ANY KIND OF INTOXICATION IS HARMFUL PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY AND SPIRITUALLY
As title goes, any kind of intoxication gives false impression of spiritual elevation of oneself. This may lead one to get addicted and turn into habit which results in physical and mental degeneration. Meher Baba made every related matter very clear in His words.
If the drugs could make one realize God, then God is not worthy of being God. There is no drug that can promote the aspirant's progress-nor ever alleviate the suffering of separation from his Beloved God. Just as it is difficult to distinguish an imitation from a real pearl, so it is difficult to distinguish an imitation and a real experience. Once gained, the real experience is never lost. It is permanent.-Meher Baba
Wine is good for both health and the spiritual life. It is an intoxicant and tonic for both. If after drinking wine, thoughts are diverted to spiritual advancement, it is a great push toward the Goal; otherwise, it can lead to hell. Wine is such that either it raises you to the highest pinnacle or makes you fall into the deepest ditch.
The main object of drinkers of old — in the ancient past — was spiritual. Seekers then used not only wine but also hemp, heroin, hashish and opium; so much so that even Sadgurus would indulge in them. Sai Baba used to smoke a chillum and Upasni Maharaj smoked beedies. But eventually during those times, ordinary people indulged in these intoxicants for the wrong reasons. They could not understand their proper use and the effects of the intoxication diverted their thoughts to carnal desires — worst of all to lust, the greatest obstacle in the Way. (Lord Meher-1095-1927)
With Christians wine is used as a symbol of communion with Jesus, in remembrance of His last supper on the night before his crucifixion, whereas with Muslims wine is forbidden. In Islam, it is said, "Wine is the root of all evil!" wine (khamir), meaning all things (of liquor or alcohol) which intoxicate the brain. Taken to an extreme, it is said that even if a drop of wine were to drop on a Muslim's arm, he should take a knife and cut that part of his flesh away.
During Meher Baba's advent, wine is not considered an "evil to man," though he acknowledged in California in 1956 that there was a serious "liquor problem" in America with public drunkenness. But the illicit use of drugs, such as LSD, hashish, marijuana, narcotics, barbiturates and methamphetamines is considered an evil – harmful to mind, body and spirit. However, in Islamic countries, such as Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India and others, smoking hashish and opium is a widespread common indulgence, and it is not written that these substances were forbidden by Prophet Muhammad.
Since so much has been said and done by Meher Baba and His followers against the use of illicit drugs, some light may be shed on this plague of Western man by looking back on how Prophet Muhammad decided against the use of wine for His followers. According to scholars, several stories have been told about the occasion when Muhammad first prohibited the drinking of wine. The following story is considered traditionally true:
Muhammad, making a journey to a friend at noon, entered into his house where there was a marriage feast in full celebration. Sitting down with the guests, Muhammad observed them to be very merry and jovial, kissing and embracing one another, which was attributed to their cheerfulness of spirits raised by the wine. So impressed by that, Muhammad blessed wine as a sacred thing in being thus an instrument of causing much love among men.
But, returning to the same house the next day, Muhammad beheld another face of things – there was gore and blood all over the floor! A hand cut off, an arm, foot, and other limbs dismembered, which he was told was the effect of the brawls and fighting caused by the wine, which turned them mad and inflamed them into a fury, thus destroying one another even at a marriage feast. Whereupon Muhammad changed his mind.
Meher Baba discoursed to Robert (disciple) who was imperatively told to discontinue taking drugs.
All so-called spiritual experiences generated by taking “mind-changing" drugs such as LSD, Mescaline and Psilocybin are superficial and add enormously to one's addiction to the deceptions of illusion which is but the shadow of Reality.”
Tell those who indulge in these drugs (LSD, Marijuana, and other types) that it is harmful physically, mentally and spiritually, and that they should stop the taking of these drugs. Your duty is to tell them; regardless of whether they accept what you say, or if they ridicule or humiliate you, boldly and bravely face these things. Leave the results to Me; I will help you in My work.
Many people in India smoke Hashish and Ganja (juice from marijuana hemp plant) –they see colours, forms and lights. It makes them elated, but this elation is only temporary; it is a false experience. It gives only experience of illusion; it heightens illusion and serves simply another veil over the Reality, taking one further away from it.
