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Thread: Drugs and Enlightenment

  1. #1

    Drugs and Enlightenment

    Drugs have been used before by spiritual practitioner to try to get a shortcut to enlightenment, and although I have strong views against drug use in general, there is a physiological change that happens to the brain that produces a so called enlightenment experience.

    But my question is, if drugs can produce a physiological change that is said to be similar to an enlightenment experience, is enlightenment a physiological change in the brain? There is a lot of talk of enlightenment from a purely spiritual perspective, but there doesn't seem to be a lot about it from a more biological and physical perspective...

    what are some of your thoughts on this subject

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    About forty years ago I experienced a heightened state brought on by stress at work. For two or three days i experienced everything as being connected. I could anticipate what people would say and communicate without words. It was weird and i think I grossed out more than a few people before I knew what was happening. I was told by a psychiatrist that I had taken a rare abnormal behavioral swing but that I had worked through it , would stand me in good stead. I am convinced that if that had happened me today the medical community would have a far greater understanding of what had occurred and if back then it could have been nurtured in the right way I could be running my own religion right now.
    The brain, perhaps the most intricate instruments we get to use, is magnificent and if we are ever privileged enough to understand it's workings and control it's chemical output, we will surely be far more competent at solving the world's problems.

  3. #3

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    When I think of drugs I think of illegal drugs and I don't think that brings a state of Enlightenment. When I think of enlightenment I think of consciousnessness. When under the influence one may appear one way but in reality they are much less conscious which is why operation of normal things like driving walking or speaking can be impaired.

  4. #4

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Hi,

    Drugs do not lead to "enlightenment" or even "enlightened states" ... not by my definition anyway.

    Drugs lead to various unusual states of mind which clearly demonstrate the fantastic "mind theatre" at work between and before one's eyes, in the realm of perception, the senses, feeling. Yes, some do show us visions that testify to some Buddhist teachings ... like being able to see the deep interconnection of objects in the world we usually assume to be separate things. We might, through drugs (or likewise through mental disease) encounter unusual visions, feelings of peace (or of great fear and horror!), unusual thoughts and insights, feelings of love or of anger and paranoia and violence ... all that the mind is capable of. Some of that can be quiet entertaining, educational, exciting ... even life changing! Some can be quiet terrible, disturbing ... even (maybe more often, especially if drug use continues) life destroying!

    To visit the Grand Canyon is a wondrous experience, eye opening as the scene expands endlessly to the horizon. However, one best not wish to live there, a prisoner on the observation deck for tourists at the Grand Canyon! Wondrous place to visit ... wouldn't (and couldn't) live there. Rather, we buy a postcard or carve the timeless scene into our hearts ... then get back on the bus. Life is what is happening both before, during and after that. "Enlightenment" is realized on the bus or off, the whole WILD, MARVELOUS BUS TRIP OF LIFE is the scene ... and not just the wild trippy experience or startling scenery. (This is especially true as our Buddhist Practice allows us to realize that the whole trip .. and the bus, the fellow passengers both friendly and not, the wheels and the road, the bus stations and passing scenery ... both beautiful and ugly, happy and sad ... and the Grand Canyon itself are all intimately WHO WE ARE AND WE JUST THAT!)

    Opiates will allow us a peace so all pervading that addicts will steal for it, sell themselves for it ... forget to eat, forget to move. Such is not life either. Between doses of "peace" they will be filled with divisions, fears, regrets, sadness. One runs from life or into the drug with attachment and desire. However, "Enlightenment" is a Peace of One Piece that we realize right in the heart of life ... that mends our hearts, even the broken hearts of the drug addict.

    Oh, back in my college days, I experimented with this and that and the other thing (fortunately, not to excess and the point of doing myself harm like so many of my friends and acquaintances back then). I have personally understood the real meanings buried in the lyrics of every Pink Floyd and King Crimson album. I have seen God too ... Yawn. I learned that the mind is plastic, endlessly creative ... and that what we think we see before us, so solid and defined, is rather an illusion, a dream. Those experiences, like all my studies in college, were educational at their best ... or just harmless fun. But, ultimately, they were like going to see a movie with excellent special effects ... a truly moving and startling film that may have deep impact on one's life ... but which soon comes to an end. One does not want to stay and live in the movie theatre more than a short time, never coming out.

