Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cannabis Chassidis: Recreational Messianism vs. Medicinal Rationality; The problem and virtues of organized religion and other drugs

This Sunday Oct 2nd 4 pm – 6 pm Pacific Time
Last Word Books (map)

“Years ago, I came to Jerusalem,
just out of high school,
looking for an authentic religious tradition
for how to smoke marijuana
...rightly, helpfully, more effectively
and more meaningfully.
What I found additionally and instead
was a living culture, wrestling with the mystery
of how to incorporate the exctatic; and the
mystery of the causes for it's repression,
along with alot of brilliant guidance and terrible truths
about the nature of religion, law, idealism and drugs.”

Cannabis Chassidis: The Ancient and Emerging Torah of Drugs (A memoir) details the question and it's exploration: How could it be that something as inherent to modern life as Marijuana, something with a rich history of human usage, has no tradition in Torah, a guidance system that I was raised to understand as encompassing everything good that one should know? There are answers for what IS there in the tradition, rich allusions to herbs and smokes used in different capacitities, and the more interesting answers and questions are about what there isn't in the tradition, and why.

And along the way, the spectrum of an experience of living mystical subculture is explored, and the romantic idealization and redemptive potential of both Psychedelia and Religion are touched and felt deeply, in the context of outstanding communities and individuals who have experienced the glories and the failures of both.
Yoseph Leib travels and studies throughout Jerusalem, New York, and Rainbow Country U.S.A, in search of guidance about how Cannabis and psychedelics have and have not been used in both ancient and emerging Hassidic traditions, and what the way we have related to our desires for medicines, gods, and intoxicants can teach us about how we relate to ourselves, our community, and our G-d. The glorious problem of how what we can learn can set us free, in all kinds of ways.

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