Thursday, August 5, 2010

PARKS OF STUDY AND REFLECTION Year 2010

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The Parks of Study and Reflection are gateways to the mental world of the Profound.

It is in the Parks that the works of School are carried out, a set of studies and practices which allow access to experiences of contact with hidden internal dimensions.

That depth cannot be captured by the language or the categories of space-time in which we believe we live. However, in particular circumstances, it becomes accessible, manifesting or erupting in experiences that move our consciousness and change our lives decisively. We experience that which has no name but does have meaning – contact with an unfathomable profundity where space is infinite and time is eternal. Although brief, these experiences are of great consequence because they give us meaning, joy, and fulfillment.

Since ancient times we human beings have perceived the trajectory of our life and its finiteness. We ask ourselves where we've come from and where we are going, and we experience the search for meaning, while also feeling the need to overcome pain and suffering. And every time human consciousness has managed to glimpse the profundity of the Mind, inspired answers have arisen and great forces have been released. The rapture of falling in love, the inspiration of artists, and the ecstasy of the mystics, all have their source in those common depths. The great religious and spiritual currents that have grown through history were also born from these “sacred” experiences.

In different historical moments, different people and cultures have translated human interiority as diverse and, on occasion, opposed poetic or mythical landscapes Nevertheless, all of them have their concealed center of gravity in the Profound. On this planet of ours, in which societies are rapidly becoming globalized, it will be precisely that renewed experience of contact with the transcendent which could foster a recognition and spiritual encounter between the peoples of the world2.

The Parks of Study and Reflection are places for meeting and for the spreading of a new spirituality that rejects all forms of violence and discrimination; a spirituality that appeals to that sacred dimension of the human mind to find freedom and meaning. Every human being, no matter their beliefs, may participate in this emotional, moving and experiential path.

For many, these Parks become places that translate a time and space loaded with meaning.

There are regions of the mind which have a special meaning, and when we connect with or access these regions, a great internal commotion is produced. They are regions with psychic charge, located at a certain height and depth in the internal space. So, for example, many legends spoke of mythical cities, places which are home to the deepest aspirations. “When they spoke of a city of the gods, which the heroes of many peoples strove to reach; when they spoke of a paradise where gods and humankind lived together in transfigured original nature...”

Every people has their allegories, and it could not be any other way, since these are translations of non-representable meanings, made with the raw material of the corresponding cultural landscape at a given time.

These internal places are related or occasionally coincide with external places that then take on sacred characteristics because of the importance they have for us, according to each person's culture. That is why we make pilgrimages to them in order to receive the psychic charge accumulated there. In these places, we want to be better, more connected with ourselves and with others.

The Parks of Study and Reflection that are appearing on all continents signal the search for, and expression of, the sacred; that is, of the best aspirations of the human being who today is preparing to awaken from a profound sleep.

A new civilization is being born and will go acquiring its representation in the world, which will be the translation of that profound reality.


Eduardo Gozalo

“At some moments in history an outcry arises, a heartrending call from individuals and from entire nations. Then, from the Profound a signal arrives. May this signal be translated with kindness in these times, may it be translated in order to overcome pain and suffering—for behind this signal are blowing the winds of great change.” Silo. Inauguration of the La Reja Park of Study and Reflection.
Silo. Collected Works, Vol. 1. The Inner Look. XX. Internal Reality. p. 46

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

COMMENTS ON MEDITATION, MENTAL SILENCE AND THE GUIDE

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(Negro with members of the Bombay’s structure, in 1980)
Cassette’s transcription.


People meditate any way they can.
We’ll see what is not meditation. Meditation is not concentration.

What is concentration? Concentration is maintaining the attention on a fixed point. That’s the thing. I’m representing an object; this object may appear or disappear. The characteristics of the object I’m representing are brightness, permanence (the object remains or disappears) and selection.

I say that my concentration is good when the object’s three characteristics, force, permanence and correct selection are present. But these three (characteristics) are related to the object’s permanence: concentration is maintaining the attention on the object. (1)

But also concentration is the effort I make in maintaining the attention on the objects. Thus, it could happen that the object appears and disappears, but because I’m making the effort of being concentrated on the object then I’m attending to my attention, in which case I’m not longer concentrated on the object but on my attention.

In turn, concentration on the attention allows three forms. I can observe the fluctuation of my attention, which means that it does not have enough adhesion. It may happen that now I’m no longer engaged in my attention and a totally unrelated memory appears in which case the selection in the attention is lacking. And it could also happen that my thought is very weak, in which case the force in the attention upon the attention is lacking. (2)

Now, a third step, I am aware of what is happening with my attention. We are trying to distinguish between what is meditation and what is not. We have said that concentration is not meditation and we have said what concentration is. Concentration is the attention directed toward an object. We have also said that the attention on the object admits three forms.
But at the same time, the attention upon the attention also admits another three forms.

I’d like you to notice the following: One thing is the object I see, another one is the object I’m representing, and the other one is the attentional mechanism that is referring to the object I’m representing. A third thing that is related to the (degree in) depth is the attention that refers to the attention. These are the different degrees in depth of concentration. This is not meditation. (3)

When attending to an object I observe that there are three forms: brilliance, permanence and selection and all of them vary.

When I’m not concern about maintaining the object but I allow the object – without disappearing – to change and fluctuate in my consciousness, even becoming modified in its characteristics, but I keep all of this together in the consciousness, this fact of not getting out of theme even if the object changes, this is in general meditation.

But the meditation needs to have a proposal in order to work. I cannot just meditate about any thing because if I do I will lose the object. So, I must fix the limits of the meditation, that is the objective of the meditation.

What is the difference between divagation and meditation?

Divagation works by mechanical free association and it lacks direction.

Could it be a meditation that may proceed also by association? Of course it could, but it would have to hold a connective thread and an objective.

Having established the limits of the meditation – a proposed objective and a connective thread for the associations, we must also admit different forms of meditation.

For instance, I can meditate on a problem. (4)

If I were to concentrate on a problem then I won’t be able to resolve it because it would lack the dynamics.

If I concentrate on the following proposal: two by two equal… and I suspend my attention on this formula then, I won’t be able to give the response that is four, because in order to do that I will have to give dynamics to it. I will have to allow my thought to be in movement. If I concentrate on the two by two then there is no possible solution.

It is false that concentration can resolve any question because the nature of concentration is holding the attention on a motionless point. And if we fix the attention then there is no dynamics, therefore there is no solution to the problem.
What could concentration be useful for? Perhaps, it could be useful as an exercise to educate the attention.

We are talking about different forms of meditation and we are seeing several possibilities.

For instance, I can meditate on a problem by looking at the problem from different points of view, trying different solutions and making comparisons among them, etc. but I never get out of the question about such a problem.

I have fixed the subject and I do my movements within certain parameters, searching for the solution to the problem.
What is fixed and what is mobile? The objective I want to achieve is fixed, to resolve the problem, and all the procedures I use in order to look at the problem from different angles are mobile. This is one of the forms: to fix the problem and to have mobile points of view. You know this form. Empirically you do that, sometimes with a method and sometimes without it. It is a form generally known where one advances more or less like this when trying to solve a problem.

But there is a different form of meditation that we call dynamic meditation because we do not established the problem or the solution. The problem is mobile and the associations are also mobile. But, one may say, how are we going to solve the problem if we don’t even know what is it related to?

These are the characteristics pertaining to dynamic meditations and are based on the following experience. I know what internal resistance I have, but when I begin to move the images around a certain direction I detect that my images are restrained or deformed, therefore the problems show up.

Consequently, I began by knowing what the problem was and the direction (solution?), but when putting the associative chains in motion the resistance appeared, and when the resistance appeared I discovered what my problems were allowing me to work on them in a more organized way. This is the form we use in the guided experiences. (5)

Therefore the form of a dynamic meditation is very different from the first form we were investigating.

There are also other forms like those mentioned in the Inner Look: “Carefully meditate in humbled search.” There, other implications are mentioned that are not so cold or so technical as those we have been studying, instead a particular internal disposition for the meditation is mentioned.

It is a disposition that works by eliminating certain believes; it is disposition that not only does not have prejudices about things but also about oneself. It is a disposition that shrinks the I. “Carefully and in humble search.”

This third form of meditation has other implications that are not only technical. It is as if in order to do a careful work, a laboratory work I have to previously take a bath and arrange the conditions for things to go well.

This third form of meditation requires prior conditions from the person doing the meditation. It considers the state in which the meditating person finds him/herself. The interest is not directed to the object or technique that is going to be used for the meditation.

In this instance, the object proposed is a literary work. The attention is not placed on my understanding of this object but on my disposition when I go toward the object. This is a little unusual because I have this literary work and I’m not being told to study it instead I’m being told that I should take certain placement in front of this work. “Carefully and in humble search”. One is trying to place oneself in a state prior to the meditation as when we relax before doing something interesting and we place ourselves in a previous condition. Here we are talking about a similar thing but related to the field of the meditation.


THE GUIDE

If one considers the internal guide as an object, then it is an object.

One may place the object in front of oneself, in which case the consciousness refers to the object. But I can presume that there is a tendency behind my consciousness that moves my consciousness in one or another direction.

Where do I place the internal guide, behind or in front (of the consciousness)? Therefore I say: “the internal guide is the tendency that gives impulse to my consciousness.” If this is so, with what do I perceive this internal guide that impels my consciousness?

What are the conditions of this consciousness in order for this guide – situated behind – to appear?

If I say that sometimes I don’t perceive the guide because it is situated in a profound level, how do I know it is in a profound level?

Therefore, I’m no sure the guide is in a profound level. It is possible that it is there, and that due to certain conditions of the consciousness this need or search –sometimes felt as a presence - appears.

But the nature of the guide is not so clear and according to what was said, it doesn’t matter what the nature of the guide is because I don’t want to convert it into an object.

Then, one shouldn’t worry if the guide is or not in a profound level, because the guide is there when I want to be in contact with. Then the question is not about the nature of the guide.

I can feel the internal guide without seeing it. How do I do when I want to remember a particular music or the hunger I felt yesterday?

I have to lower the mental tensions and the dragging of contents in order for the meditation to proceed. Otherwise, the direction of the meditation will deviate. The lowering of mental tensions and the dragging of daily contents.

Another interesting alternative is to do a mental silence. If I am able to do a mental silence without a doubt the mental tensions will decrease. There are different techniques and one of the most interesting one is as in the work with the guide… (interruption.)

Let’s see this subject of the mental silence. How do I do a mental silence? When I want to do a mental silence how do I do it?
It is possible to do a mental silence and to lower mental tensions during the meditation as well as in daily life by resorting to the sensation, the mechanics of the mind and also to a meaningful question.

In all these instances the attention is always referring to something different than the problems that are generating tensions. I always have to work with the attention. (6)

But we also see that when I want to do a mental silence I’m not able to achieve the silence. This is because I’m applying tensions in the effort of doing a mental silence.

How can I attend without tensions? In order to do a mental silence I need not to worry about the noise in my consciousness. I need to be concerned about other objects and never say: “I have to do a mental silence.”

We have said that achieving a mental silence is related to the direction of the attention.

When I try to listen to something that is coming from far away, and which I barely hear, in order to listen to this far away thing I do a metal silence. (7)

I’m not concerned about doing a mental silence, instead I’m attending to this far away thing, and this creates the conditions for the silence to take place. And when I ask something to my guide I don’t worry about doing a mental silence. I’m concerned about to clearly listen the response that comes from my guide, and in order to listen clearly I have to do a mental silence.
Therefore, these two important works, the work with the internal silence and the work with the guide are one and the same. And if anybody were to ask me, which is the most important work? We should say that this one, the work with the guide in silence.

(The experience of calling the guide takes place)

When invoking “Oh Guide! and I pay attention to the response, then automatically the silence is produced. The more attentive I was to the response the more silence was produced. When I got distracted or when I was not waiting for the response then the noises began. So, it is understood that when trying to listen then the silence is produced.

Another issue is when the response does not come, but you felt the answer. This means that the response did no come from the guide, the response came from you yourselves.

Thus, we see two things: it is possible to do a internal silence by being attentive to the response and it is possible to have a response even if it didn’t come from outside.

Let’s study more this case, this instance of launching a question and waiting for the response, as in the ceremony for Accepted members.

The fact that I have launched a question and I’m waiting for the response and already I’m doing a mental silence. This does not guarantee that a response will come, but I’m able to do the silence because I’m waiting for the response.

When the response comes, then I say that it comes from my guide. But it happens that there are different degrees of depth. Sometimes one may recognize that the response came from one’s own thoughts. Sometimes one notice that the response had a very deep flavor of truth, that it didn’t came from the memory, the consciousness or from the noise my consciousness produces, because I was able to obtain a good internal silence.

When this happens and it has this internal flavor of truth, then I say that it came truly from my guide.

This subject of doing a mental silence by properly directing the attention and this other subject of a response with a true flavor are the best works that can be done with the internal guide. Internal guide and silence are the same mental technique.

Let’s now suppose that I do ask for a response, let’s suppose that now I am alone, let’s suppose that now I am depress and I have many problems. I concentrate on myself and I say something to my internal guide. I’m not asking for a response, for instance I asking for company or force or I ask my guide for a warm emotion or an internal smile and whatever I do I do it with attention. “Oh Guide, give my force!” “Oh Guide give me an response!” Oh Guide, accompany me!” We ask the guide in all instances. The contact with the guide is always a request. And when I do the asking I pay attention to the response to that request, and when placing the attention on the request we are doing silence, and when we are doing silence the response comes to us.

