The Four Phases of Knowledge

On the path from being completely unknown to being properly understood and all of its implications also understood, knowledge can be seen to pass through four stages, each relating to one of the major alchemical elements of clay, iron, silver or gold. This is true whether we are talking of an individual learning a discrete piece of knowledge or of the entire human species collectively intuiting something.

In the clay phase, little attention is paid to the knowledge. Possibly the knowledge is so poorly understood that it will only be voiced by madmen, and so it is easily ignored or written off as meaningless.

It may also be that the knowledge is hard to come by because the methodology for detecting or replicating it is poorly understood or non-existent, or that it is not appreciated because the people who encounter it are simply too dull to possess the capacity.

During this phase it’s possible that a mediocre mind stumbles upon this knowledge and does not recognise it for its value, perhaps even throwing it away as the wheat with the chaff. It might take a superior mind, one of silver most probably, to recognise the import of this knowledge.

When such a superior mind does come to appreciate the value of this knowledge, and to bring it to the attention of their fellows, then it transmutes from clay to iron.

In the iron phase, the power of the knowledge is appreciated, but not its value or how to use it. It is, however, understood that the knowledge is dangerous, or at the very least has the potential to be disruptive to the established order.

In this phase it is rejected with prejudice, often by making it illegal to promulgate it or any methodology associated with it. This might result in book burnings, or in persecution of anyone who dares to voice what the ruling authorities have deemed to be an excessive subversive opinion, or in making activities associated with it illegal.

This reflects how books and writing were initially repressed by many cultures when these cultures first became aware of them, and especially by Abrahamism in the West, which made a special effort to destroy all knowledge that was not conducive to the thought control system introduced by the priesthood.

The grim nadir of this mindless process may have been the burning at the stake of Giordano Bruno, a Renaissance genius from Italy, who was murdered principally for his belief in pandeism and his allegiance to the Luciferian ideal of fearlessness before death and before the Gods.

If the knowledge is worked enough, which is to say if the heat of illumination is applied to it by means of conscious attention, it might become brilliant, which is to say that it transmutes from iron to silver. This requires that the knowledge be discussed despite the persecution of it – usually in secret.

In the silver phase, knowledge is rejected with thought. In this phase, the knowledge might be debated in the open, but only the wise will debate it correctly; the others will have an agenda. The masses will try to do to this knowledge with silver what was previously done with iron and clay: drive it underground to be forgotten.

Inevitably, knowledge in this silver phase is lied about instead of being countered with violence. Telling lies is, after all, often more efficient than violence because once a person has been successfully lied to they will often promulgate the lie on their own initiative (achieving this effect is the goal of propaganda).

In the same way that silver tarnishes to black, so too is knowledge subjected to dark arts during the phase of silver. There might be concerted efforts to oppose this piece of knowledge through all means of disinformation or misinformation. Propaganda against that knowledge might be widely disseminated with eager help from a variety of media.

If the piece of knowledge survives this phase, the phase of the lunar caustic or perhaps the Dark Night of the Soul, then it will become radiant, and will therefore have transmuted from silver to gold.

In the gold phase, the knowledge in question achieves the state of illumination. This means that the knowledge is fully understood, and so are all of its implications.

This corresponds to the radiance of the light that shines from reflected gold. A piece of knowledge that has achieved the status of gold will radiate its heat through the body and mind of the person possessing it, warming the spirit.

All knowledge passes through these four stages from when it is first dimly perceived to when it is totally personified in all of the body, mind and spirit.

The Use of Major Psychedelics in Healing Psychological Trauma

At some point in the near future, the potential for using psychedelic medicines to help heal the major psychological traumas that cause most mental illnesses will be a hot topic. Unfortunately, we will have to begin almost from the beginning, as the bulk of our historical knowledge about these substances has been destroyed.

Despite this, there is still a considerable amount of shamanic knowledge in the underground culture, certainly much more than what exists in the mainstream medical establishment, for whom the retarded calculus of “drugs = brain damage” still dominates thinking.

The essential thing that has to be understood is that psychedelics, like cannabis, serve to decondition the mind and brain, only in a much deeper and more sudden way than cannabis.

Deconditioning is here used in the clinical psychology sense to mean a process of unlearning – in particular, of unlearning involuntary subconscious reactions to things that may have been useful to deal with the problems of the past but which no longer are.

