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Divine Whispers: Allegiance
A number of years ago I wrote an article about a synchronicity I had with the book Star Wars: Allegiance in which I tried to show how just about anything can be a source of guidance. Since then that book has been sitting in a drawer in the guest bedroom of my house, and while I’ve donated many other books like that to the library, and more or less stopped reading that type of book, I still found it hard to part with it because of that connection.
About a week ago though, I decided to give the book to Nick, the son of my co-worker Rhonda. Nick loves Star Wars, but like many in this ipad generation he never pulls his head out of his tablet or his laptop and actually reads a book. I decided I would give the book to him in the hopes it might stimulate some interest in reading. So I took it to work and did so. After he’d left to catch the school bus Rhonda told me that that day was actually Nick’s 13th birthday, and that I’d brought him a birthday gift without knowing it. That made me smile and was confirmation for me that giving him the book was the right thing to do, even if he never reads it. But more importantly this little wink from the universe gave me a chance to marvel once again at how there’s a plan, a purpose in the unfolding of the universe. I believe that purpose is for this universe to evolve into what, for lack of a better phrase, you could call heaven on earth, a world of light, beauty, goodwill, peace and harmony.
It seemed appropriate in light of all this to repost this article, called Divine Whispers: Allegiance, on this leap year day, which is celebrated in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram as the Golden Day. Though progress has been made since I wrote this article eight years ago there is still a ways to go. I take this Golden Day and this posting as an opportunity to rededicate myself to the work of giving my allegiance completely to the Divine.
Divine Whispers: Allegiance
As a boy, one of my greatest loves was Star Wars, and I spent many hours immersing myself in that fantasy world as I played with my toys. Eventually I gave up my toys but my hunger for Star Wars found a new outlet in a succession of new novels and comic books, authorized by George Lucas, chronicling the further adventures of Luke, Han and Leia. A time came though when I even gave those up as my attention turned more towards things divine. Recently however a new Star Wars novel entered my life in such an incredibly synchronic way with a message for me that was so direct and personal that I realized yet again that you can’t discount anything as a potential divine messenger. To illustrate that fact using this particular occurrence is the purpose of this article.
Our story begins not long ago in an american book store far far away. On that day I walked into Barnes and Noble booksellers with $8 left on a gift card and an intention to spend it. As soon as I passed through the door my gaze fell upon a display for the newest Star Wars novel in paperback. It’s name was Allegiance. As soon as I saw it I felt something click inside of me accompanied by this strong feeling that this was the book I had come here to buy. In addition, the whole display for the book seemed to pop into focus in a way that made it stand out sharply from everything else around it. I paused for a moment to reflect on this as it seemed to me to be a very clear intuition that buying this book was in tune with my process. The mind however couldn’t see what purpose it would serve to read something mainly designed to entertain the vital, so I decided to have a look and see what else was available in the store. It seemed to me I should try to find something that had a bit more food for the soul.
After browsing for a while I was able to find only one book that seemed like it might be worth reading. So I went to the science fiction section where they had a few more copies of Star Wars: Allegiance. My vital was of course attracted to the book but it seemed to be willing to live without it. Thus I took the book in my hand and with a rare attitude of complete detachment concerning the outcome I asked the Mother to give me a sign that she wanted me to buy it. Having done that I opened the book and began to read. What I read was a passage where Luke was receiving inner guidance from the voice of Obi Wan Kenobi speaking inside of his head. Now I am not unacquainted with startling synchronicities, but I must admit that I was blown away by this. What clearer sign could I have gotten than Luke receiving guidance from his teacher? Though I was still unclear as to what purpose reading this book would serve, my doubts in regard to buying it were dispelled. Without further hesitation I went up to the counter and bought the book.
I found it quite easy to fall back into my old vital groove and I devoured the book ravenously. As I read I remained attentive in order to discern what the book had to teach me. One of the noteworthy things about the book was that it explored the phenomenon of voice and vision in a way I had not seen in other Star Wars novels. The passage I read at Barnes and Noble was one of several in which Luke receives guidance in this manner. Star Wars is of course quite yogic in some respects i.e. the Force, the guru/disciple relationship etc., but it was still interesting for me to see this coming up in a modern work of popular fiction. To me this would seem to indicate that this type of occult phenomenon is on the rise in the human collective. I found myself wondering if this was all the book had to show me, but it turned out it had a much more personal and specific message for me, one regarding my allegiance.
The events in Star Wars: Allegiance take place shortly after the destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope. In the book a disgruntled Han Solo is vacillating on whether or not he wants to fully commit himself to helping the rebellion. There is a struggle between his mind, which knows he should help the rebellion, and his vital, which would rather be free to pursue his own interests.
It took me some time to see it, but finally it hit home that the divine wanted to show me that I was in the same situation as Han. Let me explain. Here in Pondicherry I am involved in a collective sadhana with my fellow Chipmunk collaborators Donny and David. As David pointed out in the December 2007 issue of The Chipmunk Press it’s not an easy situation for any of us. As a result I had a mental/vital split like Han. My mind for the most part had consented to the group process since it knew that it was following the will of the divine. The vital however was not happy about the level of difficulty and sacrifice involved and desired (much of the time) to be free of the situation and responsible once again for no one but myself. These sorts of mental/vital splits are par for the course for a struggling sadhak, and of course the best way to deal with it is to throw out the vital uprisings and suggestions. To do that effectively though the mind has to be resolute and mine was still somewhat divided. Thus the antics of the vital were at times given free play and the result was a lot of personal suffering.
I had been aware of this problem for quite some time but found myself unable to resolve it until I read Star Wars: Allegiance. Seeing the divine point out my divided state in so blatant and conscious a manner had a definitive impact on the mind and a lesser but still significant effect on the vital. The mind has now taken a firm resolution to accept my place in the divine scheme of things and to throw out the rebellious suggestions of the vital. The vital itself is not so one pointed and still has its movements of revolt, but there is a more general attitude of consent to the situation even if it is a somewhat reluctant consent. Whether this state is permanent only time will tell. It seems however that something fundamental has been achieved.
