The Liminalist # 149 (Elder Wisdom 3): The 2-Edged Sword of the Psyche (with Charles Upton)

First of two-part conversation with poet and traditional metaphysician Charles Upton, on Garbanzo’s attitude, Upton’s answer to Alexander Dugin, Jasun’s answer to Jordan Peterson, living in the latter days, the New Age folly, optimistic pessimism, looking for the worst, into the dark side, the laughing man, the fall of Lucifer & the etiology of the ego, the Nous, the first Intellect, the Gnostic heresy, cosmic paranoia, Frithjof Schuon, trying to get back to the Garden, there embodiment of a split, the prophetic books of William Blake, Lucifer as trauma victim, Charles’ memory of the ego’s arrival, a robot dream, antichrist as pinnacle of artificiality, the Sufi path, the two arcs, Joseph Chilton Pearce and the defense system ego, adolescence trauma, an inverted rite of passage, negative identity, adult materialist and child mythologizers & vice versa, self-initiating hippies, mundane wisdom, following Castaneda to Mexico, CIA LSD MKULTRA, the disgorging of archetypes, engineered chaos, Whitley Strieber & the spiritual elite, Castaneda dreams, a profound order of truth, the question of power, the beaten path of the will to power, the left-hand path & self-will, the error of all our trials, removing the soul’s tattoos, the toll of psychedelics, getting high off Kundalini yoga, spiritual and psychic impressions of what is always so, the 2-edged sword of the psyche, the obstacles & the path, the Nafs & gnosis of the self & God, a revolution of inner being, lost in the psychic realms, the border between worlds, the bid for immortality, a spook that lives forever, intellectual error and moral error.

Charles Upton’s site.

Accompanying Blog-post: Traditional Metaphysics and the True Religious: Encountering Charles Upton

Songs: “I’m Going Insane,” by Lee Maddeford; “My Ground Brakes Clank” and “My Prayer They Taper” by Tendon Levey; “Let Your Hammer Ring” by Monkey Warhol.


7 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 149 (Elder Wisdom 3): The 2-Edged Sword of the Psyche (with Charles Upton)”

  1. what crime would one commit to become a prisoner of infinity ?

    “.. okay, now how can we control all these archetypes that have now been disgorged from the collective psyche through LSD ? ..”
    *Thus Spake Zarathustra starts playing*

    justly, the EWS (Elder Wisdom Series) gets better with age. great chat,

  2. Several interesting points in this talk.

    I was curious to hear about نفس (nafs) and روح(ruh). I had only known it as breath when I was learning Arabic.

    Many interesting translations here:نفس/
    بفس : روح is mind; psyche; soul; spirit

    روح is the word for The breath or spirit of God over the face of the deep/waters-
    in Genesis 1:3

    In the Greek Septuagint, it’s πνεύμα(pneuma)

    I’d be curious on Upton’s thoughts on the Orthodox Christian essence and energies distinction. A living human being(human essence in action) as an energy of God’s essence. The departure and return.

    • Also, was Upton mean the Arabic word نافس (how it sounded when he said it, which translates rival, emulate) (makes me think of Rene Girard and mimetic rivalry)
      نفس nfs(no vowel) -breath, spirit, etc

      • Also really interesting in Arabic is that words start with the three letter root, and grow and/diverge in meaning as you add letters. I.e. nfs(spirit/breath)->nafs (rival, emulate->منفس mnafas (breather, way out, loophole)

  3. So happy you connected with Charles Upton. I have been following you on and off for literally over ten years Jasun and I keep feeling like we are on similar paths of discovery through the warren of the paranormal and occult to the increasingly spiritual and traditional wisdom. Realizing the difference between the psychic and spiritual was a major turning point for me as well. A simple way I sensed the difference was between the heart and the head (or the head divorced from heart). I have had a LOT of psychic experiences in my life, usually disordered and negative due to chaotic, traumatic ungroundedness, but after years of heavy inner work and purification, with increasing wholeness, I ‘broke through’ (or really felt ‘tapped’) into several heavy mystical experiences of transcendent love. The psychic is of the self, the spiritual is of transcending the self. I have never been the same after this and religious mystical language immediately became understandable to me whereas before it seemed nonsense. And the great terror I had of negative psychic experiences and entities irrevocably fled. Before my ontological position had been severe alienation and fragmentation, whereas now it is deep trust.
    However the interesting thing here is that even still there is great spiritual danger, as evidenced with so many severely messed up gurus that I feel still had authentic spiritual (not psychic) experiences, such as some you have written about yourself.
    And I don’t mean to imply that my road has been easy from here on out. Actually in some ways it has gotten harder, with what feels like a painful and merciless stripping away of the lower self and the personal will. Perhaps this is where the dark gurus have turned away, preferring the easier path of identifying their small self with that transcendence and so inflating it to psychotic and sociopathic proportions. The path of humility is never ending.
    Anyway, your own obsessive path keeps intersecting with mine and it is always exciting to catch up with! Take care.

    • Good to hear from you Chris (for the first time?)

      I think I can say that life/the spiritual path has become steadily easier over the past few years tho it;s also become materially harder, what with having a day job for almost the first time ever and getting old & facing my mortality, finiteness, limitations….

      but the more humbled we become, the less there is of us to complain!

      that’s the upside to daily decrease.

      • I have commented on your current site here and there over the last couple of years, but I started with purchasing Lucid View from a now nonexistent Borders in SF Union Square over ten years ago. Off and on I’ve considered getting in touch with you – I’ve always admired your seemingly relentless ability to reach out to voices you’re interested in. I’m more of a lone wolf in these matters. Usually I get fouled up in questioning potential ego motives for connecting with more public writers and researchers.

        I identify with your grind experience. It’s been interesting hearing about your current life path with the store etc. You certainly have had many different phases to your life. Facing mortality, suffering and finitude in an open and surrendering manner definitely feels more like the religious path, whereas the denial of such is either the new age pablum or occult ego grasping and desperation.


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