Mythology, Myth, Mythic
An immense mythology and folklore has arisen and has been crystalized around precious
Certain myths keep appearing and reappearing and many of them refer to the magic and
wonder of the sacred drug, the potion, the elixir of life.
Consciousness uses the symbols of time, space and causality; the unconscious uses
symbols and mythic images.
Descriptions of paradise in many mythologies describe environments that abound with
precious metals and stones.
Experiences with the sun and wind lend themselves to creation of rich mythological
Experiential identification with inorganic matter is often accompanied by fascinating
insights of a philosophical, mythological, religious, and mystical nature.
In non-ordinary states, the boundary we ordinarily see between myths and the material
world tends to dissolve.
In principle, every individual seems to have experiential access to mythological themes
of all things and all creatures. (eyes closed)
In the 20th century, mythology speaks almost a dead language, for the modern mind
knows of no order of truth higher than historical fact. Myth is therefore rejected.
Life at Millbrook had a mythic dimension that was nourished by a sense of having
embarked upon a journey into unknown waters.
LSD subjects report numerous visions of archetypal forms, individual deities and
complex mythological sequences. (eyes closed)
Mythological figures literally come alive and assume independent existences. The same
is true about the landscapes and structures that make up the mythic world. (eyes closed)
Mythological images are endowed with special power and numinosity that gives them
divine status. (eyes closed)
Mythological materials emerge in consciousness during a psychedelic experience. (eyes
Mythology, the repository of a culture’s sacred history, reveals the relevance and
universal nature of the experience of death and rebirth.
Myths, on the whole, have been much less dangerous than theological systems because
they are less precise and have fewer pretentions.
Objective reality, the world view produced by the spirit of scientific inquiry, is the myth
of our time.
One’s true identity is felt as something extremely ancient, familiarly distant, with
overtones of the magical, mythological and archaic.
Our mythologies preserve the hint of a way back, to the lost unity, though the price is a
form of death.
People repeatedly report that these states of consciousness have a brilliant, numinous,
Statements of fact and mythological images belong to two different languages and the
logic of one doesn’t apply to the logic of the other.
The drug user lives through the archetypal adventures described in myths and fairy tales
The image, poetic or mythic, is closer than linguistic categories to events themselves or to
what I would rather call natural patterning.
The images from the mythological domains of the collective unconscious that appear,
often portray celestial realms and paradises. (eyes closed)
The insights psychedelics potentiate frequently enable one to see through the myriad
pretentions and deceits which make up the mythology of the social lie.
The religious and mythological symbolism is rich and multiform and can draw on
different cultural traditions. (eyes closed)
The spirit will return to its mythological roots and the magic landscape from which it
These experiences occur in a complex psychological, philosophical, mythological and
Those “mythicizing” the wind experience feel “cleansed” and “inwardly purified” by the
wind’s “clean sweeps” through them.
Various archetypal images of deities can accompany the birth experience, as individual
visions or in the context of entire mythological sequences. (eyes closed)
We encounter celestial realms and Gardens of Paradise from the mythologies of a variety
of the world’s cultures. (eyes closed)
What lies beyond the opposites must be discussed, if at all, using the language of
analogy, metaphor and myth.
A new cultural mythic ideal is emerging: the myth of the fully developed mind. It is an
eminently democratic ideal. Only some become adventurers on land or in space, but in
mind exploration, everyone is at the frontier.
A sexual partner may change in age or appearance, take on the features of mythical and
historical figures, and sometimes come to represent all men, all women, or natural
features like landscapes, rivers and oceans.
A typical myth of the heroic journey begins when the ordinary life of the protagonist is
suddenly interrupted by the intrusion of elements that are magical in nature and belong to
another order of reality.
Archetypal images and entire scenes from the mythology of various cultures often occur
in the experiences of individuals who have no intellectual knowledge of the mythic
figures and themes they are encountering. (eyes closed)
As a result of the explorations of such men as R. G. Wasson, Professor Roger Heim and
R. E. Schultes of Harvard, a whole new field was opened up—the study of the
relationship between plant-induced visions and primitive mythology.
Dances which are spiritual, body movements can get you grooving with your internal
energies. The movements can be in tune with your ancient cellular-mythic patterns and
the dance itself can be a wild ecstatic turn-on spiritual event.
Every woman has built into her cells and tissues the longing for a hero, sage-mythic
male, to open up and share her own divinity. But casual sexual encounters do not satisfy
this deep longing.
For millennia, man has been involved in the ritual ingestion of substances reputed to
produce an awareness of a sacramental reality and has come to incorporate these
substances into the myth and ritual pattern of the culture in which they occur.
In many places of the world and in different historical periods, mythological figures and
stories became the central focus of sacred mysteries in which neophytes experienced
ritual death and rebirth.
Intellectual growth often shows that we were wiser than we knew, especially in the sense
that mythological images foreshadowed ideas which, at the time of their origin, could not
be expressed in some more exact or scientific symbolism.
Myths play a basic role in human existence, even for people who claim to live life wholly
“rationally”. Indeed, the myth for such people is that it is both good and possible to be an
unemotional intellect that controls everything.
Not infrequently, unsophisticated subjects have reported stories that strongly resemble
ancient mythological themes from Mesopotamia, India, Egypt, Greece and other
One theme that is particularly powerful and recurs with remarkable frequency in the
mythology of the heroic journey is the encounter with death and subsequent rebirth. (eyes
Psychedelic research will be of great value in such diverse areas as philosophy,
parapsychology and the creative arts and in the study of literature, mythology,
anthropology, comparative religion and still other fields.
Since experiences with psychoactive plants have traditionally been described in mystical
or mythical language, Leary may have been the first person to recognize and identify
them as evolutionary visions or genetic memories.
Somewhere deep in our DNA memory banks there is this intuitive knowledge that
chemicals are the key. I think it’s no accident that in so many myths passed down from
generation to generation there is this theme of the magic potion.
The foundation or “ground” of our existence and awareness can’t be understood in terms
of things that are known. We have to speak of it through myth, metaphors, analogies
(what it’s LIKE, not what it IS.)
The human psyche has access to images and motifs that are truly universal. They can be
found in the mythology, folklore, and art of cultures widely distributed not only across
the globe but also throughout the history of humanity.
The presupposition that one’s own religion is, even without examining the others, the
best and truest of all is stupidity. Science, too, has a mythological level, which is the
fiercely held position that the physical universe, outside man, is dead and stupid.
The psychedelic experience at its best embodies a mythic substantiation of the universe
that is frequently overpowering in its revelations. It is a world of myth and ritual, a never-
never land of infinite grace and goodness. (eyes closed)
The subject confronts figures from mythology with a shock of recognition, seeing in the
figures now revealed as inhabitants of his own deep psyche, enigmatic bearers of ancient
answers to the riddle of existence. (eyes closed)
There is—in addition to the individual unconscious—a racial or collective unconscious
that is shared by all mankind. Jung saw comparative religion and mythology as
invaluable sources of information about these collective aspects of the unconscious.
There is no doubt that a genuine comprehension of religion, mysticism, shamanism, rites
of passage or mythology is impossible without intimate knowledge of the death
experience and the death-rebirth process.
Wise men throughout history have told us again and again, in legends and myths,
aphorisms, poems and allegories that there exists within us a source of direct information
about reality that can teach us all we need to know.
Few of the drug-state phenomena are more perplexing, fascinating and potentially
valuable than is the subject’s participation in mythic and ritualistic dramas which
represent to him in terms both universal and particular the essentials of his own situation
in the world.
Individuals experiencing mystical consciousness of this type have a sense of leaving
ordinary reality, where space has three dimensions and time is linear, and entering a
timeless, mythical realm where these categories no longer apply. In this state, eternity and
infinity can be experienced within seconds of clock time.
