THINGS HAVE flown out of control above the Rio Bravo since I departed. I hope I am not to blame, the lack of my stabilizing presence.
Every morning, on reading the Gringo news online, I get one new shock after another, and it seems to be worsening.
A few days ago, a teacher in California banned holiday candy canes in her class because they’re shaped like a J, and that could stand for Jesus!
These loony events are legion in the United States, but you do not encounter them in Mexico.
Of particular note is the sex insanity. A subset of that is letting men who are posing as women play in women’s sports. Of course, the fake women always win, and the real women always lose.
The most recent example is a guy namedHannahMouncey who is playing for Australia’s Women’s Handball League, whatever that is. Yes, this happened in Australia, but similar things occur in the United States.
Hannah Mouncey is 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 220 pounds. The women he plays against are, well, not even close.
This lunacy is almost, or probably entirely, confined to the historically white world, the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe where, not coincidentally, political correctness runs amok.
Latin America does not do this, nor does Asia or Africa. It’s a mental disease of the White Man’s World.
The ability to think rationally is necessary for a functioning society, and rationality is vanishing where it matters most. This must make China very happy. Don’t underestimate the importance of that.
(I have mentioned my history with entheogens before, primarily on my previous website, the now-defunct Zapata Tales. A time or two since, readers have asked for details, most recently this week, so here they are. By the way, I don’t do this anymore because there is no need.)
* * * *
I WAS REARED an agnostic. My parents never went to church and never mentioned religion at home.
And I remained an agnostic till January 19, 1997. That was when I first ingested entheogens, first psilocybin mushrooms and, two days later, a mix of mushrooms and LSD.
Why did I do that? I was trying to make some sense out of my life because at that point, age 52, it seemed not to have any. My life, sense. My second divorce was two years behind me, not something I initiated, and it had thrown me into a massive tailspin.
In the space between ages 50 and 52, I had not found any equilibrium. I was drastically adrift, grasping at any semblance of a grounded straw. I looked at dreams. My daughter mentioned a psychologist she knew who was well-versed in dream interpretation.
He lived outside Tallahassee, Florida. We did a phone session about dreams, which was interesting. As the call wound down, I asked if he knew someone with access to peyote because I thought it would help me.
He then said he could help me in that way. I drove to Tallahassee.
And this is what I found out in the woods, a beautiful home where my new friend lived alone, a lifelong, handsome bachelor and truth-seeker, so to speak. A private practitioner with a Ph.D. from Florida State University.
We got started before dawn the next morning. He gave me ecstasy, which had no effect whatsoever, which was revealing. Getting nowhere with that, he mixed a brew of psilocybin mushrooms that he cultivated himself.
Bingo! That did the trick.
I was lying on the living room sofa with my eyes covered with a sleep mask. I descended into a massive cavern where native people danced. The music came from a CD player, but I did not know it at the time. It was The Serpent’s Egg by Dead Can Dance.
Music is an excellent assist to entheogens, a term I prefer over drugs, which is a wider category that usually carries bad connotations.
Entheogens are not addictive.
After the cavern, I fell further into a world so extreme and astonishing that putting it into words cannot be done. About eight hours later, the effects begin to wear off. What remains is the knowledge of having seen the “other side.” It is not an hallucination.
A good book to read is The Secret Chief by Myron J. Stolaroff. The author believes this, and I agree with him: We are born with a faucet connected to our minds, and that faucet is shut tight because if it weren’t, we could not function. Taking entheogens opens the faucet temporarily.
Imagine yourself sitting on the stage of a theater in the round. The curtain is closed, and then it begins to open all around you, and you see for the first time beyond the stage which is your everyday world.
You see what’s really out there.
When the entheogen effects begin to wear off, the curtain starts to shut again till it’s closed entirely, and you’re back to “normal,” sitting on that stage of everyday life. But you remember.
My new friend recommended a recess, which I took the following day, driving around the rural, wooded area of the Florida Panhandle.
* * * *
One more time
As dawn arrived the day after that, I was ready, I thought, for Session Two, which was a combination of LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. People with experience say it’s important to state your intention before going on these expeditions. This is true.
For this second event, my intention was that I wanted to dance with love. What did I expect with such a notion? Here’s what I thought would happen based on my experience two days earlier. I thought a beautiful woman would appear, and we would dance.
But the Goddess has her own ideas, so that did not happen. What happened was this: There was no vision. I saw absolutely nothing, but what I felt was stunning. A feeling of extreme caring embraced me. It was like nothing I had ever experienced or imagined.
* * * *
The puma and the woman
Hours later, around midnight, I felt relatively normal again, and I was sitting in my new friend’s living room facing him. I thought it was over, so I told him to go to bed, and I would do the same. He went upstairs.
