The Self as Symphonic Palimpsest

Self Portrait, by Oleg Shupliak

“I am a part of all that I have met” — Ulysses, Alfred Lord Tennyson

“The nature of our immortal lives is in the consequences of our words and deeds, which go on pushing themselves throughout all time. ” — Cloud Atlas, 2012

Who am I?

I have written in previous articles about the “self as outward-facing consciousness” as distinct from the ego — who I “feel to be right now”, the harmonic cluster of memories and associations that comprises what feels like “my unique personality”.

I have also written about reincarnation in the “egoless” sense, the way that life…


The profound spiritual urges behind masculine and feminine sexuality

Love of Souls by Andrew Gonzalez

My love settles on top of me, his arms cradling my head. We kiss, and I feel him enter me. Both of us gasp at our joining, at how right it feels to be connected like this. He starts to move, and we are more than our mortal selves: we are feral, we are primordial, we are divine. He calls me by my many names, and as he thrusts deeper he gasps the truth of the vision we are both sharing into my ear:

“We are panthers, we are bacteria, we are gods, we are galaxies merging. …


It doesn’t conflict with the movement for justice and equality

“This Too Shall Pass”, an artwork by Ecif

I’ve seen a spate of articles lately on how meditation, mindfulness and self-help are supposedly toxic and anti-progressive. According to Jessica Wildfire’s recent article (which inspired this article as a response), self-help represents a temporary band-aid for social ailments at best, and a privileged denial of reality at worst. …


Feeling fully alive and at peace after ten years of suffering

Creator: Nirut Sangkeaw. Credit: nirutft — stock.adobe.com. Copyright: 24Novembers

From the age of seventeen to twenty-seven I suffered from an eating disorder that ruled my life. During that time it was a constant background static in my mind, that was playing over and between all my thoughts — an acute self-consciousness and self-criticism. A calculus of kilojoules, a dance of self-checking behaviours, restriction and purging — a deep abiding sense of shame and anxiety.

In December 2020, it went away and has not come back. I am fully recovered.

I want to share the story of how this recovery happened, in the hope that it may help others who…


Does the collective consciousness owe us anything?

“We hear much about His patience and forbearance and long-suffering: we hear nothing about our own, which much exceeds it” — Mark Twain

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Imagine for a moment, that the Universe we exist within is Conscious. If you prefer, you may call this “god”. And our universe may exist within a larger multiverse. And on and on and on, like a fractal.

What “responsibility” does our universe — if it is a form of consciousness — bear for our suffering?

Are we not, in some sense, Its “children”? Or perhaps we are less Its children and more a part of Its…


And you should be theirs

“What is your reality, O Divine One?”- Shakti to Shiva in the Vijnanabhairava Tantra

In Hindu mythology, the practice of yoga was first told by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati (Shakti), after their marriage. The philosophical and spiritual teachings are told in the form of a conversation between the two deities, as they sit together conjoined.

I resonate very strongly with this story, as it describes the experience I’ve had with my soulmate over the past few years as we have both ascended in our spiritual journeys.

We are each-other’s gurus. Exploring the most profound questions of existence, through…


Lessons from the man with the seven second memory.

Excerpts from the diary of Clive Wearing, anterograde amnesiac

“Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep.” — Alan Watts

Clive Wearing is a man forced to live in an eternal present. After a brain infection in 1985, he has been unable to form new memories that last more than a few seconds at a time. Again and again, minute by minute he feels as though he has woken up for the first time, as his diaries show.

“I AM AWAKE!! I DO LIVE!!”, he…


Moving up and down the spectrum with every decision

Detail from Existence by Android Jones

Human beings are always changing. We are different beings, minute to minute. Moment to moment. It is the reality of living as a biological organism.

On a physical level, our brains haven’t changed structure for at least 13 000 years. But although cavemen had the same brains as we do, it does not mean however that they had the same minds. Although we are biologically similar, our collective and individual consciousnesses have been raised by modernity. By ethics and philosophy. By scientific understanding and empathic learning.

Consciousness exists on a spectrum and, like the rest of us, is never static…


The allure of perfectionism in eating disorder recovery.

Artwork by Jenna Simon

This is Part 2 of my ongoing series on my eating disorder recovery. See Part 1 here. Please note this article contains descriptions of disordered behaviour and may be triggering to some. Reader discretion is advised.

It’s one of the most humiliating feelings, to be engaged in a behaviour that you know makes no sense. To care about something that you know you shouldn’t care about.

After I broke through the first wall of my denial about my eating disorder, I went inward, searching for answers as to “why” I felt the way I did. I approached the idea of…


Delusion, denial and cognitive dissonance

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

This is Part 1 of my ongoing series on my eating disorder recovery. Please note this article contains descriptions of disordered behaviour and may be triggering to some. Reader discretion is advised.

It took me three years before I admitted to myself that I had an eating disorder. Three years of counting kilojoules, of finding creative strategies to eliminate “unhealthy” food from my diet without my family finding out. Three years of hyperventilating and crying at my reflection, of compulsive checking of my wrists and hipbones, of walking in a strange wide-legged stance so that my thighs wouldn’t touch. Three…

Reverie

“The nature of our immortal lives is in the consequences of our words and deeds” — Cloud Atlas

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