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 Yay! Or Nay! To Drugs?, pros and cons of using mind altering drugs for magical purposes
valkyrie
post May 12 2009, 09:52 PM
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Forget right and wrong....do drugs help or hinder the magical process????

as loosely defined by our dear friend Wikipedia (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) a drug is:

"any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function"

I've narrowed it down to 'mind altering' in the description column but by no means do I wish to exclude even minor drugs like aspirin or even caffeine...because we all know that these ultimately affect the 'state' in which we perform our various agendas.

i have so many questions that could be answered.

how do drugs, (and which drugs) help the process?
is it necessary to use drugs to obtain an experience, or certain experience, for some people?
do drugs hurt or help ALL spiritual practices, or only certain ones? which ones are these?
which drugs are better, which drugs are worse for magick purposes?
do some of you use drugs ONLY during a ritual...or do you uses it for recreational purposes as well?
if you use drugs to induce certain experiences, do you feel like every time and every experience is valid?
How can you distinguish true from false, and what is the consistent mentality behind accepting what you experience?
do drugs open up gates, or do they tear down the walls of your mind, or do they close doors?
what is the theory behind the spiritual quality of drugs (or perception thereof)?

i am eager to hear what you guys have to say!!!!


(ooops. look like there was already a post like this. sorry guys. i have no idea how to unpost this...nvm haha.)
I like the topic, so I'll keep it up unless the author strenuously objects or a mod rules otherwise...-Bym

This post has been edited by bym: May 13 2009, 11:27 AM

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Vilhjalmr
post May 15 2009, 12:12 AM
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Well, I know a lot more about the pharmacology of drugs than their spiritual benefits or detriments, but I'll try my best.

QUOTE(valkyrie @ May 12 2009, 10:52 PM) *
how do drugs, (and which drugs) help the process?
is it necessary to use drugs to obtain an experience, or certain experience, for some people?
do drugs hurt or help ALL spiritual practices, or only certain ones? which ones are these?
which drugs are better, which drugs are worse for magick purposes?
do some of you use drugs ONLY during a ritual...or do you uses it for recreational purposes as well?
if you use drugs to induce certain experiences, do you feel like every time and every experience is valid?
How can you distinguish true from false, and what is the consistent mentality behind accepting what you experience?
do drugs open up gates, or do they tear down the walls of your mind, or do they close doors?
what is the theory behind the spiritual quality of drugs (or perception thereof)?

‎ ‎     1. Drugs, especially the stranger ones like LSD or salvia (!), get you accustomed to altered perceptions, and to the concept of "gnosis". That is, knowledge through realization as opposed to logic. I am a great fan of reason, but it's simply impossible to describe what it actually feels like to be super high or "tripping", and on occasion impossible to describe any insight obtained. You have to experience it to know it, and sometimes the experience is so different it opens your mind up to other ways of thinking. This is how I became interested in Buddhism: I realized that the reason nirvana is never fully explained is because it's inexplicable, not because it's "religious bullshit" as I might have thought.
‎ ‎      2. Absolutely yes. I think most people will disagree here because they consider "traditional" gnosis to be superior to any that drugs could give you, and I'm not saying they're necessarily wrong - but the effects of drugs are so many and varied I think it's impossible to fully replicate all them on your own. Some act mainly upon, or mimic, chemicals already in your brain, so I could see those; but I doubt there's a human ever born that could meditate themselves into a mescaline trip (for example). Now, if it's necessary to have these chemical experiences, I don't know; but drugs definitely do unique things to your brain.
‎ ‎     3. I think it depends on the practitioner and their goals. Some spiritual paths specifically recommend drugs, shamanism chiefly among them; some don't say anything, like most older ceremonial magic; and some require you to renounce the use of intoxicants, like Buddhism. Not being a master, I don't know if that's always necessary, but interestingly enough I recall reading about some Tibetan Buddhists using psychoactive incense (for instance).
‎ ‎     4. See #1. I personally actually favor cannabis for this purpose, but I think pretty much any non-harmful drug will do. Hallucinogens (psychedelics, deliriants, and disassociatives) probably have the most to offer, spiritually. Cocaine, crack, and methamphetamine I'd avoid, since they don't really feel weird so much as amplifications of ordinary feelings. Alcohol and tobacco are pretty useless too as far as I feel. Heroin and the other opioids... once you get past the desire to just sink back and loll around, I think they have some deep stuff to offer, but it's not as easy as with the more classically "spiritual" drugs - not stuff to mess around with, either.
‎ ‎     5. Not... not be on drugs at some point in time? What? That's crazy! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/13.gif)
‎ ‎     6. I'm not sure what you mean by valid. Is it an experience every time? Sure. Does it always offer spiritual insight? No. I feel like the most important and beneficial thing is usually the thinking about it you do afterward, though.
‎ ‎     7. Again, I'm not exactly sure what you mean. The experience isn't true or false: it's just an experience. For me, spirituality and drug use are more about internal realizations.
‎ ‎     8. Tear down walls, most definitely. Open gates... it did for me. Close doors? I'm sure for some people, and there's nothing wrong with that either. The more open you are to it, the more useful, I think. Never forget about having fun, because it's about the journey!
‎ ‎     9. I probably said enough above, but if you have any questions, comments, or criticisms, please post them. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

