Overdue Interjection of an Emotional Sponge.

I find myself trying to relate their experience to mine in interjections during their monologues and soliloquies to the audience of the me, and the emotional reaction I feel from them is always the same. I’m trying to steal the spotlight, hijack their narrative, one-up them.

That’s not it at all. I’m trying to relate, to compare and contrast underlying patterns, to bond, to belong, to ensure they are reminded that I am a living individual and not just a wall to talk to. It’s selfish, yes: I try and give back just to remind them I’m actually here.

And you know what they do? They talk over me. I fear they give not a shit. They don’t care what I think and they don’t care if I understand, they just want to get it out and feel compelled to store it in my memory, in my mangled mind.

Why is it that people share life stories, dark secrets — “I can’t believe I’m telling you this,” they have so often said, “I’ve never told anyone this before,” — and there immediately ends the verbal footnote and without pause for reflection or the construction of a segue they delve right into their souls and share the richest of riches.

Taboo. Sex. Death. Ethics. The unexplained. Small talk is for robots. Share the ghost in your bloody meat machine. Bear your soul.

It’s something that, since I was in high school, I kind of accepted as my natural role: the listener. The ear. Your confessional with a pulse and resident spiritual toilet. Sometimes I don’t just enjoy it, I need it: it helps me understand the individual in question and how they relate to the social web into which they have been woven.

It gets out of hand sometimes, however. It gets really fucking overwhelming and I feel as if I’m on overload, bursting at the seams.

“I cannot have release with your smothering presence, your disruptive emotions infecting me. You need to get away. Go away. To just leave me the fuck alone for awhile. Can’t you read body language? You should be smart enough to know without me having to spell it out. The walls are closing in and I’m suffocating, motherfucker.”

What is your motive in talking to someone, really? To express or impress? Catharsis or communication? If it is to communicate, you should invite feedback. You know, occasionally let me get a word in edgewise. You would also desire feedback to ensure I both heard and understood you rather than talk over me. How rarely you break your fourth wall.

New Rules: talk over me, the conversation is over. Continue to speak in the same way when I tell you I cannot hear you or fail to care enough about what I’m saying to hear me inform you that I cannot hear you, the conversation is over. I’m done trying to listen so I can understand someone who only wants to use me as an emotional commode. If there is not mutual respect, its a waste of energy, and this guilt I feel can go fuck itself.

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A Space to Breathe Inside of Me.

Labels constrain,
names encage and these roles
are so suffocating.

Must pry loose
these identifications.
Anchor up, this vessel free,
this space to breathe
inside of me:

all notions so very
intoxicating.

Cure this disease
to please, a scratch I itch
as I hold them in contempt,

stop holding the herd
so high above my
spinning head,

stabilize
this restless mind,
be mindful, break through
to the witness
within me.

Tragedy of the Blinders.

Throwing stones
from a house made of glass
yet never taking the time
to study your own reflection
in the window walls
is such a tragedy.

No time taken
to know yourself,
to know your enemy.

It’s easy
to see yourself in another,
though all too rarely
do we recognize
and acknowledge
the reflection.

Illusions spin within
I must stop feeding.
Remembering myself
I see more clearly….

Betwixt Skins.

So the earth ate him away,
swallowed
what had become a part
of me in time.

Yet naked of skin
I stand here now, as my masque,
the shell that molded
this form I donn,
lay buried beneath fresh dirt
in a lonely box.

Mere worm food
in the making.
“From life to worm doo,”
okay, people?
No scoops of dust involved.

It’s more than just
some favorite shirt,
this expired meat layered
in make-up, attire,
box and dirt, dirt, dirt
below my non-corporeal toes.

In this fine flesh vessel
I battled the tides
of circumstance.
The sights I saw
with those eyes,
now closed forever,
what horrible hair and teeth
but what wholesome
bowel movements I experienced
as a ghost
in that retired meat machine
now six feet down.

Etch the name in stone
lest I forget, as I have forgotten
so many times before
when a new womb
becomes the door to
a new life again.

And I’m going back.

Some see heavens and hells.
I have just watched
the same old ones as before, disembodied voyeur
of the embodied souls.

Lies from the Skies?

Many of the circumstances described by not only myself but by others who have experienced “alien abduction” seem to parallel the techniques used by cults to recruit their prey. The simplest way I can understand it is to see it as a four-step process I call CIBI: confusion, isolation, bondage (not the good kind) and identification.

1. Confusion.

First comes the confusion technique in the form of what we might call Ontological Shock Treatment. To expose a mind to an enduring, recurrent state of profound confusion over fundamental existential axioms is to induce that mind into a state of heightened suggestibility. Mack describes abductees as suffering from “the ‘ontological shock’ of having one’s worldview abruptly ripped away, then lingering with the ‘hope’ of mental illness, and drifting between the two belief systems.” As a matter of fact, that fragment of a sentence accurately sums up the life I’ve lived in my head every day since late 1994. There have been periods when I have embraced one or the other belief system with all my might, but the certainty is ultimately transient, the oscillation seemingly eternal.

2. Isolation.

Cults work to isolate recruits from old friends, family and authority. While the aliens do not do this the same way that cults do, a lifelong stream of alien encounters and paranormal experiences can leave a person feeling an understandably strong sense of emotional and social isolation. This emotional distance from the bulk of humanity is fostered first and foremost by the culture’s attitude towards the phenomenon.

John Mack notes in his book, Abduction, that the abductee experiences a “… life-long sense of isolation and estrangement from the rest of one’s family and society if one cannot remember and tell the story, or ridicule if one does.”

Drawing on the parallels between religious visions and UFO encounters, Vallee writes in Dimensions (p 191) that “everything works as if the revelation were designed to isolate the witness, prophet, or believer from his social environment. He often becomes an outcast and has to flee.”

3. Bondage.

One technique of bonding involves physically or psychologically torturing an individual under the guise of hard love and then offering them “sympathetic” mercy. This produces a euphoria in the victim that serves to bond the victim to the torturer.

Cults often accomplish this by convincing recruits of a moral code and getting them to judge themselves on that basis, and once guilt has grown to a sufficient intensity they offer confession, which consequently produces cathartic euphoria, effectively bonding the confessor to the confessed (as well as giving the confessed the additional tool of potential blackmail given the contents of the confession).

In alien abduction accounts, this is done in at least two distinct ways. The first takes place in the wake of the thorough physical examination when, according to Jacobs in his book Secret Life, the aliens accomplish “bonding” by means of using penetrating eye contact as an amplifier for telepathic control. The abductee may even feel love for the creatures and sense some deep, cosmic connection almost religious in nature.

Mack seems to imply the process continues when an abductee awakens to his experiences through flashbacks or hypnotic-induced recall. This he calls “pushing through” and as he explains in Abduction (page 33), this constitutes “fully experiencing the terror and rage associated with the helplessness and intrusive instrumentation on the ships. When this takes place acknowledgment and acceptance of the power of the experiences becomes possible and a more reciprocal relationship follows in which personal growth and learning can take place.” This sounds like deepening the bonding experience the aliens began during the initial examination experience.

The second way they do this is revealed when they escort abductees to a room where they view scenes on a large monitor on the wall, typically depicting scenarios of global cataclysm. Depictions of utter catastrophe, massive death, desolation and disaster. Environmental collapse, floods and plagues. Everything from atomic wars to asteroids hitting the earth, riots and plagues, environmental collapse.

It is then conveyed to the abductee that something bad is going to happen on a global scale and the abductee is somehow responsible, somehow the guilty party. Interestingly, just how the abductee caused it and how they are to stop it never seems to be given much detail, and sometimes abductees are at least initially led to believe that this doomsday is inevitable.

The only motive behind these grisly, hypnotic horror movies would be to generate emotional responses in the abductee, which typically tend to be characterized by hopelessness, fear, guilt and a sense of powerlessness over the death of human species and damage to the earth.

Like psychic predators, aliens stare deeply into the eyes of the abductee all throughout this motion picture show of doom. Given telepathy’s mind-revealing nature, the abductee would be reduced to a transparent animal before these creatures, rendering the act of confession unnecessary, as emotional transparency in telepathy is worth more than mere words. The images build up this negative tension in the abductee until the aliens finally exploit it, providing a release that in turn facilitates bonding been the abductees and their captors. The release is offered in two general ways.

First, the aliens may provide “happy” scenes of creation in the wake of disaster when the aliens arrive and their new species, part human and part alien, helps humanity establish a new and better way of life out of the ashes of the old. Instead or in addition to this, after the doom-viewing, the alien may tell or imply to the abductee that there is hope after all and that it is the abductee that has to stop this all from happening. They tell the abductee that she or he is one of the chosen and has a role to play in their plan. They tell the abductee that when the time comes, they will know what to do. The abductees believe this as they feel they have “secret knowledge” buried in their minds that they cannot access yet, but will be able to in the future.

4. Identification.

In the cult setting, as a joint result of the attacks on the subject’s identity and their identifications as well as the guilt they have been fooled into embracing, they eventually and inevitably suffer a nervous breakdown, uncertain as to who or what they really are. This ego-loss was the aim: they must cast their old masque that binds them to their old life and don a new identity bound up with the cult.

The aliens also often make either a bold announcement or try to nudge the abductee towards the revelation that she or he is not merely one of the alien’s “chosen” but is in actuality “one of them.” Sometimes the aliens tell the abductee this blatantly and sometimes indirectly, such as through an alleged past life memory in which the abductee was an alien or by means of one of the aliens claiming to be their real mother or father. As these two examples suggest, the sense of connection that the abductee finds in the alien may be genetic, spiritual and often both. In either case, this supports the “duality of consciousness” experienced by some abductees, in which they are aware of an alien identity that sometimes takes the steering wheel of their body and works in collusion with the aliens, as one of them, all the while keeping them in the dark

Perhaps this is how they uproot and replant a new recruit: an alien identity and worldview embraced, the human left for dead and unmourned for.

Cooperate to Survive.

We often see evolution as some ruthless, bloody battle in the survival of the fittest, and from that procure the notion that competition is the key to success. Might makes right and all that nonsense.

What we fail to realize is that in the course of evolution we became a social species because for us, cooperation had survival value. A group could provide for the individual were the individual could not provide for her or himself.

Clearly some of this was purely the power in numbers, specifically in terms of hunting, fishing, gathering sustenance. If one person had a bad day on the hunt, he need not starve: she picked some vegetables and Bob had a successful hunt, and you have done and shall do the same for them when veggies are scarce and you’re the lucky one to track down the daily meal.

The individual provided more than just power in numbers in that sense, however. For one thing, the group would value diversity — that is, individuality and rational extents of personal freedom among its members — as diversity has survival value. Each individual shared the fruits of their labors with all other members. Every member had the capacity to excel in specific areas because the areas in which a member was deficient were covered by other group members who excelled in those areas.

With primitive physical technology in a threatening world where you traveled with the seasons, just nomads following food in a fixed territory with sticks and stones, the inter-subjective technology of culture proves most valuable in terms of survival — and so cooperation proves its worth as an evolutionary advantage. In a closely-knit group there is not bound to be much to police officially; the wrath of the group would be faced if an individual operated too far out of accordance with socially-evolved unwritten laws or customs.

What of leadership? There would likely be one or more members — shamans, perhaps — who served a social value as a resolver of conflicts, be it within a person, between people, or between a person and supernatural forces. This would be a direct democracy in the strictest sense, held in check by social customs, serving as an unspoken sort of Bill of Rights. If there were any elected representative, they would have to maintain their popular vote throughout the entirety of their “term” — and they would in fact keep the role as long, and only so long, as they could convince the group that they were the best fit for it.

Given daily life in our world, this sounds like fucking utopia.

Of Grudge and Fear (Dream: 3/9/02).

In the dream I had on March 9, 2002, my family and I were living in a house surrounded by thick woods. Though we had not seen them in some fourteen years, Jimmy and his parents were paying us a visit.

For awhile I only watch through the windows as my parents walk alongside them in the front yard. I do not want to see them, not at all, but at the same time within me I know that I must. When they are in the living room, I walk in and sit between Jimmy and his youngest brother. I note both that Jimmy looks exactly the same, adding on the years, and that despite the fact that I am next to him he shows absolutely no signs of being so much as casually aware of my existence.

My suspicion is that he is angry or wary of me due to the calls and emails I sent him (in teal life) in May of 1999, to which he never responded.

His older and younger brother I don’t see anywhere. I sense that his mother is there, but do not recall seeing her specifically. The case was even more extreme with respect to Jimmy’s young sister, Jane, who I kept thinking I was seeing out of the corner of my eye. I avoided looking to confirm, however, as if afraid to see her.

Suddenly, he steps into view: the father, Danny, the man I needed to confront ever since my memories of that household burst to the surface; ever since I remembered him beating all the kids right in front of me, evidently more often than the single episode I had consciously recalled. He stands before me abnormally tall with blonde hair. Looking down, he asks, “Do you remember me?”

“Uh, yeah,” I say to him in a tone I felt confident conveyed both a sense of sarcasm and a less-than-subtle threat.

Strangely, despite his size I find I have no fear of him, only hate for him — only a wish to utterly destroy him despite my clear physical limitations. Later on, I watch him chatting with friends of his outside, all as monstrously tall as himself.

As evening fell and everyone appeared to be inside and asleep or otherwise preoccupied, I went out on the back porch to have a cigarette. Danny suddenly walks by the open door to the porch with a guilty look on his face. I glare at him. He had been heading out of one of the children’s bedrooms, I felt sure of it, and who knew what he had been doing in there.

With an eon’s worth of hatred swelling in my soul I look dead at him, flick him off and say in a barking tone, “I’ll never forgive you for what you did.”

He keeps walking passed me, and does so in the style of the Sasquatch from the popular alleged film of the creature.

My good friend Channing is suddenly there with me, and we’re walking and talking off to the side of the house as I continue smoking my cigarette. As we are talking, a girl I know walks by — a girl that is convenient to vent my sexual aggressions on rather than a girl I truly want. Kissing her, I then proceed to explain that I had just saw someone horrible that I had not seen in a long time. All I really want to do is go to the bar with Channing, have some drinks and try to talk all of this out.

She leaves, and suddenly Channing is gone as well. A van pulls up to the side of the house and I see another girl I know, and she is a girl I truly do want. Her hair is back to its natural dark brown, no longer the bleach-blonde she had had last time I had seen her. Surprised at her arrival, I walk up to her and greet her. Desperately I want physical contact, in the very least to hug her, but I am far too afraid it would be out of line and make her feel uncomfortable.

As I’m close to her she closes her eyes, and in a smooth, sweet voice she says, “It’s okay.” The words make me feel comfortable, secure, happy. I feel as if I can just let go. Kissing her feels wonderful, and she had been waiting for me to do so all along.

Upon awakening and writing down the dream, a memory surfaces regarding Ellie. She leans down to look at me and I tell her why I do not want to come over here ever again.

“You know we would never hurt you like that,” she said. “Is that what you’re afraid of?”

She just did not get it, did not understand that this wasn’t just about me. She failed to comprehend how by watching something like that, feeling all those hellish emotions, could do such violent things to your soul.

I sense someone walking away from my bed as I’m writing. My immediate sense is that this entity had given me the dream somehow, and I openly gave thanks. I also felt, however, that the entity was disappointed that I had missed the message that was meant to be conveyed.

I did not want to come back over as I did not wish to feel my friend and his siblings feel that pain. My fear of intimacy partly stems from my terror of making anyone feel violated.

In real life, Danny was tall, but certainly not the monstrous form he was in the dream. It may suggest my perception of him being a powerful man who looks down upon me; in addition, there was the Sasquatch walk, which seems to convey the sense that he is some elusive monster. Despite all this, he actually seemed quite mundane and his behavior, throughout the dream, was entirely nonthreatening. This exaggerated mismatch been how he seemed and how I reacted to him would seem to imply projection on my part.

Interpretations (Dream: 5/16/01)

In the dream I had on May 16, 2001, I had finally escaped by friends and began venturing towards a beach, where I wanted to see something or look into something and where I knew I could be alone.

I’m walking down a short row of steps and end up in the back of a cafe on the beach. It is a nice porch with tables and benches. One waitress is there. This long-haired tough guy in a leather jacket comes out to the back door, points to a nearby motorcycle and says to either the waitress or myself, “Watch that bike.”

Then I am suddenly him — suddenly the tough guy in the leather jacket. With me is Aliza, a beautiful, slender black girl I worked with at a previous job, as well as perhaps two other people. We walk into a dimly-lit room and before me is something that looks akin to a fire place only I have the sense that it goes downward. From the chimney are hung a whole bunch of stones that are various arrangements of triangles and they stood for letters that spelled out words and sentences. The first word looks like “ASK.”

Nearby is a contraption in the style of Rube Goldberg, which is to say a creative contraption of intentionally needless complexity that performs an incredibly simple task. It has pulleys and levers and pedals and so on. You pull one lever, lets say, and the machine will lead you to a pedal to push. I start doing this when Aliza asks me, “Why try to figure it out? Why not just go with your own interpretation?”

“It’s leading me on the path to the answer,” I tell her. “I’ve just got to ride along.”

As I go on to pull the next lever on the contraption, two items drop to the floor. One is a small sack, the other is a small stuffed animal — a dog, I think. Inside both the sack and the stuffed animal I found a single item, though I cannot recall which came from which. In one, I found a pen. In the other, a small, blank notebook. Then I woke up.

So what did the dream mean?

I escaped from friends to be alone at the beach — where the land meets the water, where the conscious ego and unconscious interact. I go to a cafe as I always do in real life, in order to write. Writing is indeed where the ego and unconscious interact, at least in my own experience, so perhaps that is what the beach represents, and why the cafe is located there.

Then I become the tough biker in a leather jacket that wanted me to watch his bike while he was inside. Perhaps the switch was meant to distinguish the persona-me on the outside and the ego-me within.

Inside, I am using that unnecessarily complex machine that does something simple. Given the previous image of the descending chimney and my commentary to Aliza, the machine is leading me towards the answer to the question that I “ask.” That my question was unspecified suggests this is generalized: this would seem to be in reference to the means by which I attempt to acquire truth in general.

I suspect the notebook was in this tiny carry-along sack. During the time of this dream and for many years when I was not working I would spend my time moving from restaurant to restaurant, drinking coffee and chain-smoking, carefully people-watching as I wrote in my notebook. I always kept it along with pens and books in the backpack that never left my side.

The dog suggests partnership and loyalty to me, as well as playfulness — doubly so due to it being a stuffed dog reminiscent of the stuffed animal I clung to when I was young. If the pen was indeed the item within the stuffed dog, this would seem to make sense as well, as I was loyal to writing and played with ideas and words as a child might with toys.

In the end, I get the sack and stuffed dog, in them a pen and a notebook. The notebook was blank, a pen was provided, and this was supposedly the “answer” the needlessly complex machine led me to.

The message of the dream would appear to be the following:

When you have a question (the ASK stones), go peer down within yourself (the chimney of descent) and with loyalty and in playfulness (the stuffed dog) take to your responsibility of writing and speculating (pen and notebook) and ultimately — “go with your own interpretation” — just as Aliza had suggested.

Her and I shared the passion for writing and creativity in general, so that she would be the one to suggest that I “go with my own interpretation” makes perfect sense. In tandem, she may symbolize my unconscious or “opposite” inner force — represented by our superficial differences in the areas of skin color and gender. Consider, too, the exaggerated masculine traits of a leather-jacket biker-guy and the contrast with Aliza.

It would have certainly saved me time if I would have just listened to Aliza and what she had reasoned out on her own rather than play with the needlessly complex machine that essentially suggested the same thing, and that would appear to be the point. My unconscious was telling me to stop wasting time playing games with needless complexities and to just trust myself and my own interpretations.

Still. Considering the source and all, I cannot help find this suggestion a little bias.

Then there was my little post-dream experiment. After awakening from the dream and writing it down in a nearby notebook, I decided to “ASK” my unconscious mind something, thinking perhaps that was the suggestion of the dream.

“What are the abductions all about?” I asked inside my mind as I closed my mind, and tacked on, “And how do I change my life to better align with my spiritual needs?”

In response, I receive a dream scene.

From an angle and at a distance I saw our house and yard. Diamonds and triangles were scattered across the sky. Near the driveway and in front of the house a big black pyramid materialized and an ring of electricity shot quickly from its center outward, like a swiftly-expanding neon-blue halo. I then saw a black triangle with a hypnotic-style spiral running from its edges to its center. A voice then said:

“In the center lies the answer.”

Then I slip out of it and open my eyes.

Exponential Growth and Porn in Zero-G.

If human population experts had the same unwavering sense of confidence in exponential growth as Ray Kurzweil does, maybe we would be looking at that problem more closely, taking it more seriously. In his lectures, Kurzweil always assures us that in technology once maximum miniaturization is reached a new technology will come out of left field, like vacuum tubes reaching their max-mini when transistors rushed in to keep the exponential pace going.

Yeah, this supposedly leads to a singularity in terms of technology. In terms of population, it leads either to us being sardined on the planet or colonizing the beautiful heavens above us with the same consumeristic, expansionist, downright parasitic way of life that got us to dominate the globe to such an extent that we could not lean down to scratch our knee without bumping into someone.

And considering technology’s predicted exponential growth, I’m sure if global population becomes a problem we won’t look at the population as a problem so much as the global limitation.

Our migration out of Africa might not have been so much due to our exploratory instinct as the private space desired by successive generations. A need for elbow room might have nudged us further away from Africa, you could say.

When there’s nowhere left to nudge to its migration time to the final frontier, where the practice if fucking like thoroughly-caffeinated jackrabbits is surely a tradition bound to continue, especially if you consider the potential ramifications of a club so many miles high that up and down are entirely relative; the creative potential awaiting those who ram in zero-g.

A Kosmic Sutra would surely be swiftly borne by those fucking in the final frontier, to cum where no one has cum before, to shoot a wiggling pearl orb from your zipper-bound testicular cannon across the mess hall in a single stroke like a floating gangster with a meaty pellet gun.

Outer space facials would be messy games of reverse-dodgeball. For actual sex in space one might need a harness, so to be kinky would be mandatory. Slapping a single ass cheek during doggy style may result in breaking off your member sideways, so you would have to hit both ass cheeks at once as you might the cheeks on your own face in an exaggerated state if surprise. Like the cover of that movie, Home Alone.

“If you don’t give her the Back-End Home Alone, you just might snap your bone.”

Of course, it might launch the guy from her vagina like a snot wad shot off in a violent sneeze.

IMU.

Its not so much physical death that irks me as a concept, as in my mind the two most likely possibilities are (a) disembodied consciousness roams about, perhaps eventually reincarnating or (b) nonexistence of consciousness and we become worm food. I lean towards (a) as I see sufficient evidence suggesting it is the case, but if the case were instead to be nonexistence, it wouldn’t bother me too much. Its pretty damned silly to fear the concept. You will simply not be there. Despite this, the concept of merging with group consciousness, ripped free of ego is one that utterly horrifies me.

My earliest memory of fears associated with this concept occurred when we all lived in our first house, so I know I was no older than ten. Running barefoot through the back yard, I had stepped on a bee. The stinger hurt, of course, and I had killed the bee, but what I truly feared now was retaliation of his hive.

Somehow I had latched onto the idea that a hive of bees constituted little more than one disembodied or telepathic mind with many bodies and they would seek me out as a swarm and attack me. This quickly became a serious worry. I was afraid to leave the house and when I did I felt as if they might happen across me any moment and, realizing who I was, riddle me with stingers.

This fear erupted again when I was in Jimmy’s backyard, where my childhood friend had managed to catch a bee in a jar. He was fascinated, but I was worried about his friends coming to get us and was on the lookout.

Again it returned, this time when I was sixteen or so. Amidst my cramming on alien-related books during high school, I came upon Thomas E Beardon’s book, The Excalibur Briefing, where he suggested that the solution to all world problems and the means to the next step in evolution rested in developing and implementing a technologically-mediated hive mentality for the human species. One mind, many bodies. Just like the goddamn bee belief.

In July, 1999 I was sorting through silverware at my dish washing job when I experienced a flashback of the night before. I was standing in a big, vacant city on a street lined with tall buildings on either side. From the distance a sky-high wave of fire came racing and it was impossible to escape its path. I opened my arms and embraced the fire, letting go of everything and accepting my fate without fear — much to my utter disgust in retrospect.

Sometime between getting off work and taking a nap, I compulsively drew two boxes in my notebook. Beside the first, it read IMU: Death of the Ego, Dawn of the One; beside the second box, which I checked after a moments contemplation, I wrote Never. The association was the consuming nature of the rolling wave of fire and how, in what I suspected to be an alien-induced vision, I had, in the face of inevitability, opened myself up to embrace it.

The next instance occurred when I had smoked pot with my roommate, Sandra at the second house we lived in together. I had bad experiences with the drug at the time but kept finding myself trying it again anyway. On that occasion, I got so anxious that I retreated to my room when company came, and at some point I got absorbed in my mind and had an inner experience difficult to articulate. It was as if rows upon rows of closed eyes appeared before me, and when they opened. My consciousness somehow became each of those individual eyes, able to look back at where I had been but was no longer. Then I pulled out of it, literally feeling as if I were pulling myself together.

It was around that same time, and I believe it was afterward, that I had a strange and rather impacting dream that I have tried again and again to properly articulate, only to meet, by my measurement, with utter failure.

It was sort of like a huge indoor funhouse, and I was with a group of people, all of us wearing costumes, I believe. We walked through rooms, met challenges and so on. At one point we bump into another group and one of the members does something absurd that scares one of us. Suddenly I remember having been that person doing the scaring, only I had been in a different costume at the time. While the dream was difficult to explain, the realization at that point of the dream went beyond it, and while I was still asleep, no less.

I saw the circumstances of the dream as indicating a larger truth: there is one soul, one consciousness that reincarnates. It reincarnates linearly for a long time and then steps out if time and space (moksa) and as a consequence is able to re-enter spacetime at any point and start a new journey. This one soul is everyone in the universe, and so indeed we are all one consciousness, but not in the way I traditionally interpreted it. You have been or will be and yet in another sense are everyone that ever was. Karma suddenly made sense in this context, and liberation from the wheel of samsara through achieving nirvana, nibbana, samadhi, moksa — this was achieving escape from time and space.

The notion did not serve to ease my terror when it came to the subject of one consciousness. It bothers me on a meta level as well, as I know this is an irrational fear. After all, on the surface it would seem synonymous with death as nothingness. Why does it strike me as distinct — and, unlike the option of the final destination being a true finality, why does it seem so ominous?