Earlier this week I had an accidental overdose of medically prescribed THC/CBD oil. I didn’t know that an overdose was even possible but the quantity that I consumed probably increased the likelihood. In a vile containing 30ml (net volume) comprised of 16.34 mg/ml of CBD and 9.99 mg/ml of THC I estimate that I took almost 20 ml in one gulp when I mistook the full bottle as empty and tried to drain the last few drops.
I knew what to something of what to expect after experiencing the DMT of Ayahuasca but was totally unprepared for a THC overdose and the collateral damage it might inflict.
It started as a typical night for my wife and I. We were grateful to have recently survived another storm without any damage but we were still tired from a restless sleep. This particular mid-December evening the fireplace glow, our Christmas decorations and Holiday lights brightened the long winter night. Our pets were stretched out on their beds or their favourite places. Christmas gifts were promisingly placed under a triangular metal ‘tree’, with red ribbon edging and 21 hand-painted Holiday bulbs, near the fireplace. The serene and peaceful ambience was an antidote to our long, cold and dark nights of winter.
Such weather is great for cozy evenings. By 7pm it had been dark for 2 hours and dinner dishes were already cleared and cleared. We sat in our side-by-side easy chairs enjoying a TV episode of the streaming series ‘Sneaky Pete’. My wife soon nudged her feet over my armrest in the pursuit of her nightly feet massage. On this night, however, I was not in the mood. I was preoccupied. Since swallowing the THC I had been trying to gauge the impact my overdose would have on our tranquil evening and my wife’s fragile support for my hallucinogenic transcendent journey.
I didn’t need to wait long and as the THC chemicals quickly make their way through my bloodstream, into my brain and then the rest of my body, it became increasing clear that the impact would be equivalent to a terrorist bomb exploding when least expected and where it could do the most damage. It was a well-known jihadist fear tactic that amplified the impact of their acts. I now feared that my overdose would go beyond myself. I knew what to expect after experiencing the DMT from Ayahuasca but was totally unprepared for a THC overdose and the collateral damage it might inflict.
To her, It must have felt like I was inhabited by ‘God’ in the same way someone, who was a candidate for an exorcism, was ‘inhabited’ by the ‘Devil’.
I tried to focus on ‘Sneaky Pete’ to distract myself and to focus my overdose experience. I imagined that this was the equivalent to someone heroically throwing themselves on a hand grenade or bomb for the greater good. It wasn’t long, however, before I began to verbally dissect each scene. It was not unusual for me to analyze TV shows but seldom would I do so verbally or spontaneously. I knew that I was in trouble when I declared ‘Sneaky Pete’ to be the best program by the Breaking Bad creative team since that series had its last hurrah. It was her askance look that revealed the truth.
I had initially resisted the urge to disrupt our evening as I’ve had always kept my ‘transcendent journey’ struggles largely to myself. My wife of 18 years had made it clear that she didn’t want me to travel, let alone take such unnecessary risks. I also wanted our cocoon lifestyle, surrounded by nature and nurture, but I was also driven by a need to prepare for the inevitable loneliness and despair of dying. I scrambled to repackage my situation in order to salvage the moment when, shortly after singing the praises of Bryan Cranston, I felt like I was abducted by an undeniable, yet seemingly alien, force that held me captive. Think Spielberg’s film ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’.In other words, I realized that this was not going to be another routine night.
At one point I imagined my body rhythmically moving to a pulsating drum beat. It felt like I was a Native warrior on the Plains that my people once called home. I was alone but somehow also connected to a spirit. I danced an ancient tribal dance with abandon as I felt a deep ancestral connection to the land and the Creator. I was not thinking so much as staying in the moment of this blissful celebration of movement. The reality to my wife, however, was that I was uncoordinated, almost convulsive.
My wife told me afterwards that she saw that I was drained of colour, unable to walk or talk coherently and near death. To her, It must have felt like I was inhabited by ‘God’ in the same way someone, who was a candidate for an exorcism, was ‘inhabited’ by the ‘Devil’. To me, I felt that I was a free spirit who emerged in a Native spirit dance and, despite my wife’s fears, I would have happily died in that joyful moment.
Perhaps ‘God’s’ edginess shows a bit more at this time of year? I mean, I know that I would be irritated.
Later I took on the ‘persona’ of ‘God’, or, at least, my idea of what ‘God’ would say and do. At times I was in communication without words and at times I verbalized ‘God’s’ thoughts. My internal ‘conversations’ were all one-side. It felt like ‘God’ was speaking either through me or to me. I had no control over what I did and was continually surprised by what I said or thought.
When my wife asked ‘God’ if he/she was real I sensed that ‘God’ became irritated. When ‘God’ responded, he/she lowered his/her voice to almost a whisper and started to speak through me. ‘God’ explained, through my voice and persona, that my wife was going to die. I saw my wife’s non-reaction and thought we are all going to die, although I sensed that this was more of a news headline then an obvious fact. My wife, however, might just need time to process what is happening in our living room on this once cozy evening.
At one point I got stuck in a repeating loop as I was being lowered onto what I thought was a comfortable couch. My smugness was eliminated when a mirror revealed that I was being lowered into a coffin. It wasn’t clear to me if this was imminent or the nature of a human life cycle but, in the moment, it felt like I was on a de-assembly line in that it was ‘one size fits all’ impersonal. It was clear, however, that getting affairs in order and stop wasting precious time was important for both my wife and I and probably for everyone. It was a harsh reality we would all face but this seemed to me to be more immediate somehow.
