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Amsterdam, civilization as it should be:
spiritual wholeness and tolerance in Amsterdam
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas
If you have not yet been to Amsterdam then you have not yet lived amongst progressive humanity. You have instead lived only in a prison amongst despots and barbarians; a prison of obsolete laws, compassionless chains, and archaic ideologies. You might as well still be swimming in the murky depths of a pre-cambrian swamp, waiting for your unknown legs to evolve and carry you out of the mire. For at this time, on this earth, the only country which has raised its head up out of the murky depths is Holland. The only country which is guided by intelligence and care, by the mind and the heart, is Holland. The only country which guides its citizens instead of persecuting them, and tolerates human needs, instead of condemning these, is Holland. The rest of the world lives under the oppression of fearful, dimwitted men and women who have neither the creativity nor the foresight to lead their fellow men.
Before I had gone to Amsterdam I despised everything mankind had created en masse. I hated every city I had ever encountered. I distrusted every lawmaker and politician. I saw nothing but stupidity, noise, greed, abuse, and depravity. But by the time I left Amsterdam I had fallen in love with cosmopolitan life. I had become the exuberant participant of a city where tolerance, peace, justice, and enlightenment were its motivating factors. I had walked the most charming cobble-stoned streets, canal sides, and alleyways fronted on each side by idyllic, otherworldly- tall as the people in them- organic buildings. I had ambled along major thoroughfares in the middle of rush hour, enjoying the unbelievable silence found in this city whose citizens ride bicycles and trams instead of clogging their world with automobiles. I had basked in the great consciousness of the gentle and aloof Dutch folk. And I had enjoyed the unbridled freedom of cannabis cafés, hash coffeehouses, and magic mushroom 'smart' shops, as they are so appropriately called.
When I left Amsterdam I left with a sense of gratitude that I had never felt for a metropolis before. And to this day I can feel within myself that cosmic cosmolopolis, so peaceful and inviting to the true nature of humanity, a place that holds its privileged visitors in the loving way that humanity deserves to be embraced.
I will say it again because it must be said- Holland is the only country on earth where wholeness and freedom are promoted. Everywhere else is a claustrophobic, anachronistic, inhumane prison.
Anyway, enough of my political trip. A few days into our stay in Amsterdam I wandered into a centrally located coffeeshop called The Baba to acquire for myself some of the country's finest. After procuring a blessedly rolled reefer of black hash and European tobacco, I settled in upon one of the padded benches amongst the traveling crowd, lit up my cone of Shiva, and began to ease into the vibe. And what a vibe it is.
by Jack Haas