I didn’t get into this business by being an airhead, or a screwball. My attitude was always, if it is real it can take the pressure. You know, you don’t have to pussyfoot around the real thing. If they are telling you, oh, you have to lower your voice, or avert your gaze you are probably in the presence of crap, because the real thing is real. It doesn’t demand that you adjust your opinion to suit it. Its real, that means it is preeminent, that means it sets the agenda.
I studied yoga, I wandered around in the east, I was fast shuffled by beady eyed little men in doties. I know the whole spiritual supermarket and rigamarole, and I find nothing there to interest me on the level of 5 grams of psilocybin mushrooms in silent darkness. I mean that is where the pedal hits the metal, that is where the rubber meets the road.
The inspiration for me to get up and talk to an audience like this simply comes from the fact that I can not believe that this could be kept under wraps the way it has. I mean I kidded with you earlier that they would make sex illegal if they could. Well, they can’t, so it isn’t.
But, the psychedelic experience is as central to understand your humanness as having sex, or having a child, or having responsibilities, or having hopes and dreams, and yet it is illegal. We are somehow told, we are infantilized. We are told you can wander around within the sanctioned playpen of ordinary Consciousness, and we have some intoxicants over here if you want to mess yourself up, we’ve got some scotch here, some tobacco and red meat, some sugar & TV, so forth and so on.
But these boundary dissolving hallucinogens that give you a sense of unity with your fellow man and nature are somehow forbidden. This is an outrage, it is a sign of cultural immaturity and the fact that we tolerate it is a sign that we are living in a society as oppressed as any society in the past.
My thing is not about my opinion, or what I saw in Africa, or anything like that. This is, get it straight, this is about an experience, not my experience, your experience. Its about an experience that you have, like getting laid, or like going to Africa, you must do the experience. Otherwise it is just a whistling past the graveyard, and we’re not talking about something like being born again, or meeting the flying saucers, or something like that, where good work and prayer are the method.
No, if you take a sufficient dose of an active compound, it will deliver itself to you on the money. If it doesn’t work, take more. Nobody is in a position to dismiss this just because it didn’t work for them on one or two tries.
This is an art, it is something that you coax into existence. I mean you have to learn how to make love, you have to learn how to speak English, anything worth doing is an art, that is acquired. This is part of our birth right, perhaps the most important part of our birthright.
These substances will deliver, it is the confoundment of psychology and science generally. That’s why it is so touchy for cultural institutions. The way I think of these psychedelics is that they are catalysts for the imagination, catalyst to say what has never been said, to see what has never been seen, to draw, paint, sing, sculpt, dance and act what has never been done before.
To push the envelope of creativity and language and what’s really important is, I call it the felt presence of direct experience, which is a fancy term which just simply means we have to stop consuming our culture, we have to create culture.
Don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y.
This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears.
And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.