I always find it interesting to stay involved in literature associated with the cannabis scene and I’m always keen to see what’s new and if there are any classics that have passed me by (or even just those that deserve another read through).
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading about copious strains, the incredible experiences of those involved in the scene and the weird and wonderful history of everyone’s favourite plant, but recently I was made aware of a new book which sounds more than a little different.
Over the years I’ve read many books which deal with the experience of getting high via various mediums, including the incredibly intriguing Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell by Aldous Huxley, and these have provided me with insights which can be compared and contrasted with my own experiences with psychedelics, narcotics and, of course, cannabis.
Whether it’s sharing in the experience of another or trying to make sense of what happened during the high, exploring the depths of another’s reality can be an incredibly enlightening and often grounding experience. From the abject, surreal madness of Hunter S. Thompson’s writing through to the joys of Kerouac, countless readers have found solace in the collective unconscious that comes with breaking down the boundaries of our perceived reality through the consumption of various remedies, medicines, plants and narcotics.
In what seems to be a world fi st, a young writer from the Czech Republic has decided to evolve the idea of writing whilst high (or at least writing about being high) into something which is an entirely different beast. Vladimir Hlocky’s new release is a short collection of individual writings that are intended only to be read whilst under the infl uence of cannabis or other psychedelics. The book carries clear instructions that it should not be read under any other circumstances.
What’s even more intriguing is that each of the chapters (12 in total) has a different focus and a specifi c set of instructions and criteria that the reader is required to abide by in order to get the most out of the experience. It’s important that these are followed as the book builds upon crucial ideas as it progresses and each chapter is designed to take you to a different spiritual plane or stage of self-discovery.
From what I can gather from the preview chapters and the press release (as I am currently waiting to get hold of my own full copy – expect a review next issue), the idea here is that by following the guidance carefully and allowing yourself to settle into the infl uence of the writing you are guided on a personal journey through self-discovery and a greater sense of enlightenment. Some of the earlier chapters are dedicated to the idea of being present in the moment with no consideration for what has gone before or what will come next and act as an entry point to the later readings.
In essence, Hlocky wants us to gain a better understanding of our real place in the universe, away from the social restrictions and falsifi ed concepts which make up much of what troubles people mentally, emotionally and spiritually. By using themes and concepts that we are familiar with he manages to put the reader at ease before transporting them to distant lands and guiding them through a myriad of contemplations en route to their chosen destination.
On paper it sounds slightly awkward and confusing, but it’s quite an achievement once you see it for yourself.According to the young author, the concept of this book came to him after he had undertaken two solo Ayahuasca retreats and become more in-touch with his self and the potential for him to utilize his imagination to great effect.
Having seen the shifting social attitudes towards cannabis and other naturally occurring substances, he felt the time was right for him to share his own personal experiences in the hope of helping other people to attain a higher sense of self and deeper spirituality. It’s apparent that these experiences have had a profound effect on the author and he writes with eloquence, emotion and a maturity which seems to be way beyond his years. His views of the universe are quite profound and if you approach this book with an open mind there is plenty to appreciate and enjoy.
Throughout the book are footnotes and additional points of guidance which inform the reader of recommended songs to listen to for each chapter along with links to fi nd them online – I have to admit that I was quite excited by the concept and it reminded me of using Alpha wave frequencies in music to establish a sense of serenity and calm. In a similar way to guided meditation, his words draw you in slowly and seem to gradually bring you into a trance-like state.
If you’ve never dabbled in deep meditation, holotropic breathing or experienced any sort of ‘trip’ then you might potentially find the experience a little overwhelming or hard to get to grips with but if you persevere you might find yourself coming away from this experience with an altered perception.
Currently, the book is available as an e-book online, but the author has plans to potentially release an audiobook in the future alongside physical copies of the text. He also recognizes that sometimes the reader might be slightly over-zealous in preparing to read and might end up getting higher than intended, which could have a negative impact on their ability to read effectively and comfortably.
In this situation, he recommends the use of a text to voice reader (he also indicates that some people might actually prefer this approach as it can be an even deeper and more meaningful experience if the reader can relax themselves to a greater extent (not always that straightforward when you’ve smoked a bowl and can barely focus on the room, let alone text on a screen).
If you’re the kind of person who likes to explore avenues new and you’re looking for a new way to enjoy your cannabis then this is certainly worthy of a little exploration.
See you on the other side.
Written and Published By Psy-23 In Weed World Magazine Issue 149
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