Europe and the United States are the two largest economic blocs. I thought this map was interesting. It visualizes how the European countries would map onto the 50 United States, by equivalent GDP.
CHINA IS RICH – CHINESE NOT YET
Recently a truckload of Chinese immigrants was reported to have been stopped by UK Border Force. 50+ Chinese of diverse age range were found dead in the otherwise empty refrigerated trailer, locked from the outside, too little air so the poor people suffocated. One question cropped up, asked by a reader of the Daily Mail:
China is a richer country than Britain so why would the Chinese be risking their lives to migrate to the UK?
China, United Kingdom, these are useful fictions. Countries are a little like corporations but far more complicated and less optional. At the top are a small number of powerful executives making big salaries. At the base are a large number of extremely poor, disempowered and often desperate human beings.
China is the world’s second-biggest national economy with $12 trillion GDP. The United Kingdom’s annual GDP is quarter the size of China’s. China is a nation with a 1.4 billion population, the UK at 65 million is over twenty times smaller. What this means, however, is the average citizen of the UK is 5 times as rich as the average Chinese citizen.
In reality, China is a bigger economy than the UK but the Chinese are still considerably poorer than the British.
Wealth is distributed unevenly across society. Every country has rich and poor but the poorest people won’t be much impressed by newspaper headlines telling them how big their nation’s economy is when they’re living hand to mouth. Some of them will look at the world and see how much more money they can make – personally – in richer countries, how much better their family’s quality of life might be. They’ll look for opportunities within reach, weigh up how much risk is worth taking…
It shouldn’t be a surprise when, despite their growing national economic wealth, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Malaysians, Indonesians decide to take risks to find a way into the opportunity-rich United Kingdom, as well as other countries in the European Union, the United States and Canada.
The migrants recently found dead in the back of an airtight truck trailer were simply desperately unlucky. They had probably looked at the world map, seen a journey from the far east of Asia to the United Kingdom is all overland – apart from one tiny body of water – the English Channel. Sadly for them, it was getting over that little stretch of sea cost them their lives.
Human beings aren’t computers. We calculate slowly. Our memories are fallible. Our brains struggle to work with anything over a few variables at the same time without having to use external aids (pieces of paper, calculator, spreadsheet etc).
More and more, as technology roots deeper into our societies, these shortcomings are creating new criteria for successfully coping with the day to day test of everyday life. For most, the technology-driven changes to the socioeconomic landscape have built so fast, their old-fashioned education is exposed as useless.
Everyone learned basic arithmetic but maths that’s actually useful is beyond the national curriculum. Everyone learned basic literacy but linguistics – the toolset we’d need to make sense of the vast information ocean.
What we’re left with, then, is the great majority of confused people who don’t know how anything works, in a recurring loop of info overload where it’s impossible to find the wood for the trees. What’s more, the info overload is cleverly woven with all manner of propaganda, craftily signposted to turn people’s confusion into confirmation bias.
Lacking any decent training in linguistics, psychology or deconstruction analysis, the public is intellectual cannon fodder. It doesn’t take a social scientist to perceive these problems are growing more extreme. Polarisation in politics, extremism, fundamentalism, all collateral inevitability in a population adrift.
What we’re also seeing of late is the appeal of populism – easy certainties, scapegoats, emphasis on ingroup versus outgroup thinking. It’s a shortcut through the bewildering chaos of a world gone ‘too far’ with promises of a return to simpler times, taking back control and building walls around particular group identities. If you want in on this firm, unconfused footing all you need do is join; and stay loyal. If alarm bells aren’t ringing by now, they should be.
Most of us have heard fairytales or folk stories about the third eye – evil eye – the psychic transcendent eye – it has many epithets. All these stories strike at a demonstrable biochemical truth.
The third eye is a remnant of our lizard brain, manifest in modern humans as the pineal gland. The pineal is the regulator of dreams and recent research links it to the production of natural dimethyltryptamine. Psilocybin is another.
Opening the third or pineal eye (e.g. taking a D.M.T. trip) may not be precisely creating a portal to another galaxy – or any phenomenon that defies the laws of physics – but it is opening portals into regions of the mind impossible to reach otherwise.
It’s a transcending experience and integral to the transcendental revelation is that most fascinating part of the psychedelic trip: the encounter with alien intelligences that are apparently conscious and – most important – can’t be easily explained as a mere drug-induced hallucination.
It’s the meeting with aliens we’ll be trying to explain over the course of this article. Almost everyone who’s tripped has a version of the encounter. It becomes an obsession for many, a mesmerising ongoing conversation spread across numerous separate trips that’s so emotionally supercharged it’s often quite literally life-altering.
PERSONALITY AND ALIENS
Personality is the iceberg tip of a multidimensional internal universe of the mind. The conscious tip doesn’t know much about what’s happening in the exponentially larger elsemind but psychedelic excitation – like a D.M.T. trip – brings tip and base into profound contact. Temporarily. Too ubiquitous to ignore, psychonauts report meeting intelligent aliens – distinct autonomous conscious intelligences. 100% real.
It’s not an illusion.
The trip-induced communion is authentic and the familiarity most feel is not misplaced.
Psilocybin, whichever its ingestion mechanism, sourced, creates certain psychotropic conditions. These don’t generally occur in sober daily life.
The psychedelic communion with “alien” intelligence is authentic.
THE MIND PAINTS SYMBOLS IN SENSES
The sights and sounds and sensations of the psychic world are symbolic – usually metaphorical – but this isn’t the same as illusionary (though it’s often mistaken as such). Executive function needs to frame the reality it’s perceiving in some comprehensible way – the same method is used when dreaming, as we can all attest.
The intensity of the psychedelic experience demands powerful symbols and that’s exactly what we get. Fundamental truth is multi-layered and while habit makes it second nature to parse revelation into limbic experience – transcendent visuals for instance – the mind has imagination for its toolkit and a palette as diverse as all memory. The trip is therefore rarely just a humdrum version of the everyday familiar world.
The representation of our psychospace machine elves excites imagination to push the envelope but the brain can’t imagine in a vacuum. It has to use what it’s got and in the case of the psychedelic encounters, nowadays this means interstellar travel and aliens against the backdrop of the universe. Meditation transcending is subject to the same methodology.
It wouldn’t have always been thus.
Religious-minded meditators often see God and angels in heaven; and report their psychedelic encounters as angels and demons rather than aliens. Yoga practitioners perceive Atman and Buddhist mandala. African animists meet ancestral spirits. Amazonian ayahuaska shaman might speak of ghosts and nature-deities.
THE MACHINE ELVES
Sights, sounds and sensations of a psychic trip (whatever the catalyst) vary but the meta of the experience is common to all. None of the standard interpretations are factually correct, however, and perhaps that’s not too surprising.
The sensually-sparkling intelligences encounterd on a D.M.T. trip (or sometimes using transcendental meditation; or during pineal panic as in near death experiences) are real. The sentient entities are conscious and not merely an ephemeral dream-illusion. It would be better to call them by the name best fitting their metaphysical attributes: MACHINE ELVES.
Machine elves are autonomous shards of sentient intelligence – fractals of consciousness – iterstions of identity – whose existence is played out entirely inside your brain’s enclosed altconscious.
But they are not you.
This enclosure shuts in the machine elves and, except during psychedelic pineal excitation, it’s an enclosure both ways, also beyond the reach of your brain’s dominant persona; that being you.
The machine elves, though confined to the pineal psychospace of your mind, were manifested, as you are, from the infinitely creative forces of homo sapiens Gaia. However many you meet, all have the same point of origin and – like you – share a common foetal ancestor. This may partly explain the familiarity felt when transcending into the pineal psychospace.
