Lame Devil: Chronicles of a False Awakening, part 1 (Red Pill Madness in Guatemala)

The latest podcast (the first of 2018) begins an excruciatingly personal examination of my experience of psychedelically-enhanced pseudo-awakening in the years between 2000 and 2003, which reached its crescendo with the making of The God Game, the writing of Matrix Warrior, and my short-lived assumption of the mantle of The One (unceremoniously curtailed by the Matrix sequels in 2003, the lesson being: never attach your enlightenment to a Hollywood franchise).

I joked in a recent post about becoming an unawakened teacher; the serious kernel of that is that I have some things I would like to share about being unawakened and, more specifically, false awakening.

If we can’t know what enlightenment (or anything) is until we experience it for ourselves, it follows that the smart move is to focus our attention on our here-and-now experience of unenlightenment. If enlightenment is about getting (back) to reality (a journey of zero distance), then the more squarely we can face (and own) up to our experience of being unenlightened, the closer we get to . . . enlightenment.

Now that everyone knows the author of this blog is a TV addict who produces thought-provoking books, articles, films, and podcasts in his spare time, it may be the perfect time to relate how it wasn’t always that way. Once upon a time, I really thought enlightenment was just a heartbeat away. And here is the second area of expertise I have to share, namely, not merely the lows of unenlightenment but the highs of false enlightenment, archetypal possession, or ego inflation, as demonstrated, I am fairly sure, by certain gurus a la mode under scrutiny at this blog.

As well as the many sorts of experience that (like too much TV) keep us out of our true state, there are those that take us further from it, by tricking us into thinking we are getting closer to it. Or perhaps it is rather that they trick us into missing it when we are getting too close to it? I am not sure which it is, but maybe by re-examining some of these old experiences, I will figure it out. At the very least, I might get closer to knowing why, after all these years of dedication and struggle, after so many glimpses that seemed to indicate ultimate reality winking back at me, I am still here, pondering the mundane mystery of an unawakened life.

The following account begins in 2001 and refers back to my mind-altering DMT experience of October 2000. It was written some time ago, for a never-published ~ and at this point, never-to-be published ~ ode to Vampires, Answer to Lucifer (commenced in 2005). The tone and style is very far from my present voice (I was attempting to channel Edgar Allan Poe for much of the book), but I have kept it mostly intact, seeing as how the medium is the message, and seeing that it is my self I am putting under the microscope here.


Now at last I had seen for myself, via the rocket fuel of DMT, what I had for so long envisioned, imagined, fantasized and hypothesized (and proselytized) about. I had fast-forwarded consciousness through space and time, all the way to Eschaton, and gained an advance preview of coming attractions. I had undergone my very own dress rehearsal for Judgment Day. Now I knew what to “expect,” it was clearer than ever that no amount of prior exposure to such an event could ever prepare me for it. Now I finally had something to testify to, there were no words to describe it. It was painfully, derangingly obvious to me that no one could be told about the things I had seen. They would have to see them for themselves.

The night immediately following my DMT vision, I dreamed of a long series of encounters with different individuals, people from my life and others I had no waking knowledge of. I was taking these people, one at a time, to a gaping hole in space-time, and compelling them to look through it. I was showing them God’s face, the Eschaton, this unimaginable event that I have insisted on naming simply to drag it down onto the page. In the end, it seemed there were thousands of these people I brought to the fiery opening, this raging hole in space-time, as if to mark them for some future time when they, like myself, would have no option but to pass through it, into another realm of creation, a blinding new reality.

Here was a physical and temporal event that existed beyond space and time, at a higher dimension of reality, like some inconceivable fifth or seventh or tenth-dimensional object. If Infinity could be condensed into a single space, if Eternity had a departure point, this was it. Though it was like an explosion of light and heat, as if the Sun itself were rising inside one’s skull, it acted in a similar manner to a black hole, drawing everything that existed in space and time—not merely objects but also events—towards it. Nothing could pass through that Burning Gateway unchanged, or survive the passage at all, unless it was consciousness itself. It was divine fire, and it would turn everything that was not it into itself. Whatever was not already one with that fire would be destroyed, consumed by it. It was not merely the end of the world, of this present cycle of civilization, or even the human race; it was the end of the Universe, of matter, of objective reality itself.

There was nothing about this opening that spoke of endings, however. It was a gateway onto a new order of consciousness, and spoke only of beginnings. Whatever it was, I knew that nothing else mattered except getting back there. In that vision, I saw Judgment Day, a day in which an entire species is processed, purified, and delivered, back to its Maker. This would happen according to a precise timetable and drill, one measured both in units of time (seconds and hours) and in more obscure units, relating to what we think of as individual “Souls.” We would be “judged,” measured, to a strict, unalterable schedule, according to our individual levels of energy and awareness, at the precise moment in time that our number “came up.” We would be judged. Or so it would seem, from the point of view of my individual consciousness.

In fact, it was not merely human but Earth consciousness that was being processed. It was to be purified of all its baggage, of personal history, in order for the collective race memories to be culled, even as a crop is gathered at harvest time. The consciousness once identified (by itself) as “human” would thus enter into the next phase of its journey. The Judgment related to the degree to which the individual Soul had processed and purified itself of personal history, making ready for its passage. To what degree a Soul had performed the necessary self-processing, it would move smoothly and joyfully into the new realm. To the degree that it had not performed this task, however, it would endure the awful torment and indignity of being processed (by the Universe itself), stripped of its very identity. Since the identity (personal history) was all such a Soul had been conscious of during its physical life, then the process of unloading was rather one of being erased, an experience to all intents and purposes equivalent to—being damned on Judgment Day.

Our lives were given us for the dual purpose of gathering new memories for the Universe to increase its awareness (glow), and that of relinquishing all attachments to our identity via these experiences. Death, then, in ideal circumstances, was a return to our original state of being, increased in joy by the temporary experience of forgetting.


