Predicting Election Results with Astrology

April 1, 2016

The chances of accurately predicting an election by pollsters and journalists are pretty dismal. If I toss a coin, there’s a 50:50 chance of being right. That’s not bad compared to some political commentators’ predictions.

A few years ago I came across an interesting article that said nearly 80% of astrologers who attempted, accurately predicted the 2012 USA Election outcome at least 3 months and one 26 years before hand! In his 1976 book “The Astrological Chart of the United States, from 1776 to 2141” Gar Osten wrote that the year 2012 would see the “re-election of the incumbent president”.

Intrigued I looked further into it because an 80% correct result is not bad considering most mainstream media had written Obama off before the election. A prediction 26 years beforehand is mind blowing.

I looked into each of the astrologers’ forecasting methods and predictive techniques. I wanted to filter out all approaches that were foreign to my approach and/or would require a level of expertise I didn’t have. By the end of this looking I found one I could adapt to my approach.

It was the simplest.

Now, I’m aware that most of you reading this have a critical and sceptical view on astrology.

For this reason, I’ve wracked my brains over how to structure what I want to say about the coming election because I use astrology as a tool for understanding life. If I wasn’t using this tool to make sense of current political atmospherics and wrote an opinion piece instead, I’d have no worries. For some reason the mention of astrology gets peoples’ backs up and they immediately throw an Art that works with Time into the recycle bin.

Most people are happy to read opinions and commentary based on other biased opinions and commentary churned out in mainstream media. An opinion based on astronomical data ie number, generated by an active imaginative interpretation of this is “superstitious”. However, an opinion based from within a Press Gallery Reality Bubble is not. Is the Press Gallery commentary scientific? No, just an opinion embalmed in a mainstream media consensus reality.

The stars and planets I’m concerned with are archetypal forces (Carl Jung), mytho-poetic currents within humanity. Astrology for me is a means of exploring the edges of rational thought as it touches the unknown. The horoscope is like a semi permeable membrane, it can suspend the ordinary associative processes of the mind and allow a different kind of attention to manifest. This attention, striking off from the symbolic elements of the horoscope gives a different kind of mind environment. Psychologists call it imagination.

JUng collective unconscious

Diagram from: http://uregina.ca/~lawlorda/jung/jung.htm

This way of looking at astrology is not accepted by most astrologers because it banishes star forces, energies, vibrations etc of the external planets and stars. This way of looking at astrology is troublesome for many because it says there is NO intrinsic meaning to the planets. It also points the way to divination. Divinatory astrology puts it on par with other mantic arts – like Tarot and the I Ching. To many astrologers this is anathema because they like to consider it as a “science”.

Some have referred to this kind of astrology as Hermeneutic Astrology:

Hermeneutics is the study of meaning, of how we arrive at our interpretations of things. In the context of astrology the term implies a turning away from the common assumption that a fixed astrological meaning is simply “there”, in front of us, as some sort of fact of nature. The hermeneutic inquiry in astrology reveals the essential dependency of the meaning of symbols on the act of interpretation of that meaning. Seen in this way, horoscope interpretation involves something other than a supposed pre-existent meaning waiting to be decoded, and depends both on the context in which meaning is sought, as well as on the intentionality of the one making the interpretation.” (Cornelius, Geoffrey, C. 1994. “The Moment of Astrology: Origins in Divination”)

jung archetypes

I like to consider this way of looking at astrology as a poetic interpretation of astronomical data. Poetry from numbers and geometry – active imagination in action. The calculations and the process of symbolising are just a pretext to occupy the conscious mind. The complexity of nuance and context for symbolising engages the rational mind while the REAL work is done by the broader and more holistic unconscious. This unconscious insinuates “meaning” beyond the logical limits of rational “complexity”. So, my manner of working these “complexities” is to treat them as a long Zen Koan and the Sky Map – Horoscope as a Yantra.

One can explore consciousness and imagination deeper and look at the structures of mind and the material that appears as is done in various and diverse ways by Phenomenology. I just like to play on the edge of reason, that spot between sanity and insanity, where all the wild creatures are 😉

Sometimes, in flickering moments, astrologising can be vision. A “vision – feeling” into another world that is holographic in structure, energetic and alive. In these rare glimpses, a human and the universe are seen as the same organism. As above so below, Hermes Trismegistus says. A different relationship exists between things – or at least that is what appears when astrological Sun glasses are worn.

Here are two articles by Geoffrey Cornelius that point to a way I look at Astrology Practice “Astrology as Divination” and “Is Astrology Divination and Does it Matter?”

Below are posts in my blog which give further insight into my approach:

Guerilla Ontology

An Experiment With Astrology and the I Ching 

Astromusings 

An Astrological Turning 

I’m reminded of a Zen saying, “Don’t look at the finger pointing to the Moon, look at the Moon.”

All this astrological stuff is just a pointing finger.

 


The Calling

August 22, 2015

The possibility that thought was matter and that this equivalence may be divided by a number, made every belief housed in my skull obsolete. Meaning was a promise made on the fact of my existence, so I thought. I knew then I had to seek solitude. Why and what solitude meant was just as an unknown as my new predicament. In this moment recognition crept along my spine. At first it was a tingle, a feather gently stroking my skin. From the small of my back up along the trough following my spine the sensation flowed. A place of warmth emanated from the middle, between my shoulder blades.

My body seemed at ease and receptive to some message. I didn’t know what was recognised, only that a call had registered through my nervous system. Who or what was calling?

It was strange how this new ignorance appeared. The recognition was sensed complete with a set of meanings ascribed to without consent of my mind. Could this new ignorance be old knowledge long forgotten? Deep down, beneathe  layers of thought matter was the hidden destiny. This is what I felt. It didn’t matter whether it was a long forgotten bone buried by some equally long forgotten god, or just an abstraction to humour a sense of self. This hidden destiny pointed in a direction away from thought.

I lit another cigarette and walked over to the window. The sky was clear, the thunder clouds were swept away by the afternoon breeze. What was this call that began to sound in my secret emptiness? “Surely bones don’t shape one’s destiny!” I said aloud. Perhaps destiny was too big a word. My skin felt warmer all over, I closed my eyes and concentrated on an image of a candle flame. This was something I did when I was a kid before falling asleep. I felt the in and out of warm and cool air, breathed through my nostrils. Deep inside my chest, the flame burnt steadily, wax the pulse, relativity the breeze. Gentle candle smoke rose and insinuated itself along fissures and walls of my skull. My feet and hands became an extension of an invisible stranger that uses flesh and bone as a gardener uses a spade.

A snake slithered through sounds in the air. Its presence a mere hiss of silence, a soft scrape against a wall. As I looked down onto my hand resting on the window sill I recognised the snake curled up in gold around my Holy Ghost finger, a ring, a gift from a long lost friend.

“Babylon is burning at the end of your cigarette,” she said. She appeared before me with a pitcher of water in one hand and the other holding a glass. The air around me crackled – static on a phone. She whispered, “Tell me, what is a man? Wind blown dust swirling into a cone of events, swinging to and fro, like a pendulum across the face of his quarter acre block?” By now she had me in her gaze, though I could not see her eyes.

With the effort of a Houdini I replied, “I take refuge in my beliefs…..” I repeat this over and over in my mind, a merry-go -round mantra. The guns of doubt click and explode in Russian roulette timing: silent movies, iceberg expectations, half life relics, pantomime gestures. Bang! Frame by frame, every movement a question mark in human animation, every frame subtitled, ” I think, therefore I am.”. The soundtrack ever repeating “I take refuge in my beliefs”.

She placed the pitcher on the table and took a sip from the half empty glass. “You think that the real, natural heart’s,”  she pointed with her long finger , “that thing pumping in your chest. You are seriously mistaken.” She flicked some hair away from her eyes as she spread the feathers of one of her wings. Each feather had inscriptions that looked alternatively Cyrillic then Chinese with Arabic curves, Hebrew endings and Greek beginnings. All this however was just guess work for in truth I had no idea what was written. For all I knew each feather could have been a letter in this alphabet of feathers and the whole word wing a verb with an unknown subject . Perhaps the split between subject and object wasn’t even in this grammar – I was illiterate in the language of angels. I found myself  mesmerized by the area of her wing immediately to the left of her elbow. The letters or patterns were themselves hieroglyphs, or so I thought. I felt here was a mystery – how could something be itself and yet point to something else for its identity?

“This is not the time to labour the point. The whole three dimensional world presented to your senses five is a total illusion. If you could slow this holographic movie down to nearly zero you would find flesh and blood is one step removed from your real body. This real body which you fail to recognise is imperishable. It’s the same with your mind. You think that you think, that you set the perceptual and then the conceptual parameters, that the images and ideas in that psychological space are yours. They are just as synthetic as your heart.”

She stopped talking and stroked the rim of the glass with her index finger. The low hum coming from the glass punctuated the silence. She began talking again in a slightly louder whisper, “In fact your thinking is the thinking of someone else that has passed through your mind. You are property. Thoughts that cruise and fly by in your mind are visitors and have nothing to do with your volition. They enter, stay and leave, sometimes become squatters on their own accord. The cube of mind, a stage and a corridor, a cage and a peeping Tom show through cracks of vision, sound, smell, taste and sensation .”

Her countenace slowly began to fracture, crumble like a clod of dry clay and become translucent – from a Greetings Card angel to a stained glass living sculpture. Gradually her form shattered into many more countless pieces. She became a mosaic of color merging with the window. Like salt in water she dissolved through the glass and became orange streaked twilight dusk.

A snail slithers across the dome skull of history. Echoes, of prophets wailing, a curling shell. Cochlea. Earth. I heard the calling, (my) intent unknown.


Dear TAFE Colleague

August 21, 2015

It’s great hearing from you.  You asked me how I am so here goes ….

I’m sitting here ruminating about stuff.  Kinda like reviewing a movie, a film called “My Brilliant Career in TAFE”.  It has been 5 years since I left TAFE. In the first year images of TAFE World – faces, encounters, engagements, conversations and meetings kept flashing across my mind.  Scenes  rose like steam from a drying towel in the sun. Rather than in a sequence, my mind made it all appear like one of William Burrough’s cut up stories.

