trouble in the head

If there were a place in human life to identify where our “trouble” is situated, it would surely be the mind. And if there were a place to identify where our talents and creativities and so many of our potentials arise, it would surely be the mind. Our Pandora, our Prometheus, our Lucifer; our Teslas and Einsteins, our Leonardos and our serial killers, it’s all in the electrical theatre of the mind.

Someone I once knew referred to psychedelics as spiritual laxatives, and while I have never taken powerful psychedelics myself, I have done holotropic breathwork, and had experiences that could be described as “psychedelic”, and I would entirely concur. It gets things moving.

Magically speaking, the area that I would find most interestingly relevant here is evocation, as described by Israel Regardie in “The Tree of Life”. Whether or not you use a “triangle of art”, the fact is we are all right in it, with our personal demons, that just might be our daemon, or its preliminary accompaniment.

The mind of course includes many things. In the East the mind is much wider and deeper than it has generally been taken to be in the West (until at least the advent of psychology, and more particularly trans-personal psychology, and even then I’d be cautious to claim too much). In traditions such as Buddhism the mind goes all the way down, and right to the centre. In the West, the profound area of the mind has generally be termed the heart, while what we think of as “mental” has tended to be termed the head. Whether we are talking about the “essence of Mind” in the eastern sense, or “the heart” in the western terminology, it is characterized by peace, bliss, and a resplendent, luminous quality. This is where we experience Oneness of Being, and love in the sense that mystics talk of it. This is where we are who we truly are.

But what then of the “mind”, the “head”? In truth this is surely the whole question, for there is no problem in “the heart”, and indeed no separation.

The heart is in fact the key to the head, but the head must be clear to allow it. Thus the Sufi’s talk of “polishing the heart”, because our thoughts and judgements obscure it. But the head is a wonder, and it reveals to us a distorted mirror show of our own divinity, a blessed freak show which we should honour. Sometimes reversed, sometimes twisted, sometimes heartbreakingly longed for, sometimes feared. It is a wonder, and all we take to be art and science and genius and poetry and vision, if it has any language at all, then it is the child of our head. Demons indeed, illumined by our daemon.

And this is where those psychedelic processes come in, and healing processes too. Between healing, and manifestation, and the tumbling cyphers of questions that we already have the answer for, the language we reach for, that articulates us.

So we can see, with clarity, and with cleansing, with what I call the dispensation of the heart, that all becomes simply mind, or simply heart, according to how it may appear to you. And all in relationship.

All love, or truth, or bliss.


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