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RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P drug?

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RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P drug? Some Guy 4/6/12 12:18 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Dodge E Knees 4/6/12 2:48 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Some Guy 4/6/12 1:31 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Dodge E Knees 4/6/12 1:53 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Some Guy 4/6/12 1:56 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Some Guy 4/6/12 1:58 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Dodge E Knees 4/6/12 2:06 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Donald L Wilson 4/29/13 9:37 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Some Guy 4/30/13 12:47 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Simon T. 4/29/13 11:07 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P This Good Self 4/30/13 5:35 AM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Shel S 4/30/13 1:34 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Mind over easy 4/30/13 11:23 AM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Sweet Nothing 5/2/13 2:36 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Paul Anthony 8/9/13 11:16 AM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P sohil shrenik nanavati 8/11/13 9:55 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Paul Anthony 8/16/13 2:02 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Hazard J Gibbons 2/23/14 1:30 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Dream Walker 2/23/14 4:11 PM
RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P Eric G 2/27/14 1:32 PM
Hi there,

My introduction to Shinzen Young was his talk at the Buddhist Geeks conference in which he discussed a possibility of enlightenment through technology. This article in the Jerusalem Post covers the same ground: http://www.jpost.com/Features/InThespotlight/Article.aspx?id=263965

It always makes me think: isn't there already a class of drugs that can induce A+P; namely the psychedelics? It seems like with a little research this may be the low hanging fruit that, properly framed, might increase the Global Enlightenment Rate (GER) more readily than waiting for more perfect technology.

Just a thought. I really don't have the background (I'm neither a scientist nor enlightened), but was wondering if this angle was part of the discussion.

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/6/12 2:48 PM as a reply to Some Guy.
Yeah man, turn on, tune in, drop out! Not!

That link doesn't work by the way.

Seriously though, I've had my share of pschedelic experiences, and that probably played a part in my interest in meditation, but I wouldn't condone any mass 'dosing'. That would be rather irresponsible, and I'm more convinced of that now I know it can bring on the A&P than I was before; can you imagine a major percentage of the population all in the dark night! Some of the reports here of the dukka nanas are clear evidence that if you're not ready for this stuff, it can really screw you up.

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/6/12 1:31 PM as a reply to Dodge E Knees.
Oh, c'mon. It's not that bad an idea, is it? It is a phenomenon, according to MCTB. Actually, that's kind of a dodgy knee-jerk reply. There is a lot of legitimate medical research into legitimate medical uses for these substances. Now, for the grown-ups: anyone?

(Try pasting this: http://www.jpost.com/Features/InThespotlight/Article.aspx?id=263965)

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/6/12 1:53 PM as a reply to Some Guy.
Yeah ok, handbags at dawn...I post before I think!

I don't know about scientific evidence, but yes, there is plenty of personal testimony that psychedelics bring on spiritual experiences.

My clumsy reference to Tim Leary is to point out that this is not a new idea..it already happened in the 60's.

Peace x

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/6/12 1:56 PM as a reply to Dodge E Knees.
Actually, I'd missed the last paragraph of your first reply. Yes, I see the problem of intentionally inducing the Dark Night in lots of people. But perhaps it could be done in the context of pre-established training and a theoretical foundation?

I suppose the A+P is not all that out of reach even through simple practice, so maybe this would be redundant. But by that token, the notion of enlightenment technology is itself a little redundant to begin with: The technology exists. It's just slow.

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/6/12 1:58 PM as a reply to Some Guy.
One reason I brought this up is that a therapist I know had been invited to participate in a study of "meditation and psychedelics." Leary will have the last word yet!

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/6/12 2:06 PM as a reply to Some Guy.
Years ago I read this book: http://www.stormingheaven.com/

From what I remember, LSD therapy was all the rage in Hollywood in the late 50's/ early 60's. There is a quote from Cary Grant lauding it.

In controlled situations, I'm sure it worked well...it all went nuts when the word got out and LSD therapy went DIY!

