Should you take alcohol on your spiritual path? My short answer is: drink it only for the taste, and not for the effects. Try it now and then, but don’t make it a habit. And when you feel any kind of effect, stop it immediately. I am not against experiencing anything in the world, including alcohol. You can try all kinds of drinks just for the experience, but its recreational use is against the elevation of your consciousness.
It works just the opposite way: it decreases consciousness, it may even make you totally unconscious if you drink too much of it. And this is the main reason so many people consume it: they want to be more unconscious. Just think about it: everybody knows the harmful effects of alcohol, and what kind of suffering a hangover brings about. But so many people drink it nonetheless. This means that this substance has some hidden benefits that outweigh its disadvantages.
When you want to change a bad habit, it’s always more important to understand its benefits than trying to force yourself to stop it. Only when you fully understand can you transcend. So, what are the hidden advantages of getting drunk? Well, alcohol is known to be a depressant, and from my experiences, it specifically relaxes the frontal lobe.
This is the largest region of the brain and it’s more advanced in humans than in other animals. The frontal lobe is necessary for critical thinking, problem solving and civilized behavior. We normally want these skills to function properly, but too much of them also makes life harder, and makes us overwhelmed.
Alcohol is a solvent, and it symbolically dissolves these functions by relaxing the frontal lobe and inhibiting its functioning. By losing certain brain functions, you lose a part of your humanity, and you sink to the level of animals. This is actually very relaxing, because animals live without problems or inhibitions, without an ego or personality. But when you get sober again, your inhibitions and problems return immediately. The solution is not to make yourself less but more conscious, and this is impossible with alcohol.
One of the benefits of drinking is that you temporarily lose your conditionings that normally inhibit what you truly want to do, hide what’s really inside you. You become more spontaneous without thinking about the consequences, your repressed subconscious can now roam free. By getting drunk you show the world your true face. How you act drunk shows what you’ve been repressing in yourself so far.
If you have repressed lust in you, you’ll be more sexual, you’ll feel a great urge to have sex. If you have repressed anger, you become aggressive and may beat your wife. But if you haven’t repressed anything, then you’ll act the same way when you’re drunk or sober. So this could be used as a good test to see what you need to work on psychologically.
The other main benefit of alcohol is that it helps you forget about your problems. By getting drunk, you feel as if getting out of your thoughts into your body; out of your problems into the present moment. With spiritual tools like meditation or mindfulness, you can also enter the now, but without the side-effects of alcohol. Getting drunk spiritually is totally healthy, free, always available, and not addicting in any way. So instead of getting drunk on alcohol, get drunk on life!
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