Transmutation, Transformation and Transfiguration

There is a human tendency to read things verbatim or dead letter or face value only. The extent to which one has this tendency depends on personal preference and psychological orientation.  To some extent educational training plays a role too. As an INFJ with dominant introverted intuition, I tend to miss the dead letter interpretation on occasion, this is because I am nearly always looking for deeper meaning and a metaphor can provide for me what might take several paragraphs of descriptive text to explain.

It amuses me slightly to image someone working with 20 pounds of antimony in a furnace in his shed. One of the main criticisms people have of the bible stems from an insistence on a dead letter interpretation. People read “the gospel” in a dead letter way. I have speculated that given when it was written the vast majority were illiterate, it is in fact full of metaphors and other narrative devices. People like to argue the toss and nit-pick about their own personal face value interpretation of text.

The Tibetan describes the first three initiations as Transmutation, Transformation and Transfiguration. This is a very alchemical way of explaining. Alchemy to my eyes is not trying to turn base metal into gold, rather it is about transmuting one’s shortcomings into a more helpful set of behaviours. Mares says that the warrior’s path is a path of the three Ts as above. If you look at the degree of change implicit in the language, it starts small and gets bigger.

The alchemical transmutation changes one’s beingness, the transfiguration transfigures which sounds like a whole order of magnitude more radical. Within the scheme of the Tibetan, the third initiation is considered the first “proper” initiation and is indicative of final liberation. After the third it is only a few more lifetimes before the causal vehicle is “blown out”.

Given that human minds are trained in school to compare and contrast, to use ratioing or so-called rational mind we are trained to pick holes in things, to find fault. Searching for holism is discouraged and my even be seen as wishy-washy. We are trained to justify our answers, this tendency for justification has allowed humanity to participate in some truly heinous acts.  

{Everyone is doing it, I was only following orders, there is a precedent.}

I can read alchemical texts from a basis of a degree level understanding of modern {relatively now} chemistry and the periodic table. I don’t imagine myself ever trying some of the frankly dangerous sounding experiments. If one reads Hermetica, attributed to Hermes Trimegistus there is a whole lot of sense in parts. It can be enjoyable to read things and not want to argue the toss and be “right”. Just let it flow over and enjoy someone else’s train of thought.

One of the first things to transmute is to change closed, dogmatic, I am right mind to a more open enquiring and non-concluding mind. There does not have to be a conclusion. This goes against everything we are taught in school. There must be a summing up and a conclusion.


Explain to me why there must be a conclusion, explain to me why there must be a right answer. Justify your answer.

INFJ – No Filter – Offending

For whatever reason I am with this alleged quirk of the INFJ personality today. It started off with me looking at various INFJ memes as I do on occasion, just to remind myself that there are others “out there”.

Variously INFJs say nothing and internalize or offer a truth. That truth can be very detailed, deeply considered and highly accurate from wide perspective, it rarely has any filter. It is a whole truth and nothing but the truth. There is no holding back, it can be both barrels, so to speak.

I have noted over the years that I have offended many people by doing this, offering a truth. Many have sought petty revenge for my offering. People unwilling to accept said truth have sought to punish me for its provision. The quandary is to keep silence or accept a likely angry revenge. From time to time I piss people off, especially those who are prone to self-importance, with inflated and erroneous self-perspective.

One of things I dislike is people being fake, smarmy and toady, brown nosing, if you know what I mean. Yup, I understand that this kind of “politics” helps advancement for those so inclined, but I cannot bring myself to do it. It is akin to my dislike of small talk. Most people seem content enough to play this societal game, which we might call ritual sniffing, like dogs.

People are afraid of being real. They are not real to others and do not like it when people are real to them.

I have heard it described as an iron fist in a velvet glove. That is when an INFJ gives you the benefit of his / her opinion. It comes out of the blue, is totally unexpected and then, BAM!

