Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mother Meera is coming to the United States

Wow, I always thought I would have to go to Germany to see Mother Meera... Instead, Chicago... August 25-26, 2006

If you do anything crazy this summer, this should be it. Listen man, she unties your soul knots. That is pretty freakin' cool.

I'll be there, but I'll make sure Galactic Phil Collins stays at home... besides, Phil's soul was un-knotted several years from now.

Friday, July 28, 2006

New Daily Comic by Cody G.

The tenth edition is out and Cody is as hardcore as ever...

Riboflavin. See what I'm saying? Can you handle it?

Cody even unveils her new web site...

Find out the crucial details in this zany issue.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Leah R. Mills Recent Works

Leah Mills has just finished hanging her art show entitled "Recent Works" at the Alchemists' Guild...

The art feels playful... I can hear Leah belly laugh as I look at her confessional piece about fried cheese addiction... and I can feel the pre-coffee slump of her coffee/cigarette in the morning piece....

Come in and check out Leah's art... You'll have fun and learn a couple things about our friend Leah... good things... fnord

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pravritti has a totally dank blog site... boney-knob...

E and E-Prime by Robert Anton Wilson (fnord)

In 1933, in Science and Sanity, Alfred Korzybski proposed that we should abolish the "is of identity" from the English language. (The "is of identity" takes the form X is a Y. e.g., "Joe is a Communist," "Mary is a dumb file-clerk," "The universe is a giant machine," etc.) In 1949, D. David Bourland Jr. proposed the abolition of all forms of the words "is" or "to be" and the Bourland proposal (English without "isness") he called E-Prime, or English-Prime.

A few scientists have taken to writing in E-Prime (notable Dr. Albert Ellis and Dr. E.W. Kellogg III). Bourland, in a recent (not-yet-published) paper tells of a few cases in which scientific reports, unsatisfactory to sombunall members of a research group, suddenly made sense and became acceptable when re-written in E-Prime. By and large, however, E-Prime has not yet caught on either in learned circles or in popular speech.

(Oddly, most physicists write in E-Prime a large part of the time, due to the influence of Operationalism -- the philosophy that tells us to define things by operations performed -- but few have any awareness of E-prime as a discipline and most of them lapse into "isness" statements all too frequently, thereby confusing themselves and their readers. )

Nonetheless, E-Prime seems to solve many problems that otherwise appear intractable, and it also serves as an antibiotic against what Korzybski called "demonological thinking." Most of this book employs E-Prime so the reader could begin to get acquainted with this new way of mapping the world; in a few instances I allowed normal English, and its "isness" to intrude again (how many of you noticed that?), while discussing some of the weird and superstitious thinking that exists throughout our society and always occurs when "is" creeps into our concepts. (As a clue or warning, I placed each "is" in dubious quotation marks, to highlight its central role in the confusions there discussed).

As everybody with a home computer knows, the software can change the functioning of the hardware in radical and sometimes startling ways. The first law of computers -- so ancient that some claim it dates back to dark, Cthulhoid aeons when giant saurians and Richard Nixons still dominated the earth -- tells us succinctly, "Garbage In, Garbage Out" (or GIGO for short).

The wrong software guarantees wrong answers, or total gibberish. Conversely, the correct software, if you find it, will often "miraculously" solve problems that had hitherto appeared intractable.

Since the brain does not receive raw data, but edits data as we receive it, we need to understand the software the brain uses. The case for using E-Prime rests on the simple proposition that "isness" sets the brain into a medieval Aristotelian framework and makes it impossible to understand modern problems and opportunities. A classic case of GIGO, in short. Removing "isness" and writing/thinking only and always in operational/existential language sets us, conversely, in a modern universe where we can successfully deal with modern issues.

To begin to get the hang of E-Prime, consider the following two columns, the first written in Standard English and the second in English Prime.

Standard English//English Prime

1. The photon is a wave.// 1. The photon behaves as a wave when constrained by certain instruments.

2. The photon is a particle.// 2. The photon appears as a particle when constrained by other instruments.

3. John is unhappy and grouchy.// 3. John appears unhappy and grouchy in the office.

4. John is bright and cheerful.// 4. John appears bright and cheerful on holiday at the beach.

5. The car involved in the hit-and-run accident was a blue Ford.// 5. In memory, I think I recall the car involved in the hit-and-run accident as a blue Ford.

