Mother Marijuana by Dawnhuman
Mother Marijuana is written by a 64-year-old retired high school teacher who lives in the Northwest and who wishes for purposes of this publication to use the name Dawnhuman. Come with her and her lover into the Great Holy Mystery of it all, and partake of one woman’s sublime perception of healing, pleasure, and revelation.
Mother Marijuana has been a great benefactor for me. During the last twenty-five years I have used this sacrament approximately four thousand times, along with about a hundred ingestions of LSD, about twenty of both XTC and magic mushrooms, six of mescaline, less than ten of cocaine, two of ketamine, and one each of peyote, ayahuasca, and salvia divinorum. Altho I would gladly take more mescaline if I could get any, Mother Marijuana has clearly been my entheogen of choice, and I have found that she serves me most admirably. I am very grateful for this symbiosis with the plant domain.
In 1979 on a particularly stony occasion I met the spirit of marijuana, a lean, leafy, ropy character of uncertain form who reminded me of the talking trees in The Wizard of Oz.
“I just want to show you,” she said.
“What can you show me?” I asked.
“Anything you want,” she replied.
“Can you show me God?”
“Anything you want.”
So the spirit of marijuana can show me anything I want, a prospect as exciting as letting a genie out of a bottle, tho some of you reading this may object to talking to spirits because you think they don’t exist – I was obviously just hallucinating. But what does “just hallucinating” mean? Some very sober people such as the folks at the Findhorn Community in Scotland have had considerable experience communing with spirits, particularly plant devas. They found that by paying attention to what the plant spirits had to say, they could grow an extraordinarily rich, full garden on a barren sand spit. For them, talking to spirits works. One view of reality is that everything has a spirit, which is capable of communicating with humans. Yet even tho I have experienced a number of such instances, for me to embrace such a view would be a leap of faith. I am a pragmatist, which means that I believe that truth is what works, what makes a practical difference in my life. I also have a preference for Occam’s Razor, which is a philosophical principle that the simplest explanation is most probably true. (The contemporary version of Occam’s Razor is, “Keep it simple, stupid!”) If I want to be an animist and believe that every piece of nature contains a spirit aspect as well as a material aspect, I will probably find that such a belief system works, but another possible explanation is that such spirit beings are projections of my own unconscious: I may have the ability to infuse nature with a seeming consciousness. Thus on the one hand, I may be able to communicate with spirits who are happy, even eager, to help me along the path; on the other hand, such hallucinations, or projections of the imagination, may be opportunities to work with my own unconscious contents. Practically, whichever is really the case may not matter too much. By pursuing these experiences with an open and inquiring mind, I am able to discover new truths about myself and my relationship to the world. This seems valuable to me.
Others of you may object because you think spirits are from the Devil, sent here to lead us astray. This may be a concern that each must answer for herself. When I was following my Guru Maharaji and having doubts about his divine authenticity, I had a number of stony conversations with Jesus about whom I should be following. Eventually the message became clear. Jesus indicated it doesn’t matter whom I follow: what matters is what I do. Jesus commanded us to love one another as he loved us. If a spirit ever told me something that was not in the path of love, I would have a lot of resistance, but none ever has. Therefore, all I can say is that so far the path has been true and pure, and I intend to keep my eyes open. The message of Mother Marijuana could be stated in other terms: “Ask and ye shall be given.” To a considerable extent, marijuana gives us what we ask for, and so do the other psychoactive drugs. This is crucial to understanding how to use them. If you ask for oblivion, unconsciousness, to be wasted, that’s what you get. If you ask marijuana to ruin your life, she will oblige. But if you ask to feel good, if you ask for understanding, for connection, for love, you may have these too. Everyone has his own karma to work out, his own questions to ask, and my experience is that the psychoactive drugs, particularly Mother Marijuana, can help me find answers. She is a spiritual mirror, reflecting answers to my deepest questions, reminding me that ultimately, everything is to be found inside myself.
It is necessary to treat Mother Marijuana with reverence. For me she is not a party drug nor something to do every day to bring my mood up. I am responsible for my happiness, for how many endorphins are flowing thru my brain, not any substance. Nor do I find it appropriate to use marijuana to escape from my every day problems and stresses. She helps me work those challenges thru, not escape from them.
Years ago I set up an altar, which contains pictures and items that I sensed to be holy or that I invested with holiness. I generally smoke in front of this altar, first giving thanks for this life and all the blessings I constantly receive. I give a specific prayer that goes like this: “Mother Marijuana, may you take me high and deep, in joy and love, and give me the answers I am seeking. Thank you for this great symbiosis between us, and all the help that you give me.” I then ask whatever specific question I am working on. Sometimes before I get stoned I’ll brainstorm the question, writing down all possible answers or options.
Once I get stoned, I meditate. I know that my mind is just an organ like my eyes or ears. I am not my mind any more than I am my ears. I let go of the mind and its busy thoughts, tuning in to the underlying vibration that is giving me life, that is the sweet harmony of the universal Creation. Either directly or indirectly, an answer usually comes. Frequently Mother Marijuana gives me a totally new perspective on the issue, one that is closer to the path of love and quite beyond anything I brainstormed. When I committed to becoming enlightened, or becoming an evolved being, or whatever it is we are trying to get to, I found that I had entered a path of continual evolution, a refining process that helps me drop away dysfunctional personality programs of doubt and rage, and move ever deeper into understanding myself as a spiritual being, infinitely deep, who is in this kindergarten Planet Earth learning through the Grace of the Creator.
I always give thanks for whatever answer comes. Sometimes I get a complete resolution; sometimes the answer is that I must wait and keep working on it, or my issue isn’t clear enough for Mother Marijuana to answer. But over and over I get answers that work, answers I would not have thought of otherwise. Sometimes I use the Motherpeace tarot as a projective device, and I usually get incredibly relevant answers.
Of course you’re wondering, what sort of questions do I ask, and what sort of answers do I get? I definitely do not ask for the winning lottery numbers or how to make a lot of money without working, as I don’t see those subjects as relevant to my spiritual unfolding. Rather, I spent a lot of time answering that first question, “Can you show me God?” Over the space of a dozen years I moved from feeling separate from the Earth and the Divine Energy to knowing that I and all other beings are all parts of the creation of the Great Holy Mystery. In some sense we are all holograms, each part reflecting the whole and connected in one great web of energy. As Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” Heaven can be experienced directly in meditation, but it is ultimately inexpressible, unknowable by the mind. All I can say is that I am a part of the Great Holy Mystery; I was created by the Great Holy Mystery; the Great Holy Mystery is inside me, what I am made out of. The Great Holy Mystery is keeping me alive; the Great Holy Mystery is in every breath I take; the Great Holy Mystery is in my heart, in my genitals, in my eyes and tongue, in everything I see, everything I taste, everything I hear. The Great Holy Mystery is every part of me; the Great Holy Mystery is every part of the world; there is nothing that is not the Great Holy Mystery. The Great Holy Mystery is vast beyond comprehension, extending out to billions of suns. The Great Holy Mystery is subtle beyond comprehension, disappearing before us in the intricate interplay of quarks, muons, pions, and other subatomic particles. The Great Holy Mystery is loving beyond comprehension, accepting all its creatures into its heart, the Hitlers and hyenas as well as the doves and daffodils. I can only do the best I can with my limited understanding, and make my childish, inadequate map of this adventure in living.
The necessity of humility is now so obvious, and over and over again, through the ministrations of Mother Marijuana I have marveled at the beauty of a sunset, the magnificence of the ocean, the quiet strength of the tall trees, the sculpture of the rocks, and the vibrant life of the tiny nooks and crannies that abound in nature. The Great Holy Mystery is not something to reach out for; it is something to let go into. As I gradually discovered all this, my life relaxed into a joy and grace, such that I can only give thanks for all the blessings I have received. I feel a deep, unshakable contentment. If I should die tomorrow, I will let go into the next life knowing that I am complete in this one. Along with my Guru Maharaji, who pointed the way and taught me how to meditate, Mother Marijuana has very definitely shown me God.
