October 2, 2010

Sober Reflections on Getting High.

I inhaled frequently. That was the point.
Barack Obama

My earliest introduction to the whole Eastern philosophy thing came from friends who were into attaining higher consciousness by other means…as, truth be told, was I…

Generally speaking, the emphasis tended to be on escaping from a world we never made…which, I’ve since learned, is the opposite of what yoga and meditation are supposed to be about…though some, clearly, disagree about that.

Some turn to Jesus, some turn to heroin…
Joni Mitchell

Of course, even if escape might, ultimately, be impossible, it still seems a lot easier to try, sometimes, than to simply be here. And that’s where drugs and religion tend to meet…with one, of course, far more destructive than the other…though I won’t say which one I think that is….

In Euripides Bacchae, Pentheus, king of Thebes, decides the people of his city need to be more rational and sober…no more honoring Dionysus with drunkenness and revelry. To make a long story short, Pentheus’ head ends up on a stick carried by his mother as she leads a group of revelers marching into Thebes.

Wasn’t lookin’ too good but I was feelin’ real well…
Keith Richards

In all seriousness, and fully aware of just how politically incorrect and irresponsible it is to say so, I think getting turned on to marijuana as a teenager probably saved my life…since getting high was at least one thing other than masturbation that gave me hope that happiness might still be possible when life seemed like a bottomless shit-hole of alienation and misery.

But that was a long time ago.

The last couple times I smoked pot, it kind of reminded me of how yoga makes me feel, but with a kind of mental fuzziness rather than clarity, and a nasty feeling in my throat and sinuses.

All in all, I think I’ll stick to yoga.

*adapted from a very different version at Yoga for Cynics

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