'The World is Me' ... Is You
Your reply adds to my understanding generally and I thank you for that. The descriptions of some of your other experiences are quite intriguing and compelling. However, cutting to the chase (to get you a reply before I go on holiday), the key thing, the area where you quoted me fully in order to reflect directly, is probably where there is still the greatest misunderstanding.
When I say that these worldly institutions have failed me. I mean in so much as they fail anyone interested in the realms that plant allies reveal. And I take these revelations, these experiences, to be essential in gaining a fuller understanding of reality. So, while these institutions make claims as to an understanding of whatís going on, and in so far as they teach on the basis of their ideologies, I see them as poison.
Let me re-phrase. I see that these worldly institutions have failed. Period.
This is not a hindrance for me in the sense of it being me who feels as if they have been let down. Itís not something thatís been done to me; I donít take it that personally. Itís just a statement of fact.
I may be alienated from these institutions, but these institutions are alienated from a greater reality. They are alienated from the mind of nature, from the logos, from the felt presence of immediate experience, call it what you will. - I know in which of these two senses I would rather be alienated.
To go on to your quote, "But more specifically Ė you seem alienated from the recognition that these worldly institutions which have failed you Ė actually are you. This is the impossibility of the ontology that Salvia reveals isnít it? The world is me."
Well, I donít know about this. We agree that our experiences are quite distinct. ĎThe world is meí is your conclusion from your experience. Iíll try to be open to this. Maybe next time Iím in Salvia-space Iíll see how it grabs me, but at the moment itís just an idea, Öand Iím not really sure how useful an idea it will turn out to be. If where it leads is for you to say something like, "So my sense is that you really feel you have failed yourself", then it may indeed be limited.
Were I to reply to a quote such as, "I am seriously tired of hearing so-called radical revolutionaries screaming on about Ďcapitalismí in the streets, and then trotting off to Burger King in their new Nikes." With something like, "I sense that you really feel that you are seriously tired of yourself." then I think youíd be entitled to feel, even if not fully non sequitur, at least that the argument was being used inappropriately, and Iíd missed the gist.
The failure is not with me itís with the institutions. Specifically, because and in so far as these institutions fail to attempt to integrate the psychedelic experience. Letís be clear - by and large they fail even to acknowledge the psychedelic experience.
To suggest that the "game I was born into, that I live and breathe on a daily basis Ö - really is infinity" again I feel does not turn out to be particularly useful. The issue is whether or not the psychedelic realm is relevant to life lived and breathed on a daily basis.
What does your Ďdaily life really is infinityí conclusion suggest with regard to psychedelic experience? That the altered state is a distraction from whatís going on here and now, thus not really relevant? That thereís no need to be reminded of these other realms?
Okay, so itís not that you are absolutely morally opposed to the practice of psychedelic ingestion, your argument is subtler. But to me the notion that certain psychedelics are somehow at odds with daily life, even if suggested in a more sophisticated manner than one usually hears, is still a reflection of how estranged ordinary consensus has become. Itís our current degree of estrangement thatís historically unprecedented, not the possibility that we (me, you, society) could become more psychedelic.
Iím not complaining about my predicament of having been failed by those around me. Sometimes I see this aspect of being a plant-person as a sort of great cosmic joke, and very funny it is too. But without the use of particular plant allies one has to realise that the vacuum is otherwise filled by something else. This is what I mean when I say that one cannot expect reason alone to overcome competing ideologies and whatever else is fuelling them.
Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, chocolate, tranquillisers, television, - as an individual you can choose to abstain from all of these, but you still need to realise "that what we call reality is a culturally determined construct. And what we need is to accept at the deepest level possible that culture is the product of a long, co-operative, highly selective, highly developed, and, last but not least, highly coercive process that culminates in an agreement that shields us from other possibilities" [...]> Now this is what we really live, breathe and (I say) have to overcome on a daily basis.
Iíll finish with clarification of what I mean when I emphasise the positive aspects of fear. - Your counterpoint seemed to be more to do with pain than fear, which is a rather different matter.
What Iím suggesting is that what lies at the heart of the particular terror of the psychedelic revelation is the fear of having oneís preconceptions stripped away.
As to the Ďwhat ifsí of damaging subtle psychic configurations. This seems rather vague and speculative. ĎWhat ifsí and maybes can be used against anything and to stop you doing anything. I donít make an argument for Salvia based on Ďwhat ifí it perhaps turns out good for me. Iím saying that, yes, I do experience aspects of terror, but when I consider the dynamics of that fear, and the consequences of not facing it, I reckon that a decision to remain in oneís corner has got more to do with a desire to return to a comforting delusion.
In the film ĎThe Matrixí, one of the rebels sells out, saying something like, "I know that this juicy steak is an illusion / just a stream of electrical impulses, but it will still taste good". I see this as part of the human condition and itís something that Iím trying to overcome. In my analysis itís a question of seeing it in the longer run as not really being a healthy option.
Iíll close for now with a related quote on the subject of terror (Öover to you Terence).
"I'm not saying that there is something intrinsically good about terror. I'm saying that, granted the situation, if one is not terrified then one must be somewhat out of the full dynamics of what is happening. To not be terrified means that one is either a fool or that one has taken a compound that paralyses the ability to be terrified. I have nothing against hedonism, and I certainly bring something out of it. But the experience must move one's heart, and it will not move the heart unless it deals with issues of life and death. If it deals with life and death then it will move one to fear, it will move one to tears, it will move one to laughter [...]>