I think its of vital importance that I state, right out of the gate, that I have absolutely no idea what the fuck I am talking about. I say that as a sort of disclaimer to the prospective reader who may, in some unconscious or concious way, be seeking some answers from these words. I have no answers. I have no advice. I have no wisdom or knowledge. Again, as stated previously, I have absolutely no idea what the fuck I am talking about. Now, let’s begin. Nearly 40 years I was thrust into existence without a choice in the matter. One day I was not…, then,... I was. Now, I am. Ugh. In hindsight, and with all the collective years of experience I now have being alive, given the choice to do it again, I would need a minute to think about it. Even now, when my life is about as good as it’s ever been, I would be hesitant to sign up for another go around. It’s just. so. much! For example, there I was, living my life as best as I could, managing to get by, trying to not hold on too tightly, surrendering as much as I could, and suddenly I am tasked with writing an essay. These words that you’re reading right now, if I wasn’t alive, I wouldn’t have to write them! Just think of all the things you need to do today. Go ahead think of them. I’ll wait….What feelings does it illicit? Anxiousness? Dread? Exhaustion? Now, think of not being alive. You wouldn’t have to do any of those things! Let alone think! Oh, don’t get me started on thinking. Who’s idea was this?! What a nuisance! Now, I know what you might be thinking (see!). That’s what mindfulness is for, try mediation, yoga slows the mind! Blah, blah, blah. Hey, ‘thinking’ wasn’t my idea in the first place, the onus shouldn’t be on me to employ methods for combating it! I’ve always been at odds with existence in this form. As a kid I struggled with body image issues, never being comfortable in the sack of flesh that shelps around my consciousness. But, I’ve always been proud of my mind, it’s just the environment that it exists in that I have trouble with. So, when I think of death, I think of it as being unburdened by the weight, literal and metaphorical as it is, of being human. I consider the life sentence I’ve been served being over and I’m ‘free to go.’ At this point, you might be thinking ‘geez, maybe you’re depressed.’ Honestly, that’s fair of you to think, but I would argue, if you have seen what I’ve seen and had the experiences that I have, you might be a little down too. What I am saying there is, I absolutely love psychedelics. I love what they show me. I love the place that they bring me to. I love the way they let me know that ‘this, right here’,....ain’t it. ‘This’, is just a moment in time, one, that if you zoom out infinitely, is laugably insignificant. What they haven’t given me, however, is a ‘reason’ for ‘this.’ So I have to sort of just curmudgeonly consent to it. ‘Fine, I’ll continue to be alive.’ To come out of a blissful, formless, all loving haze of a pyschedlic ceremony and go back to ‘this’, is not easy. ‘You are loved and cared for by a benevolent force that is the universe, oh and also, taxes are due.’ The juxtaposition of the two experiences, one being that of a formless, egoless soul floating free in the ether of the universe, and the other being an exhausted, stress out mind, driven by a need to succeed in a capitalistic structure, carried around by an achy, aging body, scarred with stretch marks and riddled with tattoos applied in an attempt to express myself in a way that shows I am as unique as I think I am, or desire for you to see me as, is tough, to say the least. It wasn’t until I had my first breakthrough experience with pyschcedlics that I actually understood what it must be like to religious. What a beautiful belief to have with you when things here are just the worst, when you’re feeling at your wits end with the whole program. ‘Well, there’s always heaven.’ It definitely lightens the load a bit. No point in getting all worked up over all of this, it will all end someday, and not only that, but I will be released into a place that is the antithesis of this place. No pain, no stress, no job, no loss, no dishes, no laundry, no heartbreak, no grief, no obligations, no responsibilites, no expectations, no dishes (I mentioned that twice on purpose, because they just never stop). Just pure freedom from the shackles of bondage that being a human is. That last line may have come off a bit overly dramatic. How about ‘the physical limitations’ of being a human. That’s what I feel is where the divide is between this space here, that we occupy in our bodies and the limitless space we occupy when we’re convening with the space that pyschdelics provide. So I suppose the question is ‘how to find a bridge between the two spaces?’ Since we’re here, with or without our consent, how do we accept that fact? How do we pull up our pants everyday, fight through traffic, clear the mailbox of junk mail, clear the inbox of spam, find meaning and purpose, wipe down the base boards and do the dishes (again!)? How do we do all of these things with the knowledge that at end of all of this freedom from these things await us? Good question. That’s what I am working on everyday. Being grateful for the things that I have. Being grateful for the things that I know. Being grateful for the things that I am. And even in the worst of times, when it comes down to it, at least there’s pizza.