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Part 1: Harry in wonderland.

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 5 July 2007 | Views [1090]

Vertical for all of three seconds.

Vertical for all of three seconds.

21 minutes of another reality. Where? Inside my own mind! How did this amazing event come to pass, you may ask? And I will answer under the assumption that you did indeed ask. Before I do though, I must explain that before meeting Adam and Gemma, I was quite naive about mind altering substances. That is not to say that these 2 Amigos have lead me down a path of ill-repute, or influenced me beyond the extent that my own curiosity was impelling me.

On one of the first occasions we spent together, Adam displayed a botanical knowledge that I would  state was well above the average punter. Being only recently enlightened from the understanding of the average punter, I feel I should express what the day revealed to me, in the language I was most recently using; ie. that of an nescient philistine. It is never an easy task to translate experiences that take place largely outside most peoples frame of reference,  but I will attempt to point a finger at the moon, to use an old Zen Buddhism expression.

I had spent the morning trying to learn to ride my unicycle, with pretty much the same degree of success that Gemma enjoyed with her first driving lesson. There were promising signs, somewhat over-shadowed by the ever present threat of death and road carnage. Loaded with caffeine as a legal form of dutch courage, one that is also acceptable to drink before 11am, we both dived into our respective lessons with abandon. After the high of experiencing many different ways to get horizontal in a painful flash, I needed something that would bring my heart rate back to the usual level of a rug on valium.

Decisively, our chosen destination was to offer much more than we bargained for. Gemmas stars for the day had said the position of Saturn was going to be bringing her lots of sexual love from the goddess of fertility. Adam pondered aloud,  “how the position of Uranus was going to affect things for [her]!” Had I have read my stars, they may have said “Prepare to open your mind”. That would have meant bugger all to me when I read it, but would make perfect sense as I sit here and write about it now.

Albert and Valentina's house was the launch pad. (Names that have been changed to protect something no one has been prepared to explain to me yet! [But have they really been changed?]) A rental property that has so much future invested in it that these guys have, in effect, signed a long term lease. Albert is not an exception to the Lismore rule, but more precisely, its pinnacle. In a town where Big W's sells potent hallucinogenic cacti, to a community with the knowledge to make the most of such a natural bounty, Adams exceptional botanical knowledge no longer seemed so exceptional. Out of genuine hospitality, Albert offered to give me the rounds of his garden and what he had going on.

I asked if it was some sort of esoteric wisdom he was imparting to me. Information that gets passed on verbally from shaman to apprentice. Apparently not. Anyone with a vague interest in natural mind altering substances, can access all they need from readily available books. And the degree of wisdom Albert shared with me showed a depth of understanding far beyond the reach of an amateur, or a weekend warrior. I was awed by his knowledge as much as the size of his crop.

Albert himself easily fitted the mold of the average stoner. Laid back, happy, friendly and slightly reserved socially, as they can never quite tell if you are stoned or not, and whether you can understand their long diatribes about social inequality and the deep significance of the location of Uranus. Big wrinkles or crows feet from smiling and laughing so much are always a give away. Personal characteristics I sport with pride. It is grossly unfair to stereotype Albert in such a manner though, because all descriptions so far demonstrate he is well above the teenage bong smoking, nintendo playing, compulsively masturbating, Pink Floyd loving average stoner. It isn't about just getting high. It is about opening your mind and seeing things in a way you never imagined.

As Albert begun to explain the different properties of plants, along with their historical origins and cultural use, it became abundantly clear that all societies that existed free of the constraints of Christian dogma, used plants for the purpose of choosing which is the most appropriate way to see reality. Plants such as these, aid us to see that the way we have grown up viewing life, is not the only way, or even the best way to interpret external phenomena. Unfortunately, Christian theologians acted with the best of intent to force us, often at the point of a sword throughout history, to see their particular view of the universe as the only valid one to entertain.

In the middle ages, a priestess of the pagan arts would get loaded on the meteloides in the common Datura flower. Reducing the toxic substance to a cream and applying it vaginally with a broom, these women would be off their chops, (whether or not they were vegetarian) and insatiably randy. Their brooms would assist in transporting them to realms of sexually ecstasy, akin to flying in their highly exalted noesis. This liberating, and undoubtedly pleasurable past time, was greeted by the clergy with a free toasting, and an express pass to the lower depths of hell. A place the 'witches' would think was a crock of shit anyway.

While being far more tolerant and open minded, even the Buddha spoke of the best path to liberation being one that avoided anything that clouded the mind. Being Buddhist at heart, I have always held true to another of the Buddhas statements that nothing should be taken as true just because he said it either. Perhaps the culture the Buddha originated from, particularly one of such royal opulence, was devoid of the botanical substances available to other cultures throughout history. Therefor he would be unaware of the potential they held (blasphemously saying that the all-aware Buddha was actually unaware of something!) and in no position to recommend them with no empirical support.

Along with Albert and his kin, I, on the other hand, believe that putting yourself in a position to undergo experiences that open yourself to the full capabilities of the mind, can be an extremely beneficial thing to do. And we have the knowledge of other non-Christian cultures to aid us. And here I found myself, face to face with a mind well versed in the ancient lore of Aztecs, Indian Americans, Africans, Mexicans, and Amazonian pygmies amongst other peoples who preferred transcendental insight to Pink Floyd records.

Continued in Part 2.

Tags: drugs, sightseeing


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