Tag Archives: meditation

Do the Evolution: Mycology and Applied Chiropractics

“It’s evolution, baby!”
-Pearl Jam

Friends,

I enjoy me some mushrooms. Psilocybin mushrooms and Amanita Muscarias have been responsible for some of my most powerful moments of self discovery.

Allow me if you please to tell you about the most transcendent experiences I have had, how they are all connected and what exciting new possibilities I am exploring as a result.

MY FIRST MUSHROOM TRIP by FISHER-PRICE (AGES 5+)

Having done low-doses of Psilocybin mushrooms a smattering of times throughout my tenure as a young adult, I did my first proper trip (5 grams on an empty stomach) one morning in September 2016, a few scant weeks before embarking on my #worldwasonfire tour of the Southern U.S. and Latin America. The trip was wild and rivaled my most powerful experiences with ayahuasca which I had done a couple of times a few months earlier in February 2016 while in Ecuador. I saw trails and ‘breathing’ solids. I saw the green cogs and gears which made up the nature I could see from my balcony.  And I saw something else: The absolute necessity, if not inevitability of complete surrender, which I understood incompletely at the time (More on that in a sec…).

I also laughed. Oh how I laughed.

Easily in Top 5 favourite FB profile pics…..that’s 300+ pics!!

I laughed at the absurdity of it all, at how tired I was, and at my hopes of salvation through a return to nature.

What was it like? Imagine a musky, brown organic/fungal horn or trumpet growing out of the ground in the forest emitting a constant, out of tune, spore-filled drone from the lungs of the forest itself -that was the character of my trip.

I walked away from that experience with a sense that I had undergone something powerful, and only a marginal understanding of this idea of surrender; an understanding which reductively centered around anal penetration.

That was an uncomfortable one for me to wrap my brain around. As a guy, that was my conception of what ultimate surrender meant; allowing yourself to be penetrated. Incidentally, this interpretation may also have been informed by some cult research I had conducted that summer.

Just an altogether really culty kind of summer -You ever have one of those?
(Photo Credit: Steve Haining)

Thelema in particular, whose higher degrees mandate sexual surrender for followers seemed worth researching at that time. In any event, though I never said it in so many words, I walked away thinking “The path to enlightenment is somehow up my ass.”

A connection had been made somewhere in my brain.

2017: ODYSSEY TWO

Fast forward a few months and I was well into my adventures in the south-western U.S., specifically Arizona. From late December 2016 to early January 2017 I was living on the rim (lol) of the Tohono O’odham reserve west of Tucson with a shaman named Tim. Me and Tim spent many days on the reserve meditating, reading from The Kybalion and smoking terrific cannabis. Our diet too, was healthy as (sic.) with no alcohol consumption and reverent, healthful ingestion of fish, simple grains and vegetables. For talk, TIm would talk mostly -he had a powerful connection to eh universe and he could constantly make wild connections bewtween the most disparate things and offer new perspective (he couldn’t turn it off though). As for physical activity, I maintained a rudimentary fitness regimen which included running and calisthenics,

and we often climbed the nearby mountains in the remote stretch of desert that was primarily grazing land for ranchers.

Tim burning a bush on the mountaintop.

After about a week of this regimen, Tim took me through my first and thus far only Amanita Muscaria trip (Video HERE). For anyone who hasn’t done A. Muscaria, it was (at the time and possibly even now) the most powerful trip I have ever done. For those who have tried it but haven’t felt anything (like me in my subsequent attempts), I truly believe that Amanitas require preparation (the aforementioned diet/meditation/fitness regimen) of a kind that Psilocybin mushrooms do not. The secrets of the Amanitas are just not given up so easily it would seem.

I won’t labor you with too many details of the trip -you can watch the video for those- but essentially I moved to a higher dimension. Better yet, I took control of my higher dimensional body and was able to travel anywhere in the universe, real or fictional, and in so doing I managed to completely release, at least temporarily, painful and limiting impingement in the neck and shoulders of my lower dimensional body.

I felt completely free and loose in a way that I hadn’t in years. It was amazing.

But it wasn’t a hallucination; something real happened there and when I saw I was traveling throughout the universe, I don’t mean that I was pretending to go through space. Understand: My lower dimensional body never left the chair in Tim’s kitchen but consciousness did. Instead, my lower-dimensional body, stuck in that precise time and place, received the condensed-to-the-level-of matter counterpart experience to what was going on in the higher dimension -kind of like in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, when you do things in Hyrule and they have effects in the Dark World and vice versa.

In this case the effect I felt was tiny cables stretching from my right shoulder to my upper neck snapping one by one as I came to closer and closer approximations of what I was there to learn. When I finally came to the realization the last string SNAPPED! and I screamed out what I realized twice in ecstasy.

All in all, unique and very different from the character/conceptual mechanism of later healing as you will see…

Speaking of Tim, I noticed at intervals when I came back to the kitchen, that he had two demons hovering about him. They had the superficial appearance of ferrets or weasels made of shadow and they were whipping furiously around his torso as if chasing each other’s tails. I mentioned this to him and, non-plussed, he told me he was aware of them.

Awesome!

Flashback Sequence

After a few more days in Arizona I left for Nicaragua in the second week of January. The rest of 2017 passed mostly without another such divine psychadelic experience. One exception would be a party I attended in San Juan del Sur

Another exception would be in Utila, Honduras sometime around July or August when, having taken (too?) much “space-cake,” I lay in bed spooning my girlfriend, meditating and hallucinating. Having someone else so close to me while I was in the throes of an ecstatically heightened activation really flavoured my ruminations in a heretofore unprecedented way. I thought about how spooning was the benevolent counterpart to buggery. You see when you spoon someone, there is a way in which they are submitting to you -in MMA it’s called getting someone’s back. From the spooning position you can easily choke someone out, immobilize their limbs or, if so inclined, sodomize them.

But that’s only half the story, because when you spoon someone you can also protect them, keep them warm and make them feel loved. So the question to me became: “When I achieve power, how do I want to treat those who submit to me? Spoon or sodomize?”

In retrospect, this meditation was a continuation and elaboration of the take-away from my Psilocybin trip the previous September regarding ultimate surrender. This experience didn’t have any effect on my spine though, and at the time, it all seemed separate.

What Brought All of these Realizations Together?

My next divine, “spine-greasing” experience on mushrooms would be another 5 gram Psilocybin trip (McKenna’s ‘heroic dose’)in Berlin’s Tiergarten this past spring (2018). I started out down by a small stream, and that shady, cool, isolated bit of the park became a surrogate womb for me. I spent some time there in that safe place as my perceptions got mashed up and my thoughts darkened somewhat. When I was ready and felt like I couldn’t stay in that dark, cool place any longer, I stumbled into the sun and, looking up at the sky I could see the geometry of everything; a kaleidoscope of faintly colourful geometric shapes rotating independently and yet symmetrically against a large, illuminated pale sapphire. It has the character of stained glass, like I was in a giant, atmosphere sized non-denominational cathedral. Yet impressive though it was, my mind was elsewhere; something about my own history seemed opaque to me and I meditated on it, lying in the crucible of sun-baked grass.

In my reverie, a goose approached me. Now a fondness for geese was never an affliction I suffered from and you could say my adult life has been nothing if not a rejection of the most goose-like aspects of myself -I see that now as I was writing that last sentence. In any event, far from the usual hissing of our typical encounters, this meeting was peaceful and bespoke coexistence, and I was convinced that the goose was somehow my spirit animal. Maybe this is what Carl Jung meant by “incorporating your shadow”.

Am I the embodiment of the things I hate? Seems poetic and so it must be at least somewhat true.

After my goose realization, my spot by the stream seemed used up; it was time to move. So, fledgling toddler that I was, I picked up my guitar and began wandering until I reached a spacious and lovely biergarten (yes, a biergarten in Tiergarten) situated on a pond. Setting up two benches together for a more spacious seating platform, I crossed my legs into lotus and began stretching as I leaned forward over the front of the bench toward the ground. In this position, thoughts of surrender came back to me. I thought of my father and mother, divorced since I was 2. I always took their divorce for granted, not really knowing any other existence, and I grew up split between my mother and stepfather on one side and my father and stepmother on the other. In my expanded state I saw the way that this had stunted my development and had made me “less” of a man than I could ultimately have become in this life. I panicked at the thought and then I became angry at them for sabotaging my life and potential so needlessly.

But was it needless?

“We needed a lot of needless suffering.”
-Me, waxing philosophical on ayahuasca in Nuevo
Rocafuerte, Ecuador (February 2016)

I mean, said suffering had brought me to this point, and this point seemed meaningful and important enough to exist for so perhaps the suffering wasn’t so needless.

Instead, maybe my father and mother had accrued such damage in their lives as to make their coming together more of a collision than a union, and so perhaps their divorce was a near inevitability instead of a choice. In this regard, perhaps I am less a victim of their callousness and moreso the inheritor of their suffering. And of course, to their credit, they tried. They really tried. They tried to insulate me from further pain after realizing how much of their own pain they allowed to pass to the next generation.

If only my parents had numchuks….

I realized that I was stuck with this pain; the legacy they had handed off to me like a baton; the generational suffering which had been passed to them by their parents. I saw how inexorably inescapable it was for me. I saw that by not having acknowledged it sooner, it had atrophied my spirit and made certain of my potentials unreachable for the rest of this life. I saw that I was a broken human form cast into a gloomy swamp engulfed by a yellow haze; blind, crying in shock (as if something dear had been suddenly ripped from the centre of my being…like a baby from my womb..), unloved, pathetic, choking, unable to speak, humbled, in pain, with so long to go, such a heavy burden to carry, and no guarantee that I would make it.

Mine is a sorry lot indeed I realized, and I can’t describe the feeling of dull, throbbing emptiness I felt in my heart and abdomen and existence when I realized this. My posture reflected this -head hung low, dangling in the vicinity of my knees (I had at some point uncrossed my legs and put my bare feet on the ground like the filthy, provincial peasant-spawn I was.

A funny thing happened then, a realization along the lines of “Better luck next time!” came to me. And it comforted me.

Let me explain:

I view life as a series or set of games. Every interaction, every society I’m part of, every social group and every culture represents a different game. Some are (perceptibly) separate from others and some games exist nested within games within games within the biggest game of all (at least to me), my life (Look up “Games People Play” or relevant talks by Jordan Peterson). But I have also incorporated the hermetic wisdom of The Kybalion and its principles, particularly “The Principle of Correspondence” (‘As above, so below; as below, so above’) in this case. It’s the idea that things scale up and down to infinity and that the same mechanics are at work in corresponding ways at every level. So it makes/made no sense to view my life as the ultimate (doomed) iteration; according to the principle of correspondence it is but one iteration of my meta-life -I just happened to be struggling this round.
On a more experiential, perhaps more relatable level, knowing that I had inherited pain from previous generations and that I could quite conceivably pass on that pain to others in the future made me feel immortal insofar as I saw that I was part of an enduring process and that my actions mattered.
Also, as per “The Principle of Vibration,” if I want the impulse that I am to gain greater and greater amplitude, animating even higher forms of matter with life-essence throughout the duration of my meta-life, I must stay in a place of resonance. Nothing seemed so anti-resonance to me as falling into a bottomless pit of despair. Is this life going to be a ‘snake down to’ or a ‘ladder up to’ the next iteration? If a ladder, I have to carry my burden with strength, dignity and humility, bringing happiness to those around me or at least minimizing their suffering, suffering though I may be myself. After all, it’s just a game…

This realization saved me from the despair I was trapped in and as I inhaled and rose up from my posture of surrender and wretchedness, an amazing thing happened: I brought something up with me. It’s hard to explain what exactly, and I will use esoteric terms to describe it, so forgive me, students of the new age who use more refined nomenclature: As I rose, an energy rose up from my root (chakra) and traveled all the way up my spine/kundalini. As it rose, it flushed out all the blockages existing within the uppermost portions of my spinal column -again giving me that free mobility I had experienced after my Amanita trip the previous January in Arizona. As a visualization, imagine the cleansing energy was like one of those drain-clearing graphics from Drano commercials in the 90s.

‘With Regular Use’ indeed…

But that’s not all! As the energy continued moving upward, it EXPLODED out of my crown like an ethereal ejaculation which shot up into the air above -some no doubt finding the proverbial egg which would precipitate my conception into a new universe- but much of it inevitably scattering short of the mark, making an absolute mess of the other patrons.

Yes, in a metaphysical sense, I ejaculated onto the people around me.

Their pets too!

I think they liked it though. Seeing me rise up, one guy at the next table asked me to play guitar. I was/am still learning and I was newer then than I am now. I did have some songs in my repertoire but I was also tripping balls and so perhaps not the best man to perform.

But then, ‘So fucking what?‘ When was it ever a good time to make others happy? Optimus Prime said, “Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing,” and as a novice rock-star, I had no hope of escaping that yellowish swamp of despair beyond picking up that guitar and putting smiles on some faces.

Was I amazing? No. I was decidedly not. But I didn’t have to be. I focused on playing the pentatonic and blues scales which I had recently learned, nice and slow. With my head and neck craned left looking down over the fingerboard with a newfound mobility and the up-close care and attention of a jeweler setting a stone, I played these universal forms, discoveries more than inventions, set down by the earliest musicians. I realized that their subtle, immutable rules provided me a security that relished in my fragmented state. As I played them I got faster, I got better, I got inventive, I got cocky, I fucked up, but when I did I could always come back to the transcendent original form and begin the process over again.

Just keep playing…

I played these scales sadly while weeping ecstatic tears and worked through the minutiae of loose ends left behind in the wake of my larger, earlier realization. In military terms, it could have been considered “mop-up” after a larger offensive. At length, the man who asked me to play gave me a few Euros and left with his family, probably not sure what to make of the ruefully countenanced troubador and his minstrelsy which tilted disproportionately to emotion over skill.

Still I played, and when I got up to get a coffee and treat myself to a pastry (which I ate slowly and mindfully) I walked straighter, more deliberately and more powerfully than any other time I can remember off the top of my head.

People were looking at me. More than usual. Such was my radiance.

One final point on this trip which ties this experience closer to that initial, earlier idea of surrender. Remember I joked that the path to enlightenment was up my ass? Well, in this scenario, I brought something up from a primordial place, from my root chakra, which, as the survival/fight or flight energy centre, is located squarely in the anal region. Similar to how I have pulled universal energy down to me through my crown, I brought universal energy’s as-yet-unnamed (at least to me) earthly counterpart up through my root.

I knew it was up my ass all along 🙂

“Knowing is not enough; We must apply” -Bruce Lee

I did two back to back trips over two days about two weeks ago. The first one was a similar 5 gram (‘there goes my hero..’) trip starting and ending in the same locations in Tiergarten. (This time I jazzed up the mushrooms with maple syrup to increase their palatablity). My guitar playing was better-ish, and while I didn’t necessarily have a unique new breakthrough, I did cement certain ideas from the previous trips -particularly the yellow hazy swamp of despair and the primordial hum which my wretched self hummed like a slave hymn as I feebly fumbled my way out of there.

No geese though.

The next day I took my girlfriend through her first trip -two grams for her and 3 for me in our apartment. Setting a very strong intention to be a guide, the onset of the darkness I saw didn’t manifest until she had already gone through the worst of her trip and was smiling and laughing at the things being revealed to her. As she saw that I was looking a little morose at that later point, she was able to coach me and tell me the things I needed to hear, and in that regard it was a beautifully synergistic experience. But prior to me tripping I was able to help her find balance with breathing exercises and humming that same primordial hum that had served me on my previous trip.

As an aside, I have used hums, mantras and “Oms” only a handful of times in meditation and yoga, but never enough to realize their power. This hum I was doing seemed to send some resonant frequency through my body which…..loosened things up?

The next night after these two back to back trips,  my girl drove me to the jobsite I was working at and we slept in a teepee. I smoked cannabis with my coworkers before bed and then when I joined her for sleep, fortune conspired to fortuitously have me sleeping on a wooden platform with no air mattress. I realized that the wood wasn’t uncomfortable in any absolute sense, it simply didn’t cushion, and thus it inhibited frivolous sleeping positions. Pillows and mattresses, for all of the comfort they provide, do tend to enable our bad sleeping habits. For example, I tend to sleep in semi-fetal position. Why? Why do I do that? Well, it’s comfortable and when I ‘lock in,’ I can sleep incredibly deeply. But am I a baby? No; I am a man and I should sleep like a man, on my back, sleeping deeply but never so deeply that I wake up groggy. Or worse, so deeply that I don’t awake when something goes bump in the night. Sleeping on your back leads to easier wake-ups, and as it would happen, its the most comfortable position to lie in on a flat hard surface.

Also, as I learned this particular evening, lying on your back on a hard surface with some friction allows you to stretch your back in ways that a mattress and silky sheets do not, and as I began exploring these stretches, I used my hands to manually manipulate my head,; lifting it, pulling it back to find length in the spine, and then resting it down on the board so that the weight was on the base of my skull and just below, with my chin tucked into my upper chest. This had a two-fold benefit: 1) With my chin tucked into my chest and my jaw unable to open, it was impossible for me to snore -a constant problem with sleeping on my back, and 2) I had isolated my lingering persistent neck stiffness (it tends to come back after being cleared during a mushroom trip) to a vertebrae in my neck (somewhere in the 30th to 33rd vicinity) and this position put that vertebrae in traction.

What a feeling! I had been hard-pressed to find a way to effectively address and stretch this compression or herniation (not sure the proper term) and here and now I was exerting positive pressure on it simply by lying still.

But I wasn’t just lying still; having done two trips in the previous two days I am guessing I had some latent psilocybin in my spinal fluid and it was reactivated by the cannabis and the deep, restful, meditative  breaths I was taking. I began drawing energy into my being from the universe through my crown, down the length of my spine/kundalini, and then when it hit the bottom I began channeling it back up achieving a less potent version of that “Drano feeling” I had experienced earlier. But channeling it down and up is not simply a mental or visualization matter -my body was actually moving and my spine seemed to be fluctuating in a wave pattern.

The eggplant is a bit misleading, as it would be a better stand-in for the sacral chakra *wink wink*

I thought that perhaps a Sine wave or cosine, etc. could, universally fundamental as they are, be optimal patterns for spinal movement when attempting to channel universal energies. Speaking a little out of school here, but perhaps if the right frequency, the resonant frequency of spinal motion could be found and adhered to through training, it could precipitate greater conductivity to universal energy by shaking loose impingements through increasing amplitude.
What impingements? The build-ups and the gradual ossification that take place as a consequence of aging, the blockages which come as a result of our vices and habits and the general calcification we experience in this polluted physical realm. As I breathed and moved with my breath, visualizing this wave (great back workout btw) I came to a point in my spinal waveform where my weight and the energy I was channeling were lined up at that vertebrae in my neck. I held here for a moment and I felt a movement. It was as if something compressed slowly, partially gave way with a groan and a grind. A groan and a grind may not sound healthy, especially when we’re dealing with the spine. but I was and still am working on opening a door that has been closed a long time, and that creak gave me hope and assurance that I was onto something.

I am still working at this impingement and I am certain I will get it soon, but in the meantime I am looking to procure some more medicine as my spinal reservoir of psilocybin seems to be depleted. Also, with regards to the back workout mentioned above, my back was sore as (sic.) the next day as I had used the finer muscles along my spine that don’t get used to that extent so often. I want to keep training those muscles and over time get to the point where I have such fine control that I can manipulate each vertebrae individually. We all gotta have goals, right?

Wow! Sounds GREAT! But What’s the Rub?

My body motions must have seemed like a seizure and I would guess that they were not too far from that. That’s a scary thought, but its mitigated by the fact that it was a seizure brought on by my own volition which I could end at any time I wished. I have long suspected that epilepsy might be like a short-circuiting kundalini, dangerous because there is no control to the flow of energy. Certainly it would offer at least an anecdotal and poetic explanation for why so many famous artists have been epileptic -they were simply tapping into something universal in a way that was beyond their control.
I’m not a doctor and so please dismiss the following words as the words of (well-intentioned) fringe lunatic: If you are suffering from the pain of a lifetime of bad posture and your calcified vertebrae prevent you from correcting matters, a seizure might be just the thing to straighten you out. If precipitated through meditation (and perhaps the use of psychadelics) and therefore controllable, I think it can be not all bad.

One final point on epilepsy/seizures: There was an epileptic Russian author, very possibly Dostoyevsky, who said of his seizures something to the effect of, “The quality of them was such that if I could, I would go on having them for the rest of my life.” Looking at it from the other side, if we are trying to transcend this physical realm and slough off this corporeal shell by raising our vibration (let’s assume we are), how might that look? Arguably a lot like a seizure. This is why practices like yoga and physical conditioning in general are important -with greater flexibility and strength you become better able to withstand the physical violence of intangible energy coursing up and down your spine without becoming crippled by it or dying. And the longer you can stay on this plane with that energy coursing through you the more help you can provide uplifting those around you. Like Jesus. Or Buddha.

Parkour rules apply: “Be strong to be useful.”

Some things to note:

-I am not a doctor.
-Stand up straight with you shoulders back and sit in lotus where practicable. Treat your body like a Ferrari and you won’t park it like absolute dogshit.
-Stop eating bullshit. Sugar, empty carbs, processed foods, etc… They mess your connectivity.
-Meat is ok for some people at various points in life. I am and have been on a near-keto diet for the last two trips and that hasn’t fucked with my ability to go deep into a meditative state. For me, leaning out as much as I can is most important right now and I am grateful to the animals who give their lives to provide nourishing food which keeps me healthy and vital in this transformation. That said, certain meat restrictions might be helpful on the actual day of a trip though. It’s a double-edged sword so be judicious.
-If you use alcohol, use it for a toast and then pour out the rest for your dead homies. Seriously -even if you’ve never missed a day of work or beat your wife, that shit slows you right down and holds you back in life.
-Subscribe to @psychadelicmilk on Instagram.

I hope you see some truth in this and I wish you and your spine all the best.

Namaste!

-Andre

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Being Mindful of Transgressions

Friends,

The video counterpart for this post can be found here.

A few years back I attended a Vipassana meditation retreat in Cooksville, Ontario. It was a ten-day retreat based on the teachings of S.N. Goenka, and in addition to the long hours of meditation there were also a series of observances each attendee was required to accept. The complete list escapes me, but the most important ones were: no talking, no electronics, no eating of meat, no killing another living creature, no meals after midday and NO STEALING. Quite unexpectedly, this last observance was problematic for me and breaking this guideline led to perhaps my greatest lesson about mindfulness,

It was late February and snowy during the retreat and when entering the meditation hall we would ditch our jackets and boots in the foyer area which would, not surprisingly, get wet and dirty. At one point I was the last one into the hall and since the outer door was ajar and my own boots were a pain to slip on and off, I slipped into someone else’s boots to close the door. Instantly, and very unexpectedly I was overcome with a feeling of guilt; I had just stolen.

Was it temporary theft? Yes, only three to five seconds.

Did it cause any deprivation? No, the owner of the shoes was already in the hall starting his practice.

Was it for a good purpose? Yes, I was closing the door to keep us all warm.

But I knew all of that didn’t matter from a morality perspective.

Now, at this point I want to reiterate that I don’t really buy into morality myself, but I still was troubled because the person who owned the boots likely did. And this transgression, paltry and trifling though it may have been, was still an act of theft.

I brought this up to one of the meditation leaders, Bob at the next day’s optional counseling session. He was shocked when I mentioned I had stolen but as he heard me out he asked if, out in the real world I would have thought twice about slipping on those shoes. I told him “probably not.” According to him, it was a good thing to have happened because it showed that I was starting to think in more mindful terms, looking at the implications of my actions and considering the damage they could do in their ultimate expressions (i.e. larger theft, mugging or the taking of life-giving essentials). For me, it was an important beginning of looking at the things I was doing in my life and extrapolating them out to their logical conclusions and ultimate ends.

I think that very often we glaze over the fact that we let our ends justify our means because the negative means we employ on a day-to-day basis very often seem so trifling and paltry. For example, we would all likely have at least some compunction about taking a life, even if it was for the positive end of saving many. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s called empathy and it’s a good thing. However, our empathy is rarely sensitive or trained enough to consider that even something comparatively benign, say the act of marking up a price so that you can feed your own family, even that is a negative means for an ostensibly positive end. It is causing deprivation to one group to alleviate the deprivation of another. Survival at the expense of others cheapens the lives of all.

I don’t mean to come down on anyone here who has to eke out their survival at the expense of others. If that was my intent, I would be coming down on everyone including myself; such is the nature of our competitive socio-economic system: we are all complicit in instituting deprivation against each other. Nor do I mean to give a scathing indictment of our current scarcity-based socio-economic system; I have done that ad nauseum and I will certainly do so again at certain points in the future. Rather, I simply mean to shed light on the fact that we should be mindful of our actions, no matter how trifling or benign they seem and be aware that if those actions were amplified by orders of magnitude, they just might be more violent and deprivation-causing than we realize.

Best,
-Andre Guantanamo
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In(ternet) We Trust!

Friends,
Yesterday a cousin of mine messaged me and asked me my thoughts on God.  This was a difficult question for me to answer with any kind of brevity.  Rather than tell you how long-winded I was in my answer I will just post the transcript (with some edits for clarification) of  my verbosity:

Interesting question. I certainly don’t think there is an anthropomorphic (human-shaped) God in any sense, but at the same time the smug assurance of the atheist movement troubles me too.

I think the answer for me would be consciousness, which is, according to the learning I have done, omnipresent in the universe. Rather than individual generators of consciousness, we (all life) are receivers, kind of like satellite dishes, though not all life is capable of conscious thought obviously.

What I like about this explanation is that it doesn’t run into the quantitative problems of assuming every creature has a separate and distinct immortal soul (i.e. if everyone has a soul where do the souls go at death, if the population is growing is it new souls or reincarnated souls, etc).  Also, if we are all connected to the same thing, it is a beautiful expression of our unity and sameness.

More importantly, it appears to be scientifically defensible (though not without a great deal of conjecture from mainstream science) The problem with our scientific method is that it mandates all experiments must be provable by anyone anywhere at any time provided the apparatus and procedure are the same and all mechanical aspects of the experiment are repeated exactly. However, the disposition of the experimenter is an integral part of experiments that have to do with spirituality/consciousness and our scientific method is inadequate in that it does not allow for that. Things like projection of consciousness and meditation are very personal and have to be experienced by the individual and not a third party observer, but the individual has to go in there with an air of openness and no expectation. This is the real divide between spirituality and science if you ask me.

So to answer your question, if you want to call consciousness “God” in that it is omnipresent and in every living thing, then yes I believe in God.

But then I don’t really “believe” in it because I have thought it through and I try to have less of a devotional acceptance and more of a cognitive or ideally, an ‘experiential’ acceptance.

Furthermore, I don’t think there is any magic or hocus pocus to it. I think that everything to do with spirituality can eventually be understood and explained by science when our science matures and develops.

Does that answer your question? lol

What do you think?

So the answer to Do I believe in God? amounts to little more than, “It’s Complicated.”

images

So why do I bring this up and what does it have to do with the internet which I allude to in the title of this post?  Well after writing this little response I dicked around on my laptop a while longer before being called back to set.  But even as I walked back to set sans a laptop I took some solace in the fact that I had my phone, and thus some internets in my pocket

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Why did I take solace?  Well, I love the internet.  Love it.  It’s my favourite non-essential renewable resource and although I’ve been all over the world, its still my favourite place.    And while thinking about my phone in my pocket (just minutes after thinking about myself as a receptor for consciousness) I made a connection and started to think of my phone as a metaphor for me and the internet as a metaphor for consciousness.

Then those metaphors became a simile: Iphone 4S is to internet as Andre is to universal consciousness.

Then that simile became a metaphysical conceit, which is just a fancy way of saying a complex, sustained metaphor.  Seriously though, I started to think about how some people, let’s say those who meditate more and think about more transcendental issues than their next drink or paycheck might be considered 2G or 3G, while sadly, most of the unwashed masses would still be languishing with the consciousness equivalent of a 56K modem.  For the sake of comparison, your 4Gs or higher would be your Buddhas, Gandhis and other enlightened types.
Taking this conceit further I started thinking about how the Earth, literally blanketed by electromagnetic signals from satellites with geo-synchronous orbits, could be considered a metaphor for the universe, which is pervaded by the consciousness signal rather than the wi-fi one.  Then I thought how there are still dead zones on the Earth and began to wonder what the equivalent to a dead zone with no reception might be in the universe.  Similarly, we often build structures which block cellular and data signals; what structures (possibly physical, but more likely conceptual or metaphysical) do we build up that block our connection the rest of the universe?

More importantly, what is the ultimate purpose of the internet?  I don’t know!  But if I had to hazard a guess I would say it is to bring people together and close the gaps between us.  In that regard it is very similar to universal consciousness except it only operates at a planetary level and unfortunately, only for those with the means to pay for it.  Similarly, those without the means of survival often are too busy worrying about their day-to-day survival to indulge in the exploration of consciousness and their relation to the rest of the universe.  It seems that in both scenarios you gotta pay to play.
On a related note: is the internet under assault?  Absolutely.  Fear is fomented and channeled into initiatives which seek t block the free passage of information or set up regulations on how it may be used.
Have we seen a similar fear-based backlash against consciousness?  I’m not sure.  But I feel there has been because there are so many important transcendental concepts I was never exposed to until I bothered to look for myself.  There is a way in which we have been miseducated and through nuance and artful shaming have been taught to deny our direct (as in not mediated by a priest or church) connection to something greater.

I suppose I could take this conceit a whole lot further and make it really complex but I think you get my point.  The internet is a great thing, but its not the greatest, and it’s larger value is that it serves as a more tangible model of a larger communication infrastructure which has sadly fallen into disuse.

Best,
-Andre Guantanamo

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Quantum of Solace

My Friends,
   Today was my last day at my full-time job.  I had long been unhappy there and only stayed due to the relative comfort; a bad reason to do anything that does not make you happy.  When I realized it was affecting my work and relationships with co-workers I figured I’d end on a high-note.
   Now while this should enable me more time to blog (that post about rape is just around the corner from being done), I will actually have the internet equivalent of radio silence from about 3pm tomorrow until March 3rd.  The reason for my absence from my favourite haunt (read: teh webs)???  I am going to be in Egbert, Ontario participating in a 12-day Vipassana meditation course.  I don’t know exactly what it is and maybe that’s the point.  I initially signed up for it as a convenient way to get out of work (that aforementioned job I was not happy at), but now that I have quit there the thought has occurred to me that maybe I don’t need to go to an intensive meditation course because I have all the free time I could want.
   Welllllll, no.  I am notorious for dicking around and procrastinating and even when I do meditate my mind tends to wander before I drift off to sleep.  I am hoping to step my meditation game up a little over the next week or two although I am not going in with a specific goal.*
   So what to expect?  Not really sure.  I know that I will be taking a vow of silence for the duration of the stay which will be damn near impossible for me.  I am forbidden from killing anything or doing any harm (translation: I’ll be eating lentils), and of course no internets, telephones or even notebooks.  So I guess I will have to remember all my sweet raps in my head-piece.
   Why would someone do this (ps no drugs or alcohol either)?  I guess I just want to drink life in and try everything there is to be tried.  I don’t mind adversity as long as there is a pay-off and the adversity is itself is part of the reward.  Suffering is great as long as it is joined with reward.  This is why I have willingly subjected myself to things like hitch-hiking and going to Afghanistan.  Of course these things can be shitty but they also have a certain appeal which is intrinsically tied to the shittiness.  In other words you can’t separate the two.

*****
   Beyond these details, this past Sunday me and some friends put on an improv show at Homegrown Cafe in Hamilton, Ontario.  It was an important success if not a resounding one because it taught me a lot about what I personally want to focus on and I think my chums share the same ideas as I do.  I am looking to start performing live at the same time and venue every week following my return from Nirvana.  Through constantly putting ourselves out there and developing on our feet so to speak I think the gains will come much quicker as well as the confidence to start exploring other forms of performance art.  So we’ll see.
   In any event, I must bid you adieu.  There is much internetting and perhaps intercourse to get up to before the night is done.  Because oh yeah, no sexual activity during the meditation course which in my case will translate to (ahem) no self-abuse.

Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo

*Usually when I meditate I have the goal of astrally projecting or lucid dreaming.  I have had limited success in these regards.

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Six Week "Adventure" Recap: Part 2

My Friends,
   When last I left you I was relating the events of an altercation I had at Toys R’ Us prior to Halloween.    Well although I managed to purchase the Batman mask I sought, I left not entirely satisfied with how events went down because I was far too adversarial.  I didn’t realize how bad I felt however until…

I Went to a Meditation Class
 
   Yes, one class.  And I should have done my homework better beforehand because what I thought was going to be a two-hour guided meditation (fun, right?) turned out to be an hour long Buddhist wisdom class, followed by Q&A, followed by a comparatively brief meditation.  Now, to clarify, I have nothing against Buddhism per se, but I am suspicious of any -isms in general.*  However, I have learned that apprehensions and prejudices should not be allowed to detract from the passage of actual knowledge; you must scrutinize all information without reference to the messenger.
   So I listened to the teacher talk and actually asked a question or two, and whether from Buddhist enlightenment or from his years lived on Earth, he showed me some small insight into a problem I face in my own life.  It was actually kind of refreshing to talk with someone who thinks about things as much as I do, or at least the same kinds of things I do as much as I do.
   Also, I found the guided meditation helpful; while I didn’t make very good account of myself on the astral plane due to my earthly, flesh vessel’s inability to get comfortable I did pick up a small breathing technique which I have employed since.  And of course, I mentioned that the session made me ruminate over my encounter with the Toy R’ Us manager the week before.  I actually got very upset about it (read: I cried) when I mulled it over in class.  This guy was a brother of mine and I wilfully set myself in opposition to him because of my arrogance.  In a very real way I had done violence to him and I don’t want to do violence to anyone.**
   I called him up the next day (he remembered me, surprise surprise) and we talked.  I made it clear that my feelings about rules in general notwithstanding, I had been too adversarial and put him in the lamentable position of having to flex nuts (prove his manhood).  He appreciated my call and explained that he hadn’t been trying to profile me.  I listened politely but I wasn’t really interested in talking about the profiling aspect because the real issue was the presumption of guilt implied in a “NO BAGS” rule.  We made peace and said our good-byes but to be honest there was no resolution for next time I go to Toys R’ Us.  I guess it will be up to me to achieve mutually desirable outcome.

So Why the Disdain for Rules?

   Have you ever wondered why a rule applies to you?  I think most have not?  Certainly many have questioned the arbitrary natures of the rules, regulations, statutes, and codes, the creation of which seem to be the sole prerogative of so-called “authorities,” but I think most are of the mindset that such rules, at least from governmental sources, apply to them, justifiable or not.  I have begun to question this mindset and actually study said rules and the flagrant violators of them.  This may be old news to some but there is actually a group called Freemen on the Land in Canada (Sovereigns in the US) who reject the authority of the government and subscribe instead to a do-no-harm mindset.
   While that brief description certainly colours the groups as out there or crazy, they actually speak a lot sanity: they propose actually reading the acts/codified law-books which we all subscribe to without knowing if they apply to us; a large part of the movement is knowledge of self and realizing that we a divine beings whose freedom can not be taken, but must be handed over willingly (we do this everyday if you think about it); and of course a large part of the movement is responsibility, because our criminal codes are meant for those not responsible enough to comport themselves like adults.
   “No” you say?  Our codified laws apply to all?  Well think about it like this, if you don’t work for a corporation, say Pfizer for example, can you be expected to adhere to Pfizer’s employee rules & regulations?  No, you can’t.  If you are not the employee or agent of a corporation its rules do not apply to you.
   So what if I told you that our government is a corporation?
   “Sure” you might say cynically, “Government is just a business. Everyone knows that.”  But there is a way in which people make these observations absently not actually seeing the truth of their words or the implications.  Sure, government is a business but its still a legitimate institution dedicated to the management of the state entity.  Well…

Entering “Stephen Harper” in the search field.

The list of businesses by that name.  Notice the last one.

Should you ever wish to do business with the Government of Canada corporation, you can order its credit report from D&B to make sure they pay their on time.

I pulled that screencap from Dun & Bradstreet which is a credit database for every registered corporation.  It turns out that our legitimate government is provably a business instead of the democratic institution most believe it to be.  So at election time we are simply electing a new CEO.  Going back to the government’s so-called rules or “laws,” if you actually look at the 6,000,000+ legislative acts which have been passed in North America, you will notice that they dictate statutes, sections and regulations as opposed to laws proper although there is a persistent tendency to use the blanket term, “law” to describe the rules outlined in such acts.  Any so-called law which you at one time or another felt was unjustified because violating it didn’t hurt anyone was probably not a law at all, but a codified law or statute, applicable only to persons/corporations.  You on the other hand are a human being.
   However, another aspect of the movement is taking control of your legal person/government given identity and using it as your tool of commerce by acting as the agent or administrator of the identity assigned to you.  Its not YOUR identity after all, its the government’s identity (ever notice how any ID card always says that is the property of the issuing body?), which is why they can charge that identity with legal infractions.  And as long as you ignorantly agree that you are that identity, they hold you culpable.  But if you separate yourself from that identity (and there are ways to do it) and realize that you are not a legal person (and this is where knowledge of self comes in) you begin to realize the presumption of so-called authorities who have the audacity to think they can tell you what to do and that you’re guilty.

“Man is free the moment he decides he is” -Unknown

   There is a lot more to say about the sovereignty/freeman-on-the-land movement but if you are interested in finding out more the most common starting point seems to be the E-Book, “How I Clobbered Every Bureaucratic Cash-Confiscatory Agency Known To Man” by Mary Elizabeth: Croft but I have found that the youtube videos by Robert: Menard very enlightening.  As an added bonus, if you compare his original unedited interview with the CBC to the snippets they used in their heavily biased expose on the freemen movement, you will see that the CBC is not the bastion of credibility and journalistic integrity most Canadians assume it to be.
Note: I have brought this concept up to a cop friend of mine and he responded with insults and denial.  Call it a case of seeing what I want no matter what, but I found this hostility very telling.  
So Why the Meditation?

   So I have been meditating.  Its partly because I want to relax.  Its partly because I want my self to reach a contemplative state where I can ponder things absent my ego.  But mostly it is because UI wan to increase my vibrational frequency to the point where I transcend this dimension.

But srsly though, I am not what you would call a superstitious person and I certainly don’t believe in the supernatural, but I do think we must expand our definition of natural to include things which we may not understand or which mainstream science has yet to deal with.  After all, if it can happen, its natural.  And certain metaphysical ideas which might be popularly viewed as psuedoscience actually have a solid empirical foundation.  Of course, due diligence requires that a critical thinker not take solid foundations and make leaps of faith from them.  But when a plausible causal chain is shown to exist that can be put to test, any critical thinker has a moral imperative to experiment for themselves.  And that’s kind of what I’m doing.  I find the science behind consciousness, meditation and dimensions very interesting and I think it is an aspect of our existence which has been lost in the daily grind.
   I can’t really go into the depth I would like to here because RECAP implies brevity, but if you would like to know more check out Spirit Science, the Heart Math Institute and lectures by Dr. Nassim Haramein.  For those who don;t know Dr. Haramein he is a bit of a polymath, but he is mostly known for his contributions to physics.  His biggest contribution thus far seems to be solving the Grand Unification Equation…

…which was being worked on by this guy before he died.
   Well that’s all for now.  Unfortunately I had to type the last part about meditation again because I deleted it this morning while tired after publishing the post last night.  So if you read it last night and are for some reason reading it again, I hope the rewrite retained the original magic of what was lost.  
Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo  
 *To reinforce this point, during the Q&A, another student was asking the teacher about clearing your mind of conceptual thought when attempting to meditate.  The teacher explained that the so-called “emptying” of your mind was not a sought-after goal of meditation and it was instead it was a prevalent misinterpretation of Buddhist goals which arose from a HERESY in the 1200s or 1300s.
Heresy…
I think that there can be no heresy without an overbearing, dogmatic, institutionalized ideology; the one presupposes the other.  Its the universe’s way of keeping balance.  Maybe I am learning something from Buddhism after all.

**There is a certain amount of violence which we all must inflict to survive in this world.  It is often abstracted through monetary exchange and the victims of your violence are often so removed from you that you are unaware you are hurting them.  Furthermore, it is not one person’s vilence which hurts others or you but an accumulation of the others’ violence which hurts everyone else, so in a very real way everyone’s culpability is diffused among everyone else.  “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” is a common defence for such violence and if you think about this defence it implicitly states that we are all chipping off each other in some way.  I acknowledge that I am complicit in structural violence and that can not be helped completely because I also must survive, but to whatever extent possible I would like to reduce my participation in explicit physical and verbal violence.
Seriously though, heresy is a problematic word and I am wary of any group who uses it to ostracize others.

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