Becoming a Person

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This abstract investigates the final steps of the process on becoming a fully grown person, independent, interdependent and unique, which comes from the acceptance of certain factors.

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Based on four very influential theories while merging one theory from each sector: Philosophy, Psychology, Spirituality, Physics. As Capra called it: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism.

The final acceptance that man is nothing more, or nothing less, than a homo sapien, basically implies that there comes a point where man fully accepts his pure self without displaying (consciously or unconsciously) theaters of control; A collection of behaviors a human has been accustomed to getting certain responses from and thus repeats them in order to control others. Either this is done openly and knowingly, or at a more subtle (less aware) level as a way of life, but nonetheless controlling.

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Human:

“The basic discovery of psychotherapy seems to be – if our observations as human beings have any validity – that we do not need to be afraid of being merely homo sapiens.

It is the discovery that if we can add to the sensory and visceral experiencing, which is characteristic of the whole animal kingdom, the gift of a free and undistorted awareness of which only the human animal seems fully capable. We have an organism that is beautifully and constructively realistic. We have then an organism which is aware of the demands of the culture as it is of its own physiological demands for food or sex, which is just as aware of its desire for friendly relationships as it is of its desire to aggrandize itself, which is as aware of its delicate and sensitive tenderness towards others, as it is of its hostilities towards others.

When man’s unique capacity of awareness is thus functioning freely and fully, we find that we have, not an animal whom we must fear, not a beast who must be controlled, but an organism able to achieve, through the remarkable integrative capacity of its central nervous system, a balanced, realistic, self enhancing, other enhancing, behavior, as a resultant of all these elements of awareness. To put it another way, when man is less than fully man, when he denies to awareness various aspects of his experience, then indeed we have all too often a reason to fear his behavior, as the present world situation testifies. But when he is most fully man, when he is a complete organism, when awareness of experience, that peculiarly human attribute, is most fully operating, then he is to be trusted, then his behavior is constructive. It will not always be conforming. It will be individualized.”

from: A psychotherapist’s view on Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers * 

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This behavior and state of emotional maturity, as well as grounded focused awareness, derives from acceptance as well as growth.

Growth that comes when a human stops playing games, games of power or control, either consciously or unconsciously.

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These games were first stated by psychiatrist Eric Berne, in his book: Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships, in 1964. 

The book describes both functional and dysfunctional social interactions.

In the first half of the book, Berne introduces Transactional Analysis as a way of interpreting social interactions.

He describes three roles or ego states known as the Child, the Parent, and the Adult and postulates that many negative behaviors can be traced to switching or confusion of these roles.

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He discusses procedures, rituals, and pastimes in social behavior, in light of this method of analysis.

For example, a boss who talks to his staff as a controlling parent will often engender self-abased obedience, tantrums, or other childlike responses from his employees.

The second half of the book constructs a catalog of a series of “games” in which people interact through a patterned and predictable series of “transactions” which are superficially plausible (that is, they may appear normal to bystanders or even to the people involved), but which actually conceal motivations, include private significance to the parties involved, and lead to a well-defined predictable outcome, usually counterproductive.

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Not all interactions or transactions are part of a game.

Specifically, if both parties in a one-on-one conversation remain in an Adult state, it is unlikely that a game is being played.

Therefore, in order for true interaction to occur, both individuals have to be in a grown up state, without trying to gain control. Having nothing to win and nothing to lose, communication can be honest and equal.

Unless we break the circle, we will continue playing the same game over and over again, having the same responses and experiences, over and over again.

We think we’re relating to other people but actually we’re all playing games.

Transactional Analysis is discussed here in detail.

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Transactional Analysis & popular culture

New Age author James Redfield has acknowledged Harris and Berne as important influences in his best-seller The Celestine Prophecy. The protagonists in the novel survive by striving (and succeeding) in escaping from “control dramas” that resemble the games of TA.)

Redfield describes that “control dramas” are basically theaters of control (Transactional Analysis), although he suggests (in his book “The Celestine Prophecy”) that ulterior motives behind theaters of control are not only psychological but manipulating in terms of controlling energy.

The link to Redfield’s insightful interview on Transactional Analysis as well as what happens after man is freed from playing games, found in this post.

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To become a person, an individual, one has to look inwards as well as outwards. The internal search (psychotherapy) meets external observation and appreciation (physics) and thus man can become a medium, having a balance between the two.

