The following statements of belief are intended to explain our beliefs using modern terminology and appeal to religious and non-religious readers alike.
Anyone who has traveled to visit the Mazatec in Mexico, has read the old and new testament in the original Greek and has researched the archeological
and linguistic evidence to be found regarding paleochristianity, will understand that we have remained as true to those rituals that were in
place in antiquity as humanly possible. We are always seeking ways to perfect our rituals and welcome any evidence that would edify us and improve our rites.
The Mazatec Church of America
To those people who are spiritual but not religious, you are correct.
To those people of science, you are correct.
To those people who have strongly held religious beliefs, you are correct.
To so called pagans and people who worship the earth, you are correct.
To anyone who does not fit neatly into a specific box, you are correct.
Can we please just agree on a few simple items. To my knowledge, we as a people, have no good answers for what preceded our universe. We also appear to have no good answers for the origins of life. Clearly we have some theories about the origins of life but it is fair to say that biology is much more complicated than that which was understood by our ancestors. Now we are exploring quantum physics and the universe appears to be getting stranger with each new discovery.
From what we know of wise people; they tend to be humble because they have searched for knowledge their entire lives and eventually come to the conclusion that in spite of all the knowledge they have acquired, there is still an infinite amount of knowledge to yet acquire.
Every person has what we have come to call an ego. This is defined as “the ‘I’ or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.” or “the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.” Some research indicates that the ego is controlled by what is called the default node network of the brain.
When the ego / self is subdued, the consciousness that remains is what we call the soul. Our contention is that anything that turns down, what we currently refer to as the ego, brings us closer to God.
In the Christian Bible there are over 100 verses about “dying to self”. What these verses are talking about is an ego death not a physical death.
Some of the most common ways that people turn down the ego are through prayer, meditation, rhythmic drumming, specialized breathing, listening to music, and forms of putting one's body under extreme stress such as long-duration fasting, extreme exercise or anything that pushes one's body beyond its’ natural limits. Here it is important to restate our position that the more one is able to suppress their ego the more they are able to see and hear God. It is just this simple.
Jesus, for example; fasted for forty days in the desert to enable him to talk to God before his crucifixion.
For those that are unaware, there are molecules that naturally occur within nature, which effectively suppress the ego. With the ego fully suppressed, people experience a state of euphoria, they see visions and hear voices. Many people would chalk this up to hallucinations but we believe these experiences are authentic, especially in the extreme.
One way to think of this is that our reality is a dial or slide control that mixes between the ego on one end and the soul on the other. Once again, it is our earnest belief that when the slider is slid all the way to “soul”, one experiences God.
So now let’s imagine early hominids walking along in the forest, they pickup a fungus growing on a plant and consume it. A few moments later they are transported to an alternate reality and are given explicit instructions about how to improve their life and that of their society. Finally, they are returned back to the reality they have always known unharmed. Congratulations to us, we humans have just found God.
In our Bible this is what is meant by the passage “Before the Fall, God came to Eden to visit with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8).”
In antiquity we have accounts of people being taken into heaven. For example “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:10)
In very recent history we recorded the following vision in our own church “I witnessed a shimmering city of gold with a large pyramid at the center. A voice told me that this was heaven. The voice also told me that the reason there are pyramids across the entire earth is because our ancestors saw this same vision and they were simply trying to reproduce here on earth what they saw in heaven.”
Our rites and rituals have changed little from the present day going back into antiquity. These rites allow us to directly interact with God.
Anyone who is a student of comparative religion will know the name, Joseph Campbell. From his research, it seems that almost every religion has the notion of the “hero's journey” or a death and rebirth during one's lifetime. There is also the Greek notion, translated into English, which reads “If you die, before you die, you will not die when you die.” This notion of being reborn is certainly the fundamental component of Christianity, although this notion predates Christianity by thousands of years.
If you are able to subscribe to the notion that our reality is on a spectrum between the ego and the soul and that the act of suppressing the ego is synonymous with dying; then in one way of thinking, all religions and spiritual practices that seek to suppress the ego are somewhat consistent.
There is clear archeological and linguistic evidence that the followers of Jesus used a non-alcoholic substance to induce this ego dissolving state just as we do today.
It is our belief that the “fall” or “downfall of man” refers to the act of replacing the direct experience of God with writing down what the experience of God was like. This “original sin” occurred when Church leaders, drunk with greed and a lust for power, began teaching what God was like from books rather than allowing individuals to experience God directly for themselves.
As an important aside, this is a cycle that appears to have been repeating since the dawn of man and may continue to repeat until the end of the earth. This is the true explanation of the mystery concerning the return of the messiah and the rebuilding of the temple.
When we humans replaced the act of experiencing God with teaching people about what God is like and then asking them to believe what they have been taught, we committed the “original sin”. This sin “the teaching of belief while preventing direct experience” continues to this day. We hope that in time everyone will see the error of their ways. Please put down your books, find a Mazatec Church near you, and experience God directly. After you return from this experience, the scales will fall from your eyes and you may be able to understand what you read in the scriptures.
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. - 1 Corinthians 2:14
Christ’s Entry to Jerusalem, St. Martin de Vicq, France
The spirit here refers to that which is contained in the original eucharist. When you experience God directly, you may come to understand that the differences between the religions and spiritual practices of the earth are merely an illusion. The direct relationship with God must come first and the written word second.