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Hallucinogenics - A 'smash-and-grab on the Transcendental'?

John_SpencerJohn_Spencer Veteran
edited May 2013 in General Banter
That phrase was used by a Buddhist teacher of mine I respect who had experienced profound states of insight in the sobriety of meditationand experienced the reality of LSD.

I would be interested to hear the opinions of my fellow sangha-members as to whether the two experiences might (even if only conceptually) correlate for them (you don't have to have taken hallucinogenics to comment, obviously).

This isn't intended to be a discussion about 'drugs' and whether we should take them.

I am hoping for a sober discussion about the nature of consciousness.

This is the first thread that I I have ever started so I have really tried to phrase my open question carefully.

Please be gentle with me...
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Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    I can only speak from experience (I did inhale). :)
    LSD and any form of spiritual insight have no correspondence.

    LSD is a dream within a dream.
    Not so for any waking states.

    For great tightness and rigidity and for some guided shamanic paths, drugs are used. However there are safer, less psychotic and far more effective ways.

    It is only Micky Mouse spirituality that advocates narcotics
    http://sufism.org/articles/the-sobriety-that-surpasses-intoxication-by-kabir-helminski-2

    Get Clean.
    Stay Pure in Mind, Body and Spirit . . .
    We are not aghoris
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aghori

    . . . now back to my caffeine fix aka 'Nice cuppa tea' :wave:
    John_Spencerericcris10senriverflowdhammachick
  • Hallucinogens- intense experience of non-reality
    Meditation- intense experience of reality (much of the experience feels mundane, but is, in fact, still intense)
    That's what my notes tell me.
    dhammachickTheEccentric
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited May 2013
    I don't think they correlate. Not in the context of Buddhism anyway. :) They might correlate if you are talking of native shamanism or something like that, but that's not really Buddhism. :)
    riverflowTheEccentric
  • FlorianFlorian Veteran
    edited May 2013
    I suspect that many people come to Buddhism via LSD and weed, and then have to give them up. My view seems to coincide with Eric Clapton's, who says that drugs may give us a glimpse of truth, but that getting to it means doing the work.

    It's a difficult subject to discuss because there is a danger of encouraging drug use.
    riverflowdhammachick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    Trust me - with me around, there is NO danger of 'encouraging drug use'.

    ;)
    John_Spencerericcris10sendhammachickTheEccentric
  • FlorianFlorian Veteran
    Damn. It's back to the school gates then.
    John_Spencer
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    1. There is no saying that drugs can't offer a glimpse of something profound and real (we'll set aside for the moment that such a realm can also bring up very real horrors). But the natural inference from such a compelling experience is often that in order to experience what is profound and real, you need to take more drugs. That hardly strikes me as a sensible spiritual life. Good enough for a drug addict, perhaps, but an even-tempered spiritual life???

    2. At a Zen center I once attended, I had a friend named Pedro. He was a very savvy guy with a good sense of humor and he once told me that he had done them all ... just name a drug and he had done it: Heroin, cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, crack, meth ... until one day, while under the influence of LSD, he saw with absolute clarity the whole panorama of drugs and why they were not helpful or pertinent to his life. He quit on the spot ... though he didn't give up smoking and had an occasional beer. Zen offered to provide him with an honest strength in actualizing and integrating the 'wisdoms' that sometimes flowered under the influence of drugs ... or that's how I heard his argument.
    riverflow
  • poptartpoptart Veteran
    It's just another product, isn't it? Another "thing" to grasp at and chase after. Where is reality if it isn't in you? Not in a bottle or a pill, that's for sure. What you seek is already in your own heart.

    riverflowdhammachick
  • John_SpencerJohn_Spencer Veteran
    edited May 2013
    I appreciate the comments.

    The same chap who used the analogy of 'smash and grab on the Transcendental' suggested that such experiences might be useful in developing Vision (ie the first stage of the eightfold path) but tends to prevent you from transforming yourself in light of that Vision (ie the other seven stages.)

    @Florian says much the same when quoting Eric Clapton.

    I certainly see such experiences as having a karmic consequence (ie the come down) but clearly some people have had truly life-changing insights whilst under the influence as @genkaku says.

