When the Life Imperative Insists on Making Yourself Whole … No Matter The Cost

joe-at-coffeeA writer needs to write, never more so then when he has been keeping secrets which eat away at him relentlessly and which demand opening to the light. Knowing the world won’t accept you, the darkness gathers. An explosion is inevitable … with growing openness, a creative explosion.

I never really thought I’d be as brave as I must be to complete my vision for the Brave New Worlds blog. There is now an editorial calendar for this publication which fills me with emotional dread and existential terror. It involves the publication of of four short books on this blog plus supportive material within the next 9 months. It will force me to give you, my reader, the first barely expurgated look at my psychological and spiritual evolution since writing my autobiography, Soulfully Gay, more than 13 years ago. I will need to take you along the topsy-turvy, rolly-polly ride which has unsettled every previous belief (without disjarring them entirely), documented with reams of correspondence and private journals never before seen publicly.

Much of these four books are already written, except for introductory notes and minor editing. So I can see what’s coming. At times they’re grotesque and ugly, scandalous and creepy, wicked and shameful. Some people will never forgive me for revealing the hidden story that I wished I could avoid detailing in public (but I can’t, I’m afraid). But if you have an Integral sensibility and an open heart and mind, perhaps you will find in these upcoming publications a beacon of hope, an illumination into unstudied and misunderstood realms of abnormal psychology and spiritual exuberance, and even a remarkably original vision of how to move humanity forward from this point in our history. It is a vision that goes beyond the problems we face in the manifest realms to the plague confronting unseen places.

Why is this necessary? For starters there’s the sense I’ve felt that after writing a tell-all autobiography at the age of 33/34, that I promptly went into the closet again. My life went on, drama after drama, jail cell after jail cell, psych ward after psych ward, abandoned manuscript after abandoned manuscript, mixed with an indefatigable commitment to spiritual practices that were totally off-the-chart (in other words, often improvised by the seat of my pants in life-threatening situations). To the physicians, I was a mental patient. To my own reckoning, I was a mystic engaged in a radical spiritual practice of witnessing seldom noticed subtle phenomena at the edge of consensual reality. I made friends and enemies in the unseen places, and experienced new dimensions of love and hatred. And out of these observations, I grew adept at a practice of being among the first in a lineage of what I call “World Shamans”: world-walkers without a tribe who are loyal only to the tribe of humanity and,  indeed, all sentient beings (known and unknown) in the Kosmos.

World Shamans? Witnessing psychotic delusions and re-framing them as a hermeneutics of consensual reality’s breakdown? Perhaps this is just so much rationalization on behalf of a bipolar man seeking meaning in the essentially meaningless. But who the hell are you to tell me this persuasively? Have you seen what I have seen? Have you seen reality face crises unlike anything ever told? Have you been contacted by non-human entities through “telepathic” connections, spirits and beasts and demons bearing messages of terrible Armageddon and hope for curing what ills us? Have you found yourself convinced that you have been given prophecies by God … in a world where such message are dismissed as lunatic ravings by haters both within and outside the churches? Were you ever given a special urgent mission for spiritual renewal, only to face utter failure?

And all of this will be explored in Brave New Worlds over the course of the next year … and more. I haven’t mentioned the most scandalous stuff. I need to bear the scandalous stuff too, as much as humanly possible and permitted, so I may be whole again. The secret must be lifted. No one truly knows the burdens I have carried or the scar of secrecy entailed.  And within the months ahead, it will all be open for you to form your reactions.

Good for you, for reading along. I welcome you on this voyage in this website. We have a remarkable nine months ahead of us, if you have the commitment to continue your readership.

The Wily Magician’s Best Secrets, Part 3

lol-dictionary-300x199Rule #3: The realm of language and symbol exists in a constant state of evolution, and we are active participants in a collective drama, the wily Magicians most of all. Use language responsibly.

Every word you say or write, every thought you co-create with unconscious processes in the individual and collective unconscious, every time you use a symbol to represent anything at all, you are co-creating. You are creating a beautiful Mandala in which all things are related. This is the awesome and awful truth. If you are like most people, you are oblivious to this unconscious drama. But if you are a wily Magician, then you can’t help but be drawn into this marvelous feature of life. It carries the potentiality to create and desecrate, destroy and delight, amaze and amyster. (The word “amyster” is a neologism that just created itself. It is supposed to mean “to make mystery”, but what it really means is a matter of how it is taken up in processes outside of my control.)

The wily Magician has many choices for using language, evolving it. I urge responsibility and vision and a willingness to submit to widespread cosmological forces working themselves out through linguistic evolution. Do not approach linguistic evolution like a child, babbling nonsense; nor like a teenager, neologizing like a cracked up rapper; nor like a typical adult, developing new words as tools to be used for utilitarian purposes; nor like a more mature adult, seeking novelty mainly in the depths of one’s unique experiences. Linguistic evolution occurs on many developmental levels and stations of life; be aware of your own purpose and nurture awareness and tolerance of many different forms of linguistic evolution. But none of the motives that I have mentioned are enough for the wily Magician. I urge linguistic evolution in the spirit of joining an amazing cosmic dance, recognizing your own special coordinate in a massive unfolding Mandala in which language has taken a great leap forward in its capabilities. I urge attuning yourself to the possibilities for linguistic novelty only available by learning a meta-language which unfolds the symbols of all the Sacred Word traditions in existence.

That is the breathtaking leap I have been hinting at! Do you see it? There is a meta-language available right now which stands as a prototype for arranging all the Sacred Word traditions known in 7,000 multifarious languages. The most essential vowel and consonant sounds are all there (there are a few less common sounds that aren’t depicted by the set of 40 letters, but some loss of variation is inevitable in a project of this sort). By attuning yourself to this meta-language, you can access the creative “spirits” that have been described by the yogis and esoterics and spiritualists for thousands of years, in a manner of speaking. You can make your acts of linguistic evolution powerful not merely because your creativity drudges up personal shadow material or egoistic knowledge, but because you have tapped into the Great Tradition of language mystics throughout all of human history.

