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Old 02-09-2013, 10:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bill Hicks and how to KICK ASS sober.

I put this in another thread of mine after watching a doc I hadn't seen about Bill Hicks, but I wanted to start a new thread about it because I think he deserves it:

Quote by Soberlicious: "G...there are lots of sober musicians around here. I personally know of three ppl right off the top of my head that play in our local venues. If the thought of performing sober scares you then that's good. What a great opportunity for growth. I love doing sh*t that scares me."


Now, with in mind--last night I watched a documentary about the late, great American anti-hero, Bill Hicks. (Who you may have noticed, I used a quote of his for my signature.) I've been a Bill Hicks fan for about a decade, and I have little idea how I missed this documentary, as it came out about 4 years ago. I guess living on a small remote island for a number of years is similar to living in a cave. Watching his story, inspired me in terms of sobriety. After nearly a decade of abusing alcohol and cocaine, losing gigs and audiences, he came to the realization that he was going to well and truly f*&ck up everything he'd been working for since he was 15 years old.

In any case, for those of you who don't know who Bill Hicks was, he was a a ground breaking comedian who started working as a comic when is was 15 years old in Houston, Texas. Raised in an upper middle class suburb of Houston to a family of Southern Baptists, he grew up rebelling and ultimately questioning the values, ideas, and ideals of the culture within which he was raised. Bill did not want to be an "average" comedian. He did not just want to yuck it up and tell a few jokes for a laugh or find himself on some banal sit-com. He was constantly striving to break out of the box, break the mold, and ultimately Blow Your Mind. This goal remained elusive for a number of years, and eventually took a nose dive while he was partying like a rock star.

Here is where story becomes relevant to the subject of sobriety for me: After he quit using and abusing, he began working on new material, and ultimately transformed himself into the visionary comic he had aspired to be for so many years. Bill always new had something to do here on this earth. He didn't want to just tell jokes--he wanted to tell the truth. After he quit drinking and using drugs, he became absolutely FEARLESS--equal parts comic, preacher, mystic, and rebel. But what interests me most about this story, is how his sobriety actually seemed to free him to be more raw, brave, and more fearless than ever before. It is also ironic, as he became a great defender of your right to do all the things that got him in trouble in the years before. However, his best material and most riveting performances were in the years after he sobered up, and before he died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 32.

In my life, whatever it is that I chose to do, I want to be FEARLESS and RAW, like Bill.

“If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”
― Bill Hicks


This is Bill at his most intense, and it's not even that "comic," but it is about as RAW as it gets. Some of you might not agree with his conclusions, but ironically, he was sober for some time when he did this material.

P.S, not for the faint of heart, or for children.

Bill Hicks - Play From Your ******* Heart - YouTube
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hicks was awesome, and he's definitely a kick in the teeth for people who fear the truth.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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omg bill hicks is a legend,, i read his book "love all the people" recently and its awesome,, and yes he was sober/clean for the late part of his yrs,,he wanted so much to have a "ufo" expereince straight,,lol,,but he was just bummed he didnt as he got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,,
i love that dude,,he was so true,,we need more peeps like him,,if u you tube him,,theres a quality interveiw he did in the uk,,thats v rare , hes sat outside by a pool,,the guys a genius and all he said was cool.
i follow many different "companies/groups,,that try to spread the word,, on facebook,,theres one called "collective evolution",,,,thats v interesting ,,glad to see other folks here appreciate the "truth" too,,,
great post
lv cleo xxxxx
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bill Hicks is my hero. I love that quote. I came to his stuff after he died though so I didn't realise he was sober til it was important to me. It's amazing how many people come out of the woodwork when you look for them x
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah,

I knew he was sober in his later years, but watching that documentary, I was really blown out by how he really came in to his own once he sobered up. He really became the man and the "comic" he wanted to really wanted to be after that, and I'm inspired by it.

Cheers
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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its just a ride,,,,brilliant xxx
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I wanted to talk about Bill Hicks after I watched that doc, "American: the story of Bill Hicks," because I was really having a problem in the first few weeks of being sober, wondering how I was going to live with out my "crutch." How was I going to have a good time, how would I deal with my social anxiety, how would I be able to deal with stage fright. Would I ever be the life of the party again?

