There are three worlds:
- The kingdom of earth (take a walk in the woods);
- The kingdom of mind (read a good book);
- The kingdom of heaven (take a strong dose of magic mushrooms).
Zen is direct pointing to reality outside the scriptures, in other words, entrance into the kingdom of earth through meditation.
Christianity is direct pointing to reality inside the scriptures, in other words, right ordering of the kingdom of mind through the logos.
Shamanism is direct pointing to reality beyond this world, in other words, entrance into the kingdom of heaven through psychedelics.
The three grow together like the three twisted strands of an ayahuasca vine. This is the essence of Shamanic Christian Zen: the three kingdoms of heaven, earth and mind evolving together, disclosing ever more of the infinite mysteries of existence.
Entrance into the kingdom of heaven and entrance into the kingdom of earth are both so-called “mystical experiences”, one internal and the other external. The kingdom of mind must be able to accommodate both types of experience in a coherent and convincing way, and religion is the only thing that can do this. Neither science nor philosophy are up to the task. Religion represents both the revealed Word of God in the kingdom of mind and the joining together (re-ligare) of the three worlds.
Divorced from mystical experience (Heaven and Earth) and/or religion (the Word), the mind-world and its culture becomes what the Rastafarians call Babylon. Without religion, mystical experience is blind; without mystical experience, religion is lame. Religion should be mystical and mysticism should be religious, otherwise they will both be colonised by the agents of Babylon.
Shamanism by itself is not strong enough; Christianity by itself is not strong enough; Zen by itself is not strong enough; but all three together can beat Babylon. However, not everyone wants to “beat Babylon” or “escape from Samsara”. Most people just want to get cosy in Babylon. Psychedelics, meditation and religion for the sake of therapy or a sense of community or consolation are motivated by the desire to get cosy in Babylon.
Ultimately, there are only two options when it comes to the existential motivation at the root of human life: get cosy in Babylon (the worldly-wise) or get out of Babylon (the gnostics).
What about you?