I also like to pick and choose things out of what I read. Having listened recently to a lecture by the late Terence McKenna
I read one of his books. I have always believed that “happy accidents” happen all the time. I believe that is what I experienced in this cluttered-cellar of a brain of mine concerning the observations of this brilliant man.
By way of psychotropics, I hold that he has stumbled on to quite a few truths. Not that I believe in the “tune in, turn on, drop out” philosophy that he espoused, because like any experience of these magnitudes, it depends upon the individual. I took acid many times, and apart from hysterical, euphoric laughter and later depression and soul shaking fear, the drug held no “spiritual” significance for me. I am sure that what you take into an acid trip, is very much what you get out of it.
I remember attending a performance of Timothy Leary, in his declining years, on a tour that he dubbed “Stand-up Philosophy”. In it he said in reference to those people that constantly “bummed” on acid, that it was comparable to trying to run a lawnmower on jet fuel. This metaphor got a lot of laughs…and when something is funny, I have learned, look for a truth.
That’s me, I guess. Lawnmower brain. But while pushing this grass-cutter around my life, I can occasionally pick up a few tidbits that have some meaning to me.
McKenna, in his lectures and books explains that our reality, is just that. It is our image of the way things ought to be and is constantly reinforced by the small-brained and greedy leaders that we follow. The real reality of things is much more than meets the eye, and in his case, can be partially observed by taking psychotropic drugs. What he “brings back” to our reality from these trips to the ether are very solid observations. It is his contention that our consumer-based, male-dominated society dooms itself by it’s own definition, and that there is no way possible for it to continue at the pace it is. That this, what we call “history”, is merely a “pupa” stage of our existence on the planet and that if we don’t destroy ourselves in this process, we will emerge completely different beings, as does the butterfly. He saw this.
I have to agree. I have always been, with this lawnmower brain, a big-picture kind of person. What this politician or that celebrity said or did, never captured my attention. It is direction that fascinates me. Trends. Technological evolution. And to what end we are hurtling. I like his view of this.
I was also struck by his statement during the illness that killed him, that he had always thought that his death would be preceded by a few panic-stricken moments before a fatal crash on a freeway, not lying in bed with time to review his life and collect his thoughts.
That observation reminded me of the fact that…I dunno…probably 80% of all people are looking at a ceiling when they die. A ceiling. What a strange thing to have in front of your eyes when you pass to, whatever. I always thought that in nursing homes, or hospital wards for the terminally ill…that there should be something ON those ceilings. Something like a painting of an open door, or a photograph of a hand reaching down, as if to help the soon-to-be-departed, on to the next world, or where ever they happen to think they are going after death. Maybe Michelangelo had the right idea about painting things spiritual up there. Or maybe he just ran out of room on the walls.