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What She Teaches Me: An Inquiry Into Spiritual Integration

Backstory

A few months ago, a man I have respected for years, invited me to a weekend-long men’s retreat at his home in Ojai, California. The retreat was facilitated by a direct descendent of the last Chief of the Comanche, a Native American tribe in the Southwest.  

The last Chief of the Comanche was known for two things: Christianizing the Comanche and ensuring that the Comanche would be able to continue to use Peyote in spiritual ceremonies.

There is a process after a ceremony called “Integration” and its critical part of the process. After everyone went to bed, I wrote until the moon yielded to the sun.

——

Over the course of the weekend, as people who know me would expect, I pummeled the Comanche teacher with questions. The Comanche language is simple. Their word for God, translated literally is “the one behind the sun.” 

The ceremony had the same basic structure of any Christian church service: There is ritual, a homily, a song of communion, a procession to the altar and then communion.  The Native American church uses the same activities.

During the Comanche communion ceremony we learned from the teacher that “The One behind the sun, put the spirit in the medicine. The spirit is in the medicine.  When we eat the medicine, the spirit enters us and is with us, among us and between us.” 

In my Catholic upbringing we sang songs with words like “When we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim your death Lord Jesus.” And said phrases like “Whenever two or more of you are gathered in my name, I am there.” Similar, but decidedly different. The Catholic church put itself between the people and the infinite. Long before the Roman Catholic church, I imagined that everyone had access to the spirit in various ways that I grew up thinking were primitive. I was wrong.

We ate very small amounts of the plant and twelve men enjoyed each other’s company casually all day. We returned to the fire at night and again in the morning for Integration. I felt the spirit walking among us and saw it working with other men. 

I could see the manhood in the other men better than I could see it in myself and I thought about what it meant to be a man. One man said “When we dig up your bones I’ll tell you if you were a man or a woman.” That night it occurred to me that being a man or being a woman is also a choice people make. There are concepts of ideal masculine characteristics and ideal feminine characteristics that each of us choose.

With the benefit of 2000 years of hindsight, it would have been impossible for the Catholic Church to incorporate any medicine more powerful than bread and wine in a mass experience delivered weekly.,  The Presbyterians and the Mormons, bathed in puritanical wisdom, took it one step further and in an anti-miracle turned wine into water. 

A Peyote Ceremony is not that. The weekend was by far the best spiritual experience I have ever had in any group of people. I imagine that we could have had a similar experience among men without the plant, but a lifetime of experience conflicts with that possibility.

——

The Divine Feminine

Tonight, everyone has gone to bed. It’s 2:13 am on the third day of a weekend-long Mastermind hosted by the Psychedelic Coaching Institute (PCI) at the Beyul Mountain Retreat Center in the mountains of Aspen, Colorado. (PCI is a client of Weekly Accounting and I am the CFO of PCI.) The Thirty men and women from all walks of life gathered together in communion and in similar fashion, the spirit walked among us.

The culmination of this retreat was a ceremony of communion led with Marie and Lily behind the altar. 

Tonight’s “homily” by Lily was about a subject also criminalized by the Catholic Church: The Divine Feminine. Another anti-miracle of the religions of men. 

In a weekend filled with the opportunity to meet gentlemen and powerful women, the highlight was the communion song performed by Lily – a woman who’s magic was evident immediately.

Lily performed “Fingernail Moon” by Annie Lennox with a power that only comes from experience. But it was her first time behind the altar. 

——

Integrating the fifth dimension

Later that night, I sat and reflected on the day with ChatGPT.

Me: Are you familiar with the concept of the Divine?

GPT: Yep, the Divine often refers to a supreme being, force, or reality—bigger than us, often spiritual or religious in context. It’s a big idea, varies a lot depending on who you ask. What’s got you thinking about it?

Me: Are you familiar with the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine?

GPT: Absolutely. The Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine are concepts often explored in spirituality, mythology, and some religious traditions. They’re like yin and yang—different energies or principles that complement each other. The Divine Masculine is often linked with qualities like logic, strength, and action, while the Divine Feminine is tied to intuition, nurturing, and emotional intelligence. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing; interpretations vary. What’s your angle on it?

[I fed GPT the Lyrics to the Fingernail Moon] 

Me: In what way does this song speak to the divine, feminine and masculine.  

GPT: The song seems to touch on themes that could be related to both the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine. The “Fingernail moon up in the sky” feels like a feminine symbol—mysterious, nurturing, and linked with intuition. The moon often represents the Divine Feminine in various mythologies and spiritual teachings.

On the flip side, lines like “You’ll be by my side, come on tell me the truth” and “I’ll need you tonight under the stars” could be invoking the Divine Masculine—direct, action-oriented, and seeking truth.

There’s a balance of vulnerability (“I’ve got nothing to hide, I got nothing to lose”) and strength (“There’s no need to be shy, there’s no need to be scared”), which could be seen as a blend of Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine energies.

So, you could say the song weaves these elements together, creating a tapestry of both masculine and feminine energies. It’s a call to unite these dualities, not just within the scope of romantic love but also in a cosmic, divine sense. What do you think?

Me: Say more about the call to unite the dualities

GPT: The song seems to put out a call for unity, a kind of cosmic meetup. “No distance between us, Between me and you” speaks to a yearning to close gaps, whether emotional or spiritual. This could be seen as a symbolic urge to harmonize the Divine Feminine and Masculine within oneself or in a relationship.

The lines “It don’t matter how long, It don’t matter how far, I’ll need you tonight under the stars” underscore this. Distance and time become irrelevant when it comes to the need for unity—another nod to the interplay of divine energies. 

