Posted: 28/06/2013 in Routine

If I totter along, O wielder of thunder, like a puffed-up wineskin, forgive, Lord, have mercy! If by ill chance in the dullness of my wits I went straying, O Holy One, forgive, Lord, have mercy!

Chemical Consciousness

In the early ’60s I became conscious that more and more of the people who came to me for counseling wanted to talk over aspects of their experience in higher states of the mind, states of the mind that had been opened through psychedelic experience. Their interest was in relating these experiences to yoga and the consciousness attained through meditation. These people were highly enthusiastic about their new world, for it seemed like sort of a canned meditation, something they could get very quickly without entering into the sometimes tedious yoga training that may take years to open the individual to the within of himself. People all over the nation now are becoming awakened to the world within.

Around the same time, we had a seminar in San Diego attended by many seekers and LSD users. It seemed to us that the LSD people are almost like a new race, a race of people that have been reborn in bodies that already existed. Those who use psychedelics are different in many respects from those who have had no psychedelic experience. Their feelings are different. Their relationships are different. They are closer to some people, but at the same time they have created a gap between themselves and society. It is a gap of loneliness, because the breach between the inner consciousness and the external world has become so great that they have only themselves to depend upon. The degree of success of this dependence is another story, which brings us into the subject of yoga. We cannot say that the psychedelic experience in itself is either good or bad. It is enough to say that it is an experience that has occurred to thousands of people.

These ideas I am sharing with you are not so much for the psychedelic people as for those who have not had the psychedelic experience. I do not encourage you to go through it. Rather, I would encourage you to continue with the slower process of yoga. But I want to awaken you to the fact that there is this new group of people living with us. Their approach to life is entirely different from the one which you may have. Their perception generally is entirely different. Some of these people can look into your mind and even read your thoughts. Those who have not had psychedelic experiences will have to learn to adjust to the psychedelic consciousness. Likewise, those who use these drugs, if they ever stop, will have to learn to adjust their thinking again to the normal conscious-plane way of doing things.

I believe that the gap which has been created between “turned on people” and “turned off people” can best be bridged through meditation, gaining control of the mind so that the individual can become master of himself. When you become master of yourself, you truly stand alone in completeness, not in loneliness. In doing so, you are able to bring forth knowledge and wisdom from yourself through the process of meditation, through being able to sit down and think through a problem, ultimately seeing it in full, superconscious perspective and bring forth an answer, a workable answer filled with life. Meditation is a dynamic process. It is much more than just sitting around and waiting. It creates a highly individualistic type of mind.

Young and Old Souls

There are young souls in this world, and there are old souls. The young soul shows you how you can’t do something. The old soul shows you how you can. But a young soul can evolve in this very life in the same way that a weak, skinny man can go to a gym and become a husky bundle of muscle.

Spiritual unfoldment and the growth and development of the subtle nerve system are the same thing. Most of us are familiar with the structure of the body’s muscles, but how many of you are familiar with your nerve fibers? The life force flows through you along these nerve channels in a degree directly proportionate to the condition of your mind. We call this actinic force or cosmic force. This actinic force flowing out into the muscle and skin structure produces prana, or magnetism. The magnetic force in nature we call odic force. Have you ever had somebody suddenly call you up and say, “Come on, let’s go to a party,” when you feel tired and lacking in energy, and suddenly your nervous system floods a new force through you, rejuvenating your magnetic response? This is an involuntary response, a subsuperconscious release of actinic force.

The nervous system in a young soul is, shall we say, immature. The many, many incarnational experiences of the old soul have instilled in the subtle nervous system a strength of fiber, a spiritual maturation. Therefore, the older soul entering into meditation can sustain the force and unfoldment that one meditation carries over into another. This process is a steady building, an opening up, until finally, in a contemplative moment of cosmic consciousness, one opens to Self Realization, beyond the experience of the mind, and is able to sustain it because the nerve structure is very powerful.

So, this is the unfortunate aspect of psychedelic experience as I see it. It is especially damaging to the young soul and leads the older soul off track. If the individual taking LSD or some other psychotropic drug is an old soul, it has perhaps awakened him so that he is able to face the new situation of his consciousness with intelligence. But the reaction inhibits further spiritual unfoldments because lower chakras are wrenched open, causing severe mood swings. In the case of the young soul, he has not yet developed the nerve fiber to adjust to the awakening, to the intensity of the psychedelic experience, and his mind very often “turns off.”

I have interviewed seekers who have had a few psychedelic experiences and have come through them more vibrant, more alive, and more ready to face the challenges of a new world. I have met others who only stand and look at you blankly, who have lost their desire, even their self-respect. They have lost, shall we say, the structure through which their mind force previously flowed, and it has not been replaced.

