Here is another obvious lesson when it comes to sex…
It takes two yeses, but only one no.
…or as many yeses as there are people involved, of course.
It sounds so incredibly self-evident that it only takes one no for it to be a full stop, but for many it isn’t. There are fortunately few who are prepared to completely ignore a no and knowingly rape someone, but there are many who will nag, punish and blackmail their sex partner emotionally.
Such things are easier when there is a common understanding in advance. So say to each other beforehand – “Hey, just so we’re clear on this. There needs to be two yeses, but only one no”. And it should be easy to say no, without encouraging cowards to chicken out.
Photo: Photographers expand horizons in 2010 Army Digital Photography Contest 110311 by U.S. Army on Flickr (Photo taken by Emily Skolozynski)
Before we are born, we choose our parents and our context. Together with our soul friends we agree upon what relationships to explore, what challenges we want to face and what life lessons we must deal with. We choose our illnesses, character, limitations and talents.
When we are born, we then grow in the soil we have chosen and find the people that we are to grow with. Some of them will inspire us and others will hurt us. Some make brief guest appearances, while others are with us throughout life – just as we agreed.
The choices we make in life then give life its direction. This does not mean that our choices are always conscious. On the contrary, they are often unconscious, at least until we become aware of them. Before we become aware of the choices we made that led us to a certain place, situation or relationship, we sometimes imagine that it just happened. Sometimes we imagine ourselves as victims, because we don’t want to see our own responsibility.
When we refuse to see our own choices and instead choose the safe victimhood, we say no to responsibility and power over our own lives. It is convenient to blame others, but doing so also means that all solutions lie outside us, which is a troubling illusion. When we realize that everything is a result of our own choices, it means that the power to learn and grow in the situation is within ourselves.
Note that this does not mean that we need to think that all we experience is okay. We seem fairly agreed that rape is not okay, for example. If I knowingly or unknowingly made choices that led me to be raped it does not mean that I should blame myself and let those that raped me off the hook. It simply means that there is something in the experience that is a reflection of my choices and that there is something for me to learn from it. If I’m only focusing on the faults of others, I will miss my own lesson. If I want to grow I need to focus inward, not outward.
Once again – it does not mean that one should let others do what they want. It is that person’s choice to have their experience of life and that experience may very well include such things as punishment, feelings of guilt and exclusion.
Let me clarify one other thing. We humans are very good at dividing up the world in good and bad. That division is a very human phenomenon. At the soul level there are only different kinds of experiences. The soul wants to experience happiness, love and harmony. But it also wants to experience utter misery, despair, sadness, anger and chaos. In some lives we are the jailer, in others we are the prisoner. In some lives we are the whore, in others the pimp, in others yet the sex buyer and in other still we are the priest who curses it all. That’s why we continue to be reincarnated – we want to experience the full spectrum and thus draw all the lessons from life.
Photo: Everything’s just fine by Nathan Jones on Flickr
– It extends here, he explained, while he built the molecule with hand gestures.
For a chemist, it was probably obvious what was happening there in the thin air in front of him. For me it was completely incomprehensible, yet incredibly fascinating. There is something very beautiful and attractive about people who are so involved in what they do.
The rest of the audience seemed to know exactly who he was, but I stumbled into the lecture without a clue. Alexander Shulgin, and next to him his wife Ann Shulgin. Both gray-haired, old, but with a sparkling natural glow that lit up the room. Together they spun the story of his life’s work.
Alexander made it his life’s work to synthesize and develop new psychedelics. He then tested them with his wife, before they tested them together with friends.
– How do you usually do when you try them the first time? asked one of the audience.
– Well, usually we’re in the bedroom. Many of these substances have lovely erotic effects, said Ann Shulgin and made the audience giggle in recognition.
His two books PIHKAL and TIHKAL (Phenethylamines and Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved) include all the basic information on the magical molecules which he discovered. He published all the recipes, so that the pharmaceutical industry could not patent them, and thus keep them away from the public. Best known of all the substances attributed to Shulgin is not a discovery, but the rediscovery of MDMA – the sought-after ingredient in Ecstasy.
MDMA releases serotonin in the brain, leading to extremely happy and emphatic states. In this lies both the substance’s blessing as its curse. If you are over using MDMA, it is easy to burn out the reserves and plummet into depression and feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness. However, if you use it with proper caution and with an intention, then it can be a miraculous remedy for such things as depression, anxiety of death, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, empathy disorders and the like. That was the main area where the substance was first made available – it was used with excellent results by therapists to help people who were stuck in different ways. However, the substance was soon picked up in club and rave culture, and when the establishment saw how strangely the youths started dancing and behaving it was banned.
What do you think happened next?
Well, criminal organizations took over the manufacturing and distribution of the substance. MDMA became big business for the Mafia, militant groups, motorcycle gangs and suburban gangs. Quality control disappeared and consumers could not be sure that the substance was pure or what strength it held.
Young people continued to experiment in such a high degree that it can rightly be considered the single most important ingredient for the development of rave culture. The availability is high and many people use it, but because it is illegal, many safety nets fail. For example, if someone would feel acutely bad, many would avoid contacting authorities because they would risk getting caught.
Of course some people are getting caught, but it is rarely at the level in the criminal organizations where it actually matters. Many people who get caught are very young and are at the bottom of the chain, sometimes only as users. They are judged and stigmatized accordingly and lose opportunities in life, with no effect on supply or demand.
The big losers, however, are all those suffering from death anxiety, depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress and empathy disorders. They are war-traumatized, rape victims, cancer patients, drug users, those who have lost children, those who no longer dare to feel emotions and those who see life in gray. They are the ones that are deprived of a legitimate and powerful therapeutic tool.
Only now, 30 years after MDMA was banned, clinical studies are beginning to be permitted on a very small scale. Not surprisingly they show stunning results and cures.
The psychedelic godfather Alexander Shulgin died on 2 June 2014.
Thanks for letting me watch you play with molecules in the air.