Chapter 7

(When she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural)... burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge. In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

-- Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

March, 1994

What I couldn't understand was, if I was really awake, why wasn't I in my bed? I didn't move; I was frozen in fear, and trying to figure out what was going on. My brain was slow to come out of the "fog" it was in, it felt as if my near-trance state of mind were being 'held in place,' anchored by some technology outside me. I yelled in my mind, Think! Think!

After a few more seconds I could see that I was moving forward (by comparison to what I assumed was "the ground" some distance below me and to the right). This made me tense my muscles, to make sure I was really "with it," because I couldn't feel myself walking, I just seemed to be moving. I didn't notice my body until I focused on it, as if I wasn't as heavy... or something. I looked down and discovered I was standing on something that I can't describe completely. Suffice to say it was a cross between what we might call a "ramp" and a "beam of light." I wasn't sure my feet were really touching it.

I seemed to be outside somewhere and it was fully light, kind of like overcast daylight, bright but grey, and there were all these people standing around me, moving with me. By this time I was starting to wig out a little bit, because I'd gone through "Am I dreaming?" "Am I just dreaming I'm awake?" about 40 times and I'd run the various mental and physical checks and every time, the answer is absolutely no, I'm completely wide awake and alert... but the situation was inexplicable, and I didn't understand how I could possibly be anywhere but in my bed if I was really awake.

The beam/ramp thing was very wide, I'd say 75' or so. (Note while writing: the greyness of the sky was very unusual. It wasn't so much that the 'apparent resultant color of the sky' was grey, like our sky, as that perhaps every molecule of air was a transparent grey; bright enough, but with no direction of light source, like the molecules were themselves a light source of some sort, and the air was bright but there were no shadows, which made things look odd, and the light didn't seem to come from any particular direction.)

There were people all over the ramp thing. All kinds of people. My impression was all races, sizes, genders, ages, etc. Some were in clothes, some in pajamas, some in nothing, and some in some half way state between clothed and not, partly dressed.

I looked at the person closest to me, a bit in front of me, mostly facing me. It was a white man, probably in his mid to late 40's. He was wearing a suit but it was pretty sloppily put on and his shirt was untucked and unbuttoned. I said quietly, Um, hello? but he didn't respond. I peered at him closely. His eyes were open, as were most of the people's who I could see, but glazed. Similar to subjects in very, very deep trance.

And I went through another 20 self sessions of "Am I dreaming?" because it was so strange. So far I hadn't moved, because I was confused, and the "freeze" reaction seemed most logical until I'd figured out more.

I looked around at the other people on the beam-ramp. One of the interesting things is that they weren't facing downward, like on an escalator, the way people normally would be, but rather facing any which way at all, like objects somebody had "placed" at random -- and they all were like zombies. And yet they were standing. I was afraid to make noise or wave or anything because I didn't know what was going on, but I was beginning to get truly frantic.

I ventured to move a little bit, which seemed to help snap my mind out of the stasis it was being "held" in, and I looked behind me and upward. We all seemed to be coming from something (a building?) large. Huge. Unbelievably huge. I don't know what it was. I looked ahead of me, toward where the ramp was leading. Eventually it reached the ground, and groups of people were being led off separately. I was unable to see who was leading them off, I just had the feeling there was someone down there waiting for the people, and they'd turn them around, face them in the direction they needed to go, and the people would follow.

I looked up into the sky, and my eyes were drawn to the left. There were these ... odd looking things just hanging there, they made my eyes wide. I'm trying to think of how to describe them... I have no words for them. Put it this way: imagine a standard sawhorse, the horizontal beam with an upside down "V" of two beams at either end (vertical and perpendicular). Pull the legs up to about a 40 degree down/out angle (instead of the 90 degree down angle which they are). Separate the legs just a bit more. Thin it all out a bit, make it of some very smooth, round, perhaps metallic material, and then multiply the size by some large number (they seemed to come in different sizes). The description could be better but that's the closest I can come. The tubular beams that composed these were thinner; compared to a sawhorse they would be about 2/3 the diameter, in comparison to the overall size, and the resulting item looked rather... skeletal. The things hanging in the sky didn't really seem to have any color. I'm not sure how I could see them. They came off as sort of white-ish but I remember thinking they had no color.