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/29/13 9:37 PM as a reply to Dodge E Knees.
Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi produced lots of premium LSD to 'Enlighten' Eventually going a different path. His bio is 'A Heart Blown Open:'

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/29/13 11:07 PM as a reply to Some Guy.
Kenneth Folks said he got his A&P on LSD. He talk about it at great length in his Buddhist Geek podcast. A friend of mine crossed the A&P on DMT. I personally claim I got stream entry on mushroom but it was more luck than anything combined to the fact that I was already in high-equanimity. It was a violent experience, borderline to dangerous, that left me with a bad back for two days. Mushrooms make relax or tense up some group of muscles in the back, depending on what side of the dualistic split you fall. I was just lucky that this time it made me relax.

I wouldn't mind if there was more dharma cowboys willing to blow themselves into pieces for science. There will be causalities but life is a risky business. The problem is that it's not so evident to combine the healthy mindset of patience, acceptance and precision that the path requires with the use of rocket propellers.

Cannabis sent me 2 times at the hospital and shrooms 1 time. So yeah, there is risk associated to drugs. They were 3 cases of psychosis that I now associate with re-observation. In the DN, there is an high risk of finding yourself in a self-referencing loop. You want to know what hell is? Hell is the combination of the most horrible panic and the absolute belief that it cannot end. So you panic, you believe it cannot stop, you panic more... while(1).

I believe that my last experiences with mushrooms made me move backward. A problem with those substances is that we are more tempted to use them when things are though, so we loose an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson and we are back to square 1 the next day. I might do some more experiment eventually. Some people need to break their arm 4 times before giving up snowboarding.

Another thing to consider if someone was to attempt to cross the A&P with drugs (beside the ride to the ER) is that stages pre-A&P could be of some use to build some skills and when you cross the A&P by sheer will, you got some pretty good momentum and can clear the DN quickly.

Finally, I consider my experience with Iboga the most useful and predictable of all. It gave me lasting benefits and haven't been in re-observation once since I took it and can get to high-equanimity almost daily. It didn't gave me insight but gave me relaxation.

My experience with Iboga

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/30/13 5:35 AM as a reply to Simon T..
I wonder to what degree big pharma is tinkering with analogues of the well known hallucinogens. Are they interested or not?
They have quite an investment in people being sick and dysfunctional, so probably not.

Any breakthrough drug will have to come from underground, I expect.

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/30/13 11:23 AM as a reply to Some Guy.
It's definitely an interesting idea and one that has some weight to it.

Accounts of experiences with psychedelics can share many things with traversing the nanas-

- Odd relationships revealed about the relationship between mind and body
- Uncomfortable feelings, odd muscle/skeletal tensions/pains
- Pronounced vibrations
- Rapturous, pseudo-enlightening experience
- Profound dissolution
- Dark night phenomena: besides content, fear, paranoia, the sense of dying or being dead or falling apart or dissolving, misery, the wish for it to be all over
- Acceptance/equanimity towards the content of the trip: pre- A&P, this means diving into the uncomfortableness of the body and mind, thus bringing about the A&P, or post A&P, surrendering to the overwhelming feelings and finding equanimity
-Massive peace, a wide-open perspective, shedding light on duality, endlessness of everything, the connection/continuum of life and death
-Especially at equanimity: direct and inclusive perception of the impermanence, tension, and selflessness of all things

I've used psychedelics before and after learning about vipassana and jhana. In the times when I've sat down and just "worked out" the trip, the appearance of the nanas is clear. So my take on psychedelics is that they definitely send you up and down the jhanic arc. I don't know the mechanism, but it's clear that the cycle is present. It starts with dealing with the ever-growing unpleasant sensations of the mind and body, this exploding into massive joy or energy or whatever, then a falling downwards and inwards to a silent point, and then a fundamentally shaking and jarring trip concerning the identity, how much tension is held there, and how terrifying and agonizing it is to really see it, unable to just shrug it off due to how deep and to the core those feelings are. Then, you come to terms with those feelings, surrender to them, and completely resign to seeing out the experience. This then leads to a quiet, expansive, still place, one of equanimity.

