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LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
12/27/15 5:26 PM
Now this is actually not about me, but about this guy:

http://youtu.be/I9gccu_gV7Q

Where do you think he is on the maps?

Maybe this belongs to another cathegory.

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
12/28/15 6:20 PM as a reply to Pål.
It seems pretty typical of an LSD experience in that there was obviously some sort of mystical/unitive experience but it seems to have been poorly interpreted due to a lack of clear comprehension. The thing with LSD is it tends to give you this 'aha!' feeling regardless of what you're actually experiencing. You feel like you're on the verge of some breakthrough but when you finally get to it you can't clearly pinpoint what it is. The way he focuses so much on Alan Watts and paraphrases his stuff makes me think that because he was listening to Watts during his trip, he had that 'aha!' feeling and basically just believed what Watts was saying at the time to be true.

I'm unsure if I agree with his interpretation of karma meaning that everything that happens to you is because you wanted it. The way he describes someone being murdered as somehow wanting to be murdered rubs me up the wrong way, but that could be a kneejerk reaction, I don't have enough insight to know if that's true or not. Similarly his description of praise not meaning anything without blame seems like a naive one, and one you see a lot of people new to contemplative topics making about 'duality'.

He doesn't seem to touch on anatta so I'm not convinced that this is enlightenment in a Buddhist sense. His main conclusion is that he wants to live a life of service due to this, which is a noble goal, but again it doesn't seem to be the Buddhist path as I understand it. If his understanding is that 'praise creates blame' then extrapolating, surely 'service creates disservice' and he is creating suffering.

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
12/30/15 10:53 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
I feel uniquely qualified to post in this thread, being that:

- I was already listening to "Do you do it, or does it do you" by Alan Watts
  (at part five of six), which apparently is what this person listened to
  through their LSD session, when I entered this thread.
- I've listened to Alan Watts' audio lectures enough times in the past year
  and a half--since about April 2014--that this material generally makes
  intuitive sense.
- April 2015, I took 200mg of LSD and listened to an all-day playlist of "Do
  you do it, or does it do you" followed by "Out of your mind".  Excepting
  trips to the bathroom, this was in my ear (headphones) all day long. It's
  not inaccurate to say that Alan Watts was my trip-sitter, doing this for the
  first time, alone, in my apartment.  (playlist) (trip report)

Listening to this youtube video as I type responses to it.  Lie down and rest
with the eyes closed, well that's what I did last night with cannabis for the
first time in a month.  During my trip, I kept my eyes open nearly the entire
time (possibly due to fear of the unknown), but was treated with far better
visuals with passing clouds, a weeping willow swaying in the wind, and
sparkling reflections upon the water.  You get the feeling that whatever
you're listening to connects with the audio lecture in a way that you're
completely understanding of what is being implied or pointed at with the
conceptual descriptions given.  The great thing about it is that hearing the
audio over and over, in different contexts, means that different parts of the
lecture apply differently to the present situation so that some part or
another is better understood this time around.  With my trip, it was as if I
had someone telling me exactly what I needed to hear, just when I needed to
hear it.  "I'm experiencing enlightenment" -- obviously this isn't
enlightenment.  OK, finished watching it.  He paraphrased Watts' analogies and
then mentioned going back and repeating the same experience and then moving
onto DMT.  Wasn't necessary in my case.

