“Our meditations are
nothing but drugs — perfect drugs, without any chemicals in them. A man
who can meditate will not be able to enjoy the drug, any drug. Because,
his meditation gives him so much peace and the drug will disturb it.”
People explore drugs for the same reasons they explore Kundalini and other spiritual pursuits. And I use Kundalini as a stand in for all awakening experiences. So why do we take drugs? Why do we pursue the awakening experience?
Simply put, to reach for something out of reach. Call it higher consciousness. Awakening. Self-realization. Whatever. Some impulse drives us to know more about what lies beyond the boundaries of our material world. Intuitively, we know we cannot accomplish this without stopping the mind. And that’s why we turn to drugs — because they stop the mind. They put the day on hold. Our frustrations, our disappointments, our shames, our guilts, our regrets stopped by a puff of smoke, by swallowing a tablet, by sniffing a line, pumping liquid into a vein.
Drugs provide us with a blank canvas. They let our curiosity run wild. Most of the time we don’t know where our curiosity will lead us; we just go forward, confident there is something out there and we will find it. So what’s the difference between drugs and Kundalini? Do they somehow lead to the same place?
“Many people start their
journey towards God, truth, samadhi, because they have had a certain
glimpse somewhere. Maybe through drugs, maybe through sexual orgasm,
maybe through music, or sometimes accidentally. Sometimes a person falls
from a train, is hit on the head and he has a glimpse. I'm not saying
make a method of that! But I know this has happened. A certain centre in
the head is hit by accident and the person has a glimpse, an explosion
of light. Never again will he be the same; now he will start searching
for it. This is possible. The probable is no longer probable, it has
become possible. Now he has some inkling, some contact. He cannot rest
That’s a big picture description of my explorations. In the 60s and 70s when I was young, I experimented. I didn’t know Spiritual from Wonder Bread. I sat in church, listening to the minister drone on, eager for the sermons and the strictures and the admonishments to end. Yet, I dug the Bible on an allegorical level. I could identify with Jesus and the challenges in his life. But there was nothing to shake me or open me up. And I needed something — a means of turning my mind off, a platform for my curiosity, a way to harness my energies:
“We spend a lot of time
learning the poses and practicing them. It gets so it doesn’t feel right
unless we start the day with Yoga. At no time, however, do Margo and I
discuss its spiritual aspects. The pure physicality preoccupies us.
Years before the appearance of the Yoga mat, Margo sews together some
padded quilting to cushion our bodies against the hardwood floors. We
lie on our ‘mats,’ watching and learning from each other, until our
movements are synchronized. Sometimes, Yoga practice leads to sex. It
seems like a natural extension. Frequently, I am stoned during practice.
To me, there is no separation. If I think about the spiritual aspect of
my life, it is from the Timothy Leary point of view. According to him,
the sacred mushrooms, Yoga, mescaline, pot, Buddhism and LSD share a
spiritual connection. I accept the notion that certain drugs stimulate
clarity; it happened to me. Once with the cat, once in the GWU Hospital,
once on acid in the mountains of West Virginia, lying under a tree with
Margo, Roper and friends. Looking up at leaves swaying in the breeze,
the flora and fauna come alive. I find myself observing the cellular
structure of nature. Or so it seems. I don’t realize until much later
that I am not even scratching the surface. At the time, however, it’s
all very meaningful. In my wayward fashion, I’m looking for empirical
knowledge. And to be honest, drugs are an instrument…”
~ Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time — JJ Semple
Drugs were the instrument; they opened me up. I was able to say to myself, there is something out there. And I proceeded to explore. Not having an addictive personality, I accepted the insights of my drug experiences and moved on. Not as in, “Wow, drugs are bad for me. Better find something else.” I didn’t approach it that way. I didn’t condemn drugs and step away from them. I got to a point in my practice where they became superfluous. It came about organically, in the natural order of things. Had I waited longer or experimented with more dangerous drugs, a good part of my life might have been wasted. Understanding the recovery process is no easy task; it takes courage and commitment.
As I got deeper into Yoga and meditation before long drugs faded away of their own accord. Here were disciplines, unlike religion, that actually gave something back, something I could feel in my body. It was a beginning, yet I knew this practice could take me farther than any religion.
I had given up on orthodox religion; I had exhausted it. Why? I didn’t feel comfortable with the one-way, take-it-on-faith approach. I wanted to play an active role in my spiritual development. If there was something out there, I knew I could find it on my own. Orthodox religion doesn’t allow that. They want you to take everything on faith. They are the go-betweens. You on one side; God on the other. The Church in the middle.
That wasn’t me. And by the look of things nowadays it doesn’t suit a majority of people. People want to take responsibility for their own development — up to a point. Remember Jonestown. Keep it in the back of your mind. Every time someone offers you the Keys to the Kingdom think about Jonestown. And remember how you got into this work. Remember that it’s up to you — not some surrogate — to see it through.
All the time knowing there’s something out there, be skeptical, be suspicious. You will get to the point where drugs don’t matter. And that’s important because addiction is always a danger when you play with drugs. In spite of all the claims and counter claims about gateway drugs, if there’s such a thing as or not, I know from personal experience that one tends to sample. What follows next is purely a function of psychological makeup. If you have an addictive personality, if shutting off the mind at all costs is of paramount importance, you go deeper into sampling. You get hooked.
Or you become motor impaired, as per this Australian study:
You don’t need drugs, in fact, once you get into meditation, you unleash the true energies in the body, and they are more powerful than any drug, including prescription medicines. All drugs, whether prescribed or surreptitiously consumed, are addictive. They are a crutch to fall back on, and, in the act of falling back, these chemical elements act on the natural processes of the brain, inhibiting the production of endorphins and other useful, beneficial neurotransmitters and hormones.
“The really religious
person is one who has become aware of the futility of desiring, of the
impossibility of having anything here in this world or thereafter in the
other world. You can only possess yourself. You can only be the master
of your own being. If you are not trying for that... It is hard work,
there is no shortcut to it; notwithstanding what Timothy Leary says,
there is no shortcut to it. Acid, drugs, are not going to help you
there. That is very cheap, it is very cunning. It is a chemical
deception. You want to get into the world of your innermost being
without any effort. It is a dishonesty. Without earning it you want to
I know there are people that meditate and still use drugs. I can’t imagine what this does because I can’t imagine it for myself. I also realize there are those who don’t accept meditation is more powerful. They don’t accept it because they haven’t experienced it. Meditation eliminated my interest in and use of drugs. And I take no prescribed medications. None.
For more on this topic, visit the Kundalini & Drugs thread on the Golden Flower Forum.