Tuesday, December 14, 2010


QUESTION: I listen to teachings that tell me to accept whatever happens and just get on with my life, but I don't understand. How can I accept something that causes me emotional or physical pain?

ANSWER: The problem with "accepting" something is due to the many meanings given to this word in English. Most problematic is the meaning of "to tolerate or submit to something unpleasant or undesired." Adding to the problem is the meaning of "to receive something as adequate, valid, or suitable." And an unspoken, but extremely common meaning given to this word is "to let something you don't like hang around forever."

Naturally, these meanings make the idea of acceptance sound like stupidity. Who in their right mind would want to do that, unless you "accept" a philosophy of predestination or unchangeable fate.

So, why would a teacher (me, for instance) recommend that you accept whatever happens and move on? This is based on another meaning of the word: "to take upon oneself a responsibility or liability." This does not mean to take responsibility for it happening, it means taking responsibility for doing something about it.

Some people prefer to use the word "acknowledge" instead of "accept," but the implication is different. You can acknowledge something without doing anything about it, but if you accept it in the meaning just given, doing something about it is the next related step.

There are two things you can do about something, once you have accepted its existence:

1. Consciously change the situation, if you can. You cannot control any situation, but you can always change something about the situation You may not be able to change the whole thing, but the more knowledge, skill, energy and persistence you can bring to bear on it, the more effective your efforts will be.

2. Conscious change yourself. This means to stop resisting the situation (ongoing emotional or physical resistance makes anything harder to change), get centered in the present moment, and keep a focus on what you want, instead of on what you don't want. To the degree you can do this, magic happens. In other words, situations have a very strong tendency to change themselves when you stop resisting them and hold a positive focus of intent or desire.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Drugs and Spirituality

QUESTION: Do you have any information on the Huna point of view about drugs, and the spiritual advantanges and disadvantages of using them?

ANSWER: We do not have any published material related to your questions, but I can give you a brief answer.

First of all, we must define what we mean by the word, "spiritual," since many people are confused about that. For the purposes of this reply, let us call it "a desirable state of heightened conscious awareness and body functioning which is characterized by a loving communication with one's self and one's environment."

Using this definition, drugs can be either advantageous or disadvantageous, depending on
a) whether they are of the earth or synthesized
b) the amount taken
c) the circumstances under which they are taken
d) the attitudes and expectations of the person taking them.

Drugs of any kind (including caffeine and alcohol), as well as more potent natural sources like peyote and marijuana, are spiritually disadvantageous whenever they lower awareness, interfere with body functioning, and/or decrease one's sense of loving communication. I would also add, whenever they increase one's sense of powerlessness or exaggerate one's sense of power over the environment. Both of these, however, are the result of lowered or restricted awareness.

The most potentially disadvantageous drugs are the synthesized ones (LSD, etc.) taken in large doses, with or without supervision. Two reasons for this are that the body is not equipped to assimilate them properly, and the conscious mind is forced to deal with aspects of the self that it is not prepared to handle, yet it must deal with them until the drug has worn off. Even a "good trip" in such a case will have deleterious after effects on the body and the mind. "Large doses," of course, is a subjective phrase that only makes sense in relation to a particular individual.

In small, controlled amounts in the right setting and under the careful supervision of one who is already spiritually aware, many kinds of drugs can be used to help spiritual and psychic development. This has been the case through many ages in many cultures. However, under these conditions drugs are used as an intermediary tool, which is discarded as soon as the trainee or apprentice is able to reach the same states without their help.

What is most unfortunate at the present time is the careless and overabundant used of a wide array of drugs for recreation, for escape, for no more than symptom relief, or simply out of habit. Such use is definitely spiritually disadvantageous, under our definition, for the people involved. To cite one example, coffee in small amounts has the potential for heightening awareness and body function in a way that could help spiritual and psychic development, but when drunk excessively it has the opposite effect.

Significantly, from my personal experience, I can let you know that neither Korean, Mongolian, nor Hawaiian shamans have found it necessary to use drugs to develop their shamanic abilities. As we say in Huna, there is always another way to do anything. While drugs of different kinds may possibly help spiritual development, they are not needed and they can even get in the way.