It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking, the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet.
These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human culture, in different times or different cultural environments or different religious traditions: hence if they actually meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow.

inspired by: Werner Heisenberg

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Introducing at this point: the theory of energetics, which supports that energy is under transformation, thus evolving.

Everyone realizes, at one level or another, that manipulation is a feature of common human psychology. Manipulation occurs either due to subconscious or conscious Psychological ulterior motives (Transactional Analysis) which later on was studied and related to energy flow (notice that when you are having a conversation with someone who insists, how you are drained from strength, stamina, energy). In Redfield’s interview he clarifies the connection between Transactional Analysis and energetics.

Not only in terms of interaction but also in terms of evolution, when a personality evolves, it becomes witness of a change occurring, either around or inside him/her.

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A fully grown individual who does not – consciously or unconsciously – play games, through the process of maturing, gradually realizes that everything is interconnected. A realization deriving from empirical knowledge, when a human has overcome his/her own personal dramas and is thus receptive to observing, clearly, the processes occurring inside him/her and around him/her.. and gradually it becomes evident that everything contains the same energy flow.

Not only is this felt and described in various literary masterpieces but is also proven with the connection of Western and Eastern philosophy.

Such a book is “The Tao of Physics” a book by physicist Fritjof Capra, published in 1975 by Shambhala Publications (The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism) which is attached here:  The_Tao_of_Physics

“I had gone through a long training in theoretical physics and had done several years of research. At the same time, I had become very interested in Eastern mysticism and had begun to see the parallels to modern physics. I was particularly attracted to the puzzling aspects of Zen which reminded me of the puzzles in quantum theory.”

Fritjof Capra

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The basics of energy flow is broken down in the science of “Energetics”.

Energetics:

(What is it?)

Energetics is the scientific study of energy under transformation. Because energy flows at all scales, from the quantum level, to the biosphere and cosmos, energetics is therefore a very broad discipline, encompassing for example thermodynamics, chemistry, biological energetics, biochemistry  and ecological energetics.

Lehninger contended that when the science of thermodynamics deals with energy exchanges of all types, it can be called energetics.

 

Aims:

In general, energetics is concerned with seeking principles that accurately describe the useful and non-useful tendencies of energy flows and storage under transformation.

‘Principles’ are understood here as phenomena which behave like historical invariants under multiple observations.
When some critical number of people have observed such invariance, such a principle is usually then given the status of a ‘fundamental law’ of science.

Like in all science, whether or not a theorem or principle is considered a fundamental law appears to depend on how many people agree to such a proposition. The ultimate aim of energetics therefore is the description of fundamental laws.

Philosophers of science have held that the fundamental laws of thermodynamics can be treated as the laws of energetics. Through the clarification of these laws energetics aims to produce reliable predictions about energy flow and storage transformations at any scale; nano to macro.

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Principles of energetics:

Odum proposed 3 further energetic principles and one corollary that take energy hierarchy into account. The first four principles of energetics are related to the same numbered laws of thermodynamics, and are expanded upon in that article. The final four principles are taken from the ecological energetics of H.T. Odum.

* Zeroth principle of energetics

If two thermodynamic systems A and B are in thermal equilibrium, and B and C are also in thermal equilibrium, then A and C are in thermal equilibrium.

* First principle of energetics

The increase in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of energy added to the system by heating, minus the amount lost in the form of work done by the system on its surroundings.

* Second principle of energetics

The total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value.

* Third principle of energetics

As a system approaches absolute zero of temperature all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value or zero for the case of a perfect crystalline substance.

* Fourth principle of energetics

There seem to be two opinions on the fourth principle of energetics:

The Onsager reciprocal relations are sometimes called the fourth law of thermodynamics. As the fourth law of thermodynamics Onsager reciprocal relations would constitute the fourth principle of energetics.
In the field of ecological energetics H.T. Odum considered maximum power, the fourth principle of energetics. Odum also proposed the Maximum empower principle as a corollary of the maximum power principle, and considered it to describe the propensities of evolutionary self-organization.

* Fifth principle of energetics

The energy quality factor increases hierarchically. From studies of ecological food chains, Odum proposed that energy transformations form a hierarchical series measured by Transformity increase (Odum 2000, p. 246). Flows of energy develop hierarchical webs in which inflowing energies interact and are transformed by work processes into energy forms of higher quality that feedback amplifier actions, helping to maximise the power of the system” — (Odum 1994, p. 251)

* Sixth principle of energetics

Material cycles have hierarchical patterns measured by the energy/mass ratio that determines its zone and pulse frequency in the energy hierarchy. (Odum 2000, p. 246). M.T. Brown and V. Buranakarn write, “Generally, energy per mass is a good indicator of recycle-ability, where materials with high energy per mass are more recyclable”

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All this.. is simply a collection of ideas and theories, stated for the sake of philosophical pondering, therefore open to discussion. Everything that has been stated in this post should be taken into mere consideration and not complete acceptance.

