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Re: Drugs
February 14, 2014, 10:08:22 AM
Well said :) It is best to not forget our place in the world. We are miniscule.

Re: Drugs
February 14, 2014, 10:27:52 AM
There are only three paths - the mind, the soul, or the sword.
And the mind was open like the sights in a dream,
While the soul reached out forever, beyond sight, beyond dreams.
And the sword was no more than a stone around my neck.

Re: Drugs
February 15, 2014, 10:24:17 AM
In light of what was said about rejecting the human in favor of something larger than ourselves - is this how we are supposed to minimize our individual and or collective suffering by participating in something larger than ourselves? I understand this as a way to something transcendental, but also religions can be thought under a similar general framework. In Christianity this is a rejection of the natural world for a supernatural one. Whereas the ideas I am hearing point towards a rejection of either all or some human ideas or social realities in favor of some sort of "essential" reality - clarifying what this reality is might make a great topic for a different discussion.

Recall Marx's famous statement that religion is the opium of the masses. Then recall another sociological remark made by Nietzsche that God is dead. In the here and Now it seems we are just left with a bunch of drugs to smoke. Of course I am conflating religion and God here but my point I want to make is that transcendental worldviews and drugs are two potent ways to either diminish or escape from the incessent burdens existence placed upon us as individuals and humanity as a whole. I have heard someone say that drugs are for those who can't handle reality, but they probably didn't have in mind the legal forms of drugs like alcohol or those prescribed by a physician. All of the advertisements on TV for drugs and a booming pharmaceutical industry seem to me to suggest an overwhelming dissatisfaction with existence as it is experienced (ie, erectile dysfunction). So much so that it could be absorbed as a part of our economy.

Consider forgetting about the social aspects of life for a moment and contemplate just physical ailiments. An earlier poster mentioned an individual using drugs to alleviate tremendous back pain. Growing old, loosing our sense of sight, our hearing, loosing varying degrees of mobility, not to mention less general and hence more individualistic forms of physical torments like being born with pre-existing conditions or developing conditions throughout life that either are or are not your fault, eg, damage from whiplash from being in a car accident, are all forms of suffering that in one sense can exist quite independently of those inflicted by socialization. There are also a seemingly unlimited number of medical conditions that challenge and exhaust the imagination and capabilities of any one physician, that's why labor has been divided so we have specialist who deal exclusively with certain parts of the body. Drugs are one of the major avenues by which the medical profession seek to treat its patients who, when considered generally, would suffer and or die. It would be nice if a transcendental worldview could cure these physical ills (a lot of crazy people do claim to have the power to heal in this regard) but truthfully these worldviews only alter how we THINK about our suffering. Hence we couldn't use nihilism or Christianity to think away physical suffering but to reinterpreted it in a larger narrative so that it is diminished. It is far easier to demolish abstract ideas (human notions) using critical methods, such as nihilism, than actual, concrete particulars of life as they are observed through the five senses. Drugs offer another solution: alteration of our natural sober mode of existence that changes the way the world is percieved and thus they way we think.

Black Sabbath's song paranoid really drives home the point of the misery of existence. Ozzy himself had struggled for decades with extreme alcoholism. I am not sure if this adds to any of my points but just a thought I have had in the background while typing this considering this forum is metal in nature.

(You wouldn't critique the Bible without reading it would you? That's my rationale for socializing with people who I otherwise need a few drinks to tolerate.)

Re: Drugs
February 15, 2014, 11:48:06 AM
There is no cure-all for everything.
However, organizing your stance in relation to everything else, in a reasonable and defensible way, can only minimize the angst that accompanies navigating life.
Find a comfortable spot from which to deal. And deal away.

My comfortable spot involves knowing who and what I am, to the point where nobody knows more about that than I do. Seems obvious, no? So obvious that almost nobody ever does it. Most remarkable revelations are too simple and too obvious to occur to anyone.

Re: Drugs
February 15, 2014, 02:03:07 PM
Religion is a fundamental aspect of the human condition, irreplaceable. The drive towards the transcendental has never been explored empirically simply because those who have explored have approached it with certain preconceptions; whether they be utilitarian, social, material or even spiritual. Drugs are merely another experience in a list of the hedonic. Certain drugs do have the potential to kickstart introspection, but it is the introspection and insight that is valuable, not the drug.