Imagine, one day I would ring at your door be dressed like police and overall look quite official.
Like a cop I would show you my service card and present myself as your county’s brand new nutrition inspector.
With a checklist in my hand I would go straight to your fridge.
I would open the door and examine meticulously its content. After a short while I would pull out a bar of chocolate, take a suspicious look at it and check the nutrient table.
Then I would say: “Oh boy, you way surpassed your monthly consumption limit with these refined carbs.”
Next I would find white bread in the kitchen cabinet and my next comment would be:
“Well, now you really got a bit of bad luck this month. I have to confiscate the chocolate and the white bread. Besides, I have to write you up a ticket. You violated the anti diabetes law.” (you may use any similar sounding law with “anti-” at the beginning).
How would you feel with such an officer in your house?
And a particular important question:
Could you be so sure, to be the owner of your own body, if a third party (government) could fine you because of “wrong” nutrition?
I wouldn’t be so sure. There are enough examples in our actual “reality”, which could make you doubt.
In theory the owner of a valuable object should be able to do with it, what he pleases (including destroying it, even if this is stupid).
So if we are the owners of our bodies (a priceless and valuable “object”), we should also be able to do with it what we please.
This includes consciously or unconsciously destroying it, even if this is stupid.
No different is the situation with the consumption of certain mind altering substances classified sometimes as drugs.
In the field of drugs and other psychoactive substances third party interference is common.
Like our “Nutrition Inspector” government interferes and tells us, which drug we can use to destroy our body and which one isn’t allowed.
Legality and illegality don’t help us to know what is right and what is wrong or what is moral or immoral.
Burning witches had been legal for a long time, but it definitely was morally wrong.
So legality and illegality don’t help us to decide between destroying and harmless drugs (E.g. The completely legal drugs like alcohol, refined sugar, corn syrup, etc.).
All legal drugs are often way more damaging than some as “illegal” classified drugs.
From a neurological standpoint sugar even affects the same brain areas like illegal cocain.
So the debate whether a drug should be illegal or legal is irrelevant, since you and I are owner of our bodies and should be able to do what we want with it.
There is one exception though, if we damage someone else by using our property (in the case of our body, this would be some sort of action).
Just like someone under the influence of drugs, a person with a certain neurological deficit or a psychiatric condition since birth may damage someone without ever having touched any drugs.
A human being can always damage someone else by his actions.
So the drug debate is the wrong debate. The right debate would be about the fact that every human being is responsible for her or his actions, no matter the cause or intent.
Why even animals are looking for mind altering plants and altered states of consciousness and why this could be the most natural thing in the world for human beings ?
In the year 2012 John Downer (Emmy Award Photographer) had to take some pictures of bottlenose dolphins.
The goal was to shoot some nice pics of relaxed dolphins.
They managed to take some really nice ones from not only relaxed dolphins, but stoned ones.
You might ask, what did they smoke?
Well, evidently they couldn’t smoke under water, but chew on some pufferfish.
In the following video you can see a dolphin, who takes a pufferfish from the ground, chews on it a few times and then passes it to the other dolphins in the group.
At first it looks like a ball game.
But then the pufferfish has enough of those nasty dolphins and defends itself against them with his yellowish toxin.
This is the drug the dolphins wanted in the first place.
A high dosage of this toxin is deadly, but in small quantities it causes altered states of consciousness and moves the dolphins into a trance.
Psychopharmacologists have been analyzing the behavior and strategies of animals, trying to attain altered states of consciousness (see Ronald K. Siegel, Intoxication: The Universal Drive for Mind-Altering Substances (Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1989), page 11)).
They came to a broad array of conclusions, that extent of numerous different animal species:
- Dogs lick mushrooms (or poisonous toads, according to my observation in Costa Rica)
- Goats eat magic mushrooms
- Birds chew on marijuana seeds
- Cats have their catnip
- Wallabies pounce on a field of poppies
- Reindeers eat toadstools
- Baboons prefer to enjoy Iboagain
- Sheep chew on hallucinogenic lichen
- Elephants prefer alcohol from fermented fruits
- And lemurs do this:
In his book Intoxication psychopharmacologist Siegel explains, that looking for drugs and altered states of consciousness is a normal biological behavior of animals.
It is by far no exception.
This reality led Siegel to a controversial conclusion: “Pursuing ecstasy via drugs is a primary motivating force within organisms.”
The urge to get rid of the mind is so strong, that you could consider it as the fourth drive besides getting water, food and reproduce.
What is the reason behind this?
Every organism takes a certain risk with each ecstasy.
At first glance this doesn’t look like a good survival strategy.
If this behavior brings the own species in danger, why should this have made any sense for evolution?
Cats sometimes get brain damaged because of their cat nip and enough stoned birds crash against windows or cars.
Drug consume is business as usual as well in the rainforest as in large cities.
This fact indicates an evolutionary purpose behind it.
Ethno-Botanist Giorgio Samorini mentioned in his book
“Animals and Psychedelics: The Natural World and the Instinct to Alter Consciousness” the very likely reason for drug consumption.
It is the breaking of old behavioral patterns (including believes).
After a while, humans and animals get to a point, where they stay in a routine or behavioral pattern.
They repeat every day the same actions like a robot or plane on autopilot. But the results of these actions get less efficient by the day.
Animals as well as humans are not the best in just changing their behavioral pattern from one moment to another.
Samorini also writes, that maintaining the same rigid behavior pattern helps to conserve the species.
The modification and the search for new eventual better ways requires, that these patterns are disrupted only for a short time frame.
Using the metaphor of software, this corresponds with the improvement or an iteration of the program.
Siegel and Samorini argue, that animals consume psychoactive plants, to help lateral thinking or problem solving by indirect and creative approaches.
Instead of gradual or iterative improvements it’s about out of the box insights not easily attainable during normal waking consciousness.
The obstacle during waking consciousness is often “ego”.
It works as a censorship organ and filters out so-called “crazy” ideas, not compatible with existing beliefs before we become aware of them.
Ecstasy reduces and bypasses this censorship.
Contrary to the opinion influenced by politics and mainstream media, drugs have an important evolutionary part, to disrupt deep-rooted behaviors.
Disrupting these behaviors very often leads to new and better ways for the own development or the development of a whole species.
The consumer has the risk to misuse the drug constantly to escape the material reality.
Positive evolutionary effects reverse to the contrary and destroying the consumer in the long run.
That’s the risk.
Since we are the owners of our bodies, it is not the question, which drug is currently declared as “illegal” or “legal”.
Well, in a way you have to consider this, to not get involved with law and order.
But actually it’s rather the question of how to use them in a responsible way with the right dose (the dose makes the poison.) and how to integrate the altered states of consciousness experiences in day to day life.
Only by that way positive effects like increased productivity or own personal improvement can unfold.
Declaring a drug as “legal” doesn’t garantize the right and responsible use with it (see alcoholics and sugar addicts, hence future diabetics).