The Way of the Holy Mushroom combines outer alchemy (“waidan”) with inner alchemy (“neidan”). The psychoactive psilocybin brew is the “external elixir” which, in conjunction with special meditation techniques (mantras, breathwork, metanoia, etc.) produces the mysterious “golden elixir” that heals and rejuvenates body and mind.
The alchemy is effected through the skillful use of religious formulations (“holy magic”) and the interplay of consciousness and energy (“Shiva” and “Shakti”). The enormous amplification in the natural levels of bio-electricity in the body (“Qi” in Chinese) triggered by psychoactive compounds such as psilocybin can then be harnessed in the service of physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Recent scientific research on bio-electricity has shown it to have both restorative and regenerative properties. However, science has yet to catch up with the ancient arts of inner alchemy, and has no clear understanding of the relationship between consciousness and energy.
Hermetic discipline (quarantine from worldly distraction and rumination) for example, has long been advocated by spiritual masters as essential for the cultivation of Qi, as it is the only way to free up consciousness from the monopoly of the mind. Sustained attention or mindfulness is also essential. As an old Chinese adage has it, “you cannot cook golden rice in a leaky pot”.