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    Thread: bright until the newness wears off

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      bright until the newness wears off

      This is to rehash a few problems with using drugs as an aid to spiritual discovery, in a new thread to avoid antagonizing anyone else's thread.

      Consider a hypothetical drug that makes you feel really, really good, never stops working, and has no bad health effects. Given that making personal relationships work is hard, and that taking the drug is easy, there seems to be no compelling reason to resist taking the drug. Such a drug would be the most destructive of them all, because it draws you into an emotional condition where nothing matters except what facilitates procurement of the drug.

      Suppose this drug produces no spiritual insight, just a good feeling. Now add the insight. From what I've read on this site, the primary thing that people gain from hallucinogen use is the experience of a fractal-like oneness. The experience of oneness isn't new or novel, in various qualified forms it underlies all human social behavior. Quasi-fractals are evident everywhere in nature, but were brought more to the forefront of human awareness with the development of computer graphics and related math beginning in the 1980's. But drug users experience these two ideas in an accentuated way while high.

      So we have the experience, and we acknowledge that it is beautiful. Now what? In the long run, does the drug user have more such beauty in life than would be possible without the drug? The drug does not bestow wisdom, or compassion, or self control, or insights that are actually new. It is not what heals your heart after a bad childhood, and it doesn't help create better formative experiences for the next generation. To the contrary, many of us who hurt the most from an early age suffered abuse or neglect by drug using parents, or parents who otherwise pursued pleasant experiences at our expense.

      The drug user's answer to all of this is that those other, destructive people were using the wrong drugs, or were not using them responsibly. But theirs is a selective picture that largely ignores the net experience of the generations that came before. To me its very much like how Christians tend to be pretty good at seeing the flaws of Buddhism or Islam, while explaining away all of the analogous flaws of Christianity. And its very much like how Christians credit the Christian faith with all that is good among Christians. In truth, we can have the Golden Rule without the authority of the Church or its claim on salvation. And we have remarkable transcendent religious experiences without drugs. But you don't know that if you started young, so that for you the two were always blurred together.

      Drug users imagine they're breaking new ground, ignorant that they're repeating the same experiences as previous generations of users, over and over again, without any better results in the end. Again this is like Christians who for 2000 years have prepared for a second coming that's always a few years away. But the drug experience doesn't give you that kind of knowledge. Worse, it undermines the mental virtues that would show you those things, because it delivers what it seems to deliver without those virtues.


      By some measures, my dream life has been somewhat adrift for the last year or so. I have strange dreams every night, but I don't understand what they mean, and do not have them directed to a clear purpose. This seems to be the same as what I see from people here, I'm not seeing people posting new ideas. Also like most people who post in these subforums, I have had my experiences of oneness, cosmic fractals, astral projection, etc., and can revisit them in my mind insofar as I can use them. But I never had to pay the price of drug use, though I see others pay, and in that sense I pay. And it is not lack of exotic experience that is holding me back in any case, or holding any of us back, as far as I can see.

      My concern is for the health of the fabric of our collective soul. And I don't feel drug experimentation helping at all with that. Quite to the contrary, though maybe I'm not helping very much either.

      We all came to where we are however we did, and most of it was fated. So if your way was drug experimentation, I don't blame you one bit. But I think there's another way. If there is a way forward at all, that's not just a big circle that returns to where we are now, I am sure it is another way. I do not wish to return to where we are now. For another tomorrow, I wish we can find a vision of that also.
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      ... sure hope somebody reads that...

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      First off let me just say that I really like that you took the time to make this thread. It only goes to show that you care. There are so many things that I wish to share in response to the things you said. I don't know where to begin. But one can't start in the middle so I think it's best to repond first off to thread title! This response might come across as a bit hostile. But that is just the nature of antagnosim. Rest assured I respect your opinion and my only intent is to show you how and where mine differs from yours. In hopes to convince you otherwise.

      The title; "bright until the newness wears off" seems to imply something about drugs which is appropiate when talking about some drugs but in my opinion not applicable to all drugs. I have spoken to an old-timer psychedelic users older than the age of 50. Whose brightness still shines in his motivation and excitement around these topics. I talked to a guy who has had psychedelic trips in the range of 10.000 and counting. He has not been persuaded by pitfalls into any sort of addiction and/or downfalls. To the contrary. This man is well-traveled, well-spoken and does his share of good work in the world. The only downside he mentions is being alone in a world where his only role is to be a teacher and never the student. I can imagine it can become lonesome. But I respect this man deeply and feel like he is something special. Not like a Guru. But with such a number of extreme experiences he certainly has his fair share of knowledge to share about many topics including the nature of consciousness and psychospirituality.

      You mentioned something about how psychedelic users tend to answer questions of negative drug abuse in a dismissal matter that has to do with using drugs in an inappropiate manner or tend to say that people have been using the wrong drugs. Drugs that have been used for centuries in non-isolated form or drugs that have been dubbed as research chemicals which are new and approximately 50 years of age. My reponse is that yes this is true. Different drugs have different outcomes of experience. Some can be addictive and others are just plain unhealthy. But take Iboga for example. This plant-medicine has the potential to heal a person from Opiate withdrawal. There is a chemical reason for this. One can alleviate a lot of symptons and sickness caused by Opiates in less than 3 days. It normally takes up to 2 weeks. Not only that but Iboga also offers insight into core issues that have allowed a person to spiral into the confines of their addiction. Things that a person on Opiates doesn't want to see or fails to see in their normal thinking. Things like childhood trauma and every other sympton of their reality seems to come to life in a new light. Intense memories of things a person would rather forget by taking Opiates and ruining their precious bodies. These are not memories which want to be seen but Iboga may allow them to face these for what they are while remaining to be gentle in it's approach. In such a way that these memories can be faced with power instead of fears. No convential therapy can do this to my knowledge and there is work in progress as we speak dealing with the use of less intense psychedelics such as Mushrooms or LSD in order to cure people with severe cases of PTSD where convential therapy has failed to make any progress. I refer to MAPS for more information on how this is being done.

      Now, I am a little bit tired from lack of sleep and writing and thinking of this so much. There's more. But I feel like posting this now so I can do other things and have this off my chest for a moment. I hope it is readable considering my mindstate. If you are still interested I can always come back for more. Sweet dreams to you, sir!
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      Edit: and I have respect for the OP too, and so I am merely responding and don't mean to come off hostile either

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      This is to rehash a few problems with using drugs as an aid to spiritual discovery, in a new thread to avoid antagonizing anyone else's thread.

      ...

      So we have the experience, and we acknowledge that it is beautiful. Now what? In the long run, does the drug user have more such beauty in life than would be possible without the drug? The drug does not bestow wisdom, or compassion, or self control, or insights that are actually new. It is not what heals your heart after a bad childhood, and it doesn't help create better formative experiences for the next generation. To the contrary, many of us who hurt the most from an early age suffered abuse or neglect by drug using parents, or parents who otherwise pursued pleasant experiences at our expense.
      A quick reply now, as I have more to respond with. While I disagree on some of these points and terminology, I think that your post is well worth mentioning. First just with the word "drug", as I think it carries more negative connotations and covers a broad area. That is why I tend to say "psychedelic" here since it means mind manifesting, or someone could go the route of "entheogen" with meaning manifesting the divine within.

      I would disagree some just because of the varied experiences people have with psychedelics and what they're really after. Since there will be thrill seekers and people just looking to "get high". And that's fine for some people, but not really what I'm into. Then there's people who are searching, and there are reasons for this as well and can be spiritual, scientific (if its research based like MAPS), or just personal.

