this page and links last updated 4th August 2007
"Reefer Madness" References:-
More Nectar (cough cough):
Scientific Proof - Smoking Promotes Wrinkles:
Smoking Biggest Killer in Developing World
How dope unleashes the demon within
Marijuana and Madness
.....and if you think alcohol is any better then go HERE
The objective is to focus on who we are, in relation to the surrounding present influences of this material world. As pure spiritual living beings we have allowed ourselves by compromise to be covered by layers of material coverings that affect all that we do and experience at present. There are different perspective's as to what these impositions comprise. Some are extremely difficult to remove and others to a lesser degree, depending on the individual person, their development, their maturation and the circumstances around them.
Throughout the last few decades especially there have
been many songs regarding wanting to be free. However, the writers of such
songs it seems are not informed as to what it takes to be free, and what
freedom is or what it involves.
Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad sometimes would give the example of this world being like a prison, a reformatory institution where we are all serving time. Some people have settled to be "A" class, "B" class, "C" class prisoners, whereas as some of us are not satisfied to stay within the confines of prison life, but wish to return to normative life. Freedom simply means, "The state of being free; the self determining power; and immunity" (Funk & Wagnalls, 1946. pg. 528).
As spiritual beings encased in material affairs it is near impossible to be free. The example is there of trying to swim across the natural river boundary into the spiritual realm while maintaining our rock like material conditioning. Or to try to enjoy permanent spiritual bliss with temporary material facility. It is simply not possible - a contradiction in terms.
If we want to enjoy permanently, without material setbacks, then spiritual practices, spiritual association and spiritual enjoyment are the only methods.
As with swimming a river, unnecessary things that will take us under have to be dispensed with. It's not really an option, that's how it is. The more we associate with those things that invoke permanent spiritual realisation or buoyancy, the more we will be enthusiastic to do so. And the opposite applies.
It takes the development of faith to even attempt to put this premise into practice, but once we do we appreciate, and of course that in itself is in relation to individual cases - and degrees of bondage to shed.
Due to the desire to attain this state somewhat prematurely,
people have tried all kinds of things to imitate spiritual accretion. The
amazing thing is, that it can't be forged. One cannot storm the gates of
In our youth, some of us tried to use various "mind expanding drugs" as they were called to attain this end. We got some realisations as we, pale faced and bleary eyed, picked up the pieces of our lives, but not without casualty. Some of my friends and associates weren't as fortunate as I.
There has been massive propaganda by extollers of "cheap tickets to heaven" salesmen, only to be the rocky road to hell in many cases. And in many cases a very materially profitable venture too. If you can gain the support of the people, be they young old, or otherwise, mountains can be moved. Consequently every man and his dog uses propaganda to try to influence the masses, to get them to do what they want them to, for any given reason, and buy their product.
According to Steven Jacobson, the author of the revealing tape entitled, "Mind Control in America" the following segment of which has been transcribed with his permission in regard to the outside influences of those who appear to be but are not our actual well-wishers. "Psychological warfare has been waged against America for much of this century. This war for the mind of the public has been facilitated by the emergence of mass media and the transformation of American education by behavioural psychologists. In the book 1984 George Orwell warned that people would be in danger of losing their human qualities, and freedom of mind without being aware while it was happening, because of psychological, emotional, intellectual manipulation, mind control".
Many of us have had the realisation that although Steven
Jacobson's tape is distributed from America, it is not only the U.S. which
has been subject to this kind of activity. Without getting emotionally
involved in the whose who etc., objectively I would like to draw some attention
to how some of us or all of us have been influenced (viewing the sins and
not the manipulated sinners).
Steven Jacobson points out that, ".....the purpose of propaganda is to direct public attention to certain 'facts'. "The whole art consists in doing this so skilfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real (Adolf Hitler, Mine Kamf)."
"To be effective propaganda must constantly short circuit
all conscious thinking, and operate on the individual subconsciously. The
principles behind the big lie of propaganda, are the same principles of
mind control, hypnotic suggestion, mental programming, distraction and
repetition. Distraction focuses the attention of the conscious mind on
one or more of the five senses in order to stop conscious thinking. Thus
producing a state of mind that is similar to day dreaming......" He suggests
that in this hypnotic state when conscious thinking stops and the mind
begins to wander one is very susceptible, ".........this altered state
also occurs naturally, but can also be induced by clever manipulation."(Steven
Jacobson/MCiA Media, 1992. "Mind Control in America").
The purpose he suggests, ".......is to reduce any resistance to messages, by stopping all thought and analysis."
"Trust in the source of the information induces acceptance of the message as true even if it is not understood. Repetition of the message imbeds it in the subconscious so that acceptance of its truth and accuracy becomes a conditioned response. Thus this information will be accepted as true without thinking about it when ever it is presented again"(Steven Jacobson/MCiA Media, 1992. "Mind Control in America"). I've found myself using this technique whilst studying at University, to assimilate the works of various theorists.
"In 1957 marketing researcher and psychologist James Vikery
tested subliminal ad's in a New Jersey movie theatre. The messages 'Hungry?
Eat pop-corn!' & 'Drink coke-a-cola', were flashed on the screen at
one three thousandth of a second, every five seconds throughout the movie.
Sales increased for pop-corn & coke-a-cola."
"Messages programmed directly to the subconscious by-pass critical analysis (sankalpa -accepting and vikalpa - rejecting), and the conscious choice to accept or reject the message. Repetition of the message constitutes mental programming. Subliminal messages have been used in music, radio, television, and movies."
"Laboratory experiments show that people will react to certain words pictures and sounds, which quick the pulse, faster breathing, sweeting of palms, and other indications of heightened emotions."
" 'A picture may be worth a thousand words', but it can also deceive someone into believing what is not true."
"Is it possible to program an entire population to respond to certain words, images, or qualities, body movements, gestures or expressions. The result of such programming would be a population that is highly suggestible, a population that can be manipulated with precision. Sixties rock superstar Jimi Hendrix said, 'You can hypnotise people with music, then when you get them at their weakest point you can preach into their subconscious, whatever you want to say.'"(Steven Jacobson/MCiA Media, 1992. "Mind Control in America").
I wonder what Hendrix programmed the youth who listened to his music into doing? (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad is reputed to have said the Hendrix came from a lower "Hellish" ('naraka-loke') planet to take the youth back with him! Certainly, the youth followed him, and it is true that his message was based in the lower modes of nature, 'tamo guna'. As is epitomised by this brilliant, yet frustrated and sad guitarists' own death, over-dosing on intoxicating psycho-active drugs, and choking on his own vomit.)
"Low frequency infra-sonic affect the internal organs and can cause head-aches, dizziness and fatigue. Much of today's popular rock music is built around heavy base pattern louder than the melody. These loud low frequency vibrations and the driving beat of most rock music affect the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland produces hormones that control male and female sexual responses. These low frequency vibrations vibrate in the lower parts of the body so that the music feels good.........."(Steven Jacobson/MCiA Media, 1992. "Mind Control in America") What to speak of in the lyrics, which propagate illicit or loose sex, drug and alcohol use and abuse etc., etc.
"Psychological conditioning. By creating emotional stress,
and mental confusion, judgement is impaired and suggestibility increased,
under these conditions people allow their rights to be diminished without
realising its ramifications. The war on drugs is another example of this
strategy in action. In 1936 a movie used hypnotic suggestion to give the
audience instructions to do something. That movie was 'Reefer Madness.'
This movie used hypnotic techniques to both encourage marijuana use and
to promote anti-marijuana legislation. Speaking to a P.T.A. meeting high
school principle Dr. Carroll commands parents, 'You, and all other school
parenting groups about the country, and you must stand united on this,
can stamp out this frightful assassin of our youth. You can do it by bring
it about compulsory education on the subject of narcotics in general, but
mark marijuana in particular. That is the purpose of this meeting ladies
and gentlemen, to lay the foundation of a nation-wide campaign by you to
remind by law, such compulsory education.' when Dr. Carroll began to speak
he raises a sheet of paper in front of him and reads certain 'facts' from
it. The white sheet of paper prominent in the middle of the screen is a
distraction for the eyes to lock onto in order to cause the hypnotic state
of mind, while information is programmed to the audience verbally. Dr.
Carroll delivers his lines with a hypnotic rhythm that is punctuated by
changes in pacing, volume and tone, just like a hypnotist. He speaks with
authority and looks into the camera and into the eyes of the audience.
Both are hypnotic techniques."
"The standard intent of Reefer Madness was to stamp out the menace of marijuana because it leads to, quote, 'acts of shocking violence ending often in incurable insanity,' end quote. In contrast young people are shown having a good time smoking marijuana, dancing, kissing and retreating to the bedroom. By showing young people having a good time smoking marijuana, Reefer Madness encouraged young people to at least try it. By telling the story of normal kids going berserk because of marijuana Reefer Madness scared older people into demanding that something be done. This movie was part of a well orchestrated propaganda campaign that included, newspapers, magazines and radio. In 1937 about a year after the release of the movie a marijuana tax act was signed into law, with the major effect being to drive prices up for marijuana, to make its cultivation and distribution profitable."(Steven Jacobson/MCiA Media, 1992. "Mind Control in America")
"Although it is true that marijuana and its derivatives
have been used in different circumstances by different cultures throughout
history for its medical properties, as well as for the manufacture of clothing
and rope. A Chinese treatise on pharmacology purporting to date from 2737
B.C. contains what is often quoted as the earliest mention of marijuana.
The first reference to marijuana in India is found in Artharva Veda (believed
to date back to the second millennium B.C.). Another early reference (c.
650 B.C.) appears on certain cuneiform tablets unearthed in the Royal Library
of Ashurbanipal, an Assyrian king. Herodotus, the Greek historian, wrote
in the 5th century B.C. of the Scythians and other people using marijuana.
So marijuana use was quite extensive in Asia and Asia Minor at a very early
date. Hemp cultivation appeared in Europe before the rise of the Roman
Empire, but it seems it was grown primarily for the fibre, though its intoxicating
properties were not known. It spread to Afrika long before Europeans settled
and colonised the continent. In A.D. 1545, the Spaniards introduced hemp
into Chile. The settlers of James Town, Virginia, brought hemp with them
in 1611. Cannabis flourished as a major crop in North America until the
Civil War - again, primarily for its fibre. George Washington grew hemp
on his Mount Vernon plantation. Its decline in the second half of the nineteenth
century was the result of economic factors - such as competition from cheap
imported hemp - not controversy over its drug qualities. Not that its potential
was unknown or ignored. Between 1850 and 1937 marijuana was quite widely
used in American medical practice for a wide range of conditions. The United
States Pharmacopeid, which through the generations has maintained a highly
selective listing of the country's drugs, most widely accepted marijuana
as a recognised medicine in 1850 under the name Extractum Cannabis or Extract
of Hemp....."(Illicit and Licit Drugs, page 405.; D. Paul Graunke, 1976.
The Dilemma of Drugs, pages 24-25.).
"Technically speaking, a drug is any substance (other than food) that is by its chemical nature affects the structure or function of a living organism. Doctors usually refer to a drug in terms of its ability to treat physical and mental diseases. They stress therapeutic value. But many laymen now focus on the negative connotations of the word. For them 'drug' has become a four-letter word of the worst kind, an epithet, an obscenity. When used in conversation it provokes strong emotional reactions. It's a good word to start an argument with, or even a fight. The reason 'drug' has become a dirty word is because millions of people are using certain drugs for fun or pleasure - for non medical reasons. These are called mood-altering or psychoactive drugs. A psychoactive drug is any substance capable of modifying mental performance and behaviour by inducing functional or pathological changes in the central nervous system. Psychoactive drugs primarily affect the emotions, feelings, sensibility, consciousness and thinking. They can alter moods by making the user depressed or euphoric. They can keep awake or put to sleep. They also alter our perceptions of time and space. The most common known are marijuana, L.S.D., mesculine, heroine and cocaine etc." (D. Paul Graunke, 1976. The Dilemma of Drugs, page 8.).
When we look at drugs I think it's important to get a wider perspective of what is happening in society on the whole, ".......do they ever think of psychoactive drug problem in terms of coffee, chocolate, wine, whiskey, cigars, and cigarettes? Do they ever worry about the drug culture made up of alcoholics, cancer wards, cocktail parties, tobacco farmers, breweries and Madison Avenue? They should. Because every one of the products listed contains psychoactive drugs; alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine. These drugs are all mood altering drugs, and like all other drugs have potential to harm the health of the user (D. Paul Graunke, 1976. The Dilemma of Drugs, page 8.).
"Cannabis in particular was once recommended medically for a host of ailments such as neuralgia, rheumatism, tetanus, epidemic cholera, migraine headaches, mental disorders and even insanity. Marijuana cigarettes (joints) were marketed as an asthma remedy (a use that modern research indicates may be valid). As medicine progressed into the 20th century, better means were found for treating a number of ailments for which marijuana had been prescribed. But until the 1930's the claim that marijuana had some therapeutic value was not seriously challenged in the United Stated. While medical use of the plant declined, the non medical, or recreational use, increased. Mexican immigrants and West Indian sailors introduced the practice of smoking marijuana in the border and Gulf states. More opiate users began to smoke pot. Prohibition in the 1920s may have also spurred an interest in marijuana as people took to bootleg liquor and experimented with other psychoactive drugs" (D. Paul Graunke, 1976. The Dilemma of Drugs, page 25.).
Like all things that God has given us, it has a place, but its abuse has made it popular of late. For example even in the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna says, "I am the healing herb - aushadham (BG 9:16.)". Clearly a medicinal herb, meant for healing and not for recreational use and abuse. We could on this thought pose a question, with a self evident answer, "Could it be as history recalls that marijuana use was not that popular as a recreational drug until propaganda got behind it, and made it as it stands so attractive to the youth of today and yester-year?" The answer is of course yes, it is true, as depicted above by the intent of the movie Reefer Madness. "The stage was set for the great marijuana maelstrom that rose in the 1960s and rages to this day" (D. Paul Graunke, 1976. The Dilemma of Drugs, page 26.).
