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Liminalist # 239.5: What’s Your Purpose?
Highlights from Liminalist live meet, with Suzie, Mari, Jeff, and Cedomir (Hugo left early)
Think of Dave Oshana and me as the two hands of a clock, one for hours and one for minutes. Our movements are letting you know what time it is, but they aren’t creating time or causing it to move forward. The third hand, confusingly enough, is the second hand: it measures the basic unit of time. This hand is harder to follow and you may not even notice it at all. Yet without it, the other two hands do not move at all.
This third hand that is the second hand is neither Dave nor I but what happens: what the field says. You, the reader, can only refer to your field, that is, to everything going on around you that synchronizes, and synchronizes with, what these other hands (Dave and I) are telling you.
As the heavier, clunkier hour hand, I want to refer not only to Dave (the faster-moving minute hand) but to what happens in my field, which is the second hand, during the days, hours, and minutes preceding this blogpost. What information enters into my awareness during the week that seems to echo, and thus amplify, the signal coming downstream to me from the minute hand (Dave)?
Keep in mind, as you read this, that seconds, minutes, and hours do not exist anywhere outside of a (time-and-place-) specific cultural configuration of the human mind. The real flow of information—what happens—is not measurable as words or pictures, but only directly experienced through the senses, inner and outer, that are arising in your body, as you read these words and look at the pictures.
A photo of a clock cannot tell you what time it is; it can only tell you what time the photo was taken.
Life in the Closet
The subject of the last online Oshana event was accessing Heaven and uniting humanity. The two ideas may be synonymous. Both relate to discovering and living our purpose as human beings.
Like a tortoise with its shell, we are carrying our purpose with us wherever we go. We came into this life with it, but we soon lost it. What prevents us from living our purpose is ancestral: the fear of being burned at the stake or crucified for letting on who we really are. The emperor’s many minions affirmed the beauty of his new set of clothes because everyone around them was doing the same. Only a child—the pure fool—had the courage to point out the emperor was naked.
Peer pressure is relentless and mostly invisible, like water around a fish. As teenagers we take drugs to barricade ourselves against the world, in order not to come alive, to avoid the pain of being the odd one out. When we eat the right food and give our bodies what they want, on the other hand, our senses come alive. But there can be a terrifying social isolation in coming alive in the land of the dead.
The idea of Heaven is so strong that we will join any cult that comes along, in order to get a ticket in. None of them know the way to Heaven, any more than MDMA can get us to a state of ecstasy. We substitute a living connection to purpose for a sense of belonging in a group of peers who are all making the same mistakes. And because of the collective lack of sensitivity, and an ever-growing menu of misconceptions and preconceptions, we mistake the goal for the destination.
Then we say we are “on the path.”
But like the commenter who advised me to shun the light, this “path” has no correspondence with reality. Is this a path I see before me? Then I am walking in someone else’s footsteps.
We didn’t come here to get enlightened. We were supposed to be enlightened already, and fulfill our purpose from there. Instead, we got dropped on our heads as babies and something inserted itself: a fear factor made us afraid to really show ourselves. We built a closet around us, and then lived our lives inside it.
The Pursuit of Liberty through Naughtiness
The question of Heaven and how to get there relates, in unexpected ways, to how we are attracted to comforts (symmetrically enough: since what’s more comforting than the idea of Heaven?). Our obsession with being “naughty,” for example, drives us into “creature comforts.” Or, flipped over, our addiction to indulgence gives rise to a vast marketing campaign, inner and outer, promoting naughtiness as the prime expression of freedom of choice.
This one goes all the way back, in its current iteration of sexual licentiousness as a substitute for freedom, to Havelock Ellis and the Fabians:
“[O]f all the manifestations of sexual psychology, normal and abnormal, [sexual deviations] are the most specifically human. More than any others they involve the potently plastic force of the imagination. They bring us the individual man, not only apart from his fellows, but in opposition, himself creating his own paradise. They constitute the supreme triumph of idealism.” —Havelock Ellis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex v5: Human Sexuality
Since social arrangements began, taboo has been the primary lever of control. Taboo is used not merely to prevent certain behaviors by forbidding them, but also to encourage them. Reverse psychology—the principle that what we are forbidden we will feel compelled to do—has been a tool of human engineering from the Garden of Eden on down. A litany of perversions is what we think of as “growing up” (uncontained liminality), but there are serious and unforeseen consequences for our “liberation.”
Imagine a fireman who decides to be edgy and transgressive and stops to take a shit on the carpet of a burning building, even as the people he is there to save are burning to death. Not a pretty picture. Worse, oppositional behavior that becomes unconscious and compulsive breeds a thousand rationalizations for staying out in the cold. After a period of remaining dormant, we may no longer even feel the life force, as it recedes from our digits and limbs.
When it comes to living our life purpose, there is a spectrum between total amnesia and fully knowing what we are about. Imagine you are here to bring about a prison break. You broke in to this world with a mission to help the other prisoners escape. You can’t get them all out, so you have to be selective: there’s no sense trying to move people who don’t want to be moved. You have to assess who’s up for the challenge and who isn’t.
But then you spend so long in the prison that you forget what you came for and wind up bargaining for cigarettes in the yard, negotiating for more hours of TV with the wardens, anything to make conditions better, for yourself and the other prisoners. Mission creep: take it far enough and, if a prison break ever does come off (assuming there are still some who haven’t forgotten why they came), you may have grown so sluggish and complacent that no one bothers to save you.
When we have vacated our posts, we need some nudging to get back to them. We may not always appreciate the nudging; we may be afraid of embarking on the task because we feel like we have no training; in our minds and our culture, nothing has prepared us for this. None of the things we have learned will tell us how to live; if we let them, we will only come further off-track.
We live our lives believing that someone, somewhere, will give us a map. But there is no map. Dave or I or a chance arrangement of factors in your life can get you in touch with yourself; but even then, you may not accept this mission. The mission only really begins when you agree to be who you are.
Interlude: The Primitive Constituents of Reality
This came into my inbox just before the Sunday event. It may be too soon to judge its relevance but I liked the feel of it. Skip it if you don’t like digressions or theoretical content.
Donald Hoffman’s theory is that conscious agents are the primitive constituents of reality; that the objective world consists of conscious agents and their experiences; that the world of elementary particles and fields are merely icons in a user interface of human conscious agents; and that humans are just one complex type of conscious agent. In his article “Conscious Realism and the Mind-Body Problem,” Mind & Matter Vol. 6(1), pp. 87–121, Hoffman explains,
First, a conscious agent is not necessarily a person. All persons are conscious agents, or heterarchies of conscious agents, but not all conscious agents are persons. Second, the experiences of a given conscious agent might be utterly alien to us; they may constitute a modality of experience no human has imagined, much less experienced. Third, the dynamics of conscious agents does not, in general, take place in ordinary four-dimensional space-time. It takes place in state spaces of conscious observers, and for these state spaces the notion of dimension might not even be well-defined.
Implausible Deniability & Sabotage Mechanisms
When matter enters into the field of human consciousness it becomes a human being.
Inside your body is a message that is continuously telling you what to do. People will do anything they can to drown that message out. Hence there is an internal, not-quite eternal war waging.
When we say we don’t know who we are or why we are here, we may think we have plausible deniability; but is it plausible really? That depends on who you ask.
Natural instinct, intuition, and full purpose are not given to us in any kind of teaching, and they never will be. No one can reveal to us our purpose, because telling us doesn’t work. We can be made ready to realize something deep inside us, just as the forest comes to life after heavy rain, or how we recover from a fever and return to our full strength with something cleared away. A fog has lifted, revealing new life.
What is also hidden inside us, however, is a sabotage mechanism. This mechanism perpetuates a state of all-out war, by paralysis, headache, psychosomatic problems, disabling habits and lifestyle, a war of attrition that stops us from receiving our inner guidance, that hijacks our ability to make healthy choices, and that keeps us in perpetual opposition. Once we give over to it, we are lost. We become rehabilitated prisoners, pumping iron in the yard, trading favors with fellow cons, just waiting until something naturally turns around inside of us.
Usually, this turnaround requires some sort of crisis.
Interlude 2: Allowing Adolf a Place at the Last Supper
Esoteric maps of Heaven and Hell have Hitler down at the lowest density; but if Hitler is shut away from the rest of humanity, how can he ever be rehabilitated? Until the last black sheep is restored to the fold, humanity will always have parts missing. What any human has done, the whole of humanity has done. There is shared accountability.
The thing with Hitler has been a recurring one through my life. For a short time, I sort of half-believed I was the reincarnation of Adolf. Nothing much to it, besides one time I was meditating in front of a mirror once and saw his face in place of my own. That and a long-time sympathy for the guy: isn’t it hard not to love someone so unanimously despised? It is for me.
Anyway, it occurred to me when Dave mentioned Hitler in Sunday’s event, that he was an apropos example of damnation, because the Nazis were hell-bent on creating Heaven on earth via the consolidation of a collective humanity, albeit only one portion of it (Aryans) at the cost of another (non-Aryans). This makes Hitler, in the victors’ version of history at least, the shadow representative of the goal of accessing Heaven and uniting humanity.
And as it happens, something arrived in my inbox the day after the Sunday event that echoed this reading, a link to a piece called “Fascist Ecology: The ‘Green Wing’ of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents,” by Peter Staudenmaier:
“We recognize that separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind’s own destruction and to the death of nations. Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger. That is the fundamental point of the biological tasks of our age. Humankind alone is no longer the focus of thought, but rather life as a whole . . . This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and the true essence of National Socialist thought.”
Purpose: To Have and Have Not
On the Sunday event, Dave said that, for some people on the meet, their consciousness was not going into their hips. This indicated to me two things: 1) that Dave was tuning into us collectively at a very deep level and that he was able to identify what was going on with some of us very specifically; 2) that the thing he is really looking for, maybe the only thing he is trying to facilitate, is for the life force to distribute throughout the body, for us to fully incarnate our purpose.
There is an apparent tautology if we say that our purpose is to get our life force fully incarnated so we can live our purpose. The tautology can be untangled if we consider that there are two kinds of purpose: a preliminary purpose (enlightenment) and a secondary (though confusingly, it is really primary) purpose that we can only fully embark on once we have completed that preliminary purpose. This secondary purpose may be unknown and inexpressible except through doing it, through living it.
At the same time, it would be wrong to suggest there is a single turning point where one suddenly begins living one’s purpose. It is rather an incremental thing: the closer we get to achieving our preliminary purpose (that of the life force incarnating), the more we can experience the purpose that the life force itself is, or brings with it, that we haven’t yet accessed, or allowed ingress, in our lives.
Why not? Because conditions didn’t allow for it to happen and, as a result, our choice mechanism was coopted. When we went along with that coopting, when we didn’t inhibit the culturally conditioned responses that led to a series of wrong choices, our life force not only was prevented from coming in, but what had come in was steadily reduced.
To those who have will be given; those who have not will lose even the little that they have.
The Least Amongst You
As we access more of the life force, our sense of purpose becomes incrementally more experiential. The question “What is your purpose?” creates a corresponding pressure to live one’s purpose, and/or to recognize the ways in which we have uncoupled ourselves from it. These are all strategies for bringing our awareness to an incongruity between our mind and our bodies, our will and our life force, our lives and our plans. Once we start to look, we may notice any number of different incongruities there, including the incongruity of “What’s my purpose? Oh no! I am not living my purpose! I need to shape up!” Those thoughts are also incongruous with living the life force, because the life force doesn’t have time to question or criticize its own actions.
On the other hand, this is a blurry line, because questioning one’s motivations is essential to inhibiting the culturally conditioned choice mechanism. There is gentle discernment and there is harsh criticism, and there is healthy doubt that comes up when we are making bad choices, and unhealthy doubt that wants to question everything we do. Worse, it questions our core worth whenever we make wrong choices. This kind of doubt leads to guilt, shame, and condemnation. To a living Hell of inaction or compulsive, well-intended wrong-doing (cue Adolf).
Ironically, the tendency to measure our value by our capacity to make the right choices also has a core truth in it, insofar as our energy level is determined by those choices, and insofar as that energy level determines our ability to be conscious. This evaluation is not a social or cultural one that has to do with us as people, however, but rather as parts of the collective body. It pertains to how much energy, or life force, we are providing to the rest of the body.
It is not in the interests of the body to leave any of its parts behind; but if there is no way to bring them back to life, if they become dead weight, chopping them off may the most optimal choice. On the other hand, there may not be any parts of the collective human soul system that can be chopped off, in which case they would have to be absorbed into the system, in a way that breaks them down to their “primitive constituent” parts.
The Body Politic
When Dave woke up enlightened on June 19, 2000, he says that he could see inside his body and what he saw was that there were no shadows, no dark corners. This puzzled him, because it didn’t correspond with what he knew about physical reality, which is that, where there is light, there are also shadows.
Perhaps reality, including physical reality, is different than our minds tell us it is? On the one hand, we enter into a prison matrix and forget we have done so, mistake it for “our lives”; on the other hand, we turn a beautiful garden into a prison. The Matrix is not a prison for the mind but a prison of the mind.
Inside our bodies is a living, breathing community of life forms. The body’s own awareness is waiting for our consciousness to meet it, and where consciousness meets the awareness of the body, the body becomes illuminated. No shadows.
When we are fighting a virus or healing a wound, the whole body gets involved: all the parts are working for one part. We may think that there are many apples on an apple tree, but really there is only one apple, being squeezed out through many buds. One life force, many bodies.
Yet there does seem to be a spearhead to human consciousness, or to the formation of human consciousness into something that can “level up.” The flip side of the individual’s responsibility to the group is shared accountability: the weakest member of the group is the responsibility of all the others. This is because, in a sense, that soul’s weakness (their “damnation”) represents the choices of all. This makes us all not just responsible but accountable for the actions of the lowest among us.
It is one body, and if there is just one discordant note in the body, and the body ignores it, eventually the discordance will be everywhere.
Heaven as Connectivity
We cannot not connect to others; but how do we manage it?
When something goes on too long, it always gets worse.
Being able to fulfill our purpose depends on others. It takes two to tango.
We will always return to other people, but a person is a figment of the imagination.
Each of us has a battery meter reading, and the degree to which we are living our purpose determines the power charge of that battery.
The energy that wants to bring harmony back to the seemingly separate parts of the human collective is love.
The assured, certain awareness that love is happening precedes all belief, expression, and action. If love is changeable, it is not sustainable.
Each light that comes in to existence is only here for a short time, to do what it came here to do. It’s not negligible or disposable. We have only two choices: to be a smiling face, bringing joy to the world, or a hairy, hungry arsehole, sucking the life out of it.
Our idea of Heaven is of a place where we will be reunited with our loved ones. Can we gather our loved ones together? Can we end up in the same place with those we love? If Heaven is not physically locatable, how will we ever find each other?
To bring Heaven into existence, here in life, requires the kind of love that is capable of recognizing Heaven in another, and drawing it out. For Heaven to come into the body, something has to lead the way: consciousness. Consciousness has to first go through every part of the body. We must return to an original state of purity and wholeness.
When we cook rice, it is not only the water that causes the rice to cook, but, as the water reduces, the steam that comes off the other half-cooked grains. If we get to Heaven and find no one there, it’s probably safe to say we are not in Heaven but somewhere else.
First find Heaven within oneself. Second find Heaven in others and bring it out. Third, find Heaven in the Nature. Heaven is then ~ wherever you find yourself.
Next online Dave Oshana event is “Dismantling Babel: Signal Calming in a State of Constant Disruption,” May 3rd, 9 am Pacific Time.
16 thoughts on “Three Steps to Heaven: Life Force, Purpose, and a Connected Humanity (essay + podcast)”
>”you may have grown so sluggish and complacent that no one bothers to save you.”
The core issue is that the dullard isn’t going to save those for whom they entered the prison.
>”But there is no map. Dave or I or a chance arrangement of factors in your life can get you in touch with yourself;”
Clearer?: “But there is no map. Neither Dave nor I nor a chance arrangement of factors in your life can get you in touch with yourself;”
The transition from your prose to a list of (unmarked) quotes is noticeable. Fortunately, you didn’t give away all the whole fruit stand.
I reckon there your awake readers know a number of cutting-edge social-psychology-ecology-philosophy types who would love to interview you about the themes of this post.
The clock hand metaphor and hilarious tortoise image are well-chosen. What’s the Lvcifer image about?
actually you said that you could get a person in touch with themselves, but they may choose not to accept the mission.
The L-image was a pictorial continuation of the Adolf theme, of what happens when a part of the whole gets cast off and disowned, where can it go except into slow steady brewing beneath the surface, and gradually percolating up and outward into the whole system?
“actually you said that you could get a person in touch with themselves, but they may choose not to accept the mission.”
Yes, that sounds familiar. If a rescuer gets comfortable munch on prison food and mindless TV entertainments, the eventual battle cry from their paunch midriff to rush to the ramparts and over the wall may be met with incredulity.
“The L-image was a pictorial continuation of the Adolf theme, of what happens when a part of the whole gets cast off and disowned, where can it go except into slow steady brewing beneath the surface, and gradually percolating up and outward into the whole system?”
I was curious about the margin notes and what they might mean – if anything.
Looked like Lou had gone both subterranean with tree roots and bacchanalian as a hairy-legged Pan. So much symbology in that illustration.
Nothing but resonance on this one. A bit of synchronicity for the curious. I was not at the Sunday event and had not heard of the hip observation, at least not physically, but today I was sitting in my chair focusing on the sensations emanating off my body, which I assume is the life force, and thought to myself, I can feel it everywhere but my hips. So I have been concentrating in that area and can start to feel it, then came here and there it was. My next goal is to see if I can keep the life force awareness throughout the day no matter the task, see how different foods may affect it, and just let if flow for a while. Enough about me, on with the comments.
This one is starting to feel like a circle jerk again. 2008 flavor. A little homosexual in terms of the self. Maybe even a little Gay, if you will.
What I mean to say is that shared dogma is what allows for that elusive connection you feel is not facilitated by words.
That’s just happening because you have a huge mental hang up. Dave has his interesting way of being and people who want to be like him are attracted to him. Desired Self infatuation. I like what he does too but If you want to connect, just adopt the other person’s dogma. It’s no different than opening an window to listen. Something might get in though.
Elaborate systems of dogma allow For deep conversation, deep connection, both between individuals and between time periods which share the dogma. It also creates that predictable Lackadaisical space required for meeting and sharing, mentally and physically because there’s no outside the flesh.
Orthodox Christianity is the greatest connector of humans because it’s dogma is the least changed over the last 2000(or 8,000 years but some people disagree). The goal of orthodox is to maintain the tradition, maintain dogma. To only elaborate or clarify it, not ever change it. This keeps words from getting in the way of connection, both personally and when connecting to someone from the past.
Paradoxically, accepting dogma gets the dogma out of the way. It’s never the other people who are doing something blocking being. That’s insane and gay.
I think this comment belongs on the last post but what evs.
I see dogma as a kind of exo-skeleton, handy for bugs but not so good once you are ready to move into the mammalian stage of community existence. Scaffolding is useful for building a house but once it’s up it becomes unsightly and unwieldy.
Have you noticed that, whenever I hit notes that are out of your range, you cry “off-key”? It’s called projection.
Your arguments also have a tendency to eat themselves, which is def “gay.”
I don’t understand the use of “gay” here and suspect it is more like a pejorative with no meaning chosen for provocation and attention-seeking. Perhaps Kurt’s references to mutual- and self-masturbation comes from a premature, frustrated feeling of being left out in the cold after receiving no response to his non-sequitur “I wonder if water has anything to do with beginners mind?” on “Leaving Hell: A New Perspective on Trauma, Language, & Mind Control, & Restoring the Love Body of Humanity”?
Kurt, your call to dogma seems dogmatic in itself, a marker of psychic auto-fellatio, raising suspicions that your Orthodoxy is personal and therefore modern and non-traditional.
At the risk of falling for comment hijacking, I would invite Orthodox and gay readers to meta-comment on Kurt’s languaging, which seems fluid and therefore seemingly (but not actually) the water way of a beginner’s mind.
Kurt, Jasun and I, have found you interesting in private correspondence, but perhaps you don’t surf the waves of public forums so well? Managing multiple personae means muddling along and forgetting which hand is doing what to whom. Perhaps, your desired effect?
On a synchronous note, I wrote in the margin “WWW” when listening to some modern pundits waxing lyrical about the wisdom various modern and ancient thinkers and practitioners. I didn’t get anything from them other than some unwieldy forgettable jargon, a chimera of meaningfulness and the expression “wanking with words”.
Amen, handshake or kiss of peace on this? You are invited up for communion in the rector’s office at 10pm.
there are three steps to Hell with Kurt Water-Be: from speaking, to emailing, to public commentary, the more the spidey kill-suit takes over the man. Which is why I try to be curt with Kurt and not match him.
The MO seems to be, “I dare you to take me at my word!” Who will hug a flailing samurai, or offer the kiss of peace to an Ice-chariot? The answer is above, K
I hope it was all good clean fun, otherwise it was grist for a magician’s machinations or monkish masochism. We should all get out more often, see the world and import some cultural samples.
I liked Brian’s comments. Unaffected sincerity.
Thank you for putting this together. Amazing to read through. I got a bit overwhelmed with the shorter points at the end.
DO also made a reference to Tikkum – scattered shards of pieces of light or glass that must be put back together. That stuck with me or really just floated back to me during the week as something.
Something else DO said along the lines of “I don’t know what I am doing, but I know what I am doing”. I was thinking about this, what’s that all about. Then it came to me. Do you know this feeling? I know this feeling, it is an amazing joyous creative feeling, it makes you feel “what just happened” but something did happen somehow and you are beyond satisfied with the results. How did I do that, but I did! Birth!
I was bringing awareness to my body as I was lying in bed this morning. At one point I was intensely aware of my eyes. I felt connected with life force. I felt a comforting hand hold the right side of my face. I held as long as I could. I watched the hand move away and a body wearing white leave the room. Then I woke up.
amazing testimony Brian… I have had similar encounters with men in white in the space between wake and dream; also with the hands of an angel (?) on my body to still my life force, a tender but firm touch in times of greatest need.
Tikkuum, discussed in the last parts of Homo Serpiens, not recommended, but another correspondence between the fast and the slow hands.
In what way were the final lines overwhelming? I left them in their relatively pristine state as I wanted the piece to end clear, strong & bright, straight to the point, like the second hand moves, not the pondering hour hand.
That is really interesting that you had similar encounters.
The overwhelming is that each line is packed with much to consider, grok! All good 🙂
“Men in white” was go-to short-hand, in fact if there were any sexes involved, it was all three! 😉
“The assured, certain awareness that love is happening precedes all belief, expression, and action. If love is changeable, it is not sustainable.”
It used to underpin several of my belief systems, but since I’ve abandoned them (at least as far as I’m aware) I find it hard to experientially confirm. I see/feel/know no independent love anywhere.
“ . . . but if Hitler is shut away from the rest of humanity, how can he ever be rehabilitated? Until the last black sheep is restored to the fold, humanity will always have parts missing. What any human has done, the whole of humanity has done. There is shared accountability.”
During my Bert Hellinger Family Constellations phase (2004-08), I translated a controversial prose poem that Bert had published about Adolf Hitler. I copy it here because you and Bert are on the same page regarding how Hitler should be treated.
The following letter in poetic form was written by Bert Hellinger to Adolf Hitler. It appears in the original German on page 247 of Bert Hellinger’s book called “Gottesgedanken” (“Divine Reflections”) published in 2004. I translated this poem in 2006 and revised it in 2010.
Some people regard you as a monster, as if
they had the right to pronounce such a verdict.
I look upon you as a human being just like me,
With a father, a mother, and a special destiny.
Are you then superior to me?
Or are you inferior?
Are you better than me?
If you are superior,
Then so am I.
If you are inferior,
Then so am I.
If you are better than me
Or worse, then so am I.
For I am human just like you.
When I respect you,
I also respect myself.
When I detest you,
I also detest myself.
So dare I love you?
No, must I love you?
Because if I don’t, then
How could I possibly love myself?
If I acknowledge that you were human,
Just like I am human,
then I behold something
that created both of us —
Something that created
You as well as me.
A Beginning that fixed the way
that both of us would end.
How could I eliminate myself
From this Beginning by eliminating you?
How could I accuse this Beginning —
thus exalting myself above it —
By accusing you?
But I also cannot feel compassion for you.
You stand and fall
For the same reason I do.
And I honor that in you
As I honor it in myself.
And I surrender to everything
It has created in you —
And to everything it has also created
In me and in every other person.