      And I would agree that since so many people have had these psychedelic experiences that there'll be less opportunity for novelty, but then I've got another issue with that statement. I think that psychedelics haven't outgrown their uses, or that we've outgrown the uses of psychedelics. They're not for everybody, but those who can have the courage and willpower to undergo a deeper experience, find whole regions of thought, space, objects, and whatnot that are totally not translatable to word. Language does fail at the most novel levels of the psychedelic experience, and I've found that visual artwork and music are the best explanations for what goes on at ineffable dosage ranges. So while some of it can be responsibility (set and setting), the actual substance, and intent, it really comes down to doing enough to get to the core experience of it all. And its absolutely terrifying for most of us, even if we play it off as incredible. I could also talk metaphors until the sun comes up, but those explanations still don't do jack **** for how it actually feels, what's actually happening, and how this whole thing of existence is even taking place. Science isn't joking when it says all the conditions for life are perfectly in place.

      So while it seems as if there is no novelty, I still think the regions of the psychedelic experience are so vast, strange, terrifying, and ineffable that we've still got a while to go before we've exhausted their uses. On the other hand, under directions of shamans, or more reasonable dosages, I find that overall people describe psychedelics as nurturing, Earthly, very humanistic, and open up people's minds to different possibilities. Granted these are very extreme ways of doing it, so for more casual people I'd suggest stay away from the heavy dosage ranges. And also, that what is seen in the psychedelic experience (at least to me) appears to be universal and transcends religions and modes of thought. This is not to say what I am seeing is new in any way, just that this thing is there and it deserves some actual attention with more than just us hippy thinkers.

      This leads to my last thought, which is that psychedelics are one way to directly perceive what all those spiritual teachers were talking about. I believe that each religion carries slices of the truth, but to actually experience the whole thing going down is quite another story and cannot be stressed enough or properly in words. One must truly take the red pill in order to see this whole thing unfolding. But again, don't take my word for it, keep doing your own thing and finding it out in your own way. I'm just saying there's a lot that non-psychedelic users have not seen and would be hard-pressed to finding the same meanings and connotations in what we are saying.
      Last edited by Neo Neo; 07-11-2014 at 01:47 AM.

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      DThoughts,

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. It looks like you ran out of steam and stopped before you finished saying what you had in the back of your mind, but my post was like that too.

      I would have picked a different title if I'd anticipated you would interpret it as a summary of my thesis, though I suppose I should have anticipated that since that's what titles are typically for. It was a pop culture allusion not an argument. But in any case your anecdote about the older-than-50 psychedelic user seems to suggest we're not thinking about this the same way.

      By way of analogy, are antibiotics an ideal approach to combating infectious disease? Most people would decide by looking at statistics. I'd consider that, but I'd also wonder where we're going to be at in another 1000 years, after the germs have had more time to develop immunity. Did we come out ahead, relative to some other approach we might have taken? Its not immediately clear. So I also try to consider the mentality involved, the spirit involved. I approach drug use in a similar way. The story of the guy you know is useful anecdotal information, but doesn't really get to the root of where I'm coming from.

      One thing about the story that does stand out to me though is that he mentions being alone in his role as a teacher who is never a student. Two other 50 year old spiritually aspiring psychedelic users I knew experienced their lives that way also. From my perspective, there were many things that circumstances were trying very hard to teach them, and things that people around them were trying to teach them, yet despite all their ostensible devotion to learning they appeared remarkably unable to learn, and in some ways more at a standstill even than ordinary people who don't make spiritual transformation a focus of life. I don't know anything about your friend, but for my friends this appears to tie directly in to what I see and seem to understand about psychedilic drugs, that they seem to be an aid in some ways, but there are critically important things that they don't give you, and the strength of the experiences they give blinds you to the absence of those things.

      I'll bet there are multiple things that I know that are important according your friend's own value system, and yet that if I try very hard to communicate them to him, I will likely fail. Yet he is alone on his mountaintop, he has nobody to learn from. Can psychedelics break him out of that box? I'm not seeing how they're helpful, its like trying to find something in the dark when you've been staring at the sun. I'm suggesting stop staring at bright lights for a few hundred years, and let your eyes adjust, then see what you can see.

      I have almost exactly the same view about religious dogmas by the way: as thoughts they're like drugs. The drug is sort of a chemical thought, and is one instance of a much broader class of metaphorically similar things.

      Neo Neo: I guess you know that psychedelics have even more negative connotations than 'drugs' for a lot of people. I use the word drugs because its easier to type, and I can't worry too much about connotations or I wouldn't be able to write fondly about demons or any other topics I care about. In any case, lets just assume that we're talking about mushrooms, DMT, marijuana, and LSD. Or we can exclude any of those also, it doesn't actually matter to my argument. That's why I started off talking about the hypothetical drug that has no bad effects. Its not the specific characteristics of any of these drugs that matter, even though they are all quite different. Its the entire nature of the approach that I'm questioning. I think the specific negative characteristics that a lot of the drugs have are consequences of that underlying error, so they're instructive in that regard. But in another way they're just symptoms, and its not necessary to get tangled up trying to select some of the symptoms while excluding others.

      Maybe its my turn to read too much into a few words, but it seems staggeringly arrogant to me for you to suggest that you experience the "whole thing going down", not just the slices of truth that religions carry. It seems to suggest ignorance of the strength of the altered states and insights that can be experienced without drugs, and it devalues other spiritual qualities which are not insights or altered states. This also comes back to what I'm saying about drugs. You're saying there are things you experience as a drug user that non-drug users don't know and therefore can't appreciate. I'm saying there's things that I experience as a long time non-drug user that a drug user apparently doesn't know and can't appreciate. And I'm saying that the drugs make you feel that what you have experienced is more than it really is relative to what you could experience without them. They expand your world, but they also seem to expand it by shrinking your awareness of what lies outside of that world. No, drugs can not allow you to "directly perceive what all those spiritual teachers were talking about", you perceive only a brightly colored caricature of those things. I mean color metaphorically, not literally.

      I guess I have to stop here, since I have to work in the morning.
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      Since this bit seems to be more an aside than on topic of discussion, here or elsewhere, I thought it bore repeating:

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      ... And I'm saying that the drugs make you feel that what you have experienced is more than it really is relative to what you could experience without them. They expand your world, but they also seem to expand it by shrinking your awareness of what lies outside of that world. No, drugs can not allow you to "directly perceive what all those spiritual teachers were talking about", you perceive only a brightly colored caricature of those things. I mean color metaphorically, not literally.
      Psychedelics don't provide enlightenment; they provide the illusion of enlightenment. Though psychedelics, arguably, may have a place in a person's overall spiritual development, they cannot by themselves replace a person's overall spiritual development.

      Now, I believe that a rational person would agree completely with that, even a rational drug user. However, one long-term side-effect of psychedelics may be that they seem to erase rationality, perhaps by rewiring the user's brain until they become convinced that they really are having transcendental experiences, even though they're really moving in the opposite spiritual direction by witnessing not mind-expanding revelations but rather an amazing show that invites the user to ignore everything that matters (including their Selves) and enjoy the fireworks. Later, they will interpret their abandonment of their own minds as a spiritual journey, rather than the simple drug trip that it was... an interpretation that I suppose may elevate the experience to one that justifies repetition.

