Citation: Miles. "Spirituality in Chemicals and Electronic Music: An Experience with LSD, Mushrooms & MDMA (exp18952)". Erowid.org. Jul 14, 2005. erowid.org/exp/18952
November 16, 2002
These stories, are from my own experiences, and are all based on actual events. Please share, and post them, wherever you'd like, but please inform me first, and please keep them together in their entirety. I welcome any feedback, positive or negative. These stories are still in rough form. I hope to write a book, and this just a small part of it.
Written by Miles in the month of November 2002.
'Now I am light, now I fly, now I see myself beneath myself, now a god dances through me!'
- Friedrich Nietzsche
I began to feel lost and rush of great despair crept over me. I could feel in my gut that an evil dark presence was somewhere near. My intuition gave off a signal of great warning to avoid this entity.
'Where am I?’ I thought to myself, 'How can I get out of here?'
Then I realized that I could hear some Hard Trance coming from somewhere. I stopped to listen for a second. The beat was amazing; I had never heard this beat before. This beat seemed a step ahead of anything I had ever heard. It was mind blowing. I tried to remember the name of this track, or where I had heard it before, but I couldn't place it. It was new. I had never heard it before.
'Where is it coming from? This beat is the bomb!' I thought to myself. Then I gathered myself and began to walk down the corridor that I had found myself in. The corridor contained many turnoffs and all sorts or directions to choose from. I gazed down each corridor I encountered, each one looked identical to the one I was walking down. I was in some kind of labyrinth.
Then I looked to the ground near my feet. A small colored pill on the floor had caught my eye. I picked it up; it was a small bright green pill with the letters CU engraved into it. I realized what I had found; it was a legendary green CU ecstasy! Instinctively I shoved it into my mouth. I stood up and continued on my way. Just a few feet ahead of me I could see another one. I ran over to it, picked it up, and had a good look at it. This time it was a white pill with a stamp of a white smiley face on it. I ingested it just as quickly as the last. Then again! Another pill, just a few feet ahead of this one. I ran over to it. This one was a brown butterfly. Once again, without any hesitation I swallowed it. The pills continued on, like a trail. Apparently it was a deliberate trail. I continued to follow them, eating each one as I picked them up. There were all kinds of colors and pictures on them, a rainbow of serotonin candy. I willingly followed the trail through the labyrinth. It led me down a few hallways, and eventually to a ladder. I climbed over the ladder. As I reached over the last few rings of the ladder, I could see a river on this level of the labyrinth.
As I stood up the feeling of the evil presence grew more intense in my solar plexus. It was closer now. I continued following the trail of pills again. Then suddenly I heard a loud beeping sound. My alarm clock awakened me from slumber. I opened my eyes and slowly came to my senses. The first thing that came to mind was the beat that I had heard in my dream. In my dream I had heard the beat with perfect clarity, almost as if I had really heard it. The beat was burnt into my brain. I looked over at the alarm clock. It was three-thirty in the afternoon. Time to get ready for work. After my morning joint, I prepared my body for meditation with some yoga. Then I prepared my mind for mediation with my favorite Zen meditation...
Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, and the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.
Then after my morning meditation, I had some breakfast, a quick shower and was on my way to work.
On the train I quickly became sleepy. The light rail train had that effect on me, it's ride was very smooth, quiet, and hypnotizing. I loved using city transit, because it gave me time everyday for some reading. But today I decided not to bring a book. I gazed out the window at the beautiful cityscape beneath the loving light of the sun. It was Saturday, my favorite day of the week. The train gracefully slowed into the next station. Then over the intercom came the sound of a few tones, then a recording blurted,
'7th Avenue, this is a northwest bound train, destination Brentwood.'
The doors slid open, and the people began to filter out. I made my way out the door. Then I began navigating through the city center, taking my time so I could look up at the beautiful glass glazed skyscrapers that reached higher and higher into the atmosphere. I reached the building where I worked, a classy restaurant on the first floor of a business skyscraper in the city center. I entered the lobby, security cameras where hanging in every corner. I walked by the hall of chrome elevators and entered the restaurant through the back. I changed into my white uniform, put on my chef's hat, and made my way to the line.
All night, I was recalling the beat from my dream in my mind; I tried humming it over and over. The beat was still in my mind with perfect clarity, as if I was still hearing it at that very moment. The shift went swiftly, as it always did. I loved being a cook. My nights were filled with steaks, shrimp Hunan's, green curry, and a whole assortment of exotic and exquisite foods. Exquisite girls also filled my night. I would pass my free moments flirting, and talking with the beautiful servers. I worked the closing shift six nights a week. I loved the night shift, I guess because I sleep till late every afternoon everyday I can, and also because I had out grown, or should I say, evolved out of the bars. After my shift my best friend Duane was outside waiting for me.
I hopped into his SUV and we made our way home to get ready for the Warehouse. It was 1:30 am, the Warehouse didn't open its doors till 3:00, and the party would just start getting good at about 5:00.
When we got home I went straight for my weed. After I got my chronic fix I headed to the kitchen, I was hungry. We had just moved into our new house. It cost us everything we had just to get in the door, well with last and first month's rent. It also didn't help that cooks don't make much more than minimum wage. But it was my love of cooking that kept me in the industry. You have to love what you do. We didn't even have enough money to for groceries for the first two weeks.
'Let's see what we've got,' I thought to myself. I opened the cupboards. All that was in there was a loaf of bread, and a jar of peanut butter. 'Peanut butter toast it is...' I mumbled. I grabbed a few slices of bread and placed them on our toaster. 'Ah, the irony of life, you're always there for me, sometimes you're the only one I know I can depend on.' I thought to myself and had to laugh for a minute.
You see when we moved out of our apartment, the last toaster belonged to our other roommate who didn't move with us, and since we didn't even have money at the moment for food, we didn't have money for a toaster yet. So our toaster was a metal coat hanger bent in half and placed on the stove element, so it held the bread just over the element. I stood there with a smile on my face, watching my toast cook thinking about all the delicious foods I cook all night, night after night for the wealthy people. Ninety percent of the menu I hadn't even tried before, I couldn't afford the cost of these extravagant foods. So I get to wear my chef's uniform, and prepare foods like sushi, swordfish, salmon linguini, and chicken Hunan's, then after work I get to go home and make peanut butter toast on a coat hanger for myself. I smiled again, ate my toast and headed for the shower.
After I showered it was time to get dressed for my weekly ritual. I pulled my vintage white shell toe Adidas low tops from the closet. This was my dancing pair. I also had a pair for everyday wear. I must be somewhere near my tenth pair of the same shoes in a row. Then I busted out my shoe shampoo, my dancing shoes had to be spotless. Next it was my white dancing pants. After that I threw on a black tight T-shirt, over that a black nylon skintight long sleeve shirt. My last layer was my huge baggy solid black hooded sweater. I loved wearing it, it felt like a Jedi cloak, or I liked to pretend it was anyway. Then my final article, my priceless, spotless, solid white baseball hat.
My friend Mike entered the room, he was carrying a drink of some sort in one hand. He stumbled on something, and almost spilled his drink. A few small splashes flew into the air near me.
'Hey! Hey!' I exclaimed. 'Watch the hoodie! This is a sacred garment!' I said jokingly. But I wasn't joking. 'Sorry bro' he replied. We both laughed and smiled at each other. Then he asked 'You ready to roll'? 'Yeah, just let me grab my gear and we'll go,' I answered. I grabbed my backpack, through my fire and glowsticking chains in, my flags, my white cotton liquid gloves, my digital camera, my video camera, and a towel. Mike and Duane were already waiting for me outside, I jumped in the SUV and we were on our way. I could feel some very positive and very powerful vibrations throughout my body. I turned to Mike and said;
'It's going to be a great night, I can feel it.'
After about a ten-minute drive we pulled into the parking lot of the club. Duane headed for our favorite parking spot, number twenty-three. It was the jersey number of our hero, Michael Jordan. The spot was still empty. 'Yes!' We both said.
After we were parked we busted out our bag of mushrooms. Duane and I had picked up an ounce the day before. Duane and I absolutely loved our shrooms. We both ingest about three or four grams. Mike ate about one or two grams, then we headed into the Warehouse. There was a long line to get in. It looked like it was about an hour wait to get in. It was all good though, we're VIP. We walked to the VIP line and after a quick search by the doorman and paying our guest fee we were in.
As I walked in the loving lasers and moving electronic beats hit me. It felt like the warm sun on my spirit. I headed over to a corner and started doing some stretching. Anthem was up on the decks and the music was still relatively slow, he was just warming it up. I found a corner in the back and started to warm up my body, dancing lightly, like I always did at the beginning of the night.
I continued to dance lightly, but mostly I was waiting for my shrooms to hit me. After about forty-five minutes the high completely swarmed my mind, it was almost too much. Just the way I like it. Now I am extremely good at dancing, I wouldn't settle for anything less. I don't know why, but when my mind is tripped out, completely ripped, and I'm hallucinating to the point where I don't have any grip on reality, my dancing becomes out of this world, unbelievable. I don't know exactly why, but I guess it opens my mind, makes me think of things and ways I've never thought of. When I go raving, I get myself so high that I don't know what's real and what's not. I can't have a conversation with someone because I would be talking gibberish, and I have to avoid everyone. But the reason I do this is because after I stumble around and somehow find my way to the dance floor, my dancing goes intergalactic. I remember reading somewhere that the ancients used to call magic mushrooms, 'the flowers of the Gods'.
Alan Watts believed that there was no difference between a microscope, which can sharpen your sight to see what you cannot in the outer world and between psychedelics, which sharpen your ability to look inward.
I was ready now; my high was perfect, I could tell by my hallucinations. When I became extremely high on psychedelics my vision became digital-like. Instead of natural curves and shapes, everything took on unnatural, digital-like shapes. It was like a low-quality video clip on your computer. If my vision was compared to a computer monitor resolution, then when I was sober I would see with perfect clarity, my resolution would be 3200 x 2400, but when I was tripped out on LSD or mushrooms, my resolution was like 320 x 240. If you were standing in front of me your body was composed of about 30 pixels, or 30 large differently shaded squares. I loved it. I was half man, half-machine. Sometimes it scared me, it felt so good to be in this state, to become one with technology, but at the same time something inside told me it was wrong. But I couldn't stop; it felt too good, even if I did have doubts.
After a little dancing, it was time for the guest DJ. A large older European man got behind the decks. I found a spot to stand and see what he had for a bit. I had not seen or heard him yet. Immediately he began to rock the house like I had never seen. I stood there for about a half an hour in awe as he played track after track, taking everyone high and higher. The vibrations and energy of everyone grew to a level I had never experience before. I saw DJ Anthem ten feet away from me. I ran over to him, his eyes were fixated up towards the DJ booth.
'Who is this?' I asked.
'Dolby' he replied.
'He's unbelievable.' I said.
Anthem acknowledged with a nod. I found a spot to sit down in amazement and appreciate the composition and energy of his set.
The loud music pounded me in an absolutely unbelievable rhythmic and soothing synchronic manner. The speakers a few feet away from me continuously fired beat after beat at me. I could feel the vibrations from the powerful speakers rattle my insides. I sat alone, perched upon a stage next to the dance floor. I was slouched over staring down at the floor watching the little spots of light glide gracefully across the floor. They had been cast upon the floor by the light and laser machines suspended above me. The spots would all move in different directions from each other for a few moments, then they'd all start to move in the same direction in total unity. That was the part I liked. Unity is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. I continued to sit there, deep in thought.
Dolby was taking us to a new reality, a reality where only peace, love, unity, and respect existed. I began to feel at one with everyone. One by one, each person arrived onto the same wavelength. Until everyone was riding the same wavelength. The energy here in this world was so loving, so positive. Perfect synchrony. Dolby chased every last bit of chaos from the real world out of the Warehouse. Chaos was cast out. Chaos did not exist here, it couldn't exist in here.
I sat quietly waiting for the right track to pick me up and place me on the dance floor. The Warehouse began to travel further and further away from the chaotic reality we lived in, until we had escaped the material world. We had broken free. I closed my eyes, and began to collect some energy. I inhaled through my nose, held for a second, and exhaled through my mouth. I continued the meditative breathing, imagining in my mind light colored positive energy entering as I inhaled, and negative dark colored energy leaving as I exhaled. With each breath I envisioned my energy growing larger and larger with each breath, like a giant cloud of energy all around my body, growing larger with each breath, until my energy cloud engulfed the entire Warehouse. I began to let go and surrender. The energy began to send a familiar feeling that pulsated throughout my body. It began in my head then moved out to the ends of my arms and legs. It felt like a cool tingling sensation that was running through my insides. As I collected a surplus of positive energy, my heart and my spirit began to throttle. Vibrating faster and stronger with each electronic pulse, my spirit began to pull my body to the floor, but not yet.
Again and again, track after track, just when you thought there was no way it could get any better, no way it could get any more beautiful, anymore perfect, Dolby would blow your mind up and drop a track that you've never heard, a track somehow better than the last, just at the perfect moment. The Massive erupted in a fury of euphoric screams.
The almost magnetic-like pull emanating from the floor grew stronger and more powerful with every revolutionary beat. Thump, thump, thump. Then all of a sudden it happened. Dolby flicked that switch and dropped the next track. My spirit went into total shock. I was paralyzed. The track was unbelievable, so revolutionary, and so perfectly timed, and so synchronous that I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was the beat from my dream! I had not heard this track until now. I was completely scared yet my mind was on a level that I knew would change me for the rest of my life.
It is time. I opened my eyes I found myself in the middle of the front stage, in front of Dolby and the DJ booth. Yet I could not remember standing up and walking here, it was almost as if I had just appeared there with no physical movement. I surrendered, my limbs and body began to release and pour out my unimaginable inspiration. I let go of my ego. This is not me, I am one with everything, the music, the earth, the people. I began living in the moment, no past, no future, only now. I could feel the energy of the other dancers, the music, and the Earth. I just allowed the energy to pass through me.
Here it comes. The revolutionary music power pierced through the speakers and hit me, in that millisecond I transformed it into untainted pure rhythm. My moves were inhuman, out of this world. With cold machine-like precision my inspiration commanded everyone's eyes, everyone's energy, everyone's thoughts. They could not believe what they were seeing, it was changing them, changing the way they thought and lived. I could hear people start screaming and cheering for me in pure euphoria. I could not believe it. It began to ease everyone's hearts, they became paralyzed, their eyes fixated upon me. Their spirits began feeding and charging themselves from my inspiration. It became our inspiration. The beads of sweat ran down my face and chest. I was breathing heavily, trying to catch my breath. One by one, each dancer stopped, either by exhaustion, or pure bewilderment. Until everyone was stopped, watching me in amazement. I could feel each spirit, each individual soul. The energy passing through me was unfathomable. It felt like a waterfall of gushing pure, positive, loving energy was running though my veins. The moment lasted an eternity.
Then it happened. I began to hear, and receive everyone's thoughts. I could hear two hundred different voices in my head. Everyone was pleading for me not to stop.
'Keep going!' one voice whispered.
'No, don't stop,' another voice asked.
Next my dance came to its unimaginable meta-physical climax. The beat disappeared. Just the beautiful sound of the all-loving electronic siren soothing and easing our hearts. I turned around, and dropped to my knees. The sweat dripping from my body, my lungs desperately tried to catch my breath. I had become like a sun, the energy-giving center upon which everyone's destinies and lives revolved. I had become the vision on my youth. Men and women hung upon my inspiration, our inspiration, and reshaped their characters. From now on I would dance and lives would be changed.
Something was different now. Something had happened. I felt like a leader of some sort. Like we were no longer individuals, but like we were one mean, lean, raving machine. We were all different parts of something bigger than us, bigger than this world, this reality, and at the center of it all was me, like a heart pumping pure loving energy to everyone. I looked at all the people, everyone looked back at me in complete awe, and I returned the same look of awe back. Nobody could believe let alone comprehend what had just happened.
