cover image: Buddhadog © Jonathan Zap
Recently I was able to recall a Socratic teaching dialogue I had with a spirit guide while I was between incarnations. My questions—which have the embarrassing naiveté so typical of the disincarnate— are italicized.
Another mammal is not an organ of your body. Your body has all its own parts. Another mammal is not you, or another side of you. Your psyche has all its own parts.
Sounds pretty obvious, how could I get that mixed up?
By choosing to incarnate as a mammal, you are choosing to allow many veils to obscure your awareness. Being in a specific mammal body creates many of these veils. This body will act as a filter or lens through which you will receive most of the perceptions of your incarnation. The lens will magnify and distort some aspects, and many other aspects will be outside its field of view. This is why we having a saying that to incarnate as a mammal is to, “Look through a glass darkly.”
So my vision won’t be perfect, but how could that make me confused that I am another person?
A dark glass is partly transparent and partly reflective, and it is often very hard to know whether you are looking through the dark glass at something outside of you, or if you are actually looking at a highly distorted reflection of yourself that you only think is outside. Since another person will have the same vague outline that you will, they are the easiest cases to confuse inside and outside. Even more confusing is that quite often, perhaps most of the time, what you see through the dark glass is some of both; it is partly another person and partly a reflection of you, and neither is seen clearly.
Blurred Boundaries photo by Jonathan Zap
I still don’t get it. If I’m looking at another person through the dark glass, won’t I be able to tell they are another person by their independent movements?
Not necessarily. For one thing, when you are in a mammal body, you may actually want to be confused, you may have an overwhelming desire for another person to be part of you, and may not wish to acknowledge that this is another person, even when you notice independent movement. The distortion of wanting onto what is seen through the dark glass is so powerful that some mammals will fly into a rage if they notice the other person making too much independent, unpredictable movement, and they may lash out at them or even kill them.
But that’s horrible! How could someone be so deluded?
When you choose to incarnate as a mammal, you also choose to be in a particular body. Almost all of these bodies are what we call “ gendered. ” Some bodies are male, and have one type of genitalia; other bodies are female, and have another type of genitalia. These bodies will all be imperfect , they will all age fairly rapidly, and at certain phases will be filled with intoxicating hormones that cause intense cravings for contact with other bodies. Most mammals will experience their bodies as incomplete, and especially under the influence of these powerful hormones, will believe that they need one or more other bodies to be whole. Most often they will have wild, often uncontrollable desires for someone who has the other kind of genitals, while a significant, but smaller group will crave those with the same kind of genitals, and others may crave both types.
But if you crave something outside you, doesn’t that force you to be aware that it is outside and apart from you?
Not necessarily. Remember that most mammals are what we call “social mammals,” which means that they are encoded to incarnate within a network of other mammals known as “the social matrix.” If you choose a mammalian incarnation, you will enter the incarnation through another mammal’s body, and the first nine months or so of incarnation will be spent actually inside the body of another mammal. When you exit this body, what is called “birth,” you will be in a helpless, dependent state called “infancy,” and the mammal whose body you incarnated in will, in most cases, be your food source for a substantial period of time. Since you came from inside this mammal’s body (always a female mammal called a “mother”), and since you are unformed and dependent, you will believe that the mother is a part of your body, a part of you. So your very first experience of the mammalian network or social matrix will be a maximal case of confusion between where you leave off and where another mammal begins. This confusion is essential to the formation of a mammalian network, and to be a socialized member of the network, to merge with the social matrix, you must not be too distinctly aware of yourself as separate from it. If a mammal does not have this merging instinct to the expected degree, they will be viewed as defective by the network, and labeled “autistic.”
But once I am no longer in the body of the mother, and no longer in infancy, and know that the mother is not me, wouldn’t I outgrow the confusion of thinking another mammal is part of me?
Not necessarily. The confusion will continue in many cases. For example, when your body starts to produce more of the intoxicating hormones, you will feel an intense desire to get physical nourishment again from other mammals. The types of mammals you crave for nourishment are sometimes called “Hotties.” The Hotties will light up in your perception as all-attractive and all-desirable.
Why are they called “Hotties?”
When you perceive a Hottie, so much of your energy will pour out of you toward the Hottie that you will feel a heating sensation, but because of the confusion of inner and outer, you will tend to think that this internal heating is caused by the Hottie. This creates the illusion that the particular person—or object—is the source of the heat, rather than your own internal, physiological heating.
So what do mammals want to do when they perceive a Hottie?