In the course of my research, I found that in the mythology of every religions tradition I
am aware of, there’s some magic plant that talks, heals, mystifies, intoxicates, or turns
into fire, that either brings you to God, or gets you in a whole lot of trouble, or both,
depending on the context.
It is highly desirable that each guide possess a broad background especially including
knowledge of history, literature, philosophy, mythology, art and religion. Materials from
all of these fields and from others, emerge in many of the sessions and the guide must
recognize the materials if he is to be of maximum effectiveness.
Jung came to the conclusion that there is—in addition to the individual unconscious—a
collective or racial unconscious, which is shared by all humanity and is a manifestation of
the creative cosmic force. Comparative religion and world mythology can be seen as
unique sources of information about the collective aspects of the unconscious.
Myths are not fictitious stories about adventures of imaginary characters in nonexistent
countries and thus arbitrary products of individual human fantasy. They originate in the
collective unconscious of humanity and are manifestations of the primordial organizing
principles of the psyche and the cosmos that Jung called archetypes.
So many practitioners of the inexact sciences (e.g., psychology, anthropology, sociology)
let it be known most clearly that they already know what reality is. For these poor
drudges, reality is the world of nonpoetry in accordance with the great Western myth that
all nature outside the human skin is a stupid and unfeeling mechanism.
The mythological image is what gives sense and organization to experience. Myth
embodies the nearest approach to absolute truth that can be stated in words because the
poetic, mythical or mystical mode of vision perceives orders and relationships which
escape factual description.
There are myths of the creation of the world through the cutting up of some primordial
being, of its division into heaven and earth, into the multiplicity of things or into the two
sexes— from which follows the generation of offspring. Thus many mythologies
envisage the goal of life as the “rememberment” of the original “dismemberment.”
Transpersonal experiences involving entities and realms that are not objectively real
according to the Western worldview can convey absolutely new information. For
example, in nonordinary states, many people have encountered deities and mythological
realms specific to cultures about which they have no personal knowledge. (eyes closed)
We can mention the Jungian archetypes—the world of deities, demigods, superheroes
and complex mythological, legendary and fairy-tale sequences. These experiences can
impart accurate new information about religious symbolism previously unknown to the
We may encounter entities, situations, and places that bear little or no resemblance to the
realities we know in our day-to-day lives. It is here that we go beyond more familiar
experiences and enter the world known to shamans and seers, the world of deities and
superhuman beings known from myths and fairy tales. (eyes closed)
We should re-evaluate our attitude toward mythology. Instead of representing bizarre and
ultimately useless pieces of knowledge, the data can prove to be invaluable cartographies
of strange experiential worlds which each of us will have to enter at some point in the
Almost all of us are still robots controlled by conditioning. We think we are conscious,
but we aren’t. We are asleep, hypnotized, sleep-walking—the metaphors vary, but they
all mean that we can’t see outside our conditioned reality-tunnel. When we begin to
awaken, we perceive the world is nothing at all like the myths and superstitions our
society has imposed on us.
As knowledge of the existence of mind-expanding plants and chemicals dawned upon the
consciousness of Western man, swift re-evaluations of our attitudes toward certain so-
called “primitive” tribes became necessary. It became apparent that some of these
cultures had preserved the key to higher knowledge which the civilized world had
relegated to the status of myth.
Detailed study of psychedelic phenomena would require a long-term systematic team
cooperation of experts from diverse disciplines, such as psychology, psychiatry,
neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, ethno-botany, modern physics, zoology, ethology,
genetics, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, anthropology, history of art,
theology, philosophy and comparative study of religion and mythology.
I would suggest that ages and attitudes of man that are long gone by still survive in the
deepest unconscious layers of our mind. The spiritual heritage of archaic man, the ritual
and mythology that once visibly guided his conscious life, has vanished to a large extent
from the surface of the tangible and conscious realm, yet survives and remains ever
present in the subterranean layers of the unconscious.