I have also asked more mundane questions. Teaching senior English in high school, I once asked for inspiration to find a creative assignment involving the romantic poets. Mother Marijuana gave me the idea to have my students go out into Nature, the wilder the better, and find some entity that attracted them – a tree, waterfall, interesting rock, mushroom ring, whatever. They were to address this entity with respect and have an imaginary conversation with it, perhaps ask if the entity wanted to tell them anything. The response I got was utterly astounding. Over and over, students would begin their essays saying, “Teach, when you gave us this assignment, I thought it was the dumbest thing any teacher asked me to do in twelve years of school.” But then they would go on to say that the assignment worked, and they were amazed at what the entity had told them. One student recorded the feeling of the forests before the white man came, with three hundred foot Douglas firs and hundreds of thousands of waterfowl. Another listened to the plaint of the persecuted dandelion. A third found her whole personality brought up for review by a bubbling brook. Nature spoke to them as she speaks to me. Not only was it a very moving experience, but they discovered the Romantics’ great breakthrough. “Let Nature be your teacher,” as Wordsworth said.
In my later years of teaching I mostly taught an introduction to media, involving photography, video production, film analysis, etc. As a result of a meditation with Mother Marijuana, I invented an assignment to make a video self-portrait: to make a picture of yourself to show your children when they are as old as you are now, because by that time you will have forgotten what it was like. Students could use the camcorders to tape their activities, their friends, their parents, whatever they thought important, but the only absolutely required part of the assignment was to face the camcorder with no one else in the room and talk about who you are. I also promised that no one would see these portraits except me, to grade them. Once again, the results were amazing. Not only did almost all students put real energy and pride into their work; when they talked alone to the camcorder, they became completely real: their masks dropped away and their sincerity streamed forth. I soon discovered that the students who were most deep and wise were the ones who had experienced tragedy or trauma in their lives – the boy whose parents kicked him out of the house and he lived on his own for a year, the girl whose mother was killed crossing the street in front of the school after a school play, the student whose father had been laid off and couldn’t find work. Often the portraits contained a good deal of humor. They were clearly treasures most students would keep for the rest of their lives.
Since I was teaching in a public high school, I didn’t think it appropriate to tell anyone the source of my inspiration. I was a popular teacher, and my students’ evaluations generally rated me one of the best teachers in the school. To be sure, I also had many inspirations totally sober, but the ones I received as a result of the marijuana meditations often seemed to have a certain force and truth about them, a little beyond anything I might have imagined by myself.
After I retired, starting in the fall of 1995 I wrote a novel called The Birth of the Motherings, about a young man who goes thru a series of humorous and transformative adventures when he gets involved with a spiritual community that is setting out to transform the world. While I pretty much knew what I wanted to say when I started, almost every time I began a new scene I would get stoned and ask Mother Marijuana what was supposed to happen. The scene would appear before my mind’s eye in living color, and on a tape recorder I call “Boswell,” I would record the events, details, and dialog as I imagined them. The next day I would transcribe the tape, and with a certain amount of editing, about eighty percent of what I so envisioned appeared in the final version of the book. I did write some without getting stoned, but roughly seventy-five percent of the book was directly inspired by Mother Marijuana.
One particularly dramatic example of a marijuana meditation occurred when the characters were debating whether building a hot tub was appropriate by their strict standards of simple living or whether it would be an ecological excess. I was not sure which way I wanted to go on the issue, so I got stoned and drew a Motherpeace tarot card. Amazingly I drew the Star, which is a priestess soaking in a hot spring, opening to the Goddess. I took that to mean that a hot tub would be a blessing, not out of balance with Mother Earth, so I had the characters resolve the issue by consulting Motherpeace and drawing the Star.
While the novel has not achieved any huge number of sales, writing it was a transformative experience for me, so much so that I really don’t care whether it sells. In fact, I can’t say I’m much interested in marketing. After all, it takes great talent of various kinds to produce a best seller, and all I know is that this book is the very best that I could do, and I’m proud of it.
