What causes bad trips?

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AshvinP
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by AshvinP »

Eugene I wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 8:54 pm A comment: I think we are getting confused with labels again. "No-thing-ness" and "I" are the words pointing to the same Reality. "I" is exactly "no-thing-ness" because it's not a "thing", it is "formless" because it has no form but it is what creates and knows/experiences all forms.

Here is my understanding:

"Formlessness" (no-thingness) is how the "I", or actually any 'layers' of the "I" beyond the threshold of sensory cognition, must be described from the perspective of representational thinking. When we say a process is "formless", we are saying it cannot become the object of our perception-cognition. Representational thinking beyond the threshold has no ability to behold structure of ideational activity. Cleric is speaking of higher Thinking across the threshold which is non-representational, i.e it does not cognize the world as objects external to itself. It is Thinking which is actively united with what is Thought. The overall point is that structured knowing does not cease when "nothingness" is encountered if higher cognition has been properly developed. In latest post, he introduces as follows ("active thinking"):

Cleric wrote:In purely sensory life we can afford to expect meaning to enter in us together with perceptions. If the perceptions cease, any meaning also ceases. But there's also another possibility. It is possible that we start with the meaning (idea, concept) and project that into an image. It's the reverse process. In the former, the perception evokes the meaning into our knowing automatically. In the latter, we already know the meaning and project it into imaginal perception (word, symbol, etc.).

This is not a simple symmetric reversal. When the process is reversed we have the chance to differentiate something which otherwise is always fused together. Some months ago we had long conversations with our friend findingblanks who turns PoF into a grotesque caricature for the simple reason that he insists to experience thought-images only of the first kind - as perceptions that come in inseparable packets with their meaning. He resists with all his strength to experience thought-images as the result of ideating spiritual activity (something with which PoF brings right from the start. No wonder that from thence on everything becomes turned upside-down).

Only if we engage into active thinking we have the chance to differentiate between the concept, the meaning that we experience in our "I" on one hand and on the other - the thought-image which is really only a symbol, an imaginal testimony for the idea that we live within. It is very different when we enter the Imaginative realm after we have advanced into this active thinking.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
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AshvinP
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by AshvinP »

Cleric K wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 2:21 pm This is not a simple symmetric reversal. When the process is reversed we have the chance to differentiate something which otherwise is always fused together. Some months ago we had long conversations with our friend findingblanks who turns PoF into a grotesque caricature for the simple reason that he insists to experience thought-images only of the first kind - as perceptions that come in inseparable packets with their meaning. He resists with all his strength to experience thought-images as the result of ideating spiritual activity (something with which PoF beings right from the start. No wonder that from thence on everything becomes turned upside-down).

Only if we engage into active thinking we have the chance to differentiate between the concept, the meaning that we experience in our "I" on one hand and on the other - the thought-image which is really only a symbol, an imaginal testimony for the idea that we live within. It is very different when we enter the Imaginative realm after we have advanced into this active thinking. Without this training everything if flattened for us, we have inexplicable panorama which evokes in us the intense but vague meaning of 'amazing stuff out of this world'. On the contrary, we when have learned to understand the difference between living in idea and the projecting the image out of it, then it becomes possible for us to live within higher order meaning, which elucidates the Imaginative substance. It's useless to sit and wait passively higher meaning to come to us in the images (look at the box). We need to ask questions, to search for the higher meaning that shapes the Imaginative perceptions.

For those who are still confused about this "reversal" Cleric writes of above, as I initially was, I want to comment two things:

1) In general, for modern intellect, "reversals" of all sorts are very difficult to comprehend. Even if we do comprehend it for a little while, we just as quickly forget it. That is intimately related to our experience of time as linear clock ticking forward and our inability to experience Time holistically. Cleric has written about that very nicely in his essay, "The Time-Consciousness Spectrum", so there's really no point of me trying to rewrite it here. Suffice to say, the "reversal", "mirror image", "reflection", etc. concepts are extremely important for understanding the dynamic relation of spiritual to physical, higher cognition to lower [sensory] cognition, past to future, etc., and vice versa. But we should also be aware that they will remain mere abstract concepts for the intellect without higher cognition, so it is generally not possible to make them second nature thinking with only intellect - we must continually revisit them when we are trying to grasp those dynamics.

2) Specifically in the context of what is written above, it may be helpful to think of psychological concept of "projection". For most abstract psychological frameworks, especially those which presuppose materialism-dualism (nearly all of them), the actual meaning of this dyamic is inverted and seen as a negative thing - someone is only "projecting" when they take their own unconscious negative qualities and put them onto someone or something else. For other more idealist-minded psychologists, like Jung, we are always projecting the qualities of our collective subconscious onto the sensory world (including other souls). The only question is whether we are going to become conscious of that projection or not. "Unless you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it 'fate'" (Jung). That is exactly what Cleric writes of in this post when speaking of us as "puppets on a string". So developing higher cognition is not other than making the subconscious conscious.

The difference between most depth psychologists (not Jung) and Cleric, however, is that the former speak of it as mechanical thinking which thinks about mechanical thinking in an infinitely recursive loop. There may be some personal benefits - "We not only become conscious of them but we are able to transform our conduct such that we no longer express them" (Cleric) - but the vertical depth is never added so that we can perceive the deeply transpersonal significance to all that we are working on within ourselves. Cleric, in stark contrast, is claiming that this is a living, breathing process of exploring the reasons why we think the ways we do - why we "live in ideas" and always assume our current state of being has brought us out of those ideas carrying us along subconsciously, even though our experience makes it 100% certain that is not true if we stop to reflect on it just a little bit. As he mentions at the end, the living thinking can also exist through intellectual reasoning (how could it be any other way?), but we just need to remember the intellect is always trying to convince us the understanding we reach "now" is the "final" understanding when it most definitely is not.

I anticipate some reading may feel what I suggest above is hypocritical - isn't Cleric (and myself) the one assuming he has come to know all ideas structuring his experience, since he is always telling others why they experience things the way they do? No, not at all. The reason we feel that is because Cleric spends all of his time writing about the "a, b, c" of what he does know, which is how [physical] sensory perception-cognition manifests from higher-order Imaginative ideal processes. The fact that this knowledge seems endlessly rich in detail and approach, and is able to address so many other perspectives represented on this forum, should not lower our confidence in its validity but increase it (how could it be any other way?) If the discussion were to progress further, and someone were to ask about specifics of even higher-order ideas than what is currently being discussed, he will say "I don't know" and provide some useful context for why he does not yet know and what other helpful considerations he may be able to share. I know this for certain because he is kind enough to respond to my questions via email every once in awhile, so I have observed it happen (and, no, we don't use those emails to coordinate spiritual scientific 'assaults' on the forum ;) ).
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
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Cleric K
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by Cleric K »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:43 am For those who are still confused about this "reversal" Cleric writes of above, as I initially was, I want to comment two things:

1) In general, for modern intellect, "reversals" of all sorts are very difficult to comprehend. Even if we do comprehend it for a little while, we just as quickly forget it. That is intimately related to our experience of time as linear clock ticking forward and our inability to experience Time holistically. Cleric has written about that very nicely in his essay, "The Time-Consciousness Spectrum", so there's really no point of me trying to rewrite it here. Suffice to say, the "reversal", "mirror image", "reflection", etc. concepts are extremely important for understanding the dynamic relation of spiritual to physical, higher cognition to lower [sensory] cognition, past to future, etc., and vice versa. But we should also be aware that they will remain mere abstract concepts for the intellect without higher cognition, so it is generally not possible to make them second nature thinking with only intellect - we must continually revisit them when we are trying to grasp those dynamics.

2) Specifically in the context of what is written above, it may be helpful to think of psychological concept of "projection". For most abstract psychological frameworks, especially those which presuppose materialism-dualism (nearly all of them), the actual meaning of this dyamic is inverted and seen as a negative thing - someone is only "projecting" when they take their own unconscious negative qualities and put them onto someone or something else. For other more idealist-minded psychologists, like Jung, we are always projecting the qualities of our collective subconscious onto the sensory world (including other souls). The only question is whether we are going to become conscious of that projection or not. "Unless you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it 'fate'" (Jung). That is exactly what Cleric writes of in this post when speaking of us as "puppets on a string". So developing higher cognition is not other than making the subconscious conscious.
Thanks Ashvin,

What you say is all important, yet I had something even more elementary in mind with this 'reversal'. Let me try to elaborate.

Let's turn our attention to the way we perceive perceptions together with meaning. Probably the best example is listening to someone talking. As long as the topic doesn't require any special knowledge and concentration, we don't need to exert any effort in order understand what we hear. It's like the sound of the words completely automatically evokes the corresponding meaning. We have something similar when we simply look around us. As our gaze scans our surroundings it is not necessary to exert some special effort. We have effortless understanding of what we see - at least on a general level. It's like we experience the meaning that if verbalized could be expressed as "I see the stuff in my room."

This is the first kind of experience. Interestingly, for many people this is also the way they experience their thoughts most of the time. They simply go through a stream of innate chatter, not that different from the way we hear someone else's voice, except that we have the additional knowing that this is ours.

The second kind of experience, which I called 'reversed', requires us to feel actively responsible for the thoughts we hear. I called it thus because naturally, when we think scientifically about perceptions, it appears that the sound stimuli come first and the meaning (supposedly after some processing) evokes the experience of meaning. I called the second kind 'reversed' because when we think actively we live in meaning and the verbal thoughts are only symbolic perceptions of it. So we have one direction from perception to meaning and the reversed - from meaning to perception.

The latter it seems is quite unnoticed for most people. One way to notice it is if we remember how sometimes we struggle to find a word. If such moments are observed we would notice how for a brief moment we live in some kind of meaning, yet we can't translate it into a word. Another way to point attention to this is if we think about a concept that we know words for in different languages - Love, Amore, Любовь, etc. We can experiment thinking the concept in different words and try to feel the common meaning that is independent of the words themselves.

Another useful experiment is trying to think something which doesn't easily fit in our existing habits. For example, we can try pronouncing in our mind sounds. It's most effective to hold the sound for longer time (for ex. 10sec). Sounds like 'aaaaaaa', 'eeeeeee', 'oooooo'. I suppose this is not something that many people do regularly so it will feel new. This is the valuable thing - while it's still new, there aren't yet already built cognitive habits so we have to exercise more focused activity.

If we observe ourselves we'll see that most of our speech (and verbal thoughts) are completely automatic. We surf through the meaning of what we want to express, and the mental and physical habits that we've developed through the years do the rest. And this is big part of the problem in our times - on one hand we have very dim consciousness of meaning as something existing apart from words, it's very difficult for modern man to have clear grasp of meaning without the words. On the other hand the habits which translate the meaning into words have become completely automatic. This places man in the peculiar situation that his "I"-activity remains very shadowy. Whether we're conscious of it or not, we're constantly groping in the dark, through the invisible landscape of meaning. This activity is so dim that it practically resembles a kind of dreamy slumber. Then this barely conscious groping in the dark is translated into consciously perceptible thoughts by quite habitual patterns, deeply ingrained in our organism. So man hears the automatically pronounced thoughts but he's barely conscious of his shadowy groping through the invisible landscape of meaning.

Exercise as the above takes advantage of the fact that we can perform some type of mental activity which has not yet become completely habitual and in this way it's easier to narrow the gap and livingly experience how through our own effort, ideas/meaning are being spoken into thoughts. In the exercise the sounds themselves do not correspond to some concrete ideas but still, the act of pronouncing them is full of meaning because they exist within meaningful context. If someone could hear our thoughts he might ask "Dude, what are you doing?" Seen from the side, we're just pronouncing simple sounds. Even though the sounds themselves do not encode special ideas, from our perspective they are expressions of quite comprehensive ideas about the whole exercise. Just think how many different things are interrelated - habits, the gradient of consciousness-subconsciousness, activity, perception, sound, meaning, duration and so on. We live in densely packed meaning and the sound is only the end result of deeply motivated activity.

If we grasp the idea of all above, it should be clear that it is possible to feel more and more intimately how meaning precipitates in thought-perceptions through our activity. I guess everyone is familiar with the acoustic phenomenon that when one of two identical tuning forks sounds, the air vibrations bring the second one in motion too (because it is attuned to the same resonant frequency). Imagine the forms of language as tiny tuning forks, forming hierarchical structures. These musical structures have been deeply ingrained in our organism. When we're groping in the darkness of meaning we're not conscious of it but we can imagine this dim meaning as a kind of music. Here more harmonious, there much more dissonant, almost noise-like. As we move through this music made of knowing/meaning/idea, barely conscious of it, the sound of it rings in resonance with particular harmonic language structures, which activates trains of patterned reflexes. The more we have done this, the more stable these resonant trains are and the more effortlessly they are triggered. This is pretty much how modern man operates - he pushes blindly through meaning and habitual patterns of language resonate with it wherever possible.

This places us in the bifurcated situation where on one side we're groping barely conscious in invisible meaning, on the other we're conscious but only of completely mechanically activated thought trains.

Through exercises as the above (of course on the condition that we're doing them fully consciously) we can feel afresh what it means to move through meaning which doesn't yet have corresponding deeply ingrained cascades of tuning forks. If we observe closely, we can see how much more free we feel, even somewhat clumsy and uncertain in this new situation (similar to the way when we learn to write for the first time). For example, when we pronounce 'aaaaa' we may experiment modulating the pitch, as a vibrato effect. When we think our prosaic daily thoughts, how many times have we thought about experimenting with fine grained modulation of the intonation of our inner voice? Probably never. We're too busy groping barely consciously in the dim prosaic meaning and leave the well trodden patterns to verbalize it for ourselves.

If we're able to do that exercise with the needed focus, we can't fail but feel that in a way we feel much more alive. We have shortened the distance between the dimly explored meaning and its projection into perceptible thoughts. As long as the gap between the two is large, it's like there's only a limited number of slots of ingrained patterns that can capture meaning. For example, if in the darkness of meaning we pass through region with specific frequencies but we don't have any pattern slots resonantly attuned to such wavelengths, we simply can't be conscious of this meaning - we don't have words for it! We pass through the invisible meaning, as EM waves pass through antenna designed for different wavelengths.

When we experience active thinking, the back and forth oscillation between meaning and the closely willed thought activity allows us to reflect novel and much finer degrees of meaning.

If this line of reasoning is continued we'll soon arrive, even completely through ordinary logic, to the idea of a higher form of cognition, that we here call Imaginative. Our thinking activity becomes so mobile, flexible, sensitive that we begin to express in whole images the meaningful dynamics through which we live with our "I". It's like the rigid slots of verbal patterns begin to multiply and refine such that they can capture finer and finer dynamics.
Image
In other words, what we normally grope in the dark becomes much more clearly reflected in comprehensive images. Even more important than the finer resolution is the fact that meaning expands temporally too. We're able to cognize temporal rhythms which present to us otherwise disconnected perceptions, into perfectly clear holistic relations - they dance on the same waves. In our intellectual state the verbal slots are too crude, they capture way too aliased picture of this invisible meaning, and we simply can't grasp the disparate elements in their unity. We can only speculate about their interrelationships and mechanically patch them together through intellectual assertions.

These images are not magnificent visions that we flatly confront with the crude slots of our intellect. They are our own thought-reflection that has expanded and transformed from mere sound or word into a dynamic, living image of what we experience as meaning. Think of the word 'dog'. It's just a simple sound to which we experience the idea of the animal. Now imagine that we turn that word into a symbol and begin to concentrate on it. Gradually it begins to fill our entire field of consciousness and becomes more and more manifold, similarly to the animation above. This increase in details is not some perceptual effect but reflects the increase of resolution of meaning that we experience. In this expanded panorama we begin to sense as a meaningful complex everything we know about dogs - threads of interrelations between ideas are being spun in all directions and connect with the focus of our meditation. I repeat - it's not that we see these things in the image and interpret them from there. No, the image is secondary, what gives intensity of the experience is the brilliant, expanded and mobile meaning. In the same way, when we think 'dog' the verbal sound is secondary, it's only a testimony for the meaning that we live in. The panoramic image becomes important only when we want to translate this higher experience into concrete sensory-like elements. This is how, for example, something as the aliasing metaphor comes into being. It's experience of the living high resolution dynamics of meaning in the Imaginative state. From there we can zoom back into the slots of the ordinary verbal intellect. When we do that, the whole panorama dims down and we're left with verbal thoughts. When we do this back and forth, we can describe the experience in quite literal sense as the aliasing presented in the metaphor.

It's very important to understand that these multiplying and manifold slots are produced by our patient and determined work. We must create ourselves the palette capable of capturing the subtle shapes and dynamics of Cosmic meaning. It's like learning a new language where we create more and more refined vocabulary which becomes so manifold that practically turns into a continuum and is able to reflect spiritual dynamics and dimensionality unimaginable through linear combinations of intellectual slots. This from one more angle shows why the psychedelic state is not the Imaginative cognition described here. The psychedelic state truly thrusts us into the expanded Imaginative element but we can only alias the meaning of this experience through our crude intellectual slots that we happen to posses from everyday life. When this is no longer possible in the face of the extreme dynamics, the intellect collapses (the celebrated 'ego death') and everything is captured in a big singular slot having the meaning of approximately 'amazing experience out of this world'. This is how radically diametrical the two states are. In the one we have a single word spreading and capturing the whole Imaginative panorama as nebulous meaning of general oneness. In the other we have fully consciously developed vocabulary becoming fluid and infinitely detailed, able to capture patterns and temporal dynamics of higher meaning, that simply don't exist for the 'singular nebulous word' of the psychedelic (or the no-thought) state and the crude slots of the intellect.

Within this expanded meaning and reflection we also begin to cognize processes which are too subtle to be captured by the slots of the ordinary intellect. Within these processes we begin to recognize the living forces through which we move, which resist or resonate with us while we're transforming through the meaningful landscape. We're not some static observer at the periphery, which witnesses external to itself meaningful processes in front of it. Such an idea is only one of the very rigid slots which completely formats and limits what is possible to experience. The idea itself is a form of meaning that restricts us in a certain slot. When this rigid slot shatters, the whole reality becomes metamorphosis of meaning/knowing, reflected in the living Imaginative 'substance'.

(Note that all above is limited to Imaginative cognition. We're not speaking of the higher Inspirative (nor Intuitive), which we can enter when we learn to live within meaning to such an extent that we no longer even need the reflective Imaginative substance for support (thus we can be fully conscious in the realm of deep dreamless sleep). In that Spiritual realm we find even more subtle dynamics, which can no longer be experienced through reflection in the Imaginative substance but can only be known entirely from within their meaning, as willed by spiritual beings)
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by AshvinP »

Cleric K wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:05 pm
AshvinP wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:43 am For those who are still confused about this "reversal" Cleric writes of above, as I initially was, I want to comment two things:

1) In general, for modern intellect, "reversals" of all sorts are very difficult to comprehend. Even if we do comprehend it for a little while, we just as quickly forget it. That is intimately related to our experience of time as linear clock ticking forward and our inability to experience Time holistically. Cleric has written about that very nicely in his essay, "The Time-Consciousness Spectrum", so there's really no point of me trying to rewrite it here. Suffice to say, the "reversal", "mirror image", "reflection", etc. concepts are extremely important for understanding the dynamic relation of spiritual to physical, higher cognition to lower [sensory] cognition, past to future, etc., and vice versa. But we should also be aware that they will remain mere abstract concepts for the intellect without higher cognition, so it is generally not possible to make them second nature thinking with only intellect - we must continually revisit them when we are trying to grasp those dynamics.

2) Specifically in the context of what is written above, it may be helpful to think of psychological concept of "projection". For most abstract psychological frameworks, especially those which presuppose materialism-dualism (nearly all of them), the actual meaning of this dyamic is inverted and seen as a negative thing - someone is only "projecting" when they take their own unconscious negative qualities and put them onto someone or something else. For other more idealist-minded psychologists, like Jung, we are always projecting the qualities of our collective subconscious onto the sensory world (including other souls). The only question is whether we are going to become conscious of that projection or not. "Unless you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it 'fate'" (Jung). That is exactly what Cleric writes of in this post when speaking of us as "puppets on a string". So developing higher cognition is not other than making the subconscious conscious.
Thanks Ashvin,

What you say is all important, yet I had something even more elementary in mind with this 'reversal'. Let me try to elaborate.

Let's turn our attention to the way we perceive perceptions together with meaning. Probably the best example is listening to someone talking. As long as the topic doesn't require any special knowledge and concentration, we don't need to exert any effort in order understand what we hear. It's like the sound of the words completely automatically evokes the corresponding meaning. We have something similar when we simply look around us. As our gaze scans our surroundings it is not necessary to exert some special effort. We have effortless understanding of what we see - at least on a general level. It's like we experience the meaning that if verbalized could be expressed as "I see the stuff in my room."

This is the first kind of experience. Interestingly, for many people this is also the way they experience their thoughts most of the time. They simply go through a stream of innate chatter, not that different from the way we hear someone else's voice, except that we have the additional knowing that this is ours.

The second kind of experience, which I called 'reversed', requires us to feel actively responsible for the thoughts we hear. I called it thus because naturally, when we think scientifically about perceptions, it appears that the sound stimuli come first and the meaning (supposedly after some processing) evokes the experience of meaning. I called the second kind 'reversed' because when we think actively we live in meaning and the verbal thoughts are only symbolic perceptions of it. So we have one direction from perception to meaning and the reversed - from meaning to perception.

Cleric,

Thank you for this amazing elaboration with exercises! I will be trying some of these this evening :)

I am still unsure if we were speaking of different things, though. It is very obvious that even Jungian depth psyschologists who understand "projection" (as opposed to Freudian or some other school) are not actually penetrating to Imaginative thinking in their clinical practices... they are still holding it completely as an abstract concept which is relatively useless beyond the most simple self-work on bad habits, etc. As for Jung himself, I am not so sure - there seems to be a lot of evidence he just dressed everything up in academic and secular intellectual language for most of his career, even though his ideas were much more spiritual in nature.

So you clarified what you meant in what is quoted above. Consider this quote from Jung:

Jung wrote:According to the primitive idea of mana, the beautiful moves us, and it is not we who create beauty. A certain person is a devil - we have not projected our own evil upon him and in this way made a devil out of him... The mana conception has it that there exists something like a widely distributed force in the external world that produces all those effects which are out of the common. Everything that exists, acts, for otherwise it would not be actual... So far we can easily follow this primitive idea. The difficulty arises when we try to carry its implications further, for they reverse the process of psychic projection of which I have spoken. These implications are as follows: it is not my imagination or my awe that makes a sorcerer of the medicine-man; on the contrary, he is a sorcerer and projects his magical powers upon me. Ghosts are not hallucinations of my mind, but appear to me of their own volition...

It seems to me that Jung is pointing out that both the "primitives" and modern "civilized" man are doing this subconsciously, i.e. they are not aware of it at all. So we feel various symbols external to our own activity can be configured to be meaningful (perception to meaning), and they feel the meaning is already there and arrives to their senses directly from external beings (meaning to perception). Jung claims we subconsciously "project" the source of meaning onto the symbols "out there" which we then passively observe. For him, making that "projection" conscious is to perceive how the meaning is first born within us (or actually within the 'collective subconscious' working through us). Does that not align with what you describe in terms of developing more "active thinking" which can eventually flower into Imaginative thinking?

Jung also developed a practice of "active imagination" which is described below, but again it clearly seems more vague, passive, and unstructured than the development of Imaginative thinking you are speaking of.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_im ... ustav_Jung
Wiki wrote:Key to active imagination is the goal of restraining the conscious waking mind from exerting influence on internal images as they unfold. For example, if a person were recording a spoken visualization of a scene or object from a dream, Jung's approach would ask the practitioner to observe the scene, watch for changes, and report them, rather than to consciously fill the scene with one's desired changes. One would then respond genuinely to these changes, and report any further changes in the scene. This approach is meant to ensure that the unconscious contents express themselves without undue influence from the conscious mind. At the same time, however, Jung was insistent some form of active participation in active imagination was essential: "You yourself must enter into the process with your personal reactions: ... as if the drama being enacted before your eyes were real"
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
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AshvinP
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by AshvinP »

Cleric K wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:05 pm
AshvinP wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:43 am For those who are still confused about this "reversal" Cleric writes of above, as I initially was, I want to comment two things:

1) In general, for modern intellect, "reversals" of all sorts are very difficult to comprehend. Even if we do comprehend it for a little while, we just as quickly forget it. That is intimately related to our experience of time as linear clock ticking forward and our inability to experience Time holistically. Cleric has written about that very nicely in his essay, "The Time-Consciousness Spectrum", so there's really no point of me trying to rewrite it here. Suffice to say, the "reversal", "mirror image", "reflection", etc. concepts are extremely important for understanding the dynamic relation of spiritual to physical, higher cognition to lower [sensory] cognition, past to future, etc., and vice versa. But we should also be aware that they will remain mere abstract concepts for the intellect without higher cognition, so it is generally not possible to make them second nature thinking with only intellect - we must continually revisit them when we are trying to grasp those dynamics.

2) Specifically in the context of what is written above, it may be helpful to think of psychological concept of "projection". For most abstract psychological frameworks, especially those which presuppose materialism-dualism (nearly all of them), the actual meaning of this dyamic is inverted and seen as a negative thing - someone is only "projecting" when they take their own unconscious negative qualities and put them onto someone or something else. For other more idealist-minded psychologists, like Jung, we are always projecting the qualities of our collective subconscious onto the sensory world (including other souls). The only question is whether we are going to become conscious of that projection or not. "Unless you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it 'fate'" (Jung). That is exactly what Cleric writes of in this post when speaking of us as "puppets on a string". So developing higher cognition is not other than making the subconscious conscious.
Thanks Ashvin,

What you say is all important, yet I had something even more elementary in mind with this 'reversal'. Let me try to elaborate.

Actually I see my paragraph #1 may have been really unhelpful in this context. Let's strike that as irrelevant.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
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AshvinP
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by AshvinP »

I began trying some of the exercises you mentioned and, especially with the pronouncing sounds with mind for 5-10 seconds, there is unmistakeable sense of novelty and aliveness of ideating activity and meaning. It is fantastic and I will definitely continue practicing with this exercise daily. Thank you!

And what is written below is very profound to contemplate:
Cleric K wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:05 pm I repeat - it's not that we see these things in the image and interpret them from there. No, the image is secondary, what gives intensity of the experience is the brilliant, expanded and mobile meaning. In the same way, when we think 'dog' the verbal sound is secondary, it's only a testimony for the meaning that we live in. The panoramic image becomes important only when we want to translate this higher experience into concrete sensory-like elements. This is how, for example, something as the aliasing metaphor comes into being. It's experience of the living high resolution dynamics of meaning in the Imaginative state. From there we can zoom back into the slots of the ordinary verbal intellect. When we do that, the whole panorama dims down and we're left with verbal thoughts. When we do this back and forth, we can describe the experience in quite literal sense as the aliasing presented in the metaphor.

It's natural for intellect to simply assume others are doing what it is doing. So when I come up with a metaphor, I start searching for concepts over in 'this topic over here' which will sort of match up with the meaning of the concepts over in 'this other topic over there', and then try to explain the matching process in my writing as best that I can. At first, when reading your metaphors, I assume it is the same way. I think to myself, "wow he must have vast knowledge of concepts in so many different fields to figure out how to construct all of these different metaphors". But when contemplating what is written above, I suddenly discern the meaning, "all such metaphors only work because the processes described are nothing other than the structure of ideational activity projected into various outward symbols!". In sense-reality, 'physical tuning forks' which 'resonate' with each other 'through air vibrations', or informational signals that can be graphed with overlays of how many times we 'peek' at the signal (aliasing), etc. - these sense-processes only exist because of structured ideational activity which is immanently present to each soul's reflective thinking.

Of course, that is the fundamental premise of metaphysical idealism. It is also reflected in the musings of thinkers such as Emerson - "It is not words only that are emblematic; it is things which are emblematic. Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact. Every appearance in nature corresponds to some state of the mind, and that state of the mind can only be described by presenting that natural appearance as its picture." But, the fact that it is so hard for me to remember that, when you are giving metaphors they are naturally arising from the concrete structured meaning you first sense and then recognize in all the symbolic sensory processes you are aware of (music, language, signals, etc,), which I am sure has become very much 'second-nature' in your 'born-again' Imaginative thinking, is a testament to the manner in which intellect constantly separates these things out, leaving such a large gap "between the dimly explored meaning and its projection into perceptible thoughts". And, I suppose the Imagintive thinking also makes it easier to recognize such structured meaning within sense-processes in Nature which are usually not associated [by intellect] with communication of meaning at all, like various biological-physiological processes.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
Hedge90
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Re: What causes bad trips?

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Oh God... You are busy with work for 2 weeks and when you come back there's 10 new pages of essay-lenght comments to read in your thread :lol:
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Cleric K
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Re: What causes bad trips?

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AshvinP wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:28 pm Does that not align with what you describe in terms of developing more "active thinking" which can eventually flower into Imaginative thinking?
It fully aligns with it. It's only that I wanted to point attention to way more trivial manifestation of this - the difference between hearing words (perception -> meaning) and the reversed - thinking words (meaning -> perception).
AshvinP wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:28 pm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_im ... ustav_Jung
Wiki wrote:Key to active imagination is the goal of restraining the conscious waking mind from exerting influence on internal images as they unfold. For example, if a person were recording a spoken visualization of a scene or object from a dream, Jung's approach would ask the practitioner to observe the scene, watch for changes, and report them, rather than to consciously fill the scene with one's desired changes. One would then respond genuinely to these changes, and report any further changes in the scene. This approach is meant to ensure that the unconscious contents express themselves without undue influence from the conscious mind. At the same time, however, Jung was insistent some form of active participation in active imagination was essential: "You yourself must enter into the process with your personal reactions: ... as if the drama being enacted before your eyes were real"
This is essential. It's very important that we shouldn't picture Imaginative cognition as unleashed fantasy. It's actually more like careful exploration of the forces which restrict and shape the context within which ordinary fancy operates. When we fantasize we operate within implicit constraints. For example, if I dream for a vacation on Hawaii, I'm certainly exercising imagination but this imagination operates within unconscious constraints. For example, one of the constraint is that I have the desire for some leisure time on an exotic island. Everything I dream up is motivated by this desire. Another constraint is that I'm currently living in a human body on a rocky planet with oceans, where such things as islands exist. Furthermore the technological progress of humanity has led to a point where there are such things as ships and airplanes, without which I wouldn't even know of the existence of Hawaii. So we see, our superficial fantasy for some leisure time is not at all absolutely free spiritual activity. It operates within layers upon layers of implicit personal, social and Cosmic context. It is precisely these inner realities that we aim to investigate in Imagination - not simple flow of images driven by unexamined personal desires and higher spiritual context, but the actual forces that give the form of our ordinary consciousness. Here we have to overcome the prejudice that these layers are some personal bubble copy of reality. Instead, the deeper layers are the actual Spiritual realities (the Deep MAL picture). The Imaginative reflections of these layers truly are a personal experience, they are local to our soul volume, but the invisible constraints themselves, within which the meaningful form of our "I" metamorphoses, are objective reality.

So Jung was fully justified for asking the patient to report the dream objectively. But here we arrive at the other thing. The patient can report from the dream only the things that can be captured by the conceptual slots of the intellect.
AshvinP wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 1:26 am At first, when reading your metaphors, I assume it is the same way. I think to myself, "wow he must have vast knowledge of concepts in so many different fields to figure out how to construct all of these different metaphors". But when contemplating what is written above, I suddenly discern the meaning, "all such metaphors only work because the processes described are nothing other than the structure of ideational activity projected into various outward symbols!". In sense-reality, 'physical tuning forks' which 'resonate' with each other 'through air vibrations', or informational signals that can be graphed with overlays of how many times we 'peek' at the signal (aliasing), etc. - these sense-processes only exist because of structured ideational activity which is immanently present to each soul's reflective thinking.
Yes, this is indeed the case. But it's also a fact that if I didn't learn about aliasing in the university, through my ordinary intellect, I would never be able to project the higher experience into such concepts. The higher experience doesn't create thinking concepts automatically. If that was the case, psychedelics would in themselves give spiritual science and no books would be needed. We need to forge the conceptual slots of thinking with sweat on our brow, so to speak. Of course we shouldn't remain only in the rigid, mineral-like slots. Our thinking is fully capable of experiencing even the more fluid, metamorphic slots of meaning. Let me give another example, in the form of an exercise.

We can imagine that we breathe in Light from the Cosmic expanses. We draw it into ourselves. This is not physical light but spiritual Light made of meaning. When we don't understand given subject it's customary to say that we're 'in the dark'. On the contrary, when we're well versed in some topic we feel how freely we can flow with our thinking through the ideal structure - we know our territory. It is in this latter sense that we breathe in the Light - it enters and elucidates every corner of our being with clear understanding, actual Wisdom. Through the Light we become conscious of not so optimal structures in our being and rectify them, musically attune them, so that every thought, feeling, deed, instead of groping in the dark and bumping into invisible boundaries, become masterfully harmonized with the Celestial Symphony of the Spheres. Then, we breathe out Love into the environment. We don't keep the Light and our ennobled organism for ourselves - we become conductors and freely give to our fellow beings. I have received freely, so I give freely. I give freely thoughts, feelings and deeds imbued with the warmth of Love, to all beings, from all kingdoms. Whatever we touch with this expanding Love becomes enlightened, healed, rejuvenated. We breathe in the Light of the Spirit, we breathe out the Soul warmth of Love.

Now none of this makes sense in the domain of the senses. The materialists of today would say that we're out of our mind - it simply makes no physical sense to breathe in light and exhale love. The intellect attached to the sensory slots doesn't even know how to imagine that. And it really can't imagine that because the sensory conceptual slots are tuning forks which simply don't resonate with what we've thus described. For this reason we must engage into novel activity, something with which our thinking is unfamiliar, we need to discover new, unsuspected degrees of freedom of our spiritual activity. We must really try to observe how different the inner activity of the exercise is from most of our ordinary conduct. Normally we simply go through perceptions, memories, tasks, duties and dully hear our inner voice commenting on them. Here we must first take control of the force concealed behind the inner voice and instead into words, expand its knowing nature into sparkling light-space, that we feel flowing in us. We should really get a good feel how it is the same spiritual being of our "I" that in one instance activates verbal thought-patterns and in the other, it fully consciously expands into shapes and dynamics that directly reflect the innerly experienced meaning (just like ordinary point-like words reflect meaning).

It is perfectly true that when we do that exercise we're not seeing in the higher worlds. It would be grave error to mistake what we do, for seeing. By no means we should imagine that the Light is something that comes to our perception from outside. We must be perfectly clear that the Light we imagine is the shape of our expanded and mobile thought. We must be fully concentrated on this. What we're doing is really only an exercise, yet it exercises the same real structures which will later become seeing. Imagine someone with atrophied legs after long hospital stay. He no longer has any muscle tone, he can't move them. Then the physiotherapist takes the legs with his hands and begins to simulate movement. Gradually the flexibility of the muscles improves, blood begins flowing again, nerves begin lighting up and little by little strength is regained so that the person can begin moving them on his own. It is something similar in higher development, except that the higher faculties are not exactly atrophied but more like they are in germinal state, they have never been brought into sprouting. Just as a baby needs to use its arms and legs if they are not to atrophy, so we must exercise our higher faculties in order to bring them to life.

The crucial thing is that what we describe in the exercise is not something mechanical - it is made of meaningful activity. The Imaginative flow of Light and Love are reflections of actual meaningful spiritual activity. In the mineral-like intellect we've come to think of meaning only as rigid concepts which are inert and represent only fossilized slots of knowing. But when we exercise our spiritual activity in the described way, knowing becomes something mobile, active and continually metamorphosing. This is important distinction - the mineral intellect has only fossils of meaning, while in the higher state, meaning is actual force. We can only have consciousness in the Imaginative realm if we transform our fossilized intellect into actual spiritual force which expresses higher meaning. In the intellect we can be conscious only of what is similar to the conceptual rigid slots that we use. The activity of higher beings we don't recognize - we flow in it but it doesn't register in our aliased slots. To have knowing of what the beings do, we must develop within ourselves the modes of spiritual activity which are similar to what they do. In a sense, in order to know them, we must learn to imitate them. Their activity doesn't consist of reflecting meaning into rigid mineral slots, instead their activity is Imaginative force, expressing certain meaning, higher ideas. We can only have knowing of these forces if we transform our thinking to become self-similar to them, we practically must be able to repeat in resonance the shapes and dynamics of these forces, to follow them with our mobile and manifold cognition. This is where exercises as the above begin to pay off. We have explored the degrees of freedom, we've developed some of the mobile, ever-transforming higher slots of cognition and now we can perceive though resonance the objective happenings in the invisible realm.

When we expand the degrees of freedom of our spiritual activity in this way, we practically give birth to a higher being in us. Imagine what it would be if all our words are taken away. We'll remain precisely in the barely conscious groping into dark meaning. Now further imagine that there's already a part of our true being that finds itself in similar situation. It looks through the contents of our consciousness but can't at all find its reflection in the sensory perceptions and their associated intellectual slots. The kind of activity that is natural to this being is nowhere to be reflected in our ordinary consciousness and as a result this beings sends its unconscious urges but can't attain to self-consciousness. This being can only find its reflection in the mobile force-like Imaginative activity. When we develop these forces in us, for example, as in the above exercise, we create the force-slots into which the higher being can gradually find its reflection.

When we see things in this light, we're struck by the chilling realization that a large part of modern spirituality does exactly the opposite. Instead of ever expanding the palette of concepts and higher patterns of activity, such that gradually our higher being can become self-conscious in them, we focus on some general and vague idea, which we spread as the ultimate foundation of existence. For example, we focus on ideas like 'at the foundation of existence is experiencing' or 'nothingness' of 'the plenum of potential'. As long as we stop short at these ideas, we practically assassinate our higher being before it has even had the chance to be born! All these ideas have essential truth in them but that truth should serve only as a compass direction.

Let's give an analogy. Let's imagine animal-man, without thinking, living entirely in dream-like consciousness, driven by blind urges. If that were possible, such a being could one day reach the conclusion (of course this is impossible, because concluding requires thinking, but let's pretend it's possible in some magical way) that the ultimate reality is expressed in its fullness in the experience of pleasure. When the animal-man soul is filled with pleasure, he imagines that he's living in the grounds of existence. He imagines that all existence emerges from this pleasure and every manifest creation is only fine variations of this primordial pleasure ocean. Where the pleasure is too diminished we get pain and so on.

Yet through all this time there's a concealed being in the background that is completely mute. It can't recognize its existence in the mere variations of pleasure. It feels blindly drawn towards pleasure and repelled by pain but this being doesn't even know that it is having this experience. The instinctive feelings are too crude to reflect something more. Then in the course of evolution, the inner forms are refined and differentiated, and the being begins to experience more lucid meaning. Ultimately this meaning becomes so comprehensive and the being experiences so clearly its own contribution in it, that for the first time it can say "I am".

Now imagine what it would be if the animal-man was fully convinced that pleasure is the true grounds of reality and meditated day and night on it, never allowing the inner organism to develop the finer structures able to reflect more manifold knowing and ultimately the "I am"? This is the dangerous situation we find ourselves in today. The big difference is that in the past Nature took care to develop the finer structures capable of reflecting concepts and thus it led us to the experience of thinking and the "I am". Today we can no longer depend on Nature. The simple reason is because we already have the "I". If we expect some external force to create its reflecting organs in us, that would mean that we'll become possessed by some higher being. But this is not evolution. This would be the reversal of evolution. Instead, we ourselves, through our own effort, must begin the work on developing the reflecting concepts and forces in which the higher "I" can get a glimpse of its existence. Our ordinary "I" is only a mute, dream-like expression of the higher "I". Similarly, the blind urges of the animal-man towards pleasure and away from pain, are only mute and dream-like expressions of the intellectual "I".
Last edited by Cleric K on Sat Oct 02, 2021 11:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What causes bad trips?

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Hedge90 wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:04 am Oh God... You are busy with work for 2 weeks and when you come back there's 10 new pages of essay-lenght comments to read in your thread :lol:
Ooops... sorry... +1 essay-length comment above :D
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Re: What causes bad trips?

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Cleric K wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:56 am
Hedge90 wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:04 am Oh God... You are busy with work for 2 weeks and when you come back there's 10 new pages of essay-lenght comments to read in your thread :lol:
Ooops... sorry... +1 essay-length comment above :D

I may need to speculate some more to inspire 10 more pages ;)

Amazing content to contemplate, thank you!

Cleric wrote:Now imagine what it would be if the animal-man was fully convinced that pleasure is the true grounds of reality and meditated day and night on it, never allowing the inner organism to develop the finer structures able to reflect more manifold knowing and ultimately the "I am"? This is the dangerous situation we find ourselves in today. The big difference is that in the past Nature took care to develop the finer structures capable of reflecting concepts and thus it led us to the experience of thinking and the "I am". Today we can no longer depend on Nature. The simple reason is because we already have the "I". If we expect some external force to create its reflecting organs in us, that would mean that we'll become possessed by some higher being. But this is not evolution. This would be the reversal of evolution. Instead, we ourselves, through our own effort, must begin the work on developing the reflecting concepts and forces in which the higher "I" can get a glimpse of its existence. Our ordinary "I" is only a mute, dream-like expression of the higher "I". Similarly, the blind urges of the animal-man towards pleasure and away from pain, are only mute and dream-like expressions of the intellectual "I".

In relation to the above, and also Jungian psychology, I looked up Steiner's lectures on psychoanalysis and found some really interesting remarks. For anyone interested, I am posting them on a new thread - viewtopic.php?p=11904#p11904
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
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