      Again, I'm not sure if this is relevant to the conversation, and Shadowofwind already said it more eloquently, but it seemed worth repeating.
      Last edited by Sageous; 07-11-2014 at 04:03 PM.
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      Yeah that does seem like I was ignorant based on your response and part of my message was that non-drug users cannot appreciate it as much, but I was not trying to devalue other spiritual paths or religions. I was also trying hard to not sound arrogant or that I know everything that's going on; that shows me I still have a ways to go in explaining myself and refining my own arguments. So yes you had interpreted what I was saying correctly, except maybe not to the extremes you mentioned. Again I think its the fault of my own explanations and implied meanings.

      I would definitely say that psychedelics are just one method of seeking out spirituality and are not the end of the line or superior to other paths. It is definitely utilizing a framework since the mind is involved, the particular substance gives a unique feel (if its LSD, mushrooms ect), and as McKenna said something like culture being the third guest at the party. It's just from my experiences from first doing introspection and meditative practices, and then later on experiencing psychedelics, that these substances "seem" to give a sense of direct felt experience to what spiritual teachers and religions talk about. About the importance of unconditional love, the mystery of God/the universe, and its ties to shamanism. At least those are the big things I can think of, and so the psychedelic experience has basically reaffirmed what others have been saying all along. And yes psychedelics aren't the only way to see into the altered state or gain wisdom, but at least for where I am at now in life they seem to be pointing in the right direction. And I have also realized that ultimately they need to be given up, because one we are mortal, and two I think believing in them too much causes a negative attachment to form. So I like to keep a bit of skepticism as well, and have actually gained more skepticism in face of the phenomenon I was describing in my first post.

      I think that the shrinking of awareness is probably one of the pitfalls that happens when psychedelic users assume too much, which again I don't mean to and I could seem counter-intuitive saying this lol, but I see what you are talking about. I am trying to maintain a balance of what I am saying while still keeping to what I believe I have seen. And so part of it just comes down to my own experiences and beliefs, so I know they are subject to being wrong as well. But with the "whole thing going down", I was referring specifically to witnessing things like existence itself manifesting in real-time before myself in a room for example, and being both an observer and active participant in the manifestation and projection of reality as a form of consciousness. I was also referring to a boundary dissolving phenomenon, in which reality/existence itself literally breaks apart, and from the point of the person experiencing it in a room, would be a kind of microcosmic apocalypse. This is when people report time slowing down/stopping, feeling/seeing everything made of rudimentary particles, ego-death, hyper aware of one's surroundings, and so forth. Again these are things I have experienced, and I don't presume them to be what everyone does or that they hold more value than other areas of spirituality. It just is what catches my personal attention the most because of its strangeness and how it ties in to spirituality as a whole.

      And to further show what I meant about "directly perceive what all those spiritual teachers were talking about", it is seemingly first-hand exposure to things expressed in some passages from the Tao below. And I don't assume or presume that psychedelics are the only way to relate to this, but I was trying to convey that a different perspective is gained by doing so. I also don't assume to be wise or anything, and am simply saying I have grasped conceptually what I believe I have seen, and nothing akin to enlightenment or anything. It's just interesting to me that what I have seen, and others too, is already expressed in various spiritual traditions so its noteworthy relating to what other sources say. I know I'm not the only one that has experienced this, so while it may seem arrogant to claim encounters with such phenomena, its like you expressed in your first post that it isn't novel. I am simply repeating what others have experienced.

      I am also just saying these realms where shamans are familiar, and where people go under psychedelics, are reaching the same places but just under different cultural conditioning. So again it is simply a facet and method of spirituality, while ultimately I think any spiritual path will lead to the same place as long as unconditional love and compassion are at the center of it. Striving towards them that is. But again that's just my opinion, and I hope this has clarified some things and made me seem less assuming as before

      A couple last things too. I think of the ayahuasca tradition (when its legit) when I think of self transformations, encounters with the divine, and healing experiences. This is assuming that there are reputable shamans using icaros, music, and love and respect for everyone present. Its still difficult and everything, but I was going to say this earlier that there are avenues like ayahuasca that can dramatically change one's self for the long term, with positive results. It could be therapeutic or personal, but I just don't like the idea of discounting things like this when they can make a difference for some people, even if it is in very extreme cases. And I don't discount Western medicine either, I am just offering this alternative viewpoint.


      1

      The tao that can be told
      is not the eternal Tao
      The name that can be named
      is not the eternal Name.

      The unnamable is the eternally real.
      Naming is the origin
      of all particular things.

      Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
      Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

      Yet mystery and manifestations
      arise from the same source.
      This source is called darkness.

      Darkness within darkness.
      The gateway to all understanding.


      7

      The Tao is infinite, eternal.
      Why is it eternal?
      It was never born;
      thus it can never die.
      Why is it infinite?
      It has no desires for itself;
      thus it is present for all beings.

      The Master stays behind;
      that is why she is ahead.
      She is detached from all things;
      that is why she is one with them.
      Because she has let go of herself,
      she is perfectly fulfilled.


      25

      There was something formless and perfect
      before the universe was born.
      It is serene. Empty.
      Solitary. Unchanging.
      Infinite. Eternally present.
      It is the mother of the universe.
      For lack of a better name,
      I call it the Tao.

      It flows through all things,
      inside and outside, and returns
      to the origin of all things.

      The Tao is great.
      The universe is great.
      Earth is great.
      Man is great.
      These are the four great powers.

      Man follows the earth.
      Earth follows the universe.
      The universe follows the Tao.
      The Tao follows only itself.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Since this bit seems to be more an aside than on topic of discussion, here or elsewhere, I thought it bore repeating:



      Psychedelics don't provide enlightenment; they provide the illusion of enlightenment. Though psychedelics, arguably, may have a place in a person's overall spiritual development, they cannot by themselves replace a person's overall spiritual development.

      Now, I believe that a rational person would agree completely with that, even a rational drug user. However, one long-term side-effect of psychedelics may be that they seem to erase rationality, perhaps by rewiring the user's brain until they become convinced that they really are having transcendental experiences, even though they're really moving in the opposite spiritual direction by witnessing not mind-expanding revelations but rather an amazing show that invites the user to ignore everything that matters (including their Selves) and enjoy the fireworks. Later, they will interpret their abandonment of their own minds as a spiritual journey, rather than the simple drug trip that it was... an interpretation that I suppose may elevate the experience to one that justifies repetition.

      Again, I'm not sure if this is relevant to the conversation, and Shadowofwind already said it more eloquently, but it seemed worth repeating.
      Yes I think I talked about this in my first post about getting high for the thrills and fun basically. Its unfortunate that people focus on the fireworks aspect of trips so much, since I don't think that's really what it is about or that it deserves all the attention it gets. I think serious rational explorers run into the mind expanding revelations, but could be scared off by the depth of it all and so they revert back to lower-dose fireworks aspects or revert back to the "amazing show" mindset. There are probably countless people just doing it for the amazement and visual acuity of it all, but again what I am talking about is beyond that. I think our egos and culture programming can get in the way with people doing psychedelics, and this is why they get dismissive of the really strange encounters or mind-expanding phenomenon. And I do not mean this personally to those within this thread either. I just know what you mean, and how people can turn fanatical about this stuff.

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      I think we can both agree that we are originally manifestations of spiritual being. Suppose we have taken a drug to decrease our original unlimited potential into the potential world that we experience as life. I really believe this is the truth or close to it. We probably did this to ourselves for a reason. Thinking of it this way I can't help but agree with your thesis on this hypothetical drug. I mean, what is the point of taking a drug that brings you back to where you started from? That would be insanity. Or at the least running in circles. But.. It doesn't work when it is actually a drug that exists on earth. Not any that I know of and tried atleast have the effects u mentioned. Salvia may be the closest thing to it. So we may be glad that it only lasts 5 minutes.