    Lets not be ambiguous - Shakyamuni said self-intoxication was a bad idea because it leads to heedlessness but I do believe that such experiences are no more 'unreal' that mundane reality can be said to be unreal.

    It's interesting that psylocibin for instance has been indicated as possible treatment for depression , ecstasy may help people to discuss traumatic issues LSD may help to alcoholics to stay off the wagon

    It seems to me evident that such experiences are able to provide people with the context and insight to resolve issues that they struggle with otherwise.

    EG: Wikipedia: "Ketamine has been shown to be effective in treating depression in patients with bipolar disorder who have not responded to antidepressants.In persons with major depressive disorder, it produces a rapid antidepressant effect, acting within two hours as opposed to the several weeks taken by typical antidepressants to work."

    In that Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic (it literally helps you dissociate from your sense of 'self') I think this should be of interest to people who have explored consciousness through meditation.

    Interestingly much of the above research relies on single instances of taking a 'hallucinogen' combined with a counselling session.

    Results tend to be very long-lasting.

    Something interesting is happening.

    It shouldn't be such a taboo to discuss.

    So thanks for the discussion so far.
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    My opinion is that taking drugs can be helpful in a spiritual sense in that they can open ones mind to being alternate ways of seeing the world, it shakes up our ground so that we can see that its not so solid. Beyond that I'm not really sure of its benefits and I'm for sure that its not a stable or meaningful way of pursuing spirituality.

    I recently happened to watch part of this TED talk about this topic.

    MaryAnnepegembara
  • Thanks@person - very interesting. Just the sort of experience I was taking about.
  • cptshrkcptshrk Explorer
    Shrooms have shown me the interconnectedness of the universe. Good stuff.
    John_Spencer
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    edited May 2013
    Others may disagree, but I think there may be one similarity between whatever mind-altering goes on with drugs (I'm thinking of the 'good,' wider-horizons stuff) and with spiritual practice.

    There are break-throughs that occur during spiritual practice. Not always, and not always the same, but they happen, much as break-throughs in drugged states do. In either instance, the experience can be pretty wowsers ... and for a while, it's the wowsers that linger.

    But any wowser experience, spiritual or drug-induced, needs to be integrated (best word I can think of): It has to become something that is nice to know, maybe, but it's just something to know, like the taste of bubble gum or the aroma of coffee. Wowsers and $2 will get you a bus ride. Wowsers is a cheap date. So the question becomes -- in all honesty and without the wowsers, how does this fit into a work-a-day life?

    Wowsers are advertising. They are wowsers by nature of what has come before ... you know, all that plain stuff that happened before the fireworks went off. They could hardly be so bright if there weren't a darkness against which to match them. They can't really relate to anything "brand new." Where they come from must have been there from the get-go. Sooooo ... what is being advertised and how does it fit? And beyond that, what else might be out of sight at the moment?

    Maybe it's like chewing food: It's delicious, you chew and delight, you swallow and then, in order for the nourishment to kick in, you digest ... and after a while you take a shit.
    John_Spencerriverflow
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Zen teacher Brad Warner has an interesting take on the subject.

    "It is unambiguously clear that drugs and meditation cannot take you to the same place simply by the very nature of the experiences. They are not even in the same league of things. The comparison between the two is entirely spurious and unworthy of examination.

    People who say these things about drugs and meditation may have tried drugs but most have never really attempted much meditation. Oh maybe they’ve gone to a handful of yoga classes and done shavasana. Or maybe they’ve been to a Vipassana retreat or even rented a cabin at Tassajara one summer. But they don’t have any real depth of experience with meditation to compare to their drug experiences. Drugs won't show you the truth. Drugs will only show you what it's like to be on drugs."

    In his book Hardcore Zen, tells a story of how someone once slipped a Zen Master some acid. The Zen Master "tripped" just like anyone would. Afterwards all the people asked him about his experience, he said "Well, that was stupid".

    Of course he is talking entirely in a Buddhist context of finding "the truth" and "getting enlightenment". Not really about treating mental illness, etc.
    lobsterJohn_Spencerriverflow
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran
    lsd showcases the maleability of reality, but not everyone has the same experience; some people drop with little to no effect. in this body'z case, i tripped for about 2 days (mostly the 6 hour up, the 8 hour down, and the 40+ some hours after where a superflowing mind is confronted with habituated reality, all is like walking through stone.