This post has been edited by Vilhjalmr: May 15 2009, 12:19 AM


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esoterica
post May 15 2009, 06:57 AM
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depends on the drugs lol - i use pharm methods sometimes, and a lot of herbal and natural methods, and have tried just about everything there is, but i'm still looking for that 'magickal meth' or whatever chemical or cocktail that sends the magical abilities into overdrive, yet leaves the mental state more-or-less stable - everything that i have tried so far has just disconnected the spirit from the body, sort of an oobe, etc, which mine already is (born that way) - i am looking for liquid kundalini, not a way to talk to god or spirits in a less filtered way cause i do that already (born that way) - dmt (which can be produced en masse by acupuncture or just eft tapping) was close but only close

last week i tried some khat, where you chew the leaves but it was sort of dried out (i called it pussy khat since it was a bit weak for my taste), and acupuncture induced dmt flood was better - i had some visions and neat stuff, but no extreme heightening of magical abilities (not looking for physical super-abilities), and the hangover/wearoff was nasty

"I want a new drug
One that wont make me sick
One that wont make me crash my car
Or make me feel three feet thick

I want a new drug
One that wont hurt my head
One that wont make my mouth too dry
Or make my eyes too red

One that wont make me nervous
Wondering what to do
One that makes me feel like I feel when Im with you
When Im alone with you

I want a new drug
One that wont spill
One that dont cost too much
Or come in a pill

I want a new drug
One that wont go away
One that wont keep me up all night
One that wont make me sleep all day

One that wont make me nervous
Wondering what to do
One that makes me feel like I feel when Im with you
When Im alone with you
Im alone with you baby

I want a new drug
One that does what it should
One that wont make me feel too bad
One that wont make me feel too good

I want a new drug
One with no doubt
One that wont make me talk too much
Or make my face break out

One that wont make me nervous
Wondering what to do
One that makes me feel like I feel when Im with you
When Im alone with you" - 'i want a new drug' by huey lewis and the news



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Mchawi
post May 15 2009, 10:14 AM
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Better without than with, end up dependant on the stuff no matter what it is. (excuse the rhyme)

Do like a bit of Mary J, took it in large doses as a youngling stopped for a while and now it gives me panic attacks... all too close to demonic, the paranoia pressing for my worse fears to come true... terrible experience... like I could convince myself to have a heart attack, each beat driving the fear deeper pushing my heart rate up. Would like to smoke it, ride the paranoia and attempt a banishing but its an unpleasant experience one I'd rather avoid.... shame as I enjoy taking it, adds to the mistique sitting there with a sheesha pipe meditating smoke bellowing everywhere but I have to say goodbye if its likely to drive me insane.

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Ankhhape
post May 15 2009, 04:25 PM
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I would direct you to Crowley's excellent book 'Diary of a Drug Fiend' for the correct association with drugs and their purpose


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Vilhjalmr
post May 15 2009, 04:32 PM
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Drug dependency is a great bogeyman in these days.

“I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me.” Hunter S. Thompson

QUOTE(Ankhhape @ May 15 2009, 05:25 PM) *

I would direct you to Crowley's excellent book 'Diary of a Drug Fiend' for the correct association with drugs and their purpose

It is an excellent novel, but I resent the implication that there is only one correct answer to the question of drug use. Almost all modern magic owes a great debt to Crowley, but he is not my prophet. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/13.gif)

This post has been edited by Vilhjalmr: May 15 2009, 04:39 PM


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T. A. Belmont
post May 17 2009, 11:42 PM
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I believe that drugs can be beneficial in moderation, but that is really dependent on the person actually using the drugs. Drugs effect different people in different ways, so it's always best to start with small amounts and always have a friend, or someone responsible that you can trust to be your 'sitter' and keep an on you. People who have a history of mental illness, or other psychological disorders, should definitely NOT attempt to use mind altering substances, as they could amplify or even worsen your symptoms. That being said...

Drugs can aid in the magickal process by giving you that altered state of mind that most magickians look for when practicing magick. Some people believe that drugs aid in breaking down the walls of the subconscious, or even thin the barriers between the physical and astral planes.

I would recommend avoiding addictive narcotics like methamphetamine (speed), heroin, prescription medication, etc. I've found the most beneficial drugs to be marijuana and those in the psychedelic, dissociative, and deliriant family. These would be drugs like magic mushrooms, LSD, DMT, ayahuasca, salvia divinorum, peyote, and san pedro, and the list goes on...check out wikipedia on psychedelics.

Drugs are definitely NOT required to have magickal experiences, as I'm sure a lot of people can attest to. However, as I stated above drugs can be helpful in giving you that 'push' you need to get into a magickal or altered state of thinking.

It's hard to say if drugs help or hurt all spiritual practices, because this is very personal, and drugs do effect everyone differently. This also applies to which drugs are better and worse for magickal purposes, as this too is based personal experience and preference.

I've personally used drugs both recreationally and during ritual. I believe that all of my magickal experiences while on drugs were valid, and often more powerful and life changing than the ones without drugs. Distinguishing fact from fiction in magick alone can be tough at times, and definitely gets harder when you bring a mind altering substance into the equation. Validating and accepting your experiences, is a matter of the nature of perception and reality. Do you believe your experience was real? Did you receive the results you wanted? Question your experience and attempt to validate it using your magickal knowledge.