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SILO'S COMMENTS ON THE GOLDEN RULE

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Lately, the statement "treat others as you would have them treat you" has promoted good communication with many people who are lost in their own contradictions, people who are also continuously increasing the amount of contradiction in those around them. Current people's behavior is becoming ever more erratic and they don't know how to relate to each other; at the same time, they don't know what to expect from you.

At times we have alluded to a "morality". Today, such a word sounds fake. This has often happened with words that are manipulated and utilized with the worst intentions. What is today's "morality" *but* an obsolete skeletal structure that nobody believes in? Our morality has nothing to do with the established farce. We are supported by a great principle of behavior called "the Golden Rule". Obviously, for those who are familiar with Humanist thinking, "the Golden Rule" presents no problems. It fits our vision of the human being perfectly. Nevertheless, some remarks may help *promote* a type of behavior which affirms and justifies the effort needed to eradicate pain and suffering in our society. When we talk about anti-discrimination, respect for diversity and choosing the conditions of life which we aspire *to* for ourselves and for others, this morality resounds!

In Humanist Vocabulary, we define the Golden Rule as "A moral principle which is very widespread in many peoples and which reveals the Humanist stance". Some examples: Rabbi Hiller, 'Whatever you don't want for yourself, don't do to others'. Plato, 'May I do onto others as I would have others do onto me'. Confucius, 'Do not do to another what you would not like to be done to you'. A Jain maxim, 'Man must strive to treat all creatures as he would like to be treated'. In Christianity, 'Everything you would like others to do to you, do to them as well'. Among Sikhs, 'Treat others as you would like to be treated'. The existence of the Golden Rule in several ancient peoples was proven by Herodotus.

In Humanism it is said: 'treat others as you would have them treat you'. In the Humanist Movement many understand, practice and/or try to practice this principle of behavior. These people have a sensitivity, an appreciation of others which is different from what has been imposed in this period of destructurization of human relations. In order to clearly understand this principle, we must begin with a singular comprehension: the comprehension of human life as a whole. In the Movement, we are skeptical of the sincerity of others who claim to share our beliefs since their vision of the human being is often the opposite of ours. If people don't normally treat their neighbors according to this principle, what can be said about those who talk about changing society and the world? What is the real basis of their *struggle* for improving the conditions of life for the human being?

Let's see the difficulties.

"Treat others as you would have them treat you". In this relationship of behavior, there are two parts: what you request from others and what you are willing to give others.

A. The treatment you request from others.

It is a common wish to be treated without violence and to ask for help in improving your own existence. This is true even among the most violent and exploitative people, who demand collaboration from others in upholding an unjust social order. The treatment requested is independent from what you're willing to give.

B. The treatment you are willing to give others.

We are used to treating others in a utilitarian way, as you would treat other objects, plants or animals. We're not talking about the extreme of cruelty because, after all, you don't destroy something you want to use. We tend to take care of others as long as their existence pleases us, or may be useful to us in the present or future. Nevertheless, there are "others" who somewhat disturb us: the so-called "loved ones", whose suffering and joy moves us very much. We recognize something of ourselves in them and we tend to treat them the same way we would like to be treated. There's a big difference between our loved ones and others in whom we don't recognize anything of ourselves.

C. The exceptions.

Regarding the "loved ones", we tend to treat them with help and cooperation. This also happens with strangers. Perhaps we recognize something of ourselves in them, or the situation in which the other person finds him/herself reminds us of our own situation. Perhaps we can imagine a future situation in which this person might turn out to be of help to us. These cases are all unique and are not the same as with our "loved ones". This does not occur with all strangers.

D. Words alone support nothing.

You would like to receive help, but why should you give it to others? Words like "solidarity" or "justice" are not enough; they are spoken with an underlying falseness, spoken without conviction. They are "tactical" words that are often used to get collaboration from others without giving it to them. This can be taken even further, for example with other tactical words, such as "love", "kindness", etc. Why should we love someone who is not one of our loved ones? The statement "I love someone I don't love" is contradictory. It's redundant to say "I love someone I love". On the other hand, the feelings that would appear to back up these words are constantly changing, and I come to realize that I love more, or I love less, the same loved one. Lastly, the layers of this love are many and complex.
This is evident in phrases such as: "I love X, but I can't stand *him/her* when *he/she* doesn't do what I want".

E. Applying the Golden Rule from other positions.

If you say "Love your neighbor as yourself, for the love of God", at least two problems arise: 1. - We must assume that you can love God and admit that this "love" is human; therefore, the word is inadequate. Or, that we love God, but with a love that is not human; in which case the word is still inadequate. 2. - You don't love your neighbor, except indirectly, by way of your love for God. Double problem: using a word that doesn't truly represent this relationship with God, we must translate it into human feelings.

From other positions, we say things such as "We struggle for class solidarity",
"we struggle for human solidarity", "we struggle against injustice to free the human being". We *still have* nothing to back us up. Why should I struggle for solidarity *or* in order to liberate others? If solidarity is a necessity, it's not something I can choose. Therefore, choosing is irrelevant since it doesn't depend on me. If, on the other hand, it is a choice, why should I opt for it?

Others say things even more extraordinary, such as, "loving my neighbor, I fulfill myself", or "loving my neighbor, I sublimate the death instincts in me". What can be said about this, when the word "fulfillment" is not clear until the aim is clarified? When the words "instinct" and "sublimation" are metaphors from mechanistic psychology which, in any case, nowadays is insufficient?

And then there are always those fools who preach: "You cannot operate outside established Justice, which exists so that we are all mutually protected". In this case, you cannot demand any moral standing higher than this "Justice".

Then there are some who talk about a Natural zoological Morality. There are even others who, defining the human being as a "rational animal", expect this morality to derive from said animal's reasoning.

In all the cases mentioned above, the Golden Rule doesn't fit very well. We cannot agree with them even when they tell us that we are saying the same thing, but with different words. It is clear that we're not saying the same thing.

What must have those people felt who, among the various populations in different times in history, made the golden rule their highest moral principle? This simple formula, from which an entire morality can be derived, springs from modest and sincere human depth. By way of this formula, it is through others that we are unveiled to ourselves. The Golden Rule doesn't impose any type of behavior, it offers an ideal and a model to be followed at the same time that it allows us to progress in understanding our own life. Nor should the Golden Rule become a new tool for the hypocritical lesser morality, useful for measuring the behavior of others. When a "morality" tablet serves to control instead of helping, to oppress in place of liberating, it must be broken. Beyond any morality tablet, beyond the values of "good" and "bad", the human being along with his destiny rises above, ever unfinished and ever growing.

Mendoza, Dec. 17, 1995

Friday, March 20, 2009

Talk No. 4 – THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNES

Talk No. 4 – Silo with Enrique Nassar (19/04/97)

- THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS -


Silo: …Today, the Human Being is coming. The Human Being is already appearing.

EN: - What do you mean by "Today, the Human Being is coming"?

During the last centuries, the Positivistic vision has reduced the Human Being to an organism, to a rational animal, to something that is born, grows, gets trained, works, reproduces itself, gets ill and dies. You go to your office, and sit next to your work companion, what do you feel about the other? You feel that he was born, that he grew, that he was trained, he is working with you, he has children (reproduced himself), is ill or may get ill, and may die or necessarily he will die. What you feel is the vision that the system has about the Human Being: it is an organism that is born, grows, gets trained, works, gets ill and dies.

The real Human Being, that which goes towards the infinite, that which discovers and manipulates the atom, that which transforms the universe into bits, that which decodes and can manipulate at will the genetic code -and, with it, will transform his nature even further-, that which, when he is told that technology generates unemployment, is ready to restructure the social organisation to free the human being from labour and to enable technology to keep on developing, that which rebels against being considered just a rational animal that is born, grows, reproduces himself, works, gets ill and dies, that which looks at his body and considers it a primitive antique for the development of his consciousness, that which rebels against death, that human being that still neither philosophy, nor psychology or the social sciences define... That human being, the real human being, is already appearing. Will that human being make mistakes? Of course he will make mistakes, but it could not be otherwise. No way that process will stop. Although antihumanist forces may try to stop those processes, those processes will open their way. Human consciousness will get rid of many bonds that today are limiting it, i.e., the labour, the body limitations, etc.

- What may happen in the immediate coming years?

The systems create the substratum of basic beliefs which the average citizen adheres to. From that substratum of basic beliefs the average citizen thinks and makes science, politics, culture, economy. A primitive system (such as the existing one) can only generate a field of primitive beliefs so that the citizen adheres to it. For instance, neoliberalism is a production based on that primitive substratum. The analysis of the present phenomena is based on a methodology characteristic of that substratum. Everything very reduced, very primitive, very limiting, ...

Neoliberalism will fall (this is difficult to see with the instruments for analysis characteristic of the substratum of basic beliefs), and for us the problem is not that it falls, but all the social mess that the crash of the finance system may generate. Do imagine the system of production and distribution of food stopped, public services blocked, millions of people in the cities trying to get out from there, the psychosocial disorders of all sorts that may take place... A crash of the system without anything to replace it would not be useful for anything. We are not only interested in the fall of the system, but in its replacement.

- Do we need to take power to prevent a crash without a way out?

That is an option that is not very interesting for us. For us, the interesting option is that people change.

- What do you mean by people changing?

You do remember The Winged Lion, don't you?:

“- That is so, Mr. Ho. That is so. No one on this Earth will support any effort, until the monstrosity ends by which a single human being remain below the living standards we all enjoy.
- I am very glad to hear that Mrs. Walker. I am very glad! But tell me, when did everything start to change? When we realised that we existed and that therefore others existed? Right now, I know that I exist. How stupid! Isn't it Mrs. Walker?
- It is not stupid at all. I exist, because you exist and vice versa. This is the reality, the rest is stupidity.
- I think that the guys of The Committee for the Defence of the Weak Nervous System managed to set things in clear. Actually, I don't know how they did it, but they did it. Otherwise, we would have been converted into ants, ...
- That's right, that's right. The whole social organisation, if it can be called such, is collapsing. In so short a time, it is breaking down completely.
- Come on, Come on, Mrs. Walker. We are living in a new world, and still it is difficult for us to find free forms of personal communication.
- Will your read me your poems? I imagine that they are inefficient, arbitrary and, above all, heart-warming.
- That is right, Mrs. Walker. They are inefficient and heart-warming. I will read them to you anytime. Have a marvellous day."


People change, if their apparatus of basic beliefs change. Let's see an example with a belief of the apparatus of basic beliefs that has lasted for centuries. Remember geocentricism, the earth was the centre of the universe, and that was an epoch in which everybody agree that it was so. Thus people believed and lived.

In course of time, all that changes. First, they tell that the Sun is the centre of the universe. Then, a clarification is made, and they tell that the solar system is one among many within a larger system called galaxy. Later on, more explanations are given and they tell that such galaxy is part of a system of galaxies, and that, in turn, this system of galaxies is one among many in the universe. As of late, they explain that there are several universes. All this makes ideas change. Nowadays nobody dares to tell that we are the centre of the universe. But let's pay attention to the way we speak. We say "The Sun rises on .. The sun sets on ..." as though we were the centre of the universe.

However, that is not all. Today, after researches that tell about solar systems, galaxies, groups of galaxies, universes and several universes; today, notwithstanding the evidence of the immensity of the universe, we assert three things, namely, that we are the only form of life, of intelligent life and of human life. We believe ourselves to be unique, the whole universe is for us, we are the centre of the universe. That is, we keep on being geocentricist. It is a belief of the apparatus of basic beliefs that we have not yet modified.

What we are observing today is that the human being wants to break that basic belief. This is observed in the efforts science and technology make in their interstellar research and in their search for other forms of extraterrestrial existence. This is observed in people's desire that extraterrestrial life exist. So strong is people's desire that there are collective illusions of UFO sightings, and it is a generalised issue. People are making such an effort to see that extraterrestrial intelligence exists, that we are on the brink of this taking place. The Homo Sapiens is making an effort to open up his universe, to go beyond his apparatus of basic beliefs. In that search, the human being is going to discover the consciousness.

- What do you mean when you say: "the human being is going to discover the consciousness"?

Since Descartes, consciousness was defined as a thing, as something with extension. Since then, consciousness is considered as one more case of evolving matter, as an organ that can be manipulated through drugs and electric stimuli. Consciousness is not a reactive passive organism, is much more than that, it is an intentional evolutive structure. The real dynamics of consciousness is to transform itself, to transform the body, and to transform the world.
The fact that through astronomical research they go on discovering that the world does not move mechanically, as they wanted to explain it through the Big Bang theory, of the chance mechanical clash that later on ends up, thanks to chance, in the evolutive process we know, but that there are universes that group together and move with a direction that is not mechanical, but intentional, that is to say that the universe has a meaning in its development;

To make evident that there are other forms of intelligent life in the universe;

To comprehend that consciousness is not something mechanical and reactive, but a intentional evolutive structure; to be on the brink of accepting that the human body is a primitive antique the development of which does not match the evolution rate of consciousness, and to count on the knowledge and technology for modifying it; to be close to free the human being from the slavery of work; all these are clear signals that the Human Being is trying to get rid of his apparatus of basic beliefs.

