Exploring the nexus between cannabis and spiritual growth reveals a story as ancient as it is intriguing.
Our center of gravity is too top heavy, which is the source of modern angst (Will Johnson, Cannabis in Spiritual Practice)
Esteemed for its medicinal and spiritual benefits, cannabis has recently re-emerged as an influential tool for spiritual development and self-discovery. Inspired by the insights of writers such as Daniel McQueen and Stephen Gray, this exploration delves into the mysteries of cannabis and spiritual growth.
Cannabis and ritual: enhancing spiritual growth
Cannabis plays a significant role in spiritual rituals.
As Gray explains, integrating cannabis into ritualistic practices creates a sacred space for spiritual exploration, enhancing opportunities for spiritual growth. When combined with other spiritual practices like meditation or prayer, cannabis can help establish a safe and sacred environment conducive to spiritual development.
Use of cannabis as a spiritual tool dates back thousands of years. It has been used by cultures around the world, including the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Indians, and Native Americans.
In the Indian subcontinent, cannabis has been used for spiritual purposes since the Vedic period, dating back to approximately 1500 BCE. It is mentioned in the Rig Veda, one of the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, as one of the “five sacred plants”.
Cannabis was also used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for religious and spiritual purposes. The Greek god Apollo was associated with cannabis, and it was used in his temples. The Romans used cannabis to induce visions and to communicate with the gods.
Cannabis was also used by Native Americans for spiritual purposes. It was used in ceremonies and rituals to connect with the divine and to gain insights into the deeper meaning of life. Cannabis was also used to treat illness and to relieve pain.
Cannabis and self-discovery: unearthing spiritual growth
In “Cannabis and Spirituality”, Stephen Gray positions cannabis as a powerful tool for self-discovery, a crucial aspect of spiritual growth. By disrupting our regular consciousness of daily worries and restlessness, cannabis invites us to explore hidden aspects of ourselves. In doing so, we promote deeper understanding of our identities and facilitate removal of limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns.
However, it’s not an automatic pill that changes our way of being. Spiritual growth requires a range of tools and behaviours. As Will Johnson says ‘like technology, cannabis can make people smarter or dumber, it’s really all about you.’
Mechanisms of cannabis and spiritual growth
Cannabis promotes spiritual growth in several ways:
- Enhanced Mindfulness: Cannabis intensifies sensory perception and alters the perception of time, by generally slowing down time. This helps to enhance mindfulness and being present, which is a critical component of spiritual growth.
- Altered Consciousness: The psychoactive effects of cannabis instigate altered states of consciousness that encourage introspection, and you’re more likely to explore bigger questions about reality and who you are.
- Release of Control: Cannabis can diminish your ego’s dominance, promoting a therapeutic sense of surrender and facilitating a deeper connection with the self and the universe.
- Healing Potential: As an adjunct to therapy, cannabis can aid individuals in accessing and processing difficult emotions.
Cannabis and the mind: a pathway to spiritual growth
The relationship between cannabis and spiritual growth becomes clearer when we consider the plant’s psychoactive effects.
As suggested by Daniel McQueen, cannabis provides a unique doorway to altered perception, transforming our experience of reality. This shift in consciousness can foster spiritual growth, providing opportunities for profound self-discovery and connection with the divine.
This altered state can help quiet the incessant chatter of the mind, a crucial step towards deeper meditation and introspection.
The plant may also assist in releasing energy blockages in the body, as it often heightens the user’s sense of internal energy flow and physical sensations. We store a lot of trauma and memory in our bodies, at a deep cellular level, but we are not naturally conditioned to access these feelings and to process them properly.
Moreover, cannabis may aid in the release of stored trauma. The body and mind are intricately connected; trauma can be held physically, resulting in tension and energy blockages. By promoting relaxation and a more open state of consciousness, cannabis can support the release of these deep-seated emotional pains.
The potential benefits of cannabis for spiritual growth
The thinking mind dominates.
In our western culture of rational thought and logic, we are at risk of ignoring the other elements of our existence. Our mind will try and protect us from threats, and so fires out anxieties to keep us prepared for potential predators.
But this machine gun of alert can distort what is really going on around us, and deep within.
By altering our state of consciousness, cannabis can help us to access parts of ourselves that we may not be aware of in our everyday lives. This can lead to a greater understanding of ourselves and our place in the world, and can help us to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns.
Many spiritual growth seekers report enhanced self-awareness, an increased ability to stay present, and a deeper connection with their internal world and the universe at large. These experiences can lead to significant personal growth, self-discovery, and spiritual enlightenment.
Cannabis and connection: the social aspect of spiritual growth
Cannabis and spiritual growth extend beyond individual introspection and self-discovery; cannabis also fosters deep connections with others.
As McQueen highlights, cannabis can deepen our relationships, fostering a sense of unity and interconnectedness. This communal aspect of spiritual growth, often aimed at connection with a higher power or the universe, can be amplified by the shared experience of using cannabis.
The Zen word on cannabis and spirituality
The relationship between cannabis and spiritual growth is undeniable.
Cannabis offers a powerful means to access aspects of ourselves that often remain hidden in our daily lives.
Used responsibly in a group or ritualistic setting, cannabis can create transformative and healing shared experiences. As acceptance grows for the role of cannabis in spiritual growth, it remains crucial to approach its use with respect, intention, and safety
The relationship between cannabis and spirituality isn’t one-size-fits-all. Each person’s experience is unique and depends on a multitude of factors, including individual biology, mindset, dosage, and the social and environmental context of use. Always prioritize respect, and intentionality when exploring cannabis as a spiritual tool.