Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Destiny Delusion

From a post I made at RS, seems worth repeating here for those who aren't following the frantics over there.

... something I was talking about yesterday with a friend which I called The Destiny Delusion (future article?) - the way in which we, our constructed ID selves, manage to get hold of (what we assume to be) elements of truth, reality, and the divine, and shape them, according to the patterns of our lower/wounded natures, into a grand destiny-design that FEELS as real, more real even, than anything we have experienced. Entheogens, for me, were a major component in creating and expanding that Destiny Delusion, whereby I became convinced of certain things about myself and my role in the universe, personal and beyond. People we meet (especially ones we fall in love with, in my experience) hook into our delusional narratives (all of which, let's face it, are founded in and filtered through an erroneous belief that we are "discreet," separate entities) and so we get married, join groups, follow gurus, start movements, write books, sing songs, and all the rest, happily building (adding our energy and attention to) a "second matrix" kind of set-up (bardo realm for the living) that keeps us from realizing the truth about ourselves and reality, preciselybecause it appears to be "ultimate truth/reality." In simple (paranoid) jargon, it's the old shtick of demons disguised as angels, luring us into hellfire by playing on our vanity. Hence the inorganics that CC describes, hooking into our patterns, fears, hopes, desires, and telling us exactly what we want to hear.

I am 44 years old and I have to face up to the very real possibility (and I think it's more than just a possibility) that my whole adult life has been a kind of wrong turn. That said, recognizing the wrongness of it may just make it the right path after all, in a strange and mysterious way, though that remains to be seen. REALLY recognizing how wrong we are goes much deeper than an intellectual concession, all the way to the marrow of our bones. It is, I imagine, a psyche-splitting axe blow from which we never recover our former sense of selves.

Obviously the idea of demons (aka patterns) tricking us into a false sense of destiny is ‘paranoid’ in the extreme, and if it were true, recognizing the truth of it would make it very difficult NOT to become paranoid, even clinically speaking. But ironically, it’s only the constructed ID (which is responsible for co-creating this diabolic delusory realm) that insists on seeing things in such black and white terms at all. It insists on imagining angels and demons as also being discreet entities, like us, and so the danger is in reinforcing the second matrix program through fear and resistance to it (the flyers feed on fear of the flyers – so ignorance to them may be the best defense the average man has, puny as it is).

Angels and demons aren’t separate beings, however, but opposite poles of a single energy-consciousness system much like day and night; and human beings are capable somehow of containing the full spectrum of awareness that spans that polarity (hence the angel and devil on each shoulder cliché). The real danger is not in becoming prey to demons, but in mistaking cold for hot, day for night, demon for angel, and responding inappropriately (insanely) to the cues. There’s nothing “bad" per se about being taken over/eaten by inorganic beings. The badness/wrongness is in the error of thinking that something else is happening than what is in fact happening. That’s delusion, and the real trouble with delusion is that it’s self-sustaining and self-propagating: when we are deluded, our mistaken assumptions cause us to act in ways that lead us ever deeper into delusion.

The first, most difficult but also essential step, is recognizing our capacity for delusion as being very nearly total, and to do that without giving in to paranoia and despair. Not-knowing (knowing that we don't know WTF is going on) is the only real ground in which gnosis can grow in, and I presume it's for that reason that gnosis always happens of its own accord, never as the result of anything we do.

Real freedom begins with not needing to understand anything before we accept it, accepting things as they are, and letting understanding come post-acceptance.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Serpent's Promise: The Shocking Truth About Psychedelics

Stirring up the natives over at Reality Sandwich with this piece; invite you all to join the fray, if you dare.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Guatemaya Rabbit Hole

Rainy season ends in Guatemaya this month, and Mitch Fraas and I are offering shaman tours of Guatemaya for cost-only (buy your ticket and pay for your expenses, and we'll put you up and show you the Mayan rabbit hole). Mitch is based in Santiago (where he will be building a house over the coming months), and I am based in Panajachel, where visitors will stay (see below)

The guest bungalow.

Mitch's working partner is the shamanic tour guide Dolores Ratzan, who was previously married to Martin Pretchell, the well-known author (his book Secrets of the Talking Jaguar is about his time as a shaman in Santiago Atitlan).


Like Pretchell, Mitch belongs to the Copre Dia, the shaman brotherhood based in Santiago whose deity is Maximon.

