This entry is going to be a bit long, but there is some good stuff.
A lot of life changes have been going on for me lately. Honestly I haven’t been feeling very well psychologically for a lot of reasons, and I can feel the depression dog after me. We all go through this at different times in our lives I guess. I have counseled and stood by 100s of People as they face these things in their lives, so now I guess it’s my turn. For me however, I suppose it’s because I have always been the leader, the martial arts master, the one to try and aid others that I find myself quite alone in this journey. Is that the way everyone feels?
There simply isn’t anyone that fits the roll of someone I would confide in. I’ll spare you the list of relationships that should be that for me and why they won’t work. The position I have had in people’s lives has been an honor, but it has left me isolated and really not knowing how to make new close relationships where I receive attention in the relationship instead of me always giving it. The people that I am closest to are all old long time students of mine, but as you might guess, it is not really an equal caring position even though I know they would do anything for me. I have leaned on one person a little more than I’m comfortable with, but his person is young, so there are still necessary boundaries. I do get a lot of joy from being close with my children, and there is certainly healing there, but my oldest is only 13. Obviously the same kind of situation.
So, of course as a lot of people do I guess, I turn to my spiritual practice. My relationship with the other world is intense as you may know if you follow my blog. It is rarely comforting, but it is the work that reveals things to me and recenters this crazy mind of mine. So off I go on another vision quest, but I decide to make this one extra deep. Of course only a handful of people in my life know this about me, so I suppose that’s where this blog comes in. A therapeutic way of sharing my life with someone while maintaining anonymity.
I also have a friend struggling with some aggressive cancer. I mentioned her in a blog before and a journey I took related to her illness. I wanted to revisit that subject while deep in. In my fantasy life, some spirit would come to me and teach me a way to heal her. I haven’t revisited the black faced god in a long time, and all the guides and angels seem silent. Ultimately, and as you will read, even though intentions ( how crazy do I sound? You would have to read my earlier blogs and encounters I have had to understand) are one thing, what we really do in these situations, unless we are doctors or have some real control over the world, is really about us and not the other.
Down the rabbit hole I go. After a 16 hour drive to Colorado and a long hike deep into the wilderness, I find the place I have been drawn to looking over google earth and maps. It’s a deep wash full of large cliff alcoves. A small waterfall trickles into it from very high up. It’s much bigger than I thought from satellite photos. It’s in dinosaur national monument. It was called the center of everything by the natives that used to live there. It’s a special and powerful place for me.
After preparing my ritual, I enter into my mediations. I’m not going to get into detail here. Let’s just say that I have prepared this journey to be particularly powerful fasting for three days ahead of time and spending a whole month preparing myself psychologically. I have chosen one of the medium sized alcoves to be my space.
After a long long time, I can feel my state start to change. There is no real way to explain these changes, but as typical with this kind of quest, the unveiling is the first step. Sure enough as expected, all my inadequacies and ego are shown to me. All the things I have done that hurt others, and all the delusions I tell myself are revealed. It’s never a pleasurable experience. Human beings live under a veil. It’s necessary to protect our egos, but it’s pretty disturbing when you pull it off for a while. You never are what you really think you are both good and bad.
The healing of the unveiling is something that always sticks with you, but you have to be reminded from time time. It gives you a scary super power of sorts, and sometimes to my shame, I have weaponized it. When you can see the veil, you can bring it down in others. You can add to it, scar it, and unfortunately manipulate it. It’s a wonderful tool for teaching. Slowly brushing away delusions people have about themselves in a healing way or even adding to them in very careful ways is a wonderful teaching tool, but it can also be used to manipulate people to fit one’s own needs from them. I have taught children for years how to recognize these manipulations and thwart them.
I am no innocent either. I have caught myself weaponizing it. Especially on social media. It has terrible consequences. People react in extreme ways when you lay them naked to the world. It’s as if you just pulled off all their clothes in front of people. They will hate you for it. When I have released that dragon on another, even if one may think they deserve it, I never feel well after. In truth it adds to your own veil of power and control. Not healthy in any way. My unveiling showed me that my own ability to address another’s veil has been slipping into darkness. Along with a myriad of other things that I had to face, I wept.
I sat in that space for a while until I came to terms with it, then I put the veil back on with a clear plan. You can’t walk around naked all the time. My veil is just as important as everyone else’s.
Still deep in, I could feel myself sinking deeper. I wanted to go. That’s what I was there for, I surrendered to reach as deeply as I could.
Of course, altered states of consciousness are not unfamiliar to me. It’s been a lifelong practice. Where most people would be lost ( and I have been before), I can shift and navigate surprisingly better than I thought. When I hit the right spot, I do that thing. I can’t explain what the thing is, it’s like choosing a path in your mind, but it is not a visual experience. Yup I’m headed out of body, but this is not close to a hypnagogic state. I am under the influence of a different path to get there, and this changes everything.
A lot of times when I explain these events and states to people who have not actually experience them, It’s hard for them to grasp the full scope of the experiences. Altered state manifestations are not daydreams or visualizations. If we must put a scientific term to it, these are full blown hallucinations. That term is still not accurate. It implies something random and devoid of meaning. It’s not. They are very pointed and some aspects are universal to all humans.
The vibrations were there but now in full glory and intensity. They don’t happen powerfully for me anymore, but this time it may be the strongest I have ever felt them. I know not to fear them, so I brought them up with full glory. I was not laying down. I was fully sitting up, and this was not an exercise skirting the edges of sleep. My eyes snapped open and the powerful noises where in my ears. It’s like sitting at the base of the loudest waterfall. My entire visual field was vibrating with an intensity I have never seen. My entire universe was about to be ripped apart. Reality itself seemed to about to fall to pieces. Finally, it did. It was like everything shattered. I stood up and stepped away.
Let’s be clear. When I say I step away, I mean my spirit body. My body is still there on the rock floor. I was surprised actually because I expected to see myself laying down. Usually when I’m out of body, my body is fully incapacitated like I’m sleeping. This time I was sitting. Not in some perfect yoga posture though. I was hunched over to one side with my hands on the floor and my head dropped. I could tell because of some vague connection with my body that my yes were rolling back into my head. I remember thinking that I’m about as far from a disciplined shaman as there is. Then I wondered if anyone in the past were skilled enough to do this without looking like some tweeker folded over in the street.
I take a minute to walk over and have a better look at myself. My body responds by lifting its head to look back. I’m a little shocked by this. It’s eyes are completely white from being rolled back. It is drooling with its mouth slightly open. It is breathing heavy. It looks like a zombie. I suppose if the spirit really is out of it for the moment, that might be exactly what it is. I was glad to be in some remote alcove. If anyone saw me like this, I would be carted off to the ER. I also felt some fear rising up. Maybe I had gone to far. No no no no. I pull myself back from fear immediately through experience. Ss
I stare at myself for a long time. The feeling of the unveiling has left me. I suppose because it is left with my physical brain. Out of body, (OOB) everything is clear and crisp. I notice all my blemishes, the weight I have gained, and my hair is cut short but there is a hint of grey even in my tiny bit of facial hair. My Native American blood makes growing facial hair very difficult, but I can manage a little though it grows in splotches and different rates. It’s as if European and native blood are continuing their war on my face.
I’m not sure what to do OOB in that alcove, so I stare out over the landscape and notice it is getting dark. I start to wonder how long I have been there. Time has slipped away and has no meaning anymore. Almost as if on cue, I feel something behind me. I turn around, and it’s my friend. I’ll call her Ell. She is the one who has cancer.
I’m a bit taken back. I had hoped to address this, but I wasn’t expecting a full manifestation of her standing in front of me. What is really really really strange is that she is holding a pie. That’s right a full on pie. I’m not even going to attempt to interpret altered state symbolism here. I’m just recording what happened.
She is holding the pie out like offering it. I walk over and her eyes suggest I try it piece or take some. I reach down and peel part of the crust away. I became instantly aware of what is in the pie is not for eating. I start peeling the crust away to reveal some sort of grotesque face inside the pie. I’m starting to feel a little revolted, but I’m aware that this sort of ‘work’ can be difficult. When I have all the crust off, the face is something you might see out of a horror movie. I’m trying to hold it together, and be brave, so I reach down to touch it, and wickedly it comes alive and looks at me.
I can’t tell you the emotions that went through me. I honestly have never been more revolted at something in my life. The fear and compulsion to run was terrible. It was a full on panic attack of the worst kind. I turned way violently and stood at the edge of the alcove wanting to run. Keep in mind I’m still OOB. The rest of me is still hunched over on the floor like a zombie.
I’m looking up at the sky now at the edge of the alcove trying to get control over my emotions. I look up at the sky whisper to god the great spirit the universe… whatever. “What the **** was that?.... Really? Is that really ****ing necessary?” My fear is not going away. I can’t bare to turn around and face her and her pie again. I try to steady myself, but it’s not happening. Looking off into the now dark woods, I can see all the demons and monsters start to take form in the dark. They want to crawl out from under rocks and climb down from trees. They are just on the edge of reality wanting out to have a go at me. I know what is happening. I’m in control of my environment in this state, and my state of mind is sinking me fast. If there is such thing as hell, this is it, and I’m sinking into it. If I bolt or cower and run back to my body, who knows where it will lead me?
