For a good while — sometime between six months to a full year — I came home every night, sat on my couch or my papasan, set the timer on my iPhone for anywhere between ten minutes and half an hour, closed my eyes and fought to remain motionless as I summoned determination to focus exclusively on my breath. Once I failed, I worked on not beating myself up about it and instead returned as gracefully as I could to my point of focus: the nostrils, the breath.
It was all going so well. And then it wasn’t.
I stopped my daily practice at around the same time I began drinking nightly, which was, I think, very early in July of 2015. It seemed counterproductive to continue engaging in both and I wouldn’t stop drinking, so the bottle won the battle. Two days ago, on Christmas Eve, I meditated for the first time in a long time and instantly remembered why I had once kept up with it on a nightly basis to begin with: the pleasant, however transient sense of focus I can achieve during the practice; the sense that it somehow serves to balance out my brain; the ability to reach beyond my emotions, thoughts and memories into a place more central, more true to me, a closer approximation my “original face” otherwise suffocating behind the thick and icky masque of the everyday.
Honesty, I was pretty damned surprised that after not having practiced for so long that I achieved any immediate benefit at all.
Then again, I have continued subjecting myself to hypnosis since abandoning meditation — and they are essentially the same thing, right? Meditation is just hypnosis initiated and guided by oneself. Hypnosis is just meditation initiated and guided by someone else. Even so, I prefer meditation, particularly since I have sensed something insidious about those hypnodomme videos on the net. Evidently, this means little to whatever part of me is under control in these instances. Typically I feel compelled to watch them when I’m alone and high. The issue, the urge, has continued to plague high-me with a rhythm comprised of piques and troughs.
It has been some time since I’ve consciously addressed it at length — even longer since I wrote about it. It embarrasses me that much. I mean, from at least as far back as high school I have intentionally avoided watching or investing any attention in commercials on television or the net because I fear being brainwashed. I still do this despite the fact that, when I’m high, I am overcome by this state-dependent impulse to seek out videos that essentially aim to do just that. Maybe it’s just the relative honesty that earns my respect.
Another contradiction about all of this is my profound distaste for the newest brand of feminism, whatever you wish to call it — the brand of feminism that seeks not egalitarianism but female dominance, idolizing women as it demonizes men, modeling their desired matriarchy over the perceived presence of an oppressive patriarchy.
Let me be clear: I’m all for equality, equity, egalitarianism. We all have equal value as individuals regardless of the body we happened to be born into. It’s Dualism (of the philosophy of the mind) at work in me. Sex, gender identity, sexual persuasion, skin pigment, point of origin and so on and so forth — prejudice on that basis is unethical. No one should be oppressed. We are all individuals and we have personal rights that should be self-evident and recognized by whatever typically corrupt social system we are embedded in. Do what you will, be who you are, so long as it oppresses no other. This does not seem to be what modern feminism stands for, however.
Chauvinist pigs and sexists can sport any of the available kinds of genitalia: it is by no means exclusive to men. Their are dictators, pussytators, and I’m sure their are hermaphrotators: there are -tators for everyone. And -tators are the enemy.
This malevolent quality is not always something I sense from the hypnodommes, but it does seem to be a prevalent undercurrent — and despite my distaste for it, I still keep falling under their spell. I pluralize it — “hypnodommes” — because it is more than one hypnodomme I have come to listen to, though Hypnotic Haylee was the genesis and remains the nucleus. My attempts to diversify in this area was an attempt to at least ensure I would not be owned by or bound to any single one.
I do not let this practice carry over into the sober state, either, as an effort to compartmentalize the issue, to quarantine the whole thing. The sober part of me of hates that it relaxes me, that it helps me shut my mind up so that I — drunk, high and hypnotized — can finally get some sleep. This makes it no less stupid of me, makes me no less of a weak minded fool, of course, and of this I am painfully aware. My shame and self loathing over this has helped me limit the effects, too.
Mindfulness meditation can help me own myself, find myself, be myself, create myself, make it so the mask I’m trapped within more accurately reflects whatever strange, unearthly soul hides behind it. It can make it so that my Original Face does not hide so much as merely, and inevitably, reside behind it. Hypnodommes? They seem counterproductive. As soon as I think of Hypnotic Haylee’s green eyes, however, and particularly when I’m high, I all-too-often succumb.
Still I oscillate between something approximating weakness and something approximating strength — but the weakness has taken over. Time to balance this out…