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Author Topic: Psychedelics and the Astral?  (Read 14106 times)
Hyacinth Belle
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« Topic Start: September 05, 2007, 07:04:45 pm »

What are people's thoughts on using psychedelic drugs as way into "astral" planes or divine experiences? There are tons of religions/cults that have used hallucinogenic plants for ages. Is this true divinity? And what about, for example, LSD, which is not "natural" but made entirely in a lab? What about people who practically worship these substances as the way to truth and god?

I have mixed feelings about using psychedelics for spiritual purposes. For me, it seems like a cop out or short cut... and therefore would not be as rewarding as the real thing. Also, the matter of choice. You take a drug... and there's no options. Not options like what your trip will be like, but option as to whether or not you trip at all. If at any point you want to *stop* and come back to reality, essentially you can't! That bothers me a lot. People can do what they wish to. I'm sure psychedelic experience is a powerful thing, and I believe they take you into astral planes, but it is no substitute for for producing the same reaction within yourself on your own.
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

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« Reply #1: September 05, 2007, 08:02:00 pm »

I'm sure psychedelic experience is a powerful thing, and I believe they take you into astral planes, but it is no substitute for for producing the same reaction within yourself on your own.

Simple answer.  I dont use them.  That is what my answer for me is.
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« Reply #2: September 05, 2007, 08:14:50 pm »

For clarification, I have not used psychedelics. And I'm not asking for people to reveal their personal experience, just general thoughts!
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #3: September 05, 2007, 08:24:30 pm »

And what about, for example, LSD, which is not "natural" but made entirely in a lab?

There are actually some rather close relatives of LSD living 'naturally' in your garden and your spice cupboard.  Synthetics don't often come into existence completely spontaneously.

As for the use, sometimes there are states that must be gotten to via comunion with certain plants, or more quickly than the normal methods allow.  I wouldn't recommend doing it alone or unsupervised, but there is a legitimate history to the method.

Not for fun, and not without understanding.  But there is a place for it.

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« Reply #4: September 05, 2007, 10:45:44 pm »

What are people's thoughts on using psychedelic drugs as way into "astral" planes or divine experiences?

In general, they only work that way with training. Otherwise what you usually get is a drug-induced "trip" into the weirder parts of your own mind.
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« Reply #5: September 05, 2007, 11:00:53 pm »

In general, they only work that way with training. Otherwise what you usually get is a drug-induced "trip" into the weirder parts of your own mind.

Like my dad. He said one time when he did acid in his late teens  or early 20s (back in the 60s yes), he sat and watched the musical notes float out of his stereo speakers...
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« Reply #6: September 05, 2007, 11:25:37 pm »

What are people's thoughts on using psychedelic drugs as way into "astral" planes or divine experiences?

What an interesting question.  I've wondered the same thing.

What I've found regarding drugs is that they *interfere* with my ability to reach the meditative states I'm aiming.  Note that I'm talking about prescription drugs, primarily barbiturate painkillers, rather than psychadelic drugs.

I'm not sure I'd be willing to try it -- but I might under the right circumstances.
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« Reply #7: September 06, 2007, 05:02:17 am »

Like my dad. He said one time when he did acid in his late teens  or early 20s (back in the 60s yes), he sat and watched the musical notes float out of his stereo speakers...

My mom was a young married in the 60s, and I don't know much about that part of her life, except that she put her foot down about trading the Harley in for a car once she started having kids.  Her dad was a trained medecine worker, though, and I remember being shocked a few years ago when I came into the house and found her popping seeds out of a certain kind of plant into a cardboard box.  Hundreds of them. Smiley

I was rather relieved  to learn that she simply wanted to replant them so that one end of her house would be completely covered by the vines and flowers.  It is strangely uncomfortable to think of one's mother 'tripping'.

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That's how the light gets in

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« Reply #8: September 06, 2007, 08:13:08 am »


Well, I don't see a damn bit of difference between "natural" plants and "synthetic" drugs as far as one being *purer* or *better* or something.  The point is that it trips a trigger in your brain.  Either way, it's a chemical trigger.

As far as is it a good idea or not?  I wouldn't do it, personally.  I'm terrified of the idea of being that out of control.  (one could argue that I might *need* such an experience for some lesson in letting go.  I say, screw it and leave me alone. Cheesy )

Do they hold some place in some traditions?  Yes .. but I wouldn't say that casual usage is the same thing as trained guidance.  CAN you get to the same place with casual usage?  Well, someone had to be first.  Are the odds a lot better that you're going to be catapulted into some kind of mess instead of where you're aiming?  Hell yeah.

If you're LUCKY, IMO, you'll just stay in your own head.  *Traveling* while under hallucinogenics, without any guidance at all?  Who knows where you might end up.
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« Reply #9: September 06, 2007, 08:17:52 am »


I have mixed feelings about using psychedelics for spiritual purposes. For me, it seems like a cop out or short cut... and therefore would not be as rewarding as the real thing. Also, the matter of choice. You take a drug... and there's no options. Not options like what your trip will be like, but option as to whether or not you trip at all. If at any point you want to *stop* and come back to reality, essentially you can't! That bothers me a lot. People can do what they wish to. I'm sure psychedelic experience is a powerful thing, and I believe they take you into astral planes, but it is no substitute for for producing the same reaction within yourself on your own.