(Maybe Lingua-U isn’t perfect. But it’s Version 1.0 of a new kind of language. Give it some time to grow and room to spread out and emerge with all the beautiful bluster it can muster. Lingua-U puts you at the Heart of the Living Logos. You can try accessing the Living Logos merely through one language, with its partly arcane and partly obsolete symbolism — all individual languages are in a state of decline — but you will lose sight of the way that Spirit has revealed itself throughout world history in a multitude of linguistic forms and expressions.)

Meta-language is the wily Magician’s most adroit friend and foe in climbing the stepladder of consciousness, one step at a time, enveloping all that is within Space, Time, and Thought. We have published “Lingua-U Codex: Excerpt A” and now there is a guide, a sort of Beginner’s Manual for accessing the Konstruct of Integral Magick, specifically Lingua-U and the Kalendar. Through a regular practice of breath and body-movement and subtle energy manipulation, it ought to be possible for any serious student of Integral Magick to figure their way to understanding their life, their world, their future, and the world’s future. This may seem like an overstatement, but on a subject of this incredible importance it is best to be up front about this technology’s potential.

(As an aside, the Codex not only describes past stages of development; through an iterative view of the fundamental features of each stage it allows us to begin to project forward to anticipate the highest possible stages of consciousness for human potential and destiny. In this sense, the Codex is an Oracular Text of a very peculiar sort: it is an Oracle which hopes to provide wisdom useful for making the route easier for human beings to climb to their highest potentials, depicted as Person-Perspectives. Stages of Consciousness. Levels of Maturity. For its functionality as an Oracular Text, the Codex depends on a precise numerology and geomancy, alignments of the features of thought with precision. But this is a topic for another day.)

Don’t worry today how to complete the project of learning a meta-language. Just think about how to begin. You have Excerpt A of the Codex. Go to town with it. Ask questions. Intuit the answers by yourself or with aid. Every time you create a new linguistic expression, coin a word or phrase, examine the Codex so you can understand what is emerging from within you: Yang, You, and Yin energetic forces more subtle than alphabetic letters. Learn if you are making language more Yin (or allowing Yin to express itself through you); or if you are making language more Yang (or becoming a pawn for Yang force); explore whether there are more Unitive possibilities than you have imagined previously.

The key is to recognize yourself as a vessel for linguistic evolution that is Kosmic in scale. It’s the shift in perspective to this scale that is key for integral magick. Don’t settle for merely pre-personal, personal, or even trans-personal forms of language generativity when you can go Kosmic, a truly massive up-leveling of your consciousness. Let every syllable — indeed, every phonetic feature — you utter be enhanced by awareness of its place on the Mandala of Everything. I promise after a while you won’t even have to try to evolve language consciously; Language will evolve You.

And remember: always use Lingua-U responsibility.

 

 

Soulfully Gay (Movie Screenplay), Scenes 2 – 4

moseslakeFollowing the opening scene to the movie script adaptation of Soulfully Gay

Scene 2. Moses Lake, Washington. 1987 

Super In/Out: “9 Years Later”

In the Columbia Basin region, a small farming community rises out of the semi-desert region, mass-produced structures amid tumbleweed-tossed empty fields. At the gymnasium building of Big Bend Community College, a parking lots full of cars.

Bobby, now a man in his mid-20s, walks through the parking lot, smoking. He is bearded and a bit frantic with energy.

Voice Over (Joe Perez): “My older brother left home while I was still a young teenager, and he went his own way in the world, finding his way to big cities. I saw him though on special occasions.”

Bobby puts out his cigarette and opens the door to the gymnasium; he enters a high school graduation ceremony in progress. He stands amid onlookers and stragglers to a ceremony-in-progress. The high school principal intones a list of award-winners.

Principal: “Joseph Perez, would you please stand? Washington Governor’s Award. Rainier Bank Scholar. Washington State University English Scholarship Award. Amherst College Scholarship. Brown University Scholarship. Harvard University Scholarship. Stanford University Scholarship. Yale University Scholarship. National Merit Scholar Finalist. National Hispanic Merit Scholar.”

A standing ovation, beginning with Joe’s high school colleagues and continuing with the onlookers.

Joe looks around awkwardly and deeply humbled. He waves to his family. He catches sight of Bobby and smiles.

Scene 3. Sea-Tac Airport. Later That Year.

Joe stands with his Mother and Sister at the airport terminal, waiting to board a plane to Boston.

Joe Perez: “It doesn’t make sense. Bobby should be here. He can’t just fall off the face of the Earth. Someone must know something.”

Mother: “We’ll keep trying to find him.”

Sister: “I know he wanted to see you off.”

Joe Perez: “Okay, keep trying.”

Sister: “This is your time to shine. You show Harvard what you’re made of.”

Joe Perez: “I will.”

Mother: “I’m praying for you.”

Joe: “I’ll pray for you too.”

They embrace in a three-way hug.

Scene 4. In the Air.

Airplane heads East.

Cut To: Soulfully Gay Book Reading, 2007.

An image of the future appears, hovering in the sky.

Joe Perez (Age 37) reads at a bookstore from his book, Soulfully Gay: “For a year my family lied to me about Bobby, and he lied too. They were keeping a secret from me, but it couldn’t be held in forever.”

Close To: The Book’s Cover: A Rainbow-Colored Cross.

Dissolve To: Airplane heading West.

Soulfully Gay (Movie Screenplay), Scene 1

clear-lake-south-campground-52ab3049bb7c09086400022fI’m picturing myself in Soulfully Gay, an imaginary movie adaptation of my spiritual autobiography. In the opening scene, a young boy about 9 years old runs through the woods at sunset, sobbing as he goes along. He is solitary and frightened. It is 1978 in the Wenatchee National Forest.

Narrator (Voice Over): “The author of Soulfully Gay called this incident his ‘Childhood Wound’. It makes sense when you think about it, that a boy who is loved by his family should feel so terrorized by their abandonment. But there is a double meaning to consider.”

Joe continues to run. Then stop! He trips and falls. He is face-to-face with the carcass of a deer, his eyes looking into the face of death.

Cut to Seattle, 2003. Joe’s therapist’s office.

Harry, Joe Perez’s therapist: “How old were you when this happened?”

Joe Perez, a man in his early 30s: “Nine. It was my birthday.”

Cut to 1978. The 9-year-old boy gets up and continues running. He finds a road. He waits for someone to come by.

Joe Perez (voice over): “I was lost all morning and into the afternoon. I was totally alone. I cried the whole time. I felt so ashamed. And I thought I was going to die. Then I got lucky. I finally found a road. After another hour or so, a man on a motorcycle drove by.”

Cut to the road in the forest. The child waves for a motorcyclist to stop. They speak for a moment, and then the boy gets on the back of the motorcycle.

The therapist sits up straight.

Joe Perez: “I waved the man down and he took me back to my family’s camp at Clear Lake.”

Harry: “And then?”

Joe Perez: “Nobody had even noticed that I was missing.”

The 9-year-old boy arrives at the family’s campfire where his parents are gathered with many aunts and uncles. The family continues to prattle about the fishing, and pays no attention.

Harry: “There were no search parties. Nobody was worried about you. Nobody went looking for you. They didn’t see you.”

The 9-year-old boy turns away from the campfire toward a camper. His 18-year-old brother stops him.

Bobby: “Where do you think you’re going?”

Young Joey can’t reply, he is too distressed. He just sobs and wails until he is calmer. They stand at the entrance to the camper, sheltered from the sight of the other campers. Bobby stoops to listen to his younger brother.

Young Joey: “Nobody cares about me.”

Bobby: “I love you Joey. I thought you got on the boat. I didn’t know.”

Cut to: Bobby tucks Joey under a blanket.

Joey: “I love you Bobby.”

Bobby: “If you need someone, call on me.”

Bobby turns to go.

Joey: “I prayed to God. He didn’t answer. He left me out there alone and I could have died.”

Bobby: “If he didn’t answer, then who brought you home?”

Bobby closes the camper door and wanders off. Under the moonlight and starlight, he is embraced by another man. The campers talk on, telling stories in Spanish and English in the summer evening.

 

 

The Wily Magician’s Best Secrets Revealed, Part 2

duck-hunter-for-blogRule #2: Questions suggest their own answers, when you attend to the sound-meanings, not the literal meanings of its words. Language itself is offering a helping hand for getting closer to the desired answer, as if the letters themselves are forming alliances which have determined how much closer to put you. Better phrased questions get better help.

Are you astonished yet at the secrets of the Wily Magician? You ought to be, but perhaps your view of language is more delusional than his. This may be so if you treat language merely as an instrument for getting the meaning you want, not as a magico-artistic vessel.

The view of language as merely a tool for manipulating meaning-objects is sadly a common one. It is the version taught in grammar books. It is the version preferred by the scientific journals’ editorial committees (not that there’s anything wrong with that purpose, generally).

The view of language preferred by the Wily Magician is to view language from a very high bird’s eye level — all the 7,000 languages on the planet Earth, all their histories ever spoken that we can retrieve in our conscious or unconscious minds (individual and collective), all the language-descriptions written by philosophers of language, the sum total of dictionary pages in every dictionary, all in a state of flux. I call the object of this bird’s eye perspective Language with a capital L.

There are two important views of Language with a capital L: the first, that of the GreenPostModerns, is that Language is changing, but in ways that are impossible to generalize about, except to point to seemingly random and chaotic changes; the second, that of the VioletMagicians, if I may speak as a representative of a wily group, is that Language is evolving somewhere. It is acted upon by the spirit, and it is spirit acting in the world.

I do not expect to convince the GreenPostModerns and convert them to my VioletMagician beliefs, but I do recognize that work remains to be done to make magical language systems acceptable to the mind of the postmodern analyst. Some of this work is suggested by scholarly articles by dutiful academics who are analyzing the patterns of linguistic evolution today and discovering hidden, non-random processes at work. I’ll pass along articles that cross my path, but don’t count on me. It is not my vocation to convert GreenPostModerns. Dutiful academic researchers can get closer to understanding language from a VioletMagician perspective, but the path ahead for them is not easy for me to spell out.

I have taken my own path, and it was long and arduous (and to be continued). I had to re-build my inner psyche so it operated in synch with Lingua-U, and then I had a paradigm to test, one in which every letter conveyed spiritual significance and beauty. Every single letter, all 40 of them, even those containing sounds not commonly used in English. I had to analyze each letter’s function in a Mandala of consciousness, a dynamic and powerful spiritual symbol capable of articulating every letter’s distinct function and living duty in a new (under development) meta-language. Thus it is that a Mandala rose in the world’s intellectual history, the (nascent) Lingua-U.

On a personal level, note that I could only take my experiments with Lingua-U so far. The process of building a bridge between conventional meanings and a new world of meta-meanings sketched in a post-metaphysical framework was personally debilitating at times. It led to psychotic meltdowns, if I am honest with you. But I don’t want you to think that Lingua-U makes people psychotic. I was diagnosed with Bipolar I well before undertaking the difficult scholarship and investigations into sound-symbols, and it is quite likely that someone without the proclivity to “walk between the worlds” will not encounter any problems in studying or practicing Lingua-U. I don’t know what to tell you. Don’t study Lingua-U if you think it will compromise your mental health. Study Lingua-U if you have already observed certain magical properties in language and wish to have access to a powerful technique for organizing your perceptions of sound-symbols and subtle energies in a natural, useful, and helpful Konstruct which can give you mental health greater than anything that you would have to give up by refusing to acknowledge some sort of Logos (Sacred Lingua).

Let us return to the topic of questions. I will select a question by a random process:

Where shall we hunt for wholeness?

The answer to this question depends on the spatial relationship between two words when they are situated on the new subtle maps. The word “hunt” is located at the center tile of the letter “H” — ┆╎╎╎╎┆ (211112); the word “wholeness” is located at the center-right tile of “H” – ┆╎╎╎┆┆ (211122).

So the Wily Magician tells you: Language itself has evolved a very special relationship between the Hunter and Wholeness, such that — when looked at only as a result of the first six demarcations of subtle energy — they are only separated by a single shift of subtle energy at the fifth demarcation, a shift from Yin (for hunting) to You/Unitive (for wholeness).

Thus, the answer to the question is given a breathtaking hint: 5/6 of the way to “wholeness” is already accounted for by your “hunting”. You only have to adjust the fifth mark (which is generally associated with so-called White Magic, the symbol of the White Horse, and the three key seats: the Seat of Governance, with God at the Unitive-Unitive position; the Seat of Culture, with Consciousness at the Unitive-Unitive position; and the Seat of Questioning, with Quality at the Unitive-Unitive position. By shifting your relationship to the fifth mark from one of Yin (negativity, receptivity) to one of You (unification, All-ing), you can resolve your situation.

If we take the Yin view of the fifth mark to be Consciousness at the Seat of Culture, shifting to the You view of the fifth mark as Quality at the Seat of Questioning, then you should hunt for Wholeness by shifting from your Culture-view to your Questioning-view, and look for Quality there. Or so says the Wily Magician!

This is one answer given by Lingua-U, in part, when the question is posed, “Where shall we hunt for wholeness?”. Every question which can be put into a language, even a simple one of spatial relationships or differences between ternary numbers, can be answered in Lingua-U. It is answered with a special magico-poem inherent in the Way of Things as they are understood from a point-of-view like a God’s-eye-point-of-view. This is not as great or metaphysical a claim as you may think it is. But it ought to be suggested. Lingua-U generates answers to questions from an up-leveled consciousness, and if you’re not ready for this sort of information, if you don’t really want to know the higher form of answer you might get, then don’t bother asking.

We live in a world in which questions have a way of suggesting their own answers. And yet fools that we are, we don’t let Language help us in divining an answer. What a mess!

Kosmology and the Rise of the Worldview Artist

karmic-cycle-soul-reincarnationI’m not eager to talk about my Kosmology. It is a work in progress. I expect to do ongoing work in developing its foundations over the course of a decade. I have even planned an entire book of The Kalendar Series, the third book, to exploring the groundings and foundations of a new Integral cosmological system. This new system uses a new symbol — the New Map of the Heavens — for its elaboration; enfolding within itself: Sacred Words, numerology, a redux of the Enneagram, and other symbols (part of the integral magick system). I don’t expect the New Kosmology will be perfect or satisfy every seeker or thinker, but it will be my best effort to create a cosmology as subtle as is necessary to convey the sort of depth and sophistication necessary for the work of Kosmic Involution/Evolution (Volution). At the base of this Kosmology is the Tai Hsuan, the simple depiction of Yang, Yin, and a third element (which I call You) in a ternary posture.

In The Kalendar Series, the new Kosmology is the product of a treaty signed at the conclusion of the Third Kosmic War. From a literary standpoint, I cannot speak of its details without giving away crucial plot points, twists and turns along the route, especially the outcome for the protagonist, Kalen. And as a matter of fact, the third book remains unfinished. There are plenty of ways in which I may want to change things as my ongoing life experience progresses. But one thing is clear which I can say now: I now see the act of discovering one’s cosmology as active worldview building and as artistry.

Now you may object: “But isn’t The Kalendar Series an act of fiction, whereas the autobiographical journal writing in Soulfully Gay … wasn’t that an act of non-fiction, of theology or philosophy?” After all, remember the “Prologue to T.I.O.B.G.” in Chapter 1 of the memoir. What was that about, if not setting out your first principles, theologically and philosophically?” Like so:

Prologue to T.I.O.B.G.

… [In this journal,] I will begin to assemble a vision of how homosexuality fits into a big picture of everything in the cosmos. You can think of this vision as a metaphysics, cosmology, or worldview. You can even call it a mythology if you like. I will. However, by “myth” I don’t mean to imply that I think this vision is untrue. On the contrary, I very much believe that the story that I will be telling is accurate. I just don’t expect to necessarily be able to prove the truth as fact.

Before I get started, there’s something I want to say that may help you to follow the story that I will be telling about homosexuality: I believe that human beings are souls on a spiritual journey. God (or Spirit, or Higher Power, or whatever you call it) is at the beginning and end of that journey, and is the force or process of evolution along the way. Our souls have two archetypal desires: the desire for reunion with God and the desire for separation from God. The desire for union with God is the stronger of the two, but they are both strong desires. These desires play out in the course of an individual’s spiritual journey (some say this journey lasts more than one lifetime). Based on these desires, we perceive our needs, make choices with free will, perform actions, experience consequences based on those actions, and ultimately experience reactions. Following Eastern traditions, I call this dynamic of action and reaction karma, which basically means that we reap what we sow. Our soul manifests with certain personality traits or characteristics because we’re at a particular point in our spiritual journey and have to find our way back to God. In other words, babies are not born tabula rasa, empty containers to which the substance of personality is added. Their innate characteristics seem to come from somewhere; that place is the origin of karma. This is true regardless of whether you believe in reincarnation, souls that pre-exist in the mind of God, the legacy of ancestors passed down through DNA, or some admixture of these possibilities.

Here I seem to establish my first principles: God (or Spirit or Higher Power), the soul, the soul’s journey (reunion and separation), the karmic cycle, the possibility of reincarnation, and so forth. I say: “I very much believe that the story I will be telling is accurate. I just don’t expect to necessarily be able to prove the truth as fact.” There is another way to look at this: I am trying to make clear what I need to say, at a bare minimum, to tell the story and have it be intelligible without assuming that everyone else shares my core presuppositions. If Soulfully Gay creates a sort of language, then I am setting out the letters and characters which constitute the language; a magical sort of language which creates spells (the T.I.O.B.G. series) which magically resolve the problems of homosexuality in the world religions.

Somewhere over the course of the past decade and some odd years, I have more or less outgrown the story. I can still appreciate the usefulness of its tropes, and still have schemas in my (incomplete) New Kosmology which have similar natures, but I don’t deeply resonate with the Prologue. The story is just so basic, so fundamental, that I don’t want to tell it or play with it as it stands. It is a picture really, better expressed through art than theological language. But as far as theological language goes, it’s not terrible, it just tells one story that most of us have heard so many times it lacks power owing to familiarity.

“Human beings are souls on a spiritual journey. Spirit is at the beginning and end of that journey, and is the force or process of evolution along the way,” I said.

Consider it, as I do, as a sort of magical incantation. To do our ongoing soul work, we need a concept of “soul”. We need a concept of “Spirit”. We need a concept of “evolution”. These are the most magical words in our lives. We need to see that they are connected, one to the other, in a basic sort of way. Metaphysicians and anti-metaphysicians will fight over these words, dismiss their power and even deny their reality itself, but we must always find our way back to the truths that they proclaim. These words. This simple sentence. We’re talking about a magical construction, one which is accessible to the ModernOrange and GreenPostmodern mentalities, but not directly. We are talking about some of the first letters in the core alphabet of any language of spiritual realities.

What happened to me as I outgrew the words of the Prologue is a common occurrence. The cosmology faded to be interesting from one level of my consciousness, and another more complex level arose to take its place. There is a complex story here — my own evolution over 13 years splayed on a Map of Consciousness — but I am still painting it. What I can say with an unfinished canvass is that the magic of the Prologue ceased to be magical at the level of meaning. Instead, I needed to explore the subtle level of its meaning. I wanted to understand the relationship between “self” and “soul” in a plain, clear, undeniable way. I wanted to understand the differences between words like “God” and “Spirit” and “Higher Power” so that each word held a unique revelatory meaning. I wanted to understand “evolution” and its twin concept of “involution” and what about “Volution”?. I needed a more complex map, one that could understand not only the referents of words, but the subtle energetics of meaning itself.

This sort of growth is predicted by the Integral maps as individuals grow from GreenPostmodern and TealIntegral and TurquoiseHolistic beyond into realms colored Indigo and Violet. The way it looked to me is that I was becoming a Worldview Artist, shifting from a cosmology which tells a story with words (Human beings … souls … evolution … journey, etc.) into one which creates Kosmology with subtle energy patterns (Yang and Yin and You in a Primordial Trinity, evolving into bi-grams of Yang-Yang, Yang-Yin, Yang-You, Yin-Yang, Yin-Yin, Yin-You, You-Yang, You-Yin, You-You, and then to tri-grams, tetra-grams, and so on, etc.) What was needed was a bridge between the simple subtle energy patterns detectable in this sort of combination and the language of plain speech. Lingua-U was that bridge, and the pursuit of a Language of Subtle Energy became my Game.

The Wily Magician’s Best Secrets Revealed, Part 1

protectionRule #1. The typo is the greatest teacher of truth and partiality for any writer, and in the process of properly correcting the typo the attentive Magician can perform amazing feats of shadow elimination.

I first started noticing my typos, really really noticing them around 2005. There’s a longer story here, but it’s not important. Basically what I found unbelievable, incredible, extraordinary is the finding that it seemed I could not create a typo without revealing something important, valuable, if I took notice of it. Whatever I typed and looked at, there was a meaningful order, often an unintended one. The typos were lining up, marching on a road to guide me on an extraordinary adventure.

You don’t have to be in an altered state of consciousness to appreciate the lesson I am now offering regarding typographical “errors”. The lesson, put simply, is to attend to any apparent typo and ask relevant questions to understand why your conscious mind resists the correct letter, word, or phrase. Hold awareness on it until an answer offers itself, and then later attend to whether the typo has corrected on its own accord.

Do this and you are well on the way to becoming a powerful Magician. The point is not to become a person who doesn’t make typos (or mistakes in general), but to become a person more in alignment with their words, a person whose words serve him/her well. As part of a broader strategy for eating shadow, this is fantastic growth work. To make the most of it, you will need to know why it is that you carry certain traumas connected to language, so you can study the way that these subtle traumas continue to impact you, and even harm you.

A typo is a symptom of  letter trauma, sound-shape trauma, and/or word trauma, some re-arrangement of language in a way that suggests possible routes for remediation of the wounds. The letters are themselves like gods or devils, and they will trick you or give you drama.

“No sir,” says the Magician’s inquisitor. “A typo is merely a random, meaningless thing. I meant to type the letter J but I hit the letter H because I was working fast and acting carelessly. The keys are close on the keyboard. It doesn’t mean anything.”

That is true enough, I say. In a long night of dreams, some dreams are more meaningful and memorable than others. In a long session of typing, some typos are much more useful for shadow work than others. But we must affirm the principle that it is appropriate to learn from our mistakes and do shadow work upon the typos that call out to us. A typo is calling out to you if you make it repeatedly, or if you proofread a document and it remains unseen. A typo is calling to you if you get a queasy feeling about the look or sound of particular letters or letter constellations.

Trust me, this is a secret that can carry you far. In a mystical sense, you are discovering that you are Logos, Incarnate Word of God, and your conscious mind is not the only author … there are a multiplicity of authors within you which are trying to express themselves if they can, if you will let them. And there is the Logos itself, I tell you, coming to learn about itself through your writing. Language is evolving through you, and if you come up with a new phrase you can perhaps advance the course of language’s evolution. Don’t assume a typo is necessarily incorrect. It is there to remind you that you cannot think of certain concepts or entities without being unable to fully express your own conscious mind. Perhaps this is because this concept is flawed and needs to be discarded; perhaps you err because you cannot think of it clearly without wanting to run and hide.

Let me give you an example. Yesterday I wrote a blog post which expressed for the first time in words a traumatic incident I experienced, actually a combination of experiences in which I suffered delusions and, blocked by these terrible delusions, inserted a finger into my ear until it bled. I remember the sight of blood on my fingers, and later trying to hide my hands from the jail guards so they would not know that I had harmed myself physically. I had been put into a padded cell in isolation and I couldn’t bear the thought of returning there. I connected the image of bloody fingers, my ears, and fear of being found out, and the felt need to keep a secret … and my body and mind held on to these connected memories and images. So when I wrote about the experience for the first time publicly yesterday, I made a typo which I didn’t see even after reading the piece a few times. (I wrote “earlobe” instead of “ears”). My mind was not willing to let me see the problem. I could not face it. I was still working to keep a secret. The terror was too great, so a part of myself substituted a word which was less threatening. I caught the typo and corrected the word, but this was not the end of the healing work.

Later in the evening, I went out to a bar and ordered a drink. I noticed something for the first time: a sign immediately adjacent which said, “Ear Protection Available Here”, along with several ear protective devices available. (I had been in this bar many times, but this was the first time I noticed the sign. The bartender later told me that the sign had been there for over a year.) The word “Protection” stood out to me; it shone itself to me. There were two O’s in the word, one on each side, like ears on the side of a head. On the front O, the letters “Pr” which can mean “Positive” in Lingua-U; on the back O, the letter “n” which can mean “Negative”. It was a good image. The word appeared to me as a gift (from the spirits). My attention came to it tonight when it hadn’t on any previous occasion because I was (finally) ready to think about the self-harm I inflicted on my ear. I was ready to admit that I harmed myself and now was offering myself protection, if my ears would accept it. The answer came when I finally touched the sign, put my fingers on the two O’s in the word Protection, and then touched the letters to my own ears. The value of protection from the sign of “Protection” itself came to my ears.

This is integral magick, folks. You can interpret these ritualistic actions from many different standpoints. The standpoint of magick is the most liberative if you, like me, realize that healing is not an individual affair. Trauma inhabiting the letters and numbers and signs and symbols demands reconciliation which we can offer by becoming magicians. We can become like children who take the good along with the bad and make something whole from it without even theorizing about it. We can become like shamans, tasting the poison of error and building an immunity, transmuting the possible and impossible into indistinct aspects of the whole. We can become Integral Magicians, looking in our own typographical errors for clues to the whereabouts and will of the Incarnate Logos.

More on God’s Gayness, Part 1

gay-godOne of the most commented on parts of 2007’s Soulfully Gay is the section “T.I.O.B.G. 1 of 6: God Is Gay”, from Chapter 1, “God Is Gay”. Bear in mind that these words were written in 2003, not 2007, and reflect my very first effort at a quasi-Integral systematic theology as a 33-year-old man. Some 13 years later, I have more to say, and so I start a new thread on the topic.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30

T.I.O.B.G. 1 of 6: God Is Gay

Human nature teaches us about the nature of God, the Source of All and the Destiny of Everything. Human beings include male and female. God is like a man and God is like a woman. There is beauty in mankind and in womankind, and God is so beautiful that God’s beauty includes all the beauty of women and men.

We can try to express what these aspects of human nature teach us about God with words, but only poorly. We could say, for instance: God is male. God is not male. God is female. God is not female. These are all fine (but limited) ways of talking about God.

Human nature teaches us about the nature of God. We include gay people and straight people. Gay people love in gay ways and straight people love in straight ways. We can try to express what human nature reveals about God with words, but only poorly. We could say, for instance: God is gay. God is not gay. God is straight. God is not straight. These are fine (but limited) ways of talking about God.

God is like a gay person and God is like a straight person. There is beauty in gay people and in straight people, and God is so beautiful that God’s beauty includes all the beauty of gays and straights. There is beauty in gay ways of loving and in straight ways of loving, and God’s ways of loving are so beautiful that they include all the beauty of gay and straight ways of loving.

God made some men gay, because He made them in His image. God made gay men to love in gay ways, because God loves in gay ways. The beauty of gay men reflects the beauty of God. The beauty of gay ways of loving reflects the beauty of God’s gay ways of loving. When someone fears and hates a gay man, he or she fears and hates God. When someone denigrates, despises, loathes, and harms a gay man, he or she denigrates, despises, loathes, and harms God.

Some people have repressed the truth about God’s gayness, because they have hated and feared God. Some who have repressed the truth about God are straight and others are gay. The truth about God’s gayness has been revealed to those whose eyes are open.

With these words, I began to tell a new story about God, the superstar, the celebrity, the personality that religious people are always talking about and irreligious people are always railing against. The story begins with the revelation of a secret teaching: psssst, hey, did you know that God is Gay?.

In subsequent parts of Chapter 1, “God Is Gay”, I proceed to erect something that theologians call a theological anthropology (i.e., a conception of human nature in relation to divine realities). In this new map of human nature, I compose a cross at the center, and put Masculine and Feminine (or Yang and Yin) at the horizontal axis and Sameness and Otherness (or Homophilia and Heterophilia) at the vertical axis. All of gender and sexuality dynamics — the grand story of our essence and our expansion, our translative spirituality and our transformative spirituality — are denoted on this diagram. And every human being can recognize themselves on this cross: men and women, heterophiles and homophiles, and even people who don’t fit neatly in the categories can at least see intersection which reveals them.

It is pretty astonishing to me that until the publication of Soulfully Gay in 2007, this simple explication of human nature had not gotten any play in Christian theology. No one else had put Sameness and Otherness as the vertical axis, representing transformative spirituality, in their conception of human nature. (Nor had this understanding of gayness been explicated in Queer Studies or LGBT Studies, which taken as a whole were Green/PostModern and uninterested in the possibility of cross-cultural and cross-linguistic universals).

If you know something about Christian theology, then you can start to see the horrible challenge this theological anthropology poses, particularly in Chapter 3, “Deeper Connections”, which builds on this map of human nature an add more associations: Eros for the heterophilic, outside-pointing arrow of the Y-axis, and Agape for the homophilic, inside-pointing arrow of the Y-axis. The spirit of self-transcendence itself enacts the heterosexual impulse and sprints ahead to God’s Evolution (or Ascent) … meaning that self-immanence itself enacts the homophilic impulse and describes God’s Involution (or Descent).

In other words, the moment that sexual sameness is associated in a proper, robust theological anthropology capable of describing this facet of human nature, something wonderful and horrible happens. Homosexuality and same-sex love can now be seen as playing a role at the central drama of anthropology — and therefore Christology. You can’t understand human nature or Christ’s nature without understanding that homophilia is the inward-arrow of God, and it is a gay direction. It is also a direction associated with the distortions of Grand Narcissism and the Death Drive (Thanatos).

Thus, God — viewed from the inside angle, pointing from the infinite expanse of Evolution toward a central point within the inner face of All Things — is gay. Christ knows God from the inside and out, and when manifest in human history reveals its “broken” nature, homophilic in a symbolic sense if not literal. Put bluntly, to be a Christ is to have gayness.

Arguably this is the most important teaching in Soulfully Gay, and I am heartened that quite a few people have come to me and expressed how important this finding is. Some divinity schools have assigned the book to students of Christology or theology. I have even heard that it is nothing less than a radical inspiration of the Holy Spirit because it tells everyone what a Christ is — if it is not already obvious — in the form of gay and lesbian people.

I think I’ll leave this story right there for now. If you want to explore this topic further, then please spend a few dollars to get the book at Amazon. There’s quite a bit more to this teaching — and its development — than I will be hashing out in this blog.