It is never done to score points or to injure or to offend. It is done to provide clarity and aid evolution. It is done for growth but so often it is not accepted as the gift which it is meant to be.


Pearls before swine and all that.

If an INFJ motivated by an upswelling of unconditional love goes to the trouble of offering their truth and it offends…

Then they are increasingly likely to stay silent.

Full of apparent “contradictions”, is what others say but there is logical consistency and no contradiction. It is simply cause and effect.

Oh well inner nuance foster journeys…


Seemingly Impossible Situations

It is oft stated that the INFJ Myers Briggs personality type is the rarest of them all. Others say that they have a dolphin like radar, and that they rely on their often-accurate intuitions. The Tibetan talks about cultivating, intuition and soular intuition at that.  In general, intuitive types as per MBTI are less common than sensing types. Humanity is evolving and I will make a prediction; the percentage of people testing positive for an intuition preference will increase.

For about eight years I taught high school chemistry and physics privately. For about 30 % of the students, I helped them adapt their intuitive orientation to deeply sensing exam papers. Only one answer allowed and that must match exactly the expected parrot response. A number of times I was shown homework marked as wrong when in fact the answer given was simply better and more comprehensive than the REQUIRED one. My exam grades at school had also suffered from my non parrot status. I said to these high school students, wait a couple of years and your approach will be better!! By year three or four at university you will come into your own. I taught them to mind map instead of list and flash card. I taught them how to build circular revision maps based on themes. They were a bit freaked out when I read what was going on for them and then realised that they were a bit like me, they relaxed, and we had fun. If they needed a good old tangent, off we went, and I guided them back to subject.

I have long held an interest in seemingly impossible situations, the “you can’t have your cake and eat it type”, the catch-22, the conundrum and of course good old Zen koans. “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Some of these are just plain stupid, others are profound.

I have mentioned that I had some seemingly telepathic conversations with members of the second ray ashrams. How does one view this?

Yes, telepathy is possible and an INFJ might just the sort of weirdo who could do this?

Or one could imagine that I simply did too many mushrooms and weed when I was a student and a consequence, I am deeply delusional.

Or is it simply my glamour, my wish to be important bringing out the inner Walter Mitty in me.

Each of those beliefs has a consequence. Unless you sat down and chewed the fat with me over a period of many weeks or months there is no reliable way of knowing. The Tibetan however suggests that we rely on our intuition. What does your intuition tell you?

The implication of my telepathic conversations with my telepathic friends is that I am an initiate of some degree. So, if you are pooh-poohing my imaginary friends what in effect are you doing?

Are you demonstrating your omniscience or are you demonstrating your dogmatic insistence on being right, oh you marvellous font of all wisdom?  All hail the mighty!

What would be the consequences of believing that I am indeed a high degree initiate, especially given how you are currently behaving?

Now If I am a nutter / Mitty, what are the consequence of that belief. There are not many if it is true, more if not.

What are the consequences of an ex-academic being a nutter / Mitty in his old age?

Way back I did know quite a few proper scientists at pucker universities. I doubt many of them would believe in telepathy unless they had good data. They live in the world of proof. If I  was to say in the absence of theory, there is no such thing as proof. Is that a seemingly impossible situation? Proof is only a human mental construct and is impermanent.

Trouble is you cannot test telepathy with boring geometric cards it does not work like that. There cannot ever be a six-sigma test, sorry! {J, I, D, B, – R, D, J, -M, A, – T, J}

 I like seemingly impossible situations; they can be fun thought experiments.

Wider Perspectives

It is said that Bodhidharma spent nine years staring at a wall doing Zen. As such he is often depicted as having no eyelids. I have spent the best part of today and some of yesterday staring at walls and filling them with thriller, no sorry not that, filler. The kitchen is due for installation on Monday and there is a bit of a race to get it ready. Tomorrow the sandpaper orgy begins. Because some of the walls will be behind units, there is a temptation not to do them to such a high standard. We shall see how we go. Although we won’t be able to see them, I will know if I have skimped.