"Bertrand Russel, philosopher, educator, and atheist wrote
in his book 'The impact of Science on Society', 'I think the subject which
would be of most importance politically is mass psychology. Its importance
has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda.
Although this science will be diligently studied it will be rigidly confined
to the governing class. The populous will not be allowed to know how its
convictions were generated."
"The primary means of controlling people is the absolute control of information, men in power often withhold information for selfish ends, they often present false information as a diversion for the same reason. Words can inform or mis-inform what people think can be controlled by controlling information"(Steven Jacobson/MCiA Media, 1992. "Mind Control in America").
Some people suggest that such things as the taking of
drugs, various forms of gambling, and prostitution - the 'victimless crimes'
should be decriminalised. There is a leaning towards liberalism of ideal
with the concept that, ".....well if it doesn't hurt anyone else,.......and
if they do it of their own free will, .....so long as it doesn't impinge
on the freedom of others or cause harm, then it should be alright". But
the term victimless crimes is not entirely accurate, because those, for
example, who become drug addicts or gamblers in a sense fall victim to
a system of organised crime (A. Giddens, 1993. Sociology, page 151.). I
suggest that we look at a wider issue as to what is harmful, to whom, who
are the victims in the long run, how does all of this affect society in
general? "Is someone doing harm to others by hurting themselves - for instance,
a drug addict hurting her or his family?"(A. Giddens, 1993. Sociology,
page 152.) And not only their immediate family, often there are have been
cases where other families become involved in a users habits, especially
when a drug induced accident occurs, usually due to inattention, or poor
co-ordination, and other's lives are altered, harmed or even lost. Everyone
has the tendency of thinking that "it won't happen to me!" But the harsh
reality often proves that it most certainly can and often time does, or
to someone that we care for or love! And then what, more drugs to relieve
the trauma, or spend a life in depression, hankering for what could have
been, or "....if only I'd....!" (I've visited this path, and it's not a
It's a complex issue, one we cannot afford to be sentimental over. There is much on going debate in legal circles, but it seems some are getting the idea.
To save this essay from developing into a multi-volumous
set I have limited the contents of our discussion and presentation to "psychoactive
drugs", those which are primarily marijuana and its derivatives; tobacco;
and which include L.S.D., and other hallucinogens, and briefly alcohol.
Although there are many other areas of drug association and dependency
that could be looked at such as Heroin, Cocaine, Crack, Barbiturates (downers),
Amphetamines (uppers), etc., etc., others like Mesculine, Angel Dust, Ecstasy,
etc., it is apparent where they fit in, and are not necessarily needed
to be mentioned in detail in this paper. If readers would like more information
on breaking the habit or recovery from the use of any of these drugs, either
you can contact a local support group in your area, or I can give you the
Dependency on psychoactive "natural drugs" like tobacco, marijuana, and others.
Smoking of cigarettes this year 1995 (June, U.S.) has taken a turn around. We see on the news, and in the newspapers, tobacco companies being prosecuted for withholding information about the addictive nature of nicotine, and the carcinogenic effects of smoking tobacco, as well as their campaign to hook their clientele primarily 12-18 year olds, to the habit by negative health propaganda. The selfishness that goes along with these actions, irresponsibility to fellow man, just for making a living is unbelievable, and nothing short of demoniac.
"Smokers usually take their first puff (of tobacco) between 10 and 12 years of age; they continue to smoke even though they do not enjoy it at first, and they become physically dependent on nicotine at about 15. Young people are more likely to smoke if their friends and family do (McAlister, Perry, & Maccoby, 1979; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 1978.). "Since peer pressure has been effective in inducing people to smoke, its influence in the other direction may be the best preventive mechanism" (L. D. Johnston, Bachman, & O'Malley, 1982; McAlister et al., 1979.; Papilia & Olds, 1992. page 320.). "Cigarette smokers tended to be depressed and to have lung problems and breathing problems" (Papilia & Olds, 1992. page 319.) as a direct result.
Exposure to tobacco smoke is the most significant cot death risk factor, according to a Public Health Commission recent report. It says in, "Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): Guidelines for Public Health Services," released 26th July 1995 recognised ".....smoking tobacco as a 49% risk factor," and recommends preventative methods of avoidance (New Zealand Herald, Newspaper, Thursday 27.07.1995. page 24.).
"Scientists have known for many years that smoking causes changes in the blood levels of certain nutrients. For example, smoking alters the way the body handles carbohydrates and proteins, often resulting in impairment of protein metabolism. There is also some evidence that smoking increases the amount of cholesterol in the blood. In addition, researchers have found that smokers may have increased needs for vitamins C, B.6, and B.12., E and beta carotene. Since vitamin C is essential to so many biochemical functions of the body, low levels may be responsible for some of the bone mineral loss smokers experience. In short, smoking has a deleterious effect on many nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals"(The Nutriway Guide to Better Nutrition, 1995. page 29.)
Many smokers of cigarettes are also smokers of marijuana, many smokers of marijuana mix tobacco together with the marijuana in pipes, chillums, hookers, water-pipes (hubbli-bubblis), or in joints. The overall effects on health on one or the other are bad and together are worse.
In the book 'Human Development' (Papilia and Olds, 1992.
page 320.) it says, "Marijuana has been used all over the world for centuries,
but only since the 1960s has it become popular among the American middle
class. Despite a decline in use since 1979 (from 37 to 17 percent of teenagers
who smoked it during the past 30 days, according to the University of Michigan
survey), it is still by far the widely used illicit drug in this country
"Adolescents start to smoke marijuana for many of the same reasons they begin to drink alcohol. They are curious, they want to do what their friends do, and they want to hurtle into adulthood. Another appeal of marijuana was its value as a symbol of rebellion against parents' values, but this attraction may be slipping, since today's teenagers are much more likely to have parents who smoked (or smoke) marijuana themselves. "
"Heavy use of marijuana can lead to heart and lung trouble, contribute to traffic accidents, and impede memory and learning. It may also lessen motivation, interfere with schoolwork, and cause family problems."
"Among 49 boys in one study (average age about 16), those who drank alcoholic beverages and also smoked marijuana more than twice a week were more likely than those who did not smoke marijuana to have poor eating habits and such health problems as respiratory infections and general fatigue (Farrow, Rees, & Worthington-Roberts, 1987.)."
"Drug abuse can be broken down into several categories. The most common type of drug using behaviour is experimental. Here people try drugs out of curiosity or group conformity. They try a drag once or twice - and that's it. Most illicit drug use by teenagers falls into this category"(D. Paul Graunke, 1976. The Dilemma of Drugs, page 19.).
"Why do some adolescents go beyond experimentation and end up abusing drugs? In offering a model to explain the origins of several adolescent problems, Richard Jessor (1987) assumes that adolescent problem behaviours are learned ways of achieving important goals. Two goals that are especially important during adolescence are achieving academic success and establishing autonomy or independence. Some adolescents may view problem behaviours such as drinking (or drugs) as ways of asserting their independence from parents and becoming more adult like by doing the things that adults often do. Problem behaviours may also be learned ways of coping with the frustrations that come from failing to attain goals by more conventional means" (C. K. Sigelman & D. R. Shaffer, 1991. "Life Span Human Development", page. 522.).
"Then there is recreational use of psychoactive drugs. It occurs in social situations among friends or acquaintances. Recreational use may occur regularly, but dies not usually get out of hand. A cocktail party for conservative, establishment types, and a weekend pot party for liberal counterculture people are two examples of recreational drug use."
"Circumstantial drug use occurs when the user takes a drug out of need or desire to cope with a specific situation. For example, a student may take as stimulant to stay awake and cram for finals, or a woman recently widowed may take a sedative to cope with the grief and anxiety."
"Recreational and circumstantial drug use can lead to compulsive use where the user feels a psychological or physical need to take frequent and or large doses of a drug. Drug taking then dominates their lives, and in fact are slaves to it. The most conspicuous, examples are alcoholics and heroin habitues (junkies). Less conspicuous, but no less serious, is the compulsive use of barbiturates and amphetamines."(D. Paul Graunke, 1976. The Dilemma of Drugs, page 19.).
Finally, there are the ritualistic users of drugs for 'spiritual and religious experiences'. Many of us during the hippy revolution of the 1960s and 70s found that it was more than just a negative protest. For some of us there was a sense of fulfilment of deprived needs, of constructing new values and life-styles to supplant the old values of the day. The intent was different, drugs were more than just to titillate or for entertainment. They could alter consciousness and change the way people thought and looked at the world and themselves. They could open up new vistas of understanding and knowledge.
Drug users sought what William James called the 'mystical consciousness' and Abraham Maslow called 'peak experiences'. "They are states of insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect," (W. James, The Varieties of Religious Experience). "They are illuminations, revelations, full of significance and importance." In other words, like the tree in the midst of Eden, drugs were "to be desired to make one wise."(D. Paul Graunke, 1976. The Dilemma of Drugs, page 65.).
Intense realisations often came, but often it was reactive to the effects that the drug had caused, the altered consciousness, being much like what is known as flying by the seat of one's pants, and as a result of trying to keep the trip together under stressful situations, definitely much was learned. Many of us still carry the scars of such learning, left by the use of such powerful chemicals. What we do have is what remained as we struggled to pick up the pieces of our lives, reconstruct them into something meaningful and continue on in the path of development.In this way ritualistically it was likened to a rite of passage undergone in ritual initiation ceremonies that carried many a youth to manhood, or death.
"The psychedelic drugs are the most commonly used. The user may move into compulsive use, but more often they are able to handle the drug. Many 'get their head together' and kick drugs totally, choosing instead non chemical turn-ons and highs"(D. Paul Graunke, 1976. The Dilemma of Drugs, page 19.). We have found that in normative, non drug using life, of the last twenty years or so, that if one is awake or aware, one can also have that choice to consciously alter one's life, but without any harmful chemical effects or influences.
"While adolescent drug users extol drugs, their effects are harmful in adolescence and beyond. In one longitudinal study, more than 1000 high school sophomores and juniors were interviewed again at 24 or 25. Those who had begun using a certain drug in their teens tended to continue to use it (Kendel, Davies, Karus, & Yamaguchi, 1986). Users of illicit drugs, including marijuana, were in poorer health then nonusers, had more unstable job and marital histories, and were more likely to have been delinquent (Papilia & Olds, 1992. page 319.)."
Akin to this is what people call social usage of marijuana,
which reveals to be more insidious and intimidating and actually unsociable
than it appears. We have personal experience, and have observed,, that
one or two persons "get wind of", "get turned on to", a psychoactive drug
and then bring it to their group of friends. Such groups of individuals,
it has been observed are formed as a result of their own lack of direction,
personal acceptance either in a new school/new area/different environment/changes
in the family etc., instabilities that create confusion, unrest, and insecurity
- which all amount to a poor self image, and low self esteem.
My personal experience was that I was about 14-15 years of age and some trauma entered our lives at home. I was actually doing well at school, pretty much top of the class in most things. But then my father, who was my role model, disappointed me by having a stroke. When I say disappointed me, I mean that I thought and needed to think that he was infallible. I totally trusted him and almost worshipped him for who he was; a witty, intelligence, charismatic, popular, and powerful man of integrity. But then seeing him slumped in a chair, paralysed down his right side, emotionally upset, frustrated, crying, sometimes angry - my disappointment turned to anger. I was angry at him for letting me down, and just when I needed him, with all the things going on in my life, the new sensations of a young adult, questions needed answering, direction given - I had my own traumas, but now I'm told I have to help support my mother, as dad is ill!!!! I was angry at me too, for not being capable of doing, answering all that needed to be answered, I was so helpless. His not being there was like I had lost part of my identity. Now it was as though I was alone, mothers are nice, but a young boy needs his manly role model, and that person was not there. So amid so many children (youths) who for one reason or another were in a similar state of trauma, or misery I found company.
The time was 1965-66, Hippydom had already reached the U.K., and that sub-culture seemed somewhat attractive. Actually looking back in retrospect, it was a movement of thousands of dissatisfied youth just like me, finding a voice and a means of self expression and unity through the "counter culture". We found a union, something to identify with the Hippy Nation. Our role models that replaced former ones gave direction, and later became illustrious rock stars; Jimi Hendrix; Gerry Garcia; Jim Morrison; Janis Joplin, etc., and numerous others all of whom I may add died from drug related experiences, overdoses, etc. (Bobby Dylan, and Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane, tell of their traumas through their music). Yes, it was living in the fast lane. I became old and experienced even during my youth. I worked hard to gain my acceptance in exclusive peer groups, and could match older and more experienced "smokers", and "trippers", without difficulty. I soon had a name for myself and a reputation, it brought the attention of girls, and sex that I wanted, I had found my identity, I'm a man!
Again looking back, I lost my innocence, and my youth amid a torrid period of drug parties, rock festivals and unconsciousness that even to today alludes me. Some of it my memory has allowed me to remember - the good times; and it doesn't take much to unearth some bad times too; fear of "being busted"; unconscious stupors; vomiting or otherwise making a nuisance or fool of myself; and what to speak of the expense over the years. Yes, that expense actually went into six figures, and then the poor quality and quantity ended up forcing many of us to take up our residences either on communes, where volume of people added to the influx of better resources (and social head-aches), and later (for me) to move to India and Afghanistan (some of my friends ventured to Nepal, some to Maroco, some to Thailand, a couple to Acapulco - Mexico, and one to Columbia), all in pursuit of what? It certainly wasn't as it was in the beginning, searching for myself. Now it was to maintain a habit, while at the same time I convinced myself that it wasn't habit-forming. Strange thing to say it wasn't habit-forming for a person like me who didn't see a straight day in many years.
