I can’t do it often. My life wouldn’t work if I did. I don’t mean this in the way that you might think I mean it. You probably think I mean that I would become lazy, disengaged and less productive if I used marijuana often and this is why my life would not work. Nope. The opposite is actually true. Let me explain.
First of all, this cliché idea that marijuana makes a person lazy or disengaged or uninspired or less productive is true. But these marijuana users are amateurs. Still in their idiot stage of marijuana use. For people who are not amateurs, marijuana is an incredibly powerful and potent drug.
Marijuana opens and expands the mind. If what is already in that mind is superficial and dumb, the person will have a superficial and dumb experience.But if that mind has more depth, intelligence and creativity in it, then the experience can be immensely useful.
You see, marijuana takes a person beyond their normally imposed limitations. It allows a person to really look at themselves from a distance and see things in a “wide open” and clear way. The result is normally more creativity, personal insights and understanding.
Alcohol on the other hand numbs the mind. Alcohol creates zeropersonal insights. Alcohol allows a person to forget themselves. It turns the volume in the brain way down so a person can feel more relaxed and less tormented by fear and general negative thoughts. Alcohol normally turns fear off and the result is a good, carefree time where a person is no longer confined by their more sober limitations. Alcohol does not expand the mind, it dulls it. This is why many people use alcohol to treat their worried, unhappy, judgemental and stressed out minds.
I deal with a good amount of anxiety and depression, which I normally treat with mindfulness meditation (and a few beers or glasses of wine). Using marijuana yesterday gave me a better understanding of why I get depressed and anxious and why I need to use mindfulness more, to treat it.
You see we all live within a particular kind of social construct. Like fish in a fish tank we live in a particular socially conditioned system. In America, this system tends to be economic (and religious) based. In America right now, economics (or Capitalism) is the main religion. This creates a particular construct (identity) that we all exist within. But this identity (who we think we are) is mostly conditioned in to us. It is not really our own making. Everyone experiences this American identity in very similar ways (worry about money, worry about the future, worry about all the things that need to get done, preoccupation about what we are going to buy or where we are going to dinner or on vacation and on and on). It is this socially conditioned identity that is the cause of so much of what makes us unhappy.
Why? Well, it may not be so easy to explain and you can read Freud, Nietzsche, E.M. Cioran, Shunryu Suzuki, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Benjamin Fondane, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski and others for more insights. But let me try.
This identity, our shared economic-based-identities, is created by the social construct that we live within. It is informed by consumerism, capitalism, media and many other things. Literally, a big part of our identity was shaped and designed to some degree by people sitting in an advertising office someplace. And we identify so strongly with our identities (our egos) that it ends up causing us much emotional and psychological pain.
The reason for most of the depression, anxiety and general unhappiness that we experience is that this is what the limitations and economic based social construct that we live within creates in us. Unhappiness, unfulfillment, depression and anxiety are what happens when we live within social conditioning and the American social construct. It is the nature of the system we live in. There is no way to feel happy or fulfilled when living in this American social construct (no matter how many Tony Robbins conferences you go to) because the nature of the system creates unhappiness. It needs to in order to sustain itself. To keep us doing, working, buying, pursuing.
It is like if a fish wanted to be healthy, longed for health and well-being but lived in a dirty fish tank. The fish would never be able to find genuine health and well-being not matter how hard they tried. They would continually be pursuing it but never find it because it is not to be found in the dirty fish tank. The fish must find a way to get to a cleaner tank (good luck).
The only way to really experience authentic happiness, fulfillment, well-being and creativity is by getting out of the American social construct. By transcending or going beyond the identity limitations imposed upon us by social conditioning. This can only happen if we are able to go beyond our identities and reach a place where we are outside of identity. This outside is more of a present moment, fully aware and creative space. It is a non-ego space where the person is completely free and beyond ordinary daily concerns (like: the to do list, needing to call clients back, work issues, preoccupations with what other people are doing wrong, various economic preoccupations, future plans preoccupations and on and on). All of these things are a result of the socially conditioned identity we share in common. It is a result of the social construct that we live in and true fulfillment, creativity and happiness can never be found in there.
I presume that the insights I had while using marijuana yesterday are similar to the teachings of Buddhism. Buddhism is based in the practice of being fully present, fully aware and not as attached to our individual egos. The Second Noble Truth in Buddhsim states that attachment is the cause of suffering. We can never be authentically fulfilled and happy if we are attached to anything that comes from our identity. Depression, anxiety, anger, unhappiness are all a result of identifying to strongly with the socially conditioned identity (ego). Don’t take my word or Buddhism’s word for it, just look at what is causing you to suffer and see for yourself.
The reason why my life would not work if I actually used marijuana legally and regularly is because I would not be able to buy into the social conditioning that every one else around me is buying into. I would see the normal things that I need to be concerned with and take care of in order to maintain a life in society, as barriers to my fulfillment, creativity and happiness. As a result, I would try not to engage with these things. My business would decline, I could lose my home and end up struggling a lot more economically. In order to sustain a comfortable and legitimate life within the American social construct a person needs to be very careful about expanding their minds too much. It could make life in the fish tank much harder for them. This is why most of us keep drinking booze. Keeps our minds closed down and a bit less stressed out.
Alcohol is the drug of choice in the American social construct (you probably drank just last night). Alcohol allows a person to cope with (rather than eradictate) the anxieties, stresses, discontent and worry that are a normal condition of the American social construct.
The limitations to a person’s personal freedom and well-being that are imposed on all of us in this American social construct creates a sense or feeling of unease. Alcohol helps take this feeling temporarily away and enables us to continue on in our confinement. Marijuana makes it very hard for a person to just carry on in their confinement. Marijuana makes a person want to break out and run free.
Can’t do that again for a while. But my depression and anxiety have mainly been the result of not feeling like I can fully be myself while living in this American social construct. I am a rather strange person who thinks and acts in unusual and highly creative ways. I need to keep this under control and act in more professional ways if I want to “fit in.” The result of squashing or not engaging my creativity is always depression and anxiety. I really struggle to stay inspired and creative because depression tends to take all of that energy away. Living within social conditioning and social limitations makes it very hard for a person to stay authentically creative, especially as they grow older. I was very happy that while using marijuana I made two paintings and wrote a few short stories. I have not been able to paint in over a year.
Through mindfulness meditation I am trying to do what marijuana brought about in me. To live more fully in the present moment, to not be as identified with my ego or identity. To shed all of my social fears and worries and preoccupations. To just be free and present with my life from moment to moment. When I am able to do this I do notice that I become happier and more creative. But it is tough because normal life within the social construct causes me to get so caught up in my identity that my identity literally starts to strangle me.
Using marijuana yesterday gave me more insight into what it is I am actually doing and need to keep doing when practicing mindfulness meditation. I am very grateful for this.
I have now seen what happens when I get too caught up in my socialized, fear based identity. We I am too steeped in my conditioned ego I lose touch with the health, creativity, fulfillment and well-being, which can only be found when my mind is open, aware and living more fully in a present moment based reality. So much creativity and fulfillment can be found here.
I bet advertisers and corporations and goverments and other economically interested agencies will not like this.