A selection of quotes where Osho talks about LSD, drugs in general, alcohol and meditation.
You create the dream
You are in reality only when you are real. When your awareness is real you live in reality; when your awareness is faulty you live in the unreal. And you create it every day, but you don’t seem to be aware.
What happens when you fall asleep? Why do dreams come when you are asleep? – your consciousness is lower, very much lower; it almost disappears. Then dreams bubble up. Are you drunk? You take alcohol, and again you are in a dreamworld. Or you take acid, you take LSD or something like that; your consciousness is lowered, you are again in a dreamworld.
That’s why it happens that LSD may not give you the same experience as it gave to your friend. Somebody may move into heaven, and somebody may move into hell – because it depends on your mind what type of dream you can create. LSD or any drug can only lower down your consciousness. It simply removes all barriers, it simply helps you to move in a private world – the world of the dream. And of course when you are on a drug trip things are tremendously beautiful, very psychedelic, very colorful…
But it depends. If you are a poet and you have lived with trees and flowers and birds, you will have a very beautiful world opening up. But if you are a butcher, then beware; then you will have the world of the butcher – a nightmare.
That’s why different people going into drug trips come back with different experiences. Some say it was paradise, and some say it was hell. It depends on you.
You create the dream. The drug is not a dream-creating thing, the drug simply lowers your consciousness which does not allow dreaming. Sleep is needed for dreams. The more aware you are, the less possibility there is of dreaming. When you are perfectly aware dreams disappear. Then you don’t create a dream; then you are simply face to face with that which is.
When you are real you live in a real world. And what do I mean when I say ‘when you are real’? – I mean when you are aware. That’s what Buddha’s message is.
The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 4, Ch 6, Q 2
A contact high
Within these twenty years a rare thing has come to light because of too much use of drugs. The underground world of drugs has stumbled upon a very significant fact; they call it “contact high”. It is exactly the meaning of satsang. Let me explain it to you.
A “contact high” is a state. Somebody has taken LSD and is turned on, and you love the man, you really love the man, or the woman, you really relate to him – the man or the woman is somebody who turns you on by her presence or his presence. The person has taken LSD. You simply sit by the side, and you love the person, and the person’s presence turns you on, and by and by you will start feeling that the LSD is affecting you too, that somehow his consciousness is infiltrating your consciousness, that your space is being overpowered. And you will start feeling high. This is contact high.
This is the meaning of satsang too, on a different plane. If somebody has attained, just being with him in deep love. in deep gratitude, in deep relatedness, and you will start feeling that something, through him, reaches your heart, stirs your being, and you are put on a totally different plane, where you cannot go by yourself. You are transported, carried to it. Yes, it too is a contact high.
That’s why in the East we have praised satsang so much, to be in the presence of a Master, to attain contact high. And once you have started attaining through somebody, by and by you can find your own way.
This contact high is possible even after thousands of years, through objective art. Read some haiku of Basho, small haiku. Read one haiku, repeat it, sing it, chew it, swallow it deeply, and then sit silently, waiting for the meaning to be revealed. Don’t think about it; thinking, you will go astray. Don’t analyze it; analyzing, you will go far away. Meditate, just be with it, let it be with you, and suddenly you will find something is changing in your consciousness. You are moving upwards, or you are moving deeper.
The very small haiku can turn you on. It can almost become an LSD trip because the haiku carries Basho’s consciousness, condensed. It is no ordinary poetry. It is not written by a poet, not by an artist. It is done by a Master.
And the Master has put it almost like a mantra. If you simply allow it to spread its meaning on your being, its fragrance on your being, you will be in the state of contact high.
The First Principle, Ch 9
On Timothy Leary
A very intelligent man, Timothy Leary, served seven years in jail because he was teaching that LSD can make man in every way superior to what he is now: his consciousness can be wider, his love can be deeper, his sensitivity can touch unknown peaks which have never been touched before. In every dimension LSD can be a tremendous boost for human growth. Just because of teaching these things he was put in jail.
He was a professor, perfectly acquainted with the chemistry of LSD and the chemistry of the mind. He was not an illiterate person; what he was saying was based on scientific discoveries. But still, because he was teaching a philosophy supporting drugs, he was imprisoned for seven years. He is not a man of great guts; professors rarely are. He may have never thought that just by teaching a philosophical attitude you can get into so much trouble.
Since he has been out of jail he has forgotten all about his philosophy. Now he is teaching something else – he has to teach, he has become a world-famous man. He can’t remain silent, he can’t keep quiet. The old thing he cannot teach again; otherwise he will be back in jail. Now he is teaching something absolutely absurd. Now is the time that he should be in a madhouse.
