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First of all im not religous in anyway, I'm certainly not a hippy and have never hugged a tree in my life! I'm a normal bloke with a normal house, job and family.

The reason I'm posting this here is that a lot of people that er indulge in various substances have always seemed to me a little more open minded than your average joe.

All i wanted to do was reccomend a few authours that i have read recently that have opened my mind. you may know them already and you may also think that there a load of complete bollox!!

I personally think they are worth checking out if you are that way inclined.

Eckhart tolle, Deepak chopra and Jiddu Krishnamurti.
I'm not religious at all.
Even though I've been labelled a hippy throughout my life, I fucking hate hippies, & the tree i hugged in the school grounds through turbulent teenage times was the only thing I would miss about being there.

I've never been 'normal' though I do manage to kinda keep up appearances with a 'normal' house, & a job & family that's never normal, thank goodness.

For me, my personal spirituality isn't stuff I consciously seek out in search of greater knowledge, but stuff/people/music/words/conversations/lessons, that I stumble upon in general life, that leave me feeling a little bit more enlightened because of the connection i feel with whatever it is.

I've learned more from watching how good good people operate in a way that just comes naturally to them, than from any chapter written about spirituality
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I got into meditation because I wanted to get high for free, I think a lot of 'enlightened masters' got their start from psychedelics and the like. It is just a case of wanting more from life, then when you start down the path it's inevitable you will want to get more and more until you're satisfied. Sound familiar?
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I've not come across Eckhart Tolle before but quick Googling around suggests it's just Buddhist meditation and mindfulness repackaged for westerners and commercialised. Why bother when the original sources are freely available to anyone who wants them? Not like the Buddhist way really needs the simplification anyways is it? I may be doing Tolle a huge disservice there but I'm not inclined to shell out on any of his stuff to prove myself right or wrong on this anyways! ;)

As for drug users being more open to so-called spiritual or mystical experiences I think it kinda goes with the territory. When the subject-object dichotomy that underpins language breaks down under the influence of a psychedelic you're left with pure awareness. Your relationship to the universe is kind of free and undefined at that moment and you realise that ordinarily everything you experience as 'objective' reality is first filtered through the ego and interpreted by what is a linguistic construct in and of itself. It becomes clear that our sense of self is just a story we tell ourselves in the main about who and what we are, and our place in the universe and that story can be changed at will, all things being essentially subjective experiences. This is Magick in a nutshell, and the foundation stone of meditation and yoga.

Books wise Herman Hesse has done some great stuff, Demian and Siddhartha probably being among his most accessible. I probably learned more about spirituality and philosophy from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig than I've ever learned from anything else. Shame his follow-up Lila was so confused ( or perhaps more accurately, confusing ).
I agree with your opinion on Tolle Sepher. I think he probably is enlightened but what he says is really basic mindfulness techniques with a shitload of mystical promises.. I've read a fair bit of spirituality and I think there are plenty of better sources of information.

For me I think psychedelics can only take you so far. I'm still interested in a few more adventures but right now I'm seeing how practicing meditation has long term effects that go beyond what you can get from entheogens. I'm actually wondering if and how I could combine the two for accelerated progress.
Quote:I'm still interested in a few more adventures but right now I'm seeing how practicing meditation has long term effects that go beyond what you can get from entheogens. I'm actually wondering if and how I could combine the two for accelerated progress.

Me too Steve but thing is I'm just so damned lazy. Been meaning for ages to start back into both the buddhist meditation and the western magickal side of things more seriously for a while, having a good few decent buddhist groups around in Leeds including retreats ( though just missed the last one locally for this year not long back ) and having made contact with my local lodge of the O.T.O. ( 93! ) at long last a few months back after looking for magickal groups of that sort to work with for a while, the Golden Dawn kinda groups I'm most interested in being a little thin on the ground these days! I'm not putting nearly enough effort into the practices themselves, or in taking advantage of the excellent resources I have available. Gotta change that, and soon.

