Religions can be channels for religiousness, and they can be dampers that squelch religiousness. It all depends on whether you indulge in them or go through with them—through the rock to the fire. There are no shortcuts. It has been pointed out with regard to psychedelics that they do their thing only if you work with them. That is equally true of religions.
Brother David Steindl-Rast, 1984
The wish to transcend worries of this earthly life, that is to say, the wish to overcome this unfree state of being bound to relative conditions—this is a common ground upon which the mystical drug users and religious people both stand. But the former resort to the power of drugs for their instant effect, as they are too weary to train their minds and bodies through practical procedures. On the other hand, genuine religious people are not attracted by such shallow means and superficial way of thinking. Where serious and honest effort is required they do not grudge it.
From “Religion and Drugs” by Suzuki Daisetz,“The Eastern Buddhist,”(vol. 4, no. 2, 1971, pp.129-130)
I had my first great opening or satori-type experience (of emptiness/dharmakaya/clear light) under the influence of “sunshine” acid in the late sixties. Therefore I personally feel that some psychedelic experience, if managed well, could very well have a significant place on the Buddhist path. For example, it might introduce one to a deeper reality, to how things actually are, stripped of conceptual imputations. However, it is easier to “get enlightened” with psychedelics than to “stay enlightened” with them. Yet psychedelic experiences can—and often do—provide a great hint, which can definitely act as a fertile seed, if properly (spiritually) nurtured. [104 words]
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