Of course, this is just my experience. That being said, the correlation is just too strong, and the motion of consciousness and perspective throughout too similar. My vipassana experience and psychedelic experience strongly mirror each other, and I've often told my friends that I've really never seen or experienced anything in one that I haven't experienced in the other.

I can't speak to whether or not yogis ought to use psychedelics in practice, but I suspect that it could help. For example, a friend of mine took acid with me, and wanted to try to meditate. He clearly hit all the way up to 5th jhana, although I don't think the environment of hanging out was sufficient for higher concentration and higher jhanas. At the 3rd jhana, he was even able to tune into the dark night trip, but we continued on, solidifying the jhanas. It was interesting and I'm sure there are others who have noticed a similar connection.

I think that saying psychedelics can be used to cross the A&P is narrow-sighted... I suspect it's more about mindfulness and concentration being somehow stimulated, which can lead to all of the states and stages. But that one sure is profound and noticeable amongst them all, so people get it in their heads that the road leads to the A&P. True, but it's more interesting to me how the whole road is available, not just that one particular signpost along the way.

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/30/13 12:47 PM as a reply to Donald L Wilson.
I was a little embarrassed to see this thread resurface, not that there's anything wrong with the idea. But I think there's a more reliable method to get to A+P that is accessible to almost anybody. It's Vipassana!

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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4/30/13 1:34 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
I wonder to what degree big pharma is tinkering with analogues of the well known hallucinogens. Are they interested or not?
They have quite an investment in people being sick and dysfunctional, so probably not.

Any breakthrough drug will have to come from underground, I expect.


I know pharmaceutical companies tried to patent Ayahuasca, but thankfully were rejected. Out of all the hallucinogens i've tried, this is in a league of its own. I'm not sure about wisdom as I took it pre-vipassana, but one night of ayahuasca is like a decade of therapy. Brings all your demons out in the open to deal with(and puke out in the jungle).

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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5/2/13 2:36 PM as a reply to Some Guy.
I would say psychedelics are the same as any other intoxicants. They create an illusion of higher awareness and push us into orbits of emotional experiences that last as long as the potency of the chemical. Yet, it was LSD that lead me to meditate. I wondered if something in such negligible quantities could unwrap my perception, then surely it was worth trying to do with without the substance altogether.

I know a good bit of people who have used LSD in many different circumstances and gained no lasting benefit from it. Some people have even lost their mind from overdoing it. The main issue with LSD is that it's just like a dream. Lot of people have different experiences and end up believing in what they experience (as in insight) to be real.

To sum it up, I feel that taking psychedelics to make valid spiritual progression is like using the slot machine to become a millionaire. It can be done but the chances are slim and depend on innumerable factors.

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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8/9/13 11:16 AM as a reply to Sweet Nothing.
HI all,

I guess the main argument being presented here is: Why use a risky method when a safe and assured method (vipassana) is available?

But in my view there a few problems with this position: Firstly, vipassana is not really an assured method (outcomes are highly variable and seem to be based on some kind of innate talent); Secondly, vipassana is now not thought to be entirely safe, hence the screening protocols for mental health disorders at retreat centers; FInally, the dangers of psychedelics have been well researched for fifty years, so no need to rely on anecdotes such as "this guy thought he could fly and jumped out the window". Yes there are dangers but they can apparently be minimized through screening, set and setting.

The other argument is that vipassana insight is 'real' but LSD insight is 'fake'. I would need to hear more specifics on that one - at the moment it sounds a lot like dogma. I don't think you can distinguish between a real and a fake insight purely based on how the insight was arrived at (like saying that Vancouver is a different place if you fly there versus take the ferry). Surely there has to be something about the insight itself which is different if we're going to make claims about difference.

I agree with the original poster that it's time for a different type of conversation about psychedelics within pragmatic dharma.

Thanks, Paul

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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8/11/13 9:55 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
from what I have noticed in my own humble observations with psychedelics, they really allow you to experience on a much deeper, bare sensate level the truth behind the things we do, and the things we work towards in meditation.