He/she next told my wife that her existence and the existence of humanity was a mere distraction, like a toy for a child. ‘God’ added that my wife lives in a tiny world but that the cosmos had an infinite number of multi-dimensional universes, which, as I observed in ‘real’ time, were laid out in a linear manner such that he/she, as well as I, could see at a glance. I felt her recoil as if to take a sober measure of everything. I had just experienced ‘God’ as all-knowing, all-powerful ‘Father figure’ who had a bit of an edge that felt very human to me.
Yet part of me also was reminded of my struggle to understand why, if Jesus was angry with merchants in a temple why he/she is not also angry with the celebration that commemorates his birth has been ‘converted’ into a pagan indulgence of consumerism. Perhaps ‘God’s’ edginess shows a bit more at this time of year? I mean, I know that I would be irritated.
In other words, my take on ‘God’ while under the influence is a projection of my own fears and insecurities that will likely underline my late stage of life.
It is difficult for me to give my take on ‘God’ by simply using quotation marks or stating he/she felt human without also providing my religious background and thoughts on religion and spirituality. So, hopefully, you will read the rest of this entry as I attempt to switch gears.
I believe that Spirituality is a birthright of each person, no matter which ‘God’ you worship and regardless of whether you are a believer or not. I also believe that many Religions are corrupted by man in their quest for worldly dominance, power and wealth and are generally not concerned with you and your betterment through self-actualization or spiritual cosmic awakening. In fact, they are not concerned with the millions of homeless and starving or those that they torture, abuse and subjugate.
Spirituality, for me, is based upon my profound gratitude for the interrelatedness of all life and a belief that there is a cosmic Father and Mother for all of us. These beliefs were heightened during my Ayahuasca experience but not in my overdose experience. In both cases, however, my experiences were partly defined by my fear of dying and my journey to mitigate the inevitable loneliness and despair of dying. In other words, my take on ‘God’ while under the influence is a projection of my own fears and insecurities that will likely underline my late stage of life.
Islam is gaining more territory and Muslim adherents as well as more power and prominence through the unifying power of a Jihad. Secularism is also on the rise as more people choose secularism or to sit on the sidelines of religious wars.
I am not religious but I was ‘raised’ as a Catholic. My parents always pushed me out the door for Sunday mass but never attended themselves. I often spent the hour walking around or checking out used car lots. My childhood was marred by the years that I spent in a grade school run by Catholic Nuns and a year in High School run by the Christian Brothers, the same Brothers who molested the young orphan boys in their care at the Mount Cashel Orphanage that they also ran. My adult life has been secular. This stage of my adult life, however, has been defined by my spiritual journey that began on the Ayahuasca part of my transcendent journey.
I have also found it revealing that so many different religions believe that they are the one true religion and are driven to convert the entire world into their Faith even if it means employing the decidedly non-religious means of mutilation, torture, killing, the suppression of women and the rape of young boys under the sole protection of supposedly non-sexual men. What is wrong with this picture?
It is a sacrilege against all that is Holy yet we continue to follow because we want to believe that Religion gives our lives meaning or that there is a better life after death or that our sins will be forgiven. The promise of an afterlife is one of the keys for religions that prey on our weaknesses. We are followers that want to believe but those that offer salvation ignore the millions starving, without homes or rights, and being treated inhumanly.
The World is under attack on many fronts today. In the West we don’t see the impact as much but we know that our planet is dying from pollution and poisons as well as increasing demands on our ecosystem from an unsustainable population and the devastations to crops and irritable land and sustainable life caused draughts, fires and floods.
The roots of the Roman Catholic Church were a pagan cult but they rose to become arguably the wealthiest tax-free corporation in history. Now Christianity is on the decline. Judaism is under attack. Islam is on the rise. Islam is gaining more territory and Muslim adherents as well as more power and prominence through the unifying power of a Jihad. Secularism is also on the rise as more people choose secularism or to sit on the sidelines of religious wars.
Trump’s mercurial rise to the most powerful position in the world, for instance, happened because he is who he is and we are who we are.
I have long been drawn to the era after the death of Jesus that marks the rise of the Roman Catholic Church and the decline of the Roman Empire. It must have been a difficult time to distinguish yourself from the next soothsayer or healer or your beliefs when there were so many pagan Religions during the rise of the Roman Empire, which allowed different pagan cults to flourish in order to control the masses within their expansive territory.
The rise of the Roman Catholic Church during this time has a lot to do with a son trying to capture his fallen Father’s role as Western Roman Emperor only to discover your military force, when faced with a powerful foe and the the likelihood of their death, fails to enthusiastically engage the enemy.
The key to his victory and reign as Emperor was tied to Christianity after his hesitant soldiers were enticed to engage the enemy when their shields were painting with a Christian symbol and the hoped-for enthusiasm not only materialized but proved victorious. Constantine’s men fought with the renewed vigour of a higher purpose.
He became the Western Roman Emperor and within a year of his reign legalized Christianity. One year after his armies defeated the Eastern Roman Emperor he became the sole Emperor. Constantine, once again, ‘blessed’ the Roman Catholic Church when he proclaimed that Jesus to be a divine entity.
The Roman Empire not only gave the Roman Catholic Church its reigns of power but also showed the world a blueprint to power. In today’s era, imagine an alliance between Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Vladimir Putin or any hugely popular voice of the people aligning with the power of a popular religion or other entity.
We are followers by nature and not well suited to change our circumstances, such as climate change and treating immigrants inhumanely, as we do not see beyond our tribe and our own immediate needs. Trump’s mercurial rise to the most powerful position in the world, for instance, happened because he is who he is and we are who we are.