For more information on what a shaman tour with Mitch and I entails, go to Mitch and I can be heard in conversation here. If interested, contact me via my profile.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Culture of Blame & the Dark Side of Marriage

Why do so many once-loving couples wind up hating the sight of each other? Why does sexual love turn into sexual hate? The reason is that when we fall in love we project all of our hopes and fantasies onto the other person, and that process has a dark side. Face it: there’s nothing more hateful than seeing all of our dreams fall apart.

What that means is that the more clearly we see the other person, the more those fantasy-projections fall apart, and the less we like it. So our experience is likely to be that, the more clearly we see the other person, the less we like them. It’s not because they are so unlikeable; it’s simply because they are their own person. They exist independently of our projections and fantasies of them. How dare they? I mean really—how dare they? So what we end up most hating about the beloved other is that they are independent and autonomous beings. That makes them a threat to us, the ultimate threat, in fact. And the more deeply we “love” them, the greater a threat they will become.

It’s all about having someone to blame. Everybody needs someone to blame. That’s the dark side of marriage. If we are unlucky enough to find someone who appears to be everything we want in life, then eventually they will become the perfect scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in our lives. They come to represent all the ways that we can’t get what we want. They become the denial of our wants.

It is a hideous conundrum, and it is one that can and does lead to murder. When it gets really bad, murder actually does seem, honestly and truly, to be the best answer. It becomes the most appropriate action for the personal self once we are faced with that hideous conundrum. If the personal self was all that there was to existence, in the end we may as well just kill the other, since all they are going to do is torment us with their autonomy and independence. Leaving doesn’t seem like a sufficiently final solution; if there is a true or “alchemical bond,” we are going to suffer even more that way. But if we kill them, destroy them completely, maybe we can be free!

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is more to us than the personal self, in fact the personal realm is really just the surface, and what torments us goes much deeper than we even know. So if that bond—and the torment it creates—continues on “the other side,” killing them would actually be the worst thing we could do. That’s the fearful symmetry of it, that what can end up seeming like the best and only solution is actually the most terrible trap we can fall into.

The other option is suicide. Ah yes: let’s send them a message they will never forget by destroying ourselves! Let’s punish the other and get free of them in one fell swoop. But this is the same non-solution solution. Picture this: Tormented by a love gone wrong, a person is trying to bring about resolution in their psyche and reach a state of peace. Who can blame them for that? The trouble is that nothing they do works. So then, if they persist in trying, in finding new things to do, things that might just work, in the end murder and suicide are, obviously, the last resorts. “I’ve tried everything, now let’s try that!” Some people, many people even, when finding themselves in that situation, might believe it’s a real solution. Not me. I know it’s not going to work, so I can’t kid myself. I can’t believe something I know the opposite of. I can believe what I don’t know, but I can’t believe the opposite of what I do know. Thankfully I am not that far gone. But it doesn’t have to be actual murder or suicide. In the less literal realms, one can murder and suicide in one's mind. In terms of sustaining the sort of energy and thoughts that fuel murder or suicide, I have been guilty.

So who’s goddamn fault is it? Is it my momma’s or dadda’s? Or is it their mommas’ and daddas’? Is it the whole human race’s responsibility? In the end, it’s everyone’s and no one’s -- except my own. I am the only one who can choose to act or not act on these feelings. Choosing not to blame is the fundamental step towards healing the wounds that are the real source of our torment. Taking responsibility means not blaming anyone, including oneself. Blame and responsibility don’t co-exist. It is irresponsible to blame people. Why? It has to do with the fact that everyone is already accountable for their actions. Because of that, the universe doesn’t need for us to bring others to account. That adds noise to the signal.

It is between oneself and what one’s knows the truth of. Facing the truth of one's self and one’s actions, that is the only account that we have to make, and it is to ourselves. We are the only ones who can see what we have done to ourselves.

Nobody does anything to anyone, really, because we are always doing it to ourselves. Whenever we hurt someone, they are just a surrogate for ourselves. So although we might be effective in making the other person feel our pain, we are still not actually doing anything to them, because we are isolate. If we were really connected, in a true sense, we wouldn’t be able to hurt each other. Living organisms can’t attack themselves; it takes a foreign element to enter in there and screw up the whole system.

So what is the foreign element? Blame. So where did it come from? It seems as though there is some element in our existence that isn’t meant to be there, that doesn’t belong, that is hostile towards our nature. It’s a paradox and a conundrum: if it was truly unlike us, how could it have access to us? How would it be able to infiltrate our system if we didn’t somehow resonate with it?

It’s nobody’s fault that blame entered the system. It just did. Forgive yourself for ever having blamed, and start all over again from there.