Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. The poison affects us all. No one escapes. Therefore, let us be kind, generous, affectionate, and good. It is necessary and not at all shameful to take pleasure in the little world. Go in peace and make beauty.
–Ingmar Bergman, Fanny and Alexander
Keep in mind that psychedelic drugs are not the only keys to our unconscious minds; they cannot be used for learning and growth by everyone. There is no single drug or dosage level that will benefit all explorers equally. And it cannot be said too often that what is being experienced in the use of a psychedelic drug or visionary plant does not come from the ingested chemical components, but from the mind and psyche of the person using the compound. Every such drug opens a door within the user, and different drugs open different doors, which means that an explorer must learn how to most safely and successfully make his way through each new inner landscape. This takes time and should be done with the guidance of a veteran explorer, as if the case, ideally, with all deep emotional and spiritual explorations.
All of the above cautions aside, these tools – the psychedelic drugs and plants – offer a much faster method than most of the classic alternatives for the accomplishment of the goals we seek: conscious awareness of our interior workings and greater clarity as to our responsibilities towards our own species and all others with whom we share this planet.
–Alexander T. Shulgin
The playwright asked for the floor… But when McCraney talked, he didn’t talk about the play [Choir Boy] or the dialogue. Instead, he talked about grief. Casually, as though it were something that just came to his mind. He explained what it felt like to lose his mother at 22. He did not talk about how she died, and he hinted only a little at the complexity of their relationship; this address was not autobiographical. It was to do with emotions. McCraney described how grief lives in a person’s body, how it settles there. He explained its half-life, the unreliable nature of its decay. He talked about the phenomenon, when grieving a loved one, in which you begin to have memories of times after their death that you think they must have been present for. Remember when I won an Academy Award for my movie, and you were so proud? And then he talked about how things like that make you grieve their absence all over again, and how that grief catches you unawares, taking over your body when you least expect it. It sits in a small reservoir beneath your heart. It whispers to you at odd hours and yells at you in quiet ones.
–Carvell Wallace writing about Tarell Alvin McCraney in the New York Times
Women walk the street and are afraid to be killed. Men walk the street and are afraid to be laughed at.
The truth is that you never know what’s going to happen in your head when you start to masturbate. iI’s like that challenge in Masterchef where the chefs lift the lid on a mystery box and find they have to make dinner from a tub of gherkins, some glacé cherries, a jar of peanut butter and a couple of crayfish. Who knows what will come out in the end? The only certainty is that whatever does emerge in the privacy of your head shouldn’t be thrown in the bin. It might not win a TV show, but you should look on it as your own personal masterpiece.
–Stephanie Theobald, Sex Drive
PASSION VS. ADDICTION
The difference between passion and addiction is that between a divine spark and a flame that incinerates…Passion is divine fire: it enlivens and makes holy; it gives light and yields inspiration. Passion is generous because it’s not ego-driven; addiction is self-centered. Passion gives and enriches; addiction is a thief. Passion is a source of truth and enlightenment; addictive behaviors lead you into darkness. You’re more alive when you are passionate, and you triumph whether or not you attain your goal. But an addiction requires a specific outcome that feeds the ego; without that outcome, the ego feels empty and deprived. A consuming passion that you are helpless to resist, no matter what the consequences, is an addiction.
–Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
When each thought absorbs your attention completely, it means you identify with the voice in your head….This is the ego, a mind-made “me.” That mentally constructed self feels incomplete and precarious. That’s why fearing and wanting are its predominant emotions and motivating forces. When you recognize that there is a voice in your head that pretends to be you and never stops speaking, you are awakening out of your unconscious identification with the stream of thinking…. Who you are is not the voice – the thinker – but the one who is aware of it.
Your body needs to be held and to hold, to be touched and to touch. None of these needs is to be despised, denied, or repressed. But you have to keep searching for your body’s deeper need, the need for genuine love. Every time you are able to go beyond the body’s superficial desires for love, you are bringing your body home and moving toward integration and unity.