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Psychoactives and Magick

To: (FiatLVX XMagick Listserv)
From: tyagi mordred nagasiva 
Subject: Psychoactives and Magick
Date: Kali Yuga 49941217

Aren't 'workings' a careful and/or intended disconnection (from ordinary 
consciousness) and unbalance (which allows for change)?

It is one thing to utilize a substance within ritual setting.  It is quite
another (to me) to persistently engage them without other purpose than
what is called 'recreation'.  I have found that such lack of discipline
leads quickly to debauch and self-destruction.  This is part of the danger
of using these substances within a culture which encourages dependency.

...I grew up with my mother, who smoked tobacco regularly,
and my brother has followed in her footsteps.  I have explored the very
potent effect of nicotine myself (not only through second-hand smoke but
also with personal experiment) and have not discovered value (though I may
be encountering a native-American Pipe Circle soon).  I have known very
many individuals, however, who felt addicted, and saw the various methods
which they used to attempt to disengage. goal is *NOT* to achieve some sort of otherworldly
residence.  That is, the 'high' or the euphoria or whathaveyou is, for me,
a neat side-effect of the powerful disintegrative and dissolutive effects 
that these substances seem to trigger (Weil promotes the idea that these
effects are not to be found in the substances themselves, and this is why
such things as mystical and magical disciplines may bring about comparable
experiences; I'm inclined to agree).

It is perhaps the unfortunate take-a-happy-pill, recreational attitude
toward the Flesh of the Gods which brings us to abuse it.  Too often we
might benefit from a trickle where we destroy ourselves with a torrent. 

...I don't practice an ordinary sort of 
ceremonial magick, and while I have friends who treat it like a martial 
art in ways (utilizing various basic forms within rites similar to mine), 
I cannot honestly say that the combination of psychoactive substances and 
ceremonial rite would be of any benefit whatsoever. 

Quite to the contrary, I would think that attempting such things would be
VERY VERY DANGEROUS, since part of the effect I have noticed is the abject
dissolution of many protective boundaries of the individual consciousness.
To thereafter install some sort of self-programming measure might be the
most horrible action imaginable IF THAT PROGRAM TURNED OUT TO BE CORROSIVE.

Since my assessment of the various rites of our culture is yet in its
infancy I cannot say with any certainty what sort of dangers would be
involved, yet I can say that I consider the LBRP (at least as Regardie
writes about it in _The Middle Pillar_ and where I've seen it elsewhere)
to be one of the more toxic to my earth-loving, emotional sensitivities.

I haven't seen many other rites that come out of Western occultism which
strike me as much more balanced (aside from some very beautiful Neopagan
and collaborative efforts, that were the exceptions rather than the rule
-- i.e. among people who have very syncretic and sensitive tastes).

My preference is to engage ritual so as to yield permanent transformation 
in the direction of PRESENTNESS, not to attempt to fix myself in an 
'altered state' (though I suppose it might appear this way to those who 
see presentness as 'altered').  I question the wisdom of approaching 
magical disciplines in this way and would love to hear of anyone who 
attempts to achieve such a goal.

I don't know the value of the 'high' except as charming entertainment,
and I have noticed that this effect ...become an OBSTACLE to the use of 
the tool for me.  That is, instead of looking at the greater effect that 
the rites have upon my basic values and lifestyle (what I'm *doing* to 
myself), I look at what kind of short-term feelings I might get out of them.

I'm not knocking ecstasy.  It is a very important experience.  I don't 
think, however, that I can safely engage ecstasy without some sort of
structured relationship around it (defining it as 'ritual space',
restricting myself from indulgence when necessary, etc.), especially
when that state of consciousness is triggered by something which seems
to reside outside my body (and in this such activities as meditation
and masturbation/sex are likely much safer).

...In this 'Just Say No' culture I tend to more
strongly react to the 'look out, this stuff will hurt you; this is your
brain, this is your brain on drugs' type of rhetoric/propaganda.  It is
usually fallacious by omission and the people who are promoting it are
not familiar with the POTENTIALLY EFFECTIVE (respectful) relationship
which we may develop with these substances (I see them as people,
actually, dakinis, rather than as strict 'substances', though I figure
people will understand me better when I use certain language -- there
you go, a time when I conform to your lingo for communication's sake ;>).

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