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The Seeking of the Soma

The question of why we, as humans, are so drawn to states of intoxication is an intriguing and revealing one; the pursuit of which leads to meanderings on far more significant matters.

On a crudely basic level, the induction of altered states represents an escape from the tedium of nine to five sobriety; the perversion of reality via a self-medicated fireworks show in the scorched synapses of the brain. As the old adage goes, we drink to forget; to blot out our careers, our relationships, our failings, our self; to ease, fleetingly, the constant dull ache of mere existence.

But this unrefined and propagandized theory, that strange and heavy intoxicants are consumed almost exclusively by the troubled and the unhinged, comes to pieces when subjected to the bright white light of educated logic.

Far from the slippery edge of oblivion and remote from the paranoia-fuelled train-of-thought which espouses terms like “gateway drug” whilst wanking itself into a self-righteous frenzy over “inevitable” downward spirals; history depicts a very different reality.

Bereft of the stigmatized taboos attached by the currently accepted cultural model, we choose to warp our senses and challenge our pre-conceived notions by ingesting reality dissolving psychoactive compounds. The seeking of the soma is a human trait which can be found chronicled throughout our more objective ancient past, with the 1960’s being the most widely documented mass-revival of such pursuits in modern times.

By starving ourselves of the sort of pleasures that we are seemingly hardwired to pursue, are we thus missing out on what would otherwise be an integral and beneficial component of our existence?

In the grips of a society obsessed with the world outside the Self, where celebrity culture and the mass-promotion of “ideal” lifestyles are symptomatic of a grave illness of the soul; is deeply introspective thought not something which would aid in dragging our species away from a complete surrender to mediocrity and everything we were surely never meant to amount to?

Aside from the notion that humans are apparently programmed to seek alternate states and ecstatic highs; to chase dragons and take flight on the chemical wings borne to a backdrop of ritualistic and  meditative drug use stretching back through the annals of time; we have yet to confront the real issue: free will.

The concept of intoxication transcends mere drunken stupor; highlighting instead the confines within which modern culture demands that we play the game.

The very idea that anyone can dictate to an adult what they can and cannot consume is Orwellian and repugnant and nauseating; the edge taken off by alcohol, tobacco and prescription painkillers. When one talks of intoxication, the inherent hypocrisy of our views on drugs should be the immediate matter of focus.

Antiquated drug laws do nothing but erode our personal freedoms, line the pockets of criminals, and send otherwise good people to prison.

The response from Middle America to calls for decriminalization, legalization, regulation and taxation, remains, predictably and with horror: “think of the children!”

And all the while, we sip Budweiser in Marlboro Country.

Pass me my dual-chambered bong and my revolver. I’m through playing this petty fucking game.

Inhale, Mr. President…

23 responses to “The Seeking of the Soma”

  1. Avatar dimpind says:

    "The skies are always sunny in the heart of Flavor Country. Where the washer's stuffed with money are growing like grass. Junk bondage racks never cut you slack. But that's the way the racket goes when rounding up green backs." – Neil Fallon (Walking in the Great Shining path of Monster Trucks)
    Awesome and thought provoking post, and thanks for the DMT formula… now if I can just sack up and try it…

    • fent11111 fent11111 says:

      Thanks, glad you liked it.
      Those are some interesting lyrics. And like they allude, it’s all about the dollar, right?
      Then again, if it was, wouldn’t everything be legal and taxed to the hilt?

      • Avatar dimpind says:

        I think its more about WHO's dollar. The retooling costs for the cigarette and Liquor manufacturers would have to put out to get into the MJ, and other substances, probably seems prohibitive to them. Not to mention it would put so many employees in prisons out of work. etc.

        • fent11111 fent11111 says:

          It's scarily easy to grow your own, so big industry might not be something which would prosper to the extent it does in terms of tobacco/alcohol.
          Legalization of Green would affect the alcohol industry negatively, I beleive, as it represents a direct alternative., whilst THC (the active component in cannabis) is broken down by alcohol. Tobacco, i'm not so sure about, though I guess it could be a positive as many otherwise non-smokers would choose to blend with tobacco.
          The job losses thing is unfortunate, I suppose… But the massive tax savings to the country, and freedom of otherwise good people, would more than make up for it.

          • Avatar dimpind says:

            Oh dude, I agree 100 percent. but to consider just the changes that could be made with the legal sale and taxation of MJ, In my opinion should be enough, in 2006 pot was the leading cash crop in the States, beating a combined total of Corn and Wheat. Tax revenue estimates are 7B a year, and 100's of millions a year in savings in law enforcement and incarceration.
            On the topic of choice Im with you 100 percent as well, i have spent a greater portion of my life doing all the 'wrong' things, despite legality, I came from a household that stressed individuality, and questioning authority. I havent died, or killed, yet i have enjoyed all there is to enjoy that will supposedly turn me into that raving lunatic we are warned of.
            I am all for 'Harm Reduction' and not being tossed in prison for wanting to tie on a good one and expand my mental horizons…
            Check out my post tommorow.

