Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Republican Stall Tactics

I'm no saint for sure. I certainly wouldn't pass any acid test for the "family values" set. But Jeeze, people, this Senator Craig thing is just disgusting. When you think of "gay pride" and gay rights, I don't think this Craig-style men's room sex is exactly what they're talking about. I could be mistaken about that, of course. I'm not gay so I don't know about how liberated gay men go about seducing each other. Maybe even the liberated gays still do this crap.
I do know one thing, though. If I was in a men's room taking care of business and some guy was looking through the crack in the door at me and then he went into the stall next to me and ran his foot or his hand under the divider, that would freak me right out! It's never happened to me, thank God, nor have I been aware of any men doing it in a public men's room. Maybe I just lead a sheltered life. Maybe it goes on all the time.
But what I'm slowly coming to realize is that this is the kind of gay sex that Republicans believe in.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


If I were to write in my blog that yesterday I was doing 60 in a 45 zone, could someone ticket me for speeding? I think I feel that way about writing about LSD. What is the statute of limitations with drug use? Can someone arrest you because you say you did LSD a few decades ago? We tend not to talk about our LSD experiences not because they are bad but because they were illegal.
Like I just said, it's been a few decades, but some of the memories are still as fresh as ever. Today is Sunday so what better time to write about my most religious experiences than today, right?
I was just reading a blog post titled L.S.D., R.I.P. In it the writer bemoans the fact that LSD seems to have faded out of the counterculture scene. Back in the late 60s, LSD was the central focus of that culture. It's influences were felt throughout the world. But as a popular drug it seems to have almost dropped completely off the radar screen. I've heard that most LSD now is spiked with other things. Pure LSD is an almost unknown substance. I speculate, but I wonder if the reason for this might be that LSD isn't really an addictive drug. Shout at me, I know, for saying that. Any drug can be addictive. But who really wants to keep taking a drug as powerful and risky as LSD? For most people, the more you take it, the more cautious you become of taking it. That's why most people seem to "outgrow" the drug as you can see by the comments to that blog post.
When I was in my 20s I did LSD maybe a dozen times, maybe less. Although there were certain common experiences that I had every time I was high on it, every "trip" was different. Some were simply bizarre and amazing entertainment. Some were complete terror. One was life-changing. That one was the trigger that got me searching for religion.
LSD is a perception altering drug. What it seems to do is to activate the imagination to such an extent that it becomes impossible for the mind to suppress consciousness of your imagination. LSD doesn't plant experiences in your head, it releases your head to the power of imagination. But the experience is what matters, what it feels like and looks like to be on a trip.
It takes about a half hour for LSD to take hold. The first thing I always noticed is that the solidity of reality began to melt, began to be something that my mind could bend and eventually enhance with complex visual patterns. As anyone who has seen this realizes, this is an extremely unsettling thing to see. It leads many to conclude that reality itself is what it appears to be under LSD, namely something completely within our individual minds, not something universal. Entire life philosophies are built on this notion so it isn't something new to society brought about by LSD tripping, but on an LSD trip this perception becomes all too temptingly undeniable.
Usually that experience intensifies for the first two or three hours, then levels off, and then fades for the next ten hours or so. I always slept it off after about twelve hours of tripping and woke to discover that reality had once again solidified, returned to something close to what I think of as normal. But I have always pondered what had happened to my mind to make me have those perceptions. What allows me to bend reality when for someone right beside me who is not tripping, reality remains unbendable?
I wouldn't have an answer for that had it not been for one particular trip. It was about two hours into this trip when a few friends and I were sitting in a large empty room listening to music and smoking some good pot. My perception was at the boiling point, churning and rolling, infinitely complex images flowing through my eyes. Then, completely unexpected and seemingly coming out of nowhere, at least nowhere that my mind had ever been before, my mind seemed to just float up to the surface and rise into an awareness of a higher reality, something more real than solid everyday reality and certainly more real than the melted reality of a typical LSD trip!
Maybe another time I'll try to describe that experience. For now, I'll just speculate about what must have happened to me to open up that connection. I'll speculate about the mechanics of human experience. What I was able to conclude from that experience is that normal waking reality falls far short of the true human potential for thought. What religion doesn't already tell us that, though!!
But here's what I think.
I think there's a certain amount of truth to the claim that we each have our own reality. We each perceive reality according to our life experiences and our thinking habits. In our conscious or near-conscious minds we build our models of reality. We perceive reality to be sort of a complex mixture of what our senses tell us, what our fears tell us, what our desires tell us, and what our thought filters let us see. The key here is that we have thought filters. Our minds filter our perceptions of reality. There seem to be several reasons for this but one of the biggest reasons is so we can agree as social creatures to a consensus that allows us to socialize and survive as groups.
This model of reality that each of us has needs a place to exist in our minds. I am convinced that what we do inside our mind is that we section off certain portions of our imagination to build these models. In other words, each of us has a model of reality that exists in the imagination. We want to believe that reality is a straight-through thing from our senses to our perception, but that just isn't how the human mind functions. Instead, our senses send information to filters that decide for us how to paint these sensations into our imagined model. It is the model, not the actual sensory inputs, that we experience in consciousness.
What LSD does is it causes this whole modeling process to overflow. It becomes impossible to contain the filters. The barriers we set up in our imagination separating "reality" from the imagined become incapable of managing the flow. The result is that reality itself is seen as something we simply imagine. If you read almost anything about the LSD experience, this meltdown of "reality" is virtually universal. Generally LSD doesn't destroy these filters. It just overwhelms them. When the LSD wears off, the filters and the old perceptions of reality return. But the memory of what happened in our perception remains and haunts us.
But this whole experience only goes so far. The claim is that LSD gets us closer to God, but there's nothing in this experience of melting realities that brings us close to God. Again, if not for that one awakening that I experienced one time when I was in my twenties, I wouldn't have any explanation for this. But that one experience took me one step beyond this meltdown of solid reality. It took me into a realm where reality becomes an infinite liquid crystal. In this realm, our senses feed directly into our entire imagination and that is what our conscious mind perceives. There is no model and no filters, only God's creation being enhanced by our own power of imagination and the whole thing taking place visually in our conscious mind.
Does that sound dangerous to you?
Never underestimate the power of the human mind to destroy a good thing.
That's probably why I only know this from one experience. To say this isn't dangerous is to underestimate humanity. I am too tame to try to get my mind back there again. But I can tell you one thing. Religion is the promise of the existence of that realm, but it sure isn't the vehicle that will get you there. The promise is real. Religion exists in filtered reality.
I want a new drug.
I dropped acid on a saturday nightJust to see what the fuss was aboutThere goes the neighborhood

