Imprinted by ecstatic experience via physiological or chemical yogas. Concerned with neurological-somatic feedbacks, feeling high, somatic reprogramming.
Chakra: Vishuddha Throat Communication & Ajna Third Eye
Day: Friday (Venus, Freya,...)
Mind Body Connection
Catalysts: Meditation, Hatha Yoga, Weed, Hypnosis, NeuroLinguistic Programming, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Aikido, Shiatsu, Reiki, Endorphin Rushes, Music, Sufi Whirling, Mandatory Silence, MDMA, Opium,...
5. The Neurosomatic
Winner: "How I feel depends on my neurological knowhow."
Loser: "I can't help the way I feel."
Winner: "How I feel depends on my neurological knowhow."
Loser: "I can't help the way I feel."
FIFTH CIRCUIT: SOMATIC-HEDONIC TRANCE
Disconnected from the previous goals and survival concerns of Circuits 1-4, this center is the opening of the five senses as the chief source of all life and relevant information. Being Here Now. The natural sensory rhythms and impulses of the body uncensored by mental, emotional or moral intervention. The hedonic needs for rapture, bliss and ecstatic experience. The post-survival quest for nirvana. When frustrated, the despair and spiritual discontent of "entrapment in the corporeal world of survival issues." When over-emphasized, excessive hedonism becomes debauch, dispersion and disintegration of personal integrity and concentration, ie., "spaced out bliss ninnies." Ecstacy Junkies. When hedonic needs are met, a state of charismatic magnetism infuse the personality, as seen with some rock stars, film celebrities and performing artists.
HEDONIC CATALYSTS: Empathogens (MDMA, etc.). cannabis, opium, hashish, lower doses of psilocybin, Tantric and Hatha yoga, listening to music (subjective assessment), sex magick, performing live dance and live theatre, Sufi whirling dervishes, ecstatic pagan rituals, falling in love, endorphin rushes from "second wind" states (long distance running and working out), verbal fasting (mandatory silence), zen meditation.
OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: "Spaciness." Loss of meaningful connection with "consensus reality" sometimes showing poor time management and an oblivion to the emotions, thoughts and ethics of others. Time/spatial disorientation and distortions. Difficulty articulating, ie., "Like, wow, man..."
RAW: The Holistic Neurosomatic Circuit. This is imprinted by ecstatic experience, via biological or chemical yogas. It processes neurosomatic ("mind-body") feedback loops, somatic-sensory bliss, feeling "high," "faith-healing," etc. Christian Science, NLP and holistic medicine consist of tricks or gimmicks to get this circuit into action at least temporarily; Tantra yoga is concerned with shifting consciousness entirely into this circuit.
RAW: When this fifth "body-brain" is activated, flat Euclidean figure-ground configurations explode multi-dimensionally. Gestalts shift, in McLuhan's terms, from linear visual space to all-encompassing sensory space. A hedonic turn-on occurs, a rapturous amusement, a detachment from the previously compulsive mechanism of the first four circuits. I turned this circuit on with pot and Tantra.
This fifth brain began to appear about 4,000 years ago in the first leisure-class civilizations and has been increasing statistically in recent centuries (even before the Drug Revolution), a fact demonstrated by the hedonic art of India, China, Rome and other affluent societies. More recently, Ornstein and his school have demonstrated with electroencephalograms that this circuit represents the first jump from the linear left lobe of the brain to the analogical right lobe.
The opening and imprinting of this circuit has been the preoccupation of "technicians of the occult"--Tantric shamans and hatha yogis. While the fifth tunnel-reality can be achieved by sensory deprivation, social isolation, physiological stress or severe shock (ceremonial terror tactics, as practiced by such rascal-gurus as Don Juan Matus or Aleister Crowley), it has traditionally been reserved to the educated aristocracy of leisure societies who have solved the four terrestrial survival problems.
About 20,000 years ago, the specific fifth brain neurotransmitter was discovered by shamans in the Caspian Sea area of Asia and quickly spread to other wizards throughout Eurasia and Africa. It is, of course, cannabis. Weed. Mother Mary Jane.
