Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 01:46:21 +1200 (NZST)
From: Brian Sandle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Comments on TWC-L
On Tue, 2 Jul 1996, Tony Halmarack wrote:
> In message <email@example.com> Brian Sandle wrote:
> > And I ask that anyone supplying psychoactive substances, or data about
> > them, considers having a support network at the ready for those who use
> > them to their detriment.
> In the TWC infrastructure that I advocate, all aspects of the experience would
> be supported and safeguarded, within the limititations of human ability.
Safeguarding is so important right throughout the human experience. There
has just been a conference in New Zealand on medicine at the turning
point. Prof Beaglehole was interviewed about it yesterday on radio. He
said we need to turn to prevention. Most people are inviegled into
smoking at the age of 11 or 12 when they can't be expected to make free
choices for themselves without influence. Every time they purchase at the
supermarket here they must pass by all the tobacco products very close at
eye level at point of sale. Well perhaps not every single aisle. In
ordeer to support the non-smoking choice and health options it would be
necessary for a start to move the tobacco products away from point of
sale for one thing. So would you have no pressure on those who are about
to die to try an experience? And I have said I believe people are never
totally grown up (not sufficiently to understand the implications of
It is being claimed that the point of death time is important. I worry
about new psychoactive chemicals being introduced at that point. It may
even be worse than the case of the school teacher who is no longer able to
after he has been inviegled into psychoactive drug usage on the grounds
that he needs to understand his pupils lives. That former teacher then
has much time to come to terms with the situation, though even then he
mayn't. The point of death person does not have that time.
> > Tony indicates a willingness to consider support for failures, though he
> > perhaps doesn't give enough credence to harmful effect when he says
> > `failure to have the desired effect'.
> I believe a lot of work has been done on the therapeutic use of hallucinogens,
> though I don't claim to be familiar with much of it at this stage. That's why
> I wish to investigate and discuss it via this mailing list.
> Though the "desired effect" will be specific to the individual, it's probably
> safe to say that a positive, reassuring shift in perception, would be the
> object of the exercise. Any possibility of a negative, disturbing effect would
> need to be averted. The situation as a whole would be guided and supported
> by people with the appropriate skills. Having said this, I believe these
> objectives would be best achieved within a warm, socially oriented framework,
> as opposed to a clinical, stainless steel environment. While all available
> medical benefits would be sought, there would surely be a time for the white
> coated scientists to take a back seat. Perhaps a midwifely presence would be
> the most appropriate on this particular journey.
Just the same as for any death? But death is something to know in the
whole of life. Not just the physical letting go which comes, but
psychological letting go which can happen every day.
> > I have some knowledge of Aldous Huxley's journey, though I feel the
> > environment to be very important in what happened to him.
> Setting is very important and is one aspect of the situation that could be
> most easily developed.
> > Some twenty years ago I read a book `Myself and I' about psychedelics and
> > psychotherapy. The patient was very pleased that her therapist understood
> > classical music as an important environmental aspect.
> Music seems to play a part in many peoples spiritual development.
> I hope it features as an important aid within the TWC.
> > J.Krishnamurti, philosopher of life's journey, says he never took
> > psychedelic drugs, though perhaps illness played part in his insights.
> Good for him. It must be wonderful to attain spiritual enlightenment
> without recourse to drugs. I seek this form of enlightenment myself
> but just in case I don't make it by this route, I would appreciate a
> chemical alternative.
Carlos Castaneda's work has been mentioned already on this list. `The
Teachings of Don Juan' considered drug experiences towards insight,
though after several books, I think it was `Journey to Ixtlan' drugs were
not considered to be an essential part of the process.
Perhaps from a source with some connections to the Gurdjieff Ouspensky
philosophy (discussed somewhat on alt.consciousness.4th-way) I have heard
that drugs may give a glimpse of what is to come but will not avert the
hard work of the attaining, if you believe you can attain by desire,
though, there could be lots of errors.
> > I feel that environment may be more important than medication, though you
> > may remember I have said on talk.euthanasia that starvation is a normal
> > death for animals and cancer patients. It may have effects which damage
> > the body, I said, and should not be played around with.
> Starvation, flagellation and various deprivations have been used to reach
> awareness. Most of these methods rely on chemical changes in the brain. I'd
> go for the most clean and painless method of achieving this that was
> available to me, at my time of need.
