Has anyone here ever experienced an enlightenment?

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confutatis

hypnagogue said:
Well, I guess we tend to accept research that confirms our beliefs and dismiss the rest. I won't pretend I don't have beliefs about drugs, or that those beliefs don't taint my perceptions, but at a minimum I feel confident about my beliefs as they come from experience, not from ignorance.

Your attitude towards psychedelics betrays either a bias in your reasoning or an ignorance of the facts.
There is a bias, definitely, but it's nothing I find embarassing. The bias comes from having seen quite a few young lives destroyed. And I'm not talking about the news on TV, I'm talking about friends and extended family, about cousins and in-laws who have come to the edge of suicide or madness. So I hope you can forgive if I have no sympathy at all for the stuff.

When used properly, psychedelics can be safely used for both practical (therapeutic) and theoretical (research of the nature of the brain/mind) purposes.
When used properly, antibiotics can be safely used for practical and theoretical purposes. That doesn't mean we should go out and play with them without professional supervision.

I'm not advising that just anyone go out on the local street corner and buy a tab of acid, for the same reason I wouldn't advise that just anyone get into a car and start driving. Driving is a wonderful tool, but can also be quite dangerous.
The benefits of driving are far greater than the risks. The risks of drugs are far greater than the benefits. It's as simple as that - a rational decision.

psychedelics [...] can be wonderful tools, but they can also be quite dangerous. Before an aspiring psychedelic user begins using psychedelics as he pleases, he must learn the basic rules of what constitutes safe usage, he must practice carrying out actual performance in small increments under the supervision of an experienced tutor, and he must meet legal qualifications.
You mean, like Timothy Leary?

[I would] recommend anyone who is willing to follow the above guidelines for using psychedelics to actually go through with them and learn how to use psychedelics safely and legally for his own personal benefit.
In most parts of the world, there are no legal ways to "benefit" from psychedelics.

Anyway, I'm sure you have heard all this stuff before, from your mother. Sorry to bother you, you're an adult after all, and quite mature and responsible as far as I can tell. I just wanted to make it clear that my position does not come from ignorance, as you claim it does.
 

hypnagogue

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A lot of young lives are destroyed by drunk driving as well. But if you drive safely and properly, the act is of great benefit. Likewise for psychedelics. I'm not trying to trivialize or deny the harm that can come from improper drug use, far from it. I don't know the details of your personal acquaintances, and I wouldn't want to get too personal here, but I suspect if the drugs in question were psychedelics and if they were used properly, disaster could have been avoided. Psychedelics are not addictive, so responsible use is emminently possible. Of course, there are some people who should never use psychedelics under any circumstances (those predisposed to mental illness, mainly), just as there are those who should never drive under any circumstances (eg someone with extremely poor vision). But for a well-informed and responsible user of psychedelics, the risks are really essentially minimal and the potential benefits are great. The risk of psychedelic use is not at all comparable to the risks involved with using rampantly destructive, addictive, and physiologically damaging drugs such as cocaine or heroin (or, for that matter, nicotine!), where even the most informed and responsible intentions of use are in precarious danger of being overtaken.

You are correct to point out that by far the most stringent limiting factor on reaping the benefits of psychedelics is legal restriction. I do believe that many of the legal restrictions on use of psychedelics are entirely unfounded (as opposed to, say, legal restrictions on the use of heroin which are entirely justified), and I can only hope that governments will progressively come to take a more enlightened position with regard to them. But for sufficientily serious, responsible, and interested people, there are ways to reap enormous personal benefits from psychedelics both safely and, in some parts of the world, completely legally.
 
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Kerrie

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i hope some here participating in this thread do not think that those of us claiming the realization of "oneness" did so by drug use exclusively. my realization came by reading many books which offered words of experience from others and conversing with other people coupled with a lot of alone time thinking. people sharing their experiences i think have the intention of helping others realize this great feeling of "oneness". let's not forget this :)
 

hypnagogue

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I agree with Kerrie. To use a rough metaphor, psychedelics can serve as useful compasses on the spiritual path. I don't mean to give the impression that psychedelics are complete answers to the problems of exploring consciousness and approaching self-actualization. But they can serve as an invaluable tool in achieving this end. A compass can point you in the right direction, but it won't lift you up and take you where you want to go. Likewise, psychedelics can be eye-opening guides as to the potential of what consciousness can be (and what is so wonderful about what it can be), but ultimately the cultivation of one's consciousness is a more involved, embedded, ongoing process that can be assisted by, but not completed by, psychedelics.

For an article that says all this and more better than I am able to, please see http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/walsh.htm. In addition to expounding on what I stated above, there is also this useful insight that should be of interest to all the naysayers:

For 5 of those 8 years I have worked in areas such as the nature of psychological well-being, non-Western psychologies and religions, consciousness, and the effects of meditation. I have also undertaken a personal study of meditative and non-Western traditions, and I thus have had the opportunity of meeting, interviewing, and studying with a wide range of people in these related disciplines.

Whenever I came to know these people closely, the same story would emerge: that although they rarely acknowledged it in public, the psychedelics had played an important role in introducing them to and facilitating their passage through these disciplines. It occurred to me that this might well be a case of what social scientists call "plurality ignorance:" a situation in which each individual thinks he or she is the only one doing something, although in fact the practice is widespread. In this case, what seemed to be widely unrecognized was that large numbers of people appear to have derived, at least from their own point of view, significant benefits from psychedelics, despite popular media accounts of their devastating dangers.

This suspicion was deepened by an encounter with the editor of a prominent psychological journal. In an extensive review of various Western and non-Western psychologies, I discussed the data on psychedelics and concluded that there was evidence suggesting that in some cases people might find them beneficial. The journal editor was willing to accept the paper provided I removed any reference to positive effects of psychedelics; he thought that the journal could not afford to be associated with such statements. I am familiar with this particular editor's work and know that he is exceptionally open-minded. It appears that we have in our culture, even in the scientific and professional literature, a bias towards reporting only the negative effects of psychedelics.
 

loseyourname

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Les Sleeth said:
I did not say I am sure "oneness is a state of the sum of conscious lifeforms in the universe." I gave you an impression, a hypothesis for discussion, a possibility. Never have I said what you are attributing to me. I should be able to suggest an idea without being labeled a believer. To discuss what someone's experience might imply doesn't mean anyone has to jump to conclusions. I certainly am not ready to do that.
I was pretty certain that you had said "union" meant union with a primeval source of all consciousness. This would apply to all conscious lifeforms. If I'm wrong about that, though, I'm sorry. It's not like misunderstandings are uncommon on internet forums. Hopefully enough discussion can clear them up. I'm starting to get the feeling that what you are experiencing isn't adequately described by the English language.

Think about what it means when you say, "I can't imagine a way in which I would even begin to suspect that, much less come to be convinced of it." Of course you can't imagine it, and that is because you are intelligent.
There is logic behind why I can't imagine it. I can imagine experiencing a higher form of my own consciousness, but unless I could simultaneously experience the conciousness of all conscious beings, I don't see how I could know that this higher state is common to all of them. Hypothesis or not, I don't see any way in which it could possibly be verified, except of course by experiencing the consciousness of all conscious beings, something that no one has ever claimed doing as far as I know.
 

Les Sleeth

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loseyourname said:
I was pretty certain that you had said "union" meant union with a primeval source of all consciousness. This would apply to all conscious lifeforms. If I'm wrong about that, though, I'm sorry. It's not like misunderstandings are uncommon on internet forums. Hopefully enough discussion can clear them up. I'm starting to get the feeling that what you are experiencing isn't adequately described by the English language.
Well, you are definitely correct in saying "misunderstandings are uncommon on internet forums." Part of it is trying to maintain some level of brevity in one's responses . . . most of us are pretty busy with our lives.

However, you have fused my personal experience with my theorizing, while I tried to keep them distinct. What is not theory to me is the idea of "merging" with some background state of consciousness (I refer you to my "truck-on-a-bumpy-country-road" analogy). That experience is very unambiguous. In contrast, besides the direct aspects of the union experience there are also peripheral "impressions." One is, for example, that one is not just merged with the foundation of one's own consciousness, but also that one's consciousness is part of something much bigger.

While I am confident to state an experience I've labeled "union" is possible, and even that there is some "ground state" or foundation of conscousness, when I talk about the greater thing I feel outside of me, I realize it must be left in the category of impressions.


loseyourname said:
There is logic behind why I can't imagine it. I can imagine experiencing a higher form of my own consciousness, but unless I could simultaneously experience the conciousness of all conscious beings, I don't see how I could know that this higher state is common to all of them. Hypothesis or not, I don't see any way in which it could possibly be verified, except of course by experiencing the consciousness of all conscious beings, something that no one has ever claimed doing as far as I know.
Right, that's what I said. I said you lacked confirming, or even indicative, experience. To me, it is a sign of intelligence (even if not terribly intuitive :wink: ) when one limits one's thinking to confirming personal experience.

On the other hand, your standard for verification is physicalistic. If consciousness is not physical, then it's not going to work, as you say. I suggest that inner experience needs a different standard for verification which is, each human being has to look inside for oneself.
 

Evo

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Permanent enlightenment without drugs, that's what these people think they have achieved.

They started with hallucinogenics, but hated the fact that the state of enlightenment was only temporary. Solution? Drill a hole in your head.

I'd be curious to hear what people think about this. These people swear by it. I will say right now I think they are a sandwich short of a picnic. But hey, maybe they know something I don't.

http://www.noah.org/trepan/people_w...heir_heads.html [Broken]
 
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Les Sleeth

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Evo said:
They started with hallucinogenics, but hated the fact that the state of enlightenment was only temporary. Solution? Drill a hole in your head.

I'd be curious to hear what people think about this. These people swear by it. I will say right now I think they are a sandwich short of a picnic. But hey, maybe they know something I don't.[/url]
Without endorsing what they've done (I don't), I do think it's interesting that a hole in the head achieves what it does. If we assume they are reporting accurately, what might it mean?

There are some who say the body is a tool designed to develop individual consciousness. The way swinging a bat with a weight on it before stepping up to the plate can help one swing more quickly (without the weight), the "weight" of the restriction imposed by the body (in this case, an enclosed skull) might help one become stronger because of its limiting effect. At least a psychedelic wears off, and so might give one a taste of what is possible through natural hard work without defeating overall the role of the body.
 
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hypnagogue

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Evo said:
Permanent enlightenment without drugs, that's what these people think they have achieved.

They started with hallucinogenics, but hated the fact that the state of enlightenment was only temporary. Solution? Drill a hole in your head.

I'd be curious to hear what people think about this. These people swear by it. I will say right now I think they are a sandwich short of a picnic. But hey, maybe they know something I don't.

http://www.noah.org/trepan/people_w...heir_heads.html [Broken]
Yikes. From personal testimonials (eg http://www.trepan.com/ and http://www.bmezine.com/news/people/A10101/trepan/) it doesn't even seem to induce effects significant enough to be called enlightenment-- seems like long term meditation or administration of nootropics would do the same thing, or something comparable. I'd rather work on long term meditation than rip a hole in my head, but that's just me. :biggrin: But if these people are satisfied with their results, more power to them.
 
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Janitor

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I have not read science fiction in 20 years, but I still vividly remember a story called 'A Song for Lya.' The main character willingly allowed herself to be physically absorbed into a gooey mess of conscious material known as the Greeshka. For some reason the posts here reminded me of that.
 
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To All, drugs are dangerous and should not be used for any form of enlightening experiences. The body mind and spirit are forged by experience. DO NOT GO ANY OTHER WAY. You may do permanent damage or you may not come back. Maybe I will explain some day or then again maybe not.
 

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