Rounding out my other discussions of concentration practice, we traverse such things as tantric iconography, nirvikalpa samadhi, how to not flame out like a rock star, and how to turn the thwarted idealisation of oneself into a working facsimile of the holy guardian angel.

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Direct download: flowery_atomic_heart.mp3

We can build this muthafucka… we have the technology.

8 thoughts on “Augoeides Finale 2 of 3: Flowery Atomic Heart

  1. I don’t know if this is the best place to ask this but here goes: So meditation amplifies whatever you’re doing. I think most people act differently in different situations like with their family, friends, coworkers, etc. I’m not sure how to explain it very well but lately it feels like my personality’s almost flickering back and forth between two competing ideologies, and this division is being reflected in dreams as well. Do you think/did you experience something similar? I don’t know much about the Jungian concept of the shadow self, but since the two selves seem to be almost completely opposites I’d call them one another’s shadows. Did/Do you experience something similar to this? I’m hoping that since you know a lot more about the buddhist psychological model and through your own experiences you might be able to give a better idea of what’s going on.

  2. Without really knowing more it’s hard to say. Introspection and especially concentration will tend to amplify or bring to the fore splits in the personality that you weren’t previously that aware of . in situations where meditation is bringing in more energy, the little fractionated bits of oneself will start to fight for pieces of the expanded pie.

    or it might be that you’re actually LESS fragmented than you were before, and it’s just the big two have subsumed everything else and they’re all that’s left. there is usually a superego/shadow type thing that need to reconciled at some point.

    here’s something similar to that I did a little while back:

  3. “Fragmented bits of oneself fighting for pieces of the pie…”

    I’ve had some experiences recently when I’m in a groove at work and feeling dehydrated (happens a lot the few times I’ve been hungover) when I’ll be able to “hear” a cacophony of strange, almost manic-sounding “voices” darting through my head. These voices, if you want to call them that, seem to pick up in their scope, speed, and intensity if I “prod” them the right way.

    If there is an “intention” behind these voices, it seems almost certainly demonic, devious and harmful… yet ultimately they’re not hard at all to contain and keep from coming anywhere close to overwhelming me (which I feel like they want to do if they had their way).

    And eerily enough, while this is happening, my “normal” mind is perfectly capable of its typical thinking-process… so much so that these two competing voices can co-exist seamlessly. In the end, it always ends once I chug some water and get hydration back to normal. Otherwise, these “voices” aren’t ever there.

    I’m certainly not claiming this is the result of any advanced skill in insight or meditation practice, as neither are part of my routine, but thought I’d share.

  4. Hey, lucky me, I hit the hypothetical example jackpot and got all my work done for me.

    No, you’ve given me plenty more to think about along those lines. For example, you have me questioning whether my ambitions are way way too modest, so I’ve allowed myself to stretch my imagination at least to the point of being, say, ‘the next Cat Power’. Maybe the next Stevie Nicks, one day…

    The thing is, though, I really don’t want the trappings of rock stardom. I don’t want to lose myself completely in that one pursuit (especially one as drug-like as music) even if it does expand out into others eventually. I have other important goals already, now.

    Balance and Integration (value-multitasking?) seem to be more my ‘things’ because they’re more all-encompassing and better for me as a whole person. Problem is, that runs me the risk of being just a jack of all trades and a master of none. But I don’t even think I mind that. There is something to be mastered there – the balancing act itself, and that excites me. Maybe I’ve watched too much cirque du soliel.

    Seriously though, I’m more interested in how many things I can master to how much of an extent than I am in how far I can take one particular aspect of the Good.

    This isn’t just an avoidance of the pearing down of my interests. I’m all for cutting out useless distractions, as imperfect at that as I may be… I just don’t think I can, or want to (and am not sure whether I need to), pear things down to a single main focus. If I did, music wouldn’t be it, and I certainly don’t intend to drop that.

    Basically I want to be a Super Amazing Renaissance Woman …but I struggle often with how (and how much) to divide up my focus/energy and time for the best overall result. Also, while I’m fine with having a semi-broad array of pursuits that I build up gradually in a sort of spiraling fashion over time, I also need money, now, to invest in them, and I don’t want to work for the man if I don’t have to, but profiting in a business of one’s own requires a lot of specialization, it seems, and a single-minded focus on that one business. I get bored and depressed when I don’t diversify my activities, so, what to do…


  5. It’s a bit more of a renaissance age, this. at least according to rushkoff, but I do agree.

    you might recall that when i first proposed this, it was in a context of a whole list of one’s goals, and presumably, the underlying values of each, so each one of those could be spun out into a strand similar to this one. so in that way you potetnially have a much richer tapestry. I know for myself that the manifestations come and go, but the core values remain.

    i think women in genral are more holistic in their outlook, what with the bigger inter hemispheric connections and whatnot, whereas guys are often content to simply plow through in a straight line.

    in any event, the thing that underlies the music or whatever almost certainly appears in other forms.

    as muscians go you could take examples like bono, who leveraged his megastardom to hobnob the president and the IMF for third world debt relief, or bob geldoff who was a singer of some dubious merit, who found his calling in organising benefit concerts for the starving, or leonard cohen, who started as a poet, became a writer, then a singer/songwriter, then a monk, and now occupies some kind of prophetic stature in popular culture.

  6. So I came up with this idea a bit ago while I was out walking, which concerns the Shadow and sort of super values/qualities. I remembered you talking once in one of your podcasts about how you had a martial arts teacher and you really wanted to learn whatever that particular martial art was. (If I’m wrong about this just take it as more of a hypothetical thing) So you started picking up straights of his along with what you wanted to learn without realizing it at first. So what occurred to me was — the quality I want is confidence — that the Shadow aspect, or at least that polarity that I seem to be battling it out with, is trying to point out to me all of the other things I’ve associated with confidence that I don’t want. One main example is the people who I think are confident are generally assholes, or have a ton of money, so I get lost in thinking that I need to be one or the other in order to be confident, rather than realizing that confidence is something separate which can be cultivated. I don’t know if that’s clear, but fundamentally I’m thinking the Shadow (this is probably not in the Jungian sense) is like “Well, I see what he’s after but I guess he doesn’t realize that he’s got all of this other stuff confused with the value he wants, and the only way to make him realize it is by trying to push him somewhere he doesn’t want to be.” Got any ideas about that? Thanks for the redirection to the podcast earlier by the way.

  7. The male/female difference sure makes sense. It’s probably one of the reasons there are so many more successful business men than women, dammit. Not that I don’t have my masculine ‘side’ (he’s the one who regularly chides me for being such a ‘girl’). He becomes quite predominant when I’m really pissed off, or particularly determined to get a task done, or on a really tight deadline. But, being able to summon that energy more selectively and at will would be nice. And I try.

    I didn’t figure you were implying that one’s life should revolve around a single virtue, only. Don’t know why I was talking like I did. I’ll blame estrogen and the resulting girl-tardation that so often plagues me.

    I definitely agree that throwing all your energy towards one pursuit, ie: music, can ultimately serve your more altruistic goals *better* in the long run, than if you try to put equal emphasis on all of them from the beginning (that’s one of the things I argue with myself about a lot). Bono must have had to, at many times, set aside his more altruistic goals and give in to the demands of rock stardom. But he obviously held to a grander vision, and that probably helped him avoid the inner conflict and subsequent self-sabotage that I think a lot of idealistic artists (who lack such perspective) go through, when commercial success and fame and money threaten to come in and ‘corrupt’ their artistic integrity. As if it has to be a dilema. If you really care about art and beauty and integrity, you should want a whole lotta money and fame so you can use it for good. Bono’s great.

    As is Mr. Rushkoff. I was skeptical on my first impression, but I’ve since revised my opinion. Get Back In The Box is really good. Thanks for recommending.

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