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Monday, December 30, 2019

review

You don’t know what you got until it’s gone or something like that. You don’t appreciate what you have until you have to go without it. We take a lot of things for granted, chief among them health. I haven’t had as bad a flu as what I just recovered from in over a decade. Suffering through the body aches, chills, and fever for four plus days and then the aftermath of low energy and fatigue left me with the sentiment that yes health is everything. All that I like to do was put on hold for a week while I fought and then tried to recover from this malady. In such a short time I was able to witness a low level of depression sink in over the futility of my situation. The fifth night of the body aches and chills left me curled up in the fetal position wondering if I’d ever shake this thing. Getting past that hurdle galvanized me into going for a walk in the woods only to have to prop myself up against a tree to avoid collapsing from exhaustion. The lessons learned are plentiful and obvious, so obvious that it is crazy we don’t think about them until we are faced with the loss of what we take for granted. It’s like my body having a pre-emptive discussion with me, preparing for old age when I can’t take health for granted anymore, “Hey dumb ass! While you are in relatively good health and shape it’s time to take advantage of it and get to fulfilling all your intentions for this life while the going is still good.” I don’t want to get this flu again and I don’t wish it upon anyone else but there did come a pretty good lesson out of it.

Not being at full health really emphasizes the self in that it all starts from the fundamental wholeness of what we call self before we can heal others. The ‘others’ are an extension of self as we are all in this together. It really underscores the concept that in order to heal the world, first start with yourself.

Another calendar year is coming to a close and with it the decade. It’s a cultural marker, the significance of it is highly questionable and dubious, but anyways it provides an opportunity to look back and examine where you are in terms of where you once were in your life and see if that is a positive or a negative. The one thing for sure is we are all older and closer to the grave! I view that as a positive as I have found the more I age and slow down the easier it is to see through the world and into the game and thus have understanding. I am a knowledge junkie and with age comes rewards. The biggest takeaways from this past year have been intention, beliefs, dreams, and self-discipline. I learned that when you connect with the divine and obfuscated parts of self, set an intention, and are sincere about making a reciprocal offering then things will start happening for you. It may be part of a long game and you may have to reach back and gather in some much needed self-discipline but you’ll be walking that path and it’s going to happen for you. I also learned the role of beliefs in the fundamental way we see things and how it shapes our worldview. The truth is slippery and it is beliefs that ultimately create the world we live in and how we want it to be. Ultimately there is suffering in the world because we want there to be suffering. Our work driven society views life as hard and you have to work for your rewards and stresses if you are in an unfortunate situation that’s your fault. It’s clear we created the mess and we can collectively get us out of the quagmire if the will is present. Such responsibility is ours to use and steward wisely, instead of for personal gain at the expense of others. Reciprocity teaches many lessons, chief among them that not giving back causes the divide, the haves and the have nots, and all the strife in the world. It’s pretty simple this reciprocity challenge and as a whole we seem to have developed quite the ability to look the other way, maybe throw the downtrodden in society a bone once in a while but that’s it. I mean we who live comfortable lives work hard for it and damn it I’m going to enjoy the fruits of my toil. To change the world change yourself and envision how you want the world to be. If there is enough of a change in consciousness then we will reach a tipping point. Lastly this was a huge year for understanding dreams. I shed the notion that they are fanciful and nonsensical and saw them for what they are. I’m reflecting my psyche into a world of my own making, using this world to self reflect and to try and come to terms with all that. Because I tend to examine everything, this led down the rabbit hole to the realization that the world we are in now is the product of a dreamer and we are aspects of their psyche. Our world at its core is mental energy. There are a myriad of ways you can try to convince me this is not true and they will all have merit. That’s not how I see it though. To me it is crystal clear!

How about this past decade? Ten years ago I had returned from a trip to Egypt and I was ensconced in learning everything I could about that culture. I was about two years into my obsessive search for the origin of beliefs and I cast a wide net. It would be about another three years until I found traditional plant based shamanism and that opened the floodgates that defined the rest of the decade and gave me all the answers I was determined and had full intention to discover. I was resolute in my searching and this led me to shamanism almost as if the universe was saying okay you’re pretty sincere about this, here you go, walk this path and it will all be revealed. My foray into shamanism gave me the answer to my original question and that plunged me head long into the mystery of self and who I ultimately was. This blog space is a testament to that voyage and the discoveries made along the way. It is by no means over and this decade to come promises as much discovery as I have gained so far. Really big things are just around the corner. Bring it on! 

Monday, December 23, 2019

just believe

So much of our political discourse contains within it a need for conformity and belief in a set of values. For a lot of these ideals then is needed what is called virtue signalling so that people know you are on board with their beliefs. If you have been taking in any of the impeachment hearings going on in the States, it is quite the exercise to listen to both sides of the debate and their cheerleaders. The truth is undefined so instead it becomes a massive propaganda outreach on both sides of the aisle and an attempt to sway opinion through cherry picking sound bites and reporting only on events beneficial to your point of view and beliefs. It sums up what I have been feeling deep down for months now as to me anyway truth seems to be malleable and hard to hang your hat on, like sand slipping through your fingers. Our conception of the universe is the truth until we invariably gather more knowledge and find out more about its structure and function and then we have to revise our theories which then becomes our current truth. Truth is an exercise in consensus. Consensus is derived from the belief of others. Take for instance when we have to make a decision on something. We gather data that helps us make up our minds. Eventually we run out of time and have to make a decision based on the collected data. We could never get to a hundred percent buy in; we'd most likely be dead before that happens. So we move ahead with near certainty and then all the little errors in our thinking and decisions compound with interest and on it goes.

Remember that commercial where 4 out of 5 dentists recommend Trident sugarless gum because it didn't promote tooth decay? That became fact and sugarless gum was the way to go to be more healthy. What about the maligned fifth dentist? They were the real thinker here. They knew chewing sugarless gum wouldn't help, because a sugar addict will just get their fix somewhere else. They understood there had to be a fundamental change in diet in order to prevent tooth decay. But they were silenced, losing out to the majority interest who enforced their beliefs through consensus.

I have often wondered why smart people get sucked into religion. I was educated on this very topic by plant medicines. They have consistently shown me how your beliefs triumph over all. Not only that but the cultural beliefs you are indoctrinated in, whether you believe them or not, will have to be confronted as well and without a hardened counterbalance to these beliefs they will win you over. In Christianity you are saved by faith and not works. All you have to do to be saved is believe in Jesus. Somebody somewhere during that tumultuous time in the classical world knew what's up. By just believing, you give power and currency to the idea.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Psychically you will manifest these beliefs. You will experiences them in dreams, altered states of consciousness, and stress and they will be real. How can you not then believe, regardless of the absurdity?

I will submit myself as exhibit A. I have written previously about my encounters with icons of Christianity in altered states of consciousness; these psychic entities alive within my culture that penetrate and inculcate our individual psychic energy. The only way I moved past this trapping of culture is because I had a stronger belief in a goddess that couldn't be shaken and that allowed me to move past the trap door laid out on my path. If that had not been present there is a good chance I would have fallen for it as well and I’d be currently selling you on the merits of Jesus.

Picture a circle and call the circumference your beliefs. Within that circle is where you will find truth, with the truth always depending on what your fundamental beliefs are. For example, there are 24 hours in a day and at high noon is when the sun is the highest in the sky. This is palpably true. However you have been deceived by motion into thinking that there are cycles and days. Furthermore it is motion that fools you into thinking there are sunrises and sunsets. The sun is shining while hurtling through space. If the earth was hit by an asteroid that knocked us off course then our whole concept of time would change. Our worldview is fundamentally shaped, or may I say clouded, by our beliefs.

Think of the advertising industry that I play a part in. The trick is to get people to believe in or want something. I manipulate people into buying things they don't need through creating wants and desires, all the while appealing to vanity and ultimately ego. It’s a benign way of exploiting the psyche of the human being and it works! Companies and brands spend millions of dollars in order to get people to like and buy their products. The consumer has to think they need the product or want the product regardless of whether it works or will improve their lives. Obviously the best products actually do what they advertise but truth in advertising is a fungible thing. We do have standards but those are co-opted by money, lawyers, and fine print in a small font.

From this you can see the point about my original premise that we can use selective information to propagandize the electorate into believing only one side of the story. It is a story precisely because it is a belief. It’s the old axiom that there are two sides to every story and even though you might not like your opponent’s narrative it is valuable to listen to it. When discussing politics with friends and family invariably if you are not agreeable or a pushover there are arguments. While trying to make counter points I have been accosted with the accusatory “Have you been watching Fox News?“ line more than once in order to shut down any challenging point of view. Actually I try to watch a variety of news in order to shape my beliefs and hopefully develop some kind of understanding. I’m not naive enough to believe I know the truth but I’m smart enough to know when I’m being fed a line. There’s a reason in a courtroom a judge elicits stories from both sides of the aisle. They are trained in bullshit detection and when they see the bullshit coming out of the mouth of one of the litigants then it is game over for them.

I have spent a great deal of the second half of my life searching for answers. I have always been a contrarian, so I had a leg up on most when it came time to shed cultural baggage powered by cultural institutions. I went out looking for answers, thinking I could find them externally. When I discovered conscious altering plants they were an accelerator on the path of finding what it was I was seeking. The altering of consciousness will force you to look inwards and come to terms with all your beliefs and from this you will learn the truth is slippery and beliefs are what powers the universe. If you believe then it is your truth. Do you remember in the movie 'The Matrix’ Neo didn’t believe he was the one? He visited the oracle looking for answers and she said sorry kid but you are not it. It wasn’t until he believed in himself that he did indeed become the one. The truth was waiting on beliefs because without beliefs there can be no truth. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

mimicry and reflection

I think it was in the year 1987 when my girlfriend and I rented the movie Blue Velvet. Up until that time in my life I had been fed a pretty steady diet of Hollywood movies like Top Gun, Basic Instinct, Bad News Bears, and so on. In other words, nothing that made me think too hard. Blue Velvet abrogated my childhood and ushered me into adulthood as it was a very disturbing, yet highly compelling psycho-sexual thriller, that contained many layers that spoke to the hidden parts of ourself that mesh with the dark side of society and culture. It's interesting that the cities and culture we create mimic our psychological lives. Specifically this movie was pointing out the inner conflict and darkness within that we hide, along with the seedy parts of town that we consign to the fringe.

Anyways I have been thinking and writing a great deal lately about our psychological makeup and this movie returned to my radar due to some trivial reference. It's marvellous how sometimes events lineup and synchronize which lead to another train of thought or action. I re-watched it last week and was startled by how it portrayed the human condition and how our ego is tasked with burying the darkness within all of us and when it bubbles to the surface neurotically having to integrate these desires into acceptable society. The use of the closet by masterful director David Lynch to symbolize the perversities the protagonist Jeffrey hides away and then Lynch using the closet to allow Jeffrey to peek at the dark side of life are strokes of genius. When Jeffrey comes out of the closet in context with his dark side he assumes the the dark traits of the antagonist Frank, who is a sadistic bully with a myriad of sexual perversions. This reaches a boiling point when Frank discovers Jeffrey at the apartment of their shared interest Dorothy, and takes him on a joyride. The film coalesces at the point when Frank tells Jeffrey that “you're like me." The character of Jeffrey plays the role of a charming and mysterious young man who attracts the love interest of Sandy, who represents everything that is good and pure about small town life. It's Jeffrey's ego that has him playing this part but his dark side keeps drawing him towards the seedy part of the town and the mystery he wants to solve. Up until this point in his life, the expectations of the town and taking over his father's store had controlled his behaviour, much like the concept of the superego keeps us all in line through rewards and punishments. Jeffrey's desire to explore his own darkness though is too much and ultimately wins out.

The brilliance of the film was a catalyst to a reexamination of my own psyche, especially a doubt that was creeping in concerning my night I spent with Peyote. During that night I accessed a wisdom within that acted as a guide and a dispenser of no-nonsense advice concerning questions I had about my life. I started thinking well wasn't that just my higher self as the superego leading me towards the unattainable masculine quest of being perfect and righteous? It was a good question and one I needed to confront. Yes I do tend to over-examine things and I can't hide anything away or accept at face value. I question everything. It's a good way to be if you are a inveterate seeker of knowledge, though you will never find peace this way. Truth is like grasping a handful of sand and trying to hold onto it. Anyway I sat with this problem in quiet meditation out in the woods before reexamining the three Freudian concepts of id, ego, and superego. Explaining these quickly - the id is our base desires, the ego is the character we play identified as the self, and the superego is the controlling voice that praises and blames and keeps us from devolving into a pure pursuit of pleasure. At birth this voice becomes our parents until as teenagers we break free of this control, only to have the role taken up by culture at large that then praises and blames. I was out with my dog and realized psychologically animals are pretty much stuck at the id stage. By giving our pets a name we define their identity and enable a primitive ego in them and then as their master we assume the role of the superego in their lives, as we constantly praise and blame a dog in order to control it.

Okay so back to the question of Peyote and what was that voice? It troubled me that it could have been the superego just playing along that night. I thought about our conversation and realized my higher self was dispensing wisdom and advice but had no expectations or demands of me. This put me at ease but brought up more questions. The threefold nature of our psychological makeup is a pretty good structure. I mean splitting it into three is dubious but in examining our nature it is a solid construct. Now I was introducing another part of us - the higher self separate from the superego, into the equation. Somehow I realized that the higher self was reflecting back into our lives as an entity we call the superego who then mimicked the ideals of the higher self but turned it into demands and expectations of us, used to control us. I have known for a while that to grasp the mystery is to only look at reflection. The Great Goddess taught me that when I was seeking unity in this lifetime. I gazed into a piece of black obsidian and saw all of nature reflected back through this rock and then later realized I too was part of this unified mirror construct. This wisdom is easily applied to the psychological constructs I have been discussing. Ultimately the psyche that we break down into the three parts: id, ego, and superego are reflections of what we ultimately intuit as being our nature. These are the lower self, self, and higher self but are normally off-limits, as in it's hard for an eye to look at itself without a mirror, unless consciousness is altered and you can bypass the veneer of their reflections. This connects back to the idea of psychic entities I wrote about a few weeks ago that try to gain control of us and they are using mimicry to do this. So from this I was able to differentiate between the ego and the self wherein the ego is what we think of ourself and how others see us and the self, which is how we really feel. The same idea of reflection is present here where what is central to our makeup has a corollary. There is the ideal and then an imitation of it. I then got stuck on the id. This is our desires and wants and I thought well that is pretty cut and dry and was not sure how base desire and pleasure are reflected and then mimicked. I knew that if I meditated on this problem I'd get the answer.

The answer brought me to my knees out in the wilderness. The id is of course desire, pleasure, and the darkness we keep hidden in the closet. However this conception is doing the work of veiling the ultimate thing we keep in the closet. The voice in my head asked me if I know what that is? What is the one thing we all lock away in the depths and don't express as we should? I then knew the answer and started bawling in the midst of the forest. The lower self is not only desire and the pleasures we seek but most of all it is where feelings and love comes from. Love for ourself and for others. When I come home from work my dog, who epitomizes this concept and is free of the need to imprison its feelings, is exuberant and literarily jumping up and down over seeing me, so full of love with no hesitation or reservations in showing it. Imagine if you could live your life that way? That was the lesson and how we buried love and our feelings even deeper than desire and how we use the disparaging terms of dark side, shadow, and closets to further dig a hole where we can bury all this away and caution people against exploring the subconscious depths. The real thing we hide away in the dark are our feelings and abundant love and then use the subterfuge of pleasure, desire, and peculiar fetishes to avoid the whole construct at large and this in turn allows us to stop the discovery of the hidden subconscious realms before we get too far and hit the spigot. There are no goddesses in our religions because we buried her away in these subconscious depths and tell all to avoid going looking in the those dark places.

