All the secrets are coming out of the woodwork at the moment but whether people pick them up and run with it is another story entirely. If it can be done it is doable and if someone else can do it so can you. I am telling this story back to you as inspiration to spur you on because everything I have done so too can you. To do this you have to strangle the Demon of Disbelief every time it sneaks into your bedroom at night and keep strangling it until it stays dead.
In traditional Tantra they often talk about ‘right-hand path’ and ‘left-hand path’ as two different ways of approaching awareness. This distinction originated in India, predominantly to distinguish between two different approaches in methodology. Left-hand practitioners would participate in rites, or partake of substances that were considered taboo for the traditional priest caste, like eating meat or drinking alcohol. Similarly, when honouring or exploring the Union between masculine and feminine, a right-hand path practitioner would use symbols to represent the masculine and feminine aspects, whereas left-hand practitioners would actually have sex.
Left-hand path practitioners were, even then, viewed with some suspicion by their more moderate counterparts, however the stigma of ‘evil’ associated with the Left-hand Path in modern times, was only later attached by certain western esoteric practitioners.
In truth, the left-hand path literally means being willing to use powerful but volatile forces to accelerate your process as long as you are willing to take the consequences, which are never entirely defined. These consequences, if used improperly can range from psychoses to schizophrenia so if you want to play in the fast lane you need to pay attention to your driving at all times.
One uses anything and everything to spur you on through the waters so that you arrive at the Island of Jewels in one piece. An ex-girlfriend of mine shot nail polish remover into her veins, passed out and woke up twenty four hours later with the worst headache of her life. Not all roads need exploring but one often has to travel to dark and desolate places to find out where not to go.
I knew I had taken the pursuit of Clarity too far with speed, when I stopped smelling the roses along the way and shortly after that I stopped, yet I always pay homage to the powerful diamond knife that crystal methamphetamine represents. It was a tool that greatly accelerated my process and one that complimented Homoeopathy beautifully.
Another one of my practises in the pursuit of dissolution of form is Sun Gazing, where one gazes at the sun for up to an hour. The texts recommend sunset but I always favoured mid afternoon and after a while everything breaks up into swathes of colour. This was quite at odds with my father’s grave warnings of imminent blindness to be visited upon one for such a practise and my eyes are still hale and hearty. Another belief to cast upon the pile of erroneous human notions, yet if one flinches one will burn one’s eyes. If one does this, one first sees the sun turning into a giant black and red revolving disk and after having done it for a while you realize that you could do it for ever.
Like with most things it is just getting over the initial fear of damage that is the greatest hurdle and after that it is all downhill. The trick to this practise is to see the sun and self as one - you would not hurt yourself after all. If you are going to try this I recommend starting at sunset and then building up to the afternoon as the Suspension of Disbelief generally takes a while to master.
One of the Thogal techniques is to stare at the dancing rainbow spirals and to see the Pure Lands and the Buddha in each one. When you see yourself as the Buddha looking back at you at all times, you cannot ever be bound into a concrete form again. Truly going beyond, the universe IS you and you ARE the playground so what else is there to do but play?
On the path one stands to gain certain seemingly magical abilities, which to the Enlightened becomes just another part of ones unique display. Naturally, the supreme siddhi is that of complete Awareness, but there are several lesser siddhis that have made their appearance in the annals of history. The obvious ones like turning water into wine or walking on water, are familiar to the Western mind, but these powers can include anything from recollection of past lives, psychic healing and living on air, to name but a few. As with everything one often just needs a taste of it in order to set the execution of it in motion.
One of the interesting ways I have found to introduce a taste of these powers are the Radio-active remedies, homoeopathic remedies made from substances like Plutonium, Uranium, Americium and others. These remedies represent the ‘power behind the throne’, and theirs is the power to influence the flow of events with raw intent and watch the stage shift accordingly. In true Buddha Brat fashion I view these as useful tools to play with, in order to give one the experience of those subtle weaves of reality that are above and beyond normal life, if you’re up to it of course. The Radio-actives are a bit unstable by their very nature and as such are a tad unpredictable, much like the siddhis, and there is not a lot of research into their use and application. There have been a few occasions however where I have deemed it appropriate to stir my, or other people’s energetic pots. I find Plutonium for example, to be quite useful in kick starting the Kundalini process or to add extra potency to certain psychic processes.
As far as magic goes, Homeopathy itself appears to work on a seemingly magical level because once you take the correctly indicated remedy for the diseased state it miraculously disappears as if it were never there. These states are totally personal at the time, they hurt like hell and feel for all intents and purposes real and it often baffles people that something supposedly so real can just simply disappear without a trace.
Yeshe Tsogyel was a princess in Tibet who became a principle student and consort of Padmasambhava to learn the various Buddhist teachings. When he eventually sent her out into the world, the first people she met were eight bandits who raped her. Having conquered One Taste she saw Padmasambhava’s face in all of them and proceeded to raise their Kundalinis. They apologized profusely and begged forgiveness after which they became her disciples. This level of control over reality makes Jesus look like a choir boy in comparison. He was never raped by the fishermen after all.
She had so much compassion for humanity that she married a leper when he asked her to and stayed with him as his wife for four years. She had such control over her own body that she would give people her kneecaps when they asked her for them, and then regenerate new ones herself. She recorded all of Padmasambhava’s teachings with her photographic memory and most of the information we have about him today was documented by her.
This is why when the concept of a weak woman is presented in front of me, I just laugh. With an example like Yeshe, how could you even begin to dispute the power latent in all women? She is a much more powerful archetype than Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc and Mother Mary combined. She embodies the best of all of them and a whole lot more. She lived in the 10th century which is relatively speaking not that long ago and she stored a lot of the Secret Teachings all over Tibet to be discovered when the time was right.
These are the lineage strands that I align to and draw inspiration from and they represent some of the more epic potential of what is truly possible. If someone else can do it, so can I - monkey see, monkey do.
The main thing that keeps us bound in this Illusion is the belief that the ‘self’ is a separate and singular entity isolated from everything else. I want a thousand faces at least, or even better, a million to play with. Being bound in one form is the surest path to old age and death. As I have mentioned before there is a practice in Tantra which involves visualising an archetype and then transforming oneself INTO that archetype, in order to embody it. In Vajrayana (The Diamond Way) it is called Yidam Yoga, which literally means ‘union with the deity’. It is a practice that according to traditional Buddhism needs many initiations and relies completely on the guidance of a qualified teacher, lest the student should get it wrong due to subtle dualistic tendencies. The point is that from a Non-dual space these archetypes have always been nothing other than Aspects of Self, and should be viewed as such. It is useful and enjoyable though, to find archetypes that represent certain aspects of oneself that one has not integrated yet and then playing them out for better understanding of oneself.
One of the many unique features of a Buddha Brat is that we all naturally seemed to have gravitated to the incorporation of various archetypes. All Aspects from any mythological sphere are useful to integrate, but it also seems that certain people are drawn more to certain aspects according to their natures. We also embody certain Aspects more at certain times, and the skill is to know which faces to go into at which point in time, and then come out of effortlessly, ready to put the next one on.
All one has to do really is to be familiar with what each archetype represents and put in a mental intent to embody it when necessary. Remembering to do it without straining or struggling, spending a few moments doing this is usually more than enough to activate it. To make it more fun you can incorporate the various symbols, tools and mudras that the deities are normally pictured with. It is useful for example to embody Ganesha when one senses obstacles in ones way for any reason, as Ganesha is the ‘Destroyer of Obstacles’.
There is no end to how creative you can be. In Buddhism there is a whole array of sexy female deities like the Bat-headed Dakini who uses a whip to flail Duality with. You don’t get better than that in my opinion and in the war against ones own ignorance one is definitely one step ahead if you can enjoy the process. Instead of ridding yourself of a particular Dualistic fixation by more traditional and dare I say rather unexciting means, visualise yourself with a deadly whip, flailing the abhorrent aspects of your own mind. Trust me, you’ll definitely get a kick out of it.
If “everything is self and self is empty”, then all the Pantheons are up for grabs as personal archetypes to be reclaimed and so on my ‘enlightenment holiday’ in India we initiated the downloads. We travelled through India downloading Shiva, Ganesha, Krishna, Saraswati and Kali - you name it, male, female everything. Naturally the entire Buddhist Pantheon was the next in line and when we got to Ladakh we gobbled it up, absorbing it into our psyches.
*Athena told me once that she had seen the face of Lucifer (the ‘light bearer’) over her face for years in the mirror, and she often introduced herself as Lucifer. She did this partially for shock value but primarily because she believed it. I had gone into a pure Kali form ready to perform the dance of destruction on reality a number of times, so I had no problem with people embodying possibly strange or ‘undesired’ archetypes. I have no Judeo-Christian background, so having Lucifer as a companion did not bother me in the least, in fact it somehow seemed appropriate. Athena also styled herself as Kali for a while and on occasion we could get a bit competitive. She eventually grew tired of her destroyer aspects and it was in her aspect as Lucifer that she entrusted the key to the gates of hell to me.
Everyone gets to play out their own archetypes and since ‘all is self’, which Aspects you choose to embody are largely according to your own personal predilection and perfect as such. If you are going to dream, dream big I always say. Fuck being an embodiment of Marie Antoinette, or Napoleon - go large or go home. Take on your Aspects and play them as the mood sees fit, it’s your birthright after all. If you dream small you will have small realities but if you dream huge then the hugeness of the manifestation clasps you to its beating breast and the milk of grandeur bathes you in its lustre.
Regardless of all the Siddhis one can gain on the path, if you cannot move beyond the concept of ‘Self’ and ‘Other’ you will continue to be reborn on the Wheel. Machig Labdron, used to fly around and walk through walls, having totally conquered the concept of ‘Self’ and ‘Other’ whereby the wall and her were separate. How then could she not walk through them? She founded the little known and rather wild-assed Tibetan enlightenment methodology of Chod, which is one of my (all-time) favourite practices.