(I concluded later that everything was, somehow, the identical color of bright-lighted-grey, and my ability to differentiate was not about color, as exists here, but about texture or density of mass. Even the ground was the same color as the sky.)

Suddenly with a flash of shock and adrenalin, I realized, I've been here before! I remember this place! And those are "skimmers!"

I stopped myself. I thought, Wait a minute. I didn't argue that I "knew" them or had been there before, although I knew the term "skimmers" was my own creation, something I probably picked up from a sci-fi book as a kid. That I knew it all, the place and the things around me, seemed clear -- but my assumption about what the things in the sky were struck me as ridiculous. I thought, How stupid! They'd be totally impractical. They couldn't fit very many people in something thin like that. It seemed like a plane of some kind would have to be fabricated on the outside of its flying space, as if it were a skeleton, so there'd be room inside to put things or people. Then I thought, Oh brilliant, like now I'm some kind of expert on aeronautic design? They exist in front of you. Quit arguing the obvious.

I thought, "But we don't have skimmers," and I tried to force my memory into as much consciousness as I could. It was tough, but I finally "cracked it" and like a revelation I connected them to the ramp I was on, the glazed-eyed people, and the whole situation, including my being there before, and I remembered, and through my head went the near-screaming thought, Oh my god! My god! I'm awake! I'm awake! I'm FINALLY AWAKE during this!!

I'd been there many times. Suddenly, knowing for sure that I was actually experiencing this and it was "real" and I really was awake and I was not merely dreaming, I felt both relieved and excited. That I'd chanced into something the whole world thinks is a myth struck me as a thing of incredible importance. Feeling like an archeologist who finds something amazing, I was nearly overwhelmed by an incredible excitement, and the rush of excited adrenalin was almost physically overwhelming. It helped finalize snapping my mind out of the held-in-place numbness once and for all, and although I still didn't feel heavy enough -- I had no real awareness of my feet on the beam for instance -- I became aware of physicality.

I had so much energy I could barely physically restrain myself from shouting and jumping around like a child. I looked closely at the thing I was standing on -- by this time I was about halfway down toward the ground -- and saw that the side I was near (I was at the far right side, from the downward perspective) had a small "rail" of some kind, like the ramp/beam wrapped upwards a bit.

All I could think was, This might be my only chance. Most people never get to see this. This "waking up" in the middle of this stuff is rare, and I know it, and this is my one opportunity to figure out what's really going on! Finally, I've broken through and woken up! Maybe I can get some sort of proof to take home! And that motivated me: proof suddenly seemed like the most crucial goal of my life. This was my chance. I sidled closer to the side. I realized that before we reached the ground, I could jump over it and run like hell around the back of it and chances were I wouldn't be seen. I assumed this because I figured people "coming to" in the middle of this process was rare and probably unexpected, and besides, I couldn't see anybody looking at me.

Adrenalin rushed through me and I could barely restrain my jump until I was close enough to the ground to be sure I wouldn't be hurt. I told myself, Hurry up! You have to do it fast before anybody notices you! You have cover behind people right now but many of them are getting off at the bottom and soon someone will see you and notice you're awake!

So I got just close enough to jump, and the adrenalin kicked in even harder, I tensed up my muscles and was just beginning to squat a bit for the push off of the jump, and just as my muscles nearly pushed me, BAM! this absolute feeling of PEACE LOVE CALMNESS descended on me so suddenly it was like getting bashed over the head with it. I immediately went into Passive Cow Feeling Loved mode and just stood there half stunned.

But my mind was still awake, though my body was blissed out. I had the impression that it would have knocked me completely unconscious were it not for my having so much adrenalin physically coursing through me that I had been totally wired. So I stood there in bliss while the beam-ramp continued to move us all downward.