I'd like to be the first one to disclaim anything about "Alan Watts + LSD =
enlightenment" if this thread is to be continued.  Here's what we can probably
all agree on: He was a scholar of both Eastern and Western religions, which
lead him to studying and traveling to better understand the Eastern religions
that were not yet well known in the West.  He describes himself as a spiritual
entertainer, meaning, don't take anything he says seriously, but he means it
sincerely and without intent to mislead.  He goes around and around with
statements about the subject to point in the right direction on a vast number
of subjects, but even this is still a very limited subset of what's out there.
This is great as a non-dual spiritual overview before deciding what to go into
more deeply.  Repeated listening allows one to better understand these concepts
to the point where they are understood in daily life, but does not produce
enlightenment.  Has the side-effect of being able to add his voice to one's own
internal voice, so that one may start any sentence with "Don't you see... " and
then find something seemingly profound about the present surroundings.  Highly
entertaining and thought-provoking at best, producing scripting and superficial
delusion about having "got it" at worst.  Watts also describes LSD as a
medicine, not a diet, and cannabis as more conducive to spiritual practice.  We
can agree that both are capable of producing or furthering delusion, and are
both capable of breaking through barriers of delusion due to witnessing
first-hand and acquiring experiential knowledge.  They need not be used
perpetually to maintain it.

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
12/30/15 8:06 PM as a reply to Lewis James.
Lewis:
It seems pretty typical of an LSD experience in that there was obviously some sort of mystical/unitive experience but it seems to have been poorly interpreted due to a lack of clear comprehension. The thing with LSD is it tends to give you this 'aha!' feeling regardless of what you're actually experiencing. You feel like you're on the verge of some breakthrough but when you finally get to it you can't clearly pinpoint what it is. The way he focuses so much on Alan Watts and paraphrases his stuff makes me think that because he was listening to Watts during his trip, he had that 'aha!' feeling and basically just believed what Watts was saying at the time to be true.
Lots of people take LSD but not a ton of them claim enlightenment, also could be he is still kind of early on the path, maybe made it onto the maps but still a way to go.  I would not be shocked that if someone was kind of close already, drugs could help push that person into some insight and new perspective.  I don't think drugs would do it though if the person was not close already.  (personal opinion)   


I'm unsure if I agree with his interpretation of karma meaning that everything that happens to you is because you wanted it. The way he describes someone being murdered as somehow wanting to be murdered rubs me up the wrong way, but that could be a kneejerk reaction, I don't have enough insight to know if that's true or not.
I actually do subscribe to the opinion that I am the orchestrater of my own show and so the same with everyone else.   Why would any part of you want bad things to happen?  IMO, that is how you learn the most.  Why do people climb mount Everest, run marathons, and do lots of things that are both miserable and unhealthful?  Why do we like movies full of violence, death and misery why don't we only watch movies full of happy stuff?  Cuz happy movies without strife are boring and those who have only good stuff happen to them become spoiled and still miserable and bored affluenza kids.  Suffering and bad things, IMO, are needed for growth and learning and appreciation and it will continue until the lesson is learned.  So while a part of us does not like them, we would never evolve much without them.  Looking back, I can certainly see how all the many painful challenges I've had made me stronger in the long run, as much as i didn't like them at the time.  That's IMO why a part of us might 'want' suffering because suffering is an evolutionary tool.  IMO, once we have learned those lessons it was designed to teach, at that point we can probably stop with it though.  ;-P  

Similarly his description of praise not meaning anything without blame seems like a naive one, and one you see a lot of people new to contemplative topics making about 'duality'.
I actually do not take it that far, and I think you can take my above belief and use logic to drive it to a variety of conclusions, but I personally do not drive it to that conclusion that it's Ok to hurt others.   Just cuz someone else runs their own show does not mean that it's good or even OK for me to do bad things to others, probably because it's not a good path for evolution for me and also I think that kind of energy and attitude also hinders the evolution of others around me and it's like a viscious cycle with each of us potentially hindering the other.  I think intent means a lot and the sincere desire to help others I think helps everyone's evolution.  I think we exist at least in part as an ecosystem and it will work better if we can evolve in better directions together and part of that evolution IMO involves developing good intent.  Thus having intent to harm others IMO is not conducive to either my or anyone else's evolution.  There are plenty of bad htings and challenges that could happen without me deliberately causing them for instance, such that a person could have their challenges without any negative intent by anyone else.   

He doesn't seem to touch on anatta so I'm not convinced that this is enlightenment in a Buddhist sense. His main conclusion is that he wants to live a life of service due to this, which is a noble goal, but again it doesn't seem to be the Buddhist path as I understand it. If his understanding is that 'praise creates blame' then extrapolating, surely 'service creates disservice' and he is creating suffering.
From what I have read, the only requirement for anatta and enlightenment is not believing in any permanent AND unchanging self.  But that does not have to be that the person has a profound experience of no self AT ALL.  Buddha speaks against belief in self AND against belief in no self or clinging to any belief actually.  So I don't think lack of chatter about no self is a valid criticism.  This whole no self at all thing is the vogue thing at DhO but is not by any means an agreed on requirement Everywhere.  
-Eva

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
12/30/15 9:25 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva:

Suffering and bad things, IMO, are needed for growth and learning and appreciation and it will continue until the lesson is learned.  So while a part of us does not like them, we would never evolve much without them.  Looking back, I can certainly see how all the many painful challenges I've had made me stronger in the long run, as much as i didn't like them at the time.  That's IMO why a part of us might 'want' suffering because suffering is an evolutionary tool.  IMO, once we have learned those lessons it was designed to teach, at that point we can probably stop with it though.  ;-P   


Here are my random musings, which may be pure digression:  I 'sort of' agree with your statements about the 'need' for suffering.  I would make some tweaks.  As you say, suffering is about data collection.  But rather than framing the purpose of this data collection as being to 'make us stronger', perhaps they are there to help us discover preference.  In the long run, this allows us to align with our desires truly.  Is suffering there to help us to learn lessons and become more fit for survival, or is the purpose of life to enjoy and be delighted, and it is not solely our personal responsibility to grow, but also the universe's responsibility to also provide for us?  

Perhaps we are saying the same thing.

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
12/31/15 5:40 AM as a reply to Noah.
re: Noah (12/30/15 9:25 PM as a reply to Eva M Nie)
"I 'sort of' agree with your statements about the 'need' for suffering.  I would make some tweaks.  As you say,  uffering is about data collection.  But rather than framing the purpose of this data collection as being to 'make us stronger', perhaps they are there to help us discover preference."

The "need", purpose, or function of suffering doesn't seem to frame it in a realistic, or, say, practical way. Dukkha (suffering or whatever one may call it) simply there, given. It's not like we're in some neutral place and need to go find suffering as a means to some cultivation of improvement. Of course, one could argue it's not that bad unless you cast it so; but that's considered, e.g. in G. Buddha's teaching, as a sort of ignorance, if not denial.

On the other hand, are we stuck with it? Are there alternatives? Workable methods of realizing something better?

From the perspective of DhO (we now know a vastly more about the many dimensions of Asian traditions than back in Allan Watts' day), and from my own (closely related) perspective of Theravada Buddhist teachings, the thing is that Alan Watts standpoint was pretty much rooted in Japanese Zen attitudes, which admittedly (IMO) have some recognizable relation to other genuine Buddhist traditions, but the style and methodology is a bit peculiar, cultural-bound, and s/w short on the how-to aspect.

Before (i.e. 15-10 years ago) finding out about the Theravada viewpoint, I listened to many hours of his talks, genuinely fascinated, impressed, as well as entertained; I virtually memorized a couple of those talks. From the current perspective, however, that Zen way (at least as he portrays it) doesn't provide nearly the same concrete analytical understanding and clear cultivation methods. It seems more indirect, suggestive, even mysterious. Going back and listening to him now, I admire his understanding and style, have a surer sense of what he's pointing to, but don't find it pragmatically that helpful.

In mainline Theravada, as available now (e.g. Thai with Than-Geoff et al, or Burmese via Sayadaws PaAuk or Mahasi), I find straightforward depiction of the here-and-now problems, together with doable techniques -- intelligibly grounded in interpretation of the problems – that appear to offer a clear way forward. Not to mention the almost immediate and consistently increasing rewards of taking up those techniques (basically concentration and insight).