According to the view of Chod, demons are ideas, attachments and fears that are obstacles to Awareness because they obscure our true empty, Non-Dual Nature. The central tenet of Chod is that “the only demon that needs to be slain is the Demon of the Illusion of Self” because it is identification with the ‘self’ as separate and concrete, that is the root of all Suffering. Once this central demon is slain all other demons disappear because if you cut the root, the tree withers and dies. Chod means to “cut through” and in order to cut through this false identity we have to destroy the idea that our bodies are concrete. This is the best way to remind the ‘self’ of its True Nature – that the mind as well as the body is in fact a pool of pure potential manifesting as sound, light and sensation.
The traditional practice of Chod involves going to an isolated or scary place like a graveyard or charnel ground where you visualize yourself being chopped into pieces and torn apart by beasts and any frightful apparitions that the dualistic mind can contrive of. This practice is done visually because the human body is seen as a precious vehicle but it is our attachment to it and fear of damage that binds us into Form. This is the very reason why we will then manifest situations in which our bodies are damaged or destroyed because everything we fear sooner or later comes into form to be dealt with.
The idea is to mentally offer yourself to anything you might normally fear. This could be robbers, murderers, rapists, wild animals or any other form of physical destruction like car crashes and debilitating diseases. The more extreme the visualisation the better it works. You boldly engage what you dread the most in order to overcome it, giving away your physical body to anyone or anything that wants a piece of you. When you have done a million times worse to yourself in your mind than anyone can ever do to you, what is there ever to fear from reality again?
One of the by products of this practise is that you become immune to disease. Chod practitioners were often sent to plague areas to treat the sick because they would be immune to the ‘illusion of disease’, having already done the worst they could imagine to themselves. They had such a diffuse sense of self that there was literally no difference between them and the disease, so it had no effect on them. A lot of one’s identity is tied up in our personalized visualizations of self and breaking it frees us from a world of suffering.
My favourite Chod practise ground is trance parties with its loud, rhythmic music and an array of strangely garbed people in all manners of twisted states. Add to that a generous dose of San Pedro and you are set for a solid Chod experience. San Pedro allows one to literally see your heart being suspended from a meat hook in front of you, as dogs gnaw on the marrow of your bones and you annihilate your spinal chord with a diamond chainsaw. I have even visually cooked and fed myself to the humans at the party either as stew or in pies.
Epic stuff – it clears more memory and attachment in eight hours than years of meditation. This process has the added benefit of allowing one to view everything as an Aspect of Self that needs to be integrated into ‘Self’ thereby reinforcing ones non-dual nature. There is nothing quite like watching yourself gleefully offering your eyeballs to a demon (self) and watching it devour them.
It is useful and indeed necessary to personalise the experience. Whether you are religious, scientific or artistic, one can use the entire gamut of existing references to fuel your process. One thinks that there are only so many ways to destroy your body, but the more creative you are, the more limitless the possibilities become.
Once I peeled off my skin in seven layers, laid it out for the flies to eat clean and then burnt it with a blowtorch, watching as the smoke ascended to the sky. Watching your brain being put in a liquidizer and the juice being fed to the vultures and jackals is another experience I highly recommend. One of my finest Chod experiences was chopping my head off and watching as a spray of blood fountained up from my severed neck into the sky, raining down on all the assembled people, glorious stuff. I remember watching as Micheala’s cat licked up the blood from my severed head.
Every party I explore a different Aspects of Reality, and I have hacked, sawn, burnt, ripped and carved myself to pieces more times than I can remember. The pounding music, lights and mescaline all add to the heroic self-deconstruction. Hard, fast, effective and fun, lest we forget the reason why we play this game in the first place. The cherry on the cake is that it goes a long way to removing fear from all aspects of ones life.
Afterwards you feel amazing, free and clear. All of a sudden nothing is a problem anymore and things resume their proper level of importance. It is one of the finest techniques for dealing with fear of death or mutilation and even the loss of cherished people or objects, and as a bonus breaks the Illusion of form as a solid thing.
Left-hand Path practices are fairly extreme and definitely not for the faint-hearted. It is all good and well calling yourself a Left-hand Practitioner when using extreme situations or drugs to further your processes. If however, one is merely justifying bad behaviour or drug abuse, one deserves the full brunt of suffering generated by such indulgent behaviour.
On the other hand some of the more sensitive New-Agers view Chod with a lot of suspicion and I have even heard some describe it as madness. They continue to insist on holding on to their pretty ideals and cushy practices. But this will only last until the wave of global despair finally spills over into their cosy suburbs, yet it is a pity that this is often what it takes. In my opinion nothing is more dangerous or insane than the Suffering of this world so it has always been an obvious decision for me to exit it by any means necessary.
Do you want to take the red pill and stay here, or the blue one and get out? It’s not going to be pretty, so better be committed because it is going to hurt in ways that you can barely conceive of. On the other hand, if you stay you will slowly rot and die in the juices of your own mind. This seems to me a far worse fate so I am of the “freedom or death” persuasion. This is just my opinion and I am biased because for me there never really was a choice. I was driven to it and by it, and I would have had it no other way.