Monday, July 29, 2019

knowledge junkie

There's always more and however deep you dig thinking you are on the cusp of figuring it all out, in the end you are just telling yourself a story. I'm an unrepentant and hopeless seeker of knowledge and ultimate truth. I stand, well actually comfortably sitting, before you now and fully admit I will go on seeking. I know to some it is an exercise in frustration however I haven't found that to be so and I enjoy the discoveries and sure it is just another layer off the proverbial onion but to me the aha moments and epiphanies give me the impetus to continue on. It's like being an adrenaline junkie of sorts, perhaps jumping out of planes, however my drug of choice is knowledge. While seeking I have been reminded many times to play and have been given explicit lessons that this knowledge I seek does not matter. Love is all that matters. In a way that is what keeps me going. I have the answer. I do not need to seek anymore. I really love seeking though, so on I go.

Dreams play into this seeking. I dig down and discover all is vibration and then dreams keep suggesting to me not only is all vibration but the vibration is mental in origin. When I dream I create worlds, heck universes with their physics all within the turnings of my mind. On a cosmic scale I'm not very good at it and only do this for a few hours a night. Imagine the mind at large, an accomplished dreamer of the first order, who takes naps that last for billions and billions of years? I'll never get to test out my hypothesis in this lifetime so theory this one will remain. Does that become frustrating? No, not really because I then approach it a different way. What if I ensconced myself in my own dream? Like entered into my own game or better yet instead of limiting me to the arcade version where you can play just one of the characters how about you make yourself into many avatars? Now we are getting somewhere. Then I tire of the joystick, of having to control trillions of entities, so I give them all free will and choice. Then there's this crazy planet called earth where the prisoners, or I mean the inhabitants, have free will and choice which plays out in many different outcomes and I learn about myself.

In this scenario the mind at large, the dreamer, the source of mentation, is an unrepentant seeker of knowledge of self as well. I'm in good company!

While seeking it’s a long and winding road to find unity as you traverse the hallway of self to find no self, which leads you to a fundamental unity. It’s quite a momentous discovery to find the essential inseparability of all and to realize that you are not only a part of the all but to realize the all is from where you came. There is a tendency at this point to disparage the self; to declare it an illusion. To insist that you are fundamentally inseparable from the all so how can you lay claim to the existence of self? In a way it feels like you are one up on everyone else because you realize they are just phantoms but they just can’t see it. Hopefully one day they will see it like you do so you’ll have someone that you talk with about your new found awareness.

Alas the dissolution of ego was just another trip of the ego. The denial of self was another way to rise up above the deluded masses. Oh the games we play, always trying to be the one on top. It adds impetus to any banality found within our game.

If you ever find yourself bored with life then drop everything and go on a spiritual trip. I promise you it is the most fascinating and seemingly never ending journey you will embark upon. You can always declare at some point you have found the truth and disembark from the ship of discovery however please let it be known that ship goes on forever and ever and you’ll never get to the destination. A declaration of enlightenment is really just admitting you are tired of seeking and searching. Time to lay down some roots and let this be.

Okay I’ll come out and say it. Unity is a crock. I went too far and didn’t get off the ship at my intended stop. I found out all that mattered was love and I found unity. That was supposed to be it and then I could teach that to others but I never disembarked and I kept on searching. I should have become aware I’d do this; I mean when I went searching for the ego and found that sucker I tried to strangle it and be done with it. It just came back and then I realized that as long as I viewed myself as separate then I would be separate and from that there was no escape. I then realized I was the flower that was blooming from the fount of energy that everyone comes from and while I was this flower I could look at it from a holistic point of view, see that it is all one process, and integrate all the parts of me I separate, including the ego, and put them all back together and find out that I am the all. Pretty heady stuff and boy I have come a long way.

When I say unity is a crock I mean I am still trying to define something that is fundamentally undefinable. I will blame the conventions of language for this, specifically the need for nouns. I need an object to stand on and I need something solid to base my ideas on. In this case I chose unity. That has to be it and where everything comes from. Unity is the thing man! I wrote a few blog posts back that my dismissal of the self was incorrect because it is the expected outcome of the process. The energy cycles between unity and self, never stopping, so that you cannot actually pinpoint any actual chunk of time as being complete unity or the actual self. It is always on the move. The pinnacle of self is the same as the blooming of the flower but that moment is not forever frozen in time no matter how much simpler that would make this whole process of discovery become. From this I realized there is no use trying to pin down the truth of the flower. Is it the seed? Roots? I was assigning truth to the fount. Unity is my ultimate fount.

Yeah I’m surprised it took a couple weeks as well after this to see the error of my ways. Unity was everything and the truth because at some point I had decided it was the fount from which everything came from. Uh oh, I just talked myself out of that and I’m left hanging again. I objectified unity and I know that’s a bullshit move. The energy, whatever that is, is oscillating from unity to self continuously. Unity is the same as my attempt to define self. Now I’m stuck on energy as my fount, my object. Well I guess at this moment in my odyssey I can say my noun is a verb and maybe leave it at that. My dreaming activity and intuition tells me the vibration is from the mind much like the dreamer that creates worlds through mentation. Okay so who is the dreamer? It’s the self returned to unity. We re-enact this every night when we sleep which is the little death; death being a return to unity. Unity doesn’t last though because well nothing sits still. If this is true, once again who is the dreamer?

Heavy sigh. The ship sails on and I’m its open ended passenger.

Wait, wait, wait… The dreamer is the self but at the opposite side of individual self. The all dreaming as one big unity self, mind at large, the great he she, and the vibration creating the universe. The dreaming of unity creates the vibrations that causes all these selves. What if the mind at large wakes up or stops playing? I guess I’ll have to explore this now for a while. Onward Ho! 

Monday, July 22, 2019

free will and magic

What is magic? At its most basic definition it is the ability to control through supernatural means. Often the means are accomplished through the mind by putting to use spells, enrapturing someone through language, bewitching them with certain intoxicants, or getting someone to buy into a belief from which you can then control their behaviour somewhat. It takes two to tango though and the seduction usually isn’t a one way street. A love spell can’t work without a spark. Shamans can’t have a supernatural battle if one isn’t playing along. Break this down further and the use of magic is to control and this leads back to power and our desire to obtain it. As a species we have concentrated power down into money and we use that as a means of control. There are people who will do anything for money. It used to be gold but that became a hoarded commodity so we invented currency which can be easily manipulated and inflated by fiat in order to keep people lusting after it but never having enough. Having free will on the other hand is freedom from coercion so you can operate on your own accord, if that is really at all possible. It isn’t, there is a definite culture spell which has influence and will speak up through that voice in the head when you try to break free of it, but at least there is a degree of freedom that allows you the opportunity to create your own karma.

Much like money, magic can be used to help or for selfish things. With life experience we recognize the best way to deal with power is to be of service; to help others unconditionally and not use it to aggrandize the self. I said we recognize that but left with choice it is a different story, as history is witness to. If you drink enough plant medicines at some point this becomes clear and you will have to make a choice if you wish to continue down that road. There’s a fork in the road and the how to use the magic available is presented to you by the plants in a way you use your free will to decide your course of action. How ingenious is that? I went into drinking Ayahuasca thinking about I and came out of it thinking about We. Now on to moving mountains.

Religion is a magic spell and through ritual and group think the spell is maintained. When you look externally for answers you will find religion. You go looking for it and you enable the spell. It’s waiting for you but you are ultimately responsible for the choices you make. It all comes back to finding answers within but you have to go on the journey and look everywhere for the answer. Maybe then you can let go of the external, even if it means culture will malign you or go as far to damn you to hell.

Another form of magic is very subtle where others try to trap you into their story. You end up existing just to further someone else’s narrative. Try exiting out of this play and then you use your power of narrative to create your new and better world. You can always move and start over. Treat it as a near death experience however the death is the character and not the body; a video game where you have more lives. The succeeding life gathers up the narrative from the preceding life and carries on with it reshaping it into the drama you wish to follow. In someone else's narrative you are now pretty much dead. Things start happening for you and you will feel events and the world does revolve around you. You will rise again, play a new a character influenced by the play and the stage where it is set. It is important to always remember you are the divine actor and can adapt and play any part. The empty stage is the fount of everything with all its possibilities. It is inviting you to join in the drama. Raise the curtain and perform your act.

Control is so overrated anyways and is the path to boredom. The fun part of the rollercoaster is the descent. The best part of sky diving is the free falling. We all are climbing that mountain trying to realize that unattainable ideal of ourself; the enlightenment that is just out of our grasp. Enlightenment is just so full of expectations. We wish to become self actualized with some kind of knowing and confidence in who we are and our destiny. When you free yourself from this then the liberty is realized as free falling. Freedom baby! Just make some plans so that you don’t do a full stop at the bottom will ya? 

Monday, July 15, 2019

unconditional love

Looking for unconditional love leads to the family unit. Within this structure the main purpose seems to be support for each other and this caring comes unconditionally. Colloquially we hear phrases like blood is thicker than water and the meaning behind this axiom is family ties and how they are unbreakable. I know you can cite to me many ways that this is untrue or that sometimes family bonds have conditions or expectations of behaviour but I have found for the most part this saying is true and families tend to stand by one another unconditionally regardless of the situation.

The use of psychedelics, especially the plant based medicines such as Ayahuasca and Huachuma, have within them properties that can facilitate a change in one's thinking patterns and a profound ability to demonstrate that love is all you need and is the most sacred of the sacred. After an experience such as this, one needs to integrate what you have been shown and have learned and without some kind of support that is a major challenge. In my experience at least, I have found that it is a continuing education class so that there isn’t an expectation from the spirits of the plants that within a few ceremonies you will become a transcended and enlightened being who exudes love and is all wise and all knowing. Instead it is just the beginning and you go back out into the world and try out your new found awareness. You fail miserably at it and then you recognize even more how you are failing. I developed a profound sadness and frustration over repeated failure. Within these experiences you are actually learning and on the way to passing the course because you are aware now of your own need for love and how you can help foster that in the world. All this grows day by day and of course some days are way better than others!

Eventually I think you see within all this capacity to love and you realize the essential unity of, well, the whole universe. When we separate the universe into bits we establish boundaries and this illusory duality we construct is made up of conditions. To act unconditionally within the duality we create is full of frustration. The plants can help give you an understanding of being all in this together along with the sense that we all are one family and this realization leads to unconditional love for all. You may have a brother who is a drunk and a jackass who lies and steals but you still invite him over for the holidays because you love him. There is an eternal kind of forgiveness at work here that leads to unconditional love. This doesn’t mean condoning or accepting questionable actions that hurt others or even self but instead forgiving and expressing love so that others will become aware of love. Being touched by love is a powerful experience and has the capacity to change the world. Places like SpiritQuest ultimately are in the service of cultivating this love, planting the seed within, and then giving you the tools to water and feed the love within so it grows and expresses itself as a most beautiful flower. People smell the fragrance of love you are expressing and want to do the same. This can’t be repeated enough. 

The psychedelic experience is available to all if you desire it however the profundity of the message will be lost if not guided or grounded by underlying compassion and integrity. You see, us humans have the exceptional ability to monetize just about everything and when this becomes the primary reason for doing something then energetically that rubs off and enters into the equation. I’m going to relate a personal story here now. When you are given messages from plant teachers they don’t usually come clean or to put it another way the language they use can be symbolic and then part of the homework is trying to figure out what is meant. This meaning cannot be obtained without being brutally honest with yourself as there is no hiding from the plants; they are pretty aware of how much of a screw up you are. Anyways in the summer of 2016 I was at SpiritQuest and in the final Huachuma ceremony we conclude the retreat by inhaling Vilca which in certain circumstances has the uncanny ability to pretty much make it seem like you are dying and then you break through the veil to the ‘other side.’ Well on the other side I was floating up through the three shamanic worlds of my birth, my place now, and then post mortem. Eventually I was shown I had the capacity to heal and I could facilitate this through the use of Mapacho, which is potent jungle tobacco. I came to understand that the symbolism behind this message also involved something along the lines of the Amazon jungle definitely doesn’t need another shaman. A survey of the situation and a gathering up of anecdotal evidence reveals that the modern practice of shamanism as we westerns know it, is essentially commercial. Of course no operation can survive without an influx of capital, that’s just basic economics, and the staff that makes things comfortable for you are not indentured servants so their time must be accounted for hence no good retreat is going to be an exercise in unadulterated altruism. What I’m getting at is the mission of the retreat has to be first and foremost service and compassion dedicated to the healing of all and this great planet we inhabit. Human beings are transparent and this is a vibe that is easily detected. I kind of get the message now. The Amazon jungle doesn’t need another shaman because that is now just another word for businessman. The world needs healers; practitioners whose medicine is love. A healer by being of service to love, whatever form that may take. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

