Use of alcohol

Putting together ones life with the modern world.
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Nefastos
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Use of alcohol

Postby Nefastos » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:51 am

How about a little more down-to-earth discussion, for a change? I'd like to know what my fellow occultists think about the use of alcohol. Is it harmful to one's spiritual search?

Many religions and yoga practices explicitly forbid drinking alcohol in any quantities, but then there are some Left Hand Path practices that use it as a magical tool. And some people seem to be able to use or not to use alcohol as they please with no problems whatsoever.

I'd be especially interested how the cultural context effects how we see alcohol. In my home country, alcoholism is sometimes referred as a national disease. When people drink, it's usually for to get drunk; and people from all social classes engage to excessive drinking all the time.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Use of alcohol

Postby Jiva » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:59 am

Although I'm not entirely sure, I think the general use of alcohol in Finland is similar to that of the UK i.e. a lot a binge drinking.

From a personal point of view I don't see any issue whatsoever in moderate alcohol use, particularly as I'm usually quite introverted, something alcohol can be an effective remedy for :P.

I don't usually go to clubs any more, so I'm spared the most obvious examples of binge drinking, as well as any nihilistic reactions of getting blind drunk I might have. Therefore the most I drink tends to be with friends when we play card or computer games. If I go to a gig I'll typically have a few pints, although this depends entirely on who's playing and whether being drunk will fit the atmosphere. To fulfil a stereotype, I'm a massive fan of ale, so I go to local beer festivals quite a lot.

Regarding alcohol use specifically for occult purposes: I've never tried. I dislike drinking alcohol during the week due to the inevitable hangover, which is admittedly a poor reason. In my opinion, drinking alcohol would probably completely erode the disciple needed for any serious meditation, although it's more useful for intuitive practices. However, I find these tend to happen while I've been drinking in normal situations, rather than as an intentional result of some practice. Along these lines, there are times in the summer when me and some friends have barbecues and bonfires near some lakes we live near that have a kind of spiritual feel, particularly if I decide to wander off for a bit into the countryside or stargaze. Admittedly, these occasions are often amongst the few times I smoke cannabis so the effect's probably a mixture of these two drugs.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Nefastos
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Re: Use of alcohol

Postby Nefastos » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:12 am

Jiva wrote:From a personal point of view I don't see any issue whatsoever in moderate alcohol use, particularly as I'm usually quite introverted, something alcohol can be an effective remedy for :P.


This seems to be the case with many if not most of the members of Star of Azazel, and I think it suits the modern times well. Very hard policy against alcohol seems to bring about more problems than it solves, and as such falls to the category of Right Hand Path gone too strict to be actually beneficent, exceptions aside.

Personally I'm grateful for the raising that gave me very neutral view on alcohol. It was never a cause for bad things happening, and neither was it an intriguing mystery of the adults; people did not change in behavior, just got a bit merrier. I also got to taste if I wanted (which is a taboo in Finnish culture nowadays; to let a child taste alcohol) & it tasted bad. I think that's the main reason why I haven't felt an urge to drink or, on the other hand, seen drinking as a problem per se, but remained neutral.

Although I have later seen what alcohol and other intoxicants can do to people, especially to people interested in occultism or spirituality, and the effect can be extremely bad. If one can't quit drinking, then it might be best to quit occultism, for the use of intoxicants can easily lead not only to physical, but what is worse, to astral intoxication that's extremely close to possession. For the everyday people, effects are bad enough, but if one sees the spirit world as reality, it will be much worse.

I binge-drink rarely nowadays. Instead, I sometimes use alcohol to ground my energies if there's too much emotional and/or mental activity. It's a miracle what a glass or two of wine can do if there has been too much to think about; in such cases one can really see why alcohol is sometimes seen as a revered ritual instrument. But if that would be required too often, then there would be a problem instead of a pleasure.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Heith
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Re: Use of alcohol

Postby Heith » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:05 am

Well, I dislike being drunk. I enjoy nice beer or wine, but I dislike losing control. I'm somewhat careful with alcohol, as there's alcoholism in my family (well I suppose everyone in Finland has) and I've seen what it does to not just one person, but to everyone around them. And it tends to run in families, so I recognize this danger. About the taboo of children drinking alcohol, well, my father forced me to taste vodka when I was little so that I "wouldn't turn out like him" (heh, this sounds super bad as I write it. But that time I just thought he was embarrassing and really stupid- obviously I wouldn't be like him! I'd be Pippi Longstocking, the strongest girl in the world! Or a TMNT!)

Also, I can't draw if I drink more than one beer, because then I start to lose hand control, and start to make mistakes. I even can't drink a lot, as it affects my brain chemistry so much that I can get extremely depressed for several days or weeks after.

Alcohol is good, in moderation. And it can most certainly help sometimes- I do notice my shy lodge members open up a lot more and maintain eye contact better after a glass or two. I obviously don't make it too easy, as I just stare openly :D
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Re: Use of alcohol

Postby Insanus » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:44 am

There are many kinds of drunkenness. Being wasted and being intoxicated are two very different things (not that those two represent the best or only way of dividing the "many kinds of drunkenness), which both have their places: very closely related to the different sides of Moon. I think the good or bad effect depends actually more on what you drink & how you drink & with what intention you drink than on how much/how often you drink. The Book of Law says "To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof!". The important part is "to worship". It has to be a way of adoring, of worshiping, an honest act of love.
Nefastos wrote: If one can't quit drinking, then it might be best to quit occultism, for the use of intoxicants can easily lead not only to physical, but what is worse, to astral intoxication that's extremely close to possession. For the everyday people, effects are bad enough, but if one sees the spirit world as reality, it will be much worse.
...Yeah. I drank about two months every day in the beginning of this year, one bottle of wine at minimum. Did I like it or dislike it, I have no clue. I just "had to", though I didn't have to. I was just so confused & "depressed" that I did. The problem was that I couldn't quit, but actually I couldn't choose drinking either. It just happened and I had no clue what I wanted. I guess that's the reason why "it just happened" over and over again for such a long period of time. I wanted to want to drink, but for what reason, I did not want to admit. I think it's a common loop in the minds of people who drink very often & very much.

The heaviness & misery when being drunk (Saturn), the aggression when being drunk (Mars), strong sexual desire (Moon), the feeling of power (Jupiter), the ability to be less introvert & socialize (Mercury), the ability to simply adore beauty (Venus) and, well just being drunk (Sun) are all good things. But alcohol doesn't do anything by itself. Just drinking doesn't quite do it. You have to drink with the will to be intoxicated (a lot, or a little, doesn't matter here), otherwise it's just waste, an addiction. I think it's the same thing with other addictions too. The substance is not harmful in itself, but the belief that alcohol (or anything else, pick your poison) is harmful, (or a cure for harm!) might well be. If the mind cannot accept what it wants, it can never be satisfied.
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Re: Use of alcohol

Postby Fomalhaut » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:47 pm

My dad was an alcoholic. He was a very nice guy and still is. Luckily, it was not so late for him to realize that he is destroying himself physically and he is destroying others around him mentally which is worse than him destroying himself, so he got help and left drinking totally behind. I had a very rough childhood, there was no physical violence in any means but for example, I remember one day when he came home totally drunk and was not even able to walk, I had to carry him on my shoulders in a nice summer holiday, and all my friends from neighbourhood saw it, Because of the shame, I did not go out even one day to play with anyone for the rest of the summer.

For myself, I can say that I did not get any lesson from my dad's alcoholism, so I drank lots and very often in past 14 years. At the end of this summer, I decided to make it less, I am drinking so much less than before, I thought I would have to have some help from hospital but it looks like I can live without ay external help. Honestly, when I started to drink less, it started to taste much better than before. And I agree with fra Nefastos about use of alcohol to ground energies in times of stress. It is very helpful.
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Re: Use of alcohol

Postby Kenazis » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:13 pm

My use of alcohol has decreased every year since 2006. Between years 2000 - 2006 (when I drank most) I used to be wasted about 2-3 times a week (drinking 'til oblivion...and other days mostly recovering...oh, what a life). I don't enjoy alcohol's light effects at all, and for me it is "all or nothing" when I drink (not a good attitude, but the only way I get something out of it).

Interesting thing that I've learned is that meditation seems to take the "edge" of alcohol's effect away. My mind doesn't go into the euphoric intoxication - state so easily anymore and that has taken my interest towards alcohol. I think that hangover is at least as effective as drunken-states for spiritual purposes. Indians have used hangover for some spiritual purposes (this info comes from my friend and I don't know more about this).
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Re: Use of alcohol

Postby Tulihenki » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:04 pm

Sauna with few beers and friends is sometimes very therapeutic moment, but my hangovers are anything but therapeutic; they contain just horrible nightmares and lustful demons.

Last summer I was wandering in a bad hangover, when suddenly I heard somekind of humming sound coming from me and just within a moment I was atleast 5 metres tall, so I was a giant! This gigantic me was off course not anything physical, it was somekind of ethereal form of me. Rest of the day I was just shaking and trying to avoid demons of my sleep, but that was effortless.
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Re: Use of alcohol

Postby obnoxion » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:14 pm

On the one hand I agree with the ancient notion that the grape grows from the blood of our ancestors killed in battle. It contains the violence, horror, rage, bloodlust, sorrow and despair of the violently killed. On the other hand I relate to Omar Khayyam. His love for wine is so beautiful, so pure, so divine. Usually wine is considered in Sufism as an allegory of initiation. But for Omar the love of wine is so concretely real that it transcends all allegories. Yet, and this is a paradox, that is exactly why it is so acutely and absolutely Divine. His poetic skill is so superhuman, and yet his relationship is to wine is so mundane, that it transubstantiates the Spirit into Alcohol in a way that puts centuries of catholic communions into shame. It is not an allegory of initiation, but a Presence of
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Re: Use of alcohol

Postby Otava » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:09 pm

Another down-to-earth discussion. Sure why not.

Alcohol and use of certain drugs were pretty good and safe way to a hateful young man to take his escapistic journeys to somewhere else, bit closer to his apocalyptic fantasies. At least back then it was the safest option available.

I am from a "good & normal family". No problems whatsoever even though my father had times when he used to drink quite a lot. He's a musician so I guess it comes with the job, haha.

I was probably 19-20 when I found out how great it was to drink alone. I had plenty of friends so it wasn't about that at all. I still remember "the first time" like most people might remember the first time they had sex, haha. Felt bit uncomfortable, why the hell am I doing this (?) but then... Listening to music, no one whining or talking some stupid light minded uninteresting shit around you. It was peaceful but at the same time very hostile. Just the way I like it.

Later there were times when I was hiding bottles and lying to my loved ones. Never found a rock so big that I'd be able to hide from myself though.

I've had plenty of conversations with myself about alcohol. Cursing myself, lifting up to heavens and then beated down again and again and again... I hided all these feelings very well and I have no idea how a did it. Must've really loved alcohol.

Maybe 3 years ago I started to practise "meditation" (didn't read any advices or books or anything). When the compelling need came I layed or sat down and simply tried to get rid of it by really concentrating to something else. Usually it meant forests and lakes and views and . . .

Some sort of breakthrough happened maybe 2 years ago when I realized that the NEED wasn't there anymore. I was still drinking sometimes (and still am) but the need what makes your hands shake, the need of getting wasted, the addiction was gone! It was a relief.

So, I don't use alcohol to any kind of occultistic means, but I enjoy a cold beer very much.

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