6. That is a fascist idea.// 6. That seems like a fascist idea to me.

7. Beethoven is better than Mozart.// 7. In my present mixed state of musical education and ignorance Beethoven seems better than Mozart to me.

8. Lady Chatterly's lover is a pornographic novel.// 8. Lady Chatterly's lover seems like a pornographic novel to me.

9. Grass is green.// 9. Grass registers as green to most human eyes.

10. The first man stabbed the second man with a knife.// 10. I think I saw the first man stab the second man with a knife.

In the first example a "metaphysical" or Aristotelian formulation in Standard English becomes an operational or existential formulation when rewritten in English Prime. This may appear of interest only to philosophers and scientists of an operationalist/phenomenologist bias, but consider what happens when we move to the second example.

Clearly, written in Standard English, "The photon is a wave," and "The photon is a particle" contradict each other, just like the sentences "Robin is a boy" and "Robin is a girl." Nonetheless, all through the nineteenth century physicists found themselves debating about this and, by the early 1920s, it became obvious that the experimental evidence depended on the instruments or the instrumental set-up (design) of the total experiment. One type of experiment always showed light traveling in waves, and another type always showed light traveling as discrete particles.

This contradiction created considerable consternation. As noted earlier, some quantum theorists joked about "wavicles." Others proclaimed in despair that "the universe is not rational" (by which they meant to indicate that the universe does not follow Aristotelian logic. ) Still others looked hopefully for the definitive experiment (not yet attained in 1990) which would clearly prove whether photons "are" waves or particles.

If we look, again, at the translations into English Prime, we see that no contradiction now exists at all, no "paradox," no "irrationality" in the universe. We also find that we have constrained ourselves to talk about what actually happened in spacetime, whereas in Standard English we allowed ourselves to talk about something that has never been observed in spacetime at all -- the "isness" or "whatness" or Aristotelian "essence" of the photon. (Niels Bohr's Complementarity Principle and Copenhagen Interpretation, the technical resolutions of the wave/particle duality within physics, amount to telling physicists to adopt "the spirit of E-Prime" without quite articulating E-Prime itself.)

The weakness of Aristotelian "isness" or "whatness" statements lies in their assumption of indwelling "thingness" -- the assumption that every "object" contains what the cynical German philosopher Max Stirner called "spooks." Thus in Moliere's famous joke, an ignorant doctor tries to impress some even more ignorant lay persons by "explaining" that opium makes us sleepy because it has a "sleep-inducing property" in it. By contrast a scientific or operational statement would define precisely how the structure of the opium molecule chemically bonds to specific receptor structures in the brain, describing actual events in the spacetime continuum.

In simpler words, the Aristotelian universe assumes an assembly of "things" with "essences" or "spooks" inside of them, where the modern scientific (or existentialist) universe assumes a network of structural relationships. (Look at the first two samples of Standard English and English Prime again, to see this distinction more clearly.)

Moliere's physician does not seem nearly as comical as the theology promulgated by the Vatican. According to Thomist Aristotelianism (the official Vatican philosophy) "things" not only have indwelling "essences" or "spooks" but also have external "accidents" or appearances. This "explains" the Miracle of the Transubstantiation. In this astounding, marvelous, totally wonderful, even mind-boggling Miracle, a piece of bread changes into the body part of a Jew who lived 2000 years ago.

Now the "accidents" -- which include everything you can observe about the bread, with your senses, or with the most subtle scientific instruments -- admittedly do not change. To your eyes or taste buds or electron microscopes the bread has undergone no change at all. It doesn't even weigh as much as a human body, but retains the weight of a small piece of bread. Nonetheless, to Catholics, after the Miracle (which any priest can perform) the bread "is" the body of the aforesaid dead Jew, one Yeshua ben Yusef, who the goys of the Vatican call Jesus Christ. In other words, the "essence" of the bread "is" the dead Jew.

It appears obvious that, within this framework, the "essence" of the bread can "be" anything, or can "be" asserted to "be" anything. It could "be" the essence of the Easter Bunny, or it could "be" Jesus and the Easter Bunny both, or it could "be" the Five Original Marx Brothers, or it could "be" a million other spooks happily co-existing in the realm outside spacetime where such metaphysical entities appear to reside.

