Dec 18, 2014

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Oceanic Experience




There are numerous ways of coining what some psychiatrists call an Oceanic Experience. You might hear terms like the Oceanic Feeling or a Peak experience, but all these are in fact the same thing, a Mystical experience, an intense feeling of Presence in the Now.


The most curious thing about these experiences is surely the fact that they often, if not always, come out of nowhere and quite unexpectedly. But that's only true for those who are not aware of what triggers them, or what sets these emotions into motion. Some would argue this is not even a specific emotion, but a State.


I want to tell you how you can try and find these triggers and stay Oceanic for as long as you can hold that concentration and Presence. Later you will not need to concentrate at all.


The key point I must first make is this: Everyone can have this experience. There's a somewhat short-minded idea floating around that says we are hard-wired for religion. That is not true, we are hard-wired to experience this sensation, western religion simply monopolized it and made most believe they need something to experience it, and instead of showing others how to do it, wrapped it up in ritual and community, which are very superficial aspects of it and may aid you in becoming Oceanic, yet you can do it by yourself. Which makes sense doesn't it, since you are the I to whom it happens, so the very notion that you need something else is a bit ridiculous. Don't worry if you are confused about what I'm talking about, because you most definitely have experienced Oceanic already, everyone has, although it is often the case that you don't realize this fact.


It is also important to note that the trigger will not be different for everyone, and that Peak experiences are triggering a state of Presence. Simply put, we all have the same triggers because we are all one I manifesting in countless expressions.


The beautiful thing about these experiences is that, once you know the trigger, you can stay in that feeling for as long as you wish under certain conditions.


The term Oceanic was coined by Romain Rolland and popularized by Sigmund Freud, who pointed out that this emotion may be a fragment of infantile consciousness, a feeling which occurs when the infant begins to differentiate himself from his human and non-human environment and a survival Ego begins to form. I tend to disagree with this notion. The disagreement stems from the fact that Oceanic doesn't come from differentiation, but from a sense of you and the thing that is 'outside' you (environment) being one and the same thing. If anything, differentiating yourself from everything else causes the feeling to stop, as you resume your default experience of consciousness; which is a feeling of centrality, of the I and Other. Or in a very strict sense, the sensation stops when you stop being and start thinking.


There is no Other in Oceanic, but rather a deep sense that all things are the same one thing, which is I.

Freud was right about the 'infantile consciousness' part however, as it is indeed a fragment of that consciousness. It is why it has a subtly deep sense, a sort of 'primordial' feel to it, meaning that you get a sense that this sensation comes from the very core of you. That's because it does. Yet Freud's explanations were never deep or remotely spiritual enough. And having been oceanic for 1-2 days on a few occasions and for up to an hour in meditation, I have come to realize his "everyone wants to return to the womb and uses sex to try and do that" is simply not adequate enough, as it dismisses a deeper layer, which is that our most basic need for intimacy is the result of an even deeper need that is produced by the centrality of I, and that sex is the most superficial step of achieving what is really sought after by most (usually subconsciously): a Merging. A merging of subject and object. Of subject and other subject, which for the I is the object as it seems to be outside the I. It is a need to return to the womb where the baby was completely submerged and weightless, fully in tune with its surroundings and in that sense, One with it. A merging of the male and female aspect in sex can cause that trigger, but also because it puts you intensely into the Now.


Images are important for you to enter this state if you are a beginner and don't yet know how to still the mind, especially if you belong to the 60% of people who prefer visual stimuli out of all other.
If you recall the sights, smells and sounds from the first time your were Oceanic (obviously not while you were in the womb), it will be easier to reach the state again, but such things are only of help. When it comes to smell, it is more likely that the precise fragrance will not be imprinted upon your mind, but the certain subtleties of it.

You must remember that you can reach this state even without these triggers. They are here simply to help you at first. And since in western society doing something purely to do it (like meditation) can be very useless for most, this trying to become Oceanic may be used as a goal for you to work towards while meditating. Mediation is at first a training in concentration, because until you learn concentration, or a better term would be perhaps contemplation, you will always try and control your mind instead of simply not paying attention to it. This method is a good way to learn, as you will find that your mind, once it reaches this state, may automatically try to cling to it, and in that clinging, lose the feeling. Try it and you will see the realizations you get from this.


Through my talks with those who had consciously had the experience and reading about detailed cases of it, I have come to a few conclusions of the aspects required in terms of outside happenings to reach Oceanic. Allow me to list them out and explain a bit more why they work.


1. The quality of light. (early morning gold usually works best as it slants low in the sky and has an increased scattered effect, meaning you feel more immersed and a part of it)


2. Random background sounds that are of a natural source, like a stream or the rustle of leaves or the song of birds. (you already know what these sounds are, so a mind that is used to compulsive thinking will not attempt to label the sounds but just let them be. This will again help in the sense of being immersed in the sounds, until you eventually no longer hear a bird chirping, but in a somewhat funny sense, become the bird.)


3. A sight of something which seems finite over a backdrop of something that appears infinite. For instance, the sight of pine trees against a blue sky. [I used pine because they posses a denser quality] (this aids greatly in the sense of merging of the object and the subject. Clouds and the sky are a good way to do this as well, as you might begin to realize a truth that may seem banal if someone tells it to you. It is that the clouds and the sky are not separate things, but that the cloud is the sky. In much the same way, this trigger helps with the realization that Self and Other are not separate, but that the illusion of separateness is created by the sense of centrality that is the individual consciousness.)


