ardacigin

Why Psychedelic Awakenings are Insight 'Experiences' and not Permanent Awakenings

50 posts in this topic

Here are Culadasa's opinions on the importance of permanent insight penetration which is different from all spiritual accomplishments including temporary awakening experiences (psychedelic or sober) regardless of its profundity.

Especially on the psychedelic path, you can easily delude yourself that these temporary insight recognitions have delved deeper and transformed the psyche permanently when the insights are still relatively immature and superficial even if the awakening itself is deep.

Don't confuse insight embodiment with recognition. If you do, then you'll be deluded. With this delusion, you can slack off in your spiritual practice, cultivate arrogance and aversion towards the path or to other less wholesome insight attainments. Don't put the cart before the horse.

You can also mistakenly believe that reading books and designing concepts around these profound insights to develop one's spiritual dimension. All intellectual matters must be put to rest and not be confused with spiritual development. These may be interlinked and important but ultimately are separate from spiritual development. Study spirituality but let that intellectual understanding guide your spiritual development with more effective practice, diligence and deeper spiritual experience.

Here is Culadasa's explanation:

'The Buddha went to great effort to make it known that the Wisdom that leads to Awakening cannot be attained by means of intellect alone. Once it is understood that Enlightenment results from liberating cognition, there is a strong tendency to pursue truth through analysis and philosophy.

This will not work. True wisdom, of the sort that can overcome the delusion in which we are immersed, must arise in the form of Insight (vipasanna) resulting from mindful awareness (sati-sampajañña) applied in the course of direct experience.

Jhāna practice creates the perfect opportunity for that kind of direct experience. Another potential for misunderstanding is that the emphasis on meditation and direct experience can cause the yogi to discount the importance of cognitive transformation in favor of the meditative experiences themselves. This is also futile. Knowing and feeling are two very different things.

An experience of no-self for example, of feeling at one with the universe, of being deeply aware that everything is perfect as it is, is just another experience fabricated by the mind – unless it is based on profound Insight.

Without wisdom and understanding, a “peak” experience such as this soon becomes only a cherished memory while one continues on as before, immersed in a world of ignorance and inevitable suffering.

To pursue jhāna or any other form of meditation as a source of such experiences is to fall into the same error as the Buddha’s predecessors, that of expecting a magical result from dwelling in particular mental states, or from having ‘special’ feelings and experiences. All of human existence is an endless tapestry of states, feelings, and experiences woven together to form the trap of samsara.

But through the proper application of mindfulness, wisdom can arise that permanently destroys that trap. Salvation lies not in the experiences themselves, no matter how rewarding, satisfying and ecstatic, but in the power of conscious awareness properly applied to the observation of those experiences.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, this is why psychedelic experiences almost always have to be followed up on. They can result in a permanent increase of consciousness depending on how profound it is, happened to me, but the increase is nowhere close to the levels that was experienced on the substance. 

Psychedelics in a way lay the groundwork of what is to come if you keep moving forward. It can be a catalyst for one to put in the work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Shadowraix said:

They can result in a permanent increase of consciousness depending on how profound it is, happened to me, but the increase is nowhere close to the levels that was experienced on the substance. 

The seemingly permanent refined state of 'increased consciousness' is due to the momentum of the practice. Don't confuse that as a permanent improvement. It is conditioned and it is the result of cause and effect.

So there is an increase in consciousness but it is temporary. This is true for both psychedelics and sober meditation. Unless it is a permanent insight penetration, it will always be temporary and erode slowly due to causes and conditions if you stop using psychedelics or meditating any lengthy period of time.

That is why habits and daily mindfulness cultivation is so essential. Many psychedelic users slack off and get stuck in a 'good' place.

They continue to suffer but then rationalize as 'I know that suffering is an illusion, self is an illusion and everything is one...'

Well, let's call it for what it is. Right now, in your direct experience, suffering is not an illusion, self is not an illusion and everything is not one. These are not simple awakenings that you can brush off and say 'Oh I know these already, next!'

True knowing means embodiment, not recognition and peak experience.

That feeling of oneness is a memory (both emotional and thought-based) of a legit psychedelic awakening. If it is directly experienced 24/7, then you can say that insight is sufficiently embodied. The same delusion can occur with a temporary sober awakening experience. 

With this arrogance, then the student does not actually do the practices to be aware of these insights on a deep level. That motivation to practice with diligence is gone.

That is the fundamental problem of meditating or doing psychedelics irresponsibly. It deludes you into thinking you know more than you have actually embodied.

