By conservative estimates, there are currently enough wrongfully convicted people in prison in the United States to fill a football stadium.
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An individual who experiences regular moments of expanded consciousness also regularly experiences the unhappiness and difficulty of returning to consensus reality. In the moments following his flight from material centeredness, returning may seem like a betrayal of having experienced a somewhat less limited perspective. One may feel compelled to come to terms with the disquieting limitations of his own humanity. Life in physical reality may not appear to be worth living, or, if it seems worth living, it may not appear to be worth taking seriously.
A few nights ago, I went for a walk with a freshman girl. I have been morbidly depressed lately and thought that the company of a youthful, effervescent individual of the opposite sex might be of some comfort or, at least, diversion. I was quiet for the most part, preferring to listen more than speak. The young lady bubbled on about how the world would be a better place if people just stopped hating one another. She talked about how if you were just nice to people they would be nice back and there would not be any more conflict in the world. She talked about how she loved flowers, lasagna, and parties (in that order). After a while, I turned to her and said, “You’re pretty idealistic, huh?” She responded with a cheery, “Uh-huh!” We departed for a favorite Italian restaurant where much of the remainder of the evening was spent discussing the young lady’s dad and mom and all the good times which they had back on the farm. We ordered a pitcher of beer. My idealistic friend could really put it away. We left the piazza parlor for a party that was already in progress. People were dancing, drinking, and playing guitars. The young lady and I sat down and I picked up her hand and looked at it. She had one of the smoothest lifelines that I had ever seen. Her head and heart lines were also pretty weird looking. “When someone hurts you do you just forget it after a while or act like it didn’t happen?” I asked her. “How didja know?” I showed her, then left the room to look at the Eno River outside.
“No more sheiks in this desert, man.” The dark-skinned, bearded one laughed half-heartedly through a mouthful of smiling teeth. “Not one of them bastards left now. Toke?”