Perhaps the most important mystical concept ever conceived of by the human mind, is what is known as the ‘Sin of Literality’—the realization that nothing in the universe is quite as it seems, and it is Willful Ignorance, the greatest ‘sin’ of them all, to take our limited and inherently mistaken conceptions of the world at face value.

As an example, consider the concept of Sin itself. In an absolutist ontology, ‘sin’ is taken to mean any action which the likewise absolutist and literal Deity has forbidden, and the consequences of such actions lead to some form of eternal punishment. Some more flexible creeds have a graded scale of sinning; nearly all of which can be forgiven if one ‘repents’ and never commits the act again, save for a small set of ‘unforgivable sins’. But mystics have a very different understanding of ‘sin’—any action or perception which holds back your mystical and spiritual progress towards the end goal of the Great Work, achieving the state of being known as the True Self; so when you talk about the ‘sin of literality’, it is fundamental to the point to not take ‘sin’ too literally either. However, since so many more actions are known by mystics to slow, halt, or revert mystical and spiritual progress, the Mystic’s code of ethics is substantially more rigorous than even the staunchest, most devout member of fundamentalist religions. It has to be, as any act of selfishness, greed, or desire can set you back years; and every time you fall or stumble, your initiation becomes all the more difficult.

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Belief is a dangerous thing, given the tendency of the human mind to justify itself even in the heights of folly. Belief closes the mind, blinds the eyes and dulls the senses. Belief is an opiate that makes an unbearable life feel like a dream. Belief is a liquor-fuelled weekend bash, lubricating the social wheels while putting you clearly in your place at the bottom of the pack. Belief is a stimulant to push you to do what society tells you has to be done, even when your heart isn’t in the task. Belief is a designer-pharmaceutical prescribed by psychiatrist-priests to numb the crisis-of-self inflicted on the individual by the zeitgeist god of the west—the curse of the vampire. Belief is an intoxicating disease that corrupts the mind and the body, corrupting your humanity until you become like the plague-rats that thrive, breed, and infect with impunity while their servants burn witches and slaughter cats, the only ones that know the truth and can root out the disease at the source.

Belief is so pervasive and toxic that it can even affect the non-believer, who comes to believe in non-belief. Look at the rabid dogmatism of Militant Atheism, the greatest in a long list of farces and fallacies that is the tradition of western thought.

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It has not escaped the attention of this generation that in many ways the current decade is a cyclic recurrence of the 1960s. Consider the ever-growing anarchic–collective subculture both on- and off- line reacting to the mass-market mainstreaming of the 1990s counter-culture and the complete mundanity of popular culture in the early Twenty-first century—a subculture which supports the arts, free-expression, freedom of information, creativity, and a new breed of personal spirituality not tied down to any single religious creed. Notice the constant protests and civil demonstrations spanning the globe, revolutions, civil wars, while our governments become more restrictive and invasive. Despite the chaos and the lumbering recovery from global financial collapse, every day new and marvellous technological breakthroughs are being made, pushing us ever closer to the promised Technological Singularity. There are whispers and plans in motion for transhumanist-themed music festivals to celebrate the coming Singularity in style. And perhaps most importantly, and most similarly to the 1960s, new classes of unregulated research chemicals with interesting consciousness-expanding properties are being openly embraced and explored by a lively community of Nootropic pioneers on the fringes of this subculture.

As the 1960s was a small taste of what was then termed, in the popular mystical parlance of the time, the “Age of Aquarius”, that decade’s counter-culture was also the necessary prelude to the transmodern age and the transhumanist movement. Aside from distilling and popularizing the bohemian subculture, it introduced the young baby-boomers to the idea of consciousness expansion, personal spirituality, worlds beyond our own in a vast cosmos teeming with life, actual space travel, the potential of information science and technology, and the metaphor of the brain as a computer.

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Most people walk through the world, living their lives from birth to death without ever questioning the ticking clock, the rising and setting of the sun, the pulse of the atom. Time, both friend and enemy, seems by all accounts and measures the truest of all gods, enslaving all others, with Death as its right-hand man. And yet, physicists discovered over a century ago that time is relative, that it is not as consistent and inevitable as we happen to perceive it—and in fact, if we honestly believe that time is consistent, we are deluding ourselves, because time passes at a different rate for every observer on earth, and at a different rate every day of each observers life. But that relativistic perspective is still in the domain of classical physics—in the quantum age, we discovered the veracity of ancient eastern wisdom, that everything we perceive is illusion, even the relativity of time. The one and only thing we can count on as observers is that we are conscious—if we can perceive the world, and perceive ourselves perceiving the world and ourselves, there is no question that we exist, somehow and somewhere. Everything else is a matter of opinion, and opinion is always subjective and biased, and therefore almost always wrong.

Time is a matter of perception, but consciousness exists with or without Perception. Consciousness also exists with or without Will. Consciousness is so fundamental that it can exist entirely without Ego—and it is this fundamentality of Consciousness that underlies the Rosicrucian teachings of “The Mind of the All”, or Cosmic Consciousness as the one true god.

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When going after the Neurofilter circuit (or Third Eye, if you prefer), the oldest methodology is still the best—deprive the groping, simpering, whining survival circuits of the left hemisphere and their precious Ego of the distractions of the physical senses, and they will throw up the proverbial hands of frustration and storm off, leaving the seeker free to explore the hidden mysteries. But if you give the Ego the slightest purchase, leave the slightest distraction even off in the distance, all your hard work will be for nothing. It will cling to any vision, sound, scent, taste, or sensation, whether they be manifestations of the external or internal worlds, what you may be more used to calling ‘real’ or ‘imaginary’, respectively. As much as possible, you have to recreate the Void in all aspects, and reduce yourself to a single point-particle of Ego-less consciousness.

A recent study has shown that only fifteen minutes of total sensory deprivation is required to trigger hallucinations in healthy adults, without experience in meditation, the use of psychedelic substances, or history of mental illness. In some cases, the hallucinations triggered by sensory deprivation alone have been reported to be visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, proprioceptive, equilibrioceptive, nociceptive, thermoceptive and/or chronoceptive—in other words, covering the full range of human physiological senses. Sensory deprivation alone is more potent than low doses of psilocybin or LSD, can equal the trip of a moderate dose of LSD-25, and perhaps with continued practice and meditation, can transcend the experience of even an extremely high dose of LSD, Mescaline, Psilocybin, or DMT. Thus, Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience is as valid a guide for sensory deprivation induced trips as it is for entheogenic substance induced trips.

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All knowledge in and of the universe can be mapped onto a tree-like graph; starting with fundamental theories of particle physics emanating from the Void through the Big Bang as roots of a tree emerging from the soil into a trunk, leading up from string theory through quantum mechanics, atomic physics, and chemistry. From there, knowledge is divided into branches—classical mechanics to astrophysics to cosmology to theology and philosophy—organic chemistry to genetics to biology to evolution to anatomy to neurology to psychology and sociology—and so on. You can see all the sciences as branches off the trunk of physics–chemistry, all the humanities as leaves on those branches.

Not all the knowledge in and of the universe needs to be factual or true, as it is simply information (a novel, unpredictable communication, as defined by information theory), but it is helpful to be able to differentiate the information that is more factual from that which is less. This ability comes only with experience, and it is called wisdom. At the core of this wisdom is what in Buddhism is referred to as the Clear Light—Enlightenment—that allows you to see, however momentarily, the universal equation underlying all of existence, and thus the connectedness of all things. This graph of all the knowledge in the universe, this World Tree, is a map so essential to our understanding of the observable universe that it appears in the mythology of nearly all cultures.

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In Timothy Leary’s and Robert Anton Wilson’s versions of the Eight-Circuit model of consciousness, they both argue in favour of a developmental model of the Conscious Mind derived from the Biogenetic Law, i.e., Recapitulation Theory, that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. This is an outmoded theory that formerly joined the fields of evolutionary and developmental biology by the assertion that the individual member of any given species on Earth demonstrates in its development from embryo to adult the entire path of evolution the species of which it is a member took to reach their collective current evolutionary stage. Due to the high number of obvious oversimplifications and exceptions to the rule that became apparent over the past century, Recapitulation Theory is no longer accepted as valid in the Biological sciences. However, on the surface it seems to be an obvious truth—and for this reason it has persisted in metaphorical form in many fields intrinsically unrelated to biology.

Some of the consequences involved with the application of this metaphor to Leary’s original Eight-Circuit Model of Consciousness is the assumption that the higher four “post-terrestrial” circuits are intended for the future evolution of the species, have only been awakened in the minds of a few exceptional individuals, and are normally blocked on the genetic level by histones in the bulk of “larval” humanity (while my knowledge of genetics is admittedly wanting, from what I understand about histones alone makes this approach highly flawed)—for this reason psychedelic/entheogenic compounds are deemed necessary for the average individual to activate or access the higher circuits: cannabis for the neurosomatic circuit; low doses of LSD, or moderated doses of psilocybin or peyote for the neuroelectric circuit; regular doses of LSD or higher doses of psilocybin or peyote for the neurogenetic circuit; and high doses of LSD, or DMT or Ketamine to activate the psychoatomic/quantum non-local circuit. The lower terrestrial/survival circuits are, interestingly enough, all associated with known addictive narcotics, depressants, stimulants, and designer pharmaceuticals—and a propensity for addiction to one of these classes of drugs is very telling as to the imprinting of the associated circuit.

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