As for this guy the OP video (he doesn't seem to have a name, either there on or the "patreon" website,  just "pledge $$") – he's selling himself as a guru, without anywhere near the depth ofexperience or understanding to be trusted as such. His LSD-filtered interpretations of Alan Watts (karma, blame, etc.) are sophmoric, at best. Typical, boarderline pathetic example of the trend exploiting the "mindfulness" fad. IMNSHO.

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
12/31/15 8:53 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Eva:

Suffering and bad things, IMO, are needed for growth and learning and appreciation and it will continue until the lesson is learned.  So while a part of us does not like them, we would never evolve much without them.  Looking back, I can certainly see how all the many painful challenges I've had made me stronger in the long run, as much as i didn't like them at the time.  That's IMO why a part of us might 'want' suffering because suffering is an evolutionary tool.  IMO, once we have learned those lessons it was designed to teach, at that point we can probably stop with it though.  ;-P   


Here are my random musings, which may be pure digression:  I 'sort of' agree with your statements about the 'need' for suffering.  I would make some tweaks.  As you say, suffering is about data collection.  But rather than framing the purpose of this data collection as being to 'make us stronger', perhaps they are there to help us discover preference.  In the long run, this allows us to align with our desires truly.  Is suffering there to help us to learn lessons and become more fit for survival, or is the purpose of life to enjoy and be delighted, and it is not solely our personal responsibility to grow, but also the universe's responsibility to also provide for us?  

Perhaps we are saying the same thing.
Hmm, Ok I am trying to understand your viewpoint but I am afraid it's just not clicking for me so far.  Not to say I disagree, just that I am not sure what you mean. 

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
12/31/15 9:15 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva:

Hmm, Ok I am trying to understand your viewpoint but I am afraid it's just not clicking for me so far.  Not to say I disagree, just that I am not sure what you mean. 


I was expressing a point of view that has been very helpful for me for a week or so, but has not worked consistently enough yet to really express it to others.  I try to avoid using temporary views in collective discussions and instead load them into my sandbox, so this was a slip of sorts.

The view is basically that the purpose of life is not to grow strong and learn from suffering, but rather to delight in life from the start, in all of its contrasts and diversity, including the suffering in all of that (and not transcending it).  So, one view says: suffering helps us become more resilient and suffer less, and eventually transcend it.  The other says: there is no need for resilience, suffering does not need to be viewed as a threat, but rather as a learning tool which is equally valid in all stages of life and is always informative about what makes us happy and participating in more of what makes us happy is the purpose in year one and year 100.

It's just a lens that can be adopted at times.  Its not supposed to be universalizable.

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
12/31/15 11:03 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Eva:

Hmm, Ok I am trying to understand your viewpoint but I am afraid it's just not clicking for me so far.  Not to say I disagree, just that I am not sure what you mean. 


I was expressing a point of view that has been very helpful for me for a week or so, but has not worked consistently enough yet to really express it to others.  I try to avoid using temporary views in collective discussions and instead load them into my sandbox, so this was a slip of sorts.

The view is basically that the purpose of life is not to grow strong and learn from suffering, but rather to delight in life from the start, in all of its contrasts and diversity, including the suffering in all of that (and not transcending it).  So, one view says: suffering helps us become more resilient and suffer less, and eventually transcend it.  The other says: there is no need for resilience, suffering does not need to be viewed as a threat, but rather as a learning tool which is equally valid in all stages of life and is always informative about what makes us happy and participating in more of what makes us happy is the purpose in year one and year 100.

