His work has always stood out to me for their focus on body awareness and organic experience.
In a genre filled with fantastical thinking, wishing, and imagining, Antero’s approaches to consciousness exploration remain grounded in the body and individual perception.
Keep your body in mind while you listen to the discussion, and treat it as a jumping off point for your own individual exploration of your mind, body, perception, and life.
Antero and I have a free-flowing conversation starting with the 8-Circuit-Brain model and it’s relation to direct experience, and then we go deeper into Paratheatre, and his ParaTheatrical ReSearch project stretching over the last 3 decades.
The images above are paratheatre stills from “Dreambody/Earthbody: A Paratheatre video document by Antero Alli (2012; 80 min)”; photo credit: A. Alli.
His most recent offering is this year’s 8 Circuit Brain 8 Week Online Course, starting on March 14, 2014.
Enjoy the interview in the player or by downloading below, and let us know what you think here in the comments!
I’m sitting at a cemetery near where I live. A couple horses stand around near me, just past the fence, one eating grass, and the other licking and scratching its face on the bark of an old oak tree.
I let go and thoughts drift through caverns and containers and finally join me here near a wooden grave marker.
Last Sunday a client and I spoke about believing in things we don’t know with 100% certainty. Then we talked about abstract concepts that get almost universally accepted as solid fact.
One example is the term “the world.”
What does that mean? You assume it exists, but can you point at it? If you start to think carefully about it, you might realize that the world only exists in your head. But you act as if the world exists.
Now, what else do you believe in that you’ve never really looked into before? How about your limitations? Many of them are no more than unchallenged beliefs.
So after we talked about beliefs for awhile, I mentioned that some clients want to just get the basic benefits of undoing:
-greater awareness of your own motivations
-knowing what you really want
And that’s fine. It delivers.
There’re also a few clients who, for some reason, want to go all the way.
By that I mean to explore fully all the assumptions and beliefs you have, and to rid yourself of everything false. After he said he’d like to take things all the way, he asked me why people seem to need to believe in things, from science to religion to occultism to politics etc.
Good question, and it gave me pause to consider how and why people live out their lives in a land of abstract concepts, make-believe categories, stifling roles, and ideas of how things should be…
Two main reasons dawned on me:
Both reasons relate to a paralyzing fear.
1. The fact that you can’t rely on anything but your own perception and experience.
Your own perception is primary, and the rest is second-hand information, no matter how accurate it seems. This can be frightening to realize, simply because it’s unfamiliar and you aren’t used to sitting on your own throne.
2. No one knows what’s really going on.
You’re born. You develop into a child and then an adult human. You get told and believe all kinds of stories about what’s going on, from evolution to angry sky gods to million armed blue deities to philosophies aplenty to….
Just because you hear about and enjoy and react emotionally to a story doesn’t make it true. Even if you memorize the bible or the origin of the species or a book on brain science doesn’t mean you know the 100% truth of what’s going on here.
That can also be horrifying to realize, especially since the only person you can rely on has no idea what the hell is going on.
It makes you feel important to pretend you know what’s going on. And it gives you a sense of stability, importance, and permanence.
There’s another way to live where you don’t require concepts and beliefs. It takes a lot less effort, and you don’t need to maintain false certainties about what’s going on.
You can remember that your life is the adventure you’ve been looking for. You find it by letting go. Letting go of what? Of all those fears about what’s gonna happen if you stop being the way you think you should be and doing what you think you’re supposed to do.
We all end up in the same place anyway, so why not get a fair amount of joy just by remembering how unlikely it is to be alive, to have a body, to perceive, to feel anything at all.
Is it not utterly magnificent when you really think about it?
Here’s to your adventure!
PS: if you feel like expanding your adventures and cutting through your own bullshit, you’ve got options:
1. Esozone Codex Course: perfect to test the waters, opening up to new ways of perceiving yourself, removing some filters between you and what is, and ridding yourself of guilt.
2. Radical Undoing 101: going a lot deeper into the process, conquering social anxiety, moving through fear, going beyond your perceived limitations, following what truly excites you, and expanding your life in ways you really enjoy.
3. Body Movement Course Series for learning how to undo your own chronic tensions and internal conflicts. Make your body and mind run smoothly so your life feels more like a ride or a movie rather than a prison camp or the doldrums.
4. Direct personal training online, in Ojai, CA, and sometimes available for workshops in your area.
If you want an extended training series, please email me at: email@example.com to discuss what approach is right for you.
This story is excerpted from the Command Z Lower Body Course. You can get the course and a whole lot more by clicking here. There’s another link at the end of the story below.