If you are seriously looking to add drugs to your magickal toolbox, do your research on the doses, effects, and try to find others that have used the drugs before to see if you can get any tips or advice from experienced users. I would also recommend looking at user experiences on the Erowid Experience Vaults. I think I answered all of your questions, and if I missed anything feel free to let me know.

Edit: I tried linking some of the drugs to their wikipedia pages, but realized I can't post links yet. I'm sure you can find the pages yourself, though.

This post has been edited by T. A. Belmont: May 17 2009, 11:48 PM


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valkyrie
post May 18 2009, 11:27 AM
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why thank you for so much information! i have tried a little weed and salvia myself, a couple times, neither of which seemed to change my perception much; they only made me feel sick. i was HIGHLY disappointed. generally, though, i try to abstain from drugs including over the counter medications (only when absolutely necessary), alcohol, and pot. i was extremely curious about how some used drugs in spiritual practices. i like comparing notes you know? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

-valkryrie

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Jenfucius
post May 18 2009, 07:28 PM
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I say it depends.

In a nut shell. (If it hasnt been said already)
- I would stay away from artificial or refine drugs. Stick to natural stuff if you must.
- I would be against the recreational use of drugs. I think thats where alot fo the problems start.
- Find out the traditional use of the drugs and stick with their precautions.
- Make sure you know the right dosage or you can OD for sure.
- If you have a history of mental illness its probably best to stay away from them.
- Best not mix drugs unless you know what you are doing.
- Becareful not to do it on a full stomach or you can drown in your own vomit if things goes badly.
- Have sober friend to make sure theres isnt any problems.
- If you have a heart condition stay away from it. Get a general health check up befor using them.
- Dont use the drugs for sustain lengths of time. You might be damaging your self and not knowing it. Or getting yourself addicted.

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esoterica
post May 19 2009, 09:49 AM
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>>drown in your own vomit if things goes badly.

bwaaaaaleeeeeeech!...cough...cough...ugh(thump)

don't grab the handle if you fall into the toilet or you could flush yourself

don't use up the stash at one go

don't waste the experience by sleeping through it

play





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Casadeluna
post May 19 2009, 01:07 PM
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i think you know in your mind Val what the truth of the matter is, but everything is a drug really, an apple, that can in front of me, this gum im chewing, its all being taken in my my body somehow,,,just keep your body well...you only have one you know (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) there are more fun things to do than ponder drug use,
too much of a good thing, is a bad thing

much love
III

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Vilhjalmr
post May 19 2009, 08:56 PM
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QUOTE(Jenfucius @ May 18 2009, 08:28 PM) *

I say it depends.

In a nut shell. (If it hasnt been said already)
- I would stay away from artificial or refine drugs. Stick to natural stuff if you must.
- I would be against the recreational use of drugs. I think thats where alot fo the problems start.

- Find out the traditional use of the drugs and stick with their precautions.
- Make sure you know the right dosage or you can OD for sure.
- If you have a history of mental illness its probably best to stay away from them.
- Best not mix drugs unless you know what you are doing.
- Becareful not to do it on a full stomach or you can drown in your own vomit if things goes badly.
- Have sober friend to make sure theres isnt any problems.
- If you have a heart condition stay away from it. Get a general health check up befor using them.
- Dont use the drugs for sustain lengths of time. You might be damaging your self and not knowing it. Or getting yourself addicted.

I have bolded all bullshit statements in this post. Pay attention to them at your own peril.

This post has been edited by Vilhjalmr: May 19 2009, 08:57 PM


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valkyrie
post May 20 2009, 12:11 AM
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i appreciate the concern but i assure you...that i am not seriously considering trying drugs. i was much more curious about how OTHERS use them in spiritual practices, since it all seemed so ambiguous to me. also, recently i read quite a few references and arguments concerning the matter on this forum so i felt like it would be good to highlight the topic, and explore it further.

i don't try to presume to assume to pretend to consider to know what the truth of the matter really is...even if i am more than a little suspicious (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) much love and kisses -v

This post has been edited by valkyrie: May 20 2009, 12:12 AM

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Goibniu
post May 20 2009, 12:25 AM
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Personally, I find that meditation is a fantastic way to go on a psychedelic trip. It doesn't cost anything and doesn't leave any hangovers. It is more powerful than any drug that I may have ingested during my misspent youth back in the '70s. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/bigwink.gif) It just takes practice.


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Vagrant Dreamer
post May 21 2009, 08:10 AM
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My opinion on the matter is that 'natural drugs' (I have little opinion on refined drugs as i have no experience with them) is that they are best approached as a student learning from a teacher. Different psychedelics have different lessons to teach and if you go into the experience with an open mind for paying attention and learning a lesson they can be a powerful aid to spiritual development.

