There is a powerful inner transformation (see “In The Zone: Transcendent Experience in Sports) of self that can occur during and following intense endurance exercise, and this process, at times, shares common elements with the psychedelic experience. Did the original Greek Olympics evolve from Eleusinian Mysteries, as an alternative or parallel path to achieve an inner death/rebirth experience? For more about these ancient mysteries see: The Road to Eleusis by Gordon Wasson.
Yoga exercises, in many of its forms, it is suggested, evolved from the soma experience ( see: soma, Rig Vedas). Here also, as with the Olympics, physical fitness via yoga exercises yields catharsis within, and can lead to samadhi (mental concentration to a very high degree) and a death/rebirth experience.
Eleusinian Mysteries: A cave was located below the Telesterion (temple hall) could this have added energetic air (via radium & radon), carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, ethylene, methylene, or other interesting gases? Fennel stalks were noted as an essential herb used in the transcendent experience: there are chemical similarities to the modern drug “ecstasy” found in some varieties of fennel. Combine this with the controlled release of gases from the cave and the effects could have been intense. Also, it is interesting to note this supreme transcendent experience was allowed only once in a human life time.
(c) Paul C Adams 2015 updated: 8/23/15 and 8/26/15
Milarepa combined cave meditation with distance running and hiking in the Himalaya Mountains. Yogananda, Auto Biography of Yogi, told us that Babaji (Hariakhan Baba) guided advanced American disciples on long treks in the Himalayas. Also, see: “Known, Unknown” by Baba Hari Dass. We can imagine how yoga and meditation are enhanced by the sustained stimulation of body metabolism for long periods of time. The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei, Japan, would walk or run 50 miles every day for 100 days or more, and combine this with meditation. Sri Chinmoy brought long distance running to an amazing 75 miles a day, 6am to 12am, six to eight weeks duration, around a short course in New York City: The Self Transcendence Run 3100.
(c) Paul C Adams 2015 updated: 7/26/15
Is it possible to fall asleep, or go into trance (or samadhi) and wake up in the future? Everyone does this every night and we presume that upon awakening in the future (“tomorrow”) we are arriving in the same time period that we left upon falling asleep. Of course, we have changed during sleep, so has the world, and when we return from sleep, it is to a different time and place. Upon awakening our memory reassures us everything is ok, things seem close enough to what we recalled before falling asleep; but how certain is memory, to make an accurate comparison, to be convinced oneself and the world are the same as before sleep (or trance)?
I came across a story of the Seven Sleepers (Ephesus, Ionia) who, according to both Christian and Muslim (the Koran) accounts actually did take place. It has been suggested the Rip Van Winkle story was inspired by the Seven Sleepers.
Ephesus and Pergamum, cities of Ionia (Greece) are of the time and place where the Antikythera computer was developed.
(c) Paul C Adams 2015 updated: 7-26-15
Colin Fletcher hiked through the Grand Canyon and wrote “The Man Who Walked Through Time” to share this incredible experience with others. He is well known as the “father” of modern American backpacking who created a series of best selling books (The Complete Walker) about back packing equipment and supplies.
He started the hike near Supai (see my previous blog: Serendipity) and obtained supplies via several air drops along the way. The book is an account well worth reading for the rich personal experience he found in the depths and heights of the Grand Canyon. He was the first known to hike the Canyon along such precarious pathways, and cross country where no paths were seen.
(c) Paul C Adams 2015