Tool, Jung, Qabalah, Qliphoth

wpid-IMG_20130623_093154.jpgYou see a post on Facebook.  Some friend of yours has visited Jackson Hole, and there are pictures of mountains, barns and elk.  You yawn and, because your friend seems so excited and you want to be considerate, you click in a quick “like” and move on.

Six months later, while on a a trip out west, you get stuck at Jackson Hole Airport and there’s no plane out until the next morning.  You figure, what the heck, you’re at the only airport in America that’s actually inside a national park.  Why not go look around?

You are floored.  The scenery is incredible, the Teton Range are like no mountains you’ve ever seen before.  Every barn, every elk, and every conifer glows with significance.  You start snapping pictures with your cell phone, fully intending to put them up on Facebook as soon as you get back to the airport, because people have to see this amazing place.

And then you realize that one of your friends already did this.  They were here, they felt the same way you do now, and you ignored their pictures…


With an hour set aside to work on my forthcoming Qabalah book, I put every Tool record I own on shuffle and slipped on my headphones.  The music played, and the words flowed, until Forty-six & 2 entered the rotation.  My fingers froze.  I had heard this song a thousand times.  And although I always liked it, and could sing along through most of it, it was as if I was hearing it for the first time.

I had long ago thought through the lyrics intellectually.  I had read the Wikipedia article, already knew what the words meant, that the song’s reference to the shadow was supposedly Jungian, etc.   But, I realized, when I had previously heard the song I had never seen the DNA of creation coming down through Kether, had never been forced to face my shadow at Gamaliel and felt a change coming through.  I had not picked the necessary scabs.  Now that I was hearing the song in the wake of my Qabalah project — pathworking the twenty paths of the Sephiroth and Qliphoth — the song was real.   I was in Jackson Hole.  The mountains were breathtaking, and so were the elk and the barns.

In a sense, I am taking pictures and putting them on Facebook.  And, most likely, you are going to give them a polite thumbs up and move on.  But, if you want to know what Forty-six & 2 is really about on its deepest level, pathworking the Sephiroth and Qliphoth are an excellent way to make the discovery.

If you don’t like my route, I’m sure there is another way to reach Jackson Hole.  Perhaps someday you’ll be stuck at the airport, alone and bored, and you’ll decide to explore the surrounding park…




10 Rounds (1:00): Jumprope AFAYC, Kicks

10 Rounds (1:00): Jumprope AFAYC, Kicks AFAYC, alternating @cabal_fang #WOD

Stretching 30 mins @cabal_fang #WOD

Stretching 30 mins @cabal_fang #WOD

Kicks (250),Stretching 20 mins, Meditati

Kicks (250),Stretching 20 mins, Meditation 20 mins @cabal_fang #WOD

One Is Never Afraid of the Unknown; One Is Afraid of the Known Coming to An End.

Robert Mitchell:

Basic, simple, and wise council, courtesy of the discoveringwisdom blog.

Originally posted on discoveringwisdom:

070_magic_stars_loop[1]“One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.”

– Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986)

Doesn’t this teaching by Krishnamurti put a whole new twist on things?  First, it helps us see – we tend to be afraid of the known ending – more than we are afraid of the unknown.  Sounds obvious.  But, is it?

We all age.  Some of us want to hang onto a previous age – a known.  The weird thing is it isn’t even real anymore.  Why do we resist moving into the unknown of the age we actually are?  Why do we feel a compulsion to hang onto youth – why do we resist the unknown of each year as it passes and we grow older?  It sort of turns the whole present moment awareness thing upside down.  How can I live in the present…

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Heavybag max power shots, 10 rounds 30 s

Heavybag max power shots, 10 rounds 30 secs w/ 15 sec breaks (7:30 total). 100 squats w/ 60 lb sandbag. @cabal_fang #WOD

Religion, Mysticism, and Other Web Browsers

Underhill's 1911 masterpiece "Mysticism."

Underhill’s 1911 masterpiece “Mysticism.”

The Universe, in all its beauty, complexity and wonder, is simply too big to easily experience and absorb.  Taking in everything, from the stars in the night sky to the twinkle in your lover’s eye, would be like trying to take in the entire internet.  The human mind has as much trouble getting a handle on totality as it does organizing all websites at once.

Religions and philosophies are like web browsers and their search engines.  They focus on certain things, put them in a particular order, filter out some results.  They slant things a certain way.  Sometimes this filtering is good.  It helps people make sense of the input.  Other times, key pieces of information get left out, folks don’t realize that the results have been filtered, and they take action without knowing the entire picture.  This can be largely harmless, or it can be extremely damaging.  Keep in mind that this is how governments control citizens, how cults operate, and how brainwashing is accomplished: by controlling input, cutting off contact with essential information, and blocking ‘restricted content.’

Mysticism is the attempt to do the seemingly impossible: to take it all in, to let it all inside, to “grasp the divine essence or the ultimate reality of things, and to enjoy the blessedness of actual communion with the Highest.”

Most folks can appreciate the importance of getting all of the information before making important decisions.  Like when you’re sitting on a jury, buying a new car, or contemplating marriage.  But when it comes to religion (and sometimes the web) some people just can’t seem to get on board.

Why is this?  Why do people so often fall in love with the idea of love rather than with people, become so enamored with fictional tableaus that they want to live in them, and frequently seek the comfort of groups over the excitement of flying solo?

I think it boils down to evolution.  People who play it safe live longer than people who don’t.  Their DNA gets passed down more often.  But it’s the ones who want to brave uncharted territory, to go where no one has gone before, who innovate, bring back new spiritual, philosophical, and technical information, and breathe new life into our cultural DNA.  Mystics have changed the world.  Think for a moment about what geometry would look like without Pythagoras, where physics would be without Newton and Schrödinger, psychoanalysis would be without Jung, where literature would be without Blake, Thoreau, and Huxley, and so on.

Raise a new window on reality, change the channel, go someplace you’ve never been.  Try a new browser.

Don’t be afraid to take it all in.