    Naturally, this didn't stop my inquisitveness into what could be understood through lsd. When totality of experience is eclipsed, nay, subsumed by Thought, it becomes apparent how much influence and power we have over the course (like the coursing of a river) of our lifestream.

    Acid and meditation have overlaps. Serenity and deep calm can be found in both, in lsd it is remarkably temporary, and although it may leave an indelible mark on your memori, it is not clear how to go about replicating said experience. Seasoned psychonauts will tell you that they control nothing, and thus always have a good trip. The insights may be valuable for those with little to no imagination for the spiritual, but ultimately one must seek natural methods to spurn the heart anew.

    Fundamentally, relying on an external device for solace is what is called "attachment". It is not a small matter. It is a deluded mind, a mind lead astray, that wishes for fulfilment through the external. We oscillate. Sometimes there, sometimes not. lsd is a hop through the sprinkler in the all-cosmic sense, but it is like spraying your car with water once every 16 hours in the blistering sun, hoping to keep it wet. The lsd trip seems tenable, permanent-able, and explainable, but it is the journey in-between hits that will last lifetimes, and in those spaces is where true life is won or lost.

    So forget everything. What's-his-face... Jim Morrison.. Yeah that face, he said once "learn to forget" and that's exactly the path (well, in my opinion the best path choice one has) to take with and after lsd. Honestly, "recovery" if it may be called that can take months and sometimes years. The body is extremely exhausted and wrenched for at least a day or two, with effects lasting a few weeks. lsd can expose one to the nature of mind, if briefly, but it is a trip, not a bus stop. Things swing and change, and the senses cannot easily be dis-engaged. All these seemingly negatory statements aside, I feel deep appreciation for lsd. Well, much more so for MDMA, but lsd really opened up my imagination (if one can call it that) to modes of being that revolve not around a body. It is all mumbo jumbo unless you've dropped before, and even then the experiences are not flush, it's like a person in australia talking to a person in europe about the beautiful bird they saw, and they both agree it was beautiful and amazing and flew elegantly, but they would be shocked to find that the two birds look nothing alike.

    So what's your question exactly? Can I take drugs instead of grabbing this lifestream by the horns? Um, well, you already know the answer. Talk about drugs on erowid. Talk about more important things here, please
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran
    Sorry for not being very gentle at all. Please accept my apology by way of the comedy stylings of Richard Pryor.

  • The same chap who used the analogy of 'smash and grab on the Transcendental' suggested that such experiences might be useful in developing Vision (ie the first stage of the eightfold path)

    What was his understanding of Right View? This sounds very wrong-headed to me, but I have never taken LSD, so perhaps I am missing something.
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    I am not sure if this is valuable as the topic does not interest me. However I provide as a possible source of wisdom . . .
    To me it seems we are deluded and aggravating this by adding alternative delusions is like adding a further poison arrow to explore the nature of being shot with a poisoned arrow . . .
    http://sweepingzen.com/video-buddhism-and-psychedelics-w-kokyo-henkel/
  • John_SpencerJohn_Spencer Veteran
    edited May 2013
    I am pleased to see some strong opinions here:

    "So what's your question exactly? Can I take drugs instead of grabbing this lifestream by the horns? Um, well, you already know the answer. Talk about drugs on erowid. Talk about more important things here, please" -

    (Though at the same time @sova, Richard Pryor does make up for any 'ungentleness').

    No, my point, as I made in my opening question was:

    " This isn't intended to be a discussion about 'drugs' and whether we should take them.

    I am hoping for a sober discussion about the nature of consciousness."

    I think an enquiry into the nature of consciousness is just that sort of topic this list deserves.

    In that human beings have used psychotropic substances for thousands of years and many have reported profound experiences I don't think we should be shy about discussing such things.

    The subject is all the more relevant because it is now being shown that they can have profound clinical benefits for people with mental health problems.

    Some researchers suggest that this isn't some clever 'chemical' process (like blocking certain neuro-transmitters) but an 'insight' experience.

    The insight that a severe depressive has on psylocybin seems to stay with them and reduce their self-reported depression for many months.

    I think this is extraordinarily exciting subject.

    I think people who have practised meditation and examined and studied the nature of consciousness (ie our list members) have a great deal to add to this discussion.

