Drugs and spirituality

servelan

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Bandit said:
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
Hi Bandit,
It's not about feeling better the more you take because it's not about "getting off your head" - it's about experiencing more. Often this is terrifying as much as it is jawdroppingly beautiful and ecstatic. The mushroom teaches you a lesson and you can learn from it or you can ignore it.

There is no doubt that you can contact the transcendental through psychedelics. The evidence for this is great and it can be proved repeatedly and experientially. The more I personally experience this and learn about other people's experiences the more amazed I am. If you want proof of the spiritual existing and the total weirdness of what can only be called The Other, then psychedelics can show you this.

Anybody who denies this hasn't actually had the experience. You cannot prove what I am saying without having had the experience. Language is inadequate in trying to communicate what is going on.
 

earl

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Since I'm only weighing in at the tail end of this thread, may have missed that these points have already been made. Pschoactive drug use for "spiritual development" purposes has spawned a number of thoughtful books exploring the pros & cons in recent years form 1 by Christian comparative religion scholar, Huston Smith, to a Buddhist-oriented 1, "Zig Zag Zen." Those books tend to say that used "properly" with the right intention and guidane may have some utilitarian purpose. But thse authors also point out that no "pill" will accomplish the hard work of evoloving ourselves. Basically put, "what goes up must come down." As 1 of my favorite contemporary american Buddhist authors, Surya Das, has put it, "enlightenment" is about getting free, not getting "high, " meaning loosening the constrictions of our ego knots, not obtaining particular temporary spiritual highs. Take care, Earl
 

Bandit

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Chezz said:
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.
hi Chezz:)

yes i know about these things. glad you are not a druggy & just a part time leaf roller & welcome to the boards:)
 

Bandit

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servelan said:
Hi Bandit,
It's not about feeling better the more you take because it's not about "getting off your head" - it's about experiencing more. Often this is terrifying as much as it is jawdroppingly beautiful and ecstatic. The mushroom teaches you a lesson and you can learn from it or you can ignore it.

There is no doubt that you can contact the transcendental through psychedelics. The evidence for this is great and it can be proved repeatedly and experientially. The more I personally experience this and learn about other people's experiences the more amazed I am. If you want proof of the spiritual existing and the total weirdness of what can only be called The Other, then psychedelics can show you this.

Anybody who denies this hasn't actually had the experience. You cannot prove what I am saying without having had the experience. Language is inadequate in trying to communicate what is going on.
hi servelan:) & welcome aboard.

i know about the shrooms & blotter & the crystals & the leaf(s) & the up & the down & the push & the pull & the maze & the colors & the lines & the laughing & the mind alterations...& I also know about the OTHER.
these things are temporary & do not bring inner peace or IMO, make us spiritual but they might temporarily wake us up. it is what we do after the party that matters.

just be careful there, ya hear?;)
 

Bandit

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earl said:
Since I'm only weighing in at the tail end of this thread, may have missed that these points have already been made. Pschoactive drug use for "spiritual development" purposes has spawned a number of thoughtful books exploring the pros & cons in recent years form 1 by Christian comparative religion scholar, Huston Smith, to a Buddhist-oriented 1, "Zig Zag Zen." Those books tend to say that used "properly" with the right intention and guidane may have some utilitarian purpose. But thse authors also point out that no "pill" will accomplish the hard work of evoloving ourselves. Basically put, "what goes up must come down." As 1 of my favorite contemporary american Buddhist authors, Surya Das, has put it, "enlightenment" is about getting free, not getting "high, " meaning loosening the constrictions of our ego knots, not obtaining particular temporary spiritual highs. Take care, Earl
nice post earl. i agree with all of this:) . drugs do not make us free. A lot of them make us bound.
 

Quahom1

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I said:
But back to the original question - how much worth can we put on drugs providing spiritual insight, which comes from without the self? Or do such drugs only present an exploration of the human psyche only?
Perhaps in some cases, the use of a drug (besides numbing the nerves), also allows for the emotions to change. If the body doesn't hurt, and the emotions are positive, then the spirit tends to be lifted, or perhaps more open. Barriers drop, as well as preconceived notions, mostly because at the moment they don't matter.

