The Peaceful Warrior and Weed

I recently took ill a couple of days ago, and had a chance to catch up with some movies that I had been collecting on my shelf. One of those gems was Peaceful Warrior. If you haven’t had the chance to watch it, I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s a life changer of a movie. An Amazingly Awesome friend introduced it to me during a time in my life when I desperately needed some guidance. It was the first of many steps I took to start really getting what I need out of life. I think it was also the most important of the steps.

Peaceful Warrior Movie Poster

Awesome Movie! Awesome Book!

However, when I watched it this time, I made a connection with a previous topic I have touched on several times in this blog. Specifically the topic of Smoking Pot. Upon watching portions of the movie where “Socrates” is trying to teach Dan that there is never nothing going on, I realized that the way of the Peaceful Warrior and the effects of Marijuana on the mind have an inverse correlation.

In the past, when I have talked about my experiences with Mary Jane, I have mentioned a “shrinking” of the world around me. More specifically it has been a “shrinking” of my awareness. First, I drop all awareness of the universe, Then the rest of the planet leaves all conscious thought, then my country is all that is left, then the state I’m in. Before I know it, the town, the world outside and even for a brief period the rest of the house is all non-existent within my head. All responsibilities and worries tied to those places and the things in them have dropped away. They might as well no longer exist at all. That’s the feeling that kept me drawn to smoking weed. After my “Bad-Trip” I never touched the stuff again, and never will. Curiously though, after watching Peaceful Warrior again, I think this may be a good thing for me.

Spoiler Alert Comical Image

You have been warned!

“There’s never nothing going on… There are no ordinary moments.” – Dan Millman, Peaceful Warrior

{SPOILER ALERT}
In the Movie, the Character Socrates attempts to heighten the awareness of the character Dan. At one point (after a hilarious scene at a bridge) he gives Dan a dose of clarity with some kind of pressure point move. During another point he makes him sit on a Car for hours until he comes to the realization stated above.
{END SPOILERS}

In the Book they have a conversation where Socrates asks him a series of questions starting with “Where are you?” in which Dan answers (among others) “the Universe”. To which Socrates replies “And Where is the Universe?”

I started thinking about the idea that there are no ordinary moments. At every possible moment, somewhere, most likely in several places all over the universe, something AMAZING is happening. Becoming a Peaceful Warrior is about being able to see that thing. If not in person, than at least in your minds eye. There is always something beautiful to behold.

World looming over head

All those problems… are still on your shoulders.

I believe now that Pot dims the light that lets us see those amazing things. It turns the universe into a dark place that you don’t bother thinking about because “out of sight, out of mind”. Then, when it starts to wear off, the light slowly gets brighter showing you all the scary things that have crept up on you in the dark. Had your light not gone out, you could have kept an eye on those things, but now they loom over you like evil ogres in shadows of your mind.

Of course, this is all just my opinion and speculation. I just wanted to talk about the strange connection between a random movie and a drug that will be legalized in Alaska very soon. Like I said before, I don’t mind if anyone wants to go and smoke some weed every now and then. I just won’t be in your smoke circle. And now I have one more reason to say why.

Thank you for your time!

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You had a bad trip… On Weed?!?!?!?

a picture of weed in red

weed by Saiberis

I’ve decided to do a follow-up post about my experiences with weed. I am doing this because, out of all the posts on this blog, I have gotten the most views and comments from this post alone by far! It seems the Marijuana community has caught sight of my post and found it interesting. Thank you all for reading and commenting! Some comments agree while others disagree about my words. I don’t mind either way. That was my interpretation of what happens to me as I can remember it. Everyone has their own experience and sometimes it’s completely different.

I am also writing this, because I have quit smoking Mary Jane and have set my sights far away from mind altering substances. And while I would like to try throwing some pot in my juicer to see how it tastes and what health benefits I’ll get, I am pretty much staying as far away from it as I can. Why don’t you smoke [any more]? is a question I’m asked all the time, and all the time I get the same response “WHAT?!?!” I don’t smoke weed anymore because I had a bad trip.

It was a good couple years back…

I went to a friends house to hang out and talk with my usual gathering of buddies. It seemed like I was over there just about every day. I didn’t always smoke when I went over there, just because I didn’t feel like getting high all the time. I was also reaching a point in my drug journey where I only liked the experience for the first couple hours, after which I wanted it to end and everything to return to normal. I liked being able to think clearly.

Tonight wasn’t a very abnormal night. It just happened to be one of those nights where we decided to get high and watch a movie. If I would have known what was going to happen next I would have never gotten high and probably had left immediately. I regret this night every time I think of it.

We passed around a bong and my host friend decided to turn on a movie they just rented… Saw VI… Now I am a fan of most movies. I like horror, action, comedy, romantic comedy, I’ll even watch the real romantic mushy stuff. Just about the only exception to the list is period pieces. I have nothing against horror flicks, except I think many of them have lost their original scary soul. However, that is a different topic. I sat down and watched the movie with everyone else.

I don’t really remember much of the movie details. Once you get my group high and in front of a TV we start making fun of what’s on the screen and conversing and laughing. After the initial high wore off and the giggling died down all eyes finally settled on the TV and we watched in silence.

I remember the scene when it happened pretty vividly. The main guy walked in a room and found all of his interns strapped to a revolving circle of chairs in a bulletproof glass chamber. (This part is hard to write) The main guy had to hit a button to choose which of the people he knew would live. the people who were chosen for death would be rotated to face a shotgun and… you can guess or have probably seen the rest.

a picture of "The Carousel" from Saw 6

The Carousel

My moment came after the final decision. He chose to save one person over another in a very dramatic moment. The person he sentenced to death began yelling and cursing and berating him for his choice as his chair slowly rotated towards the shotgun. In the last instance he shouted the words “NO! YOU LOOK ME IN THE FACE WHILE YOU KILL ME!!!” The main guy looked up. The man in the chair saw his eyes and looked down in horror as the chair came to a stop and… BLAM!

That was the moment in happened…

My mind locked on those moments and they began to play over and over in my head. I began to think about what the man in the chair had going through his mind in those last moments and even during. I began to imagine myself in his place. The adrenaline started to flow. Then I began thinking about all of the other death scenes in the movie that I had seen. I put myself in their place. It expanded from there. Every horror movie I had ever seen. Any movie or TV show depicting death or even harm. Adrenaline was pumping through my body at this point and I was no longer paying attention to the movie. Death flew through my mind without any sign of stopping leaving fear growing in his wake.

My mind tried to rationalize these feelings, but ultimately it only made things worse. I began to ask why I was freaking out. Why was I scared. Finally my brain came up with an answer:

“Someday you are going to die and there is nothing you can do to stop it. It will probably be terrifying and it will probably be painful and it could be as soon as any moment now.”

I had focused on my own mortality. Now, as you know, when you are high all the outer world drops away and your world gets smaller. One train of thought runs through your mind at any given time. Well, my world was extremely small and My own death was the only train I could think about. I would have given anything to think of something else.

My mind just took it from there and began to make up horrid possible ways that I could die and played them for me over and over. I was like that the rest of the night. I had to excuse myself from my friends house and leave. Eventually I ended up rocking myself to sleep in my bed at home.

After that night I suffered nightmares and a lingering fear of my immanent death. I have not been able to watch horror movies since. Only after many many many demands by my friends, I got high one last time, only to have the entire cycle start over again. Now I am afraid of taking any mind altering drug for fear that it might have the same effect.

It’s been a good couple years now and I have lost that lingering fear, though it doesn’t take much thought to surge my adrenal gland. I have faced my mortality in minor ways several times since that night and I think I’m going to be fine. However, now whenever I am asked if I want to smoke I politely decline and give an explanation if needed. I still have nothing against anyone who smokes. I just choose not to any more.

The Nightmare Before April 20th

Sing along with this:

What’s this? What’s this?
There’s colors in the air
What’s this?
There’s white lines everywhere
What’s this?
I can’t believe my eyes
I must be tripping
Wake up, jack, this isn’t fair
What’s this?

What’s this? What’s this?
There’s something very wrong
What’s this?
There are people smoking bongs

What’s this?
The streets are lined with
Little creatures laughing
Everybody seems so happy
Have I possibly gone daffy?
What is this?
What’s this?

There are women popping little pills
and freely giving head
the boys are taking LSD
Oh yes that’s what I said

crack makes up every window
Oh, I can’t believe my eyes
And in my bones I feel that I
am absolutely fried

Oh, look
What’s this?
They’re snorting lines of blow, they twitch
they slobber and they tweek, inspired
Their enjoyment is in a category
of which I’m starting to desire
What’s this?
What’s this?

In here they’ve got a little tree, how queer
The leaves have seven points I see
And why?

They’re dumping LSD in streams
They’ve got gumballs of extasy
And there’s a smile on everyone
So, now, correct me if I’m wrong
This looks like fun
This looks like fun
Oh, could it be I got my wish?
What’s this?

Oh my, what now?
The children are asleep
But look, little needles in their feet
The tools, I wonder if I could learn to use them
Or infuse them, to feed my high
and finally catch that dragon.
What’s this?

My Braincells are all missing
And my thoughts are real profound
And in their place there seems to be
Good feeling all around

Instead of through my eyes
I can hear colors in the air
The smell marijuana pies
Is absolutely everywhere

The sights, the sounds
They’re everywhere and all around
I’ve never felt so good before
This empty place inside of me is filling up
I simply cannot get enough

I want it, oh, I want it
Oh, I want it for my own
please give me more
I’ve got to know
What is this place that I have found?
What is this?
Drug Town, hmm…

==============================================

Inspired By “What’s This?” from the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas”