In the dream, I was at an AA meeting, and somehow, Bill Wilson was still alive and slated to be the keynote speaker. I was sitting in the front of the audience, and someone from backstage pulled me aside. They said they needed my help, because Bill W. had just smoked pot and was too stoned to speak. So I went searching for him in the maze behind the stage but couldn't find him. So they wanted me to speak in his place. But before I could get up on stage, someone passed me a joint, and I got really stoned myself, and all I remember from the final part of the dream is being enshrouded in a cloud of pot smoke—thinking: well, I guess I won't be speaking either.
Ah, the marvelous matrix of the subconscious mind.
Upon waking, I laughed at the absurdity of my mind, but the dream got me thinking about marijuana, meditation, Bill Wilson, and a few other things that are relevant to AYP and recovery.
In the vernacular of AA, the phrase marijuana maintenance is used to describe an attempt to be free of alcohol by smoking pot as a way of substitution. Without a doubt, marijuana is considerably less detrimental than alcohol, and there is a plethora of evidence to prove that statement. Even so, smoking or ingesting cannabis has plenty of pitfalls of its own, and I would not advise anyone to use the plant recreationally (in recovery or otherwise).
Don't get me wrong—I find the plant to be sacred and incredibly magical. Hemp is a terrific fiber with a cornucopia of uses beyond the psychedelic effects of its cured buds. Hemp can be used to make clothing, ropes, necklaces, bracelets, building material, insulation, paper, and so on. And the rise of medical marijuana has brought much pain relief to patients suffering from a variety of illnesses and injuries. In fact, when I lived in San Francisco, I worked for my cousin, who is a medical marijuana doctor, and I witnessed firsthand the benefits and success of prescribing pot for medicinal purposes.
I still enjoy the scent and aroma of a piece of smoldering cannabis. Much like the smudging of sage, there is a potency and ritualistic quality to its smoke. But again, I cannot, with good conscience, return to a habit of ingesting it myself, nor condone its recreational use by anyone else. Neither am I in favor of legal prohibition. I support legalization.
But I digress.
My real concern here is to clarify and capture the essence of our pursuit of transcendence. Though I haven't done much research on the science of cannabis, I'm willing to bet there are strong correlations between its entheogenic effects and the effects of Deep Meditation on the nervous system. In any case, when it comes to calmness and attentive relaxation, Deep Meditation is the winner for achieving long-term success. The functionality, depth, and breadth cannot be matched. I've only been practicing for five years, but it's been long enough to testify to the validity and strength of AYP.
Marijuana is a gift from the divine, but I've had to discover what that gift is truly for. Medicine...yes. Fiber...yes. Long-term transcendence...not so much.
Thank you, Mary Jane! And Bill Wilson...well, I'll see you when I see you.