Cannabis, also known as marijuana, was not invented in the 1960s. It’s been around for at least 10,000 years. It was just as widespread then as it is today, and for most of that time, it was legal.
Cannabis has been outlawed for many years, yet now there seems to be a worldwide campaign to make it legal again. But if it is harmless and can be legalized, why was it outlawed in the first place? Also, why is it being legalized at this specific point in time?
The calming effect of cannabis has been known since we have started using it. Indigenous peoples have used it, and other drugs, for both ritual purposes and on social occasions. It was present in any social gathering and helped bring people closer together.
The difference between the indigenous peoples and modern humanity is that today we do not think of it in any spiritual sense, but merely as a pacifier. Governments need something to calm people down, and soft drugs are a cheap and quite harmless way to do so.
But why should anyone be so intent on keeping everyone relaxed? Don’t people need to work? Shouldn’t they be consuming and creating growth?
The thing is that we are on the verge of a major shift. For the most part, human labor is already a redundancy, and the only reason the technology to replace us isn’t introduced is that if people don’t work, they will have no place else to go. When people have no jobs or income they will become economically challenged and frustrated. Worse yet, they will become hopeless because they will see that the future holds no promise of a job, and their lives will become a struggle for survival for a basically meaningless life. This is a guaranteed recipe for social unrest.
The only solution that currently exists is to provide people with some regular income, such as unemployment benefits, to ease their insecurity concerning sustenance, and provide them with a pacifier to ease their minds. Cannabis fits the latter requirement perfectly. We shouldn’t be surprised if over time we will see cannabis appearing in the most everyday products. If this trend continues it will become an over-the-counter drug just like paracetamol and ibuprofen. An ad that reads something like, “Is your baby restless? Give her Cannabicetamol!,” will be an everyday thing.
But, to paraphrase, “You can dope some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t dope all of the people all of the time.” And there is a good reason for it: We are growing, we are transforming from within and our desires and aspirations are constantly changing. If today we might settle for securing a comfortable life, tomorrow we will ask, “Why live at all?”
In more and more people, the question about the meaning of life increasingly disrupts their peace of mind. This is something that neither cannabis nor any other drug can pacify. It is something that must be addressed directly and to which one must provide a satisfactory answer.
At the moment, we are seeing the (camouflaged) emergence of this question in the growing number of young people joining ISIS and other fundamentalist groups. We are seeing it in the frightening statistics of depression in the Western world and beyond. We are seeing it in people’s increasingly exaggerated need for diversity—in sex, food, sports, jobs, and every area of human engagement.
Therefore, for all its trendiness, the heydays of cannabis are bound to be short-lived. We should already start preparing for the day when we are faced with a restless and irritated humanity looking for the meaning of life.
When people get to that stage, they will find it only in connection. Not in mere socializing, but in a type of connection that yields a comprehensive perception of the system of existence. Just as the cells in our bodies exist as individual cells, yet function as integral and positively contributing elements in the entire body, rejoicing (in a cellish kind of way) in the health of the body and agonizing in its pains, people will feel satisfied only when they perceive themselves as individuals, yet as parts of the whole of humanity. The meaning of the existence of a single cell cannot be explained by looking at the cell itself. Only when you examine its place in the entire organism can you grasp it. Likewise, people will not find any meaningful answer to their lives as separate, distinct individuals, but only when they are contributing elements to the whole of humanity.
In all my research as a scientist and kabbalist, I have found no other solution for prolonged happiness and satisfaction other than the comprehension of one’s place in the “big picture.” And the sooner humanity grasps that happiness lies in the kind of connection just described, the better it will be for all of us, and the easier and faster it will be for us to make that transition a reality.
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