Lens of Perception: What’s Your Real?

For anyone who has been reading here for a while, a lot of what I do is explore how intention and action become results, especially when results seem to come as unintended consequences of accidental actions even though they are the results we were looking for in the first place.

Our subconscious brains fit pieces together while our conscious brains go along clumsily omitting and stitching together pieces of experience to create a story that makes sense to it, which usually means that story is missing something.

I set out, when starting dualnaturehuman, to discover what we left behind as part of our human experience in adopting our rational mind, western world view and I have encountered some profound lessons since starting.

1: I actually want children (my biological heart wins out over my rational mind and I think this is the norm for human beings, not the exception. The heart wins!)

2: My curiosity around psychosis, psychedelics and plant medicine was pretty close. Jeremy Narby, an anthropologist from Stanford who studies the medicinal plants of the Ashaninca in the Amazon, discovers in his research of their plant medicine and lifestyle that these people experience the hallucinations of their world on Ayuhuasca as real. What’s more, he discovers that these people enter a state of awareness that allow them to be aware of what is taking place in their bodies on a molecular level so they can understand what exactly the plant is doing in their brain and how to synthesize it. And finally, these people are also not the exception. They are the rule.

3: The snake is representative in many tribal and Amazonian and ancient cultures across the world (via Joseph Campbell, who this Narby guy references fancy that) of the fissure between the two hemispheres of the brain, of DNA, of the “ladder” (double helix) that let man descend to earth from the heavens and ascend to the heavens from earth, and that this DNA activation is essentially what is happening when Shamans in these cultures participate in plant ceremony.

I’ve been trying to find the blind spot and Narby identifies it as plant medicine, furthering his claim by explaining that because the spirits and beings that the Ashaninca people see in their hallucinations are accepted as real, because the world of hallucinations is as real if not more realm to them than the merely rational world through which the western lens is aimed, they are capable of learning from their own DNA things that our ancestors new and things about plants that our own pharmaceutical companies can only rip off, synthesize, and profit from with a minimal degree of success in comparison to these tribal healers. Again this guy is from Stanford University so this isn’t just me rambling or making conjecture as usual.

Remember that Kundalini snake I told you about some time ago? I’ll put that post up here if it’s not, but I was talking about this snake and Joseph Campbell and how the snake is representative of our collective ability to individuate ourselves from the archetypal parents and become self-actualized, excerpt the western world has forgotten those rights of initiation?

In his research, Narby discovers some research about the cosmic anaconda in the mythologies of the Desana. He quotes Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff from the book “Brain and Mind in Desana shamanism”:

“Within the fissure [between the two hemispheres of the brain] ‘two intertwined snakes are lying, a giant anaconda (Eunectes murinus) and a rainbow boa (Epicrates cenchria), a large river snake of dark dull colts and an equally large land snake of spectacularly bright colors. In Desana shamanism, these two serpents symbolize a female and male principle, a mother and father image, water and land…; in brief, they represent a concept of binary opposition which has to be overcome in order to achieve individual awareness and integration. The snakes are imagined as spiralling rhythmically in a swaying motion from one side to another.”

(Narby 57).

Imagine my surprise upon reading that this search for what was missing, this language, this individualization and this experience of other worldly beings—all this stuff I’ve been trying to explain and understand, is not able to be rationalized in our culture because we do not believe in what we cannot see. what’s more, it’s a common, ancient part of human experience that is wired into our DNA.

Further, the implications of how these people use plant medicine and hallucinations alongside interactions with other-dimensional beings to learn what modern science has not been able to replicate in terms of their bio diverse farming or pharma techniques implies that consciousness is something we in the western world are experiencing in an extremely limited capacity, if nothing else.

I only wound up here because modern science could not explain to me what I was experiencing, nor could any diagnosis be made nor any medicine applied. What’s more, I have a strangely diverse background of multi-religious exploration, ceremony, and trance states, along with a fundamental knowledge of Jungian symbolism and Joseph Campbell’s works that allowed me to explain to a therapist what I understood about interacting with other-dimensional beings and the symbolic nature of the subconscious in such a way that she said she was looking forward to one day seeing my work.

So maybe I am onto something.

Lately I figure that identifying the realistic parameters of the experiences are less important than simply telling them as they are. We live in a world in which the very foundations of our reality is being questioned and the work I do is meant to anchor me to a foundation of reality that exists in myth across time across cultures so we can persist while our own limited perspective dies away.

Insanity is defined by ones inability to adjust to the reality and expectations of one’s culture, but when that culture is itself insane from lack of originality or new thought, or if that culture is in transition from one set of beliefs to another. (As I believe we are) it is this narrative of the timeless human condition that holds us firm. The journey of the hero through light and dark, across land and sea, individuate from the mother and father, brings us to a trust in our own hearts, our own ability to persevere, and maintains sanity where there is none.

What’s more, we suffer this journey regardless of whether we choose it. We are in the youthful throws of binary bickering here in America. I believe we possess the capability to become individualized, but the back and forth must inform the consciousness which proceeds, not own it. We haven’t yet separated ourselves as a country from our mothers and fathers, slaves and plantation owners, rich men and poor men, whole human or almost human.

These narratives weave their way through our culture like these binary snakes, like the DNA which Ayuhuasqueros can become aware of and learn about in trance states.

The stories we believe about reality are perhaps as influential in creating it as what is objectively real, if only because we act upon what we believe and we are fully capable of creating anything from dinner to vast civilizations.

We are being asked to look at the old stories, to repair them, to rewrite them. I only hope that in the rewriting, we manage to reconcile the snakes.

On my own search for individuation, the snake has appeared to see me across thresholds of consciousness that challenged everything I’d been told about reality and what’s real. It also allowed me to see beyond the confines of the binary. All I can say is that the discovery of this book and its author is a huge step for me in the direction of this exploration. A Stanford scientist is over here asking questions I’ve been trying to understand for years and confirms the blind spot between science and this ayuhuasqueros is in their understanding of the fundamentals of reality, one of which includes other-dimensional beings, and one which does not, but both perspectives have created medicine. Both are valid in their own ways, so at least I’m not just crazy. What a relief.

In the meantime, I will continue to explore kundalini, the snake, and myth. I’m currently exploring the effects of the imagination on body-awareness and present moment awareness in relationship to manifestation.

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