This’ll be an extension of the last installment, being as it an expansion of the augoeides process and how to go about it. I’ll share some pieces of my own approach, and give some tips on how to fill out the skeleton.

You definitely need to add a personal element to make the daimon spring to life for you. There are vast regions of the mind you either cannot or choose not to access under normal circumstances, and this is one way of coming in through the back door, as it were.

Making your lists, and projecting them forward tends to be a highly linear, left brain kind of process, and there is the possiblity of making your future into some kind of exaggerated projection of the trends of your present, and you need a way to sidestep that. You need to find a way to make a phase shift, not just an additive progression. Real life as most people live it isn’ t like that, and the great work even less so.

In the past I’ve had success using poetry or fiction to accomplish that kind of whole mind synchronization, but in this case I’ll take a different angle, and use questions, as I’d recommended you do before. As we go farther, the methods will get more and more abstract by neccesity.

Questions are powerful, because depending on how you shape them, they open up a space your mind is compelled to fill. If you ask your holy guardian angel why you’re such a fuckup, then your mind will fill that space you opened with something. So be careful. You don’t need superhuman intelligence giving you superhumanly accurate reasons why you’re a failure in all your relationships, why your job sucks and how you’ve failed everyone you ever cared about. It’s not much fun, believe me.

On the other hand, if you use them well, they can unlock that holistic right brain integrative function that most of us can’t quite get a grasp of. It works in much the same way the use of divination does. Treating symbols as answers does more or less the same thing. Since we’ve already done that, you might want to try it.

In any case, let’s jump to the example. I’ll be picking this conversation up with a version of myself that is somewhere between the second and third iterations. So he’s a practicing medical massage therapist, proficient speed reader, ordained and learning to teach dharma classes, and solidly in the habit of meditating at least two hours every day, and spending another two polishing the martial arts every day as well. A long ways from who I am now, but still recognizable and intelligible. This piece will help solidify the connection so I can move into the fourth or even fifth iterations of the process without snapping the thread.

I formulated the five questions ahead of time, cleared my mind with some concentration practice, did my banishing, and then sat down to write the answers out.


In brief, what are the biggest differences between your current life, and my own?

I work for myself and make my own schedule. I quit the old job once I was getting money for massage work, which freed me up to do things that actually meant something to me. I have so much more energy, now thatI don’t have to bridge the disconnect between the job I was doing and my purpose in life. That kind of thing drains you a lot.

I have more time to train and study. I worried that there wasn’t going to be enough time to do everything, but as my mind got stronger and I felt better, the days went farther and I did more with them.

I eat better, feel better and look better. I’m more relaxed, more flexible and faster than ever. I can read a book each day easily in a couple hours. It’s hard work to do so much and finish it all every day, but it’s easier than not doing it, you know what I mean?

I’m more confident, now that I don’t have to justify not doing everything I’m capable of. I’d rather be exhausted than frustrated and ashamed of myself any day of the week.

I make more money and spend less. Pretty soon I’ll have enough to go to japan to train or maybe new jersey and the tracker school. I’m thinking about perhaps buying land the way ran prieur did.

How far removed from me in time are you?

About two years at the rate you’re going. Maybe a little less.

What are the things that from the perspective of the future I ought to change today, to make the biggest difference in myself?

Spend less time thinking about what you’re going to do and just do it. Like I said, it is hard work, you know that, but doing it is easier than feeling like shit for not doing it. You know well that getting off your ass is the hardest part.

Be more open and giving with people. Yes, they don’t understand where you’re coming from. And yes it’s not easy explain to them, but you don’t have to. You’re never going to be a boring person, so quit trying to protect yourself from them. Petty and vindictive people will be petty and vindictive people, the last thing you want is to become just like them. It won’t kill you to smile a bit more. Not everyone is a broken robot who needs a shrink. It feels good to help, but it also feels good to be friendly.

Other than that, quit wasting so much time on trivia. Going back to the same websites ten times a day isn’t helping anything except to take the edge off your boredom. Practice more instead.

What is my life really about, and what is my purpose here?

It’s simple when you think about what you’ve always done and still do. You’ve always seen a different world than this one. You never accepted that we were stuck with this. Nothing is impossible and you’ve always known that. Even when you were the lowest you never gave up. You never surrender to despair. That’s why you’re here. You’re here to give people hope. To show them things they can’t bring themselves to believe. To give them hope when there is none. To point to a better world, when no else can see it , and never let anyone take it away from you.

Not to fool your self or others. Not to pretend that things are different than they are. But to face what the world is and to face the job of making it better. If you can face it, god can fix it.

Everything you’ve learned, everything you’ve done is a way to prepare yourself for that.

What is your list of goals, and how do you pursue them?

I’m at a transition. I’m starting to get a handle on the skills I set out to learn when I was a kid. now I have to think about what to do with them. I’ve gotten good at helping people one a time. Now, that I’ve gotten my own stuff more or less under control, I have to think about reaching out to more.

At the same time, I want to diversify. My mind is getting strong enough to bridge a lot of fields and take in huge amounts of information quickly. I’d like to be able to get an overview of everything, and then make some concrete decisions of how and what I’m going to do in the long term.

I’ve been with Alaina for a few years now and I think I need to give some thought to our future together. Up until now I’ve sort of been coasting while I worked on myself and she developed her career. Time to change that.

The dharma practice is very fruitfull. I’m starting to see glimpses of what the culmination of the path might be. I’d like to set aside time for retreats to bring that about. I think it’s possible I may have to reasses everything when that happens. I feel sure that it will, sooner or later.

1. 3 hours of insight or concentration practice every day
2. teach dharma classes for beginners
3. give some serious thoughts to the future of my relationship
4. make plans for a spiritual retreat of two weeks every year
5. 3 hours of martial arts practice everyday
6. look into buying some land
7. practice dream yoga to reduce my need for sleep and explore lucid dreaming
8. expose more people to my hobby-based writing and speaking
9. do a structured series of readings in one new field every month
10. make concrete plans to go to japan or the tracker school in new jersey

What do you want to tell me that I haven’t already asked?

There’s only so much preparation you can do. Risk can only be reduced so far, no matter how much you study and train. Don’t fall so in love with skills and knowledge that you hesitiate to give yourself when it’s needed.

Don’t forget that all you really want is to connect with a larger purpose. At a certain point you have to make a leap of faith and trust that you will either survive it or you won’t. But at least you will be where you were meant to be. That’s not easy to accept, but it’s the truth and you know it.


Next: apocalyptic supermind

9 thoughts on “Alchemy for the Braindamaged X:Into the Crucible

  1. What the fuck? This isn’t happening. You didn’t just describe what I needed to make my next step. Wow. It is unfuckinbelievable that I just stumbled across this.

    I don’t know what else to say…

    “Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.”- Sri Ramakrishna


  2. I noticed that one of the goals listed in this section was to explore lucid dreaming. This is a subject I’ve been interested in for quite some time now, and I am wondering if you’ve had any experience with this practice yet.

  3. I’ve also just started getting into Lucid Dreaming on the side. Mainly got interested from Ken Wilber talking about it and how he thinks it can be a very valuable skill to have and partly since I’ve had accidental lucid dream in the past.

    Anyway I think Wilber’s stance had something to do with death and reincarnation; and how after death the ability to lucid dream gives one the option to choose their rebirth or lack thereof. I really can’t recall the exact details, but yeah… Uh… Zac, your thoughts?

  4. well, I’ve played with it few times. it had the same pattern every time; I’d make note of dreams, cultivate recall and memorise triggers to become lucid for a few days and usually on the third or fourth night I’d have a stunningly lucid experience, but then it beceome excruciatingly hard to carry on. I’m not sure why.

    in general meditation and mindfullness practice promote lucidity. In the augoeides series i mention a few times how i can sort of exercise a wake up option at pretty much any time if a dream is bugging me. but not so much willfull control of content. it is odd to ‘know’ on some level you’re dreaming though. i think meditation of certain types strengthens ‘the witness’ part of the mind.

    the reincarnation stuff sounds like bollocks, but I’ve got no use for being reincarnated anyway.

  5. Yeah, lucid dreaming is weird. Sometimes you can be spot-on, sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you can control the content or shift things, sometimes you can’t. It strikes me as one of those cases where it’s like there are competing agents–certain dreams you’ll reach lucidity in and it’ll be like a dream. Certain dreams will seem lucid. Certain dreams will be almost totally out-of-control even though it’s as vivid as real-life, and accompanied by a feeling of contact.

    Seriously, what is with Ken-sho’s reincarnation trip of late? …he Posts about getting flatlined three times, spending eternity in the waiting room from Beetlejuice as “The Big Mind”, then a post later is talking about how illness in this life stems from karma acquired in a previous life? Then, Ken goes on to run with the idea? Really, since when do i have to become a Hindu to get on with this game? Dude frowns on the “psychic powers” but then gives using lucid dreaming to reincarnate an “okay?” You’ll also notice that in his most recent post he claims it’s possible to get Awakened in an hour for “97%” of the population. One hour. Sure. Shameless huckster. And has anyone read his latest chapter from “Integral Politics?” Dude claims to have a supercomputer running future scenarios and plans for a One World Gov’t. Is this a bad sci-fi scenario? Is it? Should I rent Wild Palms to bone up on the next thing Wilber sells?

