Madness comes from over-identification with the stories generated by our minds. Our personal magic is the way that we choose to interact with these stories. Yogas chitta vritti nirodha: Yoga is liberation from the whirlpools of the mind.
We’ve all got stories going on all the time on multi-levels – some healing, some draining, most unconscious (those are the ones that really run us!), many having to do with “cause” and “effect” – whether it’s, “I’m like this because of my mother” or “I can’t do that pose because my arms are too short” or “that driver cut me off therefore that guy is an unworthy asshole” or “the CVS pharmacy is an unholy place created by evil aliens using poison and flourescent lighting to harvest our prana and all the employees are androids”. Heh heh, mind, you devill!
There are potentially healing stories as well: “Drinking green juice every day makes my skin glow” or “Meditation makes me a better magician” or “My dead grandmother is with me and helps me find good parking spaces” Any stories, if overly identified with, can be crazy-making. Angels and devils on every shoulder. If you have ever felt “stuck’ in a story of any sort, keep reading …
When a story is generated, the skill is to recognize it as a story, investigate it before perpetuating it, then make appropriate space for it – not to buy it, but also not to chase it away, saying that it is a “mere story”. Trying to chase thoughts out of the mind is not usually very effective – usually winds up feeling like chasing a monkey that wants to play and that can get pretty noisy! The skill is to choose to acknowledge that this story exists, may or may not be true, and is one of many possible stories. Many (and of course many contradictory) stories exist. Multiple timelines, multiple dimensions, multiple selves, multiple gods, however one has come to conceive of such things. We must make space, if we may, for an infinitude of possibilities existing in the mystery – FOR WHAT WE ARE NOT PRESENTLY EXPERIENCING, WE CANNOT KNOW BUT ONLY CREATE STORIES. If we give the stories unchecked free reign, stories will create experience. This is what happens when someone gets “triggered” – a story hijacks the body and creates an experience of rage, panic, mania, etc. based on a story rather than present moment sensation.
Walking the razor’s edge of magic – the line between “ordinary reality” and “chaos and madness” is to dwell perpetually in the moment of choice. To check our stories, to let them breathe, to notice that we do not have to believe (or disbelieve!) them. And to understand that we have access to many possible stories, dimensions, channels, etc., but ONLY from the limited perspective of this corporeal experience. If we can observe a story and notice how it resonates in the body, we can see how our stories affect our ability to function in these bodies and in this world. We can understand stories as tools, not rules. Recognizing that there is indeed a potentially maddening infinitude of alternate stories (AKA Great Mystery) – then we have a powerful choice. We can choose our belief, and that, my dear friends, is magic! When we consciously choose a belief, we choose it moment by moment, and though this mindfulness our beliefs become less sticky, and we may be able to release a belief should it cease to be a useful tool for us, or cease to resonate with our personal vibration of truth. We can also consciously choose to hold a dissonant belief as an experiment, or choose to suspend belief altogether and hold multiple seemingly contradictory stories at the same time! Our stories are no longer whirlpools that suck us in. If we do not choose our own beliefs based on personal experience, we will have beliefs chosen for us by other powerful story-making magicians, and who wants to be a pawn like that? At the very least we can become choosers of what magicians we allow to feed us stories!
But how do we do that, really – when a thousand things are happening at once, how does one dwell in the moment of choice?
Vibration is a key. Practice is a key. When a story comes up, we can make note of it before believing it, because we notice how it vibrates in the body. We can notice its pull on the internal compass. WE CAN MEET THE VIBRATION OF THE STORY WITH A VIBRATION OF OUR OWN CULTIVATION, one that resonates with our “true north”. This is why PRACTICE is essential. Through meditation, daily cultivation of resonant frequency anchors in us an experience of truth that encompasses our whole being but does not need to be explained in words and concepts and stories, in fact cannot be – for it is a different part of the brain being accessed in meditation, one that is not associated with formation and processing of language. With practice we expand our consciousness to hold the mystery and everything in it, pre-story. Doesn’t mean the stories aren’t there, but they are held in a vast field, where words don’t mean much. In the quiet stillness of meditation the internal compass is re-calibrated, and we can meet & explore our stories with confidence in the integrity of our anchor, which is ultimately grounded in mystery.
Mind-altering medicines can be very useful in dislodging us from stories that have seized us and hold us captivated, however they alter our vibrations in ways that can also open portals and can leave us very vulnerable to other opportunistic stories that desire to be fed, and thus intensify their own vibration. And so again, creating a practice of observation, dwelling in the moment of choice, making ample space for mystery, and grounding in vibrational experience rather that concepts, can be most useful when using medicine to invite magic and madness.
This is indeed a razors edge walk, and we are all on it, conscious or not. Always use magic in the service of Love.
In Love and Light and Mystery,
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