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Jason Hine - 01 Apr 2020
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"As a vision quest guide, my understanding is that a vision quest requires intention. Intention to leave your old life behind, cross the threshold, and enter into a new life guided by the medicine. That isn't what is happening, to my eyes".

The words of Munro Sickafoose:

"I've seen a number of lovely and well-intended articles or posts wherein the writer likens our current predicament to a collective vision quest, or a collective rite-of-passage, or a threshold into some new maturity for all humanity.

Maybe, but I have to disagree. As a vision quest guide, my understanding is that a vision quest requires intention. Intention to leave your old life behind, cross the threshold, and enter into a new life guided by the medicine. That isn't what is happening, to my eyes.

Nor is this a rite-of-passage. Those also require intention, the intention to leave one stage of life/existence behind and enter another, and have community recognize it. Weddings, funerals, divorces, etc. We don't possess the collective maturity and social agreement necessary for either of those intentions to be true. We don't have any real collective intentions, nor any real idea of where we are going as humans.

We are, to put it bluntly, lost in a hall of mirrors of our own devising. And the reflections are pretty frightening.

No, my friends, what we are currently experiencing is known as "coming off a bender." The booze is gone, the drugs are gone, and we have collectively woken up on the living room floor with a splitting headache, a bad taste in our mouth, smelling of beer sweat and piss. No one will answer our phone calls except our dealer, and we've got one dollar and some change in our pocket. There ain't shit in the fridge but a jar of mustard and a piece of pizza so old and hard you could stab someone with it. The utilities have been turned off, and there is no water to slake the thirst in our throats or our souls. The toilet is overflowing and can't flush. The landlord is banging at the door wanting all that past-due rent. Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Don't like that analogy? Think about it. For at least a hundred years, we've collectively been on a bender. A bender of consumption, fueled by destruction. The destruction of lives, ecosystems, cultures, values, and so much more. The environment is threadbare, all our pretty toys are worthless baubles, our cultures have been sacrificed at the altar of consumption, we've fouled the air and water beyond repair, and nobody is answering the prayer hotline.

The party really is over, and it's time to recognize it.

The tempting thing about coming off a bender is that the only immediate relief is another hit, another drink, another of whateverthefuck you're addicted to. Which will inevitably lead to another bender and another brutal Sunday morning coming down.

The only thing that can break the cycle is to sober up, and stay sober. We are collectively a long way from that. (And the dealer is tapping at the door, just one more hit, baby, and all will be as it was. The pain will go away. It'll cost you double, but let's not worry about that now.)

In order to vision quest, or go through a rite-of-passage, you have to be sober. You can't do ceremony when you're high, or enter into a new life stoned. Or hungover. These are contracts with yourself, with your community, with Spirit. And being mentally/emotionally/spiritually impaired invalidates the contract. Null and void. It will come back to bite you.

So as lovely as the thought is of humanity going through some collective vision quest… well, let's talk about that when we've sobered up, and stayed sober. Oh, and cleaned up the mess we've made. That comes first.

When we can collectively quest sober, and with intention, we might just make it to the other side. But until then, it's just wishful thinking.

But there may not be a better time than now for individuals to quest. The world desperately needs people who've been to the mountain and bring their gifts and the medicine back so that the people may live"

-Munro Sickafoose

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