“God Rupert you’re so ego-defended!“
The comment stopped me in my tracks, I looked at my girlfriend in confusion, wondering what she meant. Ego-defended. I hadn’t heard the term before.
“What do you mean?”
“Why are you so invested in being right?”
It was a good question. Good enough that – even in mid lover’s spat – the question staunched the flow of words about to emerge from my mouth. I had a mental image of warriors bursting out from a fortress to do battle suddenly sitting down and scratching their heads and saying to each other. “Hold, on, why are we doing this?”.
“Well…” I paused, thinking. “Isn’t trying to be right what we’re supposed to do when we argue?”
Where it went from there I don’t recall. It was the question, not the argument, that stayed in my head. Truth is we were both trying to be right. We were always trying to be right – whether we were arguing, or whether we weren’t. All the time. It was as if we knew no other way. That was we didn’t know any other way.
In fact, I realized, trying to be right was what almost everyone I knew did. Like, all the time. And when I came to think about it, it was little wonder. Ever since we were little, it had been do or die, be ordered about or push back. Bully or be bullied. At school and often at home, a constant round of fight, debate, argue, tussle, compete. Student days – argue the case, argue the case. Jobs were the same – lose a debate and you might lose your job. In fact it was almost a certainty you would.
Was it possible, then, given our society and our conditioning, to be any other way?
Much later, perhaps twenty years later, after spending a lot of time with San Bushman hunter gatherers, the original, oldest human culture on the planet, I realized that there was indeed another way to be.
The original way.
You see, it seemed we weren’t really born to fight. Hunter gatherers co-operate, because competition means fragmentation, and a fragmented clan can’t catch food, gets eaten by hyenas.
Now we have become the hyenas it seems, cannibal ones.
It hurts to be so. We weren’t designed this way.
But most of don’t live as hunter gatherers any more. We live in a post agricultural, post industrial warrior culture, one of long inherited traditions of feud and hate of the other. How could I, coming from that kind of culture, find a way to lay begin laying down my arms?
One memorable year I found myself in India. In a cave in India, to be exact. A set of caves with great carvings in rock etched into a granite island called Elephanta off the coast of Mumbai. Now the Hindus of old, and of today both were and are also warriors just like us, with a caste system and all sorts of injustices and atrocities, just like we Europeans. But yet…in the rock were carved the three faces of the divine – Shiva the Creator and Destroyer, Vishnu the Redeemer and Brahma the Sleeper, the Dreamer of the Cosmic Dream. A Holy Trinity conceived three thousand years before the Christians created theirs.
Both Hindus and Buddhists talk about the Cave of Brahma. The place where The Divine Dreamer dreams us all into being. Where was this metaphorical cave, I wondered? This eye in the storm of our combative existence?
In the head, it turns out.
According to the ancient Vedas, and even today’s ayurvedic doctors, the Cave of Brahma, where the divine Cosmic Dream is dreamed, lies – specifically – in the middle ventricle of the brain. The place where the Third Eye lives. Or more prosaically, the Pineal Gland, so called because it’s a gland whose shape sort of resembles a pine cone. It’s this gland that can free us from the dilemma this blog began with; the pain of trying to be right and all the suffering that causes – both for ourselves and for others. Stay with me here.
Here’s how it works. Medically, or perhaps better to say biologically, the Pineal Gland turns serotonin, one of the happy hormones produced in our gut and brought to the brain by our vagal nerve, into Melatonin, which governs our sleep, or dream time. The Pineal Gland tweaks a little molecule in the Serotonin and boom, there we are in the cave of the dream, the Cave of Brahma. Every night we do this. Ok big deal, how does this get us off the trying to be right, endless psychological suffering bandwagon? How does this get us from common or garden dreams into the Divine Dream?
If you can manage to generate enough cerebral spinal fluid – which runs up the inside of your spine and which a) provides a shock absorbing cushion between your skull and your brain as it goes through the school of hard knocks, and, b) puts the stem cells that become the neurons that make up your gut, heart and brain cells (yes, it seems we have three brains…) and c) both nourishes the brain and takes away its waste (how many of my bad thought are just brain poo?) – if you can generate enough of this fluid, which the mystic Egyptians, Jews and Christians call the ‘sacred oil (Christos in Greek – the Christ within…) then it begins to squeeze and put pressure on the Pineal Gland.
When it does this, the tiny, microscopic salt crystals that exist within the Pineal Gland, rub together. The friction between the tiny crystals then creates a small electrical current. And when this happens the Melatonin molecule itself goes through a tweak and becomes…
Try saying that three times fast.
Actually, if shorten it to its three letter acronym; DMT, then it isn’t so hard.
Ever heard of Ayahuasca? The vine drink of the Amazonian shamans that blows the mind wide open, slays, for a time, the ego, or at least puts it to sleep, to dream dreams of Cosmic consciousness – the psycho-active component is, you guessed it, DMT. The most powerful hallucinogenic known to man. Found in the datura plant (what’s the story, morning glory?), the acacia longifolia of Australia, and a host of others…all plants that have something special in common: they make you see God.
When DMT fires in the Pineal Gland, inside the Middle Ventricle, the Cave of Brahma, whether its caused by pressure from your very own cerebral spinal fluid, or by a plant, it causes a transduction of the electrical energy – changes the brains perception of the electrical energy – into light and sound.
Skeptics would say it’s just a chemical-based hallucination. Mystics and shamans would say it allows you to see what is really there.
Who is right? Does it matter? What we know is that it happens.
In the Cave of Brahma, being right is an irrelevance.
All those years of trying to be right. Irrelevant.
So how to produce more of that cerebral spinal fluid? Sacral rocking. Those who are familiar with Movement Method know it as ‘The Diaper Shake’. The oxytocin, bliss shake that heals the body, the nervous system, the brain. It’s not quite ayahuasca – and no, it won’t get your Pineal Gland to the DMT phase, but it’ll get you a little way there, and it sure feels better than merely being right.
So grab a partner, get them to put a hand on your sacrum, where the spine meets the hips, and get rocking. Do it over successive days and , even without the DMT, the whole being right thing fades into insignificance. A small shake for spine-kind, a (gentle) giant leap for one’s consciousness.
So I don’t know about you, but I’m heading off to the Cave to dream.