Let’s be clear about the alien interpretation, then: the machine elves exist inside your brain and nowhere else. There’s no physics-defying interstellar psychic travelling going on. The psychic universe is within your brain, not out among the stars.
The machine elves are of your brain, by your brain, for your brain. Real and quite the opposite of alien.
They are distinct networks of synopses and neurons and axioms, tangled into complex consciousness patterns. In essence the machine elves are made of the same cell-stuff as you.
Many of the machine elves are sentient. Many may not be. These neurological entities are variously developed, depending on the history of the individual locus of identity. There’s a whole spectrum of psychic life: from fungus-like personality abortions to advanced living homunculi all the way to the conscious self-aware machine elves themselves.
HOMO SAPIENS INTELLIGENCE BLUEPRINT
The machine elves share your brain but their life (such as it is) is disarmed, shackled, ringfenced inside a separated space; exiled behind impenetrable neurological walls. Your life as the dominant paradigm and the lives of the machine elves unfold out of touch with one another. In physical space the machine elves may be close but in psychic space the distances are beyond traversing; even if relative locations could be known. Which they are not.
The absolute separation between “you” and the machine elves is the denouement of a Darwinian battle that’s carried out in the foetal and newborn period of our physical existence. It’s a survival of the fittest we’ve all fought and won; though like any of the early life struggles, it doesn’t carry over into memory. None of us remember being born and, except perhaps in sewing the seeds of childhood predisposition, we don’t remember the casualties of the brutal intelligence trial-and-error from which we emerged as most successful paradigm.
The conscious “you” – the person reading or listening to these words – was the sole advanced survivor of what must’ve been a defining civil war for brain-domination, fighting to the bitter end in the crucible of natural selection. It all happened before your earliest memory. The battle was winner takes all, contested entirely in your unfinished brain and the victorious alpha-identity (you) gained control of nascent executive function. This means no less than being entrusted with the burden of mind and body survival; of going forth and multiplying.
The proto-sentient fractals, from stone baby to autonomous rival – machine elves to be – were ultimately casualties of the neurological civil war. Some – early fatalities, less developed homunculi – would have been neatly recycled early by your brain. Others, more evolved, more capable, not yet evolved to blind self-preservation would have been mulched into your new and expanding subconscious.
The persona fractals – and you – are born from the same zygote fertilisation. Stone-baby neural fungus to feeling homunculus to the imprisoned self-aware machine elves, whatever the endpoint of their particular development before falling in the Darwinian survival war, every one of the prototype homo sapiens sentience are more than brothers and sisters. They’re all iterations of personality that may, under different conditions, have become you.
(This might explain why the “aliens” are so universally welcoming and attentive, when psilocybin allows you to visit.)
PRISONERS OF THE ALTCONSCIOUS VOID
What’s more, many of the most evolved, last to fall species of intelligent identity would not have succumbed passively to termination. Their self-awareness would have evolved to be stamped through with unyielding self-preservation (that you have in spades yourself) and, despite being beaten at the Darwinian coda, could only be subdued – not recycled or mulched, separated so the keys to the prefrontal cortex are controlled by the winning intelligence only.
There can be no sharing power in a human being, just as schizophrenia couldn’t have become the norm: ways of being that’re less effective at survival (in the outside world) go extinct. The nearly-you intelligences are therefore disconnected, ringfenced, imprisoned. No appeal. No hope of parole. Nature is, after all, a pragmatic path of least resistance force.
(Why is the survival of the fittest is the natural way to play out which experiment in alpha persona intelligence is best for taking the reigns. Natural selection is intelligent design results without the creator, using time and extinction as the most level playing field.)
(Brain is biochemical. There’s no blueprint for finished homo sapiens intelligence. There can only be a blueprint for the more basic algorithm that sets in motion the Darwinian trial and error natural selection. Like a mother nature doing machine learning and end result just as impenetrable…)
These fully-formed loci of sentient identity become the machine elves once they’ve been isolated and imprisoned out of the cooling settling mind-nursery maelstrom. Ghosts in the machine, in a sense, doomed to haunt an psychic space that’s like a pocket universe locked away in the lizard brain region of the brain.
Although they’ve been silenced and, except in cases of mental illness, securely locked away from interference with the dominance of your autonomy, these self-perpetuating homunculus tangles of neurons must be made to “live” – the most evolved will have gone far enough to be coded for decades of life – in a disconnected headspace that’s also stable enough not to traumatize machine elves to madness. Psychological breakdown in part of the overall system can be fatal to the sanity of the entire mental space; to be avoided as a core function of the homo sapiens blueprint.
They say the self is an illusion and as proof they ask: “Where is the actual you?“
This is hard to answer. Is it in the skull, behind the eyes? We know that isn’t specific enough. They can identify no region of the brain as the physical you. No snip-snip of grey matter extracts the essential you nor is consciousness a necessary component of a functioning brain.
We presume ourselves to be an emergent phenomenon of neurons networked by synapses but brains are common to a plethora of species, many not sentient let alone conscious. We do not understand how or why the light of consciousness switches on. Identity is self-evident – it is the “something is happening” at the base of all conscious experience, yet it doesn’t emerge fully formed when we’re born. Potential only becomes “something” over time, but even meditation shows this is susceptible to dissolution and chemical-altering drugs show we can change it beyond recognition. And none of these phenomena pinpoint to a single locus in physical space.
But perhaps “Where is the actual you?” presumes too much. It may be the wrong question.
What if the conscious self that identifies as you isn’t a thing in any three dimensional spatial sense? What if “something is happening” is only objectively true in that moment, without reference to the past or the future? This would make consciousness and identity a product of cause and effect: an event, more or less predictable under prescribed conditions but not necessarily a physical thing that itself persists. It becomes the sum of disparate parts that needn’t exhibit coherent continuity to satisfy its own definition.
Consciousness need not be a where. It only needs must be a when.
Psilocybin is produced naturally by hundreds of types of mushrooms across the world. These are the “magic” mushrooms.
It is molecularly very similar to DMT (D-methyltryptamine) insofar as psilocybin metabolizes to become psilocin, a serotonergic psychedelic substance and neurotransmitter.
Psilocin goes where serotonin – our brain’s workhorse neurotransmitter – can go. Serotonin is used throughout the brain, particularly tied into limbic and emotional systems.
Psilocybin (aspsilocin) increases concentration of dopamine without being an agonist: density goes up, frequency does not.
What is DMT?
DMT is a tryptamine hallucinogenic that’s functionally and structurally analagous to key biomolecules (neurotransmitters) produced naturally in the human brain.
Psychedelic tryptamines are only created to a small extent in the brain, e.g. during dream-sleep and, most notably, as a flood response to near-death panic.
DMT is an entheogen i.e. creates or opens a channel to alternate nonordinary states of consciousness, typically religious, spiritual or otherwise exalted. Etheogens work by activating (intensifying) the pineal gland.
The pineal gland has long been associated in many human cultures as the “third eye” or transcendent gateway to extra-sensory perception.
Ayahuaska is a blend of DMT and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI for short). MAOI inhibitors are atypical anti-depressants. Including them reduces pre-frontal cortex chatter, works as anti-panic, anti-social disorders, reducing OCD, etc. Combined with the DMT the blend makes for a particularly liberated state (less superego anxiety, less neurophysical obsession) so the user benefits most from the period of DMT-supercharged pineal.
DMT and Psilocybin become neural transports using the serotonin receptors. These are closely connected with the brain’s “emotion” and “intensity of feeling” as well as memory and limbic response to the perceived moment.
Our brains use serotonin all the time but our regular DMT production is extremely low, almost undetectable.
