Tortured Souls and the Gateway to Beyond

I used to believe in the innate and inevitable goodness of mankind.

ah waterfall

Frequently I wish I still did. But all too easily, I get annoyed. Vindictive. Angry.

Do you ever find yourself just hating people?

People in general, groups of people you don’t know, maybe people in groups you do know? Whole nations of people? The milling mindless morass of humanity present past and future, most of whom have no redeeming features nor attributes, collectively destroying the very planet we live on — just makes you sick, eh?

My beautiful picture

(Regretably) Occasionally I have been wanting to do painful and excruciating harm to certain entities. What kind and form of entities do I wish this upon?

I hate
those who kill elephants for their ivory
heck, anyone who is mean to any elephant
those who kill big cats
or gorillas, or both gorillas and elephants and/or big cats
abuse animals “for fun”
abuse ’em even if it ain’t fun
slaughter wildlife (and not-so-wild) indiscriminately — a case a few years back of brain-dead soul-less yahoos driving the hills of central Moffat County (Colorado, I’m all the more ashamed to say) shooting and in many cases not killing but wounding and maiming elk, deer, antelope, whatever else, to limp off and slowly die
This definitely includes anal-orifices in meat-processing facilities who do not treat every living thing with respect.
Woe to you if you are in any way involved with devastation of the rain forest.

My beautiful picture

heck, sometimes I am really annoyed at indiscriminate litterers, and
even more egregious, everyone involved in the banking/collapse of the housing market scandal — ethically-bypassed GREEDHEADS who obviously think of self-gain at the expense of everyone else;
most politicians, especially as more and more it definitely seems NONE of them are in the game to help “the people.” Sigh. No wonder I sometimes have lost whatever faith in mankind …

and those six young men from India who, a few months back, raped and tortured a young woman on a bus … I especially wanted to inflict what I felt was suitable punishment upon them. I thought about and considered what that punishment would be. Suffice to conclude that it would be very similar to what they had done. I’ll spare you the details — but there is/was a part of me yearning, nay, perhaps LUSTING for retribution. Vengeance. Revenge. An anger, coupled with outrage had arisen, and it seemed the only way to “bed it back down” was through actions such as this.

Justice? No, not really.
When I pull back for perspective, and in doing so, believe I am able to view a more-full picture, such actions are not “justice.”

My beautiful picture

Yes, they (and to varying degrees, all of us) are
TORTURED SOULS.

If one believes, as I must, at some level, that all spirit is from a common timeless infinite source, then one must consider people who perform such actions are definitely behaving contrary to the call which all must, inevitably, it may take time, millions of years, to heed.

“I”

(i put the self-identifer in quotes, as, yes, i had a seat of consciousness, could perceive, maintained an identity, as it were, of self and separateness, but did not have a “body” per se) …

where was I? Oh yeah, during my first psychotropic hallucinogenic experience, after the initial several hours of confusion, running around, getting lost elsewhere in my dorm, etc., and etc., I lay down and meditated. I had ‘discovered’ (or, meditation had discovered me!) this half a year previously while under the influence of cannabis. To my pleasant surprise, I later found that I could engage in the meditative experience when NOT under any such influences!

As I peeled through layers of the onion, the sensation of expanded awareness intensified. I made the effort, as one does in meditative undertakings, to limit and curtail distractions, thoughts, STOP THE INFURNAL DIALOGUE until …

My beautiful picture

My eyes were closed, probably, but I entered a gate.
The METALLIC DOORWAY TO INFINITY
It was as if there was a transition from a seething flurry of voices and experiences and sensations involving all the senses to an abrupt level of TOTAL CALM. I felt as if I went from a warm sticky-humid noisy room through a door. The door was of metallic aspect, and the word “dank” seemed appropriate. Metallic taste in my mouth, electric, everything cool. The Light Immanent within, without, everywhere, didn’t exactly “shine” but was all there was. I took a breath. One breath. It was as if my lungs were outside my “body” — a part of “me” which sensed or “knew” on an equivalent level to my brain — whatever part of us that “knows” — where the “is-ness” resides.