The respect issue of using psychedelics for growth or for fun, to me depends on what you think of the substance itself, as a part of the universe - does it have a consciousness, and does is that consciousness what teaches the lesson? Or is it just an alteration to your brain chemistry that elicits an emotional response? Personally I see the universe as a living thing with a mind, body, and spirit just as we have, though on a grander cosmic scale, and possibly owing to this, it was when I started smoking pot for recreation that it turned on me, and I have not been able to smoke it since without having a really bad high. It's not the same for my old stoner friends who are high pretty much all the time - but they never approached it with that student ideal in mind, and I am also a lot more mellow sober than they are when they're high.

With the right perspective, though, I think its fair to say that psychedelics can teach you a lot. In our youth most of us don't have the proper mindset to want to approach it that way, and that's when a drug drop is wasted in my opinion - not to say that you won't learn something along the way, it is after all a new experience, but that it's less likely you'll be able to take that lesson and apply it later towards attaining the same states of mind on your own.

With mushrooms, for example, my goal was to take them, and then carefully pay attention first to every physiological change, every psychological change, and what my mind and brain felt like during the trip from the time I took them to the time it was over.

I only did mushrooms twice, but those two times advanced my ability to think abstractly and approach the 'oneness' experience with greater ease. I've been more sensitive to energy since then, and on a greater scale, and it is much easier now to step outside my ego for perspective. If I focus on each of the stages leading up to the actual psychedelic peak of those trips, I can even manage some degree of control over my own perception - I can see things as more than they are, see their potential to be different things, see their association with their surroundings and the significance of that association. I can even push myself into hallucination if I spend enough time essentially pathworking the experience. All of this has been a great help in my magical practice, and I don't have to do shrooms again to get those experiences - and after what happened with pot, I'm not inclined to disrespect the plant by using it haphazardly for recreation.

Pot taught me lessons about Being, serenity, stillness, observation, expansion and contraction, and how to withdraw sensation from my body into one spot and move it around. Before that last one, it was difficult for me to focus my consciousness into particular areas on my body, and although I had occasionally been able to do it before, after my experience with pot and the insights that experience brought I am able to do it any time with very little effort.

These drugs take our experience to extremes, to places where in practice we don't necessarily need to go to get the results that we want - while we can spend years pushing the bar of 'peak experience' higher and higher on our own, we can also approach these plants respectfully with an eye for observation and the intention to learn about that path of consciousness itself, allow them to show us the path to that experience, and then diligently pursue that path on our own and be stronger for it.

There is some question as to whether or not the individual is ready for that experience if they haven't gotten there on their own, but at the same time many of these substances will smack you down if you aren't ready for it, that was my first shroom trip and I did get the smack down, but even that experience informed me of some of my associated weaknesses and gave me the necessary inspiration to rectify them. My next trip some six months later was, I believe as a result as all of the other conditions were for all intents and purposes identical (setting, dosage, timing, strain, etc.), far more constructive in the way I was hoping for.

That is of course just my opinion, but I think of it like this - a student learns lessons from a teacher, and then one day no longer needs the teacher (though they may certainly move on to another). Chronic substance abuse is like staying attached to a teacher after they have taught you all they know. They can keep telling you the same stories that you've heard a hundred times, but you're not going to get anything new out of them after a certain point - you have to start using the inspiration to write your own stories, or go find someone who knows different ones.

peace


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esoterica
post May 21 2009, 09:13 AM
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i am leaving the dmt work for the next big gnosis-conduit - excellent results but the withdrawals are too much like puberty with the mood swings and the sex problems

dmt is a good drug to play with - dmt flood is free, no addiction, heavy level of gnosis since it simulates the near-death experience, and comes from your brain (but at a cost as i just talked about before - there are probably different problems for others, so be warned) - i put up a thread about it


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azareth
post May 30 2009, 06:59 AM
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Yay for me...!
Well i use lophophora williamsii ,street name poyote cactus,Yage,weed and hashish,psychedelics in general,it helps much with the process of astral journey,but its much better to do it without any chemical corn,the psychedelics are catalysts.
i use shamanic medicine quiet alot.
yet i wouldnt use a drug more than twice a month...

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Jenfucius
post May 30 2009, 07:57 AM
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QUOTE(Goibniu @ May 20 2009, 02:25 AM) *

Personally, I find that meditation is a fantastic way to go on a psychedelic trip. It doesn't cost anything and doesn't leave any hangovers. It is more powerful than any drug that I may have ingested during my misspent youth back in the '70s. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/bigwink.gif) It just takes practice.

(I dont want you think I'm attacking your post or anything.)

The question is are the states received by plant drugs identical to those developed in meditation???
I'm not sure if they are???




