SEBASTIAN JOB, PHD

SEBASTIAN JOB, PHD

SEBASTIAN JOB, PHD

THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ENTHEARCHY

Enthearchy (n) – from entheo (divine within), and arche (order).

The current civilisational-ecological crisis is imagined and formulated in many ways. In psychedelic and entheogenic circles people frequently speak of a forced Initiation, a demand directed at humans by outraged nature that we grow up. The formula for this demand might be: become what you really are, i.e., somehow divine, or go under. Let us suppose it makes sense to speak in these terms. What role then can be envisaged for entheogens in this hazardous planetary Initiation? Approached with entheogenic intent, psychedelic experiences appear to have both critical and reconciliatory potential. That is, they facilitate a) personal differentiation from the reigning ‘reality principle’ (the critical moment), and b) personal intimacy with the divine mystery of one’s own essential nature (the reconciliatory moment). In some sense, then, they transform the crises of the present into opportunities for revelation. But is it enough to imagine political transformation arriving through a merely additive process of cumulative personal revelations? More and more individuals ‘waking up’, so as to one day form a ‘critical mass’ that, together with others on other paths, brings the globe to a ‘tipping point’? This, I want to argue, is both too simple and too wishful. The critical and reconciliatory moments of the entheogenic experience need, I think, to be broached in terms of a much larger philosophy of history, one which attempts to understand entheogens in the context of where humans have come from and where we might need to be going if we are going to make it. The proper name, I suggest, for this ‘where we have come from’ and this ‘where we need to be going,’ is Enthearchy. This talk will introduce the concept.

SEBASTIAN JOB teaches at NIDA (the National Institute for Dramatic Arts) and is an Honorary Associate in the Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney. He did his PhD fieldwork in Russia looking at the conscious and unconscious motivations of racist nationalists, and has done fieldwork in Mexico among Aztec revivalists. His main current research focus is on the psycho-spiritual, cultural, political and educational potential of traditional and new psychoactive substances. Examples of his published work can be found at Academia.edu