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Osho on Aldous Huxley


Aldous Huxley



Osho on Aldous Huxley, LSD and Samadhi - LSD gives you unconsciousness, not consciousness

Question  - Our Beloved Master, Hakuin said:The study of Zen is like drilling wood to get fire. The wisest course is to forge straight ahead without stopping. If you rest at the first sign of heat, and then again as soon as the first wisp of smoke arises, even though you drill for three asamkhyeye kalpas, you will never see a spark of fire.

My native place is close to the seashore, barely a few hundred paces from the beach. Suppose a man of my village is concerned because he does not know the flavor of sea water, and wants to go and taste it for himself. If he turns back after having taken only a few steps, or even if he returns after having taken a hundred steps, in either case when will he ever know the ocean's bitter, salty taste?

But, though a man comes from as far as the mountains of koshu or shinshu, hida or mino, if he goes straight ahead without stopping, within a few days he will reach the shore, and, the moment he dips the tip of one finger into the sea and licks it, he will instantly know the taste of the waters of the distant oceans and the nearby seas, of the southern beaches and the northern shores, in fact of all the sea water in the world.

Osho - Maneesha, Hakuin is one of the most respected Zen masters. His respect is because of his ability to express the inexpressible, to create devices that somehow can manage to give you a glimpse of the unknown. He is basically concerned with the method. If a right method is used in the right time and ripe time, it is not going to fail. If you are on the right way, it may take some time to reach, but you will reach. The whole question before Hakuin is: the right way, the right method, the right beginning.

It was Gautam Buddha's habitual way of expression. All the great qualities that he has called for in an experienced, self-realized man, all begin with the word `right'. For example, he will not say simply samadhi. He will say samma samadhi. Samadhi can go wrong, people can mistake similar experiences for samadhi and get lost.

That's what happened to Aldous Huxley when he took LSD. He was a man of tremendous knowledge, particularly of the East, and most of the saints of the East he knew well. He immediately said that, "The experience of LSD is samadhi, the same experience that Patanjali has described, the ultimate phenomenon."

This gives a clear illustration that Buddha was right not to use simply the word samadhi. It is dangerous. You can find something else and think it is samadhi; there are similar phenomena. There are people who have become addicted to opium, or hashish, or marijuana. And these drugs have been used for centuries, from the very beginning of man. It is nothing new.

The reason why they became addicted is because the drugs gave them a glimpse of something... how things should be. They are temporary glimpses, and they are produced by chemicals so they don't go beyond the mind. But mind gets a glimpse, just as the lake reflects the faraway moon. And the experience is so beautiful that not to repeat it again and again becomes impossible.

All the societies have been fighting against drugs but the fight has not been successful. It will never succeed the way the society is. It can succeed only if you give people the right experience of samma samadhi -- `samma samadhi' means right samadhi -- so that they can make a differentiation, a discrimination between what is right and what is wrong. Those who have known their buddha-nature are not addicted to drugs, do not need drugs for their experience. Their experience is not caused by any chemicals; their experience is caused by turning their whole energy in towards the center of their being. That has nothing to do with chemicals. But chemicals can give you an illusion, something very similar.

Hakuin has adopted Buddha's habit. Buddha never spoke about anything without adding the word `right' first, because his understanding was -- and he is correct -- that everything can go wrong if you get caught up with something similar which is illusory. And you cannot make the distinction because you don't know the real. Unless you know the real, how can you expect to make a discrimination between the unreal and the real?

It was a great contribution of Gautam Buddha that he would talk about all the qualities using the word `right' first. Samma means right. Because everything can be taken for granted as right if you don't have any experience of it. Then any illusion, any hallucination... and these hallucinations will drag you through life after life.

A man like Aldous Huxley, one of the most intelligent men of this century, got caught into it. He became addicted to LSD and he preached that what he was experiencing was the same as what Buddha experienced and Kabir experienced. This is definitely going beyond the limitations. Aldous Huxley has no way to know what Kabir experienced, he has no way to know what Buddha experienced. Buddha's experience was not dependent on any LSD, it was an inner experience dependent only on his own consciousness.

LSD gives you unconsciousness, not consciousness. If you are in a good mood LSD can give you paradise; LSD is simply a magnifying glass. If you are in a good mood, a loving mood, and you take LSD, you feel the whole world is filled with love. You will even touch your chair with a loving hand. All around everything will be beautiful, nothing will be wrong.

But it lasts only for a few hours and when you wake up, you wake up in a far worse world than the one you had been in before you took the LSD, because you have seen something beautiful and now you see an ordinary world which has lost its luster. You have seen in LSD rainbows all around; suddenly they have all disappeared. You have seen people having auras and now they are just so ordinary. But even to imagine that they had an aura looks stupid.

But Buddha or Kabir, once they become enlightened... this enlightenment is not something that has to be renewed every year like a license. Once it has happened, it has happened. It may become bigger and more mature, but there is no way of going back. That is the criterion of whether you are hallucinating through drugs or you are authentically meditating.

The word `right' has to be understood. Many people have been worried about why Buddha continually uses the word right about every quality. They are not aware that for every real quality there is a phony quality available -- "made in U.S.A." That phony quality is cheap, but it serves only for a few hours, and then you are caught in it because it is so beautiful -- again and again... And every time you take it, you have to take it in a bigger dose because your body becomes immune. A moment comes when no LSD can make any difference; your body has become completely immune.

India is far more experienced with drugs because for ten thousand years at least it has been trying to use all kinds of drugs and poisons to create a cheap imitation of the ultimate experience. They have gone even to the point... even today there are monasteries in Ladakh where they keep cobra snakes.

When a person becomes so accustomed to all the drugs that no drug helps anymore, then the last thing is a cobra bite. The cobra bites on his tongue, then he feels a little samadhi. Otherwise a cobra bite usually means the end. And you will be surprised: there are cases of the cobra dying, because the man is so full of poison.

It has been used in India for centuries. Each great king used to raise a beautiful girl, and from her very childhood she was given poison -- from smaller doses to bigger doses. It made her so immune that she was able to absorb any dose of poison without falling unconscious. And the final stage was, when she became a young girl, blossomed in her youth, she could be sent to the enemy king. There was no difficulty in it, she had just to move to the other capital and the king himself would become interested in her. Those girls were chosen from thousands of beautiful girls; they were unique specimens. Immediately the king would become aware that there was a beautiful girl he had never seen before, and just a kiss from that girl was enough to kill the man.

It is good that nowadays you don't find such trained and disciplined girls. They were available at the time of Gautam Buddha. And it was not something that you use one time and then throw away, in the American way. They would kill the king and they would come home ready to be sent somewhere else, because nobody could think that the kiss of the girl had killed the king.

Aldous Huxley and his colleagues are not aware of the whole history of drugs. And why was the girl ready to take it? It gave such a good feeling, such a joyful feeling. She was not thinking about what she was being prepared for, but she was floating in a euphoria.

Buddha is right when he says samma samadhi. He will not accept Aldous Huxley's samadhi as a right samadhi. It is an illusion.
But I wonder that nobody has criticized Aldous Huxley. All the governments are against drugs; obviously they should criticize Aldous Huxley first. But they don't have either the intelligence or the experience. That man at least had the experience of the illusory -- the governments don't have the experience even of the illusory. But down the ages, although every government has been against drugs, this has not made any change. No prohibition ever makes any change; on the contrary it increases your interest in the things prohibited.

I am against all prohibition. My own understanding is that if LSD can give some glimpse of samadhi, then all its bad aftereffects should be removed, because it is a chemical and it is in our hands. Those bad aftereffects are the problem. They should be removed and an LSD number two should be made -- clean, taken in complete awareness that it is going to give you only a glimpse. Its addictiveness can be taken out, and when you know it is going to give you only a glimpse there is no harm. It may lead you to the search for the real.

Rather than prohibiting the drugs, what is needed is to produce drugs which lead people to samadhi, which give an indication: if a chemical drug can be such a blessing, what will the real thing be? It is just a dewdrop in comparison with the real oceanic feeling, the oceanic ecstasy.

But nobody listens to any right approach. Thousands of people are unnecessarily in the jails. The number may be millions, not thousands, and most of them are under-age; even six-year-olds have been found taking drugs. Nobody has suggested any solution for it.

And once a boy or girl, whatever their age, takes the drug, they cannot forget the experience. Everything else becomes just rotten; the mind continuously hankers for the drug. It is the duty of the governments of the whole world, through their chemical drug research, to produce drugs which are not harmful, which are not addictive. Any bad aftereffects have been removed, and only that part which gives a joyous feeling, a desire to dance and a desire to find something real is left, because that feeling will disappear within hours. These drugs can be used in a right way. Everything can be used in a right way and everything can be used in a wrong way, but it is still the same thing.

Source - Osho Book "The Language of Existence"

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