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Chest Cavity Blues – Role for Marijuana in Therapy?

My final experience with marijuana came in the Summer of 1981. One of our magazine subscribers, C, arrived from Pennsylvania to visit us for several days. I don’t know whether her visit had anything to do with the fact I had missed several publishing deadlines or not.

At the time, I was depressed and suffering from psoriatic or roving arthritis. Joints all over my body, including the toes and bones of my right foot, were swollen and sore. For a whole year I limped around with the middle finger of my left hand locked in a straight, position. Whenever I closed my hand for whatever reason, it looked like I was giving people the finger. When C recognized my depressed state, she asked me if I wanted to share a joint with her. Surprised by her request, I said, “no.” When she asked if she could smoke one, I said, “sure.”

The next day, as Sandra, C and I sat around the kitchen table discussing different metaphysical concepts and magazine articles, I told her we were thinking about discontinuing Coordinate Point. She said she suspected as much and again asked me if I wanted to share a joint with her. Since the cat was out of the bag about the magazine and I felt even more depressed, I agreed to join her.

After a couple of hits (Sandra refused to partake as usual), C started asking me questions. She wanted to know how I felt about myself and the magazine. Even though her questions seemed awfully personal, I decided to go along for the ride. Suddenly, I was Ralph Bellamy, the actor who talked with a gravely voice. I learned later, he was still alive at the time of this experience. Talking as Ralph, gravely voice and all, I started telling C things like, “I’m tired and I don’t want to do this anymore (publish the magazine). I’ve worked long enough and hard enough in my life; all I want to do is retire and be left alone.”

As Ralph continued complaining to C, my primary attention was drawn elsewhere. I found myself materializing as a shaft of light in the middle of my, somehow, hollow chest cavity. Jutting out from the chest wall around me were many shadow boxes. They reminded me of the Hollywood Squares show on television.

Each box contained an old person (I was 39 years old at the time). Some people sat against the side wall of their box with their legs pulled up while others faced straight out with their legs dangling over the edge. Some of the women wore short cotton summer dresses with nylon stockings rolled down to their ankles. Other women wore bathrobes and muumuus. The men were in retirement-home garb too. Some wore bathrobes and others wore pajamas or sweats. Some people looked like they had suffered strokes while others appeared to be suffering from plain old age or dementia. Many were drooling. Most looked distant as they waited to die. They all looked tired and done with life. Did this scene, these people, represent the current state of my psyche?

In profound disbelief, I slowly rotated about my central position to absorb the full impact of this depressing scene. After several revolutions, I noticed a dark shadowy figure shifting back and forth outside the rear wall of my chest cavity. His large hands rested on either side of my spinal column as he moved his head back and forth from one side of my backbone to the other. I knew he wanted to get inside.

As I continued to keep an eye on him, I noticed the back wall of my chest cavity was growing less dense and opaque. Finally, I could see him clearly. He was young, large and powerful. He reminded me of the comic book character, the Hulk, except he didn’t have green skin. The inside of my chest cavity was clearly visible to him and it looked like he was more determined than ever to get inside. It was only a matter of time before he broke through the thinning wall of my chest cavity. With an almost imperceptible shift, my consciousness joined him in his struggle.

With our strength combined, we burst through the back wall of my chest like it was made of thin glass or plastic. Sensing immanent danger, the old people in the shadow boxes straightened up in visible alarm. Once again observing events from outside the powerful young intruder, I watched in awe as he grew larger and quickly advanced into the center of the room. In one swift motion he came to an abrupt stop and raised his giant arms, sweeping aside every last one of the old people as if they were of no further use.

At this moment, I was summoned back outside of my body. Ralph was just ending up with his rant about old age and retirement. The effect of the marijuana started to wear off and my heightened sense of awareness was fading. Despite hearing Ralph’s depressing monologue about old age and observing the state of my nursing-home psyche, I began to feel a glimmer of hope. Something inside me was changing.

Although I suspected C was intentionally, and lovingly, performing therapy on me, I didn’t ask her if it was intentional or spontaneous. Whatever it was, it gave me insight into my current state of mind, which gave me hope for the future. At this time in my life, I was in terrible shape physically, mentally and economically. After C left for the airport later that day, I realized I didn’t know much about her other than she emigrated from Germany and, since moving to the United States, she had lived in Florida and Pennsylvania.

The next morning, after Sandra and the kids left for work and school, my thoughts returned to the amazing experience of the day before. In my imagination, I rejoined the powerful young man behind my backbone as he struggled to break into my chest cavity. Just like the day before, we broke through the back of my chest together and entered the room.

For a second time, I watched as the young giant swept the old people away, although I ensured they were unharmed in the process. It felt like the dawning of a new day. I now had a new canvas to write on! In that moment, I decided to stop publishing my money-losing magazine and get a regular job. I knew that if I wanted to be healthy and live long enough to accomplish something worthwhile in life, I’d have to change my attitude, exercise regularly and improve my diet. My idealistic stuff would have to take a back seat until I could afford to retire. Right now, I had a family and an economic future to think about.

For days and weeks after this experience, whenever I was at home alone, I would imagine myself as the young giant who had stepped in to save the day for me. As I walked through the house, I would flex my muscles like a body builder and growl with the energy and power of the Hulk. I still do it now, once in a while.

I knew this was my road back to health and happiness in life. More than thirty years later, I still exercise regularly and eat well, not because I’m afraid of suffering and death but because I love being and creation! I love my family and this world, and I still think there’s something more I can contribute.


Disclaimer: Even though I’m sharing my drug-related experiences with you, I don’t advocate drug use. In many cases they’re considered illegal. Personally, I prefer a clear mind when I explore the nature of my own consciousness. I’m a better observer. In fact, my most profound experiences in altered states happened when my mind was at its clearest. Openness, fearlessness and curiosity also play vital roles in entering altered states of consciousness.

Many of us have been convinced that looking inward is dangerous. It’s not if we decide not to be frightened by it. However, like anything new, it’s best to start by taking baby steps. When we really want to know something it’s as if the entire universe conspires to make it happen. In other words, we get what we concentrate on whether it’s by design or default. There are no accidents so it’s up to us to be clear on what we want. Reading the Seth books served as a powerful trigger for me because he’s supposedly talking to us from the great beyond and much of what he describes is subjective, at the thought and feeling of actualization.

– Pete, http://realtalkworld.com

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having (creating) a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“How you define yourself and the world around you, forms your intent, which, in turn, forms your reality.” – Seth

In other words, we create our reality from what we believe about ourselves, and the world around us.

If we do not consciously choose our beliefs, we unconsciously absorb them from our surroundings.

If our beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations create our reality, can we afford not to question them?

The more we love, understand and appreciate ourselves, the better we treat ourselves, and the world.

Blessings of love and understanding be to us all!

The secrets of the universe lie hidden in the shadows of your experience. Look for them!

Change yourself, and the world, for the better with Philosophy On T-Shirts!

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