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OfflinePed
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Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related?
    #3266289 - 10/23/04 12:34 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

What is really underlying our motivation to discuss the things we discuss here?

On the bus on the way home from school this afternoon, I was gazing out the window as us transit riders passed a store called "The Hemporium." It's one of those shops that sells all things hemp and marijuana related. Pipes, bongs, papers, T-Shirts with comical references to pot and mushrooms, incense, trinkets, books about growing everything from peyote to tabernathe iboga, things of that nature. What jumped out at me was a figurine of Vajrasattva sitting in the window next to a lamp quite deliberately designed to resemble a mushroom. Vajrasattva is a Wisdom Buddha, a solitary realizer, the Buddha of purifcation.

Now, there is no question that it was my marijuana smoking (which was in the past quite heavy and unhealthy) that eventually opened me up to Eastern thought, and finally into Tibetan Buddhism. It wasn't long before I stopped smoking marijuana and completely immersed myself in Dharma.

Not long ago I was watching a television show called "Dead Like Me" with a friend of mine. The main character, a cynical young woman, was speaking to a man in his mid-twenties with scraggly clothes, a disorganized apartment, and a glazed stare. He mentioned that he was reading a book about Zen Buddhism. The main character glared at him and quipped "Oh, Great! You must smoke pot!"

LSD users in San Fransisco are singlehandedly responsible for the popularity of the Tibetan Book of the Dead in the 1960's. It was this popularity which was the first root Dharma took in the West. Now, the world's largest Buddhist monastery is located in San Fransisco. There are more ordained Sangha in the United States today than there are in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam combined. California is regarded as the epicenter of Buddhism in America. What's up with that?

My question is: Why is it that Eastern & New Age thought and drug use seem almost formulaically linked to eachother?

It is not sufficient to suggest that drug use "opens the mind to wisdom", and that naturally this new wisdom leads us into Eastern & New Age thinking, because for some reason or another Eastern religions are more worthwhile than Western ones. Nonetheless, it is an observable trend that drug users seem to gravitate toward systems of thought like Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Naturopathic medicine, environmentalism, and so on. I'm trying to figure out the mechanics of that gravity. What is going on here, with this trend?


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Ped]
    #3266296 - 10/23/04 12:35 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Yes,they are related. Often times idiots are attracted to both.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflinePed
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3266314 - 10/23/04 12:41 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

So you're saying that if somebody is attracted to both, they meet the criteria of "idiot?" The reason they are related is because of "idiots"? That is your contribution?


Edited by Ped (10/23/04 12:56 AM)


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Ped]
    #3266322 - 10/23/04 12:44 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I did not say that...BUT idiots are often attracted to both...not all people attracted to these things are idiots, just a lot of them.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleTheDude
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3266328 - 10/23/04 12:45 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

:rolleyes:


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"this lebowski he called himself 'the dude'. now, 'dude', that's a name no one would self-apply where i come from but there was a lot about the dude that didn't make sense to me...."--the Stranger


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3266337 - 10/23/04 12:48 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Let me clarify. Non-productive people are often attracted to drugs. They often adopt eastern philosophy (superficially) to aggrandize themselves and legitimize their non-productivity.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflinePed
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3266339 - 10/23/04 12:48 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Though, I don't think it's really fair to see someone as an idiot simply because they appear misguided in their forays into psychedelic drugs and eastern thought. They might be misguided, or behaving foolishly, or obviously escapsist in their motivation to us on the external, but that does not mean that they simply lack intelligence and are unworthy of basic respect.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Ped]
    #3266345 - 10/23/04 12:50 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

You assume to much of me. Everyone deserves basic respect and courtesy. Many non-productive people are quite intelligent as well.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3266349 - 10/23/04 12:51 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I have just seen this behavior too much in my life and I am quite jaded in this respect.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflinePed
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3266357 - 10/23/04 12:53 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

>> They often adopt eastern philosophy (superficially) to aggrandize themselves and legitimize their non-productivity.

That's an observation quite pertinent to a great number of people. Though, it doesn't account for the full scope of the relationship between psychedelic drugs and eastern thought. I'm still curious about why the two seem to go hand in hand.


