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Altered States

The Sun Interview

Across The Universe

Stanislav Grof On Nonordinary States Of Consciousness

It became clear to me that consciousness is not a product of the neurophysiological processes in the brain, as I had been taught at the university, but something much higher, possibly superordinate to matter. The idea that consciousness somehow mysteriously emerges from matter didn’t make sense to me anymore. It was easier to imagine that consciousness could create the experience of the material universe by an infinitely complex orchestration. I was suddenly in the realm of the Eastern philosophies, where consciousness is a primary attribute of existence and cannot be reduced to anything else.

By Angela Winter August 2009
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Closest I’ve Come To God

I wake up at 8:50 A.M. and whip around the house frantically, not wanting to be late for my women’s Alcoholics Anonymous meeting: feed the cat, grab my knitting, splash water on my face, pour some half-perked coffee, and speed into town.

By Lois Judson August 2009
Quotations

Sunbeams

In the main, and from the beginning of time, mysticism has kept men sane. The thing that has driven them mad was logic.

G.K. Chesterton

July 2009
The Sun Interview

The Good Red Road

Leslie Gray On Rediscovering America’s Oldest Psychology

When I used to teach Native American studies at Berkeley, I would offer an A to any student who could come up with a Western model of health. No one was ever able to do it. The West developed only a model of disease. Therefore all of its treatments are based on a negative model. They are all “anti”: antidepressants, antipsychotics, antihistamines, antibiotics, and so on. And we are constantly being told that we have to “fight” this or that illness. This is a dualistic way to look at healing. The Native American model is a model of health. It is about the restoration of balance to body, mind, and heart. It assumes that we sometimes go out of balance, and good health depends on restoring that balance.

By Barbara Platek April 2009
Fiction

Mrs. Bernadette

Once, Mrs. Bernadette described the effect to me: “Have you ever seen a crow in flight, and you saw its feet pulled up under it as it rowed itself to wherever it was going? When I get the laughing gas, I feel like those helpless feet being carried along underneath that beautiful bird. It’s nice to let something else take over for a while. The world is too much with us.”

By John Poch September 2008
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Ponchatoula

I was twenty-one years old and taking freshman composition, because I’d gotten a late start in college. I probably wouldn’t have gone to college at all if I hadn’t lost my left arm in a car accident at the age of nineteen.

By Louis E. Bourgeois August 2008
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Madness Equation

When your child goes mad, you begin to question everything you once thought to be true. Even if you’ve been a questioning person all your life, as I have, the things you took for granted — or, as my college English students often write, “for granite” — no longer lie rock-hard in your palm, but shift and slip away like sand.

By Mary Spalding September 2006
Readers Write

Marijuana

Two tightly saran-wrapped joints for Grandma, a baggie on the water fountain, Desi Arnaz

By Our Readers May 2003
The Sun Interview

Tricks Of The Trade

Alfred McCoy On How The CIA Got Involved In Global Drug Trafficking

We’ll never know what might have transpired if Western intelligence agencies hadn’t used the power of the underground drug economy and its criminal syndicates to fight communism during the Cold War. If the CIA hadn’t existed, would we have the levels of addiction we see today? I can’t say. But I can say that covert operations played a significant role in the expansion of drug trafficking after World War II.

By Derrick Jensen May 2003