The meaning of life (a reason for all the pain)

So, there I was again.

In that place.

Of torment and disgrace.

Otherwise known as America’s Best Inn in South Lansing, my own personal 1408. Motel hell.

I’ve holed myself up there at least three different times in years past, veiling myself from the world, drinking, drugging, and gluttonizing myself into oblivion almighty.

America’s Best is not where I go for picnics. It’s where I go to get closer to death. And yet somehow, last week I convinced myself I would go there to restore, compose, and harmonize.

I’d just finished probation. Out of all the ways to begin my fresh start, why would I choose this? Why go back there, to that purgatory of haunting memories?

In order to understand, we need to look at my relationship with the chemical, dextromethorphan.

It’s the chemical in Robitussin that helps you stop coughing. Intriguingly, it is also a powerful dissociative that invokes extraordinary altered states of consciousness.

Incredible visions of past, present and future combined finer than a grain of sand. A sense of oneness with all existence, with all that ever was and all will ever be. Interconnectedness of all things, working together in harmony even though our lives often seem so very chaotic and disjointed.

These are but a few of the revelations in store for those daring enough to chug down the unspeakably vile blood-red liquid (it’s almost as bad as kombucha), or take dxm in another form such as gel caps or its pure powdered state.

It is beyond the scope of this post to explain all the risks (and benefits) associated with taking dxm, so please see a resource such as Erowid for more information. I am not in any way directly condoning, promoting, or encouraging the use of dxm, but anyone prone explore their curiosity should do so with an investigative thoroughness as to avoid a number of concerns.

Along with the revelations experienced on dxm, there come a slew of unpleasantries. A seasoned dextromethorphan psychonaut (an astronaut of the inner mind space) is nearly certain to become accustomed with vomiting, often violently and without warning (especially true in my case, since overeating is one of my more established tendencies). Motor skills and ability to communicate can become severely hindered, often rendering the user incoherent and redundant in patterns of thought and speech.

At about the most physically troubling end of the spectrum, I was so severely constipated on an awkward night in 2004 that I shat out of my mouth. There were witnesses.

All said, when you have stumbling, drooling, incoherent mouth-poopers telling the world that they found the meaning of life on cough medicine, there is understandably some room for doubt and concern.

Unfortunately for the poopers, this concern comes at great personal cost. Their loved ones find their actions deranged, crazy, unethical, selfish, destructive, moronic, wasteful, deceptive, and inexplicable. This leads to a world of brokenness and bitterness.

When you go to a faraway land on vacation, like say when my parents go to Indonesia. When they come back, they show me pictures from their trip and attempt to communicate about their experiences. I can see the pictures and attempt to imagine what it was like, but it’s still difficult for me to truly appreciate it. Those memories are there. They have experienced a culture that I simply have not.

When I go into inner space on dextromethorphan, I have experiences that I once thought incomparable to any form of normal waking consciousness. When I come back to so-called real life, I have no photos from my trip, so I have no way to share my experiences except with my words. And words don’t do it justice. Words don’t even touch it. Especially the words of someone who is so strung out on chemicals they can barely form a coherent sentence, as is likely the case with people who use a lot of dxm or other drugs.

A key here is that to the person that experiences them, these revelations are vital and need to be shared. There is a need for others to understand and accept what has been seen. Amazing epiphanies about reality are had, but then cannot be expressed or received properly.

Instead, people who share their revelations are cast aside, stigmatized, demonized. My heart has been broken time and time again, by the people I love not listening to me when I beg to be heard.

It’s like if my parents get down on their knees, crying and pleading for me to look at their vacation photos, but I just can’t be bothered.

Maybe it’s a little different.

Anyway, it is two-sided and I am increasingly aware of the pain I have put my loved ones though. I used to resent them for not understanding me, and then I resented myself for being so stubborn as to stick to a path that hurt the ones I love.

But I had to be stubborn, because once you’ve had a vision that is more meaningful and fulfilling than anything you’ve ever experienced outside of that vision, how can you ever go back? The only way you can go back, is if people convince you that you were crazy the whole time. They say it wasn’t real. You need to come back down to earth. You need to get a job, and do normal society stuff.

But see, with me, I have always sucked at most of the normal society stuff. I wrote all about that in Overcoming Financial Failure. I think it’s easier for a lot of people to have those revelations on drugs, and then come back to real life because they have something to anchor them there. They find meaning, a reason to live, so they don’t need to keep going back no matter the cost.

After all, the longest I stopped using dxm was from 2009-2014. During that time, I went to school. I found purpose. It wasn’t until I started doubting my purpose that I felt pulled back towards dextromethorphan. To fill the void. And once that void was filled and I rediscovered the meaning I’d found on dxm, I realized once and for all (and I’ll stand by this until my dying breath as Andrew L. Hicks):

I was never crazy.

Well, that’s not true. When I’ve been crazy, it’s been when I’ve ignored the yearning in my heart to move towards harmony and unity with all things. This world is crazy, or so it seems. The illusion that we’re all separate. The division, the strife, the killing, the war. Borders, nations, labels, identities. What drives us truly crazy is to get lost in this charade, this theatrical façade which is a parody of the honest truth.

And the truth is, we’re all one.

Alas, my intention isn’t to hammer my truth down your throat. I’m here to paint a picture of why I checked into America’s Best on February 10, 2017, with fourteen bottles of Robitussin gel caps (bought and paid for).

