Monday, August 27, 2007

Synchronistic Conditioning and an Emerging Portrait of Vitality

Diary Blog - August


[This post was written in a detailed diary format in attempt to illuminate the underlying order behind life as it helps orchestrate my evolution. Subsequent posts switch to more of an essay style that utilize the experiences described here to elucidate my fundamental ideas.]

My primary character is that of a seeker. I used to say that every fiber of my being was bent towards spiritual development, but now I find that such an absolute statement requires clarification. My proclivity towards the seeking runs deep. However, life is complex, filled with responsibilities, relationships, and experiences from all shades of the spectrum; I am submerged in the moment like most others. Thus, my attention wavers. But, the underlying drive to evolve is forever there, and it comes with great force from the deeper layers of my psyche, so that I sometimes feel like I am surfing a tidal wave that forever replenishes its magnitude and strength from the realm of the unconscious.

What I wish to show in my diaries is that the regularization of my personality towards the seeking not only establishes a strong focus, but also develops a momentum in life's events that pushes me in the direction of my evolution. It is as if life itself becomes alive and, like a living organism, reacts to my proclivity, my will, my desire to learn. Daily events seem to follow an underlying order, one which is complex, highly intelligent and enigmatic.

That life seems to switch into gear when we concentrate on our personal development, that daily events begin to lose the quality of randomness and start taking on meaning, these observations lend credibility to the argument that our purpose here is to learn and to grow, that our reality has as its fundamental design a structure which facilitates our evolution.

Many of the ideas I express are my latest thoughts and they can sometimes be quite raw and under-developed. This is to be expected, since my main wish is to trace my development over time and to illuminate various techniques of balancing ideas and how life lends a helping hand in the process.

Although this post is supposed to be my diary for the month of August, I include a much older excerpt by way of introduction. The following was written in early June of this year:

I dreamt that I was part of a crowd watching a really great movie. When it ended, some music came on that really annoyed me. The dream became dark and eventually switched scenes to a channeler whose source, or contact, was a demonic entity. The channeler began transforming into all kinds of monster-like subhuman creatures. Each creature, however, was more fascinating than the next, as if I were watching an extremely well done science fiction movie whose breathtaking level of quality was out of this world.

This was at least the second dream of late which seemed to warn me of the potential grip of fascination that the dark side can offer, even despite my own strong inclination towards the positive. The dreams have been very clear that the dark side was what was being depicted. In conscious, waking life, however, such a clarity is typically absent. Take, for example, the dark side found in art, there is much enigmatic art which depicts the dark side, including my own, and they can be incredibly attractive despite the positive bias of the audience.

There was a period of time in my college years during which I was able to see images coming from the unconscious whenever I closed my eyes. As an artist and a musician, I naively sought this ability and developed it to the extreme since I was always hunting down inspiration for my creative pursuits. And, it also was attractive because it was like having a dream available to guide me whenever I willed it.

After some time, however, I started getting warnings from the visions themselves that by pulling subconscious elements out by force, I was actually digging out dirt that could be harmful. A dream told me that such an activity meant I was enlisting myself in an army. Army of what? Well, over time I began having strangely dark experiences which caused highly deleterious effects on my psyche. I am currently writing an autobiography which will explain in detail my bizarre experiences. The following painting which surfaced during this period depicts the struggle albeit simplistically:

Over time, long after I put a lid on that kind of connection to the subconscious (although I've now somewhat re-opened it for this blog), I started to realize that what had helped the negative elements surface were those elements of negativity that were inherent in my own being. Gradually I came to the understanding that the farther one traverses the positive spiritual path towards enlightenment, the more necessary it becomes to shed those aspects of one's personality that are of the negative side. It did not take such a constantly open connection to the subconscious to start having bouts of anxiety, depression, or other internal struggles whenever I felt anger, self-debasement, hopelessness, superiority, or, eventually, any kind of negative judgment over others or myself or life whatsoever. Self-purification has its cost, but the result is priceless. Only when a solid momentum towards positivity took effect did my spiritual and creative pursuits experience a significant push forward, although as expressed by the above dream of the negative channeler I am definately still on the road towards that kind of purity.

Wednesday, 08/01/07:

What follows is one of those very bizarre, I-kid-you-not stories that occur to me from time to time that seem to have no logical explanation. Although it may have very little credibility in most people's eyes (I barely believe it happenned to me myself), I still include it here because my goal is to be comprehensive as is feasible in my writing and to record a continuum of experiences that relate to my spiritual development. Only in such a manner can the underlying order of life be gleamed.

I recently read in the Ra Material how the healing of a physical ailment can sometimes take place first in 'time/space', in the metaphysical or spirit plane, which in turn affects the body in 'space/time', the physical side of existence or the material plane. And this is done by first disrupting or interrupting the protective shell of the person's being in order for the reconfiguration to take place. I was intrigued to understand the relationship between the two types of healing, to witness the translation, so to speak.

Yesterday, I had somehow come down with a disturbance in my left eye. It must have been mildly infected or something. Come nighttime, tears were rolling down my eye and it was rather painful. I could not sleep and eventually I decided to ask internally for help. It was only a few minutes later, after keeping my mind still and trying to manifest an unconditional acceptance and appreciation of life, that I had a strange phenomenon occur. With my inner eye, I beheld an image of the bark of a tree whose top portion was the upper body and head of a woman. I heard words that went something like 'watch closely'. I then felt what could best be described as an unconscious wind that came from below and lifted my astral body ever so slightly out of my physical body. I remained 'floating' thus for less than a minute before things went back to normal. I found that my eye no longer shed its
tears and that it was not bothering me anymore. I said my thanks and went to sleep.

This evening, a vision said that I had the opportunity to know who I truly was if I so willed it. Awaiting my dreams with curiosity.

Thursday, 08/02/07:

Indeed I did have a dream which was revealing of my character. It basically showed me how much of a spoiled brat I was when it came to my inspired, or higher, states of mind. This is one of the most basic distortions of my personality, that I cannot sit still and be comfortable in my ordinary states of mind, that there is always an underlying tension unless I am either in the heights or I am climbing upwards, and this makes me obsessed with my creative pursuits as a result.

I believe that the main reason I have grown to be so focused on my spiritual path is the relative distance between my higher and lower states of mind. I have experienced 'realities' which blow this one clear out of the water. It is, on the one hand, only natural to feel uncomfortable in the more down-to-earth states when life has the potential of being so rich and mysterious, and the positive effect is that of the increased enthusiasm towards seeking, the elan vital towards life's lessons. On the other hand, this enthusiasm is unbalanced when it leads to frustration, a negation of the lower states, a sense of urgency which leaves one impatient and restless. It is something I work on almost daily, as my life tends to be very busy, like that of many other people, given I have a full time job.

The essential drama in my life, then, is shared by many: I begin my fall from grace on Monday morning and begin my climb back towards grace on Friday evening. Therefore, it is of great interest with respect to my personal development, to minimize the deleterious effects of work on my state of mental/emotional/spiritual health. And most of my dreams tend to work upon this seemingly never-ending struggle.

A second dream depicted me entering a restaurant that was filled with mirrors. The effect of the reflections was that of infinite space and an overwhelming complexity, an intricate plexus of tables, chairs, booths, and special dining arrangements. My mind and senses felt overburdened and filled with confusion but the hostess as she was seating me said to relax, that the mirrors made the restaurant look far more complicated than it really was.

Friday, 08/03/07:

I decided to take time off from work today to immerse myself in my creative projects. It had been over three weeks since I had had a weekend to myself, and just as the dream yesterday had depicted me as a spoiled brat, my drive to submerge myself in my music, art, and writing had reached an extremity that was uncontrollable, like a rubber band that was stretched to the point of snapping. Throughout the day I excitedly jumped from one inspired idea to the next, switching from art to music to writing and running around in circles like a dog unleashed in a yard.

By the time evening came around and it was time for dinner, I had manifested a veritable whirlwind of energy and I felt somewhat crazy and out of control so that I wanted to bolt out of the restaurant; my sanity felt as if it was about to derail. It was very much like the dream of the restaurant of mirrors I had the previous night, in that I was being overwhelmed with energy that was far too complicated for my feeble, all too human, being. However, just as the dream depicted the hostess informing me that the plethora of reflections made things look far more complicated than they really were, I was able to balance the bombarding energy when I went out for a walk after I finished eating. With the help of the natural movement and rhythm of walking, I was quickly hoisted into a higher state of mind and my thoughts and feelings ebbed and flowed like a magnificent orchestra whose underlying order was poetic yet unfathomable. Such a state did not last long, however, and the chaotic influx of energies resumed.

The restaurant dream spoke in a similar vein as a dream I had well over a year ago. I was a pedestrian waiting for the green light at a gigantic intersection which brought together many roads. All the cars, no matter in which direction they were heading, were stopped at the red light as well. When the light finally turned green, the intersection quickly became flooded and there was a magnificent traffic jam. The various streets and directions represented the various talents I find worthy of pursuing, and when I finally do find free time away from work and the family/social life, the gates to my accumulated and dammed up ambitions and inspiration are suddenly swung wide open. I get mentally, emotionally, and spiritually flooded as a result. Only in a higher state of mind can the bombarding energy be processed into the order necessary that it can be utilized.