When TAFE got rid of Principals it also got rid of access and equity principles. From a college it became a Corporation. My nervous system became programmed to corporate tunes that had nothing to do with education. TAFE gradually became a health hazard to my hopes, dreams and life. Sure, working there helped pay   the mortgage and bills but  I feel  I am still rehabilitating from the “brilliant career”. After   5 years away I am a lot more relaxed and do not feel the need to “perform” to some KPI. Yes, I remember some of those acronyms.

I am getting to know me again.

I remember how afraid I was to leap into the world of university study. Fear may be too strong a word, but I felt I was going to lose my “mindful” innocence,  that the systemic conditioning of my thinking into the University Academic  Mould, would destroy my individuality – my soul.  Yes, it was my own Blakean song of innocence and experience.  It was my own small town version of Paradise Lost. Whatever I feared at the beginning of university became a tool of remembrance   for my  efforts  to work on myself in the Fourth Way. Fourth Way? Yeah, something I couldn’t talk about with any of you.

That’s the other thing. I wanted to tell you that one of the reasons I had to leave when I did was to ensure I didn’t have my second Saturn Return while still working in TAFE.  If I stayed my life patterns showed it would be a disaster   because I didn’t have the courage to follow my heart. I felt I couldn’t say this to you because you and others in the system would just laugh. Little did any of you know how often I used Astrology and the I Ching to strategize and coordinate projects that won national and state quality  awards. In case you’re interested here’s an example that helped introduce English for Specific Purposes Program in the BHP Workplace. No one knew except me and my muse 🙂   This is not the place to explain  Saturn Returns but if you’re interested let me know.

The old Zen images of enlightened Mind  –  “Chop wood, Carry water” and “No Moon, no water” are now hovering around my attitude.  I’m getting something nutritious in just chopping and splitting  logs for our evening fire, painting the new sleeper pine wood pegola and garden boxes with decking oil, planting seeds, cooking, reading and trading at a much more relaxed pace. Ah, trading! Yes, I’m now a Forex Trader. That’s a whole other letter – again, if you’re interested.

I’m reading drafts of many unfinished works and instead of flogging myself with guilt that they exist and NOT finished, I’m just reading them. I’m playing around with ideas and don’t know where it will take me except that I’m enjoying just catching up with my stuff…….catching up with me.

Yes, I know it all sounds narcissistic, and maybe it is,   but I feel  I need to nurture that part of me the Corporate World could not and did not value.

How are you?

Stavros


A born again virgin soul

April 6, 2011

I’m attempting to reach a state where I am a born again virgin soul, a state where I can dream once again of clouds passing through my ear into my head and out again through the other ear carrying life giving water.

I’m looking at the process of writing this down and it has opened up a little river of opportunity. Action … it seems acting (doing something) sets up its own dynamic in a super structure sense. The action into the unknown allows another higher order world that shows signs on the crossroads. The GPS here is set to the inner satellite orbiting one’s heart. Obviously the muscle pumping blood around the body hasn’t got a Latter Day Sputnik bipping around it. The heart I speak of is that part of ourselves which tastes truth and sees through the onion layered worlds we live in. Sees through? Yes, like a prehistoric insect sees through amber before it solidifies.

One of my greatest “heroes” is a guy called Gurdjieff. Someone wrote that the Fourth Way which Gurdjieff brought to the West was a method of making the real – super real. In fact, it is practical surrealism. So now I want to practically surrealise some of my dreams. Using the template of power-in-action through visualisation, various projects were able to be given a material existence (like the Cultural Stomp and the Flotillas of Hope). It is not “me” who did it, or who does it. In fact, my job as a person with heart is to move out of the way so that the forces attempting to make whatever needs to happen, happen.

I remember one time when the Flotillas of Hope project was white hot in its birthing. Two websites had already manifested, as well as a satellite phone and 2 boats. An art auction was about to happen in Sydney, where we raised over $8,000, and I get this call from a guy heavily involved in the Socialist Alliance.

 He says, “Stavros, this is big. How the fuck are you managing this – where’s your committee?”

I laughed and told him that if he knew the truth he wouldn’t want to work with me because he’d think I was absolutely crazy. Really crazy! He pleaded with me to tell him the truth.

So I told him,”My job is to just keep the fire burning while aligning myself to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life using the astrological chart of the project as the foundation.”

Tree of Life from Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi’sAdam and the Kabbalistic Tree, Rider, London 1974

 

 

Tree of Life - another aspect from Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi's "Adam and the Kabbalistic Tree", Rider, London 1974

 He went quiet. I added, “I am just focussing on the vision – the image of us sailing to Nauru and the focus is the fire.” 

 He replied slowly as if it pained him to hear something like that, “B-u-l-l-s-h-i-t !!”

I laughed and told him that it was true and if it was all bullshit, how did he explain the manifestation of boats, websites, satellite phones, art auctions, crews, inverters etc etc that are here in the real world? He didn’t ask me again how I was managing .

I’m trying to get out of the way so that what is most necessary at this time comes to fruition. Who knows, it may be a book, a million dollars, a shop with hidden treasures or a beautiful garden. It may be the birth of another grand child, or my recently planted grapevine bearing fruit this coming year.

Having a shed allows me to play and tinker to my heart’s delight. At the very least, I want to have made my scaled down Great Pyramid to experiment with to see if Pyramid Power is real, my very own Orgone Accumulator and a simple Dream Machine within a year or so.

I suppose to gain a born again virgin soul is really to regain the innocence of a child. We were all once children, so innocent and then experience came in and made us fall from that state of grace. This is so beautifully expressed in William Blake’s  “Songs of Innocence and Experience”.

William Blake's Frontispiece for "Songs of Innocence and Experience"

The Divine Image   by William Blake                                      

The Divine Image

       

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God our Father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is man, His child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity, a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.


21st Century – Baptism in Electromagnetic Mist?

May 22, 2010

 

If anything the twentieth century will be remembered as the century that matter disappeared according to our high priests of Science. Twentieth Century physics has dematerialised matter before our eyes and under our touch. Further it has given a pattern of nothing as the source of the dematerialised matter. When I write “nothing” I’m referring to “no thing”. While we prang our dematerialised cars and battle over dematerialised resources nature continues to create and make life with her templates. These templates aren’t material, unless you consider subatomic vibrations matter. These templates are more like magnetic resonances – wavicles, perhaps, that influence and direct the exteriorization of the tree, the flower and the emu. These morphic resonances, as Rupert Sheldrake calls them, operate in the region of no matter, inside nothing.

As we witness the shift from a material world to the immaterial world we are also experiencing a fracturing of the idea of specific location in space – telecommunications in all its diversity is bringing the globe to one’s home. Video conferencing in virtual rooms with participants from all over the world are a reality now. The next step is to produce a lifesize holographic moving image – holographic TV – with global video conferencing capabilities. Chat Rooms on the internet screen will change to Chat Rooms in your living room with cyber holographic avators for company. The idea that you can’t be in two places at once will be even more untrue.

So, we have one trend that is dematerialising and another that compresses distance.

We also have the trend that the above two is potentially true only for a small proportion of humanity and practically true only for a smaller proportion of this group. This double small proportion of humanity who has access to this knowledge and technology also uses up most of the planet’s resources while the greater majority of humanity is undernourished and living in poverty. In this case we have the trend of concentration of power in the hands of the few and the dematerialisation – the dying of the many.

This is true from a global view.

The global nervous system (that is in one of its foetal stages) of telecommunications has connected all continents and every square inch of the earth’s surface has been traced by geostationary satellites. Google is photographing every street and house being used as locations on their Global Map. GPS enabled mobile phones and in car mapping shows that we are now immersed in an electromagnetic mist of data.

If earth is denser than water, and water is denser than air, and air is more dense than heat, then it is easy to see that heat and air are more dense than the electrographic data that is now sparking through the global nervous electrographic system.

We walk on earth, we drink water, breathe air, need the heat of the Sun – what is the experience of electrographic data ( telephone, TV, internet, GPS, satellite communications etc) ? We don’t eat it, drink it or breathe it and yet it is an element of our experience and it is permeating our being more everyday. What are the implications of our immersion in this “matter”.

Hokusai

There is baptism by water and by fire. What is this baptism in electronic – data mist?

stavros


Turning Inwards

April 27, 2010

 

This is a transcript of a talk I gave in Darlinghurst, Sydney quite a few years ago. It is my understanding of the need for Self Observation and Self Remembering which can only truly begin when we turn inwards.  Everything written below is based on my understanding of the Gurdjieff Work. I gave the talk as part of the Sydney Group.

Stavros

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 We always imagine ourselves to be much higher than we actually are. We take it for granted that we are individuals, that we have consciousness and that we can ‘DO’. But there are moments in our life when events and situations might shock us into recognition that we do not know where we are going and that our own efforts to control and direct our lives have been in vain. In these moments we feel an emptiness, a void which cannot be filled by social position, friends or wealth.

It is in moments like these that we are given an opportunity to re-evaluate our so called individuality, consciousness and will, in other words, to re-evaluate the image we have of ourselves. If we are sincere in these moments we recognise that the image we have of ourselves is not us at all but rather a mask which we very rarely see through. Life through our sincerity has brought us to the question of ourselves. If we are not individuals with the power to be conscious of our actions and thus direct our lives, then who and what are we? Who am I? What is my place in the scheme of existence? In the face of such questions, we realise that we have a need to know ourselves for ourselves and through ourselves.

 If I wish to know myself and through this knowledge to know the real world, how do I begin? How do I make the right effort to turn inwards to myself and what is the right effort? It is at this point of our own search that we recognise the necessity to study the methods of self-study, which lead to understanding and eventually knowledge of ourselves. Whether alone or with others we have found ourselves in unfamiliar territory. In this region of the unknown we may hope that the forces active on this level will send us the help we need.

To have any chance of reaching our goal of self-knowledge without losing ourselves we need a guide. Here, as elsewhere, we must learn from those who know and accept to be guided by those who have already trodden the same path.

