When you say alcohol is bad, and we should restrain from drugs and alcohol, what does that really mean when nearly everything we take into our bodies affects our minds in some way, and considering holy men in India have long used hashish to help with their meditation, how do you decide which substances are, in fact, "drugs" and which are not?
See what I mean here? Besides 'religious' cannabis use, or something like peyote or mushrooms used for shamanic or mind-expansion reasons, there are many other borderline cases. I find this kind of "good/bad" dualism to be very un-Buddhist in my understanding of Buddhism, at least Zen Buddhism, which I have studied and practiced most of my life. There is no question that certain substances can, in fact, expand your awareness and give you insights and clarity of thinking, at least some of the time.
And what about people who are prescribed things like Xanax for so-called "diseases" when in fact Xanax makes you high as a kite and unable to really function or determine right from wrong...do you feel that Buddhists who get prescribed such things (there are many such drugs, by the way) should not take them, then? Even at the cost of being unable to function in day-to-day life?
The video I just watched () is definitely old, and you seem young in that video, I'm guessing about 23 or so, and I wonder if you have evolved past this kind of dualistic thinking, and how you consider such cases as I've outlined. And as a "bush partier" I have to guess you have dropped acid or mushrooms at least, and probably tried other things...didn't you ever have moments of great clarity during some of these bush parties, even just from a few beers and a little weed or whatever? Don't you consider these experiences valid from a consciousness expansion standpoint?
Chocolate is mind altering, is it not? And green tea. I mean, where (and why) do you draw the line? Does it really have to be so black and white for even the strictest monk? I just cannot believe that there are monks that won't even drink tea, despite it's mind and body altering properties...and I have read old stories about drinking games played by Zen monks in Japan in the old days too...
I respect you and your work, and appreciate it. Keep it up! :-)