Citation: Lokapalas. "Somatic Vision and Cosmic Consciousness: An Experience with LSD (exp77462)". Erowid.org. Nov 28, 2013. erowid.org/exp/77462
Overview details written approximately 2 months after the experience; majority of report written the day following.
30 year old male; 2009. I am familiar with several psychedelics and experienced to the point that I am comfortable taking them alone in moderate doses. I have taken LSD three times. Light breakfast. No herbal supplements, unusual foods, prescription drugs, etc. I spend the weeks before thinking a bit about what I want to get out of the experience, in what is becoming an annual ritual.
The purity of LSD is rarely a consideration and I consider this material well assayed by friends. Dosage is supposed to be 1 dose (100µg) per drop but I of course lack tools to verify this. I've taken one dose of what was indicated to be 100µg from this source before, and this time took two as that experience was pleasant but never left ++ territory.
The physical effects of LSD are relatively familiar and in any case not interesting to me in this case so I encourage reading other LSD descriptions for that.
It's a sunny day in the middle of a window of rainy ones - my good fortune (and good planning). We sit outside, getting a late start around 10am. 200µg (approx) in tapwater-brewed 'Splashdown' tea in the back yard with L–. Sunny morning. I am excited but apprehensive, though I'm not sure why. I have a vague worry that I'm not in the proper mindset for this, as dissatisfied as I am with some life fundamentals - work, money, and the like. Fascinating that after 15 minutes the LSD is completely metabolized in the body and nothing has 'happened' yet. Neural explosions are beginning, cascading upward to consciousness.
I've edited this document after the fact; such additions (almost solely additions) are [bracketed].
I have two 'goals' in mind, if that's the right word. I don't press, only offer up a subject and see if it is taken up. I am interested in understanding more my relationship with my body; specifically, my asymmetry and the pain I feel in my hands and back and head. I have realized that frequently my frustration and bad mood are the product of pain I am so inured to that I am consciously unaware of it. I'd also like to understand why I don't feel hungry often enough, and in general repair my connection to my body, damaged by illnesses and attendant emotional struggle.
I'd also like to understand how I can proceed with my study of science; it seems a pointless exercise, arbitrary and capricious. I love science, and I am amazed to discover that not only do most people involved in it not revel in it, but that they are absolutely rigid with anxiety and fear, and caught up in their social/political academic game. I don't know if I care to succeed at it at the cost of participating in their model, whether it is worth the stress of the degree program, and how I can justify researching tiny details of such a huge world to little real avail.
My alert is as always a slight lightness at the brow and a tickle in my shoulders and a desire to take full, deep breaths rather than what seem like habitual shallow ones.
The onset consists of waves of the sensation - my attention begins to detach, wander, and small details of the landscape jump out. The lines of a leaf are more vibrant, the regularity of the lattice behind the plants becomes especially salient and clear. I feel euphoric, and my shoulders drop and I relax. I am tempted to laugh out loud.
Sound is a clear indicator; the air becomes crystalline, and my field of perception becomes spherical and much larger. I am not hearing with my [attention-limited] ears any longer, but with my whole perception. I can hear a dog barking echoing from the wall over my right shoulder from the window to my left, a truck downshifting on XX street a block and a half away, hear the dampening effect of the warmer, moister air next to the grass of the lawn as a tangible presence.
Some visuals begin; straight lines become chrome-edged, curves heavily shadowed in black. In general I don't pursue visuals, favoring instead Large Thoughts. This marks the last point I find 'normal' attention forced upon me for the remainder of the experience and I decide to move inside and lie down.
We go inside and I lie on a large pillow L– kindly sets up, in the sweet spot of the stereo. First I am in the front room; trucks going by outside are loud and obnoxious. I make small talk about the trucks and can tell I am beginning to have difficulty communicating; everything feels socially awkward, as though the timing were all off [and such chit-chat is inappropriate]. This is the incorrect way to talk, now, and I am a a bit ashamed and as always startled by how much time we spend saying such things. I am chilly, or at least trembling slightly. I sit on the pillow and L– puts the goat over me. My teeth chatter; mild nystagmus, some large-muscle tension. This phase lasts half an hour. I am happy but a bit distracted. L– helps me move to the living room to better enjoy the silence.
The temporal progression is not clear from here out until I start to come down. I'll speak of the major experiences instead.
The Mirror Game
[Later voice: This is a fascinating example of dehabituation and using the insight provided by the experience as a biofeedback to examine my own body. I have a fair amount of experience with biofeedback in physical therapy.]
I go into the bathroom, which has got to be every trip sitter's least favorite part, I am thinking to myself. What is he doing in there? Should I interrupt? The very thought that I am thinking these things [, worrying from someone else's perspective] is an indication of how strongly the tendency to imagine things from others' points of view asserts itself. One time while I am in there I am gazing into the mirror. The visual aspects of this I'll described below; here I'm concentrating on my body.
I notice suddenly that I am standing with my weight mostly on my right leg, and that my right toes are curled slightly against the ball of my foot. It feels entirely natural or habitual but suddenly stands out. This makes my balance entirely wrong; I can feel it. I have noticed this before, but now it is clear that this throws my right shoulder up, clenches the muscles of my back and neck. My entire right side is clenched. I remember the first time I took LSD, the nerve on the bottom of my right foot being so painful. Today it is again, as is the spot between my index and middle finger. (A nerve? Have to check.) I habitually curl my foot to protect this pain.
[Later voice: Later, I suddenly remembered a summer in childhood when I acquired a sliver of glass in this location; I cut it out myself. This strikes me as bizarre and silly but the thought leapt to mind and fits and is provided without editing.]
I shift my weight to make it evenly balanced between my left and my right foot. My smiling face in the mirror begins to repaint itself as sinister. The stubble on my cheek grows coarser, my eyes droop, and my face in the mirror becomes a symmetric version of just the left side of my face, angry and ugly. I shift to my habitual, mechanically bad pose, and my smile returns; the stubble diminishes; I look happy and my face is right-side symmetric.
This is not going to be easy. My body and my mind have a commitment to this unhealthy posture.
I hesitate briefly - I feel a pressure to not do anything 'too weird'. I can't imagine why. This comes up other times as well. [The internal monitor is so strong.] I take off my shirt; I can feel warring selves who feel this is 'too weird' make my movements clumsy. I identify with the ones who are doing the shirt-removing, discard the nay-sayers. [More on the perspective of 'fractured' selves as an analogy for conscious attention later.]
I watch my shoulders; I flex, stretch, rock my back. I grip both sides of the sink and gaze into my own eyes, and begin. I move from one foot to the other, mixing in a bit of left foot gradually, watching my visage distort and become angry. I balance and remain patient, let the torment subside, until it settles into a blend of familiar and sinister, happy and angry. The anger and sadness tug at me; like any potential focus, I can feel the pull to identify wholly, to fall into [associating with] the negative identity. To do so would mean being overwhelmed by fear or anger or tears [giving up to ridiculing myself for this exercise, or to let the awareness of the pain submerge, and lose my ability to work with it]; I can feel them welling up within me. Neither, though, is it safe or right to ignore the sadness and deny its existence. Instead I must integrate them, observe both. I can see that I am smiling. I continue this process for as long as I can. I want to reach a point of balance, then identify with it, make it my new physical condition. Again I think of the biofeedback training I've done: I need to use this state of heightened perception to identify the healthy posture so that I will recognize it later, so I can strive toward it. My perception is too clouded by pain and habit most of the time.
There is more about this right/left symmetry in the morning, below.
Eventually I decide I have made as much progress as I can without incurring too much cost to be useful. I am grateful to myself for this opportunity.
L– makes me some eggs. They are perfect, just soft enough and just runny enough, with delicate traces of mint leaf and salty blue cheese, and two pieces of perfectly toasted bread, one with piquant meyer lemon preserves and the other just with sweet butter. I weep. I want to tell her they are fantastic, but every time I try it sounds so habitual, so trite. They are Good Eggs. I don't want to sound like I'm ready to converse; I just want to tell her how much I appreciate such exquisitely crafted food. I make some noise to this effect and drop it. A few moments later she appears with a glass of water, well timed. Her concern for me is enormous and perfectly phrased; not intrusive, not demanding, always only present and ready to withdraw.
I don't want to stay on the bed where I ate; she is reading there and the presence of another person makes me itch to communicate verbally, and I am incapable of it [and don't desire it]. The failure is distracting [; it is the wrong thing to try to do]. I return to my pillow in the living room, I think; perhaps this is when I go outside. She asks if I want company and I don't, but it is hard to tell her no. I worry I will make her unhappy, by rejecting her company, by leaving when she has designed such exquisite music for me, music which has guided much of the rest of my experience. There is a lesson here, I note, in my worrying too much about my responsibility for others' feelings.
I'd like to make love, though it's not a strong desire. I don't suggest it for a few reasons. One, I'm not sure how I'm interacting with L–. I don't know if I would come across as a drooling barbarian. The subtle parts of sex may not work, and I don't want to just paw at her. I know this is a dangerous thought, even as I am thinking it, but decide to save it for another time.
I also worry that it won't go well - in that it may not be the great extra-verbal bridge between us that I feel it should be. That thought scares me, and I don't want to make the risk right now. Another (or the same) lesson, another thing to discuss later with her.
Finally, I have no idea what my attention span is. Sex may take a million years, and I may have to stop and wander off on another pressing mission. Again, I don't want to intrude.
I do wonder, though, what an orgasm might feel like in this state. I think of what she did to me a few nights ago, and cannot fathom being on the receiving end of such pleasure again. Considering the plate of eggs made me cry, I imagine the singularity experience of orgasm - not so different in some ways from this loss of self - may gild my mind with diamonds and silver. However, it took me several minutes to thank L– for the eggs, and I think my verbal abilities amount to single words right now. I can't imagine myself croaking, 'sex?' and then waiting - or worse, wandering away. I know this will be funny later, but my tolerance for conflict [especially navigating social interaction] is very low right now so I don't pursue it further.
I saw god. Oh, should I have saved that one for last?
I saw god. Oh, should I have saved that one for last?
It begins as an understanding of how I perceive and the nature of the self. I am shedding selves moment to moment, sheaves of them falling away in a spiral around 'me'. Each one is the mechanism of an individual perception, of thinking a thought. [I would say now that each one is a verb, an experience, an 'action' but more accurately an 'interaction'.] I don't associate my subjectivity with any one of them; rather my subjectivity is informed by them as a plant is by its leaves. I would say I 'dispatch' them for each purpose, but there is no separation of me from Me; rather each is created in the act of perceiving, thinking, and they are me the way my finger is me. Each little-m-me occurs at the interface, the product, of Me and Everything Else, is created by that interaction. It was like being in a shower of tumbling leaves, each a complete moment exactly the size of a perception, where perceptions can be near-instantaneous apprehension of qualia (essential blue-ness; a single figure/ground realization; flutter of an eyelid; contraction of a muscle) or more complex thoughts like an appreciation of the relationship between myself and L–.
This was very clear in the mirror game. V1 neurons in the striate cortex are each calibrated to different time series and pattern detection - they are spatiotemporal filters of different temporal 'sizes', with different perceptual responsibilities. I can see each one functioning. The result in the mirror is a series of successive 'images'. I watched my iris and perceived each component of perception separately - blue; grey; diagonal lines; black-edge-darker/lighter border detection, each present and entire, and in each direction its neighbor another slice of qualia separated either in time or in my 'choice' of perception. This same effect was visible outside the 40-to-100 millisecond domain of V1; especially V4 stuff like spatial frequency (patterning), figure/ground detection, and up into global visual perception and even into greater cognition, and I'm reminded now of recent research that shows that not only are V2-V4 susceptible to attentional focus (citation?), but that they can influence and tune V1 but even frontal cognition can (XXXX, 2008). I'd say they're on to something.
Subjectivity, such as my identity, is 'choosing' a branch, a spiral arm, of these shedding selves; identifying with a slice of them. This isn't a random set; it's a set that is defined by the same nature as the fractal set generation mechanism that 'creates' them in the first place. As each element of a fractal contains the same infinite complexity within as without, so does any selected subjectivity. It may feel discontinuous in time but that's from the local perspective; the relationship from above is clear, as the colored regions of a Mandelbrot fractal are related. Whichever are selected are seamlessly joined into the 'user illusion' of consciousness.
I am a shedded self, a local function of the fractal; every branch is a pocket subjectivity the universe uses to see itself [through local interactions]. Uphill, the universe is a single entity; it is the essential subjectivity; that is to say, 'god'. It is a fractal spiral, radiating from a single pole. Capital-M-me is that singularity; as far up as I want to go, I am the entire universe. I feel love for myself, all the facets of myself. There is no perception of myself in the past, though; nothing about my childhood or really anything other than how I identify myself now, and of the rest of the world on an equal footing with my 'self'. [Future was present, though; my sense is that 'past' was present, but my only perception of the past would have been from a smaller yet self, and 'upward' was more interesting.]
There is never a sense of another larger than me; that is, if there is nothing, there is nothing; if there is a thing, it is a subjectivity of some size, defining the axis of a spiral. Further subjectivities may exist [alternate branches of this larger whole - some are 'mine', some I will, I know, habitually conceive of as 'other people', later; the selection function between 'me' and 'other person' though is so clearly analogous to that between the various perceptions that make up 'me'], and we are equal and part of the all, but there is no part of the all that is unknown to Me at this moment; none is an island, entire of itself, etc. This is probably why communication is so difficult; I am identifying with things outside the single-ego-verbal-entity, and cannot coordinate it to talk at that level any more than I can usually choose to grow the right side of my thumbnail faster than the left. [God is the name for the process that defines this 'spiral' and temporarily partitions it so it can interact with itself; ] there is no god outside our relations to each other.
The sensation fades and I can tell I am becoming more little-m me. This is effected by 'selecting' an arm of the fractal and indwelling there; there is some sadness (?) to the selection of a branch and I am reluctant to restrict myself, as much fun as it is to play at being a person. I so rarely get to be here, with everything all in one place and available to me. I feel comfortable and joyous to be so large. I'm certainly not bored. I am home.
As I come down I find myself 'sticking' to L–, desiring to speak to her. The desire to interact with another subjectivity requires constraining myself to the portions that can operate at a shared time scale. To be more specific, engaging verbally is a lower-resolution interaction. Verbal-style interaction, that is non-externalized but cognitively categorized interaction, affords a slightly higher resolution, and it is more tolerable - these are body language, scent, balance. This greater band of communication with the world remains longer, too, when the effects dwindle; later, when we are on the beach, I can feel the flow of traffic, can feel to a greater degree even than usual the individual drivers and their collective behavior. I tell L– that if one of the drivers were to consider turning left to enter the parking lot as they drove by, I would be able to feel it, and I believe this; it's the same way you can tell when a driver is going to turn even though they failed to signal, a thousand tiny cues from the slight turn to the right, the flick of the eyes to the mirrors, but I can perceive it at leisure; can read the body language of the couple arguing far across the beach [and I'm right; we walk closer later, and they are arguing], etc.
But that is later. As I said, I 'stick' to L–, but I am incapable of tuning in to the faster/smaller frequency and can't make myself think at that level. I suspect that this is the point at which I am harder to deal with; this is where I start making the right kind of eye contact but can't engage. L– later says that she couldn't tell; she thought my eye contact was fine [all along]. From my perspective, my subjectivity had 'left' that shard and was on to the next, and I felt I was not eye-contacting well. I am reminded (note the passive voice so often!) of the handful of individual cases in which I have seen a person known well to me 'go mad'; that is, fail to be able to sync up with the consensus world and communicate about it. The 'sane' perspective (I in those cases) feels flickers of the identity of the other, fleeting, like the way a thicket of trees becomes a periodic orchard from a moving car, but the trapped mind is incapable of communicating. I wonder if I should go visit [redacted; who is currently in a mental institution]; wonder whether it would be easier or harder to talk to him now. [Probably, I thought even then, harder; there is no special likelihood toward a greater ability to relate there.]
I'm reminded of my biofeedback training and the sensation of being able to 'consciously' smooth a tense muscle or direct my breathing. The sensation is similar; finding the controls, getting the heft of a ball to throw it, bouncing in a new pair of shoes to see how they'll fit. I'm heading toward myself. [Was it John Lilly who referred to needing to get the user's manual out of the glove compartment at this point?]
[If you get into these spaces [non-ordinary states of consciousness] at all, you must forget about them when you come back. You must forget you're omnipotent and omniscient and take the game seriously so you'll engage in sex, have children, and participate in the whole human scenario. When you come back from a deep tank session -- or a coma or psychosis -- there's always this extraterrestrial feeling. You have to read the directions in the glove compartment so you can run the human vehicle once more.]
[Another one of Lilly's I hadn't read at that point:
At the highest level of satori from which people return, the point of consciousness becomes a surface or a solid which extends throughout the whole known universe. This used to be called fusion with the Universal Mind or God. In more modern terms you have done a mathematical transformation in which your centre of consciousness has ceased to be a traveling point and has become a surface or solid of consciousness... It was in this state that I experienced 'myself' as melded and intertwined with hundreds of billions of other beings in a thin sheet of consciousness that was distributed around the galaxy. A 'membrane'.
I like that the 'point' of consciousness moves up in dimensional complexity and becomes a surface, or a solid.]
The Copular BE
I'm barely verbal. My ideas are nearly incoherent but I want to talk as much as possible, having learned from trying to remember my dreams how important it is to verbalize them quickly. I share how English-prime, the 'variant' of English derived from Korzybski's general semantics, seems like a wise idea. The copular BE is a lame copout, a shortcut not worth its cost, from my perspective. Everything is defined by interactions; there is no epistemic or attributive identity.
We talk about how every tool is not value-free but rather compose entirely of values. I tell her that right now I feel like a 'tool' in this sense; that I am a locally constructed artifact composed to interact and by interaction with the rest of 'my' 'environment'. Everything is like this in its own way: my V2-V4 neurons are like this; they do a job (or several jobs, actually) and any more cohesive appraisal of that job is necessarily from the perspective of that of which they are a portion. I am a delightful machine, capable of edge detection and qualia sorting and composing sonnets and metabolizing food and oxygen and thoughts [I wrote this, 'metabolizing thoughts', intentionally - thoughts are food for one of the creatures I am], and inventing parking laws and paying parking tickets - depending on what 'I' is under examination. I am a message in a bottle, floated back to this corner of time-space-experience. My only definition is the message I bear/am; my existence is that message.
I ponder destroying all dogmatic verbal systems and see that everything is a 'verbal' system; destroying a verbal system would be nothing but destroying the portion of Self capable of interacting at that 'resolution'. This is impossible, of course; the self exists only through interaction, waiting for interaction with the verbal system to create it. Oxidation is a verbal system of oxygen and sonnets are a verbal system of typical ego-resolution subjectivities and love is a verbal system of larger subjectivities. For that matter, dams are verbal systems of beavers and commerce is a verbal system of corporations, which are themselves a verbal system of egos. So, Mr. Burroughs, I understand your frustration and agree that your path to liberation requires tuning out particular verbal systems, as we have already done. Rarely do the portions of self associated with micturition or sneezing dominate our consciousness, rarer still those whose sole interaction with the world is digestion or toenail-growing. It takes a lot of work to put this Self in the position of chatting about the weather; be proud of it, or at least pat it on the head and thank it from time to time. Better verbal systems await our need for them. Every human relationship is such a local verbal system, developed between two spiral arms of the universe. [Upward!]
Love for L–
L– is a wise soul. L– cares for me, and cares for me well. Every realization I make in my life, she is prepared to meet me at. I am humbled by my good fortune and joyous that we love each other. She is an excellent partner and I am happy that I feel I am relating to her properly, as two individuals with a strong bond; we are good for each other. Later when she is talking while she drives I am rapt at listening to her; I love her mind, so quick and so sincere. Sincerity, above all, is the word I associate with her, and with what it means for us to have a relationship. It is possible for me to be utterly sincere with her.
This love is so good and I want to compare it to my past love, the one that was so strong but so wrong and so sad. I decide to think for a while of Jennifer, and my love for her, to understand the difference. I see that what characterized it as so intense was its ludicrous focus - I was able to think of nothing but her; I identified as solely the shards of self concerned with her. It was a good experience and a good place to experience, but inherently curtailed, a dead-end arm of the spiral. Specific memories I had shadows of but had thought lost show me this. I remember a curl of hair, the shadow of a curtain; just like with H–, occasional phantom concordances lined up but we were never consistently in sync. I let the image fall away.
L–, 'totally subjective'
I'm just becoming verbal again and L– and I are talking. She uses the phrase 'to be totally subjective' and my naive mind is still taking words at strong value to my internal correlation for them. 'Total' and 'subjective' are words that have a lot of import to me at the moment, but I'm starting to understand the mediating function of words between subjectivities and the contrast between what leaps to mind when she says 'totally subjective' and my understanding of what she really intends me to think is so huge it makes me choke and laugh. I've got your total subjectivity, right here. [I still laugh, thinking about this. I didn't mean to be unkind, it was just overwhelming and unrelated to what she was saying. For a moment I thought she really was able to be totally subjective simply by saying so.]
[There is] no difference between right-on-red law and oxidation of iron in rusting. Both are just local customs.
I pick up my glasses to put them on and the asymmetry of my head is enormous. I feel my teeth grind against each other, feel how much my body spirals, and I'm sad. I pick up my sunglasses a moment later, and they are in the same category as the glasses, but different - not being custom-fitted, they move differently, and the three-dimensional difference is tangible, a chiral variant. I wonder if I would be much, much better at complex geometry. Math is pretty again.
The universe is clockwise. I remember that from yesterday. But when I woke up this morning, it was counter-clockwise. This relates to my left/right balance issue; I am misperceiving the direction, perhaps? I close one eye, my left (RVF), and breathe deeply. The universe Necker-cubes back to clockwise, and I dwell for a time in the 'weakness' of my right eye, remembering, strengthening my connection to that perception from this side of my brain. I know that my worsening right rhomboid/ infraspinatus/ trapezius/ latissimus pain is the result of ignoring my left side; distrusting my weakness, denying the memory of years of pain, still. I am happy; I have a path to recovery. I am aware that this is an insight. It was not granted to me from on high; it is not a message from elsewhere (see earlier, there is no external authority). It is a fact just like 'blue eyes' or 'bad haircut' or 'hexagonal hydrogen-to-hydrogen bonds become stronger than local entropy in water at 0 degrees celsius around here' that I was able to perceive.
We walk on the beach, and L– assiduously avoids being upwind of me while she smokes. I want to tell her that seeing a cigarette surrounds me with every sensation associated with them and that the oddness introduced into her walking behavior is much more distracting than the smoke could be, but I am completely incapable and it doesn't really matter anyway. She is being kind and I love her.
The tide is very far out and I enjoy the sensation of the ocean being at arm's length, and see where it's going to come back. I feel dizzily lost and enjoy the feel of the small rip currents formed by the curl of the dunes. I see how I could be trapped by the water and shiver; Tyger Tyger, I could be drowned while I enjoy the sound of the percussion of the waves. A small voice sets a timer on how long I will stay here. [And I take some pride in the fact that I have a mind that is good at taking care of me, that will set that timer and not interrupt me with worry until it goes off, so I can safely devote my attention to other things.]
Science - If everything is simply everything's way of noticing itself, pointing out patterns seems absurd. But being a scientist, ie, noticing things, is a joy and the whole point. It's the tiny details that seems ludicrous. [The notion that any one detail is better, or above all that a model has anything to do with reality.]
