In all directions, I see mountains. And beyond those mountains exist the Great Darkness. Nothingness. Abstraction. Time moving forward, dragging its rusted body across the dimensions in a spiral. Every minute inevitibility comes more and more into focus. What does it mean to End? I gorge on the Never, bringing into being a renewal of sacrifice. My subconscious, a conduit, digests that which lies on the other side of the black towering Eclipse. My first deed, created out of the earth like a disfigured shape wrapped in decay, engulfs the whole of the earth in flaming fire.
Yes, I am willing to forget myself for myself. Sacrificing the who I was for the who I am to be.
The walls do weep the saddest shade of red wailing for relief to shine the light of divinity elsewhere. Their shadows creep towards the pinnacle strangling every rose that dare bloom in the absent sun.
O HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is she who raises the glass of invention. Her flesh a vessel to be shed–motionless and Dead.
Raise up your beleaguered body from the ashes of the old, for there exist no gods without imperfection, the means to create, and the ability to recognize that even the future can be reshaped and disfigured in the image of We.
Hard is the heart of fate. And every tribute? A feast for the hand of Me.
The biggest lie that you can ever tell yourself is that you are perfect. I remember a time when I was the paragon of perfection. I was perfect in every single way–I could do no wrong. I was the prettiest. The strongest. The absolute Queen of all and everything. This was a product of a self-imposed solipsism–the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.
In a vacuum, perhaps all of these things would be true, but as far as I can tell, that isn’t reality.
Reality is communication. Without communication you are nothing. Without it, you will never get anything you want or need. Without communication you don’t exist. Humans are created through communication–through the physical transfer of genetic information. We are brought into this world through information communicated to doctors for years before they’re permitted to deliver babies. We are raised through communication, and eventually we discover our true natures through it.
Xepera Xeper Xeperu.
As a millennial, my struggle is vastly different than my parents, and even moreso than their parents. I have had the displeasure of living through the death of the old world, and adapting to the new. When I was little, there was no Internet. If we wanted to communicate, the most convenient method was through using the telephone. I remember writing a physical letter in the fourth grade to Lynn Reid Banks. And she never answered. I probably sent it to the wrong address.
Communication used to be much more visceral. It also used to be much more veiled and hidden than it is now. I remember the first time I logged into America Online sometime back in 1995. Email excited me, but what really got me going was the ability to instantly search for information. I could search for anything that I could possibly imagine. The only limitation in this respect was my imagination. The best part of this? Is that I could do it with some measure of anonymity, free from the judgement of others and what they might think of me for spending way too much time reading about obscure anime that hadn’t yet hit my local Suncoast video.
The Internet was so groundbreakingly wonderful because it gave me a liminal space in which I could be myself, by myself. After being introduced to this channel of nearly unlimited knowledge and information it was hard to even imagine going back to the way things were before.
As a function of being a millennial, I spend a lot of time by myself cruising the Internet for various reasons. To most of us, the Internet is nothing more than a toy to edify our body’s need for endorphins. The danger in this is that reality becomes warped when we don’t get out of the self-imposed internet bubble. As a function of “living” in a bubble, we become warped from confinement, thus creating various complexes within our identities.
In Setian jargon, these complexes are best represented by the serpent Apep, filling us with delusion. The perfection delusion created by embracing solipsism is one that offers comfort, peace of mind, and confidence–so long as our subjective selves do not directly interface with the subjective bubble of somebody else. With the convenience of indirect communication over the wide wide web, many of us have lost our ability to interface with other people directly. Visceral communication is a rare commodity right now. My generation can’t keep their jobs, relationships, or lives in order because we were brought up with Apep constantly whispering lies into our ears. Lies telling us that “we are all special.” I mean, honestly, in a way, we are all special. Each one of us a unique flower. We shouldn’t let that go to our heads though. It limits our ability to understand who we really are.
Being perfect is bullshit. Society in the United States has always been framed around the so-called “American dream.” Nowadays that entails being a baller with shitloads of money, women, the perfect body, the perfect life. You know–being comfortable without a worry in the world. I often imagine the Christian ideal of Heaven to embody this type of situation. I’m pretty sure I would get bored after a few months of living like that. Just send me to Hell already.
If I recall correctly, “the American Dream” used to represent something much more meaningful. It used to mean, escaping the country, the situation, or circumstance that held you down from truly becoming an autonomous human being. Becoming autonomous is a messy, uncomfortable process. Of course, that just makes it all the more exciting. It gives us something to look forward to. It allows us to exercise true freedom through our choices, both good and bad. If we could predict everything, many of us would bet the farm at horse races everyday. I know that I would. But how long would that keep us entertained? And at the end of the day, is mere entertainment true delight? Or just a means to murder mother time?
True delight is derived through communicating your needs to the world. Directly. It comes from finding your tribe. From that physical handshake. The smell of farts in your three hour Yoga class. The discomfort of having to wake up at 4am for work. It comes from doing the things you don’t really want to do, in order to be the person you want to be. It’s okay to hide from the world every now and then. We all need alone time. But Xeper can’t be experienced without the vital ingredient so many of us millennials have grown apart from. Human interaction. Be awkward. Be weird. Be aloof. But remember to communicate. This is your reminder for the month of June to communicate. And to smile when you do it. Even if you have a face only a mother can love.