>> I have just seen this behavior too much in my life and I am quite jaded in this respect

I understand.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Ped]
    #3266365 - 10/23/04 12:56 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

If you truly embrace an eastern philosophy, like Zen for instance, drugs are strongly discouraged by the serious practicioners.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Ped]
    #3266410 - 10/23/04 01:05 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Great post, great question. I suspect that a large connection between the two; Eastern religion/philosophy and drug use, is the egoic self, or rather transcendence of the egoic self. Caveat lector, just a general armchair contribution.


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Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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InvisibleTheDude
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Ped]
    #3266416 - 10/23/04 01:07 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

i read a book a while back called Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (it was actually recommened by someone on these boards). worth a read if you haven't already...


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"this lebowski he called himself 'the dude'. now, 'dude', that's a name no one would self-apply where i come from but there was a lot about the dude that didn't make sense to me...."--the Stranger


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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Ped]
    #3266565 - 10/23/04 01:56 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

My question is: Why is it that Eastern & New Age thought and drug use seem almost formulaically linked to eachother?

One cannot dismiss the cultural link provided by the early psychedelic pioneers and writers emerging at the time such as Watts, Leary, Ram Dass, Ginsberg, Huxley, The Beatles; etc. If these hip folks believed Eastern Thought was cool, there MUST be something to it.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Ped]
    #3266610 - 10/23/04 02:07 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

It could be that, in general, people who gravitate towards drug use (especially psychedelics) tend to foster an almost profound distrust of the established societal norms.

First, you learn that you've been lied to for your whole life about drugs in general. Then you wonder how many OTHER lies you've been told. Disillusion sets in and you start looking for other ways to think and act...anything that will put those lies a little farther behind you.


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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: trendal]
    #3266870 - 10/23/04 04:19 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

interesting question. My guess would be that most or at least many drug users are attracted to the idea of changing their mental state and perception, at a fundamental level. To the western kid, eastern religion with its abstract 'meditation' enlightenment and spiritual experiences probably sounds like another way of 'tripping out' or turning on, changing the head state.

to a certain extent thats true.


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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3267181 - 10/23/04 09:16 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I was always a pretty deep thinker. A little religious, but nothing major. When I started smoking pot, I was always trying to hide it, and always wondering "How can they make nature illegal?" They can't. At this point I was going through my anti-establishment phase, and after reading alot of books, listening to public speakers, and listening to Rage Against The Machine, I realized there was a lot of curruption in the world. People wage wars across the world not for human rights, but purely monetary interests. These same human rights VIOLATORS, are the ones telling me that smoking pot is wrong, and illegal. Something isnt right here.

Through time, I noticed that these people were also Jesus worshipping sheep. I was raised really well by my mother. I speak to everyone politely, and hold doors, treat my fellow man with much respect. I want nothing more in life than for everyone to get along. Well these people seemed a little funny to me. The people at church would drink and smoke, talking about how drugs were bad. They would swear, and fight, and do all kinds of bad things, but if they slept through this 2 hour spill every sunday they had "hell-insurance."

Is this right?!?!

I didnt go to church, I had better stuff to do with my time. I read the bible, and what I gathered from it were stories helping people resolve problems with the best of intentions, and pretty much "fables." It gave a good example to the birth of man, but I could not take it litterally. My teachers told my we used to be monkeys. They also told me that Dinosaurs existed before us, wiped out by a giant rock.

I looked at the example as a good metaphor as to how we are all prone to evil, but if we focus, we can return once again to the garden of eden.

Then came Jesus. I dont know what the deal is, except one person being completely humble. This man died for what he believed in, giving up no struggle. If they had hatred for him, that was their problem, not his. He was not the creator of the universe! I heard something about losing all humility in some kind of book, or on the internet somewhere talking about eastern religion.

At this point, I was going to try and experiment with mushrooms. It might have been fate, or my group of friends just being hippies, or whatever, but I did it, and I loved it.

Pot was okay, even the man bringing me down admitted that most people have tried pot, and it was OBVIOUSLY not that bad for you. But they made Mushrooms into a hard drug, like heroin, and crack. After I ate these little things that grow out of shit, all I did was smile and laugh for 6 hours. Pure heaven. I later found out that these little things caused your brain to BLEED.

Oh shit I said. I instantly got on the internet to find out that this was all a bunch of propaganda to keep me from trying them. Again, why dont they want me trying them? Why are they continuing to make nature illegal?