I like to think that I am capable of seeing wider perspectives and in many cases, this has been found to be true. Many people think they have a wide perspective, when they don’t. The INFJ is a big picture thinker and they include people in the big picture not just systems. I have heard it said that INFJs can be visionary, like Martin Luther King. “I have a dream…” That dream is closer to fruition now, but still a way off.

It is slightly odd, that I find myself here, isolated. Given the potential that briefly shone 20 years ago, it seems an unlikely outcome. There was no way of predicting it. People have not been all that nice to me over the years, which if I am just an old git, possibly alcoholic, taking his retirement, is not so significant. I have been at the end of pointy fingers on many an occasion.

From time to time I post up the words of my second ray brother, aka The Tibetan. As I write this, I am in triangulation with he and another of our ashram. I am an affiliate. There is no reliable way that you can tell if I am pulling your leg.

As a thought experiment apropos of wider perspectives, if I say that I have taken more than the sixth, what would that mean to you? Would that alter the significance of me finding myself here in “exile”?

If you have been slagging me off, would that snippet of information change anything?

Could you even begin to appreciate what might be transpiring?

See I like to think outside the box…and as a bit of a closet philosopher I like thought experiments.

Is there only The One Life in which we are all interconnected or are we all separate very important ambitious self-advancing stable geniuses?

Not Neurotypical

I am not neurotypical, I know this for a fact, because I have measured my own brainwaves with a frontal lobe EEG (Electroencephalograph). Perhaps it might be better to say I am no longer neurotypical, though I don’t know if I was in the first place.

Like many INFJs I am quite fond of quizzes especially psychometric ones.  These are my results for the Aspie quiz:

A few weeks after my cancer operation I went to see a psychologist specialising in autistic spectrum clients. She was one of the few to do adult screening that I could find. I answered her lengthy questionnaire before my visit. I used the word impeccable quite a number of times in my answers.

She was a good friendly interviewer and we had a great chat. The outcome was that she was pretty certain that I did not have Aspergers’ and wasn’t really exhibiting spectrum like behaviours.  She thought that I might have an Unrelenting Standards Life Trap.

I did the quiz and bought several books on Schema Therapy. I am pretty convinced that I do not have this problem. It is a fair way off the mark. I like to do things properly when I have the time. I have high standards regarding integrity, authenticity and dislike people scheming and plotting. I do take my achievements for granted, they are not all that important to me. What is next, is usually my question. I like novelty.

As an INFJ, I make values based decisions  which can be very surprising to others. What is more these decisions are often irrevocable. For example once you have landed on my “wanker pile” there you will remain until strong evidence to the contrary is seen.

My temperament is NF. Read this above, sounds pretty good to me!!

What Temperament are you?

How do you make decisions?

Do you have the unrelenting standards life trap?

Secret Quotes

The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.

John F. Kennedy


The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

Groucho Marx


Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.

Benjamin Franklin


Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.

Marlene Dietrich


In most of mankind gratitude is merely a secret hope of further favours.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld


The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep.

E.W. Howe


Things forbidden have a secret charm.



If you have a secret, people will sit a little bit closer.

Rob Corddry


Before a secret is told, one can often feel the weight of it in the atmosphere.

Susan Griffin


A man’s true secrets are more secret to himself than they are to others.

Paul Valery


Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.

Alfred North Whitehead


It is such a secret place, the land of tears.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery


The most difficult secret for a man to keep is his own opinion of himself.

Marcel Pagnol


People who are in power make their arrangements in secret, largely as a way of maintaining and furthering that power.

Don DeLillo


Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.

Lord Acton


The secret of a person’s nature lies in their religion and what they really believe about the world and their place in it.

James Anthony Froude

Light Quotes

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in while, or the light won’t come in.

Alan Alda


People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen


Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.

William Wordsworth


He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.

