Drugs and spirituality

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by iBrian, May 9, 2004.

  1. Marsh

    Marsh Disagreeable By Nature

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    Drugs: Spiritual viagra?

    You might say that I have done, um, extensive field research in the study of Shroomology during my university days. My initial response, having come out of this knowledge, stands. The whole fact of the matter is that drugs-- no matter what kind-- throw new information into a balance equation. This unbalances the equation. For a long time I tried to make myself believe that I was smarter and more enlightened when I was lit up, but in the end the truth became clear to me.

    Personally, I think a sober human mind is already a spiritual mind, and that the "fine tuning" that people do with drugs is not necessary.
     
  2. samabudhi

    samabudhi Well-Known Member

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    I too have done extensive field research, but my interest has frequently slid into the social dynamics of psychedelics.
    Because 'drugs' are considered 'cool' by many young people, and since one's status is of prime importance these days, you will find a lot of people who say they have taken psychedelics, when in fact they haven't.
    If and when they do actually try psychedelics, the pressure is off, and they think, 'Oh. Is this what it's all about. OK. So what's for lunch.' The issue of being cool or trying to impress people is removed. This is because during ego-death, you understand for the first time, your true nature. Things like status and being cool are thrown away like botched maths equations.

    The problem is that you can't lie to someone who is experienced in psychedelics. Psychedelics have a 'profound' effect on one's personality, and there are many tell-tale signs of experience. The choice of words when discussing psychedelics is particularly revealing.
    For instance. A 'veteran' does not generalise when he speaks of drugs.
    And what new information have you come across while being sedated, if you've ever been under general anaesthetic?

    Because it is so hard to try and understand what a person is experiencing when they trip, people trying to mimick their behaviour miss out on the subtleties. Someone who is experienced can easily spot them.

    Because psychedelic culture (Yes. It has it's own culture) is looked down upon these days, people might even lie (can you believe it!! :p ) in order to turn others away. They feel they are justified and that there lie is for the better, so it doesn't matter.
    I could go into the whole government misinformation thing and why they do it, but I'm sure you're not that interested.
    If you want to try and understand what psychedelics are all about, I recommend visiting www.psychedelic-library.org. It has many papers which were written at the dawn of psychedelics in the west before people became conditioned by blanket 'don't do drugs' campaigns.
    They also have numerous books including 'My problem child' by the chemist Aldous Huxley who first isolated LSD.

    It should be noted that since psychedelics are generally underground these days, the qualities of the drugs are not monitored, and it is a frequent occurance to take drugs that don't actually work.
    Mushrooms are particularly volatile since they vary greatly in potency when picked, and gradually lose their effectiveness through contact with air.
    So someone who has not taken psychedelics that often, might have a rather weak view of them.

    The effects of mushrooms can be seen at comparatively low doses, and so a standard dose (2g) is as low as possible (mushroom for your money.)
    2g will rarely lead to ego-death. 4g or more will produce the desired level for a mystical experience to take place. Before this, it is more-or-less just a fireworks display. Another point on mushrooms is that they're very dreamy and so trying to understand what is going on is quite hard, since you're so distracted and the flood of thoughts is difficult to navigate through. LSD on the other hand is one-pointed. You can focus your attention without it being too painful. It took a lot of mushrooms for me to get anywhere. I recommend LSD.

    Footnote:
    I really didn't know how to approach this reply other than by saying exactly what I think. You may or may not be experienced in this field. A personally don't think you are. People might say this is short-sighted and complain that there isn't nearly enough material on which I can draw a conclusion about. I don't 'quite' know where you're at, but experienced psychonaut? Nah.
    If you're going to reply with facts to support your authenticity (not that you have to prove anything to anyone here), you're wasting your time. It's not what you know, it's your personality that shows it. No hard feelings and apologies in antecedence to Brian.
     
  3. mcedgy

    mcedgy Active Member

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    Hello Samabudhi - First let me say that I am a product of the sixties. That should tell you something of my opportunities to experience mind-altering substances. Now, as proof of my honesty, I admit to NOT being at Woodstock! :)

    I will never forget the shock and awe I experience when I was first around people smoking wacky weed. I could not believe what I was seeing. I had read in Compton’s Encyclopedia that people committed such violent acts as rape and murder under the influence of that drug yet these people were being anything but violent. Well, some did display violent tendencies while opening their Snicker’s candy bar! :) Anyway, the point is, I do agree that people tend to lie about many things under the guise of the better good. However, I don’t have to go to the psychedelic library to know that you can only relate YOUR experience. You’ve never taken MY trip and promoting something that is so volatile as a one size fits all is not right.

