Some of history’s greatest philosophers have spent their entire lives writing about the meaning of life. Why are we here? Surely there must be a reason? Many people in western culture believe the meaning of life is to “be happy”. Alan Watts has a brilliant way of eloquently challenging this notion. If we were to live in a state of eternal bliss, then bliss would become dull. Without darkness, there would be no light. Without pain, there would be no pleasure. Happiness is based in perspective. Embrace every aspect of life, the good and the bad, and learn to see the beauty in it.
Unfortunately, with so many needing to find relief, it’s leading to a large portion of our population becoming dependent on a chemical bandage, often just masking the problem, rather than fixing the cause.
Unfortunately, it’s getting so widespread that the medical field view many of those in real need as “seekers”. So, instead of getting relief from tangible pain, people are being turned away. As a result, they are finding it illegally, and pain clinics and rehabs are popping up all over, trying to combat the addiction.
Lactuca Virosa is the scientific term for it, and many people have used it in place of addictive prescription pain medicine. It’s a leafy and tall plant, with small yellow buds, and could be grown right out your door. More commonly found in North America and England, it’s a cousin to the lettuce we typically see at the grocery store. It’s also referred to as bitter lettuce, or more appropriately for the purpose discussed here, opium lettuce.
The reason it’s referred to as opium lettuce, is due to the pain relieving and sedative effects that it has been known to produce through a white substance found in the stem and leaves.
This milky substance is called lactucarium. And, while it doesn’t contain any opiates, it has similar side effects when used – it acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to lessen the feeling of pain, just like morphine.
Even though it seems to be the best kept secret, it has a history of being used as an alternative to pain relief.
Back in the 19th century, wild lettuce was already being used by some as a substitute to opium. But, it was in the 70’s that it started to gain significant popularity by those wanting a more natural remedy. Individuals were starting to use it for both pain relief, as well as recreational purpose.
In the earlier days, people using wild lettuce prepared it a couple different ways. One way was to cook the plant in a pan of water and sugar mix, until it reduced to a thick syrup-like consistency. While this was an effective form, it was quite bitter even with the sugar added. The most common form however, was drying the stem and leaves to use as an herbal tea.
The tea remains popular today. But, it’s also being dried for smoking, or vaporizing. If you don’t care to grow it yourself, it can also be purchased as a dried herb, extract, or resin substance.
This article is not meant to push anything on anyone. It is meant to help people make a big transition in a short amount of time if you so choose. The key word is choice. Titles, labels and identifications are often limiting, but decisions and commitments we make to ourselves can often come with unlimited benefits.
My personal journey to going vegan was not easy. I can’t eat gluten, so the initial idea of committing to a vegan lifestyle felt like I had nothing left to eat. Every person has their own perceptions and limitations and every one of them are valid until we reach a point where they no longer serve.
In my experience, I stayed a vegetarian for quite some time. For almost three years I would try committing to being vegan for a few weeks and fail. I was gentle with myself about it, but it was no longer a struggle the day I sat down and committed to seeing the truth.
I decided that to motivate myself, I needed to understand what livestock farming looked like. I was aware of the health benefits and aware of how animal agriculture impacted the environment, but I had always justified not watching the terrible videos on the internet.
I figured I might as well check out the actual conditions each species was subjected to, in order to avoid any denial that might exist. I told myself I would make whatever personal choice I wanted to after I did this research.
The first video I saw showed an injured cow getting violently kicked and beaten while she couldn’t get up. I was horrified. I noticed a part of myself try to justify ending my “research,” but chose to take a different approach this time.
I decided that if I’ve been eating this food for decades, I might as well commit just one hour of my time to investigating what the process of getting my food looked like. I figure this was the only way to make an honest decision about what I was eating.
I knew this way, the decision would be up to me. I’m a firm believer in making clear decisions based on all the details, so I had to see what those details were.
After one hour, I knew eating animal products was in the past for me. There weren’t words to describe the horror that goes on, and I had no real idea about the implications of the industry I was supporting until I saw the truth with my own eyes.
The subconscious mind is programmed through repetition. If we have repeatedly seen ads and positive confirmation regarding eating animals or animal products for years, this is simply embedded in our perception. This isn’t an excuse, but it is a reason to be gentle on ourselves as we see these things.
This bombardment in the media has desensitized us over time and even made us defensive because we associate our habits with our identity. If our lifestyle feels threatened, we interpret this as a threat to our survival and our fight/flight mechanisms in the reptilian brain are activated to defend ourselves immediately. This often stunts our ability to investigate with an open mind. This is completely normal, but being aware of it can help us to move beyond this step.
If we want to change our programming, it requires a good amount of research and emotionality to actively change what has already been stored subconsciously regarding our relationship to food.
This is nobody’s fault, and nobody should be forced to do this either. But if we want to make autonomous decisions, we must investigate both sides of what’s happening. There is a tremendous amount of financial incentive for large corporations to keep information hidden and to repeatedly feed us with ads about the “benefits” of animal products.
Everyone is entitled to their own lifestyle and decisions, but they should be made with information that is not just what we see on television or through advertisements that are geared to create a specific perception.
After an incredible interview with James Aspey, a vegan activist who did a 365-day vow of silence for animals, I learned some more excellent tips and tools to keep me dedicated to my journey. James has over 30 million views on some of his beautiful speeches and is a sensational international speaker. He is also a beautiful human being who has a wonderful story about his own transformation.
“Earthlings is a 2005 American documentary film about humanity’s use of other animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and for scientific research… Covering pet stores, puppy mills, and animal profession, Earthlings includes footage obtained through the use of hidden cameras to chronicle the day-to-day practices of some of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely on animals. It draws parallels between racism, sexism, and speciesism.”
In this audio clip Sam Harris speaks to the powers and wonders of psychedelic substances as something that needs to be differentiated from other drugs. Sam attributes the most powerful experiences of his life to psychedelics and claims he wouldn’t be the person he is today without them. He also cautions that psychedelics are not toys and need to be handled with the upmost respect. I found this speech powerful and important for anybody interested in these substances and the mystical qualities they produce.
Click here to continue watching the series: http://bit.ly/2sMUF6S
In this ground-breaking original series, experts explore the history and use of psychedelic plants including political ambitions, the perceived shadow side and the proper environment to experience these substances. From the origins of Shamanism to the spiritual expression of modern awakenings, discover the role of sacred medicine as a gateway to expanded consciousness, and its continued influence on humanity.
by Gary Z McGee
“What limits people is that they don’t have the f*cking nerve or imagination to star in their own movie, let alone direct it.” ~ Tom Robbins
This article will introduce a new way of playing the game of life inspired by James P. Carse and his book Finite and Infinite Games, which demonstrates a way of looking at the world that is truly unique.
Kevin Kelly praised the book for “altering my thinking about life, the universe, and everything.” In the book, Carse breaks human reality down two different games: finite and infinite.
As I explained in Finite and Infinite Lovers and followed up with Six Signs You May Be an Infinite Player, A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, even at the expense of play itself. An infinite game is played for the purpose of continuing play, for the sake of play itself. While there are endless finite games (chess, football, war, marriage, politics, religion) there is only one infinite game: the game of life. Your life. My life. All of life.
Finite players play to win and are often superficially rewarded for their play. Infinite players play to continue playing and are often cosmically rewarded for their play. But, as Carse said, “It is an invariable principle of all play, finite and infinite, that whoever plays, plays freely. Whoever must play, cannot play.” Indeed. Whoever must play, is a slave.
“He who lives horizonally is never somewhere, but always in passage” ~ James P. Carse
By using the finite and infinite players as archetypes applied to the concept of heroism, we come up with two different types of heroism: finite and infinite heroism, which changes the paradigm in interesting ways.
A finite player can become a finite hero, but it is rare. Likewise, a finite hero can become an infinite hero, but it is also rare. Whereas an infinite player is more likely to become an infinite hero if given enough time.
The critical difference between Players and Heroes is action. Both finite and infinite players are merely players. Both Finite and infinite heroes are built for courageous action.
Finite Player (typical person): possesses average abilities, intelligence, and creativity but is limited by their cultural paradigm. Not courageous. Tiny comfort zone. Inactively playing.
Finite Hero (typical hero): possesses advanced abilities, intelligence, and creativity but is limited by their cultural paradigm. Courageous within their tiny comfort zone. Built for specific courageous action.
Infinite Player (atypical person): possesses above average abilities, intelligence, and creativity but is not limited by their cultural paradigm. Not courageous. Expansive comfort zone. Proactively playing.
Infinite Hero (cosmic hero): possesses advanced abilities, intelligence, and creativity but is not limited by their cultural paradigm. Courageous inside and outside an expansive comfort zone. Built for universal courageous action.
“To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.” ~ James P. Carse
Where finite heroism is prepared against surprise, infinite heroism is prepared for surprise. Finite heroism is conventional; infinite heroism is cosmic. Finite heroism is contained within a cultural paradigm; infinite heroism transcends the cultural paradigm.
Where finite heroes act only within boundaries, infinite heroes play with boundaries and act outside them. A finite hero perceives a boundary as a “phenomenon of opposition,” whereas an infinite hero perceives a boundary as a “phenomenon of vision,” thus transforming it into a horizon that can be evolved into.