Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You Can't Do That


I've always been fascinated by taboos. Most taboos cannot be convincingly defended on the grounds of natural morality or reason. Their sole purpose seems to be the maintenance of social order. In other words, control. One of the things they do is condition us to accept arbitrary restrictions.

Some taboos, particularly apparel and food-related ones, seem to be about maintaining the separation between Us and Them. These ones usually go way back and are attributed to the will of some supernatural authority. I don't put any store in such things but I can see why others would. What I find really weird are those taboos maintained by supposedly secular societies like mine. These somehow manage to persist unquestioned even when they directly conflict with professed social values. I am referring to our taboos concerning female sexuality and drugs.

Female sexuality

Modern secular societies claim to reject the belief that women are inferior, flawed and in need of control. Yet when it comes to sexuality, old habits die hard. It is still considered totally acceptable to despise women who don't toe the line sexually. There are lots of names for women like that. I don't need to repeat them. A double standard is persisted in by both sexes. Women who neglect, or refuse, to cloak their sexuality are openly sneered at, even by many who believe themselves liberated. Women who are overtly sexual are widely considered to have no self-respect. It seems to me that there is a reversal of cause and effect here. At the very least it's a negative feed-back loop. This is not a minor thing. It is a source of deep shame and loathing for all women, whether they are conscious of it or not.
It's an old story and we all know it well. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl are turned on by one another and act on it. The next morning boy loses all respect for girl because she's clearly a slut or she would have said no. Eventually boy meets a "nice" girl, marries her, and then spends the rest of his life complaining about her lack of sexual generosity, even though that's what made her acceptable in the first place.
In abuse counselling, this is what's known as "crazy-making behavior". I realised what the game was pretty early on and promised myself that I would not play. Actually, I went further than that and deliberately flouted "the rules" as a matter of principle. I did it for myself. I made a conscious decision to give the finger to all who would have me live in shame. I'm glad I did. I have no wish to be romantically involved with someone who can't respect me as I am. If I am to be despised, I'd just as soon have it in the open instead of festering in my subconscious.
It doesn't matter how many laws are passed or affirmative actions taken. Any professed commitment to feminine equality will remain a joke as long as this taboo persists. Venus/Aphrodite is a powerful and valid archetype in the feminine psyche. The next time you encounter a women embodying it, please consider honouring her right instead of muttering "whore" under your breath.

Drugs

Drug use is a new taboo. It's pedigree goes back no more than a century or so. Like most taboos, it's all about control. I've used "drugs" regularly for most of my life. Their influence is hard to overestimate. There is a great experiential gulf between those who use them and those who don't. Let's be clear about what we're talking about here. By "drugs" I mean substances that have the primary effect of altering one's experience of reality.

My parents were drug users. I grew up in a home where weed was smoked often. It did not have any negative effect on the quality of parenting I received. When "under the influence", my parents and their friends were more relaxed and talkative. That's all. (My partner was much less fortunate. His parents were alcoholics.) They occasionally used other drugs as well, but not around us kids. I first smoked weed when I was 15 with a couple of slightly older friends. I remember a great deal of giggling and a whole new level of music appreciation. When I was 16, and living in Victoria, my best friend and I were offered an opportunity to try LSD. We took half a hit of blotter each, and our friend (who gave it to us) abstained in order to baby-sit and entertain us. He took us on a day trip to Vancouver and drove us around the city, visiting and sightseeing. It was probably the most fun I've ever had. Our friend had an eight-track tape player in his car and only one decent tape. So we listened to Nazareth's Greatest Hits all day. Every time I hear Nazareth, I'm reminded of that magical day. We laughed so much our sides and cheeks ached. With LSD, unlike sex, the first time usually is the best. I tried a bunch of other things later on. I was reckless and very lucky. I never injected or got addicted to anything (except tobacco, but that isn't really considered a drug). Some people I knew were not so fortunate. There are some drugs I don't use and consider intrinsically harmful. Those would be the ones that are physically addictive and/or highly toxic. The substances I do use and consider beneficial or harmless (when used responsibly) are: weed, mushrooms, LSD, ecstasy, and all traditional shamanic sacraments. There are still some things I haven't tried, but intend to.

Mind-altering substances are taboo in most modern societies. Few people bother to ask why. "Drugs are dangerous", we're told. Well some are and some aren't. Why are they all lumped together as though this were not the case? And why is an exception made for alcohol? Alcohol is more dangerous than most drugs. Lots of things are, including down-hill skiing and automobile racing and logging. "Drugs are dangerous" is bullshit, comparable to "They hate our freedoms". The real reason drugs are taboo is that they show you a different reality. This is also their greatest benefit, in my opinion. A great deal of our "reality" is programmed, much more than most people realise. If you had nothing to compare it to, you wouldn't even think to question it. Once you have something to compare it to, you can and very often do. It's like in astrology. The reason we can identify the planetary vibrations is by comparison. They show up differently in different patterns. But what is the vibration of Earth? You can't see it because it is pervasive. You would be able to, if you had a selection of natal charts for people born on the moon, or Mars. There are aspects of our programmed "reality" that do not stand up to questioning. That's why drugs are banned.
For instance, the prohibition of marijuana is impossible to justify on any grounds except mind-control. Compared to alcohol, it's effects are very mild. Marijuana is like a magnifying glass. It focuses your attention and increases sensitivity. Any experience that isn't intrinsically unpleasant becomes more enjoyable. Values shift toward the sensual and aesthetic. Seriousness is decreased and one's sense of humour is more easily triggered. Authority and status lose their importance. "Because I said so" no longer seems like a good reason to obey orders. Aggression is reduced. Violence and conflict are seen as undesirable.
The new reality that marijuana reveals can upset your programming. It is incompatible with military values. It makes authoritarian rule more difficult. It also interferes with the status consciousness and dissatisfaction that drive economic growth. These are the real reasons weed is illegal. The powers that be don't want you smoking pot because it makes you harder for them to control. Obviously they can't tell you that, because then you might ask what right they have to control you. Everybody knows that can of worms is best left unopened.

The taboo against drugs is so strong that even some people who use them are affected by it. People who should really know better often uphold elitist and puritanical views. One example is the push to legalise pot on medical grounds. At least some of the medical marijuana proponents, if they're honest, will admit that it's really a stepping stone on the way to full acceptance (but not all). I've also heard a lot of people insist that psychedelics can have spiritual value but abhor their recreational use. There seems to be a need to justify them. Why? The fact that using drugs is enjoyable should be sufficient. (I was going to preface that last sentence with, "In the absence of real harm", but I decided not to, since so many legal forms of entertainment are no less potentially harmful.) I don't see why it has to be either/or. I don't feel the least bit bad about dropping a few hits of acid and then spending my trip enjoying a bubble bath and some great tunes with my beloved.
There's this assumption that normal consciousness is more in touch with "reality" than drug-induced altered states. I'd beg to differ. If it were, humanity wouldn't be in such a mess. Clearly, normal consciousness is not immune to distortions of reality. Quite the opposite. It is what allows some of the most serious and dangerous distortions to remain intact. It's all about control.

13 comments:

  1. Mmmmmmm

    Enjoyed reading this.

    And what is it that needs to be maintained with this control?

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  2. exquisitely written....

    this paradigm is changing,

    thank goodness...

    ;)

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  3. Thanks Tertius.
    What needs to be maintained with this control? Well, in the case of female sexuality, I think it is love and creative power that is being controlled. This form of control goes way back, thousands of years. There was a time when the Goddess was honoured in her wholeness. The story of how that changed was either never written or destroyed. Since that time though, it has been known by some that if you can control people's sexuality, you can control them. So a war was waged on the serpent power aspect of the Goddess. Thus, what was abundant became scarce. That's what control always boils down to. Money works the same way, by replacing abundance with scarcity. It is incompatible with the Goddess's natural boundless generosity. And that is why the root of Her power had to be disowned. Both sexes have been conditioned over millenia to maintain this horrible situation. Both have suffered great losses because of it. It's very very sad.
    Access to some drugs has to be controlled to maintain the paradigm of scarcity and fear. The lie of it becomes too obvious while in certain altered states.


    Thank you, Transcend.
    We are blessed to participate in birthing a new world of love and joy. Not much longer now!

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  4. I totally get where you're going with this, and, perhaps to some extent where you are coming from. I feel as passionate as you about this :) “We are stardust, we are golden...”

    I'm a compulsive problem solver... so what I am grappling with, is how we got into this bizarre reality in the first place...

    I have some theories/insights about this of my own, but I'm always curious to hear other opinions...

    So my question is:

    Why did the Goddess allow this control-fear thing to occur?

    Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter :)

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  5. Hi Tertius. I've been following the story of Ka on your blog and my first thought when I saw your original comment was, "That's odd. You seem to know the answer already."
    Why did the Goddess allow this control-fear thing to occur?
    Because love that is forced is not love. Because some things are not valued until they are lost.
    Because allowing is what the Goddess does.
    :)

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  6. I have been asking many questions :)

    The questioning has been fueled by experiences - visions of a great paradigm shift for us all... experiences which occurred naturally and almost 20 years ago.

    And I have always received answers from Her directly. Audibly. Schizophrenically. Some I share. Many I don't.

    But I guess I am a bit of a stirrer... Don't mind me! I absolutely LOVE your writing.

    Good to have stumbled across this part of cyberspace.