    Comparing my experience to your experience I suppose I could say that I don’t believe you ever tried a psychedelic but you and I both know that is an impossible judgment for me to make and we both know that a small cultural choir is singing behind you. However, MDA, LSD, peyote, mescaline nor mushrooms ever brought me any enlightenment and I’ve never been a cat, a grasshopper or an eagle while on a trip. Based on my experience each trip is individual and one never knows what he will experience. I recommend a sober approach to enlightenment through pray or meditation. That gets the natural brain chemicals working! I’ve never known anybody to crash and burn from a meditation trip! mcedgy
     
  4. samabudhi

    samabudhi Well-Known Member

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    You haven't been on a 10 Vipassana retreat then! (hee :p hee)

    (peyote=mescaline)
     
  5. samabudhi

    samabudhi Well-Known Member

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    One last personal question if you don't mind?
    Were you interested in spirituality when you were taking those substances and what level do you think you were at?
    Like, give me an example of what arguments you were having with people. What concepts were you grappling with?

    If you pick up the carpet and just put it down again, the dust isn't just going to disappear. You have to sweep.
    I attribute so much of what I have learnt to psychedelics because at the time when I was taking them, I was well and truly into spirituality. If I took them now, I wouldn't expect to many revelations. I'd just enjoy.
     
  6. mcedgy

    mcedgy Active Member

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    hello samabudhi - Hedonistic comsumption only. Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll...make love not war. You know, that sixties stuff. Your point is well taken but I express my opinion based on the sum total of my experiences and my reflection on those experiences. I contend that trying to steer an acid trip is like trying to steer a boat without a rudder. The acid decides your trip...you don't. I'm not trying to dust the rug I'm just offering a second experienced opinion for anyone that gives an iota. mcedgy
     
  7. samabudhi

    samabudhi Well-Known Member

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    Some final words. I believe taking Marijuana at the same time as normal psychedelics (which is more commonly done than not these days,) seriously limits the realisations that one could/would have.

    And yes, Hedonistic comsumption only.
    This is like an act of kindness where the real reason it's being done is selfish. The act is there, in the one case giving, in the other consumption; but the intent is not, kindness for the first and the quest for the truth in the second.
    So no good can come from an act of kindness without the right intent. The same with drugs.
    This fits in with the Buddhist understanding of Karma, which is that it is not so much the act as the intention.
     
  8. Marsh

    Marsh Disagreeable By Nature

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    PS I'm not a liar, thanks...

    The last time I did shrooms, I remember not being able to get a complete sentence out. We'll have this discussion again in twenty years. You'll either prove your point, or prove mine.
     
  9. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Wow, Samabhudi, for someone professing to be Buddhist and talking about "ego-death," you certainly do not hesitate to judge other people, which, I must say, seems egotistical.

    I'm gonna have to agree with mcedgy's assertion:

    Example: when you say:

    that goes against my own experience with LSD. In my experience, I think it would be more acurate to say that LSD took possession of my faculty of attention and sent it splintering in thousands of directions all at once.

    So, if you are sure that you were able to focus your attention on LSD and I am sure that LSD completely took control of my attention and had its way with it, then we are simply two different people who have had two different experiences using the same general psychedelic substance, which given the varieties of LSD available and the varities of human personality and consciousness, should not be too surprising. Therefore, when you make a statment like:

    without taking into consideration that psychedelic experiences can be of different varities and intensities, you are making just as much a generalization as you accuse mcedgy of making when he says:

    I, personally, agree with mcedgy again there, although I don't think the unbalancing is always a bad thing. I doubt that without experimenting with psychedelics I would view the world with the same color that I do today; I would probably be a more static and boring person without the psychedelic experience, and also more close-minded.

    So, I am not criticizng you for being "a psychonaut," but rather for discounting the possibility that others who have come to different conclusions about psychedelics than you have ever had any genuine psychedelic or spiritual psychedelic experience.

    Do I think psychedelics can lead to a new, liberated perception of reality? Absolutely.

    Do I think psychedelics can be dangerous? Absolutely.

    Do I need to reconcile my appreciation for psychedelics with my apprehension towards them? No; life is too complex to simplify things in that way. ;)

    By the way, I think you've got some misinformation here, probably nothing more than a brain fart:

    Albert Hoffman is the chemist who first isolated LSD. Alduous Huxley wrote about his experience with mescaline, which was with what I believe is a rather small dose ("four-tenths of a gram of mescalin dissolved in half a glass of water") and in a controlled environment, in the book The Doors of Perception.
     