When I was at SpiritQuest in November of 2017, the last retreat I attended with the maestro don Howard, he talked to me on the walk back from visiting a local tribe about this very thing. My heart was wide open and I was feeling this powerful love for all. He told me it takes courage to bring this out into the world in everyday life and live your life this way. He cautioned me it's not easy. It's the warrior spirit that he was trying to instil in us all. Ultimately the fight is against what has conspired to cause you to bury your feelings and the power of love away. The hero's journey is going deep within and freeing love from the impenetrable castle you have built that locks her away. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

a candy-coloured clown they call the sandman

A dream is a wander in the mind or is it the mind that wanders, and fundamentally is that what reality is - a mental wander? Sometimes the sandman fucks with my waking consciousness and tailors the dream to expect the resolution of an event at the exact second the waking alarm is to go off. It's a reminder of who is in the driver's seat and to be cognizant of the messages coming up from the subconscious.

The dreaming mind is exploring through the dream all aspects of its psyche. The dark and the light. The good and the bad. The fucked up and the holy. Our world is the subconscious of something else trying to express itself through dreaming into existence what has been suppressed and what needs to be explored and brought to the light. The universe is the psyche of the dreamer, just like at night when we go to sleep we dream and create a universe, maybe not as spectacular as this one we share, but nonetheless we reflect our psyche and create the dream. This is quite the way to look at the world. Everyone I come across, meet, judge, and study is a representative in some way of the psyche of the all and my reaction to them is a reflection of how I view those traits. From the all I come forth as the quiet mystic and through this lens the psyche gains knowledge of who they are. Looking at all the needless suffering in the world, I know it comes from me. Same for the division and the hatred. It's an unique way to view the world and take responsibility for its condition. And then to be sorry, seek contrition, and try to make amends.

The cosmic dreamer first dealt with our primitive instincts. The sacred masculine energy appeared as the protector and was savage in his existence. He claimed dominance over his surroundings or perished. The sacred feminine aligned with the protector in order to birth her offspring. The psyche dealt with the base traits of self, the masculine and his bloodthirsty nature when not checked and the nurturing aspect of the feminine. Eventually Homo sapiens appeared in the dream, with the intelligence of the dreamer, and with their appearance the dreamer could then start to realize how they functioned under a myriad of circumstances and stresses in order to psychoanalyse the intelligent self. So the universe is the ongoing process of psychoanalysis of the dreamer. I go back to the pre-Columbian concept of tinkuy and the idea of cultivating the sacred feminine and masculine into first the best of all the feminine and masculine traits, refining them in fire as you would metals, the feminine into the intuitive loving mother and caring wife and the masculine into the protective warrior, using logic and reason, and then bringing the two back together as one thus completing the sacred alchemical process at the heart of this dream.

Dreams are the portal into the mystery. Through dreams we access what is fundamentally the substance and structure of the universe. This knowledge is obfuscated, purposely made trivial, and off-limits. The guardian at the gate allows you in, he has to because it is fundamental to your nature, but then tears it away before you catch on to the underlying message. We figured out a way in the waking dream to preserve snapshots in time before they disappear. We mastered the art of remembering. We record events using various media. We used to create myths and fairy tales to keep within the collective consciousness an understanding of our environment. The dreamer’s fatal flaw is the recall; the remembering of what just happened. Experiences within the dream vanish in an instance, sometimes recalled by a flash when an event triggers a remembrance.

Plant medicine ceremonies with Ayahuasca bring you to the door of the mystery and allows access to the dreaming consciousness while in a fully awake trance. Ayahuasca visions and dreams are of the same origin. What is hidden within the subconscious depths is dredged up to the surface in ceremony and we can then face, deal, laugh, forgive, and develop courage from confronting the issues and the fear.

It's impractical to live out your life within ceremony nor to function always in your waking dream. The plant medicine ceremony is the catalyst for then beginning the real work of integrating the lessons and decoding the mystery. Every night when I go to sleep is another opportunity to enter into the mystery and the same place Ayahuasca takes me. To penetrate the depths you need an ally that will get you there on a nightly basis. The catalyst for a deep dive into the dream state is the great teacher Mapacho, which is potent jungle tobacco. The befriending of Mapacho has two great benefits. It is a meditative aid which quiets the mind and induces a peace and calm. Entered into communion with before bedtime then opens the door to the dreaming world. Entering this universe on a regular basis for the inquisitive leads to many questions and discoveries. First of them is how am I able to create fantastic worlds through my mind? What is this power? And then finally a dawning realization that this cracks the code.

If you are god there has to be proof. It isn't just empty rhetoric. Dreams are your proof. You become the creator and the one, confirming what it is you realized but then were left perplexed and bothered with the question: if I am god then why do I not feel it or feel so small? You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

game play

Baseball is a game we have turned into big business. The outcome really doesn't matter however it does affect the well being of all the fanatics that are emotionally impacted by the result. The interesting observational thing about the game is we assign it meaning and then take it seriously. We love games and if we can make them matter and get a bunch of likeminded people invested in the outcome it becomes an adrenaline rush. Wins and championships and the trophy. We did it! We won the game! We are the greatest of all time! And then the world doesn't stop, the sun rises the next day, the next season starts and someone wants to take my trophy away. The hunter becomes the hunted. 

When players chase dollars instead of loyalty to team and its fans we cry they are only in it for the money and matter of factly state well baseball is just a business. Yeah that one repeats over and over and then a sportswriter gets to write a piece about the player taking the money, maximizing earnings, it’s just a business, and that becomes part of the nature of the game as well. The spellbound fan is the one who suffers. The one taken in by the game, ah the spell, gets to experience all the emotions. Investing in the game brings all the rewards and all the suffering. Oh the game! That's life. No really, that is similar to the game of life we play.

We create the game of life on the grand stage and then invest ourself in it. When you can see it clearly then you can also envision the delicious parallels to all games. We take the game of life and make it serious. What’s the way out of the game? Go off into the forest by yourself and avoid the trappings of culture and find out your truth? You are just playing the hermit game. We can’t avoid playing a game so might as well take control of your game and make it your own as much as possible, instead of letting others decide it for you. We are born into the world and then we follow along and immerse ourselves in the human game. Culture can be fun but it also causes suffering. We humans are pretty smart overall and if you play the game long enough you start to see through it. What do you do then? Try to find meaning? Tell others that it doesn't matter? They don't want to hear your philosophy because that doesn't pay the mortgage. Yeah sure it's a game. Try telling that to me when I'm living on the sidewalk eating no-name granola bars. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

are you me?

It was in December of 2017 at the time I turned 50 that a fundamental change occurred with respect to my journey with plant medicines and the wisdom I accessed. Up until that point the avatars of wisdom I would encounter in ceremony would be external actors or an external voice. At the end of November I spent a week at SpiritQuest going through the Huachuma mesadas which culminated in an ineffable Vilca experience that took me to this realm of love and light and instructed me on my nature and my destiny as one of these beings. Afterwards I headed into the Andes mountains in Ecuador and I participated in two more Huachuma ceremonies which were different than what is experienced at SpiritQuest in a group. These were solo experiences and I noticed for the first time the wisdom I accessed with the plant was no longer an external voice but felt like my own higher self. Since this was new to me I didn’t make any connection at the time, instead just chalked it up to another experience. When I returned to SpiritQuest in March of 2019 to participate in four Ayahuasca ceremonies it was a similar kind of vibe at times where I felt the wisdom was coming from my masculine higher self though definitely the feminine presence was still external and I was aware by now she was my sacred feminine half. The clues were all lined up but I still didn’t put them together, not until I went to Arizona for my overnight with Peyote in September. It was one of the questions I intended to ask Peyote. Are you me?


So a couple months later and how about those questions I had of Peyote? The night I spent with Peyote in the wilderness gave me the answer to one question and with that answer I had the knowledge to figure out the rest of my questions. I wanted to know the identity of the wisdom I access when taking a plant medicine substance. It was pretty clear that night the voice was me and when I had a vision of my feminine self as a black jaguar of the night coming up to me and laying her head on my chest it was also signifying that the fundamental unity of all is the embrace of the sacred feminine and masculine. In this world of separation, we are living in a situation that could be called the great cosmic divorce.

I also wanted to know if my path was leading towards fulfilling my intentions?
Without self-discipline it will be difficult.

Am I awake now in my dream?
Yes you are in a lucid dreaming stage now and you have realized you can alter your dream.

Are you the joker, laughing and playing along with our folly?
I am you and you are me and we are all together.

Did you make it difficult to crack the code so we/you could continue playing? And I have kinda figured out the religious puzzle/riddle haven't I?
Yes grasshopper, you are attentive student.

Have I taken up my power to heal? Is it psychological healing?
Yes cultural constructs can lead to confusion. Teach the beloved to look within to find what it is you seek. Culture has defined the beauty you see in others. Act of your own accord.

Remember the teacher in high school who took an interest in your future and pulled you aside to put you on the correct path? That's Peyote and the direct access to wisdom that is engendered within the experience. There's a tremendous respect for those actors in your life that are underappreciated. If I had to guess I would say don Howard learned his guiding style from Peyote.

Peyote bluntly lays it all out for you. There were no riddles or teachings that were going to take a while to unfold. I just needed to hear the answers because I already was shown and knew the answers but for some reason I was waiting for confirmation and to hear them again. I just have to believe in myself, as it is hard to fathom taking that final step. Here I am now, the path has bifurcated. Time to take the step.

There is a caveat to seeking out the visionary experience; in other words to become infatuated with the visions in a plant medicine ceremony. When you chase the visions you lose sight of the process and the main teaching that is central to all these experiences. The path of the seeker of knowledge leads to looking within and trusting yourself for guidance. A quiet night out in the wilderness, just you, Peyote, and the fire allows you to connect with what it was you have been seeking. They were waiting for you all along and will welcome you home with overflowing love and open arms. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

have a good sleep

We are obsessed with measuring the world and putting it to order. Thinking about why we do this - of course it is curiosity and our quest and thirst for knowledge. However it occurred to me that subconsciously we do this because deep down we know that it just doesn’t make any logical sense. I mean why? Why existence and why is it so mysterious? Why does there have to be anything? It's just peculiar that anything exists. How did the universe just suddenly appear out of nothing? Why when we peer into the fundamental nature of existence it gets fuzzy and sub-atomic particles break down into wavicles and fields powered by mysterious energy? Think about the whole what came first, the chicken or the egg, and how both answers just seem preposterous when you think about it. We want it to make sense. Do dreams make sense? The worlds we create when we dream they just appear and we don’t stop to think while dreaming how it all exists. We just mentally make it happen. Such is the fundamental principle of this universe. It just is and we busy ourselves trying to reverse engineer it but in the end all this speculation is just theory. The actors in my dream are all me. The actors in this dream are all from the great cosmic dreamer. A dreamer so skilled instead of being one avatar in the dream they are them all!

The dream creates the notion of self. Think about that. When you go to sleep at night and dream you are the creator and all the individuals in the dream come from you as the creator and the dreaming activity creates all these individuals who would consider themselves an autonomous self just like we do. Our ability to dream is quite primitive but imagine you had mad skills when it came to dreaming. You would create a world where these characters had free will and just like you they would periodically rest and also dream while resting.

So which came first the chicken or the egg? It's the dreaming mind that came first. The answer to the question is solved. The chickens then appeared, fully formed through mentation, and started doing their thing. It is one of those questions that we should clue into as being a mystery because the sheer logic of the question throws into disarray all we find logical. We spend countless hours and much energy to try and bring logic to the illogical. To try and figure out how it all works; to chart the progression from single cell amoeba to Homo sapiens.

When you dream you experience it first person just like life. Is life not but just a dream? Our dreaming activity during sleep is a clue as well as subterfuge. The clue is that reality can be constructed out of mentation. The subterfuge is that we can differentiate between what we think is reality and what is a dream but we can't do it while ensconced in the dream. While dreaming we are convinced it is reality however once awake we realize it was a dream. You know what else seems to be? It is that bodily death puts an end to our reality and puts an end to any local dreaming activity. Death occurs when our energy is depleted to the point where we no longer function. What then is energy and the source of the energy?

Each new child/creature born is the creation of another universe with the potential to create through mental activity. We are occluded from it as we share consciousness and a consensus reality with others. We can and do create our own universe as a shard of the all consciousness when we dream. When we access that part of us that does the dreaming then we start creating our own worlds. Can we enter into that world? Do I still need the bodily host to dream or can that be discarded and then it's limitless?

So why do we dream? Because all of this mentation of the dreaming mind is recursive. Every sentient being is paradoxically a representative of unity and when we dream we come forth as the mirror image; the whole filtered through a prism and split into many as a reflection of our psyche. Our world is the psyche of the one on the other side of the looking glass. From one perspective we are unity and from the opposite perspective we are separated into the many. When we dream we create worlds and these worlds of seemingly separate beings and objects all come from the one mind doing the dreaming, the single mind always reflecting plurality. The plurality revealing the interconnectedness of all. My experiences are fodder for creating my own world via dreaming as my psyche helps form and direct the drama.

Energy is the product of mental activity. We dream when we redirect our energy from waking consciousness to nocturnal slumber. Along the same line of thought, birth is the entering of more energy into our collective dream to keep it going. The more actors present performing then the dreamer stays asleep. The outpouring of energy is still strong. When there is death then the energy returns to the dreamer and they start to wake up. So what happens when we die? Do we wake up from the dream and return to the dreamer? Or is it when the great cosmic dreamer finally wakes that everything is reconciled? What happens if I ride this ship to the end, figure it all out, and 100% declare I know this is a dream. Does that put an end to the slumber? Like everything in life it seems cyclical. Our dreaming cycle occurs usually once in a twenty four hour period. There are short cycles and long cycles. The dreamer of our universe has been snoring away for quite a long time now. Estimates are over 13.8 billion years.

Am I a dreaming fool? I guess it is obvious now as playing is what I do. I'm on the precipice of realizing this is my dream and I entered into it and tried to hide this from myself. Of course it's me. I went too far and lifted the veil. I tried to scare myself away but it didn't work. Can I still influence it or has it gone too far off the tracks? I am aware I’m the dreamer. I’m aware I’m awake in my own dream. All of the universe and the objects I create are aspects of myself. I’m now awake within the dream; my reality has become a lucid dream. When you finally understand your influence over the dream, things start happening for you instead of to you. The psyche of the cosmic dreamer is the world we live in. The hatred and destruction we witness are aspects of the great self who dreams this world into existence. The love and kindness are aspects as well. We can make a choice on how we want the dream to play out.

Riddle me this: when you are dreaming you are for the most part unaware you are dreaming and buy into the drama. So when you die and you wake from the dream how would you know that you just haven't awakened into another dream? The one giveaway I can think of would be the eternal world would not have a time limit, feeling of transience, or expiration of any sort. However does that even exist or is everything cyclical and subject to periods of this dreaming activity?

Think of the whole idea of the multiverse and how many are asleep, dreaming away, and creating all these different worlds. There are infinite dreamers and an infinite amount of universes, all birthing the potentiality of more universes that would house the ability to create an infinite amount of universes. And on it goes. Have a good sleep. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

psychic entities

You can be a hardcore atheist however you are still subconsciously inculcated by culture and its beliefs. You can't escape it. Once you manifest your cultural beliefs what do you think becomes their prime directive? It is to prevent you from growing or investigating the nature of your beliefs as culture is the the number one cause of self-limiting beliefs. The biggest no no is to look within and declare you know who you are. Self-deification is frowned upon and could even get you non-voluntary committed to a scrubbed down institution.

I wonder how many that go through conscious altering experiences end up having to face this cultural hurdle? I know I did and personally I didn't believe in what the local spiritual outfit was trying to sell me. I spent most of my adult years an atheist eschewing the simplistic and to me childish belief in some all father. Eventually I became more open to accepting a higher power but knew whatever culture was throwing at me was bunk. However my first foray into altering my consciousness put me face to face with the cultural beliefs I had denied. If I didn't have a critical mind I could very easily see how it could galvanize a belief in the religious institution that is set up for you when you reach the crossroads. It was the third time I drank Ayahuasca and there I was in conversation with the biblical god. This nut job gave me his best pitch to join his team of galactic misogynists. I made no promises but at the end of the ceremony thought well that was strange and I was harangued constantly for days and still months afterwards. There was soon after the meeting this bizarre incident I haven't mentioned much. I was waiting in the city of Iquitos for an evening flight so I hung out by the boulevard which runs parallel to the Amazon River. I walked the length of it then back and sat down at this spot to rest. This guy came into my sights and approached me with a big smile. If I had to picture what Jesus would look like this was pretty spot on. So anyways he came up to me and said, "Where are you from?" I replied, "Toronto, Canada." He replied, "Nice to meet you Paul," and then left. Holy what the fuck? How did he know my name? Anyways I had written a bunch of poetry the year before and a throw away line in one of them was, "I saw Jesus at a rest stop.”


I had temporarily forgotten I wrote that line and then when I read it a few month later I was flabbergasted. When I returned to the Amazon two years later to drink Ayahuasca again, "God" was waiting for me trying to get me to sign up and when I refused I was threatened with death. It was a major turning point as I accepted my fate and said well then you will have to kill me.

As expected I have thought a lot about these strange experiences and it's my own private Idaho and not an indictment of religion and people's beliefs in general. However it was only recently that I connected it to the hurdle of cultural beliefs that have to be faced and then you have to make a decision. The pressure exerted is huge and thus manifested in my altered consciousness experience as a choice between life and death with the expectation that we will choose to live and accept the beliefs culture throws at us. No one ever said freeing your mind would be easy, especially when it was a lifelong project to enslave it.

I'm non denominational. Whatever you want to believe is cool. Be cognizant of that though. You can spend a lifetime looking for answers, as believing in someone else's beliefs is very self-limiting. If you do come full circle and look within then you may find the pearl. It is important to be respectful of everyone and where they are on their path. If not and you go around saying you have the truth then you become what you had finally broken free of as people can’t be talked out of their beliefs; it has to come from within. You have to realize that you were once at this point and you have to quell the expectation that they should have a belief in your beliefs. Taken to the extreme you resurrect the ghost of Constantine and use the weight of the state to preach your message and force others to convert to a religion at the point of a sword.

It's like there is this pre-incarnation agreement to make it difficult and to try and prevent the last step in waking up. So for me in ceremony I faced being threatened with death, that I wouldn't get home alive, told I would be driven mad and would commit suicide, and also being told to go home, drop seeking and plant medicines, and just live out my life. Stop investigating! I had the bug though and couldn't. I kept going despite all the pressures exerted to make me stop. Culture had become an entity that insisted I blend in at the risk of being excommunicated.

I have faced the stop investigating noise from within and also without from external actors. Within, as I said, ultimately threatened me with death. It was a test of courage and resolve. Also there is pressure from actors within all of society, those who are close to you, those that don’t understand your journey, those who are hypnotized by religion, and especially some who have taken psychedelics and fell for the enchantment hard. They are the most vocal now that the magic spell has worn off, they see they were duped, and it didn't heal them. In reality they just traded their old baggage for a new set of luggage and never grew from the experience. They ended up chasing the experience instead of integration and results. Oh the righteous and repentant former user of mind manifesting substances. Couldn't get them to work for you, or profit off of them like you thought. so you do the 180 and say you will help those who didn't get out of it what they were seeking. The cycle of the quick fix and false promises remains.

Psychic entities are part of the puzzle of human consciousness that is overlooked. The inculcation of beliefs into the mind not only have to be dealt with but the energy expended to create the beliefs form into a psychic entity that will have an eventual reckoning. It becomes the dragon guarding the pearl and in order to recover what is lost becomes a near impossible journey. The trek only becomes possible if you have heart, courage, and most of all resolve. If not you will stop or end up joining one of our cultural institutions set up that redirect your energies. Why we have done this to ourselves is a mystery. Perhaps it is because the seriousness of the game is lost if you see beyond the veil. The game needs to continue on, be serious, and have purpose or you wake from the dream. Waking from the dream pulls the curtain down and gives the show away. 

Monday, November 4, 2019

integrity

There are a million ways to run from your truth, from facing what it is you uncovered. There are many methods, diversions, and things we tell ourself to get away. When you embark on the plant medicine journey it is a major commitment and those with a vested interest in your well being recognize this and will offer ways of navigating not only the immediate experience but the challenges you will face after the ceremonial candle is blown out. Integration, you are forewarned, can take weeks and months. I think you are told this in order to get you to realize it is not a quick fix, that it will take work, and the work will not always engender overnight results. What you aren’t told however is that in reality it sticks with you going forward. It sometimes gnaws at you and presents your failings front and centre. It reminds you of promises you made to the medicine and how you have either not fulfilled those promises or have gotten a little lapse with them. There’s no reckoning, just an inner knowing to make good. The medicine does its part and selfish you took what you wanted and haven’t given back like you promised. You are within ceremony, and then post ceremony, faced with challenges. It is a progression and once you navigate through different stages of fears, blocks, and self-limiting beliefs you level up and then face more challenges. It is difficult and you want to run, maybe invent excuses, because hey the course has gotten hard and I’ll rationalize it by saying it isn’t working for me anymore so I am going to stop. You devise all these things in your head to stop, and most do stop, but I’m determined keep going and make good on my promises. If you stop you give it all away and there’s no guarantee it is going to come back. Why should you be trusted? Your word is all you have. It’s ultimately a lesson in and of integrity. There’s no cosmic police at the ready to hold you to it. Reciprocity is a voluntary act and thus the best kind of test. Continuing on and making good, embracing reciprocity, keeping your word, and living with integrity are presented to you and you are faced with the challenge. Like anything truly meaningful in life, you are not forced to reciprocate but you do it out of your own free will and volition because you want to. In a way it is like love. You can’t force someone to love you, nor can you try to love someone. It just happens as feelings are non negotiable. 

Don Howard talked quite a bit about love, reciprocity, your word, being impeccable, and integrity. At the time you figure he is giving you life lessons and stressing a way to go about life living your truth. It is sage advice and at the end of the day as humans it is a way of life that if practiced is something you can be proud of and I don't mean pride in a way where you lord it over others. Instead it is a feeling of I did my best, was honest, and tried to help others. Sure it strokes the ego a bit but every dog needs a pat on the head. You know what I finally realized though? There is another meaning to what the maestro was talking about. I fully admit it sometimes takes me a while to clue in; in this case almost five years. You see when entering into a relationship with plant medicines don Howard made damn sure you were clear why you were doing it, had you meditate on your intention, and make a reciprocal offering to the plants. There is clarity and meaning that grows out of the exercise however there's more to it. We go into ceremony and take. We receive healing from the plants and then for a lot of us that's it. But wait a minute, you made a promise to the plants. Are you going to fulfil that promise or are you going to run, basically as a thief and a coward, or just announce your lack of integrity because you are not going to keep your end of the bargain? Is it too difficult or did you never intend to try to fulfill your promise?

The primary force at work in plant medicine experiences is free will. You are entrusted to decide what you want to do with the power that is being presented to you by the plants. You asked for it and they delivered. You can reciprocate as promised, or you can take and ignore, or you can take take take and aggrandize yourself. We humans are good at that, especially when we find a game that we can rig and profit off of to our advantage. Maybe even become a celebrity shaman, do battle with other shamans trying to step on our turf, or just take advantage of others for your own personal benefit. Perhaps start investigating those sorcerer plants once the medicine ones sour on you. We all know there is an eventual reckoning; I mean eventually you have to come to terms with what you have done or live with that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach. The choice is yours.

