Are drugs a true path to God?
Q: Spiritual masters tend to come down hard on psychedelics. They say, “You can’t use them as a replacement for God,” or “they are a poor shortcut.” But so many spiritual masters in the West seem to have first come in contact with their calling through psychedelics. Can the average person really experience God by simply meditating for years, or do they need some kind of shamanic initiation, sickness, psychedelic, etc.?
A: There are ones who use psychedelics (and/or other drugs and habits) to numb their pain or to run from life, and there are others who use them in the most sacred ceremonies for personal healing or to experience higher states of consciousness. While the same psychedelic may have been used in both cases, they could not be further apart and cannot even be compared.
Intention is everything. A heart’s pure intention and focus upon God will guide and ultimately unite that one with God, regardless of the steps along the way. More importantly, as we evolve, new practices come to us and old ones fall away. It is best to avoid judging the choices of others and oneself, and rather stay focused on being true to (i.e. following) what you feel and know in your heart.
Yes, by all means the average person can experience God by meditating, as well as by calling out, focusing upon, or insisting upon having an experience of God—and it does not have to take years (though it can for some). Whatever you place your focus most upon, you create. That is simply Law. Ask and you shall receive. You do not necessarily “need” a shamanic initiation, sickness, or psychedelic to have that first experience or to “get the ball rolling,” so to speak, though in many cases there is some form of catalyst that creates the opening, the passion for God, and the momentum in the journey. But that is not really the point. The point is that we are all unique, every soul, just like every snowflake—there are no two alike. As such, our pathways to God are each and all unique. And we each attract and create exactly what our souls want, need, and choose as our vehicle to full God-realization. There is no right or wrong; there is only what is right for you. We each need to follow our heart’s guidance. God is not so much concerned how you come, only that you come.
Q: What of the spiritual traditions on the planet that have traditionally used Psychedelic entheogens? Peyote, Ayahuasca, Iboga, and Mushroom shamans, to name a few. Even the Bhagavad Gita mentions the use of the soma juice, which is frequently thought to have been the earliest psychedelic, perhaps the original ecstasy behind all Hindu cosmology. Surely we can’t discard these ancient practices. What do you make of them as true paths to God?
A: Yes, there is much validity in these ancient and sacred traditions. Over time, different cultures have developed different sacred practices and, with humanity’s increasing homogenization into a global culture, many of these practices are now widely known and available. And, indeed, whenever practiced sacredly and with pure intent, they can be very helpful healing and transformational tools. Altered and higher states of consciousness can be attained by using them, though they can also (and just as easily) be attained without them. Once again, it all comes back to intention. All sincere paths ultimately lead to God.
Try turning the tables. Suppose someone were to bring into an isolated tribal culture a sacred practice which brought about a profound spiritual experience. Naturally, many would opt for using it if they had new and favorable results from doing so... and many might happily augment if not replace their traditional practices with it—even if their culture had been using their own tribal practice for thousands of years—if the new practice brought them an even more positive and powerful experience. That is only common sense. It is not a “right and wrong” issue.
While most are focusing upon (or arguing over) the many “vehicles” to reach God, what is rarely discussed is the end result: the “experience” of God. There are truly so many different levels and types of spiritual or mystical experiences, just as there are many levels of Enlightenment (whereas most people think you just cross the threshold and “you are there; that’s it”). What is important to focus upon is what your goal is. What type of “experience of God” do you want? And how much? And for how long? And how permanent? The truth is that it just keeps getting better. You can never have enough God.
The most important axiom to know is that, as one’s consciousness continues to ascend, merging more and more with God’s own, there are fewer and fewer “external” vehicles and tools—of any culture, tradition, or type—needed to access and maintain that connection and/or experience. That is the long and short of it all.
The following audio excerpt was taken from a Q&A session with Louix at Sundara Aravinda Ashram in Melbourne, Australia (6 Feb 2009).
Louix vividly recounts his experience of taking (the drug) Ecstasy during his Initiate training, and the wisdom he gained therefrom.