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Carl Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology.

Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association in 1956.

For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology in 1972.

Towards the end of his life Carl Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with national intergroup conflict in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships.

illusion & disillusion

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The illusion of choice or control may be crucial to our motivational systems and feelings of well-being for some adaptive reasons deriving from natural selection.

Perhaps it is only the belief in internal control that keeps one actively trying to manipulate the environment, which in turn is crucial for survival.

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Who are you?

How do we form an identity?

How many types of identity are there?

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Social Identity, which is the part of an individual’s self, is a concept which derives from his/her membership in a social group, together with the value and emotional significance attached to that membership.

Ethnic Identity, which is the part of an individual’s self knowledge that concerns his/her membership in a particular ethnic group.

 

Adolescents who identify with both mainstream culture & their ethnic group, create what is called a bicultural or integrated identity.

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Those who maintain a strong ethnic identity, maintain a separated identity.

Individuals who give up their ethnic heritage in favor of mainstream culture are said to be: assimilated.

Those who feel weak ties to their own ethnic culture as well as the mainstream culture, feel marginal, since they are outsiders in both cultures. Or, they adapt and become Bi-cultural.

BiCultural Competence is the successful functioning in both one’s culture of origin as well as in the new culture.

 

Under the circumstances and according to those circumstances of a culture, the according corresponding social norms emerge.

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Social norms are rules and expectations about how group members should behave.

Whereas social role refers to the set of norms that apply people in a particular position..

Internal attributions (moods, attitudes, personality, ability, health, preferences) and external attributions (pressure, money, weather, social situation) in turn usually determine Stability Vs Instability.

Social exchange is broken down in terms of interaction, on the basis of costs and benefits to each person, of possible ways he or she can interact. Even when unaware, the process of interaction creates rewards or benefits (information, smiles, approval, money, feelings) and costs (boredom, disapproval, being misunderstood) for the people involved.

Variations in speech other than the actual verbal contact, called para-language, carry a great deal of meaning. Voice pitch, loudness, rhythm, inflection, hesitations convey information.

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This is why sometimes we intuitively “know” what the other person is about, or what is saying, or what he/she really means.

Multiple channels are the three channels of communication, verbal, visible, paralinguistic and provides most information about a person’s real emotions.

Conflicts across channels are particularly important in interpreting apparently deceptive communication.

 

In conflicting situations, the non verbal communication is the one relied upon most heavily. The instinct as one can calls it.

 

People tend to imagine that everyone responds the way they do. They tend to see their own behavior as typical. This tendency to exaggerate is called the false consensus effect.

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Self Regulation, refers to the ways in which people control and direct their own actions.

Every situation is different and therefore needs to be assessed according to the particular Self Concept.

 

An aspect of Self Regulation involves self-complexity, which is the way people think of themselves according to the different groups they belong. For example, one can be a son, a brother, a friend, a husband, a father and a man, at the same time.

Another aspect is self efficacy, which is the expectations that we hold about our abilities to accomplish certain tasks. The smoker will not stop smoking unless he believes he can do it, however much he may want to stop.

 

Self Awareness, leads people to evaluate their behavior against a standard and to set an adjustment process in motion, for meeting the standard they set for themselves.

Self Attention, causes people to compare themselves to standards such as physical appearance, intellectual performance, athletic prowess or moral integrity.

We attempt to conform to the standard, evaluate our behavior against the standard, decide that it other matches the standard or does not and continue adjusting and comparing, until we meet the standard or until we give up.

 

An accurate Self concept is knowing who we are and what we want to do.

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Bohemian

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For some reason, people need judge other people, categorize them into social groups, in order to be able to understand them. In reality, one is no different from another and we all live knowing we are equal, even though each person has a certain individuality – a line of thought, a character, a certain manner.

Since childhood it’s been a long journey, with ups and downs and everything changing, evolving, collapsing, re-building, constructing, creating.. hurting, loving, living.

Moving away from the mainstream consuming lifestyle and looking into a simpler way of living, a life full of ethnic music, ethnic colors, ethnic flavors, all sorts of books, paintings, artifacts, various cultures, different components of a well blended interlaced societal mix, seemed like something inevitable, to me at least.