It was sometime in 2004 I think. Or maybe it was 2006. Actually it doesn’t even matter.
Ukiah spells haiku backwards. I noticed that on the first time through there. The next time, I had forgotten about it, but it certainly played out that way.
Ukiah, California. 200?. Side of the I-5 highway. It’s getting dark and I still pretend someone will stop and pick me up. Hitchhiking from Eugene, Oregon to Santa Cruz, California. My illusion fades as the streetlights flicker on and a cop car pulls up behind me.
I know what happens next, so I get my driver’s license out and face them and their flashlights. Everything checks out, so I ask them for a ride to the nearest campground. We drive around for 20 minutes and neither of the two cops can remember how to find the access road to the campground, so they get frustrated.
We pull into Denny’s restaurant. I’m not hungry. Just tired.
“You can stay here. They’re open all night. Take care.”
I got out and they drove away. I walked in to meet my fate for the night, which was a waitress named Barb and an endless cup of coffee. It lasted me until sunrise, 8 hours later.
During that night, I wrote many things in a notebook that disappeared somewhere since then. Three of those pages were delusional Haiku written after seeing the Ukiah sign reflected in the glass door of the restaurant. I had a chuckle and went back to killing time, 17 syllables at a time.
That night I decided my strategy needed some work if I was to avoid the hell that is sitting in a remote Denny’s all alone through a night of enforced sleeplessness.
It was really the only way things could go. If I hadn’t asked the cops for a ride, they might have just taken me in for hitchhiking. They can’t just leave you on the highway, or if they can, they don’t generally do so. I really thought we’d make it to that campground…
FLASH FORWARD TWO YEARS
Ukiah, California. 200?+2
It’s happening again.
I was standing on an entrance ramp after being hounded off the highway by California’s Finest.
My heart sank into the horizon as another Ukiah night took me hostage.
No Way. I’m getting out of here this time. Just one more car. I’ll ask to setup in the driver’s back yard. Come on. COME ON!!!
Some dude came walking up the road from the west. Eyes sunken. Scabs crusted on his face. Bad Teeth. Big, toothy smile.
“Hey man. You’re not gettin’ outta here t’night.”
“Yeah I will. There’s still some light.”
“All right. Yell ya what. Imma go to this store over here. If yer still here when I get back, you’re comin’ to my camp.”
He wandered over the highway bridge toward the store I couldn’t see from the ramp. I have no idea why I didn’t just go to the store and meet someone and get a backyard or park to sleep in. But I didn’t. I sat there thinking I was just about to get a ride outta there at any moment.
I wished for it so hard my forehead got a few new wrinkles.
I saw his less-than-majestic silhouette approaching out of the eastern darkness as the last bits of light faded from the sky. At that point, my mind apparently stayed there on the entrance ramp as I left with the guy down the road.
“I told ya so. Now let’s go.”
We walked for 15 minutes down the road until we hit a dirt road on the left. Another 10 minutes deeper into some thick, deciduous woodlands. It started to rain a little as we passed a derelict trailer parked in the ditch. During the walk, the guy insisted on having a conversation about meth.
“I hate that meth, and I hate people that do it. I sure ain’t into that bullshit.”
“Wait here and gimme a minnit.”
He pulled some slimy bills out of his back pocket and walked around to the door of the trailer.
My mind was far enough behind now that I couldn’t hear it screaming at me to get outta there.
After his legitimate business transaction, we walked further down the road and then a sharp turn into a dirt path through the woods.
After some twists and turns and mud puddles, an old guy, frizzled beard, crazed, half-open eyes, American flag baseball cap, sitting on a bucket.
I stopped to look at him while my host kept moving. He came back. Looked at me. Looked at the guy.
“Oh. That’s Jim. He ain’t gonna make it.”
He lifted up Jim’s shirt to show me a giant pustule growing like an alien out of Jim’s chest. Remember that it’s raining and dark at this point. This was Jim’s bed. I just nodded. Looked at Jim’s tumor.
“Let’s get going. It’s gettin’ wet out here.”
So we kept on moving through the woods.
I smelled the fire before we got to his camp. Hamburgers?
No. It was a steak.
We walked into a small clearing. There were three people in a huge Walmart tent, smoking something that wasn’t weed.
“Evrybuddy, this is Garrett! Ya’ll gonna act nice and treat him right t’night.”
I just smiled, took off my backpack, set it down a few feet from the fire and took a seat. The two kids must’ve been no older than 18, probably ran away from mom and dad so they could do drugs and sex without getting grounded.
“This is my wife.” He points at the older woman in the tent currently smoking the not-weed.
“Nice to meet you.” She went back to imbibing.
