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Monday, May 27, 2019

journey to self

My higher self ultimately comes from below, the subconscious. Well, I label it subconscious but I think it is always present, I just obfuscate it with the non-stop chatter going on in my head. Psychologically, it is part of the id though the id is just defined as basically our desires. The inference being desires as blind lust therefore it has no conception of decency or morals. There is no right or wrong; there just is and this teaches us that our reasoning, morals, and truth all come from a unity that has no need for these concepts. They are concepts from the world of separation and appearance. This unity is where love comes from. It is where desire comes from. It is where life comes from. It is the fount of all and the first principle from which my sense of self and the controlling voice developed. It is what we term instinctual and that produces the passions, the flowering of energy, and the dance of life. Newborns and animals are connected to this oceanic consciousness. The human baby will develop a sense of self and morals from parents, siblings, playmates, and eventually culture and by this process bury this original part of them. This primordial you will play any part you want it to play. It loves to play. It loves to love. Human adults move away from it and relegate it to the subconscious and subsequently it boils up every now and again because we have shut it away. We develop an ego, a sense of self, that mediates between these desires in order to fit into cultural and authority figure expectations of acceptable behaviour. At some point in our lives the cultural and authority figure becomes the approving and judgmental voice in our head, the superego. We construct religions around this voice, the one we perceive to be the most high. There are expectations of spiritual perfection, purity, and desirelessness. Desires are sins we are told. They are not natural. Things have purpose and reason and you are to make yourself better and better until you become perfected. We dig a deeper hole for the id and exalt the dragonesque tendencies of the superego who controls through shame, judgment, and rewards. We want to climb that spiritual mountain to please the father figure, superego, or at this point ‘god’.

The best piece of advice my feminine higher self gave to me was nothing is as it seems. At some point in your life you may go on a bit of a journey to rediscover this part of yourself and it seems to be an unstated part of all cultures that a great deal of people will get this drive or need to embark on a spiritual quest. In order to control this drive or nip it in the bud, there are institutions set up for the journey so this attempt at rediscovery of self doesn't get out of hand. Human beings are very resourceful and always evolving. Though we may get trapped in thought patterns and institutions, we do eventually break out of them. There is a rebellious streak within the species not just confined to the teenager. Given the freedom last century to break away from the grip of the church many did and then some forged new spiritual paths, some seduced by the exotic paths of the east or other seekers to magnanimous personalities or cult leaders. It's just this part of humans that make us easily led like sheep sometimes but there's always the black sheep that doesn't follow along and does their own thing.

I write about this common human journey because it is all personal to me. I'm that black sheep that rebels against popular culture, institutions, and accepted paths. For the most part, this skeptical and antagonistic attitude has served me well though at times I have sincerely wished I could just fit in so I could find more connection with others. I had an awakening of sorts when I hit 40 years of age and I am now in my early 50's so I have now been walking the path for a bit. I sidestepped the religious institutions and just went rogue on my own, sampling the spiritual supermarket. I found the eastern paths philosophically head and shoulders above anything the west was putting out however something still bugged me about them. I incorporated some of the lessons into my own path and worked to better myself and towards discarding desires so I could just dispassionately observe. All this was leading me up the spiritual mountain that would lead to the pinnacle of enlightenment where I was a perfected shining being with no desires or faults. I'd never get angry again and live in bliss. However, that obfuscated place where desire comes from is the same place love comes from. The gamble we take to make connections with others and share in the triumphs and disappointments of our fellow human beings and all the creatures we share this planet with doesn't emanate from dispassionate observation. It comes from getting your feet wet and your clothing dirty. From living, loving, and laughing.

Is the most unselfish part of me my sense of self? By that, I mean my ego in that it is mediating between the passions, desires, and instinctual drives of the id and the judgment and demands of the superego. The ego is just trying to hold it all together and there hasn't been a need to say hey look at me and all I have accomplished. When I look at it this way, I can't really fault people for having a big ego. You've earned it. Having an ego is the hardest thing in the universe.

I was born without an ego or a controlling superego. All I cared about was instantly fulfilling desires. I didn't know right from wrong, identity, culture, none of that shit. If I didn't get my way, I threw up a fuss. I was thinking earlier this week that the newborn is the true representative of who I am. The thought that led to this declaration was that it came first and then ego self and superego controller came afterwards. Reexamining this, I don't think this line of reasoning is necessarily true. There has to be a base that gives rise to self, just as there has to be an environment that gives rise to a body. There is a part of the thinking process that assigns authority and primacy to whatever comes first like it it has to be the truth because it made it to the finish line first. Is the flower not ‘real’ because it is just the result of a seed that grew into a plant body? The sense of self is the same. In our case, the energy sequentially develops into a human being, has desires and instinctual properties, and then develops a sense of self. So, I'm not a psychic disturbance but a natural occurrence of conscious energy that in its appearance cycle has come forth as a self. I have an ego and at this moment I am a self. Some will teach we don't have a self and there is only unity. Now I have a self. Humans are good at projection therefore I will predict at some point in my journey this cycle will take me back to unity but for now I am an ego.

Through this understanding comes a great responsibility. I was born a blank slate. It is a great gift and I get to do with it what I please. I know, I know, some things are out of our control or we are affected by circumstance but then again what good game doesn't have a roll of the dice, random chance, or a flip of a card that says advance to Boardwalk? Shit, there's a couple hotels on it! What I am getting at is character. The plant medicine teacher Huachuma taught me a few years back that we can change the character we play at anytime. We tend to play the same one over and over and those in our life have an expectation we will continue playing that character lest we, drum roll please, start acting out of character. Knowing this, what makes me want to be moral, to be good, be helpful and kind to others, to be of good character? Like I said, when I was born I was amoral. Everything is learnt and a choice. What is in me to not want to lie, cheat, and steal? Why have character? To a degree it is law and also shame and expectations of those in your life you don't want to disappoint. However, for the most part it is because I want to help and be kind to others. Being better to be fit for service. Reciprocity. There's a need for love and connection. When I have felt cosmic love for all by changing my consciousness, it was the greatest thing ever. I'm slowly trying to bring that into my daily life. There's a homeless person on my way to work. I gave him a box of granola bars this week because he's my brother; he's me, leading a different and challenging life. This act of giving and kindness was profoundly moving. I started crying and I noticed how wonderful it is to give. Such a simple act but oh so powerful. I want more of that in my life. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

playing on the grand stage of life

It's a friggin game. You know when many celebs and athletes give a shout out or glory to 'god', though I'm never sure who they are quite referring to, and they do it with conviction? And there's always one family member going on about this and they are evangelizing, which is just a nice religious word to describe the recruitment process, seducing you into a belief in someone else's belief. 

The spiritual experience is common to all at some point in your life and is probably amplified at high times of stress and challenge. Due to cultural indoctrination and institutions set up to deal with the phenomenon, it steers those that have this experience towards, in my culture at least, the church. Then you learn all about canon and dogma and what you are required to believe, which is not necessarily what you experienced. The experience of the transcendence is then transferred onto the lesser. Humans love power so we have found a way to take advantage of and extract from people wealth and obedience concerning the spiritual. In that is a lesson we must decode and learn from.

Anyway it used to rankle me for some reason, or I'd cringe when I would hear this talk. I caught some award show the other night where the performer was given a soapbox and then just prattled on about god, eliciting an 'oh gawd’ from me under my breath. I caught myself and examined my reaction. I realized that at its base the person had an undeniable connection to spirit and this is how they interpreted it so my reaction was uncalled for. They simply wanted to share their experience, and announce to the world their connection. I then realized maybe they made a connection with their higher self and their higher self made a promise to make things alright and give them the strength to succeed in life in exchange for a shout out. These experiences I know happen due to my mystical experiences of seeking and connecting to this ethereal higher self. The other thing is I know from my experience is that if you insist you have a higher self and a lower self then you are enabling the drama. It’s high art called the game of life on the master stage. Your higher self is played by the greatest thespian in the whole universe! If you want them to play god then by god they will play that part of god and they will do it so convincingly.

