Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby Jenna » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:11 pm

Hi, I'm new to the forum, and have come looking for your ideas and feelings on something which I've struggled with for years now.

I am 23, and have suffered the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder from the age of 8 onwards. I only gained a proper diagnosis early this year, and the drugs they've prescribed have helped enormously with no notable side effects.

When I was about 16 years old, a year after leaving school, going through all sorts of hallucinations and the likes. There were weeks when I lost all self awareness - when I could perhaps not even be classed as sentient. Everything I knew broke down inside, and I rebuilt myself. While trying to understand myself so I might get better, I spent years introspecting, meditating, and questioning. I didn't know it at the time, but I was certainly meditating, and by the age of 19, many of the conclusions I'd come to aligned very closely with buddhism. It was around then that I came to know what buddhism is about, and surprised, I realised, I already seemed to have many of the same ideas.

About one year onwards, I made my first real friend. He introduced me to many more, and soon I had something I'd dreamed of for so long — A social life. After a while I came to see some of my friends using drugs. Relaxed people with sensible ideas - not the braindead stoners I'd typically associated with drug users - but something better, and more reflective. People I admired and enjoyed the company of were occasional users of LSD. Early this year, after much research, I decided it would be safe for me to try it, and was curious of it's effects.

It was truly an incredible experience. Having been through hallucinations before, I wasn't phased much by that aspect. It somehow cleansed me of all the busy thoughts and built up ideas I struggle against when meditating. I could sit and see clearly the incredible details and astounding wonderment of a tree, or just quietly enjoy the wind without distraction. It became so clear what was important to me, and what things I was routinely and thoughtlessly doing which were bringing me unhappiness. That relaxed sense stayed with me for many weeks after, effectively ridding me of anxieties built up over years.

Sadly, some of those anxieties eventually returned. Old habits were not totally broken, but six months on, I still felt so improved by the experience that I decided the next time I encountered a safe place with good friends, I'd try it again and see if it could bring further long term relief of modern stresses and harmful thought patterns.

That time came two weeks ago, and I'm still feeling good. I'm relaxed, and comfortable with myself. I'm less preoccupied with things which bring me no joy, allowing a calm focus on the things really important to me in life.

And yet, I still wonder - what are the downsides? Some very smart people with very similar ideas to me have been of the opinion that taking drugs is a bad idea for thousands of years, at minimum! So what's to it? If taking a safe drug in careful moderation brings about peace and speeds up the journey toward emotional well being, what could be the downside?

I look forward to your thoughts and ideas. :smile:
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby daverupa » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:22 pm

Jenna wrote:If taking a safe drug in careful moderation brings about peace and speeds up the journey toward emotional well being, what could be the downside?


The main downside is believing that the underlined parts are true. They are not.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby Jenna » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:25 pm

daverupa wrote:The main downside is believing that the underlined parts are true. They are not.


That's not terribly helpful, daverupa. Would you care to share your thoughts in more depth?
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:54 pm

Jenna wrote:And yet, I still wonder - what are the downsides? Some very smart people with very similar ideas to me have been of the opinion that taking drugs is a bad idea for thousands of years, at minimum! So what's to it? If taking a safe drug in careful moderation brings about peace and speeds up the journey toward emotional well being, what could be the downside?

I look forward to your thoughts and ideas. :smile:

Hi Jenna,
there is one thing that comes to my mind. Every state of mind whatsoever fabricated by external means is impermanent, unsatisfactory and not-self. The obvious downside would be that the effects don't last. That peace and well being you're talking about does not come from a calm mind detached through wisdom and insight but from an external source. As long as it influences the mind certain effects may be experienced but finally the effects will cease and the mind will be full of defilements again. Nothing really changed and no progress has been made on the path. Real progress can only be gained by practicing the Nobel 8-fold path. When peace and well being come from a mind which is free from defilements, one-pointed, independent it's a completely different story.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby daverupa » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:07 pm

Jenna wrote:
daverupa wrote:The main downside is believing that the underlined parts are true. They are not.


That's not terribly helpful, daverupa. Would you care to share your thoughts in more depth?


At the fundamental level, the "changes to emotional well-being" and "a sense of peace" will need to be unpacked, but bracketing the specific referents aside we can understand that with a substance-based alteration of the way in which you as a human being, endowed with six senses, experience the world, there is a concomitant level of heedlessness:

SN 35.97 wrote:The Blessed One said: "And how does one dwell in heedlessness? When a monk dwells without restraint over the faculty of the eye, the mind is stained with forms cognizable via the eye. When the mind is stained, there is no joy. There being no joy, there is no rapture. There being no rapture, there is no serenity. There being no serenity, he dwells in suffering. The mind of one who suffers does not become centered. When the mind is uncentered, phenomena (dhammas) don't become manifest. When phenomena aren't manifest, one is classed simply as one who dwells in heedlessness.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby dhammamachi » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:15 pm

I agree with acinteyyo. Even though drugs (medicinal or recreative) may cause a change of mind that you experience as an improvement, the effects are only temporal.

As a matter of fact, you can consider them to cause you pain and not improvement. You will crave for its effects (improvement of state of mind); you may think that your happiness depends on them. You may swap one collection of bad habits for another. The only thing that changes is your valorization of the bad habits.

Many people arrive at the Path because of drug use. However, to walk on the Path, drugs should be avoided. You want permanent happiness (I assume :) ) and not a temporal state that you experience as happiness but that will cause you pain in the longer run.
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby Alexei » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:57 pm

Hi Jenna!

Thanks for sharing.

Did LSD influence your behaviour and way of life?

Could you describe anxieties you are talking about? Are they connected to Bipolar Disorder?
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby Upasaka » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:10 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum. :smile:

Jenna wrote:And yet, I still wonder - what are the downsides?


In answer to your question I would like to offer you the thought that such substances can potentially give one just as much pain as pleasure. Whilst it seems that you are obviously having good experiences, lasting feelings of calm and cessation of existing symptoms with this hallucinogenic, it might seem crazy/unlikely that what you are doing is potentially 'wrong' in some way or risky. However, please trust me [an Internet stranger :tongue: ] when I say that you could easily have the opposite type of experience whilst using LSD. Whilst it is relatively rare, a ''bad trip'' can be utterly dark and HORRIFYING beyond words. Worst, such an episode can lead to sustained mental anguish/suffering and/or a worsening in any existing conditions.

One other possible problem to consider is that quite often one can develop a 'relationship' with the substance of choice so that it comes to be seen by the user as their guarantee of feeling better/good about themselves etc. Such a relationship can sometimes be maintained and lead to lots of fun, laughter and 'insights' about yourself, the world and the nature of perceptions for example. Depending on the substance used, it can also lead to dependancy, addiction and very many other negative possibilities.

The truth as I know it is this. Substances have the potential to 'make you feel good/better'. Substances also have the potential to 'make you feel bad/worse'. Which way it goes for any individual is anyone's guess.

please feel free to PM me anytime if you wish to discuss further.

:namaste:
The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice.

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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby santa100 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:27 pm

Stay away from those external drugs. Use the ones that's naturally produced by the body. Try outdoor cardio exercises like jogging, biking, hiking, etc. and the body will produce lots of endorphin, which helps easeing physical pains and increase relaxation. This is the best natural drug that effectivly fight stress, depression, and all kind of chronic diseases. Combining exercises and meditation, you'll no longer need to resort to any other kind of drugs, which'll only do more harm than help to your body. Can't hurt to give it a try. Good luck..
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby manas » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:01 pm

Hi jenna,

I have to rush off, and I would prefer to give your original post a bit of thought before answering it in more detail. Just wanted to add that I used to smoke weed, and I even used to meditate while stoned, sometimes. It certainly felt like I was getting insights into reality at the time, peace, calm etc. But two things about that. Firstly, the insights were not really that deep. They were kind of more like sentiment, a wave of inspiration that could very easily fade and disappear again, to be quickly replaced by an intense craving for sense pleasure (and that proved to me that the insight was shallow or even delusory - a trick of the mind). Secondly, I had a meditation on the breath once where the mind calmed quite a lot (this time, I was totally sober, I was off any drugs), and I recall when I arose from that sitting, I felt so blissed, as if i had just taken poppyseed tea if you know what I mean, except that I was totally lucid and clear. I could tell that the pleasure I was feeling was coming from my own body, it was my own endorphins or whatever. I can remember thinking, as the sweet tranquillity gently faded into a more ordinary state of calmness, "wow, I'll have more of that, please!" So, yes, meditation can definitely give us feelings of ease and happiness, and the great thing is that it has no harmful side effects, only good :smile: ones.
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:19 pm

