Hippies, Drugs And Enlightenment

The tropical storm is coming to Cambodia from Southern Vietnam. The temperature has eased off to 29 degrees, a rare state of no sweat. The wind is beginning to pick up, tomorrow there might be torrential rain and flooding. Cool.

I remember once feeling somewhat chilly and even throwing on some clothes as I tend to prance around naked in my abode. The thermometer registered 23 degrees, wait a minute! since when do I get cold at 23 degrees Celsius??! I then thought to myself ‘It’s been a while since I lived in the (cold) West’.

It occurred to me as I was listening to Scott McKenzie’s ‘San Francisco’ that I’m no Cleo Odzer, and the hippie movement (which I missed both chronologically and geographically) would never gel with me, for one very simple reason: I detest drugs. I detest alcohol and anything that has the capacity to cloud the mind. Sure, cigarettes may kill me in the end, but they do not rob one of the ability to think clearly. The rest of the hippie paraphernalia – does.

I read Cleo’s book ‘Goa Freaks: My Hippie Years in India’ in a two-night reading marathon. It was compelling for one reason: the sheer realness of its content. Of course, I had no idea who she was, and only after having finished the book did I google the name and read the Wikipedia article devoted to her. And boy! these official articles sound nothing like the life of the person when told through her own words.

Cleo Odzer

If anyone thinks hippies were all about universal ‘love’ – think again. Reality demands  paying attention to the basics. Cleo stated herself that hippies of Goa were very concerned with the subject of money, and how to obtain money so that they could avoid the 9 to 5 slavery and spend their days partying, snorting, inhaling, injecting, swimming, chatting, playing… And oh yeah… fucking of course. Ironically, that meant sophisticated for its time drug operations, delivery runs in various parts of the world, tourist scams and a subsequent dependency on the various products they peddled.

Unlike Escobar, the hippies were not interested in building drug empires. They were interested in personal survival at whatever cost. Free love, free drugs and free lifestyle were not that free, after all. All of this required cash and loss of conscience.

Cleo had a quick flirtatious period with Osho’s ashram in Poona, mainly because she was out of money and needed a place to park herself until the next drug scam materialised. She died in 2001 at the age of 51, still looking swell, but internally destroyed by the long-term drug habit.

And so the question of drugs and ‘enlightenment’…. the initial dose may transport one into the altered state of consciousness, which is exactly what it says on the tin: your conscious perception, compared to your everyday Reality, is altered via chemicals. And? How much would one understand about the world and Reality around them from that kick? The kick would tell you that consciousness is subject to change (altered), can easily be manipulated, yes. So? How much Clarity do you have as a result?

One dope head once told me, ‘EVERYTHING changes the state of consciousness, what you had for dinner changes it’. I remember it struck me how true the statement was. Every experience alters the state of consciousness, often on very subtle levels. Fighting off the shark attack changes it. Breaking up with your lover changes it. Sending your kid to school for the first time changes it. Getting dengue fever changes it. Sitting in a nice restaurant and listening to the sound of rain changes it. Everything that makes you stop, pause and think even for a minute – will change your state of consciousness.

Drugs per se – don’t. What becomes the RESULT of getting the habit – will. One may lose much as a result. The loss will alter one’s perceptions. Have we not agreed (together with Jed) that the journey is that of loss? I am not anti-drugs, each to their own and all that, I personally choose not to, despite the fact that ‘commission’ based Cambodia has been heaven for shady druggy characters, both of Western and local origins.

I am anti- mind fog that the drugs induce.

If one eventually manages to get out of the fog, both drug and TMUT induced – good on them. In fact.. hell, you have done well to get out of hell!

As I write this, a party is taking place next door. Young, with money, a whiff of dope is slowly creeping in, alcohol pumped craziness, which will be followed in due course by heavy humping. What changed in human minds from the times of Indochina opium dens? And it doesn’t matter one glorious spliff if this is Goa, New York or Kathmandu.

Monkey ‘fun’ in the human jungle has universal form across time and space. Without mindless ‘fun’ – a large proportion of human population will stop breading.


Burnt Orange Geader


30 thoughts on “Hippies, Drugs And Enlightenment

  1. If you had as much experience with psychedelics as someone like Terrence McKenna I would listen to you on this topic. but you don’t seem to have any…

    You are a like the governments who say drugs aren’t helpful without them having tried any.

    1. Not psychedelics, no. I considered it while in the middle of my two year ride, and even discussed that with my son, but realised that it is absolutely the dead end to understanding anything.

      You are free to disagree and to take up experimentation. I don’t know of anyone who got to the state of clear mind from using mind altering substances. Quite the opposite.

      Terence McKenna was highly intense and with massive reserves of energy. It’s got to go some place, and so he dipped his toe in every possible human experience. It doesn’t make him or his theories right.

      Governments don’t try drugs, as governments are institutions. But people in governments – did and do. I would personally legalise drugs, all of them.

  2. It’s ‘Terence’ Mckenna’. And if you want to know more about him you could see if you can find out why he already stopped taking psychedelics in the late 80s. Long, long time before he got popular musing about them and advocating the ‘heroic dose’. I have taken note of the constant disagreeing for disagreements sake of the OP as well. She made some interesting points earlier but here she’s not only not talking from experience on a whole host of issues. trust me: TR is not the intellectual endeavour some make it out to be, Another’s opinion on matter, is absolutely the dead end to understanding anything. When the questions presents themselves just act according to your nature, not your neuroses. The great Terence Mckenna used to say ‘Take it easy, but take it.’ I love that.

    1. Socks? Why don’t you post under your original handle, T?

      And why can I not have opinions, but ‘great Terence McKenna’ – can, in many many words he had produced over the course of his life?

      And why did cancer scare him that much and gave him a jolt?

      AND.. .. why did Terence McKenna stop taking psychedelics in the late 80s?

      Perhaps, instead of getting all personal you can contribute something constructive and answer those questions here.

      TR is BOTH intellectual and intuitive.

      1. This is according to his own brother; …Paul? You need to look it up online. He got scared shitless apparently. His very last interview (the one where he is sitting on the floor with that huge bump on his head is also pretty interesting.

        Sometimes I try to be personal. It never works out quite the way I imagine it. Some day I will learn to keep my mouth shut. I don’t forbid you to ‘have’ anything. It is simply my ‘opinion’ (as a professional dreamer) that you are overly dismissive. Gut feeling. And you have posted the rough contours of your intellect online (much like TM). So I enjoy pushing back. Sue me.

        I can change my handles into anything I want (and i often do). .. I’m also fully aware of your considerable skills of investigation. Only the paranoid survive, right? 😉

        1. Dennis McKenna.

          No need to sue. Push back by all means, but make it about points, not about personalities.

          I am dismissive of wild claims that have nothing to do with Reality. If it were that easy to open one’s Mind and keep it open via psychedelics – the world would be full of clear thinking, rational and emotionally balanced humans. But it is not. I invite you to consider this carefully.

          Questioning ungrounded claims is not paranoia, and I say this as someone who used to be a dreamer and faithfully wore rose coloured glasses. Yet… something inside was asking ‘Is any of this shit true?’

          I just took my enquiry to its logical end. And in the end – the mountain is the mountain again, but I see everything with a new perspective.

  3. PS: “cigarettes may kill me in the end, but they do not rob one of the ability to think clearly.” Ofcourse not. That already happened and then you got addicted to nicotine. Where I come (not LaLa Land) that is some world class BS as well.