With this clarity I started laughing because it is a game now. The higher self(s) common to us all is now fucking with me saying "hey look at me, got another one and then they fell for the culture game. You didn't believe in my sublime acting abilities did you, when I crossed your path playing that struggling actor in Ayahuasca ceremony 10? You gave me a lame compliment. How about now?" Ok you got me, I give you props. There's no one else close to your talent. This is the pre eminent performance on the stage of stages. I bow down to your excellency.

My favourite line of thought lately is that god exists if you want him to exist. As long as there is a belief in god then he will continue to act the part. As a performer no one puts on a play in the theatre if there isn’t an audience and therefore a character to play. If you are a singer you can practice the art and craft but you don’t go all out, put on the costume, and do the total package performance without an audience. The audience makes or breaks you with instantaneous feedback on your performance. Well that’s what it's like to be god. To enable the actor to play this role and then be totally sucked in by it and see how long the performance can continue on before the run on Broadway comes to an end. Christianity had a pretty good run on the main stage, many believers and supporters, but it is winding down. It will still have enough appeal to go off Broadway though but the days of the grand performance as not only god but his son and a mysterious third is getting pretty fringy now. Human theatre underwent a transformation where instead of believing in the supernatural we pedestalize the man, especially with the success of science, and so the grand stage of some kind of confidence in the happenings of the universe has been ceded to the man with his chalkboard, equations, and holy white lab coat. They play a role that is the triumph of reason and logic which becomes pretty boring after a while we all admit, especially the equations which look like indecipherable ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. So within the drama is added a little spice, a little mystery, and dark matter and black holes give rise to flights of fancy and mystery within the spellbound audience. Pictures that represent the visible light spectrum are presented of a black hole object, that by definition eats light for breakfast so can't be photographed, and we take it all in! It’s such great theatre!

We all like acting. Take the activity known as cosplay. This is taking community theatre into your own hands and creating your own play. It is not relying on being cast into the part you want to play but just going for it and taking on the role. The things separating them from the Hollywood actors are that they do not have a televised awards show nor do they have a soapbox where they can use this platform to expound upon their personal philosophy. I mean they still can but their reach and influence is negligible so it doesn’t register but the fun to be had! You can be god if you want to; in fact you're a natural! It’s play and that's why we are here.  

Monday, May 13, 2019

balancing act

There is at times this ceaseless chatter in my head spinning all awareness. It's tainted by culture to a large degree. It analyses and speaks in English which kind of gives it away as a product of the language and customs of my local surroundings. It molds my behaviour, points out when I fit in, and warns when I am beyond the pale of expectations. It directs me to lash out at others in anger when it is not respected. Acting on desires will bring with it castigating shame and contempt from this entity as a form of control. Travel to an extent is quite liberating in this regard as being an outsider allows you to transgress their cultural norms and being free of your own expectations is therefore a boon to self. Then there is me who is kind of a puppet to the ceaseless chatter guy but kind of just acts on impulse. That’s the real me! I think. Then there's this part of me that is seemingly on auto pilot though acting like a servant. This guy keeps everything functioning without even asking or reminding him. Breathing, digesting, growing my hair, and so on. Who is this? Who created the universe and keeps it running? Who is the energy behind the stars? Same guy. I wonder if he is the one pushing desires into consciousness? I limit myself to my conscious awareness, and even then I’m split, and because of this I don't realize that the part of me replenishing my cellular structure is me as well. The energy system responsible for the maintenance of you and the universe is the same worker. It is all you. And by it I mean you are it. You do this. We focus on the stream of drivel running through our head as being who we are when it is just a part of it and one that shouldn’t be in the driver’s seat.

That’s the thing that is difficult to move past when I try to identify who I am. The problem is trying to identify who I am because it seems kind of impossible. The advice I usually give to myself is if there is no solution to a problem then by definition it isn’t a problem. It has become a problem because of the insistence on trying to solve it. There really is no I, however long I wish and insist on propagating that notion. At best I am a field of energy that is definable based on others, their feedback, my body shape, and this chatter in my head that tells me I am this guy. I don’t know why I have exalted the chatter in my head guy above the silent worker who keeps this all intact and running and left the guy affected by desire twisting in the wind. I guess if you aren’t loud and get noticed then you get taken for granted and largely dismissed.

Part of why I want to believe I have a higher and a lower self is I have met this higher self. I know it is me but I still can’t reconcile that my localized conscious awareness is not the only me. Damn it, I want exclusivity for what encompasses me in consensus reality and I want it to be the definition of me. So I come to the realization on this spiritual journey I have a higher self but that he stands above me so I separate the two. And then this higher self connects me with everyone else because they have the same one and if they access it then they too are in touch with this universal consciousness. They get tripped up by it as well. How can it be me if it is you?

I look at myself in consensus reality as the controlled looking to break free of the dominance and usurp the power of the controller in my head. In psychological terms it is the ego making a play to become the superego and hopefully breaking free of being the controlled and becoming the puppet master. The puller of the strings is aware of this gambit from the beginning and has tried to prevent me from getting too far in this journey. He scared me, threatened death, and tried to get me to turn back.  I proved my worth, I had the courage to continue, and I was given passage up the mountain. In fact he really helped me to get to the destination. I didn’t stay on top of the mountain and instead chose to come back down. We all seek to be the king of the castle. Our internal drive beckons us to purge the surroundings of our enemies and competitors once we triumph. For the man it is power and the love of women, specifically the feminine divine who is mother and lover, being the ultimate prize. At first she is mother but as we climb the mountain she becomes lover. The underpinnings of everything is desire and this attraction at the level of the sacred is off the charts. Just a hint of her power and the chase is on. In psychology this desire to overthrow the father and capture the mother becomes Sigmund Freud's 'Oedipus complex.’ Delving into ancient Egyptian mythology it was recognized in the form of kamutef ‘bull of his mother' and this motif is also found in ancient Greek mythology such as the overthrow and castration of the King of the Titans, Ouranos, by the son Cronos. In turn Cronus, now the father, waits to devour his children at birth while their mother Rhea goes behind his back and saves the youngest Zeus from this fate. Zeus goes on to defeat Cronus and the Titans and then Zeus becomes the most high and mythologically becomes an asshole. He eats his first wife, the titan Metis, so she wouldn’t give birth to their second child, a prophesied son, who would overthrow him. It’s all an elaborate metaphor of the struggle for mastery within the male psyche and the same outcome is continually the result. The son overthrows the father, gets the girl, and then becomes just like his father and locks her away again. He tries to consolidate and maintain his power. The union of the two powers, the King and the Queen, creates the next iteration of the lower self and he needs to go on the hero’s journey to rescue the princess from the father who has developed dragon like tendencies. And on it goes. How does this cycle break? I think an answer is found in Pre-Columbian shamanism. The process involves taking the two halves of man and mediating them to the centre position. They called this process 'tinkuy.’ Tinkuy is a Quechuan term denoting the joining together of complementary opposites through ritual mediation. It's all about bringing everything into the centre, the in between space, to find balance. This place was called the 'chaupi' and the central axis in this common territory was called the 'chhimi' which means the heart. Once balance is achieved, the complementary opposites are ready for the sacred marriage to the divine feminine who has undergone a similar trial by fire; a figurative burning of the dross. The perfect union ensues when everything is in balance.

Part of being balanced involves recognizing in our psyche this ego and superego that are in a power dynamic. The superego needs a lower self in order to know he is the controller. There’s no superego if he doesn’t have an ego to control. Or to put it in a different way: if you insist on dividing up your psyche then all these pieces must be present in order to create the psyche. They must exist. Well they must as long as you insist on labelling things. It is like the universe. The universe is one enormous energy system. It is us who divide it up and label patterns of contiguous energy as things and then we believe in the things we have given recognition to. For the most part it is arbitrary though there's logic to our categorization. Once we divide things up you can realize that the universe cannot exist without that thing; it is quite illuminating, especially if you ever wonder what happens when this human body gives out and perishes. Your energy is part of the total sum of the universe; in other words there is no universe without you. If there was no you then there would be no this. That’s pretty awesome. I realized because of this that everything is transactional. For instance I transfer energy from my body into a drum skin via a stick and I produce a noise which is another form of the energy. Knowing this, it is then understood there will be a release and transmutation of your energy when you physically die.

