the Western Way of consciousness evolution

“Mankind, more than is realised, is an expression of the part of the earth upon which he subsists. A rose of the West should not aspire to bloom like a lotus of the East.” ~ Gareth Knight, The Rose Cross and the Goddess, as quoted in The Western Way: A practical guide to the Western Mystery Tradition by Caitlín and John Matthews, from which I quote the following:

Magic, as we understand it, did not exist: the whole of life was magical, in one sense. Yet there was nothing within creation which was truly supernatural. These seemingly contradictory statements are resultant upon any attempt to enter the Foretime ~ wherein life was infused with the numinous nature of the gods ~ from the standpoint of today ~ wherein everything is explicable from a scientific premise.

Before we make that attempt we must understand where we are in relation to consciousness, for the Western Way is very much the path of consciousness and its evolution. Symbolic truth is as true now as it was in the Foretime, yet the means of that truth ~ often conveyed by image, story or music ~ changes as the consciousness of humanity evolves. According to the prevailing consciousness at any one historical cross-section of linear time, so will different levels of symbolic truth be revealed. The development and evolution of human consciousness is the motivating factor in the Western Way; it is the impulse which sets seekers upon the path, from shaman to scientist, determined to find the unifying factors of physical or outer life with spiritual life. The capacity to understand and equate these factors is dependent upon the level of consciousness brought to bear upon this search.

The first steps upon the way are taken within the Native Tradition [as compared to the Hermetic Tradition] where tribal or collective consciousness prevails: out of the tribe emerges the shaman who experiments with individual consciousness ~ the next step ~ by means of identifying with the numinous quality of creation as personified by the gods, by synthesising this experience and transmitting it in an appropriate form to the tribe. The necessary next step to individual consciousness is one which cannot be taken simultaneously by all: this evolution takes many generations and is partially achieved by the presence and work of the shaman and a growing body of initiates who have already begun to make the transition within the tribe. The Native Tradition of any country takes its people on the long journey from tribal to individual consciousness, just as its Hermetic or esoteric Tradition attempts to lead people from individual to cosmic consciousness, in which evolved humanity will perceive its collective responsibility. (Figure 2.)

Native Tradition ~~~~~~~~~~~>>> Hermetic Tradition

Tribal consciousness ~~~>>> Individual consciousness ~~~>>> Cosmic consciousness

The task of religions, both old and new, has been to inculcate this evolutionary process through the means at its disposal. The varying success of this movement can be gauged by a quick mental reconnoitre through one’s own life experience to date. In the Foretime this search was begun by means of contact with the mineral kingdom and with the earth’s vital energies, which led on to an understanding and personification of these energies with god-forms. While the Native Tradition works from the immediate and familiar forces of the earth towards an evolved understanding of a cosmic plan or single, centralised Deity, it is the way of the Hermetic Tradition to perceive the cosmic and hierarchical forces which motivate the universe and identify their operation within elemental and imagined god-forms, as we shall see in Volume 2. [Volume 1 being “The Native Tradition”.]

Currently, the Western World is still struggling to throw off the last vestiges of tribal consciousness which have not yet worked themselves out. The revival of the Old Religion under the form of the neo-pagan movement and renewed interest in the Native Traditions of many lands are resonances of this struggle: it is one wherein the best of the ancient ancestral wisdom is retrieved and the unregenerate forms discarded as inappropriate. We shall be looking closer at this phenomenon in Chapter 5 and assessing the development of the Native Tradition since the Foretime. But before we can follow the way of the earth and of the gods, before we take ship for the Otherworld, we must enter the world of the Foretime ~ the ‘once upon a time’ of our ancestors.

dreams, dissatisfaction, and addiction

I’ve done a few more journeys since my first experiment, and it’s hard to say whether they have been as effective as the first one seemed to be, because that first one was characterised by such obvious physiological reactions, which I suspect were caused by the more-active breathing I practised.

In the subsequent journeys I have allowed the breath to be more natural, and I think the effects have been more subtle, in the form of dreams. It’s hard to say though, because I dream fairly frequently anyway, and the occurrence of these dreams has coincided with a renewal of a more-active dreaming practice that was independent of these experiments with journeying.

It’s hard to know which factors contribute to which effects, and it’s hard to know what’s what at these early stages of such a practice, because what I am essentially trying to do is find where the veil exists between the waking world and the dream world, between the physical/physiological/neurochemical world and the non-physical/psychological world, between the spirit world and the world of consensus reality. I’m trying to commune with Spirit, and it’s hard to know the difference between when I’m doing that and when I’m communing with the physical realm of brain functions.

It’s confusing territory because I suspect that everything is Spirit, so trying to discern between Spirit and everything else is kinda like trying to discern between two shades of blue: all of our experiences are just different shades of Spirit.

