Non Chemical Thrills
You have read through Free Dope. You have even mused the possibilities of Cheap Thrills but determined most of the offerings to be really stupid. Maybe you just want a buzz you can control or not be troubled with finding a dealer or being addicted to something.
Fear not. There are ways of getting high that do not require consuming things.
Meditation, Breathing, and Variants
You do not need a guru or join some cult to start meditating.
Lay down on a comfortable spot in a quiet place and close your eyes. Take a very deep breath through your mouth, drawing it into your guts. Hold it for the count of ten, and slowly let it out through your nose. Clear your mind and think of nothing and become nothing and relax as your mind rests. Repeat. After a few minutes, you will get a buzz!
Don't undervalue the practice of meditative breathing as a regular practice. Once you become good at it - which means you're at a point where you can quickly begin meditating without listening to a relaxation or meditation soundtrack - you can enter a stage of consciousness that is extremely pleasing and very healthy.
While not hard hitting as the drugs in Free Dope and sort of unexciting by itslf to many, there is something to be said about quieting your mind and resting it that is healthy.
There are ways to increase meditation effects that have been used. Some of them are okay the first time or two and are just that, gimmicks. Some actually use meditation as part of a package.
First of all, make certain you don't have photosensitive epilepsy or other nervous disorders. This can trigger a serious seizure!
Get a strobe flasher with adjustable speed (one that can flash at least three times a second) and set in on a shelf, facing you. Sit in front of it and close your eyes. Be certain that the light is flashing directly into your face. The light flashing through your eyelids will hit your optic nerves and the repeated flashes will alter your brain's oscillations, causing you to "see" rapidly changing colors, shapes and geometric patterns. Some have claimed to have gone into hypnotic states and even hallucinations, but all you need to "snap out of it" is to open your eyes. Long pieces of instrumental music (like the spacey "New Age" stuff that was so hot in the 1980's) or the smoother 00s ambient trance will help the effect, but music with vocals can often hinder the effect, since your brain is trying to understand the lyrics.
Artist Brion Gysin and scientist Ian Sommerville created a flicker device called a "Dreamachine". It consists of a light bulb hanging inside a large cardboard tube with patterned holes cut through it, which is spun on an old-style phonograph turntable at 78 RPM. Sit in front of it in a dark room, switch the turntable on, close your eyes and enjoy the show. You can make one yourself for a few bucks using a thrift-store record player, a hanging lamp and large sheets of posterboard. If you can't score a turntable that runs at 78 RPM, there are plans for a 45 RPM version. Check the following for the plans and more info:
- http://www.permuted.org.uk/dmpdown.htm (45 RPM version)
If you want a free sample, you can try an on-line version here. Remember to turn off all the lights in the room and face the monitor's screen. http://www.netliberty.net/dreamachine.html
Binaural beats were a rage for a bit on video and audio streaming sites like Youtube. There are even some online companies that sell tracks containing these. The way it supposedly works is that you have tones that are strategically placed at differing frequencies to bring the brain into a meditative state. In order for it to work, you must listen to it in stereo and you must use headphones. Combined with strobes, it can work decent. The music itself really is not music nor an actual beat but tones that interact in stereo. Do not take seriously some of these Youtube "reaction" videos designed to stir up drama. You will not be shivering, convulsing, nor be able to snap out of it.
The real effect resembles deep yogic meditation at best, a placebo at worst. Some may experience "visions" or whatever, but mostly expect a light trance while listening to the dull tones.
Mantras, Chanting, and Yoga
In the 1960s, the Beatles had a brief stint with Hare Krishna. After giving a bit of cash and meeting with the then leader and later determining Maharishi crazy and egotistical balked at the movement. The trend continues a bit with various flavors of Yoga and some other groups. After all, it is much easier to get (moneyed) followers for your cult if they are sitting still thinking of nothing else but your chant while being "part of " something.
Truth is, there is no need for a guru, Power Words, or whatever. Though, it is cool to have someone around who knows stretches to help you improve or troubleshoot as an extra set of eyeballs. Nor do you need to pay anyone for secret words or brainwash yourself with an ideology. There are plenty of cheap classes and youtube videos that will not try to brainwash you while you are in a light trance. Leave the "who is student of whatever" politics crap to those who can argue among themselves for studio naming rights or spiritual penis size contests.
As far as Yoga, there are great benefits to stretching then relaxing which is what Yoga is, stripped of agendas. You will become more aware of the limitations and strengths of your body. You will become stronger and more flexible and less prone to injury and cramps. You will also be "high". But, the "high" will be limited to an overall improvement in mood rather than something deep stoning or overpowering.
Sex releases a huge cocktail of various stress relieving and pleasure inducing compounds! You can do it yourself or find a willing partner. Don't let hang ups from self esteem or a cult ruin this for you. Nor let some douche tell you what is okay or not that may not have your best interests at heart.
There are downsides, though.
You can get potential STDs if protection is not used. There is also possibility of unwanted pregnancy in heterosexual sex, and potential bad relationships that can be difficult to remove yourself from.
There is also the fact the most enjoyable parts of sex are with a wiling partner, which can elude some at times in their life due to a number of reasons. If you are in this situation, do not let it make you bitter. You have several possible approaches:
- Get out and network. Make friends. If you are isolated, this is not overnight and you may need to learn or relearn basic social skills. You cn not truly expect someone to love you unless you love yourself.
- Accept you are at a point in your life where you have better things to do and not worry about it. Channel the energy. Hopefully, this is being free and not sitting in a stupor watching TV/ reaching Level 200 on a MMO and more on the order of writing that novel, learning a craft to sell at craft shows, becoming a mad computer scientist, or causing change in your area.
- Get a hooker. Do not laugh. Prostitution has been around since the dawn of man and prostitutes and escorts are real people, too. While we at STW frown on "survival sex" which this entails sometimes for the person performing the act, there are those who would lack companionship and touch otherwise. It takes quite a bit of street smarts to pull off, though. Prostitution is illegal in all parts of the Empire except parts of Nevada. And, these places are way out in the desert and NOT cheap. Cop stings elsewhere are fairly common from time to time, even though the act is consensual. Escorts (and cops) can be found on backpage.com. Expect to pay a pretty penny. Street walkers can be found in medium to large city areas of hard drugs and homelessness. Be careful if you go the street route and do not bring wads of cash and use protection.
Pain and Fetishes
Controlled pain can release a flood of endorphins into your system if dome correctly. There are entire subcultures of pain endorphin junkies that practice flogging, bondage, waxing, slave/master dynamics and all manner of fetishes.
If this is your kick, check BDSM sites like FetLife.com to meet fellow junkies or experiment. Be aware, the BDSM community is not a menu or dating site where you see a profile, type a message, then hook up. It is also lumped in, to a lesser extent, the swinger community and polyamory community. Most of the established communities, there is an extensive vetting process and Fet is just a place to find out where events are scheduled you must attend to be accepted to the real events after they determine you will mesh and are a freak, but not the freak that will mess it up for them.
Each faction of the fetish community has its own has it's own jargon and rules, sometimes unspoken just like any tribe or cult. Be sure to lurk and learn these rules and actually network and not be just in it for kinky lays or you may have a rough go.
Working out releases a slow drip of chemicals that can increase your self esteem, energy level, athletic ability, and outlook on life. It can cure some kinds of depression as well.
The downsides are it can make you sore as hell if you are out of shape when you start. You also risk injury with some kinds of exercise.
There is also a phenomenon known as "runner's high" a lot of athletes talk about complete with mild hallucinations and a general feeling of well being. But, it takes a lot of work to get to that point and is experienced by a select few.