Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Marijuana: Your Mental Magnifying Glass

America seems to have slipped into what could turn into a renaissance of consciousness. The shadow of illegality seems to be lifting from certain agents of possible self-transformation.   Psychedelics are in the midst of new forms of flourishing, in therapeutic settings but also in so-called “recreational” settings.  


The latter term has some funny connotations.  There’s a harmless sense of recreation as fun—and who doesn’t love new ways of having fun?    But notice the word “recreate”.  Psychedelics are sometimes used to recreate ourselves—in other words, refashion our perceptions of reality. That’s a pretty big thing.  Psychedelics, like near-death experiences, can tune us into whole new dimensions of reality. 


I want in this post to say a few things about our Lady of Marijuana, the Queen of Cannabis, or what I like to call my faithful friend—Weed.    In fact, what I want to say about Weed is addressed to folks that for one reason or another have never touched  the stuff.  I’m not interested in the cause of the resistance or indifference toward this plant, which government retards have maligned and lied about for decades. I would point out the parallel mendacity for about the same time period with regard to UFOs or UAPs.


However, since 2017 both the weed and the alien phenomenon are being treated with growing respect and candor.  I have bought in my local supermarket books and pamphlets on the health benefits of marijuana!  Meanwhile there are unfortunates still in jail for life because they used or sold the weed.  But the doors are opening to the mysteries of mental space and to the mysteries of outer space. Good news for anyone with an appetite for mental adventure. 


I want to make two points about the green plant.  The first—all that marijuana does is illuminate and intensify what’s already there.  Stan Grof spoke of psychedelics as “non-specific amplifiers of consciousness. The weed is no more than a mental magnifying glass. Old potheads will recall getting the “munchies” when they first inhaled a joint.  Food tasted better, music blew you way, your lover’s body became a new country to explore. And so on.  Simple intensification of the senses can alter your world-view in a benign way.


But the magnifying glass can work in other, more subtle ways.  It can magnify access to the subconscious mind and thus draw on its resources and creative potential.    In everyday life our attention is absorbed in the business of making it through the day in one piece, hopefully with ego and body intact.  The weed, respectfully deployed, can open and enlarge the flow of perception and of imagination.   


This leads to my second thought. I call weed the interesting drug—the drug that can make just about anything interesting. One toke of the green lady and all sorts of things can take hold of my curious attention.  Anything I observe, touch, think about is suddenly aglow with meaning and with mystery.  I pick up a book of poetry and the first poem I read surprises me with freshness.  I step outside and quickly get lost in clusters of birdsong around me.  I click on the radio and some disaster on the other side of the planet touches my heart.  I lie back  and muse on the weirdness of my existence.  Wherever I direct my consciousness—an ant wandering on my keyboard—I see the glorious will to live--a tiny symbol of the great mystery of life. 


Surely such a magnifying glass is a useful tool.  It can help us to see and sense the world around and within us more clearly. It does so with a greater than normal degree of vividness, intensity, and meaningfulness.  Needless to say, the utility of a psychic magnifying glass depends on the eyes that are looking through it.


I’m tempted to end this budding train of thought with an account of my first encounter with the Lady of Marijuana. But I would rather listen to your thoughts about how we might establish a more intimate relationship with the plant world.  We could count it as a step toward coping with the menace of climate chaos.   



No comments:

Older Blog Entries