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