This post has been edited by Jenfucius: May 30 2009, 08:00 AM

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Firephoenix
post Jun 2 2009, 06:40 PM
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Drugs are definitely not required. I have never tried illegal drugs, but I was convinced to try a legal one that supposedly helped with gnosis. It did nothing for me, only bodily. I get the same effects from alcohol as I do from the other stuff. It's not a sure thing and can be really dangerous. Even if the drug is not physically addictive, it can be psychologically addictive. Of course Shaman have been using drugs for magickal purposes forever. If you choose to take drugs, you might want to talk to an expert like a shaman. Be careful, some people claim to be something their not. It's also important to note that a lot of drugs kill brain cells:


"Absinthe - besides exceedingly high amounts of ethanol, absinthe also contains thujone, a GABA receptor antagonist. Effectively, thujone is the opposite of benzodiazepine anticonvulsant/tranquilizers (such as Xanax and Valium). Unsurprisingly, in high doses, thujone has been proven to cause seizure and death. Fortunately (or unfortunately, if you're looking to damage your brain cells), the European Union places restrictions on thujone content in absinthe, ensuring the drink's psychoactive and neurotoxic qualities arise from the high alcohol content, and not the thujone.
Alcohol - while the greatest ethanol-induced brain damage results from vitamin deficiencies (see Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome below), alcohol itself can also result in structural changes within the brain. Since ethanol has a variety of pharmacological effects, it's difficult to tell exactly how the damage arises, but MRI evidence shows decreased brain volume in alcoholic patients.
Dissociatives (DXM, MK-801, PCP, Ketamine) - A study by J.W. Olney showed that in rat models, administration of normal doses NMDA receptor antagonist drugs resulted in over-excitation and death of neurons as a result of malfunction of intracellular organelles (specifically, the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum). Since then, additional studies have shown many kinds of cognitive deficits in chronic ketamine users.
MDMA (Ecstasy) - MDMA has been proven to produce damage to serotonin neurons in rats and mice due to oxidative stress and free radical damage. Some have claimed that fMRI evidence demonstrates similar damage in humans, although many have disputed these studies. There have also been several studies showing memory deficits in those who abuse MDMA. Administration of a SSRI such as fluoxetine (Prozac) within 4-6 hours of MDMA use may reduce the risk of damage. The media has hyped MDMA's relationship to dehydration, which can also produce brain damage (see below).
Methamphetamine (speed, meth, ice, way too many Vicks Vapor Inhalers, etc.) - like MDMA, methamphetamine appears to produce oxidative stress, but damages dopamine rather than serotonin neurons. As a result, chronic methamphetamine abusers often show early-onset symptoms of Parkinson's disease and other cognitive deficits. Recent research has shown that prior administration of a free radical scavenger such as N-acetylcysteine can attenuate damage. Like any other stimulant, methamphetamine can also produce stroke (see below).
MPTP - MPTP results from improper synthesis of MPPP, a synthetic opioid. A single dose can result in severe damage to dopamine neurons, producing symptoms resembling those of Parkinson's disease. MPTP is often used to produce animal models of the disease to test new treatments.

Notably absent from this list are marijuana and the 5-HT2A agonist psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, etc.). That doesn't mean that these drugs are safe, just that according to the research I was able to find, they are not neurotoxic in and of themselves. On the other hand, there is well-established evidence that these drugs can damage the brain in other ways. Psychedelics can produce HPPD or PTSD, and early-onset marijuana use increases the probability an individual will develop schizophrenia. See PubMed, Erowid, or Wikipedia for more on the effects of drugs."

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The_Seeker
post Jun 2 2009, 10:35 PM
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QUOTE(valkyrie @ May 12 2009, 10:52 PM) *

how do drugs, (and which drugs) help the process?
is it necessary to use drugs to obtain an experience, or certain experience, for some people?
do drugs hurt or help ALL spiritual practices, or only certain ones? which ones are these?
which drugs are better, which drugs are worse for magick purposes?
do some of you use drugs ONLY during a ritual...or do you uses it for recreational purposes as well?
if you use drugs to induce certain experiences, do you feel like every time and every experience is valid?
How can you distinguish true from false, and what is the consistent mentality behind accepting what you experience?
do drugs open up gates, or do they tear down the walls of your mind, or do they close doors?
what is the theory behind the spiritual quality of drugs (or perception thereof)?


From my perspective, marijuana is a well-suited drug for any and all spiritual practices. It simply calms the mind and allows one to easily enter a trance state or undergo deep meditation much more quickly than a non-smoking meditator. Psychadelic drugs like magic mushrooms can provide experiences that yield extraordinary states of clarity. Ecstay is useful for rituals that work with emotional intensity. These drugs could also safely be used for some recreational purposes. Any kind of insight gained from using a drug is essentially valid.

valkyrie, I'm confused as to what you mean by distinguishing between true and false. Everything that is experienced could either be considered real (true) or unreal (false), but essentially all are just part of the experience of existing (sorry for the lack of clarity in my words, I'm a little over the weather). However, the fact that these drugs are in your system only blurs your perception of reality and does not alter any sense of truthfulness or falseness in your workings.

Any drugs that can relax your body and/or mind can prove to be useful.

Drugs open doors simply because they provide alternative insights that you would not have had if you had not used a drug.

I suppose cocaine and other highly intoxicating and addictive drugs could make for some powerful ritual work but your body is being destroyed. Crowley was heroin addict when he died afterall.

Magic mushrooms are/were considered the 'food of the gods' by some religions because of the immense amount of insight they can provide.

Personally I'd say Yay! to drugs that help you relax and just feel your energy and nay to any others because they can cause more harm than good.


