I’m pretty sure that all of us have experienced contagious laughter. Someone starts laughing which triggers others to laugh and soon enough everyone is laughing. It’s the same with yawning. Seeing someone else yawning will very often make you yawn too.
What many people are less aware of is that it doesn’t stop there. It goes without saying that it is easy to get angry when someone is angry with you, but it is less obvious that someone else’s confusion might rub off in the same way.
All states can be contagious. Laziness is contagious. Dreams are contagious, as are depressions. This is especially true when you are less conscious, have a weak third eye or lack determination. Such people are more easily swayed by others emotions and visions, but very few people are so strong of mind and heart that they are immune. Therefore it is important to be aware of what you are picking up from other people and ultimately what people and emotions you are surrounding yourself with.
If you are in a state which you do not want to be in there is a very real chance that it doesn’t actually belong to you. Then you need to track the source and disconnect. Sometimes that can mean to get rid of the relationship, but it doesn’t always need to be that drastic. In some cases it is enough to become aware of where you have been picking it up and to leave that emotion with that person.
If you are in a bad state and you are the source, then be aware that you are contagious. You are contaminating the environment around you. You might think that how you feel is your own business but that is not the case, especially if you have children. Your confusion, laziness, anger, depression, anxiety, bitterness or whatever will rub off on them. Get your act together and take responsibility for the mess that you are creating. Change to create something different.
This is a question that I sometimes get from people who do not understand why others want to get involved with “drugs”. The question itself is revealing, because it is obvious that the person has alcohol as a reference, which limits their understanding of other substances. It is rarely clear in everyday conversation that “drugs” can have other uses than intoxication.
Intoxication is only one of several states that alcohol and drugs are used to achieve. To broaden the subject, I would rather use the phrase mind altered states. Why do people want to achieve altered states of mind? By changing the words I hope that it will be clearer that substances may have more to them than only intoxication.
But let’s still begin with the state of intoxication. Alcohol is the typical example of an intoxicating drug, because it has few other purposes. In small or moderate use it can work well as a social lubricant or as relaxation. At high consumption it is an excellent escape drug, which explains its high potential for abuse. There are a large number of drugs with similar characteristics, or that are at least used in similar ways – as intoxication, social lubricant or as an escape. Opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, some prescription drugs and cannabis, to name a few.
But what other altered states of mind are people who take different substances looking for? Speaking of cannabis, there has long been talk about the plants medicinal properties. Some medicinal properties can certainly be isolated so that you can get the medical effect without the altered state of mind, but in other cases the altered state is strongly linked to the medical effect. Cannabis is used to relieve chronic pain and difficulty coping with stress, to name just a couple of uses.
Another group of substances that is much more mind altering is psychedelics, also called hallucinogens or entheogens. With these I have experienced everything from extreme confusion to total clarity, but I have never felt intoxication to be a valid word for my experiences. From a Western medical perspective, these substances can be used as therapeutic tools. They might give me the opportunity to become aware of and release that which is restricting me, help me heal past trauma, give me insight into who I am, give me a sense of purpose and my place in the world. The question of why I choose to intoxicate myself becomes very strange, because I am working therapeutically with the substance in order to heal and grow. The abuse potential of these substances are remarkably low, since they typically raise your awareness in a manner which makes you want to quit any substance abuse.
Another place where virtually all cultures seek altered states of consciousness is in the spiritual. Some achieve it through prolonged meditation, others in intense dance, through drumming, singing, beating themselves, with yoga, in prayer, in ceremonies, sweat lodges, through sex, separated from the world, or in close, intimate contact with it. One of mankind’s oldest ways to connect with the higher divine is by plants, which is a tradition that we know is more than twice as old as the Bible, and probably many times older yet. There are a few scenarios where it might be relevant to talk about intoxication, but in most spiritual contexts the word intoxication is extremely inappropriate, as the goal is rather to open up to other realities, for example so one can be able to speak with nature, spirits, ancestors, angels and the highest divine.
I understand that I have not given an answer to the original question. I have rather tried to explain that there are several other reasons to take drugs than just to get intoxicated. If we seriously want to answer the question of why people want to get intoxicated, we first need to take a step back and make these distinctions. Otherwise there is the risk that we confuse abuse with use, medical use or spiritual exploration. It is not helpful if we actually want to understand why people get intoxicated.
In conclusion I should probably have a go at answering the actual question. I think of the word intoxication as being connected to the word escape, which in turn connects to the word abuse. Intoxication is a very narrow and limited way to use a substance; a way that suggests that the person is out of balance. People are trying to escape themselves for many reasons, but what these people seem to have in common is that they often lack the tools and/or the driving force to handle the situation differently. People who live their lives in a haze do so because they don’t understand how it could be done differently. To unlock the mechanism that makes people want to escape through intoxication, we first need to identify what the person is trying to escape from and then confront and come to terms with it. When the reason we want to escape is healed, we no longer have the urge to do so.
Main photo: Self portrait – Me and my right hand man by MattysFlicks on Flickr
I once had a jade necklace that must have been magical. Every time I put it on I got new friends. I loved it so much that I gave it to the best boss I ever had.
Pretty soon I missed the feeling of making new friends so easily, so I ordered a new jade necklace. I was however a little disappointed when I put on it, because it didn’t give me new friends. But after a while I noticed that the necklace had a very harmonizing effect. When I put on it, I had a loving calm and felt balanced. It was a great necklace for working with others. I loved it so much that I gave it to a refugee child that needed it more than I did.
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If you’re looking for something but are unable to find it, you might be looking for the wrong thing.
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I was enticed to go to God Goes Deep, an electronic meditative experience in Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady) in Copenhagen. Deep House someone whispered to me, but I haven’t a clue. It felt natural to meditate, so I did so with the expectation of finding spiritual activity in the church. But it was dead. The only angel who appeared to be present was made of marble and God did not seem to care for the place.
After a while I accepted that it was not a place for spiritual contact, but wondered to myself what it was. Immediately I felt human emotions. I sat close to the altar and felt so very much love. The love between people who marry. It’s a fantastically joyous love. But gradually two other very strong emotions that were instilled in the room emerged – fear and confusion.
Church is a place for people.
It is not a place for angels, God or Jesus. It is not a place of miracles, for contact with higher realities or even a power spot. It is a place for people and people’s emotions.
Love. Fear. Confusion.
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If you’re not getting the message, you might not be tuned in to the right frequenzy.
In loving memory of Maple + Malik Bendjelloul + 2014-05-13 Robin Williams + 2014-08-11
…and the approximately 3000 other people who commit suicide each day…
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The text should be read with the understanding that reincarnation is a reality, that we all live hundreds of lives and that the soul is constantly looking for new experiences. The text is a channeling of a friend of mine, who committed suicide.
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– To commit suicide is not necessarily bad. There are lives that are too difficult to live. Lives that are meant to be short. What was it like to die?
– It was harsh and disgusting. I was scared and I didn’t die quickly. Then what happened?
– Jesus came to get me. It was really nice. Why did you kill yourself?
– I could not live. This life had to be short. But that’s not important, because I will be reborn again soon. It’s painful for those who are alive, but for me my death was a tremendous relief. I’m fine now. I have passed over to the other side. It was the right choice for me.
Does everyone who commits suicide end up where you did?
– No, many are confused and believe that the confusion and the pain will end when they die. But it does not stop. It just goes on and they bring the confusion and pain into their next life.
– It is simply more complex than labeling suicide as right or wrong. As humans, we make it easy for ourselves by being categorical, but that prevents us from seeing all that a suicide can be.
– What we do not address in this life, we will face in the next. Using suicide to avoid having to work through something will not work. But all suicides are not attempted escapes. Sometimes the soul is simply ready to move on. To commit suicide is also a lesson that we will all need to experience.
– To commit suicide may also be a way to get rid of bad influences. If, for example, one has become obsessed, the intruding energy will automatically be removed when you die. It may be the only way to get rid of it.
What would you say to those considering suicide?
– Dare to live. Suicide is not an option among many. It is a conclusion of this life which leads to a reboot or re-launch. It’s a shame to start over again and having to go through the same things if the problem could have been solved in this life.