Where did I put that memory

Yesterday Mark Lesseraux and I were going back and forth on the comments section to a Jan. 2014 entry here.

The subject wove about the relation between intoxicating substances and access to unusual mental spaces. Our conversation spilled over both to Facebook and email.

I’d like to share a little of it with you.

At one point we took a sharp turn to the questions of history, William James, translation of impulses, the state specific nature of memory (like when a dream that was so vivid it scared you, vanishes from your memory even before you open your eyes) etc.

Here’s some of our correspondence and a little something Mark sent me.
I wrote:

“One of my favourite (though certainly apocryphal psychedelic stories, and lessons in translation of impulses, state specific memories, etc) is told of William James. It was during his NO2 or Ether experiments. Every time he’d reach a point where he felt he saw the root cause of all conflict. But every time he’d return to his normal consciousness this penetrating insight was gone and the knowledge totally vanished. Finally he thought to write it down while still stoned. And so he did. This time on returning to ordinary consciousness and realizing that the pearl of wisdom was recorded on paper if not in his memory (see Psych 4). Picking up his journal he read this cosmic truth:

Hogamous, Higamous,
Man is polygamous,
Higamous, Hogamous,
Woman’s monagamous.

(lines also likely mis-attributed to Dorothy Parker and others)”

for more info on the quote check out

And here’s Mark’s response (shared without his permission)

“Speaking of which, watch from 1:04 on in this clip .. McCartney wrote down “the meaning of everything” when he was high.. i actually think he was onto something…“