October 1, 2021

 The trick of the Imaginal is differentiating between imagination with a small ‘i’ and the Imaginal with a capital ‘I’. Often, I think they’re mixed. Some experiences are so clear and so profound vis-a-vis my recent blessing by Jesus Christ and others are more clouded. There seems like there is something universal happening but it could also just be more imagination getting in there and muddying the waters. My usual barometer is the extent to which the experience is visceral; i.e., involving all senses to a high degree. If it’s mostly mental/visual, then I chalk it up to imagination. If it pulls me full-force into the experience, then it’s most likely Imaginal to a high degree.

I’ve been particularly horny for the past several days, the experience peaking on Sunday/Monday but still being palpable even this morning. I had forgotten how potent arousal can be. The sexual instinct is certainly nothing to dismiss lightly. While it’s influence may wane as I grow older, it still has the capacity to cloud my judgement. Periodically, it captures me and holds in its thrall. It’s far from an objectionable experience! Quite the contrary, it’s delightful. The problem is that I tend to do stupid shit when I’m turned on.

Fortunately, I somehow manage to maintain some degree of self-control while I’m in the throes of passion and have never done anything that will get me in trouble. Still, I’m amazed at how clouded my mind becomes. Sexual arousal becomes addictive and it’s difficult to free myself from its clutches.

Given this, today’s meditation was interesting. I was aware of my consciousness still being clouded by desire but the effect was waning. The arousal tends to make concentration difficult and creates a gauzy layer between my experience and numinous. It’s another veil, similar in function to those times when my survival instinct is dominant. Whenever a particular instinct (or worse, all three instincts) is triggered, it’s a huge block to being available to Being. Unfortunately, there’s no real ‘cure’ - the only thing I can do is be aware of the instinctual pull and neither encourage nor discourage it.

Today I was doing just that when suddenly the sexual instinct took form from deep in my belly center. This is unique because usually the experience of the Imaginal is initiated from my head center. There was something sinuous and black and deadly curling up from my root and it took the form of a venomous serpent. The serpent was beautiful as it was deadly. And very powerful. It felt almost like it possessed godlike powers and reminded me of a Hindu deity.

I’ve written that I’ve never felt scared or threatened by anything that I’ve encountered in the Imaginal and this was no exception. I could tell that the ‘snake’ was deadly but not deadly to me, perhaps because I could tell that it was ‘made out of’ Being just like everything else. There’s something about recognizing everything as being made out of the atoms of Being that seems to help stabilize and ground one’s experience in the Imaginal.

Plus, I didn’t get the sense the snake was dangerous. I also didn’t get the sense that it was necessarily benevolent. I allowed it to take me over, coiling around my body and raising its head, opening its mouth next to my head, poison dripping from its fangs. Oh, that poison! Such a delicious way to die! One could die a thousand deaths and still want more. I completely understand the allure of desire. It’s both a drug and a poison.

The issue, of course, is that this poison is addictive. Being bitten means losing one’s mind, heart and belly, being taken over by the so-called demon of desire. I’ve been bitten many times, mostly willingly. I’m sure I’ll be bitten many, many more times as well.

Still, this time was a bit different. I could feel the entity holding my left hand throughout the experience. That sensation seems to help with grounding me in my meditation. I found I could allow the snake demon to be present, dripping its delicious poison, and not be swayed one way or the other. It’s the equanimity that I think I’ve written about before in here. I get an idea of the temptations that Buddha was presented with while he sat under the Bodhi Tree. It’s not that desire is bad or deadly, it’s just a distraction. And the way to deal with it isn’t to deny it. In fact, I’m sure even Buddha himself gave in many times to desire before he ‘reached’ enlightenment. The trick is to be neutral, neither encourage nor discourage it. Also, allowing is important. Don’t take a position, acknowledge the power and allure of the desire, even appreciate it. And allow it to be present without moving away or toward it. There is a welcoming of the experience that involves the heart because it offers learning, a chance to see and experience more of the self in order to understand it more fully. And always equanimity.

After a while, the snake of desire didn’t go away but it became less dominant in my experience. I was aware of another entity besides the one who holds my left hand. This one seemed like a person, although whether he was currently embodied or a spirit, I couldn’t tell. I knew he was aware of me and had been watching me for a while. He seemed interested in my experience, commenting about how many different entities were co-located in my soul’s experience. (This is something I’ve been aware of a lot lately; how crowded my soul can become with all of the various entities appearing in the field. I don’t feel overwhelmed by the experience, I just note it.)

There was something clean about the interaction with this man. I sensed the equanimity in his experience as well. It seemed like he was just sitting there, being himself, in much the same way I was. It’s possible that we are fellow journeymen on the road of the Imaginal...or it’s possible that it was all just a figment of my imagination.

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