Today a lovely lady asked me what I learned from my mind trip experiences. I had informed her that I had enjoyed a few encounters with psychedelic drugs back in my younger daze, and was glad that I had because I learned some very, for me, evolutionary understandings.

Like most of us, I was brought up in a pretty conditioned manner with homogenized templates presented rather ponderously, all involved with fitting in with the societal and industrial norms: study hard, go to college, incur some “friendly,” though lurking, student debt, sow those pesky wild seeds for a moment and then get that nose to the grindstone of production and competitive consumption to (1) pay down the debt, (2) procure things/stuff to look good and to continue the show-and-tell mentality of kindergarten, (3) be a “success,” (4) avoid hobo-ism, and (5) be attractive to the opposite sex so as to marry and produce a couple, or a few, little human doings of your own (secretly hoping that they would find the success which so eludes).

It all sounded fine, especially with the dangling cavorting carrots of wealth, country clubs, cruises, starter castles and so on presented as goals—worthy of efforting some 49 weeks of every year until infirmity, obesity, desperation, or ongoing flockish homogenization delivered the ghastly promises of the gold watch, Tupperware parties, retirement to Arizona and shuffleboard excitement with other wrinkled wrecks. Check please.

So I was, good boy, buying it through prep school and during college; got a bunch of A’s, captain of some team, National Merit finalist—things like that. Married the cutest, most intelligent, and best connected debutante and had a tented wedding on her estate; think swans, the mayor of the town, an orchestra etc. But begin to think of other energies, such as the bachelor party where just plain drink, if plenty of it, reigned and spawned a comradie which spanned three generations and ended up with scenes like my banker grandfather slumped in an overturned phone booth with a fraternity brother, or an industrial tycoon engaged in meaningful converse with a college drop out, arms around each other and smiles inerasable upon faces where inebriation would be a euphemism on a good day.

Soul felt laughter invaded every nook and delivered love to one and all. Soul? Well, the soul is our common connection to the creative force that loves so mightily that it is almost ungraspable—almost beyond our ken or easy accommodation. It is the force of love, majestic enough to create nurturing light and heat from 93 million cold cold miles away, and performing for billions of years—some say “suntrips.”

When I take myself to a mountain meadow, there to pass the night under stars, and I gaze up beyond forever, if I open, really avail my soul senses to the news well writ above, my heart and then my soul fill with love and a helpless smile sneaks across my visage. Something happens in my mind to transcend the conditioning that would have me join the throngs of mindless (judgment here) automatons who, in their vast and unrelenting multiplicity, are murdering the actual Earth I am cuddled upon. Something beyond schools, industries, churches—some essential happiness cloaked in endless mystery which echoes the space that stretches in infinite reach in every direction.

Wonderfully, there exists in a corner of Creation some helpful, if funny, substances; talking of mushrooms (magic ones), certain cactus, the root of some plant in the Amazon, and a ubiquitous weed, the keys to the kingdom of free feeling. More. Expanded consciousness all delivered on the wings of love. For creation IS love. It is the Earth Story—the essence thereof.

I have experienced an unending plethora of pleasures, of loves, of laughters, of adventures, of the dearest friends on this rock, a number of which gifts have been enhanced with the love unearthed by the trip away from numbing normality and into a celebration of the gift of the present moment.

What did I learn in schools? Well, for a while I could name the U.S. Presidents and even some monarchical lines, most all of which I have almost totally forgotten. I studied horrible formulas of bizarre maths and chemistry—all essentially worthless for creation enjoyment. Amazingly there was hardly anything I suffered through that served me throughout my life, other than to stand as a sobering understanding of the time so wasted.

I guess I could mention the posturing at cocktail parties wherein one endeavors to out chat the other on weighty issues such as the inner meaning of A Separate Peace, or some such academic nonsense. Anyway, I hardly ever went to cocktail parties. Wish I had studied auto mechanics, plumbing, electrical installation, building, wilderness survival, health, sensuality pleasuring, cooking, releasing, allowing, the laws of attraction and of relationshiping, meditation, yoga, animal communication, evolution and Earth care—useful things. Self-love. Herbal medicine. Horse training. Parenting—this goes on and on.

What did I learn from the trips? Ah—now we are talking. Firstly, an always valuable remembrance of the salubrious nature of laughter where one laughs and laughs at the silliest things, and then the laughter takes over and laughs at the fun being had glimpsing the wondrous absurdity, the basically miraculous feeling that life on Earth is filled with a mystery so vast, so beyond belief, so … loving that the best response is laughter.

And then as the laughter runs its raucous and prayerful play, one begins to feel the Universe coursing through his body. It is a feeling of Oneness wherein connections are felt not just with the beloved tripping fool sitting alongside, but with the ants, the plants, the rocks, the breezes and trees and waters—with everything in creation. Awesome, that way overworked word, begins to have play in this context as awe ascends into minds open to receive the basic, raw majesty of life, which is Love.

Words are way inadequate to express all of the waves of love that are experienced. Time slows now to allow feelings of communion to have their sway. Gratitude and wonder waltz within minds garlanded by the joy of being as celestial songs cascade and embrace and transform. The world becomes a cathedral and God is everywhere and even there is no “where”, there is nothing outside of oneself as Oneness transcends awareness. The portals of perception open to see that the world, indeed the Universe, is one sumptuous smile presented for our delectation.

I live consciously, by choice, mostly out of doors. I learned that Nature is the cubicle of Love, and is perfect in every way. I learned to allow the echo of laughters to attend at any moment, gracing my going along with the prayer filled contemplation of all things natural. I learned that human doings are silly and wasteful and negligent and impoverished in the light of Earth Love and Earth Care. I learned that we are telling a Story—one so big as to be unlimited in scope or direction or aberration, and if we are mumbling a bit at this time such that our Story is confused, maligned, fear filled, self-destructive—still, still it is our Story, and like a yearling’s first walk, stumbling across the vast space between daddy and mommy, there is fun in the offing and hints of the grace not so far away.

I learned uncountable things and unmentionable energies. I would not want to experience life on Earth without having seen all that is there, smiling upon us, beckoning, from behind the veil. It is like living in a mean shack and never opening the door to the mansion that lies on the other side. It is also like tying on a choke cloth around one’s neck for much of life while the airs of nature are waiting to be felt, appreciated, lauded, … inhaled.

I learned that the ways of the world are graced with a mystery so deep, so total and so loving that I dedicated my life to worship the creation. If the perception was won with warped perfection—then that is but one more reason to applaud God for the diversity and fun imbued in the seeming complexity of simple Nature.