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Hallucinogenics & Spiritual Experience

Can hallucinogenics provide a path to spiritual experience? If it is "just a hallucination" does that make it not a true spiritual experience? Is a hallucination that a person experiences as a religious experience truly a religious experience because the person feels a spiritual awakening as a result of having it? Are hallucinogenics a spiritual "shortcut" and if so does that make it a less valid experience? Are there any "visions" (not induced by the use of hallucinogenics) that are real or are they all hallucinations? Obviously all answers will be our opinions. For the sake of this discussion, lets ignore the legal & health issues.

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nysa00

Asked by nysa00 at 11:48 AM on Nov. 7, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 4 (36 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • To be honest, I am not sure how I feel about hallucinogenics & spiritual experience. On one hand I feel that any experience that speaks to a person on a spiritual level is a legitimate spiritual experience. On the other hand, I am stuck on the question "what makes that more real than any nonspiritual hallucination?" Also I am not sure about how I feel about using hallucinogenics as a "shortcut" (which it seems to me it is) to spiritual experience. I know that some belief systems have used them for a very long time & believe it is the best way to have these experiences. However, I wonder if any experience that you didn't work for long & hard won't be a shallow one. And yet still, I must acknowledge that the use of a hallucinogenic does not preclude a long & serious journey on one's spiritual path. I am hoping some of you smart ladies will have some thoughts.

    nysa00

    Answer by nysa00 at 12:17 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • I was reading a book once that said that using drugs for a religious experience is dangerous and can't be trusted. I tend to agree with him. I don't remember his name but it was a book on Celtic paganism.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:27 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Anything can be taken as a sacrament. Water, roots, teas, bread, air.... The purpose of a sacrament is to bring the intention of your ritual into yourself. Like the Christian sacrament of Holy Communion. The intention is to bring the forgiveness and peace of the crucifixion into yourself completely. Any person truly focused on developing her spiritual life can have a transformative experience during any sacrament.
    ecodani

    Answer by ecodani at 12:28 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • For the sake of this discussion, lets ignore the legal & health issues. --- DRAT LOL , no fun !!!

    Well as a muslim they are prohibited lol, ( just had to get that in lol ) , but prior to being muslim, the idea of there use actually scared me, the idea of being out of control, and not being able to switch it off if I didnt like it , Having had a friend and on one ocassion having to try and persuade them there were not little green frogs hopping round, was enough to put me off for good. I never took anything out of fear. As you say they have long been used for "spiritual exploration", but I'd be of the mind that you would never be able to tell whether it was a true spiritual experience, or some chemicals had messed with the wires in the brain.


    zanzeebeel

    Answer by zanzeebeel at 12:45 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Incidentally, I did use hallucinogenics on occasion when I was younger. I had all good experiences, but no religious experiences :)

    nysa00

    Answer by nysa00 at 12:53 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • tAnswered at 12:45 PM on Nov. 7, 2009 by: he idea of there use actually scared me, the idea of being out of control, and not being able to switch it off if I didnt like it ,


    This is actually something that some Buddhist monks aim for during meditation (as well as some spiritual seekers aim for through the use of hallucinogenics). It is thought that only by letting go of control can you understand "no-self" & begin to let go attachments.

    nysa00

    Answer by nysa00 at 12:57 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • i have had some spiritual experiences on drugs for sure. i could never even begin to explain to them. other people may say i was just hallucinating, whatever that means because in reality what is hallucinating? IMO, drugs open up apart of our mind, and our soul that we cant find naturally. now im not saying that im for drugs, because obviously they are not healthy or legal & i dont do them anymore.. but if only they were healthy, because i really had some good times, great times, emotional times, ive never loved people more then i did on ecstasy, ive never felt closer to god then i did while doing drugs. but i am not religious - i dont believe in organized religions. i am spiritual ...
    PURPULbutterfly

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 1:16 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Well I've had visions not induced by drugs. And I can attest to the feeling that it was real. I've never used drugs so I cannot say whether they are less valid. But I do believe that their are better ways of acheiving spiritual guidance. There is no good short cut in life. Using drugs seems to be the lazy way out ya know?
    SalemWitchChild

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 1:44 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Drugs are not actually providing real spiritual experiences unless it is under the direction of a spiritual leader. Timothy Leary's experiments with LSD started out as a way to recreate the transcendent experiences you find in religion. You cannot create something real through a catalyst like LSD.
    OneToughMami

    Answer by OneToughMami at 2:25 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • This is actually something that some Buddhist monks aim for during meditation (as well as some spiritual seekers aim for through the use of hallucinogenics). It is thought that only by letting go of control can you understand "no-self" & begin to let go attachments.-----

    Well theres a big difference between letting go while under the influence of a mind altering substance and letting go in a natural way, I never had a problem with searching for another level of consciousness. I suppose its like sticking your foot on the accelerator of the car on an open road, its a buzz , but i wouldnt advise it while drunk . (Ok i know its not adviseable at all -- before we have the you shouldnt do it sober comments !!! )

    In the case of drugs i see them as involuntary loss of control, once taken there is no going back, whereas i see letting go in meditation and the like as voluntary letting go, and thats not frightening.
    zanzeebeel

    Answer by zanzeebeel at 3:27 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

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