Jiddu Krishnamurti on Psychedelics


Questioner: Sir, those who take LSD are bound to be satisfied, they take LSD to be satisfied. I’d be satisfied after taking LSD.

Krishnamurti: You’ll want more LSD. It is like taking a drink, alcohol; to take it relieves you. It does various things to the body and you feel relieved. Later on you want more because that thing has gone; and so you keep on drinking.

Try some time to look at the tree – just to look at it. And also when you have time and you feel like it, sit very quietly, not only here but when you are by yourself; or look at a tree sitting quietly. You’ll find a lot of things that you have never seen before.


Questioner: Why should one not take drugs? You apparently seem to be against it. Your own prominent friends have taken them, have written books about them, encouraged others to take them, and they have experienced with great intensity the beauty of a simple flower. We, too, have taken them and we would like to know why you seem to be opposed to these chemical experiences. After all, our whole physical organism is a biochemical process, and adding to it an extra chemical may give us an experience which may be an approximation to the real. You yourself have not taken drugs, have you? So how can you, without experimenting condemn them?

Krishnamurti: No, we have not taken drugs. Must one get drunk to know what sobriety is? Must one make oneself ill to find out what health is? As there are several things involved in taking drugs, let us go into the whole question with care. What is the necessity of taking drugs at all – drugs that promise a psychedelic expansion of the mind, great visions and intensity? Apparently one takes them because one’s own perceptions are dull. Clarity is dimmed and one’s life is rather shallow, mediocre and meaningless; one takes them to go beyond this mediocrity. The intellectuals have made of the drugs a new way of life.

One sees throughout the world the discord, the neurotic compulsions, the conflicts, the aching misery of life. One is aware of the aggressiveness of man, his brutality, his utter selfishness, which no religion, no law, no social morality has been able to tame. There is so much anarchy in man – and such scientific capacities. This imbalance brings about havoc in the world. The unbridgable gap between advanced technology and the cruelty of man is producing great chaos and misery. This is obvious. So the intellectual, who has played with various theories – Vedanta, Zen, Communist ideals, and so on – having found no way out of man’s predicament, is now turning to the golden drug that will bring about dynamic sanity and harmony. The discovery of this golden drug – the complete answer to everything – is expected of the scientist and probably he will produce it. And the authors and the intellectuals will advocate it to stop all wars, as yesterday they advocated Communism or Fascism.

But the mind, with its extraordinary capacities for scientific discoveries and their implementation, is still petty, narrow and bigoted, and will surely continue, will it not, in its pettiness? You may have a tremendous and explosive experience through one of these drugs, but will the deep-rooted aggression, bestiality and sorrow of man disappear? If these drugs can solve the intricate and complex problems of relationship, then there is nothing more to be said, for then relationship, the demand for truth, the ending of sorrow, are all a very superficial affair to be resolved by taking a pinch of the new golden drug. Surely this is a false approach, isn’t it? It is said that these drugs give an experience approximating to reality therefore they give hope and encouragement. But the shadow is not the real; the symbol is never the fact. As is observed throughout the world, the symbol is worshipped and not the truth. So isn’t it a phoney assertion to say that the result of these drugs is near the truth?

No dynamic golden pill is ever going to solve our human problems. They can be solved only by bringing about a radical revolution in the mind and the heart of man. This demands hard, constant work, seeing and listening, and thus being highly sensitive. The highest form of sensitivity is the highest intelligence, and no drug ever invented by man will give this intelligence. Without this intelligence there is no love; and love is relationship. Without this love there is no dynamic balance in man. This love cannot be given – by the priests or their gods, by the philosophers, or by the golden drug.

Post Author: Chad

A child of the universe. A student of life and death.