LZ Episode 030: Eleusis on the Playa
The Eleusinian mysteries of ancient Greece initiated an awakening into civilization, science and art but were lost when fanatical Christians and savage tribes smashed the temple as the Roman empire fell. Are we living in an inferior culture driven by non-initiates subjecting our world to the worst juvenile destructive tendencies? Dr. Bruce explores the return of Eleusinian initiation through rites in circles held around the world in this talk from Burning Man 2014, Credits: Dr. Bruce Damer, Jacob Aman (cover art), Kyle Espenshade (music-hear it on Soundcloud). [released 14 Nov 2014]
Join us on the Playa at Burning Man 2014 for my talk in David Bronner’s “foam dome”, hosted by Alan Badiner for the Anandapod Speaker Series. On arrival, I got a full body wash, donned my closest thing to a Greek tunic, stepped out onto the green floor all moist and radiant and was greeted by the brightly lit souls of the assembled burners. This scene was not unlike the Temple at Eleusis which is what this talk is all about. In fact, Burning Man itself was not unlike the ancient Greek Eleusinian Mysteries themselves. So journey with Dr. Bruce back to a time when visionary initiation was the norm and helped create what we might call civilization, or at least we could call it that if we can recover it from the end game of un-initiated juvenile usurpers.
So you might be asking: where and how can I pass through my own form of initiation, whether I’m 19 or 90? The answer is all around you as the circles of a new Eleusis form in your neighborhood to offer healing, new community of brotherhood and sisterhood, and for some, visionary quests to the outer realms, challenging yet enlightening. Don’t be fooled by the wolves of old religions in new sheep’s garb, by gurus guarding gateways to experience you should have directly, or by anyone peddling subscriptions. Seek direct transformation, not just therapy. When you enter the circle look each of your co-seekers in the eye, and if it feels right, if the energy, trust and power are there, then go for it. No work matters more more at this critical time in the human enterprise.
The book I mentioned but spaced out on the author is Patrick Lundborg’s Psychedelia, a true gem of scholarship and speculation published in 2013. Sadly Mr. Lundborg passed away in June 2014 and his untimely death robbed the field of a true voice of the realms. I drew from his chapter on Eleusis as well as from other books by such noted authors as Gordon Wasson, Albert Hofmann, and Carl Ruck.
The Eleusinian Mysteries (on Wikipedia)