When I finished the novel, I built myself a house. Once again, I consulted Mother Marijuana a number of times and visualized the layout until I was satisfied with the design. I am now living in this house and enjoying it immensely. Everything works just the way I envisioned it. Thanks to the stony visions, it has a number of interesting features, including a spiral staircase, a clerestory that perfectly illuminates the north bedroom if the sun is shining on the winter solstice, and an observation deck reached thru a clerestory window, where I can play my Native American flute as I watch the sun set. Sometimes I play the flute stoned, sometimes straight, and when I’m stoned I feel more inventive and more in harmony with the beauty unfolding before me. Unquestionably, Mother Marijuana enhances my creativity and my appreciation, so that my life is better for it.
When I wrote the novel I became a complete hermit so that I could concentrate all my energies on the writing. I was not in relationship at the time, and I asked that the book might bring me an appropriate partner. Sure enough, thru some wonderful synchronicities too lengthy to go into here, a beautiful evolved being read my book and took up with me, much to our mutual delight. I shall call her “Goroleshka,” a name she intuited from a previous incarnation. We have enjoyed a year and a half of hiking, camping, and adventuring, and over and over again, the blessings of heaven and Mother Earth rain down upon us in the form of sunbows (what some folks call “sun dogs”, all or part of a faint rainbow circle around the sun, very unusual in this part of the country), incredible sunsets, communings with tall Douglas firs and ancient cedars, trips to the coast where all the rocks speak to us, and above all, visits to our sacred mountain, Pah-Too.
We sometimes partake of the marijuana sacrament when we are out in Nature, and our appreciation is immeasurably enhanced. We commune with the spirits of the trees, the ocean, or the mountain, and deeply feel the interconnected web of life. More often we invite Mother Marijuana to our lovemaking, and then experience the most exquisite massages and the depths of beauty we see as we meditate looking into one another’s eyes, appreciating the infinite Spirit we see in the other. I hesitate to suggest the almost endless orgasmic peaks we experience as we make tantric connection, it is such an embarrassment of riches. We can only look at one another in amazement and give thanks. Mother Marijuana increases and deepens our tactile sensations, our feelings of love, and the sublime connection between us.
One example of how our lives work with such synchronicity and blessing happened just yesterday. Goroleshka got the hit that she wanted to see Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, and I just happened to have a videotape of it, even tho I had only seen the film once or at most twice before. In the afternoon we settled in for a three hour cuddle on the couch, and were much moved by Ben Kingsley’s powerful portrayal of this enlightened being. We talked about the film and what it must take to be as clear and focused as Gandhi was. After dinner we partook of the marijuana sacrament, and almost immediately the inspirational fireworks began. But first I have to say that about a month ago I had discovered that my blood pressure had shot up, the systolic about 25 points higher and the diastolic about 10. Because it was low to start with, this increase was not immediately life threatening, but I was in the process of exploring what was going on, cutting out salt and sugar, making sure I was getting magnesium and potassium, and frequently monitoring my blood pressure to see if I could discern any patterns in its ups and downs. In the course of this I noticed how much it was influenced by my emotional state. One time I randomly turned on the TV while I was waiting for the reading and found myself watching some gangster film where in the space of three minutes the bad guys blew away about twenty-five cops. Even though I wasn’t paying much attention and didn’t think I was involved, I got the highest blood pressure reading I have ever taken. On a couple of other occasions, my emotional state seemed to influence the reading strongly.
So with this in the background, what happened when we got stoned is that Mother Marijuana told me that it is time for me to take charge of my emotional state. As a Pisces I’ve always given my emotions pretty free rein and long believed it is never good to bottle them up, but this message was something new. If I want to lower my blood pressure, I need to relax my emotions. Gandhi was almost always happy: he always put out a strong positive vibe even when the Brits were taking him off to jail. He knew that his truth was more important than his life, and he acted accordingly. I had known for a considerable time that it is good to project a positive vibe in all my dealings with my fellow humans, but I did not always do so. Now what hit me is that it was time to stop letting my emotions take charge and run my show. As I said above, I have long realized that my mind is just one of my organs and is not supposed to run my show. I am pure consciousness, and the mind can give input just as the eyes or ears do. Similarly, I now realized that my emotions can give input, but my heart is not supposed to run the show either. I do not need to be driven by my reactions, attitudes, desires, hatreds, or competitiveness. The seat of my emotions is just another one of my organs. (Probably the archetypal example of allowing the heart to run the show is The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe. Werther commits suicide when he is disappointed in love, as if that one failed connection was all there is to life.) I didn’t get the message about my blood pressure and Gandhi and always putting out a good vibe until I got stoned, and then it all came together. Furthermore, I thank my partner for the inspiration to see Gandhi in the first place. We are good for each other in this way, sharing our evolution.