At the bottom, myself and about 5 other people were led off in a group. I couldn't seem to see the person leading us, even though I knew there was someone there. (This disconcerted me at the time. Then I 'understood' that I would have been able to see them had I been properly unconscious, as if there is a certain "frequency" of brainwave activity that they would be apparent to, where I would interpret some frequency-feedback-data as a type of input that would create a visual image for me, but because I was conscious, I was "attuned to" a slightly different frequency than the one which contained this information, which altered my perception even though "I" was "there.")

Other people were being led off in other groups. I was a bit annoyed. I wanted to know, where were they going? What were they doing? Were they going to have more fun, do or learn something more interesting, than me? How come I had to be stuck in a group? I wasn't special enough for one to one training, like I usually got in odd experiences, I was just part of some mob?

We get to something I can only describe as a "room" though it's more like a "place;" it's a room but unlike anything we have. I can't see anything around me; it's as if the walls and ceiling and floor are all such an identical color that you're just sort of "there" and you don't really feel a physical connection to "where the door is," for example. The room seemed to be curved, was my impression though, no hard corners. It was as bright lighted grey with no shadows as was everything else. (As if somehow, the "mass" of things there and the "space" between the mass objects was all made of the same material, and the only difference was their density.) It created an opaqueness that made me a bit unaware of anything outside me, and a bit unaware of where I was. I just sort of "existed" "there." I finally understood some of my dreams where I'd had this impression.

We gathered in a circle around this... Being (as a noun), which I still couldn't see but knew was there, and it starts... the best description is, singing at us. (This is not accurate. It's merely the closest thing I can think of to what it was doing.) It was talking, except everything seemed to be in these 3-dimensional, plus another conceptual dimension of "tones" that I could feel rolling into my body, and that I could feel changing my body in some manner but I wasn't sure how... as if my body were composed of tones itself, like music, and the effect of the tones sang into me actually created "harmonics" inside me that altered my own tones, like I was a set of molecular windchimes. Whatever it was, physically, it felt groovy.

It reminded me of those "conceptual geometric language" lessons somehow.

I went with it for a couple of minutes, just enjoying it, though I was slightly disconcerted that I knew the singing was actually saying something, and while I felt I was integrating it on some level, I couldn't understand the words/meaning consciously. I wasn't sure if that was for the same reason that I couldn't see the Being, or some other reason.

But my determination to get proof seeped back into my awareness. I started thinking, I wonder if I could sneak out of here when we're done? Maybe on the way back to the ramp thing? I'll pretend to be really zombied like everybody else until the last second. I really, desperately wanted to get a chance to look around. I figured eventually I would be back in the regular world again, and I somehow knew I would remember all this for once, and I damn well wanted a better look around than what I'd gotten. I had this intense desire to try to find some sort of evidence that I might be able to carry back with me without them knowing; at the very least, I wanted to see more.

Then I had an "intuition" I guess you could say, that the Being that was "singing" at us somehow knew what I was thinking, or at the very least, knew the general "mood" of what I was thinking. My physically pretending obviously wasn't going to fool anybody. A couple of seconds later, another burst of PEACE LOVE CALMNESS descended on me, and I sank into the tones in bliss and lost conscious awareness.

I "came to" (as opposed to "woke up") abruptly at about 4:30am, the usual time.

Upon coming to, which consisted of very physically "abruptly realizing I was here," I remembered everything above quite clearly, and was furious that I hadn't been able to get a better look around. I got up and typed notes out on my computer so I wouldn't forget any of it.

The effect of this was a bit similar to the effect of the "Mary-dream" from long ago: abruptly my point of view on that particular type of experience changed. I "knew" it was literal. I no longer bothered telling myself that all my experience was a bizarrely realistic dream. And for the first time ever, I was so convinced of the "reality" of my experience that I actually told somebody I knew about it. Further, for the first time I considered 'aliens' to be potentially valid -- or at least worth giving thought to.

I hoped fervently that the next night I could go there again, and wake up, and get a look around. But I've had no similar experience since.


By the way, just as an aside, it's interesting... I don't suppose that could be more than coincidence, that my time of coming to, from different looking entities, always seems to be right about the same time, and then the big January quake hit right then also? I wonder. I mean you never know, if some of this is about technology instead of consciousness [and/or, that they overlap], what side effects their technology could have on our... 'reality.'