Yes, I dropped out of school; despite the authorities, and my mother trying to convince me to go to University. I agreed to go to Art College, and did for three weeks. I needed money, and the uninterrupted irresponsible "freedom" that came from lying around friend's apartments in a semi-conscious, red-eyed, stupor. Living in India and Afghanistan (visiting Pakistan and Nepal) seemed to be the answer. Definitely cheaper, better quality "dope", and a nicer climate (socially and politically - but then came the Russians......1970's). The drug culture had spread worldwide by now and this enabled wild drug parties on the beaches of Anjuna, Kalangut etc., in Goa, and much the same in Pokhara, north of Kathmandu seated on a plateau below the towering Himalayas in Nepal. It was here in Nepal that the first of my friends died, drowned swimming in the lake - just too stoned! Over the course of the next year or so six others followed suit; whilst driving under the influence of marijuana - lack of co-ordination; one went through a windscreen and died in another accident coming home from a party; two over dosed on mixtures of speed/barbs/mandies/alcohol etc; another choked on their own vomit in their sleep; one suicided; and my best friend Joe Seaberg passing away just after his return to U.K. from three years in India - wasted.
I came to live back with my parents, but we were very different by now, although they treated me nicely, and fed me. Just after loosing all these friend my realisations became strong, asking me what on Earth was I doing? I had tried the best "charak"(cream of pollen - from Mazar, the best rubbed resin from Manali, the best Buddha Sticks, and the best "Temple Balls" from an old monastery in Nepal....!) ......and now I'm not even "getting off" anymore. All I really ever wanted to do was find myself, but in so doing it I had nearly lost myself. I made the decision that enough was enough, I needed to be high, but naturally without expense, the health problems from smoking (which plague me even to this day) or the paranoia that comes from such a life-style. I still have a nice relationship with my mother, although I live 13,000 miles away from her (my father passed away in 1987, we hadn't really spoken like we used to for years - although after my giving up using marijuana as well as all forms of intoxication; having my own family; and becoming a priest and Minister of Religion in the Hare Krishna movement; I wrote a letter of appreciation to him just prior to his passing away - he appreciated it so much that he cried out of love!!!) I had to learn the painful way, I really don't recommend it to any of the readers!
These are not merely my personal feelings, although one
surely can appreciate what I experienced, anthropological researchers have
also come to the same conclusions by studying case histories of the youth.
"Marijuana will continue to polarise and alienate teenagers and parents,
the counterculture and the establishment, until it is considered in the
context of the entire drug problem which includes tobacco. Parents must
see their own drug problem if they are ever to understand the drug problems
of their children. Society must face up to the problems and dangers of
the drugs it allows, if it is ever to cope with the drugs it condemns"(D.
Paul Graunke, 1976. The Dilemma of Drugs, page. 35.).
Today I hope that I can give some help and support to my own children, that they do not have to experience what I did, in order to be convinced. I see some of my children's older friends having difficulty in going through their lives; family troubles; difficulties in integration in school. It has in some cases done exactly what it did to me, giving them the poorest of options of running around with a group of self destructive losers; staying out at night getting intoxicated; having loose sex; screwing up their education and possibilities for the future in regard to occupational training, their vocation in life etc; wasting their money; spoiling their youth and damaging their health, and even attempting suicide. If only they knew, if only they could be told!!!!?
Rather than only emphasising our own ideas, needs, theories,
experiences, or opinions I would like to include data from the facts about
cannabis pamphlet put out by a N.S.A.D. (National Society on Alcoholism
& Drug Dependence New Zealand), which in detail describes the composition,
short term effects, long term effects, etc., of Delta 9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)
the active chemical found in marijuana or cannabis indica, that causes
the intoxication effect. We have also with permission, taken and used information
from F.A.D.E., the Foundation of Alcohol Drug Education. Every
no and again I'll throw in some lucidation from my past.
"Facts about Cannabis. Marijuana and hashish are obtained from the hemp plant (Cannabis satvia). The main ingredient in cannabis that produces the typical effects on mood and perception is called Delta 9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). You'll see its chemical structure on the cover. (I didn't feel it necessary to include it here).(N.S.A.D.). Marijuana contains 421 active chemicals, sixty one of these chemicals are called cannabinoids are found in no other plant. (F.A.D.E.)
Marijuana is composed of the flowering tops and leaves of the hemp plant and frequently contains seeds, stems and other materials. Marijuana ranges in colour from greyish green to green, to greenish brown to and in texture from a fine substance that looks like dried finely cut grass to a course substance that looks like tea.
There are different parts of the plant which are used,
each having different potencies or strengths.
Hashish is the dried cake resin produced from the tops and the leaves of the female plant, in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan; Menali, Kashmir; and Pokhara, Nepal we have seen the calluses on old men's hands from their continual rubbing of the resin in the palm of their hands. Normally hashish contains a higher concentration of THC than marijuana and is therefore the more potent preparation. Hashish is sold in solid pieces. It's colour ranges from light (as in Marocan or Lebanese), medium brown (as in Turkish, Panama) to nearly black (like some Pakistani, Paki-Gold Seals, Afghani, Menali, or Nepali). The texture varies from soft to hard depending on quality, oil content, and age of produce.
A reddish darkish brown oily extract of cannabis is around in New Zealand and is known as hash oil. This is the most potent preparation from the cannabis satvia plant.
There is also another form called "pollen" or "Charak" (the cream), which is literally the pollen from the flowering heads of the fertile female plants. This is usually quite rare to make it to the street markets, and even if it does it is usually cut by that time. This is a fine dusty yellow green powder, and depending on how fresh it is can be moulded or pressed into any shape. It is used in its pure form, by purists in pipes.
Marijuana (Dak, Grass, Hooch, Ganja, etc., etc.) is usually smoked in handrolled cigarettes (joints, splifs, reefers) or a special pipe. Hash smoke is inhaled in a variety of ways. Cannabis preparations are also sometimes swallowed, usually mixed with food taking between half an hour or three quarters of an hour "to come on". The effects appear more rapidly with smoking and are more under control of the experienced user. I have seen users of pollen "snorting it", as one would cocaine, but this is not the general method of use. It is not possible to prepare cannabis for injection. This does not mean that some nuts do try.
The effects of any drug depend on the amount and the way it is taken, previous drug experience and the feelings of the user at the time and also, whether alcohol and/or other drugs are taken at the same time. The circumstances surrounding its use are of influence and effect. These include whether the drug is being taken in the presence of other people.
Short Term Effects:
The short term effect are those of which appear rapidly after a single doe is taken and disappear within a few hours or days. The most common short term effects of a small dose of marijuana are:-
(a) "The High" - a feeling of euphoria
and a tendency to talk and laugh more than usual.
(b) An increase in pulse rate.
(c) Reddening of the eyes.
(d) A later stage in which the user becomes quiet, reflective and sleepy.
The whole experience is usually over in a few hours. At
larger doses these effects are increased and the user may misjudge the
passage of time so that a few minutes may seem like an hour. Perception
of sound, colour and other sensations may be sharpened or distorted.
Cannabis impairs short term memory, logical thinking and the ability to drive a car or perform other complex tasks. When cannabis is combined with alcohol, barbiturates or certain other drugs, it increases the effects on both thinking and behaviour and can be a disaster. At very large doses the effects of cannabis are hallucinogenic. The user may experience confusion, restlessness, excitement and these may cause anxiety or panic or even precipitate a psychotic episode (N.S.A.D.).
Long Term Effects:
The long term effects are those provoked by repeated use over a long period of time.
The following effects of cannabis have been observed:
(a) A tolerance develops. More of the
drug is needed to produce the same effect (N.S.A.D.).
(b) THC is soluble in fats and so will concentrate in the fatty tissue in the body including the brain where there is a high percentage of fat (N.S.A.D.). With continued use the level in the body builds up and THC is gradually released into the body system. In other words, there is a long half life of up to six weeks.(N.S.A.D. & F.A.D.E.) This saturation starves the cells of energy.
(c) There is the capacity to become psychologically dependent on cannabis. The drug becomes so central to the person's thoughts, emotions and activities that it is very hard to stop using it. There is also the potential of physical dependence (N.S.A.D.).
(d) Heavy users of cannabis also tend to be heavy tobacco smokers. The tar content of cannabis smoke is at least 50% higher than that of tobacco. Heavy cannabis users therefore run the added risk of lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases (N.S.A.D.).
(e) Regular heavy use may lead to loss of energy and drive, slow confused thinking, impaired memory, and a lack of interest in any planned activity. This is particularly noticeable in teenagers and young adults. It is called 'amotivational syndrome'. It is also known by some as 'FITH' - feathers in the head. (echoed in Natural Mind, pg 60). As one third of the brain where cannabinoids are stored is fat cells, the cannabinoids widen the gap between the cells thus interfering with the messages passing between cells. As a result the marijuana user is likely to show signs of slowness of speech and thought, short term memory loss, poor judgement and sense of timing, loss of concentration, apathy and lethargy (F.A.D.E., 1995).
(f) Physical discomforts such as diarrhoea, cramps, weight loss or gain, blockage of blood vessels, and loss of long term sex drive may arise (N.S.A.D.).
(g) Marijuana use results in a decrease in white cell production. This lessens the body's ability to resist infection and disease (F.A.D.E., 1995).
Some physicians treating marijuana users associate the
following symptoms with chronic heavy use: chromosome damage, reduced levels
of male sex hormone in the body, reduced body defences against infection,
and brain and liver damage (N.S.A.D.). The normal number of chromosomes
in a cell is 46., THC can seriously damage chromosomes, the body's blueprint
for cell growth and division. One study of adult males smoking 1. to 3.
joints per week showed that one third of the subjects sample cells had
between 20. and 30. chromosomes only (F.A.D.E., 1995).
Other Information From (N.S.A.D.):
During March and April 1981 a joint study (no pun intended) which had been commenced in 1980 by the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario, Canada and World Health Organisation produced a report following a meeting of experts in Canada. This report* represents the latest update on adverse health and behavioural consequences of cannabis use.
It confirms that the way people are talking about cannabis/pot is changing, especially among people who know - the experts. Horns are being pulled in, a lot of brave old time talk about the supposed harmlessness of pot is dying into whispers in the wind. We're in a brand new situation. It is summed up by Dr Sidney Cohen, drug authority in the University of California at Los Angeles who says, 'that marijuana use today represents a completely changed situation than existed only a few years ago'. He adds that 'what was said then may no longer apply now'. That's the scientific way of saying it's a new ball game.
Old time pot smokers used to insist that experienced 'cool' users need never suffer panic or other bad reactions. It was only the 'uncool' smoker they said who sometimes had to be taken shaking to a hospital. With the THC levels now found on the street this piece of drug folklore has been thrown into question. According to a National Institute on Drug Abuse study, ('Parents, Peers and Pot'): ' with increasingly potent pot available to youngsters, it is vital that they recognise that it is a strong chemical that can cause freakouts and not the 'uncoolness' of someone who 'cannot handle dope'. It does not matter if one is as cool as ice, a high THC level may get you producing the well known 'acute panic reaction' or nausea, the shakes and/or fainting. In one recent year about 10,000., Americans needed hospital emergency treatment for bad reactions to marijuana. Among these the acute panic reaction has been called 'the most common adverse emotional effect of using the drug.'
*It is entitled "Report of an ARF/WHO Scientific Meeting
on Adverse Health and Behavioural Consequences of Cannabis Use". Toronto,
Ontario, Canada 30th March, 3rd April 1981 and is published by the Addiction
Research Foundation 1981.
ANOTHER CHANGE IN THE SITUATION:
The same old pot smoker used to love to boast that pot was not habit forming, and that the smoker did not have to use more and more of the drug as time went on. It was another piece of users' folklore that the experienced smoker needed less pot to get an effect than did a beginner. None of this seems true now. New studies have shown that the heavy user does need more and more pot to get an effect and with joints as strong as they are today it's becoming hard to be anything but a heavy user. A kind of mild physical dependency has now been reported. The heavy smoker who stops may now find to his great surprise, if he has believed the folklore that he is suffering from such withdrawal symptoms as irritability, restlessness, decreased appetite, sleep disturbance, sweating, tremor, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. That's a pretty good list of symptoms for a non-habit forming drug to create on withdrawal.
WHERE IT GOES IN THE BODY:
After pot is taken into the body it's active elements are stored in the fatty tissues. There they stay. And stay for quite some time. THC is not water soluble. It does dissolve in fats which is why it stays in the fatty parts of the body. Unlike alcohol, the use of which can create its own heady problems but which is water soluble and washes out of the body in a few hours or a day, pot lingers. According to NIDA study 'Parents, Peers and Pot already quoted, ' a week after a person smokes a joint 30% to 50% of the THC remains in the body. It is estimated that four to six weeks are required to eliminate all the THC'. The result is says the Report, 'Regular use - even once or twice a week - means the user is never entirely free of the drug' as new deposits build on the old (N.S.A.D.). Depending on the rate at which marijuana is smoked, "If marijuana is smoked at faster rate than the cannabinoids can be eliminated then the cannabinoids stored in the fat cells increase. this saturation starves the cell of energy (F.A.D.E., 1995.).
The fatty pockets in which the body holds the drug for such long periods happen to be sensitive areas - the brain, for a starter, the glands which produce hormones, the testicles, the ovaries. You couldn't find worse places in which to store powerful chemicals (N.S.A.D.).
It might be expected that 'pot' chemicals would stir up trouble in such organs, and in other parts of the body as they pass through. For years there have been scientific reports to that effect. Findings are familiar: e.g. that pot smoke damages the brains of monkey (one way to find out whether it also damages the brains of humans would be to smoke pot vigorously for a period and then have your brain taken apart to see if there is any damage, but that's the hard way). It has also been reported that pot smoking lowers the level of male hormone, testosterone, in the blood - this is the hormone that controls male development, making the body taller, the voice deeper. The testosterone level seems to stay within the low normal range even with pot use but says one expert, 'pot could well block the normal growth process.' The testosterone level seems to go back up again if the person stops using pot. Other reports point out adverse effects on the menstrual cycles of women who use pot (N.S.A.D., and ovulation (F.A.D.E.), and an increased number of fetal deaths during pregnancy (F.A.D.E., 1995.). Marijuana smoke is more irritating and more harmful then cigarette smoke (F.A.D.E., 1995.) bad effects on the lungs of smokers include respiratory diseases, bronchitis and emphysema. Others are a lowering of male sperm count among users, bad effects on the heart. Pot seems to step up the heart beat which may play a part in producing the 'acute panic reaction' especially among young users (N.S.A.D.). In males marijuana use has been shown to result in a reduction of sperm numbers, decreased sperm mobility and an increase in numbers of abnormal sperm (FADE, 1995.).
The big change today is the calm with which such reports are now received. In early emotional days of the cannabis or pot debate adverse medical findings about pot were sometimes greeted with a kind of derision. Every new finding was fiercely debated. This has died down now amongst intelligent people. Today responsible magazines and newspapers publish compilations of such findings as a matter of course to warn their readers about the dangers of pot. Scientists still place pot studies under critical examination as they should but the mood has changed. It is hard to find an informed medical man today who has a kind word to say for the recreational use of pot. The American Medical Association which in its 1972 Report found 'little conclusive evidence' of long term bad effects from the use of pot has been revising its position and now warns that frequent use of pot over long periods can lead to serious problems in the brain, circulatory system, heart, lungs, and nervous systems. It is changes like this that makes the pot situation today a whole new ball game.
MARIJUANA IN THE WHOLE MAN OR WOMAN :
There also seems to be a little more interest these days in what pot does to the person as a whole. There is much talk about the 'amotivational syndrome', the now well recognised tendency amongst heavy pot smokers to be more than a little laid-back, to become overly passive, lethargic, seemingly removed from life and FITH (Feathers In The Head.).
At a recent conference on the effects of pot on growing up, Dr Ingrid Lanther a paediatrician at the Erieside Clinic of Ohio reported on 50 cases of daily pot smokers, all young persons. In every case she said teenagers who were once active, lost their motivation, abandoned their life goals and outlined this as an effect that may have been more important than what pot does to one's heart and lungs.
These young people began to get bad school results, they dropped out of their school activities. They showed sharp 'Jekyll and Hyde' mood swings which estranged them from their families. Other symptoms mentioned were anxiety about sex, unkempt appearance, respiratory ailments (coughs, chest pains). One participant noted that pot soothes and lulls anxiety so that the user doesn't know he or she is going down hill.
One thing can break up a user's apathy as has been pointed out by observers, and that is to question him or her about his or her changed behaviour and attitudes. Then the user may flare up and become hostile.
Almost every user thus becomes a kind of lawyer for the drug, arguing that those who oppose its use are wrong. It's the way car drivers who are obviously driving very badly under the influence of pot will express their firm belief that they are driving better than usual and that they are driving in fact wonderfully. Pot tilts the world, makes for this kind of skewed view. That is why it may keep people from growing up and going places. In addition to whatever pot may do to the organs, it also seems to make the whole person stumble."(Dr. Ingrid Lanther. American Medical Association.).
I can distinctively remember my own situation, my dissatisfaction
with remaining at school, total disrespect for the materialistic values
that were being emphasised there, more interest in associating with friends,
hearing about the new hippy movement - and its values of love and peace
that were sweeping America (and coming to England where I lived). Other
factors too, my disappointment at seeing my father after he had his stroke
- the paralysis - depression, the result and thanks that he had received/achieved
for working three jobs etc., the resultant difficulties at home it caused,
and all at a time when I needed someone to befriend me, guide me, a role
model me too, so disappointed, I found them else where in the revolutionary
hippy counterculture of drugs, sex and rock n'roll. (Didn't find them....)
Symptoms And The Problem.
"The most hazardous psychological effects of psychoactive drugs are toxic psychosis, true psychosis, and panic reactions."
"Toxic psychosis is a non specific reaction of the brain to an overdose of anything that affects it. Toxic psychoses are temporary: they disappear when the toxin leaves the body. They are characterised by confusions, disorientation and hallucinations, and it is almost always perceive as an unpleasant experience."
"True psychosis is an impairment of psychological functioning that continues after all traces of the drug have left the body. Drugs can precipate a psychotic reaction, but of and by themselves they don't cause psychoses" (just like murder is not committed by the knife).
"Psychosis doesn't come packaged in the marijuana joint, or in the LSD tab'. Rather people are variously susceptible to develop negative psychosis under stress and the influence of drugs. The problem is in the mind - the drug acts as a catalyst to expose or unleash it. In this way mental stability and insanity can't be quantified or measured into equivalents of inches or feet, ounces or pounds, kilos etc." (D. Paul Graunke, 1976. The Dilemma of Drugs, page 21.). The question of when a user becomes psychotic is quite involved and hotly debated, and despite users Denial, it happens.
The first report of the U.S. National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse (1972) recommended "that intensive research be conducted on the carcinogenic properties of the components of marijuana smoke........Further work should be conducted to analyse the effect of marijuana smoking on the pulmonary function...... The relationship to cardiac diseases, particularly coronary artery disease, should be studied."(page 174.).
The ACC, Accidents Compensation Commission of New Zealand
have recently begun a campaign on Television (TV.2.) showing some of the
graphics, asking thought provoking questions, and quoting statistics; 40
road accidents occur each week through drug and alcohol related incidents,
of them 35 are hospitalised, and of those 4 die (TV NZ. 2., 25/07/1995.,
Grace Slick lead singer of the sixties band Jefferson Airplane, former "acid queen", marijuana user, makes the comment on a relatively recent recording album "Dreams" (RCA Records NY, 1980.) on the track "Let It Go", and I quote......."You know you can't go two different ways, you can't believe everything you hear, and if you do just what your told then you've got no room of your own, ........Some people said try this, it will make you smile, some said don't touch it you'll end up crying. Oh, it felt so good for a while, but then I saw too many dying, when all they wanted to do was to get a little higher.......! One too many, .....users, losers, then there's no-one. No-one left there, for us to hold. People turn around you, except for where you want them to be,....then they end up face down, is that where you wanted to be? ......So if it's going to bring you trouble, let it go, let it go, ......... there's a spirit child inside waiting to see how you will grow." These days Grace doesn't use anything of a toxic nature.
We also had the similar experience, losing six good friends in one year due to various drug related causes, just before my joining ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness). To gain relief of suffering, they lost everything, and continue to suffer.
Various drug experts and authorities have over the years
descended on the problem to find out what it was and what to do about it.
The trouble was they often dealt with different aspects of the problem,
and each interpreted the problem from the viewpoint of his speciality,
his area of expertise.
Much like the proverbial blind men who examine an elephant, each not knowing the shape or form of an elephant, they groped sightlessly over the massive beast gathering information by touching different parts of its body. Each blind man then declared that he knew what was and elephant. Comparing notes they found that one who had found an ear said, "It is a large, rough thing, wide, hairy and broad like a rug." The one who had found the trunk insisted that he truly knew what was an elephant, "I have the real facts about it. It is like a straight and hollow pipe, awful and destructive." The third found its legs and feet, and strongly disagreed with the others, "It is mighty and firm, like a pillar, where do you get this other non-sense from?"
Some, the police, say it's a law and order dispute, "We need stricter laws and tighter enforcement." "No, it's an educational problem," Cry the teachers. "We need better drug information programs." "It's a medical problem," say the doctors, "If only we could find out the chemical equation that explains the drugs' effects - then we'd be able to do something about it." "It's a family problem," say the sociologists. "Children need to respect their parents, in order to develop properly, and parents need to train and discipline their kids." And so on each from their own perspective, all correct.
Unlike the blindmen and the elephant, the drug problem is not just passing through. It's been around for quite some time now and shows every sign of remaining for more time to come. Experts now are coming to realise that they have only been viewing certain parts of the problem, and in fact it is all of the above. It's social, political, psychological, medical and moral. It doesn't conform to any simple description, and it defies one-shot solutions (D. Paul Graunke, 1976. page 6-7.).
There is more to being involved in drugs (of any kind)
than just using. So far the effects, both medical and social have been
looked at, as well as philosophical. There is another perspective which
I feel requires awareness of, that is the legal, and criminal ethic.
Some people seem to think that programs seen on T.V. such as "Drug Wars"(T.V.NZ. Thursday evenings late July, Aug, Sept 1995.) and what goes on in real life are vastly different, I beg to disagree.
There have been many instances of persons getting caught up in some "drug war", or bad deals, finding themselves caught in a rather difficult situation. Even small time users may think everything is o.k., until one day they "get busted", and things get tied up, or linked to or with bigger dealers who don't appreciate your speaking with the police.
Everyone thinks it wont happen to him, but when the drug squad or customs and excise raid your place and find something that you wish that they hadn't, reality makes a rude awakening.
The criminal side of things is often more interesting.
If larger dealers get busted, and the finger gets pointed at you .....,
do you think they will give you the benefit of the doubt, and or believe
you? Or do you think you can "fast talk" your way out of a shot gun pointed
at your head, by an intoxicated gang member, etc. Or as happened to an
old friend of mine back in 1975; you could be found dead the next day,
to go into the statistics file as an "unfortunate junkie who just O. D.'d
(over dosed) on a fix", despite the fact that you never used that kind
Drugs As A Source Of Revenue.
Organised crime, drugs of various sources and origins have often meant lucrative incomes for those so inclined to 'move them'. There have been so many controversies, cover ups, set ups, and raids on all factions of society by government law enforcement agencies. The tobacco scam has been revealed, despite the fact that it still legal to buy and so many are addicted. In some countries marijuana is legal, like in Holland. In Colombian drug barons make millions every month out of trafficking drugs to Western countries, some have been shown to be 'allowed in' for government perks.
The Golden Triangle has for many years been a network of opiate growers, making their goods available to the supreme drug overlord General Khum Sa, who hails from his jungle hide away in Burma.
On a video that I received from a friend there is an interesting and rather revealing talk given by the United States Presidential Candidate, former Green Beret Commander of the Vietnam era, Lt Colonel Bo Gritz. Who is reported to be the most highly decorated Green Beret commander of that era receiving 62 citations for valour, 3 Silver Stars, 8 Bronze Stars, Distinguished Flying Cross, A Presidential Citation, and 2 Purple Hearts. His talk was given for the purpose of revealing what eventuated when during his 8 year search for American soldiers 'missing in action' (MIA's) and 'prisoners of war' (POW's) still not accounted for in South East Asia. Tom Harvey of the security council gave Bo Gritz a letter that would allow him and a small team of men to effectively roam the region of the 'Golden Triangle' unhindered by boarder guards or patrols.
Bo states, "That they were the first Americans into this domain to go in pursuit of P.O.W's & M.I.A.'s since the war." It took them twelve days ridding on horse back to finally come across the camp of General Khum Sa. In recorded footage, both video and audio, Khum Sa told how the United States Government officials, the C.I.A. (Criminal Investigation Agency) & D.O.D. (Dept of Defence), were the biggest customer of Heroin, 700 tonnes (1986), 900 tonnes (1987), expected 1200 tonnes by 1990. The value of which because of its 'purity', (uncut), has a street value of $1,000,000., per pound. And that this had been going on for 20 years, and he added on the increase, at their desire and request from 60 tonnes in 1975 to the present amounts.
Bo Gritz made identical copies of the video footage and
sent copies to; The White House, Senate Drug Control, Tom Harvey of the
Security Council, House of Representatives, and The Senate etc. The White
House and the others received the video in which Khum Sa revealed all the
names of the people that he had been dealing with. Khum Sa also said that
he would, "Voluntarily stop every ounce of heroin if the U.S. President
would give us his economic aid one tenth of the Burmese Drug Suppression
Fund, give us some experts in crop substitution to change over from our
opiate crops to vegetables, and so utilise the .......territory better
for the people. This would then legitimise the economy of the 'Golden Triangle'."
Tom Harvey in the security council heard this and said, "There is no interest there in doing that, what can I tell you Bo, there's no interest in doing that."
Bo Gritz returned to Burma. During his absence from the
area the Burmese and Thai, who had pressure put on them by the U.S., were
told, "....that they were not doing enough to suppress Khum Sa."
In the local Asian news media there were headlines, "U.S. calls for no mercy on Khum Sa," and "U.S. air strikes bomb Khum Sa's camp," and finally "Khum Sa's stronghold seized."
During this time Bo Gritz read these in his hotel lobby, while located in the area.
When things looked peaceful the team set out again, but were surprised to find that after a very short time they hit a brand new highway, with Thai trucks fully loaded heading in his direction out of the jungle. Instead of their previous twelve day excursion, or three day hard ride it took a pleasant 12 hour ride to find themselves stopping where the highway did at the door of Khum Sa's camp.
Bo Gritz spoke with Khum Sa and asked him about the war, the U.S. attack etc. Khum Sa was surprised and replied, "...that was a newspaper war....!" what had actually happened was that, "Thai and Burmese had come to me (Khum Sa) and said if they don't appear to be doing something they stand to lose ten's of millions of dollars from Drug Suppression Funds from the U.S.," tax payers. Khum Sa said he wanted a road built and in the three months that Bo Gritz was away.
