All identity is relational

The self-other is like a single magnet with its 2 poles arising together.
In our outer life:
* The self is implicit and the other is explicit.
* The self is the background and the other is the foreground.
And this seeing can be reversed too, as is done during deep introspection and contemplation.
* The other can be made the background, and the self can be made the foreground.
* Similarly the other can be made implicit and the self can be made explicit.
So the picture is the same in both cases, but depending on where you focus, the other pole get blurred out. 

The image below shows the 2 possibilities of focus:
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So the self-other arise together mutually and interdependently.
* So whenever there is a self, there is an other.
* And whenever there is an other, there is surely a self.

The sun-signs zodiac literature classifies the signs into 3 kinds of identity natures:
* Cardinal = Identities that have a firm foundation and keep expanding (Rajasic) = mind dominant = positive charge (in the magnetic field) = Symbolizes a Volcano = Conscious mind = Dynamic, Action-oriented, Initiating.
* Fixed = Identities that are fixed (Tamasic) = body dominant = neutral charge = Symbolizes a Mountain = Unconscious mind = Stable, Determined, Unyielding.
* Mutable = Identities that are constantly changing (Sattvic) = soul dominant = negative charge = Symbolizes a New Born baby = Superconscious mind = Subtle, Transformative, Reflective.
There is a lot of deep literature on this subject, I have really said very little above.
But this will help me to speak about certain other points.

You can either change yourself to fit more and more into the world or change the world to fit more and more into your self-conception.
* The cardinal identity type will only associate with things people places concepts etc., that expand its own identity structure. And it will avoid all the negative forces.
* The fixed identity type will try to change the other and the whole world to validate its own attachment to a fixed way of perceiving itself.
So the fixed type is in a way against both positive and negative forces because it wants to maintain the same perception.
* The mutable type will keep adapting and changing/shape-shifting itself into different roles and identities in the world like an explorer. It changes itself to explore the different dimensions of the world, rather than change the world per se.

Deep Sleep, Transformation, Gunas, and Innocence

Food and substances can be had in a way that maximizes sattva and minimizes tamas.
Essentially, sattva = high vibration (gaseous) – highest energy in the molecules/being
rajas = medium vibration (water) – medium energy in the molecules/being
tamas = low vibration (solid) – lowest energy so it clumps up
One recharges sattva via deep sleep – basically through the circadian rhythm.
Other conscious activities do help – like relaxation, meditation etc. but again they may disturb the circadian rhythm too.
For instance, if you deeply meditate in the evening for 1 hour – you may not be able to sleep that night. That is the same like sleeping at an odd time like 6pm in the evening and expecting that you will sleep at 12pm in the night as usual.

So in a sense the underworld, The dragon of chaos, the primordial chaos, is -> if you cannot sleep.
The circadian rhythm and [deep sleep/dreaming and its depth] determines the amount of energy one has.
If you lose this capacity to profoundly relax, you also lose your ability to be profoundly awake.
In a sense, paradoxically, conscious relaxation and degree of awakeness are the same.
The person who is always deep at rest, is also deeply awake to that same degree.
That is why a person who does not try to be awake is more awake than the person who tries to be, because such a person has even let go of that tension of trying to be more awake. So only he is truly resting in the Dao.

Once one penetrates to the [Ego-aware, Construct-aware dark night of soul] stage of development, then the very ego/self/will/desire is perceived to be a stress/tension/pain and there is this deeper desire to release it all into the NOW/Dao/Infinite.
One consciously surrenders/gives up all to the unknowing/unbecoming/undoing – like melting into deep sleep – because it is seen with pristine dreadful lucidity that identification with the self construct is the cause of suffering/tension/pain/stress itself.
So the next obvious step then becomes to let yourself relax more and more/fall more and more – to relax yourself beyond recognition – because when the self construct is relaxed, it dissolves (its very structure is maintained by unconscious tension) – so the territory of oblivion is entered, where you do not know who you are anymore and you definitely do not want to go back to your old self/construct (the very stress from which you relaxed yourself out of).

