I was hugging my friend on the dance floor when all of a sudden a girl I have never seen before or since grabbed my arm.
– She needs your help, she said before vanishing into the crowd again before I could answer her.
I looked around and tried to find my girlfriend but couldn’t. When I looked toward the entrance I saw a friend gesturing to me to come.
– Your girlfriend needs you. She’s outside.
Police were moving in to close down the party and I found her outside the entrance a little stressed over the situation.
– I really wanted you to come so I asked your friend to get you and also called to you telepathically.
There are mainly two kinds of drug use discussed in the public discourse, and they are often connected. It’s ABUSE and RECREATIONAL USE. Since we are basically only talking about those two, it is easy for the uninitiated to believe that these are the only uses that drugs have. This view is reinforced by the fact that the primary legal drug – alcohol – has few other uses than partying. But there are at least a couple of other, far more important uses for psychedelics. Here are the four main uses that I have identified:
1. Recreational use. The substance is used as a social lubricant and to have fun.
2. Medical use. The substance is used to cure or relieve a condition, or to find an acceptance for what is. Psychedelics have been used successfully to cure such things as substance abuse, depression, post-traumatic stress and fear of death. Psychedelics are especially valuable for working with psychosomatic conditions, where the disease wholly or partly stems from mental or emotional imbalances.
3. Spiritual use. The substance is used with spiritual purpose, in ritual or to get in direct contact with higher or other dimensions. Psychedelics have been used for this purpose for many thousands of years, often under the guidance of a shaman, medicine man, witch, or other spiritual guides. Some examples of common experiences are getting in direct contact with God / Mother Earth / the Universe, communication with angels / spirits / the dead / past lives, contact with other dimensions, contact with plants and animals, telepathy, the experience that all is one and that we all belong together.
The substance is used to flee reality. Abuse is charactarized by obsessive craving and unconscious behaviour.
Of course it is extremely difficult to have a sensible discussion about drugs and legislation with someone who does not have this basic understanding, that substances can serve more than one purpose. Writing laws with the misconception that there is only recreational use and abuse is extremely problematic, because it is at the same time criminalizing people’s inherent rights to heal and have their own spiritual practice.
Main photo: Tian Tan Buddha at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China by R Barraez D´Lucca on Flickr