(from "Ride the Tiger")




[...] the "personal equation" and the specific zone on which drugs, here including alcohol, act, lead the individual toward alienation and a passive opening to states that give him the illusion of a higher freedom, an intoxication and an unfamiliar intensity of sensation, but that in reality have a character of dissolution that by no means "takes him beyond." In order to expect a different result from these experiences, he would have to have at his command an exceptional degree of spiritual activity, and his attitude would be the opposite of those who seek and need drugs to escape from tensions, traumatic events, neuroses, and feelings of emptiness and absurdity.

I have already pointed out the African polyrhythmic technique: one energy is locked into continuous stasis in order to unleash an energy of a different order. In the inferior ecstaticism of primitive peoples this opens the way for possession by dark powers. I have said that in our case, this different energy should be produced by the response of the "being" (the Self) to the stimulus. The situation created by the reaction to drugs and even alcohol is no different. But this kind of reaction almost never occurs; the reaction to the substance is too strong, rapid, unexpected, and external to be simply experienced, and thus the process cannot involve the "being." It is as if a powerful current penetrated the consciousness without requiring assent, leaving the person to merely notice the change of state: he is submerged in this new state, and "acted on" by it. Thus the true effect, even if not noticed, is a collapse, a lesion of the Self, for all his sense of an exalted life or of a transcendent beatitude or sensuality.

For the process to proceed differently, it would go schematically as follows: at the point in which the drug frees energy x in an exterior way, an act of the Self, of "being," brings its own double energy, x + x, into the current and maintains it up to the end. Similarly, a wave, even if unexpected, serves a skilled swimmer with whom it collides by propelling him beyond it. Thus, there would be no collapse, the negative would be transformed into positive, no condition of passivity would be formed with respect to the drug, the experience in a certain way would be de-conditioned, and, as a result, one would not undergo an ecstatic dissolution, devoid of any true opening beyond the individual and only substantiated by sensations. Instead, in certain cases there would be the possibility of coming into contact with a superior dimension of reality, which was the intention of ancient, non-profane drug use. To a certain degree, the harmful effect of drugs would be eliminated.


An effective use of these drugs would presuppose a preliminary "catharsis," that is, the proper neutralization of the individual unconscious substratum that is activated; then the images and senses could refer to a spiritual reality of a higher order, rather than being reduced to a subjective, visionary orgy. One should emphasize that the instances of this higher use of drugs were preceded not only by periods of preparation and purification of the subject, but also that the process was properly guided through the contemplation of certain symbols. [...]

In general, one must keep in mind that drug use even for a spiritual end, that is, to catch glimpses of transcendence, has its price. How drugs produce certain psychic effects has not yet been determined by modern science. It is said that some, like LSD, destroy certain brain cells. One point is certain: Habitual use of drugs brings a certain psychic disorganization; one should substitute for them the power of attaining analogous states through one's own means. Therefore, when one has chosen a path based on the maximum unification of all one's psychic faculties, these drawbacks must be kept firmly in mind.




click here to return to JuliusEvola.Net /text archive