This is the follow-up post to Driving Towards The End Of The World – After The End Of The World, Part One, a look back on 2012 and my own personal adventure during that year riding the bipolarcoaster, creating art and watching the wheels go round and round as each day we moved closer to the end of the world…
In this post we go down a rabbit hole of books – into fear and loathing, conspiracy theories, alien abductions, near-death experiences and finally into the NOW as I write about my reading journey to the fringes of the world of ideas in pursuit of my subject, consciousness – while looking for better descriptions of the human experience.
After The End Of The World, Part Two
Change is an unpredictable process. Every day you’re constantly in the process of changing, but once in a great while a quantum leap kind-of-change can come along and really speed up the process.
It arrives suddenly, quickly, in a moment, but it’s usually the result of a number of changes over a period of time which have built on each other like a kind of pressure. When there’s a new vibration, frequency or idea which pushes the pressure past the tipping point a quantum leap change can happen – and then suddenly everything becomes different.
After the year I’d had in 2012, and the devastation which depression was wrecking upon my psyche, I desperately needed a change. Not an external change but one inside me… and not a little change but the quantum leap size change. I just had no idea what it could be that would do this, or how to get there…
Reaching The End Of The World
By December of 2012 I pretty much felt beat and done with the depression fight. If there was some cure I could effect by exercise or diet I knew I couldn’t do it at this point, I couldn’t raise the energy to give it another try – I felt like I had already been there and done that (whether that’s true or not), and had lost – whatever “lost” meant in my mind, but it definitely felt like a horrible failure on my part.
Little did I know what was just around the next corner, once The End Of The World Day had come and gone…
Becoming Conscious Of Consciousness
For several years, at least since reading Carl Jung in late 2008, my attention has been deeply focused on consciousness (the quality or state of being aware, especially of something within oneself).
When I read the writings of Carl Jung during November of 2008 I found I had stumbled across a subject, consciousness, which completely grabbed my attention and held onto it. It was something that started a change in my thinking, and something which resonated deeply with my intuitive approach to life. Suddenly I was very conscious of consciousness, and I began trying to find out everything I could about the subject.
At the same time I became very interested in the Mayan 260 day sacred calendar, the Tzolkin. After following as it went through it’s cycle I became aware of a slowly shifting pattern of… something – vibrations, intentions, influences – affecting not only me but many people with whom I interacted. All this was very strange to me and didn’t fit my existing paradigms, my description, my view of how the world worked.
So I became an observer of cycles.
You can’t really see something until you give it your attention so I watched the wheels going around for months, and during this time I became aware of other things which seemed to be affecting me, like Mercury and it’s retrograde cycle and the moon and it’s monthly cycle.
I already had a very sensitive system, and once I became aware of what seemed to be going on at this different level I seemed to become even more sensitive to all the various cycles and patterns of a constantly moving cosmos.
Here’s a drawing (one of a series of drawings) I did in December of 2008 inspired by reading Carl Jung and discovering the Mayan sacred calendar. It’s called Renewing The World Tree:
Turning Consciousness Into Art
Being an artist I naturally tried to figure out how to make art out of this strange, new (to me) medium called consciousness. UFOverdriver was one of my first major projects working towards this new direction, consciously allowing my increasingly sensitive intuition to lead the project by reaching out into the great collective consciousness to create souvenirs of the moment.
For this project I imagined myself flying my vimana-like craft at 72,000 feet late at night, picking up various bits of chatter on the global collective consciousness, while I let my intuition guide me as I gathered audio material, and recorded my sound collages.
It might just be a flight of my very active imagination, and it may sound a little bit on the crazy side, but strangely enough, this process really works for me. I’m always amazed at how the UFOverdriver recordings turn out…
Here’s one from May of 2012 called Make Today The Day about the absence of truth in our national media, the political landscape, and the use of manufactured crisis to bring about change… at least I think that’s what it’s about.
Books That Broke My Paradigms
Like many changes in my life, this most recent change (which happened after The End Of The World Day) came through a series of conveniently placed books, like a series of locks being opened. Looking backwards it seems like it only could have worked out the way it did if I read these books in the order in which I read them, because each book built upon the previous ones and fed a larger picture which was being constructed for me.
