ANSWERS! part I
So, as I think we can all agree, the question is how do you stay in touch with your center – whether you are studying businesses: bigger, better, whiter at law school or workin on a dyslexic cow farm in northern paraguay where the cows eat you. its only fair man.
the Answer is: a careful balance of intuition, knowledge, and a spiritual leader. As I’m sure we can all agree from reading powell’s posts, intution without knowledge can get preeeeeetty tedious.
And leaders offer guidance. And knowledge is power. I know, let’s call it KIPP – oh what? That exists? Seriously?
Did you know that Frances Crick was taking low doses of LSD when he uncovered the double helix? I’m not saying it’s true. I’m just not saying it’s not true, if you nowaddamean. I think we all know that psychedelics are awesome, not that we’ve ever done them. Because we also know that we do not do them because we are responsible citizens. But seriously, did you know that?
And we all know that Harvard was once the Jordan Catalano of the dweeby ivies. So hot. So edgy. On so many drugs. Specifically, on shrooms and acid. But some shit went down and Timothy Leary, at least, went kind of nuts, although I mean, who am I to judge. I skipped property this morning. Yeah, I live on the edge. But part of the problem was that these guys were getting into these really serious things, e.g. (no matter how many times I google “when do you use e.g. and when do you use i.e.” I can never get it straight, so they will be used interchangeably, and often, incorrectly throughout this website. you’ve been warned) trying to cauterize their egos with as much acid as they could possibly ingest, while having no idea what they were doing. They figured, well, people have been doing this stuff for years, so we should be able to do it too. And I mean, it’s just OUR MINDS we are dealing with here – what else do I need to know? And this is the cruncher, because its like, well, what else DO you need to know? If you are on some shit and you have some revelation do you really question it because you don’t actually have that history, you don’t have that experienced person to validate it, or to tell you what to trust or what not to trust?
BUT DUDE, it is not that simple (as powell has begrudgingly come to understand). People have been using psychedlics/entheogens (“God-releasing” drugs, or “God is inside us”) for generations upon generations, recreationally or ritually, etc. And I could pretend to know shit that I didn’t just wikipedia, but I won’t. So there. But I am guessing some people, as people are wont to do, just did them and whatever, and other people did them only under careful guidance and only with people who knew more about them than they did and knew how messed up they can get, but also knew how they can allow people direct access to God, nature, spirit, etc. Because the ego is not something you want to just dick around with, nawmean?
But maybe it is?? No! Oh my god, never. I would never.
Some of the other guys went on to do some pretty cool stuff in a more legit vein, i.e. Richard Alpert aka Ram Dass. This is the guy who interests me. He pulled an Elizabeth Gilbert and went to India for spiritual enlightenment. His book is WAY cooler though. Apparently he stopped doing acid and shrooms (or SO HE SAYS), but they are undoubtedly what started his journey. The real point is that clearly these entheogens have a power, and you know, we’re gonna have to talk more about this in person, preferably in a crowded area and I’ma have to pat you down first. I don’t know who you are. They don’t even need to subpeona your shit anymore. They can just take it. What is the world/cloud coming to.
Anywho, he’s got a book and it professes to teach the way of the sparrow and whatnot, and anyways I’m getting kind of bored with this post because I really had nothing to say in it originally, I just didn’t want to do my reading. But anyways, take away point Number ONE: you need a leader, someone who knows more than you about what you want to be and where you want to go (or at least you need some kind of spiritual guide in some kind of form, be it book, manual, therapist, etc). But it’s gotta be a tight fit (none of that rationality review shit. …wait, am i getting my subjects crossed here?), and it probably can’t be found anywhere that has like a silhouette of a woman in like cow face or camel toe or something. So, definitely not here.
And knowledge is power, so the more we know, the better we can understand things that help us get back in touch with our perceptual understanding of the world, and not just the rational, empirical way of understanding the world. I know, it sounds nuts. You have to know more to understand better? Maybe, folks. Maybe. For instance, if these guys at Harvard had known more about what they were doing, maybe they could have done it better and not been thrown out and could have legitimized their experiments, and we wouldn’t be starting at square one today with these experiments with these radical drugs on cancer patients, OCD patients, PTSD patients, etc. I am not saying these are the answer to all of our problems, but I am saying that in light of all the advances people’ve made in pharmacology, everyother person you know on or used to be on an SSRI, and in my own highly educated (I read a few NYTimes articles on the matter) experience they are not having like, mind-blowing results – it is silly to not keep looking at alternative ways to help us figure out what it means to be human, what it means to be here, alive, in the world, how to make that experience more meaningful to as many people as we can.
ANyways, back to finding a leader or someone who knows more and has more experience than you, to help you turn on tune in and drop out get back in touch with a part of yourself that can be hard to get in touch with, in a safer less insane way. If you mess with the bull and whatnot. But what do i know.
This person just has to feel right, to get you, to understand you. Maybe you’ll never meet them in person, maybe you will. But you gotta have someone who can keep you from getting lost, can bring you back home. I mean, not like you’re going to be doing anything that will get you lost in the first place. Definitely not like you’re going to be doing anything illegal. No really. Do whatever floats your boat to make the spark happen first, and maybe that’s meditating, maybe it’s yoga, maybe it’s running or rock climbing or tripping balls something more immediate, but whatever it is, if it’s right it’s gonna feel right and it’s gonna start you on your way. And then you gotta find someone to take you the rest of the way. Maybe listen to some Joanna Newsom on the way.
Homework assignment for the day: find a leader!