Friday, January 04, 2008

Altering the Mind and the Human Condition

I am still getting hits and - surprisingly - comments on that long ago post "Marijuana Duck Duck Goose" where I blogged about a study that took the chemical in marijuana that makes you paranoid, administered it to subjects, and, surprise, it made them paranoid.

Most of the trickling comments are of the same variety as before:

- OMG, my friend smelled weed and totally went schizo!
- OMG, my friend's a doctor and gets high every day!
- OMG, pharmaceutical companies are the devil!

I'm making a generalization, not a commentary about my commenters; I love you all.

Except this one showed up in the post today:
Honestly, you kind of fail at life if you need a drug.
Based on the rest of what Anonymous had to say, I'm guessing his/her comment excludes caffine, energy drinks, nicotine, alcohol, and any OTC or pharmaceutical drug obtained and used legally with a doctor's prescription...except marijuana. Aside from the naive nearsightedness of the comment, I thought I'd take a moment to comment on the human condition and how it relates to altered consciousness.

When we are children with our first few handholds on reality, what is it we do? We alter it. We spin around until we can't stand up straight, feel sick, then do it again. We beg Mom or Dad to throw us up in the air and go down the slide 500 times because of the way it makes our tummy feel. We speed away on our bikes and get on the tallest roller coasters. We jog for the runner's high and meditate to take reality down a notch. We sleep to rejuvenate, dream to process, daydream to escape.

The legal stuff can speed us up, slow us down, numb us, and put us out, even permanently. The illegal stuff can take it a step further by altering our perception of sensory stimuli and time or simply ramping up the effects of the legal stuff.

But whether we seek enlightenment in a quiet mind or an expanded mind, whether we seek to touch God through a bag of shrooms or by speaking in tongues and dancing with snakes, whether we are looking to enhance or numb the experience of life, or are just plain addicted to the effects of a particular drug, human beings have grown tired of reality: we get it already.

And to say that anyone has "failed at life" because they have decided - for whatever reason - to lift the velvet rope, open a couple doors, and go beyond the nickel tour that comes with the ride is ignorant, naive, and sad. For the rest of us: do what you will, though you harm none, and happy exploring.

No comments: