Christmas Day 2018
This end-of-year is a time for all mankind to reflect on all that they are, all that they did and all that they dream.
Before the invention of the calendar and the concept of ‘year,’ early man tracked the movements of the sun and moon and knew that the shortest daytime of the year- what we call the winter solstice- happens now (Dec. 21, this year). Even before the Judeo-Christian holidays were laid down this was recognized by all intelligent communities on all inhabited continents as a time of change, a noteworthy event marked by celebration.
In our modern world we no longer need to mark the seasons as the ancients did. Our computers and calendars and astronomical measurements allow us to track time more precisely; we are no longer dependent upon the stars to trigger our harvests, our planting or our movements across the land.
But looking at a computer screen denies us the opportunity to dream. When early man stared at the heavens, or climbed to a tall spot to watch the moon progress over the horizon, or counted days by scratching marks on the wall of a shelter they gained a connection to the land that we have distanced ourselves from. By staring into the great unknown we understood that, as men, we were insignificant to the workings of the planet. There were things larger than ourselves, things unconquerable, and from that perspective we drew humility and recognized interdependence.
Today we have lost our fear. The unknown is not what defines us but is something we can conquer. There is no barrier we cannot exceed, given enough time and technology. Modern man knows that we are no longer insignificant to the workings of the planet, that we can disrupt the seasons and defeat cold. The words I write today are instantly read in Japan, Australia, Egypt and Brazil. We have conquered distance. We have lost our fear and are no longer humble.
The world is not a better place for it, either. We kill our fellow men by remote control, at will, without consequence. We embrace technology for momentary convenience even if it means long term damage to ourselves and our environment. By denying the truths of our comfortable society we ignore the crumbles of institutions, the loss of identity, the death of species. We are diminished by our advancement.
Even now, in the face of failure and frustration, we still find hope in humanity.
The old ways are making a comeback. Western society is embracing acupuncture and acupressure, treatment forms that rely on contact and connection instead of a disconnected pharmaceutical solution. More Westerners are adopting diets that mimic the way we used to eat, without preservatives or semi-fast food. People are rediscovering family and identity through genetic testing. Modern travel allows us to visit the sites of our heritage. History is codified and no longer subject to the scattered recollections of a village elder. What used to be enshrined in parchment scrolls is now written on silicon chips and is available without a pilgrimage, empowering more people to ask questions and look backward for answers.
Nowhere is this more evident that in the field of cannabis law reform. We can trace the history of cannabis cultivation and use all the way back to the Sumerians and before. We have evolved biologically and we have encouraged the evolution of the cannabis plant in ways that advantage us. Our livestock, our ships, our dwellings and our bodies all benefited from the integration of cannabis and hemp’s relationship to human existence.
Denying cannabis to humanity is a bastardization created in the modern era. The hundred-year war on marijuana that American society has forced the world to endure is nearly over. Scientists from dozens of countries are rediscovering what the ancients knew about the sacred herb. The efforts of individuals are breaking down the barriers of law established through decades of conformity and falsehood. As quickly as cannabis was taken from us, we are restoring its use back into human life.
We celebrate this time of year as the ancients did. Our religious texts and Gregorian calendar have given us new days to hold as sacred, but we feast as the old did, we revel as they used to, we tell tales and inspire each other in ways as ancient as humanity itself. And as the old tribes did we use this time to reflect on all that was while dreaming of all that will be in the coming seasons.
No matter what your dreams are for the new year- expertise in your profession, recognition from your community, financial independence, reconciliation with the lost, or perhaps getting lost for a while- lead an intentional life. Create the future you dream of today. Choose to go back to the old instead of relying on the easy. Recycle, pollute less, smile more, remain engaged, try acupressure or massage instead of popping pills. Add cannabis to your diet. Experiment with the ancient herb. Change your eating habits. Seek solutions you can grow yourself instead of those that come wrapped in plastic and bearing a bar code. Connect as the ancients did. Become more Sumerian and less submissive.
Our world is changing, and you were part of that. Congratulations. Now go forth and lead us into a brighter, more connected, tomorrow.