It's just a lens that can be adopted at times.  Its not supposed to be universalizable.
Well i think you have a good point about thinking of views as just lenses to be used as needed and discarded if not working.  Reminds me of Than Geoff's writing about his opinion that the Buddha was basically saying to adopt views in a pragmatic way such that  you adopted views that lead to less suffering and eventually enlightenment, but to not cling to the views too tightly, just use them as tools.  I think basically that is what  you are doing and IMO, it's a good plan, although none can quite seem to exactly agree on the exact views Gautama was apparently advocating are useful.  ;-P  But anyway, I think I see your point a tad more I am not sure I think that your view of suffering and mine are mutually exclusive.  Seems to me more a thing of you looking at it from a slightly different angle.  If you look at suffering as not a threat but rather as a learning tool, would that not be a more resilient and powerful state and would the reframing of the 'suffering' not lead to less actual suffering?  If  you no longer think of suffering as suffering, are you still suffering?  ;-P  

Reminds me of a time I went hiking with friends, we hiked a long way and the trail was overgrown and it was hot out, so on the way back, we decided to just wade along the shallows of the river instead of trying to bush wack through the winding overgrown trail that we often lost track of.  We knew the vehicles were parked up river so we only had to follow it.  The terrain was pretty and with our feet in the cool river, we did not get as hot and could enjoy ourselves.   ALong the way we ran into some marines who were also hiking and wading the river as part of their training.  They looked very unhappy having been ordered to do this training, whereas we did it voluntarily and were enjoying it.  I was struck by the dichotomy as we were both performing a similar activity but yet we liked it and they didn't.  The difference was mainly how they were thinking about it compared to how we were thinking about it.  In one way, we did a similar task and it should have been equal suffering but yet their suffering was much greater and we were basically having fun and enjoying ourself while they looked all miserable and unhappy. 
-Eva    

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
1/1/16 10:28 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:

Reminds me of a time I went hiking with friends, we hiked a long way and the trail was overgrown and it was hot out, so on the way back, we decided to just wade along the shallows of the river instead of trying to bush wack through the winding overgrown trail that we often lost track of.  We knew the vehicles were parked up river so we only had to follow it.  The terrain was pretty and with our feet in the cool river, we did not get as hot and could enjoy ourselves.   ALong the way we ran into some marines who were also hiking and wading the river as part of their training.  They looked very unhappy having been ordered to do this training, whereas we did it voluntarily and were enjoying it.  I was struck by the dichotomy as we were both performing a similar activity but yet we liked it and they didn't.  The difference was mainly how they were thinking about it compared to how we were thinking about it.  In one way, we did a similar task and it should have been equal suffering but yet their suffering was much greater and we were basically having fun and enjoying ourself while they looked all miserable and unhappy. 
-Eva    
Excellent, I passed this story along to my daughter over breakfast at Denny's.  

The mind likes to make up stories about the surroundings and goings on.  The surroundings, as you point out in your experience, were the same, surroundings being the constant in the equation.  The variable was the mind, i.e. the mind state.  This is a great example, and shows the difference between the wholesome state of mind and the unwholesome state of mind, and the resultants that follow.


Psi

 Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief;

they are all mind-wrought.

If with an impure mind a person speaks

or acts suffering follows him like the wheel

that follows the foot of the ox. 

(Dhammapada Verse No. 1)

 Mind precedes all mental states.

Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought.

If with a pure mind a person speaks or

acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow. ”

(Dhammapada Verse No. 2)


RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
1/1/16 10:41 PM as a reply to Psi.
Well not sure if I would go so far as to say my mind or our minds were 'pure,' but luckily its not required to be that exalted to be able to look at current self talk and adjust it to ways that generate more peace and less suffering.  It really does amaze me now that I am watching myself more, how often I have a tendency to make mountains out of mole hills, fixate on tiny stupid stuff for 15 minutes at a time or waste my brain power on other non fruitful meanderings during the day. And it's not like those particular things are even fun to do even!   It would be a lot more logical if the distractions were obviously pleasureable things like self agrandizement, eating ice cream, and petting kitty cats (not that I don't ever do those either), but a lot of it seems to be just totally illogical self torture!
-Eva

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
1/14/16 8:55 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Lots of people take LSD but not a ton of them claim enlightenment, also could be he is still kind of early on the path, maybe made it onto the maps but still a way to go.  I would not be shocked that if someone was kind of close already, drugs could help push that person into some insight and new perspective.  I don't think drugs would do it though if the person was not close already.  (personal opinion)    

