Mailbag, From Luke. The Now, Psilocybin, Loose Grip, Work.

From Luke:

I’ve been enjoying the challenge of reminding myself to live in the moment. The constant tug o war between old habits and new goes on, but I’ve become better at taking the “now” as it comes. As always, journaling as been my escape into those deeper flows of introspection and much needed calm. 

I’ve been a big proponent of the medicinal uses of psilocybin as long as I can remember. Recently, a friend gifted me a batch of micro-dose-capsuled shrooms, so I have been taking about 0.35 g every four days or so in the mornings with my breakfast. The an intangible uptick in clarity and natural energy that carries over from the day I consume it into the following two days is fascinating. I’ve had my fair share of recreational doses, but I quite prefer the sub-perceptual effect of a micro dose routine. I’m a firm believer and advocate for psychedelic research and therapy. As the door slowly widens open once again, the next decade of research in this field is going to explode, I presume we will see it reenter the zeitgeist on a much larger scale. I am always curious about the medicinal and personal benefits we can attain from psilocybin, if used safely and properly. 

I really resonate with your notion of loosening the grip on these philosophical and conceptual “solutions” to the mystery of our mind. At days end, we are left with only ourselves to relax, to plan, to ponder. As such, at what point does the constant influx of cutting-edge theory and rumination culminate into a batch of over-saturated pile of information we’re unable to sort out and use in real-time? I suppose knowledge is only useful when it’s efficiently accessible?

That was a lot of words, anyways… I think I mean to say I absolutely agree with your sentiment. A clear mind arises, I would assume, by not being constantly bogged down with details of the natural world, but rather a more in-tune practice of self-reflection. This experience is our own after all, the opinions and stories of others are helpful of course, but not the direct answer. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the History of Work book you are reading when you have formed some concrete thoughts on the text! And always appreciate good reading recommendations, so I will surely be checking it out. 

From Me:

Greetings from a train. This is the first time I’ve brought writing on the road, and gee, what a pleasant way to open the mind’s faucet. As an aside, I highly suggest investigating Kurt Rosenwinkel and Village Vanguard, together or separately. (though, I get jazz isn’t for everyone).

The Now

Great to hear you’re cultivating the practice of presence. If I had one wish for humanity, this would be it. In other words, as frequently as possible, live life as it’s unfolding in right in front of you. Turns out is extremely hard, as our brain is hard-wired to assail us memories and visions for the future, all day, that take us on mental vacations. We can be standing right in front of a person interacting with them, but simultaneously mulling on a text we got three minutes ago or frustration we have about what’s coming tomorrow. This is a survival function, obviously, but often flies uncontrollably. The a-ha moment seems to be noticing this, and stepping outside of the stream. Devoting as-close-to 100% of attention on what’s happening NOW. Even when you’re alone, this is hard. Every once in a while, the fruit of this practice hits me like a lightning bolt – and I FULLY feel all is easy, all is well. Most recently characterized here.

Psilocybin

Yes, there is certainly something to this. The metaphor I love compares mindfulness and psychedelics as two roads to the same place. Mindfulness I see as 90% of the journey, and psychedelics I see as an optional 10% – like a compass that helps keep you oriented. Extremely unique in the sense that one glance at the compass can last for days, or weeks, or a lifetime. And as you point out, this can be accomplished with very low doses. I absolutely love having this tool in my toolbox. Curious if you’ve ever tried on an empty stomach? I feel the affect is more vivid. That said, there is no “right” way to do this, and if you have something good going on, that is paramount.

Loose Grip on Spiritual Guidance

Amen. I feel more and more comfortable that there is nothing to accomplish. Spirituality is wonderful in that it can point to something that is not life as we’ve always known it. But EXACTLY what that “something” is, is for each person to discover through their own introspection and insight. One of my favorite metaphors for spiritual guidance says, it’s like a stick you use to poke a fire and get it blazing, but once the fire is blazing, you can throw the stick (practice, religion, book, concept) in the fire.

Work

I am beyond fascinated, with work. Not work itself, but the idea of work. Humans existed for 300,000 years just fine, foraging, until agriculture came along and caused and EXPLOSION of population, hard work, and abstract ideas, leading to jobs, goods, services, and work as we know it.

Meanwhile, there is this thing called “life”, we sort of forget about. But in a sick twist, we can’t see this, because it’s all we’ve ever know. Personally I feel like I found the escape hatch, because I FINALLY noticed that work has limits in how much it can satisfy, and further, I notice it really leaves us with little time to think, reflect, discover ourselves.

I don’t want to disparage work as universally bad – that’s not my goal – but I feel personally like I’ve escaped the maze, and I didn’t even know I was in one. Anyways… much to think about here still. I have three posts that only begin to articulate my curiosity. I will link them below.

As always look, great to hear from you and reconcile ideas about these things. I hope others read and join in. Until then, let’s carry on. Please send along any noteworthy insights and I’ll do the same.

Best,

– Me


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