Wholesome aunt Priscilla King is telling everyone how to get high? That's right, and I'm recommending that readers get high--in these ways--as often as possible.
(This post grew out of an observation I wrote into, and read onto, a George Peters FacTape in 1996. The topic was suggested by @andriaperry , who commented on one of my posts about the ugly effects LSD had on some of our generation. These techniques work better than LSD. Even if you can't get really high, you will not have a bad trip on any of these techniques.
Basically there are five safe, reliable, and usually affordable ways to get high. None of them involves ingesting any specific substance, although eating a diet that promotes a healthy balance of electrolytes in the blood will help. Most of our bodies are capable of producing all the chemicals we need for a safe reliable high.
- Intense work. If your job is usually tiresome to you, think of "work" in terms of a hobby, sport, volunteer work, or housework. The high comes from achieving a "flow state" where your mind and body are completely immersed in your work. You don't need to distract yourself or others with chatter; you just focus on what you do, and love it. It is possible to get high on monotonous work if you focus on it. I was skeptical about this as a teenager. Of course writing fiction or poetry that expressed something I thought/felt, however clumsily, felt like riding on one of Anne McCaffrey's flying dragons...but could I get into the kind of typing jobs that were assigned to entry-level workers? I could. I'll never forget the thrill of having correctly addressed every bill to each of two thousand and some customers, in fewer hours, using fewer envelopes and labels, than the job had ever been done before. Not that that was all I wanted to do all my life, but hey, it's a safe high...does anybody really want to spend the rest of his or her life drinking beer?
- Exercise. Same principle; you're getting high on your own natural endorphin, and for many people it's easier to get there by running or pumping iron than by proofreading copy or waiting tables. However, if you have a mindless menial job, think of it as a way to get high, because doing it at an efficient pace is boosting your endorphin level.If you are getting high on a job like cleaning hotel rooms or hand-washing cars, while your co-workers are trudging along with their heads full of gloomy thoughts, you will be noticed, not necessarily in a good way. You will be suspected of getting high on something less legal than endorphin, being in the manic phase of a bipolar disorder, or at the very least carrying on a secret love affair. Persist, and the love affair will probably happen, even if the secret is that you've been married to your lover for years.
- Music. Part of the effect here is that when listening to music, even if you don't sing along out loud, you're breathing in rhythm. There's that diaphragm muscle again, cranking out endorphin. Of course, if a song or style of music also happens to remind you of pleasant memories, that also helps elevate your mood.
- Meditation. Whether this is Christian meditation on your daily study of the Scripture, transcendental meditation where you "let the mind abide nowhere," or sensory-awareness meditation on the sensations of walking in slow motion, the high probably still comes from breathing deeply and activating the diaphragm muscle. At the same time, meditators also relax tired muscles, release tensions, and focus their attention on topics that elevate their moods.
- Falling in love. This high involves different biochemicals than the others--less endorphin, more serotonin. We usually think of "falling in love" as an experience that relies on sex hormones, but a natural serotonin high is independent of sexuality. In neurological terms, falling in love is measurably different from a sexual attraction. Confusion is possible because the two things often happen at the same time.So, if you're already married and don't feel tense and excited about the person you married, you can still fall in love without compromising your marriage. You can let yourself be carried away on the kind of love you feel for other family members, just for variation's sake. "Isn't She Lovely" is a song about a man falling in love with his infant daughter--men fall in love with their infant sons, too. Once we've accepted the idea that falling in love is not about sex, we're free to enjoy the high of falling in love with our parents, with other relatives, with friends who've done something that impressed us, with people whose work we admire, with our pets, with trees or landscapes...it's about admiring something that's good and right and beautiful.
And once we've accepted this idea, there is no actual limit on the number of times you can fall in love with your spouse. Even (and especially) after you've become accustomed to living with this person, you still have opportunities to observe the admirable and adorable things about him or her too. Sex hormones are likely to reappear on their own natural schedule, but meanwhile, you still get to admire his rapport with his students or her feeling for music or whatever.
For people who've already used drugs it can be hard to recover a real high, with or without drugs. Nevertheless, after recovery, people who've made the comparison say that these natural highs feel different but as good as, or better than, even a "good trip" on drugs.
Me? I grew up when the safe highs were being researched. I've always used these techniques to get high, and never needed to try anything else.
Morguefile image courtesy of Earl53: www.morguefile.com/archive/display/791523/