Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights — Page 9
"Experience is a hard school, but a fool will learn no other way."
-- Irish proverb
If you're getting discouraged with the nondual path because you just haven't been able to get that huge breakthrough moment, remember, you don't need to wait until enlightenment to start seeing significant benefits from this work.
I've experienced enormous growth in the last year even though I don't consider myself enlightened.
This work is, hands-down, the most significant thing you can do in your life, regardless of who you are. No other accomplishments will come close. Everything you interact with will change in subtle ways. I'm starting to feel like a Jedi attuning to The Force. Your reality gradually becomes mystical in a very tangible and permanent way.
I know what it's like to spend years in self-inquiry and seemingly getting nowhere. The first few years are the hardest because you're not seeing big gains yet.
Keep at it. You are growing even if you don't notice it yet. Remember, gains in this work are highly non-linear.
And if you feel totally stuck in your self-inquiry, psychedelics are the answer. A few trips can save you a few years of mental-masturbation on the cushion.
The easiest thing to take for granted is existence itself, because everything else you know is predicated on it.
This is the tragedy of spirituality: it's the most obvious thing, but 99% of people just overlook it because it is about existence itself, which they take for granted. The game of life — survival — has to do with manipulating the content of existence, without concern for the substance of existence. This makes awareness of existence itself a pointless pursuit from the point of view of the survival paradigm. Since existence is the one common factor behind every piece of content, it is the first thing the mind filters out. For the purposes of survival, what existence is, doesn't matter! Which is why it's so critical to stop letting survival run your life. The game of survival cannot be won.
They call it "transcendence" because you're transcending the game of survival. Survival in this case is everything you do on a weekly basis: getting a coffee at Starbucks, feeding the kids, brushing your teeth, going to work, having sex, shopping for make up, getting a haircut, going to school, watching TV, fixing your car, etc.
For the average person, survival is priority #1. For a spiritually-developed person, BEING is priority #1, and survival is priority #2.
The top reason why psychedelics are so powerful is that they let you see just how much you've been taking existence for granted. Just to get a sense of that is life-transforming because it put the game of survival into proper perspective, proper priority.
Life sucks when your priorities are backwards.
Self-actualization is an acquired taste, like dark bittersweet chocolate or wine.
So don't be too surprised if it feels more bitter than sweet the first few years. This is normal. As you get deeper into it, your tastes will mature, making self-actualization less of a grind, and more organic. Eventually, it will become a seamless part of your life on an hourly basis. Mindfulness, contemplation, observation, reading, learning, fine-tuning your habits, taking notes, etc. will just become things you do, and wouldn't dream of ever not doing.
"Truth is the first casualty of war."
-- American proverb
Since I'm releasing this multi-part video series about the good aspects of psychedelics, I thought it would be honest to balance that out by detailing some of the downsides. Even though I'm very positive about psychedelics overall, they do come with risks, especially when people start using them without doing proper research.
Psychedelics are very safe ONLY IF you follow proper protocol and approach them with a careful attitude. Handle them as you would handle a loaded firearm, and you should do great.
Top risks (in no particular order):
- Consuming rare, exotic, untested research chemicals
- Buying research chemicals from an unverified online chemical company
- Not using drug testing kits on every new batch of substance you buy
- Overdosing through sloppiness & not researching dosages thoroughly
- Not using an accurate milligram scale to weigh your doses
- Using the wrong route of administration (ROA) for your substance
- For example, snorting freebase or smoking salt forms of the substance
- Tripping in a loud party environment
- Getting caught by law enforcement
- Using psychedelics which cause loss of motor control (like Salvia) without a trip sitter
- Using deleriants like Datura
- Consuming unknown substances from unknown sources
- Consuming on a full-stomach
- Very rare instances of HHPD (hallucinogen persisting perception disorder)
- Very rare instances of psychosis
- Very rare instances of allergic reactions to some substances
- Depersonalization disorder
- Existential crisis, temporary deepening of depression
- Deepening of your neurosis
- Delusional thinking, misinterpretation of the psychedelic experience, delusions of grandeur
- False enlightenment, Zen devilry, Messiah complex
- Playing pranks on people with psychedelics
- Bad trips, freak out
- Surfacing of past emotional traumas
- Overuse, to the point of psychological addiction or escapism
- Becoming a Hippie or New Ager
- Becoming a stoner pothead
- Loss of motivation, loss of desire for material success
- Loss of faith in humanity, society, culture, government, religion
- Seeing spirits, ghosts, aliens, trolls, gnomes, elves
- Getting fired from work
- Quitting your school, college, or job
- Complications with anti-depressants (SSRIs)
- Driving while intoxicated
- Poly drug use: Combinations of substances like alcohol, mushrooms, and weed all at once
- Physical injury from tripping in an unsafe setting (like on a high balcony or by the pool)
- Mislabeling or misidentifying your substances
- Giving psychedelics to friends who cannot handle them
- Growing and selling psychedelics (AKA, becoming a drug dealer)
- Taking psychedelics under age 21 if you are too immature to handle them
- Treating psychedelics like toys, acting cocky, then getting your ass handed to you
- A distraction from real consciousness work
- Going down the rabbit hole to fantasy land (conspiracy theories about aliens, etc.)