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Vilhjalmr
post Jun 3 2009, 12:38 AM
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Good posts. A few comments:

QUOTE(Firephoenix @ Jun 2 2009, 07:40 PM) *
"Absinthe - besides exceedingly high amounts of ethanol, absinthe also contains thujone, a GABA receptor antagonist. Effectively, thujone is the opposite of benzodiazepine anticonvulsant/tranquilizers (such as Xanax and Valium). Unsurprisingly, in high doses, thujone has been proven to cause seizure and death. Fortunately (or unfortunately, if you're looking to damage your brain cells), the European Union places restrictions on thujone content in absinthe, ensuring the drink's psychoactive and neurotoxic qualities arise from the high alcohol content, and not the thujone.

It doesn't seem like any absinthe ever contained much thujone, as an interesting aside. It got hyped up for a while as a supposed reason absinthe was worse than other alcohol, but like most anti-drug campaigns it turned out to be bullshit.

QUOTE
Alcohol - while the greatest ethanol-induced brain damage results from vitamin deficiencies (see Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome below), alcohol itself can also result in structural changes within the brain. Since ethanol has a variety of pharmacological effects, it's difficult to tell exactly how the damage arises, but MRI evidence shows decreased brain volume in alcoholic patients.

Yeah, no argument there.

QUOTE
Dissociatives (DXM, MK-801, PCP, Ketamine) - A study by J.W. Olney showed that in rat models, administration of normal doses NMDA receptor antagonist drugs resulted in over-excitation and death of neurons as a result of malfunction of intracellular organelles (specifically, the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum). Since then, additional studies have shown many kinds of cognitive deficits in chronic ketamine users.

Also no argument, but with a caveat: There's a bit of controversy as to the brain-damaging effects of dissociatives. Last I read it was becoming more uncertain as to whether or not Olney's Lesions were caused by DXM at all, or perhaps only excessive use (for example), but I haven't researched this a lot so anyone wanting to try ketamine or DXM should look it up. I wouldn't recommend PCP at all, ever. It's got a bad rap, but not entirely unfairly.

QUOTE
MDMA (Ecstasy) - MDMA has been proven to produce damage to serotonin neurons in rats and mice due to oxidative stress and free radical damage. Some have claimed that fMRI evidence demonstrates similar damage in humans, although many have disputed these studies. There have also been several studies showing memory deficits in those who abuse MDMA. Administration of a SSRI such as fluoxetine (Prozac) within 4-6 hours of MDMA use may reduce the risk of damage. The media has hyped MDMA's relationship to dehydration, which can also produce brain damage (see below).
Methamphetamine (speed, meth, ice, way too many Vicks Vapor Inhalers, etc.) - like MDMA, methamphetamine appears to produce oxidative stress, but damages dopamine rather than serotonin neurons. As a result, chronic methamphetamine abusers often show early-onset symptoms of Parkinson's disease and other cognitive deficits. Recent research has shown that prior administration of a free radical scavenger such as N-acetylcysteine can attenuate damage. Like any other stimulant, methamphetamine can also produce stroke (see below).
MPTP - MPTP results from improper synthesis of MPPP, a synthetic opioid. A single dose can result in severe damage to dopamine neurons, producing symptoms resembling those of Parkinson's disease. MPTP is often used to produce animal models of the disease to test new treatments.

All true. It's worth noting, though, that most opioids (morphine, heroin, the like) aren't neurotoxic at all. In fact, I can't think of a single commonly used opioid that is. They are pretty benign drugs and my personal favorites. Addictive, overdose, and improperly identified or synthesized drugs (i.e. MPTP) are still dangers, of course.


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Firephoenix
post Jun 5 2009, 12:04 PM
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QUOTE(Vilhjalmr @ Jun 3 2009, 02:38 AM) *


Also no argument, but with a caveat: There's a bit of controversy as to the brain-damaging effects of dissociatives. Last I read it was becoming more uncertain as to whether or not Olney's Lesions were caused by DXM at all, or perhaps only excessive use (for example), but I haven't researched this a lot so anyone wanting to try ketamine or DXM should look it up. I wouldn't recommend PCP at all, ever. It's got a bad rap, but not entirely unfairly.



I actually know someone who tested positive for PCP while on nothing but DXM (I was there, the nurse told me). I have also seen people on DXM act like they were on PCP (not a pretty sight). Let's just say I've lived through enough to become a very anti-drug person. However I'm not one to tell people what to do, what you do is your business. I just feel the need to warn people.

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Acid09
post Jun 8 2009, 08:54 PM
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Dammit I missed the action!

The effects of DXM are similar to that of PCP because they are both dissociative drugs. Drugs under this catagory tend to affect people in similar ways.

Overall my opinion is that drugs can have a profound impact on a human being and that people are responsible for their own actions. If people want to use drugs for spiritual reasons, as long as nobody else gets harmed it does not matter to me.

The catch is that the impact drugs have can be both beneficial and harmful. Drugs are certainly used in medicine and they can be used to heal people. So in that sense I think there is no reason drugs cannot have a spiritual use. The problem is that the people who prescribe and administer drugs to heal people know what they are doing (assuming they are actually doctors). There are far fewer people who know what they are doing when they take drugs for "spiritual" purposes. In my experience most people simply use drugs to get high. Either just for fun or as part of an addiction and they use the "spiritual" card as a scape goat to justify behavior that is probably illegal. I keep putting "spiritual" in quotes because that can have different meanings or no meaning at all depending who you ask. I mean are you trying to converse with spirits? Or just percieve an altered plain of exstance or both? Are you doing it for an actual religious cerimony? Or are you just experimenting?

