Transcendental Drinking

photoFor more time than I care to think back upon, I have been seeking enlightenment. I have looked for it in more places than you could imagine. I have engaged in various pathways to personal liberation such as silent meditation retreats, aura balancing workshops, weekly psychoanalysis consultations, mantra gatherings, daily morning meditation sessions and on and on. At one time I even sold everything that I owned and lived in a shack in the country for three years. I have hundreds of books piled in the corners of my small apartment that focus upon themes such as inner peace, mindfulness, destroying fear, living in balance, the power of the now and meditation. In every available spiritual crevice I have stuck my head, still after all these years- nothing has brought me closer to enlightenment than two beers and a shot of whiskey.

It was Ben Franklin who said that beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. If what Ben says is true than maybe he was on to something. It has been well documented that Ben Franklin read eastern philosophy and dabbled in the esoteric arts. Various historians say that Ben Franklin was interested in magic and others have written widely upon his interest in trying to transcend his reality through various spiritual modalities. One historical account that I was reading of Ben Franklin the other day, said that nothing was as effective as beer for Mr. Franklin to reach the desired state of enlightenment. This is why he is often referred to as the transcendental drinker.

Like Mr. Franklin, I consider myself to be a transcendental drinker. In all my many years of spiritual investigations, nothing has had the ability to center me like booze. Every day, through my various retinue of spiritual supplications, I strive to reach a state of being where I am free from anxiety, fear, worry and my chronic feelings of inadequacy. I do my daily mantras, breathing exercises, yoga postures and prayers- but still I am left with a lingering sense of the apprehension and negative emotions that I strive so hard to transcend. But when I drink (which is a daily practice of mine as well) within twenty minutes or after the second beer, my thoughts come to a halt, my fear is silenced and my normally guarded, anxious, angry and uptight personality is put away. Out will come a more outgoing me that has no problem talking freely with strangers. After a shot of whiskey to wash the final residue of my second beer away, I am fully grounded in the present moment without a worry in the world. The earth upon which I struggle on a daily basis is turned into a paradise and I am as close to being in the same state as any transcendent spiritual master I have ever read about. I become (for a few hours at least) what I would like to call- enlightened.


  1. yayayay! I have been saving this one up in the reader since I saw the title. I just had one beer. The first and this was such a fantastical piece of writing, Randall. Thankyou, it has set me up for a very pleasant Sunday. I will be grinning all day now.

  2. Drinking always maintained a negative angle for me – perhaps because of family issues with the liquid addiction – but I have never been afraid of doing it myself.

    In saying this however, I am not a drinker myself. Said reasons are not the cause, but more a sense of just not needing it in my life, for whatever reasons I may have. Though, again, recently I have felt something in me asking for a little relief in life; something to temper the worn-down reality of day-to-day living.

    This is likely the only use I have seen for drinking: escape. But the way in which you describe it for yourself, does seem more familiar to the (few) past experiences I have had.

    (I missed reading these entries of yours, funny how we just fall off the internet wagon now and again.)

  3. It is good to wonder into this blog and find comments from the both you. I did drift off for a time of contemplation and painting but now I am feeling the pull to write more. It all started when I was sitting alone at a bar the other evening and next to me was a young woman who was reading a book on meditation. She said to the bartender, who inquired about her book, that she was trying to become more transcendental. He then said, ” I am a transcendental drinker, how about a shot.” Immediately I started to write in my journal.

    I have often heard of drinking referred to as a form of escapism, and I do not disagree. But in today’s world- why would one not want to escape now and then? Drinking seems to serve the purpose of enhancing my reality and taking the edge off…. but yes- ideally I would like to become more transcendental without the booze. But for now- I am going to get another beer out of the fridge.

  4. Take a look at your profile picture, see the side smirk. That was me at the 3rd line with the phrase aura balancing. You so crack me up.

    ‘more of an outgoing me willing to talk to strangers’

    Too funny.

    After I have scans I totally suffer from scanxiety, that they are going to tell me it has spread again or that I have to try a different chemo and one of my daughters Nadalene would always try to force me to drink. ‘Honestly Mom, have some wine for Christ’s sake.’ I hate wine. She responds ‘then have some rum, you need to relax.’

    If only she had used the new age words, I might have bought into it. Doubt it……

    Love this post.


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