Otherworldly

Lately I have been working on my purpose in life by examining my true nature — which is being someone who sees the world in soul terms. I believe in the power of the imagination and that the physical world — the world beyond the Self — is the unknown, the esoteric Otherness. In keeping with this idea I created a song called “Otherworldly”, with vocals and lyrics by me.

I am also interested in a new therapeutic approach to anxiety and the emptiness of depression. It seeks to honour our power to create experiences and learn about ourselves — the only thing we can truly know.

Through our imagination we can “build out of nothing” like the gods.

Growing Beyond Adulthood

You’re an adult, and it’s like being in a videogame. Except most of us are stuck in the tutorial stage, completely unaware that there’s anything beyond it. 

So we depend on the things we’re given and expect to be supported by hints and handouts and dynamics that force us to complete simple tasks. 

To enter the open world beyond, we have to take full responsibility for every choice we make. We have to decide what tasks are worthy of being attempted at all. And everything we want to obtain or experience, we have to craft by ourselves. 

There is no source of meaning and purpose to mine or loot or win in battle. It’s up to us. We crave meaning like air, but imagine this: every day you have to craft yourself an oxygen tank, and how much air you get to breathe depends on the discipline of your alchemy. Are you paying attention to the dial that shows how much you have left? And can you accept that there are no freebies? 

We think meaning is something to seek, because it’s something we sense, like humour or pleasure or the satisfaction of a full belly. So we figure we can trigger this sense of meaningfulness with something outside ourselves. But meaning is unique amongst most other things we sense. One must define it, create it, and decide how much one needs, all without heed to others’ advice. 

All emotional states can be self-induced with a little imagination. Mastering this skill puts you in charge. And I suspect meaningfulness is a particular feeling that can only be self-induced. Oh, you can look at a sunset and think the beauty itself triggered your sudden sense of meaning. But you had to decide you cared about the beauty in the first place. You had to decide it meant something at all. A good joke can tickle you whether you like it or not — but your feeling of purpose? It’s all up to you.

Yet we resist accepting the responsibility this implies, and that’s largely why we linger in the tutorial of this endless open-world game, even though it limits us to the role of powerless peasant. Only by taking responsibility can we live like true superheroes, infinitely empowered by relying on self-validation, self-created meaning, and self-defined purpose. 

The downside to being such a superhero is, one can never blame anything else but oneself for how one thinks and feels, and validation will never come except from ourselves. In this game, we will not be told if we are winning or progressing or doing it right. We each have to decide what to make of ourselves and our actions. 

But one thing seems clear to me: we are meant to leave the tutorial of this life. 

The game is far bigger than we think.

Music: Harmonic Overtone Meditation

This meditative song was entirely created by me. I constructed the instrumental part with editing software called Studio One, using royalty-free loops. Then I added and layered raw tracks of me trying a kind of harmonic overtone “singing” that sounds a bit like Tuvan throat singing. I also added a track of me whispering nonsense words layered with keyboard noises for a sound effect. Finally, I added me playing my rattle for a soft beat. It is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is what I was trying to create: a song that speaks to my spirit in meditation.

You Are It

“You are it,” the world said, and so you thought you were playing tag. It was your turn in this life to rush out to find meaning and truth.

But after a time, you felt you had failed the game, for nothing surrendered to your touch and became captured; you never hit upon a truth that chased you instead.

Then, at last, your glittering consciousness wondered about the game, and you thought you had the rules all wrong, so you considered what else the world’s words could mean. 

“You are it,” you said aloud, and felt perhaps you were all there was to seek; you were it; for all the meaning and beauty of the world was created within you. You were the awareness and the creator of all the truth that could ever be found.

Journaling My Journey: Stray Thoughts

I am an odd creature; my greatest passion is playing with philosophical ideas like toys. Although I dabble in many hobbies, no creative work is quite like the thrill of a new idea. And no matter what I create, the only thing that has the power to lift me out of depression and make me excited about life is to construct new perspectives and discover strange corners of thought to explore. So I thought I’d share some of the ideas that excited me lately.

The hardest part of effort is not the work itself, but trying to make an effort in the first place.

Where peace lives, judgment must die.

For your love to be heard, let it be silent. Love like a mime, exchanging platitudes for gestures.

We are already spirits, and always have been; but for a time we are limited by space and physicality. However, we are still primarily spirit — just spirits wearing hats.

Wisdom can be gained by abstracting from the infinite perspectives of a collective consciousness, the field of all spirits. To enter into collective consciousness, one must not try to hear the infinite noise of voices, but only the highest points of signal, where most consciousnesses are in agreement. The loudest crash of the wave is the best source of wisdom, and one need not listen hard in vigorous meditation, but await the sudden abstractions like a chorus of thunder.

Infinite potential is real while not manifest. The idea of a single being of infinite consciousness, yet still a singular Self, called God, does not hold up well to my cosmological logic. Being limitless and unhindered by both space and time, such a being could not be a Self with singular motives, desires, and actions. Unhindered by space, God would be Everything and All; unhindered by time, God would be all moments and contain all possibilities. Such a God would more likely be completely neutral, the sum of all things, rather than a strict manifestation of specific desires and actions.

Yet the infinite field of many singular consciousnesses taken as a whole, and abstracted into wise directives of compassionate categorical imperatives, requires no special God-like powers to exist. For me, abstracting from the collective consciousness of all spirits is a better source of the image we wish to see of God.

Why I Am a Philosopher, Not a Shaman

The world of “Core Shamanism” (which takes its cornerstone beliefs from similarities between all cultures which practice rituals of spirit communication) is a modern construct that I studied for a time and then departed from. I left it behind for many reasons, but generally because I am an impatient student; I prefer to discover for myself rather than being told what is true.

One particular leader in modern shamanic thought turned me off by professing in each podcast that the practices of shamanism (“journeying” to speak to spirits) were our human birthright. Meanwhile, she also maintained that only an elite few who met certain conditions could actually be called shamans, despite the practices being available to all. And of course this individual was one of those elite few. I found this attitude to be almost deliberately misleading, calling upon everyone to financially support her work (framing it as a spiritual duty) because so many people want to be one of those elite few, and she promised to show the way — but she also eviscerated anyone who dared to think they were so special without her approval, or any of her students who wanted to think for themselves.

Another problem with modern shamanic thought is the rampant cultural appropriation. I am not one to take on the beliefs of others anyway (and not because I am so noble, but probably because of my own egoic and pompous faults). So I decided to find my own path which does not reference any specific ritual or teaching from another culture. I worked out my own personal and self-specific cosmology from the ground up, and in doing so I found a new way to approach spirit communication that appeals to my personal logic and perspective.

What I have discovered is that I believe all conscious beings are spirits; that the two words are interchangeable. Spirit with a physical limit (such as us humans, which have bodies and do not transcend space), might as well be described as “spirits wearing hats”. Non-physical manifestations of conscious beings are likewise spirits, but not spatially limited (although, I believe, it is logical to assume they are still limited by time — or else they would not be singular Selves, but all-knowing gods with infinite consciousness).

So all conscious beings are spirits. What then, is the importance and role of spirit communication? It is reasonable to think that a spirit who has transcended physical limitations has gained more knowledge and wisdom than humans (which are spirits whom you could speak to in the most ordinary way!). However, as I said, I am an impatient student and did not wish to wade through hundreds of different conversations with different “wise spirits” to come to some conclusion.

My solution came when I was thinking about the concept of collective consciousness, and how I would define it. I believe that if one could hear the voices of infinite spirits (physical beings and non-physical beings), one could abstract from this the commonalities between all or most perspectives, which would be the most “true” wisdom (as true as anything can be, anyway). For a moment I struggled to comprehend how I could experience the noise of infinite spirit voices. And then I realized I have been doing it in a certain way all along. I prefer to think through abstraction, and when you abstract from an infinite chorus you are not listening to all the noise, but awaiting the sudden swells like the peaks of waves, which come suddenly out of nowhere, as my precious truths.

And so for me, I am not practicing shamanic journeying. I require no ritual tools and no rigorous, monk-like meditation. I simply have faith that I can “tune in” to the consciousnesses of all beings as a whole, like listening to all the radio channels at once — but then, only hearing those loudest spikes of truth. With my faith in the reality of imagination, this is neither difficult nor fantastical. For me, abstracting from the collective consciousness of all spirits is a better source of the image we wish to see of God.