After my first LSD trip, I realized that we are all living in free fall
Your world growing up is like the inside of a house.
The furniture is where it is. You learn to crawl around the obstacles, duck under the table, hide behind the couch. Before long, you find your favorite hide-and-seek spots.
If your mother loves you, you learn — this is what it means to have a mother. If she hits you — that’s what it means to have a mother. You observe who has power, and what your place is.
There are rules you abide by. What time you wake up, what snacks you can and can’t have, what’s right or wrong. Who you’re supposed to be when you grow up. These change over time, but rarely by much. It’s predictable. You think you know your way around. All the characters, who they are, who you are. You can’t wait to grow up. You start making plans like what you want to study in college, when you’d like to start a family, who you’re going to vote for to be president.
But one day you open the door, and you realize this whole time, the house, along with you and everything in it, has been free falling at terminal velocity. Things look stable inside the house, but it’s chaos the moment you try to step out. You look around, and see countless other houses experiencing the same thing. And there is no ground below you.
You realize that no one actually knows what the hell they’re doing. And in their desperate attempts to assert that they do, they’ve built microcosms in mid-air for things to make sense and seem manageable. In these microcosms, and only in them, can any certainty exist. The price of this certainty is buying into whatever illusion they are selling you. It’s forgetting you’re free falling, and have been for god knows how long, for no discernible reason, where there is no speaking to the manager. The manager is nowhere to be found. There is only the sound of wind brushing past your ears.
This was the realization I had after my first ego death from LSD. It was like I died, and came back with fresh eyes. Everything felt “up in the air.”
I realized the systems and institutions I had grown to trust, every concept and invention, was just made up by some guy. That we started from knowing nothing, and the knowledge we do have came from the process of poking around and finding better answers to replace the old ones, but that this process had no end in sight. We don’t know if there are any ultimate answers. Maybe there is no there there.
But if there is no there there, what do we do?
I propose we enjoy the ride. Who knows, it might end one day and we’ll turn into dust.