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Ep09. Listeners Commentary
Chapter 9, The Highway is all about breaking free and finding ones own path. But of course, none of us can break free from the walls that have contained us without entering into some sort of conflict. Our guest shares with the Gumpcast audience his experiences with breaking out of the family, educational, and even societal structures, and he is absolutely met with conflict as a result. However not all conflict is “fruitless”, as our guest describes. In this episode, Omar and our guest discuss life on the fringe and which conflicts are worth having (and which ones are not). They talk about the adventures of youth, the world of psychedelic drugs, and dive deep into which conflicts are meaningful vs. the ones that are meaningless; and the cost/benefit of each kind.
I wanted to share some reflections on this episode. It’s a dynamic one, as it goes into some of the biological roots of conflict between individuals, and the driving force behind corrupt patriarchal systems that are eating at the fabric of our humanity. Testosterone one powerhouse of a hormone. It creates drive, and when harnessed for good, can lead to the accomplishment of wonderful things, not the least of which is the creation of life itself. Left out of balance and without purpose, and we find ourselves being driven to exert power for its own sake; a battle of dicks if you will.
As a man living in 2021, I sometimes find myself in a cognitive dissonance. Without a doubt, the patriarchy has betrayed us. The motivations of greed, dominance, and unchecked power has left us all in a very unsustainable place. I’m also rooted in the fact that testosterone and masculinity is a product of our evolution as living beings, across countless species of animals. Masculine energy is just one half of the great energies that make the world run. The balance of feminine and masculine is manifesting our universe, in all its beauty and glory.
I also see how my own unchecked aggression has put me in situations that should have best been avoided. And I also see how this internal drive has also lead me to compete, create, and accomplish many good and meaningful things. As humans, I believe we have a responsibility to harness this drive and power for the “benefit of all parties”. How might we move away from self-serving power dynamics, mass consumption and greed?
In 1954, Aldous Huxley wrote his classic “The Doors of Perception”, introducing a generation to the idea that some substances can expand the mind, changing our perspective on aspects of life many of us have taken for granted. But what’s more important than these psychedelic substances themselves, its the fact that these perspectives do exist, and they’re there for the viewing! But do we have the eyes to see them? Are we willing to let go of our current paradigms in order to have a new perspective? Changing our view will be necessary in order to gain better insight into how we can repurpose our drives; especially in light of our current problems as a global community and as individuals.
So how do we harness our internal drive in a virtuous way? How might we learn to shift our own perspectives of ourselves and the world around us? Which conflicts are worth getting into and which ones are worth avoiding? Listen in to Episode 9 of the Gumpcast and join us as we delve into these topics in great detail. This is one you won’t wanna miss!