Spirituality, Drug Use, and Healthy Habits
Spirituality and drug-use have gone hand-in-hand for most of the last century. This was first seen in the 1960’s with the “Rise of The Hippies”, as they listened to Hendriks, preached love and compassion, revolted against the system of oppression, and sprinkled each other in California Sunshine. Since then, similar cultural groups such as hippies, shamans, psychonaughts, psychologists, scientists, artists, and more have engaged with psychedelic drugs to reach higher levels of awareness and perception. Drugs are a tool for spiritual vision, insight, and problem solving. Plus they’re a whole tonne of fun. But these “cognitive technologies” can be a double-edged sword, as younger generations fall into the pitfalls of over-use and unhealthy lifestyle choices.
I intuit that young people reach for drugs in an attempt to seek spiritual healing, well-being, and higher states of consciousness. After all, drugs can be a tool for such spiritual experiences.
So what are the parallels between being high and having connection to spirit? Understanding the common traits of being high and being connected to spirit is super useful. It gives us more awareness of what we are chasing. Drug use and spiritual experiences are independent. In other words, you can be high on drugs and not connected to spirit, and likewise, you can be connected to spirit while not on drugs. But yet, the two often go together in this day and age. Let us explore some common traits of drug experiences and spiritual practice. Then we can better understand this “ideal state” that we are chasing…
Less suffering. I once heard an insightful person say that physical pain and suffering are not the same thing. You can be in physical pain, but you don’t need to suffer. Both drugs and spiritual experiences tend to free us from suffering, as we become very content with what is, at least for the moment.
A heightened sense of awareness. Analogous words include heightened presence, focus, wakefulness, lucidity, and cognizance. Both drugs and spiritual practices can enhance these capacities temporarily. In short, they enhance our perception and cognition.
Energy levels. Drugs and spiritual practices increase our energy levels. The more energy-flow you have in your body, the more easily spirit can flow. Whether you do drugs or not, you can enhance your energy through detoxing and cleansing, the right environment, nutrition, exercise, meditation and stress relief, and any other healthy habit. Your energy may also be enhanced if you use drugs sparingly. Less is more. Be sure to absorb the lessons of one trip, and then integrate it fully in the following months of sobriety, until its time for your next discovery voyage. This may assist your body in being a healthier and more stable system, compared with frequent drug use. To sum up this paragraph, use practices that will increase and enhance your energy, while reducing habits which will limit or clog your energy.
Creativity. This comes from having heightened awareness and heightened energy. You are inspired to explore new capabilities of your mind and body. You wish to engage in art, create, and explore from an inspired place.
A sense of well-being and peace to all beings. It can make us feel more generous, kind, compassionate and loving.
So the big similarities between drug-use and spiritual practice includes: Less suffering, heightened awareness/presence, heightened energy, more creativity, more well-being and loving-kindness.
How should we best attain these traits? Through frequent drug use, or through spiritual practices which build these skills?
What are the spiritual practices which build those ideal traits? Some spiritual practices include movement, meditation, contemplations, fasting, optimal plant-based diet, creative flow states, and loving-kindness practice.
We should build these spiritual capacities through “disciplined practice”. This means having a disciplined and regimented approach to ideal movement, nutrition, intermittent fasting, meditation, contemplation, creative work, and works of service. But while disciplined practice is key to an epic life, we still need adventure and novelty. We must break up our routines by travelling to new environments, meeting new people, engaging in new leisure experiences and learning experiences.
Touching on the topic of drug-use and exploration, it can also be beneficial to engage in occasional psychedelic ceremonies and voyages. I would consider marijuana as a psychedelic also. When you go in each journey, write the big lessons down, and implement during the following months of sobriety, while continuing to practice your ideal health and spiritual practices. When it comes to drugs as a spiritual tool, less is more. Too many drugs can clog you up physically, mentally, and spiritually. Intersperse your occasional epic voyage with months of absolute purity. Then you will get the most out of your trips and the most out of life.
I see health and spirituality as one and the same. They are both the ideal state of your energy, emotions, body mind and crown. Spiritual-practice and health-practice are one and the same. It’s about cultivating the ideal state of being. Health is the greatest wealth. Cultivate this holistic health. Do it through practicing the right things, from fasting to eating to productive/creative disciplines. Plus controlled sobriety and planned adventure is a key to the finest of health.
Moderation. Less is more. Boost the energy. Integrate the actualized path. Learn that discipline equals freedom.
Part 2: What are the most toxic things we put in our bodies? What inputs can obstruct health and spirit from flowing through the body? When we are aware of them, we can endeavour to consume less of them and therefore stay cleaner in spirit and in health. Some common toxins include…
- Cigarette smoke
- Diet: Spikes in refined sugar, charred meat, antibiotics and hormones in conventional meat, empty calories from refined carbs, food preservatives and flavour enhancers, herbicides and pesticides from in-organic produce.
- Potentially mucus-forming foods like cooked grains and starches. In other words, sticking to a mostly raw diet could be optimal. I am still exploring the effect of cooked starches. While I currently love consuming them, I will be experimenting with musus-free diets.
- Stagnation in any area of life. Where there is movement, there is health. Where there is stagnation and familiarity, there is dis-ease. Keep every area of life fresh and active, exploring new possibilities.
- Novelty and adventure is something which cleanses the mind and spirit. Just like fasting cleanses the body.
- Negative people, situations, or thought patterns. Learn to change what you can and surrender to what you can’t. Let go of the past. Be born anew, with presence, forgiveness, and a fresh start. Put yourself in a fresh and positive environment every day.
- In this vein, new environments and new people can be very cleansing.
- Too many illicit drugs may also have a toxic residual effect in the body.
Solutions to a cleaner body and spirit include…
- Eating raw. Or mostly raw.
- Eating organic.
- Eating the minimal amount of calories.
- Eating high quality home-made meals, plant-based.
- Intermittent fasting, potentially even intermittent dry fasting.
- More consistent longer fasts, say a three day fast every month, quarter, or year.
- Minimal use of all drugs, thus lowering toxic loads, boosting and balancing energy, and implementing lessons. Be more sparring and occasional with psychedelics, marijuana, hard drugs, and experiment with cutting out caffeine.
- Committing to spiritual practice and disciplines, such as intensive physical exercise, meditation and concentration, contemplation, and creative/productive output (like the arts, music, dance, writing, or anything that uses kundalini energy).
- Allow each productivity session to contain a very productive task and a task of pure inspiration.
- Finance: Being disciplined with economic spending (less is more), so we can focus more on optimal disciplined food intake, spiritual practice, and then most importantly, more savings to spend on…
- Adventure. Changing to fresh environments, people, leisure experiences and learning experiences. Novelty and expansion.
- Even when in your home town and sober, still adventure and explore late with people. Get up to mischief and run a muck. It is good for your overall energetic and spiritual health. There is a time for productivity and rest, and there is a time for venturing on through the night.
- Re-calibrate who your close friends are, as friends are investments of time and energy. The same goes for any habit, engagement, or commitment. Clean up all of your engagements, so you have purely positive inputs and outputs, whether it’s to do with your people, your food, and your habits.
- With diet, it can be good to add herbs and healthy supplements which increase health and functioning. See if you notice the difference, as being sober most of the time can make you more sensitive to subtle changes induced by herbs.
- Find more creative and primal ways to kick your system into gear, like earthing, nature immersion, cleansed by the elements, cold therapy, deprivation tanks, semen retention and tantra, kundalini yoga, martial arts, ect. Find creative ways to enhance energy that doesn’t involve drugs.
- Building career and vocation.
Implement… One at a time… But implement. And tick them off. An excel sheet or table is a great tool. Place some of these positive practices in a graphic table, and tick them off each time you are successful. I wish you tremendous joy, love, and attainment as you explore the healthiest possible lifestyle for your body and spirit. Namaste.