Disorientation for ASC

The Poet makes himself a seer by a long, gigantic and rational derangement of all the senses. (Rimbaud)

There are many paths to altered states of consciousness. Rhythm, movement, fasting, entheogens, breath control, sensory deprivation and the opposite, sensory overload. But one I have not seen discussed much, but which is pretty fundamental to my personal practice, is disorientation. And I don’t mean in the sense of spinning around until you are dizzy, although that can work too of course. I am talking about practices which serve to change your sense of everyday reality in slow and sometimes subtle ways. I find these types of activities, while not always a direct or immediate entry into deep trance on their own, serve to thin the veil between the worlds and prime the mind for unusual experiences. When combined with other ASC methods this can lead into more focused ritual work in any specific instance, but also over time they can serve to loosen the mind in a broad and long-lasting way, making it easier to slip into that headspace on an ongoing basis. (The reason this might not be widely discussed, I realize, is that even most spirit-workers might not actually desire to experience this sort of constant alteration, but it is part of my path, so it seems likely there would be others out there, too.)

Some examples. If anyone else does anything like this, I’d love to hear some more.

  • sleeping in an unusual way – in a different room, at the foot of the bed, at odd hours, etc.
  • conversely, doing things (especially spiritual activities) in the middle of the night, between sessions of sleep
  • thinking in another language you aren’t fluent in (slows your mind down)
  • wearing a mask while doing everyday activities around the house
  • different lighting – colored lights, having only candlelight in a room usually lit with flourescents, blocking out all light in the middle of the day, etc.
  • lying down looking up at the ceiling and visually exploring the house in your mind as if the ceiling were the floor
  • watching a movie or observing people in reverse through a mirror
  • staying silent through an otherwise typical day, or speaking only in a whisper
  • when outside, taking a new route to a familiar location – especially through liminal spaces like alleys – until nearly lost (like this)
  • going through an entire day and night without looking at any clocks, erasing your usual sense of time passing
  • wearing a blindfold during normal (but safe) activities such as having a conversation with someone

~ by Dver on March 27, 2019.

6 Responses to “Disorientation for ASC”

  1. Wearing odd clothes/clothing items in public and being as blasé as possible about it, even as others react strangely to one’s appearance…? 😉

    • Could work, though there’s potential there for reactions and interactions (both positive and negative) that could pull one out of an altered state. So I guess it would depend on context. I am totally imagining you with your fez right now though!

      • Yes…that’s one version and one type of instance that I’ve generally had good reactions with (with only one possible exception at the World Parliament of Religions!)…but I’ve had others, too. You know me too well! 😉

  2. Fascinating ideas. Taking notes for future experimentation.

  3. Very interesting ideas, thank you!

  4. Yes, yes, yes! I’ve used different methods of lighting, staying silent, and ignoring the clock. I find all three to be effective, and subtle, as you say — very gentle techniques for altering consciousness.

    I am eager to try some of the other methods you list here; thank you for the ideas!

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