Carl-Richard

What is Leo's main shtick really about? Psychonautics vs. Spirituality

405 posts in this topic

I'm seeing way too much unnecessary confusion about many things, particularly words like awakening or enlightenment, and how it relates to things like spirituality or psychedelics. I would like to maybe present some clarity of language. One of the biggest virtues of teaching is clarity of communication, and while spirituality is in some sense doomed to fail from the start in that aspect, the way this problem is being exacerbated by conflating what I think should be treated as two separate categories is certainly not helping.

What are these two categories? One I will call "spirituality", which is familiar to most people, and the second I will call "psychonautics", which I believe is Leo's "main shtick". I say "main shtick" because it's of course not a full representation of his work, but it's certainly his main area of focus and that which he thinks makes him original. I'm also not going to criticize or devalue any of these aforementioned things. I only wish to shine light on the problem of language that is occurring between how Leo chooses to talk about his main shtick and a more collectively established area of inquiry which I call spirituality.

 

Spirituality – "growth > states"

In a nutshell: purifying and deepening your default state of consciousness.

Examples:

  • Sadhguru
  • Osho
  • Rupert Spira
  • Adyashanti
  • Eckhart Tolle
  • Ramana Maharshi


A very general definition of spirituality, which I'll borrow from Kenneth Pargament, is "a search for the sacred". How this is usually expressed within various spiritual traditions (from the world religions to the New-Age) is that you seek to align your life with the sacred and integrate it into yourself as a person. More importantly, when it comes to the mystical traditions and their emphasis on the direct experience of the sacred, their concern is not as much with the experiences themselves, as the potential growth one can gather from these experiences, as well as an eventual goal of merging with the sacred. In other words, the concept of a final destination (often called "Enlightenment") is generally preferred over a temporary glimpse (often called "Awakening"), and it's tied to a gradual process of refining yourself as a person, of self-transformation and self-transcendence.

 

Psychonautics – "states > growth"

In a nutshell: experiencing the highest states possible.

Examples:

  • Leo Gura
  • Terrence McKenna
  • Martin Ball
  • Psyched Substance


Psychonautics, on the other hand, refers both to a methodology for describing and explaining the subjective effects of altered states of consciousness, including those induced by meditation or mind-altering substances, and to a research cabal in which the researcher voluntarily immerses themselves into an altered mental state in order to explore the accompanying experiences. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychonautics

The reason I'm characterizing Leo's main shtick as "psychonautics" rather than "spirituality" is because of the emphasis on "having the experiences" vs. "integrating them"; states vs. growth. The reason I think psychonautics is largely distinct from spirituality, is that if a state is not properly integrated into yourself and made into a platform for organic growth, then it's either forgotten or outsourced to the intellect. When given the option between intellect or integration, the former is the less spiritual option.

So what is going on when Leo says "none of your gurus are awake", or "this is not God-realization", or "I have awoken to God many times"? Well, he is talking about a "temporary experiential state", with a definite start and an end, and it's induced by psychedelics. It's not the same thing as refining your "organic state" (your baseline, your default state) through other means like meditation. Therefore, for any of these two parties (spirituality or psychonautics) to dismiss either one as "not awake", is a category error.

Again, I'm not here to pick favorites, and I'm not going to deny the possibility of refining or deepening one's psychedelic trips over time, or of the general impact they can have on one's psyche, or the potential benefits for spiritual growth. I'm simply spelling out how I think these two things should be treated as distinct categories. If I were Leo, I would try to make my language much more accommodating to the dominant paradigm (which I've called spirituality, and which most of his viewers have a connection to). Language does not exist in a vacuum, and language that confuses or misleads is bad use of language.

Edited by Carl-Richard

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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The shtick is realizing what God is. By whatever means works best.

All there is to do is realize God at ever deeper levels until you realize that all your gurus were figures you invented in this vast game that you are playing with yourself.

Surely you must understand that God itself cannot have a guru.

Edited by Leo Gura

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

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39 minutes ago, Carl-Richard said:

I'm simply spelling out how these two things are categorically different.

They are not categorically different at all.

Edited by Leo Gura

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

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9 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

They are not categorically different at all.

Then why are no other gurus awake? They're by definition not in your category. The commonality between all those gurus is that they do not endlessly do psychedelic trips. They're into spirituality, but they're not into psychonautics.

I'm not saying they're perfectly isolated categories. I'm saying they're better treated as categories than not.


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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41 minutes ago, Carl-Richard said:

Then why are no other gurus awake?

Don't get your panties all twisted. They are awake to some degree.

It's a question of degree. How deeply are you conscious of what God is?

Are you conscious enough to understand that you invented the Buddha?

The more conscious you become the more you realize that your Mind is all there is. At that point, why do you need gurus?

There are not categories of consciousness, there is a spectrum of degrees of it.

It's best to think of consciousness like light. You can have a candle, a flashlight, a stadium light, a nuclear blast, the Sun, or a supernova. Most of your gurus are like at the nuclear blast level. My shtick is to guide you to the supernova ;)

Edited by Leo Gura

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

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50 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

The more conscious you become the more you realize that your Mind is all there is. At that point, why do you need gurus?

Cuz I'm not omniscient and they might know or be aware of something that I'm not.

Any fool can learn solipsism. It doesn't necessarily increase consciousness or make anyone awake.

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1 hour ago, Leo Gura said:

Surely you must understand that God itself cannot have a guru.

And yet it can. God sees gurus everywhere. Everything is God's guru, since God is the ultimate Guru. Without gurus, God remains incomplete.

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4 hours ago, Carl-Richard said:

Then why are no other gurus awake? They're by definition not in your category. The commonality between all those gurus is that they do not endlessly do psychedelic trips. They're into spirituality, but they're not into psychonautics.

I'm not saying they're perfectly isolated categories. I'm saying they're better treated as categories than not.

You don't see people like Rupert Spira (or most others in that list) teach that they are a figment of your imagination, or that you are the full God, not a part of it. He would for example definitely claim to be conscious, et cetera. Yes, a lot of the teachers talk about nonduality and oneness, but they don't teach the highest levels of awakening. Not all of them have realized Love either. They've definitely all awakened to something, but it's more of a question of to how much have they awakened.


I am God, Love, Bliss, Consciousness, and Truth. They're all the same.

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@Leo Gura

I think if you were to set up a seminar for "spirituality, consciousness work, and awakening", and the first thing you say is "Welcome! Today I will teach you how to stick 5-MeO-DMT up your butt!", people would be like "Wut? I didn't sign up for this." 

Edited by Carl-Richard

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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On 28.9.2022 at 10:30 AM, amanen said:

You don't see people like Rupert Spira (or most others in that list) teach that they are a figment of your imagination, or that you are the full God, not a part of it. He would for example definitely claim to be conscious, et cetera. Yes, a lot of the teachers talk about nonduality and oneness, but they don't teach the highest levels of awakening. Not all of them have realized Love either. They've definitely all awakened to something, but it's more of a question of to how much have they awakened.

I think this is bullshit. If you research just a modicum of their work, you'll find these ideas ad nauseum. The only way you can conclude this is if your analysis is at the level of words rather than the level of meaning, but if you do that, then no teacher is talking about the same thing.

Edited by Carl-Richard

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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@Carl-Richard I think you're onto something here and that your points are not being sufficiently addressed. The part that really stood out to me from your original post is this:

Quote

So, the reason I'm characterizing Leo's main shtick as "psychonautics" rather than "spirituality" is because of this emphasis on "having the experiences" vs. "integrating them"; states vs. growth

This is a really nice way to frame Leo's work. As you mentioned, I too am not denigrating the value of having the experiences. But I haven't seen a lot from Leo about integration. The main thrust of his work is (like he says above) getting to the supernova. But it's one thing to experience a supernova and then come back to normal for the remainder of your life until your next transient experience of a supernova, and another thing to integrate the experience to alter your baseline state of consciousness (i.e. growth--like you said). I can see how just experiencing the sheer power of a supernova could adjust your baseline to a higher state, especially repeated experiences of that, but I myself have noticed the divide between hearing Leo's words and understanding what it means from an experiential perspective.

I don't think I will until I try 5-MeO-DMT, and Leo has stated in the past that his goal with this work is psychedelic awakening as the method, and that if you can't hang then that's kind of your problem, but it does make it harder to relate to and absorb his more lofty teachings. However, I do appreciate a lot of what he has to say in the realm of just understanding reality from a different perspective, changing who you are in relation to the other people in your life and society (e.g. not being a doormat people-pleaser), and prioritizing solitude and contemplation for coming to new insights about who you are and why.

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@Carl-Richard lol, uhh looking up bridging heaven by Rak Rassam.

Theres plenty of spiritual retreats utilizing psychs…


"Unburdened and Becoming" - Bon Iver

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All these spiritual Gurus teach mind altering Tools. 

Where is the difference to psychedelics, besides that these Tools teached by spiritual Gurus are less efficient and less powerful 

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1 minute ago, Thought Art said:

@Carl-Richard lol, uhh looking up bridging heaven by Rak Rassam.

Theres plenty of spiritual retreats utilizing psychs…

Well, it was kinda a tongue in cheek hypothetical. Still, nobody who says "I went to a seminar about spirituality" actually means "I went to an Ayahuasca retreat in Peru for 10 days" unless they were trying to hide something.


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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@Carl-Richard Well…

Theres a seminar on X

theres a meditation retreat 

Yoga retreat 

contemplation retreat

psychedeic retreat


There are simply different types of spiritual tools and practices. Imo 

Edited by Thought Art

"Unburdened and Becoming" - Bon Iver

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22 minutes ago, OBEler said:

All these spiritual Gurus teach mind altering Tools. 

Where is the difference to psychedelics, besides that these Tools teached by spiritual Gurus are less efficient and less powerful 

Meditation is an organic activity of the body and mind. It's like flexing a muscle. Psychedelics is like injecting anabolic steroids. When you stop injecting, your body will rapidly adjust itself, because it's a self-organizing system which tries to maintain a steady balance between inner and outer states.

It's true that if you stop meditating, your body will also adjust itself. But exactly because meditation is "less efficient and less powerful", it's closer to the normal functioning of the brain, and the more you meditate, the more meditation actually becomes a part of your default state. The same is not true for psychedelics. It's such a metabolically different state.

You can argue that psychedelics can make changes to your default state, but the default state never becomes equal to the psychedelic experience. If that was the case, Leo would probably had to stop taking psychedelics by now because he would have trouble functioning as a human being.

Edited by Carl-Richard

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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9 minutes ago, Thought Art said:

There are simply different types of spiritual tools and practices. Imo 

I'm saying that too, and I want to highlight that difference.

Edited by Carl-Richard

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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Just now, Thought Art said:

@Carl-Richard Seemed like you were saying a little more than that. 

I was saying "states > growth" is anti-spiritual.


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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