When I look back at my 32 years on this planet, I like to separate my time here into three different lives. My childhood–from the time I was a baby until the end of high school. My young adulthood–the time in which I spent trying to figure out who I was. And lastly, the life I’m currently living. My current incarnation arose late last year after realizing that I was not only capable of becoming Adept, but that I actually had developed into one.
A couple weeks ago, I had a huge “a-ha moment” with regards to how I interact with people. Communicating has never been my strong suit. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that it’s become even more difficult to speak with others on a one to one level. The majority of this problem is grounded in the fact that amidst the confusion of my past lives, I chose to look inward and journey through the depths of the Underworld.
As of February 2017, I am surrounded on all sides by Tucson’s wall-to-wall corporate sprawls filled to the brim with white upper middle class suburbanites just looking to raise their families, punch the clock, and consume. Here, everything has novelty. Shitty black garbage bags with yellow ties. Shattered cavities of plastic and torn shiny paper. Smog and tumble weeds of blue solo cups and rusted nails. The sad loneliness of Panda Express in front of the television with the family on a Sunday evening.
“God’s not dead.” they say.
“God’s not dead!”
“Do you hear us?”
“God’s not dead!”
Yeah–okay. Whatever you say.
I’m living in the middle of an airborne toxic event. Suburban Tucson is a bad parody of a Don Delillo novel on expired LSD laced with bath salts. People here are just looking to live out their lives refusing to ask the tough questions that might change each and every one of them irrevocably.
“God’s not dead!” they scream, running away from the rabid black-toothed rats gnawing away at their insides.
“God’s not dead! HE’S NOT DEAD.”
It takes a lot of energy to ignore the ferocious biting of rats. They will rapidly tear away at everything you are or ever will be should you do nothing to stop their treacherous advance. Some of postmodernity’s favorite remedies for ignoring this pain come in many shapes and sizes, all beautifully packaged for your consumption. Amphetamines and antidepressants. Wild Turkey and Ambien. Subway punchcards and Starbucks. Bad movies and aspartame. Painkillers and suicide.
Don’t get me wrong–if that’s the life you choose then so be it. Who am I to judge? My situation is unique to me. Just don’t expect me to refer to that type of life as an “enthralling state of existence”.
I vividly recall what rats gnawing away at me felt like. It was incessant and raw. As a young adult, I remember the rats of my childhood eating away at my insides. They reminded me that deep down I hurt. That I had no idea who I was. I needed to get away from them in order to heal the open sores they had caused.
When I was little, my life was rigid, structured, and controlled. At times, I remember becoming paralyzed by anxiety in an effort to save face in the presence of my father. As I moved on into my next life as a young adult, I began to explore the possibilities of my new found freedom. Because I grew up in an environment of suppression, I found it incredibly easy to obsess over the things I could never do. My lifetime as a young adult was very short. It was a positive experience, but ultimately, met its end in a tragic death of my choosing.
Classic Kung Fu revenge films and Westerns all share the same basic story structure. The main character begins living a decent or happy life. They then suffer through an intense tragedy. Usually this takes place in the form of their entire family being murdered. This sets into motion the protagonist’s need for a journey through wilderness and/or period of intense training away from society. They then return to society in an effort to just “get along.” Of course this never works out. There’s always a few bloody fight scenes along the way. In the climax, the main character almost always achieves deadly revenge against the person or force who caused their initial tragedy. Lastly, the credits start to roll, and we find the main character either walking off into the sunset alone or pulling a “remember the Alamo.”
I identify with movies like “Fist of Fury” and “The Grandmaster” because I have lived out the Kung Fu revenge trope before. Because I have lived through it, I understand that language.
My journey towards this understanding began when I was seventeen. I recorded an energetic demo tape with my brother and formed my first band. When I was eighteen, we were struck with young dumb luck and signed a record contract in the pre-MySpace era. At nineteen, I toured coast-to-coast across the United States. This may sound awesome, but life back then was far from perfect. The rats of my gender identity issues still gnawed away at me underneath it all, but I was able to ignore them because I was happy. At least I thought I was. After all, I was doing what I had always dreamed of–I was a professional musician. And that’s all I ever needed!
It wasn’t though. In 2006 my band died from my inability to ignore the rats in my closet any longer. I had a life as a musician, but what use was it if I couldn’t live out that life as myself?
In the wake of losing what promised to be a flourishing career I decided to put an end to my life as a musician and instead tour the abyss in search of myself. It was time to figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life. And the only way to figure any of that out was to approach the tough questions only I could ask: “am I capable of walking away from it all?” and, “Could I build up a new life for myself starting from less than zero?”
The first step in the long journey towards yourself begins with the realization that you are capable of crossing that lake of fire. That you are capable of doing the things you set out to do. That you can reach the very bottom of Hell at the expense of everything else in your current life. Only you can decide if you can handle the unexpected calamities that will come with taking those first few steps into the Underworld. To become yourself, you must test your capabilities. And you must develop them through the trial of journey. Keep in mind that your destination certainly matters, but all of your meaningful life changing transformations come from the journey itself. This is why it’s incredibly difficult to express what Xeper is into words. Xeper is powerful because it is shrouded behind the walls of confusion and ambiguity. And to have any sort of relationship with Xeper, you must be willing to recognize the superficial nature of what it means to be you and work your way violently inward.
