Cannabis: Religious Reverence Throughout History – Part 1/2

By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

If you still think cannabis is a dangerous drug with no medicinal or spiritual benefits, read ahead and try to keep an open mind toward a misunderstood plant that’s been revered throughout history and was only outlawed in the past century.

Millions of people who’ve been healed by the cannabis plant are taking a stand for it and in doing so, igniting a revolution more powerful than its suppressors can handle.

We know it can heal the mind, body and spirit if used with proper intention, and we’re willing to defend it against those who know little about it beyond what the government and biased media outlets tell them.

A Spiritual Crisis

The world is in the midst of a spiritual crisis, and cannabis could very well be the answer.

It doesn’t work for everyone and some might actually feel worse or less spiritually ‘conscious’ if they use it, but in my opinion, the world would improve significantly if everyone were open to it.

More important than the effect it has on society is the effect it has on the individual. You may have heard or read reports of what it’s like – joyful, euphoric, etc. – but the focused spiritual cannabis user would describe it as essential to their meditation.

Image result for cannabis and meditation
Credit: myheadisweak.tumblr.com

You may disagree if you think sobriety is the best or only way to approach enlightenment, but different methods work for different people. As long as you find what you seek, the methods that get you there can be judged by you alone.

Most people are unaware cannabis can help them because of their preconceived ideas of a drug they think makes you lazy, leads to something harder or holds you back in some other way.

They have no idea it can help the mind and body (not to mention the soul), and if we can change the way people perceive it, we could very well solve our spiritual crisis by sharing the truth about it with a society that’ll finally be open to what we have to say.

Cannabis = Temporary Higher Consciousness

The cannabis plant has so much to offer mankind that it’d take several books to accurately describe, and in this article, we’ll look at its role in the evolution of the soul.

The idea that cannabis can open the door to higher consciousness and oneness with God is nothing new.

Many religions past and present view it as sacred, and it’s often paired with prayer, meditation and other practices intended to invoke the presence of God (or depending on the religion, various gods).

If used together with meditation, it’s believed to act as a channel to God by inducing a temporary higher consciousness.

Image result for cannabis and meditation
Cannabis and meditation. Credit: pinterest.com

In his book Cannabis and Spirituality, Stephen Gray writes that in the spiritual sense, cannabis can be a tricky subject (1).

Working with the plant properly to induce higher consciousness often involves a learning curve, and various factors influence the outcome of the high (1).

Some of these factors include dosage; your attitude toward the plant; how frequently you use it; the strain; your mind/body state; the setting; and your ability to calm the overactive mind, among others (1).

The herb is at its most powerful when used with intention and focus, and it probably won’t do much for you in the spiritual sense if used aimlessly (1). With no knowledge or focus on a higher consciousness, you’d never be guided to something you didn’t seek.

When used with proper intention, it can illuminate the illusions we carry, invite us to open the heart to a higher consciousness and enable mindful, meditative awareness, which gradually becomes our natural state of being (1).

Religious Use

According to Sparkcsf.org, cannabis has been used by some of the most advanced cultures throughout history as medicine and a spiritual aid (2). The religious sects that have used it through the centuries include Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism and Sufism (2).

The plant has been (and still is) particularly popular in India. For ‘at least three thousand years’ it has been used in Ayurvedic and Indian medicine to treat various health conditions including nausea and wasting syndromes (2).

It has also been prescribed for general health and longevity (2).

Today, bodybuilders in India use the herb as part of a ‘training regimen’ to build strength, promote digestion and gain muscle mass (2).

Religious cannabis use is prominent in South Asia: Buddhists, Shaivites, Naths and ‘Goddess Worshippers’ use it with meditation (2) and it’s used to halt the mind and induce a state of profound meditative stillness known as Samadhi (2).

Image result for cannabis and meditation
Credit: jonathontwiz.com

Today its religious use is prominent among Tantrics in Nepal, India, Tibet and Sikkim (2).

According to the Mayahana tradition of Buddhism, the Buddha once subsisted for six years only on hemp seeds (2).

Hemp and cannabis come from the same plant; a plant which is good for society in more ways than one. Ancient and modern day societies around the world clearly were (and are) aware of this.

Sources:

(1)    Excerpt, Stephen Gray, Cannabis and Spirituality. Inner Traditions, n.d. – http://www.innertraditions.com/cannabis-and-spirituality.html

(2)    “Spiritual Use of Cannabis”, Sparcsf.org, n.d. – http://www.sparcsf.org/learning-center/spiritual-use-canabis

(Continued in part 2 tomorrow)

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