And So I Live: Surviving My Solstice Vision Quest ~ Aphorism(s)


A few days before last year’s December Solstice—just preceding a flight to Cordoba,  Argentina—I had finished drafting My Thoughts Inexactly ~In Exactness~ S is for Solstice, and set it to publish on the December 21, 2017 solstice time of 11:27 EST (the time of the exact event being 13:27:50 in Chilean Time, where solar noon would be).

Realizing how dangerous my journey might be (and simultaneously not at all Realizing it), I included one of my boldest declarations in case I did not return, which prophetically had come to me in the waxing of the previous winter solstice on December 20th, 2016, with full blown solstice insomnia, whereby I declared “Be a Goddamning animal”. And in recognition of the insanity I was embarking upon, and that I knew I had to go and that I might very well die, I ended the series of aphorisms with acceptance: “And so I die…” It almost proved itself…

Por Que?

35298574_669097290103264_4160131831443750912_oMy mission (several months later described to me by an elder as my “Vision Quest”) was to get to the inflection subsolar point on the Tropic Of Capricorn where it was solar noon at the moment of the solstice. This is only one of two zenith points every year that the sun does not cross, but rather kisses; the other zenith being somewhere on the Tropic Of Cancer. The years that it falls on land in the southern hemisphere is a stark minority, and
IMG_20181223_020232very rare to fall on Chile—one out of every 107 years on average—one of the narrowest countries in terms of ratio in the whole world; and not coincidentally (so I now believe most especially) the land of Pedro Pascal, the actor who brings to life my prominent fictional hero Oberyn Martell and whose shirt I wore at bottom layer for defiant strength on that fateful day.

Enter the Desierto

A few days later and several thousand miles, now in San Pedro de Atacama on the night of December 20th—after a mad scramble from Argentina up and over to the Atacama region of Chile and a long exhausting day trying to find a ride up the desert “ramp” plateau for the next morning and then a wandering altitude acclimation near 20171220_185221Volcán Licancabur—I found myself in my lodging for the night in great distress over my next day’s seemingly-impossible journey, and was acutely uneasy about leaving the ending aphorism “and so I die”. I decided to log in to Subverses and after some debate deleted the aphorism, knowing (and not knowing) that I had the choice whether or not to fate myself to death.

“Today Is Not The Day I Die”

The next day—the day I successfully avoided an Unexploded Ordnance left over  from Pinochet, the day I almost died from heat stroke, the day I almost died from lack of atmosphere and altitude sickness, the day I almost died from despair in the face of extreme concentrated solar energy, the day I almost died from 12 tornadoes, the night I almost died from exposure to extreme cold—I kept saying to myself “Today is not the day I die” (Oberyn’s last words to his paramour) and at night, OTHERS pitched in and started saying this for me, carrying and caring for me. The Universe conspired to keep me alive, and I affirmed to myself that I am just as important a part in determining the course of the Universe as any other.

*That day, one of the most common points of reference for me, was too look to my west and try and see volcán Láscar (pictured at top) and those in its chain, remembering the unique community I was a part of. These images are burned in to my mind.

**There is so much more to say and note, but this is not the place for it. This was merely a place for me to recall the un-fateful writings and epitaphs I tempted in the leading and following through with my vision quest.


notes 4 today: 2016-12-20 (Winter Solstice Energy; Hyper-theses Valid Until Proven Otherwise; Dear oh Deer, Cities And Bureaucracies Will Kill Us All; Ostracization Of Ostracization)

title: Winter Solstice Energy

“Can’t sleep can’t think can’t stop getting shivers. This solstice shit is powerful; this love is even moreso.”

— A facebook status that I altered withholding from posting (to not reveal a telling hint to the one by whom I am smitten)

This particular hibernal solstice is not like the particular estival solstice 6 months before, not just because one is hibernal and one estival, but because the one before had a full moon in the same day and this one is having a full moon a week before. Yet, for whatever reason, and for only the second solstice in my life, I am on a multi-day extremely low sleep pattern. What’s interesting though is that during this hibernal solstice, if I am remembering correctly, the sun is the closest to the Earth when when it is lowest in the sky for the Northern hemisphere. I wonder if this is a balance or a point of greatest contradiction for the lifeforms enduring these energy shifts. Today, the day before the solstice, I had a heightened spiritual conversation as I drove on wide open New York Thruway and then a Westering Interstate (84?) to get raw milk. Among the discussions that felt like a communing with the trees, mountains and especially the sun, was a whole lot of powerful aphorisms. There was one focused on mushrooms that I will share here:

“One doesn’t need to eat mushrooms, to be fed mushrooms”

I’ve never partaken in psychadelics for shamanic connections, but I certainly felt the aliveness today. It is the second solstice in a row where this has happened. Moments like these are unspeakably reaffirming; I cried in commiseration with the friendly reassuring forces, injustices happening, and of vows to fight for life. Yet there will now be a dread in me that I will not only be losing sleepiness, but losing sleep to (playing on one of my favorite aphorisms).

