My relationship with Marijuana (henceforth called weed, because that is what I’ve always called it) speaks to my concepts of addiction, inherent worth, and the purpose of life in general. Addiction is the bedfellow of idolatry… I will do my best to explain maybe not all in one post.
Weed served a psychological solvent for years in my life. It dissolves all things into the realm of “ok”. I’ve found that people prefer to amplify their self-conceived nature, myself included, seeking vices that help reinforce personality traits we believe ourselves to have. Someone who wants to feel dynamic and extroverted will pursue cocaine, and another who seeks to feel unrestricted will choose alcohol. We have heard the phrase, “loosen up” when talking about the effects of alcohol, the mental condition of thoughts, good or bad, coming quickly through uninhibited consciousness. The effects of weed were my prescription to myself for a severe case of myself-itis. I like everything about it, the way it feels in the brain as it comes on, warbling and fuzzing out the irrelevant information, creating an artificial environment of the “now”. I became capable of solving complex and heavy problems with a single rip of a bong, emotionally leveling out in a state that I understood be essentially a chemical shortcut to enlightenment.
This is the part that is really spiritually dangerous for Christians. The concept of our identity is supposed to be grounded in Christ first and foremost. On the opposite side before I became a Christian it was helpful to reinforce my identity, meditate on the nature of self and overall practice of the banal and shallow thought exercise of finding my oneness in a sea of one’s. “Remember that you are the Universe experiencing consciousness.” I would read, trying to channel all positive thoughts into my own mind. Which is as narcissistic as could be, looking at everything to find only myself! Yet that was still better than taking on more and more pieces of the world around me. Addiction is in many way is the same as worshipping a mirror, we run to a version of ourselves that is capable of handling the world through addiction.
What neural pathway were popping and fizzing in radical decay to desire the telescopic eye of reality to rend me apart? What was I doing to myself on such a regular basis that this desire would be normal? Being alive comes with the craving wanting someone to know you’re alive. Life and it’s quest to proven worthy is something close to madness, a madness of which all humans suffer. To press our facades into the structure of time itself and become relevant, irreplaceable to the universe. This was my goal in moving out Los Angeles, and it was a goal sustained through ingesting chemicals and unfortunately (or fortunately) one which I started to see the fruits of success, at least as I understood them.
Wouldn’t it be nice if I could maintain these psychological cards erect long enough to bed down and live beneath them? This magnificent house I have constructed of smoke that exists in the perpetual now. Yet, I found myself eventually without even a house built on sand, despite the appearance of foundation through financial and professional success, with the help of weed I bankrupted myself of anything close to happiness.
This meant that I exchanged my life for nothing, these valuable years of my powerful and beautiful mind for a mouth full ashes (both literally and figuratively) not from the failure to find success but rather success itself, in the conditions that I had prescribed and taught myself with incredible discipline to believe, was nothing but a dead idol. I was holding pieces of glass that were screaming at me in condemnation, pain, and with just the smallest hint of ecstasy. With weed crawling through my mind, this seemed amiable, the person that I should be needed to be realized by vigorous and prying dissection of what was around me. The cost of that reaction is passivity; weed escalates one’s talent for doing nothing. I would sit there and think, and think, and think some more. Never lifting finger because I was too high, too high on rage, too woke, too high on lack of sleep. Even typing this uses parts of my brain that I still feel atrophied from such a lapse in use from my dramatic and unsustainable relationship with weed.
Ultimately, God used a Buddhist monk in a DMV parking lot to call me to His son, Jesus. I wouldn’t have met the monk if I hadn’t been high all the time putting off going to the DMV until the last possible moment… I don’t know. I guess the creator of the universe is more trippy than any chemical cocktail I’ve managed to ingest.