Outside the Box: If You Only Read One More Post in 2022, Make Sure It’s This One

A Series of Empty Boxes

When did our lives become a series of emp­ty boxes?

When I was a child, I loved Christ­mas. In the lead-in to Christ­mas, I always had an advent cal­en­dar, hang­ing on the wall, with 24 lit­tle win­dows, one for each morn­ing lead­ing up to the Big Day. Each win­dow opened onto an image, a framed draw­ing of some­thing “unex­pect­ed” (except it could­n’t have been, because how many new Christmas‑y images are there, year after year?). Why did I find these lit­tle box­es so thrilling? Because they promised a won­der­ful future.

All box­es lure us into them with promis­es of free­dom, joy, and ful­fill­ment; but they only lead to the next box, and the next failed promise that quick­ly cov­ers up its fail­ure with new promis­es, like the next pres­i­dent elect.

The advent cal­en­dar win­dows were not the only box­es I escaped into. On Christ­mas Day, there were three dimen­sion­al box­es to excit­ed­ly unwrap and open. Then there was TV (the box) and movies, offer­ing pack­ages of imagery inside units of pre­cise­ly mea­sured time, all promis­ing mar­vels. Speak­ing of mar­vels, before movies were Mar­vel comics, each pan­el (box) lead­ing to the next, burst­ing with four-col­or new won­ders, all lead­ing nowhere.

Has any­thing real­ly changed?


The Black Iron Mind That Nev­er Ended

We por­tion out our lives into sequences and seg­ments of time, things to antic­i­pate and look for­ward to: the next meal, the next email, the next TV show, the next blow job, the next pod­cast, retweet or Face­borg “like.” And mean­while, we are boxed in, by our plea­sures as much as our pains.

At school, we are sent from one box-room to the next, for a box of time, made to study box-like books and com­part­men­tal­ize facts and the­o­ries into box­es to be scored. Papers and mag­a­zines and Smart phones and tablets give us “the news,” medi­at­ing our expe­ri­ence in, through, and as box­es. Our minds become box­es filled with ever small­er, tighter box­es. And mean­while, all of exis­tence gets fur­ther and fur­ther away, on the outside.

We approach and antic­i­pate each new thought and feel­ing in just the way I opened those lit­tle win­dows each morn­ing as a child, eager for the next one, my hol­low hopes eter­nal­ly rekin­dled, hopes of more dis­trac­tion, while prepar­ing for the ulti­mate, the grand sur­prise, the big reveal. What will it be?!

But Christ­mas is just anoth­er day, and we are old­er, each year, and the rev­e­la­tion still hasn’t arrived.

There are only two days that can ever tru­ly meet the end­less hunger with­in us. Nei­ther of these days can be boxed up inside our minds, because both bring about the end of the mind. They are either the day of our enlight­en­ment, or the day of our deaths.

At least one of these is com­ing to you, very soon.


Activ­i­ty with­out Author

I have been lis­ten­ing to the audio book of Steven Norquist’s Haunt­ed Uni­verse.  I first bought it in 2010. (Avail­able here) and I must have lis­tened to it over a hun­dred times by now. Most of those lis­tens have been in the last cou­ple of months, since I start­ed lis­ten­ing to it in bed, because Norquist’s voice is so relax­ing and hyp­not­ic that it sends me into a relaxed state, and thence to sleep. Late­ly, it sends me to sleep almost imme­di­ate­ly, each time I wake in the night, which means I am lis­ten­ing to the book (which is less than an hour long) sev­er­al times a night while I sleep! This is not a spir­i­tu­al prac­tice. It is what Dave Oshana called “a secret vice” (which I char­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly make pub­lic now).

I have loved and hat­ed, feared and loathed this book over the last twelve years. I have dis­agreed vio­lent­ly with much of it, yet felt strange­ly com­pelled to sub­mit to even the most con­tentious and hor­ri­fy­ing pas­sages with­in it. Most strange­ly, after over a hun­dred lis­tens of a book that can’t be more than 20,000 words, I con­tin­ue to hear things that are new, things I could swear were not there before, that I have no mem­o­ry of ever hear­ing. The most recent exam­ple was last night, when I final­ly heard Norquist describe enlight­en­ment in “terms of the deal you will make with the devil”).

(This is inter­est­ing tim­ing, as I just emailed Norquist sug­gest­ing that HU might be prop­a­gat­ing a satan­ic cre­do.[1])


Not What You Are Look­ing For

Norquist does not do tours or talks or work­shops, or any­thing at all (except occa­sion­al­ly answer my emails) that would cause any­one to mis­take him for a spir­i­tu­al teacher. For years, I have doubt­ed his claim to enlight­en­ment. All such claims are to be doubt­ed, at least until we can expe­ri­ence a mea­sure of the claimant’s enlight­en­ment for our­selves, via direct and sus­tained inter­ac­tion. But last night some­thing hit me, some pas­sage that I had not heard before, that was so elo­quent and pro­found, so pal­pa­bly true, that (it seemed to me) only an enlight­ened con­scious­ness could have for­mu­lat­ed it.

What­ev­er the case, Haunt­ed Uni­verse is a lyri­cal mas­ter­piece with a whiff of the beyond, and every­thing that implies (includ­ing tru­ly adult hor­ror). Whether it comes from God or Satan or both, it is not for the faint of heart or the weak of ego-mind. Lis­ten­ing to it is a kind of ini­ti­a­tion, into exis­ten­tial hor­ror and what might lie on the oth­er side of that anni­hi­lat­ing encounter with ulti­mate truth.

“Do you want to die, be burned to ash, have your life ripped from you? Do you want the clear and irrev­o­ca­ble under­stand­ing in the heart of your being that every­thing, every sin­gle thing, up to this very moment of your life, has been com­plete lies and bull­shit? Do you want that? To cry and mourn all that is, to final­ly stand alone and uncon­nect­ed to any human pur­pose or endeav­or, for­ev­er. Does this sound even close to what you are look­ing for?”


Noth­ing Like This

“There is no bet­ter world. The very thought that a world could be changed for the bet­ter is the dark­est evil, the dark­est delu­sion. Every per­son that ever raised a flag was com­plete­ly insane.” (HU)

At some lev­el, it is impos­si­ble to deny what the book con­veys. At anoth­er, it is impos­si­ble to agree with it. And how could it be any oth­er way, when a book attempts to encap­su­late the infi­nite? Haunt­ed Uni­verse is both pro­found­ly true and pro­found­ly untrue. The truth of the words is irrel­e­vant, because all that mat­ters is the effect of the words, on the con­scious­ness that encoun­ters them.

It is this, final­ly, that “per­suades” me as to Norquist’s enlight­en­ment (and inspires me to share my expe­ri­ence and rec­om­mend the book). He has con­struct­ed a lethal spir­i­tu­al text, one that no false iden­ti­ty can ever embrace or agree with, but that, at some strange, mys­te­ri­ous lev­el, is enchant­i­ng and delight­ful to the very soul that Norquist denies exists. It whis­pers to the drag­on in us.

Part of my fas­ci­na­tion for this work is that I feel sure my late broth­er would have been able to receive it, as he would not have been able to receive any­thing else “spir­i­tu­al” I might have tried to share him (not count­ing my own words, which he occa­sion­al­ly received). He might even have loved the book. My broth­er was the most “anti-spir­i­tu­al” per­son I have ever known, con­temp­tu­ous of all new age gurus, no mat­ter their shape, style or pedi­gree. But Haunt­ed Uni­verse speaks a lan­guage he would have under­stood, the lan­guage of the inescapable, intol­er­a­ble exis­ten­tial hor­ror and revul­sion the mind expe­ri­ences when con­front­ed with the infini­tude of existence.

The false iden­ti­ty mind has no choice but to negate the infi­nite and scream out, “in hor­ror and in hatred” its own puny insis­tence on exist­ing. This cry of defi­ance, if made pas­sion­ate­ly enough and heard deeply enough, is the cry that final­ly opens the door (the wound), back to the real­i­ty of the soul.


Last­ly But Not Leastly…

Mean­while, on the oth­er side of hatred and hor­ror, Dave Oshana, the only enlight­ened soul I know of who does more than answer emails (who is will­ing to meet you wher­ev­er you are), the polar oppo­site of the lurk­ing ghoul­ish mas­tery of Norquist, is host­ing a final 2022 free event tomor­row, Saturday.

Recent arti­cle by Dave: “The Genius­es Who Will Actu­al­ly Save The World”  

If you can logis­ti­cal­ly make this event, why in Heaven’s name wouldn’t you? Are you so sure that life has no sur­pris­es in store for a soul bold and unjad­ed enough to take a real chance? Then you’ve been conned! (Just don’t expect it to fit into any of your mind-boxes.)

This event is, I believe, 15 years to the day after my first encounter with Dave, in Hamp­stead Lon­don in 2007—a day that changed my life for­ev­er (though I only half knew it at the time).

Tomor­row could be a day like that for you.