Even more astounding, this Miracle can only happen if the priest has a Willy. Protestants, Jews, Zen Buddhists etc. have ordained many female clergy-persons in recent decades, but the Vatican remains firm in the principle that only a male -- a human with a Willy -- can transform the "essence" of bread into the "essence" of a dead body.

Like the cannibalism underlying this Rite, this phallus-worship dates back to Stone Age ideas about "essences" that can be transferred from one organism to another. Ritual homosexuality, as distinguished from homosexuality-for-fun, played a prominent role in many of the pagan fertility cults that got incorporated into the Catholic metaphysics. See Frazer's Golden Bough and Wright's Worship of the Generative Organs. It requires a phallus to transmute the bread into flesh because some of our early ancestors believed it requires a phallus to do any great work of Magick.)

In Standard English we may discuss all sorts of metaphysical and spooky matters, often without noticing that we have entered the realms of theology and demonology, whereas in English Prime we can only discuss actual experiences (or transactions) in the spacetime continuum. English Prime may not automatically transfer us into a scientific universe, in all cases, but it at least transfers us into existential or experiential modes, and it takes us out of medieval theology.

Now, those who enjoy theological and/or demonological speculations may continue to enjoy them, as far as I care. This book merely attempts to clarify the difference between theological speculations and actual experiences in spacetime, so that we do not wander into theology without realizing where we have gotten ourselves. The Supreme Court, for instance, wandered into theology (or demonology) when it proclaimes that "fuck" "is" an indecent word. The most one can say about that in scientific E-Prime would read: "The word 'fuck' appears indecent in the evaluations of x per cent of the population," X found by normal polling methods.

Turning next to the nigmatic John who "is" unhappy and grouchy yet also "is" bright and cheerful, we find a surprising parallel to the wave/particle duality. Remaining in the reality-tunnel of standard English, one might decide that John "really is" manic depressive. Or one speaker might decide that the other speaker hasn't "really" observed John carefully, or "is" an "untrustworthy witness." Again, the innocent-looking "is" causes us to populate the world with spooks, and may provoke us to heated debate, or violent quarrel. (That town in Northern Ireland mentioned earlier -- "is" it "really" Derry or Londonderry?)

Rewriting in English Prime we find "John appears unhappy and grouchy in the office" and "John appears bright and cheerful on holiday at the beach." We have left the realms of spooks and re-entered the existential or phenomenological world of actual experiences in spacetime. And, lo and behold, another metaphysical contradiction has disappeared in the process.

To say "John is" anything, incidentally, always opens the door to spooks and metaphysical debates. The historical logic of Aristotelian philosophy as embedded in Standard English always carries an association of stasis with every "is," unless the speaker or writer remembers to include a date, and even then linguistic habit will cause many to "not notice" the date and assume "is" means a stasis (an Aristotelian timeless essence or spook.)

For instance, "John is beardless" may deceive many people (but not trained police officers) if john becomes a wanted criminal and alters his appearance by growing a beard.

"John is a Protestant" or "John is a Catholic" may change any day, if John has developed a habit of philosophical speculation.

Even stranger, "John is a Jew" has at least five different meanings, some of which may change and some remain constant, and only one of which tells us anything about how John will behave in spacetime.....

"John is a plumber" also contains a fallacy. John may have quit plumbing since you saw him last and may work as a hair dresser now. Stranger things have happened. In E-Prime one would write "John had a job as a plumber last I knew."

Trivial? Overly pedantic? According to a recent article Professor Harry Weinberg -- curiously, an old acquaintance of mine -- once tried to emphasize these points to a class by trying to make them see the fallacy in the statement "John F. Kennedy is President of the United States." Dr. Weinberg pointed out that the inference, Nothing has changed since we came into this classroom, had not been checked by anybody who insisted the statement about Kennedy contained certainty. Weinberg, like his students, got the lesson driven home with more drama than anybody expected, because this class occurred on November 22, 1963, and everybody soon learned that during that class time John F. Kennedy had died of an assassin's bullet and Lyndon B. Johnson had taken the oath as President of the United States.

That makes the idea kind of hard to forget, doesn't it?

Looking at sample five -- "The car... was a blue Ford" we might again encounter Bertrand Russell's two-head paradox. It seems a blue Ford exists "in" the head of the witness, but whether the blue Ford also existed "outside" that head remains unsure. Even outside tricky psychology labs, ordinary perception has become problematical due to the whole sad history of eye-witness testimony frequently breaking down in court. Or does the "external universe" (including the blue Ford) exist in some super-Head somwhere? It seems that the translation into E-Prime -- "I recall the car... as a blue Ford" better accords with the experiential level of our existence in spacetime than the two heads and other paradoxes we might encounter in Standard English.

James Thurber tells us that he once saw an admiral, wearing a 19th Century naval uniform and old-fashioned side whiskers, peddling a unicycle down the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York. Fortunately, Thurber had broken his glasses and had not yet received replacements from the optometrist, so he did not worry seriously about his sanity. In the Castro section of San Francisco, a well-known homosexual area, I once saw a sign which said 'HALF GAY CLEANERS' -- but when I looked again, it said, 'HALF DAY CLEANERS'.

Even Aristotle, despite the abuse he has suffered in these pages, had enough common sense to point out, once, that "I see" always contains fallacy; we should say, "I have seen." Time always elapses between the impact of energy on the eye and the creation of an image (and associated name and ideas) in the brain, which explains why three eyewitnesses to a hit-and-run such as we postulate here may report, not just the blue Ford of the first speaker, but a blue VW or maybe even a green Toyota.

I once astonished a friend by remarking, apropos of UFOs, that I see two or three of them a week. As a student of Transactional Psychology, this does not surprise or alarm me. I also see UNFOs, as noted earlier -- and I do not rush to identify them as raccoons or groundhogs, like some people we met earlier. Most people see UNFOs, without thinking about the implications of this, especially when driving rapidly, but sometimes even when walking. We only find UFOs impressive because some people claim they "are" alien spaceships. My UFOs remain Unidentified, since they did not hang around long enough for me to form even a guess about them, but I have found no grounds for classifying them as space-ships. Anybody who does not see UFOs frequently, I think, has not mastered perception psychology or current neuroscience. The sky contains numerous things that go by too quickly for anybody to identify them.

My own wife has appeared as an UNFO to me on occasion -- usually around two or three in the morning when I get out of bed to go to the john and then encounter a Mysterious and Unknown figure emerging from the dark at the other end of the hall. In those cases, fortunately, identification did not take long, and I never reached for a blunt instrument to defend myself. Whatever my critics may suspect, I never mistook her for a squirrel.

If you think about it from the perspective of E-Prime, the world consists mostly of UFOs and UNFOs. Very few "things" (spacetime events) in the air or on the ground give us the opportunity to "identify" them with certainty.

In example six -- "That is a fascist idea" versus "That seems like a fascist idea to me" -- Standard English implies an indwelling essence of the medieval sort, does not describe an operation in spacetime, and mentions no instrument used in measuring the alleged "fascism" in the idea. The English Prime translation does not assume essences or spooks, describes the operation as occurring in the brain of the speaker and, implicitly, identifies said brain as the instrument making the evaluation. Not accidentally, Standard English also assumes a sort of "glass wall" between observer and observed, while English Prime draws us back into the modern quantum world where observer and observed form a seamless unity.

In examples 7 and 8, Standard English again assumes indwelling spooks and continues to separate observer and observed; English Prime assumes no spooks and reminds us of QUIP (the QUantum Inseparability Principle, so named by Dr. Nick Herbert), namely, the impossibility of existentially separating observer and observed.

Meditating on example 9 will give you the answer to a famous Zen koan, "Who is the Master who makes the grass green?" It might also save you from frequent quarrels (mostly occurring between husbands and wives) about whether the new curtains "are really" green or blue.

Example 10 introduces new subtleties. No explicit "is" appears in the Standard English, so even those trained in E-Prime may see no problem here. However, if the observation refers to a famous (and treacherous) experiment, well-known to psychologists, the Standard English version contains a hilarious fallacy.

I refer to the experiment in which two men rush into a psychology class, struggle and shout, and then one makes a stabbing motion and the other falls. The majority of students, whenever that has been tried, report a knife in the hand of the man who made the stabbing (knife-wielding) motion. In fact, the man used no knife. He used a banana.

Look back at the re-translation into E-Prime. It seems likely that persons trained in E-Prime will grow more cautious about their perceptions and not "rush to judgement" in the manner of most of us throughout history. They might even see the banana, instead of hallucinating a knife.


1. Have the group experiment with rewriting the following Standard English sentences into English Prime. Observe carefully what disagreements or irratibility may arise.
"The fetus is a person."
"The zygote is a person."
"Every sperm is sacred/Every sperm is great/If a sperm is wasted/God gets quite irate." (M. Python)
"Pornography is murder." (A. Dworkin)
"John is homosexual."
"The table is four feet long."
"The human brain is a computer."
"When I took LSD, the whole universe was transformed."
"Beethoven was paranoid, Mozart was manic-depressive, and Wagner was megalomaniac."
"Today is Tuesday."
"Lady Chatterly's Lover is a sexist novel."
"Mice, voles and rabbits are all rodents."
"The patient is resisting therapy."
"Sin and redemption are theological fictions. The sense of sin and the sense of redemption are actual human experiences." (paraphrased from Ludwig Wittgenstein.)

taken from Quantum Psychology

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Summoning Eris for Fun and Magick by Zin Zin Bodieo

Mystics, Magickians, and brain-change technicians alike employ ritual to invoke the archetypal mind(which is simply the art of tuning into those "cosmic" signals we normally edit) and to expose and make accessible our power source - the potential energy of Chaos. We enter a "non-local" state where our definitions of reality, our masks of personality, temporarily fall away. Who we believe we are at any given moment is always fiction, for we are another thing a moment later; or as W.B. Yeats implied we cannot "know the dancer from the dance." Eris aids in dissolving the protective circle of self-concept by scrambling our programs, confusing us, and ferrying us into the space of No-Form, the lap of Chaos: Hence, we find ourselves in reach of magickal power, in a state of trance, ready to dance a new reality for ourselves. As William Burroughs astutely commented, "escape routes open in times of chaos."
Emptied of prior definition and highly impressionable, we use whatever means or rituals we choose to change the station to a reality more in accord with our will, or create a wholly new one. Brain-change technicians are meta-programmers who dance through dozens of virtual realities. We re-program ourselves, clothing ourselves with new belief systems or realities as creatively and as often AS WE WILL. (As I see it, the more often we change, the faster we evolve.)
As we commit ourselves to a practice of magickal crucifictions, moving through processes of dis-identification and redefinition of our perceived selves and realities, our normal reality changes to a magickal reality, and we soon re-cognize that we are no-thing, everything, and something. The WoMan who practices the art of reality shaping understand what Hassan I Sabbah meant when he said the "Nothing is true, everything is permissible."

Formal ritual performed in this concept-free state, whether Crowley-style invocations or a Catholic Exorcism, has a high success rate, evoking or invoking what spirits, angels, demons, gods, goddesses, in the form and style you expect, and as you will. Plugged into the source of your power - the Chaotic Pool of Potentia - you may wish to employ your concentrated will and imagination, thereby utilizing this force to "charge" your magickal tools, talisman, and amulets, or to project your desire into the Cornucopian Womb of the Universe.
The will is very effective when applied in the dimension of potential (Chaos), more so, I think, than when applied to the denser astral of physical planes, where it can be refracted by opposing wills or sabotaged by your own re-actionary mental processes. YOUR MAGICK WILL WORK, so be certain that you want that which you will. Also, it helps to have some sort of symbol of your desire at hand to concentrate upon or verbalize - a word or mental image will do (but Kevin will make you a cool artifact if desired)- so you won't need to regain "normal" consciousness in order to remember the purpose of your ritual.

Coming Soon... Pt3 How Shall I Invoke Thee? Many and Joyful are the Ways.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Using LSD to Imprint the Tibetan-Buddhist Experience

by Dr. Timothy Leary, Ph.D.

A Guide to Successful Psychedelic Experience

1. Planning a Session
2. Preparation
3. Some Practical Recommendations
4. The Setting
5. The Psychedelic Guide
6. The Period of Ego Loss or Non-Game Ecstasy

Having read this preparatory manual one can immediately recognize symptoms and experiences that might otherwise be terrifying, only because of lack of understanding. Recognition is the key word. Recognizing and locating the level of consciousness. This guidebook may also be used to avoid paranoid trips or to regain transcendence if it has been lost. If the experience starts with light, peace, mystic unity, understanding, and continues along this path, then there is no need to remember the manual or have it reread to you. Like a road map, consult it only when lost, or when you wish to change course.

===>Planning a Session

What is the goal? Classic Hinduism suggests four possibilities:
Increased personal power, intellectual understanding, sharpened insight into self and culture, improvement of life situation, accelerated learning, professional growth.
Duty, help of others, providing care, rehabilitation, rebirth for fellow men.
Fun, sensuous enjoyment, esthetic pleasure, interpersonal closeness, pure experience.
Trancendence, liberation from ego and space-time limits; attainment of mystical union.
The manual's primary emphasis on the last goal does not preclude other goals - in fact, it guarantees their attainment because illumination requires that the person be able to step out beyond problems of personality, role, and professional status. The initiate can decide beforehand to devote their psychedelic experience to any of the four goals.

In the extroverted transcendent experience, the self is ecstatically fused with external objects (e.g., flowers, other people). In the introverted state, the self is ecstatically fused with internal life processes (lights, energy waves, bodily events, biological forms, etc.). Either state may be negative rather than positive, depending on the voyager's set and setting. For the extroverted mystic experience, one would bring to the session candles, pictures, books, incense, music, or recorded passages to guide the awareness in the desired direction. An introverted experience requires eliminating all stimulation: no light, no sound, no smell, no movement.

The mode of communication with other participants should also be agreed on beforehand, to avoid misinterpretations during the heightened sensitivity of ego transcendence.

If several people are having a session together, they should at least be aware of each other's goals. Unexpected or undesired manipulations can easily "trap" the other voyagers into paranoid delusions.

===> Preparation

Psychedelic chemicals are not drugs in the usual sense of the word. There is no specific somatic or psychological reaction. The better the preparation, the more ecstatic and relevatory the session. In initial sessions with unprepared persons, set and setting - particularly the actions of others - are most important. Long-range set refers to personal history, enduring personality, the kind of person you are. Your fears, desires, conflicts, guilts, secret passions, determine how you interpret and manage any psychedelic session. Perhaps more important are the reflex mechanisms, defenses, protective maneuvers,
typically employed when dealing with anxiety. Flexibility, basic trust, philosophic faith, human openness, courage, interpersonal warmth, creativity, allow for fun and easy learning. Rigidity, desire to control, distrust, cynicism, narrowness, cowardice, coldness, make any new situation threatening. Most important is insight. The person who has some understanding of his own machinery, who can recognize when he is not functioning as he would wish, is better able to adapt to any challenge - even the sudden collapse of his ego.

Immediate set refers to expections about the session itself. People naturally tend to impose personal and social perspectives on any new situation. For example, some ill-prepared subjects unconsciously impose a medical model on the experience. They look for symptoms, interpret each new sensation in terms of sickness/health, and, if anxiety develops, demand tranquilizers. Occasionally, ill-planned sessions end in the subject demanding to see a doctor.

Rebellion against convention may motivate some people who take the drug. The naive idea of doing something "far out" or vaguely naughty can cloud the experience.

LSD offers vast possibilities of accelerated learning and scientific- scholarly research, but for initial sessions, intellectual reactions can become traps. "Turn your mind off" is the best advice for novitiates. After you have learned how to move your consciousness around - into ego loss and back, at will - then intellectual exercises can be incorporated into the psychedelic experience. The objective is to free you from your verbal mind for as long as possible.

Religious expectations invite the same advice. Again, the subject in early sessions is best advised to float with the stream, stay "up" as long as possible, and postpone theological interpretations.

Recreational and esthetic expectations are natural. The psychedelic experience provides ecstatic moments that dwarf any personal or cultural game. Pure sensation can capture awareness. Interpersonal intimacy reaches Himalayan heights. Esthetic delights - musical, artistic, botanical, natural - are raised to the millionth power. But ego-game reactions - "I am having this ecstasy. How lucky I am!" - can prevent the subject from reaching pure ego loss.

===> Some Practical Recommendations

The subject should set aside at least three days: a day before the experience, the session day, and a follow-up day. This scheduling guarantees a reduction in external pressure and a more sober commitment. Talking to others who have taken the voyage is excellent preparation, although the hallucinatory quality of all descriptions should be recognized. Observing a session is another valuble preliminary.