    I think our contribution becomes an obligation when we learn that such drugs can be used to fight addiction and ease the suffering of those with severe mental health issues.

    Such issues should not be so easily dismissed as irrelevant to our list - surely?
  • John_SpencerJohn_Spencer Veteran
    edited May 2013
    This article is particularly helpful:

    “Under the influences of hallucinogens,” Dr. Grob writes, “individuals transcend their primary identification with their bodies and experience ego-free states before the time of their actual physical demise, and return with a new perspective and profound acceptance of the life constant: change.”

    Sounds like insight into the nature of reality to me!

    Further:

    "Scientists are especially intrigued by the similarities between hallucinogenic experiences and the life-changing revelations reported throughout history by religious mystics and those who meditate. These similarities have been identified in neural imaging studies conducted by Swiss researchers and in experiments led by Roland Griffiths, a professor of behavioral biology at Johns Hopkins."

  • kokorokokoro Explorer
    Is it fair to say that while many have positive experiences, a great many have not, that it could be hit and miss as to whether someone will benefit or send them right of the rails.
    I've tried a bit of pot when i was young so that's the extent of my experience, but i've heard many speak of the life altering disasters that some people have experienced.
    Can researchers now predict whether someone will benefit or go mad?
  • John_SpencerJohn_Spencer Veteran
    edited May 2013
    kokoro said:

    Is it fair to say that while many have positive experiences, a great many have not, that it could be hit and miss as to whether someone will benefit or send them right of the rails.

    I've tried a bit of pot when i was young so that's the extent of my experience, but i've heard many speak of the life altering disasters that some people have experienced.
    Can researchers now predict whether someone will benefit or go mad?

    Hi @kokoro.

    The life altering disasters are usually addiction-related over a period of time, not one-off experiences. You play Russian roulette once you start using recreational drugs, you cannot say if you are an 'addictive' personality or not.

    In research, of course ,the subjects and their subsequent well-being are supervised carefully. I have not read of anyone going 'mad' as a result. Doses are modest and few.

    Here is a really interesting article about 'pot' - it's bad side and it's good. It kinda sums up my interest in the subject.



  • kokorokokoro Explorer
    Just shows my limited knowledge on the subject, i heard of a first time user of LSD that went (what was classed as) insane, i just believed it, sometimes i can be a bit gullible, lol.
    But as long as it's carefully monitored, it could spring up some real steps forward in treating disorders, i think because of it's bad rep it's going to be hurdle to get more favourable attention.
    Now if they would do more research in finding the benefits of drinking copious quantities of red wine, THAT would make me a happy man!
    John_Spencer
  • Ha!

    I think red wine isn't the problem. Copious may be the issue!
    kokoro
  • Buddha recognized the medicinal value of pot and he recommended it as a cure for rheumatism (aṅgavāta). The patient should be placed, he said, in a small room filled with steam from a tub of boiling water and cannabis leaves (bhaṅgodaka), and inhale the steam and rub it on the limbs (Vin.I,205).

    However, when drugs are used as a mind-altering substance whatever benefit that may actually be gained in the present to short-term will be offset by the fruits of such action. Since taking intoxicants is against the fifth precept, if you break it often enough you can be reborn in the lower realms and the "slightest of all the results" is that "when one becomes a human being, it leads to mental derangement." (Vipaka Sutta)

    So at least in the long-term due to its karmic results, the use of drugs is going against the development of wisdom.

    And yes, since taking drugs is like playing "Russian roulette", Bhikkhu Bodhi gives the following advice: "The precept, it must be stressed, does not prohibit merely intoxication but the very use of intoxicating substances. Though occasional indulgences may not be immediately harmful in isolation, the seductive and addictive properties of intoxicants are well known. The strongest safeguard against the lure is to avoid them altogether."
    lobsterriverflowdhammachick
  • John_SpencerJohn_Spencer Veteran
    edited May 2013
    Yes @karmablues- wise words.

    The issue is intent though (as with all karma).

    When you say: "However, when drugs are used as a mind-altering substance whatever benefit that may actually be gained in the present to short-term will be offset by the fruits of such action."

    This wouldn't apply, in my opinion, when drugs are used to gain insight that might benefit a person, clinically speaking.