March, 1994

I've had a series of events where I was talking with some given entity and then, due to circumstance scaring me, I brought myself back. It was usually something fairly normal that, because I was lucid, I misinterpreted. Like one entity who, as a matter of course, offered a certain psyche merge that translated into having sex with me. Being lucid, I reacted differently than I would have were I not. I said, Well if you're so superior, why would you want to have sex with me? What, are you depraved or something?! And he just walked away. (That's me, diplomatic even on astral levels, ha!) And as he turned back to me, in my anger, I yanked myself back into my chair.

The best way to describe it is to say that it's apparently (usually but not always) my "astral" body that is elsewhere having these conversations. (Actually, I often feel instead that I've split into two equal pieces, I think I've heard of that, called "bi-locating," where I'm physical in both places, but I have no proof and it sounds even weirder, so I'll skip that for now.) It is very difficult even to get lucid, but thanks to my talent with this I manage to be lucid a great deal of the time. When I get scared or angry, I... "yank" myself back "here." It's a matter of sort of simultaneously forgetting you are there, remembering you are here, and with a strong jolt of emotionalizing or "willing" to be "here" right this second. It's not always easy, and depending on one's degree of physical density "there" at the time it can take tremendous, immediate will and absolute focussed attention, but I have those.

In any case, every time it has happened, the entities who see it coming react with stunned surprise. Occasionally they've dived for me, as if they could physically hold me there, but they're too late. I feel guilty when I come to, because you know, it takes energy on their part to grab me if that's what happening, and they're being decent enough I suppose, and after all their effort, if I freak out in the middle of it, it's sort of a waste for them. I can understand their annoyance. Their surprise tells me that either my dream characters are surprised, or if this is some Jungian thing and/or they're autonomous from me like they seem, I'm apparently one of the few folks they've met who does this.

One thing I've noticed related to this, though, is that often after doing this, I literally "black out" my entire night for up to two weeks. I mean even the most serious attempts at lucidity, something that used to be constant -- it's suddenly impossible. I'm not only not lucid, I don't even have the slightest memory. It's like some kind of complete unconsciousness, like when I'd find myself elsewhere in my car, just zero recollection of anything.

The intrusions upon the physical came gradually, but eerily. Most of the time, I would awaken swearing to myself that someone had just been physically in the room, but nobody was in sight. I chalked it up to non-remembered, vivid dreams of a moment before awakening. Other times I would encounter something physically and yet, the next day when I'd go to write it down, I couldn't seem to remember it. I would try to grab the memory, and it seemed like the harder I reached for it, the more elusive it became. I didn't have even one linear sentence I could say about it. So as a result, I ended up almost never documenting anything on the subject. I think I was just in extreme denial.

I do remember a couple of times, something coming down the hall from my bedroom, and a split second of brief physical terror before my mind blanked out. But not very many.

This frustrates me now, because I want to emphasize that there were definitely physical experiences as well, there were plenty, but I haven't the journals entries to evidence this. I didn't want to try and piece together ancient memories... that defeats the point of this work, it's a bit too "creative" all things considered. But there were fully physical events... I have to insist on that, darn it. It seems that the very nature of them, and the more intense "forgetfulness" effects of those, make them less documented, not more.

One incident was of a brief (almost humorous in retrospect) and very different nature:

March, 1994

I went to bed at a decent hour. For once I didn't get knocked out like often, and it was so nice! Wasn't tired enough to sleep, but climbed in anyway, happy to go to bed normally for once, like it was a novel concept. Slid under the covers and turned on my left side, snuggling into the pillow, comfy and happy. I'd been lying there probably 10 seconds, not enough even to relax, before something caught my eye. I thought something the size of a fist was crawling next to me, by my knees. I froze in horror, I guess my mind was imagining some giant bug or something, ha! Then I saw that it was just a lump under the blanket and I sighed with a "whoosh!" and felt much better.

But just as I was relaxing, it moved again! I froze again, petrified. The round ball-spot under the blanket moved slowly beside my body, moving upward toward the top of the blanket, and grew as it did so. It was softball size and growing by the time it reached my thighs: I was simply frozen in fear. I knew I should jump back, fall out the other side of the bed, but I was so terrified I couldn't move. It grew larger as it came up toward me, and by the time it got to just below the edge of the blanket it was nearly the size of a basketball. My terror held me completely immobilized, and I could feel my lips trembling and my body tensed so tightly it hurt. And then it moved up and out from under the blanket -- and a face (just a head! no body!) turned to look at me.

I fainted.

I don't remember what it looked like. I came to, I assume by the clock just a minute later, and there was no sign of anything.

I've never fainted before in my life, but I wasn't in the mood for further analysis -- I just couldn't stand it anymore. I was angry and scared and just furious that my life is getting so goddamn bizarre! I want evolvement, not insanity! I was really ticked, you know how it is when something scares you half to death, then you want to bash it. So I got up to watch TV, but as I reached for the remote as I sat down in the chair I got bop-zoned (as usual), so that was the end of that.

I should've known a normal night's sleep was too much to ask.

The cycle of my experience included the types of thinking some refer to as psi, or other normal things that many folks are so ridiculously proud of. I tend to ignore this sort of thing, or not give it anything but a passing "how interesting" note, and it seems to come in cycles, and in stages, as opposed to being anything consistent. Most of it, objectively, can be chalked up to simply becoming more in touch with myself, in my opinion.

March, 1994

When writing in the public forums, I've been having some interesting insights. I've been hanging around the New Age Forum on CompuServe for some time. Most of it I'm not too interested in, but the discussions on psychology and the nature of reality are rather interesting, especially now that my experiences are beginning to alter my whole view on the subject. One rather bizarre trait has taken over me. From time to time, when reading messages, I know what the person is asking -- and it's usually something different than what they're physically asking.

I know it in the same way that lately, I find myself in conversations about subjects I have zero experience or knowledge of, and I'm discussing them like I'm some kind of expert (often impressing people who are, no less!) -- and then I'll suddenly realize, "What am I talking about? I don't know anything about this!" and shut myself up before I make a bigger fool of myself. I know it as if there is some universal law and I AM that law. That's the only way I can describe it. It's not like knowing about a subject separate from me. It's as if everything is me, and so that's why I simply know.

Lately I had a long online talk about electromagnetics, and two about certain facets of history; I don't remember what I said, but the moment I realized I was typing without being very aware of myself, I realized it hadn't been my conscious mind typing, and I stopped and changed the subject, embarrassed. Another time, some time ago, for some reason I responded to someone who'd mentioned this guy Aleister Crowley, and I wrote this long discourse on his life, and then realized I wasn't even sure who the guy is. An author I guessed, but hadn't read anything from him. But I felt like for the moments I'd been writing, I knew everything about the subject - the man, the time, the history, from a perspective of both there and here and a fuller understanding as well. I wasn't even aware of when he lived until this! Anyway, the thing was, I knew!

I feel the absoluteness of it, as if there is some kind of energy that underlies everything and suddenly, it's all quite clear to me, what they want, what they need, the details of the subject, etc. I still remember the feeling about that author, it hasn't gone away. I deleted the letter, embarrassed. Now I'm SO annoyed that I did, because I can't remember what it said. Or what I've said in any of these conversations.

But get this! -- it's too much! -- it turns out he's the guy who the entire Order of OTO is based upon. I mean what a trip, huh? Come on. That can hardly be coincidence, you think?! Did "tuning into him" bring the subject up for me? The whole "knowing" thing is fascinating in one sense, because it's almost a high for me; it's as if everything is merely "there" inside me and I only need to "tune into it" and it's all perfectly obvious.

Sometimes it almost seems spacial, like I'm at the center of a ball, and there are an infinite number of strings going in every possible direction, and depending on how I turn I can choose one or another. I heard about this, just a little, in that book by Jane Roberts. Maybe it's the same. But I'm not a channel, if they're real -- Seth seems to be, but I don't know about anyone else, I'm pretty cynical about work along those lines. It's neat, but weird, to have such insight.

