The opening question on the last Oshana online event (“Breaking the Grand Illusion: Coming Unstuck, Never Arriving and the Least Expected Option”) was: should we close things out of awareness (or cut things off), or should we let everything in? Do we need to manage our connections and relations, and if so, how much?
This could have direct and immediate relevance to the author (and by extension reader) of this blog, who finds himself occasionally moderating comments out of existence. This task is never performed without ambivalence, since even the most toxic of substances can be learned from, and possibly even has its uses, beyond breaking it down to its constituent parts before flushing.
This is only an example; don’t get stuck on the fecal matter as it spirals away forever. There are no end of opportunities to explore this question.
No Rules for Fools
Dave wonders if he might be arrogant to not give people what they want; for example, by refusing to make his words congruent with the transmission coming through him. Yet, at a certain level (I have observed), he has no choice. This relates to the central theme of the meeting: not being where you are expected to be. In a certain sense, I believe, Dave has no choice but to do the unexpected.
This non-strategy strategy would include oneself: not allowing any given move, action, or sentence to end up where you expected it would end up. It is a way of tricking the false identity, the matrix program of the mind, so that we, awareness, can slip through the many traps, nets, and filters by which the mind keeps our life force contained, managed, consumed.
All this is oddly familiar, like a black cat passing the same threshold twice familiar.
Within the matrix there are a set number of preprogrammed responses to any given situation (a situation created by the matrix itself). Whichever one of these a humaton chooses (under the programmed illusion of having a choice), he or she is always only acquiescing to the program. The matrix is like a chess player that has already anticipated every last one of its opponent’s moves—except one. The only way to escape the program is by acting entirely outside the rules of the program. The rules of the program are the rules of reason, of the rational mind. Thus the matrix warrior knows that the only freedom within the program is to act irrationally. This is not to say insanely or foolishly, but rather spontaneously, unpredictably, and above all without personal motive. . . . It is this response which is the warrior’s one true option within the matrix. By choosing to have a choice (i.e., to override the program), matrix warriors effectively have no choice, save to act spontaneously and do the one thing that is unexpected of them. To be impeccable, warriors must always follow this inner imperative, that of freedom.
. . . .
By continuing to act in this non-rational, spontaneous manner, the matrix warrior constantly confounds the program. The matrix is unable to assimilate the warrior’s choices or to respond adequately to them, just as a sane person cannot hold a conversation with a madman without losing the thread. And so, little by little, the matrix begins to lose sight of the warriors, to loosen its hold on them, and warriors in turn become progressively freer to heed their inner voices and to act spontaneously. (Matrix Warrior, p. 70, 71).
Who Do You Think You Are?
Dave has long been interested in dance moves in which you think something is going one way, but at the last moment, it goes another.
He cites as a contrast, the experiences of a child being socialized and bullied into conformity with questions like: “Who do you think you are?” “What do you think you’re playing at?” “What are you looking at?” and accompanying orders such as: “Wipe that smile off your face!” or “Remember your place!”
Growing up under this relentless barrage of social pressure, we learn to adopt a mood and demeanor that makes us relatively invisible, in the hope that the bullying forces will overlook us, and pick on the next person. An unhappy mood, for example, begins partially as a performance to avoid attention so we can blend into the miserable crowd around us. At the same time, in a compensatory fashion, the same mood that deflects attention from above, can be used to demand attention from below. Not just “Never mind me, I’m miserable,” but: “I’m unhappy! Do something!”
Eventually, we get lost in the performance and forget it was just a performance. We start believing this is who we are, and that it is the only way to feel, or to be. We can then say that we have been fully socialized.
Awakening from that illusion, that pre-programmed matrix of perceptions, cognition, and expression, is no picnic—more like an internal massacre. As we start to become sensitive, aware, and conscious, we may find that we cannot organize the new sensations conceptually. Chaos and panic may ensue. Like a painter who can’t organize her paints properly on the canvas, or a musician who can’t mix the sounds to make a tune. Or a writer words do he what wants don’t them to do. Aaargh.
Like old age, awakening is not for sissies. The only question is which gets us first.