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In time, this proved to be perceived as “bohemianism” since whomever I met, after 5 minutes of general conversational interaction would mention the term to me. I despise all labels so naturally I did not like being called “boem”, even though if, looking back I can see how this might seem like so, when looking from the outside.

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits, with few permanent ties.

Bohemians can be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds..

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The term bohemian, of French origin, was first used in the English language in the nineteenth century to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginal-ised and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors  in major European cities. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which were often expressed through free love, frugality, and/or voluntary poverty.

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The term ‘Bohemian’ has come to be very commonly accepted in our day as the description of a certain kind of literary gypsy, no matter in what language he speaks, or what city he inhabits.

A Bohemian is simply an artist or littérateur who, consciously or unconsciously, secedes from conventionality in life and in art.

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Bohemia (by Gelett Burgess):

“To take the world as one finds it, the bad with the good, making the best of the present moment—to laugh at Fortune alike whether she be generous or unkind—to spend freely when one has money, and to hope gaily when one has none—to fleet the time carelessly, living for love and art—this is the temper and spirit of the modern Bohemian in his outward and visible aspect.

It is a light and graceful philosophy, but it is the Gospel of the Moment, this exoteric phase of the Bohemian religion; and if, in some noble natures, it rises to a bold simplicity and naturalness, it may also lend its butterfly precepts to some very pretty vices and lovable faults, for in Bohemia one may find almost every sin save that of Hypocrisy. …

His faults are more commonly those of self-indulgence, thoughtlessness, vanity and procrastination, and these usually go hand-in-hand with generosity, love and charity; for it is not enough to be one’s self in Bohemia, one must allow others to be themselves, as well.”

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Bohemian lifestyle has it’s roots in counter-culture, which is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition.

As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in American society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam, race relations, sexual mores, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, and a materialist interpretation of the American Dream.

White, middle-class youth, who made up the bulk of the counterculture, had sufficient leisure time to turn their attention to social issues. These social issues included support for civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights movements, and a rejection of the Vietnam War.

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Hippies became the largest countercultural group in the United States. The counterculture also had access to a media eager to present their concerns to a wider public.

Demonstrations for social justice created far-reaching changes affecting many aspects of society.

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Rejection of mainstream culture was best embodied in the new genres of psychedelic rock music, pop-art and new explorations in spirituality.

Musicians who exemplified this era include The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Cream, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Janis Joplin.

Sentiments were expressed in song lyrics and popular sayings of the period, such as “do your own thing,” “turn on, tune in, drop out”, “whatever turns you on,” and “light my fire.”

Spiritually, the counterculture included interest in astrology, the term “Age of Aquarius” and knowing people’s signs.

The counterculture has been criticised for several reasons: mainstream troubles caused by excess; the death of many notable counter-cultural figures; the passage of remedial legislation.

The counter-culture continues to influence social movements, art and society in general.

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Independent Self

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There have been many attempts to describe the levels of intimacy in human behavior. The basic categorization concluded in three major states of being, either in such a state or between states.

That is, the relationship between dependence – independence – interdependence.

My personal favorite (discussing mostly the state of being when one is dependent, then moves to independent and then is able to be and chooses to become: interdependent) is Jorge Bucay (which I undoubtedly suggest for further reading).

Moreover, the foundation of this concept is to understand the following (which I quote from various sources, since I couldn’t have put it better myself and is thus a collage of theories):

Independent Self is a bounded, unique, more or less integrated, motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, action, organized into a distinctive whole and set contrastingly, both against other such wholes and against a social background.

Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually and physically responsible to, and sharing a common set of principles with others. This concept differs distinctly from “dependence” in that an interdependent relationship implies that all participants are emotionally, economically, ecologically and or morally “interdependent.” Some people advocate freedom or independence as a sort of ultimate good; others do the same with devotion to one’s family, community, or society. Interdependence recognizes the truth in each position and weaves them together. Two states that cooperate with each other are said to be interdependent. It can also be defined as the interconnectedness and the reliance on one another socially, economically, environmentally and politically.

Carl Rogers

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As I see it,
Independence is what derives from our personal struggle to become a whole individual. To be free. To be emotionally mature and responsible, in theory and in actuality, for our own actions.
 
 
Interdependence could describe the bond of man with social factors but in a healthy relationship and not some form of dependency or extreme intimacy.

