Some short poetry videos that show you parts of my world
My process was a process of being present with and opening to the full spectrum of experience. Removing the barriers and filters between me and what is outside of me. A lot of this was incredibly beautiful and magical. A huge amount of it was incredibly stressful.
One of the most confronting parts of this was the soul realm, which consists of an unfathomable quantity of archetypal forces, collective energy and things that go far beyond a western scientific materialist perspective or paradigm. Western society would diagnose a lot of these experiences as psychosis and I was in severely altered states of consciousness for years.
Becoming non-dual with something is about removing the barriers and blocks between you and it. A lot of this was about integrating collective shadows, which meant going through long periods of unbearable emotional and physical pain. I felt suicidal for large parts of this, but it was also a time of huge creativity and relentless insight.
Most people who can comprehend what this might mean do not want to open into an experience of non-duality with meaning or energy in the world; it is far too overwhelming for them and beyond what they need to awaken for them to be their full expression.
However, it’s important to recognise that these are the sorts of things that exist outside the boundaries of our self and under the surface of our conceptual, controlling mind. When these have gone our perception of what reality is can change radically, creating a much more honest and accurate depiction of life and experience.
Self boundaries and reifying minds are actually there to keep us safe a lot of the time and that is an important role. I am not encouraging people to follow the path I went down, but I am sharing some of the experiences, insights and wisdom that I have integrated and brought back with me from these places as I believe that they are important.
They emulate from and represent a deeper level of truth and wisdom that integrates the darkness and creates a spirituality of wholeness.
I also want to lift the shame and pathology that we have in our culture around some of these states of consciousness and ways of experiencing that in our cultures are shut down, but in other cultures would be considered as gifts and cultivated in the contexts of shamanism, sensitivity and wisdom.
Most of the time during the process, this was an incredibly lonely, dark and challenging place to be; being able to connect with experience in a creative way was simultaneously the purpose of it and what helped me get through the experience.
Here are a few bits that feel important.
The ways that I have perceived that we operate as collectives and individuals, inspired by the chakras and Fredric Laloux. When we can operate freely in each of these, we get all the beautiful benefits.
In order to do this as a collective, we each need to be able to embody both the masculine and feminine of each of the chakral qualities.
After the hierarchy of needs, comes the hierarchy of collaboration.
The pre-requisite conditions and outcomes for each of the phases should flow in both directions, e.g. you should care and feel cared about, accept and feel accepted; otherwise it’s not a collaboration, it’s extractive.
A bit like the hierarchy of needs there is often a break-down or a crisis that pushes you into the higher levels. The stress on the system reveals the weaknesses and people either pull together or fall apart.
This is nicely captured in the ‘form, storm, perform, norm cycle’ that groups and organisations go through. Come together, confront challenges, overcome them, integrate them in. Repeat.
This shows the different parts of awakening and where most people’s experience is confined to – the Mind.
This can happen especially with people who have a very awakened mind and is sometimes explicitly the objective of some traditions; essentially creating a world where the mind believes that it is right, in order to avoid the pain, overwhelm and stupidity of the other parts. However, this creates huge shadows and loses out on the full richness of experience.
So one of the biggest questions for awakening is, how do we get people out of their heads and into life?
What’s most important to recognise is that the downsides are often the doorways into these parts:
- Without being honest about unsatisfactoriness and working through it, you won’t get aligned
- Without letting yourself be overwhelmed, you won’t have an ineffable experience
- Without wanting to figure it out your mind won’t learn anything
- Without feeling the pain your heart won’t open
- Without allowing yourself to be dumb you won’t get into your body
- Without accepting the needs of both yourself and others you won’t feel rooted
The more we can create environments that make this easier for people, the better the outcomes from awakening.
Awakening can be... non-dual awareness infinite consciousness natural mind time changing shape jhanas (sober) psychedelic experiences connection to the void merging experiences one sense door energy wholeness & balance shamanism, magic & mysticism joy & peace
I drew the eyes while I was on a creative psychedelic trip; it’s called ‘Looking Through The Eyes of the Cosmos…’
It represents how, at its core, awakening needs to incorporate a sense of deep and authentic connection between people.
The marks around the eyes are two birds that represent the difference in how we understand and approach our evolution.
The yellow bird is a phoenix to represent resilience and how spirituality needs to give people the resources to be accountable to impact, to face their suffering, to rise from it and be willing to keep going.
The blue bird is a peacock to represent a shift towards ‘survival of the kindest’; status will become about being connected, friendly and supportive.
Both are true, depending which moment you ask in.
Self-portrait of me making enough space to hold the proportionality of some of my feelings.
Sea horses are one of the only animals in which the male can get pregnant. This was symbolic of how we need to balance the masculine and feminine within our society. If we valued the feminine elements and made them more visible – care, emotional labour, child-rearing – then everyone would be better off and men and women would be more equal.
May you experience enough safety in life
That your body can viscerally relax
May you be surrounded by people
Who support you to express yourself
May you experience being held
In a compassionate and non-judgemental space
May you fall in love with someone
Who sees the real you
May you feel enough security
To be able to share yourself
And your resources freely and openly
May you find enough meaning and purpose in life
To make it feel like it’s worth it
May you have the courage
To stand up for these things
For yourself and others
Off The Map
Opening a portal to a different type of awakening. The monkey and the rabbit are the guides to embracing a more alive, expressive version of awakening.
Symbolic of insight, intuition, playfulness and mischievousness.
“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it”
Rafiki, the Lion King
Symbolic of intimacy and connecting with your inner world. Going down the rabbit hole.
“How long is forever? Sometimes just one second”
Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland
For me, a choir is a perfect metaphor for God or Cosmic Intelligence – there is a rhyme and reason to things and the expression of it arises from the collective. There is no single source of truth.
Everything is God
An atemporal mychorizzal network of love
Time as a dimension
A divine cosmic body of intelligence
Psychedelic fractal unfolding…
It’s all the same explosion of life
Me captured by the amazing Sari Soininen, as part of a series of portraits of people who have experienced psychosis. After hearing my story she photographed me as a Goddess of Fire.
Psychosis, and how we relate to it, is a topic that is very close to my heart. In the right conditions, psychosis isn’t a mental illness but a way for the psyche to heal itself or a process of the door opening to a deeper layer of reality.
Helping people engage with it in a more positive way, as well as ensuring that people get the practical and medical support they need, creates a lot more shamans and sensitive people in the world and means that people suffer a lot less.
Part of my vision for the future is a world in which good quality shamanic retreat centres are as easy to access as Buddhist mindfulness ones.
“The cost of freedom, is giving up control”
The octopus is a symbol for the shared soul; it represents how our soul is a fundamentally different form of intelligence than that which comes from awareness. An octopus’ brain is spread out across its body; we access the knowing that emerges from the shared soul (or karma, as it is talked about in Buddhism) through our intuition, by making space for our subconscious material to arise. This gives us an intuitive wisdom and a felt-sense of what is going on, which is different from the knowing that comes from our hearts and minds.
Where There’s a Lotus, There’s Mud Meditation
- Get pleasantly concentrated
- Remember that you’re God. Feel good about this.
- Drop down into the belly/ root
- Remembering that it’s all God, include all the darkness in life – pain, evil, sex, struggle etc.
- If you can, find some dark joy in this
- Move back up to the heart
- What does your heart want to say? Whatever it is, hear it out.