Higher Thought: The Cannabis Game—a non-competitive, cooperative, question-based game—can be played in many ways. As we wrestle with social distancing and isolation, seeking to feel the freshness, immediacy and authenticity of personal interaction through our computer screens or in a monotonous (perhaps lonely) daily routine, Higher Thought can help.
Here are some suggestions for how to use Higher Thought to enliven many types of online and in-home conversations—stoned or not.
- Not Your Parents’ Check-In. Drawing a single card and sharing answers is a fun, heart-opening, non-threatening way to begin any interaction, whether a one-on-one conversation, a shared virtual dinner or cocktail hour, or even a purpose-driven meeting of colleagues or collaborators. Why be stuck with the same-old, same-old check-in routine? There’s a magic in Higher Thought’s synchronicity, whimsy, and depth that sparks unexpected connections.
- Higher Thought Daily Practice. Drawing one daily card is also a mind-and-heart-opening practice, either solo or with a friend/beloved, for an uplifting self-check-in.
- Higher Thought Squares. This method of play mixes a certain deliberative element into the spontaneous nature of normal play. Three or four rows of three or four randomly drawn cards are arranged face-up on a flat surface. The “Budtender” photographs this layout so that every card is legible, and shares the pic with the group.
- Variant A: Each person notes the card that their eye lands on first. Players take turns answering their own question, posing it to the group, or asking an answer from one other person of their choosing.
- Variant B: Each person intentionally chooses a question, rather than going with the first one they see.
- Variant C: The cards are photographed face-down, and each person “draws” a card of their choosing, which the Budtender then turns over and reads.
- The Oracle (best for one or two people with a personal question or problem for which insight is desired). This mode of play tends to work best when stoned (though as always, ingesting cannabis is a matter of personal choice). The Oracle involves using the Higher Thought deck almost as if it were a Tarot deck. Layouts can be copied straight from Tarot, or creatively determined on the spot (e.g. “this card represents the past, this card represents the present, and this card represents the future of this situation”) In turning over and answering each card in turn, thoughts, feelings, and images arise which spark surprising insights into the person, event, or situation in question.
- Full-On Game. Of course, the game can be played in the usual way with a group online. Whoever has a deck can draw cards for all and play the role of Budtender, attending to the mood and pacing of the game as players take turns answering each question.
Higher Thought is a non-competitive game. There are no opponents, no winner, no losers. There’s no goal that drives play—no checkmate, no monopolies, no points. And without a predefined resolution, a finish line, a goal… there is no predetermined time limit. We can draw one card, and play for five minutes. Or, draw as many as we like, and spend an evening or an afternoon.
We are not competitors, but collaborators, each bringing our own magic to an inspiring, freeing conversation that always—always!—ends with participants feeling closer to one another.