Deciphering A Symbol

The podcast An Infinite Path was started in early 2018. Actually it was rebooted in 2018 after a few years of a prior podcast called Novelty Generators. Novelty Generators was themed around the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead’s concept that the universe, meaning the divine, is always pushing mankind to new forms of creativity through originality, or novelty.

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Since a symbol or logo is a critical part of the branding of any venture, being the initial image you see to identify with an associated person, product, or service, the logo for Novelty Generators was set against a backdrop of a star field to give it a very cosmic feeling. The reason for this is a much deeper conversation, but it related to the podcast being often centered around a guests latest personal venture which used more of their creative skillset than let’s say, every single for-hire job on spaceship Earth would. Thus, one must metaphorically look to the stars to see creative potential.

As the venture continued it started getting more into areas of off the beaten path thought. Subjects such as occultism and esotericism started popping up due to their relationship with the expansion of consciousness which is a key theme of the venture along with balance. Various ancient spiritual practices such as Alchemy, Shamanism, Mysticism, Hermatism, and Magic have been ground zero for wisdom or old knowledge and thus started popping up recurrently. These practices are very deep and a crucial secret doorway to a full understanding of not only the nature of reality, but what it truly is to be a more free willed and actualized human being in the realm of Earth. So a reboot was done as the podcast basically began to focus on broader overarching themes of not only personal growth and creativity, but balance and the expansion of consciousness which many of these spiritual philosophical subjects entail. For as Alice Bailey said “Symbols are the outer and visible forms of the inner spiritual realities.”

Esotericism is internal. It happens on the inside and is about each individual's unique, creative, inner journey in life. Much of what is esoteric, must be experienced because putting it into language is a degradation of a life-transforming internal gnosis. Meaning a knowing that something is the case through having personally experienced it. A mystical experience can be defined as union with the divine. So, why would one want to have gnosis or a mystical experience? For two reasons, for healing (mental or physical) and for the expansion of consciousness. How does one have a mystical experience? There are many ways, years of time working in deep meditation, a ritual magical practice, extreme isolation, lucid dreaming, a psychedelic experience, mountaineering, scuba diving, or many other forms of extreme physical activity such as a pilgrimage are various potential ways. All of which are not easy and can be great amounts of work.

After the experience occurs, it is often times life-changing or somewhat life-transforming. Although there may be similar themes which are shared in common, the specifics are difficult if not impossible to convey to others. Because it was given to you and specifically for you at that place at the time. Thus metaphor, myth, and symbolism was born many bazillion years ago as a more effective tool for communicating aspects of old world wisdom to others who had had these experiences and knew how to feel into a underlying subtext of information. For one can not be told what the Matrix is, they must experience it for themself. Thus self-discovery and deciphering are keys to doorways to secret codes of the mystery of life. So as a story is told, or a symbol drawn, or a metaphor written, the subconscious mind, which can also be thought of as a deeper aspect of the heart, not the everyday monkey brain, can read further and decipher or decode deeper aspects of what experiential wisdom is being transmitted. For discovery is experiential in itself and you won't be able to receive it until you are developed enough to do so. Hence, much of what is esoteric, meaning inside, or what is occult, meaning hidden, exists in metaphor or symbolism. Speaking to you as a mirror at your current level of understanding based on exposure to personal experience.

Since much of symbolism existed before written language, it has a very long history and mystery and the study of it is a 5000 hour conversation. The cave painting at Lascaux France of deer and elk being hunted by men with spears or the releafs of birds and lions at the dolmens of Göbekli Tepe come immediately to mind. Dan Brown is a fictional writer who created such world famous novels such as Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. His work features recurring themes of cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, art, and conspiracy theories. His lead character throughout many of his books, Robert Langdon is the man he secretly wishes he could be. He is a professor of Religious Iconology and Symbology at Harvard University and travels the world solving ancient puzzle mysteries in a similar style to Indiana Jones, also exploring ancient tombs just with less booby traps or large centipedes and tarantulas. The Langdon character is an encapsulation of many of our collective interests in the mystery of symbols. For the unknown reason to many that symbols speak to an older, higher, wiser version of ourselves.

Thus when it was time for An Infinite Path to be rolled out a new, a logo was chosen which was actually more like a crest, symbol, sigil, or emblem. Logo’s are typically type while a corporate symbol is typically a single closed shape or small series of shapes which can be recognizable as a silhouette. Multinational corporations logos and symbols are actually quite basic for their instant recognizability solely to convey a brand. However, the goal with the emblem for this venture was for it to have a feel similar to many of the older and quite frankly more mysterious symbols from the days of an older time of engravings in old books, family crests, relics, tombs, or even forgotten civilizations.

The symbol entails six main components and we will go through each of them, highlighting their importance and why they were chosen, starting from the outside and working our way in. So in some ways we’ll be going from exoteric, meaning outside, to mesoteric, meaning middle, to esoteric meaning inside or the core. As most things have an outer exoteric surface which is seen by the many because they are easy (For example accept Jesus Christ as your lord and personal savior) but anybody waiting around the pick up order area of the In-N-Out burger can do that since it takes no skill and yields virtually no reward. While the inner levels take work, effort, sophistication, and spiritual growth and are much harder. Thereby they are for the few to access initially by doing research in old libraries or on the better parts of the internet followed by direct personal experiences out in beautiful nature all while having some level of excellent teachings from wise elders. Again, it is work, and difficult work at that. Yet it’s infinitely worth all the effort to get there. So due to our order of operations we will continue down the rabbit hole and save the best for last. Outermost first and innermost last. Since so much of what gives gnosis or knowledge goes to those who pace themselves and allow for time, space, and of course concentration.

The Sun & Moon

On the outermost perimeter of the symbol are the rays or the sun. Corresponding to a moon in various phases of new, full, half, waxing and waning.

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The Sun and moon both have profound importance to the ancients. For they are divine opposites, with neither having greater importance over one another. The ancient alchemists called the mind “the sun” and the heart “the moon,” for to them strength, reason, and logic were masculine, paternal, solar powers; while love, beauty, intuition, and kindliness were feminine, maternal, and lunar qualities. So we could think of the sun as a representation of male with the moon as a representation of female. Gold and silver were blended in the great alchemical enterprises, for the gold of the sun and the silver of the moon were not dead metals but living aspects in nature and esoteric to human life. These traits highlight duality and opposites; namely, that rhythm and polarity are two of the building blocks and fabric of the material world. One rules the day and promotes growth, the other rules the night and promotes decay, making them both luminaries. Both are the same things in opposite directions.

In the East, teachings of Yang and yin organized into a higher unity under the harmonious influence of Ch’i are regarded as the source of all existence, as well as its symbol. One is black, and one is white and an ancient secret to deciphering the message of these two teaching tools is the balance point between them. Which can most amply be seen in the rare occurrence of a solar eclipse. When the two celestial bodies, which both happen to be the exact same size in the sky, form a union of one, during a very rare time, to create a unique portal.

This is a balance of opposites and and balance of power being shown to man. Through alignment of light and dark, positive and negative, female and male, growth and decay, and mind and heart lead to emotional stability and power within us. For example, a society of patriarchy, where men call all the shots ruling the entire show and women are heavily de-valued, leads us astray. Or similar problems would stem from, every thoughts it has been extremely rare to see, a solely matriarchal society in which it is flipped the other way around. We can only find progress in a society of equal level of philosopher kings and queens. Wise elders of both sexes balancing out each others energetic traits and strengths. For balance in nearly all areas is a secret to life.

The sun and moon are oftentimes if not the majority of the time found on esoteric and occult artwork for very specific reasons. Some of the initial hints of which have just been given to you. Our 2019 short film Balanced Opposites takes a deeper look at the balance of these two cosmic spheres, via some ancient wisdom given to us through the balance of our sun and moon. Shared through live-action footage as well as a world heritage of esoteric, alchemical, and master work art.

The Triangle

The triangle has had many meanings through time and through various cultures and civilizations. Usually to represent a trinity of three. With a common dynamic within Theology being the Father, Sun, Holy Spirit or the holy trinity. In an effort to identify how a symbol speaks to you not not to others, it’s also good to extract out your own personal mystery meanings from symbols which you may find are more legit than what others or larger systems say. Thus the relationship I personally derive from the triangle is that of a relationship I term the third way.

In an attempt to understand the nature of reality, we are usually presented with two primary ways. Or directions, systems, or thought processes. They are two offered choices of looking at the world and formulating a cosmology behind how one decides to look their way into beginning to navigate life. They are two sanctioned and allowed paths to follow by the majority of modern industrial society. And are the only two. What I’m about to share is designed to show you the secret third way in life. An infinite path that not only empowers you, but is being re-discovered at this time space vector for humanity. It was long known ago to the ancients, but has been suppressed because of its capability to empower you, the creative individual, should you choose to experience it.

We start with a single point in space. A place of harmony and balance. That point is spread out into a horizontal line. The end of the line of each side represents the two main claimed systems of knowledge - science and religion. Science will go on the left because those who are more scientifically based tend to be more left leaning liberal in their politics and religion will go on the right as those more religiously based tend to be more right leaning conservative in their politics.

A young child may ask early in their life “where did I come from?” and based upon the parent or guardians background and childhood, they will likely give them an answer based on either of these two systems. Evolution or creation. A primary controversy of the Western world involves ongoing, recurring cultural, political, and theological disputes about the origins of the Earth, of humanity, and of other life. Within the religious world, creationism was once widely believed to be true, but since the mid-19th century evolution by natural selection had been established as a claimed empirical scientific fact. These are the basic answers these two systems put forth to that young child. This further extends into the species as a whole with future generations regarding their suspicions on origin.

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What is offered in the following is a third way which when brought together forms a third point at the center above from these two. A three pointed shape or a triangle. It is intended to empower the individual who must first have eyes to see and ears to hear. It is not a path of science or a path of religion but a path of magic. It uses the aim of religion with methods similar to that of silence. Thus, the lower left corner of the triangle represents science, the lower right, religion, and the top peak magic. Encapsulating and summarizing the magic and enchantment of the world and that there are many paths to the mountain top. So one could put a S in the lower left triangular corner, a R in the lower right, and an M in the center top position.

A side note on the An Infinite Path symbol is that it has gone through a couple iterations. Like all things that are in constant motion and never set in stone, it will likely go through more in the future. The very first version of the logo contained the litter A larger in the symbol which essentially formed a smaller triangle within a outer larger triangle. This was eventually changed because child pornographers oftentimes use a similar dynamic of a smaller symbol within or next to another same but larger symbol to imply adult and child in a coded way and find one another. The FBI has databases on these various symbols used by child pornography rings so those can be found if you care to research this horrendously dark subject a bit yourself. This is something I of course did unconsciously before becoming aware of this fact, yet I mention it because it’s important to have a back pocket knowledge of shadow workings in the world. If you want to know what’s really going on, it’s often very ugly. Yet knowing about it allows you to transmute it by learning and growing from it. It’s also very unfortunately quite rampant in dark occult circles of power within politics and the entertainment industry. Which not only use symbols but also coded language to communicate their nefarious behaviors. So of course symbols can have a good hidden connotation or a very bad one as well. The other reason the symbol went through a major initial iteration was because of the connection of the smaller triangle essentially containing an eye within the triangle, otherwise known as the Eye of Providence.

The eye in the triangle combined with sun rays around it’s perimeter did have an affiliation with this symbol. Most universally known for it being on the US one dollar bill. There are many theories of why that is and we will explore it a bit more in detail when we get to the eye part of this fun train.

The Ouroboros

Next up on our tour down de-coding lane is the Ouroboros. Which is a Greek word meaning "tail devourer," and is thought to be one of the oldest mystical symbols in the world. It can be perceived as enveloping itself, where the past, which is the tail, appears to disappear but really moves into an inner domain or reality, vanishing from view yet still existing elsewhere.

The ouroboros typically has several meanings interwoven into it. First of all is the symbolism of the serpent biting, eating, or devouring its own tail. This symbolizes the cyclic nature of the universe: creation out of destruction, life out of death. The ouroboros eats its own tail to sustain its life, in an eternal cycle of renewal. It is sometimes depicted in a lemniscate shape as well.

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The serpent biting its own tail is first seen as early as 1600 years BC in Egypt as a symbol of the sun, and represented the travels of the sun disk. From there it moved to the Phoenicians and then to the Greeks, who gave it its name, Ouroboros, which means devouring its tail.

In mythology, the Oroborus is a symbol representing the Milky Way galaxy. Myth surrounding it refers to a serpent of light residing in the heavens. The Milky Way is this serpent, and viewed at galactic central point near Sagittarius, it takes on the known shape of a circular pattern. Important for many ancients who used the galaxy to calculate cosmic and earth cycles.

It is found in Gnosticism and alchemy representing cyclical natural life and the fusion of opposites. It also symbolizes the transcendence of duality and was related to the solar God Abraxas, and signified eternity and the soul of the world.

In alchemy, it represents the spirit of Mercury, a substance that permeates all matter, and symbolizes continuous renewal as a snake is often a symbol of resurrection, due to it appearing to be continually reborn as it sheds its skin. Also often symbolizing the cycle of life and death, and harmony of opposites. As a symbol of the eternal unity of all things, the cycle of birth and death from which the alchemist sought release and liberation. It unites opposites: the conscious and unconscious mind. Alchemically, the ouroboros is also used as a purifying glyph. The alchemical textbook, Chrysopoeia (gold making) of Kleopatra contains a drawing of the ouroboros representing the serpent as half light and half dark, echoing symbols such as the Yin Yang, which illustrates the dual nature of all things, but more importantly, that these opposites are not in conflict but harmony.

The Ouroboros appears in many other cultures and settings as well… the Serpent Jormungand of Norse legend, one of the three children of Loki and Angrboda, grew so large that it could encircle the world and grasp its tail in its teeth. It guarded the Tree of Life, and is often depicted as an ouroboros. In Hindu, you have the dragon circling the tortoise which supports the four elephants that carry the world. The Aztec serpent God Quetzalcoatl was depicted similarly, and Chinese alchemical dragons have both similar shapes and meaning. It can also been seen on the perimeter of domed or flat Earth illustrations symbolizing the theory that there is endless land beyond the poles.

The Hand

Our most front and center major element of this mashup is a single human hand with open palm and outstretched fingers. The hand has a very long history of usage in occult or esoteric symbolism. Two of the main uses being the Hamsa Hand of the East and the Philosophers Hand of the West.

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The Hamsa, or Hand of Fatima as it’s also called, is typically seen as an up-side down hand with an eye in center used as a protective amulet by both Jews and Muslims. The name hamsa is derived from the Semitic root meaning “five.” Called the Hand of Fatima by Muslims, named for the daughter of Mohamed, and is sometimes said to symbolize the five pillars or tenets of Islam. In Jewish use, it is sometimes called the hand of Miriam, after the biblical heroine. The eye in hand is considered a powerful talisman against the ‘evil eye,’ and is usually worn around the neck or hung on walls or over the doors of homes and businesses.

That’s more of an exoteric point of view from two more traditional structures claiming it is essentially a defense mechanism for those said to portray a hand of goodness or good luck. A more esoteric perspective on the hand comes from the hand of the philosophers or what was called “The hand of the Mysteries” by the incredible Manly Palmer Hall. He wrote of it much in his seminal book The Secret Teachings of All Ages. A beautiful illustration of the “Hand of the Mysteries,” was illustrated by Hall’s collaborator and sidekick, occult Illustrator Augustus Knapp in certain versions of the book which contained illustrations.

Hall says in the work that The Hand of the Mysteries goes by many other names, including the Hand of the Philosopher, Hand of the Master Mason, and the Emblematic Hand of Mysteries. On each finger you will find a unique symbol. The thumb has a crown, the index with a star, the middle finger with a sun, the ring finger with a lantern, and the pinky with a key.

Although many feel it to represent the Hand of God, a further and deeper importance of this symbol pretaints to individuals taking it within their own hands to become initiates of the Secret Mysteries. The hand of the philosopher which is extended to those who enter into the mysteries. When the disciple of the Great Art first beholds this hand, it is closed, and he must discover a method of opening it before the mysteries contained therein may be revealed. In alchemy the hand signifies the formula for the preparation of the tincture physicorum. The fish is mercury and the flame-bounded sea in which it swims is sulfur, while each of the fingers bears the emblem of a Divine Agent through combined operations of which the great work is accomplished. The unknown artist says of the diagram: “The wise take their oath by this hand that they will not teach the Art without parables.” To the Kabbalist the figure signifies the operation of the One Power, the crowded thumb, and in the four worlds which are the fingers with their emblems.

Besides its alchemical and Qabbalistic meanings, the figure is said to symbolize the hand of a Master Mason with which he “raises” the martyred builder of the divine house. Philosophically, the key represents the Mysteries themselves, without whose aid man cannot unlock the numerous chambers of his own being. The lantern is human knowledge, for it is a spark of the universal fire captured in a man-made vessel; it is the light of those who dwell in the inferior universe and with the aid of which they seek to follow in the footsteps of truth. The sun, which may be termed the ” light of the world,” represents the luminescence of creation through which man may learn the mystery of all creatures which express through form and number. The star is the universal light which reveals cosmic and celestial verities. The crown is absolute light– unknown and unrevealed–whose power shines through all the lesser lights that are but sparks of this Eternal Effulgence. Thus is set forth the right hand, or active principle, of deity, whose works are all contained within the” hollow of His hand.

The alchemical symbol of apotheosis, the transformation of man into god, is traditionally represented by an image of a hand with other symbols, including skulls, crowns, stars, fish, keys, lanterns, astrological symbols and the all-seeing eye. A hand covered with numerous symbols was extended to the neophytes when they entered into the Temple of Wisdom. An understanding of the embossed upon the surface of the hand brought with it Divine power and regeneration Therefore, by means of these symbolic hands the candidate was said to be raised from the dead.

To key out some personal perspective here, the hand in the logo is a left hand. If one really reads deeply into it, this could be said to be an advocation of the left hand path in magic, but that wasn’t the ultimate intention and ultimately the goal was to keep that more neutral to argue that there are benefits of both paths. In ancient mythology, the symbol of the right hand had always signified power and Jupiter. To sit at the right hand of God, had meant to wield the divine power of God on earth. Apollo was the god of light, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. He was the favorite son of Jupiter, father of gods and men, and he sat at the right hand of his father.

The personal perspective on choosing the hand is that of taking things into your own hands and engaging your own will to make things happen for yourself. To be thought of as a source of empowerment and that everything in your life happens for a reason and you likely chose to make it that way. Hence your destiny is in your own hands. You have the will to change that destiny through your own actions. Not only is your life literally in your hands your hands are a map of your microcosm.