manasikara wrote:Hi jenna,

I have to rush off, and I would prefer to give your original post a bit of thought before answering it in more detail. Just wanted to add that I used to smoke weed, and I even used to meditate while stoned, sometimes. It certainly felt like I was getting insights into reality at the time, peace, calm etc. But two things about that. Firstly, the insights were not really that deep. They were kind of more like sentiment, a wave of inspiration that could very easily fade and disappear again, to be quickly replaced by an intense craving for sense pleasure (and that proved to me that the insight was shallow or even delusory - a trick of the mind). Secondly, I had a meditation on the breath once where the mind calmed quite a lot (this time, I was totally sober, I was off any drugs), and I recall when I arose from that sitting, I felt so blissed, as if i had just taken poppyseed tea if you know what I mean, except that I was totally lucid and clear. I could tell that the pleasure I was feeling was coming from my own body, it was my own endorphins or whatever. I can remember thinking, as the sweet tranquillity gently faded into a more ordinary state of calmness, "wow, I'll have more of that, please!" So, yes, meditation can definitely give us feelings of ease and happiness, and the great thing is that it has no harmful side effects, only good :smile: ones.


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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:29 pm

manasikara wrote:Hi jenna,

I have to rush off, and I would prefer to give your original post a bit of thought before answering it in more detail. Just wanted to add that I used to smoke weed, and I even used to meditate while stoned, sometimes. It certainly felt like I was getting insights into reality at the time, peace, calm etc. But two things about that. Firstly, the insights were not really that deep. They were kind of more like sentiment, a wave of inspiration that could very easily fade and disappear again, to be quickly replaced by an intense craving for sense pleasure (and that proved to me that the insight was shallow or even delusory - a trick of the mind). Secondly, I had a meditation on the breath once where the mind calmed quite a lot (this time, I was totally sober, I was off any drugs), and I recall when I arose from that sitting, I felt so blissed, as if i had just taken poppyseed tea if you know what I mean, except that I was totally lucid and clear. I could tell that the pleasure I was feeling was coming from my own body, it was my own endorphins or whatever. I can remember thinking, as the sweet tranquillity gently faded into a more ordinary state of calmness, "wow, I'll have more of that, please!" So, yes, meditation can definitely give us feelings of ease and happiness, and the great thing is that it has no harmful side effects, only good :smile: ones.


While I agree it's generaly a good post, it has one fault: the bolded part. For people with psychotic sympthoms, meditation has to be aproached carefuly (Let alone LSD!!! :shock: ). I know people who can't do meditation because of psychotic sympthoms and at one time I couldn't do meditation because of the same reason (it was not an imposition from a doctor; meditating was indeed a harmful experience; I still can't do metta meditation). Of course, I advise to try it, but slowly increasing the time of daily meditation.

LSD may appear as a shortcut through the path, but there would be 2 options: you keep taking LSD regularly in order to progress until your brain is fried; or you have a bad trip and end up in a mental institution for a while, making you unable to practice meditation _ for an indeterminate amount of time. The Buddha himself said that intoxicants can lead to mental derangement in this life or the next.

In short, there are no shortcuts. It's hard work.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:28 pm

OK, heres the downside, some people never come back.
I have personally known people who flipped out and never came back.

Im a veteran of probably a hundred acid trips or more, roughly twice a week for a year or more in my days of heaviest use, so i am an informed source.

Of course you can say that the people who flipped out and never came back probably had some pre-existing condition, but thats exactly the position you are in, isnt it?

You are in no position to be messing around with your brain chemistry.

Addendum: That calm peacful comfortable wtih yourself feeling could just as easily be the beginning of a manic phase, take your meds, be honest with your doctors.
There is no comfort without pain; thus
we define salvation through suffering.
-- Cato
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby Aloka » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:16 pm

Hi Jenna,

I took LSD a number of times when I was a student and was extremely lucky not to have any bad experiences. I certainly knew people who did have a bad time and I don't even want to say too much about what happened to some of them. Lets just say a couple of them ended up in psychiatric care.

If you are already taking medication for Bi-Polar disorder, you really shouldn't be messing around with other drugs.