Reading books about mystical experience and of others' experiences is another possibility (Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts, and Gordon Wasson have written powerful accounts). Meditation is probably the best preparation. Those who have spent time in a solitary attempt to manage the mind, to eliminate thought and reach higher stages of concentration, are the best candidates for a psychedelic session. When the ego loss occurs, they recognize the process as an eagerly awaited end.

===> The Setting

First and most important, provide a setting removed from one's usual interpersonal games, and as free as possible from unforseen distractions and intrusions. The voyager should make sure that he will not be disturbed; visitors or a phone call will often jar him into hallucinatory activity. Trust in the surroundings and privacy are necessary.

The day after the session should be set aside to let the experience run its natural course and allow time for reflection and meditation. A too-hasty return to game involvements will blur the clarity and reduce the potential for learning. It is very useful for a group to stay together after the session to share and exchange experiences.

Many people are more comfortable in the evening, and consequently their experiences are deeper and richer. The person should choose the time of day that seems right. Later, he may wish to experience the difference between night and day sessions. Similarly, gardens, beaches, forests, and open country have specific influences that one may or may not wish. The essential thing is to feel as comfortable as possible, whether in one's living room or under the night sky. Familiar surroundings may help one feel confident in hallucinatory periods. If the session is held indoors, music, lighting, the availablility of food and drink, should be considered beforehand. Most people report no hunger during the height of the experience, then later on prefer simple ancient foods like bread, cheese, wine, and fresh fruit. The senses are wide open, and the taste and smell of a fresh orange are unforgetable.

In group sessions, people usually will not feel like walking or moving very much for long periods, and either beds or mattresses should be provided. One suggestion is to place the heads of the beds together to form a star pattern. Perhaps one may want to place a few beds together and keep one or two some distance apart for anyone who wishes to remain aside for some time. The availability of an extra room is desirable for someone who wishes to be in seclusion.

===> The Psychedelic Guide

With the cognitive mind suspended, the subject is in a heightened state of suggestibility. For initial sessions, the guide possesses enormous power to move consciousness with the slightest gesture or reaction.

The key here is the guide's ability to turn off his own ego and social games, power needs, and fears - to be there, relaxed, solid, accepting, secure, to sense all and do nothing except let the subject know his wise presence.

A psychedelic session lasts up to twelve hours and produces moments of intense, intense, INTENSE reactivity. The guide must never be bored, talkative, intellectualizing. He must remain calm during long periods of swirling mindlessness. He is the ground control, always there to receive messages and queries from high-flying aircraft, ready to help negotiate their course and reach their destination. The guide does not impose his own games on the voyager. Pilots who have their own flight plan, their own goals, are reassured to know that an expert is down there, available for help. But if ground control is harboring his own motives, manipulating the plane towards selfish goals, the bond of security and confidence crumbles.

To administer psychedelics without personal experience is unethical and dangerous. Our studies concluded that almost every negative LSD reaction has been caused by the guide's fear, which augmented the transient fear of the subject. When the guide acts to protect himself, he communicates his concern. If momentary discomfort or confusion happens, others present should not be sympathetic or show alarm but stay calm and restrain their "helping games." In particular, the "doctor" role should be avoided.

The guide must remain passively sensitive and intuitively relaxed for several hours - a difficult assignment for most Westerners. The most certain way to maintain a state of alert quietism, poised in ready flexability, is for the guide to take a low dose of the psychedelic with the subject. Routine procedure is to have one trained person participating in the experience, and one staff member present without psychedelic aid. The knowledge that one experienced guide is "up" and keeping the subject company is of inestimable value: the security of a trained pilot flying at your wingtip; the scuba diver's security in the presence of an expert companion.

The less experienced subject will more likely impose hallucinations. The guide, likely to be in a state of mindless, blissful flow, is then pulled into the subject's hallucinatory field and may have difficulty orienting himself. There are no familiar fixed landmarks, no place to put your foot, no solid concept upon which to base your thinking. All is flux. Decisive action by the subject can structure the guide's flow if he has taken a heavy dose.

The psychedelic guide is literally a neurological liberator, who provides illumination, who frees men from their lifelong internal bondage. To be present at the moment of awakening, to share the ecstatic revelation when the voyager discovers the wonder and awe of the divine life-process, far outstrips earthly game ambitions. Awe and gratitude - rather than pride - are the rewards of this new profession.

