April 2006

I’ve recently finished a book which I connected with because the main character (Trevor) seems to share several traits and experiences which are not unlike mine. It’s a true story of a man who is exploring himself through an alternative form of group therapy. There are many things discussed in the book, both drug and non-drug related. Trevor’s insights eventually lead him to leave the sessions because he sees how the therapist (Carole) in the group begins to slowly abuse her position of power. Even though he took out an immense amount from the therapy he discovers that towards his final years it has become more of a unnecessary crutch.

I will be posting several extracts over the next week which helped me see things from a different perspective.

Page 12 from ‘Triplepoint’ by Trevor Trueheart

“Almost always, part of the repression consists of feelings of guilt. Carole labeled this “past-time” guilt. It is unleashed with the liberation of repression. Present-time guilt, on the other hand, is created when you fail to fulfill obligations, day-to-day duties, and that which Carole called ‘framework’. This was one of Carole’s most-used tools of psychotherapy. It is the label she used for those activities one must do to get through life productively and guilt-free. This could include paying one’s bills on time, meeting one’s obligations and commitments, and, in general, meeting the challenges of life in a responsible manner. Any framework break will result in present—time guilt, which acts like a magnet hooking into your past-time guilt from a repressed incident. Thus present-time guilt can act as a valve operator to your past-time repressed guilt. You can feel swamped in all this guilt, which is out of proportion to your present-time framework break. With this kind of aperture into your personal past-time guilt you expose yourself to, in addition to your own repressed energy, pathos from the collective unconscious mind. This situation demands “asepsis” and maintenance of each and every piece of your framework.”

I think procrastination is a common human characteristic but I never considered why ignored responsibilities seem to eventually cause more distress than what is actually at stake at the time. Additionally, people tend to put thenselves in the position of the victim and declare that none or very little of it is actually their fault.

Furthermore, I learned that when someone is engaged in some sort of non-ordinary state of consciousness these ‘present-time’ guilts bubble up fairly quickly. This helps them in several ways, it points out that these are the changes that need to made in one’s life because they are obviously bothersome, additionaly this ‘present-time’ guilt energy can be used to explore similar feelings that have been felt in the past which may be linked to repressed memories. What is nice about this is that one can spend a day exploring themself and end up with a list of things they can do to be happier in life. Of course, the hardest part is actually getting yourself to do what needs to be done. It’s very easy to write down that you need to fulfill some responsibility and never actually do it. But when you maintain your responsibilities to a reasonable extent (it’s hard to be perfect) and with each goal you fulfill, an enormous weight leaves your shoulders. I think that if you can alleviate ‘present-time’ and ‘past-time’ (unconscious) guilt you soon begin to help ease ‘future-time’ guilt. This is not only because you are more responsible and you feel less guilty but also because less ‘past-time’ guilt is flowing through the valve which opens when you do happen to ignore some responsibility. Ideally, you can begin to live your life more fully because this particular cloud of negativity has significantly lessened. I would also like to mention that an altered state is not needed to realize any of these things or to follow these ideas.

I was at Burning Man last year for the very first time and one of my most surreal memories was hearing about the floods caused by hurricane Katrina. I was in a city constructed of art in the middle of the desert where constant hydration is absolutely key for your wellbeing, while across the country thousands of people were losing their homes to floods. As we were leaving the playa on the last day of the gathering, everyone was collecting as many useful things as they could to bring to the flood victims. A group called ‘Burners without Borders’ was formed and spent the following 8 months helping to rebuild what was lost to the hurricane.

Please check out this week’s episode of The Viking Youth Power Hour:

Burners Without Borders

This week the Viking Youth Power Hour is joined by water department spokesman, and architect of Burning Man Information Radio’s on-line presence, Tom LaPorte.

Tom recently made a trip down to Pearlington, Mississippi where he spent a week with the victims of Hurricane Katrina and a group of Burning Man participants who, after the burn this year, picked up and moved their playa-based operation to Pearlington in order to help provide food, fire, demolition services and the unique burner sense of community service and dedication to work. Calling themselves Burners Without Borders, this group has dedicated the better part of the last 8 months to sharing the skills they have honed on the playa with the people of first Biloxi – rebuilding a Buddhist Temple – and now Pearlington.

We discuss the heartbreaking loss Tom witnessed while he was down there, but also the inspiring perspectives of people who were forced to rebuild their lives from amongst the rubble of what was once their beloved town.

We are offered a rare opportunity as Tom gives us the first chance to hear some of the interviews he collected while in Pearlington and that he will be using for his hour long radio documentary which will be published at burningman.com later this month.

It’s incredible to see the ethos’ and the elbow grease so many of us experience on the playa validating itself and coalescing in a kind of service that may become increasingly necessary in the coming years. This is perhaps the Viking Youth episode I am most proud of all our work to date. Our hearts and our hope go out to all the victim’s of Hurricane Katrina and all the wonderful people helping these people to put their lives together again stronger than it was before.

Link to mp3

I feel deeply humbled by the amount of interesting information that has lately been appearing on this blog. The other side of this blog (whether he is the darker or lighter one is yet to be distinguished) has been doing a fair amount of work, while I have been spending all my time writing a dissertation and studying for exams. Isn’t life bliss. Yes, even I have been forced to sharpen the pencil, energise the computer and get my act together. In other words I have become boring, something I have dreaded since the second of my birth.

But do not despair, it shall be over in 3 weeks or a millenium.

And so that I redeem myself for all that whining, I shall add a little something to the literary pool of information that has been growing on the blog.

I have just finished Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, which is luckily a work of fiction (only the second one I have read in the past 6 months), and even more luckily, a tremendous amount of fun. It’s as dark as the author’s name implies, and what’s more, it gives the reader more information on the various gods, goddesses and deities of this world, than a very thorough encyclopedia. I was happy to note various East-European gods that I, a citizen of the East-European kingdom, have not known of myself. Nothing is better than being beaten on your home gorund, by an English man living in America no less.
But to return to the discussion on hand. I have been noting a recent trend in popular art – films, books, music and what have you. Mythology, mysticism and religion have been gaining strength in popular art, and the smart (and some less smart) people who fuel the modern pop culture are finally informing us of some things that matter to me and people like me. Hollywood is doing it in a rather primitive way, emitting the important and focusing on the popular. It scares me to think that the majority of people on this planet who have heard of Troy will only know of the Hollywood version. They’ll also say that Troy was rather shit, which doesn’t hurt Hollywood, but definitely hurts ancient literature. While Hollywood manages to make a mockery of the process, some literary authors do a pretty good job. And that’s where Neil Gaiman steps in. Not only is his book great (if a little bit predictable towards the end), long, and enchanting; it also includes a rather large database of information on mythology and obscure American geography. What more could you ever want out of a book?

Well, that book finished, I moved to an arena that’s been closer to my heart in the last months. I started reading Ramsey Duke’s book on Satanism, Black Magic and other Such Niceties. When my girl-friend noticed what I was reading, she said: ‘Where do you get that shit?’

“The Da Vinci Code is a novel and therefore a work of fiction. While the book’s characters and their actions are obviously not real, the artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals depicted in this novel all exist (for example, Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings, the Gnostic Gospels, Hieros Gamos, etc.). These real elements are interpreted and debated by fictional characters. While it is my belief that some of the theories discussed by these characters may have merit, each individual reader must explore these characters’ viewpoints and come to his or her own interpretations.”-Dan Brown Author of ‘The Da Vinci Code’

From Chapter 28

“Nobody could deny the enormous good the modern Church did in today’s troubled world, and yet the Church had a deceitful and violent history. Their brutal crusade to “reeducate” the pagan and feminine-worshipping religions spanned three centuries, employing methods as inspired as they were horrific.

The Catholic Inquisition published the book that arguably could be called the most blood-soaked publication in human history. Malleus Maleficarum- or The witche’s Hammer- indoctrinate the world to “the dangers of freethinkers women” and instructed clergy how to locate, torture, and destroy them. Those deemed “witches” by the Church included all female scholars, priestesses, gypsies, mystics, nature lovers, herb gathers, and any women “suspiciously attuned to the natural world.” Midwives also were killed for their heretical practice of using medical knowledge to ease the pain of childbirth- a suffering the Church claimed, that was God’s rightful punishment for Eve’s partaking of the Apple of Knowledge, thus giving birth to the idea of Original Sin. During three hundred years of witch hunts, the Church burned at the stake an astounding five million women.

The propaganda and bloodshed had worked. Today’s world was living proof. Women, once celebrated as an essential half of spiritual enlightenment, had been banished from the temples of the world. There was no female Orthodox rabbis, Catholic priests, nor Islamic clerics. The once-hallowed act of Hieros Gamos- the natural sexual union between man and woman through which each became spiritual whole- had been recast as a shameful act. Holy men who had once required sexual union with their female counterparts to commune with God now feared their natural sexual urges as the work of the devil, collaborating with his favorite accomplice… woman.

Not even the feminine association with the left-hand side could escape the Church’s defamation. In France and Italy, the words for “left” -gauche and sinistra- came to have deeply negative overtones, while their right-hand counterparts rang of righteousness, dexterity, and correctness. To this day, radical thought was considered left wing, and anything evil was sinister.

The days of the goddess were over. The pendulum had swung. Mother Earth had become a man’s world, and the gods of destruction and war were taking their toll. The male ego had spent two millennia running unchecked by its female counterpart. The Priory of Sion believed that it was the obliteration of the sacred feminine in modern life that had caused what the Hopi Native Americans called koyanisquatsi- “life out of balance”- an unstable situation marked by testosterone-fueled wars, a plethora of misogynistic societies, and a growing disrespect for Mother Earth.”

Of all organizations, the United Nations Environment Program has launched a fund to protect the sacred lands of the Earth.

The New Scientist reports:

“UNEP has given pride of place to a stretch of the Chihuahua desert in northern Mexico, where the Huichoi people go on an annual pilgrimage to find the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii). Peyote is the source of mescaline, the hallucinogenic alkaloid that allows them to commune directly with their gods. “There is clear and growing evidence of a link between cultural diversity and biodiversity, between reverence for the land and a breadth of often unique and special plants and animals,” said UNEP director Klaus Toepfer, launching the fund on 18 March at a meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Curitiba, Brazil.”

Excavations have begun on the first pyramids found in Europe. There is a maze of manmade tunnels that connect the individual pyramids across the complex as well.

“The Bosnian Pyramid, Visocica Hill, is the first European pyramid to be discovered and is located in the heart of Bosnia, in the town of Visoko. The pyramid has all the elements: four perfectly shaped slopes pointing toward the cardinal points, a flat top and an entrance complex. There are also the ruins of a Medieval walled town, once the base of a Bosnian king Tvrtko of Kotromanic (1338-1391). Because of its similarities to the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico, it has been named the “Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun” (‘Bosanska Piramida Sunca’). There are also a three smaller pyramids on the site, the Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon (‘Bosanska Piramida Mjeseca’), Bosnian Pyramid of Earth, (‘Bosanska Piramida Zemlje’) and Bosnian Pyramid of the Dragon ( ‘Bosanska Piramida Zmaja’).”


 UPDATE: The validity of this find has been called into question. Read: Bosnian Pyramid No More?

Lat week, on sunday, I was subjected to two very different theories on self-consciousness.

A friend of mine told me that she hates it when she is self-conscious, for nothing is worse than to witness the shame and guilt that one creates by his actions. This rather strong belief has turned her over the years into a rather strong alcoholic.

That same day a cultist (Fellowship of Friends, report on this blog) explained to me that the only way to fully experience life is to be conscious of everything, as often as possible, ultimately all the time. If you train yourself not to miss what’s going on around you, if you fight your conditioning and programming in this manner, you have the opportunity to break free.

So now what? My friend’s logic was funny at the time she said it but it stuck in my head and reappeared today, proving its importance. The fact of the matter was that what was making her unhappy was not the fact that she was conscious of herself – that is undoubtedly preferable to living without the knowledge of what one is doing. She disliked this state because she was identifying her negative feelings (fear, anxiety, hate, shame, guilt) and making conclusions or judgements. She would feel clumsy and instantenously jump to the conclusion that everyone else thought the same, thus feeling ashamed. If she was not self-conscious (if she was drunk) her clumsiness did not provoke a reaction – she would just laught it off. In other words by not being self-conscious she was acting in such a way in which she would have wanted to act normally. Wouldn’t it be better to simply break from the conditioning and stop those judgements? Instead of feeling stupid and ashamed after a clumsy act, she could tell herself that she was clumsy, but that it did not matter. She could understand that other people do not usually judge us in the way we believe them to. Our own heads usually produce the harshest critique, the trick is to recognise what’s real and what’s not. The things that we witness and sense and the emotions that we feel are real (to an extent); judgements about them are nothing more than illusions, simple mind tricks that our lazy brains create in spare time.

So to be truly self-conscious one would have to have the ability to identify his feelings, without jumping to conclusions and without producing judgements about them. Such behaviour would produce only positive results and leave the subject happy.

It is a sad day indeed when an unknowing cultist outsmarts my friend.

This article is followed by a newer entry.

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