Still, in India, there are a few ancient traditions which have fallen into the same fallacy as Aldous Huxley. But they have gone farther than Aldous Huxley; they drink all kinds of alcoholic beverages, they use all kinds of drugs. A moment comes when no drug can make them unconscious, no drug can bring them what they have been trying to find – a way to forget themselves, to forget this miserable world, to forget all these people. The last resort is that there are ashrams in Assam; they are the only remnants of a very long-standing tradition. They keep cobra snakes as a last resort – when no drug affects you, the cobra is allowed to bite you on your tongue. Only then do you feel a little shaken, but the miracle is that the cobra dies! The man is so full of poison…but the poor cobra was not aware; otherwise he would have escaped.
I have been concerned about why man has remained so much interested in poisons. The reason is not too far away to see; you just need a clarity. Man is so miserable that he cannot live consciously with this misery. He needs a few gaps, at least a few holidays from this miserable anguish, anxiety, and all kinds of tortures. Drugs have been a tremendous help. But not only the chemical drugs – Karl Marx is right when he says that the religions of the world are nothing but opium for the people. These religions have also proved to be consolations. They have also given hope, they have also given a certain future and taken away your consciousness from the present and its misery. That’s the function of any drug.
My effort here, Vimal, is to make you drop all future, all hope, all illusion, and just relax in the moment knowing perfectly well that this is the only moment which exists. All else is either memory or imagination.
One who is in the present immediately drowns in his own well…of something which is not poisonous, but it is certainly ecstatic. And once you have known your own source, there is no need to go anywhere, to any pub or to any church or to any temple.
The young doctor, inexperienced with operations, is instructed to stand at the head of the patient so that without getting in the way, he can watch the expert do an abdominal operation. He is also instructed not to speak, but after a while he can’t resist: “How’s your end, sir?” says the young man. “All right,” says the expert, looking up, “why?”
“I only wondered, sir,” says the young man, “because my end’s been dead for ten minutes.”
Because he was told not to speak, he remained silent! The man is dead and the surgeon goes on operating….
There are a few things which all traditions have prohibited people to speak, and it needs immense courage to go against the whole tradition of mankind. For example, everybody has been told not to support any kind of drug in any way, and people have remained silent. I have not come across a single statement in which somebody has dared to say that the predominance of drugs shows something immensely significant, and it cannot be simply outlawed; it cannot be simply prohibited. But I want to say it.
Let it be on record that unless man finds the authentic drug which is in his own being, there is no force on the earth which can prohibit alcohol, which can prohibit marijuana, which can prohibit hashish, which can prohibit LSD. More and more drugs will be coming in, and the miracle is that the people who are trying to prohibit these things – ninety percent of them are themselves using them.