Self-Help for Stoners is now available on Kindle. Click the cover below to order it from Amazon! The book will be available across more platforms soon. For non-Kindlers, here’s a sneak peek!
Some people don’t like the cannabis emblem, but they get the meaning all wrong. It’s not merely an image promoting a naturally occurring drug. It’s a symbol of autonomy over one’s own consciousness. It’s about your freedom to express yourself and your art. When I see a guy wearing a goofy t-shirt with a plant on it, I don’t jump to the conclusion that he’s a loser stoner; not all drinkers are alcoholics, either. What I see is someone with whom I share a common value: Each individual should have the right to be left alone if they aren’t hurting anyone else. The emblem is about freedom, just as a book is a symbol of free thought.
Which brings us to Self-help for Stoners. A few good stories, parables, explorations and exhortations can fill an empty afternoon. A great story can fill your brain and transport you far away from banality. From the campfire circle after the hunt, to surfing the Internet with a cappuccino in hand, we escape into stories. Effective fiction and thought experiments possess ample power to juggle your brain chemistry. Self-help for Stoners can amp your dopamine and trigger neurotransmitter somersaults.
If you’re hooked on reading and jonesing for some sugar, I’m glad you found this book. I’ve been waiting to sit you down to inject some happy into your head. There are bits where I’ll ask you to join me in confronting our inner demons, too. Do so with compassion for yourself and please receive the message in the spirit it is sent: one ingredient of this book’s self-help recipe. Squared away? Now we can begin our trip.
This book is about fun and escape, thought and surprise. I’m telling you up front that these stories will surprise you. Then I’m going to surprise you anyway. Fiction is a magic trick plus a brain tickle that way, isn’t it?
You don’t have to be a stoner to enjoy this escape from reality. In fact, if you’ve ever watched South Park and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, you’ve probably already exposed yourself to all the fun, all the moral lessons and thought experiments you’ll ever need. But lessons are repeated until they are learned. (I know, because I’ve messed up, too.) And we all crave art’s high to make life more tolerable. We are all running from the reaper and that pitiless wraith will run us down and enfold us all, one by one. Fiction is a happy rest from that race.
In an article titled, Drugs and the Meaning of Life (www.samharris.org), author Sam Harris writes, “Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness… Every waking moment — and even in our dreams — we struggle to direct the flow of sensation, emotion, and cognition toward states of consciousness that we value.”
Harris argues convincingly that in everything from the food we eat, the alcohol and caffeine we drink and the relationships we form, we’re altering and diverting the mind flow. We are comfort junkies, idea addicts and we’re happily hooked on all kinds of highs. We are constantly trying to interpret our world and escape it, avoiding pain while pursuing pleasure. Add fiction to the list of things that alter your consciousness.
Please enjoy Self-help for Stoners with whatever stimulant you choose safely (because, as the costly failure of the War on Drugs has proved thoroughly, you’ll do what you want to do, anyway.) I advocate fiction itself for your high. Stories are harmless, portable, easy to stick in your head, have zero dire side effects and they’re legal just about everywhere.
This book is a magic mirror. It is only an illusion that it’s full of stories about other people. Look closer. You will see yourself in others. You’ll find yourself, staring back from the page. Reading is ultimately an exercise in compassion, because there is no Us and Them. There is only Us.
Happy reading! Enjoy your trip.