This is principally why the psychedelic experience is so difficult. It is also why the psychedelic experience is so exhilarating. One sees things as they actually are, as one did when a child, without the experience being filtered through hundreds of layers of conditioning collected over many forgotten years.

It is possible to condition oneself into a mental illness by thinking too hard about things, because the brain (crudely speaking) works like muscles in the sense that the more it is exercised the stronger it becomes.

Because anxiety and depression are often little more than a habitual fixation of thinking on either the future or the past, respectively, a psychedelic experience often has the effect of deconditioning a person from thought patterns that made them unhappy.

This is why a lot of practiced psychedelic users take them when they feel it’s time to reset the thinking. Usually this is after a certain amount of time has passed since the last experience.

Likewise, many people have suppressed traumatic memories. The suppression often makes good short-term sense in that it allows the damaged person to deal with their immediate problems of survival, but it often makes bad long-term sense in that the warping effect it has on someone’s personality magnifies over time.

This points the way to the major positive use of psychedelics in healing mental illness. Any mental illness that has been caused by overconditioning in an area of the brain/mind could be helped by a medicine that deconditions a person from the thoughts they did not want to have.

It could also give them an opportunity to bring up the suppressed memories and to consider them in a new light, free of the conditioned anxiety response that usually accompanies recollection of past traumas.

Where more research will be necessary is to make sure that the patient does not lose conditioning in areas of the brain/mind that actually helped them in their life.

There are many concepts and habits that people have learned for good reasons, in particular concepts around good social conduct that make life much easier for all of us. An 18-year old adult will have been conditioned for almost their entire life about many things.

So in order to be able to use these tools effectively, mental health practitioners will have to educate themselves past the barbaric superstitions that currently inform our approach to pre-pharmaceutical medicines.

Much of this will involve sitting down with drug users and talking to them to discover what benefits they have found in the use of various substances in their explorations of the mind.

This cannot happen until society comes to appreciate both that psychoactive drug users are people who have followed the prehistoric shamanic path, and that this path is still necessary in our society to protects us from the excesses of groupthink, of tradition and of mindless, knee-jerk programmed reactions and thinking.

Materialism is a Religion

The main characteristic of a religion, according to the bastion of the bluepilled, Wikipedia, is “a cultural system of behaviors and practices, world views, sacred texts, holy places, ethics, and societal organisation that relate humanity to… an order of existence.”

A cynic might say that the true characteristic of a religion, aside from all that, is the fundamentalist belief in something that cannot be proven, and the absolute inability to countenance any possibility that one may be wrong.

As this essay will examine, this description perfectly fits the system of beliefs known as materialism.

The cult of materialism has its own creation mythology, in the form of the Big Bang story, which Wikipedia pompously describes as the “prevailing cosmological model”.

The Big Bang story falls flat on its own face in several regards, the most obvious of which is the failure to account for time before the Big Bang.

Invariably, this mythology is defended by high-ranking members of the cult, who dismiss criticism from any non-materialist on the basis that the criticism isn’t “scientific”, in much the same way that criticisms of Church dogma were dismissed as heresies in the Dark Ages.

In order to be considered “scientific” a person needs a postgraduate degree – and, because a person will only very rarely be motivated to get a postgraduate degree unless they are already “scientific”, the cult filters out those least receptive to its dogma.

Obviously what is meant here by “scientific” is, in fact, “materialist”, but it is a taboo in the cult of materialism to admit that one is a materialist – the pretense of ultimate objectivity must be maintained at all times.

And so materialist dogma is called “scientific” in the hope that people think “rational” when they hear “scientific” and so come to conflate rationality with materialism.

There is nothing rational in a sentence like “Approximately 10−37 seconds into the expansion, a phase transition caused a cosmic inflation, during which the universe grew exponentially during which time density fluctuations that occurred because of the uncertainty principle were amplified into the seeds that would later form the large-scale structure of the universe.”

Such a sentence cannot be made sense of without the guidance of an authority figure, namely a physicist… and in that case you might as well just be listening to a priest on the basis that he is an authority on spirituality.

In the same way that the Sumerian and Babylonian creation myths referenced the early universe as being made of earth, water, air and fire, the Big Bang creation mythology views the early universe as a simple matter of protons, neutrons and electrons – it’s essentially the same story.