    "Enlightenment" is no "one off" experience ... see it, and be done. Rather, "Enlightenment" is Practice and Realization ... making Wisdom and Compassion real and working in this life. It must work in the morning, it must work at night ... it must work as friends, spouses, parents, workers ... it must work in the hospital emergency room and the funeral room, the birthday party and the vacation to the Grand Canyon ... it must be PUT TO WORK. It is seeing that all of this life is a movie and our minds are the "movie theatre" ... sometimes comedy sometimes tragedy, but also a film we are acting and directing as we go along. Up to us.

    And that is not something that merely can come out of a shot or a pill.

    Gassho, J **

  5. #5

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    ** I do also feel that neurological and other medical research is making qreat strides in discovering what makes a "peaceful, healthy mind" from a "violent, unstable mind", and in general about many of our emotions and sensations. I do feel that this research will help us in our Practice someday soon. For example, Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin (a Buddhist himself, the fellow who keeps having Tibetan monks meditate in MRI machines) just opened this place ...

    http://www.investigatinghealthyminds.org/

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    ** I do also feel that neurological and other medical research is making qreat strides in discovering what makes a "peaceful, healthy mind" from a "violent, unstable mind", and in general about many of our emotions and sensations. I do feel that this research will help us in our Practice someday soon. For example, Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin (a Buddhist himself, the fellow who keeps having Tibetan monks meditate in MRI machines) just opened this place ...

    http://www.investigatinghealthyminds.org/
    I have read about them. Yes, they make impressive studies of the mind and meditation.

    Thank you for the link!

  7. #7

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment


  8. #8

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    I have had some exquisite highs. Not only through substances, but also through clinging to "exciting" circumstances. No matter how high I got, I always came down. The vacation always comes to an end. The high becomes a headache. Reality is boss.

    I understand it this way: if a person takes a psychedelic drug, what happens? The mind begins functioning in a fascinating but very abnormal way. Hallucinations occur. We feel that we are the center of the universe, that all revolves around us. This is the ego at its worst and purest form. It is the infant magnified to become a god. This is easy to understand. All that delusion is caused by a small amount of drug affecting the nervous system.

    Enlightenment never puts self at the center of the universe. It sees through the illusion of self to discover that we are not the center of the universe, but the universe is the center of itself, and we are part of that. A perfect wholeness, even when we feel out of joint.

    Buddha is about transcending "high" and "low." This reminds me of the "Roller Coaster" talk Jundo gave a few years ago. What goes up comes down. Enjoy the ride.

    gassho
    Greg

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Very well put Greg! _/_

    The irony of this one even gave me a little chuckle
    A perfect wholeness, even when we feel out of joint.
    :lol:

  10. #10

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    The more detailed a depiction of "enlightenment" is, the easier it is for the brain to manufacture it. Perhaps the greatest temptation Mara has to offer is to feign defeat.

  11. #11
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Perhaps the greatest temptation Mara has to offer is to feign defeat.
    So true, Rev R.


    gassho

    Rev T.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    Reality is boss.
    Gassho.

  13. #13

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev R
    The more detailed a depiction of "enlightenment" is, the easier it is for the brain to manufacture it. .
    Few words great content. Gassho Shogen

  14. #14
    disastermouse
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Mind =/= brain. They are two sides of one reality, but one is not reducible to the other.

  15. #15

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Took much LSD , Mushrooms, etc. in my youth, and had too spend the next twenty years recovering from being "spiritual".

  16. #16

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Brad Warner wrote an interesting post on this topic a few months back: http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/2011...-of-drugs.html

    He uses the analogy of a mountain climber versus someone who takes a helicopter to the top of a mountain. Even if we accept the premise that drugs can lead to some sort of enlightenment experience (I don't), I think Warner offers a good explanation of why it doesn't matter:

    Let’s say you met a veteran mountaineer with over a quarter century of climbing experience, a person who has written books on mountain climbing and routinely personally instructs others in the art of climbing. And let’s imagine what would happen if you tried to convince this guy that people who take helicopters to the tops of mountains get everything that mountain climbers get and get it a whole lot easier.