Khum Sa named Richard Armatage as being the chief in the
drug trafficking between 1965 to 1979. "Richard Armatage was ....(indistinct)
staff, on Reagan's campaign staff, and assistant secretary of defence (1987),
right underneath Mr Carlouchi (? unsure of spelling). Richard Armatage
also was in charge of 'Missing In Action' (MIA) and 'Prisoners Of War'
(POW) accountability"(Bo Gritz, 1987. Breakfast Club, Phoenix.) This is
where it all started to piece together.
According to Senator McCane of Arizona, "....more than one billion dollars had been sent to Khum Sa in 'Drug Suppression Money."
Its interesting to note that according to the C.I.A., they have a reward out for the head of Khum Sa in the seven figures (US $ ?,000,000's)
"When in 1975 Laos & Cambodia (Kampuchea) consolidated most people in the U.S. thought that their interest in the region was finished, but actually it hadn't, it continued. A secret team thought that they could continue trafficking drugs for covert operations that constitutionally they knew were illegal. They used the office of M.I.A. accountability, because they figured that no one would care. Th government said they're all dead, so we all believe it. 2500 Americans missing and they're all dead because the computer says that. So they felt safe in continuing to conduct covert operations using drugs through General Khum Sa and funding wars wherever they wanted to go without you, me, or the U.S. Congress having anything to say about it. No vote, in other words."(Bo Gritz, 1987. Breakfast Club, Phoenix.).
"Today Richard Armatage would not want American P.O.W.'s
to come home. Because when they do, not if but when, it means what? It
means we're going to have an investigation of that crime. Why those heroes
have been left to die alone in the hands of the enemy for more than fifteen
years. And when we do investigate that, we'll uncover this secret organisation
who have been dependent upon drugs to covert paralleled government wide
operations by passing the constitution."
"Therefore as Pogo said, 'We have met the enemy, he is us, Washington D.C., right now.' And he's not just an assistant. He is the assistant for the International Security Affairs. Richard Armatage decides where every penny of tax payers dollars will go including the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, including Latin America, wherever our military might is extended, Richard Armatage decides that"(Bo Gritz, 1987. Breakfast Club, Phoenix.).
I'll leave you to make further conclusions on world affairs,
and how that affects us, wherever you may be reading this essay today.
But I tell you what. This is not an isolated incident, there are numerous
incidences both large and small.
Even of persons going to court, getting 'busted' for having in their possession a certain amount of drugs. But in court only half of that being mentioned. Where did the rest go?
Naturally it's difficult for the accused to say, "Hey, I had five kilos more than that," or ".....that when I was arrested I had some cocaine too ........!!!"
The world is in a saddened condition, there is so much
corruption and manipulation, we don't know the half of it.
Definitely the results are filtered down, we can see what affect it all has on the world in general. Due to all of this there are so many suffering people out there in the world, due to some kind of problem they have come to rely on "sleeping tigers" and their handlers as friends. But I assure you there are no friends in this domain, when it comes to he drug money, or the use of drugs, everything else is expendable, including human life.
I had many "friends" when I "used" more than twenty five years ago now. But the day I stopped, from that day to this, I have neither heard nor seen any of my so called friends again. It shows just where their interest was. It wasn't me.
There is so much to be taken into consideration in this
matter of drugs that everything, every individual item, drug of dependence
and individual situation cannot possibly be taken into account. However,
we can certainly learn, I feel from what we have compiled here.
Being "Fed On S('stool' - shit) and Kept In The Dark"(FOSKITD, a British Army WWII saying) may satisfy some people as they pligh through this life, but some of us have seen too much. That if this information is not taken into consideration, what to speak of acted upon, by avoidance, the welfare of the peoples who are likely to come in contact with their "produce", as mentioned above are doomed. In regards to the ideas of Anthony Giddens, who it appears thinks that these things don't really happen(A. Giddens, 1993. Sociology, page 151-152.), I think as a sociologist it is about time we all woke up a little, don't see things for what they first appear, look a little deeper, enquire, research. These are after all, the basic guidelines of even first year sociology students.
Our goal in this presentation is to piece together various
diverse parts of the whole, and make a composite picture of the entire
problem and suggest possible solutions. Obviously the picture will not
be complete, because our knowledge is not complete. Yet there is much valid
information which can assist decision making, and direction forming habits
to a more clean, healthy, safe and wholistic life-style.
The Modes Of Nature Involved In The Use Of Intoxication.
To simply hide one's head from all these facts it truly living by the mode of ignorance. These things do not bring a high that they promise to. In actuality they bring a low, but due to their illusory effect, it appears as a high. Examine further the symptoms.
In the purport to the ancient scripture Bhagavad Gita, "One who takes pleasure in laziness and in sleep is certainly in the mode of darkness, ignorance, and one who has no idea how to act and how not to act is also in the mode of ignorance. For the person in the mode of ignorance, everything is illusion. There is no happiness either in the beginning or at the end. For the person in the mode of passion there might be some kind of ephemeral happiness in the beginning and at the end distress, but for the person in the mode of ignorance there is only distress both in the beginning and at the end."(A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Bhagavad Gita As It Is. 18:39. purport.)
In discussion with others who like me do not use any such substances anymore, we all had similar experience of functional difficulties, memory, attention, concentration, amotivation etc., that I also experience daily as a result of a similar life-style as a hippy in England, India and Afghanistan in the 1970s. Which I am eternally grateful to Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad for saving me from.
From Bhagavad Gita, without too much endeavour, we could
tick off a number of further qualities of particular modes of nature that
are prevalent here in this discussion on creating bewilderment, and the
use of intoxication, and then leave you to draw your own conclusions as
to their validity:-
B.g. 14:8. "O son of Bharata, know that the mode of darkness, born of ignorance, is the delusion of all embodied living entities. The results of this mode are madness, indolence and sleep, which bind the conditioned soul."
B.g. 14:9. "O son of Bharata, the mode of goodness conditions one to happiness; passion conditions one to fruitive action; and ignorance, covering one's knowledge, binds one to madness."
B.g. 14:13. "When there is an increase in the mode of ignorance, O son of Kuru, darkness, inertia, madness and illusion are manifested."
B.g. 14:17. "From the mode of goodness, real knowledge develops; from the mode of passion, greed develops; and from the mode of ignorance develop foolishness, madness and illusion."
B.g. 14:18. "Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the abominable mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds."
B.g. 14:15. "When one dies in the mode of passion, he takes birth among those engaged in fruitive activities; and when one dies in the modes of ignorance, he takes birth in the animal kingdom."
B.g. 17:19. "Penance performed out of foolishness, with self torture or to destroy or injure others, is said to be in the mode of ignorance."
B.g. 18:25. "That action performed in illusion, in disregard of scriptural injunctions, and without concern for future bondage or violence or distress caused to others is said to be in the mode of ignorance."
B.g. 18:32. "That understanding which considers irreligion to be religion and religion to be irreligion, under the spell of illusion and darkness, and strives in the wrong direction, O Partha, is in the mode of ignorance."
B.g. 18:35. "And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion - such unintelligent determination, O son of Prthaa, is in the mode of darkness."
B.g. 18:39. "And that happiness which is blind to self-realisation, which is delusion from beginning to end and which arises from sleep, laziness and illusion is said to be of the nature of ignorance."
B.g 18:64. "Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you My supreme instruction, the most confidential knowledge of all. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit."
B.g. 18:65. "Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend."
B.g. 18:72. "O son of Prthaa, O conqueror of wealth, have you heard this with an attentive mind? And are your ignorance and illusion now dispelled?"
The Positive Alternative.
Continual relapses can be a challenge, "Some researchers argue that relapses will occur until the addict reaches a state of 'surrender'. Surrendering means the giving up of egocentric, self willed, arrogant attitude of the relapsed who defiantly insists that he can even occasionally use, 'that he will do something', that he cannot be stopped, that he will not accept any authority other than his own impulses and infantile needs."
"Others, after not using for some time, now consider that they are 'cured' - that they now have the situation under control. They can only prove this to themselves by smoking/drinking/fixing in this relapse and then stopping again. Addicts in this relapse situation are like the recovering alcoholic who intends having just one drink to prove his new found self insight and control, but ends up on a three day 'bender'; or the 'coke' user who thinks just have one line, will set him right; or the cigarette addict who thinks that just one 'fag'............or for that matter the gambling addict who will try just one more machine or horse, etc."
"This can lead the addict to having a feeling of serious disappointment with their newly found 'straight' state. They feel that since they have decided to give up, they should be rewarded by the world, and when they don't immediately get the good things of life flowing their way, relapses occur. It is difficult for one to abandon this expectation and face the inevitable problems of daily life with the conviction that 'being straight' in itself is worthwhile and is the foundation upon which they must build"(Compulsive Gambling Society, 1995. Relapse Recovery Paper, page 28, & Alcoholics Anonymous Relapse Fact Sheet.)
Rather than noticing a problem and doing nothing to help
to reconcile it, we are trying to view these as a challenge. By which an
individual can make a positive affirmation, towards reformatory, totally
non-compromising, benefic to all, alternative, by the gradual process of
acceptance of Krishna Consciousness. To do this Srila Prabhupad set up
within Iskcon a good solid program that covers the essential factors that
help one engage in positive reform; rising early in the morning, cleansing
the body and mind; establishing who we are and what we want to be by repetition
of positive affirmations in the form of mangal arati/guruvastakam prayers,
guruvanadam prayers, and prayers used with puja - bhuta suddhi etc. The
recitation of the Holy Name of the Lord provides the ultimate positive
association for all who take advantage of it, and to the degree that they
do. These are those who do obviously stand a better chance of giving good
and positive association to the others around them too who may be newer,
or less experienced in reform. There's also contructive activity that solidifies
the desires of the person, and thoughts of the mind, through intelligent
thought into practical work of some kind - service for the Lord and His
Along with all of these obviously to keep us on track there are certain negative abstinations. These fall into the basic four negatives that implicate one in material activity; meat eating; any illicit sexual connections; gambling, and intoxication. As well of these, prajalpa, the dwelling on negative material things, and their repeated discussion, and even glorification of those things are to be avoided as much as are criticisms of those who are trying to reform and other forms of negative dwelling.
The entire process is very simple and logical, and practical for the establishment and development of spiritual life. However, while we try to guard against defiling any spiritual works that we do by associating with the negative, it is important not to judge others, or feel that one can judge others, least we fall into certain syndromes that appear, at least to us, to set us above other reformers, and with a reign to pass judgement, manipulate, and control them.
According to the philosophy of heteronomous morality or morality of constraint, judgements are made by simplistic rigid characterisations. Especially it has been observed in emotionally and intellectually underdeveloped, immature and egocentric persons such as children that there is a tendency to see things in terms of black and white, and not grey. They cannot conceive of there being more than one way of seeing things. They believe that rules are unalterable, that philosophy or behaviour is either right or wrong. Furthermore they cannot put themselves in the place of others, see different stages of development, realisation etc., and consequently think that any offence - no matter how minor- deserves severe punishment. (Of course, as with the case of children they often disobey the rules that they insist upon for others) (Piaget, Papilia & Olds, page 250-251.).
We also used to think like this. However, over the years practicing Krishna consciousness, something must have happened. It seems that we have become more introspective, more realistic, and best of all, more honest, and merciful. Today we hold the view that, it is better to be aware that one holds a half full cup of milk than a half empty one. Positive re-enforcement, good examples and encouragement will always have a better overall effect than intimidating remarks, aggressive attitudes, bullying or any other forms of negativity. We try hard to look for the intent behind someone doing something rather than what they only did. Thus those who are at least making an attempt at genuine reform have much more entitlement to respect, than those who just would not commit themselves to crossing that line towards reform. Still everyone needs to be encouraged.
In Basic Psychology 101: The carrot will bring about more
effective and longer lasting change than the stick. People respond more
constructively to positive inducements and rewards than to negative deterrents
Dr Allan Cohen, a widely recognised expert on drug use has said, "Basically, individuals do not stop drugs until they discover 'something better'. The key to meeting problems of drug abuse is to focus on the something better and maximise opportunities for experiencing satisfying non chemical alternatives" (D. Paul Graunke, 1976. page 68-69.), the same is emphasised in Bhagavad Gita 2:59., "The embodied soul may be restricted from materialistic sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in spiritual consciousness."
Dr Cohen gives some practical suggestions in the form of guidance as to how to replace the drug dependency habit with an alternative activity. He also recognises that to offer an alternative to drugs is not synonymous with a substitute for drugs - it must be something more effective, more worthwhile than drugs for giving people real satisfaction and fulfilment.
For example, "....if a person is motivated to use drugs for physical satisfaction or relaxation, he/she may be profitably directed toward physical activity - working in some way, such as carpentry, gardening, or even some form of sport, dancing or hiking. If the person is seeking sensory stimulation, they may find more sensory awareness training a more satisfying experience, by being engaged in music, art, or the environment - in this way developing an appreciating the beauty of nature under the care of a capable, person and or friend" (D. Paul Graunke, 1976. page 69.).
This is the perfection of the Daivi Varnashram system.
Wherein a person according to their nature works in such a way that not
only do they experience fulfillment but they develop a natural and lasting
understanding of who and what they are, and how to put that to some practical
service or work. The life-style becomes a form of therapy. And the more
one "becomes well" or cured of materialistic disease then the more one
can act in one's constitutional position as a pure soul, free from material
dependencies and their dictative bondage.
Adolescence in particular is a very difficult time.
"The concept of teenager is specific to modern societies. The biological changes involved in pubity (the point at which a person becomes capable of adult sexual activity and reproduction) are universal. Yet in many cultures these do not produce the degree of turmoil and uncertainty often found among young people in modern societies. When there is an age-grade system for example, coupled with distinct rites that signal the person's transition to adulthood, the process of psychosexual development seems easier to negotiate. Adolescents in traditional societies have less to 'unlearn' than their counterparts in the modern ones, since the pace of change is slower. There is a time at which our children are required to be children no longer: to put away their toys and break with childish pursuits. In traditional cultures, where children are already working alongside adults, this process of 'unlearning' is normally much less severe."