If you followed the `Medical Swindle'thread on talk.euthanasia then you
will remember that pure vitamin C does not work as well as naturally
prepared vitamin C which has impurities (bioflavanoids) from plants.
Mammals often die of starvation, and it is more natural and probably has
other components which a derived substance cannot offer in the time of
its action. (Damage not considered).
> > And to help agaisnt delusion from wrong medication and environment let us
> > take a quick look at `levels' that we may be dealing with.
> > I quote from `Silent Invasion' by Ellen Crystall:
> > "In my judgement, many people don't know what they are channelling. They
> > assume they are tuning in to aliens when in reality they are contact
> > their own spirit guides or even what metaphysics calls the higher self -
> > a level of awareness even beyond spirit guides. In all my experience of
> > contacting the aliens and bringing talented psychics to Pine Bush to
> > attempt to contact the aliens, none of us were able to channel the
> > aliens. In fact several psychics who tried were surprised to learn that
> > something like a wall of energy surrounds the aliens, protecting them
> > from any attempts to reach them on the psychic level, whether through
> > telepathy, clairvoyance or astral projection."
> I wouldn't knock anyone's subjective findings. It's possible that there are
> other more useful interpretations and experiences that would be better
> models for our purposes.
If you think psychic perception to be the goal, which I challenge, then
you might consider the Theosophical Publishing House book `Clairvoyance'
by C.W.Leadbeater. It considers intentional and unintentional
clairvoyance, clairvoyance in space, time, using the astral body, or
instead the mental body. Or astral travel. To me the drug experience
might be like putting all the levels in the mincer. Going backwards like
when the baby does not separate the senses. (Note that some people never
do get them totally separated which can be a problem - colours are evoked
by sound, for example).
Leadbeater had said in another book that cigarette smoking hardens the
barrier between physical and astral, an effect which has repercussions
after the death state.
But please be careful with all this. As I said there is much power in
environment, and `spiritual' books do manipulate that.
> > So I worry that by prescribing psychoactive medication yu will only be
> > giving some sort of expensive entertainment at a particular `level',
> Your Puritanical streak is showing again Brian. Fun is not a sin in
> everyone's book. It may even be a vehicle for spiritual development.
Though what is fun to you may not be to everyone. I have been chastised
for analogies on talk.euthanasia, but as a cellist I take great umbrage
at the `fun' some modern composers have when they ask impossible things
of players. Or when they ask for the stick of the bow to be used with
great force on the strings, removing bits of varnish. I hope for other
tone qualities to be explored. Why are various weights of mutes never
bothered with? There is so much in the facets of life which a person has
to be developed upon by the `deathwife' without `smashing' the instrument.
A change in perception to the psychic may be part of `salvation' for some,
you may be sold that.
> >and that the
> > entertainment will be hoped for again and again, which is nothing to do
> > with spiritual development. The opposite to development may be occurring.
> Maybe, but that isn't the effect we'd be seeking, is it?
You see you need to understand about seeking and not seeking. The process
of seeking colours what is found.
> > > Now why do I deserve "ire" for wanting to edjucate someone about someone
> > > else's life?
> > I was being advised not to discuss other than the point of death
> > experience, but you appeared to be, as I explained.
> My limited education in these matters is something I seek to overcome.
> I found the Bardo Thodol (Tibetan Book of the Dead) enlightening and
> convincing. My understanding of it's meaning is that life and death
> are indivisible parts of the same cycle. In this sense the perceptions
> of life are subject to the same conditions as the perceptions of death.
> If spiritual enlightenment is a prerequisite for a "Good" death, then
> it is equally necessary for a "Good" life. I hope that the methods used
> to attain this enlightenment are going to be under discussion on
> this list.
I've never come upon this book. I have looked at one of Alexandra David
Neel's books. But having ideas to try to match up to may be a faulty
thing to do. I don't go for the `in' thing. Perhaps what you are being
offered you had already, and you are being sold something less. Another
analogy but my old car has good soft springing for bumps on roads and
plenty of head room for me. I avoid being sold by outer appearances, or
just for the sake of something new.
> The odd chuckle wouldn't come amiss either, as far as I'm concerned.
> Have fun,
> Tony Halmarack =(*)= Tony@halmarax.demon.co.uk