The reader may quickly come to understand how greatly burdened the author began to feel at the thought of communicating these apparent “truths” to his fellow humans, as lost in darkness and confusion as he had once been. Every teacher, prophet, and guru is driven by the same selfish desire to share—and if necessary impose—his newfound sense of enlightenment with others, thereby consolidating his experience and bringing it a little further into consensus reality. At the same time, he can assuage his own loneliness by finding more individuals with whom to talk about his experiences. Human need is what drives each and every one of us, regardless of what we need or what it drives us to accomplish. “Prophets,” artist, poets, gurus, are different only in the nature of their accomplishments and, perhaps more crucially, the intensity of their desire. It is only human, only natural—when you have seen God’s face and lived, witnessed the Eschaton, survived an Apocalypse and had a glimpse of Judgment Day—to suffer from an almost overwhelming desire to communicate this knowledge.

What I did was what anyone would do: I went slightly crazy, though no more crazy than sanity required of me in such circumstances. I assumed the mantle, gradually over time, without quite realizing I was doing it, of a fully-functioning “drug shaman.” Was I ever really a drug shaman? Or was I simply deranged by drugs and out of control? Like everything else, it depends on your point of view. Those for whom I played the role of fully-functioning drug shaman might have told you that I was. On the other hand, the few persons I considered more experienced, and hence more knowledgeable, than myself on such matters (the shaman who had kick-started me to begin with, for example), would have said (and did) that I didn’t know what I was doing.

As a “drug shaman,” I initiated as many people as I could into the invisible realms which DMT had opened up to me, in as short a time as possible. I didn’t use DMT, however, but another substance, saliva divinorum, which some people (though not me) consider even more powerful and/or deranging in its effects. Like DMT, I discovered salvia divinorum in Amsterdam, and knew at once that it was something I would do extensive research with. I purchased large quantities of it and transported them to Guatemala. (This was soon after my defining DMT experience, which among other factors had persuaded me to make a trip to Europe, starting in Amsterdam, where I first tried the salvia.) For several weeks, in various different countries, I had been smoking salvia in a ceremonial fashion, and believed I was coming closer and closer to a full experience of its devastating potential (specifically that for “out of body experiences”). In shamanic terms, saliva—unlike DMT—was becoming my ally, that is, I entered into a conscious relationship with the spirit(s) of the plant and formed a kind of pact with them. They would show me what they could do, and I would bring them people to do it to.

Smoking salvia invariably involved a gradual (though rapid) dissociation from the body and all the physical processes until I, that is to say, my consciousness, was entirely “exteriorized”—outside the physical realm. Yet paradoxically, the salvia experience also entailed, or appeared to entail, my consciousness entering into the cells themselves, at a sub-molecular level. In either or both cases, however, the result was that my sense of being a physical and separate body disappeared, and I became, for lack of a more scientific term, “pure energy.”

As was often the case when I smoked, my heartbeat was a primary factor in the gradual withdrawal of consciousness from ordinary bodily awareness. The experience was always (for me) more aural than visual. There was the sense of being asleep yet awake. On one occasion, I was able to feel my body leaning slowly backwards: I was falling asleep! I could hear laughing voices in my head, warning me to stay awake. The chorus of voices were singing/laughing, not words but something I understood, in words, as meaning, “Oh! There he goes!”

I righted my posture without knowing what I was doing. The idea of a body was now completely alien to me, even incomprehensible. It seemed like there were many bodies all nested inside each other. I could feel sweat dripping down my back and this was comforting to me. It was as if I was experiencing many “selves,” and the body with the sweat dripping down it was just one of them; it was reassuring to know that I was still there, in my usual self. The voices were telling me, cheerfully but also mockingly, not to go back to the body yet, to hang out a little while longer in the primal-fractal faery-molecule world with them. I was drifting ever slowly back towards “reality,” however, and they were laughing, coaxing me to suffer their presence some more. But I couldn’t fathom where I was, or indeed who or what I was.

The molecules had taken over. I had become a collective chorus of ecstasy, albeit a tad retarded, dampened perhaps, by years of sloppy living. I was a Collective Intelligence. Every cell and every molecule was alive and conscious of being alive: it was an Independent Entity Unto Itself. This was all of what I was. “I” had disappeared in the collective euphoria, laced with definite mischief and the sound of laughter. It was much like falling asleep, except that consciousness was unleashed rather than snuffed out. It was truly incredible to perceive that these entities were inside me, were me. To remember the body and yet not remember the self was the trick of this unfolding. To some small degree, I accomplished this later, when I smoked again on the streets of the town where I lived, surrounded by Saturday night activity.

To become a collective body, to realize oneself as a vehicle for unimaginably weird elf-like chattering spirit beings, beings who appeared to be preparing me, us, for some sort of cosmic (sexual) celebration, was to surrender all sense of being an isolate entity, an individuality. I became instead a vast, almost infinite hive-like circus playground of molecules and atoms. In a word, the Universe. These spirit-molecules were acting through us, they were acting as us. This was a world takeover, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a collective ecstasy of the cells; a revelation; an apocalypse. I had brought it down to basics at last. The Kingdom Within.

While devoid of fear, anxiety, or stress, this revelation was so monumentally strange, bewildering, and perplexing, as to be potentially deranging. There was also a certain sadness, for I sensed that the perfect love of the divine molecules was denied its voice, trapped inside us, literally dying to get out, dying to live. That night in bed, I felt how my body was cocooned, as if in the womb of the Universe, a tiny, fetal thing. The molecules were moving in. I was taken from the inside by the spirit molecule. The kingdom taken by storm. Molecular intensity momentarily resumed the throne in Eden. We live forever. No wonder they were laughing. The impatient had learned patience.


On every occasion that I “initiated” a friend, or friend of a friend, into the salvia mysteries, I performed a short ceremony, formally presenting the aspirant to the spirits, while making sure he or she was aware—as aware as able—of soliciting the guidance and intervention of a special power (neither higher nor lower, but definitely a “power”). In all but very few cases, the ceremony and the salvia combined to achieve the desired end, the spirits moved in, the person went out and experienced something unlike anything they had ever seen before. In consequence, however minimally, they were forever altered by the experience. Always, I felt confident in saying, for the better.

I believed the ceremonials were as essential as the substance itself to the person’s experiencing a new view of reality. On the occasions when, for whatever reason, I bypassed the ceremony, the effects of the salvia were considerably diminished, at times even non-existent. There are substances that are as reliable as bourbon in their effects, but salvia remains something of a mystery (even more than DMT) in the drug culture, and it is most definitely not for everyone.