Dave made a joke then about “That guy who thinks he is a writer, it doesn’t all come together—in the bedroom!” Then he laughed, as did my wife; fortunately, so did I. It wasn’t, necessarily, what I would have expected.
The Curse of Rectitude
The last blogpost was an ending but maybe also a beginning? Some things, once said, cannot be unsaid (actually, nothing can). Some things, once said, no longer have to be said again, because they no longer possess the power to haunt, oppress, or torment us. Brought to the light of the day, they disperse like the shadowy illusions they turn out to be. Complexes become radically simplified. Rocket science becomes a trip to the zoo.
How many of our issues are made of this same cobwebby gossamer that only requires the opening of a window, and the first gush of fresh air, to dissolve it forever? What if they all are?
Dave strongly recommends curved moves over straight lines. He suggests picking up a cup in a curved move, not a straight one. There is, he says, not much pleasure in a straight line. But the imposition of the mind makes straight lines out of a curved existence. The mind, you might say, has a (complex) problem with pleasure.
Something came to me then; I recalled a horrifying encounter I once had with straight lines. Perhaps it goes back to childhood? Imposition of the mind, turning infinite perceptual experience into endless boxes of artificiality? But the memory didn’t take me that far back, only to 2000, the time I smoked DMT in Guatemala. My so-called “red pill experience,” when I discovered what it is like to die (maybe).
It hit so fast I was still in the act of putting the pipe down on the table when everything began to come unraveled. (After he smoked from the same batch that same night, Mitch made a comment that the DMT came on so hard and fast that it was as if it hit before inhaling.) My last rational thought related to this, the fear that I wasn’t going to make it, would drop the pipe or something of the kind. . . . I recall the feeling of sinking into nothingness as my mind collapsed and I clung to this thought: that I was doing something “wrong.” . . . My senses were flooded by light. I was enveloped by total whiteness, upon which I could see superimposed thinly sketched squares. These boxes represented the mind’s desperate attempt to grapple with the experience of blinding whiteness, which seemed to be a visual equivalent of internal silence. The boxes of rational thought appeared intrusive and futile, they were only distorting the silence, making it useless and tormenting to me. It was during this period of wrestling that I became dimly aware of being “on trial.”
I always thought the problem, the horror seeded by that vanishing attempt to put the pipe down, was because I was going to drop it before it reached the altar. Now I am wondering if it was because I was moving my arm in a straight line instead of a curve? Or thought I was. Circular movements allow us to change trajectory unexpectedly, says Dave. Straight lines are like train tracks: they only allow forward or back, or stasis.
The virus that has infected us and possessed us and stripped all joy from our lives is in everything. Logically, the way it perpetuates itself is in and through every single thought and act and movement we make. My script, Grasshopper—written a few months before meeting Dave—was about a man who tried to turn himself into a machine by mapping out his days so meticulously that each one would be exactly and precisely the same as the last, down to the last micro-movement and instant. Can you imagine that? I did.
If you think time is a straight line, Dave says, life gets heavier. On a straight line, nothing can return to itself.
Our minds have been straightened out, causing us to become invariant. We have tram-line minds with only two directions and destinations. Can we trick our minds by jumping off the tram and not being where we are expected to be? Can we find God outside of the machine?
A Date with the Unknown
Dave suggests an exercise: to call on hidden helpers and set up in advance where you are going to be, so your helpers can set things up for you. To set up an appointment with hidden helpers is to override the mind’s schedule (society’s program) by making a condition to be somewhere you wouldn’t normally be, or at least under different auspices, with open-minded expectation.
I will be at the zoo at 3 pm this Tuesday. I do not know what to expect but I will show up, and if there is something that needs to happen or that my hidden helpers wish me to experience, they will find me there: ready, willing, and open.
If your mind thought about this too much, it might get the willies.
Dave uses the example of his family: he tells them everything about himself, including things that aren’t true. He laughs, the implication being, not that he lies to his family, but that he free-associates and improvises and tries on different personas or possibilities, since he is not identified with his “performance of Daveness” in any case. I am freely interpreting what Dave means here, since I can well imagine a statement such as “Dave lies to his family (laughs)” might well be misinterpreted, by that one-tracked mind, and so lead to another dead-end.
