The Mask of Illusion by uqw11785

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									      Chapter 4 – The Mask of Illusion, and Related Paradigms
                       “BE the change you wish to see!” -- M. K. "Mahatma" Gandhi

                   "Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your actions.
                      Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
                      Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.
         Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny." – author unknown

                  "Man must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind him to the fact
                    that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery." – H.G. Wells

                “By perception of the illusion we experience reality.” – “Professor Hayne”1

                     “Look, everyone – the king is naked!” – Hans Christian Andersen




            E HARDLY EVER see anyone – all we see of the people around us (even

W           those close to us) is the “mask” of false personality; that is, the shape of their
            agglomerated presentation of their habitual thoughts, feelings and attitudes. In
            a sense, it is invisible, because our own masks keep us from being aware of
our agreement to pretend that we are dealing with each other, instead of with a decoy.*2
But the moment your own mask is removed (or at least moved out of the way), those of
other people become quite obvious (but, just like in the horror tales, they won‟t believe
you, and you can easily come to doubt yourself).
         Nobody is born with a mask – that‟s why children are notorious for embarrassing
us with the truth.† But by the time they are seven or eight years old, we have already told
them that what they see is either not real or not permissible, and we have imprinted our
lies onto them. Then they either adopt the form of insanity (as we discussed in the first
chapter) that is standard for that particular culture, or they withdraw, go mad or become
misfits or criminals.
         No, of course we are not all misfits, criminals or psychopaths (not all) but, with
rare exceptions, we are all in illusion‡ because we are all subscribed to the conventions
of the masks – we respond automatically to the signals of the false faces, even though we
may be squirming inside from what we are really feeling. But a big part of the agreement
is that we switch those feelings to „ignore‟ mode and then deny that we ever had any
misgivings, at least until they make themselves known through a car wreck or a financial
or relationship disaster.§
*
  In the movie Nell, the title character says, in her private language, “You see me as simple and in need of
   help to get along in your world. My life is very small, and my thoughts are small. You all have big
   thoughts in your big world, but you don‟t look into each other‟s eyes, and you don‟t tell each other the
   truth” (slightly paraphrased).
†
  See the above quote from “The Emperor‟s New Clothes.”
‡
  Exceptions are generally natives of primitive cultures living in close harmony with nature, who have had
   little or no contact with „civilized‟ society. For film examples, aside from Nell, I like The Emerald
   Forest, Little Buddha, Kundun, Agnes of God and Seven Years in Tibet. Books that I‟d recommend on
   this subject: Ishi in Two Worlds, Laughing Boy, Stranger in a Strange Land.
§
  These disasters generally show up in our dreams first. More about that in Chapter 7.
Let‟s first run down some of the typical qualities of our masks:
     We „project‟ all over each other; that is, we are always judging other people for
        their mask‟s reflection of our own. “Nothing annoys me as much as people who
        <do exactly the same things that I do>.”* And then, by convention, other people‟s
        people‟s masks pretend that the person I‟m talking about is the culprit of those
        attitudes, words or actions.
     We automatically substitute some expected or conventional „emotional‟ reaction
        for what we actually feel inside (remember, we talked about this difference in
        Chapter One); these may be given either as stories or even as gestures, to which
        we just as automatically respond (even unwittingly) to affirm that, indeed, it is
        that other person who is the „culprit‟ (or other tacit agreement).
     The mask never directly represents the physical, emotional or other responses that
        are actually going on, and which other people‟s “subconscious” can see, if it
        weren‟t for their own masks; this is a primary way that we make ourselves sick
        and crazy, and it is the basis for many natural healing processes that we will get to
        – we call the results of these denied responses “the subconscious,” but we would
        be fully aware of them if we were awake and unmasked; there would be no barrier
        between the conscious and the subconscious, although we would then be referring
        to something quite different by the term “conscious”†;
     Every word that the mask utters is a lie, no matter how sincere the person is trying
        to be, even with „facts‟ and „evidence‟ – the mask always selects evidence to
        support its foundational themes: “There is no fairness,” “People can never be
        trusted,” “They will always betray and abandon me,” “There is no God and
        everything is dead and separate,” “The world is literally just the way my church
        says it is,” “I‟ll never fit in or succeed,” “It is my duty to kill these enemies/
        infidels/blasphemers/heretics/non-whites,” etc. Even scientists have been caught
        disregarding evidence that contradicts their assumptions, but that is what we all
        do or, more precisely, that is what the mask does.
     The mask ensures that our chief feature3 can continue to keep us suffering in
        darkness unobserved and undisturbed, no matter how much other people keep
        pointing it out to us every hour of every day, and no matter how much we keep
        tripping over it. We hear (and use) terms like “the world of illusion” (maya, in
        some East Indian languages), and we (our masks) assume they are metaphors or
        even just quaint phrases to inspire us. But we would be astonished to discover
        how far from objective reality ‡ we really are; that is, how deep in delusional sleep
        sleep we are.
     The mask is the front plate4 of the “form of man”§ and, as such, it is what holds
        our psychic shape together and matches it up to those of other people and of




