Saturday, May 16, 2020

Escape from the Labyrinth (repost)

An Open Letter to Homo saps, c/o The WorldWideWeb (and to my West Essex High School chum, David George White, who inspired this!)

WHY do people think they need to have their heads shrunk when what they actually want is to have their minds expanded?

My response to psychiatry: if you really want to shrink heads, go back a hundred years to Borneo, where it was a noble tradition amongst Iban warriors, not just another lucrative priestly profession.

So I’m going to tell you a little about my crazy adventures in the labyrinth of consciousness. How I met and befriended the Minotaur and named him Chief Shitting Bull. You can imagine the mountains of manure accumulated over the aeons.

Flossofy is a load of bullshit, I can almost hear my transgendered virtual shaman friend Sha’Tara quip. I’m into goddesses myself. And to the ecofeminist in me bullshit’s the same as cowdung - a useful source of fuel, fertilizer, wall-filling, and psychedelic fungi. My aunt Hathor, the cowfaced Egyptian goddess, taught me everything I know about the Milky Way.

I’m doing this for myself and for you, Dave. When the Maya meet they greet each other: “In Lak’ech!” I am another yourself. Let’s see if life improves when I start addressing you as another aspect of myself. The aspect that can’t help ratiocinating. I’ll present myself as the aspect that hasn’t stopped hallucinating. No email smiley, but I’m sure your well-honed sense of irony will feel right at home here.

UPON returning from my eventful year in the US, I wasted no time getting laid. We did it in the White House (that was the name of the Chinese hotel in Singapore I selected for our tryst). White features prominently in the story. My first real fuck and I became a father at 19.

But the real turning point was on Christmas Day, 1968, when I borrowed my brother’s 250cc BSA and took my de facto wife for a spin – literally! A car abruptly made a turn as we were overtaking it. I remember the sensation of flying through the air, suspended in eternity, and then landing on soft grass and springing almost instantly to my feet to check on my wife who was four months pregnant. To my relief she regained consciousness after a few seconds and it seemed like neither of us was hurt, only badly shaken. Someone drove us to the nearby hospital just in case, and it was a couple of hours later that I found the strange wound on my back - two circular burn marks along my spine about eight inches above the bum and an inch apart. Couldn’t figure out how I’d sustained that injury, but it didn’t hurt and healed within a day, though tiny scars are still visible.

It took me twenty years to find a funky twist to that incident. In a parallel universe, a teenaged father-to-be died in a motorcycle accident 13 days before his 19th birthday. However, on this time-track, the kid spent the next 15 months integrating a totally new personality. From my parents’ perspective, the “psychotic” episode was triggered by a combination of factors: the life-changing experience of watching the birth of my first daughter in May 1969, two weeks after bloody mayhem broke out in the streets of Kuala Lumpur (a safe distance from Batu Pahat, my hometown in the south); and then there was the heavy pot-smoking and listening for hours on headphones to psychedelic rock.

No wonder the kid flipped out and thought he was God, staying up nights, chanting “Om mani padme hum” like a mad monk in the streets, throwing away his pocket money (a sure sign of lunacy), forgetting to eat, watching the skies for dancing lights, chuckling spontaneously, announcing to friends and family that the kingdom of heaven was right here, pointing to pictures of Jesus and saying with a mischievous wink that he was back, don’t worry, everything’s perfectly okay now, everyone made it through the needle’s eye.

Another way of describing what happened is that my ego membrane dilated, became porous, and somehow the Cosmos seeped through my pre-programmed defences. I became everyone and everything around me. All faces, forms, and names were my own. Everything spoke to me: mineral, vegetable, animal, human, angelic, and beyond. A classic case of satori – I was absolutely ecstatic and never wanted to return to mundanity, the prosaic (Prozac?) state humans have been conditioned for countless generations to accept as “real.”

If I was inclined towards an open-minded agnosticism before this pivotal peak experience, I now embraced the Gnosis with my entire being. God the Father-Pater-Pattern took the omnipresent form of Electrons and Electricity, speaking the language of Light and Lightning. Goddess the Mother-Mater-Matrix was the entire Matter Universe, the insulation and the copper wire through which the masculine principle coursed, the finite, physical sheath for the metaphysical sword of infinite intelligence. She was the rain, the rivers, the ocean of bliss (and sorrow) within my cellular being. Their lovemaking created the eternal Yin and Yang, and I was born of the everchanging pulse of their majestic dance as Chronos, as Time; and simply through remembrance of my origins I could reconnect with Eternity.