Yet now people looked at me differently, almost as if their look was saying that I was their leader now. I was reading their minds and each person acknowledged that I was their leader.
We had all been awakened to a new reality, to a New World. I had showed them my light, our light. It felt like they looked to me as if I was some sort of light leading them from the darkness. Yet no words had past through our mouths. Not even a nod of a head. Yet I said it, and they heard it. I walked away, and pulled the hood of my Jedi cloak on again to shroud my face in shadows. I left my people in their and my new awakened state. I walked out the door. It felt like I was watching a movie now, not like I was in a movie anymore. I had never felt this refreshed, this much love, this kind of energy ever before in my life. It felt like I had just run through a rainforest. This one moment changed me forever.
When I got outside I asked someone what time it was.
'6:00AM they replied.
I looked up at the sky, and there was the most beautiful sunrise that ever graced my skin. No sunrise had ever even compared to this one. The colors, the clouds, it couldn't be expressed in words. I saw three other ravers sitting on a ledge looking up to it. I walked over to them. One of them looked at me and just said,
'I know' acknowledging the beauty of this sunrise. I jumped up on the ledge and sat in silence with them. As I looked over at the Warehouse one by one, almost everyone filed out of the Warehouse to see this sunrise. Everyone was running in to get his or her friends. It was so beautiful that you didn't want anyone to miss it. I ran in and got Duane and brought him out, we sat in the vehicle and just watched the sunrise in paralyzed by its beauty for about twenty minutes. Then we decided to go back in listen to rest of Dolby's set.
On the way home I felt at total peace with the Earth. Every fear I had before was gone. It felt like that I knew that this world was going to be alright, that somehow the human race was going to pull together and unite. It felt like at that moment a revolution had started. It felt like, no I knew, I was the one who was going to lead this revolution. We were going to change the world, regenerate it, and this revolution began in that everlasting moment.
'Whosoever knoweth the power of the dance, dwelleth in God.'
One night I was dancing exceptionally well. After awhile I became tired so I left the dance floor and sat down. A young man approached me, his pupils were dilated, and he was grinding his teeth a little. I was pretty sure he was on some Ecstasy. He held out his hand to shake mine. I stopped him;
'No, like this bro,' I said. I made a fist and held it out. When he made a fist, I hit my fist against his. 'Knuckle up. That's how they do it out in East Van. Keep it simple.' I said. He smiled.
'You're a fucking crazy dancer! You dance like the wind!' he exclaimed.
'Thanks. You know that's funny you said that. My native name is 'Dances Like the Wind' ' I replied.
'Really?' He said, looking very surprised.
'No, I'm just playing, bro.' I said laughing. He laughed back and smiled.
'My name is Miles,' I said.
'Oh I'm Jason,' he replied.
'Nice to meet you bro. Sit down for a bit, I know there's something's you need to hear,' I said. He sat down on the stool next to me.
'How do I learn how to dance? I want to learn so bad.' he asked.
I thought to myself, 'when the student is ready, the teacher appears', then said 'I can tell you about the secrets I have learned if you'd like.'
'Really? You'd do that?' He asked.
'Of course, that's what I'm here for.' I replied.
'First, let me tell you how I approach my dancing first.' I said.
'Sure.' He replied, with an eager look on face.
'A lot of people think that the reason I dance is to be the best, or look the best. They feel that my dancing is all about me. I can see it in their eyes. But it's not like that. My dancing is for you, for everybody else here.' I said. He continued to listen, looking very interested.
'What I try to do everyday is to show people what is possible, I want to inspire people, to inspire them so much that they have no choice but to join in. Once they start dancing, I hope they will experience the freedom, the energy, and spirituality, I have found in the music and dancing. It is the most spiritual thing I have ever experienced, and I want to share that with every single person I can. My dancing is about liberating other people's spirits, so they transcend the material world and enter a more spiritual world. I try lead people away from the darkness. I hope I have inspired you somehow.'
'You have!' He replied. 'I do, I do want to dance, but I'm too scared to go out on the dance floor, I'm afraid of how, I'll look.'
'I remember when I first started raving, I was in the same position. I was too scared to go out, I was too worried that I'd look like an idiot. For the first three months of raving, I didn't even think about stepping on the dance floor. But then one night, I don't know how it happened, but I just found myself on the dance floor, and I was dancing! It was awesome. So what I tell everyone, who tells me that they don't feel comfortable about going on the dance floor is; to just keep coming out, keep coming to the raves and just sit and watch the other dancers, and listen to the music, and eventually one night you'll come out and out of nowhere you'll find yourself on the dance floor. You'll be dancing and you'll have no idea how it happened. It will just happen. Don't push it, just keep coming out, and when you're ready you'll find yourself doing it, not knowing how it happened.'
'Thanks, for the advice, really thanks,' he said. 'Anytime bro, that's what I'm here for.' I replied. 'Once you begin dancing, whenever that happens, remember don't push it, just start watching the other dancers, and how they move their bodies. That's how I learned my first few moves, was I copied them from other people. But try not to copy other people, you will get no respect that way, just try to use their moves as a guide to find your style.'
'My style?' he asked.
'Yeah, before I tell you about your style, I first have to explain to you what dancing is.' I replied.