*
  There used to be a bumper sticker that said, “CAUTION – I DRIVE LIKE YOU DO!”
†
  Being unmasked is one of the main steps toward entering Higher Consciousness (Chapter 10).
‡
  When we get more into paradigms (Chapters 16, 17 and 21) we may have to abandon the whole notion of
   „reality‟ or, at least, any one particular reality.
§
  These are don Juan‟s (Castaneda‟s) terms. Gurdjieff‟s “formatory apparatus” fits with this as well.
         events*; that is, we identify and lock in “shared karma” by the ways that our
         masks “fit together.”
        The most visible aspect of the mask is that it sets as wrinkles and grimaces into
         people‟s faces, voices and postures as they age. The people I‟ve known who‟ve
         had their masks removed, even in old age, have clear eyes, radiant faces, and
         innocent voices. Often we sound like children when we sing, and we are
         especially inclined to sing, for that matter.
        The mask allows us to be violent and competitive, and to take positions against
         each other, gossip about each other, go into judgments and cruelty – this is
         because the mask is the manifestation of our separation and alone-ness. When
         unmasked people take on group projects, they delightedly contribute their ideas,
         their efforts, their passion and their love without attempting to take credit for
         them.†
        The mask allows us to believe in words instead of in what they mean and the
         intent behind them. Because of this, we can believe in the “justice” of a war, and
         make “heroes” of those who kill and destroy; we can justify throwing people out
         into the cold and letting them die; it allows us to ignore others‟ pain, suffering and
         death; it allows us to brutalize those weaker than ourselves, and it allows us to
         trash our communities and our world. Thus, our “society” as we find it today.

I suppose one might reasonably ask, at this point, “How can you prove that we have these
masks?” Once again, we must make the distinction between a “provable fact” and a
paradigm. They are on two different levels of ideation: the notion of a “mask” is a
paradigm or model; that is, a metaphorical abstract – there is no actual thing out there in
the world, with holes for the eyes and nose and an elastic band to hold it on your head. It
is only a way of selecting and sorting examples and, if it is a good metaphor, it will help
to explain our observations.
         That is what science does, but any good scientist knows that a theorem works
only within a given context, just as Newton‟s marvelous “laws” work on everything in
the visible world, but only in fields neither too large nor too small, nor too fast or too far
away, nor too hot or cold and, ultimately, not within the event horizon of some super-
massive structure (the Universe, for example); otherwise all bets are off, and those same
laws no longer apply, at least not without some significant tweaking.‡
         Since the mask is a metaphorical abstraction, there is nothing to prove, but only to
examine how well it seems to explain our observations. But then, our observations are
suspect – as I mentioned, we select (usually unconsciously) examples that agree with our
preconceptions, and we ignore those which do not. But just how far off are we on our
perceptions? After all, a tree is a tree and a chair is a chair, no matter your prejudices,
right?
         Well, there are several approaches to this question (approaches, not answers) – the
first is whether you regard „things‟ to be inanimate and happenstance, or alive and

*
  One of our paradigms is that there are no events except for what we create with the interactions of our
   masks (or vice versa).
†
  I love the way this attitude is expressed among the Indians in Dances with Wolves and Little Big Man.
‡
  Some of the “fudge factors” they use are the cosmological constant, superstrings, expansion, dark matter,
   dark energy, time-before-time-began, parallel dimensions, curvature of space-time, etc.
significant.*5 The second approach is about whether you regard everything as separate
objects or as all made up of each other – for example, everything being composed of
different proportions of the “elements” earth, air, fire, water, metal, æther, etc., or
balances of yin/yang, cardinal/ordinal/mutable, or different “densities” and “positions”
(positive, negative and neutralizing) of “hydrogens,†”6 and so on.
         A third approach is whether you regard events as accidental or predestined (or at
least guided), perhaps according to the enneagram, a given astrological system, the I
Ching, one of the Tarot systems, or to any number of divining methods from esoteric
disciplines.
         Approach #4 is whether, like some modern scientists, you do not regard matter to
exist at all, or at least as we‟ve been taught to think of it. Instead, you might regard
things as being entirely empty space, with only various propensities of interaction, or as
probabilities rather than actualities.7 You may think of these propensities as a kind of
“dance” or interweaving of waves of invisibility. Some scientists and mystics do not
even subscribe to space-and-time, instead seeing everything as a sort of desire to take on
a form and a sequence of unfoldment (but which are, somehow, intrinsic to the observer).
         Another approach is to regard everything as Divinely appointed, whereby a
Moment in which I-and-my-impressions exist, is exactly a breath of God, or some similar
depiction. In many cultures (even very old civilized ones like the Hindu), everything that
happens is from the interaction of the gods.‡
         Yet a sixth approach is to realize that the “tables,” “chairs” and “people” I
encounter in any given reality may not be represented the same way by a given shift of
consciousness, just as similarly themed dreams may furnish their scenarios differently,
and yet still give similar, related messages.§ In another way, in some mystical
procedures, I have started out in a room of perhaps thirty people but, in the shift that took
place, all those people (including myself) became abstracted into three or four archetypal
beings for me, out of whom all the others “emanated” in some strange way.
         The seventh and final approach that I‟ll give here is to regard every moment of
awareness as mutual intent “meeting each other” – the shape of my mask and the shape of
your mask (or the shape of some ray of cosmic emanations) create a mutual event of
interaction in the moment of the Present. Actually, it turns out to be equivalent to say:
“The yearning of an event to occur creates me-with-my-shape and you-with-your-shape
here/now.”**

Now we should be able to answer questions like the example from Chapter Two, “If a
tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to observe it, does it make a sound?” But there
would be at least seven different answers now, one of which could be: “Even if there

*
  In the movie Little Big Man, the chief tells Dustin Hoffman‟s character: “To the Indian, everything is
   alive – the rocks, the trees, the earth. To the white man, everything is dead, including himself.”
†
  A great deal of Ouspensky‟s In Search of the Miraculous is about this subject.
‡
  I have had the “experience” of setting up an esoteric work in which we conjured up a Divinity who then
   initiated me into the very event whereby I conjured <it>. That is to say, the Being who was to be created
   directed that event to occur. More on this sort of thing in the chapter on Manifestation.
§
  We‟ll take this matter up again in Chapter 7 and elsewhere; in the meantime, try Castaneda‟s The Art of
   Dreaming for some very good examples.
**
   I should offer this statement as an alternative to the Theory of Evolution.
were an observer, it still would not make a sound, nor would anything ever even fall!
(Just that the observer might have some subjective set of impressions internally.)”

Thus, within the context of this book, at least, we‟ll have to assert that there are no
provable facts at all, only ideas, examples, contexts, perspectives and challenges to our
world view and our self-image. One type of practice for setting up such challenges is to
go further than the changes of habit that we talked about in the second chapter; Castaneda
called such tasks “not-doings,” Gurdjieff offered numerous types of these, such as the
“stop” commands,* and Zen Buddhism is replete with these. Actually, the exercise itself
is only half of the procedure; the other half is the shift made in one‟s awareness as our
neurologies rewire themselves, with the concomitant changes in perception.
        Some examples of not-doings (assuming that they are (not-) done for sufficient
lengths of time, and varied so they don‟t just become more habits):†
     Walk backwards using a mirror;
     Do things with your opposite handedness (i.e., write, eat and work with your left
        hand if you are right-handed);
     Live in a tree or a cave;
     Read a book from the back to the front;
     Take notes with your finger instead of a pen;
     Switch your activities from day to night (or vice versa);
     Change your meal schedule, and enjoy eating foods you don‟t like;
     Sleep for two hours at a time, as many times as you need, and do something
        constructive in between;
     Concentrate on the shadows instead of the objects;
     Listen to the sound of someone‟s speech instead of the meaning of their words;
     Internally change their tone of voice to sound like Alvin the Chipmunk, see them
        in black and white, or even slice their movements up into a slideshow;‡
     Take long walks and listen to the song of everything;8 notice how the texture of
        everything tastes; notice what you can feel without touching anything;
     Do the same thing, but switch senses (intentional transphasia) this time;
     Walk on rice paper without leaving a trace;
     Move a small object without touching it;
     Extinguish a candle flame without blowing it out;
     Turn electronic devices on or off without touching them;
     Speak to people you dislike as if you really like them – do something nice for
        them;
     Eagerly do something you‟ve never liked to do.

One thing to remember about these practices: make them real and sincere. Don‟t just
pretend to be sincere or eager – really move into that place in yourself where it is true.

*
  When the master yells “Stop!” you had to either hold whatever position you found yourself in at that
  moment, or drop like a sack if you couldn‟t.
†
  You‟ll no doubt recognize several of these from Castaneda‟s books.
‡
  NLP calls these practices examples of submodalities. You might regard them as intentionally
  hallucinating.
Another thing to remember: your mask will start to crumble after a good while of
concerted efforts along these lines, so please make sure you have a safe haven for
reorienting yourself – Buddhist and yoga retreat centers and some churches and
monasteries are good for this; tending a garden full time can do it as well. Expect your
life to be different – you‟ll likely find that you can no longer talk to the same people as
before, and that the old amusements can no longer hold your interest.

What will your life be like, without your mask? Will you miss your old drinking buddies
and gossip circles? First of all, in a sense, “you” (as you‟ve come to know yourself) will
be dead – you won‟t be thinking the same “thoughts” or having the same “feelings” as
you do now. You‟ll be seeing the world with the wonderment of a child, and nothing will
seem impossible. You‟ll easily remember everything you wished for as a child, and you
will have all related thoughts on a subject close at hand. You‟ll be acting out of
conscience, meaning that whatever affects the other person affects you just as much. At
times you‟ll be really sensitive.
        People who can recognize the difference will find you sincere and trustworthy,
but others may not be able to “figure you out” and may oppose you or try to take
advantage of your new-found innocence. The problems are mostly a matter of “learning
to walk” all over again – finding your new center of gravity, your new world view and
attitudes, and setting up your responses to everything that you originally did while
forming your mask. But now you are forming your conscious face – the face of your
Self. Obviously, as I mentioned earlier, there are sacrifices involved; you may even take
a beating or two.
        What would make such sacrifices and discomforts worthwhile? Not much, if you
are already comfortable and satisfied with the answers you already have, if you have no
doubts or disillusionment about the way the world and your life are going, if you are “on
track” toward your retirement, have your RV and grandchildren (at least planned for),
and the way you were brought up is the way “things ought to be.”
        But if life never seems to add up, if the social order seems patently unjust, stupid
and cruel, if nothing you can do helps you to fit in, and if you are mad with yearning for
something more than society can provide, more than science can explain and more than
religion can comfort and embrace, and you have enormous reserves of intelligence (not
just I.Q.), commitment, perseverance and forbearance, and you prove to find enough help
from the other side,* then “have I got a deal for you!”

We should really clear up the distinction between personality per se, and false
personality. I have emphasized several times that the mask is the seat of the false
personality, that which was not born with us. My claim is that the real personality can
first shine through only when the mask is out of the way – then we see the genius, the
brilliance, the energy, joy and humor and the childlike impetuousness of the essential,
which we were born with. But with the mask in place, all that can show are, in a way of

*
 Meaning, “chosen by God” or just plain lucky. People have told me, for example, “Barry, you have the
worst judgment I‟ve ever seen, and the most improbable luck for extricating you from your predicaments.”
Referring to this attribute, don Juan says “the Spirit knocks” or that “the Spirit has given you a link.”
Gurdjieff calls this propensity “magnetic center” – somehow one‟s yearning accumulates a new center of
gravity toward the world of the spirit, and this in itself makes more possible.
speaking, recordings – responses, expressions and gestures programmed to conform to
unconscious entrainment of our upbringing (and, again according to our paradigm, vice
versa – that is, the yearning of a certain grouping of emanations “caused” my-mask-and-
the-type-of-upbringing-I-had to congeal, if that makes any sense*).

It should also be helpful to check out the differences in how the different influences and
disciplines remove or disturb our masks – that is, up to a certain point, the displacement
of the mask is impermanent and partial so, in effect, we will keep getting sub-masks until
we have formed (or revealed†) permanent ego.‡ Let‟s go through what these influences
are, and which submasks they‟re likely to expose (notice that I have them grouped
according to intentionality – the first ones are accidental, the next few are intentional but
not from one‟s own purpose, then by grace or fortune, and finally self-initiation):
      Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) or extreme emergencies – I‟ve mentioned NDEs
        before, but here they may displace the mask, either temporarily or permanently.
        What the person does with it depends on what kind of guidance they have had,
        and what is available at the time – they might just have some incomplete
        experience that they may always try but can never get back to; they might have
        some insights and even write a book;§ they might emerge with some healing or
        clairvoyant powers, and they just might become unmasked to some degree. If it is
        a permanent change, I hope they do have reliable guidance available.
             Some people do become almost saints from such experiences, but then it‟s
        likely that it was latent within them, and also that they have been do inner work or
        other disciplines; the ones whose lives and attitudes change completely from one
        experience are often called walk-ins, referring to spirits who come to inhabit
        bodies whose souls have given up on life. I suppose that‟s possible, if you happen
        to like that sort of paradigm.
             I‟ve seen, just as often, people who become egomaniacs and start acting like a
        guru and taking people‟s money for bestowing their special gifts upon them; in
        those cases, the displacement only created a bigger mask.**9 Most of the time, the
        mask displaces only partially and the person has no idea what is happening.
        Usually they cover up the memories and then deny it all, but sometimes they have
        breakdowns.
      Insanity – actually, „insanity‟ can often mean simply that someone has a different
        mask or a different worldview than the given societal group, but here we‟ll take it
        to mean that the position of consciousness has become destabilized and the person
        cannot control their responses. As I mentioned, losing your mask without having
        some kind of support structure can cause this kind of tearing loose and,

*
  And, of courses, my claim is that there is a position of attention in which it does make sense.
†
  One of our proposed paradigm shifts is whether we create oversoul from our efforts, or whether it has
   been there in us all along, but dormant or, lastly, if the intent of the abstract oversoul creates us in order
   to manifest <itself>. Don‟t laugh, but that last one explains more mythological and scriptural mysteries
   than any other paradigm I‟ve come across (try it on the Christ gospel or the advent of Lord Kŗşna, for
   example).
‡
  We discuss what permanent ego is in Chapters 5, 7, 13, 16, 19 and 21.
§
  Who, me? 
**
   This difference is illustrated, to some cartoon-like degree, in the movie The Mask (the Jim Carrey
   version, not Cher‟s).
         conversely, having insanity can‟t disintegrate the normal mask, perhaps leaving a
         babbling suicidal or else they‟ll adopt some mask that they made up themselves.
         In some cases they‟ll write books and say that their outlook is the world “really”
         is.*
        The spell of a sorcerer – this is more common in cultures that have “witch
         doctors,” Voudou or Santeria priests or shamans, etc. The forms it takes in
         Western culture is with revival preachers, cult leaders and some workshop leaders
         – it pretty much amounts to the same kind of influence.
              The displacement type goes in the direction of terror,† for the most part, so it
         usually lasts only as long as the „sorcerer‟ is exerting their influence, plus some
         extra time, depending on how long the person has been under their spell, how
         weak the person is and how good of a support system they have for recovery.
         Otherwise, insanity or suicide can result.
        The shakti of a master – the superabundant spiritual energy of a guru can be a
         general influence, like “good vibes” for everyone, or it can be specifically
         directed to someone, in which case the mask may be dislodged enough for seeing
         visions or receiving healings and positive feelings. In certain circumstances (we
         will get to these), the person may be shifted to specific positions of attention or
         states of consciousness (that is to say, a given vector of the master‟s energy will
         cause a certain amount of shift in the recipient, but the actual subjective
         experience will not be predictable).
        Harmonic Alignment‡ with someone already unmasked. As we are, we ourselves
         would not be able to accurately identify an unmasked person, unless they were
         obviously “not from around here” (but then they might be hard to work with,
         unless you‟re an anthropologist with a few years to study them). But if a teacher
         is working with a large group, s/he can make use of the “cascade” effect, so that
         the first few people awakened become the seeds for the rest of the group.
              The mechanism for this is “harmonic alignment” which, basically, is a
         phenomenon like “contagious emotions,” as when everyone in the room starts
         laughing or beating up strangers. In the hands of an awake facilitator, the
         “vibrational field” of the unmasked people will cause a resonance in those near to
         them, and then those people will shift automatically, or with a little push from the
         teacher.
        Ritual – singing, chanting, dancing and drumming: these activities are probably
         the most consistent, safe and reliable§ methods for activating shifts such as
         displacing the mask. Not everyone who conducts these rituals has Ancient
         Knowledge,** but it is very easy to have positive, healing, uplifting and perhaps
         even transformational experiences with these, whether in a religious framework or
         secular.††

