Objective and Subjective are such strange phenomena. They seem so simple, separate and obvious. I vaguely remember when I started to become aware of the the way the two very different realms of reality began to bleed together and obfuscate each other. It was a slow process and it had an element that I could only call seductive. I think I was largely lucky and nothing more than that because I caught it before it caught me.
I began to have strange experiences when I was 13 years old. I freshman was high school when I started to see my first occasional shadows. They came at times of severe stress generally when my family was having some kind of a problem. Mom and Dad were going through a bad time in they’re relationship and they were fighting once or twice a week, sometimes more often. I cannot ever remember these times resulting in violence b ut I do recall sitting in the shadows at the top of the front stairs to the second floor listening. I rarely slept as it was. These shadows started to appear late at night in my bedroom on the walls or ceiling. They didn’t have any particular form although my mind was capable of seeing some kind of a shape. The experience was intense, I was alone at night when it happened and it was frightening at first. I told no one about these things. Over time gear changed to curious and then finally I felt a strong urge to protect myself.
I was raised catholic and I remember praying to God for help, but God did not answer. This caused my stress to increase. I had been reading my school assignments. I read some political books my mother had given me, books I still have and Pulp Fiction for leisure. Feeling abandoned by God, the increased stress and the intense sense that I was under some sort of spiritual attack I decided to meditate. In these meditations I went inward and started to listen to my own thoughts. I also learned to feel and relax my body. If I focused on anything it was to try astral projection but that never happened. There was a part of me that truly believed that this was a spiritual phenomena and I still think it is easy to see why. At the same time that another part of me thought that it had to be something else, something with a scientific explanation. The spiritual aspect was extremely seductive. It felt good to think their might be something extraordinary about me. That’s the seduction and if it was true I wanted to understand it from what I took to be an objective point of view. Thus my reading changed. I started reading out side of school nonfiction, psychology, philosophy, physics, biology, mysticism and the occult.
I still kept this a secret but when I asked my Mother to find something for me, on any particular topic she would get it for me. She was an RN but she had close friends that worked at NASA. I didn’t ask often, which I regret now and I never told her why. I think she knew something was going on but she didn’t ever press it. I didn’t talk to my father or ask him for books and such because at the time he didn’t strike me as the type, a thing I also regret now the he too has passed. At the time it struck me as the kind of thing one didn’t bring up in casual conversation. I felt there might have been negative consequences. IN retrospect I realize that this was an assumption. It is true that ridicule was likely but not guaranteed. It was at the age of fourteen that I first read General Relativity: A theory any man can Understand. I remember thinking that Einstein must have had a strange idea about what any man was, but I did take something away from the effort. The World you live in is dependent on your perspective, your frame of reference. The way the world looks, how it feels and smells is all dependent on your inner world. Its more than attitude. I fully realized that this wasn’t what Einstein meant by “frames of reference in motion.” That’s just what I took from it. Correct or incorrect it didn’t matter as the experiences began to fade and I became more relaxed. By the time I graduated High School I only had memories of the original experiences left and you all know how funky memory can be.
My Mother always regretted that she didn’t try for medical school. I remember her saying that she didn’t think it was possible as no one told her she could. So she made sure to tell all three of us that we could do anything we wanted to do. I feel to this day that she really believed that and so did I. Its in this way that the pendulum swings from far on one side to way far on the other side. Otherwise I was woefully unprepared for college. I made the mistake of thinking it was just an extension of High School. I also chose a hard science major, Physics and Chemistry. My private readings had shifted more towards history and the Occult. I had taken an interest in perception, with the physical senses. I was taking psychology on the side because I was interested in it and was unaware of the fact that it wouldn’t count for any of my electives. Like I said, unprepared. That was the first blow to my world view. How can Science be objective if the very tools we use to observe, our senses, are subjective in nature. Nobody likes to hear that and sometime they get really offended when I bring it up in causal conversation. I’ve been yelled at about it rather than given a constructive counter argument. I must have struck a nerve. I know I found it unsettling.
I started my collegiate journey at the local community college. That was where I encountered the notion that we are only front of the mend aware of about 1% of all the information our Brain (?) processes. Discomfort changed to fascination and curiosity, you know, the thing that killed the cat. College was a more open environment. There was always some one talking about the stranger things. While I was at the community college I listened more than I spoke. I tend to be more or less silent in new places until I get comfortable. There was topics like Mysticism, the Occult and various subjects from the worlds of New Age and Paganism. This would continue at main campus when I made the transition. There I had a broader circle of friends, some old many new. It was there that the shadows returned. Maybe it was a stress reaction as the subject matter I was studying had increased in pace and difficulty. It might have been that I was over complicating the whole mess. It also could have been that I was undermining my subject matter subconsciously while I was trying to master it. I can’t really say for sure. The shadows though no longer inhabited the night, they now came out in the light, in crowds and in small groups. I began to watch the people around me as these odd shadows crept across the floor. I wanted to see if any of them noticed. None of them ever seemed to or if they did they in now way acknowledged it, I though of it sort of like living right next to train tracks. The first few days you can’t help but notice the trains as the pass, rattling the apartment and waking you in the middle of the night. But in a short time you no longer notice. I thought this might be the thing with the shadows. Of course there was always the possibility it was some sort of mean trick or twisted practical joke. There is danger in these types of thoughts, I understand it now but at the time it was truly a mystery. The shadows looked so real and I couldn’t figure out how they were being cast.
