A year ago, out on the deep dark Playa, far away from the lights and music of Black Rock City, the LSD kicked in.
This week, the Perseids rained down silently from the heavens, but I sat inside on a Wednesday evening at a Consciousness Hacking meet-up in San Francisco.
Mikey the conference leader in his "buddhistgeeks" t-shirt says "Consciousness Hacking is a hands-on approach toward creating new tools for self-exploration, in order to change the way we think, feel, and interact with the world around us." In addition to using the 3,000-year-old technology of meditation, yoga, and certain plants and protists, how can we leverage modern computer technology and cutting-edge neuroscience to help everyone expand their consciousness?
Thirty plus years ago, I was a sci-fi reading, D&D-playing, science-loving, computer kid. Twenty five years ago, I got my EE degree and was doing UNIX system administration. I’ve seen computer games go from pong to photo-realistic Skyrim mods, disk storage increase 4.6 billion percent from 360 KB floppies to Samsung's new 16 TB SSD. I saw the birth of the web and its global conquest. I'd always wanted a real Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and now it's in my pocket. This isn't "rapid change". I was at ground zero of a technological nuclear explosion.
This makes me very optimistic about our potential as humans on this planet. I've seen technological magic and miracles, and I've done my best to learn the spells and incantations myself.
One habit that I strongly recommend is to keep a journal. Not exactly a DIARY, just a notebook to jot down ideas, occurrences, and timestamps. I keep a small one in my pocket ALWAYS.
I had it with me that night on the Playa.
When the euphoric oneness with the Universe diminished and I remembered that I was a human being, I began to write.
In my altered state, I saw that we tell ourselves stories constantly. The biggest story is that you (or I) exist. Well, of course we EXIST, but we are a gestalt intelligence, made up of subcomponents and subsystems that "VOTE" on who we are and what we do. I saw the programming under the hood. As I took notes in my journal, jotting down questions, SOMEONE ELSE would answer. It was me (I think). But a smarter, better me. So I decided to listen as "I" wrote. I'm an atheist to this day. But I think I understand what some people mean when they say they saw God.
Since then, I've stopped drinking caffeine. I've started meditating. I feel that taking LSD is "cheating", but I want to find my way back to that conversation. Hopefully, my fellow Consciousness Hackers have insights and ideas to explore. Meditation is slow but steady, and I think it leads to the same place.
Here are a few lines from my notebook that night. I decided to listen to the voice, and my reality shifted.
"Seeking to understand your own consciousness is the only worthy goal."
"You are the same as everyone else, but not everyone seeks the truth. But you must train to find those who also seek. There is a real thing you are seeking. Be careful. Do not write UNTRUTHS. EVER."
"You have always been on this path"
"Use the tools. Science. Writing. Notebooks. Take notes."
“Art is the brain looking at itself”
"Explore your own consciousness. Seek to understand it through exploring an understanding of the Universe. They are opposite sides of the same vortex."
"Others have gone before. KEEP TRYING. Reach us."
"Find the others."