Over a period of several months, I administered the salvia—introduced the spirits—to over a dozen different people on perhaps twice as many occasions, both male and female, ranging in ages between 15 and 60. Most of these occasions were “shamanic.” During my brief tenure as a drug shaman, I kept extremely busy, and I came to believe that a certain energy was building, like a wave preparing to break, as a direct result of these activities. The spirits of the salvia were becoming increasingly powerful from such a sustained period of worship (and such a work-out). Sooner or later (or so I might have foreseen, had I thought about it more), they were bound to get out of my control. Unfortunately, when it happened, I was not the only one who suffered the consequences.

The turning point came when I smoked, alone in my house one fateful night, while already under the influence of marijuana. This was the first time I had attempted such a maneuver, and the effects were considerably more drastic than I might ever have anticipated (I recounted some of this incident in Homo Serpiens). During this period (I smoked at about 10 p.m., and headed out into town an hour or so later), I moved about the house in a state of euphoria, interspersed with moments of sheer panic. Forever in front of me, I gazed into the Abyss, and was swallowed up by its gaze. I left finally and headed into town on my bike, intensely aware of the possibility of head-on collisions, and that the dark underlayer of my thoughts, though an agony to endure, was there for a reason. This was the Apocalypse. An awareness of “evil” was required, then, if only to provide sobriety and razor-sharp alertness. Beyond this, however, I knew it was mere indulgence, the most deadly kind of all. Each moment and each act (and each and every one of my thoughts) became the manner in which the Universe was testing me, as its “chosen one.” And each time, sure that I had followed the thought too far and fallen into total devolution, entropy, collapse, I was born again from the ashes, ready for the next challenge, the next thought, the next action. This state lasted for hours. There was no hope for a hopeless sinner. I had abandoned all that. I had entered the Inferno.

I saw reality as I had never seen it before: like an opening, a layer (lair?), a tunnel or labyrinth through which (as through all things) Spirit, God, Universal Energy, call it what you will, was flowing. For several hours, I bounced between being God and being caught in this 3-D “layer”—the lair of the Beast. I suffered the torments of the damned. Yet it was not the material realm itself that damned me, but rather each and every one of my thoughts. Each thought unraveled from the center of stillness like a serpent, a physical thing, and I was condemned to follow the thought, back to the reality of the self. Knots in space. Never could I have imagined that “enlightenment” would be like this. Never in my wildest fantasies. Who could be prepared for this?

As I roved about on this tide of pure force which I had become, the Totality of Manifestation within a single fleshy vehicle, I was confounded by the realization that, despite it all, I could not perform miracles, I was still as I had always been, but a man. It seemed perfectly within my capacities at that time, for example, to fly. I was God, after all. I recognized the desire to fly as innocent and natural, but also deadly. And the Powers assured me that the time would come for miracles, but chastised me not to lust after them in the meantime. An evil generation asks for a sign. It was clear that I simply lacked the technique, and that sheer desire was not enough.

It is difficult to convey the essence of the horror of this night, of my desperate need for salvation from my own decaying mind. I was hounded, goaded, by the total awareness that I was insane. I don’t ever want to recapture that feeling, the momentary certainty that I was damned forever. Knots are central to ancient (if primitive) sorcery practices (think of Celtic artwork). The final knot I had perceived, in the nick of time (my last-instant salvation), as an exploding atom, annihilating the thought of “evil” forever. Without this explosion, this capacity to wipe out all traces of negative thought in the moment it is about to swallow one up forever, we would indeed be lost. A sorcerer crossing the Abyss and returning to Primary Reality must control his thoughts and actions with unbending precision, lest his Heaven turn to Hell before his unbelieving eyes. Though it was appalling to contemplate, there was that fine a balance, that razor-thin a distance, between the extremes of Agony and Ecstasy.

When I finally went to bed, after staring at my reflection in the mirror for a time, things began to change, and I began to perceive a way to get back to ego consciousness without remembering that I was damned—or without forgetting? I wasn’t sure which, exactly, only that it seemed a nigh-impossible maneuver. I did not sleep that night. Rather, I moved through states of consciousness, forever negotiating, interacting, resolving, preparing, establishing connections, finding hope and help in other spells. I could never forget that it went both ways. Perfect Love or “ultimate evil,” it was we, and we alone, who decided.

At a certain point, I felt someone or something take me by the feet and pull gently, as if straightening my body. It felt like the hands of an Angel; an Archangel, perhaps, come to relieve the intolerable burden of my thoughts. From the jaws of damnation, salvation.

And then I was flying over an ocean that flowed and glowed with endless jewel-like colors, the purest beauty imaginable. The sky was filled with the music of the Angels, the music of God. They were singing to me, inside of me, that God was Love and Love was Perfect Beauty, and I knew I would never turn away from that Love again. I looked at my feet below me and then at my hands and I saw I was wearing a bright, glowing blue suit. I could think clearly and everything was clear and good, and freedom was mine once again, to cherish and enjoy. I flew on, basking in the beauty of awareness, hearing the sounds of the world, with my physical ears, while elsewhere God’s music filled my head, as I feasted upon the sights of the Other World, a world beyond death and pain and fear and “ultimate evil,” where all was God, and God was just a Word.


Following this truly sobering experience, I became perhaps a little crazier than my sanity demanded, and began to act in aberrational ways. A devoted animal lover, I strangled a cat that was sneaking into my house and eating my cats’ food. The cat did not die, or at least, though it did appear to die, it rapidly resurrected, in an event that to this day I cannot fully grasp. I went straight to the hearth fire and burned my left hand and scarred it. This was not so much penance but an attempt to purify my hand, to purge it of the horrible act. I felt damned by my own evil. Evil. Somehow, God knew how, by bringing the cat back to life, I had spared myself the inexorable Karma of what would normally have been an irrevocable deed. Maybe the beast wandered off and died; maybe it was brain-damaged for life. But somehow I knew it was OK. In fact, a few nights later, it came back to the house to scavenge for food! This time, I let it.

The week before the incident, I had behaved abusively towards a young friend who was living with me at the time. I had been “in love” with her over the past couple of years, but never managed to seduce her, and finally, something in me snapped. I fully intended to frighten her, yet I was at the same time somehow out of control of my actions. As later with the cat, I had the powerful sense that I was not acting as myself at all, but was standing outside of me, watching myself do something that “normally”—or rather previously—I would have been incapable of. That night, in penance, I burned my right hand. I still have the scar today.

