On Doubt: The Narrative Concept of Identity

The All Consciousness

Just the idea of going to see a therapist makes me curdle on the inside a little bit. I’ve been to enough I thought. Done enough of this I thought.

The hospital bills from panic attacks I thought were heart attacks should be enough to convince me that I should not do this without therapy and/or meds. I know alcohol and weed were major contributors to my anxiety and depression too though. Both times I went into the hospital for panic attacks, I’d been heavily drinking the night before.

What if I were to use the money I’d be spending on therapy and meds and the commute to drastically change the way I eat, to pay someone to help me with my finances, to take a martial arts class and get regular exercise?

There are so many methods available to me and the closer I get to fully investing in what are considered “traditional” methods of healing for my people, the more I want to rebel against them. The more motivated I become to change.

Ours are the non traditional methods.

It alarms me that this woman doesn’t ask about my diet or daily routine, that she immediately asks what medication I’m on, and that she immediately recommends four medications. I fit the bill for cyclothymia, perhaps bipolar. Half of Americans will experience symptoms of mental illness in their lifetimes, especially after the death of a loved one, a big move, an illness (that wipes out gut flora), or a separation or divorce. I’ve experienced 3 of these since last January and this is not a question she asks. It’s her job to stabilize me for now. Then it is her job to help.

I suppose the hospital is the same.

It alarms me that we go to the doctor because DJ can’t eat and they offer pain meds. Today he sees a specialist. Today our diet changes ( we buy groceries together and eat together most of the time).

We are not made to live this way. How much of our humanity do we fail to acknowledge in order to validate our current way of living?

There are other ways to heal. That doesn’t mean I have to exclude this one. This method is one method of many in my toolbox. Like any tool, we need the right tool for the right job. The job, right now, is to realign my perception of reality with the general perception of reality.

Here’s why:

I’m a psychonaut.

I explore other modalities of consciousness through studying story, religion, philosophy, magic, meditation, intentional body movement, lightworking, drugs (sometimes and rarely), dreams, and food.

Somehow I’d forgotten this. That is the nature of being a psychonaut. One explores the out there and it takes time to come back to the self. I’ve been doing this since I was a child. First in dreams. Then in the form of astral travel. Then with books. Rituals. I came here to have and share these experiences as best I can.

I show up at the therapist’s office at eleven on the dot and find no one is there. I say, “Alright universe. I’ll wait ten minutes. If she doesn’t show, I will abandon therapy altogether.” She shows at 11:11. On the dot. 11:11 is significant to me and many others. I just take it as a sign I’m on the right path when I see it. It’s the make a wish number, the number for manifestation, for turning thoughts into reality, and for starseeds. She apologizes and says all of our sessions will begin at ten after. Eleven after. Whatever.

We talk. She asks about how I got here, what my goals are. I tell her some stuff. She asks me about the dissociation which usually comes from trauma. I tell her I don’t remember any trauma, and anyways I’ve reconciled with my past. I love my parents. They did their best. I am thirty. I’m not interested in what’s back there except to inform my identity as I move forward. We should do this with history. Look back and let it inform us. Have we forgotten that other human being have made mistakes we can learn from?

She says there are two different types of dissociation. One is an out of body dissociation in which it seems like one is, well, outside the body. I tell her yes, I have done this and recall that the first time I french braided my own hair, this is how I did it. I stepped outside of my body, behind myself so I could see what my fingers were doing. I was maybe 14? At the time I chalked it up to astral travel. I do not tell the lady this is how I learned to braid my hair. I know that this kind of story is the kind of story that they use to identify degrees of crazy. Spiritual experience and Crazy are too often misconstrued. That is: Spiritual experience, in our culture and from the standpoint of western medicine and science, is viewed as crazy. My culture negates the spiritual experience as a valid one because my culture does not understand what it cannot see. I am here to validate spiritual experience for myself and others who have been told not to believe in something that is and always has been a part of the human experience. Just because we don’t acknowledge its reality, doesn’t mean it’s not real.

