Brad Warner:


During the discussion, one of the supporters of drug abuse as a way to gain spiritual insight started in with the time worn cliché that drugs are like taking a helicopter to the top of a mountain rather than climbing it. You get the same breathtaking view as someone who has climbed the mountain. But you get there much quicker and more easily. “You can’t deny it’s exactly the same view,” one guy said. But, in fact, I would unequivocally deny that it’s the same view. It’s not. Not at all.

To a mountain climber, the goal of mountain climbing is not the moment of sitting on top enjoying the view. That’s just one small part of the experience. It may not even be the best part. To a mountain climber, every view, from every point on the mountain is significant and wonderful.

People who think that the pinnacle of the experience is that moment of being right on the tippy-top, don’t understand the experience at all. The poor attention addled things probably never will.

What I am working on in meditation involves every single moment of life. So-called “peak experiences” can be fun. But they no more define what life is about that so-called “mundane experiences.” When you start making such separations, you have already lost the most precious thing in life, the ability to fully immerse yourself in every experience.


I wholeheartedly agree that the whole point of “consciousness-raising” experiences should be to cultivate a sense of appreciation for the moments of life that we normally ignore in our rush to get somewhere more interesting where something more important is supposedly happening (the majority of our lives, in other words). I’d also add that, of all the people I’ve known who have used drugs, none of them have ever relayed any profound insights as a result, anything that couldn’t have been arrived at via ordinary thought. Wow, smoking bales of pot and absorbing truckloads of psychedelics have convinced you that war sucks, we’re all one and people need to love each other more? Thanks for traveling to the outer limits to bring us that important news, dude.