Oh for sure, I do believe LSD has genuine spiritual 'power', it certainly seems to increase the ability to grasp things nonconceptually (or at least you often come upon sensations and perceptions that you can't put into words) and has an uncanny ability to have previously disparate concepts in your mind come together to bring new perspectives on things. I'm just not sure it can lead all the way to enlightenment, so long as enlightenment is defined as some ultimate, permanent shift rather than just an experience on the way. You can get into some crazy seemingly spiritual situations, but in my experience there's just too much going on visually and mentally to lead to nirvana. I may be wrong there.

I actually do subscribe to the opinion that I am the orchestrater of my own show and so the same with everyone else.   Why would any part of you want bad things to happen?  IMO, that is how you learn the most.  Why do people climb mount Everest, run marathons, and do lots of things that are both miserable and unhealthful?  Why do we like movies full of violence, death and misery why don't we only watch movies full of happy stuff?  Cuz happy movies without strife are boring and those who have only good stuff happen to them become spoiled and still miserable and bored affluenza kids.  Suffering and bad things, IMO, are needed for growth and learning and appreciation and it will continue until the lesson is learned.  So while a part of us does not like them, we would never evolve much without them.  Looking back, I can certainly see how all the many painful challenges I've had made me stronger in the long run, as much as i didn't like them at the time.  That's IMO why a part of us might 'want' suffering because suffering is an evolutionary tool.  IMO, once we have learned those lessons it was designed to teach, at that point we can probably stop with it though.  ;-P   

To me the whole thing seems like a freeflowing process, no orchestrater behind the scenes. You're right though, looking back, it does seem somehow like things were put into place, but I don't know that that's true or just a cognitive bias of some sort.

From what I have read, the only requirement for anatta and enlightenment is not believing in any permanent AND unchanging self.  But that does not have to be that the person has a profound experience of no self AT ALL.  Buddha speaks against belief in self AND against belief in no self or clinging to any belief actually.  So I don't think lack of chatter about no self is a valid criticism.  This whole no self at all thing is the vogue thing at DhO but is not by any means an agreed on requirement Everywhere.  

I agree, but it seemed to me he didn't touch on it at all. That's not to say he isn't 'enlightened' by some other definition than the Buddhist (and even then, definitions change...) because I don't really know much about the other religions.

Edit: I just watched it again and I realise now that he put a disclaimer in addressing that, saying he doesn't necessarily mean enlightenment in any tradition, just an experience of 'satori' or similar. I think that's fair enough.

RE: LSD enlightenment (?)
Answer
1/14/16 6:34 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
From the perspective of DhO (we now know a vastly more about the many dimensions of Asian traditions than back in Allan Watts' day), and from my own (closely related) perspective of Theravada Buddhist teachings, the thing is that Alan Watts standpoint was pretty much rooted in Japanese Zen attitudes, which admittedly (IMO) have some recognizable relation to other genuine Buddhist traditions, but the style and methodology is a bit peculiar, cultural-bound, and s/w short on the how-to aspect.

Before (i.e. 15-10 years ago) finding out about the Theravada viewpoint, I listened to many hours of his talks, genuinely fascinated, impressed, as well as entertained; I virtually memorized a couple of those talks. From the current perspective, however, that Zen way (at least as he portrays it) doesn't provide nearly the same concrete analytical understanding and clear cultivation methods. It seems more indirect, suggestive, even mysterious. Going back and listening to him now, I admire his understanding and style, have a surer sense of what he's pointing to, but don't find it pragmatically that helpful.

I think it's worthwhile criticism, and he certainly referred to himself as a 'philosophical entertainer' at some point. His focus was pretty broad and he often brought in aspects of Hinduism and other mystical traditions to support his points, and while many data points are useful, by mixing traditions in that way it can become less practical, useful information. However, he has a great knack for presenting analogies and hypothetical questions that can cause 'lightbulb moments' even if just listening casually.