It is no accident that the pot-head generally refers to his neural state as "high" or "spaced-out." The transcendence of gravitational, digital, linear, either-or, Aristotelian, Newtonian, Euclidean, planetary orientations (circuits I-IV) is, in evolutionary perspective, part of our neurological preparation for the inevitable migration off our home planet, now beginning. This is why so many pot-heads are Star Trek freaks and science fiction adepts. (Berkeley, California, certainly the Cannabis Capital of the U.S., has a Federation Trading Post on Telegraph Avenue, where the well-heeled can easily spend $500 or more in a single day, buying Star Trek novels, magazines, newsletters, bumper stickers, photographs, posters, tapes, etc., including even complete blueprints for the starship Enterprise.)
The extraterrestrial meaning of being "high" is confirmed by astronauts themselves; 85% of those who have entered the free-fall zero gravity describe "mystic experiences" or rapture states typical of the neurosomatic circuit. "No photo can show how beautiful Earth looked," raves Captain Ed Mitchell, describing his Illumination in free-fall. He sounds like any successful yogi or pot-head. No camera can show this experience because it is inside the nervous system.
Free-fall, at the proper evolutionary time, triggers the neurosomatic mutation, Leary believes. Previously this mutation has been achieved "artificially" by yogic or shamanic training or by the fifth circuit stimulant, cannabis. Surfing, skiing, skin-diving and the new sexual culture (sensuous massage, vibrators, imported Tantric arts, etc.) have evolved at the same time as part of the hedonic conquest of gravity. The Turn-On state is always described as "floating," or, in the Zen metaphor, "one foot above the ground."
"Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one's being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union - the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions."
B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala
B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala
How I choose to feel, is how I am.
Leary: : "Circuit Five is activated by repeated and consistent application of various highly sophisticated technologies developed by ancient earthling initiates. These practices take many forms to appeal to a wide audience. Athletics, Drama, Literature, Meditation and Music are a few examples of such technologies. As an earthling excels in any of these yogas, they achieve a state of concentration and skill that produces an ecstatic or euphoric sensation within the body/mind. The resulting elevated sense of Well-being and comprehension (being high) insures repeated practice."
Cybercraft: Circuit Five: The Holistic Neurosomatic Circuit
This circuit is typified by ecstatic or blissful feelings, sensory enhancement, sensual pleasure from even ordinary experiences and activities, and a generally blissful, laid-back 'high' of contentment with the state of things in general. Gurdjieff referred to this circuit as the True Magnetic Center. Triggering devices include isolation tanks, the Hindu technique of pranayama, or controlled breathing, zero-gravity environments, and, for the adventurous, Cannabis drugs. Such experiences as spontaneous regeneration or 'faith healing,' feelings of eternal youthfulness, and rapturous acceptance of others/events involve at least a temporary activation of this circuit. Circuit Five control techniques have been employed by yogic and Tantric practices, Zen, ancient Greek psychedelic drug-assisted rituals at Eleusis, Dionysians, Mithraic cults, Christian Scientists, Sufis,and probably early Christianity as well. Occasionally attempts to activate Circuit Five will result in a temporary, although disconcerting, period known as the 'Dark Night of the Soul' or 'crossing the Abyss,' characterized by painful ordinary physical sensations, generalized bodily discomfort, distorted, nightmarish perceptions, anxiety, and an aversion to or fear of light. However difficult such a state may become, it does pass eventually into the ecstatic bliss of positive Circuit Five experience.
The fifth circuit, centered largely in the right cortex, 'thinks in Gestalts' -- that is, fifth-circuit processes are not linear progressions but holistic, simultaneous perceptions. Neurologically wired to the genitals and the limbic system (associated with the first circuit) and often working through endorphins, the circuit is often triggered by relaxed, playful sex. One who has activated and imprinted this circuit is radiant, cheerful rather than depressed, energetic rather than sluggish, in exceptional health, and almost seems to 'sparkle.' The various complaints of the lower circuits -- first-circuit physical sickness, second-circuit aggressive power-over, submissive no-power, and the associated turbulent emotions, third-circuit bewilderment over how to improve the quality of life, and fourth-circuit guilt -- are resolved quickly and dramatically by the advent of fifth-circuit consciousness. An accurate description of life by fifth-circuit adepts is 'floating one foot off the ground.'