'Okay' he said.
'Music is a power. One of the strongest powers on Earth, in fact it is so strong that in ancient times, the church controlled music, you were only allowed to make it for and in church. So now you know music is a power, I'll tell you how to utilize that power. What dancing is is the pure act of metamorphosis. The DJ is sending out this music power, and the instant that it hits you, you transform this music power as best as you can into physical power. As you get better and better at dancing, you become better at instantly transforming that music energy into a physical energy. Think of it like painting a picture. This relates to your style as I said earlier. If everyone were to paint a picture, no picture would be the same. We are all individual's and we would all have different expressions. Dancing is obviously a form of expression, a physical one. So after awhile of dancing, your dance will evolve into your own individual expression, you'll have your own style. Look at all these people dancing here, they all have their own individual styles, they are all expressing their present emotions in their own individual way.' I said. He looked at few of the dancers and looked back at me.
'I see what you're saying; it's all making sense to me. It all sounds so right. Where do you learn this stuff?' he asked.
'The Underground' I replied smiling. We sat there for a few moments. Then he asked,
'Did you do anything tonight? I mean did you do any drugs.'
'Yeah. I did some Acid.' I replied. I could tell this completely stunned him. He moved his body back in amazement.
'What? Acid?' He said.
'Well it's the only drug that still makes me a better dancer. I owe all my dancing to drugs.' I replied.
'How can you handle it, and keep yourself in public? I mean I've tried it a few times when I was younger, but I couldn't be public while on it.' He said.
'Well, first off, what most ravers today don't know, is that, Acid was all ravers did back in the day, there was no Ecstasy. Ecstasy only began to become very popular in the earlier nineties. I know what you're saying though about handling it. Ninety-nine percent of the population doesn't posses the ability to channel LSD positively, for ninety-nine out of one hundred people; they can only channel the LSD negatively, and have bad experiences. But what I tell people is that when you are able to channel LSD positively, the level it takes your mind to it is unbelievable. When I am dancing on Acid, I have control of every little muscle, every tendon, and every part of my body, parts I didn't even know I had. It's wild.
Sometimes when I do a spin, which is probably a quarter of a second, it will go in slow motion, and the spin will last for three seconds. Shrooms are good too, but they make me tired and don't give me any energy. LSD is such a powerful psychedelic that it is also like a super amphetamine.'
'Wow.' he replied, sitting there not knowing what to say.
'Don't get me wrong though, when I first started raving it was all Ecstasy. I ate it like it was going out of style. I owe all my whole dancing career to Ecstasy.' I said.
'What do you mean?' he asked.
'Well that's another key to dancing, well for me anyhow. Ecstasy opened the door for me. It showed me what was possible. In the beginning it gave me the courage and confidence to start dancing. I was very insecure before. But what Ecstasy does, is it removes all your fears. Your fear of looking stupid, your fear of saying something stupid. When that happens, all that is left is the real you. You aren't afraid of being yourself, of what other people think. You stop fronting or stop wearing a mask. But in my experiences, Ecstasy can only take you so far. My dancing got to a point where I was performing extraordinary moves that required all of my balance. Ecstasy impairs your balance, so it was holding me back at that point. So I experimented with shrooms and LSD, and I found that the Acid took me to levels I never thought were possible. But don't forget without the Ecstasy I would have never walked through that door.' I replied. He was hanging on to my every word. I could tell that he could of sat there all night and listened to me.
'I'll tell you what bro, keep coming out every weekend. I'll be here every weekend too, it's my weekly ritual, and when I think you are ready for the next secret, I'll share it with you. It would be too much for you to try to absorb everything in one sitting. I think you've got a lot to think about already, cause I'm going to get out there and do some dancing.'
'Sure. Thanks for sharing that with me, really thanks, it meant a lot.' he replied.
'Anytime bro, really. I mean it. But before I go, I want to do something.' I said.
'Okay,' he replied. I reached into my backpack and pulled out my spray bottle.
'Okay stand up,' I said. He stood up. 'Let me explain what I'm going to do to you. It was done to me when I first started raving, and I didn't understand it and it's significance for a few years.' I sprayed his forehead with water. 'It's like being baptized. Water represents life. I'm not trying to make fun of Christianity or anything. There's tremendous power in symbolism. This means that you belong to a tribe now.' I said, and smiled at him. I could tell he sort of understood me.
'Okay.' he said. I started to turn away and he held out his hand to shake my hand. I was just about to say something and he realized this and instead made a fist. I smiled and nodded my head and we hit fists. 'I'll talk to you later bro.' I said. 'Alright, Miles' he replied. He smiled and sat back down. I made my way to the dance floor to do another set.
A few weeks later I was out at a rave, and again, I saw Jason. There he was out there going off like a veteran raver. It always makes me feel good to see that I was making a difference in someone's dancing. I watched him for a bit.
'Wow' I thought to myself. He's starting to get it. He really impressed me. He was really feeling the music. Yet another young Jedi in training. 'The force is strong with him,' I though to myself, and laughed. Then he saw me, and immediately he ran over. We talked for a bit. He seemed happy to see me again, and I was glad he was taking so good to raving. I hoped it was positively affecting his life.
Then we decided to go outside and burn some weed. I twisted up a nice fatty. While we were smoking it I said,
'I think your ready for some more secrets.'
'I'm ready! Come on Miles, tell me some more!' He exclaimed.
