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Is the TS anti-initiatory?

Apr 01, 1998 07:09 PM
by Thoa Tran


Firstly, my comments on my drug-using ex-friends were not meant to describe
you or anyone else that I do not know.  It's more a reflection of a
teenager's wasted 1.5 year.  Actually, it was a year that turned me from
being an uncertain teenager to a woman who knows what is right for her.  I
found out it was alright to declare what I do not like and act on it.

The NOS knows:
>Of course, meditation is probably the safest method of acquiring inner
>silence and I would recommend that any user of psychedelics practice
>meditation regularly. But we are in the Kali Yuga, how many people are we
>going to get to turn off Friends, Seinfeld and ER and sit down for 20-30
>mins a day and meditate? For me personally and a lot of my friends, we
>would never have encountered esoteric thought if we hadn't had certain
>psychedelic experiences that caused a wholesale paradigm shift.

This is kind of backward, isn't it?  In spiritual practice, wouldn't it be
best to develop your foundation-compassion, moral strength, and knowledge,
before you embark on the fast road?  Shouldn't it be that once you have
developed an awareness of the mysteries, taking psychedelics is an
addendum, and not an important part of gaining insight.  Spiritual practice
is a lifetime and serious commitment.  If you can't set aside 20-30 minutes
a day to meditate, then how can you say that you are serious about it?  The
problem with such a backward route is that people will feel that using
psychedelics is the only way that they will connect with the mystery.
Since they have not developed themselves, the connection will be brief.  To
compensate, they continue relying on the psychedelics for that connection.
This is materialistic and not spiritual.

Perhaps using psychedelics will inspire people to further their search.
But if they can't even spend 20-30 minutes of daily meditation, I doubt if
they will do the hard part of spiritual search.

>I would also like to point out the obvious differences between
>psycheledics, hallucinogens, narcotics and stimulants. The group I am most
>concerned with is the psychedelics - Amanita Muscaria , Psyilocybin
>Cubensis, LSD, Peyote, Ayahuasca and DMT (and possibly to a lesser extent
>Hashish)etc. These drugs have been used in traditional rituals for
>millenia, they are the original sacrament not some placebo bread and wine.

It is also so with animal and human sacrifices.  I won't go into other
potentially dangerous rituals that were traditional.

>The story about the Yogi - is it the Ram Dass one? - It turned out 25 years
>later the yogi had not even consumed the acid. I was in Madras and
>Bangalore last year - Sai Baba consumes inordinate amounts of hashish to
>enter the state that enables him to manifest physical items.

Yes, it was Ram Dass one.  It was a while ago that I heard that story.
Thus, it's a foggy file.  What Sai Baba did is probably not for most
people.  Preparation is the key.  I don't think most people are at the
level of Sai Baba.

>I was not talking about spiritual growth but initiation. We accept a lot of
>the theosophical teachings because they have a resonance with us I suppose,
>but it is not until you have been 'turned on' that it all falls into place.

If you're 'turned on' and it inspires you to delve deeper into spiritual
practice, more power to you.  As I said, if you can't spend 20-30 minutes a
day meditating, how are you going to do the rest of the work?

>You don't mention what king of drugs. If they are using everyday then it is
>probably cannabis or amphetamines or heroin, these drugs do not provide any
>spiritual growth. Can you also say yourself that you don't consume alcohol,
>tobacco, chocolate or watch TV? These drugs do more damage to the
>individual and society in a week than all the acid dropped from it's
>discovery till now.
>My non-drug using friends are generally less tolerant, more racist, more
>egotistical, more materialistic and completely closed to any new ideas. I
>can't even bring up reincarnation without looks of derision.

I apologize if I ended up making a generalization of drug-users.  I meant
to describe the people from my experience.  The types of drug used ranged
from psychedelics such as LSD, mushroom, to other drugs such as pot and
cocaine, anything and everything that is mind-"enhancing".  These people
ended up having a materialistic view of drugs.  Even those whose initial
purpose was spiritual connection ended up losing their purpose.  The latter
group can talk to me about eastern spiritual concepts while in actuality
are devotees to their bongs.  You know that old adage, "if everyone smokes
pot, there would be no war."  My adages are, "Carpe Diem", "Eyes bright,
hands quick, feet balanced," and "Be in the present moment."  After I got
away from that group, it was nice to talk to people whose mind are
responsive and in the present.  I was tired of looking at glazed eyes.

As far as alcohol, tobacco, etc., those can also do damage.  I'm guilty of
consuming chocolate and watching TV myself.  However, I eat chocolate only
when my body craves it, which is not often, and I turn on the TV for news,
comedy and as background noise when I'm by myself.  As with usage of
anything and doing anything, full awareness can help us adjust our life

>Education is the key. If the primary goal of our society was spirtiual
>growth then we would be open to all methods and people would have a greater
>understanding of the uses of pyschedelics AND meditatiion. The main problem
>is that drugs like LSD are seen as recreational. I beleive that my body is
>like a sovereign nation. As ruler of this country I have control of the
>borders - i decide what goes in and what goes out. If it is my choice to
>ingest a few hallucingenic mushrooms then I should be free to do so. Every
>law is a reduction of rights and responsibilities.
>If we just make a blanket decision to make these drugs illegal on the basis
>of a few bad experiences by under-prepared travellers we are restricting
>the rights of the individual. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

Laws were meant to protect people.  If the society was as you describe,
then we would not need such laws, would we?  Which comes first, the hen or
the egg?  Are the laws doing injustices to individuals?  Or are the
under-prepared travellers causing such laws to be necessary?  Do you think
that deleting these laws will cause fewer lung cancers, drunken driving,
and drug addiction?  I think that the laws are helping reduce such
incidences.  For myself, I'm glad that I can eat in a smoke-free
restaurant.  Psychedelics were all the rage in the 60's.  Is the world any
more enlightened from that?

>I expect a big flame from the Homo Neophobus' on this, but let's just face
>it if your not turned on then your a robot slave of the military-industrial
>complex (insert United States of America).

Psychedelics is nothing new.  What was the rage comes around again, like
60's fashion.  The same goes for declaration of "robot slave of the
military-industrial complex."  I've heard that song before.  Whatever the
gripe with the U.S. government, it's nothing compared to the injustices and
neglect committed in other countries.  I actually love the U.S., my adopted

A real-life story relating to mind-alteration.  I have a friend who is
manic-depressive.  His sanity is dependent on pills that he will have to
take for the rest of his life.  He loves delving into the mysteries.  He
tried to find it anywhere from Christianity to Paganism to Taoism.  Once in
a while, he deliberately not takes his medication so that he can go into a
psychotic state, talking to God on the T.V., and seeing angels.  In
reality, he caused his family and friends grief through his scary erratic
actions.  Babysitting him is a challenging experience while he goes through
mad rantings.  I see his action as no different than someone deliberately
consumming drugs to make a "religious" connection.  I appreciate my clear
mind and would not want to be in my friend's position.  Maybe others would
rather prefer to be in a constant "mystical" state?

>Suggested reading for the Homo Neophilus:
>Food of the Gods, Terrence McKenna
>Strange Fruit, Clark Heinrich
>Psychedelic Shamanism, Jim de Korne
>Alchemy, Johannes Fabricius
>Namaste' and Hail Eris

Thanks for your input, NOS.  Everyone should know what is right for
themselves.  Whatever you do, I hope that your journey is full of wisdom,
compassion, and full-awareness.  With that triad, you shouldn't fail.

Thoa :o)

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