With these two acts following rapidly one after the other, I understood that the Devil is not a nice guy. I also realized that I was, to all effects, losing my mind. But wasn’t this what I had secretly wanted, had been working towards, ever since I took those first, irrevocable steps towards the abyss? How was I supposed to separate losing the self from losing control over myself ? Enlightenment from madness? I was walking the razor’s edge between the two. I had been flirting with Lucifer for so many years that it came as a real surprise to find out that, maybe, He really was interested in me. In which case, flirting might not be the smartest of movies (as my friend found out), unless, that is, I was ready for full consummation. Was I ready? It is one thing to summon Satan in an abstract and poetic fashion, quite another to meet Him in person, or to embody Him. You don’t know what’s enough until you’ve had a taste of too much. I was learning all about the road of excess. I had known this in theory for a long time. Now I was into the trenches.


When I left Guatemala it was amidst a flurry of rumors, gossip, and outright slander that were setting the small town aflame (figuratively) and that revolved around my “shamantics” and how I had—in good Socrates fashion—“corrupted the youth” of the community. The version of events that finally reached my ears—and was at least partially responsible for my decision to leave—was that I was dealing heroin to school kids! The reader may easily imagine how the dark magic of Chinese whispers had gradually transmuted my irresponsible but well-intended psychedelic shenanigans into outright criminal behavior. But let them then consider how some of my other antics (for example, that for much of this time I had been living with three beautiful young Guatemalan girls, albeit platonically, but who would believe that?) had likewise transmogrified into distorted and grisly versions of reality, and they will quickly see that, in the eyes of the community—which thrives on nothing so much as a common enemy to fear and revile—I was beginning to resemble Satan himself.

No good deed goes unpunished. Of course, I was unleashing forces that were not merely beyond my control but beyond my understanding—never mind your average person’s. Naturally, the consequences were equally beyond my ability to foresee, and as likely to backfire in my face as not. Hence, it was no real surprise to hear these things, and in a perverted way, I found it strangely gratifying. It was doubly ironic, however, as by the time I did hear them, and immediately following my vision of damnation, I had sworn off all hallucinogenic substances, and was firmly advocating among my “tribe” both complete sobriety and sexual abstinence. Needless to say, my new philosophy had little or no effect on them, since they were by now off and running with the same mad zeal and abandon as I had shown in the preceding weeks. Nor did my new leaf make any difference to the raging fire of rumor and condemnation. By this point, events had taken on a momentum of their own and I could all-too-easily see myself being hunted by God-fearing villagers bearing torches. Rather than wait around to see how bad it could get, I simply packed up my things and left.

The final act in this chapter of my life (ending my career and cementing my legend as “el loco” the drug shaman) came, in the center of town on a Saturday night, when I leapt from the first floor balcony of a local bar, onto the street below. It happened in full view of everybody, and for no good reason except (perhaps the oldest of them all) that the devil told me to. My very own sorcerer’s leap was no more than 12 or 15 feet, and mostly a way for me to test the waters of the Abyss. Previously, on the night of my damnation vision, driven by demons, I had made a similar leap from roughly the same height, off my terrace and onto grass (the same spot where the cat later resuscitated). Though this second leap was from a slightly greater height and straight onto concrete, I was convinced I could perform the same stunt without injuring myself. At least, I was curious to find out.

As I landed, I felt at once a blinding pain in my right heel. To conceal it, I began to dance, as if to make light of the whole affair in front of the shocked pedestrians (one of my “tribe” was passing at that moment). But the pain continued and even began to increase. Mind had not overcome matter and matter had taken vengeance upon mind. I limped home and went straight to bed. The next morning, I was barely able to stand. I was reduced to hobbling about with a cane for my last few days in Guatemala, and traveled to Panama in that condition. I had the heel X-rayed in Panama, but no break showed up, though there may have been a hairline fracture. It was going on a full year before I was able to walk without limping. For several years after that, I could still feel the bruise on my heel.

I had been marked by my own madness, in a traditional fashion. “Even in the morality plays of the Middle Ages, Satan could appear in disguise, but was always recognized by his limp, a sign of his fall from heaven.” (The Devil, the Fallen Angel.)

Limping Devil in Rennes-le-Chateau church


29 thoughts on “Lame Devil: Chronicles of a False Awakening, part 1 (Red Pill Madness in Guatemala)

  1. What a great story! This one’s a new favorite of mine, from among your many blog posts. It’s the sort of answer I was hoping for when I asked you if you’d had any life-changing experiences on DMT. It’s illuminating without making me feel the need to start rooming with Guatemalan prostitutes and jumping off balconies in full-on drug shaman superhero mode. If I’d been rash enough to try something like that when I was your age, I probably would’ve grown a Dalí-esque mustache and started wearing a fucking cape….

  2. “Demonism” and “Satanism” are not one and the same. Demonism is a human matter, while Satanism is a matter of the spiritual abyss. The demonic man is given over to his base instincts and can still repent and convert, but the man into whom, by the words of the Gospel, “Satan entered,” is possessed by an alien, supra-human force and himself becomes a devil in human form.
    Demonism is a transitory spiritual darkening, its formula being life without God; Satanism is the total and final darkness of the spirit, its formula the overthrow of God. In the demonic man there rebels unbridled instinct supported by cold reason; the satanic man acts as the instrument of someone else serving evil, capable of savoring his repulsive service. The demonic man gravitates to Satan: playing along, reveling, suffering, entering into pacts with him (according to popular tradition), he gradually becomes the devil’s convenient domicile; the satanic man lost himself and became the earthly instrument of a diabolical will. Those who have not seen such people, or seeing, has not recognized them, do not know primordial perfected evil and do not have an understanding of the truly diabolic element.
    Our generations are set before terrible, mysterious manifestations of this element and up to this time have not resolved to express their life experience in the right words. We could describe this element as “black fire,” or define it as eternal envy; unquenchable hatred; militant banality; shameless lies; absolute impudence and absolute lust for power; the trampling of spiritual freedom; the thirst for universal degradation; joy over the ruin of the best men, and Anti-Christianity. The man who has succumbed to this element loses spirituality, love, and conscience; within him begins degeneration and dissolution. He surrenders to conscious vice and the thirst for destruction; he ends in defiant sacrilege and human torment.
    The simple perception of this diabolic element provokes in a healthy soul repulsion and horror that can transition into genuine bodily malaise, a specific “faintness” (the spasm of the sympathetic nervous system, nervous dysrhythmia, and psychological illness – that also can lead to suicide). Satanic men are recognized by their eyes, by their smile, their voice, their words and deeds. We, Russians, have seen them alive and in the flesh; we know who they are and whence they come. Yet foreigners up to this point have not understood this phenomenon and do not want to understand it, for it brings them judgment and condemnation.
    From: Ivan Ilyin “On the Devil”

