Grab hold tightly
Let go lightly
The full cup can take no more
The candle burns down
The taut bow must be loosed
The razors edge cannot long endure
Nor this moment re-lived
Grab hold tightly
Let go lightly
The Moment of Fullness from Psychedelic Prayers by Timothy Leary
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Timothy Leary’s Psychedelic Prayers is a adaptation of Lao Tse’s Tao Te Ching for a psychedelic setting. To be more precise it is a book of meditations that are absolutely wonderful to do on LSD, complete with a manual on how to use it for the best results. You read meditations before the trip, during the peak, and after that at four different points in the trip.
If you ever doubted the genius of Timothy Leary, this manual and these meditations will prove it to you. The seemingly simple texts with their ancient Taoist wisdoms unfold and expand while on LSD and reveal worlds of understanding between the lines, words and even letters. If you are able to relax and follow, you will shoot straight out into the universe and gain insight into how it all works.
The meditation above isn’t one of the most powerful, but I am so very fond of it and it has meant the world to me. This is life.
Life is one moment after another.
One challenge after another.
One love after another.
When we find what we are supposed to do in the moment, we should grab on tightly and do it with all our heart. We should experience it to the fullest, throw ourselves into the challenge without hesitation and love unconditionally.
But it is equally, if not even more important to let go of the moment when it done. We cling to people, things and ideas. We become attached to our sense of self and our understanding of the world, and this causes suffering. We suffer because we dare not let go of what we have been holding on to.
People invest so heavily in what they are doing, that in the end they dare not walk away, because who would they be without it? They have invested time, money and prestige. They have climbed the ladder and built an identity around it. And when they are there, in the midst of all that they cling to, the most frightening thing of all to imagine is that it is all a castle built of air.
And of course, it is. How could it ever be anything else?
I have held on to many things in my life. In recent years I could mention something as mundane as politics. I had an interest in politics since I was 17 years old and was elected to city council at 20. I have spent approximately eight years in politics, but I came to a point where it was blocking my life purpose. And it was difficult for me to let go, because I had so many attachments there. Friends, feelings of duty, responsibility, doubt over who I would be without it, the feeling that I would be abandoning others if I left.
I held on several years longer than I should have, and it was truly a pain in the ass, but eventually I mustered the courage to let go. And as soon as I did a weight was lifted from my shoulders and new, greater challenges were laid out before me.
It isn’t always easy, but I try to keep in mind to keep moving. Not to cling to things and create attachments. To let go when the moment is lived, so as not to try to re-live the same moment over and over.
And when that new moment comes, I grab hold tightly and do my best to be brave.
And here it is.
The next moment.
Wish me luck.
Photo: Timothy Leary