VJMP Reads: Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger VIII

This reading continues on from here.

The 22nd essay in Ride The Tiger is called ‘Dissolution of Modern Art’. Much like everything else, Evola contends that art has also degenerated. In the case of art, it has degenerated into a feminine subjectivity that is too afraid to say anything. Now we can no longer even speak of traditional art because no-one has any idea what that even is.

In this essay Evola echoes Plato’s description of the degeneration of political forms, only applied to the world of art. Modern art would be best served by achieving maximum craptitude, because that would provide the clean spiritual slate upon which something authentic could be written. Literature is also criticised as “fetishising” human relationships and merely documenting them with full banality.

As in many previous essays, Evola concludes that art has been given too great an importance, to the detrimental of the spiritual. What gives meaning to life can exist “even in the virtual absence of art”. Art has, in reality, undermined idealism, especially in the modern world. Positive realism lies in the assertion of values such as truth and spiritual courage. That which truly has value needs no consensus to agree.

The 23rd essay is ‘Modern Music and Jazz’. Evola has a keen interest in music and understands its development over the course of recent centuries. Perhaps weirdly, Evola writes here about the “preponderance of dance music over vocal and emotional music” – a sentiment shared by many today. He considers that the drift towards nihilism in philosophy and art has been echoed by one in music.

Music has, according to Evola, developed in ways that mirror the development of all other social movements. Therefore, the advent of jazz is no surprise – it is merely the democratisation of music, something “primitively ecstatic”. This doesn’t mean that jazz is crude, though, or that jazz players are unskilled musicians. It simply heralds the return to the world of fundamental, elemental forces.

This “Negro music” is associated with “dark forms of ecstasy” in Evola’s reckoning. He compares the feelings that arise from dancing to rhythmic music to the frenzies of the dervishes: “possessions of savage ritual”. Despite frequently being paired with drugs, these occasions cannot be compared to the ancient rites of Dionysus etc. because there is nothing sacred about them – they are mere escapism.

On the subject of drugs, the 24th essay is ‘Excursus on Drugs’. Evola considers drugs to “most visibly have the goal of an ecstatic escape”. Some of the people who choose such an escape are those who have perceived the meaninglessness of human existence. Others are “neurotics and psychopaths”. Part of the danger of drugs is, like rhythmic music, they can be used to open up awareness to a suprasensible world, such as in initiatory ritual.

Despite this caution, Evola gives due credit to the use of various drugs in sacred ritual. The Taoists considered even the use of alcohol to have a kind of magical effect, and he mentions the Central American shamanic traditions that made much use of mescaline, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms. However, he also points out that no-one really understands how to use these sacraments anymore, because no-one is capable of the necessary spiritual preparation. This leads to the risk of “possession by dark powers”.

If used correctly, nonprofanely, drugs offer the possibility of coming into contract with a superior dimension of reality. Stimulants and depressants can more or less be ignored for these purposes. Hallucinogens are excellent but have many drawbacks; their ancient use involved guiding the trip with symbols and a preliminary catharsis of emotion, two things that are seldom done today. Narcotics can be useful for the sake of dissociating from the mundane but the experience is hard to control.

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Legalising Cannabis Would More Than Fix The Hole in New Zealand’s Education Budget

The Labour Party is crying loudly about the hole in the education budget, but is silent about the potential savings from repealing cannabis prohibition

Every week the Labour Party goes back on another one of its election promises, claiming that there’s much less money in the budget than anyone realised and so they won’t be able to fund anything: not education, not health, not welfare. What the criminal bullshitters in the Government don’t admit is that they could save 400 million dollars every year, starting tomorrow, simply by legalising cannabis.

The net benefits of repealing cannabis prohibition are no longer disputable. Eight US states now have fully legal cannabis, with further legalisation referendums to come, and no-one has any regrets. According to calculations by the New Zealand Treasury, this country is flushing $400,000,000 down the toilet every year in order to enforce a law that the New Zealand people do not want. That’s no small sum of money.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has come out and said that there is a $1,100,000,000 shortfall in the education budget. The linked article cites Hipkins as claiming that “Over the next three budgets, $929m was needed to cover the cost of new schools and classrooms and to meet the cost of the Christchurch rebuild. The remaining $166m was needed for urgent remediation and demolition of classrooms and buildings that are unusable.”