"The distinctiveness of being a teenager in the Western societies is related both to the general extension of child rights and to the process of formal education. Teenagers often try to follow adult ways, but are treated in law as children. They may wish to go to work, but are constrained to stay in school. Teenagers are 'in between' childhood and adulthood, growing up in a society subject to continuous change"(Elkind, 1984.; A. Giddens, 1993. page 83-84.)
Besides this, in for example the Vaidik culture as a boy or girl reaches the recognised maturational age of pubity new options are given that open a new world for them. They are no longer treated as children by the mother and father but more like friends that they can share their experiences and knowledge with. A girl starts to learn the skills of womanhood from her mother, aunties and older womenfolk, and the boys too learn how to become a man by associating and working with men. To my way of thinking this so-called Alternatives model (which has been going on for many thousands of years successfully) is the only method that gives support to an adolencent who is inside crying out for direction. I find it hard to get over the arrogant condecending tone of the Western-Judaeic-Modern-Colonials who teach that cultures that have been running successfully until they were interfered with by the Colonialists are alternative - let's put the horse and the cart in the right places please.
The "Alternatives model" is practical because it is based
on the premise that there is no one cause, for drug abuse, and hence no
one solution for everyone. It is a personal tailoring program that is directed
to meet the person and assist in their development of a satisfactory interest
in life by which they will gain a higher taste. Also it allows freedom
and presents opportunity to discover and develop to his or her natural
and full potential.
"This method really works because it treats the drug problem for what it really is - a people problem. It shifts the focus from what the drugs do to why people use them. As such, it is not only effective in getting people off drugs, but also in preventing them from getting started" (D. Paul Graunke, 1976. page 69.).
Prevention is always better than cure, and is the ultimate
solution in drug abuse. If society can offer something better, a positive
alternative that will inspire especially young people to try to do something
with their lives, and not experiment with those things that can cause such
"Sometimes we have experienced it said, that a first class person can learn from other peoples mistakes, and that is good. But on the other hand we have seen this used as an excuse, 'That I'm not first class intelligent, so let me try it anyway'. It's sad, but it means that the person really wanted to try drugs, and anything that you or I have to say will not get in their way."
"The continuing use of drugs in society today indicates that a lot of young people need - but don't have - something better to do" (D. Paul Graunke, 1976. page 69.).
The positive alternative enables 'man' (human kind - embound jivas) to satisfy his/her innate needs, to develop self respect and respect for others. It gives an opportunity that otherwise would not be found in the accumulation of mere material possessions. Generally people who try drugs have at some time been looking for a direction in life, away from what materialistic society has to offer. Even in the Bible (Luke 12:15.) it says, "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." And they are trying to make a statement, all of their own.
In Vedic times the prevalent system was that of the joint
family. The family consisted of more than one generation living under one
roof. ..........A father had to take care of the minor children, aged parents,
and widows in the family and arrange for the marriage of daughters"(B.P.Sinha,
1919. Kautiliya's Artha Shastra, page 145-146.).
"In ancient Hindu society the joint family system was strongly entrenched and it was the best insurance for the helpless (dependents) and afflicted members of society; Kautiliya accepted this system and enforced the law according to which the head of the family was to look after the dependents. A capable person neglecting to maintain his or her child, minor brothers or sisters, widowed girls and unmarried daughters was fined. Similarly any person embracing asceticism without making provisions for his family was punished"(B.P.Sinha, 1919. Kautiliya's Artha Shastra, page 9-10.).
The unfortunate thing is that today people are so concerned about their short term near sighted enjoyment than they are about long term effects. Parents are out working to make money for a better way of life. Yet the children, who are the future of the family are being neglected. Out of neglect they find their own entertainment and recreation through substance abuse gained from other children and youths who also have been left unattended. Mum and Dad are so absorbed in making money for the family's sense gratification that such precious gems as Sucurity and Love are substituted by gifts and unsupervised freedom.
The children come home to an empty house, unsupervised, among their friends and peers various criminal tendencies have been seen to develop. What can we do they are just children? the fact is that young children need supervision and guidance until they are of responsible age to be able to discriminate. The word comes from being able to judge so as not to become a criminal element - or up to no-good!!!
Friendship and supportive affection among family members,
employment according to one's natural propensity and empathy among elders,
were methods found to be successful by Chanakya Pandit (Kautiliya). Feasible
responsibility in youth was encouraged. By good association, and companionship
many crisis that afflict the youth as they grow, face hormonal changes,
new aspirations, and their gradual development into adulthood can be overcome.
The Basis Or Spring Board, In Adolescent To Young Adult Development.
At some time in a human being's life they have ideals, dreams or goals that they wish to fulfil. The fulfilment of which are so important to the healthy development of the living entity. If one grows without the sense of achievement, without the sense of self esteem, and without seeing oneself as having a good "self image", it is eventual that negative outlooks will develop into some kind of persona.
The psychologist Daniel Levinson and his colleagues at Yale University (1978) compiled much detail on how individuals in the course of their lives, by which they design their 'life structure' into maturation. Everyone has freedom of choice, and has God given potential to develop. In his work he emphasises what was observed to happen between young adults and parents. I find it very relevant to the development of the overall young individual, the security and stability by which on builds the future, our lives, hopes and aspirations.
Levinson primarily observed six main relationship patterns of interest. Individuated; the feeling respected by others and can freely ask for advice, enjoys being around elders, parents etc., acknowledges their strengths, enjoys being with them, and has few conflicts with them, yet feels separate and responsible enough to develop himself more, being untroubled by a lack of intensity in the relationship; Competent-connected, growing up strongly independent, with life views often radically different from parents, but feels more empathic towards parents than individuated, understands needs of others - parents etc., helps parents resolve their own problems, etc., mother may be seen as demanding and critical, but the young adult keeps conflicts within limits and stays close to her etc; Pseudo-autonomous, pretends not to care about conflicts and disengages rather than confront openly, may feel fathers are uninterested and mothers intrusive, both are seen as unable to accept the young adult for him or herself; Identified, this is the unusually open and intimate relationship, the young adult has acceptance of parental values and outlook on life, seeks advice on major issues, and feel secure with parents availability, there are few tensions, and parents are seen as non judgemental and supportive; Dependent, the young adult's inability to cope with life situations without parental help, feels troubled by this but unable to change, may see parents as overbearing and judgemental or emotionally detached and preoccupied with themselves, the young adult may get into childish power struggles with parents, this is equivalent to insecure or avoidant attachment; Conflicted, this profile emerges usually with fathers, young adult's feel father as short tempered and incapable of close relationship, consequently the young adult feels constantly under attack, may feel ashamed by fathers inadequacies, and inability to come close despite the young adult's desire. Developmentalists have found that failure to accomplish the tasks of an era of this transition period from childhood, through adolescence to adulthood could dangerously weaken the life structure of the next stabilising stage.
The way men reassess their early goals and substitute more attainable ones determines how well they will cope with life. Success during these 'apprenticeship years' is influenced by a slightly older mentor - someone who offers guidance and inspiration, passes on wisdom, moral support, and practical help in both career and personal matters. At about the age of thirty men reevaluate their earlier commitments, or they make strong commitments for the first time (Levinson, 1986. page 6.; Papilia & Olds, page 401.).(P&O Footnote: Levinson 1986, says that his conclusions apply to women, with some variations, but only his published studies of men are available at this writing).
With a goal set in one's life, strong and healthy commitments to attain that end, faith or confidence that one is working up to his God given potential, and by keeping good association that will not harm that growth, or allow one to become re-infected with negative attitudes, one can become fixed in such a consciousness, by which one can conceivably gain a taste for healthy life ('Adau sraddha'.....etc.).
Self imagery is very important in developing one's own individual nature, which in itself is very important in the wholistic person. Honesty and humility, allow one to grow, by acceptance and recognition of who we are. Ignorance, lacking of knowledge of the truth, develops into arrogance, low self esteem, but honesty and humility develops reality. The simplest advice is to be who you are, and work to develop into who, or what you want to aspire to be.
This can be attained at any stage or progression in life,
and not only when in crisis, or challenged.
There are many stages of life in which challenges are presented, vantage points that allow us to take to one direction or another. We have been given that much freedom of choice. There is no benefit in running or hiding, becoming depressed, or taking shelter of intoxicants. Everything is available in this world there is no shortage of anything. the problem is that we haven't sufficiently accepted the responsibility to grow up.
The linking, developing, progressive stage going from around eleven to fifteen years of age cover what the sociologist/developmentalist/psychologist, Piaget calls the formal operational period. During adolescence, the developing child becomes able to grasp highly abstract and hypothetical ideas. When faced with a problem, children at this stage are able to review all the possible ways of solving it and go through them theoretically in order to reach a solution. The young person at the formal operational stage is able to understand why some sorts of questions are trick ones. To the question, 'What kind of creatures are both poodles and dogs?', the child might not be able to give the correct reply (the answer is poodles), but he or she will understand why this answer is right and appreciate the humour in it (A. Giddens, 1993. page 74.).
"How many pieces would you like this pizza cut into,
six or eight ?"
"You better cut it into six, I don't think I could eat eight !"
According to Piaget, the first three stages of development
(sensorimotor - the touching of objects, and their simple manipulation;
pre-occupational, mastery of language, communication and representation
via symbolic gestures, imitation of noises etc; egocentric, seeing the
world in relation exclusively to its own position, does not understand
different perspective's, paradigms, tendency to selfishness etc.) are universal;
but not all adults reach the formal operational stage. The development
of formal operational thought depends in part on processes of schooling.
Adults of limited educational attainment tend to continue to think in more
concrete terms and retain large traces of egocentrism (A. Giddens, 1993.
If one can, to whatever degree possible, participate in the process of Krishna consciousness (vaidhi saddhana bhakti), over a course of time, if one applies oneself with focused determination, one will gradually come to the goal. There is an interesting story of Noris Chadwick the "cross channel swimmer" (1952). After swimming the English channel (22 miles) she wanted more of a challenge, and so decided to swim from Catalina Island, off the coast of California to the mainland, a distance of 76 miles.
She set out in reasonable conditions, but after some time a very thick fog set in. she was accompanied by some people in small boats who kept an eye out for sharks, which if seen we shot with their rifles. After many hours in the water, and being very close to her goal. The swimmer, having repeatedly asked to be told how far to go not being able to see because of the fog, asked to be picked out of the water.
When asked why she gave up, she simple said that she because she couldn't see due to the fog, that she lost sight of her goal (Fred Holpp, ILD - Henderson Family Reunion. Takapuna, Auck.1995.).
If resolution of purpose is strong, then you can overcome any dichotomy of mind. Faith will not associate with envy, doubt etc., so one has to eliminate negatives that harm us, the niggling doubts. Be tolerant, patient, if you don't you'll lose sight. And act in such a way that one gains self confidence, its learnable by good association. Just as the science of cooking is learnt from an expert chef with humility, and inquirey. (B.g. 3:34.)
Krishna consciousness is the perfect vehicle that can
carry one anywhere that one wants to go in this world, it is the positive
alternative. One's individual profession/vocation is not so important providing
that it is of a positive nature. The vehicle is of most importance.
This opportunity to ride on this vehicle is a rare one and yet available to everyone according to how strong is there desire. Chose to take as much to it as you can muster, and maybe a little bit more for good measure. Make use of it, and be grateful for those options that have come our way. And remember we are the one's who make the choices at each and every cross-road in life.
We as members of ISKCON follow the fruit bowl philosophy. This is where each of us, as individuals are recognised as having individual natures, and flavours and within the perimeters of the fruit bowl, the regulative principles, and rules for Vaishnava conduct we can live and grow to our full potential, healthily and happily. By the mercy of the Lord.
Understanding that one can take a good wife from a lowly
family, gold from a dirty place or good words from wherever we find them,
you would have noticed there are many inclusions in this paper of that
In my opinion, a lot of valid and healthy discussion and good realisations have come about by reading the work of M. Scott-Peck. To the point that I think that some of his points are relevant here; "True community is joyful, but it is also realistic. Sorrow and joy must be seen in their proper proportions."(M. Scott Peck, 1990. Different Drum, page 102.).
"Most of us are pulling someone up with one hand while we ourselves are being pulled up by another." (M. Scott Peck, 1990. Different Drum, page 196.). This in itself is the essence of Vaishnava association(Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 11: chapter 2.).
"Community is integrative. It includes people of different
sexes, ages, religions, cultures, viewpoints, life-styles, and stages of
development by integrating them into a whole that is greater - better -
than the sum of its parts. Integrations not a melting process; it does
not result in a bland average. Rather, it has been compared to the creation
of a salad in which the identity of the individual ingredients is preserved
yet simultaneously transcended. Community does not solve the problem of
pluralism by obliterating diversity. Instead it seeks out diversity, welcomes
other points of view, embraces opposites, desires to see the otherside
of every issue. It is 'wholistic.' It integrates us human beings into a
functioning mystical body" (M. Scott Peck, 1990. Different Drum, page 234).
"Since integrity is never painless, so community is never painless. It also requires itself to be fully open, vulnerable, to the tension of conflicting needs, demands, and interests of its members and of the community as a whole. It does not seek to avoid conflict but to reconcile it. And the essence of reconciliation is that painful, sacrificial process of emptying. Community always pushes its members to empty themselves sufficiently to make room for the other point of view, the new and different understanding. Community continually urges both itself and its individual members painfully, yet joyously, into ever deeper levels of integrity" (M. Scott Peck, 1990. Different Drum, page 235.).
