The love resides in the formative connections. The ethereal mental operator reroutes (rewrites) previous connections, bringing in multi-pronged nodes for funneling fusions of greater synthesis.
(we are often writing while we are reading…)
Two examples from recent Cafe segments:
I am not a singer, to the point that I have steered myself towards the world of ambient music, wordless songs, classical compositions. My voice was the voiceless voice by choice. Yet, in light of a “safe” sharing space, we are able to share our experimental minds. I sing (sang the “Star” song in the Patten Cafe) to create space anew, to reach outside of our spoken words, to be a partial prismatic persona shining this little light of mine that might alight within your mind through a relevant (timely) rhyme. Then I go back to my ambient song, the un-versed introverted universal rhythms where I can best listen to others words, taking them in deliberately, allowing my operator to work on the project compositions (compostings?) of the mind.
Writes of Passage (or they write of rites of passage)
(I recently mentioned in one Cafe mowing a maze for my son in our backyard, after I had skipped a few weeks due to the birth of Vincent. I allowed for the grass to grow knee high and intentionally mowed this passage for my son, possibly an experience that no other child will have in this state of American yard affairs. We think we have removed the jungles around us, we have removed any obstacles for exploration, now seeing what is beyond the overgrowth, conquering our lawns to see our chosen vista. But we have just begun to explore the grasses of the mind…I would love to write a creative Pollan piece that begins with this metaphor. I have read all of his books (some read better than others), and have a wild idea to extract elements from each and thread in their themes with his latest piece of work. Below is some notes for the essay I started and will likely never finish:)
In Second Nature (his first book) Pollan’s father (who had a terminal illness during the time that he wrote How to Change Your Mind and who the book is dedicated to) responds to an anonymous letter received in the mail stating essentially “your overgrown lawn is unsightly and a disgrace to our neighborhood” by mowing his initials in the grass.
—> now Pollan is following in his fathers mow-steps, this time charting a new path inscribing the initials LSD in his lawn labryinth. Like Westworld’s labyrinth of consciousness (one of my favorite moments in cinema, especially the series build up to this moment), Michael Pollan had been trekking the maze of consciousness since he began presenting his writing to the world, outside of his head. Consciousness…that strange conversation we have with ourselves, that fleeting focal point always finding us at the periphery, pointing to the center yet always placing us within the walls…
–> this grass passage would lead to A Place of My Own: The Architechture of Daydreams, the title of his second book, extracting a few quotes from that book about the importance of having private space, similar to a room of one’s own.
–> Then it would go into The Botany of Desire which focuses on intoxication in one chapter, with marijuana as an example of a gateway into this desire to have altered states, other examples being caffeine, cold showers, and the How to Change Your Mind lead-in --> psychedelics… And there is the Omnivores Dilemma, Food Rules, Cooked, along with some articles and other writings I wish to reference. Essentially it would be a guided metaphor into the mind of Pollan and his progression up to this point.
Also took these notes after reading "The Trip Treatment" in February:
(and predicted the Harris/Pollan discussion, which is soon to come, which goes along with @madrush’s distaste for the New Yorker style presentation…I think you’ve convinced me to steer away from Harris in favor of other explorers Johnny )
From cutting grass to letting it grow. From growing grass to allowing it to be a gateway drug.
Has Pollan Changed his mind?
The Omnivore’s Dilemma can be entitled the technological dilemma…we are online omnivores…is it time to drop out, tune in?
Michael Pollan is to come out with a new book with the Self-help title How to Change Your Mind. Is this another story of, “I did it and so can you.” Essentially it is. We have all sorts of book titles these days from the public intelligentsia “12 rules for life” “enlightenment now” …
The Intellectual Dark Web is supposedly all around us. Writers, professors, poets, activists are all going underground, or perhaps within their own home-caverns and observing the world. They are attached to their screens.
Essentially the internet is providing us with new ideas at any given moment…yet how is it changing our mind, are we doing the changing? With the manipulation of the mind, we are stepping into what Han terms as the Burnout Society. Society of so much positivity, so much more and more and more, and even when seeking less we often return right back to more.
Pollan decided to take a change of pace, a chance to change a mind…
Michael Pollan may have an ironically fitting title (the self-help reference is noted), as he has an ironically fitting name for what he has achieved in his writing career. The Pollanator could be his moniker, heck it was even a mixed drink at an event, buzzing about one direction in his garden, intoxicating us with bits of prose, informing us of the best paths to follow for the earth and personal wellbeing along with some fun and intoxication along the way.
“What existential difference is there between the human being’s role in this (or any) garden and the bumblebee’s? “
Pollan sees us as on par with the bees, we spread seeds, spread our seed, spread our mind’s seeds all about…the internet even moreso than before.
The Pollanator is a mixed drink named at a gathering with Pollan. Now, as he has diverted from the typical bee-line of the garden, the human reaping and sowing, the resources needed to complete a meal, and the processes needed to have a satifying meal along side of a satisfying ecology, he is ready for the after party. He is ready to mix his own cocktail, and no telling what he is going to put in there this time around…he has had fascination with fermentation (book reference), with the intoxicating effects of the natural world, with changing our minds. This time he is exploring away from the earth, the gut and our taste buds and providing us with fodder for changing the mind…literally, physically.
What Pollan is writing about has been written for many years now. In the article, there is mention of the researcher’s archaeological digging, stumbling upon the mass of beneficial aspects of LSD as learned in the 1960’s. There has been a strong underground movement for professional research and exploration and rejuvenation of the benefits of psychedelics. What is different about Pollan is his name. He has the knack for bringing a discussion to the table, to the home, to the family and to the public.
In a certain sense, psychedelics can be considered the first human “enhancement” possibly the reason why we are at the level of consciousness today rather than grazing about the fields (see Stoned Ape theory/Terrence McKenna)
I can already see the path forming here. Sam Harris will interview Michael Pollan. Harris’ followers will latch onto this and promote the discussion further, for better and worse…
I love the first attempt at writing, as we have explored in our Writers Underground, but like any true experience, especially the experience of being in a profound altered state, how do you describe this? You, John have attempted in the past to describe your experience with the profound, with the weird in nature with your personal “bird experience.” So this “love” loves the metaphor, loves the images of trekking a labryinth towards a self-built room-of-ones-own, but does not love the idea of putting it on or into a piece of work; it’s a contradiction; it’s a paradox, and it’s not one I’m willing to explore beyond, though I feel like it was explored it here. Just like the elder conversation jumbled mess, I much prefer to be the elder on the porch for this type of stuff, throwing out the idea about how to play the game, then watching others play it. Yet it is essential to note that I’m not above anyone, not better than others. (its usually the opposite: a feeling of lack of self-worth to present my ideas, to sing my song)… at times I do think I’m above people, above the creative mind, above the writer, because it’s a futile attempt to express such experiences, futile attempt to be creative for others sake, so here I am being creative for you, in hope that others will read this and understand what I’m getting at, in hope that maybe somebody else will pick up this project, in hopes that they wouldn’t want to monetize, but just play the game, follow me into the labyrinth.