breaking news

All is vibration she told me six years ago. I didn't understand. I had been searching for answers and I came across the Goddess in my study of ancient Egypt and thus I soon longed to connect with her, to which she did not disappoint. She led me by the hand into the Amazon rainforest for an ethereal meet and greet. My first encounter with her after drinking that initial cup of Ayahuasca was incredible. I didn’t think something like this was possible in the world I was brought up in but here I was in the presence of this eternal beauty who radiated love and forgiveness while hinting at the discovery of a sublime mystery. She instructed me on life and my path with her deep wisdom and left me in a state of awe and wonder for this whole evening I journeyed with her. As she left me for the night, my right index figure started tapping on the floor of the ceremonial maloca in a rhythmic and frenzied manner. As her presence faded, she kept repeating to me “all is vibration.” When I returned home I wrote a poem about this encounter.

I was honest with myself in that I really didn’t understand but she knew I was a tireless seeker of knowledge and on my path I’d unlock all these secrets.

Vibrations are waves of energy. All waves have a crest and a trough. There does not exist a wave that is only crest and no trough and vice versa. Think of your human life. It's a wave that takes seventy plus years or so to complete the cycle. You as an energetic wave come forth and then back to latency. Where do you think you are going? You are eternal; there is nothing to worry about. You don't need salvation nor do you need to believe the logicians who tell you this is it and you face eternal darkness. All trough and no more crest? I don't think so.

I have come across a few people in my life recently who has made such a profound impact on me. After the Goddess showed me all is about Love this unassuming man I met in the Amazon jungle, don Howard, opened up my heart and showed me how to live with that love in my heart for self and all others. On my road to knowledge I also came across another giant of a man, someone who called himself "a philosophical entertainer.” I would expect nothing more than Alan Watts to be supremely self effacing and not make any claims of being a guru or an enlightened being; all this in the spirit of the Zen that he loved and taught. He was much much more than that and could wax eloquently upon any subject presented to him. He had an other worldly ability to bring understanding to just about everything. So in this spirit of vibration I want to just highlight below how he explained that all is vibration:

So if I may start by insulting your intelligence with what is called the most elementary lesson: the thing that we should have learned before we learned one, two, three and A, B, C, but somehow was overlooked. Now, this lesson is quite simply this: that any experience that we have through our senses—whether of sound, or of light, or of touch—is a vibration. And a vibration has two aspects: one called on, and the other called off. Vibrations seem to be propagated in waves, and every wave system has crests and it has troughs. And so life is a system of now you see it, now you don’t. And these two aspects always go together. For example, sound is not pure sound, it is a rapid alternation of sound and silence. And that’s simply the way things are. Only you must remember that the crest and the trough of a wave are inseparable. Nobody ever saw crests without troughs or troughs without crests, just as you don’t encounter in life people with fronts but no backs. Just as you don’t encounter a coin that has a heads but no tails. And although the heads and the tails, the fronts and the backs, the positives and the negatives are different, they’re at the same time one. And one has to get used, fundamentally, to the notion that different things can be inseparable; that what is explicitly two can at the same time be implicitly one. If you forget that, very funny things happen.

If, therefore, we forget, you see, that black and white are inseparable and that existence is constituted equivalently by being and non-being, then we get scared. And we have to play a game called, Uh-oh, black might win! And once we get into the fear that black—the negative side—might win, we are compelled to play the game, But white must win! And from that start all our troubles. Because, you see, the human awareness is a very odd mechanism. (I don’t think mechanism is quite the right word, but it’ll do for the moment.) That is to say, we have—as a species—specialized in a certain kind of awareness, which we call conscious attention. And by this we have the faculty of examining the details of life very closely. We can restrict our gaze, and it corresponds somewhat to the central field, the vision, in the eyes. We have central vision, we have peripheral vision. Central vision is that which we use for reading, for all sorts of close work, and it’s like using a spotlight. Whereas peripheral vision is more like using a floodlight.

Now, civilization and civilized human beings—for maybe 5,000 years, maybe much longer—have learned to specialize in concentrated attention. Even if a person’s attention span is short he is, as it were, wavering his spotlight over many fields. The price which we pay for specialization in conscious attention is ignorance of everything outside its field. I would rather say ignore-ance than ignorance, because if you concentrate on a figure you tend to ignore the background. You tend, therefore, to see the world in a disintegrated aspect. You take separate things and events seriously, imagining that these really do exist when actually they have the same kind of existence as an individual’s interpretation of a Rorschach blot: they’re what you make out of it. In fact, our physical world is a system of inseparable differences. Everything exists with everything else, but we contrive not to notice that because what we notice is what is noteworthy. And we notice it in terms of notations: numbers, words, images. What is notable, noteworthy, notated, noticed is what appears to us to be significant and the rest is ignored as insignificant, and as a result of that we select from the total input that goes to our senses only a very small fraction. And this causes us to believe that we are separate beings, isolated by the boundary of the epidermis from the rest of the world.

You see, this is also the mechanism involved in not noticing that black and white go together. Not noticing that every inside has an outside, and that what goes on inside your skin is inseparable from what goes on outside your skin. You see that, for example, in the science of ecology. One learns that a human being is not an organism in an environment, but is an organism-environment—that is to say, a unified field of behavior. If you describe, carefully, the behavior of any organism, you cannot do so without at the same time describing the behavior of the environment. And by that you know that you’ve got a new entity of study. You’re describing the behavior of a unified field. You must be very careful indeed not to fall into old Newtonian assumptions about the billiard-ball nature of the universe. The organism is not the puppet of the environment, being pushed around by it. Nor, on the other hand, is the environment the puppet of the organism, being pushed around by the organism. The relationship between them is, to use John Dewey’s word, transactional. The transaction being a situation, like buying and selling, in which there is no buying unless somebody sells and no selling unless somebody buys.

So that fundamental relationship between ourselves and the world, which is in an old-fashioned way—by people such as Skinner (American Professor of Psychology at Harvard B.F. Skinner), who has not updated his philosophy—interpreted in terms of Newtonian mechanics. He interprets the organism as something determined by the total environment, he doesn’t see that in a more modern way of talking about it, they’re simply describing a unified field of behavior—which is nothing more than what any mystic ever said. That’s a dirty word in the modern academic scientific environment. But if a mystic is one who is sensibly—or even sensuously—aware of his inseparability, as an individual, from the total existing universe, he’s simply a person who has become sensible—aware through his senses—of the way ecologists see the world. So when I’m in academic circles I don’t talk about mystical experience, I talk about ecological awareness. Same thing.

Excerpt from the lecture by Alan Watts "The Tao of Philosophy 3: Coincidence of Opposites"

Monday, July 1, 2019

meaning of life

Is there a meaning of life? I guess I would have to figure out what I meant by meaning before tackling that question. What is meaning? Is meaning suggestive of a purpose? If so then why does something have to have a purpose? That seems like a cultural hang up or something our parents would tell us when we were teenagers so that we got out of bed before noon.

The only truth that I can pin down is that we are fields of energy that have a common source and all forms of the energy operate as waves in that they cycle from latency to a full expression and repeat. The energy is indestructible and is ever returning.

We bring the universe into existence. It is cyclical energy manifesting everywhere and our brain and central nervous system bring it to life by crafting a narrative out of what we are sensing and thus we give it context and meaning. Our brain is the greatest storyteller ever, we enter into that narrative, and then we act our part because we are all thespians and universal game players at heart.

What makes the energy power up so that it comes forth repeatedly? Is it the ever elusive perpetual motion machine that requires no input of energy? I do know the energy has two poles and they are the feminine and masculine and creation is populated by the manifestation of these gendered energies. To conceptualize how this may bring about cyclical energy, I envision the masculine as being conscious awareness. Picture the Buddha sitting in meditation just observing but not chasing or becoming attached to anything.

Buddha sitting in meditation

The feminine on the other hand is wild and chaotic. She brings the universe into existence with her beauty and how it radiates. The passive male becomes aware of her and this lights up desire. The chase and thus the game is on. Desire puts the game in motion.

feminine desire

Ultimately if there is a meaning of life it is to perform your dance however that is something you can't help doing. In other words there's really nothing you can do about it. You can try to swim against the current but in the end your energy is coming forth and returning and then repeat. So as the play moves along you have a part to play. There is a freedom to craft your character to play the part you wish to play. Or play multiple roles.

I think as we move through the game of life that has no intrinsic meaning we learn of certain actions and feelings that ring true as an ideal way to live. They involve sharing, caring, helping, and friendship which leads to happiness and from this ultimately love. Along the journey through human life we are also exposed to greed, selfishness, hatred, and jealousy which can lead to depression and ultimately despair. To a certain extent greed and selfishness are rewarded in the short term. We as human beings are ultimately rational and do indulge in behaviours that bring rewards thus the allure of greed yet if we could see the end game result of greed and selfishness we would rethink those behaviour choices. Unfortunately that is sometimes too late. Plant teachers and medicines can clearly elucidate this or symbolically suggest a new path for you though ultimately you have the freedom to choose what you wish to do with this guidance.

Really the meaning of life boils down to choice. I find many of the answers I have tried to discover concerning the higher philosophical musings are paradoxical; the prime example is that we are both the individual self and the all, it just depends on perspective, and since the universe is always on the move you can never pin down exactly who you are or what state you are in at any particular time. We measure things to give us comfort and something concrete to rest our notion of self and the universe upon, but it is ultimately illusory. 

A quick little detour here. Astrology is the recognition that you are inseparable from the perceptible universe and is an attempt to pin down the state of the known universe at the moment of your manifestation as a human being within it. Today Astrology has a pretty fringy reputation but its origins are on par with the best religion can offer us or that natural philosophy has revealed to us.

Soon after I started down this path of discovery over ten years ago I fell in love with ancient Egypt and one of the ubiquitous symbols of that culture is the scarab representing coming forth by day and then transformation in a continuous cycle which is represented in the perceived cycle of the sun from our perspective.

It took me a long time to apply that to my own existence however once I understood it I was able to look upon ancient wisdom as being severely untapped and of the highest knowledge of self. At the same time I rewatched the movie ‘The Matrix’ and in this movie the main character Neo had to make a choice between a red pill and a blue pill.

If he chose the red pill then the underlying truth of the world he was living in would be revealed to him. If he chose the blue pill then he would remain asleep and carry on like nothing happened. Neo chose the red pill and through this choice he went down a path that revealed to him the underlying construct that had been occluded from his knowledge of the world which then in turn opened up new meaning to his perception of the universe.

So to understand the meaning of life I think what we can gleam from examining existence is that the meaning, if any, is always on the move. And we influence the meaning through choice. Therefore the meaning is the meaning we assign to it by making choices from all that is available. I would like to think if everyone is given exposure to the profound love that is available to all in this cosmos then we would choose to love and make that the meaning of life. From this we create a world of our own making where the meaning of life is to learn to love unconditionally, repeatedly failing, and then trying again. If we all started doing that it would make the transformation of the play possible and we can write a story with a happy ending that is actually never ending, the "live happily ever after” conclusion.