All normal sense of distinguishing distance and time was irrelevant. When one breathes with one’s lungs INSIDE the body, they are contained. Confined. Finite space. This sensation of one’s lungs (or whatever metaphorical equivalent of breathing apparatus) OUTSIDE of what I perceived my body to be — was bewildering at first. “I” was breathing … no, not “breathing” per se, but something analagous to the intake of life force (and expulsion of spent prana) — and … what am I trying to say? — that the lung-equivalent could expand and fill to ever-greater dimensions. No, I didn’t experience “infinity” (a finite mind cannot grasp that) but I sensed … a feeling of expansion beyond anything I would have thought imaginable. A bewilderingly borderline incomprehensible sense of expansion, as if the shimmering curtains which, when parted, would show FULL ON INFINITY, just parted ever so slightly.

“I” filled the space behind this metallic door, the space filled me. I was there an instant, and in that instant I felt a span of time the magnititude of which overwhelmed my ability to even begin to grasp the very edge of.

My beautiful picture

Don’t ask me exactly ‘how’ — but since that experience I have not only been convinced of the underlying (or is it more appropriate to say “over-enveloping“?) unity not only of all life, but of everything. Well, frequently I lose sight of that conviction, which, by the way, is not only a ‘conviction’ but at a level you might call “the core of my being” it is A CERTAINTY.

And, those tortured souls I want to punish … what would whacking the six Indian rapist/torturers repeatedly, hard, on their pee-pees, accomplish? The temporary feeling of satisfaction of revenge, punishing the wicked, but it would not complete any circle; satisfactorily resolve anything.

Sure, we must lock them up and maybe put them to work mining uranium or pushing the turnstiles to mill grain.

Drawn, quartered, pulled apart on the rack, the six individuals would feel great pain and probably wish that they’d hewn to the straight and narrow all their lives, and utter exhortations that that they would do so forevermore. The bodies extinguished, but the spirits would be more un-evolved and disturbed than ever, between lives, re-entering the material world, with the past karmic debt no closer to resolution. No, I don’t think a tit-for-tat, eye-for-eye, savage response would, in the ultimate analysis, do any real good.

19 thoughts on “Tortured Souls and the Gateway to Beyond

  1. I am not done editing this. I don’t think I’ll ever describe the inside-out (w/r to ‘breathing’) even remotely adequately, as I remember it.

    AND — for a interesting in-depth description of a psychedelic experience, visit
    http://blueinthislight.wordpress.com
    “How Eating a Little Bit of Paper Made My Previous Post Possible”

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  2. I think of it as a kind of Ethernet cable rather than a door or gateway. I don’t remember ever not sensing the connectedness. Are tortured souls those who have lost that connection? Does the cacaphony of human voices, in the news, online, in books and movies, drown out that connection? Is our thirst for revenge – to inflict pain on those who have hurt us – a symptom of our own spirit-data flow being diminished?

    Sometimes, I have to shut off all the noise and listen to a rock. It says, “I was here long before you humans arrived and I will be here long after you are all gone.” Rocks are very old and wise, and they are hopeful about the future.

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    • I was thinking the same thing.

      That it would take another post, I mean. Major, major provocation of thought in the post AND the comments. As for me…I guess I see it more as a sublimation, like how water couldn’t “comprehend” being vapor until it evaporates, and then it would “see” that it’s the most natural thing in the world. Or something.

      Listen to a rock. I like that. I get the feeling you guys understand a lot more than me.

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    • thanx: (don’t tell anyone, but i go thru’ my collexion and re-cycle some i consider pertinent. in this case, i felt i needed 3 gloomy-looking ones, and 3 from “brighter moments”. now, YOU are veryVERY prolific in your photo displays!

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  3. Amazing post! Just beautiful, beautiful writing, especially at the end. It made me pause and reflect, which I think we (and definitely I) need more of in our lives.

    I feel exactly the same as you. I get so incredibly angry when I think about these events, and too wish indescribably harm on these individuals. But then I recognize that no long-term healing would derive from these actions, and all I can do is meditate on my own core being.