Those seven years in jail were absolutely unjustified. On the one side these politicians go on talking about the freedom of speech, and on the other hand a man cannot say something which he feels is a scientific fact. It may not be – then prove it!
A cultured society need not throw a man like Timothy Leary in jail. You have so many scientists, let them prove what he is saying is wrong. There is no need for any court, for any law to come into it. And if he is right then he should be accepted, then he should be received as a messiah because he is bringing a new way of transformation. If he is right, welcome him. If he is wrong, prove him wrong; that’s enough.
This is very primitive, ugly, to throw him into jail because he is saying something which goes against the law. But who told you that the law is anything ultimate? You have made the law. Science goes on progressing. You will have to change your laws if they go against science; science is not to be prevented.
I am not saying that Timothy Leary is right, no, don’t misunderstand me. What I am saying is, he has been mistreated without any justification. I also say he is wrong, but he is not a criminal. To be philosophically wrong does not make a person criminal.
But when I say he is wrong, I also say that there is some truth, maybe just a little bit, in what he is saying. His idea of changing men’s mind chemically has a truth about it because mind is chemistry. And there has never been any method which was not chemical which has ever been used to change mind.
Just look – yoga is the ancientmost methodology of changing mind. What do they do? Body postures are physical, but in certain postures your body chemistry changes. So simple: if you stand on your head the whole normal functioning of your body, its mechanism, is turned upside down. More blood is going into your head, less blood is going into your feet. More blood in the head is going to change the chemistry of your mind, more oxygen is going to change the chemistry of the mind.
Yoga has been teaching you breathing exercises. Breath is chemistry. With more oxygen in your lungs you are a certain man; more carbon dioxide, and you are a different man. If your lungs are full of carbon dioxide you are dead; if they are full of oxygen …. There are millions of small, very small rooms; with your breathing, only one third of those small sacs receive oxygen, two thirds remain filled with carbon dioxide. This is your normal state.
With yoga-breathing those sacs, those small rooms, start removing their carbon dioxide, throwing it out and filling themselves with oxygen. When all the sacs are full of oxygen your vitality is different, is bound to be different – normally you are only one-third alive. And that much oxygen in your body is going to change everything – but it is all chemistry.
So I say there is a certain truth in what Timothy Leary was saying, yet I am against his supporting drugs to transform man. That is dangerous.
From Darkness to Light, Ch 15, Q 1
All drugs are bad: money, politics, LSD, marijuana…
Money gives you a feeling of expansion, a feeling of freedom. But that too is a false freedom. You can have many more things, but that doesn’t help you grow. You don’t become more – you have more, but your being remains the same. So is power: if you are a prime minister or a president of a country you feel powerful – the army, the police, the court, the whole paraphernalia of the state is yours. The boundaries of the country are your boundaries: you feel tremendously powerful. But that too is a drug.
Let me say to you: Politics and money are as much drugs as LSD and marijuana – and far more dangerous. If one has to choose between LSD and money, LSD is far better. If one has to choose between politics and LSD, then LSD is far better and far more religious. Why do I say so? because through LSD you will only be destroying yourself, but through money you destroy others too. Through LSD you will be simply destroying your chemistry, your biology, but through politics you will destroy millions of people.
Just think: if Adolf Hitler had been a drug addict, the world would have been far better; if he had been on LSD, or with a syringe in hand, we would have felt blessed, we would have thanked God, “It is very good that he remains in his house and goes on taking shots and is stoned. The world can go on easily without him.”
Money, politics, are far more dangerous drugs. Now, this is very ironical: politicians are always against drugs, people who have money are always against drugs – and they are not aware that they themselves are drug-addicts. And they are on a far more dangerous trip, because their trip implies others’ lives too. A man is free to do whatsoever he wants to do. LSD can at the most be a suicidal thing, but it is never murder. It is suicide! And one is free to commit suicide, at least one has to be free to commit suicide because it is your life; if you don’t want to live, it is okay. But money is murder; so is power-politics murder – it kills others.
I am not saying to choose drugs. I am saying all drugs are bad: money, politics, LSD, marijuana. You choose these things because you have a false idea that they will expand your consciousness. The consciousness can be expanded very simply, very easily, because in fact it is already expanded. You are just living in a false notion: your false notion is your barrier, is your prison.
The Tantra Vision, Vol 1, Ch 4, Q 2
The experience that is created by LSD is a false samadhi
Even though I did not understand what was happening, I have had enlightening experiences through the use of hallucinogenic drugs. I know that LSD is false, but what is, if any, the truth about mushrooms?
The question is from Reese Guth.
LSD is not false, LSD is as real as anything else. But the experience that is created by LSD is a false samadhi. Remember the distinction that I am making: LSD is not false, but the experience that is created under the impact of LSD is a false experience.
