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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Opening The Door

Opening The Door

By Rob Wipond
Adbusters.org
May 5, 2016

On the weather report, another record-breaking hurricane is
chewing up the coast.

You drive out through the suburbs and discover a shantytown,
the kind you’ve always associated more with Somalia or Haiti
than your own hometown.

One more overtime shift at work, and your company health plan
will automatically sign you up for Prozac.

On TV, there’s another war.

Around and around and around.

Even the most entrenched believers in the new global order have
a mounting sense that some fundamental mind shift is needed.

The contradictions of late-capitalist life put increasing pressure
on our psyches to synthesize the data, yet insights come only in
fits and starts.

They appear like desert mirages, dazzling us with their promise
and then dissolving into sand.

And suddenly we are all wondering:

What would it be like to drink deeply?

Can we in the First World have a revelation?

Would we recognize one if we had it?

A few pioneers have been working with these questions. In the past,
political radicals have been as quick as reactionary conservatives to
dismiss maverick consciousness researchers.

But suddenly, the discoveries of mind explorers like Stanislav Grof,
Jean Houston and the recently deceased John Lilly, seem to have a
penetrating cultural significance.

The currency of the times is revelation and epiphany.

Grof, a former Johns Hopkins professor and chief of a Maryland
psychiatric research center, has scoured ancient and modern
methods of consciousness change in order to develop techniques
that can trigger revelatory experience rapidly and in a broad
spectrum of people.

In his Holotropic Breathwork technique, a combination of intense
breathing, expressive music and focused bodywork causes dramatic
psychological transformations in most people.

Within minutes, those who try it begin to experience things more
acutely (much the way people often say they do in the midst of
abrupt life changes).

Colors look brighter, memories appear more detailed, symbols
and words provoke pluralities of interpretation.

Sensitivity to sensations in the body and brain is heightened; old
patterns are suddenly seen in a new light.

For serious explorers, this is only the beginning.

As their sensory experiences evolve, mind explorers frequently
find that the psychological and the physical become intertwined,
and watch amazed as each influences the other.

Incorporeal presences may seem as real as the walls, walls may
seem permeable, or normal material reality may dissolve into
flowing energy fields.

The mind and body’s instruments of perception come to be
understood as critical components in constructing a sense of
reality.

What is music without our eardrums conveying it, our memories
labeling it?

Even if such experiences are discounted as, “hallucinations” there
is a lingering sense that normal reality itself could be one of those
illusions – the ultimate meme, prolonged interminably by its social
infectiousness.

Even this is merely one stage.

As revelation extends, “time” as a psychological process can stop;
explorers report a sense of intense connection to their body’s
internal cellular activities, to collective memory, or to other beings
or the entire human race.

Some feel the inextricable unity of good and evil, oppressor
and oppressed, or find themselves dissolved into a universal
consciousness.

It all sounds wild and chaotic, and yet, for many of us, oddly
familiar as well.

Under the pressure of stress, despair or confusion, more and
more of us are peering over the brink of breakthroughs of this
type.

Grof suggests it’s, “archetypal” – as the human crisis deepens,
our consciousness tries to promote healing by uncovering
repressed truths.

We resist the shift: Who wants to lose their grip on everyday life?

We dread an exile from so-called, “consensus reality”
imagining an impoverished, eternal loneliness of insanity.

But in fact, those who’ve gone all the way down the rabbit-hole
of epiphany come back with a view of a world that has truly and
profoundly changed.

Grof alone has compiled records from thousands of such people.

Without any coercion, the overwhelming majority emerge with
a non-violent attitude, reverence for nature, anti-materialistic
values, a keen interest in spiritualism (though not organized
religion), a holistic approach to health, and an intense desire
for social change.

Why?

Because one common effect of these non-ordinary states is
pure awe.

Even a faint glimpse beyond the spectacle and into the vastness
of existence transforms into breathtaking experiential reality.

This almost invariably creates deep humility before the infinite
complexity of nature.

Unsurpassed levels of compassion emerge from the intimate
identification with other people, creatures and things.

Visceral immersion in the entire human collective makes it almost
impossible not to consider the effects of every personal action on
the global community and future generations.

Often, the end result is confusion.

But rather than growing depressed or anxious or paralyzed by it,
revelatory explorers tend to become irrepressible skeptics.

For them, no moral perspective, dominating mood or intellectual
conclusion can pass for absolute “fact” or “objective truth” very
easily, or for long.

Revelation is a radical deconstruction of the senses of self
and reality.

It allows entirely different impulses to influence your actions;
it shortens the distance to spontaneity and authenticity.

As long as revolutionaries have existed, they’ve sought ways
to fundamentally change how people think and see the world.

Frustrated, they fall back on reform: the attempt to persuade
people to follow prescriptions for change.

Consciously or not, most people resist.

But when someone’s whole sense of reality shifts – say, when they
realize that death is closer than they had allowed themselves to
think – radical new decisions come effortlessly.

The First World is a culture preparing for revelation.

We are watching, alarmed, as rips appear in the fabric of
our reality.

At the same time, we are quick to forget, ignore, or send
in reinforcements.

How many are ready to step through the hole?
http://www.adbusters.org/article/opening-the-door

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