They will want to merge with them, to intentionally confuse and penetrate the boundary between them, and in so doing obtain physical nourishment from the Hottie. For example, they may seek to engage the Hottie with the same sort of sucking behaviors that gave them nourishment as an infant. They may also want to be partly inside the body of the Hottie, as they were once inside the mother, and may even attempt to insert parts of their bodies into the very same kind of organ they were born out of. They may want to feel enclosed and protected by the Hottie, as they were by their mother. In other cases, they may want to fully control the Hottie, and will want the Hottie to be their exclusive source of nourishment. They may even fight or kill other mammals who may want the same Hottie.
In general, the cravings for the Hottie may be so strong that mammals will feel a return of some of the same feelings of helplessness and dependence they had as an infant. This can cause them to blur the perception of separateness with the Hottie, and they may falsely believe that what they want is what the Hottie wants, and they may also become as helpless and dependent on the Hottie as they once were with their mother, or they may overcompensate for the helpless, dependent feelings and seek to dominate the Hottie. They may want the Hottie to be a part of their body, or for their body to be a part of the Hottie, or they may even seek to deposit fluids from their body into the body of the Hottie, or to draw fluids from the body of the Hottie by sucking behaviors and so forth.
So all this confusion about being another person has to do with hormones and with the Hottie?
Not entirely. The Hottie situation is only the most classic example, but there are many others. For example, the mother, who once had this other mammal living inside of her for nine months, may continue to believe that the new mammal is part of her even after the new mammal has exited her body and grown up to full size. This is only one of many, many possible cases. When you choose to incarnate in a mammal body, you are also going to experience the incompleteness of that mammalian body, both psychologically and physically. You will seek to become whole by merging with other mammals, and they will not always be Hotties, but they may be mammals who possess other attributes, or whom you think possess attributes, that you feel are lacking in yourself. This can result in the same kind of blurred boundaries and the same kind of tendencies toward helpless dependence and domination as are so typical of Hottie relations.
But this sounds so gross and disempowering. Why would I, or anyone, choose a mammalian incarnation and all these deluded dependencies?
There may be many reasons. Some entities enjoy the intensity of these dependency dramas. Remember how you came to be an entity in the first place. Once you, and all of us, were part of the Oneness. We were all undifferentiated parts of this Oneness, and there was no separation. But after a while, this got boring. There were no subjects or objects, and with no separation there were no dramas, no cycles of incarnation, no one outside the Oneness to do anything with or be done unto by, and this got really, really boring. Eventually, we got so frustrated and bored by being the Oneness that we exploded, what the mammals call in their primitive style, the “Big Bang.” After the Big Bang, there were subjects and objects, and besides Oneness there was now also Eachness and individuality, and that’s how you came to be your own entity. Being an entity is all about the interplay between Oneness and Eachness.
Sometimes it is interesting to descend all the way into Eachness, even to the extent of incarnating into a single, imperfec t, mortal mammalian body, and entirely forgetting that you were, and are, an entity. After birth and separation from the mother, the descent into Eachness becomes ever more intense, and you start to become more complex, more differentiated and individuated. This can be so interesting and dramatic compared to the endless boredom of Oneness. But this path of extreme Eachness includes the intense vulnerability and incompleteness of being in a rapidly aging mammal body, and this can be painful and exhausting, so inevitably you will tend to crave Oneness again.
Most entities are sensible enough not to want to go back to the other extreme, the endless boredom of Oneness, but some do; they are sick and tired of Eachness, and want to go back to Oneness forever. Mammals call such an anti-Eachness mammal a “Buddhist.” A Buddhist actually prefers, or thinks they prefer, the boredom of Oneness. They feel it was a mistake, or some sort of self-imposed hardship, to incarnate. Rather than engage in the dramas of Eachness, they seek Oneness, and will actually sit still for long periods of time, sometimes saying a certain word, what they call a “mantra,” over and over and over again.
Just sitting and saying one word over and over again? But that sounds so boring .
Exactly. But it is supposed to be boring, remember that a Buddhist mammal is mad at Eachness and incarnation, and actually wants to return to the boredom of Oneness for all eternity.
I don’t get it. If that’s what they want, then why would they choose to incarnate as mammals, which is a path that has so much eachness to it?
They have a few explanations for that. One is that they think they are flawed and prone to huge mistakes. They call such mistakes “Karma,” and they believe these mistakes bind them into endless incarnations. By sitting and going really deeply into the boredom of Oneness, they hope to wake up from their mistakes and become what they call “enlightened.” According to Buddhist mammals, an enlightened entity is one that believes that the endless boredom of Oneness is better than Eachness, and such an entity seeks to return to the Oneness, and be done with Eachness forever. In some cases, they believe that an enlightened entity may feel sorry for other entities who have chosen the path of Eachness and mammalian incarnation, which they think is a big mistake, and such an entity will choose to incarnate as a mammal again, even though they don’t really want to. They believe that they choose the Eachness they don’t want so as to help other mammals become enlightened with their program of anti-Eachness. Such mammals are called “Bodhisattva,” and are thought to be unsatisfied until all entities have joined them into the boredom of Oneness.
