preliminaries: initiatix_02: Sink or Swim
We were going to talk about Heaven and Hell and whether the zigzag sign of Aquarius, the sign of the water bearer or flood, has anything to do with entoptics. This was in the context of leaving the fishy dualism of Pisces, in which we flip between Good and Bad, War and Peace, Human and Machine, Heaven and Hell, Subjective and Objective – polarities that the Great 2012 Invisible Tsunami is set to dissolve.
A lively account of entoptics – the zigzag patterns experienced at the onset of
certainjourneys into altered states of consciousness – is given by Graham Hancock in his book ‘Supernatural – Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind’. Hancock quotes extensively from the work of Australian anthropologist David Lewis-Williams.
Specifically, connection is made between the zigzag patterns reported by people enjoying entheogenic journeys, and the zigzag patterns shown in petroglyphs and cave paintings from California, Africa and paleolithic Europe. While the anthropological orthodoxy would have us belive
these cave paintings depict hunters spearing game and so on, Lewis-Williams and Hancock argue that they are magical scenes, with humans passing from the ordinary world to the other side – where, for example, the power of magical creatures can be enlisted in order to bring the rains, or to ensure bountiful game. Classic shamanic scenes, in other words.
Hancock proceeds rather wonderfully to make the stronger argument that altered states are the original inspiration behind all religiosity; entheogenic
experiences are not worthless intoxications but the root of all Good. (And Evil, we must consider.)
This is not to say that all religious experience originally stems from drug use, although that is a handy provocation to the mind-control establishment, but to say that religiosity originates in altered states.
There is a side-argument here about the validity of altered states brought on by intoxicants: For now, let us say that, non-ordinary percepts are non-ordinary – special – regardless of whether they are ‘natural’ or not – whether they are brought on by the ingestion and subsequent psychotropic action of a substance, or by more Olympian methods – exhaustion, dehydration and so on.
Table of Entoptic Patterns, from Lewis-Williams
Following Lewis-Williams and Hancock, let us entertain the idea that the zigzag pattern of the sign of Aquarius is somehow connected with entoptic zigzags. The novelist Margaret Atwood has already channeled the idea of The Waterless Flood: a waterless deluge which inundates and dissolves the ordinary world.
A Flood that dissolves the dualistic world of (ironically) the Fish. A flood of transcendance. A mass ironic yin-yang turning.
Mystics will realise that we are talking not about the physical, briny ocean, but what Carlos Castaneda called The Dark Sea of Awareness.
It is this unseen sea that is often spoken of in myths and legends – more often than not being churned, to cataclysmic effect. It is this sea that the magic ships once painted by Pablo Amaringo in Yarinacocha, Peru, cross. It is this sea which the great planets Saturn, Uranus and Pluto are currently hauling into an invisible tsunami.
- Aquarius, then, is the sign of this Dark Sea.
But what is it that holds back the deluge?
The levees are made of language:
That structure by means of which we can say (must say) that everyone is right in their own way. That quirk of consciousness by which everyone inhabits their own little fold of the fabric; lives inside their own semantic twister.
One person can say “I believe in God” and mean something different from another who pronounces the same words. Both can say, My God is better than yours, and say it again to those who proclaim that Godlessness is better still; were it not for God we would all be better off, and is the kind of goodness that manifests without the promise of a heavenly hereafter or threat of hellfire not a more worthy goodness? (Aside: are they not in fact speaking of an entheogenic Goodness – the Godness inside?)
That aside, what are these exchanges if not tokens flung at mirrors? I throw you a side of beef and you return with one of ham. Burn the mosque, bomb the temple, women covered, women uncovered, beards or not, penises with and without foreskins, chosen races, only ways. Show them the laboratory and ask them to prove that God exists. These great clashes of symbols are either deafening or shattering. Either way, the reverberations harken the Flood.
Which is the blasting-out, the water-cannoning of these inwards foldings. The fabric straightened out, uncrinkled.
Now, what kind of being will we be, thus unfolded? A sustainable kind of being or a brief flash of Something before we are gone altogether beyond?
- It depends on what you are identified with.
If it is, as is ‘normal’, the body – the face in the mirror – and the ‘normal’ self – small world of your own enfolding, then it is difficult to see how you will survive the impact of the Flood.
That which you identify with – folds, enclosures, circumscriptions – will be no more. Neither that which you identify with, nor that which identifies.
- There is a chance for us if we identify not with what is only by quirk of being enfolded, but with enfoldedness itself.
We are talking here of the Transcendent Self, which is Of the Fabric itself; of being a spirit within a body, which is to say, spirit enfolded into the thickness of energy which is the body. We will talk of this folding-in in more detail later, when we visit the ancient cosmovision of Shin-to.
If we identify with Enfoldedness (spirit in body), rather than what is enfolded, we are identified, when it unfolds, with the Fabric, with the Great Wave already rolling through it. We will have left behind that which was enfolded.
There is then the chance of riding the Great Wave, the Great Zigzag. Even, perhaps, if we have done the work of transcending our own folds, of it having no effect at all. Few will be in this position.
More, but still few, will have made enough entheogenic journeys, zoomed through enough entoptic tunnels in order to be able to identify with that which zooms.
- When the Veil of language is lifted, everything zooms.
But what is this Lifting of the Veil?