The most appropriate terminology for making this distinction seems to be ‘conscious’ and ‘unconscious’: I suspect that we are mostly conscious of physical/material reality, and Spirit resides mostly (or speaks more loudly) in the unconscious, in the realm of symbols and abstraction.

It also hasn’t helped my confusion that I’ve been experimenting with these journeys immediately before sleep. I’ve done as many journeys in the mornings as I’ve done before sleep, and this morning’s journey helped to relieve some anxiety caused by general non-deliberate sleep deprivation, but the juiciest effects have come in the form of last night’s dreams, which I report below.

~ ~ ~

3:14am4.01.18

I am awake prematurely again, and I was pretty grumpy about it, but I seem to have perked up, and I don’t think it’s because of the coffee ~ it helped that when I came down the stairs (after rolling around in bed, debating whether to get up or not), it was exactly 3:00 [my numerological life-path number is 30/3], and as I came off the bottom stair, the clock flicked over to 3:01. I also feel a kind of acceptance, because maybe this is the cosmos moving through me, because maybe I had this dream because I did the shamanic journey before I went to sleep ~

I mean, I often dream anyway, and yes I’m giving more attention to my dreams (by wanting them and by being prepared to interpret them), but there seems to be something significant about how I wake up so fully after some of these dreams … it seems to suggest that their meaning is significant and the Awoken app is chirping away now because I’ve set it to chirp more frequently during these hours to help trigger lucidity in dreams, but also it reminds me that … yes, it just chirped again … yes, the dreams are significant. So, the dreams:

In the first dream (from which I did not fully awake), I was with a lover and another guy in bed, and they had sex but my lover and I didn’t. I was miffed. My lover and I had an interaction afterward, but I don’t remember any of the details except that there was no love between us and she left.

I guess this dream relates to what happened with AJ and Nuff, but the next dream (from which I did fully awake) adds more information:

I was on some low-ish rooftop with a character who seemed to be Pablo from high school. He said that he was going to change jobs.

I said, “But you like your job.”

There was some element of Mum in him, because I immediately thought of her similar pattern, and I started to address him thus, in the same way I would address Mum in the same situation.

Pablo Mum started to make some justification for why he would change jobs, but I interjected to say, “No, I think you’re addicted to something”, perhaps because I had been reading what Russell Brand has written about why we get addicted … perhaps because I was intuiting something from my unconscious (or the spirit world) about why we get addicted, because he made some other attempt at justification but I kept pushing it.

“No, there’s something you get from changing jobs that is more enjoyable than staying in the job you’ve got.” I’m elaborating the dialogue here ~ I don’t think there was this much detail, but this is the gist of what I was thinking in the dream. [3:39]

I was thinking, The process of changing jobs (of going to something new, of running away from the old or from whatever element of the job was not satisfying instead of trying to resolve that dissatisfaction in the job) must release some kind of chemical in the brain that we get addicted to. It’s a kind of workaholism, but may be more appropriately described as jobaholism or job addiction ~ addiction to the ability to go and get a new job.

It gives us great satisfaction to go and get a new job. And then when we’re in the new job, the satisfaction wears off because actually they’re all as mundane as each other. Anyway,

Pablo Mum made some snide comment like, “What, like a job is an EB?”

I wasn’t sure what an EB was, but I realised it was some kind of chocolate bar, and said as much. “Like a chocolate bar?”

He said yes, and I was going to start saying something about how, yes, It’s not the chocolate bar you’re addicted to, it’s the chemicals it turns into or the chemicals it releases in the brain that you’re addicted to, but he then started swinging me around on the office chair I was now sitting in. I told him this was scaring me, and then he threw me off the roof. The chair sailed away somewhere and I landed on my feet on the concrete below. This is when I woke up.

I feel like this dream was a message about addiction … der … but I mean, I feel like it was significantly a message ~ like I went into the dream realm / spirit realm to retrieve this information, which I was already half aware of, perhaps unconsciously aware of.

I think it’s an important insight about addiction. It confirms for me that yes, part of my role … a major part of my role, at least … is helping people to understand the nature of addiction so we can start looking at where in our lives the dissatisfaction is coming from and start to treat the dissatisfaction naturally and healthily rather than disguising it by doing things that release drugs that give us a false sense of satisfaction.

Before I can do this, of course, I need to understand and treat my own dissatisfaction, which I think is why these two dreams came together this night: I am dissatisfied with (among other things) the way romantic and/or sexual relationships have gone in my life, so I have resorted to drugs and other behaviours that give the false sense of satisfaction, which stops me from feeling the need to resolve the original source of dissatisfaction.

[3:54 ~ feeling like there’s not much more to add to this.]

[4:01am4.01.08 ~ looking at a picture of Fred Alan Wolf in shamanic dress and thinking about stopping faffing and getting some work done on Entheotropia]

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