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We are told the Buddha became enlightened when he ate the fruit of the Bodi Tree    .

The Bodi tree was a very old fig tree.

Romantic (false) pictures of The Buddha show a plump well fed man.

The Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, was the son of a king  .

When his mother was pregnant with him a monk told the king his son would become either a great warrior or a great spiritual teacher.

As a result the father did everything in his power to prevent the latter from happening.

The father’s efforts however, as in the story of Death in Samarra, prove to be exactly what was required to turn his son into a great spiritual teacher…

“The Appointment in Samarra”
(as retold by W. Somerset Maugham [1933])The speaker is Death
There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.  She looked at me and made a threatening gesture,  now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate.  I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.  The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.  Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?  That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise.  I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

At the root of this, of course, is Predestination.

The young prince leaves his father’s home, his wife, his family, everything in a search to become enlightened.

Years pass. In practical terms this means that he went from the rich diet of his home to a diet that caused him to lose weight. In reality The Buddha had become very skinny. As well, his teeth became loose. He could only eat food that was very soft (meaning rotten).

This is how The Buddha would really have looked after years spent in fasting and meditation.

Rotten figs produce ergot which is what LSD is derived from.

Half an hour after eating rotten figs The Buddha observed the world around him become brighter. This is exactly what happens with true LSD as I found when I first took LSD at Rochdale College in Toronto in 1968 (though I knew nothing of The Buddha at that time beyond the most basic information).

When people spoke to The Buddha while he was in this altered state of consciousness he could see clearly whether they were lying or speaking the truth.

Less harsh than the other picture which is probably nearer to the truth.

Half an hour into my first LSD session the person who had given it to me returned. He asked how I was doing. I had nothing but the deepest love for him as he had just helped me open the most amazing door I had ever opened. As I spoke to him I could see clearly that while the words on his lips were pleasant the words in his heart were not. I saw he held me in the deepest possible contempt. This almost always causes people on LSD to have what is called a bad trip.

In my case it did not. I realized that the lie can not be hidden. I also knew that I would never know when someone would be able to see as clearly into me as I was now looking into this person. I knew that from that moment I would have to anchor myself in the truth. I also knew that I could not and should not rely on LSD to keep this gift active. I determined to do that on my own.

Steve Jobs said, “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”

From the start I made a deliberate effort to remember my LSD experiences. As far as I know I am the only one who has done this although I am certain there must be others.

The Buddha (and Buddhists) attribute his enlightenment to the long period of fasting and meditation.

That, of course, had and has nothing to do with it.

He could not know then, of course, that what he had experienced was a bio-chemical reaction brought on by what he had eaten.

This does not devalue his experience. Everyone who has seriously given thought and study to their own LSD (as well as mescaline, peyote, DMT, ayahuasca experiences) knows that.

Many Buddhists in the 1960s regarded the LSD experience as a short cut to enlightenment. They said, “Instead of climbing you have taken a helicopter to the top of the mountain.”

What they could and should have said was, “Wow! You are here! Welcome. Let me help you discover what may be seen here.”

But like all who feel threatened by the new they did their best to devalue what is perhaps one of the greatest gifts the human species has received.

Don’t be like them.

As for Predestination, when I first came to Toronto in my late teens a man I met by chance told me my future. I laughed. I am not laughing now. Our destinies are writ before we are born.

–Reg Hartt 2017/05/12.,,Aldous,Heaven%20and%20Hell.pdf .


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