Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Pot and Spirituality

Is it "evil" to smoke pot? Wise and good people always obey the law when possible, and pot is illegal.

Is the act of getting high "evil"? No, for nature wants us to enjoy our lives, to create as much joy as possible. In fact,our brains are "drug-factories." They produce a number of families of natural drugs, one family of which is sedatives, and another, euphorics. (A "euphoric" is a drug designed to lift the spirits, to create happiness or natural "highs.") After sex, for example, most people feel these chemicals released from the brain into the bloodstream. Also, other happy events can give us "natural highs." These can last from minutes to hours.

But the fact that we are capable of any number of varieties of natural highs does not automatically okay the use of artificial or natural drugs. Certain cultures use psychotropic agents to boost their spirituality at times, as part of their sacraments. The Rostafarians use ghanja (pot)sacramentally. Is this "evil"? No, for they are sincerely seeking God(Love).

Still, drugs are far too dangerous to use carelessly, for mere "recreation" or entertainment. True, some drugs are "natural." But so is arsenic; but that does not mean that nature created it to be ingested by human beings.

Does the mystic have anything personally against the moderate use of mild drugs? If a drug is used sacramentally, in a sacred manner, by adults, there can be a place for its moderate use. An example is the use of alcohol-- a very potent drug--in the Eucharist or Communion services of most Christian faiths.

This issue can be of great importance to young people. Many of them are too inexperienced to use drugs moderately, or wisely. Everyone reaches that stage, at around age sixteen, of intense and relentless curiosity. The real concern is that the young, inexperienced person will get involved with a drug "crowd," and lose all her spiritual progress. The use of mind-altering substances is dangerous, but the crowd who uses them might be as great a peril. Not wanting to see her spirituality-- such as it is, in embryo-form-- crushed and shattered, we need to do everything possible, reasonable, and loving to support young people who have begun the interior Journey. Everything that we do, we should do
sacramentally-- as a part of our spirituality, and not outside of, or contrary to, it.

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