When all these things become evident, the apparatus of basic beliefs is going to get destructured: that there is an intention in the universe, that there are other forms of intelligent life, that individual consciousness is intentional and evolutive, that the body is a primitive antique that can be modified, that it is convenient to stop working and make the machines work... The human being does not feel himself according to his ideas, he feels himself according to his beliefs. Along with the destructuring of the human being's basic apparatus of beliefs, his image of the world will crack, and, with it, a whole new system of possibilities of development for the consciousness will open up.

After the last 50 years of paralysis, science and thought are once again trying to open their way. The human being is on the brink of transforming himself, not only technologically but in his consciousness. Everything proceeds as a structure. Imagine in the future a human super-civilisation, a world in which the human beings will agree on the basic premises, and each one will be a diversity. We are not talking about diversity of cultures, we are talking about diversity of individuals. that is, every person is a world. Multiplicity, diversity is what is normal in evolution. Although the evolution of consciousness follows a direction, there may be thousands of paths towards that direction.

To understand the behaviours of today's human being, the human beings of the future will have to study thoroughly the apparatus of basic beliefs of this epoch, and, then, they will not tell that he made a mistake in his reasoning, but that he perceived, analysed, predicted, planned, and decided on the basis of a very primitive system of reasoning, generated by a very poor field of beliefs.

The thought of this epoch, from the perspective of future human beings, will be a primitive thought straight-jacketed in a very narrow mental line from which certain phenomena were not visible, certain relations could not be made, certain consequences could not be predicted. It will be told that this absurd improvisation in the decisions, analyses and foresights, corresponded to a nihilistic mental behaviour on the basis of which it was impossible to build something, and that its basic resource of action was the brutal imposition through physical, economic, and other means. It will be explained that all those were the Cro-Magnon's remains that were still remaining unresolved.

Today, power is in the hands of a gang of primitive, ignorant and irresponsible ones -very brute. The stupid way of acting of these primitive ones is causing so serious mistakes in the social construction of the world, that they go on creating a field of catastrophe. This catastrophe may happen, and this would delay the process of human development. Since human consciousness is intentional, the apocalyptic visions of entropies, crashes, catastrophes (nihilistic vision), are not inexorable.

The human being of the future will not want to win and possess things; he will want to feel, create, build, learn without limits. He will not want to possess, have, control. That human being will comprehend that there are millions of forms of developing the emotion and thought, that there is an unimaginable diversity of ways of feeling and thinking. Now the vision of the human being is very behavioural and reduced; but in the future EVERYTHING WILL GO WELL, EVERYTHING WILL GO TOWARDS WHAT IT HAS TO GO.

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TALK No 3 (18/04/97) IDEAS AND IMAGES

TALK No 3 (18/04/97) IDEAS AND IMAGES

From graphic design, going through photography, film, TV, multimedia systems, and advancing towards virtual reality, the system has been progressively discovering that there is a great power in the image. However, the system experiences regarding the image something similar to what used to happen some time ago with radioactive materials. In the beginning, the industry of extraction was advanced, while the technology of manipulation was very little developed. Nowadays it happens that the technology of producing images is very developed, but the system knows very little or almost nothing about the psychology of the image.

The system does not know how the dynamics of the image operates in the human psyche; hence the transferential development is so poor in the field of the image. Ignoring the functioning of images and advancing in the technology of production and distribution of images, the system -in its clumsy search for monopolising the image- will necessarily make mistakes of saturation and irritation. This will lead the system to produce reactions of psychosocial rebound from the population towards the media and the vehicles for the transmission of images. Due to the system's lack of knowledge on this type of phenomena and of the dynamics of the image, they will not be able to assume that these things may happen and, therefore, they will do nothing for preventing them.

One of our wars in the coming years is the war for the image; not in the mass media but within people's heads. The system knows that the image operates and, therefore, that for them it may produce money, that it may be a good business. The image is a particular case of the chapter on the psychology of impulses. The war for the image -a great problem of this epoch, and that will be a great subject in our discussion in the coming years- is a particularity of the psychology of impulses.

It is convenient to make it clear that ideas are one thing while images are another. Ideas clarify, but not necessarily move. Images move, but not necessarily clarify. In our meetings, we carry out clarifications, guided experiences and proposals for action. Our motor is not the transmission of ideas, but the transmission of images. Ideas may produce agreement, but not action. Somebody may agree with what I say, and, at the end of the explanation, he may tell me: "I do agree with everything you say (agreement with the ideas), but I will not participate in the operation (negation of the action) to which you are inviting me, since I have an invitation to have dinner with my aunt (mobilising image)." That is, they may follow my logic, share my reasoning, and be wholly in agreement with my conclusion (e.g., operation against the IMF), but, in spite of all that, they may not move themselves in the proposed direction.

In order to move, I need images (beliefs), not ideas. The present problem with ideologies is that. i.e., they do not take images into account. The system, although with an extremely bad ideology, has an advantage over other ideologies because it controls the communication media of images, although ignoring completely the dynamics of the image. We have ideology and, besides, we know, control and manage the psychology of the image. That is, we have everything; it is only a matter of putting in motion all that we have. For us, it is not enough that newcomers agree with our ideas. We are interested in the conversion of people.

- Could you explain to me what is this of the conversion of people?

The agreement with our ideological clarifications does not make people move. To agree that 2+2=4 will not make, because of it, people move in a given direction. For people to move, ideological clarifications are not necessary. For people to move, mobilising images are required. To move is not a matter of agreements. Logical consequences do not move (to conclude that the system exploits, manipulates, etc. and be in agreement with that, does not move people to carry out actions). The mobilisation of images is not the same as, nor it has to coincide with, ideological clarification. Not even during the times of Rationalism people moved themselves by ideas. Ideas were not what moved people at that time. What happened is that people believed in ideas; however, people were not moved by ideas but rather by faith in ideas. In those times, people were moved by beliefs and images of the world and a rational order that was better than the one they were living. Images are (accompanied or not by ideas) what moves people to action. The belief in the transforming power of rational ideas was the motor of action in the epoch of Rationalism. Today, people do not believe in reason; therefore, reason does not move.

- Then, what is the conversion of people?

The conversion of people is the transformation of their general system of images in a fast way, in such a way that the direction of their lives can be oriented by a precise meaning. regarding this, there are examples to be rescued from what is happening in some Christian groups (Protestant sects) in which somebody attends a meeting, and, all of a sudden, he heeds a sort of call (not an ideology), and something happens to him. Then, from then onwards, he becomes much more integrated into that group, he gives up alcohol, comes back to his wife, gets and keeps a stable job... That is, the general system of images of the subject gets transformed in a fast way, and the vital direction of the subject gets converted. After that experience, people say: "I converted to ..." What we are describing was not achieved with ideas. There are people like that, who experienced what we have explained during a Protestant meeting, in a brief moment, and from then onwards their wandering life takes a direction very strongly. This is not done through the bare fact of agreeing on ideas.

We cannot do certain things (mass conversions of meaning) before the appropriate time, because the general process goes in another direction. Still there are collective beliefs that have to collapse before the mass fall, and then we will try those mass conversions of meaning. Those mass conversions are mass adhesions to a new lifestyle.

First we make them join the style, and then we clarify them. First, to redirect images, and then to clarify ideas. We are not going to make mass clarifications prior to the mass conversion of the meaning in life, but quite the contrary.
For the time being, we have to do gymnastics of making people adhere through ceremonies, testimonial events, taking commitments, ... It is not a clarification so that later they change their meaning in life. It is to make them join through certain events, to a new lifestyle. In the Movement, in this moment we are touching the possibility of the mass level. This possibility started acting in January 1996 when we said: "If we are not several hundreds of thousands soon, what are we playing at?" Starting from that questioning, we have accelerated growth, and today we know that we are several thousands. But things go beyond that, because for our people is not enough to know that we are several thousands. They also want the perceptual image of those thousands, and then they say: "We are going to organise a rally on May 1."

With this, we see that the mobilising image of hundreds of thousands by the year 2000 is producing in the structures a modification in the proposals, in the behaviours, and in the emplacement of the possibility of that scenario (the image draws closer, gaining in depth, impelling with greater force). As humanists, to imagine ourselves as a few in a square making our proposals feels different from imagining ourselves as thousands in a square making our proposals. One guy in underwear with a placard in a square is a madman. A thousand guys in underwear in a square, each one holding the same placard, is a social phenomenon. The message is the same, it has not changed. What changed is the number. A lonely Gandhi would have looked like a pacifist fool. Gandhi, followed by millions, was a social phenomenon.

If we are a few, what we may tell provokes laughter. If we are hundreds of thousands, what we may tell (which is the same) is a very serious matter. What changes? The relation of forces change, supported by the number. Let us now disseminate many materials at the base level and in the streets. people take them and files them, they do not read them. When they will perceive our strength (thanks to the action of the form produced by the perception of numbers), all will want to know about us, who we are, what we do, what we say, how are we organised, ... and at that time they will remember the meeting they attended, the people who invited them, the small leaflet or brochure they were given, the book they have, and they will start reading what they have not so far, and to call the contact or the friend who knows, etc.

Ideas are not what will produce this, but the perceptible images of an organised social force will. Let us, for the time being, distribute papers everywhere, let's contact as many as we can. If people do not read our materials, let them have these materials. If they do not attend our meetings, let them know that we exist. As soon as they perceive our strength, they will read all the papers they have, and will approach us. All this will happen. For the time being, let's make gymnastics of making contacts. meetings, production, financing and mass distribution of materials.

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SILO, MENDOZA, 26 NOV. 2006

MENDOZA, 26 NOV. 2006
CONVERSATION BETWEEN SILO AND ENRIQUE NASSAR

INTRODUCTION

I commented to Silo that since his closure in the movement I've seen him doing different things in different fields, giving explanations and proposing activities; I told him that each thing by itself made a lot of sense to me, but that I wasn't able to see the connecting center that would allow me a global vision of what he is putting in motion.

After that comment we had the following conversation.

COMMENT: In the meeting of the “clausurados” that we had in July in Mendoza, when we were talking about the issue of the identity of Latin America, you were explaining that the identity of a region is given by the culture, which was generated by a mystic that had been set in motion by the rise of a myth. I want to ask you several questions on that subject.

QUESTION: I want to understand the relationship between Myth, Mystic and Culture.

To understand that we can approach it by using the SOCIAL MYTH that Marxism tried to set in motion as an example.

With Marxism several things can be exemplified; one of them is their attempt to create a social myth around which they build their activities and other things.

MYTH
ACTIVITIES
THE IDEAL FUTURE
Equality among all people
Find a solution for all needs
The new human being
The emancipation of all the oppressed
Development of the ideology
Formation of different kinds of organizations (parties, fronts)
Influence on philosophy, science and art
Effect on culture

QUESTION: What failed in that attempt?

Communism is very interesting. It reached very far but it didn’t reach the hearts of the activists; so how could it reach the heart of the people?

The communist parties had a lot of energy, good discourse and force in their proposals, but they didn’t nest in people’s hearts. Communism was a rationalist development of the age of revolutions.

In the communist proposal a myth was sketched that, in its development, clashed with Marxist rationalism and did not reach the level of a transcendent myth, because the necessary mysticism was not generated at the level of its most active militants.

The only myths capable of generating a mysticism are those myths that translate signals from the profound spaces. Rational myths belong to the time and space of the I, and have no way to enter the mystical spaces. Myths coming from the profound spaces decidedly influence rationality, but the opposite does not happen. You can’t reach the heart of the people from a social doctrine, but you can reach the heart of the people from a myth, and from the heart of the people you can arrive at the social.

The Marxist utopia was not a profound myth like the myths of religions. By their very nature religions become planetary in every epoch even if they arise in a little town in a principality of a larger region... they will extend from this town to the principality and from there to the larger region, influencing it and changing it in every way... religions (like a river) drag everything they find in their path.

In terms of socialism, this was able to manifest at a worldwide scale because it had the USSR as its center of irradiation; the importance of its center determined its repercussions. If it had been in a less influential country, the repercussions would have been much less.

QUESTION: How is a social myth different from a religious myth?

The allusion to another world, a world that for the faithful exists and operates. For the social militant that world does not exist, they can neither accept nor recognize the existence of that world. What has brought people together has been the ideology, not the religion or myth operating beyond the ideological question.

The Marxist militant has been stripped of a personal life, his personal life has been reduced to a chain of causes and effects, in which the subjective factor doesn’t count, and is even a drawback. What is important are the objective conditions, for which he does not exist.

In the case of the believer, his personal life does matter, and depending on the kind of myth to which he adheres, his life will be inserted into the social or will only be circumscribed to the personal. For example in Islam transcendence is what matters, and a person’s personal life will have more meaning if what he does is of social benefit.

There are certain rules, laws or values in religions that are what define whether the life of the faithful is directed toward society or only toward himself: “If you do things for the benefit of society your life will grow.” “If you do not take into account pain, want, destitution, and injustice, your personal life will be diminished and will keep getting smaller and less meaningful."

In Buddhism there is a very important twist: everything has to do with overcoming suffering and the perfecting of oneself; one of the main points for achieving this perfection is working to overcome suffering in oneself and in others by acting in the world, which is called COMPASSION.

Religions have different value systems; it’s not true that all religions say the same thing. Religions have some books, a liturgy, an organization and ways of doing things that are not all the same; they only have one point where they coincide, and that is the value they give to transcendence. In synthesis, the religions differ in what they say about this world, and resemble each other in what they say about the other world.

