Friday, 27 February 2015

To hell and back

I've always been intrigued by different realities, different states of consciousness, and the idea that, armed with your accumulated wisdom and the right mental tools and training, you could just close your eyes and astral travel. I was sure that the umbilical chord that keeps the astral you attached to the awake, "normal" you, would snap you right back in place with no effort at all. I thought I knew a lot, and why shouldn't I? I have a first degree in philosophy, a PhD in ancient philosophy, and I spent my entire life studying religions, spirituality, psychology, anything to do with the mind, the exploration of the mind, and the mysterious Universe. Which to me, of course, held virtually no mystery... So, what exactly happened on the night of October 15th, when I closed my eyes and suddenly fell from a state of joy into a world of utter terror? When, from a place of certainty, I ended up on quicksands? When, instead of one umbilical chord linking me to me, I found dozens, and didn't know which was the right one? We shall never know. Because you cannot really understand a state of consciousness when you are in another. It's either or. Either sane or insane, happy or unhappy, dead or alive. Of course, you can tell stories, anecdotes, recall images, try to relive (or forget) the emotions, even, to a degree, describe them, but you cannot be in two places, you cannot reconstruct the dynamics, the feel of that other place, most of all its logic. The climb back out of the hole is still going on, but today I felt like putting some of it in writing, creating a distance between today me and the me in the hole. I've learnt a few things in this journey: we are not always in charge, we don't know very much at all, we are vulnerable, yet the force that holds us together is pretty strong. And we mean to others much more than we think. Time, patience, faith and our internal guiding system, for how confused or blurry it may seem, will eventually takes us back into the light.