My bedroom was on the ground floor right off the living room, a short walk. I went in, undressed and lay atop the sheets. The lights were off, and it was the sort of darkness you find in the forest on a moonless night.
Lying there, I turned into a woman. Just like that. I could see nothing due to the lack of light, but I turned into a woman. I felt it. It’s quite different from being a man. I felt an unfamiliar, strong need to be cared for.
And then I turned into a black puma. I moved my long tail from one side to the other at the foot of the bed. My whiskers twitched. I felt incredibly powerful.
And then it ended. I went to sleep.
That episode was about the only one that I recall fairly clearly. I suspect that is due to its happening near the end of that night’s experience. I was not totally under the influence but in a twilight zone.
* * * *
Going home, buckets of blood
My new friend offered a third night of this therapy or whatever you’d call it, but I told him no. I was overwhelmed. I drove back to Texas.
But I returned nine months later for LSD. The second night of my first visit had entailed a mixture of both psilocybin mushrooms and LSD. The psilocybin effect had been the more powerful by far.
I knew this later, not then.
The LSD experience was very different. Psilocybin is softer than LSD. Here’s what stood out about the LSD, the only thing I remember: Buckets of blood. I was under a waterfall of blood that poured over me. A voice told me it was time to grow up, to become a man.
This sounds horrible, but it wasn’t. It was a shove I needed.
Many hours later, after the effects had diminished, my friend told me that I had been laughing loudly, something I was unaware of during the experience. I’ve felt immensely better since that night.
Entheogens have been used for direct religious experiences through human history and beyond. Primitive art shows it.
Indeed, since verbal descriptions of what happens can be next to impossible, art comes into play.
In 1999, I attended an entheogen conference in Palenque, Chiapas. That was a year before I moved to Mexico. Amusingly, one of the attendees was a New York Port Authority cop. Another attendee was a dentist from Tennessee who gave me a dose of 5-MeO-DMT.
5-MeO-DMT provides an experience similar to LSD but it comes on far faster, instantaneously, and only lasts about 15 minutes.
I sat on a bed, smoked it, and collapsed backwards. About 15 minutes later, I was back to normal. It’s the only time I tried 5-MeO-DMT successfully.
In 2000, about eight months after moving to Mexico, I flew to Atlanta, rented a car and drove back to the Panhandle of Florida to participate in a group session in which the entheogen was a chemical analogue of ayahuasca. And that was the end for me.
I was told — you do hear voices — that I didn’t need to do that sort of thing anymore, so I haven’t. By the way, group sessions are far from ideal. Stick to solo sessions with an experienced helper.
* * * *
Many, probably most, people who take psychedelics do it for fun. I take a neutral stance on this matter. There is a consciousness out there — God if you will — and she will let you see her if that is your wish.
However, if your desire is recreational, she will not let you see her, or perhaps not to the same degree. I wouldn’t know because I’ve never done this for fun. Your mindset matters very much.
* * * *
I was an agnostic for most of my adult life. I am not anymore. It would be next to impossible to experience the things entheogens provide and not realize there is something far beyond our daily consciousness.
WORDPRESS OCCASIONALLY messes with a good thing, trying to make it better. Yet again, they have changed their editor, the page we scribes use to pen posts.
Sometimes these changes are improvements. Other times you can see the WordPress designers sitting in the smoking lounge with nothing to do till someone says: I’m bored! Let’s go improve the product!
They all jump up, return to their workstations and get busy, justifying their fat Silicon Valley salaries. Fixing something that wasn’t even broken.
At times, they do improve the product. Other times, they just gum things up. They have changed the product again, and I’ve not decided if it’s a step in the right direction or not. Time will tell. I’m not optimistic.
It’s far more complicated from the writer’s end. Readers likely will notice little difference. WP designed something called “blocks.” Everything I want to do entails messing with a freaking block. Blocks do different things. For instance, there’s a block to list stuff. To wit:
And so on …
Another block lets you write a verse. Here’s a poem by Charles Bukowski. Why you have to chase it off to the right is beyond me. You won’t be encountering verse here on The Moon. But if you did, this is how it would appear.
Long walks at night -- that's what's good for the soul: peeking into windows watching tired housewives trying to fight off their beer-maddened husbands.
I hope you enjoyed that brief poem. Bukowski was a weirdo. Another block lets you write a heading. There are three options: big, medium and small.
This is a small heading
This is a medium heading.
This is a big heading
The problem with these headings is that I see no way to center them. Flush left, which I don’t like, appears to be the only option. Oh, well.
And then there is this. I can start a paragraph with a big, fat letter. Makes me look literary. And 19th Century. My major gripe with the big, fat letter is that it’s so big and fat. Where’s the subtlety?
Next is the “Gallery.” There seems to be no limit to the photos you can add to a gallery, and you can insert multiple galleries. We’ve finally arrived at a block I really like. These shots are all of the area where I live, and you likely do not. Sad.