      I think it is only fair to use an actual drug as a thought experiment. lsd, dmt or mushrooms for one thing do not induce good feeling. Mushrooms have a strong effect on the emotional system but it can go both ways. A drug like MDMA is better in that regard because it pushes good feeling. It almost forces you to feel good. But it lacks spiritual insight. There is literally nothing there. I'm not sure why that is but I believe it is due to the Amphetamine nature of the drug. You can actually see cogworks and fractals on MDMA but it lacks spirit. Meditating during the experience is a different story. And then again, doing another drug whilst on mdma like marihuana can affect this mindset and negative thoughts will still instill negative feeling. It is difficult to explain but mdma only works on about 3-5 receptors. Marihuana works on different receptors so when you add Marihuana into the mix it only changes that part of you. This in combination with MDMA can result in paranoid thoughts induced by cannabinoids. Which is painful even though mdma is still doing it's job and producing euphoric feelings. So in this way you can be euphoric and paranoid (painfull thoughts) at the same time. LSD comes closer to a perfect drug because it affects about 12 receptors. Basically making them more active than usual which are responsible for numerous effects that this drug has. Mushrooms and DMT have about 3 or 4 (same receptors for both drugs). Still dmt lacks the emotional factor that Mushrooms affect so potently. The fact that DMT is already present in the human body is suggestive as to why it has no emotional effect. DMT is the drug that I wish to talk about when we think of it's effects as permanent.

      But I want to get more on your line of thinking. I want to say first that I came across a videolecture on youtube just after reading ur original post. Which explains a creative spirituality without the use of drugs. I have no idea how I randomly got unto the video page. I took it as a form of synchronisity and thought it was very compelling. Ur Antiobiotics analogy explains a neat point. There is no telling where we will be in the next 500 years. Even though Psychedelics are not antibiotics. I can see your point. I can see use of a hypothetical drug for a person that is spiritually deprived. A one time use just to show the potential of what we can achieve in terms of spirituality. And we are very spiritualy deprived as a species. It is akin to using antibiotics in case of emergency when a person is so physically ill that natural healing is simply out of the question.

      Drug users imagine they're breaking new ground, ignorant that they're repeating the same experiences as previous generations of users, over and over again, without any better results in the end.
      I beg to differ. The result speaks for itself. It is true that generations before us have been using drugs. But those where quite different times. Right now, we are in a different civilization than we where 3000 years ago. We have come to a point where we will have to change our ways. NASA has done the maths. And according to them, there is not much time. There is no faster way to reverse this process than by taking psychedelics. There is no easy way to explain why this would help but it helps to realize that humans are not the only species dependant upon the ecology of the planet. And in terms of collective vibration, plants and animals are as much in the game as we are. I would argue that ingesting mushrooms is a way of communing with other species. What you do when taking mushrooms is that you allow a plant molecule to be metabolized in your system. A simple neurotransmitter. In other words, a messenger protein is metabolized into the brain. Producing a specific effect that the mind must now undergo. The nature of the experience is very compelling indeed and could very well be all we need. I can totally picture a world where technology is made obsolete. Simply because living close to nature and having access to all library of plant chemicals is enough beauty to last a lifetime. I think psychedelic users are actually more aware of this and conceive of the idea that this is the way that life was back for people when there was no global civilization or technology to mess things up. The difference now is that we have the science to see things in a different light. Perhaps global civilization has served it's worth.. Hope I'm not being overtly ambigious here.
      Last edited by Dthoughts; 07-12-2014 at 03:01 AM.

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      Neo Neo and Dthoughts: I'm typing on my phone between races at a swim meet, so I won't be quoting and replying to things directly, but hopefully you can follow my meaning.

      Suppose you were a cynical person who viewed love as no more than a trick of biology. Suppose you have a night with a really high end prostitute, who is beautiful, affectionate, and really good at what she does. She blows your mind, and makes you feel something that you wouldn't have believed possible. Which of the following three scenarios do you think is more likely:

      1. Your faith in love is rekindled, and you use the experience as inspiration to work hard on building meaningful personal relationships.

      2. You spend all the money you can earn on more nights with the prostitute, at the expense of developing other relationships.

      3. You try to use the experience as positive inspiration, but you find other people to be ugly and boring in contrast with what you felt is possible, and you struggle with dissatisfaction and apathy.

      As I see it, some combination of all three outcomes is unavoidable. You can't get just '1', you always get a bit of '2' or '3' also. This is because of the way the experience with the prostitute is disconnected from a broader relationship, and disconnected from the rest of your life. The sex is a kind of a lie, you're not really impregnating her, and other aspects of the 'love' relationship that should be there with that kind of intimacy are missing. You can respond the the experience in a relatively positive way, and maybe that's the path you had to go down. But you're better off as soon as you can see it for what it is and turn your attention towards getting on with the rest of your life.

      I see the situation with drugs as being almost perfectly analogous. It's better to get transcendent experiences in context of your overall development, and they happen naturally that way, you don't have to do chemical tricks to induce them. And you don't have to do extreme meditative techniques either. Just live your life. Yes you may never have your mind blown by a supermodel, but it's OK. Just make the most of the opportunities and relationships that are given to you. By 'you' I don't mean you personally, you must be true to who you are. I mean this as an alternative vision for people it resonates with and want to aspire to it.

      Not all paths lead in the same direction. If we all arrive at the same destination eventually, it is because we eventually adjust and change course. Does cannibalism lead to enlightenment as long as you hunt and eat people with love and compassion? At some point you find that prostitution is incompatible with compassion, it hurts you and the other person, and you can't do it any longer. I feel that drug use hurts people in very much the same way.

      The dichotomy I'm talking about is not between people who use drugs for thrills and people who use it for enlightenment. You can think that the prostitute is giving you a good feeling, or teaching you about love, but it burns you in the same way in either case. In a way it even burns you more when it's for love, because you expose yourself in a deeper way.

      I'm not against chemistry, or sex, or suggesting we reach perfection by cutting ourselves off from life. To the contrary, I do have and value brain chemistry. But I advocate patience and wholism in relation to what we do with it, leaving more to time and providence, and letting things happen when we're ready.
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      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      Neo Neo and Dthoughts: I'm typing on my phone between races at a swim meet, so I won't be quoting and replying to things directly, but hopefully you can follow my meaning.

      Suppose you were a cynical person who viewed love as no more than a trick of biology. Suppose you have a night with a really high end prostitute, who is beautiful, affectionate, and really good at what she does. She blows your mind, and makes you feel something that you wouldn't have believed possible. Which of the following three scenarios do you think is more likely:

      1. Your faith in love is rekindled, and you use the experience as inspiration to work hard on building meaningful personal relationships.
      This has been my experience. If I ever visit a prostitute I would do it for the same reasons.

      2. You spend all the money you can earn on more nights with the prostitute, at the expense of developing other relationships.
      Depends on the person. A wise man would figure that blowing all his money will eventually have him run out. And he'd have nothing left to provide a home and shelter for any potential lover. The prostitute must have no heart to let him do this. I think this is relevant to our discussion.

      3. You try to use the experience as positive inspiration, but you find other people to be ugly and boring in contrast with what you felt is possible, and you struggle with dissatisfaction and apathy.
      Not my experience. As a (i'd like to think responsible) drug user I have had no trouble enjoying other pleasures in life.