The most difficult aspect to journeying the Underworld has to do with the people you meet along the way. You will meet many. But most don’t even make it past the gates. That’s because they lack the realization of capability. Many people take two steps in and turn tail–they fear for what they might find underneath it all. Some brave souls will journey with you for a time. A few of these will try to distract you from getting to where you’re headed. Fewer still will even face some of the trials you may encounter along the way by your side. Eventually though, if you’re truly determined, you will leave every one of these people behind. Not because you’re better than them, but because they are physically and spiritually incapable of journeying farther. There’s a sad rule to traveling the Underworld–the deeper you go, the less company you’ll be able to keep. As you slowly make your way to the bottom, you even begin to speak an entirely different language than all of the people on the levels above you.
I spent nine years (2006-2015) traveling the Underworld of myself. A lot of times I felt as though I was in limbo, that I wasn’t making progress. But I learned to heed the signs along the way that indicated that I was indeed capable. My journey there was punctuated with a great deal of objective personal change. I transitioned. I went to University. I decided it wasn’t for me. I hit rock bottom. I found joy in performing. I got into car crashes. I ate a lot of ramen noodles. I got my first cavity. I discovered that I was still a musician. I had life changing surgery. I moved across the country. I joined the Temple of Set.
My time as a first degree in the Temple of Set wasn’t riddled with frustration. Instead, it felt like going home for the first time in my life. It helped me to emerge from the Underworld and confront profane life in the everyday. My first degree taught me that I could arrive to new solutions to old problems, and how to apprehend new problems before they grew out of my control.
Becoming Adept doesn’t come from merely accepting yourself for who you are. That’s part of it, but it goes much further. The Adept understands that she is always capable transforming herself into someone she can truly love. For me, I couldn’t have come to this realization without traveling the Underworld for nine years. And I wouldn’t have been able to Xeper as a result of this realization without learning how to make use of the languages I learned while traveling the abyss. I accomplished this by embracing consistency in my initiatory practices which allowed me to keep the rats away and the channels of my endeavors open and awake. Both journey and consistency are integral to the development of the would-be Adept.
The Rat-Trap Working (aka Journeying the Abyss)
By Adept Nikoletta Winters
The following is a long form GBM working that has many parts to it. It’s very important to make preparations beforehand in order to execute each part efficiently. The purpose of this working is to reaffirm your genuine wants requiring you to plan for their success in the long term.
We often start and stop many things. Starting an endeavor usually begins with intense enthusiasm, but without pursuing consistency, you will be incapable of taking it further. In order to see beyond the initial realm of impulse, you must be willing to complete the motion of journeying with your endeavors as a way to express authenticity of want. It’s easy to ask yourself what you desire. It’s hard to answer why you aren’t doing the things you want to do. You want to learn Russian right? Then why the fuck aren’t you doing it? Don’t say “I don’t know,” or attribute it to laziness, lack of time, or other adult responsibilities. Excuses like these, are rats. And you actively use them to ignore your potential. You create them on the surface level and eventually they attach themselves to your daemonic self. They hold you back from chasing after the things you want. This working is engineered to exact revenge on these rats, effectively “trapping them.” If this working is performed correctly, you will have begun the process of equipping yourself with a shiny pair of capable new eyes. If you feel yourself slipping away from the things you want due to the rats of depression, apathy, or exhaustion–plan a weekend around performing this. Over the course of this working, you will actively engage with immediate manifestations of your will. You will also set into motion energies in that will aid in rooting one or perhaps several wants/desires as a powerful source of Xeper in your life. This working will require you to communicate not only with yourself, but with people around you. It is separated into six phases modeled after the Kung Fu Revenge Western trope:
Journeying the Abyss
During the course of each stage pay close attention to your surroundings, how you feel, who engages with you. The only catch is that you must complete the main working in a twenty-four hour period.
BEFORE you perform the main working, you must write your own Invocation of Set. You can model it after the Invocation in the Crystal Tablet if you lack a sense of creativity, but I would ask that you at least give it the good ‘ole college try to put your own personal touch to it. The ultimate purpose of this exercise is to make an invocation that is uniquely your own. You are taking this invocation on a journey and delivering it to yourself via consistent nightly recitations of it between two days of personal power. Hint: if you do it right before bed, you’ll experience vivid and sometimes horrific dreams. Don’t be scared–that’s just your magic letting you know that your doing the work.
For me, I situated nightly recitations of my invocation over a fifteen day period from February 10th to the 25th. Both are days of significant power for me. The tenth marks the anniversary of significant progression in my gender transition, and the twenty-fifth is my birthday.
The main working occurs on your second day of power. Begin the main working in the morning or early afternoon. Dress appropriately–you’re going to be headed out for the day after performing the “Peace” phase. You won’t return until you reach the “Isolation” phase.
At the end of each phase, recite the following encouraging words in reference to experiencing the stress of Hell, the Duat, or the Underworld: “My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”
I pulled this phrase from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Prayer to Persephone.” Persephone is the queen of the Underworld and also the goddess of growth in the spring. This is vital to the working as a king or queen of the Underworld will have certainly journeyed to its depths and gained forbidden knowledge of its hidden languages. Persephone’s second aspect, of growth in spring, is equally as vital to this working. It connects the idea of the new and intense enthusiasm we experience when we first pursue the things we want to do (spring) and being able to nurture them to maturity through consistent journey (growth).
