Robert Priddy: The Anti-Sai-Baba ExtremistUPDATE: Robert Priddy Attempting To Remove His Past Biographical Data From The Internet:
Robert C. Priddy created his own Wikipedia page in which he publicly
solicited himself as a notable
person in relation to Philosophy and his former Indian Guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba
. Robert C. Priddy released his biographical data on a personal website hosted by a free, online hosting company in Norway (home.no.net/anir/Nos/
). On this free web-hosting domain, Robert Priddy personally
disclosed biographical data that included stories of his experimentation with LSD, cannabis and other drugs as well as information about his early years. Robert Priddy deleted many of these public domain webpages after
he defected from the Sai Movement (Ref
). Although Robert C. Priddy is now attempting to remove his relevant, unsavory, public and self-disclosed
biographical data from the internet, he (as well as his Anti-Sai associates) duplicated complete text content from Pro-Sai websites (including RadioSai
) and added commentaries to them. When the same is done to him, however, he cries “copyright infringement”
although the biographical material in question was released by him
into the public domain as self-disclosure.
THE PSYCHEDELIC EXPERIENCE
On how I came to psychedelic experiences By Robert C. Priddy
There is a fullness of being that thought cannot capture or fully comprehend. The mind lives on direct experience and yet it can come to feed more and more on secondary or vicarious thoughts. The ideal of Western culture, inculcated in us from school to the highest education, is information, generalities, theory and civilised opinion. Since all this is obtained at second hand, personal experience and the practice of knowledge in life can usually only come after the end of education, if then.
Despite my involvement in a wide variety of practical jobs or activities before taking university education, my mind had continued increasingly to process everything according to mental attitudes and approaches gradually adopted from childhood onwards. This became a 'mental burden', something from which many who go through our over-conceptualised education suffer unknowingly. The mind was largely pre-programmed and often functioned as a reducing valve or advance filter, pre-forming and so distorting experience even before it had sunk in. 'It' did this even before the fullness of a perception had time to register properly, translating raw sensory facts into ideas so fast that I had lost sight of the gaps between ideas - or perhaps of the true links between percept and concept. In this way it is possible for the mind to become like a prison, working too independently of consciousness with a quasi-life of its own. Anyhow, I had come to construe the natural world of things and people too easily and was often unable to get directly involved with them.
I discovered some of this ailment in myself by using the psychedelic agents cannabis and later, in a shockingly convincing and exhaustive way, with the chemical mind-altering (or mind-suspending) substance LSD 25, which showed me that there was a gap between perception and thought, and that re-opening it led to wonderful experiences of a much higher consciousness than anything previously encountered by me. A proper training in meditation might possibly have done the same more smoothly and securely, though doubtless only after many years of constant practise.
Then 26 years old, I was a student of philosophy and sociology at the University of Oslo. Though I found the subject of psychology mostly irrelevant to understanding people, myself or anything remotely like the psyche (Gr. 'soul'), I had become interested in mental illness and schizophrenia from a wider viewpoint than psychiatry adopted.
My mother was still working at a progressive mental hospital, where I had also lived in and worked briefly. I had also worked day and night during my first months in Norway looking after some very disturbed youth at a treatment home. Besides this, much of the literature that currently interested me, from Kafka to Jean-Paul Sartre, raised the question of the 'split-mindedness' of the 'normal or well-adjusted' member of current society and thus the sickness of modern society itself. I had also recently been impressed by Aldous Huxley's essays, The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, about his experiments with the biochemical mescaline, which evidently had opened the doors for him to what he regarded as the highest insights of his not-inconsiderable life.
When I heard that the health authorities themselves had sent a psychiatrist I knew large samples of an extraordinary substance very similar to mescaline for experimentation, I was interested in a chance to try it too. A friend, Eric Steadman, had already taken a dose of it and recommended us taking some together. After 18 hours of fasting I took five blue capsules of Sandoz LSD-25 ... a mere 125 micrograms!
Despite the preliminary reading and some previous trials with cannabis, I was really totally unprepared for the earth-shaking scale of the inner upheaval that came. I had not even imagined that psychosis, which LSD has been said to simulate, could be anything like as disasterous as what overtook me during the first hour or so of 'hell'. Nothing in my previous life was even remotely as intensely beautiful and awe-inspiring as the 'heaven' that superceded it.
For some few yet limitless hours I knew that a true, undying perfection and purity is within and that it is supra-personal. That it was covered over by the habitual activities of the mind was a certain insight of which I never really lost sight afterwards. In that living presence, that expansive present moment of translucency without beginning or end, I could not doubt that we all essentially are that pure awareness. Only temporarily are we alienated from our authentic nature , good and whole ( even 'holy'), while lost to ourselves in the vast and bewildering realm of matter and mind, space and time.
I hope that I shall never again have to undergo the intensity of sadness and inner pain that came when I had to return to the worldly sphere, sinking slowly down layer by layer into increasing forgetfulness of that immanent all-encompassing joyfulness! It was in a sense a rebirth, back to bodily constrictions and the material world, back to its old problems and to very much my same old self too. Still, there were marked differences, for a new basic trust and hope was engendered; a case of believing through seeing. Indeed, I think I appreciate how much more fortunate or talented they must be who can believe sufficiently to discipline their activities towards such realisation without having had such proofs.
The assurance that one's being is totally secure, that my identity is the soul that itself cannot ever get lost inspires one with trust and gives the growing intimation of great meaning and purpose in or behind creation. The mysteriousness of life, the miracles of being that are so naturally taken for granted that they can appear mundane, boring... yes, even depressing, are made clearer and sharper when seen through the focussed lens of faith. By faith is here meant an inner reliance on there being a spiritual source, wherever it be, whatever form it may be imagined to take or by whatever name it might be called. Many would call it belief in God, of course, even though an agnostic or a so-called atheist could also sometimes be strong in the faith to which I refer (i.e. not involving blind beliefs).
Being only 26 at the time, and being without any persons of exceptional insight around me who could advise me, I had to face the labyrinth of errors of the contemporary world in which I lived. The world-view or ideas of reality inherited or adopted from my English background, the whole orientation of all I had learned and experienced since then was completely shaken up afresh.
The reconstruction in memory and extended understanding of that experience has continued at periods throughout my life. (See my fuller 'blow-by-blow account') The trials of my faith have been many, for my mind persisted in investigating, weighing, criticising, comparing all sorts of evidence both for and against the above-mentioned doubt. Now - at the millenium - I still regard this was a necessary process for me to refine and secure the conviction I had at the high point of my vision. There is no question of falsifying memory, but in 'capturing' it. At the time I most likely did not have the means of fixating and expressing what I glimpsed, and it was one experience among many others that was laid aside at first among the many impressions that overwhelmed me and on which I concentrated in the months directly afterwards.
There was virtually nothing in Western culture to help one integrate the intimations of a transcendental consciousness and all that this implied for life and not least what lies beyond life. There were many attractive avenues of investigation and so-called 'self-improvement' that turned out only to be dead ends. Social movements, intellectual theories, artistic and literary endeavours as well as dozens of different forms of self-indulgence were the order of the day all around me. Later I discovered that Indian philosophy and religion are full of references to the type of experience I had, sometimes referred to as the 'raising of the kundalini shakthi' or 'sleeping serpent power', which is not a physically-measurable energy and which, being the basis of conscious life itself, is normally expended through sexual activity and thus is only seldom raised to the higher levels of consciousness.
My spiral of meta-thoughts and powerlessness of mind and body, the depths of nausea and everything that happened to me in the first 2 hours or so, were - in a word - doubt. Doubt as to the will on man, that we are made in the image of something far greater than ourselves. The doubt became intolerable, quite simply. And thereby the powerless that ensues from it was removed. From saying 'I can't, I can't' I moved to the realisation that this was not true. Some vast power had lifted me, despite myself, towards myself in a higher sense. [No pun intended]
The same power afforded me a glimpse into myself which I cannot say I had earned, except perhaps in that it became my due because of the sufferings through which I had to go - despite myself - to receive it. That glimpse - an intense view of staggering depth and beauty of the teeming realities of the mind and the incalcuable beyond - lasted for the infinite space of not more than two hours of earthly time. During the height of this view, something caused me to look upwards, figuratively speaking. The thought occured to me since I then realised how I had been going around in disbelief and great ignorance of the vast potential of the human soul and that which lies beyond in the realms of the spirit... even though I had had plenty of opportunity to learn of its presence from the mystical, religious and philosophical books I had read. Since I was tasting the reality of my own soul, I asked what might lie beyond and above. So, looking upwards, I caught a glimpse - admittedly fleeting and unclear, but awesome and magnificent - of an endless and truly cast hierarchy of realised consciousness (perhaps beings?) receeding into the distances of inner space... further than I was strong enough to gaze into.
Feeling as though I had lived a lifetime that day, I went to sleep most peacefully in an aura of light-hearted wonder. I awoke from an intense and perfectly-clear dream:-
I climbed up a snowy mountain, moving up along a majestic ridge where high winds blew across the huge heaven. I knew it to be Mount Everest. Together with Eric, I soon stood exultantly and marvelled on the peak. Before us was a final mound of a few feet in height. This we did not ascend. Then I heard a voice of perfect authority, resonant and certain, which I knew immediately to be God's own. He said "I have brought you up here. The way back down you must find by yourselves." So I set off in one direction and saw Eric take another route. There were huge, spherical boulders lodged here and there in crevices I must pass on the descent. That the dream was an authentic message to confirm the nature of the experience I have never doubted. That God had taken us there I do not doubt. I certainly felt that I had been saved from a vortex of anxiety and danger of madness, though I had not known how or why. At the time it seemed that I had to go through what a dying person would. Not until I 'gave up the ghost', so to say, and surrendered myself willingly to whatever might come, did I experience a regeneration. That I had gone through a radical ego-death prior to spiritual rebirth was very evident to me then, though quite how it had been achieved I was far from clear, I realised, when I tried to repeat this without the psychogenic stimulus.
Concerning the last mound on the peak of the world, I remembered having read that early expeditions to Everest had taken vows with Tibetan lamas at a monastery below to place food offerings to God at the foot of a mound they would find on the peak! On no account were they to mount it for it was revered as 'the home of God'.
Years later, when I learned about the Vedantic teachings concerning the highest forms of consciousness or samadhis, that last mound seemed exactly symbolic of the last, almost negligible line, the crossing of which takes the individual finally and eternally away from the illusory universe and into Godhead.
After some years I did occasionally try various strong bio-chemicals and also LSD-25 again with varying results, both hellish and heavenly. I did not become addicted, the experience being so powerful as to have a most subtle long-term draining effect on my spirits. There was also the growing realisation that the results were less inspiring as time went on and progress towards making such awareness permanent was not noticeable.
On one occasion the effect of LSD-25 on me was extremely unpleasant indeed for the larger part of the 8 hours. Instead of finding any clarification of perception, I was plunged into a whirlpool of eternal repetition from which all things seemed infinitely hopeless and without rhyme or reason of any sort. There seemed to be no hope of escape, a very terrible condition indeed! This lasted "for ever"... except that I recovered and found that about six hours had passed. For anyone who is trapped in that sort of sphere (definitely qualifying as one of the hells that make up the lower spheres of existence in Eastern spiritual pantheons) I must say that suicide must sooner or later become attractive. Fortunately, the episode ended well, as I have described elsewhere.
For better or worse, then, the veil of incarnate ignorance is sometimes lifted, and lifted very drastically and forcibly, also so fast that one cannot possibly follow what is going on until the veil is gone. The efficient cause of it can be one or another psychoactive agent. This explanation will suffice for those who are of a materialistic turn of mind but doubtless not for those who have pursued the fundamental philosophical question of the apartness of appearance and reality to its furthest reaches in more than a mere academic fashion.
Physical events are, after all, but appearances that come and go in time and space and are themselves subject to a higher ordering. Just as the creation of energy or matter in the very first instance requires a Creator, whether considered to be external or internal to creation, so must cosmic consciousness require the same agency. I was saved from the horror of disintegration and taken to the top of that mountain on the first occasion. Perhaps it was the only way I could be saved from the consequence of my own ignorance in taking that risk. When I reflect over the many aspects of it that present themselves to my mind's eye, I cannot be other than convinced that it must have happened through divine agency.
Though this particular biochemical eventually gave many people such glimpses or 'trips' into the realm behind the cosmic illusion known as maya in Vedantic thought, its effect most evidently differs in clarity and scope (depending on the person and many variable circumstances) and is always short-term. After eight to twelve hours one was 'back to normal reality', however much one disbelieved in its ultimacy or remembered that it is but a troubled dream of impermanant nature.
There were also those who were unfortunate and spent their time only in an inner hell and often failed to return to reality for some time. Seldom that this was, some very few persons found themselves in mental wards and a handful of them never came to themselves again, while in a few others it reportedly released states of psychosis, depression and intense paranoia during which some even committed suicide. On the other hand, most reliable reports from most highly-reputable clinics document many wonderful cures from the most ingrained and otherwise incurable obsessions and paranoias.
The psychedelic drugs have also been blamed for the destruction of genetic material and brain cells but, from the point of view of the philosophy of science I must confirm what even intelligent laymen can reckon, that the scientific evidence so far - where it is not concocted according to strong preconceptions - is flimsy indeed. Some of these agents may well cause physical degeneration of various sorts, but the case is far from being proven, as many investigations have clearly been heavily biassed from the start. Despite all this, I believe there are other reasons why all psycho-chemicals of this nature should be avoided.
