Chapter 1

"How am I to get in?" asked Alice again, in a louder tone.
"Are you to get in at all?" said the Footman. "That's the first question, you know."

-- Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

In my private life, barely beneath the daily circumstance some call "objective reality," looms a murky, ever-changing set of worlds and half-shadows I've come to call Bewilderness. It's my own term for a strange something that seems to be both "a place" and "a state of mind."

I'm not sure who--or "what"--lives there. I may be alone, trapped in the unfamiliar cellar of my psyche. Perhaps I'm just a literary schizophrenic, disguised for my own entertainment as an Otherworld. Or maybe I'm experiencing a connection to all life, in some grand archetypal conglomerate of consciousness... "Jungian Stew," I call it.

But I remember a time when reality seemed predictable. Back then I seemed no different than anyone else. I had a good job, hobbies, and friends and family I felt close to. I lived in a nice apartment in a pleasant suburban city of well-kept lawns and tract homes. I was comfortable and content, and minding my own business when reality began losing its recognizable form.

I was slow to notice the change. Every strange experience I had, I chalked up to either confusion or a dream, and I came up with a long list of probable excuses, from stress to inner ear imbalances to sleep disorders, to explain them. Since I believed I was ‘accidentally making all this up,' I noted that I certainly seemed to be getting more creative, but I had no reason to suspect anything out of the ordinary, so I didn't. I admit, I was far more skeptical back then. I was used to being "logical" about everything, I truly believed reality followed those rules, and so any strange experiences I had, I seldom remembered more than minutes after the event. My belief system simply had no room for them.

You might say it started with the dreams, but it's more accurate to say it started when I noticed they had changed. It took much longer before I became aware of the other things. The dreams were first: they ranged from prophetic to archetypal to bizarre, and they had feelings attached, a sense of "literal-ness" in some cases, that I didn't know how to describe. On any given day I'd be reeling from their impact. My mind changed about them, about why I was having them and what they meant, on an almost hourly basis. I'd never before considered dreams very important, and might not have in this case, except that suddenly they felt so different that I couldn't help but take notice of them.

Mind you, I had lucid dreamed throughout my life, and I felt familiar with my dream life and the many aspects of it. I knew it well: I felt like an expert. But some of the "new" dreams were a whole different feeling and category of experience. I only called them dreams because I had no other term for them. Some verged on being a "vision;" some seemed unusually archetypal; others seemed like 3D screenplays with some origin completely independent of me. I don't just mean the content differed; the entire experience was different than any dream I had had before, and my reaction was different as a result. Some dreams had a sense of "tangibility" that remained even after awakening. I searched my psychology, my home and work life for clues, but found little to explain them.

When the dreams finally got the attention of my more logical side I began to take note of them. I wrote down only a few back then, those that seemed to "mark me" in some way. In retrospect, some of these dreams stand out, especially now that I know how things were to change with me. Considering the events to come, the symbols seem a lot more obvious now than they did at the time--and in most cases, were to become recurring themes.

February 1993

When I came to I was lying on a sidewalk, and I spent a few moments wondering where and why. I sat up groggily and looked around, dazed. The street seemed messy, and confusing... buildings were fractured and half-collapsed, there were heavy cracks in the streets, the asphalt; in the cement, the sidewalks. People were few and scattered, and I realized with some fear I had no idea where I was, or what was going on. A young man was riding a bicycle intently by when I stumbled up and begged to his passing figure, What's happened here? Please, what's going on? He slowed almost to a stop, looked at me oddly, and said, What do you mean? The earthquake? I was bewildered. Oh... I said meekly, confused. Lost for an explanation, I sank to my knees and concluded I must have fallen and hit my head, and I supposed that would explain my lack of memory about how I'd got there.

The young man was riding away when a tremor caused the few people on the street first to freeze, and then to bolt in one direction or another. An old, apparently homeless man sat against a building about 30 feet away from me to the left. I was immediately concerned, as his resting place was likely to be dangerous if the building suffered any further damage. Suddenly a very loud, sharp cracking sound came from behind me to my right. I was turning to look that direction when I heard the old man say, in one of those bizarrely calm, I'm- going- to- die- and- there's- no -point- in -fighting- it voices, Oh my God. I see the water.

