Solve et Coagula; A contemporary journey through spirituality, psychedelics, and enlightenment
The road to enlightenment is all “they” said it would be, it’s everything I expected and more. Do I think I make all the right choices now? What I found would say that is purely subjective. I am infinitely content with life.
I guess I’ll start off with what i expected. At first my expectations were few. An answer to life, meaning to religion, maybe a deeper purpose to life than monetary worth and continuous reproduction. I guess the journey had already started before I even knew, and by this point it felt more like confirmation was needed on what I assumed. Enlightenment seemed the only thing that could satisfy the ever infinite question of life. I’ve heard stories of people achieving enlightenment to be wise, humble, and “content.”
The initial image coming to mind was of Buddhist monks and the Dalai Lama. To me it seemed a tad too extreme to throw away all hedonist desires for life’s answer, but even if that’s what I had to do I would have.
As to what I found in my own spiritual journey turned out to be very far from expectations, instead it completely shattered my every perception of life, reality, people, the world, and the universe. In latin “Solve et Coagula” means literally to dissolve and congeal, meaning you must first destroy before you can create. This is what I had to do. What every shaman or spiritual mystic had done. Some call it death and rebirth, some see it as a transformation, but I would call it completely destroying everything you knew about life with a sledge hammer, accepting we truly know nothing, and then and only then can you even imagine to create a whole new conscious. I don’t say state of conscious because I feel it is much more. Here, my life truly began.
The destruction came in no particular set order, a lot of this dissolving process began years before I even cared to be “enlightened.” Small little things life would throw my way, like puzzle pieces that hint to “something more.” Things like astral projection, quantum physics, and more than a share of mind opening psychedelics hinted that I’ve been fooled. Lied to my whole life, by the whole world. Yet the liars believed the lies themselves.
It’s hard to pick where to begin me “retelling” of my realizations. The chronological order truly doesn’t matter, yet I feel like I should put some significance in what order these get told. We’ll start with a heavy weight, Religion. This topic can be seen as very controversial, and I feel stirring up the pot of the average human brain in the very least promotes questioning. More importantly though, religion played a huge part in my own life at one point.
Me and the topic of religion have been the best of friends, worst of enemies, then finally came to terms with each other. At least, I came to term with religion. Whether or not the religious world of today would equally accepting of me or not is questionable, and I have yet to find out.
My parents never intended to raise me overly religious, but I was a very easily influenced child. Little things they would say, like if you say Hell or “Satan” (a common word to use in Russian with the same context as “shit” and “fuck”) then Satan would come for you and take your soul unless you ask God for forgiveness. To demonstrate how easily I was influenced (and how imaginative a child I was), let me tell you my thought process behind this at the time. I thought if Satan took my soul I would die, and since I definitely didn’t wanna die I quickly took my parent’s words as the truth. I was also told that god could hear my thoughts, so I figured I should apologize to god every time I thought of anything hell related or demonic. Eventually I felt bad for apologizing so much, so I figured I’d throw in a prayer every time too.
Little traumas like this carried with me until my late preteens. To explain why I say this to be traumatizing, let’s just say when I started playing RPG video games (like Diablo) I spent more time praying and apologizing than the average American spends watching television.
Eventually with lots of free time on the internet I stumbled into things like astral projection and Wicca, which began to put my simple beliefs in question. Subconsciously standing up for myself, I gathered the courage to “take a gamble with my soul.” I took full interest in Wicca, setting Christianity aside. My curiosity has always overtaken me, to explore new horizons, leading me to read books by Wiccan authors to learn more on the subject. I’d like to point out that reading books on Wicca by Wiccans is like reading an essay on the health benefits of eggs from a yolk-junkie, it sounded great! Best of all, none of the authors mentioned Satan stealing my soul.
My Wiccan career lasted a few years but eventually fell short of expectations. Pagan-ized prayers and subconscious archetypal imagery failed to provide satisfying answers to my ever growing questioning of life. My first encounter with religion terrorized over 12 years of my life, and now even my savior fell short to feed my hunger for unquestionable truth. At this point I could have either become an atheist, or keep trying religions until I found what I was looking for. I chose to do neither. The first option seemed logical but too simple, and I refused to believe that something as complex as life was so simple. The second option just seemed useless. I read wikipedia articles about as many religions as I could find, but none seemed to stand out. The ones that did stand out didn’t seem fitting for my life at the time, as per requiring too extreme of a lifestyle change. In the end I settled on believing in a higher purpose, but to put religion on the back burner until further notice. The only things I believed were astral projection and lucid dreaming, because they felt like solid proof of something “spiritual.”
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