I have a stong opinion on this. NO PSYCHEDELICS!  I don't care what your reasons are - spiritual or not.

I went to college with a girl who used them. She totally fried her mind. It was the saddest thing. When she finally got off them, she could no longer hold a simple conversation to save her life. She would repeat sentences, not remember what you said, and couldn't follow a single train of thought for very long.  I often wonder whatever happened to her.

The problem with stong narcotics (of any kind) is that some people can try it once or twice and its done and over. Others who never intend to, get deeper and deeper into it. Maybe its a body chemistry or mental thing, I don't now.  But, if you ever had to put up with a family member lying, cheating, and stealing to get money for drugs, well, I guess you become biased.

Call me biased.
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« Reply #10: September 06, 2007, 10:17:58 am »

There are tons of religions/cults that have used hallucinogenic plants for ages. Is this true divinity? And what about, for example, LSD, which is not "natural" but made entirely in a lab? What about people who practically worship these substances as the way to truth and god?

My take on it is that by and large, we no longer have access to the traditional methods. (Some exceptions exist, but they're not available, basically, to people outside a given very specific culture.) Given that, I'm wary of the idea of exploring it without the scaffolding that was traditionally used (both in terms of 'what do you use, and in what proportion and delivery system' and in terms of 'how do you set up/stage the journey work so that it's productive.)

That said, I know plenty of people who use some kind of psychoactive drug on a regular basis. I don't think I'm the only person out there whose dreams (and therefore waking) experience changes if I do something like drink alcohol. Or drink larger doses of mineral water, for that matter (I seem to respond to the magnesium, in particular.)

I know people who use various herbs to increase psychism in some cases - either as an essential oil blend, or in tea.

I know people who use stimulants (including the really basic caffeine) in some cases as part of magical/ritual work.

And there's the use of fasting or eating limited types of food before ritual (*removal* of chemically affecting stuff from entering the body) that can have an effect.

Where's the boundary between those uses, and the stuff that we more generally consider a psychoactive? I'm not sure there's an easy answer to that question, honestly. (And even if we keep it to psychoactives: what's the difference between cinnamon or the mints or mugwort, and the stuff many people have far more major qualms about?)

Whether or not it's appropriate to use in a given setting seems to depend on a lot of factors to me. Do the people using it really understand what it does, how it does it, and how to minimise or remove any undesireable side effects? Can people make an honest consent to the use? Are there sometimes-but-not-always issues with something (allergies, for example.)

I do think that some uses can be helpful - some people may have trouble with specific kinds of openness or getting beyond nervousness: some kinds of herbal-induced things can help (even as simple as a light relaxant or sedative) In those cases, it's more like removing a barrier to natural inclination. I'm not sure the same isn't true in at least some cases where the psychoactive is more of a factor. I do think we've lost most of the contextual scaffolding that helps us make good decisions about some of that (which is why experimentation can be really problematic.)
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« Reply #11: September 06, 2007, 10:59:49 am »

I wouldn't do it, personally.  I'm terrified of the idea of being that out of control.  (one could argue that I might *need* such an experience for some lesson in letting go.  I say, screw it and leave me alone. Cheesy )

You're not alone, Shad, although my reasoning is a little different perhaps, however this is not the place for me to expose the twisted nuances of my psyche Wink

The whole thread though does bring to mind a TV series I watched before I left the UK... "Tribes"? I'm going to have to try and find a link... where he spent weeks living with a number of tribes, as one of them, and as the series progressed he definitely partook of some interesting psychedelic experiences - but always under the care and control of the tribes. I have no idea if it aired this side of the Atlantic or not.
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« Reply #12: September 06, 2007, 11:05:29 am »



Tribes

Apparently there were more...and I missed them.... Cry
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« Reply #13: September 06, 2007, 11:09:38 am »

You're not alone, Shad, although my reasoning is a little different perhaps, however this is not the place for me to expose the twisted nuances of my psyche Wink

My reasons have a LOT to do with a very bad experience I had in college, where an over the counter pain medication sent me (quite literally) psychotic.

I don't always have to be in control, but I NEVER want to be THAT out of control again.  Not worth the risk.  NOTHING is worth that risk.

That time I didn't seriously hurt anyone .. but ..... I could have.

Never again.
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« Reply #14: September 06, 2007, 11:31:44 am »

Never again.

Makes perfect sense to me.

I've had many offers of many things over the years (I've mixed with some interesting people at different times) that I've never taken up, and it's only in recent years that I realised it wasn't only because of my fear of not being in control of myself.
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All I can say is - if I ever let anyone mess my head up quite so badly, will one of you guys please shoot me? Wink
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