Another way to look at this energy process is realizing the ineffable sacredness of what is going on and the opportunity available to act unconditionally and be of service. Plants have mastered this universal precept. They take in their energy from the sun and nutrients from the soil and water without having to take life. Conversely we take energy from others in order to survive, whether it is through taking life and ingesting other plants and animals for energy or by burning wood in order to transfer it into saving heat. The underlying process behind all life is the transfer of energy that enables survival. When we take from others we can offer something in return instead of a constant greed and focus on self. Cultures that are in a symbiotic relationship with their environment realize this and have words in their language for it. In Andean culture it is called 'ayni’ in their Quechuan language, which means reciprocity. This is realizing the energy exchange involved and offering up something in return.

I think I deviated a bit from the original intent of the idea of this split within our localized minds. I was trying to point out the need of a lower ego self in order for the higher controller self to know he is in charge. So when my lower self, with all his warts, embarks on a journey to improve himself and become the model of what his superego wants him to be where does the puppet master eventually go? There's no room for two at the top. Is there a coup, an overthrow of the dominion of this energy field called me? I guess there has to be. So how does the superego self react to this journey? Well at the start I imagine it is made difficult. If you insist on continuing, you know polishing that armour and training for the battle, then various paths will present to you, baiting you to take one of them so you will sidestep the journey to the top. But what if you continue on in the journey to self? You overthrow the father, take what he has including the Queen, and you rule in his stead. But wait a minute. You are destined to repeat the same drama because you assumed the higher position. So there's a new lower self that forms and that needs refining. It's metaphorically the next shit that bubbles to the surface that is not your ideal of what your newly defined self is. It’s a new you with a whole new set of problems! Or perhaps the same desires that frustrated your previous self never went anywhere and will now harangue the new you. Another desire causing havoc to the better man. The cycle begins again and this lower self is going to overthrow the new king unless the incumbent can throw him off the task at hand. This never ends. There's always something that needs improvement. This is the eternal masculine problem. How do I maintain balance once I reach the top?

Oh my god. That's it. That's why I am here. To find out the answer why; why this continual cycle?

What's the answer to this continual problem? Wisdom tells me that an insoluble problem is not a problem at all. The problem is you trying to solve it. As long as you insist you have a separate superego and your ego needs improvement then you must play this game. I wrote about belief a couple weeks ago and I have been empowering this split within myself because I refused to accept responsibility that I am the total package and instead live a life of disintegration with an insistence upon myself being comprised of parts. Accept and recognize what it is that is me without feeling I need to do anything about it. It’s the same way we are fooled into thinking we are isolated from the universe as a whole. There's nothing you need to do. You are already it so instead of trying to improve your lower selfish self, become fit for service and be of service to others and help them. Focus your efforts on improvement of others. Lift them up so they can reciprocate and lift others up and on it goes. If you are at this point in your journey then you can see you don't need to improve yourself, you just need to recognize your own diversity and find balance. In that divine harmony you will acknowledge all that makes you you and and take from each the strengths that will counteract the weaknesses and bring balance into the equation which enables you to become fit for service. Then bring this balance into the world at large. Attaining higher consciousness doesn't mean climbing the mountain and becoming the most high as if you are trying to be the most enlightened in some spiritual contest. Higher consciousness involves Love and forgiveness for yourself and others. It is recognizing your strengths and your weaknesses and that you will never be infallible. Stop trying to make the two ends of a stick, the top and bottom, be the same point. It can't be done. Transform yourself from a stick into a circle. Wherever you are in the circle is perfectly balanced.  