While finding the truth, I also found communities devoted to drug use, and finding the inner spirit. Some of the people talked about Christianity and drugs, others talked about Taoism and drugs, I learned all I could.

I read and read about peoples personal interpretations of the bible, and how they think the message got skewed through time. I read about the Christians banned from the church for believing that heaven was a place inside your mind, and that earth could be heaven or hell, depending on what you made it.

I also read alot of eastern philisophy and religious texts which seemed to be written out of the box.

My mind was in constant limbo, trying to figure out the truth, but then it dawned on me. Most of what is taught in all of these religions are the same basic principle. Some obviously focussing on society as a whole, and how to play a productive, and civil rose, while the others helped you explore the inner self, and others the outer infinite universe.

Somehow these things in wich I was learning seemed more of a "common sense" type thing, than pure fact. I have learned this all before somewhere, or it was programmed into my body and soul. When I take psychedelics, my mind starts dissolving boundarys, the same ones eastern philosophy tells you to remove.

Maybe there is a universal truth, and eastern thought is bold enough to go there without worrying about scaring the people with too much information. Maybe people come to it when they are ready?

I think the mind needs to be conditioned to think outside of the box, we may be there when we are born, but modern society does not leave us healthy minded enough to go exploring. I think drugs offer some mental conditioning for us, preparing us for what we need to find out. I do not think they were a mistake, they are a tool. I do however believe that you can get there without drugs, and ultimately, you will not need them in the end. Some people also get lost in the novelty of drug use, and lose thier path. In order to become all that we can be, we need to drop the ego, or atleast re-create it to suit the new world. Drugs will definately help with that.


Sorry for the randomness, and poorly written story. I think pot is just a drug, but because of its legal status, it makes its users ask questions. It is obvously curious by nature, but if legalized, it may be taken for granted like alcohol.

I also think that there is a certain breed of people who seeks ultimate truth, and more to life. When personalities, and societies, and childhood all come into the quantum equasion, maybe smoking pot is a probable outcome. You know? Maybe people who are into eartern philosophy just so happen to smoke dope, because it was offered to them before the east was.


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The DJ's took pills to stay awake and play for seven days.


Edited by root-ninja-tak (10/23/04 09:23 AM)


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OfflineBanJankri
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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Ped]
    #3267226 - 10/23/04 10:02 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I think partly the reason is because of the meaning attached. If I say am I am seeking spiritual enlightenment and my friend says its because of the drugz, then it has become a cliche.


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Just let everything flow, just flow right to the center of everything. You gotta turn off your mind and relax, and then just float downstream...


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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3267377 - 10/23/04 12:11 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Beautifully stated.

I would add, however, that for myself, for a brief time, being stoned on cannabis showed me that the ego-driven, anxiety-ridden mentality of American consumerism that I grew up incould be temporarily suspended. Unfortunately, this 'lesson' usually became the path that you described.

In my generation it may have turned into bummy-druggy-burnout, or for some worldly intellectuals some kind of socialist political trip, or for more unworldly intellectuals who were spiritually starved (like me at the time) a passive, non-competative, non-violent even asexual existence in search of the Tao, or Nirvana or Sahaj Samadhi or whatever. It wasn't cannabis alone, but the introduction of strong psychedelics that fueled this quest. Cannabis was used in conjunction with psychedelics for me (on getting off, intensifying the peak, coming down) and stoning was a manageable high bridging the week between trips. Later, when I eliminated cannabis use, the trips became fewer and further apart because then, the trips were occasional boosters taken during the REAL spiritual work of everyday life. Cannabis may still be used by some unaccomplished sadhus in India, but being a stoner is just as antithetical to pure spirituality as alcoholism is. There is NO difference. I say this by personal experience spanning 30 years, and by some 22 years as an addictions counselor.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Re: Eastern Thought & Dope Smoking: Why are they related? [Re: Ped]
    #3267707 - 10/23/04 02:22 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Ped said:
Nonetheless, it is an observable trend that drug users seem to gravitate toward systems of thought like Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Naturopathic medicine, environmentalism, and so on.  I'm trying to figure out the mechanics of that gravity.  What is going on here, with this trend?




It seems to me that if one doesn't see the relationship between Eastern thought -- Buddhism, for example -- and the psychedelic experience, then one has either to increase one's dosage and/or get thee back to thy cushion.  :wink:


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