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Danielou, Alain – On drugs you are possessed by the spirit being of the drug



Type of spiritual experience


This observation provides support for the idea that each drug provides a bridge to another realm.  In effect one enters the realm of that spirit being and in some cases the spirit beings are indeed very very nasty, as is their realm.  This is particularly true of the man-made pharmaceuticals.

It also lends support to the idea that if any form of intoxicating substance is taken, it is taken as a ritual, perhaps one off act, as a distinct step on the spiritual path.  In other words drug taking is not ‘recreational’, it is spiritual and needs to be seen in this context.

A description of the experience

Alain Danielou – While the Gods Play 

These substances called drugs-stimulants, depressants -are by no means neutral products. Like all the components of the living being, they correspond to entities who come forth from the divine plan and who are endowed with personality, consciousness, and autonomy. The states of our soul are due to the contingencies of a sort of war between armies of molecules corresponding to subtle beings. The aggression of one of these chemical spirits upon the human being is no different from that of a demon or an angel. It is a sort of possession.

This is why a drugged person is no longer master of himself.  He may detest the drug that imposes itself upon him despite himself. There exists a spirit of tobacco, a spirit of hemp, a spirit of peyote, a spirit of the poppy, a spirit of wine, which, if they are not controlled, lead their victim as they fancy. All religions have recognized the existence of these subtle forces and have sought to cajole them.

There is no religion whose rites do not make use of an intoxicating substance. Something of this always subsists, even if we have lost its meaning. We drink to the success of an enterprise, and wine plays a role in the Christian mass.

The Amerindians utilized tobacco to seal an alliance and practiced very elaborate peyote rituals. A ritual exists for opium smokers and for tea ceremonies. The Soma rites, which bring on mystical ecstasy, are an essential element in the Vedic rituals, and the god soma occupies an important place in the Aryan pantheon. In the West, Dionysos, as god of wine, takes the place of the god Soma. In India today, bhang (a drink made of Indian hemp) is consumed in assemblies of a ritual character.

When the gods wish to destroy a wicked tyrant, they inspire the madness in him which causes him to lose himself. Drugs are among their armaments. Their irrational and immoderate intrusion signals the imminent end of the species at the end of the Kali Yuga.

To control the chemical spirits that wish to take possession of our faculties, we must first of all understand their nature and venerate them. Every drug is both angel and demon. It is by ritualizing their use that we can, as all traditional cultures have done, master them or eliminate their influence.

The source of the experience

Daniélou, Alain

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image


Observation contributed by: Neffy Limb