By the end of Star Wars: Allegiance Han has finally made a decisive turn as well. In the final pages of the book Princess Leia asks Han if for the moment he can commit to just one person even if he can’t commit to the whole rebellion. Han’s comrade Chewbacca was formerly a slave of the empire and is very enthusiastic about the rebellion. Therefore, Leia asks Han to commit to Chewbacca, and out of love for his friend he does so. As I read this I realized I was getting one more piece of advice. I was being reminded once again that I don’t need to commit myself to a cause or to a process; I owe my allegiance to one person and one person only, the Mother. The rest is just details.
In conclusion I feel it is necessary for me to offer a word of caution to the reader. External signs and happenings are a means though which the divine can communicate with us. I have found however that to rely on them too heavily can lead one astray. I don’t know if Sri Aurobindo would have done so but I consider this type of phenomenon to be within the realm of the intermediate zone. That being the case there is the risk of much misguidance and confusion when one places too much confidence in these things. I know this from personal experience. Thus, I would recommend moderation with such things as the “Mother please give me a sign” method which I employed in this example. It is possible however to receive reliable guidance in this way. Just try to make sure in those moments that you are surrendered and without preference like I was and you will get the guidance you need if you truly need it.
Snowshard that Ape
“Shattered” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Cayusa
Recently I was going through my files on my computer and I came across an aborted dream/inner journal from four years ago that I’d forgotten about. It only had a few entries and one of them was this line from the inner voice:
Snowshard that ape
Below the line I had written some comments stating that I thought the line had to do with sexually staring and fantasizing, that this was the ape-like behavior I was exhibiting, and that I needed to stop it. That may very well be true since that was a big problem I was struggling with back then. As Donny pointed out to me however, the ape is more of a general symbol for the animal vital in us and symbols like the dog, pig or goat more commonly represent sex itself specifically. Given this the ape could symbolize any primitive movement such as anger, jealousy, selfishness etc. and not just sex. With this idea in mind of a wide range of movements potentially symbolized by the ape, let’s further analyze the line’s meaning by looking at the words snow and shard.
As far as snow goes, the first thing that word suggests to me is purity, but there’s also the sense of cold or freezing. This gives the idea of stopping the ape-like behavior ‘cold’ and purifying myself of it. The word shard suggests something sharp and dangerous that can cause harm, so here we have the idea of ‘killing’ the ape-like behavior. In addition though I would also point out that when something is shattered it breaks up into shards, and like humpty dumpty can’t be put back together again. From this we can get the idea of ‘shattering’ the movement, weakening it to the extent that it can’t reconstitute itself and become a significant problem again.
So I guess I could sum up the line’s meaning as “Stop that ape in it tracks and shatter that impure movement.” Now one thing I really like about this line is its bluntness, the way it calls a spade a spade. It really helps me see how I’m acting like an ape, so I’ve been making use of the line since rediscovering it. I’ve mainly been using it to remind myself to snowshard the sex movement, but I also used it this morning when some annoyance reared its head. If you’re reading this and think it could help to snowshard the ape in you please feel free to use it.
Sai Mama – A satire
dial M for milk (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Genista
(Authors note: This story was written a number of years before the death of Sai Baba. I was also living within walking distance of the ashram of Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī at the time of writing.)
When they (men) think of a manifestation of Divinity, they think it must be an extraordinary perfection in doing ordinary human things…or else they think of things which they call superhuman like not eating food or telling cotton futures or sleeping on nails or eating them. All that has nothing to do with manifesting the Divine. 1 – Sri Aurobindo
Despite having only had two hours of sleep, I literally leapt out of bed after receiving my wake-up call. I could hardly contain my excitement, the excitement that had kept me awake all night long. Today at last, at long last I would look upon the face of God Herself. For I was in Puttaparthy and today I would attend the darshan of Her Holiness Sri Sri Satya Sai Mama, the Galactic Avatar and reincarnation of the great Sai Baba.
Quickly I showered and dressed whilst singing hymns of praise to Her Holiness. Then banishing all vanity from my consciousness I examined myself in the mirror. Judging myself fit to be seen by Her Holiness, I then stood before my small altar. I thanked Mama once again for bringing me here on the first of what I hoped would be many pilgrimages to Puttaparthy. I prayed to her for guidance and strength and to help me be ready to receive what I needed during the holy darshan.
Then I was out the door and bounding down the stairs to the lobby. Upon seeing my obvious excitement the receptionist commented, “Your first darshan, eh?”
“Yes,” I ejaculated.
“Then enjoy,” she said, “Sai Mom.”
“Sai Mom,” I replied and I hit the streets of Puttaparthy where I was immediately solicited by the hover-shaw drivers. I politely declined. This was a pilgimage and I was going to go on foot.
My excitement grew and grew the closer I got to the ashram gate till I thought I might burst. Others of the faithful were on their way to the ashram and a few of them upon seeing me smiled kindly and remarked, “First darshan, eh?”
Then the gate was in sight and it was all I could not to dash inside, but I managed to keep a hold of myself. Then as I passed through the gate my eyes beheld a sight that transmuted my excitement into awe: the Samadhi of the great Sai Baba.
Slowly and with slightly faltering steps I approached this most sacred of all shrines. It was just like the pictures I had seen. There sealed inside a sphere of bazooka proof glass was His Holiness wearing his orange robe and seated in his favorite chair. His eyes were closed and his hands were folded on his lap. He appeared to be merely resting with a look of serenity on his holy countenance. It was truly amazing what the surgeons had done with him. You never would have guessed His Holiness had fallen to his death while giving a helicopter darshan. It undoubtedly helped that his fall was broken by two devotees and a toy poodle, but nevertheless it was amazing. On either side of His Holiness were two simple marble crypts which contained the two aforementioned devotees who, while others ran in fear, had adoringly received God as he descended upon them from above. In front of His Holiness was a much smaller crypt which contained the loyal poodle that never left his masters side. All three has been granted sainthood and Sai Mama had revealed that for their devotion they had all been granted instant enlightenment just before they were crushed beneath His Holiness.
Then awe changed into gratitude and tears streamed forth as I fell upon my knees in front of His Holiness. I bowed down before Him, thanking Mama for this grace, this wonderful grace to be here in Puttaparthy! Then I was lost in a wave of adoration chanting the mantras of the great Sai Baba.
After some time, I came back to myself. I rose up and bowed to His Holiness one last time and departed from the Samadhi. I looked at my watch and saw it was 6:30. Darshan was at 7:00 and I wanted to be early so I started making my way towards the temple. When I got about halfway there I spotted a man with a large tank on his back. A number of people were gathered around him and he was dispensing something from the tank into little cups and giving them out to the people. I was a bit confused by the whole thing until I saw the liquid was white. Then it hit me. It was the Holy Milk of Sai Mama!
Like her predecesor, Sai Mama was a worker of miracles. Sai Baba had possessed the ability to manifest solid physical objects at will such as watches, rings etc. His trademark miracle however was the Holy Ash which he produced in copious amounts from his bare hands. Sai Mama never materialized objects as such but her trademark miracle was the limitless supply of Holy Milk that flowed forth from her ample breasts. At night her breasts were connected to hoses and as she reposed in samadhi the Holy Milk would flow continuously into refrigerated tanks below. I deduced that the milk this man was giving out must have come from last nights store.
I was understandably possessed by a strong desire to partake of the Holy Milk but I restrained myself. I could wait until the Darshan. That milk was for those who wouldn’t be in attendance.
So I continued on my way almost giddy now. When I arrived at the temple I showed my token to an attendant who directed me to the left. Then I found myself at the security gate and once I had passed through a metal detector, a frisking, a latex glove cavity search and an ultraviolet decontamination chamber, I was in.
I almost couldn’t believe I was there. There were many people there both foreigners and indians. At the end of the room was the pillared platform with the carved wooden door through which Her Holiness would enter. I was just standing there dumbfounded until an attendant snapped me out of it.
“Sai Mom,” he said, “Please come this way to the foreigner’s section.”
He led me to the front of the temple where the foreigners section was. The hall was divided into four seating areas: one for foreign men, one for foreign women, one for indian men and one for indian women. Since it was my first darshan I was given a front row seat in the foreign men’s section. I sat down and my heart leapt with joy. In mere minutes God herself would walk through that door to give her holy darshan.
Around me others were meditating or chanting softly to themselves. I didn’t know how they could do it. It was all I could do just to sit still. I was constantly looking at the clock as the last few minutes ticked by. At 6:59 a group of young men dressed in orange robes and with shaven heads entered and sat in formation in front of the pillared platform. I immediately recognized them as Sai Mama’s famous eunuch chanting choir. When the clock struck 7:00 they began to chant and just before it reached 7:01 the door swung open and there she was––all 350 glorious pounds of her.
Immediately the temple exploded into a chaotic chorus of Sai Mom’s and other utterances of adoration. Sai Mama kindly waddled forward and raised her arms before the crowd. Now I too found my voice and joined my Sai Mom’s in with the rest. My vision blurred as tears poured down my cheeks and my heart was filled with a love that seemed uncontainable.
With a finger to her lips Mama hushed the crowd. Then, with a speed that would rival Billy the Kid, Mama withdrew one of her gargantuan breasts of bliss. The hall exploded once again in Sai Mom’s as Mama waddled towards the indian men’s section of the temple. There all Sai Moming ceased as the indian men opened their mouths and tilted back their heads eagerly awaiting the Holy Milk. Mama stopped a few feet in front of them and paused. Then seizing her breast with both hands she squeezed it sending a 50 foot long arching spray of the Holy Milk over the crowd. Slowly she turned her body from one side to the other a couple of times like a sprinkler showering the entire section. Then satisfied she turned and waddled towards the indian women’s section. The indian men, meanwhile, broke forth in praise and Sai Mom’s as they sucked at their wet clothes and licked the floor for every drop they could get of the Holy Milk.
Mama repeated the same process at the indian women’s section and the foreign women’s section. Sai Moming was going on all around me but I remained silent. Never had I felt such awe and reverence as the greatest sacrament the world has ever known was performed before my eyes.
Then, having finished with the foreign women, Sai Mama turned around and began waddling towards us. Once again I found my voice and was crying Sai Mom as she approached. When she halted in front of us I opened my mouth and tilted back my head. I closed my eyes as the first drops fell upon me. Some drops went into my waiting mouth and I sighed with happiness as I tasted the sweetness of it. It was heavenly, rich and creamy with a hint of vanilla. Bubbling with joy I waited for the shower to pass over me again. After a few seconds it came again and went. It came a third time and a fourth time and each time it was sweeter than the last, each time my love and joy reached a greater apex.
Then the heavenly rain ceased and I opened my eyes. Mama placed her breast back within her robe and waddled to the pillared platform. Around me the other foreign men were sucking at their clothes and licking the floor, but I only had eyes for Sai Mama. The man sitting next to me grabbed my scarf and was wringing droplets from it into his mouth, but I hardly noticed. My being had melted into a wave of pure adoration which swelled with every step she took.
When she reached the platform she turned and raised her hands one last time and the temple exploded once again in Sai Mom’s. The eunuchs began to chant once more and with a smile Sai Mama turned and walked out through the great carved door.
As the door swung shut I bowed down to the floor beside myself with joy and gratitude and singing praises for the great Sai Mama. I don’t know how long I lay there lost in devotion, but when I raised my head from the floor almost everyone had gone. As I rose to my feet I realized in the core of my being that I couldn’t live away from this ashram. There I remained for one glorious month after which I returned to Johannesburg and sold my men’s lingerie shop as well as all of my possessions. Then I returned to Puttaparthy and here I remain, fulfilled in felicity only to be near her. Everything I have, everything I am belongs to her now.
Praise and glory be sung for the great Sai Mama. May all beings find refuge at her lotus feet. Sai Mom!
1. Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga – Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library Vol. 22, p. 410-411.
THE ART OF EQUILIBRIUM – THE GREAT TEACHING OF THE MONKEY
By Medhananda – from his book The Way of Horus. This commentary is on the hieroglyph above.
Let us forget about doomsday and the last judgement.
The weighing described here is going on all the time
Something in us not only maintains
our chemical and hormonal balance,
but also tries to prevent the heaviness of our heart
from upsetting our delicate psychological equilibrium.
On top of the balance sits THOTH,
the ancestral teacher,
ready to intervene and help us.
The power wearing the wolf mask
is our higher self in its role of evolutionary force,
contributing also to the steadying of the scales.
The neter of truth appears
as the weightless standard for our heart
and as the ‘double truth’
always wearing the feather which emphasizes her lightness,
the ankh symbol of eternal life
and the lotus scepter for rebirth.
The scales represent a psychological exercise
to be practiced at every moment of the day:
weighing our heart against the feather of truth,
calling to the transfiguring power to help us
jettison everything that contributes
to our heaviness,
to let us soar free.
The disciple of truth is light-minded and light-hearted.
Let every day be a psychological levitation,
a pure longing for the heights of our own being,
a new birth into a new weightlessness.
For more on Medhananda please visit http://www.medhananda.com/
Image source: https://sites.google.com/site/collesseum/bookofdead
By Medhananda from his book The Way of Horus
One of the most powerful movements in man
is the will, the aspiration to overcome his limitations.
It appeared in a few carbon rings
as the power to reproduce themselves;
it appeared in a few unicellular beings
as the power to unite,
in a few fish to crawl on land,
in a few proto-hominids
to tame fire and invent instruments,
and in a few men to a walk on the moon.
It is not his cleverness that makes man man,
it is his will to surpass his limitations,
to go higher, wider, deeper than anyone has gone before,
as well in the inner as in the outer world.
Perhaps we should live more often and more consciously
in the company of this evolutionary power
the we experience as aspiration: our KA*.
If this neter* calls-
dddddddthe others answer back.
It is invincible, on one condition:
that it is exercised.
There are still amoebas in every drop of water.
But we are the amoeba who exercised.
Will we travel to the stars?
For more on Medhananda please visit http://www.medhananda.com/
* KA was the Egyptian word for aspiration and neter was the word for a god such as Osiris, Isis, KA etc. Medhananda considered the gods to be parts of our psychological makeup and not something outside ourselves to be worshipped.
Image taken from http://www.joanannlansberry.com/journ…/pathmark/feed-ka.html
Breaking Silence, Careful to Stay an Apparition
A true story
From the point of view of science, a belief in demons would be the epitome of indulging in superstition, would get you laughed out of any serious conversation centered around science anywhere on the web. Called the Hostile Powers in my yoga to emphasize they are hostile to the divine manifestation and fight against it, they have almost as many names as there are cultures on earth, attesting to the belief in them being panhuman and as old as the belief in gods and angels.
But what happens when you encounter one to the extent that you can seriously question whether you experienced an hallucination or something ‘out there’ in objective reality, something common to all? Even if science doesn’t believe in it, in such an event your encounter has more the making of knowledge than of belief, knowledge, however, that I argue is now suppressed, since skepticism has taken the field in mainstream media, in the news and in the publishing of poetry and literature. That means that anything that gives credence to something that doesn’t reduce to material process, such as ‘spirits’, more often than not, either isn’t presented at all or has to be presented from the perspective of skepticism so to be published.
This story for example was written for High Existence, a think website leaning skeptically towards spirituality. They told me before I wrote it that it might not fit them because of their skepticism but asked in writing it if I could be genuine and skeptical at that same time, and I replied I’d try (the title winks at that) and wrote the story. Sometime later, a couple of months or so, I got a reply the article was on Google Docs for editing, and a co-founder would be editing it with me, but that was months ago. When I email to ask the status I’m told they’re too busy to edit guests articles. I have no idea what’s going on with them, but it was time for the article to be posted, and so you’re reading it. I can’t help but wonder though at the science of High Existence, putting this aside so readily, because it’s not your usual demon story, not Hollywood at all, more like how encounters with them are really like, whether or not it’s an hallucination or something we don’t yet understand, and there are facts here that could be checked.
With this story, that involves not only me and my friends but two university professors, the Houston Police Department, and an oddly powerful local business, a good investigative reporter can verify that the facts happened as I relate them and prove the story’s true. Whether or not demons exists would take many such stories to prove. If they are actually factual, then there’s a real demon in this story. And if there are such unembodied creatures among us, and I show it had been around me and my family since I was a baby, that would be knowledge we need to know however upsetting it would be to our belief systems, because of course the suggestion is there that they’re around many if not most of us perhaps from birth onwards. If that were true it would be revolutionary knowledge. This story gives more weight to that ‘if’ than most stories you hear of such things as spirits and their intervention in human life.
I was sitting in my small apartment stoned on some good grass, skunk from Spy Rock Mountain in Northern California, a location-specific weed that had been the trigger for a couple of other spiritual and metaphysical experiences I’d had before this one. Marijuana has long been associated with aiding in the ability to see the unseen, something that can easily be seized upon, in this story for example, and used as means to prove it was the effects of the grass I experienced and not a demon, but as I see it the grass, or whatever psychedelic, opens the doors of perception more, and you see what’s normally not seen. It’s doesn’t create the whole experience. So it’s a trigger, and it’s the triggers you look for to get a handle on metaphysical experience, to be able to repeat it or something like it. This incident, experiment if you like, has multiple triggers and is quite complex in its makeup, having a myriad set of conditions that have to be seen so to see the incident itself and the impact it had not only upon me but my also upon immediate environment.
If you approach the exploration of consciousness with a scientific outlook, meaning you’re a stickler about everything and don’t believe anything until it’s met some basic criteria to be real, you have to also be skeptical about the apparent fact that matter is supreme, or some form of energy/matter, skeptical on both ends: that consciousness creates matter and that it’s a result of matter (it might be that it’s just a frozen type of consciousness when you get right down to it), else you’ll never master your will in manipulating consciousness. You have to use a type of will in inner exploration, in lucid dreaming and out of body experiences for example, that carries in it no doubt you can break the laws of matter. If you don’t believe it, chances are you won’t be able to do it, whether that’s go through a wall in a dream or leave your body and explore the outer world in the dreambody, or as a ‘spirit’.
So unless you believe, even in your reason, you won’t get very far in your inner exploration of consciousness, since so often it does appear that whatever you call it, consciousness, spirit, the subconscious even, can supersede the laws of matter, which is the crux of this story, investigating an incident in consciousness that would seem to have done that, the most seemingly superstition-based as far from science as you can get experiment, the conjuring of a demon.
Looking for the umpteenth time on my living room wall at “Self Portrait in Spherical Mirror”, a lithograph print by M. C. Escher, which was another trigger, I had an epiphany. Having a crystal ball about the same size he was holding in the print, mine sitting in arm’s reach on the coffee table, I’d done that very same thing a number of times, looked in mine as he was in his, but suddenly I had this strong feeling of what he was doing, looking into the spirit world, and though I’d done with mine what he was doing with his, looking at his reflection in it, I hadn’t yet made that connection to use it as a medium to ‘see’. In that surety of seeing I snatched mine up and got the reflection of myself the same he had of himself. It was that surety, not the ‘ritual’, the print, the glass crystal, or anything else that produced the result, and when that’s understood magic becomes more legible. It’s the same surety used in lucid dream to supersede dream material process, a knowing.
As I stared into it, looking at my reflection and the space behind me, it occurred to me that Carlos Castaneda is talking about doing what Escher and I were doing when he describes calling up an ‘ally’, a disembodied being that aids you if you’re a Toltec shaman, according to his books, and in one (The Fire From Within) the characters do that by holding a mirror a few inches under the water of a fast flowing stream and looking at their reflection in the mirror. The teacher insists it’s how you look into the mirror that’s important, that you look knowing beyond a shadow doubt you’re looking into another world, and the ally will notice someone from ‘here’ looking his way and come and check you out.
I knew that basically Castaneda had made it all up, and the story related in the books is fiction, but I also knew from his descriptions of manipulating consciousness in dreams and altered states, with the use of substances and without, that he more or less knew what he was talking about in terms of that manipulation. I was at that moment using some of his techniques to do the same, and getting similar results. Only I wasn’t at all interested in the allies he refers to throughout his books, believing them to be the epitome of superstition, as unscientific as you could get. I was just beginning what I thought would be graduate work in the History of Science, taking an undergraduate survey course in the subject from the professor who’d oversee my thesis, and so I hadn’t really even begun, but I believed in science, used as I said a scientific outlook to do inner exploration, skeptical though of reductionism as I was of the other extreme: spirits everywhere around, angels, demons, gods, goddesses, nature spirits, unembodied aliens, what have you.
Sitting on my couch so stoned though, I was more open to the possibility of spirits. It also helped that in my inner exploration I’d just gotten to where, with the aid of grass, I could lie down and consciously induce what’s nowadays called sleep paralysis and go out of my body and be on the physical plane entirely, not quasi-on it mixed with dream elements as is usual in OBEs, a mastery I was never to have again after I opened this spirit door. I got my bell rung. All inner exploration stopped for awhile after this experience. It scared me to death.
Within seconds the ball began to cloud inside, in one small patch near the top left, and the clouds began to whirl, and I knew something was about to appear, and the first to appear may have been the face of a goat, but it could’ve been a monkey, and then there was a donkey and a couple more animals, each one coming fully into view and having some smart ass expression on its face, expressions people make not animals. Then a further change came over the reflection in the crystal ball. I could see standing behind me a fully animated living breathing silver dog-dragon a little taller than I, with its furry front paw resting over my shoulder, it wearing a stupid exaggerated grin on its face like it was posing with me for a family portrait, it my father, uncle, god-father, proudly standing behind his beloved young man. It had burning all red eyes.
With a huge exclamation point in my consciousness, I remembered that was the same expression Chevy, my imaginary playmate, wore when he tricked me into the Void, a place in the inner world at the very bottom of everything that seems common to us all, when I was 4, and that was the last time I’d seen him. I’d always remembered Chevy, and that shit eating grin he wore as he slammed shut the storm door leaving me trapped in the Void, but I never really remembered what he looked like until that moment.
I also remembered, in that intense instant eye to eye with it, that on one occasion in the book don Genaro, or maybe it was don Juan, I don’t remember, warns that if you maintain eye contact with it when it comes to check you out you’ll bring it out of its reality into yours, and in another place he says that if you don’t make eye contact with it it’ll come out and kill you. Needless to say that was the parting of the ways for me and the Castaneda books. I realized he was as much a trickster as the allies he talks about. That realization didn’t help then though.
I broke the apparition’s gaze and stood up, which was hard because those red eyes were extremely difficult not to look into so strong a pull they held – calamity eyes. I was shaking from head to foot and could not stop shaking. I ran to the window, opened it, and frantically raised my arm to hurl the thing as far away from me as I could, but I knew I couldn’t just throw it away, as much as I wanted to be rid of it. It was an ‘object’ now, meaning it now had some metaphysical radioactivity to it, in my mind, that I couldn’t just throw away. So I sat back down and put it back on its stand on the coffee table, my world in earthquake.
Out of my head, panicking still, I got up again a couple of times to throw it out, like if I just got rid of it, it would be nothing more than I got a little too high and hallucinated, like I did once in a movie theater before the film watching the ads for popcorn and coke and all the skulls, penises and vaginas dancing in them, subliminally. I couldn’t just get rid of it though, like I said, neither the crystal ball nor the dread that I’d gone and done something serious, like I was a flagman and had realized, too late, I’d set the tracks wrong, and there was going to be train wreck.
I tried to compose myself because I had to be at work in an hour and had to drive downtown to get there, downtown Houston, and I lived in some rundown apartments out in Pasadena along Old Galveston Road close to Ellington Field, not all that far from NASA. I’d found the job in an ad on the University of Houston job bulletin board (the physical one: no virtual one at that time), which was to be a doorman/valet at Four Leaf Towers, a high rise condominium complex that’s composed of twin towers each 40 stories high, and prominent rich Houstonians live there, and I explain because it plays no small part in the story.
The job was beneath me I thought, as I had a college degree, but I figured I’d do me for a month or so until I could find better work, what you’re always looking for as a college student, but two weeks after getting the job this metaphysical accident happened, and I ended up staying there three years, though not as a doorman the whole time. I was too devastated to be able to do anything else for awhile other than open doors for people and carry their bags to the lobby. But it wasn’t seeing the apparition, or even recognizing my ole imaginary pal Chevy, that destroyed my world so, or rearranged it with demons, a destroying concept if you think about it. It was what that hallucination, that imaginary thing, did, things imagination on its own can’t do.
I hoped, as I drove into town on I-45 to 610 into the rich area near downtown known as Uptown, where the twin towers stood, that the grass high would be the end of it, and that I’d not seen anything real, since Chevy was after all imaginary. That hope, though, I couldn’t hold in my hands, or it didn’t hold water, depending on how you see hope. Driving up the small artificial hill at the entrance to the long winding driveway of the towers, the dread I felt was more than I thought I’d be able to bear, especially at work. I said earlier I was shaking, and my body was, but my reason was shaking also, and when that shakes you know you’re in trouble.
I’d unwittingly played Faust, that legendary literary character who sold his soul to the Devil for knowledge. In planning my thesis about the origin of atomic theory in Greek Science, what I was up to in college at that time, I was also seriously asking the question, based on things like the daemon of Socrates and other accounts in Greece of such guiding entities, did they have disembodied beings helping them discover the physical world, like shamans all over the world often claim they have? And so I’d done the seeing into the crystal sphere to find out, but spontaneously as I said, without any prior planning other than the intention.
Today’s science would say an emphatic no, say you’re a crackpot to even ask the question, but in the open place I was in both with my studies of the outer world, which was taking place in a science-based university, and in my study and exploration of my inner world, taking place in that rundown apartment next to the railroad tracks, on the other side as a matter of fact, ask it I did, a question considered stupid that I’m asking you now, not about ‘early Greek science’ and their daemons, but about whether or not my encounter with one can possibly be considered real, taking it as I report it, assuming there’s no lie or embellishment on my part, only the inaccuracies that inevitably come recalling to mind an event years after it happened.
Going downstairs to clock in, I was immediately told to go the office. That really added to the dread feeling. I went and was asked if I knew anything about Kevin, a coworker. I was told he’d taken his wife and baby hostage in the night, and the S.W.A.T. team had been called out to subdue him, and now he was in jail. Some hours before he ‘went off’ he’d called other employees in the towers and asked where he could buy some LSD.
“Do you know anything about that?” I was asked because we’d been best buddies in the two weeks I had worked there, he the 3 to 11 concierges for the east tower, I his doorman, and in that relationship there at Four Leaf that meant an intimate 8 hour shift together. We had not, however, done more than smoke pot together, and I really didn’t know what he was doing and why he wanted acid that night.
In our conversations at work, which mostly revolved around the army (we we both veterans) and my take on Castaneda’s books, he’d begun to think I was also a man of knowledge like don Juan, mainly because the practical knowledge I had of lucid dreams and OBEs, and that I could interpret Castaneda’s books in light of that knowledge, books he was also intently reading because he was having lucid dreams and was using those books to help him work with his inner consciousness. He was really still a kid, 22 I believe, and so he can be excused for being so credulous. I, right at 30, had no excuse for taking advantage of that, what, I reasoned, put him in the firing line of Chevy, his silly belief that I was some hidden master and the fear and awe that went with it.
On the night of our last shift together, the night before I looked in my crystal ball, I was standing out in the rain but close to the roof of the carport, standing in such a way the rain didn’t hit me because of the angle of everything, but it must’ve looked to him like I just wasn’t getting rained on, he looking at me like one would look at a don Juan using his consciousness to keep the rain off. Afterwards, upon hearing him asking me how I could do that, all sense of his disbelief swallowed up by his almost little boy’s admiration, I pretended I had because it fanned my ego’s flame to have this young man think of me as someone like that. Perhaps wanting my ego fed was an effect of being a doorman with a college degree. It would have such effects.
Despite there being any evidence Kevin went off like he did because of the apparition I’d seen, what would be in the practice of magic a classic example of conjuring a demon, I just knew somehow the two events were linked and that somehow conjuring it caused him to go off, because of our inner link at that moment, Kevin and I’s close friendship based on these things. Castaneda had said that, or had Don Juan say, the folklore of magic saying the same, that afterwards you can expect the apparition to have left you a little message. I felt here was mine, but it would be two weeks before it would be confirmed, when Kevin got out of jail and called me saying he was ready to be taught, but that wasn’t the only message the creature left.
