Category Archives: Philosophy

The Shawman Toolkit- Sage

This article is intended for anyone that wants to start incorporating tools for the function of heightening the psychedelic experience. There are many tools by which this can be done, sage being just one of them. Personally, I have been around sage many time throughout most of my life but generally disregard the plant for the same general reason why I disregard sound healing and acupuncture, but as I look for additional tools by which I can heighten the experience of my people my search is becoming broader.

Today we will be talking about sage which is a plant that has been used in medicine since ancient times. Traditionally it has been used to ward off evil spirits, treat snake bites, increase a woman’s fertility and more. It’s a known diuretic and anesthetic, and so is pretty much good for any type of tingle, snag, burp, or bump.

The practice of using sage to clear space of negative energy is called smudging and has been around for thousands of years. When burned sage is believed to be able to clear negative energy as well as provide protection from negative energies to come. Traditionally smudging is done with each of the four elements reenacted through the dish (water), the erb (earth), the burn (fire), and the smoke (air). The idea is that it’s the smoke that gathers negativity as it passes through and over objects. As the smoke is ushered away so is the negativity. The important part of the process is the intent of the person performing the smudging in that one should focus on exactly what one wants to get out of the process.

As I alluded to at the beginning of this essay, there is an element of mysticism that I have always been in opposition to. In reflection upon the ancient tradition I don’t think there is anything to it, meaning; it would not stand the scrutiny of a double blind study on the effectiveness of cleansing properties of sage beyond the power of intent or placebo, but let us not overlook the power of placebo in its cultural influence that is not evenly distributed or random. The ancients were able to tune into something that was later found out to be more than meaningful, useful. Why is it that our culture gatherers beliefs around specific things? Things like archetypal stories or color. Let us be careful to not fall into the same pit as the masses with things like religion, self-help, or vanity in that we seek to not only use the wisdom of the past but to build upon such foundation, shaky though they may be. To transcend the cultural effect attached to something like sage would be something only a Sage could be capable of. For the average human sage, in addition to being an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and smelling nice, provides a sense of meaning in connection with a old tradition which is not a power that can be gained easily but is such the power of the scientist.

 

“For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

-Hamlet

 

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Break Through

As I start to write this post it’s the first day of the year but by the time I finish it will probably be the second. Going to bed at 10 in the morning and waking up near sundown has a shifting effect on the routine of a day. On this first day of the year, I ate breakfast at the grocery store next to people making the commute home from work. Sometimes I dream of the time when l get a real job and plug in with all of these people doing work in the daylight hours, but for the time being I live by my own rules and have little desire to do anything but. I do not feel like my life is so much better than their as their are many pitfalls to life without rules. The loneliness of the night can be overwhelming at times, and without the working man’s wip to my back I find myself searching for the discipline I could have otherwise had. In hindsight I am always able to laugh because I know that I could have had it no other way. Every choice that has brought me to this point I would make again and again, and from where I sit now life is look pretty fucking great.

 

The Seattle underground is opening up like the first page of favored book given to me by an old friend. Last night for new years I linked up with some friends and to a few different hot spots in the city. Gas Works Park for midnight, jumping around the city til bar close, dubstep under a bridge in Sodo until the sun came up. Creating these types of nights is a skill that I would not be able to do by myself. Some people are naturally able to find the way to the party. They are able to get that conversation that connects them to something larger and are then swept off their feet into a larger adventure. I am not one of these naturals. For me, plugging in with a larger network is something I have always found interesting but is something that takes a great deal of effort and work. For weeks or even months I have been know to go into a sheltered state only to one day emerge like some creature that has lived too long in a dark cave. Many times now have I emerged with the purpose of creating myself into the social creature to meet my needs. There is wisdom that comes from making this transformation.

 

When adjusting yourself to a new situation there will be tension. It can be natural to want to escape uncomfortable emotions and at the beginning of the night you can see the battle that wages inside the people in their desire to leave or find comfort. Their want for adventure and excitement must be fought by pushing through the pain of awkwardness in order to find the reward that is key. This is a principle that extends to many different scenarios in life.

 

In meditation I find this principle affecting me everytime I sit. Sitting for extended periods of time is uncomfortable and focusing on the working of the mind is difficult. There is a point deep within the pain however, where something clicks and I can feel so much tension released from the top of my brain. This tension is something I normally carry with me and can feel it even now. Almost like the top of my brain is wrinkled in a frown preventing me from something lighter and care free. I can lift this feeling from my head but only after I spend much concentrated effort on the task and I can only life it for a short time. To make such a feeling a more permanent change is something I lust for with an air of desperation. Maybe one day, if I only had that something that I don’t have now. Maybe there is a key to this long lasting change. I can’t say that I am sure that something like this is real.