DMT is manufactured along with melatonin in the pineal gland. It’s a legacy biomolecule. Serotonin originates all over the brain. It’s better integrated, more resilient and seems to be the evolutionary choice of our primate brains. Serotonin is ringfenced against over-excitement and its mechanisms survive damage to one area of the brain. Serotonin is the more evolved mechanism in mammal brains.
Hypothesis is that at some point in our distant past, serotonin was chosen over DMT. DMT usage devolves as the eons pass, what’s left of any active photoreceptors on the pineal gland become buried under new layers and substrates of the growing brain.
R.E.M. (sleep) and DMT bring the pineal to life. DMT activation of the pineal happens when the prefrontal cortex is awake and alert. This is the source of the psychedelic experience.
That there remains any affinity for DMT (or indeed natural low-dose R.E.M. production of analogues in the pineal) is a corollary of having evolved from lizard brains. We retain the fundamental integrated brain-structure and susceptibility of the lizard brain buried under millennia of cortical intelligence, ego, personality, complex feelings, memory, etc etc. Truly, human beings have a beast within.
Can you go into more detail about the pineal gland, since it’s the well-spring of DMT in the brain (of almost all vertebrate animals) and has given birth to so much third eye, transcendent mythology – across all human cultures?
The pineal gland is an “atrophied photoreceptor” and producer of melatonin and small amounts of DMT in the human brain.
It is probably the root-cause of the concept “third eye” in human folk lore. The pineal is still a light-sensitive parietal eye in some reptiles and amphibians. It’s an ancient, legacy part of the modern human brain.
Modern human brains have reduced the pineal gland to a melotonin role (sleep regulation) though it’s speculated some of the recovery/refreshing clean out provided by sleep relies on using neurological circuitry shared with the pineal (giving other parts of the brain a shutdown for the cleanup). This may explain dream states as the pineal is activated, running imagination stories we experience as fragments of dreams. The pineal is, after all, still integrated into those parts of your brain normally under pre-frontal cortex executive regulation.
The pineal gland calcifies as we get older. This calcification seems to correlate to the elderly needing less sleep, but also over-calcified pineal gland has high incidence in Alzheimer’s patients. Make of that what you will.
The pineal gland predates the point in evolutionary history when brains were shielded by a blood-brain barrier. The pineal is directly integrated into both the brain (as it has evolved over millions of years) and the cardiovascular system. This is significant. It means we are singularly susceptible to drugs involving the pineal. This may be important in the bigger picture of biomolecular metabolism – the pineal gland may serve as a canary in the cage as well as its role in sleep and dream states.
The pineal gland remains the brain’s factory for producing natural DMT (N-Dimethyltryptamine) though the production has atrophied, most likely in proportion to the decrease of its frontline role as an active photoreceptor.
The pineal gland’s particular integration with visual brain-circuitry may explain why dreams can be so wildly vivid and how psychedelic drug experiences are intensely – transcendently – visual.
When DMT (or psilocybin) activates the pineal gland and rolls around the brain, how and why does this create psychedelic states of consciousness?
18th century philosopher-scientists toyed with the pineal gland as being the actual “soul” within the human brain, weighing them to answer the question “how heavy is a human soul?”.
At brain-death, in the moments prior, the last task of the brain may be to make the transition to non-existence comfortable – to disconnect from the burden of everyday physical reality. At this point, in human beings, the pineal gland explodes its DMT throughout the brain.
DMT release (at death) or, to a lesser extent, when taken as a supplement (e.g. psilocybin) creates an intense-to-overwhelming experience, crowded with brain–panic or brain-parser interpretations: hence a dying Christian nut job will see heaven and God and feel its bliss and beauty whereas an astronaut might feel ejected out into the centre of the universe, seeing the spin of the galaxies and the bliss and beauty of the cosmos.
That there is any coherence whatsoever in dreams is due to the brain-parser trying to make sense of biochemical catalysts using memory/imagination content played through as best it can – since part of the brain’s job is to make reality coherent and consistent, however weird.
Given death is the endgame of consciousness and the brain, the pineal gland’s last act of one of charity; to the brain of which it’s a part.
On occasion the brain and the pineal gets the ‘death is coming’ wrong, and the brain doesn’t die. Thus these intense near-death experiences, religious mania coming from the unaccustomed intensity versus prosaic real-life. Daft sods.
Why is DMT called the “spirit molecule” and why does DMT/psilocybin – particularly in brews like ayahuaska – make a “trip” that’s often transcendent, visually intense, quasi-religious?
The experience of tripping is all in the mind, the word trip having originated as an ironic wonderment i.e. one has been through a major psycho-experience with enough of a lasting impact on the brain – even if just a treasure trove of new images and sensations – it’s like having spent a month on a trip to a strange unfamiliar land. Yet one might not have even gotten out of bed!
Now, though the trip is all in the mind, so in fact is everyday life. Yet some people play out a kitchen sink melodrama, totally sober, praying, seeing the omnipotent hand of God everywhere, manifesting aspects of their own brain’s identity spectrum into grand personages (God, Jesus, archangels, Satan). This pantomime is played entirely unconsciously, by the individual, yet it’s a clever sanity check, a cognitive dissonance to prevent egomania running too rampant; while the ego is fueled with enough self-love to progress in a competitive complicated world.
Transcendent reports from people tripping, meeting aliens and spirits and elves on the edge and dialogues with divinity: this is a version of the same psychology, as played out in the altered chemical state of the trip: feelings more intense, visuals more brilliant and extraordinary, dopamine to spin everything positive and fill it with energy. Small wonder the trip feels expansive, powerful, illuminating, kinetic, profound. Hence hyperbole in description, e.g. the spirit molecule.
What’s the big deal about the “third eye” and the pineal gland?
The pineal gland is what’s left of the ‘third eye’ in humans, tied into parts of the brain that are primarily working to render visual stimulation (what we see) and memories stored (what we have seen) in our imagination.
The pineal gland can’t see any more but it can be stimulated to the point of overflowing stimulation into the imagination.
Hence trips tend to be a diversely imaginative experience and more pineal excitation may reach heights of stimulation akin to real visual experience i.e. so the brain takes them as if ’seen’ in reality, i.e. hallucinations.
The prefrontal cortex is responsible for parsing the analogue sensory data of what’s seen into useful accurate info describing what’s happening, and the shorthand data of what’s remembered is framed into coherent imagined stories based on the memories.
But the third eye is blind, its connections retained mostly for dreaming, a little for death, and whatever’s leftover from long defunct sight function. Nonetheless when excited it flows down some of the same channels as sight and memory.
The poor brain does its best – no matter where the data is coming from – to frame the experience in a coherent way. Sometimes it has to use imagination and memory, sometimes it has to fill in the gaps best it can.
The more intense the chemistry, the more powerful and transcendent of everyday experience the “trip” experience is likely to be; and the more hyperbole the brain is going to need to parse the stimulation into coherence.
Why would DMT/psilocybin be useful as a long-term brain enema or refresh/reboot, what good is a transcendent experience when everyday life is going to return and the trip only lasts a few hours?
By giving a supercharge to the pineal and reminding the brain of the benefits of high serotonin experience, it’s like an electric shock treatment to kick subsequent serotonin production up the arse; for a potentially long time after the actual DMT experience.
Excitation of religious/transcendent perspective putting into context self-obsession (narcissism, panic, depression, superego, etc) and bringing the everyday mind (conscious, prefrontal experience) into direct contact with the imagination. Imagination is authentic because it’s personal, but its relevance to the brain recedes as one gets older e.g. kids play with anything, imagining as if real with very little stimulus to the ‘game’ but adults put away these ‘childish things’ because life experience shows them to be irrelevant to necessity / survival. Liberation from the everyday is by nature transcendent, religious/spiritual/naturalist flavour varies from person to person but the reconnection with potential – though only actively for the length of the trip – echoes for a long while after.