So the self construct is dissolved into something larger, which you awaken into. Like if the self was sugar, it is now dissolved into water.
Your experiencing the dissolving is like dying into the unknown, and when the dissolving is complete, you wake up to your nature as water, you are then re-born.
All death/rebirth/alchemy/resurrection/dissolution appears to have this process. You surrender into the unknown underworld, whose forces are initially painful, then later those very forces become your friends.
The so called devils who were ripping you apart, are now seen as angels freeing you from these tension/structures/false-identifications.

The perspective shifts from seeing all that is happening as an oppressive/tyrannical/eating-away from devils/scavengers to seeing that one has voluntarily/willingly surrendered/given into the action of these forces to be liberated from self.
You could see these dissolving agents as acidic/devils or angels/liberators depending on your orientation.
If you’re eyes are on wanting to holding on -> they are devils, if your eyes are on liberation -> they are angels/helpers.
You lose you old, and what do you get in return? NOTHING. The nothing is born, the old form dies.
The final gift is YOUR ABSENCE, this absence of self is the greatest git.
Every death is an alchemy/transformation – and every death is not death, because death can never be, it is always a rebirth.

There is no life without innocence, death is the return to innocence/freshness.
Like Alan Watts would say, to know everything is to live in the dead.
Spirit is magic, no magic is no life.
We can look at it like a spectrum OR a pendulum:
Re-filling knowledge/form ——————— emptying form/restoring innocence

When too innocent, we seek knowledge ardently.
When too knowledgeable, we seek innocence with the same gusto.
Just like a child, who is ushered into a playroom by his mother.
He enjoys exploring all the new toys, and once he is done, he goes back to the mother, so that she can take him somewhere else where he is once again innocent.

Innocence is the potential fire of knowledge-seeking.
Knowledge is the potential fire of innocence-seeking.
Like a pendulum or a rhythm.

The cycles in psychoactives/stimulants

In all psychoactives and stimulants, I can notice one common cycle.
When fresh just after taking it, there is a good period for the first 3 hours.
Psychoactives/Stimulants would include: mushrooms, lsd, weed, alcohol, coffee, modafinil, adderall etc.
Then after that initial period of enjoyment, I get tired.
And then once that happens, the fatigue reality slowly kicks in.
Then instead of actively exploring, it is now night for my head, and I am mostly just spending my energy to guard myself and push off unpleasant thoughts.
The will gets depleted.
The experience then starts to get somewhat burdensome and undesirable, but I have to ride it out for its full duration.
Like for instance, in LSD, it lasts for 12+ hours, so after the first 4-5 hours, I need to ride out the somewhat undesired period of the remaining hours.
Because in the intial hours, all my positive fires get mostly depleted – i.e. the seratonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin, vasopressin and other joy, worship, love, connection, wonder, thrill chemicals/neurotransmitters get depleted.
They would get renewed(in their cycle) only if I slept, but I cannot sleep and I have prematurely exhausted all of these, so now, that makes it hard.
So in a way, I just wait for rejuvenation after that and try to pass time reasonably productively.
I either relax in tamasic stupor, or resort to rajasic activity like hearing masters/satsangs/or about some deep interest or intellectual topic.
But mostly, all I really desire is the sattva – the joy, brilliance, vitality, well-being, high vibration, freedom, power, serenity, appreciation, imagination, connection, feeling, love, happiness etc.

So each of these substances has a day and night component associated with them.
When full of energy/interest/enthusiasm/exploration it is day, when depleted/tired/fatigued/burdened it is night.

Even in my daily life, just after getting up, things are good in the initial hours.
Then they slowly slide into tiredness/fatigue.
So everyday I go through – sattvic time (morning), tamasic time(late afternoon, evening), rajasic time(night), tamasic(late night).
I’ve seen the same general principles apply to every stimulant or psychoactive substance.
They are sattvic when I have a lot of energy(will-power, interest) in me to experience them/control them/direct them/explore with them, that is, when they are SMALLER than me.
Eventually I get depleted, but the substance action still continues, and now it becomes BIGGER than me and a burden of sort and I have to ride through it until its wave of power is over.