Finding Religion 2016, or: “Breaking Up With God Is Hard To Do: Revisited”

james-franco-as-aron-ralston-in-127-hours-427897391In Chapter 1 of Soulfully Gay, “God Is Gay”, there is this moment of negative expression. I, a 33-year-old man, come to grips with the God of Roman Catholicism that I lost as a college freshman at Harvard. Here is the key piece of my earlier writing:

Friday, November 14

Breaking Up with God Is Hard to Do

When I was a boy in grade school, belief in a loving God came easily to me. God was the answer to my question, Where does everything come from? I prayed with confidence that my prayers were always heard.

I sometimes envisioned God as a benevolent teacher and humans as His dutiful pupils. Follow the rules, do your homework, learn your lessons, and when class is dismissed you can frolic forever in the divine playground. The classroom was sometimes stifling, but usually it was a nurturing place of joy and enchanted mysteries.

Being Roman Catholic was an important part of life during my teenage years and early adulthood. The church was where I learned to experience my spirituality—how to pray, how to celebrate the sacred moments of life, and how to cope with death.

As I became aware of my homosexuality, my faith was often a source of internal conflict. Like many others, I saw the Vatican as full of closed-minded hypocrites, and I suspected that many church leaders were themselves closeted, self-hating homosexuals. I had no desire to worship in such a church.

When I was 20 years old, I began to come out of the sexual closet. As a result, continuing to worship in the Catholic Church suddenly became very uncomfortable. However, leaving the church altogether was more than I felt I could handle, so I decided to take a break.

I called the break a “sabbatical,” and it lasted for about 13 years. From time to time, I’d attend mass. But worship always left me feeling fragmented and frustrated, never spiritually whole. When I did connect to authentic feelings, it was usually anger (at the Catholic Church) or sadness, not joy.

Religion was an integral aspect of my life, just as my hands and feet are part of my body. Remember Aron Ralston? He was the 27-year-old hiker who, after being pinned beneath an 800-pound boulder for five days, used a pocketknife to free himself by amputating his own arm.  He told rescuers that he had run out of water and his very survival had depended upon breaking free.

For many religious people, leaving their religion behind can be as challenging a decision as cutting off one’s own arm. It’s not something one does lightly, and many people will avoid the break at all costs. For example, 70 percent of queer Catholics don’t practice their religion but still call themselves Catholic, according to the Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census.

That’s an astounding number when you think about it. Imagine if seven Republicans in ten didn’t like most of the policies of George W. Bush but stayed in the party anyway. Or what if seven out of ten members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals didn’t like animals but refused to give up their PETA membership cards?

What’s this about? According to Robert Fuller’s book Spiritual, but Not Religious: Understanding Unchurched America, there are three main reasons why people maintain an ambiguous relationship with their religion despite “falling away.” First, they might be motivated to continue a nominal connection to an organized religion because of their family background. Second, they may be concerned that disaffiliating with their religion could harm their social standing. Third, they simply may be timid about making a final break from religion.

It’s primarily this third motivation that stood in my way of leaving the Catholic Church, because for many years I identified my religion with my spirituality. This meant that leaving the Church was almost like breaking up with God.

After over a decade of being lapsed, or “on sabbatical,” this year I finally said goodbye to the Catholic Church. I issued no press releases. I nailed no bulletins on church doors. For the most part I went quietly.

And I began the coming out process all over again. This time it meant telling people that I’m no longer Roman Catholic. The Vatican’s continual attacks on the dignity of gay people were simply more than I wanted to bear.

I respect that there are a number of gays who are staying in the Catholic Church and will continue to work for change. God bless them. I honor the difficult choices they have made, even as I know that my spiritual path is taking me in another direction.

What did leaving the Catholic Church mean to me? I finally realized that I could go no further in my spiritual growth by staying put, one foot in a hostile church and one outside. I wanted a spiritual path that I could step into with both feet. Like the hiker trapped by the boulder, I knew something invaluable was at stake: my survival. My spiritual survival.

Today I don’t have a church, but I envision the universe itself as a loving, nurturing Higher Power and benevolent teacher. And I see myself as a continuing student of spirituality. My faith hasn’t been lost so much as it has gradually grown into something new and more mature.

I predict that one day on my deathbed I will have no regrets about leaving the Catholic Church in 2003. But I will have no peace with the decision, unless I continue to explore my perplexing affinity with the Roman Catholic Church despite its many oh-so-human flaws. I must confess: I haven’t ruled out rejoining the Catholic Church as a regular churchgoing man. The decision I made in 2003 was essential to my spiritual development at the time, but I have begrudgingly acknowledged that it is not necessarily the best choice for me ongoing.

Nor do I feel that it is essential that I rush to rejoin the Catholic communion at this time, I think. I have attended a couple of masses in the last couple of  years, one a memorial service for my Mom. Unfortunately I didn’t see stars, have exploding highs of spiritual delight, or feel serene oneness with the Body of Whatever Christ I  Could. It was a lot of boredom and indifference rather than mystical union. If I choose to enhance my relationship with the Church in the future, I must weigh heavily the opportunity cost: hours of boredom and indifference … if that is in fact what I have ahead of me.

There are stories in the intervening 13 years — 2003 to 2016 — which have colored my present viewpoint. Let me relate one of them. People speak of dark nights of the soul, and mostly this is exaggerated. They don’t really know darkness of the mystic simply because they suffered human pains. They know the Dark Night of the Soul only if they have suffered quasi-human pains, divine pains, the hideous torture of the divine-in-human pain available to every one of us if we submit to our divine nature. So it was in my early 40s when I was in as dark a place as most of you can imagine (unless you have repeatedly been to the Dark Night while in a Bipolar I or schizophrenic episode): I had invented a mystical language which reorganized my consciousness and somehow, unanticipated and tragically, allowed a deluge of demons and devils into my inner world. I won’t bother defining “devil” or “demon” at this time; I’ll save that for a later blog post.

I WAS 43 YEARS OLD, AND MY LIFE COLLAPSED INTO A SINGULARITY OF GRAVITY AND DARKNESS, THE DARK MATTER ITSELF ARRIVING AT SENTIENCE THROUGH ME, AND ALL THE DEVILS AND DEMONS COLLAPSED INTO ME. DEVILS AND ARCH-DEVILS AND UBER-DEVILS CASCADING INTO MY “SOUL SPOT” … THEY CAME, AGAIN AND AGAIN … AND IF I NEEDED TO PRY THEM FROM MY BRAIN BY PUTTING FINGERS IN MY EARS UNTIL I BLED TO REMOVE THEIR IMPLANT, THEN I WOULD DO WHAT I HAD TO DO.