March 1993

Yesterday M. came into my office and said, "You know that earthquake dream you told me about? I was listening to talk radio psychology today, and all these people were calling in to say they were having dreams about earthquakes." (Funny, huh? Well, no.)

"Cosmic Impending Doom," I jokingly called it. My sense of it increased with time. The dream had the feel of prophecy, which scared me. Back then, I had no sense of humor about this sort of thing at all. Nowadays I'm flippant, even morbidly amused about it, but when this all began, it was just confusing and traumatic. After a few dreams along these lines, all with the same feeling of being abruptly and vividly "there," I began wondering if I was being warned about something. But despite growing up in Southern California, I wasn't afraid of quakes, and wasn't sure why or how I'd be warned about them anyway. Sure, we've all heard about people who dream their plane is going to crash or similar 'impending' things, but that kind of stuff seemed pretty far out to me.

The Gloom & Doom Crusade is well staffed, I've found. I mention this because these vivid dreams, or "participatory visions" as I now call them, were an early sign of things to come in my life. For whatever reason, this scenario accompanies many of the other experiences--related or not, it's as if 'visions of planetary doom' are part of the overall modern package of experience.

After some time the dreams were so far outside my normal experience that they did more than just get my attention. It became clear that something very out of the ordinary was going on with me, and I began to wonder with some concern about my psychology, and even my health. Few of the dreams were anything like those I'd remembered in my life up until that point. In many there was such a lack of "linearity" and connecting scenes, a strong feeling that I was awake but drugged, and some felt so physical that in the morning it seemed as if my body had really experienced it. I would wake up exhausted, bruised, and I began to think I might have some kind of problem, something interfering with my sleep, resulting in things like a bloody nose--so perhaps my dreams were making me sleepwalk? I had no answers, only questions.

Many of the dreams were difficult if not impossible to remember, or to translate into words. At best I could get "close" to what really happened; I suspected that there was quite a bit of variance between whatever I really experienced, and what it became when I had to use words to write it down. Another early one that remained with me:

March, 1993

I fell into sleep as if I were physically falling through the floor--it felt like I fell right through my body. The next thing I remember, I found myself and another woman in a room or place, surrounded by "threats." (I don't know what they were. They seemed more mental or conceptual than physical.) It was clear neither of us knew how we got there, or what to do, and we stood close to each other, confused.

Into the room comes Mary. No kidding, I mean Mary as in "Mother Mary." But she was not the sweet virginal sort, she was tough, and amazingly powerful. With her came a color: suddenly everything was very blue... and the threatening things went away. It was still very odd, thickish-feeling, but it was tolerable, we seemed to be protected. We were bathed in the blue, it was light or water or energy or something.

Then later, the blue had left us, and we encountered more threats. Confused still, we tried to fight them, calling for help. Everything was very specifically red then, and despite our attempts to defend ourselves, we were getting beat up badly. Then with a flash the blue came back and saved us.

It did so quite ostentatiously I thought, as if this was meant to be a lesson to us that it was "on our side," that if there was blue around us, we were safe, that it was our friend. I had the brief insight that the threats and the red had both been introduced by Mary herself, for the purpose of the blue saving us, and thus making her point.

After everything was gone I looked at the other woman and heard one of us (I thought it might be me) say, Did you notice that when Mary--the blue--was here, we were protected, and when the red was here we weren't? And then some time later I woke up, feeling suddenly wide awake and deeply emotional, feeling like Mary had saved me and I'd learned something crucial, and that I had been shown how important and how powerful she was.

Well heck. If I were remotely Catholic this might make some sense.

Why a non-Catholic would encounter Mary, I don't know. I didn't even believe in her, having grown up very "casually" Protestant. I had a friend who was very fond of her, who had given me a rosary as a present that I was wearing at the time of the dream, and I was in my friend's house when it happened (with various Mary symbols everywhere), so I figured that must be where I got the symbology. At first I found it both disturbing and amusing.

But a striking effect was created in me: there was no doubt in my mind regarding her "reality." Normally, even the most realistic dream is just a dream; no matter how real it might seem, when you wake up, you know it was just a dream of course. But this one made a huge impression on me regarding the validity of "entities," of her in particular, even of dreams themselves. Suddenly I began to take these things--at least that one--at face value. Suddenly they were at least semi-real, and it seemed like a waste of time to even bother arguing the subject. It was a massive shift in my belief system, and it set the stage for a total change in how I viewed things of this nature.

Emotionally, I was stunned for days.

But after a few days, I was also annoyed. Although Mary had been nothing but wonderful, I had a grudge against any religious figure. Despite my new acceptance of her as a "literal identity," it was certainly going to take a lot more than that to give me even the smallest acceptance of religion--especially that one. Why a religious figure? And why wasn't she sweetly preaching some Officially Approved gospel? Why such an odd situation? My feeling that she'd put us there in the first place in order to save us made me feel less than grateful intellectually, despite my emotional awe. I felt as if I were being manipulated like a child.

I re-determined that nothing could make me religious, could make me "buy into" the superior-to-me icons that religion requires. And so in keeping with my loathing for all organized religion, in particular the heavy-handed soul-control of Catholicism, I decided to ignore her.

*

It's true that I'd had quite a bit of experience throughout my life with what some folks consider the more unusual aspects of consciousness. I'd been lucid dreaming at will since early childhood, and "out of body" experiences happened in cyclical phases in my life. I was astonished when I grew up and discovered this wasn't normal for everybody. By the time these odd dreams and experiences began, I felt most of my mind was familiarized and well mapped out.

But as the dreams continued, it began to feel like I didn't know myself at all. I had no categories, let alone explanations, for my dreams, and the truly odd part was, many of them came on me when I could swear I wasn't asleep. That was certainly something new!

I got a grip on myself and said, Calm down. You're overreacting. They're just weird dreams. Yet I had the nagging feeling I was missing something, and finally I pinned it down: the dreams weren't the only odd thing in my life. I was having physical and psychological anomalies as well. Some seemed connected, some didn't. I wasn't sure what they were symptoms of, but there were as many oddities in my regular life as in my dream life. That seemed far more serious to me. Mental tricks can be viewed as self-entertainment, but anything that interferes with "real life"--which in my book means my health or my job--is a serious concern.

March, 1993

I'm going to have to do something about the constant state of exhaustion I'm in. I'm busy all the time and feel fine, but the moment I slow down, it's all I can do to remain awake. Many times at work that's all I can think about--sleep. I'm obsessed with the idea that I must sleep. As if I crave, I need, to be deeply unconscious. As if I would give almost anything, I would beg on my knees, for just a few moments of sleep.

Funny thing is, I think I can explain it, because I've felt like this before, back when I was working over 110 hours per week: I'm sleep deprived. This feels exactly like chronic short-sleeping, like when I got less than 4 hours per night constantly. It's a great explanation, except that it makes no sense at all--I go to bed at a decent hour every night. I always wake up so early, more like I've "come to" than "woke up," I'm 100% conscious abruptly at about 4:30am. I feel fine. Then later in the morning it hits me, I'm exhausted, it's as if I never slept at all. Still, I have hours before I wake up that I must be sleeping.

I don't get it. It makes work miserable.

Psychological symptoms unrelated to dreams began to appear, such as a growing series of "separations." I was emotionally disconnecting from the world, for no apparent reason. It felt as abrupt as if I were physically disconnecting from something. And at the same time, I had begun losing track of my "inner identity," subtly at first and then far more drastically. The "dis-attaching" part seemed sudden. It was a long time before I was able to see that the identity issue developed gradually, and in fact spanned many years, if not most of my life.

March, 1993

There were two women standing on a porch with me, and I noticed one had something very strange about her face. She saw my questioning look and said to me calmly, Yeah, well, they burned the flesh off. As if it was "just one of those things," something I should have known, or expected. When I looked at her closely, I realized I was seeing bone. I had thought there was something odd over her face like a mask, but rather, I was seeing something under it. I was even seeing the pores of the bone, the whole close-up texture of it, and there was some concept related to that I didn't quite grasp. I didn't understand why "they" had done so, or what the point was. I wasn't sure, was she trying to tell me about "them," or was it something about what could happen to me?

I'm not that oblivious: it was clear the above dream was related to "identity." Alas, I had no idea why identity would be an issue for me of all people; I felt sure I was one of the most stable individuals I knew in that category. So I decided it was an unimportant "blip," as anomalous as dreaming of "Mary," and ignored it.

*

A different (but new) type of dream that struck me as odd were those that I distrusted: I felt separated from them. It was as if they were happening independently of me. I had the impression the dream had been "put there" for me, as if the dreams were not my own creation, but some 3D screenplay somebody else had made, and that I had been dropped into and was now participating in. I couldn't explain them. Worse, I couldn't remember enough of them in linear sequence to write them down or analyze them.

Meanwhile, my personal psychology seemed inexplicable.

March, 1993

I've abruptly lost all desire to associate with half the people I know. I don't understand. They're my friends, even family, and I'm not angry at all. It feels like a "cutting my losses" period, but I don't know why people I care about would be in that category. It feels as if I've always been disconnected from them, I just didn't see it until now. As if I suddenly see that they are not applicable to my life.

And it wasn't limited to how I felt about people: even how I felt about myself and my own environment seemed to be changing. I recall it was around this time, for reasons unknown to me still, that I became unwilling--to the point of unable--to sleep in my bedroom.

It took time for me to figure this out. I stayed up all night, pacing the living room, drinking caffeinated colas to stay awake, feeling what I could only call "obsessive"--but without any particular focus. I wasn't obsessive about anything, it was as if I were simply obsessive in general, and anything I concentrated on was in danger of becoming an obsession. When I finally noticed all this, I asked myself, Why? And I finally realized I was avoiding going to sleep.

After giving it some thought, I couldn't come up with any logical reason for this. So I decided I must not like sleeping in the bedroom. I liked it much better when I fell asleep in the living room, sitting up with some light on, even though until then I'd never been able to sleep sitting up (let alone with a light on), and my recliner was far less comfortable than my bed.

Around then, the "new" types of dreams began happening more often while I was awake. I began to feel less in control of them, and they took on a feeling in my mind that was almost of autonomy. They seemed less like something that I dreamed than something that happened to me. It only made trying to understand them more difficult. Even of the dreams that waited until I was asleep, many had the strangest, thick quality to them, as if they were physical, but I was under the influence of something... I once joked to myself that remembering my dreams was "like watching someone's drug trip, MTV-style."

My ability to easily recognize the wide range of states of consciousness in myself, a talent I'd had all my life, wobbled as I became less and less clear about this new range of experience. Reality ceased to be black or white, "real" or "dream"--and entire "shades of real" between those states began to appear that I hadn't suspected existed, and had no way to explain, even to myself, that made the slightest bit of sense.

March, 1993

There was a man who was holding my family hostage. I found my father and asked him what he wanted me to do about it. I had considered doing nothing. It seemed unfortunate the guy was holding them, but it seemed like "the way it was, and had been, and would be," and it was their battle, not mine. I felt empathy for the man, as I knew his holding them had something to do with them holding his own daughter. I left dad and went looking around.

We were in a huge house or building. Conceptually it felt like a cross between dad's and the man's house, but it looked nothing like dad's. It was rounded inside, like a giant vertical tube, with many stories or levels, and a huge blue pool right in the middle, in a centered courtyard type of area. It turns out the pool water was kind of thick, it was filled with some kind of mud I thought, and then this really nice, expensive metallic colored car lifted out of the mud and just hovered in the air. I thought Well sheesh, who dumps their BMW in the pool?! And suddenly realized I'd forgotten all about dad.

There was no one "type" of experience or dream that seemed to dominate my life in these early stages. I couldn't fit things together into any logical sequence and they didn't even seem to relate to each other. I could make excuses for a number of things, but none of them addressed all the issues that were getting more extreme by the day. It was like a sudden, random burst of phenomena covering the range of known psychological and metaphysical "experience" dropped on me. (And later on, of course, quite a few I'd never even heard of.)

March, 1993

Gods! This is definitely in the 'regression' category. I was sitting in a chair, and suddenly I slid into a complete revivification of a memory: I had just given birth to a child. It was the second child I'd had, and I was almost marveling over how much easier it had been (giving birth) than the first time.

Not like I thought it was real then--I didn't. I just thought it was a "real memory of a real event" somewhere in the past, re-lived as opposed to re-membered. The bed I was in seemed narrow and small, close to the ground, with a headboard made of something dark, perhaps metal... and my lower back really, really ached, in an intense way I've never felt before. It took about 15 minutes after coming out of the memory for the ache to fade. I had to get up and do some stretching to make the ache go away.

It had a tremendous emotional impact on me, since I've always insisted I'll never have children. I suddenly feel like I've already done it.

So as you see, at first it was just typical experiences people sometimes have, not very uncommon things (or so it seems to me). These "blips" as I called them began to happen more regularly.

I began remembering previous similar experiences, things that I had quickly dismissed in my more skeptical days, back when I'd refused to pay any attention to anything outside the ordinary. Gradually I began to wonder just how much of my life I had "tuned out" over the years.

I finally realized that it wasn't so much that this was new to my life, as that my ability to take note of it was new, and the frequency was increasing. My rather rigidly logical approach to life, being a business oriented "workaholic," had prevented me from even remembering, let alone considering, these sorts of things before. Something had changed in me, apparently. I chalked it up to the growing sense of sleep deprivation, although in retrospect that hardly suffices as explanation, and seemed to follow the initial symptoms (not precede them) anyway.

*

After some time, as I began to get more used to the dreams and the recurring nature of some of them, I began making emotional connections with them. They affected me deeply, and they seemed so literal and physical that I began to think they were "more than dreams." They began meaning something to me--not that I could put it into words, but suddenly they seemed to touch me, to matter to me. Those that happened while I was awake took on a new sense of literalness, and those that happened while I was asleep took on a new degree of seriousness.

The face I saw in the following note was the first time I'd felt a telepathic "connection." When I discovered (long afterward) someone else had mentioned entities a bit like this, I was excited--I hoped I could meet them again, I hoped it would lend some validity to my experience. As it turns out, I did eventually meet them again, a couple of years later (described later in this letter) but... well, they told me the stupidest story I ever heard, so I don't know how much credence I'll grant them. Maybe they're just my imagination--it's ridiculous enough that they might as well be. Or maybe they're "astral entities," jokers like the kind people get from Ouija boards, telling them to dig up the linoleum in their kitchen for buried treasure?

March, 1993

I was barely getting comfortable when a FACE flashed into my vision so vividly it was like I was seeing it physically in front of me. My immediate reaction was to shout (out loud!) Yup, that's scary alright!! --and I went on to thinking something else. Within one second! My mind took care of it right away, dumped me right out of it and into something else before I could even blink. I've had moments of fear before in my life, but I've never reacted at all like that.

Funny thing is, it felt like a memory, not a vision. Like a regular memory from real life, except of course it can't be so. The face was looking down at me as if I were much shorter. It had tan-sand colored skin, but the skin was spiny-ridgy, kind of like a desert iguana or lizard. I don't think there was any hair, not sure. The only other thing I remembered were the eyes. They were vividly orange, large and mostly round, and had vertical pupils like a cat's. I love cats, but it seemed weird.

So it's obviously imagination, but even if it could be a memory, it would have to be a "deva" or "spirit"--for that matter, who's to say what Angels look like? I doubt Michelangelo has the patent on them. I'm not for sure any of these things are real, but assuming anything else exists besides us, then there could be a billion types wandering around the so-called "astral" or something. Hmmn. I just feel so strongly it's a memory of something, though, something in this life, as opposed to a vision or imagination.

Even though the memory spanned just one second, it was deeply "contextual." He (it was a he) was looking into my eyes. We were just looking into each other. He knew me intimately, to a degree I can't even describe. I felt like he was specifically "checking up on me," as if he were long lost family concerned about me, coming to see how I was doing. I had an internal affection for him... a "knowing" so deep that it was intimate, that I was "part of" him. I don't know why such intense physical terror accompanied it, considering that. I have the feeling I was a kid when I met him, but no idea when or where.

Funny thing is, I remember remembering him years ago, when I was maybe twelve years old, and a couple of times between then and now. More than once I've remembered. But every time, I forget again, immediately.

In fact, I wrote this account right after it happened... and forgot about it. Six months later, reading files on my computer, I found this account--and couldn't help but note how I had immediately forgotten--again.

I found out a couple of years later that there was even a television movie with creatures described a little like this (lizardish-humanoid, anyway). Am I merely imagining things with an astonishing realism, based on some kind of mass consciousness? Or are TV shows getting made based on experiences people (maybe writers or their friends) have themselves?

So when someone told me about that show, I was so amazed that someone else had orange-eyed lizardish guys, I posted a message in a computer forum about my later (May ' 95) meeting with them. A fellow responded and said that a guy named Lear has a very similar story to the one they later told me. I haven't yet found Lear's story--at the time of this writing, I'm just finally looking into existing literature, and still in such "denial" that reading anything is difficult to force myself into. But I'm pretty sure I hadn't heard it, since I've avoided the subject very well until lately. Certainly I hadn't heard it at age 12.

Hoping for some kind of validation, I rented the video of the show ("V"). I was disappointed. To be honest, the characters look nothing like the guy I saw. So much for that.

So the question is, is it just some kind of contagious imagination? Is there some group mental process, or even neural biology, creating similar "dreams?" Is there some "astral" group like that? Or could there be something real to it? I just don't know.

*

Around this time, I was singing in the choir of a small Lutheran church in a town nearby. I was staying at my friend ML.'s house for awhile, when one night during choir practice I began to feel strange. I wondered if I had a fever and was coming down with something. After some time, I realized that my lower back felt like it was on fire inside. The heat seemed to move very slowly higher up my back. Finally I told M. about it, who put her hand on my back and gasped at how hot my skin was. By the time we got home that night, my entire back felt like it was boiling inside, and I felt woozy and strange. I hoped I could sleep it off.

But by about 9am the next morning, I was in bad shape. I was cold. Colder than I have ever been in my entire life. I put on two sets of clothes and my jacket, and I was still cold. I curled up on the couch with three blankets and two thick quilts wrapped around me and I was still cold. It was probably 75-80 degrees outside and inside the house on top of all that. I was so cold that within another hour or two, my breathing was as ragged as somebody who is in the midst of a run far beyond what they are in shape for. My entire body was shaking violently in response to my breathing, and you could hear me (I was told) outside the house with the patio door open. I couldn't even talk because my body was responding so violently to being cold.

This went on all day. That had to be one of the longest, most miserable days of my life. By the time evening came, ML. said I was having "a kundalini experience" and that I should pray, meditate, or whatever, to try and calm myself. Her family went to bed and I was left, still shaking violently, feeling cold beyond belief. I had moved with my blankets to the floor, and I huddled under her staircase wrapped in quilts and crying as much as was physically possible. I was desperate. I prayed to every entity I've ever even heard of to help me, if they existed, out of mercy. I cried and froze until late at night, when I got suddenly calmer, and realized that I had missed a key point of what I was experiencing.

I wasn't cold on the outside. I was cold on the INSIDE. That's why the blankets had no effect. It was an internal body-thing. Once I realized this, much of my trembling seemed to dissipate for some reason. I thought, if it was my internal body temperature, perhaps that it would be good for me to take a warm bath. When I was a child and had a fever, I'd been put into cold baths to bring my internal body temperature down (so they said), so it seemed logical that perhaps a warm bath would bring my internal temperature up. I went upstairs and drew a hot bath, and immersed myself in the water. It actually seemed to help. It seemed as though my body was gradually readjusting, the inner and outer temperatures coming closer to each other. At one point I felt, "OK, suddenly I feel better." And seconds later a wave of nausea hit me, and I stumbled out of the bathtub and was violently ill for a good 30 minutes. By the time that was over, and combined with so many hours of violently trembling, my muscles were so weak I couldn't even stand up without support. I dragged myself up to the sink to shakily rise my mouth and face, then fell back to my hands and knees and crawled down the staircase and back into my mound of blankets under the stairs.

As I readjusted my blankets, suddenly they felt different. I felt different. My environment felt different. Then I realized that I was "living a memory" that I had stored away somewhere. "I" in this memory was a man, an older man, a catholic monk, very thin. I was lying on a mat made of some kind of reeds, on the hard stone floor of what I sensed was a building kind of like a castle. My blanket was a fairly thin, course woven cloth. I knew I was dying. I was not well and had not been for some time, was very weak, and very cold. I realized that I was literally freezing to death, and that combined with my illness I would not survive to the morning if I didn't get warmth. But I didn't have the strength even to call out to someone (I don't know who; I was in the tiny room alone). And I had some acceptance of the fact that I was going to die, as if part of me had known it all along. I'd had what felt like a long life, which I felt had been spent as a monk since I was very young. I can't explain the entire "conceptual understanding" of my life there, except to say that it was a very 'complete' experience. As if my living through this memory was the same as if I had lived that entire life. It was truly profound. And I (as he) died there, in the cold winter on the hard floor, alone.

