keskiviikko 26. syyskuuta 2012

Ups and downs.

Life, indeed, is a peculiar thing. At one moment you can be higher than you've ever felt before, basking in the holy light of the ever-glowing goddess of love and fertility, the Sun. You can find yourself happy, surrounded by friends and people who love you and share your interests. Then, in a blink of an eye, your'e left alone with strangers, in a world crowded with only opposing views and you feel like everyday is just another round in a MMA-cage, only that you're fighting lions and snakes instead of those husky fellas you see on TV. Eventually, you get worn out.

I have all my life felt somewhat excluded here in Finland. I know it is also self-inflicted. When I see that people have features and habits I don't want to absorb, I go back to my shell, return to my safe isolation. Because I rather be alone, than give in to cynicism and negativity of the average people. I don't want to live the life of settling for less, I don't want to stop striving towards the goal I see. That goal is to be free to express myself in any way I want. I know it will eventually pay off. Huge factor in my exclusion is my choice not to consume drugs or alcohol, to keep my body free from intoxicants and to keep my inner clarity at all times. It has taught me to be what I am, a solitary man.

Life is always a series of ups and downs, most of the time they are entangled into one and you can't see the importance of bad experiences as you go through them. I can easily say, that even the worst times of my life have given me shitloads of tools for survival. Still, now as I look at the upcoming first anniversary of my grandfather's passing, second of my grandmother's, third of my mother's side grandmother's, and fourth or fifth of my grandgrandmother's, I can't help myself thinking that I am going to lose someone close to me really soon. It haunts me, and it makes me feel sick. Traumas are the stickiest matter in the universe.

I have to re-evaluate myself, destroy everything and rebuild myself from a scratch. I do it practically every year. I know how my head works, and I'm glad I do. Most people have no idea. It gives me time to think and plan the future.. The only thing is that when I try, everyone tells me "well, you seem to be fine now." Not knowing it, they are dragging me further down, making the eventual demise faster and more drastic. It is a rejection of my worries on their part, but I can't blame them. They don't mean it. But know, I think I am about to hit my lowpoint. After that.. it'll hopefully start the process of healing.

perjantai 14. syyskuuta 2012

About Psychedelia and religious rituals.

I wanted to share this, because I find this rather interesting and important.

It is a documentary about psychedelic drugs as part of shamanistic rituals, our religions and cultures. It displays and explains the usage of herbs and shrooms and LSD, and gives some really interesting points on how they may have played a grucial part in the very beginning of our cultural evolution. I was afraid it would slip into new age hippie-bullshit, but it did not. Of course, when you have psychonauts talking about psychedelic drugs, you have their side on the subject. But the documentary had a variety of different people talking about the drugs, sharing their thoughts and learning new stuff themselves.

These aspects were really interesting to me, since I'm really into studying religions, human beings, their habits and cultures. I believe all religions sprout from the same root, same shamanistic essence, that is still evident in our present world, but it does not manifest itself through any organized religion. It has taken place inside our need to know ourselves, it is self-reflection, a will to understand your ego and it's limits, a way to surpass the ego and become objective. It guides our ideals of knowledge, we tend to value objective knowledge over subjective knowledge, although we are most of the time blind to the fact we are always subjective beings, and all the information we gather and accept is always seen through our own lenses. We just let everything uninspiring and dull pass us by, and build our world upon our own interests and moral values. This being said, I believe modern day shamanism is self-observation, reflecting your own actions, with or without drugs. You don't really need them, if you bear the insight  inside your own mind. For those who do not, they are tools to help them get rid of distractions, tools of concentration. The more you have insight on yourself, the better you can help your society and the people surrounding you.

As said in the documentary, religions might, and I believe they did, have had the psychedelic tripping as essential part of their rituals. Even in Christianity, where the communion was the flesh of god, which the shrooms are often referred as. Or as explained, they might have had a bad crop, which has produced psychedelic bread, which has sent them accidentally tripping their balls off, giving the experience of pure being. That is just one explanation, one part of it all, the documentary gives various theories, that I find interesting and fascinating, I am aware that they are not confirmed and verified information, but they are enough to accelerate my mind. This, though, is not a new thought. Aldous Huxley was observing religious rituals and shamanistic tripping, and he had similar ideas of psychedelia as an essential part of early religions. Later on, as they decided to want authority over people, they disconnected the divinity and denied their roots, making profane people dependant on their power to interact with the divine.  Because (as said in documentary) where would people need the church, if they had a way to feel whole, safe and complete without it?

I think religions have played their part in our cultural evolution. They were explanations to our experiences of holiness we might have  had when we had eaten certain herbs or animals unknown to us, because nature is full of hallucinogenic things, we're just being told their all venomous. And of course they are, but in small dozes they might have given us what appeared to be God. They would explain why people around the world had a similar idea of building huge geometric construction to help us determine our place in the cosmos, the pyramids. It would explain the worshipping of nature: We got our divine experiences from the forest by accident, so the forest has granted us this gift of self-observation. Later on they noticed that certain herbs did always the same trick, learned to use them, and performed rituals, which included these herbs being used as part of them. People were slowly but surely developing a culture, science and religion still entwined in this same form of worshipping life itself, until they derived as themselves, two counterparts in constant war with each other. Religion gave man the imagination needed to seek forth. Science took the torch from there, and did the same trick on religion, as religion did to drugs: denied it's part in it's own birth.

There's also a mention of our Finnish traditional epic of Kalevala, where there is Sampo, giver of happiness. It is an magic mill, which can produce anything one needs, and the heroes are constantly fighting over it. I read it when I was on the elementary school, so I should probably refresh my memories a bit. In the documentary it was seen as a metaphor for Amanita Muscaria one of our most common toxic, and to some extent psychedelic mushrooms. One of my friends ate one once, and had just mild burns and fever. He got a nickname that stuck with him ever since. I've heard that in Lappland shamans used to feed Amanita Muscaria  to their reindeers and drink their pee. I always thought of it as a repulsive habbit, but this documentary actually gave me an explanation to it: the mushroom emits acid, that disolves in your liver, and the liver produces the same psychedelic ingredient the mushroom has, so your pee comes out even more psychedelic than the shroom you consumed. Of course uptight Finnish men we're not going to drink eachother's pee, because in small towns that kind of news travel faster than the speed of light, so they made their animals eat it and drank their pee, as if to make it less gay. Right.