Friday, August 24, 2007

Back Ahead

I was reading a blog just now and in a frame off to the right was a Ford advertisement. The caption has the Ford logo and says, "Bold Moves, Ford Fusion, Good looks go a long way." Under an action shot of the Fusion it says, "Up to 31 mpg."
Forgive me here for being so old, but don't I recall my brother or somebody pointing out to me that the full-sized Chevy Caprice back around 1979 or 1980 could get something like 28 or 29 mpg on the highway? I think they had the 3.8 V-6 way back then but I think this 28 or 29 mpg was with the small V-8. My in-laws had a newer Caprice even more massive than the '79 and that's what they claimed too, highway mileage in the high 20s.
For a decade or more Chevy has been saying the Impalla got in the low 30s on the highway. That's a Fusion-like car with a peppy V-6. So I ask you, Ford, what's the big deal? And I ask you this. If you actually have real engineers working for you, why is that 31 mpg and not 41 or even 51? Why fuel economy that was par for the course twenty-eight years ago?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gravity and Energy

A few times in my blogs I have tried to describe an idea that I have (far short of a theory although I sometimes refer to it as that) that gravity is something other than an unexplained pulling force between any two bodies of mass. I'm not a physicist nor am I a mathematician but it seems to me that Einstein pretty much defined matter in terms of energy and some form of movement. His E = m c squared formula is the relationship.
But it seems to me that defining matter as energy divided by the speed of light squared leaves something out, namely force. What is the relationship between matter and force? Unfortunately physics tends to teach that there is a reactionary relationship between the two. Gravity is a force that exists only between two or more pieces of matter. It doesn't exist otherwise. In a hypothetical "empty space" there is no force of gravity.
To me, it seems that matter should be defined in terms of force rather than energy. Energy is the reactionary aspect, not the causal one. Force is the cause. Einstein's formula suggests that all matter is composed of energy. I suggest that all matter is composed instead of force.
Why do I think this? The thing that got me going on this way of thinking is when I realized that the force of gravity in an ideal situation does not depend on either matter or energy in the space between any two bodies of matter. Two balls suspended in an ideal empty space, even at a temperature of absolute zero, would still express the force of gravity just the same as they would in an environment rich in matter and energy. The force of gravity is completely independent of the environment through which it operates.
In other words, there is no rope, no thread, no string made of anything physics is aware of that explains the pull between two pieces of matter. There is no medium known to physics that makes gravity possible. Gravity is just as effective in a complete vacuum of matter and energy as it is in a matter and energy rich space.
If gravity is a pulling force as it is defined to be, it is a pull that needs no string, no rope, no chain, no medium. I am just not OK with this idea. I don't think Einstein was either so I'm not too worried about that fact. Einstein concocted some theory that explains that gravity is the result of the curvature of space, that everything somehow falls towards itself in this curvature. Don't ask me to explain that because it makes no sense at all to me. It's just too complex to be natural. To me, if space is curved it is a result of gravity and not the cause.
What physics and math needs is a formula like Einstein's that expresses mass as a function of force. Physics will never find that formula by imagining force as a reaction of matter and energy. There cannot exist either mass or energy devoid of force so why isn't force the elemental component of their definition? Matter isn't the medium for gravity. Energy isn't the medium for gravity. Force is. But how does it all work? Come on, physics, isn't it about time you tackled this problem?