X-Filemania takes the Satellite! (UPDATED)

With X-Filemania reaching a new peak these days, Amid Night Suns maestro Raj Sisodia and I have worked up a major analysis of the sixth and seventh seasons of The X-Files (known in fan circles as The LAX-Files or X-Files Lite) on The Solar Satellite, with historical overviews and detailed capsule reviews of all the episodes from the 1998-2000 era. If you ever wondered what happened in those seasons, why the show seemed to take such a radical turn, you may find some answers here. It's rather huge, so please be advised.

Don't forget my previous entries on the eighth and ninth seasons of the series, which you can read here and here, as well as the three-part series on the X-Files Mythology, which you can check out here.

I'd be remiss if I didn't remind fans there's also an in-depth series on the very deep, dark and very well-researched conspiracy and parapolitical themes explored in the X-Files' sister series, Millennium: check out parts one, part two, part three and part four. Very heavy, very thought-provoking.

And lest we forget, the piece that started it all, "Nebet-Het Gish: An X-Files X-Egesis."

And the definitive analysis of the Lone Gunmen pilot: "Nine Eleven Ten Thirteen." 

What You Bring Forth...

Sometimes it seems hopeless to blog about the things I do, since it feels as if we're all watching a hurricane looming on the horizon. Some people have battered down emotionally and psychically, as every day seems to bring fresh reason for worry, some humanitarian crisis, economic convulsion or local atrocity having to do with guns and some individual who everyone knew needed psychiatric help all along but no one bothered to do anything about it until it was too late.

It certainly doesn't seem like the time to pull up the old rabbit ears and see what you can pull off the Collective Wireless.

But to assume as much is assume that all you'll bring forth from the whereafter is happy-fluffy-bunny vibes. This is based in popular New Age misconceptions as well as popular notions that clenching up is a sign of strength and not weakness.

One of the side benefits of my trance work is that my dreamtime is a generally positive experience and puts me in a stronger physical and emotional state to face whatever challenges face me during the day. I don't record my dreams any more for the simple fact that they're not particularly memorable, just like I don't keep a journal to record my day's events ("Dear Diary, that cup of tea was delicious! Well, back to work. Oh, look; an email from Gordon...").

But sleep is very important for people with my condition (that is, the "rabid dog of chronic pain conditions") and having had a history of sleep disorder in which dreaming played a part, the work I've done with trance has made a major difference in my overall well-being.

I think the same holds true with your basic centeredness. Tension and anxiety aren't just unpleasant, they are brutal on the immune system. This becomes a very, very real hazard as you reach middle age. Not only does meditation and exercise help to reduce the inevitable stresses life sends your way, getting a sense of where you stand in the overall scheme of things does as well.

A lot of people will look at the vastness of the Universe and feel insignificant. I find that contemplating the vast stretches of emptiness has the exact opposite effect on me-- it makes me feel grateful. I'm part of this unique drama. Whoever you are on this planet, you've been let into the cosmic VIP room.

Moreover, it's settled science that people who strive towards a deeper connection with whatever it is you care to call it-- the Infinite, the Ineffable, the Eternal, Doug, Ashley-- are able to deal with crisis and major life challenges more effectively than those who do not. I don't think it's rocket science here. It can be as simple as having a sense of mission, a sense of purpose. Goals are totems in and of themselves.

I think it's the same with magic and myth and all those other endlessly-discussed but poorly-understood phenomena-- they open the mind to realities beyond whatever mundane problems the individual is dealing with and create a sense of communion and community with something outside the self.

So, no, I don't think all of this stuff I blog about is inconsequential in times of crisis. On the contrary, I think it's designed for crisis, it arises from crisis and finds its fullest flowering in times of crisis. It's why the reality I wrote about almost 10 years in Our Gods Wear Spandex holds true today. And for better and most certainly worse, we may be just at the beginning of it.

Call It What It Is

I see patterns in the wind and in the sand

I see the stars, I read the clouds, I understand
"Communion"- Killing Joke

Sometime I think we'd do well to have a Vocabulary Police Force, who could keep important terms from being degraded from mis- or overuse. The New Age in all its permutations are particularly egegrious offenders when it comes to vocabulary abuse, as were the Religious Right before them. 

Politicians of course are career recidivists, though academics might be the Ted Bundys of word murder; their inhouse jargon so tortured and twisted it's a miracle they can communicate with one another. Perhaps they just pretend to understand each other, throwing out an arcane blizzard of inexplicable buzzwords that would leave the most esoteric Kabbalist breathless with envy, hoping no one notices they just said absolutely nothing at all.

The entheogenic community and its fellow travelers aren't exactly innocent in the abduction and torture of the English language either. We hear the word "consciousness" thrown around with such abandon and used to describe so many wildly different psycho-physiological states, that it's no wonder that some rationalists are driven to deny that such a thing even exists. Maybe they do so because consciousness happy-talk can be so damn irritating.

But it occurred to me the other night that those would-be gurus who try to sell consciousness like its a consumer product are in fact selling themselves short.

It was a hazy, sultry night and the Moon loomed overhead rather ominously. I was walking the dog and soaking it all in. For a very brief moment the "c" word crept into my mind, but was chased out by a more potent term, one that I felt more aptly captured the state I was in at the moment: communion.

It occurred to me that I was in communion with spirits, ones I couldn't name or quantify. As soon as that simple yet powerful idea slipped into my mind I went with it and it made sense to me. It felt real and true. 

I realized that such a simple notion was time-tested and amazingly untainted by people who talk a lot but say very little. 

I also began to think about how this communion wasn't necessarily a fully-conscious process, but a kind of wireless download that my unconscious underwent while my workaday brain took in the sights and sounds. I realized that this was nothing new but something that people unlearn through socialization. That it's a process that comes natural to children before school and television programs it out of them. 

Anyone with kids has seen this when they were young and at play, how they seemed to be tuned into channels you were blocked from, hearing music you or I cannot. Maybe restoring those connections is the meaning of it all.

I probably wouldn't have noticed all this had I not prepared myself over the years with my trance work. I've noticed that I've really chipped away at that wall between the conscious and unconscious mind, and probably also between the mundane and spiritual worlds.

I also realized how much more compelling "communion" felt than the usual talk about states of consciousness. It was direct, palpable, numinous. It didn't feel tainted by boring lectures or sales pitches. It was complete, self-contained and immensely satisfying. It was its own explanation.

Try it. Let me know how it works for you. 

UPDATE: Gordon tries it and finds it works quite well indeed.