Twenty years ago as a result of my stony meditations I realized that my heart and my mind were equal parts of myself, and I had a gold ring made on which I represented my mind as a lion and my heart as a ram. These two wonderful creatures are equal beings, dancing around my soul, which is a diamond in the rough. I did this so that I would never forget that my heart and mind are equal, since up to that point I had assumed my mind was ascendant. But I see now that this was a relatively superficial discovery. More important than the idea that they are equal is that neither is in charge. As pure consciousness I choose to generate a loving, positive emotion in even the most adverse challenges because that degree of spiritual connection is a more accurate representation of what I am. The process of attaining wisdom is to go deeper and deeper into the truths of my being. What I discovered yesterday is another powerful step along the infinite path. I want to be on the path of love, and I want to project love.
My discovery of the importance, perhaps even the necessity, of generating an even, positive emotional tone may be obvious to some of you. We all have different strands on the web of wisdom, and what is divine inspiration for one may be just a lifetime habit for another. In fact, each is making his own web of wisdom, and the different wisdoms aren’t necessarily even very similar. But perhaps we are coming to a point in our spiritual evolution where we can help one another enormously by filling in one another’s missing strands. For a long time now I have felt that we are all evolving spirits in God’s kindergarten, this garden of Eden that we insist on turning into a trash heap. The time may be coming to graduate, to take charge of ourselves as Spirits and move into a relationship of love with one another instead of the endless power games of fear, greed, and judgment that we generally play. For after all, isn’t that a definition of heaven – where we truly love one another and dedicate to the good, true, and beautiful?
When I talk of heaven, please do not think of Christianity. Although Christianity taught the power of love, it has been a failure, enmeshed in patriarchy, except for an occasional individual or a temporary pocket of bliss. Down thru the ages Christians have burned libraries from Alexandria to Easter Island, murdered countless “heretics” and “witches,” fought endless wars, and even today believe that overpopulating the planet is “pro-life.” The arrogance that theirs is the only way to God is unfathomable. The greatest virtue of Christianity is that it has brought us to this place. Now the time is coming to set the old mythology aside and recognize what we truly are, creations of the Great Holy Mystery evolving in mastery of ourselves. At least this is the understanding that Mother Marijuana has brought me to, this gentle, helping, loving herb. Furthermore, the insights of such luminaries as Carlos Castaneda and Jane Roberts, and my own experience with salvia divinorum, suggest that the next reality may be far more fluid and challenging than this one, and I had better perfect my sword of joy. My sense is that whatever the next life may be, however loving, it is not likely to be a resting place for me. But I don’t know that any of us has a clear view of the next life, what we call “heaven.” All we have are a few glimpses of the shadows on the walls of the cave where we currently dwell. My guru said to wait and see. I’m waiting.
Mother Marijuana taught me that I am an evolving Spirit, infinitely deep. My own experience as well as the experience of others suggests that many people may benefit from the ministrations of Mother Marijuana. Therefore as a final word, I would like to suggest that the best environment for evolving Spirits is maximum freedom, and freedom is the right to do whatever we like as long as we do not harm others or the environment, since harm to the environment harms us all. The sacramental use of marijuana harms nothing and no one. It may be time for us to restore the Ninth Amendment, which says that all the rights not enumerated in the first eight amendments are reserved by the people. Our wayward paranoid government does not have the right to tell us what we can grow or consume. All such laws are in clear violation of the intent of our founding fathers, who in some ways had a very keen sense of what it means to be free and equal. It would definitely be easier if we could pursue our spiritual evolution without an unenlightened government telling us we are evil beings. Perhaps if enough of us generate enough positive vibes and focus on the fact that the government is us, we can persuade the problem to go away. May we manifest our Spirits!