You say, " I cannot personally hold to the concept that power plants
are ‘the only game in town’ [<...]"
I don’t mean to suggest that power-plants in isolation are all
a living soul needs to do with one’s life, only that they are so effective,
so key, to gaining an understanding of what might really be
going on that they are (pretty much) essential and indispensable. As I have
said, this is (pretty much) the raison d’être of the web-site. I have made
some of the arguments in the preceding dialogue and others are to be found
throughout the site. I shan’t go through them all again here, save to say it’s
interesting to consider how many of the diverse characteristics
(interpretations) of this, as you put it, ‘fast approaching utterly unique
moment in history’ are actually to be found resonating at the heart
of the psychedelic experience. The alien encounter with an ‘other’
intelligence, the experience of space and time, even our understanding of DNA
(- I highly recommend Jeremy Narby’s book 'DNA and the Origins of
Your colourful turn of phrase ‘Human-Family Adventure in this Corner of
Infinity’, with it’s juxtapositions and all, is not without it’s charm,
but, getting back to specifics, what is it really saying? Is it bounded?
Is it saying, "Look, there’s so much going on in this ‘corner’ that
there really is no need to go exploring any ‘other’ realms"? Is
it the "Human Family Adventure in this Corner of Infinity" as
opposed to any other type of adventure? - For example, as opposed to an
adventure that goes beyond our ‘corner’, or beyond what is ‘human’,
does it exclude a human-plant-planet adventure?
If you believe that your individual role is possibly more Shamanic, that
this possibly is a vocation, then why not become more Shamanic? Why another
time and place? It’s certainly not that case that ‘exploring infinity’
is all there is to psychedelic shamanism. It’s not all there is to the
plant experience. You state that "the power-plants seem indulgent …
when their effects in terms of our daily actions remain loftily
divorced from the actual concrete concerns of our shared earth", yet
there is a great association between the plant experience and the healing
experience. However, although the plants can heal (undoubtedly), I don’t
think that one can second-guess what they are going to do with you as an
individual. So I don’t doubt their power or usefulness in this respect, I
simply try not to have as rigidly interpreted an ‘agenda’, and thus feel I
am better able to accept it if they are currently showing me something other.
This may be a critical difference in our interpretations.
Having said that, even with the notion of ‘exploring infinity’, I don’t
see this as being as loftily divorced as you make out. Getting down to
specifics again:- a great problem in our world today is simply that people
consume too much. Our desire for adventure is externalised. We want to go out,
we want a bigger and better car. So, opening up the infinite landscape of the
imagination, even if not done formally in an immediate context of ‘social
healing’, even if apparently more ‘high adventure’, is still an antidote
to "people who can't think of anything better to do with the world than
fabricate it into stupid products [>…]".
Sure, one can choose direct and urgent action. One can
protest and demonstrate on the streets, tackle the corporations head on,
demand protective legislation here there and everywhere for this that and
everything. There may be some merit in doing this, and you may be right
that impetus for such direct and urgent action is not emphasised in the ‘other’
state. But, as I have suggested before, what the plant experience does
do, with its emphasis on 'the felt presence of immediate experience' as
opposed to appeals
to reason..., is address is the consumer side of problem. It
exposes the shallowness of wanting these stupid products in the first place
and suggests the problem to be as much (perhaps more) to do with the
demand rather than the supply side of the equation.
You state your clearer position now as that you are not
saying that the altered state is a distraction per se. So we do agree to an
extent, and yes, I do consider their lessons useful in reminding me of
who I am today. And useful in reminding me who I am not, of what I
could become, - the realisation of a future self.
Talking about the Salvia-state specifically here, I find that such a rich
variety of experience is offered that I’m nowhere near the point of thinking
that it has nothing more (or new) to show me. Maybe you feel differently. But
to frame the question in the first instance using the term necessary
("are power-plants necessary today to remind you who/what you are?")
then (in your terms) to suggest that this is another way of asking "are
you alienated from yourself?" then to finish with (in effect) "if
you do not need them – then why bother?" seems to me to
be taking a hop-skip-and-a-jump in order to frame the question in a
particularly negative way.
How the question is framed influences how it will be answered. And how you
have framed it is with the negative associations of feeling alienated, coupled with the notion
of dependency (need) [<...]
To this I have to say that before one can adopt the apparently casual ‘take
it or leave it’ attitude suggested in the phrase "why bother?"
surely one must first be in a position to take it. That’s why it’s so
important, not necessarily for you ever to ingest Salvia again, but at least
to examine the dynamics of your fear.