  10. samabudhi

    samabudhi Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't want to tarnish the reputation that Buddhists have. I must admit that I am the most unconventional Buddhist I know. You should see the poo I get into at E-Sangha. I'm not a good example of a Buddhist.

    You're not the first to say that. I know that with psychedelics, there are many MANY charlatans. It's amazing how many people say they've experienced them. There are many reasons for this. My point is that I am always on the lookout for these people, not in an attacking way, but simply because if someone hasn't taken psychedelics, then they really hold no ground in an argument. There is no substitute for experience. When I discuss psychedelics with people, I'm frank about my feelings. I don't like the idea of me sitting here thinking the other person is not truthful and then talking to them as if they were. That, to me, seems like a lie. So I tell them my 'insecurities.' If they are truthful, then fine. If not, then they will hopefully give up, since the spotlight is on them. If you've got nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.

    About being able to pick out forked tongues; it is true that psychedelic experiences are a very difficult subject to talk about.
    'Every visionary experience is unique as every human being is unique' (TIP world)
    It is not so much the content but how it is conveyed. Just as the content of dreams is less important as compared to the feelings.

    Yes. A brain fart. That's what it was. :D

    If you'd like join a more active thread on this topic, try this link: http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=5135
    which has been closed by the censors and continued in http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=2026 so that it doesn't get so much attention. Really! This is what we're dealing with these days.
     
  11. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Ah, e-sangha. I stop by on occasion. Lots of poo--of the stale, traditional variety--to be flung, methinks. Several highbrow Buddhist types over there. Often a real yawn-fest. :D ;)

    I'm glad to hear you realize this. Being a knowingly un-Buddhist Buddhist is a respectful sort of thing to do, in my book. I'd tend to rate it higher than being a Buddhist's Buddhist, but that's just my generally heretical opinion. :) Not that there's any heresay in Buddhism... oh, no... who would ever think such a thing? ;)
     
  12. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,

    nothing too relevant to add to the discussion at this time and place... however...

    should a reader be interested in such things... this site is one of, if not THE, best site on the 'net for this type of information:

    http://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/psychoactives.shtml


    now... i'd rather be sort of general with what i'm going to say next... however, i can address some specific queries should it be required.

    let's confine our converstation to d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for the moment.

    to have an actual "psychedelic" experience takes a dosage near 150mgs for most people. actual dosage would vary based on body chemistry.. in any event... dosages below 150mgs produce what are referred to as "museum" experiences. they are mild enough that a person could go out in public fairly easily.

    now.. the experience that one has at 150mgs is just touching the psychedelic threshold... for a full blown psychedelic experience.. you know... audio, visual and tactile hallucinations requires dosages, in my experience, that approach 400mgs and higher. there is, of course, some variation involved.. and whilst it is generally true that a dosage of 400mgs is required, some people experience a very strong effect with dosages in the 200's.

    dosages that exceed 1,000mgs will produce profound psychedelic experiences that can reshape your world view and change your perspective on life, the universe and everything.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2004
  13. samabudhi

    samabudhi Well-Known Member

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    Tell me about it. They try to be less of an open forum and more of a front page for prospective Buddhists. But there are some clever people, and many people, so I try anyway.

    I haven't tried LSD in very large doses. I'm sure nothing over 200g, but I can't be sure. That's the problem with it being underground.
    The good thing is you need a hell of a lot to kick the bucket. Elephants are apparently quite intolerable to the stuff. Mice on the other hand can handle dosages exceeding our own.
     
  14. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste samabudhi,

    there are only two confirmed reports of LSD causing death in humans. the first one was a person that injected over 40,000mgs and the other person mistook the powedered form for cocaine and ingested over 20,000mgs through the nose. this second person, however, may or may not be true. there is still some doubt as the medical records for this haven't been seen yet. it's anecdotal at this point in time.
     
  15. samabudhi

    samabudhi Well-Known Member

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    HA!!! LOL.

    I just realised I've been using grams, Vaj has been using milligrams, and the truth is it's micrograms!
    Scary stuff!
     