I can definitely vouch for the effectiveness of combining psychedelics with certain ritual practices at least, pentagram rituals, middle pillar, things like that for anyone familiar with them. Had some incredibly powerful experiences there. It's probably cheating but does help make the kind of effect you're aiming for more easily and readily apparent I think. This is partly because it's not always clear what the practice is really driving at in the long term. You most often have to read between the lines and try and work out what's not being said as much as what is being said to really grasp it, but then, how d'you know if you've grasped the right end of the stick even then? With psyches added to the mix it's much easier to obtain the kind of result you're after, so you know better what to aim for next time out without them using the ritual / meditational practices alone. Massively useful in that respect I think, though not a shortcut as such.

Purely as an aside to the above, if anyone's interested in the O.T.O. / Thelema at all, a couple of excellent blogs on the subject here:



IAO131 is about the best intro to Thelemic thought I've come across. Erwin Hessle doesn't suffer fools gladly, a right argumentative cunt likes a good row dismantling idiots publicly line by line by line. Both cut through a lot of the mystic mumbo-jumbo usually spouted on the subject.
I know what you mean about lacking motivation. For me I've now got a regular meditation practice but I only managed to get it going because the alternative, which is feeling like shit, drinking too much, making bad choices etc... eventually becomes worse than sitting down and practicing. Now it kind of feels like the ball is rolling it isn't so tough and the benefits are clear. I'm also in Leeds, but there aren't any vipassana groups that I'm aware of which is what I'm into. I'm planning to go on a longish retreat at the end of the year.

I only know a little about magick. I came across these guys (http://www.thebaptistshead.co.uk/) from a meditation forum but I didn't put a lot of time in. As I understand it magick has applications similar to the law of attraction? Apologies if I'm doing it a mis-service by saying that. Is it difficult to get into? It does look really interesting and intricate.
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I'm not familiar with the different schools Steve, dunno what the difference is at all really. The retreat I was looking at is this one in Ilkley which is associated with the Triratna school that meets as Leeds Buddhist Centre. Just missed their August retreat which I was a bit gutted about cos I was hoping jumping in feet first with a retreat might help get the motivation going better than the odd hour here and there at the Leeds centre. Easily demotivated me, prolly something to do with being a bloody drug user who likes spending most his weekends tripping or summink! ;) Same reason I've not made better use of my Sunday afternoons out with the O.T.O. group, though the venue there is not ideal for an alcoholic newly in recovery, it being in an upstairs room in a bloody pub FFS! Not good early on that really, eh, though feeling strong enough lately to be able to handle that much better so will pull my thumb out of my arse at some point.

Magick, is it complicated? Ummmmm, in the sense that it would still be a lifetimes study for someone 30 years younger than me, yes, you could say that! The Golden Dawn tradition from which most of your 'authentic' schools are derived after a fashion that gave the world Aleister Crowley etc is incredibly complex. Could really go forever with just one small aspect of the tradition, whether that's yoga, meditation, tarot, kabbalah, whatever. Kabbalah's really the foundation stone that informs everything else in that tradition, and that requires you first learn the Hebrew alphabet, how to read / write / pronounce it, what the numerical values of the letters are so you can connect words with the same numerical value, the names of the 10 spheres and 32 paths on the Tree of Life, the God names, angelic names, planets, spirits, colours, shapes, smells, yadda yadda yadda associated with each sphere and path, and how each relates to some aspect of the human psyche, the body, the material universe, and so on. This is no small task, trust me! Been a massive hurdle for me at least, absolute beginner still despite years of reading.

The purpose of it all I think is to provide some kind of link between the sub-conscious and conscious mind, so that you're able to make aspects of the psyche that are internal to the sub-conscious external, where they can be analysed by conscious thought and then re-integrated within the self. It's a kind of symbolic language and set of practices that enable that, kind of similar in intent to psychoanalysis, neuro-linguistic programming, meditation, introspection, yoga etc more than it is simply the law of attraction, though that too, on a deeper level maybe than that is sometimes presented. As above, so below, microcosm = macrocosm. It's difficult to explain, harder to grasp, but real interesting, to me at least.

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