The secret Jewish Cannabis History and Wisdom teachings of all ages

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

One of the most frustrating norms in the world is the degree to which we can't be open about our actions and or ideas.

I do appreciate having this outlet, and I do appreciate the sense that anyone who wants can check it out. I still fantasize about translating books and articles into yiddish and distributing them in the charedi-chassidic communities. Cultivate a culture where more open and honest and "flowing" ways of relating to family, romance, theology... I was warned once that to do so would probably invite fire bombing, literally, so alas... If only, if only, I cared enough that I would risk my life and well being, not yet.

One of the fundamental problems with marijuana, anecdotally at least as far as i've experienced, is the alienation from others. I mean that within a toking-tolerant community, the degree to which the revelation of grass is Don't worry about it, It doesn't matter, anyone else doesn't completely, really exist. Much of the lack of short term memory reported could well be attributed to this. Quoth R' Shlomo Carlebach: If you don't remember someone's name, it's because they weren't really real to you.

Heard some years ago by the shabbos table of Yom Tov Glazer, the idea that marijuana was a destroyer of marriages, that some part of it's power was that it made the individual very self focused, and oblivious or neglectful to, or even resentful of their partner. This has been true in a sense in my experience, i've likened it to learning from the inside instead of learning from the outside. For instance, let's say one is sitting down to learn a new page in the talmud or a language or some other detail oriented idea... it's very difficult to learn new things while under the influence of pot.

On the other hand, let's say you've just learned something new, a new page in the talmud, or a new detail about yourself from some different kind of experience... Marijuna is really good for processing it. For taking something that one has already assimilated, and developing it, relating to it, and understanding it more deeply, and/or making a deeper peace with it... learning from the inside, marijuana can be helpful.

I've been listening to a lot of Terrance Mkcenna lately... certainly a jewish drug halacha must be informed by all the wisdoms available in the world, amongst the experts and knowers of the substances involved, and blessed is he who gives his wisdom to flesh and blood. He offered a great way of using cannabis to maximal effect:

"I think the real way to do cannabis, is like once a week, by yourself, in silent darkness, with the strongest stuff you can get, and then immense amounts of it! People call it a recreational drug and a this and a that, hey: done that way, it will catapault into you to places-- Do some homework, read something, talk to your friends, and then hang on Hannah! It's like riding an enormous roller coaster...y'know, once that baby rolls out of the station do not stand up, do not try to climb out your car, shut up and hang on with the faith that most people have lived through this."

I had gotten away from this practice after years of futtering around, notably after a few months of living with a brilliant hardcore penitent well connected friend in nachlaot-Jerusalem, when we had an infinite amount of hashish available through his underworld connections. A bong on the table for a boy who had never been safe smoking up in his own home...

I had a terrible time dealing with my otherwise very tolerant and supportive parents re: my cannabis use. My dad's attitude was more don't ask don't tell, but the fine print was keep it real quiet, or else you're obviously doing too much. {Lord! please! help me not perpetuate the subtle shame and guilts which where put on me on my friends and children.} My mom, on the otherhand, a generally progressive open thinker, but only within the parameters of safety her rugged individualist father had set before her. Hating the catholic church what oppressed our Quetchwa brethren, this was ok, smoking devils weed, this was the province of wastrels and criminals. And so, she has been forbidden from ever altering her ideas about marijuana, no metter what articles or conversations i have ever shared with her.

I could listen to her concern more, that's been my way of dealing with her fear-for-me lately. compassionate listening, to how it must feel to be so worried for your only son, wow, that must be so intense. She is doing her best to tolerate my stranger ways, and i try to keep my excesses on the relative down low, to the degree they ever become excesseses or not... but i do wish I could just trust her with everything I am, somehow. I feel the same way about police, school teachers and other figures in a position of judgement... wouldn't it be nice to be able to trust their judgement, and be real about who we are instead of carefully maintaining vigilance over who we can trust and with how much?


I never got paranoid from weed, because on the inside, i do trust myself, and i'm not sorry. to the degree i'm afraid, it's mostly of being misunderstood, my essence being lost for the details i'm expressing but don't really say everything that I want to say.

Stories are great medium for expressing a larger picture than just one voice. The soul of that voice is infinite and really universal, no matter how particular, because, somehow, all our experiences, while being so different, are accesible by anyone, i tend to believe. That's why stories work, even ones with really foriegn sensibilities, and different taboos, as long as the context is given over.

Another great Terrance Mckennaism: if the truth can be understood, it will be believed.