Meditating on for example, LSD is a laughable joke, you are fooling yourself if you think you an properly maintain your practice, but it really seems to allow one to experience persay the fruits of his practice.

just my own humble two cents.

peace and love!

sohil

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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8/16/13 2:02 PM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
Hi Sohil,

I agree with you, the experience itself doesn't seem to yield much in terms of insight in the moment. For me, this brings up another problem with many of the discussions around psychedelics and dharma - there is often a total focus on the 'high' itself. But if these powerful substances affect behaviour and experience over a much longer term, then this needs to be looked at from a longer view. Also, it's apparently possible to take psychedelics at very low doses (so no high at all) and still see interesting effects.

Thanks, Paul

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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2/23/14 1:30 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:
Hi Sohil,

I agree with you, the experience itself doesn't seem to yield much in terms of insight in the moment. For me, this brings up another problem with many of the discussions around psychedelics and dharma - there is often a total focus on the 'high' itself. But if these powerful substances affect behaviour and experience over a much longer term, then this needs to be looked at from a longer view. Also, it's apparently possible to take psychedelics at very low doses (so no high at all) and still see interesting effects.

Thanks, Paul


All of my experiences with mushrooms have been full of heavily Mayan, archetypal imagery, but the experience itself (or whatever consciousness lies behind that experience) has much the quality of "Irishness" about it; its all about the rolling hills and daffodils and the land of Fay etc. But the biggest thing that I take out of these trips has been a message about morality in its most elemental sense, deeply connected to the natural world. I find this interesting, and it ought to be studied more, potentially as a riposte to those who feel that morality is only socially constructed and also to those who think morality has naught to do with the physical brain.

I had one extremely bad trip that put me into the hospital for a month. It involved some common elements that led to bad trips in the past. These are: over eagerness for an altered state (I want it ALL, NOW), taking LSD, alone, on a whim (never a good idea), and having no intention to guide the trip. But this isn't what sent me to the psych ward. The culmination happened the next day, when I combined one of the most sacred chemicals with a deleriant in a high dose, a chemical experiment which has surely gone down in medical literature somewhere.

After that, the only things I've done are pot, some other sacred herbs, and one Morning Glory seed trip that was one of the most healing experiences of my life. I took a low dose, but I was definitely "high"; the healing took place below my conciousness as I spent the trip playing guitar and learning a lot about how to "be" the notes. That trip cleared my lingering depression for almost half a year, although I continued to take SSRI's, I found I could take much lower amounts of them and still be on an even keel, so to speak.

Now I'm only interested in altered states if they enhance my ordinary state of consciousness. I plan on going to the Amazon in 5 or 7 years to experience ayahuasca, as I've always had an interest in shamanism, and even if I'm still in DN territory aya is supposed to be good for that. In fact, I feel like all of my meditative practice, A&P and post A&P experiences, are good preparation for whatever lies behind the waterfall, but I could be fooling myself and I'll just be soul raped by elves for 8 hours. But i'm definitely going one of these days (perhaps we could organize a combo meditation retreat/aya trek for those interested).

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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2/23/14 4:11 PM as a reply to Hazard J Gibbons.
I love Daniels description of it on this thread ayahuasca
for other takes on it good and bad ---
Search google ---> site:http://www.dharmaoverground.org ayahuasca

RE: Technology of enlightenment - isn't there already an A+P
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2/27/14 1:32 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
There is research on psilocybin occasioning mystical experience (Griffiths). And we know that the minds of advanced meditators (Brewer) and those on psilocybin (Carhart-Harris) show great similarity (decrease in default or wandering mind mode network). There's something there, but I guess it is a tricky discussion.

BTW I'm not sure you could pay me to take a drug that makes you puke, like peyote or ayahuasca.

If you're aware of the progress of insight stages, I would certainly recommend not taking stuff like this during the dukka nanas. And my thinking is that you need to already be in the ballpark of the A&P to get the A&P on substances. Although admittedly the A&P is not very far into the thing. If one is close enough, a substance could help grease the wheels as well as make it a bigger experience. Thus the experiences one hears about.