Transcendental Vegetation

D L Henderson
3 min readNov 16, 2023

November 15. 2023

This is another of my published essays in the Island Dispatch from the 1970’s. Major edits will be bracketed { }. Please note that my intent is not to offend, but to educate using both experienced and educated opinion. At the time I wrote this, I had somewhat recently come out of the drug culture in California and it had also been a time of cults emerging everywhere…

Street drugs are every parent’s worry, {no, nightmare}. I have attended several meetings to find solutions to the problem. Few have offered anything more than rhetoric.

However, one did use a government study showing that Teen Challenge had a 70–85% rehabilitation rate. This is one of several Christ-centered programs offered to people of all ages who realize they need to change but have no power in themselves to do so. Jesus does have the power to change lives and is alive and willing to do so. Jesus is the solution. {Please note that some of the recently reported abuses of some misguided religious leaders were not in existence when I originally wrote this article.}

Contrarily, many drugs are accepted by Society. Nicotine is probably the worst, because it is the most subtile and deceptive. Alcohol has left its traditional foodstuffs category, and in some cities, its sales even exceed that of food! {By the way, I must mention that I am diagnosed as a Binge Alcoholic — hell, I used to binge just about everything. Sad, yes — but no, pathetic is more like it.}

Marijuana offers euphoric highs, but in the process, it robs users of their goal orientation which, in turn, leads them to despair. Psychedelic drugs impair the rationale, quietly magnify mental problems, greatly increase mental disorder, {that is, the ability to reason, and they all masquerade as a spiritual experience and an eye-opening type of transcendental enlightenment. The opposite is true.}

But who thinks about consequences? {Some people do see down the road a piece, and they do realize that there are some dangers ahead, but most people ignore what they see or look the other way. They avert their eyes so as not to be disturbed by “negative” thoughts, and so they settle for materialistic distractions, unrealistic philosophies, utopian fairy tales, or just cheap thrills. Unfortunately, strategies like averting one’s eyes and the rest don’t stop the inevitability of consequences.}

When I used to do drugs — rather, when drugs used to do me — danger was the furthest thing from my mind. Coffee led to cigarettes, led to alcohol, led to marijuana, led to psychedelics… Very “cool,” very prestigious, very noble — or so I thought. However, the use of legal and illegal drugs was a symptom of a deadlier disease. Some of the underlying illnesses were disobedience to parents, a rebellious adolescence gone wild, lack of direction, disassociation of the meaning of life, social and emotional stresses ignored and unresolved — all left to fester. Yet, I did not realize what was happening.

I thought I had found some things that were “neat” and “cool,” things that were good, positive, and even transcending.

It was not until I began to lose my mind that I woke up to the imminent danger of the path I had chosen. It was then that I turned from unreality, deceptions, and death to reality, truth, and life. I desperately called on God — if He was really there — and thankfully He was. He still is.

{Within a few months God led me to a place — both physical, mindful, and eyes wide open — to Jesus who I begged to come into my life and forgive my moral failures and ineptitude. He did. So, I have been following Him as best I can ever since.}

If you have a drug problem, or your friends, or someone in your family, God can bring everyone through it all.

It is still a matter of choosing, sincerity, and self-awareness. Consider choosing a personal relationship with Jesus rather than those cheap thrills, or a life of stagnant vegetating, or an undesirable premature end.

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between