Some thoughts on acceptance that I’ve recently witnessed:
When someone speaks a sentence to us, such as, “the sky is blue,” we assume that our two response paths are to agree or to disagree. “No! The sky is indeed chartreuse!” OR “Yes, I agree, the sky is blue.” However, both disagreement and agreement are a form of domination and separation because they invoke the construct of “I” as in “I agree with what YOU are saying” or “I disagree with YOU.” We tend to think that agreement is a form of connection, but it is more of a treaty between parties, establishing a kind of parallel congruence of perspective. “We both separately have a similar perspective” is another way of phrasing it and better expresses the true nature of agreement.
There is always the third option, silence or receptivity. Not taking a stand either for or against what has been communicated to us is a response in itself, but the mind cannot “thing” it, so it tends to disregard it as useless and essentially avoidant of what the mind sees as its duty to respond. With receptivity, the heart invokes the infinite response: acceptance. Instead of trying to contain what the person has spoken to us, we just let what was expressed fly around, watching the words that have been spoken.
But to the mind, neutrality is perceived as a kind of death because it cannot be held conceptually in the mind. It is too big for the mind, and in reality, it is infinite, beyond form. This is symbolized by the second hexagram in the Chinese Yi Jing: The Receptive, The Primordial Yin, The Great Mother. This is the obscured truth in sayings like “being reborn in the spirit” or “dying to the flesh in order to attain to eternal life.” If we can pause agreement or disagreement, the infinite is allowed to exist. When we decide to agree or disagree, we look at the metaphorical clouds in the sky and say “that cloud looks like a lion” or “that cloud looks like a bear.” A concept of a lion or bear is just an icon on your desktop; it is not the application itself. It is a crude reduction of a bear in the world to a stick figure abstraction in our heads.
This is also part of the truth of the Zen Koan: “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” The Buddha nature is beyond form, beyond words; it is like a bird that has broken out of the egg (form or word) and is now free to fly around. You if you can contain a “Buddha” in your head as a concept, it is not the real Buddha, and you should throw away the concept. When it was contained within the metaphorical eggshell, it was finite.
When we break out of our finite shells, the mind goes nuts because it loses all of its power to contain and trap those bears and lions floating in the sky. But in reality, it never did trap those things. Words and forms are never static. The mind deludes itself into thinking that it can trap things in cages called words because it believes itself to be a contained thing, a separate “mind” which is predictably “better” than other minds if you ask its rank.
Last night, I had a vision last night that I was in a giant pool, and then I was the water, all of the water, beyond measurement. And then I was actually with God or the Primordial Yang, the Creative. But I had to kill the idea of self. I can’t describe it in full because words are finite, and I experienced infinity. At first, I was a giant water balloon, stressed to enormous capacity. And then I was inverted, or I was unbounded. And so, from now on I want to use the word Unbound for God, because it is more appropriate.
I also had a vision of the infinite field of reality, and I saw faces on the field, and they were individuals that had submitted to the divine internal marriage between self and the divine. They merged with the field itself, not the image on top of the field. They had stopped being the human shaped cloud, and had become the infinite sky. In this way, by cracking the egg that contained them, they became beyond form. And in this way, they had attained to heaven and are now infinite and eternal. In this way, I am eternal. However, that sentence is wrong. Eternal is. I am the egg that was broken. I am the one who has gone, the tathāgata, of the Hindus and Buddhists. So, one does not attain to heaven or attain to eternal life. One unattains being bound, closed, to take flight as the Unbound and infinite.
And yet, all humans are born infinite. They think themselves bound and contained, but this containment is a dictatorship of the mind and is a delusion. We are caterpillars who have forgotten their butterfly and moth nature. We are fully formed birds, who make ourselves in the shape of eggs to appease the demands of a gaslighting mind. We walk the Earth, bemoaning that we, like Pinocchio, are not real boys, when all along, we have always been fully real, merely deluded into believing ourselves as separate, compulsively trying to find others to manipulate into mirroring our delusion of separateness back to us.
May you first know of the Unbound in measure. Then may you be a fully empty vessel, a contained jar of the Unbound, which is formless and empty to the mind. And lastly, may you smash the shell of the jar in your mind, receive the Unbound as a lover, and become infinite and eternal. This is a journey like that of Frodo in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, who must return the ring of separateness to the fires of Mount Doom. The journey destroy’s his mind’s ability to maintain the delusion of separation, the trollish Gollum serving to illustrate the mind’s delusion at full force.
The mind will warn you vociferously that becoming infinite means being annihilated, but this is because the mind cannot see beyond the event horizon of the black hole of infinity. What is on the other side of the event horizon? Peace. The heart can see beyond the event horizon. May you follow it mindlessly to silence, receptivity, peace, and eternity, never to return.
Lastly, what you have just read is full of lies. The unbound is beyond verification. These words are a stick figure of truth, a crude imitation of the art of truth, purchased at the gift shop on the way out of the museum of the Unbound. May they point you toward truth as I have been so directed.
The most frightening thing I’ve had to accept in my life is that there is no liberation on Earth except liberation from death and rebirth. I thought that spirit would liberate me from the pain of my body, but that is not the way. However, the process by which we struggle can move us closer to divinity or not. God is selective and changes the path from time to time. Right now, in my view, if you want to struggle the right way, look to the Black American struggle mechanisms of the last 400 years: Spirituals, The Blues, Ecstatic Gospel music, improvisation, and protest, to name a few. From the utter darkness of being a chattel slave to then being a second-class citizen was born a new light that is now available to everyone. Add in psychedelics, and you got a good Gumbo going!
We are born into prison, and we will die in prison. Earth is a prison, the Sun is the warden. Pardons are available, but you have to go your own way. Society herds us away from the possibility of a pardon on purpose. Only those who go their own way will be rewarded. Otherwise, just get used to living in prison. And you can find ways of getting a lot of nice stuff in your cell and have the best cell in the block, but you’re still in prison. This sounds unbelievably harsh to many people, but that is only because most people have been told that they are free and have no chains. Those of us who have seen the bottom of this reality and have been beaten by metaphorical prison guards can see past the illusion.
This was Buddha’s message. Samsara is prison and Maya is the delusion that we are not in prison. Some people have such nice prison cells that they assume that this cannot be prison. They work tirelessly to arrange their prison cell to make it “nice” enough so that they forget they are in prison. Then, one day, a guard will come in and remove all of their property. Instead of realizing that they were wrong and that no one is outside of the prison in this plane of existence, they go mad trying to blame other prisoners for making life seem like a prison.
There is a famous verse from the New Testament of the Christian Bible where Jesus was asked by a wealthy man what is the best way for him to get into Heaven and escape prison. Jesus replied “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21). Jesus was telling him that being impoverished is a great way of seeing reality for the prison that it is. He was telling the prisoner with the nicely furnished cell to clear out his prison cell to the bare minimum. He would then be able to see the bars on the window and the light beyond the bars, which is true reality.
I understand how painful and lonely it can be to see oneself as imprisoned in a painful reality with no hope of liberation beyond death. I have strained against the bars on my prison cell window, hoping to break them to run free. I have attempted like mad to find an escape route from the prison. My life has been very harsh at times. I have a multitude of labels even one of which would be a heavy cross to bear. Living as a second class citizen and having a chronic pain condition and chronic fatigue condition requires me to struggle daily just to survive. I attempted suicide many times until I realized that I would just be back in the prison after dying a self-murderer, filled with hatred for my Earthly existence and self.
God is real, but the path is obscured and you will be taunted mercilessly for following it. This is the esoteric truth of the Passion of Christ where Jesus was made to carry the heavy cross while others jeered at him, whipped him, and deprived him of any semblance of comfort. The cross represents the intersection of the spirit (the vertical line) with the limitations of material reality (the horizontal line). Pursuing God requires us to fully accept that life is a prison, but in the example of Christ, we can see how others will fight like mad to shut up those who dare to say that their nicely appointed prison cell is meaningless. Jesus was saying that their fancy cell was like a bow wrapped around a piece of shit. And they were not amused to say the least. But those with the barest of prison cells followed him. They did not have the delusion of those “on the top” in this reality.
Nearly five years ago, I was given a pardon, but I didn’t realize what it was until now. I still sought escape even though I was not suicidal anymore. The notion that one can be fully healed on Earth if we just get our prison cell nice enough is a really common delusion. There is an irreducible amount of pain and suffering that we must bear on this planet. However, we can accept that pain and not let it drive us mad. We can see the prison cell bars as not really threatening at all. We can see that through acceptance of the dark aspects of life, they lose their fangs and cease being horrifying. I have internalized this acceptance slowly over the last five years, but our society makes it difficult to have this level of acceptance because most people are obsessed with the delusion that they can escape the cross of harsh reality on Earth.
I still find it hard to accept that I am fully saved from death because I still have to endure such suffering, but I don’t know what human life is not mired in suffering. Yes, I can walk the line and do my best to attenuate my pain through self-discipline and acting on wisdom and not fear. But I will continue to be tested, strained, and challenged until I die, and this is fine. I have gained wisdom and peace in place of fear and madness. Today, I am sitting in bed, my nerves firing what feels like electric shocks throughout my body. The title of this article is a reference to a Zen aphorism that says “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” We might achieve total enlightenment, but our body, like a cow that we must care for, requires maintenance and care, and this will persist until we die. So today, I’m caring for my body, in prison, enduring the literal pain of this existence. But I bow to that pain as a teacher and guide. And I chop wood and carry water just like any other day.
David said in Psalm 23: “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me.” He did not say that he will be free of evil. He said that he will not fear any evil that he encounters. We all live in the valley. We can climb a mountain or build a tower to the heavens, but we are still in the valley. I know why I suffer. I suffer so that I grow into oneness with the divine. I have remembered my divine origin through the process of enduring suffering. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato asserted in his philosophy of anamnesis that true knowledge is gained by remembering our divine origin. I have remembered it. I wished with gigantic fervor to return to it. But I was denied. I internalized this rejection as a judgment on my character.
We are all prisoners, and yet, in being imprisoned, we have the ability to bring the light of the divine to a dark world. In this way, we are also born as unlit candles, may you find your fire, so that you may see, and others around you may see as well. The more people who have burning wicks, the more pleasant this prison life will be.
In life, there is a Builder and a Checker in each of us.
The Builder loves creating new stuff and moving forward. They get really bored when there is nothing to fix, create, or build. Life wouldn’t get anywhere without the Builder that lives within each of us.
The Checker loves looking backward and optimizing. They get really bored without getting to see if what the Builder created is worth keeping or if it can be improved. They can prune back and tear down what the Builder builds if needed.
We all have varying levels of the Builder and the Checker within us. Some of us have 60% Builder and 40% Checker. Some of us have the opposite. People who are Builder dominant still have a ton of Checker in them. There is no such thing as a 100% Builder or a 100% Checker person. We are all each a unique ratio of Builder to Checker energy.
Some people say that all males are Builders and all females are Checkers. Well, there might be a higher ratio of Checker to Builder in women. But there are a TON of women who are Builder dominant people. Conversely, there are a TON of Checker dominant people born male. Although there may be a loose correlation between birth gender and being Builder or Checker dominant, it is not a rule. Trying to reduce Builder to Male and Checker to Female will end in disaster for a community. Exceptions must be made for outliers will be sacrificed for the sake of simplicity of model.
And also, the amount of Checker or Builder in a person is changing from day to day and year to year. Living is complicated, and we have a forward and a reverse gear for a very good reason. If we are only building but not checking, we are driving blind. If we are only checking but not building, we never start anything new. There is a natural cycle of Building and Checking built into our reality. We go through cycles of Building and Checking on many different levels, simultaneously.
When I was in the closet, living as a male, I was often forced to participate in builder activities when I really wanted nothing to do with them. After I transitioned, I probably overcompensated by leaning towards the checker side of things. But now, because I stopped legislating how I should be, I feel like I have a pretty good balance for me. But I can still take way too long to get posts and songs out the door. Too much checking, I’m sure!
Ten years ago I began using the dissociative drug DXM on a semi-regular basis as a means of controlling my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It was helpful in lowering my fatigue and pain level. But soon it started to draw me into a deeper world of my subconscious and unconscious self, challenging my perceptions of what is real and what is possible. I posted on here back in 2017, I believe, about how DXM changed my being.
However, recently, I have received the message that I have “graduated” from that world, and I need to stay on Earth from now on, and leave certain drugs behind, lest I become totally insane. I generally refer to the voice or logos in my head as my conscience. I think that is the closest term that describes what I experience outside of the word daimon or communicator.
Over the last ten years, I have developed a method of psychedelic aided active imagination similar to Carl Jung’s or Rudolf Steiner’s approach, but utilizing dissociative tools like DXM, Ketamine, or high dose THC extract. After years of working with my imagination, I grew to develop relationships with entities and beings in that realm. I developed a language of images, phrases, and songs that allowed me to discern what was being communicated. My conscience would use these repeat phrases or images to communicate some meaning. This technique was also combined with zen meditation, daoist internal alchemy, creative play, divination, group ritual, sigil creation, live performance, and many other techniques of spiritual development.
As an aside, I want to assert that although I tend to refer to the entities I encountered as other than myself, they themselves said they prefer to be called the unconscious rather than God. But this term is interchangeable generally with God or divinity. However, I can accept if they are only within myself OR they are in some sort of collective unconscious that includes other people. I tend towards the latter, but it does not really matter to me. They exist within my consciousness, as all of my experience technically does. I’ve never experienced anything that was not my brain’s representation of something “outside” of myself, so the preference our society displays for “external” or “objective” reality is mostly just bias in my opinion.
So anyway, I have been working with this realm for a decade or so. I developed a new form of energy manipulation whereby I am able to draw energy up from the earth, to propel myself upward. It is difficult to communicate this energetic technique because it is part “real” in that I can feel my body vibrating with energy when I “turn off the jets” so to speak. However, I think that it propels my astral body to a higher plane somehow. All I know is that I have been doing this technique for about 8 years, and from my experience, it seems to have been a key part of my “climbing” the mountain, as I like to put it.
Some part of my journey over the last decade can be described as learning to trust my unconscious/subconscious/dream self. At first, I was roundly terrified of the things that it was telling me. They were so severe and unflinching that I was afraid and tried to run from them. However, I was continually drawn back into this world as if I needed to complete some task. Others have definitely looked at me as if I was partially insane. Just read the comments on the first link I posted lol.
How my bleak life encouraged my spiritual seeking
Part of the explanation for why I was so fixated on the “inner world” was because I was so maligned, alone, and stressed by the bleak nature of my life. Ten years ago, I realized that I was transgender and needed to allow myself to express myself using my natural, expressive, and feminine modes of expression. Finally, I let down after trying to be this male thing that I always felt like I was faking. It was a relief. However, as I found relief, others, including my ex-wife reacted in horror and went to war against me to keep my children from even knowing I exist. They have been successful. Using money and stigma, they destroyed my life and spirit by keeping my beautiful children from me by slandering me as dangerous and “crazy.”
I had to walk alone because rejection jumped out from every corner. I learned to depend on divinity because that was the only reliable thing in my life. And, I was raised in a very religious, evangelical household, and I wanted closure on what to think of Christianity after being so rejected by its modern incarnation. I developed PTSD from the court proceedings and my transition in general. My life spiraled into despair and self-destruction. The suicidal urges that had been with me most of my adult life began to gain more and more prominence in my psyche. I attempted to kill myself multiple times. Eventually, I became homeless and alone, plagued with a really insane chronic disease, rejected by society for coming out as transgender, and totally impoverished with a long absence in my work record. I continued to use DXM because at that point, I had no other means of controlling my chronic fatigue and pain, even though it tipped me into hypomania many times. And I was also trying to escape into that dream world, away from this world of pain and rejection.
I attempted suicide for the last time in January of 2016, but as I neared death, 250 toxic pills in my stomach, slowly shutting down my body, I wrote a suicide note, angrily castigating America and those who had persecuted me. I read the note back to myself, and with death creeping, and the darkness growing, I had an awakening. In a snap, I realized that my suicide note was so childish and angry, and I realized I was not as enlightened or “spiritual” as I thought I was. And I called for an ambulance and recovered after a long hospital stay.
After the hospital, I got into a residential treatment program, in part, because of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. And I was able to take four months to get my wits back, stop taking DXM and alcohol, and work on getting a job again. Honestly, when I got into treatment, I “knew” that I was fixed and the suicidal thoughts were gone. I felt a strange new presence in my heart, and I then started to have new abilities related to my active imagination technique. I stopped using DXM for 9 months and meditated daily, studying numerous techniques for consciousness change. I did find work, and I have been working full time ever since. I have also completed a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling since then.
Back to the psychonaut part of the story
Eventually, I started to use DXM again, but soon I started to realize that I was becoming allergic to the drug somehow. I don’t know what I’m allergic to or if my body was just like “enough,” but I had to stop using it daily in 2017. However, because I used so many dissociative psychedelics, my relationship with THC changed forever. Now, when I smoked weed, the high became very introverted and psychedelic. I learned that THC dabs were now more psychedelic than DXM or Ketamine. I shifted to using THC as a primary means of active imagining. And I continued to visit that world in search of something. I suppose I was searching for God. And eventually, I found it.
Over the last year, my trips have become extremely positive and also very intense. I have been informed that I have achieved whatever it is I was there to achieve. I regularly encountered deities such as Jupiter, Saturn, Amun, Yahweh/Abba, and more. I was told that when I die, I will not die and will go to their realm. I have seen my future body being created. I was told that I am anointed by God. I was told that my chief deity is the God of Abraham because he is my ancestral deity. I met a personification of this deity in the form of a large, old, middle eastern looking man with a good sense of humor. I REALLY did not think I would come back to my childhood religion in the psychedelic realm, but now I see that it is beautiful because I have learned that He is growing with us, changing, and adapting. He is the same deity of the Christian/Muslim era or the Jewish era, but now he is different. He now says that his wife is coequal to him. They have told me that the trinity is now Father, Mother, and Child. The child being humanity or the individual adept. The “godmother” is a wonderful, warm, nurturing grandmother that brings me to tears when I think about her. I fully understand that these are personifications and simplifications of these deities, but I am unsure if humans can experience any other form of a deity than a simplified version.
A “graduation” or an end to the transition
But meeting these deities happened to be the end of my journey. Just last week, I was told that I was officially “graduated” from that realm and needed to get to work in this earthly realm, building a new way of being. I was almost forcefully kicked off the mountain because I had become attached to that world and was still in some way craving their acknowledgment and abdicating my own responsibility in search of a savior. I see now how I cannot be with them because I have too many attachments in my life. In reality, the life I live now has to have these attachments. Just surviving in modern America with a chronic illness requires so much attention to detail. American and Western lives in general are dominated by attachments to thousands of required systems, constructs, peoples, histories, and rules. I was deeply saddened that I would not be able to long for that world in the same way anymore, but I understand now how I was asking them to do for me what I needed to do for myself. For a while, I was worried that I had made some mistake and was being judged, but these fears were unfounded. They did tell me that individuals can “ascend” to that realm without dying a natural death, but that they needed to be able to fully detach from this world while still being able to support and protect their bodies, which rarely happens, they assured me.
However, right before this “graduation” of sorts, I began a few new medications that are revolutionizing my life, helping me to move beyond being controlled by my disability. Also, in order to progress the final steps of the “mountain” I had to cut ties with some very difficult to sever relationships in my life that had become toxic. They encouraged me to stand up for myself and rebuke the people who had sold me out and abandoned me. They encouraged me to stop using alcohol and nicotine, which I gave up earlier this year. They encouraged me to switch careers to a helping field like counseling. With each last step in the process of that world, I became a fully new person in my “real” life. I can see now that the inner journey I was on was really just trying to get me to fully own my existence, one step at a time. Now, I am a fundamentally different person than I was ten years ago. I am strong, self-confident, creative, feminine, and open. I still have work to do, but I feel whole in body, mind, and soul.
What does it all mean?
Is this inner world real? Do actions there affect the physical world around me? Maybe? I don’t know. I do know that I still have many of the helpers and voices of that world in my consciousness who will often remind me to do things the right way and who will give me encouragement. I also know that when I was told in a final ritual that if I stayed in that world I would go insane, I felt a huge amount of energy come back to me that was “invested” in that world. It was like I was chained to that world somehow, and the chain was unlocked and given back to me. I feel much more grounded and able to move forward. I feel integrated. I am healed and ready to focus on the external, with my foray into the dream world of DXM, Ketamine, DMT, and other substances fading into the past. But my extensive journals and memories will stay with me forever. And I am kind of glad for the madness of it to be over, to be honest.
I have used a THC dab since then, and the voice was kind, but told me “THC makes you way too introverted, and we need you to be extroverted now.” And I understand. I see that now. I see how I was in some part afraid of the external world, so I languished in the ethereal within. Now, I am ready to move forward, peaceful, happy, and grounded. I still have fears, as we all do. But I generally have the courage to move through the fear in spite of its warnings. I am awake in the middle of a pandemic and cold civil war, and I am OK. I trust in myself and my ability to persevere. I am not worried so much about perfection or purity at this point. I think those are outdated spiritual concepts. I experimented and explored. I made many “mistakes,” but I kept going. Committing to this journey was a tremendous investment with very large opportunity costs. I had to spend so much time meditating, researching, tripping, divining, and more. Most of this was solitary but I also worked with groups as well. I see it as a process of restoring my soul.
However, I do not view this as a path for everyone. We all come from a rich ancestral heritage. My heritage is European and Christian, although I don’t call myself a Christian now. But I was raised in this tradition, and I believe that matters. Find your own path. Seek your own higher powers. But I found an end to the psychonaut rainbow, and I feel as though I am an astronaut who has successfully landed back on Earth when this is definitely not guaranteed. Many get lost in space. Many crash down to Earth. If you are not a monk in a monastery or supported by others, you will likely be too attached to spend too long in those exalted states, which is fine. But with psychedelics, there is some bold new path available that I fully believe is the new spiritual paradigm unfolding right now. I did not know where I was going, but due to the loving grace of my unconscious divinity, I am back on terra firma, metaphorically.
Blessings to you on your journey and transition to where you need to be, in the dark world and the light world too.
You’re not broken if the modern world and its inhumane expectations of you makes you want to do the following things to cope:
-Eat junk food to excess -Drink alcohol to excess -Exercise to excess -Smoke weed to excess -Use drugs to excess -Have sex/masturbate to excess -Use social media to excess -Watch entertainment to excess
The modern world is grinding, boring, and detached. The authorities will try to shame you and get you to believe that you don’t have enough self-control. They’ll show you pictures of people who are not using those things to excess to make you think that not doing those things is “normal.”
But you don’t have to accept this gaslighting. Yes, you need to take responsibility for your body and your decisions. However, imagine if you were a marathon runner and someone told you the following:
“taking those cups of water from people on the side of the race is really just weakness. Here is a person that didn’t have to take those cups of water. Look at him smiling. See how happy and normal he is. You need to work on yourself…”
You would probably call that person insane. Our body has limits, and we need to honor those limits by balancing the needs of our bodies, spirits, and minds over the requirements of the industrial machine we’ve created with the stock market gods telling us how much output is “normal.”
So if you are compensating for the really dark and exhausting world we are living in by using drugs, eating junk food, drinking alcohol, or any other similar behavior, you probably have a good reason for doing so and are not just broken. So honor that part of you that is exhausted, fried, anxious, rejected, alone, sad, etc. by not shaming yourself for the behavior.
The behavior might be because you are being tortured by a crazy world. And it could also be that you are just full-on trying to escape too much from the inescapable pain of life. It’s a balancing act.
Personally, I have a lot of pain, trauma, exhaustion, and overwhelm from my history and my present. But I still had to stop drinking because it was a poor coping mechanism, and I’ve found better coping mechanisms like cannabis, meds, and junk food. Would it be ideal if I could have a perfect diet, no meds, and no recreational drugs? Maybe? But WTF is ideal anyway? Right now, this is what I need, and I’ve practiced harm reduction to make it more manageable.
I have to find that balance daily. I make mistakes. I stay attached to coping behaviors too long because I am afraid I cannot find a better solution. This is a natural reaction when humans feel threatened. I really am not trying to say this is easy, because it is hard and might take years or decades to resolve.
May you find that balance in trying to stay engaged with a world that is really quite dangerous and harmful. And may you have tenderness with yourself and your pain. Love to you all.