4. Smells of trees in bloom or wood in general. (in much the same way as sounds, these smells already have a label in your mind as to what they are and, as such, will not cause the compulsive thinker to try and identify them, but instead simply let them be)


5. A peaceful mind absent of concerns, even if only for the time being. (this is a plus, as meditating on specific things will be easier)



Posture will be important, but not absolutely necessary. Resume any of the comfortable meditating positions, although it is advisable to take on any of the zazen postures for best results, even if it can be very unconformable for you at first. But a bit of discomfort is good as it assures you will not fall asleep or get sleepy.


What these things will help you with is to realize the Now and that It is all there is, and that you are it. You might say, I already know there is nothing else but the present. Yes, of course you do, at least you believe you do as your mind does, but do you feel it? The distinction is more important than you might think. 


And that is what Oceanic really is, an intense Presence in the moment, where the future and past dissolve, or rather, the illusion that these two states of time even exist, disappears. 

Focusing on these triggers will help you stay in the Now, they are grounding you in the Now. Leave your mind alone in these moments and you will find the ocean and in the ocean, everything that is You.

The exercise might seem a contradiction to what mediation is, which is a way to calm the mind, but in reality, compulsive thinking and thinking while fully present in the now are not the same things, as you might have found out or already know.

And, as I said, once you can cultivate this feeling anytime you wish, you will no longer need any triggers, but will simply breathe in, breathe out, and be it.

Dec 2, 2014

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Why Interstellar Sucks

The characters in this movie are eggs. Want a real character? Egg. Oh, sorry, did you get an egg? That's my fault, sorry about that. Here's more egg.

That's the short review. Read on if you must...


The only thing missing from this movie is Morgan Freeman suddenly appearing and narrating the procedure of popping a piece of meat on a pan to sear the shit out of it.

The movie itself has all the right things, but that doesn't make it any less bad as it feels completely engineered to have “all the right things” which are suppose to make a movie immersive and good. Yet the amount of disbelief I was expected to suspend in order not to roll my eyes every 10 minutes is more disbelief than I could possibly attain. At one point I just couldn't help but go, “What The Fuuuuuuuck.” 
I don’t think the people around me appreciated my sudden outburst.

There is a thing which writers do to hook you into their characters, a verity of plot devices and all sorts of “poor him/her” techniques. A skilled writer will do this so that you won’t know that it is happening. Or will use a technique that is unconventional.

So the question is, if you are completely aware of what’s going on and what is the purpose of the scenes you are watching or reading, can you still “get into them”?
My answer is No, you cannot.

Upon reflecting a little bit, the main issue became that the whole thing didn't feel like a “happening”, but an engineered set-piece after set-piece progressing at a pace that was suddenly rapid then slowed to a painful crawl. In this movie the set-pieces were blatantly obvious and really kind of dull. But to truly give you a taste of how absurd this movie is, I will need to write an equally absurd review.

But before I get to it, let me state that this will contain total spoilers, but to spoil something it needs to be good in the first place. Can you really spoil something that is already bad? I’ll let you figure that out by yourself.

[However, having said that, I still hope you can find in this film things which may inspire you or entertain you.]

The movie begins with a sort of typical american setting that’s suppose to make you wonder what’s going on. It doesn't. 

Everyone is a farmer but everyone is still starving. Nice. 
This time, McConaughey is a slightly more “normal” version of Mud, but only slightly. 

So Mud is driving through the cornfield at speed and does something on his laptop without any apparent difficulty. Here we establish the fact that he is pro at multitasking and so the scenes ahead are completely reasonable, since he is just that good. This scene also nicely establishes that Mud is a bit different in this movie. In this movie he is Boss. You try going 90 through a cornfield while hacking into a satellite/drone via your 21 century laptop!

After the acquisition of said drone and discovering that his field is actually a secret NASA facility, Mud promptly decides he must leave his kids to save humanity. 

He is chosen by Alfred (an actor Nolan seems to enjoy giving the same roles in every movie, which really helps with my suspension of disbelief and general immersion, it really does) to blast off with Catwoman in a reasonably 20th century 3-stage rocket that will dock with an incredibly advanced 22nd century space station/fuckden. 

As the merry band ventures upon their merry journey, they need no longer adhere to primitive Earth technology. Now they can do anything they ever did on Star Trek, including Cryo-Sleep, while the Earth is... well... pretty much screwed. Honestly, I don’t really know what the heck was the problem on Earth. Earth has problems, we all know that, right? Apparently the current problems are pretty big, big enough for them to send a person that oddly feels incompetent for the job he was tasked to do.

They emerge from deep slumber feeling like fresh daises, and proceed  to a wormhole that Alfred and the other Dude told them about. 

Guess what they used to explain how the “bending of space works”... Come on, guess! It was by bending a sheet of paper. Riveting stuff.

Anywho... their hopes are to find a new planet where people can live and not die on Earth. There is a sort of Plan Z, but apparently that will not work because Mud is in a mad hurry to get back to Earth. No worries, Plan A will work and everyone will be saved by He Who Talks The Same Way In Every Movie. I was expecting him to pull out a cigarette in hyperspace to do one of his, “I’m so cool while smoking this I don’t give a fuck”.

What can I say about Mud’s robotic bro? He is amazing! He can navigate through zero gravity, run across fields, even walk on water, not to mention rescue damsels in distress while pumping on the charm that is sure to amaze any female.

After the wormhole, they go to a planet where the laws of physics are a thing of myth and legend. Each hour they spend equals 17BAZILLION years on Earth and the whole planet is one big puddle.

Back on Earth, the rest of the poor sods are aging rapidly in their trucks and other quaint remnants of the 20th century. It’s all Mud’s fault really, and so we go through painful displays of human idiocy. I suppose the reason why Mud's daughter  must be saved is so that Mud can chill and not worry about his daughter thinking he is a total douche for all eternity, just because he did not stay behind and instead opted to SAVE HER WHINY ASS ALONG WITH EVERYONE ELSE.

The watery planet sucked, so Mud and Catwoman go to an even crappier one that seems even worse than Earth, yet they feel super psyched that this might be it, perhaps they shall find a cozy place down under the frozen ammonia glaciers. 

They are found by Matt Damon's dad who is vaguely evil and decides to blow stuff up now. His reasons are reasons. After Mud the amazing tackles Matt Damon’s father, he decides that he shall be even more amazing and fly into the black hole. Yay and off he goes onto the back of his trusty steed, his charming robot chum. Adventure and great fun is sure to ensue.

Something happens that is totally brilliant (probably quantum) and somehow Mud ends up tripping his balls off in five-dimensional space, yet his Self remains wholly three dimensional. Logic.  Oh, and because Aliens. 

With the help of Hans Zimmer, Mud floats around in an empty library, still tripping his quantum balls off. There are stacks of his past selves which make him go through all these feels. Poor lad.

Mud's now grown-up daughter back on Earth also goes through all these feels and, fueled by what must be some mad PMS, tells her brother to screw himself for not joining her in her cave, then torches her bro's corn crop. Damn, girl. Then she begins fooling around in the old family library, the same one that Mud is trapped behind the stacks in his five dimensional bachelor pad, except Mud’s library is made by humans from the future. At least that's what the robot said. I told you his robot bro is amazing. Then suddenly! while pondering a wristwatch, the now grown daughter realizes that gravity is the way to go.

Lots of good opportunities to cry here as we witness the powerless Mud screaming at the versions of his daughter and having epiphanies left and right. Again, quite suddenly and because, dammit, it’s almost the end of the movie and the plot demands it! Mud gets a Dr.House ZING and he tells the robot to get binary and convert the 'quantum data' into Morse code so that he can gravity-emote it to the wristwatch that his daughter is totally tripping on. Wait a second, did that wristwatch just move? It did! Obviously the movements are coded gravity-signals coming through the black-hole bookshelf and are send by her five-dimensional papi! Amazing!

So... the real-time daughter trans-codes the Quantum “code” and saves the world.

Years later the really ancient daughter cryo-naps in the hope of seeing Mud again. They figure out how to make space rockets and go fetch Muddy so he can come back and be ignored by everybody he saved. Apparently, ancient daughter wakes up and figures it is just so much easier to go to Saturn in her hospital bed. A bunch of other family members go with her and gather around her bed where they prepare to sacrifice her sweet soul to lord Satan. OK maybe not. 
When Mud comes in to check on his ancient daughter, they decide to walk out without even glancing at him, even though he is their great grandfather and saved all of their futuristic assess.

More delicious tears as dad and daughter weep and so do you. After an appropriate interval, daughter wisely informs papa to go and be free, since she is no longer suffering from her wild PMS and she’s now cool with her bro. She points out that he should perhaps totally steal a spaceship to try and win Catwoman back. Mud agrees because Catwoman is pretty hot.


The End.


Nov 6, 2014

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Minimalist Linux Themes


I posted about my Elementary OS Theme a while back and how to set it up (although I can't really call it mine & credit goes to Dobbie).

Since my last post I had tried out a few other stuff and made a small collection of themes that are really awesome and surprisingly easy to sudo. The modifications needed are almost always completely the same as in my previous post, namely the adding of icons, Conky and installing a new dock (it's almost always required that the previous - default dock - is uninstalled if you are not running something like Mint). Most of the instructions are in the links below the images. Try them out!





Nov 4, 2014

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The Way



A master was asked a question by a curious monk, "What is The Way?"
"It is right before your eyes," said the master.
"Why do I not see it for myself?"
"Because you are thinking of yourself."
"What about you, do you see it?"
"So long as you see double, saying 'I don't', and 'you do', your eyes are clouded," said the master.
"When there is no 'I' nor 'You', can one see it?"
"When there is neither 'I' nor 'You', who is the one that wants to see it?"

Oct 30, 2014

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Infinite Spiral


We are an infinite spiral twisting through time, acquiring shapes as we go along, governed by the dimensions where our creative spark was lit.

Our trajectory is continuous and its transitions indivisible.

We reside where the validity of All is contingent upon the observer and our real form is energy vibrating through the common field accessed by consciousness

Perception is the apparatus through which reality folds and enfolds, expands and contracts.

Our wind-chafed faces form structures vast in complexity and design, while our inner artistry remains an expression of the larger without -- a fluctuating canvass of dimensionless probability, the parameters of which are perceived within the mind who veils the subtlest details of Truth.

Yet The Way is simple.

And when we gage upon the fiery goldness of a late spring afternoon, or as the grey dawn unfolds wetly from the east, we sometimes catch a glimpse of that truth, realizing it lies further than our eyes can peer, yet it could be no closer.

It lies within.


Oct 4, 2014

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Eightfold Path

There is a group in the mountains. They say our perception of a place existing in time is inaccurate, false. For beyond and within this illusionary reality is the void. A region where a concept such as time ceases to have meaning. There is another group of men. Those who follow the eightfold path, who say that, in the sphere of the spirit, such divisions of time, of the future, present and past do not exist, and that all of these have contracted into a single flicker in the present where life quivers in its ultimate sense.

Sep 16, 2014

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Self-Realization



I've recently posted about my experience in astral projection. I have posted it because it was fun to write/relive and because relaying images often feels a more straight-forward practice than relaying emotional content, or any kind of process of mental alchemy which does not involve images. For a long while I did not wish to write about the experience in this post, for I felt I could not do it justice by using mere words. That is until the thought of how I should go about it suddenly came to me.

Let me start with how that day began, now almost 4 years ago, and why it was amazing.

From the moment I woke up and in all moments during the day, I had a strong sense that "today something remarkable will happen". I of course cannot relay how this emotion felt, but I can portray it (perhaps in vain) by using thought-symbols: It was a sense of intense expectancy. Like being on top of a roller-coaster before the inevitable downward rush.

I recall little of what I did until the point until I ventured outside. I suppose I ate and read.

I remember the southern slant of the sun and the golden rays cutting between the trees, for I had resolved to meditate on top of my favorite hill for no particular reason, save that I felt like it. Which always seemed reason enough.

Since childhood the hill had, for some reason utterly baffling to me, endowed me with mystic significance, despite the fact that there appears nothing remarkable about it.

As I got to the top, I sat upon the cold soil covered by soft grass.

The cityscape and its sounds rushed by below me, but that soon became a presence that was not bothersome or comforting. It simply was.

I sat there for more than four hours, until I suddenly felt as though a piercing but invisible light had shoot out through the center of my cranium. A light going both outwards and inwards.

There was a kind of, "Aha! Yes. YES! YES, OF COURSE!" moment and then intense laughter directed at my pathetic imbecility. I laughed at my own expense as though laughing at a child, not necessarily because he is stupid, but because he is so hopeless in his ignorance that you find endless humor in his innocent predicament.

With this came a stupendous feeling of bursting. The child, that child-like Self, expanded into all directions simultaneously, going as far as things can go.

It felt as though it went into all places at once and into every thing and everyone and right into my bloody bones and outward again until it became a continuous motion that never began and will never end. It kept happening and I knew in that moment it will continue to happen, because that is how things are.

There was a deep understanding of the truth of Itness. Things were, and "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." Everything was just as it should be and must be and that all I have labeled as myself is actually inseparable from everything else.

This had so far been a concept for me. Something I felt was true yet didn't actually feel on the level of Being Everything And All Things All At Once.
Up until that point the concept remained a kind of hidden symphony just below the threshold of my combined perceptions.
In that instant it became impossible for me to separate what was Me and what was Not Me, or even that there was any space between Me and Not Me. The truth of this felt so profoundly real and incredible that everything was made nonrigid. Everything had a vibrancy to it, a fluidity so full of life and pulsing with such inner being that the thought of, "This is how everyone should see things all the time," became a constancy. There was nothing necessarily different about how I saw things, it was my subjective understanding of the things I saw that perceptibly shifted.

The realization of the Self is, in essence, the realization -- or the knowing -- of everything and its implicit nature. It is like accessing the main valve of existence and realizing it was always open, and that you had always been the manifested and the manifesting tool.

This does not involve a kind of high attitude towards knowing this, but a profoundly humble one. You are not suddenly thinking, "I know everything about everything." This does not involve that kind of understanding. This is not an understanding of the functionality of things, but of their Nature, their Is-ness.

Understanding the Self means the understanding of Everything, because the self is everything, or understanding that you do not need to understand everything, and still understand it, and yet not understand it at all. You are not there to understand. You are there to Be. This may seem so convoluted and paradoxical that it must feel rather confusing to read. Yet there is no real involvement or deep thinking or an understanding on the level of Mind. Rather, Self-Realization is the realization that all things are the Self and that the Self is all things. The barrier of duality melts away, that is to say one realizes it existed for a reason that is immediately clear and profoundly logical, but also amazingly simple in its inherent Justness, or Is-ness. Understanding its simplicity has no meaning because there is nothing to understand. It is. And that is all that the Self will ever need or has ever needed to understand. A Self that both Is and is an Illusion.
At that point, this fact that the barrier existed solely so it can be taken away becomes the right understanding. But also that it simply was, and by Now knowing that it is there, somehow changes it from being there into not being. Your mere awareness of it changes its Is-ness.

The realization that one is all and that the Self is everything and that everything is a fragment of the Self, comes with a sense of intense Presence.

You are not in the moment. You are the moment, manifesting in physical form through a myriad of infinite mirrors turned upon one another with each beholding each and enjoying the looking and seeing, laughing.

And the more you look, the deeper and more subtle those Understandings become. The more you understand, the more you realize you don't need to understand and that you understand nothing. The more you comprehend, the more you realize that comprehension, true comprehension, is the realization that all things are a fragment of the Self. And that each of those fragments, just like within your own Self, is an infinite mirror reflecting infinitely into Itself.

In those mirrors you may find aspects of your own Self, and indeed this is what most humans look for in others, that aspect which is most like the Self that they are, or want to be. That which is the most undesirable in one's Self is almost always that which is the most undesirable upon looking at another Self. In other words, you do not like in others what you do not like most in yourself.

A Zen master, Gensha, described this understanding quite well:
"If you understand, things are such as they are; If you do not understand, things are such as they are-"

There is another sensation which comes after, although using the word "after" does not feel apt, perhaps "at the same time" would be more accurate. After the inevitable realization of the endless Self, You become a Non-Self, a thing in the void that is the void, has been the void and will return to the void because it has never truly left it, but has been given a Self so it can function within the void and give it form; a form so that the void may know itself.

Now that functioning is no longer needed as you become That Which Looks.

Suddenly there is a perception of the wholeness and interconnectedness of everything in it, because all is in fact it, the whole. Again, there is no duality in this, you are still just what you are in your conscious self: a Human with a sense of separateness from other things and other vibrational forms. There are no more thoughts of "I am this or I am another That," but both, many, all.

[The terminology used, like Self, Non-Self, is simply an expression to try an relay some points in thought-symbols, as it cannot be done any other way by using language.]

Somehow there is a sense that a great eye has opened, an eye of the world which sees with a deeper understanding and has no Self because it is all things simultaneously; with each thing being as much It as the next.

A perception wobbles through your head at that point. One that has always been there, and to which merely the degree the Ego-Self wished to give it attention varied. It is the realization of your own Death.

All things eventually fade and die. This is the Isness of things.

Because of this state of Non-Self, you immediately perceive, without any thought behind it that would involve any active thinking, that you will die, but you will not be dead.

This may sound strange, but it is the right understanding. Because nothing that exists cannot not exist.

There is a quote by Aldous Huxley which describes this quite well. "Man proposes, God disposes."

It is, unfortunately, the nature of the Ego-Self to find this quite threatening. Because to the mind which only comprehends (which remains the only thing the Egoic mind really does), but doesn't understand, expressions such as "Destruction is a form of creation." mean not so much. You may nod at the saying, but may not truly understand it.

In this state of Non-Self, there is nothing to destroy, and all things which are and will inevitably be destroyed, will simply undergo a form of transmutation. A forming into something else which will be infinitely more than the sum of its parts and again infinitely more than the sum of the parts out of which it was transmuted.

In essence, the Non-Self has already experienced the transmutation from she Self into Not-Self, and has, because of this, died. It regards this process as the nature of such-ness. Such is the nature of things. Or such is the nature of Being. It is just so. Simply elegant and elegantly simple.

In an instant of understanding, the Non-Self realizes how the Ego-Self has been the driving force which thrived to comprehend and complicate that which has always been inherently simplistic.

Like before, as duality melts away, it does so in a sense of realization that all the selves are intertwined. The Ego-Self, True-Self, Pain-Self, Non-Self, they all exist in one space. They are all an undivided whole and this realization of their infinitely complex connection becomes the reality of everything you are and in turn everything that reality is.

In the state of Non-Self, these other Selves are prominent in your Being. You know which is which and they cease to be a process below the concussions happening of your mind.

They become a laughing matter and it all suddenly becomes a play. A play to which you have REM-slept through and so heard the actors and had them influence your dreams, while they performed on stage. Now you have awakened to their acting behind the curtain of your dreams and can actually see the actors, and they become just that, actors with no influence unless you play along.

After a while of this intense presence, and if you are in fact not as ready as you thought, something not so great may happen.

The Ego-Body comes to life and triggers the Pain-Body. It sort of says, "Hey, dude, something is going on that is not that great for me, help me out."

Because of years of conditioning and pattern-creation in the mind, these two can be very powerful. Indeed they can overpower even such presence, as the Ego slowly but surely begins to sense that it is losing control over the Body and Mind. Controlling these two aspects of the Self has so far (save for glimpses in between) been what the Ego has done all its life. It is a controlling mechanism. It is the accumulation of all the subconscious thoughts and reaction impulses it perceived as necessary for the organism to survive. When this function ceases to have a meaning to exist, its very being becomes threatened, and kicks the mind into action. The mind is the tool of the Ego, while the Not-Self's tool is No-Mind. As a result, the mind begins to throb and vibrate as the Ego wishes to claim control. It shows its real face and shouts and screams like a little, angry child that it is.

Doing this, the Ego-Self creates its main weapon. Fear.

Aldous Huxley described the "aftermath" of this process masterfully in his book, The Doors of Perception, wherein he details his Mescaline experience which I have to say follows a lot of the same triggers in a slightly different manner.

"This, I suddenly felt, was going too far. Too far, even though the going was into intenser beauty, deeper significance. The fear, as I analyze it in retrospect, was of being overwhelmed, of disintegrating under a pressure of reality greater than a mind, accustomed to living most of the time in a cosy world of symbols, could possibly bear. Anything rather than the burning brightness of unmitigated Reality—anything!"

This eventually settled down into a state of Presence again, a blissful satisfaction in knowing things are just as they are and that they exist Now and will forever be Now.

I since believe that this whole thing was nothing special, because to most of us, a mystical experience or a spiritual experience always seems to suggest something lofty and unattainable by the everyday mind. This is not true. These insights happen to us all the time, but to the untrained mind they are much shorter and for the most part, not as intense, and usually interpreted in different ways. Perhaps simply as "being happy and alert - energized". We all have moments when we are suddenly deeply aware of our own self, mostly just our bodies or how it feels. The want to change for the better usually comes, but is usually also suppressed by the Egoic mind which would rather have things as they are, familiar, while cultivating mindfulness requires changes even to the minute things in life.

Recognizing these events becomes the key and a great practice of Mindfulness, just don't get carried away in trying to analyze what they mean ;).

When they occur, be that. When they happen, be it. And when they do happen, do not let your mind fool you into taking it as a kind of accomplishment. Do not think of them as "okay, I've done it, time to move on". Because if you will notice, this is actually a trick of the mind to pull you out of the now and into some projected future. Stay there, Now, because there is nothing else.

Sep 5, 2014

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Posted in Arrangement , Art , Business

Asswhole


When a person's entire Self is an Asshole.


Sep 3, 2014

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The Book by H.P. Lovecraft

Sep 1, 2014

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I, the Key




1
When I was eight I lost the ability to dream. I often compensated with wakeful dreams and fancies of imagination I scarcely put on paper or canvas, even though my mind whispered to me that I should. When I did resolve to portray my wakeful dreams, I would enter an absurdly lucid state. Barraged by images I could only assume came from my youth, I struggled to maintain my visions until they assailed me to such an end that I had to cease. They filled me with a singular terror. As a result, I not only stopped writing and drawing, but also forced myself to not do it again. I knew the images were the culprit of my disorder, yet I knew facing them might mean a shattering of an already fragile mental state. I buried them instead. Deep enough for them to eventually manifest in a schizoid disorder, one I was acutely aware of, yet could do nothing to assuage it. I became intensely fearful of all public events.
It was because of this chronic avoidance of man that I was most surprised with myself the day I endeavoured to visit an event I would have otherwise shunned.
I was invited via an acquaintance of mine over a social networking site. He was one of those friends we all have on our list: a person who you never talk to and call a 'friend' only in the nebulous cloud of the internet. But then again most of my acquaintances were of such nature. I decided to go, and it was here that my true madness began.
I arrived fashionably late, as did everyone else. Unfortunately, everyone else was vastly more fashionable than myself. The result being me and the proprietor engaging in conversation and watching as people trickled in, all of whom eventually insisted on talking to me. Questions such as, “Where have you been?”, “Long time no see, eh bud?” became a constancy. Horrid.
Nevertheless the evening turned out delightfully droll, despite the fact that social anxieties got the better of me on numerous occasions, forcing me to withdraw (more than once) into the relative safety of the bathroom. At one point after midnight, matters in my head became unbearable. So much so, I decided it would be best for me to take my leave. But first, for reasons unknown to me, I resolved to wait and sat on a chair facing the bar’s entry.
I remained there longer than I had expected – some impulse keeping me in place despite my anxious sweat. I struggled to maintain a mask of bored vacancy, until she walked in and the walls seemed to breathe. She had an air of neglect about her which made her seem messy, but in a way as though it is her soul that is in disarray and all attempts to mask it goes unnoticed by those with less sensitive faculties. Her hair was auburn and fell over her shoulders in waves, her face and posture both immensely likable. Our eyes met as though following each other’s orbits for unknown ages and only now coming close enough to spot each other, like two comets that pass every few thousand years. My world became her eyes and I was blasted with a fear of such depth and intensity I nearly fainted. I could not explain the source of this fright and resolved to find out what might be the basis of such irrationality. I looked – for how could I not – and saw that she appeared just as lost in my gaze as I was in hers.
No one appeared to notice as she walked towards me. The movement of bodies around her became a blur, each unconsciously stepping aside and forming a corridor for her to meet me.
“I know you,” she said with an, aha! there you are.
“Do you? I don’t think I know you,” I lied. I did know her, though I could not say from where.
She seemed puzzled by my answer. We eyed each other until she offered a hand, the gesture awkward after our silence. I expected a soft handshake but instead she used it to yank herself closer to me. I could smell the piny fragrance of her hair as she whispered, “Let me show you where the ocean and they sky become one.”
For a moment I was dreaming again. Images both forgotten and half-remembered superimposed on the scene before me. I smelled the ocean and the breeze it carried; a reek of decay from some nameless place I visited once but never came back the same. A cold seeped into my bones. She stepped back, her eyes pressed into mine as if she knew me from another plane or dimension, knew me more deeply than anyone ever has or ever will or even could. I took a breath, realizing I had been holding it for a while. Then remembered her and wet myself and the chair I was sitting on.

2
“I accidently spilled beer on him,” she would giggle to those who asked why we are leaving.
There had been silence outside the bar as I came in; and a greater silence as we got to her car, for the silence was in my head. It felt like there should have been thoughts there, thoughts about who this woman is and how it was that I knew her. Thoughts about where we are going and what we shall find there. But there was nothing. The moon hung bright above the road and that too made me forget. We drove the silvery plane of the illuminated highway and it felt like driving into oblivion.
“How much do you remember?” she finally asked.
“I remember the cave,” I said, and that the two of you are strangely connected. “But not really as the cave, more like a black abyss where everything gets sucked into. My dreams, my thoughts, belching out my fears and my... I don’t know.”
“I’ve been looking for you, you know,” she said. “For a while now. I’m too afraid to do it myself and I remember you used to be different before it happened. It’s funny I find you randomly in the end.”
How does she know I was different? Even I could no longer remember being any other way.
“Nothing is random. And I haven’t gone far, I just hid.”
She nodded and I could tell she wondered why I do not ask any questions. I did not want to ask. I knew things would be easier for me if I asked, but it felt like asking would open a doorway I closed for a reason. Or that the reason closed the doorway.
I stayed quiet and allowed her to take me where my dreams could not.

3
We arrived in the misty half-light before the dawn and stopped the car on a cliff carpeted by waving grass. The high crag overlooked the ocean where waves seemed like ripples in silk. I opened the car door and stepped outside.
A soft splashing in the distance below.
The smell was not what I had expected. I whiffed a grim foulness of dead whales. Autumn was ending and everything was preparing to sleep, even the wide expanse of the ocean seemed lazy and uninterested in any endeavour to move. A lone freighter sailed through the misty distance. For a while I tried, but could not get over the smell.
“What is that?”
  “Memories,” she said, the smaller strands of her hair held aloft by the first morning breeze. “They’ve growl foul over the years.”
Her answer felt irritatingly obtuse. Her face seemed odd and I could not place the reason why, until the sun rose into sky, red as blood, and illuminated her aspect in colour. A face cross-hatched by scars. It felt inappropriate to ask, but I knew her, it was just all the specifics of her that eluded me. “What happened?” I motioned a finger around my own face.
“Some things you need to discover for yourself for the truth to have an impact,” she smiled.
She led me to the cliff’s edge and sat down. The grass was soft and the soil cold, yet I soon forgot about the chill as I listened to her explain things I have wondered about for two decades. The more she talked, the more I could feel her words chipping away at my already fragile edifice of sanity. The more she spoke, the more her words became a source of dread. It seemed to me she must have crawled out of the sea, her voice slowly becoming as expansive as the sea. I could not speak in any way save to ask questions. Hours passed.
“We’ll have to get down there,” she said, and pointed to a lone, stone house on the edge of where the land met the sea. “It used to be a lighthouse, but a lighthouse stands there no more.”
Obviously. “Why?” I asked. “What’s in there? How should we get down?” There seemed no way of doing it save going all the way around.
“Because we need to wait,” she said, looking skyward. “The stars are not where they need to be. Follow me,” she smiled and was on her feet, skipping down a path I had not noticed.
We walked the narrow trail between the knee-tall grass painted gold by the meridian sun. As I watched her, smelled her as she walked ahead of me, she seemed to me the type of person that would never die. A ridiculous notion, I knew, but such was this feeling – the timelessness of her voice – that it gave me hope. Perhaps she would never die and teach me the secret so that I may never die with her. She suddenly stopped and looked up, then back to me and said, “Come to the Moon with me.” She laughed and hurried ahead. In an instant my mind pieced together all of her words and caused a sudden shift in perception. I am following a mad woman. A lunatic, certainly? It would make sense for me to not notice such a thing, being somewhat odd myself.
“What’s the holdup?” she waved at me from up ahead. The scars on her face looked less hideous from a distance and I hurried to meet her with masked reluctance. The ground levelled and I followed her prints upon the wet sand. Tall walls of foam splashed against the rock to my right. A cold breeze came with them and something else, a feeling as if the sea was not just the sea, but a great leveller pulsing with age and history, yet timeless and ageless because it knows such things do not matter.
“I never asked for your name,” I said to her.
“No, you didn’t.”
“What is your name?”
She gave me the broadest smile a person can give without appearing sinister, and said, “I am Forever.”

4
It was when we reached the lighthouse that I figured Forever must be mad indeed. What maddened me the most, however, was that all of the things she had told me appeared to have slipped out of my head. The feeling of memory-loss pervaded my thoughts to an almost intolerable degree. It was pushed aside when she pulled out a massive, silver key, unlocked the lighthouse gate with a clack and ushered me inside to stand beneath a badly-thatched roof.
She said, “Welcome to my humble abode.”
It felt like I had stumbled into a zone of instability where every aspect of the without portrayed the within of her mind. Canvases and books, most half-torn or wet, lay scattered about everywhere. The deck was carpeted by papers, handwritten notes and partially-washed off or smudged by rain. The bed was covered by a stack of them, each with crude, charcoal drawings. In the gloom I could make out noting for certain, yet all carried a heinous quality of madness and delirium. Above all hung the prevailing smell of fish and the sense that such a place could not be inhabited by anyone sane. There were tons of things scattered about of which I had no idea what purpose they might serve.
“You seem to have some problems with the roof, dear,” I said. Light pierced through the many chinks and apertures above in spears of light, illuminating each dust particle through which Forever began to dance and twirl with arms spread wide.
“Home sweet home. Isn’t it wonderful?” she smiled. “Lovely. The spots of sunlight remind me of myself: spotted with moments of sanity.” Her words only served to confuse me further as she seemed fully lucid of her condition.
She stopped dancing and undressed before me, and dear God I would be lying if I said her frail body didn’t arouse me. She carefully placed the clothes into a closet and picked from the floor a set of torn short jeans and a shirt equally as torn and stretched out. The shirt left one of her smooth shoulders bare. She looked at me with a shy expression and said, “You know, a gentleman never looks at a lady while she undresses, who knows how he might offend her delicate sensibilities.”
“Sorry,” was all I managed. I wished to say something else, when I noticed a picture behind her. I walked past her, drawn to the painting as if it were a magnet for my consciousness. What I saw upon it made me collapse into myself with horror. The outlines of the painting – if it could be called such – were of a house standing on an island, most of the island underwater. The material used as canvas was wood, and the technique seemed to be a kind of scratching, the scratches filled with strange-coloured paint or some mucus. Beneath the house, in the ocean which felt so real, was a large whale with its mouth gaping open in unnatural proportions. Everything about the artwork innerved me as it seemed to so adequately display my host’s insanity. I stared at the painting for a while, until I could have sworn the whale moved its roaring head. There came a trembling and a black abyss, surrounding me. A sound, a bass rumble of ‘uuuooooooo...’, as the devouring maw approached from some nameless distance. Petrified and so frozen in place, I watched as the mouth drew nigh with its million fangs and a flapping tongue. It encompassed me and with a loud crack snapped shut on top of me...
I woke up hours later with Forever scribbling and talking madly over something on the floor. She was on her elbows, her behind exposed in what my mind interpreted to be undeniably sexual way, with her short, cut-out jeans revealing aspects of her I could not look away from. Her words came out in a series of meaningless vowels.
I coughed so that she might notice me. She didn’t. I coughed again, this time louder and with fervour. Instead of looking up she rushed outside.
I considered myself without options – I certainly did not wish to stay here – so I ran after her, stealing a glace towards what she had been drawing and wishing I hadn’t. What she portrayed was something so appalling I do not wish to describe. The image would not leave my mind even as I chased her, yelling for her to stop.
She did not heed me until she came below the cliff-face above which we had left the car.
“Yes. Yes! Finally, the stars are in their proper place again. Look!” She pointed at the Moon and I thought I must surely be dreaming.
In my years as I recluse I often picked up hobbies that involved the least amount of human contact. Astronomy proved an easy route for a mind such as mine. And when now I looked at the Moon and could see Venus, Jupiter and Saturn forming a near perfect triangle around it, I became convinced I am still sprawled in the lighthouse, dreaming all of this.
“It’ll soon be over, Jon, just come with me, you’ll see,” she said. I was at once horrified and profoundly relieved. She reached out and grabbed my hand, leading me ahead the narrow path. Waves crashed against the rock below us, foaming and splashing, frothing and recombining with the ocean.
“I don’t trust this,” I said. “I don’t want this anymore.” I had no idea what waited at the end, and even though I knew most of my fear didn’t come from something that was real but from something imagined, I could not shake it.
“Then go back,” she said. Somehow that proved even worse.
She saw my resignation about the prospect. “Then trust me,” she smiled over her smooth shoulder. I decided I had come too far to chicken out. Too far to run as I have from most of my dealings with people. I would see this through to the end and so followed her swaying hips until the path below us became rough with odd chiselling – narrow to a point where we had to step sideways. Soon my back was pressed against the cliff with the fall and the ocean below.
“Careful,” she urged, “it’s slippery here, don’t fall.”
“You’ve been inside yet?”
“No,” she said. “I had to prepare the way. Don’t mind the voice.”
I didn’t know what she meant until I took a careful look at the hieroglyphs below our feet. They were scratched into the rock like the scratches in the wooden painting had been. They consisted of no signs or letters I could identify, nor would they form any suggestion in my head as to what their relation might be. Around them appeared a faint aura of suggestive meaning. I was certain I could remember them if I tried hard enough, looked long enough. When we neared the pathway’s end, a voice called out to me. I tried listening to its whispers but soon realized it must be a fabrication of my own imaginings, as I realized I had become immersed in a frightened and highly suggestible state. And yet, no matter how hard I tried, I could not shake the absolute fact that there arose from the whispers a drumming in my marrow which spoke to me of things I have long forgotten.
“Don’t be frightened,” she said, which served to do the opposite – a panic rose in my throat. How had she gotten those scars? They looked more like her skin had been torn, or peeled off. Had she fallen down this slope and injured her face?
“Don’t tell me these things. Tell me something else,” I said.
“What should I say, then?”
“That I’m dreaming?”
“Well... you are not,” she said as we reached the passage and entered the cave below the black arch.

5
The walls had a bioluminescent quality, outlining Forever’s shape in stark cyan. She seemed a ghost to me. My breathing felt heavy. My heart relentless and loud in my ears.
We passed various obstructions in the cave system, my hand always in hers as she led me through the increasingly cold cavern. Soon the draft became ice on my skin and after a while it occurred to me that I should take a closer look at the walls, even when the reason why was not immediately apparent.
“What the hell are these?” I asked. She did not respond – her hand had gotten cold. “Aren’t you cold?” No answer. An anxiety of singular force made my hand sweat. I noticed the strange incrustations upon the walls were getting smoother, as though whoever had left the place in ruin had time to sand out a section of the within. We had passed numerous forks in the system, suggesting the cave was of great elaborateness and scale. All of these and other, inner impulses slowly proved to me that she must have lead me here – where the walls began to smooth out – for some sinister purpose.
I heard mumbling ahead; a burr of ghastly character on the very edge of hearing. It took me a few strides to realize it was the voice of Forever. Her tonality and the strange chanting with which she repeated whatever she was saying made me start planning my escape immediately. Surely I had come into the grasp of a mad-which, and was now trailing the path of her insanity. Suddenly the belief that she had lead me through this inextricable maze so none would find me became absolute. We entered a vast cavern peopled by hunched and robed figures, staring into what seemed like silver mirrors that reflected nothing. I attempted to break free of her grasp and managed to dislodge my hand. I turned back to try my luck in the caverns, only to bump into a solid wall where moments before a tunnel had been. In a second, or it might have been more, I felt everything all at once and vomited over the roughly hewn floor, then suddenly felt nothing. I looked up to see the scar-faced Forever gone, replaced by a figure whose hands were in his sleeves, staring down at me from a hooded robe and empty eye sockets. His eyes had been gouged, replaced by a black bump in between the two sockets. My fear became a physical menace. I shook as my ears picked up an odd chanting of synchronous rhythm resonating at a pitch my mind had not encountered before.
I had seen many sights in my wakeful dreams, but none so hateful as I saw in the expression of the ancient and robed man now standing before me. All my senses were drawn to his one, black eye. The world seemed to stop until I noticed but one movement: an otherworldly-hued substance splurting out in aetheric waves from the black and never-blinking eye in the centre of his forehead. In a roar of unexplainable mindcasting, I realized my whole existence had been an initiation. I became complacent, but within yelled for my own self to stop as I was ushered forth in a mindless stupor to where my true purpose lay. I had come to a radiant well where all reality emanates from, and from where a set of robed figures pulled out a ball made of what looked like mercury out of which I would forge my own mirror to gaze into eternity. All of this made strange sense to me and I proceeded towards my task with unstoppable zest.
I have no idea how long I polished that piece of mercury that wasn’t mercury and shaped it into a smooth, oval window – a plane where everything explained itself to me. It showed futures and pasts interwoven into an infinite cosmic cycle where humans and their existence formed transient thoughts in reality. I felt more than I saw, for in the darkness only my mirror and our chanting became real. My eyes atrophied until their insistence on seeing became an unbearable distraction. I gauged them out myself.

My master tended to me much then and helped with my infections, while my suffering moulded my mind into a new state of being of surpassing potency. I began to feel a pressure between the spot where my eyeballs had been. The pressure intensified daily and I existed in a constant state of fear where all I sensed for a long while was darkness, grasping my polished mirror and listening to its age-old secrets. The pressure between my eyes increased until I sensed a tremendous bursting and relief. After aeons the fear subsided. I felt the sights I was ought to have seen before. Smelled the sounds I ought to have heard and sensed the forming of things out of a place where all comes from one vibration – and ultimately returns into one. I saw the birth of my species as a great fountain spewing specks that drift through the air, divided and confused only in that time while falling to the source, then finding perfect composure once more. I would gaze into infinity in states of bliss, my mind forming actualities of careful design and complexity – all unknown to those whose pathways of fate I had forged. I did this until after a time, I too became one motion, watching from above with a thousand eyes. Watching as they – chanting in a rhythm identical to the one I had first heard – respectfully carried, then threw me into a pit of liquid mercury, where I felt myself as I became forever.