Member: Rva_jeremy Location: Richmond, VA Gender: Male Interests: Computer programming, music and production, backpacking, firearms, political economy, radical activism and anarchism, philosophy, metaphysics
Published by Jeremy6d on October 21, 2015 11:36am. Category: General
When we are at our most aware, we are not necessarily in a mode of consciousness with which most people would identify, I believe. I know the mode I usually am in: it is one where the world is happening to me, and I am constituting a social self--even in my most solitary moments--in response to it. Outwardness, performance, and position are the boundaries of being, while the satisfaction of the body and mind's endless and everchanging menu of desires and intrigues becomes the reliable object.
To realize that another mode is possible is the gift of a lifetime, because up until such a realization, why would you seek anything else? When I am at my most connected, I am less participant in life than observer, feeling detachment from the details of the world's schedule of wants and needs. It's not that these wants and needs are sublimated or rejected; it's that they seem to be the wants and needs of a vehicle, not something pressing in on me. Nothing is as free as that feeling that the object of waking thought can roam beyond the drama of daily selfhood. One wanders through the day maintaining an inner connection, consequently experiencing every bump and scene not so much as an event to be engaged as a hue in an piece of art whose theme is service.
The wonderful thing about the Law of One's focus on service as a touchstone of spiritual evolution is how the very idea has a directional orientation embedded within it. Seeking to satisfy ourselves solely keeps us focused on selves that crave a particular mode of consciousness. Inevitably, we follow the mind and body around ceaselssly in this mode, and it is only peaceful in the sense that it is the known tumult, the acknowledged itch, the recognized pain. We rightly fear the unknown expanse within, because it will utterly destabilize us.
However, maintaining any focus on service to others requires an inner connection. In my experience, one simply cannot reliably serve if one is constantly competing with one's own desires. The detachment helps one decouple one's interests from one's persona, so that so-called "selfish" ends can simply be weighed against other ends. It is only the small monkey mind of worldly consciousness that sees any competition there; the more transcendent, service-to-others mind can abide both self and otherself.
The world wants to be the object we seek, the stick against which we measure ourselves, the gameboard we pour over and scheme to position ourseveles upon. The inner experience becomes merely peripheral, another environmental element to which we are subject. Taken to the extreme, this is the service-to-self orientation: the philosophy that the creation is something to be mastered and stabilized. But even in small doses, this empahsis on outer conditions draws our attention away from the necessity of inner connection to make good use of that outer experience.
And what is a good use? To locate the game board instead within, seeing the inner experience of acceptance, forgiveness, and recognizing genuine service as the position on the board. Detachment becomes not some rejection of the world, but simply the recognition that it is of auxillary importance, a reflection of a deeper life that is the primary object. Achieving inner connection is the means by which we live instead of a fleeting experience of novelty, and we tend to experience waking life as more of a symbolic dream commenting on our condition. The world is still happening to you, but it's not necessarily something to be responded to, anymore than we are urgently responding to everything in our dreams.
But be careful, because playing this game is bound to unravel much you have long considered settled. It is as perilous as setting out into the outer world as a newborn. The only way to "win" at that game is to abandon the other.
Published by Jeremy6d on October 2, 2015 8:52pm. Category: General
When the sun passes behind a cloud, things can get chilly. Life has a way of cycling through good and bad stretches, and the flawed personality can easily find itself lonely and frustrated, beset on all sides by the urgency of fear, doubt, and pain. During these times, it strikes me as positively rational to ignore the affective terrain within, absent any more transcendent purpose.
"Faith" seems as dismissive a label for what it descibes as "infinity" is to its referent. For if you ask a fellow seeker to help you identify and come to terms with a more transcendent purpose, faith will be the catch-all pushed on you. One struggles to express to the supposed friend the empiness of this signifier, how flimsily it guards one. Faith is not the solution, it seems, but the entire problem of bumbling through life with a vague sense that it all matters somehow.
What is needed is not more faith, but enough courage to walk a mile in the shoes faith has provided us. In other words, we are most faithful not when we bear the discomfort but when we feel it most deeply, I believe, and do not ingore it. Certainly nobody has unlimited capacity to do this, and that's part of what makes it so courageous. It's looking at that which is so tough to look at, to feel what is so tough to feel, that gives you the full human experience.
But why should we be courageous in this particular way? Because it is the only way to be alive. Because anything else feels fake. Because it has something to show you that would not be so painful to look at if you already knew of it. Because there's something about moving through this that seems to be the only way forward, even when it leads off the cliff. I am reminded of this passage from Stephen Tyman's A Fool's Phenomenology:
Do I really have to ask why it is that when I am truly broken and washed by sorrow, when every shred of vanity and arrogance is stripped from me, I am nearest to that in me which is divine?
Or in the words of Townes Van Zandt:
Being born's going blind
And bowing down a thousand times
To echoes spun
On pure temptation
Sorrow and solitude
These are the precious things
And the only words
That are worth rememberin'
If being born's going blind, then let me die with my eyes at least partially open, even though that may be the thing that does me in itself.
Published by Jeremy6d on September 19, 2015 3:47pm. Category: General
I can feel a moment of grace, of centeredness, of ease of being slipping away as the energy of Homecoming--but more generally, the energy of inspiration--fades into the balance of the human life. The soul has its seasons, I suppose.
The challenge right now is not to continue maintaining the connection; at this point I feel I have no other choice but to do this. Going back to full immersion in the real world just won't cut it anymore. The actual work is to keep the faith and hope that undergirds it, to maintain the authenticity of the connection as something of true value. That sense of significance within seems more important than the intensity or wholeness of the connection itself. I'd rather the connection be faint and genuine than clear and suspect.
How does one accomplish this in such an overwhelming, magnetic phenomenal world that knows exactly how to drag you back into illusion? The noumenal, hyper-subjective seems so useless, and it defies the ability to express. You cannot look for it in any other guise but the hidden carrier wave of the locked eyes, as those of Ra say. Verily this is the candle in the dark room experience, which can at least be recognized, even if it lacks total satisfaction.
I think meditation is the key. In meditation the inner subjectivity is apprehended and allowed to be. One sees that emotions exist, thoughts exist, blockages exist, being exists. The interior landscape rises into view. To be wet when it rains, warmed when the sun shines, and touched when fog parts is also to be chilled when the storm hits, parched when the drought deepens, and alone when the night falls. As a native American once said when he was asked whether he was cold in the winter with such minimal clothing, "Yes; but I'm alive".
I wish to be alive, no matter what that means, and that's a choice I make moment by moment, day by day, as the gravity well of the world oscilates around me.
Published by Jeremy6d on September 16, 2015 3:41pm. Category: Philosophy
When I was at the L/L house for homecoming, I was helping Gary with a tech issue at the computer station and saw he had written a note to himself to this effect: "The unconscious is the mind without the witness." Reading that in passing and thinking about it actually helped me get a slightly less distorted sense of the veil and many of the abstruse philosophical points about the manifest and unmanifest self that Tyman makes in A Fool's Phenomenology and, of course, those of Ra make in a book you may have read.
I then got to thinking about this concept of the "witness" and its centrality in the operation of catalyst on the self (i.e. the mind/body/spirit complex). There is something foundational about our choice of what to perceive--and it is very much a choice. Timothy Leary had this idea of "reality tunnels," a model for how humans filter out the massive amounts of signals, energies, and other information streaming in from everywhere into a subset that creates a coherent experience. The witness is not simply a passive act; it's positively an active gamble, to paraphrase Husserl, and a creative one at that. We "create our own reality" because to experience the totality of existence in all its million facets would overwhelm our third density self.
The concept of the witness has also been helpful in figuring out the mechanics of service. For instance, where I live and work in Richmond has a large number of homeless folks. One encounters panhandling and the human conditions of living on the street on a daily basis. It's easy to simply walk by and ignore these people as untouchables: in the best case, one thinks these folks can only make one uncomfortable, and we won't indulge the worst case worries that lie just below the interests of convenience. But neither is it possible to give your money to each and every person you run into. What is one to do if one is to be of service?
As in all experience, I believe the service is in finding the love in the situation and honoring the apprehension of Creator by Creator, self by other-self. I wonder if it's a lesson in how to deal with harsh realities in general: that to look away from suffering and ignore it creates a reality tunnel that denies the Creator's experience. One powerful way we can serve is by simply recognizing the pain others feel, as tough as that can be. People are crying out in heartache and despair, and to walk the streets seeing nothing by eyes averted has to be a crushing experience for an other-self down on his or her luck. By simply witnessing this condition, we not only provide ourselves catalyst for contemplation and growth, but we also afford the deeper mind a chance to bring inspiration and creativity to bear on the sorrow.
It's also a lesson in ministering to the self. How many memories of hurt and dissatisfaction with ourselves do we repress? How much of our own wounds simply manifest as anger, rudeness, and unhappiness of all sorts? Do we not also have an "identity tunnel" of ourselves carefully, even deserpately curated from the shattered parts we think are presentable? Meditation for me has been an act of witnessing my own inner condition; I realize much of my negative behavior patterns are borne of the wretched people inside me, wandering around ignored, unloved, and crying for the sanction of the witness.
This perspective gives new vitality to the unity inherent in accepting the whole self and accepting other-selves. Just as you aren't going to heal yourself overnight, you aren't going to be the savior of every person you meet. Making eye contact with a person suffering will not necessarily help them or you. And let us never, ever forget the adminition of those of Ra that "to a mind/body/spirit complex which is starving, the appropriate response is the feeding of the body." Sometimes the right move is to fork over the money. But my point is not that there isn't hard personal decisions to be made here; it's that ignoring the realities only prevents you from being of genuine service. A situation you censor from your field of vision is one with no real way to be addressed, nor is it a sacrifice which is used most effectively by the self on the evolutionary path.
By witnessing and sharing in the heartache we start a long process of coming to terms with our broken society, its lost members, and our role as service-to-others people. It is not an easy path, and it's probably not one we can walk consistently. It makes the mind boggle with ethical questions about how to be of service, how to relate to the Creator in its darkest moments. But isn't this what we're supposed to be doing? You start by acknowledging it, because all future action or inaction, all catalyst and experience starts there. In this sense, the greatest service is to witness without flinching.
Published by Jeremy6d on September 15, 2015 7:15pm. Category: Polarization
As one starts to feel a transformation take place, the most fascinating thing about it is the observation. It's as if the self, so long solely a subject, a mere colored window looking on the outside world, is now the object in view. One's daily life becomes much more a switching between observation of the self from without and observation of the world from within.
Because one has a new vantage point on life, it's easy to feel good about it. And one should enjoy it! While I wrote earlier that transformation is not an accomplishment per se, it's not something one should take for granted or of which one should feel unworthy.
However, it's important to recognize this variability and fluidity of identity and perspective for what it is. You are experiencing it, but it's not from you. Yes, you're allowing it to happen, but you are not the motive force here. Gratitude is a perfect response. But pride in one's spiritual transformation? Pride is how the ego appropriates what is not its own, puts itself in the driver seat, and ultimately reduces an ineffable experience to something that can fit into the old personality complex that is safe and known.
The bottom line is that the "you" from before is not the "you" now. Try to backport the present to the comfortable but limited past, and you simply degrade the very character of what you have found. You'll suddenly find that the authenticity of which I wrote earlier is absent, and your newfound experience is but an affectation, a label for cataloging the experience for use by the ego. There's nothing wrong with that ultimately, but doesn't that lose what was so precious and exciting about the transformation?
It reminds one of Mathew 9:17: "Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." To try and exploit the transformation for the ego's purposes ensures that the full character will be downgraded to what the ego can use. That defeats the entire purpose and spirit of the transformation.
I've found that cultivating a continual observation of one's emotional state and inner dialogue is the best way to deal with this. When you see yourself take ownership of these experiences, release it. They aren't something you're doing; they're something being done to you. The glorious realization that you don't have to carry the full weight of your own transformation is only part of the reward. It's also that there's another you being birthed, and you have the honor of being in the delivery room. Treasure it and it will sustain you through many twists and turns; try to capture and possess it and it will slip through the fingers, just as the old wineskin bursts.
Published by Jeremy6d on September 12, 2015 8:57pm. Category: General
Some of y'all may know that Gary (Bring4th_GLB) was one of my first Law of One friends I was able to meet in the flesh. Gary has been a beacon in my life, one I've lost sight of from time to time, but one I always knew could model utter courage, vulnerability, and faith when those qualities were lacking in me. My wife Tasha and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary today, and we were looking through some old photos and found some of your Director. I think they're from the 2002 Time of Global Shift conference as well as a visit to Virginia he made. Enjoy!
Published by Jeremy6d on September 11, 2015 3:28pm. Category: General
The adage "fake it till you make it" is a good one if one wants to change a behavior. Behavior is a weird confluence of the inner and outer, the robot personality and the genuine self. There is much that is mechanical about our patterns of thought and action, so in reality there's nothing to be "faked" because those patterns are not you in the real sense.
However, what if it's a matter of the spiritual path itself feeling fake? That is not so easily brushed off with a cliché. To fake a connection with the most real part of yourself smacks of contradiction and posturing.
I have some experience with that feeling of posturing. It never leads anywhere satisfying, and once one figures out one is lying to oneself, there's really no point. I have felt diverted from the path of unity for a while now, but I can honestly say that it was the highest thing I felt I could do. Walking a path that didn't feel authentic, where I had to force myself to do the things I knew I should do, just felt like a death march. It was almost as if the most spiritually forthright thing to do was to stop being spiritual, to be where I was at 100%, rather than be divided against myself. In other words, I abandoned the path because I take it seriously, not because I had no interest in it.
Is this the function of the significator at work? The opportunities between that more earthly time and this more inward time have always been the same. But everything is seen with different eyes now. The menu of reactions available seems to have been edited, and the choice to stay connected seems like a viable option instead of an aspiration to be imagined and prefigured by going through the motions.
Experience, though it reflects selectivity in orientation and interprets catalyst, yet does not provide its own unity. Actual integration comes through the function of the significator. For its part, the significator emerges from the dyadic engagement of the matrix and potentiator, yielding charged consciousness, and directs catalyst and experience, yielding intelligence of environed self. It is therefore simultaneously recipient and giver of action. It is also situated astraddle the division between conscious and unconscious functions. Even so complex is the center of self. It is a center that in reality has no center, a signifier that has no significance, until it has been chosen.
An "environed self", one placed within a context that can accept its condition as a subset of a more complete self, one that accepts complexity within as an adventure rather than a burden, cannot occur without the conviction that it is authentic. For nothing is more arresting, more despiriting and deflating and scattering, than the feeling that you are not you. Sink into the world if you need more lessons on all the things that are not self, if that is really where you're at. "God" is not mocked.
There are open roles on the stage of the third density play you can audition for and find you're good at. Hell, you can even write the words of the Law of One into that speaking part. But the method acting that draws upon one's own true self yields such a better performance, even if the audience can't put their finger on why. And the actor? The actor feels more engaged when the applause comes from backstage, not necessarily from the audience, for those are the people who will follow him to the next role, and who know something of the rigor that method acting entails.
How do you authenticate the self? You admit you don't know who you are and that you earnestly desire to discover it anew. Knock and the door shall be opened; the dude on the other side of the door has a pretty good idea of who you are. The choice that surrounds the significator's function is one that requires an authentic self, and this is available if you're patient and sincere. But the sincerity comes from being on the path you are actually on, even if that's an authentic not-self, and recognizing when the scenery just doesn't look right and it's time to U-turn.
Published by Jeremy6d on September 10, 2015 2:35pm. Category: Polarization
Who we are is not a single answer, except in the most absolute and intransient sense. Experience in incarnation, though it benefits from connection with the greater breadth and depth of the total self, is largely about wrestling with the transient details of daily life, especially the social intercourse that affords such catalyst. These fine details seem to serve no purpose other than as the packages in which the genuine important lessons and experiences are wrapped and transported. And in better or worse ways we cultivate a self designed to apprehend not only these details but also the otherselves that accompany them.
It is also to be noted that an adept is one which has freed itself more and more from the constraints of the thoughts, opinions, and bonds of other-selves. Whether this is done for service to others or service to self, it is a necessary part of the awakening of the adept.
This makes it sound like the issue is overcoming others' judgments, as if it's just a matter of confidence. But I think it has an additional dimension as well. It means identifying less and less with the exterior self at all, with the self that is recognized by its outer appearance, activities, and interests. This doesn't mean the self called to the waking life of the world is discarded, but it is seen as a hat to put on, not a helmet that is permenently strapped on.
I've struggled with letting go of others' perceptions of me, not because they are judgmental--that seems a totally different lesson, one in self-forgiveness and indigo-ray worthiness. That important struggle is not what interests me here; I'm talking about the identity to which one gives awareness at a given moment. We have an external self that, for all intents and purposes, is positively constructed by the input and stimuli of other people. Even somebody who bucks convention has to build an external identity to guarantee the goal, and that means tacking off of otherselves' external selves. If I'm not paying attention to how others see me, I'm not certain who I am in the only reality I've ever known.
Those of Ra appear to indicate an awakening of an alternative conception of the self's boundaries that focuses more on the interior experience: paying attention to one's inner state and using that as a datum in how one engages the external world. The operative insight for me here is the realization that emphasis in identity is something you pick in an either/or, one or the other fashion (as exemplified by the "Transformation of the Mind" archetype, where the entity is pulled in two directions until a choice is made).
In this image of Transformation of Mind, then, each of the females points the way it would go, but is not able to move, nor are the two female entities striving to do so. They are at rest. The conscious entity holds both and will turn itself one way or the other or, potentially, backwards and forwards, rocking first one way then the other and not achieving the transformation. In order for the Transformation of Mind to occur, one principle governing the use of the deep mind must be abandoned.
To let go of the other lady's hand is as much the essence, I see now, as to follow the one. The former experience has a quality of witnessing the reactions to others, the old habits cultivated in the anxiety and urgency of social engagement, and letting them go--in other words, releasing the charge that awareness has afforded them through a previous choice of identity. Now that that choice has been altered, things will fall away, and this will happen again and again.
One way to look at it is as a test, the accrual of single instances of catalyzed experience. Another way to look at it is a grieving: there is a subset of you with which you've grown accustomed, and its administration will wither if you deny it attention. Yet a third way is to see it as a practice of balance: since incarnation is an exercise in the external focus, finding a way to balance an inner connection with the external intercourse provides fruitful ground. Perhaps balancing is a positive way of looking at the "rocking one way then the other", or perhaps as Stephen Tyman argues in A Fool's Phenomenology the entire paradox is balancing within the experience of polarity, of ultimate imbalance and bias.
As I've written before, an awareness of this inner experience that is visceral and almost tangible has been the surprising thing for me. I was at a party last night, and even though that requires the socially externalized self I realized that the work was in the maintenance of an inner state while fielding the outer. Whether imagined or real, the inner experience resembled balancing the red through green chakras, consciously keeping the heart open as I interacted with others. It's not necessarily difficult, but it does require persistence and the desire. In the past I've tried to sort of push through the green chakra by force, but now I see the energy for the heart as unavoidably bound up in the conditions of the lower energy centers. Patience requires faith in a larger process at work, one that is allowed to occur rather than simply invoked directly.
I guess my point is to attempt to isolate the nature of this feeling, so that I can identify it and return to it at will. But I can't pay attention to that and be the same external self. It almost feels like a busyness, taking the waking life and making it more complicated on purpose. But then again, if it weren't deliberate, it wouldn't have the character of the choice on which the Law of One places so much emphasis.
Published by Jeremy6d on September 10, 2015 12:51am. Category: General
One of the frustrations of meditation for me has been the so-called "monkey mind"; the endless sequence of thoughts that follow one upon another, constantly drawing the attention by their very thinked-ness. To get beyond that, I have always imagined that the goal was some other mode of thought, not the lack of thought, though the latter has always been impressed upon me by every teacher. I did not have a direct experience of it very often, this extra-mindedness that the spiritually advanced speak of, so I had no target to hit.
As I described in my last post, I feel I have crossed a threshold. Now it's clear to me: the being that is without thought is not simply composed of some more subtle thought. It's composed of being, and it can be witnessed without necessarily being processed with the thought narrative. Awareness ceases to be a subordinate phenomenon to the thought train and is recognized instead as the basis of all thought, but also modes that are different than what we usually consider thought as well.
Just thought I'd share. If it seems an obvious point, then that just exemplifies the Fool archetype, I suppose.
Published by Jeremy6d on September 8, 2015 9:50pm. Category: Polarization
I feel that for a few weeks now I've had a gradual, sustained opening of the heart. It is because I asked for it, I think, but it is not of my own doing. Certainly the culmination was Homecoming 2015 this past weekend, where I explicitly made the opening of the heart the project. I had many there to teach me, perhaps greatest of all Jim McCarty's meditation and the example of his life.
What I've realized is that it is the recognition of the heart opening that has been most profound for me. I'm not simply transforming, but I'm reflecting and feeling the transformation in a way I haven't often been able to in the past. It's awful hard to accept any credit for it, but it does seem like a matter of timing and circumstance. I believe that reading Stephen Tyman's "A Fool's Phenomenology" has been a great help, as it has, either or both, (A) given my mind the tools to identity what's going on within, (B) occupied my mind enough to let something more subtle and deep through. Either way, I couldn't be more grateful.
It occurs to me that the occasion of transformation is something that is really only noticed in its essence in retrospect. For a very long time I have felt hampered, held back, unable to sincerely commit to a spiritual path. I'm most grateful for an authentic mode of this experience, but from whence comes this authenticity? It's as if a driveshaft, so long out of alignment, skipping along the transmission, hitting and missing, has suddenly aligned. Is it possible to see these obstacles as not simply preventing the experience I seek but also building up to it, chipping away the driveshaft into a workable mechanism?
Much of this centers on the release of self-judgment, a more relaxed and faithful praxis in my personal life. I've been dieting and exercising, and for a perfectionist this is a recipe for giving up. But I've been so much more successful by letting myself fail, forget, and stumble, and simple working on picking up the practice again. There's no way to describe why this occurs now rather than before. It must be some sort of change of perspective, some unfathomable unblocking that has allowed the potential to find its kinetic.
Marijuana has also been a factor. I've seen it as something I enjoy but cannot use without implicitly rejecting a spiritual path. And the experience of Homecoming, where I abstained, has shown me that it was never about the pot. It's been about a long process of learning how to, so to speak, grow new senses.
Pot makes people lazy, forgetful, selfish, paranoid, etc. The list goes on. It has not had a completely positive effect on my life. Within me it engenders an inwardness that I never really recognized as positive, and in many ways was not (it didn't help me connect with others, if anything it prevented it). However, one sense in which it was useful to this process within which I now write is a sense of self in a more visceral and direct mode, a way of paying attention to one's inner state. Pot helped me gain an interior experience that helped me recognize when more authentic inner change was at work. My point is not to recommend marijuana; it's to show how we truly do not understand how life works in its patterns and cycles. And lately I've felt a strong, natural desire to discontinue its use, which feels not good or bad but simply appropriate, in the way snowfall in Februrary is.
Much of the utility of the meditative, contemplative, reflective life is in the cultivation of this interiority, so that there is a workable apparatus of consciousness and study that need not rely on the outer world being in perfect order. In fact, the metaphor of alignment in the drive shaft example I described earlier is something I thought about today with respect to pot and other elements which have often stuck me as impediments to a more aware life. I was thinking today that perhaps it is the programming of the higher self to purposely hold back certain aspects of one's growth to let others catch up, so that forward motion can occur as a concert of many aspects of self.
Imagine a bunch of planes that need to fly in formation. Before the order is given, they may be flying on different vectors; this is easily corrected. They might be going different speeds--again, easily corrected. But some might need to slow down to let others catch up is an unavoidable necessity if one wants all of them to fly in unison. If we impede ourselves, limit and hold ourselves back, perhaps it is not a matter of doing wrong. Perhaps it is setting the stage for the true blossoming. The best we can do is to patiently wait for the alignment of the stars within. That which is not needed truly does fall away, but in its own time, for its own reasons.