All rather simplistic but it did the trick for me then. These days, the idea of God as electricity would immediately strike me as unrefined. What manifests as “electricity” is merely how we interact with it at our level of perception. My adopted grandfather, R. Buckminster Fuller, was fond of associating electricity with radiation and magnetism with gravity. But even so, we can never really grasp these notions with our very limited intellects and our even more limited vocabulary. It’s like trying to put your arms around a sequoia – it takes teamwork to do it, perhaps a dozen pairs of linked arms, depending on the girth of the tree. Attempting to intellectualize about the Mystery is doomed to futility – but we can have endless fun trying.

Still, at the time there was nothing I didn’t know, no memory beyond recall. Before the Big Bang, there I was. Micro, macro, and everything in between: subatomic and transgalactiic, immanent and transcendent, sublime and ridiculous, it was all just ME! The Mystery was really just My Story!

But WHAT or WHO am I???

I stood before mirrors gazing into the multitude of faces looking back at me. Was I the Planetary Logos? The Cosmic Christ? The Paraclete Incarnate? Words are inadequate, inaccurate, misleading. Human languages do fairly well within a specific range of experience, but as soon as we move into metaphysical zones, they invariably falter and fail. In any case, I was in an exalted state and my excited bioenergetic field was creating ripples of anxiety and incomprehension around me.

Interesting to note at this point: according to Bucky Fuller (pictured right), the PHYSICAL world in which we “normally” function represents less than 0.1% of the electromagnetic spectrum - more than 99.9% of which is what we call METAPHYSICAL, in effect, beyond the measurable range of our physical senses and scientific instruments.

Perhaps in India I would have been recognized instantly as an Avatar and a thriving ashram might have sprung up around me! But in middle-class, materialistic Malaysia, sharing space with well-meaning but utterly clueless parents whose Reader’s Digest worldview was suddenly confronted by an immortal spirit walking around in a 19-year-old body that resembled their youngest son, it was unequivocally decided that I was quite mad and in urgent need of psychiatric assistance. If I knew then what I now know – that I was actually a walk-in, and told them as much, they would have committed me all the same (okay, insert smiley here, if you like). You may ask, what the fuck is a “walk-in”? We’ll come back to this fascinating topic later (or you can click on the link and read about it).

The next three months was a fun-filled period of in-depth training in navigational skills. José Argüelles came out with an instructive and entertaining book called Surfers of the Zuvuya (Bear & Co, 1989) in which he recounts his interdimensional explorations. This is how Argüelles defines zuvuya:
“Zuvuya is the Mayan term for the big memory circuit. It is the memory hotline. It connects equally to the future as well as the past because it is an interdimensional thread. It is what fuels synchronicity , and consequently, it is the pipeline for magic.”
During my brief sojourn in the madhouse, I had weekly chats with a shrink named Edward Tan whom we shall call Dr ET. He was a smart cookie and knew he was on to a good thing – an articulate and self-aware inmate! Tried every which way to persuade me to extend my stay so he could use me for his personal research (an ambitious chap) but I told him no way, I’d completed my internship and was ready to be released. To please him, I agreed to address a panel of psychiatrists. Can’t remember everything I said, but I recall they were all suitably impressed. But, still, Dr ET wouldn’t relinquish his hold on me.

“You’re not well,” he intoned, “you may be highly intelligent and knowledgeable but you’re still schizophrenic. In fact, statistics show that a lot of intelligent people suffer from schizophrenia.”

“Of course I am!” I grinned. “EVERYBODY is schizophrenic. Only difference is that I KNOW we’re many different selves operating at different and occasionally overlapping frequencies. Okay, perhaps you could describe my condition as megalomania; but, then again, what is megalomania? Megalo means ‘great’ in Greek. So what’s wrong with knowing that I’m great? Truth is, everyone’s great – yes, even you! But we’ve been taught that it isn’t modest or polite to acknowledge our essential magnificence and vastness. We’ve been told that we’re lowly creatures, prone to seven deadly sins and whatnot, in desperate need of salvation. Hey, you’re Roman Catholic, aren’t you? So what’s that Star of David placemat doing on your desk?” [Dialogue reconstructed from memory and slightly embellished for dramatic effect.]

Dr ET absolutely insisted that I needed electro-shock therapy and made me sign a document of acquiescence. “Only then I’ll let you go home,” he smirked. I had no fear of electricity (‘E my Daddy after all), so I said okay, deal. The price I paid for my freedom was three shock treatments. They were painless – but what happened was that my synaptic connections were thrown into disarray. It was as though a thief had broken into my office and scattered the entire contents of my filing cabinet.

