Drugs and spirituality

earl

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Well, let's put it this way, our brain's mechanism developed to register "what's out here," though they're certainly capable of misfiring, like my computer does:) earl
 

wil

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Reading the full results of the study is incredible. Talking to the participants and the practioner that administered tells even more. He has been researching (not personal research like many) since the 60's. This test was huge because of the double/triple blind peer reviewed aspect.

33% most significant experience of thier lives.
another 40% in the top five..

across the board, everyone got to a point of complete peace with the world, knowing the oneness of all and oneness with G-d. In a variety of ways they described this to their handlers...

Imagine three visits to the center, each time taking some pills and then selecting some music, sitting down on a chair, or couch in a comfortable living room setting for 8 hours, reading, talking with the handlers...all be recorded all being observed.

And all when they were administered the dosage of psilocybin...all felt oneness, expressed it...

Family members and friends report a significant postive change in attitude and demeaner months after the trials are over. Study participants continue to be able to recollect, and reconnnect with the experience. And most have no desire to do it again.

The researcher indicates that by providing the optimum dose, it is only a one time experience....have you ever heard of that for folks that dropped acid or ate mushrooms...only the ones with bad experiences prefer not to do it again...
 

RubySera_Martin

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[B said:
taijasi[/B]]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.

I looked up the pineal gland in wikipedia and it does sound like the same thing. What I don't understand is why the article does not call it that.

[B said:
taijasi[/B]]

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:

Andrew, thanks for clarifying, but I knew beyond a doubt that you weren't talking to me because I don't think I ever passed judgment--good or bad--about drug-users. Nor have I ever used any drugs outside of prescriptions. I think I read this thread with an open mind. Whether or not it was open, I sure learned a lot. I don't think drugs used by emergency room medical staff for stabalizing the condition of a severely injured person can be compared with the drugs most people referred to on this thread. Of course, I've never been there to see it.

originally posted by wil

And all when they were administered the dosage of psilocybin...all felt oneness, expressed it...

This is one thing that baffles me. Practically everything that is described on this thread regarding experiences while tripping is stuff I have experienced without drugs. Some of it I can bring on at will--the feeling of oneness or unity and it is very calming or soothing. I have used this a lot when feeling overwhelmed by life. I learned to do it beside running water, but when I needed it far from any running water I learned to do it with the sound of russling leaves or grass, or with the deep blue of the sky. There are times when I can feel it radiating from my upper body--from the sides of my head, my arms, my chest--to merge with the greenness of trees and grass, and with the sound of the breeze and with the light of the sun. At night when the only light comes from city lights it works, too. There is still the trees, the cars with other people...the sounds of the night. Some of the other stuff described in this thread is more like dreams while asleep.

QUESTION: If this stuff is available to the human without drugs, why do people risk the dangers of drug use? In other words, if spirit can be experienced with the unaltered brain, why subject such a sensitive organ to drugs? I'm sure there is a good reason, I just don't know what it is.
 

wil

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RubySera_Martin said:
This is one thing that baffles me. Practically everything that is described on this thread regarding experiences while tripping is stuff I have experienced without drugs. Some of it I can bring on at will--the feeling of oneness or unity and it is very calming or soothing. I have used this a lot when feeling overwhelmed by life. I learned to do it beside running water, but when I needed it far from any running water I learned to do it with the sound of russling leaves or grass, or with the deep blue of the sky. There are times when I can feel it radiating from my upper body--from the sides of my head, my arms, my chest--to merge with the greenness of trees and grass, and with the sound of the breeze and with the light of the sun. At night when the only light comes from city lights it works, too. There is still the trees, the cars with other people...the sounds of the night. Some of the other stuff described in this thread is more like dreams while asleep.

QUESTION: If this stuff is available to the human without drugs, why do people risk the dangers of drug use? In other words, if spirit can be experienced with the unaltered brain, why subject such a sensitive organ to drugs? I'm sure there is a good reason, I just don't know what it is.
You are exactly right, much peace can be obtained w/o drug use...and with drug use only a temporary peace if that is attained....for youth of today and yesterday and the day before that...drugs are an escape mechanism from the percieved foibles of reality.