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“A child is born dependent and is celebrated, in an independent society, when they can say “I can do it for myself.” However a tribal child is encouraged to grow beyond independence into interdependence, so they can say “I can do it for others”.
Truly successful tribes and organizations are by their nature inherently interdependent, whose elder leadership’s multi-generational visioning skills are guiding and evolving diverse competing interests into completing interests, for the benefit of all. The independent is grandchild to the interdependent. “
Tom Harris

“Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won’t be good leaders or team players. They’re not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.”

Stephen Covey
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Now the twist is, there is not only a balance to keep between us and others,  we even have trouble perceiving our true self in relation to others…

Illusion of Self:

“According to research by Anne Wilson and Michael Ross in 2001, you see the person you used to be as a foolish bumbler with an awful haircut, but your current self as a badass who is worthy of at least three times the praise.”

“The findings of these studies showed you tend to accept credit when you succeed, but blame bad luck, unfair rules, difficult instructors, cheaters and so on when you fail. When you are doing well, you think you are to blame. When you are doing badly, you think the world is to blame.

This behavior can be observed in board games and senate races, group projects and final exams. You attribute everything to your amazing skills when things are going your way, but once the tide turns, you look for external factors which prevented your genius to shine through.”

Mr. McRaney

 

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a Ritual

A ritual can be anything.. from taking a bath, to drinking a cup of tea.. preparing coffee or rolling a cigarette.

A ritual is (by definition) a specific set of actions done privately or publicly.

The purposes of rituals are varied. Satisfaction of spiritual or emotional needs of the practitioners, strengthening of social bonds, social and moral education, demonstration of respect or submission, stating one’s affiliation, obtaining social acceptance or approval for some event or, sometimes, for the pleasure of the ritual itself.

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Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, and thus partly ritualistic in nature. Even common actions like hand-shaking and saying hello are rituals.

In psychology, the term ritual is used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; it is a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Anthropological studies support that rituals carry a greater meaning in human spirituality and concentration, acting as a form of meditation being carried out meticulously.

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This article investigates the ancient tribal ritual of smoking in circles of trust.

Used in American-Indian tribes, as well as throughout Asia, smoking in a circle joins individuals together in a circle of trust.

A chillum is a conical or cylinder pipe used since at least the 18th century by sadhus (wandering Hindu monks) in India. The Chillum specifically is said to force great concentration and centering into the person breathing in the smoke.

It is filled with a high quality oily dark substance, extracted from cannabis plants.

Anthropologist Sula Benet’s evidence was confirmed in 1985 by Hebrew University in Jerusalem and etymological comparison show that the Holy anointing oil used by the Hebrews contained cannabis extracts, “kaneh bosm” and that it is listed as an incense tree in the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts of the Old Testament.

Early Christians used cannabis oil for medicinal purposes and as part of the baptismal process to confirm the forgiveness of sins and “right of passage” into the Kingdom of Heaven. The Unction, Seal, laying on of hands, the Counselor, and the Holy Spirit are all often synonymous with the Holy anointing oil.Early Gnostic texts indicate that the Chrism is essential to becoming a “Christian”.Some Muslims of the Sufi order have used cannabis as a tool for spiritual exploration.

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The use of Cannabis as a hallucinogenic drug by necromancers or magicians is especially notable. It should be pointed out that in ancient China, as in most early cultures, medicine has its origin in magic. Medicine men were practicing magicians.

In northeastern Asia, shamanism was widespread from Neolithic down to recent times. In ancient China shamans were known as wu . This vocation was very common down to the Han dynasty. After that it gradually diminished in importance, but the practice persisted in scattered localities and among certain people. In the far north, among the nomadic tribes of Mongolia and Siberia, shamanism was widespread and common until rather recent times.

Researchers claim that in the 5th century BCE Siddhartha ate only hemp seeds for six years, prior to becoming the Buddha.

Most interpretations of the fifth precept would include all forms of cannabis amongst the intoxicants that a Buddhist should abstain from consuming. However, the Buddhist precepts are, in a sense, guidelines whose purpose is to encourage a moral lifestyle rather than strict religious commandments, so some lay practitioners of Buddhism may consume cannabis and other mild intoxicants in moderation. In addition, cannabis and other psychoactive plants are specifically prescribed in the Mahākāla Tantra.

Modern spiritual figures like Ram Dassand Eli Jaxon-Bear openly acknowledge that the use of cannabis has allowed them to access “another plane of consciousness” and use the herb frequently.

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