    The mountain climber would certainly tell you that the breathtaking view a guy who takes a helicopter to the top of a mountain gets is not in any way, shape or form the same view that a person who climbs the mountain herself gets.

    To the mountain climber, the guy in the helicopter is just a hyperactive thrill seeker who wants nothing more than to experience a pretty view without putting any effort into it. The helicopter guy thinks the goal of mountain climbing is to be on top of the mountain and that climbing is an inefficient way to accomplish this goal. He just doesn’t get it. At all.

    The helicopter guy misses out on the amazing sights there are to see on the way up. He doesn’t know the thrill of mastering the mountain through his own efforts. He doesn’t know the hardships and dangers involved in making the climb. And he’ll never know the awesome wonder of descending the mountain back into familiar territory. All he’s done is given some money to a person who owns a helicopter. He probably couldn’t even find the mountain himself, let alone make it to the top. When there are no helicopters around, the poor guy is helplessly grounded.

    If the helicopter guy claims that he has reached the same place as the mountain climber, the mountain climber knows in ways the helicopter guy can’t even fathom that the helicopter guy is a fool.

    To a mountain climber, the goal of mountain climbing is not the moment of sitting on top enjoying the view. That’s just one small part of the experience. It may not even be the best part. To a mountain climber, every view, from every point on the mountain is significant and wonderful.

    People who think that the pinnacle of the experience is that moment of being right on the tippy-top, don’t understand the experience at all. The poor attention addled things probably never will.

    What I am working on in meditation involves every single moment of life. So-called “peak experiences” can be fun. But they no more define what life is about that so-called “mundane experiences.” When you start making such separations, you have already lost the most precious thing in life, the ability to fully immerse yourself in every experience.

  17. #17

    Drugs and Enlightenment

    Hch-€

  18. #18

    Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    Hch-€
    My Iphone decided to post this. No, I'm not on drugs.

    On a side note:
    Some Rinzai people describe their first Kensho experience as having a nervous breakdown. Could this kind of red-hot-iron-ball-in-throat-induced insight be compared to seeing the oneness of the universe during a high?

    /Pontus

  19. #19
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    My personal experiences in the late 70s with hallucinogenics were certainly essential to my being aware that there is a reality other than what we see every day. While I have no illusions to think that drugs can lead to any sort of enlightenment - especially the type fictionally depicted on the Casteneda books - those glimpses I had changed my life and led me to start looking for what was different.

    Interestingly, SonofRage, posting above, lists his location as Queens, NY, which is where I grew up, and had those experiences. ;-)

  20. #20
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    Some Rinzai people describe their first Kensho experience as having a nervous breakdown. Could this kind of red-hot-iron-ball-in-throat-induced insight be compared to seeing the oneness of the universe during a high?
    That's an interesting thought. I don't know exactly what a "nervous breakdown" is; I always thought it was another word for depression. I've been there, and I didn't see any oneness of the universe. But I can understand that a powerful, sudden psychic event, where the universe pulls the rug out from under your feet, may force you to see reality in a different way.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    On the more troublesome days of my anxiety, insight or realization would feel scary.

  22. #22
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia
    On the more troublesome days of my anxiety, insight or realization would feel scary.
    If it's the proverbial rug pulled out from under your feet, yea. But if it's bliss and peace, I think it would be quite the opposite. I've had a few experiences - when sitting, not just when taking drugs - of very deep calm, bliss and peace. They're interesting. I was told not to expect them, or seek for them, and I manage to not do so. But even just the memory of their happening is a reassurance that reality is not all there is.

  23. #23

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    I don't understand the mountaintop image. If "Enlightenment" is realizing bodymind and world as such , alone and unobstructed. What could taking a drug accomplish except to move away from that self-same recognition? When I was taking psychotropic drugs, I was immersed in Theosophical ideas, and trying to realize transcendence from the world. It was very other-than-this, very grasping. Buddhism introduced me to non-grasping. It was very different than climbing a spiritual mountain for a "higher" view.

  24. #24

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    I think a lot of the problems with people equating drugs with enlightenment also come from a misconception about what enlightenment is. We place so much emphasis on prolonged joy and instant gratification (at least we do in the U.S.A.), that we always envision these things as our highest ideal for everything. Even in relationships, many people have a misconception that relationships should always feel like that initial high of infatuation and that their partner should be the sole source of their joy in their life. They don't realize that a real relationship takes work and that it is more finding peace with your partner and finding a true friend. I think they place these unrealistic expectations on enlightenment as well. They believe that enlightenment is this constant state of elation, so they use whatever methods they can to reach that state. Enlightenment, at least i my very very very limited understanding, is more akin to a calming breath. It is the contentment and acceptance of just being. I think everyone has enlightening experiences from time to time, and when this happens, you feel a rush of joy, but then you must come back down to earth. However, I could be wrong.

  25. #25

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    I'll leave "Enlightenment" for teachers to talk about and stay where my feet belong. which is practice. Wanting this moment to be, feel, other than it is, is the cause of Dukkha. This moment as such is non-Dukkha. That is the simple ongoing practice. Surely no one here thinks Enlightenment is about a high or a good feeling, we are not talking about that are we?

  26. #26

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    I'll leave "Enlightenment" for teachers to talk about and stay where my feet belong. which is practice. Wanting this moment to be, feel, other than it is, is the cause of Dukkha. This moment as such is non-Dukkha. That is the simple ongoing practice. Surely no one here thinks Enlightenment is about a high or a good feeling, we are not talking about that are we?
    Sorry, Kojip. I'm not sure which part of my post is causing an issue. I'm not claiming anyone here has the misconception that I was referring to, nor am I claiming to be an authority on enlightenment, I'm just going by what I've read from people much wiser than me. On the issue of "drug induced" enlightenment, I'm just speaking from past experiences with acquaintances. Also, my statement about "just being" was an attempt at a succinct statement referring to what you stated in your second and third sentences. Sorry, that I'm confused or if I offended.

    Another question. If in the past, you took drugs to "transcend" this world. Do you feel that this was Dukkha, or do you feel that this is a useful spiritual practice? I'm just curious, because I know a number of people who still do this.

  27. #27
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by fanndrew
    I think a lot of the problems with people equating drugs with enlightenment also come from a misconception about what enlightenment is. We place so much emphasis on prolonged joy and instant gratification (at least we do in the U.S.A.), that we always envision these things as our highest ideal for everything. Even in relationships, many people have a misconception that relationships should always feel like that initial high of infatuation and that their partner should be the sole source of their joy in their life. They don't realize that a real relationship takes work and that it is more finding peace with your partner and finding a true friend. I think they place these unrealistic expectations on enlightenment as well. They believe that enlightenment is this constant state of elation, so they use whatever methods they can to reach that state. Enlightenment, at least i my very very very limited understanding, is more akin to a calming breath. It is the contentment and acceptance of just being. I think everyone has enlightening experiences from time to time, and when this happens, you feel a rush of joy, but then you must come back down to earth. However, I could be wrong.
    A agree with both points. First, the US, and the western world in general, is very reward-oriented, and anything that gives a dopamine rush is considered to be a Good Thing. People want a quick fix of happiness, and when it goes away, they grasp and try and find another. (And it bothers me _a lot_ that the Dalai Lama and other buddhist authors and teachers focus on "happiness" so much.)

    As for enlightenment, I also agree with your idea. My guess is that, just as mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers, everything else is the same, but an enlightened one just sees through the filters that prevent us from seeing what things Really Are.

    Some interesting commentary here: http://www.mro.org/zmm/teachings/daido/teisho49.php

  28. #28

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by fanndrew
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    I'll leave "Enlightenment" for teachers to talk about and stay where my feet belong. which is practice. Wanting this moment to be, feel, other than it is, is the cause of Dukkha. This moment as such is non-Dukkha. That is the simple ongoing practice. Surely no one here thinks Enlightenment is about a high or a good feeling, we are not talking about that are we?
    Sorry, Kojip. I'm not sure which part of my post is causing an issue. I'm not claiming anyone here has the misconception that I was referring to, nor am I claiming to be an authority on enlightenment, I'm just going by what I've read from people much wiser than me. On the issue of "drug induced" enlightenment, I'm just speaking from past experiences with acquaintances. Also, my statement about "just being" was an attempt at a succinct statement referring to what you stated in your second and third sentences. Sorry, that I'm confused or if I offended.

