I have a bias. Raised in a middle class India, family there was a line that was unwritten non questioned, clear. Taking drugs was bad. Not acceptable and people who did rely on them were somehow to be distrusted. pitied almost.
As one grew up. The straight line, managed to get blurred. Diversions appeared. Tolerance levels were rechecked and the unwritten rule faded. Part of it was the teenagers desire to be cool. savvy, ok with it all. but somehow it wasnt. That somehow remained.
Remember walking around the Pilani campus for the massive fest, there were kids sitting below the umpteen lampposts, with the water bombs, passing it around, lost to the world. There was a fatal attraction they radiated, a composed oblivion. A open closed group, intimate to themselves. Part of me wanted to belong, be a part of that intimate sharing. The other part was distrustful, of them, the weed, the loss of control, the being 'bad' all made me shrink away, regarding them as people I had little to do with.
That was college. Life moved on, spirituality made an entry. This was all things good. or so my childhood conditioning said. It was holy, about higher purpose, connections, withdrawing inwards, and realizing more than the mere desires of life.
Sitting in Rishikesh, pretty close to a holy man, one saw him fill his chillam, light up. take a deep drag and sit. Eyes closed, he sat there the picture of serenity. Closer home, sitting in Bangalore, a young man, a musician told me about the spiritual power of acid. How a few drops could make the illusionary world drift away, the real world seep in and meditative bliss that no amount of pranayama, sitting on the yoga mat or visitng ashrams could induce.
He offered me some. I refused. Stating in a high and mighty voice, that I would allow my breath to be my ladder to godly connect, not acid. My breath is still waging war with my mind, a losing war.
Delving deeper into the spiritual realm, the use of medicinal herbs, cactus plants, magic mushrooms all were used for centuries. Shamans 'guided by spirits' knew what the other person needed, would monitor the experience, and even somehow know what the enemy was that the other person was battling with. There was a use of the plant, a plant to get you into the realm of unknown.
Reading an article today about the drug tourism trend in SE Asia, I wondered what it was that was enticing about the experience. A sense of freedom? an ability to laugh more than not? a rebel allowed a platform to rebel against something? pure joy? an addiction? an craving..
As the old school girls moral judgement, becomes mellower a old soul part of me still refuses to let go. My heart cringes when i hear a friend declare he was stoned last night. or another one share that he needs a joint to fall asleep. Have heard the lines about it being healthier than booze or ciggerettes, a way of relaxing, etc etc but somewhere somehow, my old soul wonders if any of these crutches are needed? truly needed