All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned by taking psychedelics. Wisdom was not halfway up the community college mountain, but right here inside my own linty bellybutton.
With a link, a nod and an apologetic shrug to kindly old Mr. Fulghum, here is what I have learned:
- Do all you can to prepare, then trust yourself.
- Cultivate a sense of humor.
- Always have a buddy.
- Smile, it makes you feel better.
- Perception is 9/10ths of the law.
- If you think of something brilliant, write it down.
- Gather everything you’ll need before you start.
- Sit still and pay attention.
- Know where it comes from.
- Go with the flow.
- Build in more time than you think you’ll need.
- Follow the glimmer.
- If you get scared, sing!
- Take some time in nature.
- Set and revisit your intentions.
- Keep art supplies on hand.
- Do your homework.
- Change the music to change your mood.
- Have an emergency plan.
- Get friendly with paradox.
- Don’t expect closure.
- Learn from the experiences of others.
- Believe in your own superpowers.
- Do a little bit of everything: play, meditate, make art, make love, dance, sing, explore, and imagine.
- If there’s nothing you can do about it now, enjoy it.
- Surrender but never give up.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. Solid advice about work, school, friendships, love, life, the universe, and everything. Take any one of those items, apply it to your sober endeavors, and it totally works and makes your life work. Think what a better world it would be if we all took a break at about three o’clock in the afternoon—maybe even to smoke a big old doobie—and then sat down to meditate for a while. Or if all governments had a basic policy to do all their homework, and to know where everything that they consume comes from.
And still, it’s true, no matter how straight you are: when you go out in the world, it’s best to cultivate a sense of humor and remember to smile.