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    1. #26
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    2. #27
      Out of the Matrix Neo Neo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      It seems like we're talking past each other to an extent. I'll try a couple other approaches.

      P1 If a bird falls out of its nest before it has its feathers, it may die. If a hibernating animal wakes up before the snow is receding, it may starve. There is a way that things work, and as a conscious individual with will, things go better if you are attune to that and work with it. Put your pants on, then your shoes. Open the door, then try to walk through it. It is worthwhile to ask whether taking a drug is like trying to fly before you are fledged. But before we can whether something is out of place, we have to have to recognize that it is possible for something to be out of place, without becoming lost in semantics. Yes, if someone causes you to fall off of a third floor balcony, you are likely to be in a lot of pain for a long time. This works is exactly as it should, everything is in some sense in its place. Yet usually it is still better not to cause people to fall off of balconies.

      P2 Yes it does matter how you arrive at a transcendent experience, as much as it matters how old you are when you leap out of the nest, or whether you are intimate with someone's consent or you force yourself on them. The transcendent reality is always there whether we're aware of it or not. But there are right ways and wrong ways to approach it, just like with everything else, and what way you choose helps determine the impact it has on you. If you say the important thing is heart, OK. But heart needs help from the head, and will can be confused about what heart is. My hypothetical prostitute has a small heart. Presumably there are prostitutes with big hearts and clear heads, forced into their line of work by circumstances. But if they choose it willingly, given better alternatives, their way of life tends to be in conflict with a big and open heart, and wears down on it.

      P3 Imagine a guillotine controlled by the roll of a die, 5 outcomes the subject lives and one they die. When there's a chance they die, there's a kind of opening where they fall through death into worlds beyond, even if they don't. And we can empathetically feel and see into that opening, if we are there with them. And so, we can capture someone, play with their life this way, and have a transcendent experience. (Intuitively I'm pretty sure of this, call it a past life memory if you want.) Does it not matter how we arrived there? Wouldn't it be better than to use DMT than play with human sacrifice? Of course it would. It does matter how you get there.

      P4 Suppose I had a yoga class, and 15 percent of the people who enroll in my class become permanently crippled. It would be ridiculous if I said, "well, the other 85 percent seem to be fine, so for the other 15 percent that must have been their karma, or perhaps they chose not to follow instructions". This, in my observation, tends to be the attitude of drug users and occult teachers when acquaintances get into trouble with what they're pushing. I have a problem with this.

      P5 So you have a transcendent experience. Why? How does it change you? The reality is there regardless, why do you need to be aware of it now? Becoming aware of it can strengthen you, or heal you, or it can damage you. As with everything else, you can push on anyway, oblivious all warning signs, and you will get something. Nature rarely thwarts your will entirely. But it is better to heed the warning signs. Everyone knows this. And yet, people are philosophically conflicted, and also believe in attainment by force of will, that the spirit trumps mere logical and temporal and considerations. Raja yoga is every bit as confused in this regard as the culture of psychedelic experimentation, in my opinion.

      P6 What method do I suggest? Simple honesty, the Golden Rule, asking questions. And if its truth you want, the first requirement is willingness to give up one's self image as a courageous seeker of truth. If you shrink away from recognizing yourself as a knave or buffoon, to the extent that's the reality, then you're not really asking.

      Again, this isn't a criticism of how you came to be wherever you are. We are all forced to choose between greater and lesser evils, its part of our condition. I'm just trying to paint something of how it all looks from where I am.

      I have to go now.


      I think I've both read enough of your responses as well as having these same thoughts myself, to be able to say that I know where you are coming from Shadowofwind. I tried to be brief and concise but I still ended up with several paragraphs, so while it is a lot I feel it is still coherent. I have added in "P1", "P2", ect in your quote so I can reference it back here in my responses for the sake of clarity. I am also replying to this post as I think it captures your own thoughts well and ones I can relate to from my own experience.

      P1 - Yes, I'd agree both literally and metaphorically that people should ask themselves those questions about any kind of drug. Then again I am taking a cautious approach since I am talking about this publicly and don't know who is reading his personally And especially psychedelics if they are attempting higher dosages and amounts. This is similar to the way I was thinking before I had any of these experiences. That whatever this stuff is, whether transcendent experiences are actually happening or not, it seemed to be too extreme a method of pursuing these goals. I think another story, perhaps one you had in mind, would be of Daedalus and Icarus flying too close to the sun and having their wax wings melt. On the other hand I think the types of recklessness have to be specified as well. Is is spiritual, emotional, physical, health related, or a combo of them? In the worst cases (and this isn't putting it lightly) people could end up in catatonic mental despair or actually falling out of balconies, but I'd say that the former is more likely to happen. From what I've read and experienced, it seems more likely to have someone terrified, having panic attacks, and inducing PTSD afterwards, since most of the experience is mental effects. However people can also be injured too, but I think this can be avoided more with friends nearby (that are sober and proactively watching over said person) and not doing drugs alone. But again I think these would be the train-wreck disaster situations and most people with common sense will be able to at least survive through it, if not be fine.

