Polishing Ajna.

Jonas and Elizabeth come over between eight and nine in the evening. I had woken up from my post-third-shift slumber a few hours before, drank some coffee, relaxed, taken a shit and a shower and waited while trying not to think, think, think.

Elizabeth was wearing all black save for her tie-dye hippie socks. It had been awhile since I had seen Jonas, and his hair had grown and taken on a look that reminded me of the traditional style of the eighties. Kind of like Luke in Star Wars: A New Hope. I met them at the side entrance to my building and Elizabeth led the way up three flights of stairs and along the short stroll to the door to my one-bedroom apartment, where we all sat down in the front room in front of my laptop monitor. I had set up the papasan by the computer for myself, as I knew it would be the most comfortable thing for me to sit on during the experience.

Jonas has some initial difficulties cutting one of the tabs in two, finally succeeding by use of the X-Acto knife I typically use to clean out my bowl. Using their tweezers, he then places a whole tab on her tongue, one of the halves on his own.

This was happening. I felt wary. Did I want to do this? Me, I always said I’d never do this. Then he picks up the other half with the tweezers and extends it towards me.

Shit. This is the moment of truth.

I’m nervous, not entirely ready, and in my hesitation he accidentally drops it. Though this would be unfortunate in the event it could not be found, I was thankful for the moment of reflection it permitted me. We look around for it on the carpet between us all as I try and build up some courage. Eventually one of them finds that it had fallen into my shoe. With the tweezers, he plucks it from my sole and places it on my open sketch pad. With diminishing reluctance I go for the tweezers but Elizabeth says it would probably be easier to just lick it off my sketch pad. It seems a weird way to go and that typically works for me, so I do it. I feel mildly apprehensive after doing so, but curiosity of what may be to come quickly takes dominance.

We smoke a bowl, a cigarette each, and I try to keep it under my tongue, eventually realizing that it is gone. That I must have swallowed it. They tell me not to worry.

As I did not take notes during the experience, I cannot be sure of the exact sequence of all events, though particular events in and of themselves are certainly vivid. It began while we were watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

If I were to do this, I had decided some time ago, I had to watch Cosmos, most of all episode 13, “Unafraid of the Dark,” which was particularly visually stunning in its depiction of supernovas. Elizabeth also insisted we watch episode 5, “Hiding in the Light,” mainly due to the portion regarding soundwaves. It was still on Netflix, thankfully, and so we watched “Hiding in the Light” first.

At some point as we were watching it I suddenly feel as if certain parts of my brain light up, blasting me into this heightened awareness. My vision was crisp. I felt this intensity in my body. I felt a sense of euphoria with a side of anxiety.

As time went on I experienced periods of sudden, incredible and sturdy focus — which would be strange enough if it did not seem as if I could focus on several points simultaneously. Psychological absorption was at an all-time high. Fantasy seemed more like a parallel world I had equal access to alongside sensory reality; shifting between them was akin to changing channels or switching stations. In time I came to be very, very absorbed in what we were watching on my laptop.For other, brief periods — at least once, to be sure — I became tangled in a web of divergent attention and high-speed thoughts, achieving a height of frustrating confusion before wriggling myself out of it and coming back into focus.

To my left I could see my bedroom door, opened just a crack, and the light bleeding through kept catching my attention, fucking with me. I finally had to get up and open the door. Then I kept thinking I was seeing the lights and shadows from the bathroom, accessible through my bedroom, move as if something was there. At one point, I thought I saw something small and white run from the bathroom into the darkness at the other side of my room. None of it frightened me for more than a second, after which I realized it was just my imagination and laughed at myself in response.

When I was talking with Elizabeth and Jonas sometimes I would catch the laptop monitor out of the corner of my eye, convinced for a moment that something was playing on it, like a movie or something, but there was merely a motionless visual on the screen. It kept fucking with me in a fashion similar to crack in bedroom doorway.

In our conversation before taking the acid, they told me I should eat first and if I needed to poop, I should do it beforehand, because it was rather disconcerting under the influence of this chemical. They also told me that pissing was kind of strange, but I knew I would be unable to avoid that one — in general, I tend to take in a lot of fluid: water, coffee, iced tea, booze. This equals pissing like a race horse.