Lord! bless us with true language! with the will to understand the other in deeper and more liberating ways! To really dig each other out of each other.

The pressure of expression... Marijuna can loosen or tighten this depending on how familiar one is with the tool in "waking" life. Artists don't nessesarily become better in terms of vituosity while high, unless they already know how to express, then the pre-existant ability can express something crazy-wild-weirder than it has before, under the influence.

At least that's been my experience. Can you tell which of these weblogs i've done while high and which ones not? prossibly.

In jewish communities historically, we have kept the information esoteric just by talking about it in our own language, both the literal hebrew-aramaic-ladino-yiddish tongues we have spoken, but also the rather nuanced symbological systems that we take for granted. We tended not to translate these languages for outsiders, unless they came to us to learn them, and by then, you know, it's too late, they've been assimilated into our culture, by virtue of understanding our mythopoetism and relating now to their world in our symbols. Hence the traditional halachic taboo against using the names of deities from other traditions, their names and their stories, unless translated into our own perspective, something that happens in the talmud with a few of the ancienter greek or pagan myths, notably the story of the great phoenix, Oceanus/Rahab, The original universe dragon/leviathan, the story of General Januarius, the great bull, etc.
But basically, the tendancy is to absorb ideas and stories only once they're unavodable, and then, using the medium of shlock, translate out their essence, beyond the cultural assumptions, into their sweet divine truths.

why? Globalization has been going on for a long time, and the main problem with having a dominant culture taking responsibility for the world and all it's produce, is that the culture starts coming down from the top, from the Nimrod, and he wants you to believe to make you better worker on his solar calendar than a culture that grows, from the roots on up, and who's ideas and assumptions, stories and fantasies are tested purely through folk popularity and real animal sense of "hey! that's beautiful!" The rhythm back and forth nowadays between the "cool" subculture, who's values and jokes are to be sought after and trusted and the "lame" mass culture who's distribution is not to be trusted on the basis of not being "real," as the cool stuff becomes bought out by the mainstream, seeking to be validated and believed.. This has been going on along time. Having a rather esoteric and detailed slang goes a long way towards keeping it real... Hip-hop has had it's walls penetrated and it's temple sold to the highest bidder quite some time ago, it's sacred texts translated into the language of theives and slavers, it's high priests are now only the highest bidder, or the patrons of the Roman nobility... it's founding myths and languages have been fully assimilated, and while a fringe of true believers survive, and the culture Kinda lives on...

There's a reason why the gospel biblical images, the reggae code of babylon vs. Zion takes so well. Israel is an archtype, well maintained by internal taboos and psychic structures, to stay on the fringe, and to breed The Fringe out of it's malcontents. Israel has, it's been argued, given America it's extra legal morality, by creating and maintaining in Hollywood, a democratic moral structure that is inherently progressive and open to any vision that will "sell" or be beloved by audiences, a.k.a., humanity. How many of our deepest ground values, both conservative and liberating, have been built and shattered by media? My inherent relgious homophobia, and that of my entire family, from my grandmother's on down, have been broken largely by television and movies. So too have my senses of piety and moral devotion been re-inforced by seeing these values given grace--

Part of the problem with translating culture-- it only really comes across right if you really love me. I've imagined, let's say i translate a R. A. Wilson book about the secret of religion and how reality sublimely both informs and adapts to our culutral assumptions into Yiddish, and distribute it to the Satmar Chassidim I know... Will the language make it believeable? Or will it only warn potentially threatened egos of Threat to everything I have believed therefore Am (chas v shalom)
and encourge stronger defenses preventing people from coming any closer ot anything less threatening I might want to communicate.

This is the sad problem with feeling safe expressing freely in my own language. It might just be me teaching "enemies" (internal protective structures) the secret code of how to get Us before we get Them. What if they should rise up and join our enemies, Pharoh muses.

Can I feel safe xpressing my truth to you without fearing you using my own language against me? And yet, watch as I do that to you, as i intentionally listen only to the outside of what you're saying and defend against it by ridiculing the details. Lord, have mercy on Israel, help us to see ourselves reflected in all other tribes, and help uis really want to listen, even more than we want to protect. Because you are one, and, worse comes to worse, there really is no need to protect that which is truly eternal.



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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also have a blog about marijuana, not as beautiful as your, but I love marijuana the same

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Blogger Talia Applebaum said...

This is sooo warped it is obviously from a reefer induced perspective. Everyone knows that people who are stoned or are pot heads, think their perspective is the true one & everyone should be convinced of this, ר"ל ורפו"ש

7:32 PM


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