      P2 - First I would agree that the "transcendent reality" is always there as you say. But I think that saying there are good and bad ways of getting there is a biased statement as well. Not to say that my view isn't biased (it is otherwise I wouldn't be in this debate ) but I think that you are implying that drugs (namely psychedelics) as being worse off ways of achieving transcendent states is a biased statement. That is beside the point here, though. This paragraph reminds me of what you mentioned about new age spiritual people being aggressive or ill-tempered. Something along the lines of trying to follow spirituality but disregarding other things and being blindsided by their own beliefs. I can personally relate to this as people I know are like this. Not to name names, but lets say Edward is one of them. Edward talks of having inner peace and calmness, but yet gossips and talks rude and offensively of others in private. Obviously this does not exude inner peace and calmness. So while Edward feels that they have achieved some sort of spiritual plateau, in reality it is like you said about the stuff going on in their head being different. And I don't presume psychedelic use (or any drug use) to be purely altruistic. Like others would say online, psychedelics are tools that can be used for various reasons and purposes. Not everyone is a good guy or women, but not everyone is the bad one either. I firmly believe if the truth and unfiltered information on psychedelics were known at the level of common knowledge that there could be a majority of friendly users. Whether or not this happens anytime soon remains to be seen, but I think the possibility is there.

      P3 - Yes totally, there are various ways of getting there. Psychedelics aren't necessary for spiritual awareness. And they are not necessary to show someone how much they need to change, stop drinking, stop cheating, or whatever bad habits they have. They aren't necessary to show that our civilization is on the verge of using up our planet's resources unless we come up with a different plan or way of life. Except! For some reason Western civilization keeps going on and doesn't seem keen on changing our ways (just petitioning Wall Street isn't going to cut it). So what seems to be a catalyst for awareness and transformation in helping realizing these type of things? For me it seems that psychedelics can deliver, but again this is just one method in the sea of methods that are available. Part of what can also happen, and should happen, is for people to listen to what psychedelic users have to say. That way they don't have to do it themselves if they abstain, and people's experiences usually coalesce into messages such as "we're all one", "don't destroy the planet", "we still know so little", "just love!". These messages aren't new, but I think hearing them again once and a while helps to remind us we are more than our college degree or 9 to 5 job. TL,DR, yes there are many ways but I'm placing my bets on psychedelics.

      P4 - Of course there is controversy and risks with psychedelics (as with any drugs), and I think your example describes them well. Health and legality are big ones. I do think that the karma and not following instructions excuses are BS, and that this stuff shouldn't be pushed on anyone. I think if someone wants to be completely careful, then they can choose not to do it at all. Or maybe someone just does not want to do psychedelics. This is perfectly fine. People don't need to be tripping or experiencing the divine to have a good time in a park or watching a movie, and shouldn't be anyway. This is exactly why I think there needs to be discussion on these matters in order to facilitate safe and responsible psychedelic use. I don't claim to be someone who has always been careful or responsible, but because of my experiences it seems like it is possible for people to be careful with it.

      And this could be my own personal disagreement but I feel like implying that everyone being ok just is not going to happen. Your post in another thread about "risks of meditation" is a good case in point. So does this mean we should regulate mediation? How do we tell if someone is suitable for meditation or not? I think when it comes down to the reality of psychedelic use that there will need to be research on the part of the user as well as adopting a certain common sense. And as with any substance. I don't want to go here, but coffee is incredibly addictive, yet we sell it everywhere. There can be caffeine overdoses. You can also overdose on nutmeg for crying out loud. And don't get us started on alcohol. So while I think the yoga example is useful in describing how not everyone will come out unscathed, I just can't be the parent for everyone and neither can you (or anyone else in this forum). People will be people, and so there can be huge lengths gone to make things safe, while there are still people that unfortunately get hurt or in trouble. I just think if people were more aware and educated on these matters that the amount of recklessness would be substantially subsided.

      And again I can see where you are coming from, so I would also say having respect for other people and their own beliefs. Psychedelics shouldn't be idly recommended. And people have varying responses to them. Its hard to explain or relate bad trips since you can't really "be there" with them in a physical sense. In those cases apologizing and helping them to establish normalcy again would be my advice. Its tough but unfortunately there will be people experimenting with this stuff that run into bad experiences. If that's the case then I would say to avoid them altogether or never to do extreme things like DMT or large amounts of things like mushrooms.

