Post Glen. 

Blade to jugular.
Moment of truth has come.
What side are you on?

Barbwire bat bleeding.

Ignoring sharpened steel
to the skin, he speaks
his mind, screaming:

do it. Bring
it if you
have the balls, just

know I never crumbled
beneath the pressure,
that I chose
integrity

despite the consequence.

It grins, pushes
me down. Beats and cuts
me, yet leaves
me breathing, bleeding.

Suppose I deserve this. 

My rampage has left
a stick
in your eye,
but ultimately:

I will kill you.

By my hand,
you will fucking die.

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EMF Alarms As False Wake-Up Calls.

“And this is not my face. And this is not my life. And there is not a single thing here I can recognize. This is all a dream. And none of you are real.”
— “Head Down,” Nine Inch Nails.

Though I don’t remember awakening specifically, I am sure what prompted my consciousness was a noise. A kind of beeping noise that shot up in pitch and then died over and over. My ears lead the hunt through the darkness that drapes over my locale. I follow it to a room, enter, and hear it coming from a closet with an open door. It should not be open. Someone has been in here. That was my first, frightening thought. Walking towards it, I watch as the LEDs of the EMF-meter on the shelf rise in number and tone.

There is a certain feeling, a creeping terror with the thought of walking into your one-bedroom apartment, your solitary abode, or, even worse, waking up in it during the middle of the night to find that things are not as you left them, that there are clear signs of someone else’s presence while you were away. That was the sudden fear I felt as I walked slowly into the dark room, towards the open closet. I see the line of LED lights on the tiny machine high on the shelf, see one, more, all of them light up and then go down again in time with the rise and fall in pitch of the beeping. I tried to formulate some rational explanation as to how the door could be open and that thing could have been turned on when no one but me should be stepping foot into this apartment without my knowledge and consent.

Then memory is just gone.

I wake up again at some point because it was cold. Why is it so fucking cold? Suddenly I remembered I had been hot before bed and had turned the fan on the wall to the air conditioning setting. As for the former closet experience, it did not strike me until after I had actually awakened and sat down for my first cigarette. It was then that I recalled the incident and realized immediately that it had not happened in the ordinary sense. It was also here that I first recognized that it had indeed an EMF-meter in the closet, one of a design clearly hijacked from the television show, Supernatural. I have no such device, however, nor do I have the specific closet I had seen it in. In retrospect, the EMF-meter seemed to grow more active as I approached it, lighting up and squealing — was the overarching message supposed to be that I was the ghost it was detecting?

Furthermore, what is with the false awakenings lately? I think the most it frighting thing that has struck me about the most recent wave of false awakenings is that despite my degree of wakefulness I seem trapped within a set of memories specific to the setting and which are at odds with my actual experience. It’s like memories came with the reality that were consistent with it, tailor-made for it, as if I had previous experiences, a whole elaborate history in the context of that space. Outside of the false awakening but having remembered it, I have at best vague recollections of this body of knowledge, this context of memory.

If these are not memories of previous experiences in these “spaces” then they are false memories unconsciously whipped up on the spot, and that is amazing, too. This also means to me that one’s sense of memory and reality is apparently even less reliable than I had previously accepted. Indeed, if I can be so easily fooled in false awakenings, why the fuck would it be any different with respect to my more consistent “true” awakenings?

Not Dead Again (4/28/15 Dream?)

With respect to the dream or whatever it was that crept into my mind right as I was about to step in the shower, it’s like I’m outside the bubble now and the memories are inside. I can kind of feel the surface emotionally and catch ambiguous imagery associated with it, but I cannot seem to penetrate the bubble. I feel like I’ve gone blind and I’m forced to see with my hands.

In the circumstance, the scenario, I was convinced that this was it, that it was over, that I was going to die. I remember having been fooled before only to come out alive, but something happened this time that removed all doubt. The seriousness of matter sunk in, penetrated, so I know I had time to consider it all before it happened. I acted with the knowledge that either way, I was going to die. Was I fucking fighting something? As real as it feels, I cannot remember the circumstances.

Worms & Birds.

Life is like a grand, complex painting, a masterpiece, and I live with my face squashed up against a tiny portion of it. Step back, he told me, and try and see it all from a wider perspective.

So many years later and slowly I start to get it, slowly I begin to catch glimpses of it. Still mostly stuck in worm’s eye, but occasionally breaking through to the bird’s eye view.

My head, he said, is like a radio that picks up all channels at once. Could I learn to change stations, to fucking focus?

So I come to take these baby steps. Frustrated, but keeping at it.

Hoping this brings some clarity, that self-trust can grow here, that I can finally break free of this. Plow my path. Answer these questions. Not have this life experience end as it seems it always has…

Wes Goes South.

I’m outside the building smoking when two young guys approach me. One seems clean cut and extroverted; a smiley glad hands sort of fellow. The other, a scrawny white kid, looks shy and disheveled. It’s the first guy who asks me for money, and I motion towards the building behind me, to the fast food restaurant.

“I work here, man,” I told him, topping off the subtle suggestion with the blatant announcement, “I don’t have any money.”

I cannot hope to ever express how much I enjoy watching the whole demeanor change. This happens so fucking often. Someone comes up to you with open body language, direct eye contact and a kind smile. Unlike this guy, some warm up to you first; fore play before they try and get in your pants — figuratively, for money or cancer sticks.

This guy, he jumped right in.

As soon as you say no, you won’t give them money or let them bum a smoke, you suddenly don’t exist to them. You’re unwilling to fall prey to the sympathy they are trying to elicit in you, fail to provide for them, so you have no use to them. They might even get visibly angry, say something crude.

This guy? He’s a pro. I say no and he goes to the opposite end of the sidewalk to try and get the other guy enjoying a cigarette to fork over some cash. He leaves me with blond-haired skinny boy, sinking beneath his shoulders, hiding beneath the hoodie.

As strangers and friends alike often do, he begins spilling to me. There are no hidden aims, no ulterior motives, he just needs someone to listen. He talks to me as if he’s in training as a beggar: he tells me he’s getting better at it. How he tries to find a job, but he doesn’t have a home or a phone number, so that causes issues. His parents kicked him out, he tells me; they want nothing to do with him. He doesn’t know what else to do.

What do I tell him? That I remember a life where I died homeless and alone, that buried in me somewhere I might know how he feels? Or do I maintain an illusion of sanity and restrict it to this life, tell him how if it wasn’t for friends and family I would have been in his position years ago, perhaps be worm food right now?

And the wall I erect nowadays when it comes to beggars: how do I go about explaining that? Do I be honest?

How can I help people when I can hardly help myself, especially as I have learned that people do not always return the empathy you have with them but rather use your empathy to manipulate you, to serve themselves, and to hell with you?

We have a polite conversation. I finish my smoke, kindly bid him a good evening and go back inside.

Later, as I’m cleaning the dining room towards the end of my shift, Wes strolls in. I’ve known him on and off for years. I met him through a guy that used to work here with me.

He’s out on the streets, homeless again. He might go to prison, he tells me, and this time it wasn’t even his fault — he was in the wrong place, wrong time, and someone in the apartment he was crashing at died from an overdose. Now he’s selling weed so he has some income. So he can eat.

He asks me if I could get him some food. I make him a quarter pounder and hide it in the gondola where I put the trash. I put it outside the back door for him, and he thanks me. Hugs me. And goes on his way.

There was talk that day about a fire uptown, another story about a fire alarm going off in a nearby Walmart, so when we saw what looked like a fire truck flashing its lights at the motorcycle place next door, I figured it was just some nomad arsonist making rounds. Upon going home that evening, I learned it had nothing to do with a fire. Some guy had overdosed on heroine in the darkness just outside the building. What I read online gave no name — “let’s call him Ben,” it said.

My name? That figures.

Perhaps a day or two later, one of my coworkers comes in the back room to see if I’ll let this one guy outside use my lighter, because no one else will.

I go outside to find its Wes. He’s alive. It wasn’t him who died. The relief is short lived.

He looks, well, bad.

He’s wearing the same red hoodie as last time I saw him. He looks like a tall skeleton coated in tattooed, Caucasian-colored shrink wrap. His eyes shine like glass. The whites of the sclera have gone pink. He’s constantly in motion, like a thoroughly-caffeinated drunk, like an enthusiastic, wildly gesticulating Jack Sparrow.

I ask him if he’s high. He insists he is not. He’s having a mental breakdown, he tells me. Out of the corner of his eyes, he keeps seeing people who aren’t there. Keeps hearing conversations that no one is having. The other night, he blacked out, lost himself, became someone else. He suddenly came to later to find his girlfriend crying. He remembers nothing. Nothing at all.

Dissociation. A dissociative identity taking control due to too much stress for his personality to handle. Is that what he is experiencing?

Is that what I have experienced?

I see him again a few days later. His girlfriend broke up with him. According to her, she was afraid one night when he blacked out that he might rape her, which seemed to confuse and hurt him. He was raped as a child, he told her; he would never do that to anybody.

“Yeah,” she told him, “but you weren’t there.”

What do I tell him?

Just Another Animal.

Eleven years ago, I woke up in the midst of it again. My eyes were cloudy, my head was spinning as I held it in my hands, pacing in that circular, white-gray room. You stood in the center, motionless, like some surreal, bug-eyed statue, just watching me as I lost my mind, ignoring my questions. Was I stuck in some wicked dream? Are you real or some manifestation of my mind? You never thought a word to me, but you did show me what was going on outside the windows on that curved wall, far down below us, way down on the surface of the earth. One, then another, and perhaps three explosions in all rocked the earth. Flames bellowing outward, consuming, blossoming up towards the sky. I felt so many die. This was war. Human war. Species suicide in action. My heart, my mind, my body filled to the brim, wracked with guilt, with one overarching, sinking feeling expressed in my mind with the words: Too late. It’s too late now. They’re all dead. It’s all over with.

It took me until then to confront you directly and you simply ignored me, as if I have no right to know what all this is about, as if it’s your duty to show me all this death and destruction and make me feel responsible without ever having given me the vaguest clue as to how I might be able to do better, to stop this, and why you — if you exist — are somehow exempt from this guilt, this responsibility, hiding up here so high as you watch a naive species kill itself. There are no gods. No space brothers in the sky. Just judgmental aliens — or plaguing, sadistic nightmares with a mind of their own. Leaving me feeling hopeless, worthless.

Fuck you and the spaceship you rode in on. Humans might be stupid, but how better are you? You’re just another animal. Another ghost in another meat machine. You seem to see us as one rather than individuals. Well, if we’re all in this together, why are you black-eyed gray little fucks just standing on the sidelines so covertly, hypnotizing us with sightings, carrying some of us off and returning us time after time, all throughout our wasted lives?

I’m so sick of feeling insane, and on top of that feeling powerless.

I want answers.

The Game (6/30/14 Dream).

A group of us are running through the open front doors and back doors of home after home along this country road. At the end, we go down a path behind the homes, behind a fence into a forest with a stream and a graveyard among the trees and grass. I try and climb up this high strata of rock where a waterfall slowly trickles down; on the very top is a gravestone. Touching it signifies the end of our game. I cannot reach it exactly, but my sense is that I’m close enough.

Then the words come into my mind or out of my mouth in the dream:

“This is a horrible game. Especially the ending.”

For the Sake of a Better Big Sleep.

Descriptions of the “intermission” periods during incarnations (cases which Stevenson and Tucker refer to as CORT-I cases) resonate well with descriptions of near death experiences. In both cases individuals describe two realms: the familiar world we call physical and another, otherworldly realm. Both realms are also described by those who have exosomatic or “out of body” (OBE) experiences. Sometimes they are referred to as the gross or physical plane and the subtle or astral plane.

Religion has set up expectations of what the afterlife will be like based on the kind of person you are through the eyes of that religion. That explains the clear cultural influence and cross-cultural inconsistencies found among and between CORT-I, NDE and OBE cases — revealing them to be dreams. The lucidity that characterizes them and seems to set them apart from common dreams may be a natural result of a disembodied mind dreaming lucidly during an exosomatic state.

Whereas the embodied state of dreaming always anchors you to some degree to the gross world because of bodily sensations and processes, the “collapsing inward” of the disembodied mind, devoid of such requirements, may involve a far more complete state of absorption into the dream material. It may come on abruptly, making the transition from the disembodied state to the dream state seamless in some cases, which may be quite confusing as it would likely take on the form of a false awakening: it would, in other words, provide a dream environment modeled almost entirely by memories of the gross environment you just seamlessly phased out of.

Another possibility is that the transition from the waking disembodied state to the dreaming disembodied state may have a hallucinatory segue where you traverse from the “extra-sensorimotor” system to the “inner-sensorimotor” system in degrees spanning the spectrum. This is sleep paralysis without the paralysis to serve as a telltale sign. These may be the cases in which people find themselves up on the ceiling of their hospital rooms looking down on their dying body and suddenly see a portal or tunnel opening up in the nearby them. These transitions — tunnels, vortexes, doorways, bridges — are what lucid dreamers often use to ease from one dream environment to another.

These may very well be personal dreamscapes, but this need not necessarily be the case. Many cases of telepathic dreams (correspondence, mutual, synchronized) have been reported, as is the case, it would seem, in the dreams shared between the living and the dead (departure, arrival, visitation). There seems to be little reason there would not be such dreams between members of the deceased, and given their are tales of telepathic dreams shared by more than two people, the implications begin to get rather interesting.

To begin with, if the person believes this dream to be his unavoidable afterlife, it would confirm his religion to him and in so doing reinforce the illusions that seemingly confirmed it. This self-reinforcing feedback loop could ensnare a person. They may remain locked in a dream of this type for an untold amount of time.

When you factor in telepathy, the implications get broader and considerably weirder. The telepathic element in dreams of and between either or both the living and the dead suggest that such dreams may not only be dreams populated by one, but many. That kind of self-perpetuating, full-scale, collective delusion might have enslaved entire cultures, be it with a hellish realm or a more heavenly one (to stain my words with Christian influence). In the East, shared beliefs turned into a mutual telepathic dreamscape would serve not so much as an afterlife as it would an existential intermission, as they embrace a belief in reincarnation. Though it certainly shares the deceptive nature of the West, it seems far less threatening in its status as a realm one merely passes through on one’s way to the next fleshy receptacle.

While it seems to devalue the otherworldly aspects of these experiences in a way, it is only because we take dreaming to be something opposed to otherworldliness. Consider that the telepathic element of dreams and our capacity to utilize that ability in dreams regardless as to whether we or our partners are dead or alive seems to render the dreamscape indistinguishable from a parallel world or alternate reality.

Its association with notions of illusion are based upon both its strictly personal nature and its transience, as evidenced upon our awakening and ultimately at death revealed to be, like our consciousness, a mere epiphenomenon. Yet ample evidence (though by necessity anecdotal) suggests that the dreamscape is neither personal nor is it (or consciousness) such an epiphenomenon. Even it’s supposed transience upon awakening may be open to question, for even if a dream is reliant on a dreamer, mutual dreams suggest that you may not be the only one. So long as there is the consistent presence of at least one dreamer in the dream, the dream endures. If there is a great dream population, many could come and go at once and over time and the dreamworld would be as stable as the gross reality.

An element exists in both the personal and telepathic forms of these dreamworlds that makes them seem even less of an illusion. It stems from a notion I first came across when reading William Buhlman’s Adventures Out of Body, and it deals with regarding these environments being sensitive, responsive or reactive to both conscious and unconscious content, which makes it sound indistinguishable from a dream. In that way, it fits snug into what I have already written here, but it adds the important element of habit into the equation. He distinguished between different environments which he believed to be characterized by nothing more than their degree of sensitivity to consciousness. Some were empty voids, others came fully furnished with structures that were easily malleable given deliberate conscious intent, others seemed more resistant to consciousness and so on.

Upon the dreamscape, mind makes reality. With telepathy, minds share the realities they have made. Given reinforcement, these realities stabilize.

If the otherworldly aspects of the aforementioned categories of exosomatic experiences can be explained by personal or mutual disembodied dreams, then conscious lucid dreaming would be an invaluable art to master. Through repeated visualization procedures, one could create a customized afterlife — if serving as nothing more than a personal place to pass time away in the Big Sleep rather than be caged by conditioned cultural expectations. One could also execute more disciplined navigation through dreamscapes in general.

Driving Me Blindly.

Womb to tomb
descending through spacetime
direction fixed, weaving a wordline
in the free fall of causality
on my way

down from heights of order
to the tangled depths of entropy

to add to the mesh of roots
prepackaged,
vacuum-sealed in opaque plastic,
nonetheless clearly
well-woven in me,
driving me blindly.

Always falling,
eyes hypnotized
straight ahead, drifting up
now and again, just,
please,
never look down,
half fearing, half hoping
for ground that you might eventually
think you found in an impact
approximately six feet down

though you find the grave is bottomless
forever falling through all of this
in a style naively echoing every preceding
dead again, back to skin
round of shit.

Astral Wind.

(5/6/03)

There was a long dream that seemed to come from a deep part of myself. In one part of it, I was in a forest or a field climbing this huge wooden structure, perhaps a tower. I knew there was a very comfortable place at the top with a papasan chair. It was a comfortable, isolated, secure place where I could be alone, honest and free.

The next thing I know I’m on my way home in my car, the only car driving along on an isolated road that seemed to be going in a fixed direction. Soon I began going over these steep hills faster and faster. Though it frightened me, the sensations I felt were the pleasant, thrilling ones of a roller-coaster, so I told myself I was worrying over nothing.

My fear threatened to return when it came to my attention that I had no control over the car. It seemed to accelerating increasingly more and I could not slow it down. Terror struck when the car bolted up an incredibly steep hill at top speed. Upon crossing over the top of the hill, the road vanished abruptly and down into oblivion went the car and I. In the process, I was pushed back and away from the steering wheels and pedals, and now I felt all hope was gone.

My vision and senses began to dim, ultimately fading to black. Blind and out of body, I felt myself fall into a tan-gold void with a consistent, relentless gust of wind blowing against my face, numbing it, the mighty roar of the astral wind overwhelming my ears.

Believing the experience with the car was of a physical reality, I wondered if I had perhaps died in the crash. Confused and frustrated, I screamed a few choice obscenities through the roaring wind as I dropped down into surreal oblivion. My voice had sounded normal, I noted, unlike my previous exosomatic experience. It was my act of screaming “Holy fucking shit!” that returned me to my body, however, waking me up just when I became convinced I was dead.