This last effect, often described as a "euphoria," may seem inimical to war-fighting. Yet this is the effect that is most elaborately praised in the ancient soma texts. A feeling of euphoria, of bliss and unity, of oneness with the Divine--these were the most treasured of the ancient elixir's gifts.
The Assassin Lotus explores the idea that soma not only gave courage to warriors, but that it gave insight into the source of courage itself.
Making permanent that inner state of fearless transcendence became the Holy Grail of India's first mystics, the yogic researchers who eventually developed many of the meditation practices still in use today.
As Lord Krishna explained to the warrior Arjuna on the battlefield in the Bhagavad GIta, the field of war is only a hair's breadth away from the field of the divine Absolute. We can only hope the Syrians will tire of the first and finallygive themselves over to the latter.
"To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings."