40 Days & 40 Nights


40 Days & 40 Nights

40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS by Christopher John and Robbie Thomson

I’m Chris. I have Morquio Syndrome. A long term, degenerative disease which causes reduced mobility, a constantly high level of pain, and a short life expectancy. I’m an advocate of the safe use and legalisation of entheogenic medicines.

A few years ago I made an accidental discovery. At a party I combined cannabis with psilocybin mushrooms. All conceivable safety disclaimers notwithstanding…. It was ace. A proper laugh. Moreover, I noticed lasting physical and mental effects that greatly outweighed any pharmaceutical medicine I had ever been prescribed. The only lasting side effects for me seem to be the eagerness to explore the concept of spirituality (i’m going with it), and an acceptance of my finite and ever-diminishing mortality. I am going to die. So are you. We’ll be reet. I’ve been exploring the potential of these medicines ever since.

Among other things, the pandemic brought 16 months of isolation. Inconvenient, certainly, but not even close to the real crises that people have endured lately. I express my solidarity with everybody who has had a shit time. The imposed solitude. The feeling of being alone. I realised I’d never felt it, and as such, always feared it.

My new found interest in religious philosophy, and medicinal regimen allowed me to look upon prominent religious parables without cynicism, and glean the allegorical nourishment that lied therein. I became enamoured with the notion that many religious protagonists galvanised a connection to the divine after a period of adversity, often in the form of isolation. Think the Temptation of Christ, Moses receiving the Commandments, Noah seeing a dove after a cataclysmic flood…

Inspired by a multitude of parables of this nature, I chose to undertake a period of complete isolation for 40 days and 40 nights. No phone. No laptop. No TV. No Internet. No Music. No outside contact. Equipped with a large pile of spiritually significant literature, and a larger supply of cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms, I heard the Campbellian call to adventure and I responded.

I recorded video journals throughout the process for posterity. This was at the request of friends. I was excited and grateful for these videos to inspire a piece by artist Robbie Thomson, a man with an impressively long list of artistic accomplishments, an appreciation for mysticism, and a profound understanding of the value of solitude.