Some people would say that Terence McKenna is really "out there", i tend to feel that he makes a lot of valid and interesting points, that some of his theories challenge us to re-evaluate all that we've been told and taught and force fed. There was that time at my annual physical, where my doc, who i swear books double appointments for me so we can bullshit about things, was looking at me like i had finally taken too much acid or something... of course i should explained that it was more a new mushroom connection and the availability to sit on my couch and dose myself but i digress. I've never asked him about his religious leanings but from what i've gleaned it's of the western and christian variety. On this day we were discussing man and his plight and i was stating that we need to realize we are just a small part of a larger system and that through our vanity and selfishness we will destroy ourselves and many other species around us, that we are not as all-powerful and smart as we believed ourselves to be and that we most likely would find out the hard way. There was a bit of back and forth before i got to the part about the dolphins, something i've written about previously, stating that dolphins can learn our language, can understand what we call commands but i'm sure the dolphins call something else yet we know very little about their complex form of communication (Part of me wonders when the "trainers" are tossing fish to the them if the dolphins aren't inwardly chuckling at what suckers those bipeds are for tossing them an easy snack for doing the dumbest shit, hence their grin... i mean who can't help but wonder about an animal that evolved to always look happy? fucking pretty neat if you ask me.)
Want more of Terence's theories? How about humans evolved from other apes because they discovered hallucinogenic mushrooms and plants thus opening up a larger consciousness. Add in the fact that at certain doses mushrooms are first a bit of stimulant, up the dose and they add in sexual arousal, up the dose more and the mind is opening new doors, add in a whole bunch more and one begins to see "god" or something like it. So you're more alert, fuck more, and think more, pretty good way for a species to survive and thrive. The even more "out there" theory is that these plants and the mushroom in particular are alien intelligence, but that gets pretty heavy and since this is just a light-hearted page about the trials, tribulations, small victories and general non-sense of one simple man's life we won't get into that here.
And so it was that just recently i was reading another of Terence's books called the Archaic Revival. It's a book of interviews and essays he had done and written over the years and it was while reading his that i had one of those 'Oh Shit!" moments. What the article talked about was "the other", this voice or what what have you that appears when you are tripping. Oddly enough i'd never really thought about it until recently because one night not long ago, i was laying on the couch in the dark, it was sometime after midnight and i was well into my dose when i began to have a conversation with someone, yes i know i sound like a fucking loon to the squares of the world, but i was lying there thinking about nothing in particular when i began to have a most interesting conversation, asking questions and debating things with a "voice" that was not my own and didn't necessarily feel like it was in my own head, if felt like it was there but it was not and that it was communicating to me from somewhere else. Now don't get me wrong, i'm not one of those guys who watches Ghost Hunters and believes that shit but i do understand that these plants have been used by shamans for thousands of years and that many of the descriptions of the trance or shamanic state involve this voice or a voice. The next morning i kept thinking about the absolutely lovely time i had talking with whatever? whoever? it was that i had encountered the previous night. Do not fret kids i haven't gone off the deep end... at least not yet... then again i like swimming in the deep waters.
What was this conversation about you ask? Many things. It was about problem solving, it was about joy and love, it was about the yin and yang and the quality of existence and part of it was about believing in the vision even when that vision does not fit squarely in the so-called norms and mores of your current community. It was an interesting conversation and even in my waking and non-tripping state it had stuck with me, it had given me a general sense of calm and well-being. McKenna often refers to these events as communicating with higher powers, be it alien or something other, it's what shamans have been doing for thousands of years when they are seeking answers or trying to solve dilemmas, needless to say as a guy who has taken mushrooms more times than i can count or remember this is something new. Looking back though i realize it's always been there and maybe now i'm just better able to see it. Call it opening new doors in the mind, call it being old enough now to sit back in a dark room and take a dose instead of being hell bent on running amok while tripping, maybe the wisdom of age is nothing more than sitting back and doing nothing, let the fungi run the show and follow it's lead wherever it may take me.
There are some things that i view as essential, my plants are one them, cannabis and psilocybin fall squarely in those categories. It's strange that the powers that be outlaw naturally occurring substances but have no problem with things like alcohol or tobacco, things manipulated by man with the express intent to dull and addict. Neither cannabis nor mushrooms dull or addict, the stereotype of the lazy stoner is a fallacy pushed by those who have a vested interest (see money and the prison/industrial/police complex) in keeping natural substances illegal. Yes it's changing and i'm sure they'll be much push back from the squares of the world. These squares will argue, much like the hegemony, that these plants are dangerous, and they'd be right because it is dangerous for those in power when people expand their mind and begin to think about the planet they live on and the actions of those in power. You won't find the tripping stoner starting fist fights in the local bar or beating their kids, you'll find them sitting quietly with a slight grin, looking at the trees or listening to the wind, talking to baby bunnies munching grass, pondering the beauty and the wonder of it all... (i also realize i'm lucky enough to have connections and a medical card) but as i slide towards the void i know how i'm spending my time, here's hoping more of us can do the same as well.