In religions the issue of transcendence is contemplated, that which does not end with death.

QUESTION: How can the mysticism and culture that will give identity to Latin America be generated from a myth?

In Europe an identity was formed with Christianity. Identity has also been formed in vast geographical regions with Islam and in other regions of the planet with other myths.

In Latin America, the myth -- that generates the mysticism that gives birth to the culture that gives identity to the region -- has not yet been formed.

The great myths were born in small places and, according to the epochal moment, the myth kept extending to places farther and farther away. From its beginning, every myth advances in a worldwide direction.

This is an epoch of planetarization, if a myth is formed in this epoch, it will be worldwide, with acceptance and impact on all parts of the world, or it won’t be.

The myths of the original cultures of America are local and arose at another historic moment. What happens if you come out with gods of that continent? How could those myths be planetarized? How would a Quetzalcoatl enter China, India… Russia?

The worldwide myth will have other characteristics and will develop differently.

QUESTION: What is the basic structure of a myth?

That is a rationalist question that could be answered in a rationalist way if the myth were a rational phenomenon. Myths are not rational phenomena… they are not formed from thought... that is not the essence of myths... they are formed by translating signals originating from the profound spaces... myths are vaporous things… at this historic moment that’s where things are headed.

QUESTION: Can you give me an example of myth, mysticism and culture?

What I think about the development and influence of the myth in the formation of the different cultures I have explained repeatedly and extensively in groups that have asked me about that.

I have had many conversations and there are people who have taken notes about what I think about the formation and development of myths.

QUESTION: Might I suggest in the ambit of the “clausurados” that they look for and compile those notes and try to produce something based on them that explains the origin and development of the myths and their effect on the formation of cultures?

Yes, it could be done.

QUESTION: How can it be explained that the root myths that have given rise to such important civilizations have their origin in primitive peoples?

People will be primitive in terms to their level of social organization; there’s everything from primitive people to people at the current level of development; but in the development of their inner functioning, primitive people and contemporary people are very similar.

QUESTION: How does the mythic narration arise?

Suddenly everything begins going very badly for human beings in one region in one epoch, and in the midst of all that chaos there are things that the human being imagines and that give him meaning; those things that give him meaning can be the relationships he establishes with his gods in those spaces and times that he registers that are beyond his own habitual space and time and beyond his death.

What really happens is that the human being of that epoch translates those signals that come from those other spaces and times; he can translate them in different ways, as gods, goddesses, many gods, one god... no gods...

What is important is the translation of those signals. It is the translation of that profound interiority which produces great things in the development of the religions.

In Israel before their immigration to Egypt they talked of the god of Israel and they accepted other gods that were hostile to the god of Israel.

The Egyptian sacerdotal caste managed the political, social and economic values in addition to the religious values in a monopolistic way; perhaps it was seeing all the values and the power of control over them concentrated in one single caste that made AKHENATON think of one all-powerful god and initiate his political-religious revolution. “God is only one,” “Oh god Aton you are the only god and the god of all things,” said Akhenaton.

When the Jews immigrated to Egypt, they adhered to Akhenaton’s political-religious revolution and then the god of Israel became the only god: That was the situation the people of Israel were in when Akhenaton’s political-religious revolution came about.

Then comes the counter-revolution and those who adhered to Akhenaton are not wanted and are exiled from Egypt, and the Israelites depart, in a huge crisis.

QUESTION: Where do these signals that the human being translates come from?

The signals that give rise to the myth come in the “equipment" that every human being is born with, and can be translated in many different ways; whether they listen to them and translate them is a different matter. These signals come in the “equipment” that all human beings have; listening to them or not is what makes the difference.

QUESTION: From what point in life are these signals set in motion?

Very much from the beginning of a person’s life, from the time one is very young.

QUESTION: If all human beings carry the same systems of signals in their “equipment,” why are the translations so different?

The difference isn’t in the signals, but in the translation that is made of those signals.

QUESTION: What determines the translation of those signals?

The conditionings of perception.

QUESTION: What does “conditionings of perception” mean?

The structure of your perception depends on the world you see outside your skin, the world of the space and time of the I.

Don’t get confused and think that your images, thoughts, emotions and registers are of another world. The images that are in your memory are images of the world outside; the registers that you experience in your cenesthesia are registers of your interaction with that world; the emotions are emotions of your interaction with that world. The thoughts are thoughts based on that world.

Of the spaces and times of the deep internal world, which transcends this one, there is no perception.

QUESTIONS: How are the signals that give rise to myth translated?

If you don’t situate yourself in that other world, the signals are not translated. There has to be a vision that there is something beyond perception. You have to situate yourself in an internal space that is different from that of habitual perception in order to recognize the meaning of these internal signals and so that they can be translated into myth in you.

That is what inspiring experiences do, they serve as a uniting bridge between the worlds. If you situate yourself in that world you will at least recognize the signals of that world through its translations.

QUESTION: If a myth arises from the translation of the signals – originating in the profound spaces and times – how could those signals be translated in this epoch, in accordance with the conditionings of perception?

There can be bad and good translations of those signals from the profound; those deep truths can be translated using the computational language and imagery of the epoch and end up saying things like: “flying saucers, superior civilizations, powerful good and evil extraterrestrial beings…” – but of course this way you don’t set in motion a myth that reproduces the signals of the profound even if they’re translated... How can a profound truth be translated in the language of flying saucers?

QUESTION: In this epoch of planetarization, when everything is communicated, what might the myth that is forming in this great worldwide crisis look like?

A possible translation of the myth that is forming, which coincides with this epoch and the worldwide crisis, is SILO’S MESSAGE.

The worldwide myth is going to develop through Silo’s Message. The message is not finished, it is in process: it has a book, an experience and a path… but more things can be added… it is not finished, but has been presented in some of its essential aspects.

Silo’s Message is in process – Haven’t you seen the difference, in our friends in different places, in how they were taking the message four years ago and how they are taking it now? Look what they have been doing with this gaseous thing.

COMMENT: I think that important changes can be seen in the people, that their credibility and influence is growing and little by little they are gaining impetus.

QUESTION: Why does that happen?

That happens not because the message changes, but because the people who are in the message are carrying out a onslaught against censorship and self-censorship, especially against self-censorship.

QUESTION: I understand about external censorship, but how is this onslaught against self-censorship?

Self-censorship is a system of reflexes of different kinds that help people relate and act in the world and that they aren't willing to let go of. The onslaught against self-censorship is the development of the willingness to let go of this system and to create a different vision of how things are and how one should act in regards to them.

The world of external censorship keeps losing strength, but the world of self-censorship still “drags” on strongly.

COMMENT: I don’t see that the internal landscape of the new myth is being formed with the message.

Silo’s Message still has not been transformed into a system of images that give orientation... but all that will come. This isn’t something that springs fully formed out of Zeus’s head, like Athena… it’s something that is being shaped and is being expressed as we go.

If we don’t explain the message it would remain something metaphysical. There is a struggle in people’s heads; the people really need images. If there is a true and profound message, different translations of it can be made, but they will all be images because people need images for action.

You have to watch out for translations that don’t give any kind of internal progress, such as superstitions. What progress can be generated by my believing that if a black cat crosses my path it foretells some kind of event?

QUESTION: How will the construction of the mythic landscape through the message move forward, how will all that, the profound and metaphysical, be translated into images that give clear direction in a chaotic world?

It will move forward, we know that it has to be translated into images for the people, but it hasn't yet been put into images.

The myth is going to have a personal reference in history that says that in such and such an epoch at such and such a geographic point, this happened.

The worldwide myth will develop through the message. The means we will use will be the message and it will not be in a conventional way.

The coming epochs will be of total breakdown. We are going to say and do what must be said and done, and it will be that way for the whole world.

It won’t be long before we start to sketch things out on a worldwide scale.

QUESTION: Is it a too much to ask what the rhythm of all this depends on?

No, it’s not a too much to ask, because this does have a rhythm. If you look at the history of the prophets, of whom there have been many, they did not give their message all at once, they gave it piece by piece. They have written books but it hasn’t been in a block. Observe the development of religious myths, that’s the way it’s been.

The myth that is from another time and another space suddenly appears and hits in this space and in this time; it introduces itself into historic time and produces a great impact. Suddenly those things of another plane emerge in this plane.

QUESTION: What determines this irruption of the transcendental plane into the historic plane?

It’s determined by an historic moment where everything is falling apart, creating a great disorder that comes over the people and gives rise to a great outcry.

“When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he abandoned his land and went to a far away place. There he lived in his cave for a long time. He ate only from a cheese that never grew less, and drank the pure mountain water. At night the fire spoke to him and thus he understood the course of the stars. By day the sun spoke to him and thus he understood the meaning of light. But one morning very early, the outcry of the animals of the earth reached his cave… Because the cows and the herds have a soul, Zarathustra heard that great soul, Kine, asking God for his blessing. Raising their lament, that was like a great bellow, Kine said: “My soul is suffering, Ahura Mazda. Why did you create me? In whose image did you form me? Grant me the good, stop your thieving tribes from carrying the beasts off to their death. I feel that I am surrounded by anger, violence, the scourge of desolation, an audacious insolence and a drive to take away everything... Save my animals, oh Ahura Mazda, you who provide green pastures.”

Then Zarathustra, at the mouth of his cave, looked out at the day and asked Ahura Mazda: “Allow the Good Mind of Zarathustra to guide those who work the earth so that it might give good pasture and strengthen the herds; so that the cows give milk and the milk cheese and the cheese nourish the men who labor; so that never again will the raiders bring ruin to the people and instead that become the friend who learns to work and share. Thus I want to give thanks for your teachings and the food that you have given me.

Ormuz answers Zarathustra, giving him power to act for the animals and names him the prophet of Ormuz. Despite Zarathustra’s protests, Ormuz keeps delegating different tasks to him: “You have to…” Zarathustra descends from the mountain and begins to write the Yasnas with the teachings and recommendations that Ormuz keeps giving him and that are collected in the Zend Avesta.

QUESTION: So what Zarathustra was writing was the translation of Ormuz’s message?

In fact the Yasna are the translations that Zarathustra makes of Ormuz’s message.

The translation of the profound signals comes from the inspired consciousness, which is a structure of consciousness, and whose function is to connect the two worlds and to translate the signals that come from that profound space, covering them in poetic garb.

If you read the Koran you will see that poetic garb. If you read any of the four gospels you will see it, for example read the gospel of Saint John. Read any of the books of Deuteronomy and you will see it. (The books of Deuteronomy are legends originating from different peoples, and they were grouped as if they were from one single people and as if they were written by Moses.) Moses is the prophet of Yahweh, or in other words, of the god of Akhenaton.

QUESTION: What is the story with message and messengers, where sometimes the message is from god, as in Judaism and Islam, and other times it’s the message of the messenger, as in the case of Buddhism?

The message comes from the profound, the messenger is the translator. What you have to observe is whether in the profound the messenger sees gods; the prophets of the Bible saw one god, so they spoke of the message of god; Mohammed saw one god and so he talked about the message of god.

Buddha said “the gods are so far away from men that talking of the gods has no meaning”; but even so Buddha spoke of a message from the profound, a message that told him how to teach people to let go of the beliefs and mental conditioning that were making them believe in illusions that were generating suffering and keeping them from reaching nirvana. Buddha does not deny God, he is preoccupied with the profound and with or without god he tries to reach man, to teach him to overcome suffering and reach nirvana. So we see that Buddha’s message came down in history not as the message of a god, but as the MESSAGE OF THE BUDDHA. In reality the message is an interpretation by the translator, the message is from the translator.

QUESTION: How can one connect with the profound?

People can connect with the profound in different ways, even accidentally. For example unexpectedly having experiences of ecstasy, rapture and recognition. When they occur accidentally, in general, people have nowhere to situate them in their lives and these experiences are not integrated.

The myth contributes the framework where people can begin putting these experiences and where they can begin to get an answer to their need for orientation and reference.

Psychology 4 deals with the subject of the profound and the translations of the profound and the structures of consciousness that have to do with that connection.

Psychology 4 explains the phenomena of connection; it neither describes nor explains the imagery that there is in relation to the other world. It explains the mechanisms that are activated when there is a connection between different planes.

It is the psychology of that which transcends the every-day, it talks about what happens when you make contact – outside the I and the time and space of the I – with the profound. It does not describe the profound or its imagery, it describes what happens in the psychism when there is contact.

QUESTION: What determines the historic moment that corresponds to the rise of a myth?

The collapse of cultures. It is that collapse that determines the outcry of human beings and it is the outcry of the people that makes possible the emergence of the transcendental world into the historic process and with that the rise of the myth.

QUESTION: I can understand a little about the collapse of western culture, but that’s not the only culture there is on the planet, there are others as well, much older and also more powerful. Why are they going to be in crisis?

Through the connection that exists between cultures, they drag each other down and nihilism gains more ground.

QUESTION: This global crisis is affecting China?

In China there is a repressive system in control where nothing arises from within the human being and if it arises they persecute it and they burn their literature and they accuse them of being an antisocial sect. Today the Chinese declare that their worst enemy is neither capitalism nor the counter-revolution; it is those who believe in something other than what the government dictates.

All the cultures are going toward general crisis all around the world for the first time. There is no culture, country or place that can escape it, this is the epoch of planetarization.