Integrity means to keep your word and you made a promise and an exchange with the plants in return for their healing virtues and knowledge. They took you at your word. Are you going to fulfill your promise? Deep down you will live with your decision. Energetically you have integrity or you don't. What I am trying to say is why would the medicine plants continue to work with you if all you do is take? I think you see it clearly. To continue to walk the plant medicine path requires you to uphold your end of the mutual agreement. It's the honourable thing to do. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

becoming a child and coming forth as god

We are born as god coming forth once again. A dual sexed offspring of the divine feminine and masculine energies coming together, enacting creation in a sexual union. The spark of life within the womb is dual sexed, a divine wholeness, before it develops into a single sexed sentient being. The child is the god. The parents of the god are the divine feminine and masculine. When they come together they create the child. The child comes forth once again as the all, reappearing on the grand stage of life. Love and creation are deliciously intertwined. In the womb the physical body develops into a distinct biological sex, although maintaining gender neutrality. Culture succeeds in putting one over the child and then at puberty locks you into the physiological split; time to choose sides and make it stick. Our teenage years are spent developing our newfound identity and moving away from our parents towards independence. This leads to confusion in a great deal of adolescents who do not fit into societies expectations of behaviour for their sex and they become hopelessly lost. Not only have we then become a mess in regards to our feelings and what is expected of us but the ultimate truth of who we are is long lost and buried. For some at least this leads eventually to seeking answers. It's a long and winding road to throw off the shackles of culture to discover who you are. In essence you have to become a child again and give culture the middle finger.

Society has opened up quite a bit in my lifetime; it's really quite remarkable. What was once taboo, such as issues of gender identity, has mainstreamed. Change within society is achievable especially when the reigns of cultural conformity are loosened and a libertine spirit prevails. It has allowed us to question gender assignment and roles within our society and this predictably has the stuffy and older among us all aghast. Freedom of expression, like any freedom in general, liberates the repressed. What has always existed within we kept a lid on. When the lid blows, then it comes rushing forth. The amount of humans questioning gender assignments harken back to a prepubescent unity that was lost. It's quite fascinating. You know in the indigenous Americas they recognized more than the two sexes and it wasn't until the European conquest and churchification of the populace that this was buried. For some, navigating the life culture planned out for you allows you to look back upon it and develop a wisdom from experience. At the risk of realizing how misguided I am, these stages I classify into three distinct parts that I can identify within.

My own personal encapsulated masculine self scatters through the prism of life. I detect three distinct divides, as well as an external controlling force. The main part is who I consider my self. It’s Apollo, the logical and reasonable self that is my dominate sense of self. This is the spiritually maligned ego and my identity that is unique to me and I realize no one else will be quite the same. I chafe at any that try to copy my uniqueness as it is my psychological fingerprint. Then there is wise me who speaks when I quiet my mind and listen. At about middle age this part of me started to form or at least I started to finally listen. As the life force wanes, it takes away from certain areas of the body and concentrates the force on sustaining life. Our hair goes grey, senses dull, we tire more easily, it takes longer to heal maladies along with being more susceptible to sickness, and we slow down. There is an unintended consequence of that slowing down. We become more aware since we are not on the move as much and awareness leads to clarity and clarity to wisdom. In our younger years we are easily over stimulated, distracted, on the go, and focused on the self where we don't spend much time in contemplation or slow down to the point where we can see what is happening from a holistic point of view. The diminution of the life force in our declining years forces us into states where we have slowed down so we can focus and observe what is going on. At this point in your life you have reached a level of mastery over the tasks you perform daily at work or at home, so though you tire more easily you can finish your work in less time as you pretty much know how to accomplish it directly and efficiently. Access to wisdom comes from stopping the world and by world I mean culture. Then there's my desires; the me who wants to be a kid again and play with life and who chases pleasures. My dark side, because as an adult I put it away and hid it. Then I learnt they are all divine and to treat them all with respect. The sense of self is as divine as the unity whole we glorify in spiritual circles. The ego is much maligned and we wish to spiritually transcend this strong sense of self however the ego is as divine as any of the other constructs I can label. It's all me and the sum is connected to the all. Connected through the heart.

The fourth external part I have noticed is culture that controls my behaviour and makes me conform to its conventions. There exists a voice that influences the way I act, dress, and how I remain cognizant of my place in society relative to others. The voice speaks up when I waver from the ideal defined by society or if there is someone out to destroy my reputation. There’s no escaping the confrontation when you embark on a path that will sidestep its demands. It will manifest as an entity that will do whatever it can to get you to turn back or run into the arms of a cultural institution waiting for those just like you who tried to escape its grasp. Do not take this lightly. He is the puppet master, the superego who controls you at this conscious level. He has a bunch of tricks up his sleeve as he can play god as well but that god is a dragon and will eventually reveal himself as such. He wants glory, obedience, and worship. He loves power and riches. That’s how you tell the difference. He can take on other roles but they are all designed to enslave you and keep you under his control. If you try and get away from him he will react and threaten you with dire consequences. If you do free yourself from him he is still there and will become a new character. It’s just a part of you to accept and be mindful of. There is a need to inculcate within your life activities and patterns that allow you to not rely on this part of yourself.

In my case the veiled mystery beyond this prism gets back to the idea of a dual sexed god coming forth at birth. My feminine half I buried and to recover that knowledge and then to believe what I found was a trip and a half. I detected a faint crying out and went on a voyage of discovery. To Egypt and then to the Amazon jungle in order to find what it was I was seeking. Finding her solved a piece of the puzzle; figuring out who she was entailed another journey in itself. It’s a gradual process, as given this knowledge one can’t be expected to actually believe it without methodically experiencing each step on the path to awakening.

Becoming god once again is the act of harmonizing within the sacred feminine with the sacred masculine. This alchemical union creates the divine child. A battery analogy of the life force that powers us is an interesting analogy in that it deals with polarity. The combination of the feminine and masculine creates the power! Mom and Dad generate the vehicle that the spark of desire comes forth in. The effeminate Greek god Dionysos is this unfettered desire; appearances revealing the dual sexed aspect of creation. When the sacred feminine and sacred masculine come together their union creates the god and the god is Dionysos. Dionysos is the desire that causes all sacred coupling so as the eternal return he-she can manifest once again as a sentient being. Dionysos is forever coming and indestructible. Dionysos is the creator of the drama, the tragedy, and of the grand theatre. The renewer, the game player, the actor, and the joker. Dionysos loves to play at god. The total performance encapsulates within the human experience the joie de vivre of ecstasy and of ultimate tragedy. 

The big takeaway is that all parts of yourself are divine and need to be honoured in their own way. It correlates to my flower philosophy where it is the natural order of things, the course of the energy, the Tao, that is the pattern of life which is the energy coming forth and cresting before returning. We are born as the god come forth again, full of wonder, curiosity, and desires and connected still to that oceanic consciousness. Then we develop a separate sense of self and identity and we strive to make it shine as bright as possible. This is the pretty flower. So beautiful, giving off a heavenly scent. The energy peaks, and here we are! Then the energy starts to wane and return to source. As the self lets go we have an access to wisdom and our third stage of life comes forth. We can start to see through the game and remember where we came from and who we once were, if we throw off the shackles of culture and ingrained beliefs. In order to shine as the self we let go of omnipotence! In order to to reach the pinnacle of self we eschew the fact that we are already it! Crazy right?!?

Our path is to fulfill our destiny which will lead us to unity within and seeing this externally in all. We become god once again. What a game! We search for god and then read mystics of all ages telling us that what we seek is within. Then we dutifully ignore them. Eventually we see it and we recognize what we were searching for was in us all along. That final leap though is non sensical. So I recreate god? Isn’t god omnipotent and external? Nope, it’s within and through your actions you birth the god once again. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

joker

The theme in my life is now the joker as I have altered my consciousness enough to see through the pretence of culture, spirituality, and existence. The joker is the wild card in the deck of playing cards. The cards represent the currency in our life we accumulate and then use to get ahead in the game of life. The joker comes along and through chance and happenstance, upsets the applecart of expectations, making the drama of life unpredictable and worth playing. The joker is the jester with the funny hat with bells, never taking things seriously. The joker is the one who likes to dress up in costume and play different roles; who causes upset and laughs at culture. Who makes fun of those who hold power. Who dispenses with the need for morals and boundaries. The joker reminds us that all will pass. The one who just wants to play. It's the crazy and wild one Dionysos, god if you will. The outcast, the scapegoat, and the denied.


I had a meet up with a bunch of friends a little out of the way and took the commuter train to the city and then walked the remaining distance. On my way, I passed on by a Muslim cleric dressed in his religious robes. This was a Tuesday but it struck me that some religions still do make observance a way of life. In the Christian tradition I am familiar with, the priest dresses up on Sundays and the congregation gets all pious on Sunday morning and appointed holidays but that's it. All cultures have an outlet for spiritual practice as the call is a curious happenstance in Homo sapiens. Set up is a cultural institution that accumulates power based on others looking for answers that then profits off you, all the while requiring you to have a belief in someone else's beliefs. It stops you cold from pursuing it on your own. Going solo is always an understood no no. Even if you look towards the Eastern traditions, there is the admonishment that you need a guru. And you have to be obedient to the teacher and sweep up at the ashram for a decade before you make spiritual progress and they let you in on the secrets. I must admit the philosophy that arose out of the east is impressive and top notch. They invented enlightenment and by practicing their methods and understanding their philosophy you will grasp it and become enlightened as well. I think you then get this healthy glow or shine.

We as men chase our idea of either god or enlightenment. Righteous and pure, shining in the sky like the sun, a fully realized and enlightened being. We long to be like him; to enact a personal transfiguration and transcend the morass of humanity. A desire to one up the masses and climb the mountain to get to the top. We concoct religions and rites to lead us up the mountain to this ideal. We put on righteous robes and condemn the sinners. Spirituality the world over is white robes, a sense of morality, and an underlying asceticism with a dose of righteousness. The masculine half of the human race is peculiarly attracted to these qualities. I say this because of this particular trait I have noticed within us that seems to mostly affect the majority of men. This trait is a striving to be sinless and righteous. Since we all dabble in the opposite, there is this strange pressure exerted by society to rise above and strive to ascend that mountain and become perfected. All the world's great religions were originated by men, are dominated by men, and lead to the perfection of self. This right hand path is fundamentally a noble endeavour however it's missing the balance a little bit of the feminine left hand path of love and unity would bring.

Some forms of spiritual enchantment make you live a life of obedience to an idea and its god. It's a form of hypnosis as we are easily taken in and bewitched; a lot of the time it is due to fear of death and an inner knowing you are a sinner and needing to make amends for your wretchedness. Ultimately, we don't do it because we want to be good, instead it is the human need for a reward. If I'm good I will be rewarded in the afterlife! Scriptures are full of this carrot. It isn't enough to do something unconditionally, there always has to be a prize and an out-group of the damned. It was good drama at some point but this act has become tiresome. The last few centuries have seen its diminution and people breaking free of its grasp but really this stage needs to be burned to the ground.

The refuge of those who have either not come to terms with who they are, are ashamed of themselves, or want to live their life in a divided state thinking somehow they can be 100% pure and good is religion. You actually can’t ever reach the idealized state. Society in turn sets up this bullshit saying it’s wrong to seek pleasure, to embrace your kinks and passions, and declares you’re a sinner and a degenerate. Then you have to hide your behaviour and put on the act. You live your life in a state of denial, obfuscation, and operate in the dark. Psychologists know how damaging this is yet they say nothing; they just continue to see patients and enable the charade instead of telling people just embrace who you are and don’t think you can transcend yourself into some model of perfection. The joker loves to reveal the hypocrisy of the righteous knowing full well we all have our faults and the side of us we strive to keep hidden. Underlying this is the need to come clean; to embrace our faults, fully knowing that the only way through is to bring all into the light.

Fortunately in the cards no one has a monopoly on enlightenment, paths can be divergent and yet can all lead to the same place. You can do it on your own. It's simply an awakening to whom you really are, your immortality, and the nature of existence.

The stench of all of man's spiritual traditions permeates the paths I travel. I say man because he's the guilty party. Women tend towards earth centric celebrations of life. I have seen through the culture games and the desperate longings of the spiritual man to get to the top of the mountain and then try to pull you along as a follower. I looked within and found all I need. I have no need for any affirmation from an agency vested with omnipotence, spiritual truth, or authority. It's ultimately a con game and if you want to play it, then play it. I'm the joker now. I can laugh at it all.

My conception of god is of the divine actor who acts all the parts and gets lost in doing so. It’s all about play and because all are immortal and exist for eternity there is no need for morals, righteousness, or striving to be the best. That’s all cultural baggage; a byproduct of the grand stage we do our dance upon. I have ultimately learned to act with love, for yourself and for others, and the rest will take care of itself.

Do you want to beat the game? Practice unconditional love and remember to play. Now, I didn't say you have to be perfect but instead I chose my words carefully and said practice. You know, if life was a utopia it would eventually get pretty dull. A good game has an element of chance or a wild card. The joker in the deck of playing cards creates and extends the drama. In the end, it is all play. There's nothing to worry about. Play along.

The greatest role the joker plays is in the lives of those who seek spiritual enlightenment. You can get far up that mountain but eventually the joker will reappear and challenge you. Why are you doing this? What do you think you are going to get out of this other than glorifying yourself and personal satisfaction? You may have gotten up the mountain and received your white robe, maybe fooled yourself and others, but every part of you came along on this hike. Are you going to deny them like Peter did Jesus three times in the garden of Gethsemane? Are you going to declare your true self the higher spiritual calling you pursued and attained and relegate the other parts of you to non-status? You’ll be a fraud and you know it. Your impulses and desires aren’t going to leave you alone; they will keep haranguing you. 

You actually play it small when you take the shiny right hand path and glorify the self. Curiously, the fame and fortune fool you into thinking you are larger than life. The ego gets satisfaction but the joker has the last laugh. The dull left hand path of service, the one that required you to turn down the opportunities and overtures of the world, shows you each act of service lifts up the whole, and glorifies us all. It's the all in gambit, playing it large, like cosmically huge, but will never admit to it. Perceptually, we recognize the self and are naturally attracted to self-improvement. To find balance is to be of service to the all and elevate not only the self but everyone else along with it. Everybody gets to climb to the top of the mountain and then walk back down hand in hand. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

teacher plants and enchantment

The first thing I noticed about the master plant teachers is how hypnotic and enchanting the ceremony can be at times. This circumstance set off alarm bells in my head as I was pretty wary of being put under a spell and I thus fought it on and off for nine Ayahuasca ceremonies until I finally learned to let go. The first time I ever drank was a pretty special occasion and I noticed immediately how enchanting the plants can be. The mystery and allure of the ceremony was strong and after a few hours I kind of wanted off the ride for the night, as I had lost control, and I didn’t like that part of the experience. Overall it was so profound I knew I’d be back for more. The second time I drank was so strange and had a sinister feeling to it. The hypnotic trance confusion was off the charts and to this day six years later I can barely describe it and I have a hard time reforming the perception of it in my mind's eye. It frankly escapes capture by memory or words. The only thing that jars it back into my consciousness is if I drink Ayahuasca and I follow the darkness. The feeling returns and then I remember. This happened more than once and I would try and leave myself notes within the ceremony to not drink Ayahuasca again because of this darkness. I eventually moved past this block after finally heeding the advice of the maestro to not engage the mind, stay in the heart, and to just listen to the plants. I had to do it my way though and take a bunch of knocks to the head before heeding the knowledge and instruction given to me. It’s a wonder I stayed with it because any sane person would have tapped out and said enough of this. This isn’t fun. Something however kept me going. You know when I finally made it through to the other side of this darkness it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment and a great achievement in my life for which I am forever grateful. I mean the strength, courage, and perseverance I showed to get to that level was something I didn’t think I had in me.

Last month when I spent a night alone in the desert with the master plant teacher Peyote, I was able to revisit this darkness from a detached point of view, examine it, and let it go. It is a good example of what I experienced that night with Peyote as the teachings were very no nonsense and straight forward, showing me how I reacted to the situation, engaged my mind, and then spun the whole encounter. I was the one who assigned it the context of fear and wanted to run from my dark side. I had wanted to explore my dark side and when given that opportunity I ran, which then instigated some serious soul searching within and a journey to conquer my fears through cultivating strength and courage. In the immediate chaos of the experience I faced the decision to fight or flight. I chose flight, I ran, and then in retreat had a decision to make. Do I spend the rest of my life a coward or do I get up off the mat and face my inner demons?

I recently had an epiphany on the way to work. The second time I drank Ayahuasca, the dark and hypnotic ceremony, I also encountered this strange being. I went down into the visionary subterranean realms and came across this darkness. He was sleepy, sitting cross legged in a lotus position, had a thin moustache, and when he spoke it came spatially from my left and he said “Apollo, Apollo, Apollo” in a whispered tone. It freaked me the fuck out and I ran. It was the quintessential WTF moment! The feeling just prior to coming into contact with this being was a weaving of a magic spell designed to confuse so you couldn’t easily find your way back to this strange place. Above me was this spinning of what I think were the four symbols of a deck of cards in this green and off pink environment. It was a realm designed to stay hidden but I was allowed in for a peek, though afterwards I was pretty adamant I didn’t want to go back to that place where my darkness resided. Let’s put the lid back on it! Actually nothing sinister happened during this visit. The fear I conjured up all by myself as a reaction to coming face to face with what I called my dark side. The next ceremony another malevolent being I did come into contact with and I have always conflated it with the being that manifested in the second ceremony. I guess it is because my intention was to come into contact with my dark side and so I did in the second ceremony but my dark side is the obfuscated part of me that is a trickster, demands to play or makes you suffer outburst of uncontrollable passions and vices, and is the great actor. Referencing the four suits in a deck of cards I finally figured out this entity is the joker in the pack and basically the joker is the pot stirrer, the one who creates and moves the play along when things get too comfortable. We all try to build a life that eliminates the nasties, but this game doesn’t work in that way. I had no reason to be afraid of my dark side; I just chose to be. I brought it upon myself because I wanted to believe it was scary when thinking back now I did not need to react the way I did.

I think why the ceremonies are hypnotic is part of a lesson. You see the greatest spell upon us all is the culture spell and the only hope to break free of that spell is to demonstrate to you how enchantment works. So the plants enchant you, challenge you, and if you are strong you move past it. If you run from or bury this knowledge, then it owns you. Through this experience you then see how society has done the same and you see through the bullshit. You laugh and are incredulous at the things people fall for. It’s funny, if not tragic. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

mapacho lessons

Quiet the mind and make the connection. When you are silent it speaks. When I smoke mapacho in the forest it is a cheat code to connection with a wisdom beyond my ordinary consciousness. I recognize the awareness and shift in consciousness. I hear the wind whistling through the trees, the insects humming their tune, and see the sun glistening off of a falling leaf. At this point I know I have tapped into the wisdom frequency.

Earlier this week I came across a news story where the US Navy had released video of a fighter jet coming into contact with an unidentified flying object, locked onto it, and then saw it maneuver in a flash out of its sights and then back in. The pilot reported that it was nothing like he’d witnessed before and the shape of the object resembled the typical flying saucer that the layman has been reporting since the mid 20th century. It’s a pretty cool affirmation of something being out there. I wondered and pondered about this and got the answer out in the woods after I started listening. I have been speculating upon the nature of existence being a dream lately or to put it in a more exact term the mentation or energy of a mind that is creating the universe and we are all avatars of that one consciousness. So what we are witnessing here is a tipping point where enough of the many believe in the UFO and so it manifests through the collective mind as if it is in a dream world. The same paradox is true for all gods and goddesses throughout the ages. If you believe, they exist, and if enough of us believe then they are palpably real. So the exhortation is to just believe! It doesn't matter if it seems beyond logic or is preposterous, it is the collective mental energy we produce and channel that conjures and gives rise to the idea or deity. Mystics in the past came to understand this and some then originated and promulgated the monotheistic ideal which has been passed on down to us. Their beliefs and god would become paramount and eventually the sole god because all others have been stricken from belief and memory.

So you know this then leads me to believe it is possible to create a world of love and caring for all. If we all believe and carry love in our hearts for all it is possible it will happen instead of believing it is not possible. On to the work of showing people that love one at a time. The work involves opening up the heart, blossoming a love for others, and removing the blocks preventing love for yourself.

The transient nature of existence where nothing lasts is a major clue to the fundamental nature of the universe. All patterns of energy eventually disintegrate leaving but a memory before reforming into something else. This same pattern I visit every night when I dream. I create worlds, but they change and then upon waking they dissolve away into nothing, like magic. We create tangible objects to try and defeat the relentless onslaught of the time wave that spells the end of all. We try to forever capture the moment with photography. We revere gold and other precious metals and stones because they give off some idea of permeance. Ancient cultures built pyramids as a testament to the belief their civilization would last and defeat the ravages of time. In the end all will dissolve away, the energy reforming and repatterning, and creating something new.

The great pyramids in Egypt are however unfathomable. They are impossible. UFOs are also pointing towards the reality of our situation being but a dream and the connection between the pyramids on the Giza plateau, where the construction of them is impossible, and the UFO are pointing towards this mystery. I’m not saying aliens built the pyramids, instead I am clumsily trying to say that an ancient civilization built them through collective mental energy. When logic overruns our senses these mysteries appear. The UFO phenomenon is another manifestation of the illogical wreaking havoc upon reason. It is dreaming the world into existence.

I'm curious: the people in my dreams who have lives what happens when I wake from my dream? Do they still go on? What happens to them? Are dreams just frivolous and nonsensical? Just because I suck at dreaming doesn’t mean I should necessarily dismiss the process. I suck at playing the guitar but I know there are other who are maestros at playing. There is no need to reach that elite level of playing the guitar or dreaming but I do have the passion within to level up and find out. Desire fuels all.

Do memories get wiped at death or birth? We chase novelty, always looking for a new and cheap thrill. If we know and are cognizant of everything that has ever taken place, then when we return and tap into the universal fount novelty is the unfortunate casualty. Death is a liberator. It frees us from the connection to the body, its identification, and all that we have experienced and attached to ourselves. When we let that go we can become as a child again and experience all as new. What a gift! When constructing this playground of life that must have been one of the primary considerations. A need to let go of the past so life doesn't become a bore. We fear death but it is the most sacred of all and allows us to once again take in the grandeur of creation over and over again. When it becomes commonplace and we start to figure it all out, death catches up to us and begins the process of renewal. Thinking about this construct further I imagine it is birth that wipes all knowledge and experience. Upon death it would seem all is revealed and we return to unity. It is the impetus, or riding the energetic wave, that sends us towards self again and the self rises from a situation of being a blank slate, ready to create another god. To shine once again in self absorbed glory before once again blowing out its game and returning to the all.

Some of man's religions and philosophical speculations have devised a way to get off the hamster wheel. They saw through the game and realized we keep coming into and out of existence, as the universe is a constant game of transformation. What enabled this constant coming and going is attachment and desire so they preached to cut out desire and do not get attached to anything. They didn't realize however that they were desiring not to desire. It didn’t stop there. The goal became then to silence all thoughts in meditation. Cultivated was a mass of stone buddhas, dead on arrival. You can't escape. Desire is what brings us back. The attraction to novelty and shiny things gets us every time. That right hand path to self is like a carnival, full of wonders and curiosities, and a chance to win at the game of life once more. Come on, take another spin on the wheel of incarnation. Incarnation is such a great word - carne - enter into that meat body once again! We come into the next incarnation full of excitement for the journey. Then it becomes difficult and the suffering makes us desperately look for a way out. Then we return to our origin and boredom creeps in and the sense of adventure promises us this time it will be different. So we ride the roller coaster of appearances again.

We take life very seriously. If we didn't then the game would become a joke. However I think it is a joke and if you want to beat the game you have to become the joker and see through the pretences of man and life. Ultimately if liberated you'd throw it all away and live on the periphery of civilization. What am I striving for? An expensive car and a bigger house so I can let my family, friends, and neighbours know that I am successful and am one up on them? To spend my free time shopping for the latest style in high end light fixtures? To beat the game, if that's what you want, treat it like a game and play it to the best of your ability or laugh at its absurdity. You sir or madam are creating the hamster wheel. You are creating the suffering. Let me say that again - you are creating the suffering. Cultivate and surround yourself in love and dream into existence a world transformed by love. That's how to beat the game and rescue the princess or wake the prince.