It was early afternoon, and I was very surprised by his call, and a little suspicious. He explained that night, how he hadn’t really taken his family hostage as was reported on the news, but that he was just in a rage and was waving a shotgun around, and someone called the cops. When they arrived, he shot their windshield out, and so S.W.A.T. was called. He said they took him to jail, and as he lay on the bunk looking at a dirty wall made of tiles and so had a reflective surface, clouds started forming in a little patch on the wall, and then animal faces began to appear, and then he freaked out and began screaming, terrified something terrible was about to appear, whereupon he was taken to the psych ward for observation for a few days.
I just told him that after taking a shotgun and blowing out the windshield of a cop car, he wasn’t ready to study things like this, and that he needed to find a good psychologist and never call me again (he had of course been fired) because I wasn’t in very good shape either and needed a long time to assimilate all that had happened on my end.
Because of the nature of where I worked, a place obsessed with security that spied on its employees (Mr. Hendricks, the general manager, had been in Naval Intelligence during the Vietnam War), and Kevin being freed so soon after doing what he did, I couldn’t just believe him. That would be bad science any way you look at it. I’d told the story by that time to several people, people at work too, and though it seems slightly farfetched, it’s possible he was being led by the police or my job to call and lie about events so to get more information out of me about the incident. I did find out later that my last apartment in Houston was bugged, one in the Museum District, by my job most likely, since someone who worked in security lived next door and someone at work was playing mind games with me leaving little messages of things I’d said alone in my apartment on my desk when I slept and wasn’t supposed to be sleeping (by that time I was the east tower 7 to 11 concierge). So it’s not so out of line to suggest that my job was playing games here too, if not even the police.
4 Leaf had a close connection to the Houston Police Department, had off duty officers working for them, especially one in particular that seemed quite interested in the demon story, an officer from the Criminal Investigative Division, which, in the early 90s, when I worked at 4 leaf, was reported to be keeping tabs on 70,000 Houstonians who hadn’t committed a crime. So I couldn’t rule out that he’d been coached and hadn’t seen what I had, but it really wasn’t his part in the story that got my hair standing on end, or my best friend Randy Holt’s hair rather.
When I got home from work after seeing the apparition, at midnight, I saw my front door was partly open, and that unnerved me a little bit, but I went in turned the lights on, and just as I did the phone rang. It was Randy, who liked to come to my apartment in the evenings when I was at work and smoke grass and listen to my collection of weird music, which I had on cassette tapes.
He sounded very scared, and he told me he wouldn’t be coming to my house for awhile because he’d been there that evening while I was at work, as was his custom, playing my cassette recorder and listening to music, and suddenly he heard my voice on the tape very distressed. He said I sounded almost dead as a matter of fact, saying, “Randy, help me I’m trapped.”
He said he just smiled, thinking I was playing some prank, and he rewound the tape, but it wasn’t there the second time, and he said at that point, when he didn’t hear it after rewinding, all the hair on his body stood on end. He heard dogs barking nearby, the way they sound when they find the scent of something unknown and dangerous, like when they corner a monster in the movies, and he looked out the seocond story window, and he said every dog in the neighborhood was barking up at that window, an exaggeration of course, but you get the picture. At that point he said he just abandoned the apartment at a dead run, not bothering to even shut the door. When a grown man does that you know he’s scared out of his wits.
As he said, he didn’t want to come back anytime soon and didn’t for a couple of months, and his wife told me a month or so after that he woke up a couple of time seeming to speak in foreign languages. Later he confessed that he slept with a Bible for some weeks, and he was an avid atheist. That’s what makes any encounter with one of these funny fierce type of daemons (the word demon is just so apropos) seem so real, the abject animal terror you feel in their presence, and that gives the entity much more substantiality in your mind than a hallucination, gives you a feeling of instinct, and you remember these evil clowns, like you and they go way back, like Chevy was posturing to tell me in his apparition in the crystal ball.
At this point though, since it’s not unreasonable to gather that Randy experienced what he did, however much we may doubt Kevin did, we are dealing with a class three hallucination in terms of the science of psychology, meaning it’s one that other people experience too. That doesn’t explain it, but it does still keep it as a hallucination, an apparition, meaning you don’t believe it’s real however real it appeared, at which case, especially if it’s a bona fide class three hallucination experienced by many others or only by one other but strikingly so, you have to ask who is the more inflexible, those who don’t believe it’s real or those at least open to the possibility?
Instead of seeking a religious solution, like getting a Bible or going to a priest, I went to my Greek professor for help in dealing with the experience, who’d heard the S.W.A.T. incident on the local TV news, but it was taken off the air after a very short time because of the sensitivity with where Kevin worked, or so I was told when I asked why the story had been taken off the air. It was squelched because Interfin, the company that ran the high rise, didn’t want the important residents to know someone like that had been hired to work for them. Whatever the reason you have to wonder at the power of Interfin to have a news story off the air.
When that was added to the strange Faustian story I was telling her, Prof Dora Pozzi was a little taken back, even somewhat shocked, saying she was very concerned for me. She said she didn’t believe the entity was real, but she believed me, and she explained she was an agnostic, and that the best thing for me to do was not think about it and instead put my mind into my Greek studies so to ground myself, which I did and was able to gain my composure and ground myself as she’d suggested.
I couldn’t just put it out of my mind though, but I made the thinking dynamic (and therapeutic) by writing a description of the whole thing as my first paper for the survey science class I was taking. (Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of that paper.) I got a B- on it, a clear indication my professor wasn’t too happy with me his potential grad student, and so I dropped the undergrad science class and the idea to go for an advanced degree in the History of Science, and I just focused my mind on learning to translate Attic and Homeric Greek, which I got pretty good at, scoring in the top 10% of the U.S. on the standard university Greek competency exam, but that’s because my life depended on it.