I vegetated for about four months afterwards, stuffing my face with peanuts, chestnuts and steamed corn-on-the-cob – and feeding my brain with at least 200 books. Finally I had enough of that existential limbo and applied for a job in advertising (not knowing it was just another brand of limbo), just so I could move out and move on. Decided to stay with my maternal aunt in Kuala Lumpur and, a few months later, took over her apartment when she moved to her own house. Lotus-Lily dropped out of university to join me in our humble nuclear family experiment. In late 1970, high on acid at a friend’s birthday party, our #2 daughter, Belle, was conceived. The few acid trips I took reinstated my earlier experience of Divine Madness and convinced me that it was precisely the state of consciousness sought after by alchemists, magicians, and shamans throughout the ages.

An English anarchist and dope-smuggler introduced me to psilocybin mushrooms in 1972. They were freely available at certain power spots and 100% laboratory-proof. Mushrooms, though milder and smoother, also have the effect of restoring my original state of God-consciousness. Other ways to reconnect with Source are through the ascetic-yogic path (which requires immense self-discipline and resolve, as I soon discovered when I was initiated into a Tantric warrior-monk cult called Anandamarga and turned vegetarian for all of three months); or in the company of others with exceptionally high-frequency bioenergetic fields.

Speaking of UHF bio-fields, I recently stumbled upon the astonishingly stimulating musings of the late Terence McKenna (author of The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History) whose eloquence is matched only by his elvish erudition. Last year, a Canadian internet friend sent me a set of 8 cassettes with McKenna rambling on about everything. Hard to find time to listen to it all at one go, but very good to have in the archives.

It took me twenty years to piece the puzzle back together. All this while I vividly remembered the delicious sensation of cosmic bliss and all-knowingness – but couldn’t for the life of me figure out the hows and wherefores of perfect ease and total ecstasy. What was it that had (in 1969) made me believe heaven on earth wasn’t merely possible, but was actually just around the bend (pardon the pun)?

In 1989 I met Mary Maguire at the launch of my first book and within a couple of weeks we had become firm friends and companions-in-lunacy and reincarnational research. Mary is Irish and witchily so, down to her flaming red mane now turning grey (which she religiously dyes every month). We soon became acutely aware that the Dark Side was no longer in outright control of the Earth (not since 1987) – but it wasn’t about to let go of its grim outlook and surrender to joy. At least not without a last, all-out, desperate effort to clamp down on a fast awakening humanity.

The Dark Side, as it turns out, was the aspect of ourselves that had suffered extreme disillusionment and pain when it felt abandoned by Mummy and Daddy, shortly after inserting itself into the dense world of physical form and experiencing complete amnesia. To block out the pain it had armored itself within a crustacean ego – and learned to minimize its emotional responses to the extent that it appeared to be utterly devoid of empathy and incapable of compassion.

LET’S back up a little, as I’m racing ahead of myself. What transpired when Mary Maguire and I reconnected was a surge we both experienced in our bio-fields. It wasn’t sexual, though for a while we were lovers (indeed, we did it on our very first date, both of us agreeing it was best to deal immediately with the erotic tension and get down to the real fun, which was just to hang out together a lot and discuss everything under the sun). The synergetic effect of our unified bio-fields significantly increased our neural voltage and all it took was a third coordinate to lift us to a whole new level of awareness.

The Third Man wasn’t Harry Lime, but a Canadian Briton named Dave Cawson whom I had first met in Kathmandu around Christmas 1984. Dave is married to Shanthini Kandiah, a Malaysian whose father, it turned out, was once my dad’s colleague and drinking partner, yup, small world. The Cawsons were somewhat nomadic at the time, going wherever there was cash to be made teaching English – but they returned sporadically to visit Shanthini’s folks. Anyway, with Dave, Mary and I linked once again on the physical plane, really extraordinary phenomena began to occur. I wrote a fairly detailed account of the pendulum and ouija experiments we conducted in November 1989.

Dave himself had had incredible experiences around 1971 when he was living in Red Deer, British Columbia. They were X-Files episodes not unlike my own in 1969. Subsequent research revealed that the years 1968-1971 were a supercharged period of cosmic initiations on this planet when the Christ consciousness grid was experimentally activated. As a result thousands, if not millions, around the world spontaneously turned on, tuned in, dropped out – or freaked out, claiming to be Jesus. Some might say this was an instance of benevolent ET intercession. Others might attribute it to a particularly turbulent and prolonged period of sunspot activity – not unlike what we’re experiencing at this writing.

