Drugs

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
User avatar
krystalist
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:12 pm

Post by krystalist » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:02 pm

Really interesting, I've been wondering what a guy like Eckhart's response would be if he took some psychoactive drug, didn't know he actually has done it.. do you know in which talk he speaks about this?

I don't have so much deep experience in this area, but I don't think that the case always necessarily is that advanced spiritual disciplines are more powerful than psychedelics in all occasions.
As an example I've got a feeling that spiritual disciplined people often tend to use their practice as a means to feed their ego, the act of fighting the ego start feeding the ego instead. And I think that properly used, in the right set and setting and with right intent, psychedelics don't let you fool around with your games in this way and has the capability to dig up and eliminate very deep rooted attachments and ego games. So I actually think it often could be a good thing even if your'e already spiritually oriented to explore the world of psychedelics. But the important thing is how one uses them, the act of just taking the drug in itself won't get one even close as far as if you do it in the way it's supposed to be done.
I've also got a feeling that shamans that work with this things often are far less ego-attached than many people who's been meditating and stuff like that for many many years. This is nothing I KNOW, but i think it often seems to be like that.
A common trend among spiritual people seems to be to belittle psychedelics as a way of "growing spiritually", but I think these things actually are very very powerful tools used correctly. Some people claims that the insights you gain under the influence of the drug don't lasts and fades away quickly, but my experience is that they can change people radically and induce permanent changes in counsciousness, most judging from what I've seen and heard about, but also to a limitet extent it has happened to me.
What do you think about all this? Please don't let the thread die out, this is really interesting! :P

User avatar
Seancho
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:44 am
Contact:

Post by Seancho » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:54 am

krystalist, did your drug experiences lead you to a lasting sense of peace?

Seems to me that there isnt anything aside from an awareness of ones own life experience that can bring about the decision to release the ego. Life offers us an opportunity to choose -- the 'me'...or peace. How can a drug make that choice for you? Id say only the pain of living with a 'me' can motivate someone to choose differently.
If you stop believing in fear, is it still scary?

eseward
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:27 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Post by eseward » Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:36 pm

Very well said IMO, Seancho.

User avatar
krystalist
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:12 pm

Post by krystalist » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:59 pm

No I don't think the psychedelics does anything for you, they just puts you in a state where they make you do it yourself. As I understand it they only speed up ones natural process. They throw the crap one is trying to hide from in ones face, they show the real nature of the ego, so that one has no other choice but desidentify from it, but that's up to oneself if one wants to do it or not, but it gets very clear how much suffering one is creating for one self when one refuses to let go. In a couple of trips I've had this has been very clear, they started off with very much fear and suffering, and I struggled and struggled to get back to my old reality, and suddenly I could just give up, and swoosh! suddenly I was on the other side, bathing in radiating peace. And the next days and time from there I've definitely felt a difference in my state of mind. So I would say that it has brought me a lasting peace, I don't know to which degree since I can't separate that clearly what my meditation has done and what my psychedelic excursions did. And I don't have had any really big blasting breakthroughs as many other people have, but I know they definitely has helped me.
I've read about lots of people though who's had tremendously radical experiences where their life changed for ever to a much more harmonious and peaceful level. There's a lot of such reports on the internet if someone is curious!
Me myself prefer meditation and ways of getting deeper without the aid of psychedelics but I'm pretty sure I will explore them further when I feel ready..

Adrian
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:13 pm
Location: London Uk
Contact:

Post by Adrian » Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:08 pm

I can not comment on Eckhart's view on drugs, but have experience myself that may be helpful or maybe not. But i'll offer the experience anyway.

Following a spontaneous but temporary awakening a little over 5 years ago. The power of now found me and became my companion. I'm maybe 80% thoughtless these days but even back then in my capacity as an addiction therapist I could see that this is the answer to successfully treating addiction and resolving any other problems we may think we have.

It occurred to me that I had stumbled across the cure for addiction. Addicts are literally trying to "get out of their minds", that’s why they take mind altering substances! And why wouldn't they want to do that? If your mind is an intolerable place to be then "getting out of it" is the only option- what ever the consequences. –

Having successfully tackled my own addictions with this practice I concluded that If people had a better way of get out their minds then they wouldn't need to resort to addictive behaviours. So I began teaching mindfulness (present moment awareness) to my clients with quite staggering results.

I now run a project in London UK (http://www.cocaine-addiction.co.uk) where we specialise in the treatment of cocaine addiction but treat all addictive behaviours using a programme based around Eckharts teachings.

Addicts seem to be very ready for awakening, the addictive drive in my view is our evolutionary drive, the drive to evolve our state of mind. The maddest are the closest, as awareness grows the mind become noisier and noisier and more destructive - addiction in many ways is a reflection of this.

With regard to the effect drugs have on awakening, this seems to depend upon the substance and the degree of awareness of the user.