[1] Do you per­ceive any inher­ent prob­lem in equat­ing all of exis­tence with mate­ri­al­i­ty (con­scious­ness with the uni­verse)? [I quote from The Kubrick­on:] Evo­lu­tion­ary the­o­ry wants to basi­cal­ly do away with the need for a reli­gious or a divine prin­ci­ple by say­ing that mat­ter itself is self-evolv­ing. The­o­log­i­cal­ly, this is Satanism. [I cite the von Tri­ers movie, The House That Jack Built, in which the ser­i­al killer (an engi­neer who’s try­ing to become an archi­tect) believes that mat­ter has its own will, its own intel­li­gence, and that things just hap­pen accord­ing to that mate­r­i­al will.] This is imma­nence with­out tran­scen­dence, and it is more or less in accord with the Satan­ic zeit­geist. (Norquist had help with his book from Love­craft­ian hor­ror writer Thomas Lig­ot­ti. Lig­ot­ti is an anti­na­tal­ist and pro-mor­tal­ist who admits he’d rather live in a shop­ping mall than rough it in a nat­ur­al environment.)


6 thoughts on “Outside the Box: If You Only Read One More Post in 2022, Make Sure It’s This One

  1. Inter­est­ing, your com­ment on evo­lu­tion­ary the­o­ry, as I was just (imme­di­ate­ly before read­ing this) mus­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of propos­ing a class on evo­lu­tion in my home­school group. This would typ­i­cal­ly be a no-go top­ic, as the evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tians in the group would have con­flict­ing ideas to the sta­tus-quo. My thought is to present both sides to the chil­dren, with two (or more) teach­ers, in a non-con­tentious man­ner, mak­ing it more of a con­ver­sa­tion. Could be rich ground to explore.

  2. Hi Jasun,

    I used to dia­logue with Norquist through email as well. Now I think he was not lying, it is a deal with the dev­il. I don’t need it. I under­stand his “empti­ness” and have seen it for myself. Of course you can’t see empti­ness, but you can see every­thing that empti­ness is aware of as empti­ness. It’s sim­ply your aware­ness and it always has been that way. Enlight­en­ment is the recog­ni­tion that you are aware­ness and not what­ev­er else you have been imag­in­ing you are over you life­time. Peo­ple make the mis­take of think­ing they are what they imag­ine them­selves to be. When­ev­er you are think­ing about your­self, being self-aware, self-con­scious, you are always lost in your imag­i­na­tion, rather than actu­al­ly look­ing at the emp­ty aware­ness at the ground of your being at all times. Whether that’s what Chris­t­ian self­less­ness is (lov­ing your neigh­bor as your­self) or not I do not know, nor do I need to know. I sim­ply believe Jesus is my Sav­ior and who He said He was.

    Norquist’s last words through email to me were, “Wel­come to the Drag­on.” I nev­er respond­ed back. This was years before I became a Christian.

    The only rea­son the dev­il makes deals is because he knows he is get­ting some­thing infi­nite­ly more valu­able than what he is giv­ing. Maybe the dev­il can grant you enlight­en­ment, like all the satan­ic elites believe, but only Jesus can save your eter­nal soul and grant you access to the Father Most High in his Eter­nal King­dom. That’s what the dev­il is so pissed about. He’s lost his place in God’s King­dom, for­ev­er, and he wants you to lose your place as well because he thinks he’s bet­ter than you.

    I set my Norquist mate­ri­als on fire along with all of the oth­er “enlight­en­ment mate­ri­als” I had after I became a Chris­t­ian. Life is pret­ty hard now, but I have no more long­ing for enlight­en­ment. It’s com­plete­ly gone. Like a crack addict who has become free of his addic­tion, lit­er­al­ly. I know Jesus IS THE ANSWER to every ques­tion I’ve ever had because HE IS THE TRUTH. Truth being that which nev­er changes, is imper­ish­able, eter­nal, was and is and is to come.


  3. Won­der if Norquist would be inter­viewed for the 300th? He has­n’t got much of an online pro­file and I have won­dered what he has done since. I’ve lis­tened to that audio book a num­ber of times also, not as many as you. I won­der though if there’s still the residue of the rel­a­tive self left in his obser­va­tions? Meis­ter Eck­hart et.al describe the “break­through” in less Love­craft­ian language.

    1. I may have over­stat­ed when I said I was “per­suad­ed” (tho I did use the quotes). I am con­vinced he has tapped into some­thing and that it is valid in its way and that these audios have been help­ful to me, besides help­ing me get to sleep. But that does­n’t mean they aren’t from the dev­il, so to speak, from some incom­plete form of enlightenment. 

      For me, the book is and most­ly always has been a means of con­fronting some very deep fears in me, which jibes with han­dling dev­il­ish materials. 

      Enlight­en­ment can be coun­ter­feit­ed, as eas­i­ly per­haps as an expe­ri­ence of Jesus Christ sav­ing your soul. The proof is in the pud­ding, as I wrote above. 

      I have asked SN sev­er­al times to do the Lim. No dice from the Dice Man.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *