Alchemy for the Braindamaged XIX: Controlled Demolition

 And here we are, the penultimate chapter of this series. One more run around the block before I break down and tell you what it’s getting at. Twenty seems like a nice number, and hardly a planned one. I could squeeze a couple more in there but It hardly seems essential. Time is of the essence.

So down to work.

In any process of personal transformation, there is the inevitable collision with what can only be characterised as a wall. A simple, yet adamant refusal of some part of the mind to go any further. Some habit, some routine, some fondly held belief, or context that will not yeild to any degree of effort. To fling oneself against the unmovable seems sure to plunge one into madness or despair.

Maybe you can’t visualise what you actually want. You’re bound up in endlessly circular sniveling and whining about what you don’t want. You can’t sit still for more than fifteen minutes, because it feel like ants are burrowing into your subcutaneous fat and supping on your blood. You have no idea what might constitute ‘happy’, ‘relaxed’, ‘optimistic’ or ‘creative’. You see other people do these things, or what looks like these things, but you have no clue whatsoever how that might become true for you.

All these seemingly disparate problems are actually the same problem. They all represent a profound terror of losing or destabilising one’s sense of self. Where you locate that sense is perfectly variable, but everyone puts it somewhere. Your feelings, your beliefs, your material circumstances, your body, your relationships. Maybe you do a little circular bucket brigade from one to the other, when one of them starts to look shaky. In fact, that’s probably exactly what you do. But chances are there’s one or two that will not yield or shift in any lasting way. The real cornerstones of the static ego. Or the attempt at a static ego, as the case may be.

It should be abundantly clear by now that you can do just about anything. Certainly you can be as happy, as creative, as smart, as rich or famous as any other human at the very least. If you know that, then what’s the fucking problem? It’s not that your mind is averse to better or richer experiences. It just has trouble beleiving them to be possible. It has difficulty relinquishing the present circumstance to move towards the new one.

You ‘ve probably all experienced that sense at least once. That sense of free fall? When you actually made a definitive break with the past and moved into the unknown.

Now before you start patting yourself on the back as some radical innovator who can drop everything and go hike to peru, or live out of a backpack and squat in an abandoned building and dumpster dive, consider that the real stubborn changes are internal ones. It’s easy to up and leave your external circumstances, it’s easy to quit your job, compared to facing the real issues that probably drove you to do those things in the first place. It’s hard to let go of your obsessive need for approval or control or recognition. It’s hard to let go of your ongoing lusts, fears and obsessions, even when you can see they don’t serve you anymore. It’s hard to love unselfishly.

Can you even imagine letting go of anger altogether? Where is it writ large that humans beings have to get angry? or fearful? or desperate? or depressed? Certain physiological phenomena are inevitable, but transitory. That’s no excuse to dig yourself into the same emotional or existential hole that everyone else is living in. The fact that everyone seems to be doing it, ought to be reason enough to question it.

Some people learn to love their jailers, to need their jailers, to want to please the authors of their captivity.

What you need to get through your head is that YOU are your jailer. YOU are your own worst enemy. YOU are the one who is holding you back. YOU are the barrier to full potential.

If your life has been going so great up until now, what the fuck are you doing here? You can’t have it both ways. You don’t get to change irrevocably and stay the same in all the comforting ways.

The world will get along just fine if you change everything about yourself. Nobody knows, nobody cares. Most people who ‘know’ you won’t even notice, and if they do, they’ll probably just pretend it isn’t happening. The last thing a prisoner wants to do is admit that you can just leave at any time. Your social life will probably not fall into upheaval if you chuck all your internal neurotic bullshit. And even if it did, wouldn’t that be preferable anyway? What the fuck are you so eager to hang on to?

If by some sci fi contrivance someone were able to steal your body, your life, they would probably fumble around for a couple days and then adapt so smoothly no one would ever notice something had changed forever. You know it’s true. Even the people who claim to know and love you the best would not see that ‘you’ were gone. And you know why? Because ‘you’ are constantly changing all the time already, and does anyone notice? Not really. Not anymore than makes them comfortable to do, which is probably related to exactly how comfortable they are with changing constantly themselves.

So, really, the only possible authentic life or realtionship in this world is based on constant, never-ending upheaval and complete change.

The sooner you get rid of this idea that you are the same entity that was extruded from your mother’s womb at birth, the happier you will be. You are not even the same entity you were yesterday. These ideas about what you are, are ghosts and they will haunt you unto death.

Unless you kill them first.

  These voices in your head that are constantly making statements about who and what you are, do not magnify extend or optimise your capabilities in any way. In a sense these insert themselves as intermediaries between your total mental resources and the world outside of you. They insert themselves for the sole purpose of maintaining the delusion of static identity. They don’t help you do anything, except perhaps to cope with the fear that you don’t really exist as some unchanging essence. And they don’t even do that very well, because that fear has probably never gone away for more than a few bare seconds in total of the course of your life, and probably never will, until you quit playing the game with these voices.

 This arraingement will take one of a several forms in the final analysis:

 first possibility; the voices break you entirely. you capitulate to your fears, expectations and beliefs about life, and do your best to carve out whatever sort of satisfactory existence your life script will permit you have. welcome to 99% of the human race.

 second possibility: you formulate some novel scenario for your life, and by hook or crook, manage to outmaneuver the voices that want to hold you in fearful stasis. You hijack any and every tool at your disposal to accomplish the emotional breakthrough on the other side of the wall, and then go back to sleep. Hopefully you don’t commit suicide when your old walls are replaced by brand new ones, and your new world sucks as bad as the old one sooner or later. This is 99% of the remaining 1%. Welcome to an anthony robbins seminar.

third possibility: you reorient your life to continuously tearing down your walls and undermining your limiting voices. you alternate between ruthless and somewhat depressing gruntwork to learn new things, and the ecstasy of breaking through old limitations.  This turns out to be much more satisfying than actually getting any hypothetical goal or emotional cookie. You eventually learn that having goals makes for useful focal points, but getting them is not especially important, leading you to set goals as close to utterly impossible as you can, and enjoying the ride. Conversely, you embrace an outcome utterly for a short period of time and then drop it when you integrate the new perspectives it offers. Hopefully you elude the slight risk of falling into a depression or dependence on something external to make the ride keep going. If you extend this practice long enough you eventually realise the utter transparency or provisional nature of all your identities and inner voices, leading you to notice the larger nigh-infinite consciousness that was always present to begin with. You may count yourself in the ranks of shamans, magi and visionary artists of all stripes since the dawn of time, but that’s just one more t-shirt for the collection by the time you get there. Life is funny that way.

 fourth possiblity:You utterly relinquish all of your ego attatchments in some profound act of devotional surrender to the vastness of creation. In which case skip to the end of possiblity three, and then some. This option remains open at any time, but it is historically not very popular, although those who pull it off tend to be. Make of that what you will.

 Homework:

  I’m not going to presume to tell you which option you should address, so I’ll prescribe a course of action for each one.

 Option one: Do nothing. Very easy, and the best part is you’ve already done it! Give yourself a pat on the back.

  Option two: Do your best to cultivate some kind of obsessive desire for a carefully specified outcome. Do anything and everything it takes to get it, within the bounds of your morality and conscience. Any of the tools I’ve offered up so far are helpful in this regard, but I tend to think of that as a bit of a waste.

Option three: If you’ve been along for the ride thus far and actually doing anything, you’re well on your way. The sooner you move your emphasis from getting the things on your list, towards understanding the progressive growth of creativity, flexibility, and insight, the sooner you will see the true purpose of the magickal path.

Option four: Dramatic but effective; Spend a whole day trying to convince yourself you are afflicted with some terminal illness and only have one year to live. Immerse yourself in that sense of despair, frustration, sadness and eventual acceptance. When you feel like you’ve made peace with it and understood how to live your remaining life in that light, get up the next day and imagine your only have a month to live. This will repeat the experience at a higher level of intensity and dig up any attachments you missed the first time.

  Then do it again the next day, but only give yourself a single day to make your peace with life. By this point it will become very very clear how useless most of your mental activity is most of the time. If need be do it one more time and live out the last hour of your life. If you perform this exercise to the utmost even once, your life will never be the same, and to do it over and over again will lead you to the goal in short order.

Down and Out in Chapel Perilous

Behold, I am returned.

Or at least, i am sufficently untangled to sit in front of a keyboard for a little while. I can assure you that any writing takes about twice as long as what it looks like it ought to have. On the mend though. Lifestyle reforms take some time, apparently, even when they’re as supposedly simple as how you sleep or how you stretch and sit. The funny thing about pain, is that if you’re going to endure, you want it to be for a good reason. Hence the outrageous delays and procrastination in writing

Compounding the whole process however has been the unremmiting string of crises befalling me and mine. As usual, I am torn between the paranoiac and pronoiac interpretations of the events, so as usual I will recourse to a both/and interpretation.

I’d have to say I’ve come fairly close a few times in the last couple weeks to my wits end. first of all I could at many times hardly stand, walk or bend over without slipping some vertabrae for all the psychophyscial tensions pulling me asunder.

Running alongside that, you have one of my oldest friends call me up to say that he’s staying at the local homeless shelter. Which is doubly suprising when last I’d heard, he was married, with five kids, a new baby, a fine home, steady work and a ( seemingly) solid middle class lifestyle.

It seems the pressures of new marrige, new child, and unresolved relationship tensions led to too much drinking, leading to an explosion of mutually destructive violence. That’s possibly his whole life, done and dusted. He’s picking up the pieces, but his marrige is quite likely toast. He’s starting from scratch. His relationship to his wife, kids, his job, his home, his money. All doing over. That’s enough to break a man. And it’s to his credit that he hasn’t broken. He’s picked himself up like this before, and he can do it again. but he’s wondering why he made some of the same mistakes in his life a second time. Aren’t we all though?

Then my Dad decides to swirl into a new low of alchoholic debasement. I hope none of you ever have to treat your parents like small children. I really don’t. There’s no talking to him. He made the critical decisions so long ago, he’d probably be long dead before he could reverse the consequences of those choices. You either accept that he’s doing this with his life, or you don’t. Some choices there’s pretty much no going back from.

 And to top it off, my mother calls me up the other night, distraught from talking to my brother, who I’ve never been close with, and hardely spoken to in years now. Evidently my elder sibling, who always had issues with pot and alchohol, is doing a good job of turning into a crackhead, thief, and violent extortionist. He’s so low that he has to call our mom up to profess his wish to commit suicide. But like the saying goes, it’s one of those cry-for-help-suicides, not the real thing. I remember talking to him once and he ended the call by saying that he was going down to the basement to shoot himself. Turns out there was no gun and no basement either. No basement for my older brother at all, it seems, just a never-ending staircase into a private hell

…and how odd is this, to realise that I have never really loved my brother until now, wishing I could go into that hell and pull him out. But it doesn’t work that way. Too bad he doesn’t realise that. Too bad he doesn’t know you have to walk out of hell under your own steam.

It’s interesting to consider that my life, my circle of family and friends has always, untill now, seemed very forgiving. Very elastic. people slip, people stray, people make bad choices, but they have never fallen so hard as they are now. I have never fallen so hard as i have now. To be physically humbled, emotionally powerless to save my loved ones. Only just recently dragging myself from the depths of sheer madness.

This is the way the world ends

 

And is it just my perception, or is all of it becoming very unforgiving, very unelastic? Is everyone’s life starting to look this way? Is the narrow path getting narrower still? Some people’s lives have never been safe, never been stable. But those that are, seem to be not so much, anymore, and those that never were, seem much less so now.

The crux of alchemically braindamaged comes from a synthesis of several different perspectives. Once I came to an understanding of the complex of systemic crises that grow up around the topic of peak oil, I tried to fit that over top of my earlier insights into the idea of the acceleration of knowledge and progress which clusters around such luminaries as vernor vinge, terrence mckenna, robert anton wilson, and ray kurzweil. Then you nail both of those on top of a growing sense of spiritual crisis, of a cascading disequilibrium in the psychic or spiritual realm of human life. Growing madness, ignorance, infantilism, delusion and disenchantment. An alienation that seems best encapsulated in the writings of Steven Laurdan in the earlier mode of the deconsumption blog, or in someone like Ran Prieur. Then you nail all of that on top of an integral model of development in the mode of Ken Wilber, and my own recognition of the possibilties and gradual unfoldment of human potential. What seems to emerge is a kind of conjuncture. A concrescence if you will, a chaotic transition that seems inevitably about to test and transform us all. What it is and what it means, in every facet, is what brought me here, to you, in this new incarnation of a rather old blog.

 And now… I mean, I can talk and theorise about an ‘initiatory crisis’ …but is this it? We all make choices and we all live with them, but the little systems of cause and effect that constitute our lives orbit around the fate of our society, our beliefs, our spiritual compass, our collective momentum. The energy in the system. Might it be that as the larger systems fall into disarray that the smaller constellations are neccisarily affected?

Ecological and energy crises create survival crises, survival crises create emotional crises, emotional crises spiral into spiritual or existential crises. Can we really fool ourselves that it’s not all connected? Maybe fooling ourselves is what created this mess to begin with.
How many people swirled down into the hole and we collectively didn’t catch them? How many have fallen into the abyss, and we figured it wasn’t our problem? Did we imagine that it would be as cut and dried as driving less, or saving more, or growing your own food, or voting with your money? Maybe If we’re really ambitious we devote ourselves to personal understanding, and insight. But is any of that going to cut it when the world trembles on it’s axis and we all sail off the the edge?  Oh no. Oh no, friends. In a very real sense we all hang together, or we all hang seperate.

And I wonder where this narrow path leads anyway? It seems to me that all it really is , is the freedom to remain detatched. To look down on the hellworlds and hyperworlds and not be snared in them.  You can walk that tightrope for a long long time, but sooner or later you probably swirl into orbit of one of your irrevocable choices.

That’s the frightening thing to me. The idea that perhaps a lifetime of good choices, of skillfull circumspection and carefully cultivated perspective, can be thrown away on one bad choice. I’ve heard it said that no matter how great your job, or your relationship, or your friendships are, a half dozen words in the right place could destroy any one of those forever.

And conversely, you could be in the whole world of shit, and turn it around with one simple choice to take responsability and work your way out.

I think these things have always been true to some extent. some eras are more elastic than others. Some lives have the luxury of more bad choices before you can’t turn back. Some don’t.

What I feel like is happening in the world today is that we’re all slowly but surely being herded onto the narrow ledge. And there we are tested. And eventually almost everyone falls. Into the arms of god or the devil. Or if you like, the crown of the godhead or the talons of the dragon. The window of time wherein you could debate your options expires and you have to make a choice and learn to live with it.

It’s not that strange of an idea. Something like world war 2 comes to mind. Surely there were some germans who never had to make a choice, who could walk the line all the way through. But not many.

Rudolph Steiner felt that our era would culminate in a great mass of humanity succumbing to the pull of the ‘old moon’ the ghost train of despair, false materiality, and dead matter. Meanwhile the rest would ascend to the ‘new jupiter’ a flowering of our true creativty and mental powers.

Quite clearly these are metaphors. Every day of your life is a choice, to walk the path of rightiousness or fuck each other over out of blindness. But some days require more choices, and lend those choices made more weight. And while no choices are truly irrevocable, some might as well be.

And somehow that rings true to me, that all of us are tested everyday, but the collective momentum of those smaller tests, passed or failed, can come together from time to time. It rings true to me that right now, what so many of us feel is that chaotic nexus. And as we each pass through it, we make what seems like just another choice, little suspecting that this, or maybe the next, or the next; that choice will decide our fate.

   And I want to be clear that this is nothing imposed from above. We made the systems, we fed them, we made our lives within them, and then we spun them into chaos. And in those moments of crisis, we make the choices, from the menu we composed, and we pass sentence on ourselves from the rules we’ve internalised.

  The only difference between today and any other day, is whether you see it or not,  pretty much everyone is either going through this now, or soon will be, and the cumulative weight of those little trials will tell the tale of the human race for a good long time, and maybe forever.

  There’s a saying in sports: we didn’t lose the game, we just ran out of time. Occultists often like to say that initiation never ends. We always face the doorway to new growth and rebirth.

  It’s true. You never stop growing, but sometimes you just run out of time.

 My brother is running out of time. My father. My mother, my friends, and me. If I had jumped the wrong way in my brush with madness I wouldn’t be sitting here writing to you now. It’s not the sort of thing you come back from easily, if at all. It doesn’t matter what kind of person you thought you were. You jump the wrong way once too often and then you’re gone. 

   In a world like that, all you can do is treat every choice like it might be your last. Cause it may well be.

Curb-Stomped by God

Howdy doody.   

nothing too structured today. alas my body has taken my ego out behind the woodshed for a sound beating, in the form of painfull muscle spasms, that make it more or less impossible to sit or write for more than a few minutes at a time. A couple pieces in the works though, but i need to be able to go into one of my fits to finish them without throwing my back out or getting splitting headaches from subbluxed cervical vertebrae. week at the most, i would think.  

in the meanwhile i thought i’d share the joys of total information awareness, alchemical braindamage style.   while I don’t condone flogging in any form, or the abuse of horses, living or dead, this link here represents a nice succinct word on 911 which would throw most rigid minds into a set of upheavals.   which is really the only reason at this stage to bother with it. ‘proving’ or disproving’ anything is secondary to the benefit of moving them into a state of imprint vulnerability. if you can use something like 911 to drive the wedge in, you can sneak all kinds of baggage in behind it.  

if you want to actually understand 911 and the gang behind it from an ideological standpoint, look no further than the marvelous webster tarpley. the man knows his shit.  
i don’t link to solari anymore but if your interests lean towards understanding the money side of the counter initiation then get your groove on right here.  

and lastly while I don’t under any circumstance condone online piracy, I cannot help but be amused by the noise regarding weapons of mass destruction, when you have this kind of stuff flying around for free. if any significant percentage of the population assimilated this material you’d have the mental equivlalent of a nuke on every corner. If you were to for example go on any number of file sharing services and download the works of hypnotists like mark cunningham or kenrick cleveland you’d be walking around with more psychological firepower than you could ever use. But i know none of my readers would ever stoop to something so crass and disrespectfull of copyright.  Someone in this society has to stand up for the rule of law, ya know.