Downers really don't help they appear to lower our state of awareness, often pushing people deeper into thought, the pain body tends to awaken and without awareness is free cause destruction and perpetuate its self.

My advice would be to stay away from downers - heroin, tranquilizers and alcohol. Alcohol seems to hold back the arising awareness and I find that if people can abstain from alcohol awareness evolves very quickly. Alcohol and downers appear to inhibit awareness for some 4-5 days after use.

Alcohol here in the UK and I suspect in many parts of the world is commonly a persons first response to their feelings. If people are bored they drink, if they are lonely they drink, if they are angry they drink, if they are happy they drink.

Alcohol for many had become like a buffer between them and their feelings. This means that they never get to engage directly with the feeling, they have lost their capacity to feel - the ego is in charge through loss of awarenss and they never get to dissolve and resolve the pain body. Alcohol in short locks people into the pain body cycle and limits the capacity for awareness.

Uppers - crystalmeth, speed and cocaine etc are the ego's best friend, A line of cocaine and the little me in the head becomes the big me, a very high degree of awareness is needed to stop thinking on cocaine etc.. The thinking becomes noisier and more compulsive. Heavy users experience paranoia and is extreme cases can become quite psychotic. Both are conditions of over thinking, the crash after use, when the pain body really gets to feed and grow. In short uppers put you deeper into your head and are a bad idea.

Psychedelics however seem to be different, LSD, cannabis, mushrooms etc have been used for thousands of years in spiritual practice and my personal experience and that relayed by clients tells me that it is easy to maintain a state of presence under the influence.

I would not advise it as a path way, but cannabis users report that when on cannabis they find it easier to feel and hold themselves in the inner body; it also seems to accelerate the rising pain body, or rather make users more aware of it. - Offering the potential of rapid growth. This can result a very rapid deepening of awareness and the pain body is quickly resolved. - But be warned the pain body can come up very strongly and awareness needs to be deep enough to resolve this. Interestingly people report that the drugs have no effect on there state of mind when present, it is as though only the ego is stoned. Awareness is awareness.

The last time used hallucinogenic mushrooms which was about two years ago. i found that they simply threw me into a very high degree of presence. I recall sitting by a river watching everything merging and becoming one, seeing the interconnectedness of all things, an experience that is becoming more common in normal life. It occurred to me then that the hallucinations that I had previously experienced whilst using such substances were merely my conditioned mind grasping and trying to order and make sense of what I experiencing. Presence allows you to let go and then all that is left is awareness. In many ways such drug use may act a useful training, it may even open up the connections to make it possible. But great caution is necessary, I have met many people in my work who have inadvertently triggered an awakening through the use of psychedelics, - it is not uncommon on ecstasy, but then they get lost in the drugs trying to replicate the experience. A premature awakening can also cause problems as the mind goes increasing insane trying to make sense of something glimpsed way beyond its self.

I suspect that many of the young people who are ending up in psychiatric institutions as a result of using strong strains of skunk cannabis are falling into this trap. I was asked to work with a young woman recently who had become very ill after such an experience. She had been going through a very difficult patch, life was really throwing it at her, and she had recently been beaten up by her boyfriend, had miscarried her baby, and was estranged from her family. One evening she was at a party where she smoke a joint of skunk. She laid down outside and looked up into space, and had a realisation. She realised that everything appeared with her field of consciousness, she realised that her conscious awareness is what brought things into existence, that in effect she was the creator, that consciousness is god. Therefore she is god. All of this is true, but not the way he ego understands it and if you're ego gets hold of realisations like that you’re in real trouble. The poor woman was condemned to a mental intuition and put on heavy medication to dumb down such dangerous realisations!

Drugs can help and they can hinder. Be still and let your own inner knowing decide....

Best Wishes

Adrian

User avatar
krystalist
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:12 pm

Post by krystalist » Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:41 pm

really, REALLY interesting Adrian!
The last time used hallucinogenic mushrooms which was about two years ago. i found that they simply threw me into a very high degree of presence. I recall sitting by a river watching everything merging and becoming one, seeing the interconnectedness of all things, an experience that is becoming more common in normal life. It occurred to me then that the hallucinations that I had previously experienced whilst using such substances were merely my conditioned mind grasping and trying to order and make sense of what I experiencing. Presence allows you to let go and then all that is left is awareness. In many ways such drug use may act a useful training, it may even open up the connections to make it possible. But great caution is necessary, I have met many people in my work who have inadvertently triggered an awakening through the use of psychedelics, - it is not uncommon on ecstasy, but then they get lost in the drugs trying to replicate the experience. A premature awakening can also cause problems as the mind goes increasing insane trying to make sense of something glimpsed way beyond its self.
I have experienced this myself a couple of times. I was having a really hard time trying to grasp what was happening under the influence of the mushroom, trying to find out things about my life that suddenly didn't make sence and so forth. My mind was overheating and I was hallucinating very vividly, then as I eventually let go and accepted the reality as it was, suddenly the hallucinations were gone and I felt very more sober than ever before, rather than lost and confused as I did a while ago. Rather than experiencing a hallucinatory mess around me everything appeared mor clear than ever, almost shimmering in gold.
I've got a feelings that psychedelics challenges you to be present, they show the dark side of the mind, the true face of the ego, so that you have to become present enough and thus desidentify from it, wich can lead to very and radical realizations. I guess that's where their therapeutic value lies. Just an idea...

