A surprising parallel between AI images and addiction.
Taylor, can't believe I haven't read your stuff till now. This article is fascinating, and a great reminder for life. Thanks so much.
...really excellent metaphor...great piece...
This was both haunting and brilliant.
Poignant and thought-provoking piece.
This is a great conceptual summary: “sanity” – success, love, wisdom [is] a slow (and communal) process of making more and more beautiful patterns in our lives.”
Firstly, sorry about your brother. That's totally shitty. Thanks for sharing this story and persepvtive on how to break a habit. I've not experienced anything quite like this, but I know addiction. It's all consuming. Everything becomes about getting the fix, when to get it, how soon, for how long, will anyone notice, how early is too early. You cancel bookings, using any excuse that makes a lick of sense. You skip dinners and birthdays. Funerals are okay because they're usually during the day, too early to start the (insert current addiction).
I'm currently obsessed with Nietzsche, and he talks about this idea of objective truth and objective morality in Beyond Good and Evil. All the inputs create our reality, but it's certainly never objective.
Learning this has been disorienting. If what we experience is an illusion, what does the world actually look like then? What is real? True? No wonder we are always at war. We can't agree on any one perspective.
Listening to Elliot Smith while reading your essay is quite serendipitous.
Very thought-provoking. This reminds me of the second of the 12 Steps, which says, "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." The implication is both that addiction is insanity, complete many of the same dangers and pitfalls Taylor has described, and that we cannot remedy this insanity ourselves. The question it begs is, "Who or what is the higher power which will yank me out of this strange, insane loop and awaken me and set my feet on a more firm, complete, honest and expansive reality?" It is fascinating what psilocybin therapies are encountering and accomplishing. However, one suspects (even hopes?) that a worthy and inspiring Higher Power must boast more mysterious, holistic, triumphant, glorious and even perhaps interpersonal abilities than mere neurological alchemy—as impressive and efficacious as it may be—in order to bring about the necessary, lasting 'spiritual transformation' that Taylor indicates. I suppose time (greatly expanded clinical research) will tell.
To Chris’ point sanity and serenity seem to be complimentary states.
For some reason this essay triggered a thought of Benedict defeating his lustful passions by rolling around naked in briers. Very quickly, lust was no longer a problem for him.
But yeah how do you give that to someone? What a contemplation man. Well done and hope to catch up soon.
Very interesting. I think psychedelics have such promise.. I just hope Big Pharma doesn’t eff it up. Well if they can monetize it and / or try to patent some form of it, they will (see ketamine, a super cheap common anesthetic which Janssen found a way to charge a crapton for because they patented a “delivery” system for it... nasal spray. Cost me $1200 for one of those in an office visit. No joke!).
I couldn’t legally treat my son’s suicidal depression with it because it’s illegal in my state.
So he’s dead today. Would it have helped? Dunno but would have liked to find out.
I’m so sorry about your brother. :(
I feel like a mushie trip is more real than reality somehow. It was so profound and spiritual .. and I’m not a very religious person.
So much of our reality is really unknown. We just float around in our seemingly concrete world, often not confronting the bigger questions because the dirty dishes await no matter what.
Thank you for a thought-provoking piece!