 

In the world of my ideals, change is something to be embraced. Over this past year there have been many changes. Looking back 365 days I would have been working on the mountain in the state of Utah. Over the course of the year business was excellent and a few good friends where made. Great books include- After Capitalism, Hardcore Zen, Flow, The One Thing and so many more I don’t care to mention or can’t seem to remember. I must admit that I am no stronger physically than then, but then was a hard mark to beat. The beautiful women and the ever deepening family bond. I feel good about this coming year. In fact I feel that it’s going to be the best year of my life. I hope it’s nothing like this past year and that I change for all the better because of it.

Going into the unknown

Agitated to a degree that I will no longer allow me to continue to cope. From inside my mind something new begins to appear. A vision of the world to be. The vision becomes clearer not with time but rather with certain events. It’s these events that drives the hunt, but oh how much I hurt. How much can I take before I become at a loss for everything. Rolled down the dirt until my only habits include eating greasy sugar, gaming in solitude and never making real connections with the world around me. But who’s not searching for the answer to the other side. The next upgrade in the world system. Books; books that teach you something about how to look at the world differently. Eckhart Tolle- The Power of Now put me totally zenned out for months. Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power helped me take over the non-profit organization I was working for at the time. Nietzsche.

From a very young age I can remember having a profound curiosity with the world. Something that developed with the help of my community and the resources of growing up in America. In elementary school it was dinosaurs and rocks.In high school it was evolution and atheism. In college my mind exploded with philosophy. I got into trouble all along the way, mostly because I don’t care too much for convention. I think this whole thing is a joke. Why so serious is my question, and when I’m out in the world making a muckery of things, what good could it possibly do? Because I am making a muckery of things and there are many that would have me stopped.

A lot of what I do gets boggled up because of when I got dislodged from my ideal tregetory way back when. Now I am living the life of the type of person that I wanted to become but with a few major flaws keep me from real life flow. The goal would be an able bodied sailor with a sharp mind, body, and wit.  Ready for anything and happy for a challenge. Well the challenge is this- Don’t be awkward around people you don’t know. Don’t be a casual dick that prevents people from getting close to you. Do bring the fun. Do work hard on the things that are important to you.

It was last night that a friend and I were able to share a new world with three kids that were ripe and ready for the experience. Their enthusiasm lit my world up and I was able to fulfill the teaching role that I am always looking for. It played to my strengths in a way and I was able to learn just as much as even the kid on the bed who reached something of a cosmic state of enlightenment; with his eyes rolled strait up and face contorted in pure concentration, yet still perfectly aware of his surroundings. All three of these guys were completely blown away by the experience and all so grateful. The meekest one of the group nervously confronted me and called me somthing of a god. It’s was too much power and responsibility to be handled by me with his mind so open almost like I could do anything I want. I shaped him with a hammer and chisel, gently and with care, but masculine in character. The third and final dude had a way of relating to me personally in that he understood my vulnerability and played with it in a way that softly coaxed me out and made me aware of my own aggression. A valuable lesson for my improvement. It was my co-conspirator that shook it the most.

There have been a few choices in my past for which I chose the lesser direction when the high road was perfectly available. It comes from a self consciousness that drives me down in class and status. When the higher world makes its appearance I choose the lower path, because I know that am not ready. I could not stand in such a place without the skills of discipline expected of all who make. These things I will learn but for now there is plenty of magic down here to feed off of.

There is much I disagree with my partner over and I have thought about leaving him for a different path but something about his wild character creates such a strong allure that he makes for an attractive enemy. An opponent with the same higher purpose and different methods of getting there. I am pushed to grow in ways I could have never imagined for myself and can feel myself pushed towards a new phase of integration.

The time has come for me to change. Finding inspiration in the minds of others, this golden energy has filled me with abundance and the ability to relate to world on real plane that pierces through fog and bullshit. The irony is that this entire time I have been frantically searching for friends and a sense of belonging when now I understand that my path will be one of solitude and dedication to be achieved first before I find the fruit I am looking for. It’s through social situations that I will make business and learn the rules to define value. The reality is that friends are rare so enjoy the quality time that you spend with them and make sure that they can always feel your love.

Cogito Ergo Sum- I think therefore I am. Wherever you go there you are and there you go shaping the world around you, building new creations, changing. We are all very special (or at least we like to think we are), put on this world to revel in existence for a short time before the greatest plunge into the unknown is taken. Never certain but with a sense that everything is going to be alright. I love all of you and feel like something great is about to happen. I don’t know what is but I know that we are all play a role and that it is of the highest importance that we do it right.

Or maybe I’m crazy and this is the ranting of a lunatic into the cold and unforgiving abyss. But as the saying goes- Stare long enough into the abyss and eventually the abyss stares back.

 

Thanks for reading,

As always, I am passionately searching for the next clue by which I may be uplifted into the next level. Maybe you know what it is. Drop a comment and let me know.

Elves live here

I never level capped in the world or warcraft, but I did get to explore and played until maybe the level of 40. I remember playing as an ork shaman and so started off my Wow life in Draenor. I made my way through the world of war-craft just as I am making my way around the USA. The are many parallels between America and Wow. Draenor is Colorado, the land of the dead is obviously New Orleans, Minnesota the dwarven realm, and now here in Seattle I have finally found the land of the elves.

If you look all people that fall under the label of “hippy” you might find a type of hierarchy. Most bums and riff raff here in America will call themselves hippies just because of their openness to new ideas and their convenient socialist ideals. As you climb the hierarchy, hippies become more disciplined and are often found practicing yoga and living a vegan lifestyle. At the very top of the hierarchy some hippies have taken to living in self sustaining tree houses much like the wood elves in Lord of the Rings.

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This type of life is something that I have been seeking for a long time and living here in Seattle has already started to effect my lifestyle in many ways. I have started the vegetarian diet and might send it to the vegan thing here soon and then yoga begins this next week. There is so much from my past that must die and even more in my future that has yet to be born and mature. The fear of falling back into old paths is abound but if not for perfection then what else could we aim for.

A friend of mine has come to me with a business proposition. He has asked me to go in with him in the business of flipping buses. The basics are that we take an old bus and turn it into a quality home for rich people to live out of. The idea of doing my own business and creating for myself is everything I could have wanted. They guy that I would be going into business is my opposite and I might even go so far as to consider him one of the dark order, organizer and leader of goblins, but something more of a man himself. The perfect antithesis of a high elf and everything I could want out of a co-creator.

The reason for writing this paper is to get my thoughts in order so that I can plan effectively for the future. The west coast is everything I could have dreamed of but staying here would mean delaying my dreams of world travel for a considerable amount of time. The risk would be great and I would be putting everything I have into this venture. If something were to go wrong I would be back at rock bottom for sure. A winter spent here in Seattle would be miserable, though a sacrifice that I would not be unwilling to commit. I would be living on a bus that I would also building and converting. I would not have a car. Transportation would be by bicycle and in a city where it rains about 150 days out of the year, most of which are in the winter, it would be quite the sacrifice.

On the other hand, there is the entire coast to explore and even still Australia looms in the distance. A trip down the coast in my Subi followed by a flight to Hawaii and then another jump to Australia and I am back on my world traveler plan. High end potential could be this blog taking off, online business, bartending, and all those side projects that I am constantly focused on. This plan doesn’t give me the knock my socks off business opportunity that I am looking for and so I am swayed to stay in Seattle but my confidence comes from holding back on commitment and waiting to see what thoughts mature and what thoughts do not.

Power over the self is the ultimate goal. Being able to say that you will do something and then following through and doing it is where meaning of self is created. I must admit weakness on this facet of life coming from my life in Denver. Many times did I say that I would change just to find that I could not break free from old habits. Here in Seattle I have already proven to myself that I am not confined by my old ways. What was it that changed that allowed me to make these forceful commands of life? How far can this power be pushed and tested? With what joy it is to discover a new power such as this.

A mantra that I have picked up in the past few weeks is to take it one step at a time. I need to remember to focus on the little things and let the macro unfold from diligently taken individual steps. Tonight I fill up the gas tank and buy groceries. This week I aim to spend no money Monday through Friday. Once you have everything you need the focus of life is left to shift. To what I cannot say. The great unknown is where the treasure hides. To explore uninhibited to find the secrets of life. To create. To destroy. To live by ones own word no matter the cost.