    So when ecstasy, in a supervised counselling session, helps people with intractable PTSD there is no reason to think that 'negative' karma will result.

    Do you agree there is a difference?

    (I presume you do based on your example of the Buddha and rheumatism.)
  • @John_Spencer

    Yes, use of drugs strictly for medicinal purposes would be ok. And same with use of drugs in carefully controlled environments with the intention to help advance scientific research for curing illnesses.
    lobsterriverflow
  • kokoro said:

    Just shows my limited knowledge on the subject, i heard of a first time user of LSD that went (what was classed as) insane, i just believed it, sometimes i can be a bit gullible, lol.

    The story goes that a cousin of mine suffered fairly debilitating psychological damage as a result of some friends slipping him some LSD without his knowledge. I don't know any more details, as that side of the family doesn't talk about such things. It could even be totally apocryphal or deceptive, for all I know.
  • FlorianFlorian Veteran
    I took LSD once at age about twenty-five. I spent the next four hours huddled in a corner utterly paranoid. Didn't go there again. Much later I discovered weed, taken by Queen Victoria for period pains and recommended to me for a permanent stomach problem. Thanks to the effects I discovered Buddhism. So I have mixed feelings. Such drugs are fantastically dangerous, but every cloud ...

    It cannot be for no reason that hallucinogenics are used in so many Shamanic practices as way of opening the mind. But I would never recommend any intoxicant to anyone. The danger of addiction or habituation are just too great.

    John_SpencerVastmind
  • nenkohainenkohai Veteran
    Would you believe my 16 year-old son tried to get me to do drugs with him? His premise was that, "dad, you are SO the type..."

    My response? As a person that is on a spiritual journey, I feel that the use of drugs to facilitate enlightenment is cheating. I also explained that beyond that, it is counter to points made in the 8FP.

    And introduced him to a bit of Buddhism in that discussion....
    John_Spencerriverflowdhammachick
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran
    @John_Spencer have you heard of Bicycle Day? It's the day that lsd was discovered. The guy who was working with some substances in his lab had it all over his hands. He rode his bike to and from the lab and on his way home he starts to trip way hard. It's celebrated internationally

    Environment is everything, so I think people in an experienced clinical setting would be fine, but people do it at raves and stuff which is just crazy. Not to mention that you can't really know the dosage (lsd is measured in Micrograms [no joke]) unless you are friends with the person preparing it.

    There are two "substances" I think are worth taking once in your life: MDMA (empathogen) and mushrooms (go out into the woods and melt into nature).

    But, you know, do it for the right reasons
    John_Spencer
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    Perhaps I'm misinformed, but the thing that always bothered me about LSD is that it is very much a chemical made by chemical means and I don't know how you could guarantee that what you're taking is even safe. I have the same thoughts about MDMA. People talk about how it's natural and yadda yadda, but have you ever bought drugs from a drug dealer? You typically don't know too much about the source of said substance. Drug makers aren't typically chemists, they're just replicating what someone else told them works... ime, anyways. I just don't trust it but I also don't have any personal experience with these substances.

    I have a friend who used to sell LSD. Apparently, someone left him alone for too long and he ended up eating a bunch of what he had in his pocket and tripped hard for an entire weekend in which our friends had to babysit him. He is definitely messed up for life and many years later, sees things that aren't there and hears music that isn't there.
    John_Spencerlobsterriverflowdhammachick
  • Thanks @sova.

    I was interested to read Timothy Leary say that they had many hundreds of experiments with individuals taking LSD and no instances of 'bad' trips until it went 'public' and people started taking it at rock concerts with alcohol.

    He would talk about 'set' (mental states) and 'setting' (physical environment) as very relevant to the experience itself (which makes sense).

    I think that we are terribly irresponsible with our attitude to drugs and the fact it is such a taboo subject only makes it more of an issue.

    Buddhists should be real experts in the area of 'addiction' and mental states and could really help to bring a more mature relationship with such issues in society.

    There, mini-rant over!
  • Perhaps I'm misinformed, but the thing that always bothered me about LSD is that it is very much a chemical made by chemical means and I don't know how you could guarantee that what you're taking is even safe. I have the same thoughts about MDMA. People talk about how it's natural and yadda yadda, but have you ever bought drugs from a drug dealer? You typically don't know too much about the source of said substance. Drug makers aren't typically chemists, they're just replicating what someone else told them works... ime, anyways. I just don't trust it but I also don't have any personal experience with these substances.

