The secret Jewish Cannabis History and Wisdom teachings of all ages

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I don't need no doctor

Six things were done by King Hezekiah,
three of which met with approval
and three with disapproval:

He caused the bones of his father to be transported on a litter of ropes,
and this was approved of;

He caused the bronze serpent to be broken to pieces,
and this was approved of;

He hid away

The Book of Healings,

and it was also approved.

(pesachim, perek heh)


So... mysterious mystery mystifying mister me, back when i was young.
Torah, as was reveled to our forefathers, on sinai and, presumeably since, includes everything any jew would ever need to know. There's great apocryphal stories of rabbis curing brain cancer and ressurecting friends they'd accidently killed... just because they learned gemara really well, right?
That was one of the promises in yeshiva when we were young: keep learning this stuff, and you'll learn the secrets of EVERYTHING.

If it's forbidden, you don't need it. If it's important, guidance for how to do it better is in there SOMEWHERE, and if the Rosh Yeshiva didn't tell you, it's because you're just not on the level or something. Or, maybe we forgot one or two things, what with our greatest scholars and teachers being killed in the holocaust.

I took that as a given, even as I would become skeptical of some strictures as high school came and when, skeptical of the whole Yeshiva system and it's ability to give over whatever it was Torah was really about, I still accepted that the definition of Torah was all that I was promised it was, and that any flaw in it as received was more a flaw in the giver and the reciever. Anything I needed to know, had to be in there somewhere, and if it wasn't part of the culture anymore, that was just because, in the rush to survive into modernity, we were bound to put some stuff down so we could run faster.

Around the third year of high school, dissapointed with every Yeshiva I had attended, sick of looking in insular situations for the expansive, worldly knowledge that could maybe make me a better and more useful/interesting global citizen, I switched to an awesome alternative high school called Urban Academy, where I was immersed in a variety of gentile cultures for the first time really. I learned, besides all the specific class things, alot about truth (both sides are usually right, it's just a question of learning how to listen and communicate,) love (fall in love with close friends at your own peril) and was forced to confront many of the yeshivish assumptions that I had been willing to accept for lack of any reason not too.

Apparently, some people really didn't believe in God, they weren't just pretending, and even more surprising, alot of people did and do. I was a pretty frum agnostic at that point, open to evidence about God's non-existence, but having a hard time believing it on faith. Never quite stopped keeping shabbos, though always happy to end it as soon as the stars came out. I was interested to see what a better morality people would have developed free of religion, and although stealing from record stored and big corporate supermarkets seem justified to me, especially for the descendants of slaves who built this country, I could never bring myself to toss off the yoke of jewish heaven. Seemed dishonest or something.

And, at some point, I started hearing more about this thing, marijuana? The hip-hop music was all about it, and sure, i'd heard of it before, but i'd never heard any distinction made between it, and say, crack, or LsD, or heroin... it's all drugs right? I'd noticed that my favorite musicians were overdosing from heroin and not cannabis, but i'd never really realized that it was just a plant in it's natural form. Huh. that's funny.

And of course, as time went by, I got more into the rock radio music, 311, sublime, old Nirvana, eventually following them into classic Dylan, and reading old beatnik stuff... And the idea of marijuana fit into my personal rebellious cosmology.

Every Yeshiva trained kid in the world knows that the government of the great Empire
a) Doesn't value good or truth as ideals except in public, and are happy to manipulate and/or kill you if you threaten their power and security.

b) Isn't nessarily run by very wise people, so even if they're not lying, could very well be just wrong out of arrogance or stupidity.

Raised by an Ecuadorian mom aware of the crimes of the church and the state against the natives in the Americas (Mami, why don't we celebrate Colombus day? Didn't he discover America? No, people where already here. He just stole it from them), I had no trouble doing somthing just because it was illegal. My family still laughs about the cousins we smuggled in from Canada in the backs of cars.

I was fat, generally cynical, depressed and un happy. One day, I was enjoying a sunny day, and also just felt so physically unpleasant... I prayed to God for something that wouldn just let me appreciate the things I appreciate a little more.

One day, some of my thuggish friends were going uptown to go buy a nick bag. I tossed 'em 5 dollars and asked them to bring me something back. They did, and happily taught me how to roll a blunt and smoke it with them.

And it was nice.

And then i had some left over, i smoked it later, by myself, in the cheapest bong I could buy on west fourth st. Fortunately, i was taught how to remove seeds and stems, it took a while before I learned when to break up and when not to break up.