This note, and everything below, will be on 12 hours of sleep over the last 6 days…

One might be born into a religion, or later choose to join a religion. But it is the Earthly energies that choose to breathe a new life at conception.

title: Hyper-theses Valid Until Proven Otherwise
The scientific process is all together backwards in its approach to the fecundity of the Universe. Scientists and aficionados like this about science—its ability to weed out all but the logically assimilated factors in the Universe that are repeatable rather than unique and spontaneous—but any therapist that has an interdisciplinary acumen could see how grossly invalidating science is to not just a great many theories—”hypotheses”—but also the very real people behind them that took mental energies aside to generate them.

In the spirit of pronoia, and the notion that what exists is its own justification, I wanted to formalize the direct inversion (one of inclusion) to the scientific method of exclusion. Essentially it’s that something is valid until it is proven invalid by some method. Why do thoughts occur to people (and dreams, and dream worlds), where do they come from? The experience of them is very real, which means to me they are as real as other things that are experienced, whether or not they are “eternally” real or “ephemerally” real. The nomadic “ephemeral” real might be the most dynamic and will always be overlooked by science, for it is a law breaker and science stays strictly to the confines of legality.

The emotions, the beauty, the touching—its all very real and all generally foreign to science. Again, ideas generated in your imagination or intuition gotten from your body should be thought of as real and true until they are disproven.

Perhaps in many decades science will turn it’s eye to “know” what has already been long before known, without need of costly and alienating experiments.

Lastly, I wanted to point out a correlation (a causation?) between the development of science and the development of problems in the world, specifically the loss of biomass and biodiversity. When all the narratives of progress are discarded for the propaganda they are, we can see with the much better criterion of life existing and to what extent, that there has been indeed great loss rather than progress. Should we blame science per se? Certainly not as the cause, but perhaps a co-factor. Science knowledge accumulation informs chemists when they develop anti-biological compounds.

re is a scientific correlation between the development of science and the development of problems in the world. The scientific method is anti-thetical to the thesis that something is valid until it is proven unvalid, as, not the opposite direction which is that of science.

title: Dear oh Deer, Cities And Bureaucracies Will Kill Us All

First off, let the deer’s death be in venison, not in vain. Don’t know how they are planning on dealing with the deer’s body, and all the less celebritized deers that die in less infamous circumstances. Industrial chickens practically die from the stress (sometimes hours away from death when they are slaughtered) and are filled with some unfavorable hormones, so that at least is not a reason to avoid eating this deer.

So this may seem like a sad and cute story, but I think it is quite revealing. Humans are temporally quite far from deer evolutionarily (by our own standards, at least), but being of the mammalian family and having most of our needs be similar does suggest that there are comparisons to be drawn. Our systems for decision making (i.e. bureaucracies) are not adequate to biological life, which includes ourselves lest we forget. Though we do not seldom die from bureaucracies, we all indeed do atrophy a bit, weathered down; one additional stressor in the cumulative paralysis of stressors.

title: Ostracization Of Ostracization

Ostracization used to essentially be a death sentence to a person, but this is no longer the case, and on the surface that sounds good because that means no one will have to suffer that fate. However, to draw it level with our time in two dimensions—

1) We have the specter of imprisonment, capital punishment, and other variations that can amount to a death sentence, literally or in labor ostracization (prison record).

2) Ostracization wasn’t something that had to be used all the time (it could act as a deterrent most of the time), and perhaps it can be guessed at that in more recent ancient history banishment for a set time used to happen (1 year?), maybe depending on the offense a person wouldn’t be permenantly ostracized. So it was effectively their judicial system, and certainly I’m guessing most of the tribes that used this had good and valid reasons—for they are giving up one of their own that has already been a love and food investment when they were younger at least, and now won’t be in the society in that capacity. So that really elevates what the severity had to be to get them kicked out. Or perhaps they were a freeloader type that somehow evolved in to that context.

Now what happens in modern western liberal “democracies” is that people who are ostracized because of something the group finds off-putting are then afforded a huge range of other groups that are composed of other ostracized groups to just form a new critical mass for a second community. Before actual ostracization happens, or in tandem with hints of its existence, there is sometimes “self-ostracization” where people might be inclined to leave a social group and join another, sensing they didn’t fit in but new they would elsewhere.

So the problem with this is that the corrective abilities that are evolved with balance in primates are disbanded without anything else to replace them. The long term consequences of this are huge and I think we are seeing it now if we look with any degree of realism at our fellow humans. So yes, specific individuals are empowered in the near term by this process, but it is costly environmentally and disempowers everybody, including the humans as resources (emotional capacities, bodily functionality, as well as soil and other ground resources). OoO wreaks of being deeply reinforcing as by feedback loops with globalization, both eroding localism in their own unique ways.

There has been a denudering of the ability to punish bad behavior, and so these behaviors proliferate in this vacuum.