Not only does the body anchor the spirit here and now, but I submit that it also hinders the spirit from expanding and exploring. I've heard stories of those who have taken a walk out and about (astral projection), that really did not want to get back into that paltry shell they called their body. And when they did wake up, they were angry, confused and felt depressed.

Now what I am describing is not a deliberate act of the person to take drugs to experience a high, but rather those who have been given drugs as a result of some type of trauma to them, as a way of negating death by shock.

So I suppose the intent, factors in greatly, pertaining to what kind of spiritual awakening one might have, while under the influence of drugs.

v/r

Q
 

Uriella

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I said:
Simply put: because we know that hallucinagenics physically affect the brain, then can spiritual experiences from use of hallucinagenics really make claim to be an exploration of anything truly beyond the self?

A discussion point.
Hi all. I have read through much of this thread, but not all of it. So excuse me if I repeat something someone else said.

I can see the above statement from two points of view (part of my counselling training was the ability to be able to put myself at different points of view in order to be able to see someone else's side of things, makes for some interesting discussions with myself, lol.)

Firstly it could be argued that the whole point of the spiritual experience is the exploration of one's own true self. From this vantage point I can see that drugs could be seen to be assisting that process.

Secondly, however, going by my own limited experiences with mind altering drugs (alcohol) I have to say that, far from bringing me insights, drugs have distorted my perception of things so that I come to conclusions which, in the harsh light of the following day, I see to be totally wrong for me.

That said, my own reaction to mind altering substances may be completely different to another person's. (Swapping sides again there, lol.:))

Blessings, Uriella :)
 

Awaiting_the_fifth

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I fear I am going to sacrifice any claims to being a true buddhist by saying this, but I find cannabis to be quite useful in my spiritual development.

Smoking cannabis certainly does not bring me any closer to enlightenment, I am certain of that, not even temporarily when I am actually high.

However,

I have found that there are many concepts in Buddhism which my Christian educated mind has been totally unprepared for. The non existence of self, for example, confused me greatly at first, but a few hours of Green Peace with a slightly altered thought process and it began to make sense. I have achieved many such revelations while being as stoned as a biblical adulteress. Unfortunately I tend to forget most of it fairly quickly, but I usually come out of these experiences with some slightly increased understanding of the reality which I percieve.

Although I must admit never having tried any hallucinagenics I do not believe that any real spiritual progress can come from the use of such drugs. Understanding on the other hand does, I believe, come more freely.
 

Quahom1

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I think that the mind has built in safe-mechanisms, that prevent us from opening ourselves to areas of existence that we aren't quite ready to go to yet. I think that where the mind and body goes, the spirit must go as well.

Drugs I believe, can override these safe-mechanisms (let alone our common sense), and we can open ourselves up to areas that we may not be able to close ourselves to afterwords. (Pandora's box comes to mind).

A friend of mine once called me in a panic, days after his "high" was gone. He said, "I can't close the door that I opened, and I can't get away from what I let in..."
Man, it took alot for him to get that issue under control. And he aged unbelievably because of it. It changed his outlook on life though, for the better. He learned something.

I just think the cost was too high.

v/r

Q
 

flowperson

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Wil:

Of course our native and indigenous brothers and sisters have been productively experiencing these things for about 20,000 years or so. Carlos Castaneda wrote a lot about this in the 70's. But of course most of us in western society are encouraged to buy 18 packs of Miller Lite for only $12.00, drink it all in a weekend or so; and, in the process slam shut our besotted mind's eyes as often as possible so that the light never gets into our brains. Comfortably numb indeed !

I've been on a regimen of native herbs and minerals for about twenty years now (all of them legal) and I'm convinced that this has saved my life several times over

Thanks for the article. I'm surprised Fox even ran it !

flow....;)
 

AletheiaRivers

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Quahom1 said:
Drugs I believe, can override these safe-mechanisms (let alone our common sense), and we can open ourselves up to areas that we may not be able to close ourselves to afterwords. (Pandora's box comes to mind).

Actually I agree. Drugs definitely did that to me (although not in any spiritual sense).