If more were taught meditation technigues or learned what you learned, or had their own religious experience...they may not seek this else where. However most who are taking drugs are not seeking a religious experience. The hieghtened sensitivity that the ancients sought...I can't answer for them.
 

taijasi

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wil said:
You are exactly right, much peace can be obtained w/o drug use...and with drug use only a temporary peace if that is attained....for youth of today and yesterday and the day before that...drugs are an escape mechanism from the percieved foibles of reality.

If more were taught meditation technigues or learned what you learned, or had their own religious experience...they may not seek this else where. However most who are taking drugs are not seeking a religious experience. The hieghtened sensitivity that the ancients sought...I can't answer for them.
Wil, I agree with your first conclusion, but only partly with the second. About the meditation techniques, certainly - they've worked for thousands (millions?) of years, and so shall they continue. We hope! :)

And I do agree that so many youth are really seeking excitement, or even "ecstasy" as the drug name () suggests - yet with no real clue, idea, or understanding that this really betokens a far higher reality (Ananda/Bliss-consciousness, the Sambhogakaya). Yet there is another thing which I think they're trying to find, more so in terms of a means of escape. Escape from - materialism, whose (false or anti-)values pervade our collective societies as almost no other poison.

But the difficulty - and the distinction that I think folks intuitively recognize - is that only a Primordial (Alpha-state) type of Unity is glimpsed or experienced (by default) when unnatural methods (here, drugs) are used. It's the reverse of the arc - Divine EMANAtion, as opposed to Divine ASCENDing (no other word would fit). The latter, is Christ the OMEGA ... Teilhard de Chardin's "Omega Point." It's the Christ of the Mystics, as Meister Eckhart, whom Lunamoth mentioned on another thread.

We all innately (to a greater or lesser extent) seek the latter, just naturally! Probably all of us have attempted a shortcut at one point or another, but we also must eventually learn the only sure, safe, guaranteed method(s) - of reaching our Goal. :)

Love and Light,

taijasi
 

Quahom1

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The best "drugs" of all as far as spirituality, are a mom and a dad, who put their family first, instead of their careers and self. That is a high, no artificial concoction can top. You want spirituality, and to be high at the same time? Go fishing or camping, or bike riding, or anything with your kid. Take an hour out of your time to concentrate on the kid, and the kid alone. Do it while you're both young, and it will become habit as you get older.

Funny thing about spending time with kids. They feel "older" and you feel "younger", after...;) And you both want to feel that way again, so you seek eachother out...:eek: :eek:

v/r

Q
 

earl

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Wil, the interesting thing for me about the effects noted for some of these psychedelic drugs as described in the article seem to be the same as reported for many near-death experiences, including the longer-term effects. Though I don't necessarily recommend drugs or dying as a routine spiritual growth method;) It suggests there are different colors and tones to our world that we often miss when we're in our "right minds;" that may require a pretty good shock to the system to see. Is that just a nerochemical effect, certain synapses being jiggled just right, nothing more than an interesting neural fireworks? The word "psychedelic" meant mind manifesting-revealing all the facets of what mind is. Perhaps the same can be said re reality. I know when my mind is "firing off" in fearful directions, I see a fear-inducing world. When firing off in peaceful, joyful directions, the world looks that way, too. What's the "real" world? Is it just neurons? Well, I'd say one could only hold that position if we hold that consciousness itself is no more meaningful than a buncha neurons firing. I do know which experience makes me a better person and enables me to improve my little piece of the world in the process-tikkun olan. earl
 

RubySera_Martin

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taijasi said:
And I do agree that so many youth are really seeking excitement, or even "ecstasy" as the drug name () suggests - yet with no real clue, idea, or understanding that this really betokens a far higher reality (Ananda/Bliss-consciousness, the Sambhogakaya). Yet there is another thing which I think they're trying to find, more so in terms of a means of escape. Escape from - materialism, whose (false or anti-)values pervade our collective societies as almost no other poison.
I hear students in their mid-twenties lament the consumerism. They say they are just as bad as anyone else and they lament it very badly. First of all, I have no idea what they are talking about. Second, why don't they just stop doing it if they hate it so much? Sorry, this is off-topic except for the fact that they happen to be Christians, and you say this consumerism or whatever can be the cause some young people turn to drugs.