All the cultures in this moment of planetarization are collapsing, it is the collapse of the world; a collapse of values, considerations, life-directions… this always happened before the fall of empires or of the structures that were trying to become empires.

QUESTION: In this epoch of planetarization where everything is collapsing and a profound and sincere outcry is being generated among human beings all around the world, is the system of signals that exists in all human beings of this epoch going to BECOME ACTIVE?

Yes, that is happening.

QUESTION: If the mental frequency of the human being of the epoch corresponds to planetarization; if the crisis is getting more and more acute and with it the outcry of the people is growing; if the systems of signals that exist in every human being are becoming active and if the universal myth is beginning to take shape; will modern communications technology contribute to the multiple diffusion of all this?

THAT’S CORRECT.

•••

Saturday, March 14, 2009

NOTES FROM A TALK WITH Silo (2 JANUARY 2000)

NOTES FROM A TALK WITH MARIO (2 JANUARY 2000)

This conversation took place in Buenos Aires in a cafe on Calle Corrientes between Mario, Isaias Novel, Roberto Kohanoff and myself (Enrique Nassar).

The conversation begins with comments on the essay entitled "Reverie and Action," written by Mario. It talks about the guiding images that oriented Christopher Columbus's action toward discovery. Mario comments that reveries orient people's lives in many directions. Often the reverie points toward an objective and traces directions of action that end up leading to a different point than the one that was reveried. There are many examples of this in history, and many historical achievements have been led to adequate objectives from reveries that had no direct relationship to such objectives.

Later Mario refers to Pascal and his essay on vanity and explains that in it Pascal talks about personages in his day and he describes how each one of them has a reason for feeling vain. He also explains that the motivation behind the vanity of those who are the servants of the vain is precisely that they work for them. The vain are also located at the center of the world and they live as though the rest of the world didn't exist.

Starting with this comment he explains humanity's tendency to consider itself as something unique and central, he refers to geocentrism: first it was believed that the Earth was the center of the universe. When it is demonstrated that it isn't true, the next pretension is that we are the only form of life in the universe. Now that current research leads to the suspicion that there may be other forms of life, the new pretension is that we are the only form of intelligent life. That is to say, we are always into some form of geocentrism (Earth as the center of the universe, terrestrial life forms as the only extant forms, its intelligent life as the only one of its kind - in the end, some kind of centrism).

•••

QUESTION: One doesn't see the Earth as revolving around the Sun. What one perceives is that the Earth is still and the Sun moves from East to West. We know this is so, but it isn't what we register. How to make the register coincide with reality and not with what I perceive of that reality?

What one perceives forces itself over one. It is not a matter of representations of how things are should be imposed over one's perception of things. It is rather a question of having a field of beliefs that accords with reality, which equilibrates the illusory perception that may be had of that reality.

Q: One perceives oneself as the center of something, and this register is a system of impulses that makes it possible to have different identities. What is the problem with registering oneself as a particularity, as a unique individual, as the center of something?

There is no problem at all with differences, the more differences between us the better. The problem lies is seeing oneself as superior and seeing others as inferior - when one acts from this register many abuses are committed. If things are seen in this way, the register of particularity accompanied by the register of superiority, it will lead to the annihilation of the other differences, to making what is different disappear to impose one's difference as the only one. Then different needs will be established, this will bring with it vital social, cultural, historical consequences. This wouldn't be a problem if it were just a matter of saying, but it is a matter of doing as well, and this 'doing' led to slavery and all the forms of oppression that have been exercised over races, peoples, ethnicities, etc., which have been considered as inferior. Superiority/inferiority is a human construct that conditions entire human groups.

Q: What could help change all that?

The evidence that intelligent life on Earth is not the only form of intelligent life in the universe will contribute to getting humanity out of its vanity, it will be an integrating experience to which the scheme of inferiorities and superiorities will be impossible to transfer; it will make it possible to carry out a revision of many of our actions and to ask ourselves about the kind of history we have created and the kind of life we have built. Then we will say: "what idiots we've been." This experience will make it possible to conceive of another scheme of living.

Q: Is life in the universe uniform?

Life is a universal phenomenon having varied expressions. Intelligent life has multiple modes of expressing itself everywhere in the universe.

Q: Can there be intelligence without a physical support?

Why should it be believed that if the physical seat of life is destructured, then the intelligence that animates it should disappear as well? It is possible for there to be expressions of intelligence without a physical seat, the register of intelligence without a physical seat is possible, there can be intelligences without organic supports. Why should the belief be necessary that all the forms of intelligent life need the support of a chemical substance such as carbon or silica in order to express themselves?

Q: Are those intelligences different from each other?

There are many modes of intelligence in the universe and all these modes have in common that they establish coherent relations and they act with increasing expansion. Not just rational relations ala Descartes. There are meta-universal laws, laws for intelligence. What is fundamental about the human consciousness is valid for all forms of consciousness. The scheme of intentionality that links acts and objects of consciousness is universal. (Brentano).

This mode of intentional action on the part of other intelligences is seen in how cultures represent their traditional gods. In the Vedic description of Brahma, one observes the intentional scheme in operation (linking acts and objects) in Brahma's dream. (There was nothing; he sleeps, he dreams, and each one of his dreams is the creation of a universe, and when he awakens, the universe disappears. Absolute repose.) Brahma's dreams are the trace images that create worlds (structure of act-object operating in the dream). When he awakes, the universe disappears.

During the Middle Ages the collective expectation of a new world was so powerful that those expectations created in individual reveries, the trace image that directed actions toward the discovery of a new world (Columbus). The discovery of other intelligent life will help produce an important leap.

Q: To continue what was said that theories describing phenomena as they are create a field of beliefs that balance out the non-coincidence of daily perception of phenomena with their reality, the next question is: In relation to death, where what is perceived is the existential dissolving and disappearance of the one who dies - is there a theory that can broaden the field of beliefs and make it possible for there to be a more adequate mental emplacement regarding the fact of death?

The illusion of the perception of death is not resolved with theories, it is resolved with experiences. The experience of death places us in the field of religious phenomena, in the field of transcendental experience. In the origin of religions one always finds a transcendental experience. This experience produces at the moment of its historical eruption, such a powerful impact, that despite the fact that the experience is later diluted and is lost, the inertia it leaves behind is of such magnitude that the generations that follow create rituals, churches, hierarchical organizations that survive for hundreds and thousands of years after the original impact. This original impact is so strong that after it disappears, it endures all the rest of those things that arise and that have nothing to do with the original experience.

First the original experience is had, later a few generations manage to scratch a little bit of it for themselves and after that they are distanced from it and that entire superstructure begins to form of rituals, churches, hierarchies, and so on.

The transcendental experience has its impact over the historical moment and it passes, it deeply affects the people who are contemporaneous with that transcendental eruption (i.e., living at the moment of its occurrence). The eruption must be compatible with the historical moment. There are historical moments that do not allow the arising of these phenomena. Until the environment opens up and these experiences arise.

When these eruptions approach, the historical environment begins to experience variations and extraordinary phenomena are produced in the collective psychism which are tremendously disturbing. It is from this perspective that we understand the legends of cyclones, meteors, comets which precede these phenomena. The allegories of each era present in a plastic mode the dramatic changes in the collective consciousness. The transcendental plane needs psychosocial conditions for it to manifest itself in human history. This eruption will affect each person's particular time.This is an era of great disturbances, this is a pre-religious era.

Q:  What are the historical conditions that must arise for the eruption of the transcendental plane to be produced?

A: We can cite specific conditions, such as: - that the culture wherein the phenomenon will arise is passing through a moment in which it is being destructured at great velocity. - that the phenomena become the origin of a new civilization. Without these phenomena, a new civilization does not arise.

Q: Can you explain what you refer to when you speak of the eruption of a transcendental phenomenon in history?

To refer to the subject of what is known as a transcendental experience, we will cite some historical examples of certain types of experiences which, without being transcendental, have characteristics that make them similar to transcendental experiences  which make an impact on some persons, which affect those to whom they happen, and later create an inertia that is sufficient to allow something to continue which is perpetuated through time.

Let's look at some cases of this.

In the history of India, at a certain moment the god Soma arises among its deities and quickly gains importance, to the extent that the other gods diminish in influence until they are converted into minor gods and Soma becomes the maximum divinity of the Pantheon.  What explains the ascendancy of this god and the central place he comes to occupy is that the god Soma could be experienced by the people.  Not only did they talk about the god, they could have contact with him, they could feel the god Soma.
 
Such contact was possible thanks to the fact that the priests, who were in contact with Soma, could enable people to make contact with the god.  The priests told the people what it was like to be in his presence and besides this, they prepared them to come into contact with Soma.  For this to take place, the priests carried out certain rituals where people went with clay bowls, the priests urinated in them and the participants in the rite drank the "holy man's" urine.  Shortly after this they experienced the presence of the god Soma.  All of the foregoing was explained by the fact that the soma was a hallucinogenic substance that the priests ingested (thanks to which they had the experience) and the psychoactivating components of this substance were secreted in the urine without being metabolized.  Because of this the participants in the soma ceremony also had the experience upon drinking the priest's urine.

The priestly caste, thanks to drinking soma, had access to a hallucinogenic experience.  The drink, because of its chemical properties, preserved its psychoactivating power in the urine, allowing those who drank it to have a powerful experience.

The experience of the god Soma was administered by the priesthood (which enabled them to create a very powerful priestly caste).  Later, with the passing of time the experiences were discontinued and they were only spoken about, they described what it was like to make contact with the god Soma.

First there is an experience, later when there is no longer an experience its memory is powerful enough to create a marker event that generates an entire superstructure that is formed and continues through time far beyond the moment of the original manifestation.

Similar cases of activation of powerful experiences produced through the ingestion of psychotropic substances happened around the cult to Dionysus.

With the support of experiences produced by such substances, these forms would not have survived beyond the moment of original arisal.
In all these cases, strong psychological experiences were produced which brought people closer to what could have presented itself as a transcendental experience.  These experiencias allowed them to intuit what the action of a divinity might be like, it allowed them to have an intuition of the reality (different from daily reality) of what was being spoken to them about.  The practitioner then understood that those worlds and gods that were being spoken of to him/her, were possible, that they weren't just a discourse.
Before having the experience, there had been no acceptance of those matters.
 
Q:  In the specific and particular examples you've given, ordinary people had access to experiences that had great impact on them thanks to ingesting some kind of psychoactivating substance.  Is it possible to have access to such kinds of powerful psychological experiences, which allow one to be well-disposed to accepting the existence of other realities, without using any kind of psychotropic substance?

A: Yes, it is possible.  Remember such historical things as:  
"I will teach you to pray and you will do as I tell you if you wish to have this kind of experience."  
It would be like saying: "Through the power of the word, I will teach you to release endorphins and you will do as I tell you if you wish to have access to this kind of experience.  You may discuss it or not, but if you want to have the experience you must do as I say without arguing with me."

Using forms such as this, without taking recourse to chemicals, you can have access to certain registers of a psychological type that will put you in resonance with another kind of experience, different from daily life experiences.  These kinds of experiences, in a historical moment, are what create enormous impact over the population.

There are different ways of enabling the rabble to attain a minimal degree of resonance.

Q: These experiences without the use of substances which have great psychological impact, are they transcendental experiences?  

A: No, such experiences are not transcendental, but they do allow you to realize that there are other realities.  These experiences have an impact on you, they shake up your existence, they shake up your life, they produce a strong commotion in you. All these experiences are corporal, they release endorphins:  prayer has to do with the body, powerful psychological experiences have to do with the body.  

Q: Everything that is taking place - altered states, superstition, magic, etc., and this entire pre-religious state that is developing - is it enough by itself for a change to take place?  

No, because here there is no directed consciousness, the consciousness is passive, it is suffering these disturbances, it is not directing them.  What is important here is a direction that is useful to everyone.  Here a message must be given, here a contribution must be made.  

Parallel to all the psychic alterations, people's lives are falling apart and being destroyed:  financial problems, social problems...  This destruction has diverse expressions, from the war in Chechenya to the person who throws himself out a window from the fifth floor.  Not just psychological disturbances are taking place, it is something much more serious.  Here a contribution must be made.  

Q: Therefore the experiences you spoke of aren't enough?

A: By themselves they are not enough.  Such experiences have the great virtue of making people sensitive to a transcendental narrative.  There must be a transcendental narrative.  Just the narrative without the experiences that place people in a disposition to listen to the narrative and allow it to direct their lives, will not be enough.  These experiences make it possible to realice that there are other things, for this reason they are very important experiences.  Experiences accompanied by a narrative which has to do with the transcendental plane.  

Q:  Does the narrative turn into a founding myth?

A: No, the narrative is reality, it is received as a reality.  The one who presents the narrative always appears as a god, or god's messenger, or the son of god, of god's prophet; that is to say, as someone who knows how the thing is, someone who belongs to the club.  The narrative tells something that gives direction, which brings the transcendent closer.  

As the historical time approaches (not mythical time) of joining with the transcendental plane, miracles arise, prodigious events, weird happenings. After the eruption of the transcendent occurs and the phenomenon grows distant in time, these things cease to happen.  The miracles, prodigies and other things described that accompanied the historical moments close to an eruption of this type, are real events, they truly happened.  

We need:  a destructured world that will produce these experiences and a narrative. What must be said, will be said at a precise historical moment -- not before, not after.
 
•••

Silo, Psychology III

Psychology III

This material is a summary prepared by those who attended the explanations given by Silo in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, in early August, 1978.


