What a May. Quite the mind-boggling May, actually. We ended up road tripping like Dharma Bums over 4,000 miles in, through, and around a dozen states, six National Parks, countless hours of scenic routes, and at least three State Parks. We were subsumed by nature and Her substances. Yogic hearts bowing in the presence of Her treasures: mountains, geysers, birdsong, bear, steam vents, hot springs, rivers, elk, marshes, meadows, canyons, lakes, lightning, winds, bison, valleys, gulches, foxes, forests, boulders, buttes, gulfs, streams, prairies, glaciers, swamps, chipmunk, marmot, squirrels, bubbling pools and mud volcanoes.
It's eleven-eleven-seventeen today, a sublime autumn day enlivened by the spirit of prime numbers--the atom-like building blocks of the natural numbers, as pointed out by the mathematician Don Zaiger. Zaiger further commented that "the prime numbers grow like weeds among the natural numbers...and nobody can predict where the next one will sprout...Even more astonishing...the prime numbers exhibit stunning regularity, there are laws governing their behavior, and they obey these laws with almost military precision." Whether these puzzling elementary numbers resemble random sprouting weeds or purposeful mushrooms ecstatically popping out of the mycelial matrix remains to be seen. In any event, prime numbers have fascinated mathematicians for millennia.
The legendary geometer Euclid of Alexandria, for example, may have been the first to prove that there are an infinity of primes well over 2,000 years ago. The Greek mathematician, music theorist, astronomer and poet, Eratosthenes, developed what is probably the original test for primality, now known as the Sieve of Eratosthenes around 240 B.C. Fast-forward over 2,000 years to 2008, the forty-fifth known Mersenne prime (prime numbers named after the French theologian and mathematician Marin Mersenne) was discovered, which contains an unfathomable 12,978,189 digits.
If you were offered a dozen drops of pure, lucid acid by a reputable Californian chemist at the Newark airport three hours before your flight to Amsterdam, would you consider counting the drops as they fall on your tongue? It wouldn't be ridiculous to presume that most people, when given the option, would prefer to avoid states of extreme paranoia like they would the Bubonic Plague. Why would any sane person select to sling themselves into an exasperated, wild-eyed, schizophrenic head-space? Especially in a frenetic, high-security place like an airport. Who in their right mind would willingly seek out states of extreme paranoia? Surprisingly, there are times when unique insight can be gleaned after getting through the inescapable fire that make your pupils bounce around.
In the video below, the legendary lyrical freak of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, recounts the time he dubiously took a scoop of frosting off of a big, beautiful birthday cake backstage before a performance. Moments after relishing in the frosting someone walks in to inform the people backstage that the birthday cake editors had 800 hits of acid dropped in the frosting. In the middle-late sixties Jerry no longer enjoyed performing while tripping ridiculously. It was no longer fun due to the fact that once the tripper is tripping, there is no button they can press to make the trip stop. The tripper is in it for the long-haul (Keep Truckin').
Jerry began to enter a steep, slippery state of unwarranted paranoia. As his surroundings started to distort and disintegrate into visions of liquid and auditory roaring the paranoid notion that the place was full of ill-intentioned mafia gangsters trying to kill him began to take root. As he and the members of the Grateful Dead were walking out on stage Jerry remorsefully realized that he was going to die. As he came to this ultra-paranoid realization, he thought to himself the only thing he can do at that point was to play for his life. So on that dreadful night he played for his life and to his confused astonishment the mafia gangsters decided to let him live! From that point on, anytime he questioned what or why he was doing what he did, Jerry would simply play for his life.
Clearly, as this anecdotal evidence from a legend suggests, although extremely unpleasant, instances of extreme paranoia can be looked back on as animated life lessons. Despite how ridiculous it might seem to seriously consider the validity of paranoia (especially while in a dialogue with a schizophrenic), the exaggerated levels of these abnormal states of mind might offer us an experience that can be processed into elevated levels of understanding, empathy, motivation, even wisdom. These attributes can be invaluable tools for therapists, medics, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and mental health assistants in the medical field, underground scene or at the festival scene (i.e. Kosmicare and Zendo Project).
Every so often you hear of intriguing medicines treating intriguing maladies. For example, the psychoactive alkaloid, Ibogaine, obliterating hopeless opiate dependence in addicts--or LSD helping to ameliorate end-of-life anxiety for the terminally-ill—or how about Psilocybin Mushrooms zapping away the excruciating brain pain felt by sufferers of cluster headaches? (A sensation so severe it is often described as the worst pain known to medical science.) Well, the same mushrooms that seem to mitigate the excruciatingly incurable pain related to cluster headaches, might also hold the molecular key for the 70 Million people suffering from stuttering worldwide.
In the video below, Paul Stamets mentions psilocybin mushrooms having the ability to reestablish different patterns in the neural network. The implications of a medicine being able to positively reestablish neural connections are confounding. Many psilonauts indeed report positive changes in negative behavior, such as abating their addiction of smoking carcinogenic cigarettes--an addiction attributed to killing 5 Million people a year worldwide. Over two years ago, Johns Hopkins researchers published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology a thrilling success rate in a pilot study using psilocybin to help heavy smokers quit. It was observed that 80% of smokers managed to stop smoking for six months after their three psilocybin sessions. The most popular answer to the reason behind their newfound tobacco abstinence was that "by changing the way you orient yourself toward the future, such that you now act in your long-term holistic benefit, rather than acting in response to immediate desire." We should not foolishly dismiss the monstrous numbers related to this plague that affects one billion people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). If the liquid nature of psilocybin can potentially help to positively rearrange the electric networks of our liquid mind, why would the federal government slam this mystical chemical shut in the incarcerated, medically-useless category of Schedule 1? With all of the information shining light on psilocybin's healing potential, why not boost psilocybin up a Schedule or two? Or take Portugal's border-line utopian stance and decriminalize it--especially because psilocybin mushrooms naturally grow all around the globe. It's not uncommon to find psilocybes growing in the front lawns of schools, courthouses and police stations in the south eastern and north western parts of the United States.
Maha mantra kirtans belong at the top of the things I love to do most. There are many spiritual vehicles a person can embark on to transport themselves into heavenly realms. Molecular vehicles are one of the many transportation methods a person can take, but generating specific sound vibrations are another trail blazing method that possesses the power to take an individual to Godhead and back.
In a recent ayahuasca experience I found myself sitting on the ground in the Ecuadorean jungle and chanting Hare Krishna. It was the first time the medicine presented to me my own personal melody — my own song — my own icaro. The chanting started with long, slow, whispering exhalations. Gradually, my vocal chords kicked into vibratory mode and the sacred syllables began to bloom into a beautiful melody. I was exactly where I needed to be doing exactly what I needed to be doing. Sitting in the jungle and chanting. Bathing my immediate inner and outer space with vibrations of transcendental love. Receiving the euphonious gift of a never-before-heard melody from the source of inspiration. An ecstatic spiritual experience was created with the melodic repetition of ultra-focused vocalized vibrations while in the midst of biologically processing a muddy gulp packed full of neuro-transmitters.
After coming out of the extremely spiritual experience I honestly wondered to myself if the devotees at the ISKCON I attend in Plainfield, New Jersey have ever reached that particular spiritual pinnacle. What would happen if the sober, love-drunk devotees I associate with were to come out to the jungle, drink ayahuasca, and spend their night chanting Hare Krishna? Would it be the same as usual for them? Would that experience be different for them? Would that type of imbibed chanting take them to an even higher level? I seriously wondered that night, as I seriously wonder right now, have the devotees been as high as I? The obvious answer is, "yes." But we would really need to run an experiment of personal experience to honestly answer that question. I have a hunch that there would be a difference, but those differences can't be looked at until something along the lines of this idea take place. I would never deny the pure joy and happiness that chanting and kirtan bring to me, but let's not dismiss the depth, details, and levels of the spiritual experience. Hare Krishna!
When the sixteen names and thirty-two syllables of the Hare Krishna mantra are loudly vibrated, Krishna dances on one's tongue. ~ Baladeva Vidyabhusana
The real world Iron Man, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SolarCity, SpaceX and co-founder of PayPal (plus a visionary of the LA to San Fransisco Hyperloop) sits down with the founder of Khan Academy, Sal Khan, the world-class encyclopedic tutor to princes and kings—and every other interested soul in the world.
Musk starts off the interview by describing some of the typical, day-to-day fiascos of running his electric car company. They were missing $3 USB cables that halted production because Tesla's China USB cable supplier decided to combine their simple order with another shady shipment that was halted at US Customs, alongside the silly little USB cables. An expedited USB cable air freight order from another China supplier was placed but Tesla's credit was bounced back due to their original order. Tesla employees were then forced to go out and snatch up every USB cable available from local retailers. This, Musk explained, is just one typical example of the farcical nature of running a company. Many things can go wrong at any given point in time, as you can imagine.
Sal is palpably curious throughout the interview and asks Musk very straightforward questions, such as: how does one go about starting a rocket company?