In the linked article, Hipkins blames the former National-led Government for neglecting capital spending on educational buildings, claiming that Labour is not going to be able to meet its election promises as a consequence. But it’s absolutely absurd that the Labour Government is crying about funding shortfalls when it’s wasting such an incredible amount of money on conducting a War on Drugs against the New Zealand people.

According to the Treasury’s own calculations, if we legalised cannabis today, we would save $1,200,000,000 over the course of the next three Budgets, primarily through not having to fund the Police and “Justice” Systems to piss all that money up the wall on persecuting medicinal cannabis users. So it makes no sense at all for Labour to cry about a shortage of money when it’s wasting incredible sums on enforcing a law that the New Zealand people don’t want.

A study conducted in Colorado from last month has shown that even if one accounts for the increases in social costs that come in the wake of legalisation, there is still a large net gain to the economy. Moreover, “The researchers found no evidence that legal cannabis contributed to increased homelessness or increased youth use of marijuana.”

There are other costs to cannabis prohibition that don’t fall into the $400,000,000 of damages. By withholding a widely-recognised exit drug from people struggling with opiate addiction, we are literally killing the most vulnerable New Zealanders. Studies of American states that have liberalised their cannabis laws have shown that, given the choice between opiates or cannabis, many people with severe pain disorders prefer to use cannabis. This has led to thousands fewer deaths from opiate overdoses.

It’s absolutely insane that our school buildings are falling into disrepair, our hospitals have mold on the walls, and that our rape crisis centres are being closed down, all because of a lack of funding, when we’re wasting over a billion dollars every electoral cycle on cannabis prohibition. If the Labour Party were any less neoliberal than the National Party they replaced, they would open an honest discussion on the subject with the stated intention of legalising cannabis as Colorado did in 2012.

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Moral Outrage is a Crude Thrill But an Addictive One

It’s evident from the body language of virtue signallers that they exult in the feelings of moral superiority provided by their aggression

It’s possible to become addicted to a wide range of different thrills. Adrenaline, oxytocin, endorphins, dopamine and a slew of other neurotransmitters all create a very specific kind of pleasurable buzz that a person can easily become hooked on. This essay examines the most fashionable addiction in current year: the addiction to moral outrage.

Moral outrage belongs to the class of ego thrills. Within this class are all actions that lead to pleasure on account of letting you think, even if only for a short moment, that you’re better than other people. Belonging to this class are a large number of activities relating to competition and domination.

Alchemically speaking, there are three ways that one person can dominate another person, and these correspond to the three orientations of bravery. One can dominate physically, one can dominate mentally, or one can dominate morally.

Dominating physically is generally looked down upon as an activity befitting children and thugs. Dominating mentally is the obsession of the young adult learning to be a man of silver, and incredible amounts of energy are expended to this end at universities, but most people soon grow out of that.

Dominating morally is where the real self-aggrandisement comes into play, because if this can be achieved then the other forms can be dismissed as less worthy or meaningful. It doesn’t matter if someone dominates you physically or mentally, because you can claim that the act of domination is itself immoral by virtue of being aggressive, and that therefore you, in fact, dominated them where it counts – morally!

As it happens, the modern world gives us plenty of opportunity to get a kick out of moral outrage. So much so that some people may have become clinically addicted to the thrill. Much like smoking cigarettes or snorting cocaine, working oneself into a towering moral fury has a near-immediately gratifying payoff and is therefore more likely to become habitual.

Signs of addiction can be seen in the compulsive bleating of “Racist!” whenever someone criticises a group of people that contains some black or brown individuals. Here, the person getting a buzz off moral outrage doesn’t bother to wait to make sure that the person they’re attacking really is a racist, because that might mean that they don’t get to accuse anyone and so don’t get the buzz.

