To be

Telling her how to be and when to be. “There’s a time and place for everything.” A predicament inherent to being. Everyday reflections remind her where the power lies. Photographs in the subway. Photographs in the cinema. Photographs in the phone. Attention doesn’t equate to better treatment. “Smile, honey” becomes “fuck you, conceited bitch.” Every dismissed stranger presents more risk of danger. “Can I buy you a drink—no?—you’re not that hot, anyway.” Standard procedure: projection after rejection. Discomfort aroused from desires denied. Holds it against her. Eyes on thighs as she walks by. Her words responded but he just wanted her mouth. Rational reactions often halted, in fear of another attack. But she no longer holds in her expression for his convenience. Someday he’ll never expect again.

Growing up in a Narcocracy

This is an article I co-wrote with my partner Sam about the international impact of cocaine use. It was originally published on Medium.

By Samuel Jaramillo Arango and Erica Avey

@magic.theatre.studio

The year is 1991. It’s still two years before Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s death, but 20 since Nixon started the so-called “War on Drugs.” I was born in the month of August in Medellín, Colombia — known then as one of the most violent cities in the world.

It took 27 years for me to realize my very first memories are tinted by the life and death of one of the world’s most notorious criminals in the illegal drug trade. However, long after Escobar was shot dead, hope for peace remains a utopian dream for the inhabitants of the paisa capital.

The cocaine market didn’t die when Escobar was killed, nor did the drug itself cease to exist. The protagonist changed, demand rose, delivery routes multiplied, victims increased, and the business model adapted to the guerrillas’ open war. Colombian history since the late ’70s follows a series of cartels that fluctuate between control of drug production, circulation, and the next “patron” to dictate the law of the jungle.

Continue reading “Growing up in a Narcocracy”

Expanded upon

If we look at the central profundities of the psychedelic experience across a more broad range of people, we can learn more about the psychedelic experience itself. And the more we know about how psychedelics can impact who, the better we can direct psychedelic treatment in the future.

This is a bit of my theory: Masculine and feminine psychedelic perspectives seem to differ. So the psychedelic experience or process itself might be different across men and women, and across various mental predispositions. This does not just include cultural conditioning or biological factors, but also lived experience like past trauma.

And varying mental predispositions will need varying care.

Anyone can get the same thing out of the psychedelic experience: healing. Psychedelics can help people become more comfortable with themselves, leading to higher states of self-actualization, social deconditioning (especially relating to strict gender roles), and androgyny. But the path to healing with psychedelics is different for everyone.

Read more here.

Bioethics topics to explore

Migration as a bioethics issue — not allowing people to migrate physically (from asylum seeking to relocation for better opportunity and simply travel) and mentally (with psychoactive substance or mind-altering experiences) is a bioethics issue. Regulations on migration, travel, and drug use serve some and harm many.

The ethics of psychiatric diagnosis/prescription vs. self-medication — the current psychiatric system also serves some, but hurts many, and moving from the doctor-patient power imbalance to patient empowerment could be a solution. This research would seek information about people who do not receive psychiatric treatment (for reasons from ability to financial), who do not benefit from current pharmaceuticals, and who already know which drugs they want to try — whether from their psychiatrist or from the street. Do you know people who go to the doctor knowing what they’ll be asking for? Isn’t this doctor-approved self-medication? Do you know people given drugs by doctors that they wouldn’t take on their own, that might even make them seem worse? (Thinking strictly re: psychiatric medicine, not for example, cancer treatment.) Is self-medication really the problem authorities should fight or should they provide wider education and harm reduction instead? Reference: Portugal. Will the information age cut out doctors as the middle men between patients and their preferred medicine?  This would reference Our Right to Drugs by Thomas Szasz, among others.

Migrate

3 am, can’t sleep. Don’t want to think about it anymore. Him, her. Is it possible to care and be happy? Considering place. I don’t want to label and critique every moving object. Get into debates in a digital web of 1s and 0s. So reactive by surroundings. Neurons scanning a screen won’t fix the anthropocene. Maybe I shouldn’t talk about what I think on that podcast. Me, me, me. I, I, I on the byline. Why even put it in a book? Thoughts keep coming anyway. Maybe someday I’ll write them away. Mental predispositions mix with chemical compounds. Exposing patterns in unseen conditions. Role play the foreplay ‘til climax; the end. A crisis, the meeting point. Rather read and listen. Get high and take notes. Entering a stealth mode to heal head and heart. Still migrating physically and mentally. Something I don’t take for granted. Something all humans should be able to do. Freely.

Idealized image

He cannot budge an inch because the recognition of certain shortcomings would confront him with his conflicts, thus jeopardizing the artificial harmony he has established. We can arrive, therefore, at a positive correlation between the intensity of the conflicts and the rigidity of the idealized image: an especially elaborate and rigid image permits us to infer especially disruptive conflicts.” 

-Karen Horney
Our Inner Conflicts (Translated from German)