We are all in the Matrix. What I mean by this is that we all inhabit a mental world of abstract concepts populated by hundreds of people we know and hundreds if not thousands of people we have never met. When we read or listen to the radio or watch anything on TV or the Internet, we are in the Matrix. When we go for coffee with friends, we are in the Matrix. This is the social-mental air we breathe, the social-mental cappuccinos we drink. This is what human minds do. Some would say, this is what human minds are for. We are enmeshed in social networks, and our individual minds are nodes in the Matrix.
Even when we are moaning about the Matrix, we are still in it. Yesterday I had a good moan about Woke Capitalism on an American podcast called Out of the Blank. Another day I might moan about people who moan about Woke Capitalism. There are real consequences to the ideas thrashed out in the Cultural War of course, but what goes on in the Matrix stays in the Matrix.
There is a way out for those who want a way out, however. It’s deceptively simple: just forget about it!
How do you forget? By entering a “cloud of forgetting”. How do you do that? By meditating and/or by taking a decent dose of any classic psychedelic.
This is “the portal of non-existence”. It leads to a whole other way of being outside the Matrix. If you are fond of cliches, you might say that you “lose your mind and come to your senses”.
So, for brevity’s sake, here is the order of events in Ex-Matrix Psychedelic Training:
- Forgetting Everything
- Entering the Dragon
- Shadow Sparring
- Mountain Sitting
- Dancing with the Dead
- Soaring Angelic
- Walking with Plato
- Commanding the Seas
These stages are associated with the six archetypes on the six-pointed cross. The first stage is associated with the Mystic. The second stage is associated with the Shaman. With the aid of plant medicines and deep shamanic music, you “enter the dragon” of your own body. If you have been there, you will know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t, you will struggle to imagine it, because there is no analogy in non-psychedelic consciousness.
The third stage is associated with the Warrior. Like Bruce Lee, once we have entered the dragon, we can fight with laser-like focus: “the successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus”. In this stage, we perform an improvised Kata, that is, a flowing sequence of martial arts forms. As Bruce Lee said, “water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
The fourth stage is associated with the Monk (or Nun). This is the practice of Shikantaza, or “just sitting”. Ideally in lotus or half-lotus position, you sit quietly as silent and immovable as a mountain. “When walking, just walk. When sitting, just sit. Above all don’t wobble!”
The fifth stage revisits the Warrior, this time with music and dance. Traditional shamanic dance connects us with our ancestors, so that we are dancing with the dead as well as the living. It is a warrior dance, powerful and grounded. Andean music and Dub Reggae work particularly well for this type of dance.
The sixth stage revisits the Monk (or Nun), again with the addition of music, this time devotional or sacred music. Any tradition is fine, although I find that Western Art Music generally, and especially Christian settings and choral works by composers such as Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Faure, etc. reach the highest peaks of sublimity.
The seventh stage is associated with the Philosopher. This involves the practice of “dialogos”, which is all about putting things into words and communicating your experiences and insights with somebody else. This is the essence of the talking therapies, particularly the humanistic and transpersonal psychotherapies. Only by formulating and articulating our inchoate feelings and intuitions can we begin to organise and integrate them. This stage is what is commonly known as the “processing” stage in psychedelic circles.
The final stage is associated with the King (or Queen). This stage is about manifesting your “divinely sanctioned” authority. To truly understand what this means in practice, however, must await mastery of the previous seven stages.