Let's be honest, psychedelics don't always teach us stuff. But it's ok.
By Kai Teo
We know that psychiatry and the mainstream society has slowly started to open up to the possibilities of medical purposes of marijuana and psychedelic substances. Today, medical cannabis is now legal in 31 states in the USA and amongst these, possession and use has been decriminalized in nine, including Washington D.C. Uruguay’s full legalization of cannabis as a consumer product, took place earlier last year and Canada would be the second country to do so in 2 weeks’ time.
Fuck yea, we’re definitely moving forward in terms of righting the mistakes made in the name of the War on Drugs, first initiated by the Nixon Administration in the late 60s. We’re slowly, but surely, waking up from the slumber we’ve been put into by decades of anti-drug propaganda.
On the psychedelic front, many countries have decriminalized personal possession and consumption. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is leading the fight for medical research and activism in psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, including medical marijuana, LSD, ibogaine, ayahuasca and MDMA.
In many circles, it is righteous to talk about treatment and medical use for psychedelics. Even as the conversation slowly shifts towards personal recreational use, we often feel the need to bring in spiritual learning and personal development. You know, to kinda prove to people that we’re serious learners and conscious explorers of alternate, shamanic states of awareness.
Even as I’m promoting the first book I wrote about psychedelics, Rainbow Warrior Handbook, I find myself struggling to tell people that I love getting high on acid and have written a book to share my experience – that it is fun and sometimes I don’t learn shit from my trips.
It’s easy to go full-on self righteous about my psychedelic journey. “Sorry mates, I don’t do it for fun. I do it to develop myself spiritually and learn lessons that can help me become a better person. I’m no junkie.”
Simply because I’m scared of you judging me as “just another guy who likes drugs”. I’m also guilty of going “I only believe in psychedelics. I don’t like the concept of powder or crystals.” It’s easier for me to talk to someone about psychedelics when I throw in spirituality and development, instead of tackling the issue of personal freedom – I put whatever I want into my brain and body as long as no one else is harmed.
When you meet me on a festival dance floor and my eyes are darting off in different directions and all I can see are kaleidoscopes, trust me, I’m not thinking about reincarnation or the circle of life. And no, I’m not meditating or feeling the divine Shakti flowing through my body, I’m just tripping balls.
Still, in our supposedly “free” communities, there’s always some kinda guilt attached to letting ourselves go, being a little stupid, being not connected to Pacha Mama. Even exploring sexuality and loving sex now has to come with the yogi-approved “Tantric Explorer” label.
I’ve written this article today to kinda remind ourselves that it’s ok to take it easy and have fuck loads of fun and enjoy our experiences of altered states of consciousness. I’m here to also remind myself that not every trip has to be transformational, not every person has to teach us life lessons, not every thought has to be the “universe sending us a message”.
We love tripping our tits off. And it’s fine.
Perhaps when we start being more honest with our love of fun, can we actually start convincing the world to be less uptight about shit. When we can fully accept that another human being has the freedom to do whatever the fuck they want with their bodies and minds, only then can we put across the argument of legalisation and decriminalisation to the rest of the world.
What about the really harmful stuff? You know, like meth and shit? Personally, I haven’t tried the harder substances because I’m scared of how much I’d like them. But if that’s your trip, no one has a right to take your freedom away from you. I’ll stay away from that though. You know what it does to you, you’ve made a conscious choice, all I can really say is, “Please be careful, my friend.” But when someone around us ventures too deep into their addiction, we’re still a community of human beings, let’s see how we can help with harm reduction. As a society, we do what we can, but ultimately, you’re responsible for your own life.
Life lessons from the psychedelic consciousness sometimes come when we least expect them to. We can begin our trips by setting our intentions for learning, but let’s not guilt-trip ourselves when all we see are overweight bunnies juggling pink bananas. Go dance with them! Maybe next time, the bunnies might actually teach us something.
This isn’t a conversation about what mind-altering substances are good and which aren’t. It’s a conversation about personal freedom. It’s a conversation about the personal right to have fun in whatever way I choose, as long as no other living creature is harmed in the process / production.
As written in the Ozorian Prophet 2015, “I don’t care if you’re really into fucking watermelons, as long as it’s not my watermelon.”
If you’re interested in more honest, down-to-earth spirituality, do check out Rainbow Warrior Handbook – The Underground Guide to the Psychedelic Revolution. I’m humbled to say that I wrote it, and I’m grateful to have presented it at different festivals this summer, including the legendary Ozora Festival. So yea, here’s the link: http://www.buddhamag.org/book/rainbow-warrior-handbook