Mind-Body Purgation.

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I’ve been sick to my stomach since last night. Perhaps I ate something bad, but while on the Deck, we did a lot internal psychological work on me. The explanations that Kelly and Michael gave me about the recent happening in my life made more sense than I would have liked for them to, and more to the point, they “resonated” with me enough that I think they’re on to something.

Then today, I ended up vomiting terribly, so hard, in fact, that I was afraid my heart my stomach. I begged God to keep me alive in that moment and to not let me die- that’s how terrifying the whole situation was.

Even though this happened in my stomach, I can’t help but feel that the pain in my chest was my heart chakra being purified, at least in part.

The sickness distanced me from my social identity. One point tonight saw me encounter my heart chakra expanding larger than the universe, and it was just a brief, awesome second that blew my mind. Then an hour later, I’m throwing up. Talk about a divine balancing act.

I’m so tired. I wish I could sleep, but my body won’t let me. Today I forsook much of what I should have been doing in my “daily list” of things that fill my life. I just don’t have the necessary stamina, so I’ve taken it easy and been sick and tried to stay in a good mood.

True, my mood is fairly good, despite the illness of my body. I’m seeing a running of two different layers of my person now- a superficial sort of layer and a deeper, more energetic layer. The energetic layer is what determines one’s mood and world view and such. More on this when I can observe it better.

Beaux


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Synchronicities Abound! or Strange Coincidences Seemingly Constituting Support for the Jungian Acausal Connecting Principle

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BEAUX’S NOTE: I, Beaux/Stevo, did not write this. Rather, my friend John wrote this, tagged me in the Note, and I found it powerful, beautiful, and compelling. I asked for his permission to repost it, so here it is. For the very reason of making sure that everyone understands that John wrote this and not I, I’m writing this extremely vivid and ugly preface so that everyone knows.

That being said, the formatting was a bitch to try to actually put on here, so I apologize to John if this repost’s formatting appears botched or off at all.



Synchronicity 1: Langdon.

  1. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Alan Gribben, the Mark Twain scholar who became the center of an international controversy by announcing his new combined edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which replaces the n-word with “slave” (and “Injun” with “Indian”), for an article in the Aumnibus, AUM’s student newspaper. In researching Mark Twain to prepare my questions, I naturally learned that the maiden name of Twain’s wife Olivia was Langdon.
  2. Less than a week after interviewing Dr. Gribben, I received an email by complete accident from the Citizens Scholarship Foundation of the Fall Mountain Regional School District. The email read (in part), “I have used the emails that are listed on our rosters. If you notice any errors, please let me know.” I have no idea how my email address ended up on their rosters. I looked up the Fall Mountain Regional School District and it is located in Langdon, New Hampshire.

Synchronicity 2: Ph.D.

  1. Will Ellis asked me to identify the graduate school from which I hope to earn my Ph.D. While I told him about some of the universities that I already had in mind, his query also inspired me to look for other schools. In this way I discovered the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
  2. I was reading “Terence McKenna’s Last Trip,” an article about the last series of interviews to which he agreed before passing away. According to the article, McKenna would sometimes treat “the Net like a crystal ball, entering strange phrases into Google’s search field just to see what comes up.” This inspired me to do the same thing. I used a true random number generator to generate seven random integers ranging inclusively from 0 to 26. Each number corresponded to a letter. 0 = space, 1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, and so on. I do not exactly remember the seven-letter “word” that resulted from this process, but the first letter was “I” and the last three letters were “P,” “H,” and “D.” I entered this into Google and the search results included mostly websites for the Ph.D. programs of universities whose names begin with the letter “I.”

Synchronicity 3: Technopaganism.

  1. I was reading the Wikipedia article on technopaganism, which “focuses on the spiritual side of technology… One belief… is that the Internet itself is attaining a unique spirit.”
  2. While I was researching McKenna, I had come across the following quote of his: “Organized religion is as concerned with controlling social groups as organized politics is.” I had subsequently posted this as a status update. This apparently inspired Stevo Harris to make the following status update: “Chaunce Woodmansee, John Gibbs Tisdale II, behold, each other. Just trust me on this one, despite how huge of a request that is to ask of either of you.” Then, as I was reading the previously mentioned article on technopaganism, Stevo, in a comment on his status update, said: “You guys are on the same wavelength. This is what Facebook is for, people like you and John meeting and conversing and exchanging. This is it – this is what this whole social networking thing is about, so we’re living its purpose. Oh, yeah, baby, I just took Facebook THERE.” Like me, Chaunce is a self-described mystic, a psychology student, and a fan of Carl Jung (who developed the concept of synchronicities).

Synchronicity 4: Time-space art as a sleep aid.

  1. At the end of the night (4 or 5 AM) on which the preceding two synchronicities occurred (which is also the night during which I received the email mentioned in the first synchronicity), I had so much energy pulsing through me that the prospect of sleep seemed unthinkable. I had been sitting in front of my laptop, “devouring sites, weeding through lists, exploring virtual worlds,” as McKenna once did, for hours, so I turned it off and began pacing around my room. My mind still wanted to be working with information, but my eyes were tired of staring at a screen. So I sat down and did something quite archaic: I began writing with pen and paper. But I was in no “normal” mood, not even by my own eccentric standards. I didn’t write in straight lines but rather in a spiral around the paper; thus, it was more of an artistic writing than a scholarly writing. Here is what I wrote (some familiarity with philosophy is required if it is to make any sense): “A stream of consciousness more powerful than the Mighty Mississippi courses through my veins. Animal spirits? Preposterous! Cogito, ergo sum? Nonsense! Prime indubitable? More like a composite fallacy! A terrible philosophical blunder. Who could be proud of being labeled the father of modern philosophie? Non, Descartes, il est la morte de la philosophie! Mai moi, je will be the mother of postmodern thought. Nay, not the mother, for the other end of the spectrum is not radical enough; the spectrum itself must be completely transcended! Mother and father, ha! Sexuaity, ha! Reproduction, ha! The union of opposites is unnecessary. There are no opposites! There is only One! Even the growth of plants does not do it justice. Mothers, fathers, pistils, stemens, all things of the archaic past! Such concepts are so last nanosecond. I am not the mother of postmodernism, I AM postmodernism! And not postmodern ‘thought,’ either, for I am the transcendence of thought! I am the transcendence of all that is, was, or ever will be. Not that there ever ‘will be’ anything ever again. It’s over. The end is beyond nigh. It’s to the point that ‘end,’ ‘beginning,’ ‘nigh,’ ‘far’ are no more! Time is dead. It’s to the point that there is no point! For what is a point if it does not exist in time and space? Awaken from the dream of reality. We are lucid.” After writing this I was able to fall asleep.
  2. The next day, Jill Harrell started chatting with me on Facebook. This was the first time that we ever directly communicated with each other. She had added me as a friend just days prior. She informed that on the previous night, she was unable to sleep because she was thinking so much about the time-space continuum. So she began doing some fingerpainting, and then she was able to fall asleep. Interestingly, we each had our artistic time-space sleeping aid experience at about the same time.

Synchronicity 5: Aldous Huxley.

  1. Another friend of Stevo’s, Marco Slate, sent me a message. Up until this point Marco and I were completely unacquainted with each other; I had never even heard of him. He asked me, “Do you care for Aldous Huxley?” I responded, “Yes I do. I had myself a little vow of silence after looking through The Perennial Philosophy.”
  2. Later that day, Fae Frederick posted the following Franz Kafka quote on my wall: “You don’t even need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, simply wait. Don’t even wait. Be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you. To be unmasked, it has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” In a comment, I responded, “What a synchronicity! I just had someone I’ve never met ask me if I’m fond of the work of Aldous Huxley. I was telling them that I once took a vow of silence after reading the chapter on silence in his book The Perennial Philosophy. He cites that Kafka quote, which is what inspired me to do it.”

Synchronicity 6: The biological psychiatry controversy.

  1. I was working on a presentation that I will be delivering to the psychology club on the biological psychiatry controversy, which is essentially the debate about whether or not the human mind is completely reducible to neurochemical processes in the brain. A big part of this debate is the overuse of psychopharmaceuticals such as antidepressants.
  2. While I was working on my presentation, Emily Martin posted happy birthday wishes on my wall (it was just past midnight, so technically it was my birthday). This led me to look at her profile to see what she’s been up to (I haven’t really talked to her in a while), and I discovered that she is majoring in biopsychology. Also while I was working on the presentation, a friend started chatting with me. He was struggling with some existential issues and, through no provocation on my part, he revealed (to my horror) that he is taking psychopharmaceuticals. I told him that such an approach is merely a quick fix and urged him to ween himself off, to find a more holisitc way of dealing with his problems. He agreed with me but ultimately stated that because of the practicality of the quick fix, taking the drugs is worth the risk in his opinion.

Synchronicity 7: My birthday.

  1. Today is my birthday. My family has a tradition: when it’s one of our birthdays, we all go out to eat.
  2. The universe gave me an amazing birthday present: the grand opening of Earth Fare, Montgomery’s first truly health-conscious grocery store. Anyone who knows my über-hardcore-health-conscious-raw-organic-gluten-free-vegan ways will understand what an amazing synchronicity this is. Rather than going out to eat, we are having an organic vegan meal at home.

I am utterly grateful for the bizarre coincidences that have been connecting me with other people. I am starting to become less reclusive as the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. I am sure that the synchronicities will only keep getting more and more meaningful as we continue to near the singularity.


