Monday, August 20, 2012

Poppy, Cannabis, Ephedra

So, what is your favorite poison?

Somehow, I keep going back to a famous statement by a German guy called Karl, that we all keep going back to. Again and again. That religion, is the opiate of the masses. Almost thirty years after the iron curtain came down and the hammer and the sickle went into oblivion, we could perhaps say that again. Even in a country like China, which has all but forsaken communist ideology, the opiate seems to be making a vengeful comeback. China seems to have its fair share of Buddhists and Christians now, and even new age religions like the Bahai faith are taking China by storm.

I keep wondering, what exactly would be the perfect opiate of the masses. Assuming that religion, is not really what it used to be.

If you take a step back and turn around, and take a good look at the world around you today, you would be surprised by what is going on. The land of the free has perhaps gone through the biggest economic crisis in its history (yes, even worse than the great depression) and most people think that it will never recover back to its glory days. Europe, is in shambles, and for many countries there, the sportsmen leaving London summed it up quite accurately, when they said, "The party is over, let's go home!" And Asia, is what we should perhaps talk about, since Asia, is the continent where most of humanity lives.

The Chinese, traditionally, have been quite used to an opiate. Of course, the original one, that kept them down for centuries, was where the word opiate came from. But then came nationalism, communism and all that stuff. National pride and nice looking gun barrels kept them going through Mao and the gang of four, and after Deng Xiaoping opened China up, it has all been about earning money. But now, China seems to be open enough to make its rulers nervous. And so, they need an opiate. To keep the masses occupied.

India has always been good at keeping a large population busy with useless things. It has barely been twenty years or so since the airwaves were opened up to private broadcasters, and even today, they seem to pretty much focus on things that the public wants to hear. Thankfully, India has cricket and Bollywood. Between the two of them, you could keep people intoxicated for years. And if they get too shifty, you could organize a three day nationwide "we hate corruption" -a-thon,  and have every television channel cover it. Once the people get convinced that all is well, and things will be done to make sure that things are done, they will get back to their opiates.

Sure, once in a while, you would have rioters taking over city centers and entire ethnic groups leaving big cities in ways that almost seem biblical, but as most deft government administrators will tell you, these are just temporary glitches. And oh yes, all, is well. 

In my opinion, the biggest problem for most large countries in this decade would have nothing to do with economics or politics. The biggest problem, would be to find a new opiate of the masses. For America, it was always three seasons (sorry Vivaldi) -- football, baseball and basketball. For communist countries, it was always nationalism. For most of the middle east, it was religion. And for India, till very recently, it was Bollywood and cricket. As the world's political leadership looks for the next opiate of the masses, to keep them busy, let me try and give them a small piece of advice.

Thousands of years ago, when the early Aryans were colonizing central Asia, and did not have elaborate codes or rituals to keep people under control, they told them that there was something better than worshiping God. If one was willing, one could see God. And, there was an ancient drink, often mentioned in the Vedas, which supposedly brought one close to God.

For centuries, historians have wondered about the composition of Soma. To most, it seemed like a hallucinogen, but what really went into it? Was it alcoholic? Did it have any of the herbs that we are now familiar with?

As it turns out, from an archaeological dig somewhere in Central Asia, news is slowly emerging. That a pit in which Soma was made, was discovered and the remains of whatever went into the heavenly hallucinogen, were analyzed. The answer, surprised a lot of people, who believed that the Soma was divine.

To the average hippie who attended wood-stock, there was no surprise. The Soma, was a potent cocktail of three herbs that we all know about -- poppy, cannabis and ephedra. Each, loaded with its own stockpile of chemicals, which takes the word opiate to an entirely new level. Together perhaps -- they make the drink of the Gods.

So, to beleaguered governments around the world in search of a solution, I have only one suggestion for an opiate of the masses. Soma. Three potent herbs cannot go wrong, all at the same time.


  1. babu, r u saying that govt. should now distribute soma though ration shops?

  2. haha.. wudnt dat b nice :)
    every1 wud turn into a baba or guru then..
    but on a serious note, if only d indian masses let go of their religious conflicts and made humanity their opiate..

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