There is a vast body of literature available that probably never crossed your path, considering that your personal interests and tastes would have led you down an entirely different path, but in case this communiqué arouses more than mere intellectual curiosity, I’ll mention some of the books that have helped me formulate and consolidate my perspectives.

Dane Rudhyar, who died in 1985 at the age of 90, is best described as a Renaissance Man who coined the term “holistic” – which has taken about 25 years to infiltrate the mainstream vocabulary. Rudhyar was best known as, strangely enough, an astrologer; but his crystalline intelligence made him an exceptional philosopher, psychologist, and transducer of esoteric knowledge into accessible language. Apart from that, he also painted geometric abstractions and composed intricately contemplative music. His numerous books, unfortunately, bear somewhat suspect titles like:

WE CAN BEGIN AGAIN - TOGETHER: A Re-evaluation of the Basic Concepts of Western Civilization in terms of an emergent Future for Mankind (Omen Communications Inc, 1974).

Even more suspect:

Occult Preparations for a New Age
(Quest Books, 1975)

Less suspect, but perhaps overly grandiose:

The Planetarization of Consciousness (Aurora Press, 1970)

Nevertheless, I found Rudhyar’s meticulous, occasionally ponderous writings of immense value in establishing a rigorous conceptual framework for my own cottonwoolly ecstatic visions. This was powerfully complemented by my exposure to R. Buckminster Fuller’s pioneering work in Whole Systems Theory and Energetics-Synergetics. My sceptical left brain received further reassurance in 1997 when I turned myself in for a 6-day experiential workshop called Flower of Life which was essentially a refresher course in evolutionary history covering 500,000 years of Earthtime.

Another visionary thinker and writer who bolstered my conceptual confidence was William Irwin Thompson (former historian at M.I.T.) whose Passages about Earth: An exploration of the new Planetary Culture (Rider & Company, 1975) was tremendously inspiring to me. Thompson founded the Lindisfarne Association, an alternative commune on Long Island based on the Esalen Institute at Big Sur and Hermann Hesse’s Castalia Foundation (of Glass Bead Game fame).

On a whole different imaginative tack, I was greatly impressed by Akhunaton the Extraterrestrial King (Frog Ltd, 1995) – a first novel by Daniel Blair Stewart whose far-out prophetic insights are being vindicated by the extremely weird twists in the present planetary plot.

However, the biggest mind-boggler I’ve encountered to date has to be THE MAYAN FACTOR: Path Beyond Technology by José Argüelles (Bear & Co, 1987). Argüelles also wrote and illustrated the equally astonishing EARTH ASCENDING (1984) but this isn’t one of his more accessible works; and THE ARCTURUS PROBE: Tales and Reports of an Ongoing Investigation (1996) sounds truly intriguing but is practically unreadable (though the illustrations are astounding). His latest effort, which I have yet to read, is TIME AND THE TECHNOSPHERE (Bear & Co, 2002, now available as a pdf download).

The extent of Argüelles’s commitment to his mission is demonstrated by his dropping completely out of academia (he received his PhD in Art History and Aesthetics in 1969) and changing his name to Valum Votan, Arcturian Minister. His wife Lloydine became Bolon Ik and they have been tirelessly campaigning for the World Thirteen Moon Calendar Change Peace Movement and the Planet Art Network (PAN). Their website contains paradigm-shattering information.

Now, how is any of this stuff relevant to the harsh and hellish geopolitical climate we now face - as Bush and his Cohorts brazenly frogmarch Homo saps towards the endgame scenario of our worst Orwellian nightmares and the nuclear winter of our ultimate discontent?

Allow me to quote at length from José Argüelles’s 1996 Update appended to a new edition of THE MAYAN FACTOR:
Since that halcyon era when Mr Gorbachev was more popular than George Bush, the world has taken a bad turn for the worse – or so it would seem. The materialist civilization critiqued by The Mayan Factor is now boldly stepping up its own apocalyptic demise and spinning out of control faster than it can rewire itself. What is going on? What comes next? 
Instead of breaking the chains with the past, the course of materialist civilization took a deadening turn. An unprecedented and unprincipled hegemony of world power had taken control, bringing on the dreaded ‘end times.’ This power play occurred in mid-1990, precisely the point at which the dialectic of history had dissolved in the rubble of what had been the Berlin Wall. When the phoenix of post-history should have been rising from the ashes of the Cold War, a sinister plot, long incubating, was calculatedly hatched and imperceptibly woven into the collective mind of the human race.
This plot was publicly disguised as George Bush’s ‘New World Order.’ It was originally conceived in 1974, when George Bush was the director of the CIA. The plot was dependent on the Russians being the first to throw in the towel. Once this occurred, the plot was set in motion. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990, was the pretext. Within weeks, the G-7 (the group of seven most industrialized nations) held its first public meeting in sixteen years, i.e., since its inception as a covert operation by the CIA in 1974.
Five months of unprecedented brainwashing of the American public - and, via CNN, of the world at large – in preparation for Operation Desert Storm was the perfect screen for placing the G-7, and its policy of ‘monetary politics,’ at the helm of world political control. The G-7 was George Bush’s master plan. The success of the Gulf War and the acquiescence of the majority of the American public in this endeavor sealed the fate of the planet in an evil dumb-show in which the only option is enforced enslavement to an out-of-control machine.

With the dialectic of history over, the monolithic G-7 tyranny of monetary politics and its domination of the electronic media has created a visionless wasteland of monstrous proportions. Truly humanity appears to be settling for a fate in which it is little more than the sex organs of the machine. But these are the end times. From the point of view of The Mayan Factor, it is the end of time, of artificial machine time, of the time controlled by the twelve-month Gregorian calendar and the sixty-minute hour.

So there you have it. My conceptual development since 1968 in a nutcase, I mean, nutshell.

The reason – or rather, unreason – for my optimism has nothing whatsoever to do with current affairs - or rather, currant affairs. It has everything to do, however, with the spontaneous recall of my having “walked in” on the Malaysian Chinese lad named Lee Kit Fong on Christmas Day, 1968. This prompted an “identity crisis” which I ingeniously resolved by adding an ‘E’ to my family name, thereby openly declaring my intention to constantly reinvent myself.

I subsequently went through an amusing series of nominal transformations, acquiring eccentric appellations like Magruser Eeel (revealing an obsession with resurgence through a reversal of the Latin word resurgam); Avalokiteshvara (in Tibet the personification of Universal Compassion, masculine aspect of Kwan Yin, Goddess of Mercy); C.Y. Bernet (sardonically acknowledging my own bionicity or robothood); Michael Zodiac (an allusion to the Melchizedek Order of which I am a de facto member by dint of my lifelong absorption in mysticism, shamanism, and arcane research); even the rarely used Lee Bee Doh (in honor of my rampant gonads).

In 1992, while performing a star alignment meditation, I received my present galactic tag – Antares (in Chinese cosmogony, the Red Phoenix Star; in Hindu astronomy, Jyeshtha, the last portal souls have to pass through on their return journey to Source) - but it wasn’t till 1996 that I was prompted to go public with it. The impetus behind this was to consciously jettison the ballast of my personal past, my cultural and ethnic moorings, and set off anew for shores unknown.

Sometime in 1970 I had come across an unusual book called The Ultimate Frontier, by Richard Kieninger (founder of the Stelle Community based near Chicago). A mysterious “Dr White” appears to young Richard, gently initiating him into the Cosmic Secrets and revealing the occult influence on human affairs of the Great White Brotherhood and its shadowy counterpart, the Dark Lodge. That’s right, the archetypal duality of Good vs Evil (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Ahuramazda vs Ahriman (Zoroastrianism), Yin vs Yang (Taoism).

The trick was to transcend bipartisan politics, dispense altogether with the “versus,” and transmute these polarities into symbiotic partnerships – in which event the Great White Brotherhood (eerily, the same initials as George W. Bush!) would act as an evolutionary accelerator, while the Dark Lodge would serve as the braking (breaking?) mechanism. Since those heady days, there has been an exponential increase in esoterica and spiritual literature, much of it saying the same old thing.

In 1997 I wrote a summary of the Flower of Life teachings and posted it in two parts: here and here.

Although I have since come to rely mostly on inner rather than outer authority – paying close attention to all belief systems but not taking on any as my own except when they resonate with direct experience – Drunvalo’s FOL material carries an undeniable fascination, if only for the complexity and scope of the information it encompasses.

I met a couple from Singapore (Heiko Niedermeyer and Selina Lau) in September 2001 who practise a form of deep emotional therapy called RELEASING. They invited me to a couple of weekend workshops and I found Releasing a pretty effective and painless way to clear out the inner circuitry. Sounds like you could use something like this to free yourself from the debilitating effects of emotional trauma.

Have you, by any chance, heard of or read Philip K. Dick’s Valis? You must, in any case, have heard of or even seen The Matrix, which hints heavily at some of the utterly bizarre reality options being played out right now on planet Earth.

HOLY SHIT, WE ARE ALL THE ONE! (Triple smiley)

Antares © 2002, first posted 8 May 2007, reposted 26 July 2016 & 28 November 2019]