    Thank you for sharing this. And for the phenomenal photos. :)

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  4. Yes ,your post is amazing and your writing is so full of strength !
    I don’t master English enough ,to express in words what I feel…
    Understand your anger and “thirst” of revenge ,I can share both of them ,but……
    BUT it’s not behaving like those guilty people that I will have something good in return…..
    I loved the pics,too!
    Ciao,Rosco!

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    • i think yer silly: your mastery of many languages makes me feel, well, so unlinguistic! your spanish is muchMOOCHO mas que mìo, por ejemplo.
      thanks again for our frequent visitation of the other’s neighborhoods!

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  5. Betunada-This has to be one of your best and most provocative and most whirrific pieces so far. That whiplash between aching for retribution and the other side of things; realizing that all and everything is part of the whole, and that vengeance does nothing to heal behavior that’s subanimal, (naw: make that subamoeba). So, how does one demand accountability? Or if not demand it, teach it? –M.

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  6. Melissa … i’m still grinning at the “whirrific” ness of your comment.
    Well, i did say THEY could mine uranium or push the turnstiles to grind grain …
    I suspect you and i know, both, that accountability should be part of the struxure of society, as ingrained as the brikkenmortar … but there’ll always (?) be defective brains, coupled with the pole of moral/spiritual compassacity being flagless sometimes.
    (ah dunno either!)

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  7. Naomi: wasn’t i just at your site and expressed OVERWHELMation at your eclectic and varied and eye-catching collection of same? (sh: don’t tell anyone, but i’ve been “cheating” — see my response to Sartenada, above)

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  8. Best. Post. Ever. I knew we had a similar outlook, but it’s obviously a lot more similar than I thought. I mean like I agree with every last word of it.

    I think. I haven’t actually finished it, lol. Got excited. I’ll comment again when I do.

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  9. Gosh. I was slacking in my yoga practice today, but after reading this, I had to get up and go rectify that. Your writing made a guy on the internet get off his lazy ass and do Downward Facing Dog. And that’s awesome.

    That’s something I’ve always struggled with too…that is, reconciling my experiential conviction that love drives everything with people like the kind you mention. Lots of people have, theologians have called it the Problem of Evil for a very long time. Not that that has much to do with our understanding, but. My understanding would make me think that things/people/experiences fall to such a lowly state just to experience the joy of rising back up again, but then that seems a bit cold-blooded in regards to the victims and too charitable to the aggressors.

    Then again, as you say, snatching those people up and making them suffer too only makes more suffering. It doesn’t help – and would likely further disturb – a victim; if I got the shit kicked out of me, then find out later that somebody tortured my assailant to death, I don’t think I’d regard that somebody as a benign presence in my life.

    As for the psychedelic thing, you know I get what you’re talking about. For me it’s only been once, and it wasn’t much, I was cautious – wish I hadn’t been quite so much, but – but the gist was there. Interestingly, I’ve experienced something very similar to the lung exteriorization thing, only it was through meditation. It doesn’t normally get that deep, but that’s it. I wouldn’t say it was the same thing…all we have here are words, and you must know that words fail experiences like that. Feels like I get it, though. As if breathing is just something that happens that you witness, like it’s a rhythm no different than waves on a beach or the phases of the moon.

    Of course, it’s absolutely no different, we just see it from a peculiar angle. And it IS a certainty. It’s the only certainty there is, which links even uncertainty and certainty together. I’ve read about duality and all this stuff before, how a thing doesn’t oppose its opposite but is inextricably linked to it, even enables it to exist, but thanks to finally getting serious about my meditation and yoga lately, I’m starting to experience it.

    That’s the Buddhist definition of knowledge – direct experience – and it’s like how when you first fall in love with someone and all you want to do is tell people about that FEELING, but of course you can’t any more than anyone else can, so you end up just rambling about how she’s really into stamp collecting.

    Not that I’m trying to tell you how any of this is, because you already know. Hopefully some that makes sense.

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