The mental experience when under the influence of a substance is like any mental experience at all - it arises from affliction. The experiences on substances /= the experiences that come from methods introduced by realized beings. Those methods work with the physical & subtle body, winds, vajra body, etc., in accordance with the particular path in question.kalden yungdrung wrote: ↑Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:17 am Tashi delek DW members,
Hallucinations are experiences within one's mind. Sometimes they can be caused by drugs but sometimes also not. Hallucinations are also in western medicine well known and seen as an "illness" of the mind.
You see things who are not there and that is of course an illness.
- What is the mental experience with the intake of drugs, fake or reality?
- Are the experiences (quality) similar or different regarding Buddhist experiences?
- Famous examples are the European witches or the Shamans.
- How can we see the mental trance State of the Shamans and witches, as hallucinations ?
- They can travel to other worlds with the help of the intake of drugs. Is this a fake experience because of the intake of secondary methods / causes, like herbs etc.?
These methods have been handed down throughout the ages. Each new generation of practitioners attest to their benefit and the ultimate result, jalus, is not ancient history. This attests to the efficacy of the method.
The realized beings and those who have transmitted knowledge through Tantras, Terma etc. were not conservative, shrinking violets. The wide range of methods and the use of anything possible speaks to that. It's about utility.
Ergo, if there was some method involving the use of drugs - ANY plant based substance that has been around for millennia, then it stands to reason that we would have these methods still, and their efficacy would be attested to through the realization of adherents. How much more so would that be in a day and age where their usage is ubiquitous?
It's simply not the case when it comes to Dharma. The recent tendency to cherry pick some mention of poisons or Datura in the tantras and imply that these were actual methods are completely wrong. There is no textual or practice based evidence of this.
I'm pretty far from being a militant anti-drug advocate. I was raised very conservatively, so maybe that's why - I had to rebel against something. However, to think that any substance or poison of choice from alcohol to DMT can be taken onto a Dharmic path into some ad hoc, invented method is a fool's errand.
If one is a buddhist and doesn't choose to keep the 5th precept strictly, then that's one thing. I'm not convinced that someone will got to straight to hell without passing go, or be irretrievably lost if they partake of a bit of grass, alcohol, or even have experimented with psychedelics. In the case of psychedelics and some entheogens, there may be some connection, of not direct and causal, to a desire to have real experience - Some people trapped in a very limited worldview may have their world rocked by psychedelics and this may contribute to their desire to live an examined life - Which is why many people, especially from the hippie era seem to have found Dharma after having powerful experiences on drugs. It opened them up enough to break out of their conditioning. But that desire to have experience does not come from the substance. That has the precise primary cause of some connection to the Dharma.
But any experience on substances is NOT the same as those derived from methods which rely on the human system of plumbing and the energetic system as a basis. Mess with the basis, the result won't be the same. Also, we have endless examples of people who came to the path WITHOUT having some psychedelic experience - so it's simply not necessary, or advised. The dangers are well documented. I personally know first hand of people who's lives have been destroyed through the use of psychedelics ONE time, which triggered latent mental illness. Why take the chance? Everyone wants experience until it happens. There's a great story I read once by a dude who eventually became a celebrated Thangka painter, and the intense, unbearable suffering he experienced for years though the use of LSD. He eventually found the dharma, but I'll guarantee he wouldn't recommend it. Neither would the people who love the person I know who took mushrooms and has heard voices ever since.
To think that one should reinvent the wheel, that the methods passed down through the various lineages can or should be improved on a case-by-case basis through integrating substance use or abuse with the method/path, is surely a serious deviation/obstacle.
Show me the result - If this has, or can be brought to the path, there should be one or many realized teachers who are benefiting thousands the way masters have since the time of the Buddha. They would, out of compassion teach this method to people in the kali-yuga who are bombarded by substances - if this really could be an adjunct to awakening, we'd already have it.
As it stands, we have some concrete examples of the opposite - Drug fueled debauchery and confusion, great suffering, as a result of mixing substances with various paths. So I don't see how there could be doubt.
IMO, best case scenario in mixing the two is that someone with high capacity may be able to use some substance on the spectrum from alcohol to DMT without harming their practice or it becoming a fetter. Best case. But given the ample evidence of the harms and problems that can come from ANY of those substances, it's a huge stretch to show concrete benefit. Just look at the evidence and how many train wrecks there are versus people like, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, for example.
The case of shamans, trance states, clairvoyants etc - Who knows. There may be some utility for the community in this if one is raised in a particular tradition that incorporates DMT, for example, as part of their tradition. I'm certainly not going to say from my position as a N. American that there is nothing of value in the genuine traditions from Peru, for example. These traditions have survived for millennia too, presumably.
But to try to incorporate that into Dharma and the path, which is the subject of the discussion, is fraught with danger. We have plenty of examples of that, and there will be more as more and more people entertain (as it seems is happening) this mistaken idea that its incumbent upon them to blaze a new path with some synthesis of drugs and dharma.