What happens to a Hindu yogi when he enters a superconscious state of bliss in which his mind opens up, turns to light, and he sees the world revolving below the state of his suspended consciousness? He has arrived at this state through many years of practice in concentration, meditation and contemplation, many years of building strong nerve fiber. But in a momentary high on LSD or any other powerful psychedelic, such as mushrooms, peyote, ecstasy or DMT, the nerve structure is strained, in a sense which we can best describe as abnormal, to allow the individual to reach this exalted consciousness. Coming out of it, the result is often a kind of shock in which the person has a great difficulty in readjusting to any kind of normal routine. Because these drugs are illegal, the consciousness of fear also has been awakened within the seeker. Fear is the first step down into the lower worlds of darkness. The next is anger.

Maintaining Control

I don’t want to see a nationwide or worldwide movement built around a little bit of “acid.” I don’t want to see this, because of the young souls for whom this would be devastating. Some young souls who have been opened up without preparation stumble into psychic ability. They may read thought forms, see auras or travel astrally. In yoga we would say that this path of psychism must be avoided until you have attained Self Realization. This is because in opening up the mind to higher forces and beautiful experiences, we also open ourselves up to the unpleasant experiences of the shadow world of the chakras below the muladhara center at the base of the spine, areas of consciousness which we cannot control without preparation and training. In yoga, the guru knows how to protect his students in the opening-up process by closing off the lower realms as the higher ones open. He knows how to do this, but it is a steady training and does require time. I have met people who have had the psychedelic experience who but cannot walk down the street past certain houses because they have become so sensitive to the contention, the negative force field, emitted from a certain home. Some of these people are opened up to the more subtle forces of the lower mind.

The old soul, in wisdom, enters into the experience of meditation. Here he learns to control the lower forces even while he is awakening the higher forces. Therefore he can sustain himself in a higher state of consciousness. He has the strength of nerve fiber to do it.

So, I am asking the leaders of the LSD movement, the psychedelic movement, to stop it, for the sake of protecting souls on the path against the too abrupt awakening, against being opened up to obsession or possession. Most people who take drugs are followers. They’re not leaders, they’re followers. A leader takes a stand. A leader stands for what he believes and believes what he stands for. We need to train our children to be leaders and to stand up against that which they know is wrong and dangerous.

When a person is opened up, in a somewhat defenseless position, as in an LSD experience, he can be possessed or obsessed by an accumulation of thought power and impelled to do things that he would otherwise have no intention of doing, simply because his nervous system has become sensitive and open to the lower mind forces of hate, greed, mistrust, fear and malice that ooze out of some people who have no control.

If you have not been opened up in this manner, if you are just going along in an ordinary state of consciousness, you might feel, “I don’t like so-and-so and I won’t see him anymore,” and you place a mental barrier between yourself and this person. You are able to shut your mental door against people whose vibration does not blend with yours. But a prematurely opened soul cannot do this. He remains open to all influences. Therefore, I plead to the innate intelligence of the intellectuals and the old souls who can appreciate what is happening, to stop the indiscriminate use of dangerous drugs, to bring this movement to a halt.

Tapping the Superconscious

The youngsters in their late teens and early twenties who are going into LSD and other drugs are going to meet their karma in an unnatural sequence. The upset of their nervous system, if it continues, will be drastic and will even affect others’ personal lives, whether they have had LSD or not. I have traveled through India and the Orient where there are no laws against narcotics, and the people who live on narcotics there are absolutely deplorable. They have no spiritual impetus. They just sit and say, “Well, if I have food, that’s fine. If not, then I’ll probably die. So, let’s see, if I reincarnate, where would I like to go?” Whereas when the spiritual force, the actinic force, floods through your nervous system, permeating you with magnetism, and you see the light of your mind, you don’t have time for rationalizations like that.

When we are dealing with the nervous system, we are talking about three states of mind at the same time. The conscious, subconscious and superconscious all exist, alive and vibrant, within you at this moment. You could be “turned on” superconsciously without drugs at any instant. It is all there waiting for you. Your brain is basically an acid structure. When you learn to concentrate your mind, to concentrate the thinking force, you are turning on the “acid” of your brain. LSD is an acid, too, but it can do nothing for you that you cannot do for yourself. When you learn the subtle arts of meditation, you will learn how to tap into your spiritual force, your always-existing actinic power which transmits its energy through body and mind into the magnetic currents. This magnetic force can be stimulated also through food, through breathing or through the quality of thought.

