The illicit drug problem is not going to go away – in fact I believe it will escalate. We need to widen debate and promote open discussion on all aspects of the issue rather than keeping it in the taboo box.
As a society we are on an accelerated path of development and this applies to every part of life, including recreational drugs. Everything is geared towards increasing sensory stimulation from our food to our entertainment technology to recreational or illicit drugs. You can’t halt this progress. As Richard Rudgley points out in his Encyclopaedia of Psychoactive Substances it was advances in chemistry that allowed many psychoactive substances to be extracted from their plant sources and made into more concentrated forms than ever existed in nature. LSD, the most powerful hallucinogen known to humankind, is a case in point. Rudgley also remarks that, “one can only speculate what even more potent substances await our descendants” (p.xi). Researchers in the field of recreational drugs would probably agree. My own primary source research confirms that there is a host of super-drugs on the way which will cater to the increasing demand for intense sensory experiences.
Technological developments in the medical administration of drugs will also make the use of existing illicit drugs such as heroin more acceptable to mainstream middle-class users. This means a greater percentage of the population will use them, and the drug problem will continue to expand on every level. A recent book about heroin predicts that, as heroin use is so embedded in society, it will become legal, possibly within a decade, and that the new techniques developed for medical drug use would revolutionise heroin use. These include hi-tech means of administering the drug including needle systems which do not leave injection marks and those which use sound waves to help find veins. These technologies were not developed for illicit drug use, but the vast profit margins in the illicit drug industry mean that new technology can be quickly picked up and adapted. There is no lack of funding for recreational drug development. It was estimated that the income of the drug barons is an annual $254 thousand million – an amount greater than the American defence budget; (Carnwath T, Smith I, Heroin Century Routledge, London 2002).
This is an economic force that will not be stopped by ‘just saying no’. But, like any other market, the drug market is driven by demand, so the solution lies in identifying that demand and fulfilling it by different means. The demand is for ever-intensifying heightened states and current drug use reflects this. For example, whereas in the old days we tended to focus on one drug for periods of time, polydrug use is now becoming much more common. People are developing their own combinations of hard and soft, and licit and illicit drugs to get higher and stay there longer. Even the more powerful drugs, such as ice and crack, the purer forms of methamphetamine and cocaine, do not deliver enough anymore. Now ice-users report to me that there is a very particular experience some refer to as the ‘zone’. After three days and nights of constant ice use they reach a place where they are simultaneously fast and slow. They have the action of the methamphetamine but the ability to sit back and enjoy it at the same time (yin and yang). However, the risk of becoming psychotic on the way to the zone is ever-present. This is obviously not desirable and I am sure we will see the development of a ‘better’ drug that can generate that state in a much shorter time.
The media recently reported that marijuana consumption is declining in young people, but I believe the public are being lulled into a false sense of security with reports like this. My experience indicates that young people aren’t turning away from drugs; they are turning towards more intense and more ‘rewarding’ drug experiences. We are conditioned to seek constant improvement and even the best hydroponic dope can’t match the intensity of ice. I think the current boom in ice use really indicates the metaphysical acceleration thatwe are undergoing. Drugs such as ice create the impression for the user that they are on track. They feel they are accelerating as fast as the universe is expanding. But as this expansion increases, ice will soon be a thing of the past, replaced by a drug that will capture the best of all the previous drugs to provide an almost God-like experience and to unify the person with creation, perhaps giving a glimpse what it feels like to create new universes and galaxies.
Timothy Leary, often labelled ‘the high priest of LSD’, believed that LSD and other hallucinogens would be the focus of 21st century religion (Rudgley, p. 151). There is an increasing interest in the Ayahuasca (a psychoactive substance prepared from a combination of plants) churches underway, but I don’t think that will ever hit mainstream. Perhaps the future psychoactive drugs that provide temporary chemical enlightenment will prove Leary right. However, there will be a price exacted for this and the social ramifications will be devastating. I recently had several clients experimenting with Ayahuasca in a guided environment. A common factor as the drug took hold was the necessity for them to choose to make a transition from one state to another. One of the participants felt an incredible negative energy bearing down on him and he had to truly become humble in himself before it lifted and he was allowed insights into his own psyche. Ayahuasca is a natural substance and I do think that in some contexts the feelings it generates are the result of pressure being applied to blockages in the energy field of the body, but the laboratory-generated drugs are not like this. The onset of an LSD trip, for example, feels like a forcible chemical shift and the new drugs will do this in a much more powerful manner. I think the side-effects will be much worse than anything we have seen, including the horrific rise in methamphetamine psychosis.
However, within the destructive forces of the drugs there is a seed for creation that has equal potential but for a positive not negative outcome. To identify this we have to go back to the issue of demand. People want these drugs. If they didn’t, the illicit drug business would not exist. But what they want is the ‘ultimate experience of human existence’. This is great, it’s just that they are chasing it through chemical means which are not sustainable and which deliver the opposite outcome. I truly believe that the only way to control the drug epidemic and change the future is to show people a better way to get what they want rather than telling them to say no to drugs, which means saying no to what they want. We are moving towards enlightenment. People are sensing this. So we need to provide effective tools for achieving this outcome. We need an alternative to drugs, but one which is on par with the drug experience; otherwise people will choose drugs. I know that alternative methods are available because I use them on a daily basis and I’ve got plenty of drug experiences to compare them with. In the ‘psychedelic practice’ that I use nowadays without drugs I feel the same dream-like quality of being asleep while being awake that I loved about marijuana. I also feel emotional freedom, celebration and bonding, experiences which in the old days I had only achieved by taking illegal substances. On a good day I can even reach states that feel like a mix of cocaine, heroin and orgasm all at once. This is because the practice involves all organs and is balanced in yin and yang, whereas most drugs target only one organ and are either yin (e.g. heroin) or yang (e.g. speed). I draw upon a whole lot of techniques from the East and West to create the desired effect, including elements of tai-chi, yoga, meditation, endurance and weight training.
These practices are all developing as well. We have new combination forms like yoga and pilates or martial arts and aerobics and we also have access to powerful forms of meditation. I think that if, like the drug manufacturers, we can develop some sort of super-form where we incorporate meditation as the template for perfection, weight training for piezoelectric transcendence into the grid of free-flowing chi and endurance training for making the unconscious conscious, then we will have a powerful alternative to the drugs.
Once you realise what you can do with your body, mind and spirit you will lose interest in illicit drugs. Drugs are man-made and it doesn’t matter how much technology develops, they can never reach the power and intensity of what the creative forces of the universe can deliver.
The only drawback is that this alternative method does not yet deliver as faster result as drugs and you need to make an effort to get the result. Even as the new forms of practice become accelerated this will remain the case. It is as if the effortlessness of achieving these states with drugs in the past now has to be compensated for by making effort to get there again. Whether you have taken drugs or not, when you undertake this accelerated practice, the door to real magic opens every day. If we get in there and work together on developing this alternative and then start training programs for school students and ex-drug users and anyone who wants to reach their full potential, the drug industry will decline.
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