'Okay. The next few things are rather simple, and there really isn't anything that deep or special to them. Now you just simply have to apply discipline to your dancing. You need to train your body. Now, however much you chose to practice, and train, is up to you. There's nothing wrong with only practicing when you are out raving on the weekends. Raving isn't a competition. But I like to practice everyday, every morning, by practicing everyday, I won't only take my level of dancing up, but I'll take the level of everyone who watches me and dances with me up. So however much you decide to practice is entirely up to you, but the more you practice, the faster your dance will evolve.' I said. He continued to sit there listening. 'Now I'm the kind of person, where I have to be the best at everything I do, if I'm not, then I will practice until I am. But that's just me, I don't think it's very natural though, because I use to practice so much, that I would lose toenails. My toenails would turn blue and fall off. I've lost about ten of them in my life. I've also had two stress fractures, in my metatarsals in my left foot. So I was a little extreme. I'm not expecting this from you, or from anybody for that matter, it's just a work ethic I've developed from my basketball playing days, and from growing up watching and listening to my hero Michael Jordan all my life.'
'But how do I know what to do when I practice?' He asked.
'Well what I did was study video of the best. The one person I'd say I've studied the most in my life would have to be Michael Jackson. I downloaded as many video clips as I could find of Michael Jackson on the Internet, and I would watch his clips over and over and over, for months on end. When I saw a move I would watch it over and over and over, then go and practice and practice and practice, till I could do it. But whom you watch obviously depends on what styles of dancing you're trying to learn. Like I still watch video clips of the masters everyday, I watch all styles; Freestyles, Breakdancing, Popping and Locking, Liquid, Flagging, Glowsticking, and Fire Dancing. Remember the body cannot do what it cannot visualize first.' I said.
'Visualize?' He asked.
'Yes, that is the other technique I was going to share with you today. Visualization is a technique used by athletes at the top of their sports. Like Olympic powerlifters, or NBA basketball players. You see everything in this world is created twice, the first creation is mentally, and then the second comes the physical creation. You have to visualize your moves in your mind first, see yourself doing it in your mind. Sometimes when I couldn't perform a move I had been trying to do for months, I would sit down, close my eyes and for about five or ten minutes just try to picture myself doing it in my mind. Then I would get up and try it, and a lot of time it would happen. But if it doesn't work, don't get discouraged, I've had some moves take up three months before I actually pulled it off. In fact two moves of the moves I'm currently working on I have been visualizing and practicing for over two years already but I still haven't actually pulled them off yet.' I said. 'Remember the body cannot do what the mind cannot visualize first.' He sat there nodding his head; I could tell by the way he was half squinting his eyes that he was thinking about everything I had just told him. I continued on, 'I don't think anybody has said it better than Morpheus in the movie the Matrix; you're better (faster) than this, don't think you are, know you are.' I said. We both smiled. 'You have to let it all go, fear, doubt, and disbelief ... free your mind.' I said again, obviously quoting Morpheus again. I continued on jokingly, 'But that's what we've got those red pills for right? So did you take the red or the blue pill?' I asked him, smiling. 'The red one. ' He said, laughing back. Then he promptly asked, 'What about you Miles, did you take the red pill?' 'Actually I took two of them.' I said, followed by a big smile, we both had a good laugh. We continued to talk for bit more about some other stuff. Then we went and danced. At the end of the night I told him when he's ready, I'd teach him some more.
Over the next four or five weekends I ran into Jason a few times, and we would talk, and I would show him some of my moves, and different styles. I let him try my flags, and my glowsticking chains, to see how he handled them. I also tried showing him some liquid, and taught him a few breakdancing moves. Then one night I felt he was ready to learn the last few secrets I knew, and had experienced myself.
'Alright young Jedi, I think you're ready for some more.' I said, with a smile on my face.
'I'm listening, Miles' Jason replied.
'One of the secrets I have today is just simply one word.' I said.
'One word?' He asked.
'Yeah. Surrender. That one simple word made a world of difference in my level of dancing. Before I used to try to dance, or try to dance better, and I would try harder and harder. But the harder I tried the more difficult it became. I was trying to force my dancing. It won't work like that. You have to surrender to the music, you have to surrender to your dancing, surrender to the energy. You have to live in the moment. It's almost as if you stop dancing, and instead you are sitting on the side, just watching yourself dance. You become detached from the dance yet engaged in the dance.' I replied. Then I asked, 'Do you grasp what I am saying?' 'Well, sort of.' He replied.
'Don't worry if you don't understand it yet, you will. With practice you will come to understand my teachings.' He sat there I could tell his mind was slowly, yet surely metabolizing the insights I was feeding him. 'There was this one quote that I came across on the Internet one day, and I liked it. I felt it encompassed a lot of what we live in one sentence. It was; 'Music is our scripture, dance is our practice, once united, we can't be divided, feel the bass. PLUR'. Now there was one final insight that I wanted to share with you tonight. The level of mastery that you covet so much cannot be reached until you let go of your ego. You have to get your ego out of it. You have to realize that it isn't you performing the moves. It isn't about being the best, or looking the best. Your ego will only hold you back. You have to just allow the energy to pass through you. You have to almost say 'this isn't me, I'm just allowing the energy to pass through me'. When you discard your ego, anything will be possible. Now I have nothing more to teach you. Your vision is a promise of what one day you will be. The strength of your efforts will be the measure of your results. You will become the vision of your youth one-day Jason. Go, and dance, because if you didn't come here to dance, then what the fuck did you come here for?!'