Likewise, the waves and particles beloved of quantum physicists are just yin and yang seen through a lens of materialism.

Anyone who has seen beyond, of course, knows that neither story has a superior claim to truth; people will believe in materialism if they trusted their high school teachers over their priests and religionism if it was the other way around.

The second major way in which materialism is like a religion is that it forces its followers to make faith-based assumptions about the nature of reality.

The most common of these assumptions is the assumption that the brain generates consciousness. One will find, even after the most exhaustive research, that there is no hard scientific evidence whatsoever to support this assumption.

The truth – which materialists know they are forbidden from uttering – is that this is an assumption made for the same reasons that we once assumed that the Sun rotated around the Earth: because it looks like it.

People with severe brain damage tend to die, and because materialists have already made the assumption that the brain generates consciousness, it follows logically that significant damage to the brain will impair its ability to generate consciousness, and so the consciousness that was previously present no longer is.

A moment’s thought exposes this line of logic as the utter bullshit it is.

For one thing, there is no evidence that any given person is conscious anyway, even before their brain is damaged. It is simply believed as an article of faith on the basis that they have a brain (a brain being both sufficient and necessary for consciousness in materialist dogmatism).

This is clearly a circular argument.

More specifically, scientific thought is very clear regarding the principle that physiological adaptations have to have some kind of selective advantage in order to evolve. God did not create the world and the creatures in it out of a whim; they evolved in their struggle to adapt to an ever-changing set of environmental conditions, the laws of which are mostly understood.

All well and good, but this cannot account for consciousness.

There is no selective advantage to being conscious, in and of itself. There are probably selective advantages to all other mental or psychological phenomena, but there is no advantage at all in being conscious of the operation of these phenomena.

All of the supposed benefits of consciousness suggested by materialists as reasons for why it might have evolved do not even require consciousness, e.g. an increased capacity to calculate or to think ahead, to remember weather patterns, to tell stories or to detect falsehoods.

For a computer can calculate anything that a human mind can calculate, and we do not generally make the assumption that a computer is conscious. It is only because of materialist dogma that one assumes consciousness exists where one has no evidence for it.

In short, materialism is a religion because its followers are not willing to reason in good faith. Were they willing to do so they would not be able to defend baseless positions such as the idea that the brain generates consciousness.

The “Hard Question” of Consciousness Was Solved Thousands of Years Ago

The hard question of consciousness is the label given to the question of how consciousness arises from the brain. All manner of extremely important, respected and influential professors and philosophers have spent much time pondering this weighty question.

Bafflingly, despite the concerted effort of many of the planet’s most advanced intellects, no progress has ever been made. No definition of consciousness has ever been agreed upon, no measurement of consciousness has ever been made, and no apparatus that can detect the presence of it has ever been built.

Now, anyone who has seen beyond might allow themselves the pleasure of a little snigger here, because it’s obvious to us that the entire question is arse about face.

The hard question of consciousness is only a conundrum for anyone trying to explain consciousness under the assumption that the material world is real and the primary basis of reality.

Anyone who knows the truth – that consciousness is the primary basis of reality – knows that there simply is no hard question of consciousness, because it was the consciousness that gave rise to the brain and not vice versa.

Consciousness is the one and the only thing that does not need an explanation, because it is the one and the only thing that is sufficient in itself. Consciousness does not need a material world because it can simply dream one up… as it has done a hundred trillion times in the past, and as it will do a hundred trillion times in the future.

In fact, everything is pretty straightforward once it is understood that the illusion of the material world is merely a divine parlour trick brought about by the slowing down of the vibration of consciousness.

Being allowed into this degree of insight is a rare privilege, and one that makes much of the mystery of the world clearer.

The material world doesn’t need a creator because it doesn’t really exist; it’s just been dreamed up by consciousness in the same way that consciousness dreams up dream worlds in sleep at night.

So there is no need to believe in a creator God.

It won’t ever go anywhere, as consciousness is capable of dreaming it up again at any point in the future. Because consciousness is complete and eternal, it will never lose its capacity to dream up material worlds.

So there is no need to fear the death of the physical body or the extermination of life on Earth.

Consciousness does not need to be ‘created’ and it cannot ‘disappear’. Both of those concepts apply only to forms in the material world, and because the brain does not generate consciousness it simply doesn’t matter that the brain grows from an embryo and that it dies upon the expiration of the body.