In the realm of 'physical experiences,' they certainly weren't limited to entities, nor even to that genre of "things." They included numerous kinds of phenomena some might call poltergeist-type occurrences, as well as some rather abrupt, shocking examples of how fluid 'the nature of reality' might really be.

Letter, re: March, 1994

I was taking a shower one Sunday afternoon, frustrated. I wanted to fully understand Seth's concepts about time and probability. Frankly, it just boggled the hell outta my brain. You can say, "Oh sure, you make a decision, and that's another branch of probability," and you follow an idea like a blood vessel into where it might lead. But the more you think about that, the more ridiculously complex it gets: the timing of the chemicals in my brain and body are mere probability, and they could be a split second different, which would make a kazillion branches per microsecond of overall probability, and that's just the body! And just mine, at that. So eventually I had to conclude that everything just "was." That somehow, everything in existence somehow already existed, and it wasn't so much that time/life were things happening to us, as that we are just wending our way through some creative path of something that already exists.

But still, it left me with a problem. Although that conclusion wrapped up a lot of stuff, I was left with this survivalist terror about another earthquake any moment. From the time the first one hit, I had been so massively sensitive, that not only did I know they [the aftershocks] were coming before they hit, but I kept taking the words out of people's mouths. I was just hyper-tuned on some level because I was adrenalized into near hysteria at all times. I seemed tuned into everybody else's emotional trauma which was a real drag.

Every other kind of natural disaster you can get some warning on. I've spent my life in California, been in all the quakes since I was born, and have always been very blase about them, until this one. It wasn't really the quake that was scaring me. It was my almost overwhelming feeling that I had to get out, to leave, immediately, that one equal or larger to the first one was coming any moment. I had felt "someone was telling me to leave California" since late 1993, and had been ignoring it. As for the "another one's coming" feeling, perhaps it's psychology, because many people around me were voicing the same thing, people who don't normally talk about intuition. My constant visions of planetary doom didn't help, as you can imagine.

(Shortly after the quake some psychologist had been on the radio, explaining how everyone's feeling that "the ground was always shaking" was a mere predictable psychological result. We felt relieved to hear this. Then we discovered that we'd actually been having thousands of aftershocks in the weeks following. We weren't imagining the shaking. So much for psychology, eh.)

In my bedroom there was a window, the perfect size and height for just stepping right through, and I'd taken the screen out of it, and packed an "emergency bag" that was right next to it with quick, slip-on clothes lying on top of the bag, and I put my slip-on shoes in front of it. I was trying to prepare so that it was a matter of maybe 4-5 seconds to slide into clothes and grab the bag to get out, because the apartment building I was in scared the hell out of me and I wanted to be outside if another major one hit.

Well thinking about probability in the shower (a nice place to think about things), I thought well okay, even if I do "create my own reality," the fact is, I'm sharing this reality with a lot of other people. What if THEY want a quake on some level and I don't?! And suddenly a voice came very clearly, out of nowhere, and said: Reality is not a democracy. It is not a matter of being outvoted. Your reality belongs to you and to you only. You will experience what you choose. So as I'm rinsing my hair I'm thinking wow, "Reality is not a democracy," what a great line! I was giggling, and despite the fact that I of course assumed it was my imagination talking unusually loudly and seemingly externally to myself, still, I felt better, and went on with life.

The next morning I woke up early, as always. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. for many months prior to the quake, because that's when I would "abruptly come to" from dreams or experiences, and then after the quake, well you can bet my subconscious had a connection to waking up about then! I was sleeping in my chair in the living room, as I nearly always did. I'd been trying to make it stop, because sleeping upright causes (I discovered) serious swelling of the feet and ankles after awhile. But true to form, the moment I'd sat down in my chair that night after work I was just "gone," so that's where I woke up. I decided to get up for awhile, since I was wide awake as usual, so I got up and hit the bathroom and got something to drink and considered doing something before I had to get ready for work. I decided to go read while half-lying in my bed, to elevate my feet for a bit.