Next up is another block that deals with photos. This block is called a “cover.” Perhaps someone can explain it to me. The cover of a book maybe? The photo is a shot of my child bride last Spring outside a hotel near San Miguel de Allende, a city I have sworn never to visit again for obvious reasons.
And you can write something in the middle of the photo. What, pray tell, is the purpose of this?
Here’s a block that lets you write a quote. This quote is Mohammedan. It’s something to consider the next time you praise open borders and criticize President Trump for wanting to limit Mohammedan immigration.
When you meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks.
— The Koran.
There is also an audio block, which I doubt I’ll ever use, and a plain ole image block, which I will use to insert this timely photo. Note the talavera tile which was installed this week on the ledges below the three arches in the veranda.
Quite snazzy, I think.
I wrote all this to familiarize myself with the new editor, and I decided to bring you along for the ride. I wonder if you made it to the end. If so, thanks. WordPress is still far superior to Blogger, but that is not saying much.
If you write a WordPress blog, and you haven’t used the new editor, just ask me. I’m an old hand at it now. PayPal accepted.
IN THE MID-1970s, I was sharing a home with a sports writer directly on the beach in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, suburb of Santurce. There was a lime tree in the backyard that supplied my rum-and-Cokes with a nice, free squeeze.
For reasons I cannot recall now, I later moved next door where I rented a room in a home owned by a couple of gay guys from New York City.
Both homes were spectacular, not least for being directly on the beach. Well, you had to cross the two-lane street outside, the one that paralleled the ocean’s edge, before you actually set toes into the sand.
Elton John’s Rocket Man was popular at that time, and whenever I hear the song, it takes me back to San Juan. So does I can see clearly now by Johnny Nash.
But I associate Nash more with the second of my two stays in San Juan, the one where I lived with a blonde from Brooklyn named Mary. We did not live right on the beach but three or four blocks inland and right across the street from a small restaurant where I often ate chicken and rice.
Nash’s song was on the restaurant’s jukebox. I had Elton John’s LP with Rocket Man, but I only heard Nash on that jukebox, but I heard it a lot because I liked chicken and rice a lot. Still do.
Speaking of Rocket Men:
* * * *
The Waco Spaceman
Billy Bob deployed one iron anchor and then the other. The wooden space ship was bouncing loonily.
Moments earlier, before skidding onto the moon’s surface, he opened a big silk parachute he had purchased at the military surplus in Waco.
The parachute and two anchors combined to slow the ship down pretty darn good, and he was skipping along the moonscape now at diminishing velocity.
Billy Bob was a deacon at the Second Baptist Church in Waco, so he was praying to God Almighty.
He had built this spaceship out of wood planks, and he’d shellacked it 37 times for re-entry protection. Billy Bob sat in a wicker chair inside the wooden rocket in a steel septic tank he had uncovered in a Waco junkyard.
The tank was kept intact by a compressor he’d purchased at Home Depot. The blastoff from his backyard was done with dynamite. The trip had taken two days during which Billy Bob dined on Cheetos, Moon Pies and RC Cola.
Suddenly, the spaceship stopped.
Billy Bob opened the septic tank, then the wooden door, and stepped out. He had a goldfish bowl over his head, duct-taped at the neck. A scuba tank — full of mesquite-flavored Texas Hill Country air — sagged on his back.
How you doing, honey?
The voice startled Billy Bob, and he swung around. There was a hole in the ground, and the most dazzling woman he had ever seen was standing there, half out of the hole and half in. Her smile was stunning.
Billy Bob later learned that millions of Moon People lived below the surface, and that 95 percent were lovely women whose average life span was 32. Men, being in critically short supply, were highly prized.
Billy Bob never went back to Waco. And he quit being a Baptist too.
(I wrote Waco Spaceman many years ago. Billy Bob was a Rocket Man.)
* * * *
But let’s return to the sands of Santurce.
The second home in which I rented a room was owned, as I already stated, by two gay guys from New York City. I never met but one of them, a little fellow who was likely about 45 years old at the time. He liked adolescent boys, and some adolescent boys liked him too, especially the money he paid them.
They would ride their bicycles up and down the street in front of our house in the warm, breezy afternoons — almost all afternoons were warm and breezy — and my landlord would walk out and bring one in. They would disappear into his bedroom for a spell, and then the boy would leave, mount his bike and depart.
This happened very often. I asked the landlord how much he paid the boys. It wasn’t much, just a dollar or two. Of course, that was four decades ago when a dollar meant something.
As I write this, I see a black-vented oriole on the fan palm in my yard.
* * * *
(Postscript: Here’s another version of life on the beach of Santurce that I wrote over a decade ago. It addresses not only the New Yorker and his boys, but a beautiful girl from Chile and an Army Ranger who slept with a Bowie knife beneath his pillow.)