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Concerning the Abyss of darkness - substance use

Updated: Jan 5

There is a sect of Hindu holy men called the Naga babas and Aghoris who smoke cannabis, use other mind-altering substances, and even drink alcohol as part of their spiritual practice. These substances, known as sacraments, are used to open up the mind to new influences, weaken the body, and train the will and focus. It is believed that by consuming and overcoming these "poisons," one can develop the strength and determination needed to face the challenges of the world.

Among the Naga babas, the act of smoking cannabis from a traditional pipe called chillum is considered so important that it takes precedence over other spiritual practices such as prayer, mantra repetition, and meditation. In fact, in spiritual training (called an ashram), even young initiates are allowed to smoke as much as they like as long as they fulfill their responsibilities and duties. However, it is not a time for leisure or laziness, as the point is to work through the effects of the substance and develop self-control.

I personally experienced the use of mind-altering substances as part of my spiritual training with my guru. During the Kumbh Mela festival, he prescribed 30-40 chillum hits of cannabis per day for me, in addition to other practices. This was not for recreational purposes but to push me to develop my will and mental clarity. As I progressed in my training, he even removed his protective mantra (a kind of psychic shield) and applied additional psychic pressure through his mantras, all while mocking my struggles to maintain clarity. Despite his heavy use of these substances, he remained fully awake and vital at 68.

I have found that using mind-altering substances can be incredibly beneficial for breaking free from limiting beliefs and perspectives, providing new perspectives on reality, and challenging mainstream views ingrained in us. This is something that I have experienced in my own spiritual practice, and it is also something that is explored in the "Teaching of Don Juan" series of books. In these books, the character Don Juan uses various substances and practices to show the protagonist, Carlos Castaneda, what power is and help him question his assumptions about reality.

While some may argue that there are no shortcuts on the spiritual path, I disagree. Many things can help accelerate our progress and bring us closer to our goals, such as working with a guru or using certain practices or substances. However, it is important to recognize that these things can only take us so far. Ultimately, true self-mastery and understanding of the world require consistent hard work and a willingness to undergo painful personal transformation.

Substances like Datura, also known as "devil's weed," can offer temporary experiences of power and provide glimpses into the multi-layered nature of reality. However, it is important to remember that these experiences come at a cost and do not necessarily represent our own personal power or understanding of reality. Instead, they can motivate us to gradually build our power and reassess our perceptions of reality. It is important to approach these substances cautiously and not rely on them too heavily in our spiritual practice.

It is important to remember that mind-altering substances are unreliable sources of spiritual guidance, as the visions and messages they provide are not stable or sustainable in everyday life. In order to have clear communication with the spirit world, it is necessary to have a clear mind. It is also wise to avoid making decisions based on experiences while under the influence of these substances, as they may not hold up to sober reflection. Dreams and other divination methods, like tarot reading, can be more reliable sources of spiritual communication.

It is important to approach the use of mind-altering substances with caution and moderation and to allow oneself time to digest and integrate the experiences. The ultimate goal of spiritual practice is not necessarily mastery over the world but rather the transcendence of mundane perception and the gradual development of spiritual power and enlightenment (called muni). This can be achieved through consistent hard work and a willingness to undergo painful personal transformation. However, individual circumstances (called karma) may impact one's ability to achieve these goals, and it may be more appropriate to focus on transcending the mundane rather than striving for ascension.

As I prepared for ascension, my spiritual fire intensified. I stopped sleeping, eating, and drinking and devoted myself to intense Aghori practice in the cremation ground. The Sadhus and Aghoris around me supported me in this process and even sent powerful Aghoris to assist me. However, after two weeks and a half, my dissatisfaction grew to the point where I realized that ascension was not meant for me at this time. The process of stopping cold turkey was difficult and caused me great turmoil. It took a full year for me to recover and another two years to fully heal. My "shut," or shadow self, burned out in the process, which is necessary for ascension. But my martial arts training, discipline, and strong will helped me to hold on and eventually recover. Instead of striving for ascension, my focus is on "decent" or perfecting my physical body and mind to manifest all I am in this world. I am working towards becoming a living dragon and a grandmaster of the world.

My motto for achieving transcendency is simple:

'I,’ transcend 'that' bullshit, Hance! I am transcendent.

It is clear that mind-altering substances and practices, such as the use of chillum pipes and the consumption of Datura, can be a part of spiritual traditions and offer glimpses into altered states of reality. However, it is important to note that these substances and practices should not be relied upon as a sole means of spiritual exploration and growth. Persistent hard work and personal transformation, along with the guidance of a trusted teacher, are essential in the spiritual journey. It is also crucial to approach these practices with caution and to be mindful of the potential risks and dangers involved. Ultimately, the goal of spiritual growth should be the cultivation of self-mastery and the ability to transcend the mundane rather than simply gaining mastery over the world.

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