William Blake


I live and love in God’s peculiar light.



Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.

Thomas Fuller


The burden which is well borne becomes light.



What is to give light must endure burning.

Viktor E. Frankl


Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.

Albert Camus


Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

Rabindranath Tagore


As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

Carl Jung


Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

Anton Chekhov


I am going to try to put into words something which has perhaps been thematic in my life and has caused some strange behaviours. I could be kidding myself, but I don’t think so. It goes something like this. From time to time I find people competing against me, wanting to beat me and prove me wrong. They seem to feel the urge to go out of their way to do this to me, especially. For what ever reason they want to win and/or cut me down.

This is odd for me as I am not interested in “winning”. I suspect that this disinterest can in itself be “annoying”. I am not all that interested in being right and/or winning an argument. I don’t really care who is “right” and who is “wrong”. I do not think like that. Is something a semi-accurate working description, suffices for me. On occasion I have “won” whatever that means. In general, I am simply happy enough to have done my best, given close to 100%.

A number of people have, over the years, gone out of their way to undermine me and pull me down. I know that under a number of conditions I have been the subject of gossip, people have made up stuff about my exploits and exaggerated them. I have sampled this on a number of occasions when people have been talking about me, to me, without knowing who I am. Some of the alleged exploits do not match my recollection. Yet people do talk about them, even to me!!

Since I have been an adult, I have never knowingly competed against anyone with the objective of winning a competition, real or imagined. I have given people the “benefit” of my opinion and this often does not go down well, think lead balloons. I can be direct and forthright.  Yet this has never been from the motive of competing against, rather it is often by way of an exhortation to change.

I was usually pretty good at most things without really excelling, nothing too conspicuous. I did play competitive sport but only amateur. Actually, I am now reminded of one common occurrence when younger, the drinking contest. When I was a young man, I could drink a lot of booze without getting too drunk and a number of men tried to out drink me. I was in no way trying to win, simply I was getting pissed but they saw it as a drinking contest. One Japanese chap who was the “champion drinker” at his university tried on a number of occasions.  He “won” once when our “contest” started after I had had five pints prior to our meeting. It was very important to him for some reason.

Is everything a “contest” for some people? Possibly

Where does this mind-set come from?

Is it dominion or insecurity?

On one occasion a flat mate of mine, who alleged he had been in the army and had some special forces training, and I were sparring. I trained in karate. He kept walking onto to a front stop kick. Every time, he attacked, bang. He completely lost the plot and started smashing up the house. We just got in the car and drove off. When we returned there were scratch marks from fingernails on the wall. This is when it started to dawn on me that for some people, I appear to be an annoying bastard and some people like to get even, get revenge. They will wait a long time and go to inordinate lengths to do so.

My guess is that people like to try to control and manipulate, when this fails, they get the hump.

Is that it?  I am just an annoying bastard who needs to be taught a lesson, put in my place, cut down to size.



Journey Quotes

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Lao Tzu


The only journey is the one within.

Rainer Maria Rilke


The longest journey is the journey inwards. Of him who has chosen his destiny, who has started upon his quest for the source of his being.

Dag Hammarskjold


We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.

Marcel Proust


Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.

Samuel Smiles


If my ship sails from sight, it doesn’t mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends.

Enoch Powell


If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.

Dan Rather


For the poet the credo or doctrine is not the point of arrival but is, on the contrary, the point of departure for the metaphysical journey.

Joseph Brodsky


 Not all those who wander are lost.

 J.R.R. Tolkien


Whither will my path yet lead me? This path is stupid, it goes in spirals, perhaps in circles, but whichever way it goes, I will follow it.

Hermann Hesse


Every step you take is a step away from where you used to be.

Brian Chargualaf


What you’re missing is that the path itself changes you.

Julien Smith


When you have completed 95 percent of your journey, you are only halfway there.

Japanese Proverb quotes


“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path. One that we all must take.”

J.R.R. Tolkien,