 

 

Edited by ardacigin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh they can be, it all comes down to how much you resist the truth. If you are already awakened to your truth, psychedelics become far more permanent because you already know your true nature so there will be minimal resistance but if you do not, then you will resist because you still cannot handle that much truth/depth because you still have a lot of inner-work and purifying to do so. You have to suffer, to have to experience, you have to live, you have to die!

Welcome to life, there are no shortcuts :)


B R E A T H E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You raise an important dynamic relative to experience, contextualization and development. It is very useful in certain contexts. Yet you seem to speak as if this is the one true dynamic. This is one dynamic of many. I had 20+ years of sober meditation prior to my first trip. More was revealed in one five hour trip than than the previous 20+ years combined. And it’s permanent. Once that awakening was seen, it has not been unseen. However, at the human level, it is not bimodal. It is a facet with greater depth and breadth in terms of development.

I’m not saying that the dynamic you speak of does not exist. I’m saying there are other dynamics at play here that you may not be aware of. Or alternatively, simply did not address for sake of simplicity and directness. 

As well, the concept of “permanent” involves a timeline - which is a restrictive construct. There is an absolute that is not dependent on time or mental states that occur within timelines. An timeless absolute that is present during what you refer to as “arrogant, aversion, slacking off, illusion, delusion”. These are all constructs that can be helpful from the human perspective of development and toward a “thing” that is a relative improvement. That is one side of the coin. Yet it assumes a “somewhere” that is not “nowhere” and “everywhere”. It sees the path, yet is blind to the pathless. It does not see absolute singularity. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Serotoninluv is it fair to say that "reality" never breaks character... ?

 

Meaning even for the self realized, that awakening and living from that point onwards (relatively speaking) is all part of the dream. 

Like an actor can break character while filming a movie... But if we equate breaking character with enlightenment, that 'enlightenment' is still part of the play, yes?

 


Just Be Nice
♥Love Is The Answer!
 http://www.instagram.com/Ev3rSunny 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ardacigin said:

The seemingly permanent refined state of 'increased consciousness' is due to the momentum of the practice. Don't confuse that as a permanent improvement. It is conditioned and it is the result of cause and effect.

Permanent improvement to your baseline level of consciousness, as well as your capability for attaining higher states, can be had from psychedelic use. Has happened to me, with almost no practice whatsoever. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating doing this. I'm sure I would have avoided much suffering and made my awakenings deeper if I was doing spiritual work. But my long-term raise in consciousness from psychedelics alone is undeniable, has changed me forever, and now I'm getting into a lot more spiritual work. I would not be on this path if it weren't for psychedelics. 


"The greatest illusion of all is the illusion of separation." - Guru Pathik

Sent from my iEgo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SoonHei said:

@Serotoninluv is it fair to say that "reality" never breaks character... ?

 

Meaning even for the self realized, that awakening and living from that point onwards (relatively speaking) is all part of the dream. 

Like an actor can break character while filming a movie... But if we equate breaking character with enlightenment, that 'enlightenment' is still part of the play, yes?

 

I like that imagery. We can imagine a movie in which we create characters. We can create traits like “arrogance, slacking off, delusion, illusion” and opposing traits like “aware, mindful, dedicated, practice and clarity”. We can create characters that we call enlightened and characters we call unenlightened. We can create sages that have lived through a thing called history and we can create things called spiritual writings that some characters will devote their lives to. We can create a timeline in which the characters think and feel that they are developing and improving through time. We can have the characters think and feel that there is something called temporary and something called permanent. We can have the characters think that there is something to attain/become and a somewhere to go. We can even have characters “break character” in which they realize they were only playing a character. Yet this “broken character” is still a character within the transcendent movie. In the context of the movie and it’s storyline, all of this has value. Especially from the perspective of human characters. Yet from a transcendent holistic God-mind, it’s all One. It’s a One movie.  There is a facet of absolute singularity. 

Making a distinction between my ear and my foot has practical value - especially when I am putting on my shoes or headphones. Yet it would be silly to say “my ear is me, but my foot is not me”. It would also have practical value to make a distinction between a temporary sensation and a permanent sensation. For example, if I had tooth pain it would be of value to describe to my dentist wether the pain is temporary or permanent. Yet it would be silly to say “I am temporary tooth pain” or “I am permanent tooth pain”. Similarly, there is practical value in making a distinction between me and Culadasa. Or a distinction between temporary insight and permanent awakening. Especially if we are having a discussion about Culadasa and trying to develop from temporary insight to permanent awakening within the storyline. I would need to  believe (or pretend) that I am not Culadasa and that there are things called temporary insights and permanent awakenings. That has practical value within the imagined human storyline. Yet it would be silly to say “I am me, but Culadasa is not me”. or “I experience temporary insight, but not permanent awakening”. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Serotoninluv said:

I like that imagery. We can imagine a movie in which we create characters. We can create traits like “arrogance, slacking off, delusion, illusion” and opposing traits like “aware, mindful, dedicated, practice and clarity”. We can create characters that we call enlightened and characters we call unenlightened. We can create sages that have lived through a thing called history and we can create things called spiritual writings that some characters will devout their lives to. We can create a timeline in which the characters think and feel that they are developing and improving through time. We can ave the characters think and feel that there is something called temporary and something called permanent. We can have the characters think that there is something to attain/become and a somewhere to go. We can even have characters “break character” in which they realize they were only playing a character. Yet this “broken character” is still a character within the transcendent movie. In the context of the movie and it’s storyline, all of this has value. Especially from the perspective of human characters. Yet from a transcendent holistic God-mind, it’s all One. It’s a One movie.  There is a facet of absolute singularity. 

Making a distinction between my ear and my foot has practical value - especially when I am putting on my shoes or headphones. Yet it would be silly to say “my ear is me, but my foot is not me”. It would also have practical value to make a distinction between a temporary sensation and a permanent sensation. For example, if I had tooth pain it would be of value to describe to my dentist wether the pain is temporary or permanent. Yet it would be silly to say “I am temporary tooth pain” or “I am permanent tooth pain”. Similarly,,there is practical value in making a distinction between me and Culadasa. Or a distinction between temporary insight and permanent awakening. Especially if we are having a discussion about Culadasa and trying to develop from temporary insight to permanent awakening within the storyline. I would need to  believe (or pretend) that I am not Culadasa and that there are things called temporary insights and permanent awakenings. That has practical value within the imagined human storyline. Yet it would be silly to say “I am me, but Culadasa is not me”. or “I experience temporary insight, but not permanent awakening”. 

Jeez xD It's overly metatrue.

And there is the character answering to 'no one' about this very quote that post on 'self actualized'.

But then when the viewer' read this. It become temporary real for him. Already gone for me

Edited by Aeris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s not about raising consciousness, consciousness is all set 👍🏻

Psychedelics are great for fear, and beliefs. 


  Nonduality & Meditations  Now

   “ ...every revolutionary act, is an act of love...”  - Zach de la Rocha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ardacigin Most definitely not always just temporary. Be careful to not generalize all of psychedelic use under one umbrella. 

By permanent I mean after such a profound experience, the insight does not fade. It doesn't not depend on memory of the experience. I barely remember the experience because it's been so long. That increase happened before I got into consciousness work. The only thing Leo did was describe it in some way the intellectual mind can digest. 

You don't have much psychedelic experience, yeah? I remember you inquiring about it before. I would be careful about drawing conclusions about Psychedelics so hastily. 

@TheAvatarState Yes exactly 🙏 

Edited by Shadowraix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shadowraix said:

@ardacigin Most definitely not always just temporary. Be careful to not generalize all of psychedelic use under one umbrella. 

By permanent I mean after such a profound experience, the insight does not fade. It doesn't not depend on memory of the experience. I barely remember the experience because it's been so long. That increase happened before I got into consciousness work. The only thing Leo did was describe it in some way the intellectual mind can digest. 

You don't have much psychedelic experience, yeah? I remember you inquiring about it before. I would be careful about drawing conclusions about Psychedelics so hastily. 

Just to clarify, I'm not strictly talking about psychedelics here. And I'm an advocate of both psychedelic usage and meditation. The issue here is whatever path you take (you might do both as I do), the insight 'not fading' is the delusion I'm talking about. 

For the insight to not fade, it must pervade your entire life. It must not be dependent on cause and effect. It must not be dependent on external circumstances. This is not a simple claim. This is a radical claim.

The afterglow of an experience (psychedelics or sober) can appear not only strong but also consistent. Yet this is an illusion if this 'afterglow' has not arisen due to insight embodiment. Otherwise, it is only intermittently present if you examine your experience carefully. The effect might be maintained with relative consistency for years. But it will drop completely at some point since your worldview is not transformed deeply in an intuitive manner.

There are just too many examples. Take Martin Ball. A respected 5 meo Dmt user. Probably he did hundreds of trips on this substance alone. Years of experimentation. Yet he is still suffering just as much as the next guy when the extreme waves of insomnia hits. All oneness disappears. The rigid self comes back. I'm giving him as an example because he is one of the psychedelic users who claimed permanent realization is possible with 5 meo dmt. So I'm not saying this to criticize him in any way. I had an interview with him myself. He is a great guy.