So, when I watched this I was drawn into this story arc--the rise of a comic prodigy at the age of 15-- the inevitable crash and burn with drugs and alcohol, and then subsequent rise from the ashes to be even greater and truer than ever before, I guess I had an Opra-esque "Aha" moment. I'm sure Bill had been the life of the party, and I'm sure he had good times for a while being the center of attention and the recipient of so many back stage "perks."

The irony is, that the guy was very libertarian when it came to drugs, and he has always strongly refuted the "all drugs are bad" and "just say no" propaganda that had been shoved down are throats for most of the 1980's--some of the great highlights of his stand-up routine involved LSD: When telling as story about a guy who supposedly jumped out of a window on acid because he thought he could fly, he said, "Well what an ass***e. Why didn't he try it from the ground first?" I have been a huge Bill Hicks fan for many years, so I found it very enlightening to find out more about his sobriety--especially in light of how strongly he opposed government intervention into your life regarding drug laws--and how committed he actually was to it in the last few years before he died, because while he alluded to it in some of his stand-up, not much else was known about this aspect of his life.

Cleopatra1, I would like to think that he got to have his "sober" alien experience as he was dying. I read a fascinating book about DMT called, "The Spirit Molecule." DMT, as I'm sure many of you know, is a tryptomine which naturally occurs in many plants (ayahuasca being the most well known) and emanates from the pineal gland of our very own brains--and is thought to be responsible for dreams, visions, alien "experiences," and near death experiences or NDE's. Our pineal glands seem to produce a lot of DMT during certain experiences--dreaming, and very, very stressful events, in which near death or even death would certainly qualify.

So, with that in mind, I hope Bill had the Alien experience or contact with the "other" that he so desired to have with out Psilocybin, as he dissolved into the Ether and everlasting oneness with all that is.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for this - my friend in treatment actually said this guy really inspired him, so I started following Mr. Hicks' career. Watching him do comedy is INTENSE....
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Would I ever be the life of the party again?
Have you come to an answer yet?
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As to Hicks relationship with drugs -

There's a famous quote by David Crosby which I'll paraphrase. It was in reference to the hippies, or flower children, or whatever from the 60's and 70's.

"We were wrong about the drugs - but we were right about a lot of other stuff."

Yup.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Have you come to an answer yet?
Well, I am almost at 30 days here--it's officially one month on Wednesday--I think I'm getting closer to the answer.

I just had a talk with my husband about the whole process this morning.
I started out by telling him that I hadn't had a single drink in almost 30 days, and he asked me how I felt about it. the conversation went something like this:

"Well, I don't know...I feel good, great even. Sometimes I still get hit with anxiety about missing out on the "fun" parts, like hanging out and drinking beer with you--but it is getting easier." After a thoughtful pause, I asked, "Do you miss your drinking buddy?"
He said, "Yeah, I must admit that I do, but I'm sure we can have fun in other ways...I don't miss the hungover 'you' or belligerent Irish drunk 'you', (chortle chortle,) so you know, over all it's good."

In short-- I still wrestle with ambivalence, but the strong internal dissonance over the matter is diminishing in ever decreasing measures of shove and yank, to a more gentle push and tug--if that makes any sense.

So in a more or less direct answer to your question Sober, I am starting to see the possibility of being able to party sober.

Cheers.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Gforce23
I am starting to see the possibility of being able to party sober.
I think that like Bill Hicks, you are going to find out the secret that many of us have learned about ourselves...

that you are amazing
just
the
way
you
are
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution. - Bill Hicks

I use this quote as motivation for my own efforts at sobriety. There are actually many, many sober comedians.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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As to Hicks relationship with drugs -

There's a famous quote by David Crosby which I'll paraphrase. It was in reference to the hippies, or flower children, or whatever from the 60's and 70's.

"We were wrong about the drugs - but we were right about a lot of other stuff."

Yup.
Amen.

