wilson says, in speaking about the abrupt contradiction of a person’s reality-model (cognitive dissonance), those subjected to it tend to become either very flexible (agnostic) or very rigid (schizophrenic).
also, considering this passage from p.154: The shaman, of course, lives through this process on more levels than the ordinary paranoid, because the shaman is determined to confront every terror and conquer it. Many, however, are shamans without knowing it, and invoke their private demons in total ignorance, thinking it is all coming from outside themselves.
i am pretty sure that most of the people i know who go there…i.e. go further, are aware that they could make it all stop, if they just stopped wanting anything greater, and instead got a good job, a good five year plan, and watched a whole lot of television. even when i feel the most attacked, if i look at the situation closely, i know that i could have stopped it if i just was willing to back down. but i don’t want to back down into your little shriveled up hole of a world. not when i’ve always known there is something greater.