If you take any sort of psychoactive drug habitually, you never know what it actually feels like to be yourself. What is your natural state of mind? How do your energy levels fluctuate in your body? How confident and happy are you really? How strong is your natural power of Will?
Self-knowledge takes time to develop—seasons, years, decades, probably a lifetime of learning. If you want to master your body and mind, you must not allow yourself to learn about your bodymind only in relation to one or several drugs.
Personally, my drugs of choice used to be caffeine, kratom, and whiskey. Since I had enough self-control to always hold the upper hand over dosage and frequency of use, I did not misuse them to an extent where they would impair my performance.* I came to realize, however, that those drugs crippled the development of my self-awareness and self-mastery skills. They corrupted my overall body intelligence.
In this article, I explain how this works: how drugs impede self-mastery.
Drugs that give you energy
Most people take stimulants (especially coffee) every day, often even multiple times a day. This means that, every day, they learn nothing about their natural state of being. They learn about their energy levels in expectation of drug effects, while experiencing the effects, and when the effects fade away. Hence, their entire experience of their bodies producing energy is intricately tied to their drug use. They never learn how diet, work, exercise, meditation, posture, and breathing truly affect their energy levels because all their self-awareness is clouded and distorted by different stages of drug effects influencing their bodymind.
Drugs that make you happy
Taking drugs that heighten your mood alienates you from your True Will. Happiness is a by-product of living a fulfilling life by doing what you truly want to do. If you take drugs to be happy while you slave away at boring tasks and meaningless activities, you learn to content yourself with misery, you train yourself to not do your True Will, and you blunt your instinct to pursue a greater purpose. This is how passions die.
Drugs that boost your confidence
As long as you targetedly use drugs that elevate your confidence, you do not learn how confident you truly are, how you naturally tend to behave, and what you could do to eliminate your anxieties for good. Overdo it and you will completely forget who you are and what you are capable of. Every opportunity for growth you waste because you are too afraid to face a challenge without the aid of exogenous chemicals will not only fail to make you stronger; it will actually chip away at your core self-esteem.
Drugs that help you relax
Do you need nicotine to deal with stress, weed to chill out, alcohol to unwind, or sleeping pills to drop off? Every time you rely on drugs to relax, you weaken your skill to relax at will. The skills of proactive mind-cooling, disciplined self-relaxation, and mindful self-healing require a sober bodymind willing to put in the effort to improve itself. Drugs are an easy escape that distract you from your inability to relax and make you feel less bad about your weak Will, until even your will to improve becomes sterile.
Drugs that pull you into another dimension
Psychedelics are different. They are unlikely to hinder your progess of getting to know yourself because they are so intense that you have to be really fucked up to even have the desire to use them on such a regular basis that your use becomes habitual. Typically, a trip is a rare occasion that shakes up your entire self-image and can actually help you advance closer to your true self. Still, it does very little to improve your skills of self-mastery because, well, psychedelics pull you into another experiential dimension.
The Bottom Line
Nothing will bring you closer to your True Will than a sober, attentive spirit eager to discover the depths of the self through deliberate mindfulness and mindcoolness practice. Drugs typically have such a strong effect that they numb your perception of the much subtler natural changes within your bodymind. This desensitization impairs self-mastery.
*) An important point about caffeine and productivity: You will only benefit from caffeine if your overall daily workload is relatively low, say, if you work for no more than 8 hours and then don’t even exercise hard, or if you have no job and all you do is work out and bang chicks. If you want to perform consistently on a high (or at least above-average) level for 12-16 hours a day, caffeine will fuck you up in the long term.
- The Neurobiology of Liking, Wanting, and the True Will
- Why I No Longer Take Caffeine Before My Workouts
- How Moderation Gives Us Freedom
- Willpower: Lessons in Self-Discipline #10
- Little Lessons From Total Exhaustion
- Ketogenic Freedom or Why I’m on a Keto Diet
- How to Stay Committed to a Low-Carb Diet
- Little Bad Feelings & Personal Growth
- The Four Cardinal Virtues and How to Practice Them