tryptych

waiting for a time
johneffay said:
Unless, of course, they take enough to give them a habit or tip them over into psychosis ;)

I have a real problem with the distinction being drawn between recreational and spiritual drug use. Whilst I broadly agree with Padraig's claims about drugs and capitalism, I simply don't understand this comment:



Why would such an approach make more sense? Isn't this simply buying into the idea that altering your brain chemistry allows you to see the world more clearly? If you think that religious rituals actually do this, then I suppose that is at least consistent, but I would suggest that the use of mind-altering substances in the context of such rituals is simply a more efficient way of brainwashing individuals into buying into the religious elements being pushed. In fact drug use in such contexts has a lot in common with the effects that you identify within capitalism.

Something that always amuses me about the 'drugs are spiritual' argument is the way in which certain drugs are held up over others as vectors of spirituality for no good reason, e.g. the plants versus laboratory products argument: If the stuff made in labs has a more intense effect, how could it fail to be more spiritual? I think the whole thing is basically down to people over-romanticising the chemicals of their choice.

Furthermore, there are some forms of drug use which are never seen as spiritual, but why not? Perhaps you can argue the case for things like tranquilisers cutting you off from the spiritual, but how about glue? Intense glue sniffing can create sensations easily on a par in terms of derangement with low to medium grade LSD, and yet nobody claims that Evostick was given to us by God to aid in our evolution.
I agree/disagree with this.

I agree that there is too much made of the distinction between recreational and spiritual use - within modern psychedelic culture there is a strong strand of "psychedelic elitism" which values certain drugs and ways of using them more highly than others, and is extremely derogatory about other ways of use. I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with recreational drug use, and experiences can be both recreational and "spirtual" at the same time.

As for Gek-Opal's comment (that you've misatributed to Padraig), I suppose the point is to be involved in ritualistic drug use which is outside of the context of capital. I think you're also making some unwarrented assumptions about the nature of the "religious" background that these rituals use. Taking the most prominant drug used in such contexts, ayahuasca, the indegenous use has nothing in the way of "religious elements being pushed" as we would understand them. Even in the various syncretic churches which use ayahuasca as a sacrement, such as the Santo Daime or the UDV, it is perfectly possible to partake of the ritual use without subsrcribing to the religious beliefs of the church - the emphasis tends to be on personal mystical experience (although note I am not endorsing these churches - I remain dubious of any organised religious groups).

As for why some drugs are deemed less useful than others for facilitating spritual/personal enlightenment, most psychedelic enthusiasts refer to "integration" - that is, how well the insights and experiences you have whilst under the influence can be applied in your everyday, non-drug life. The principle distinction to be made is between psychdelics and non-psychedelics. Stimulants (coke and amphetamines), tranqs (benzodiazepenes etc) and antidepressents (SSRIs etc) fall into a different class altogther. Psychedelics are distinguised both by pharmacology and subjective effects - although there is plenty of argument about which of these two is most important for categorising them.

Thus drugs which produce powerful, but confusing (and generally incommensurable with ordinary experience) states, such as solvents and ketamine, are looked down upon. These drugs usually have a high addictive componant too.

Ayahuasca, mushrooms, MDMA (outside the rave enviroment), LSD, mescaline, and various synthetic phenethylamine and tryptamine derivatives, are regarded as more useful in this sense, but note the context and setting is very important - moderate, careful use with long gaps to ponder and intergrate are favoured over the reckless abandon of using psychedelics as a means of escape (or to make the experience of capitalism bearable, like Padraig says - although this is not often stated explicitly).

All the above is not my personal position - It's just a strong vein of thought that persists within contemporary psychedelic culture. I would agree that plenty of people over-romanticise particular drugs or methods of use too, and this plays a huge part as a major componant of drug experience is shaped by your expectations and "set".
 
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johneffay

New member
2stepfan said:
John Effay, sorry Fella but it doesn't sound like you really know anything about drugs, certainly nothing about the spiritual or religious usage, and based on the opinion stated about glue sniffing and LSD, not much about the pharmacology either.
Sorry Paul, but my comments are based upon close to thirty years of systematic and enthusiastic ingestion of any and every substance that has come my way. This includes a substantial amount of 'ritual and religious usage' with your TOPY buddies and a couple of other groups. I stand by my comments based upon my own experience. I wouldn't like to over-generalize too much ;) , but I do think that many people ascribe a 'spiritual' nature to their drugs of choice in order to justify a recreational lifestyle choice.

I think that to claim drugs of any kind are inherently 'spiritual' is fallacious. They are mind altering substances which may have specific effects in specific circumstances, but that is down to the circumstances as much as anything.

LSD and glue? I'm talking about subjective experiences rather than pharmacological action. I have done glue and then watched alien entities descend from helicopters and converse with me. I've also participated in Solstice rituals on LSD at sacred monuments: The effects were not that different.

As for my comment about derangement: I wasn't talking about insanity, but derangement as in a disordering of the senses. I take it as non-controversial that this is one of the effects of the ingestion of psychedelics.
 
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johneffay

New member
luka said:
30 years?!! is adolescence really supposed to last that long?
I've had to work bloody hard to keep it going...

The worst bit is getting used to people saying "When are you going to grow up, John?"
 

martin

----
Everyone who's posted on this thread (except me) should be sentenced to 72 hours community service.

Here are the facts about drugs for teenagers - Ecstasy? Only of any use if you fancy someone who normally wouldn't look at a fuckface like you - take it together and you're suddenly long lost soulmates. The downside is meeting cunts who wear sandals and want to talk to you about the first time they heard 'Papau New Guinea' while having a ritualistic circumcision in Ibiza.

Glue? Causes chronic acne and turns you into a BNP supporter. Grass? You're smoking herbs - grow up. Acid? Best given to someone you dislike, so you can have hours of fun pretending to be the devil, thus sending her / him into the realms of madness. Ketamine? Only fools and horses. Coke? Doesn't work -it's an urban myth! Drink 10 pints instead.

Which means the winner is amyl nitrate! The only true spiritual one, cos it feels like a heart attack at the gates of death, only without the painful bits.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"Which means the winner is amyl nitrate! The only true spiritual one, cos it feels like a heart attack at the gates of death, only without the painful bits."
Always had a soft spot for this, along with the other ones you mentioned obviously but especially amyl.
 

tryptych

waiting for a time
IdleRich said:
Always had a soft spot for this, along with the other ones you mentioned obviously but especially amyl.
nitrous oxide is more fun, imo. although nitrous + amyl is the way to go... the nitrous anethestises you from the poppers headache..
 

johneffay

New member
spackb0y said:
As for Gek-Opal's comment (that you've misatributed to Padraig), I suppose the point is to be involved in ritualistic drug use which is outside of the context of capital. I think you're also making some unwarrented assumptions about the nature of the "religious" background that these rituals use.
Apologies to Padraig for the misattribution. To clarify: I fail to see a radical distinction between drug use within a religious/mystical or secular setting because in terms of the drug's actual action on one's neurophysiology, the results are roughly equivalent. However, there is certainly a distinction in perceived effects. This seems to indicate to me that there is nothing intrinsically spiritual about the drug(s) in question. The comment about brainwashing is more about my reaction to the majority of mystical/religious sects or whatever. I don't really want to get drawn into an argument about the validity of religion or mysticism.

spackb0y said:
As for why some drugs are deemed less useful than others for facilitating spritual/personal enlightenment, most psychedelic enthusiasts refer to "integration" - that is, how well the insights and experiences you have whilst under the influence can be applied in your everyday, non-drug life. The principle distinction to be made is between psychdelics and non-psychedelics. Stimulants (coke and amphetamines), tranqs (benzodiazepenes etc) and antidepressents (SSRIs etc) fall into a different class altogther. Psychedelics are distinguised both by pharmacology and subjective effects - although there is plenty of argument about which of these two is most important for categorising them.
Yes, I am aware of this argument and find it totally implausible. What sort of experience would I need to have in order to be unable to integrate it into my non-drug life? The only ones I can think of are those I cannot remember, such as being very heavily drunk. On the other hand, for example, if I learn that under large but not completely debilitating quantities of alcohol I become violent, is this not a useful personal insight into my own character and a learning experience which tells me to lay off the gin?

