Thursday, September 12, 2013
The Snake Eats Its Tale
In the last post I responded to directly addresses a question from a reader of this blog. Why do you shy away from expressing your own anomalous experiences? Originally this reluctance came from detraction from the subject matter as I expressed this also in the last post in that frameworks can be like spider webs , like tools to catch sustain ourselves... but we end up becoming mesmerized by our own creations whether it is positivist intellectualism or the artist who created a role for his or her self in their creative universes. Despite this, I tried to provide examples in that post wherein I played a role of intent in other frameworks, more as a probe beyond that of a participant.
Where did all this begin for me? This is the final and second response to that query.
My own narrative begins in 1968.
At a young age, I became enthralled with the practice of physical yoga. I was also fascinated by my contemporaries experimentation with with such pharmaceuticals as LSD. There was a certain band at that time, and a best friend at that time, whose sister was romantically involved with a member, who had access by way of a dentist to what was then legal commercially manufactured LSD by way of Sandoz. My friend Jim and I discussed the ins and outs of obtaining this mind altering pharmaceutical as well as our use of it.
In the midst of this, I ruminated the synthesis of physical yoga with this substance as an experiment. I was also influenced by Ouspensky's and Daumal's nascent experimentation's, both of whom I respected. I was wary, but not wary enough to shrug off this possible experiment.
On the night of this experiment, I made sure that I was both alone and in a safe environment, I think, also there was a sort of youthful romanticism at play then, akin to hanging by one finger atop a cliff.
I assumed a sitting posture with my spine aligned as straight as I could manage. All sorts of imaginative forms waxed and waned within me, as well as my own thoughts resulting from them which I attempted to keep at arms length. In a split second, I was no longer there or here, if you will as there as nothing comparable. What is a close description came decades later from a friend who is a forensic psychologist.
He termed this experience, a download. What I experienced was a series of interconnected but discrete environments. They are in order:
1. I was above a shining sea. Between myself and this sea was a white bird. A voice that encompassed me said "The universe is transformation and if that transformation should cease, the universe would be like the flight of the bird who turns to stone and fall into the sea."The bird did so, seeming to fall for miles.
2. I was at the periphery of a group of five individuals in the midst of a conference among themselves. Their faces were blurred. Everything else was crystal clear.They were perched on a platform or plaza between a series of steps that led to a odd temple or library like building. They were animated in their discussion just out of earshot. I gathered up my courage and approached one of them. "What are you discussing?"
"What to do about your species/"
They continued in their discussions as I stood among them. They either ignored my presence or were unaware of me, or so it seemed. One advocated a biological solution. Another.advocated a psychological solution. Another advocated that they owned this mistake and to do anything further was a worse mistake.
Another advocated an environmental solution to lessen the population. It seemed as if or I assumed they were speaking among themselves either during a break in a larger conference, or, prior to it, or afterward.
The one I approached said "See?"
My response was sufficient 'No"
His expression was one of mild exasperation..
"We have no physicality as you define it. Our solutions must by our nature to be indirect in relation to your species and yet your species by our own error pose a threat to a larger environment."
"If what you are is not physical, how can you affect anything?"
"One of us created a container that's like an artificial reference point that to your location is omnipresent, where we can navigate your universe." (at this point I am paraphrasing)
3. I watched as if watching a film or a simulation, a prolonged series of human tribal conflicts.Again a wrap around narrator that came from nowhere and everywhere spoke.
" In our world, all conflicts are resolved by art, expression and the result of this is a synthesis of creation, yet we like you are fallible"
4. I saw what seemed like differentiation of what appeared to be a synthesis of musical composition and light.Light as a channel. The closest visual equivalent are the animations that are presented as representations of fractals. Close but no cigar.
5. I was in a dreary swamp, humid, dark, fetid. A beam of light was shot into the dark dank still water. Within this beam there were evolving skeletal forms that were pulled upward, metamorphosing from simple forms to more complex forms.
6. This is hard to describe. It was a channel of reflected light between what were either stars or planets that were connected to #5 as above.
As if something had flipped a switch, I was back as disoriented and as miserable as I could be. I sought sleep which did not come for hours. The whole episode was in a matter of a second or two.
At this juncture, I must say that I do not advocate the use of drugs. What others do and do not do, outside of my opinion is another matter.I am both agnostic and intrigued by this experience, many a decade ago.
In the next post I will describe the aftermath and that will be the final expression of this episode. So, to my correspondent, I mustered the courage as Rilke said at the top of this masthead to communicate the strange as it personally set me off on a journey of doubt.