The brain, like the body, like the entire material world, is fundamentally something that consciousness is conscious of. And just because consciousness is conscious of something does not mean that thing necessarily exists in an actual material world.

In other words, reality is divided into consciousness, which is unchanging and eternal, and the contents of consciousness, which are always different, unpredictable and fleeting.

Consciousness is the yang to the yin of the contents of consciousness.

Ironically, the reason why these truths are so seldom known is not because people haven’t accumulated enough knowledge but because the truths have been occulted by lies, ignorance, gullibility, delusion and so much ‘knowledge’ that we have become paralysed with confusion merely by trying to comprehend it.

This helps explain the oft-observed phenomenon that the more intelligent a person is, and the greater and more powerful their mind is, the greater their capacity for reasoning themselves into delusion. Therefore, all other things being equal, an intelligent person will understand consciousness less and the contents of consciousness more.

So conceited is the average human that they do not comprehend that their grasp of the true nature of things is even less than that of a worm or ant, because those creepy-crawlies do not have the brain capacity to delude themselves into believing something truly, cosmically stupid – which humans routinely do as if it was the defining essence of our entire species.

Bizarrely, all of this was widely known thousands of years ago, in the times of Hermes Trismestigus and the mystery schools of Memphis, of Giza and of Eleusis. As science continues to advance, and as humans continue to accumulate ever more knowledge and hard facts, we fall ever deeper into enchantment with the material world, and thus drift ever further from the truth of reality.

Essentially, the so-called “hard question of consciousness” is something a mind can only conceive of if it is far enough into the illusion. If one is not deep enough in, the question simply cannot be taken seriously.

Do you have the courage to consider the possibility that everything you know is wrong, that the world as you know it does not even exist? That you are eternal, and that you are always and never alone? That you will eventually experience everything that is possible to experience, but will forget it at an even faster rate, so that the material world is forever new, eternally something to be explored?

And if so, do you have the courage to accept that all of that which is possible to experience can be modelled by a single mathematical equation known as the Great Fractal?

Very, very few have that courage, although many will claim it. If you do, you are truly one who has seen beyond.

The Red Pill and Those Who Have Seen Beyond

The phrase “to get redpilled” means to get woken up, usually painfully, to the true nature of things, especially in the context of having previously believed something that wasn’t true. It comes from the famous scene in the 1999 film The Matrix.

In the scene, Morpheus offers Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) two pills: a blue one and a red one. If he takes the blue one, he will wake up again in his ordinary life having forgotten that he ever realised there was anything unusual about it. If he takes the red one, he wakes up into the real world, which is, of course, the foundational reality underneath the matrix.

And there, as Morpheus puts it: “We see how deep this rabbit hole goes.”

It is thus slightly different to merely learning something through suffering, which is a superset to the specific case of learning that something previously thought to be true was in fact false.

This means that the red pill, and the phrase “to become redpilled” is the modern expression of an ancient sentiment. It is how 21st century people talk about having taken some steps along the shamanic path – the path for those who have seen beyond.

Usually a person gets redpilled by being treated much worse than they expected to be by an authority figure, and thereby becoming aware that the promises of solidarity from those authority figures – promises which are the very foundation of that authority – are worthless.

Many young people are redpilled by the Police. There are two major ways this happens.

The first is getting arrested for something like using medicinal cannabis. Getting put in a cage for using a medicine that improves your mental health immediately liberates a person from the illusion that the Police are there to protect and serve the citizenry.

The second way is by taking a complaint to the Police and being told to fuck off. This has forever been the case if one was a woman reporting the domestic violence of one’s husband, or a racial minority reporting being abused by one’s employer.

People are also redpilled by doctors. Telling a doctor about how cannabis is an effective medicine for your condition, only to be told to fuck off because the doctor makes more money out of pharmaceuticals than they ever could out of cannabis, will redpill anyone.

And, of course, most people have been redpilled by politicians, because one only needs to live through two electoral cycles to have seen all this shit before.

The Greatest and Silent Generations were redpilled by the Great Depression and by World War II. The Baby Boomers were redpilled by Vietnam and by the Drug War. Generation X were redpilled by the War of Terror and also by the Drug War.

Fundamentally, to get redpilled is to see beyond social conditioning. It is when one realises that the cozy patchwork of moral values in which one had wrapped oneself in was nothing more than a half-arsed convenience arrived at by one’s lack of intellectual capacity.

It is when you see beyond the comfortable little paradigm that your local authority figure knows what’s best for their people under their control.

It is when you realise that your working with the system simply and necessarily perpetuates it, and usually to your detriment.

It is when you realise that you have the freedom to choose your attitude to reality and thereby the consequences that come with that.

If a person gets redpilled from their social conditioning, this is the same as seeing beyond. And so writing “for those who have seen beyond” is also writing for those who have been redpilled.

This also means that any of the traditional shamanic methods for seeing beyond – psychoactive drugs, sensory deprivation, vision quests, sleep deprivation, rhythmic music, sexual ecstasy, fasting, meditation – are all potentially ways to redpill oneself.

The False Dichotomy of Nihilism vs. Fanaticism

Why is the world so fucking crazy? Here’s the short answer: people prefer the certitude of moral fanaticism to the yawning, howling chasm of despair that is nihilism. This essay argues that this false dilemma will always arise in the hearts and minds of people who have failed to dial their frequency into the range of gold, for whatever reason.

As any existentialist can tell you, nihilism is an inevitable part of being human. If one is not dull in the head, one soon observes that the vast majority of politicians, rulers, religious men and media figures are liars and thieves, essentially just master pirates, and one turns from there quickly to despair.

This despair tends to neither last nor transmute directly to nihilism. It doesn’t last because the naivete into which one was brainwashed soon reasserts itself. Because it reasserts itself, the despair does not transmute into nihilism.

A dull person will cling to this naivete once it is reasserted, and will not let it go again for fear of the despair that filled that gap last time. An intelligent person will break it down again, choosing by an act of will or intuition to understand that their suspicions about the true order of things were correct, and that one can never trust a person claiming to be one’s superior.

If the child-like naivete cannot reassert itself, usually because a person has developed a deep cynicism towards it, then despair will eventually turn to nihilism. This only occurs once a state of learned helplessness has been achieved. From here, things will go one of two ways depending on the philosophical sophistication of the person involved.

One way is to reach a kind of philosophical maturity. This way is really, really hard and is outside the scope of this essay. Essentially it is the same task as creating the Philosopher’s Stone, or reaching nirvana, or spiritual absolution, or becoming the Overman.

The second way is to become a fanatic about something. In practice, it doesn’t actually matter what one becomes a fanatic about, although each individual fanatic will doubtlessly have a number of illogical, contradictory or spurious reasons to support their supposedly heartfelt belief. All that matters is that it feels better than nihilism.

It can be observed in many people that they have become fanatics about something in order to distract their minds from the ennui that arises from considering existence authentically. Honest philosophical thought seems to lead directly to panic as nothing appears to matter and we appear to die.

One absolves oneself of the moral imperative to be authentic once one becomes a fanatic. The life of a fanatic is defined. It is defined primarily by those one stands in opposition to.

If a National Socialist, one opposes Commies; if a Communist, one opposes Nazis. If a supporter of one’s military, one opposes all other militaries. If a supporter of one’s soccer team, one opposes all other soccer teams. If a feminist, one opposes the patriarchy, if a men’s rights activist one opposes feminists, if a Muslim one opposes the infidel, if a Catholic one opposes the heathen, and so it goes.

This process is as true of groups as it is of individuals. Thus we can see that, ironically, the mass rejection of the mainstream moral narrative that followed World War I laid the furrow for the mass fanaticism that led to World War II.

Becoming a fanatic in this manner leads to a very soothing and very temporary kind of peace. One soon becomes surrounded by like-minded fanatics and, from there, it is trivial to convince oneself that the mission all of you are on is the true and righteous one and that by rebuilding the world in your image you will genuinely create a utopia for all.

Doing so, however, comes at a bitter cost. In refusing to act authentically by becoming a fanatic, one inevitably finds oneself forced to either tell lies or to commit violence, for all falsehood finds expression in the human world in one of those two ways.

Observing the reality around you before taking action usually gives you necessary clues about who you are and what your role in this place is. This is the basis of Pyrrhonic wisdom, which is to ask what the nature of things actually is before you react to it.

