Open to the Mystery

"The signals that reach us from the external and internal environment are used to make a construction of reality. In the process we discover symbolic meanings and metaphorical connections and undergo changes in time perception, body feeling, and the sense of self.

Usually variations and novelties in the way we put together our world are confined to a fairly narrow range of consciousness defined by the need to foresee danger, make plans, control our actions, and generally adapt to a complex environment. But if the need for control is absent or cannot be satisfied, the mind takes strange directions. In computer language, the brain is not scanning input (environmental stimuli) or controlling output (behavior) as it ordinarily does. This situation arises when there are not enough novel external stimuli to keep the mind occupied; it also arises when the mind becomes so hypersensitive to stimuli, internal and external, that normal filtering and feedback mechanisms fail. The first situation is exemplified by REM sleep (dreaming sleep), during which the senses are delivering little new information and the skeletal muscles are immobilized, so that the body is not prepared for action, but the cortical centers of consciousness are at a high level of activity. There are also waking states in which the mind is deprived of novel stimuli—sensory deprivation in an isolation tank, certain religious exercises in meditative concentration, possibly some drugs like ketamine. Whether by countering the inhibitory effect of the raphe cells or by some other means, LSD seems to give the mind too much to cope with rather than too little (see West 1975).

The states of mind induced in these various ways are far from identical, but they all have something in common. Sensory deprivation or overload prevents the orderly processing of new information, and the idle or overworked brain begins to produce novel combinations of ideas and perceptions. Activity is heightened in the regions where memory traces enrich and transform one another and are subjected to interpretation and evaluation. Repressed feelings and memories are made available to consciousness, either in symbolic fantasy form or as relived experience. These experiences sometimes seem more direct and immediate, more real than ordinary reality, just because the mind is not using its familiar categories to divide, distinguish, and select.

The fact that psychedelic experiences are produced by an unusual state of the nervous system is no reason to regard them as merely a pathological distortion of consciousness with nothing to teach us about the real world. That would be a genetic fallacy. It helps to recall, if only as a corrective, the Hindu and Buddhist judgment that everyday consciousness is maya, illusion. The combinations of the mind in altered states of consciousness are not random and senseless. Furthermore, the experiences produced with such intensity by psychedelic drugs also play a part in everyday life, where of course we properly take them only in small doses and in dilute form. There are many fruitful mixtures of what is usually called fantasy and what is usually called reality.

Among the overinterpretations, misinterpretations, and delusions of altered mental states we also find the kind of creative interpretation that uncovers new realities; and we cannot always be sure which is which. To absorb in pure and concentrated form what we usually take in mixed and dilute form is not to turn away from reality but to investigate an important part of it. Placing these phenomena in an intellectual context that also includes the worlds of common sense and contemporary science is a difficult task that must be approached without too many preconceptions. In doing this it helps to consider more closely the relationship of psychedelic drug experience to other wanderings of the mind in the realms of madness, dream, artistic and scientific creation, and religious exaltation." - Lester Grinspoon

Monthly XP Challenge #8

Monthly challenge #8

This months challenge is simple: make and drink 25 smoothies in the month of May. The only requirement is that every smoothie has to have some leafy green vegetable in it and 1 other random vegetable. 
Examples of leafy greens: kale, spinach, spring mix, even broccoli counts.
Examples of good other vegetables to add: carrots, beets, ginger, Tumeric ( I know they’re roots). 
Let’s share smoothie recipes below and keep count together to stay accountable. This is an easy one but a super powerful life changing habit to
Adopt so I hope you join me on this months journey.
Smoothies!!! 😊 #yum

How To Be Happy

How To Be Happy

Allow me to summarize some of the main points hopefully we can generate some discussion, and save you some time you don't want the full read ;)  
- Genes account for 50% of the variance in happiness
- Happiness is subjective not determined by external factors
- Happiness is relative to your expectations
- People are happiest in a state of flow
- There is a distinction between experienced happiness and remembered happiness
(This one has always been oh huge interest to me. For example if you poll someone’s happiness every moment when playing a video game they might seem very happy over the whole experience but if you poll there happiness after 3 days of playing they might say it was a waste) such a fascinating aspect of happiness.

Monthly XP Challenge #7

Monthly challenge #7 🔥

Chose 3 I really liked from what y’all suggested.
(I’ll do another poll next month didn’t get around to it in time for this one. Also can’t find the post where I asked so I’m just going off memory.)
So this month you get to choose:

A) Give one person a sincer compliment a day, every day of April.

B) commit to 15 minutes a day of any physical practice of your choice and level. Maybe just 15 minutes of walking if that’s where your at. if you move a lot you can pick something more specialized you want to develop. SQUATING, PLANKING, HAND BALANCES! You chose, do it 15 minutes a day.

C) listen to 1 guided meditation a day.
Anyone you chose of any length. I suggest Tara branch I like her lots.

Post your choice below vvvv
Let’s rock April 👊

Monthly XP Challenge #6

New month! New challenge! Let’s go.
Monthly challenge #6, #MarchMastery
This month is a chose your own adventure. Pick one habit that you would have a hard time breaking and break that shit, cut that habit of your choosing out of your life for the month. Easy. 
Still, make it a challenge.

Find something that you use to fill the spaces of your life, something you don’t know what you do without, then face that emptiness. I also invite you to turn this habit your giving up into an offering to your greater dreams. Give your sacrifice meaning. 
Post what you will be going without below

Monthly XP Challenge #5

Sup fam! Coming at you hot with,
Monthly Challenge #5 #ReadABookYouFuck

Super easy one this month all you have to do is read 10 pages a day, or one 300 page book by the end of the month.

A friend of mine pointed out to me that if you read 10 pages a day that adds up to 10 books a year!

So heres the challenge: as you read your book post on this thread when you read something you like, learned, or just want to share.

Let’s Go!

The Journey...