I’ve written several times about the effects of marijuana, but for each piece that I posted, there were five that I didn’t because I know that many of you have little patience for the subject. This means that when I do write, I need to make it good, yet there’s nothing harder to convey than an experience that is completely alien to others, especially when they might judge it harshly, as is often the case with my posts about drugs and atheism.
As you go through an ordinary day, how many new thoughts or insights do you have? I have few to none when I’m straight, but I’m awash in them when I’m high. I become so adrift within myself that I never know what new shore I’m going to land upon. I find myself visiting several per hour, and the rapid-fire intensity of my visions leaves me exhausted.
One person speculated—probably whimsically—that pot might lead me to God. I actually do have experiences that are akin to mysticism, and I enjoy them, but because I don’t believe in spirits, I don't interpret them spiritually. I’m open to seeing God, but so far I’ve only seen a succession of demons. That was 30 years ago, and I didn't believe they were real even as I was looking at them, although they still scared the hell out of me (ha). More recently, I all but see music, and I do sometimes see my surroundings pulse and shimmer. Often the drug starts by enveloping me within a heavy cloak of fear and anguish, which usually gives way to such an absorption in my thoughts that I completely lose contact with the external world. To better convey the profundity of the drug, I'm going to share what a friend wrote about her experience as she was nearing the end of a bad marriage.
“I was really losing it because I didn’t know what came next; I only knew I was, by necessity, going to be losing everything and walking away from it all. My son offered me some weed…. I smoked my first bowl in 30 years…and suddenly my life looked completely different. Suddenly, I could see inside. I understood. I am not talking about the delusions we consider that seem profound at the time, but that in reality are just that—delusions. These were very real revelations about myself, and along with those revelations came the emotions, the insights, the tears, the rants, the guilt, the anxiety, and finally and essentially…the very real ME I had been keeping hidden away for years….”
Unfortunately, marijuana increases right-brain depth and self-honesty at the expense of left-brain learning, memory, and problem solving, so I mostly use it when my left brain isn't too busy. I also need to be able to stop whatever else I'm doing to write because writing becomes my obsession when I'm high. Unfortunately, very little of what I put down is ever read by anyone, including myself, and this leaves me feeling more lonely and discouraged than I might otherwise feel, but it can't be helped. As Schopenhauer wrote:
“There is some wisdom in taking a gloomy view, in looking upon the world as a kind of Hell, and in confining one's efforts to securing a little room that shall not be exposed to the fire.”
In my fantasy, all of you are here with me, and we're high. Only what do we do next--go to our separate computers and blog? Well, why the hell not? I would argue that in most cases, writing is superior to speaking, if only because it gives a person time to reflect and, hopefully, to go deeper.
About the photo. The film canister contains unground flower buds (the most desirable part of the plant); the jar contains ground flower buds that are ready to smoke; and the silver thingy is a grinder. The open-top container holds matches. The pipe was made decades ago by a friend and is about as basic as it gets, but I don't smoke a lot. I mostly simmer marijuana in butter (the odor is so strong that it spills into the yard even with the windows closed) and then use the butter to make small sugar cookies that I cut into quarters, one quarter of a cookie being as much as I would ever want. Two quarters are pictured.