As stated in parts 1 and 2, future blogs will be giving examples of my experiences and what I have learnt. These experiences appeared to be very structured, coming from Consciousness-Space in the form of ‘spontaneous hallucinations’. Yes, reader, I come from the school of mental illness and willingly experimented on myself. BETCHA DIDN’T SEE THAT COMIN…. POPPED RIGHT OUTTA THE BOX, although I did allude to it.
I noticed as I progressed through these hallucinations I was drawn to certain techniques and perspectives – systems of understanding. Shamanism, Eastern Occultism, Academia and Western Occultism. I have dubbed these the ‘Four Generals’ and will be using them to help explain the phenomena I encountered during my explorations and experiments.
I found it was best to use all four personality functions (Sensation, Feeling, Thinking and Intuition) to understand each stage of the Alchemical – Jungian Individuation Process, which was what my experiences/hallucinations paralleled. The functions seemed to cycle through each Alchemical stage. Kind of like a microcosm of the macrocosmic process. In no way am I implying one perspective is better than the other.
I understand these General Perspectives are NOT limited to any given psychological function or the process itself, it’s just how it panned out so I could understand. As previously stated, experience is relative to the individual and was reflective of my attitudes and thoughts.
This blog will give an overview of the 4 Generals as they relate to my experiences and the Four Psychological Functions. Remember, this is just what worked for me, it could have manifested in any number of ways.
All will be explained in-depth in future blogs.
THE FOUR ‘GENERALS’
The standard ‘materialist’ perception of reality no longer served me, and so began the shaman’s descent into madness. I was fucked. I had no option left but to submit and enter the cave (of the mind) that I so terribly feared. I completely gave myself to this process. I had no other choice, whatever was causing these spontaneous hallucinations/experiences had far more power than I could possibly imagine, and I could only drug (including neuroleptics and alcohol) them away for so long. That which we deny…. gains momentum…. and comes back stronger.
I found this paralleled the first stage of the Individuation Process and the psychological function, Sensation. At the time the information/hallucinations were about accessing altered states of consciousness/trance states so that’s what I pursued…. relentlessly.
By stage 2, I still had erroneous hopes I could completely control these spontaneous hallucinations but the reality is I can only influence and be a co-creator of such things. This did not stop me from seeking ‘power’. The power to control myself, or at least my reactions.
A little positivity helped, coming from a Venerable Buddhist Monk, who at the time, was the only person of ‘stature’ (including doctors and counsellors) that didn’t dismiss me as being bat-shit crazy. He said a lot of things and gently placed one strange sentence in among the rest. He told me to try and put the information I was receiving via hallucinations into practice.
At the time I was getting auditory hallucinations saying, “You need to learn how to feel, Nathan”. This is why I relate Buddhism to the second stage of Individuation and the psychological function, Feeling.
Thinking – “If it is to be real thinking and true to its own principle, must rigorously exclude feeling. This, of course, does not do away with the fact that there are individuals whose thinking and feeling are on the same level, both being of equal motive power for consciousness.”
By the time I was aware of stage 3, I realized I wasn’t the biggest fan of intellect until I found proper use for it. Honestly, I found it to be a bit of a dick (no doubt a reflection of the way I was using it), always working in conjunction with the ego and creating the most fantastically convincing theories to remain in fear. Mere distractions. It took a while to get over that but thanks to guys like Carl Jung, Arnold Mindell, Ted Vollers (another man of stature that didn’t dismiss me as crazy and kindly gave me his time), and numerous others, I eventually did.
You see, the problem was I was always relying on academia/science to tell me all about me. There was only so much I could learn from others. I was using it as a crutch to deny myself the third stage and consequently, the fourth stage. But as my recent set of hallucinations/experiences has taught me, “Don’t deny natural processes in favour of intellect.” Don’t let logic limit you. There are some things we will never understand, this works on a ‘Need-to-Know’ basis.
So naturally, I relate academia to the third stage of Individuation and the psychological function, Thinking.
I was drawn to Western Occultism for explanations and experience for the final stage (4) of Individuation. I intuitively needed to express the compassion I found from exploring consciousness. I am NOT saying we finish learning here.
I figured if I could make enough sense out of these experiences to at least accept them, then surely I can help others do the same. Or at least show people there are alternative methods of coping and understanding out there. Current models steer towards strategies that require a person to rely on neuroleptics for the rest of their life, disrupting their endocrine system in the process and are quite capable of “producing severe adverse effects” from prolonged use.
I now choose to look at it from a positive perspective, not as a dis-function (more on that in future blogs).
Alright…. that’s the formalities out of the way. Next time we’ll get down to the stuff everyone wants to read about, the experiences, the ‘why’ and the ‘how-to’. I hope I haven’t scared you off or freaked you out too much. Please feel free to check out the website, outliermeditation.org…. and thank you for your time.
Please Enjoy…………………………………………………………………………………..Don’t Panic