“And I saw this jester. And he was coming down the street. I was in the crowd, I was right there. And one side of him was totally black, and the other side was totally colorful, and here he is, just laughing.” She closes her eyes, remembering. “And I’m getting the image of the dark side of life, and the light side, and here is this jester…just laughing! Laughing at the human condition, that we humans think we have any clue as to what is really going on. And I started chuckling, and then I started laughing, and I’m thinking–we’re so clueless! I was laughing with God, and with the jester, and with everything, and I said to myself, `We humans, we’re just so silly! We think we know. We don’t know. What is this experience on this earth? This is amazing.’ When you really start to think about it–how could this be?” (from a John Hopkins University Psilocybin research participant.)
Strange times good people – strange times and shadowy entanglements. Spontaneous ruminations on the warring factions of chaos and order, mergings in the outer reaches of a nervous system that call forth an erotic astral trance of expanding magnitudes. The convergent path is fed by the incoherent, like an eternal bliss fuck come down – a cascading mind warp of pleasantly echoing distortion. Was I the order? Was I the echo? There were boundless and inspiring miracles. Incestuous tragicomedies. Always the complexity. Forever.
So we’re finally here folks……and shit yeah it’s cool. All it took was a cartoonishly heinous takeover of our unconscious by soulless corporate mind rape psychology to get things moving. We insist on this punishment. The more outrageously the traditional spiritual philosophies of monotheism undercut Satan to wreak their anthropocentric wrath on the world, the more the divisive concepts of good and evil – right and wrong – black and white – crazy and sane – life and death – real and unreal – bullishly writhe their way into our psyche’s will. They’ll taunt us until we dispel them with a forceful banishment. It’s always beyond our understanding. Always. Keep that in mind at all times. Count back from ten slowly – find the underground.
The Bush administration was more an unquestioned manifestation of evil incarnate than any master writer, no matter how dark and spiteful, could have ever conjured forth into existence. What’s the message here? What’s the universe really trying to beat into our thick skulls and jam down our gullets? Who’s on top and who’s shady insectile tongues are we really sucking face with? At some point their going to want action, and I don’t think we understand how they party exactly.
Military spending doubling since 9/11, economic disasterscapes, the legalization of marijuana finally a consideration. All orchestrated to influence consciousness – all scenarios I would have placed high wagers on never seeing in my lifetime. And then out of fuck nowhere, psychedelic research might get the green light again too. And this unconscionable horror was all it took.
Now why would I find this so significant? Well, that’s complicated, but let’s first take a cursory look at the very few psychedelic studies that have actually managed to get the green light in the last 40 years. In Rick Strassman’s research studies with DMT – he found that many of his participants reported eerily similar experiences of telepathic inner dimensional communique with shape shifting alien weirdos. In the John Hopkins psilocybin studies, reports of participants achieving spiritually transformative states of being that aid to alleviate their fear of death show up again and again. This, if anyone’s paying attention, was one of the most profound aspects of my initial experimentations with the drug. And yet, these things are illegal, people still rot in prison for selling them. People still fear them due to years of nonsense propaganda. So much carnage in the name of what? So many unnecessary and painful contortions.
Of course the “scientists” are never going to get it right entirely. You’ve got to tackle this beast as a team. You need a collection of heads. The artists, musicians, and fringe psychologist have got to have their say. You need people with the grit and balls to throw themselves way past the flimsy brink of conventional reason. Sure, that’s the angle we have to play, sell them as a relief for hum drum work-a-day psychological conditions like anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and depression. It’ll take strange and brave souls to ask the larger questions, like why it is these visions want us to expand and finally rid ourselves of this crippling thanataphobia. Why do they reach into our lives and implore us to question the rigidity of our belief structures? Why do they want us to clean up our shit?
What almost no one’s saying is that the greatest potentiality for a compound like psilocybin, is to finally bring about a truce in the drug war; transforming our desire to self destruct into a desire to manumit from pop cultural slavery – to pull ourselves up, rather than bind us down for the profit of the boring. Nothing can jump your mind out of a cybernetic stasis like hallucinogenic frenzy. I know that better than anyone. Just one time, that’s all it took for me. I can still see myself there extended to eternity on that beach in San Francisco. Death was my ally. This shit was going to be epic.
Your mind is a bio-computer and you need to learn how to start programming it. Consumerist culture is your fucking enemy, and it’s sunk its demonic tentacles into the very machinations of your behavior. Acknowledging that very fact is the first step towards recovery. If you don’t think there’s some dark sorcery lurking in our midst, then why is the spirit repressed? Why would the divine connectivity of our universe be denied from the lives of the multitudes in the land of the free? Why can’t anyone talk to God freely without Captain Buzzkill reigning hellfire down on the outbreak? You’re lying to yourself by ignoring the hilarity of our predicament. I could talk in mysterious jeremiads for eons about the puppet strings of our spirit and who’s tinkering with them, but instead I’ll give you something more deliciously concrete this summer.
Despite being a proselytizing, card carrying member of the psychedelic cult of imagination for more than a decade now, I only ingest such sacred substances with extreme reverence and only once or twice a year, if that. As a matter a fact, I’ve taken psilocybin mushrooms twice exactly in the last two years, once each summer. To you noble researchers, this is what goes on in my world. To think you have control over something so vast as the multiverse of consciousness is freakishly hilarious to the archon magickians of chaos. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
July 4th, 2008
Having been freshly laid off from my job helping get prisons designed and passing a kidney stone in the same week, I was in an odd head space to put it mildly. Eager to escape Seattle, my new fiancé and I headed to my Grandparent’s former house in the Columbia Gorge over Fourth of July weekend for a cheap vacation. My Grandpa had just recently moved into an assisted living facility so the hillside house, with the beautiful view of Mount Hood and Hood River had been lying dormant for the most part. I can’t believe I hadn’t taken advantage of this as of yet, it seemed ridiculous. Upon arriving to porch construction which was somewhat of a disappointment the day before – we proceeded to get drunk, go out to dinner, have sloppy sex, and get in a quick hike and nap the next morning before finally settling on ingesting the chocolates which had just recently wandered their way into my life. In a way, that’s something that I hear shamans talk about and I think I’m beginning to understand unconsciously. I don’t look for drugs, they find me. That’s how I decide when my next trip will go down. First the chemicals need to introduce themselves into my environment with a proper conviction.
To say I was a tad nervous about this endeavor would be an understatement. My fiancé had never taken any kind of psychedelics other than weed prior to this afternoon, and here we were about to plunge headlong into a prolonged psychosis. She loved the pot, but what were these phantasmal freakazoids going to make of her? How strong was this shit anyway? The last time I ran up against these northwestern varieties, they tore my very essence to bits and rebuilt me as a sorcerer. You never truly know what you’re going to get, due to the far out nature of the crops and their ridiculous illegality. We threw caution to the wind and downed a chocolate each. They took forever to creep up on us and when they did, it was predictably jarring.
We were watching random television because it took so long. An hour went by, then an hour and a half. We started to curse ourselves for not knocking down more, and then out of nowhere they invaded. Whatever we were watching on TV began to fill me with a profound mortal terror typically unbeknownst to western experience. I recoiled away from the seething distraction in horror and peered out the window. As I did so, the entire composite of my being shot out into the sky and danced in a swirling psionic tunnel of playfully overwhelming ecstasy. “Give me little bits of more than I can take.”
This went on for an indiscriminant and excessive period. When I finally found myself back in my body, staring out the large picture window, I found the television mysteriously off, much to my delight. The view was glorious and the cloud cover receded from the mountain just as the trance descended. I impulsively put on Bright Black Morning Light’s first album, which I had just picked up from the library a few weeks prior – then danced away in a sort of crazed yet strangely relaxed oblivion. Suddenly, the world congealed together joyously with the cosmically pleasant vibes of the music, and the sunshine coerced inner gestures of peace and understanding forth from deep within my spirit’s immortal core.
But then I stopped dancing. Despite all the transcendent bliss, something was conspicuously missing. I stared at the mountain and for the first time ever, noticed it had a feminine visage with massive, jagged rocks tattooed on its peak. I couldn’t believe I’d never caught that before. It was unquestionably, a frightened female countenance, right on the very height of the mountains face as if conveniently anthropomorphizing the entire gargantuan edifice. I briefly contemplated the underlying meaning of this particular vision. A metaphor for earth crisis? Was I seeing the personification of mother nature’s primal inhuman fear from being consumed by the relentlessly metastasizing virus of man? Sounded plausible for a second, but then I turned around and realized that I had been dancing with myself all along. What had become of my lovely but by now possibly quite traumatized fiancé? There’s no way she could have been fully prepared for this sudden derangement.
(continued next month)