Is not the emptiness of the bowl what makes it useful?
…… Lloyd Alexander
By the time I discovered my own path I had renounced main-stream, organized religion and gone through a purging period where I obnoxiously proclaimed myself an atheist and ranted about the horrors of slave cults. But even after all that, the baggage of guilt-rendering, religious and societal indoctrination was still an unwelcome passenger in my brain that kept me in an unbalanced mental state. I found myself constantly on edge with a negative attitude and hostile tendencies without really understanding why. It was a period of transition and I knew where I wanted to be spiritually, but couldn’t get there because this insidious brain congestion was holding me back.
During that time period, I read that Aleister Crowley complained bitterly about being a child of the Old Aeon. He was brilliant and insightful enough to see the New Aeon on the horizon, but his Old Aeonic programming stood in the way of fully embracing it.
That got me thinking about our own society of brainwashed automatons and the colossal amount of lies and disinformation that we are bombarded with from the moment we are born. And being the over-thinker and ruminator that I am, this thought process blossomed into a full-blown concept map of all the negative excrement we are assaulted with in a lifetime on a physical, emotional, and intellectual level. I started thinking about all the toxic food, air pollution, environmental chemicals, big pharma, and dumbed-down public education, as well slave religions, destructive cults and television (a mind-numbing tool to get you to buy more stuff you don’t need), and that is when I realized what an amazing accomplishment it is to break free enough to even find my own Path!
Unfortunately, finding and stepping onto your own path may not be enough to trigger self-evolution because there is a lot of indoctrination and brain fog to wade through and banish. For instance, we are programmed to deny and suppress many of our natural desires, especially those about sex and even love.
I have a friend who described his spiritual walk as exchanging one flawed set of beliefs for a similar set with different names. For years, he held on to the same dogma and suffered the same sense of guilt and shame for having human desires and emotions, only it was called something else. One day he realized that he was essentially on the same treadmill he had always been on and decided to step off and take control of his own spiritual evolution.
We are expected to conform to the morals and values of whatever dominant religion or cultural traditions we are born into without question. And when we do explore these things in an effort to forge our own individual philosophy we subject ourselves to ridicule, family banishment, and sometimes even labeled with a mental illness. I remember reading in an abnormal psych textbook that mental heath is defined by the society’s prevailing definition of what is normal and what is not. This alone, was enough to make me re-think everything I had been taught about sanity. And it all started making perfect sense to me. After all, the majority of people in my country believe in imaginary beings and talking snakes, and many of them claim that their deity speaks to them directly, yet their sanity doesn’t come into question. However, those who question the veracity of such claims will be subjected to all manner of ridicule and suspicion.
Atheists and other free-thinkers are the least trusted people in my country. And that is why our politicians claim to be religious even when they are clearly not. They know they wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of being elected otherwise.
So the aspiring truth-seeker need not necessarily go through a formal initiation process to trigger apotheosis or self-evolution, but he does need to take out the garbage.
We don’t build a new foundation on an old decaying edifice because the weakness of the old edifice would cause the new one to topple. We also wouldn’t put fresh fruit in a bowl with rotting fruit, lest all of it become spoiled.
So, thinking of my mind as a bowl, I realized that it was full of decayed, maggot-infested, dogmatic, societal sewage that needed to be dumped before I could fill it proper knowledge and understanding.
Society didn’t indoctrinate us overnight, so don’t expect to dump it all in one load. What I found is that the more I scraped away at the layers of flawed beliefs, the more erroneous assumptions I had found lurking just beyond. And while I may never finish the job of stripping away the insidious mental fungus, I cleared enough of it away to make room for some new ideas.
My first major life-changing moment occurred when I discovered that Christianity had evolved from Pagan and Hebrew myths – basically created to control the masses. Shortly after that, I learned about the mile-high pyramids on Mars – an undeniable sign that either humans or some other beings were there. And while those things may seem unrelated, to me they were profound discoveries that chiseled open my sealed mind and let just enough light in for me to develop an obsession with self-education. And in the process I learned to do my own research and to stop relying on government, school, churches and the main-stream media for my information.
Eventually, this trail led me to quantum physics, the source of all power, including that of the “magick” Crowley was talking about. If there is a God, I decided that it was pure energy and it resides in all of us.
Each new revelation negated more of the old paradigm and I found myself tossing out the garbage on a regular basis. The last major shift came when I discovered how to banish my own self-defeating demons and achieve inner peace.
I had to unload quite a bit of baseless fear and flawed thinking to get to a point where I could feel comfortable facing my own dark side. But once I broke through to the other side of the veil of fear and uncertainty, I realized there was absolutely nothing to be afraid of because it is ALL in my head – including but not limited to those dreaded demons….
There are several methods of taking out the garbage and re-booting the mind. I started off by creating renunciation rituals that were all about alchemically transforming the thing I was renouncing into something positive – usually involving writing down the old ideas and fears which were binding up my mind and keeping me from moving forward. Then I would ceremoniously burn the paper I had written it on, sometimes burying the ashes in the earth to be transformed into worm food. Symbolically fire is the ultimate purgative!
Nowadays, when I feel like a habit, idea, behavior, person, or paradigm is holding me back, I don’t have time to do an elaborate ritual, so I unceremoniously write it down or draw a symbol to represent it and either burn it or toss it in the toilet or the litter box and watch the cat shit on it. But the effect is the same – I acknowledge the thing that is holding me back, and I make a conscious effort to eradicate it or compost it with the other fecal matter.
And if it should happen to creep up in my mind after that, I remind myself that it is nothing more than an unauthorized zombie trying to come back from the dead in order to eat my brain. And although the simple ritual is usually enough for me to dismiss it permanently, there are times when I find the need to wipe out the zombie with some creative mental imagery.