Ever see the 1941 film The Razor’s Edge? It purports to be a celebration of Eastern philosophy, but it’s really a rabbit hole dug by a spook. The film was based on a novel by Somerset Maugham, who was revealed to be a lifelong agent of MI6 after his death. Spooks come in all types: bankers, lawyers, politicians, activists, mercenaries, gangsters, journalists, and even novelists upon occasion.
In fact, all the so-called “spiritual” parts of the film are hoodwinks, dry holes with zero juice behind them. Larry Darrell is a WWI pilot suffering from PTSD who goes on a quest for enlightenment. While working in the mines of Eastern Europe, he meets a German alcoholic with anger-management issues who turns out to be a defrocked priest running from his past by getting drunk. In the film and novel, this sad character is portrayed as a noble role model and the man who informs Larry enlightenment cannot be found in books. Like Hitler later on, he suggests all books on enlightenment should be burned. Instead, he recommends Larry visit his guru in India, which he dutifully does. Upon arrival in India, the guru directs Larry to an isolated shack high in the mountains and tells him to stay there until he reaches nirvana. Sometime later, the guru instinctively knows Larry has had his epiphany and visits the shack, where the ecstatic Larry describes “becoming one with god.”
Larry goes back to his former life an expert in hypnosis and mind control, although neither the book nor film explain how he picked up on those skills. Maugham’s idea of a guru is humorless, same as the defrocked priest. There’s a lot of intense staring going on, as well as a symphonic soundtrack to convey a sense of importance, but if you analyze what’s actually being spoken, none of it makes sense. It’s a cartoon version of Eastern spirituality that looks a lot like Christianity. The book did, however, open the floodgates for a parade of charlatans from the East to invade the world to cash in on the confusion created.
One of my favorite lines in my new hymnal for cannabis ministries goes like this: “Well, I believe in a God above, and what I know, I learned from love, and being close when love was goin’ through ya. It’s not some cry you hear at night, or illusion when you see a light, but a completely pure and undamaged hallelujah.”
As Stephen Gaskin once explained to me: “Enlightenment is not like ringing a bell.” You don’t suddenly reach a state of nirvana and remain there for the rest of your life. If you’re looking for inner peace, that is something that comes from right-livelihood, which means your profession provides meaning to your existence. Unfortunately, our economy produces mostly wage-slave (demeaning) jobs, and few in the way of right-livelihood, so it’s rare to find it, although it’s widespread among artists, musicians, entertainers, farmers, builders, healers, and those who devote themselves to helping others.
When you are radiating serenity, it’s a telepathic vibration that can be shared and you can zap people around you similar to getting a contact high. People in a serene state are creative and fun to be around, which is why I find Maugham’s humorless version of spirituality so dry and pompous. If you want to amplify serenity, it’s best done in group ceremony, not isolated alone in some high-mountain cave. When you harmonize with others, you can amplify your empathy. We humans are social creatures, and yearn to pass through life’s transitions in groups so we can share sympathetic energy with our peers.
The history of cannabis and ceremony is long but strangely uncelebrated. There are but a handful of scholars who have shown any interest in this subject, and the true story has yet to penetrate the mainstream. Later this year, I plan to publish Killing Jesus: The Real Story, which will explain how the world’s greatest medicine and sacrament was virtually disappeared from history for centuries.
In a nutshell: Judea was at the crossroads of the major cultures of the time and the wheat, spice (and drug) trade was running through it. Consequently, a new hybrid religion began forming that mixed ideas from Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, as well as Greek and Egyptian concepts of spirituality. This new hybrid culture became known as Christianity, and as soon as it blossomed, the Temple in Jerusalem was razed and all its followers scattered to the winds. At this time, Christians were vegetarian Jews who believed in non-violence and the medicinal powers of cannabis. A century after this culture was shattered, however, it was reinvented and turned upside down by Romans and eventually morphed into the state religion of imperialism.
If you study the history of spirituality, you’ll find trails of cannabis smoke almost everywhere you look. It was only though the brutal Inquisitions that Christians were able to beat back awareness of the role played by cannabis in the creation of Christianity and many other religions.
Some say we should do away with all religion entirely, but that’s just another jihad under a new name and reminds me too much of Marxism. My solution is to reform religion from within by creating micro-religions. If you want to learn how to do that, download a copy of my free ebook, The New Pot Enlightenment. Then gather your stoner friends and inform them you want to form a cannabis ministry that will shield all of you from harm. Provided you are over 21 years-of-age and sincere in your belief in cannabis as a sacrament, if you do band together and hold ceremonies with cannabis, the Constitution will protect you. It will only take one court case to bring down these walls of oppression because our aim is true.