Aiming towards a new world; Artist: Anthony Pismarov.
Here are a few things I wish to share about alt.MIND to minimize any misunderstanding regarding its intention, aspiration, and most importantly: the motivation for its existence.
alt.MIND is not intended to encourage, promote, or glamorize the consumption of drugs. Whether coffee, cocaine, or dimethyltryptamine, the decision to alter one’s consciousness using chemical inebriants is a deeply personal affair. Furthermore, I believe it is the birthright of every individual, for no society can claim to be free if its citizens do not possess sovereignty over their own consciousness. As the enigmatic psychonaut Terence McKenna remarked: “If the words “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the declaration of independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”
It goes without saying that though an individual should have the right to explore their own consciousness, it should preferably be done in a responsible manner, and imperatively in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. Critics may point to all the people already negatively impacted by drugs (both directly and indirectly), and maintain that this is reason enough to continue enforcing, or even worse escalating, the atrocious War on Drugs. But, as we will explore in depth in alt.MIND, the majority of the damage and human suffering caused by drugs is a consequence of prohibition, and not intrinsic to the usage thereof. Though this statement may be controversial to many, I shall continuously support it by relying on verified data and sound science, instead of the empty rhetoric and argumentum ad passiones that typifies the prohibitionists arguments.
If the words “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness,then the declaration of independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.
Terence McKenna; Artist: Stephen Humphries.
alt.MIND is intended to educate and empower its readers to use drugs in an informed, safe, and responsible manner, should they choose to do so of their own accord. alt.MIND is however not only for the user, but it is for each citizen to become cognizant of the damaging disparity that exists between the reality of drug science, the drug war, and addiction; and the nefarious campaign of systematic misinformation as promulgated by our interest-driven authorities. Once cognizant of this disparity, alt.MIND hopes to formulate potential solutions to these problems which may aid in transforming our society into one that is more just, compassionate, and free. My desire to express this intention was borne logically from the following five observations:
IT IS COMPLETELY NATURAL FOR HUMAN BEINGS TO ALTER THEIR STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS.
Whether through chemical or nonchemical means, intoxication is as old and innate to the human experience as is whistling a tune or throwing a stick. Perhaps it’s even older – when we venture up the evolutionary ladder, we discover that this phenomenon is pervasive throughout the animal kingdom. From lower mammals, to birds,and even insects, thousands of animal species consciously imbibe a controlled dose of specific compounds to bring about an alternate mode of being – it is, as Dr. Ronald Siegel termed it, the “fourth biological drive”. The famous English scholar Aldous Huxley wrote in The Doors of Perception: “The urge to transcend self-conscious selfhood is, as I have said, a principal appetite of the soul.”
MOST EXPANSIVE ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS CHEMICAL INEBRIATION, INHERENTLY CARRY A MODICUM OF RISK. THIS RISK MAY BE MINIMIZED WHEN THE ACTIVITY IS PERFORMED IN AN EDUCATED MANNER.
Knowing what to do and what not to do goes a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.
THE INSTITUTIONS WE HAVE COLLECTIVELY TASKED TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ON THE TOPIC OF RESPONSIBLE DRUG USE HAVE FAILED US WOEFULLY.
Not only have these institutions willfully withheld and misconstrued information regarding this topic, but they have engaged in an all-out, self-proclaimed war that has, since its inception, only succeeded in ensuring that today’s drugs are cheaper, more dangerous, more abused, and more widely available than ever before. It is likely the longest and bloodiest battle in human history, because a War on Drugs creates a war for drugs (Johann Hari). At its heart, the agenda to perpetuate the criminalization of normal human behaviour serves no other purpose than to ensure a few continue to profit off of the needless suffering of the many.
WE ARE NOW EMPOWERED TO EDUCATE OURSELVES ON THE TOPICS OF RESPONSIBLE DRUG USE, DRUG SCIENCE, THE WAR ON DRUGS, AND ADDICTION.
The Internet offers a decentralized platform to share information with one another without the taint of corporate and/or political interests. We are able to critically analyze this information, sans mediator, to collectively temper our understanding of these topics.
THIS INTERCHANGE OF INFORMATION AND TEMPERING OF IDEAS MAY LEAD TO A GREATER COLLECTIVE UNDERSTANDING OF NOT ONLY THE TRUE DANGERS OF EACH DRUG, BUT ALSO THE TRUE VALUE.
It is absurd to contend that all drugs are always bad – if there was no upside or benefit to the individual (or society), they would not have made their way into the cultural toolkit of nearly every single civilization throughout history. Using drugs consciously, in an appropriate context, and with a clear intention has the potential to provide numerous benefits.
These five observations have lead me to develop the container that is alt.MIND. I will be drawing from a wide variety of sources, from the latest peer-reviewed science to ancient teachings, and synthesizing and expressing them in a manner that is unique to my being. I will act, in my capacity, as a mindful mediator, but please understand that we are here to teach one another. Whether you wish to peek in every now and then to glance over select content, or whether you wish to contribute as an author, it is our collective intention and action which may lead us to the future we envision in our minds, and hold in our hearts.