It is interesting to note that I was a pedestrian and everyone else was driving a vehicle, and the difference in speed and power quite accurately showed the relatively slow and powerless entity that I was compared with my inspiration, which seemingly comes from the intensity of another dimension. I cannot help but feel frail and humble in comparison.

The more I think about the restaurant dream, the more I realize how the contoured shape of the restaurant, whose walls were all mirrors, resembled a multi-faceted crystal. And I now wonder if this has anything to do with a quote in the Ra Material which has always intrigued me. The quote elaborates upon the often-used term "crystallized entity", or a person who has crystallized:

When a crystalline structure is formed of your physical material the elements present in each molecule are bonded in a regularized fashion with elements in each other molecule. Thus the structure is regular and, when fully and perfectly crystallized, has certain properties. It will not splinter or break; it is very strong without effort; and it is radiant, traducing light into a beautiful refraction giving pleasure of the eye to many.

If one were to describe my experiences today in Ra's terms, I would say that light was entering my being from all directions, but only in my higher states could I return to crystallized portions of my consciousness so that such a light could be traduced "into a beautiful refraction". I suppose that this is an important consideration for artists or anyone else who uses inspiration for the sake of materializing expression. There is a necessity for both the absorption of light and the crystallized refraction of the light to give pleasure to the eye. Artists who have crystallized are of the type who rarely get stuck in an unproductive period, and who need little inspiration in order to perform their work, only the interaction with the medium through which to work and a clear state of mind. And when a piece is begun, it seems to come with its own order, and this depends on the specific crystalline quality of the artist, the specific, regularized quality of the crystal.

In my own way, I feel that I am relatively crystallized as a musician, in that I need very little inspiration in order to work, only a clear and focused state of mind. I simply modify and manipulate the sounds at hand, arrange, and develop tunes according to the rules that are now inherent in my own being. Only in the later stages is inspiration necessary to further sublimate, fine tune, and mix together the various pieces of music. On the other hand, I am very UN-crystallized as a painter, and I am always dependent on inspiration to tell me what to do and to come up with ideas. I am receiving painterly images from my subconscious lately and as they accumulate into a database of imagery, the crystalline quality of a painter is developing in me, so that the mere interaction with the paint will eventually be adequate for me to paint well.

Saturday, 08/04/07:

These were the words which surfaced in my psyche mostly on their own over the last couple of days, as my inner life sustained a degree of turbulence at times frustrating, at times channel-able into artistic form.

"The magnification of a distortion differs from the accentuation of a distortion. The former deals with observation and the focus of attention. The latter involves the psychological travel along the axis of a polarity or along the axes of a group of polarities." [This was a comment on how my inner life typically becomes more turbulent when I first switch from being gregarious to being solitary and introspective. Such a switch does not manifest my distortions but highlights them, brings them into focus as if under a magnifying glass due to my desire to evolve, whereas gregarious living typically accentuates these distortions due to the increased potential of catalyst and opportunities for growth that arise from interaction with others.]

"Ride the Vessel of Faith." [Words surfaced as a result of feeling helplessly tossed about in the inner storm, the meaning of the word faith here is the faith in life's process and how it is geared to help one grow as opposed to some existing religious dogma or belief system.]

I have been finalizing the mixing down of my music and switching to making art for the purpose of cover designs for my various CDs. The change of pace, temperament and type of inspiration is not helping my already loose foothold on my emotional and spiritual well-being. The calming effect of my meditative music has now been replaced by a drive to express in artistic form the enigmatic complexity of the on-rush of multi-dimensional energy depicted by the mirrored restaurant dream and the dream of the large intersection traffic jam. Music making now seems so linear and simplistic in the face of the process of intensifying, complementing, balancing, and tension-contrasting color and form on a canvas.

I have always been the type of artist who strives to integrate as much of life as possible into the creative act, just as a character actor strives to live out the role of the character s/he is to act out. There is a shift in consciousness as one beholds contrasting colors placed side by side, such as orange and blue, or red and green. There is movement, a form of tension. And to live out such movement and tension psychologically in everyday life is to become intimately familiar with the possibilities inherent in painting. I now welcome my inner dissonance as it seems so beautifully harmonious with my aspirations as a painter. The further my inner turmoil increases, the more I seek my salvation through the intensification of my involvement in the ebb and flow of this mysterious tempest, as a form of worship of life, an affirmation that expresses an unconditional love for the simple act of being alive. And to be engulfed in life's tumultuous storm and in turn to radiate its magnificent thunder and lightning is in my opinion the ideal state for which the artist should strive.

