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A Heroic Dose of Mushrooms an a Lifetime Supply of Play-Doh

  • 4 min read

The mushrooms kicked in way too fast

…and much harder than I was used to.

A homeless guy in front of me stared straight into my eyes. While creepily caressing a shiny red ball.

This is NOT how I had hoped this trip to start.

“I’m getting off the bus at the next stop”, I told my friends. While already in the process of doing so.

As they followed me into traffic, I realized the world was completely unrecognizable to me.

It wasn’t just a bit of trippy visuals here and there. This time, there was little of my regular vision left.

My fellow trippers brought me into their home and sat me down on the couch.

At least, that was their plan…

But it didn’t work out that way.

Instead of sitting on the couch, I ended up sitting in the couch.

Because unfortunately, the couch was made of plasticine.

It sucked me right in and wrapped itself around me.

As I sat there trying to make some sense of it all, I made yet another shocking discovery:

It wasn’t just the couch.

Everything was made of plasticine.

Ever-y- single – thing.

Including me.

Including the laces of my shoes.

Which, it turns out, are incredibly hard to tie when made of plasticine.

Including my fingers.

Which, it turns out, are incredibly hard to tie shoelaces with when you’re made of plasticine.


What do I do now?

Better not walk.

Because the floor is made of plasticine. I’ll just sink.

Better not move.

That would alter the shape of my body.

We have to think this through carefully.

I spent an eternity in that couch. Processing my new reality in complete overwhelm.

What do you do when every move you make has the potential to mold yourself and the world around you into a new shape?

Every move becomes a risk.

Yet everything in sight holds infinite creative potential.

The possibilities were too much for me to bear.

So I did nothing.

I stayed glued to the couch.

Passively undergoing the whole experience.

Initially, I had no idea what that trip meant to me.

Just a strange day in the life of a teenager.

But as the years passed, its message started to sink in.

This was a metaphor for life as it really is.

Full of possibilities. Full of freedom.

You can mold yourself into new shapes and forms whenever you want.

You can influence the shape of your surroundings with even the lightest touch.

You can’t choose the raw materials of your reality. They’re given to you. But what it eventually becomes is what you make of it.

We are much more free than we think.

There are nonlinear, out-of-the box possibilities all around us.

But that freedom can also feel overwhelming.

When we realize our world’s made of plasticine, we’re no longer on solid ground. We have nothing to hold on to.

Because everything can change the moment we touch it.

Maybe that’s the reason so many people prefer to follow pre-made plans.

To live lives of clearly defined patterns and behaviors.

Or spend their days glued to the couch, passively undergoing life.

Just like I did in that mushroom trip.

Unfortunately, the only way you can find that solid ground, is by giving your freedom away.

And forgetting you still have it. Because once you remember how free you are, you inevitably become aware again that your world is made of plasticine. Which can be terrifying.

(I guess that’s one of the reasons people try to keep others in line when they’re acting a bit too freely: “You can’t do that.” can be translated as “Don’t do that, it reminds me I’m free too. And that scares me.” )

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” said Soren Kierkegaard.

I think about that a lot.

It’s not the freedom we’re avoiding when we stay glued to that metamphorical couch.

The freedom is what we want. It’s the dizziness that we dislike.

But if you can ride it out and get past that initial wave of, overwhelming dizziness, my friend:

Your reality becomes yours to play with.

**Image by Niv Singer

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