Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The War on Drugs

please read THIS
before continuing further...

Let's consider the following photographs:

If you didn't follow my suggestion to read the article at the above link, then you are the ideal candidate to ponder this question:

In what part of God's green Earth were the above photos taken?

Was it Iraq?

Was it Saudi Arabia?

How about the Gaza Strip or the West Bank?

If you read the article, then you already know the answer to the first question. The above photos were taken at the now infamous "Utah Rave" right here in these United States. What legal rationale was used to unleash multiple SWAT squads well eqipped with tear gas, clubs, and canines onto a crowd of "ravers"? What was the nature of the "threat" that compelled numerous law enforcement agencies to engage the crowd in such a hostile manner?

What is the nature of "freedom"?

The "War on Drugs" is a militant glorification of ignorance. It profoundly strips away the very essence of American Constitutional "freedom". During a time when our government policy makers are trumpeting the virtues of "freedom" and "democracy" abroad, at home we are losing contact with what it means to be "American". Law is mythological. Like politics and morality it is sustained within the fabric of culture by living and evolving human minds. Because "law" is a product of the human imagination, it is also subjected to the flaws and limitations of human perception. There exists within the countless cultural taboo closets of human society a body of knowledge capable of freeing the individual from the confines of social enculturation (cultural programming). Since the birth of civilization, the authorities of centralized "state" societies have been at odds with the entropic forces of "counter culture". Today, our "War on Drugs" is an extension of this conflict. The "War on Drugs" is the paradigm for a culture at war with itself.

The "Rave" is essentially a "postmodern" shamanic trance ceremony, yet without the intimate cultural framework required to avoid the pitfalls of "psychotropic" experimentation. You see, good reader, "shamanism" is essentially humanity's oldest and most widespread religion. We have militant Christian fundamentalism (i.e., the Spanish Inquisition) to thank for "demonizing" the practitioners of shamanism. With the supression of shamanic ideology, centralized state authorities (like the catholic Church, and now the U.S. Government) virtually erased most "western" knowledge of psychotropic "medicine". On the edge of extinction rests tens of thousands of generations of indigenous cultural knowledge pertaining to the potential and function of earth's flora and fauna. Without this knowledge, humanity bears the agony of omnipotent addiction.

It might seem obvious that "drugs" are problematic, and therefore need to be banned from social consumption. Indeed, "drugs" can be problematic, but the NATURE of the problem is not the "drug" in question but rather whether there exists within the mind of the drug user the proper cultural knowledge essential for managing the mind's natural propensity for addiction. In the context of the human experience, EVERYTHING can be addictive. An individual can be addicted to another human (lust, love), or to sex, or to sports, or to buying consumer products. On an individual level, our behavior, and even our identity, is determined by our never ending quest for "pleasure", "escape", "security", or "power". Some people become athletes, some people become musicians, others become stock brokers, politicians, mothers, or doctors. Consider the widespread "binging" of alchohol, tobacco, soft drinks, coffee, video games, television, shopping, and food munching, and what you might find is that our society is repleat with addictive potential. It is my opinion that our American society (specifically) encourages to a high degree the unavoidable tendencies of "pleasure" addiction. In a world filled with human "consciousness" addicts, a relative few become "illegal drug" addicts.

Within a shamanic paradigm, an individual struggling with a psychological disorder (like epilepsy... in our world this might be "ADD", "depression", "bi-polar disorder", "schizophrenia", etc.)) often passed a right of passage involving isolation, shamanic mentorship, and "psychotropic" plant medication. The neophyte shaman learned to "self medicate", and thus mastered the techniques of "spiritual" enlightenment. Using this knowledge, the shaman would become a religious leader, medical healer, storyteller, spiritual guide, and mythological legend. Within the shamanic experience, the individual experienced a reality that transcended the "natural" state of consciousness and descended into a radical multi-dimensional universe within the dreams of the unconscious mind. These experiences would assist the individual in his or her personal growth. By engaging in self-induced altered states of consciousness the oppressive boundaries of mainstream culture dissolve and the individual can experience a reality within the human mind without arbitrary limitations. Before humans invented civilization, we had mastered the chemical mechanics of our miraculous minds.

"Illegal Drugs" like cannabis sativa, peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, and DMT-containing flora have a long history of ritualized use. These plants acted as a catalyst for religious experience long before The American Bill of Rights professed the inalienable right to religious expression. The most fundamentally uniting truth underlining our Constitutional rights is the Freedom of Thought, or, the ability to THINK as the individual chooses. Indeed, this is the very essence of America.

Americans need to come to terms about the "TRUTH" about drugs. Our society is OBSSSESSED with drugs. The national news is commercially segmented by ads urging consumers to try Viagra, Cialis, or any other "pill" designed to help ease the physical and psychological stresses of our dynamic society. The pleas for "go on, try it!" resonate with the wishes of the illegal street pusher. Humanity has a LONG and profoundly significant relationship with "drugs". Our drug problem is not a problem of chemical substance, but rather one of proper cultural knowledge. By applying the creative power of our minds to the problem of "drugs", we might find highly adaptive solutions. For example, by legalizing hemp, marijuana, peyote, lysergic acid compounds, and MDMA we will most certainly open up new markets in medical and psychiatric treatments. The manufacturing potential for hemp alone could expand markets and provide new jobs in agriculture, and biofuel, paper, and rope industries. Overall, the tax revenues generated by these markets could vitalize our public education systems and provide universal healthcare for children under 18. Finally, by legalizing these "drugs" we might protect our founding father's vision for the freedom of religious experience.

The War on Drugs is unconstitutional. If our American legislators TRULY cared about the health and prosperity of U.S. citizens, it would ban NUCLEAR WEAPONS. No, instead, "The War on Drugs" perpetuates a system of oppression that arbitrarily criminalizes its citizens based on how they induce altered states of consciosuness. The War on Drugs sacrifices our freedom of thought to perpetuate a dogmatic status quo. Its time we "just say no" to political ignorance.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Myth of Morality

This post is inspired by the last fifteen minutes of listening to Matt Drudge on his Sunday night talk show. Here's the setting:

I turn on my radio to listen, as I sometimes do on Sunday nights, to Matt Drudge. I listened for fifteen minutes and in disgust turned the radio off. What set ME off was the content of his program. Matt Drudge is fond of criticizing Hollywood for its skewed perceptions of reality. He also likes ridiculing "liberals" and other "democrats" in American politics for their skewed or "melodramatic" perceptions of reality. This evening, Matt ranted about violence in Hollywood media and played, over the air, a narrated video clip of a mob viciously attacking a prostitute: stripping her naked and beating her to the ground. He bemoaned the "ethos" of the videographer who pleaded with the mob to let him capture the scene on video. Drudge condemned the immoral and sex obsessed mentality of Hollywood media producers... but then he added that the listener might visit his website (@Matt Drudge .com) to view the "pornographic" video clip. Nice touch, Matt.

SO here's my take. Personally, I have no doubt that our American society is FUBAR, as in FUCKED UP BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION. But how dare Drudge condemn "Hollywood" for its sensationalistic posture when he supports a political body that ARBITRARILY MANUFACTURES the excuses for war, sits idly by as short-sighted political policies send thousands of American citizens to their death (not to mention the over 100,000 Iraqis that have left this earth), and maintains a xenophobic and ultimately suicidal platform that supports and promotes the existence of nuclear weapons. In short, the primates that govern our country are ignorant beyond belief, and quite frankly it pisses me off that those who would stand so proudly for "moral standards" simultaneously wallow in a shallow, dogmatic perspectives.

So here it is, folks: Morality is a MYTH: WE subjectively construct the architecture of our beliefs. If anyone doubts this, they need only open their eyes to the raw function of human civilization. "Morality" provides a framework for social integration, but this framework varies from culture to culture and person to person. "Morality" establishes a system of boundaries for cultural behavior, but during times of crisis, i.e. social confict, "morality" is EASILY inverted to accomodate the realities of war and politically driven bloodshed. The point is, ultimately, our "moralities" mean NOTHING when we can so easily distort them to conform to our biased cultural demands. Of course, saying that "morality is a myth" doesn't mean that people can't believe in morality; indeed, humanity's historical "myths" were all once conceived as "sacred" material. Humans have always believed in "myths"; myths are a cultural extension of our creative minds. People believe whatever they need to believe to survive, even if this means taking our most sacred beliefs and (figuratively) RIPPING THEM TO SHREDS for the sake of maintaining the illusions of control and survival.

So, morality is a myth, on par with economic mythology, (i.e. material wealth and capitalism), not to mention race, language, popular icons, religious icons, and even science (although, unlike most myths, science at least exists to DISPROVE its own assertions). Although morality is mythological in nature, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't establish moral boundaries; it only means that we should closely examine WHY we believe what we believe and how this perspective fits into the BIG PICTURE, that is, cosmological existence.

We humans live on ONE Earth. This Earth is a LITERAL island within the extremely hostile environment of space. Some might say that this Earth was given to us by a Creator; I'm partially obliged to accept this as truth. I maintain my own spiritual faith, but I take this faith very seriously. It sickens me when other "believers" corrupt the foundations of faith that I have grown from. It sickens me that within this miraculous journey called "LIFE ON EARTH" we humans get so wrapped up in what we think we NEED that we forget the precious value of what we actually HAVE. War and violence have always been a part of the human experience on Earth. We have within our creative spirit the power to see beyond our misconceptions and to build a world that recognizes the miracles of life itself. For me, the perfect example of how to do this is exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ. Yet, often I feel that, although "Christianity" is one of the world's largest religions, most "Christians" exercise an empty and dogmatic faith, especially when the shit hits the fan and terrible things force us to ask questions like, "Why?". When our society so easily discards compassionate faith for survival instinct, I am reminded of the raw holographic nature of cultural belief, and, well, sometimes I just want to be an atheist. Let the primates have their mythological gods.

In conclusion, I've decided to take the themes of this blog to "eleven" (in Spinal Tap terms). More on this later... in the meantime, question everything, combat ignorance with knowledge, communicate experience, and grasp the meaning of life on Earth... because although we are merely human, we are alive, and this is in and of itself a most significant miracle.