"So what do you want from India, Andrew?"
"Bunch of big mushroom shroom Tablets."
And I was thinking about Soma and Amanita Muscaria and inviting you up
for chai (to Cholmes' house) when I woke up in my uncle's house and
was like, Damn, it's good to have friends.
Cholmes' place is at 103rd st at 48th st at 94th st and 3rd ave on the
Upper East Side. We drove there after a wild night of SAB [ small
amount of booyam ] in Manhattan, randomly finding an alternative music
store in the 6AM light when you had given a melody line to something
you heard at the party. And the owner had tracked it down to a
Brazilian-Italian genius whose debut was in 1941 and now only makes
high-priced t-shirts in Barcelona. He playd the record for us, though
it was warped and white with light printing on the jacket.
Before that in the grimy bowels of NYC where we ran into the guy you
had given shrooms to earlier and his pupils were wider than the LOVE;
we climbed up many flights of spiral staircase in a wretched grey
building only to emege at the top of a hill past two twin gatekeeper
panhandlers in the rising sun and birds chirping of the East Village
that seemed to offer some clean and redemption to the world. I wanted
not to trouble Andrew and walk home to Cholmes, crossing westside to
sight the remants of Times Square noctural mayhems, to put it all
together and accept darkness and light. But he drove me up.
This is all afer a party at someone's large house where I was drinking
curacao blue martinis with Bombay Sapphire and no blue curacao. The
color was real and the house maybe belonged to my fiancee's father.
The chairs were plush and leather and live tabla music and it was
good, all good. I don't remember eating but it had been too much I
know and I wanted to rest before our run but instead of running we
just jogged to the car, up the curved street of the subdivision,
picked little plastic green astroturf threads off the stalks (bright
white, no caps) and ingested.
Cholmes' house was in the save curved lifeless California subdivision,
entirely populated by Indians. The party might have been at his house,
even. Before leaving we did some math collecting tips from the
waitresses because Andrew's mushroom money had somehow gotten in
there. But we both knew our math. I asked about the other address --
342A in Brooklyn, where I had said -- and Andrew made something up
while I was talking to the rental guy. I rented either a movie or that
fusion album in some weird hardware format and the guy said he would
find me on Lost Mountain if I didn't give it back. Crossing the street
back to Andrew was almost hit several times and I flipped off all the
traffic demonstratively, swinging my extended arm back and forth to
indicate all those hurried murderous folk until I saw the line of NYPD
behind the car (which had transformed from a Chelsea Clinton suburban
to Nirali's Indian smallcar). So I got in and we bailed for the Upper
What else? I seldom dream about the psychadelic experience -- did Acid
once last summer dreaming in Kuppadi, maybe with Neilu and Matt.
Yesterday came out of 3 days of Vipassana where I understood (be
honest, Ankur) virtually none of the discourse or instruction, as they
were in indi. So I spent 3 days in silence meditating and learned
nothing of Vipasssana though it was a great set of experiences. So
much beauty in the world. So much. After, Nirali explained to me, upon
request, distributing jewels with care from her box of treasures (I
don't think she's the type to expain things; I felt honored) -- that
Vipassana "to see things as they really are" is a very powerful and
subtle technique used to understand the true natue of reality as
movement, flux, vibration. Starting with that which we're most
attached to, that to which we harbor the most desires: the body. And
of course that we desire most, are most subjective about, is that
which we have the most trouble seeing clearly.
Here I am sitting for hours trying to bludgeon or at least ward away
the shooting pain in my knee-hip complex, using Goenkaji's magic
"anitya" as a scarab.
But no, Ankur, the idea is to watch. To take yourself out and to see
clearly, to truly see what is happening.
"I think we see some small -- less than 1% -- of the beauty of this
world all around us, and even then we feel such immense gratitude.
She went on describing perfectly what I've sought to understand
through meditation over the past two years and what I came closest to
feeling during my first (and only) 10 days Vipassana sit last October.
That is, the feeling you get from Acid. My first psychadelic
experience which changed my life entirely, reoriented my relationship
to women, to desire, to life, to gods, to the planet, to Stanford, to
the permissable, to the imaginable, to the point of it all. Which I
credit, for the sake of simplicity, in making me te person I am today,
which has in large part been an intention, constructive, and rigorous
project. (in progress)
An effective, too, if new friends of mine are shocked I can program
computers, had short hair most of my life, and grew up playing indoor
games in the shadow of the best hiking in the country.
It's true. It's the unifying truth of what I call the psychadelic
experience - that suite of experiences, by virtue of my pathological
misspelling, that i will define as the experiences which touch the
Divine, defining then the Divine as that experience of pure
observational bliss, whose ego has melted back into the ocean, when
the purest most overwhelming urge overtakes you of GRATITUDE for LOVE.
"So much love. So much love to give."
And your only response is to fall to what's left of your knees
(biologically or psychologically selon the experience) and mime a beg
to be given the opportunity to express your gratitude.
I've had this experience through eros, philos, and agape, through
dance, music, and museums, with the aid of meditation, fasting, sleep
deprivation, and alcohol. Bust most often and most powerfully through
the psychedelic plant teachers -- and here I've learned to make little
distinction between that which the Amazon crafted without or within
our laboratories -- LSD25, MDMA, 2CB, various species of psylocibin
mushrooms, cacti, ayahuasca, etc.
And most recently, through life in India. So I've come around I guess,
towards elucidating a response to those questions so often put to me
-- "why do you serve? "why are going to india" --
I serve out of the gratitude I fail to describe above.
I came back to learn more about this pillar of the psychadelic temple;
for travel is no less foreign, external, or dangerous than the
synthesis of 10 silent sitting days or a laboratory crystal. Nor
should it be. A trip to India is no less a cry for help to the spirits
than the sacred ingestion of Mother Mary's Mushrooms or the Vine of
And I find myself locked in a quarter of fascinating and ever-odius
comparison among the four aspects of the Self which help to
anesthetize, to balance, the self: Acid, Ayahuasca, Meditation and
India. These four differ for me, qualatively, from the passions and
pursuits of the body -- the fasting and the sex and the music and art
-- and I'm not sure why. But that, I think, is what these writings
have always wanted to, and are now openly licensed, to be about.
Never failing to include, of course, the people I meet -- angled
shards of the godhead -- along the way, the ways in which my seva
manifests as I follow that holy dictate which came to me,
psychedelically, through one medium or another:
"walk the earth
talk to strangers
speak the truths
many and the one"
Which -- lastly now -- brings to mind a poem Rama always insisted I
read, late into the morning, encroaching upon a simmering sambar lunch
atop the cocina economica, well into our 3rd bottle of wine --
CONDENA [ por Ricardo Guiraldes ]
El crepusculo habia hecho caer mis brazos
en el recuerdo de sus movimientos.
y el horizonte me dijo:
Sobre la tierra,
Entre los hombres,
Dentro de tu pensamiento