If you asked an American in 1969 what the space exploration industry would be like in 2013, people would logically deduce that there would be orbiting space hotels, some people will obviously have been sent to Mars, there would be a base on the moon and maybe even a base on Mars, as well. However, and almost surprisingly, none of those predictions would have turned out to be right. But in a classically stoic spin on the astonishing failures of space exploration in the past forty years, Musk then presents Sal with an equally non-sensical happening of our current day "future." If you were to tell the same hippie in 1969 that we never made it back to the moon, but instead, jam packed inside aluminum casing about the size of a deck of cards, there exists a device that grants you access to all of mankind's information using something called "the internet." This device would allow you to instantly communicate with anyone in the world, provided they are also carrying this relatively inexpensive metallic device. Clearly the hippie would most likely call bullshit. They wouldn't even have a kernel-sized notion of what "the internet" meant. "What the heck is the internet?"
Musk realizes the importance of humanity expanding out of earth. Eventually, whether within the next century, (nuclear meltdowns and warfare, fracking, violent AI revolution, rising sea levels, draughts, rising numbers of species extinctions, reproductive failure (thanks Monsanto)) or the next few billion years (our eventual exploding sun swallowing planet earth whole), life on our planet, and our planet itself, will inevitably die out. Having people colonizing other planets will increase the probabilities of our species' proliferation in the early and deeper stages of the cosmological future. Maybe we'll figure out, along the way, where to go if the universe does indeed end in a Big Crunch. Surely the future robo-sapiens will be too busy colonizing and exploring other habitable universes to be worried about any Big Crunches. Maybe we do get out alive.
April, the splendorous spring month is in full bloom here in New Jersey. The sense of a refreshing rebirth branching away from desolate winter death is probably the reason American poets designated April as National Poetry Month. National Poetry Month was inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets in a collected effort to celebrate the Logos. In a similar celebratory spirit we'll use the immortal 14th century mystic words of the divine Love-imbibed Sufi poet, Rumi, to reconnect with the flickering origins of the infinite everything. Please enjoy the musically poetic videos below and Say I am You.
Below are some words that capture an instance that happened to me while in a Salvia trance a little over a year ago. I remember sitting at my desk with transcendental posture trying to get hyperspatial Salvia words down into my Microsoft Word. Those raw words have been sitting in my computer untouched for over a year, until I finally forced myself to reopen it and edit it into a moderately comprehensive poem earlier today.
Certain psychedelics (e.g. Ayahuasca, Mushrooms and Salvia) have a tendency to sporadically jolt the human body into various yogic postures. On many psychedelic occasions I've found myself snapping into many familiar yoga poses almost against my will, so to speak (handstand, staff, lotus, fish, twists, child, cobra). My last two Salvia surfs have hit me heavy with the "importance of yoga" message; as if I didn't already know. You kind of get slapped around like a helpless little kid when you're in the fractal Eyes of the Shepherdess. I guess it's because I'm sometimes selfish with these experiences instead of sharing them, like I should frequently be doing, and that's the reason for this out-of-the-blue Salvia inspired poem below.
The phallically-shaped mushroom strain of Psilocybin Cubensis is aptly named, "Penis Envy," for it's obvious visual innuendos. A ZOOMDOUT head and twitter tripper, Stephen, recently ingested 2.5 grams of the particularly potent PE Psilocybin Cubensis mushroom strain. It was a tremendous fractalverse-surfing trip, to say the least.
I am thrilled to feature this diligently written experiential report of an end-of-the-year psychedelic experience undergone at the Miami Botanical Garden. Please enjoy this ZOOMDOUT Mushroom Trip Report.
Maya Gold: The Garden, The Stargate and Divine Communion
Name: Stephen Overton
Substance: PE (P. Cubensis)
Dose: 2.5 grams
Setting: Miami Botanical Garden
Shulgin Rating Scale: 3, 4.
Today is Shivarati, marking the celebrated day in which Lord Shiva broke into his divine Tandava dance. The Tandava, especially in the west, is typically misunderstood as an appalling act of destruction, after all, it is with this dance that Shiva destroys the whole of the universe. However, this interpretation of the symbolic cosmic dance is distorted and short-sighted. In Vedic culture the process of destruction is not considered evil, in fact, it is necessary for creation. It is in this destructive spirit that Lord Shiva angelically destroys the universe by dancing. Shiva destroys the material universe to make more room for the spiritual infinite. He is, in effect, destroying in order to create more room for creation.
An accurate metaphor would be the controlled National Forest fires that firemen intentionally use to burn away patches of forested American land such as Pisgah, Yosemite and Yellowstone. Forest fires are essential for the survival of the forests. It is the immense heat of the flames that break open certain seeds that are encased in protective shells. These destructive fires clear out the under brush and rotting foliage so seeds can take root in the fertile soil. The forest fires get rid of big, dead timber to clear the way for the smaller, growing trees to get a chance at some nutritious sunlight. This process microcosmically mirrors the macrocosmic cycles of creation and destruction.