4-aco-dmt

About 5 years ago I was feeling exceptionally sad (I was sad often back then) and pulled out my guitar to grind out some of my frustration. Within the span of 10 minutes I had jammed out and written a song, the first I had ever produced for guitar.

It wasn’t a very complex song and mostly consisted of power chords and harmonics, but I was proud of it, if only because it was my first one.

Over the next few years I would continually play this song to myself. I never played it for other people because I didn’t think it was very good but I kept playing it alone because it brought me satisfaction. I had been longing for days past when I was the bassist for another band and this was the closest I could get to that experience.

I eventually began working out and gathering more energy. I searched for a drummer and started rewriting it with an emphasis on the drum parts. The structure stayed very similar to the original idea, but with a few flourishes. Over the course of six months I watched as this idea turned into a legitimate song, an experience I hold very close to my heart.  I was no longer simply a “wannabe” in my own mind but an actual “musician.”

I should probably point out that the impetus to finding a drummer began while I was high on MDMA.  I was with a group of friends and thought it would be a good idea to play my song for them. It was the first time I’d ever seriously played guitar in front of anyone. Usually if I knew someone could be listening, I’d dumb myself down so they couldn’t tell how much I was feeling it.  Not this time however. Given the circumstances, I gave the performance everything I had. I played the song as if there were nobody else listening.

And a beautiful thing happened: I let go. I stopped holding in. I stopped hiding my love, my fear, my frustrations, my worries. I channeled them into music and emerged reborn.

At the end of the song everyone was praising my playing and letting me know how good it was. I still didn’t believe them but I trusted that they were sincere.

Fast forward to 6 months of playing, working and reworking the song with a drummer. Eventually we got it to a point where I felt satisfied that the song was not only good, but complete.  We set out to record it as you would in a studio: break up the song into chunks and then build it piecemeal. First the drums. Then the guitar. Then more guitar overlayed. Then bass. Eventually it’s at a point where it sounds like a full band, yet it’s only two people still. Right as I’m putting the finishing touches on this piece I get ahold of some 4-aco-dmt (a synthetic analogue to psilocybin mushrooms) and get an idea.

We started off by splitting it in half and each consuming a piece. I plugged our instruments into the recorder and then we started playing. There were no words spoken as to what we should play, but we ended up playing some of our best shit ever.

First we started with some jams. It was mostly just noise and intensity, but we enjoyed playing them and had fun with it. Near the end of our last jam I realized it needed to wrap up somehow so I went into the ending of our aforementioned song and we ended up spontaneously coming up with a neat new way to playing that ending.  We noted that this ending could be used instead of the way we had previously written it.

The intro was previously written with a drum part that plays a tribal beat. But when we played it under the given circumstances he was inspired to play it a new way.  I immediately fell in love with this new rendition and just went along with it. We played the song passionately and with many improvisations until we came to the ending. The ending we had previously come up with during the earlier jam. I had completely forgotten that we were going to try this so that when the drummer started playing it I just played along as best I could. We ended up writing the perfect ending right there on the spot on our first go.

So my point is this: this song, from inception to finale, could not exist as it does now without the use of drugs. The ecstasy alleviated my fear of inadequacy and playing in front of others, and the 4-aco-dmt enabled us to reshape the texture of our songs in the heat of the moment. I believe these songs are objectively better because of our experimentation with these chemicals.

I grew up being told “drugs are bad” and believed them. For a while. But the older I get the more I see how wrong they were.  Drugs and music can be a beautiful union and I will fight for our right to use them until I die.

And even then some.

Speakers

Normally when I want to get something the first thing I do is figure out how I can buy it. It doesn’t matter if it’s something I can do on my own, if it’s faster I’ll pay.

This time however it was actually faster for me to do it myself. The stereo shop would have taken almost a week due to high volume of business. I was able to do it myself in a few days. It was also cheaper as well. Learned a few things with the help of friends and internet. I now feel confident to do this entirely on my own the next time I am in the mood to upgrade.

Sweet deal.

Meditations

Life gets easier, but it never gets easy.

My life is a constant merry-go-round. Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down, and nothing I do ever seems to change that. What does change is how I respond to those moments.

In the past I would be down and think, “It’s all over. It’s all downhill from here…” But as I’ve grown and been thrust into unusual situations, I’ve learned to tell myself that, “This too shall pass.” Everything is transitory. Life is in a perpetual state of falling apart, all the time. We try to grasp this present moment and place it in a glass jar, but it’s like trying to grasp water with your fingers. Much better to splash around in it.

Lift

All my life I have been wishing for something else, something different. Anything except for what actually is. I never realized how often I did this but it has become apparent over the course of the last few months.

Apparently all you must do to obtain your goals is get your body in shape. That’s it. There’s no secret, and if there is this is it. Once your body adapts and grows stronger, so does the mind. And THEN you can accomplish your goals because you will have trained your mind as well as your body – you just didn’t know you were doing that.

So get off your fucking ass.

My World

In my world all drugs would be free. Anyone would be free to do anything they pleased. Clearly, if people had a problem with your actions you’d be the first to know. Acts of malice and deceit would be met in kind. Sure, innocent people would suffer, but they are already now. What’s the difference?

In my world everyone would live as they sought. You want to be a fancy, millionaire who does cocaine all day? Granted. Go live in your castle and leave the rest of us alone. You want to write a novel? Great, you don’t have to work another day in your life. Just smoke pot and stare at the screen all day. You’ve got 80 years to complete it.

I started fantasizing about what my ideal life would look life if I didn’t have to work and I realized I’m very nearly living my idealized life already. Sure, going to work everyday can suck but I actually enjoy my job and it’s teaching me useful life skills. Win-win in my book.

Maturity

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life. I’m sure everyone can say the same. Recently Tucker Max wrote an article where he illustrates what he learned in life and I thought it would be a good idea to do my own, if only for my own edification.

So what have I learned?

Well, for starters, I learned that you actually have to play the asshole from time to time. If you just let everyone walk all over you and never set boundaries, you’re gonna have a bad time. Now you don’t have to be an asshole to set boundaries, but when you are learning to I’d say yes you do. I feel it’s better to error on the side of being too aggressive or confrontational than too timid. One lets others get what they want and the other gives you what you want, at least ideally. You can learn to tone it down as you practice, but you gotta practice! If that means being an asshole, so be it. They’ll get over it just as you have to so many assholes in your life.

What else?

Well, you gotta learn to enjoy the little things in life. It’s totally trite and cliche but it’s true. If you can’t enjoy a soft breeze; birds flying over the water; trees swaying in the wind; the sun rising for another day; you’re gonna have a much harder time than otherwise. There’s plenty of times throughout the day something will catch my eye – a bird swinging low, or the smile of someone beautiful – and it will brighten up my mood completely. But you have to be open to these moments. Initially you have to look for them. The next time you’re at work just sitting around waiting for something to do, look around and try to notice something or someone you haven’t really payed attention to before.

I guess that’s the key word – you gotta be able to pay full attention in the present moment. This is what meditation is supposed to achieve – the ability to stop thinking for a moment (and it’s only for a moment) and pay attention. The difference between experienced meditators and novices is that the experienced one can achieve this state more frequently. Or at least that’s how I assume it works. I’m still a novice but several times throughout the day I’ll remember to focus on my breathing. And when I do that I cease thinking about whatever nonsense was in my head. Most of the shit you think (or hear, rather) in your head is just noise. Data that your brain is computing and sending your way. Unless you’re in the middle of a crisis or problem, you can safely ignore it. You can get by on intuition and feeling alone. And the more you can quiet that mind and pay attention, the less depressed you’ll be.

That was a bit long and maybe I’ll have to go back and edit it later but for now I’m just going to leave it be. That’s another thing I’ve learned lately. Often times it’s better to just keep moving and not look back. This can apply to many areas in life, but I find it to be true in writing especially. If you’re constantly going back to edit, your mind can’t generate new ideas as quickly. It’s looking for grammatical errors, synergies, mistakes. But if you just keep writing, your brain seems to use a different skill set. I could be wrong in my analysis, but the results are fair. When I type without editing, I seem to produce better material and much more efficiently. This is how you should look at the world – what is the result of your actions. Intentions are meaningless.

You gotta learn to admit when you are wrong. Own up to your mistakes. If you are constantly hiding behind the fear (and that’s what lying is) then you are never going to grow. Only by exposing yourself to the light of truth can you ever fully mature. And life becomes much more enjoyable as you mature. You’ll just have to take my word on that for now. But judge it on your own. Test everything. Your life should be an experiment. If you are always letting fear hold you back you will never experience newness. That’s what fear actually hides – new ideas. So go out on a limb once in a while. Expose yourself to danger. I’m sure you’ll find that it’s almost never as bad as you had imagined it. Who knows, you may even end up liking it.