Drugs and spirituality

AndreG

Well-Known Member
Messages
50
Reaction score
2
Points
0
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 have read studies of sitting meditation affecting the brain. Deep breathing has physical effects on the brain. If spirituality is experienced during pranayama or through a practice of mindfulness, how is that different than through ingesting a substance.

Drinking ayahuasca, watching the breath, practicing Asana or Pranayama, not too sure what the issue would be if all of those paths lead to the same place.
 

nativeastral

fluffy future
Messages
1,525
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
scotland
In this article the researcher was told at the end of his journey into sacred plants, ''you go deeper into the physical to get to the infinite'. It seemed like a valuable teaching and one l had come a long way to receive'
COLORS
 

the breeze

blowing down the road
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Valencia, Spain
I haven't read the complete thread and I've never used so-called mind altering drugs but ...

There seems to be an assumption behind the thread that there's a matter/spirit duality. I'd say there are just types of consciousness (not levels), one of which makes the dualism seem very real. If consciousness shifts then reality moves with it. A shift in consciousness can be induced by relaxation, music, meditation, sleep and drugs amongst other things. From different vantage points reality looks different, the causal connections we accept as obvious disappear and are replaced by connections our normal waking consciousness cannot process or accept.

How things appear just depends on where you're looking at them from. From a certain vantage point science seems to be correct. From another vantage point it's completely irrelevant.
 

Tao_Equus

Interfaith Forums
Messages
5,826
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Edinburgh, scotland
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

Wow far out dude! Like exactly 49 days ?, like 1176 hours? like 70,560 minutes?, like 4,233,600 seconds? Come on man I gotta know.... tell me now!!!
 

Tao_Equus

Interfaith Forums
Messages
5,826
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Edinburgh, scotland
In this article the researcher was told at the end of his journey into sacred plants, ''you go deeper into the physical to get to the infinite'. It seemed like a valuable teaching and one l had come a long way to receive'
COLORS

lol... it was a joke before but maybe I got a psychic message!! You know peyote and liberties contain exactly the same alkaloid? And your posts have been a bit trippy lately... :D All praise sillycybin:D
 

nativeastral

fluffy future
Messages
1,525
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
scotland
jings it's certainly in the air with threads popping up but l've yet to imbibe any. It was on a rupert Sheldrake 'evolutionary mind' video l wanted to post on the truth thread as it reminded me of the memes spoken of and how humans have been on the earth for so long without the language as we know it [and therefore the concepts we cannot ordinarily unshackle]; and then this 'galactic' guy T.Mckenna started talking about the mushroom... then another video l got round to watching by david Wilcock, which l thought was about 2012, got round to discussing the ubiquitus symbology of the pine cone/pineal gland and DMT...
That video on buddhism and psychedelics was very enjoyable and surfing the net one can see the growing emergence of the use of these drugs in healing and consciousness awareness/awakening. shucks even alistair Appleton of 'escape to the country' is a fan of ayahuasca; as an facilitator to experiencing memories/the unconscious it has great therapeutic potential for past traumas but like anything setting and intention frames the whole experience.
 

Dean_Fox

Member
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Points
0
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.

As someone who has experimented with a few drugs as well as some deep meditation I can tell you this.

The physical effects of some of the milder hallucinogenics are not dissimilar to the effects of deep meditation or contemplative prayer. So is a physical effect induced by deep meditation any more real than one induced by a mild hallucinogenic? I think they are the same.

As to stronger hallucinogenic drugs the effect is to cause a kind of chemical brain storm which totally distorts the senses. Under the influence of such chemicals one can hear colours, see sounds and smell sounds; synaesthesia is a documented disorder in which people perceive sensory inputs differently to the majority.

One can see what one imagines, which is great if one can control what one imagines and not so good if one can't. One can also get a feeling that what one is experiencing is all very "profound". It is clear that "profound" spiritual experience is something the brain generates under certain conditions.

Is it real? I would say the drug experience is no less real than that experience during deep meditation, contemplative prayer, speaking in tongues, chanting mantra's etc.

I don't believe it is the spirit of God moving through you though, it is simply a state one can achieve through various techniques which can include less spiritual ones such as being at a rave concert where trance music is playing. Beware of any organisation selling this experience as some divine proof of God.
 

Mike Maybury

Member
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Points
0
It seems to me safer to calm the mind with meditation and contemplation. Even restricting food, as in fasting, seems a fairly safe thing to do ( probably good for our health as well!)
In all the above, your experiences might be said to be genuine, whether you call it spiritual or not. Taking drugs would seem a less reliable way to reach any real conclusions. After all any fool can take drugs!
Personally, at a young age (15) I found that Yoga breathing and meditation enabled me to realise the Oneness of Life, or Unity. There was even, after a couple of years a 'realisation'. Was it true, or not? All I know is that it altered the course of my life. At 74 I look back on a varied and interesting life, which changed dramatically at age 40, without any such 'spiritual' practices.
Having been wholefood vegetarian since age 17, I can point to a virtually disease free life ('flu once as an adult). Although now a firm atheist I am fascinated by the way religions have developed, divided and been interpreted and misinterpreted over the years.
I cannot pass on any experiences of drug use, as I have avoided all such as alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee, as well as the ones which are illegal etc. When reading of others lives, I consider myself to be very lucky- is there such a thing as luck, or do we make it ourselves? I consider that I have lived the equivalent of about three lives already, and I may live even longer. At present nothing major is going wrong, as in aches and pains, stiff joints etc. No- it's not down to yoga! It changed my life early on, by opening my mind towards respect for others and all creatures.
Even simple exercise, like walking and dancing, creates all the hormones and other chemicals within my brain and body that it seems to need. I never get a hangover or 'downer' as after alcohol or drugs.
Because I am a new contributor to this site I am not permitted to put a link to a Facebook Group, started by other people, about part of my life and activities.
 