Buddhists call the whole realm of Eachness “Maya,” and they consider it to be an entrapping realm of illusion. An interesting fact is that the original Buddhist, who is now known simply as “the Buddha,” had a mother who died when he exited her body, and her name was “Maya.” This may be an example of how the circumstances of a mammalian incarnation can change your view of yourself as an entity, and where you stand with Eachness and Oneness.
So an entity that chooses mammalian incarnation and Eachness, but doesn’t want it, is called a Buddhist. But are there entities on the other extreme, those who want only Eachness, and never want to go back to the boredom of Oneness?
Yes there are. There are many more of them than Buddhists, and unlike the Buddhists, who are usually very peaceful, they can be quite violent and dangerous in all sorts of ways. These mammals are called the “egoists,” and what they believe in is called “fundamentalist materialism.” They believe that Eachness and mortal mammalian incarnation is all there is to existence, and have gone to such an extreme with Eachness that they engage in a war of conquest with all other entities and all the other individualized parts of the original Oneness. They don’t see a world of Oneness at all, but only a world of separated objects. They will refer to marked-off parts of the planet everyone incarnated on as “real estate,” and will refer to other types of mammals as “livestock.” In their own words they are, “Out for number one.” They believe that they came out of a mother not to experience any form of dependence or interdependence, but to fight a battle of conquest with everything in the phenomenal world. These entities are very upset when their mortal mammalian body is endangered, when it ages, and especially when it dies. They fear the merging with Oneness aspects of death, and may actually cling to the mortal realm even when their mammal body is gone, still trying to fulfill their insatiable desire to conquer a world of objects. The Buddhists call such clinging entities “pretas” or “hungry ghosts.”
So every entity chooses where they stand in terms of Eachness and Oneness, but how does this affect their view of the Hottie and the issue of blurred boundaries?
Indeed, the stance on Eachness and Oneness affects the view of the Hottie in all sorts of ways. Looking at the extremes, the Buddhists view Hotties with great wariness; they see them as personifications of Maya, as tempters, and temptresses, who would lure you with the appeal of merging with Oneness, while actually binding you deeper into Eachness. The egoists view the Hotties as objects to be conquered. Rather than merging with the Hottie, they want to own and control and dispose of Hotties at will.
Other entities undergoing mammalian incarnation are not at the extremes, but rather at various places on the spectrum of Eachness and Oneness, and their view of the Hottie will reflect these positions. They will tend to want to merge psychologically, as well as physically, with the Hottie, and want merging with the Hottie to be their paramount experience of Oneness and relief from the painful separations of Eachness. The whole process of trying to fulfill that can be torturous at times, ecstatic at others, and all the interesting variations are one of the main attractions of mammalian incarnation. Many entities revel in the momentary explosions of Eachness into Oneness, which are called “orgasms.” Orgasms are like mini reversals of the Big Bang; they are like little bangs where Eachness explodes into Oneness for a moment. Some may find a healthy balance between Eachness and Oneness through the process, while very often Eachness and Oneness get entangled and confused, and the desire to experience Oneness through a Hottie causes blindness to the Eachness of the Hottie.
Another interesting variation is that a physical Hottie is not necessary for experiencing orgasms. Through a process called “auto-eroticism” or “masturbation,” a mammal may stimulate itself while reaching into the Oneness to create the eachness of a Hottie of their own creation. They generate Eachness out of Oneness, and use it to create an orgasm, a mini explosion of Eachness into Oneness. Properly understood, this practice can reveal the illusions of Eachness and Oneness that obscure contact with Hotties and the understanding of oneself as an entity, as the interplay of Eachness and Oneness.
If I incarnate as a mammal and remember this lesson, wouldn’t I avoid the entanglement and confusion of blurred boundaries, and find a healthy balance between Eachness and Oneness?
Not necessarily. The likelihood is that you will still experience entanglement and confusion. Since we are both conversing outside of linear time, you know that you will remember this lesson, and that one day you will even write it out word for word to share with the mammalian network through the ingenious network of thinking machines called the “World Wide Web” which will be built in the middle of your incarnation. For you who remember the lesson, and for other mammals who may read it, there will still be confusion and entanglement. The intensity of cravings for the Hottie, and all the distortions of the dark glass of mammalian perception are still going to generate blurred boundaries and confusions of Eachness and Oneness. The lesson is there to help, but you may still need to engage the scenarios of mammalian incarnation and learn from many different confusing dramas. If you choose to incarnate as a mammal, The Hottie, and many other blurred boundary situations you will encounter, will provide you with many difficult lessons about your life as an entity and your relationship to Eachness and Oneness.
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