Its not safe - please trust me on that.

with kind wishes,

Aloka
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby Jenna » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:57 am

Thanks everyone for these replies. They are good food for thought. Going in to a bit more depth, I know all too well of the dangers of drugs too. Around the time I started developing Bipolar symptoms, my father had forced me to take marijuana. He later forced me again about five times until the age of 15 - sometimes also mixed with tobacco. I can't remember for certain if symptoms came before or after that first drug use, but I certainly do feel that it is most likely the thing which started it all. I have a strong family history of Bipolar Disorder, but it is very unusual for symptoms to start at such a young age. I have only taken Marijuana one time willingly, about two years ago. At the time, I'd talked to many friends with Bipolar disorder, some who self medicate with marijuana, and it seemed clear that it wouldn't worsen symptoms - indeed that was correct, and it finally helped me get beyond that drug, as it had haunted me for a long time. I've been more at peace with what happened since, though I must admit I took an unhealthy pleasure in my father's death one year ago.

So far as medication goes - I have never missed a dose since starting. Whenever I've been uncertain that I might remember to take it, I've used alarms on my phone and the likes to make extra certain. It has made things so much better, I now worry sometimes what would happen if I would no longer be able to afford to take it (as it is not covered by public health care in my country for use treating bipolar patients, despite being the most effective drug we have today). A part of what helped me to survive through very destructive past experiences, was a promise I made to myself - I'd only move forward. I promised myself that no matter how bad things were, so long as I kept moving forward to a better place, I wouldn't give up. It was a mental structure which allowed me to endure what made suicide a very appealing idea, and it worked. Still, it leaves me somewhat vulnerable - if this medicine became unavailable, what would happen? I don't want to live that life. It is one of so much suffering, and while meditation did bring relief, it was short lived - bad thoughts would return within minutes of finishing. While possible to lightly try to meditate all day, it isn't a terribly fulfilling life, and is quite a hungry one! So, this issue too, haunts me somewhat. It is a drug I am totally dependant on, but I don't see any way around that.

I feel the characterisation of my experience with LSD as having given only short term benefit is incorrect. While it did leave me very relaxed and calmed for weeks after, and some of my anxieties and troubles returned after that - it did bring a lasting change. I feel my life was improved by the experience, and anxieties reduced by what feels like about half. I've since been more relaxed and trusting, which has improved my ability to make friends. This is why I decided to take it a second time - this lasting effect which I might be able to build upon. The hours and weeks after a trip left me disconnected enough that I could unpack issues I've been too traumatised to deal with otherwise. My usual tactic of spending a day each week digging in to myself, to think about and try to come to peace with the scary corners of my mind I usually hide from, worked for years, but eventually stopped. About a year ago, I realised I had made no further progress for a long time, because while much of that which weighed me down had been resolved, the very worst, most frightening things, had remained. Things of such intense emotional weight I would be filled with panic and fear, so much that on thinking about those things I would quickly go in to severe shock, my mind would then go quiet, and I would limply lay on the ground for about half an hour, unmoving, unthinking, unfeeling, eyes open, but aware of nothing.

I believe it is these things which LSD has helped me to unpack. Somehow, for those days and weeks after, I've been so at peace with my fears, I could just casually think about them without issue, deconstruct them, and make real positive change. The insights I gain are not so much the silly things like 'Wow, trees are amazing!' which any level of meditative practice could bring about - it is this ability to introspect in to things I normally have never found the ability to examine. I think that's real, and for me, quite valuable.

As a sidenote, I did spend a few hours each week reading and researching about the effects of LSD, particularly on people with trauma, bipolar, and on various medications, for many months before concluding that the risks were outweighed by the potential benefits for me. This is something I've become all too familiar with. One of the risks of the medication I take to treat bipolar is the development of a rash, which quickly covers the entire body, and within days leads to death. It's a frightening prospect, but far less frightening than the prospect of taking no medication at all to help with bipolar disorder.

Some specific replies:

Modus.Ponens wrote:For people with psychotic sympthoms, meditation has to be aproached carefuly (Let alone LSD!!! :shock:)

Yes, meditating was very difficult for many years. It was how I unpacked some very unhappy thoughts, and is something I saw as a chore, but as necessary to getting better. While it worked for me, I can hardly draw on any of my experiences and say that I would recommend them to anyone else. I think we all need to find our own way through things like these, and meditation was a large part of a very difficult path I took.