It is amazing that people who in nonordinary states “visit” various archetypal realms and
encounter mythological beings residing there can often bring back information that can
be verified by research into the mythology of the corresponding cultures. This led Jung to
the idea of the collective unconscious and the assumption that each individual can gain
access to the entire cultural heritage of humanity.
Jung observed repeatedly that the universal mythological motifs occurred among
individuals for whom all knowledge of the kind was absolutely out of the question. This
suggested to him that there were myth-forming structural elements in the unconscious
psyche that gave rise both to the fantasy lives and dreams of individuals and to the
mythology of peoples.
Myth is obviously a kind of non-logical philosophy; it expresses in the form of a story or,
very often, in the form of some visual image, or even in the form of a dance or a
complicated ritual, some generalized feeling about the nature of the world and of man’s
experience in regard to it. Myth is unpretentious, in the sense that it doesn’t claim to be
strictly true. It is merely expressive of our feelings about experience.
Myths do not come from a concept system; they come from a life system; they come out
of a deeper center. We must not confuse mythology with ideology. Myths comes from
where the heart is, and where the experience is, even as the mind may wonder why
people believe these things. The myth does not point to a fact; the myth points beyond
facts to something that informs the fact.
One can experience himself in a specific situation in his childhood, in the birth canal
and/or in ancient Egypt. While aware of his everyday identity, he can identify
experientially with another person, another life form or a mythological being. He can also
experience himself in a different location in the world or in a mythical reality. (eyes
One may enter one’s visions and seem to be walking through gardens, art museums,
medieval castles, futuristic cities, etc. Archetypal imagery may appear, and one thus finds
oneself encountering mythological characters such as angels, demons, dragons, and
Grecian gods. On the boundary of mystical consciousness, it is not uncommon for
Christians to encounter an image intuitively identified as the Christ.
Our ordinary Newtonian-Cartesian consciousness can be invaded with unusual power by
various archetypal entities or mythological sequences that, according to mechanistic
science, should have no independent existence. The myth-producing aspects of the
human psyche will portray deities and rituals from different cultures that the subject has
never studied. (eyes closed)
So many of the practitioners of the inexact sciences (e. g., psychology, anthropology,
sociology) let it be known most clearly that they already know what reality is and
therefore what sanity is. For these poor drudges reality is the world of nonpoetry in
accordance with the great Western myth that all nature outside the human skin is a stupid
and unfeeling mechanism.
Specialists from various disciplines have asked me for specific details of my
observations, because they felt that these data may have important implications for such
diverse areas as personality theory, psychology of religion, psychotherapy, genetics,
psychology and psychopathology of art, anthropology, the study of mythology,
education, psychosomatic medicine and obstetric practice. (That was Stanislav Grof.)
The images are most often of persons, animals, architecture and landscapes. Strange
creatures from legend, folklore, myth and fairy tale appear in wonderful surroundings.
Ancient temples and castles are imaged and figures and incidents from the historical past.
Persons, places and objects observed in the course of the subject’s life may make their
appearance. (eyes closed)
The symbolic images are predominantly historical, legendary, mythical, ritualistic and
“archetypal”. The subject may experience a profound and rewarding sense of continuity
with evolutionary and historic process. He may act out myths and legends and pass
through initiations and ritual observances often seemingly structured precisely in terms of
his own most urgent needs. (eyes closed)
The world of myths, legends, and fairy tales literally comes to life. The subject can
witness numerous scenes from the mythology and folklore of any culture in the world and
visit any mythical landscapes. He or she can also experientially identify with legendary
and mythical heroes and heroines or fantastic mythological creatures. Such sequences can
emerge in meaningful connection with personal problems of the subject. (eyes closed)
Without special training and sophistication in archeology or mythology, knowledge of the
cultural heritage involved or even adequate general intellectual background, an individual
may experience mythological and symbolic experiences from ancient Greece, Africa,
India, Tibet, China, Japan, Australia or Pre-Columbian countries (or other countries, seen
with eyes closed).
