Archive for August 21st, 2021


Interlude with Devil’s Lettuce

I haven’t gotten to the point of posting any more in my translation of that tiny piece of Bodhidharma that we’ve been working on, because I’ve been like working and playing Satisfactory and posting too much to r/zen and stuff. (Rumors at work suggest that we might be able to start going into Manhattan for work at least a few days a week starting as early as the second week of September, woot!).

But this other thing that occurred is kind of interesting, so I thought I’d write it down interlude-fashion here meanwhile. Before I like forget.

Marijuana (pot, weed, grass, THC, the Devil’s Lettuce, reefer, Mary Jane) is now legal, in some senses, in the State of New York, and a certain young relative and I went off into the local little park and up into the old quarry, and relaxing on a big rock overlooking the now-treelined main basin, we indulged.

Here is a photograph of my very nice vape “pen”, which is really mostly a battery. The pen was acquired probably without breaking many laws, by someone who travelled to nearby Massachusetts where it is legal to sell such things (it may be technically legal to sell such things in New York as well, but only under like a dispensary license that it not currently obtainable). The cartridge could potentially have been acquired that way as well.

This particular cartridge contains Sativa Blue, or perhaps Blue Sativa, but not I suspect Sativa Blue Dream. Or if I’ve gotten the pair of containers mixed up, it might contain Indica Blue, or perhaps Blue Indica, but given that I didn’t fall asleep when using it, I suspect that this didn’t happen. (Wouldn’t want to put the strain name on the actually cartridge or anything!!)

Today was the first day I’ve indulged out in nature since college, and the most highest I’ve gotten since then also.

It was extremely interesting!

My main memory from college is that, sort of oppositely from alcohol, marijuana made me feel like everything was light and hollow, insubstantial, like you could bat it up into the sky or burst it with a pin.

More recently, I’ve thought of it as focusing my mental attention down into like a small spotlight, so my mind isn’t always jumping around between things, and also can’t keep track of multiple things at once even if one might want it to, but focuses in singly on that single (potentially random) thing.

Today, as I was lying there talking about things with the relative, I was amused to find that I would be in the middle of a relatively long and complicated sentence, with no memory of how the sentence had started or how it was intended to end. But, I found, if I didn’t let that bother me, I could just be still and watch, and my voice would continue on with the sentence just fine, and I would find out what it was about.

That was interesting! And I had some thoughts about it that I want to write down here.

Brief lemma: (A) I used to think that either our inner experience and decisions cause our (our bodies’) actions, or (B) they don’t. (A) has against it that how would that work anyway? and that there are some interesting experiments that show the body starting to do a thing before (in time) the experiencing part of the brain has decided to do the thing. (B) has against it that what our bodies do has a strong correlation with what we experience and report; if our experience is just passive fizz on reality, how could reality come to contain things (like philosophical essays) that talk about experience?

I read somewhere, and I wish I could remember where, a beautiful and obvious-in-retrospect hypothesis that solves most of this: our inner experience and decisions don’t cause our bodies’ actions, nor do the actions cause the experiences, but they are still correlated because they both have a common cause. That is, some currently-mysterious process happens, and that process causes both the body motion, and the subjective experience. The process also (and the remaining mystery is here, around “how does it do that?”) gets feedback from both the bodily and conscious processes, so a later bodily action can for instance consist of the body writing down a rough description of the recent subjective experience.

This struck me as lovely. And now as I lie there and my body is fluently saying a long complex sentence that I personally have completely lost track of, I can see an approach to explaining this: the Devil’s Lettuce is interfering with the connection between the mysterious process and the subjective experience, but not interfering as much with the connection between the MP and the body doing things. So the body goes along doing things relatively well, and the subjective awareness is like “whoa, I’m lost.”

Similarly when I stood up, my subjective mind was like “yow I’m dizzy,” but my body was not unsteady on its (my) feet particularly at all. So again more interference with the subjective branch of the causal chain than the physical one. I’ve felt something similar when I forget to take my Effexor; not that it feels at all like being high, but that I feel like I’m dizzy, except without the dizziness. Which makes no sense at first, but might it we recast it as “my subjective I feels dizzy, but no message to that effect got to/from my body”.

That’s probably all for now. :) How long does one continue feeling effects after partaking in The Reefer? It was like five or six hours ago, and although most of the effects are gone, I still feel a bit more separate than usual from my body. Or something. It could be I’m just sleepy. :) And invigorated from the extremely hilly and rather rocky quarry park!

It was a good day. :)