Can there maybe any more reasons for people getting "insane" as a result of taking psychedelics, and can you develop this thing further? Especially that part I find really interesting!
I would not advise it as a path way, but cannabis users report that when on cannabis they find it easier to feel and hold themselves in the inner body; it also seems to accelerate the rising pain body, or rather make users more aware of it. - Offering the potential of rapid growth. This can result a very rapid deepening of awareness and the pain body is quickly resolved. - But be warned the pain body can come up very strongly and awareness needs to be deep enough to resolve this. Interestingly people report that the drugs have no effect on there state of mind when present, it is as though only the ego is stoned. Awareness is awareness.
I've been thinking about this a lot and trying to study it first hand with myself, and I've come to almost the same conclusion. When stoned I often tend to become kind of paranoid when socializing with people, and trapped in many different games, and my pain body is really making itself heard. But I'm pretty sure this is due to the increased sensitivity and awareness the drug induces, just as stronger psychedelics, but not as intense. If I don't has a while to sit by myself and enter intense presence, I can feel kind of worn out afterwards because my mind has been working so hard. But when I manage to stay very alert and aware, then I become VERY alert and aware, and this to some degree stays with me afterwards the drug-effects has worn off. So I think also cannabis makes everything much clearer, both "dark and bright" things, and it's up to the person to make it either to something affording and positive, or something destructive.
I haven't thought about it in the way that it maybe is the ego that actually is stoned, and not experienced it first hand, but maybe that's because I've never managed to be present enough whilst under the influence... Could you develop this idea also further?

Cheers!

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6862
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:09 pm

Excellent post Adrian, very informative. Oh, by the way, welcome to our forum. I look forward to future contributions.

Have you had any experience with breathing techniques as they relate to their ability to focus consciousness in a state of presence? My own experience is focused breathing is a simple method to bring presence without the potential side effects of psychedelics.

Adrian
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:13 pm
Location: London Uk
Contact:

Post by Adrian » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:03 pm

Hi Webwander.

Thank you for your kind welcome. It’s funny how often this happens. i was just looking at the threads on energy and composing a post when I read your post.

In my work with addicts the key to breaking the addictive cycle is the show people that they do not need to run from their feelings. The emerging pain body usually triggers the addictive response, but if people can let go of the thinking feeding the painbody cycle and learn to feel the painbody directly as a physical experience in the body, they can learn to dissolve it, taking them deeper into the now and gradually eroding that Karmic entity.

Sometimes the painbody can come up very strongly and my self and my colleagues use a number of idea's and techniques that we've picked up on the way to help dissolve the pain body.

One of them is a breathing technique which is a combination of two meditations. One from an amazing book called "emotional clearing" by a chap called John Ruskin. The other part comes from a Chinese medical martial art called Qigong. It’s a neat trick because it uses the breath and the painbody it’s self as the focus to keep attention in the present moment.

Before I describe the technique there are a couple of things I want to mention.

1. Any painbody clearing exercise must be done from a position of acceptance. It is our resistance / non acceptance of the pain that causes it to get trapped. So if we are not careful we can quite easily aggravate the situation, by adding further pain of resistance to the pain body and trapping it deeper. - So don't make a fight of it. The way through the pain is to allow it so completely that you have chosen it. Let it be part of you. If the painbody appears in the moment then it is part of you. Accept it. Welcome it home. Not the mental story that’s just a thought, accept the feeling as a physical sensation and let go.

2. Sometimes this exercise can have very dramatic results, particularly if your awareness is already very high. Which I guess yours is - You might find that there are massive releases of energy as pain body is resolved. Twitching, involuntary jerking, shaking and sometimes an incredible rushing sensation as the energy is released. - The most amazing high you've ever had. When you get the hang of it’s quite amazing and blissful states can emerge from the suffering. We often combine this exercise with some sound healing in group workshop and it can pretty bonkers:)

Ok. Here's how it works

1. First you must be aware of the pain, and to be aware you must be thoughtless. - Make yourself very present, follow your breath or drop into inner body. If you're struggling to feel the inner body which isn't always easy when the pain body arises a little visualisation can help. Close you eyes, flood your body with light and then start to sense the inner body in the hands or feet. Hold it and rest in it.

