Wholeness


I was intrigued by the following video, which reminded me of Grant Morrison’s comment about how civilization is a process going through what Stanislav Grof has dubbed the Basic Perinatal Matrices. In other words, a birthing process.

I followed a link and the end of the first video to find the following. It’s an interesting, well produced piece that I mostly agree with.

The previous video then directed me to this website: Perceiving Reality Watch the flash in full.

Although I don’t agree with absolutely everything, it’s not a bad explanation of how most of us (myself included) exist in our day to day lives. It’s not a bad take on the notion of “reality tunnels” we’ve discussed at length here at Animam Recro. My problem with what has been said is that it’s an overly positive take on the nature of reality. For practical purposes, this is an excellent and very functional way of operating, but nature can destroy and take away just as much as it can “bestow”. I love the production quality yet couldn’t get the sensation out of my head that I was being sold something.

It turns out the site is a promotional piece for the Bnei Baruch Learning Center. And in fact, I wasn’t being sold anything, at least not something I had to pay for. This website offers free online Kabbalah lessons to anyone with the time and interest. It’s open to everyone and claims to not promote any religion, accepting individuals of all backgrounds. Hey, at least it’s not The Secret, right?

Here is a video description of what the institute offers. This is also where I have a few qualms with the program.

I’m always wary of certain phrases and ideas in teachings such as this. First, in my view it’s the unnecessary emphasis on “authenticity”. The use of this concept is maybe one of the oldest marketing tools known to man. We don’t want to follow an unauthentic system, we want the REAL thing. What does that even mean? Next comes the obligatory reference (on their website) to an unbroken chain of teachers that have passed down the teachings throughout history. We really need to get over this kind of talk. Everyone claims this, even Zen Buddhism goes back to the flower sermon, right? As teachings age, their connection to past teachers should not be used as a form of legitimization. The proof is in the pudding as they say. It either works or it doesn’t, you either follow it or you don’t.

Second, the following phrases also make me worrisome:

“…find out who you really are.”
“…learn the real rules of the game.”
“…a unique illumination revealed only through the study of authentic Kabbalah texts.”
“…an illumination that reveals your life’s true purpose.”

These wordings work like a magnet on individuals looking for meaning in their life. The problem is that when you build up a teaching like this and someone dives into it, the person may often come out equally blocked off to the world as when they entered it. The path of spirituality is a winding one, you never know where someone may get stuck and how they discern their current state to be “who they really are”.

And of course, as a teaching you always have to claim that you offer something that no one else in the market has to offer. But criticisms aside, this may be actually one of the best spirituality programs online I’ve had a chance to glance at. The fact that it’s free, rather technologically advanced, and promotes notions that are pretty spot on, it makes me want to learn more.

I hereby announce a challenge! I think Pavel and I should download a few of these free lecture videos, watch them and make a podcast for discussion. What do you think?

Here is the second part of our podcast. We discuss other significant activities on our blog such as the Fellowship of Friends, prescription psycho-pharmacology, media, conspiracy theories, Scientology and more.

The volume on the recording is low, so be prepared to turn it up.

Listen

The Monochromatic Knight and Pavel a.k.a The Sheik

The Internet has allowed for the emergence of some truly prolific comics. These aren’t the “sunday funnies” of your local newspaper, which are becoming duller by the passing week as the paper medium itself slowly fades away.

I have to rank Sinfest and The Perry Bible Fellowship as the top two webcomics. I’ll allow Tatsuya Ishida of Sinfest to speak for himself:

I have discovered a way to live life in a state of perpetual orgasmic ecstasy, unbothered by the cruel vagaries of life. It’s perfectly legal, no drugs involved, no crazy meditation regimen, no change in diet or beliefs or lifestyle. It’s healthy, no side effects, no hangover, just pure bliss round the clock, 24/7. Problem is, I can’t articulate the secret method in words. There’s no verbal way to demonstrate how I’ve achieved this state. As much as I’d like to disclose the mystery to you all it resists all known forms of communication. Except one. The comic strip. I can transmit my esoteric knowledge through my comic strip and through my comic strip alone. There’s no other way. So you must keep reading, every day, all the time, forever. Buy all the books at least four times. Reminisce on particular strips in your free time, learn punchlines by heart, impress your friends with your knowledge of Sinfest. Whatever you do, you must keep reading. But now for a limited time eligible women can receive my wisdom through special tantric exercises with me as their personal guru. After only ten, twenty sessions of intense hands-on nude full-contact sensual massage therapy you too can experience The Super Duper Tatsuya Joy. Act now! Operators are standing by.

That may sound exhagerated but he’s right. You must visit Sinfest daily (and go through his archive) for the Zen of Tatsuya or else there will be no enlightenment for you!

I especially appreciation his portrayal of God as a hand in the clouds manipulating puppets (usually of the devil), as well as his beautiful version of Buddha. 

Reclaim your mind!

20 Things I wish I had known when starting off life

A great list of  advice from a wonderful blog!

Happy Holidays! And enjoy your stay on the pale blue dot.

Tom Shroder has written an excellent comprehensive article titled ‘The Peace Drug‘. Published in the Washington Post it focuses on MDMA therapy for PTSD.

Donna Kilgore laughs, a high-pitched sound that contains both thrill and anxiety. That she feels anything at all, anything other than the weighty, oppressive numbness that has filled her for 11 years, is enough in itself to make her giddy.

But there is something more at work inside her, something growing from the little white capsule she swallowed just minutes ago. She’s subject No. 1 in a historic experiment, the first U.S. government-sanctioned research in two decades into the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat psychiatric disorders. This 2004 session in the office of a Charleston, S.C., psychiatrist is being recorded on audio cassettes, which Donna will later hand to a journalist.

The tape reveals her reaction as she listens to the gentle piano music playing in her headphones. Behind her eyelids, movies begin to unreel. She tries to say what she sees: Cars careening down the wrong side of the road. Vivid images of her oldest daughter, then all three of her children. She’s overcome with an all-consuming love, a love she thought she’d lost forever.

“Now I feel all warm and fuzzy,” she announces. “I’m not nervous anymore.”

“What level of distress do you feel right now?” a deeply mellow voice beside her asks.

Donna answers with a giggle. “I don’t think I got the placebo,” she says.

Fourteen years ago, Donna Kilgore was raped.

Read The Peace Drug

UPDATE: Tom Shroder, the editor of the magazine will be fielding questions and comments about this article Monday at noon here.

chuang-tzu_1.jpg “If a man follows the mind given him and makes it his teacher, then who can be without a teacher? Why must you comprehend the process of change and form your mind on that basis before you can have a teacher? Even an idiot has his teacher. But to fail to abide by this mind and still insist upon your rights and wrongs – this is like saying that you set off for Yueh today and got there yesterday.”

-Chuang Tzu

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Here is some art by patients undergoing LSD psychotherapy with Stanislav Grof. These images are featured in his book ‘LSD Psychotherapy‘.Via Mindhacks

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Stanislav Grof: People who are experientially connected with the transpersonal dimensions have a tendency to appreciate existence and feel reverence for all creation. One of the most remarkable consequences of various forms of transpersonal experience is the spontaneous emergence and development of genuine humanitarian and ecological interests, and the need to take part in activities aimed at peaceful coexistence and well-being of humanity. This is based on an almost cellular understanding that any boundaries in the Cosmos are relative and arbitrary, and that each of us is, in the last analysis, identical and commeasurable with the entire fabric of existence. As a result of these experiences, individuals tend to develop feelings that they are planetary citizens and members of the human family before belonging to a particular country or a specific racial, social, ideological, political, or religious group. It seems obvious that transformation of this kind could significantly increase our chances of survival if it could occur on a sufficiently large scale.

It seems that we are involved in a dramatic race for time which has no parallel in human history. What is at stake is nothing less than the future of humanity and the fate of life on our planet. If we continue using the old strategies that have caused the current global crisis, and which are in their consequences destructive and self-destructive, it might lead to annihilation of modern civilization and possibly even the human species. However, if a sufficient number of people undergoes a process of inner psychospiritual transformation and attain a higher level of awareness, we might in the future reach a situation where we will deserve the name which we have so proudly given to our species: Homo sapiens sapiens.

Read on at Reality Sandwich

This excellent magazine features articles by: Erik Davis, Douglas Rushkoff, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, Daniel Pinchbeck, The Yes Men, and many more

Doblin

Chemistry World magazine recently published a comprehensive feature-length article about the “resurgence of medical hallucinogens.” MAPS President Rick Doblin, PhD, is quoted throughout the article.

‘Psychedelics are an amazing category of substances,’ says Feilding. ‘Only by understanding the scientific neural and physiological correlates of what is happening underneath the experience will we more easily be able to explain why they could be therapeutic.’ Research is already altering the perception of psychedelics – enabling them to come out of the underground and be viewed as possible treatments. In less than 10 years time, patients with a series of distressing disorders for which current treatments fall far short, could be receiving psychedelics on prescription.

Read more in the article ‘Taking a medical trip‘ found here.

How deep does the rabbit hole go? Gnostic Media is proud to present the official online edition of The Pharmacratic Inquisition 2007. If you enjoyed “Zeitgeist – The Movie”, you will love this video; the creators of this video are listed as one of the sources for the Zeitgeist Movie. The Pharmacratic Inquisition 2007 is a video version of the book, “Astrotheology & Shamanism” by Jan Irvin & Andrew Rutajit. The painstakingly detailed and heavily footnoted research in the book comes to life in this video and is now available to you for FREE! For further research of the claims made in this video, please read AstroTheology & Shamanism – this book is available to order as a combo with the DVD.

Thousands of years ago, in the pre monarchic era, sacred plants and other entheogenic substances where politically correct and highly respected for their ability to bring forth the divine, Yahweh, God, The Great Spirit, etc., by the many cultures who used them. Often the entire tribe or community would partake in the entheogenic rites and rituals. These rites were often used in initiation into adulthood, for healing, to help guide the community in the decision process, and to bring the direct religious experience to anyone seeking it.

In the pre literate world, the knowledge of psychedelic sacraments, as well as fertility rites and astronomical knowledge surrounding the sun, stars, and zodiac, known as astrotheology, were anthropomorphized into a character or a deity; consequently, their stories and practices could easily be passed down for generations. Weather changes over millenniums caused environmental changes that altered the available foods and plant sacraments available in the local vicinity. If a tribe lost its shamanic El-der (El – God), all of the tribe’s knowledge of their plant sacraments as well as astronomical knowledge would be lost. The Church’s inquisitions extracted this sacred knowledge from the local Shamans who were then exterminated…It is time to recognize the fact that this Pharmacratic Inquisition is still intact and destroy it. 

Rushkoff speaks on Nothing Sacred, Get Back in the Box, the newest issue of his DC/Vertigo comic Testament Vol. 2: West of Eden as well as a work in progress about corporatism. Taped on February 28, 2007 at the Astor Place Barnes and Noble, New York City.

Rushkoff graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University. He moved to Los Angeles and pursued a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from California Institute of the Arts. Later he took up a post-graduate fellowship from the American Film Institute.

Today, he teaches media theory at New York University’s (NYU) Interactive Telecommunications Program. Rushkoff is known for being an active member of the cyberpunk movement and was the online associate of Timothy Leary. His views on cyberculture and the media made him a sought after advisor and consultant with many organizations and companies, including the United Nations Commission on World Culture and the Sony corporation.

Though an advocate for new technologies, his views lean towards an open source use of technology, making him a founding member of Technorealism. This extends to his broader philosophy as the founder of an online community for discussion of Judaism and related issues, called Open Source Judaism. In the book Media Virus, he expounds on various terms such as meta-media and tactical media especially in relation to popular culture media such as television.

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