Moods

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I’ve noticed a strange thing about moods.

Basically, a mood comes on, and it runs in the background. If one is in a basically good mood, one may become stressed or dismayed still, but the mood remains basically good- one can bounce back to it.

A bad mood, on the other hand, operates the other way. You may find something funny, you may find something that you enjoy, but the mood is still running on negativity.

This is an intriguing discovery to me, to learn that a mood is something happening unconsciously or at least subconsciously. This makes me wonder: what do we do to improve our mood? What do we to feel happier? How does a bad mood or a good mood come about? Is it all unconscious? Do we have any control over it? It’s curious.

Beaux


The Label Game

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One of the most difficult aspects of my own spiritual journey has been the struggle to find a spiritual home. Perhaps this entry would be better titled “Memoirs of My Religion IV,” but for the moment, “Labels” should suffice.

Ultimately, it is not the label that is important, and anyone with a mystical understanding knows this. Yet sometimes I can’t help but feel that the concept of not labeling things is the product of modernist dogma, the idea that nothing can be pinned down, categorized, and so on with total certainty.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, the accusation has often been levied against me that I’m inconsistent with my religion. This is an oversimplified and grossly misunderstood point of view. The reality is that much of what I have believed has remained consistent at the core, rarely, if ever, altering. Instead, I have a problem finding an appropriate home, an appropriate articulation of the inner knowing.

One of my former friends once said that it’s difficult for us to ground ourselves in a particular Tradition because of the abuses we experienced in previous religions, notably fundamentalist Christianity. The world view articulated there is simply inaccurate, we were damaged by it, and now that causes a great deal of fear when trying to find a more concretized religion.

As many of you may know, when I returned to Christianity as a whole, my immediate interests went towards Catholicism and, by proxy, Anglicanism. My reasoning for this had to do with the mystical writings of Bernadette Roberts and various works by Gnostics. Catholicism, to me, represented a “higher” tradition Christianity: more organized, more ritualistic, more spiritual, more mystical, and outright deeper. Having grown up in an evangelical, extremely low (lowest of the low!) church setting, I was not about to return to it.

The reality of Catholicism, at least in the USA, is a bit more dismal than I realized. The Mass doesn’t look like you would think it’s supposed to; it’s virtually indistinguishable from a lot of evangelical services in some cases. With all due respect to Catholicism and especially to my Catholic friends whom I adore, it simply didn’t mesh well with me.

The Episcopal Church’s Mass is more traditional, and as I understand it, most Episcopal Churches are more traditional, though there are some that are more evangelical. The evangelical Episcopal Church seems to be the exception and not the rule, but I could be wrong about this.

Now comes the labeling game.

The Episcopal Church has a wide range of theological and liturgical positions. Simply saying one is an Episcopalian or an Anglican doesn’t mean too terribly much on the one hand, as that can represent everything from Pope-less Catholics to I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-Presbyterian.

Provided, I am not officially a part of the Episcopal Church, and as it stands, I’m waiting, watching, and testing the waters carefully and extensively before I make any kind of leap into a formal organization. I cannot deny that I am overwhelmed and taken to God in the Mass, especially in taking Christ in the Holy Eucharist, but that may not be grounds for officially joining and thereby having a label slapped on me.

But since we are playing this game, if I were to become Episcopalian, I would be labeled a Liberal Anglo-Catholic mystic. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? And since I love to clarify things, I’ll clarify what I mean by this.

  • Liberal, as opposed to Conservative, meaning having no problem on the matters of female ordination, gay bishops, and gay marriage (OBVIOUSLY); this is mainly to distance myself from the perspective that most Anglo-Catholics are simply snide and conservative Episcopalians. Also, in my case, this would denote a level of theological flexibility while holding fast to certain core elements
  • Anglo-, to denote English, Anglican, and Episcopal association rather than Roman
  • Catholic, to emphasize the catholicity of the Church, of the Apostolic succession, the necessity, beauty, rightness, and holiness of the Liturgy, and most especially the importance of the Sacraments as the means by which we receive God’s Grace
  • mystic, to denote my seeking the deeper, contemplative, and altogether directly experienced Truth of Reality and God as opposed to strictly that which is an “approved” understanding, and that the direct experience is the whole point of the matter anyway

But, of course, that’s all a matter of “if and when,” not “this is the way it is.” Perhaps it really is just a game, hey.

Labels ultimately are for the convenience of other people, and in this way, I seem to be defining myself in a mixture of what I do and don’t stand for.

Another suitable label might certainly be that of “Gnostic.” However, opinions about Gnosticism and what exactly defines a Gnostic are wide and varied, though I certainly share many of the common elements in general with it. A blog about Gnosticism in particular will be posted soon enough.

Beaux