Sober living and the relentless drip of daily necessity is an anaesthetic to the imagining, creative, blue sky energy of the mind. The brain is nothing if not practical. The DMT trip serves as a restoration of wonderment, eroding the walls of ennui that come inevitably from a feeling life is all about the little things – that the brain only needs to use its higher function to tend to the business of getting through the day, planning a future in lowest common denominator human society. Every day is much the same normality in “reality” and this trains the brain to form deep habits accordingly. Imagination and transcendent thinking is habituated away. DMT works intensively to counteract that habit and, because it is simpatico with in-brain capabilities, it can have a profound and lasting effect; creating a better modus operandi of the mind by sudden contrast of low-emotion normal thinking and high-emotion imagination thinking.
The DMT trip is an intense and extraordinary experience since, especially with ayahuaska, the brain chemistry is realigned to be liberated from the ephemeral bullshit of everyday life concerns, anxieties, habituated problem-solving and repetitions of theme. The trip opens new, better or long-forgotten perspectives – in a visceral, can-feel-it way – in a context the executive functions of the brain can both understand and interact with; hence the benefits can be carried away long afterwards whereas a dream is soon forgotten.
Where do you get psilocybin from?
Almost entirely from certain mushrooms, dried or fresh.
Dried mushrooms are legal many places but not in the USA or UK. Many varieties, different levels of psilocybin and somewhat different digestion detail, so slightly different trip experiences.
Fresh mushrooms can be grown or picked wild. Seeds can be ordered legally online. Growing them is easy enough; just a matter of time and a bit of TLC.
The “wavy cap” mushroom is in the UK October to February.
The “liberty cap” mushroom is in the UK all year round but usually found on cowpats and such.
The large “laughing Jim” mushroom is in the UK but prefers to grow near maple trees. Spring through Autumn.
The “Gymnopilus purpuratus” mushroom grows across the UK all year, usually on dead wood, pig shit and wood chip mulch.
The “greenflush fibrecap” mushroom flourishes all over the UK but only extensively in autumn.
The “banded mottlegill” grows spring to autumn in gardens, lawns, compost piles and sometimes dung.
Gathering or buying mushrooms?
The best time is to go out after it has just rained – harder the rainstorm, more likely the mushroom bloom.
Mushrooms can be grown legally in the UK and it’s only the extraction of psilocybin/DMT that crosses the line between legal and illegal. Homegrown if the seed is good is much more reliable than foraging.
Homegrown will be consistent yield whereas foraged will need some expertise to both extract and judge the psilocybin output.
How do I know what dosage I need?
Psilocybin stays in the system for 2-6 hours with a half-life around 3 hours.
Dosage, from microdose to major trip is 50-300 micrograms per KG body weight.
The amount of psilocybin in a “magic mushroom” is consistent with a 1g = 1mg rate: 10 grams of fresh mushrooms equivalent to 10 milligrams of psilocybin.
Fresh to dried mushrooms psilocybin decreases by a factor of 10 i.e. 50 grams of fresh mushrooms has the same psilocybin as 5 grams of dried mushrooms.
“Psychedelic excitation – as in a D.M.T. trip – brings us into contact with strange transcendent beings, sentient entities that seem independent, conscious and 100% real. But what are these machine elves? Are they real? Has DMT opened the ‘third eye’? Are we communicating with aliens, across the universe divide?”
Our conscious personality is the iceberg tip of a multidimensional internal universe. The tip can’t know much about what’s happening in the exponentially larger netherspace – except sometimes as vague intuitions and the rise and fall of emotion. Psychedelic excitation – like a D.M.T. trip – brings tip and base into contact temporarily. It’s a profound connection and almost everyone has a similar experience. The trip brings us into contact with transcendent beings. We meet what seem to be intelligent aliens. According to our feeling of what’s right and what’s just an altered state, these beings are independent, conscious and 100% real.
But it’s all an illusion, isn’t it?
These aliens aren’t real creatures from the stars, are they?
It can’t be possible to psychedelic trip all the way to the multiverse Gaia, surely?
It’s not an illusion.
The trip-induced communion with alien intelligence is authentic, in a way. The familiarity most feel, when it happens, is not misplaced. Psilocybin, however it’s sourced, creates similar psychotropic conditions for anyone taking it and folk stories about the third eye – the psychic transcendent eye – strike at a biochemical truth.
The third eye is a remnant of our lizard brain, manifest in modern humans as the pineal gland. The pineal is the regulator of dreams and recent research links it to the production of natural dimethyltryptamine. Psilocybin is another.
Opening the third or pineal eye may not be creating a portal to another galaxy – or any phenomenon that defies the laws of physics – but it is opening portals into regions of the mind impossible to reach otherwise. It’s this revelation giving a route to the encounter with aliens.
The psychedelic communion with alien intelligence is authentic. Transcendent visuals are symbolic – usually metaphorical – but this isn’t the same as illusions. Fundamental truth is generally under many layers of easy to parse into limbic experience but the mind has imagination for its toolkit and a palette as diverse as all memory.
Nowadays this means the communion is presented as aliens in the universe. Religious minded meditators often see God and angels in heaven. Yoga practitioners perceive Atman and Buddhist mandala. African animists meet ancestral spirits. Amazonian ayahuaska shaman might speak to ghosts and dryads.
The sights and sounds vary but the meta of the encounter is common to all.
None of these concept embodiments are quite on point.
It would be more apt to call the strange entities. MACHINE ELVES.
In reality, the machine elves are autonomous shards of intelligence – fractals of sentient autonomy – whose existence is entirely inside your brain’s enclosed altconscious. Let’s be clear: inside your brain, nowhere else.
The machine elves are of your brain, by your brain. But they are not you. They are distinct networks of synopses and neurons and axioms, tangled into complex consciousness patterns. In essence the machine elves are made of the same cellstuff as you.
The machine elves are sentient though these neurological entities are variously developed, from personality abortions to living homunculi all the way to the scintillating machine elves themselves. In many cases the altconscious entities will inhabit your brain as long as you do, though without voice or agency. Indeed, their hold on existence is entirely dependant on you and how well you keep body and mind together.
The machine elves share your brain but their life (such as it is) is ringfenced inside a separated space, disarmed, shackled; exiled behind neurological walls. The absolute separation between “you” and the machine elves is the denouement of a ubiquitous Darwinian battle, a survival of the fittest we’ve all fought and won; though like all the other early life struggles, it doesn’t carry over into memory.
The conscious “you” – the person reading or listening to these words – was the sole survivor of a defining civil war for brain-domination, fought out in the crucible of natural selection before your earliest memory. The battle was winner takes all, contested entirely in your unfinished brain and the victorious alpha-identity (you) gained control of nascent executive function. This means command of mind and body, entrusted with the task of survival; going forth and multiplying.
The machine elves were not so lucky. All the proto-sentient fractals, from stone baby to autonomous rival, were ultimately casualties of neurological war. Some – early fatalities and less developed homunculi – were recycled early by your brain. Others, more evolved, more capable, were mulched into your rapidly expanding subconscious.
Many, however, didn’t succumb to termination. Their self-awareness had evolved to be ingrained with self-preservation and, though beaten, could only be subdued, separated from your dominant identity for life. No appeal. No hope of parole.
These fully-formed loci of sentient identity are the machine elves and though they have been silenced and (except in certain mental illness) locked out of interfering with your dominant autonomy, the homunculus tangle of neurons must “live” – a lifespan in decades – in a disconnected headspace. This might explain why the “aliens” are so universally welcoming and attentive, when psilocybin allows you to visit.
The persona fractals – and you – are born from the same zygote fertility. Homunculus to self-aware machine elves, whatever the endpoint of their particular development, these sentient prototypes are more than brothers and sisters. Though casualties on the Darwinian battlefield they are all iterations of personality that may, under different conditions, have become you.
Had a few variables of innumerable possible factors been slightly different it might have been you enclosed in the altconscious voidspace – alive but formless, adrift in an existence impossible to know.
For all we know the psilocybin not only lets the dominant personality travel into the void but brings the first limbic light and sound to the isolated machine elves. This would certainly be a catalyst for the flood of emotions the psychedelic encounter sets loose.
Welcome, then, to the prisoners of your mind. Not trapped in a physical body but in a timeless, non-spatial void created and buried by your brain.
Homunculus personae locked away in a deep altconscious lanaikea, sentient ouroborous playing out a concurrent existence, bound by the arrow of time but suspended non-physical, bizarre instances of fecund neurogenesis – like the living ocean-planet of Stanislav Lem’s Solaris – perpetually separated by your mind’s virtually infinite paraspace.
These heterogeneous altconscious homunculi are the losers in the Darwinian psyche, earlier attempts at intelligence, weaker personality experiments superseded by superior neurological offspring.
Psilocybin. D-methyltryptamine. Ayahuaska. Psychedelics. Ingesting Dreams. Transcending Spacetime. Alien Worlds. Encounters with Angels. Meeting the Machine Elves.
Psilocybin occurs naturally in Magic Mushrooms. The laboratory isolated the psychoactive chem, distilling it as Dimethyltryptamine or D.M.T. It’s often called the Spirit Molecule.
Psychedelics are fascinating. For decades – particularly since public research was abruptly curtailed by luddite governments of the 1960s – the pioneers of psilocybin have claimed it is Mother Nature’s most maligned tool. The psychonauts have consistently urged society to reconsider.
Since the turn of the millennia the movement has gained momentum. Documentaries and respected scientists back legalization and universities are carrying out research once again. Microdosing has become de rigeur in some parts of America, especially in high pressure creative fields.
Into the collective consciousness
A canon of psychedelic folklore, mixed in with Hindu and Buddhist spiritualism, has taken root in the collective consciousness. These are increasingly focused on key, ubiquitous experiences that seem to be shared by psychedelic pioneers and psychonauts of all colour and creed.
We polled a wide-spectrum group from the general public. Certain questions were repeated time and time again:
Is psilocybin a portal to strange new worlds beyond our own solar system?Are we meeting alien beings?
Is DMT a glimpse of the immortal afterlife?Can we use it to talk to God or maybe his angels?
Does psilocybin let us access the collective unconscious?What is consciousness?Are we all part of the living universal Gaia?
The so-called psychedelic experience – profound altered states of consciousness – meetings with transcendent intelligences – is it all just the drugs talking?
Does DMT unlock the secrets of the universe?
NO. The answer to every one of the questions above is NO.
But wait a moment. How can the answer be “no” and the psychedelic experience not be just the drugs talking? That’s contradictory. Isn’t it?
Let me tell you what’s happening here. It’ll be a five minute read. It could change your understanding of what it means to be a human. Be warned, though. The truth is strange and unsettling…
I want to tell a different story about the so-called called Spirit Molecule. Its implications are extreme and very real. Psilocybin is far more profound and eerie and unusual than clichés about interplanetary mentalism, chats with God, peepholes in heaven, or wise happy aliens…
Psilocybin isn’t aliens. Sorry. It’s not a gateway for your immortal soul to reach out to the quantum collective consciousness (or whatever).
It doesn’t teleport your mind to an encounter with omnisapient divine love.
Like many things in life, however, the truth is weirder and more disturbing than the colourful imaginings of our shaman and psychonaut speculations.
When you take D.M.T or mushrooms the familiarity, that beautiful sense of belonging communicated by strange shining beings who seemed to know everything about you, is real.
The D.M.T. trip takes you to what feels like another world. Which should be alien and frightening but instead it’s a safe land and you know profoundly you belong. It can be more real than anything or anywhere on Earth.
That sense of having come home is important, because you – ARE – home. Hold that truth. You are home but you haven’t travelled telepathically to get there.
The psychedelic space that’s accessed by the psilocybin trip isn’t external. It’s a space that’s entirely within your own brain. The travelling experienced by your liberated consciousness is not outward but inward, through the amygdala substrate barriers, into the limbic subconscious.
Some call the DMT a waking dream but the sensory experience is both too lucid and too visually original to be the mere rolodex rehash of the everyday dream state. It’s profound, fundamental and feels like a communion with knowledge far beyond the ordinary.
People mistakenly but understandably call DMT the spirit molecule and it’s this impression of transcending what you know makes DMT convince most they’re encountering something greater than themselves, like God or souls or aliens.
Time and space lose meaning in the interior psychoverse but consciousness persists. Awake. Alert. Your conscious awareness stays powerful and safe in an innerscape created – after all – by your own brain.
The psychoverse visuals and the sounds are usually awe-inspiring, the stuff dreams are made of – quite literally – but most striking is the realisation you’re not alone. This innerspace is populated and, consistently, most report their encounters with incredible sentient beings. It’s these we mistake for aliens.
Here we’re getting close to the truth of the DMT revelation.
What we encounter are indeed conscious, self-aware entities. These entities are alive, in a sense. Diverse too, and beautiful, intelligent, benign. Towards us, at least.
The conscious beings always feel familiar, so much like you yet alien too. The beings often know you – the real you – indescribably well. It’s a deeply affecting encounter and your feelings don’t lie. What’s wrong has been the explanation. Aliens. Spirits. Divine avatars.
Let’s try to explain this; for everyone, not just DMT users.
All of us contain this luminescent psychopaths.
All of us have aliens in our brain.
Except they’re not alien.
These brilliant entities that seem to have self-awareness, identity and feelings of their own – feelings about you – are personality fractals. These so-called aliens are independent distinct shards of consciousness, existing deep inside your brain. Most of us never meet them directly except through communions like the DMT trip.
The fractals live as long as you do. They share your brain but in the Darwinian survival of the fittest, the conscious “you” reading or listening to these words is the survivor, the winner, the alpha-identity dominating the cerebellum and all its executive function. The consciousness fractals have been silenced (except in certain damaged psyche) and must “live” alongside you in the unknown the anonymous depths.
These fractals – and you – are born from the same zygote fertility. More than brothers and sisters, you are meeting you.
Most of us have a notion of the physical limitations of our flesh and blood bodies, imperfect senses, imagination writ large but encased in a skull.
Welcome, then, to the prisoners of your mind. Not trapped in a physical body but in a timeless, non-spatial void created and buried by your brain. The fractals are the losers in the Darwinian psyche, earlier attempts at intelligence, weaker personality experiments superseded by superior neurological offspring.
Psilocybin opens channels. Communication becomes possible at last and this splits the void split – briefly – long enough to meet the evolutionary stone babies. The machine elves. You to the infinite power. Expressions of intelligence, imagination, love, the deepest roots and an impossible certainty of belonging; but trapped. It should be no surprise the sudden opening of the portals creates a flood of sensation.
We are lucky these fractals bear no ill will to the successor consciousness but self-preservation needs self-love – traits effective for evolutionary survival – so the prisoners accept their lot. Faith is woven into their existence and by default this is a faith in you!
You were selected long before your first memory: the best choice for your brain and body’s survival in the world. With faith comes love and it’s this love everyone feels when DMT opens the portals that allow briefly a communion between you and your dependant fellow travellers.