      As I see it, some combination of all three outcomes is unavoidable. You can't get just '1', you always get a bit of '2' or '3' also. This is because of the way the experience with the prostitute is disconnected from a broader relationship, and disconnected from the rest of your life. The sex is a kind of a lie, you're not really impregnating her, and other aspects of the 'love' relationship that should be there with that kind of intimacy are missing. You can respond the the experience in a relatively positive way, and maybe that's the path you had to go down. But you're better off as soon as you can see it for what it is and turn your attention towards getting on with the rest of your life.
      I think so too. There is no telling where I would be had I not come into contact with psychedelics. Chances are, I would not be here talking with you about spirituality.

      I see the situation with drugs as being almost perfectly analogous. It's better to get transcendent experiences in context of your overall development, and they happen naturally that way, you don't have to do chemical tricks to induce them. And you don't have to do extreme meditative techniques either. Just live your life. Yes you may never have your mind blown by a supermodel, but it's OK. Just make the most of the opportunities and relationships that are given to you. By 'you' I don't mean you personally, you must be true to who you are. I mean this as an alternative vision for people it resonates with and want to aspire to it.
      I don't think transcendent experiences are ever out of context. It doesn't matter which way you arrived there. There is no drug that induced ego-death or oneness. This is never the case. It is always you who gets there. Are psychedelic drugs not an opportunity as well as any other? What other alternatives might you suggest?

      Not all paths lead in the same direction. If we all arrive at the same destination eventually, it is because we eventually adjust and change course. Does cannibalism lead to enlightenment as long as you hunt and eat people with love and compassion? At some point you find that prostitution is incompatible with compassion, it hurts you and the other person, and you can't do it any longer. I feel that drug use hurts people in very much the same way.
      I see it more as a symbiosis. Plants and mushrooms for example. We are not hurting them because we love what they do for us so we rather grow a sustainable garden so we can continue enjoying their fruits. I don't feel hurt because I value the lessons they teach me and find them useful outside of the context in which they are experienced.

      The dichotomy I'm talking about is not between people who use drugs for thrills and people who use it for enlightenment. You can think that the prostitute is giving you a good feeling, or teaching you about love, but it burns you in the same way in either case. In a way it even burns you more when it's for love, because you expose yourself in a deeper way.
      This I agree with. But I have no trouble using drugs for giving you a good feeling. Just have to be careful which ones you do use. I refer to my statement that a prositute must have no heart to consume a person like that. Natural psychedelics often have a defense mechanism against abuse. Entity contact and teaching experiences is usually something that happens and when lessons are ignored continuously that will almost always result in negative experience to frighten or scare the person using it. Leaving no room for abuse.

      It's demands are strict. In my experience there has been disapproval for using too little (sub-breakthrough effects) and leaving my computer on. Instead of silent darkness or out in nature. I feel like the important thing is what we come into contact with. I think this contact may be so important that it doesn't matter what method you use to get there. As long as you get there. Since they seem to be engaged in our evolution and care about us as a whole for some reason.

      I'm not against chemistry, or sex, or suggesting we reach perfection by cutting ourselves off from life. To the contrary, I do have and value brain chemistry. But I advocate patience and wholism in relation to what we do with it, leaving more to time and providence, and letting things happen when we're ready.
      Again, I agree with you. I hate to contradict you but this is how I approach psychedelics. I think when used at the right time, set and setting. These drugs have a rightful place in spiritual and personal growth. For all of us. I refer to an experience I had two months ago. On a lower-end dose of mushrooms. Non-hallucinatory effects for me with two friends. One who uses for spiritual reasons and meditation. And a girl who is open to the possibility and curious but not otherwise spiritual. She wanted to try it so we did it with her. I sat with her to look outside the window at the clouds and we both saw real physical luminous objects flying through the sky. Moving in bizzare and completely unpredictable patterns. And fast. And the amazing thing is. The clouds themselves rearranged themselves to showcase three individual lights moving in formation. Holes formed through an otherwise thick wall of clouds so at our angle we could just about observe them. How drugs have the potential to have this effect? I'm not sure. But I took it as a sign that the earth is approving of what we are doing that day.
      Last edited by Dthoughts; 07-12-2014 at 08:12 PM.

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      A few more comments for context, since I have a few more minutes....

      If you were in a desert, with no memory of being elsewhere, and you saw one plant, you might suppose that there are very few plants. Or you might surmise that for that one plant to exist, there must be a wetter environment with a lot of plants somewhere. That's how I view magic. There's some reason why it appears to be so weak that many people don't even believe it exists. What is that reason? Will there be more freedom and beauty in our lives if we do more religion? More drugs? Or is those activities like plundering to get wealth, and we'd have more wealth if we build something? I want to know what erodes the spiritual strength, and what builds it. Among spiritually inclined people I see and feel alienation, and a buried, passive-aggressive hatred under the pretense to brotherly love, and dishonesty. What is driving it? What kind of thinking and behavior is pushing everything out of balance, and what drives that? I want to find and understand what heals the rift. Full realization of the goal isn't in sight, but I have seen enough to have some trust that it is there.

      Is there a way forward from who we are now that does not involve drugs? I don't think so. Even my own vision is derived in some part by psychic empathy with drug users. I also kill to eat. But in both cases, there is a time for recognizing this for what it is, and looking for a path to a condition where we are able to feed in a better way. In a way, mine is an insanely ambitious undertaking, because it won't be fulfilled in our world and in an almost incomprehensibly long time. In another way, it is a modest undertaking, because the steps in that direction appear to me to be simple and plain. My best judgment about hallucinogens is that they're the wrong kind of steps, that they represent the kind of aspiration that got us all tangled up to start with. And we see this repeated in microcosm in the results they are connected to, once we untwist the interpretation.

      I'm not expecting to get as far as convincing anyone. But I didn't want to stay silent while the opposing view goes unanswered.
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      I want to know what erodes the spiritual strength, and what builds it.
      I think that is very interesting to think about.

      I also kill to eat. But in both cases, there is a time for recognizing this for what it is, and looking for a path to a condition where we are able to feed in a better way. In a way, mine is an insanely ambitious undertaking, because it won't be fulfilled in our world and in an almost incomprehensibly long time. In another way, it is a modest undertaking, because the steps in that direction appear to me to be simple and plain.
      What steps do you have in mind?

      Among spiritually inclined people I see and feel alienation, and a buried, passive-aggressive hatred under the pretense to brotherly love, and dishonesty. What is driving it? What kind of thinking and behavior is pushing everything out of balance, and what drives that? I want to find and understand what heals the rift.
      Again, interesting, what do you think we should do?

      I never meant for this conversation to end. I merely meant to drive home my perspective. Clearly there are a lot of things to talk about. Maybe we can discuss them in-depth with more people in more threads. While outdoors I started thinking how different Lucid dreaming is to Drug experiences. While the two can be mixed. I think. They will always be seperate. One does not necessarily enhance the other. Except for maybe dream herbs come to think of it. What is your take on dream herbs? Do you think it affects the ability to have lucid and/or meaningful dreams on ur own? But all in all, like I said. You atleast changed MY way of thinking and I shall take what you said into consideration. For example, at some point, if we live a million more years we might run out of resources. What do we do then? I think I like Robert Monroe's "dreams/obes" into the future in which a civilization is able to disjoint from human bodies and come back as they please. Drugs aren't going to help there. If we should get there we have to find some other way other than brain chemistry.

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      Mind I add, The biggest factor for me to defend my point is to defend my way of living. And not unimportantly, I am just very curious what would happen if you Shadowofwind where to take something like DMT. If you had not already tried.

