Tuesday, December 7, 2010
In meditation--seduction, transcendence, tripping or just hanging loose--set and setting are everything, and that includes what's going on between your ears, as my old AA sponsor used to say. So benefit from my experience: let the cosmic sea of self propel you forward past the moldy fabric of reality's curtain and into the space spore-infused mystic, past time, past space, past/present. These ten additions to any armchair adventurer's arsenal may save your sanity one day, or help you lose it forever, and about goddamn time! Psychonauts, prepare to shucker loose!
I should also mention the 'set' part of set and setting - the right friends. Avoid dumbfuck townies like the plague - they love to hang out with finely-tuned artists like you and me and do dumb shit like "whooo whooo woooo! what do you see, Erich?" Fuck them. Pick a small group with the care of a dog groomer.
1. "The Drone Zone" on Soma FM -- Ambient drones and ethereal calm, nonstop on web radio.
So many web radio stations make you listen to endless pledge breaks and dorky voiced station announcements. There's still some of that on Soma, but not a lot... not enough to break the spell. In the enlightened, or oceanic state, you must surrender the channel changer, Once you've been elevated, karmic law dictates you should float them a donation and get a Soma FM T-shirt, like I did. My picture's on their web site, exhaling!
2. Light-Sound Mind Machines - Sure you can go deep via years of disciplined meditation, but if you don't have the time to tune in, quit work and join an ashram, try getting one of these groovy machines. Using synchronized light and sound they're basically auto-hypnosis tools, and man oh man. Many of them can be synced up with music to enhance the experience. I've broken through on several occasions via light sound machine connect to Charles Mingus' "Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" and Coltrane's "A Love Supreme." With the help of the light pulses, I felt my inner voice 'become' Coltrane's sax or the muted trumpet in Mingus' album. One of the things it told me in it's 'waa-waa' voice was "Erich, you're truly insane now, if you hear my voice, you're totally crazy" and all the other instruments seemed to be laughing at me! I wasn't fazed though... if you believe the hype I'm already legally insane around 10 time over.
3. Mermaid Magick Incense. Sage in the form of smudge sticks can be found at an herb store, Indian specialty shop, or new age bookshop near you... but for the deep weird mixed smells, it's worth seeking out some handmade stuff and I know no better source than the amazing and reasonably priced Mermaid Magik Incense shop. I dig the Earth Church and Dream Snake sticks and can personally vouch for the effectiveness.
My idea is, when starting out, choose one type of scent and only use it during your practices, your deep mystic journeys. That way, after a few experiences you'll associate the smell with the other world and it will be easier and easier to make the 'jump.' Since its handmade and unique to the Mermaid site you wont need to worry you'll smell it on the street or in yoga class and go insane on the spot.
4. Decor/Lighting - Don't leave newspapers, magazines, or anything too mainstream, anything with contemporary associations, lying around. If you have books around, make sure they're aesthetically unique, i.e. ancient looking tomes with exotic gilded edges. Keep most non-aesthetic food out of sight, especially meats and eggs, chip bags, etc. However, fruit looks very good in an altered state, so a bowl of ripe fruit is not only okay, it's recommended, as are plants, flowers (as long as they're not dying), etc.
The idea in this case is not to escape reality so much as remove 'triggers' for pre-set emotions and feelings. Use candles for light, no neon! Colored low wattage bulbs are okay, but the more shadows the better. Cover white walls with exotic tapestries. Keep weird art books handy on the coffee table.
5. Time - Hide the clocks! The idea is to create a sense of timeless space, and spaceless time, and any signifier of how you live the bulk of your life harnessed to the revolving orb isn't helpful. Even if you just put a tapestry or colorful bandana over the digital face of your clock radio you're on the right track. Keep time via the breath... meditate with the breath... your breathing is all you need. It's like a life vest that inhales and exhales and is always afloat, tick tock, whoosh!
6. Visual Media - Movies are a good way to wind down from a mystical experience, but not really that "positive" beforehand. Keep the TV off, way off.
But if you're having trouble coming down, may I recommend some Betty Boop cartoons? Disney's too creepy, WB to spastic and violent, but Betty is just right.
7. Cell phones off! - Don't kid yourself, they 'know' when you're being bad or good, as the aliens use cell phones to keep an eye on you. Imagine a giant grid of small pulsing lights at alien central: a sudden flash of 4th dimensional wall-breaching in a lotus-positioned voyager will light up like their switch boards like an Xmas tree. As they move in around you, the sounds of the house settling start to shift violently and weird noises outside--sirens, dogs, wind-- will speak to you, the way alien voices can interject themselves in everything from the falling of water to the stepping of jackboots.
8. Tobacco - Don't be a wuss! Tobacco is powerful medicine, and keeps any Native American spirits who may be present at a respectful distance. Know this: all plant spirits live even in the dead matter of their substance - their DNA writhes through you - every inhale of a plant's dried essence is a marriage. Let your mind be a garden, full of divine sage, mighty morphin' power tobacco, and crazy jester tetra-hydra cannibinol. Side effects may include: hastened death, prolonged respiratory illness, and yellowed teeth, but do you really want to live forever and hold America back with your knee-jerk atomic age fears, the way the elderly voting bloc are holding us back today?
9. Krishna Das - If things get too weird, turn to the music of Krishna Dass, who's moody mellow baritone voice will rock you back into harmony. I especially love his "Mountain Chalisa" off
Flow of Grace: Invoke the Blessings and Empowerment of Hanuman with Sacred Chant from Krishna Das
Part of accessing the inner daemonic realms involves getting through the daemonic TSA checkpoint... these demonic security guards don't just make you take off your coat and shoes... your memories, beliefs, and body have to be ripped away and shredded before your very eyes while you struggle to act cool. If you so much as sniffle in protest or fear they'll rip you up and kick you back down to the 3-D plane... so... love the demons who rip you to shreds. Accept your own mortality and the transience of all things. Do this and you'll be floating through the metal detector and onto paradise before you know it. The voice of Krishna Das is the closest thing yet to a life vest in this instance, floating you beyond their thorny reach.One listen to that baritone mix of manly sorrow and unearthly joy and you feel safe, loved, and beyond it all.
10. Water - Drink a lot of it, and tea! I'm shooting off this figure off the top of my head, but I'd bet a good 70% of mind-expansion-related mishaps (i.e. the kids who wind up shivering in the corner or taken to the chill-out tent) occur because of dehydration.
So... this post isn't meant to condone any form of substance ingestion, nor is it one of those dopey tirades against it. Don't trust the pundits on either side of the issue. No one path fits all. Research and make your own informed opinions. Everyone wants you to be like them, don't be... don't let your sponsor talk you into a three-day men's retreat in the mountains if it doesn't feel right, and don't hesitate to take the psychedelic plunge just because all your friends at the Phish show are scared to join you... if it calls to you, go for it...if it doesn't, don't. Most of all, don't let some mediator creep between you and the direct and personal realization of transcendental spiritual experience! Using all the above steps, you just might feel the electric hand of God on your shoulder. Isn't that better than some smelly bible at a smelly old church, with a smelly old priest droning on and... zzz?
Remember, just be yourself, your real self not the self the dorks who tell you to be yourself think you are. But though you may court insanity, try to be physically safe! Only venture outside when you're already in the 'zone' so you know you can handle crossing the street. And believe me when I say this: you cannot fly. xoxoxo
---- guest writer Dr. Morphius "Twillie" Twilite, the X / 2009
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Take the Cheshire Cat for example which exists with 'just a smile' now there are many ways to interpet this, some very literally, like the EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN, some less so.
What about the audio?
I've had episodes where my own thoughts were spoken to me by the crazed horns in Mingus’ Saint and the Sinner Lady album. The repeating squawks now becoming a human voice, my voice, our voice, The Voice, for it has always only been one voice. Mingus will drive you mad as the tension builds the drama increases up and up and up until you have to tear the headphones from your ears but you suddenly have no hands to do that with, you are erasing yourself with each passing bar because your attention is not focused on the matrix, on the reality of the day, you are having your freak out where you look at your arm and all you see is electromagnetic radiation coalescing into what you knew was an arm.…. in advance.
This is the gravy moment, the near death coasting where all us trippy artists got to go visit at least once in awhile. Where thought and expression become one thing, to say is to create, to hear your own voice emerges in the sound of the tree falling the the woods. You think in rain, and breathe in wind. The fear God is to be killed by God to love god is to be god, to hide is to disappear to die is to be reborn to panic is to drown to love is to be absolved and to chant and pray is to help the wheel itself keep spinning. And then there is a sudden break and just the bass and piano are left and the song ends and you realize only three minutes have gone by.