As I have stated before on this website, I have much to thank the cannabis plant for, but it all couldn’t have happened without the help of “just” some mushrooms.
My advice would be to not to go out and seek it, but instead let the mushroom find you. And when it does, do it. It changed my life, in a positive way unimaginable. Here’s the my complete process:
This, is part 5: Integration
The Free Spirit Guide to Local Living
A few days into 2015, a creative urge dawned on me: I wanted to write. I practiced with writing a book before about 3 years ago, which resulted in a funny little novel, but still very immature. That book, just like this website, was completely written in English and not in my native Dutch language.
This time however, I was going to write it in Dutch. In part because I got complaints on the previous book from friends who couldn’t or didn’t want to read in English, but also with the realization that if I really wanted I could always translate it.
What I’m trying to do here is describe, summarize and explain the experience in this piece
And so I left the house filled with students I used to live at and went for a walk through another rainy afternoon, Netherlands anno 2015. I went outside, on foot, to buy some shag to roll hashish joints with and a notebook at the same shop.
With my notebook, shag and some mandarins on me, I eventually settled at a brown pub in the city center and just started writing. About the now, in the now and inviting the now to be a part of the story. Eventually, I settled on the title “Coffee, Hash and Mandarins” (in Dutch Koffie, Hash en Mandarijnen). I only allowed myself to write outside of my comfortable home (the comfort zone), which meant going outside a lot during the cold month of January. The book I would work on for a month, to ensure I wouldn’t end up as a writer on the street with no money in my pockets.
The book itself is now finished, only requiring a spelling/grammar check and a cover illustration and might be translated to English, but for now I have decided not to get it published due to information in the novel that will need at least 10 years to expire. And so for now, the idea is to make one physical version including a CD / playlist with all the music I’ve also mentioned in the book and hand it out/borrow it to people I’d like to have the full experience. People mentioned in the book and those considered friends of mine, can have a digital version with a Spotify link to the playlist, when time’s ready.
Leaving out personal details, what I’m trying to do here is describe, summarize and explain the experience in this piece.
Coffee, Hash and Mandarins
This piece isn’t meant to inspire you to write your own book, it just happened to work for me. Any good reason to leave the house works really. In truth, with a book you always have something to do and look interesting. But that’s not the point.
If you think strangers can’t be interesting, oh you are so wrong. Age, gender, job: it doesn’t matter.
By going outside, even if it had to be forced in my case through creativity, immediately when you have left your comfort zone the journey starts. Preferably on foot, so when your intuition wants or thinks about a place, you can act and actually do it or go there. And alone, this doesn’t work if you go out with a partner. When you are alone, you can’t talk with someone you are already comfortably with about the now and what’s happening in front of you, happened in the past or what is going to happen in the future.
Instead, you are on your own and whether you like it not, you’re going to speak and learn to trust others you would never have spoken otherwise. From that moment on, one thing to realize is whatever you say, is the only information the new people you meet will know from you. Your baggage is suddenly gone and you need to realize this. Use it wisely. Don’t force yourself into conversations or immediately tell your whole life story, instead keep it short and let them do the talking. You’re here to listen. Pay attention and if that is hard for you, at least remember their names, because when you come back and you know their name, you can go and talk to them, ask how they are doing and you’re set.
Find the drug(s) that work for you: cannabis, alcohol, sugar, caffeine…
And if you think strangers can’t be interesting, oh you are so wrong. Age, gender, job: it doesn’t matter. Everyone is wounded and has a unique story to tell and they are happy to tell it to you. Of course, especially when you are writing, the paradox is that when you’re doing it, you’re not really in the now. Neither can you just pen someone’s life story down, mentioning them in the book, the song you are writing and/or be inspired by them, is fine of course.
When you’re out at a place and aren’t happy with what you see or get, especially the first couple times you may have to move places until you have found your place. There, instead of talking to visitors, engage in conversations with people working there, because they will be there when you come back. Eventually, whether you like it or not, you’ll learn their schedules and know which people like your company. This depends on the hours and whether they are busy, but generally sticking around or staying until closing time will give you some time to talk. Show you are interested, even if you have to fake it at some point you will be interested.
Personally, except for the great high of coffee, hash and mandarins combined, I stayed sober in regards to alcohol. If you stick to that, you’ll notice people under the influence of alcohol talk a lot, but so can people under the influence of cannabis.
I picked coffee, because during this period it gave me warmth, calmed my thirst and gave me energy for only a couple of euros. Hash might be tricky to get in your country, but mandarins I can only recommend as a good source of fruit sugars (best source of energy to burn) to still your hunger you are bound to get from smoking hashish, or any hunger for that matter. And it gives something to do and share with strangers. Who doesn’t trust a mandarin, right?
You can also tweak how you look. I personally put on a beanie, pretty much during all of my writing and even wore it inside. Coupled with some interesting t-shirts, this isn’t an ego thing but instead adds momentum to your new self. These small, physical changes can be very important to convince yourself.
Who doesn’t trust a mandarin, right?
In addition, keep a couple of books on you that inspire(d) you and/or you still need to read for the times when creativity is low or the now isn’t interesting enough to write about (you could engage instead).
And even though most of my book turned out to be a romantic novel at times, one important lesson is to not fall in love and focus too much on one person or place. Instead, engage with people and they might introduce you to their friends and just keep going like this. What I’m trying to say is try not fall in love with the people you meet, instead learn to love every person with all of their imperfections. You don’t go out to find love, lust however, can be stilled but be careful. Stay on the bus, with the flow.
To do all this, you don’t need a lot of money. You can do it anywhere, locally with just a couple of bucks on you to buy a coffee, tea or some food on the go.
- Find something that forces you out your comfort zone. This can be writing (book, songs), but even regular work could work for you.
- Find out which drug(s) works for you to function on. This can be cannabis/hash like I did, but drugs is a widespread term. This also means sugar, caffeine, alcohol… You get the idea.
- Go on foot for the first couple of times. Alone!
- Don’t like where you are at? Just get up and leave. Go with the flow!
- Strangers are interesting and you are interesting to them. Listen carefully and remember names
- Whatever you say, is the only thing strangers will know from you. It is better not to mention something than to lie, remember that.
- And learn to trust strangers. Uncomfortable? Mention it to them and if nothing changes, get up and leave.
- STRANGERS ARE INTERESTING. No matter what age, gender, or job they have. Talk with locals, people at work.
- Tweak your look if you have to, even if it’s only to convince your own subconsciousness.
- Have some books and/or food on you (preferably food you can share).
- Don’t fall in love and focus on one person you have just met. Just stay on the bus and go with the flow.
- Have a couple of bucks on you to buy a coffee, tea or some food on the go.
I do not expect you to follow or do any of this, but if you have read parts of it (at least in this piece I didn’t link to a ton of sources like the previous parts), it is likely your subconsciousness picked up a thing or two. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can ask your questions below in the commentary section or contact me through the about page.
And for me? I don’t know where I’m going as much as you can predict the future. Either way, for this article to appear on a website called The Stoned Society is irony at best, I know. But that perhaps makes this the best spot.