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Mysticism Mysticism: the pursuit of unification with the One, the immediate consciousness of Divinity, or the direct experience of religious truth. This forum is for discussion of all related experiences, practises and topics of interest.

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Old 10-08-10   #1
TheThing
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Default Mystical Experience Valid Or Not

Obviously no one can pass judgement on the validity of someone else's experience, mystical or otherwise. But hypothetically or for you personally...is an experience you/one has, valid, if it comes on under the influence of some mind altering substance, like drugs.

Lots of native cultures use drugs to aid them in their vision quests.

What about if a vision or experience is induced by something like a sweat lodge (as some native tribes use), fasting, ingestion of certain foods, exercise, sex, meditation, or breath work? All of these things can have an altering effect on the mind and spirit and can serve to thin the veil.

People with mild cases of schizophrenia often complain that the medication given to help control the negative symptoms of the disease, has the side effect of blocking the ability to access mystical realms outside of themselves.

The only distinction that I personally would make, would be to distinguish between intentional and unintentional. I would consider both to be equally valid but I might possibly take something extra from the unintentional mystical experience.

So what do you think, is a mystical experience invalidated by the use of drugs, etc.?
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Old 10-08-10   #2
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Default Re: Mystical Experience Valid Or Not

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So what do you think, is a mystical experience invalidated by the use of drugs, etc.?
Depends for whom. Knowledge may not be power (money and who you know serve that function in today's society) but mystical experience which fits into and forms a part of the development and expression of established, working esoteric or mystical traditions does, by virtue of that fact, partake and form a part of the strength, power and validity of the tradition to which it belongs.

Independent mystical experience is harder to prove. I suppose, though the experience could be true for he who experiences it, it is quite possible that it will not be very deep, nor very internally consistent, nor of a very high level. As such, it could be defeated quite easily, along with the worldview supporting it, by people advocating for a quite different perspective. In fact, the 'common sense', everyday perspective of the average man is the hardest to defeat.

They cannot see how any form of mystical experience is valid, though they can respect it on the basis that it is something to be respected, or proceeds from an individual who seems worthy of respect. That is more a question of personal character though, not the formal position (which their own level of intelligence and debate is able to understand as valid, why, in what ways, and the relevance of this to their own life experience).

Personally, I view mystical experience as valid for the person undergoing it. This does not mean it is relevant to me personally, or that I need to know about it. People with a high level of personal purity, or an extreme level of intelligence, or otherwise personally distinguished in some remarkable and exceptional way - such people I tend to be at least somewhat interested in what they have to say.

That is to say: I do not dispute the validity of the experience. But I don't need it to hear about it and indeed will avoid doing so unless I get some pleasure out of the process myself in some way.

In a more professional, strategic of military way then I am interested if it looks like I can in some way profit from the esoteric insight the other person had, or from the wider system which their experience forms a part of.

Of course, if a particular experience (say, for example, psychically seeing 9/11 prior to its occurence, and who was involved in planning it) is relevant to national security in a way which it would be treasonous to ignore then individuals are required to view it as valid as a matter of both personal duty towards their nation and also quite probably the legal structure which they find themselves a participant within. And this would override their own personal perspectives on the matter, and any value judgements or religious affiliations which they may hold.

all the best,
Oazaki.
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Old 10-08-10   #3
Cassie
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Default Re: Mystical Experience Valid Or Not

I just wrote a long answer to this but a computer glitch meant that it got lost in hyper-space! The short answer is that I don't think the use of drugs or other mind altering practices invalidates a mystical experience but I do think a mystical experience (However it occurs) needs to be validated in a sense by a positive and perceptible change in attitude an/or lifestyle.
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Old 10-08-10   #4
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Default Re: Mystical Experience Valid Or Not

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The short answer is that I don't think the use of drugs or other mind altering practices invalidates a mystical experience but I do think a mystical experience (However it occurs) needs to be validated in a sense by a positive and perceptible change in attitude an/or lifestyle.
Absolutely agree - and most especially if it is one of the type that arrives spontaneously, as opposed to the type you achieve with effort. It's my sense of this, when an individual is actively seeking union, and thus they are meditating, studying (yes I believe - I KNOW contemplation to be a valid path, despite New Age insistence to the contrary) sweat lodge, drugs etc etc - if an experience is sought after it follows the individual was already of a spiritual mindset. But the unheralded, un-sought after experience I believe is a massive gift and a sign and in that case, if ignored, there are repercussions.

In either case, once the knowledge has been given, action must follow.
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Old 10-08-10   #5
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Default Re: Mystical Experience Valid Or Not

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if ignored, there are repercussions.

In either case, once the knowledge has been given, action must follow.
Agreed. It's just the way it works...
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Old 10-08-10   #6
mr cheese
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Default Re: Mystical Experience Valid Or Not

I've seen and experienced far more without drugs than with...

I'd say drugs open the door...but it shuts afterwards
without drugs one can keep the door open...

obviously there are exceptions.....

there's the whole teacher plants, peyote etc etc etc etc
which I was always taught is largely dependant upon culture...
I am not a small tribeman from Borneo, so if I went forth, licked a poisonous frog
and hallucinated, I would not be as apt to cope or have a worthwhile time....or even live to tell the tale...as much as an small tribesman from borneo

some even teach the wrong drugs can actually affect a person through several lives....

but each to their own....
but again, I have seen far more without drugs than with...in comparison you could say... with drugs is like eating a salad with bread.... without is like eating that plus 3 different plates of pasta, with different sauces on each one..

in the end drugs have side effects...
so does meditation....meditation's side effects are a healthier body and mind, I know which I'd prefer....
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Old 10-08-10   #7
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Default Re: Mystical Experience Valid Or Not

My experiences always came unbidden. One of the reasons I first started investigating astrology, at the ripe old age of 13, was I needed to figure out the dreams and visions. I can control a lot of the episodes now, but they are difficult. I believe I have changed my life/taken action in a profound way, in my work and studies and lifestyle. Doesn't feel like enough, but it's what I can do.
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Old 10-08-10   #8
Cassie
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Default Re: Mystical Experience Valid Or Not

I do think that cultural context is important and it is true, as Mr Cheese says, that someone who grows up in a tradition that uses peyote, for example, is likely to have a different experience than somebody from a very different culture who is just experimenting. However, again the key to the validity of the experience is how it impacts the persons development and lifestyle.

I have had a few experiences which could be called mystical. Most have come unbidden in the forms of dreams, visions or insights. Some have come through meditation, some have come through sex and once or twice things have happened while under the influence of various substances.

I have sometimes wondered if apparently mystical experiences that occur under the influence of drugs (natural or otherwise) are only interpreted as mystical because the person who experiences them has a predisposition to spiritual/mystical thinking. And yet there seem to be many cases where people become more spiritually attuned as a result of drug use.

So once again, authenticity seems to depend more on what happens afterwards than on the means and manner of the experience itself.
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Old 10-08-10   #9
petrus4
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Default Re: Mystical Experience Valid Or Not

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheThing View Post
Obviously no one can pass judgement on the validity of someone else's experience, mystical or otherwise. But hypothetically or for you personally...is an experience you/one has, valid, if it comes on under the influence of some mind altering substance, like drugs.
I will claim two paranormal experiences from the influence of substances; both were dreams. One was due to a very large (for me) amount of marijuana and alcohol, and the other was due to strong mint tea, with fresh mint.

Quote:
People with mild cases of schizophrenia often complain that the medication given to help control the negative symptoms of the disease, has the side effect of blocking the ability to access mystical realms outside of themselves.
IMHO, deliberately applied schizophrenia is the definition of magick, at least in terms of the perceptual mechanism involved. More specifically, I could say that it requires the capacity for removing a few of the more usual filters which most of us continue to apply on a permanent basis. Hence also the reason why it can be dangerous.

Quote:
So what do you think, is a mystical experience invalidated by the use of drugs, etc.?
My perspective on drugs, personally, is that each substance has a particular entity (spirit) associated with the substance, and that it is more said entity which gives you the experience; the physical material is basically a vector in physical terms.

Drugs by themselves do not invalidate mystical experience, (quite the opposite) but a negative or abusive relationship with a particular substance can, and very often will. You need to cultivate a positive relationship with the being associated with the substance you take; and if you do that, you will have a good experience.

When you take something like LSD or Salvia, you are essentially putting your life and sanity in the hands of a self-aware, highly intelligent, extremely ancient (and generally alien to around the same degree as the beings Lovecraft wrote about) entity for a certain period of time. I'm not going to equate them with Godforms, necessarily; but they are powerful, and some of them will get seriously pissed off with you if you are not sufficiently reverent in your attitude towards them.

Angry spirits mean bad trips, and if they are sufficiently angry, they can mean permanent damage to the person in question. This is the single main reason why a given drug should not be taken more than a few times a year, in my mind; familiarity breeds contempt, and contempt is what will cause you serious problems.

Entheogens in my mind basically allow a person to perceive a greater portion of reality than they do in normal waking experience; which is also essentially what schizophrenia does. A person in sober, consensus reality is processing maybe a tenth of 1% of what's actually out there.

You're asking an entity to temporarily increase your perceptual bandwidth; and what you see as a result, depends both on your own proverbial set and setting, and whether or not the entity in question likes you. They have different opinions of every individual, and they already have an opinion of you before the first time you've interacted with them, to your conscious knowledge.

Last edited by petrus4; 10-08-10 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 10-08-10   #10
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Default Re: Mystical Experience Valid Or Not

I don't think the use of drugs invalidates a mystical experience, but, like fera and Cassie said, I think it should be followed up by a lifestyle change, or a change in conciousness, etc. There should be some kind of positive result in your life, as a result of the experience.
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