On Alcohol, drugs and other such habits
Alcoholic drinks in ordinary moderate doses act as stimulants and are harmless. If taken in excess, they are harmful. Drugs, whether in small or large doses, are injurious. They have a characteristic of making the users addicts. Starting from small doses and very subtly they tempt the partakers to increase the quantity indiscriminately, until they cannot do without them and become addicted.
Tobacco and smoking has only the slight advantage of deriving superficial pleasure, which is temporary. But there are three distinct disadvantages: physical, mental and habitual. Physically it spoils the system and mentally it tortures one when unavailable.
- Baba did say that the user of LSD could never reach subtle consciousness in this incarnation despite its repeated use, unless the person surrendered to a Perfect Master. To experience real, spiritual consciousness, surrenderance to a Perfect Master is necessary.
- The experiences gained through LSD are, in some cases, experiences of the shadows of the subtle plane in the gross world. These experiences have nothing at all to do with spiritual advancement.
- Beloved Baba stresses that repeated use of LSD leads to insanity which may prove incurable in mental cases, even with LSD treatment.
- Medical use of LSD helps to cure, in some cases, mental disorders and madness.
- There is no such thing as "areas in the brain reserved for subtle consciousness," and the question of LSD affecting them has no meaning.
- When LSD is used for genuine medical purposes, in controlled doses under the supervision of specialists, there are no chances of the brain, liver or kidney being damaged.
- Baba continued: LSD use for non-medical purposes results in madness, and eventually death.
Consequence of drug-taking on spirituality
No drug, whatever its great promise, can help one to attain the spiritual Goal. There is no shortcut to the Goal except through the grace of the Perfect Master, and drugs, LSD more than others, give a semblance of "spiritual experiences" a glimpse of the false reality.
The experiences you elaborate in your letter and book are as far removed from Reality as is a mirage from water. No matter how much you pursue the mirage you will never reach water and the search for God through drugs must end in disillusionment. Meher Baba, who knows the Way, who is the Way, cannot approve the continued pursuance of a method that not only must prove fruitless but leads away from the path that leads to Reality.
It is human and therefore necessarily wrong-sighted, to view the result of the drug by its immediate relative effects — our inability to calculate its end result is beyond our human knowledge, and only the true guide can point the way.
To a few sincere seekers such as yourself, LSD may have served as a means to arouse that spiritual longing which has brought you into contact with Meher Baba, but once that purpose is served further ingestion would not only be harmful, but have no point or purpose
Now your longing for reality cannot be sustained by further use of drugs, but only by your own love for the Perfect Master, which is a reflection of His love for you.
You may feel LSD has made a "better" man of you socially and personally. But one will be a better man through love than one can ever be through drugs or any other artificial aid. And the best man is he who has surrendered himself to the Perfect Master irrespective of his personal or social standing.
Meher Baba has pointed out that the experiences derived through drugs are experiences by one in the gross world of the shadows of the subtle planes and are not continuous. The experiences of the subtle sphere by one on the subtle planes are continuous, but even these experiences are of illusion, for Reality is beyond them. And so, although LSD may lead one to feel a better man personally, the feeling of having had a glimpse of Reality may not only lull one into a false security, but also will in the end derange one's mind. Although LSD is not an addicting drug, one can become attached to the experiences arising from its use and one gets tempted to use it in increased doses, again and again, in the hope of deeper and deeper experiences. But eventually this causes madness or death.
Only the One who knows and experiences Reality, who is Reality, has the ability and authority to point out the false from the real. Hence, Meher Baba tells those who care to heed Him that the only real experience is to see God continuously within oneself as the Infinite Effulgent Ocean of Truth, and then to become one with this Infinite ocean and continuously experience infinite power, knowledge and bliss.
Baba said, I recommend education, not coercion, to reforms. Changes affecting the will for the people can never be brought about by legislation alone. The consciousness of people must be transformed. They must be made to want something better than what they have. No one has yet, however, gone to the root of the prohibition question. The problem is not whether prohibition should be maintained or modified or discontinued. People will continue to drink under any of those circumstances. The real problem is why they drink and what would satisfy them instead of liquor.
There is no question that those who drink habitually do in order to experience release. They want something that will leave them out of their crystallization of thought and action, and free them, if only for the moment, for the original expression. The fact that this method of obtaining release may not concern them, If they could be made realize that liberation that they seek could be more easily and more completely attained by the control of thought and desire that control instead of drinking. I will teach many how to free themselves from drink.