“The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are”

“We operate at many levels. A lot of those levels would be very, very inconvenienced by the experience of our ultimate identity.

Some people go looking for that experience, even put themselves through terrible trials to because they think that’s what they need to reach it, or be worthy…..

Most of them, even though they can consciously decide to put themselves through horrible things, haven’t done the work on those other levels of themselves that would let them simply be able to accept who they really are.” – Me in conversation with a friend

I’ve struggled with my soul. “Why won’t you help me! Why aren’t you here with me!” The recurring lesson that I have been dragged through again and again is that the conscious mind is a skin, a film, a surface, and that its decision to make the journey to its ultimate identity is merely a very small step. The real test is how deep into your real damage the conscious mind is willing to dive, to heal, to release. It’s very easy to learn some meditation techniques, some perennial philosophy, and to practice some compassion in your life. It’s very hard to learn those things then choose to dive back into the cesspool of what you actually feel and think, underneath all the nice things you’ve learned, outside the tiny spotlight of the conscious mind. returning to the metaphor of the crystal as the self, when you clear the darkness that is outside what you take to be your everyday self, you will have cleared that crystal which is your true self and you will see your soul.

If anyone noticed, they would probably wonder why I link to No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons (Re-reloaded), the blog of hard SF writer Peter Watts. I link because he conveyed the infinitessimal nature of the conscious mind more starkly and completely than any other writer I know. Alan Watts is a dentist’s pick, lovingly teasing apart accreted concepts and ideas, freeing new experiences of the self to take shape. Peter Watts is a sledge hammer, the textual equivalent of ketamine. I’m primarily talking about his novel, Blindsight, which he offers for free here: http://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm

Edit: The title of this post is the sub-title of one of one of Alan Watts’ more famous books.


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2 Responses to ““The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are””

  1. Quanta Says:

    Linking to your site is like picking up a book I can’t put down. Your fluid, insightful commentary on one man’s mental state makes the experience universal.

    You’ve a brilliant mind, Chris.

  2. wildrote Says:

    Stace! good to hear from you. Though how could it not when you’re so gracious with the praise?

    I thought I’d find you in the next post along because it’s reminiscent of your hearing related experiences. I suspect it’s a from a different source in each case, but still very interesting.

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