Greetings All, Welcome to the podcast “Close to the Bone.” I’m Carl Vreeland.


This is episode #41, it’s titled, “Alcohol, Drugs, and Transcendence.”


As some of you may know, I currently purchased a new home that I had renovated. I was fortunate enough to have good friends who let me stay at their homes while working on my apartment. In brief, as they say, moving is one of the most stressful things in life. That said, I believe I handled the chaos and disorder quite well. No doubt, I had a several moments, whereas I got impatient with the situation not going according to plan, be it a lawyer taking longer than promised, or a contractor not showing up, or an oversight. Nevertheless, things went well for most part. But that doesn’t mean my body and mind weren’t affected. I’m not a machine, and the stress of it all had taken its toll on me in some regard. Namely, I noticed, at some point during the renovations and such, my mind got noisy. And I wasn’t sleeping well as a result of this. I was forgetting things. I wasn’t as clear-headed, and I was off-balance.


It was all a reminder—I’d forgotten how my mind used to be. For many, many years I lived with a noisy mind, with racing thoughts, ruminating over things, obsessing, dwelling, and distracted. I forgot about this. I’ve been living with a quiet mind for the last ten years or more, and I’ve gotten quite used to it. I took for granted. I forgot what it was like to have a busy mind. No wonder I drank and drugged heavily back in the day. It’s was the only way I knew how to quiet my mind. Of course I didn’t come upon meditation and the Yoga practice yet. So, I had no alternatives, or at least alternatives I believed in, meaning suggestions from people that I believed would work. But as they say, “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”1 OK, maybe I didn’t have contempt for meditation, I just didn’t believe it would work. No doubt, I was a cynic at the time. And as I heard podcast host Krista Tippett once say, “. . . cynicism is really easy. It’s never surprised or disappointed. And doesn’t lift a finger to change anything.”


And so, like many folks, I didn’t want to “lift

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