Hi! Welcome to the 16th edition of Gloria Indica, our newsletter written specifically for Wednesdays and Thursdays. If you’re reading this for the first time, then welcome. We’re changing today’s newsletter format into a story about late Actor, Sushant Singh Rajput, while taking a trip down religious, mysticism laden scientifically laden psychedelic substances laden history laden human mind.
Let’s start blazing.
17th Century to 1882 to April, 2019 – Remembering Sushant Singh Rajput
It was the movie ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ that caused us to notice Sushant Singh Rajput and we were left in awe. It had been a long time since we had watched a Bollywood movie that we really liked with all our hearts and Sushant was magnificent. The climax, where the plot is unravelled, and his dialogue to the Japanese that ‘he had lost Calcutta’, shall be remembered and watched for years to come. May he rest in peace.
Today, we came across an interesting article on Mint that highlighted aspects about the late actor about which we had no clue about, facts that will endear him to us even more so. Quoting from the article: “Ironically, Sushant Singh Rajput, the actor whose tragic suicide triggered a tidal wave of outrage and the NCB investigation, held views about drugs and religion that were closer to those of hippies and new agers.”
The article has been written by Mr. Girish Shahane and we would highly recommend all of our readers to read it. It will definitely be worth your time and like us, you may probably come away with more fond memories of the late actor. The story starts in 1882 and ends with Sushant Singh Rajput’s Instagram post on 6th April, 2019 including other written notes by himself.
“It begins with Helena Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical movement which claimed to uncover occult truths unifying all religion, philosophy and science. In 1882, Madame Blavatsky set up the Theosophical Society’s headquarters in Adyar, a suburb of Chennai. The British author Aldous Huxley went on to add an important feature to the Theosophists’ efforts at synthesizing religious thought. In a book titled The Doors Of Perception, from which the rock group led by Jim Morrison later took its name, he proposed that psychedelic drugs were legitimate catalysts of mystical experience.”
Stories are fascinating, and humanity’s quest to understand the human mind and its activities under the duress of physical activity, music, dance, sport and psychedelic substances is well known, has been happening for thousands of years, including the association of religion with mysticism. Ultimately, the question of our own existence has bothered humanity to no end, and the exact composition and mechanism of the human brain is probably the final frontier for humanity to unravel nature and evolution’s power.
“Around the time Dev Anand was shooting Haré Rama Haré Krishna in Kathmandu, a young American ethnobotanist named Terence McKenna, deeply influenced by British Author Aldous Huxley, travelled to Nepal to seek out Tibetan shamans who used entheogens, or drugs employed ritually. For a while, he smuggled cannabis from India to the US, before returning to his home country and focusing his academic attention on the shamans of Amazonia.”
Plants came to earth before humanity, and contain several compounds integral to the human body. Of course, it is logical to say that evolution would bestow many plant compounds with properties that can cause altered mental states in human beings, some plants more potent than others, while some less, some safer in select doses, while some absolutely safe with no danger of death by overdose (like cannabis).
“McKenna became an evangelist for naturally derived hallucinogens, including marijuana, magic mushrooms and ayahuasca. The last of these is a traditional drink consumed in the Amazon basin, whose effective chemical is N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT. DMT occurs naturally not only in many plants but also in animals, humans included. In 1986, McKenna attended a lecture by Rick Strassman, a psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist engaged in studying the pineal gland, a rice-grain sized organ located in the brain which regulates sleep cycles by secreting the hormone melatonin. Strassman believed the pineal gland was also the source of DMT in the human body.”
“After the talk, McKenna offered Strassman a personal DMT trial, and the resulting trip, which Strassman has described as “mind-altering, life-altering”, spurred the psychiatrist to study the chemical’s effects rigorously. A number of subjects who participated in his research reported deeply emotional encounters with divine entities, while others felt something comparable to luminous near-death experiences. Strassman published his conclusions in a book titled The Spirit Molecule.”
All this said, this is where things really become interesting and like we said this story is really about Sushant Singh Rajput’s fascination with multiple subjects that have already been well-documented like – Astrophysics, artificial intelligence, the human brain to name a few (readers should really check his instagram posts, especially the lengthy captions, to really appreciate the intellectual depth and open-mindedness of the man)
“Both the pineal gland and the spirit molecule made an appearance in an Instagram post published on 6 April 2019 by Sushant Singh Rajput. The image he uploaded was taken from the 17th century French philosopher René Descartes’ Treatise Of Man. It was a diagram showing the functioning of the pineal gland according to Descartes, who viewed the tiny organ as the seat of the soul. The accompanying text by Rajput read, “Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum. (“I doubt, therefore I think, I think therefore I am”) ~ René Descartes. The philosophical post ended with a sequence of hashtags which included “#paradoxical #pineal #Dmt.”
“Descartes’ belief in the importance of the pineal gland never gained wide acceptance, but was revived with a twist by Madame Blavatsky (in 1882) over two hundred years after his death. Blavatsky linked the gland with Shiva’s third eye, claiming it was an organ of spiritual sight that had atrophied in modern humans. This notion was echoed in a note recovered from Rajput’s farmhouse containing a column of five traditional Hindu scriptural and philosophical terms paired with words relating to new age beliefs and practices.”
Life is mysterious and there is no space for hate, bigotry and evil. For what is the purpose of hate, bigotry and evil? It serves no purpose and hinders humanity’s progress towards the greater realms of our own minds. Sushant Singh Rajput obviously knew this.
“What is evident from Rajput’s speculations is that he was profoundly interested in mystical connections between traditional beliefs and modern science, placing himself in a tradition marked by pioneers like Blavatsky, Huxley, McKenna and Strassman. His friends and colleagues may have used drugs recreationally but if his posts on social media and notes discovered after his death are trustworthy indicators, any consumption of hallucinogens he may have undertaken appears to have been at least in part for esoteric and metaphysical ends.”
Rest in Peace, you champion. We’ll shower blazes in your memory forever.