So far as 'brain is fried', I hope you can see from the large gap between the two times I've taken LSD (aprox. eight months) that I've spent some time considering if it would be the right thing to do, and I cannot imagine ever finding it sensible to take more often than 2-3 times a year, at most! It's effects last quite some time, so as I see it, for about a month after the trip, I'm in a space where I can deal with the things which weigh me down, then, some time must be spent without that state, to be sure one is working from a 'normal' perspective, and to make sure the taking of a drug is to help bring about long term improvement, and not ever a way of running away and avoiding dealing with problems. I can see from the great variety of people in my life who have used LSD in varying quantities, that it is not something which automatically makes you a sensible introspective person, and that more is certainly not better. The people I admire as sensible intelligent peaceful people who make use of LSD are people who make use of it very infrequently.

manasikara wrote:Just wanted to add that I used to smoke weed, and I even used to meditate while stoned, sometimes. It certainly felt like I was getting insights into reality at the time, peace, calm etc. But two things about that. Firstly, the insights were not really that deep.

Yes, that sounds about right, and aside from the known link between weed and bipolar, it was this entirely unsatisfactory and shallow uninsightfulness which really left me feeling after my one willing experience, that it was not something I'd ever want to repeat. It wasn't a bad experience, but it wasn't a valuable one either, and I can see it as only being a distraction from more worthwhile efforts, at best.

santa100 wrote:Use the ones that's naturally produced by the body. Try outdoor cardio exercises like jogging, biking, hiking, etc. and the body will produce lots of endorphin, which helps easeing physical pains and increase relaxation

Absolutely! I recently took up rollerblading as a form of transport towards that effort.

DiscoFingers wrote:One other possible problem to consider is that quite often one can develop a 'relationship' with the substance of choice so that it comes to be seen by the user as their guarantee of feeling better/good about themselves etc.

Yes, having had two parents very addicted to drugs, I've been keenly aware of that, and quite careful. When I was younger and still hallucinating and the likes, I was prescribed highly addictive sedatives to help with the physical effects of stress. My mother is quite addicted to very similar opiate based medicines, and so I used them only with extreme care. I have proudly never had any issue with addiction, partly because I always research and consider the worst case scenario of a drug, and only take it if I think that worst case is something I'd be able and willing to deal with, and try always to space out dosages when possible to avoid being in the drugged state too much of the time - with exception to the bipolar meds I take now, which arguably create that 'normal' undrugged sort of state.

Alexei wrote:Did LSD influence your behaviour and way of life? Could you describe anxieties you are talking about? Are they connected to Bipolar Disorder?

I hope the things I wrote above help a bit towards these questions. My anxieties have mostly been about self image and sanity. For a long period my own mind was so untrustworthy, I developed a coping mechanism of trusting what other people say, when in conflict with my own feelings. This blind trust helped me survive when my feelings urged me to do unhealthy things, but is something I struggle against now. I often find myself getting in to situations where I am unhappy and people want me gone or want me behaving a different way or whatever else, and I know intuitively that they want these things too, but they say otherwise, perhaps out of politeness, and I believe them over my feelings. Learning to be more trusting of myself, and more questioning of other's has been really important, and is something I've yet to master. Another great anxiety is trust of other people! Having been in so many abusive relationships, I have a really difficult time opening up and being relaxed around people. I tend to be very quiet, only occasionally talking when I feel like I have something really worthwhile to say, and that negatively impacts my social life. I am frequently very anxious that relationships are being slowly ruined somehow, and I have no way to stop or repair them, or even to understand them. These are only some of my anxieties - there are some others which I won't write about on a public forum, which are more about self-image.



Thanks to everyone who replied to this thread. I've really enjoyed hearing all of your viewpoints. To those I didn't reply specifically to, It is only that I think all relevant info is in the main body of this already very long reply. I really do appreciate everyone who has shared their views.
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby Jenna » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:13 am

m0rl0ck wrote:OK, heres the downside, some people never come back.
I have personally known people who flipped out and never came back. Im a veteran of probably a hundred acid trips or more, roughly twice a week for a year or more in my days of heaviest use, so i am an informed source.

You are in no position to be messing around with your brain chemistry.

That calm peacful comfortable wtih yourself feeling could just as easily be the beginning of a manic phase, take your meds, be honest with your doctors.

