Coffee Does Not Induce Enlightenment

I’m hypersensitive to caffeine. I can only drink one cup of coffee a week, and not too strong. Usually the caffeine energizes me. I can work 14 hours straight. It’s like speed.

Other times I get panic attacks. They’re managed through slow and deep breathing and are more of a nuisance than anything else.

Today, after a cup of coffee, I am experiencing what I understand to be dissociation. I can’t feel my body. I feel as though I am air. I went through my daily workout like butter. I felt no tiredness. I had to force myself to stop so that I would not injure muscles.

This experience has happened before. It makes you realize that when you associate with the body and the mind, how much it slows you down and weakens you.

In this dissociative state I can see more clearly where people are adhering to body and mind.

This state feels like liberation. Is it? No. It’ll pass.

Is it like an out of the body experience? Not at all. An OBE is a separation from the body so that you know yourself as awareness while viewing your body. It feels like a true separation.

This caffeine-induced dissociation is more like a body dissolution experience. There is nothing to be “out of.”

How does this experience I’m having relate to enlightenment or liberation? This experience passes. Soon I’ll be back to feeling tired, dragging sometimes, back to my old self, which, don’t get me wrong, is a good self.

Do I like these dissociative experiences?
No. You need to be in touch with your body in day to day living. In crisis situations or extreme events, your body may kick into a dissociative state in which you function with superhuman strength and ease. Athletes, dancers, anyone who gets deeply involved in an activity may know of such states. But for everyday living where I’m watching TV, chatting online, and building a new website, who the heck needs it?

How do you terminate a dissociative state? Probably a tranquilizer would work. For me, food helps. The deep and slow breathing that alleviates panic attacks doesn’t help with dissociation because “there is no body” to calm. I’ve also used Mystress Angelique’s Grounding Exercise, which seems to re-draw the body.

The bottom line is that this experience is not enlightenment.

5 thoughts on “Coffee Does Not Induce Enlightenment

  1. Martin

    Hi Jerry,

    “Caffeine makes the body think is it under stress, which raises the cortisol level,”

    “Endorphins can be released like in shock, freeze, fight or flight, trauma, physical pain and in all stress including psychological stress.”

    “Endorphins serve as an anaelgesic & anesthetic and cause dissociation, immobilization and loss of self.”
    “A caffeine antidote is: 1000 mg vitamin C, B complex, 50 mg Zinc, 400 mg Calcium and 500 mg Magnesium.”

    dissociation–After hyperarousal the hypometabolic “despair” response occurs involving numbing and detachment. dissociation is similar if not identical to the “freeze” response. This is an automatic parasympathetic regulatory strategy that occurs in hopeless situations to foster survival by the risk of feigning death. In this passive state of profound withdrawal, endogenous opiates are increased to produce analgesia, immobility and inhibition of cries for help. The individual passively disengages to conserve energies, temperature, heart rate and blood pressure decreases, and there is a massive rise in stress hormones.”

    From the Online book “Biology of Kundalini”




  2. Angela

    Hi, Jerry
    Talking from Brazil, here…

    Dissociation may be part of the symptoms of a panic attack, which coffee may only trigger. I suggest you try an elimination diet to see if any food might be “causing” this panic disorder in the first place. In my case the “vilain” was GLUTEN – once I eliminated it from my diet, panic attacks (years of them…) vanished completely. It’s been more than three years since I went on the gluten-free diet, and I don’t think they will ever come back. The good thing is, after six months of strict diet, I went back to my normal diet, and can eat gluten and have coffee without any symptoms arise. But I try not to keep them “minimum dose”, though, just to be on the safe side…

    Sometimes we look for things in our minds, and they are in our guts! ;o) Angela


  3. Flick

    Just read what Andrew Weil has to say about coffee., Caffeine in a high dose like in coffee is a very strong speed like drug that can easily induce states of panic and anxiety in anyone prone to that. It is not good for anyone trying to stay in their body and follow practice spirtually.
    it is an accepted drug and many use it and are addicted to it. it is a highly addictive drug, although the withdrawal is very short and not all that bad.

    Now if you have realized the state of nonduality then probably no big deal, although you do still have a body that can be affected negatively by this drug. Just because coffee is the widely accepted drug of choice in a driven world does not mean it is useful for any spiritual discipline. I do not quite get what the argument is. I guess some want to justify it because they plain old like it. whatever Flick Rahke


  4. Jerry Post author

    Thanks Martin, Angela, and Flick for thought provoking comments from different angles.

    People talk about coffee as something they “need” more than enjoy. Drinking it once a week, I enjoy the drink and the high, but I have to be careful with the dosage. Caffeine is truly a drug and almost everyone is on it.


  5. Flick

    Sounds like you have a good handle on it Jerry. I think the world would be a more peaceful place is so many were not addicted to coffee and caffeine. Flikc


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