HA! I remember integral naked being the first paywall I decided not to climb and I also remember wondering how Serj Tankian could qualify as someone to interview. This was solely based upon aural assumptions rather than personal character.
Alice in Chains neon green CD was my first music purchase in middle school. It wasn’t until I began digging deeper into their past catalog of albums that I began to realize the depths of the holes these hard rock and heavy metal kin dug. I awoke to the depths when my father questioned the lyrics to certain Alice in Chains’ songs like “Down in a Hole” as we were driving to some destination. One only has to take a gander at the song titles in their album Dirt to understand the writer’s perceptions, perhaps caused by heavy drug use, perhaps originating in heavy depression or depressive lifestyles. Cornell, Staley, Weilan, Cobain, etc. were all a part of these grungy times. I am sure more are to come.
I post this now, as I do not expect to articulate in spoken word during the Cafe what can be written.
I am currently comprehending the problems of existence, this recurrence of pain and the trouble with morality, through the methods of Vedantic cosmic understanding, through recent reads (Banerji and Aurobindo).
Bourdain, Spade both seem to have had alcohol further fueling the deep depression. With a particular mentality (those born with clinical depression or depressive tendencies, etc.), one is set for life on a path that can easily alter its course. The depressive child will not be guzzling substances, thus the biological determinants are real, are present. Depressants can relieve the symptoms and can create a new list of them. @madrush mentions Serj Tankian’s song “Aerials” as a depiction of the troublesome world, its demands, and a way out is by going beyond the small mind. “When you free your mind, eternal prize…when you lose small mind, you free your life.” Some of us are lucky, wise or present enough to step into this “bigger” mind, this mind that is not necessarily smarter or bigger, but a mind that is aware of the human from the perspective of a non-human, or aware of the human outside of the body, or simply aware of the possibilities of the human in light of our given. Or simply physically and mentally capable enough to change their life, out of some form of the will.
Banerji explains the Integral Yoga Psychology as having two primary or central elements: liberation and enjoyment. Liberation in Banerji’s writing begins with the realization that we are conscious beings in an unconscious world…that is the human condition. There is the physical throwness, the physical entrapment. “We are outside the normal flow of time, we can’t express ourselves, and our bodies are hurtling us through life,” writes autistic Naoki Higashida, explaining a perhaps even deeper entrapment that we “neurotypicals” are not fully aware of… “We find ourselves bound by the laws of mental and emotional response, psychological laws which can be used to manipulate us; we are subject to social, cultural and political laws not of our personal making" (Banjerji, _Seven Quartets,_p. 44). This “sense of entrapment” cries out for liberation. If this were all to life, then we would be seeking constantly for some way to leave it (extreme sports, substance use, suicide and others calls out to death). In our daily life, most of us wish to remain within life, to stay for the show, we wish to enjoy life. We wake up each morning wishing to correct the mistakes of the previous night, the repetitive cycles, the cycling trivialities.
The path to a liberated conscious being, the path towards the “Being-in-the Becoming” in which there is no imprisonment and all of these petty sufferings, pains and limitations are seen as a necessary, even delightful fraction of the whole, must involve a liberation. “The experience of imprisonment belongs to the evolving forms in a graded field of relative consciousness” (46.) If we can become fully conscious, even for a brief amount of time, of this ultimate form of consciousness, we would know ourselves as a “free self-determination of Conscious Being, and be enabled to enjoy this creative self-becoming in its own development and in its relations with other forms of becoming” (47). Aurobindo calls this the yoga of purity or perfection (suddhi). The two impurities are: evolutionary psychological distortion and dependence of our higher consciousness upon the lower consciousnesses (the two impurity titles are my own, not necessary “coined” by Aurobindo or Banerji).
Evolutionary Psychological Distortion is our disorder as humans. “We are born with a psychological constitution which is marked by error. And its defect lies in the fact that there has been a past to it, an evolutionary past with its root in a sense of separation and a blind wish to survive and enlarge one’s separate reality” (48). Aurobindo writes that “we have not to doctor symptoms of impurity, or that only secondarily as a minor help, but to strike at its roots after a deeper diagnosis” (Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga, p. 645).
Dependence of Higher Consciousness upon Lower: “Moreover, evolution of consciousness has been a progression through ad hoc steps, which have been added on to previous steps without sufficient integration. Life depends on body, mind depends upon life in body, and so on” (48). “The impure working of the lower instrument gets into the characteristic of action of the higher function and gives to it an added imperfection of embarrassment, wrong direction and confusion” (Synthesis of Yoga, pp. 645-46).