May 25, 2011

Back into salvia space

So I posted that psychedelics post and then went off to a meeting the implications of which I hadn't really considered. I did some cleaning the other week and found a vial of salvia left over from several years ago, when I growing / smoking a lot as a way to cut stress on a brutal split shift and ease into meditation / self-hypnosis to refresh and also blank out the dull horror of permanent work crisis and creeping personal ones ahead of finding out I could untie all knots just by gently pulling the right thread, instead of all the wrong ones, harder.

I suggested to a friend that they might want to try it, so I went over to demonstrate. They saw me inhale, lie down eyes shut, do the thirty count in my head, then pass out. They were not enthused.

I used to smoke a lot of salvia over a period of several years, and I think I mapped the territory as well as I could, devising stories that satisfied me for certain problems it raised that seemed tractable, and letting other parts – the bulk of the experience – rest easy as mysteries to be lived with.

Long / short: I went back into salvia space and it was as welcoming as that first trip seven or so years ago [“'re back!” these little corn-headed flower entities waved at me and cheered back then, the first time, third hit a charm, as I descended and rematerialized into the land of extreme waking dreams. This time everyone was going about their business and I dropped back in almost incognito, the weirdness, as ever, unfailing, but no longer an obvious tourist].

Shorter: the infantile ego was silenced, and relief was felt, and I came back smiling with forgetfulness.

May 22, 2011

The relief you can feel on a good psychedelic trip

The fantasy they’re selling [on a luxury cruise] is the whole reason why all the subjects in all the brochures’ photos have facial expressions that are at once orgasmic and oddly slack: these expressions are the facial equivalent of going “Aaaahhhhh,” and the sound is not just that of somebody’s Infantile part exulting in finally getting the total pampering it’s always wanted but also that of the relief all the other parts of that person feel when the Infantile part finally shuts up.
The best of the rest of the time just being ways of surfing the needs / wants and / or distracting them with some zen / art magic or stoic practice.

Coming off a long few weeks of intense work and waking up to a reality that I haven't found my way in yet, just suspicions that the old one isn't going to serve much longer without some changes that remain obscure.

Somewhat related:
Posts that refer to the hedonic treadmill.

May 21, 2011

I never had any plans beyond a certain lifestyle

I am now 33 years old, and it feels like much time has passed and is passing faster and faster every day. Day to day I have to make all sorts of choices about what is good and important and fun, and then I have to live with the forfeiture of all the other options those choices foreclose. And I’m starting to see how as time gains momentum my choices will narrow and their foreclosures multiply exponentially until I arrive at some point on some branch of all life’s sumptuous branching complexity at which I am finally locked in and stuck on one path and time speeds me through stages of stasis and atrophy and decay until I go down for the third time, all struggle for naught, drowned by time. It is dreadful. But since it’s my own choices that’ll lock me in, it seems unavoidable—if I want to be any kind of grownup, I have to make choices and regret foreclosures and try to live with them.

May 19, 2011

For the way the rich live

karl lagerfeld - pirelli
I personally only like high-class escorts. I don’t like sleeping with people I really love. I don’t want to sleep with them because sex cannot last, but affection can last forever. I think this is healthy. And for the way the rich live, this is possible. But the other world, I think they need porn.
Karl Lagerfeld, Vice interview

May 12, 2011

Scale variance

What I hope to demonstrate is that each way of thinking has its proper place and a specific, pragmatic scope, within which it makes sense.
The imperatives of survival on six distinct time scales
Turtles all the way

May 11, 2011

Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity

No doubt there exist thoughts so profound that most of us will not understand the language in which they are expressed. And no doubt there is also language designed to be unintelligible in order to conceal an absence of honest thought. But how are we to tell the difference?
Postmodernism Disrobed by Richard Dawkins
Related: Some posts on the Sokal Hoax

May 09, 2011

As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he

But of all his myriad past experiences and encounters, Greg [Dark] credited one man with teaching him the most important lesson of his life. He met his teacher in the early ’70s on the tennis courts at Stanford. During certain hours of the week, the courts were open to the public. According to Greg, a man showed up one morning driving a garishly painted Cadillac. He wore a peacock-feather hat and an ankle-length fur coat, which he slipped off to reveal standard tennis whites. The man was a street pimp from Oakland. Greg and the pimp became friends on and off the court. In Greg‘s personal lore, the pimp taught him the essentials of the “whore con”:

A) Men are powerless before the lure of female sexuality.

B) The whore lures men by promising unlimited sexual fulfillment.

C) As soon as she has lured a man and has begun to extract payment, the whore withholds as much sex as she can get away with.

D) The whore understands that the more she withholds, the greater her value.

E) All women are whores.

After dropping out of therapy, I increasingly turned to Greg for personal guidance.

May 05, 2011

Another sign of my lack of imagination

from here
Larkin's life was a failure; his work was a triumph. That is all that matters. Because the work, unlike the life, lives on.

I don't see how this view is possible without an idea of an afterlife I don't have. Life is all that matters.

Related: ...

May 03, 2011

Back from making a new life

Dear Bernard-Henri Levy,

We have, as they say, nothing in common except for one essential trait: we are both rather contemptible individuals.

A specialist in farcical media stunts, you dishonor even the white shirts you always wear. An intimate of the powerful who, since childhood, has wallowed in obscene wealth, you are the epitome of what certain slightly tawdry magazines like Marianne still call 'champagne socialism' and what German journalists more astutely refer to as the Toskana-Fraktion. A philosopher without an original idea but with excellent contacts, you are, in addition, the creator behind the most preposterous film in the history of cinema.

Nihilist, reactionary, cynic, racist, shameless misogynist: to lump me in with the rather unsavory family of right-wing anarchists would be to give me too much credit; basically, I'm just a redneck. An unremarkable author with no style, I achieved literary notoriety some years ago as the result of an uncharacteristic error in judgment by critics who had lost the plot. Happily, my heavy-handed provocations have since fallen from favor.

Together, we perfectly exemplify the shocking dumbing-down of French culture and intellect as was recently pointed out, sternly but fairly, by Time magazine.

We have contributed nothing to the electro-pop revival in France. We're not even mentioned in the credits of Ratatouille.

These then are the terms of the debate.
Michel Houellebecq's first letter to Bernard-Henri Levy in Public Enemies