The Link.

For four years I was stalked and attacked by an entity that dragged me out of body, chased me through dreams and, I feared, was aiming to take over my body. No matter what I tried, I could not rid myself of Ee. Then, around May of 2000, I met Jay.

 
We met through Howard, a red-headed guitarist my roommate had dated, as she would be ashamed to admit not too long thereafter. Every time he came over to fuck her, basically, his departure would not commence until he had drawn out his foreplay ritual of chatting me up to agonizing extremes. Finally, he would just whip out his short question as if he had earned his way to yes. 
 
After coming to face the fourth time in a row, I stopped giving him a cigarette as payment for the pity he needed to get him to go away. I told him he could bum no more. He kept promising to pay me back, but told me he was unable to because he couldn’t buy a pack. Then he would be a smoker. But he quit, he told me. I first asked him if he was serious, and after validating that indeed he was I told him, as the police must feel when informing one of the death of a loved one, that he was a fucking idiot.
 
I was in a booth at the all-night restaurant I both worked and loitered at, I was in a booth one evening drinking hot tea, drawing on the back of a paper placemat, hoping to get over a nagging head cold made worse by insomnia. 
 
Suddenly the equivalent of a full pack of cigarettes rains all over my table, only this is a variety pack stretching the spectrum. I look up into the face of Howard, only a few teeth too many and a few pounds shy of being the spitting image of the face on the cover of all those MAD magazines. The guy had bummed from twenty people to pay back what he bummed from me. Into the face invaded by a shit-eating grin, I again emphasize to him, again calmly as conceivable, “You’re an idiot.”
 
He asks me something along the lines as to why I keep telling him that, to which I respond with asking why he keeps going to such lengths to reinforce the apparent validity of the accusation.
 
Somewhere in the midst of our usual bitter and sarcastic back-and-fourth, I note the presence of the guy he had brought along with him and introduced myself. He wore all black clothing and looked like a shy, younger, darker version of Tony Danza. Spying some of my pen artwork on the back of a paper placemat, he seemed intrigued by the eyes I had drawn. Around one, I had written “gateways,” and when he asked what I meant I told him it had always seemed to me that the eyes were the gateways to the soul. It turned out that he, too, shared the notion and apparently drew eyes rather obsessive-compulsively as well, though unlike me all the eyes he drew looked like the eyes of a woman. He had as much difficulty drawing a male’s eye as I did a woman’s. I told him he could have the picture, and he accepted it graciously.
 
His name was Jay, though a mutual, sexy-nerdy friend would later refer to him as “Go Tool” Jay. Given my immediate compliment to him on his Tool concert teeshirt and our ensuing discussion, it would not seem that she had labeled him in haste.
 
Tool’s melodies had resonated with me since I first heard their album Undertow, one of the first CDs I ever owned. It was Aenema I would play over and over, however, finding it to be the perfect background music when working my pastel or ink pieces during high school, as it seemed to resonate with my state of mind. It served as a sort of musical anchor or home base, an auditory environment I could return to, much as Led Zeppelin seems to serve for a close friend of mine I would meet later on who, like Jay, is a talented musician.
 
Jay and Howard were band mates, as a matter of fact, which initially confused me given the clear difference in character. Jay’s passion for music had pushed him to take on being a part of as many available bands as he could at once, all alongside his job at a printing factory. His ultimate plan was to be part of a band that would play a new category of music he called “Toolesque.”
 
He was a curious guy who’s inner eye looked deeply, and he kept throwing out a few particular phrases that seemed to advertise for his interests.
 
Everything is light. Eyes are the windows to the soul. Beliefs are dangerous. Is seeing believing, he would ask someone, or is believing seeing? 
 
They soon had to leave, and my hopes were that I would see the guy again. He had a comfortable vibe and there seemed to be some unspoken bond between us, and it was of an unusual strength for just having met the guy.

 

At a party Sandra was throwing at the apartment perhaps a week later, I was talking to someone in my room when, looking out my doorway and into the kitchen, I saw a guy pulling a beer out of the fridge. It was Jay. It turns put Sandra and other friends of mine knew him; given that, it was interesting that our paths had not crossed earlier. I showed him some of my pastel works.

 
Shortly thereafter, a group of us had gotten into a discussion regarding the speed of light, time travel, parallel universes and the Big Bang. As the conversation went on, Jay would play songs from Tool’s Aenema album over and over.
 
Slowly people tapped out, fell asleep or left for home until it was just Jay and I, sitting in the living room on the van seats a considerably drunken member of a party a month or so ago had brought into the apartment from who-knew-where. We watched as cigarette smoke slithered in slow motion in the rays of light shining through the window of the apartment. Jay took swigs of his beer as I sipped my coffee, and we continued our talk. What Jay and I discussed as the party died around us that night was our similar perspectives on what one might call “spiritual” matters — and the similarity in our personal experiences in that area.
 
I confessed my apparently alien experiences with him, the telepathic experiences and synchronicity, as well as my out-of-body experiences. He was open-minded. And with respect to some of my experiences, he understood on a personal level as well.
 
Often it has been said that the loss or reduction of one sense modality increases the range of intensity of another, and one could say that Jay suffered from two deficiencies. Firstly, he was color blind, only capable of seeing in black and white. This, he said, accounted for his strictly black-and-white wardrobe and his appreciation for my artwork, in which I used either ink or chalk pastels of extreme light and dark colors, which his eyes could clearly perceive.
 
Secondly, there were what for him acted as frustrating and seemingly insurmountable obstacles in articulating himself through verbal expression in a way that seemed to deliver the most minimal form of personal satisfaction. This I noted early on in our conversations, and part of the reason he came to trust me is that he could tell that I understood him and his strange experiences despite his difficulties in describing them due to my own similar experiences. We shared a fundamental similarity — or, as Jay described it, we came from the same place, as did the members of Tool.
 
Like me, Jay was an artist, though his sole medium, his singular creative investment, was in music. Throughout his childhood his mother went through boyfriends like a hot knife through butter, but it was one man he remembered in particular. He was a musician, and while either playing or listening to music in Jay’s presence at one point he suddenly took note of Jay’s foot, tapping in time, which prompted the guy to exclaim, “This kid’s got rhythm.” Jay then learned to play the saxophone, going on later to master other instruments. 
 
Perhaps due to his color-blindness, his auditory sense was heightened, and given this, coupled with his simultaneous sense of limitation through verbal language, music became his natural gravitation for personal expression.  The missing element here, however, is the other strange characteristics of his brain.
 
Through discussion with others, he learned that music was very different for him. Whereas most focused on a single instrument in a song with the rest of the instruments taking on the role of a blurred peripheral or background, he could hear all instruments independently, equally, and simultaneously. This appealed to me, as it echoed my value in diversity as opposed to the typical cultural values placed in unity. It represented a system of interrelationships in which group dynamics served to nurture individuality rather than condemn it to the grave in favor of a dominant group mentality. It seemed to recognize and emulate the role diversity plays in evolution, revealing its value to the evolutionary process in areas other than the genetic. 
 
It also implied that more than one train of thought was going on in Jay’s mind at once, which is precisely how my own mind seemed to work. As a psychologist described my brain to me once, it seems as if my brain is a radio picking up multiple frequencies simultaneously. Aside from a characteristic of reception, it was also the way my subjective processes seemed to operate. In the very least with respect to music, the same appeared to be the case with Jay, only rather than hopping between different simultaneous channels, he could juggle them all at once.
 
When it came to the “electronic symphonies” of the progressive band, Tool, the structure of their music almost seemed designed for his type of mind — the music at once spoke to him and opened up a window for him to more accurately express his own means of experiencing the world. Tool to him represented not so much a band that functioned as a singular voice but as a network of individuals who complimented one another in creative and unpredictable fashions, deviating from one another through mastery of polyrhythms and meeting up at various rendezvous points throughout the course of the song. Rather than the typical four-chord rope, tightly bound together in predictable pattern, Tool was more akin to a tapestry in which the thread of each instrument wove in and out in its own unique fashion, each more than just a part of the whole, which itself was more than the mere sum of its parts. 
 
If the brains or minds of Jay and I were similar in their multiple-channel bombardments, corresponding simultaneous parallel tracks of thought and consequential multilevel means of personal expression, it would follow that our brain-radios or “braindios” might have the tendency to slip to frequencies on the dial that stretch beyond the range of those for which the biological form is suited, and so are instead experienced subjectively, or perhaps exosomatically. Indeed, since as far back as he can recall, and it would seem to be a considerable distance, he has had strange out-of-body experiences. Like me, however, he did not roam about in disembodied form on the physical landscape, but in what appeared to be another reality, a realm of real-time experiences, visions, and memories experienced almost as if a subjective form of time-travel.
 
To put it in a way, he was far more highly sensitive than the average person to “technologies” traditionally utilized as a means of accessing altered states of consciousness. Sometimes he would be smoking pot or be on some other drug when it would happen. On some occasions, it would happen when he was asleep. In at least one instance he described to me, music was the culprit. 
 
He was playing on the piano at the house of his friend and neighbor as his friend’s sister watched him. Jay got caught up in the music, lost in it, and upon hitting a chord suddenly and inexplicably froze, as if in suspended animation. The sister was horrified. From his perspective, he had vacated this reality. 
 
As was the case in my own out of body experiences, the direction of his corporeal exit was always experienced as “down and in” as opposed to the traditional “up and out” means of exit reported by others in OBE literature. In both our cases, there was often the sensation in the out-of-body form of being in zero-gravity or swimming through water. 
 
One of the real-time, otherworldly experiences of his he explained, if I remember correctly, as a dream that was more than a dream. There was a group of entities he called The Village for whom he evidently had a duty and purpose: he was to move this shapeless mass of unimaginable size from “point-A” to “point-B.” Every time he had this experience, which was roughly once a year, he would get so far only to lose control of the Mass, at which time The Village seemed awash with disappointment, he would feel frustrated and then wake up. Around the age of eleven, he said, he thought he had finally accomplished moving the Mass to its intended destination, after which that set of experiences stopped. 
 
What I find best to label visions are otherworldly experiences he has had in which he took on the “third person perspective” or uninvolved spectator role. He turned over a paper placemat and drew for me a particularly interesting vision he had had. 
 
He drew a block divided into four cells in four rows, the walls and floors that distinguished them embroidered, at their side-view, with stylistic cat-scratch characters that give off the impression of Chinese. Each row was accessible by stairways that traveled the full length of the four cells on each level, connecting each row in a zigzag pattern from the side-view. Only in the first cell of the first row and the second cell of the fourth did he depict prisoners, and both were sitting against the far wall, behind bars, knees nearly to their neck in their otherwise empty cells, and the one in the fourth row, at least, had his head in his hands. 
 
Though not an element of the original vision, after his sketch and as we spoke about it he scribbled words around the border which read: “Locked from man, isolation for eternity, far from all — so I fail an endeavor of the stolen soul of mine.”
 
After some discussion of the vision, I asked Jay to go over a memory “re-experience” he had told me about before. Arguably Jay’s earliest memory, it began with him on his knees, hands tied behind his back, surrounded by a crowd of onlookers. His head was then placed onto the guillotine and soon enough, the blade fell. Despite that, he goes on to explain how it all looked from the perspective of his rolling head. 
 
This memory struck me as interesting for several reasons, such as how it resonated with other themes regarding the head in both his experiences as well as my own. 
 
On our way to our booth at the all-night restaurant one morning to talk he had felt, no doubt partially due to sleep deprivation, that his subtle body (to use my own words) was connected to his head as he physically walked, but the rest of his subtle body was flowing behind his head horizontally. 
 
This led us into discussion of his beliefs regarding the eyes. Without knowing the name or source of the idea to my knowledge, in his own words Jay revealed that he prescribed to the extramission theory of sight from Aristotelean physics — the belief that sight worked by means of “eye beams” shooting out of our fleshy sockets and picking up objects in the external environment.  
 
There was also his constant emphasis on light in his ceaseless pronouncements that “everything is light,” which in turn associated to his emphasis on eyes — all three of them. Like me, he had his fixation on the notion of the “third eye” located in the center of the head. 
 
He didn’t seem to see the connection offered by his past life memory, however. After all, in his experience of decapitation, why did the evidently “resident” consciousness remain in the head once it was severed and rolling as opposed to the body — or rather than being bound both to the gourd and headless flesh-vessel at once in a state of dual consciousness? For that matter, why not just vacate both at the moment the blade fell? 
 
As in many of my own out-of-body experiences, it suggests to me the subtle body may “hook up” to the physical body by means of the brain, specifically through use of the pineal gland in a lock-and-key kind of fashion.
 
Watching him go over the memory of the guillotine in the diner that morning, his frustration at being incapable of remembering more was visibly evident. I asked him to relax, close his eyes, and simply try to mentally submerge himself in the scene. With my pen in hand, I asked him to describe any details that came to mind. 
 
His frustration erupted a few times, but then he suddenly got excited.  A girl, he told me. He had seen a girl. She was in front of the crowd of people, a look of shock on her face, her hand held to her mouth. She had a white top on and flowing brown hair that hung to the bottom of her rib cage. Focusing on her blue-green eyes, he felt a sense of love from her. I asked him if he got sense of a name, but he did not. I asked him if she reminded him of anyone he knew now.”No,” he told me. “She’s got eyes that I’d know if I’d seen them.”
 
He came dressed in white one day while I was doing the dishes and announced to me that he had met her. I was confused, and he told me it was the girl from the memory. I had somehow seemed to earn a deeper trust with him. He told me that there was someone I needed to meet, and that we would talk about it soon.
 
A few days went by before I saw Jay again. He was waiting for me at a booth in the dining room when my shift ended. He had just gotten off shift at the print factory, where he work four-day ten-hour shifts followed by three days off. He explained what he did at his job and expressed shame and frustration that it was, as he put it, a “non-thinking” job. There was no room for individuality or creative application. It would seem we shared similar distaste for the culture we shared alongside everything else.
 
Quickly he shifted to more unusual or interesting topics, however. He referenced the book About Time: Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution by Paul Davies. For Jay, it brought him to invest in the possibility that there are no ends or beginnings. 
 
Then he explained how he had read a book regarding experiments in which spiders were given various drugs. The webs subsequently woven were far from normal and the style of the webs differed in accordance with the drug. Most fascinating to Jay was the web constructed under the influence of LSD, which he took to be the same drug described in the liner notes of Tool. I broke it to him that it was actually describing the drug Ketamine, otherwise known as K. It was also the eleventh letter in the alphabet, and so likely had something to do with his apparent synchronicities with that number due to an event that occurred at that age as suggested in the song, Jimmy. It much much like my synchronicities with the number 23, only that number failed to point my way to a particular substance. 
 
The following evening, Howard and Jay met me at the all-night restaurant just as my shift was ending and we all went to a nearby strip club. As the music played and the meat show commenced, Jay and I got drawn into conversation. 
 
When I asked him, he maintained that, like me, he was an atheist. For Jay, there was no need for a god, as there was no ultimate creation to speak of, nor coming cosmic catastrophe. Instead, we lived in a multiverse without beginning or end, having no need for an ultimate designer or destroyer. To this I added that rather than god existing as some puppet-master pulling cosmic strings on his merry way to some master plan, we were instead all co-creators in an ever-evolving, inherently impersonal universe. 
 
This clashed with Howard, his band-mate beside us, who was no stranger to my arguments for atheism and proceeded to speak of his profound sense of “evil” while on acid at a Korn concert once and how it rekindled his faith in a particular god. I told him there was no good or evil and that ethics arises naturally through the interplay of empathy and reason. He said he would pray for me.
 
Once earning some distance from Howard, Jay began explaining something to me which he had cryptically alluded to before and called “the link.” For the longest time he had kept all his strange experiences locked up inside himself, afraid to tell anyone, certain that even if he tried to explain it all they would be unwilling to take the effort to understand. When he was over at his friend’s house next door one day, he finally broke down and let all of it spill. Both started crying and he seemed to understand one another. As they began communicating about it more, bonding through it, both felt as if it were their purpose to gain authentic spiritual knowledge and find others like themselves. They are like the first two links on a chain, he told me, and Jay suspected that I was the third. He wanted to stop by the apartment that evening and have me meet him.
 
It seemed too good to be true. For once in my life, I did not feel so alone. In addition, this brother of the weird spoke of another, and of his cautious drive to round up more like minds to build a community. His interests and focus were revealed not just in what he had thus far conveyed to me directly, but on another level as well.
 
This is where we return to our mutual attraction to the band Tool, specifically his constant echoing of the Aenema album liner notes, which pronounced, as a synopsis of the reality-tunnel notions of the ever-interesting Robert Anton Wilson, “Beliefs are dangerous. Believe in nothing.” 
 
To this, lead singer Maynard James Keenan once added in an interview, “Explore everything,” and given the additional mention of “ritual magik” and drugs this would appear to suggest more specifically the exploration of beliefs as tools through experimentation in the deliberately-eclectic style of Chaos Magick. This “art and science,” as Crowley put it, involves the temporary adoption of any available belief system that serves as a theoretical means of accomplishing a desired psychological or parapsychologically-mediated change, after which, regardless of how successful, you adopt a differing belief system — conceptually nomadic determination presides over all, as no belief system is complete and some, however elaborate, are a cold distance from any experimentally-falsifiable status, and so serve as nothing but a prison for the mind.
 
A growing toolbox of belief systems, of parallel tracks of thought at our mind’s side that also satisfy “perspectivism,” giving us as many eyes as the mythic Argus. This multiple-track, multichannel methodology resonates with both the music of Tool and the psychological inner-workings of both Jay and myself: the mutual gravitation to the music and to one another was therefore understandable, predictable, and perhaps on some level intentional. 
 
Like me, Jay sought after what could be described as a “spiritual” or perhaps paranormal science and technology. The science needed was a methodology, a measurable pathway of increasingly greater understanding through which “authentic spiritual knowledge,” as he put it, could be gleaned and applied. The technology we sought after were tools by which this knowledge could be pursued and through which this methodology might be executed. 
 
So I was eagerly in wait that evening when I heard the knock at the door. Opening it, I found Jay and a tall, razor-eyed stranger behind him. Jay introduced his friend, we shook hands. My initial impression of him, even before he spoke, was of an arrogant man bearing a phony persona. He had the characteristic vibe of such people, by which I mean he seemed to be leaching energy off me, perhaps whoever he was near. People that have this kind of energy always leave me feeling drained, irritable and violated in their ice-cold kind of presence. Out of respect for Jay, I tried my damnedest to play nice and not prejudge. I wanted to stay open-minded.
 
Jay had me show him a bit of my artwork, and then we all sat down to talk. Jay sat in the chair, his friend on the couch with me sitting just in front of him, on the van seat. He then explained that Jay had brought him to realize his capacity to see into people, by which I  assumed he meant to suggest a solely receptive form of telepathy. This he experienced as a tunnel to the sides of which he caught visuals and impressions, thoughts and emotions. Naturally, I asked him if he could read me, to which he responded that indeed he could — through both my eyes and my artwork. 
 
As we held prolonged eye contact I felt a familiar sense of stretching in my eyes, a cold sort of psychological nakedness. He told me that I was engulfed in fears. I had a very intense, complex mind. An open mind, but a suspicious mind. I didn’t tend to believe in something unless I had experienced it for myself. There is a girl I love, he told me, though there is some uncertainty about it. All in all, he more or less described how I perceived myself and my circumstances with my ex-girlfriend, Claire, but perhaps he drew sufficient information through the medium of Jay and my artwork. 
 
At any rate, as the guy and I fell into discussion, Jay just sort of sat back and observed, seeming quite happy regarding our back-and-fourth. Occasionally he would feed the conversation with questions or bringing certain details into amplification for deeper analysis. Jay’s friend seemed like the type to romanticize and take it all as a game in which he was putting on an act, made all the worse due to the fact that he was simply a really bad actor. At times he seemed to be trying to sound like some guru, fancying himself some young, sleek incarnate of Obi Wan and making everything seem cheesy, fluffy and lame in the process. On other occasions, he almost approached the realm of sincerity and rationality.
 
He told me how Jay and him sought after authentic spiritual knowledge. They were like the first two links on a chain and they suspected I was the third. It is as if Jay an himself had been through grades one and five, and I have traveled from grade six on towards graduation. I needed to back-track and they needed to catch up so we can go forward together, rounding up “others of our kind,” as he put it.
 
The meeting with Jay’s friend left me feeling frustrated. Despite the nagging sense that he had saw into me with his eyes, nothing he said required telepathy to piece together. My discomfort around him was as intense as the brotherly feelings I felt towards Jay.
 
A night or two later Jay found me at the crowded diner, asking if I wanted to go with him over to the house of Obi Wannabe, as there was something he wanted to show me. My curiosity compelled me to query, but he treated it as some big secret and only urged me to come along. As I agreed and we all got up to leave, Obi spoke up. “The link is strong tonight,” he said, and I tried to conceal my irritation and hold still the eyes that itched to roll in response. 
 
It’s dark when we get there, and upon stepping into the living room I find an attractive, black-haired girl curled up on the sofa. This, it turns out, was sister to the telepathic bad actor, and I sat beside her on the couch, smoking cigarettes and sipping from by bottle of Pepsi as Jay and his friend were doing something in the kitchen. She was a much-needed distraction, as my curiosity had by this time metastasized into full-blown paranoia that was getting increasingly difficult to conceal. Given that she was hot and kind and I was alone with her, however, my anxiety drove me to the kitchen, where Obi proceeded to make me some strong coffee as he helped Jay look for something. A toolbox belonging to his mother, who was a nurse. 
 
Leaving the kitchen to await the uber-java, I sat back down on the couch, and Obi was all too quick to follow. Strong link or not, something weird was in the works, and it made me feel uneasy. As Obi talks, Jay comes into the room, sits on a chair right in front of the television, picks up the controller and proceeds to play a video game. I try to pretend I’m focused on the game, but he is not swayed, and when I’m cornered into conversation with him and try to bring his sister into the conversation, her and her brother get in a brief verbal argument after which she leaves for her room upstairs. 
 
She’s doing what she always does, Obi tells me, and smoking too much pot. 
 
Looking back at Joe playing the game, I could no longer ignore the worry he seemed to be feeling and trying desperately to ignore. Then I noticed something that increased my worry. I told Jay he had red splotches all over his skin, and he just looks, laughs and shrugs it off. It’s okay, he tells me; he gets hives sometimes.
 
Obi turns to look at Jay and asks, “How are you feeling, Jay?”
 
“Riddalized,” he answers. It clicks and I look at captain fake beside me, who had just damned his sister for copious weed burning when he had provided for his neighbor and friend a fucking overdose on prescription medication.
 
He told me that rather than Riddalin, he had instead downed six of the 20-milligram pills of Aderol they had lifted from Obi Mom’s toolbox-turned-medical-box. It helped him go down into that other place, he said. I ask if he has done this before, to which he responds with stuttering half-sentences, which of course tells me all I need to know. 
 
Calling the hospital at this point would have been a mature response, yes. Claire had nearly overdosed a month or so ago, as had my friend, Terra. It may give him access to the other world, then, but it may be a one-way ticket, I thought to myself.
 
“Okay,” Jay said, standing up and walking to the couch in the dark half of the room. “I’m starting to feel it.”
 
As I sat beside Jay, Obi lit candles and then got an afghan blanket when Jay remarked he felt cold. From beside me, Jay tapped me on the shoulder, saying desperately, “Talk.” I asked him what he was feeling, telling him to spill whatever he was experiencing. As he struggled to describe a cylinder of strange dimensions, I noticed even the atmosphere around him felt different. 
 
Asking for something to write with an on, I was handed a pen and hard-bound black book by Obi, which I in turn handed to Jay in case that medium of expression felt more adequate to him. He began trying to draw what he was experiencing, as dedicated as he was frustrated in the attempts.
 
Then he asked me to give him a question. Obi then explained that Jay needed a question to focus himself when he went down into that other place. Without a moment’s notice the question arose and swelled into my mind, and no other question intervened. When Jay again pleaded for a question,  it just rolled out of my mouth:
 
“What’s been stalking and attacking me? What is it that’s hiding in my Shadow?”
 
Then he relaxed, took a deep breath and closed his eyes. A moment later, he held out his hand to me. “Put your hand above mine.” I let my palm hover a few inches above his own, feeling this electric sort of cold emanating. He asked, “Do you feel that?” I confirmed that I did indeed.
 
Suddenly, he grabbed my hovering hand. He grabbed it tightly and wouldn’t let go. I felt our resonance shifting, as if he were drawing something from me and into himself. Abruptly he let his grip go and seemed to sink deeper into trance. Soon, he seemed to burst into wakefulness, becoming very animated but entirely mute as he frantically pointed to something in the dark room behind the television. Looking, I saw nothing, and looked back at him.
 
As I remember him describing it to me later, it was as if a chain of paper dolls stretched out before him in the distance. Then one half of the silhouettes walked into one another as if one half was a reflection for the other and so they appeared to merge and them vanish as they walked behind the mirror. When the last two united as one, there was a flash that shot right at him. This seemed to correspond to the small, ghostly-white, vaporous form I saw shoot like a phantom bullet into his eyes from the area where he had been frantically pointing. As it entered his eyes, Jay’s hand rushed to his forehead, and it was either his gasp suddenly cut short or the sound of the object speeding into his head that I heard like a zooming sound in my ears. 
 
The expression on his face changed immediately. Looking over to Obi Wan, who appeared considerably panic-stricken, I asked him if he had seen it. Before he could answer, Jay diverted my attention from him. I never did learn if he saw it as well. 
 
Jay was staring at his hand with a horrified look on his face, as if it were some foreign object. He turned to me, trying desperately to tell me something, pleading for help as if he were drowning, but all as he remained mute, apparently incapable of uttering a sound, let alone recognizable words. 
 
Then it was as if mental channels abruptly switched. On Jay’s face was a look of absolute anger, endless hatred, and it was directed towards me. He scowled and showed his teeth like an animal. His hand would raise and reach out as if to strangle me, but before long Jay returned to some degree, wrestling with the hand that seemed to be operating beyond his control. His face appeared to covey a cocktail of fear, apology, as if to let me know that it was not just him in his body anymore and he couldn’t control this thing that wanted to hurt me. It was as if I were watching him and Ee wrestle for ultimate control over the body both were now imprisoned within.
 
When he eventually regained control and could speak again, it became clear to me that he was having difficulty remembering all that had happened. It seemed as if he were slipping in and out of a dream and at least two distinct memory banks. Once Obi had us move upstairs into his attic bedroom so that his parents wouldn’t know that we were here — not to mention conducting an ill-conceived, pharmaceutical-fueled shamanic ritual — I placed the book in front of Jay, who after a moment asked if he had drawn them, which I calmly confirmed. Staring directly at the bulb that lit up the dark room, he explained in amazement his lack of sensitivity to the light and how he could see the bulbs filaments in such detail. In the light he looked aged somehow, old far beyond his body’s years. As he had earlier, he asked me to hold out my hand, and as I did so he let his own levitate above mine. He asked me if I could feel it. I could feel a lingering electric chill. He told me it felt as if he had another hand super-imposed over his physical one, but this one made of some sort of energy.
 
That was what it often felt like to me throughout my entire body, I told him, and this double or aura seemed to be the same energy body we find ourselves in when we go down into that other world. 
 
When Obi came upstairs, he had transformed into a total asshole. He clearly wanted us to leave, irritated that Jay’s state made that a dangerous idea for the moment. Eventually he left us up there to hide and despite Jay’s desire to talk, I felt overwhelmingly tired. Apologizing, I then crawled on the floor, curled into a ball and, amazingly, fell into sleep.
 
It would be a sleep saturated with dreams I know were bizarre but which I was unable to recall. All I remembered was my name being shouted and something strange going on above my head. Later I awoke to the sound of Obi Whiney frantically explaining that he was late for work and we needed to leave before his parent’s discovered we were here. As Joe drove me back to my car at the restaurant, he was particularly animate, especially for a guy operating on zero sleep. While I was sleeping, he had remained awake, playing with his other hands. He found he was able to control them. Then, as I was lying asleep on the floor by his feet, he watched as a vortex rippled out of my head and a small, brown, fuzzy creature emerge. Reaching down with his other-hands, he had pulled the creature out of me. After he pulled it out, he said he doesn’t know what happened. He never saw its face. I asked him if he remembered me asking him what was in my Shadow. He hadn’t.
 
After dropping me off at the apartment that day, I was exhausted and, for some reason, elected to crash on the couch rather than my bed. Asleep in no time, I then burst into mental acuteness as my body remains in paralysis. I feel myself descend into the almost fluid void, which for the first time was a tan-gold color rather than the typical, endless sea of black. As I float freely, I am surprised to find comfort. For the first time I could recall, I was down here alone, free from the attacks of Ee.
 
Jay and I crossed paths once or twice more, but there was no more of his visits after that night. He had gotten a new job as a door-to-door salesman, reaching out for something more closely approximating a “thinking job.” He was distancing himself from his explorations, however, as his new girlfriend thought it dangerous. This was the girl he believed had watched his beheading in a former life and from whom he had sensed such undying love. This was the girl, perhaps, who’s female eyes he had always compulsively drawn. 
 
Jay had helped me defeat my Shadow, perhaps, and through me he had happened upon his own Anima.
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From a Cold Distance.

Evidently, 

there is a part of me 
intent on destroying anything 
that offers hope,
 
ensuring broken promises 
to promote distancing 
despite my sincere intentions, 
making me a heartless monster 
in the eyes of onlookers, 
betraying the trust,
running down the patience 
of the other. 
 
The persistence 
of self-sabotage boggles 
the mind as it shatters the heart, 
adding more to the weight 
of the eternally guilty,
more light years
to the cold distance 
something horrible inside
pushes me into.

Progeny.

My first two flashbacks came to me within the same night, which happened either in late 1994 or early the following year. Aside from the fact that the two separate flashbacks that evening involved childhood encounters with aliens, there was the ancestral theme that bound them together. That frowning creature in the first flashback said that he was the doctor and that they were scientists.  He said he was very old, very wise, and that in some way he is a grandfather to me. This seems to correspond to the second flashback I had that night that dealt with a Gray or Mantis creature that informed me that he was my “real daddy,” and so it was all right for him to take me away.
 
For some time I considered all this to be nothing more than additional evidence that the little bastards were committed to fucking with my head. After all, for better and worse, I would have to say I am clearly my parents’ son. I see some of both in me. 
My father only seems to be involved in this peripherally. There are no suggestion he sees them. Yet there is, of course, his alcoholic mother, who believed she was seeing aliens and flying saucers out her window. The child-loathing woman, swearing up and down she was partially of Native American decent despite total lack of evidence that any of it is true, would go on and tell her coworkers about the saucers, as my father was ill to discover. To build on his embarrassment and frustration, they actually believed her. 

When she died, my parents found her place a mess. All the cabinet doors open, as she believed for some reason this would rid her of the cockroaches of which she had, evidently, such a deep phobia.

On my father’s side there was also the sister of my rather ominous grandfather — an amazing woman with delicate features, a soothing voice and the most vibrant blue eyes. So calm and collected, you could never imagine her yell or get angry. In my youth, she seemed mystical, and that never went away for as long as she lived. She felt like a furnace of energy. 

It was not until after she had died and we went to visit her husband that I would ask him about the UFO encounter they both had. He had been driving with her when he saw the saucer and began to pull over. He planned on joining the small crowd on the side of the road, watching as a saucer with a rim of multicolored lights encircled a telephone pole. He was fascinated and wanted to watch it. They were being seen all over the country at the time, he told me, but this was the first and only time he had ever seen one. She hid inside the car, though, terrified, frantically begging for him to drive them away, and he swiftly submitted to doing so.

My great aunt was not insane, nor my great uncle; here I feel confident. Nothing seems to point to my father as anything but a carrier for his maternal inheritance, but for the record he is sane as well. Only his heavily strange mother suggests probable insanity; that she was perhaps as highly-functioning a schizophrenic as she was an alcoholic. There is the possibility, of course, that there were flying saucers out her window — that she was strange and an alcoholic, yes, but also truly had encounters. 

Then there is my mother. I know my mother and I have similar neurology, as we share similar “migraine aura” attacks. She had her telepathy with grandma, I’ve had my share of seemingly telepathic experiences. Though my mother has never spoken about seeing aliens, she has certainly had a wide range of strange experiences, including UFO sightings and an enduring telepathic communication with her own mother when they once shared a vacation together. 

One experience she has told me about may be even more suggestive. Sometimes at night she would sit up in the darkness and see faces rush at her from the distance, disappearing just as they were to her forehead or nose. When I had asked her what the faces looked like, she told me that they looked a lot like some of the pastel drawings I had made of rather demented faces inspired by the Doctor creature. 

Still, what are the odds of inheriting it directly through my mother from my maternal grandmother as well as indirectly through my father via both his maternal and paternal lines? Three threads finding convergence in me. Maybe these threads are twisted in me; an unfortunate genetic knot of multifaceted madness. Perhaps inheriting my mother’s migraine neurology and inheriting, through my father acting as a carrier, my paternal grandmother’s functional alcoholic and potentially-schizophrenic neurology is sufficient enough an explanation, no aliens included. Enough potential neurological malfunctions in the genetic lottery, you’re bound to inherit some neurological glitches. Through this cocktail, my seeing aliens and having astral projections, telepathic experiences, encounters with the discarnate and past life memories of being human at least twice before, though before that presumably an alien — all of it could make sense. The odds are in your favor to develop a psychosis that has found effective expression through the medium of culturally-mediated symbols. 

As humble as it might be if I were at this point to succumb to the label of the harmless but nonetheless psychotic, I am hopelessly drawn to more pessimistic conclusions. For when I later made the connection between the faces my mother saw, their similarity to the Doctor and what the Doctor said to me in the first flashback, I couldn’t help but wonder if what they claim could in any way be literally true.

 
In any case, the creature’s allegation in the first flashback that he was The Doctor and they were scientists might provoke in one to wonder just what kind of science they practiced. 
 
This was suggested in two later flashbacks. Aside from the two flashbacks previously described, there was another evening in which I again had two such flashbacks. This happened on April 4, 1995 and they were again conjured by means of the lava lamp, only this time it was intentional. With these flashbacks, too, there seems to be a theme: genetic tampering. 
 
The two creatures in the second flashback looked like clones of the Doctor, for one thing, only ones seemingly shorter in stature. The creature I saw in the first flashback of the evening, however, suggests to me genetic engineering. It had the morphology of the typical Gray but it had brown, wrinkled reptilian skin and vertically-slit pupils — and a frown. The skin looked similar to the Doctor, but his eyes (and those of his “clones”) had the traditional whites, round iris and pupil. Eyes can go from round to slit given light variations, could this provide explanation? In any case, I have never come across any material aside from my own that describe the Doctor in appearance specifically, but “reptilian” would perhaps best fit his description.
 
If they are mixing genes with other species, this might indicate what was meant by the ancestral allegations in the first two flashbacks. 
 

How could they not be lying? That was all I said to myself about it all for a long time. Even granting the theory of panspermia, and so perhaps the notion that all life might be related, it is so unlikely as to be impossible that interplanetary-scale interspecies reproduction could produce a viable hybrid embryo. 

In time, however, it came to my attention that there was a way of breaching the barriers between distant species. The operative word would be transgenesis, the technological means of lateral gene transfer. This is the form of genetic engineering that allows genes from one species to be inserted and incorporated into the genome of another. The genes that are transferred from one organism to another are transgenes, and the organism that incorporates these transgenes into their genome is a transgenic organism. This would be the only conceivable means by which they could cross the species.

How would they do it? They would perhaps abduct a recently-impregnated woman, extract the fertilized egg and alter the male pronucleus by introducing transgenes from an alien donor. If the transgenic process was successful, the resulting child, call her Jane, would be a transgenic human being bearing characteristics of all three of her parents: her human mother, her human father, and the alien donor. 

Depending on the sex of the alien donor, it would either constitute a second mother or a second father for Jane. Let’s say the transgenic parent of Jane was a second father.

Jane grows up and they monitor her remotely as she develops over the years, occasionally abducting her for an on-board “check-up” inside and out. Physically, they examine her body, insert or extract implants for remote monitoring. Telepathically, they run their psychological examinations and tests by throwing her into subjective, life-like “dream” scenarios to study emotional reactions, play back and examine certain memories as they “skim” the associations. 

Jane grows, Jane meets Jack, they get married and she gets pregnant. Remote monitors transmit this data and so they promptly abduct Jane, their pregnant transgenic human, and screen the embryo. They find that they have a stable, germ-line transformation: the embryo inherited the mother’s transgenes. 

Then they build upon their success by manipulating Jane’s embryo even further, altering it with additional transgenes from another male alien donor. That embryo develops into a child, John — just another transgenic human being, another abductee.

As a male, John’s alien donor would constitute a second father. His mother’s transgenic donor, from whom John also inherited transgenes, would be John’s second maternal grandfather.

Jane could be my mother, and the frowning Doctor creature her transgenic donor and second father. I could be John, the Goblin Man my own transgenic donor and second father. The Doctor would, by extension, be my grandfather in a way, just as he claimed when I was five years old. 

The notion sounds insane, of course, and I have salvaged some self-respect in being aware of that fact, even while I so incongruently find myself investing in the idea as a “probability (assuming my sanity)” just to have a context for all these perpetually surreal episodes in my life. 

Or maybe I’m some living brain floating in a wire-fed jar and someone slipped a highly psychedelic substance in with my liquid nutrients. 

Finally: an all-inclusive explanation.

Reptiles.

Often people speak of circumstances in which they honestly, truly feel that they would die for someone or be willing to sacrifice themselves to some cause. In a similar way, I had decided that I would risk my very sanity to know the truth behind these memories flooding my brain, warping my sense of self as much as my sense of reality. I needed to understand all this, to be in on what was happening to me.
 
On April 4, 1995, I felt incredibly certain that I was hanging by my last few threads, swinging all about in frustration and fear like a twitchy, thoroughly caffeinated circus act.  
 
Having spent my insomniac hours constructing a list of all I had thus far come to remember, I am suddenly jolted into another brief flashback of my childhood. It flickers before my mind’s eye like the single frame of a film, sending a release of associated emotions like some subjective bubble had finally burst. 
 
For a brief instant I’m atop that same loft bed in my old room in the old house, looking out from between the edge of the mattress and the stained-wood safety bar at the side of the bed and from beneath a frizzy, blue blanket. I have a clear line of sight of the bedroom wall opposite my window. There is the closed door of my room on the far right of the wall and, out of my field of vision, my closet to the far left. In between rests a small, lit aquarium on a small table or stool. 
 
As typical as the scene may sound, it is as if the air is charged with some ominous energy, some overwhelming sense of impending doom. I feel as if I am hiding, playing dead, and from beneath the blue blanket I watch that door like a hawk. 
 
That was it. 
 
The flashback then cut off, as if intercepted by my reactionary fear. I knew the fish tank was where I had kept my painted turtle when I was either in first or second grade, so I must have been around seven or eight years old when this event happened, whatever it was. 
 
I had been given no clue as to what this event entailed, much as was the case with my flashback regarding the chair. As before, the image had come out of nowhere and swiftly returned to the ether, the visit not providing the vaguest semblance of an explanation. 
 
Perturbed that the memory had, like so many other recollections, arrived unannounced with blazing intensity only to fade as quickly as it had come, I decided that I’d had enough. I needed to know more, I wanted to remember everything, and in order to retrieve more memories I would go back to the object, the tool, that had started it all. I would go back to gazing at the lava lamp.
 
Giving my room a dim light, I sat in my chair and stared deep into the red lava waving in the yellow oil, more determined now than ever to unlock the memories I felt so certain were buried somewhere in my mind. I did some meditation and some self-hypnotic procedures. Gazing harder, gazing deeper into the molten red wax as I tried to “feel” my way back to the flashback. My eyes rolled back in my head and I closed them, feeling as they vibrated behind my lids. To my surprise, I slipped back into the freeze-framed memory of crystal clarity with remarkable ease.
 
Again, I am looking at the doorway out from beneath the frizzy blue blanket and wooden safety bar. Abruptly, the door bursts open and in marches this creature, swinging arms and legs in a swift, dramatic march. There is a casual confidence in his walk, as if he literally owned the place and had meandered through it countless times before. 
 
With his slender body, long, wiry fingers and oversize cranium in the shape of an inverted teardrop, he was similar to the typical Gray alien. Rather than the typical gray-toned body, however, he had this tan-brown, reptillian-looking skin, though it had wrinkles. To either side of his monkey-shaped nose bulged slanted, wrap-around eyes, the vertical-slit pupils lined in a yellowish iris somewhat reminiscent of the eyes of a reptile or cat. 
 
From the moment he steps in through the door he is looking around, scanning the room, his slanted, unblinking eyes a mere moment away from coming into contact with my own when, in fear, my trance finally breaks. 
 
I found myself back to staring at the red globs of lava in the dark yellow oil. It was as if I had plunged myself underwater, now forced to come up for air. I was terrified and angry that I could not seem to control my mind or my emotional state.
 
Though I did not see the connection at the time of recall, it later struck me that the incident with the creature bursting into my room (if indeed it did actually occur) may account for a bizarre and frightening childhood dream that had surfaced in my mind early on in 1994, before the flashbacks, while I was reading Hopkins’ Missing Time.
 
In the dream I had walked into my room and felt the distinct feeling of being watched. After looking up, I see a white afghan cat sitting motionless on my desk, or a table. It had piercing, almost luminous, green eyes with vertical slits for pupils. It has huge claws and fangs that stretched passed it’s face. Afraid to move, I just looked at it for awhile and it just remained sitting there, motionless, staring at me. It wasn’t the absurdly huge claws or fangs on that beast of a cat that frightened me so much as those eyes with the vertically-slit pupils. The white cat abruptly jumps to the floor and toward me, and in terror I run out of my room. I find my father in the front room on our old brown rocking chair, leap into his lap, and he rocks me out the back door and into the yard.
 
When I woke up from this dream, I in turn woke my father up and he went with me back to my room. With him there, and the small lamp beside my bed on, I felt at ease. He reassured me that it had just been a dream and there was nothing to be afraid of. As was often the case, I told my sisters about the dream and the White Cat became a sort of growing mythology of my childhood. He was an enemy we always talked about and watched out for, a member of a pack of evil cats, consisting of the Black Cat and the Fire Cat, which we perceived as stalking us. It makes me wonder if encounters like this are truly how some myths and religions get started. 
 
Years later, I’m also forced to wonder if the dream that inspired this childhood mythology may have been my subconscious “bleed-through” of my memory of that reptilian creature walking through my door. There is a strong resemblance between the eyes of the white cat in the dream and the eyes of the creature who busted through my door in the flashback, after all. While the creature did not have the aburdly large and threatening fangs and claws the white cat did, the sense of threat conveyed was similiar. 
 
Before the appearance of the creature in the flashback just described I had never seen nor heard of one of these creatures with vertical pupils, either, but later found identicle depictions of this type of creature in the accounts of others. 
 
After I pulled out of the brief flashback I could feel my mind breaking, but I quickly pushed myself to project back into the memory with all my will. It worked, but once there, once back in the past, the creature I had seen was no longer at the doorway. He was gone. Nowhere to be found. While I wound up back where I had left off, it didn’t seem to quite be when I had left off.
 
From atop my bed, I can see my room, the same room, seemingly vacant. With my head now above the covers, my eyes fall on my small body, hidden beneath that same blue, frizzy blanket. Looking upwards, to the area of the ceiling between the end of my bunk bed and the closet, I can see my bedroom light hanging from a chain hooked to the ceiling, it‘s shade basically a translucent yellow dome. And there, just below the light, resting at either end of the foot of my bed, I see these two inhuman creatures.
 
They look like clones of one another. To be certain, they look nothing like the creature that had barged in the door in the previous flashback, save perhaps for the color of their skin. They look, as a matter of fact, just like the Doctor being I’d seen in my first flashback a few months back, though I for some reason feel certain that neither of them are him specifically. 
 
Both of them have deep, exaggerated, cartoon-like frowns that push their bottom lips hard against the bottom of their little monkey nose, and with their flat, wrinkly, pliable-looking faces, they remind me of the squished look on the faces of the pug breed of dogs. If they held their eyes wide open, it seems as though their eyes would be large, but their hairless brows perpetually twist their faces into ever-squirming scowls and squints. All the wrinkles on their face seem to be drawn towards the center of their heads, as if the space between their eyes and just above their nose is the center of a vortex.
 
After overcoming the initial shock of their presence, the fear surges in me and I quickly pull the covers over my head, drawing myself into a fetal position. They immediately pounce on me and I begin to kick, punch and scream. It felt as if their punching fists and their gripping hands were striving to pull the blanket off of me. With the blanket eventually off my head, at least partially, I look at one of them dead in the face and he scowls angrily. 
 
I black out again and find myself staring at the amorphous blobs of the lava lamp once more.
 
Much like I had found associations between the reptilian Gray that had come bursting through my door and my childhood dream of that staring, white afghan cat, I would later come to find associations between the incident on my bed and a strange behavior I had taken up when I was younger. I remember that when my mother changed the sheets and blankets on my bed I would often jump into them like a pile of leaves, bury myself beneath them and pretend something was trying to capture me from the other side of the blankets and sheets and I was punching and kicking them. 
 
Coming out of this flashback brought me to what I now consider, and even considered at the time, to be rock bottom. Face in my hands, I cried like a frightened child. I just wanted to recall all I had forgotten, deal with it, and move on with my life, and in desperation I decided that the only way to effectively approach that goal would be to find a hypnotist to guide me back to and through these memories.

 So I did.

Duality, Meet Fantasy’s Tombstone.

It swells inside and I feel mad as a rabid animal, hurt like a sensitive child. You are a person, a subject, not an object, yet you become one to a part of me that has gone a step further, evidently, into feeling that you are an object of ownership — a possession. 
 
My emotions reduce you to a tree I have pissed upon. My intellect judges those emotions to be childish and primitive. 
 
I wanted you and have done nothing and here you fucked your ex-boyfriend, evidently got back together with him as well. I have no right to feel this way and yet I do and, it would seem, can do nothing about it. All I can do is manage my irrational jealousy and hurt and anger, and I think I’m doing rather well.
 
Go ahead, laugh it up. I can feel your glee inside. Beautiful, sadistic. I’m not satisfying you by reacting, but you sense it in me at a level nonetheless. 
 
Now I need to ensure you cast doubt on yourself. 
 
I’m killing you with still water, a blank slate, an unaffected face so you can let your projections go wild. You think you’re seeing me, though its only your own reflection. I feel confident you’ll see what you deserve to see. 
 
Through you I’ll finally see what, if anything, you wanted of me. You’ll stand naked in all your glory. Then I’ll know where to go.

There she stands, forehead tipped forward, dyed-red hair dangling so naturally, so perfectly over her beatiful face and vibrant eyes so fucking seductively she cannot be real, and yet she clearly is. Like every transient fixation I develop, she becomes alpha and omega, beginning and end, life and death of my evidently ever-bound heart and gonads. 

I want her for I have been foolish enough to remember how great it can be in the beginning when I have so rarely succumb to it, though the ending flashes before my tainted, jaded inner eye at the same time. 

The higher you climb, the harder you fall into this hormonally-driven form of temporary insanity, and it takes you so long to heal. Remember now? Best to play it safe and play it wise, to give up on those games and just stay low to the ground.

Already you can see your resistance wavering. Feeling jealous, possessive, but she is no object and you don’t own her. What would happen if she stole your breath away, if you fell head over heels again just to get it back by breathing her in? 

You’re just wasting time in oscillation. Shit or get off the pot. It seems you’re just goofy-glued to the toilet seat shooting machine-gun blanks that just serve to ripple the water, teasing her fluid skin. Her aggravation grows. Your ineptness persists. One minute a stone wall, the next a pushover. You are the king of incongruence; master of mixed messages. 

I want to be close, 
but I need to be free.
I will not use you as a tool 
and you cannot use me.
 
Is she worth the risk? The past echoes: No, no, no.

Implicit Personal Prehistory.

In amnesia, not all memory is lost. While the essence of our identities would appear to be memory, memory is not limited to what is known as explicit memory, which is to say the episodic memory we play before our minds eye and semantic memory we recite to ourselves.

Implicit memory involves the unconscious and automatic memory of form, pattern and meaning. Think of the mannerisms and expressions we use, the postures we hold, or philias we have, our talents and passions, our aversions and addictions: all of that is bound up in what is known as implicit memory.

Implicit memory stores and retrieves memory through a process known as priming, which is accomplished when repeated exposure to a stimulus unconsciously and automatically influences the psychological or behavioral response to a later stimulus through similarity in context, meaning, or pattern of form. As a consequence, the implicit weaves together and influences sensory memory, working memory, and long-term memory, providing a common structure for them all — the bodily pattern of form.

As all context, meaning and pattern of form is experienced through and within the confines of the body, permeating it and permeated by it. This suggests to me that all implicit memory is bound up in what we could call morphological memory, and as a consequence the morphological is the implicit in toto. It is the template for sensory, working, and long term memory. It is the template for experience.

There is suggestion that implicit memory persists beyond the confines of the corporeal as well. When frequent out-of-body experiencers describe being aware throughout the process of transition from the physical body to the subtle one, they describe the subtle body as existing in some way in and around the physical body, corresponding to the notions of an aura or energy field sensitive and responsive to the mind (and which may actually constitute the mind) that appears to be the source of all psi phenomena. In the out-of-body state, implicit effects are revealed in the apparitional form and the familiar sensory means of experience the disembodied typically default to. Implicit effects are also implied in the retained psychological and behavioral patterns that constitute identity. What is often referred to as the subtle body, then, would appear synonymous with implicit memory.

This morphologically-structured implicit memory, as the subtle body, also appears to provide a blueprint for subsequent incarnations. A developing human body appears malleable to the subtle body whereas the subtle body becomes more malleable to the human body as biological development proceeds.

The implicit scaffolding of morphological memory is implied first in the corresponding architecture often found to exist between the facial features of an individual’s present and former physical body. The idea seems to be most passionately pursued by one Walter Semkiw, MD, but more convincing sources are to be found. The most notable is researcher Ian Stevenson, who discovered, in the process on following up on former cases, that many of the children had indeed grown to bear a striking resemblance to their alleged former incarnations.

There is also the case of one Jeffrey J. Keene, an Assistant Fire Chief who lives in Westport, Connecticut. He has come to believe he’s the reincarnation of John B. Gordon. Gordon was a Confederate General of the Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War, and he died on January 9, 1904. Alongside other astounding correlations between Keene and Gordon there is the incredible likeness between the two in terms of physical appearance.

Aside from corresponding facial architecture, many of the subjects in the cases at the Division of Perceptual studies bear birthmarks or deformities that correspond in appearance and placement to the death wounds that brought their former body to an abrupt and violent end. Sometimes, however, these birthmarks and deformities correspond to injuries or marks from surgeries that happened at some point close to the time of death, though they were not the actual cause of death.

With respect to deformities, Stevenson has spoken widely of children with deformed limbs or even missing toes or fingers who claimed to remember being murdered and mutilated. When it comes to birthmarks, Stevenson focuses primarily on the more extreme and interesting cases involving an “elevated nevus,” which involve lifted, depressed or malformed areas of the skin rather than mere variance in pigmentation. These are often found to correspond to stab wounds or bullet wounds — entry and exit — of the former body.

There is suggestion, however, that birthmark correlations may also be more subtle and involve wounds that correspond to the former body but were not necessarily those that brought on expiration. Though not investigated by Stevenson, for instance, there are six places on Keene’s body where he has either cluster veins, scars, or other markings that correspond to the wounds that Gordon suffered during the Civil War.

Throughout human history, it would appear that cultures have picked up on this aspect of morphological memory in reincarnation and have utilized that knowledge to their advantage in the form of what Dr. Jim Tucker refers to as “experimental birthmarks.” By marking a dying body in a telling way, the hopes are they will be able to identify that individual in their subsequent rebirth when the mark carries over in the form of a birthmark.

In reinforcement of the notion of a morphological memory serving as a template, there are also effects internal to the body that carry over, often in seeming correspondence to birthmarks or deformities as well as the individual’s explicit memories of the former life. Take, for instance, the case of Edward Austrian, son of Patricia and Donald Austrian. He had a fear of rain — particularly ”dark, gray, drizzly, damp days,” his mother said — from the time he was about one year of age. He was also had chronic throat problems, which he referred to as ”my shot.” Eventually this throat problem was revealed to be a large, noticeable cyst in his throat, and the doctors decided to remove his tonsils as the first step in surgery.

After the surgery at age four, Ed confessed to his parents that he had been a 18-year-old soldier named James during the first World War. He explained in detail how he had made his way through the mud in the rain and cold, how he held his heavy rifle, how he saw a field of trees and, beyond that, deathly desolation. And he explained then how he had heard a shot ring out behind him, and how the bullet had evidently gone through someone else and then hit him in the back of the neck, after which he felt his throat fill up with blood.

After he had broken the ice and could talk about the matter freely with his parents, his fear of rain vanished, as did the cyst — to the amazement of his doctor, Steven Levine, as well as Ed’s own father, who was a doctor as well.

There are no other cases of such spontaneous psychosomatic healing of carry-over death wounds through the expression and emotional discharge of confessing these memories, but there does seem to be another route by which one can not only escape the effects of intrinsic memory’s morphological scaffolding but retain a continuity of consciousness and unobstructed access to explicit recall.

These are the cases known as parakaya pravesa, and they suggest that one can not only leave a body before its death — the conventional OBE — but can enter a body, even take up permanent residence in it, long after its born.

They accomplish this by exiting and entering the body in a special way that utilizes both the Anahata or “heart” chakra as well as Ajna, the chakra often called the “third eye.” Among the New Age, one who enters a body long after its birth is known as a “walk-in.” In any case, if this can happen it would seem that a body is not irrevocably connected to a singular unit of consciousness but is to some degree still vulnerable to take-over body-jacking by disembodied entities. Individual cases seem to suggest bodies are vulnerable in extreme states of poor physical or psychological health.

The stories of dybbuks or possessions by poltergeist entities may exemplify efforts on the behalf of the disembodied to degenerate the individual physically and psychologically until that window of vulnerability is achieved.

In such cases it appears explicit and implicit memory carries over in tact, and as an added benefit, morphological memory has no effect on a body so late in its developmental stages. One earns a flesh-vessel passed the developmental stage that would have made the body in custom design due to the subtle scaffold. This would be of benefit to those that would otherwise be born without limbs, for instance, and so may be an attractive, however laborious, pursuit of some of those among the community of the fleshless.

It would appear we cannot escape ourselves, even if we can escape the customization of the container, however, for be it by means of reincarnation or the aforementioned shortcut we inevitably carry along our implicit memory. We still handle ourselves, the world, and the body the same characteristic way be the body unfit or custom-made.

From the time they can talk onward, even after they have lost access to explicit memory of a former life, strange behavior is noted in the children in CORT cases which do not seem to make sense in the context of the present or past conditions of their “one life to live.”

All of it makes perfect sense, however, when placed in the context of the previous life that the child claims to have had. This includes our phobias or aversions, such as those perhaps borne out of the means by which we died, as well as our prejudices and grudges. Alongside them are our philias — our obsessive attachments, fixations and addictions; our passions and preferences. Think of our wardrobe tendencies, our music and food preferences, our styles of social relation and our body language.

As another testament to the carry-over style of governance between one body and another, there is apparently also handwriting style. According to Vikram Raj Singh Chauhan, a Patiala-based forensic science expert, a comparison of the handwriting styles of reincarnation subject Taranjit Singh with his alleged former incarnation Satnam Singh revealed high correspondence. This varied only by what he attributed to muscular coordination unmatched in mastery due to the differing ages of the body through which they were written. He added,

“In his present birth, Taranjit has never gone to school as he belongs to a poor family, but yet when I told him to write the English and Punjabi alphabet, he wrote them correctly.”

Though rare, there are also instances in which these children have displayed xenoglossy, the ability to speak in a language they should not know. Look at the case of Swarnlata Mishra, for example, who confused the hell out of her Hindu-speaking parents when she sang her songs in an unknown language — later found to be the lingo of Bengali — and danced her strange dances.

Xenoglossy is not only found in children who managed to carry it over from a past life on their own, however, but also in those who have undergone past life regression hypnosis.

In an interview with Art Bell on Coast-to-Coast AM, Dr. Brian Weiss told of a patient of his: a Chinese surgeon on her first trip to the US who spoke not a word of English. She had brought along a translator, however, and through him Weiss had put her under hypnosis. She recalled a former life in 1850s San Francisco, during which she suddenly began orating an argument she was having with her husband during that lifetime — and doing so in fluent English.

Some attachments are more extreme, however, often to the point of being debilitating. They may display homesickness and an apparent inability to let go of their previous lifestyles and circumstances. Some of the children in the CORT manifest this directly, insisting on being taken back to their “real” home, occupation, parents or spouse. Others may instead act out in play the circumstances of their previous life, such as the job or family role, and often the death scene as well.

There is also the matter of gender identity and sexual persuasion. Those born into a body that is the opposite sex of their previous incarnation, Stevenson says, almost always cross-dress and play games associated with the opposite sex, and otherwise show like attitudes associated with the opposite sex. This may fade over time; if not, the personality becomes homosexual. Sometimes the reborn, either in the announcing dreams or after they learn to speak, insist that their names be changed to the names they had in their former life — or, for those who switched genders, they will prefer the other-sex forms of their previous names.

Think, too, of our talents. In an interview with Omni, Stevenson commented on how it was relatively easy to explain away the talents of, for instance,

“… such composers as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, all of whose fathers were fine musicians. But what about George Frederic Handel? His family had no discernible interest in music; his father even sternly discouraged it. Or take the cases of Elizabeth Fry, the prison reformer, and Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Both had to fight for their chosen callings from childhood onward. One can find endless examples that are difficult to explain given our current theories. But if one accepts the possibility of reincarnation, one can entertain the idea that these children are demonstrating strong likes, dislikes, skills, and even genius that are the logical results of previous experiences. I have found some children with skills that seem to be carried over from a previous life.”

Explicit Personal Prehistory.

If we all have lived previous lifetimes, there is, of course, the question as to why most fail to remember anything of their prehistory. Where is the explicit memory — the autobiographical memory that weaves together the episodic and semantic?

Amnesia would seem to make sense as a survival strategy. For some eleven to fourteen years, after all, the human infant (optimally) develops in the “second womb” of the home, where biological and social needs can be met through the phantom umbilical cord of the caretaker (maternal/paternal) bond. Considering that the developing body-brain is instinctually aimed at biological and psychological survival and growth within the present physical and social spheres, recalling previous existences or even the major portion of one’s present life would serve to hinder more than help, and may even constitute a direct threat to proper development as a biological organism. 

As a consequence the amnesic process develops, operating in a fashion akin to the mechanism that allows us to hone in on the person across the table and the conversation we’re having with her and screen out other conversations and chatter in the crowded restaurant. Similarly, our brains focus on our immediate needs and screen out all that is irrelevant to that end during periods of neurological pruning, where frequently-accessed associations are solidified while the neglected are snipped away. This mechanism kicks in several times throughout our development. According to Joseph Chilton Pearce, after the scissor-happy session at age eleven, some eighty percent of the neural mass we had at the point of vaginal exit has been relegated to the neurological trash-bin for lack of use.
There are those that seem to retain such memories, however, at least for a time.

Cases of the Reincarnation Type, or CORT, have been amassed by the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine. It was originally headed by the late Dr. Ian Stevenson, with the torch passed to Dr. Jim Tucker upon his 2002 retirement. Rather than regression hypnosis, they rely on unprompted reports of young children on the lives they left behind when they left their last vessel of flesh.

 Analysis of these cases reveals that these children begin speaking about their previous life as soon as they can speak, with the average age standing at 35 months. With further development of communication skills, more details emerge. Some children seem to retain memories regardless as to their state of mind. Others only seem capable of doing so in a relaxed state, amnesia apparently setting in once they snap out of it. 
 
In many cases, the children’s stories match the life of the deceased individual they claim to be with incredible accuracy, and far before being introduced to the family of the dead.
 
Most stop speaking of their memories altogether at an average of 72 months, though others manage to hold onto their memories longer, perhaps all the way to adulthood. The more convincing cases of past lives recalled later in life, with or without hypnosis, however, seem to imply that explicit memories are somehow stored unconsciously and are potentially retrievable. 
 
Why is it that some remember whereas most, it would seem, do not? In his work 20 Cases of Reincarnation, Stevenson divided the some 40% of the cases in which the individual died of natural death into four groups: those who died within a day or so of presumed health; those who died under twelve years of age, those with unfinished business as well as those who had what he referred to as “continuing business,” as they were in the middle of pursuing an ambition when they died.
 
If the abruptness of their deaths is seen as the fuel behind their capacity to recollect, as implied given the themes among natural death cases, additional emotional charge would clearly be delivered when it was violence that ushered in the aforementioned abruptness, as it appears to be in the remaining 61% of Stevenson’s case files. 
 
All their cases, then, appear to involve an abrupt expiration which would likely leave one feeling as if they died “in medias res,” lives incomplete. This suggests that to one degree or another they may be stuck in the “denial” phase of DABADA, unable to accept their own premature deaths and to adapt to their current lives in any healthy and productive manner. 
 
Despite remembering previous lives, despite the fact that the median time between death and rebirth in the cases on file is 15-16 months and rarely exceeds three years, the majority of children who recall former lives evidently draw a blank with respect to this intermission betwixt incarnations. This is not just for their lack of mentioning it, either, as some of the children behave as if they were living their former life one moment and then suddenly woke up in an infant’s body. 
 
This appears similar to how our consciousness operates in terms of dreams. We may remember a dream immediately upon awakening, but it slowly fades from our grasp the longer we are awake — though leaving in its departure our capacity to recall events of the previous day. 
 
Just as some individuals possess varying degrees of dream recall, however, there are those that do indeed recall experiences of the intra-life interim. Tucker teamed up with Poonam Sharma to publish a paper dealing with 276 such cases out of 1200 cases transcribed into their database entitled “Cases of the Reincarnation Type With Memories from the Intermission.” It referred to these cases in shorthand as CORT-I and provided three characteristic stages found in CORT-I, though not every stage makes an appearance in every case: the transitional, stable and return stages. They also and organized them into four subcategories: funeral memories, subsequent worldly disembodied experiences, otherworldly experiences and memories of rebirth. 
 
They also show that subjects in CORT-I cases are more likely to remember their former names as well as the names of others from that life, make more accurate statements regarding that life, bear behavioral correspondences with the former individual as well as birthmarks or defects corresponding with their death wounds and, to top it all off, the location of rebirth is closer to the former death site than the average CORT case.
 
Their conclusion was that CORT-I only differed from CORT in that the subject had a particularly good memory. It is clear this is the case not only with respect to explicit memory but also includes the implicit, as well as the perhaps-synonymous morphological memory.

Skull Orgy.

We experience what we typically regard as three distinctly separate spheres: the sensory, the memory, and the imagination. The sensory is considered objective, memory considered the subjective record of the objective, and imagination as the sole product of the subjective.
 
In fact, however, all coexist within the same subjective space where they have a threesome relationship that far exceeds the occasional cross-contamination. Imagination draws off sensory experience and memory, sensory experience is influenced by imagination and memory, memory is influenced by imagination and sensory experience and all are experienced subjectively. 
 
It’s up to you to sort out the orgy, mosh-pit fuck-fest in your head.

Lifeline for the Double-Blind.

Physicists and cosmologists both have come to seriously entertain notions that our universe may in fact be part of a multiverse, and the implication is that our universe may be but a small part. 

 When it comes to our universe, human beings were a little late to the party. Carl Sagan compressed the entire history of our universe, from the Big Bang New Years Day until New Years Eve now, into a single calendar year. Our recorded history, he tells us, would comprise only the final seconds in the very last minute of December 31st.
 
In our present universe, according to current estimates, dark energy makes up 72% of the universe, dark matter makes up 23% and our familiar matter a mere 4.6%. We are, then, a small, late part of our universe, which may itself be a small part of a vast multiverse. 
 
Our senses each pick up a certain type and range of signal from the roughly four percent of the objective universe to which the body belongs. Our senses then influence one another, as in how the sense of smell effects the sense of taste. Our sense signals are then translated into a species-specific symbolic perception. This perception is in turn influenced or sabotaged by a coupling of present conceptions and memory.
 
Our memories of these perceptions are influenced by other past perceptions and are further contaminated by our present state of mind.
 
So no, I won’t “just have faith.” I will examine, I will question, I will uproot what my culture holds sacred and examine and challenge my own fundamental axioms as well. 
 
No one can trust their perceptions. No one can trust their memory. 
 
Experiments suggest that we cannot even trust the timing of our decision-making, nor that our conscious thinking and emotional evaluation processes gave birth to it.
 
We try to overcome obstacles that keep us from directly contacting reality, that keep us from directly contacting ourselves. A meat-machine tries to pierce through the thick veil to achieve greater understanding of the universe at large through use of strategy, methodology, and the creation and use of technology.
 
He first sees if others have found some of the answers he seeks. If so, that will save him time and will no doubt inspire further questions to be explored. If they have not found the answers, they will provide inspiration for his own ideas.
 
The idea may not be born rational, but that is the quality of the hypothesis that results. He then experiments to falsify or verify. He leaves the fate of his ideas in the hands of the experiment’s ultimate feedback. Going on to revise ideas if found wrong, or test further to ensure we’re as right as it at first seems. 
 
That’s the only hope we have of taking so much as a glimpse beyond the thick cocoon of maya standing between self and reality, self and self.