One of the reasons it seems that people like to take drugs, is to escape from the norm of your everyday mind, problems, society, etc. Sometimes, it shuts the constant chatter of your brain down or you feel more creative or other times, you do just feel like a complete idiot while high. Drugs have also been used for centuries in all sorts of religious and spiritual ceremonies, in order to achieve a certain experience, feel closer to ‘God’, or a variety of other reasons (both positive and negative). Now, the question begs, can you have a spiritual experience spurred on by drugs? Specifically, can marijuana generate an enlightened state?
Let me start out by stating that I do believe that certain psychedelic drugs can can take you into a space, that allows you to question, realize, and get a peak into a different interpretation into reality. People have commented, that through drugs such as LSD, mushrooms, DMT, and the like; that they had life-altering experiences. Indeed, these trips could be classified as ‘spiritual’ in nature.
I too, have had amazing and really blissful states, that I got to through meditation and readings on philosophy/non-duality. I’ve never done the aforementioned drugs, but I have smoked marijuana probably a dozen or more times in my life, and I never had a really profound experience while on it. Not that it particularly matters, as if you read my other post, “How to Have a Spiritual Experience”…you will see that I don’t put much stock into these experiences, as they aren’t the end game and are often short-lived.
What about Weed?
Different drugs I’ve taken in my life (I haven’t done anything but drink on occasion in 5+ years), have obviously given me different experiences:
Ecstasy, made me feel a lot of joy for a night, during a time in my life when I was in a really depressed state and not yet ‘awakened’. Though, later in life, I really did achieve the same feeling with meditation without having to ingest whatever extra chemicals the drug dealers decided to add to the MDMA. Even my trials with 5-HTP, produced a lower level of this upbeat and positive flood of emotions.
Cocaine, was just awful. I did it once and never felt so supremely paranoid and egoic in my entire existence…not something the depressed version of myself needed. I don’t get the appeal of this drug at all.
Marijuana, on the other hand, I enjoyed smoking. It didn’t give me a spiritual experience but what it did do was to allow me to feel de-personalization. These were some of my initial experiences with the ‘illusion of the self’, so to speak. Like, for some of the first times, I had experienced no thoughts rushing through my head and felt like I was nothing more than an observer in my own body.
Of course, that was only when I was sitting by myself after smoking, and once I started talking to other people I felt much more of my normal experience of reality, at that time. However, it wasn’t enough to have a spiritual breakthrough or anything like that…I didn’t have the tools at the time to make anything come from it. Anyways, experiencing ‘no-mind’ is really more of a symptom (or a clue) of awakening, and lots of people would find that depersonalized state scary or confusing.
Weed definitely isn’t a requirement for any of these experiences and trying to chase a spiritual high, again isn’t an end goal…you will end up just chasing those experiences more and more, instead of just being content with what is. No mind can also happen on a more biological level through sex, which is one of it’s appeals, forgetting all the rest of what is happening in one’s life. Also, I’ve noticed it when I’ve been really sick, and the disorientation of nausea and vomiting creates an interesting (if physically unpleasant) state where I’m just operating on pure biological reaction without thought.
So, all in all, I wouldn’t say that marijuana is a good way to have a ‘spiritual experience’ or reach ‘enlightenment’. Those sorts of states just seem to happen at random for me and any time that I used to make a concerted effort to get there, it would fail. That kind of experience is really just like having your awareness be more open. Like, if normally the door of experience was only open a crack, and then it became wide open for a full glimpse. It’s certainly cool but it isn’t practical (or maybe even possible) to stay that way forever.