I was sleeping less and meditating more. My mind was getting noising and fucking with me, causing me to react in ways I didn’t understand and didn’t like. I felt I had to get on top of this thing before it got on top of me. So the meditations became about quieting my mind. I was looking for something Carlos Castaneda called internal dialog. The mind talks to itself it seems, not that unusual of a concept I thought. I found myself in a small experimental group. I was gently nagged into it. We started with the Ouija Board and moved on to ghost hunting and other stuff. I was the baby sitter, for the most part, watching to be sure things didn’t to far out of hand. Emotions and moods can run high and become unpredictable in these types of circumstances. A lot of baffling, weird and frightening stuff happened. Now I wonder if I unwitting contributed to it. Shadows became things, demons mostly. I started hearing things. Voices and clear words. There was no murmuring and whispering to start, just voices, some familiar, some not, almost all of them unpleasant. One might say the the occult experimental group and the change in the visions and the appearance of voices are some how connected. I can understand that. There was something about these visions though that was different, they had a two dimensional quality like a movie. That didn’t change the way my body reacted to them. The same physiological sensations as if one is surprised or about to be attacked or even shot at.
The things about running head long into one’s limitations is that the experience is most profound when the individual doesn’t believe thy have any limitations. The experience can be crippling. Needless to say college and I filed for divorce. The hallucinations and voices only became louder and more present. Even people I knew, except for two, would change, growing horns or taking on a demonic visage. I would begin to worry that I had said or done the wrong thing and upset people. I did seek treatment.
People tend to project onto other people their own experience, their own frame of reference of world view. I became aware of this by accident, I guess. Along with the increased psychotic symptoms there was also a growing, burning rage. I was keenly aware that I might hurt some one and I didn’t want to do that. It was becoming very difficult to baffle that surge of energy. Part of me felt that the person about to take the brunt of it deserved it, they had it coming. My mind had constructed the argument all based on several assumptions about their motives and their moral inclination, whether they were good or bad. It was my realization that these assumptions might be wrong, they were assumptions after all, beliefs shouldn’t be confused with facts. That baffled the rage and gave me the time to deal with it. I still paid a price, high blood pressure.
It is uncomfortable, but true. We all drink the Kool Aide. Often we don’t even know its Kool Aide and can’t discern who’s is filling our cup. That is the nature of the drink. IN a time with the reemergence or various ists and isms, though the on fringes it is good to be aware of the certainty that comes with that cup of Kool Aide. Humanity suffers from a terrible form of moral relativism. We understand that a action is immoral, such as beating some one or killing them. We all get this. Yet that damn Kool Aide helps to create an illusion of some great threat, a threat that must be confronted violently. This logic often has an appeal to vanity and fear. Once the point of view sets up like concrete then the actor is justified. If an opponent used the same tactic then its is simply more proof of their villainy. Dynamics like this have a way of becoming self perpetuating.
There was a time when I believed that if everyone would just settle down and try and talk to each other that this friction could be eliminated. I was young and Idealistic. Through dealing with the hallucinations I realized that some things or people will simply resort to violence. There will be no discourse. It is impossible for me to tell who will be and who will not. I am at an impasse. What to do in such a situation? Resist Violence with violence and risk becoming that which you fight. React peaceably and passively and run the risk of being crushed under foot. It will either be just a short period of a few years Nothing at all. or the beginning in a shift in the moods of populations everywhere.
When I called out to the divine in my youth I felt I got no answer, He or she, didn’t come, didn’t appear in my heart. I had always assumed that I had been abandoned. Maybe I have. Or, Maybe the Divine came to my aid. Just not in a way that I could see or feel. I don’t know how I managed to navigate all that. We human’s so desperately crave objective validation. If it was just luck I think I’ve blown probabilities out the window, not that my thoughts on the subject matter all that much.
In the end its simple faith, not in a book, or a place or a gender. The Divine is alien to us. I don’t know how it works, I don’t know what it is. It simply is. I try to listen for the sound of it. I make the effort to treat each person as an unknown until I know them. Respect is nothing more than simple manners. It is not torture, it doesn’t take extra effort. You just have to slow down and try and see clear and straight. So if you feel the current begin to drag you in a new direction remember to taste the Kool aide before you drink We may not be able to change the world but we can change the way we interact with it.
If you got all the way to here, I thank you and hope that it wasn’t too difficult of a read.
Have a better than average day.