And the objects that they make have the peculiar ability to themselves generate this linguistic “stuff” which condenses as other objects. So beings are making objects, showing you objects, the objects are turning into beings and making other objects, these beings and objects, they jump into your chest – and then they jump back out. They jump into your body and disappear into your body, and then they jump back out, waving these things, just throwing this stuff in all directions.-Terrence McKenna
This will be an update to some of the principles of banishing, an answer to a couple of questions, and an entry into some new territory altogether, so buckle up.
There’s an awful lot of discussion these days about what can be grouped under the broad heading of ‘the other’. Sometimes that other is an alien, a supernatural manifestation, a diety, the dissassociated self, or the self-transforming machine elves from hyperspace.
What they all have in common is that they appear to exist outside the boundaries of the self. It probably goes without saying that without a self there is no other, But I’ll bring it to the forefront of our discussion becuase it’s crtically important.
Terence Mckenna once said that the great project of the twentieth century was one of boundary dissolution. between the conscious and the unconscious, order and chaos, black and white, civilised and tribal, male and female, self and other. Surrealism, dada, feminism, psychedelics, civil rights, psychiatry and psychotherapy, free love and the sexual revolution. Boundaries dissolved or in the process of dissolving.
But then what? You can’t neccisarily dissolve all your boundaries can you? Some people might like to, but is that always a good thing? There are plenty of opportunists, human or not, that would love to take advantage of your dissolving boundaries.
The media, for example, is utterly saturated front to back with messages that try to impinge on your boundaries and implant imperitives that are foreign to your preexisting sense of self. Indeed, the whole world is full of little selves that would love to imprint on you. As I’ve said we’re hypnosis machines and invading and colonising each others headspaces is the way it’s done round here.
When you undertake the practice of banishing, you are, in effect, taking the plastic, permeable, boundary between self and other and modifying it in some way. You contract it to expell foreign influences, expand it to encompass new ones, harden it to repel invasive forces and soften it to allow desirable or benign ones acess.
But, of course, everytime you do this you’re actively redefining what exactly is ‘self’ and ‘other’. The self is whatever is inside the line you happen to draw, and the other is whatever is left out.
Take feelings for example: you all probably have the one friend who cannot get their shit together. Someone who is constantly buffeted by a victim mentality, who feels put-upon, persecuted and overwhelmed. They happily try to dump their negative feelings on anyone who will listen.
Most people in that situation will be aware of that friends feelings, but not neccisarily identify with them. Others will be completely detatched and wonder what the big goddamn deal is all the time. Then there are others still who will take on those feelings so totally, that they cannot seperate themselves from it. for all intents and purposes, the other persons feelings are their feelings. No boundary = No difference. The only thing that changes from one to the next is the strength and size of the line drawn around self.
And there’s really nothing to say you can’t draw and redraw that line anywhere you like. You could even take a long-existing behavior or persona and eject it completely, simply by redrawing the line to exclude what you don’t want anymore.
So in short, banishing is that process by which you draw the line. Exactly how you do it entirely ideosyncratic. What matters is you incorporate whatever symbolism or activity will make that experience more real to you. You talked yourself into the boundaries you have now. You can talk yourself into new ones. However you do it, it’s important to repeat it the same way, over and over again. Your mind responds to effort and repetition. It notices the things you do constantly and will move to support them.
Let’s say you have the nagging voice of your ten year old self constantly dragging you down with fear and poor self esteem. You could just close you eyes and say piss off, but what works better is to surround yourself with symbols of success and confidence, visualise your whiny ten year old self in front of you, and then physically mime shoving him or her out of the circle. Then you reaffirm your more current state of confidence and self-esteem, and then force the ejected self to renegotiate your relationship before re-integrating them. If you can’t come to some kind of accord then tell the little bastard to fuck off. Repeat that twenty or thirty times over the course of a month or two and you’ll probably be getting somewhere.
Now you might ask: how does this process apply to entities that seemingly have their own volition and autonomous existance? Those things are surely not manifestations of my self?
Not directly, no. But the funny thing is, the moment you define the boundaries of the self, you have at the exact same time defined the boundaries of the other. Think of it like both sides of the crinkly edge of a fractal. Every step you take into the other is one step the other takes backwards. Everything you take from outside and integrate is one less attribute whirling around in the deep waters of the not-self.
So even if you encounter something that seems utterly strange and alien to you, the only reason that’s so is because you made it that way. From the buddhist perspective all identities are delusional postulates with no inherent reality. they may function as autonomous entities but in truth it all emerges from the same flickering void of nothingness, and that’s where it goes back to in the end. The aliens are as real to you as you are to yourself. If you’ve got an extremely rigid and/or neurotic ego, there’s going to be a lot of alien seeming shit prowling around at all times. And if you encounter something new and recoil from it, all you’ve done is create a membrane of self/not-self to eventually dissolve and integrate.
Which I suppose raises all kinds of questions about what the deal is with all these alien contact experiences and the like. My suspicion is that they the veiled attempts of the collective unconscious to pierce the walls of repression around the human sense of self.
How many times have you heard about implants, rectal probes, fetal tissue manipulation, surgeries, kidnappings, and messianic dispensations of wisdom from our little grey buddies? If you accept that these creatures are at least quasi non physical, then it follows that they might be manifestations of some other trying to either reconcile itself to the human ego, or invade it and colonise it. For myself I find the parallels between alien contact and satanic ritual abuse a little too close for comfort, and recall the admonitions of rene guenon that the crumbling of our collective barrier to the subhuman realm leaves us exposed to all manner of predators and parasites.
Or it may be that it’s a little more in line with Terrence’s experience. These creature bathe you in luv. They give you gifts. They teach you thier magick and welcome you as a friend. They litterally merge with your body.
What both of these polarities have in common however is a complete loss of boundary control, which leads me to believe that the intensity of contact -type experiences is strongest either in the neurotic whose rigid defences suddenly collapse, or in the skilled adept who willingly drops his defences for a time.
My experience of contacting an ‘other’ came under the influence of what i would later estimate as 10-15 dried grams of psilociibin mushrooms. In that state I was able to dissect everything I encountered into smaller and smaller units, until I finally got down to flickering quantum static. Pure noise in the basement of reality. At the time i never thought to go the other way and see what was wating at the top. That particular experience took me close enough to madness that i realised i was done with drugs.
Meditation eventually gave me the opposite experience: a limitless transparent presence that transcended and included everything that exisited. A vast conscious emptyness of unformed potential. It wanted nothing because it was everything. It had no boundaries to dissolve so I was already one with it. It seemed and still seems to me that our purpose in existing was to accept and integrate every potential of the self, until we rejoin the godhead. Of course that could take a long time, and can a bit of a white-knuckle ride at times, hence the usefullness of banishing.
All of which may be considered a proper preamble to our next installment wherein we unchain the primordial monsters in the qlippothic depths of reality and make them our bitches…