Now it occurs to me that external dissociation and astral travel are the same thing with two different stories attached.

I believe that those who have learned to dissociate out of body are astral traveling. Unfortunately, most people learn to dissociate through trauma when they are young. Something awful happens (molestation usually) and the child, lacking the language and social constructs to explain and identify what is happening outside and within emotionally, drifts out of the body. I was not molested or sexually harassed. I’ve been astral traveling at least since I was six. It is unfortunate that many learn to astral travel because of trauma. It makes astral travel a scary thing. It can be. One can get lost out there.

We have come to view astral travel as something woo woo and out there, but people do it all the time and label it as something else because they are living different stories. That’s fine. No reason to shape a story into anything else if that’s the way you prefer it. For my own part, I do not care to live in an experience that is bound by the reality defined by western cultural constructs. The key, I think, is to acknowledge both and all as equally valid and to choose for yourself how the stories about different realities inform one’s experience.

As I’m going to see this woman, I have time on the commute and I begin listening to Ram Dass, Be Here Now.

I’ve spent over a decade studying different religions and philosophies and methods of healing to understand what this is: what we call mental illness or spirituality, what they still cannot identify or pin me to per say. I cannot say I understand it any better, but there are things I’ve discovered that do help, that tell a fantastic story, and that may make me crazy or not. I don’t really care anymore who would deem me crazy. It is clear that crazy is simply a physical imbalance that leads to chemical imbalances in the brain which fifty percent of my people will experience at one time or another in their lives.

We live here with each other and so must be able to function on this plane and we do so within a story that says anything we cannot prove with our modern and limited science must not be real. Science says it knows what is wrong with me and yet the only cure it has found is a chemical cocktail of meds that are hard on the liver and the emotional landscape and which the body adapts to. I believe that I have made it to thirty without medication because I have practiced spiritual methods of healing that are valid cohealing methods to modern methods. We are not just bodies with symptoms. We are as much mind and spirit. The therapist helps me with my mind, the story I tell, the story others tell, and how to reconcile them. She helps me back into the social fabric of my people after I have jettisoned myself out into what I sometimes call lala land, but what is, I believe, the seam between identities.

We go to see therapists after divorces, loss of a loved one, moves, job changes, because these events change the story one tells oneself about one’s identity. When we lose what defines us, we feel crazy.

Spirituality lends itself to a form of defining one’s self that lies outside of the identity constructs of one’s culture. Therefore, spirituality is a valuable aid in transitional times. Spirituality is something I’ve let fall away from my life over the course of the last six months. It is something I have picked up and put down in different lights over the course of my lifetime. Some of the darkest times were void of spirituality. Some of the darkest times were the most spiritual as well.

Religion and Spirituality are not the same thing at all. Religion is a cultural construct that allows one to view spirituality through one lens that makes some sense to some people. Spirituality is void of cultural construct. Language, however, is a cultural construct so the only methods by which we can communicate spirituality to one another are stories, like religion.

Therapy and meds are a temporary quick fix to keep you alive long enough to learn other coping skills and educate yourself in such a way that who you are makes sense to you in this world. It is going to take time to educate myself in the other modalities of healing and my body is perhaps so deficient in nutrients that it is going to take time for it to heal. Therapy buys me time. It aids the part of my ego and identity that belongs to my culture, a part of me I often try to deny because I have had quite a lot of judgment and disdain for my culture in the past.

This part of my identity, however, is now necessary to cultivate again. It is never good to lose touch with reality which is the experience of the human body, mind, and spirit in this world. It is possible to enhance one’s perception of reality.

Here is how I’ve approached therapy in the past and here is how I believe therapy is meant to be approached by reasonably functioning individuals who are in a rough spot whether or not they identify with having a mental illness: I go to the therapist, I do what she says as well as I can, I learn, heal, and move on. She is a teacher. She is someone who can help me with this particular difficulty in my life. She says I’m on the bipolar spectrum though it’s unclear where I stand exactly. She is surprised by my awareness of the disease and other stories other cultures tell about it. She is supportive when I tell her that I’m reluctant to take meds, if only because I know there are many methods of healing I can turn to first. I tell her that in the event these other methods prove ineffective, I will gladly consider medication and she says she believes this is an excellent way to approach this path.

