“Brave New Words” is a fitting title for this new, highly experimental weblog.
I will need to muster my courage to bear words on subjects that I have never seen others write about, especially words about the intersection of creativity, mysticism, and madness.
You see, I am a mystic. And I have been diagnosed with Bipolar I, a psychiatric condition which has given me access to extraordinary and unbelievable states of mind, to say the very least. I am going to write about stuff that will range from neuron-melting horror to exquisite love and feelings/situations for which we lack a name. Forgive me if I am vague at this time about what I want to write about. I am intentionally NOT going to say what I want to. You need to get to know me better first, and if you can handle my earlier journal entries, then maybe just maybe you can handle the rest to come, psychosis-fueled nightmares and benedictions alike.
I am a man with a map. Several maps. Maybe too many maps. The maps I’m talking about don’t describe the physical geography and place names; they describe the inner/outer worlds that I’ve encountered, what I found there, and how I got myself home (or at least the place I call home). Every map has gone through numerous inner revisions so that I can use them in a practical way. A collection of maps called AQAL have been extraordinarily useful to me — they are a key part of Integral Theory as formulated by Ken Wilber — and on this account I call myself “Integral” or an “Integralist”. I have also been much influenced by the maps of StAGES — a key part of the Integral theory, correlated with AQAL, which has been formulated by Terri O’Fallon and other folks.)
But I have added some maps which are closer to the breadcrumbs in the story of Hansel and Gretel. Hard to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but in a pinch they might lead you out of danger and darkness back to a better place. These are magical maps, the most significant is the Lingua-U Alphabet. It is a comprehensive schema for finding the places where meaning fails and where meta-meaning arises … if that is the best word for it, and it isn’t, but it will do. There are other maps as well including the Bear-Yak Zodiac, the Stone-Star Tarot, the Kalendar, the New Kosmology, the New Atlas, etc. (I have coined the phrase Integral Magick to describe the maps I have added to AQAL and StAGES, so if you want to use them yourself you can call them by a proper name.
There are quite a few reasons I have put off writing this journal. I don’t know in advance what I will be willing to tell you. There’s some really fucked up shit, as they say. Getting in my way: suffering.
I know that in the course of the past 16 years I have suffered tremendously in situations involving multiple arrests and incarceration, multiple involuntary stays in psychiatric wards and one voluntary commitment, more than a few public displays of outrageous insanity (and not just screeds on my Facebook wall), and much of this trauma has not been fully healed. My life is damaged in ways you cannot understand unless you have walked in my shoes or, just maybe, if you read my words and expand your horizons to allow yourself to embrace more fullness than you have heretofore. If you do so, you can see me, see where I’ve been hiding out in words and silences, never telling you who I am (or Who I Am, if I may speak about the essences beyond the persona), except through innuendo and supposition.
I want to write this journal, but slowly, because as I get closer to the truth, I am more vulnerable. My traumas stop me with great fear. They are darker and more twisted and complex than you know … so I will not write directly about the unhealed wounds until I am ready. I have broken and imperfect therapeutic options available to me. One of them is writing, especially stream of consciousness writing, as a form of catharsis. So writing a weblog is one of my routes for finding healing.
That’s something I might have said at the outset of my spiritual autobiography Soulfully Gay, which is a shell game of persona and Supreme Identity, twisting and turning to a surprise ending. Too many people never got the point (perhaps they gave up before the final chapter). Published about 9 years ago by Integral Books/Shambhala, it ought to serve as a warning. I don’t tell stories in a linear fashion (not even the book’s Introduction, which leads to an ellipses which preserves the narrative’s surprise. The book ends ambiguously, unless you know the actual details of fact which were left out, then it becomes clear. For all these past years I’ve kept the book’s secret climax pretty well. Only once did I spill the beans. I think I’ll take a stab at spoiling the ending for everyone once and for all, or at least giving the author’s interpretation. Look for a post in the days ahead which will confirm your suspicions, if you’ve been following my work at all … and maybe knock your socks off, I don’t know, or unleash volatile or even hostile reactions in you. I don’t know exactly why I’ve left the book’s final chapter without commentary even to this day, but I feel fear. I must step through it soon, and again and again for additional chapters of my unwritten autobiography, until I can bring everyone up to the present. And to fuller presence.
I can’t promise you that reading my journal will be a treat in great literature. A glorious trainwreck, quite possibly! I don’t want to “sell you” at all at becoming a reader. You might find this interesting or you might have different work to do in your life. But come along if you are willing. And if you want to dip into the archive of my writings over the past 11 years, I’ve kept some posts from my old blogs online, so feel free to explore. I promise you terror … and laughs … and holy fuck moments. And maybe enlightenment too. That’s a secret I’m not yet ready to spoil.
Enlightenment is a secret. That’s what they ought to say, everyone who claims to know something about it. It’s not for common knowledge, for it can be a holy hellhole in which no one can escape with the truth. At least that’s my opinion today. It could change if writing and therapy and love have a way of evolving my perceptions.