  16. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Mushrooms have always seemed a much better trip - not only do you have more control over the dosage, but the trip itself seems more "organic". You don't have to worry about mushrooms being dud, either. And they're free. :)

    Haven't done any for a few years, though, and have no plans to do any again. At the end of the day, hallucinogenics serve as a means to explore different levels of our own consciousness - it's like our everyday consciousness is nothing more than the ripples on the surface of a deeper sea, and that hallucinogenics can take us under the waters and show us something of where the waves well up from.

    The most interesting part is how it can show the most naked and fundamental expressions your own consciousness, and just how powerful these are - and how fragile our concept of reality actually is if a few little mushrooms can completely destroy your sense of it.

    The point of the original question, though, is as to whether the insights and experiences of a "trip" can be argued to have any source outside of the self - ie, is there something larger than the chemical experience involved? In truth, and in answering my own question from my own persective, I would say that in life without hallucinogenics we can experience these moments of revelation and creativity without chemical stimulation - when somebody composes a piece of music, writing a story, or an original artwork, there is some strange inexplicable process of inspiration taking place that has often been seen as due to an external Divine influence - the Muses of Ancient Greece are a clear expression of this. When a person trips they are as open to this process, but it simply takes different form in terms of how it is perceived.

    So - does a trip in itself offer anything new in terms of receiving Divine Revelation? Is eating psylocibe mushrooms going to put someone on a clear and easy road to God? No, I don't believe so. Ultimately, hallucinogenics change the way we perceive things - this is the part that is hardest to communicate to those who have never tripped, the complete deconstruction of reality as we normally perceive it - but it is the process of changing our perception that we can be made most aware of the various influences upon our minds. Hallucinogenics can provide a momentary respite from those personal and cultural pressures that shape us - they can be more openly noticed and explored, even cast off, and as the tripper moves deeper into their own sea of consciousness they can examine something of the pure source of their own sense of being. But that being of consciousness remains a part of the physical, living, world - a complex product of physiology, psychology, and culture.

    Hallucinogenics are a tool - a way of exploring the mind - but the exploration is strictly personal - you explore the subjective, not the objective. And yet, as in life, there are ways in which the inexplicable touches us. When we trip it simply touches us in different ways. It remains an individual task to explore this in an individual way, to achieve an individual understanding of it. For some hallucinogenics can be good for that, but as with all good tools, they have their limitations.

    2c.
     
  17. samabudhi

    samabudhi Well-Known Member

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    I read an essay once which talked about how we interpret the psychedelic experience. It went into examples of how different groups of people saw different things from the same drug. Christians, for example, would see it as meeting God. Animists would see it as meeting with the spirits.

    An interesting fact that I heard about Ayahuasca, used by the Amazonians, is that the visions are the same as that seen by people in completely different areas on the globe. It apparently gives one the power to astral travel, as the tribes people were describing things that they had never come into contact with, being so isolated, such as cars.
     
  18. servelan

    servelan New Member

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    I'm a bit of a Terence McKenna fan and he would say that you can't do it without the drug - that is the whole point, becuase there are places you can get to only with the drug. You wouldn't want to get there without becuase it would be far too alarming. You need the drug as a sort of marker.

    I was very involved with a Buddhist group for about 3 years, some years ago and have been exploring psychedelics for about 1 year. Still very much a beginner in both respects but for me the psychedelics are where it's happening - psilocybin in particular.

    Mankind is in trouble and we need to raise the consciousness of individuals to cause a larger change. Psychedelics are the only thing, as far as I am aware of, that can change people around quickly enough. If we had 10 years to sit and meditate or find some other way that would be great but we don't have the luxury of that amount of time.

    btw excellent discussion!
     
  19. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    eh?

    puff puff, pass pass. dont deny your dosage

    the more you take, the better you feel...the more spiritual you become?:confused:

    2 cents worth
     
  20. Chezz

    Chezz Established Member

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    word,
    i smoke marijuana on pretty much a frequent basis , i find it helps me connect with myself. sometime i meditate with it also.
    i dont take any chemical whatsoever meaning i dont take advil for pain etc. etc. i belive that nature is here for a reason

    speaking of psycho-active drugs i do also smoke Salvia Divinorum(leaf not extract that is chemicly filtered and bleached). it is legal (canada) here. i smoke the leaf and i have had "journeys" with my inner self these are complete 'trips' if you will. meaning at the time i loose all my senses and travel to another place (where? i dont know , but it is beutiful)
    and after that i guess you can say i went all spiritual and religious damn man and im only 18!

    dont get me wrong im not another "druggy" i strongly belive that natural psychoactive plants are not to be abused.
     

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