In hindsight, I don't regret it, because I wouldn't be who or where I am today if I changed my past. Otherwise, I would undo all my years of drug use because I didn't gain anything, and I lost alot.
 

earl

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wil said:
Hopkins double blind study just released

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,202901,00.html


I'm sure we'll see more news articles to come.
Hey Will-thanks for article. when it comes to hallucinogens such as this one, such a result isn't surprising-been known for decades to do so. Nice to see some of the paranoid governmental over-reactions ease enough to resume research with them. Chief problem with drugs as a route to spirituality is, of course, what goes up must come down.:) Earl
 

flowperson

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Having survived the sixties and beyond, I have a question for anyone who wishes to jump in with an answer. Why do you think young people increasingly seem to want to alter their views of reality with mind-altering substances. Of course this has always been the case with alchohol, but there seems to be some sort of incremental compulsion towards this with each generation after WWII. Now, as I understand it, the biggest problem is abuse of prescription drugs such as oxycontin and synth drugs such as ecstacy. Any ideas ?

Has something in the environment changed us or our brains... electromagnetic wave pollution, airborne chemicals, herbicides or pesticides in foods, processed food ingredients? What do you think?

flow....:cool:
 

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Since we only use a small part of our brain to start with it is hard to decide what is real or not. When we see something that is not there how can we say it is not there when we see it. Pain is real until we take a pain killer to block the pain...is the pain still there or is it gone due to the pain killer? Or is it just covered up and we are not aware of it? It is just a bunch of double talk. If something taken into the body makes us do or act in such away that is not normal or is dangerous to others then it is not benificial to others around us, that should be the final rule of thumb. But then what is normal or what is dangerous? The wisdom of man in reality is pure foolishness with out the wisdom of God ( Jehovah ) as the foundation of our wisdom.
 

wil

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flowperson said:
Having survived the sixties and beyond, I have a question for anyone who wishes to jump in with an answer. Why do you think young people increasingly seem to want to alter their views of reality with mind-altering substances. Of course this has always been the case with alchohol, but there seems to be some sort of incremental compulsion towards this with each generation after WWII. Now, as I understand it, the biggest problem is abuse of prescription drugs such as oxycontin and synth drugs such as ecstacy. Any ideas ?

Has something in the environment changed us or our brains... electromagnetic wave pollution, airborne chemicals, herbicides or pesticides in foods, processed food ingredients? What do you think?

flow....:cool:
I think they are just more widely available. Prior to WWII it was only inner cities that found opium and marijuana...after 'prohibition' a market was created. Prior to that alchohol was the drug of choice, and still is by far...but often combined with others. Those early years, pending responsibility, asked to act like adults but without the respect of adults, potentially sent to war...hormones...all combined a lot happens at that age.

During my time we were learning to drive, do drugs, drink alchohol and sex all at the same time....they should do something to spread that out a little.

Serioiusly with all that goes on, being told what to do forever, being told to be responsible, drugs and alchohol not only cause you to lose control, they provide an excuse as to why we did x, y, and z. Most just try, some get involved for a period of time and grow out of it, some develop lifetime habits and others completely overdo it and end up with problems or gone. It is truly an issue, but one that has been exacerbated by laws and lies.
 

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I said:
We are all no doubt are various hallucinogenics have traditional use in various cultures, but I'd like to ask a particular and pertinent question:

Can spritual experiences through drug use be regarded as objectively real?

The importance of this question is that I'd like to pursue issues of physical reductionism against the conscious experience.

Simply put: because we know that hallucinagenics physically affect the brain, then can spiritual experiences from use of hallucinagenics really make claim to be an exploration of anything truly beyond the self?

The root of this question is the relationship between our physical bodies, consciousness, and the "reality" of the spiritual experience.

A discussion point.

I read through the entire thread. I may have missed one or two. But no one mentioned the the "God spot" in the brain. Has recent research ruled out its existence? The article I read is about ten years old. It's here: http://atheistempire.com/reference/brain/index.html

I understand them to be saying that we have a spot on the brain that, when stimulated, makes it seem like there was a Presence in the room. It can do other things, too, like cause an out-of-body experience.

I've noticed from the accounts in the literature that intensity of spiritual experiences varies greatly from person to person, but this pattern is constant across time, geography, culture, and religion. However, there seem to be similarities of expression that cross all linguistic and religious boundaries.

