One of the things I realized a long time ago was that there is always someone who resonates with me. Maybe it’s something I think, something I feel, something I do or something I believe or I care about. And the same is true for all of you. I know now that there is always someone for whom something I write has some value because it either resonates with them or provides them with something that they didn’t have before. I often write based upon a feeling that I need to write this today – For myself or someone else. Sometimes I know who it’s for an sometimes I don’t. Today I’m going to write about something that I feel will be useful to a good number of you. And it’s something I wish I understood when I was much younger but back then I was too poorly equipped intellectually and emotionally to understand what I now understand.
Inside of your journeys to make ET contact (for those of you who are here for that reason), you are actually trying to discover who you are and to understand your connection with everything else. You’ve asked all the really big questions about existence and you’re desperate to find answers. But that part or aspect of you is only doing what it needs to do. There are other parts or aspects that already have everything that they need. And so you will go through your life trying to create order from disorder, to make sense of the chaos and to find a way of feeling deeply satisfied. All the while aware that none of this is necessary. Inside of you there is a sense that everything is OK as it is but you refuse to let this feeling, this sense, occupy it’s place in the throne of your being and to reside within you night and day. Only when you stop dreaming at night, does your pre-occupation with the self subside and you return to the part/aspect that needs no satisfying.
And so when you are awake and conscious (or semi conscious as is most often the case), you are driven by this urge to be satisfied and the urge to control. But what is it that is seeking to control what ?
In order to live fully and to feel everything, it can be useful to let the many different aspects of your being come to the surface and enjoy being free of limitation and restriction.
The universe is whole that sees itself as parts. And no where is this more vivid than in a human being. Therefore in order to come to an understanding and appreciation that you are the whole and the parts, you need to recognize how you function. Let me propose then that fundamentally you function in one of only two ways. You require control or you relinquish control. Some people might possibly function a third way, by integrating both approaches.
In my own life I have experienced both of these approaches and at some point in the last decade came to the third approach. But the other two approaches continue to exist as well. So let me tell you how I came to be like this, so that you can begin to recognize how you too might be able to benefit from a more expansive way of being that is free of many of the limitations and restrictions that affect most people.
I will start by saying that I have always felt strongly that everything is exactly as it should be and that there is a being (call it God, The Light, The Grand Architect, The Great Fluffy Bunny in the Sky, whatever) that orchestrates my entire existence from within me and without. At the same time I have always felt that I am the master of my own life. I have always believed that free will is relative, free will is an illusion and that free will exists. For much of my life I have been focused on reconciling or integrating opposites.
As a child I was very spontaneous. I was a nature loving free spirit of a little boy who quickly learned to control his emotions and actions under a military trained and controlling father and fear inducing Marist Brothers in boarding school. Then I went to university and worked my arse off so that I could eventually be unemployed and my dreams fall apart around me. At some point beyond feeling suicidal, I decided to get my shit together and worked towards another qualification before entering the workforce. It took 20 years from when I was a free spirit of a little boy, to feel good about myself again. Around the same time I married and had a child and was confronted with my child’s congenital heart disease and all the shit of my own childhood. Somewhere during that period I began functioning differently and if I’m honest the real shift began in 1989 when I met my first girlfriend Gabrielle. Gabrielle was a fine artist and she was deeply insecure. She taught me the meaning of kindness and resilience and that I was actually a good person. Just prior to meeting her I had discovered heavy metal in earnest and began exploring a whole world of sound. I had found a vehicle to vent my anger. After meeting Gabrielle, my interest in the arts truly blossomed and I felt utterly bored with science. Soon after I discovered noise and the Avant Garde and my world opened up again in a way that was completely unforeseen. Gone were my plans to be a successful scientist and in their place was a desire to be a successful musician (even though I couldn’t play guitar well or sing for shit !). I was writing hundreds of poems and I knew that I also wanted to be a great writer. Then one day I discovered William Burroughs and his Cut Up Method (a method invented by Brion Gysin) . That method changed everything. I suddenly had a new way to make sound (tape recorder sampling) and a new way to invent poems and stories. In 1994 I moved to Melbourne to follow Gabrielle (who had left 2 years earlier) and after posting an add to find a like minded musician, my girlfriend betrayed me, sleeping with the guy who answered my add. A few months later I met Rachel, moved back to the country and began a completely different kind of life. Rachel was a former Oxford graduate who had Masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering and was also a lead dancer in the Royal Ballet. Rachel was confident and never afraid to express herself. Rachel and I argued incessantly and she challenged me about everything. Rachel taught me how to think for myself and how to stand up on my own two feet. But above everything, she taught me how to feel. In the years that followed we experienced lots of tragedy together, many strange experiences together (like ET contact), many ups and many downs. Before separating she woke me up to a whole new way of being that I had never even known existed. And so in a sense I returned to the little boy that I was. I am now much more relaxed about life and know who I am.