We have experienced that mercy like integrity is not a
cheap item. It is always readily available, but to be able to receive it,
to accommodate it, and be willing to carry it, that is the science of Krishna
"The method for getting the mercy. One must translate his desire into action. A devotee should actively endeavour, dynamically endeavour, for the mercy go all out for it. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta taught this realisation and only Srila Prabhupad understood it. No one else in the Gaudiya Math quite got the point or they would be clamouring to follow in his footsteps. Even today, after Srila Prabhupada's dynamic example, no one else has grasped this realisation: that we are not meant to serve at half sail while waiting for the mercy to kick in" (Kundali dasa, Nectar of Discrimination, 1995. page 44.).
On this matter I think that to achieve total positivity
one has to appreciate who has been a great guiding force on the planet
for the past 30 years. Certainly that person is Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta
He single handedly created the necessary Vaishnava association to reform a very fallen Western Society, to gradual change as it is even today.
Prior to his coming to the West to execute the mission of his spiritual master, how many vegetarians were there? Not very many! Now by his preaching and the conviction and effort of his followers, there are millions world wide.
The same questions can be asked in regard to permissive sex, abortion etc., now there are movements in the world who follow very similar principles as ours, 'Straight Edge'. Today in the world there are many more religious organisations, yoga establishments etc., than ever before. In medicine too, now there are so many alternative clinics; Ayurvedic, Aromatherapy, Gem-therapy, Naturopathic, Holistic healing, Massage, ........so many! All of whom have popped up after Srila Prabhupada had organised that millions of his books containing the ageless Vedic knowledge which many are now changing over to, many without conscious awareness of his merciful arrangement for us all.
To me it is blatantly obvious that despite conditioning and pride, the people have read his books, and to some degree made either conscious or unconscious choices to change after doing so.
"There are many disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, but to judge who is actually his disciple, to divide the useful from the useless, one must measure the activities of such disciples in executing the will of the spiritual master. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura tried his best to spread the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to countries outside India. When he was present he patronised the disciples to go outside India to preach the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but they were unsuccessful because within their minds they were not actually serious about preaching His cult in foreign countries; they simply wanted to take credit for having gone to foreign lands and utilise this recognition in India by advertising themselves as repatriated preachers. Many swamis have adopted this hypocritical means of preaching for the last eighty years or more, but no one could preach the real cult of Krsna consciousness all over the world. They merely came back to India falsely advertising that they had converted all the foreigners to the ideas of Vedanta or Krsna consciousness, and then they collected funds in India and lived satisfied lives of material comfort. As one fans paddy to separate the real paddy from useless straw, by accepting the criterion recommended by Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami one can very easily understand who is a genuine world-preacher and who is useless" (Chaitanya Charitamrta, Adi-lila: Chapter Twelve, Text 12., purport.)
Honesty, is a much treasured quality, as truthfulness
is the one existing last leg or pillar of righteousness left standing in
this Kali Yuga. Therefore I would like to emphasise our feeling of gratitude
to His Divine Grace for doing what he has done, and what he continues to
do for those of us who remain faithful to him.
This is the difference between a great spiritual master and an ordinary man, and respectively their followers.
Relating to the matter of addiction, addiction to the
phantasmagorical glitter of this illusory world, over the course of the
past twenty years or so since my association with Srila Prabhupada's movement
I have seen many things. But none so touching as we all experienced at
the time of his departure.
"And the all the devotees began to cry ....but we were still chanting. We were chanting 'Jaya Srila Prabhupada' .......Prabhupada had gone back to Vaikuntha, and .....we felt Prabhupada had entered everyone's heart. He had become closer than he had ever been to us"(Mukunda dasa Goswami, 1981. Vyasa Puja Book Introduction page ix.) Undoubtably true - Personally I still feel the unreplaceable pain of his separation.
Some years latter I saw something that now relates as similar, in regard to a devotee who was serving in one of our Food for Life Foodbanks leaving after actually helping and saving so many souls from their previous conditioning. One client, very upset, expressed his gratitude to me for all that the devotees had done for him.
I think that it is a question of gratitude and loyalty. Getting a higher taste to replace the lower taste of mundane negative consciousness from my perspective comes firt from an appreciation of what is truly spiritual, permenent, pure, and good.
A Question of Loyalty.
In regard to this loyalty, discrimination needs to be established as to why we are doing things. I can remember my attitude towards everyone, the disappointments etc., the feeling of being lost and alone, etc. My anger and rejection of my father, and all authority figures for that matter, that represent again being let down. I saw them all as a big let down. I became very selfish, but unfortunately I didn't know what was for my best interest. And so I left my family to gratify myself. With such things as intoxication, which we will include false pride, one easily becomes deluded as to what is best for one's self - and for that matter who is the self.
In the same way that we have left the spiritual world, with personal ambition to enjoy, and be glorified as being "something". How many drunks, and "blown-out hippies" have you heard talking about the "good ol' days" and all the wonderful things that THEY did. Material ambition in all of its facets is such an incidious thing.
Sriman Kundali prabhu writes, "The third phenomenon under the heading of personal ambition syndrome that I want to scrutinise is the phenomenon of Godbrothers leaving Iskcon seeking shelter elsewhere, even up to the point of getting re-initiated and so on. I have seen and heard a number of the arguments they use to support their stance. The essence of these arguments can be reduced to one sentence: We left Iskcon to preserve purity of the message of the parampara."
"This is a good reason. Purity is the force. Without purity there is no question of Iskcon offering any better means of elevation to love of God than other religious institutions. We become just another religious institution. If Iskcon is irreparably corrupt and the integrity of the 'parampara' irreparably compromised, no one should want to spend another moment in Iskcon, for that would be an Iskcon in name only. The spirit would have died. In other words, Iskcon is only valuable if it is a transparent medium for the 'parampara'. Lose that feature and it is better to stick to the 'parampara'."
"On the other hand, if it can be repaired, then a faithful disciple's duty is to tighten his belt, grit his teeth, swallow his pride, and get to work repairing it, same as you would do in a ship at sea. Jumping in mid-ocean just because the ship does not function perfectly is simply not an option. It's foolish. You abandon ship only when it is beyond repair, when it is going down, with no chance of turning the situation around. Our Iskcon ship is nowhere near such danger of sinking. This is a self evident fact. There are surely things that need repair or improvement. So why not band together and work on it? How is that going to displease Srila Prabhupada?"
"Therefore, up until now no disciple of Srila Prabhupada (or grand-disciple for that matter [JTCD]) can abandon Iskcon claiming a quest for purity and at the same time count himself a loyal disciple. Purity may be his excuse, but it is not his real reason. Love for Srila Prabhupada means to somehow co-operate. Tolerate and co-operate. Somehow ride out the storm. More than that, if you are that unhappy with the direction the movement is taking, it is your responsibility to speak up. To take your marbles and go is not a viable option. Even more dreadful is to go and then take potshots at those who stayed with the ship. Having left the kitchen because of the heat yet wanting to tell everyone how to cook is simply not very convincing. Our commitment to Srila Prabhupada should sustain us through our periods of doubt, anxiety, anger, depression, and even utter despair. That is the import of the tat te 'nukampam verse of the Bhagavatam. For such a person, 'jiveta yo mukti pade so daya-bhak'."
"Therefore, I say personal ambition is a much more likely reason those Godbrothers left. Whoever will not face this fact is stuck."
"First of all, the purity of Iskcon is not demonstrated by achieving material perfection. Materially Iskcon may be more full of holes than a Swiss cheese. The purity of Iskcon is that it does not deviate from the siddhanta (philosophical conclusion) and that our dealings are on the platform of Vaishnava integrity. When we fall short - as we inevitably do - we have to rectify. Just like a ship's tendency to is to go off course. The man at the wheel has to continually correct its course. It is the same with any institution. That's why it is so important for the institution to be self-critical and open to challenge."
"To point out defects in the functioning of Iskcon is fine as long as one then gets into solving the problems, correcting the ship's course. To say 'Because of such and such defect I have to go elsewhere is; sorry,' is not a sign of pure devotional service. It is a sign of fair weather friendship; of personal ambition; of motivated, mixed devotional service. Such mixed devotional service must be given up so we can progress to pure devotional service. But if we don't admit that it is mixed, why will we want to give it up?"
"If someone says, 'Well, what about Prabhupad; he left his master's mission to go his own way,' this is not the same thing. Prabhupad had a direct order from his spiritual master and no one would help him; his spiritual master's mission did in fact splinter; and in fact Prabhupad said, 'I was never a member of the Gaudiya Math.' We, on the other hand, were ordered to cooperate for the sake of pleasing him. Each and every time we surrender a little bit more in that effort to cooperate we are passing the test of the spiritual master. That adds up to progress in spiritual life."
"Any organisation in the material world has defects. It's sentimental to think otherwise. But does Iskcon openly and officially present an adverse conclusion to the Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita? Is chanting Hare Krishna no longer acceptable? Has a new Deity replaced Krishna? The answers to these and similar questions are what determines whether one should abandon Iskcon or not. Since the answer at present is 'No' on all counts, then it's work as usual."
" 'But there are sincere devotees who just could not make it in the Iskcon establishment.' Uh-uh. I don't buy it. What they could not do was cleave to the tat te 'nukampam' verse; they could not pray to suffer the lot for which they are due for their previous misdoing's. They could not pass the test of the spiritual master. They had visions of glory that did not seem attainable in Iskcon. That's the real reason. That comes under devotional service mixed with the mode of passion. Hence no follower or would be follower of Srila Prabhupada need to be bewildered as to where these Godbrothers stand."(Kundali dasa, 1995. page 104-105.)
Just as an intoxicated man NEEDS to become healthy, NEEDS to see things in proper perspective to understand what is conducive to spiritual development and healthy living, and what is not, so all of us as intoxicated fools, NEED to become well, by becoming healthily situated at the lotus feet of the Lord again.
"..........Actually all these Godbrothers should simply humble themselves by facing the fact that they had a problem in spiritual life. Then they should try to unconditionally approach the GBC and request to be again part of Iskcon. Do I hear cries of righteous indignation and scoffing? 'Kundali has gone off the deep end.' 'Who does he think he is?' 'He doesn't know what he is talking about.' All of this may be true, but whenever I ask my heart, 'If I was in that situation and I decided to unconditionally surrender to the GBC and serve in Iskcon again, would that please Srila Prabhupad, yes or no?' The answer is a resounding 'yes', every time. What more can I say? Unconditional surrender is always a good thing."
"So by seeing the symptoms, by knowing the definitions of pure and mixed devotional service, and by careful analysis, one can easily asses things and come to an enlightened conclusion. In this way one can avoid being baffled on the razor's edge." (Kundali dasa, 1995. page 106.)
Credentuals For Being Cured of Intoxication Of All Sorts:
Some thing that has deeply bothered me, is the use of Srila Prabhupada's credentials by those who are not faithful to Srila Prabhupada's Iskcon, the taking segments of conversations and letters out of context to further their descendants use "of preaching". Their alluring 'devotees' away from Srila Prabhupada's movement, and saying that by so doing that they are becoming closer to him. I think there is some misunderstanding there! Are they too not like a drug dealer who will do anything he can to keep the addict in a state dependent upon him for their own means?
I poise a question or two in this connection, If their case, position or mission is so right or strong then why continually do they do this? If the use of artificial means or methods "get one high" or serving Srila Prabhupad, why do they not follow his teachings on "staying high for ever!" To me it shows signs of weakness, lack of conviction, and certainly lacking of their own spiritual credentials to attain their ends, whatever they may be? To my understanding limited though it may be, this attitude does not fall in line with that of Srila Prabhupad who distinctly states:-
"Prabhupada: Stick to our principle, and
see our GBC is very alert. Then everything will go on, even I am not present.
Do that. That is my request. Whatever little I have taught you, follow
that, and nobody will be aggrieved. No maya will touch you. Now Krsna has
given us, and there will be no scarcity of money. You print book and sell.
So everything is there. We have got good shelter all over the world. We
have got income. You stick to our principles, follow the... Even if I die
suddenly, you'll be able to manage. That's all. That I want. Manage nicely
and let the movement go forward. Now arrange. Don't go backward. Be careful.
Apani acari prabhu jiveri siksaya" (Room Conversation, Bombay. 22nd April
1977) Srila Prabhupada and a team of trusted devotees went to great lengths
to word the last will and testament of His Divine Grace to protect the
society and its assets in the future; as can be seen from the example,
".... Will? Will, there will be direction that "Management should
be done like this." That's all. Giriraja: Yes. Prabhupada:
Nobody can say in court case that "This temple will be in charge of this
person, this temple..." Ramesvara: Yes, just like you said. Giriraja:
So we've included those points and the points in your brief will. Should
I read it? Prabhupada: Hm? Giriraja: Then we can type it.
"I, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness, settler of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust,
and disciple of Om Visnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami
Maharaja Prabhupada, presently residing at Sri Krsna-Balarama Mandir in
Vrndavana, make this, my last will. 1. The Governing Body Commission, GBC,
will be the trustees of the entire International Society for Krishna Consciousness"
(Discussion, Vrindaban, June 2, 1977.) I would humbly suggest that the
same goes for taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada today, irrespective of
the time period of when we joined, when or who we were initiated by, the
circumstances or material defects. He is the Jagad Guru, the master at
whose feet other masters bow, Prabhupada.
"And his followers live with him" ........the conclusion is what we have today, with everyone swearing oaths to Srila Prabhupada and his Iskcon.
Intoxications - Selfish Ambition, The Personification Of Self deception.
Personally I have experienced both sides of this fence. I have been materially ambitious, trying to ruthlessly rule my kingdom as head pujari. And in so doing due to my personal immaturity have treated persons wrongly. I have also been abused by those who were as, or more ruthless to defend and hope to develop into what they considered to be their acquired kingdom. Can anyone think of where either of these two situations are in actual Krishna consciousness, I thought that I could. But believe me, I was so wrong.
