QA195 QUESTION: Some of us in the work have been discussing recently the situation of occasional use of liquor and marijuana in social situations – I emphasize “occasional,” not regular use. I wondered if you could comment on the difference between the two, if there is one?

ANSWER: Yes, there is a difference. But, of course, in both instances it depends on the frequency. I would say it is less damaging to have an occasional drink at the same time interval than if you would have, with the same frequency, a marijuana cigarette.

The very frequent imbibing of alcohol is very much not to be recommended – just as cigarette smoke to too great a degree, regularly, is not to be recommended – because each in their own way, has a different effect on the energy system. Each kills feelings – real feelings. Each is a way into escaping, and each eventually dulls the energy system at different levels.

Therefore, I say that anyone who is truly concerned with reaching the nucleus of life within, where he can realistically and truly be in joyousness, in pleasure, in energy, in vibrant consciousness, should make it his concern not to rely on any of these escapes. Use the need for them as a symptom that should be worked with, if the symptom cannot be given up without too much discomfort.

If the discomfort is great, use this as a symptom and give yourself at least a chance, in the presence of friends, to feel that you’re bound to ordinary cigarette smoke or too much alcoholic drinking or any kind of drugs – including sleeping pills. Let other friends help you to feel the discomfort. Let them be around you, sustain you, guide you into the discomfort itself. As you do this, you will have a wonderful tool to break through further walls within.

I am not concerned to say “one is more” and “one is less” and “this you can take so and so many times,” and “that will be the equivalent of the other for so and so many times.” That is immaterial, because you all know that any degree of regularity and reliance and dependence on these is a direct sign that you’re going in the opposite direction of your inner center, where the source of life lies, the source of your truth and the source of your fulfillment.

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