The Eye

The main stereotype of what the proletariat thinks of conspiracy theories or secret clubs is the single centered eye in the triangle. For Americans that is especially pertinent because of the Eye of Providence appearing on the one dollar bill. So here’s this weird symbol on the most common bill of our money, thus every single American who is of buying a pack bubble gum age has seen it. The version of this symbol elaborates onto a capstone of a triangular pyramid forms part of the Seal of the United States, accompanied by the slogan, Annuit Coeptis, or “It has favored our undertakings.”

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The eye, usually depicted in the sky looking out upon the earth, is an ancient symbol of the sun, and historically has been used as a symbol of omniscience. The idea of the solar eye comes to us from the Egyptians, who equated the eye with the deity Osiris; the human eye in its ability to perceive light was viewed as a miniature sun. The use of the eye emblem to represent God was quite common in the Renaissance; often, the eye would be enclosed within a triangle representing the triune godhead. Such an emblem can be found in numerous examples of Christian art. This emblem was eventually adopted by Freemasons as a symbol for the Great Architect. A widely accepted view is that it represents the eye of God watching over humanity. With more conspiratorial leanings stating it’s the eye of a malevolent force watching over you. Entities such as secret societies, aristocratic bloodlines, fraternal groups, the deep state, empirical controllers, dark historical manipulators, and various other puppet string holders are said to be watching over us. It is the symbolic version of its written equivalent “the illuminati”, everyone’s default go to secret society popularized by again, the lightweight but very fun to read author Dan Brown. One could more accurately say the symbol of an eye looking at us is a single element used to describe an ethos of not only being seen but being watched. So a glass-half full mindset on that would be being looked over by a divine presence of love and compassion and a symbol of protection, while the glass-half empty sinister vision would be being spied on in order to have data gathered upon the masses in order to control. It is a bit revealing to note that the triangle is the capstone of a pyramid. For there is absolute truth to those being at the top of a pyramid of power not having those below themselves in the social or financial hierarchy best interests at heart. For the more power one attains the more corrupt they almost always become.

One could technically say that the eye in the infinite path symbol is inside a triangle. As spoken of before. However, the personal motivation with this eye is not so much from a standpoint of a all knowledgeable one’s eye or the eye of a controller, but our own third eye. The third eye (also called the mind's eye, or inner eye) is a mystical and esoteric concept of a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight. In certain dharmic spiritual traditions the third eye refers to the ajna or brow chakra. Which essentially refers to the gate that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. Not only do humans instantly identify with an eye, as it’s the very first place we look when we see another person's face either on screen, or on canvas, or in the flesh, it acts as an external visual representation of the pineal gland. When one introduces a third eye into anything as a concept, it is to show that they acknowledge realms of vibratory levels or aspects of consciousness outside the 5 senses. In that regard the third eye is an excellent symbol which acts as a counter weight to materialism. One could say it's a bit trendy in the twenty teens to include it in a logo, as many spiritual, psychedelic, or metaphysical podcasts feature this element in their branding. Yet it is a movement in the right direction, for anyone on the path, even if it’s so little that they just like the symbology of it without being able to articulate quite why, still gets the majority of this author's vote.

The Lemniscate

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In the most dead center bullseye of the symbol is the infinity symbol. It can be drawn in one continuous movement and has neither a beginning or an end. The two circles sit side by side, symbolising equality between opposing forces, with the connecting point in the centre. The main significance of it in this context is the obvious correlation with the name of the podcast An Infinite Path. To others its ancient understanding as the symbol of perfection, duality and empowerment holds more meaning. The only two numbers that can be written over and over without ending are the 8 and 0 and the number eight on its side is the mathematical symbol for infinity known as the lemniscate. Devised in 1655 by mathematician John Wallis, and named lemniscus, ribbon, by Bernoulli about forty years later. The symbol is patterned after the device known as a mobius, named after a nineteenth century mathematician’s strip. A mobius strip is a strip of paper which is twisted and attached at the ends, forming a two dimensional surface. The deeper aspects of the infinity symbol predate its mathematical origins. As it has been found in Tibetan rock carvings; and the ouroboros as spoken of before, is often depicted in this shape.

The lemniscate can be seen in numerous cards of the tarot including the two of pentacles, strength, and the magician. In the context of the tarot, the lemniscate represents the balance of forces and is often most associated with the magician card. It can be said to show that the divine or the spiritual is always present and able to be accessed beyond the act being represented, without necessarily conscious awareness by the character in question. For the two of pentacles, being the two of coins, it shows that the spiritual operates deep within the material bounds of manifestation via the open-ribbon. The Magician and Strength both have powers beyond those which can easily be explained away; the Magician's intellect and will, and Strength's almost holy calmness as she tames a fierce beast with a pat of her hand are examples. Both cards also signify traits of power that have the ability to impact the rest of our lives.

Summary

A final note on the combination of these separate elements to make us this symbol is that for the most part, it is symmetrical. Symmetry has a connotation of balance, and is a very important element in my personal life. It has much deeper inclinations because of my personal experience with a mysterious practice called mirrored bilateral symmetry. It is something I have had recurring experiences with as an altered state of consciousness and somewhat moving meditation consisting of my body making lemniscate figure eights through movement. It’s a state I have been able to access for the last couple years which provides deep insight via ties to kundalini activation and ancient yogic energetics. That will be more explored in a future essay but it’s worth noting that it’s one of the personal practices that has lead me to say the things I do.

So this encapsulates some subjective and objective opinions which we could also say are still surface level. As there are always deeper meanings to extract. For it can be very self educational to turn on our inner Robert Langdon and get to know lesser understood symbols. In an effort to create a magical sigil out of this logo, with a benevolent and deeper meaning and undercurrent behind it, we are also happy to share a more direct explanation why via this essay’s insights. This is similar to the ways occult, alchemical, or esoteric symbols from the past we may have been so personally drawn towards in our lives are intended to function. If you are intrigued by symbolism, allow yourself to feel into what they do for you and how they make you feel. For if they help light an inner spark of interest within yourself, then they are doing their job. For they are machines and keys capable of unlocking what is inside us. They are gateways to know thyself and machines for accomplishing an effect. And each individual must experience things on their own to have their own internal unique logos. Take notice of the etymology of that word and how the word logo is contained within it, which is not a coincidence.

In a Perfect World Podcast #143: On the Road To Wirikuta

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The first associated media around Shamans of the Global Village episode #2 has dropped!

Join immersive journalist Rak Razam and filmmaker Niles Heckman live on the shoot for episode 2 of Shamans of the Global Village, on the road to Wirikuta, where the sacred Peyote cactus grows. Together they discuss the pilgrimage made by the Huichol people and their medicine men, the Marakames, the hardships and sacrifices of the journey, and the delicate responsibility of filming their sacred ceremonies. Listen to a heartfelt sharing of the role of scared medicines, the re-connection to mother Gaia, the role of ceremony, music, song, and the secret sauce of life itself wooing us back into connection. This is how we remember the sacred in a profane world. This is the journey home. This is… the Road to Wirikuta….

Download the podcast from HERE.

For more information visit www.shamansoftheglobalvillage.com. 

Forward Movement

While some women and men are evolving in state of mind or what we might call state of consciousness, the majority are not. They are in fact, de-evolving. This is a natural process and is how things are meant to be. For what is true lasts, and what is un-true, does not.

The ones evolving forward, focus more on things that matter. While the one's engaging in de-evolution major in minor things. Caught in the thick swamps of thin things. Weather you’re in the third world and sell cheap trinkets on the side of the road or work in a sulphur mine, or in the first world, sitting in an office all day while having season tickets to a sporting arena by night, most people engage in low frequency behavior the vast majority of the time. They are wasting time being unbalanced and to move forward we must be time balanced. This can be a bit of a tough swallow, but to progress, one must spend minimal amount of time around those folks. For human beings are very influential on one another's actions. Perhaps a weekend is spent creating something rather than popping a beer and fusing into the couch to consume bread and circuses from home.

You can't have a healthy body temple if you fill it with z-grade fecal filled White Castle Cheese Burgers. Although the various types and breeds of vegetables have been downgraded in the last few hundred years as the majority of the species de-evolves allowing activities such as soil mineral depletion. Those moving forward must eat healthy natural foods from local communities, perhaps our farmers market, or even grown ourselves, as much as possible. This comes while our lives must be re-arranged so that they are able to spend consistent time on high quality activities. The more forward one moves, which is juggling the fewer yet completely essential practices, (financial, physical, relational, spiritual) in their life and removing the mind contractive unnecessaries, the less one can justify low frequency actions and behaviors. Which really means low quality. For one can not underestimate the unimportance of practically everything in industrial modernity.

Before one begins their mental evolution, they can reasonably spend time with just about anyone and eat anything placed in front of them. Thus justifying activities and behaviors which are quite frankly mediocre. As one’s ideals and vision for themselves expands, they realize they must adjust aspects of life such as wasting money, because money equals time, and their time is valuable, on low grade entertainment. They must save more money, thus saving more time, and invest more in their education, thus investing more in themselves and their future capabilities.

The more one forwardly progresses, the more one may be challenged by the forces of the universe and thus the more focused one must become. Engaging in consistent daily behavior of high quality excellence, which continually increases and much of which is only known by them and perhaps them alone. Those who we used to know who have gone away will not know or care why we are doing it, for we have wished them luck in their journey, yet they are far in our rearview mirror. It's not about being a tight ass, or being disrespectful to others, or thinking we are better than they are, or being perfect in our beings and doings. It's definitely not about being busy constantly, but instead the balance of true forward momentum involves regular sabbaticals. Breaking from routines of repetitiveness that eat time and don't allow us space to think or to be in retrospection in a new environment. Giving more quality time for introspection to ourselves. For if one’s daily behaviors are consistently low to medium quality, what does one expect their life’s output to be?

Relationships and choices must become as conscious as possible, since every area of our life has a correlation and effect on virtually every other area of our life. Hence the saying, “how you do anything is how you do everything”. This is doing that moves us constantly toward mindfulness in ourselves and how us as one piece on the chessboard of reality shapes things around us based upon our movements. Thus removing places and people from our lives which don't appreciate or fulfill us. So our daily actions can only be filled with those places and people and actions and creations we highly value. When our silver moon nights and golden sun days are embodied with those core essentials that mean the world to us the majority of our time is spend succeeding in that small amount of excellent areas, we dominate our life rather than having it dominate us. Holding onto those things that we highly value, with the rest being weeded out, we are thus living congruently and in harmony. With momentum, regardless of speed, because it's not a race. Yet, we are being who we truly want to be, every single day.

Easier said than done, but much like everything in these writings and speakings, is vastly worth doing. For success, which is really just forward motion for ourselves, and not ladder climbing or ego boosting, isn’t only having lots of money. For many people with lots of money have horribly unhappy and radically imbalanced lives. Success is continuously improving how you live, how you relate, how you serve, and who you are.

Professionally, saying no to great but irrelevant opportunities is something the de-evolvers will not do. While personally, giving up unfulfilling habits takes time. Expanding our vision and throwing previous belief systems in the trash bin takes courage. It’s also easy to revert back to small and mediocre thinking, so sometimes it is two steps forward and one step back with thousands of more steps yet to climb. However, as we come closer to living on a daily basis with our ideals and values that resonate with our heart strings and feel right, amazing yet subtle things begin to happen. While in between some desolate spells, these positive occurrences continue to happen into the future. Giving us objective insight into our own forward progress. We have less suffering, feel happier, more fulfilled, and present with those we love. We spend that time better by pursuing dreams and ambitions which have a knock on effect to others who they wash over. While also being more resilient during challenges due to our forward momentum and high frequency, everything around us will reflect on that. For it is all mirror work with reflections abound.

While the majority are not doing this, you have already begun doing it. You know it, and you can feel it. While some weeks and months have more of ability to see changes than others, through the years you can look back and see how far you've come.

Two Narrations About Naturalism and Destruction

After many years of yard neglect, we are getting our shit together and having work done on the house.

Physical labor is hard work man. Although it’s important work and can be very rewarding, any time I do it I’m so glad I dont have to rely on it as my income stream. Yet, having professionals help us gives the opportunity for yours truly to write short form words and combine them with hopefully what are beautiful images. Documenting tease somewhat mundane tasks yet not so every day occurrences of what it takes to re-boot a property. All while sharing some life-lessons about it.

These are the projects which can be made with the current time resources.

Trees are crucial for all life on land.

We revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves.

And can admire them even when they stand alone.

Deforestation is a major problem, removing the lungs of the Earth. Via death by a million cuts.

Yet sometimes, individual trees do need to come down.

If a tree is problematic or diseased, best to retire it early and plant more in its place.

Making way for new saplings which can outlive us all through many more days in the sun.

If a tree falls naturally, it will likely return to the Earth naturally.

The decomposing wood of a fallen tree serves as a slow-drip savings account of organic material.

Providing nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium over many years if not decades for the forest soil.

If a tree comes down before it brings itself down, there’s generally still a distinct trace of its continued physiology - The stump.

Requiring a loud and intrusive grinding machine to remove after a previous and different loud and intrusive cutting machine had caused the original damage.

A slow process, grinding away pass by pass, yet speeding up what would happen naturally in due course.

Trading time savings for a reduction of that natural long-term savings account.

A faster process yes, but ultimately one with less return.

Holiday Glurge

How does one choose to express their appreciation for the end of another solar cycle? 

By thinking 'Tis the season for barrels of fake sentiment and slithery Christmas music about sleighs and snow, often sung in a kind of oleaginous voice? 

Perhaps chugging gelatinous eggnog under mistletoe during yuletide celebrations wearing ugly sweaters in rooms full of people you can’t stand? 

Engaging in zombie like consumerist behavior buying generic corporatized presents at shopping malls? 

Forcing your child to sit on a chubby jaundiced strangers lap for cheesy photos while they cry their eyes out? 

Turning your home into a gaudy Griswold display where the decorations are in full materialistic overload likely requiring auxiliary power to accommodate the exorbitant electricity bill? 

Or fibbing to future generations by denigrating an Amanita Muscaria mushroom eucharist for achieving gnosis into a corporealized Coca-Cola version of a fiction named Santa Claus? 

Bah Humbug to the spattered buckets of stickily sweet glurge and may the true origins of the winter solstice be de-occulted and re-illuminated. 

This Infinite World of Ours

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” - William Blake

Our world — in this context, “world” refers to the universe, the innerverse, the cosmos and everything else — is truly infinite. We can wander and explore and engage with it for eternity, and there will always be more to see, more to experience, more to learn, and more to create.

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And yet, that is not the world we often experience. In fact, the world we often engage with is one of limitations, solid definition, and rigidity. We have been mislead. We have bought into the rhetoric and the trickery that has been concocted within the bowels of our own collective imagination. Or lack thereof. A so called imagination that remains sustenance through a steady diet of Madison Avenue, “news” masquerading as propaganda, and a further disconnect between who we are, and that of the world itself.

Our world has no limitations. Our world is not rigid, but infinitely fluid. If we believe in limitations, and if we nurture them within our Imagination, then it is inevitable that they will plant their roots within the world — or, we should say, our world — and remain rooted in place for as long as we nurture them.

William Blake penned those words many years ago. Likely in the late 1700s, due to that period of activity within his life. Blake speaks of several things in this absolutely essential quote, so let’s look at it a bit deeper.

By “the doors of perception” Blake is referring to several things. One of which is our own Consciousness. Our own Consciousness forms a doorway that limits and inhibits what it is that we see, feel, and create. This doorway consists of the limitations we have given the world and, in turn, to ourselves.

In recent years, people have gone on to state that “the doors of perception” is a pointed metaphor for our own brains, and their inability to register different types of information based on beliefs that take root within the subconscious. This ties in greatly with the fact that our conscious mind can only process supposedly 40 bits of information per second, whereas the subconscious mind can process supposedly around 20,000,000 bits of information per second. We register what is deemed “important,” based on our own beliefs and our own habits and our own thought patterns.

Cleansing “the doors of perception” refers to dissolving the boundaries that divide us between truly seeing and peering into the world, and merely observing it from a seemingly infinite recursion of frames. Frames that consist of beliefs, habits, thought patterns, memories, and quite a bit more that we have yet to discover or even consider, for the rabbit hole is infinitely deep.

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Aldous Huxley believed that psychedelics — particularly LSD — were the key to “cleansing the doors of perception” and that is why he used that particular segment of the quote as the title for his famous, and exceptional, text “The Doors Of Perception.” So many to this day associate the phrase the doors of perception with Huxley when he in fact derived it from Blake. Which is okay, because nothing is really new under the sun and it’s extremely rare to discover anything and it is instead, re-discovered or remembered.

You may agree with Huxley, or you may not, but there is no doubting the fact that these substances — especially the ones that come directly from the Earth, such as Peyote or Ayahuasca — allow us to access greater realms of consciousness. Earth medicine allies are but one way of cleansing the doors of perception. Other ways include meditation — of the patient and resolute sort — dreaming, and, of course, using your imagination which can be improved by meditation. We’ll dive into this one a little bit later, but do note that these are only a few ways to cleanse the doors of perception.

Finally, Blake states that “everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” If we are to cleanse the doors of perception — our beliefs and our limitations and borders and everything else that make up these rather imposing doors — that everything would appear to us as it truly is, infinite.

To understand this, we must understand that we don’t understand. Infinity is but a word used to describe something that is endless and without limit. We can’t really picture this, because to do so, would be to limit it. So, this gives further weight to Blake’s argument that the doors of perception have not, in fact, been cleansed at this point in this time.

Nonetheless, this multidimensional experience of life is infinite, and there are no limitations of any sort. We may think there are, and we may act in that way, but there are none. None at all. We may even come to realize that scarcity is not the case, and although living in balance with nature is key materially, that we have profound capabilities of solving our material problems through realizations and actions based on information given to us from the spiritual. For the spiritual is the cause and the material the effect.

Imagination is something that, for the longest time, we may feel has fixed definition. But the more we research and the more we explore and practice, the more we may realize that imagination has no true form or definition, and that it is the closest thing we have to a direct connection to “the infinite” or “the world” itself. In fact, it isn’t just “the closest thing” it is a broadband connection to infinitude.

The only limits that are to be found in the province of imagination are the ones that we give ourselves. For our imagination is a direct product of our own self-concepts and our own beliefs and ideas about ourselves.

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Using our imagination, we can conjure entire worlds within the span of seconds. We can go on great quests and adventures within these worlds. And that’s just the start of it. For within the province of imagination, limitations are falsehoods that need not be heeded or respected.

Imagination is just as “real” as “reality”, for they are both a product of consciousness and everything is consciousness based. We may admit that we don’t really understand this idea very well, but it remains a point of interest, and a frequent theme that we can meditate on to further come to eventually understand a bit more.

We erect walls between “imagination” and “reality”, but they are only as real as we believe them to be. When we dissolve those borders — which few have done — then we realize the truth. Limitations are imaginary. Definitions may even be imaginary. And life is but a dream. Important, no doubt, but as a dream — a lucid dream, if we allow it to be — it is infinitely fluid and endlessly malleable.

Each and every border that comes to define and distort “imagination” and “reality” comes not only from our own imagination, but from our self-concepts, and this, in turn, comes from our imagination. You see, all things are intertwined within this very simple — but, in truth, endlessly complex — framework.

*Written by Maxwell Akin & Niles Heckman.

Being Critical of Criticism

I was recently in a bookstore in Seattle Washington and happened across the essay section. What was revealing was that the section was actually titled “Essays/Criticism”. Does that mean that most essays written are also just short form written criticism? A modern definition of critical is expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgments or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work of literature, music, or art. As much as I'm conscious to not always make these be rants, even though there is a future one in the alchemical cauldron currently on the barbaric practice of circumcision and that will be a bit ranty sounding, I am also conscious to not just have them be about me. Just like the vast majority of lower common denominator, short-form, discursive, narcissistic, antisocial networking is. It’s basically just personal marketing through selfies or posts constantly talking about the self rather than excellent food for thought. Just look at the amount of posts which begin with I, me, or I'm for example in your feed. A private Facebook group which I used to be a member of, up until leaving all Facebook groups, claimed to be a place to have more higher level discussion about the nature of reality. While many themes on there did accomplish that, I was still not very impressed with the group overall because the majority of the posts were still used to simply self-market. Because even quote on quote “woke” folks, use social networking as a way to grab attention online.

Much of life and knowledge is empirical, which results in the sharing of your own personal experience, so through our life experience we best relay information through that self. Thus it’s all good to talk about and mention the self here and there so long as it’s a balanced perspective. And not only compare your doings to other folks doings thinking you are always on your high horse or soap box as they say. Thus I am also conscious to not make these essays purely criticism. Yet knowledge of a problem is half the solution so in order to fix something that is broken systematically, it must be properly identified, and then have solutions proposed. Thus its best to identify systematic problems rather than individual people's problems. Because if someone is rubbish at something, there will always be someone more rubbish to take their place should they go down. Thus, it's better to deconstruct and discard a rubbish ideology rather than a rubbish individual putting forth that ideology.

Much of our deprogramming and de-indoctrination involves us de-constructing things that we once thought served us but have come to realize they do not. Hence we are critical of those things and that can oftentimes be thought of by others as being negative. An example is a more conscious person who’s realized much of mainstream culture doesn't serve us. They then get around a normie, or “Homo Normalis” as Wilhelm Reich used to say, and that normie interprets their critical deconstructions of the low grade society and culture as being negative. Hence you're being a negative person. Which is actually not the case, but in fact you have much higher standards because you’ve been exposed to information which is much more enriching and fulfilling to the awakened human. Who will not be solely a commercial trader that is purely looking to outside sources to determine for them, but a more self-reliant and sovereign creative person forging their own way through the mystery of life.

I am very critical of things from a systems perspective. I don't make a policy of shit canning specific individuals for the most part, other than a few of the obvious choices. The president of the united states is a very common one for example. Who often times just turns into a punching bag for millions of people during their tenure in office, regardless of party. A term in comedy is to “punch up, not down”. So if you are an open mic night comedian on stage in a back alley comedy club in Santa Monica on a Thursday night trying out your material, they say to target your making fun of figures to folks such as politicians, celebrities, and business magnates, as they are supposedly above you in the social hierarchy. Part of being one of those folks who are in the extreme spotlight is you will be a target for that, and that is very much known and par for the course. Although, when you have infinite wealth, world renown fame, or power, your biggest problem then becomes making sure your image or legacy is not tarnished, which can only really be done by treating others below you in the social hierarchy with respect and being able to make fun of yourself and take a joke if Saturday Night Live is impersonating you for example. What is in grossly bad taste and never ends well is to punch down. Meaning criticize those below you in the hierarchy who quite honestly are obviously struggling already. So you don't make fun of homeless people, those with down syndrome, janitors, the person with the asymmetrical face, immigrants, or handicapped kids otherwise you really sound like an prick.

Much of what you say to someone else negatively is you identifying things within yourself and projecting them. Much of what you say to someone else honestly, authentically, and positively, is you accurately identifying as a positive trait within yourself. I know someone who I have to spend time with on occasion in my life, who is very much a critic of everyone. They are extremely reactionary and will always only say a negative comment in regards to a situation. This is because they see little to nothing positive within themselves, so they see little to nothing positive within anyone else. Most of their criticism stems from a place of deep personal insecurity. Being on the receiving end of criticism is not fun and can certainly cause hurt and pain on the outside to others. Sometimes this does need to happen back in order to re-balance a source of criticism. Which may oftentimes be seen as a dynamic from loving family members. It takes guts to confront someone such as a long time friend, parent, or sibling. Since they have Known us our whole lives, they will be more likely to tell us something about ourselves rather than our outer circle of friends or others we are simply acquainted with. Which can go both ways, from elder to younger or younger to elder.

There was once a brilliant story about a old grandmother who was living with her grown daughter and her daughters family, and when grandma moves in the the fam you know she’s never moving out. This grandmother was not all sweet and wonderful, but instead had gotten very bitter, cynical, negative, and critically judgmental over essentially everything and everyone. Grumpy old grandma who was a product of a different age. The family had grown very tired of her constant negativity over the years and decided what to do. One day, the household’s mother, the daughter of the grandmother, sat her mother down at the kitchen table and confronted her with tear soaked eyes and 100 percent seriousness. Saying something to the effect of “Mom, you have been saying a lot of negative things lately. Are you okay? Because if you're not, the family and I have come up with a solution. We are so tired of your attitude that tonight, I am going to help you kill yourself. And I am not joking in the slightest. If you don't want to, then we'll know you're okay and have much less to complain about.” Suffice to say, the grandmother changed her tune a bit after this ultimatum which forced her to take a stark perspective shift and see how her reality tunnel had created a cyclone dragging the spirits of everyone else in the household down with her.

There is nothing more mature than being happy for someone achieving something, that perhaps you have not accomplished, but would secretly like to, and still being truly complimentary to that person. I was recently complimented by a music school teacher as to how well my daughter was developing, and I could tell she said it truly from the heart. This was extra impactful because I know that her daughter is special needs and has all sorts of health and development problems. So for her to point that out was extra impactful. I was also recently at a wedding of a good buddy of mine, and his best man pointed out during his speech that one of the best things about Chris is his ability to see things constantly on the bright side and make the most bland or dreary situations or things into something special and memorable. Thus you could take away that the best man giving that speech, knows he could work on adapting that trait to his own personality in a positive way. Knowledge of a problem is half the solution.

Having the ability to see what is wrong and could be improved with a situation is a form of discernment. That takes spiritual growth and inner development to foster. Having the ability to express what is being discerned without fear of "offending" is important at times. Not being concerned with “political correctness” which is really an analogy for “watering down.” It develops an ability in the individual to point out what is missing, inaccurate or ineffective, without adding even more negativity to it via judgment. Do you have the ability to look at a situation and instead of simply criticizing it, to evaluate what could be improved about it and propose a solution. Providing feedback that affirms forward movement. This is the difference between judgement or criticism vs critical thinking. Both require the ability to notice and to observe. However, critical thinking is more akin to evaluation while criticizing is more akin to judgment and those who criticize often add an element of negativity to the observation.

A criticism is not useful without a solution proposed. Criticizing another person or a system without being solution based does not produce anything that is useful or appreciated by another. This is the problem with critics. Who don't actually create hardly anything and instead simply criticize what others create. We see this as some people actually make a career out of this. Via being restaurant critics, fashion critics, theatre critics, etc... They are all folks that secretly wanted to do what their area of criticism focuses on, but never actualized in that field. A professional critic only then creates an article or magazine or newspaper column to share their criticism of others that create what they never could. This is very commonly seen in the laurel giving film festival world. When these laurels are rarely given by season filmmakers, but instead a self described gatekeeper who runs a website or film festival. The director Joel Schumacher once said, “No young person aspires to become a critic.” As he was speaking on this in regard to film reviews. I personally have more respect for the lowest grade filmmaker than the highest end film critic. Thus I have more respect for Uwe Boll, a german filmmaker known for being a schlock maestro making atrociously bad video game adaptation films. Or Kenneth Anger, a underground experimental filmmaker who makes borderline unwatchable occult films merged with surrealism and homoeroticism, than I do for world renowned film critic Roger Ebert. Who was not a filmmaker but was famous for his associations with American cinema. He does deserve credit for his authorships in the field however, much of which were in regards to filmmaking technique and the history of cinema, of which he did have a significantly impressive knowledge base in. Even though some content is so bad it would have been better to never have been made, at least it had the creators will behind it, allowing it to be brought into manifestation in the first place.

Sticking to wrongness is easy and seductive and dramatic and its harder and takes a more sophisticated and beautiful mind to propose solutions. Critical thinking is sorely missing in our society today. “Criticism is an essential aspect of critical thinking... Knowing when and how to give "constructive" feedback is a skill that very few people are taught. Combined with a society in an era that cares less about character, integrity, and authenticity this confusion reinforces an increased dumbing down, and dismissal of *any* expression of criticality as "intellectualism" or merely, "offensive".”

So opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink. But a breath of fresh mountain air sweeps immediately through as that vocalized opinion transitions to a proactive solution in the same sentence. That way things are not left with a negative hanger of doom on someone else or a country or the planet as a whole. There is always room for improvement in all levels of our society which is still in the sandbox of maturity. So having critical thinking of yourself and your own life helps tame your inner critic and bring that forward to alway propose glass half full solutions as you move onward and upward.

Radiant Creators – Finding The Yellow Brick Road

Chat with Craig Simpson over at the Radiant Creators Podcast. The topics listed below are discussed and more!

 

The evolving personal Bio (biography)

Technical and eclectic editing sound and video

Reading “The Matrix” code

The democratization of technology

“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one”

Street photography and capturing the sweetness of life

Taking responsibility for every aspect of a creative life

“There is a difference between knowing the path & walking the path” ~ Morpheus

Finding the Yellow Brick Road of authentic life

The equal value of every creative act

Finding what interest you and doing it may lead to an income stream

Early Rising

Rising early is not always the most enjoyable thing to do.

It’s easier to stay up late and wake up late.

But as we get older, we find advantages in sliding our schedule forward.

Which amongst other benefits, puts us more in tune with the natural solar cycles.

Calm offshore winds and waves are friends of dawn and dusk. When things are still and peaceful.

We rise early to not only get out into nature during that unique window, but to get a head start on the day.

To get things done ahead of schedule gives you a surge of power; such as regular exercise or maybe even the occasional firing up of a hot air balloon.

It can create a sense of consummation, even if we did nothing else for the rest of the day.

A common trait of successful people is they rise early, which after years of practice, helps lift them up in life.

Setting an example for onlookers who are influenced by what those risers have accomplished.

Most often noticed buy productive work in their area of passion during private, solitary time.

For being looked up towards by others gives us a since that we’re in the winds of positive change.

Reason For Being

What is your reason for being? So few can answer that question. The French term raison d'etre, occasionally used in an English sentence, means "reason or justification for existence." Various factors for life longevity are diet, exercise, fellowship or community, but also purpose. In our earlier and dumber past, we associate such a question as “what is your purpose?” with the statement “what do you do?” Which is a way of saying what do you do for work, more amply translated into “how do you make fake fiat-debt based, unbacked by anything money within the small slice of existence that is commercial trading?” Which is inherently a reduction since human beings are not commercial traders yet we are living in times were far too many associate themselves with solely what they do for work, or their jobs, or their fake careers. Rather than how they always improving themselves and others through their continual alignment with the great work.

A more effective and higher resonant way to structure the statement “what do you do” is “how do you spend your days” which opens up to a broader landscape of “how do you choose to spend your time”, spend being an important word here and notice closely the etymology of it in that sentence. Time “spent” doing things that are enriching, informative, or fulfilling vs time spent just to make those fake paper B-ill’s as the Rastafarians would say. Moving toward Zion and away from Babylon.

A at home parent may work tirelessly day in and day out and that isn't just for money, it is for work to improve something. In that case, growing a life by watering a young mind. Same with a retiree who spends their time doing animal rescue, helping four-legged stray creatures. Both are very noble work which helps another living soul, but does not necessarily have a monetary reward in a world we are often meant to think and feel is materialistic. You may be young with no need for a job at that time-space vector in your life, but you spend each day, one day at a time, learning and having fun. Or you may be a Palestinian refugee in the outdoor concentration camp which is your country, in abject struggle day after day, just trying to find reason and purpose. Or perhaps in your golden years in assisted living playing bridge with your fellow wrinkled, silver haired, 80+-year-old gal pals. Engaging in conversation and reminiscing on the past long gone.

One could go even further with this introductory statement which is oftentimes one of the first follow up questions when normie A meets normie B and instead say, “what is your reason for being?” In your life, this time around, or let’s say this cycle round, or from an eastern perspective, this incarnation around, “what have you perhaps found is your reason for this cycle?” We know that 99.9% of folks can’t answer that question. They make feel it in the distant far back depth of their mind and heart connection, but they could not answer it via a question like such, off the cuff.

Ikiɡai is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being." The term ikigai compounds two Japanese words: iki meaning "life; alive" and kai meaning "(an) effect; to arrive at "a reason for living [being alive]; a meaning for [to] life; what [something that] makes life worth living or a raison d'etre". The word "ikigai" is usually used to indicate the source of value in one's life or the things that make one's life worthwhile. The word translated to English roughly means "thing that you live for" or "the reason for which you wake up in the morning." Each individual's ikigai is personal to them and specific to their lives, values, and beliefs. It reflects the inner self of an individual and expresses that most faithfully, while simultaneously creates a mental state in which the individual feels at ease. Activities that allow one to feel ikigai are never forced on an individual; they are often spontaneous, and always undertaken willingly, giving the individual satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.

There is an oftentimes seen chart or graphic which depicts the term. It is comprised of four circles overlapping which form a pattern that looks a bit like a four petal rainbow flower. The circles represent LOVE, NEEDS, TALENT, and COMPENSATION. Where each single overlaps you have the combining of those verbs into the four subsections which are PASSION, MISSION, PROFESSION, and VOCATION. And in the center where all the circles overlap you have IKIGAI - or your reason.

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I recently heard from a listener to my podcast who I was consulting with directly, who does various work with ancient land known in the United Kingdom. We had a great conversation and he is a brilliant bloke. Very knowledgeable about dowsing - a type of divination employed in attempts to locate ground water, buried elements or other  materials. His knowledge of that ancient technique extends into a knowledge of ley lines and energy grids on the land as well as the power of stones, which when placed in certain configurations, can have restorative or energetic properties for the land. Like so many conversations which I’m so fortunate to have sporadically up my calendar, it was a mutually beneficial conversation in which he helped me, by sharing some personal and direct insight he has from years of experience with these practices, which I have much to learn about still, and I help him by sharing input in other areas and capacities as well.

During the conversation it became known to me that he struggles with his ability to make money in current capacities, having had his past form of employment outsourced, reduced, or dissolved. But I could tell in speaking with him that he is a special and excellent man, but still has yet to fully realize his personal ikigai. He knows what he’s good at, what he needs, what he loves to spend his time doing, but he hasn't quite made it work for him in terms of what he can be paid for. On this subject, another similar message I received from someone was concluded in the brilliant phrase, “may you continue to achieve equilibrium” before penning their name.

Now, this is something that resonates with I'm sure just about every pair of ear cavernous canal holes listening to this. I know what I like doing, which is essentially my hobby, but how do I get paid for doing it. Ikigai helps show us that many of the puzzle pieces are there, we just haven't quite aligned them as fully as we may be able to. I’m not saying that if your life passion is the art form of making pottery, you’re going to be as financially as successful as a banker in the closest city. But it is possible you can create your own pottery business in which you perhaps teach classes, or restore fancy broken china, or perhaps rent out a work loft space with a large fire kiln. There is generally always a way, in which you can take that passion, and fractal it to some way of being compensated. Maybe part time and with hard work one-day full time. Because in this time-space vector, we do need to make some revenue to have a life that is sustainable and not abject struggle. The awakened human with inner fire lite will also not have standards so low that they’re willing to accept the falsity that they must give all the best years of your life over by doing something they don't particularly want to be doing solely in order to receive a paycheck.

Despite this four circle visualization most likely being a gross simplification of the deeper meaning of the word, that sweet-spot of “what you are good at” + “what you love” + “what the world needs” + “what you can be paid for” is a tough one to find for most people. As we learn these steps it initially may be finding our passion, then moving onto using that to derive a vocation, which then can create a profession, and fulfill a mission. If any of those components are missing, we certainly know it’s not our raison d'etre or reason for being.

For those who have already been walking this walk, it’s likely that the last box to be check for many who will be the compensation component. Which may not be exclusively financial, the best compensation happens in rather unsuspecting ways, but there will be a monetary component. So even if you’ve gotten 3 out of 4 of these down and are essentially doing very honorable volunteer work which is not to be undervalued, but you still have some work to do in the alchemical process of making your outer life of what you create, as aligned with your inner life of thoughts and feelings, as possible. And don’t we all.

One way to know that you can check all four boxes and have arrived is to think about what work for you is not work at all? Taken to the point that when you are old and retired, you would still be doing that work and still have income generating too.

“True will” are two words which you will likely hear many hundreds of times more in the essay penned by this author, as finding yours is central to not only happiness but for your life path of discovering the mystery. So we could go even a step further and switch up our initial ice-breaking conversation at the cocktail party with making our second question to someone “What's your reason for being?” or “what is your true will?” And “how do you, doing the very long and difficult, but extremely worth it work of finding that, add to a larger divine will not just for you, but every living soul in this amazing dream of life?”

Working toward being able to know these things for yourself, and being able to answer them not just for you but for these questions when they might one day be presented to you, may be your very most important reason for being here. No matter how long it takes you, it’s worth the effort to ascertain.

The Wet Shake Off

Man can oftentimes learn from the behavior of animals.