I also had with me some notebooks for journaling, a sketchpad, an AlphaSmart 3000 word processor, an mp3 player, and a coloring book.

February 10 gave us a cosmic triple treat of a full moon along with an eclipse and a passing comet. These conditions created an intriguing pretext for a dextromethorphan trip. In the past on several occasions I have had some of the most profound dxm experiences, only to realize later that it had been a full moon at the time. I developed an interest in preempting the moon cycles, and using them as a calendar to plan my psychonautic expeditions.

The date also coincided with the end of my roughly year-long legal probation. So, the trip to motel hell was kind of an ironic celebration as well.

I hadn’t used dxm in about ten months. During that time, my family was happy with my sobriety and no one knew with certainty the secret I’d held in my heart the whole time: I was going to use dxm again when I could do so without facing legal consequences.

I had bided my time, waiting for that moment of freedom, so that I could go back to my sacred vision quest which meant and means so much to me.

I fooled myself into thinking I could be content to hide the experience and savor it for myself without others knowing, which is why I chose the motel. The reason I couldn’t share the truth in advance was because I felt like no one would understand, but my need for this experience was overpowering. My need to experience meaning and purpose in my life again was more important to me than being honest with my loved ones and risk having them stand in my way.

Since my heart is committed to a truth that my loves ones aren’t ready to comprehend or take seriously, I created a separated, isolated world for me to cling to that truth alone. But that doesn’t work, because separation is an illusion and in the end always causes agonizing desolation for all involved.

But if that truth is the most important thing there is to me, then what choice do I have but to go there and endure hurt and hardship? And to force others to endure it as well, therefore turning me into a villain, a criminal, and a vagabond?

My plan was to go to the motel. Do my secret thing. Come back refreshed, and no one would get hurt for not knowing the truth.

I believe I’ve finally learned that there is no true validation for such dishonesty. The truth always comes out, and sometimes it comes out like the inferno of a gushing super volcano. Even the sincerest truth can decimate everything it touches when it has to overcompensate for the pressure of its own withholding.

My story is one of many. People all over the world are going through this same tragedy, right now. People are being criminalized and thrown out of their families for following the truth in their hearts. Brilliant teenagers who offer the world a level of redemption that we’ve never known, are being drugged up and traumatized by a well-intended society that has forgotten the mysticism and magic of nature and existence.  This needs to stop.

I will not rest until it is stopped.

And I will not hide anymore. No more motel hells. I need someone to hear me, and I am pleading for this world to afford me some quarter and understanding.

We can build bridges between our seemingly disparate perspectives. I know we can. I’ve seen the way. I want to show you. And I want you to show me what I can do to understand you.

I have dedicated immense portions of my life, to refining my ability to communicate about the dimensions I’ve found in my mind. I have worked hard to grow beyond that drooling mouth-pooper of old, to turn into someone that can effectively communicate the importance of this.

This is my life’s work, and it goes immeasurably beyond this post. Right now, I have to focus on healing rifts in my family, so using drugs is the last thing on my mind right now. If I ever do dxm in secret again, it will be because of the same reasons I always have. Because the pull in my heart reaches a point of overpowering my need to be transparent. For a while, I will be able to maintain my commitment to acting in accordance with my loved one’s wishes and expectations, but there will eventually come a time when the need to delve deeper into expansion will prevail.

And that’s what it’s all about. Expansion. Expansion of my mind, and expansion of the relationship I have with those around me. Each time I go through the cycle, a few more barriers are diminished. Greater understandings are developed, both of myself and of the needs of those in my life. I refine my ability to meet those needs while also developing my ability to meet my own.

This expansion is too important to me, to ever give it up. I have tried, and I was miserable. This is a part of me, and what I want you to realize is that the vision for the world I see is not only for me. It’s for everyone. It’s for a better world. It’s for a world that is so breathtaking, not many people can imagine it yet.

But they will be able to. And when they do, I promise you, all the pain in this world that we know to be the status quo will be wiped away. We’ll all be free to stand proud and true as the authentic expression of ourselves, and all the conflict of the past will fade out like a forgotten dream.

Do these sound like the ravings of a lunatic? If so, then I still have work to do.

Those of you who believe in me, rest assured, I will keep working. I will not stop. Ever. And every victory I experience, I share with all of you. Everyone. People who aren’t even reading this are a part of the victory. Microscopic organisms receive the spoils. From the perspective of beasts larger than the cosmos, you are a miscroscopic organism and our solar system is just the atom in the hind side of a colossal cyclops. And that cyclops is a speck in the eye of a newborn baby.  And we’re all winning together. We all matter. We’re all equal. We’re all one.

Here just a few of my favorite movies and books that may further help those interested to come to terms with these concepts.

If you purchase these products through the links below, I’ll receive a small percentage from the Amazon affiliate program (you can also make money when other people purchase products you recommend).



Interstate 60

What the Bleep Do We Know!?: Down the Rabbit Hole

Altered States




Way of the Peaceful Warrior

The Celestine Prophecy

Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis

Of course, there are limitless other sources of relevant information. If you know of any sources that may help me develop my own knowledge, please let me know and I’ll be happy to review the material and pay it forward.

Thanks for reading, my loves. To infinity and beyond.