But this is not embodied awakening. This is an insight experience not integrated well enough to be embodied. The same thing happens with Samatha meditators. All spiritual practitioners using any method experience this. Therefore, the importance of permanent realization which pervades your entire life is all the more important. Psychedelics are not an exception to the rule. 

Making remarks like 'Once you go so deep with psychedelics, the distinction between ' insight embodiment - permanent' vs 'temporary' disappears because time is an illusion etc..' - This is a problematic statement.

The insight is true. Time is a mental fabrication. But to see the delusion here, I invite the person to examine their direct experience. Is time an illusion right now? How deeply did this insight REALLY embodied in your life? To say such things, you can't still experience time as a reality. Forget about time for now, can you even experience the self as an illusion and break your self boundaries in the blink of an eye? If so, can you live there permanently?

What I'm trying to say is that psychedelics have the tendency to make these insights a little to easy to recognize. And this deludes the person into thinking that embodiment can also eventually occur after 100s of trips. 

That is why Ram Dass, after countless LSD trips, realized that psychedelics don't produce permanent insight embodiment. You can try to prove Ram Dass wrong by doing 500 trips but I don't think the problem is the lack of quantity and quality of the trips. There is a deeper dynamic at play here. 

Someone who never practiced spirituality or had psychedelics (pre-awakening) like Eckhart Tolle can all of a sudden find themselves integrating no-self on a permanent level, therefore attaining stream-entry. Experiencing the 'banal' and 'ordinary' consciousness skillfully to produce insight. The problem is not the depth of the spiritual experience. It is about how skillfully the experience is used as an insight practice. 

On the meditation's case, this is like the jhana meditator who consistently lives in a state of joy and happiness for 10+ years thinking that this is embodied awakening. The emotional state can mimic awakening but it doesn't change the fact that after enough external conditions to erode your samadhi, (the death of a loved one, house burns down, traffic accident etc.) the mind will revert back to its usual egoic operating system.

 Just knowing that the insight is true is not enough as I've explained. That is still semi-intellectual and not experiential enough. The insight must be embodied to be permanent. Only then the true understanding arise.

 

 

 

Edited by ardacigin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ardacigin You can permanently change your psyche without embodiment or certain practices. That's what you're not getting, you're conflating the two. Learning = behavior change, and psychedelics WILL change your behavior. It is possible to experience a permanent rise in consciousness from a trip, but I agree with you that taking 100s of trips will not lead to permanent, embodied enlightenment. That's a dangerous trap. I generally agreed with everything you said, but you seem to be applying this rule of "no change without embodiment" dogmatically. Generally that's true, but it's actually not that simple. 


"The greatest illusion of all is the illusion of separation." - Guru Pathik

Sent from my iEgo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ardacigin Those are some good points. There can certainly be a trap in only hitting peaks but not enough sober embodiment.

The peak of a psychedelic like 5-MeO is so extreme it's very hard to embody it even if you meditate all day. You are never going to hit that same level of consciousness sober. You proabably couldn't live regular life while in so much consciousness.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TheAvatarState said:

Permanent improvement to your baseline level of consciousness, as well as your capability for attaining higher states, can be had from psychedelic use. Has happened to me, with almost no practice whatsoever. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating doing this. I'm sure I would have avoided much suffering and made my awakenings deeper if I was doing spiritual work. But my long-term raise in consciousness from psychedelics alone is undeniable, has changed me forever, and now I'm getting into a lot more spiritual work. I would not be on this path if it weren't for psychedelics. 

Here is an example that will clarify my point. The experiment to see the difference between embodiment vs recognition must be to stop all spiritual practice (meditation and psychedelics) and see what remains. Do this for 30 days in a solitary confinement-like situation and you'll know for sure which insights are embodied permanently and which are still conditioned, immature or temporary. 

That is all I'm saying. If the behavior change is maintained in that period of time, that is sufficient embodiment. If the self doesn't show its boundaries, that is the definition of stream-entry right there. Erode the causal relationship and see what remains. If you go back to your depressed teenager self full of cravings, desires and aversions, you must go back to the drawing board and make some deep changes in how you practice and what exact insights are you not only conscious of but also have embodied.

If your insight recognition is top-notch, I assure you that the embodiment will be proportionally weaker. This is the dynamic of the psychedelic experience. An experienced 5 meo Dmt user just goes too far, too deep and too fast that it is not humanly possible to embody all of these in such a short period of time. Hence, the importance of embodiment and permanent realization.

I've also talked to Martin Ball and also listened to his podcast about his opinions on this matter. Lİke I said, I really like him but he still believes that ego is a permanent companion. He basically says: Temporary transcendence (which can be as long as years) is possible, but the ego will always be there and he usually experiences all the negative effects of the ego like anxiety, fear, suffering etc. He doesn't seem to subscribe to the notion that there is such a thing as a permanent realization. His embodiment is weaker than most people think. Again, I'm not judging him. But I can see certain key problems in his spiritual paradigm. 

You look at someone with more spiritual embodiment like Peter Ralston, who can do the  'pull my teeth without novacaine' at the dentist's office without suffering and the distinction of insight embodiment and recognition becomes crystal clear. 

Anyone who denies the importance of this distinction is deluding themselves. This is why Buddha dropped purely ascetic and jhanic practices. Without insight practice, the embodiment doesn't occur. That is all I'm saying.

Edited by ardacigin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience psychedelics are great for revealing what is possible in a very quick and direct manner and can definitely be transformative in the individual, however it clearly has it limitations as we can see from the counterculture of the 60’s. Alot of people took alot of psychedelics and certainly had their personalities transformed, but how many ended up awake?

My theory is that abiding awakening is a result of a continuous endogenous release of DMT, usually triggered by some kind of practice/event or simply happens spontaneously, while psychedelics provide a shortlived exogenous hit. It seems like DMT and similarily structured chemicals turn off/dampen the areas in the brain responsible for creating subject/object dualism.

I think, however, it’s difficult to say whether practice triggers DMT release or DMT release triggers practice, and if you can really separate those two possibilities at all. In the grand scheme of The One, if enlightenment is a natural, collective developmental process in the evolution of the human species, it is simply happening on it’s own mechanically. Interestingly one of my teachers said his gut feeling tells him that there are children born today who will never enter ignorance which points to it being a biological phenomenon like evolution. 

Might have digressed a bit 


A man who moves with the earth will experience days and nights. He who stays with the sun will know no darkness.

https://thumbs.gfycat.com/FrightenedTightJenny-size_restricted.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Leo Gura said:

@ardacigin Those are some good points. There can certainly be a trap in only hitting peaks but not enough sober embodiment.

@Leo GuraI actually wanted to clarify 3 different types of spiritual experiences to show what embodiment really means. This is very useful for preventing delusion.

1- Temporary experience: This is your usual psychedelic or meditation high. It doesn't last at all. 100% peak experience. And maybe very little afterglow. This is obviously not embodiment.

2 - Semi-permanent experience: This is the seemingly lasting effect and improvement one experiences with psychedelics and meditation. The effect mimics insight embodiment but is simply a result of cause and effect. The results (ex. awakening-like depth of experience) comes due to causes and conditions (ex. your spiritual practice). It is a conditioned but refined mental state that can maintain its depth and consistency for years until it is seen for what it is, spontaneously dissolves, or goes away when one stops all spiritual practice for lengthy period of time .  A temporary insight recognition has occured. But it hasn't fully transformed the depths of one's intuitive understanding of self, truth and reality.

3- Permanent Insight Embodiment: This is permanent. Effortless. Requires no refined mental state. Requires no meditation or psychedelics. (to be conscious of the embodied insight) Your intuitive understanding of that particular insight (ex. no-self, infinity, impermanence etc.) has permanently transformed the mind-body system. You are living from there effortlessly all the time. Your cognition of this world and self have radically changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ardacigin Here's a really interesting point which a lot of meditators are in denial about:

When you compare psychedelics vs meditation, you're making a biased comparison.

You are comparing 5,000-10,000 hours of mediation with 50-100 hours of psychedelics.

A true comparison would be to compare 5,000 hours of meditation with 5,000 hours tripping, or 50 hours of mediation with 50 hours of tripping.

It's very misleading to criticize the limited transformative power of psychedelics when you are comparing a few psychedelic trips with a master mediator who's done 10,000 hours of practice.

The true test is to compare apples to apples. Which of course no meditation teacher does. Because of how bad it would look for them. Meditation is terribly inefficient. The only way to overcome its inefficiency is with a full-time professional commitment. And even then, you will not ever be as conscious as with 5-MeO-DMT.

The problem is that doing 5,000 hours of psychedelics is unheard of in our society. So no one really knows what it would result in. People are too scared or too closedminded to run the test. Because a visionary leader is needed to pioneer a new spiritual path as the Buddha did with Buddhism.

There is a huge difference between following an existing spiritual path like a sheep vs pioneering a brand new one for others to follow.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now