The Lesson of History

Since our initial communications and as suggested when I said I would try to be open to the idea that ‘the world is me’ next time in Salvia space, I’ve had the opportunity for a few ‘visits’. On a couple of occasions in particular the idea of ‘me’ sitting and typing ‘your’ words to myself did seem strangely compelling. But what you say about bouncing off experiences with our own trajectories is very relevant. I would say a very significant factor affecting this trajectory, the conclusions we come to about the experience, is what we perhaps anyway believe to be the case. I’m not claiming to be any more immune to this than you. I might argue that being prepared to re-visit the space is an advantage, in order to validate the conclusions, but we all, each of us, bring our own histories, expectations and intentions.

The reason I mention this particular point is influenced by the other reader’s feedback re Universal Consciousness>. What I’d like to suggest is that our description of the altered state, even our recollection of it, our making sense of it, is affected by how we think we might like it to be, or, perhaps more accurately, what we think we already know. In particular I think that the experience of being ‘at one with everything’ relates to (and is influenced by) a ‘classical’ understanding of the ‘mystical’ state. By this I mean as typically described in the ‘Eastern’ traditions.

It’s understandable that the explosion of LSD on to the sixties scene was accompanied by the search for better philosophical and spiritual systems. It’s understandable how people turned away from western orthodox religions looking for something that better described their experience. And to see how ‘Eastern’ thought got a generally favourable reception in comparison to the West’s failings.

However, ‘Eastern’ thought is not plant-based. Well, to be more accurate about it, it is plant based in the sense of that’s where its origins lie (i.e. its basis), but it’s no longer plant driven. The plant origins have been forgotten, often to the point of denial and taboo. My concern whenever this happens is that the traditions (and the resultant institutions) become vitiated>.

What does this have to do with you? Well, what it has to do with anyone who sees "no need" to commune with plants, "no need" to re-visit, re-validate and re-fine one’s conclusions about the experience, is the tendency to otherwise think that one’s experience was the ultimate be-all and end-all revelation.

There is also the problem with recall, i.e. in trusting that the memory can accurately recall all aspects of the experience as time goes on. Part of the familiarity of returning to Salvia-space for me is the feeling of, "oh yes, now I remember".

In ordinary reality our arguments are almost necessarily polarised (even polemic). So statements such as, "the world is me … is you" inevitably carry the flavour of, "that’s your opinion (and you are mistaken)".

In Salvia-space it’s not so much like that. It’s more like I can see that "the world is me" and at exactly the same time I can see that it isn’t. This is not so much the reconciliation of opposites (again, as sometimes espoused in Eastern traditions), - agreeing to differ in interpretation, but a simultaneous and quite utterly impossible co-existence of two contradictory points of view.

My ‘trajectory’ in the couple of particular experiences I’ve had where I’ve been specifically considering your, "the world is me" proposal, was to find this extraordinarily funny. The idea that you and I are the same entity, that I am in fact writing words back to myself, having an ‘argument’ with myself, made me chuckle and smile, - not laughing it off as a silly notion in a dismissive way, but in the realisation of how it was in fact true.

The problem I have with turning away from the plants is that I don’t trust the memory’s ability to recall the impossible. The reason I mention ‘Eastern’ philosophy is not to take a sideswipe at it, but to suggest examples not only of the obviously gross excesses of western orthodox religions, but also of seemly better intentioned traditions that have still become vitiated by losing contact with their original impetus. – That impetus is, of course, the dimension directly revealed via the plant allies. Thus the emphasis on ONENESS, often stressed, frequently capitalised, can become nothing more than mantra. I suggest that this historical lesson is what will happen with the individual too. It’s quite literally the lesson of history.