      P5 - I think my previous posts in this thread, as well as the other Psychonauts thread, is what could be substituted as a response. Things that I've experienced and encountered as well as what others have encountered. For now I'll say this: Unconditional love and universal consciousness is an answer, but if you really search then there will always be mystery.

      P6 - I'm not sure what you are implying here. I get the asking part and I think that is a good way of putting it. Maybe to add on to that, is the saying "be careful what you wish for"? It seems as though you as saying that people seriously doing psychedelics need to ask themselves if this is just some kind of insanity. I have asked myself this but I don't think its all craziness. As I said above, I think that the "transcendent reality" is always there, so therefore I also think that psychedelics are a way of directly experiencing and accessing it. I try to adopt a somewhat experimental viewpoint and disprove certain things. Either way I either get the feeling that what is going on in the psychedelic state is actually real, somehow. Or that I am challenged by something new in regard to previous information or phenomenon. Anyway back to your post. I think those are questions definitely worth asking and that this willingness to consider the psychedelic endeavor as crazy shows a sign of awareness. Perhaps even intelligence.


      In closing though, I'm not sure what good I am doing in this convo, as I keep responding pro-psychedelics even if I don't mean to. I also am not meaning to talk past any type of viewpoint, so if it appears if I am it is coincidental. Again though I need to keep the stance and where I am coming from. Your views present a lot of valid questions and remind me of how I felt towards this stuff before I experienced it for myself. But I am not saying for you or anyone else to go out and do it to see what I've seen. Going off of P6, I think it ultimately should come down to an adults consented and informed choice. What I'm doing here is to try to explain it best with regard to what I have seen and experienced. So my viewpoints certainly do deviate from yours. Although I am interested in having these discussions since I think bridging the gaps between different people and groups is what should happen. Our views might not give way to one another, but I think these difficult conversations are part of the process of this integration. I'm probably going to either respond less or simply observe, since I have basically said my part and I would be either repeating or giving extra details to what I have already said. I'm up for PMs though. I feel like I've said my piece here though.
      Last edited by Neo Neo; 07-26-2014 at 06:22 AM.

    3. #28
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      Hi, I read all that a couple of times, and watched/listened to the video. I can't do a point by point, because I'm just typing on my phone while I wait for my son's soccer game to start. Here are a few thoughts though.

      From your response, I still you're missing the main thrust of my argument. I'll try again, in a slightly different way. Given that a transcendent reality is always present, why is it that most people are mostly unaware of it most of the time? I don't think this is a natural and inevitable condition, even though it is historically pervasive in our world. Our problem then isn't so much to find a way to get more of that transcendent experience. Our problem is finding the root of why the experience seems to slip away eventually, and addressing that. I don't doubt at all that hallucinogens can give transcendent experiences. What I'm saying is that doesn't really help. In that sense it is not one approach among many that work. To the extent that the drug approach is like other approaches, those approaches don't work either. Meditation, while generally being safer than drug experimentation, fails in pretty much the same way, and I've written about that elsewhere. I think I'm overstating my case somewhat by saying this, but I'm trying to highlight the part of it that I think is missed. Yes, caffeine is in my view a very poor long term strategy for alertness, and I marvel that so many people get drawn into it. And yes, drinking alcohol is terrible for you. (I know about the studies that say wine is good for the heart. I think those are debunkable, but don't want to get sidetracked.) The fact that there are also a lot of other behaviors that are also destructive doesn't alter the nature of hallucinogen use. We're not debating whether it ought to be legal or illegal, or whether it is worse than other forms of abuse. We're debating whether it is a form of abuse at all, and whether it is an aid to enlightenment. I think we're not going to agree because we see and weigh the costs differently, and also have a much different feeling about what the long term result of an alternative approach would be. So my point was to state my conclusion based on what I've seen, as someone who has known a lot of stoners for many years. Some of you have older mentors who encourage drug use, so I think you deserve another perspective from someone who does know something about transcendent experience.

      Central to our different judgments about the costs of hallucinogen use is our different views on what enlightenment means. Sageous, an ex-stoner who seems to be worn out on arguing about it, says that the drugs give you a very shiny bucket, but don't tell you much if anything about what is in the bucket. In that view, they're a barrier because the obscure the real goal. I don't think I totally agree with the bucket analogy, and guess he probably doesn't either, but that's more in the direction of the nature of the disagreement. It doesn't seem we've been addressing this directly. The question of what is in the bucket is hard to address directly though, which is why we try to sketch around it. There are other ways to try to sketch, I just tried a few of them.

      The game is about to start. Yes, don't get bogged down in the discussion if it seems fruitless, once we've said what we wanted to say, that's enough.
      Neo Neo and Sageous like this.

    4. #29
      Out of the Matrix Neo Neo's Avatar
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      Ah yes, I was missing that point, but I finally think I see your point! Yes I ended up over-talking in my previous post as well. I wouldn't have answers to those questions yet either, and we both know that psychedelics don't 100% of the time help people either or always facilitate enlightenment (or enlightenment-like) experiences. So in that sense it isn't a 100% proof way of helping to stay in the transcendence or a sustained enlightenment if it is possible. It seems like psychedelics could help with enlightenment or provide a construct of what it could be like but it certainly doesn't stick around. After glow effects and behavioral changes could be present, but this doesn't mean its part of enlightenment in my opinion.

      If it is enlightenment at the core of the psychedelic experience then it sure is elusive and can slip away as soon as the substance wears off. They could be functioning as life changing experiences also, which aren't necessarily enlightenment but involve transcendence. I really would like to say that psychedelics offer help in achieving enlightenment, but I'm actually a little doubtful of this just because of the variance of reports from people. And there are people who use psychedelics which are ignorant as well, and could just do it for the fireworks and show, ignoring any kind of learning or transcendence that could be gained. I'm not sure what our definition of enlightenment would be, but I think it would definitely be something beyond psychedelics (or anything in this physical existence), even if they give a window into the phenomenon. Am I understanding you now?

      This also actually reminds me of a passage from he RamDass book Remember, Be here now, in which a high dosage of LSD is administered to a guru in India. When the guru is asked whats up, hows it going, he simply smiles. Or something, I'm paraphrasing lol. Basically he knew this domain of spirituality/transcendence/reality prior to taking LSD, and was simply reminded of it.

      Edit: and I'm not sure why we aren't always aware of the transcendent reality either, so thoughts float around my mind but nothing ever seems like the real reason. From a psychedelic point of view it seems that its some kind of conspiracy lol, but who's in charge of the conspiracy and why is happening is still a mystery to me. And again I'm not placing my bets on that idea, its just an experience I've had.
      Last edited by Neo Neo; 07-27-2014 at 04:01 AM.

    5. #30
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      I think that gets closer to the point I was trying to make.

      Broadly speaking, I have the same basic criticism of mysticism that I have of psychedelic use. I think the goal of permanent being-consciousness-bliss is like trying to stay stoned all the time, or trying to bust out of jail without having faced why you're in jail to start with. How did we lose ourselves to start with? Where did prakriti come from and why? They don't know because they call the question a distraction and won't ask. I don't think that lack of self-knowledge is the root problem, even though it is a centrally important symptom. I think we lack self knowledge because we hide from ourselves and other people, because we're trying to get away with stuff and don't want to face what we're responsible for. If you don't hide, you naturally grow into self knowledge, seeking and gaining it is a part of life. I think its a mistake to make it a goal at the expense of everything else though, because that quest rests on ideological assumptions about what 'self' is and what the destination is. Better I think to live freely, while recognizing and respecting the boundaries of what is honest and what is not. Wilhelm's I Ching translation says something to the effect that the highest calling is to be free of blame. That may sound like some kind of moral ass covering, but I think that's not the right way to understand it. Basically its the golden rule, the honest will to do what is required to live in freedom and harmony. If we do that, the whole world is uplifted. And if we do it consistently enough, for long enough, the world is transformed, even stuff that we currently regard as physics changes. But if we try to escape the world, or escape into our private pleasant experiences, then that's part of the pattern that makes the world what it is. In other words, the billions of us all trying to get to heaven, with our many devices, are what makes the world what it is. But to the extent that we just do what our hearts and our brains tell us is right, that makes it better. I don't think lack of higher knowledge is what limits this. Simple example: consider what goes on at a modern beef farm in most countries. It is terrible. You don't need hallucinogens to tell you its wrong, or books to tell you its wrong, you just need to look at what's going on instead of shutting it away and trying not to think about it. We already have empathy. And when we grow within ourselves, by not hiding from ourselves, our empathy grows stronger and our awareness grows stronger.

      Regarding your edit, I agree its a conspiracy. I think we're all part of the conspiracy. I think when we see it the right way, its not a paranoid kind of conspiracy any more, its just karma that we all contribute to. Some things we can't understand the right way if we see them too soon, we lack the proper context, and it becomes a burden on us. This is one reason its important not to push too hard, and to let things come to us when we're ready.
      Neo Neo likes this.

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