Or so it seemed to me, on every rational inspection of which I was capable. I was twisted and soulless and inhuman and incapable of escaping the heaviness of my consciousness. The devils had me, and they weren’t letting go. They blocked out the light and warmth. I lost hope of ever speaking to God again, for there was no lightness where I was. I was not permitted real human emotions, and I was prohibited from feeling and observing and loving and having pleasure as normal human beings do.

I was captive to a horrible enslavement of mind and body. Who could I trust to help me? Which friends could I contact with the hope that they would respond to me sympathetically and helpfully? Which spiritual leaders could possibly understand my torment and offer a remedy for a malady which began with the adoption of a magical alphabet which they did not know?

In this dark state, I turned to the Roman Catholic Church to see if I could find an exorcist to heal me. I won’t tell the full story today, except to note that I tried repeatedly and found mercy and rites of forgiveness and love in my time of need. But I found neither understanding nor, ultimately, rites of exorcism. Perhaps withholding exorcism was a bit of passive-aggressive posturing on God’s part, if I interpret the story with a sense of humor. I had said fuck you to the Church as a 33-year-old. When I pursued my path of spirituality and it led me to a devil-infested depression, was it up to the Church to heal me? No. I had brought the demonic possession onto myself, using my own wits, and if I was going to escape the Kosmic Horror myself, I was going to have to keep working at it, on my own lights, pulling myself by my own bootstraps.

I haven’t reconnected with the Catholic Church any more than I have said, but I have found religion. The idea that the universe itself is a Benevolent Higher Power seems extremely naive. According to NASA, “roughly 68% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest – everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter – adds up to less than 5% of the Universe.”

If we are going to speak of the Universe as a Higher Power, then it must be the Universe that is 95% unknown to us, full of darkness and uncertainty and chaos, seemingly oblivious to the cares of human beings. Is that really a Higher Power worth believing in? I’m not sure. (There’s a longer story here I must save for a later date. It involves the testing of this theory of the Universe itself as Benevolent. And I must say my tests are inconclusive, but they led me to introduce the “Ro” as the Arch-Enemy in The Kalendar series).

But I do know this: If we are to live through this evolutionary moment as a civilization with the greatest possibility of survival, then we must not throw out the old gods. We must evolve with them, and let the gods evolve. Let the gods tell us how to understand our relationship to the higher matters and understand the lower matters in their underworldly ways. We must let God speak again.

We can figure it out. We need the gods/Gods/God of All. We cannot dispense with them lest we eschew the greatest psychological and spiritual achievements of our species in favor of a stubborn ego in the wilderness. We might find more young people collapsing into demonic decay, nihilism of different stripes, and worse. What is worse than nihilism? I have tasted it, I have more to tell you about it at the right time.

Breaking up with God is hard to do. Breaking up with the devil is hard to do, too, when you’re addicted to egoic individualism or other maladies of the spirit which still need God as the remedy.

 

Getting “Present” Through Writing The Shadow Alive

shadow-workSometimes I read a friend’s status updates and am stricken by the “in presence” of the person. Often he is ruminating over canned tomatoes or the feeling of apple cider vinegar in the stomach, or she is opening her heart to a world of pain and suffering with a streak of righteousness and anger. They are “present” to What Is, and sometimes I feel indicted in my own mind by comparison.

You see, my blogging career has led me here: to the fourth post in a brand new blog, Brave New Words. And I am attempting to stay present to the moment, but it is taking me back in time.

It is telling me: you cannot go on, you cannot take up the mantle of writer and poet and philosopher, unless you resolve the issues from your past. These are issues so intricate and dense and thick with peril that you have avoided doing so for the majority of a decade.

Writing as shadow work: it is retracing the paths you have avoided and letting the process of creativity itself — however it is conceptualized, secularly or as God’s active mind — interact with the tossed off stuff. It is telling the world what you don’t want anyone to know. It is being brave, braver than you have ever been, so as to reveal the ugliness and unloved parts into the light.

So you see, you have stumbled into this new journal today: and I am only on post four and deeply mired in shadow from the past, and just beginning to allow Creativity to sloff it off. I need to own publicly the complex self that I have allowed very few persons to witness. It is the only way to explain my past activity and inactivity (the riddles of my published work with the riddles of my absence from writing). I have to take you into the past because I’m attached to stuff on my path there, and perhaps I can let it go or transform it so it is more tolerable.

I envy someone so free from the past that they can revel in just being “present” by opening a jar of canned tomatoes and drinking in the flavor.

On the other hand, I don’t envy them. They think they stand in pure sunlight, unblemished by shadow, simply because they aren’t thinking of themselves in a complex enough manner.

Because my shadows aren’t merely the shadows of my particular self. They are, in part, collective shadow. It is the collective shadow that is most vexing, and most hard to spot, and most hard to shed.

If I stay behind closed doors and locked gates, and never let you see my shadow work, the collective shadow will go un-witnessed. You will think that whatever is troubling Joe is his business alone, his duty alone, never acknowledging that it is YOUR work too because you share in the collective issues.

I need to blog my shadow work — at the intersection of individual and collective — and allow the world in. If the world enters into the drama, it can do its part to heal the collective shadow.

I wish there were a phrase more evocative than “shadow work“. I’m afraid that phrase fails to inspire or give me reason to join in.

Really what I am asking of myself is to be a sort of World Shaman, as I understand the term, taking my life story over the past 16 years as the malady to be restored to health through a meta-shamanic process. And I am calling others to be their own World Shamans, enacting a wild transformation of the old into the new.

It isn’t time yet to explain the meaning of World Shaman. The phrase frightens me and fills me with the memory of horror and terror and amazing states of consciousness. You don’t know what I am asking of myself, and you don’t know what I am asking of you.

It means attending to the words of my story — and the story itself in all its contexts and overlapping significances — as a story for the ages. One. With. EVERYTHING. In. The. Balance.

That is how I experienced it, as you will see soon enough.