Many of you have heard me speak about my life before, so rather than go through every little detail, let me get to the point. I began my life being very natural and spontaneous. I was then conditioned to be very controlling and structured. I then began to explore a more natural and spontaneous way of being. And now I am able to be both structured and controlling and natural and spontaneous.
Along the way there are certain things that I learnt about and experienced that helped in this development. Some of them were very structured (mind orientated processes) and others were very energy driven (feeling orientated processes). I have learned through trial and error to integrate both of them into how I function and because of this I feel that I am now able to live a harmonious and deeply satisfying life. So what follows is a list of some of the things I learned and experienced that helped bring me to this point. No doubt you all have your own lists that are similar in some fundamental way.
- Photography (structure)
- William Burroughs’s Cut Up method (structure and energy)
- Heavy metal (structure and energy)
- The Avant Garde movement (structure and energy)
- Surrealism and Dad movements (structure and energy)
- Song writing (structure and energy)
- Poetry writing (structure and energy)
- Bibliomancy (self discovered) (energy)
- Classical music (structure and energy)
- J.S. Bach and A. Vivaldi (structure)
- Great vocalists (energy)
- Great song writers (structure and energy)
- Jackson Pollock’s Action Painting (structure and energy)
- Digital artwork (structure)
- Digital music (structure)
- Loving an insecure creative person (structure and energy)
- Living with and loving a creative person / psychic (energy)
- Voltaire’s Candide (structure and energy)
- Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea (energy)
- Chaos and Complexity Theory in theory (structure)
- Chaos and Complexity Theory in practice (structure and energy)
- Bradford Keeney’s Autokinetics (structure and energy)
- Lucan’s Grail Experience (energy)
- Bert Hellinger’s Family Constellations work (structure and energy)
- Lawrence LeShan’s teachings on meditation (structure and energy)
- Quaker Soaking / Shaking Process for counselling (structure and energy)
- Arnold Mindell’s Process Psychology work (energy)
- Victor V. Wolf’s Holodynamics process (structure and energy)
- PJ Gaenir’s Archetype Meditation process (structure and energy)
- Osho’s moving meditations (structure and energy)
- Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism (structure and energy)
- Advaita / Neoadvaita (structure and energy)
- Shamanism (energy)
- The I-Ching (structure and energy)
- Systems Theory (structure)
- Family Therapy (structure and energy)
- Daoism (energy)
- The natural world (structure and energy)
- Burra Burra (Mountain of the Eagle) (energy)
- Deceased Aboriginal Australians and Native North Americans (energy)
- Connecting with dead people (energy)
- Connecting with my guides (structure and energy)
- Connecting with ETs (structure and energy)
- Dude (structure and energy)
- Connecting with trees (energy)
- Improvisation in art, music, dance and literature (structure and energy)
- Stream of consciousness writing (energy)
- Writing novels, plays, poetry, short stories etc. (structure and energy)
- Transpersonal psychology (structure and energy)
- Life threatening and life affirming illness (structure and energy)
- Carl Jung (structure and energy)
- Albert Einstein (structure and energy)
- John Paul 2 (energy)
- Great poets, novelists and playwrights (structure and energy)
- Great musicians (structure and energy)
- Great artists (structure and energy)
- Great philosophers (structure and energy)
- Great orators and story tellers (structure and energy)
- Great men and great women (energy)
- Great souls (energy)
- Kind people (energy)
- Mythology and symbolism (structure and energy)
- Ramana Maharshi’s Self Inquiry process (structure and energy)
- Walking (structure and energy)
- Qi Gong (structure and energy)
- Meditation (structure and energy)
- Swimming (energy)
- Cats (energy)
- Birds (energy)
- Plants (energy)
- Ants (structure and energy)
- People (structure and energy)
- History (structure)
- Clouds (structure and energy)
- Sand (structure and energy)
- Water (structure and energy)
- Dreaming (energy)
- Reading (structure and energy)
- Breathing (structure and energy)
- Travelling (structure and energy)
- Working with internal symbols (structure and energy)
- Working with internal worlds (structure and energy)
- Working with the body (structure and energy)
- Relaxation (structure and energy)
- My son (energy).