My only diagnosis was from a lady I saw at the height of a hypomanic episode when I was 25 and that lady told me that she believes I have an important message to share, that I’m not crazy, and that it sounds like I’ve learned to navigate some really out there stuff in an intelligent way that might help people. She said I might have cyclothymia, if anything, and she was looking forward to reading my book when I wrote it. The facility at which I saw this lady no longer exists and nor do their records. They went under this last spring and when I called for my records they said that the files were gone. I was floored because I was trying to get my dog registered as an emotional support animal, but maybe the records don’t matter. They are only a part of the story.

At that time of my diagnosis, I was studying ascension magic, Kabbalah, and herbal shamanism. I’d done mushrooms which sent me into lala land for a while. I do not think that hallucinogenic drugs are dangerous in and of themselves. I do believe that hallucinogens were used shamanically in the past because hallucinogens are one way to experience other dimensions. I do believe that people like me were made to explore these other dimensions and teach our people about them.

I believe our culture eschews the validity of shamanic healing in favor of scientific methods. I do believe that both are equally valid and our understanding of one is tragically lacking. I believe our lack of understanding or accepting shamanic healing or spiritual healing as valid has severely crippled our understanding of what it means to be human. That is, the spirit and otherworldly experiences are and always have been a part of the human experience and denying the validity of these experiences because we don’t understand them is like shooting one’s self in the head because it’s broken. That is…cutting oneself off from the unknown because it is unknown is where my people are at. I don’t know about you, but I always wanted to be an explorer. Space might be the final frontier that we can physically explore. But there are universes within the mind of every human being on this planet. I am not an astronaut, but I am an explorer in the vast regions of my psyche.

A psychonaut.

I believe therapy and modern medicine constitute one method of healing that is effective for one part of the human being–the body, the ego self, and how that ego self is identified in the world of other ego constructs. The Ego, or the animus, is how we operate on this planet. Without it in health and in tact, our other experiences cannot be relayed. Therefore, people have been tempted to label the experience of the ego or animus as the only valid experience.

But the animus is the vehicle for spirit.

Yesterday, after this lady shows up at 11:11 like a call from the universe and I am listening to Ram Dass, I remember all the spiritual and therapeutic healing experiences in my life like a movie reel. They move through my mind’s eye, the seat of the soul, reminding me of the journey towards healing as one that has required not only the healing of my ego and animus and body and mind, but the healing of my relationship with spirit.

And my life organized itself into a story which I’m beginning to write. Here’s the start of it. I will publish it in pieces here I guess. I’ve been told that automatic writing is how I’m supposed to do this, which is why this is a stream of consciousness blog.

Now we get to the message I came here to share.

Access the Tesseract: A Psychonaut’s Journey©

Author Forward:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve known the witness at the seat of my consciousness, the one who watches the experiences as they become us, the identity as it fills us, the death of ego as the identity empties, and the refilling of identity as we learn to grow, adapt, and embody the new. Consciousness is oneness and we is me.

I never had to put words to it for it was and is me as much as it was and is you.

But one day my childhood innocence was lost and my access to witness, or the observer, was denied. I was put on a path to learn new information that would lead me back to witness through a different perspective. After many years, I found my way back to us, only to find myself shortly cast back into ego, back into blindness.

I have been many people.

I have found my way back to witness through many lenses, philosophies, religions, and experiences and I am here now to share these with you. We are in the days of learning to settle our differences on a global scale. I am here to share with you how to access the tools of humanity, our humanity, by considering our beliefs, cultures, philosophies, religions, and selves as tools in a toolbox. I’m here to encourage and coach the ways of surrender, creativity, compassion, joy, love, hope, healing, and light. I am here to show you that you are infinite and I am here to show you how to access that infinity by setting down your fear, labels, breaking down your boxes, and surrendering your masculine ego to the divine feminine way of compassion, for the time being. The world moves forward through time and we with it and things change. Our tools are not meant to be permanent fixes. We are meant to adopt the right tool for the right use at the right time as in a kitchen, as in any trade. Our tools are vast. We have hundreds of thousands of years worth of developed tools to access at any given time. We do not have to choose one. We can choose all, knowing that nature’s way is the cycle of life and death and that the way must be respected. We are smart enough now to adopt this way, to allow ourselves to become beings beyond the trappings of the ego. #risesisterrise (Rebecca Campbell).

We are the individual manifestations of the one and we have the ability to see the one no matter who we are, what we believe, where we come from, or what our circumstances.

This sounds all fine and dandy from a super woo woo perspective. Let’s look at what this means from a more practical lens.

I have made it my life’s mission to explore altered states of consciousness and have found a thread of similarity in all states called the witness consciousness. This is the place I believe God was talking about in the bible when He said, “Be still and know that I am God.” The I is both I and God. We were made in his image. It is the place the Buddha retreated to in his meditation beneath the tree. It is the place Hindi’s put their bindis and Yogi’s open their third eye chakras. It is the place the Egyptians revered as the seat of the soul: the pineal gland. The place where visions take place and messages are conveyed in dream and in native tradition, in ritual and in hallucinatory states induced by illicit drugs. The witness, the observer, is the one who inhabits this space in nonjudgment with the eyes of the innocent. The witness watches the human that is you in the experience. The witness is the you behind the experience, the one inside the animus of the body and ego which are bound by cultural construct. The witness is consciousness.

Nothing good or bad about it. The non-attachment of Buddhism and Taoism. Many people write about the observer or witness. Ram Dass, Henry Hess, Aldous Huxley. I was introduced to the concept and was led to the conscious rediscovery of the witness mentality by reading and practicing the meditations in a book called The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael A. Singer.

And then I was introduced to Light is the New Black, by Rebecca Campbell which helped me to understand a feminine perspective, something I have not been exposed to in the way of these philosophies, religions, and bodily practices except through the lens of a male dominated cultural mentality. That is not to say a male dominated cultural mentality is bad, just that both the male and female perspectives are valuable and can inform each other to grander results than we can imagine with our limited abilities.

I journeyed into healing bravely by understanding I am afraid. I journeyed into strength by surrendering to my weakness and I journeyed into light by letting the darkness swallow me whole. We must surrender to ourselves. We must face the reality of ourselves with nonjudgment, nonattachment, kindness, compassion, we must grieve, and then we must take responsibility to right what we have wronged. Or we will be the victims of ourselves.

I am here to share with you the value of letting go of what you think you know, who you think you are, and how you think you should be. I am here to tell you that holding onto these things is okay sometimes, but that doing so all the time is not nature’s way and is not healthy for human beings. I am here to share with you that the experience of the human being has been one half lived for too long by so many, and I am here to validate your instincts to surrender to the part of you that longs to be whole.

The way is you.

I am you and you are us.

The way is us.

I am you and you are us.

The way is I.

I am you and you are us.

I Am.

I am a psychonaut and I am here to share with you my journey through consciousness that I may share the tools with you I learned upon my journey so you may use them in your own. Your journey will look very different from mine. Everyone’s is different. We are all one.

The Upside Down Triangle

When I was a kid, I dreamt repeatedly of being a person underneath the point of an upside down triangle that was so vast I could not fathom the enormity of it. The point of the triangle pressed into the top of my head, resting there, and it offered enormous pressure which I came to associate with anxiety later on. As a kid though, it came to me as a visualization in my third eye. The person was just a black outline of a person, as in those one might see on street signs, and the triangle was so vast that the camera lens of my mind had to zoom outward to see the full scope of it. By the time the triangle was fully visible, the person beneath was so small it was as large as a pinprick in the fabric of the universe and felt as insignificant, except for the fact that I knew that person was there.

I view each of us this way.

The triangle is the oneness, the consciousness of us. It looks like a triangle from my perspective.

Much later, when I wanted to write books, I imagined a world in between, one in which people existed in pillars of light connected to a much larger light source. I walked in the darkness between these pillars that were the rays of people’s lives and popped in once in a while to see how people viewed themselves, only to find that some of these pillars were rooted in the most horrible memories people had.

Later I would come to understand we are all the people under the triangle, that the triangle is just a point of extension from oneness consciousness, and that people operate like nerve endings, flashes of light and energy and electricity playing out a reaction that informs the one mind that is the universe. Our lives are as significant timewise to the universe as the single firing of a synapse is in the human brain.

And ego perspective would say that is not much.

However, all the parts of the brain must work together to sustain the whole. A deficiency in one vitamin can cause serious illness. Vitamin C and scurvy for instance.

Human experience can and, I believe, should be as varied for the individual as the diet in order for the individual to be a fully functioning healthy human being. There is no longer room for us to consider our differences in politics, religion, and state as significant enough that they should be fought over. We must aim to agree where we can and live and let live. We must remember we are all different.

A deficiency of archetypal feminine consciousness has led western archetypal male consciousness to dismiss the validity of dreams, the supernatural, the unknown, death and birth,  the creative, the artistic, the compassionate, the trusting, the surrendered, and the healing parts of the human experience in modern America and in other countries who have been swayed by the American way of life. We are missing out on at least half of what it means to be human by pitting male and female against each other instead of understanding them as necessary equally valid parts of the whole experience of being human.

I am not dismissing the validity of the modern American way of life. We are a testament to the greatness that has been achieved by the patriarchal male domination of the world in the form of creating a global civilization, but now our practice of the creation must be lent to other values.

And it is being lent to other values slowly but surely. Zoos are freeing animals for wilderness preservation. Hunting is being adopted as a conservation method which, ironically, it is due to the influence of humans on nature and the sway/responsibility we hold to help regulate it’s cycles now. Even Christians can’t debunk that one. God told you to steward the earth.

I’m as Christian as I am Wiccan.

Many will find this text blasphemous, but this text isn’t for them. We all experience the world differently and this may help some people and it may do nothing at all for some people. If this book isn’t for you, I wish you joy, health and love in all your endeavors and thank you for giving it a try.

If this book is for you, well…read that last sentence again.

I am as attached to the outcome of this book as to the outcome of my life, which is to say not at all and totally and completely. I do not know where it will go and I have no idea how it will end but I’m on the journey with all it’s ups and downs, for better or worse, because I came here to be a human being and I believe that the part of us all that came here to be human is connected, whatever that part is, or however you use the boundaries of your personal or cultural or linguistic contexts to identify it.

I believe, too, that humans can access this all part of our experience, and have been accessing it through various healing (and not so healing) modalities for ages. I am here to share with you the experiences I have had with this all Consciousnes, how I found my way to it or was found by it, and how I have come to view the identity constructs of human beings as lenses by which we allow ourselves to change, evolve, experience, and inform the all-consciousness, and how I managed to navigate these changes.

Personal note: (Read Link for information on this subject. Also refer to Journal 1/10/2020 and Ram Dass Be Here Now Lectures 3 and 4).

I believe that the more we familiarize ourselves with putting down and picking up the lenses of consciousness to inform compassion, the easier the transitions from one stage of life to the next can become.

Given humanity is due for some large transitions in the direction of healing ourselves and our home, I believe this work can help some people who are in the lens that will appreciate this for what it is: A psychonaut’s exploration of the tesseract constructed by the tools of the human identity extended from the collective consciousness.

Or accounts of the all experience by one individual pinprick in the fabric of the universe.

Thank you for showing up to you.

Thank you for healing us all.

Let’s get started.

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