Life exceeds itself, its past, its context, in making itself more and other than its history: life is that which registers and harnesses the impact of contingency, converting contingency into history, and history into self-overcoming, supersession, becoming-other… Life is not different in substance from matter but is a kind of opening up of matter to indeterminacy, a qualitative transformation of matter into the unexpected, the surprising, the never-seen-before and the never-able-to-be-repeated. It adds to the contained and structured material universe the openness of the virtual, the potential to be otherwise, as it transforms matter, and itself, in its self-overcoming.”
Even here, even now your letter tempts us to shut our ears to these little facts, these trivial details, to listen not to the bark of the guns and the bray of the gramophones but to the voices of the poets, answering each other, assuring us of a unity that rubs out divisions as if they were chalk marks only; to discuss with you the capacity of the human spirit to overflow boundaries and make unity out of multiplicity.”
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)
Deliberately maniacal. We lost her, in a fit of rage, conspiring to craft a message of hate on an eternal day of love. Isolation built illusions before they ascended into delusions. Grandeur and Purity. Conspiracies built from fear. “They’re not welcome here.” Where does it hurt? He’ll impregnate more deception if he doesn’t heal the wound. Murder more ties while those within buckle and harden before they shatter and break. He found someone online who shared his beliefs: hatred of Others, hatred of a system that is discovering They Aren’t Superior. So he “joined the community.” Or at least a sense of one. A virtual cult where the virus spreads. Replacing notions of what we crave, for space, for Others. They attack ~identity politics~ but only conspire with those who share their identity. We do not fetishize identity out of nerves like you do, we unite against a pattern of facts, a history of evil, shaping it into beauty and art and music in your ears. But do not fear, we are all together here. He will erase her. But not me.
One of the issues surrounding patriarchy is not just control over people’s bodies, people’s minds, how they’re supposed to respond, what’s going to be an acceptable adventure in this arena, but they also control and prioritize what is an acceptable feeling. And especially in the consciousness community, and it’s been in the religious communities as well, as bearers of moral import, love is put at the top. That’s the high vibration. At the bottom, that’s the low vibration. That’s anger or something like that. And then you have variances in between. What they have done is take a whole spectrum of feelings, and they have said that some are good and some are bad. They’ve turned them into moral qualities, and not just feelings. So what happens is that when people who are not acceptable as equal to the patriarchy, and I’m talking about women, when they have feelings, they are put on a lower spectrum as to what is acceptable for a woman to express. It’s the same thing for men, for those who, like myself, have been sexually molested as children, and raped. When we want to say these things, we are told, oh, well that’s in the past. That’s a patriarchal attitude which wants to control how people can relate within the culture. And that is directly a patriarchal attitude… that’s the place where hierarchy is telling you how to be as a human being.”
-A voice from the audience at Psychedelic Patriarchy
February 7, 2018 in NYC
Last night I attended the Women and Psychedelics Forum at CIIS, organized by Bia Liabate of Chacruna, with support from MAPS. Topics of conversation included the ethics of psychedelic therapy, sexual assault in ceremonial settings, the current state of crisis/division, and our history in a dominator system. We talked about psychedelic-assisted pattern-seeking, deconditioning, education, and healing. For individuals and societies. We talked a bit about the War on Drugs and how it has been used against black and brown people to benefit a few white people. This has been and still is our reality.
Speakers addressed the fact that these cultural problems of social inequality, sexual violence, and greed also exist in this psychedelic bubble. Surprise! (Well not really.)
But I left overjoyed that this space even exists, and while I’m still processing everything from the seven hour conversation — the many lines of thought to be continued — I am almost certain that last night’s gathering pushed me and other attendees a little further into our own hope/work. For ourselves and this community.
Compared to other conferences I’ve attended in the last few years… this gathering was different. The psychedelic space can be an inviting bunch, but the female psychedelic space provided a uniquely thoughtful, stimulating, and progressive mixing of minds.
I loved when Kathleen Harrison compared women’s work in this space to mycelium: a growing underground network, working from the bottom up. A web of connections highly aware that our current system is not collectively caring and compassionate (like it could be!). A group of voices that have chosen not to succumb to attempted silencing and “be quiet”s. We met here and chose otherwise, just like people before us did during the abolition of slavery, the suffrage movement, and the civil rights movement. Psychedelic medicine can help us carefully gather information, come back, and share.
The hysterical reaction to such a minor adjustment in folkways revealed the insecurity and sense of danger felt by the male ego in the presence of any factor that might tend to restore the importance of partnership in human affairs. ”
Is all theory anecdotal if free will is a myth? If we had no control over the world we entered, the books written before us, or the options presented to us, then isn’t any theory/choice constructed by our very personal, lived experiences?