Other signs include getting outraged at things that are entirely natural, such as the gender pay gap. Taking something that’s clearly the result of female choice and spinning it to make out like there’s a massive anti-female conspiracy to drive down wages is the kind of thing that could get someone a diagnosis of paranoia in other contexts, but when politics are involved no pile of bullshit is too high.

In truth, moral outrage is a form of bullying. It’s a way of running another person down because of their perceived lack of virtue, and this moral shaming is little different to shaming someone for being fat, poor or slovenly. The main distinction is that it is more passive-aggressive than physical bullying.

The driving force behind moral outrage is a combination of slave morality and mob mentality. The slave morality is always a feature because people susceptible to moral outrage have inevitably been told what their morals are, and usually told early enough in life that, by adulthood, they’re convinced their behaviour is natural. The mob mentality, likewise, is always a feature because people need to whip each other up into a frenzy to generate the self-righteousness necessary for a truly gratifying state of moral outrage.

The question then arises: should crude expressions of moral outrage be banned, or at least socially discouraged? It’s possible to combat them by making the virtue signaller look bad themselves.

For instance, virtue signallers shrieking “Racist!” when they hear criticism of Islam could be discouraged by being told how stupid they are for not being able to see the difference between dislike of a religion and dislike of a race. After all, the two concepts are radically different – the first is a meme complex, the second is a gene complex. It could fairly be pointed out that someone unable to tell the difference is pretty thick.

Even better, when someone is aggressively expressing their moral outrage at you, is to ask that person if they think they’re better than you on account of their beliefs. Of course they think they are, which is why they’re outraged in the first place – but if they admit that, they immediately lose their moral high ground on account of confessing to egotism.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Medicinal Cannabis Advances in 2017 – A Review

This literature review was conducted using Google Scholar, which was used to find citations of academic papers that referenced “cannabis medicine”, “cannabis psychosis”, “cannabis schizophrenia” and “medicinal cannabis”.

The strands of research that interest us here include: research undermining cannabis prohibition, with reference to psychiatric concerns; research supporting use of cannabis medicine, with reference to psychiatric conditions; evidence for cannabis as a substitute for opioids; other evidence supporting the use of cannabis medicine.

Research undermining cannabis prohibition, with reference to psychiatric concerns

This paper in the Biological Psychiatry Journal was notable for containing the sentence “Meta-analyses suggest that individuals with schizophrenia who use cannabis show better cognitive functioning compared to those who are non-users.”

Another paper in the Schizophrenia Bulletin makes a point of distinguishing between the effects of CBD and the effects of THC, noting that “THC is responsible for the psychotogenic effects of cannabis.” This directly contradicts the received psychiatric wisdom that “cannabis” causes psychosis.

This paper even notes that “independent evidence that CBD has antipsychotic and anxiolytic properties in patients with mental health disorders has been accumulating.” Indeed, doctors in California have been advising people for at least 10 years now that high-CBD strains (such as Northern Lights) were better suited for calming and sleeping purposes than high-THC skunk.

Although this paper is not titled with a journal of publication, it is worthwhile for at least conceding that many of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia are ameliorated by cannabis use.

This paper in the Acta Psychopathologica argues against the prohibition of cannabis on the basis of the Precautionary Principle. According to this paper, almost everyone tempted to smoke cannabis already has, regardless of the law. Moreover, prohibition prevents very few cases of schizophrenia, even assuming a direct causal link. Therefore, the deterrent effect of prohibition is outweighed by the positive effects of making it legal.

Research supporting use of cannabis medicine, with reference to psychiatric conditions

This paper in the the Clinical Psychology Review performed a meta-analysis of recent discoveries about the relationship between medicinal cannabis use and positive mental health outcomes. Perhaps the foremost result of this analysis was “Cannabis has potential for the treatment of PTSD and substance use disorders.” Among cannabis users this is well-known to be one of the main reasons why people smoke it in the first place. It was also noted that “Cannabis use does not appear to increase risk of harm to self or others.”

