Dissolving on Acid (1/4)steemCreated with Sketch.

in life •  last year

Notes on a 17 December 2017 acid trip in the living room of a dirty apartment, with the compiling of these notes having first begun on 1 February 2018 in Minneapolis.

About a month and a half ago, I undertook what I consider a "medicinal psychedelic experience": an attempt to shift my own consciousness in another direction. As to the provenance of the acid I took sometime around sunrise, the gel cap of LSD (or one its analogs) had been sitting in my freezer for seasons, and I'd forgotten the dosage.

As I said before, I consider it a medicinal procedure, though of course not a scientific one. I had no other plan for what insights into consciousness I might explore other than to listen to a suite of lectures from Alan Watts, in whatever order and on whatever subjects YouTube's autoplay feature would present them.

Alan Watts

Looking back on my notes, my first act during the trip had been writing a message to @utopiaboy that, "Western civilization is SO FUCKING LUCKY that Alan Watts translated and accommodated for Western culture what he'd studied of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, etc. These are invaluable contributions in my own evaluation at this time ... toward psychology in particular and to scholarship in general."

(That should give you some idea of my esteem for him.)

Again, I listened to a more or less random series of Watts' lectures (three in all), and during that time, developed what I've referred to ever since as "a theory of a self-observant universe devoid of both subjects and objects."

As you can probably guess, that would take a lot of time to explain, and I don't think too many people would want to read that all in one post. Nonetheless, it's a proposition I'd like to explore in some detail. But fortunately enough, if you're just learning of Watts now, I believe the following serves not only as a helpful introduction to his perspective on modernity, but also discusses in brief some of the issues that pursuing my proposition will require me to address:

From here, I would love to go on and discuss how Watts' views inspired my aforementioned proposition, but I think it's more important right now (particularly for those unfamiliar with his work) to simply sit with the information they've received from that video. Still, I don't think I could let you go without first quoting what I predict will have the most importance in further posts exploring my acid-induced proposal:

A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thought. So, he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion. By thoughts I mean specifically chatter in the skull: perpetual and compulsive repetition of words; of reckoning and calculating ... And all so-called civilized peoples have increasingly become crazy and self-destructive, because, through excessive thinking, they have lost touch with reality. That's to say: we confuse signs--words, numbers, symbols, and ideas--with the real world ... This is a disaster. For as a result of confusing the real world of nature with mere signs, such as bank balances and contracts, we are destroying nature. We are so tied up in our minds that we have lost our senses. Time to wake up.

In my next post in this series, I'll discuss how this confusion between symbol and reality that Watts describes above resonates with the ideas I discussed in some [1] of [2] my [3] previous [4] posts [5], but, for now, I hope that I've left you with enough to ponder until next time.

Best (as always),

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Great to hear that you had an educational experience. Psychedelics are very powerful compounds and can truly reshape the way that we think of our lives. There are many reasons to be cautious with these substances and should not be taken lightly, but they can do immense good for people. There is extensive evidence that they can effectively treat PTSD, as I argue in this article.


Thank you! I agree with you about psychedelics; in a somewhat awkward metaphor, I believe they help us reach the operating system of our consciousness, and, if we're lucky, in a command window. Still, I also wouldn't advise too frequent a regime of consumption: your OS might start getting buggy, hahaha. But thank you for your comment, and I'll take a look at your article!