Circuit Five ApplicationIt seems to me that one of the most effective ways to integrate Circuit Five experience into daily life is to work on focusing the consciousness intensely in space-time. Being 'here-now' transforms even the most mundane tasks into a set of hedonic sensations and virtually wipes out boredom from the working vocabulary. Paul Reps relates such an ancient tale in his Zen Flesh,
Zen Bones: Zen students are with their masters at least ten years before they presume to teach others. Nan-in was visited by Tenno, who, having passed his apprenticeship, had become a teacher. The day happened to be rainy, so Tenno wore wooden clogs and carried an umbrella. After greeting him Nan-in remarked:
'I suppose you left your wooden clogs in the vestibule. I want to know if your umbrella is on the right or left side of the clogs.' Tenno, confused, had no instant answer. He realized that he was unable to carry his Zen every minute. He became Nan-in's pupil, and he studied six more years to accomplish his every-minute Zen.
When this Circuit Five 'every-minute Zen' is achieved, one can't help remembering where the umbrella is! At the moment that he placed the umbrella, Tenno would have been so absorbed in the interplay of colors and shapes between the umbrella, clogs, and the decor of the vestibule, for instance, that those sensory images would have been vividly stamped in his mind and readily accessible to memory. In this state, the environment becomes a whirling miasma of such vivid sense data that just walking down the sidewalk becomes a 'retinal circus': the texture of the sidewalk is a profound sculpture of perfect randomness; the sprays of grass coming up through the cracks are delightful explosions of soft green against the tan concrete; wildflowers along the sides smear their luscious pastels across the visual field, seeming to blossom into the brain itself; trees a few feet away leap into the mind with every gully and protrusion in the bark relieved in vast detail; the blocks in the sidewalk seem crazily tilted and hilariously three-dimensional; the sudden whooshing of a sprinkler in the adjacent yard seems a delicately balanced symphony of sound; the sky is impossibly blue against the wispy clouds -- the whole body tingles and lightens, seeming about to lift off the ground and fly! Needless to say, life becomes a fluid, hedonic experience in which boredom is unheard of.
But what about when your bank screws you over, your camping trip gets rained out, your car throws a rod, and your best friend announces she is no longer speaking to you? No amount of cursing the local deities and trying to force things into your elegantly prepared scheme will do a bit of good. With that approach, you stomp around the house muttering all day until you've muttered yourself blue in the face. At such times the most expedient thing to do is to stop in your tracks, screw your eyes tight shut (assuming you're not driving), jump up and down, screaming madly a few times, then do some deep breathing until you feel relatively stable. Hopefully, during the course of the breathing your face (and other muscles) will have relaxed somewhat. Now, you can open your eyes to a calmer world and proceed to plan your next step.
First priority must be relieving any physical pain you may be in, if the means are at hand, so that you can think more clearly. Slow down, tense and relax all of your muscles in turn; breathe deeply and slowly, filling your lungs and expanding your abdomen with air; hold for a few moments, then release, still slowly, pausing with all of the air released before inhaling again. Meanwhile, slowly tell yourself 'Calm, calm, calm,' lingering on each sound within the word as you breathe. Now, take stock of your situation. Exactly what has changed, and what are the immediate implications for you? Never mind futuring; many possible complications may never develop. Accept complete responsibility for your perceptions! The importance of the last sentence cannot be emphasized enough. Through experience I have found that usually a problem isn't a problem unless you perceive it as one. If all else fails, a simple shrug and a decision to go with the flow, to do whatever is necessary and try to learn from the situation, seems to be the best approach. Struggling against the reality bumping you in the nose accomplishes nothing and is extremely frustrating, to say the least.
As Lao Tsu said,
It is not wise to rush about....
If too much energy is used, exhaustion follows.
The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
It cannot be ruled by interfering.
--Tao Te Ching
Finally, yet another hint from a Zen parable. Buddha told a man in a sutra: A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!