There comes a point in the journey of the unfoldment of consciousness when every narrative appears ridiculous. This includes so-called scientific, philosophic, and psychoanalytic discourses. It includes, therefore, even this sort of discourse about the inanity of all discourse. The symbolic veil over the Real shreds itself like an oppressed monk setting himself on fire.

In one of the late Terence McKenna's most famous discourses about a DMT trip he took, he emphasizes how elvish voices kept telling him, "don't abandon yourself to amazement." I found that amazing, in fact utterly astonishing. He goes on to say that they commanded him to pay close attention. But one can both pay attention and be in a state of full-on astonishment at the same time. Some have taken literally his advice not to give way to amazement. But that is more often the command of the superego. How can we not be in amazement, astonishment, at every moment? Astonishment is what creates natural DMT in the brain. In fact, there is a lovely book that emerged from the Kashmir Shaiva yoga tradition, probably a thousand years ago, recently translated into English, and given the title The Yoga of Delight, Wonder, and Astonishment. In this teaching, otherwise known as The Vigyana Bhairava, it is revealed that the most direct path to Liberation is precisely through surrendering to astonishment.
Published in Essays
Saturday, 04 June 2011 18:14

Experience, Imperience, and Sumerience

Spiritual development can be thought of as the double passage from one mode of perceiving reality to a second and then a third, specifically from the mode of experience to that of imperience, and finally to that of sumerience.

In the experiential mode, consciousness is divided into subject and object, on the one hand, and identified as an objectified subject, on the other. Awareness is funneled through the imaginary and symbolic grid of meaning, and the value differentiations of the ego distort perception through the curvature of perceptual space produced by the unconsciously determined egocentric selectivity of data and reactivity impulses that organize the dimensional projection of the primordial energy of Being into structured world-appearance and egoic physical identification plus ongoing repetitive mentalization, plus the absent heart of the Ground of Being, creating a sense of lack and a nostalgic desire for an impossible fulfillment. This can be mythologized as a religious feeling, or converted into an aesthetic, ethical, or scientific discourse, or de-sublimated into an addictive craving for an existent object.
Published in Essays
Saturday, 04 June 2011 17:58

Gunas and Roses

In the psychology of yoga, ego-consciousness is always in one of three states (or qualities), called gunas: sattva guna, rajas guna, or tamas guna. The three gunas can be compared to the parts of a rose.

Tamas would be the thorns. The ego's defense mechanisms of contraction, inertia, avoidance, negativity, nihilism, all are included in the field of the tamasic. The thorns have a function, but they are not beautiful or kind or inspiring.

Rajas would be the stem and the leaves. The ego's urge to grow, to be active, to achieve, to change, are all part of the field of the rajasic. The rajasic quality can, however, be in the service either of the buddhi, the higher intelligence of the Atman, or still operating under the influence of the lower pleasure and power centers. In the latter case, the rajasic projects will ultimately fail, and lead to a crash, into the tamasic state.
Published in Essays
Thursday, 24 February 2011 14:56

Schrödinger’s Cat(aclysm)

In 1935, the physicist Erwin Schrödinger proposed a thought experiment in which a live cat was placed in a sealed box together with a mechanism that could be triggered by a quantum event—the decay of a subatomic particle that had a certain probability of happening—that would kill the cat when it occurred. According to quantum theory, subatomic particles can be in a condition of superposition—in other words, the particle can be in two states at once, until observed. Thus, the killing mechanism in the box could be both triggered and not triggered. So, Schrödinger wondered: Could the cat be both alive and dead at the same time?

For some thinkers, including Einstein, this was obviously impossible, a reductio ad absurdum. But for others, it was clear that quantum physics points to just this possibility. To explain such theoretical high strangeness, many theories have since emerged, including the possibility of parallel universes.

But Schrödinger’s cat has today emerged from its box, and is dead-and-alive and well and smiling uncannily at us, like another cat from Cheshire, from every point of our macro-reality. We are clearly now passing through an extraordinary moment of the revelation of quantum superposition in our phenomenal plane.
Published in Essays
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