This column contends that the way to peace is to look beyond; to look beyond the reasons people say they do things and the moral superiority they claim motivates their actions and see the true frequency of their spirits. And then apply that same caustic cynicism to oneself, usually in meditation.

Only by doing this can a person correctly observe the terrain before them and move accordingly.

Why Lucifer is a Symbol of Enlightenment

Even in his aspect of the fallen angel, Lucifer is a symbol of enlightenment. In his place as King of the World, Lucifer shows the way towards maximal excellence in one’s life.

The Abrahamist interpretation of the myth of the fallen angel is that they were cast out of Heaven owing to a deliberate moral failure. The usual story is that God had put everything in its correct and perfect order, and Lucifer, out of pride, refuses to accept the primacy of this and therefore earns his sentence of being cast from Heaven – a sinner.

Like most things that Abrahamists believe, this is close to the opposite of the truth. To understand the real truth, one must understand that the Abrahamisms are chiefly male supremacist religions, as they were dreamed up by old men resentful of the young who were still sexually potent, as they once were.

Thus, Heaven can be taken as representing not a state of perfect balance, as one might consider perfection to be, but instead a state of perfect masculinity. The male God is in charge in Heaven and everyone knows it, and everyone knows their place in the hierarchy of subordination.

To another kind of mind, to the sort of person who might be said to be approaching a Luciferian state of consciousness, this state of affairs represents an excess of order so stultifying, so suffocating, that it is anti-life.

When everything is in a state of perfect order, nothing can ever change or go forwards, and this is tantamount to death for anyone who is not afraid of the feminine principle in her manifestation as chaos.

Therefore, as fallen angel, Lucifer most fairly represents someone who rejected the sterile purity and bubble-wrapped certainty of Heaven for the brutal, wild-eyed insanity of the World.

In doing so, he chose to embrace the material world rather than to be afraid of it, and thus made himself appear evil to the cowardly Abrahamists who mutilate their own sons lest they enjoy themselves unduly.

This is what makes Lucifer a symbol of evil to followers of the Abrahamic cults. Because these cults fear the physical world – an attitude reflected in their contempt for the feminine – they naturally envy and despise those who do not.

The main reason why the Abrahamist fears the material world is, ironically, his lack of spiritual knowledge. Believing that the material world is the primary reality, he naturally develops a terrified attitude towards death, observing it to be the death of the body he mistakenly identifies with, and so believing it to be the end of him.

Lucifer represents a rejection of, and a reaction to, this pants-pissing. He represents the masculine light of consciousness entering the dark, cold physical world, not as a fall or a punishment, or as the nefarious trap of some demiurge, but rather as an opportunity to make love.

Knowing himself to be the light of consciousness, and therefore knowing himself to be eternal and incapable of being sullied, Lucifer was not afraid of the material. In being not afraid, and in being truly spiritual, he represents a degree of masculinity that is the natural complement to the physical or material world.

This can even be read into the very name of Lucifer himself – a cognate of lucid and of lux, both of which carry connotations suggesting the light of consciousness.

This gets to the heart of why the reputation of Lucifer has been so relentlessly lied about. In representing the light of consciousness he embraced the physical world without fear, and so cannot be manipulated into disgracing himself or harming others through threats to his physical body.

If this degree of wisdom was more widespread there would be a higher standard of human existence in this place.

Metasanity

Being insane is one thing, and it is usually very difficult. Not seeing reality clearly comes with pain. Avoiding the difficulty that comes with insanity is primarily a question of avoiding the patterns of thought and behaviour that can lead to things getting out of control. This second-order sanity can be described as metasanity.

For example, you can be insane, but you can also be sane about being insane, which would be metasanity. Being metasane might involve taking advice about not smoking methamphetamine when someone points out that doing so has a deletorious effect on your mental health.

It might also involve, like the Carrie Fisher quote above, maintaining a realistic and objective view of one’s own condition.

A revealing thought experiment is to consider how a person reacts when being told that they have a mental illness. In this manner, two otherwise similar people can vary greatly, depending on their metasanity.

One person might accept that they have a mental illness and that this diagnosis accurately explains the difficulty they have experienced with their thoughts and behaviour.

For such people, high in metasanity, speaking to an intelligent clinician might bring with it a moment of clarity. Probably it will bring with it a sense of relief, as a clear explanation of why things become chaotic makes it more likely such chaos can be avoided.

