Letting go of old patterns

The job I have.. I came into it carrying my personality in bags and boxes before me, displayed as if to unpack and rearrange; a merchant of myself, displaying my wares, my best qualities. Shining ancient crystals without a human finger print smudge; vials of my bluster; tonics of lemon-rose kindness and bitter fly agaric paranoia. I had warding sticks of standoffishness, dowsing rods of friendship.

That was incredibly naive of me, to think that anyone in a job-type setting, a mundane work setting, to care about the whole person. They need specifics of my ability to be mobile at a certain speed, my hands to maneuver and fix problems as directed by certain qualities of my mind. All that extra filler: My love of the transcendent, of art, beauty, my humor, other higher cognitive functions, my creativity as it doesn’t pertain to my job description. All kind of in the way, unnecessary.

Not the right place for it, not the arena where I can bare all. This isn’t a complaint. This is just a review, an assurance to myself, that I can change things in the world. I cannot change what I would like to change or initiate the birthpangs of such a change from my current daytime job. That is absurd to think. But yet, I was naive enough to try it. This doesn’t make me feel bad, however. There is actually a certain joy that I now see comes from understanding that I am liberated even further from the expectations of other people, from the effects and measures they take to control their worlds to the effect of decadent sameness, comfortability, uniformly unhealthy sense-pleasures,  all with an arch of apathy propping it up from horizon to horizon. In this way they suspend what they think is a halcyon construct indefinitely, until it grows stale. This is hilariously misconstrued as “progress”, this spiritual decay that seeps into the very sunlight of their homeostatic world.

I think that this place deliberately seeks to crush people down, render them into only what is absolutely useful for what their jobs call them to do. This is done in such an insidious way. You can see broken fingernail chips embedded in the walls, scratches attempting to pierce the ultra-dense anti-philosophy impacted into this horrifically ill beast’s colon, this hard-pan desert where the husks of the dead etch their soul’s ideograms by dreary firelight. You can see that it is just a bit more pressure than normal that cripples people faster, wears them down by continual re-tooling and whittling of their being by a stripping down of their ability to change Anything about this place, and then making them just comfortable enough to not want to change anything.

This is the death of the human. The will to not want to change, the hatred of change. This disempowers us and gouges out our as-yet infant third eye. What is the fundamental reality within which we live? It is one of constant motion and change; Nothing, absolutely nothing is static. This is misconstrued as entropic. Everything is winding down, the universe itself grinding to a halt in a uniform cold black homogenous subatomic sludge. The ultimate fate of all matter. I don’t think this is true. I think we are tempted to believe such a nihilistic idea because of the reality of death as the end of every organism, the dissolution of every structure.

What we are seeing is the dissolution of form only! Things appear to be destroyed only in reference to the way our minds function with language to categorize being into specific chronological events that must have distinction through contrast. There doesn’t seem to be a mode of awareness for every day life and the way we function every day to facilitate an unbroken, clear focus upon one phenomenon. So attention  stops and starts, chopping what would otherwise be a seamless, flowing continuum of events, polarizing it into instances to reverse-engineer causally. Polarization of time-space events seems to be at the root of causation. We create forms through this polarizing of events (or of the continuum into events) that must interact somehow.

Conceptually, we keep these forms as mental models for the universe we live in, in an effort to understand it, one another, and our own minds. We encompass more and more of the continuum as we further polarize it with conceptual forms, which further define our thinking. The unavoidable consequence is that we cannot see the reality beyond our own toolbox of conceptual lenses, because it requires further construction of finer and more complex lenses. These frozen snapshots of reality are taken to be reality itself. Our forms we hold dear in mind, like a mantra, for how we think the world is, is the root of suffering, of dissolution of forms mistaken for reality and identity for the human being.

Having a human mind, or even a mind in general, entails this great strength and flaw. Being able to adopt, create, or render new forms is a matter of creativity and mental acuity. Reaching the threshold in peak experiences where one is actuating the flow of formlessness, the pure continuum of reality as it appears to us in the most naked form that it can through the medium of the senses (or quantum entanglement, perhaps) is the first step to realizing the nature of mind at large, and is the further key that solves the problem of dissolution, of death and decay. The dark idol of death is the most stagnant and pestilential example of our attachment to form. We cannot conceptualize beyond it; it lies at a liminal zone of knowledge for us. There is no dissolution, unless it is of a form that has been artificially preserved, a form that can no longer comport to the ebb and flow of the continuum at large.

So, “Be like Water, my friend”. The great mass of humans can be seen as a flowing stream. I adjust myself and the way I interact so that it comports with the continuum at large, instead of the circus of forms that one merely becomes, from time to time, entangled with. It is a piercing up into the more subtle realms of thought, a constant pressure to rise and perceive the intrinsic order of the universe, which is an absolute beauty, joy, transcendence..

A primer for Meditation Pt.2

Where does stability lie? Is it the assurance that there is enough money on your debit card for any needs that may reasonably arise between now and payday, barring any disasters or catastrophe? Is it in the generally predictable pragmatic dimension of reality? The waking reality that we traverse and interact with, the mentality with which it is faced and supports it, has always struck me as a very hastily covered-over patchwork based upon a narrow range of tenants: Sociability, economy, efficiency, productivity. Advancement in any field is predicated upon specific environments that collapse into smaller and smaller spaces with an increasing need and demand for orchestrated precision among complex parts of ever-increasing delicacy.

The spaces in between are deserts and carriers of information. The inhospitable superhighways, powerlines, bastardized stretches of essentially sterile land. The essence of humanity and the evolution of our culture and civilization is evolving in the carefully tuned and prepared spaces being propped up by the bulk of our top-heavy industrialization.

So, where does stability lie? The only human activity that seems to be primarily responsible for the discovery and distribution of our most profound philosophical and spiritual insights is the capacity to sit still and draw upon and test the perceptual capabilities of our own minds; this ability is further supported by microscopic environments of unprecedented delicacy and complexity: The Human Brain.

Stability sits on a cushion, or on the bare earth, and effortlessly, silently, thanklessly supports all human endeavor and civilization. Profundity, myth-making, philosophy, and especially the facsimile of their many different expressions, powers the engine of human innovation and dynamism.

It all circles back around quite nicely: Humans craft civilizations, create labor-saving devices, which marshal our mental resources back up from caloric strain and constant exhaustion and toil on our bodies, to the pursuit and refinement of our higher cognitive functions. As the possibilities of leisure increase, so proportionally can the work done to fill out the many imperatives of higher-level functioning. While you or anyone would face a significant challenge in convincing me that philosophy can be born in a field, I think enlightenment has certainly happened in a field. Philosophy occurs upon escaping the field or mentally circumventing it. The fundamental difference between spiritual contemplation, the capacity to realize the nature of the human being and reality, and mere philosophy, is that we are inescapably immersed in one, and the other is a slight expansion of consciousness to incorporate other beings that is a gradual approach to this truth and identification with a larger pattern of human activity without seeing the possibility to fully cross over. That profound nudge into Zen.

So, where does stability lie? Not in the tight-rope walk through a deadly cosmos that is human civilization, beautiful luminescent space algae that we are. Certainly not in the tumultuous noosphere, buffeted with solar flares from the clashing of Empires. Perhaps from those analogous to the Inuits of the north, watching from their meditation cushions the stupendous result of this clash, a beautiful Aurora Borealis of Thought-Energy.

So, where does stability lie?

Cool wind on my back: There is no thing worth my anxiety

This will probably not be a typical post. This is a letter to myself in the future, and a ping to all my friends, when there are many more branching tunnels than there are now and we are required to divide our time between them with mouths full of nectar, tending to the Red Queen, our own larva, or something like that.

I had no idea that I would be writing this morning. Was not planned!

I am really excited about some future projects i’m working on. When I say working, I mean that several ideas converged and have made me tremendously excited.. But I must be careful. I can no longer rely on excitement as my source of fuel; it burns so quickly, and puts stress on the vessel that contains it. When I become excited now, I deliberately make myself artificially calm, tell myself that there is time, and the idea can germinate in the back of my mind until it can sprout naturally in its own time.

I will actually begin working on A Primer for Meditation pt.2 only after I can establish my own very steady consistent practice. I have been a bit too lax. I will jump into the components and basic histories of specific systems, as well as more exotic forms and my own speculations.

An overview of Quantum Models of Consciousness is in order. You’ll also hear my thoughts on the possibility of the Technological Singularity and aspects of Transhumanism that we have already partially stepped into.

These all come with time. I want to do everything all at once. I have to learn patience with myself. I am still only human. The capacity to enjoy relaxation in and of itself is just as biologically and existentially meaningful as my capacity to be dynamic, driven, creative, and proactive. Society doesn’t reward the individual who loves the self, however. Success is often measured by personal sacrifice as a demonstration of commitment and loyalty..

School is beginning in the fall. I will be working 34 hours a week, taking 12 hours of class, and practicing as much as possible. To help manage, I will be taking the Muse neuroheadset on a crash-course.

A primer for Meditation Pt. 1

Altered states of consciousness have been an intense, driving interest of mine for over a decade. The number of states of being I have traversed (as well as the effects practices have themselves) has gradually created a top-down perspective of the phenomenon. Gratefully, I can come back to this for impartiality, an added variable to cross-reference things against to avoid drawing conclusions, and as a barometer for future explorations.

Meditation is a very simple, practical discipline that can create beneficial change. The change it can render is more a question of the quality of a person’s experience, as opposed to specific niche changes (which are there, and which will be discussed). It can also become a potent spiritual practice for some (For a large number of people, it already is), and the benefits are magnified. The experience of meditation becomes the epithet for a culture built around it as a central art. As I previously stated, I will stick to the practical.

The first thing that most people think of with reference to meditation is the sound of chanting monks in a secluded temple, and the first thing people tell themselves is, “I couldn’t possibly clear my mind”. Another misconception: Sitting cross-legged for an hour a day perfectly still, feeling at one with everything. These are unfortunate misrepresentations of meditation in its many forms and how their lives are actually impacted positively by it.

A state of confusion, ambiguity, and mystery can be easy to perpetuate when talking about meditation, and so disenfranchises people from attempting anything resembling it. I could very poetically talk about it in a way that moved me, that put me into that quality of mind, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that my words will have the same stirring quality for you. A working definition is in the description I will now provide. The reason is two-fold: To avoid an overly rigid conceptualization of it for those who are unfamiliar with it or any like-components (body awarness, breath work, martial arts), and to allow a basic practice to lay the foundation of what meditation is on an individual, experiential basis.

Continue sitting where you are, but straighten your back. Set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes with chimes or bells to alert you.

When your back is straight, you’ll automatically notice the impulse to pull your chest up; this establishes a new center of gravity.

With your back straight, begin paying attention to all of your bodily sensations. The sensation of fabric, cold or heat on the skin, muscle tension, the rise and fall of your breath. You can play around with shuttling your attention to different sensations around your body as well. Pick breathing for the moment. Take one breath and focus on the sensation and experience of breathing in. And again with the exhale, slow and rhythmic. As you do this, become aware of muscle tension in your face, eyes, scalp, chin, neck, hands, legs, feet, ect, and release it with each long, slow exhale.

Chances are, a though, or many, arose and pulled your awareness away from your focus on the breath. This is to be expected. We have minds, therefore they can become distracted. Now that you have tried the small exercise above, we can derive probably the most basic definition of meditation that can be applied to a near-limitless range of actions.

To quote Dr. Andrew Hill, “Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, in a specific way, on purpose”, referring to Mindfulness Meditation.

The thought of training one’s attention or focus seems to be foreign to most people. For most of our lives, we are told to ‘pay attention’, are told what we should pay our attention to, with no emphasis or focus on the concept of attention itself as a quality of conscious experience.

First of all, why the breath? Why an anchor of focus at all? Simple. When you focus your attention on the breath, other thoughts will arise that pull your focus away. Gently guiding your awareness back to that anchor is the practice of meditation.

When you consider the quality of thoughts that hold your attention throughout the day, and how thinking a specific thing affects your perception of reality, your physiological and emotional states, it begins to take on some profound implications. I’m sure you’ve all had the experience of waking up late and being late to an interview or work, and your every thought between the moment the panicked realization hits you to when you walk through the door, is a darkly humorous, hysterical narrative of the systematic annihilation of your livelihood as it ripples out from the moment the alarm didn’t ring. Then, there’s that quiet moment when you walk in, still frenzied, and everything around you is calm, noone is upset with you and life goes on.

Meditation fine-tunes the intimate relationship between your thoughts, physiological stress response, and thus, your emotional state. Nervous, anxious thoughts create a stress response by increasing heart rate and releasing the stress hormone, cortisol. In other words, your nervous system and body are responding as if it were in immediate danger, even though it is only your thinking that frames it in such a way. Of course, distraction from your anchor of focus, whatever it may be, doesn’t have to be something overtly negative. It could be a wish, fantasy, ruminations of the past, planning or contemplating the future. To be at the whim of whatever thought that comes into your mind, no matter how intimately associate with it or what aspects of your personal identity you derive from it, is decidedly impractical and disadvantageous.

The struggle to be Naked

My stomach began hurting. I had already been up all night, the day before, and the entire morning up until now (I am quite certain that i’m still awake).

When I am in pain, minor annoyances I experience with my environment begin to magnify with respect to the degree. I drank far too much butter coffee far too quickly, stacked with L-Theanine, Alpha GPC, Oxiracetam, and Modafinil.

I paced around, brainstorming a remedy for my condition, even though I didn’t realize it at the time. I would stop, rub my stomach, lean against the wall, and fix my gaze on a group of objects, and not being able to distinguish any textural contrast with the soles of my feet, feel bored and move.

Like Dis beating his wings and keeping himself frozen, I paced and fed the atmosphere of banality, and a peculiar Nihilism probably only felt in the West that comes with the realization, that, where once creature comforts were the happy byproduct of flopping down and  thoroughly enjoying the confluence of things that make it possible (like air-conditioning, shelter largely cut off from environmental and animal tampering), there is instead a convergence of all of those creature comforts MAGNIFIED, largely removed from the elements that made them so sensually enjoyable, psychologically cleansing, necessary..

The stupid square shape of my life and my books, the boring floors, humming electricity, saturated in music, social media, and developing tics..

Now, none of those things are bad. I did begin to hate them. I walked outside and hunched forward in the shade on the hot concrete, thinking that my visit to the outside world would be shortened to 1/10th if I just flung myself into the full sun in the front yard.

Non-the-less, i felt an immediate relief.. but craved more, if only to laugh at my own stupid neurosis, or look at it from another perspective. A truck drove by, and I ranted to myself about how I hate being reminded by sound and sight that others are around and can just as easily discover my position in space-time. I came to my senses and realized that it wasn’t a good place.

I walked gingerly  over some refuse to a shady part where some bricks sat and stood above them, tracing possible lines of sight from them to the road and all other points of access. I moved the pile forward a bit, and was rewarded with a small uprising of scuttling spiders. Patiently, I waited for two of them to traverse the bricks before sitting, simultaneously shedding my pants.

Discomfort melted away. The constellations of innumerable abstract point I was neurotically watching myself from fizzled and recycled themselves. My entire body was now communicating with its environment as one large, coherent organism. It felt like a circuit had been completed. I can’t emphasize that enough, the sensation that my skin was just switching on and began functioning like one big antenna. No ‘blurry’ patches anymore, where there was just the sensation of pants or shirt that is usually tuned out by the brain as sensory noise (which it effectively is). Space was freed up to allow all input to now mean more as a coherent whole.

In taking the mental step forward to cease my worry or concern over being seen naked, the capacity to fully enjoy near-complete immersion in the moment arose. Such “shock” moments arise that can provide the right nudge a person needs to connect with that slip-stream current. I cannot emphasize how dramatic my shift in perception was when I successfully passed through the membrane of social convention, acceptability, ect..

Actively, I am always putting my feelers out there. I know I touch upon the slipstream when I feel a charge. But the sensation dies away, not having been connected with the right number of others. Certain saturation points exist that can globally reawaken all of the other ‘feelers’ associated with that one. Of course, I am speaking in metaphor. By ‘feelers’ I mean conceptual material that has been refined a great deal usually floating free that is suddenly, and without warning, assembled by my mind into a completely new thing.

There is also an incredible sensuality to soil. Not so much sexual, but a strong feeling of being connected to it as extensions and limbs of the earth. No shame, no fear. I don’t know if I would become a permanent nudist, because I love hemp clothing too much for that, and I love surprising a lover with my physique. Perhaps 1 month out of the year..

The Non-Euclidean Bridge

How important is it for you to inspire others with words and action? That is all that we have in the end, how our words and actions echo forth and continue, long after death until they are diffused into a part of the greater tapestry of the ancient cosmos. Indeed, we may very well be being bombarded with the ancient deeds of civilizations past, so far away from us that time and distance become meaningless concepts. What we get from their extinction or ascension is a steady, uninterrupted, serene glow whirring with a hum and purpose through a protracted series of lenses: The lens that is the atmosphere, enabling us to exist; the lens of the telescope, enabling us to see farther; the fragile lens of our own eye, orders of magnitude more complex than the first and second, and finally the lens of the mind.

Through the first lens, the atmosphere, there is the primacy of existence. It enables us to ask: What else is out there? We have an atmosphere. Other planets must, therefore there must be life abroad (perhaps in Europe, for example). The second lens, enabled by the first, is a symbol for all technology extending the senses, our sense of exploration, and our powerful curiosity. The third lens gives us a sense of our limits and possibilities, is the reference point for everything, our sense of mortality and speciality. The fourth lens is the connection with the vast unknown that we already have, of all other life, and of the universe itself. It is the most exquisitely sensitive and powerful instrument, many times greater in perceptual power than the other three.

Does the lens of the mind see philosophy in the Universe? Does it magnify the Metaphysical? Can we trap and apprehend photonic, elemental, atomic insights wafted on the cosmic winds? Do the ancient dead and gone slowly supernova the outer layers of their civilizations’ noosphere, and leave us pictures of the cosmos in star systems before they even existed? My gift to the universe: An explosion of Self! Every sacred emanation will be seen through one lens or another at some point. The Euclidean bridge built from the middle peopled with exotic mind-species..

The thought crosses my mind when I look into the eye of another or indeed even imagine another’s eyes, that we may be one day reduced to such a contemplatory backdrop for another species.

How can one escape one’s continual fate as an eternal post-memory of everyone else they interact with. Walking ghosts to one another, lost in the labyrinth of our own thoughts. Never quite existing in the present moment to ourselves or others, and fated to stay suspended in the shimmering background of a celestial archaeological dig for another species.

An inspired moment-to-moment awareness that circumvents linear, causal thinking. There is a larger pattern in the subtleties of the ebb and flow that make up the sustained attention of a focused mind that is questing for what lies beyond the veil. It requires sustaining a grand vision on a large scale, lying a bit beyond the limits of what we can conceive. Coordination, synergy, between people would give us the extra push we need.