Around 1998 I began experimenting with a wide variety of the safer, more natural recreational drugs like marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms. Shortly thereafter my drug use led me to experiment with religion, spirits and prayer (so technically marijuana was a gateway drug into something much more dangerous).
One day I took a dose of mushrooms with a couple friends and after the trip, we found ourselves in a little park overlooking the docks, filled with sail boats. I remembered years earlier, a friend’s mom had won a little cruise and I’d gone down there with them and some guy took us out on a little evening harbor tour. I wished I could take one of those boats out now.
As I looked out on the rows and rows of boats, I suddenly realized that there was not a single empty space along the docks. There was row upon row of boats, possibly more than a thousand boats packed into this little space, and not a single one of them was actually in use. I imagined how many hours of work and how many millions of dollars worth of materials had gone into these boats simply to have them sit, tied to a dock and ignored.
I started feeling the mushrooms again as I stared at the boats, and reality suddenly began to distort into something twisted and evil. The water turned to blood, and the boats turned to bodies.
I heard a little girl screaming for her father, “Why? Why did you have to go?” Along the shore I saw small children crying, and I somehow knew they were sobbing because their fathers were not there. The dead bodies in the water were those men, but I knew they were not real. They were representations of the time that had been lost. Those children were not crying because their fathers were dead, they were crying because they were off building sailboats. It didn’t matter if they weren’t actually dead. All that mattered was that they couldn’t be with their families.
I looked up at the sky, which seemed to be rapidly adjusting color to a deep, burning red, and a voice from above seemed to speak to me, though not in words. The voice came in mental concepts, or to be more specific, mathematics, beamed directly into my mind.
I saw the math laid out in front of me. Thousands upon thousands of hours that people had spent building these vessels, toiling day in and day out, away from their families, away from the things that actually meant something. Those hours added up to days, added up to months, years, and finally, they added up to people’s lives. A 90 year old man has lived about 789,000 hours, so every 789,000 hours or so equals a person’s life.
Things we do in life require work, so we all must make this sacrifice of life, but the question is, what do we do with those lives that are given to us? Do we use it to benefit the community or do we use it get ourselves a sailboat that we let sit at a dock where no one else could use it, and we don’t even bother using it ourselves?
The voice from above forced me to look at this, to see our society and our wastefulness, selfishness, and these numbers… these sacred, larger-than-life numbers we call money and finances that we use to justify death, destruction, and loosely veiled slavery.