I came out of the memory-reverie and it took some time to readjust to my surroundings. I had known people who had undergone a hypnotic "past life regression" but had never done so myself. I had always theorized that past lives experienced in regressions, if they were real, might not necessarily be "your" life, so much as that all lives were energy you could tune into like some kind of cosmic library book, and people merely checked out the one they were drawn to at the time of regression. That would explain why remembered lives always seem to have bearing on the current life, without needing to reach into the past of the soul to explain the present of the body. So, perhaps I "tuned into" this memory because I had been so cold. It was years later before I realized that perhaps, in my current time/culture, my having taken a ten-year vow of celibacy should not be considered normal... maybe this was something related to a long life(s) as a monk.

*

I'm not sure when it was that I moved beyond the critical barrier from not really believing in "other entities" to accepting them like an everyday encounter. It didn't take long, now that I think about it. I guess the meeting with Mary pretty much changed my feeling on that almost overnight. She simply wasn't a presence that allowed argument.

The experiences themselves caused change in me, but I wasn't "integrated" and argued with myself. It was a bit like, "Well yes I understand he can't exist, but I'm talking with him, so could you please be quiet 'till we're done?" It was a funny kind of dual thinking, a schizo kind of split, where part of me agreed without question and acted on the reality of it, while another part of me hadn't even yet begun to acknowledge it, let alone believe it.

As for the "dreams," they were widely varied in style and type and situation. Occasionally they would leave the pattern of thick-dizzy trancelike feelings; other times they would instead be extremely "metaphysical" or "shamanic." These types were usually far more linear in my memory--but far more bizarre. Since I remembered them clearly yet had no belief system or logical framework to put them in, they confused me the most.

July 1993

He can hold you by that fear, I heard someone say. I existed on more than one "plane," that seemed clear at that moment: I spanned many layers of consciousness, which were frequencies like radio waves, and each "bandwidth" was a world, a reality... divisible for infinity, but for me there were specific groupings. In the level where "he" lived, my fear, which is an intangible emotion to me, was instead real to him, was tangible, was a solid thing he could grasp.

I had just arrived home after work, and the moment I sat down in my recliner he had arrived--perhaps not quite fully in the physical but almost tangible... He said he was going to test me for fear, and a weakness to....? I wasn't sure what. I was too scared to physically move, and I just reclined there, feeling my breathing, hoping I was dreaming or imagining it all. I was confused, and unnerved. I silently complied. Why me? I was scared--how did he get in my house? Or was I dreaming? Hallucinating?

He put the fingers of his hand against my forehead and I trembled, unable to guess his intentions. Then I could see his hand as it became huge and rather etheric, and passed into me. He moved it slowly into and through me, searching, beginning with the very top of my head. He was intangible to me; I couldn't feel him physically, but I could "sense" him clearly. And I understood that while my body was intangible to him, he was looking for my fear, and somehow--based on a "mutually matching frequency" or something like that--it would not be.

I felt my fear starting up, growing and growling inside me, and now that I was tuned to the 'reality' of his plane, lower in my torso I felt it manifest, first as a wispy, cloud-like substance, then growing firmer as my fear became more pronounced, growing hard as it mounted into terror. I knew I had to let go of it; I had to get rid of it before his hand reached that part of me. I could almost imagine his fingers closing around it, and him having a part of me "in his control."

Unsure what to do or how to help myself, I remembered that my friend who was close to "Mother Mary" had once said that Archangel Michael was a good guy for protection. With a brief flash of black humor, recalling the saying about there being no Atheists in trenches, I yelled for him in my mind, hoping he was as real as Mary had been, and would help me for no better reason than because I asked. I wasn't religious, and I specifically wasn't Catholic, but faced with something this strange and scary, I found a sudden use for the imagery.

Secure in my belief that either he would protect me, or more likely that my belief in such would protect me regardless, with a humorous touch of not believing what I was experiencing was possible anyway, I relaxed, and I forced myself to clarity, to no emotion, to let everything go in the absolute faith that I would be ok. The solid result of my fear dissipated... into the wispy clouds... then into nothingness. I relaxed further. I was clear; I was clean; I was safe. His hand continued through me, traveling downward through my torso, and I had the feeling he was frustrated that I had nothing for him; I remained as intangible to him as he was to me.

His hand reached the bottom of me, just below my feet, and I found myself seized with an almost cruel realization. I opened my eyes, looked at him and laughed. He was very short, stocky (in some unusual manner I can't quite describe), he had no hair, he was very odd looking, and his eyes were far too bright to be "normal," they shined in a way that gave me the shivers.

But I was safe, and knew he wouldn't come near me again if he was smart. I had realized that my perception abilities included a wide spectrum of frequency-groups that included his group, his "reality." But he was a smaller, less complex sort than I--he was limited to his own world, his own "layer," and I was bigger than he was, I spanned lots of layers. Without my fear, that vibration that somehow existed as solid to him where he was, he had nothing, none of the power he sought to gain from a small part of me. He couldn't hurt me. I wasn't sure how we'd met--if he had "come" to me, or if I had suddenly "attuned to" him--but he backed away from me and vanished.

I shook my head and said to myself, "Wow! What just happened here? Was that a dream?! What...?" and almost began to cry with a scared sort of confusion.

It had--obviously--occurred to me that I was delusional. There is very little at this point that indicates anything more than an active dreaming life, or at best, a hallucinatory tendency. As for the above, it seemed like a hypnogogic shamanic story.

I had no pre-existing opinions (to my knowledge) about "layers" of consciousness; although some psychology I'd studied addresses that, I don't recall thinking of such a thing in quite this way, where each layer was a literal world and where it was specifically considered "frequency." It's simply that all those things seemed "obvious" during the experience.

But these are just the few notes I bothered writing down. Most of this, at that time, I paid almost no attention to. I was working more than full time, redecorating my apartment, and most of this was in "the background" of my life. I finally chalked it all up to a strange but basically harmless sort of personal insanity, and I was pretty blase and even humorous about it. I remember thinking in amusement about one waking dream I'd had, "Well, it gets a 9.6 for creativity, but was shaky on the usefulness side and loses a few tenths for that." (It should have lost more than that--the usefulness of most of this stuff is definitely in question.) My attitude was a cross between bemused and amused and extremely confused.

July, 1993

I've been having dreams that somebody is teaching me geometry. Something mathematical yet shape-oriented. I sense there's a huge amount to learn and I'm just beginning. I can't translate it into words, but it seems so fascinating when I'm doing it.

July, 1993

I was floating on my back in a blue swimming pool. In it, not on it. I was comfortable, and could breathe the soft water-stuff, and was floating near the top. I think lobsters or light colored hard spiders (or some large hard shelled things with at least five legs) were crawling slowly up my body, but they kept falling through these holes that seemed to go clear through me, as if I wasn't fully physical, only sort of... maybe I had holes, or maybe I was sort of mushy, not totally solid. There was a protective animal sitting near my neck who, if any lobster thing wasn't gotten rid of through falling through me, would get it off me; it wouldn't let them near my face, my eyes. I was trying to figure out if the hard shelled things were a normal danger of floating in the pool, or just something weird that I was "dreaming" while I was floating in the pool.

I've become convinced that the "pools," and the vaguely-gelatinous soft blue liquid, are literal, and physically real, but either in some different framework of perception or a different "place" than what we know. Call it superstition--without proof, I guess it certainly is. I can't explain it much more than that for now...

. . . but I suppose the story will unfold itself.



Bewilderness is copyright © 1993 to present to Palyne "PJ" Gaenir (palyne.com). See bewilderness.com.


Palyne Gaenir currently operates The Dojo Psi. If you have an interest in remote viewing, ESP / psychic stuff, or science research related to that, feel welcome to visit. The dojo home page links to public projects it sponsors for remote viewing online. There is a Dojo Psi Remote Viewing Library site also. Palyne previously built the Firedocs Remote Viewing Collection. From 2003 onward she's been involved with the Ten Thousand Roads Remote Viewing and Dowsing Project, which is sponsored by the dojo; it has a hands-on remote viewing site, a big remote viewing discussion forum, and more.