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Chest Cavity Blues – Role for Marijuana in Therapy?

My final experience with marijuana came in the Summer of 1981. One of our magazine subscribers, C, arrived from Pennsylvania to visit us for several days. I don’t know whether her visit had anything to do with the fact I had missed several publishing deadlines or not.

At the time, I was depressed and suffering from psoriatic or roving arthritis. Joints all over my body, including the toes and bones of my right foot, were swollen and sore. For a whole year I limped around with the middle finger of my left hand locked in a straight up, position. Whenever I closed my hand for whatever reason, it looked like I was giving people the finger. When C recognized my depressed state, she asked me if I wanted to share a joint with her. Surprised by her request, I said, “no.” When she asked if she could smoke one, I said, “sure.”

The next day, as Sandra, C, and I sat around the kitchen table discussing different metaphysical concepts and magazine articles, I told her we were thinking about discontinuing Coordinate Point. She said she suspected as much and again asked me if I wanted to share a joint with her. Since the cat was out of the bag about the magazine and I felt even more depressed, I agreed to join her.

After a couple of hits (Sandra refused to partake as usual), C started asking me questions. She wanted to know how I felt about myself and the magazine. Even though her questions seemed awfully personal, I decided to go along for the ride. Suddenly, I was Ralph Bellamy, the actor who talked with a gravely voice. I learned later, he was still alive at the time of this experience. Talking as Ralph, gravely voice and all, I started telling C things like, “I’m tired and I don’t want to do this anymore (publish the magazine). I’ve worked long enough and hard enough in my life; all I want to do is retire and be left alone.”

As Ralph continued complaining about how tired he was to C, most of my attention was drawn elsewhere. I found myself materializing as a shaft of light in the middle of my, somehow, hollow chest cavity. Jutting inward from the front and side walls were stacks of shadow boxes. The image reminded me of the Hollywood Squares television show from the 1960’s, were nine participants sat in their own box, stacked three wide and three high.

Each box in my chest cavity contained an old person (I was 39 years old at the time). Some people sat against the side wall of their box with their legs pulled up while others faced straight out with their legs dangling over the edge. Some of the women wore short cotton summer dresses with nylon stockings rolled down to their ankles. Other women wore bathrobes and muumuus. The men were in retirement-home garb too. Some wore bathrobes and others wore pajamas or sweats. Some people looked like they had suffered strokes while others appeared to be suffering from old age and dementia. Many were drooling. Most looked distant as they waited to die. They all looked tired and done with life. Did this scene, these people, represent the current state of my psyche?

In profound disbelief, I slowly rotated about my central position to absorb the full impact of this depressing scene. After several revolutions, I noticed a dark shadowy figure shifting back and forth outside the rear wall of my chest cavity. His large hands rested on my ribs on both sides of my spinal column as he quickly moved his head back and forth from one side of my backbone to the other. I knew he wanted to come inside.

As I continued to watch him, I noticed the back wall of my chest cavity was growing less dense and opaque. Finally, I could see him clearly. He was young, large, and powerful. He reminded me of the comic book character, the Hulk, except he didn’t have green skin. The inside of my chest cavity was clearly visible to him and it looked like he was more determined than ever to get inside. It was only a matter of time before he broke through the thinning wall of my chest cavity. With an almost imperceptible shift, my consciousness joined him in his struggle.

With our combined strength, we burst through the back wall of my chest cavity like it was made of thin glass or plastic. Sensing immanent danger, the old people in the shadow boxes straightened up in visible alarm. Once more, in observation mode, I stood by and watched as the powerful young intruder grew  even larger. as he quickly advanced into the center of the my chest cavity. In one swift motion he came to an abrupt stop and raised his giant arms, sweeping aside every last one of the old people as if they were of no further use.

At this moment, I was summoned back outside my body to find Ralph finishing up with his rant about old age and retirement. The effect of the marijuana was wear off and my heightened sense of awareness was fading. Despite hearing Ralph’s depressing monologue about old age and observing the state of my nursing-home psyche, I began to feel a glimmer of hope. Something inside me had changed.

Although I suspected C was intentionally, and lovingly, performing therapy on me, I didn’t ask her if it was intentional or spontaneous. Whatever it was, it gave me insight into my current state of mind and hope for the future. At this time in my life, I was in terrible shape physically, mentally, and economically. After C left for the airport later that day, I realized I didn’t know much about her other than she emigrated from Germany and, since moving to the United States, she had lived in Florida and Pennsylvania.

The next morning, after Sandra and the kids left for work and school, my thoughts returned to this amazing experience. In my imagination, I rejoined the powerful young man behind my backbone as he struggled to break into my chest cavity. Just like the day before, we broke through the back of my chest wall together and entered the room. For a second time, I watched as the young giant swept the old folks away, after ensuring me that they would be unharmed in the process.

It felt like the dawning of a new day. I now had a new canvas to write on! In that moment, I decided to stop publishing my money-losing magazine and get a regular job. I knew that if I wanted to be healthy and live long enough to accomplish something worthwhile in life, I would have to change my attitude, exercise regularly, and improve my diet. My idealistic stuff would have to take a back seat until I could afford to retire. Right now, I had a family and an economic future to think about.

For days and weeks after this experience, whenever I was at home alone, I would imagine myself as the young giant who had stepped in to save the day for me. As I walked through the house, I would flex my muscles like a body builder and growl with the energy and power of a Hulk. I continued doing this for months after this profound experience until the change became permanent.

I knew that this was my road back to health and happiness in life. I still exercise regularly and eat well, not because I’m afraid of suffering and death but because I’ve decided to live for the love of being and creation. I love my family and this world, and I still think there’s something more for me to learn and more that I can contribute.


Disclaimer: Even though I’m sharing my drug-related experiences with you, I don’t advocate drug use. In many cases they’re considered illegal. Personally, I prefer a clear mind when I explore the nature of my own consciousness. It makes me a better observer. In fact, my most profound experiences in altered states happened when my mind was at its clearest. Openness, fearlessness and curiosity also play vital roles in entering altered states of consciousness.

Many of us have been convinced that looking inward is dangerous. It’s not if we decide not to be frightened by it. However, like anything new, it’s best to start by taking baby steps. When we really want to know something it’s as if the entire universe conspires to make it happen. In other words, we get what we concentrate on whether it’s by design or default. There are no accidents so it’s up to us to be clear about what we want and don’t want.

Reading the Seth books served as a powerful trigger for me because he is supposedly talking to us from the great beyond and much of what he describes resonates with the idea that, as we think, feel, act and react, we create. It also fits with the idea that we’re here to live, love, learn and evolve.

Roger Peterson (Pete), https://realtalkworld.com

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having (creating) a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“How you define yourself and the world around you, forms your intent, which, in turn, forms your reality.” – Seth

In other words, we create reality from what we believe about ourselves, and All That Is.

If we don’t consciously choose our beliefs, we unconsciously absorb them from our surroundings.

If our beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations create reality, can we afford not to question them?

The secrets of the universe lie hidden in the shadows of our experience. Shouldn’t we look for them?

Start your own Story Room with ideas from The LifeSong Store!

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