Good sorcery, the practical sort that keeps your ass out of the fire, is predicated on accepting the world just as it is. It doesn’t make any difference how old your books are or who taught you which unintelligible phrases to mutter or how many awesomely expensive talismans you got. To change the world you have to participate in it, no great magic will happen if you’re working on the fantasy in your head. How the world should be is not how the world is, how the world is portrayed to you is not how it is, how your parents told you the world was is not how it is. Everyone is lying. Your right eye is in a half- baked conspiracy with your left eye. Even they are lying to you.
So I am going to tell you how it is.
The world is two great wheels, one of fire and the other of ice, turning endlessly against the other. The world is a bad man, bound to a bad chair, screaming a bad scream. The world is a good woman pouring poison from her bowl because he has nothing else to give her. The world is a clean set of clothes and a dirty pair of hands. The world is a lonely mobile turning over the corpse of some newborn that took one look around and said ‘fuck that!’ The world is enlightenment at the end of a stick. The world is spring flowers in wet mud. The world is blind men correctly describing an elephant as a husking basket, an old serpent and a great pillar.
No, you missed the point of that story.
Psychedelic drugs work on you because you have the receptors in your brain for the chemical compounds. Really ponder that for a second. There is no war on drugs; there is a war on thought, on modes of thinking. Sasha Shulgin theorizes that once upon a time we simply manufactured these compounds ourselves but stopped because it wasn’t helpful to view the world through a perpetual acid haze. Except I don’t agree with him there (and literally only there), we have receptors for all kinds of stuff. Especially within the brain, the chemistry of which we fuck with on a daily basis and never think of as ‘drug abuse’. Like coffee and booze and chocolate and sugar. Same chemistry, you sad sad druggie. I think it’s what you’re used to; I’m with Ann (Shulgin) and her whole socialization thing. When Sasha and Ann realized they could stop the clock, Sasha pussied out.
Once upon a time ‘drugs’ were fucking everywhere. Ergot lived harmoniously with the wild grains and food grasses of Europe. Mushroom season was uniformly celebrated and weed grew like, well a weed. You fucking vegans are as bad as the meat eaters, everything always tame and domesticated. Even your plants. Contemporary studies have shown that psilocybin quite literally cripples the egoic centers of the brain; it takes away your identity. Without that you can no longer perceive the world around you in a linear fashion. You operate instead from deep memory and sensory response. Everything is what it is.
Your brain has all the shit it needs to do that, as well as all the other shit you get it to do. I know a retired MMA fighter who refers to his occasional mushroom trips as ‘battling the dragons’. Or Gordon from Runesoup recounting how he cures his seasonal depressions with a dose of ketamine. Your brain has a receptor for everything it needs. See what I am intimating right there?
Our world was once a little house at the top of a hill and I would sing songs in the basement to an audience of criminal plants because wild plants need music to live. V and I were laying sheets for Halloween and put a drop from the bottle into each of our beers. We were out for three days, three of the most amazing days of my youth. Remembering how we were once fey-children together in the Garden of Eden. How could we have ever forgotten? I talked my way past doormen, entrance fees and VIP bouncers, I was Loki incarnate. We were sad when it finally ended.
Right now there is a war on thought, on modes of thinking and poets are dying on the front lines. Falling in defense of your ever shrinking imagination, no one is coming for that starving artist dug into his fox-hole on the forward lines where your inspiration used to be. Missing in action. The ego isn’t the part of your personality that acts like a douche sometimes; it is the whole subjective mechanic of communication. It is the world-which-is-not that lives in your mind and if that illusory construct is not regularly informed by the objective world-as-it-is then it is useless for practical magic. Your whole process is fucked, chemically deficient. Your diet is lacking in plant dreams and animal death-lust.
Between the endless red void of your being and mine lay an economy of belief and it is that subjective economy which is described by the ego. Which means it doesn’t belong to you, it isn’t you, it is without inherent meaning. It is a deceased parrot. Hardly a suitable foundation for tossing an efficacious nail or charm. The old lines about ego-death are horse-shit; you can’t kill a thing that didn’t exist in the first place.
That cat comes back the very next day. Co-dependently arising betwixt our great voids of being.