For adventurers of the Mind, there are two main paths, and one avenue of mediation between them. When seeking altered states of consciousness, the options are as follows –
1. Imbibe ‘psychoactive’ substances
2. Engage in ‘psycho-activating’ or ‘spiritual’ practices
3. Some blend of the two
In this era, if you ask almost anyone, they will tell you that, yes, they believe in the supernatural, and then describe to you the strange experiences they’ve had. On the other hand, whenever anyone states that “This is it and we only get one chance” even a general skeptic will roll their eyes and wonder how anyone can be so limited in their thinking about the structure of life.
Firstly, let us consider what consciousness is. Most people take waking life for granted and the state of physical being-ness to be of utmost importance, or indeed, the entirety of life itself. However, the fact that the waking state is highly stressful to the spirit is evidenced by the massive amounts of sleep, recreation, escapism, and therapeutic measures needed to maintain it. Perhaps a more holistic idea about reality is that waking physicality is simply the most dense of the states available, and therefore the one with the most gravity.
We roam about nightly in dreams, don’t we? There are specifically described alternate realms and supernatural occurrences within the doctrines of almost any religion, and directions on how to access them, however coded. Just because we don’t train at these things and aren’t very good at them doesn’t mean anything about the reality of them. Most of us aren’t physical athletes, but we admire those who are, don’t we? Why would it, or should it, be any different in matters of the spirit? In many other countries, it isn’t different, they have shamans and gurus integrated into everyday life. But since we are in America, which, as a culture worships physical over spiritual success, we, as spiritual seekers, must often find our own way.
The practical question is – when attempting to learn the mysteries of the spirit, do we hit up some Mushrooms/LSD/DMT? Or devote ourselves to deep yogic meditation, or both?
Can you do both? At first glance one would say no – ascended masters aren’t really known for raving ’til dawn, and devout psycheheads aren’t really understood to be in control of the highest forms of self – they really just like to party. And in the middle, we have many adventurers these days who have delved into any and all available areas, and each one has their own story to tell. Stories that are only as good as they hold relatable nuggets for another person on a similar path. So the dualistic question becomes a rotational trinity.
However vague or clear this may be to a given individual, there is a basic distinction between instant gratification (the ‘poison path’ as any Kitchen Witch will explain it) and the ethereal possibility of something transformational, maybe someday, due to complete abstinence from any and all toxins of any kind (otherwise known as the fully devoted meditational path taken by a true mystical adept). So maybe the real question is…how do I best care for my immortal soul? One answer is: first you have to locate a thing before you can decide what to do with it.
All things are connected, on that we can agree. Religious debate arises from one camp stating that God is one thing, the other camp that God exists in myriad forms – each camp hissing and spitting across the battlefield at one another. However they are both correct, because God is, by definition, the Mechanism Of Eternity – all things emanating from a source point to radiate out and make the return. Forever. All things including us.
It’s a simple idea once you know it, and it reconciles everything. Pantheism and monotheism are not authentically separate in this view of totality, they merely operate as different gears within the larger machine. Humans existing in the physical, love being fixed in and focused on the dense body, and while doing so generally don’t take the time to understand what it actually is in the larger ‘not truly separate from eternity’ sense. Therefore, different spiritual camps find it all too easy to take liberties with what the masses are led to believe. Humans make up their minds based on what is most comfortable to their creature-comfort pleasure-buttons in the physical.
However, mystical traditions across the globe are recognized by scholars to bear no real differences from one another once they are stripped of their set dressing. Yes, it is true that there is only one authentic mechanism at work. But it’s also true that the yokel usually hammering on about it doesn’t know what it is. Also, things are changing, so as we enter into this age of Aquarius, the ultimate age of individuality and communal service to humankind – the time when we will all become water bearers, it is our new Freedom Of Responsibility to take good care of ourselves first, for what use can we be to others if we don’t? My own personal experience is all I can truly share, and so it goes:
I used to worship at the altar of acid. LSD – turn on, tune in, trip out. Yeah man, marvy star-babies, let’s dance ’til dawn. I was a swirly-colored visual hallucination junkie and I thought everyone needed to open their awareness to see the things I was seeing. I was also an emotional wreck when sober, and needed the escape, and I hated the come-downs. It wasn’t for many years that I finally found the benefits of deep meditation, and in truth, once shown the way, the results didn’t take long at all. I was already long since immersed in contemplative living, and didn’t need to learn to diverge from normality, breathe, or turn off my chattering mind. All being necessary ingredients for spiritual progress. So, I suppose I had a head start and by the time I got down to the good stuff I had already put in a lifetime of preparation. Being a stamped-out freak was finally good for something…
The practical and lasting results I’ve enjoyed from deep meditation are far beyond anything I’ve ever gotten from drugs. True, psychedelics gave me a lot of vital info, but I never knew how to put the pieces together until I found a sober psychic regimen. Therefore, my personal conclusion is that drugs are provided by ‘nature’ for a purpose. The purpose being to start us on our return trip, but if one is serious about venturing out of the body, progressing spiritually in real and lasting ways, and most importantly preparing for death, then devotional meditation is the only way to go. Sooner or later we all must regain knowledge of – That from which we came, and that to which we shall return.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but if I’m going to be taken from this life, if I’m going to physically die, I want to start getting ready now. I do still consider entheogens and psychedelics to be valuable creative tools for exploring the Mind, but, it is my belief that they are only authentically held in that light, and put to that use, by one who has walked the flip side of coin and abstained from them completely long enough to benefit from the experience. It is only through sanctified deep meditation, only by the sober and willful propulsion of the consciousness into the depths of the soul, that this can be done.
Food for thought – recommended books
Pharmako Poeia by Dave Pendell
The first in a highly regarded trilogy on the subject of psychoactive plants.
Iron Shirt Chi Kung by Mantak Chia
One of the many titles by this author describing yogic techniques not found elsewhere.
Jesus Christ, Sun of God by David Fideler
One of the most stunning books on spiritual science you are likely to read this decade.
Go forth and mystify.