Read part 1 – A Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana
I imagined myself licking the side of her immaculate face.
There was nothing else to do, the meeting was absolutely soul crushing.
“Can you take notes please – we’ll need them later” someone flicked in my direction.
The tremendous effort it took to lift my pen was simply overwhelming.
I’d rather be water-boarded.
The Trojan War must’ve been a spectacular event to behold. Men killing men for glory….
Gods rewarded with gold and women and fame…
…I’m not sure why we hired *that* fucking idiot…
A half-wit with nothing to offer…
The meeting finally ends with the most incredibly detailed record in my brain but nothing to show on paper.
“Did you send out the meeting notes” asked a slug.
The email goes out to the team with a superb level of detail. A true reconstruction of the conversation.
“You forgot a bunch of things” remarks some reptile.
So did you.
Moving on to the kitchen I spot three new recruits who draw saliva from the tongue. The world around me disappears into the black as I determine the best spot to stand nearby to listen in on their conversation.
My pulse races from their beauty and I try to slow it by enforcing strict focus on the discussion.
I learn their names so that I can appear omniscient later. I return to my desk.
I throw headphones on and free fall into the abyss.
The music reminds me of who I am.
The feeling of power suddenly washes over me.
I feel kingly and alive.
My heart rate fiercely picks up speed due to the driving riffs and intense emotional bond to the sound.
Hours seem to pass.
The faintest echo of a human female voice invades the scene.
I begin climbing out of my own mind…hand over hand, I leap up from ledge to ledge, snatching freeholds here and there.
Finally I return to the surface and my eyes lock onto the computer screen in front of me.
The girl is standing next to me wondering why the hell the status report wasn’t updated.
“It doesn’t need to be.”
Stomp stomp stomp she plods away.
It’s about 10:34 am and I stand up and walk to the next row of cubes.
“We can be back by like 1:15 if we head to the bar around 11:20” I say to the only bearable company in the house.
We head to our normal spot and sit outside.
The women were already starting to walk by in greater numbers, a summer treat. Leg season.
The conversation is painfully dull but at least the weather is nice.
We get back to the office at 1:47.
One of the rookies who sits near by gives me gum so I can try to mask beer breath if it’s even there. $2 Rolling Rock special.
She always has the gum and always smiles when she gives it to me because she knows why I ask her.
I only keep doing it because strangely, she enjoys being my gum bitch.
The day continues on and I leave around 4:45 so I can get a jump on the train.
I return home and immediately pack the bong. 3 hits should do for now.
Time to play some guitar, watch some porn. Go for a jog if it’s nice.
I hit the sack around midnight and roll around for 2 hours before everything goes black.
The next day the strength required to pull myself off the bed to make a reasonable train is damn near inhuman.
I pack the bowl and then hop in the shower.
Just before heading to the train, I make sure to get nice and stoned.
I cliff dive into the music as I ride back to hell…
The above is fairly accurate depiction of my daily life working in corporate America.
I was a vagrant stuck in an appalling cycle of boredom and cynicism.
Get stoned. Analyze the world. Indulge in shocking novelty. Repeat.
This semi-psychotic behavior was the result of continually experiencing the world while stoned as fuck.
Over time, one can begin to learn how marijuana can be used to alter the state of your mind, which for some simply never gets old.
There is a distinct difference in perception, sensory intake, and mental activity.
It briefly decouples you from the train car of social and behavioral conditioning that you’ve dragged behind for years.
When experiencing a situation that by default demands conditioning, anxiety, depression, and psychosis begin to set in due to internal conflict.
It can be quite taxing to try and maintain enough willpower to keep one from oneself.
The ability to temporarily disable conditioning even if only slightly is a fascinating effect of marijuana and psychedelics in general.
I’ve already discussed the introspection of marijuana at length so I won’t get into it here, but it can without a doubt cause people to descend into the dark side.
The thing about the dark side is that it’s a lot of fun here and there but you never want to remain there for too long, or drop too deep.
It will result in negative consequences so you need to stay balanced.
Let’s take a look at how to overcome the darker side of marijuana.
