Exercises to Mindfuck Yourself
authors: Cramulus, LMNO, Payne, 000, Burns, Golden Applesauce, planeswalker, Richter, Enki-][, Alfred Rhazi, Anton, Cain,
Sure, we're old hands at cracking open others reality tunnels, but when was the last time you were mindfucked, o merry trickster?
This article is a list of ideas for jaking yourself. The idea is to throw yourself into a state of holy Confusion. Confusion, to Discordians, can be like what Satori is to the Buddhists. But don't think that doing the stuff on this list will "enlighten" you! And if, as a result of Holy Confusion, you think you figured out some universal truth, you're probably just more deluded than you were before. But you might figure out something you didn't even expect. So tread lightly, and don't be afraid to fuck up what you thought was true.
FUCK what you know about Chaos.
FUCK what you THINK YOU KNOW about Chaos
- Borrow some clothes from a friend. Try to pick clothes as different from your regular dress style as possible. Not only will you not look like you in the mirror, people will treat you subtly differently.
- This is a good one to do when really tired or blacked out drunk. Right before you put on your clothes, write a message on your body. Try not to think about this - forget that you wrote it there, so when you disrobe and see it, you'll surprise even yourself.
- What to write? One Line Meme Bombs are good, but it's easier to find a phrase of personal significance in old journals or notebooks. If there's a time in your life where you were more idealistic or active, pen a slogan or reminder of that time. Anything that will conjure up old emotions and memories. But be careful - your next exposure to the phrase has to be a surprise, so don't think about it.
- Another method is to hide a note with this phrase somewhere where you'll find it unexpectedly in the future -- like in a shirt pocket, your glove compartment, or inside a box of cereal.
- alternate angle: you can use ohdontforget.com to send yourself a text message which you won't receive until years later.
- Pick up a magazine which you would never otherwise read. Pick something for which you are certainly not the target audience, like a differing political opinion, or a magazine intended for the opposite gender. Don't resist and mentally counter what you're reading, try to explore what that headspace would be like. Get out of your own ideas and opinions and become the target audience.
...bonus points if you find yourself jacking off to scat grannies.
- Develop rational and convincing arguments that run counter to your own political beliefs.
- stage2 - believe them for a couple of months. This is the single most effective way to get inside your own head and break down all the meaningless bullshit that you have in there. If you're having trouble believing something as part of this exercise, approach it from the other side and start by proving your existing belief wrong. Note: All beliefs can be proven wrong, usually by simply changing the context. If you don't believe this then I'd suggest you start with this belief.
- Attempt to go for a period of time without using the word "I". Speaking about yourself in the third person doesn't count.
- Turn off the TV, stereo, or computer. Sit in silence for 15 minutes, doing nothing.
- I've always found consciously breaking habits, such as my usual morning ritual of "cigarette(in bed)/turn on computer/coffee", and doing something completely different such as "go for a half hour walk, without a shower and wearing yesterdays clothes" works wonders for kick starting my head and making me think differently.
- I think a biggie would be exploring your values and morals by systematically fucking up your conscience.
- The fist approach would be to adopt a temporary (or better yet - permanant) amoral attitude about life. The idea is to go beyond the right/wrong, moral/immoral point of view and to work within a headspace that is of a 3rd perspective, a noninterfering point of view... "being the watcher".
- This gives you free reign (read: excuse) for some sick experimentation. So make a list of your aversions, the things you absolutely cannot stand... that gross you out, that simply suck. And do them within your separated headspace (you know making an exucse). Christopher Hyatt had an article in this book Undoing Yourself where he mentioned making POOP SCULPTURES! (I guess it had to be mentioned eventually.) I have yet to really do that...but it illustrates where I'm setting up barriers (albeit rather insignificant).
- Experiment with a member of the same sex if you're straight, experiment with a member of the opposite sex if you're gay. Fuck an animal if you're bi (but be nice about it and like make it porportional, please. and no chillauahas [that means you, wade]). I have to emphasize the sexual part of it because thats where it seems that most people have their biggest hangups. Fucking ugly people has always been a useful one (spare, crowley). As you can imagine, this requires a good sense of responsibility.
- But lighter issues might be working in a nursing home -- I mean why not allow someone else benefit from your mindfuckery? But i'd even go so far as to advocate crap voluenteer work. Working in an environment where you have to be totally selfless might be a great for some people.
Also, I know Robert Anton Wilson would mostly talk from the reality tunnel point of view in Prometheus Rising. this is, of course, always good. i mean, who CAN'T benefit from being a NAZI for a day?
So... working with aversions to explore your superego. thats one.
- The idea of the watcher perspective is to bring deep awareness to the experiment. For instance, say you want to have sex with an ugly person. Bring up the full awareness of the quality of ugliness that you're perceiving. By disassociating yourself with the person in the role of ugly-person-fucker, it sets up an experience you can analyze without identifying with it.
- Go blind for a day. Wear one of those "sleep masks", or blindfold yourself, on a day where you can stay around the house all day but still have to accomplish normal chores. Television, doing laundry, making meals (avoid the oven at all costs, I learned), and generally amusing yourself. When I did this I was baffled by how much I rely on visual cues to keep my mind occupied.
- Force yourself to stay awake for a few days.
- Be asexual for a few weeks. When you see people, ignore their bodies like they were one of those international icons on bathroom doors; try to think about the world without gender (such as using 'they' or 'it' in your mind instead of 'he' or 'she'); no porn, no masturbation, no sex.
- Find a religion that interests you in a scholarly manner, even if you would never believe in their god(s), and/or especially if you consider it utter bullshit. Follow their practices and tenants for a while. I'm going to be giving this one a shot with Kemeticism, those folks that "reconstructed" the ancient Egyptian religion.
- Find a mental disease that you could plausibly have and convince yourself that you do, in fact, have it. Behave to compensate.
- "The Dice Man" is a nice book by Luke Rhinehart. He sets out to destroy his ego with the help of random chance - he lives according to the whim of the dice. It contains a lot about breaking out of habits and to follow the main character deeper and deeper into a world of chance and egoless-ness is just delicious. It's worth reading and might be partially educational I dare say.
- Sometimes I just feel this chaotic spark in me and so I either just behave in a spontaneous chaotic fashion or I give it more structure and come up with six options; from pleasant and natural to my current me to uncomfortable, unnatural or just whacky things. Stuff I would never do normally: after the d6 decided what it shall be I set out to experience something new.
example: In the morning I would let it decide what clothes to wear; which bus to take, how to behave towards strangers (attitude of the day), what to do during the day, where and what to eat, whom to talk to at random, who to try and have sex with (and how). The possibilities are endless and ultimately the dice led me to consistent inconsistency. A natural state of chaotic self that seems almost insane to most "stable" people - but it brings fucktons of joy to me.
- Classic habitual breaking exercises would be to just do everything differently for a day or a week. It's easy to begin with but in the end it needs a lot of reflection to come up with new ways of getting your everyday tasks done.
- I did the "live by die rolls" thing for a while. I'd carry 2d10 and roll percentile to determine what I should do.
"What's the chance I'm going to get McDonald's for lunch?" roll: 68. "And, let's see if I do it...." roll: 71. "Nope, not McDonald's. Let's see if I'll be eating Burger King..."
after a few days of this, it started to get old. I kept going opposite the dice, using the logic that the die roll was actually just helping me make a decision. I should try again, and apply some willpower to doing what the dice say. Hadn't thought of it as an ego experiment - I was just "letting Eris decide".
I still vote by die roll though. Randomocracy FTW!
- The die roll is not just helping you to make a decision. It IS the decision. Opposition is not allowed unless you rolled earlier that you may be allowed to oppose the die if you do X.
Now adding at least one option that is atypical for yourself and you got yourself some excitement. It is left to the player to decide how far you want to go - but it's very temping to explore where the edge is - and then cross it.
- Alan Watts talked about the i-ching in a similar way. He was saying that there is so much randomness in the decisions you make at any point that even a random choice-maker such as the i-ching (or rolling of dice) would be just as good when it really comes down to it. The benefit of the i-ching over a set of dice, I'd imagine, would be that there already preset meanings attributed to each hexagram on which you can project your current choice.
- Run subliminal messages (a unix program called xsublim is useful -- I haven't found an equivalent for windows or for the mac), and feed them with more or less arbitrary info (the front page of google news, a selection of random quotes, random wikipedia pages, "i'm feeling lucky" google searches for words picked out of a dictionary file). I usually run these 24/7.
- Take a bunch of arbitrary text files, and run them through a Markov Chain generator (I have one in lua if anyone wants one), then take the output and consider it a holy text. Interpret every piece of nonsense and give it a meaning, then stash it away somewhere and look at it later, and see if the meanings are the same.
- Make stickers with advice to yourself (like meditation instructions), then hide them in places you go every day. On the walk between the train station and my job, my brain wanders all over the place. I've place stickers along the route. Is this a dream? Breathe. This is a memory. Actualize. Focus.
- small mindfuck: brushing your teeth while taking a dump. Simultaneous feelings of dirty/clean!
- Ride an elevator. Just get in a reasonably busy elevator, and ride it for an hour or so.
The lack of control is interesting, in that the elevator moves to respond to calls without any input from you.
Also you get to meet lots of people. At the very least, say hi to all of them. If you're doing something weird at the time, (like covering the inside of the elevator with pictures of eyes, which is what I was doing,) that's just a free conversation starter.
- Use TVtropes.com's random plot generator to choose a character trope every morning for a week. For the remainder of the day, be the epitome of that character trope
- spend a long period operating under the assumption that everything you see is a divine message from God, or the infinite, or the ineffable or your mother.