      Another question though, What do you think builds spiritual strength? As opposed to erodes it. I actually live sober most of the time for the very reason to strengthen my natural willpower. And do exactly what I set my mind to. Against the initial fear to avoid laziness. But there's a long way to go.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      I don't think transcendent experiences are ever out of context. It doesn't matter which way you arrived there. There is no drug that induced ego-death or oneness. This is never the case. It is always you who gets there. Are psychedelic drugs not an opportunity as well as any other? What other alternatives might you suggest?
      You really think there is no drug that induces ego-death or oneness? I'm just after some clarification here. It seems to me that one reason plant psychedelics are here is because they help to facilitate ego-death and oneness, because it breaks down boundaries between ourselves and our environment. I think it would also make sense because of alterations in brain chemistry in which consciousness undergoes a change from separation/individuality to the altered state. Of course I would say that ego-death is an area that can be accessed without psychedelics, as I think that phenomenon like this are real and occurring naturally around us, we just are not automatically aware of them happening. So while I would agree that we are the ones getting there, I also think that a main reason psychedelics are here is to aid in facilitating this experience.



      And Shadowofwind, those are very good points you bring up. I would both agree with some points and disagree with others. As I said before, I don't think psychedelics are for everyone, and I would agree that just moving through life can offer the same kinds of transcendent experiences. One analogy here is how psychedelic experiences are often referred to as "trips", because regular travelling has the same effect of boundary dissolving as psychedelics have. In this case I am thinking of more extreme examples as going to a culture that is opposite of your own, but it involves meeting new people, getting out of your comfort zone, having new experiences, ect which change someone's perspective.

      I also think where my thoughts diverge from your own, is that I view what happens in the psychedelic state as synonymous with regular waking consciousness. I think these plants are one way to enter into an preexisting space, and the same space which is interacted with no matter what we are doing. Its because I view reality as a bunch of layers in a way, that are woven together seamlessly to give us the illusion of separation. I can't prove anything I'm saying here, but it seems that these psychedelics grant permission for people to visit these other worlds, whether it is for good intentions or bad. So in this sense, yes one can end up down one of your three paths that you have described. There is no guarantee at this point that psychedelics will produce strictly positive results with everyone, which is why I think its important to discuss these things and have people report back their experiences.

      Then there is the other notion that psychedelics act only upon the brain, and that consciousness is restricted to the mind-body system. I personally do not believe this is the case, but it is because of experiences both prior to and after psychedelics. I do see people navigating through life without the need for psychedelics, so this kind of thing would be on a case-to-case basis. What does someone think about reality? What are their goals? What are their dreams, aspirations, or traumas? And of course there's people that come to them by the interest of experimentation. But I just see the necessity as DThoughts has pointed out, that we are in a bit of a crisis situation on our planet and oddly enough psychedelics seem to be an response to countering the downward spiral our civilization is on. And there are both similarities of thought between psychedelic users as well as differences, but I would like to think that there are some key similarities. The same goes for living a completely sober life. We all have our varying perspectives and beliefs, and yet we are all living in this same lifetime. So again I would say psychedelics aren't needed, and we all have the capabilities to go through life in coexistence already. I'd say if someone's happy and got their life together, more power to them! I think it comes down to choice and where someone is at in their personal development or explorations. I may have gone on a tangent too, so I will write back later.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Neo Neo View Post
      You really think there is no drug that induces ego-death or oneness? I'm just after some clarification here. It seems to me that one reason plant psychedelics are here is because they help to facilitate ego-death and oneness, because it breaks down boundaries between ourselves and our environment. I think it would also make sense because of alterations in brain chemistry in which consciousness undergoes a change from separation/individuality to the altered state. Of course I would say that ego-death is an area that can be accessed without psychedelics, as I think that phenomenon like this are real and occurring naturally around us, we just are not automatically aware of them happening. So while I would agree that we are the ones getting there, I also think that a main reason psychedelics are here is to aid in facilitating this experience.
      What I meant to say is that there is no surefire way to induce ego-death. But... Maybe 200 hits of LSD will get you there. But the thought that I had in my mind is that there is still the get-go to ego-death which is usually accompanied by a lot of internal turmoil and struggle. This is the self's doing imo. My guess is that normally this happens gradually. Days, weeks, months, years. On psychedelics this can go quicker, like 1 hour. Which one is better and longer lasting? Is there a different kind of result? I don't know, I haven't experienced either kind of ego-death.

      I think it would also make sense because of alterations in brain chemistry in which consciousness undergoes a change from separation/individuality to the altered state.
      The brain's Default Mode Network (ego) is switched off and another kind of emphatic brain-state is facillitated during the experience. Studies show similarities between this state and the state achieved by meditation. The one on meditation is permanent!

      Still, I believe psychedelics offer something more. Besides an opportunity for growth. Scientific exploration. There is something there which is immensely spiritual. Very alien. I do not think anyone can understand what that is without taking the plunge several times. What I'm talking about is perhaps a galactic force. I don't know. I'm not sure. But I believe that we might just find more self-empowerment from interacting with this thing and intergrating what it has to teach us. To put things in perspective. A lot of organic molecules are found in Nebula. We have found Nebula containing Alcohol and Glycin. Glycin.. A simple amino acid which is acts as neurotransmitter when in the human brain!
      There is no telling how ancient DMT might be. Along with some minor tweaks here and there from biological organisms it's origins might be millions or even billions of years old.. But then again, so are we.

      (apologies if i stepped on anyone's toes)

    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      What I meant to say is that there is no surefire way to induce ego-death. But... Maybe 200 hits of LSD will get you there. But the thought that I had in my mind is that there is still the get-go to ego-death which is usually accompanied by a lot of internal turmoil and struggle. This is the self's doing imo. My guess is that normally this happens gradually. Days, weeks, months, years. On psychedelics this can go quicker, like 1 hour. Which one is better and longer lasting? Is there a different kind of result? I don't know, I haven't experienced either kind of ego-death.
      Ah gotcha, yeah I wasn't sure what you meant before, but I get what you are saying now. And yes! It is a tricky business with psychedelics and ego-death, and for sure its no telling what sets it off, but I'm inclined to believe that high dosages are the kickers in general. I've never encountered it until first doing a lot (granted it was still in the range of grams, so still a relatively small amount, but basically was a double dosage), and I still don't think I've allowed myself to break through all the way. I've also had experiences where I've had the same things as others, and I was at a different level than they were. Geez 200 hits of LSD though lol, I'd be like don't say I didn't warn you.

      I've heard of the Nebula stuff as well, its definitely very interesting stuff! It will be exciting seeing this progression of science and where it leads to.
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      It seems like we're talking past each other to an extent. I'll try a couple other approaches.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      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.
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      One other thing I meant to mention again: We all have a bit of fate in us. When we think something, or want something, nature reflects something of that back to us. When we look to nature for signs of whether we are in tune with providence, to some extent the tail is wagging the dog. Subconsciously we are causing those signs to appear. There are also other signs which resist who we are and what we're trying to do, but we may not recognize those for what they are. If there is any confusion in the human world, there is confusion in the spirit world too, the spiritual origin of an idea or suggested action does not validate its truth or righteousness. I get confused about this, everybody gets confused about this. It appears to me to be one of the largest stumbling blocks for spiritual aspirants, a guard at the gate, we are brought almost to a standstill by it. If you're not ready for what comes next, you get stopped by it, and it keeps you from getting even further in over your head. Actually I look at drugs and religions and my own character failings that way too. But when we're ready, beginning to untangle it seems to me to be essential to taking the next step.

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      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind
      It is worthwhile to ask whether taking a drug is like trying to fly before you are fledged.

