Thursday, September 13, 2018

Can drugs help one spiritually awaken?

There is a misguided idea that spiritual awakening can occur from drugs, in particular, psychedelics. Millions of people attempt to alter their consciousnesses with substances, the most common being alcohol but also cannabis, opiates and stimulants of all kinds. These substances do alter the nervous system but these are physical effects and have little to do with spirituality.

It is possible for people with highly developed skills at mindfulness to take drugs and observe their functioning under them. What is that part of the person that can make these observations? Here at UUAWOL ministries we have named this part of our self awareness system the "witness." It is that part of our consciousness that is mindfully aware of our functioning, the witness, which is eternal and lives forever.

Substances create cognitive and affective and psychomotor changes, but they do not change the witness which observes these activities and their effects.

Some people have a more highly developed capacity to witness than others, and this ability to observe from the witness in a nonjudgmental way is a major component of awakening. In some religious traditions this "witness" is called the "soul." In some traditions it is called the "conscience." As a young boy, being raised as Roman Catholic, when we were prepared for the sacrament of penance or later called reconciliation or, when I was a child, confession, we were taught to "examine our conscience" in preparation for making a "good act of confession." In Alcoholics Anonymous this is called doing a "fearless moral inventory."

Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote "the right of conscience" and the use of the democratic process..." What is this "right of conscience" referred to in this principle? How is, or could this "right of conscience," be influenced by the use of consciousness altering chemicals? Would the use of pharmaceuticals, as millions of Americans do, hasten the spiritual development of the users?

It is written in A Course In Miracles in the supplement, The Process of Psychotherapy, "Their (the client's) aim is to be able to retain their self-concept exactly as it is, but without the suffering it entails. Their whole equilibrium rests on the  insane belief that this is possible. And because to the sane mind it is clearly impossible, what they seek is magic." P-2.Intro.2:3-5

And the drugs to alter consciousness is an attempt at magical spiritual development. The use of drugs to awaken is counterfeit. We believe at UUAWOL ministries that one way to awaken is to covenant together with other like minded seekers to utilize the seven principles as the basis for a path to awakening. The drugs are a detour and not only don't work but can cause damage.


1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful service you provide. The information and encouragement is very much appreciated.


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