I’m chewing on the question of how we know our parameters and what sorts of things we keep in mind not to ‘pop our corks’.
This issue came up for me pretty strongly earlier in the week. To say one thing I think we all have individual vulnerabilities where we have to learn certain things about what our own subconscious minds can and will do without our own explicit direction and on the other hand you need to know how not to take it back to center so hard that you relapse into overdoing it.
If I’ve noticed anything for myself, if I have any proclivity to addiction, it’s what I’d class as ‘meaning porn’ - whether it’s deep music, big questions, gold-mining big search spaces, these things aren’t bad in and of themselves (mostly to the contrary) but you can overdo it and, if life is particularly punishing (like crushing yourself at a job to make ends meet, getting depleted more than replenished, etc.) then your own subconscious instead of being the thing you can lean on for support might start trying to wander out of the bowl.
The best framing I can think of on this - your personality sits in what I might best call a certain form of ‘gravity well’. That’s not a perfect analogy but lets just say ‘sane you’. The beckoning of the occult community, spoken or unspoken, is often to hot-rod or overclock your own circuitry. Yeah, there are people who’ve just effortlessly been seeing things since they were kids or only needed a slight nudge to get into more organized form with that, I’m talking more about the sorts of people who Josephine McCarthy would consider ‘bricks’ where you almost have to go overdose to feel much of anything. TBH I don’t think that’s something most people work their way into or out of on their own merits, so much of this seems to come from deeper dynamics and at least with athleticism most people have the good sense not to beat on themselves for not being in the NBA or being Olympic sprinters.
My sense is that the ‘bowl’ or ‘gravity well’ most people sit in can be peered out of, played with a little, changes can be made but need to generally be made slowly, otherwise - especially under intense stress of, lets say what’s likely to be the most stressful 3% of your life by a long shot, there’s risks of parts of you wanting to escape your situation whether you realize it or not and - those parts of you may realize that they have levers they can pull by pretending to be spirits. They then lead you if you’re not careful to join the escape mission. My trepidation - that most likely ends up in one of a few places: 1) permanent brain damage, 2) homelessness when the wiring you depended on for all the backbreaking ‘without errors’ labor gets cracked, or 3) you get to be that person whose posting tons of bubblegum pop music videos interlaced with pictures of the goddess Kali and you start writing in such strange pros that no one wants to read your posts.
Having completely abandoned reductive materialism or physicalism as a realistic model of the universe (perhaps panspychism in my most reductionist moods) I at least realize that the laws here are very tight, very strict, and much like I can stretch every morning for a few years and still barely touch my toes there’s a lot of this that won’t be fungible - not because minds aren’t ready but because the things in question were built by process or by smaller assembly pieces and parts (eg. Darwinian evolution) where such demands for fungibility have narrow ranges and even at that - plenty of limitations help you survive or at least keep you from catastrophic evolutionary failure, other limitations can almost guarantee evolutionary failure either in reproduction or capacity to compete and even find enough economic stability to warrant any peace of mind.
Hence many of us are trying to mine a very narrow gap, navigate tight spaces (heck… almost anyone who isn’t trying to navigate tight spaces wouldn’t be here - they’d be doing whatever’s considered ‘normal’ if that was working).
The main reason I’m bringing this up - I’m starting to see my own flaws and just how tricky it can be to tell when you’re dealing with a search-function in your own nervous system that lost governance and started leading you. Someone else may have a different cosmology but my take on gods, goddesses, etc. is that they are other self-organizing forms of consciousness. Likely the seeming physical reality we see isn’t actually physical in the way we like to think it is (ie. bring in the umwelt concept, the idea that we contextually extract fitness landscapes from a much deeper bed of information, ie. Hoffman and Prakash Conscious Realism) and to the degree that we interact with forms of consciousness which are discursively self-aware in the way we are but whom don’t have embodiment in the same sense there won’t be any other ways in for them to communicate other than pulling on our own wiring - which can make it quite difficult at times to tell what’s a lower-level daemon within our own conscious/subconscious structures vs. something external trying to facilitate communication through that daemon.
I don’t know that I’m necessarily taking a break but - I think I’m going to be much less willy-nilly, adventurous, or unstructured with my search spaces on this stuff. Mainly I don’t want to encourage my own nervous system to go rogue and potentially break itself. Trick is finding the sweet-spot between too much and too little exploration and building as much of a catalog as I can of what the signals are that I’m doing either a bit too much or too little. A vacation from it at least for a week or two will be good, mainly because I want to review my own notes and see how much I can extract from these experiences.