We have already said, the Veil is language.
- In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was God.
But not the kind of word you can Google.
Let us now distinguish language from Logos – the Word of God.
There is something to the Babel story. A tower – physical or metaphorical it amounts to the same – was built. A Promethean thing of reaching for the stars via artifice. But the project went awry; the Tower fell and us with it, fractured one from the other with our different tongues. Babbling.
A genomic aside: One wonders if the tower might have had a double-helix structure, it’s fall being reminiscent of the original serpentine Fall. Was the Fall of the Tower of Babel a fracturing of the Akashic Records, an
evolutionary Moment in which Things Fell Apart?
(A separating of genomic macro-strands, some great branching in the Tree. The separation of the Races. Language is embedded in genome and biome.)
But just before it fell, the Tower touched the Logos:
Something transcendental happened as the tip of the tower scraped the Firmament. Perhaps a few fast movers were able to scramble Above. The rest fell back to Earth, to begin again the great struggle, dragged again around the great cycles of separation and coming together. The Great Transcen-Dance of Creation and Destruction, the ceaseless back and forth fucking of Shakti and Shiva which is to anthropomorphise the churning of the Dark Sea.
We who Fell were left not with Logos but with language, which is divorced from Oneness – divisive, in fact.
Which is the Word of the Devil, is it not, with all its fishy polarities?
But fear not:
Thanks to the capacity of language to handle abstract symbols; thanks to the printing press; thanks to the internet; thanks to the massively accelerated and accelerating interchange of symbols, ideas and memes; thanks to the simulation of the Real into the Virtual and the assimilation of the Virtual back into the (less and less) Real – the hyperreal, as Baudrillard calls it…Thanks to all this, Things are being put back together.
- At the apogee of falling apart, the Tower is rebuilt.
And in its reconstruction we see that in essence all is meaningless. Linguistic, cultural, individual differences are only the sides of half-baked fish. Which flip spasmodically in the froth of the Wave.
The Great Meaning – the tip of the Tower which scrapes the Firmament – the Keystone, which, the moment it is laid brings the whole thing down – is the Meaning of the fact that all is meaningless:
- The meaningfulness of meaninglessness.
To grasp the Great Meaning is to leap from the fatal Keystone of the Tower, is to surf the firmament, is to become Verb, seep out of the Fabric like a drop in reverse, rejoining with Quantum Completion, with the Logos, which is No Word.
The Logos is something else:
It is Om.
It is Alif, Lam, Mim.
It is To Ho Ka Mi Ye Hi Ta Me.
Which are the Names, in one Way or another (there are many others besides the three hinted at above) of Elements.
Not the inert (linguistic, reified through physical paraphernalia into scientific) elements of the Periodic Table – hydrogen, helium and so on.
These Names of Elements are the Notes from which the Great Music is composed. Sounds, which are the Handles of the substance of creation itself.
The Keys of the Matrix:
What everything is made of.
What we are made of.
(We are talking of the Lines of the World.)
To say, the Veil is lifting, then, is to say that the genetically sub-branched babble of Babel is unravelling, being ironed out. Sorted out. And the clean sheet is the Logos. The End is carte blanche, ultimate satori.
Enlightenment, then, is to identify with That, which of course cannot be identified with, for It Itself is the source from which all identifying comes.
It is a paradox:
To identify with the crest of the Wave is Not to Identify, is to resist identification, is to Go Beyond identification. Or is it Before identification?
Is identification not always noun-making-from – a naming – something that is essentially unnameable? Can we really Be, in this ultimate sense? Or is it the final irony?
- Is the Soul really immortal?
In the sense that the Soul is made of the Lines of the World, the Elements, then yes, the Soul is as indestructible as they are. But this measure of indestructibility is surely unfathomable, and anyway, it is far from sure that we are capable of identifying with it.
- Can we really identify with being immortal?
Ironically, in our small selves here among the (rapidly reorganising) rubble of the Tower, we identify utterly with immortality. Which, according to don Juan/don Carlos (Active Side of Infinity) is the Issue of Issues for humankind.
This is importantissimo; let’s run it again:
The Ultimate manouevre (that which we need to accomplish in the face of the Flood) is to identify with the Immortal, which is the astral carte blanche of the moment before the utterance of Om, last syllable of the ascension of the Tower of language, first syllable of the Logos, which is touched by the Tower, which immediately falls apart.
To be Immortal is to identify with the Immortal. Which takes some doing. Which takes living our lives with the full urgency of the knowledge that we are mortal.
- Yet we live as if we were immortal.
To live in the full knowledge that we are going to die is to live as though we were already dead. Which is to live the life of the immortal – as that which is already dead cannot die.
You can see the Great Irony here:
The goal of the Ultimate Manoeuvre is Immortality. Enough dying before you die that when the Wave hits you are buoyant.
And then what?
We are immortal.
Assuming immortals have goals, what can be the only possible goal – after an infinite amount of time and journeying and other-worlding, lets say – of the immortal?
Would it not be to die?
Which would be to identify with that which is going to die, which is
what we commonly call Life.
A Dreadful circularity?
Is there a Way Out? A Way In?
But Wittgenstein would be turning in his grave. The wheels of language here are spinning in the mud.
Next: initiatix_04: Shin-to, the new Tao.