Saturday, December 4, 2010

Adolescence


For all the pain and anxiety my kids’ adolescence is putting me through, there’s a beautiful side to it all. Philosophical, youthful exuberance is hitting my kids head on. Their intellectual curiosity is raging. They’re asking questions and seem to have a genuine respect for my opinions and experiences.

My son is 16. He’s fascinated with marijuana. It might be naïve on my part, but I believe him when he tells me he's not using drugs. I know everyone has different experiences, but I’ve known too many people whose emotional and intellectual development stopped when they started using them.

There seem to be two different types of people when it comes to drugs. For some, it’s just a matter of getting fu%#ed up (might as well be booze). For others, it’s a genuine lust for exploration.

I have junkie friends who look at LSD and other psychotropics with disdain as “merely recreational”. Altering their state of consciousness is strictly a physical experience.

All my son’s rock and roll heroes are big druggies of course, so he’s naturally curious.

Altered states of consciousness are a natural part of intellectual curiosity, but I’ve asked Dylan to wait until he’s in his mid 20s. He’s promised he would.

Dylan’s been reading Herman Hesse. I’m about to turn him onto Carlos Constaneda and maybe John C. Lilly.

Constaneda’s first book, The Teachings of Don Juan, was written for his college thesis. Don Juan was a Yaqui shaman. One of the first things Constaneda learned from him was how to know when you’re dreaming.

His trick was whenever you saw your hands in a dream, you'd realize you were dreaming. It took practice, but I taught myself how to do it. I was almost always lucid in my dreams. I fully intended to search for some deeper meaning in life, but all I could ever think to do was fly. It was a lot of fun though. It still happens every now and then.

I fell in love with the band Supertramp when I heard the song Dreamer. “Can you put you’re hands in your head?” “But now you put your head in your hands, oh no!”

Dylan is learning about the Buddhist philosophy of becoming one with the universe from Hesse. Meditation is just around the corner.

John C. Lilly invented the sensory deprivation chamber and wrote about his experiences meditating in one, as well as taking LSD. He was in his 50s, and it was the 1950s.

When I was around Dylan’s age, I trained myself to turn off my inner conversation from information gleaned from these books. It was harder than waking up in my dreams.

I remember staring at the wood grain pattern in my bedroom door one night. My inner conversation stopped, and I began to hallucinate. The door became an entrance to a cave, and I went in. Planets and stars began to whiz past me, and I felt an overwhelming sense of euphoria.

Adolescence can be a wonderful experience. It breaks my heart when I hear how terrible it was for so many of my friends. I know my kids are on their own, but I can’t help but want to do every thing I can to make it a great time for them.

Pic is my brother Patrick, me, and my girlfriend Pam in my bedroom in our Soulard apartment. Believe it or not, we were in High School. You can just make out my brother’s dog Cello’s tongue sticking out from under the bed.

10 comments:

Tony Patti said...

That is one of the best shots of Cello's tongue I have ever seen!

Anonymous said...

А! Große, fand ich, was ich habe gesucht

Doggie said...

Guess what, there are free translators online. This last comment is in German and appears to say, "I found what I've been looking for, big time." Perhaps it's a Herman Hesse quote.

Dominic said...

there's that old gray Supro!

Doggie said...

I still have it.

Anonymous said...

感谢您的帮助后!我也不会获得这样的,否则!

Doggie said...

Okay this is how this comment translates---
Thank you for your help after! I will not be like this, otherwise!

Dorothy said...
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Dorothy said...
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Dorothy said...

Yes, those years of reading Hesse and Castenada were wonderful. It is good your children have you to talk to about it.

I'm always curious though, when people who identify themselves as atheists, also speak highly of mystical states and meditation. What is being communed with? Perhaps I'm missing something, though, because this keeps coming up. I thought atheists don't believe in God. period. I have never been too caught up in the minor details of religion, even of Christianity which is perhaps limited in it's institutional willingness to explore deeper levels of experience. However, once you start reading the saints, it's mindblowing. And beautiful.

I do hope Dylan waits or declines to experiment with hallucinogens. I don't think they are necessary in this day and age, we have so much information on spirituality at the press of a button.

Best wishes to you, Valerie and Chloe and Dylan!