You might know that there is this whole Quantified Self movement. It's kinda a tech nerd thing, but tracking and analyzing one's habits for the purpose of self-knowledge and self-improvement is an age old tradition. Millions of people track their spending, athletic performance, diet, weight, and more.
This post is a culmination of a lot of ideas. In my essay Drugs: I'm Against Them, I discouraged drug use for spiritual growth use but I only hinted at the better alternative. In my last post A Series of Unfortunate Events, I listed all of the different healing modalities I had tried to cure my chronic fatigue syndrome and ended with some notes on what I had not yet tried and what I would still try. The gist of that one was that I wouldn't try any new modality unless it was just for fun or I felt strongly guided to because I think the modality I've stumbled upon is superior and looking back it is easy to see why.
I call this modality soul hacking, and it is currently the only thing I would recommend to people seeking top-notch healing/guidance/personal development, or that I would practice if I were to take up the healing arts professionally. On my blog and in my personal life I already practice a few aspects of soul hacking on behalf of others and I practice many more on myself.
In spring of this year I took a class, that I found very enjoyable, in "personal mythology", based on the book Personal Mythology: Using Ritual, Dreams, and Imagination to Discover Your Inner Story by David Feinstein and Stanley Krippner. They write:
Your personal mythology is the the loom on which you weave the raw materials of daily experience into a coherent story. You live your life from within this mythology, drawing to yourself the characters and creating the scenes that correspond with its guiding theme. A great deal of this activity occurs outside your awareness. To discover and begin to transform your mythology is one of the most empowering choices open to you. A renewed mythology calls up fresh perceptions, values, and a revitalized sense of purpose.
I know some people are reading my posts and thinking, “Emily, when did you get so clever?” What no one is thinking that? That's just me? Ah well. But I know there are people from my past who are wondering when I switched from proselytizing about the about the collapse of civilization (in a hopeful way, I thought that would be the best thing for humanity back then) to proselytizing about spiritual matters. I know because for one thing I got a comment on that very matter:
“I'm curious, how did you make this shift in your beliefs? I am struggling with that myself ... And maybe you'll share at some point how you went from "radical anti-civilizationalist" to your current status.”
Obviously I'm not dieting for the weightloss. I'm dieting for health. I hate being on a special diet. I'm no snob. I want to eat everything. I want to drink a quart of raw goats milk and then get a reuben and a chocolate shake from the Arby's drive through. I want pizza and buffalo wings dipped in ranch dressing followed up with abowl of acorn-maple pudding. God, I love food. Pretty much all of it from the most preserved shit like Smore's poptarts (I can't type that without wanting to run to the gas station to find some) to straight from nature stuff like raw salmon belly sashimi and steamed nettles. I've called myself a "variety addict" and a "weird foodist". That person who gets the sea urchin or the quail fetus or the brains? That's me.