1. Open the Gate – Ring Bell x9, recite your invocation of Set, call upon the elements, drink from the graal, etc.
Recite the following:
“There are days where the sun will hide, where peace has withered, where tragic death leaves a gaping hole. There are days where you will journey to the fiery pits, and to the ends of the Earth. There will be days where you will make a return in the spring, and leave again against frozen northern winds. There will be nights where you will seek revenge, and mornings where you’ve tasted it. There are days where the sun will hide, where peace has withered, where tragic death leaves a gaping hole.”
“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”
2. “Peace” – Engage with something that makes you feel peaceful and relaxed. Perform it until you feel at ease. Ten minutes is the ideal amount of time for this phase. For me, I chose my favorite guided meditation and did it.
“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”
3. “Tragedy” – Get out of the house. If you can, visit a place of significant tragedy in your life. Discuss tragedy with a perfect stranger. Talk with a loved one about the saddest day of their life. Any one of these things will work. Get to know what tragedy is in your own world.
For me, it’s when something goes away before it’s time.
“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”
4. “Journeying the Abyss” – Choose a place to go that makes you uncomfortable or uneasy. I’m not asking you to pull a John McClane and walk into a room full of terrorists, but I am asking you to visit a place that gives you a sense a danger that you cannot easily leave.
I chose to visit the Underworld by going to Bisbee’s “Copper Queen Mine.” In the case of an interesting synchronicity during the course of my working, I was randomly asked by our seventy year old guide to have a seat on the “sanitary cart” in the mine. The sanitary cart was a toilet for the miners of the Copper Queen mine and was known as the “shitter” or “throne.” For the rest of the tour, our guide kept referring to me as the Queen of the mine and asked me to pay him a visit in the future. He told me “I could come back and be Queen anytime.” This was mind-blowing to me! I literally became Queen of the Underworld while the gate was open on my working. Synchronicity? Yep. Laugh out loud funny? Hell yes, but you kinda had to be there.
“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”
5. “Reintegration” – The key to this phase is communication. Talk to people around you. Visibly display your Pentagram of Set if you feel adventurous. If someone is wearing or saying something that strongly connects with any of your sensibilities, make a comment or start a conversation with that person.
My big reintegration moment came when I came across a guy in Bisbee dressed head to toe like a steampunk. It was a pretty radmobile getup so I told him that I “liked his outfit.” He commented on my Pentagram of Set and showed me a red ring he was wearing that also had a pentagram on it. This was a cool little moment. I ended up running into him again across town. (I think he followed me). He gave me a business card this time. Turns out he was a local entertainer who performed nightly seances on the weekends.
“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”
6. “Combat” – Do something that requires you to learn a new language. Spend the afternoon learning a new skill, a new game, or dance routine. It doesn’t need to be complicated, but you do need to understand how to engage with your chosen language by the end of this phase.
I chose to learn how to play a complicated board game called “Eldritch Horror.” After I learned, I played a game of it with my significant other. We got our asses royally kicked by the Azathoth.
“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”
7. “Isolation” – For this phase return to your ritual chamber and perform a task that isolates yourself in such a way that you can completely focus on yourself inwardly. I chose a ten minute scanning body meditation.
At the end of the final phase, make a list of three endeavors you wish to pursue over the next month. You must consistently engage with these on a regular schedule throughout that time. Keep a daily record of this in your magical diary. At the end of the month, write about what you learned and how you feel about your time pursuing these endeavors.
In the spirit of consistency before you close out the working, recite your invocation of Set one final time.
You know what scares me most? Not being able to do what I want to do. The most interesting aspect to this is that I’m currently doing a lot of things in my life that I don’t want to do. A paradox! If our lives are measured by the time, and time is the currency in which we have to spend on both the things we must do and things we want to do–then why do we waste that currency on the things we don’t want to do?
I had a revelation about social media recently. The single most irritating aspect to social media is how much people rely on it to validate their own existence. Yes, I’m guilty of this too.
When people post on social media about how they are feeling it can come in many forms. Posts are made expressing delight, dissatisfaction, happiness, bragging, and straight up bitching. Aside from the fact that instead of spending their time doing something productive with the forty minutes it took to write a post, we must take into consideration where posts are broadcasted. Public channels.
What does this mean exactly? Well, for one, other people can see these posts. But why is this important to assessing whether or not an individual is adept in the art of wasting time? Posting status updates in a public channel where other people can potentially see it is basically the same thing as screaming:
“I’M HERE! I’M ALIVE! SOMEONE RESPOND TO ME TO MAKE SURE MY CLAIMS OF BEING ALIVE CAN BE CORROBORATED!”
At the surface level, posting status updates can be done in pursuit of social validation. But it goes much deeper than that. The serial social media addict post status updates as a way to validate their existence.
People that post on social media make an observation about their lives and by doing so induce a conscious moment for all of their friends, followers, and would-be adherents to see. This phenomenon is a futile attempt at what P.D. Ouspensky would refer to as “self-remembering.” He defines self-remembering as follows in his book “The Fourth Way” (#19C):
“To remember oneself means the same thing as to be aware of oneself–‘I am.’ Sometimes it comes by itself; it is a strange feeling. It is not a function, not thinking, not feeling; it is a different state of consciousness. By itself it only comes for very short moments, generally in quite new surrounding, and one says to oneself: ‘How strange. I am here.’ This is self remembering; at this moment you remember yourself.”
By posting in social media as a method of existence validation–people are trying not only to make an attempt to remember themselves, but also to get other people to assist them in this process!
For example, when social justice warriors get offended by the multitude of things that they tend to get offended by they scream from the mountain tops for attention. Are they really offended or are they simply trying to get the Internet to remember that they exist because they had something really “important” to say?
Smartphones–Obliteraters of Consciousness
Do you know anyone in the proverbial “first world” without a smartphone? If you do, they’re probably your grandparents or a conspiracy theorist. Regardless, they’re in the minority. Let’s be honest with ourselves–“first worlders” live in a phone society. Over 61% of Americans own a smartphone. We’re obsessed with staying connected.
With regards to having a social media presence, a smartphone, and how those two relate to self-remembering I would like to pose two questions.
How often do you check your smartphone on a daily basis?
Have you ever forgot your smartphone at home? How did that make you feel?
The New York Daily News ran an anonymous poll in 2012, 84% of the people that responded to the poll said that they couldn’t spend a single day without their smartphones.
People feel naked without their phones because they feel disconnected from everything. It makes our monkey brains feel insecure when we accidentally leave them at home. After all, the world is nastier than ever. By being disconnected, people feel helpless, unsafe, and alone.
Assisted Self-Remembering and the Left-Hand Path
In terms of how this relates to my exploration of the Left-Hand Path I think it’s important to consider the basics.
Dr. Stephen Flowers defines the Left-Hand Path as “the path of nonunion with the objective universe. It is the way of isolating the consciousness within the subjective universe and, in a state of self-imposed psychic solitude, refining the soul or psyche to ever more perfect levels. The objective universe is then made to harmonize itself with the will of the individual psyche instead of the other way around.”
In the strange case of existence validation in social media, I view assisted self-remembering as a very Right-Hand Path mechanism to cope with adversity. By seeking existence validation, you’re seeking to unify yourself with the collective consciousness of would-be “individuals” on the Internet.
As autonomous individuals we must consider how we make use of the tools available to us. However, the user must not become the used.
As the old platitude goes–everything in moderation, but sometimes that just doesn’t work. Especially when it comes to dealing with intense co-dependence on things that should be used as tools to make our lives easier. Social media is a tool, but when we become dependent on it, it can needlessly complicate our lives in a vortex of both wasted time and consciousness.
Some people become so over-involved with their smartphones and their social media presence that they experience “phantom vibration syndrome.” I’ve experienced this first hand. What’s more, is that during the time I was experiencing phantom vibrations I was checking my phone so much that I began to lose sight of the things I actually wanted to do. I was wasting so much time posting cat photos, Twitter drama, and how many likes I could get on my new profile pic. Yeah, I had issues.
My solution? To cut. To be more specific, to cut out social media.
I was starting to become really disenchanted with Facebook back in August, but because I depended on being constantly connected I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I eventually opted to deactivate my Facebook account for an entire month. During that time, I wrote some bad ass short stories, finished an album, and started vacuuming my apartment more. On top of all that I began to socialize more with actual people! Imagine that. When I came back to Facebook in October I didn’t feel the same about it. I don’t need anyone to help me remember who I am. That’s my goddamn job.
During my glory days of being a social media junkie, my experiences with phantom vibration syndrome was a physical subjective reaction to my consciousness becoming overloaded with stimulation. Mentally, I was malfunctioning. In “The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution” (#19B) Ouspensky writes:
“We cannot become conscious at will, at the moment when we want to, because we have no command over states of consciousness. But we can remember ourselves for a short time, at will because we have a certain command over our thoughts. And if we start remembering ourselves, by the special construction of our thoughts; that is, by the realization that we do not remember ourselves, that nobody remembers himself, and by realizing all that this means, this will bring us to consciousness.”
Smartphones embody what Ouspensky is trying to overstate here. When we carry smartphones it’s a shitty attempt to gain control over our consciousness. We’re aware that a smartphone is in our pocket or purse, and if it’s not there then our monkey brains panic because we’re disconnected and alone. In turn, by abusing social media as a means to assist in remembering ourselves, we stop remembering ourselves.
But why? Because we’re wasting time with bullshit that does nothing to improve our sense of well-being. By over-stimulating our consciousness through our overuse of the social media tool we cause ourselves to malfunction by becoming dependent on assisted self-remembering. In short, we’re making a meaningless expenditure of consciousness that could’ve been spent doing something that we actually wanted to do.
A Closing Thought
I recently discovered that I enjoy going for short hikes in the Sonoran Desert surrounding Tucson. I’m not killing myself when I go out for these hikes–but it’s still exercise. Aside from the obvious physical health benefits of hiking a few miles daily, what does this do for me mentally? It allows me to focus on one thing. The desert. It’s a tranquil experience that I’ve adopted for myself, and it’s become more and more important to me as a means to clear my head of all the negativity I’m surrounded with on a daily basis.
Our brains weren’t meant for the amount of over-stimulation that we get on a daily basis from the Internet void. It’s absolutely impossible to be conscious at all hours of the day. As much as we’d like to convince ourselves otherwise through the illusion of multitasking our direct consciousness is most effectively put to use when we’re focusing on one thing at a time.
It’s important to cut out the things in our lives that hold us back. While we may cut things out of our lives because they are terrible, we must consider why they are terrible–because they prevent us from being autonomous divine life forms.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Thoreau
Thirty years ago today, I was born into humble beginnings in the Nakagami District of the Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. Thirty years ago today was born an individual that would grow up to become stronger than her parents could have possibly imagined.
This individual is me.
From the outside looking in, my life has been anything but happy. And yet somehow, I bounced back every time. I lived through immense psychological and physical trauma in my childhood. That only increased during my seemingly short adolescence. By the time I hit nineteen I began to figure out how self-deluded I really was. I had periods of extreme happiness. Triumph. In my early to mid-twenties I had a dark night of the soul. I was defeated. I spent several years becoming addicted to games. I lived those years of my life inside a computer. Then one day in January of 2009, I started to wake myself back up.
My late teens and early twenties I had accomplished a lot. I had a successful band. We were signed to a record label. We were playing out across the country. It was wonderful in some ways, and terrible in others. I did things few people would barely imagine doing. I lost myself in my art.
I became the most unhappy in my life when I lost touch with that side of myself. Sure, I became overwhelmed by depression. But never once did I consider suicide. Deep down, I knew that I alone had the power to change my own destiny. And I did.
I ended up getting myself together. I absconded from the place I never regarded as home. I headed to the East Coast to find myself. And found myself I have.
Here I am, standing at the door to the rest of my life. It’s my thirtieth birthday and I’m sitting here happy. I am a success.
I am not a success because of what I have. Material possessions ultimately mean nothing for happiness. Happiness is achieved when you find the good in everything that happens to you. You decide to be happy. To someone who is happy, we welcome adversity. But we don’t treat it as something that defeats who we are. So what if we fall? What’s the worst that could happen? You have to get up again?
Being successful means living through the tough things that stand in the way of your goals and dreams. Being successful means following through. It means making promises to yourself. It means being honest. It means loving who you are because you are worthy of love.
For the most part bad things happen to people because they want them to happen. Think of bad things as a gift from yourself, to yourself. Good things work in the same way.
Everything is perspective. Never compromise yourself for anything that seeks to destroy who you really are. Including yourself.
You alone are responsible for who you are–for who you are to become. You are an island in a sea of stars.
I’m standing here at the door to the rest of my life–smiling. My childhood is finally over. And I’m standing here at the door to the rest of my life–so proud to be who I have become.
This is a working I wrote by myself. I performed it on February 8th, 2015 prior to leaving for my facial feminization surgery in Spain. I do apologize for the commentary that follows it for being so long. I feel it is necessary to discuss at length my results.
I prepared for this working for over a month. I did a lot of Tai Chi during the month of January to get me grounded into a system of concentration that allowed me to focus on an intent of this rite.
My intent for performing and writing this rite was a simple one. I wanted to rewire myself to embrace my feminine aspect of myself isolating it away from my masculine side. I wanted to fully kill my male identity in my subjective universe. By doing this, it would also effect the way I carried myself in the objective universe–making me unashamed to be who I am. This rite would tip these goals into my favor. Despite living as a full time woman for ten years time–I’ve been forced, due to the nature of my previous work as an actress to play roles better suited for young hot-headed men. I refuse to do that any more. Aspects of my five years of acting began to clog up my medial self and program me to fall into some of my more male aspects at times that did not benefit me. I wanted to bring my subjective feminine self into the objective universe.
While I won’t disclose the full contents of my magical diary here with regards to my recording of the result, I will paraphrase the moment I knew I was successful.
This rite was meant to put me into a liminal space before my major surgery to allow this to happen by manifesting confidence in myself. It was successful and I’ll share the exact moment that I realized I achieved an extremely rare moment of Xeper in spite of it.
From the moment I began to travel to Spain on February 9th, everything was chaos. There was nothing calm about my travel to Spain. My first flight was cancelled, although I was able to make it by getting United to fly me to two separate cities I wasn’t meant to go to. I made the Newark flight with two minutes to go, running on the tarmac to make it. During the security checkpoint this woman ran into the security checkpoint chasing a man. She promptly started to beat the crap out of this guy punching him, yelling at him, tearing at his flesh. I didn’t have time to watch. This was the first of many little incidents to happen following the rite. It was WAY too weird that it was a woman beating up a man during all the chaos of me trying to make the Newark flight. A woman beating a man! Who would’ve thought? I definitely made a connection with this with regards to my rite.
Madrid was chaos. I nearly missed my flight by twelve minutes as the airport was a labyrinth of confusion and when I landed I had half an hour to get to my next flight. Getting to Marbella was oddly calm. Ultimately, when I got there I felt very comfortable, without trepidation for my surgery the day after the next one. Very calm vibes going on there. The really weird stuff started happening the night following my 9-hour procedure to feminize my facial structure.
On February 10th 2015, as the nurses transferred my small body from bed to bed. I finally made it to the surgical slab, While the anesthesiologist standing over me in his Pink Panther hat I calmly repeated over and over again a little mantra I got from Don Webb’s “Uncle Setnakt’s Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path.”
“It is my destiny to become a Lady of the Left Hand Path. Doors will open!”
My body was becoming cold all around. I was dying. Again and again I said this to myself until I passed out from the anesthesia.
Before I woke up I remember floating upwards, naked, in an ocean of black. Little bubbles all around me. Then I came into the world crying. Reborn. I threw three stomachs of blood up and could barely open my eyes. I’ll never forget when they put this mask on me that I had to wear for three days in the hospital. This was the last mask I was going to have to wear. I was completely overcome by nausea, dry mouth, the works. As a person who has never did any controlled substances, including alcohol, coffee, smoking, drugs of any kind, this nausea hit me HARD. That night of was the hardest night of my life. On top of all of this I couldn’t get the song “All That Jazz” from Chicago, especially the opening theme out of my head. I felt like the doctors must have listened to it while they were cutting into my flesh. Which is interesting because that show is a revenge tale involving women who killed their husbands. Another connection to the rite.
While I laid in bed for two days, unable to open my swollen eyes I had my fiancé Victor read me Judith Page’s “Song of Set.” Her poem made me slightly emotional as the way she wrote the poem really struck a chord with what I was going through. He also insisted on reading Lovecraft, so he also did “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” for me as well. His choice was oddly interesting, seeing that I was manifesting myself through this surgery from the “sleeping world” from my subjective “light body” to the realm beyond it, into the objective universe. After the nurse pulled my catheter out I was ready to get up. I was done lying around like a mini-Osiris in stasis. I had to get up. I had to get up now.
From those first active moments of me walking around the hospital even though my body resisted, I felt in control. When I was released from the hospital I was greeted with two nights that were rather sleepless. When I did sleep, I had psychedelic nightmares as the meds slowly got out of my system. Thanks Set! I recorded these nightmares in detail in my diary.
Again, I will paraphrase these from my diary. The first of these nightmares I saw myself as who the world thought I was. And then I experienced a rebirth. There was a hippopotamus beyond a beige brick, Mayan looking wall killing these huge crows or ravens by chomping down on them making them wet with their own internal fluids. He then threw these crows over this wall with his mouth and the birds landed in a pile. There were SO MANY black birds. Wet, bloody, gory stuff. And I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe because I was in the middle of that pile of dead birds. I forced myself to climb out of the pile. As I reached the top of the pile, there was this film around my body trying to hold me back from escaping. I punctured my hand through to the other side. I woke up and immediately recorded this.
The next night I got stuck in a loop of nightmares for two hours. I tried to wake up but I couldn’t. These dreams were the most vivid I’ve ever had in my life.
I found myself in a crater of fire surrounded by black. I was naked, and there was a crimson hue floating above my head. I heard this voice talking about “the nature of darkness.” This was a very long drawn out diatribe and I was forced to listen to it. After hearing this I heard something skitter next to my head, but I couldn’t move to see it. I was paralyzed. Then I realized that the skittering was below me, and on all sides. This being was insect like. I could hear it breathing through it’s skin. Whatever had been talking to me I was lying on top of. Blacks and reds. Blacks and reds.
The dreams that followed were about fathers. A very male thing. I had an older Italian dad come outside to my car and explain to me how he liked having salt placed in a very specific way conveniently right outside his vehicle. His son, John, a friend of mine, came outside to stop him from bothering me. Later when I was awake I recounted this part of the dream to John’s wife Claire over the phone. As I described the old man’s mannerisms and look, she said that had strangely sounded like John’s father to a T. The thing about it was, however, is that I never met the man, and neither had Claire because he was dead for about six years now. John later confirmed with me how eerily all of these details were to his actual father.
The following dream was a terrible loop concerning my own father. In this dream he owned a slave ring of people who he trafficked to kill each other for profit, much like dog fighting. He owned the town which was right winged and filled to the brim with bigots and Nazis. I tried many times to escape by car, motorcycle, and walking. For some reason, I kept getting put into my dad’s mansion which every time made me feel like he was ready to kill me with more and more malice each and every time I tried to escape.
On a hot summer afternoon I sang an anthem in a parking lot to a group of white supremacists. I ended up back at my dad’s house right after that without warning. Eventually when I did escape, I was greeted with a row of poorly dressed Neo-Nazis parading a brutally beaten black guy around who was passing out plastic American flags out. As I passed them I ended up putting a knife meant for my father into the poor man’s body so I could help to stop his suffering. These guys were pissed I killed the poor guy. They kept saying “Get your own nigger” etc. etc. They kept walking though. I eventually found myself in a Neo-Nazi compound. Inside was basically section 8 housing for Neo-Nazis. There were thugs beating each other over and over again.
There was this demon lady was running around biting their heads off sideways. As I tried to reach an exit, the lady started to chase me. As I finally reached the door, I found myself outside on a roof. I viewed a gorgeous vast suburban residential area by night. This Nazi in a blue shirt and red suspenders followed me because he was also running from the demon. She bit his head off sideways. The blood got all over me. She then focused on me. I fought her though.
I stabbed her body everywhere, but she wouldn’t die. I finally shoulder tackled her and wrapped both of my hands firmly around the knife. I brought it down in between her forehead. I remember seeing her curly brown hair wrap itself around my hands as her eyes started to pop out of her skull. I brought the blade down again. And again. I smashed her face in. But she still wasn’t dead, until I brought it down once more. She stopped moving. I fell to the ground. When I fell to the ground I noticed that my physical appearance had completely changed from my old, androgynous self, to a fully female body. I was so tired, drenched with sweat. I tried to roll off the roof to the residential area by the dead demon lady contorted into an impossible position. Her bones were crackling as this happened and then he entire body opened up. I saw an infinitude of circular lamprey like teeth and then she leaped towards me. I woke up immediately.
I ended up going to the ocean that day to see the Mediterranean. I felt completely at peace there. Collected some sea shells, like I did in my childhood. I even found a fully formed conch, unbroken, ready for me to send home. I had a small cry. The ocean was beautiful and still. It was Marbella’s off-season so there was nobody there. This was out of character for me, as I often suppressed my emotions. I stopped after about three minutes.
