francisco and in the book she points out that she cautions students against relying too heavily and co
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
To greengirl5: Thank you for your comments. Yes, you may have missed out on something useful . . . so far. I hope the ideas in the book give you some good guidelines for skillful and beneficial use of cannabis as a spiritual ally. I also hope you will always treat the plant respectfully. I keep going back to Kathleen Harrison's wise chapter in the book. I recommend reading it over and over again.
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
Thanks so much for the great story and deep and wise insights Naveen. I was taken with several points. One was the comment about how the plant told you she would be "in your blood." I've been told by indigenous elders from plant medicine work that once you have established a relationship with the "medicine" of a plant, you may not need to take it in to experience its effects a
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
Re: Tom's point about taking the word "drug" back. I believe that's what I was saying in that post - that a functional way to think of what a drug is in this context is anything that promotes habitual, unexamined behaviour. In that sense the psychedelics/entheogens are not drugs, they are substances that are remarkably benign in their pharmacokinetic interaction with the human organism;
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
A central theme in the Cannabis and Spirituality book is that cannabis is a non-specific amplifier. In more spiritual terms you might say it's a gift of energy from the spirit of the plant that to be beneficial on the spiritual awakening journey needs to be directed skillfully. This is far different from casual recreational use of the plant. As cannabis can be considered an energy medicine, a
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
To RandompHactor. Beautiful thought. Any knowledge I have about the "mothers" of animal species is vicarious. However, I've spent a lot of time with Native American people in the peyote religion. The main elder I got to know well was very clear on exactly which animals he had the medicine of and which ones he did not. It seems to be something about establishing a relationship with th
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
More on the question of a spirit of cannabis. In her chapter "Who is She?" in Cannabis and Spirituality, reknowned ethnobotanist Kathleen Harrison wrote: "I've worked with indigenous Amazonian folks who say that every plant has a mother, which is the original, embedded essence of a plant species. The mother is the conscious, timeless being inside the species that holds the form and
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
Beautifully expressed Tara. Thank you. I believe my better experiences with the sacred herb have been very similar to how you described yours. I'm not specifically aware of an "other," but the experience is often so beautiful and heart opening that it doesn't feel at all foreign to think of the plant as a healer and a teacher. I've read so many accounts, often by indigenous people, of d
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
I don't like to make unsupportable claims and I don't know what evidence would permit me to proclaim with certainty that there is a spirit of cannabis. But then a lot of people speak of the spirits of other entheogens and I can't say for sure I have had such an encounter with ayahuasca, psilocybin, or peyote either, even though I've ingested those medicines many times. Powerful messages yes, visi
Forum: Author of the Month
4 months ago
Stephen Gray
Well put Astral Druid. I agree that people are often "called" to work with a particular plant ally, or even just a particular practice. There are two things about cannabis that may be worth considering. First, as I've said a few times in these posts, a lot of people have no idea what this plant is capable when met with intention and disciplined focus. It's a very different experience wh
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