Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Ek~stasis, Chaos, Images, and Psychedelics






CHAOS



-- In science 'chaos' is when the temperature is very high and there are no atoms, but as temperature is cooled atoms form, cooler still,  molecules form,  more cooling, more complex molecules, then liquid, then crystalline structured forms and so forth. Thus forms come from 'chaos'.



And then there is Chaos Theory:


What is Chaos Theory?

Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on. These phenomena are often described by fractal mathematics, which captures the infinite complexity of nature. Many natural objects exhibit fractal properties, including landscapes, clouds, trees, organs, rivers etc, and many of the systems in which we live exhibit complex, chaotic behavior. Recognizing the chaotic, fractal nature of our world can give us new insight, power, and wisdom. For example, by understanding the complex, chaotic dynamics of the atmosphere, a balloon pilot can “steer” a balloon to a desired location. By understanding that our ecosystems, our social systems, and our economic systems are interconnected, we can hope to avoid actions which may end up being detrimental to our long-term well-being. (source)

 I wonder then about the meaning of 'chaos' in mythology and the psyche how do we relate that scientific information to the more 'subjective' experiences from myth and imagination and subjective experience?



chaos (n.) Look up chaos at Dictionary.com

late 14c., "gaping void," from Old French chaos (14c.) or directly from Latin chaos, from Greek khaos "abyss, that which gapes wide open, is vast and empty," from *khnwos, from PIE root *gheu- "to gape, yawn" (cognates: Greek khaino "I yawn," Old English ginian, Old Norse ginnunga-gap; see yawn (v.)).

Meaning "utter confusion" (c. 1600) is extended from theological use of chaos for "the void at the beginning of creation" in Vulgate version of Genesis (1530s in English). The Greek for "disorder" was tarakhe, however the use of chaos here was rooted in Hesiod ("Theogony"), who describes khaos as the primeval emptiness of the Universe, begetter of Erebus and Nyx ("Night"), and in Ovid ("Metamorphoses"), who opposes Khaos to Kosmos, "the ordered Universe." Meaning "orderless confusion" in human affairs is from c. 1600. Chaos theory in the modern mathematical sense is attested from c. 1977.


One of the earliest patriarchal mythic battles against 'CHAOS', as represented by the creatrix Mother Goddess (and vice verse), Tiamat, is instigated by the upstart sun god Marduk, , this story recorded in the ancient Babylonian creation myth the Enuma Elish.  Tiamat is envisioned as a great sea serpent monster of, the deep, chaos.


 Tiamat is on the left, and Marduk is on the right




 IMAGES

“Propaganda works by way of true myth, imagery which instantly affects our emotions. This archetypal imagery is brought to life by pharmaco-shamanic rites in tribal cultures, and those rites are criminalized and coopted by their industrial conquerors…This cultural genocide effectively turned once independent people into farm animals – andropa as the Greeks put it, ‘human-footed stock’…Graves: “The institution of patriarchy ends the period of true myth…” Graves says that all true poetry celebrates the 13 lunar months of the ancient year, the birth, life, death and resurrection of the God of the Waxing year, who is the son,lover and victim of the 3 fold Goddess, the Muse of all true poets….”(Shamanism and the Drug Propaganda, Dan Russell, page 116)


propaganda (n.) Look up propaganda at Dictionary.com
1718, "committee of cardinals in charge of Catholic missionary work," short for Congregatio de Propaganda Fide "congregation for propagating the faith," a committee of cardinals established 1622 by Gregory XV to supervise foreign missions. The word is properly the ablative fem. gerundive of Latin propagare (see propagation). Hence, "any movement to propagate some practice or ideology" (1790). Modern political sense dates from World War I, not originally pejorative. Meaning "material or information propagated to advance a cause, etc." is from 1929.

'Propaganda' originated with the Church and patriarchal religion, and the secular world of Corporatism uses the same techniques:

Here's my main point.  We need to understand how corporate propaganda works; we need to accept the fact that the repetition of images, printed words, and the spoken word have an incredibly powerful effect on the human psyche...” [source]


IMAGES come from the IMAGE-ination. Images of gods, of voids, and of nature, and ourselves:


imagination (n.) Look up imagination at Dictionary.com

"faculty of the mind which forms and manipulates images," mid-14c., ymaginacion, from Old French imaginacion "concept, mental picture; hallucination," from Latin imaginationem (nominative imaginatio) "imagination, a fancy," noun of action from past participle stem of imaginari (see imagine).
"faculty of the mind which forms and manipulates images,"

When images become static. solid, literalized, is this because the energy and 'temperature' of consciousness has become more and more cold, and thus the forms 'crystallize' and loose their liquidity? Where when we are energized, in the throes of play, inspired ecstatic release with the help of psychedelics the energy is flowing and less frozen and static.
 

St Anthony being attacked by demons


Some early followers of Christianity,  like St Anthony, suppressing sexual desire, and all sensual desire, to lead a life of  celibacy, and asceticism, living as hermits, reported experiencing demons attacking them, and these visions have been expressed in art (see above). Could it be that these 'demons' are rather manifest images of the imagination caused by a fear othering 'objectively' what they understand as 'chaos' 'internally'? Namely seemingly uncontrollable desires which when suppressed to an extremist extent will actually manifest as 'monsters' which seem wholly alien to the person experincing such phenomena? Not understanding or aware of the underlying process they cause by their thinking.

In her book From a Broken Web, Catherine Keller reveals that the original patriarchal 'monsters' are female, because the female was/is associated with the physical sensual body, and nature and other species, and 'the unconscious', also anciently, the Otherworld/Underworld.
 So taboo is the indentity of the patriarchal 'monster' as being the Mother, and/or female, that many patriarchal narratives like Judaeo Christianity do not even mention their main 'antagonist' to even be female, but rather male, like their 'Satan/Devil'. 

The image Christianity's central  scapegoat is, as usual, for patriarchy's general mythical monsters a composite of beings; animal, and human. and reptile etc., and in the depiction of the Devil on the right (below) you see the hint of women's breasts also!






 'Jesus' is very powerful image portrayed in religious art and film. The terrible image of 'Jesus' being crucified  which many of the masters of art have painted has had a deep emotional effect on children and adults for many generations, and this continues, also with film,  moving images/ 'movies', such as  the film The Passion of Christ:

The Passion of the Christ is the highest grossing R-rated film in United States history, the highest grossing religious film,[15] and the highest grossing non-English-language film of all time.[16]

  The images of suffering Jesus are meant to affect people's emotion, and doing so can over-ride reason or critical thinking (there have been reports of believers actually manifesting 'stigmata', their hands bleeding, because in the Bible it is claimed Jesus had wounds in his hands). For example, now we know there is no actual historical evidence for a Jesus of Nazareth, and from a reasonable critical understanding the story makes no sense at all if taken literally, and is absurd; about 'God's only son' being born from a 'Virgin' in historical time. These themes and motifs are all too familiar in more ancient mythological narratives which did not posture, like Christianity does, as having to be taken literally as historical events. The Christian myth of Jesus obviously the work of groups of myth-makers  presenting mythology to be an historical document.

 Studying John Allegro's groundbreaking book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross , however, where he  critically examined original Judaeo Christian texts revealed deeper hidden levels of meanings to the text and symbolism which make far more sense than any superficial literal rendering.

Literalist Christian mythology is designed via words and images to instill IMAGES- about- reality: the 'Son of God, Jesus Christ', 'Satan/the Devil', the 'Virgin Mary'  'Hell' or  'Heaven' and so on as a means of emotional mind-control for social control of the gullible to suit an authoritarian hier-archy.

hierarchy (n.) Look up hierarchy at Dictionary.com
late 14c., jerarchie, ierarchie, "rank in the sacred order; one of the three divisions of the nine orders of angels;" loosely, "rule, dominion," from Old French ierarchie (14c., Modern French hiérarchie), from Medieval Latin hierarchia "ranked division of angels" (in the system of Dionysius the Areopagite), from Greek hierarkhia "rule of a high priest," from hierarkhes "high priest, leader of sacred rites," from ta hiera "the sacred rites" (neuter plural of hieros "sacred;" see ire) + arkhein "to lead, rule" (see archon). Sense of "ranked organization of persons or things" first recorded 1610s, initially of clergy, sense probably influenced by higher.





 We think in images, and we are always feeling emotions, all of which is natural. Patriarchal religions like Judaeo Christianity and Islam pretend to be anti image whilst then are, on the other hand,  hypocritically invoking very powerful IMAGES of 'gods' and 'Gods' and 'demons' and all kinds of ideas you are supposed to sacrifice your life and others' lives too, and also promising experiences of heavens of light and eternal life, and inducing paranoid fear of terrifying dreadful everlasting hells (and some of the artists' depictions of Hell are some of the most powerful dramatic emotion-laden images even more so than artist's images of heaven) and being catered to after you die a hero--if your a man that is--by 70 hot virgins, etc. ALL of this is imagery that takes root in the psyche and influences your action. In other world-denying patriarchal pagan polytheistic cultures also there was promulgated the images of 'gods' who were needing to be appeased through blood sacrifice.
But we are always to think of ourselves lesser than and under the control of either gods/God and the men who represent them, and demons/Devil depending on who choice we make. Towards 'good' or towards 'evil'.



Demon tormenting a damned soul in Hell


Images from Goddess, and oral traditions, and indigenous traditions,  like the very ancient images of The Tree of Life, and its ever-present Serpent guardian, of its Fruit of Life, Ecstasy and Immortality are benign mythical images which are metaphors for connection between us and all aspects of consciousness and reality. Having ecstatic experience in communion with nature, involving sensuality and sexuality would be/is embraced in celebration. However, via the invention and implementation of the relatively new technology of writing, which, employed by a patriarchal dualistic controlling mindset, de-graded and demonized these images of the imagination, and the actual fruits which inspire/d  deep sense of relationship with nature,  this move by the patriarchal writers was a contrived propaganda of divide and control, and a prime example of such degradation  is witnessed in the narrative of the Book of Genesis. In this cooption of the ancient myth of The Garden of the Goddess (she also being the very Garden itself), the Tree of Knowledge and Life and their fruit are forbidden, and for 'daring' to eat the magic fruit,  the mythical characters Adam and Eve are thrown out of the Garden of Paradise by the 'God'. As I am emphasizing this 'creation myth' is trying to impose world-denying IMAGES on the reader which de-grade the benign understanding and experience of the world-friendly ones.

 The Serpent, cursed by the 'God', and those who disobey' 'Him' and eat the consciousness-expanding fruit are made outcasts and cursed to suffer,  as well, the whole of the natural world is cursed (because nature is anciently associated with the Great Mother) and this is the 'fall of man'! Thus far more ancient and preliteral, and benign, mythological imagination representing and directly experiencing ecstatic connection with the body, others, other species, and nature, and their mysterious depths, is stigmatized by the authority and its text, words claimed to be the very  'Word of God'.

Mythology, as is imagination, is never meant to be writ in stone, but is a dynamic narrative. it is alive and unique to the individual. In your own heart when experiencing ecstasy in a celebratory way, with deep reverence for nature, you do not have to be told by some text or words how you should feel. Feeling is spontaneous, and there does not have to be a script to follow, or music sheet to play from. The spirit, the serpentine mysterious energy is felt, and this was why it was also known as enthousiasmos.

enthusiasm (n.) Look up enthusiasm at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from Middle French enthousiasme (16c.) and directly from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos "divine inspiration, enthusiasm (produced by certain kinds of music, etc.)," from enthousiazein "be inspired or possessed by a god, be rapt, be in ecstasy," from entheos "divinely inspired, possessed by a god," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + theos "god" (see theo-). Acquired a derogatory sense of "excessive religious emotion through the conceit of special revelation from God" (1650s) under the Puritans; generalized meaning "fervor, zeal" (the main modern sense) is first recorded 1716.

Dionysos and Satyrs in ecstatic dance






Daemonia Nymphe - Hymn to Bacchus 

 



Ec~stasy

 

'ek' means away from/beyond  'stasis'stoppage, arrest, esp. of growth...constant state...to cause to stand 

Although common in shamanic circles to define 'ecstasy' as specifically originally meaning 'spirit-flight', because of reports of the shaman's trance involving the shaman in his ritual falling down as if dead and then his 'spirit' fly's off out of his prone body, I much prefer to define ecstasy in an embodied way. In this respect ec~stasis can be understood as liberation from one's 'ordinary' self/persona/ego/mask.

 I do not discount 'spirit flight', but from what I have learnt about dualistic interpretations of reality, there is a devaluation of the body, and belief of 'spirit' being trapped in the body and nature. I therefore see a danger in emphasizing dis-embodied ecstasy and much prefer seeing ecstasy as dynamic process, whereby there is no inner/outer duality. 'It' is more like the wave~particle dynamic process, the essential paradox of Quantum Physics where how we see reality, as particle-like or wave-like, depends on the experiment which is experienced. Neither part of the process is either worse or better than the other.

Therefore, I  much prefer the translation and interpretation of ecstasy as being freedom from normal identity. This, for me, is a far deeper understanding. So next question would be what is normal identity?

Identity


identity (n.) Look up identity at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "sameness, oneness," from Middle French identité (14c.), from Late Latin (5c.) identitatem (nominative identitas) "sameness," from ident-, comb. form of Latin idem (neuter) "the same" (see identical); abstracted from identidem "over and over," from phrase idem et idem. [For discussion of Latin formation, see entry in OED.] Earlier form of the word in English was idemptitie (1560s), from Medieval Latin idemptitas. Term identity crisis first recorded 1954. Identity theft attested from 1995.


In our culture whose central social controlling myth is the mental illness myth to have a sense of identity means to fear not being 'normal'!


OK so we can define ec_stasy/ek~stasis as liberation from/out of one's normal self/identity/ego/persona/mask






 Patriarchal cultures suppress our natural right for ecstatic experience. Not only that, this culture has central to its social controlling 'law and order' its mental illness myth which escalates the pathologizing of natural emotions and feelings, and also extreme states which can involve visionary experiences, and/or hearing voices. We are oppressed into a demanded 'normal' identity, and if we are seen by the 'experts' many of us go to, or are sent to, for various psychological distress, we get viewed as abnormal and pushed drugs, and even locked up and forced drugs! This situation is the epitome of oppression


from Latin oppressionem (nominative oppressio) "a pressing down; violence

We are being pressed down into a static sense of identity, and many thus seek desperate escape routes through various habits including drugs and alcohol (which is a drug), but also work, shopping, video games, obsession with sex, obsession with knowledge, with 'becoming 'enlightened', etc. these habits can become very destructive, because all the time we are faced with a 'return' to the identity we are 'normalized' in via cultural oppression, and made to feel wrong in how we are, and will do anything to try and escape that sense of oppression.  This is truly brutality to the body, mind and soul and community. It is all like being forced into a straight jacket for the body and soul!

normal (adj.) Look up normal at Dictionary.com
c. 1500, "typical, common;" 1640s, "standing at a right angle," from Late Latin normalis "in conformity with rule, normal," from Latin normalis "made according to a carpenter's square," from norma "rule, pattern," literally "carpenter's square" (see norm). Meaning "conforming to common standards, usual" is from 1828, but probably older than the record [Barnhart].

As a noun meaning "usual state or condition," from 1890. Sense of "normal person or thing" is from 1894. Normal school (1834) is from French école normale (1794), a republican foundation. The city of Normal, Illinois, U.S., was named 1857 for the normal school established there.

Any subject explored, especially ones as deep as this you need to be aware of the terms you are using which is why I am defining main terms I am choosing.. The image came before writing and reading, and letters and written words first began as IMAGES, and only later became more and more abstract marks to represent abstract sounds, which as we know are also sensual when spoken as breath.
Letters and words were originally images, and images re-present and lead us to nature, and nature talks to us in images.

Now take the name in mythology, 'Dionysos': as John Allegro shows, when we explore the roots of this name we are led NOT to an actual literal 'god',  gon~man, or human, but to a consciousness changing vegetation! So when we find this out, this clears up a lot of wordy-roads of nonesense that has been pushed by control-freak manipulators of mythology.
 For it was the ancient Orphic philosophical mystery school which was first to set their manipulation of myth down in writing and made out Dionysos was a literal god-man who was attacked by their enemy, and then somehow a spark of 'him' was trapped in human bodies. And such stories feed images, as explained above, which affect our sense of reality. To feel trapped in our body and nature and then look to the authority in-forming us of this so as to help save us. But to see through that mind-control is to dig that all we need is eat the 'Dionysos' (or whatever other names have been used in myth and legend and fairytale to refer to this mind-expanding vegetation) and explore our own unique ecstasy!



'Numerous Greek vases picture themselves in the hands of ecstatic Bacchae ladling out entheogenic potion from an altar sprouting roots out of which arises a vegetal Dionysos, a human-faced tree sprouting branches' (Shamanism and the Drug Propaganda, Dan Russell page 149)




Masks



The mythical effeninate god~man, Dionysos, has held a fascination for me especially when I see deeper associations connecting hir with psychedelic mushrooms, ecstasy, eroticism, nature, masks.



 Mask of Dionysos (by John Soares) Photo by Rink © 1984 From The God of Ecstasy, Sex Roles and the Madness of Dionysos by Arthur Evans,



 Lysios = Dionysus the Deliverer – from the ordinary world into divine madness

'Masks are symbols for the surrender of as well as the transformation of identity. By way of masking, we have the power and the freedom to take on a new persona and experiment with new ways of being and feeling. These are the gifts of Dionysos, whose idols were often simply a mask set atop a post or pillar draped with vegetation. At the mystical level, the gift of masking goes deeper than tinkering with identity; it is the call to lose one’s self entirely within Dionysos, to be filled with the god himself (a.k.a, enthousiasmos, meaning possession by a god). The mask – an extension of Dionysos’ power – obscures the identity of the wearer and allows the wearer to fall into the Dionysian current, to be as a maenad in a ecstatic revelry or as a player in ancient Greek theatre creating a character by shedding his own.' (Masking: A Dionysian Mystery)



'Freedom from the 'ordinary world', from ' normal identity'.

Also from stasis/static/ the 'State'/con-form-ity to the State = 'normal identity'.

 The oppression and pressure from the 'mental illness' myth-makers and drug pushers to be 'normal'!!!

 We are being more and more pressed into what they demand is 'normal'. And when the natural human response is to feel rightfully dis-eased from such press-uer, every, feeling, emotion, thought, is being called a mental illness/dis-order/chaos which presses us down further and further...tighter...

ENLIGHTENMENT


So, a question could be asked: 'if there is no 'enlightenment', and its pursuit is a cruel con, because to set up the goal, and/or be promised it,  of becoming enlightened, then this inevitably means a continuing dis-satisfaction with how we are and feel 'ordinarily' day to day, then how does experiencing ecstatic experience relate to it?

I would answer: From my experience people who make out they are 'enlightened', and your are not, nearly always try and put their followers off trying psychedelics, or they suggest you just try them to gain insight and then 'put down the phone'. But I see more of a regular need for ec~stasis, especially in a brutally oppressive system which makes a pathology of nearly every human feeling like this patriarchal religious/mechanistic one does.

Alan Watts and J Krishnamurti


A great influence for me when I was younger was Alan Watts. I had been turned onto LSD when I was a youngen of 15, and the years following were tough for various reasons, but I was trying to integrate what I had been through, and this involved the pursuit of books. I went through many authors, and even joined a cult (but was very quick to escape) , and it was Alan and his book Cloudhidden Whereabouts Unknown which really spoke to me. But I was very chocked years later to find he had self-destructed on alcohol. I have had people very close to me suffer in varying degrees from alcoholism and it is a terrible thing to experience with someone you love. So this being the case with someone like Alan who would talk and write about being with 'what is' has inspired a lot of inquiry on my part wondering why which I would like to reflect on.

He was very influenced by Eastern ideas, especially Zen, though of course in his own unique way. Though he would often talk about the 'social fiction of the ego' and how the 'master Zennist' and/or guru--who he claimed had themselves seen the fiction of the ego would trick their followers, especially in Zen, to so push the extremes of contradiction within themselves that they would ramtically experience Satori

satori (n.) Look up satori at Dictionary.com
1727, from Japanese, said to mean literally "spiritual awakening." [also: 'seeing into one's true nature]

And Alan would describe the 'awakening' as feeling as light as a leaf. So this is revealing in the light of a claimed quote of Alan Watts', that he did not like himself sober. Was drinking the some way to try and capture what he craved? There was also a 'romantic' old zennist movement which embraced drinking wine and not feeling guilt about being 'joyously drunk' and this would have been an IMAGE that influenced Alan's destructiveness?

But the main point is his dissatisfaction with what he saw as 'ego' which got in the way of some idealistic lightness of being. hence the search for enlightenment demanded a prerequisite general dissatisfaction with 'sober' life.

When I read of Alan Watt's interest in J Krishnamuti (K), this influences me to read  K's books, and for a time I became a little obsessed. It was the classic -not S&M scenario-but the Guru/follower shit where you are supposed to have a lack, and 'he' hasn't and so you want what he's got. Hence you are made to not feel alright with how you are, your changing self. Well I see through that now. Real ecstasy is losing control OF that need to be 'enlightened' or 'realized', and is best inspired with psychedelics. After which it is best not to get tangled up in mystical promises of forever blissland









 

 

Sunday, 27 December 2015