Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong. – Terence McKenna
Transcendental meditation is silly. There is nothing to transcend. What we see is what we get. If you find reality to be a drag, that’s on you. You are viewing it through narrow glasses rendered nearly opaque by layers and layers of cultural conditioning, societal expectations, media suggestion, and ego-based desires. But you can remove those glasses, if you have the stomach for it.
I’ve written about calm abiding, insight meditation, expansion of consciousness and Eastern philosophy ad nauseum on this page, but lately it strikes me that the written word is about as effective in getting to the heart of such matters as is a sanitary pad in absorbing Lake Michigan.
So if words cannot convey a method for altering the contents of the mind, how can anyone even embark on such a mental excursion? There are hallucinogens, of course. LSD, peyote, psilocybin, mescaline, DMT — take your pick (but avoid ecstasy, please). The problem with the use of these substances is that once the effects wear off, the significant discoveries made during the temporary psychedelic experience will soon fade, leaving the user even more dissatisfied with unadorned reality than they were before they took the drug.
Enter Simon Posford and Raja Ram, known collectively as Shpongle. Their music has been described variously as psychedelic, electronica, ambient, psybient and trance, but these labels are pathetically inadequate in describing their multi-layered soundscapes that literally defy categorization. To date, Shpongle has released five albums of pure sonic bliss: “Are You Shpongled?” (1998), “Tales of the Inexpressible” (2001), “Nothing Lasts…But Nothing Is Lost” (2005), “Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland” (2009), and “Museum of Consciousness” (2013). Weaving high-tech studio wizardry with organic instrumentation and bizarrely manipulated field recordings, the duo creates music that has the power to permanently change the way you perceive the phenomenal world.
But as inadequate as language is in the transmission of non-conceptual wisdom, it is equally as impotent in explaining the beautiful mind-fuck one experiences when listening to the sounds of Shpongle. So if you’re ready to internalize the possibility that everything you know is wrong, here’s a little taste: