Shamanic trance is just a more primal method of the “scientific” method.
The search for rest is what takes so many people into substance abuse. To take a break from their inner chaos. The process that leads to addiction is not “evil” in the person. We do even the harmful things because we perceive a need, but are not always in touch with our real needs. So in desperation we try anything at all. This life we are taught to live seems to lead so many to an almost mad desperation so we try many relationships and gain many emotional scars, and we try many distractions. Can get obsessive about recreation. Is a reason media like movies have so much influence.
We can get so upset that we will seek oblivion just to find peace. Even online activities like the Second Life virtual world can be an addiction, but addiction is just a state of unawareness. We can choose Second Life knowingly, for what real substance it has to offer or we can choose it as a distraction. As a way to sublimate our real needs. To experience vicariously what we don’t feel we can in “real life”.
But in fact, I like what Second Life does, because having that taste of our real needs loosens our sense of control. Makes things a little less orderly in our heads, thus all the “no drama” signs you see about. Distraction by itself is not an addiction, dependency on distraction is. When you cease having the choice.
Sublimation is repressing an impulse by giving it a different outlet. Is often a short cut that denies us a chance at self awareness. Many feel it’s a good thing, I would debate that myself though wouldn’t deny it. In some situations we really should channel energy in a way we know to be more wise.
So Second Life can truly be a second life. A chance to expand rather than replace our real lives. Who says Second Life isn’t real? It depends on the honesty of the intention when we go there, but real life is the same. How willing are we to embrace truth? The me you see in Second Life is not how I look in real life, but I do choose my appearance there to reflect a truth.
In Tibetan Buddhism, there is a system of deific images, some peaceful and some “angry”. The mystery of this symbolism is that they are the same forces in spiritual life. The angel and the demon are the same. For one person if death comes it would come as a horror. A fearful demonic thing. For another death would come as a mercy. A release from suffering that should rightfully have a limit. So how you see it, is more a mirror of you than it. Death and life are just the nature of the universe.
What am I reflecting from my inner self in my avatars? In hermetic philosophy, there is often a reference to a right hand and a left hand path. The right hand path is basically ascetic, seeking purity. The other is a path of experience. Tantrism is an example of that. Lies a left handed or “dark” path. But the brahmins say that all paths lead to the all encompassing. All paths lead to the same truth. I have just recognized a personal truth. They say you don’t actually pick your path. When you encounter your path it picks you and you return to it repeatedly. The left path may sound like more fun. More extreme perhaps. It has its joys and its pains. But both left and right handed paths are a part of the same balance. I do not set myself in opposition to any spiritual path. I call the monk brother. I just don’t have his spirit of discipline.
The line between the two paths is conceptual. It’s the idea of duality, but our minds of their own nature narrow things. So we think we choose. Peace and simplicity? Or passion and impulse? Both can lead to self knowledge and we are what we are. Some choose peace and simplicity but passion and impulse take over. Then perhaps more reflection is needed. Either your calling is that path of peace, or maybe you are meant to find the peace in passion. Some find solitude and reflection difficult. This is why the brahmins codified paths according to temperament.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.