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Handling Escapism

I would wager that just about everyone has some form of escapism that they engage in on the daily. A fraction of these people recognize the opportunities that are missed because of the time that is spent on something that is not in direct attainment of life’s goals. For me, its most obvious in the urge to play video games comes because I have shortcomings in other parts of my life. In order to change my focus to something that I am competent in, I turn to video games to get a sense of gratification that I am not getting in the real world. It can be extremely challenging to keep from turning to these types of escapism when faced with overwhelming obstacles. In order to get at the root of escapism I have a few penetrating questions. Where do these negative emotions come from? Why is it that I am unable to control myself when confronted with these emotions? What could be some possible solutions for living a better life?

Firstly, defining what constitutes a negative emotion that then turns me to escapism. From the position that I sit in now it seems entirely irrational to do anything but build myself to overcome in the face of adversity, but this is not the case. One instance of a source of these negative emotions comes from going out at night in order to have fun and meet new people. Not all the time but often enough these events can cascade downward so that when I am leaving the bar I feel alone in that I was unable to make a solid connection with anyone that I met that night. This does not happen often but when it does it can be hard to deal with. Other things that can be hard to deal with are things like shortcomings at work, run-ins with the bad side of the law, and arguments between friends. These are the type of things that cause negative emotions and thus give rise to the will to escape from it all.

The ideal version of myself grows stronger when faced with adversity and at times I have experienced such a thing. A willpower arise that detaches emotionally in order to achieve the desired outcome. Other times a weakness that desires to neglect the reality of the situation in favor of something lazy and shameful wins. I can only understand the ebb and flow of these two internal drives as a necessity of life and therefor I must prepare for both.

Building a life that is full of positive emotions so that one would never even be tempted by escapism sounds disagreeable. This is not to say that I would do anything but pursue my dream of dreams, it’s just that I feel that anything worth doing should be challenging and therefore will include trying situations. For me, it’s not about finding the path free of road bumps but more so about strengthening the self in order to handle any road bump that might occur; and so I turn my attention to the weakest version of myself and ask: What’s wrong? Why are you unable to do what you know to be right? Is it a lack of courage or maybe you just don’t want it bad enough? From the heightened perspective of where I sit now I can offer few words that might help. Remember that life is short and that greatness can only be achieved by those who work for it. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, so take your time and start small. Just remember to keep moving forward. Like the butterfly that created the hurricane, a small step in the right direction could be the first step to shift the minds of millions. Without the first step, there is nothing.

So yeah. Writing is where I do my most precise introspective work and by publishing this online I hope that it may help anyone that stumbles upon my work. If you thought about anything at all while reading please leave a comment. I love to hear other perspectives and to build a community is some of the greatest thing we do as humans and I am looking forward to all of it.

Brothers Fight

Men have a different way of going through life than women. We could say that biologically men’s lives are less valuable than women’s in that it only take one man to carry on the population while it would take many women to have many many children. When we look at the lives of men we see that men die more often by risky behavior like stunts and car crashes pointing to the idea that men have a biology that is designed differently with things like social power in leadership and prestige being valued as much more important. This is not to say that women do not have such a thing in their lives it’s just that with women the nurturing instinct is much more developed and for the good reason of the children and the family.

Often times men will grow up in a patriarchal family where, from the time of Cain and Able it has been observed that the son will have the desire to overthrow the patriarch, the father. You can see this with kings of the past going on for centuries. In many cultures the transfer of power was almost always violent. With the king at the top it often times was up to one of his sons to replace him. Which son was to replace him was the question that provided the tension between brothers.

Growing up outside of royalty, my brother and I had a more civil relationship though not without conflict. Looking back I can see the harm that I did to him and the recoil from this harm and how this has effected me. Brothers fight in the sense of wrestling and other games where we would both try and get the best of each other. Being the older brother I would almost always win and would then make it a point to show how much better I was than him in additional displays of strength. This eventually backfired as my brother stopped wanting to play any more games with me. He could not get away with playing no games with me however as we had many of the same friends and groups of friend play games with each other inevitably.

To this day my brother and I seldom talk and despite my best efforts I get a call from him maybe a handful of times per year. When I think about what has brought us to this point in our relationship, besides all the times that I would not allow him to play his choice of video game or not use the TV, there are a few key instances that come to mind. There was the time that we convinced him that by strapping him into a dog harness that we could then hoist him up into a tree and thus climb any tree we wanted. After getting him 30 feet in the air my friend and I tied our end to a different tree leaving him suspended while we left to eat lunch. We were not gone that long but when we got back he was distraught. Another time we mummified him in duct tape to the point where he was unable to moved. These are the things that make me laugh about my childhood and I look back at with fond memories. There are darker parts of our past however that are harder to get into.

My brother left for the military shortly after college. After returning from basic training he came home with confidence that we had not seen in him before. It was great for the entire family, but when it came time to choose which video game to play it was bad for both him and I. I had been at my own school and was currently in my third year and so my brother and I had not been spending much time in the same location. I believe it was Christmas break for both of us and spending time together was something we were both not used to. When the video games came into conflict violence broke out immediately. In a way similar to WWII this was the last time my brother and I got into any type of physical fight. It was the most violent fight either of us had ever been in and ended with a black eye for me and getting kicked out of the house for him. We have not been the same since that point. It would be nice to have a brother that is confident about his ability to handle the world but I could not let this confidence tread in an area that I felt was mine. I can imagine it would have been a blow to his ego to learn that his military training still could not take down the enemy of a brother that he had at that moment and must have changed something in him to avoid rather than confront.

I still believe that later in life we will both become closer to one another. Maybe it will take a colossal event like both of us having kids, but someday in the future my brother and I will be on a similar level. It’s impossible that we stop being brothers and so no matter how much we hate one another we will always be in each others lives. The fight between brothers has been going on for so long that it’s built into all of our minds. We know how brothers act and to learn about myself in this way I can learn about everyone, because everyone knows that brothers fight.

Reasons to learn lucid dreaming

A lucid dream in a direct encounter with the subconscious that can cause greater knowledge of the self. In a lucid dream, you are surrounded with imagery that is invented within the mind. By looking at the symbolism of these images and figuring out the meaning under the surface, the dreamer is allowed access into the psyche at a level that may not be able to be experienced in waking life. By understanding these aspects of the subconscious, the conscious mind has the opportunities to understand and mend injuries that may have been held within the body for years. Learn to lucid dream.

Lucid dreaming offers endless creativity and escapism. Is this not the reason that all of us dream other than to find ourselves in a world that would not otherwise be possible. To be able to speak to your dead idol, or to spend some time with the otherwise extinct dinosaurs. All of these things become possible in a lucid dream, where the limits of the world become the limits of imagination rather than the limits of physics or money. Lucid dreaming allows anyone to experience anything they can create.

This can work as an exercise for your imagination as well. As you experience more profound realities within the dream world you then get an idea of what you can conjure up inside your head and all of a sudden you notice yourself become more daring within your waking world. Social situations become expanded as you play within your world with a greater understanding of where things have the potential to go. You become braver in creating fantasies that previously you would have never thought of. Lucid dreaming is an expansion of the mind that improves more than just the world of sleep.

When experiencing the first lucid dreams, questions of consciousness often arise. What is the nature of consciousness and what is the nature control. By experimenting with these questions one gets a greater understanding of the true nature of things like consciousness and control. Greater understanding of these things pervades all of waking experience and allows one to live a life that has greater clarity and direction. As you start to question things like the nature of reality you get a greater understanding for what is real which then translates into more accurate goal attainment as you can now sort out what your are fantasizing about, and what you are able to control.

Science has shown that you become better at things that you dream about. This means that lucid dreams get to choose what they want to get better at, and that they can use lucid dreaming as a training ground for whatever they want. Beginning lucid dreamers will often do things like talk to lots of women or focus on getting money. Later in their career they can focus on things like living in the world of the forums and experiencing reality on deeper levels, all of which act like training helping them get better at life.

Throughout the course of life, we experience setbacks that can be hard to get over. The death of a loved one for example, can be relived within the dream. Lucid dreamers have the option of speaking with the loved one and asking them questions they wished they had voiced while the loved one was still alive. Nothing can ever replace the real thing, but through dreams we can often find solace in death and can greave easier when we have access to our memories within a dream.

Lucid dreaming is fun as shit. Just imagine that when you go to sleep you could be fighting armies of ninja warriors, or blasting through space in a rocket shit you invented with your mind. You could be having sex with thousands of women or maybe you are the king of nations. You can do anything you want and for that reason lucid dreaming is an incredibly empowering activity that everyone should take the time to learn.

Next week’s post will be the specifics of how to lucid dream and the challenges that first time lucid dreamer often face. Personally, I am going through all of these challenges now and would love to help others get through to the other side of lucid dreaming. Until next time.

-Pan