Zig Zag Zen




Overall: 8.3/10.0


This book is a beautiful collection of essays and art exploring the relationship between psychedelics and Buddhism. If you are interested in either of these consciousness-shifting reality changers, I recommend this book. 


The Individuation Process (Kelly)



Each human personality is like a unique oak seed. The soil we fall into is like the environment we are born into. Some soil is lush and nurturing, and we grow large and healthy. Other soils are dry, or filled with stones and sticks. Regardless of soil, the seed knows how to best use available resources, the seed knows how to grow around any stone, any stick.

The journey from seed to oak tree is like the journey the infant embarks on into adulthood. Jung called this journey the individuation process. The guiding principle that navigates the seed around the stones is what Jung calls our Self. The Self is another name for your Wise Woman. Unlike the seed, humans have Ego and we can choose to defy our Self’s guidance. Listening to your dreams will reconnect you to your Wise Women and will help you grow into the tallest, healthiest Oak tree.

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Conscious involvement in the individuation process doesn’t begin until the individual encounters a life altering crisis. In our culture, this will likely be when you go to college. Separating from the support your family gives you in a kind of trauma. Our culture doesn’t have many traditions or customs around preparing the child for this journey.

In tribal life, the young boy or girl was put through what is called an “initiation ritual” where the tribal elders would create an ordeal for the child to go through. An example is a boy is kidnapped at night and convinced he is about to be killed. Once the boy is weeping and pleading, the kidnappers remove their masks and reveal that they are the male tribal elders. They begin to teach the boy knowledge only the elder men know (tracking, shooting, skinning, etc.) The boy is now a treated as a man. The purpose of these rituals was to help the child move from childhood into adulthood.

Every single human has to let go of childhood and embrace adulthood. This is a wounding experience. It is this stage of life when the Individuation process starts. This is the moment this book is preparing you far. Your childhood is a safe place where Mom and Dad are lighting the way and you are relaxing in the back seat playing on your phone.

At some point, they park the car, you have to get out, and it is your turn to venture into the dark forest. Do not worry, you have quite a few years before you start your adventure. Do not shy away from this adventure either. One of the surest beliefs I have is that denying this essential human challenge is a mistake. You’ll be ready. It’ll be fun.



Shadow

When the individuation process begins, your dreams will grow in their intensity. You’ll start receiving a couple of reoccurring images. The most common one you’ll be encountering in the beginning is what Jung called the Shadow. Your shadow side will show itself in your dreams as someone of the same gender, around the same age as you, and she is normally an adversary, or creator of conflict within the dream.

Every human has within them the potential of every human action. Each of us has the potential to save a life, murder another, work hard, steal, teach or lie. Our shadow is made up of all the aspects of human nature we see as bad, wrong, awful, gross, etc.

Back to the Forest

The first step of the individuation process is bringing our Shadow into the light. Your flashlight is a powerful tool you don’t know how to use yet. Your fear fusing with the light will cause interesting shadows to dance in the forest. The gift of the shadow is that it is showing you parts of yourself you’ve never realized were there. Those ghosts lingering on the edge of your beam of light are potential allies. Have the courage to go towards the shadows and shine your light. You’ll discover what you thought was a monster actually is a fox, an owl, a wolf, a rabbit. Each animal represents human potential. They are all teachers. But you have to be brave enough to shine your light on the monster to gain the ally.

Practical Tip

When you become aware during a dream where your Shadow is represented, instead of fighting her or running from her, turn to her and hug her. Embrace her. This symbolically represents the most healing attitude during this stage of development. Love, accept, and embrace your Shadow. If done correctly, (which is an ongoing process, not something you finish), you’ll find that you stop judging others. Because the things we judge in others are actually the projections of the part of ourselves that we don’t love.

Understanding projection is one of the most useful tools I know. We cannot know another human completely. They are like a spotty mirror, and we project our own psyche onto them to fill in the holes. Everything another person does that upsets us, it is because they are reflecting back at us a part of ourselves we don’t like. When you love another, it is because their mirror is so shaped that they allow us to see a part of ourselves. Condemning the other wounds ourselves, loving the other heals ourselves.



Animus

Once you achieve an understanding relationship with your Shadow, you’ll begin encountering your Animus. Your Animus is a symbolic representation of your connection to your Wise Woman. The Shadow helps you understand your conscious mind more clearly. The Animus is the bridge from your conscious mind to your Unconscious mind.

Another angle to look at this is that the individuation process is a chore you’ve been given to clean an old house. The house is old and dirty, flickering lights and cob webs hug each room, scaring you. Coming to terms with your shadow is like changing all the bulbs, cleaning all the webs out, and having a beautiful and bright home you can live in. The Animus is you discovering a locked cellar door in the basement.

Your Animus will show up in your dreams as someone of the opposite gender, around the same age as you. Your Animus can be both positive and negative. The flavor of your animus is shaped by the relationship you have with the primary male caretaker in your early life. Wallace, Chris and I all took care of you when you were a baby so you’ll have an interesting variety of energies your Animus can use to communicate with you.

Your Animus represents your connection to your Wise Woman. If your Animus is positive, he will be a guide to your creativity and inner genius. If your Animus is negative, he may be mean, murderous, or assaulting. I doubt yours will be negative but if it is we’ll work through it together. The Greeks used women as oracles because if a woman is in sync with her Animus, she can reach a level of insight men simply cannot reach.

Back to the Forest

Once you’ve learned to trust and listen to the animals in the forest who you once thought were monsters, they’ll lead you to a cave. Here there is man waiting. This guide is magical and appears to you in a way that is unique to you. He may trick you if you don’t trust him. He may protect and guide you if you do trust him. Either way, the next stage in your journey is into that cave. Your animals and guide are coming along.

The purpose of this cave is to find your magic item. Your animals and guide will help you. Your magical item is creativity.

Practical Tip

The Anima/Animus stage of the individuation process, like the Shadow stage, is never finished. It is a regulating process in our psyche that is ongoing our entire life. Hopefully by the time you are at this stage of life, you’ll have been recording and trying to understand dreams for years. If you have, your Animus will help you find what your unique creative expression is. We emerge from the cave once we’ve found this magical item.



Self

The third and final image we see in dreams is the Self. This is your Wise Woman. She will appear in dreams as a magical child or wise elder of your gender. These dreams are rare and are very important. The Self can also show itself as a royal couple of two magical animals of opposite genders. The Self also appears as magical stones.

Your Self is that growth principle that guides the little seed into the great oak. These kinds of dreams will normally offer advice or will show you something that will create a deep sense of peace and ease in you when you wake up.

But like the Shadow and your Animus, the Self has a dark side. The dark side of the Self is extreme hubris. An example of that is if you start to think you understand the entire universe or that you’re the smartest person alive. This can be very dangerous. Listen to your dreams and stay humble.

Back to the Forest

You’ve emerged from the other side of the cave. The cave exit is the side of a mountain and below you see the immense beauty and chaos that is reality. With your animals, guide, and magical item, you see before you the world. Billions of people in millions of different groups. You see a beautiful mountain on the opposite side of this billion headed mass. There is a little garden. You know that is the place you will die. There is no fear, only a deep sense of peace. For the next dozen decades, you get to dance in that mess, but your Self will guide you to that garden.

The animals, and guide, and magical talisman are your tools. To keep them sharp and useful, stay connected to your dreams.



Tribe


As you descend into the fray, you’ll attract others. They’ll see your fox, your owl, your talisman, your guide, and you will attract to you the exact people that fit. Recognize that each of these people are on the same journey you are one. Love them, accept them, help them, and dance with them. 

The Cube Game




I’m going to ask you to imagine a few things. They don’t need to make logical sense. Use the images that come to you first. The more you try to consciously alter the images, the less genuine your results will be. The more detail you share the better. Relax. (If I was doing this with you in person I’d ask you to close your eyes but that won’t work here.)

Desert

Okay, you are in a desert. Describe the desert. Any landmarks? Anything worth noting?

Cube

Now, there is a cube. Describe this cube.

Let as much detail naturally come to you as you can. Here are some questions to help dig up more detail.

What is your cube made of?

Where is your cube in relation to you?

What position in space is your cube? (Flat on ground, floating, sideways, spinning, etc.)

What color is your cube?

Ladder

What is it made of?

Where is it in relationship to the cube?

How many rungs or steps does it have?

Horse

What kind of horse is it?

Where is the horse?

What is the horse doing?

How does the horse feel about you? How do you feel about the horse?

Does the horse have a saddle or a bridle?

Storm

What kind of storm is it?

Where is the storm relative to you?

Is the storm effecting any of the other objects?

Flowers

Where are the flowers?

How many are there?

What color and what kind are they?


###

Take a moment to be with the scene you’ve created. What we are doing here is a cognitive function unique to our species. It is this function that has helped us ascend to the top of the food chain. Our tools, our religions, inventions, arts, and the card you drew your mom all come from this place. It really is magical. Our imagination is the godliest part of our consciousness. This is the Promethean fire. 

Message me your answer in whatever electronic medium you like. When I can, I'd like to help you interpret it and then, if you'd allow, I'd like to put it on here. We'll change your name for privacy. I genuinely think one of the most important skills we can cultivate is symbolic thinking and this game is a beautiful way to train that mental muscle. I love you and Namaste. 

The Body



Our bodies are the vehicles in which we experience the world.  It is the zeitgeist of my country that the soul is separate from the body, and ignoring easily offerable rebuttals to this mystical notion, they still must accept the fact that their souls dwell within these flesh vehicles and are influenced by them.

Now, I have experienced moments where I felt a distinct separateness between ‘me’ and my body. These moments have been some of the most profound moments of my life, but they are always fleeting and temporary. These moments should be pursued, but the baseline existence….

Fuck this.

I feel obligated to write highbrow, or at least my poor attempt at highbrow, but why? If I want my message to impact the most people, which is what I want to do, and I want them to be able to use the information to better themselves, which I want them to do, than shouldn’t I write in a style that the majority will be able to digest?

Well this won’t fit in a tweet.

But I can write in a conversational manner, and I should. I should also condense any major points into short video clips. Also, if I can learn how, or find someone to do this with me, create music that extends the same message. Basically, there are new mediums at our disposal to distribute ideas. Writing is still good, but I should roll with the tide if I want to impact the greatest number of people in a beneficial manner.

So, what I was trying to spill out at the beginning of this post is the importance of our bodies. It is the primary way you interact with the world. Take care of it! Eat well, work out, have sex, meditate, forgive yourself, and do yoga.

I have a theory that 99.9% of us don’t have full control of our body. We cannot do things it is capable of because we haven’t learned how too. I’m not talking telekinesis, but handstands, back flips, yoga poses, and things like that.

The hypothesis, is that people with control of their bodies, and those who improve control, are much more confident. This confidence can translate into happiness, douchbaggery, or evil depending on your philosophical perspective on life and reality.


Give it a try. This is a page I found 2 days ago and I’m going to start attempting the moves today. If I can keep some semblance of organization, I’ll update this post with my progress.

About my Ego



I've been taught to lead with, "a college graduate with a Bachelor's of Science in Cognitive Psychology."

I'm passionate about psychology, philosophy, epistemology, self-help, psychedelics, psychiatry and writing. This blog is where I play.

If you are in need of help, or wanting to collaborate, my contact info is on the right.

Namasteezy.

###

I wrote this "Disclaimer" in 2011. I think I honor my younger, more passionate but more naive self by keeping this here:

I am a human. I have bias. I will never be completely objective. Everything I spit out has been churning beneath my consciousness for an unknowable amount of time, undetected.

I also have no answers. Be wary of any who claim they do. What I offer is a particular perspective. I have a view of reality forming in the inaccessible parts of my mind, which I wish to attempt to articulate. I believe this perspective, if I am capable of communicating it properly, would be an ideal way to live in the 21st century.

I believe we have unique problems and tools that the philosophers of old did not have and could not have predicted.

Ultimately, I am just one man. A relatively young and naive one. But it is this naivety that allows me to believe that I can offer an idea that could change the world. I wish to always carry this delusion along side my skepticism.

Thank you. 


How to be Receptive to Dreams (Kelly)


Believe

“We recounted our dreams because one of the best ways to induce dreams is to give attention to dreams.” –Aldous Huxley

The first step towards remembering your dreams more is to try to remember your dreams more. I have a little desk next to my bed, with a lamp, a notebook, and a pencil ready to go whenever I roll over. I suggest you do the same. Something about using my phone never worked for me. But I encourage you to experiment with using your phone, a recording app, or an old school notebook and see which one works for you.

At the beginning, it may be hard to remember your dreams, but write down anything you can remember. Even if it is only a single word, record something. You will start to remember more. A good trick is when you wake up, go over the dream in your head right away. Don’t move. Start from the last thing you remember and work backwards. Once you get to a point where you can’t remember anymore, roll over to your journal and start writing.

More Tricks

A few more tricks you can use to help dream recall is to look at your dream journal as you are falling asleep. This will prime your mind to think symbolically, which is the language of dreams. Also, you can practice simply telling yourself, out loud, “I remember my dreams. I have interesting and meaningful dreams.” If you’d like I can send links to the science behind this. Try it out if you need the extra little boost.

Naskapi Indians

Here is a beautiful perspective on the meaningfulness of dreams and how to be more receptive to them by the Naskapi Indians. This quote is from Man and His Symbols, a book written by Carl Jung.

                “In his lifelong solitude, the Naskapi hunter has to relay on his own inner voices and unconscious revelations; he has no religious teachers who tell him what he should believe, no rituals, festivals, or customs to help him along. In his basic view of life, the soul of man is an “inner companion,” whom he calls, “my friend” or Mista’peo, meaning “Great Man.” Mista’peo dwells in the heart and is immortal; in the moment of death, or shortly before, he leaves the individual and later reincarnates into another being.
                
                 Those Naskapi who pay attention to their dreams and who try to find their meaning and test their truth can enter into a deeper connection with the Great Man. He favors such people and sends them more and better dreams. Thus the major obligation to the individual Naskapi is to follow the instructions given by his dreams, then to give permanent form to their contents in art. Lies and dishonesty drive the Great Man away from one’s inner realms, whereas love and generosity of one’s neighbors and of animals attract him and gives him life. Dreams give the Naskapi complete ability to find his way in life, not only in the inner world but the outer world of nature. They help him foretell the weather and give him invaluable instructions in his hunting, upon which is life depends.”

We don’t realize it, but we are like these Indians. Scientific thinking and mass media has left us disconnected from tradition, religion, and tribal communities. This passage is important because it highlights how useful dreams can be to the disconnected. This tribe has none of Modern Society’s technology or knowledge, yet they have survived. Not with religion or science but by listening to their dreams. Their instincts have guided them. Imagine how skilled you could navigate the waters of life if you learned to use our modern technology, the scientific method, and dream interpretation.

You, and every individual, has the possibility of connecting to a much deeper energy. And the way to connect to this force is to attempt to record and understand your dreams. The Naskapi also believed that being a good person and turning your dreams into art helped build this connection even more. I’ll let you experiment with this.

Reconnect

Our body is pulsating with instincts that successfully guided us through time for millions of years. From the moment we are born into culture, we are slowly taught to suppress and channel these instincts into behavior our culture finds acceptable. Listening to your dreams will help you reconnect with your instincts, your inner Wise Woman.

Summary

To receive more dreams, want to receive more dreams. Record your dreams using whatever method works for you. Every morning write something, even if it is only a single word. If you are in need of more help, read about dreams as you are falling asleep. Tell yourself while you are laying down in bed that you have interesting dreams and you remember them.


For extra credit, create any kind of art that was inspired by your dreams. I love you and don’t get discourages. Focus on taking a single step through the dark forest every day. One step. Good luck. 

Why dreams are meaningful. (Kelly)



I want to try to explain to you that dreams are meaningful. So I feel the need to explain how some smart people, who devoted their lives to studying the psychology of humans, came to the conclusion that dreams are meaningful. But it has dawned on me that you don’t need to be convinced. You aren’t a professor I’m trying to impress or a colleague I’m trying to persuade, you’re my sister and you trust me.

I’m going to introduce Carl Jung and a few of his ideas with the hope that it will give you a framework that’ll help you understand. Communicate with me anything that doesn’t make sense.

Carl Jung

 “Dreams are compensations for the conscious attitude.” – Jung

Carl Jung lives on in my mind. When you read someone’s books, you start to recreate them in your brain. Reading revives dead writers. This entire book is going to be alive with the energy Carl Jung has put out into the world, as remixed through my ego.

Jung was a psychiatrist. He interpreted over 40,000 dreams (fact check.) He was an acclaimed and highly respected scientist. He is a good source of knowledge and he believed dreams were meaningful. I think they are too. I hope to convince you of this too. At the very least, consider this practice using the scientific method.  

Jung offered a handful of essential ideas. The one most important concerning dreams is his assertion that dreams are an expression of nature that has been built into our psyche to help balance our conscious living. Dreams are a natural guiding program built into our brain.

Instincts and Archetypes

Humans are animals. We share over 98% of our genetic code with chimps and bonobos. For millions of years our ancestors survived without egoic consciousness. They survived on instincts. Humans are bundles of instincts. Instincts are to our body what electricity is to a computer.

I don’t know of a definitive list of instincts. We may not know exactly how many there are or what exactly they are, but just like your body can use the food you eat without you needing to know the complex biochemistry, you can benefit from listening to your instincts without having to understand them. Your instincts will speak to you through your dreams.

This is a complicated subject that you don’t need to understand completely yet, I don’t. What is helpful here is to understand that dreams are the language our instincts use to communicate with our egoic consciousness. While we are awake, our egos do a very good job suppressing our instincts so we can live by the rules our culture and parents and teachers press on us.

Rules, culture, and our parents aren’t evil. They don’t do this suppressing on purpose. All of them were born into this just as we are. They were molded by the environment too. It is beneficial to the stability of our culture that we suppress a great deal of our animal instincts. Regardless of why, the suppression of our instincts leaves us wandering through a forest at night, without a guiding light.

Our dreams are essentially an attempt at homeostasis. They are a kind of flashlight we can use in the dark forest. When our instincts and conditioned behavior conflict too severely, our dreams will step in and send a flash of light. This book is a beginner’s guide to start practicing how to listen to your dreams, and to start understanding the language dreams speak.

The goal is that if you learn to listen to your dreams, you will receive flashes of light every night which will help you move through the dark forest with a grace most people will see as superhuman.

Psyche

Psyche is the word Jung used to explain the entirety of the human psychological structure. The part of you that is reading this, the part of you that thinks it is named Kelly Godsey, is what Jung called the Ego. The Ego is like the human skin. The psyche is like the entire body. Thinking the Ego is the entire psyche is like thinking the skin is the entire body.

There is a famous saying that you’ll see often, and it is “Know Thyself.” Where many people stumble is thinking that learning about their ego is the same as knowing “thyself.” Thyself is the psyche, the ego is only a small part of this vast psychic building.

Dreams arise from a place in the psyche that the Ego cannot access. Dreams are a kind of message in a bottle. The thinking mind is stranded on the island of the Ego. Every morning, if we look, we can find a few bizarre messages from an unknown place beyond the oceanic horizon. If we learn to read these, we’ll start to find instructions on how to build a fire, purify water, fish, and one day, we’ll get the instructions on how to build a boat. The entire time, through all your stress and trials, there is a wise guardian watching you, helping you, and it is you.

Dreams can be thought of like your psychic immune system. As your physical immune system will create a rash or a blemish on your skin, it is not to punish you, it is to send you a message. Something is out of balance. It is a language most of us don’t understand how to speak. Its goal in attempting to communicate is to restore balance. We’re going to learn how to listen.

Conscious and Unconscious

Jung divides the psyche into two fundamental parts; the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. The conscious mind mainly consists of your ego. It is also the part of your mind that has all your personal memories. Anything that ever was conscious to you, is swimming somewhere in your conscious mind. You can think of the conscious mind as a beautiful ship floating at sea.

Your unconscious is the part of your psyche that you can never know. It is the ocean that supports your ship. Your ego is cute and useful, but your unconscious is of a size and power that your ego can not comprehend.

 Jung believed the unconscious was where all the Instincts dwell. Your instinct to protect yourself from danger lives there. Your instinct to pass on your genetic code is in there. Your instinct to be curious lives there. The instincts are the massive, interested wales that swim beneath your ship. They will stir the waters or bump the ship. This may scare the crew, but the purpose is to help and guide. 
Learn to listen.

Another angle is to think of the conscious mind as a growing oak tree. The unconscious is the guiding and protecting energy pulsating within the little seed that will do its best to guide the seed through time and into its fully developed form, the grand oak tree.

If there is a fungus that starts to attack the tree, the unconscious starts producing chemicals to fight the fungus. It knows how to convert light to food, it knows how to defend against bacteria and bugs. Similarly, your unconscious knows how to metabolize your food, keep your lungs and heart working, and what hormones to produce to help you grow.

Dreams as Regulating Function

Humans are different from all other life on earth. We have the Ego. The Ego gives us a sliver of freedom. This freedom is a great gift but comes at a cost. We are free to ignore our unconscious and make choices that impede our growth.

I don't know why we have an Ego but we do. Dreams are a way we can reconnect with the guiding growth energy in our unconscious. Your dreams will offer you advice and commentary on your daily choices and challenges.

Life is challenging Kelly. Don’t wish it to be easier. Adapt and meet life’s challenges with courage, humor, and love. I truly believe that learning how to listen to your dreams is a key habit in helping you do this.


MDA Christmas (ended up a rant.)




Last time I took MDA was at Wakarusa, six months ago. Today I celebrated a new annual tradition with a few of the people I consider family. We each ingested a little over an average dose of MDA and exchanged Christmas presents.

The linguistic net “family” doesn’t capture this bond as well as the word Tribe does. These people feel like my people. More than blood, or creed, or political idealization.  I’m truly grateful. I don’t know when it happened, but once I learned how to allow others close enough, this kind of bond has started weaving its way into most of my relationships.

Its interesting to play with the metaphysical idea that destiny is a real energy guiding us monkeys and that we participate in this dance. When I look back at the experience through the Destiny Goggles (TM lol), I see some interesting synchronicities. Two separate, unannounced, beautiful woman showed up at my house the day of the MDA experience. Both separately, and at different times, ended up sharing stories of their closest intimate relationships.

The music they sang were songs of miscommunication, unhappiness, and confusion. So many people I know do not have a single human they can be completely unguarded around. They don’t have one bond, even with themselves, where they know they are completely accepted. You can look these people in the eye and see the part that is begging to be accepted. And you can see that some crueler part has convinced itself to not dare expose themselves.  

We unconsciously attract to us the relationships that fit our unique dysfunction. I don’t know exactly when the shift occurred in me, but I give thanks every day, because at some point, I clicked in a way where the vampires started drifting out of my life and the angels came gliding in.

I know one of the factors that contributed to this shift was MDA. This chemical, which, like all drugs, are only a catalyst for states of consciousness our biochemistry is already capable of experiencing, healed the faulty programs Shame 2.3 and Guilt 2.3 that constantly ran in my subconscious. The angelic hug MDA gives the nervous system was enough to allow me to accept me.

“All is metaphor, even this.” And all metaphor is a lame comparison to the actual experience. These words don’t do justice, and the experience of complete self-acceptance requires a lot of ground work.  But once it is done, your self-love acts as a kind of planetary gravity that begins to draw to you the souls you are meant to be around. Or at least my drug-riddled delusional brain thinks so. And the opposite is true. If your core churns with self-hate, self-condemnation, guilt, and shame, you will attract to you negative energy, vampires, and other broken, angry souls.

But playing with the Destiny Goggles (TM lol), lends a beautiful perspective to all of this. Every challenge, every personal shitty relationship that collides with our planet, is meant to be. Each challenge is exactly the challenge we need, right now, to grow in the exact way we need to, in order to become enough to adequately answer the question the universe has asked itself in the form of our unique biochemistry. But again, only a perspective, and one that is too optimistic for the self-loathing, depression-addicted skeptic.

All knowledge are models the finite human projects onto the infinity to try to make some sense of it. All is debatable, even this. Be brave enough to choose to play with different reality tunnels. Play with different models of reality like a child plays with different crayons.

This post was intended to be about the beautiful experience I shared with some of my tribe. It turned out to be something else entirely, but still very inspired by my trip last night. I feel overwhelming lucky. I feel obligated to try to help other people reach this kind of peace. My creative tool is the written language so I type. These people I call my tribe are people who have helped me heal myself.

If you have made it to these words, firstly, thank you. I feel like I rambled and you’re sweet to have stayed with me this far. You have a creative skill. Feed it. Train it like a Pokemon. Play with it. I think connecting to this creative energy inside you is one of the ways to start shifting the gravity you give off. This is one way to shed the muck you may have stuck to you.

And if you don’t think you are creative, which is a delusion your ego has accepted likely due to disapproving authority figures in your childhood, at least play with the Destiny Goggles (TM lol), and see your struggles as challenges God has given you that will help you grow into the You you are meant to be.

***


I really missed the mark I was shooting for with this post. But I trust that this post is exactly what one of you needed and I hope it resonated. I love you and seriously, read and follow the instructions in The Artist’s Way.  Or spend a year or so studying Carl Jung and lets talk over mushrooms. Lol. Namasteezy. 

How I tried explaining enlightenment to my 14 year old sister.



Enlightenment is a word we use to explain something that is beyond language. The feeling is like water, and English is a kind of net sold at Walmart. But most people know about the enlightenment net so we can kind of talk about the feeling that the word enlightenment tries to capture.

So, the feeling of enlightenment is like…imagine that your whole life you’ve been under water and haven’t realized it. Enlightenment is like being quickly pulled out of the water by some invisible force, and you realize you’re at the peak of a huge tidal wave, and you can see all around you, thousands of people right below the surface of the water. You can’t see where the wave is headed.

Its like putting a circular object right up to your eyes, the object is so large you can’t see past the curve. So, you’re above the water, seeing all these underwater creatures, and you feel you’re headed somewhere, but its propelled by some force beyond human.

I don’t know why, but the feeling one has when they are above the water, is a deep kind of peace I know words can’t convey to your hormone exploding body, but it is a peace you knew when you were a baby and we held you and rocked you to sleep.

We feel that feeling when we are above the water. But here is the saddest part about this experience. It ends. It always ends. It does not matter how smart you are, how much you meditate, how many likes you get on social media, you can not stay.

This enlightenment at absolute best might last a couple of hours. Eventually, you fall back into the water.

The water represents our normal life. It may be hard to see, but our days are almost entirely made up of habits. Most of our habits we passively received from our caretakers, the media, and authority figures. I honestly think most of them can use refining.

Its like we’ve learned just well enough to keep your mouth above the water. I think the goal is to eventually modify your habits enough where we can at least keep your head above the water. Then we can start talking to and helping those around us. And eventually, maybe if we are lucky, we can get everyone’s head above water. Actually, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know if the wave can be stopped from crashing. But I think we can at least try to help our loved ones.


Thanks for letting me try to explain enlightenment to you. If you have any questions, text me. 

Nostalgia



Life is stranger and more fascinating then most of us glimpse. Our brain has an instinctive tendency to quickly turn the numinous into the bland in order to save resources. If our ancestors stood in awe at the magnificent color and pattern of the tiger stalking in the bush, we wouldn’t have made it this far. However, it is beneficial to peak behind the curtain and examine some of the awe we take for granted.

One of these ideas that pulsate behind the curtain is what infancy actually is. We take for granted the psychological Atlas-esque task the infant must go through, a task all of us accomplished, in order to become conscious. This is a task psychology, specifically psychoanalysis, pays significant attention to.

(RAWism note: This post’s perspective is influenced by the Jungian reality tunnel as remixed by my unique bias.)

Jung’s significant discovery, and an idea I try explaining to all my friends, is that there is a Collective Unconscious. Most people understand that there is an Unconscious aspect of the human psyche, but most people understand this unconscious as a repository of the individual’s collective experiences. A different way to look at this is that most people see the Unconscious as the roots of a single tree, while Jung sees the Collective Unconscious as the entire earth, which connects all trees through the soil it produces. Both are true, we each have an individual unconscious, but deeper, we also all share a Collective Unconscious.

Jung’s further discovery is that there is an instinctive organizing function within each individual he termed the “Self.” The Self is the organizing energy that shapes the seed into the Oak tree. The Self is the organizing energy that helps us grow into our genetic potential. However, the human has something unique that no other organism seems to share. We have the conscious ego, thus the freedom of choice to participate in our growth or to resist it. It is this uniquely human quality that this post is focused on, which arises in infancy.

The ego is the crown and the curse of human nature. 

In our first months of life outside the womb, we had no ego. The potential latent ego was in complete identification with the Unconscious. The infant feels like a deity. There is no concept of death, or separateness, or suffering. We need only make noise and we are caressed, held, fed, and cleaned after. We had no concept of the other, of mother or father, those things were energetic extensions of ourselves. We were identified with the entirety of experience. We were whole.

And this feeling, this is nostalgia. The birth of our ego shatters nostalgia. The birth of the ego separates the infant from the Unconscious. The wholeness becomes fragmented. The energetic force that pleasured us with food and warmth, is now identified as an Other being (infant’s caretaker.) The infant now realizes it is dependent. This realization is a fear more intense then we can consciously understand.

The birth of consciousness, of the ego, wounds the individual. Our entire life, if you are courageous enough to grow, is a continues cycle of ego-self union and ego-self separation.

The Golden Age illusion

Every human goes through this process. All of us have this psychic wound. Personally and historically, humans have resisted their urge to growth and yearned for the infantile nostalgia. This yearning shows itself in Utopian myths, and in any metaphysics that promises an end to suffering. Conscious life will always have suffering, death, and evil, but it is equal to the benefits of free will, love, and creativity.

A symbolic look at the Eden myth highlights this entire process. The Garden of Eden is the human psyche. Adam and Eve represent the Individual.  Yahweh represents the urge to remain in the Unconscious state. The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good an evil represents the ego. And, like the Gnostic perspective, the hero is this myth is the serpent, which represents the Self, the urge to grow from a place of unconsciousness into a place of consciousness.

Once the ego is acquired, the individual must leave the security of the infantile nostalgic state. The curses Yahweh delivers are the curses the ego must inherit with consciousness; death, suffering, and evil.

(A quick side note; the Jungian perspective believes that myths are expressions of the Unconscious and are symbolic. So what is being done above with the Garden of Eden myth is standard procedure and is done with all myths.)

Pragmatic Perspective

The reason I explain this is to help the curious from being deceived. Any belief system or metaphysical system that offers any version of the “Golden Age” myth or a kind of perpetual state of nonsuffering is at its best the unconscious fantasy of a charismatic leader or writer, and at worst, a technique to exploit the immature and weak for the pleasure or profit of the leader.

Life is a constant dance of opposites. There is no destination. To believe so is only going to amply your suffering. Embrace the dynamism of life. Learn to dance. All growth grows out of conflict and resolution. Resisting this will stunt your growth. Stunted growth causes inflation, (a topic of another post), and inflation causes falls. (Think Icarus myth.)

“He who feels punctured
Must once have been a bubble,
He who feels unarmed
Must have carried arms,
He who feels belittled
Must have been consequential
He who feels deprived
Must have had privilege. “

Lao-Tzu

***

Exercises:

Review your beliefs, goals, and fantasies. Can you find evidence of a hidden or not-so-hidden infantile yearning for nostalgia? Why do you want this? What aspect of growth are you resisting?

Whatever aspect of growth you are fearing, imagine something simple and small you can do to get closer to this fear. (For example, if you are afraid of cutting off a connection to a person who you know energetically feeds off of you, go a day where you don’t communicate with them. Write about how you feel at the end of the day.)

Look at your metaphysical beliefs. What about this unprovable (and non-disprovable) belief system attracts you? Is it offering you a version of the Golden Age illusion? What behaviors are you holding onto that you know keep you from growth? What benefit are you getting from ignoring these?

***


I love you. Embrace the dance. Namasteezy. 

The Religious Function




The human condition is weird. We are simultaneously the shitting ape and also the consciousness that creates. The ape is our root that connects us to nature. S/he is nudged along by primordial instincts. Consciousness is our crown of choice. We are free to choose how we regulate, dissipate, and creatively express our instincts.

One of humanities instincts is the religious function. Jung argued that the pragmatic purpose of this instinct was to alleviate the paralysis consciousness creates. Our freedom of choice leaves space for the fear of acting incorrectly. For primitive man to overcome this fear, he needed some kind of reassurance, some kind of experience that validated her choices.  

This is only speculation, because the why doesn’t particularly matter here. What matters is that there is a potential within every individual to experience something which imbues the individual with the deepest sense of trust and security. What matters is this feeling, something no assemblage of words can ever convey. This event, Jung calls the religious experience.

“(The religious experience) is a rapture whose breadth and depth is the despair of prose.”

RAWism note: The experience is an instinct we all have. The metaphors and symbols we use to assimilate the experience into consciousness and to convey to others, is entirely subjective. Do not get tripped up by the metaphors and symbols. Use whatever reality tunnel helps you understand the experience. What is important is that you directly experience the manifestation of instinct.

Rationalism, Dogmatism, and Patriotism

These three reality tunnels have unique relationships to the religious function. The rationalist thinks he’s thrown the religious function out without realizing that his devotion to reason and logic is the religious function itself. He is like the man riding the donkey who exclaims to his friends how he’s gotten rid of his donkey.

The modern religious person who ascribes to a certain belief system is also confused. Jung draws a distinction between religion and creed. Religion is a subjective relationship to certain metaphysical beliefs, while a creed is a collection of beliefs which are taught and accepted. Religion is an experience, a creed is taught. Most modern religions subjugate the individual to relay on external symbols and institutions for a connection with the divine. A true religion is a system that helps the individual cultivate a genuine, personal relationship with the divine.

And now the patriots. These people are the loudest because they are the most insecure. These are the people who project the religious function onto the State, the Government, or a political party. A neurotic is an individual who has a split psyche. Man is the microcosm of the macrocosm. Our society looks like a neurotic who unwillingly but slowly is becoming aware of his neurotic consciousness.

The Individual Experience

The religious function is an instinct all humans inherit. What most of us overlook is that we are riding the donkey. The God metaphor, whatever it means to you, is a representation of some part of your Unconscious. Whatever you understand of God are qualities that exist within you. The thing the metaphor “God” tries to convey is completely incomprehensible. The most we can do is experience a slice. This slice is the unique religious experience your unique psyche can perceive.

God is within. Everything is. Whatever is without is unknowable. Don’t let any belief system (BS) keep you from your personal experience with the divine.

“The world is not governed by facts or logic. The world is governed by BS. Never believe totally in anybody else’s BS. Never believe totally in your own BS.”

***

If you’ve had a religious experience, and you’re willing, please share it with me on social media in a message.

Namastay. I love you. 

For Five Friends



This one is going to be different. My ego wanted to write a post about "The Guru is within," but my Unconscious has a different post in mind.

I read "Man and his Symbols" for five hours today. The synchronicity was too much to ignore. Page after page, I kept coming across paragraph after paragraph of information that directly connected to different friends going through different stages of growth. So, instead of sending five long individual texts, I'm going to offer my perspective and advice to each of you in this post. You'll know which one is yours and I'll try to be vague enough to protect your privacy. All of this is filtered through the Jungian perspective of the psyche.

(If any of you want me to remove your section after you read it, I respect that completely and I will delete it. This comes from a place of love and I love each of you.)

1) You had a DMT experience where you were laying down and a woman lovingly poured some kind of multi-colored liquid-esque substance over you. This is an archetypical image of baptism. As a male, the bridge between your Ego and your Self is represented by a woman, called your Anima. Essentially brother, you have some deep guilt and shame about something (we all do.) Your waking dream was showing you that your Unconscious forgives you. Forgive yourself too.

A quote I like, "Accept the fact that you are accepted, despite the feeling that you are unacceptable."

2) You had a DMT trip where you were on a journey and a female was guiding you. You traveled through a swamp then started ascending up some kind of hill or mountain in a circular motion. You got near the top and you no longer had your guide. You may have integrated this further, but at the moment you came back to consciousness, you were a little sad. You felt you had done something wrong. I don't think you did.

I read a passage that talked about the archetypical pilgrimage, where the hero is accompanied by a female guide. The similarities are too similar to ignore. This represents a kind of initiatory rite. The purpose is to give the Ego enough strength to move into the world as an individual, away from the womb-like security of being near mom and dad.

Your DMT trip explicitly represented your intention. It showed you that you are at the edge of your adolescent life. At the edge, the guide cannot help you over. You didn't fail anything man. This last part of the hero's journey is up to you. (The hero's journey is the oldest and most common archetype which helps the adolescent move from childhood to adulthood.) You're good.

3) You shared a dream with me where a white crocodile was in your house and kept you and your mother in your room. You were afraid of the creature but it wasn't acting aggressive, it was just there.

I tried offering my advice the day after you had it but I read a passage today that offers a better understanding of what your dream meant. The day before a dream is the primary source for the dream content. The day before your dream, you may not realize this, but you did something incredibly brave and you didn't fail. You pushed your limits, maybe not consciously, to a new edge.

In dreams, an animal that can both live on land and in water represents what Jung called, "The Transcendent function." Basically, the crocodile represented your readiness to leave childhood. Your mom in the dream represents the mother-bond you have. The dream being in your room also adds to the interpretation that the dream was essentially showing you that you have the power to go out into the world as an adult. Naturally, your ego is afraid of this power and the subsequent responsibility.

This is an important dream. Your ego is a little afraid. I predict that you are going to have many more significant dreams until you move out. Record your dreams and share them with me and I'll try helping.

4) You're life is being radically disorganized. You've been given advice from dozens of friends. This passage is for you;

"It is exactly the same in the initial crisis in the life of an individual. One is seeking something which is impossible to find...In such moments all well-meant, sensible advice is completely useless. None (of the advice) helps. There is only one thing that seems to work; and that is to turn directly towards the approaching darkness without prejudice and totally naively, and to try to find out what its secret aim is and what it wants from you."

To listen, record your dreams and the apparently random images that come to you. Your dreams are going to show you what you need to see. Share them with me and I'll genuinely try to give unbiased feedback. I sincerely believe that if you listen, you'll get the answers. And a deeper part of me knows that you already have the answers and you aren't accepting them.

5) This is the heaviest one. I think I should read the entire section out loud to you. It is eerie how spot on in correlates to your life. I'll do my best to some it up.

As a woman, your Unconscious represents the connection you have with your Self, (easiest metaphor here is that this is the godly part of your psyche) as a man in your dreams. Your perception of this male, what Jung calls the Animus, is largely molded by the relationship you had with your father.

Depending on the bond you had with your father, the Animus can be a source to your creative genius, or, if the relationship was not nurturing, the Animus can be horribly destructive.

If the bond with the father is bad, the Animus shows up in dreams as a group of men. They rob, steal, or rape. The conscious expression of the negative Animus is thinking and speaking in "oughts," "should haves," and "supposed tos." The negative Animus creates unshakable and unrealistic convictions.

The negative Animus leads to the woman having thoughts like, "Nothing is good enough." "Nothing matters." "None of this is as it is suppose to be." At its extreme, it can lead to the woman killing herself.

The book says that the way to deal with this is to become conscious of the Animus. The Animus is not you. It is not your Self. It is a function of your psyche that is warped by your conscious relation to your father. Your situation is more critical than I am prepared to handle. I don't know how to help you but next time I see you I'm going to read this section to you and answer any questions you have.

There are very talented Jungian analysts in Houston. It may be something you're meant to do.

###

Phew. Okay. All of this is just a perspective. It's one that clicks with me and I like to look through this reality tunnel. What matters is what belief system (BS) enriches your personal experience of life. Because all you have, ever, is your experience. Play with different BS systems and don't accept anyone's BS dogmatically.

"The world is not governed by facts or logic. The world is governed by BS. (Belief Systems). Never believe totally in anybody else's BS. Never believe totally in your own BS."

I love you. Share your dreams with me. Jung says he's interpreted 80,000. I'd like to reach that number one day. 

Reflections



"The quality of all of our relationships is a direct function of our relationship with ourself."

The totality of human potentialities exist within each of us. Thankfully. Because as a matter of experience, we can only ever know our individual, subjective perspective.

Each of us is an universe unto ourself. The Archetypical "Other," all those other self-referencing universes, are mirrors. Everyone we meet is a mirror reflecting the light we emit. Each of these mirrors, being uniquely molded by physiology and environment, uniquely warp and refract our light. But it is still our light they reflect, and our light we receive.

And so the stage is set for the unconscious play most of us are wrapped in. We judge, condemn, mock, insult, shame, and pity the Other, not realizing it is our reflection we damage.

"One of the best known methods of getting over feelings of guilt is to stop condemning other people in your own mind -- stop judging them, stop blaming them, and stop hating them for their mistakes."

"To wound others is to wound myself. To heals other is to heal myself."

Exercises:

1) Review your social media over the past month. Do patterns emerge showing how you relate to others? Are you judging? Mocking? Praising? Loving?

2) Research the Fundamental Attribution Error. Take pride in schooling your friends when they lapse into the fallacy. Sit with the irony if you think you do not trip over this fallacy yourself.

3) For a week, pretend all other people are reincarnations of the same soul you possess, but which grew in a different body and within differing environments. Have compassion for the other yous.

I love you. Namaste.

Artwork by Michael Divine 

Becoming who I needed



I saw a quote last night that gave me goosebumps. I consider it a wink from Uni that it came to me the day before I write my weekly blog post. The quote was, “Be who you needed when you were younger.”

Fuck.

It sentences like those that fill me with passion to consider myself a writer. The power in those eight words did more for me then anything else that happened that day. Truth rings clear. She cuts through the bullshit of current culture.

I’m working on a book. This quote explains why. I’m creating a resource I wish I had had when I was younger. For reasons beyond my current comprehension, since childhood, I’ve thought deeply about God. Christianity was the symbol system introduced to me and it never meshed. It didn’t agree with something deep in me.

I prayed every night as a kid up until 14 or 15. I don’t think I’ve told many people this. I said the same prayer every night. “Thank you for today, thank you for life, thank you for my friend’s and family’s life.” I don’t know if that is verbatim but I remember the essence was that I never asked for anything. Even at 7 or 8, I thought that was offensive. I only said thank you.

Looking back on my life, I can see that I've always had an attraction to the spiritual, but I didn't have a symbol system, or mentors who could guide me toward what really mattered; an experiential relationship with the divine. 

It was around 14 or 15 that I discovered philosophy. The little semblance of spirituality in me died quickly and the prayers stopped. Logic was a scalpel and I amputated a part of myself. If you knew me then you knew I could argue. Anyone willing to debate with me made my day. I was an asshole, a bully. I didn’t realize it but I was wounded from my own numinous disillusionment that I wanted to squelch other’s light. Courtney from 2nd period senior year, I’m sorry.

Psychedelics, psychology, and Jung reconnected me to my amputated spirituality. A couple of books and podcasts helped me too. Now, I feel more alive and luminous than I ever have. I believe this is because, well one, I’ve reconnected to the spiritual dimension of my Self. Another is that I am nurturing my creativity. I’ve always wanted to write a book. I feel, subjectively, I know, writing this book is healing that amputation scar. The book will be a guide my logically-inclined curious 14 year-old self could have followed to the divine.

We all have a unique creative function within us. I think that when we use our unique creative function to create something our younger selves would have wanted, would have needed, we are joining God in her dance.

Good parents do this. Some parent’s creative destiny is to be a great parent. Those kinds of parents, through stress and pressure that would crush me, become the parent their younger self needed. Both of my parents, flaws and all, did this for me.

My mother needed and did not get love from her parents. I surfed into adult life on a tidal wave of my mother’s love. My father needed and did not get security from his parents. He has always been a financial and pragmatic security system guarding my development. My gratefulness is beyond words to both of you. I repay this gratefulness by becoming the most actualized I can. I’m going to help others.

And this brings me to a passage from The Prophet that has continually resonated with me;

"Your children are not your children. 
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. 
They come through you but not from you. 
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts. 
You may house their bodies but not their souls, 
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you can not visit, not even in your dreams. 
You may strive to be like them,
But seek not to make them like you. 
For life goes not backwards nor tarries with yesterday.  

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth. 
The archer sees the mark along the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrow may go swift and far. 
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; 
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves the bow that is stable."

Embrace your trials, failures, and wounds. Learn and grow from them. Thank you Mom and Dad for your stability under the archer's bending. 

Namaste. I love you.

Exercises:

1) Write a letter to your childhood self. Ask them what they like to do for fun. Brainstorm. We can find our unique creative function in the love our younger self naturally gravitated towards. 


Family Bonds



Lenses

There’s a few metaphors for life that I like. One is that life is like a dolphin breaching the ocean's surface. We’re these meat bodies that arise from the primordial. We’ve got enough time to do a few beautiful tricks before our meat suit dissolves back into the primordial.

Another is that we are shot out of the womb like a cannon over a cliff. Without choice or instructions, we’re falling. There are billions of us falling. We’ve got a handful of womb dwellers within your reach. These are the people we know and love. We’re all destined to meet the ground.

The last is that we are a 7 billion headed wave. We’re collectively going somewhere no individual can change. We have the chance to surf the wave until it crashes or we can drown. Like the falling womb dwellers, we’ve got a handful of souls around us that we get to mingle with for the duration of the ride. If we get our bearings, we can help them surf too. Or they can help us.  

And it’s this that brings me to my point. Choose your tribe.

Genetic Loyalty Program

Most of us have an unconscious loyalty program compelling us to keep around our genetic kin. Even if our kin are abusive, psychic vampires, or apathetic culture zombies. We wear these connections like golden shackles. We’re proud to forfeit our soul’s true calling for our kin. We’re proud to let the failings of a brother keep us from chasing our dream.

Jesus had something to say about this (I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be quoting scripture sincerely but I had very blatant synchronicity around this quote and it’s what spurred the entire post.)

“I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those in his own household.”

First, peep the fucking lyrical fire of that last sentence. Poetry. Anyways, the passage here highlights the idea that, if you, the individual, are going to really understand life for yourself, you have to sever your shackles to your family. This doesn’t mean you abandon them. This means you need to withdraw to a high enough vantage point to see the very flawed humanness of your father, your mother, your brothers and sisters.

Are they good for you now? In this moment, energetically, are they giving you energy, taking energy from you, or are you two mutually feeding each other? Let this linger for now.

Nuclear Family

The idea that a family is composed of a mother and a father, and a couple of children is an evolutionarily new convention. It’s an economically driven convention. A capitalist country wants a deeply fragmented society because every family unit will need a fridge, a car, a home. The more fragmented, the more plastic and steel the country can sell. But this has fragmented our psychological development.

There are a lot of heavy psychological events happening in the child’s psyche that are beyond the scope of this post. One that can be focused on is that the child looks to the parents as guiding lights for behavior. The obvious fact is that no two humans can adequately embody the spectrum of possible human personality. Sadly, most of our parents were pretty mundane or less then. We need mentors.

This need for mentorship is corrupted by our genetic loyalty program. The more unconscious of us think that we inherit our mentors. They believe that mom and dad are the paragons, the saints, the sole mentors. These people tend to not make it far in the game. To be great, you need great mentors.

Honestly access your genetic loyalty program. Family is inherited, tribe is chosen.

Tribe

Our twenties are about getting away from the protective womb of childhood and exploring. Figure out what we are. We need to loosen our family ties just enough so we can know who we are. If, after coming to some self-knowledge, you feel that your family connections are good for you, cultivate those relationships for the rest of your life. Nurture and love them. If you however come to realize that some family ties are shackles, remove them. Go find the connections that are like the ropes of a hot air balloon, those people who lift you up and inspire you. You are not obligated to be chained to the earth. 

Exercises

Make a list of your family members. Write a paragraph for each exploring how they limit and expand you. Do you feel guilty or shameful doing this exercise? You’re detecting your genetic loyalty program.

If you knew you would succeed, and money did not matter, what would you do with your limited life here on earth? Who, dead or alive, has accomplished this goal or something close to it? Read everything you can find from and about this person.

Advance exercise


Once you have found a mentor, every morning read their work for at least an hour for a month. Get to know them so well that they become a software running in your consciousness. Imagine talking to them over lunch. Ask them questions. Ask for guidance. Resurrect them. 

My Why, and Why I Cried.




I wept today. Music did what music does and took me back to a MDA trip I had with some of my loved ones. My intention for the trip was to get an answer to my question, “Who is my audience?” (regarding writing.) The answer MDA and my loved ones synthesized for me that day was, “our children.”

Its 6 months later and the truth of the realization hit me today. Hence the glorious weeping. My life I live is for my children.

I’m going to write books. I’m actively working everyday towards this goal. I’m obsessed by what is fundamentally the urge to help people heal themselves. Before I feel adequate in giving advice, I need to heal myself, heal my Self. And this is no short order. And honestly it is not a goal with an end. Life is a constant growing.

I don’t know what caused it exactly, but the tears were more a culmination of a few things. On one side, the human condition is abundant in its suffering. On another side, my personal luck staggers me. Like most of you, my childhood was full of trauma large and small. All of ours are. Our parents were all parents of child abuse. Most of this abuse was well-intentioned naivety. Trauma it was regardless. The third side is the experiential fact that the adaptation and fortitude of the human condition is greater than almost all trauma. There is hope and growth and healing available.


This hope consumes me. I live in it every day. It breaths purpose into my body. My existential void from adolescences is filled. The answer is, I do it for my children, and all the children of those I love. Honestly, I do it for everyone, but my closest cloister of proximity is that of my loved ones. I do it for our children. 

How I'm trying to resurrect Carl Jung



Since becoming single again, I knew I’d be getting weird again. Self-fulfilling prophecy fulfilled. Synchronicities have been dancing around me these last couple of weeks. A part of me keeps the perspective alive that this mental headspace I’m cultivating is a tightrope over the abyss of schizophrenia, but I humbly slink across confident I can maintain balance.

I’ve been experimenting. I want to be a knowledgeable psychologist. I need a mentor. I don’t have any in my time-space prison, so I’m resurrecting one of the greatest psychologists the West as ever produced; Carl Jung. Well, a boring materialistic rationalist would say I’m reading Carl Jung’s collected works. A magician would say I’m resurrecting Carl Jung. I’d say, I’m reading the works of a great thinker every day, and actively practicing trying to talk to him via active imagination, with the hopes of, after a few months, having a little Carl Jung program running in my consciousness that I can turn to for advice and guidance.

I think this kind of thing is necessary if you want to reach your highest potentials. All of us have a creative function and we owe the world the manifestation of that gift. Somewhere in you, you know what your creative function is. There are great men and women through history who had the same creative function as you and used it to excel at the game of life. Find them. Read about them. Download them into your psyche as little helpers.

However, it’s important to note; do not try to be them. Use them as guiding lights to your unique destination. There is no one who has the particular configuration of genetics, environment, and spirit as you. (If you feel a part of you already attacking this statement, you have a lot of self-healing to do. Good luck.)

Resurrection Program

So, allow me to try to turn on this new, (and still in need of patches), program.
Carl Jung was the inventor or discoverer of what is now called Depth Psychology. This is a school of analytic psychology that differs from Freud in believing that the unconscious is more than only sexually repressed fantasies. Carl Jung believed that each person had an ego, a person unconscious, and a Collective Unconscious. The Collective Unconscious was his big and unique idea.

The ego is the you you think of as you. Ego is your conscious self. The personal unconscious is what most people understand as the unconscious. It is all of your personal experiences, memories, and the like, coupled with all sense perception that isn’t charged enough to become conscious. (like the way your feet feel right now, before reading this, you weren’t aware they felt at all. Now, with the flashlight of your ego, you can sense them.) The personal unconscious is accessible.

The Collective Unconscious is never accessible. It is inherent in every living creature. It is the place of psychic life where our bodies know how to create a human, repair cells, digest food, harness energy from air. Our instincts arise from this place. The energy behind adaptation and evolution also arises from here. The Collective Unconscious is an ocean, the submarine without lights is your personal unconscious. Your ego is the human with the flashlight trying to maintain leaks.

Archetypes

Jung believed that the Collective Unconscious communicated to consciousness through dreams. The CU communicates through images. These images are what Jung called archetypes. Archetypes are images that represent instinctual ideas that charge the body with energy. The simplest example the fight-or-flight instinct. We also believed dreams to be compensatory in nature, so an example illustrating all of this is as follows; yesterday you are walking and a dog lunges at you and scares you. You instantly feel the adrenaline, then you feel shame at being scared (dad would scold you when you acted meek.) Now you’re angry at the dog but you walk on. That night you have a dream you’re a knight and you fight off a wolf and return to the King for praise.

The activated archetype was the fight-or-flight response. Your ego interprets the event in all sorts of twisted ways due to your unique personality. Your unconscious tries to help you by offering an example of you responding in a positive way to the situation. The actually archetype is the motif of the knight being brave and receiving honor from the King.

Yeah, I know it’s a lot. But much of human life is archaic. We have the same bodies we had thousands of years ago. The same energies arise in our bodies. The same physiological processes of infanthood, puberty, adolescences, adulthood, parenthood, and aging are still here. It appeared to Jung that our bodies, our unconscious, has a built in guiding function. Learning to communicate with this guiding function is what he called “individuation.”

The Transcendent Function

The way we learn to listen to this inner guide to Individuation is a technique he called “The Transcendent Function.” He calls it this because the process of Individuation is when the consciousness identifies and absorbs a part of the psyche that was previously unconscious. Each time we do this, there is a challenge or resisting because the ego kept the unconscious unconscious for a reason. The young girl who naturally starts masturbating and witnesses the shock and scolding of her na├»ve Christian parents is taught that sexual self-pleasure is wrong, and these the natural bodily sensation has to be removed from the ego. We all have dozens and dozens of these kinds of repression.

TF is Jung’s way of liberating the ego. Psyche growth is a constant identifying and absorbing. It is never completed. So, how?

First, you collect unconscious images. Record dreams. Practice Active imagination. Read Mythology. Learn how to understand symbols. Ideally, find a psychoanalyst (a convenient recommendation coming from a psychoanalyst lol.)

Second, and this happens naturally, you’ll start finding patterns in the material produced and you’ll start to try giving meaning to it. Allow this to happen.
Third, consciously accept whatever the material is showing you. Your dreams will constantly be alerting you on your current progress.

Self

The point of the Transcendental Function is a technique to help in the process of Individuation. The point of Individuation is to help the ego become more conscious of what Jung called the Self. The Self is the totality of the individual’s psychic apparatus. Because a large part of the individual is the Collective Unconscious, one can never know the Self in its entirety, but, more Self-understanding is better than less. The Self is everything.

Experience

Jung has written thousands of pages. This reproduction is more a reflection of the limited software I’m running then the actual ideas of Jung. What I love about his approach is his emphasis on direct experience. He was adamant that what the individual experiences is as real as anything we call real. If you saw in your imagination you were on the moon. He believed you have been to the moon.

So, God. God is an experience. God is a symbol that represents your personal transcendent experience. The thing the symbol “God” tries to represent is something completely beyond the comprehension of our intellect. But what we do have is the experience of the divine. This is the individual’s bridge to God.

Semantically, and philosophically, we all have a unique individual God. It is our unique mixture of biology and psychology that will craft the lens we interpret the feeling we get when we have a transcendent experience. This is our God.

I hope you find a symbol system that allows you the chance to experience your God. Fuck any symbol system that has rules in place where there is some mediator between you and God. That deprives you of one of the most powerful and intimately human experiences.  


I love you. Namaste.