So I went into the bedroom and climbed into bed. I was fussing with all the pillows trying to get them comfortable to be half lying down half sitting to read. Just as I got them comfortable and was reaching to the bedside table for my book, I nearly fell out of bed. To say the ground jolted would be an understatement!

But as usual with aftershocks -- I was trained like a soldier by then -- my reaction was immediate. I rolled out of bed on the rebound, ran the few steps to the window and slid my dress and shoes on, threw open the window and grabbed the bag and put one foot outside, sitting down on the ledge to steady myself -- for a moment it was almost as if the whole earth was at a 25 degree angle -- already the noise generated inside the house was immense, not to start on the noise everywhere else.

I pressed one hand (with the bag) behind me against the window sill, and the other against the frame of the window in front of me, and I tried to hold myself steady, uncertain if I should move while I had a solid perch, and sure I'd fall if I tried to walk or run in any direction, concerned the window could break... My "fight or flight" response was in full swing, adrenalin massive, and the thoughts of course were rushing through my head, even though it had only been maximum 7 seconds since it hit before I was sitting in the window. And as soon as I was somewhat safely seated, my dominant thought was, Goddamn it, I don't agree! I don't agree! I don't want this in my reality! I don't want this probability! Seth I thought you said it was MY choice?!

The shaking was worse than the first quake, tremendous up-down jolts, it was like riding a rodeo just sitting there. I could extrapolate the implications and it wasn't even far into it yet -- this was by far the most serious one to date, this was much worse than the last one, which had been terrible. It was clear everything was a total disaster in the apartment and those around me already, and it just made me so frustrated, like if there was anything to this idea that we have any effect on our "reality," why had I failed so miserably to make it work? And I thought cynically, angrily, but with some humor too, Well this would be a bloody good time to figure it out!

I was angry and scared, and to keep from looking at the things flying around the bedroom (though there was little in there but the bed and some books -- most everything had crashed down and been obliterated in the first shake), I looked across the street, at this bank with trees around it. The windows were that grey-blue reflective mirror stuff, and they were like an anarchy of jello as the whole building shook violently. I was looking at this one part of the building between some trees, and then suddenly --

Reality Inverted. That's the only way I can describe it. It's as if the entire fabric of my physical surroundings shot into the distance, away from me in the direction I was looking, infinitely far away, in a microsecond. It reminds me of those eye tricks, where you're looking at a picture of a line drawing pointing at you, and then when you refocus (unconsciously), it's suddenly pointing away. It was like that, that fast. I almost had a mild sensation of 'whoosh!' (not the sound but the feeling) but it was very soft and rapid

-- and I was reaching for my book.

I froze, arm in mid-air. Eyes wide, looking at my window, all calm and untouched by the event, taking in the fact that I was somewhere different than I had been a split second before. (Not like finding oneself elsewhere in the car having "spaced out": complete linear lucidity here, just an act of almost teleportation.) Although it had just happened and was flash vivid, my adrenalin was completely gone, only my attentiveness to that extreme degree remained. It was like my brain experienced it but not my body. I looked around my room, not understanding what had happened. Did I just have a vivid dream in a tenth of a second? But I was wide awake, how...?!

I sat there in bed with my eyes wide and my jaw locked for probably 10 minutes. I couldn't even think very clearly I was so shocked. When I tried to think, I could come up with no rational explanation for what the hell just happened.

Now the thing is, I can go on at length about "metaphysical experiences" and all that junk, but something 100% physical was a totally different story. I can buy the theories about consciousness and choosing one's own reality (intellectually) but this was something entirely different I felt, this was way outside what I was comfortable classifying as "metaphysical" and got into "real life." Thus far I wasn't sure the "twain had met," so to speak. Metaphysics was a philosophy and my night life, and real life was my job and computer, and they were comfortably separated right up until then.

After a few minutes when my brain calmed down, I could give it a little more thought. My "conceptual impression" was that, somehow, I had literally "jumped tracks." I felt inside as if I had done that, not just in terms of time, but somehow in terms of space, as well. I concluded a few weeks later that since I had been thinking about the subjects of timelines and probabilities and conscious will, that I had simply created an experience to explain it to me. But self willed or not, it was as physical as anything else in my daily life.

