Jude_

Thoughts on the Path and Recent Videos - An Open Letter to Leo

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

I don't subscribe to such simplistic things.

To me there is no confusing awakening with psychosis. Awakening requires no one's validation.

And I don't really buy the notion of "psychosis" either. These are cultural labels that people put on complex states of consciousness which they don't understand.

Yeah these are complex topics that could be discussed endlessly.

When I talk about psychosis I am referring to a set of symptoms where people are experiencing voices and visions that are irrational (again the word irrational is a tricky one).

I have had many friends who have had psychosis after psychedelic use.  Some believed they were the next Messiah, that they were essentially here to save the world.  This I interpret as the ego running away with the realization one is God.  The mistake is thinking that only they are God, or that they are special, and above others or more special than others.  This happens A LOT with ayahuasca and 5-meo-dmt.  I personally know of about a dozen cases (one of which was spontaneous and did not involve use of psychedelics).

But there is much darker psychosis.  I know of people that were told by voices to cut themselves, told that their close friends and family members were trying to manipulate them and do them harm, had visions of marrying people or having soul mates in ways that didn't work out... One such woman was clearly told to leave her husband for another man.  She did, and the new man was abusive, and she ended up leaving him and regretting the whole thing.

 

There are countless cases of such things, and if we don't call these instances psychosis, then I don't know what to call them.  They are liekly psychological fears and shadow elements manifesting in vivid ways, that would be one way of looking at them.

 

In these discussions there's always going to be a limitation in terms and whatnot, were speaking very abstractly, but if you hang around in the psychedelic scenes long enough you hear these stories and experience these things, and it's very real and makes one very weary.

 

I used to be pretty reckless with psychedelics, but someone I knew very close went into psychosis from a mushroom trip and no one could reach him in a rational way.  He ended up being committed to an institution for some time against his will.  I wish he was the only case I knew of this, but I know countless others personally with similar stories, and I have heard so many more stories from veterans in the scene.

 

Now I don't want to be overly negative, most people don't go that way, but it is a very real concern, and the probability gets higher with more frequency of use. 

 

Edit: I don't want to alarm anyone.  For context, I've been in the psychedelic scene for a decade and have travelled quite a bit and gotten to know many people in the scene and heard many stories.

Edited by Jude_

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Thank you for this excellent conversation and thank you Jude for your thoughtful and compassionate contribution :)

Jude and Leo, I am curious what are your views on kundalini awakenings and spiritual transmissions ?

A friend had very life transforming experiences meeting this guy, more powerful than any trip she had. She is so full of love now :). So I looking forward to meeting him.

https://www.venantwong.com

Spiritual transmissions seem to be very beneficial with limited risks. Or am I missing something ?

My understanding is that if your kundalini awakens on it's own that can be hell, but guided by a master it's much smoother. 

After a kundalini awakening, should we be even more cautious about using psychedelics ?

Can you recommend anyone for transmissions ?

Cheers

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, knakoo said:

Thank you for this excellent conversation and thank you Jude for your thoughtful and compassionate contribution :)

Jude and Leo, I am curious what are your views on kundalini awakenings and spiritual transmissions ?

A friend had very life transforming experiences meeting this guy, more powerful than any trip she had. She is so full of love now :). So I looking forward to meeting him.

https://www.venantwong.com

Spiritual transmissions seem to be very beneficial with limited risks. Or am I missing something ?

My understanding is that if your kundalini awakens on it's own that can be hell, but guided by a master it's much smoother. 

After a kundalini awakening, should we be even more cautious about using psychedelics ?

Can you recommend anyone for transmissions ?

Cheers

Hey @knakoo!  This is a very complex topic, and I will give my view, which will be somewhat biased, but I'll do my best to explain why.

Kundalini Awakenings

So Kundalini awakenings can happen spontaneously or intentionally.  First thing to recognize is that trying to force a kundalini awakening can be potentially dangerous.  Many people have had these and it's caused immense suffering.  You can check the work of Bonnie Greenwell (and her website Kundalini Guide), who did her PhD studying this phenomenon and has also written several books.  She talks at length about the difficulties that can arise, which is often a form of disregulated energy (and some people have connected awakenings and risks of awakenings with bipolar disorder, which is another form of disregulated energy).  Essentially if one is prone to disregulation (energy or mood swings), be very careful about trying to induce a kundalini awakening.

There's also a resource called Cheetah House with a lot of resources and research regarding negative experiences that have come from meditation and awakenings.  This is often stuff like depersonalization, dark night, depression, overwhelm, and again uncontrollable energy surges. 

Of course there's a phenomenal upside, but I don't think people are properly screened before engaging in such intense practices.  I feel I have to mention this as the dangers are often underrepresented, and people who have difficult experiences can feel confused, shame, alone, etc.

The way I understand this is essentially some people are not wired to handle the intense energy that arises from these experiences, and it cannot flow properly, and this can be really uncomfortable (Gopi Krishna claims he almost died from his Kundalini awakening). 

A friend of mine had an awakening experience on a meditation retreat that he was not prepared for, he describes what sounds like a DMT trip (NN-Dmt style, not 5-meo style) and intense overwhelming energy.  After he was too sensitive to properly function in the world, so blown open that any small thing to happen would emotionally ruin him.  He would throw a tantrum like a baby at the smallest thing.  This was a grown man in the midst of doing his PhD in Philosophy.  It took him a year to become functional again, and 10 years later he is doing trauma therapy to try to process the difficulty.  That being said, I don't think he would trade it for anything.

Of course there is a massive potential upside to such awakenings, and these stories are just to emphasize that you can't cheat awakening, you can't skip steps.  You must confront yourself, your shadow, all of it.  As mentioned before, all the work Leo has done has allowed him to remain relatively grounded given such an extreme undertaking.

 

Initiations/Transmissions

Now an initiation or transmission is when someone channels energy and offers you the vibration.  It's like a tuning fork.  They summon a particular state of consciousness/being and transmit it to another.  You can think of it as a channel of energy, and once someone attunes to it, they then have access.

Now for one to receive the transmission is another thing altogether.  One needs to be able to attune to it.  One needs to be ripe for it.  Tibetan Buddhist teachers often laugh at westerners wanting to accumulate transmissions, saying they are missing the point, and that their minds are often too muddied to receive and hold it anyhow.

Sometimes initiations happen organically, through the astral.  I know many people who received very specific initiations from traditions they previously had no connect to.  I've had a few experiences myself but usually as a result of psychedelics.

I also know people who refuse to take initiations.   They see them as obscuring true freedom, or their own uniqueness.  If you think of an initiation as an energy channel or energy highway, it's power and vibration can be disruptive, or carry with it energy that doesn't serve that person.

Spiritual traditions, or lineages, are these energy highways.  They can work as scaffolding to further one's development or connection to helpful energies, but then the question rises; who's working for who here?  Who's actually helping who?

What I've found in a lot of older lineage holders is that they will put the survival of their lineage ahead of the wellbeing or freedom of their students.  In Tibetan Buddhism, to really carry the lineage, you have to give up a lot.  This is why I left.  I didn't wan to give up my individuality.  You essentially give everything to the lineage, and your life is dedicated to carrying on that energy.

This is fine if that's what someone wants to do, and it can serve one in many ways, but it's not for me.  I still feel connected to those lineages, and still embody them to some degree, but not nearly to the degree required to be a formal lineage holder.

 

Many newer initiations have been coming up that don't require this type of commitment, and some are amazing (like Reiki), but also I think some people put too much emphasis on these things.  We are already divine incarnate.  We don't need any initiations, traditions, teachers, or any of it.  These things can be immensely helpful, but relying on them is the trap.  We need to recognize our sovereignty, that ultimate truth cannot be give to us by anyone else, but must be discovered for ourselves (I'm channelling Krishnamurti here, full credit to him).

Now we are all interconnected and of course it makes sense to make use of the resources at hand, but only if they really serve us, only if it's the right thing for us.  And no one knows that but ourselves.  This whole path is about leaning to know what is good for us, and what is not.  It's about listening to ourselves.  So if you are genuinely called for an initiation or a psychedelic experience, that's great.  I've been called to many.  But I've also gone after many for wanting more, for wanting to skip steps, to escape suffering... and those ones didn't lead to where I needed to go for my own growth and wellbeing.

Ultimately I learned I need to be patient and do the work one day at a time, and sometimes I'm called to a big experience, and I have a breakthrough, but sometimes not.  

6 years ago I had a really amazing year.  Really profound experiences, one after another.  And then they stopped.  I kept trying to create more, but nothing.  Eventually I had to look in another direction, I needed to figure out what kind of life I actually wanted to live, who I wanted to be in the world and in relation to those around me.

I'm not saying people should do as I have done.  I'm saying I had to find my own way, and each person needs to find their own way.  This is what appealed to me about Leo, is that he has found his own way, and he's encouraging others to do the same, more of less.

Edited by Jude_

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I hope you stay in the forum and interact more. Its good to hear different perspectives.


I will be waiting here, For your silence to break, For your soul to shake,              For your love to wake! Rumi

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27 minutes ago, Harikrishnan said:

I hope you stay in the forum and interact more. Its good to hear different perspectives.

Thanks man.  If I'm being honest, I came here to connect with Leo, just for the sake of it.  I don't meet a lot of people that I have so much in common with, that have my same obsessions and views.  Sometimes I do but I don't vibe with their energy.  I like Leo's energy, I like what he says, I like his approach, so I really came here to connect with him.  It's just nice to connect with others I feel commonalities with, even if it's fleeting.

Right now I have more time and space in my life, so I have energy for these posts.  Knowing me, I'll grow tired of it quickly and move on lol.  But nice to connect with you all :)

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9 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

I don't subscribe to such simplistic things.

To me there is no confusing awakening with psychosis. Awakening requires no one's validation.

And I don't really buy the notion of "psychosis" either. These are cultural labels that people put on complex states of consciousness which they don't understand.

Yeah it didn’t make sense to me but I still had to ask since I’m a noob. Great response though. Good fuckin job dude you are killing it

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Posted (edited)

@Jude_ Nice message, I enjoyed it:)
Maybe you'd be interested to know about Christopher M. Bache, who wrote LSD and the Mind of the Universe: Diamonds from Heaven. The guy took 73 very high LSD doses over the course of 20 years. He purified lots and lots and went deeper than he ever had thought possible, and then further and further. He stopped after 20 years as he felt it was enough. While meditating he heard from Spirit '20 years in, 20 years off' meaning he should be off LSD for 20 years. Christopher mentioned though (after his 20 years) that he felt that even 20 years wasn't enough to integrate it all.
Now I don't know about Leo's, but perhaps he'll naturally reach a point where he feels like he has enough, when his system says it's enough. Idk. I have some doubts that if there is genuine passion, someone could be lead astray by it. Then I don't know if Leo acts out of genuine passion in contradiction to anxiety
I've become a little cautious of psychedelics myself partly because I've heard that they can clog up ones system, and can result in one losing the consciousness that he/she was intending to acquire with them over time.

Edited by Waken

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12 minutes ago, Waken said:

@Jude_ Nice message, I enjoyed it:)
Maybe you'd be interested to know about Christopher M. Bache, who wrote LSD and the Mind of the Universe: Diamonds from Heaven. The guy took 73 very high LSD doses over the course of 20 years. He purified lots and lots and went deeper than he ever had thought possible, and then further and further. He stopped after 20 years as he felt it was enough. While meditating he heard from Spirit '20 years in, 20 years off' meaning he should be off LSD for 20 years. Christopher mentioned though (after his 20 years) that he felt that even 20 years wasn't enough to integrate it all.
Now I don't know about Leo's, but perhaps he'll naturally reach a point where he feels like he has enough, when his system says it's enough. Idk. I have some doubts that if there is genuine passion, someone could be lead astray by it. Then I don't know if Leo acts out of genuine passion in contradiction to anxiety
I've become a little cautious of psychedelics myself partly because I've heard that they can clog up ones system, and can result in one losing the consciousness that he/she was intending to acquire with them over time.

Hey interesting.  My old teacher, he first started doing high dose LSD trips in the 70s.  He would do every Friday, for about a year.  Then on one experience he had an awakened or non-dual experience.  It was an experience of enlightenment.  Once he experienced that, it changed him.  He knew it was the real thing, and he dedicated his life to achieving it. 

The next day, after that experience, he came back to reality, he was no longer enlightened.  He knew LSD wasn't going to bring him there in a permanent way.  He started practicing Zazen under Philip Kapleau, and didn't touch LSD again.  He spent 10 years living alone, in rural isolation, just meditating.  He eventually got it.  I asked if it was like the LSD experience, and he said yes, but in some ways it's even better, as it's unshakable now, it's real and doesn't go away.

Now I think 5-meo is actually unique, it's quite different in how profound it is.  I think it's incredibly valuable to give one experiences that transcend duality, and can supercharge one's meditation practice.  One of the risks is that it's so profound that it can be another form of attachment.  This idea that one must get there, or live from that place, that's another form of attachment.  It lacks a certain maturity, it lacks equanimity.

When you meet a true elder, someone who has really walked their path and garnered wisdom, you can feel a quality of presence and being that is very embodied and mature.  I don't think one can shortcut that, and I think one needs that to be balanced.  There is a deep humility, there is a knowing of responsibility, there is a careful sense of speech and action.

I think undoubtedly that psychedelics and even deep states of meditation can be used as another form of spiritual materialism, another distraction from Dukkha (suffering/unsatisfactoriness).  I can personally say that I was deeply unsatisfied, I felt a deep sense of restlessness at all times, a lack of connection, a lack of joy, a feeling of melancholy... I was attempting to escape this state, to go beyond it with psychedelics and meditation.  They worked for a time, but the feeling would always return, and ultimately I just had to accept it and see if I could still live a meaningful life in spite of it.

I am now understanding the value of going through such hardships, a real sense of wisdom and maturity is garnered over time.  It's very difficult, and I would have taken any way out, but luckily nothing worked and I was forced to accept it and live through it.  I've been taught patience, and it's been a hard lesson.

 

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On 5/29/2020 at 1:10 PM, Jude_ said:

and had an awakening after basically a 10 year isolation retreat.

Heard that drug propaganda guys?

I had my spiritual awakening experience after smoking Xanga-DMT. It took me less than 15 minutes.

22 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

Full awakening is a very radical thing. You don't want it.

Exactly.

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10 minutes ago, Arcangelo said:

Heard that drug propaganda guys?

I had my spiritual awakening experience after smoking Xanga-DMT. It took me less than 15 minutes.

Exactly.

I'm not here to argue with anyone's level of awakening or the best way.  What I do know however is that my teacher who did the 10 year meditation retreat, it was right for him, it was what he needed, and he grew immensely through it.

I do not think that his way is the best way, the right way, the only way, etc... I think we all have our own journeys and they are ours to discover.  I am certainly not called to go on a 10 year retreat!

But I would be careful in dismissing the experiences of others, or to think we have achieved what someone else has through different means.  These are arrogant outlooks and only serve to delude oneself or prop up our ego, accomplishments, or sense of superiority.  We simply do not know and cannot know, and to think we know is living in delusion and projection.

 

 

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That was not directed at you, it was directed to the guys in this forum that scoff at psychedelics.

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2 minutes ago, Arcangelo said:

That was not directed at you, it was directed to the guys in this forum that scoff at psychedelics.

Got it!  I possibly misread the tone. 

But it is an interesting debate, on to what degree psychedelics lead to lasting states of consciousness, and to what degree we must do the work to maintain such states, and is there a difference between awakenings achieved through psychedelics and not using psychedelics?

Honestly psychedelics are undoubtedly one of the greatest resources we have for awakening, even Shinzen is in agreement with this.  The questions are around the risks of over-reliance on them and the difficulties of integrating and embodying such experiences.

Ultimately I think this is unique to each individual, so we must all find our own way through. 

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Posted (edited)

@Jude_ I just stumbled upon this video: 

It's the same content of the book I wrote about. This guy is the proof that LSD can be a real way towards enlightenment. I find his descriptions absolutely beautiful, wonderful wonderful wonderful:)
His experiences on LSD have been for about half of all his sessions about grueling cleansing.

@Leo Gura "Yes, of course states are not stages. I have never claimed they were. I don't claim to have reached the highest stages, but only the highest states." watch the video above from 38:00 to 40:30 if it interest you. It's about him sharing how he came to understand or think that there is no highest state. Not saying there isn't because he says so, because idk

Edited by Waken

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30 minutes ago, Waken said:

@Jude_ I just stumbled upon this video: 

It's the same content of the book I wrote about. This guy is the proof that LSD can be a real way towards enlightenment. I find his descriptions absolutely beautiful, wonderful wonderful wonderful:)
His experiences on LSD have been for about half of all his sessions about grueling cleansing.

@Leo Gura "Yes, of course states are not stages. I have never claimed they were. I don't claim to have reached the highest stages, but only the highest states." watch the video above from 38:00 to 40:30 if it interest you. It's about him sharing how he came to understand or think that there is no highest state. Not saying there isn't because he says so, because idk

Hey cool, also check the work of Lyn Hunstad, who's done a ton of work with 5-meo, and other psychedelics, and is also a long time tantric pracitioner:

http://www.templeofauthenticdivinity.com/model-for 

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On 5/30/2020 at 1:26 PM, Leo Gura said:

Full awakening is a very radical thing. You don't want it.

@Leo Gura why wouldn't we want it? Isn't this what we are here to do?? 

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1 hour ago, wordsforliving said:

@Leo Gura why wouldn't we want it? Isn't this what we are here to do?? 

You say you want it, but you are not ready to sacrifice your life for it.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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8 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

You say you want it, but you are not ready to sacrifice your life for it.

are you? In your comeback video didn't you say you were unable to merge with all existence?

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4 minutes ago, Raze said:

are you? In your comeback video didn't you say you were unable to merge with all existence?

You worry about you and I'll worry about me.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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1 hour ago, Leo Gura said:

You worry about you and I'll worry about me.

you are me 

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4 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

You say you want it, but you are not ready to sacrifice your life for it.

@Leo Gura Readiness to sacrifice life for it -- would sacrifice include giving up all hopes, dreams, desires for relationships, desires for anything while in this temporary body?  How does one actualize readiness and know the sacrifices are actually being made? 

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