*
  Ok, I‟m busted. 
†
  Such as eternal fire-and-brimstone, some horrible affliction, loss of loved ones, becoming outcast, etc.
‡
  Harmonic Alignment is an important topic of this book, so we will be devoting attention to it throughout
the rest of the book.
§
  No, it‟s not a laxative. 
**
   Accept no substitute. 
††
   Excluding, of course, the darker cults.
            Where rituals are done with the aim of unmasking or awakening, and the
        facilitators have both the necessary knowledge and power, then a long series of
        such rituals, along with changes in lifestyle (diet, exercise, service, charity and
        tasks that are assigned), leads those who are called to the desired result, some
        after a decade or two, and some after a lifetime or so.
       Trance induction – hypnosis and other types of trancework can bring material out
        from behind the mask, but then it is up to the practitioner to figure out what to do
        with it, and often I have found them to be inept with such sensitive material (no
        disparagement of the excellent hypnotherapists intended). Once that has been
        done, now you have the conundrum of how to give it back to the client and
        integrate it – remember that the mask has never even heard of the other self (or at
        least denies it). It is as if we are all “The Three Faces of Eve” or “Sybil.”
        However, if you find yourself in a trance (this actually happens for everyone,
        many times during the day!) at a time and place where you can work with it, you
        can use it to shift yourself even further toward the other side of your self.
       The Edge of the Worlds (Acts of God or “The Knock of the Spirit”*) – this is the
        Miraculous that saints and mystics have stepped into or fallen into, where the only
        explanation they could give, afterwards, was about something burning without
        being consumed, or rams with three heads and thirteen horns, or archetypes of
        various kinds on different-colored horses. My suspicion is that they got there
        through one of these other methods, but they‟re not talking.
            What do they find, out there at the edge (or inside the Mystery)? Aside from
        the indescribable, the ineffable, the Unknown, the Invisible Numinon, my
        experience of it is that it turns all thought into questions, all perceptions into
        transphasic, kaleidoscopic, interwoven patterns that, somehow, make irrational
        „sense, and visions, teachings and revelations that sound like babbling insanity
        when you try to „explain‟ them to other people.†
       Drugs (narcotics and prescription mood-altering drugs) – generally, these thicken
        the mask even more, and make it harder to awaken. Some people include cannabis
        among these, while for others it would fit the next category better (and it may be
        different at different times for the same subject; for that matter, some drugs that
        seem like obvious narcotics can be used by some people as psychedelics).
       Psychoactive Plants – psychedelics, entheogens‡ and some empathogens§ can be
        be included here.** Since most people are at-effect instead of at-cause at this
        stage (unless you have the kind of teacher I described above), you might have any
        of a wide range of experiences and outcomes, from MK-Ultra or Charles Manson,
        to Moses on the mount, to Jesus on the cross, to total dissolution of the ego. This
        risk is greatly minimized when used in the context of churches based on a long
        tradition with these substances, like the Native American Church or Santo Daime.
*
  That‟s another handy term from Castaneda.
†
  Castaneda‟s don Juan say, “It takes power to attain these insights, but more power to explain them.”
‡
  “Birthing God within” – a substance which gives religious experiences.
§
  Empathogens induce states primarily of feeling and connectedness rather than the visual or revelatory
experiences one has with psychedelics, per se.
**
   The main examples are various kinds of mushrooms, LSD (not a plant, but derived from rye ergot),
ecstacy (MDMA, also not a plant – sorry), ayahuasca (a mixture of two or more plants) and salvia
divinorum.
               Some authors like to distinguish among these various types, but I‟ve always
           found that they have different effects under different circumstances. For example,
           Terence McKenna10 once said that he didn‟t like acid because it didn‟t make him
           hallucinate, whereas I usually found it to be highly visual; on the other hand, I‟ve
           had a number of experiences with LSD* when the whole experience was in terms
           of feelings. Similarly, ecstasy is generally regarded as an empathogen, yet I and
           several other people have had visions with it.
          Flipping – we‟ll get into the details of this in Chapter 11 but, for now, we‟ll just
           say that this practice is the result of discipline, power and intent – it allows you to
           simply step into a given state that you intend or that you have previously mapped,
           using whatever boosts and devices you have in your “kit bag” of inner and outer
           work. With new people, I generally take an hour or two of lecture, meditation,
           music or ice-breakers before I start them shifting, but advanced people can be
           triggered to make dramatic shifts in less than a minute.



                                  Exercises for Chapter Four
       1. Continue the exercises from Chapter Three.
       2. Take an inventory of which exercises you‟ve kept going from the first chapters,
          and whether dropping others was intentional or unconscious on your part.
       3. Choose one of this chapters paradigms for the next day, and see what it takes to
          operate from that paradigm.
       4. Try out the world-view of one of the people around you – what does the world
          look like from their perspective?



                                References for Chapter Four

1
   Brain Dead (1990)
2
  Nell ()
3
  Ouspensky, P. D., In Search of the Miraculous, …
4
  Castaneda, Carlos, The Eagle’s Gift, …
5
  Little Big Man ()
6
  Ouspensky, ibid
7
  Author, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, …
8
  Wittaker, Kay, The Reluctant Shaman, …
9
  The Mask ().
10
   McKenna, Terence, (transcript of a workshop he gave in Malibu, California).




*
    Of course at a place and time when it was legal to do so.

								
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