      1. I have no real addictions ‘per say’ ..vices perhaps. If you press me I would probably have to admit that i’m an information junky. But (to the chagrin of many a friend) I sometimes forget to look at my phone for weeks on end just because I forget all about the device when it is not in plain few. Weeks! true story..

        https://www.wired.com/2000/05/mckenna/

        “”Terence’s pivotal existential crisis came abruptly. Sometime in ’88 or ’89. I don’t know exactly when it happened and I don’t know exactly what happened. I am piecing it together from what Kat (Terence’s wife) has told me. It happened when they were living for a time on the Big Island and it was a mushroom trip they shared that was absolutely terrifying for Terence. It was terrifying because, for some reason, the mushroom turned on him. The gentle, wise, humorous mushroom spirit that he had come to know and trust as an ally and teacher ripped back the facade to reveal an abyss of utter existential despair. Terence kept saying, so Kat told me, that it was, “a lack of all meaning, a lack of all meaning.”

        http://www.mckennite.com/articles/badtrip

        1. Vices. Sounds interesting. Care to elaborate?

          Tell me why it should take a shroom trip to realise the bloody obvious – ‘lack of all meaning’? Isn’t it clear to begin with? And can this same realisation not be achieved in other ways?

          Terence was a thinking entity with a turbulent mind. Shrooms were an escape until he realised that even his chosen form of oblivion grant neither understanding nor peace.

      1. Not today I guess..

        i would never tell you to take anything. Besides, you claimed the price already, crystal clarity – or so you keep saying. So what would be the point? We where talking about wether or not I am allowed to state that you should not be so dismissive. As you might know there is really nothing to ‘achieve’ as far as TR is concerned.

        What you call ‘the bloody obvious’ might very well be just one conclusion to one illusion. I cannot compute your ‘bloody obvious’ because it exists in you and you alone. There is no-one there to claim anything then a certain lofty flavour of insanity we are keen to call HA, TR or enlightenment. Everyone can forget about achieving anything other then achieving a perceived measure of clarity or uhm.. the realisation of its inherent non-achievementness. (lol..) I’m making this stuff up as I go along. The point is ‘liberating’ the organism from whatever you’re thinking and then we make up fancy names for something we didn’t even ‘do’ ourselves. imho we can just as well call it ‘puberty part 2’. The similarities are striking. But anyway, frivolously throwing ‘don’t do drugs’ monkey wrenches around is only helpful for half the public in a public debate like this here. You don’t know HOW one mind will check-mate itself or how one will certainly not. Some people need to climb mountains, some need snort lemon juice through their eyes, others may need to fuck a panda or whatever, what do I know.. Its going to take whatever it takes. And only in hindsight will you see what you didn’t see when you didn’t see it. It will feel totally irrelevant to think about it longer then 5 minutes anyway. (unless your me right now..) If it is bound to happen it will happen (again, and again and again). Despite your best efforts (for or against), your not taking drugs or OD-ing on them. But to get there with some sanity, or most of your intellect in tact, that’s a real balancing act. Ego will totally try and claim your TR as a last ditch effort. Still, I believe you need to throw the mind a few bones here and there and these bones are different for every seeker. It’s all BS, even these ‘debates’. Still the power of the mind will compel us far beyond what we are prepped for by our equally clueless peers.

        Shrooms will probably just make you giggle. 😉

        1. Well, you kinda contradict yourself.

          You say “Everyone can forget about achieving anything other then achieving a perceived measure of clarity or uhm.. the realisation of its inherent non-achievementness.”

          …… but then you say “But to get there with some sanity, or most of your intellect in tact, that’s a real balancing act.”, meaning one gets or achieves that state of clarity.

          However, in the previous passage you dismissed it entirely.

          1. I contradict ‘myself” all the time. So what of it? Its a total bitch to write about this stuff.. I will contradict myself on the issues just like you, only I don’t see the huge problem with that ..who made logic alone the deciding factor in any of this?.

            IMHO one would then only suffer the same mental nightmare your average Vulcan suffers from. If I did not embrace the paradoxes I wouldn’t have ‘got it’.. There is also the problem of language/grammar and the way it is already structured for us and locked into our ..ehm..’neural pathways’. It forces us to ‘think’ about all things when maybe we should be ‘sensing’ some of them.. I don’t know – your rabbit hole is not mine. At best we can agree on the fact that are/were in one.

            My balancing act is probably all the things you thought you needed to do to keep sane during your 24 months of sitting through that ‘second puberty’.

            Just my 3 cents, ofcourse

          2. “My balancing act is probably all the things you thought you needed to do to keep sane during your 24 months of sitting through that ‘second puberty’.”

            I don’t know what your balancing act was/is. I didn’t balance anything. When one has nothing to lose – there is nothing to balance.

            PUBERTY

            noun

            the period during which adolescents reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction.
            “the onset of puberty”

            Hardly. You like using enticing, but meaningless expressions.

            It has nothing to do with logic, and everything to do with the ability to express oneself clearly.

            ” I will contradict myself on the issues just like you”

            Point me to where I contradicted myself, I will check it out.

            Lastly.. so you ‘got’ it, or so you believe yourself to be. Why are you here?

        2. TR is a misleading term. What Truth? That we are alive? That we know so very little, and by the time we begin to understand a fraction of what this world is – it is time to depart? That no other person’s mind is a good fit for your own, but your own mind is the PERFECT fit for you?

          It is all a cosmic joke. Cosmic because human consciousness is the source of human misery.

          1. True. And wtf is a cosmic joke anyway, right? And who is being had.. I could do this all day 😉 Trust me I got your point months ago. Get it, got it. Will get it again later. We’re just entertaining each other.

            ‘Term’ is also a misleading term.

          2. You are in the wrong place. For entertainment – try Kenneth’s forum. He is big on that one.

            Cheers.

            P.S. ‘Cosmic joke’ – the authentic laugh Mother Nature is having at the expense of every human being. To unpack that would take another article.

  4. The whole thing is entertainment.
    And (to me) Nature is the quintessential mute.

    nah.. K is boring. At least you’re juggling with concepts so I get to be that pretentious dick-of-the-day. If you really want to express yourself clearly you cannot use a single word.

    This right here, all of it, it is the inherent nature of the Internet. The medium is te message. To pick up a pen is to be ‘at war’ etc etc

    cheers me dears.

    1. You didn’t point to my contradictions as requested.

      You are writing here in order to feel pretentiously clever, but your writing lacks any essence. This is not the kind of cleverness I prize.

      And yes, I realise the above sounds pretentious too. This is what makes the whole exchange amusing and utterly meaningless.

      My best.

  5. Maybe pretentiousness is how ‘goners’ like me fake our humanity.

    I will readily admit that everything I wrote here lacks any substance. Problem is, the context is already yours from the get go. Everyone that comes here is just bound to get a couple of bitch slaps.

    CON *slap* TRA *slap* DIC *slap* TION ;D

    Indeed I forgot. I guess my fingers were not as pointy as yours on that particular day. So I played your game, You like it. Very keen on maintaining your game master status. Pretty interesting. I’ll sit down and take your best for now.

    1. I write because it takes me further. I keep saying there are no masters, no ‘enlightened’ beings, everyone is at sea, yet… here above are your words.

      Those who benefit from ‘enlightenment’ to prolong their lives and improve their material circumstances – are the Game masters.

      If you want to wear the mask of ‘I am the challenger’ – do it on valid points or don’t do it all. I will respond to something constructive that takes one to further understanding, and will ignore the rest from you.

    2. Yep, come here if you’re into being told that your perspective is less valid or lacking a certain clarity. Lol. As if…Or just save yourself the time and be your own authority on matters. People like this are a dime a dozen. It’s just that you don’t have to clear the enlightenment hurdle to have discussions turned disagreements with most of them. Opinion wars never fail to amaze me and probably why I don’t waste my time trying to explain myself.

  6. Oh you.. That is probably the most fascist thing you wrote all day (I did not check your other pages). Have your resolutions ma’m, have your Mickey Mouse TR debates with passers by. You seem to want to go further, not deeper. Maybe it is because you already know that that is where the real contradictions flow together. The other ”problem’ I see (sitting on MY Golden Throne of Truth) is that you don’t know when to put a sock in it. That’s why you pinterest your wisdom here. Within the comforts of your very own essays..

    But Dang, you got me again. :p
    I shake my diamond encrusted scepter at you witch!
    Truly hurt by your response,
    for a whole negative 2 seconds.

    Cheers.

  7. Dear EM,

    Nobody owes you any degree of clarity beyond exactly what it is that they have expressed as such.

    Bye now

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