The point is, isn’t it wise to nurture the freedom to express ourselves in any way at all? And of course, the need to do so is never more pressing than with our families, who created the social milieu in which our lifetime performances were honed, perfected, and nailed down.
Recently in a 1:1, Dave brought up the possibility of my writing more openly about my sexuality. I said I wasn’t sure if my readers would be comfortable with it. He pointed out that this was an example of being hindered or restricted by one’s audience.
On this last event, thinking about the tram lines of mind, it occurred to me that the last blogpost, as a kind of aversion therapy, a way to test my fears and inhibitions and break out of them, while it was liberating, still stayed within the confines of a straight line. I was writing about something I was afraid to write about, pushing through an inhibition; but to a degree, it was predictable, at least to me (and Dave), because it was on the same line, only now moving in the opposite direction, pushing forward rather than backing away. Progress, for sure; but also another potential dead-end?
Would an even more difficult experiment be to give wholly random disclosures and thus break out entirely from the form I have established? To change from lines to curve; to start dancing about architecture? Unlike orgasms, this cannot be faked, which is very much the point. To find a purpose that transcends—because it precedes—identity.
Freefall to Now-here
In the Dave group, and in life at large, we are preparing to handle one another’s charge. Dave thinks the cooking process at the online events is currently not continuous enough to fulfill its potential. There is a healing effect that can happen between participants, as we take one another’s charge and transmute it.
The aim is to enter into a situation of absolute freefall.
Absolute freefall requires letting go of the strictures of identification by which we unconsciously suspend disbelief around our own performance-stories, and one another’s. It means no more hitting our marks or meeting our social peas and cues, and no repeat performance each and every night. It means confounding our audiences but no longer being on stage to hear the boos.
And yet, there is a whole world of wonders outside the dilapidated theater walls. I know what freefall is like. I have had the experience of suddenly realizing, beyond all doubt, all the way to my bones, that I, as an internal identity complex, do not exist, even while the body, and its perceptions of reality around it, remains fully present. I am as here and as now as ever, more so in fact, finally arrived, but there is no one here on the inside.
There is no feeling comparable to this, to look upon existence and on other sentiences without the slightest sense of having anything to conceal, protect, or defend, to gain, prove, or assert. It is absolute freedom to meet the moment and everything in it. There is no substitute for it, and there is nothing else to live for but this, because this is life.
Oddly, though perhaps not, this stupendous feeling is the mirror image of a terrifying, nightmarish one of staring inward at my total non-existence as an identity-self: the paralyzing, crushing sense of unreality that characterized my childhood, as well as a number of drug-induced visions in adulthood. Perhaps the two experiences are layered on top of one another, and the horror is a re-experience of the annihilating terror of the original wound, while the joy and freedom of non-existence is what pre-exists the wound, that has always been there, hidden just behind it?
Perhaps it is the difference between staring at the wound (and being paralyzed by what I see, in the past) and gazing through it to what is there on the other side, eternally present? The difference between a temporary contraction (a flinch) and an everlasting relaxation that is my true essence before any wounding occurred?
Letting the Light in (Summer Nights)
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But what if we are already here and what appears as two is really one?
Can I turn the bedroom into the zoo? A marital tryst into a journey into the unknown? A lifelong appendage and source of suffering into a mysterious organ of perception, with its own hidden skill set and wisdom? Are the invisible helpers I wish to make a date with already waiting, deep within the cells and bones? Do I carry them wherever I go, and only need to provide the space for them to make their moves and cut their curves upon? To usher me back (in)to life?
To the tram lines of mind that only know how to do straight time, pumping iron in the yard and angling for more jam on the porridge, the promise of spontaneity is the most frightening thing there is.
But here we go. Is the issue resolved and dissolved as simply as this? By simply letting it be there and letting the light in, wherever it needs to go?
Our make-believe issues are the substance of every drama, and no author can do without them. But at the end of the post, there are only scribbles on a page, or a screen memory. Oh no, oh yes, oh please, oh thank you. The reader the writer, the sufferer, the saint, the sleeper awakening from ancient restraint. Freefall is waiting, either for me to jump or for my legs to give out beneath me.
Watch this space; the present is the echo of a climax that already occurred and is only waiting for the stragglers of my mind to catch up with. Awakening is inevitable because it already happened; we are only recapitulating how. It is the journey that ends, like greased lightning, a split second before it began. And only so we remember we are finally t/here, where we always were.
Contemplate a date with the unknown here: https://www.daveoshana.com/events/892-enlightenment-day-place-holder
19 thoughts on “A Taste of Freedom: On the Other Side of Original Wound”
The joy can be sensed through the screen and despite the words.
“Or a writer words do he what wants don’t them to do. Aaargh.” – Indeed!
We always have an audience even by our absence. That’s dully noted as well.
Since escaping my first marriage, one of intense servitude, slavery if you like, I almost immediately became unpredictable. The new found freedom rapidly became intoxicating, and finding a voice I did not know I had was startling for me and for those in my sphere of influence.
I’ve been called a worrier and lately I have adopted that stance. It’s a comfortable fit, so much so that I am able to wear it every day without blistering under its weightiness.
Almost daily I mount my steed called Valor. Though mighty with the power of many flying war horses he remains responsive to the slightest pressure of either knee. Valor dawns no wings yet he flies when I lean toward his ear, my cheek on his main and whisper, “shall we?”
Yes, I am a worrier, was born for such a time as this. I know that I will not likely see old age but then I’ve lived enough life to fill a few lives, and true worriers rarely do anyway.
Getting tired now but yearn to one day go down fighting the good fight of all soldiers on the side of truth and freedom. The matrix can no longer hold me down indefinitely, never could. I see that now. While I wait I dream of the other side in slivers of bright light and substance. Its pull is getting stronger every day. But I must not yield too soon.
I think you mean “warrior” but it’s a lovely post-Freudian slip since humility is the cardinal virtue of the woah-rier.
Thanks. Spell check doesn’t seem to like warrier, but hey, in this case either works.
Let’s be simplistic. There are 2 kinds of people, the ones who get comfort and security from planning their days and weeks in a calendar, and those, like myself, who countless of times have tried keeping a calendar, only to find in a few weeks that no entries were placed. Just another in a long line of failed attempts. I live with only the most general schedule, get up, go to the office at a certain time, come home at the end. Repeat, but no plans beyond that, thus my lack of success. What’s a free soul to do? I know, Jasun, live liminal. On a side note, that comment of JKR having penis envy? Here is a quote from recent article in guardian from her.
” The allure of escaping womanhood would have been huge. I struggled with severe OCD as a teenager. If I’d found community and sympathy online that I couldn’t find in my immediate environment, I believe I could have been persuaded to turn myself into the son my father had openly said he’d have preferred,” she wrote.
Maybe a little of Dave is rubbing off on me.
A poem by Craig Deininger, who was my guest on SPAOP ep3 – “Rejected by Aliens”, echoes some of the sentiments expressed here, in regards to gazing through the wound into a blissful state of self extinction. It has a supremely lengthy title:
The Supreme Bliss of Self-Extinction Is Watching My Father Shave
in the Towering Now through Folded Hands of Breath in the Springtime Church of the Stone Minister Five-Thousand Years Ago When I Was Ten
The conviction of the non-existence of the world leads to efface its impressions from the mind. Thus perfected, there springs the supreme and eternal bliss of self-extinction
–Valmiki, circa 3,000 B.C.
Towering in the now, five-thousand years ago, the holy sage Valmiki
Hearing his words for the first time, I am.
Less towering, perhaps, but present all the same
because it’s still
now. We should breathe
because time can’t pass now. Nothing passes now
that now is all there is.
In brief, now is is.
And that’s pretty much it. Some holes, I’m sure
some questions I can’t answer, but please
sit back, relax. Let it be what it is. Accept the flaws
like you would a loved one. Love.
Otherwise, the supreme bliss of self-extinction cannot begin
with the non-existent me in a church.
I’m ten years old.
My hands which aren’t are folded in reverence and my bowed head
perceiving them because the minister has just now, only now, said
let us pray. We pray.
There is musk of old wood, old stone. There is musk.
The silence is thick. The walls are thick. The minister’s tongue, thick
like a stone. It lifts and falls. And lifts. And falls and all is silent.
All is silent and the slow stone tongue of the minister labors on,
but we can’t hear it because it’s not real thank god.
Outside, the non-existent world is busy with spring
rearing her delicate head to the land of doubt
and frost. Two wolves circling,
maybe will, maybe won’t, eat the tender shoots.
Either way, just doing their job.
Good news is the crocuses have pushed through like breath,
like women undressing in the cool of the morning.
There are robins of course.
And you reading my words though I can’t see you, looking
through folded hands of breath, through the silence
of women undressing.
In the cool of the morning, omniscience is thorough
and provides the knowledge of not knowing
For instance, I don’t know I’m forty years old and shaving
now, like my father. Except I use plastic. Bic, it’s called. Useful
for landfills and low budgets. A far cry
from my father’s version, a real tool that opens like storm doors
to a cellar, that receives real razors, double-edged, wobbly, forbidden . . .
in my non-existent way and drink the crisp sounds he makes, sheering
paths through the barbs and foam, his whole face snapping
like popcorn, like my fourth-grade teacher
tearing my essay in half in front of the whole class
because it shows too much promise.
Hey, it’s a life.
But back to my father because he’s still shaving and I’m still here,
his best fan, perched on the counter, inches away, box-seats, close-up,
zoom lens, wishing I could play, could make the same sounds, but too young,
my face still smooth as my bottom. I’m forty years old
and he keeps on shaving. The liquid consonants swirl in the rinse,
the water stirs, the two clear clicks against the porcelain sink and I,
enthralled, as he leans into the mirror, poised like an athlete
on his mark.
And it’s still going on right now. And still, that’s how I remember now.
That’s how I remember. Now nearly extinct, I shave
with less enthusiasm. The sacred sounds lost
in the lists and errands I’m composing for the day. Forty, did I say?
Women are still undressing in the cool of the morning thank god.
But I know they don’t exist alas.
It’s getting hard to see the robins. Easy to see the wolves.
Good for writing. Bad for me. Or so it would seem
were it not now
five-thousand years ago, were I not
a tower of breath that doesn’t exist
extinct in my folded hands.
–Craig Deininger April 2008
Thanks for the breath of poetry.
Could you clarify what you mean by “self-extinction”? It’s apt for ambiguity and specificity.
I like to think the teetering ambiguity-specificity see-saw is what gives the thing it’s poetic prowess. What did you intuit “self-extinction” to mean from the context of the poem?
I didn’t write it, but my impression, from having read it numerous times, is that it can be interpreted two-fold (like the folded hands in the poem coming together). The first pertains to the felt presence of inevitable mortality that imbues all perception with a preciousness—the literal self-extinction that looms over the aging poet like a bead of black ink perched in the reservoir of a quil-tipped pen, waiting for the right moment to spill and spoil the carefully crafted scribbles of our lives. But the other and more pertinent interpretation seems to nod at the “self” that is to be made extinct for bliss to arise, revealing it to be the mental identification with concepts, imaginings, and memories that rise and fall. if we succeed at sacrificing (making extinct) our identification with these narrative apparitions in the ebb and flow of a humbling respiratory surrender, then all that would remain is a “breath of poetry”, expanding and contracting in a Now that contains vestiges of all that precedes it.
Both could fit. Concatenating “shaving” with “wound into a blissful state of self extinction” could wordplay on mortal wound or even suicide. To be fair, I have not studied the cited works but only watched dots intersect momentarily on the screen.
I find it ironic how you managed to disown the castenada path verbally while becoming it structurally.
Sorry I couldn’t make the last Christian talk. It would have been fun to contemplate learning from someone like Dave, a free non person stuck performing.
I think you would benefit from really wanting to dialogue with your worst critics. It’s not like what they think And experience is less true than what you think and experience. I think that if You want freedom, you have to let those forces chew you up. It can’t be some death of self you have always wanted. How many times does the actor fake his own death?