I have made myself quite aware of these risks, but sometimes in life we need to take a chance in order to advance. If we did never do things which had a large chance of self improvement, and a small chance of causing trouble, I can hardly imagine many of us would survive for too long - I certainly wouldn't have. You say you took acid roughly twice a week for quite a long time? I can hardly imagine how much strain that would put on a person. I'm curious why you did it? I know some people who took similarly frequent doses for a similar time period, and.. they don't seem to have benefitted from it. They seem too preoccupied being upset at how supposedly absurd everything is to have more meaningful ideas.

So far as being in no position to be messing with my brain chemistry - I feel the opposite is true! I have experience dealing with true insanity, and my life is weighed down by issues I've not been able to get past with purely cognitive means. Meditation works for a lot of people, and has helped me a lot, as has talking therapies and the likes, but sometimes when dealing with problems born of chemistry, helpful solutions can come in the form of chemistry also. I don't want to give up. I don't want to live a life of unnecessary suffering. The benefits are worth the chance of failure - drugs are no different to anything else in that regard.

As for the beginning of a manic phase, do you have any experience with bipolar mania? It's quite different for me, and not something I would in any way describe as 'calm' - taking LSD has nearly nothing in common with a manic experience, and the crash afterwards is completely minor in comparison and doesn't resemble melancholic depression. I do take my medicine, and my doctors know that I've made use of LSD to help deal with anxieties and other problems, and they have been supportive and not discouraged me in the slightest. I have seen several doctors - many well respected, and some famous for their revolutionary research in to Bipolar and regular unipolar depression. Universally, no doctor I've seen has objected to my use of LSD, and many have remarked on it's safety when used in moderation and with caution.
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby ground » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:42 am

Everybody knows the disadvantages of drugs so there is no need to mention these. It is like smoking causing cancer does not hold people back from smoking and it does not make sense to repeat over and over again that smoking causes cancer when smokers already know but still keep smoking.

Is seems as if you already have made up your mind and you have started this thread to probe whether your belief can stand the view of others.
Sometimes there is free will and sometimes there is not. When we decide for something we ourself may have the impression that it is a decision based on free will.
To watch and observe with clear unobstructed awareness whether what we are inclined to think and what we are inclined to do is actually based on free will or not is something some prefer to indulging in the effects of alleged free decisions which are actually habitual urges and impulses.

Kind regards
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby Jenna » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:36 am

TMingyur wrote:Is seems as if you already have made up your mind and you have started this thread to probe whether your belief can stand the view of others.
Sometimes there is free will and sometimes there is not. When we decide for something we ourself may have the impression that it is a decision based on free will.
To watch and observe with clear unobstructed awareness whether what we are inclined to think and what we are inclined to do is actually based on free will or not is something some prefer to indulging in the effects of alleged free decisions which are actually habitual urges and impulses.

Kind regards


I have made up my mind in a sense, but I am here to question myself as much as to question each of you. Sometimes I take opposing stances to challenge and to tease out people's views. I am not as sure about drugs as I have sometimes implied in these posts, I think. Of the things I've learnt about buddhism, many teachings come with stories and kōans which help guide to a perspective where an idea makes clear sense. Rarely, does anyone seem to talk about drugs however. Often it seems to be broad statements as if it is inherently true and clear that they are bad or harmful, but I don't find it all that clear. I see balance and nuance. It's clear to me that for some people, some drugs are helpful, and should be taken. The opposite is also clear. It is the middle, where things get a bit less clear, that I am interested in gaining a better understanding. I do believe no real insight or enlightenment can come from the use of drugs, but like all things which change the mind in to a different state or perspective, I've come to feel that it maybe a useful tool in enabling a reflective and questioning person to gain insights. Unnecessary? Perhaps. But is is bad or less preferable than alternatives? I'm not so sure. My use of drugs so far has mostly been a 'last resort' type of thing, but they have worked well, so now I am curious.

As for smoking, that seems a bit of a straw man.
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby ground » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:49 am

Jenna wrote:I have made up my mind in a sense, but I am here to question myself as much as to question each of you. Sometimes I take opposing stances to challenge and to tease out people's views.

Well ... I don't take drugs because even though from my perspective taking drugs or not does not make a difference as to the basic truth of birth, aging, illness and death it makes a big difference for me. This is the only valid thing I can say based on my own experience.

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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Postby manas » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:55 am

Sorry jenna, everyone, I'm not sure about the reply I made here, and due to my doubts, I got rid of it. I should probably leave advising others to those more experienced. I am feeling like I should say less than I do.

may you be well

metta
Last edited by manas on Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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