Long ago, the abortions and the inferior creations of an evolving human brain were disarmed, buried. Not all disintegrate, however. DMT releases the floodgates. An eon of Prometheus Pandoras all suddenly given light and sound and touch; and in return they give back emotion enough to create an elemental intensity of feeling.
Loci of consciousness stretch out across a trillion trillion buried neurons and synapses in loops and curls and intertwines like tangled Christmas lights. You are not alone. Cognizant, sapient homunculus versions of you made by the brain finding your most stable successful manifestation and older less recognisable consciousness shards going back all the way to the mammalian origins in the amygdala lizard brain.
Evolution finds the path of least resistance. It has no intelligence itself but the brain has spent millions of years chasing stable consciousness then millions more improving that protohuman to become intelligent, imaginative, creative, resilient. We’re lucky these traits we value so highly are also the most effective expression of homo sapiens’ drive to survive and carry the genes generation to generation across the sea of time.
Most of the conscious fractals may have been recycled into more advanced versions but the remarkable brain can make intelligence ad infinitum. Some of the most advanced personality shards must have gotten quite close to final selection but you, the dominant you, won out. The superseded barely-you fractals and the aborted nearly-you personalities are the prisoners, conscious in their psychoverse in all ways except a way out.
At times in life there may be a dream-induced or unusual exposure similar to the effect of psilocybin. Perhaps this is one of the well-springs of inspired creativity and certainly there’s plenty of historical corollary: mystic visions, artistic rapture, holy revelation, inspired human imagination, ancient Gods and Demons emblazoned on the myths and religions and art of a thousand civilizations.
Bias and prejudice are bad traits but scepticism and independent thinking are not.
Scientists respect science because they’re respectful of other people’s peer reviewed conclusions.
Scientific method boils down to data collection and analysis. What scientists conclude and what science accepts isn’t binding nor does it exclude anyone from being involved in collecting more data, analysing it and challenging extant paradigms.
It’s false equivalency to compare what scientists conclude and what non-scientists believe. Not because the former are better than the latter but because the latter can’t be fucked to look at the evidence (data).
Scientists often get called arrogant by believers cuz the latter’s beliefs aren’t taken seriously (for the billionth time) but this is projection. The conceit is with the believer who presents the beliefs on a level with science. It’s a conceit because the believer hasn’t done any work, hasn’t sifted the evidence, isn’t presenting an informed conclusion. It’s just hearsay. To presume it’s on a level is to disregard all the hard work the poor scientist has had to do, constructing a conclusion block by block out of data.
In complex systems involving millions of individual human parts, it’s rare to find systemic differences based on failure. Large networks of people tend to generate a built-in error correction, problem-solving and group improvement momentum.
Think of a logistics company with a thousand trucks on the road. Error correction: drivers who kept crashing would be noticed by the company and replaced with divers who didn’t. Incompetent analysts get replaced by better employees. Directors who’s decisions end in failure won’t survive shareholder scrutiny; or the company goes bust as better alternatives take the business.
Problem solving: initial driving routes between different city warehouses might follow public maps but as trucks use the routes, driver feedback is received. Map inaccuracy wastes time (e.g. blocked points en-route. Drivers will flag the dead end, find a way around and update the company maps with a time-saving detour.
Group improvement momentum: drivers feed data into a pool of information and the company will also be working on truck logfiles, fuel economy analysis, transport regulations, etc. There is a constant, multi-direction drive for improving business efficiency.
There’s two key observations to be made here, that don’t often get said and yet are essential if we want to understand the way big systems work in the real world.
Firstly! Failure is one of the easiest, most attractive, lowest common denominator narratives available. Failure narratives pivot on apportioning blame and blame is a story made personal, uiniversal, accessible. Blame forces the good/evil dichotomy, reframing events in terms of victims and villains. It’s a go-to for media, especially in these clickbait times. Villains and victims sell copy.
Almost every event in the newsfeed is reported in these terms, concealing the real story while appearing to cover the angles that matter.
Villains and victims is a story of easy answers. Backed by a big platform, failure and blame weaponized gossip, which is the media’s stock and trade. Sadly it’s also a misdirection, deliberately encouraged by editors (and their bosses) to push a political, ideological or populist agenda.
Failure through the prism of blame may be gripping but it’s false narrative. It subordinates the world as its shown to most of the public to simple soap opera designed to consume public energy, push an agenda and give back nothing useful that might develop understanding.
Sidebar: failure narrative is the same as triumph narrative, where villains become heroes. The techniques are analogous and the unspoken aims are unchanged. Triumph narratives personalize and mislead same as failure narratives. Triumph may present an upbeat tone for the heroes soap opera but its objective – occupying public attention and diverting from the real story – all the same.
An example of the bogus failure narrative driving a clickbait blame soap opera of villains and victims is XXX. Example of a bogus triumph story making a clickbait hero soap opera is XXX.
Secondly! [different agenda, which is never discussed but always pivotal; and the key to understanding a dynamic… agenda that’s general not often individual.]
The world of failure, blame and villains (or triumph, success and heroes) is more damaging than merely filling the national conversation with an agenda of media-driven soap opera bullshit wasting time and thinking energy so whatever’s really going on can continue unmolested by public scrutiny. Relentless repetition of this bogus world view conditions a population to perceive society (and its institutions) in a way that’s disempowering its capacity to make educated choices about the future.
The fantasy of heroes and villains may as well be reality TV for all the agency it gives to the general public. People get locked into the storylines and the characters, arguing in echo chambers or abusing along risible tribal lines, emotions excited to make it all seem legitimate and ensure its grip on their thinking stays tight from one installment to the next. In the logistics company example, the villains and heroes technique would see media reporting on it by fixating on the drivers who crashed (broken home, drug abuse, violent history, whatever) or the failed directors (embezzlement, drug abuse, over-leveraging, sexual peccadillos, whatever). There will reams of description of the individuals and their villainy but little or nothing documenting the detail of the company’s real world activity in the context of the logistics industry and the national economic forces responsible for its timeline of decisions.
Example article#1 – something financial, where the profit is chased excellently and the article fixates on a failure narrative that blames XYZ but incorrectly cuz XYZ was doing the right thing for the profit chase, which was its actual job. Not incompetent. Not a failure.
Example article#2 – should be healthcare related, but maybe not coronavirus, like the profit made from healthcare and how this is the motivating force for corporations and Govt. Govt presented as having failed in how it does XYZ but actually its role is the maximum profit for companies (and jobs + American influence that come from it) which it’s doing a damn fine job of.
Coronavirus has brought the dysfunctional, disingenuous media – and the political establishment’s tactic of complicity – under the spotlight. The unusually extreme time-critical conditions have exposed not only the inadequacy of the public conversation (on a very serious issue) but the consequences of fantasy over fact for organising a national response to a preventable crisis.
What’s more, though the figures for cases, deaths and recovery reported by certain countries are rightly treated with a pinch of salt, there are enough densely populated countries tackling coronavirus in their own way to make direct comparison, detail for detail.
[it’s not about the choices made by a Govt. The cry of incompetence or Trump is a bastard or failure of the healthcare system – this is all misdirection bullshit. Reality is countries have different healthcare systems with different national objectives. In Germany it is to cover everyone, to each according to his need, not his ability to pay. In the UK it is to cover everyone as cheaply as possible while trousering profit from public-private partnership using taxpayer money.
In the US it is a vast engine driving the national economy, set up for profit, but also to provide as high quality healthcare as possible to those who’re part of the whole system (good insurance). Top quality healthcare for the entire population will not be profitable. High quality healthcare for 70% of the population, cutting loose the poor and the disenfranchised and those outside the system (immigrants, gig workers, etc) and you have a recipe for big profit that also satisfies the majority with healthcare as good as anywhere in the world (if not better than most). That 30% are docile losers anyway and American dynamism is fuelled on competition – actual competition – which means there has to be winners and losers, wealthy and wage-slaves. If you’re smart and dedicated, you’ll be one of the winners. It may be harder if you’re ethnic, but that’s all part of the game.]
Example article#3 – coronavirus 200-300% more likely to be fatal if you’re black or brown versus if you’re white. Even in NYC. This is healthcare in America. Sure it gets vilified as being racist (but it isn’t) and unequal (which it is) but the mistake is to think this is not by design. Healthcare as an industry is a vast complex system, but it isn’t an incompetent one. Its goals are not the same as the bleeding heart liberals who mistakenly think medical should be for all, the poorest getting the same treatment as the richest because nobody chooses to get cancer. If USA healthcare had to meet these criteria, it would no longer be the profit bonanza. Which would have a knock-on effect on a doctor’s salary, research dollars, keeping big pharma science in the USA, etc.
Conclusion: look for the real story. Don’t ever be fooled by the soap opera. Dictatorships go for mostly triumph model, the leader as the top of the hero pile. Democracies go for mostly failure model, picking out victims and villains and making sure there’s no continuity or insight that might detract from the next installments of the soap opera stretching off unto eternity. The reason most intelligent people find the entire media landscape so abhorrent is 100% valid, doesn’t matter which party political ideology you’re into.
But let’s not condemn the media as a failure either, or pick out the editor of the New York Times or a Fox News anchor to pillory or praise. Media is a profession that’s about profit through advertising and advocacy of certain political ideology. So long as it stays consistent with the latter, it will roam freely in story selection best suited to clickbait, selling the most ad space for the highest amount to the widest audience.
Just because you think we should use public platforms to further the public understanding, to inform the public decision-making, doesn’t make this reality. That persistent belief is, ironically, a perpetual fantasy of the intelligent consumer of news media – including many individuals making their living in the media industry. If anything’s a failure, grand scheme of things, it’s the perpetuation of fantasy, stubbornly judging events in terms of success or failure by criteria you’ve invented and your group is advocating; but that have no objective reason to be the terms used by the actual players in the real event.
Habits become boring. Conventions are the inheriting, by stealth, of degraded traditions – the indiscriminate baggage of past generations. Salary jobs are the archetypes of conformist routine. Careers make fait accompli of a dangerous faith in impersonal networks of shared self-interest. It seems to work out for most, rewarding (on very limiting terms) the giving away of a person’s youth – and its wonderful indiscriminate energy – with better chance of security by the time prosaic middle age comes along. It’s an understandable choice but an anathema to me.
Wageslavery seems to be an enabler of inevitable conservatism, too. It makes life a parochial inspiral on a shrinking canvas, increasingly shackled by responsibility, anxiously guarding a home, a family and a trove of consumer trinkets. The package deal is presented as inevitable but it’s a honey trap that plays on certain instincts like security, ownership and comfortable routines that’re made compulsory by circumstances designed to twist sense of duty and conscience into perpetual conformity.
The corollary of all this, incidentally, seems to be a perversion of one’s natural conservatism, marking out one’s precious territory within society by protective rules and regulations, accepting (or desiring) these protections to ringfence the future. It’s a mentality easily persuaded of the need to make laws governing the freedoms people are allowed to enjoy; and this is just a few babysteps from allowing (or encouraging) the safe certainties of fascism.
I engendered a form of ‘escape’ by dint of highly motivated focus on early life financial freedom then very deliberately dropping out of the rat-race once a liberation threshold (income plus longevity) was crossed.
By the late 20s a preference for younger friends developed, as jobs and careers absorbed and came to define age peers and older people seemed broken and depressing.
Old fashioned prudence, when it comes to living one’s life, suggests choices most fit for purpose of stability in the present and preparing for oneself in the future, from raising a family to those sunset years old and infirm. This giving weight to far future days is an approach honed with age that becomes an unquestioned habit.
This prudence is not natural for me. Never has been. I think I’m motivated by something simpler; if divergent.
Rejecting the work-a-day security needs practical, pragmatic quid pro quo. There’s a bounce back from refusing the stability paradigm: one turns instead to humans still vital and hopeful with somewhere to go. This is an increasingly younger gene pool as years go by.
It wasn’t so clear-sighted and calculated back in the day, but with hindsight the trend stands out. In the 2000s the details of a changing social circle were organic and, all in all, the approach stands up to scrutiny. It made for a good life throughout the 30s.
I remember waking up the day I turned 40 and thinking how life to date had been 100% true to my weird axioms: live free, live happy, live without chains, live without boredom, live both without being a wageslave and without being an owner of wageslaves, follow the better path at every fork in the road and never be forced down the wrong way though it may be the path of least resistance.
It was, in my own mind, a perfect score in the game of life.
Let me make clear, at this point, when I say a perfect score and 100% true to life, I mean perfect for me, to me, against a scale that has what’s realistic, plausible and reasonable baked in. Life throws up a million things that affect you profoundly but are outside your control. Parents having died long before their time is a miserable fact and it’ll be a source of sadness for the rest of my life; but I can’t change it nor could I have stopped it from happening.
Things one can’t affect also can’t be a factor in the life score I’m using. My system is an equality of opportunity, individualised criteria, affirmative action scoring method. Everyone should have one but everyone’s will be different…
Something changed between 40 and 45 and it seems to be a change many people notice in their 30s and 40s. It may be the catalyst for the so-called midlife crisis though I reckon that phenomenon comes late 40s or 50s and has to do with last changes and time running out. Midlife crisis is a state of mind rebelling against mortality as old age first becomes visible as an approaching reality. The change I’m talking about comes earlier, maybe the point one’s connections change from younger to older, when metaphorically one must turn away from looking at the world through vigorous youthful eyes to instead face the rest of life looking at the world through eyes of pragmatic deterioration.
Whatever the change is called, it’s undeniable. The weights and measures of personality shift; and not always for the better. It’s driven by physical conditions but it’s not infirmity. There’s a strong sense of time running out but not running out on being alive – this isn’t about mortality per se – it’s a degrading of options that’re actually compelling, in this world of 7+ billion souls.
The ditzy diversity is fascinating, when it’s new, but novelty isn’t wholly satisfying. Eventually the novelty of a thing needs to give way to its actual substance. This must have enough depth and/or subtlety else the fascination fades; and with each fade in the specific, the general energy reserve needed to engage the next is slightly less.
The importance of options is not something given much thought ten or twenty years ago. What I mean here is on the one hand, there are flavours of splendid isolation (i.e. where other people don’t matter en masse, there being no imposed interaction) and on the other, the connections that evolve into roots made with particular entities, groups, structures and institutions of the anthropocultural world.
If one wants to be IN the world we define as society – and everyone has their own hierarchy of Venn diagrams making it up – one’s got to form the connections needed to get anywhere interesting. How easily, quickly, profoundly these connections are created and developed varies wildly and personality plus talent count for much. Associations (recommendations, guidance by an agreeable insider) and will to engage count for more.
Access and energy were always taken for granted and that either could become lost would have been dismissed years ago. This may have been a profound mistake.
The conventional world, which is almost all of it, changes over time in how it reacts to you and what is held open with an offer access. It’s popular to lament “I Don’t Feel This Age!” and often truly said but society doesn’t care about your individual story (because it doesn’t know it). You are what you look like and, most pointedly, this is defined by age.
Eventually the world changes in how it perceives you – how strangers in their plethora of bit part roles react to you at first (and often throughout) an individual interaction. The strength of convention increases over the years, smoothing the edges of the conventional – insofar as their public persona relates to the world. After a few decades the conventions get so defining they can’t be redefined by an individual except with great effor. The end result is doors, most you never even thought existed, close to you as you get older.
