I was lying in bed this morning when I heard an insistent tapping. I wasn’t inclined to get up just yet since I had been having another one of ‘those dreams’ which now I can’t remember. The tapping went on. I had put the dogs out a little after dawn and gone back to bed. I wondered if it was one of them although they’ve never shown that kind of initiative before. I got up and went into the kitchen because I saw nothing at the front door and there I saw a small bird with a yellow belly and gray black wings perched on a thin ledge at the bottom of the long window which comprises most of the door.
The bird was steadily tapping at the glass. I walked right up to the door and the bird kept tapping. I stood there for about ten seconds and then the bird flew away. It didn’t occur to me how strange it was that the bird did not fly away when I came up on it. I wasn’t really in my normal (grin) consciousness yet.
It seemed like the bird had been sent to tell me to get out of bed. The thing is that the night before I had told myself I was going to get up early because I had a lot errands to run in a certain time frame and a particular chore to accomplish before I left, including my morning cups of tea with the companionable American Spirit in attendance. I would probably have been pressed for time if I had not gotten up then. I had gone to bed pretty late the night before and then there’s always that hour when I lay awake doing the things I do on my way to the astral plane.
I don’t know if that bird was sent to wake me up but it certainly dovetailed with my plans and was right on the mark time wise. It was also out of character for the bird (I think) to be tapping at my window... and the fact that it didn’t fly away when I came up on it but just kept tapping for a few seconds... I don’t know.
I have a fascination with the Devic Realm and that is one of the reasons that I engage Lord Ganapati/Ganesh; the other is for the removal of obstacles to self-realization which is one of his particular forms of service to those who seek him out. It’s also said by those who are familiar with the tradition that he is the closest to us in terms of distance and approachability. This is important to me because we are in the Kali Yuga and a time of intense materialism. Spirituality is not as easy in these times as in others and that brings me to something I’ve wanted to talk about.
Before I embark on another travelogue, I need to proffer a disclaimer and to say that what I do with my life is my own business. People may have their opinions about how certain behavior might apply to them but, I am not them and they are not me. I do not encourage others to engage in the sort of things I do in this particular area. I should also say that such behavior on my part is rare. Well, it’s rare in comparison to what it used to be (grin).
It’s also a lot more selective and refined than it was. Still, it’s not my day to day thing and some portions of those practices I do recommend in a general way but not this one.
What I am talking about, if you haven’t already guessed, is the use of psychotropic substances. The only reason I am talking about them today is to clarify why someone would engage in this pursuit to begin with and I’ve got a very good reason for that.
Originally the timing of my life put me into a cultural period where this sort of thing was common. You have to add into this the extreme thirst that I had for the unseen worlds which impact upon the one we tend to think of as the real world, although it is no more real than the others and much less real than some.
Early on in my career I had an intense curiosity about the occult and Hermetic sciences. I even owned a book store which sold the texts and also allowed me to read them as well. It was called The Ajna Bookstore and it was in Woodstock, New York. I had this bookstore for several years and it was at this time that I joined The Builders of the Adytum and began to take their courses which went on for a couple of decades at least. When I met Guru Bawa he took these interests away from me ‘in a certain way’ but I have continued to glean knowledge from that area although it’s pretty much intuitive at this point.
Guru Bawa said that engaging in the use of these substances was a bad idea. Pretty much all teachers and traditions say this with the exception of Left Hand Tantra and the Shamanistic traditions. One could say that I was in and out of the former over the years and that it had a lot to do with the early Kali and Smashin Tara worship. You’ve got to be a particular, strange kind of a person to want to go into these areas and you have got to have some kind of previous Karmic associations and protections to go there as well. Anyone who has seen her as she is known to appear and who is not adapted or prepared for it would go mad and there’s no ifs ands or buts about it.
I used to take large amounts of psychedelics and go into graveyards at night for the opportunity. People who are not familiar with the Hindu traditions would look at this as an indication of insanity. I would insert here that one is unlikely to find the source without going mad in any case but that’s by the by. My path has been an uncommon one and there are people who did go mad trying to tag along, although- thankfully- they did recover. In the Hindu tradition neither hand of the Tantric paths is evil in and of itself. It is the intention of the practitioner who makes it so as is the case with anything. I was never looking for magical powers or material gain, only contact and revelation.
My reasons for engaging in psychotropic accessories in relation to my search can be understood by analogy perhaps. When you are trying to get your car out of a swamp it’s a good thing to have a motorized winch. If you are trying to fly it’s a good thing to have something that offsets gravity. If you are engaged in anything where there is a large degree of resistance then extra power can’t hurt.
We live in very materialistic times and that means that there is a blanket of heavy darkness over one’s mind and emotions. If your focus is on material things then you probably don’t notice the oppressive weight of their presence in the environment. You might notice that you get weary on the way. You might notice the difficulties of moving through compressed space and you might notice that the more conveniences that appear and the more time saving devices that are around that the faster time goes by. But probably you don’t notice these things and probably you don’t associate them with materialism.
Materialism clogs a person’s pipes. It dims the sight and it fragments the will. It does all kinds of things. Most people are completely reliant on this and desire it too. They like that cushioning thing that civilization brings to their soft forms. Some of us don’t and the time when you really notice the force of materialism is when you try to get out of it. The effort needed to escape is pretty extreme as well as constant.
So you might say that I’m weak, or in a hurry. You might say that I’m insane and inconsistent and I won’t argue with any of that. It doesn’t change anything anyway. But every now and then I need to burn the carbon off of my pipes and I need a reminder of what it is I’m looking for. Of course, I can’t stay there and I know this. I just want to check in; touch base, re-inspire myself to a greater effort for when I’m back in la vie ordinaire. You may not even consider such a thing and that’s fine. I happen to know that there are more ways up this mountain than you can imagine. It’s not the way you pick that matters. All that matters is whether you are determined enough and have no inclination to stop or turn back... no matter what.
I’ve been moving around in these mysterious landscapes for years and I share a kinship with Terrence McKenna and a number of other people and we’re somewhat unique in our ability to navigate this territory, just as you may be at something I have no ability for whatsoever. No matter what the general rule may be there are always special cases and you either find out or you die trying. Some routes are safer but they’re longer; just like shortcuts in relation to the other highways. It’s not that I believe in shortcuts or even that I think I’m taking one. It’s just how it sorted out for me.
The key to anything is one’s sincerity of purpose. God knows what I’m up to and I think he/she’s even glad that I would go through the trouble and risk certain consequences just to talk to him/her. That’s what it comes down to. I just find all of this... this monument to crap and bad taste to be a little too much to bear and this is how I make it bearable for me. I take little spiritual vacations to check in on where I’m bound. It eases the pain of being here. I make no excuses and offer no apologies and I strongly recommend that everyone find a less dramatic course but this is just how it is for me... by way of answering questions that I sometimes get and... responding to critics who have zero experience of anything I’m talking about here but who, for reasons unfathomable to me... know all about it.
Anyway... probably not what you were expecting but I will make sure to put something else up here real soon so you don’t feel like I left you wanting.
You’re not going to believe this. Just as I finished this there came another bird at the window. I heard the tapping and went into the kitchen but it was gone. I saw it flying away. Then another bird appeared while I was standing there and tapped twice (just like the one who departed) and then this bird also left. I noticed it had a black stripe down the middle of its yellow belly. What was strange before has now become uncanny. There’s probably some rational explanation for this but... you can imagine my state of wonderment at the moment.
'Everlasting Love' is track no. 2 of 10 on Visible's 2006 album 'Songwriter'
Lyrics (pops up)