    Another question. If in the past, you took drugs to "transcend" this world. Do you feel that this was Dukkha, or do you feel that this is a useful spiritual practice? I'm just curious, because I know a number of people who still do this.
    Hi fanndrew. It wasn't anything in particular about your post. I'm just getting oriented on this site and trying to get a sense of where other folk's practice is at, whether we are on the same-ish page. Nice to meet you.

    Regarding your question. Yes it was all Dukkha, wall to wall Dukkha. Cessation of Dukkha, the Third Noble Truth, wasn't even on the radar yet. It was useful in that I learned first hand that conditions are conditions, whether subtle and spiritual, or gross and mundane.
    Pursuit of one condition over another was a tail chasing exercise that was exhausting and lead, fortunately, to encounter Buddhist practice and a opportunity to stop.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by fanndrew
    We place so much emphasis on prolonged joy and instant gratification (at least we do in the U.S.A.), that we always envision these things as our highest ideal for everything.
    I have often been in this trap.

    Quote Originally Posted by fanndrew
    Even in relationships, many people have a misconception that relationships should always feel like that initial high of infatuation and that their partner should be the sole source of their joy in their life.
    ...Been in this trap too.

    I have also been in the trap of letting marijuana be the "fix-all" in my life.

    Practice has straightened the way.

  30. #30
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia

    Practice has straightened the way.
    Ah, if only I had found that out at an age as young as yours... :-)

  31. #31
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by kirkmc
    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia

    Practice has straightened the way.
    Ah, if only I had found that out at an age as young as yours... :-)
    I bow to you anyway. _/_

    The way has straightened, but I still sometimes go full-speed at the humps for fun.

  32. #32

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Hello, Kojip,

    I always say that experience is the greatest teacher. I admire you for being able to use that suffering as your teacher, and I think it is good that you have that experience in your pocket to be able to maybe help people in the same situation in the future.

    Amelia and Kirkmc: I'm pretty sure that we've all been in those traps from time to time, and we will probably make those mistakes again - we're only human.

    I hope everyone is having a good holiday season!

    -Andrew

  33. #33

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Here's what I usually say about mountains and hiking, much as Bro. Brad says. While drugs can bring about some psychedelic experience, peak experience, opium happiness, or "seeing God" ... all are entertaining or educational places to visit at best, misleading or traps to addiction at worst. Rather ...

    Our way is a very special way to climb a mountain. It is a lifetime climb (maybe many lifetimes in some ways of looking at it), and there will be many peaks and valleys, much changing scenery along the way. However, the point of the climb is not, as it would seem to be, the "summit" way up high or some distant goal at the end of the day. Rather, it is to realize that the Buddha-mountain was all around us all along, in every footstep, and the hiking was the arrival at that never-departed-in-each-step. (In fact, the mountain is just ultimately us all along, and "us" the mountain ... and no "us" and no "mountain" and no "Buddha" ... and the very walking realizes the mountain, makes the mountain-us come alive and walk! Are we walking upon the mountain, is the mountain walking under us or Buddha over mountain, or is it all one dance of All One Mountain Climbing Mountain?)

    In any case, each step by step of the hike is eventually seen as the point of the trip (a Realization), and the realizing (making real) of the hiking (a Realization of the Realization) ... not so much the arrival at some distant point over the next hill. The hike was the point AND the arrival when known so. And this Realization IS the arrival at a most wonderful destination that had always been underfoot.

    There is no place to stumble no place to fall ... yet beware. On this mountain, all paths are still the mountain (ultimately, What Mountain?) ... Certainly, all paths just go where they go, and we always are just where we are. Yet, though there is no place to "get to" ... some lead in circles, into poison ivy or right off the cliff! Watch Your Step!

    Something like that.