Photographs of paintings from this period:



Whether in a good mood or not, I've been hallucinating painting imagery when I close my eyes in bed. Such imagery has been helpful in learning about effective color combinations. In my previous phase of painting, which occurred many months ago, hallucinations came to me which were much more vivid. And whereas they also taught me about color, that set of imagery was based upon methods of depicting ethereality. I had some amazing visions indeed and it will probably take me a long time before I am able to paint at the same level of quality.

The set of songs I am wrapping up comes from some recording sessions with a musician friend of mine who lives out of town. He is the possessor of hundreds of instruments, some of which are very old and antiquitated. The resulting collection of songs which I mixed in my personal time quite naturally turned out to be a form of worship of old, organic sounding music, created out of faulty, scratchy and irregular sound making machines. There is a repeating theme of the dynamic interplay between the sound textures of these machines and the melodies produced using them. And, ultimately, I became obsessed with the nostalgia-like feelings of hearing these instruments while the volume fades out, or, at times, fade in. The resulting CD is, tentatively at least, called 'The Fade-Out Room'. I include the cover design in case it changes in the future. Click here to listen to the songs.

Sunday, 08/12/07:

Last weekend, Sunday night, I not only hallucinated painting-related imagery, but the images came with the clear awareness that they were depictions of my own psyche; I felt as if I were looking straight into the mirror, seeing the color configurations of my current emotional/mental/spiritual state. There were greens, pinks, and iridescence, lots of white; all the color-forms were patches.

Earlier that same day, I had also glimpsed various snapshots of paintings flash before my inner eye, and I now wonder if they were also painterly depictions of my states of mind when I had them. They usually occurred when life seemed most intense, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, when I lived out life most intensely. There is much to be said of contrasting colors in a work of art. Each color is loaded with meaning, although I have never heard of an adequate interpretation of any one color that stood the test of time and repeated questioning. It is very difficult to consciously understand color and how the various colors can represent portions or states of the human psyche. In any case, my experiences lead me to believe that masterpieces of painting, especially of the abstract type, show specific combinations of colors and forms set in such a way that either they depict 1) aspects of higher forms of consciousness, 2) configurations of consciousness that are not necessarily higher than the norm but that are highly balanced, or advanced in their tuning, or 3) movements in consciousness that are directed towards enlightenment of some kind.

Black and white paintings can also be seen as depictions of specific configurations of the psyche even though their use of color is limited. The movement, the contrast, the tension, the overall balance in the canvas; all these factors play a part. Off and on, over the course of more than a decade, I have been trying to paint a highly accelerated form of vibration, as if the canvas were potentiated with a high charge of electricity and the entire image was about to burst. The fascination with expressing this impossibly high degree of speed and vitality comes from the high intensity of energy and movement I experience in some of my higher states of mind, an acceleration of consciousness during which my thoughts bounce about, oscillating very quickly between the various polarities present in mental ideation and existing attitudes, etc., this in addition to a funneling into my psyche a stream of energy that is profoundly moving. Below are some of my paintings that attempt to express such an intensity of vitality, movement, and energy:

A Buoquet of Wild Flowers

Detail from 'A Bouquet of Wild Flowers'

In musical form, I have been trying to depict the same impossible level of speed of vibration and it has surfaced in various songs which use a stereo effect I call "flutter", because it takes a sound and echoes it in such a way as to resemble a multitude of wings flapping, as seen in a flock of birds flying in seemingly random directions. "Alien Water Sweep" is an unfinished collection of songs which uses this style and the song from that collection you can hear below uses the flutter effect well towards the middle (best heard with headphones).

Monday, 08/13/07:

Been working on images to be used as CD covers. Created an enigmatic image for "The Sorcerer's Cove" (click here to listen) but it looked very ominous and foreboding. My music of that style already flirts with the eerie and this image seemed to tip it over the edge into the dark side. That my music sounds dark to many people has always been a point of concern for me because I never mean it to be so and I certainly don't personally react to it in that manner while listening. Regardless, the enigmatic quality of the picture was what I was striving for and I was seriously contemplating using it.

That same night (Saturday) I had a nightmare in response to that decision, showing me planet Earth painfully caving in on itself that looked like my CD cover except it was in the form of a shadow, and the entire planet was tainted red. I woke up with my right ear ringing (which in the Ra material represents the positive path) and my entire forehead tingling intensely as strange images flitted through my head. In any case, it is quite common for me to have nightmares after making a work of art which had a high possibility of leading the audience in a negative direction. This nightmare serves as a good example.

Early last week, I had the vision of a powerful diety that was affecting a magnificent storm. The features of the diety were dark and almost oriental. Later in the week I learned that parts of India were suffering from a flood. This confused me because I originally thought that the image concerned my trip to New York this upcoming weekend, that there will be a tumultuous storm over there. I looked at the weather forecast and indeed there were chances of rain. Will have to see what happens.

In any case, the theme concerning India developed further in a dream I had this morning. It depicted a crowd of Indian guru-looking men and some women in the background. The men were robed in orange, like Buddhist monks, and the contrasting dark skin produced a very specific effect or signature, quite intriguing. The men were very masculine, as if they represented the alpha-male, and they had an almost domineering look in their eyes; the overall dream seemed to express the dominance of the male over the anima, the inner female. After the dream ended, there was a message about manhood which somehow turned into the following words that clearly surfaced as a conclusive summary of the dream: "Achieve micro-buoyancy". The image that accompanied this message looked like the following:

In the current flow of my spiritual development, I find the words "achieve micro-buoyancy" to be fascinating, and this is so in a multitudinous way just as the vision of the deity affecting a storm seemed to have manifested for both the flood in India and my upcoming trip to New York.

The image shown above seemed like an attempt to depict buoyancy but it also could be interpreted to possess the vitality of the type of intense movement I've been trying to express through painting. There is also the very significant consideration that I have been reading in the Ra Material about how the spiritual adept can achieve the effects found in a pyramid, namely the upward spiraling light, by transmuting the light within in a similarly upward fashion through her/his own energy centers beginning at the base of the spine. This is also called by some the "Kundalini effect" which resembles a serpent uncoiling upwards. I have been greatly intrigued by this subject. If my interpretation of the dream is accurate in terms of the male being "above" his inner anima (in addition to the main message in the dream, one can also interpret the above image as the anima on the left and the conscious self on the right), then it is logical to conclude that the dream was suggesting that for the upward spiraling light to take effect in the most effective manner, the proper relationship between the conscious self and the anima should be assumed in the male, and the proper relationship between the conscious self and the animus should be assumed in the female.

When I do succeed in affecting the upward spiral in my own self, if I am correct in assuming that this indeed happens to me, I have felt, amongst many other things, the effect of a psychological buoyancy and I am not speaking simply of the lightening of my spirits but also of the elevation of my state of mind to reach higher realms. This typically happens when I have the opportunity for solitude and I am able to take a step back from my life, with all its busy-ness and distractions, and a hollistic view of life is possible. The message "achieve micro-buoyancy" suggests learning how to achieve this buoyancy even while caught up in the minutiae of distractions and the more down-to-earth states of mind. The ability to do so, for me, according to the dream, has something to do with polarizing in the masculine direction to a great degree, which is in my inventory of experience but I generally slip into such a state only after my inspiration kicks in and I am in a higher state of mind. When I am not in an inspired state, my configuration by default is receptive, because I await the inspiration and I am in that mode which is absorbing and malleable. This also makes me receptive to the mundane world and this is where I falter; this again points at my spoiled brat behaviour of wanting to be in a higher state of mind all the time. The dream seemed to suggest that as I get caught up in the narrowly minded points of view which make up the bulk of the busy job-related side of life, a masculine, rigid, and assertive stance is appropriate to avoid getting too carried away with the microscopic storms and to retain the integrity of the spiritual side which is like swimming upstream especially with respect to common culture.

I believe Carl Jung explored the topic of male artists and how they typically allow their animas to manifest beyond a healthy configuration. He believed, to the extent of my knowledge, that the artistic act is necessarily a feminine one because it demands being receptive to inspiration. I wish to refine such a proposition by adding that it depends on the degree to which the artist is inspired, or channeling her/his inspiration. There are times when I feel completely possessed by the muse and even my bodily motions are controlled from a seemingly unknown source. This indeed involves receptivity. However, this is quite rare; most of the time I pick up tidbits of inspiration and run with them; the creative act of this type is a form of masculine radiance. I believe that the anima gets carried away with the male artist either when he approaches most purely the form of a channel, or when he demands more than what his inspiration is providing, putting him under the mercy of the anima because he is constantly poised to receive new inspiration. In my current situation, since I just switched from making music, in which I am crystallized, into making art, in which I am uncrystallized and require inspiration, I rely on my anima to a far greater degree. This is coupled with the fact that I spend the largest percentage of my time at work, while the artist in me is knocking loudly and ceaselessly at the door so that I still retain a connection with my anima with the hope that tidbits of inspiration continue to trickle in throughout the day.