The guide cannot walk our journey for us, the guide cannot turn my attention inwards to myself. All that the guide may do is to point out the pitfalls and obstacles which lie along our path and whether we understand the methods of self-study. On this path understanding is our only currency and our only means by which we may pay for the help we need. The understanding spoken of here is completely different to the intellectual knowledge which our modern science has accustomed us to. It is for this reason that real self-knowledge requires a school. It cannot be found in books, which can give only theoretical data, mere information, leaving the whole of the real work still to be done – to turn inwards towards our own inner experience and transform information into understanding through consciously living what we are.

 If the turning we are speaking of is not only of the mind, but the whole of us, and if we realise that we are not the image we have of ourselves then what can the words ‘the whole of us’ mean? Here we come across our own doubts, confusion and resistance. The words come easy but the turning required is not as easy as hearing and saying the words. We listen, we speak, but over and over again we are taken by the disorder of outer activity and find ourselves falling prey to doubts, fantasies and sterile words. This is the beginning. It is this awareness which will provide the experience of a real wish to resolve this inner confusion.

When we try to observe ourselves we see that we have to remain attentive both to ourselves and to a particular aspect of ourselves. We realise that this turning is not given to us spontaneously and that the attempt to turn with the whole of ourselves is dependent up the participation of three factors or forces. These are ‘I’ who observe face to face with what ‘I’ observe within myself and the third factor which connects the two – our attention.

Taking these three factors into consideration we will speak firstly about attention. Our usual state of attention is one in which we lose our identity in some activity – be it reading a book, talking to a friend, listening to music, hammering a nail, or just simply daydreaming. This is known as identification. Identification has different ways of manifesting within ourselves depending upon the activity. One of these ways is when we drift from object to object, from sight to sound to thought to a sensation with no apparent aim, no apparent direction: it is automatic. Or, our attention is attracted by something which exercises a strong hold – an argument, a beautiful face, a memory of some place or person. In this way we are drawn by our interest and the situation takes over ourselves. Another way in which our attention is spent is when we direct it by a simple effort for a certain time intentionally – making something, studying, playing a musical instrument, cooking, sewing. The common element we find in each of these ways of paying attention is that we are aware only of one thing at a time. This is our ordinary state. We can be aware either of the person we are talking to, or of our own words, of a pain in my body, of a scene, or of my thoughts about the scene. But, except on very rare occasions, we are not aware simultaneously of our own words and the person we are addressing, of my own pain and someone else’s, of a scene and my thoughts about it, of my situation and my feelings of it. The attention which is needed to turn inwards so that a self study may begin is such a divided attention.

 Divided attention is from another level within ourselves. It is the attention which at the same time of observation takes into account everything we are. This two way attention requires an attitude very different from our usual one. When we first make the effort to turn inwards our attention goes one way, then another, sometimes towards what I observe in myself, alternating at a faster or slower speed. This happens as easily in one direction as another. Though this attention is not given to us naturally, the attempt to observe oneself generates the energy for divided attention artificially. This very attempt is an exercise which develops the needed attention and makes it possible so that it can grow to the point where self-study may begin. In the beginning there is no stable support on which our attention can be based. Real self-observation appears to us to depend as much on this support as on the attention itself. From this we understand that the three forces that must be present are closely interdependent.

The second factor is “who” observes. We said earlier that self-observation requires “the whole of ourselves” and not just our analytical mind and we realise that with our usual attention and attitude we become identified with the situation at hand. When we are identified we are not present to the situation. We become totally attached and there is no space for the sense of myself. With our normal attention there is no ‘I’ which is the stable support to observe particular aspects of my life. For real self-observation to be possible ‘I’ must be present while the observation is going on. The sense of ‘all of me’ is the ‘I’ which is able to take into account in the field of attention directed toward myself a greater number of elements. The ‘I’ who observes has a field of vision analogous to that seen through a fish eye lens which has a more global perspective when compared to the normal natural view.

When ‘I’ is not present (which is our normal state) we forget ourselves almost uninterruptedly. In us things do themselves – speaking, laughing, feeling, acting – but they do it automatically and we ourselves are not there to witness. One part of ourselves laughs, another speaks, another acts.

There is no feeling that: I speak, I laugh, I act, I observe. Nothing that is done in this way can be integrated into a whole. Life lives itself through us and we are not there to partake of it. From this we understand that what we truly seek is more abundant life.

If our usual state is one of forgetting ourselves then the need to have a stable presence of ‘I’ may be fulfilled by trying to remember ourselves.

 This stable presence is not given to us by merely knowing about it. It can be acquired after long work on ourselves but even now we can have a relative degree of presence, a certain coherence of all that we can collect in ourselves.

Self-remembering is the attempt to have global awareness of oneself. It is the state where I am conscious that I am here in these surroundings and feel a connection with the surroundings around me in the overall presence of something higher. This sense of something higher is connected with the valuation of our own essential question. It may be our own aim in the light of our search, it may be the Sun from which all life on this planet has its on-gen, it may be our own meaning of God, or our own teacher. What is important in this effort to remember oneself is that it must be attempted by the sense of “the whole of ourselves and not just thought about. It is only when we try to make this effort that real self-observation can begin. When we try it we discover that without it we are constantly changing, constantly taken by events both within and without. We discover that all that we have gathered within ourselves is dispersed at the slightest distraction. We also find that in practice nothing is more difficult for us than to be there with enough stability for an observation.

The third factor which is needed to turn inwards is the object of our ob¬servation – the elements of ourselves, what we are. These elements constantly change and escape us altogether.Though the elements are in constant change the field in which these elements move is always there. When we notice other people we see their external behaviour which we all perform as a response to the demands of life. This external behaviour is directed by the functional structures comprising the field towards which our attention is directed. These functional structures are the same in all circumstances and are the result of what we are and what life has made of them. We see through our eyes and hear through our ears, we don’t see through our ears or hear through our eyes. The seeing and hearing are the functional structures of our eyes and ears respectively. Likewise, within ourselves certain behaviours, such as thinking, emotionalising and moving, are possible due to the functional structures which allow them to happen. However, the way things take place in us, the interaction of our functions and the manner in which they associate to produce our personalities and responses, all this goes on in the dark with out our knowing it. So, to observe the elements of ourselves we must do something special to make them visible.

When we strike a match against the chemically treated part of a matchbox the friction between the two creates a spark which becomes a flame, and we have light. For us to see the elements of ourselves we must likewise have friction between the ‘I’ who observes and the field which contains the elements.This inner friction is the struggle against the automatic aspects of ourselves: those moment by moment personages which are always there. The struggle is against the habits which give us the false image of ourselves.

 This struggle arouses the light of double attention which we need and forces us to confront those habits which keep us asleep, automated and engulfed in constant self-forgetfulness.

Self-forgetfulness, sleep, is our lot without struggle with our automatic selves. Mechanicalness and dreams replace our true birthright of freedom and reality. What am I saying?

I will illustrate with an example. I find myself waiting for a bus to take me to the bank. After buying the bus ticket my hands begin fidgeting. Soon my fingers begin to fold the ticket over, and over again, until it is a tiny cube like they have done hundreds of times before in the same manner. My head and left arm, in perfect synchronisation, move to the exact spot where my eyes can see the time on my watch. There is no real need to know the time since a moment earlier this same action was performed. My head is full of associations which whirl by in a random manner – a half-eaten memory of words exchanged over the breakfast table, an image of a television commercial, a song picked up from, I don’t know where, provides the background muzak. The bus arrives. Find my self at the middle of the bus bumping a man who grunts at me. Anger rises – there is no rebuke in words but my posture and face express it all the same. Sitting down, the realisation dawns that the bus ticket is no longer in my hand. My hands search my pockets, my eyes search the floor directly beneath my feet, my body is in all sorts of positions looking for the bus ticket. Simultaneously, the thoughts and emotions race through to the tune of “What will I say if the ticket inspector boards this bus?” No ticket. Soon memories float by and that time on the beach in North Queensland returns. While daydreaming I miss my stop because I find myself two blocks further than the bank which was my original destination. The button is pressed and the bus stops.

The above is what is meant by mechanicalness and sleep. This is how we are living most of our lives, and this state of consciousness which we call ‘normal’, is what we have sold our birthright for. Where is the man here? Where is the ‘I’ which if present and active would make my life real? Below is a description of what struggle with oneself may be.

I find myself on the street. I begin walking back towards the bank, I remember what happened on the bus. From somewhere within me the feeling ari¬ses that there is something wrong with myself. I, who can create grandiose plans for my future life, even to the place beyond the grave, can’t even re¬member to get off the bus in time. The words of Gurdjieff cut through my as¬sociations, ‘Life is Real Only Then When I Am.’ It is remembered with my mind that it is possible to turn inwards so that I may live and be present to my life. I see that I am not present but I know that I can be present. What I am can be remembered by who I am. The matchbox can be struck by the match. Oh! But it is so pleasant, so easy, to remain within my automatic nature, fully asleep to myself and the world. The effort required to struggle with myself is something more than the effort to earn my physical livelihood. Besides, it is an effort not required for my physical survival so why should I bother. Let me sleep on. And yet, if there is no effort, no struggle, to be . I am dead and only an automaton of flesh, bones and memory exists. I wish to live. I – the all of me – wish to be. The emptiness of what I am is passive – it is easily comforted with illusions and imagination that already I am and that I can do.

I long for life but where this longing stems from I don’t know and what this ‘life’ is which is longed for, I don’t know. This longing, this yearning for something which is unknown draws a part of my attention away from the surface associations and for a moment the heat of the sun is sensed on my face and hands. I have a body which is real, concrete and here and now. My body is the anchor of my longing. It is possible to turn inwards. The walking continues back to the bank. The longing for life is now expressed by a wish to see through my own eyes, to sense with my own skin, to hear through my own ears, to feel the ground beneath my own feet. I wish to move with my own whole body.

 It is remembered that the easiest functional structure to attempt to study is the moving part of myself. I wish to be, I wish to struggle with myself, I wish to slow down my walking pace so that the walking part of myself can be seen. My hand reaches for my coat pocket searching for a cigarette. That part of myself which longs for life gives the strength to say no to my hand but I promise a cigarette later if it allows presence to fill it. My mind is once again occupied with associations which pass through it automatically. I struggle to place in my mind a conscious image of myself being fully present at the entrance of the bank. My walking becomes faster. To be present at the entrance of the bank my walking pace must slow down again. Intimations of the shoe around my foot, sensation of heel touching ground, then the front part of shoe, slight pressure of my trousers around my knee as it bends, the sensation of my collar around my neck comes and goes, a breeze returns my face to myself via sensation. My pace is slower. Emotion arises – it is connected with what happened on the bus – anger with myself. My mind reminds me a little later that the only way to struggle with emotions at first is not to express negative ones. Associations arise with this thought, my mind continues in its deviation from the conscious image of myself being present at the bank’s entrance but the awareness of my walking and the growing sensation of my body keeps some attention on the elements of what I am.

 My body reminds me of the Sun for its heat is once again sensed on my hands and face. The longing, the wish to be, now evokes a decision to try with the whole of myself, with the awareness of my walking, with the denial of the cigarette, with the struggle against self-pity and anger, with the effort to control my thoughts, I now try with the whole of myself to place and feel myself and the immediate surroundings of the street under the Sun. For a split second time slows down and something which connects me and the external world opens and within the traffic noise, within the milk bar sandwich sign, within the garbage bin beside me, within the shop windows displaying goods and the people around me, within my footsteps and the body that senses the clothes on it, within the associations running through the mind, within it all the sense of another realm, a realm which seems to give Life to life enters and the question “Who am I?” echoes back to myself. This sense leaves me with the memory of an otherness and I find myself at the entrance of the bank understanding that I know nothing when it comes to the Real World.

With this effort of struggling with our habitual nature we must remember that the original aim for making the effort is so that the elements of what we are become visible. This is of fundamental importance because at this point lies one of the biggest obstacles on the path of return to ourselves. For something to become visible means that it becomes seen and nothing more. So with turning inwards all that is required at the beginning is that we see ourselves and simply record what we see and nothing more. Within the more lies the obstacle and this more is manifested within us when we try to analyse what we see. This analysis is the deviation of our attention from the whole of ourselves towards the relatively small part of ourselves we call the mind. Once we begin to analyse what we see we cease to observe and begin to imagine that we are observing.

We must also be careful that in hearing about the process of turning inwards and the methods of self-study that we do not fall into the trap of the rational, logical mind and reduce the real meaning of the words self-study, self-observation and self-remembering to mere psychologising. These words are signs on the path back to ourselves and since we do not know who we are, have meaning which goes beyond what contemporary psychology may imbue them with. It is for this reason that Vaysse in his Towards Awakening calls self-observation the secret ally. In a similar vein Don Juan tells Carlos Castaneda that the warrior who follows the path of the heart has an ally which is a power a man could bring into his life to help him and give him the strength necessary to perform certain actions. This ally, Don Juan says will make a man see and understand things about which no human being could possibly enlighten him.

At the beginning of this talk we saw that life through certain circumstances brought about a shock which forced us into recognising the futility of living from a false image of ourselves. We have seen that by making certain efforts we may turn inwards consciously. This turning inwards is dependent upon our own essential need and longing for our true home. Sincerity is the key which unlocks the door to ourselves and this door becomes visible through turning inwards. By turning inwards we see what we are and through this seeing we are given the help with which the search for who we are may begin anew with renewed strength and real hope.

 I finish this talk with the words of Rene Daumal which, I believe trace the journey from the false image of ourselves towards the values of our real self:

 I am dead because I lack desire

I lack desire because I think I possess

 I think I possess because I do not try to give

In trying to give, you see that you have nothing

Seeing you have nothing, you try to give of yourself

 Trying to give of yourself, you see you are nothing

Seeing you are nothing, you desire to become

In desiring to become, you begin to live.

stavros

PS Check out the 3 pointed attention idea in my post on Kites and Attention

https://dodona777.wordpress.com/?s=kites+attention


Cognitive Imperialism

August 21, 2009
Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna

“Archaic Revival” is a book by Terence McKenna where he explores issues regarding consciousness, civilization, the use of magic mushrooms and he goes as far as to say that language may have been generated by the ingestion of psicylbin. He bases his argument on the fact that once people domesticated cattle, there were many mushrooms which rose from the dung! Others have explored this idea as well, particularly when the 5,000 year old Ötzi the Iceman was found with magic (or “medicinal” as the mainstream media say) mushrooms in his little bag.

Now I don’t want readers to think that I’m encouraging the ingestion of magic mushrooms, but it is important to keep an open mind about the big questions pertaining to consciousness and if experimentation with entheogens opens doors to alternate aspects of the reality rainbow then we shouldn’t shut our eyes, minds and hearts to them. Entheogens means the “god revealing ones” and people are using this term more often nowadays rather than psychedelics I suppose to “clean” their image. Here is a link which is excellent concerning the entheogens  http://deoxy.org/index.htm .

I remember many years ago after reading Aldous Huxley’s “Doors of Perception” and other books of the psychedelic era a few of my own experiments. I was blown away by the fact that ingesting a few mushrooms totally changed my perceptions and made me question the parameters of what is taken to be “real”. doors_of_perception

Over the years I became convinced that just as there is a geopolitical imperialism there exists a cognitive imperialism. In fact, I now believe that much of the problems humanity is confronting in a political way stem from the narrow “reality tunnels” we walk through.
The general hypnosis,  indeed, the slavery of peoples’ awareness is due to cognitive imperialism implicit in our whole culture. For example, the Inuit  people have over 20 different words to describe 20 different snows…we of the West only have one word “snow” because that is all that we see. The Aboriginal peoples of Australia also have many different words to describe “sand” because they cognise many different “sands” but again we only have one word because that is all we see.

These examples are pretty trivial but I think you see my point. When we move into realms away from the the so called “real” 3 D world we enter a domain where words become almost useless. For this reason, I believe, symbolism comes to the fore. Symbols are multivalent entities which cannot be circumscribed by just one linear meaning, thus the symbol of a triangle or a cross cannot be reduced to just one meaning. Now, entheogens have been found to reveal multi levels of meaning simultaneously so that the experience is exactly like a Window or a Door opening up to the light. I believe Plato’s analogy of the cave where people are strapped to chairs facing a wall upon which shadows are moving across it depicts the closed realm of darkness. In his story he tells of one person who frees himself from the chains and turns his head to see that a candle has been creating the shadows on the wall of the cave. As he looks around the dark cave he notes a glimmer light coming from another direction. Slowly his eyesight adjusts and he finds himself outside the cave. Initially he is blinded by the intense light of the sun but as his vision adjusts to the new realm he sees a whole new world full of colour and life. When he returns to the inside of the cave to tell his friends still strapped to their chairs watching the shadow world, they think he is crazy. They cannot free themselves from their cognitive slavery and they believe that the liberated one is the one who is a slave to a delusionary state.

I believe that the cave in Plato’s analogy is the Consensus Reality which has its verity established under the Great Bell Curve which statiticians cite as the realm of reality. What I find particularly interesting is that physics and mathematics are pointing to the new direction away from the shadow world. I’m not a physicist nor a mathematician but as an ordinary bloke I’m interested in the little I understand because it is a completely different world to that which Isaac Newton experienced when the apple hit his head. Indeed, the apple of Newtown’s day would now be 3 different apples and each as real as each other while seeming to be the same apple. Firstly, it will be the 3 D one he felt on his head, secondly it will be the apple of subatomic physics which Newton would not recognise as real and thirdly it would be an apple which would not fall on his head but attract the earth to it. Each of these perspectives are “real” depending on which paradigm we are operating from.
Whether Carlos Casteneda’s don Juan existed or not, the Yaqui Indian sorcerer’s idea of different descriptions of the world which are as real as each other but in a different way holds true.

Carlos Casteneda

Carlos Casteneda

So, it seems that science is finding some “evidence” of a Global Mind. Shamans, mystics, magicians, saints and others have known this intuitively for millenia. Entheogenic experience just opens the Doors of Perception – it is up to us to
walk through and be able to perceive multiple worlds simultaneously without being shroomed. As William Blake said in “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” , “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” (Aldous Huxley got the title of his book from this quote, just as the rock band, The Doors, got their name from it as well.) This is similar if not the same as Plato’s individual’s vision when he leaves the cave.

Cognitive imperialism is the enemy. The way we become Spirit Warriors is to move from the imperialism of the head and into the heart. From the heart we feel the suffering and from the heart our actions will be powered with compassion. I believe that the Heart of humanity is connected with the heart of Gaia, the Sun and the rest of the cosmos. Indeed, our struggle against the forces of Darkness – the Masters of War, the Keepers of Concentration Camps, the Greed Kings who keep the poor shackled with hunger – our struggle is a struggle of Global Mind – Gaia Heart against those who watch shadows on the cave walls. The trouble is that the cave dwellers, those who are blind and deaf to the Light and the Word have the material power.

However, I have faith that in these times there will be more of us coming out of the shadows and as we adjust our vision to the world of  Gaia Heart/Mind we may usher in peace.

Below is a very interesting quote by Jonathan Ott:

“The Christian enmity (of entheogens) is easy to explain. Since the Christians were promulgating a religion in which the core mystery, the holy sacrament itself, was conspicuous by its absence, later transmogrified by the smoke and mirrors of the Doctrine of Transubstantiation into a specious symbol, an inert substance, a placebo entheogen, the imposture would be all-too-evident to anyone who had known the blessing of ecstasy, who had access to personal religious experiences. Thus a concerted attack on the use of sacred inebriants was mounted, and the supreme heresy was to presume to have any direct experience of the divine, not mediated by an increasingly corrupt and politicized priesthood. The Pharmacratic Inquisition was the answer of the Catholic Church to the embarrassing fact that it had taken all the religion out of religion, leaving an empty and hollow shell with no intrinsic value or attraction to humankind, which could only be maintained by hectoring, guilt-mongering and plain brute force.” Jonathan Ott


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