    ***He bows***

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  7. For all things that we suppress, there is a shadow that afflicts that which is expressed. Take female sexuality: society wants women to feel like ****s (isn't it terrible how many 4-letter words your imagination just fit into that blank?) for being honest and open about their sexuality ... either they must deny or repress it, or - if they embrace it - they must renounce its sacred aspect.

    Which sucks for girls. But it also sucks for men ... we too end up being afflicted with guilt, being taught to see our own sexual natures as exploitative, "all sex is rape" kind of thing ... so the choice then becomes either to suppress it and feel constantly guilty whenever we're attracted to a woman (me, a lot of my best friends) or, conversely, to embrace that negative expression and become the conquistador.

    That's the choice we're offered: to either play along with the dominance/submission trip, or just repress ourselves. Letting yourself have fun leads to the former; refusing to play the game leads to the latter.

    Of course as always there's a middle way ... so few of us can find it though.

    Ahhh, and drugs. My own background there is something of a midway between you and GodIAm's: my parents were neither alchoholics, nor teetotalers, but they certainly would not ever use drugs (unless prescribed by a proper medical authority, of course.) Drugs were certainly a taboo in my household but the operative word was 'moderation' when it came to booze and for my part, I took that principle and applied it to everything else. I've done damn near everything under the Sun (except for the injectables, never had any urge to chase the dragon), and while I've certainly felt the ups and downs I've never felt like I was a junkie ... and whenever I do feel like maybe I'm using too much (usually with pot), well, I just dial back my use.

    And how many of my friends are addicted to video games?

    Right....

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  8. Thanks Tertius. Please ask what ever you like. I'm honoured by your presence.


    Hi Psychegram. Absolutely! This situation is just as bad for men. They are so obviously undernourished sexually in spite of the fact that women out-number them. Go figure. It's too bad they keep falling into the trap of believing that love that comes easily is worth less, when the reverse is more often true. "All sex is rape" is a very extreme view held by only the most deeply wounded. The vast majority of women enjoy feeling attractive, so any guilt in that regard is tragically misplaced. I opted out of both repression and renouncing the sacred. Either one of those choices would have been a betrayal of my heart. I just couldn't do that. It would feel like suicide. As a consequence, I ended up kissing a lot of frogs and worse. But I am living happily ever after now.
    My parents weren't teetotalers, just normal moderate drinkers. I find it kind of hilarious that drugs and alcohol are considered to be so different. Either can cause problems if they're abused. Both can potentially contribute to a well rounded consciousness. I like alcohol. It is sacred to Dionysus (a friend of mine), and my constitution and temperament agree with it.

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  9. Believing the love that comes easily is worth less ... yes, that resonates more than I care to admit. I've definitely been guilty of that in the past. One girl in particular, who afterwards I realized was so ready to hop into bed with me because she instinctively realized how 'right' it was ... as did I though I didn't want to see it, or couldn't ... lucky SOB that I am we're seeing each other again (I think), though I'm still annoyed with myself, not just for hurting her but also (more selfishly) because I missed out on all that time I could have spent with her these past several months.

    Live and learn....

    And ahhh, Dionysus! One of my favorites. It was my teenage fascination with Nietzsche that piqued my interest. Ever read the Birth of Tragedy? He seemed to predict rock and roll, and rave ... back in my raving days I considered rolling on e and losing myself in the beat paying my respects to Dionysus. That drug-fueled counterculture was a vital aspect of my own spiritual therapy, it laid the foundation for getting beyond so many of the issues my psyche was laden with from my middle-class whitebread over-intellectualized childhood.

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  10. Hehe I just noticed ... Is that a Venus-Uranus-Pluto stellium in Virgo?

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  11. Hi Psychegram.
    Glad to hear your former foolishness didn't cost you too much. If you can remember to be honourable, generous and appreciative, then true happiness could be yours. Best wishes to you both.
    Yes it is a stellium. Actually, Vesta is also at 18 degrees Virgo, so you see I was doomed from the start. lol

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  12. That is an incredibly powerful stellium ... I wouldn't even want to start to tease apart its implications (especially as I'm new to this astrology thing, didn't even know what a stellium was until a few days ago....) Throwing Vesta in there seems like it would give any competent astrologer a nervous breakdown.

    Given that I'm an incompetent astrologer, I won't let that stop me ;)

    Let's see ... love, beauty and romance ... Promethean fire and liberation ... the deep tectonic movements of the subconscious ... focus and dedication ... yep, sounds like the 13Muluc I know!

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  13. I live in Eureka, CA in Humboldt County, known around the world for the quality and quantity of weed grown here. It is but one of many attributes that make our community unique. Putting them all together, I feel like we are a rare place in which these taboos simply don't apply, or at least are not perpetuated by buying into them. Your treatment of them here is almost too fair, as if you went out of your way to acknowledge that you see the shadow side of that which you personally deal with fully in the light. The upshot is I now feel inspired to post at evolver.net about sex positivity.

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