People are often absurd in dismissing or endorsing things with which they have had little to no direct experience. Our society’s harshest critics and loudest cheerleaders may well know next to nothing about that which they are so vehemently opinionated.
They will merely state an opinion for the sake of stating it. And, more pointedly, identify with a controversial topic that they do not understand, by taking a strong position for or against it.
To rationalize their forced position, they will revert to the most basic impressions available: ham-fisted social conventions, appeals to moral authority, cartoonish Hollywood clichés etc.
Whatever the claim, it will appeal to some popular opinion and find a ‘safe space’ in the consensus of the crowd. Or conversely, it will aim to antagonize that consensus, but with paper-thin conviction, and only to provoke a reaction that brings attention to the purveyor.
This is partly due to the natural tendency people have to simplify new ideas in order to conserve their mental horsepower. Indeed, the most common form of laziness is refusing to think critically and allowing unsubstantiated claims to dictate one’s belief system.
But beyond just laziness, a new idea that rings of inconvenient truth is always a threat to the established order. Accepting a new truth implies a potential shifting of one’s perspective… on the world, and on the meaning of everything that he has come to identify with.
Ego, standards of morality, social systems, rights of authority, definitions of success, institutional pedigrees etc. are subject to a revolutionary transformation if the established order is challenged.
Fear of a ‘new truth’ is perhaps most evident in the political (or religious) elite’s dire commitment to defend the established narratives that keep them on the throne of power.
After all, if a big lie has spoiled a man with wealth and power… what interest will he have in promoting the truth? Neigh, he will fight like hell to keep the narrative from being exposed.
But then, even those in the peasant class are heavily dependent on these macro-systems in order to give their lives a manageable structure and basic meaning with which the can operate their daily lives .
Even though these agreed systems are likely to oppress said people, shutter their mind, rip them off and dilute their happiness… the structure of that system is still perceived as necessary for them to function in life and society.
As such, they lash out emotionally to threats that compromise that ideal.
Of course, people with this terminal bias can offer no sensible critique or considerate rationalization. They wear their ignorance like a crown and sneer at you if you challenge them. So what is the point of engaging them beyond conversational fluff?
As was written in the bible… don’t toss your pearls before swine.
The Nut-shell Psychedelic Experience
In this regard, I always thought it peculiar that people with no significant experience using psychoactive drugs are the quickest to voice their hot opinions. They tell me all about ‘bad trips’ and friends of theirs who’ve broken themselves with pills and powders.
Or – if they really want to make me laugh – try and paint me a picture of the experience from things they’ve heard at parties or seen in movies.
It reminds me of youth, when ‘friends’ on the playground would try and impress you with stories of first-time sexual encounters. They hadn’t actually had sex, but could spend a whole recess telling you about what it’s like.
But truly, the experience of using psychedelics – namely LSD, DMT, Ayahuasca, peyote, mescaline and mushrooms – is nowhere near as awful or amazing as a virgin expects it to be. In a sense, it fails to live up to the hype… because the hype has been so ridiculous all along.
However, despite the hype and how fleeting the whole occasion is, the psychedelic experience is one of the most profoundly transforming that an individual can have.
There is no point in getting poetic about ‘what it’s like’ as that will add to the noise and fixate the reader’s expectations.
There are so-called ‘body highs’ that give one the sensation of floating or moving without effort.
There are visuals that animate the natural world… everything gets to creeping, crawling climbing and twisting about.
Laughter bubbles up as one makes jokes internally that could never be intelligibly shared with others.
There is a substantial loss of one’s sense of time, space and direction. An especially potent dose may cause an ‘out-of-body’ experience in this regard.
But, what is most remarkable, is the cerebral effect that acid and other psychs cause.
One makes sense of the world by – and this is very hard to describe – making connections between ideas that in a sober state were seemingly incompatible… or at least, unfamiliar.
One is made to glimpse at the unity between all things, all ideas… each bursting forth with the meaning of its opposite polarity.
Everything is illuminated and nothing exists beyond The Law of Unity.
One observes oneself as an omniscient narrator observes his protagonist in a classic novel – with humorous resolve towards a hopeless inevitability.
After one is clear of the drug, the profound intuitions gathered from the experience seem to fade as far as they could be intelligibly explained. It is as if, they had been written in water.
All the lazy and rigid ways of thinking explained in the first section are energized and ‘unlocked’ by psychedelics, to the extent that the mind becomes enormously flexible and permeable.
The limiting systems of ego and society lose their grip on the mind and one’s own mortal existence comes into full focus. You and the universe, together at last.
Using Psychoactives Properly
“The sot drinks, and is drunken: the coward drinks not, and shivers: the wise man, brave and free, drinks, and gives glory to the Most High God.” – Uncle Al
There is no finer message to crystallize the idea of how to use mind altering substances to their greatest positive effect.
Drugs are a two-way tango: the chemical reaction caused by the substance can only as be as powerful, vibrant, clean and happy as you are, physically and mentally, when you take the drug.
Think of how awesome a cold beer makes you feel after you’ve climbed a mountain on a summer day… or how well your body receives a hot meal when you’ve been out skiing all day in a frigid winter snowfall.
Compare that with a shot of whiskey on a hangover belly or a meat-and-potatoes dinner when you’ve had no exercise.
In the yogic sense, you must prime your body for all things you consume in order for the positive effects to be maximized and the negatives to be minimized.
Because good or bad, everything that you consume causes a disturbance to the system. Everything causes a your mind and body to break from its homeostasis.
With that awareness, you can make yourself a perfect conduit for the desired effect of consuming a glass of water or a peyote button. It is the mindfulness of your internal state that makes or breaks the experience.
If you’ve had a bad experience with drugs then either a.) you got bad drugs b.) you were in a bad mental/physical state when you took them c.) a combination of both. Very rarely is your unique cellular chemistry wired for a bad reaction regardless of your state.
When experimenting with psychedelic drugs, there are no rules and no one should tell you what your experience ought to be. But the following conditions have proved to be the most favorable for a positively bright and ‘full-on’ experience:
- Be feeling strong and healthy
- Be alone… and with no set agenda that involves other people
- Empty stomach (6-8 hours from last meal)
- A natural setting – preferably a marked hiking trail with a destination point, as not to get lost wandering aimlessly through the desert or forest.
- Take the dose early in the morning, before dawn, as to set yourself ahead on the trail where you won’t be bothered by other travelers on the way up
- Fair weather
I find that a psychedelic experience is intensified and a lot ‘cleaner’ when I have a destination to move towards and am physically active with the blood moving swiftly through my veins.
Further, it tends to be a much deeper and happier experience in the mountains, away from manufactured environments, outside of cell-phone antenna range, away from civilization, alone, alone, alone.
Sure, you may have a great time dropping acid at a Phish show with your friends… but if you treat it as a sacred meditation, and truly seek to optimize the expanding of your own consciousness… you will find much greater rewards in nature and in solitude.
The rest is up to you…