I was struck hard by the brooding thoughts of David Metcalfe as he observed by accident a gathering of prayer for world peace at the turn of the New Year. He muses that in our everyday interactions we fancy ourselves to be on some kind of road to enlightenment while the ‘religious’ people of the world remain mired in dogma and the trap of overt spiritual control systems. Somehow we’ve fallen under the delusion that we’re not better than others per se, just maybe more enlightened.
On our social media we wax philosophical with peach colored sunny images of meditating women in designer yoga pants and darling stills of happy tribal children as our backdrop; we navigate our internet world in a fully customized bubble.
We lay out our cries for action and daily indignation as we cite the error of corporations and the tyranny of the powerful every time we push the ‘post’ button.
I find myself glued to this damn thing, mostly because I’m admittedly lonely and long for an interaction of value. And there is value in this connection within the Internet to be sure, but there is also a heavy danger of the sun rising and setting without us stepping outside to take a breath, or speaking with our actual voices to another human.
I did step outside and unplug for a couple of months, only popping in to let people know I wasn’t dead in a ditch. And I found something there that I didn’t expect on the road, I found a living network of people that were of a similar mind. I was able to break bread with them and share my experiences and see the looks of agony, or bliss as they told their tales and we exchanged sounds and gestures. I realized that people are so desperate to connect and yet so cold to anything that might jar the fragile reality that they place so much stock in.
This leads us to ask the question what kind of community we really are, if we are even one at all in any genuine sense. I’m not sure that we are, but I am convinced that we can be.
A thought came across my mind as I prepared to write my 3rd book, Hipgnosis:
“What if I asked a bunch of people I know and respect to speak with me on Gnosis in the modern context? What if I built a network of people who, despite very diverse backgrounds and mindsets all have something to bring to the table? What would it look like if I made the book into a catalyst for a stronger network of thinkers, believers, trippers, world changers, skeptical outsiders?” The result has been a cross-section of voices that intertwine with one another in such an inspiring way if only we have the wherewithal to allow their thoughts to be registered in our already decided minds.
I chose Gnosis as the centerpiece of discussion for two reasons:
- Gnosis is a state of being in which an idea goes from concept to practice, a state that takes us from virginal naivety to experiential knowledge. It’s what Terence McKenna referred to as “the felt presence of direct experience”.
- Gnosis is an ecstatic state in which one may step away from the mundane world and enjoy their own inner space. Equivalent to Samadhi, or non-mind, it is the state in which the mental chatter goes away and one can do the work of the magician, shaman, monk, or psychonaut.
Between these two definitions we can find an application in virtually any aspect of life and thus a connection. While some may only find gnosis in between the notes of a freeform jazz solo, others may only find it watching their child at play in a park. Others of us may find ourselves deep in the mystic mystery, outside of anything familiar, touching the divine and hoping to never put our feet back on the ground. Our methods are myriad, but the certainty of the experience and the naming of its meaning gives us a penetrating view of every human heart; a place where we can all meet up. We want the same things and we are trying to get to them in every way we can. Gnosis is both a bridge to the divine within and without as well as a bridge to every human on this planet.
It is our connection to one another that fuels our compassion and the best of our traits. It is seeing how we are alike and not how we are different that grants us access to otherwise hostile territory. And this is what we wish to explore with you on our Hipgnostic Trialogues tour, the mandala of our combined felt presence of direct experience in all its radiant colors. In this we can actually see what our online community looks like in the light of day, in warm embrace, in intellectual discourse.
I can’t think of a better way to bring such a potentially vast group of people together than through this common human experience that is so essential to a truly rich life.
And so, my dear brothers, David Metcalfe and Dr. Aaron Cheak are taking a big chance, a leap of faith, even, to go on this tour where we bring our collective minds to you in your own hometown and let the real building of community begin. I hope that you will consider joining us as we prepare for this ambitious adventure through, Canada, The United States and Europe. We need those of you who are already with us to join in the love fest. You can do so by visiting gabrieldroberts.com/tour and reviewing the material we have for the tour, sharing contacts from your hometown and spreading the word through your social media.
We’re putting what we’ve learned into practice by daring to do something that seems virtually impossible and we want you to have the felt presence of direct experience with us.