Spirituality and Intoxication The Trilogy – The Final Countdown

Fri 11th April 2014
Living to Be Happy 

Those of you who have been following my posts will know that I first started writing up the viewpoint of spirituality on intoxication in a post about Minca after being surrounded by stoners.

After which, I decided to write a trilogy of investigative reports on the subject!

I have already posted part 1 and part 2, but for the final part, I ultimately need to answer the question:

Can intoxication be a compassionate action?

Today I am heading down south to 'el Eje Cafetero' – the coffee region of Colombia - where I will do a final investigation into the subject.

For this, I need your help!

While I am in 'el Eje Cafetero', I am going to interview people. I am very excited about this idea, as I just recently decided that I would like to get some real opinions from real people for a future post, and who better to ask about their viewpoint on intoxicants than those who live in, and live from, the coffee region of Colombia.

As this alone would be a rather biased sample, I will see if I can also interview some fellow backpackers, and I have also joined the forum of the Tiny Buddha website and asked for people there to give their opinion in order to get a spiritual perspective on the subject.

But, more than anything, I especially want to know what you, the people who follow my blog here at 'How to be a Buddha', think about Spirituality and the place for intoxicants!

When I write up the article, I will use your responses to help me come to a final conclusion, and I will quote your answers in my post.

So where has the investgative reporting taken me so far?

For Part 1, I delved into the Colombian world of alcohol, cocaine and corruption – almost losing my Higher Self completely.

For Part 2, I decided on a less dangerous investigation and instead looked online at how society’s religious institutions deal with the issue of Self-compassion versus the amount of intoxication that is normal in society today.

For Part 3, the final part of the trilogy, I will make my final investigation into spirituality and intoxication in a place famed for its organic coffee farms, yummy Colombian coffee, and beautiful villages made popular by the tourism that the coffee production produces.

This should make for a pretty varied and interesting conclusion, but much more so if I can bring in your opinions too!

I will finish the investigation at 6pm (Colombian time) on Wed 30th April. That gives me just over two weeks. The countdown has begun, but I have given myself just over two weeks to do the investigation, so please take the time to revisit my previous two posts on intoxication, and then let me know what you think!

Can intoxication be a compassionate action?

I thank you in advance for your comments below!

Be inspired ♥


  1. I think that intoxicants are not true relaxants, because they do not clear the mind - relaxation techniques without consuming substances, thereby clearing the mind, brings enlightenment of various degrees - if you have a problem or have forgotten something you just can't recall, sleeping on it quite often helps you see more clearly after clearing the mind and waking. Deeper forms of relaxation bring deeper forms of enlightenment which in turn can bring a deeper compassion within you.
    Intoxication brings unpredictability and a hightened awareness of oneself and/or surroundings but does not bring you to your "core self" of understanding.
    Therefore intoxication cannot be a compassionate action as it is subversive. MUM X

    1. Can intoxication be Self-compasssionate? That is the question for my last investigative report into spirituality and intoxication.

      This is an ethical, moral, environmental, spiritual, scientific, philosophical and psychological question – for which I have not yet come to my own conclusion and I do not yet propose an answer.

      On 30th April, I will take everything that I have learnt and write a full report with quotations from you and various sources and then I will come to my own conclusion based on what everyone has said and what I have experienced so far.

      Thanks mum for the detailed opinion above! I also have some very deep and insightful opinions from the Tiny Buddha website.

      Please keep the opinions coming until then!

  2. You know my simple perspective: as long as the level of intoxication is not creating serious physical & mental damage it is self-compassionate, because you do something you enjoy and this is giving you a good time. Thats also the reason why I rarely get really annoyed when people smoke next to me - they are just enjoying something they like ( ... of course I prefer the smell of really good tobacco here ... and not cheapy-cheap cigarette smell ;-).

    1. Thanks Rudi. Yeh, I know what you mean and we have talked about this a lot. Thanks for taking the time to comment anyway. I didn't know you enjoy the smell of good tobacco! I will of course have to mention you in my final write up after all the conversations we have had about this! By the way, when you next leave me a Whatsapp message, let me know what the triangle symbol is all about! HUGS

  3. Ok right before the deadline like always ;)

    I do not believe intoxication can be a compassionate action. But I'm talking about real intoxication, drinking tea is not even intoxicating to me, tea (specially green tea) has many virtues. I would also say that minimal intoxication can be self compassionate like enjoying a good cup of coffee, a glass of good wine, a good beer.... For cigarettes, I know only few people who manage to make smoking a casual activity, tobacco is a highly addictive substance and most of smokers I know are just poisoning themselves.

    But at least cigarettes are only poisoning your body, other drugs are corrupting your mind. In most of the case, that's also the reason why we're taking them we want to feel "buzzed" or more relaxed or braver... we want to perceive the world in another way. Most of the time, it's to escape real problems at least temporally, we should not have the need for a drink, a joint... we should fix in our life what is creating that need.

    However if the intoxication is not part of an addiction, if you're not damaging your health with it, it there is no real danger in taking it, if you're not hurting people around you because of it, I would not say it's compassionate, but it's not that bad. Not all of us have the ambition to live at a higher level. I would rather encourage people to stop eating meat but that's another topic.

    I left out of my comment all strong drugs as anything that makes your life in danger is obviously not compassionate (alcohol can make it to that category).

    And I forgot about drugs and creativity, I don't know if artists often take drugs to create or they take drugs because they're sensitive and it's harder for them to face the world. If it's the first, I can understand that you can sacrifice yourself for your art. (But yourself not your surrounding)

    I'm not sure if it helps you, it's just my opinion if you want to ask questions, don't hesitate.

    1. Hi Cecile. Miss you guys! Thank you so much for commenting! It is great to see that other people are reading my posts, and not just my mum LOL

      I am going to write up this article after my paragliding experience in about a week, and I'll take into account all these comments and everything that I have learnt so far!

      I agree about not eating meat being another issue. Are you vegetarian, and why didn't I know that? Have you seen this video?


      I'll be writing about eating meat at some point in the future, but as you probably know from my posts, I am not eating meat now, which is hard in Ecuador! - unless you cook at home or stay a conscientious eater rather than a strict vegetarian!