Sunday, 08/19/07:

I arrived in New York city on Friday for a four day weekend. As is typical with many first time visitors, my initial reaction was that of disappointment given that the city gets so much hype. After finding my way around, I started grooving with the energy of various neighborhoods and I felt very alive, much more so than I ever did in San Francisco. Just as I like to integrate my life with my creative projects, I take on a city as if it were a map of my own psyche, and movement from one section to the next is like a movement in consciousness. As a result, the complexity of New York catered to my multitudinous character and I felt very much at home. My inspiration to write was very steady and this is usually not the case when I am in an unfamiliar setting.

I walked into a bar in Little Italy, very nice looking, with a beautiful painting as shown below. Although the painting was realistic and seemed to depict the simple setting of a group of people in a restaurant, further scrutiny proved it to be a little unusual, for the people were all men looking in the same direction. On the left bottom corner of the painting was the title "GENTLEMEN", no doubt taken from a restroom sign, although this is hard to see because the lettering did not come out so well.

The TV was blaring to the left of me as I sat at the bar which is something that has annoyed me almost throughout my life given the mindless junk that typically projects out of it. I remembered my dream of the orange robed monks suggesting masculinity as a method for dealing with the microscopic and mundane distractions that come from common culture. The "GENTLEMEN" painting seemed to be incredibly synchronistic and so I eventually decided to reach for my camera and take a picture. As I was doing so, the bartender (the lady in the picture) suddenly moved into view, picked up the remote control and pointed it at the television as shown above. The sign "GENTLEMEN" showed up in the picture as an extension of the remote control, which symbolizes the ability to manipulate the TV, that godhead of glorified superficiality.

Later, as I recalled this incident and I was about to write about it, a vision of one of the paintings I saw today at a museum came to me. And I briefly glimpsed the equivalence of a portion of that painting with the intersection of events that occurred as I picked up my camera and pointed it at the painting in the bar, an amazing synchronization of events as my finger moved to take the picture, like worlds coalescing into a finely tuned, infinitesmal portal to the world hidden behind the veil!

Monday, 08/20/07:

I went out for breakfast to a very nice bistro named Pastis in Greenwhich Village. The atmosphere and food were exquisite but I was seated very close to another table where two girls were having an animated discussion about their ex-boyfriends. I was neither annoyed at them nor did I feel judgmental, but I was simply unable to break away from their conversation because they were talking right into my ear. In short, it was a similar situation with the bar I entered last night that had the blaring television. I laughed inwardly and tried to perform my micro-bouyancy.

My efforts to tune the girls out weren't working and my final attempt was to take out a book I'd been reading, "A Channeling Handbook", written by Carla Reuckert. The topic centered around the dangers of channeling without guidance, discipline, or using a control group and one of the stories depicted one of Carla's students going mad. The end of the story felt a little like an electric shock due to another blatant synchronicity. The student in the story had called upon a Buddhist monk to prove to him that Carla and her colleagues "had evil thought-forms which were influencing [their] work and disturbing her. The orange-robed Ananda Marga teacher had a good deal of psychic ability, and a sense of humor as well. After demonstrating that he could tell us things that he could not possibly have known, thereby reaffirming Millie [Carla's student] his skill, he told her that we did not have any such presences about our benighted heads. 'But they believe in magic,' said Millie. The leader humorously picked up the remote control for our television. 'So do I,' he said. 'Let me show you some magic.' He pointed the device at our television and across the room it sprang into electronic life." The words "let me show you some magic" had a delightfully multi-dimensional tone as they reverberated through my mind.

A dream is like a seed of knowledge. When you give it the proper amount of conscious attention, or light, and water it with your intrigued interest and the intent to seek out its mystery, the seed can grow into knowledge through developing synchronicities, further dreaming, or intuiting the meaning of the original dream over time. And since dreams can be deeply seated in that portion of our psyche which is outside of time and space, it is well not to underestimate their prophetic qualities even if they did not feel especially important at the time of dreaming. It may be beneficial to regard each dream as a friend that follows you at your side as you continue on your path.

What intrigues me these days is the mechanics of synchronicity; given that we have the free will to choose what we do and the decisions we make, how do these synchronized events come to be and are placed in an order so tight as to suggest that we live bound by fate alone?

The dream of the orange-robed monks occured more than a week ago. One could reason that my inner self knew beforehand the contents of the book I was to read in New York (I had already planned to start reading Carla's book in New York as a change from the Ra material to accompany the change in physical location). Therefore, there was already a poised synchronistic element, so to speak, ready to serve as an association with the dream when the time for reading that section came about, so that I would find a correlation with what was going on in my inner life at the time of reading with my dream that tried to help me "achieve micro-bouyancy".

Secondly, when I walked into the bar in Little Italy, I felt a growing desire to take a picture of the painting named "GENTLEMEN". The desire grew gradually and when I finally took out my camera, and pointed it in the painting's direction, I felt as if I was being guided to do so internally so that the movement of my body was following some other order, a hidden grace. Secondly, I had the glimpse of an awareness that there was a mysterious intersection of events going on, a coming together of elements that spanned dimensions. My finger hit the button and it was as if the bartender had magically materialized into view, for she was hitherto always standing behind the bar, not in front of the painting. Her sudden entering the view of my camera gave me a surrealistic, dream-like feeling as if I was in a David Lynch movie.

Living intuitively, as I do whenever possible, allows feelings, thoughts, and actions to surface from the deeper portions of my psyche and this can be viewed as a form of temporary conditioning. "Synchronistic conditioning" is a term I use for the type of conditioning that increases one's awareness of synchronicities and I believe the remote control events offer a good example. Now, let us theorize that my appreciation for the painting and my decision to take the picture were regulated by my inner self. The purpose of my inner self at this point would have been to time the taking of the picture so that I would consciously become aware of some obviously synchronistic elements with the orange-robed monk dream, since synchronicity is a form of highlighting life's events in such a way that life's underlying messages are made more clear. Already, I was getting the picture (pun intended), but if the theory were true that my inner self already knew about the monk in Carla's story, then it also knew about the monk using the remote control. Therefore, timing the picture with the bartender's usage of the remote control was not only symbolic as the assertive control we can have over the mundane and superficial, but its coincidence with Carla's story of the monk who also used the remote control had the secondary effect of adding much vitality and importance to the synchronistic highlighting of that message.

The reader more than likely finds the actual message to be insignificant in importance if you do not know my character. My ordinary personality can be like that of a fisherman. Especially after switching my creative pursuits from music to art and writing which both require inspiration, I am constantly hunting for inspiration, which means I am always listening and trying to absorb, and in short, being receptive to my surroundings and my inner life. Therefore the masculine, assertive side is usually only activated after I find the inspiration and the free time to act it out. During those moments that I am distracted by the mundane, my initial reaction is to go into my receptive mode in order to return to my inspired states. This only accentuates my receptivity to the mundane and I become engulfed by it. My constant sense of urgency to always "break on through to the other side" (as Carla later wrote was the depiction of many artists who turn to excess) is the type of spoiled brat behaviour which prevents me from reaching a balanced stance on my reactions to the mundane world.

As an addendum, an interesting twist to the plot was that the monk actually turned ON the television, and he used this to prove his point in a humourous manner, i.e. light-heartedly. And I will continue my story despite the risk of giving the reader a headache over pondering the ever increasing complexity of symbolism: On my way back to my hotel, just a block away from my destination, which was my last experience in New York before heading off to the airport early next morning, I came across an advertisment at a bus stop which I pictured below. There is an orange-robed monk flying in the air in attack mode, which is an obviously unbalanced and exaggerated form of masculine assertion, and which only highlighted the monk in Carla's story of using light-hearted humour.

Sunday, 08/26/07:

Here are some of my digitally modified photographs from my trip to New York:

Wednesday, 08/29/07

There was a bit of a climb last weekend before I hit the heights on Sunday and the inspiration flowed freely again; a really good meditation session triggered the switch. There were many 'distractions' last week stemming from the job, as if I were being given ample opportunity to work on achieving micro-buoyancy. Then, on Friday night, I went to see a show for Psychic TV which began with the singer, a male with breasts (notice the possible synchronistic connection with the male who has manifested his anima physically), crooning "Are you free? Are you really really really free?" over and over and over again. I sensed the words touching me at a deep level and that night, as if in response to his question, I had a nightmare in which my head was caged in a metal bar symbolizing the imprisonment of my consciousness, no doubt referring to the necessity of keeping a job that demands all my attention.

One of the fundamentally important ways to look out for synchronicity and gleam the underlying messages is to develop the subtle awareness necessary to measure the depth with which any experience moves you. I could sense things shifting deep inside when I heard and saw the andogynous singer with his specific lyrics, just as I was aware of the significance of the GENTLEMEN painting in the Little Italy bar with respect to the orange-robed monk dream. This form of awareness does not come overnight and I started developing it over a decade ago when I decided to mentally take note of as much data as possible that had the potential of being synchronistic as my life unfolded over time. To perceive the underlying order, one must adopt a Sherlock Holmes attitude of retaining a sharp awareness and consistent lookout of all the clues that life leaves behind.