1. Catharsis, Transference and Self-Transference: Action in the World as Transferential Form
We should consider two circuits of impulses, which finally give an internal register. One circuit corresponds to perception, representation, new capturing of the representation and internal sensation. And another circuit shows us that from every action that I launch towards the world, I also have an internal sensation. That intake of feedback is what allows us to learn as we do things. If there were no capturing of feedback taking place within me of the movements that I carried out, I would never be able to perfect them. I learn to type on my keyboard through repetition. That is, I record actions by trial and error. But I can record actions only if I carry them out.
From my doing, I have a register. A great bias exists that at times has invaded the field of pedagogy: a prejudice that says things are learned simply by thinking about them. Of course something is learned, because from thought one also has a reception of the datum. However, the mechanics of the centers tells us that they are mobilized when images reach them, and the mobilization of the centers is an overcharge that triggers their activity toward the world. There is a feedback intake of this triggering of activity that goes to memory and also goes to consciousness. This feedback intake is what allows us to say, for example, “I hit the wrong key.” In this way I register the sensation of accuracy and of error: thus I increasingly perfect the register of accuracy, and from there, the correct action of typing grows more fluid and automatic. We are talking about a second circuit that delivers to me the register of the action I perform.
On another occasion1 we saw the differences that exist between acts that are called “cathartic” and “transferential” acts. The first referred, basically, to discharges of tensions. The second allowed the transfer of internal charges, the integration of contents, and the broadening of the possibilities for development of the psychic energy. It is well known that where there are “islands” of mental contents, of contents that do not communicate among themselves, difficulties occur for the consciousness If for example one thinks in one direction, feels in another and finally acts in still another, there is a register of “things not fitting together”, a register that is not one of fullness. It seems that only when we lay down bridges between the internal contents that the psychic functioning is integrated and we can advance a few more steps.
We are familiar with the transferential works among the techniques of Operative. By mobilizing certain images and traveling with said images to the points of resistance, we can overcome those resistances. Upon overcoming the resistances, we provoke distensions and we transfer the charges to new contents. These transferred charges (worked on in post-transferential elaborations), enable a subject to integrate some regions of his internal landscape, of his internal world. We know about these transferential techniques and about others such as the self-transferential ones, in which the action of an external guide is not required; rather, one can guide oneself internally with certain images that are codified beforehand.
We know that action, and not just the work of images that we have been mentioning, can bring about transferential phenomena and self-transferential phenomena. One type of action will not be the same as another type. There will be actions that allow the integration of internal contents, and there will be tremendously disintegrative actions. Certain actions produce such a burden of grief, such regret and internal division, such profound anxiety, that one would wish never to repeat them ever again. And yet such actions have already remained strongly adhered to the past. Even if one were never to repeat such an action in the future, it would continue to pressure from the past without getting resolved, without allowing the consciousness to move, transfer, integrate its contents, and allow the subject that sensation of internal growth that is so stimulating and liberating.
It is clear that it isn’t a matter of indifference what actions one carries out in the world. There are actions that give one a register of internal unity, and actions that give a register of disintegration. If one studies this question of acting in the world in the light of what we know about cathartic and transferential procedures, many things regarding the theme of integration and development of the contents of consciousness will be made considerably clearer. We will return to this after taking a quick look at the general scheme of our Psychology.
2. Scheme of the integrated Work of the Psychism
We present the human psychism as a sort of integrated circuit of apparatuses and impulses in which some apparatuses, called “external senses,” are the receptors of the impulses from the external world. There are also apparatuses that receive impulses from the internal world—the intrabody—which we call “internal senses” These internal senses, very numerous, are of great importance for us and we should emphasize that they have been given very little thought by na├»ve Psychology. We also observe that there are other apparatuses, such as those of memory, that capture all signals that arrive from the exterior or from the interior of the subject. There are other apparatuses which regulate the levels of consciousness, and, lastly, there are apparatuses of response. All these apparatuses, in their work, at times make use of the direction of a central system that we call “consciousness.” Consciousness relates and coordinates the functioning of the apparatuses, but it can do so thanks to a system of impulses. The impulses come and go from one apparatus to another. Impulses that travel through the circuit at tremendous speeds; impulses that are translated, deformed, transformed, and in each case give rise to highly differentiated productions, of phenomena of consciousness.
The senses, which continually gather samples of what occurs in the external and internal environment, are in permanent activity. Not a single sense stays still. Even when a person sleeps and their eyelids are shut, the eyes are collecting samples of that dark curtain; the ears are receiving impulses from the external world, and so it happens with the classic and elementary five senses. But internal senses are also taking samples of what is happening in the intrabody. Senses that gather data on the blood pH, alkalinity, salinity, acidity; senses that take readings of arterial pressure, that take readings of the bloodsugar, that take temperature readings. Thermoceptors, baroceptors and others continually receive information on what goes on inside the body, while simultaneously the external senses also capture information on what goes on outside the body.
Every signal that is received by the intraceptors passes on to memory and arrives to consciousness. Better said, these intrabody signals unfold and all the samples gathered arrive simultaneously to memory and consciousness (to the different levels of consciousness that are regulated according to the quality and intensity of these impulses). There are impulses that are very weak, subliminal, at the limit of perception. There are impulses on the other hand that become intolerable, precisely because they reach the threshold of tolerance. Beyond that threshold, these impulses lose the quality of being the simple perceptions of a given sense, becoming converted into a homogeneous perception irregardless of the sense they come from, and delivering a painful perception.
There are other impulses that ought to reach the memory, the consciousness, and yet they don’t arrive because there was an interruption in an external or internal sense. It also happens that other impulses do not reach the consciousness, not because of a break in the receptor, but because some unfortunate phenomenon has produced a blockage at some point in the circuit. This can be illustrated with some cases of blindness known as “somatizations.” The eye is examined, the optical nerve is examined and the occipital location is examined, and so on. Everything in the circuit works fine and yet the subject is blind, and their blindness is not due to an organic problem but to a psychic problem that they were confronted with. Another subject goes dumb or deaf, and yet everything is working well in the circuit as far as its connections and localizations… but something has blocked the path of the impulses.
The same happens with the impulses that come from the intrabody, and this is not recognized very much but it is of utmost importance, because it happens that there exist numerous “anesthesias”—to give them a name—of impulses from the intrabody. The most frequent are the anesthesias that correspond to impulses from the sex, such that there are many people who, because of some type of psychic problem, do not adequately detect the signals that originate from that point. When a blockage has been produced and these signals are not detected, what should normally arrive to the consciousness (whether in its foremost attentional field or at subliminal levels), undergoes powerful distortions, or does not arrive.
When an impulse from the external or internal senses does not arrive to consciousness, the latter carries out work as though it were trying to reassemble that absence by “borrowing” impulses from memory, compensating for the lack of the stimulus it would need for its work of elaboration. When because of an external or internal sensorial defect, or simply due to a blockage, an impulse does not arrive from the external or internal world, then memory launches its sequence of impulses, trying to compensate. If this doesn’t happen, the consciousness takes charge of capturing a register of itself. A strange job that the consciousness does is one in which it becomes like a video camera positioned in front of a mirror, and now one sees, onscreen, a mirror within a mirror and so on, in a process of multiplicative reproduction of images in which the consciousness re-elaborates its own contents and tortures itself, trying to obtain impulses from where there are none. These obsessive phenomena are a little like the video camera in front of a mirror.
Just as the consciousness compensates by taking impulses from another point, when the impulses from the exterior or from the intrabody are very powerful, the consciousness also defends itself by disconnecting the sense, as if the consciousness had its own safety valves. We also know that the senses are in continual movement. When one sleeps, for example, the senses that track the external noise reduce their threshold; then many things that would be perceived in vigil no longer enter when the threshold closes, but just the same, signals are being captured. And normally, the senses are lowering and raising their thresholds according to the background of noise, that surrounds us at that moment. Of course, this is the normal work of the senses, but when the signals are irritating and the senses cannot eliminate the impulse no matter how low the threshold, the consciousness tends to globally disconnect the sense.
Let’s imagine the case of a person subjected to sustained external sensory irritation. If the city noise increases, if visual stimulation increases, if that entire bundle of news from the external world increases, then a kind of reaction can be produced in the person. The subject tends to disconnect his external senses and “fall inward.” He begins to be at the mercy of his intrabody impulses, to disconnect, his external world in a process of ‘estrangement’ of the consciousness.
But what we refer to isn’t so dramatic—it is about an entering inside oneself when one tries to avoid the external noise. In this case, the subject who wanted to reduce the sensory noise will encounter nothing less than the amplification of the intrabody’s impulses; because, just as there exists a regulation of limits in each one of the external and internal senses, so too the system of internal senses compensates the system of external senses. We can say that, in general, when the level of consciousness drops (towards sleep), the external senses lower their thresholds, increasing the perception thresholds of the internal senses. Inversely, when the level of consciousness rises (towards waking), the subject begins to lower the perception threshold of the internal senses and the threshold of external perception opens up. But it happens that even in vigil, as in the previous example, the thresholds of the external senses can contract and the subject can enter into a situation of “escape” in front of the irritation that the world produces in him.
To continue with the description of the large blocks of apparatuses. We observe the operations performed by the memory upon receiving impulses. Memory always captures data, and in this way a basic substratum has been formed since early infancy. On the basis of this substratum, all of the data of memory that progressively accumulate will be organized. It seems that the first moments of life are the ones that determine, to a great extent, the subsequent processes. But the ancient memory becomes increasingly more distanced from accessibility by the consciousness in vigil. Over the substratum, the most recent data accumulate until arriving at today’s immediate data. Imagine the difficulties that exist in this matter of recovering very ancient contents of memory that are at the base of the consciousness. It is difficult to get there. One has to send out “probes.” Moreover, the probes that are launched are sometimes rejected by resistances. As a result, fairly complex techniques have to be employed so that these probes can collect their samples from memory, with the intention of rearranging the contents that in some unfortunate cases were poorly fitted together.
There are other apparatuses, such as the centers, that carry out a task that is considerably simpler. The centers work with images. The images are impulses, originating from consciousness, that are fired at the corresponding centers and these centers move the body in the direction of the world. You are familiar with the functioning of the intellectual, emotional, motor, sexual and vegetative centers, and you know that in order to mobilize any of them it will be necessary for the appropriate images to be triggered. It could also happen that the charge, the firing intensity is insufficient. In this case, the center in question would move weakly. It could also happen that the charge is excessive and then a disproportionate movement would be provoked in the center.
On the other hand, when these centers—which are also in continuous movement and working in structure with the rest—mobilize charges toward the world, they take energy from the contiguous centers. An individual has some problems that are reflected in his intellectual motricity, but his problems are of an emotional nature. Thus, the images that are proper to the motricity of the intellect are contributing to the reorganization of contents; however, the emotional problem isn’t remedied by that re-elaboration of unbridled images, or by a “churning around” of fantasy images. If instead of abandoning himself to his reveries this person were to get up and start moving his body, working with his motricity, it would suction the negative charges of the emotional center and the situation would change.
However, normally people try to manage all the centers from the intellectual center and this brings about numerous problems, because, as we have already studied elsewhere, the centers are managed from “below” (where there is more energy and speed) and not from “above” (whence the psychic energy is invested in intellectual tasks). In short, all the centers work in structure; all the centers, upon launching their energy toward the world, suction energy from the other centers. Sometimes one center is overcharged and when its potential overflows it also energizes the other centers. These spillovers are not always negative, because even though in one type of overflow one might become enraged and lash out with reprehensible actions, in another type of overflow one can become enthused, joyful, and this energetic overcharge of the emotional center can end up being very positively distributed throughout all the other centers.
On the other hand, sometimes a great deficiency is produced, a great emptiness, a great suction from the emotional center. The subject begins to work in the negative with the emotional center. To illustrate with an image, it is as though a “black hole” is produced in the emotional center that concentrates matter, contracts space and absorbs everything towards it. Our subject becomes depressed; his ideas become darkened and his motor potential—even his vegetative potential—goes down. Dramatizing a little, we add that even his vegetative defenses drop, and so a number of responses that his organism normally generates are now attenuated; his body is now more prone to illness.
All the apparatuses work at greater or lesser intensity in accordance with the level of consciousness. If our subject is in vigil, he is awake, very different things happen than if he is asleep. Of course there are many intermediate states and levels. There is an intermediate level of semisleep that results from a mixture between vigil and sleep. There are also different levels within sleep itself. Paradoxical sleep—sleep with images—is not the same as deep, vegetative sleep. In this deep vegetative sleep, the consciousness does not take in data—at least, not in its central field. It is a sleep similar to death, that can last quite some time, and if on awaking one did not pass through paradoxical sleep, one has the sensation of a contraction of time. It is as though time had not passed, because the time of consciousness is relative to the existence of phenomena in it; such that, there being no phenomena, for the consciousness there is no time. In this sleep where there are no images, things go too quickly. But it is not completely like this, because when one lies down to sleep and sleeps for a few hours, what has actually happened is that there have been many moments of cycles. Thus one has passed through paradoxical sleep, then through deep sleep, then through paradoxical, then through deep, and so on. If we wake the subject when he is in deep sleep without images (which we can verify from the outside thanks to EEG or REM), he may not remember anything from the streams of images that appeared in the stage of paradoxical sleep (where one observes from the outside, the Rapid Eye Movement beneath the sleeper’s eyelids); whereas if we wake him at the moment he is dreaming with images, it is possible that he may remember his dream. On the other hand, to the one who woke up, it will seem that time got shorter because he doesn’t remember everything that occurred in different cycles. of deep sleep.
It is in the low levels of consciousness, as in the levels of paradoxical sleep, where the impulses of the intrabody do their work with the greatest ease; it is also where memory works with great activity. It happens that when we sleep, the circuit restores itself—it takes advantage of sleep not just to eliminate toxins but also to transfer charges, charges of contents of consciousness, of things that were not properly assimilated during the day. The work of sleep is intense. The body is still, but there is intense work being carried out by the consciousness. Contents are reordered, the film is rewound and once more fast forwarded, classifying and putting in order the day’s perceptual data in a different way. During the day a very great perceptual disorder accumulates because the stimuli are varied and discordant. Conversely, in sleep an extraordinary order is brought about. Things are classified in a very correct way.
Of course we get the impression that it is the other way around, that what we perceive during the day is very orderly and that in sleep there is great disorder. In reality things may be very well ordered, but the perceptions that we have of those things are tremendously fortuitous, very random, whereas the sleep state in its mechanics goes about re-elaborating and placing the data in their “card indexes.” Sleep does not only perform this extraordinary task; besides this, it tries to reassemble psychic situations that have not been solved. Sleep tries to launch charges from one place to another, to produce cathartic discharges because there are excessive tensions. In sleep many problems with charges are resolved; profound distensions are produced.
But also in sleep, transferential phenomena are produced, of charges that are dispersed from some contents to others, and from these to still others, in a forthright process of energetic displacement. Many times, after a beautiful dream, people have experienced the sensation that something “fell into place,” as though an empirical transference had been produced, as if the dream had carried out its transference. But there are also “heavy” dreams from which one awakens with the sensation that an internal process hasn’t been properly assimilated. The dream is making its attempt to re-elaborate contents but is unsuccessful, and so the subject comes out of that level with a very bad sensation. Naturally, sleep is always at the service of restoring the psychism.
3. The Consciousness and the “I”
What does the consciousness do while the different apparatuses tirelessly work? The consciousness has a sort of “director” of its diverse functions and activities, known as the “I”. Let’s look at it like this: somehow I recognize myself, and this is thanks to the memory. My “I” is based on memory and the recognition of certain internal impulses. I have a notion of myself because I recognize some of my internal impulses that are always linked to a characteristic emotional tone. Not only do I recognize myself by my biography and my memory data; I recognize myself by my particular way of feeling, my particular way of comprehending. And if we were to take away the senses, where would the “I” be? The “I” is not an indivisible unit, but results from the sum total and the structuring of the data from the senses and the data from memory.
A few hundred years ago, a thinker observed that he could think about his own thought. He then discovered an interesting activity of the “I”. It wasn’t about remembering things, nor was it about the senses providing information. Moreover, this gentleman who noticed that problem very cautiously tried to separate the data from the senses and the data from memory; he tried to carry out a reduction and be left with the thought of his thinking, and this had great consequences for the development of Philosophy.
But now we are concerned with understanding the psychological functioning of the “I”. We ask: “Can the ‘I’ function then, even if we remove the data from memory and the data from the senses?” Let’s look at this point carefully. The entirety of acts through which the consciousness thinks of itself depends on internal sensorial registers; the internal senses provide information on what occurs in the activity of the consciousness. That register of the consciousness’s own identity is given by the data from the senses and the data from memory, plus a peculiar configuration that grants the consciousness the illusion of identity and permanence, despite the constant changes that take place in it. That illusory configuration of identity and permanence is the “I”.
Let’s comment on some tests performed in a sensory deprivation chamber. Someone has entered and immersed their body in water, let’s say at a temperature of around 36°C (that is, he gets into a bath in which the ambient temperature is equivalent to skin temperature). The chamber is climate controlled to ensure that the parts of the body that are above water are kept moist and at the same temperature as the liquid. All ambient sounds, olfactory and luminous stimuli are suppressed, etc. The subject begins to float in the darkness, and soon begins experiencing some extraordinary phenomena: one hand seems to grow noticeably longer, and his body has lost the sensation of its limits.
But something curious is produced when we reduce the ambient temperature slightly inside the chamber. When we lower the temperature of the external environment in relation to that of the liquid by a couple of degrees, the subject begins to feel that he “exits” through the head and the chest. At certain moments, the subject begins to experience that his “I” is not in his body, but outside it. And this extraordinary rarefaction of the spatial location of his “I” is due, precisely, to the modification of the impulses from the skin at some specific points (i.e., on the face and chest), while the rest of them are totally undifferentiated. But if the temperature of the liquid and the chamber are made the same again, other phenomena begin to take place. In the absence of external sensory data, memory begins launching streams of data that compensate that absence, and very old memory data can begin to be gathered. Most notable is that these data from memory sometimes do not appear as they normally do when one remembers images from one’s life—instead they appear “outside” the head. As if the memories were “seen over there, outside oneself,” like hallucinations projected, on an external screen. Sure, one doesn’t have much notion of where one’s body ends; therefore neither does one have much of a reference of where the images are emplaced. It feels like the functions of the “I” are strongly altered A kind of alteration of the functions of the “I” is produced through the simple expedient of external sensory suppression.
4. Reversibility and Altered Phenomena of Consciousness
In this scheme that we are describing once again, the apparatus of consciousness works with reversibility mechanisms. In other words, just as I can perceive a sound—mechanically, involuntarily—I can also pay attention to the source of the stimulus, in which case my consciousness tends to lead the activity towards the sensorial source. It is not the same to perceive as to apperceive. Apperception is attention plus perception. It is not the same to memorize (wherein consciousness passively receives the data, and now something crosses my mind, arriving from the memory), as to remember—wherein my consciousness goes to the memory source, and works with unique procedures of selection and discarding).
And so the consciousness is equipped with mechanisms of reversibility that work according to the state of lucidity that the consciousness is in at that moment. We know that as the level drops, it becomes increasingly more difficult to voluntarily go toward the sources of stimuli. The impulses impose themselves, the memories impose themselves, and all of this starts controlling the consciousness with great suggestive power, while the defenseless consciousness limits itself to receiving the impulses. The level of consciousness drops, critical sense diminishes, self-criticism diminishes, reversibility diminishes with all its consequences. Not only does this happen in a fall in level of consciousness, but also in altered states of consciousness.
It’s clear that we do not confuse levels with states. For example, we can be in the level of vigilic consciousness but in a passive state in an attentive state, in an altered state, and so on. Each level of consciousness allows for different states. In the level of paradoxical sleep, the states of tranquil sleep, altered sleep and somnambulistic sleep are different from each other. Reversibility can also fall in one of the apparatuses of consciousness due to altered states, and not because the level has dropped.
It could happen that a person is in vigil and yet, because of a special circumstance, they suffer from powerful hallucinations. They would observe phenomena that for them would be from the external world, when in reality they are externally projecting some of their internal representations. Those contents, those hallucinations would be exerting great suggestive power over the person, just as a person in deep sleep is under the suggestive power of their oneiric contents. However, our subject would be awake, not asleep. Likewise, because of a high fever, the action of drugs or of alcohol, and without having lost the level of vigilic consciousness, a person would find herself in an altered state of consciousness, with the resulting arisal of abnormal phenomena.
The altered states are not so all-enveloping; rather, they can affect certain aspects of reversibility. We can say that any individual in full vigil can have a blockage in some apparatus of reversibility. Everything functions well, their daily activities are normal; they are an average person. Everything works wonderfully…except in one point. When that point is touched, the subject loses all control. There is a point of blockage of their reversibility. When that point is touched, their sense of criticism and self-criticism diminish, self-control is diminished, and strange internal phenomena take control of their consciousness. But this is not so dramatic, and it happens to us all. To a greater or lesser extent, we all have our problems with some aspect of the reversibility mechanisms. We do not manage all of our mechanisms quite at will. It can happen, then, that our famous orchestra director, the “I”, may not be such a director when some aspects of reversibility are affected, when dysfunctions occur among the different apparatuses of the psychism. The example of the chamber of silence is very interesting; in it we comprehend that it is not a matter of a fall in the level of consciousness, but of the suppression of impulses that ought to reach the consciousness—and there the notion itself of the “I” is altered, is lost. Ranges of reversibility are also lost, ranges of critical sense, and compensatory hallucinations occur.
The sensory deprivation chamber shows us the case of the suppression of the external stimuli, and phenomena of interest seldom occur there if not all the sensory references have been eliminated. At times there is a lack or insufficiency of impulses coming from the internal senses. We give these phenomena the generic name “anesthesias.” Due to some kind of blockage, the signals that should arrive do not. The subject enters a rarefied state their “I” becomes distorted, some aspects of their reversibility are blocked. And so, the “I” can become altered due to an excess of stimuli or from a lack of them. But in any case, if our director-“I” were to disintegrate, the activities of reversibility would disappear. On the other hand, the “I” directs operations by using a “space,” and depending on the emplacement of this “I” in that “space,” the direction of the impulses will change. We speak of the “space of representation” (different from the space of perception).2 On this space of representation—which the “I” also takes samples of— impulses and images are continually being emplaced. According to whether an image is launched at a certain depth or level of the space of representation, a different response goes out to the world. If in order to move my hand I visually imagine it as though I were seeing it from the outside, I imagine it moving toward an object I want to reach for, not because of this will my hand really displace itself. That external visual image does not correspond to the type of image that must be fired in order for my hand to move. For this to happen I must use other types of images—a cenesthetic image (based on internal sensation) and a kinesthetic image (based on the muscular register and the register of the position of my hand when it moves).
It could happen that all of a sudden I make a mistake in the type and emplacement of the image towards the world. I might have suffered a certain “trauma” (as people liked to call it in other times); and then, when I want to get up from the chair I’m sitting in, I make an error in the emplacement of the image in my space of representation, or I get confused and choose another type of image What would be happening to me? I would be sending out signals, I would be seeing myself get up from the chair, but it could happen that I was not triggering the correct cenesthetic and kinesthetic images, which are the ones that move my body. If I were to make a mistake with the type of image or its emplacement, my body might not respond and remain immobile.
Inversely, it could happen that this person who has been paralyzed ever since the famous “trauma” and can’t emplace his image correctly, might receive a powerful emotional impact from a shaman healer or from a religious image, and as a result of this phenomenon of faith (a powerful emotional cenesthetic register), he reconnects the correct emplacement or correctly discerns the appropriate (cenesthetic) image. And it would be quite an impressive event for someone in front of these strange external stimuli to end their paralysis and come out walking. It could happen, if they were able to correctly reconnect the image. And just as there are many somatizations, there can also be many de-somatizations, according to the play of images that we have been discussing. Empirically, this has happened many times and numerous and diverse cases have been duly recorded.
This subject of the images is not a minor question. There’s our “I”, firing off images, and each time an image goes out, a center is mobilized and a response goes out to the world. The center mobilizes an activity, whether towards the external world or towards the intrabody. The vegetative center, for example, mobilizes firing activities towards the intrabody and not towards the external motricity. But the interesting thing about this mechanism is that, once the center mobilizes an activity, the internal senses take samplings of the activity that was triggered toward the intrabody or toward the external world. Then if I move my arm, I have a notion of what I’m doing. This notion of my movement is not given by an idea, but by cenesthetic registers proper to the intrabody and by kinesthetic registers of bodily position delivered by different types of introceptors. It happens that as I move my arm, I have a register of my movement. It is thanks to this that I can go about correcting my movements until I reach the right object. I can correct them with greater ease than a child, because a child still doesn’t have the memory, the motor experience, to perform such controlled movements. I can correct my movements because I receive the corresponding signal for each movement I make. Of course this happens at great speed and I have a signal of each movement I produce in a continuous feedback circuit, that allows for correcting as well as for learning the movement. Thus, I have a feedback intake from each action that a center mobilizes towards the world, that returns to the circuit, mobilizing in turn different functions of the other apparatuses of consciousness.
We know there are forms of motor memory. For example; when some people study, they can do it better walking than sitting down. In another example, someone interrupts their dialogue with another person they were conversing with as they were walking, because they’ve forgotten what they were about to say. However, when they return to the place where they lost the thread of the conversation, they can recall it completely. And to conclude, you know that when you have forgotten something, if you repeat the bodily movements previous to the moment of forgetting you can recover the forgotten sequence. In reality there is a complex feedback of the outgoing action: samples are taken of the internal register, it is re-injected into the circuit, goes to memory, circulates, is associated, transformed and translated.
For many people, above all for Classical Psychology, everything ends when an act is carried out. And it seems that everything is just beginning when one carries out an act; because this act is re-injected, and the re-injection awakens a long chain of internal processes. Thus we work with our apparatuses, interconnecting them by means of complex systems of impulses. These impulses are deformed, transformed and substituted, some by others. In this way then, and according to the examples previously given, this ant that’s crawling up my arm is quickly recognized. But an ant that crawls up my arm while I’m sleeping isn’t easily recognized; instead that impulse is deformed, transformed and sometimes translated, giving rise to numerous associative chains, depending on the mental line that is working at that moment. To complicate things a bit more, when my arm is in a bad position, I realize it and shift my body. But when I’m sleeping and my arm is in a bad position, the sum total of the arriving impulses is captured by the consciousness, translated, deformed and associated in a unique way. It happens that I imagine an army of wasps attacking my arm, then these images will carry a charge to my arm and the arm will move in a defensive action (which will get me into a better position), and I’ll continue sleeping. These images will be useful, precisely, for sleep to continue. These translations, and deformations of impulses will be at the service of the level’s inertia. These images of the dream will be serving to defend their level itself.
There are very many internal stimuli that give out signals during sleep. Then, at the moment of paradoxical sleep, these impulses appear as image. It happens that, for example, there is a deep, visceral tension. What will happen? The same thing that happened with the arm, but inside. That deep visceral tension sends a signal and it is translated as image Let’s suppose something easier: a visceral irritation sends the signal that is translated as image. The dreamer now sees herself in a fire, and if the signal is too intense, the “fire” will end up breaking the inertia of the level; then the subject will wake up and take an anti-acid, this sort of thing. Otherwise, the level’s inertia will be maintained and other elements will be associated to the fire that will contribute to diluting the situation, because the same image can work by firing inward and provoking distensions. In dreams, impulses from different internal tensions are continually being received, the corresponding images are being translated, and these images that mobilize centers also mobilize the vegetative center, which gives responses of internal distension. Thus the deep tensions emit their signals and the images rebound inward, provoking the distensions that are equivalent to the tensions that had been triggered.
When the subject was a small boy, he received a strong shock. He was deeply affected by something he saw. Many of his external muscles contracted. Some deeper muscular zones contracted as well. And every time he remembers that scene, the same type of contraction is produced. Now it happens that the scene is associated (by similarity, contiguity, contrast, etc.) to other images that are apparently unrelated. Then when these images are evoked, the original images appear and the contractions are produced. Finally it happens that with the passing of time, the first image that was the one that produced the tension has already been lost in ancient memory. And now, inexplicably, upon receiving an impulse followed by the release of an image, the contractions are produced. It happens that when he is in front of certain objects or situations or persons, powerful contractions awaken in the subject, and a strange fear that he is unable to relate to what happened in his childhood. One part has been erased and the other images have remained. Each time that in his dreams, images are released that trigger the contractions, and samples are taken of them that once again are translated into images, an attempt is being made in the consciousness to distense and to transfer the charges that are fixed to an unresolved situation. In the dream an attempt is being made, with the triggered images to resolve the oppressive tensions; and besides, an attempt is being made to displace the charges of certain contents to others of a lesser potential, with the aim of separating or redistributing the original, painful charge.
Keeping in mind the empirical cathartic and transferential work that is carried out during sleep, the techniques of Operative can follow the process of capturing impulses and firing images at the points of resistance. However, a few brief digressions are necessary here concerning the classification of the techniques of Operative, the general procedures and the objective of such works.
We group the different techniques of Operative3 in the following way: (1) Cathartic Techniques: Cathartic Probe, Feedback Catharsis, Catharsis of Climates and Catharsis of Images. (2) Transferential Techniques: Guided Experiences,4 Transferences and Exploratory Transferences. (3) Self-Transference Techniques.
In transferences, the subject emplaces himself in a specific level and state of consciousness, in a level of active semisleep in which he descends and ascends in his internal landscape; advances or retreats; expands or contracts; and in doing so, our subject encounters resistances at certain points. For the person guiding the transference, these resistances that the subject encounters are important indicators of blockage, fixation or contraction. The guide will do what he can so that the subject’s images may gently reach the resistances and overcome them. And we say that when a resistance can be overcome, a distension is produced or a transference of charge is produced. Sometimes these resistances are very great and cannot be tackled head-on because they produce reactions, or rebounds, and the subject will not feel encouraged to undertake new works if he has gone through a failure upon attempting to overcome his difficulties. Therefore, in cases of big resistances the guide does not advance frontally, but rather retreats, and “in a roundabout way” approaches them again, but reconciling internal contents and not acting with violence. The guide always orients herself based on the resistances, in the procedure of the work with images. He works in semisleep on the part of the subject, so that the latter can present a series of familiar and manageable allegories. Working with allegories in the level of active semisleep, the guide can mobilize images, overcome resistances and liberate overcharges.
The final objective of the works of Operative is that of integrating contents that are separated, such that this vital incoherence that one perceives in oneself may be overcome. These mosaics of contents which do not fit together well; these systems of ideas wherein one recognizes contradictory tendencies; these desires that one wishes one didn’t have; these things that have happened and that one would not want to repeat; this tremendous complication of unintegrated contents; this continual contradiction, is what we mean to gradually overcome with the support of the transferential techniques of integration of contents. And once familiar with the transferential techniques, our interest is to venture into diverse types of self-transferential work, in which one can already do without an external guide, using a codified system of images to orient one’s own process. In self-transferences, unreconciled biographical contents are retrieved and it is possible to work on imaginary fears and sufferings located in a psychological present or future. The sufferings that are introduced into consciousness through its different times and different pathways can be modified by using self-transferential images that are fired at the appropriate level and ambit of the space of representation.
We have oriented our works in the direction of overcoming suffering. We have also said that the human being suffers because of what he believes happened in his life, because of what he believes is happening, and because of what he believes will happen. And we know that the suffering that the human being undergoes because of what he believes is real, even if what he believes is not real. By working on oneself, one can access these painful beliefs and re-orient the direction of the psychic energy.
5. The System of Representation in Altered States of Consciousness
In our displacements through the space of representation, we reach its limits. As the representations descend, the space tends to darken; and inversely, as they go upwards, the clarity grows. These differences of luminosity between the “depths” and the “heights” surely have to do with the information from memory, which since earliest infancy associates the recording of luminosity to the high spaces. One can also verify the increased luminosity of any visual image emplaced at eye level, whereas its definition diminishes as it is located away from that level. Logically, the field of vision opens up with greater ease in front of and upwards from the eyes (towards the top of the head), more than forwards and downwards (towards the trunk, legs and feet). Despite the above, some painters from cold and foggy lands show us, in the lower planes of their canvasses, a special lighting where there are often snow-covered fields, as well as a growing darkness towards the high spaces, which often appear as covered with clouds.
In the depths or in the heights, objects appear that are more or less luminous; but upon representing such objects, there is no modification in the general tone of the light that may be found at the different levels of the space of representation.
On the other hand, and only under specific conditions of altered consciousness, a curious phenomenon is produced that irrupts, illuminating the entire space of representation. This phenomenon accompanies powerful psychic commotions that deliver a very profound emotional cenesthetic register. This light that illuminates the entire space of representation manifests in such a way that, even if the subject goes up or down, the space of representation remains illuminated, without depending on any particularly luminous object; rather, the entire “environment” now appears to be affected. It is as if the TV screen were set to maximum brightness. In such a case, it is not a matter of some objects that are more illuminated than others, but of a generalized brightness. In some transferential processes, and after registering this phenomenon}, some subjects return to vigil with an apparent modification of their perception of the external world. Thus, objects are brighter, sharper and have more volume, according to the descriptions usually given in these cases. When this curious phenomenon of illumination of the space is produced, something has happened to the system of structuring of the consciousness, that now interprets habitual external perception in a different way. It isn’t that “the doors of perception have been purified,” but that the representation that accompanies perception has been modified.
Empirically and by means of diverse mystical practices, the devotees of some religions try to make contact with a phenomenon that transcends perception and that seems to irrupt in the consciousness as “light.” Through different ascetic or ritual procedures, through fasting, prayer or repetition [chanting], they seek to make contact with a kind of light source. In transferential and self-transferential processes, whether by accident in the first case or in a directed manner in the second, one has experiences of these curious psychic events. It is known that they can be produced when the subject has received a strong psychic commotion; that is, his state is approximately an altered state of consciousness. Universal religious literature is full of numerous accounts regarding these phenomena. It is also interesting to note that, on occasions, this light “communicates” and even “dialogues” with the subject, just as is occurring in these times with lights that are seen in the sky and that, when they reach the fearful observers, give them their “messages from other worlds.”
There are many other cases of variations in color, luminous quality and intensity, as occurs with certain hallucinogens, but such cases are unrelated to what is commented on above.
According to descriptions in many texts, some people who apparently died and returned to life had the experience of leaving their bodies and directing themselves towards an ever-brighter light, without being able to describe very well whether they were moving towards the light or it was moving towards them. The fact is that the protagonists have an encounter with such a light that has the property of communicating and even of giving instructions. But in order to be able to tell these stories, one has to be given an electric shock in the heart, or something of the kind, and then our heroes will feel that they are retreating and moving away from the famous light that they were about to make interesting contact with.
There are numerous explanations concerning these phenomena, explanations along the lines of anoxia, the accumulation of carbon dioxide, alterations in certain brain enzymes. But for us, as usual, it is not so much the explanations that are of interest—they can say one thing today and something else tomorrow—but rather the system of register, the affective emplacement that the subject undergoes, and a kind of great “meaning” that seems to erupt unexpectedly. Those who believe they have returned from death experience a great change due to the fact of having registered a “contact” with an extraordinary phenomenon, that suddenly emerges and whose nature they cannot quite comprehend—i.e., whether it is a phenomenon of perception, or of representation—but which appears to be of great importance since it has the ability to suddenly change the meaning of human life.
Furthermore, it is known that altered states of consciousness can occur in different levels, and, of course, in the level of vigil. When one is enraged, an altered state is produced in vigil. When one suddenly feels euphoria and a great joy, one is also brushing against an altered state of consciousness. But when people talk about an “altered state,” they tend to think of something infra-vigilic. However, altered states are frequent, they manifest in varying degree and quality. Altered states always imply the blockage of reversibility in one of its aspects. There are altered states of consciousness even in vigil, such as the states produced by suggestion. Everyone is more-or-less easily influenced by the objects shown in advertisements or magnified by media commentators. Many people in the world believe in the bounties of products promoted over and over again through different marketing campaigns. These products can be consumer commodities, values, points of view on different topics, etc. The decrease of reversibility in altered states of consciousness is present in each one of us and at every moment. In more profound cases of susceptibility we are already in the presence of the hypnotic trance. The hypnotic trance works at the level of vigilic consciousness, even if the one who coined the word “hypnosis” thought it was a type of sleep. The hypnotized subject walks, comes, goes, moves around with their eyes open, carries out operations, and also, during the post-hypnotic effect, continues to act in vigil, but obeying the mandate given them during the hypnosis session. We are dealing here with a powerfully altered state of consciousness.
There are the pathological altered states, in which important functions of the consciousness are dissociated. There are also non-pathological states, where it is possible to provisionally split, divide the functions. For example, in certain sessions of spiritism, a person can be talking and at the same time his hand begins writing automatically and starts passing on “messages” without the subject’s being aware of what is happening.
A very extensive list of altered states could be drawn up with the cases of functional divisions and splits in the personality. Many altered states accompany defensive phenomena that are activated when adrenaline is triggered in front of danger, and this produces serious modifications in the normal economy of the consciousness. And of course, just as there are very useful phenomena in the alteration of consciousness, there are also very negative ones.
Altered states of consciousness can be produced through chemical action (gas, drugs and alcohol), through mechanical action (whirling, forced breathing, pressure on the arteries) and through sensory suppression. Also through ritual procedures and a ‘placing-in-a-situation’ thanks to special conditions using music, dances and devotional operations.
There exist the so-called crepuscular states of consciousness, in which there is a blockage of overall reversibility and a subsequent register of internal disintegration. We also distinguish some states that may be occasional and can well be called “superior states of consciousness.” These can be classified as: “ecstasy,” “rapture,” and “recognition.” The states of ecstasy tend to be accompanied by gentle motor concomitances and by a certain generalized agitation. States of rapture are rather more marked by powerful and ineffable emotional registers. States of recognition can be characterized as intellectual phenomena, in the sense that the subject believes, in an instant, that he “comprehends all;” in one instant he believes there is no difference between what he is and what the world is—as though the “I” had disappeared. Who hasn’t suddenly experienced a great joy for no reason: a sudden, growing and strange joy? Who hasn’t experienced—without any apparent cause—a realization of profound meaning in which it became evident that “this is how things are”?
It is also possible to penetrate into a curious altered state of consciousness through the “suspension of the ‘I’.” This presents itself as a paradoxical situation, because in order to silence the “I” it is necessary to keep watch over its activity in a voluntary way, which requires an important action of reversibility that reinforces, once again, what one wishes to annul. And so suspension is only achieved through indirect routes, by progressively displacing the “I” from its central location as object of meditation. This “I”—a sum of sensation and memory—suddenly begins to silence itself, to de-structure. Such a thing is possible because the memory can stop delivering data and the senses (at least the external ones) can also cease supplying data. The consciousness is then in a situation of finding itself divested of that “I” —in a kind of void. In such a situation, a mental activity that is very different from the habitual one can be experienced. Just as the consciousness nourishes itself with the impulses that arrive from the intrabody, from outside the body and from the memory, it also nourishes itself with the impulses from responses that it gives to the world (external and internal), and that once again feed the reentry into the circuit. And through this secondary path, we detect phenomena that are produced when the consciousness is capable of internalizing towards “the profound” in the space of representation. “The profound” (also called “the Self” in one contemporary psychological current), is not exactly a content of consciousness. The consciousness can reach “the profound” through a special work of internalization. In this internalization, that which is always hidden, covered by the “noise” of the consciousness, erupts. It is in “the profound” where the experiences of sacred spaces and times are encountered. In other words, in “the profound” one finds the root of all mysticism and all religious sentiment.

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