Shift in perspective

Recent months have involved many changes and transitions in the lives of CC staff and friends. Many of us have had to deal with the pain of shifting relationships and personal loss, intermingled with the joy of new experiences, new challenges, and the triumphs of self-discovery.
Sometimes when I look at the world around me, I see human beings as the highest creation of the universe, and our accomplishments as extraordinary. I see humanity on the way to achieving ever greater things as we become a more wise, noble and munificent species. Yet other times I look upon the humans as a cancer upon the earth, and our world in a very fucked-up situation, with pollution, warfare and wilful ignorance on all sides.

This perceptual dichotomy is also often true of my personal relationships, where those who bring me great joy can also sometimes seem to fill me with despair or anguish. Yet strangely, I have found that it is most often myself who projects these things onto those around me.

The opposite of love is not hate, it is fear. In the passion of love, the fear of loss can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have learned that love is like water, which slips from your grasp if held tightly, more easily caught if simply given a place to rest.

Whether it is the parent who alienates his child through over-restriction, a lover whose jealousy drives away her partner, or a government which kills its citizens in the name of their own well-being, the principle is the same. Fear destroys that which it touches and creates that which it dreads. It is a strange and beautiful paradox that the love which is strongest binds the least.

The fear which can prevent us from fully loving another, which wants us to make love a possession which encloses and limits rather than empowers and inspires, makes itself manifest not only within our personal relationships, but also in our governments, our societies, and our world.

The war on drugs is fear made manifest. Prohibition is the false-love which strangles that which it tries to protect. When we fully open ourselves to love, when we allow others to fully actualize and explore themselves, then we can also love our own self, and demand the freedom to be ourself, and to fully explore our own potential.

I believe in the boundless potential of the human spirit, and that we can create a paradise on earth if we adopt a shift in perspective. I don’t claim to know the fullness of what this new vision will entail, but I do know that we are being held back by limiting beliefs, and that we will not find our solutions in fear and restrictions, but in more love, higher intelligence, and greater freedom.

I am grateful to live in a place and a time where I can enjoy relative freedom, and I do not wish to squander the opportunities and skills which I have been given. Freedom unused is quickly lost, and gaining wisdom requires the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them.

When I feel too sorry for myself I try to remember the millions of people on this earth who are imprisoned, tortured, and suffer great loss because of their beliefs, and for things which are not crimes. I think about those who write me in the most dire of circumstances, and who tell me how Cannabis Culture gives them hope and meaning in their desperation.

And then I sit back down and I get back to work doing what I know is right and necessary. I am trying to do what I believe is good, to use my skills in a way that pleases me, gives me opportunities to live and learn, and makes the world a better place.

I hope that you will join me. I think it’s worth the effort.

Dana Larsen
Editor, Cannabis Culture

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