Such as when being forced into any sort of discomfort. Physical or mental.

Rather than dwelling on the occurrence and stewing in your own bitter juices, best to shake it off.

We all occasionally confront negative forces, which are learning tools in the face of adversity.

Those wet soggy old ways will transition away as we pull ourselves up and move on.

If a dog is loved, they will give unconditional love back because they live in the moment instead of dwelling on the past.

Third Eye Iguanas

The short-form narrations continue in this piece, shot in Mexico in a very hot July of 2018.

Doing these little micro “films” is great because they happen in whatever I synchronistically happen to come across during the world travels, just like street photography. Document what’s there and then build a script around the subject matter. Good for not only honing your writing and research skills, but testing hardward as well.


Iguanas are known for their prehistoric look due to their very long tails, pronounced scales , and spiky spines.

They have extremely good eyesight and can see ultraviolet wavelengths. To see even more, they also have a very small third eye. This organ, called a parietal eye, is more subtle than their two main eyes, usually looking like a spot located asymmetrically on the top of their head. It does have a subdued pupil and cornea which don't see fully rendered images but instead senses movement and luminance changes. Extrinsically, it is used as an additional defense mechanism to detect predators.

Intrinsically, this eye, found in many reptiles, is linked to a small endocrine gland called the pineal gland, which can be found in the brain of mammals as well. Many ancient cultures through time have visualized a third eye on statues and deities as a mystical and esoteric concept said to provide a perception to higher states of consciousness beyond what even iguanas are capable of seeing.

Sometimes hints to mankind's higher capabilities that go beyond the 5 senses can be found in unusual places. Just as in these ancient creatures as they eat yesterday’s rotting leftovers.

Nox Mente

Chatted with Niish and Jerry Ablan over at Nox Mente on the 19th of September. The podcast is dedicated to exploring consciousness through dreams, dreaming, and dream theory using a wide angle lens. They open up the conversation to a diverse world of dreamers. The show will be LIVE. Tune in as I'm planning to share my story about a re-occurring moving meditation dream-like state I've connected to for the last few years. This will be only the second time I've talked about it publicly so stay tuned for that. 

Here is a slightly stern and douchey picture of me for the chat. Download audio here.

THE DIGITAL INNER DEVELOPMENT ARCHIVE

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In an effort to live lite, Niles has few physical books but an incredible library of digital files which can be much more easily transported and stored. Collecting a comprehensive amount of non-fiction digital books on the occult, the esoteric, philosophy, religion, mythology, folklore and more through the years, and they are now available to be shared with you in the products/store section of this site. A lifetime worth of study.

There are numerous thousands of e-books and spoken word audio files. Find out more here

Updated Podcast Logo

BEHOLD!!! Our new podcast logo. Download the logo pack here!

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We here at nilesheckman.com are all about constant change and adjustment. There were a couple of things about the old logo which bothered us, so we've updated it. We already re-branded the name of the podcast once, which would be thought to be marketing suicide, but we did it anyway!  

As the podcast evolves, it is getting more esoteric and occult. Yes, that is great news thank you. So one of the goals of the new logo is to make it look both esoterically old and with a combined modern fresh design feel. We feel we have accomplished this, until we likely re-design it again in 2019. Ha!

Allergic Defenses

In the spring, when the pollen spreads, it is beautiful.

Pollen can also be problematic for those who have sensitive sinuses because it is a classic catalyst for allergies.

Like nearly everything health related in life, allergies are caused by not only exposure to the environment, but mainly from our diet from the environment.

Simple supplemental and dietary changes can have a strong improvement on building up our defenses to some of nature's challenges.

In our current mechanistic society, the effect is often treated instead of the cause.

In our former holistic past we naturally cured the cause due to our balance with our mother Earth.

Nature will continue to test us, and we should learn from her examples, because she always bats last.

Higherside Chats Podcast - The Divine Mysteries & The Path Of The Mystic

Have taken part in a 1 / 2 conspiracy podcast punch! Part one was Veritas Radio and part two is The Higherside Chats. Please do support Greg Carlwood and his fabulous podcast which he puts so much of his amazing self into. Specific details below regarding the conversation around our feature film Transmutation. Supporting the show by becoming a plus member would be one of the best things you've done all year.

Regular show (The first hour of the conversation available for free)

Plus show (Full 2-hour conversation for subscribers only)

On this episode of everyone’s favorite conspiracy podcast: It’s easy to feel disenfranchised with our cog in the wheel society and the life-sucking Empire perched above it. Draining us spiritually, emotionally, and in every other sense of the word. Stifling our innovation and development., and filling us with the aggressive indoctrination that if you seek a path outside of normalcy you will no doubt, crash and burn.

However, we still see some people outside of that cage who seem different: Freer, happier, enlightened and at peace – and we hear these outliers telling us that freedom is only a few brave choices away. That the Universe rewards the bold, and there isn’t much holding us back except our own fear. It’s a tough message to adopt, but there’s no denying the persistent call to tear down those cubical walls, shatter the shackles of the Empire, and orient our lives towards our True Will and the path of the Esoteric Tradition.

Well people, today we’re going to try and get the message through your heads one more time- as we’re joined by two people who know it well: Neil Kramer and Niles Heckman. You might remember Neil Kramer from the THC archives, as he was here once before almost 5 years ago. But for those who don’t, Neil is a philosopher, teacher, and esotericist. His work focuses on spirituality, mysticism, and metaphysics. He is a faculty member at the Omega Institute in New York, where he teaches spiritual philosophy, mysticism, esoteric studies, and self-development.

Today, in a rare trilog for this show, we’re also joined by Niles Heckman. A talented film maker and documentarian who has worked on several projects in line with the spiritual path including his Episodic Series “Shamans of the Global Village. Together, they’ve just released a new documentary entitled Transmutation. Written and Narrated by Neil and Directed by Niles, Transmutation is a documentary about becoming your best self, rejecting the Empire, discovering the beauty and dangers of a hidden spiritual path, and hearing from those who have transformed themselves by walking it. Two individuals aligned with the esoteric, champions of the Divine Mysteries, and the one-two punch of Transmutation. Neil Kramer and Niles Heckman.

VERITAS RADIO on Transmutation

Delightful to be a guest on Veritas Radio. An alternate media podcast encompassing the topics of UFOs, the paranormal, parapolitics, conspiracies, and more subjects. The show has had a consistent quality of excellent guests on these important topics for over 10 years. 

I've been a long time listener and now first time caller. Mel Fàbregas, Neil Kramer, and I dive into some additional aspects of Neil and I's feature documentary film Transmutation. How it came to be, it's theming, everyone involved, as well as creating something that is hopefully both beautiful and empowering.

Podcasts like Veritas are so great because they allow conscious beings a platform to unpack and unfold about their research and relevant works created to de-construct the drudgery of bourgeoisie material culture. Just as politics have gotten to the point where comedy shows are more informative and journalistic than talking head corporatized commentators, quality conspiracy shows are the same. Being a much better source for those with eyes to see and ears to hear to uncover a life path of truth. 

 
 

Not only is this heartfelt indie filmmaking at its purest, but also an example of intentionally organic zero-marketing. The filmmakers communicated only with existing audiences via email and social media, with any wider exposure coming gradually by word of mouth. Commercial suicide? The filmmakers don’t care. Niles Heckman said: “We honestly just wanted to play the long game and make something very beautiful and meaningful which can be watched 50 years from now and still be very much appreciated. And I believe we did. If it resonates with people who are curious about the deeper meanings of existence and seeking more, that’s wonderful.” The feature documentary explores the rarely-seen intimacies of deeply individualistic mystical experiences of everyday reality. 

Huge compliments from Mel on the film and it truly aligns with his shows goal which is the transmutation of human consciousness from ignorance and darkness to truth and enlightenment.

In Recovery With Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent, also commonly known as “The Nuge” or “Uncle Ted” is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. His activism mainly stems from his conservative political views, his advocacy of no drug usage, and particularly his advocacy of hunting and gun ownership rights. He grew up in Michigan and spent his youth in the great outdoors, much of the time hunting with his dad, who was a World War 2 veteran and taught him about firearms very early and that ethos has been a strong part of his adolescent to adult life. He grew up in a right-leaning conservative upbringing and that has been his position ever since.

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Although two-party politics is a divisive, old hat paradigm, not to mention a puppet show, I grew up in an opposite political upbringing to Ted Nugent. My parents are former hippies from the 60’s, did acid in Golden Gate Park, worked in Berkeley and I subsequently grew up in a left-leaning liberal household in the Bay Area of California. Suffice to say, Ted Nugent could be held up as an icon of everything in opposition to what I was raised with and is someone I used to despise. His loud mouth, “I’m positive I’m correct” and “lies bounce off me” attitude could be summarized in the W. B. Yeats quote “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

Over the years, I’ve known who Nugent was and the ideas he has always been so passionate on speaking about. As we grow and learn, it’s important to depolarize from identity politics, which much like religions, seem to be things people buy wholesale and go down the line on, feeling the same way on every issue regarding. One of the key principles which are very important to avoid is becoming so divisive and polarizing on “the issues”. Whatever the issues may be. Labeling people with a polarized title is a way to put them into a box and control them. Is she liberal? Is she conservative? How do I classify this? Through spiritual growth, we can come to depolarize ourselves where if we came from one background we may transition into another way of being which is an inner alchemical transmutation to the point where we become a nearly different being later in life than where we started. Thus, landing at a point where we exhibit all the best traits of true liberalism and true conservatism, which are centerpoints of balance and solidity. Some of those who have a knowledge of natural law and the seven hermetic principles, may use them for good Jedi wizardry or else engage in dark sorcery, using them to their advantage over others. We have all heard the term divide and conquer but not many realize that a false paradigm of left vs right politics is simply a tool to polarize the masses into different political teams and thus fight amongst each other while the real magic acts are happening elsewhere at the top of the power pyramid.

We can also look to ancient wisdom and etymology of words and come to know that modern translations of terms are not nearly what they used to be. So you might say a modern day liberal is often not liberal in the true sense of the word and a modern day conservative is not conservative as well. Both sides of the fence have been diluted and co-opted within the mainstream false paradigm two party system. I have a colleague who’s quite conservative in the true sense of the word, but his spirit is sky high. Because of that, even though he despises socialism, gun control, and the Democratic party while I still to this day despise theocrats, Monsanto, and Republicans, both he and I have depolarized enough that we still agree on most things regarding life and society from a larger metaphysical perspective. Mainly that the sovereignty of the individual is king. He’s one who has risen above voting for the modern day Republican party because of their support for the deplorable behavior of the political leaders of Zionist Israel for example and because of their stances on not letting women make their own choices about their bodies in regards to abortion. While I have also come far enough to say the Democratic party is rubbish as well, is in no way going to be ameliorating the injustices of the middle class and has been an equally terrible of a warmongering party as the Republicans, which I have no interest in ever voting for again. Does that mean both parties are the same? No. Yet are either the solution? No. So good on him for having a mind of his own, being a traditional conservative who cares about conserving the environment and also recognizes that the current Republican party is garbage. And good on me for being a liberal in the true sense of the word, meaning free, and caring about strong individualism and the ability of each person to live their lives without force intervention of any kind. Government or corporate.

Ted Nugent however, is very much a supporter of the modern day Republican party. Which is a very polarized position he still holds. In my personal continued attempt to go further and rise above that, thus depolarize from a purely opposite liberal box of looking at the world, two areas I could be not identified with my upbringing on are immigration and guns. As I am not paint by numbers liberal on immigration, since people who immigrate from less desirable countries to more desirable countries bring their positives, but their negatives as well. Yet, at the same time, I know that if anyone else is suffering, I am suffering and we should have compassion for those who need help. Which is most effectively done by allowing them to help themselves in their own native lands and not robbing those lands of their natural resources through imperialism. Upon recently seeing Nugent on an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, a venture which has still managed to retain some quality while being one of the most view podcasts on spaceship Earth, I would give Nugent the benefit of the doubt and listen to the conversation. And I must say that I agreed with about 80%+ of what this should be polar opposite figure to me had to say during the conversation. Perhaps due to my credit of continued attempts to zoom out and depolarize.

What is key in life is the creative and powerful individual and Nuget understands and highlights that through his passion. Most people who come to politics know that in modernity, there is an effort to reduce their rights and opportunities. Nugent holds rugged individualism and self-reliance up as being paramount, which is something that has come to be appreciated by this writer and I applaud him for always standing up for. I totally understand that gun ownership is in the constitution for a reason and that if an armed population has no guns then the militarized black iron prison of the machine of modern day Empire will certainly still have guns. It would be wonderful to live in a safe world where no one needed guns, as Bill Hicks said: “There’s no difference between having a gun and shooting someone, and not having a gun and not shooting someone.” But that’s not the world at this spacetime vector. So, until Empire goes, a responsible armed citizenry is a big nuisance and problem for the machine of control.

What’s rarely ever talked about but is very true and will get you a strike on YouTube for saying so is that some of the shootings in the United States are real, but the majority of them are staged psychological operations which instill a problem, reaction, solution dynamic of attempting to get the populous to self-remove their 2nd amendment rights which give them great power and great responsibility and treat them like adults. So believe it or not, I will support the pro-gun statement that we really don’t have a gun ownership problem in the United States, we have a mental health problem, which extends deep into the veins of our generally shallow and compassionless culture which throws so many under the bus who are left for years unloved or alone. So even though I called the NRA nuts because they seem to think the only solution to the problem is uzi’s for school kids, I’ll still meet Nugent a certain percentage of the way and find a balance point on any mentally healthy and responsible American having the right to own guns. But another question is, what type of gun? Because as Jim Jefferies said, “They’re not called protection rifles, they’re called assault rifles.” We also have yet to hear a rational and viable step by step solution from the right as to how to keep assault rifles out of the hands of the mentally ill. Since most right-wing policies only help corporations and billionaires, while throwing labor and the poor under the bus, many of the same folks that advocate for strong gun ownership have caused an amplification of mental illness through their other policies.

One of the most important tenets of the future is decentralization. Which is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision-making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group and instead across the spectrum of everyone using the system? A co-op is a decentralized company which is owned by workers rather than the one CEO at the top who’s usually an asshole who is only nice to you as an employee because of your allegiance to the corporation he’s steering. Corruption is somewhat inevitable at our current not very good consciousness signal in the cell phone bar level of public awareness to the true nature of reality. So in a decentralized system, when corruption inevitably occurs, it hits smaller, more separate components of the system, rather than just infiltrating the one group at the top of the power pyramid. Nuge is a strong advocate of individualism which from a systems standpoint, is more decentralized over collectivism. Even though one could think of individualism as “I only care about myself” but it ultimately stems from each individual’s separate and unique journey in life, which when allowed to truly flourish creativity and spiritually, turns nodes on the network into much more powerful and unique sovereign entities. Nuge is a strong advocate of not relying on for government “handouts”, which is good if it’s about people being self-reliant and making situations work for them but bad if it becomes a politically expedient euphemism for eroding basic social services such as healthcare being a right and not a privilege. It doesn’t mean that we cant have a base standard of care and compassion for those who fall through the mental illness cracks but to sacrifice good individual expression for a group is worse than fixing bad individual expression based on the group.

The strongest advocate within him is that of a hunter. There is a massive difference between sports trophy hunting and hunting for sustenance. Sustenance hunting, which mankind has done since the dawn of time, especially prior to the invention of agriculture, is a birthright. If done with respect for the animal, sustainable harvesting is a spiritual quest or initiation, not to mention a profound life skill for the adult male to know and lesson learning for young males to experience. Knowing where your food comes from is key, and to Nugent’s credit, he does highlight unless you’re a vegan, you have no right to argue about killing animals and that vegetarian farming harms animals as well. Sometimes even more because of agricultural practices such as soybean oil, which is responsible for incredibly large amounts of forestation. I do believe and buy that as a lifelong meat eater, he has killed the vast majority of that food himself so he’s eating natural, grass fed, omega-3 healthy meat and looks very good for his age. If the type of animal being hunted is not sustainable, then that is a sad reflection on humanity and is called trophy hunting. It speaks to a macho juvenile male who instinctively wants to go out there and kill things to establish dominace and collect trophies for purely materialistic gain. As mankind has also hunted many species to extinction and we still very, unfortunately, see game hunters photographing themselves with endangered species to this day.

Like with all polarized right-leaning arguments I’ve heard through my lifetime, it’s not so much what is being said. It’s what’s not being said. Right wing polarized people tend to shit can government, while thinking corporations are the greatest things in the universe which can do no wrong and are engines of job creation. In reality, the government is a giant corporation, the united states has been turned into a corporation, even our names have been turned into corporations. The world has been corporatized and there is a massive difference between mega-giant corporations and small businesses. Better to be pro-small business, and anti corporate power. Since the problem with the government is that it is corporatized, only acting as a placater to corporate power. This is what lobbying (which really just means corruption) and money in politics is about, placating to aristocratic bloodlines and massive mega-corporations who have more money than many countries and have zero legion to any country. But love their socialism as they are super happy to privatize gains and socialize losses at the expense of the taxpayer. These are side effects of continuing hard right or soft right policies which Nugent supports. Not to mention the continuing dissolving of labor and theocratic leanings on women’s reproductive birthright decisions. Much of this corporatization had been kicked into overdrive in the united states by 40+ years of Reaganomics, which made an already unstable mis-distribution of wealth even worse. So when Nugent looks at the decline of America and blames it on hippies and beatniks, while giving un-checked corporate power a complete pass, it speaks to the long way he still has to come in his wisdom.

So I agreed with the majority of what he said during the interview. Will I ever vote for the Republican party? Fuck no I’d rather drink my own diarrhea. Do I disrespect Ted Nugent? No, I do respect him and his opinions, and his passion and spirit. Which is something I would have never said just 10 short years ago. Would I respect him even more if he became an independent? Absolutely. I give him credit for what he is good at and what he still doesn’t fully know due to a lacking of experience. The fact that he’s never had a psychedelic experience says also says a lot, as he’s still in the sandbox of consciousness. Life is about evolution, change, and growth. In that order. The evolution is not a physical one, but a mental one. Via stair steps and level up’s of consciousness through expansion. Completely decoupling from old paradigm human operating systems, and seeing things in an all-new way. So his drug-free stance has also meant a truly medicine free stance. Since he’s never had a shamanic experience, realizing that wolf he’s about to shoot through the eyes is actually his spirit animal who can give him wisdom beyond his wildest imagination. So there still needs to be a great change in him from where he started. I have changed, how has he?