My basic point is that I do not believe that certain psychedelics should have the privileged status that they do with certain people. I agree that drugs can be useful under certain circumstances, but they are not necessary. I believe that my appreciation of music has been enhanced by my use of drugs, but I do not believe that my appreciation of music is better than K-Punk's (although I might question his taste from time to time ;) ). Therefore it is not necessary to take drugs in order to reach that point. Likewise with religious/mystical experiences.

I know that last paragraph sounds incredibly hackneyed, but I do think that it's true. As you may have guessed, I'm not anti-drugs, but I'm honest enough to accept that I take drugs to get fucked up; nothing more, nothing less.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
Its slightly different with the more hardcore psychedelics tho, I mean I know there are plenty who would use them as John would say to simply "get fucked up", but they are at least considerably less pleasurable (in a chemical sense) and their effects less programmatic and determined (IE more psychologically/situationally dependant), which means they are (I think) slightly less amenable to "productive" use by capitalism.

As for the old "drugs enhance music" idea, I have to disagree heavily here, having never found any positive effects (asides from cannabis, which simply makes EVERYTHING sound more spatially intriguing, as well as dulling certain other more critical faculties). All others simply appear to make the music fade into the background, or even to disappear all together... (perhaps this is a personal trait... numerous E-users obviously report improved sensitivity to musical information...)
 

Padraig

Banned


Immersed in current geopolitical developments, I've been leafing through this stimulating text, not that it has anything whatsoever to do with this thread or anything ...

The Pursuit of Pleasure
Drugs & Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900


Author: Rudi Matthee
Format: Clothbound Hardcover,
366 page
6" x9"

ISBN 0-934211-64-7
Price: $39.5
Date: 2005​

RUDI MATTHEE is Professor of History at the University of Delaware. He is the author of The Politics of Trade in Safavid Iran: Silk for Silver, 1600–1730.


From ancient times to the present day, Iranian social, political, and economic life has been dramatically influenced by psychoactive agents. This book looks at the stimulants that, as put by a longtime resident of seventeenth-century Iran, Raphaël du Mans, provided Iranians with damagh, gave them a “kick,” got them into a good mood. By tracing their historical trajectory and the role they played in early modern Iranian society (1500–1900), Rudi Matthee takes a major step in extending contemporary debates on the role of drugs and stimulants in shaping the modern West.

At once panoramic and richly detailed, The Pursuit of Pleasure examines both the intoxicants known since ancient times—wine and opiates—and the stimulants introduced later—tobacco, coffee, and tea—from multiple angles. It brings together production, commerce, and consumption to reveal the forces behind the spread and popularity of these consumables, showing how Iranians adapted them to their own needs and tastes and integrated them into their everyday lives.

Matthee further employs psychoactive substances as a portal for a set of broader issues in Iranian history—most notably, the tension between religious and secular leadership. Faced with reality, Iran’s Shi`i ulama turned a blind eye to drug use as long as it stayed indoors and did not threaten the social order. Much of this flexibility remains visible underneath the uncompromising exterior of the current Islamic Republic.
 

luka

Moderator
i think john effay is totally wrong cos no one sniffs glue then grows dreads, ties little bells into their dreads and starts reading the vedas do they? no, never.

its the argument of a jaded person though defineitly which is unsuprising after 30 years of drug use. thats enough to make anyone washed out and jaded.
 

johneffay

New member
luka said:
i think john effay is totally wrong cos no one sniffs glue then grows dreads, ties little bells into their dreads and starts reading the vedas do they? no, never.
Actually, I know loads of people who have done just that. Admittedly, they moved from glue to dope first, but perhaps that just mean that solvents are a gateway drug to the spiritually enlightening ones :p

Where your argument rather falls down, is that the majority of people who do [insert spiritual drug of your choice here] don't grow dreads, etc. either. I think that the people who do do this were probably looking for some sort of spiritual thing in the first place, heard that drugs would achieve their ends, and hey presto!

