All experiences are through chemical change -- all, without any exception. Whether you take LSD or you fast, in both the ways body goes through chemical change. Whether you take marijuana or you do a certain pranayam, a breathing exercise, in both the ways body goes through chemical change. Try to understand it.

When you fast what happens? Your body loses a few chemicals because they have to be supplied every day by the food. If you don't supply those chemicals, the body loses those chemicals. Then the ordinary balance of the chemicals is lost; and because fasting creates an imbalance you can start feeling a few things. If you fast long enough you will have hallucinations. If you fast for twenty-one days or more you will become incapable of judging whether what you are seeing is real or unreal, because for it a particular chemical is needed and that is lost.

Have you watched small children? They cannot make a distinction between reality and dream. In the night they dreamed about a toy, and in the morning they are weeping and crying -- "Where has the toy gone?" That particular chemical which helps you to judge has still to be created, only then will the child be able to make the distinction between real and unreal. When you take alcohol that chemical is destroyed.

Mulla Nasrudin was teaching his son. Sitting in a pub, he was telling him when to stop. So he said, "Look. Look in that corner. When you start seeing four people instead of two, know well this is the time to stop drinking and go home."
But the son said, "Dad, there are not two people -- only one is sitting!" The dad is already drunk.

When you take alcohol what happens? Some chemical change. When you take LSD what happens? -- or marijuana or other things? Some chemical change, and you start seeing things which you had never seen. You start feeling things; you become very sensitive.

All experiences are chemical -- without any exception. When you breathe very much you create very much oxygen inside the body; the quantity of nitrogen falls. More oxygen changes inner chemicals. You start feeling things which you never felt. If you whirl around as in dervish dances, fast spin, the body changes; the chemicals change through spinning. You feel dizzy; a new world opens. All experiences are chemical.

When you are hungry the world looks different. When you are satisfied, satiated, the world looks different. A poor man has a different world, and a rich man has a different world. Their chemicals differ. An intelligent man has a different world, and a stupid man has a different world. Their chemicals differ. A woman has a different world; a man has a different world. Their chemicals differ.

When one becomes sexually mature, at the age of fourteen or fifteen, a different world arises because new chemicals are flowing in the bloodstream. For a child of seven, if you talk about sex and sexual orgasm, he will think you are foolish -- "What nonsense are you talking?" -- because those chemicals are not flowing, those hormones are not in the bloodstream. But at the moment of the age of fourteen, fifteen, the eyes are full of new chemicals -- an ordinary woman suddenly is transformed.

All experiences are chemical -- but one distinction has to be made. There are two ways. One is to put the chemicals in -- inject, smoke, or throw in the body. They come from the outside; they are intruders. That's what all drug people are doing around the world. The other way is to change the body by fasting, breathing.... That's what all the yogis have been doing in the East. They belong to the same path; the difference is very little. The difference is that drug people take drugs from the outside, they intrude in the biochemistry of the body, and the yogis try to change the balance of their own body, not to intrude from the outside. But as far as I am concerned, both are the same.

But if you have any urge to experience, I will tell you to choose the path of the yogis, because that way you will not be dependent, you will be more independent. And that way you will never become an addict, and that way your body will retain its purity, its organic unity. And that way you can go beyond easily...that is the most important thing.

If you take chemicals from the outside into the body, you will remain with them. It will be difficult, more and more difficult every day to go beyond. In fact you will become more and more dependent, so dependent that you will lose all life, all charm of life, and the drug experience alone will become your whole life, the whole center of it.

If you move through yoga, through the inner changes in the chemistry of the body, you will never be dependent, and you will be able to go beyond. Because the whole point of religion is to go beyond experiences. Whether you experience beautiful colors -- rainbow all around through LSD -- or you experience heaven through yoga exercises, basically there is no difference. In fact until you go beyond all experiences, all objective experiences, until you come to the point where only the witness remains and no experience to be experienced, only the experiencer remains, you have not touched the boundary of religion.

All experiences are futile, finally one has to Leave them, but before you can leave them you will have to have them. They are like the staircase: it has to be left behind, but one has to go upwards. One can leave it only when one has crossed it. All experiences are childish, but one has to go through them to become mature.

Spiritual experience is not experience: it is to come to the experiencer where everything known/unknown, knowable/ unknowable, disappears. Only the witnessing self remains, only a pure consciousness, with no experience to contaminate it -- you don't see Jesus, you don't see Buddha, you don't see Krishna standing there.

That's why the Zen Masters say, "If you meet the Buddha on the path, kill him immediately." Followers of Buddha say, "If you meet Buddha on the path, kill him immediately." A great teaching... because Buddha is so beautiful you can be allured to the dream, and then you can go on with closed eyes seeing Buddha or Krishna playing on the flute. You may be seeing a very religious dream, but it is still a dream, not reality.

The reality is your consciousness. Everything else has to be transcended. If you can remember that, then one has to pass through all experiences, but one has to pass through.

An experience can become an experience to you only when you attain to it. Nobody can give it to you; it cannot be borrowed. If you are still childish and you feel that you need some experiences, it is better to have them through yoga exercises. Finally, that too has to be dropped.

But if you choose between LSD and pranayam, it is better to choose pranayam. You will be less dependent and you will be more capable of transcending, because the awareness will not be lost in it. In LSD the awareness will be lost completely. Always choose a higher thing. Whenever there is a possibility, and you want to choose, choose a higher thing. A moment will come when you will not like to choose anything... then choicelessness.