I will interject here about the idea about the "being wrong about drugs" part. I have actually done hallucinogens 100's of times, though not so much for the past 10 years or so. I happen to believe that there are reasons these plants are here on earth for us to use, and while I myself probably did not use them in their proper context, I would never discount their use as important to the evolution of the human mind. Indigenous/shamanistic cultures have been using them for years as way alter the "doors of perception."

I think there's a grey area here--all drugs are originally derived from plants, but the more you distill, distort, contaminate and convolute the original substance into something else--a Frankenstein of a drug emerges, far more destructive and addictive than the original plant. For instance Coca--a mild stimulant and oxygen enhancer used daily by indigenous cultures in South America for thousands of years for endurance in high altitudes > Cocaine, a highly addictive stimulant used by egotistical rock stars, cheesy night club owners, and wall street douchebags for the purposes of getting laid and deluding themselves into thinking that they are Frickin' geniuses.

In contrast to the above, a story:

Once, I took mushrooms with a friend at a bar where here friends band was playing. I thought the band was pretty crappy, so I decided to leave pretty soon after they started. It just wasn't my scene. So I left, and walked home in the moonlight by myself, down past the ivy covered brick buildings of the University of Colorado, and on to Pearl street.

I had completely forgotten about taking the mushrooms, and as I was walking down lower Pearl street, past the shops and cafe's and on into the residential neighborhoods, I started to get tingly. My body tingled and my mind started to jingle, and I said "Oh sh*t." I forgot I took mushrooms!" I kept walking, and eventually I started to really come on to them. I stopped in front of a weedy vacant lot filled with dandelions, which began to speak to me in their simple way. Say what you will, I rolled with it.

After having an interesting chat with the dandelions, I turned around and rested my gaze on the drainage ditch that paralleled Pearl St. It was spring, so the snow melt had swollen Boulder creek and all the drainage ditches in town were full. A street light over head illuminated the area where I stood with an eerie yellow haze. As I stared at the water in the drainage ditch, the water began making shapes--at first, I couldn't make out what it was. Soon, they started to take the shape of women dancing--before my eyes, I could see faces, hair, skin. Details were becoming ever more complete: eye's eyelashes, pupils. Mouths, noses, cheekbones, chins. Feet, toes, toenails. Arms hands, fingers, fingernails. The water sprites twirled and whirled, holding hands and letting go; twirling whirling, holding hands and letting go. I could see individual strands of hair flying and twisting and twirling.
Finally, my mind couldn't take it any more. I had reached my limit for stretching the boundaries of reality and other realms. I said "This can't be happening." And then just like that, it wasn't.

I would never go back in time and change that experience or deny it as having little or no value. Does it have meaning? I don't know, but it was freakin' cool! Did it break my perception of what is "real" for a few short minutes? Yes. I find value in that, for whatever it's worth.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Yes, but you can change your perception of what's real without anything external.

I don't think drugs are "bad", just unnecessary. I don't think what you described is anymore profound or surreal an experience than say, giving birth, jumping from an airplane, or being naked in front of a large group of people.

You don't know what you're really made of until you do some things completely on your own, with no "buffer". Tripping takes on a whole new meaning.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Yes, but you can change your perception of what's real without anything external.

I don't think drugs are "bad", just unnecessary. I don't think what you described is anymore profound or surreal an experience than say, giving birth, jumping from an airplane, or being naked in front of a large group of people.

You don't know what you're really made of until you do some things completely on your own, with no "buffer". Tripping takes on a whole new meaning.
Agreed. Be careful about "glorifying past use" - it's easy to go there. However, I do see your point in regards to alcohol vs. other drugs. Then again, remember that alcohol also occurs naturally, in fact many animals eat the fermented fruit that has fallen from a tree and get drunk, on accident. Not everything that occurs in nature means it's okay or "better" to do.

As far as breaking down perceptions of reality, I have to say in my experience it was okay and I wouldn't change it. I did shrooms a few times in my 20's, and also had weird experiences that SHOULD have freaked me out, but didn't. What you learn during those times is that YOU ARE IN CONTROL of what you see - and in regards to life after alcohol, it's something that can be used also.

