Cannabis and the Universal Spirit of Love – Floyd Salas


“Cannabis and the Universal Spirit of Love” is an appropriate encapsulation for this reference to Floyd Salas. Also included below is a very short excerpt of his writing that he offered to me for purposes like this. Floyd is one of the dozen or so contributors to the forthcoming (It’s going to be a while yet so maybe I should say fifth-coming or sixth-coming) book Cannabis and Spirituality.

Floyd’s focus is on cannabis as an aid to creativity and that may seem to some a bit off topic for a project with the word “spirituality” written all over it. However, many would agree with me that on some essential level, real creativity is spiritual. As Tony Vigorito put it, “Creation is love, and love finds its greatest expression in the act of Creation itself.” (See the blog post “Tony Vigorito: Nine Kinds of Brilliant” for more gems like that one.) With that understanding in mind, it felt important in the context of the book to give, at the least, a respectful nod in the direction of cannabis’ benefits for creative work. Floyd Salas appears to have mastered that relationship. As he readily proclaims, “I smoke pot to write with love. I nearly always smoke pot to write.”

Floyd Salas’ writing related bio

Floyd Salas is an award-winning and critically-acclaimed author of eight books, including the novels Tattoo the Wicked Cross, What Now My Love, Lay My Body on the Line, and State of Emergency, the memoir Buffalo Nickel, and two books of poetry, Color of My Living Heart and Love Bites: Poetry in Celebration of Dogs and Cats. His historical novel about Old California, Widows Weeds, is available on Kindle. He is the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, Eugene F. Saxton, Rockefeller Foundation, Joseph Henry Jackson and other fellowships and awards, as well as the PEN Oakland Literary Censorship Award and two outstanding teaching awards. His novel, Tattoo the Wicked Cross, earned a place on the San Francisco Chronicle’s Western 100 List of Best 20th Century Fiction. He was a staff writer for the NBC drama, Kingpin, released in February, 2003 and a 2002-2003 Regent’s Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley. His manuscripts and papers are archived in the Floyd Salas collection in the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. He is a founder and president of the multicultural writing group, PEN Oakland. As you might imagine based on a list of credits like that, I’m very happy to have Floyd on board as a contributing author for the Cannabis and Spirituality project.

A Different Kind of Thinking

See below for a very short excerpt from the piece for the book which summarizes some topics Floyd explores. Its original source is a longer essay titled “Pot and Poetry by Floyd Salas” that he wrote for Dr. Lester Grinspoon’s “Marijuana Uses” website page ( The themes hinted at here also form the basis of his essay in Cannabis and Spirituality (that forth- or fifth-coming book mentioned above.)

I want to make a comment about Floyd’s opening line below, “Pot is for thinkers.” That’s a very interesting statement in the context of a project with a significant focus on the deep realizations to be found in non-thought presence. The legendary mystical poet Rumi, as just one among the many who have understood this principle, has lines like, “Silence is the language of God. All else is poor translation.” and “Look past your thoughts so you may drink the pure nectar of this Moment.”

As I understand him however, Floyd’s use of the word “thinking” is very different from the kind of discursive thinking that, as the wisdom teachings indicate, is a core aspect of ego’s compulsive strategies for avoiding presence. Floyd seems to be speaking of ‘thinking’ as a kind of focused attention, clear-minded, open-hearted presence and “higher consciousness.” The third sentence below is significant in that regard, beginning with the phrase “Thinking is seeing . . . “

Pot and Poetry

Pot is for thinkers. Pot makes you think. Pot makes you more aware and intelligent. Thinking is seeing and not just the internal mind process but the external view around you. Sensitivity it’s called when you suddenly see a dew drop on the knobby bud of a pear tree. That’s awareness. That’s a higher consciousness. Higher consciousness is when you suddenly see the pattern of behavior in a person’s acts, including your own. Higher consciousness is seeing the meaning in a poem. Or suddenly feeling great love for everything and everyone around you. A burst of spontaneous joy that makes waves of love roll over you. The world is beautiful. The small things count. You can understand that a grass strand is worthy and meaningful in itself. This is higher consciousness achieved through the use of pot. I smoke pot to love, to follow my spiritual calling. I follow my spiritual calling by writing both creative and expository pieces. I write because I want to contact the universal spirit of love in the most people.

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