What is striking about this paper is the absence of Drug War rhetoric. Cannabis use, instead of being described as cannabis abuse (as in the majority of prohibitionist papers), is here given the acronym CTP (cannabis for therapeutic purposes). In the past, a paper that referred to cannabis in this manner would not have been funded or published, so the appearance of the phrase suggests that attitudes are changing.

A comprehensive overview of recent advances in medicinal cannabis science can be found in the Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies Chapters 90 and 91, ‘The Use of Medical Marijuana in the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders’ and ‘Beneficial Effects of Cannabis and Related Compounds on Sleep’.

Unfortunately, much of the literature continues to make the fundamental error of confusing cannabis extracts and pharamceutical preparations with the actual cannabis plant itself (as seen here). The authors of these papers frequently draw the conclusion that cannabis is not helpful for treating certain conditions because some extract was found to not be helpful. Others (as seen here) fail to make any distinction between THC and CBD, lumping all 100+ cannabinoids under the rubric of “marijuana”.

This paper notes that anxiety is one of the top five reasons given by patients in North America for using medicinal cannabis. It doesn’t go into why, but it’s likely that the calming effects of CBD are involved, as they may also be in the case of schizophrenia. Other papers also support the notion that cannabis has use for treating certain mental conditions, such as social anxiety.

Evidence for cannabis as a substitute for opioids

One of the most promising directions of future medicinal cannabis research appears to be in the direction of using cannabis as a substitute for a variety of other medicines that might have worse side-effects or addictive potential.

One of the most astonishing pieces of research was a study of how usage of pain, anxiety and sleep medication decreased when medicinal cannabis was available. In a survey of New England dispensary members, “among respondents that regularly used opioids, over three-quarters (76.7%) indicated that they reduced their use since they started [medicinal cannabis]…” and “…Approximately two-thirds of patients decreased their use of anti-anxiety (71.8%), migraine (66.7%), and sleep (65.2%) medications following [medicinal cannabis]…”.

Another example can be found here. The linked study is a literature review of 2897 medicinal cannabis patients that found “Respondents overwhelmingly reported that cannabis provided relief on par with their other medications, but without the unwanted side effects.”

In particular there seems to be special promise for cannabis to help with the opioid addiction crisis. Several papers suggest promise for cannabis to help here, as well as act as a substitute for sleep medications.

Other evidence supporting the use of cannabis medicine

Soporific uses appear to be one of the most promising avenues for future research into the benefits of medicinal cannabis. This study found reason to support the idea that cannabis heavy in CBDs is better suited for sleep management than cannabis heavy in THCs.

This review in Clinical Psychopharmacology and Medicine suggested that there might be promise in using cannabis to treat Alzheimers’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases, among other neurodegenerative conditions.

Other studies suggest that there is promise for cannabis medicine in alleviating suffering associated with multiple sclerosis.

This study suggested that the savings from prescriptions that don’t get filled in legal cannabis states (because legal medicinal cannabis acts as a substitute for the prescribed medicine) could run into the billions.

What many of these studies have in common is a mention of the need for more research into the potential for cannabis to alleviate suffering, and a lament for the fact that this research has been hamstrung by cannabis prohibition. It’s clear that awareness of the benefits of cannabis medicine is spreading rapidly among the medical community, and that there is much excitement about future applications.

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Vince McLeod is a former Membership Secretary of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and author of the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook.

New Zealand First Risks Destruction If It Opposes Medicinal Cannabis Reform

From Jim Anderton to Peter Dunne and now to Winston Peters, New Zealand has always managed to find one piss-soaked old bastard to hold up cannabis law reform

The New Zealand First Party won 8.7% of the votes in the 2014 General Election, which entitled them to 11 Parliamentary seats. Strategic blunders saw them fall to 7.2% of the vote in 2017, still above the 5% threshold but precariously so. New Zealand First is at risk of committing another strategic blunder by opposing Chloe Swarbrick’s Medicinal Cannabis Bill, and this article will explain why.