We talk about a definition for religion. More to add, but essentially that I find it hard to identify something that isn't religion. [Everything is religion.] Peak experiences are going to be a moving target [that is, while math is the study of models, the study of peak experiences has an open lambda closure (sorry, lambda calculus is just the best way to explain it) in that what is 'peak' is a function specific to a particular subjectivity, and will have to be amended as we grow. Any religion we build, that is, any spiritual technology/religious function I might create to as James defines 'associate man with the transcendent' has to have dynamism built into it. This is the cleverness of Mr. J. H. Christ and Mr. G. Buddha. They did an excellent job of making definitions relative, before their followers started eating the menu instead of the meal and Christianity in particular ossified into the petty, cruel mess it now favors.]
We eat at the Tibetan place we love because they genuinely prepare North Indian food with all its layers and complexity intact - I've never been anywhere like it in the States. The food is sublime. The wine is a clumsy failure; I can feel the minerals in the soil reach out and be blunted by the naive sweetness, clubbed to death like a defenseless baby seal. I think again that aesthetes of wine know what they're doing, and their attempts to describe wine are also attempts to harness a dogmatic verbal system. Us religion folks may benefit from talking with them.
Today, I love my body. I am tall and strong and happy. My posture is good and nothing hurts. I dance a lot. I am astonished by how great my body is. I laugh every time I walk by the mirror, which I conspire to do frequently.
Lessons for the future
Fewer things. The closest thing to this and the route to broadening consciousness, that is, 'identification with formerly non-self' is unalloyed attention. Multitasking is silly, or rather any multitasking that requires conscious attention. [Here I was thinking of the kind of multitasking that is built in to our bodies - digesting food, up to perhaps balance while reading, etc.] Cultivate attention; 'never whistle while you're pissing' moves one notch further toward being my next tattoo.
Fewer things in every sense. Possessions are so easy to have, but each carries with it [or, more, demands you carry] a tiny fragment of your values [devote a small amount of your attention to carrying it]. One is the constantly progressing product of interactions with the universe. Own nothing; keep near you the things you value. ['Omnea mea mecum porto'.] This is the Buddhist doctrine of clinging as explained by Alan Watts and others. Leap lightly and love each step. Any step not loved is a stumble. [I cry, just a little bit, reading this only two months later.]
Identification of self with more is something I bring back as a goal. The broader Self I can experience, the better. Individuals should be large in extent in time and space [and subject].
[Miscellaneous notes I can't delete:]
A child boy on the street can't take his eyes off me. I smile; I talk with him. He's about five years old, playing on my steps as his mother takes him on a walk around the block. [Old people and children notice me a lot more, or I notice them, or we notice each other, for a few weeks after.]
PULL PIN SIX!
Ha ha ha. Zelazny made great hay of the LSD experience. Walking to shadows, the relationship between selves. Pull pin six!
right eye/left eye
I underuse my right eye.
[Finally - all this added:]
One of my favorite meditations has become easier for me, or one has been suggested to me by the experience. I call it the moment-to-moment or the continuity meditation, when I have to call it. I 'attentionate', devote my attention to, the act of perceiving time. How big is a thought? Is this moment of thought the same as the last one, or is it a new one? What makes the border? How long can a thought be? None of these are individually considered, of course; rather I am trying to examine the state-of-thinking. 'Examine' is really not the correct word. I am devoting myself to being the state-of-being-thought/perspective, I suppose. Making of myself only the act of making myself. I find this meditation nearer at hand now, when I close my eyes and think of it.
And I find my mood still (+2 months) very even. Kind, thoughtful, happy, I dare say. I've been called 'wise' four or five times in the last few months; hardly all new, but still it stands out. I feel less desirous, more excited about doing than having. I've felt this before, of course, to one degree or another, but this seems different, to be with less effort; a higher baseline of such a state. And my attention is less fractured; I discard multi-tasking.
I could be sad when I read this and see that it has in some ways become more distant. But I'm not; I'm doing Well. I will know what I need to know when I need to know it.
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