One of the more frequent reasons that people discontinue marijuana use is constant paranoia, onset of anxiety, and general “weirdness” that they can’t seem to overcome or redirect.
As a mild psychedelic, weed has the ability to change your state of mind, and unless one has truly taken the time to understand or perhaps even “master” this state, undesirable results follow suit.
Speaking from personal experience, anxiety always seemed to creep in when I became too aware of the people around me.
This pronounced awareness spiraled into chaotic internal discord that could take me much deeper into the mind.
When you “return” to the surface, you’re suddenly faced with a tremendous amount of stimuli, the need to engage in petty talk, and general dissociation from reality.
Normally this doesn’t happen because the wall of conditioning is structurally sound during sobriety, and bumbling through a crowded room is old hat.
But when faced with unfamiliar conditions and perhaps even a threatening situation, the mind begins to slide into a fearful and more chaotic state, thus anxiety.
In order to avoid anxiety, one must learn to relax and understand that external stimuli will heavily compete with internal dialogue.
You need to know your intention for getting stoned. Getting lit for the sake of getting lit will lead to unintended mental stress that can have a strange and potentially negative effect over time.
When I used to go to work blazed, I was inadvertently triggering mental “states” that I was carrying around with me due to my life choices.
Hate my job – “fuck everyone in this building.”
Watch porn – “increased sense of entitlement and demand for domineering sex”
Lack of goals, did nothing about it – “today is meaningless. so is tomorrow”
Without smoking I could suppress this type of thinking quite easily. While high, it was completely unavoidable.
It was as if the herb forced me to be who I really was, or at least re-imagine the world in such a way.
If you feel that you share a similar story, then it may be time to reevaluate how often you get high, and more importantly when.
If you get highly anxious – stop and reconsider your motives.
More importantly, reassessment can reveal to you the things in life that need fixing. Things you’ll need to work on immediately that may take months if not years to correct.
I still experience anxiety quite often when stoned, but I definitively choose when and when not to get high, which is the key.
I get stoned when I write and listen to music. Terence McKenna once advised that the best way to get high was about once a week if that, but in a highly controlled situation where you can push the limits if you so desire…
I agree with this assessment.
Paranoia comes from anxiety, there is no doubt about it.
Environmental stress can cause it and I would consider it an undesirable state to endure.
If smoking pot causes you to become paranoid, then you need to re-evaluate your decision to partake.
It’s OK to feel fear and uneasiness every once in awhile, but you should never put yourself in that state on your own accord with the use of drugs. It takes a rare and half-mad individual to do this constantly, someone that would make a fine daredevil.
The way to avoid constant paranoia while stoned is to simply stop using it in situations where you probably aren’t completely comfortable while sober.
Alcohol is a social lubricant, which in some cases makes it anti-paranoia.
Chipping away at inhibitions will mitigate social anxiety.
Pot on the other hand brings your inhibitions to the foreground. Social constructs sometimes defy logic. Every decision becomes a risk/reward analysis.
Always know that people are constantly judging you, looking at you, laughing at you and talking behind your back regardless of whether you know it or not.
Once you accept this, weed-induced paranoia will start to dissipate over time as you master the ability to shift gears in a social setting.
Avoid paranoia by understanding how pot affects you.
If you struggle with fear and anxiety when stoned, you probably have other things in your life you’ve been meaning to fix…
For anyone that has taken LSD, mushrooms, or another major psychedelic, it should be apparent that the world you “know” can seemingly transform into something totally new or alien.
It’s as if there are 2-3 states in which you can experience the world but the majority of people are only aware of just 1 – the default state.
I have returned from an LSD trip wondering if I would ever be the same again…if people would understand me anymore.
Awareness of the other states has had a direct affect on what I do and say, and that will likely continue for the rest of my life.
When it comes to dissolving reality, LSD is the rocket launcher where marijuana is the .38 Special.
You can pop holes in reality by smoking a joint and then engaging in some random activity. You can call on the enhanced sense of music while enjoying your favorite band.
Persisting in this dissociated state for long periods of time will condition you in a new way.
Thus, what was reality is no longer.
It is different.
I firmly believe Ken Kesey was very aware of this. He was engaged in Project MKULTRA and was exposed to a staggering amount of psychedelic use.
He then began to interact with “insane” people by choice…
The inspiration for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest came while working on the night shift (with Gordon Lish) at the Menlo Park Veterans’ Hospital. There, Kesey often spent time talking to the patients, sometimes under the influence of the hallucinogenic drugs with which he had volunteered to experiment. Kesey did not believe that these patients were insane, but rather that society had pushed them out because they did not fit the conventional ideas of how people were supposed to act and behave. ~ Wikipedia (my bold)
These conventional ideas are what I would consider “incomplete.”
I think many stoners may without a doubt experience a mild form of psychosis at one time or another, especially teens who have engaged in heavy use early in their lives.
Without properly understanding this, society will inadvertently label people in ways that are simply not appropriate. This will diminish our collective ability understand how the mind works, and will set us astray on proper decisions regarding ethics, morality, or education around mind-altering drugs.
Marijuana and other psychedelics can cause psychotic behavior but do not necessarily mean someone is “evil,” “malevolent,” or even “dangerous.”
They may just need a bit of reorienting, which arguably could itself be done with psychedelics in the proper set and setting.
This is a tremendous problem for first time stoners, uneducated tokers, or authority figures who simply do not understand how to guide people on how to experience the alternate states of the mind.
One can certainly achieve a great power by visiting these planes.
If you carry too many demons, don’t visit the well too often…it’s likely poisoned…
I always think to myself when I’m high that I’m “my real self”. The thoughts I have stoned teach me so much about how I think and view the world that don’t come to me as often at such a high velocity any other time.
I used to use weed to relax before bed, but it’s turned into something that makes my brain perform. I love it, I swear I get my best work done high and that shocks everyone who looks down on me when I tell them I smoke.
Would I recommend it to everyone?
Happy 420, Riz.
My writing feels far more natural and “connected” when I am stoned – no question about it. The thoughts flow more easily, and the creativity emerges like a dragon.
On the downside, this can keep me up all night – rapid mind assault.
Happy 420 brother – smoke a few and toke a few.
Great read again. You helped a couples months back on your misunderstanding marijuana post, and youll help again, there’s a lot of beneficial and actional advice here.
Ive definitely stepped into those states. It’s surprising to hear someone talk about it in the way you have, so accurately, I thought they were mental states unique to me. Which is probably a thought pattern caused by a level of paranoia.
One thing I haven’t grasped yet, I understand you build a tolerance, however, to me, smoking always feels the same, yes the intensity of the high can be different, but that feeling is still equal to a pervious high on the same intensity level. Nonetheless, the first times of smoking, are feelings of high I have never been able to reclaim. That may be a result of abusive smoking. The only reason it came to mind, is because when I am high (i said when this time ;] ) I tend to sometimes think, reminisce even, so deeply about the past (nothing bad, could just be a memory of playing football at school), times you can never re-live, and why this has come to my attention, is that the high seems to intensify the fact that those times cannot be re-felt. Even if they seem so real in my head.
Had me laughing: ‘I hit the sack around midnight and roll around for 2 hours before everything goes black.’
I believe the experience is more universal than most people think. What matters most is what you learn, followed by a disciplined set of actions.
I know exactly what you mean about tolerance and the “sameness” of each experience. As a former abuser myself, I believe therein lies the answer – overkill. The brain is not designed for overkill, though of course we would like it to be. In the same way you couldn’t masturbate 100 times in a row – the body has its limits.
I too wish I could somehow recapture those first highs. I now take long extended breaks of up to 3 weeks or more between sessions. It makes a difference.
Reliving the past is something special marijuana can offer. The good times roll and the bad times take their toll.
Once you establish a disciplined routine – the use of marijuana becomes almost zen – relaxed, targeted highs to achieve a specific state.
If you’re ultimate goal is to return to the *original* high, you may have to give it up for 2 years or more…a Herculean task for most.