Now is a marvelous time for people to tap their latent potential to unfold these higher states of consciousness. All of the activity and discussion of outer space contributes to this unfoldment, too, because every time you mentally project yourself with a rocket or a spaceship, your consciousness touches back on the Earth again, having undergone a definite change.

What is going to be the reaction over a period of time to the psychedelic movement? Meditating yogis have found that even in the integrated process of meditation, one’s karma is intensified, and experiences come to you thick and fast to work through. Under LSD and similar drugs, the wheels are spinning faster and faster until some drug takers will be spinning in consciousness completely away from any kind of stable living. I believe that with the continued use of LSD, the forces will slip over to the other side, past the point of no return. The spiritual unfoldment of the human soul can no more profitably be forced than can the growth of a plant in a hot house. Yoga is the path of control. If you go at it through yoga, you will be so much better off, and through your new radiant energy you will be able to help so many people.

The Power Of Decision

Many are the karmic consequences of using, selling and encouraging others to use illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, barbiturates and psychedelics like LSD and mushrooms. The karmic chain works like this. Suppose someone sold drugs to another and that person overdosed and killed himself. The karma would be murder. Maybe the law wouldn’t call it murder, but the karma would be murder. This means that the person who sold the drugs would be killed in his next life. One act creates another act and that act comes back on those who helped create it. Similarly, if movie actors cause others to hurt themselves or kill another person, commit robbery, anything like that, because of what they’re acting out, that karma comes back on them, as well as the director, as well as the writer. It’s pretty messy business to fool around with the law of karma.

I tell young people who are tempted to use drugs that the power of decision is a very great power. Very few people know how to use this power, but everybody has the power of decision. It takes a little bit of willpower, it takes a little bit of research, and we are going to give you some ammunition to help you make the decision to be free from drugs.

The consequences of illegal drug use are that the drug user becomes a criminal. His home or car can be confiscated under drug assets seizure laws. His parents’ home or car can be seized. He can be arrested for driving under the influence of controlled substances. People may steal drugs from him, putting him and his family in danger. Eventually, he can’t earn enough to buy the drugs he needs. He can’t even steal enough. He has to deal, to sell drugs, to support the habit. And to deal, he must recruit new users. Drugs make him meet people he would never meet otherwise, not-so-good people — sellers, dealers, junkies. It puts him into a lower realm of life. He may become violent. He has to get a gun to protect himself. More danger follows. The government has to deal with him, as he has become a criminal. It’s very expensive for society. He can’t behave normally. He does harm to his body. He does harm to his mind. He becomes paranoid, always looking over his shoulder, fearful that bad things are going to happen. As a student, he can’t study well anymore, and he probably won’t graduate — he gets no education, therefore no career and no steady job. He does things he never thought he would do: rob, steal, lie, forge, pull away from and humiliate his parents, pull away from his teachers, create abnormal relationships with friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, ruin his reputation, even go into prostitution.

I warn youths, you might think it won’t happen to you. Well, everybody who takes drugs says, “That won’t happen to me. I can handle it.” Every junkie on the street has said that at one time or another. Why do we have groups talking about how to handle drugs and drug rehabilitation centers, which are very expensive for states, counties and private organizations to run? Because you cannot handle it. No one can handle it. It all starts with that first puff of a joint, the first time you cross the line into what’s not legal. One drug leads to the next, which leads to the next and the next. It’s the Narakaloka, active every day in the lives of the people on this planet who use illegal substances. So don’t get started.

Drugs may seem like an escape from the problems of life, but it is not a solution to them. In Hindu, Jain and Buddhist thinking, all this adds up to bad karma, then a bad birth. You can’t escape from karma. It will always catch up with you — if not in this life then in the next. But we can’t just say no because somebody has told us to say no. We need to meditate, we need to think upon the consequences, of what will happen to us, of using these terribly dangerous, illegal substances.

Talk to young people in your community. Tell them, “Think about it. Only you can make the decision. No one else can make it for you.” You can’t convince a young person here on the island of Kauai to surf on a fifty foot wave. Youths also don’t drive a hundred miles an hour down the winding mountain road from Kokee. Why? Because they know the consequence. They are well educated. They know the consequence and, be they 12 years old, 16 years old, 20 years old, 24 years old, they make the proper decisions about such things.

The issue is training people to make the proper decisions so that they are law-abiding citizens because they have decided to be law-abiding citizens, so that they do not take drugs, because they do not want to alter their mind, because they do not want to lose their standing in the community, because they do not want to lose the functioning of their physical body. The power of decision is a great power to pass on to the next generation.

Alcohol in Moderation

Alcohol is a very misunderstood substance. Its original use in many cultures was limited to the priesthood, to enliven consciousness by restricting the activities of the conscious mind, so that the superconscious knowledge within the individual can flow freely, uninhibited by daily thought and concerns. In Japan, sake, a rice wine, is considered the potion of the poets and is served in Buddhist and Shinto monasteries to enhance the spiritual nature and diminish worldly attachments. The drinking of sake goes along with certain other practices of controlling the mind, based on a well-understood philosophy. In other cultures — Aztec, Mayan, Hindu, Christian and Jewish — wine is considered a holy sacrament.

Beer is a lesser potion, a drink for the common man, and does not fall into this category. Both beer and wine are produced from natural ingredients and through natural fermentation processes, whereas hard liquors are distilled. Another important difference is the concentration of alcohol. In beer the alcohol content is from 3 to 8 percent, and in wine from 9 to 18 percent, compared to hard liquors which are from 25 to nearly 100 percent. The latter our scriptures admonish us to not imbibe.

Man’s religious traditions provide different answers to the consumption of alcohol. The Muslim faith considers it the mother of all evils, the most basic of human sins. The Jews, Christians and others consider it acceptable in moderation, and, in fact, provide wine as sacraments in their places of worship. In Asian societies, propaganda against alcohol is severe, primarily directed toward hard liquors, meaning those of high alcohol content, which tend to quickly craze the mind, punish the body and let loose the lower emotions. These include distilled home brews, such as arrack, bathtub gin, homemade rum and vodka.

In Hinduism there are traditions that are strictly abstemious, and there are traditions that are open to the use of alcohol. Especially the Saivas and Shaktas are more lenient in this matter and have no objection to the moderate, wise use of alcohol. In North India, for example, it is traditional in certain orders for Saiva sannyasins to drink alcohol. This is the tradition that our particular parampara has adopted and it is the custom that we follow today. If you are in a tradition which has a heritage of complete abstention, then you should follow it. If you are in a tradition which does not look down on drinking wines or beers, then you should feel free to follow that tradition.

Hindus of the Jaffna community explain that hard liquor, known as kal in Tamil, are the intoxicants prohibited in the Tirukural and Tirumantiram and which are to be totally abstained from, and that beer and wine, including honey wine, are referred to in the Vedas and ayurveda texts as beneficial for spiritual and religious life under the restraint of mitahara.
Alcohol in Saiva Tradition

The time periods allotted for drinking wine and beer should be during a meal (lunch or dinner), or to relax after the day’s dharmic duties are fulfilled. Obviously, one should not drink during the work day, in the office, during puja or in the early morning hours.

Of course, this hardly need be said, but drinking and driving don’t mix. This extends also to other potentially dangerous activities. One would never drink while on the job, especially using industrial equipment, such as saws and drills, as alcohol slows down the reactions of the physical body and the conscious mind. While enjoying a glass or two of wine, one should be in good company. Drinking should bring up the higher nature, of creativity, good ideas, conversation, philosophy, intuitive solutions to the problems of the world, healthy encounters of all kinds. One should not drink when depressed, troubled or with a group that enters into confrontation, argument, contention and criticism, personal, mental and emotional abuse. Therefore, we emphasize good company, good conversation, creativity, relaxation, toward the advancement of humanity and of spirituality. That is what these two substances, wine and beer, have been created on Earth by Lord Siva Himself to produce. Of course, imbibing even wine and beer falls under the restraint of mitahara. To overindulge would be unacceptable.

One should not drink alone, not even a glass of wine or beer at a solitary dinner. All the social harnesses are absent when you drink in isolation. Then it becomes a subconscious instead of a subsuperconscious experience. Additionally, there are those who by their constitution or genetics cannot drink even moderately without catastrophic effects: physiological, psychological, sociological difficulties. Even a single beer can provoke extreme responses. When these reactions come, they suffer physically, their families suffer, their professions suffer, their spiritual unfoldment suffers. Therefore, these individuals must, under all circumstances, completely avoid alcohol for a healthy, happy life. Statistically it is estimated that some seven percent of people are in this category. A clear indication that an individual falls into this category is that his friends don’t want to drink with him because it inevitably becomes an unpleasant event for all. Friends and associates are duty-bound to monitor and sanction him. In such cases insisting on moderation is not sufficient. Total abstinence must be required.

In a similar vein, I am often asked about tobacco. My answer is, do you want to live a happy, healthy, productive and long life, or do you want to die early and suffer all the diseases that have been documented that smoking, the world’s worst health hazard, can bring up in your body to destroy it? If the answer is “I don’t mind dying early and I’m looking forward to all the diseases that are promised,” then go ahead and smoke. I should say here that not one of my sincere devotees smokes.

  1. darion says:

    i dont get tired reading your updates

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