You say, “I have had enlightening experiences…”
They were not enlightening experiences. They may have been lightning experiences, but not enlightening – flashes; you are not enlightened through them, you don’t become a Buddha through them. In fact, you become more of a mess out of them. The LSD changes your body chemistry, as mushrooms do. It changes your body chemistry. It does not change you, it changes your body – just as food changes your body, air changes your body, climate changes your body, the moon, the full moon changes your body, but you are not being changed by it. All those changes happen in the body, all those changes are chemical changes – not alchemical but only chemical. What is an alchemical change? – when your consciousness changes. And the consciousness cannot be changed by anything that comes from the outside.
The consciousness cannot be changed by food, eating this food or that. The consciousness cannot be changed by non-eating, by fasting. Remember, there is not much difference between people who take LSD and the people who go on a long fast, no difference! Both are trying to change the body chemistry. The people who take mushrooms and other drugs are not doing anything different from the people who do yoga exercises, because in both ways the body is changed. The change is not happening in consciousness. Consciousness remains beyond all chemicals.
The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol 1 Ch 5, Q 4
Hallucinatory experiences opens doors
This paranoia about drugs is not helpful to humanity. You can make drugs illegal, it makes no change. In fact, they become more attractive, more exciting. Particularly to the youth they become a challenge.
I am amazed sometimes that, is man going ever to learn even the ABC of human psychology? The same stupidity goes on which God did with Adam and Eve: prohibition. Don’t eat the fruit of this tree. But that becomes an invitation. That becomes a challenge.
And thousands of years have passed, but the authority figures are still in the same mood: don’t use the drug, otherwise imprisonment for five years, seven years. And nobody bothers that drugs are being made available in jails. Just you have to pay a little higher price. And the people who come out of the jail are not cured. They go back again because … the reason is the drug gives them something which your society is not giving.
They are ready to destroy their health, their body, their whole life becomes a mess, but still that drug gives them something which your society does not give. So rather than preventing them, create a society which gives something which is better.
I have been fighting in India with one of the most idiotic prime ministers India had, Morarji Desai. He is absolutely fanatic, is not ready to listen to any reasonable argument. Alcohol has to be prohibited. He prohibited alcohol.
That does not make any change. People start making alcohol but that proves dangerous. Thousands of people died because the alcohol they drank was poisonous, was not made rightly. The people who were making it had no idea what they are making.
And this has been happening around the world. Once in a while some idiot comes in and tries to prohibit, but nobody asks why people drink alcohol.
Your life gives them nothing. You suck them of their blood and in return what they get? No joy, just anxieties upon anxieties. Safe alcohol makes them relax for few hours, sing a song or have a little dance – or a fight in the pub.
But for few hours they are transported from your world. The very attraction proves that your society is wrong, not that alcohol is wrong.
Your society should help people to dance, to sing, to rejoice, to love. The alcohol will disappear. The other drugs are far better than alcohol.
There are many drugs which have less bad after-effects, particularly synthetic drugs taken in a right atmosphere, in a right mood. For example, LSD. It simply enhances your mood, it does not do anything to you. If you are in a despair the LSD experience will become a nightmare. But if you are feeling a well-being, that is the time to take LSD. Then it can give you a really positive ecstatic experience, although it will be hallucinatory.
But if you don’t know the real, it looks almost the real. Even a man like Aldous Huxley, one of the most intelligent men of this generation, thought that through LSD he has achieved the same experience as Gautam Buddha, Kabir, Ramakrishna.
If you don’t know the real, naturally you cannot call it hallucinatory. It is so real.
Huxley had no experience of meditation. He has really no right to say such a thing. You can say such a thing only when you have experienced both, that it is the same experience as Kabir.
Kabir never used any drug. His experience was purely of meditation. On what grounds Huxley can say it is the same experience? He does not know the experience of Kabir. I can understand that he has been through a tremendously beautiful experience, but that experience disappears as the effect of the LSD goes out of the system.
But Kabir’s experience remains twenty-four hours, day in, day out, his whole life. Once it happens, it is always there.
This is a simple criterion. But he was so much fascinated by the experience, and he corrupted almost a whole generation. They thought that if a man like Huxley says that LSD can give you samadhi, then what is the need of going into so much trouble for meditation with no guarantee whether you will be able to succeed or not?
I am against drugs because they can become addictive and they can prevent your spiritual growth. You can start thinking that you have achieved what you were seeking, and your hands are empty. You are just dreaming.
But, on the other hand – I am a very scientific mind… On the other hand, I would like drugs to be used, not to be prohibited – but used under proper guidance as a stepping-stone towards meditation.