Dan McGlashan’s Understanding New Zealand provides us with an explanation for what happened here. We can see that the correlation between being Maori and voting New Zealand First was initially very strong, at 0.66 in 2014, when they did very well in the Maori seats. By 2017 the strength of this correlation had fallen to 0.38, as a large proportion of that Maori support abandoned the party.

Between 2014 and the 2017 General Election, New Zealand First came out in opposition to those same Maori seats in which they had done so well. This was a massive error because Maori people are extremely reluctant to cede any kind of political power to the Crown, for the understandable reason that when they have done so in the past, they ended up losing heavily from it.

New Zealand First were punished at the ballot box in 2017, losing 1.5% of their vote, mostly from Maoris who switched back to to Labour.

Between 2017 and the 2020 General Election, we may see another fall in New Zealand First support, and for similar reasons, only this time it may be catastrophic. The difficulty is that Winston Peters risks betraying the wishes of many of the people who support their party by opposing Swarbrick’s Bill.

On the Bill, Peters is quoted as saying “It goes far too far. There’s no restrictions at all, it’s random, it’s haphazard, it’s free for all.” Whether this means New Zealand First will support the Bill through its first reading or not is unclear, but if they vote to dismiss the Bill they run the risk of self-destruction, because they will alienate many of their core supporters.

Invalid’s beneficiaries are heavy supporters of New Zealand First – the correlation between being on an invalid’s benefit and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was 0.47, which is moderately strong. Many of these invalids have found medicinal relief in cannabis, which is reflected in the strong correlation of 0.79 between being on an invalid’s benefit and voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017.

These stats suggest that there are a large number of cannabis-using invalids who voted New Zealand First at the last election, and further New Zealand First opposition to cannabis law reform risks alienating these people further.

Although New Zealand First does get more support from older people than younger ones, this is nowhere near as pronounced as most people think it is. The correlation between median age and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was only 0.26, in comparison to the correlation of 0.78 between median age and voting National in 2017.

Therefore, concern about the opinions of elderly Boomers with regard to cannabis ought not factor too heavily in New Zealand First’s calculus. The vast majority of young people support proper cannabis law reform, and New Zealand First risks tarnishing their image among these voters through their conservatism on this issue.

Perhaps the biggest risk that New Zealand First runs by opposing this medicinal cannabis bill is through losing the support of the New Zealand-born, who are not only the biggest New Zealand First supporters by far but also the biggest cannabis law reform supporters by far. The correlation between being New Zealand-born and voting for New Zealand First in 2017 was 0.54, which is moderately strong, but the correlation between being New Zealand-born and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017 was 0.73.

Cannabis use is an intrinsic part of Kiwi culture, and it’s not going anywhere. If the New Zealand First Party really wants to make good on its pretensions to represent Kiwis and our culture, they need to accept the fact that we really enjoy using cannabis and are going to keep doing it.

New Zealand First might be tempted by conservative instincts to oppose this bill, but you can’t piss directly in the face of your own supporters in that way and expect that they will turn out to support you when you ask for it at election time. Maoris, young people and invalids are all heavily impacted by our ludicrous cannabis laws, and young Maoris doubly so. They have been crying out for relief, and a recreational alternative to alcohol, for decades.

New Zealand is already 22 years behind California on the medicinal cannabis issue, and New Zealand First is causing this country to fall further and further behind, mostly at the expense of their own long-term voters. If they don’t keep up with the state of play and research in other jurisdictions they risk destruction at the hands of the voters.

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To Deny That Cannabis Is Medicinal Is To Deny The Humanity of Medicinal Cannabis Users

Opioids kill 1 in every 10,000 Americans every year, but they’re fully legal

One of the most awful aspects of being a medicinal cannabis user is getting lied to by doctors and mental healthcare workers who deny the emotional and spiritual benefits of cannabis use. The problem isn’t that they won’t help you get hold of cannabis medicine (because there are plenty of people who will) – it’s that they refuse to have an honest conversation with you about the benefits and side-effects of using it.

