Short circuiting the system. The human body has a reward system. It's rigged to make me do things that are good for me. If I do something good for my health and well being, like eat good food but not too much, I'm rewarded with feeling good. Drugs short circuit the system, tricking my body into releasing the feelgood chemicals. My body can't guide me to what's right for me. I'm rudderless, cast adrift. Using recreational drugs is self betrayal, self sabotage. Drug use made it impossible for me to make progress with love.
Finding my way home from drug abuse. Living in Kenya kicked my drug abuse into overdrive, but I'd already started experimenting with tobacco in Asheville before that, in the early sixties. I started smoking cigarettes regularly in Nairobi because all my friends smoked. Smoking was a badge of belonging. I kept smoking until an old injury forced me to stop. In Kenya I took up booze then pot, and those two drugs became the background music of my life for more than fifty years. In Kenya I experimented with booze until I discovered pot, which seemed ever so much more virtuous. So I switched from booze to pot until 1968, when I got back from Kenya and swapped drugs with Sam and Gail and started using both. In college I switched back to booze after regular dope smoking addled me so I couldn't maintain a train of thought. I became a devoted boozer from 1970 until 2016, when Leela finally make me quit drinking. It took me ten years to surrender enough to her for that to happen. But I wasn't done yet, so in 2018 Leela made me take up pot again, pushing my consumption until I had a profound wakeup and quit recreational drugs for good in late 2019. Drug use was inevitable, given my deep history, so Leela drove me into both booze and pot, accelerating that process as best she could given my lack of connection with her early on. Once I surrendered to her in 2006 she drastically accelerated first booze then pot. Accelerated use forced me to a crisis that made me give up booze then recreational drugs of all kinds. That was my left hand path through drug abuse. I'm so profoundly grateful to be home free of drugs.
Harm. Booze caused me physical harm. Thanks to Leela's acceleration of my drinking that harm was relatively easy to deal with once I stopped drinking because my body was still strong, not weakened by more decades of moderate alcohol use. Pot caused me psychological harm. It amplified my mental noise, feeding the inherent madness everyone already has whether they know it or not.
The psychological harm caused by pot was much rougher, much harder for me to deal with. Pot shut down my natural ability to see clearly and be relatively quiet inside. It replaced the real magic of spontaneous meditation with its fake chemical magic. My ability to contact wisdom started coming back in 2006, when wisdom spoke to me. That's when I began, with Leela's help, to be able to muscle test myself, getting guidance from my own body, my own tiny piece of Leela. Being in direct contact with Leela from the inside out like I was, in a very basic way, as a child didn't start coming back until Leela gave me an extreme wakeup call in 2019.
Drugs and Maslow's hierarchy. I've had a hard time comprehending my peculiar relationship with drug use. It doesn't jibe with anything I've heard or read. What works for me it absolute abstinence. Not even the hint of a recreational drug. Lots of people have seemingly satisfactory lives that include some modest drug use, the occasional beer or glass of wine, just a few tokes to take the edge off, whatever. Not I. I think it's a matter of where one aims one's life. Most people seem content with a life partway up the pyramid: basic needs, security, love, accomplishment. One can have all that with a little drug use. That's never been enough for me. I've always been focused on that top tier. For as long as I can remember.