In addition to the Freudian “individual unconscious,” there is also the “collective
unconscious,” which contains the memories and the cultural heritage of all of humanity.
According to Jung, the universal and primordial patterns in the collective unconscious, or
“archetypes,” are mythological in nature. Experiences that involve the archetypal
dimensions of the psyche convey a sense of sacredness—or “numinosity,” in Jung’s
The richness of the experiential content is augmented by the fact that the process involves
an endless variety of illustrative material from biology, zoology, anthropology, history,
mythology and religion. Psychedelic sessions focusing on the death-rebirth process not
only have great therapeutic potential, but are a source of invaluable scientific,
sociopolitical, philosophical and spiritual insights. (That material is seen with the eyes
Break through the walls of the Judeo-Christian Muslim myth into freedom.
Drugs have always been associated with the mythical, intuitive dimension.
In the psychedelic drug-state, mythologies abound. (eyes closed)
Myth is the report from the cellular memory bank.
Mythic reality exists!
Mythical superhuman figures are aspects of your self. (seen with eyes closed)
Mythology abounds in images of heavens and paradises. (eyes closed)
The map is not the territory. Myth and mythology are maps not to be taken literally.
The mythic folk heroes of our times will be the psychedelic drug outlaws.
The mythology of a certain culture can come to life for you. (eyes closed)
The new society will be one of mythic integration where magic will live again.
These great trees have a kind of mythological quality.
We can explore mythological and other realities that we previously did not know existed.
As in Plato’s myth of the cave, what I was now seeing struck me with the force of the sun
in comparison with which normal experience was flickering shadows on the wall.
Genetics, biochemistry, mythology and history seemed to be inextricably interwoven and
were just different aspects of the same phenomenon.
I was getting insights as to why the child’s psyche is so fascinated and captivated by
various mythic stories and their characters.
The experience had deeper levels that were mythical and mystical and these dimensions
were intertwined with the physical aspects of nature.
I felt welcomed, as though I were becoming a part of the forest, as though it were
enclosing and caressing me as I moved deeper and deeper into it—like I was arriving at a
family reunion and being embraced by the whole brood. There were mythic and fairy-tale
overtones along the lines of Alice and Wonderland or Frodo in The Bobbit arriving at the
Court of the Elf King.
We were dealing with a powerful aphrodisiac, probably the most powerful sexual releaser
known to man. The effect was sensory—contact was intensified thousand-fold but also
deeper. The union was not just your body and her body but all of your racial and
evolutionary entities with all of hers. It was mythic mating. Neurological union. Cellular
sex. Archetypes merging. It was the direct reliving of thousands of matings.
I experienced what the myths of creation tell us.
She looked mythic.
This vision had a sort of archetypal or mythic quality (eyes closed).
