"Now the rainman gave me two cures
Then he said, “Jump right in”
The one was Texas medicine
The other was just railroad gin
An’ like a fool I mixed them
An’ it strangled up my mind
An’ now people just get uglier
An’ I have no sense of time"
Yeah, strangling up our minds, has been a human thing since the dawn of consciousness. Some folks even think that consciousness itself came about when our ancestors started experimenting with psychedelic mushrooms.
And consciousness itself is a double-edged sword. We are alive and conscious to the world, and at the same time we are alive and conscious to the suffering, the pain, and reality of our own mortality. It's kind of a heavy bargain.
So as species we have always looked for ways to alter our consciousness. We ingest all kinds of substances to change our chemistry, to mess up our heads. Some of us like to dull things, some to sharpen, some of us are trying to slow down, mellow out, some of us are hyping ourselves, goosing the system.
There are those drugs that tend to mask and shut us down, there are those substances that open our heads, that expand our consciousness. Alcohol (see previous post), is one our favorite poisons, but there is a long list of substances we are happy to indulge in.
If you go thru the list, you will be lucky to avoid the wreckage, the carnage, the deep, and difficult addictions that await. In a post-substance world, in recovery, in that 12 step utopia, you hopefully awake to a cold and bracing reality, alive in the moment, in the glow of clarity. Think: meditation or prayer, or chanting. It's a different strategy, an alternative road, almost like hypnosis. Yes, you can change your consciousness by delving deep into it and noticing what you find in the deep, calm center. It can be done.