But the difficulty - and the distinction that I think folks intuitively recognize - is that only a Primordial (Alpha-state) type of Unity is glimpsed or experienced (by default) when unnatural methods (here, drugs) are used. It's the reverse of the arc - Divine EMANAtion, as opposed to Divine ASCENDing (no other word would fit). The latter, is Christ the OMEGA ... Teilhard de Chardin's "Omega Point." It's the Christ of the Mystics, as Meister Eckhart, whom Lunamoth mentioned on another thread.
I identify strongly with the latter. I had one experience that I wonder if the first applies. It was back in the 1960s, I think. I was a child of about 8. I was being put to sleep to get my tonsils removed. The last thing I remember was a strange dream in which I was clinging onto the roots of a huge elm tree. It felt very hopeless and scary, like I might fall off into the abyss. There was no soil anywhere; just darkness. Is this what you mean by a downward movement rather than ascending? Again, maybe my questions are off-topic. This one is my effort to understand what happens when people take drugs to alter their mind or mood, so from that perpective it's on-topic.

 

flowperson

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On another thread here Q and Ruby got into an interesting discussion about discernment and piercing the veil of reality. I believe that drug use facilitates veil piercing and discernment for some people, and in native societies drugs have been used in this way for millenia.

By the way Taijasi, do you know of a concoction referred to as "soma" which was/is supposedly used as a sacrament by natives of the Himalayan regions? It's supposedly derived from the flowers of a plant that only grows above 10,000 ft or so on the mountainsides there.

Although I've partaken in the past to a moderate extent I would describe it as a relaxing exercise for me more than a spiritual one. And I decided to do this in the past because I have allergic reactions to alchohol (instant headaches).

Q, i believe that your observations regarding the spiritual aspects of nature and children to be prescient. I didn't have much of a chance, though, to spend much time with my kids when they were young, so I spent a lot of time in meditation and had some marvelously rich spiritual episodes as a result. The term, "different strokes for different folks" comes to mind.

As a final statement on drugs, does anyone here remember how active US Army Intelligence, the FBI and the CIA were in the 50's and 60's in major US cities? My remembrance is that they set up drug operations in San Fran, LA, NYC, and in other cities where drugs were sold/dispensed to visitors, and then these people were filmed and recorded without their knowledge in order for government scientists to evaluate the threat level inherent in such activities. There was/is something in all this that is very threatening to governmental agencies/institutions. Perhaps decriminalizing some of the "controlled" substances in the past would have led to better outcomes today with regard to our heavily burdened criminal justice systems?

There were also reports to the effect that the armed services dispensed LSD to soldier/volunteers to evaluate the mind-altering effects of the substances on different types of recruits. And the current scourge of meth is another bad thing that we can blame on the Nazis whose chemists invented it during WWII so that their soldiers could fight for days at a time without rest.

flow....:cool:
 

RubySera_Martin

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Quahom1 said:
The best "drugs" of all as far as spirituality, are a mom and a dad, who put their family first, instead of their careers and self. That is a high, no artificial concoction can top. You want spirituality, and to be high at the same time? Go fishing or camping, or bike riding, or anything with your kid. Take an hour out of your time to concentrate on the kid, and the kid alone. Do it while you're both young, and it will become habit as you get older.

Funny thing about spending time with kids. They feel "older" and you feel "younger", after...;) And you both want to feel that way again, so you seek eachother out...:eek: :eek:

v/r

Q

You bored with the topic or what? The question was: Do or don't drugs help us connect with spirit?

You answer the question: Does or doesn't playtime with one's kid give one a high/connection with spirit?

Some commonalities, I guess.
 

taijasi

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RubySera_Martin said:
I identify strongly with the latter. I had one experience that I wonder if the first applies. It was back in the 1960s, I think. I was a child of about 8. I was being put to sleep to get my tonsils removed. The last thing I remember was a strange dream in which I was clinging onto the roots of a huge elm tree. It felt very hopeless and scary, like I might fall off into the abyss. There was no soil anywhere; just darkness. Is this what you mean by a downward movement rather than ascending? Again, maybe my questions are off-topic. This one is my effort to understand what happens when people take drugs to alter their mind or mood, so from that perpective it's on-topic.
RubySera,

I think you've pretty hit it head on. The general, overall danger to 9 out of 10, maybe even 99 out of 100 people is relatively minimal, but then - so is driving your car. And we generally need to drive a LOT more often than we need to take illicit drugs (including drinking alcohol)! ;)

The 1 in 10, or 1 in 100, is unfortunate, but here again - flip side of the coin - yes, I'd say that feeling/notion/idea of being "near the edge of the abyss" is not unlike some "bad trips" ... or similar negative drug experiences. Can happen for different reasons, bottom line is: it's avoidable. But then, so are most highway accidents!

I've had some pretty rough experiences, both attributable to drug influence (or alcohol), and also to "other." I can relate to the experience you describe at 8, having had something similar occur around that same age (fever of 104 or 105?). Very damn sick, not sure what it was. Will have to inquire. But anyway, it was not pleasant. Have had much, much more intense and frightening experiences as an adult - and this is part of why I would strongly discourage people in general from illict substances. But then, this too is a bit off topic ...

Or is it?

Peace,

taijasi
 

soma

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Hi,my first post, Hope i am not intruding.
When one gets high that person is high, just like the spiritual aspirant gets high, but the difference is one is using an external agent and one is simply going within the self. Drugs for some is the gateway to this spiritual experience and some get stuck in the gate and can't move relying on the stimulation of their glands by what agent they prefer. The physical agent can only shock the system to a certain awareness so hopefully the desire to increase the experience leads one to his inner path of joy and not to an increased dosage of a physical stimulation.

It is like going to the 20th floor outside the building and the physical scaffolding will only take you that far so the only way is down and then back up which takes more scaffolding each time because resistance to the chemical is built up. The people inside themselves, the building walked up the stairs, but they don't come down or maybe they choose to go down a couple of floors until they decide to climb again. They can climb even farther up the building and stop at whatever level they want. The views are the same, the path is gradual not as fast as going up the scaffold, but inside one is not disturbed by the wind.

We must remember the higher we go the farther down is the fall.
 

taijasi

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soma said:
Hi,my first post, Hope i am not intruding.
When one gets high that person is high, just like the spiritual aspirant gets high, but the difference is one is using an external agent and one is simply going within the self. Drugs for some is the gateway to this spiritual experience and some get stuck in the gate and can't move relying on the stimulation of their glands by what agent they prefer. The physical agent can only shock the system to a certain awareness so hopefully the desire to increase the experience leads one to his inner path of joy and not to an increased dosage of a physical stimulation.

It is like going to the 20th floor outside the building and the physical scaffolding will only take you that far so the only way is down and then back up which takes more scaffolding each time because resistance to the chemical is built up. The people inside themselves, the building walked up the stairs, but they don't come down or maybe they choose to go down a couple of floors until they decide to climb again. They can climb even farther up the building and stop at whatever level they want. The views are the same, the path is gradual not as fast as going up the scaffold, but inside one is not disturbed by the wind.

We must remember the higher we go the farther down is the fall.
Thank you, Soma! I think you've provided a clear and accurate metaphor, and you make the most important point of all without being patronizing or judgmental! :)

The last line really drives it home ...

Namaskara,

taijasi
 

RubySera_Martin

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soma said:
It is like going to the 20th floor outside the building and the physical scaffolding will only take you that far so the only way is down and then back up which takes more scaffolding each time because resistance to the chemical is built up. The people inside themselves, the building walked up the stairs, but they don't come down or maybe they choose to go down a couple of floors until they decide to climb again. They can climb even farther up the building and stop at whatever level they want. The views are the same, the path is gradual not as fast as going up the scaffold, but inside one is not disturbed by the wind.

That is strong imagery, esp. for a person like me who has always feared heights. In light of the original post, I guess you would be on the side of drugs do not provide the bridge to the spiritual.
 

soma

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Thank you for the welcome. The food we eat, our bodies and the world around us is made of chemicals and I think they can be a bridge to the spiritual, but once that bridge is crossed there is no need to cross it again and again. It means it is time to go on pass the bridge with appreciation that the bridge brought one to a higher path beyond the physical, beyond chemicals, and into the spiritual. There are many people on the spiritual path that crossed the bridge and there are others who took the ferry. Thank God we have so many ways for so many personalities.
 

Mathghamhain

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In South America the Indians that drink a tea from the Ayahuasca vine(call by the Incas “the vine of the dead), one Medicine man said it is to show new Medicine Men were they are going. Experienced Medicine man should have no need to take it because they should be able to go there with out the drink.

Most Native American Spiritual exercises are awareness exercises, to think that they have to take drugs to be spiritual to me is like a cousin of mine that was into reading “Carlos Castaneda” & believed that when he got stoned he was being Spiritual.

As for Peyote it is brewed as a tea to & I found this from a NA forum & had a link to the McLean hospital but I can not put links on just yet.

Study Finds No Psychological or Cognitive Deficits among Native Americans Who Use Peyote Regularly in Religious Settings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 04, 2005

Belmont, MA - Native Americans who use the hallucinogen peyote regularly in connection with religious ceremonies show no evidence of brain damage or psychological problems, report researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital.

In fact, members of the Navajo tribe who regularly use peyote actually scored significantly better on several measures of overall mental health than did subjects from the same tribe who were not members of the religious group and did not use the hallucinogen, according to a paper published in the Nov. 4 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

"We found no evidence that these Native Americans had residual neurocognitive problems. Despite lifelong participation in the peyote church, they performed just as well on mental tests as those who had never used peyote,'' said the study's first author John Halpern, MD, of McLean Hospital's Biological Psychiatry Laboratory. The study was funded, in part, by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Beyond that, the peyote users scored better on several measures of the Rand Mental Health Inventory (RMHI), a test used to diagnose psychological problems and determine overall mental health, he said. Among the RMHI scales are measures of anxiety, depression, loss of behavioral or emotional control, and psychological distress. Halpern emphasized that the better scores among peyote users were not necessarily attributable to the use of peyote itself, but more likely due to the social and psychological benefits of being members of the Native American Church community.

The study, which took five years to complete, looked at 61 members of the Native American Church (NAC), who regularly used the hallucinogenic cactus and had each ingested it at least 100 times as part of their religion. They were compared on a battery of tests with 79 Navajos who reported minimal use of peyote, and 36 tribe members who had past problems with alcohol but who were now sober.

The former alcohol users scored significantly worse, compared to the other two groups, on every scale of the mental health test and on two tests that looked at memory.

"Within the peyote group, total lifetime peyote use was not significantly associated with neuropsychological performance," concluded the paper. "We found no evidence of psychological or cognitive deficits among Native Americans using peyote regularly in a religious setting.''

The paper warned, however, that the conclusions should not be generalized to those who use hallucinogenic drugs in illicit settings. There are 300,000 Native Americans who regularly use peyote as a religious sacrament and are allowed to do so by law.

"This study applies only to Native Americans in this church," said Harrison G. Pope, Jr., MD, director of McLean's Biological Psychiatry Laboratory and senior author of the study. "From our data, we cannot say what the effects of peyote might be in any other group."

McLean Hospital, consistently ranked the nation's top psychiatric hospital by U.S. News & World Report, is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of Partners HealthCare.
 

earl

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Go take some DMT... Then come back here and ask that question again..... :)
Can't say I ever have-or any other psychedelic for that matter. But as to DMT-ever read the book by a psychiatrist by the name of Rick Strassman? His 1 and only book published was re to his research with the drug & associated speculation. I read the thing. Here's the guy's website:

Rick Strassman

have a good one, earl
 

earl

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I'd read through the guy's website a while back and it escaped my attention then. However, I just noticed an interesting coincidence in a statement he makes here:
Rick Strassman

as re his view that the fetus releases natural DMT 49 days after conception thereby marking the entry of the spirit into the form as in traditional Buddhist belief it was thought that the mindstream took 49 days to traverse the post-death bardo realms to enter into another "birth." Then again the guy had long studied Buddhism. earl
 
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