“All right Garrett. Here’s a beer, and I’m gonna roll up a joint.”
“Maw! Get out here and make Garrett a plate!”
So we smoked some actual weed, drank shitty beer from cans, ate steak and potatoes, and chilled around the fire.
“Set up your tent over here.”
He helped me setup my tent on a flat and raised area in the clearing. It was the perfect size and shape for my tent, and it kept all the water running away from me.
“What time you wanna get up in the mornin’?”
“Awright, I’ll getcha up. You go get some sleep. You gotta long trip ahead a you.”
“Goodnight, and thank you.”
A faint howl of warning drifted along the night breeze to my ears and gave my a shudder of fear. It passed with the breeze and ran off with the rain. I took a deep breath and fell asleep, warm and dry and full and high and happy.
I later realized that was my mind screaming from the roadside.
He woke me up at sunrise the next morning. We packed my tent and walked back through the maze of woods, past cancer Jim, who was still sitting on his bucket, still alive. He took me as far as the trailer, hugged me, said goodbye, and walked behind the trailer to do some more legitimate business.
“Thanks man. That was great.”
I walked back to the highway, was reunited with my mind, and caught a ride outta there.
Every time I look back on that story, it blows my fucking mind. I don’t know what superlatives I can use to properly communicate the intensity of that experience. I had never felt more relaxed in my life than I felt when my gracious host guided me off that highway ramp.
My legs knew exactly what to do, and there was no use for my mind at all. No questions and no hesitation…
Learn how to listen to your own body and let your legs do the walking. Besides, your mind’s never walked anywhere. It doesn’t even have legs. Here’s the course link again.
I was sitting in my car alone after letting out the most blood curdling scream I have ever heard come out of my body. I felt as though my face was going to tear open as it spontaneously roared thru me…
Whoa, Where did that come from? I thought, my body heaving, then relaxing over the next minute.
I had just left my first Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA) meeting….
Oh yeah, you should know that I’m not an alcoholic and have never been.
Once again, I was out in the field on a Command Z adventure.
As instructed by the course, I looked up AA meetings in my city that I could attend. To my shock, there were more than twenty available in my city on one night.
I crafted an alternate identity complete with enough background and sob story to interact with at the meeting. I entered the room of reformed drunkards two hours before my scream to play the role of an alcoholic for the night.
Steve was my name. I made friends fast as soon as I walked through the door.
Welcoming little club they have here, I thought to myself.
As I went talked to people, shared my tale, and listened to theirs, something became glaringly obvious to me.
Of course this is all just my subjective opinion and ain’t worth shit, but hear me out. Doing an experiment like this really ramps up your sensitivity to everything around you.
What I noticed was how melodramatic and childish all these people and their problems were. It was obvious to me that the problems they presented were just masks for even greater problems beneath the surface.
Problems that they couldn’t confront on a conscious level. Problems that were living through them, having them search in ridiculous places for relief.
AA seems like it was pretty much designed to let this false sense of “healing” take place. AA was their blankie. These people used to run away from life with booze, now they do it with this group.
Ok, ok, so maybe it’s not news to you that AA is a sham, and maybe it shouldn’t have been for me. But that’s not the point. As always with the Command Z work, the goal is to take a giant mirror and turn it back on yourself.
And boy was it a shock for me when I took a look in the mirror….
It was clear.
I was engaging in a bunch of bullshit and drama out of habit and belief, just like the people in this group. Fuck me…I’m a Drama Queen! It’s true. I couldn’t deny it. I am among the least dramatic people I know, but all the same, it was true.
I forced myself to ask….
What is MY AA?
Where do I walk in and get off on spreading my own self-limiting bullshit, loving the fact that the others won’t say a word about it? Just “accepting” me, because it makes them comfortable that someone else is lying to himself as much as they are.
Who are the people in my life that let me get away with this?
Who are the people who allow me to reinforce my bullshit while acting as “support”?
“You ignore my obvious lies, I’ll ignore yours, we’re best friends, high-five”.
Is it Family?
Who happily lets me lie to myself about who I am and how I live?
I confronted all of these possibilities thoroughly.
Hey you, the one sitting there reading this…pretty entertaining, ain’t it?
This isn’t about ME…
It’s your turn.
What is YOUR AA?
Where do you walk in and get off on spreading your own self-limiting bullshit, loving the fact that the others won’t say a word about it? Just “accepting” you, because it makes them comfortable that someone else is lying to himself as much as they are.
Who are the people the people in your life that let you get away with this?
Who are the people who allow you to reinforce your bullshit while acting as “support”?
“You ignore my obvious lies, I’ll ignore yours, we’re best friends”.
Is it Family?
Who happily lets you lie to yourself about who you are and how you live?
Can you confront all of these possibilities thoroughly?
Do you feel something burning inside you right now?
Do you feel a little uncomfortable with what you just learned?
Here it comes…………..
LET IT OUT!
I’M A DRAMA QUEEN!”
Relax and Breathe……
There’s no one to blame here, just awareness to be gained and relationships to be changed. What we call Undoing is actually pretty fun when you get over it being terrifying once in a while.
The great thing about the Command Z courses is they are customized to you. Your experience WILL NOT be like mine. They are truly choose your own adventures that will tailor themselves to your life.
It’s not all about going out in public and being a jackass either. This is highly personal work that mostly takes place in the comfort of your home.
If you’re curious to learn what taking on the Command Z work could do for you, now’s a great time to dive in to Radical Undoing 101. This revolutionary course can change your life forever.
Follow the link to choose your adventure:
It was supposed to be simple. It was laid out. Just fill in the blanks. Go to school. Get good grades. Get a job. Get married. You know the rest. The recipe for the good life. What everyone is selling, but no one is questioning.
Hope it works! We could remove the self-development section from the book store. Everyone would already be so stoned-on-bliss no one would be buying. Could do away with anxiety pills. Anxiety support groups. Stress reduction techniques. Stress-driven addictions would evaporate, including the industries that spin their wheels trying to cure them. In fact, if this formula can really make everyone so perfectly happy, many businesses simply wouldn’t have anything to do anymore. Is that what’s happening?
Are your neighbors, family and friends livin’ it up? Waking every morning on fire with desire to hop out of bed? Looking for the next alligator to wrestle? Ready for another day of doing exactly what they were told? Sticking their head between their knees and smiling at how great the formula works? Hell yeah. Sign me up.
But as soon as you ask the first question, you’re fucked. Because it was always just a lie. If you don’t want what everyone else has got, it’s time to look outside the big river for what YOU want out of life.
I’m not knocking on anything specifically, except the idea that living the copy and paste life works. That you just do what your parents and friends said you should and everything is just cool. No one is doing it because it works. So why are they?
Hell, at least everyone I know seems to hate their life 80% of the time. If what I’m saying sounds insane to you, you only admit you hate it a small percentage of the time. Only those who know where they are should bother to continue reading. If that isn’t you, you need another 10 years of the lie to piss you off enough to finally do something. Acquiring this motivation can’t be rushed. Or maybe you’ll die first. Good luck with that. For the rest of you still reading, Let’s get real.
I can say, with certainty, that living the formula does not make anything safe, secure, happy, perfect or any of the other magic words we are sold on. It doesn’t tie a red bow on top. Nor does it then add a cherry and whip cream. All it does is get in the way. The whole time, the very thing which was supposed to make it all okay was the only thing keeping you from living.
But your programming is deep in your mind. In every corner, in fact. Stepping outside the rules, you experience very real physical symptoms. Pushing even further, total mental collapse. It’s easy to see why no one leaves the campfire light. Who knows what might be in the forest? Especially following a lifetime of hearing it has to be scary. But is it?
Come and see for yourself. Undoing is the process of destroying all programing. All limitation in your mind. Everything that keeps you living a life you don’t want to keep living. But without this… what would you do with your life, you may ask.
That will be up to you. Personally, I travel the world full-time and just do whatever I want everyday (same as the retired but started at 21 instead of 70). Likely, you’ll try many things and eventually what you really want will come into view. The process starts now. It isn’t something you can just think about it. It’s about direct experience. And i have for you the best news.
You don’t need to continue living a life of quiet disappointment. You need not stare out the window hoping something will change. Waiting for the day it finally comes. You can start shoveling baggage out of your way right now. That baggage is the only reason you aren’t already living the real good life.
Most people wait for a car accident, losing a limb, or some other near-life experience to finally get real. And that does work. A direct confrontation with your own mortality saws through programming instantly. And yes, the people who really live tend to be those lucky enough to have had a few of them, but if you’re done waiting… Hoping… Gambling if it will happen before you die, or just aren’t really interested in losing a limb or driving off a bridge, you can start right now instead.
It isn’t going to be instant, but you’ll be shocked how fast it really can happen. And it’s a helluva lot faster than filling that chair by the window, wondering if you or the dog beside you will die first, hoping something smacks you across the head hard enough so you finally change your life.
We live our lives as we were shown to. We got in the back seat somewhere after birth and now sit calmly. We watch as things go by. But who’s driving? Is anyone? We’re all driving in circles, but no one is at the wheel. Imagine where you might go, if instead of continuing with habits and programming, you hopped behind the wheel. Right now, you don’t need an answer for where, only to acknowledge the desire to do so. To see something new. And leave behind a life of nothing but stress.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I know on my death bed, I don’t want to stare at a map, contemplating the small circle around my house. The space I never left. How I was so sure I had it right? But death beside me, it now so clear my comfort zone was actually not an oasis, but a prison.
I was too afraid to even take the first step.
You can take the first step now.
Why wait for tomorrow when it’s today?
-Anthony and Garrett
With all the information available now, it seems everyone is an expert on everything. It can be tempting to join in the constant hysteria and try to sway or enlighten your company with your own meaningless points of view… Or, perhaps, you prefer to submit in obedience to your nearest alpha-intellect with his or her loud, sharply tongued, finely articulated line of bullshit.
We are wired to bend, flex, hide, and attack for the sake of our own survival,even when our lives aren’t really at stake. And we all have a preferred method of avoiding fear, depending on who’s around.
Command Z invites you to take a step back from the lunacy of power hungry, void filling conversations, take a deep breath, have a little chuckle, and KNOW you don’t have to vomit your opinions all over everyone you meet just to feel important. Nor do you have to be affected by other peoples vomiting.
Command Z invites you to stop giving a fuck.
Not giving a fuck can sometimes carry the stigma of being apathetic, lazy, or cruel. Don’t get confused! All too often, the people who claim not to give a fuck, clearly do give a couple fucks.
Not giving a fuck isn’t about posturing, pandering, criticizing or thinking you are better, tougher, smarter than everyone you meet. Not giving a fuck is a gentle art and is quite effortless in its application.
But first, before you can naturally not give a fuck, it will help you to test out your own personal boundaries a little bit…
To push my own not give a fuck boundaries, I decided to spice things up with a tactic I learned from the Radical Undoing 101 course. An Adventure called Mis-Pronounce Words.
Heres how it goes:
I had a particular manager at my work that I was a little intimidated to deal with. I wasn’t sure how to approach him. We seemed like oil and water, always having tense and awkward conversations.
The 101 Adventure instructed me to engage in a conversation with someone and just start mis-pronouncing words randomly. Thinking about the adventure before hand I thought to myself, piece of cake!
I walked into the manager’s office to go over a couple things on a Tuesday morning. My heart started RACING. You would think I had entered the room to shoot the man!
Clearly my body was identifying this situation as far more threatening than it really was in fact. I felt my gears turning trying to find a moment to slip in a mispronounced word. Fuck, I thought, this is way harder than I thought. But, Eventually, the words started to spill out… B’s became P’s, F’s became S’s. I must have sounded like I had my tongue chopped off.
My brain felt like it was overheating, I became so uncomfortable.
The strange thing is, this guy didn’t even appear to notice! What kind of autopilot was this man on, I wondered. Not even a raised eyebrow! It made me wonder what would have happened if I had gone in and dropped my pants. Would he have even noticed? Would he just ignore that too? Or if I flipped his desk over and spit in his face? What would it take to get a spontaneous response out of this man’s body?
As I left the office and felt something wash over me, I’ll call it “relief.” This shortly turned into a giggle as I asked myself, What the hell is going on here?
There are 52 Tuesday’s in a year. I couldn’t tell you what I did on 51 of them. But I will for the rest of my life remember the day I Mis-Pronounced words. I find this type of experience is pretty common in the CZ work….
Try it yourself; Purposely mis-pronounce words while talking to your friends, co-workers, boss, strangers. See the effect this has on them and you. At the very least it will jolt you out of the mutually shared trance you may have been sharing. And the next time you speak to this person you may feel a little more free. Try it out!
If you’re still asking, “why even do that?” Continue reading…
As I learn to give less and less of a fuck, in a genuine way, I’ve found that I am more and more ready to react and respond to life in more natural ways. Ways that don’t drain me, or leave me feeling discontent, guilty, regretful, special or any other pointless emotions.
The indifferent freedom that kindly… not giving a fuck allows, frees me from being ensnared in other people’s bullshit, no matter who they are, and no matter what their credentials. This opens life up in interesting ways and frees you to live it YOUR way.
Radical Undoing 101 encourages you to make yourself the only priority in your life. The great part is that the people who matter will stick around with you to live a more fun, less judgmental, more adventurous life, while seemingly changing along with you. The people who don’t matter, well, they might not be around to annoy you anymore, or, you may just become incapable of being annoyed.
Radical Undoing 101: take the power back (which you never really lost).
-Lance Leeson. Inner Circle Member. Command Z Consultant.