This kind of ambition tends to tint everything that one does with a strange sense of "My", what "I" will achieve, or what others think of "Me". I saw others do it, I thought that this was the method to attain what everyone wanted. And it was. The problem is that, what they wanted was not really Krishna consciousness, but the facility that it supplied, to enjoy. They, (we) "enjoyed." It took some time to sort out the difference.......!
As sense gratification, and the pursuit thereof makes
one's heart hard, disappointment, deception, and manipulations made my
heart near break. In ignorance we just do not see what we are doing, where
we are going, or where we are being led. The prayers of Queen Kunti used
to be a real challenge for me to read. Why is she wishing difficulty upon
herself? Later it has been revealed to me that without challenges, (or
difficulty as it is known) the necessary soul searching honesty, and deep
sincere and ardent prayers rarely come about. Such soul searching and individual
revelations often bring about some personal rude awakenings too, which
is why I hope my sharing them with you can help all of us to evolve easier,
more honestly. Any form of personal ambition creates separatism, my interestes
verses yours, as we have all experienced on numerable instances. However,
this kind of separatism (personal ambition) should be clearly defined,
and made to be understood to be distinct from individual spiritual aspirations.
Or for that matter the lack of desire or amotivation, inertia etc., born
from the mode of ignorance.
In almost every successful rehabilitation service, the organisers get popular public figures, who are natural role models for the general populous to assist with their programs. The public figure acts as a role model to inspire 'addicts' to follow the right path. Such role models themselves may be coming from similar walks of life themselves (reformed users), or they may be squeaky clean by nature. In the same way, role models in spiritual life can come from conditioned souls who have been through all walks of life and have reformed their character, or they may come from the pure unalloyed devotees of the Lord, directly from the spiritual realm. Definitely we all need some direction, and then the inspiration to follow such a path, and the Lord send us the right person to help us on our way.
The great acarya Sripad Madhwacarya says, that when one calls out for direction to the Lord, "There must be something more than this?" The Lord does two things simultaneously; He sends a guide to help him, and the guide manual to teach him, according to their nature and understanding - "When the disciple is ready the master appears"(Buddhist saying)
My point is, sometimes we complain of being cheated, sold short etc., but according to what is said here, we are only getting what we require(d).
It is true to note that some addicts despite making a show of reform do not either physically or mentally act in the corrective manner to make the necessary change of becoming spiritually attached, and materially detached. There NEEDs to be a genuine change of heart, once it is there in total fall-down is very remote, near improbable.
(The return of the devotees from New Vrindavan; Kundali dasa, 1995. page 107).
"The leader of New Vrindavan was infected with the personal ambition virus. He therefore developed a downline whereby his dream could be realised, but there is no denying the tremendous negative impact his program had on the spiritual lives of persons in his downline. Unfortunately, there is a lure of false security in being part of a downline. It is the security of herd consciousness. One who is part of a herd has no time to think for himself; he also has very little awareness beyond the herd, as long as he runs with the herd, all is well; that is if the herd does not run off a cliff."
"When the leader in question began to herd his followers off the path chalked out by Srila Prabhupada, people outside of that downline sent up flares, but the herd did not want to be shaken out of their security. Life was a lot easier without straining the brain to discriminate. They subsequently followed the line of least resistance, and, after years of faithful following, many have at last awakened to the fact that they had strayed from the path of pure devotional service. But others saw for years what they did not see, could not see, did not want to see. I any case, foolishness, bewilderment, and confusion was the result. Hence one can conclude from this outcome that this was an instance of devotional service mixed with the mode of ignorance."
"Specifically, this is an example of the symptom of ignorance called laziness. Although these devotees are to a man very hard working, they were lazy to put one and one together and make two. It was so much easier to stick with the status quo. And there you have it; the result was awful."
"As Srila Prabhupad has said, 'One has to give up all such varieties of mixed devotional service in order to reach the standard of pure devotional service'" (Kundali dasa, 1995. The Nectar of Discrimination, page 104-107.).
As a last note we humbly welcome the pure philosophy of
devotional service, without compromise, or corruption, and to the best
of our ability try to imbibe the teachings thereof. Definitely I, as an
individual am very much lacking in devotional qualities, but at least we
The chaste follower does not try to introduce conflicting philosophy or practices against the principles of the spiritual master, but rather tries to find from where ever necessary, and whererver relevant, supporting evidence to uphold the values and teachings of the 'parampara'.
Intoxication, self deception and egocentric false pride
walk hand in hand, they create an illusion for the party; but it is humility
that is required to become devoted and grateful to one who has saved us
from a life of it. As well as in this life, this obviously refers to repeated
lives and deaths, bound to this and future material tabernacle and their
In this way, praying and relying on the protection, guidance, and mercy of His Divine Grace Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his loyal disciples and followers to help us in this endeavour. We also pray that this paper may be of some use in maintaining the pure direction of Iskcon, reflecting with honesty to avoid corrupting the good name, teachings and practices of Iskcon for the sake of sense gratification. Or as it really is, simply temporary relief of suffering.
This paper is dedicated for the assistance of the devotees,
friends, congregational members of Iskcon, any part of this paper, if you
find it useful any part of it can be used to aid the reform of anyone where
possible. Eventually I hope to put this and other essays into the form
of a book with the objective in mind of assisting, and supporting the strengthening
of the desire and performance of those so inclined to follow the "Four
regulative principles of freedom." So please don't
publish any part or the whole as it is against my request.
© copyright 1995-2002, Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa. All rights reserved.
LONDON, ENGLAND, March 23, 2001: Have you always thought that by simply looking at a person's face you could tell whether he or she is a smoker? Now there is scientific proof to back up your guess. A study conducted by Professor Antony Young at Guys, Kings and St. Thomas' School of Medicine has shown that the skin of smokers contains high concentrations of a gene called MMP-1. Apparently this gene is responsible for the breakdown of collagen, a component of skin tissue that helps the organ retain its elasticity. Smoking activates this enzyme and skin turns wrinkly and grey.
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Using cannabis during adolescence and young adulthood "increases the risk of psychotic symptoms later in life", a recent study found.
Dope rise a hazard for young
Marijuana is still seen as a "soft" drug, despite growing evidence it can cause severe mental torment - especially among the young. By Jock Cheetham.
Dave's sister worried when he began spending days staring at the backyard. He saw faces in the trees, but she saw nothing. And Dave got angry because the family couldn't see the faces. "I felt like God was talking to me," Dave says. "You know, showing me signs like the clouds in the shape of a peace sign, the faces in the trees, the way the trees used to dance to the music in my head."
Dave, 22, has smoked cannabis since he was 16. He has also used ecstasy. His story fits a disturbing profile. Australians are smoking more - the number of 20-year-olds who have smoked cannabis has trebled in 30 years, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare says. And Australians are starting younger - almost 40 per cent of those born in the early 1980s had smoked cannabis by the time they reached 16.
Rates of anxiety and depression among young people have risen markedly in each of the past five decades, the Mental Health Council of Australia says. But for some parents who grew up during and since the counter-culture generation, cannabis continues to symbolise freedom, rebellion and broad-minded perspectives. Their views are often based on out-of-date information, says Ian Hickie, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Sydney.
"The social discussion has really been downplayed by people of my generation - middle-aged people who've grown up where smoking cannabis has been an important part of the culture," says Hickie, a board member of the Mental Health Council of Australia. "They have this idea that cannabis is just like alcohol and is our preferred substance of use. It hasn't hurt us so much, so why are we worried."
Two of Hickie's concerns relate to mental illness - depression and the rise in diagnoses of drug-induced psychosis. "Basically, anyone who turns up with a schizophrenia-like illness and they're smoking cannabis and they're taking ecstasy, the first few times we see them, we call (it) drug-induced psychosis. "But if you follow people up, the great majority of them turn out to have schizophrenia, but later on." This lag until the appearance of schizophrenia could be 10 years or more, he says.
The symptoms are disturbing, Hickie says. "Kids who are psychotic have symptoms such as social withdrawal and are not able to form relationships. Typically people will hear voices, they will develop suspicious ideas, they won't trust their family, they'll withdraw from social events, they'll often become quite apathetic."
Dave's illness - diagnosed as drug-induced psychosis - has turned the middle-class family from Sydney's inner west upside down. "It's the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with in my life. And the screaming, the screaming. One night Dave was going off and we were holding the door trying to stop him going out. He has a very abrupt manner, which he never used to be like," says Dave's mother.
She cries as she confesses her guilt over feeling that she neglected her daughter during her final school year because the family was focused on Dave, who has been admitted to hospital four times in two years during psychotic episodes. "At the time he went to hospital, his thoughts were very jumbled."
His father says: "He thought he was either Jesus Christ or a messenger."
"Prophet!" Dave cuts in.
"A prophet of God," his father says. "And he had to save the world. That was his main trip that he was on. He thought he was going to die."
Dave's father says he feels like he has aged 10 years in the past two. "Dave has become very introverted," he says. "We just want him to be like he was. It put a big strain on our (the parents') relationship, too. There were more arguments in the house, before we knew what was going on. I'd always try to pacify and it used to blow up in my face."
Dave left his job in late 2002 and he stopped going to university. He has not worked solidly since. He sold his television, and then began selling everything he owned to buy cannabis. He stole from his parents.
A new study from Maastricht University in the Netherlands has added to the evidence of links between cannabis and psychosis. The study of 2400 young Germans, published two weeks ago in the British Medical Journal, found "exposure to cannabis during adolescence and young adulthood increases the risk of psychotic symptoms later in life". The risk is even greater, the researchers say, for people who are predisposed to psychotic symptoms.
"If you have a family history or a personal history of mental instability you should not use cannabis," says Cecile Henquet, one of the researchers for the Maastricht study. Smoking cannabis before the age of 16 carries a much higher risk of psychotic disorders and the risk rises the more frequently the drug is used.
The Maastricht study conforms with other findings, says Professor David Castle, of the University of Melbourne and the Mental Health Research Institute. "We're finding that more and more of the associations between cannabis and later mental illness, especially psychotic disorders, are being replicated. It's more difficult to say it's one study and one finding and dismiss it."
Once the psychotic episodes have begun, though, the consequences can be severe and long-lasting, Hickie says. "Untreated psychotic episodes can go on for six or 12 months. Stopping drugs is an essential part of managing these conditions, if you can."
But stopping drugs may not be enough to end the psychosis, because they have "precipitated an autonomous brain process, and you've got to treat that brain process". Previously researchers thought that brain development finished by 16 or 17. But modern brain imaging techniques reveal development continues - mainly in the frontal lobes - at least until the early 20s, Hickie says.
The frontal lobes are important in the development of reasoning, developing more sophisticated judgements, understanding of social interactions, and of planning - the higher cognitive functions.
"It's a continuing process," says Hickie. "The earlier the exposure to drugs that may in some way interfere with that process, the more likely it is there'll be harm.
"So the cognitive or emotional changes that precede the onset of psychosis are often happening in 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds. It's absolutely a gradient. The longer you can delay exposure, the less likely it is there will be harm from that exposure. In a public information sense that means emphasising strategies to delay exposure."
The risks are greater because young people are starting to smoke cannabis very young now, says Castle, who edited a recently released book, Marijuana and Madness. "First of all you've got a longer period of exposure. You've also got the situation where you might escalate your use or move on to other drugs.
"If you're impairing those sorts of functions at a critical stage in your intellectual development, i.e., in your teens, when you're setting the template for the rest of your life, you can land up on a very slippery slope.
"Because you're losing that window of opportunity in your teens to develop a whole lot of skills, learn a whole lot of information, get the educational platform that will allow you to go on to higher education, those sorts of things. You never get it back."
Castle and Hickie cite the work of a team led by Professor George Patton, of Victoria's Centre for Adolescent Health, which has linked regular cannabis smoking to depression. The study, also published in the British Medical Journal, found weekly cannabis use in teenagers "predicted an approximately two-fold increase in the risk for later depression and anxiety".
And the study found that "the prevalence of depression and anxiety increased with higher extents of cannabis use, but this pattern was clearest in female participants".
The Melbourne study also challenged the popular hypothesis that people with anxiety or depression self-medicated with cannabis. Not all studies have replicated these findings, and the academics believe more study is needed to confirm the links.
Nonetheless, the rates of anxiety and depression among young people have gone up markedly each decade in the past 50 years, Hickie says. So each generation has higher rates of anxiety and depression than the one before, and also higher rates of substance use.
"That doesn't prove that drugs are the cause," he says. "But one of the hot debates is whether the patterns of substance abuse have driven up the rates of anxiety and depression. And if that were the case you'd see exactly what we're seeing."
Many people are not fully aware of their family's history of mental illness. Dave's father believed his family had no mental illness. But on reflection he recalls that one of Dave's grandmothers and a great-aunt had committed suicide.
These factors were enough to suggest the likelihood of mental illness in the family, says Professor Wayne Hall, of the University of Queensland. In this situation, "I would say don't smoke cannabis, and I would caution about alcohol use, because that's another potent contributor to suicide in people with psychiatric illness".
Dave, who like his family spoke on the condition of anonymity, stopped smoking frequently last month. And his delusions have declined since he was prescribed lithium in hospital, his father says. He has been offered a full-time job in his chosen field after more than two years without regular work. The family is looking positively towards the future.
For those of us who grew up in the sixties and seventies this article
hits a few nails on the head.
Rates of anxiety and depression among young people have risen markedly in each of the past five decades, the Mental Health Council of Australia says. But for some parents who grew up during and since the counter-culture generation, cannabis continues to symbolise freedom, rebellion and broad-minded perspectives.
I've met quite a few people who have drug induced psychosis. It damages their lives immensely. I have friends with kids who did the same thing we were doing as teenagers but as this article points out with far worse consequences. In fact when I think about it I can recall problems even then.
Read the article here:
Psychosis - What Is Psychosis?
ACUTE SYMPTOMS OF CANNABIS PSYCHOSIS