- the "Breathing Game":
Start walking somewhere (anywhere, as long as you'll be able to walk for a long time) and count your breaths for X minutes (decide what X is before you start). We will call the number of breaths you take in X minutes, Y.
After you're done, count your breaths for Y minutes.
After you're done, look up and see where you've walked to.
When I did this, I started with X = 7, walking on a nature trail in a park. I ended up nine miles away from my car, in the middle of a field next to a series of office buildings, with people in the office watching me out their windows.
- start examining of your linguistic style and habits count the number of questions you ask in a day. count the number of times you say the word "like" in a day.
- before you go to bed, draw a linear diagram mapping the progression from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep. color code it based on your well being at each moment. color code them based on your current goals and see how they match up. make a copy of the diagram and reverse it and line it up with the first one and match your progression in opposite terms. imagine yourself going forwards and backwards at the same time.
- William Burroughs wrote a lot about mindfucks through audio cutups.
He'd record little snippets of his day - interactions with store clerks, the sound of traffic, a bit of a phone conversation - and them cut them up, mixing them together. He said it was amazing how you'd hear NEW content in the mix.
- Consider how you can change a flashlight from a pinpoint focus to a wide spread light. Consider your attention as a flashlight. spend a day using the pinpoint focus of your attention. Focus intensely on the one thing, the figure of you're doing. Spend the next day using the wide spread attention. Soak it all in. Don't focus on one particular thing but just notice everything as if there is no figure... just background. Record your observations. How do they differ in terms of your choice of activity? Did you see anything new? It might be useful to plant personal symbols of your activity in easily noticed places as a reminder to persist in the kind of focus for that day.
- Force your internal monologue to speak in gibberish rather than English. Try hard not to repeat sound/meanings. The idea is to think without resorting to language. This can be interesting because language frames our thoughts a great deal.
- Here's one of my favorites: Car Screaming. Ever wondered what you sound like when you scream? When IS the last time you had to scream in pain, anger, or as a self propelled PA system? Inarticulate howls, vulgarity, taxonomical classifications, Russia swears, or racial slurs, we just don't get a chance to vent these much. Try it next time you're driving alone, preferrebly on a highway, not near other cars (got carried away and swerved once), and going too fast for any bystanders to potentially catch or ID you. Take a deep. breath. and HOWL.
It's cathartic, educational, and no matter what sounds or filthy words you let fly, you're not pointing them at anything or anyone who might care, be hurt, or take exception.
- Try laughing for five minutes, crying for five minutes and screaming for five minutes, repeat. It seems fake at first but persist.
- Have Your Friends Call You a different name for a couple weeks. See if You Respond better afterwards to the new name.
- Next time you consume some form of media (especially a game or TV programme), try to imagine what some mediocre student from the future would write in a "thousand-word essay about the themes of this classic".
- Stop complaining. As in, of your own free will, try not to bitch and whine about shit that's bugging you.
- Begin to use your less dominant hand for dominant activities.
- While you're at it...just for shits and shaktis start handshakes with your left hand. Enjoy watching the akwardness of the other as their conventions shift before your eyes.
- Go through any well known personality test, such as the Jungian/Myers-Briggs personality tests, or enegramms. Go through all the personality types described within until you have a pretty good and coherent picture of the various typologies contained within. Then take one random method of selection, and use it to pick one personality type. Try and embody that personality for the next half hour. Repeat again, the next day (with the same or different personality type), but this time, try and be in that headspace for an hour. Continue until you feel comfortable with pulling off that personality type for long periods or get bored, and select another.
- Take a recent, possible future, or past event in your life and write / imagine it described as if it was in a children's book (more Berenstein / Dr. Seuss or Shell Sylverstein (personal favorite), than "Dick and Jane"). This makes it difficult, even insulting, to take even heavy shit seriously.
- Conversely, take a simple, mundane, and harmless event, and rewrite it as if it was forshadowing in a novel.
Ex: "As we drove away from the house, my father's last words were lost in the noise of the engine and the snow crunching under my tires. I'd never if it could have aided me in the coming days, or return to find out what he would have told me, because in the next week ALL HELL would break loose."
- Set up some kind of randomized timer (it'll go off every X minutes, where X varies pretty widely) and every time it goes off, try to remember what your internal dialogue consisted of and either argue the opposite point of view or question all the statements you can remember making in it in reverse order.
- On a social networking site (preferably something like twitter or facebook, wherein the assumption is that you're friending people you know, whether or not they remember you) friend people you actually *don't* know at all and then just play it like you are an old aquaintence that they can't remember and that you aren't all that interested in *talking* to them (you just felt it would be impolite not to friend them). This probably works best if you never actually talk to them at all afterwards. This totally mindfucks me on a daily basis, because I manage to get segments of the personal life of Jeph Jaques, Mixmaster Morris, Justin Coope, etc. totally out of context.
- Turn the voice you talk to yourself with (inside your head) into one of your parent's voices.