The next few days I moved around more and more. I even was able to wash my own hair despite having a modified coronal incision (an ear-to-ear cut to get at my skull).
On February 18th, 2015 I had a moment of Xeper. I went to High Care Hospital with Dana, a future patient of the surgical team there, and Jenny the surgical aftercare nurse I was staying with downtown for the duration of my trip. Dressed in black head to toe, I wore a chic Zara dress I had saved just for this moment, dubbing it my “Victory Dress.” Tamara, the coordinator for Facial Team, took me up the left path of the external offices for the hospital. She said it was nice that I was looking so good. I replied “Yes, I’m starting to feel human again, so I figured I would dress as a human.” We entered into Dr. Simon and Dr. Capitán’s glass gilded offices and I took a seat. A nurse in the internal office beckoned over to me to come lie down so she could remove my stitches. The stitches in the scalp weren’t so bad. Upper lip easy. Neck, not too bad. The nose stitches were TERRIBLE to get out. So painful. Dr. Capitán came in to have a look at me. He said he was in a hurry to meet with his young daughter who was feeling ill but he and I made contact long enough that I just broke down into tears. For some reason he started to well up too. I saw him fighting tears. I had been talking to this man for the last year trying to coordinate this surgery. He left shortly after that. I was still in tears. I was sad to see him go. After all the stitches were removed, I still continued to cry but I couldn’t understand why. It wasn’t from my bruised face in the mirror. Or the pain from the stitches.
Dr. Simon and Dr. Belinga came in to go over with me the results of the surgery. They went over my CT scans, and what I should be expecting to see over the course of the year in terms of changes to my face. My face would be healing more and more everyday. After about twenty minutes, we said our goodbyes and I was left with Tamara.
Tamara who was initially cold to me during the pre-operative interviews, started to talk to me for the next hour. We were completely alone, isolated from the rest of the world in this small glass office, in the richest part of Spain. I left there in complete adoration of her because of what happened in there next.
As I sat crying she asked me a line of questions that lined everything up for me. She asked my religious beliefs etc.
“Do you believe in God? In a higher power?” she asked.
“Not in the traditional sense, no.” I replied.
I didn’t feel like this was the time or the place to explain LHP philosophy to a lady who might not understand or might not want to understand. She then surprised me by saying she didn’t hold beliefs in the traditional sense either, she wasn’t christian, jewish, or muslim she explained. She was self-styled. Much like myself. It was here how I noticed her incredible likeness to my first viola teacher Michelle Vari who I adored. Michelle, became the basic archetype for what it meant to embrace my femininity on the subconscious level. And here Tamara was, sitting in front of me, half way across the world looking and carrying herself exactly like Michelle. It was like a door to the past was left creaked open.
I told her how hard it was for me to get here. No one had ever given me anything. I came from near poverty, and fought for ten years from when I first started my transition at 19 to now, at 29. I saved every penny. I forced myself to meet the right people. I made connections to make things easier. I lived in less than desirable situations with prostitutes, child molesters, and rapists. I took jobs I hated, and did things I didn’t want to, just to get by. Everything I did was to keep fighting for my facial feminization surgery. I never lost sight of it. I told her how I knew my fiancé before he was a lawyer. Before he was anything. Victor had helped me get here as we both saved a lot over the next two years. We paid the cost of the surgery outright in full. For two 29 year olds, that pretty impressive. He had helped me get here, and I loved him.
Tamara moved closer from behind her desk and pulled a chair in front of me. I was still crying. I didn’t know why. It was just happening. She took both of my hands into hers and then told me what I regard as a moment of Xeper, validating my claim to womanhood. She told me things I was struggling to reach for from my subconscious.
“There’s no one else in this world who can give you anything you want except yourself. Not your fiancé, not some god, or anything else that might assume some measure of control over you. No one can give you anything except for yourself. Nicole, this happened now, because it was the right time. It had to happen. But only because now was the right time. You are responsible for yourself. You made this happen.”
As she spoke these words I realized I had experienced Xeper in that moment. I felt like she conferred some secret code of womanhood to me in that moment. I felt genuine emotional energy. And I was finally able to justify why I had started to cry without knowing. After ten years of enduring sacrifice, and Hell, and un-seeable future of darkness, fear that I might not live long enough to see the day of my remanifestation, I got here. This was a journey’s end. And I felt it. In that moment Tamara was Set. I was Tamara’s reflection. I was Set. She had validated me. I had validated myself. I stood at the door of my next journey. These are all the reasons I ended up crying without knowing. I had experienced Xeper. This is why I was crying. I had become a Goddess in that moment, changing myself physically. Bringing my subjective universe into the objective one.
As we walked back up the path to the main hospital, I took a seat next to Dana and Jenny. I showed Jenny all my CT scans. We were all astounded by the profound differences the surgical team was able to achieve.
That night the three of us when to a steakhouse in Marbella Estascion. It was a nice time. I had some tea and some cold salmon tapas that I ended up not liking. Jenny left the table to go smoke a cigarette outside. As Dana and I sat there amidst all the craziness of the restaurant, she and I started talking.
“You know—when you and Tamara were walking back up to the hospital today from your post-op you were different. You walked away as somebody else and came back as a completely different person. That was interesting.”
“In a good way I hope?” I asked.
“Yes, I feel like I’m talking to the real you now.”