The jaded comment is undoubtedly fair play, but just because I am jaded, doesn't necessarily mean that I'm wrong. Anyway, if acid was intrinsically spiritual, I ought to be a wandering around in a permanent state of Nirvana, rather than being a sad old cynic sniping from the sidelines ;)
 

tryptych

waiting for a time
johneffay said:
Yes, I am aware of this argument and find it totally implausible. What sort of experience would I need to have in order to be unable to integrate it into my non-drug life? The only ones I can think of are those I cannot remember, such as being very heavily drunk. On the other hand, for example, if I learn that under large but not completely debilitating quantities of alcohol I become violent, is this not a useful personal insight into my own character and a learning experience which tells me to lay off the gin?
Some my experiences have been like this (incommensurable with the everyday) principly with salvia divinorum and ketamine. The two are pretty different - salvia I would almost describe as totally non-recreational, I've never really "enjoyed" it as such. It's a powerful experience and can show you some things that the mind is capable of thought. Ketamine is, for me, very recreational - it's a lot of fun. But it shares with salvia the common effect that while you're under the influence, it can appear to you that you're tapped into some secret metaphysical knowledge, but as the drug wears off, you can literally feel not just the knowledge, but the basic tools and ways of being that you'd need to even be on the level to understand such knowledge, slipping rapidly away. And the only way to get it back is to go back to the drug state.

I agree with you about that some psychedelics having an over-priviledged position, and also with their not being a radical distinction between spiritual/recreational use.

On the other hand, personally I've found that I would rank drugs from totally usless, even negative (eg cocaine) through fun, but not necessarily "helpful" (eg DMT, 5-meo-DIPT) to actually useful (eg ketamine, DOC, MDMA) in terms of mental development (I'd hesitate to call it "spiritual"). I'm sure you too would rate some drugs as personally "better" for you on some sort of axis like this.
 

thirdform

Active member
if you enjoy weed even in the kind of chill out sense u ain't smoked enough weed. simples. i don't chill out on weed. i can be absolutely functional on weed, i just choose not to, but choose in the sense that not caring becomes infinitely preferable.

That isn't pro or anti-capitalist, what an utter absurdity. it's like people who said speed was the ultimate capitalist drug because it made you ultra-productive. if that productiveness is not appropriated and turned into a profit then how the fuck is it capitalist lmao. like who gives a fuck that sid viscious could supposedly play the bass after listening to ramones album after a night on the speed, utter tosh. Sid's productive potential was manufactured to be this naive stupid unstable personality. whether he was really like that was irrelevant to mclaren. I get the feeling mclaren was a serial gaslighter as well.
 

sufi

lala
side question:
so how about the effect of it being illegal - driving millions of recreational users into criminality has to undermine their wider expectations about justice? i see weed as an unwitting social liberation movement
 

thirdform

Active member
dunno some of the white discourse around weed legalisation is cringe inducing in the extreme. I mean I'm even for the decriminalisation of smack but that's by the by. it's certainly not a communist measure, whatever that is supposed to mean in this context. weed laws are basically just there to fuck over black and brown people and the legalise weed now ppl don't really get that in my experience.
 

thirdform

Active member
I also think the spiritual discipline vs secular undiscipline point is a bit of a fallacy. i mean there were sufis in 14-15th century anatolia who were extremely individualistic proto-anarchists would rome around towns blatantly violating all kinds of politic conventions. not dressing properly (virtual nakedness) in an intoxicated state, cussing out begs and rulers of all stripes, not observing the obligatory prayers, turning down marriage but also being sexually proflugatee sometimes... etc.

But these guys certainly thought of themselves as being utterly devoted to God compared to those people following the letter of the law in matters of religion.
 
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