===> The Period of Ego Loss or Non-Game Ecstasy

Success implies very unusual preparation in consciousness expansion, as well as much calm, compassionate game playing (good karma) on the part of the participant. If the participant can see and grasp the idea of the empty mind as soon as the guide reveals it - that is to say, if he has the power to die consciously - and, at the supreme moment of quitting the ego, can recognize the ecstasy that will dawn upon him and become one with it, then all bonds of illusion are broken asunder immediately: the dreamer is awakened into reality simultaneously with the mighty achievement of recognition.

It is best if the guru from whom the participant received guiding instructions is present. But if the guru cannot be present, then another expert. But if the guru cannot be present, then another experienced person, or a person the participant trusts, should be available to read this manual without imposing any of his own games. Thereby the participant will be put in mind of what he had previosly heard of the experience.

Liberation is the nervous system devoid of mental-conceptual redundancy. The mind in its conditioned state, limited to words and ego games, is continuously in thought-formation activity. The nervous system in a state of quiescence, alert, awake but not active, is comparable to what Buddhists call the highest state of dhyana (deep meditation). The conscious recognition of the Clear Light induces an ecstatic condition of consciousness such as saints and mystics of the West have called illumination.

The first sign is the glimpsing of the "Clear Light of Reality, the infallible mind of the pure mystic state" - an awareness of energy transformations with no imposition of mental categories.

The duration of this state varies, depending on the individual's experience, security, trust, preparation, and the surroundings. In those who have a little practical experience of the tranquil state of non-game awareness, this state can last from 30 minutes to several hours. Realization of what mystics call the "Ultimate Truth" is possible, provided that the person has made sufficient preparation beforehand. Otherwise he cannot benefit now, and must wander into lower and lower conditions of hallucinations until he drops back to routine reality.

It is important to remember that the consciousness-expansion is the reverse of the birth process, the ego-loss experiencee being a temporary ending of game life, a passing from one state of consciousness into another. Just as an infant must wake up and learn from experience the nature of this world, so a person must wake up in this new brilliant world of consciousness expansion and become familiar with its own peculiar conditions.

In those heavily dependant on ego games, who dread giving up control, the illuminated state endures only for a split second. In some, it lasts as long as the time taken for eating a meal. If the subject is prepared to diagnose the symptoms of ego-loss, he needs no outside help at this point. The person about to give up his ego should be able to recognize the Clear Light. If the person fails to recognize the onset of ego-loss, he may complain of strange bodily symptoms that show he has not reached a liberated state:

Bodily pressure
Clammy coldness followed by feverish heat
Body disintegrating or blown to atoms
Pressure on head and ears
Tingling in extremities
Feelings of body melting or flowing like wax
Trembling or shaking, beginning in pelvic region and spreading up torso.

The guide or friend should explain that the symptoms indicate the onset of ego-loss. These physical reactions are signs heralding transcendence: avoid treating them as symptoms of illness. The subject should hail stomach messages as a sign that consciousness is moving around in the body. Experience the sensation fully, and let consciousness flow on to the next phase. It is usually more natural to let the subject's attention move from the stomach and concentrate on breathing and heartbeat. If this does not free him from nausea, the guide should move the consciousness to external events - music, walking in the garden, etc. As a last resort, heave.

The physical symptoms of ego-loss, recognized and understood, should result in peaceful attainment of illumination. The simile of a needle balanced and set rolling on a thread is used by the lamas to elucidate this condition. So long as the needle retains its balance, it remains on the thread. Eventually, however, the pull of the ego or external stimulation affects it, and it falls. In the realm of the Clear Light, similarly, a person in the ego-transcendent state momentarily enjoys a condition of perfect equilibrium and oneness. Unfamiliar with such an ecstatic non-ego state, the average consciousness lacks the power to function in it. Thoughts of personality, individualized being, dualism, prevent the realization of nirvana (the "blowing out of the flame" of fear or selfishness). When the voyager is clearly in a profound ego-transcendent ecstasy, the wise guide remains silent.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Miss Prints

Courtney has done it again... Check out the new designs at the Alchemists' Guild- super cheap and super stylin' as always... We even have some boy sizes!

Don't miss your chance to get one of these limited prints...