It’s impossible, in most places, for a sick person who uses medicinal cannabis to expect that their doctor will listen honestly to what they have to say. If the patient mentions the benefits of their cannabis use, the doctor will insist that the patient must be mistaken when they believe that cannabis helped them. Even if the doctor goes as far as conceding that cannabis has some medicinal value, they will almost always attribute all manner of ghastly side-effects to using it.

Worst of all, it’s impossible to change the mind of your doctor by presenting evidence from jurisdictions that have legalised medicinal cannabis. It doesn’t matter that medicinal cannabis was made legal in California in 1996 after the doctors there looked at the evidence – those doctors are simply presumed to be wrong, and recklessly so. End of story.

This refusal to speak honestly with patients is, from the patient’s perspective, a dehumanising experience. It’s a way of saying that your experience can be discounted, because you are worth less than a normal human being. With almost every other medicine it’s possible to tell a doctor that it alleviates your suffering and have it considered enough to get a prescription.

This is even true of opioids, which kill 1 in every 10,000 Americans every year, and which have been so recklessly overprescribed that the opioid crisis now has its own Wikipedia page.

Not so with cannabis. Somehow cannabis has the mysterious property of causing suffering that only doctors, politicians and pharmaceutical company lobbyists are able to see. A patient might feel that their suffering is reduced from using medicinal cannabis, but unfortunately for them, they are not considered full human beings on account of the claim that cannabis causes psychosis. Therefore, their belief that cannabis alleviates suffering can be dismissed on account of it being a belief held by a psychotic person.

It’s a vicious Catch-22: you might feel that the cannabis takes your suffering away, but this can be trumped by the declaring that using cannabis robs you of your ability to reason, and then anything you say can be dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic.

If a person is suffering psychologically, and they take a substance that they believe to be medicinal, and their experience of using this substance is that it ameliorates psychological suffering, then how can anyone else possibly presume to judge otherwise?

It might be that the side-effects of using some particular medicines are so great that, on balance, it’s better to look for an alternative than to prescribe them, but significant side-effects from cannabis use are non-existent.

The feeling from the patient’s perspective is that doctors are saying that ameliorating your suffering, in particular, is not worth pursuing because you are not valuable. Elderly Baby Boomers are getting stuffed full of opioids at the first murmur of complaint, but if anyone else wants to use some cannabis they have to risk several years in prison.

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Psychedelics Fill The Vacuum Left By The Destruction of Genuine Spirituality

In the West we have no common spiritual tradition. The closest we come is an empty imitation of the old myths and legends of a Middle Eastern tribe of genital mutilators. Where the Buddhists pray for an end to the suffering of all sentient beings and the Hindus know for certain that consciousness survives the death of the physical body, we Westerners are still mutilating the genitals of our baby boys and living in utter terror of the day our vital organs shut down. Luckily, there is historical precedent for solving these problems.

The natural spiritual traditions of Westerners were destroyed by successive waves of Abrahamic invasions, beginning when the Romans made the terrible mistake of taking in Abrahamic refugees. Allowing this evil supremacist tradition into the West had the effect of corrupting those tasked with maintaining these natural spiritual traditions, ending with their replacement by hollow lies.

Before the Abrahamists invaded, Europe was rich in folk spiritual practices, with use of the amanita muscaria mushroom in the North and psilocybin mushrooms in the South allowing our forebears to reconnect with God. Not only did the ancients use psychedelics, but they did so frequently and with reverence, like any skilled practitioner would use them today.

The amanita muscaria folklore lives on in our stories about Santa Claus and his reindeer (Santa’s red and white costume represents the mushroom, his rotund build represents its roundness. The reindeer are there because Nordic shamans would potentiate the psychedelic effect of the mushroom by inducing reindeer to eat it and then drinking the animals’ urine).

The ancient Greeks partook in the ceremony at Eleusis once every mushroom season, and they did so with such reverence that to this day no-one is quite sure of precisely what the recipe of the kykeon was. This enabled them to see the world beyond in a way that had up until then been the province of exceptionally gifted shamans.

The Abrahamists destroyed as many of these traditions as they could, as Abrahamists have done everywhere in the world they have set foot, on account of the unique viciousness of that religious tradition. But they could not destroy the mushrooms themselves, no matter how severely they punished their use. And so it was only a matter of time until they lost their grip and the folk spiritual traditions reasserted themselves.

This causes problems, although we don’t realise it because you need a little bit of spirituality to realise it, and we have none left. If one of us does become a little bit spiritual, they tend to realise all of these problems, and this often leads directly to the state of psychological collapse known as psychosis.

Because our culture is rotten with materialism, we have no commonly understood way of recognising when one of us has achieved a state of spiritual insight. Indeed, the usual response appears to mock them for being a “loony”, as if the eternal truth of materialism was so self-evident that only a mentally ill person would even pause to question it.

This is why Westerners who achieve a spiritual breakthrough usually end up with a psychiatric diagnosis in short order. Our culture is so spiritually dead that we cannot recognise spiritual gnosis even when it’s right in front of us. We sneer and jeer at any hint of it.

But knowledge of magic mushroom use (alongside that of LSD) has slowly seeped into the Western consciousness since the 1950s. Thanks to the Internet and what’s left of our culture of intellectual free inquiry, it has been possible for those who have heard the call of the shaman to share their experiences with others, and after much discussion it has become clear that the psychedelic experience and the spiritual experiences of the ancients are much the same thing.

The Church did such a good job of destroying natural spirituality, and they did it for so long, that they are unable to act when it starts to arise again (as it is doing now), because they have forgotten what their enemy even is. This means that knowledge of how to use psychedelics will once again become widespread, and this will once again lead to a spiritual golden age.

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Does Cannabis Prohibition Cause Schizophrenia?

R. D. Laing

In The Politics of Experience, the great Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing presents his own understanding on the ultimate causes of schizophrenia. He concludes that schizophrenia is not mainly caused by either genetic or environmental factors but rather “the experience and behaviour that gets labelled schizophrenic is a special strategy that a person invents in order to live in an unlivable situation.”

This is a position that many schizophrenics could themselves agree with. Common to the schizophrenic experience is a sense of having been “skewered” by the world, in that one is doomed if one chooses a certain option but also doomed if one does not choose it. This kind of Catch-22 situation is regularly accompanied by a level of anxiety that is impossible to live with, followed by the mind starting to disintegrate as a way of relieving unendurable levels of stress.

It’s not a position that receives much sympathy from the psychiatric establishment, who are almost all hard-core worshippers of the cult of materialism. Most Western psychiatrists cannot conceive of mental health in any other terms than brain chemistry, and they cannot conceive of treatment in any other fashion than dishing out pills. That someone has been driven insane by society is an unpalatable possibility.

Cannabis use is believed by many to be the cause of schizophrenia, because the association between cannabis use and getting such a mental health diagnosis has long been noted. In the mainstream Western model, it is assumed that the causal relationship of these two variables goes in the direction of cannabis use causing people to develop psychosis and schizophrenia.

This has led to many psychiatrists telling their patients that not only are the patients themselves to blame for their own mental illness (which leads to terrible feelings of guilt and self-recrimination) but that only by avoiding cannabis can they hope to make a recovery.

The problem with this approach is, obviously, that cannabis is medicinal, and the vast majority of cannabis users know this, and so being told such things by a mental health “professional” is confusing, frustrating and enraging.

Getting lectured about what one needs to do to stay mentally healthy by a person who has never had schizophrenia, who has never had any experience with psychosis and who has almost certainly never used cannabis, much less a major psychedelic, is a difficult thing for any person to put up with, let alone an experienced psychonaut. When that person doing the lecturing is actually ignoring one’s own lived experiences with the medicinal qualities of the substance, it’s mind-boggling.

