Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Last Days of Pompeii

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In all his days, he'd never seen nothin' like this.

The Sarge wiped his brow with a hard, dirty, tan forearm - the grime running like fast, gray tears down either side of his face. The smoke bombs draped the whole scene in Tibetan prayer flags.

Drifting Yellow.

Rising Red.

"So, this is the bardo...?"

Chikkhai bardo (Tibetan): is the fourth bardo of the moment of death. According to tradition, this bardo is held to commence when the outer and inner signs presage that the onset of death is nigh, and continues through the dissolution or transmutation of the Mahabhuta until the external and internal breath has completed.


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a group of soldiers go insane in jamestown upon ingestion of cooked Datura plants.

Datura over-the-counter remedies for athsmatic difficulties are banned after people begin using them recreationally.

2b) General Overview of Historical Usage

Datura has been used for a very long time. Originally, it seems it was used as a shamanistic tool, one that could help a shaman gain entrance to "other worlds of existance." It also contains several chemicals that are helpful to the body in certain conditions. Atropine, a chemical derived from plants in the Solanaceae, is used in hospitals and generally a trusted drug. As such, one can imagine that it is fairly safe when used within the suggested dosages.

It would seem that people discovered its medicinal properties through shamans, or "Medicine Men." Often shamanism is used to cure illness, and certainly Datura would be a very good cure for some diseases.

6 a2) Tea

My experience with tea is also inconclusive. The first time I made a tea with boiling water, and seeds in a coffee filter. I used about 45 seeds, that were not quite mature (still rather small and somewhat yellow). The tea was very bright yellow and was not particularly pleasant tasting, with a mild spicy taste (like jalapeno) to it. The effects came on in about half an hour, with a mild stupor. Basically it was difficult to walk (I felt almost drunk) and thought was somewhat impaired. This didn't last very long at all, probably about 3 hours.

Note: This stuporous effect could have come from the blocking of anticholinergenic receptors. Drugs that produce acetylcholine have long been called "smart drugs" (Nootropics) for the way they make a user feel intelligent (and they actually perform better intellectually) and stimulated. Some have even been dubbed healthy coffee substitutes.

Perhaps atropine is a "dumb drug?"

My second experience was with more seeds, perhaps 60, but this time I ran the tea through the seeds 5 times. I added a very big (proportionally) amount of Grenadine and I also put a bag of Celestial Seasoning's 'Red Zinger' into the mix. The taste was mainly sugary, and the taste of the Datura was almost non-existant. The effects lasted about as long. The second dose was taken 2 days after the first, so it is important to note that they may have had a combined effect. After the second dose, I went to sleep, and had incredibly vivid dreams.

I remember being in a room talking to friends of mine. It seemed proper to speak out loud (I was aware that I was speaking out loud as well as in the dream), and was overall a very pleasant experience (the dream). This is probably delerium, along with interference in the brain stem.

My third experience was just the same as the first, and dreaming was no different than "normal."

This effect may also impair driving. Wearing sunglasses is usually a good idea when driving, provided they arent too dark, and with dilated pupils, it almost becomes a must.

Delerium/Delerium in Sleep

This is not well documented, so all I can do is hypothesize.

When one dreams, most of the images, sounds, et cetera, one hears, originate from the brain stem. Atropine interferes directly with much of the activity in the brain stem, ranging from motor impairment and tachycardia to the basal ganglionic blockage.

"One guy, who dealt drugs and wasn't particularly centered and/or able to connect with anyone else in the group decided to take off. Another guy and I understood that it was dangerous for anybody to become separated so we pursued him down to a busy boulevard where after a couple of blocks we became freaked and ceased trying to talk him into returning with us. We went back to the house. He went on his way, went to his house, got a suitcase full of drugs, walked to a strange neighborhood and into some old people's house. Whereupon, he began to behave as if he was in his own house. What occurred next I'm sure is obvious."

The baby cried out over the intercom and she climbed down off of the step ladder, jumping to the floor with the last step.

A young woman - given early to marriage and children - she had been up in the dark getting the older ones off to school.

"Just me and the baby, now." She thought the thought just before the house began to shake.

In the last days of Pompeii, there was a festival in the street. Thousands of people crowded the storefronts - smiles full of lamb, wine, cheese, and herbs - listening to the music, and dreaming of an Africa guarded by tree cats with sharp eyes and wide wings - a fresco of human movement, undulating in the sun like an iridescent snake. The girls dropped their dresses in the public fountain and the graffiti punned the walls it was written on until the writings - and then the walls - were covered in the light, gray ash.

The artillery continued in the distance. He could hear the squawk of the radio getting closer. "These birds only sing bad news."

"Sargent! We've broken through! We've been ordered to push to the border!"

The Sargent stared at the huge, smooth, silver disc, half-buried in the mud and trees, burning blue flames, so hot the surface distorted its reflection of the battleground like a not-so-fun-house mirror.

"We're way passed that, son." The Sargent emptied his rifle into the black ground.





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