Alan Watts on Transcending Yourself

The following is a brief segment of a lecture Alan Watts gave on The Psychedelic Experience:

In a way, all consciousness-expanding drugs have something to do with death. Why?

Because all spiritual disciplines are, as Jung pointed out, preparations for death. And every spiritual discipline involves a form of death, that is to say, of what is called dying to one’s self; what the Christians call dying daily, or being identified with the crucifixion of Christ.

In the famous words of St. Paul, “I’m crucified with Christ, yet I live. But not I, for it is Christ that lives in me.” That is to say, he also uses the phrase “being baptized into Christ’s death.”

Now, that’s all very funny language to the modern mind, but it is a commonplace of these spiritual disciplines that what you do in them is die in the midst of life: you are born again a second time. And that death refers to the death of the ego—that is to say, you leave behind the state of consciousness in which you thought you were no more than an isolated individual center of consciousness.

More here.