Eventually, I started smoking more ritually, and more exclusively, more with closer friends or alone. And I started having really transcendant experiences.

Once, I sat and saw infinity go around in a circle, infinite circles full of circles, spinning. I had been familiar with the concept, but I'd never EXPERIENCED the concept before.

Once an idea hit me, what if thoughts travel on a tachyon stream, backwards and fowards through time. I looked at my friend and told him, and he said, wow, I just thought the same thing. And I said, yeah, I know.

Years later in Jerusalem, i'd ask Moish Geller which of us thought of it first, and he'd say, neither. you were both just on the same frequency.

Once, I just felt so happy, and suddenly realized that I hadn't felt very happy or free since I was
four years old. For the next day, and from then on, I was suddenly nicer to everyone.

Once, I was just so filled with love for everyone, because it was clear: God is One, and everyone is just part of me that's hurting, so how can I be angry at them, etc.

And once, I just stared at the bright orange Yellow color of my brain.

It was so good, and only seemed to make me smarter and more sensitive. I did notice that if I smoked too much, especially during the day, I would get these kind of blind headaches, what I'd later learn was called "burnout." I learned also how to offset it, what i'd learn was called melatonin depletion, by not smoking uring the day, or every day, something I was always careful not to do.

And amidst all this, I wondered: How could it be we didn't know about this? How could it be we don't have a tradition of marijuana from the Rabbis, from the Torah? Surely, it must be in there somewhere.

And, of course, eventually i'd go to Israel, and explore. And I found what seemed like the answer, for why we didn't have a Jewish herbal tradition that was as much a part of our lives as any of the rest of it.

King Hizkiah
Hid away
the book of Healings.

Why?
What was this book of Healings?
Attributed to King Solomon, at the peak of Israelite wisdom culture, it was apparently a book of herbal and other potions and possibly incantations and or rituals designed to cure all known diseases.

Why did King Hizkiah hide it?
He was afraid of it being used for idolotry.
What could that possibly mean?

R' Nachman talks about
The power of every kind of Grass
each one has it's own unique song
It's own unique power
to heal
And it's own star
It's own angel, telling it to grow.

If you do something
and it works, consistently.
You might think it's because of that thing that you did
and take for granted that it's gonna work that way
that's idolotry

Lets say you have a friend
whom you love because of who you think they are
and your relationship with them depends
on them being who they were
that's idolotry

carving the poor guy
into wood and stone
Instead of letting them be alive
and growing all the time

Medicine
Is that really what we want our tradition to be about?
the tradition we had about how to cure a runny nose?
Is that all Torah is supposed to be?
Consistant things you can do to provide a desired effect?
Chas v' Shalom.

Everything you thought you knew
about how to heal
throw it away
So that you can hear what the rest of the world knows

Someone else in the world
will always be focused
on ways to make money
and ways to be healthy
Israel is for focusing
on what no one else will bother focusing on.
The secret meaning behind everyday things.

Learn wisdom from all the nations
Learn medicine from all the scholars
You don't have to build new idols
Thanks God, there's enough old ones being circulated throughout the world
being made all the time
The job of Israel is not to make new idols
But to tell you what the old ones really mean.

Let someone else build the structures, build the empires
We'll just stand outside, by the fringes
and see clearly from our place what's going on
and when the time is right
and it's clear to us what it's doing and how to do it cleaner
you'll ask us to.

Torah IS Wisdom
filtered through good eyes
until it becomes guidance

Please don't confuse the trigger for the effect
And don't assume that the same medicine
is always what you need.

Pray for guidance
Pray for potency
Pray for healing
Amen

8 Comments:

Anonymous moshe said...

But isnt this stuf adictive? and when older hurts your health? How about money? Dont you steal to get high?

3:14 PM

 
Anonymous ahron said...

moshe:answers.your 3 questions.

1)recent studies show cocaine to be 23% addictive, opiates are slightly higher, while psychedelics, the topic of this discussion, are extremely lower.
(quit smoking before its too late, nicotine and other american additives are the absolute most addictive substances)

2) any substance, food, liquid in excess hurts one's body, over time.

and 3)some steal to get high, and others steal to just to get by. Theft is not a drug specific problem.

6:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, weed is NOT physically addictive. Duh.

Plus, NONE of the stoners I've ever known have stolen anything in order to get high. Real potheads are way too mellow for that. :O)

7:13 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

drugs aren't torah, drugs are stupid everyone knows what they do in the long run. Moshiach is what's missing

5:57 AM

 
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