A couple of times in the next few weeks, it happened, in a far less spectacular manner. And those occasions were less like I'd gone backward to a branch in time as that I had merely moved sideways onto a different one. Like for instance: I'm home for lunch, close the sliding glass door because the guy I see mowing the lawn outside is not only throwing grass all over the place, he's making so much noise it's ridiculous, and the guy with the leaf blower behind him wasn't helping. Then suddenly while making lunch there'd be quiet. Very sudden. It wasn't even like the machines were "turned off" simultaneously, it was like they just abruptly ceased to exist. Like even the sound waves were abruptly cut off that would normally echo a fraction of a second in your ears.

It would take a few seconds to figure out what changed -- I wouldn't be sure at first. Then like in that case, I realized my door was open, and I slowly went over to it, and realized that the grass hadn't [obviously] been mowed, and there was no sight or sound of gardeners anywhere near. Things like this I can't prove or validate. They only added to my thinking I'd completely lost my mind.

As for the subject of odd phenomena, one thing I've only seen once was so bizarre, with such a feeling of "artificial," that I feel obliged to mention it here -- for humor if nothing else.

March or April?, 1994

Saw the weirdest thing the other day. At about 10:00am Rich, a guy at work, comes into my office with this funny look on his face and says in this real subdued, almost upset voice, Palyne, come out here for a minute. You gotta see this. So we go outside. The sky is mostly blue overhead, but South there's a huge sky full of a perfectly aligned pattern of clouds, like the cirrus type except perfect zigzags. Very, very high. Spanning most of the sky, a huge amount of it. And in the cloud pattern there was -- I am not joking! -- what I can only describe (and did a minute later, and we both burst into laughter) as a "huge cloud 'crop circle' or something."

There was this SWATH cut through the clouds, huge, wide, totally clear. Not one visible speck of cloud anywhere in the pattern. Like a cookie cutter got taken by the gods to the sky, ha! It was not something wind could do. It was a circle (with cloud in the middle) plus one partial circle plus a straight shape with them... hard to explain. It was Southwest of us, so we couldn't really see the design clearly, but it struck one so immediately as "artificial" it was disconcerting.

As we stood there silent at first, I said knowing it was impossible, "Could a few huge military planes do that somehow?" Rich says, "No way." I wondered if a weather anomaly combined with jets could, but decided no, maybe circles, maybe a line, but not that shape combination, no way. Just then, a plane flies in front of our view, just within the area (by our angle) which is "cut out of the clouds." It's much lower and closer than the clouds, they were incredibly high, and therefore the plane was "larger to our vision" of course, but it's still about 1/100th the size it would need to be to "physically cut that path through the clouds" with an airwake 20 times the normal size, assuming jets could do such a thing anyway (usually they leave marks in the sky, not remove them.) The thin sheet layer of the clouds (in that neat zigzag formation) was completely undisturbed around this pattern. Not even the edges were raised. The cut-out looked like a giant symbol in the sky.

The pattern seemed so clearly deliberate (and non weather artificial), and yet so HUGE, we were just boggled. A couple other employees came out and Rich steals the "cloud circle" joke and after a few minutes we're all standing outside on the sidewalk, everybody with their mouths open, saying, That's the weirdest thing I ever saw! I don't know anything about crop circles, or about this. I don't know if it really is similar to that kind of design or not because I've only seen one or two in a magazine and that was years ago.

All in all, the area this took up (I work about 70 miles North of Los Angeles, and it was South West in the sky) was huge. I mean, I can't believe everybody didn't notice it to the degree of seeing it in the paper or something, but I've heard nothing. Even were it some entertainment spectacle, or just a really neat weather pattern, you'd think we'd hear something?! -- how could the news miss it? -- I mean it was bizarre and amazing. The kind of bizarre that makes you feel weird and uncomfortable. Anyway, so we eventually shook our heads in bafflement and went back inside and that was the end of it. The whole sky was filled with it but I guess nobody else even noticed. Sheesh.

Bewilderness is copyright © 1993 to present to Palyne "PJ" Gaenir ( See