- Starting to experiment with hard drugs like cocaine or heroine
- Using unsafe types of psychedelics like NBOMEs
- Using cheap, impure psychedelics
- Using unhealthy pseudo-psychedelics like nitrous oxide, ketamine, cough syrup, etc.
- Damaging your liver, kidneys, brain, or heart (very rare)
- Picking mushrooms in the wild
- Extracting or cooking your own psychedelics at home
- Burning yourself with a lighter, starting a fire in your house
- Yelling, making too much noise until your neighbors call the cops
- Breaking up with your spouse, gf/bf
- Dysfunctional introversion: becoming an isolated loner who hates mankind
- Tripping when you're in a foul mood, like just after a breakup
- Using psychedelics to have sex
- Becoming suicidal
- Becoming enlightened ;)
This may sound like a ton of serious risks. But keep in mind that I simply made a list here of all the risks I could possibly think of for the sake of being balanced and truthful. This is a very comprehensive list. Most human activities involve long lists of risks, if we are very honest. For example, one the risks of marriage is that your spouse might kill you. One of the risks of cooking is burning your house down. One of the risks of eating at your favorite restaurant is food poisoning. But these are very remote probabilities if you approach things with intelligence.
95% of the risks above can be easily avoided just by having a serious, respectful attitude towards these substances, as you would for a strong prescription medication, a sharp knife, or a frying pan with hot oil.
Nearly all the dangers above stem from underestimating the incredible power of consciousness. If nothing else, psychedelics will teach you humility.
Be careful with Ecstasy pills (MDMA, Molly) because they're notoriously dirty.
Here's a great article proving the point.
If you aren't experiencing at least a handful of moments per year where you look back on something you said or did and think to yourself, "OMG! That was so embarrassing, so cringe-worthy", you aren't really growing.
When you're really growing, this will happen even with things you said or did just 1 month ago. You will look back on it and recoil in discomfort at your own stupidity, arrogance, cruelty, or lack of perspective.
Rapid growth means rapid obsolescence, with shorter and shorter intervals between old and new models. Look at a picture of an iPhone from 10 years ago. Or a laptop from 20 years ago. "Ewwwww...." is right! Because the rate of growth in these technologies has been astronomic.
As each month passes, I can hardly look at my own videos any more. They are so embarrassingly ignorant and crude compared to what I know today. And today will just become the next yesterday.
If you're starting to see this manifest in your own life, don't get discouraged by it. Although it feels icky and embarrassing, the good news is, it's a clear sign of growth. Our aim in this work isn't achieving a state of perfection, but constantly growing a bit each week. It's really not your fault. The reality is, we're all just way too ignorant to be perfect. Many cringey mistakes will be made. The more cringe you get out of your system, the less there will be to bog you down.
Judge yourself by the delta between your past and current work, not by your past work itself. Although I feel bad about the videos I released 2-3 years ago, I feel good about having grown so much.
What should really alarm you is if you look back on your work from 1 year ago and think, "Wow! Such great stuff!"
Of course, don't take this as license to be stupid on purpose.
"The wise seek wisdom, a fool has found it."
-- British proverb