  2. Avatar Gutmiester says:

    Exactly, some very interesting points in this post. Points which I think more people need to take notice of and have a serious think about. Knowing thyself is probably one of the last freedoms anyone has got nowadays, and exploring ones self by any means necessary is a right everybody should have, whether you become intoxicated to aid soul searching or just to get over your seemingly mundane week does not matter one bit. What matters is the policed state we are increasingly finding ourselves in, not only does Mr Brown take a generous handful of change out my pocket every time I want a fag or pint, but he is also telling me that these are the only drugs I can take without fear of prosecution, when I can guarantee that becoming intoxicated via alcohol is more destructive to the body, mind and community than passing the blunt ever was, yet alcohol is legal and cheeba is not.
    Anyway straying off the point there, great post, great ideas.

      • Avatar Gutmiester says:

        The nutt sacking affair summed it all up for me really, it goes against everything a democracy is supposed to represent… Since when does a politician know more about science than and actual scientist? Nutt getting sacked is nothing short of evidence that government figures are trying to keep your mind in a cage and a foot on your neck by omitting certain facts from reports and generally misleading the public through a complex agenda of disinformation and white lies. It makes you wonder if there have been similar situations that have gone unnoticed by the media, not just about drugs but other scientific discoveries like technology.

        • Avatar Gutmiester says:

          there is abundant evidence that since the 50’s, governmental agencies have spent trillions on military R&D, and what has come of all this? The stealth bomber/fighter and the blackbird, and that was decades ago. Neither display much in the ways of advanced propulsion or energy production. Since WW2 I find it hard to believe that despite the incomprehensible amounts of taxpayers money that has been spent on these things, the end result is not spectacular, there has to of been at least one revolutionary discovery in the field of advanced propulsion and electromagnetic energy creation. I believe such things are not told to the public commercial availability of the discoveries in these fields would ease our reliance on oil and slow down economic growth.

  3. Jesse Star Jesse Star says:

    Canada is a little more lenient on it's feelings about the green. We have centers for "harm reduction", who hand out needles, and education about safer ways of taking "harder" drugs. No strides are being taken, but babysteps? Yeah. Some of those.

    • fent11111 fent11111 says:

      Sounds like the Canadians are at least facing in the right direction.
      Interesting concept: “harm reduction”. A logical point to reach, surely; accepting that, legal or otherwise, people will consume substances that make them feel good… educating users, rather than throwing huge amounts of tax payers money to lock these people up.
      Maybe your friends across the Border (and subsequently the world) might take note…
      Like you say though, baby steps…. Better than nothing, but still reeking of hypocrisy and general ignorance on the whole.

  4. fent11111 fent11111 says:

    " Cannabis will one day be seen as a wonder drug, as was penicillin in the 1940s. Like penicillin, herbal marijuana is remarkably nontoxic, has a wide range of therapeutic applications and would be quite inexpensive if it were legal."
    – Dr. Lester Grinspoon, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2006

  5. fent11111 fent11111 says:

    Another helpful dissection of the UK's pathetic approach to a drugs "policy":

  6. Avatar Nguyen Tien Dat says:

    I smoke pot most day.
    It not give me mental problem. It make me a happy person of love and peace.
    I read book most day and write letters to my cousin in Da Nang – she say I am the cleverest person she know. In Da Nang you buy pot with groceries and roast pig back.
    I like your writings – it gives me warm feeling inside myself.

  7. Avatar llxt says:

    Hey Fent, Some recent regulation in Massachusetts at least made the carrying of (a small amount) of marijuana *not* criminal; in that, you won't be taken to jail anyway. I guess that counts as a itty bitty baby step, but it's something. And our state is such an example in other areas! Just look at what we've done to change the nation's opinion on Same Sex Marriage!!!

    • fent11111 fent11111 says:

      Much love to Massachusetts!
      Hopefully Arnie pulls the legalization thing through in California in the November vote…
      I will then be loaded with love for you Yanks!!!

  8. fent11111 fent11111 says:

    Further, I am now aware of who I will be voting for in the UK's election on Thursday….

  9. Avatar The Tailor says:

    Fent, I agree wholeheartedly. While I wouldn't personally use most drugs (aside from an occasional beer), the stereotyping abd double standards around drug use are ridiculous. Just make eeryhting legal and be done with it. The country profits, and you don't have people breaking laws to get things.

  10. Avatar The Tailor says:

    Fent, I agree wholeheartedly. While I wouldn't personally use most drugs (aside from an occasional beer), the stereotyping abd double standards around drug use are ridiculous. Just make eeryhting legal and be done with it. The country profits, and you don't have people breaking laws to get things.

  11. Avatar fent11 says:

    God bless Colorado & Washington….
    Hope, renewed.

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fent11111 About fent11111

Blunted optimist. Astride the border between the Real and the Unreal; that last place where rival gangs of shaman fought each other to an ayahuasca-soaked standstill.

Read more by this author on 30POV .


December 2010
November 2010
On My Honor
October 2010
Witch Hunt
September 2010
If, Then.
May 2010
Small Crimes
April 2010
February 2010
"It's Complicated"
January 2010