In moments of synchronicity like these it seems there is nothing left to chance and everything is moving along just like it’s been planned – and yet everything is affected by our choices, and freewill runs rampant, appearing to reign supreme. What a strange enigma.
Fear and Loathing At The End Of The World
To distract myself during the last two weeks before Election Day I read the Hunter S. Thompson classic, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72. While I read, in a rather depressed state, I decided to let go of my basic idealism and allowed myself to soak in Dr. Thompson‘s telling of the strange petty meanness of the campaign trail back in 1972.
Because I know things are stranger now than they were back in ’72, it made me even more depressed. To quote Sam Shepard, who said recently – “Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality.”
I used the moment to finally face up to the dark truth that our world system really is a corrupt Babylon – a cultural cesspool in many ways. Of course I already knew this, but I think I only allowed myself to deal with this information in an abstract way.
There seemed to be something about the moment I was in which made this story vibrate in such a way as to work itself deep into my psyche, like the first earthquake in a serious of earthquakes that starts to destroy not just my structures of thought, but destroys the foundations upon which the structures stand.
My naive idealism, which has been one of my major blind spots in life, also seem to be lacking “even the loosest attachment to anything like reality” I realized – and needed to be changed – maybe for a new and improved version of idealism, or with something entirely different than I could imagine.
This was the beginning of the end of my old world view, which I didn’t realize at the time. It was as if an axe began swinging, and it was striking deep blows at my old overgrown world-view tree in the process of bringing it down.
Conspiracy Theories Or Just Real-Life Fiction
During this time I was busy reading many strange articles from a few different “conspiracy theory” websites. I enjoy these stories because many of them are like real-life fiction. It seems like some of the best fiction comes from those who really believe the story they’re telling. You could say I’m a recreational user of conspiracy theory stories.
I traveled down a number of strange rabbit holes of thinking as I patiently waited for The End Of The World Day, December 21st, to get here. By this point I really just wanted the day to be over with, like it was some big obstacle that needed to be hurdled before we could finally get down to the business of whatever it is we’re suppose to be doing.
And, as I discovered, when you go down strange rabbit holes you usually end up outside the box, on the other side of the looking glass and in territory beyond your comfort zone – or as the title of the next book I read called it – “The Verges Of The Weird”.
The Verges (Of The Weird)
First off, I’m not a fan of alien abduction stories. I’ve always loved UFO stories in that nicely abstract way, the non-intrusive kind – the “when something strange flies by” kind, but not the first person encounter “I was abducted by aliens” kind of stories. So this was my first time reading this genre of literature.
I discovered Ken Bakeman one night when I ran across an article by him on one of my favorite “real-life fiction conspiracy theory” websites – Before It’s News. Before I knew it most of the evening had passed as I read every article written by Bakeman I could find online. During the course of my searches I found out he had written a book called The Verges Of The Weird, which was only available in PDF format at the time (Late November). I purchased it, printed it out and read through it right away.
Ken Bakeman’s testimony of experiences in this book covers the period of life from his very early childhood until age 18. During this time he was initiated through his reptilian handler into the service of the gray aliens and prepared for use in furthering their agenda here on Earth – which remains a mystery at this point in the story.
He is currently writing the next book in the series (book two is due later this year), which I’ll look forward to reading because he’s a pretty good writer and tells an interesting story. You can visit his website and check it out for yourself.
His stories, which he relays in such a matter-of-fact manner, were so far beyond my paradigms, yet at the same time they resonated inside me in such a way as to send another round of earthquakes through my psyche. Having moved out of my own box of thinking while contemplating Bakeman’s world gave me a chance to think about all the different boxes of thinking people live in, and how much our thinking boxes affect everything we do.
At any other time in my life I could of just let this book float through my attention in a very “that was nice, but what’s next” kind of way, but at this moment, where my paradigms were willingly being questioned, Bakeman’s testimony made me stop and think – to let the story bounce around in my mind for awhile. One of the things I started thinking about was my early childhood and about some memories I had forgotten.