I can go on with the story, since just the other night one of ‘those people’ was at the window, then again at the door, and I felt that fright, but it’s been years since one’s been able to get into my sleeping room. The question if they are real or not isn’t what you focus on when you have a long standing relationship with a disembodied spirit(s), or interdimensional beings as they’re called today. You concentrate on how you can protect yourself from them if they are the funny fierce variety that I encounter, which are among the most common type.
I had to protect myself from Chevy but at the same time know the details of his part in my game of life so I could play it better, no small balancing feat. That phantom entity was either an individual hallucination or the manifestation of something that could shape-shift at will, showing a different form to different people in my family, though it was the same entity, who to my father was a crazy old witch at his bedroom doorway brandishing a butcher knife, to my mother an invisible phantom lover that she could physically feel have sex with her, to my sister a large hairy monster that would lie on her chest when she woke in the night in sleep paralysis, and to me a large grinning dog-dragon that, not unlike Castaneda’s allies, showed me how to take my first steps in lucid dreams and OBEs, all that so it could get me where it wanted, the eyeless Void.
The dog-dragon’s real form is more alien than we have yet captured with our creative imagination, but, looking in a mirror in lucid dream, an experience that happened years after this one, it looks like an ape but has a mouth like a long beak that at the end has a sort of mouth, a small beautifully blue swirling circle, something obviously made for sucking life-force. It has extremely greasy ugly fur and oddly no eyes. It walks on its knuckles, and many’s the dream I’ve done the same through my life. It lives on some alien world or dimension in an elaborate tree house with his family, what I saw during the time period I saw his true form, in another lucid dream where I was ‘inside’ him as he said goodbye to his family (knowing myself as the dreamer but able to see everything that the person you’re inside experiences, feeling, thought, and act). He climbed down to the ground and walked, on his knuckles, down the road, headed where he earned his livelihood, on earth eating me and probably others, our turbid life-force. I lost the dream before he got anywhere, and my walk as him only lasted a couple of minutes or so, but it helped explain a lifetime of shadow dancing with this imp. Many’s the dream I’ve had where I’ve walked on my knuckles. Now I knew why: a symbiotic relationship with an alien parasite.
My father later told me we left that house in Bacliff on Galveston Bay and moved to Houston to get away from demons when I was four. He said it in a whisper, and his eyes shining with fear, something I’d only seen shine those eyes show when there was really something to be scared about. The ancient Greeks called such an entity the family daemon, what we translate as the family curse, but to them they were actual entities, and in ancient times incidents with spirits was much more common than today, and you have to decide if that’s because we have progressed and are successful in getting rid of this age old superstition, at least among the mainstream intelegencia, or we’ve forgotten or are ignoring a key player in the game of life here on earth, not an ally at all but from the opposing team, a deadly foe.
In any event, something that is so widespread in humanity, especially when you consider that in the phenomenon of alien abduction we might be dealing with the same entities, you have something that needs taken seriously because it is so real to the people who experience it, which is a large enough percentage of us for the those who don’t to at least suspend disbelief and listen. The battle line of are they real or not isn’t what’s so important right now. What matters is we let in the stories, and then we can see to sort out if they are real or imagined – live or Memorex in this case, speaking of that cassette tape, what in this story, of all the elements, is the one that runs circles around matter the most and is unexplainable with our current science, since, after all, if that recording of my begging for help was only there for one play of that tape, not present in any subsequent playbacks, something far beyond our science made that happen, something that superseded nature as we now know it.
And I Suppose a Rose
As a young teen, I would often hear, right at the stage of falling asleep, what I called ‘reading the book’, someone speaking spiritual philosophy deep inside my head. I never could remember a word the next morning.
After getting a rather poetic education, majoring in English and learning to translate Classical Greek verse into English verse, and a period of travel after college, mostly as a vagabond, in one instance posting my poems on holy sites in the old city of Jerusalem and other places East, a woman who had a writer’s cabin in the hills around Ashland, Oregon gave me the cabin for a whole winter, 5 months, so I’d have a place to live because I was homeless (normally it was a 6 week stay, given as a fellowship).
After 3 months of relative isolation, snowed in some, in twilight, that place of falling asleep, only here I think it was waking up, I heard these lines:
And I suppose a rose knows well
All the glory a man might.
I took those beginning lines and made a poem out of them, thinking that’s what many poets do and just don’t say anything. I had no idea your muse, what I call it, not hearing things, could give you a whole poem and edit it while you’re ‘listening’ it and after. It took another few years before I heard more lines, which was in Cuzco, Peru, about 15 years ago, but the flood started in Brazil a few months later, and it’s continued to this day.
There’ll come a day when floods.
Almost anytime I sit or lie back inside myself, if it’s long enough to get behind the waking mind and into ‘twilight’, I just automatically start hearing and seeing muse, and only sometimes it’s a poem; most of the time it’s a host of things: personal guidance, remote viewing, subconscious stuff, the imitation vision, the outright hostile vision, and I can continue some, only with me whatever I hear is always in poetic form, though only rarely is that at or near poetic quality.
Another time I might show the visual aspect of the muse. Now I’ll end this post introducing my voices with a recent short poem completely from the muse (it’s on one of our blogs at: The Chipmunk Press Vol. 3 Issue 5
In a sunny corner of remote earth
The bite of it all
This was in Nature’s plan.
Green-gold it moved.
This conducted harmony
Operating on discords –
Not a packaged plan,
Neither from the stars.
It brought in cities beyond the universe.
We bask in its revelry –
A riot of God
On lone isles of trust.
Wonderful it wore shoes.
Naked impulse did not light its lamp.
It brought all to bear on noontide.
Light held its room.
“Yes,” we sing in darkness’ lair.
“We deliver anthems
Without knowing on which we rest.
It came to us unclothed,
And we saw nought but sin.”
What distance orthodoxy
From all that abounds in this place.