all the myths in concert together, each one flowing over into the next and they are all
myself (eyes closed)
can mediate experiential connection with any aspect of the phenomenal world and with
various mythological and archetypal domains (eyes closed)
common mythological theme—that the universe arises from the sacrificial
dismemberment of a divine being
concrete archetypal symbolism related to specific religions and mythologies of different
cultures (eyes closed)
experiences of a mythological, mystical, archetypal, historical, sociopolitical, or
experiences visits to other realms of reality, many of which are fantastic and
mythological in nature (eyes closed)
participate directly in and respond emotionally to the mythic and ritualistic re-enactments
sequences of psychological death and rebirth, encounters with archetypal beings, visits to
mythological realms of various cultures (eyes closed)
that Archetypal World where men have always found the raw materials of myth and
religion (eyes closed)
the discovery of archetypal and mythological realms or entities that seem to have
existences of their own (eyes closed)
the Jungian archetypes—the world of deities, demigods, superheroes and complex
mythological, legendary and fairy tale sequences (eyes closed)
the myth of the ego as an isolated, independent observer from whom the rest of the world
is absolutely external and “other”
the numinous, mythological quality of these people (the people who are with your when
you are tripping)
to perceive his life in these symbolic terms, in terms of a myth or some rite of passage
transcend time and space and are inhabited by celestial and mythological beings (eyes
visions of archetypal forms, individual deities and complex mythological sequences (eyes
visions of archetypal forms, deities and demons, and complex mythological sequences
that seem to have a life of their own (eyes closed)
visions of archetypal personages and themes, encounters with deities of various cultures,
and complex mythological, legendary and fairy tale sequences (eyes closed)
a visionary torrent of cultures and contexts, myths and symbols, remnants of what may
seem to be racial or transpersonal memory—that near infinity of components that appears
to constitute our being (eyes closed)
lacework patterns, geometrical forms, architecture, fountains, fireworks, landscapes,
persons, animals, historical and mythical scenes, all constantly moving and changing
one myth after another, lived out and traced back to the basic flash in the silent,
impersonal, whirring of primal vibrations, beyond sense, beyond cell, beyond seed,
beyond life (eyes closed)
the psychedelic drug “world” of myth and ritual which is also a world of legendary and
fairy tale themes and figures of archetypes and of other timeless symbols and essences
the significance of visionary experience, this manner of comprehending the world—in
cultural history, in the creation of myths, in the origin of religions and in the creative
process of which works of art arise
those universal psychic archetypal structures that we share with the whole of mankind,
such as the archetypal idea of mana, the hero, the cosmic god-man, the mother earth, the
helpful animal, or the trickster figure, which we find in all mythologies and all religious
systems (These things are seen with eyes closed.)
originating in the transpersonal realms of the human psyche: the interest in ontological
and cosmological problems; an abundance of archetypal themes and mythological
sequences; encounters with deities of different cultures; ancestral, phylogenetic
memories; elements of the racial and the collective unconscious; the experiential world of
extrasensory perception and other paranormal phenomena (These things are seen with
a mythic power
a mythical and mystical dimension to the whole dynamic
a rich spiritual and mythological dimension
an archetypal experience of Christ, Christ as archetype and heart of myth (eyes closed)
archetypal visions, mythological sequences (eyes closed)
become a participant in a symbolic drama or myth or ritual (eyes closed)
experience the ancient cosmic myths of creation and manifestation
experiences of mythical heroes and landscapes (eyes closed)
exploring the mythic dimension (eyes closed)
flipped out of their conditioned mind sets into the world of magic, myth and Mysticism.
historical, legendary, mythological, ritualistic and archetypal images (eyes closed)
legendary and mythic figures (eyes closed)
magic, myth, and mystery
mythic or myth not to mean falsehood, superstition, fantasy
mythological realms such as heavens (eyes closed)
reaches mythological dimensions (eyes closed)
reveals the truth behind so-called myths
the epic of Hindu mythology, the Bhagavad-Gita
the experiential reality behind the many myths
the heroic-mythic God trip
the myth of a golden age from which we have fallen
the myth of the child hero (eyes closed)
the mythic drama (eyes closed)
the mythic image, the archetype (eyes closed)
the mythical city
the mythical life energy
the mythical, magical community at Millbrook
the mythological realm (eyes closed)
the mythological roots of these experiences and their connection to human history
the mythology encountered during the inner journey (eyes closed)
the relationship between plant-induced visions and mythology
the relevance of mythology for psychology, religion and human life
the remembrance of a mythology
the theme of return to a blissful original state in myth
the unfolding of interwoven mythic and ritual elements (eyes closed)
the universal myth
the universal myth of the hero’s journey
the world of the magical and mythical
those universal, mythological symbols which Jung calls “archetypes”
to bring mythological and archetypal structures into conscious awareness (eyes closed)
to scientize myth and mythologize science
to see his life in terms of some universal myth or legend
various hero myths is several cultures
world mythology and religion which have their roots in the collective unconscious