My first acid trip was, I thought, a beautiful spiritual experience. It satisfied the deepest desires of my soul. I understood the ultimate goal of human existence. I felt utterly complete. It was as if a filter had been removed and all my senses could finally function at optimal level. I could taste colour, see sound, hear people’s thoughts. I felt I was an integral part of a something much bigger than myself. I had cosmic significance and I wanted more.
I spent the following decade chasing that state through drugs, but I never again recaptured that perfect intoxicating mix of exhilaration, liberation and euphoria: the thrill of the realisation that the world was going to change; the anticipation of a life of limitless opportunity and wonder stretching ahead of me. Instead, the magical, colourful hippie world collapsed and my dreams vanished with it. The drugs that I used to try to generate that state took me to the depths of despair and the brink of death. I became a speed-addict and anarchist, I lost my passion to change the world and I was left with depression, emptiness and a sense of loss.
It took me years of experiential and theoretical research into health, fitness and self-improvement to regain some excitement about life and to discover that what I had been searching for had been within me all the time.
Initially though, like many ex-drug users, I hid my past. My head remained full of unanswered questions about what I had experienced on drugs and what I had done to myself, but Western medicine, with its separation of body and mind and its disregard of spirit, offered no answers. I had also been socially programmed into believing that my drug use was wrong and I was bad for doing it. So I cut my hair, took my jewellery off and tried to be like everyone else. After years working as a counsellor with street kids, I studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and a breakthrough occurred. TCM differs from Western medicine in that there is no division between psychology and medicine, and body, mind and spirit are all equally important. It was a language that could finally describe every good, bad or weird feeling I had experienced on drugs. In TCM we are born perfect. We are born with a body in which chi flows freely allowing fluid physical movement and perfect organ function. In TCM our organs create our psychological, emotional and spiritual reality. If we have a free-flowing energy field, the heart provides feelings of love, joy and excitement, the liver creates happiness, the kidneys – strength and willpower, the spleen – clarity of thought and the lungs allow us to live in the now.
One-year old children are great examples of this state. They are pure love, pure joy, pure happiness, they have willpower and mental clarity, they know what they want and they live in the present. One-year olds hold no grudges, have no fear of the future and know no limitations. If you were to snort some great quality cocaine, then all of a sudden you may feel like this too. You may feel love, joy, excitement, happiness, strength, power, clarity and you would live in the moment, in the now. So, in a way, we could say that drugs sometimes return us to a state that we subconsciously recognise but haven’t experienced for years because, as we grow up, we develop blockages in our energy field. These blockages, which occur primarily at the acupuncture points, prevent the chi from flowing freely. In TCM pain occurs when chi is not moving freely in the energy field. So these blockages make our bodies feel stiff and sore and our organs can no longer function at peak level. This means on an emotional level the heart manifests shock and anxiety, the liver – frustration, the kidneys – weakness and fear, the spleen –confusion, and with reduced Chi to the Lungs, the person lives in the past and is anxious about the future.
A drug like cocaine or speed can make this all vanish in a moment because it gives an impression of the organs functioning at peak level again. I remember in the initial stages of my speed use, it would make me feel that I was spiritually, emotionally and physically perfect. But those feelings were not real; they were drug-induced. However, I understand now that they gave me a glimpse of how I could feel naturally or even perhaps how humans are truly destined to feel. Spiritual masters, leaders and gurus, regardless of which practice they follow, Taoist, Buddhist, Hindu, etc., all describe similar states of bliss, of vibrating with euphoria. They feel invincible, perfect. One spiritual leader I met even described himself as feeling as if he were in a permanent state of orgasm. But they feel like this because, through disciplined daily practice, correct action and appropriate diet, combined with their commitment to attain perfection, they have created an organ condition and energy field capable of experiencing bliss and euphoria on a permanent basis.
Drugs create the opposite situation. They ignore the blockages in the energy field and flush chi to the internal organs but, as this is a corruptive action, it increases the blockages – so afterwards even less Chi moves and pain increases. The great feelings are gone and then the opposite feelings arise. This is why so many of us, myself included, who took drugs to celebrate the hippie dream and the new age ended up feeling powerless, disillusioned, depressed and directionless. Drugs take us further and further away from our destiny. They separate us from our dreams and visions. Simply stopping drugs is not the answer though. I have had scores of patients who give up and then permanently feel as if something is missing. They follow cleansing diets or seek esoteric answers but I think if you have used drugs then you need to find a way to continue the journey, to recapture the feelings, the excitement and the bliss. But this time, use the reverse process. Instead of exploiting and depriving the organs, work on reducing the blockages step by step and regaining perfect organ function.
Blockages in the energy field are crystalline in nature and, like other crystals that occur in nature, they are subject to the piezo-electric effect. That is, if you put pressure on a crystal, then stored energy emanates. I have discovered from my own experience and decades as a therapist that the following five factors put pressure on a crystal and reduce it in size:
acupuncture / bodywork
herbs / supplements
Chi conscious exercise
In acupuncture the needles are applied directly onto blocked points and, in practices such as bodywork, therapists use their hands to apply pressure to these points. Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements (which need to be prescribed by a professional) also reduce blockages. Their effect on a blockage can be similar to adding a drop of detergent to instantly cut through grease. Correct diet is really important. Junk food, full of sugar and fat, is now part of most people’s diet but these foods simply can’t produce the blood, chi and nutrients required for free flow and perfect organ function. However, if you eat good nutritional foods they decrease blockages and build chi and blood. By chi-conscious exercise, I refer to practices such as yoga and tai-chi which put you in postures designed to apply pressure to specific blocked points. Meditation I always put as a last step because true meditation is not merely a relaxation technique, but an instantaneous de-obstruction of the energy field. To process such high-quality software though you need to constantly upgrade the hardware – your organs, blood and chi. I have seen many people take up high-powered forms of meditation but ignore all the other factors such as diet, exercise and regularity, and then end up almost as unbalanced as a drug-user.
Drugs aren’t spiritual. They might provide a conscious experience of the unconscious and the cosmic consciousness, but it is when the repair process begins that it becomes a spiritual journey. Interestingly, the new age is characterised by both the astronomical rise of the illicit drugs industry but also of spirituality and the wellness industry. I see this as no coincidence. Just as our past actions create our present pain, our present actions can create our future bliss. When we break down the blockages we have developed through drugs (or other inappropriate lifestyle factors such as poor diet) anxiety, uncertainty, fear and pain dissipate and we naturally end up on the spiritual path. It delivers us back to free-flow, back to the states of exhilaration, power, joy and love that are our birthright.
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