loub

Peter Ralston on Psychedelics in more detail

164 posts in this topic

In his recent newsletter Peter Ralston was asked about psychedelics.

Question (roughly):  how come you promote states like clarity, openness and presence as necessary prerequisites for fruitful contemplation yet dismiss psychedelics as useless when it comes to consciousness work stating they are just states and not direct consciousness. Can psychedelic states not also be used to enhance contemplation, not to do it for you but help do it for yourself?

I am interested in what this forum thinks about his answer. Keep in mind though that he is deeply awake and also did have his fair share of psychedelic experiences.

Ralston:

I disagree with your argument. I hear the logic, but the truth in this case is different from the logic. The first thing we should notice is that the drugs are not of your own making, they are chemically induced. Whereas creating a state of focus and presence is an activity you generate. This is significant.

There are many states you can generate that are not at all helpful to pursuing consciousness, even ones that seem like they are. You could have a state of anger or distraction, which probably don't help much. You could also have a state of feeling one with the universe, and that doesn't help either, but you could easily think it does. So, it is with psychedelic states. You might think they help or produce some beneficial state because you experience something awesome or unusual. But that doesn't help at all. Like I have said, you can become directly conscious while being angry or on drugs, but I'm also saying the anger or drugs have nothing to do with it. People fool themselves into thinking drugs can help. A mistaken notion. I lived in the late 60's in Berkeley, California in an era of a great deal of drug taking. It was probably the beginning of the whole psychedelic attempt to become more conscious. We even called them "consciousness raising drugs." I did more than my share for a while. So, I tell you from a personal experience of both drugs and consciousness, the drugs don't help.

That isn't their purpose, and I think those using them to attain enlightenment are mistaken or lazy, wanting something else to do it for them or help them. This is nonsense because "direct" means only YOU can do it, nothing else. As for states that help in contemplation, they do so simply because they support your intent and efforts to contemplate. Drugs don't. And you are the one generating the states. Drugs aren't generated by you. States helpful in contemplation aren't random they are simply what creates the activity of contemplation. Without focus and openness you really can't contemplate. They are simply part of that effort.

The contemplation itself is an activity, it is not enlightenment. It is simply more likely for you to become directly conscious if you intend to do so, and you give it your all. Drugs just provide a different experience by altering the chemicals in your brain. Neither chemicals or brain activity has anything to do with enlightenment. You can do them if you want, I am simply asserting there is a flaw in your logic—it doesn't work that way. You seem to be trying to convince yourself by getting me to go along with your beliefs. Sorry to disappoint, but I won't. Even if I had no counter logic to offer, I'd still say no. Simply because I know the truth directly. Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

not very convincing and yes he has no counter logic to offer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I have a sober lifestyle that doesn’t incorporate psychedelics. None of my consciousness originates from psychedelic practice. However, I have experimented with them to test the conscious insights they reveal and I vouch for them 100% 

By this, I don’t mean that they help 100% of all people nor do I mean they help the people that they benefit 100% of the time. But I certainly mean that they can and do greatly contribute to conscious-raising work. 
 

Now, with that said, Ralston is right that having these profound psychedelic experiences doesn’t automatically integrate them for you or make you higher-conscious. I completely agree that a person can experience being one with the Universe, for example, and still be consciously-immature. Yet, psychedelics don’t just give experiences. They also can shift perspective and consciousness directly and I don’t see how Ralston could argue with direct shifts in pure consciousness independent of the experiences themselves. Afterall, it seems like that’s what he considers to be consciousness-raising work. 
 

So I see Ralston’s points and they are valid. However, he doesn’t seem to have experimented with psychedelics deeply enough to see their full practicality. He says that the work “must come from YOU” but psychedelics are a part of you and your experience. What are we calling you and what are we calling not you?

It seems to me that Ralston is just splitting hairs on what raises consciousness directly and what doesn’t. 

Edited by Synchronicity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

This is because Ralston comes out of the Zen tradition 

They view enlightenment as a realization of emptiness and stillness 

but  yoga traditions see enlightenment as a realization of oneness with the universe and God
Shamans use various sensory stimulation to produce visionary trance states

these are different from the Buddhist concept of enlightenment which are about clarity and awareness
not trying to experience "infinity"  and "God consciousness" 

one is reductive and minimalist and the
 other is maximalist experience of everything 

neither tradition advocates psychedelics because those are not self produced
They are chemicals that are put into the body
and then go out of the body 
they are not something that could be maintained as a constant 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nak Khid

Share this post


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

and I think those using them to attain enlightenment are mistaken or lazy,

I feel like as soon as this sentence was written into reality, Leo awoke from his 6th sense tickling him funny. 🤣

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have much respect for the dear Ralston, but it's never not silly how a master will always still be blind to some parts of himself.