Because of cannabis prohibition, mental health care workers are extremely reluctant to tell the truth about the medicinal qualities of the substance (if they’re even aware of them). After all, if they recommend medicinal cannabis to a patient in a place where it’s illegal, they’re effectively recommending that the patient commit a crime, which comes with various ethical issues.

The problem is that the patient is frequently aware that the mental health care workers are lying by omission, which puts them in an impossible situation – exactly the kind of situation described by Laing as schizophrenogenic. If you have problems knowing what’s real and what isn’t, talking to someone who you know is lying to you while that person is also claiming to be helping you is just too much for the human mind to cope with.

If doctors and psychiatrists are there to help us, why don’t they tell us the truth about the medicine that does so much to relieve abominable suffering? The fact that they refuse to do so only feeds into the perception often held by paranoid schizophrenics – that they really are out to get you. It also makes people wonder if they’ve fallen into a time warp of some kind.

Prohibition of cannabis medicine is so absurd, so ludicrous, that it actually causes mental illness in the people whose lives are affected by it.

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What Was Done To The Colonies Is Still Being Done – To Us

Nothing has really changed from 1860, except that the propagandising of the slave system has become more sophisticated

The herds of the West have been conditioned to react to the word “colonisation” with horror and guilt. From the late 1400s until the European empires were wound down after World War II, ghastly crimes were indeed committed by colonial invaders against the native peoples, all over the world. But what this focus on historical crimes overlooks is that these same crimes are still being committed, by the ruling classes against the middle and working ones, to this very day.

In 1860, shortly before the American Civil War, the total slave population in the United States stood at 3,953,761, or 12.6% of the total population. In the Gulag system at its height under Stalin, there were believed to have been up to 6 million people incarcerated.

Most people agree that slavery and Communism were two of history’s greatest evils. But in 2013, there were 6,899,000 Americans under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) – about 2.8% of the total population. Although smaller as a percentage of the national population, in absolute terms it still represents a greater number of unfree people than under either slavery or Communism.

In fact, it amounts to about 25% of the world’s population of prisoners, and not all of them are in there because of murders, rapes and armed robberies. Far from it. Because of the War on Drugs, the population of non-violent drug offenders in American state or federal prisons has increased twelvefold since 1980.

The same strategies that the colonial powers used to subjugate their client populations are being used today to subjugate the peoples who are still their client populations – only instead of being done to dark-skinned races by lighter-skinned ones, it’s done to the working and middle classes by the ruling ones.

Today’s system of convict labour achieves almost everything that was seen as desirable in a slavery system anyway. Some refer to this as the ‘prison-industrial complex‘, because the profit incentive seems to have led to people being imprisoned for the benefit of shareholders in private prisons. These prisoners are often paid less than 20c an hour for their labour, despite that their productivity is dozens of times higher.

So the mentality behind the great colonial enterprises of enslaving millions and extracting resources from them in the form of labour not only still exists but it still manages to enforce its will in the 21st century West. The only difference is that, this time, the people are enslaved through the prison-industrial complex, and mostly for arbitrary drug offences.

Some groups are hit harder than others by this approach. Black people are imprisoned at the rate of 2,306 per 100,000 people, which means almost 1 in every 40 American blacks are in prison at any one point in time, and for black males the rate is an incredible 4,347 per 100,000 people, about 1 in 21.

The mentally ill also suffer atrociously in American prisons, regularly being subjected to corporal punishment for reasons related to their condition, such as becoming confused or anxious or having difficulty following instructions.

The truth is this: the ruling classes only recognise each other as true human beings, and all lower classes are considered some kind of animal to be exploited. Emphasising the racial aspect of the crimes of colonialism, as is common today, only serves to shift the blame from the ruling classes who planned and designed it to the middle and working classes who were forced to help carry it out lest they become the next group of victims.

Colonisation was never a matter of race, and it didn’t stop happening after the European empires fell. It was always a matter of class, and it simply shifted from being done to them over there to being done to us over here.