I’m, like you, participating in this life of finite time. There comes a reckoning eventually. The revelation of options narrowing – including ones you might desire to pursue – is profound. It changes things, overspilling consequences into all aspects of.daily life. It alters the perceived rules. Crossroads change overnight into forks in the road.
This is the yangtime.
Conditions are different.
New relationships tend to be mercenary before anything else, self interest the requisite energy to drive out the hand of friendship.
The now much younger vitality is too basic, too cul-de-sac, too far back along the line to give years to hauling out of the mire.
Just as important, any younger friends are now the age I was when we went through the unusual quid pro quo, when I benefited from the hopeful energy.
I’m antsy because of the sense of closing time and opportunity.
Those friends are mid-30s, going through their own rootless need for an injection of energy on the threshold of middle age, left unimpressed by the mainstream – as I was, no doubt.
In my mid-forties I’m at best in the same boat; and this makes me little help. I’m over sensitive to devoting time to anything that doesn’t feel like a solution. I might be able to come up with a route to that solution, which could helps all, but there’s no guarantee of that WHATSOEVER. Thus, a doldrums that’s hard to solve. It’s not horrible but it isn’t wise and it’s extremely boring a lot of the time.
The current culture fight between groups, people subsumed into a common identity and self-policing one another, and individuals, those who can’t or won’t submit to this world view and — by that one fact — must fight to hold their ground if ever coming up against a group’s public agenda.
Historically we’ve been through an unusually long period of individual freedom. Feudal meritocracy had its advantages and what with the Enlightenment and a non-landed middle class, the individual has had a long time in the sun. The advance and success of science and representative democracy have long been accepted as a proof this is the way human society should order itself.
Attempts to crush individual freedom under the violent heel of totalitarian rule have failed repeatedly, demonstrating both the strengths of democracy — least of all evils — and the limits of individual capability i.e. vast power is corrupting and impossible to keep in check.
20TH CENTURY INDIVIDUALISM AND CULTURAL NEOLIBERALISM
The 20th Century was an individualistic century on the whole and we live in the shadow of its expectations and its cultural habits today in 2019. What’s worth thinking about, however, is the standout exception from the last century; the first sociologically mature manifestation of group power dynamics and how it asserted its identity power against those perceived as enemies of the majority. It goes without saying this is the Nazis in Germany during the 1930s.
Untermensch thinking: it’s us versus them, we matter, they’re inferior, we are individuals, they are all the same. Mass propaganda. Group identities: people subordinated to a perverse reciprocity of conformist behaviour, training each other to a definition of excellence that’s synonymous with homogeny. Outliers, cast outs, divergent personalities: these abominations soon find themselves hiding their true selves and often forced to emigrate, voluntarily (or forcibly) excluded from the group. It’s a case of individuality facing a mob that increasingly resembles a machine.
Indeed, Nazi Germany’s paradigm for Germany was a mass-assembled Aryan macro-organism, working under direction to fight a World War. Individuals become gremlins, bugs to be squashed without mercy. It doesn’t take long for untermensch thinking to grow ambitious, targeting whole minorities with the same merciless exclupation as the only efficient solution. Six million Jews were enough to justify the Nazi conceit it was the “final solution”.
America’s bankrupt victory, fear mass control, money dominating, tin horn patriot turned to a compliment. The seeds of today were sewn 50 years ago. Flag waving American identity rarely challenged — once because you’d have to be an asshole to cuss individuals and there was no group identity. The props got appropriated and they’re the same today. The use is utterly changed.
Not so shocking the slow decreasing hold of the Republicans has driven them to push harder on proven tactics for mob control. Trump is the latest manifestation. Fertile ground. The left had previously understood this was not a good button to push but the most extreme leftists like Antifa were less principled. They seized on the territory least contested: minorities. They pressed home their drive for a share of power by making up for less numbers with greater commitment; and this means more absolute rigid rulesets for the group identity violently enforced.
America is a nation fighting the latest battle in a war for what the country means. It’s either the uniform march of huge populationd, grouped by identity but united under a flag and a nationalism that makes what’s decreed American automatically what’s right. Or it returns for the pre-Cold War meaning: an escape from nationalism and countries with flags and kings and dictators and cultural serfdom. That’s what people fled from. America was a beacon of freedom not because you could get rich but because you could live free. The profit motive in the American dream became a useful later addition, in part to sell the consumerism of the 50s and after.
AMERICA HIJACKED BY THE CAPITAL AND POWER OF OLD WHITE MEN
This battle for the American heart is the fuel stoked by left and right, one group versus another. The details are worth looking into, especially with the Left where the Ubermensch is a diverse spectrum of flags. But at root it’s not going to be a solution to simply satisfy today’s demands of a particular Left group (bathrooms for trans) or to make the Right less jingoistic by them being a little richer in their day to day life. These are symptoms. Maybe solving them will buy time but it isn’t doing surgery on the causes.
Social media is also not the cause. It’s an incubator for diseased thinking certainly but shutting down or censoring social media won’t solve things either.
American becoming hijacked by post-war narcissism is the infection that’s gone viral. The bigger the population the less each individual can be empowered in a firsthand way yet this leaves a vacuum for a brain taught it’s exceptional. Right wing working class losing quality of life and powerless in a confusing world — what medicine for the narcissist but flags and guns? Left wing minority identities liberated by the cultural upper hand asserts itself violently to express the self same narcissism. You might be queer but in a group strength can be found.
Who’s the easiest target for groups driven to express this narcissism? Individuals. Their very existence undermines the choice by questioning it. Their weakness can be exploited for fear their strength might be allowed to expose the group conceit, whichever ones a specific group has used for its flag colours.
Free America from the corrupted appropriated America it has been forced to represent. Understand the extent of this perversion, turning one of the most beautiful real-world embodiments of nationhood into a vast mechanism for exploitation, crowd management and mass subjegation. Look no further than Roosevelt’s suppressed Second Bill Of Rights (per State of the Union address in 1944) at http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/archives/address_text.html. This was the just reward for the returning heroes, victorious in Europe and the Pacific, defending America and the free world from the menace of fascism and imperialist ambition.
Roosevelt’s death and the entrenched interests controlling Congress shredded the Second Bill Of Rights and buried Roosevelt’s speech for decades. A choice was made. It was a choice that sold out the American people and sold them Cold War fear and communist conspiracies instead. This tragedy has been playing out this past 60–70 years and we have yet to reach its denouement. The Left versus Right culture wars, the resentful self-harm of the Midwest, the organised extremism of the religious heartland: all of these are symptoms, not causes. Misguided, yes, understandably so. How do we haul the needle back to 1944 and to Roosevelt’s simple blueprint of fundamental equality, with so many obstacles and misconceptions in the way?
Expose the bullshit in exceptionalism and ironically you fatally undermine the groups. It’s a fantasy exceptionalism, at best a case of unearned pride on the shoulders of silent generation sacrifice and heroism.
Individualism must come from reality not fantasy. If mustn’t be propped by some new set of conceits because eventually these will be exposed and forced into active hypocrisy to stay self-important enough to satisfy the narcissistic parasite.
Don’t tell me what it means to be American. Shoot yourself if you talk in terms of unAmerican. There’s few things more depressing then self congratulatory liberals railing against the groups and touting the importance of individual nuance; then as if too outlier for comfort, move on to letting play the same narcissism by “we” and America and lucky and greatness. It isn’t true and the fantasy is something an intelligent outlier is criminal to indulge. Moreover if they can’t escape the coarse narcissistic conditioning what hope the rest of the United States and what fucking right do they have to trash talk identity politics or Antifa or MAGA or Trumpkins.
“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Malcolm X