We categorize things without question. We attach onto our consciousness shades of negativity and positivity. If we are feeling depressed we express it as a negative emotion, and an emotion such as joy as a positive one. This will be a little hard to grasp but imagine why we do this? Why say one is bad and not the other? Why is feeling bad bad? From whom or what does this come from?
Our consciousness is a combination of chemicals firing within our brain and yet we attach a sense of self. As if our consciousness is something that remains stable and stagnant. Many will never experience or want to experience hallucinogens, depressants, or any other chemicals because they think that they will not be themselves. (I implore you to read Sam Harris’ essay Drugs and the meaning of life.) This sense of self is an illusion.
This “self” or Consciousness is easily altered without the aid of drugs. How often do we not “feel ourselves” when we sleep too little or go without a cup of coffee. Caffeine, a drug that most citizens of the world dose themselves with on a daily basis, is a drug they use so they can ultimately “feel like themselves”. A single monolithic Consciousness is a misconception. We sway with our consciousness in waves of different unique states. So why label a fraction of states to be good and another to be bad?
One can enjoy all states of consciousness with the change of perspective. The mind is such a powerful tool and we undermine it by labeling its forms with such weak and limiting descriptors.
A very practical use is the manipulation of pain. I use to be terribly scared of pain but through mental training I have learned to separate myself from the body by, not ignoring it, but recognizing it. By recognizing that the pain is just a sensation mixed with chemicals and nerves, this reminds me that I do not have to view pain to be a negative sensation. Does this sound ridiculous? Yes? You shut your face. Just kidding. Try it and see for yourself. It will not be easy but go on your own journey and see where it takes you.