    I have a friend who used to sell LSD. Apparently, someone left him alone for too long and he ended up eating a bunch of what he had in his pocket and tripped hard for an entire weekend in which our friends had to babysit him. He is definitely messed up for life and many years later, sees things that aren't there and hears music that isn't there.

    Yes - there have been issues of people dying here in the UK recently from buying drugs they thought were MDMA but were not.

    On the other hand our ex-government drug tsar,Professor Nutt, was sacked from his post for saying that peanuts or horse-riding are more dangerous than ecstasy (which is true).

    This is a good article on such issues.
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran
    @John_Spencer yes, I feel you. Timothy Leary is a really cool dude. Honestly, after I tried MDMA the first time I wanted to put it in the world's water supply. It really opened me up to a lot of love. That said, the setting I was in was ideal, with very close friends and in a beautiful natural setting. A very protected and relaxed place.

    @zombiegirl drug dealers are people too! :P
    lsd is certainly man-made. mdma as well. I can understand the hesitation people have in self-administering man-made chemicals, yet we do so every day, many of us anyway, in the guise of "medicine" -- and I have met doctors who know a lot about suffering, and a vast many who have very little idea of what suffering is. It's not like you can fix the body and the mind will flex into an OK-state. Holistic care should really be about both aspects.


    @John again: well, if you'd like to start a clinic sometime, with some acreage in the forest and some groovy people, by all means, let's do it! There is a lot of healing potential in such things, and as long as people are able to experience what happens in a safe and comfortable way, there should be few if any problems. There are some excellent cases where people with chronic depression and anxiety make /real/ breakthroughs in a single session thanks to stuff like MDMA

    @zombiegirl again: lsd is cool in that it really teaches you about relativity, but yes, if you take too much the effects can take a long time to wear off. personally, I don't think any of the problematic effects are permanent, but it does take time and effort to heal.

    John_SpencerMaryAnne
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    @sova What did I say to imply that I don't think drug dealers are people? Of course I know this, my comments come from experience with drug dealers, not the drugs themselves.
    I also see your point about how we are taking "drugs" each and every day because of medicine, but I don't see that as an accurate comparison since you are comparing an industry which adheres to many rules and regulations to something people make in secrecy with no real standardization or supervision. If anything, the fact that even with all of it's checks and balances and studies, the modern medical field is STILL creating drugs that kill/harm many people and spur all sorts of class action lawsuits, should be another point that it's hard to trust in ANY man made chemical we put into our body. Just the idea of taking something with trust like that, generally completely ignorant of the source, is very scary to me, at least.

    In one weeks time I will be at Detroit's annual techno festival and undoubtedly will be offered all sorts of drugs from random people. These are the situations in which many people take these drugs... no idea who these people are or what the stuff really is...
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran
    @zombiegirl well, it's just that I know incredibly knowledgable chemists who are recreational enthusiasts, so the generalization kinda threw me. I suppose our sample groups are different, but yes, if you can't be sure of the sanctity of the source then it is best to abstain. You will have so much fun in Detroit! Dance a good dance for me please! :)
    zombiegirl
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a manual of altered mystical states, not the post death mumbo jumbo in Tantric ignorance.
    Timothy Leary knew this. He was a serious researcher.
    Here is his research:
    http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Timothy-Leary-The-Psychedelic-Experience-The-Tibetan-Book-Of-The-Dead.pdf
    I used to have the book. Would not bother with the technique, most people get high but achieve nothing. That is what my 'inhalation' taught me. Nothing mystically useful. Move on.
    Combining practice with hallucigens is not required or advisable.
    Some of you will not listen to experience. Understood.

    I went into Skunk Works yesterday, just passing, to get some legal marijuana for my sisters anxiety.
    http://www.virtualnorwood.com/forum/topic/12818-new-legal-high-shop-for-crystal-palaceanerley/
    They tried to sell me some chemical sachet, which contained nothing natural or sedating that I recognized. £25. Bought nothing. Glad.
    Chamomile tea or a made up tea with valerian, skullcap etc would probably be far cheaper and far more calming.