      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.
      Usually it takes multiple sessions to have a transcendent experience. I read in a book I am currently reading on LSD therapy back in the 50's that is takes 5 up to 15 sessions to have such an experience. And that is directed therapy with a knowledgable therapist. In some cases a high dose of LSD will do absolutely nothing. It appeals to me that for some, a certain sense of honesty with themselves is missing. I personally have a hit or miss relationship with psychedelics. There is still something which I am missing which psychedelics alone will unlikely help me find out. I feel like an emotional blockade is at work here. I certainly acknowledge that. But after having about 80 trips in my life I have still not had a transcendental experience or anything that comes close to it. I am currently thinking that this emotional blockade needs to be resolved first before I can have a positive transcendental experience. I don't believe in a negative or damaging transcendental experience. Like you said, the experience itself is unchanging. But, as is noted in the book I am reading on LSD therapy. There are dangers in gaining a blissfull experience without further intergration. (weeks after the experience are usually very blisfull and maybe too blisfull). I have to acknowledge your stance on this again. And further intergration is necessary after having a transcendental experience to protect a person from falling into a pit-falls. I can see how speeding up a transcendental experience with drugs are dangerous in this regard. But, I refer to these emotional blockades needs that to be worked out or at the least acknowledged before being able to have a transcendental experience, Even when it is gained on drugs as evidence that the inherent mechanism for having a transcendental experience has it's own protective values for avoiding premature enlightenment.

      I aspire to heal myself from psychospiritual blockades. Energetic blockades. Etc. and I intend to use drugs as a tool to help me in the right direction. Your words are definitely helping in the right direction but it doesn't persuade me to choose another path, just yet. I have in my early days kept up the flag for psychedelics as the method for achieving spirituality. I have abstracted myself from this idea as a consequence of having more deeper meaningful experiences. Somehow direct or indirectly they have made me more aware of the importance of normal life, friends, family, etc. It is not immediately clear how they do this but I am reminded of a particularly enlightening experience dealing with afterlife, aliens, hyperspace. The whole shebang. In the end it all ended up in feeling of guilt for neglecting my relatives and a hallucination that my family came into the room.

      ... As for extra information.. My memory of the experience was altered in such a way that I could focus on rebuilding relationships .. And I think that this memory alteration acted as a safety mechanism to protect me from becoming obsessed with the things that interest me (aliens,afterlife).. I only suddenly remembered those parts of the experience months after it actually happened.. As if suddenly remembering a dream.

      But I think I understand that this is what you mean when saying that "Nature rarely thwarts your will entirely". But.. again.. but.. It does seem that nature has more of an ability to communicate with people on psychedelics. Will is giving the effect of what it chooses to tell you. I still see nothing wrong with doing drugs for opening the gateway. What I want is to live in tune with nature and be happy. I just hope nature throws me a bone soon. And the process may already be in progress. Perhaps I have forgotten to just ask these things to nature.. As in prayer.. And I may have been looking at drugs as too much of a possible answer.
      Last edited by Dthoughts; 07-14-2014 at 12:33 AM.

    21. #21
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      Dthoughts,

      Thanks again for your thoughtful post. I want to say a lot more, and think about it longer, but I have a lot of work to do this week with very short deadlines. I will get back to it later, because what you're talking about is important to me.

      In his brand of Theosophy, H.W. Percival modeled everything using a zodiac. In his scheme of things (http://thewordfoundation.com/PDF/T%26D_14th_ver01.pdf), the top half of the circle is unmanifest, the bottom half is manifest, the left side is 'nature', and the right side is 'intelligent'. Life proceeds counterclockwise from the top, and becomes increasingly conscious as it descends then ascends back up to the top. What Percival calls nature is in some sense conscious, but not to the degree of being conscious of itself. It is blind in that regard, and the power it has is more like the weight of moving water and less like a conscious mind. I don't believe Percival's zodiac scheme, I think its contrived, and I doubt that nature is inert in quite the way that he envisions. But I think there is an element of truth there, or at least it agrees with my experience. In Percival's worldview, LSD would put you in freer contact with nature, but it that would be almost exclusively the stuff on the left hand side of his zodiac. And its really the stuff on the right hand side that we need more awareness of for our redemption. In his view, becoming clairvoyant or otherwise more powerfully open or developed in regards to nature imprisons you more, until after you've completely corrected the issues with identity on the intelligent side and become something much more than human. I think he overdid this point, and that its natural to develop on the 'nature' side now. But I don't think he's all wrong either.

      For myself, I'd say that transcendent experiences have both helped and harmed me. I think its a net gain, but I can imagine that the harm would outweigh the gain for a lot of other people. There's a conceit among spiritually inclined people that says that other people are too primitive or fearful or dishonest or hard hearted or lost for spiritual aspiration. But it seems to me that most people are doing pretty much what they can, and those walls are there for a reason. You can't push too hard to tear them away, its like tearing off a scab too soon. Sometimes you've got to tear the scab off too soon anyway though, such as when its infected, so I can't say that what happened in my life was bad for me, given whatever came before. We have to proceed from where we are. And so maybe your drive with psychedelics is necessary for you also. But I worry about it too, and maybe I can help you find a modified approach that's better for you, by sharing more of what happened to me. Time is in short supply though.

      One risk with going too far, is that when you get more of a glimpse and feel for how glorious life could be, our own world can become more dark and horrifying in contrast. The vision inspires, but it also adds a weight. Whether the weight takes you down or not depends a lot on who you are in your heart, and the degree of wisdom in your sense of who you are. But this isn't something that just flashes into maturity overnight. You're pretty much limited to what you were born with, with minor developments.

      As an example, when you kill an animal to eat it, or when you let someone else kill it for you, it tries to run away if it can. Most people don't have much of a problem with this, they're numb to it, and degrade the value of the animal so that it seems OK. But when you open your heart more, and remove some of those blocks, so that you can feel what the animal feels, it gets harder. Maybe you're OK with this, you can just avoid eating meat, but this is just an example of one area of difficulty.

      I mentioned human sacrifice in an earlier post. I feel a burden of guilt in relation to this, more guilt than I feel about anything in my own life experience. I don't understand this. But it is a result of opening myself more. Probably I'm ready for this, I need to dig into it and deal with it. But its like pulling on a thread, once you get started with digging into yourself its hard to stop. You can't unlearn what you learned and go back to a formerly comfortable place. To an extent I have to trust fate to measure it to me at a speed I can handle. Sometimes you have to slow down though.

      I worry I would have if using hallucinogens, is opening one part of my mind in disproportion to other parts that balance it out. Strength of reason is important, as is a strong sense of personal identity, but from what I've seen the hallucinogens don't really help with that. You have to be able to keep from getting lost in the currents of other people's thoughts that you find within yourself.

      One thing I have learned in life is that providence can do a lot to your mind if it wants to, and that presence or absence of ingested hallucinogens isn't necessarily a significant barrier. If you push yourself hard, you create or put yourself in relation to spirits of like character. But the better, wiser spirits are patient. If you ask a prayer, they may respond immediately or not for 50 or 500 years, its mostly the same to them. But they'll give you what you need the most when its most effective. Some of these spirits are also scare-the-shit-out-of-you powerful. I don't experience much of this sort of thing recently, but I think its because its better for me now if I don't, even though I needed a bit more a couple of years ago. I think that if you can trust that they're already there for you in the way that you most need them, maybe this helps.

      I have to go to bed. More later when I get time.

      By the way, if you want strong medicine for creating exotic or deep experiences, that book I linked to is the strongest I've seen by a fairly wide margin. There's some nonsense mixed in with the deep truths though, and I've seen that it is dangerous if it connects with you and you buy into it too deeply, so be careful.