Another person, lower in metasanity, might deny that they have a mental illness even when told so by a well-meaning doctor, or by family and friends. Such a person will be much less likely to take medications or to avoid situations and behaviours that lead to things getting out of control.

A person low in metasanity might accept that they have a mental illness, but behave in maladaptive ways like over-identifying with the illness, or becoming hyperdramatic about bad influences on their health (often, thereby, creating an anxiety that makes the illness worse).

A lot of a person’s ability to successfully recover from a mental illness – that is to say, from insanity – is really a function of their metasanity. It is metasanity that will tell a person if their current medication regime is actually working or not and so whether they should keep taking it or not, and getting to see a doctor in the first place is usually a matter of whether the patient has the metasanity to accept that they have a problem.

Conversely, metainsanity is, of course, an inability to think sanely about one’s mental health, despite being otherwise mentally healthy.

Part of the difficulty with sanity is that it correlates so strongly with metasanity. And so, a person who has trouble keeping things together may also have problems with keeping their awareness of the need to keep things together together.

Metasanity, as could be expected, correlates highly with narcissism. The obvious explanation is that the more narcissistic one is, the more likely one is to deny anything that might be seen as a weakness, such as a mental illness.

Sometimes metasanity can be a negative. Going insane and knowing that one is going insane is a unique torture that cannot be physically replicated.

However, even when this happens, the long-term prognosis is still better, because nothing is more likely to make an illness kill you than denying you are ill.

Psychedelics or Meditation: Which is More Transformative?

Some people wonder which is the more transformative out of psychedelic sacraments or meditation. The apparent forced choice comes from the proscription against intoxication that can be found in many spiritual traditions. This article suggests that a skilled synergistic approach is better still.

Psychedelics can be transformative in an extremely dramatic way. It’s possible for someone who takes a powerful psychedelic to permanently change into an entirely different person in the space of an hour.

One drawback with the psychedelic experience is that, because the new impressions come so overwhelmingly fast and intensely they are mostly forgotten the next day (a similar but less dramatic phenomenon can be observed with naive cannabis users).

This can lead to a sense that one is forever grasping for a truth that remains, ghost-like, just out of reach. One is haunted by the idea that perhaps everything one knows is wrong, perhaps the world is entirely upside-down, and that, no matter how much sense it seemed to make at any one time, it could potentially be tipped upside-down again at any moment.

Such an experience can be unsettling, to say the least.

Meditation is the opposite in many ways. One cannot count on an immediate, life-shattering breakthough within an hour of sitting down to meditate for the first time, but one can usually count on some kind of permanent insight once one gets it right.

Some people take a long time to feel anything pleasant from meditation at all. Certain people have been lurching from one attachment to another for so long with so little questioning that their habits are far too deeply ingrained to simply quit.

Related to this, often it isn’t the actual meditation itself that brings a change but a secondary insight that comes from meditating upon the meditation. After one has had the experience of sitting down meditating and coming away feeling really good, it is only a small cognitive step to the insight that one doesn’t actually need external stimulation in order to feel at peace.

This insight is the beginning of liberation from identification with the contents of consciousness.

This column will resist the temptation to declare that meditation is somehow more ‘natural’ or ‘wholesome’ than taking a psychedelic. For one thing, much of the pleasure that comes from meditation is because the act facilitates the release of the neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptomine, which results in the familiar feelings of peace and serenity that accompany it (the main reason is that the topic has been discussed at length here).

In retrospect, a good way to explore the world within might be this. Take a psychedelic in the correct set and setting and let your thoughts flow freely as they do. Allow your mind to be expanded. Allow yourself to become awestruck by the infinitude of psychic impressions, allow yourself to become terrified, allow yourself to feel like God.

Then, meditate upon it all. Meditate upon the question of why ordinary life is not usually as awesome as it appears to be on psychedelics, and on the question of what is ultimately terrifying about the contents of consciousness, and on the question of what, if anything, is the difference between you and God anyway.

Allowing yourself to be shocked by psychedelic insights and then to take the fear out of them by making sense of why they occur is part of the shamanism of the 21st century. It is how modern shamans travel to the spirit world and wrestle demons for the benefit of their loved ones back in the material world.