    My sister won't medicate, is not doing sufficient yoga and is very troubled. She might take a herbal medicine, might do further research . . .



  • Hey @lobster - have you seen that paracetomol has been shown to relieve anxiety in subjects?

    Probably not relevant to your sister but it is interesting none the less.
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Hey @lobster - have you seen that paracetomol has been shown to relieve anxiety in subjects?

    It may be relevant. I will pass it on. Many thanks :)
  • Fifth precept.
    dhammachick
  • Fifth precept.

    I question the Fifth precept.



  • mynameisuntzmynameisuntz Explorer
    edited May 2013
    In regards to the topic: I have never seen substances as being a path to truth. I realize some people might disagree, though I maintain the belief that it only brings what could be comparable to a dream-like, illusory state. Personal belief.

    @lobster - what kind of anxiety? By and large medication is not a very efficacious form of treatment for a variety of reasons. Some include: 1) we have no idea how many of them work, 2) they are often dangerous, 3) they are rooted in short-term symptom reduction which is NOT prognostic of long-term change.

    The nature of her anxiety is, of course, of relevance though the model for anxiety is transdiagnostic meaning that, regardless of her specific "diagnosis," there are universally superior approaches. Medication is, by scientific standards, not one of them.

    I would be happy to share more if you could give a few sentences just explaining what she is struggling with.
    lamaramadingdongperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    I would be happy to share more if you could give a few sentences just explaining what she is struggling with.
    Neither the time or the place. Thanks all the same :)
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran

    In regards to the topic: I have never seen substances as being a path to truth. I realize some people might disagree, though I maintain the belief that it only brings what could be comparable to a dream-like, illusory state. Personal belief.

    I agree. If enlightenment is cutting through illusion to see reality as it really is, how can a drug which alters reality even further by creating new illusions be considered helpful?
    lamaramadingdonglobsterpersondhammachick
  • robotrobot Veteran
    The problem is that someone has who never had an awakening experience with psychadelic drugs, and/or has no experience with them at all, will never understand what those who have are describing.
    The chances of having that type of experience by taking LSD or mushrooms is small. More likely one would have to try it numerous times, under different and controlled conditions to have an awakening type of experience. Otherwise the experience might be at best unpleasant or scarey and at worst, damaging.
    For the purpose of discussion among Buddhists, it must be said that experimenting with these type of drugs is to be avoided due to the risks and dubious benefits. So most people who are wondering or speculating or doubting about whether an awakening experience is possible will never know for sure one way or the other.
    At the end of the day, one will never progress on the path to awakening by repeatedly using psychedelic drugs. When I was young I tried so that's what I believe.
    One can be set onto the path of seeking as a result of those experiences, however.
    Someone who is studying Buddhism generally is past the seeking stage and has made their choice, so is in no need of experimenting with drugs as part of their path.
    John_Spencerperson
  • edited May 2013
    At best, hallucinogenics show you the light coming from under the door, not opening the door.
    zombiegirlpersondhammachick
  • ZaylZayl Veteran
    I'll go so far as to say, without Cannabis, I never would have had an epiphany that resulted in me taking a step back, and thinking long, very long, about everything that came to mind. I examined where these thoughts arose from, and where they were going. I learned how to see the big picture when I was on drugs, instead of greedily gobbling up every little bit of carnal pleasure that came my way like I used to. I learned patience, a reason to be humble, some very abstract thoughts (it may just be me, but I see everything as part of one whole. This includes other people. I view this "whole" as the true way of the universe.) And this is all after smoking just one time, and these thoughts came to a sober mind the next day.

    Make of that what you will.
    lobsterMaryAnneJohn_Spencer
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran

    In regards to the topic: I have never seen substances as being a path to truth. I realize some people might disagree, though I maintain the belief that it only brings what could be comparable to a dream-like, illusory state. Personal belief.

    I agree. If enlightenment is cutting through illusion to see reality as it really is, how can a drug which alters reality even further by creating new illusions be considered helpful?
    One uses attachment to transcend suffering. You know, hold on to the boat until you get 'cross to the other side.

    That said, you definitely gotta leave the boat if you're gonna walk around on the other side... =)

    (not my original work, you can thank the Buddha)
    John_Spencer
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