Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why I'm called Salvador Dali Lama

Greetings extended family and friends.

Before publishing an update on my life, I'm going to explain why I like to be called “Dali” rather then Max or Maxim. You can still call me Max, but I'm going to be introducing myself as Dali, hope it doesn't cause too much inconvenience.

So, the name first arrived in the fall of 2009 after coming back from the West coast for the first time. I'd been interested in writing comedy for some time and at that point was dating a comedian who inspired me to start writing jokes. Among those jokes were joke names; Willy Nelson Mandela, Curious George Forman, Harmonica Lewinsky and my favourite, Salvador Dali Lama. The jokes have continued since, telling them in the driest form seems to be the funniest; I think they're getting better. The joke names didn't come up much until several months later.

In the spring of 2010, I flew to Vancouver in order to perform banjo music at a longboard race called Danger Bay. The year before I'd stumbled across it, got to play in between sets of metal band and was welcomed into the family. In 2010, the race was fantastic and proceeded to turn into the most epic, transformative, supernatural seven months anyone could hope to fathom. (The burning man-vortex story being the peak)

After long-distance longboarding, living on a sailboat, managing a commune, getting arrested for not having a last name, smashing my banjo and losing my wallet, I played a gig with some friends I'd met at the Vancouver folk fest and ended up at one of their houses. His parents were spiritual musicians who happened to be touring so we had the house to ourselves to jam and be merry. The party went to the wee hours and a couch was offered for me to crash on. In the morning, it was only....his name was something like True, (forgive me for forgetting) and I jamming, talking about the deeper things in life and eventually we got on the top of a chemical called DMT.

Last month I wrote a song about DMT, here are a few lines:

In the pineal gland, of each Human Brain, there is a chemical when you're born
Dimethyltryptamine’s released, at dreaming, birth and death, when you smoke it, it's better than porn

DMT is present in a multitude of plants around the world and many traditional cultures have extracted it and used it in spiritual practice. The ritualistic drinking of Ayahuasca tea sends people on six plus hour journeys through their personhood, facing the repressed and purging negative energy. The chemical can be extracted to a pure crystal form, of which there is much information on the web. Terrence McKenna likens it to a five minute, total hard drive defrag. Joe Rogan said “it's not like going to another dimension; it is going to another dimension.” It turned out that True had some and offered me some.

I'd read and heard a lot about it, but thank fully we live in the age of google and had the opportunity to look up everything we needed to know about it. All the information said it was safe, the important thing was to have no interruptions and to smoke it with herbs in a big bowl since it needs a high temperature. So we locked the door and turned off the phone, asked True's brother to join us and said some prayers about our intention for this medicine. Asking for clarity and guidance we spotted a pink dream catcher in the corner of the room and took our first hit.

At first, it was like a great sense of relaxation and comfort. There all the edges in the room seemed to turn into prisms, projecting rainbows everywhere. This was the first level. The website instructed to then take a bigger hit and hold it in for as long as possible. My words were “I think the universe wants me to take a bigger hit”.

A bigger hit I took and held it in for about five seconds, then every nerve in my body lit up like an endogenous zone, pure pleasure over took me, my head rolled back onto the couch (one needs to be sitting somewhere where all muscles can relax), my eyes were shut and there seemed to be a power source in front of me that was the cause of such pleasure. It was like a full body orgasm tipped off by the big bang.

My eyes wouldn't have opened if I wanted them to as my consciousness seemed to rise up into a dark place with a river of intricate geometric, interlocking forms. Then, there was flash of light, a cracking sound and all I could see as a spinning orb of light. It was of pure light in the middle, shooting out beams that then became code and numbers. Others have described this type of DMT experience as traveling to the center of the universe. Appreciating the beauty for a moment, when in a feminine voice spoke the words “you are the enlightened one”.

Sat up and opened my eyes and didn't say a thing. The website said on lookers should wait until the user says something before speaking, but we forgot to tell this to True's brother. I felt like I was in a river that was calming down, there were no thoughts in my head but when brother said “so what's next”, I surprised myself and said “ I think I have to go to Tibet”. “Why” and again surprising myself “I think I'm the Dali Lama”.

“Dali, yeah, I like that name”. And started to test it out with friends, True started calling me that. Four days later, back in Parksville for a bluegrass festival that I was a week early for. My friend Leah was cutting hair with a buzzer and chopped of my beard, but we decided to leave a curly moustache. “Oh, Salvador Dali Lama” I said, “that's my name”, and from there on in introduced myself as Dali or with all three names. From Vancouver, to Calgary to San Francisco, folks know me as Salvador Dali Lama.

When I got back to Ottawa in December of 2010, I went back to Max, and had calm and quiet winter and spring, knowing that the universe wanted me for more excitement the following summer out west. It came along; I played the longboard race for the 3rd time and soon went by SDL again. Summer 2011 was much calmer then the year before, matured a lot, found out what it means to be a man in relation to the great goddess, which is basically, god.

Now that I'm back, I'm reintegrating myself into a semblance of Day to Day, volunteering at old folks homes and such, but it's different from last fall because I'm channelling my mystical experiences into my creative outlet, the Sick Sick Sicks, and being more creative and karmically aware all around. So now you know. Feel free to call me Max or Maxim, but now you know why Dali resonates with me. Love you,

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