    Gassho, J

  34. #34

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    I've had this opinion about drugs and $foo almost universally. If you haven't done drugs you can't speak to the subject. I usually have this argument with people regarding the "bad/evilness" of drugs.

    I grew up around drugs. My mom had spent the time up to being a mom living a really wild life, My best friend (we refer to each other as hetero-lifemates) has done A LOT of "experimentation" (a lot of psychedelics), and I did my own bit of experimentation. And I think we would all say that drugs wont shortcut you to enlightenment. My buddy thinks it "opens new realms of thought" or some BS but he has never used the E word. All because we have had the same realization. Drugs wear off then you are stuck in the sucky real world again.

    But if you wanna try it GO FOR IT, the worst thing you can do (spiritually) is be wrong, waste a lot of time, and enjoy the crap out of it. Just be mindful of the drug laws in you country. Although prison would give you a lot of time to stare at a blank wall...

    *note: I am not advising going to prison [just covering my butt [img]{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  35. #35

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Quote Originally Posted by threethirty

    But if you wanna try it GO FOR IT, the worst thing you can do (spiritually) is be wrong, waste a lot of time, and enjoy the crap out of it.
    An acid trip is fascinating because it is psychically expansive and non-ordinary, but that non-ordinariness is no closer to "suchness" than ordinariness. A blissful experience of Godhead is no more Holy than an uninspired experience of the subway on a Monday morning, no closer to anything. My first teacher use to say "It's not about having an experience, but whatever experience is present as such".
    So in that sense drugs are truly useless. But, I'd propose that they are not merely useless, but handicapping, and point to my own health as an example. There have been physiological consequences. Acid (for instance) is punishing, stressful on the whole system, and this is even if it isn't cut with crap, which it usually is. Physically all those trips set me back by frying this nervous system. Mentally it set me back by creating a massive expansion of samsaric space, abstracting psychic worlds within psychic worlds. I think it was Trungpa who describe an acid trip as "super-samsara". That about sums it IMO.

  36. #36
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Kojip,

    your words are spot on. And your teacher is right.

    my mantra; breathing
    my deity; the ordinary
    my practice, wonder


    something like that


    gassho


    Taigu

  37. #37

    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Hello Taigu. I didn't see your response before posting (heedlessly :lol: ) elsewhere. Thank you. Drug use did set things back, by amping up my need to find a transcendent escape. It only brought suffering and fatigue, and wasted time. Though maybe it wasn't wasted because lessons learned "cheek to cold wall" tend to be learned well. Gassho kojip.

    Incidentally and maybe bit off topic, This Dharma name "Kojip" was given by a teacher who was very tough on me. According to him it meant Four Noble Truths , but that word actually means "Stubborn" in Korean, and it is true that lessons are hard learned.

  38. #38
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Throwing my two small cents to the mix...

    I know drugs were part of the spiritual life back in the day but now we have science to tell us that with discipline and dedication in our zazen, we can achieve the same effects.

    Thing is it takes way longer and a lot of work. Drugs are fast and easy, but the downside is all the nefarious effects they have on the human brain and mind.

    Now if you ask me, my country and lots of others are suffering right now because of drugs. We are currently on war against cartels and so far Mexico have lost 50,000 + lives to it. There are who sell them and who use them, being the ones who sell them criminals by any law of any country.

    The illegal drugs industry is full of death, violence, deceit, wasted lives and guns. Buying drugs, no matter what users say to justify themselves, only supports the industry of death.

    So, if you use drugs no only you are taking a path to self destruction, but you are helping destroy complete nations for it.

    Sorry for being this harsh, but my family and thousands of other families live every day in fear thanks to the war against cartels. And the sad truth is that cartels are winning.

    So my question to drug users is... do you really want to support an industry based on death and suffering?

  39. #39
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Drugs and Enlightenment

    Choco,

    It's a question of which drugs. If I understand correctly, the problems in Mexico are essentially due to cocaine, which is the drug that brings in the most money. Most discussions of drugs and "spiritual" uses revolve around hallucinogens, which certainly don't make much money.

    Not to defend one over the other, but "drugs" in general includes a lot of things.

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