2. Now find the feeling, look for denseness, a knottedness in the body. If there a several knots start at the bottom and work up. If the painbody is all over that’s ok. Feel it and allow. direct your breath into the feeling (directing the breath into Chakra energy centres is very powerful and has the benefit of clearing emotions that are too subtitle for our awareness, but I'll bore you with this one later) Feel the aliveness in your body and allow. it may help to repeat that word allow as you breathe. I allow this feeling to be... You'll very likely sense immediately a strengthening of inner body sometimes a real buzzing. allow and direct your breath into the feeling. Stay present and let your breath go as fast slow as need it needs to. You might get a little light headed but surrender to that too. (I've never seen anyone pass out yet) - Picking upon the last subject when you let go of the mind grasping awareness is there as it always is.

There is a point where if you allow so completely that the pain turns and you get a rush of joy. You might find you seem to blow out the excess energy as it is released, or that it rushes out the top of your head. Some people kind quirt it out of their eyes with flood of tears, sometimes hysterical laughter. Sometimes its hard to tell the difference between them. Work your way through the knots of pain in the body. With practice you release little knots throughout the day as they arise
So the big clear outs aren’t so necessary.


Give it a try :D

Adrian

User avatar
dazlem
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:58 pm
Location: Camside, Australia.
Contact:

And he continued to speak :-)

Post by dazlem » Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:51 pm

Hi Family :D
It's been a while since I was here NOW and I noticed this thread as I followed my feelings to here NOW this time :-)
I feel personally and this all feels good to me so I will add to it :D
You are all my brothers/sisters/me and I am you/yours. We are all one mind in many locations and many forms and it's great, just look at it and see how great/vast it is.
IMHO from my own experiences with drugs the body is what is being disoriented by drugs, this causes the mind that still has ego attatchment to see any real use in it at all :-) so that's me in, as I see it if we lose our ego we make being here a little obsolete as the ego/conscious mind is the individuality and the beauty that this plane/vibration/energy is all about.....words are so limited :wink:
If we look at the hyper-thalamus during a drug induced state or not it is always producing chemicals and effecting the body accordingly as it is designed to do :wink: it's all about chemicals, when you see the body for what it is, a bunch of chemicals alligned in a certain way as is all matter ( an illusion ) and the mind for it's truth ( eternal and free ) there can be no real use for drugs as they are like all illusions, not real. But they still feel good :lol: :lol: reality/truth is eternal and everything else is illusion as it is not eternal and as such is open to change, real truth never changes, it is beyond anything any one mind could comprehend so I won't try and tell you what it is :-) :lol: :lol:.
IMHO there is no right and wrong in anything so do as you do and enjoy doing it :shock: :D that is why we are here, to figure out what feels good and make it a knowing for all :wink: There was a time when we enjoyed killing and didn't know it was not good to kill and NOW we do, even those who do still kill, know it's not good as they mostly kill for good they think :roll:.
Back to the topic, the only real problem with drugs is getting caught and labelled as bad :cry: one day/now this will not happen either.
Take care and stay well :-)
PS...My take on things goes a bit like this, Conscious mind ( the individual ), Sub conscious mind ( the brotherhood of man ), Super conscious mind ( God/Creator/etc ), that is us and for the conscious to connect with the Super conscious we need the Sub conscious :-)
Darren James Filby
You can enslave and even lose a body, but an idea is free and eternal :-)

Lozza
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:59 am
Location: Australia

Post by Lozza » Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:41 am

I concur with everything that has been said here on this subject....I get the sneaking suspicion that those naturally occuring drugs are purposefully put here...to start people like us on the quest ...

Imaike
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:09 am

Post by Imaike » Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:10 pm

E.T. says that getting drunk can liberate us from our minds, yet instead of rising above thought, we sink below it, to the animal realm. Animals are great and are actually more in synch with life/being than most humans, but the point is that we were given a mind and it's time to evolve beyond it, to return to our natural state, yet consciously.

Someone mentioned coming to great realizations/ideas while stoned, then not remembering them the day after. Maybe because they weren't actually worth remembering. We think that we had some great realization, but actually we didn't.

What I'm wondering about is something that E.T. mentioned in The Power of Now, which was that he believed it better for drug users to have their drugs as they are a danger to themselves and others without them. However he also mentions that the drugs prevent them from facing reality.

My mother is diagnosed bipolar (manic-depressive) and has been taking drugs as long as I can remember. Part of me wants to force her to go cold-turkey, to ignore her doctors and remain drug-free. Part of me says why bother? Why be vigilant over my mother when I don't have to be? Just let the drugs keep her from facing reality so we don't have to deal with anything.

So, is she doomed to unconsciousness through medical treatment of her mental state? Does it matter?

Post Reply