“What do you know about astral travel?”
It was another random question from Zachariah. He sparked up our second joint and handed me back the lighter.
“Hmm astral projection”, I responded, seriously considering the question.
We paused for a moment to share the joint. I noticed Zachariah is still holding his breath for a ridiculous amount of time after inhaling. I ignore the fact that he was the one who previously advised that for a more enjoyable hit, draw the smoke into the mouth first, allow it to occupy all the space between those walls, then inhale, holding it for only a second or two. He usually only contradicted his own advice when something was on his mind. He was bullied earlier in the year and while I heard nothing for awhile since then, I feared that this issue has resurfaced. I didn’t want to bring it up with him until he was ready to do so himself, which was his preference anyway. In any case, it didn’t seem appropriate to talk about a serious matter when we were both slightly high. Having said that, neither was it appropriate to smoke marijuana with a student, especially during school hours. Apart from the fact that he is eighteen, I won’t attempt to further justify it, at least not now, because it is complicated.
I return to deliberating his question.
“Well … I believe it, I just don’t believe anyone claiming to know how to do it”
“Why not, if you knew how, wouldn’t you want to share it with someone you trust?”
It was a reasonable question.
“Fuck no” I reply, “Human beings love to abuse shit. We abuse ourselves, we abuse each other, we abuse the planet, you know why?”
“Because we fucked up”, answered Zachariah, looking up at the clouds.
“Yea, true, but there’s one thing in particular, if we have it, we can’t help but abuse it, it’s the root of all evil”
“Money money money”, sang Zachariah, referencing the ABBA hit.
“What does money give you?” I ask, encouraging him to think deeper than that.
I regret asking that. I should have known that would have been the response.
“Mmmm, better than that”, I pinch the air to indicate not by much.
“Aaahhh”, Zachariah starts waving his finger in the air back and forth, “I got it … power! We abuse fucking power man”
“Niiiice, now give me some textual evidence to justify the contention”
He takes another drag while thinking about it, then smiles.
It’s my turn to smile, “Explain the evidence”
“Expulsions for offences that fall under the category of suspensions, remember Channy?”
Channy saw American Vandal on Netflix one night and went to school the next day and drew a dick on Principal O’Donnell’s windscreen. Despite the fact that it was only lipstick and easily removed, O’Donnell expelled him.
Zachariah continued, “The dude is never in his office, man I can go on all day about O’Donell ,” he paused again to take another drag, “so what you saying anyway? You scared your student will astral project into your bedroom and see you watching porn?”
“Before it was the pineal gland, what got you into this astral thing now?” I ask, genuinely curious.
“Mmmm, ever wonder how we know things? How did we know to smoke this miracle herb? It looks like any other weed. What made someone look at that plant and say, ‘l’m gonna smoke that shit!’ … Mr G, these indigenous people around the world..”, Zachariah was looking excitedly in every direction, as though the trees around him sparkled with diamonds, “they just know shit Mr G, what to eat, what to smoke, what’s a remedy, how to get rid of the poison in potatoes. How do you get to know that? Astral fucking projection! Mr G, I’m not just talking about out of body experiences where you’re still in this realm, but projecting to other realms, these realms that hold just pure information that is not read, but experienced, those lucky enough to visit these realms, come back with this holy information, information that we take for granted, not knowing it all came from these native original mystics”
Image: Our secret smoking spot
Zachariah is one of those students that keeps me in this job. His what I would love every student to be, a student that wants to discover potential, possibilities. A student that wants to create. A type of student capable of revolutionising the whole damn system, because he knows the system is stealing his creativity, and therefore his potential. He knows it’s trying to make him a clog in the machine, to conform, to perform one of only a few predetermined and socially accepted roles, and to be fooled into thinking that this acceptance, this obedience, this regurgitation, which is drilled into them via their ‘education’, is somehow meant to be accepted as success.
I say that because I told my class once that the evolution of mankind is dependent on the youth, that they are the ones that are going to improve the condition of man, they are the ones that are going to find problems in textbooks, coming up with their own theories, having new and improved textbooks named after them. None of my students really appreciated that as much as Zachariah. Ever since then, we struck a cord.
“You know, that hidden knowledge your referring to, have you considered that maybe you don’t have to project to other realms to attain it, maybe it’s innate within us, accessible via meditation, contemplation, or maybe this hidden knowledge is all around us, but hidden in frequencies we haven’t tuned into yet, and the only way to tune into them is when we become conscience of the metaphysical realities that lie beyond the material realm. Kinda like tuning into a radio station, but only in this case, the right thoughts emit a signal that is able to capture these hidden frequencies which we can interpret because our signal emissions are so strong”
Zachariah stood up, hands on his head, “We will never tune in man, we are fucked, fucking materialistic, cynical, it’s so fucking sad. Back in the day, tuning in, projecting out, it would have been as common as taking a piss next to a tree.”
Zachariah was about to inhale some more when I take the joint away from him. Even though he has a free study period next, I don’t want him looking and acting visibly stoned at school. I take one more drag and put it out.
“Let’s head back”.