And governments should pay more attention for improving the drugs rather than preventing people. If improved drugs are available, then other drugs will already be out of the market. There is no need to prohibit anything in the world. Just produce something better – something better, cheaper, legal. Then who is going to bother about marijuana, hashish, heroin – for what? There is no reason.
Something better is available with the medical store, without prescription. Even in the hospital you can book a place for yourself, that doctors can look after you while you are in the drug experience. Meditators can help you to understand what has happened to you. And this is possible very easily through meditation.
One thing more, that if something even hallucinatory happens to a person, meditation becomes easier. Something in him becomes certain. Something in him is now perfectly guaranteed that meditation is not just fiction.
And the hallucinatory experience also opens some doors.
The guidance can be of very much importance. For example, when somebody is under LSD and is having an ecstatic joy, that is the moment to teach him the method of meditation, because he is very sensitive, very clean and clear as he is not ordinarily. He is dull and cloudy. Now the whole sky is a clarity. You can teach him meditation more easily in this moment than you can teach him when he is in an ordinary state.
He seems to listen but he only hears. It does not go deep. His sleep is thick.
But in certain moments under LSD he is very close to awakening. Under a right guide he can be introduced to the technique of meditation. He can be given what is called post-hypnotic suggestions for which he is absolutely vulnerable. He can be told that, “This meditation, you will be able to do it when you are out of LSD experience.” You can go on repeating it that, “You are going to succeed in it.” It is a simple method and there is no problem in not succeeding in it.
Just one or two sessions with a guide will be enough. The man can be moved towards meditation. And once he moves towards meditation, drugs have no importance at all.
All the efforts of scientists and the government should be to understand that if a certain thing has been so attractive for the whole history of man, and no government has ever been successful to prohibit it, then there must be certain need that it fulfills. And unless that need is fulfilled in some other way, drugs are going to remain in the world. And they are destructive.
And the more governments are against them, more destructive they are, because nobody can make any refinements on them, nobody can make any experiments on them, nobody is even allowed to say what I am saying.
But I can say it because I am against drugs. But that does not mean they cannot be used. They can be used as a means, they are not the end.
And if we can hope a future free of drugs, if man becomes naturally meditative…. And that is possible. If a child finds his father is meditating, his mother is meditating, everybody is meditating, he will start being curious about it. He also wants to meditate.
And that is the age when meditation is very simple because he is not yet corrupted by the society. Yet he is innocent.
And if everybody around him is doing something and enjoying in doing it, he cannot remain behind. He will sit with them with closed eyes. First they may laugh at him, that it is not possible for children. But they do not understand. It is more possible for children than for the so-called grownups.
Just the atmosphere of meditation in schools, in colleges, in universities — wherever the person goes he finds that atmosphere which nourishes his own meditativeness.
I would love to see that no drugs are needed in the world. But not through prohibition, but through creating something better, something real. Drugs will be defeated without any difficulty, but these idiotic governments go on giving importance to drugs and they go on destroying the youth around the world.
The most precious time of life is wasted in hallucinations, and by the time they realize what they have done to themselves, perhaps it is too late. They cannot come back to a normal state. Their body has become accustomed to have certain chemicals in it. Then even unwillingly they have to go on injecting themselves with all kinds of poisons.
Or if somebody has not been on hard drugs, returns back, then he finds life very much dull, more dull than you find it because he has seen something beautiful. It always remains a comparison.
He has made love under the impact of drug and he had felt at the very top of the world. And now he makes love and finds that it is nothing but a kind of sneeze. It feels good; you sneeze and it feels good, but it is not something that you live for. Nobody can say that, “I am living here for sneezing.”
The Last Testament, Vol 4, Ch 6
A universal experience
It happens sometimes when somebody has taken LSD and is really deep into it, gone, and you are just taking care of the person. You have not taken LSD, you are just taking care of the person because it is dangerous to leave him, and suddenly you start feeling that something is turning on in you. This is now a universal experience, because so many people in this generation have taken LSD, marijuana, psilocybin and things like that. This is a universal experience now, that sometimes just by being in the presence of somebody who has gone deep in his LSD trip, you start feeling high. Something starts moving in you. Wings grow, and you start flying. And you have not taken anything! Then what is happening? Because that man’s pulsation is so powerful in this moment, that man is blowing like a great wind, he takes you with him unawares. You are pulled by him, you are taken by his stream of consciousness.
This is a new experience in the West, but in the East it is very ancient. And this is nothing, because LSD is LSD – such a small quantity you take. But a Jesus is pure LSD – just LSD and nothing else! He is made of the stuff LSD. A Buddha is absolute marijuana. Each single cell of his body is marijuana. It is not chemical, it is spiritual. It is such a vital force that there is no other force which is more vital. The only question is if you become available to it – then it turns you on.
I Say Unto You, Vol 2, Ch 5