  6. ah, it’s all in good fun. rising from the dead will put some kinks in your presentation, I’m sure.

    ken’s like your dad. he’s not supposed to be cool, and it’s kind of embarrassing when he tries, but as dads go, he’s pretty fucking cool.

  7. I couldn’t comment on any supposed links between lucid dreaming and reincarnation, but I believe it could be a powerful tool in this process of self-examination that this site focuses on. We know that, when dreaming, our unconscious mind reigns supreme, but the lucid dream is an interesting scenario in that the conscious mind enters the picture. Here, it appears we have the conscious and unconscious in direct communication, or confrontation, with one another–which seems absolutely ideal if we are trying to integrate that which we do not see of ourselves in everyday life.

    As far as Wilber, Idon’t know much about him, but I’ve seen his site a few times, as well as reading that crazy-ass rant he posted on his blog a while back–and I must say the guy seems to be the poster-child for egomania. If Ken wants people to take him a little more seriously, he should take himself a little less seriously. Giving those shirtless pics on his site the axe wouldn’t hurt either.

  8. Well I checked back over some of Wilber’s materials and he goes into lucid dreaming a bit in Kosmic Consciousness CD 6, track 7, entitled “What happens when an enlightened being dies.”

    Now I feel a little guilty because I may have been mistaken earlier when I thought that he was claiming lucid dreaming could give someone the ability to choose rebirth/lack of or some such. It seems like he was saying that — according to traditions, he says — an already enlightened being once they die has to option of being reborn or not — not so much the “normal folks.” And mixed with this, on the same track, he also goes into lucid dreaming.

    I’ll attempt to provide a rough transcript, which of course it’s taken a bit out of context since I’m not gonna type out all 20+ minutes of it.

    Interviewer: “Well I wanna take a brief tangent here into lucid dreaming because it seems it’s a really critical skill to develop, so I’m wondering what your suggestions would be for somebody who wants to get better at lucid dreaming.”

    Wilber:”Yes, I think it’s a very good practice because there’s several things at once: when people start to lucid dream one of the first things that happens is they’re shocked at — well, first the fact that they can do it — but second just the fact of how real the dream appears ’cause we all know anyway, we wake up and go “wow I can’t believe I bought into that.” And as we mentioned previously, the Satori experience — or the awakening experience — as having just that experience in relation to waking state. You actually wake up from waking state and go, “Woah, I can’t believe I bought that!”‘

    “Lucid dreaming gives you a taste of all of that but it also starts exercising the muscle that helps you do that more and more in any event, which is a capacity to take this ever present witnessing awareness. And that witnessing awareness is only half of the non dual equation. It leaves out the earth and the pagan half — which is important. But you have to exercise the witness side; you have to have both of them there, and being able to witness during the dream state means you are dis-identified from the dream state. You no longer identify with the partial self that’s appearing in the dream state (you’re aware of it), and because of that you can actually control, create anything you want.”

    “That is accompanied by a growing realization that just as that dream state that there’s a awakeness in the dream state, the wakened state is a dream. In other words they tend to balance each other out; and they’re both dreamlike appearances in this ever-present-wakefulness — which is what you really are. And this ever present wakefulness (or I Am’ness or Witness) increasingly starts to shine; its own capacity becomes stronger and stronger in the midst of changing circumstances, fluctuating states and experiences and so on.”

    “And gaining a capacity for Dream Yoga or Lucid Dreaming is a wonderful way, again, to take advantage of states that are ever present, no matter what stage you’re at. And that’s another reason it’s very very important to work with these states of consciousness; because you can do this whether you’re at level one or level two or level three or level four… or any of those. And it’s part of what we were calling — in a sense, um — horizontal health. It’s really being everything you can be no matter what stage you’re at. And that’s gonna make you move through the stages faster; and lucid dreaming certainly will.”

  9. Also, Ken does admit that he’s not so thrilled about discussing reincarnation since there’s no hard evidence for it. He says it’s just what he personally believes, and that he’s very aware that he could be deluding himself — or something to that effect.

    Now, interestingly, he says that all that’s carried from one lifetime to another is not personal memories or personality quirkiness (which dies with the personal body with the physical brain and all), but rather — again using the traditions — that the “essence in the heart” goes from rebirth to rebirth. The essence supposedly contains only 1) an individual’s accumulation of wisdom (the capacity to understand emptiness) and 2) virtue (“the capacity to do good”).

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