Definition of a shaman: The ability to readily slip out of the perceptual boundaries that demarcate his or her particular culture- boundaries reinforced by social customs, taboos, and most importantly, the common speech or language- in order to make contact with and learn from, the other powers in the land. His magic is precisely his heightened receptivity to the meaningful solicitations- songs, cries, gestures- of the larger, more-than-human field.
- David Abram
I sat there and I couldn't help but watch the young man on the other side of the room. I saw myself at one point of time in him. He was really high. He was lying back, he was grinding his teeth and his eyes were fluttering. Duane was at my side.
'Look at that kid, he's lost. Look how high he is.' Duane said.
'You were once him yourself Duane. Remember?' I replied.
'I was never that bad.' He said defensively.
'Of course you were, we both were at one time. But it's a necessary stage.' I said.
'What do you mean?' Duane asked.
'It's the only way we can reach him.' I replied.
'What do you mean reach him?' Duane asked.
'The same way I got through to you. You were once lost, just as he is, and so was I at one time.' I said, then I continued. 'Our raving is the most spiritual thing in our lives right. You know how we call the Warehouse our church right? It's our weekly ritual. We couldn't possibly think of living without raving right? The music and the dancing have raised our state of consciousness. It was here that we found ourselves. It was here that we found peace, love, unity, and respect. It was here that we found our people, our tribe. Before you met me, before I found the Warehouse, or should I say the Warehouse found me. I was a little punk thug drug dealer. All I did was drink, have sex and sell and do drugs. You told me that before the Warehouse all you did was steal, that you were a professional thief with your gang, and you stole to get drugs. Well I sold drugs to get my drugs. Today's youth doesn't listen to their elders. All kids want to do is do drugs. Drugs plague our generation. But don't you see that's one of the whole keys to it all, bro.' I said.
'What key?' he asked.
'What's the only thing today's youth want to do?' I asked him.
'Like you said, drugs, and sex.' he replied.
'Yes, and everyone is trying to talk, to counsel, to guide these kids. They are our future. But they don't listen. Every year, it just gets worse and worse. Many have given up hope. They feel it's too late.' I said, then continued. 'But that's the trick, that's how they reached me, and that's how I reached you. Was through the drugs. We give them this Ecstasy, and we say 'Here take this! It feels great doesn't it? Want some more? Of course you do, here!' It's the only way we can reach them, through their drugs. So then they start coming out every weekend to get high, and they love it. But while they are here, while they are high, we show them what it's all about. PEACE,LOVE,UNITY,RESPECT. We show them the power of music. We show them the power of dance. We bring them into our world. We change them. Then when they are ready, after they start seeing that, we walk over and tell them something.' I said.
'What do we tell them?' Duane asked.
'The same thing that was told to me, and the same thing that I told you. That they are coming for the wrong reasons. They are coming for the drugs, when they should be coming for the music, and dancing, for the unity. When you tell them that, they realize it. They think, 'I am coming for the wrong reasons'. But at that point the power of the music and dance, the power of the unity has affected them so deeply that they start coming for the right reasons. But do you think if we tried to reach that kid normally, tried to teach him about spirituality, that he would of listened? You think we would have had any opportunity to change him with out the drugs? You think I could walk up to a group of high school kids on the street and try to teach them anything about spirituality? They'd all laugh at me. But one day that kid over there is going to be coming for the right reasons, sure he still might get high when he comes, but that won't be the main reason he comes. He'll be coming for the music, and the dancing, and the unity. One day he'll be a true raver.'
'I see what you're saying.' He replied.
'But my theory goes deeper than that.' I said.
'Go on' He said.
'I believe the reason that our parents generation can't reach their children is because their religions have become obsolete. The religions have been rendered obsolete by the invention of the computer. Religion is a tool, used to bring you closer to God, to involve spirituality in your life. But just as any tool, it eventually becomes obsolete. I mean, what's the dominant religion here in North America?' I asked.
'I'd have to say Christianity.' Duane replied.
'That's right, but it's not working anymore. Well, it still works, but not like it did for our parent's generation, or for the generations before them. I know maybe two or three people of all of my friends, and I have thousands of friends, that actually followed their parents, and are some form of Christian and go to church every Sunday. My family dragged me to church many times, but I never felt a fraction of the spirituality there that I feel here. I have never felt as close to God, as close to other people as I do here. I mean it did wondrous things the last two thousand years. But look at the last thirty years. Technology has emerged out of nowhere, in the blink of an eye. It has changed the entire world. The Internet and computers have changed everything. There isn't a thing you do that doesn't involve computers and technology somehow. The television you watch is digital, the car you drive has a computer in it, the phones you use are digital, the music you listen is altered through electricity, everything involves technology now. The Internet has created a global village. And I think that is why these older religions have stopped working.' 'What do you mean?' Duane asked.
'I believe they don't work because technology isn't involved in the religion, and that because technology influences us so much everyday and we are so close to our technology that it now has to be involved in our spirituality, or it won't work. Now let me ask you something, it will probably be something that you've never thought of before. Do you think technology has a spirit? Like do you think your computer, or your TV, or your Playstation has a spirit?'
'Of course not.' He said.
'Why not?' I asked.
'Because it isn't alive.' He replied.
'Your computer has the same electricity running through it, that runs through your nervous system. And technology is something we created, Humans have been given a God-like power, the power of creativity. I believe that anything we create is natural.' I said.
'Yeah but a computer isn't alive.' He said.
'Ancient cultures all over the world have always believed that plants, and animals also have spirits, like us. Why not your computer?' I asked.
'You're crazy.' He said.
'What do call that guy up there, behind the turntables, playing the music?' I asked.
'A DJ.' He replied.
'Do you know what he really is?' I asked.
'What?' Duane asked.
'He's a shaman. He's a techno-shaman. He's using the electronic music to invoke certain states of mind, or certain states of being that transcend reality. He's no different than the ancient shamans of Africa, or the ancient shamans of Native Americans. Except he uses technology. What all those politicians who condemn, and try to shut down raves, all those journalists who write negative things about raves, all those parents who think raves are wrong don't realize is that raving is a part of being human. The need to rave in engrained in our spirits. It's as natural as the need to have sex, to eat, to sleep. They don't realize that people have been raving since the dawn of human existence.' I said.
'What do you mean? Raves have just recently started.' He said.
'No Duane, we've been raving since the dawn of music. What is the whole point of raving, what do we come here every weekend for?' I asked.
'To raise our state of consciousness through the power of music and dance, right?' He said.
'Right. What do you think a Pow-wow is? Native Americans have been raving for thousands upon thousands of years. They beat their drum, and sing and chant. They dance in a circle, with their tribe. There're using the power of music and dance to raise their state of consciousness. What do you think an African tribe that is dancing around a fire, chanting, beating drums, wearing ceremonial masks is doing? They are raving, and the have been for thousands of years. They used the same tool we use today, the drum, only our drum is digital. The only thing different about our raves is we are armed with lasers, and electronic music, instead of feathers and animal skin drums. Do you see? It's a part of being human. Do you remember the first time I made you take off your shirt and dance? How you didn't want to, but when you finally did, It felt so natural, so good? I remember the first time I took off my shirt.
I was raving for almost a year, and everyone would always tell me to take of my shirt, and I never did. Then one day I finally did. I'll never forget it. It felt so right, so natural, I felt like I was part of an ancient African tribe, and I was dancing around a fire. I'll never forget that, and now I'll never rave without some point in the night where I rip my shirt off.' I said. I paused for a second to catch my breath. 'You see that's what we've lost in today's world. We've lost our sense of being a tribe. When you walk down a street at night, and walk by someone you don't know, you don't know what this person might do, you ready yourself just in case he might try to rob you or something. You don't trust him. There's fear, and doubt. It never used to be like that.
We use to be a tribe, that person use to be your brother, or your sister. You use to love and care about that person. That's what's so great about electronic music. It's universal; it isn't influenced by one culture or one part of the world. It's made all over the world, influenced by every culture. It's universal. The same vinyl being spun here can be spun in Japan. Our tribe is coming back together. Technology is going to bring us all back together, it's what's going to save us, not destroy us.' I said.
'I hope you're right, I really do. About our technology saving us, not destroying us, I mean.' He said.
'Now this is going to sound a little radical, and you might not agree with it, but I'm going to tell you how I feel about technology. The majority of the world, particularly the religious, is scared of technology. It scares a lot of people. But I'm not scared. They feel it would be wrong to start altering or adding computers to the human body. But I don't see it as wrong. I believe that we should eventually be half man, half machine. I think we should embrace technology. Not to become all-artificial. But find the equilibrium. The perfect balance between man and machine, to create something better than humans. You see I don't see anything wrong with technology because it something we created and like I said earlier; I think as long as we created it, it is natural. Don't you feel something, like when you are raving, haven't you felt something else? I can feel the techno-spirits; I'll call them that, for lack of a better word. Don't you?' I asked.
'I feel something, but I don't know what it is.' He replied.
'I believe that in ancient times, humans accomplished everything through spirituality. There are monoliths created by man around the world with giant stones, weighing sixty thousand tons, and these sacred sights were built before the invention of the wheel! I believe that with spirituality, humans once accomplished anything they could dream of. But one day we questioned it. That one-day we questioned it, was the day we lost it. That was its power, that we didn't have any doubts, we didn't have any disbelief, just pure faith. Adam and Eve took a fruit from the forbidden tree of knowledge. That was the moment we lost our power, because that was its power. That we had no doubt, no disbelief, only faith. I also believe that one day when science comes to it's pinnacle, all that it's going to figure out, is that we had the perfect technology to begin with, in the beginning we had the only sustainable, and everlasting technology. Our forests, our animals, nature it self is the perfect technology. Many believe we are coming the end of the cycle, we are entering a spiritual age.'
'How much Acid did you do tonight?' Duane asked.
'Only one hit, okay, well maybe two.' I said, already smiling. Then we both had to laugh.
'I love you Miles. You mean so much to me. You know that? Don't ever leave me bro.' Duane said with the utmost sincerity.
'I love you too, bro. I promise I'll never leave your side. Besides you're my first mate, and I'm your captain, I need you at my side. You know I think we've been friends for eternity, in the life before this, in the life after, in every life, I believe we have always been best bro's. Now you ready to go change some lives? You ready to change some thought patterns? You ready to guide the youth? Look at them out there, they're lost. They're our sheep; we must tend to our flock. Let's show them our light. Let's get out on that dance floor, and show them what it's all about.'
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