Monday, May 6, 2019

machinations of mind, three for the road

Reason is founded upon non reason, chaos if you will. The natural state is meaningless; it just is. Assigning it context, ordering it, and making logical sense and reason out of existence is the result of thinking. So you see reason is measurement and therefore illusory. Non reason is the fount of everything.

As an exercise the next time you are out in nature or go for a walk in the woods, have a unencumbered look at your surroundings. In nature you will notice there’s no order to the plethora of old and new growth in the forest. It is resembling chaos for the most part. The river that runs through the path I walk is winding and twisting and turning on its way to destination unknown. Us humans love to organize and plant gardens. We plant them in nice rows. We bring order and reason to the natural state of chaos.

nature

My masculine ‘higher self’ can be said to be ultimately in charge of this vehicle I call self. He is the one who has the knowledge, experience, and expertise needed to drive this vehicle perfectly on the road of life. He gave the keys to me at physical birth. He takes care of most things needed to operate this vehicle but he gives me free will to drive it wherever I wish to take it. He has managed to be hands off and just lets me sometimes drive it out of control or make questionable decisions that cause negligent damage to the vehicle. It’s a joy ride on my journey of discovery.

How awesome is it that he made me the mouthpiece of this field of energy? He entrusted me to be the spokesperson. I can wax eloquently on about this and that all the while hiding a ulterior motive in my quest to get get get. In retrospect what a blunder! It's like giving the fox the keys to the henhouse. I mean I'm full of desires, wants, and questionable eating habits. I want power and control over my vicarious situation and I'm given the means to become an utter failure and miscreant by using this power for selfish gains. I think that's the brilliance behind it though. Through this power and responsibility I will fail and bring the edifice into disrepute. I will reenact the biblical story of the prodigal son (It's a great story, go read it - I'll wait). 

Switching gears now, when I go to sleep at night mental activity seems to cease because I can’t recall anything for a certain portion of the night. However at some point into the rest period eventually comes the dreaming. Think of this in terms of the eternal wave of energy that is at rest and then peaks and is everything in between. So you have peaceful sleep and then mental activity, in which a form of dreaming consciousness then starts to take place. You can mimic this with meditation where you can silence the mentation and turnings of the mind and reach peace. It is fleeting and then the thoughts start coming back. I’m sure you can see the parallels now. So why I bring this up is the curious case of our lives being a form of a dream and existence being a form of consciousness as opposed to concrete stuff. When we sleep and dream at night we are dreaming within our dream, because that is the energy cresting and falling, it is what energy does and it is recursive in this case. We only recognize the actual dream when we come out of sleep. While dreaming we don’t recognize that we are dreaming for the most part and those that do can eventually direct the course of the dream. Taking this as a template for what we call life, or reality, it is interesting if we view our lives as a dream or the mental activity of something ‘higher’ whatever that may be. The ‘higher self’ is dreaming and controls an avatar that functions in this world. The world is the mental construct of a collective consciousness in which everyone participates because we are all part of the energy that enables consciousness. Much like in a dream if you do realize this then you can perhaps start having some control over events in this waking dream. We used to call this magic. From this thinking you can postulate that not having control over your avatar might be the better ‘play’. We call this free will. Free will and magic at opposite ends of control.

Taking this a step further when I dream at night I am creating a universe, though my ‘lower self’ and its dreaming capacity is pretty primitive, so this universe is loosely modelled on the higher self’s dream and this universe is fleeting and not all that well thought out being as it is coming from a rookie dreamer. However the cool thing about my dream is that everything that is separate and plays out is ultimately the product of my mind as a unity. So take that realization and project it on to your own life, your origin, and realize the essential oneness of all.

At night I dream and I create worlds full of people, places, and things from the mundane to the spectacular. The commonality between all I have created in my dreams is that they were given the energy to exist through my mental processes. They are of a common origin. They are essentially one; that unity we seek in our own spiritual lives. Are we the product of a dreamer? And is the dreamer a product of another dreamer? Is this recursive?