    When the High priest of the new and eternal covenant, Christus Jesus, came into the exile of this earth and took human nature, he brought with him the hymn that sounds in the celestial dwellings from eternity to eternity. That hymn is also called prayer. Although the wall of protection that Christ erected obtained fissures, becoming bigger and bigger, letting in influences from below (which people with their dried out souls, longing for the supernatural, tend to view as “godly”), His protection still works.

    Heroin protects too, but in a sinister way. I was once living in Amsterdam. I will go back this year, for a week, as a kind of exorcism.

    BTW, you have the translation from Russian in this strange caricature?

  3. “And at the Graveyard, All is Peaceful, All decent, and particularly godly.”
    “Hail agriculture!”

    That’s what I got from my “sources”.

  4. My source was pretty close. It supposedly reads: “But in the graveyard everything is peaceful, everything is proper, absolute bliss. Glory to the Agricultural State Camp Administration!”

    It’s a Russian jail tattoo from Leningrad 1989:
    “Between 1948 and 1986, during his career as a prison guard, Danzig Baldaev made over 3,000 drawings of tattoos. They were his gateway into a secret world in which he acted as ethnographer, recording the rituals of a closed society. In 2009 FUEL purchased the entire archive of over 750 original sheets of tattoo drawings, posters and sketchbooks from Baldaev’s widow.”

  5. Thanks, KK. And this makes sense. The “Diebe im Gesetz” (thieves in the law), infamous since Gulag times and very powerful today, are known for their mixture of satanic and Orthodox Christian symbols. There exists even a book with drawings from Baldaev. A tattooer nearby has it on her shelf. But she would never put a Baldaev drawing on your skin. This could have dire consequences.

    Just reading a family saga, which starts in old Russia and then goes through the horror of the bolshevik rule. During the great hunger in the 20s there have been posters on the streets, reading: “Eating your own children is an act of barbarism“.

  6. I have this theory that psychedelics strip away or reduce the connection between the pre-frontal cortex and our lower brain functions. Used in moderation, it can help us connect to our bodies and emotional lives; used in excess it can lead to schizophrenia. I think the loss of control you described when you related your violent behavior toward the stray cat and your crush illustrates this.

    I’m happy that you shared. I was intrigued in our last conversation when you alluded to this experience. It think it’s an excellent cautionary tale and your storytelling here is at its finest (that I’ve read so far).

    On a personal note, I recently stripped away an “ego knowing,” so to speak (I hope you know what I mean) that I constructed after my Thanksgiving trip. I finally understand, from personal experience, what you were trying to warn me about when you spoke of false enlightenment and constructing a kind of prophet (or devil) persona. I’ve drawn back into myself now after realizing everyone needs to find their own path. Trying to lead others down the path I scry out for myself can only be detrimental to their process of finding their own way.

    Related to this, I was invited this morning to join a group on the Insight Timer app led by the “prophet” Marshall Vian Summers. They’re just coming out of the woodwork, aren’t they? And also, another psychedelic cautionary tale I heard recently was related by Noah Lambert on his podcast “Synchronicity,” coincidentally (or not coincidentally) uploaded the day before Thanksgiving. In his experience, life became one big synchronicity, and he persisted in this state for a month before being admitted to a psych ward. In my opinion, his is another example of drug-induced schizophrenia, but then what is schizophrenia? Is it a mental disorder or a spiritual experience?

    • Good to hear Jessie.

      I think trying to lead others down our own path is a way to reinforce the idea that we have a path, which I begin to see as erroneous,maybe the fundamental error.

      Likewise synchronicity, which seems to have a natural function (signs in one’s environment that help one to navigate) and an underlying “message” (that the world is inside us, not outside us), but the most common “appliance” of it is neither of these, but rather a feeling of a special “magical” identity (the god-self) being cosmically guided, empowered, and elected by forces outside of us, which we are then serving (in return for special endowment). I am not sure if there is any way to avoid this phase of the (illusory) “journey.” There wasn’t for me. I see this time as a kind of inoculation in which I was given the disease (demonic possession/spiritual ego inflation) so my psyche could develop an immunity to it. That’s why Martin’s comment (at the podcast) seemed to miss the mark. Though his comment here might not be: part of me does feel like digging up the old cape. But becoming immune to temptation doesn’t mean not feeling it, perhaps the reverse (those who don’t recognize it as temptation, succumb the worst).

  7. I haven’t even read a fifth of the way down the page at this point, but already I can’t resist sharing a similar account of dream I had just before my own personal semi-awakening: This happened sometime early 2006, a week or two after I had tripped on 2c-i for the first time (at this point I had also had dozens of OBE”s without drugs, and some mind-shattering experiences with Salvia Divinorum that left me in a semi-solipsistic state where I was having uncomfortable doubts about the reality of other minds). During that trip with 2 other friends, we had all reported seeing “shadow people” and one of those friends supposedly had a bit of a mental breakdown later, as would I; This would lead into what I now refer to as my first Dark Night of the Soul.

    Days up to this experience, there was a curious theme repeating around me about losing my frame of reference; I went to a friend’s house one night and overhead the song “Crash” by Gwen Stefani debut on the radio, and when I got to my friend’s house he made me borrow the movie “Crash.” I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but as I was leaving his house I ended up CRASHing my car into a mail box… Several of my friends wrecked their cars the following day, and just hours after hearing all of their crash stories, I got news that my uncle (who lived next doors to me at the time) had just died in a car wreck.

    It took a few days before I got around to watching that “Crash” movie, but when I finally put it on the opening dialogue really grabbed my attention:

    GRAHAM: “It’s the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.”

    RIA: “Graham, I think we got rear ended. I think we spun around twice, and somewhere in there, one of us lost our frame of reference. And I’m going to look for it.”

    That “frame of reference” phrase stood out in my mind because I had heard my drummer use it in a rather unusual context just the day before – he may have been trying to insinuate that my interest in synchronicity was a bit superstitious or not worth taking seriously, but I wasn’t entirely sure what he was getting at with that particular wording. I would later come across a statement from Pema Chodron that seemed to illustrate it nicely:

    “In the middle way, there is no reference point. The mind with no reference point does not resolve itself, does not fixate or grasp. How could we possibly have no reference point? To have no reference point would be to change a deep-seated response to the world: wanting to make it work out one way or another. If I can’t go left or right, I will die! When we don’t go left or right, we feel like we are in a detox center. We’re alone, cold turkey with all the edginess that we’ve been trying to avoid by going left or right. The edginess can feel pretty heavy.”

    It goes on to say the same thing from different angles, describing the pain that must often be endured to liberate ourselves from those habitual patterns. At the same time I also came across an odd comment somewhere from a Tool fan, attempting to give an interpretation of one of their songs, and this guy included a reference to a drug experience where he “had no frame of reference” – he was just a point of consciousness floating in a black void. That statement reminded me of a powerful Salvia experience that may have been instrumental in setting up the state of mind that allowed the following events to take place:

    Just days after those first few crash coincidences, I had a super-lucid dream in which I found myself floating in a dark void without my physical body. Unlike the coldness of what I felt on Salvia, this void felt somewhat warm and supportive. From out of the silent blackness I heard a gentle but authoritative male voice tell me, “You’re on the threshold of a new consciousness… More effort is going to be required of you.” As it spoke, I could sense something like a green fog off to my right side, and I had a vague and undefinable sensation that there was some larger reality waiting for me just beyond it.

    (I’m basically copying some of this from an older blog of mine, and a variation of this story is also in my chapter in THE SYNC BOOK VOLUME 2… But I couldn’t help but notice the wording of my description parallels your own dream pretty closely.)

    After that, I woke up with a deep chill settling into my body; For the next three days, I had the most dreadful non-stop anxiety I’d ever experienced. My synchronicities drastically increased in intensity, and it felt like they were toying with my mind; They convinced me that the world was about to end, or I was about to die, and I was facing my last moments on earth… Bizarre messages were jumping out at me from the radio, from the TV, even from my friends and family, all of them with this hidden subtext that my whole life had been an illusion, some kind of expertly organized practical joke, and now the end was approaching.

    At the climax of my paranoia, I even saw the watery outlines of a seemingly cloaked being walking around in my house. I couldn’t help but wonder: Have I become a schizophrenic? I tried to convince myself that maybe all of it was just a temporary psychotic break resulting from digging too hard, too fast; I had been trying out various forms of meditation, psychedelics, mind-altering audio programs – anything to lead me to some sort of “spiritual experience,” or to help me escape the depressing mundane reality of my daily life… Maybe I overdid it. Or maybe this was some kind of spiritual “initiation” I was going through? I seemed to be more knowledgable about this stuff than most of the people around me, so I couldn’t look to anyone else for answers. But a year later when a romantic partner of mine claimed to see the same cloaked being in my house without me telling her about them, so I now know I didn’t just hallucinat the whole thing… Not all of it. Perhaps none of it.

    The insanity finally began to die down at the end of the 2nd evening, when the most intense moment of panic (and some odd visions of myself in what may have been a past life) pushed me to face a few social fears directly – a momentary leap across the abyss that resulted in an epic catharsis. I managed to fall asleep for the first time in several days, and when I finally opened my eyes again, I had no been so thankful to see the sun. But then I walked to my back door and looked out my window to see something that had me still wondering about my sanity: My dad had some chicken running around in the backyard, and occasionally I would see them stoop down to peck at the ground – and each time they did so, they appeared to transform into rabbits. I wasn’t sure if it was just my near-sightedness messing with me, or my subconscious making alterations to my perception for some sort of symbolic purpose… But then my sister showed up to take me to church so everyone could pray my madness away, and reminded me that today was Easter Sunday.

    From that, it occurred to me that I really had just gone through my own symbolic resurrection, after 3 days of being trapped in the underworld of my subconscious… Easter seems to have a recurring connection to this experience:

    “What is this adventure? Dante took the same trip Easter weekend in the year 1300. This is what is known as the ‘Night Sea Journey.”

    “The part of my March 18, 1974 experience that precisely delineates it as having been of Christ, as compared to God or the Holy Spirit, was (1) that it took place at the Vernal Equinox, and (2) most of all, the sound of the Easter or Magic bells, which are specifically identified with Christ.”
    –Philip K Dick’s EXEGESIS
    (Eggs of Jesus?)

    “Dejected, Faust spies a phial of poison and contemplates suicide. However he is halted by the sound of church bells announcing Easter, which reminded him not of Christian duty but of his happier childhood days.”

  8. Comment #2: In response to the passage about forcing your Salvia revelations down the throats of others… I went through a similar period where I was a bit hesitant to take Salvia myself because each time I attempted to hit the pipe my mind was flooded with an unnerving sensation of forgotten memories swarming in on the periphery of my consciousness – difficult to describe, but I decided instead to share my stash with other people so they could experience the unspeakable profoundness of experiencing what seemed like legit alternate realities… One particular girl resisted my attempts by continuously making references to how drugs take people over, like heroin. She continued using that comparison so many times that I got irritated, and kept repeating that this plant is NOT heroin, and her protests were completely invalid. I eventually persuaded her to give in and try it, and she described the walls melting her around her… That was it. But she later mentioned that she only did it because she was afraid of the look on my face, which humbled me a bit by making me question my motives and emotions.

    But here’s an even more interesting detail: I’ve been studying Qabalistic “path working” a lot lately, but I haven’t gotten up the guts to attempt any of it because it seems that the very first path to be walked is the “terrible” 32nd path, which is basically a Dark Night of the Soul experience. I’ve had at least 3 such experiences thus far, and I had a truly terrible time with each of them… I obviously have no desire to induce such a situation again on purpose, but the final statements in your post here highlight another odd fear I have concerning this path: You mentioned hurting your heel before leaving Guatemala, and made reference to the Devil’s limp (a result of his fall from heaven); Behold this passage from Chapter 10 of Gareth Knight’s “Experience of the Inner Worlds” and how the lame leg is a symbol that corresponds to the 32nd Path:

    “In this particular working that follows, that of the 32nd path, the traditional symbols to be used as a structure were the Temple of Malkuth (a simple basic form using the traditional colors and Archangel or the Sephirah); the Tarot Trump XXI, called the Universe; the Hebrew letter Tau; the astrological sign of Saturn; and the basic symbolism of the Sephirah Yesod. All other symbolism that occurred was spontaneous. That this other symbolism was as powerful evocative as the set symbolism may be suggested by the fact that after this working the leader of the group was laid up under the doctor with a swollen foot caused by a particularly virulent mosquito bite, and thus became unexpectedly a parallel of the lame figure met in the middle of the Path. It is not necessarily the aim of such working to achieve these untoward effects but such ‘coincidences’ give some indication of the power of the creative imagination.”

  9. Great to read this. What’s especially helpful, even inspiring, is that it brings home to me how non-unique my experiences at this time were. I thoroughly believed I was The One, in the sense that these experiences were exclusively reserved for ME. I wanted so badly to testify to them because of this, as a way to affirm, assert, my One-ness (specialness). Because of the residue of that belief, I have been feeling ambivalent about going back over that time and sharing my expressions, not just of but from that time, i.e,, giving that “archetypal man” a voice. (The risk seemed to be to reinforce/resurrect that former conviction of a calling.)

    Your comment brings home that half of the word “archetypal” is TYPICAL: these sorts of experiences are the opposite of unique or exclusive because there are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of guys (mostly) out there who have undergone their own customized version of them.

    So then there’s value in my testifying to them, if, by coming out as The One, I can illustrate just how common (and non-extraordinary) my experience was. And this in turn relates to how it was, I think, largely inculcated: i.e., a product of my (oc)culture. And of course, the trauma of abuse that’s endemic to that culture and occulted by/within it.

    FWIW I think it’s a good thing if you don’t have the “guts” to do your Kabbalic working. Something it took years of these sorts of manic behaviors to learn: sometimes fear really is our friend and adviser.

    I just read this today. I think it says it perfectly: “The real goal of a spiritual tradition should not be ascent, but openness, vulnerability, and this does not require great experiences but, on the contrary, very ordinary ones. Charisma is easy; presence, self-remembering, is terribly difficult, and where the real work lies.” (Morris Berman)

    • I just now went back to check and see who the author of this blog was, seems that I somehow overlooked your name up there, Jasun, and thought you were just another visiting commentor, lol.

      But I concur with your response; It almost seems as if the universe has its own time-frame for inducing such experiences spontaneously, when “it” thinks we’re ready for them… I’ve often theorized that perhaps I could interpret the process of me discovering some of the Qabalistic correspondences in those experiences as an invitation for me to try and take responsibility for my own spiritual evolution via Pathworking, but I trust my own reluctance to test that interpretation; The tests and catalysts invoked by such experiences ultimately play out here in the mundane world, so its probably more important to stay grounded and work on myself “down here” rather than somewhere “up there.”

      I’ve always been a bit antisocial and solitary, and somewhat in search of a way out of that, but playing around with psychedelics and astral projection seemed to make me even more unbalanced and reclusive… And so, as a result of my constant introspection, over time I developed a stronger interest in having more vivid IN-the-body experiences, rather than out of the body; I began studying social dynamics and even a bit of “pickup artist” material in an attempt to coax myself into socializing more, because I came to recognize that there’s no point in trying to go further if I can’t even deal with that basic aspect of spiritual growth. If you can’t open up to other people and share yourself with them on the most fundamental levels, then you’ll be slowly dying inside, while your lofty spiritual goals transform into unattainable delusions.

      I’ve also noticed from my own experience and from the writings of several other people, that following a path of psychedelic use tends to give one a few advanced insights in the beginning, but then it seems as if the “spirits” or one’s inner psyche – whatever it is one is put into contact with during drugged episodes – will gradually replace those promising introductions with much darker realities, and even give you a metaphysical slap in the face if you don’t start putting what you’ve learned into practice: A brief glimpse of cosmic oneness can put stars in one’s eyes, but it’s brief for a reason: You have to come back and find a sane way to integrate it into your everyday conscious living situation… And learning to do so without becoming a megalomaniac is a challenge that we see almost all seekers go through.

      Here’s one last quote that came to mind in regards to your attempt at ignoring your wounded leg, and the theme of trying to integrate this collective conscious awareness within your body:

      “The One Being of the creation is like unto a body, if you will accept this third-density analogy. Would we ignore a pain in the LEG? A bruise upon the skin? A cut which is festering? No. There is no ignoring a call. We, the entities of sorrow, choose as our service the attempt to heal the sorrow which we are calling analogous to the pains of a physical body complex distortion.”
      –THE LAW OF ONE (aka The Ra Material)

  10. A really great article, I haven’t read the series yet. It still surprises me that so many of us have almost identical experiences of breaking through to the next/other/outer/inner levels of consciousness/reality/existence. No one I know who’s had The experience claims to doubt the validity of the events which took place. And then when one hears of dozens of other accounts identical or analogous, it simply leads to the conclusion that you are visiting another world. How it pertains to ours, individually and/or collectively, is not only worthy of analysis but is an obligation, which is one of the reasons I love reading your work. Thank you for your insight. This question brought me back to the “The Serpent’s Promise: The Oldest Exchange of All” for clarification and inspiration. I’m inclined to agree that the topic is even more nuanced than I could have ever imagined even though it was always obviously an enigma worthy of keen attention.

    In your “Paths to God” article you used the picture of the native American (?) man stabbing a reptile? Is it your work? It’s reminiscent of an Ayahuasca experience I had, only without the man, unless I count myself. Who is it supposed to represent? Admittedly, stabbing “it” never occurred to me. Once we had a face to face encounter I ‘woke’ up and was immediately more or less sober. The entire ordeal lasted for a good few hours.