I had more nightmares on Saturday, but these had the special quality typical of the upward climb back to grace that I experience on weekends. For, they involved battles with forces extremely polarized in the negative direction and this is an example of the sometimes extreme purification process necessary to reach my higher states of mind after a debilitating week of work. Were these forces but portions of my own psyche? I have far too much experience to believe so.

I woke up from one of my nightmares while still submerged in the unconscious. A shadowy entity, which could best be described as a living, man-sized black hole, was holding me away from my body so that I could not wake up into it. The harder I tried and the more awake I became, the more I felt powerless. I finally recalled how it was suggested in the Ra Material to send love even to those entities of the negative side who attack you. I mustered up the will to alight myself in unconditional love and to the shadowy entity I gave it my brotherly love. In aid of manifesting this love, an image flashed before me that was very ethereal and it seemed to have some symbolism that worked on my consciousness instantly. I suddenly found a connection to my will to move back into my body and with a final thrust I woke up to this reality. A dark mood prevailed but gradually disappeared.

The above digital painting is my attempt at rendering the image which came to me as an aid. Note that in my inventory of symbolism, taken from the Ra Material, the left hand side represents the negative path. There was a vertical white streak in the left hand side of the image that seemed to render a wall of light to serve as protection from the shadow creature, whose negativity was so extreme that it possessed the all-absorption quality of a black hole. The color combination of pink and orange seemed to provide an ethereal effect, strengthened by the star-like points of light.

Tuesday night, I had a dream which seemed to center around money and inflation. There were consumer products that were unbelievably expensive and when I pulled out my wad of bills, one of them was torn, suggesting its loss of value over time. The bill was a 5 dollar bill and I could not figure out why, but that it was 5 dollars held a significance in my mind throughout the day. Later that evening, I was out with a friend and he pulled out a one dollar bill that was ripped in the exact same manner as in my dream. My friend is of a lower income bracket than mine and this 5 to 1 dollar difference seemed to accentuate the trouble with inflation for people who have lower incomes than I do.

There was a message in words that instantly followed the dream of inflation: "Help harness life's questions." These words were quite intriguing. The word "harness" most commonly refers to harnessing a horse in order to ride it. That a question is harnessed means that it will take me somewhere if I wrap my focus about it. Now, if we take the example of the orange-robed monk dream, we may see that because it intrigued me and I kept my focus on it, its main theme started popping up in synchronicities left and right. The message to "help harness life's questions" seemed to suggest that I should focus on and perform this type of "work" on the more common themes of everyday life, as it is my nature to fade away into my own esoteric world otherwise.

Words surfaced that described my writing as "a vehicular discourse". Unsure what that means.

There has apparently been some development with the connection between New York and India. I shall accumulate some possibly synchronistic details that will later sift through. A friend of mine, with whom I have always had a deep connection, is due to travel to India on vacation in a couple of weeks. She had indeed mentioned it many months ago but I had forgotten, and she didn't make her final decision till very recently. To help her put her visa in order at the last moment, she mailed me her passport so that I took it to the Indian Consulate in San Francisco by hand since she lives out of state. We shared some synchronicities too: she had taken some vaccine shots for the trip just as I was taking some vaccine shots simply as a random recommendation from my doctor. We both had trouble sleeping on the night of the lunar eclipse. And finally, she had a dream recently that a man was trying to break into her apartment to attack her. This may or may not suggest trouble with the animus, which is the inner male in the female. Will have to see how life unfolds...

Friday, 08/31/07:

Dreamt of a woman which quite obviously was being depicted as an anima. She was not being allowed to move or talk. She was also naked, as if abused. Towards the dream's end, I saw two strange plants that were very colorful and they looked as if they were living paintings since brushstrokes could be discerned. The one on the left seemed to have a rich blue color. From the top stemmed a strange cactus-like flower which started moving ever so slightly towards me. I wondered if the plant was going to attack me and instantly I woke up.

This dream seems to be in direct contradiction to the orange-robed monk dream which suggested I took on an almost domineering, alpha-male stance with respect to the anima. Here, the dream cautioned against misusing the anima and imprisoning it, which translates into warning me against controlling the emotions and dominating them. The hostile bearing of the painterly plants seemed to caution against using an aggressive force to call forth inspiration.