I think It’s got to be those monsters and turds of bacteria you utterly resent being given permission to chew up your self esteem into a paste your soul then eats like milk. The big alpha males who rejected the betas actually do physically know something true they Don’t know mentally and can’t articulate because it’s not a belief. It’s a physical truth that abuses physical deception on contact because what else could happen when physical truth contacts a physical lie?
This virtual realm serves as a shield for physical liars so how do we let them mix?
This all really just looks like the same narrative from your youth found to be lacking because it was wrong but that lead to you being right, finally able to help people out of hell by fully becoming it, knowing it like the back of your own hand. Ha! Remember FindIng your hands?
It’s like some dream where you come out of character on stage in front of a crowd of everyone who has no interest in you at all. Awake, but with an attention addiction? Do you move toward freedom and depression and withdrawal, or do you stay in jail where the ego can smuggle in the meth? I dunno man, I dunno
” I dunno man, I dunno”
How does that feel, Kurt?
Jasun: “Would an even more difficult experiment be to give wholly random disclosures and thus break out entirely from the form I have established? To change from lines to curve; to start dancing about architecture? Unlike orgasms, this cannot be faked, which is very much the point. To find a purpose that transcends—because it precedes—identity.”
My conception of liminality is it is as much about glimpsing/imagining/co-creating the post-initiation reality/purpose as much as the revelation and deconstruction of the pre. The metaphor prob breaks down under close scrutiny but I think these times (and hidden helpers?) are inviting us to take our creativity and sovereignty/powers of co-creation to the next level (maybe the Life-force is always inviting this to some extent?) – that means getting off the tram lines for sure (can see how swirls, curls and whirls could help here). It also invokes empathy – those we “other” (scapegoat etc) are stuck on their particular tram lines as much as we are stuck on ours …(Covid 19 has shaken a few tram carts – shaking some awake (or further awake) maybe, de-railing a few and prompting many others to cling to the tracks harder than ever – should we blame them? (“the shortest distance between two points is a straight line”))
Jasun: “There is no substitute for it [freefall], and there is nothing else to live for but this, because this is life.”
I would have thought freefall is a liminal/transitory state and therefore, whilst exceptionally special (or sacred even), not to be characterised as “life” or the only thing to live for. Freefall is presumably ideally followed by “landing” — not back where you started from but in a new reality / identity / purpose /etc.?
I don’t quite chime with the last paragraph although I appreciate it – for me the idea of awakening, like creativity, has novel / freshness about it; it is evolutionary in nature… the way I would interpret what you are referring to as having already happened is that human awakening/creativity is always co-awakening/creativity with other (non-human) beings (or beingness)…
Thanks, I enjoyed the piece.
“I would have thought freefall is a liminal/transitory state and therefore, whilst exceptionally special (or sacred even), not to be characterised as “life” or the only thing to live for. Freefall is presumably ideally followed by “landing” — not back where you started from but in a new reality / identity / purpose /etc.?”
Why “land”? <– Not a rhetorical question.
Could be hair-splitting as Jasun’s “now-here” (“freefall to now-here”) is a landing of sorts I guess.
Freefall sounds exhilarating, but is the aim not to end up “grounded” in Something? (Not a rhetorical question)
My reading of “Absolute freefall requires letting go of the strictures of identification by which we unconsciously suspend disbelief around our own performance-stories, and one another’s. It means no more hitting our marks or meeting our social peas and cues, and no repeat performance each and every night. It means confounding our audiences but no longer being on stage to hear the boos.” is that landing would be a return to identification.
Can we feel fully at home in the world without having formed an identity?
This is making me think our generation is not fated to form whole-some identities (to find solid, open, fertile ground to root into) even after freefalling completely away from unhealthy/imprisoning ones.
I sense that to have half an eye on future myth-making (and associated identity-forming) is part of the collective, creative process of our times (healthy if given a limited focus?)… my problem is that I want to skip the “now-here” and go straight to that (both eyes on the future)…
“Can we feel fully at home in the world without having formed an identity?”
La la land? Planet earth? The global north? Up my own arse? 🙂
If you can be at home up your own arse then you can live comfortably anywhere.