    I read years ago about four different types of Ayahuasca experiences in a book whose title I can’t recall, named after four colours, one of them being red which involved loads of blood. And it shockingly described pretty much what I saw. However, I have found no further clues as to what “it” was. What it was supposed to represent. Being at a loss with this question for over a decade and it beginning to plague me again of late, I was taken aback by your use of the picture. The large quantities of blood are a striking resemblance.

    That particular experience is possibly the most powerful I have ever had in my life, including other hallucinogenics and DMT, in terms of the very experience and its effect on me. In a nutshell, it consisted of my conscious(ness) attention experiencing different parts of my body down to the cellular/nerves system, I become an electrical impusle as well as individual red blood cells, before moving onto the inner or to the other world. The finale was meeting what I always assumed was a dragon but recently I realised it didn’t have wings (four legs as opposed to the picture). In Serbian zmija means snake and zmaj dragon. The etymological similarity gave me pause to consider that I communicated with a snake, of sorts, rather than a dragon as I originally thought. Also, “it” had gills from which a torrent of blood was pouring out of. I concluded later that I was “it”, that “it” was me, that we were in symbiosis, etc but could never prove any of it to myself to my own satisfaction as I haven’t a clue what “it” is. A remarkable experience, but what was it?!

  11. Could you please offer a title. I can’t use PayPal in Serbia and need to ask someone to bring the books over.

    Thank you in advance.

  12. No, an English mate of mine. A very good friend with whom I exchange all sorts of information. We share many common interests. It’s quite interesting. I literally refused your work without any inspection (something I rarely do, especially if it comes from him) on two occasions until I got stuck into “Occult Yorkshire”. It’s difficult to explain how much your personal enquiry resonates with me. It’s like a joint exploration only you are more insightful, educated and literate. Something like that.

    I’ve been living in Belgrade for nine years now, however, I lived in London for half of my life, twenty years. Because I lived in London and had the opportunity to travel abroad (the glory days of the Pound Sterling) did I have the opportunity to use/explore/indulge psychedelics and pursue “consciousness expanding” experiences at a time of war and heroin epidemics in former Yugoslavia. I would have had an early death had I lived here during the wars. Probably by my own hand. It’s only recently that DMT has been available here. People who took acid or mushrooms were looked down upon until a decade ago, or less. The local strain of mushroom here has been colloquially called “ludara” or “crazy” for what could be centuries. It’s only recently, a few years at most, that I started being suspicious of their effects and their purpose. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that I benefited greatly from experiences with drugs, especially psychedelics. They made me a better man. I have witnesses 🙂 However, I can see that they do take their toll and that is something to them I can’t quite quantify and categorise. To imagine they exist only to serve us is a bit naive at the least or possibly delusional. Although I rarely consume them these days, when I do, I feel great for months afterwards. Nothing has that effect on me.

    I’ll have to look up Malic.

    Thank you for what you do. Really genuinely appreciate it. I’m a grateful bastard.

    • Charles Upton, from Vectors of the Counter-Initiation:

      But the psychedelics, as well as various spiritual techniques such as secularized non-traditional yoga, are often approached on the basis of the very false and limiting context that people are seeking them in order to free themselves from: of the spiritual life as an exercise in self-will (as in the case of compulsive morality), and of God conceived as an experience rather than a Reality (as in the case of self-referential fervor; the New Age movement for example, which deifies experience, can be described as a kind of “non-Christian Pentecostalism”). . . . nothing is possible in the spiritual life outside of the Promethean attempt to take heaven by storm, and spiritual narcissism—two pathologies which are intimately related to each other and never appear apart. The will cut off from the spiritual Intellect (which is always virtually in force wherever Faith and Grace are present) produces Prometheanism; the alienation of the affections from the Intellect produces narcissism.

      psychedelics, which at the very least can provide (though not without extremely negative consequences) a horizontal psychic expansiveness which appears to compensate for, and sometimes actually counterfeits, the loss of a vertical spiritual elevation, while at the same time concealing the fact that such a loss ever occurred. Psychedelics, in other words, were a kind of Luciferian “booby prize” offered as compensation for the fall of western Christendom. (214-5)

      to say that [religions] have been initiated by psychedelics is to deny that God can act on His own initiative, and consequently to deny God. It is to make “religion” an entirely human affair, and thus to posit something that does not fit the definition of that word. (218)

      So it may well be true that the use of such plants, at least beyond the cosmic era that might have allowed their use under certain conditions, represents a truly ancient deviation in humanity’s relationship with God. (220)

      To syncretize different forms of the sacred, assuming that they were originally true Spiritual ways, not simply psychic “technologies”, is to relativize and subjectivize them and thus drive everything down to the psychic level while sealing off access to the Spirit; and this is tantamount to demonic invocation. . . . Of course some people like that kind of thing; instead of transcending their individuality through Spiritual ascent, they simply want to shatter it, and consequently sink below it, into the infra-psychic. It’s called “postmodernism”. (223)

      What almost never occurs to us is that LSD may have imprinted or conditioned a deeply-buried layer of our psyche such that all subsequent experiences of any psychic or spiritual depth are filtered through this conditioning, resulting in a biased evaluation. (244)

      It’s as if LSD can act to breach the natural barrier between Nous/Intellectus, associated with the ajñachakra or “third eye”, and dianoia/ratio, associated with the vishuddha-chakra, thus flooding the lower rational mind with material from the higher Intellectual mind; the lower mind becomes overloaded with this higher material, now expressed on a lower level, and ends by counterfeiting the quality of the Nous/Intellectus and thus blocking access to it. . . . It may in fact be the case that the use of LSD has the power to subtly damage the highest reflections of Nous/Intellectus, the “eye of the heart” [’ayn al-qalb], in the individual psyche, just as the physical eye may be damaged by staring into the sun; (245)

  13. Right. The book will arrive soon. I already see where this is going and it’s going to be painful… I always assumed psychedelics had to do with the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil (outside strict Judeo-Christian interpretation) and it immediately became obvious that they are not to be toyed with. Acid and snooker should never go together, even in the experimental phase. That’s what happens when you indulge with no cultural context and no adult to supervise and instruct. Nevertheless, the excerpts above have reminded me of all the ‘chakras’ open thanks to these substances, whatever their ultimate effect. Bring it on!

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