I flew to a secret Taoist retreat in Massachusettes and discovered the importance of Chi. This mysterious chi circulated within our bodies and could be quickly accumulated in greater amounts to slow down entropy and thus extend one's life.
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The retreat then ended with an unexpected firewalk. I was totally unprepared for it, but I focused my apprehensive mind and did it anyway. The next morning I felt very different. The forest seemed unusually still because my awakened mind had become even stiller. I had somehow jumped to this higher level of consciousness. To a more refined mind state where ugly fears were tamed and where wisdom could run rampant.
On the flight back in my first class cabin I read an article in the New Yorker about a strange place called Esalen.
So I decided to investigate....
Robert Anton Wilson had these intense blue eyes. The infamous author of the " Illuminati Trilogy " began his unorthodox discourse on recursive patterns.
It was a shocker.
Finnegan's Wake was just another endless loop. You see, synchronicity, isomorphisms and coincidence seemed to have this infinite structure. Our expansive minds were a looping mirror of nature and just as restless nature recycled itself, so we recycled our mind symbols too.
Our loopy minds belonged to the ultimate field called the " no mind. " This bottonless " no mind " was even deeper than Jung's holy collective unconscious.
Strange loops connected seemingly unconnected things on many strange levels at once.
The " no mind " seemed to infinitely recycle everything long enough to generate a mysterious field of its own.
Our overworked minds contributed to these symbolic patterns and they in turn took on an unspeakable life of their own.
Joyce tried to create a new acoustical language by blasting into being this freaky reality tunnel that liberated both his mind and the minds of others.
The Wake seemed like just random noise, but it had these powerful patterns lying just underneath it.
We started with the tedious waking ego, then we went to the pesky Freudian unconscious, then Jung's expansive collective unconscious and finally the mysterious no mind.
Every painful step inward into the no mind was reflected in Joyce's supreme creative evolution.
On and on we went deeper into the Wake. Robert talked about Bell's theorem of non-local causality. In Bell's strange world connections were made through meaning, not through energy.
Causality became just a special case of what Jung later boldly called the laws of synchronicity.
Two inquiring minds could communicate non-locally by simply side-stepping space-time completely. The non-local nature of the pious no mind allowed this.
In our dream states, that's when all things could ultimately be possible. Language was this necessary crutch for human beings. All one could do was to be aware of this painful dilemma.
Psychic mutations suddenly generated novel mind patterns and they briefly liberated us, but life was nothing but this perpetual system of recursive patterns. Things came and went. Coming back in different forms, but ultimately being the same things.
Those who had accomplished anything in these subtler mind realms knew this secret well. They could often discover deep untapped potential within themselves and the rest of humankind too.
I said farewell to boring space-time.
The tedious ego was at the bottom of the consciousness pyramid.
It had these gross aspects.
You also needed to get comfortable with frustrating paradoxes by simply embracing them.
Only then did you transcend them quickly....
I then attended a workshop with Stan Grof. The prime psychic archeologist of our times....
I was really getting worried. People became hysterical during the volcanic breathing sessions. I hardly could believe my eyes. My sitter started crying and praying like a crazed Muslim. He had gotten lost from his tribe in another life.
It was all just this cultural reincarnation. This holy Recycling. Cultural patterns constantly repeating themselves. Only the context was different. The Jews were pushed out of Central Europe and were transformed into the new tribe of Israel. the Tibetans fled Tibet and brought their holy dharma to the west. The examples were simply endless.
Did Stan make sense?
He was leaving the old psychological models behind. Freudian biography just wasn't enough. Karma and past lives seemed to be just as important to understanding one's psychic make-up.
Was science getting mystical?
Was mysticism getting scientific?
Were these the right questions?
It was my Newtonian mind speaking!
I wanted to be a detached observer. As long as I was detached, I could really get into the experience. If I couldn't get into the experience, then....
I felt completely paralyzed by the heavy breathing. After only a little of it, I started crying. The Sufi music was loud. My heavy arms and legs could barely move and then I heard loud screaming and barking coming from the other side of the room. Everyone sounded like they were having mad convulsions.
A heavy claustrophobia was beginning to settle into my bodymind. Like a blunt lead weight, this morose feeling hung over me.
What time was it?
Time seemed to be weirding up. I was losing my temporal orientation. I Shut my eyes now and opened them again....
I talked to Stan today and he patiently explained to me that the holistic discoveries in science today were different from the earlier holistic perceptions of more ancient cultures. But he claimed that their spirit was pretty much the same. He likened it to a furious spiral....
" It expanded and expanded as time progressed.... "
During the morning lecture, the idea of a finite vessel that can only hold so much information was quietly discussed. Limits to channel capacity seemed to imply the need for constant recycling. Recycling implied some information pool. An information pool implied some archetypical forms possibly coming from an infinite source.
So what was it, really?
I looked at the quarrelsome surf pounding the wet flat beachs....
I slowly day-dreamed. I saw spectacular spirals and these counter-acting waves. I thought about Oswald Spengler's historical cycles. Could they all be based on simple psychological recycling?
Gregory Bateson may have been right. The mind was indeed a fragile ecology too. Our minds recycled information just like nature recycled material waste. This information was a murky form of inter-connecting patterns, that ultimately generate these meta-patterns. A big gestalt so to speak.
The mind was a field and constant recycling changed the field.
So science said that information was just constantly recycled. Bits of meaning floated in and out of our psychic fields. Were souls recycled too? This was no longer really the realm of science. But the metaphor was powerful and convincing.
Stan was ready now for a karmic interpretation of all this stuff. Certain psycho-pathologies may just be these curious self-healing processes.
Letting go of the demons by deep breathing possibly accelerated this self-healing process. Prescribed drugs and other forms of clinical therapy perhaps simply arrested this self-healing process for some people.
The more I thought about all this, the more this mind business reminded me of the I Ching. There seemed to be a universal grab-bag, that one could tap into for insights towards solving one's emotional and practical problems.
Stan who was a cultural scavenger, if there ever was one, seemed to have created a new field of inquiry: Psychic archeology.
He combined this mythic rummaging with a weird type of experiential psycho-therapy. The bodymind was put on the rack and out of this horrible pain some kind of partial enlightenment was attained, or at least some insights into one's deep emotional problems. I wondered if there was an easier and cheaper way to do this.
I though some more....
Rebirth after ritual death....
Destruction of the ego's main defenses and then this necessary resurrection.
DEATH-REBIRTH, DEATH-REBIRTH, DEATH-REBIRTH....
This vicious cycle continued in one's life-time and ever higher mind levels were then reached by some people, rebirth after rebirth.
Was there an end to all this?
Was there a final stage where the cycles finally ended and union with Bhrama ensued?
I was in a humorous mood....
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I kept gazing at the infinite beachs and waves. Big Sur was where mind and body lost their crude boundaries....
I thought some more.
INSIDE THE FIELDS:
A pattern often had a lot of redundancy.
Some patterns had very high frequencies of redundancy.
When they got together, they generated a psychic field. Voila!
Fields were generated by this unfield where many potentialities existed.
Psychic fields could and often did over-lap....
Fields could be nested into meta-levels.
A meta-level represented a different set of fields.
But of course!
Where did archetypes come from really?
The human mind could only handle a fixed amount of patterns.
Psychic patterns had zero dimension.
New patterns often resembled just noise.
Redundancy stabilized these noisy patterns, but ultimately ossified them too.
Patterns jumped between meta-levels.
Pattern overloads could cause an entropic flood inside a person's head.
Information by definition was new.
Information could be the equivalent of noise.
Redundancy had a necessary spectrum.
How much or how less of it was determined by these frequency distributions.
The unfield was a cupboard of limitless potential.
Fields were actual expressions of a particular potential.
Bundles of rules reflected chosen patterns in an environment perceived and then selected by a particular human mind.
Fields could be internally restructured by rearranging these rule bundles.
New patterns were then perceived by new kinds of perceptions.
Rule bundle restructuring and field transformations were part of a perpetual feedback process.
All within cultures and individuals simply trapped in space-time.
If you went beyond the limits of space-time there was no such trap at all.
I listened to Rupert Sheldrake. This was a brave man gazing beyond DNA. He was tuning into something far subtler.
It was all a matter of simply TUNING IN....
That's Rupert's mantra.
Tune into the field.
The morphogenetic one.
Our brains were receiving devices.
A lot of memory was stored outside the brain.
Everything that ever happened was AROUND you.
DNA was not the whole story.
What about formative causation?
Morphic resonance was the storage box for everything in the past-life of a species.
For everything in the past-life of a culture too.
Fields within fields....
Form generated a field.
Morphogenesis was a tune-in phenomena.
Invisible fields " out there " had a memory which guided the development of all organisms.
All species simply tuned into these ghostly memories.
Forms generated the fields beyond space-time through the process of morphic resonance.
Similar things influenced similar things through an all-embracing memory which was collective and self-selective.
The resonance was an in-built memory.
A memory which evolved with time, but was not of it.
Genes did not have a monopoly on heredity.
Morphogenetic fields implied that a cosmic memory bank existed.
The vibes of extinct species were still around....
But nobody was tuning into them.
Big Sur 1985:
Possible cross-tuning between fields created mutations.
Both angelic and monstrous kinds.
You just tuned into your ancient ancestors and your many past lives.
You tuned in and received the critical signal..
A strange echo fed on these new mind forms and solidified them.
The universe was a vast network of extended psychic fields.
Our minds were always tuning into it all this.
You needed to be careful and not overload....
All mind signals came from some eternal realm where the past, present, and future fitfully commingled.
I was getting it now. I needed more experience though. Asia was making more sense too. I followed this glorious karmic thread.