      OK, one more thing....Its a lot easier to get transcendent experiences if you have a mental relationship with someone else what has had the same ones. I've listened to a lot of acid rock, and that has probably influenced my later experiences, so I'm a bit of a hypocrite in that regard. Reading Ramana Maharshi (Be as you are The teachings of sri Ramana Maharishi) probably also contributed to my ability to 'move' my identity. He teaches it with the aim of discovering the 'Self', but I don't totally buy that vision, and you can do other stuff with it also. My empathetic/psychic ability comes largely from that, as well as my ability to move my conscious perspective around and see life differently.

      I think another part of my 'talent' is born of social stress, I was very lonely and isolated as a teenager. It seems a part of my subconscious sort of split off and learned to hang out in other times and places and identities in secret. Having partially torn down my own internal wall, I now I have this ability as a sort of general purpose tool, without being quite sure what to do with it that's constructive. I can't really say how much of what I am now can be explained this way, its interrelated with all of the other stuff. The order that these experiences occurred doesn't really say much about that, it transcends that.

      Maybe this is another way to look at your condition. The part of you on the other side of the wall wants you to partially tear down the wall, and that's what drives the drug experimentation. But that part of you may not understand the most healthy way to do this, even though it feels what it seems to need. For some people, the man on the other side of the wall doesn't even care if the process kills the man on this side, because the subconscious side doesn't care about life in the same kind of way. But we don't want to just tear down the barrier, we want to heal too, so he needs to learn to care about that. How to find the answer? It seems we make it up as we go along, but we have help.

      OK, I think I'll finally stop. I'm OK with talking about this stuff publicly, but if you prefer a private conversation, we can do that instead.

    22. #22
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      Sorry for the late reply. Busy day. Not that it is cool but i've been awake for 28 hours with some micro-sleeps here and there. Obtained some cats but I can't let them stay here. I feel like this conversation would be a shame to have only in private because it might help a lot of people. I am reading Be as you are – The teachings of sri Ramana Maharishi and already found particularly useful information for aid in meditation. I am so grateful because I had been looking for a teacher for this very reason. I find myself drifing off during meditation. Right now I am stuck in Pranayama. But it is very energizing. I am hoping to attain a full Kundalini awakening in this lifetime. I suppose the energy circuit is from the spinal to the front of the head and back into the heart. I have gotten up till the forehead but it blocks there. I suppose the current has to keep flowing. Any advise on this?

    23. #23
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      My opinion is its a terrible idea to earnestly mess around with Pranayama or Kundalini. Its like trying to force a baby to be born before its come to term, or a flower to open before it is fully developed. If the techniques don't hurt you, its only because they're ineffective. Let your subconscious take care of it, just like it takes care of your blood chemistry, or the growth of your body when you're a child.

      If we have past lives, I spent the last 1000 years doing raja yoga, and here's what I've come to: it doesn't work. If I am an angel born to deliver a message, here is my message: raja yoga doesn't work. You can't get into heaven by learning a secret knock or handshake, and you can't attain wisdom by screwing around with your breathing or playing tricks with your nervous system. Maybe for some people with specific problems it is possible to attain health benefits by such practices if something is askew and someone has an understanding of how to massage it and set it right again. But generally speaking, that isn't the design of any of these practices. The design is for radical transformation, with people attempting to use it for more modest goals by not trying as hard at it. I guess that can sort of work, like how making a half-assed attempt at becoming a contortion artist might be a good way to stretch before exercise. But its much better if you understand the true scope of what you're trying to accomplish.

      My criticism of jnana yoga is essentially the same. If you know that you're exercising and exploring your sense of identity, then its fine. But they've taken the being-conscious(ness)-bliss awareness and made a fetish out of it, because its pleasant, and declared all else to be illusory and unimportant. They actually don't know what is or isn't illusory or unimportant, because they never look into it, because they've dismissed it as illusory and unimportant.
      Sageous likes this.

    24. #24
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      A few additional comments....

      It seems to me the best way to do breathing exercises would be to pay attention to the breath, and maybe experiment with the 'astral' aspect of it a little bit, if you have any awareness of that. Personally I don't have a notable awareness of that, and I speculate that the 'astral breath' may be to some extent imagined, that its a metaphorical way of trying to represent something else. I think its not all imaginary though, there's something there, its just a bit beyond me at present.

      Similarly, it seems to me the best way to do Kundalini related exercises would be to pay attention to it and play with it a bit to see how it works. Its the discipline that attempts to drive it to a poorly understood goal that I'm skeptical of, particularly if that goal doesn't seem to be yielding itself without special devices. Again, I think that such 'energy' is to some extent imagined, and is a metaphorical way of trying to represent something else. But what it represents is real, and naturally related to the way we think about it. I guess being aware of that kind of energy is easier than breath, because its a more immediate part of how the nervous system works. I can create euphoric waves that wash through my body, sort of an avalanche of feeling, but I don't do that, it seems pointless or unhealthy somehow. For myself I find feeling energy in my body to be boring in general, though it is similar to thinking about how thoughts or emotions or other people feel, and I do that a lot. I guess that kind of exercise makes more sense for people who are more physically inclined that way, as with martial arts.

      One other comment about drug use as an aid to consciously connecting with nature....People use it that way in relation to music, but in my observation, the results are decidedly poor. The most inspired LSD-centric musical acts that I know are Hendrix and Tool. But their output in my opinion is remarkably ugly and short-lived if compared to that of someone like Beethoven, who was 54 when he wrote his 9th symphony. A person could argue that LSD using musicians are degraded by their accompanying use of other drugs. But I think this isn't too far away from the 'no true Scotsman' fallacy. If all the real examples we have of something seem to work a certain way, then its dubious to argue that all of them are perversions of an ideal that does work. Usually the roots of the corruption are in the ideal itself. We see this for example with Catholic clergy, where their role as intermediaries between other men and God is an abuse of power, and they inevitably abuse their power in other ways also. Despite all the 'rock and roll will never die' rhetoric, it has vanished at an amazing rate. And hard rock had its roots primarily in LSD use, other drugs like cocaine became fashionable later. The Scorpions would be one example of this, they were an LSD using acid-rock band for their first couple of albums, and didn't really get into the alcohol and stimulant-fueled groove until the early 80's. I don't think their LSD-idealistic love songs like 'Fly to the Rainbow' are really that different from later hits like 'Another Piece of Meat', its the same ethic under the hood, just a slightly different strategy for obtaining a compelling feeling.

      Softer-rock LSD acts like the White-albumn era Beatles just make me want to puke. I guess that's heresy. So maybe its best not to get too bogged down in this. Bach beats all of it. I wish we could have more Bach, a cleaner Hendrix who lives past 28, and a more beautiful Tool that can put out more than four albums in 25 years. Maybe I'll get my wish in the next generation, we'll see, some trends point in that direction in the music world, even while the culture as a whole becomes more drug-friendly.
      Dthoughts and Sageous like this.

    25. #25
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      I thought of another way to make one of these points....

      Hendrix, who was a high profile LSD evangelist, died essentially of a broken heart. The LSD wasn't responsible for that, his mom died when he was a child, and his life was filled with sex but little love. And maybe nobody is saying that LSD can heal your heart anyway. But in my mind the essential thing is that the LSD use failed to give him what he needed most. And if it doesn't give you what you need most, then its worthless as a spiritual tool or path.

      Hendrix of course is just one anecdotal example, but from what I see the pattern holds in general. The drug experience of love is like the sex experience of love or the sugar experience of food. You feel it strongly, but in the end there's something missing, and it has fed your appetite without building your health. Better in my view to find a way to address the most important need.

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