I see the same kind of "other-worldly" expression in Aboriginal peoples (the same in South Pacific Islanders as in North American Arctic Inuit) as in white Christians of the West. How this "other-worldliness" is expressed varies greatly with individuals, culture, geography, etc. But the feelings it evokes in the context and expresses is the same. That is what it looks like to me.

This being the case, it just makes sense to believe there is a "God spot" in the human brain. It also makes just as much sense to believe that there is an Almighty Creator. Maybe both are correct; maybe both are wrong; maybe both are partly wrong and partly right. Who knows?
 

taijasi

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RubySera, et al,

Godspot sounds much like pineal gland (and/or pituitary body) as referenced earlier by Flowperson. The former has been called the "third eye" sometimes, and science verifies that, inasmuch as it relates it to light. In reptiles, the third eye/pineal is sometimes external, as it was in humanity several million years ago (the Atlantean "giants" of the Bible, or cyclops of Greek mythology ;)). Pituitary, ostensibly, has to do with growth ...

Alcohol, of course, is not mind-altering in the same way narcotics and hallucinogenics are. Usually quite the reverse, being a stupefying agent (I love that word - so appropo :p). Let me finish my coffee with Irish cream, and I'll show you ...

Weed (cannabis, grass, herb), is definitely psychotropic, but I question how directly it acts on the pineal/pituitary. Somewhat, definitely, and this is the danger. These are the organs of the spiritual senses, the "sixth" and seventh. So they become stimulated by certain drugs, and continued use breaks these organs down.

I think the greater damage may occur in the chakras, however, which are also subtle organs, existing as bridges (for consciousness, and for energy) between the physical (etheric) and astral (emotional) worlds - as well as in the subtler worlds of mind, soul, and spirit. There are even greater dangers, if using things like LSD, ecstasy, psilocybin, MDMA, etc., but my experience with these is limited to just a couple.

What really bugs me (you know I'm not addressing this to you, Ruby, or anyone in particular - just saying it) ... is when people who have never smoked a joint, or dropped acid, or any of this, decide that they're going to come off as experts on this matter, and start bashing drug use, and babbling on about how dangerous it is. I mean, not that I necessary disagree. READ what I just wrote. But before you offer your humble opinion (you, generic), ask yourself, what do you really know?

When was the last time you were high? Tripping? Drunk? Any of that. NO, you don't have to be trashed to offer your opinion. But I just love how people who haven't a lick of experience can somehow be experts on a subject. :rolleyes:

Am I suggesting that you (anyone) go drop some acid before coming back and commenting? No! That's entirely your call, and probably not a good idea, but then, we all make our own choices. What I AM suggesting is that people take a couple of steps back before they rush to condemn or condone something. I am a bit amazed that some folks have said, "oh, drugs have NOTHING to do with spirituality."

Technically, or in the higher sense, I agree. And I agree that primarily what happens is that we are opened up to various influences (largely astral), not all of which are positive, or lofty, in a spiritual sense. But if you're going to suggest that we simply cannot contact anything spiritual by certain drug influences, or during the experience, then all you've really said to me is that you know JACK about it!

I don't think it's necessary to say too much more. I've tripped acid (LSD) sitting right there next to people who were definitely not tuned into what I was tuned into. Often enough, I've kind of regretted that we weren't on the same page, so to speak. But I'll bet it's gone the other way a time or two as well! It's not any different at root than sitting next to someone on the subway, metro, tube, whatever, and wondering what they're thinking about ... and so on.

Do you need drugs to know, tune in, etc.? No. CAN they help? Well - yes, at a cost/price. And while I don't recommend it, probably the clearest instance of verbal telepathy I've ever experienced occurred while high. Is there even a CHANCE that I imagined it, or that it was "just the drug?" If I hadn't verified it, yes there would be - or would have been. But since I confirmed this on the spot, it stands out to me as just one of quite a few direct, firsthand experiences - which constitute my knowledge and understanding ... and not my belief, faith, etc.

Can I be absolutely certain that the drug had nothing to do with it? No. But did it probably? Quite likely? YES. And to some extent, that's my point. Was it "the voice of God" speaking to me. No, it was my good friend. But s/he who can't tell that there's some overlap, even there ... also doesn't understand. I won't try to make that clearer. But I may have a second cup of coffee.

Cheers ... and Namaste, all ...

Andrew/taijasi
 
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