When it comes to drugs and magick the main thing to keep in mind is that it is very easy to get stupid with drugs if you don't know what you are doing. And some drugs are not only dangerous but addictive - alcohol, nicotine, opiates, opioids, amphetimines (including MDMA and crystal meth), hallucinogens, depressants and stimulants all can contain chemicals that can cause physical or psychological addiction or both. In the spiritual sense the higher purpose of any persuit in magick, religion or spirituality is to ultimately better one's self. Getting to a point where one needs drugs in order to experience something spiritual does not make a person better. It makes them worse. Sort of an addict in a way too.

I have no problems with people using drugs as long as it places no one else in harm's way. What people do in the privacy of their own homes is their own business. When it comes to spiritual growth I think using drugs acts as a short cut. And if you rely on drugs alone you really miss out on the greater picture. The real process of self discovery and enlightenment and achieve true harmony is found through the long road. That is not to say that that path cannot include the use of drugs, just that drugs alone will not get a person to that ultimate destination. And if you think it does, you're missing the big picture. Which is not something that can easily be explained. Rather just something you experience.



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Lucifer
post Aug 20 2009, 08:22 AM
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Think of a drug (as well as it's dosage) as inherently neutral.

that is, it can be used to manifest "desireable" as well as "undesireable" results.


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Petrus
post Aug 20 2009, 06:04 PM
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QUOTE(valkyrie @ May 13 2009, 01:52 PM) *

Forget right and wrong....do drugs help or hinder the magical process????


I can't speak for the other substances, but for the limited time I was on it, I found marijuana useful, all things considered. I had what was probably the single most important recurring dream of my life during that period, (even if I can't entirely figure out what it meant) which dictated the theme of a lot of other dreams that I've had since.

The other thing that marijuana did for me, I feel, is that it allowed me to get nearer to a...primordial type of feeling, I guess is the best way I can put it. It's very difficult to verbalise exactly what I'm talking about, but some psytrance triggered it while I was smoking, and I can still get hints of it occasionally now...I went back to that very strongly when I first read the Devi Mahatmaya, as well.

To me what weed did, was it helped show me a useful state which I've since been able to get back to at times on my own. So it's good for the purposes of giving you a taste of something unusual on a temporary basis, which you can then learn to reproduce on your own.

I don't recommend marijuana on anything other than a temporary basis, however; it starts to develop some less than desirable side effects if smoked long term. To me that is a rule of thumb with any substance I've even heard of, so far. Drugs to me are ok, and I'm not going to condemn them or anyone who uses them, but they do have to be used in the right way, and generally also only for special occasions. Practices like the "brekky bong," are not cool in my mind. I've read enough about the others to know that if you don't respect them as well, they will also bite...sometimes very hard.


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Casadeluna
post Aug 21 2009, 11:59 AM
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inhale,,,,exhale,,,decide that i dont know what i know and if i had a chance i'd give it another go, put the smoke down just for a moment i hold it my lungs feel swolen and golden, inside the mind iposses i find, a creepy substrate, as eerie as eye. you can feel your body tingle and shake with the power of the sun moon breath and earth shakes. then in your eyes you begin to see the strangeness of what is sobriety, a crutch to live in, a land to see, your insane now mad for eternity, thoughts become rapid confused and tragic, fire leaps from water everything seems magick, why what and how could this be, such a state to be in is this reality? after hours days months eaons and years, the faire winds stop and this dream leaves in your fears, it lives in your pores skin soaked to the floor, what had been before is now evermore, the omnipresent presence of what always is and shall be, contorts what you see now as truth and reality, your dead, your death, it was tragic like the rest, and as a new sun rises the resurrection besets.

iii

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Moonchilde
post Feb 13 2010, 11:31 PM
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In today's world I think drugs are a valuable tool or ally (depending on your point of view) for effectively breaking down the heavy conditioning we have been inundated with since birth.

However, like all easy streets, this is really not so easy...

I second the recommendation to visit Erowid (http://www.erowid.org/) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/connie_mini_oldman.gif) Read up!

If I wanted to use a substance in a ritual I would first determine if this substance was compatible with what I was trying to accomplish. Research is the best place to start. I would stick with entheogens.

Then experimentation. Journaling is an excellent idea.

Then design the time for the ritual, have enough time - crucial. I might like to use 4 days or so, a day before and two after. Try to time the peak of the experience with the peak of the ritual, release your imprint in the long now.

Now, there are two particular elements one should be concerned with when using entheogens.

The first is called "Set" - this refers to the mindset you bring to the experience. First and foremost for us, of course is Intent. But not only that but your hopes, doubts, fears, the argument you had with your girlfriend last week, and your childhood dog. It's like the difference between trying to hit a 2 meter target at 100 yards, and at 10,000. The angle needs be that much more precise at the incoming trajectory. It's not like you start at zero from the ritual floor you already have a vector incoming into the ritual that will be carried out into the ritual...

The second is called "Setting" this refers to the space you create around you for yourself. Music, books, reading material, art (Alex Grey is fantastic) art supplies. foods, drinks. People.

Erowid also has some general guidlines for responsible use, and I would suggest reading them.

Also, as far as MDMA, please see MAPS (http://www.maps.org/) , funding MDMA research for PTSD. Like many other things this can be both good or bad depending on it's use.

Hmm, also, there is a sector of the community that feels that once one imprints a psychedelic state the mind is capable of recalling that state without the trigger substance. It seems probable in a consciousness/psi based model, and at least possible in a materialist.

namaste,

moonchilde

This post has been edited by Moonchilde: Feb 13 2010, 11:32 PM


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Moonchilde
post Feb 15 2010, 10:31 AM
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I found a source I have been looking for that should be referenced in this thread. Generation Hex has in it an essay by Simon Forrester called "Opening and Closing the Psychedelic Temple".

This is really a quite concise version of a lot the other stuff I should have mentioned, and gives some good sources for additional resources.

Google books will (very fortunately!) let you read the entire essay if you do not own a copy.

The next essay "Fastforward to Meltdown" by Atman goes into a framework for using psychedelics in group magickal work, and it appears also accessible.

I would recommend both of these as furthur material to any interested parties.

namaste,

moonchilde


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hecate8
post Aug 17 2013, 06:30 PM
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[quote name='Firephoenix' date='Jun 2 2009, 08:40 PM' post='42827']
Drugs are definitely not required. I have never tried illegal drugs, but I was convinced to try a legal one that supposedly helped with gnosis. It did nothing for me, only bodily. I get the same effects from alcohol as I do from the other stuff. It's not a sure thing and can be really dangerous. Even if the drug is not physically addictive, it can be psychologically addictive. Of course Shaman have been using drugs for magickal purposes forever. If you choose to take drugs, you might want to talk to an expert like a shaman. Be careful, some people claim to be something their not. It's also important to note that a lot of drugs kill brain cells:
"Absinthe - besides exceedingly high amounts of ethanol, absinthe also contains thujone, a GABA receptor antagonist. Effectively, thujone is the opposite of benzodiazepine anticonvulsant/tranquilizers (such as Xanax and Valium). Unsurprisingly, in high doses, thujone has been proven to cause seizure and death. Fortunately (or unfortunately, if you're looking to damage your brain cells), the European Union places restrictions on thujone content in absinthe, ensuring the drink's psychoactive and neurotoxic qualities arise from t (IMG:style_emoticons/default/black eye.gif) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/black eye.gif) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/black eye.gif) he high alcohol content, and not the thujone.
Alcohol - while the greatest ethanol-induced brain (IMG:style_emoticons/default/black eye.gif) damage (IMG:style_emoticons/default/black eye.gif) results from vitamin deficiencies (see Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome below), alcohol itself can also result in structural changes within the brain. Since ethanol has a variety of pharmacological effects, it's difficult to tell exactly how the damage arises, but MRI evidence shows decreased brain volume in alcoholic patients.
Dissociatives (DXM, MK-801, PCP, Ketamine) - A study by J.W. Olney showed that in rat models, administration of normal doses NMDA receptor antagonist drugs resulted in over-excitation and death of neurons as a result of malfunction of intracellular organelles (specifically, the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum). Since then, additional studies have shown many kinds of cognitive deficits in chronic ketamine users.
MDMA (Ecstasy) - MDMA has been proven to produce damage to serotonin neurons in rats and mice due to oxidative stress and free radical damage. Some have claimed that fMRI evidence demonstrates similar damage in humans, although many have disputed these studies. There have also been several studies showing memory deficits in those who abuse MDMA. Administration of a SSRI such as fluoxetine (Prozac) within 4-6 hours of MDMA use may reduce the risk of damage. The media has hyped MDMA's relationship to dehydration, which can also produce brain damage (see below).
Methamphetamine (speed, meth, ice, way too many Vicks Vapor Inhalers, etc.) - like MDMA, methamphetamine appears to produce oxidative stress, but damages dopamine rather than serotonin neurons. As a result, chronic methamphetamine abusers often show early-onset symptoms of Parkinson's disease and other cognitive deficits. Recent research has shown that prior administration of a free radical scavenger such as N-acetylcysteine can attenuate damage. Like any other stimulant, methamphetamine can also produce stroke (see below).
MPTP - MPTP results from improper synthesis of MPPP, a synthetic opioid. A single dose can result in severe damage to dopamine neurons, producing symptoms resembling those of Parkinson's disease. MPTP is often used to produce animal models of the disease to test new treatments.

Notably absent from this list are marijuana and the 5-HT2A agonist psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, etc.). That doesn't mean that these drugs are safe, just that according to the research I was able to find, they are not neurotoxic in and of themselves. On the other hand, there is well-established evidence that these drugs can damage the brain in other ways. Psychedelics can produce HPPD or PTSD, and early-onset marijuana use increases the probability an individual will develop schizophrenia. See PubMed, Erowid, or Wikipedia for more on the effects of drugs."
[/quote
Could you cite your source for marijuana/schizophrenia connection?


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Mchawi
post Aug 17 2013, 07:35 PM
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The refination of products in Alchemy provides an intrigue into drugs and their place in spirituality, am hoping to grow cannabis and experiment with it from that perspective.

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