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Entheogens and Buddhism - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Entheogens and Buddhism

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Ben
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:11 am

My experience with these drugs is that they are very far from states arrived at via meditation. The hallucinogens distort one's own perception of reality and leave one believing that the distorted perception is akin to seeing things as they really are.
While some hallucinogens have been used in some traditional cultures as part of their spiritual lives it appears to me completely contrary to the Noble Path expressed by the Buddha. Further, I interpret the fifth precept to cover such substances as intoxicants.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Lazy_eye
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:25 am


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Viscid
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Viscid » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:12 am

"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Ben
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:51 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Dan74
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Dan74 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:48 am

_/|\_

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Cittasanto
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:59 am

Good Post Viscid!
I did do a search of some plants which produce these effects, and noticed some were used in indian religious practices is this soma juice one do you know?

but I would be interested in seeing a ECG or other brain scan to compare he meditative state with this, I would be sure the activity is different.
but that does remind me of another thread!


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Lazy_eye
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:34 pm


silentone
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby silentone » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:32 pm

I am frequently told my views are not buddhist so my words may mean little.
I never used LSD so, I cannot particularly say what the effects are like.

I have tried several other entheogens, mushrooms, and found them to be an interesting experience. They are supposed to be a more subtle experience. I wouldn't call anything I experienced "enlightenment" ... I would say that they produced a period great "insightfulness" that seemed to linger some time after. I found the insight I gained helped me with certain mental health issues I was having at the time and I have always viewed them as positive experiences, though not the kind one should neccessarily repeat over and over again. Still, these experiences affect my thinking even now.

I do not believe I experienced heedlessness. I never lost control of myself, and I never did anything I would regret after the fact. I don't know any other way to judge my actions, than by their consequences. Throughout the experience I found my empathy towards others magnified signfigantly. This seemed to last a while after. They are tools, nothing more. If enlightenment could be tied to a particular chemical configuration of the brain, it would be available from the pharmacy.

The analogy I would use to describe my perception of their use, is that of the tools one would use to repair a house. Some tools are simply not useful. Using alcohol would be like using a wrecking ball to fix the trim. Others are only useful, but only in very specific circumstances. The determinant factor is always the purpose they are being used for, and the actual results you obtain from their use. If you use a drug to party and have sex, thats probably not getting you anywhere.

Some entheogens are now being studied for long term effectiveness against certain mental disorders. That would obviously be an entirely different context.

It seems to me many people want a hard and fast rule that they can apply categorically, but it doesn't seem nearly that simple without ascribing to some sort of essentialism (IMHO) about either the chemicals themselves or the nature of enlightenment as it relates to physical structures.

perkele
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby perkele » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:44 pm

I'm surprised to see a good discussion about psychedelic drugs vis-a-vis spiritual development.
Especially Moth's insights are very valuable and expressed with great clarity, IMO. I take my (imaginary) hat off to that: :sage: -> :thumbsup: (and my beard, too!)

@silentone: You raise a good point here about "essentialism" as you call it which is just another mode of distorting reality.
However, better to have a clear position sometimes than just to say "all is relative" about possibly dangerous things.

If psychiatrists can use them in a beneficial way, power to them. However, I am extremely skeptical (to psychiatry in general). I think this is quite dangerous in various ways.

Tyler
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Tyler » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:17 am


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Alexei
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Alexei » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:08 pm


perkele
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby perkele » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:08 pm


silentone
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby silentone » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:17 am

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012 ... epression/

See... I think this might be ill advised and going a bit too far... but its just my opinion. Ketamine always scared me. I'm not really sure how that would help.

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mikenz66
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:22 am


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Ben
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:50 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:56 am

Thanks Ben,

My point was that it may be that in some countries "psychotherapist" means someone who can prescribe drugs and in some countries it may mean something else. The medical professions tend to have their own very localized systems...

:anjali:
Mike

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Ben
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:00 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Alexei
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Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Alexei » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:30 am

Psychotherapists can work together with psychiatrist (in case of author of the report I posted) or sometimes they have medical education themselves.

My point is that drug-potentiated psychotherapy could improve lives of many people, not just mentally ill.

silentone
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby silentone » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:35 pm


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Alexei
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Re: Entheogens and Buddhism

Postby Alexei » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:48 am

As far as I know there is widespread (legal) misuse of psychoactive drugs in some counties, e.g. United States. I think it's really harmful.

I meant quite different thing, kind of substances that don't eliminate manifestations or 'heal' by themselves, on the contrary 'facilitate accessibility of unconscious material' by producing symbolic images, memory recalls, regressions and transference which can be more easily accepted and worked through in the atmosphere of a therapeutic relationship. Relationship between patient and therapist is a key factor and healer, drug is not.


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