One morning, several weeks later, I had a very important personal breakthrough. The answer to some questions I’d had about my very early childhood were suddenly understood completely… not that it had anything to do with alien abductions, but in an instant I knew the answer to some troubling childhood issues that had followed me through life. Once I knew the answers I also knew it was okay, and I could just let it go, like a burden I didn’t need to carry anymore. So I did.
After spending some time contemplating the world of a person who really experienced, or believed he had experienced, alien encounters I moved onto another area of the paranormal – near-death experiences. This was another topic which I wasn’t very familiar with, nor had I been interested in stories of people’s near death experiences in the past.
I came across a story on the Huffington Post about a neurosurgeon who’d had an amazing, life-changing experience after a seven day coma, and had written a book about it called Proof of Heaven. While reading the article I realized this might be another angle of research into my subject – consciousness.
On A Mission
To help you better understand this journey I was on while waiting for The End Of The World Day to arrive, you might want to keep this in mind – first and foremost, I was going through a horrible, despair-infested depression the whole time…
Secondly, I was on a quest to understand the nature of consciousness…
Thirdly, I was willing to dynamite all my paradigm bridges to consensual reality to find the answers I needed to know on my quest…
And fourthly, I had a novel in the works, and everything I read just might be an important bit of information I needed to inject into the world my novel was creating – I was busy doing some cultural mining.
I was on a mission, and it was rather complicated.
Proof Of Heaven
That’s the state I was in when I came across Eben Alexander’s story of his seven days in a coma, and his experiences in “heaven”, as a consciousness beyond human, Earth-based consciousness.
I immediately ordered a copy of his book, and when it arrived I read it as slowly as I could, digesting each piece of his story like it was some clue to the greater mystery I was trying to solve. My vision of the big picture of the world, seen and unseen, became immensely bigger while I read his book.
Proof of Heaven book description from Amazon.com:
A SCIENTIST’S CASE FOR THE AFTERLIFE
Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.
Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.
Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.
Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.
This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.
I am not saying I’m a believer in any of these stories I’m sharing, and for me, that isn’t the point really. For me it’s that the people sharing these stories really believe these stories themselves, and by reading their writing it stretches my understanding of what could be possible beyond my previously known borders of possibility. I wanted this to happen, to move myself beyond my previously known borders while keeping this thought in mind – don’t believe everything you think.
As The End Of The World Day came and went I had so much of this material running around my brain all it needed was a small push to go past the tipping point, to watch my old world-view of ideas collapse and fall away.
The Power of Now
This book, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, pushed my old paradigms past the tipping point. I’m not saying it’ll do that for anyone else, but at this moment, for me, this book was the final key that clicked in the lock holding back the answers I was looking for – not in that “I wish that was true” kind of way, but in that “oh, of course” kind of way.
Tania (my wife) had ordered this book for herself around Thanksgiving time because so many people had mentioned it to her that she needed to see what this book was about for herself. I made jokes about it all December as it sat around, unread, saying things like “Someone should write a spoof of this book called The Power Of Later – A Guide To Eventual Spiritual Enlightenment.”
Around the end of the month, after I had read just about everything around the house (I read way too fast – I’m trying to practice “slow reading”…) I decided to take a look at this power of now book.
Here’s what I posted on Facebook (along with the photo shown above) while I was reading this book, on the 31st of December, 2012:
This is what I’m reading now… I’m only 60 pages in and already it has profoundly altered my interior landscape… Extremely simple and powerful ideas in this book.
And on January 5th, as a comment added to that post…
Finished reading this last night… wow… this book is the missing “how your conscious works” manual I needed right here and right now!
I keep wondering how only 3 million copies of this book have sold when it should be 3 billion, or maybe a copy given to each human being when they’re born. “Here kid, this is what’s going on here…”
It has been a month since I first started reading The Power of Now, and it’s the best month I’ve had in years. I’m still adjusting to this new way of understanding consciousness and the world we live in – I’ve found there’s a number of well-worn pathways in the machinery of my mind caused by years of depression which are being (or have been) torn down, and new pathways which are already being developed.
I’m enjoying the process.