This is about controlling the dissociative state. This is about using our own psychology for our benefit. About taking what we shove into psychosis and instead trusting in all the threads of experience, research, and the ancient lore woven together like a net under circus performers. Come with me and let us fly above those who would stand by and watch.
|Bee Spirit Meditation|
The creative process is a lot like trance work. When I work at my best and most creative I move most deeply into a different consciousness. There is a certain state of mind that I get into where I am not fully aware of my self as a self. I can feel larger or smaller than my actual size, outside of myself, or simple unconnected to reality. I also go into this state of mind when I’m deeply stressed, anxious, or feeling threatened. It’s something I’ve always done. I go into trance states easily. When I was first learning this sort of work my challenge was to come out of the trance states, not to go into them. I find, in general, two main categories of difficulties when individuals want to practice trance work. The ones who have a hard time getting it to work at all, and the ones who can’t stop it from happening. I was the second sort of person, and many years later, I know something about how to help people on both sides of that coin.
I’ve always felt a bit on the crazy side. Let’s face it. When you have hyper real daydreams, don’t feel connected to your own self, have a sense of energy flowing through trees and people, and all the kids in school call you weird, you kind of get the idea that you might be a bit different than the norm.
You have that moment when you’re like, “Wait. Everyone doesn’t have dreams of the future? Really? What the hell!” You think everyone else is weird because they don’t have imaginary friends anymore. I spent a lot of my adult life running around finding people who did. It was really helpful.
Recently I was doing some research and I came across a psychological disorder called Depersonalization-Derealization Syndrome. Like most official diagnoses it’s hard to know what that actually means. Turns out, it describes a fair amount of the things I experience:
“Common descriptions of symptoms from sufferers include feeling disconnected from one's physicality or body, feeling detached from one's own thoughts or emotions, feeling as if one is disconnected from reality, and a sense of feeling as if one is dreaming or in a dreamlike state. In some cases, a person may feel an inability to accept their reflection as their own, or they may even have out-of-body experiences. “ (Wikipedia)
Wow, just like me!
In reading about the disorder it seemed like the main problem that actually occurred was the anxiety created when people felt like they were going crazy with those symptoms!
My theory is that they aren’t symptoms at all.
A talent. Like perfect pitch, or a way with numbers. But this talent is for connecting with the world on a non-rational level. A sensitivity to place, people, and space that can aid humans in a number of ways. A gift for the shamanic, if you know what I mean.
This is the ability to step outside of one’s own perspective, quite literally. Seeing reality from non-linear non-ordinary points of view has gifted me with an ability to think creatively. It’s given me hope in this age of decline. I’ve seen how people have been changed and strengthened by developing their own inner narrative through trance work and spirit work. I believe that this way lies healing.
Also from Wikipedia:
“The core symptom of depersonalization disorder is the subjective experience of "unreality in one's sense of self", and as such there are no clinical signs. People who are diagnosed with depersonalization also experience an almost uncontrollable urge to question and think about the nature of reality and existence as well as other deeply philosophical questions.”
Apparently thinking deep thoughts is now diagnosable. Damn me and my epistemological quandries!
A study by Dr. Richard J. Castillo indicates that meditation actually is a method of causing dissociative states. It’s okay when Buddhists do it. But not when average Americans do it. I get it. We don’t have a context for how to fit that sort of thing into our lives. We don’t have teachers who can guide us on that path. We don’t have an infrastructure of culture that can support a time and place for dissociative states.
So I’m learning. I’ve been studying the occult since I was a teenager in an attempt to understand myself. I found community and helped build spaces where people could explore this skill set. I’ve practiced, experimented, and recorded my work so that I could see patterns emerge over months and years. I am not the only one doing this work. There are many of us, living normal, productive lives that also include invisible friends and non-ordinary reality. We are building a culture where we can fit, filled with people who don’t need to be diagnosed at all.
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