by Dan Ketchum
“Weed isn’t just used to alleviate pain — people love how mindful and present it makes them feel.” That’s registered nurse Jessie Gill at Vice writing on the virtues of combining cannabis and meditation, noting that the natural calming effects of cannabidiol facilitate mindfulness. Pair that with the creative insights THC brings to the table and you have the ideal headspace not just for meditating among singing bowls but for meditating on some of life’s greatest queries: enter stoner thoughts. Take a pull from your favorite pen and open yourself up to vulnerability, empathy, philosophizing and lots of laughs.
What is your very first memory?
A good indica in particular can help clear out the noise and bring buried memories to the forefront. Breathe in, dig deep into the well and ask your friends: What is the absolute, very first thing you can remember?
Is there time, or just movement?
Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli said “there is no such thing as past or future,” that our concept of time as a thing that exists or flows is only “a chemical that is changing things in [your] brain.” Is he right? Is time quantifiable, or is there only movement from one state of being to the next?
Who gets the middle armrest?
Movie theaters. Airplanes. Two people. Two chairs. Four arms. Three armrests. What are the rules here?
How do you know your memories are real?
We all know memories are faulty and based on only slivers of experience. Some scientists say the only way to confirm them is with corroboration by independent evidence. What are your stoner thoughts on this one?
Who from history is an actual wizard?
Hard-hitting stoner question time: What real person could justifiably be called a wizard? Rasputin? Houdini? Jesus? Or does it count if you just get everyone to call you one, like Mr. Wizard or Wes Unseld of the Washington Wizards?
What was your favorite age?
Steve Zissou says his was 11 and a half.
Where would you most like to live off-grid?
Mountains vs. beaches is a classic icebreaker, but let’s dig deeper into the mind palace. One type of landscape, total-self sustenance, you, nature, and the rest eternity. Which type of biome calls your name?
Was Niels Bohr right?
“Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” Can you argue with one of the fathers of quantum theory?
What does color taste like?
Stoner thought exercise: do this for every color you can think of. And not just red, yellow and blue — we need to get into stuff like indigo, fuchsia and ochre, too.
What’s something you’ve experienced that you can’t explain?
You don’t need a campfire to talk about UFO sightings, the unexplainable sounds you heard camping at Big Sur or the ghost that lives in the mirror at your grandma’s cabin. You just need Super Silver Haze.
What’s your theme music?
There’s the James Bond theme and then there’s the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme. Where do you fall on the theme song spectrum? And when does your theme play?
When does a thing become art?
Jackson Pollock’s Full Fathom Five is art just like a performance by Marina Abramović is art just like the video game Celeste is art. A sculpture is art, but aren’t your concrete bookends tiny sculptures? Where is the line of ascension, or is there one?
What’s your favorite flavor of reality?
Is reality just your own collection of personal consciousness? Or is Princeton physicist Juan Maldacena right when he says three-dimensional reality plus time is just one of many dimensions? What about philosopher Nick Bostrom’s simulation theory, or James Gates and Leonard Susskind’s idea that reality is a holographic projection of a thin, distant two-dimensional surface?
What was the greatest sunset you’ve ever seen?
If you live into your seventies, you could experience nearly 30,000 days and 30,000 sunsets. If you’re an astronaut, you see 16 sunsets every day. It’ll take some work to narrow it down, but that’s why they call it a thought exercise.
When does it become love?
Is there an identifiable tipping point, a line in the sand where a like becomes a “like like” and then becomes the real thing?
What’s your strongest sense memory?
Cannabis sometimes makes us feel like our senses are heightened, which is the ideal space to comb through your strongest sense memories. Tell us about the way the boardwalk smelled when you were 4, or the particular texture of your childhood golden retriever’s fur. In detail.
How did you make friends when your mom told you not to talk to strangers?
Think about it.
Which is scarier: Alien life or galactic loneliness?
Asking if we’re alone in the universe is the epitome of stoner questions, but Rendezvous With Rama writer Arthur C. Clarke put it this way: “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the universe, or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” Pick one.
When and where have you experienced the deepest quiet?
It may have been an afternoon in the middle of the Mojave, a morning on a mountaintop or even a meditative float in a sensory deprivation tank. When and where did it happen, and did the quiet lead to real quietude within you?
What’s something today that you will be nostalgic for tomorrow?
In 2015, it was the ’90s; now it’s the early 2000s. Every few years, the past gets recontextualized — so what parts of today will get rose-tinted tomorrow? End your sesh on a high note.
Dan Ketchum is an LA-based freelance lifestyle, fashion, health and food writer with more than a decade of experience. He’s been fortunate enough to collaborate and publish with companies such as FOCL, Vitagenne, Livestrong, Reign Together, Out East Rosé, SFGate, the Seattle Times and more.
Scientific American – What Experts Wish You Knew About False Memories
Goodreads – Niels Bohr > Quotes > Quotable Quote
The Atlantic – Astronauts Witness 16 Sunrises and 16 Sunsets Each Day