I could probably keep going but I think you get the point. There have been some things that have been very structured and others that have been energy driven. And some that have been both. Some have been very sudden and some have been gradual. What is remarkable about this for me is that I never planned any of this (this thinking represents the structured approach). It just happened. Life unfolded however it wished to unfold. I lived in certain places, traveled to certain places, met certain people, lived and loved certain people, did certain things, experienced certain things, said certain things, sensed certain things, reacted and just experienced. Now here’s the critical point. Sometimes I felt the urge to be very structured. Like when I approached my paid work. I structured my day, I followed up on appointments, I organised meetings, I made phone calls, I wrote finding submissions, etc. And at other times I felt the urge to follow the energy. I often had a hunch about something i should do with a particular person. I had a feeling I should turn down a particular road. I had a feeling I should move my body a particular way. I had a feeling I should explore a certain thing. I swam in the ocean to feel something new and rejuvenating. I walked to a special place, stopped and connected with something I could not see. I paid attention because I felt like something peculiar was about to happen and often it did. I felt the stories beneath the story that a person was telling me because that was the real story they were trying to share with me.
There were times in my life when I thought that I should be far more structured in how I approach things and I could have gone that way. There were other times when I felt I should allow myself to be far more driven by the energy of experience and I could have gone that way. There were times when I ignored one impulse and followed the other one – often to my detriment ! What I eventually came to understand was that it wasn’t necessary to choose one or the either but to accept both. There are times when it is incredibly useful for me to be very structured and systematic (like with my giant ant survey or when I am designing a course or paying my bills) and there are times when it is useful for me to be be very energetically driven (like when I am trying too look after my body or when I am listening to another person or making a making a critical choice). And yet ultimately the two different approaches work best when :
- A. They work together at the same time in relation to a particular thing or
- B. They work in tandem when required in relation to a particular thing.
What this means is that I am integrating my experience fully by using the totality of my being to experience it. And the only way to do that is with awareness. Awareness of the body and the mind. Awareness of mental activity, emotion, the body’s feeling and the energy that surrounds you.
As an organism that recognizes itself as a part of something larger and that may or may not recognize that it is also this larger entity, you can easily forget that you are connected to everything (via the life force) and that you are everything. And if you remember, you can than use the two different ways of functioning and connecting to the universe to create a third way of functioning that includes and transcends both of them. In so doing you function from within The Great Triangle of Your Being.
Many musicians believe that they improvise but actually so often they use a set of well known tools to create something seemingly new. A true improviser feels the energy within and without and creates without depending on what she knows, trusting entirely to what is rising within her. But a great improviser knows both how to use structure (what is known) and how to use energy (what is unknown) to create something truly original. She uses structure to step back and see all possible approaches to herself and the audience and uses energy to let the universe speak through her however it wishes. An integrated approach like this requires an awareness of your conditioning, a willingness to step back and to see, an openness to what is possible, a willingness to control and relinquish control and awareness of mind and body.
Steve Jobs died prematurely because he ignored his body and he followed his mind. He ignored his energy and he followed his structure. But he could have done both and lived a harmonious long life. The same thing happens every day to almost every one you know. They ignore one aspect of functioning in preference to another.
My greatest and only real achievement in life, has been to learn how to function as a whole person, instead of one who has allowed himself to be fragmented.
With this in mind, may the IT gurus among you, learn how to embrace your gut feelings; may the nurses among you, learn to analyze and understand how people relate to one another; may the tradies among you, learn how to change the world by puting your ideas into practice; may the artists among you, stop puting your art second to keeping the wolves at bay; may the Qi Gong practitioners among you, start getting in touch with your deepest emotions; may the physicists among you, start painting those pictures you’ve always seen in your dreams; may the mathematicians among you, start getting in touch with the feelings in your body; may the biologists among you, start noticing the emotions in the animals you study; may the politicians among you, start giving into the things you cannot control; may the doctors among you, start looking after your own bodies when they cry out in pain; may the priests among you, trust in the doctrines in your own hearts in preference to those you learned at the seminary; and may the ordinary men and women among you, start allowing yourself to experience the many aspects of your being.
Many of you know that I’m nearing my 12th year post tumour diagnosis and that life with tumours has proved at times to be very challenging. As I have said many times before I have tried constantly to address the root causes of this disease and to make the adjustments to the thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviours that I feel will remove the need for my body to produce tumours. That being said I am now revisiting Minicell treatment in Sydney (1000 km away), with the desire to see my tumours shrink, such that I have time to make all the necessary changes. From another perspective healing is also about knowing the entirety of your being and that there is an aspect of the self that is already healed. All that is required is a shift in perspective. A lifetime of bad habits continues to get in the way of maintaining this shift and making all the necessary changes. In a sense it is like this. There is the small self that is sick and divided and the greater self that is everything, well and whole. It is possible to integrate the greater self into day to day functioning, only when the small self steps out of the way and what keeps it in the way is bad habits.
One of the things that has consistently affected me is other people’s behaviour towards each other and human hostility towards the planet. I have periods when I am able to cope with people’s ignorance and other periods when I am not. I am especially sensitive to seeing the effects of human cruelty, the haves and have nots and the loss of biodiversity. The sense of injustice at the ignorance and selfishness of humanity burns strongly in me !
Some years ago when I realized that my tumours had grown back, my ET friend Dude spoke to me about this particular weakness and I frequently remind myself of his harsh but affirming wisdom. Some of you may also find his words to be beneficial. Just bear in mind that these words were meant for me alone and not meant for public consumption. Those of you who have read some of Dude’s comments previously, will understand his attitude.
“You need to come to the conclusion that humans are selfish pricks and that they’re all out there running around in their selfish worlds, doing what they think is necessary in their selfish little lives. And you will see it, you will experience it, you will know about it, it will be pushed down your throat and you need to just let it wash over you, like the ocean does. Don’t let yourself be affected by other people’s behaviours and things you see in your environment. Because your body doesn’t care. Your mentality does. But your mentality is making your body suffer.”
Two nights ago I came home in the early evening after a long day grocery shopping and just after I sat down, the sound of shot guns began blasting from a couple of hundred meters away in our dry creek. I went outside, only to see a large mob of kangaroos go flying past in a panic and hundreds of birds flying in all directions very upset. For the next 15 minutes I listened as a volley of about 100 shots went off and then I walked down to the creek to confront whoever it was. The 3 men (two of whom were wielding shot guns) saw me and then turned back towards the house about 700 meters from our place. I then walked home and the firing began again as I approached our house. For 90 minutes the firing continued. Meantime I contacted the local police, who were out, then spoke to police an hour away and they contacted our local police man. I spoke to him and he promised to go and investigate. He called me back an hour later and it turned out that the young guy renting at the back (the property was sold again after we moved back) had some friends over (who had since gone home) and they claimed they went clay target shooting – which was bullshit because I saw them shooting at kangaroos and cockatoos. Anyway the policeman warned them and things went back to being quiet. In the morning the policeman contacted me again to say that a young man had come in to say he had been shooting in the creek but was unaware that there was a house nearby and he sorry he had upset us.
Anyway, the moral of that particular story is : Fuck em ! Do whatever you have to do to change people’s behaviour ! In the 25 years that I have been on this property, there has never been anyone shooting right behind the property or so close to our house. And I refuse to allow that kind of behaviour to disturb any life form that lives here !
Now although I had to contact the police to change that particular behaviour, I also had to do what Dude had said and practice letting things wash over me. And believe me with the sound of shot guns going off for 90 minutes and wondering what they had killed, that was no easy task. But that’s exactly what I did, so that I could feel a sense of peace. I contacted the police to prevent the shooters from continuing to shoot, so that I could save the life of whatever they were trying to shoot and so that the peace and tranquility of this environment would be restored for myself and my son and all the plants and animals.
Sometimes the things we need to practice most are difficult and the times when we need to really practice them is in the middle of a crisis.
The hardest crises for me to deal with all involve my 19 year old son and his behviour. I can deal with everything else. But my son’s behaviour is also the thing that has the greatest impact on my health. So I need to continue to remember Dude’s advice every single day. And this year has been exceptionally challenging in this regard ! The hardest thing as an adult and as a parent is when you know what you need to do to be well and you do otherwise.
I am unable to always let my son’s behaviour wash over me. There are times when I’ve had enough ! But I am no longer bothered by all the assholes of the world, by the ongoing environmental and population crises that threaten global biodiversity or by human selfishness or cruelty, the way that I used to be. While ever humans exist, human ignorance and selfishness will exist and I refuse to be overwhelmed by them !
I know that a good many of you are like me. You’re sensitive to the world ! So many things about human behaviour bother you, upset you and make you sick ! I can’t offer you any suggestions about dealing with electronics addicted children (young ones yes, older ones no) because that may well be the greatest social crisis of our time (one that effects many people under 50) ! But I can suggest that you remember that humans have been the way that we are for thousands of years and that we’re not going to change any time soon. So for the rest of your life, it may do you well to let all that human shit wash over you, like the ocean does ! Your alternative is to let every little piece of shit fill you to the brim until you can’t take it anymore ! Why suffer when you don’t have to ? We do not have to be like the monks who set themselves on fire to protest the suffering caused by government persecution or the Vietnam War. Self immolation is a choice !
Illegitimi non carborundum – Don’t let the bastards grind you down !
In today’s bloated (O man I feel full !) walkalogue, I explore the idea of the inner self / the inner life / the inner world or the internal self / internal life / internal world. I speculate on the nature of this strange separation between inner and outer, how inner and outer influence one another and some possible distinctions between the inner world of the body and the inner world of the mind. I ask how the conscious and unconscious aspects of our mind might exist and interact with one another and what the changing nature of the inner self means for our identity and our overall sense of self in life and death.
Enjoy ! 😉
Be warned – there is a lunatic at large in this monologue !
Today’s slightly psychotic talky, is an experiential exploration of the speed of thought and how to generate an awareness of stillness and its symptom – silence. This monologue was made at night outside, just before bed. Unfortunately my lunacy had to be contained because it was a perfectly still quiet night and I didn’t want to upset any animals or my son. So what you will hear is a muffled version, which was not nearly as fun to record as a full throated cookie monster yodel may have been ! But despite this, I think you’ll get my point.
For those of you who seek a calmer mind, this monologue may provide a little help.
Long live Cookie Monster !
The idea of psychosis vs some sort of awakening of awareness, is as subject that has fascinated me for decades – first as a scientist and then as a therapist. After many of my own ET contact experiences, I felt that my experience of reality had been completely shattered. It’s taken years to make sense of some of these experiences and to integrate them into a broader view of reality and the self.
Many of you know I am not a fan of the concept of mental illness and I side with Thomas Szasz on that subject. I do however believe that many people are pretty fucked up and I do not believe that all so called mental illnesses translate to some form of awakening. I remember one guy I knew who was an Aboriginal fellow that everyone was terrified of. He was out of jail and he watched dark porn (crowbars up the arse/staged Necrophilia etc), smoked pot all day, stole constantly, injected anything (crushed bricks, Vegemite, crushed beetles), attacked people with axes and knives. He was a fucked up nutcase, who was never going to get better and belonged in a prison, so that others could be safe. Not everyone who is crazy is wise or insightful or has had some profound transformative experience. But some people with so called mental illness or who experience psychosis have had some sort of experience of a greater awareness and transformation. And its time that we as a society tackled the DSM model of mind and explored alternatives.