Getting High - Poem on Substance Abuse by Sadhguru
On this week’s Spot, Sadhguru addresses the question if the use of intoxicating substances can be a way to enlightenment, and has even composed a poem on the same theme for us – “Substance Abuse.”
T he marijuana enthusiasts out there often ask me if they can use weed or other drugs as a way to enlightenment. After all, Shiva has this image of a stoner. It has happened to me many times in the Himalayas and other places that some sadhus invited me to smoke weed with them, because they thought I smoke. If you look into my eyes, you will see I am always stoned, without taking any substance. Everything that you want to experience is already in your system.
Most chemicals that we put into the system to have some kind of experience only stimulate something within us. Now the question is, are you on self-start or push-start? If you know how, you can sit here in bliss without having to put any substance into your system. Shiva was always high – no question about that. But he was not such a cripple that he needed chemicals from outside. Shiva was not using substances – he is the substance. I can make that happen for you. If you can be with me in a certain way, I can have you all stoned, because the substance is not outside – the substance is within.
Those who want to emulate Shiva, can you do everything else that he did? First you must sit unmoving for three months – then maybe you can smoke. The following happened when Adi Shankara crisscrossed India, from Kerala in the south to Badrinath in the north and back, from east to west, before he left at age thirty-two. In between, he produced thousands of pages of literature. He was walking briskly. A bunch of his disciples trotted behind him.
Then he saw a drink shop outside a village. A few people were hanging around there, drinking. Shankara looked at them in their inebriated condition. They looked at him. You know, drunkards tend to think they are having the best time and everyone else is missing it. They made some comments. Without a word, Shankara walked into the shop, took a potful of arrack, drank it, and walked away.
His disciples witnessed the scene. Shankara started walking briskly again. They were trotting behind him. Among themselves, a discussion came up – “When our Guru can drink, why can’t we?” They just needed an excuse. He knew what was going on. When they came to the next village, there was a blacksmith at work. Shankara picked up a vessel with molten iron, drank it, and walked on. The disciples knew they did not want to drink that.
Shiva was always stoned for sure, but not with something as petty as weed. By smoking marijuana, all that is happening is you are feeling a little smoked out and hazy in the head. If getting hazy is spirituality, then I do not want to be spiritual. For me, the biggest thing is living in crystal clarity. Clarity can be intoxicating. When you do something for which you need to be super alert, there is a kind of intoxication in that. That is why people are jumping off airplanes or doing other incredibly risky things.
To some extent, you can achieve intoxication through physical activities. If you can stimulate a state of intoxication in you without any outside substance or activity, then there is an element of Shiva in you. If you can simply sit here and be so super alert that you are high, that is the way to do it, not by smoking weed. Leave the weeds for the cows. Human beings can do better things. Those who are smoking weed generally seem peaceful. When they are hazy, they are peaceful, but that peace is of no value. They will not be peaceful if you take away the substance.
Today it has become legal in many states in America, and major corporations are getting into this business. If some day, they bring Coca Smoka on the market, you should not be surprised. From selling drinks with carbon dioxide to selling products with marijuana – you may think that is an improvement. Your brains will shrink. Because you do not know how to handle your brain, which is not your making – it has evolved over so many generations to where it is now – you want to smoke it down, so that it feels peaceful. That is not the answer.
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If you have not found any better use for your brain than freaking out, with marijuana, at least you will simply sit somewhere and not bother anyone. If you have found a better use for your brain, if you can do something worthwhile, creative, and useful with it, then smoking weed is not the way to go. There is nothing spiritual about any chemical.
To be sober is dreary
But inebriation takes you
away from all that is reality
How to dwell in the empty
room of dry lifeless logic.
Logic through the day and
inebriation at the end of the day
logic through the week and
inebriation for the weekend
logic at work and inebriation
for the vacation. Say the compromisers
Come! I have a substance
that leaves you in throes of ecstasy
And peak of alertness at once.
No need for secrecy, no one
will find us in our within.
Let us abuse the substance
without dimension but within
let us get super sober and stoned