Saturday, April 30, 2011

slowly, the wheels turn

slowly the wheels turn. I am still processing all that happened during my two psilocybin experiences, still mulling over what I now know, and what that means about me, and for me. from time to time, I will share my current thoughts, based on what I've processed so far.

I have always felt rather shallow, because I don't tend to be self-analyzing. I just live. If I make a mistake, I try to improve. If I see a problem, I try to fix it. But I don't spend time thinking about it. I don't scrutinize, analyze, or obsess. I have always been about the what, and the how, and not the why.

I no longer feel bad about it. In both experiences, I got a very clear picture that the IS, is what is significant. I think the desire for the WHY is about fear, or maybe control. Why are we here? is a question driven out of a fear that you aren't living the way you should, or that you are missing something vital. If you knew the why, you could do things differently, you could maybe game the system, or not waste time on the wrong things.

But really, if you knew, if you really truly knew the why, what would it change? you are already doing the best you can, and you are already living your life your way. If you let go of the fear, and the desire to control, the why seems to lose it's attraction.

I am not saying that "why" can't be important. When there is a specific problem to solve, it is essential. It drives science and exploration. I just think we apply the question to everything, because it works so well in some areas. It's the universal hammer, and everything begins to look like a nail.

Instead of "why me?", maybe "now what?" or "how do I move forward?" is the truly useful question. Instead of "why am I here", maybe "I am here -- how do I make the most of it?"

Monday, April 11, 2011

guinea pig, the next next chapter

Today was my second psilocybin session. What follows is my report for the study guides:

Report – session 2

This session was very different. The first was transcendence, exaltation, joy, humor. This was prosaic. This was more about me, not the universal. I got to see how my mind works. I mean that literally. I got to …see…how my mind works. I saw it take my recent experiences, and add them to my existing symbol set and filter it all into some sort of order. It was beautiful and illuminating. I had a lovely sequence of rediscovering my arms, my fingers, of how my fingers worked. I marveled and enjoyed the mechanics of it all. I rediscovered music. That doesn’t exactly describe it. It was like I never heard it before, and I played with it, puzzling it out. Oh, this is how music works. I understood it. I was in a tribe, in Africa. Mud, wood, drums. And I called to my friends, each by name, and they came, and became part of my tribe.We danced and it was good. I was in Egypt. I could read the hieroglyphics. Water was everything. It pulsed through my culture, controlled what you were or how you were honored.I had the secret of the water, and that was good. I was in Vallhalla, feeling that I would fight and die with the people at the table, and that it was good. I watched the Gods rage on Olympus, tapping my foot with impatience, waiting for them to finish their bluster and games. It seemed such a distraction, and beside the point. The real answer was the day to day, the big IS. The rest was just ….theater.

There was work today. Three times I had to give something up. The first time, I had to give up language. Words broke apart and became meaningless sounds. And I got the message. I would move no further until I gave up language. It was a struggle. Really really hard. But I did, and as soon as I let it go, everything made sense again. The second time, I had to give up control. Again I got the message. I would move no further until I gave up Control. It was really hard. But I did, and as soon as I let go, I could move. The third time was the hardest for me. This time, I had to give up self. I had to really struggle, but in the end, I did what was asked. And felt an incredible sense of unity, of peace.

Several times, I felt I was done. I crossed my arms and said, “nope, not gonna do it”. I mean that literally. I was flat on my back, with my arms crossed, my foot tapping and all the defiance of an eight year old. Nope, You aren’t the boss of me. I am tired, and I’m hungry and I am not doing this. And then I waited. But it wasn’t over. I was just not going to get my way. Each time this happened, I eventually gave in. There was no point in insisting, so I might as well enjoy the ride.

This was all hard work. But it felt good. I feel like I did something today. I connected with the universal past, I survived many trials, and I persevered. I earned my place in the family of man. I don’t know how else to word it, but that’s what it felt like to me.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

missing Dave

A dear friend died the other day.

We met back in college, when I was a freshman and he was a graduate student. He was a "friend of a friend", and I met him through our frequent D&D games. We were unlikely friends. He was on the far end of the nerdy spectrum. Bad clothes, awkward social skills, irritable, long winded. But he had a great sense of humor. He was one of the most knowledgeable people I had ever met, on a wide variety of topics. And he was unfailingly kind.

Over the years, he became part of our lives. I remember going to the beach, parties, an infamous trivial pursuit game, funerals, weddings. The wooden tractor he bought for Mike when he was little. Emails, books borrowed and lent, movies seen, meals shared.

We worried about Dave. His health was poor. He suffered from juvenile diabetes, and the complications that came with it. In the end, it killed him.

I'm really going to miss him.

RIP David L Bongard