Dean_Fox

Member
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Taking drugs would seem a less reliable way to reach any real conclusions. After all any fool can take drugs!
Sure, any fool can take drugs but does that fact invalidate the experience or make it any less than one experienced through meditation?

The biggest downside to taking drugs though is that once started the experience cannot be readily stopped.
 

Dharmaatmaa

Well-Known Member
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Russia
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... 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.

Yes, we can't argue that "the world around us is made of chemicals". But it's only the part of the whole world, it's physical one. And it certainly has some touch to the psychical, but what kind of?..
It's impossible to develop spiritual when eating food. Even a child knows that. We may progress psychics, not the spiritual. What's difference? Here it is: the spiritual progress is added to the undestructible part of a humane constitution; but the psychical (remember our drugs in question) is developed while being developed... the time passes, the progress is being lost.

I'd say there are just types of consciousness (not levels), one of which makes the dualism seem very real. If consciousness shifts then reality moves with it.
Perfectly agree. But whet kinds of 'types of consciousness' you mean, dear Breeze? Surely - the psychical (lower) and the spiritual (higher) ones. Right?
 

17th Angel

לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות
Messages
9,437
Reaction score
3
Points
0
Location
Have you seen the little piggies crawling in the d
Sure, any fool can take drugs but does that fact invalidate the experience or make it any less than one experienced through meditation?

Any fool can pray to a god above.
Any fool can cross their legs close their eyes and "ohm" their little hearts out.
Any fool..............

The biggest downside to taking drugs though is that once started the experience cannot be readily stopped.

There are many forms of addictive "drug" in this world.... Religion? Perhaps....
 

Tao_Equus

Interfaith Forums
Messages
5,826
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Edinburgh, scotland
Hey Alex have you noted that since we upped the ante by sending more troops to Afghanistan we see the return of exotic varieties of hashish we have not really seen since Reagans time? Everything from Kashmir twist to temple balls to gold seal seems to be available again.
 

17th Angel

לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות
Messages
9,437
Reaction score
3
Points
0
Location
Have you seen the little piggies crawling in the d
Hey Alex have you noted that since we upped the ante by sending more troops to Afghanistan we see the return of exotic varieties of hashish we have not really seen since Reagans time? Everything from Kashmir twist to temple balls to gold seal seems to be available again.


Actually lol, yes. There is alot more options and quantity out there. Living here in the S/w our dockyard/ports has had heavy traffic as of late. Awhile back most was sourced from Birmingham connections. But our shore line trade is booming.
 

Dean_Fox

Member
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Any fool can pray to a god above.
Any fool can cross their legs close their eyes and "ohm" their little hearts out.
Any fool..............



There are many forms of addictive "drug" in this world.... Religion? Perhaps....
You're correct there are certain "religious" practices which can be addictive due to the euphoric state they induce in practitioners; which is why I said early beware of anyone selling such experiences to promote their religion.

What is interesting is that the same experience of the baptist or evangelical "the spirit of the lord moving through you" can also be experienced while dancing to many other types of rhythmic music, such as trance music which as the name suggests can induce a trance like state. It's basically a pleasure rush that can be induced under certain circumstances. (A profound sense of pleasure and well being apparently moving up through your body.)

Likewise you can also get the same hysteria effects seen at evangelical meetings and similar at some rock concerts; heightened emotional states, fainting etc.

I look at some meetings, particularly the "Alpha Course" ones, and think those people barking like dogs or behaving like animals and running around in hysterics would at one time have been considered possessed by the devil, mainly because the pagan equivalent rituals induced the same hysterical effects.

You can also get the kind of shut down suggestible effect seen at some prayer meetings by employing certain interrogation techniques or "hypnosis".

Scientologists use what they call "auditing" which is essentially an interrogation coupled with a form of inwardly focused meditation which results in a heightened emotional and awareness state while at the same time reducing almost completely critical thinking. The same state can however result from meditation or chanting mass.

There are definitely addictive qualities to the feel good practices employed by many religions.

Whether drug induced, which I have to say beats most except in the ability to shut it down when desired, or induced through physical and mental activity such states really have nothing to do with God; although some may argue that God gave us the ability to induce such states for a reason.
 

Eudaimonist

In Galt We Trust
Messages
297
Reaction score
0
Points
0
It's impossible to develop spiritual when eating food. Even a child knows that.

I'm afraid that I don't know this. What do you mean that it's impossible to develop spiritually when eating food? Develop spiritually in what way? Why would food interfere with this?


eudaimonia,

Mark
 
Top