Phobos the god of fear and mara the demon of unskilled emotions has their claws in me. It’s so easy to succumb to panic. I have to refuse. I really don’t feel like going to hell this night. I think of how Christ faced the enemy in the desert, and how the Buddha grounded himself in the face of Mara. All who ventures here must face this. How will I do it. I turn to face my friend and her pie. She is still there looking concerned and the thing in her pie is still there watching me. I finally understand that it is her pie. It is her demon. She can’t share it with anyone, and all we can do is to marvel at her grace as she bears it and hope with all our being that she kills it. My veil drops again, and I realize that my noble self is a lie. I want her better, but I would not eat that thing and take it into my body to save her life. I’m selfish. I’m nowhere near the self sacrificing person I think I am. I could possibly muster the courage to eat that for one of my children and few other people, but no one else. My circle is not as wide as I thought it was, and it makes me hate myself at that moment. I deserve to go to hell.
I start taking steps backwards to join the demons. I’m crippled with fear, so I don’t even have the courage to walk facing forward. Then I let myself fall backwards into the underworld. I let them take me, and they did. My last thought before being ripped apart was wondering if I have really died and made some huge mistake. The veil still off, I even felt so much guilt for being so selfish to even be doing this. My children do not deserve to lose their father on some arkaic quest to feel better. Why don’t I just go to counseling and take some pills like everyone else. How ****ing dumb am I to put myself in a state of madness miles and miles from any kind of help? The self flagellation continues until my ego is gone.
Ego dissolution is a very very strange thing to experience. You still have memory otherwise it would be meaningless, but you are not there either. Your identity is stripped from you. You come back basically remembering what it is like to be nothing and sometimes everything at the same time. It’s not for the faint of heart and for a long time you can’t stop trying to process it.
When I came back I was simply laying on the ground. I was still OOB because I was laying next to myself. About 5ft away. That is a first. If I survived, I expected to be back in my body. It worried me a little bit. Maybe I didn’t survive. I notice my body is laying on its back, so I say out loud “Roll over dummy, you could aspirate.” The zombie obeyed my instructions and rolled over to be on its stomach. If it throws up, at least it won’t choke on it.
I feel better now. My ego is intact, the veil is back where it should be. My friend and her pie is gone. It’s getting really cold though. Still OOB, I yell out to the zombie “Hey. Do you think you can manage to get in your sleeping bag, it’s going to get really cold soon?” Glad it’s not dead, but also marveling that I’m giving myself instructions from a different local, the zombie does what it was instructed to do surprisingly with normal coordination levels and direct action. I thought it might slosh around like being drunk, but it seemed to be perfectly capable.
I don’t want to go back to the meat sack yet. I am to disturbed to face the hard ground and all of those physical pains. I look out at the sky again and wonder why any of this? How does one find themselves here? Of course I know how, but all seems so surreal. I start to slip backwards again. This time sinking through the rock. No no no no…. I don’t want to go back there. I appeal to god again. “Please. I have had enough.”
That’s when I felt her laying next to me. I don’t know who or what she is. A spirit, an angel, a psychological construct? A manifestation of my loneliness? She is kissing my cheek with feather kisses. She is whispering in my ear that I will be okay, and that she has me. Very maternal but also with the energy of a lover. I often wish she were real, but she has been with me for a long time. She helped me to overcome the sleep demon all those years ago and always shows up to comfort me when I have stepped over various edges. I wish she were real. I wish real women behaved this way. Is that selfish? Is it possible for two people to be each other’s angle? I am lucky, I guess. At least I have one even if it is simply psychosis. I’m not sure I believe it’s all in my head, but I don’t dismiss either or any possibility either. I look back up to the sky and this time I thank god. I am grateful for so many things. The me me me me me of the ego can be maddening too. Sometime it’s necessary to kill it I suppose.
I wake up in body feeling refreshed, alive, and with some plans. The one thing about a difficult night like that is that it makes you feel so alive and ready for anything. I am blessed. All the melancholy of life changes and challenges is unnecessary. The resistance can be faced, and the only thing really to do in life is to solve problems. I don’t recommend doing what I do alone. Shaman should be there to guide these types of things. It can be very dangerous alone. This isn’t my first rodeo. Take care. Thanks for listening.