drugs and spirituality

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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Dhammomhi
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drugs and spirituality

Postby Dhammomhi » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:44 am

simple
do you think drugs can change you on a profound level in order to guide you to the dhamma, or are any seeming positive yields just a delusion? say if a person takes acid and they subsequently quit smoking cigarettes, take on the five precepts for lay people, renounce sex, etc. would these changes have been a direct result of drug use or just a coincidence
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

may you be loved; may you be happy.

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Kim OHara
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:21 am

Hi, Dhammomhi,
This topic comes up constantly. The consensus is that drugs are usually negative but can sometimes help in early stages of the path, often by breaking down habitual thought patterns. In the longer term, they are less useful and become a barrier to progress.
Please look around older threads on the topic to get an idea of what has already been said.

:namaste:
Kim

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Sam Vara
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:28 am

Dhammomhi wrote:simple
do you think drugs can change you on a profound level in order to guide you to the dhamma, or are any seeming positive yields just a delusion? say if a person takes acid and they subsequently quit smoking cigarettes, take on the five precepts for lay people, renounce sex, etc. would these changes have been a direct result of drug use or just a coincidence


This is in part a question about the results of kamma that we made in the past. We can't be sure whether drugs we took - or indeed other actions we did or experiences we had - had particular results in the present moment. So it's best not to worry about it as a hypothetical question, and to cultivate one's own path as best we can. Most Theravadans would steer very clear of taking drugs, but that's not to say that they are not in some sense a relatively unskillful means of transcendence or attaining insight. Here's Ajahn Sucitto with an interesting passage:
The methodologies for transcendence are varied: meditation,
prayer, devotion, yoga, fasting, even psychotropic drugs. In the
long run, the ones that are the most useful will be the ones that
can be integrated into daily life with the minimum amount of
dependence on external circumstances orinternal ideology. Then
the method will be applicable to a wide range of people and it will
not become the source of more stressful mental activity. Such is
the spiritual alignment that the Buddha called ‘Dhamma,’


Several of the monks I have met used psychedelic drugs before they settled on what they consider to be a more effective path. But I have to say I've never met anyone who quit smoking cigarettes, took on the precepts, and renounced sex as a result of drug-induced experiences. More common is the desire to explore mental states further, which then leads indirectly to the Dhamma.

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Dhammomhi
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Dhammomhi » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:22 pm

Kim OHara wrote:Hi, Dhammomhi,
This topic comes up constantly. The consensus is that drugs are usually negative but can sometimes help in early stages of the path, often by breaking down habitual thought patterns. In the longer term, they are less useful and become a barrier to progress.
Please look around older threads on the topic to get an idea of what has already been said.

:namaste:
Kim

sorry, i searched a few terms and didn't find what i was looking for. i suppose i should've looked harder
and to the other guy, i think the trip was so bad that it made me revisit everything in my life, since it was an extremely stressful experience but i've come to realize how much frivolity and sense-pleasures i relied on
i do realize taking drugs is bad; i just wonder what is the best way to reflect on said experiences
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

may you be loved; may you be happy.

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Kim OHara
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:37 pm

A Google search on [ psychotropic drugs site:dhammawheel.com ] found half a dozen threads which looked pretty relevant. The built-in site search is not very useful.

:coffee:
Kim

Roz
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Roz » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:22 am

Sam Vara wrote:
The methodologies for transcendence are varied: meditation,
prayer, devotion, yoga, fasting, even psychotropic drugs.

Several of the monks I have met used psychedelic drugs before they settled on what they consider to be a more effective path.... More common is the desire to explore mental states further, which then leads indirectly to the Dhamma.

I can't agree with this even if several monks said it. I think there is a big difference between a transcendence experience and a drug experience. Just becuz you get high and dissociated does not equal a transcendence experience. Its a drug experience. I don't believe people get high & try to replicate the high with meditation. I think people take drugs & experience suffering & alienation. They take drugs, make bad choices & hurt themselves & other people. Some of these people end up dead, others damaged, others at rehab, others at therapists and, the lucky ones, look to Buddhism to straighten out their alienation & confusion. I don't believe what these monks are saying. Just because they became monks does not equal to taking drugs.

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Sam Vara
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:11 am

Roz wrote:I can't agree with this even if several monks said it. I think there is a big difference between a transcendence experience and a drug experience. Just becuz you get high and dissociated does not equal a transcendence experience. Its a drug experience. I don't believe people get high & try to replicate the high with meditation. I think people take drugs & experience suffering & alienation. They take drugs, make bad choices & hurt themselves & other people. Some of these people end up dead, others damaged, others at rehab, others at therapists and, the lucky ones, look to Buddhism to straighten out their alienation & confusion. I don't believe what these monks are saying. Just because they became monks does not equal to taking drugs.


I'm fine with that, but wish you had read my post with just a little more discernment.

ieee23
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby ieee23 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:05 am

Ancient India had to have a lot of psychotropic drugs ( all of those jungles and forests ).

My thinking is that if drugs were a safe and reliable shortcut to nibanna, drugs would have been formally used for that purpose for the past 2,500 years or so of the existence of Buddhism.

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Kusala
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Kusala » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:32 pm

Dhammomhi wrote:simple
do you think drugs can change you on a profound level in order to guide you to the dhamma, or are any seeming positive yields just a delusion? say if a person takes acid and they subsequently quit smoking cigarettes, take on the five precepts for lay people, renounce sex, etc. would these changes have been a direct result of drug use or just a coincidence


Definitely delusion. Thanissaro's Dhamma talk "Your Mind Is Lying To You" may be of help...

Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

ieee23
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby ieee23 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:25 pm

I was starting to open up to Thaisarro Bhikkhu latley. I saw that video years before, watching it again reminded me why I don't care for his work. Negative, judgmental, and fear based. No thank you. No disrespect to Kusala.

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Dhammomhi
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Dhammomhi » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:29 am

ieee23 wrote:I was starting to open up to Thaisarro Bhikkhu latley. I saw that video years before, watching it again reminded me why I don't care for his work. Negative, judgmental, and fear based. No thank you. No disrespect to Kusala.


yeah i dont rly like it either his voice is too much for me
but having fear is not necessarily bad, i mean hell is definitely a scary place
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

may you be loved; may you be happy.

ieee23
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby ieee23 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:15 am

I think he has a nice voice, my problem is what he uses it to say in that video. I don't believe in hell. I find trying to frighten people about it to be small and backward. No disrespect to you.

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Dhammomhi
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Dhammomhi » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:30 pm

the buddha refers repeatedly to hell tho. not just as a figure of space but an actual plane of existence; your actions can easily save you from hell tho, basically if you follow the five precepts you're guaranteed a better rebirth
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

may you be loved; may you be happy.

ieee23
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby ieee23 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:59 pm

Allegedly.

Writings that weren't written down until hundreds of years after his death, that have gone through 2 millenia of possible telephone games, translation issues, etc.

Just because something is printed in a religious text isn't sufficient reason for me to believe it.

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mikenz66
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:47 am

There are some interesting observations in this thread over on Sutta Central...
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/it ... it/5928/29

:heart:
Mike

SarathW
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby SarathW » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:28 am

say if a person takes acid and they subsequently quit smoking cigarettes, take on the five precepts for lay people, renounce sex, etc. would these changes have been a direct result of drug use or just a coincidence

This is something like if someone deliberately make themselves blind, deaf or de sexing themselves.
Above acts not going to make your a virtues person.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dhammomhi
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Dhammomhi » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:15 am

SarathW wrote:
say if a person takes acid and they subsequently quit smoking cigarettes, take on the five precepts for lay people, renounce sex, etc. would these changes have been a direct result of drug use or just a coincidence

This is something like if someone deliberately make themselves blind, deaf or de sexing themselves.
Above acts not going to make your a virtues person.

i dont see what is necessarily wrong with depriving oneself of certain senses or sex organs, if they are not beneficial to one
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

may you be loved; may you be happy.

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Dhammomhi
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Dhammomhi » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:24 am

ieee23 wrote:Allegedly.

Writings that weren't written down until hundreds of years after his death, that have gone through 2 millenia of possible telephone games, translation issues, etc.

Just because something is printed in a religious text isn't sufficient reason for me to believe it.

nikāyas preserved in like 4 different recensions by different early buddhist schools & they are more or less identical; not that i am as skeptical as you, but there is substantial evidence that what we are reading is the word of the buddha
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

may you be loved; may you be happy.

SarathW
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby SarathW » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:04 am

Dhammomhi wrote:
SarathW wrote:
say if a person takes acid and they subsequently quit smoking cigarettes, take on the five precepts for lay people, renounce sex, etc. would these changes have been a direct result of drug use or just a coincidence

This is something like if someone deliberately make themselves blind, deaf or de sexing themselves.
Above acts not going to make your a virtues person.

i dont see what is necessarily wrong with depriving oneself of certain senses or sex organs, if they are not beneficial to one

Yes, but you do this in your mind, not in the physical sense.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dhammomhi
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Re: drugs and spirituality

Postby Dhammomhi » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:17 am

it's ideal to use the mind to do such things, but maintaining vision, hearing, and the ability to reproduce or indulge in sensual pleasure isn't necessary to attain nibbana -- that's all i wished to say
i also wonder what the implications are for transgender or transabled people (who wish to transition) in holding the above as a priority
sometimes the sensory overload one can feel is extreme and requires extreme measures
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

may you be loved; may you be happy.


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