I suppose some people could say that I am boring, because I stay at home on weekend nights and don't go out. However, that doesn't matter because the only thing that matters is how I see myself. Then again, drugs and alcohol can cloud that judgement.

You see it's all just a can o' worms, isn't it? I think we need to take the good with the bad - and when it comes to past drug use we can take certain lessons with us. Don't get carried away....but yeah, it's okay to look at the world more creatively. Like Hicks said, it's all just a ride - have fun (soberly!).
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Yes, but you can change your perception of what's real without anything external.

I don't think drugs are "bad", just unnecessary. I don't think what you described is anymore profound or surreal an experience than say, giving birth, jumping from an airplane, or being naked in front of a large group of people.

You don't know what you're really made of until you do some things completely on your own, with no "buffer". Tripping takes on a whole new meaning.
I might have to respectfully disagree with you here Sober--those things you mentioned are profound and surreal--having experienced several of them, but not really in the same way as having your "waking" perceptions so profoundly altered.

I think those experiences you mentioned are equal to, but qualitatively different than an experience on enthoegens. In fact, To be able to cross over into the Land of Death-- the realm of the Shamans, means dreaming while awake, and human beings have used those substances for thousands and thousands of years to achieve that--I personally believe that we "co-evolved" with these plants. Reading "One River" by Wade Davis is a mind opening experience when it comes to the history of indigenous use and knowledge of infinite combinations with other plant substances, which Davis says, can not be mathematically explained by "trial and error."

While I hear what your saying about not "needing them/it," I don't invalidate the former experience as being somehow unworthy, unnecessary or irrelevant,--Ayahuasca is currently being studied for it's potential to heal psychological traumas and even addiction--and Bill Hicks had an alien experience on mushrooms that actually facilitated his spirituality and his evolution as a comic. He had fervently wished for a similar experience with out the mushrooms, but it never happened. So maybe our brains can't make contact with the All One Consciousness with out assistance of some kind, whether that be psilocybin, or hours of meditation, or both. But hey, that's just my theory, so you know, it is what it is...(I'm gesticulating with my hand right now in a Jewish-grandmother kind of way)

I personally think that alcohol dulls consciousness and has the exact opposite effect as entheogens.

But, I'm kind of diverting the original intent of the thread here, (!) as my intent was to talk about being fearless in sobriety, and NOT to necessarily to defend psychedelic use and culture.

So let's talk about fearlessness, perhaps sans jumping out of planes, because I think I could go to my grave happily knowing it's something I never did.

Cheers!
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Be careful about "glorifying past use" - it's easy to go there.
?? Where was I glorifying past use?
All of my over 2,000 posts are far, far removed to any kind of glorification. Maybe read carefully? xo

I hear ya G...jussayin'...unnecessary for me and because people did things long ago doesn't lend it any more credibility to me. Ancient peoples aren't necessarily superior or more enlightened. I'm not so sure people can't or haven't achieved similar states without drugs...but yes, that debate is for another time and "realm"
Here nor there...

I have only been fortunate to jump once, but I would do it every weekend if I had the money!

So, set your sights on something more appealing to you, but something that scares you
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Big Sombrero,

I'm with Bill on this one: I don't think that saying that I did drugs and, in the words of Bill Hicks, "had a reaaaaalllll good time," is romanticising drug use. I think your just telling the truth about your experience, and now that your sober, you are just choosing not to do them anymore because of the consequences.
That's my personal belief.

Bill Hicks - Positive Drug Story - YouTube

and

Bill Hicks - Drugs and Evolution - YouTube

All of this material was done after he was sober, which he remained til he died. So, I don't think that saying or admitting or talking about having positive experiences on drugs necessarily threatens or invalidates your sobriety. But, having never been a hard-core addict, what do I know?

Cheers!
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Cleopatra1 (02-12-2013)
Old 02-11-2013, 12:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
?? Where was I glorifying past use?
All of my over 2,000 posts are far, far removed to any kind of glorification. Maybe read carefully?
Big Sombrero was talking about me I think, Sober!
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