Among the strongest reasons are the normally-invisible effects it seems that they can have upon other means by which our bodies, and even our minds, are otherwise protected, as well as the long-term psychic and social consequences that follow on their use and which can prove very serious if one has found no reliable protection and guidance. That standard Western science and medicine do not recognise super-physical phenomena and sticks to the gross body alone does not alter the evidence from literally countless independent sources throughout world history and culture of subtle life energies, sometimes called auric sheaths and energies.
Because physically-induced expansion of consciousness can only be temporary and can often lead to an unbalanced life in disturbing the step-by-step progress of personal development and spiritual growth, it is neither advocated by most psychologists nor spiritual teachers. Such expansions of awareness can only eventually be consolidated through gradual evolution of the psyche by controlled moral and mental discipline in living. Results cannot be expected without long and sustained efforts that always require the greatest patience. The use of bio-chemicals like LSD-25 to alter consciousness is like reaching for 'plastic grapes'. They do not allay one's hunger. They can also create an illusion of knowledge and power and that can be harmful.
I must admit that, in my own experience, there were some long-term disadvantages for me, as I see it all now. The sense of difference that comes of having been able to see through normal motives and narrow ideas - was a problem for me, because it tended to alienate me from people who were unable to understand or accept that any sublime experiences could occur, however they may be attained. Working as an academic and living in Norway where, with its very undifferentiated puritan culture of the most pragmatic and down-to-earth sort, any such experiences were virtually unknown. Anything that sounded like mysticism was regarded with blank suspicion and mistrust, so the natural need of sharing experiences with like- minded persons was frustrated and became limited mostly to other foreigners in the country. Though this would most likely have applied in any case due to my background, the gulf of difference was widened considerably by having undergone such consciousness-altering experiments.
That striving for the experience of higher consciousness by both artificial and 'natural' means is well illumined in Indian religious lore. Even the attempt to attain such super-consciousness and the powers inherent in them is fraught with real dangers unless one has a perfectly-realised master who has trodden all the ways in advance. It is also advised against as being a selfish aim; putting one's own liberated happiness before that of the world, which inevitably also eventually works against oneself.
However one may classify the type of consciousness that arises, and by whatever means or techniques it is reached, it can not be more than a preview of what can be fully attained only by living a pure, devoted life. Though bio-chemicals did not give a short-cut onto the heavenly highway, they did sometimes allow a brief crossing of that highway. My egoism was not removed nor my soul purified, yet I certainly was torn out of the cloud of self-oriented unknowing that afflicted me before.
Robert Priddy’s glorification of his drug-induced experiences as being “wonderful experiences of a much higher consciousness than anything previously encountered by me”
, actually promotes drug use and would be particularly encouraging to those seeking to have such types of altered experiences. As a matter of fact, Robert Priddy had the following to say about his drug-induced hallucinations in his Pro-Sai book “Source Of The Dream”
(pg: 16-7, Chapter 2: ‘When the Soil is Ready’
A totally mind-shattering and subsequently most wonderful and intensely ecstatic experience befell me one day, as if from out of the blue. Much could be said on the subject, as it is an almost entirely misunderstood one and thus very controversial, but I do not believe doing so would appreciably enlighten anyone who has not actually had the very same experience. I am certain that no words can capture the vital nature and truth of such an experience of transcendental consciousness. I mention it because, without its having befallen me, I cannot guess how I might otherwise have been able to realize the value of pursuing spiritual development and exerting any measure of the determination, and one-pointedness that such a course eventually requires. The experience probably did not improve me much outwardly, if at all, but inwardly it altered my life in various quite crucial ways. I could simply no longer manage to regard normal worldly experience as the be-all and end-all of life. Having been forced to see my usual self and the mind literally from outside, with merciless clarity, through knowing and temporarily becoming the sheer all-pervasiveness of a sanctified joy, peace, and unrestricted awareness that underlies everything, I later came to know how that experience both consoled me and yet set me apart. Like a two-edged sword, it strengthened my insight, yet isolated me for many years in lonliness, for I had the burden of both incommunicable experience and a certain spiritual pride.
Does Robert Priddy’s description of his drug-induced experiences sound like ones that discourage drug use? I didn’t think so.
The referenced and attributed material on these webpages is duplicated in full
under the premise of ‘fair use’ in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any such (and all) material on this webpage is distributed without profit and for research and reference purposes only.
- Robert Priddy's Copyright Blathering
- Robert Priddy’s “The Psychedelic Experience”
(or View Archive
- Robert Priddy’s “Truth, Being And Bliss”
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- Robert Priddy’s “A Vision Of Cosmic Energy”
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Labels: psychedelic drug use