A reader writes:
It occurs to me, while reading your discussion of LSD and what meaning it might bring, that it is much like dreaming in this sense: some people dream and wonder what it meant, and some people dream and shake it off as nonsense. Some might wonder if the dream is a divine message; some think of it as messages from your subconscious, making you face your inner self. Some ponder the dream for weeks, while some forget it immediately, saying, "It was just a dream." That some find meaning in their dreams says more about the person than the dream, and how introspective the person is.
LSD is like that. Some people will ponder over the experience for meaning, while others say, "I was just tripping." It's a question of your own level of introspection. There is always meaning to be found if you are looking for it, in a dream, a novel, a painting, or a trip.
Your line, "A notion of salvation that has absolutely nothing to do with the future?" reminded me of this Rumi poem (translated by Coleman Barks):
Lovers think they are looking for each other,
but there is only one search: wandering
This world is wandering that, both inside one
transparent sky. In here
there is no dogma and no heresy.
The miracle of Jesus is himself, not what he said or did
about the future, Forget the future.
I'd worship someone who could do that.
On the way you may want to look back, or not,
but if you can say "There's nothing ahead",
there will be nothing there.
Stretch your arms and take hold the cloth of your clothes
with both hands. The cure for pain is in the pain.
Good and bad are mixed. If you don't have both,
you don't belong with us.
When one of us gets lost, is not here, he must be inside us.
There's no place like that anywhere in the world.
This is a good example of Rumi's non-dualistic theism, something I think we are more in need of than ever.
Let me assure you that salvation has nothing at all to do with some future time, but is available to anyone here and now. This is the Universal message of every spiritual Master as well as the mystics and metaphysical philosophers throughout the ages. It is this basic Truth which has been distorted by every organized religion. Salvation, or atonement cannot be granted to you by any outside force, but only through self-realization.
We could philosophically conclude that time does not exist (see Augustine's thoughts on the subject). This would force us to come to the realization that NOTHING occurs at some future time; that there is no future or past if time does not exist. From this position it throws into doubt all beliefs about questions such as life before or after death (and even the question of death itself--How can something have a beginning or end if time doesn't exist?), karma (How can events from a non-existent past influence the present?), and the notions of Heaven and Hell. Without time in the equation of Life we are forced to admit that everything occurs in the eternal Now moment and that it is our minds which create the appearance of separateness between objects and the events.
And this was my epiphany obtained during my first LSD trip.
I was given a glimpse of the one-ness of all of creation. I couldn't express it in words at that time, but I knew with all certainty that what I saw around me was not "reality", but that there was something else "behind the veil". My experiences with LSD set me on a life long path of attempting to re-connect with that something.
I can only speak from my own personal experience, but in my world the same mind which produces the dualistic nature of the appearance of "reality" also produces the illusion of an individual being separate from all of creation including the creator. And so, returning to your question; salvation is not something to wait for in the future, but something to work toward obtaining now. And, yes it is obtainable. "What you seek is right here, in your presence"
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.