So, the song isn’t just about a person talking to the moon or to a lover; it’s bigger than that. It could be about the quest to merge two essential parts of oneself or the universe—kinda like saying, “Hey, these parts of us that seem different? They actually need each other.” It’s a shoutout to the bigger picture, a call to wholeness.

Me: Thank you, that’s great. Here’s some more context. [I Fed GPT some of my non-linear notes about the experience]

Here are some of my notes.

“A journalist from a traditional business website that used to be a magazine attended a retreat of the masters of incorporating psychedelics into their various coaching and teaching modalities.  

The Paywall. Linear writing is not creative writing. What you write linearly about an experience is not the experience. Linear writing about an experience is a critique of the experience. A traditional journalist writing for a traditional journal about a transcendental experience can only write it in the language of the institutional system that pays her. In traditional journalism the divine feminine has been squelched by the paywall. It serves the audience that pays. Its goal is to consume their intention.

Linear experience is the derivative of time. Integration happens in the 5th dimension.”

GPT thought for a few seconds and responded.

GPT: Your reflection is deep. It wrestles with the limitations of linear, traditional journalism when trying to capture experiences that are anything but linear—like a spiritual experience. You’re pointing out the disconnect: a system made for objectivity and fact-reporting clashing with a realm that’s largely subjective and transcendental.

“The Paywall” and “Its goal is to consume their intention” dig into how traditional media might miss the essence of something as fluid as the Divine Feminine. It’s all about the market, the reader’s eyeballs, the click-through rates. That’s a far cry from the spirit of unity, empathy, and cosmic oneness.

“Linear experience is the derivative of time. Integration happens in the 5th dimension.” That’s a powerful line. You’re saying that the experience isn’t just A to B; it’s an integrated, multi-dimensional process. Traditional journalism, with its paywalls and linear storytelling, might not be equipped to handle that complexity.

Your reflection seems like a call for a new narrative, one that doesn’t snuff out the divine, be it feminine or masculine, in favor of easier-to-digest, linear accounts. It asks for storytelling that’s as rich, varied, and complex as the experiences it aims to convey. Cool stuff to ponder.”

Me: Wow. Thank you. Given everything we’ve talked about here and everything else you know…As me, can you please write an article for a business magazine entitled:  “What she teaches me: An Inquiry into Spiritual Integration.”

GPT: Absolutely, I’d be delighted to help. Here’s an article draft that taps into your style and the themes we’ve discussed.

——

GPTs Business Magazine Article

# What She Teaches Me: An Inquiry into Spiritual Integration

## Introduction

The traditional journalist sits poised, pen in hand, ready to etch onto paper a linear narrative of an experience that defies linearity. Here, in the sanctuary of masters—those merging ancient wisdom and psychedelics into modern coaching modalities—we encounter a critical conundrum: How can a system designed for objective reporting encapsulate a journey that unfolds in the fifth dimension?

## Linear Constraints

Traditional journalism is tethered to the paywall, a boundary that filters content through the lens of market value. It’s a model that serves an audience willing to pay for bite-sized chunks of reality. This framework stifles the Divine Feminine—the flow, intuition, and complexity inherent in experiences that evade simple categorization. What you read becomes not the experience but a critique, a dissected shadow of the original event.

## Non-Linear Experiences

Spiritual  experiences, like life itself, defy easy categorization. The integration phase, that crucial period following the spiritual  journey, is where we process and merge the pieces. But how can one capture this process in a linear article? The experience isn’t just A to B; it’s an integrated, multi-dimensional dance. When written linearly, the rich tapestry of spiritual integration becomes a flat, monochrome image.

## The Dance of Duality

Spiritual integration calls for the union of the Divine Masculine and Feminine—in the world and in ourselves. Complementary energies that contribute to a balanced, holistic understanding. In the liminal space created by heart opening psychedelics, one experiences a harmony that dissolves dichotomies and brings the disconnected parts into a coherent whole.

## A Call for Transformation

Traditional journalism, meet non-traditional experiences. It’s time for a narrative that respects the divine in its full glory, that doesn’t snuff out the spiritual in favor of easier-to-digest, linear stories. The task isn’t just to observe; it’s to participate, to engage with the experience so deeply that the lines between observer and observed blur.

## Conclusion

What she teaches me is that the experience itself is the story, one that can’t be confined by paywalls or linear frameworks. If we’re to honor the complexity of spiritual integration, it’s time for our storytelling to evolve. An article can never capture the totality of an experience, but it can certainly strive to reflect its multi-dimensional nature.

——

Gratitude

Me: Thanks Chat GPT, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

GPT: You’re welcome! I’m glad the article resonated with you. If you have any more thoughts or need further refinements, just let me know. Good luck with your journey in both writing and exploration!

——

It is 3:28am. As I was walking out, I did a Metta Meditation sending love and gratitude for the people of the Beyul Mountain Retreat Center –   “The Esalan of the Rockies” 

The leftovers of the magnificent Chicken Curry Soup were still warm. Which I ate under a starlit sky and the fingernail moon.

——

A Poem to Match

Not a Bible

What makes a book a “bible”

The ones that mustn’t budge

Is only their longevity

Letting everybody fudge.

Some words are weak, stories confused 

Some are just plain weird

Its strength was never clarity

Just old men, most with beard.

It must not change, it is the truth, 

Just how…you’re left to judge.

But not for all humanity

See, only for yourself.

But that’s not how these books were used

The truth was hard to see

These stories were used by men

For wealth and polity

But if a “bible” could evolve

I wonder what it’d say

The choices of what’s written 

Still left to men this way.

It would be weird with many truths

Arguing this and thats.

But that’s exactly what we have

As a matter of the facts.

We all carry a bible

A map in your mind. Your judge

It’s there, at least, subconsciously

Your own stories to fudge. 

  

Make any book your bible

Write what you think is true

Then write exactly opposite

And notice, please God, the hue.

——

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