|26 Oct 2009 @ 16:19, by Jeffrey Trenton Crace|
Fragment entitled "Our Mother the Mind"
“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?” --Chaung Tzu
Recently, despite my long and sober history, I decided to ingest a hallucinogenic beverage. It was not done at all for the sake of entertainment or amusement but was taken as a means to open up new channels of truth and communication for me. I can say conclusively that my experience, my "trip," was one the most educational and horrific experiences of my life. At the time, I wanted nothing more than for the experience to end. But the next morning, still trembling, I looked back and realized that something had been revealed. My resistance to the psychedelic experience was to a large degree or even wholly equivalent to my resistance of infinite life. That morning I may have felt despondent, but now I am for I did not lose, it's just that my win wasn't easy, and it wasn't pleasant.
The undeniable truth is that I had been offered a ride, a ticket to the otherside. I knew this, clear as day. Unfortunately, I was in no condition to uncover the motivation behind denying such an offer at the time of my experience. When I finally found myself alone, my only desire was to brace myself and remain immobile for the duration of the experience. I would stay put, until the effects of the drug wore off enough to permit sleep. But for the two hours before sleep came, I violently oscillated between two opposing realities, each one both alluring and terrifying; each side coaxing and begging me to embrace it.
One the one hand, I knew that the strange and powerful sensation in my body was a signal, a sign that intimate communication with the otherside was at hand. But, I couldn't grasp it, for fear of...something. Perhaps it was fear that I would see too much; that wherever I went, there would be too much to confront and I would be destroyed by the incoming force of excessive and overwhelming truth. Generally, it was a fear of loss, but loss of what? Stability, location, pressure, self, orientation.
Unable to ascend, my mind squirmed and fought tooth and nail for my protection. In its aim to help me cope and create order against the threat of total chaos, it produced a grand and unifying lie. This was the lie it told.
Every religious figure was and is a clinically imbalanced and insane maniac. Jesus, Gotama, Gurdjieff, Eckhart--they were all insane. And in an effort to reinforce and justify their own insanity, they attracted people such as myself, people who were just as insane but who were, unlike them, not leaders themselves. They attracted people who were weak and looking to be led.
This collective insanity that certain people felt, issued from the experience of the horror of meaninglessness existence. As my mind so eloquently concluded at the time, the universe is a material accident. It is cold, lifeless and strictly mechanical, through and through. The human machine happens to be physically arranged and constituted in such a way that it produces mechanical consciousness. It's this mechanical consciousness that sadly allows for the human machine to be aware that it is a helpless and impotent wanderer in a dead and hopeless nightmare. The shock of such a realization is what leads the religious and spiritual types to fabricate their fantastic notions of truth, eternal life, spirit, God, the unity of being, etc. I also knew this shock, this existential terror, had known it intensely since I was a child. This shock is what led me to ingest this awful substance in the first place.
Even though at the time, I entertained this great lie, I knew the implications of accepting it. And I didn't completely accept it. It was clearly and obviously wrought to lull me, to comfort me, to create a soft womb to rest inside while I waited out the experience. Out of desperation, I did make attempts to stretch and embrace the lie, but when I did, I would reel in disgust and shame at my own weakness and self-deception. Yet when I turned away from the lie, I would come face-to-face with the the fact that I was amidst a divine opportunity...and that I was denying myself that opportunity.
In the end, I did not come away empty-handed. I came away with a distinct view of the motivation and workings of mind. It works by obfuscation, insulation, alteration, occlusion, distortion; its motivated by the need to protect, secure, make safe, and in an odd sense, love. It very much acts like a love-drunk mother, a mother who cares so much that her love perverts and inverts and becomes a detriment, preventing her child from directly feeling and knowing the depth of life and existence. This maternal perversion continues to enforce the womb experience, seeking to shield and protect her child from the sharp edges of life. Intoxicated on her love, she fails to see that it has become the greatest sin: it has become blasphemy, robbing her child of the richness of experience, experience that is so vital and necessary for her child to grow up, to gain both physical and spiritual independence, to become its own maker, to reclaim its inherent sovereignty. This love-drunk mother acts with the same intention as our minds do, repeating and dramatizing that sin that so-called God perpetrated against Adam and Eve in the Garden.
The mind prevents a person from directly touching, tasting reality. It prevents direct and complete communication with our environment, with all of the spaces we as beings inhabit, spaces we actually find ourselves in, but from which we remain insulated. The author and researcher Ed Dawson writes that the mind is an energy-field. It is a medium through which all perceptions must pass and in their passage be altered and made easily assimilable. It takes events, experiences, creations, and leeches them of their depth, literally their space and their life, in order to make them into subjective realities, into self-serving images and movies. This chitta, or mind-stuff, is made into anchor-points, making it so that a person can feel order and can feel that he or she is located. The mind's goal is to finitize what is inherently infinite. Infinite life is objective exchange of absolutes or whole creations. The truth is that this is going at all times. The trouble is that people cannot have infinite life. This could be because it appears as total chaos from a firmly-established physical universe viewpoint. It appears to be overwhelmingly and permanently disorienting. Therefore, they alter it, and one significant means of alteration is mind. For the fearful, infinite life is inescapable disorder. This should come as no surprise, that people can't have, or more appropriately, be infinite life. For if they could, why on earth would they be here?
It should be said that the great lie fabricated by my mind during my experience (or rather, my denial of experience) is not utterly untrue. It is rooted in a valid half-truth. This half-truth is what reality looks like when it is viewed from a particular perspective (remember, perspectives can never be all-encompassing). This perspective reveals life as evolving from the Deep, from the Bottom, from nothing. It sees life as evolving from cold, dead matter into higher, more complex and more sophisticated organisms. Again, this view is valid, it's just that it is only half-true. So in essence, my mind took this half-truth and fleshed it out to apparent completion. This gives one another clue as to how the mind works. Although it can and does for the extremely insane, e.g. schizophrenics, the mind doesn't seem to create actual hallucinations but rather delusions, the difference being that hallucinations are purely subjective while delusions are distortions of perceptions. One is reminded of the philosopher Immanuel Kant's notion that all anyone can perceive is the representation of truth, that the thing-in-itself lies beyond apprehension. This is a classic case of someone being something, in this case the mind, rather than exteriorizing from it in order to see its possible transcension.
And it seems that this was what my psychedelic experience afforded me: a new-found ability to perceive the mind itself, to transcend it, to exteriorize from it so that I may better understand it. And in understanding it better, I may finally learn to acquiesce and fully embrace the endless rebirth of infinite life.