Learning Perception


Learning Perception

Dare Sohei


heres a working list of things i do and have done to think/perceive the way i do. i come from a pretty normal background — poverty, depression, anxiety, no college, lots of illnesses, addiction etc.


my saving grace was probably the things that also screwed me up, which was animistic perception i couldnt control until my late 30s, hearing voices, seeing things, waking dreams, very intense nightmares etc.


but im not special, not any more than anyone else. everyone has their own fate, which includes all the inheritances they received, some which are concentrated, some which are diffuse. we still need to develop skill, theres no shortcut for practice.


ok heres MY list that i did/do with zero entheogen info because the public isnt trustable with that relationship:


think like comic books, sci fi, speculative fuction, fabulism, surrealism, magical realism etc. learn to look at the world like that.


dont believe anyone (including yourself) at face value. always keep it open to investigation. be like a spiritual detective. (see byron’s comment below for more about how belief is not necessary for anything worthwhile)


question everything. every time you think in terms of certainties, opposites or binaries, break that open into more than two. this definitely includes your gender.


develop a deep listening practice. listen through your skin not just your ears.


learn as much as u can about real nutrition which includes historical and anthropological data. u cant think well if your brain is made of shitty polyunsaturated fats that are rancid and denatured proteins. learn which foods you shouldnt eat, this requires extensive tracking. have activated charcoal pills on hand so you can curb the damaging effects of indigestion when u are figuring it all out and experimenting.


learn to practice your art/spirituality when you rest and sleep/dream. this opens up your self esteem and potential.


practice some kind of comedy improv. clown, stand up, musical theater, whatever.


with that, learn to sing, just because.


develop better and more ways of self-talk. life is hard enough without listening to bad advice. dont be that person.


become your own boss as soon as possible. find something you can charge for that you are good at that people will pay for. stop making bosses rich.


whatever the things are that you think you cant live without, go on occasional fasts from those things. food, sex, tv, email, media, drugs, love, etc. prove to yourself that the substance/craving isnt stronger than you are.


get out of bad relationships as fast as possible and dont look back. u can apologize later when your life isnt a mess. (never, ever expect forgiveness from others. ever. apologies arent time machines.)


learn how to move biomechanically. this does include learning a bit of strength training so that you can move biomechanically under stress and load. be able to move down to the floor and get back up dozens of ways, with and without assistance. learn to roll around, crawl, skip, move backwards, balance with eyes closed, etc. move in uncommon ways like our hunter gatherer ancestors.

(here’s two tips when walking: Head Over Foot & Inside Ankle Bone High)


learn massage, even if u only use it on yourself.


work with kids for a while but get out before you become too poor or too sick, it aint worth it economically/immunologically in the long run.


these things will clear up 70-80% of trauma, ghosts, ancestral nonsense.


the rest of the issues we all have require more in-depth study and practice and collaboration, such as death practice, ritual, specialized medical help and cultural/political anthropology married with some kind of real life activism (disability justice, queer ecology, mutual aid, harm reduction, etc).


but tbh, most ppl are focusing on the latter without having enough base in all the stuff i wrote up above. if u dont understand nutrition and cant move well, its gonna be really difficult to show up in real community (i am not talking about being ableist and classist, im saying you must work your own edges and expand your capacity with whatever constraints you have). if you think in binaries its gonna be brutal doing death practice, etc.


*remember that almost all of our species-wide intractable issues come from: the invention of private property stemming from agriculture (which includes debt/credit) & the cultural installation of patrifocal societal structures that broke up matrifocality!!!! these are why people get fucked up. What we can do is harm reduction and fight against these problematic systems.


Dare’s substack can be found at thenightgarden.substack.com

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