When I inevitably had to get up to pee, Elizabeth suggested I look at myself in the mirror. Piddling itself was a perplexing experience indeed. I felt high up, incredibly tall and skinny, and it seemed as though my dick way, way down there was pissing into a teeny-tiny toilet. After I went to the sink and washed and dried my hands, I looked up, into the mirror, focusing on my eyes. My face seemed to morph around my point of focus, though not into anything discernible. My vision brightened, everything seemed white and yellow. I was transfixed for a while, but eventually returned to the front room and sat in my comfy nest.

Over the entire course of the evening, I had only one fully-scale visual hallucination. As I was watching the bedroom door (which I had absentmindedly closed again when returning from pissing and skrying) this little transparent ball with a long, tadpole tail swam in a slow, wavelike fashion across my field of vision. It was like an oversize, slow-mo air-sperm.

Getting up, I opened the door again.

More subjective strangeness took place than sensory, hallucinatory phenomena. For instance, at times I felt that while I was inside my body I was not entirely attached to it. I often felt as if I was residing in my body in positions that I ordinarily did not. Typically I feel as though my consciousness resides inside my head, for instance, but for a period I felt as though I was hanging out in the chest area.

So we watched the two episodes of Cosmos. The segment on sound waves was astounding, though I got the feeling that it was not the “full experience” Elizabeth had experienced herself when she watched it on acid. When we got to the episode on supernovas, I must have been at or near my peak. More than just the beautiful explosions of dying stars, there was the journey through space in general that drug me in, embraced me. I even said to them, “Twelve hours of just that. Just journeying through the stars. I would love it.” In retrospect it reminded me of those dreams I had as a kid, just soaring through the stars at fantastic speed, alone in the vast, silent beauty of space.

At some point the journey ended as the camera pulled out from space into Neil deGrasse Tyson’s star-spore, dandelion-seed-shaped Spaceship of the Imagination through one of the windows — which initially looked to me like the gigantic, slanted, almond eye of your typical Gray alien. No one else seemed to make that connection. I don’t know if I felt sad to be alone or thankful for my isolated association.

After the two episodes, we watched Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, where I came to confront the Cheshire Cat, another symbol from my past. After we began coming down and had tired of conversation, we turned back to Netflix and watched the first two or three episodes of American Dad, which I had never seen before. I noticed that I was more prone to laughter, at times ridiculous laughter. While I felt in most cases the laughter was appropriate, it was far, far more amusing than it would have been had I been sober, or even stoned out of my mind on Mary Jane. I was laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes.

It was morning when we finally came entirely down. They slept on the couch in the living room and I closed my bedroom door and lay in my bed. My body was so comfortable. There was no tossing, no turning. My body was relaxed, vibrating, though my mind was still acute. They had given me half a pill of a muscle relaxer, and it finally kicked in.

When I awoke, to my disappointment, I didn’t remember any dreams, though I did recall that I had some that I would have found interesting.

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Spanking the Monkeymind.

After some point, perhaps only out of frustration, I adopted the belief that emotions cannot be controlled, that you can only elect to express them in a pure or sublimated form or repress or dissociate from them. You could decide what to do with them, then, but that was all. Controlling them at the roots seemed futile.

I now think — and have always hoped — that I was wrong.

Now it seems that thoughts and emotions are cultivated through our interaction with them. Where attention goes, energy flows, and it doesn’t matter if the intention of that aim is craving or aversion, absorption or dissociation, fixation or repression, pulling a thought or emotion towards you or pushing it away: either direction is attention, either way you cultivate the thought or emotion in question. Not trying to think of something requires thinking of it; the same goes with emotions.

The third approach is mindfulness: observing dispassionately, witnessing with indifference. Not first or second person to your mind, but third person. Awareness and noninterference.

The monkey-mind is an attention whore, and when you starve its thoughts and emotions of the attention they yearn for they wither away, dissipate.

The way
to get on top of this
is mindfulness.

All the peace
the inner eye can find
if you just stop spanking
the monkey-mind…

Epiphysis and the Exosomatic*.

* stoned speculations on OBEs.
 
Cases of veridical, reciprocal, and mutual OBEs offer strong evidence, albeit anecdotal, suggesting that consciousness is but a resident rather than a product of the brain.  Free of the physical body, one seems to take up residence in a subtle body and experience what Jim Dekorne refers to as “mindspace”: a randomized database where all timeless, freeze-framed moments occur simultaneously and occupy the same space at different frequencies of vibration. These moments differ both in their degree of abstraction from one another and in their sensitivity and reactivity to consciousness: every moment is an endless spectrum, an infinite regress. 
 
One traverses these moments or environments by means of resonating the subtle body with the moment in particular in the form of association through absorptive focus. This is accomplished due to the high sensitivity and reactivity the subtle body has to its resident consciousness. It also accounts to three basic forms the subtle body defaults to. In states of high awareness where one is observing rather than interacting, they will experience themselves as a “bodiless” point of awareness. This would seem to correspond to what witnesses have described as orbs. In states of idle or unfocused awareness, one takes on an amorphous form variously described as a blob, mist or smoke by both the OBErs themselves as well as witnesses. 
 
One defaults to the apparitional doppelgänger of one’s physical body, complete with cloths, when desiring to interact with the physical environment or when making an attempt to communicate. That this default double would exist is but one example of how the subtle body is not only responsive to conscious intent, but equally influenced by conditioned and triggered, unconscious and autonomous implicit memories of form, structure and movement. As it is with the physical body, then, it is without: implicit memory provides the rhythm, the beat, the music that makes up your death and rebirth soundtrack, whereas working memory, through selective access of the explicit memory areas marked semantic and episodic, tries to pull some decent lyrics out of his ass and sing hoarsely through the goddamn  frog in his throat. 
 
Implicit memory in ultimate form seems to operate when it can appear in wardrobe as one does or did during life, but even more interesting is that despite the variety of senses the subtle body might have had it just so happens to bear essentially the same ones — regardless of the form one’s subtle body is in. Structures, processes and forms of the physical body serve as a convenient default — especially for consciousness, which generally appears to prefer consistency, familiarity and convenience.
 
The extradimensional nature of the subtle body is best conveyed in the traditional Flatland rip-off style of dimensional analogy.
 
As your three-dimensional self, for instance, you could hover over a two-dimensional plane and observe without interference as the little circles and squares embedded in it moved about. You would be lingering just above their plane and they would not be able to so much as point in your direction, even if they had fingers with which to do so, as dimension is direction and only 3-D peeps such as yourself have access to up-down, north-south and east-west. Up and down is beyond their ability to fully comprehend. You know this and you decide to have some rather sadistic fun, like kids who burn ants with a magnifying glass and the radiance of our life-giving, luminous orb.
 
You could press your finger down upon the plane and the surface would warp in a transient cast of its form. Press with the tip of your finger, rolling it down  now like you are trying to make a fingerprint. The inhabitants would see your finger as a circular fleshy phantom, a two-dimensional cross-section from an adjustable one-dimensional angle. Similarly, a hyperdimensional creature would appear to us as a three-dimensional cross-section from an adjustable two-dimensional angle. Walking around a ghostly form, you see it in a continuous flow of two-dimensional sides, suggesting its three-dimensional nature.
 
Next, you keep the tip of your pointer finger on that plane and now press the tip of your thumb on another part of that plane: to the 2-D shape entities, you would be in two places at once. Your cell phone goes off in your pocket, startling you, and your hand shakes as a result. The simultaneous response confuses the shapes — they have witnessed a coincidence, or perhaps a nonlocal connection.
 
You lift your thumb; to circles and their other flat pals, a fleshy blob had vanished as mysteriously and unpredictably as it had manifested. Now you take the tip of your pointer, rolling it slowly down until you’re grinding your damned fingerprint down onto that plane. The 2-D community would experience your 3-D digit -dent from a growing series of 2-D cross-sections implied by the potential continuous flow of 1-D perspectives accessible to them as they revolve around it in astonishment. Roll your finger along the plane through the one-dimensional walls of their octagonal huts. Now rest your finger inside a living square. From your vantage point you’re above the plane, on top of the square, but to the square anything within the lines that define his squareness is inside.
 
You can influence him as a force, perhaps, but he is safe behind the veil of his lower-dimensionality. You can walk through walls; you cannot control his body directly just by placing yourself  against — “inside” — the boxy form.
 
In many haunting cases and encounters with the presumably dead the witness enters an area of cold, or feels cold themselves, and the general notion is that the frigidity is a byproduct of their drawing of energy from sources external to them — usually for the purpose of using that energy from the physical environment to fuel a manifestation of some kind. 
 
Some have also speculated that poltergeist cases target particular individuals not due to RSPK, but because those individuals exude a certain excess energy (such as during puberty or times of high stress) that attracts the dead like moths to a lightbulb, and for the same reason: they can use it to produce psychokinetic effects. 
 
This would seem to imply that some physical energy is conductive to consciousness and can serve as the medium for a hyperbeing to produce physical phenomena. It may also be that certain materials or substances have similar effects, be they mediums for communications (as some have attested is the case with certain psychedelics) or mediums through which hyper-beings could operate as a member of that plane. 
 
Some chemicals, for instance, are seen by some as means by which our consciousness can commune with that of the plant or chemical. What it also represents is a means of two-way communication. So if one were to build a machine that had this chemical at its command center, that would enable a hyperbeing to operate that machine. Given the two-way chemical medium offering signal exchange, that hyperbeing could be part of a continuous feedback loop with the machine, receiving sensory data in the form of a mental simulation and sending out your responses to that stimuli. If processes of the machine can manipulate you as much as the other way around, perhaps it can hypnotize you into thinking its simulation of you constitutes all that you are. Perhaps all bodies are, really, are meat machines.
 
Out of body experiences imply that consciousness “hooks up” to a physical body during life, existing in and around it in an energy field or aura most are all but blind to. We are hyperbeings pressing ourselves on and around this body we call home, but how do we latch on?  
 
In my own experiences, there is some suggestion that we may accomplish the subtle-physical “hook up” by means of the pineal gland. You connect at some location within the head but do not establish full connection until you kind of “worm” your way into the physical body. In at least four instances the notion that the subtle and physical body’s meet up at the “third eye” point were reinforced in me.
 
The first experience on the list occurred just before the “false awakenings” I had, and I had called it “aura surfing.” The subtle form had detached from the physical body save for the head, which despite the violent tugging remained locked in position at roughly a 45 degree angle. 
 
Later on during high school, I had been incredibly sleep deprived and writing on the computer that was in the hallway just outside my bedroom door. As I wrote, I felt myself nod off and feel my subtle form fall backwards, away from my body in the chair, and into this huge beehive-like structure that was dimly lit and gave off the sense of being very ancient, with various objects and things kept on the rows upon rows of shelves to the side. 
 
Suddenly I pulled back abruptly from that place and lurched violently forward into my physical body on the chair, and at the point where I regained sudden and full control of my physical body I heard a loud “click” inside of my head which felt as if it had come from the center, and a bit back inside my skull. It stands as the most unearthly disembodied environment I have ever been in and the only occasion in which I slipped out while still awake, with no breach in consciousness. 
 
Yet it had company in its suggestion that the pineal serves as the locale of subtle hook-up. There was also that experience, in November of 2002 I believe, in which I felt “lightning bolts” coming from my temples and striking what would correspond to the area of the pineal in my brain when I abruptly reconnected with my physical body.
 
An experience that came to serve as reinforcement arrived on the very morning after which I slept for the first time in the apartment in which I now live. I awoke feeling my subtle form still attached to my physical body at the head, but its form was bent in the direction opposite my physical body so that my subtle feet were against the wall beside the window behind my physical head. It was like head-bound subtle body yoga.
 
What binds consciousness to the body? DMT, speculates Richard Strassman, and there is strong suggestion that the pineal manufactures it. If this is the case, for up to 49 days after conception a lone unit of consciousness could “sit” on a body and defend it as territory, claiming squatters rights, but only if he is sitting on his body-seat when the pineal activates on day 49 will memory medium DMT flood the brain and his ass be cast as the custom-made key to his new, fresh-off-the-lot corporeal container and meat machine.
 
Once consciousness takes up residence in a physical body, it then experiences space-time, where moments in space are organized sequentially through time and are traversed by means of causality. The pineal gland regulates the hormones in accordance with an individual’s age, the season, the time of day. It regulates sleep cycles. The pineal binds the body to causal markers primarily through melatonin. 
 
Consequently, the pineal may be Saturn of soul, imposing spatiotemporal constraints on consciousness in service to the physical body so as to ensure its maintenance and provide the drive for you to do your part to provide next-generation models for the deceased seeking meat machines.

While the OBE and “apparitions of the living” reveal that consciousness is not by necessity altogether bound by the physical body during life, anecdotal evidence clearly shows that consciousness, even when it has gone exosomatic, is nonetheless bonded to and regulated by the body. Death, when one is cut entirely free from corporeal confines, brings on a deeper exosomatic state: perhaps due to release from the pineal.