“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float." - Alan Watts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, WaveInTheOcean said:

I have much respect for the dear Ralston, but it's never not silly how a master will always still be blind to some parts of himself.

now that you have said that just lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He clearly doesn't know what he is talking about. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to distinguish well what I call an enlightening experience and what is the true liberation I would define as freedom from the boundaries of the illusory nature of the ego, and clarity about the true nature of the self and this is different from a mere experience,
and it is very important to distinguish the two things. This we can call the experience of Enlightenment, and when people have it...
the most common reaction, when they return from experience, when they fall into their ego,
it's: "Oh my God, that was it!  That, whatever the Enlightenment is, it was that." So people are able to recognize it,
but what usually happens, is that the structure of the ego is reformed after experience,
and the person returns to the way he was before,
more or less, being such a radical experience destroys the whole paradigm to some people
for which earlier belief systems no longer have any meaning, nor intellectual concepts
so it can force people through this..
deep path of personal analysis, reassessing some of their beliefs
and how they see themselves in the world, so it can be very profound, to change your life,
but I would not call it true liberation, which is instead the result of a process

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing! Ralston's teachings are awesome...but this one is about as silly as when Don Beck said Ken Wilber is Red/Orange LOL.


Enter their minds, and you’ll find the judges you’re so afraid of – and how judiciously they judge themselves.

- Marcus Aurelius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@loub i agree with him - but at the same time i remain open minded about the topic.   Leo is one enlightened mofo - so i respect that.

My enlighenment came at 48 years of age after decades of suffering.  (There were good times too don't get me wrong - but i suffered greatly from selfishness)  through that - through living - i didn't realize it but i was ever so slowly gaining in consciousness.

And so then when meditating - while this was all just a curiosity - it happened.   

But that said we could also be the few spiritually gifted individuals.  For others perhaps the theoretical foundation followed by psychedelics could potentially really have a profound affect.  For someone who is awake he is closing his mind.   A mind should never fully close.

My intuition on the topic tells me that 5-Meo will straight up show you God but whether you are in a place in your life where you will actually become God or become directly conscious of God is another matter.  In other words it could be right in front of your face but if you are not ready to see it you will not see it.   That is what he means by you generate it.  

 


The Path to Truth is walked Alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like his perspective is useful, in order to really get gains from taking a psychedelic one should be intimately focused on a practice & then the intention of where they are trying to go with the practice, psychs are enhancers. This is why it is really important for people to do consciousness work without psychs first, and then jump in the rocket-ship. Astronauts need to train before they go to space. I feel some people get really really REALLY lost when they just take a psych without a solid intention. The ego is sticky and can make one believe they are “Raising their consciousness” when really they are just running away from some form of suffering, or trying to build a belief system about the states they reach on them.


Creation creating itself to create creation. 
Build yourself, you are the power. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Synchronicity said:

So I see Ralston’s points and they are valid. However, he doesn’t seem to have experimented with psychedelics deeply enough to see their full practicality. He says that the work “must come from YOU” but psychedelics are a part of you and your experience. What are we calling you and what are we calling not you?

It seems to me that Ralston is just splitting hairs on what raises consciousness directly and what doesn’t. 

Exactly. Psychedelics come or doesn't come from YOU in the same way meditation does or doesn't. 

Ridiculous point he put .


 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Terrence McKenna  died of brain cancer in 2000 and stopped or dramatically reduced taking psychedelics in 1988 according to his sister or early 90s according to his brother

name some prominent spiritual teachers other than Leo and Ball who you own books of, who advocate taking psychedelics as a primary tool for enlightenment. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Nak Khid said:

 Terrence McKenna  died of brain cancer in 2000 and stopped or dramatically reduced taking psychedelics in 1988 according to his sister or early 90s according to his brother

name some prominent spiritual teachers other than Leo and Ball who you own books of, who advocate taking psychedelics as a primary tool for enlightenment. 
 

Christopher M Bach,  maybe not that enlightened or maybe he is, very interesting book to read is LSD and The universal mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Nak Khid said:

 Terrence McKenna  died of brain cancer in 2000 and stopped or dramatically reduced taking psychedelics in 1988 according to his sister or early 90s according to his brother

name some prominent spiritual teachers other than Leo and Ball who you own books of, who advocate taking psychedelics as a primary tool for enlightenment. 
 

Because most awakened folks didn't need it as they were spiritually gifted.  It doesn't mean they can't help.  


The Path to Truth is walked Alone.

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