about August 1980
One afternoon I decided to walk to town for no reason--since I'd started breathing non-stop, I didn't need reasons anymore--and when I got to my room I lay down and breathed myself to sleep in seconds, my body buzzing in an unforced, detached kind of bliss. I recall quickly dismissing the notion that being addicted to air was just as bad as being addicted to anything else. 'What a silly thought,' I said to myself, and grabbed some more air.
When I woke up, I found myself looking through my little backpack next to the bed, and I found a $20 bill in it. 'That's odd,' I thought, 'I don't have any money!' Something made me look up, and there was my body, lying in the bed. I was so startled, I just jumped back into my body and sat up in bed. What an amazing experience. From this, I know that the out-of-body state, or dreamland, is a parallel reality. Details are not the same. Reality is not mechanistic. Realness is local to the place where it happens and the person who experiences it. Because in the other place, that $20 I experienced was real. Too bad I didn't stay out-of-body long enough to spend it.
I have a problem with the terminology, 'out of body', 'astral projection' etc. Life is a long dream. I will have more to say about parallel realities and other theoretical junk in other chapters.
The most intense experience during this month-long non-stop breathing session--apart from how awesome it felt to be awake and alive--was not the out-of-body episode, but a dream I had. This is the most transcendent dream experience of my life. I didn't know I was dreaming till I started waking up, and I had never heard of lucid dreams at that time.
I was dressed in old-time clothes and carrying a satchel or briefcase, walking through an Old West town full of wooden shacks. It was hot and dusty, windy. I could hear the most amazing music, and followed it. The closer I got, turning this way and that among the rows of shanties, the more incredible the music became. There's no way I can describe the music, it was just too much. If you have ever experienced music that just made your whole being scream for more, and then proceeded to get better and better, well, that is the kind of music I'm talking about.
Finally, in my quest to find the source of the music, I emerged from among the weathered wooden buildings into a town square. There were no people anywhere, except one.
A very old man, blind, filthy, and naked, was rolling on his back in a big pile of rags on the other side of the square. He had no arms and no legs past the elbow and the knee. But attached to his elbows and knees were violin strings. As he rolled around on his back, his stumps waving in the air, he would stretch the strings between his stumps, and he clenched a violin bow between his toothless gums. He was making this incredible music, the music of pure ecstasy. Not the forced try-hard kind of ecstasy, not the positive thinking kind, not the 'look at how happy I am' spirituality-on-display kind, and not the druggie kind. Pure ecstasy meaning I could not believe the state of being that I found myself in because of this music. I stood there awestruck and watched as long as I could, but it was all too much, so finally it faded away and I gradually woke up when I realized it was a dream. The music was so powerful that I could still hear it after the dream image faded, until I was completely awake.
I can't begin to convey how much this experience means to me. It was no dream and life on earth is not real. We have some real re-thinking to do.
Or better yet, we have some real re-breathing to do.
In a big compound with young people. Sexy damsels dressed alike in LIME GREEN morph into young girl wanna-bes. A woman in a white bathing suit is lounging around on a TV show. I can't find the right girl to grab, so in my frustration I grab the closest one, putting my forearm around her midsection. 'Go ahead!' she says--but do I want to? I look at her face and feel pity and revulsion because she's one of those. She has inserted long pins into the skin of her face along the jawline and around these form growths the size and shape of Vienna sausages. I can't make her happy, she's not my problem.
The TV is insisting that the great fall is upon us and suggests that we 'mutate' i.e. get the hell out of town while we still can. I find Breeze, we are both sleeping because we are so old [false awakening.] He is uncharacteristically lethargic. I am extremely frustrated by the loss of youth and a vast compilation of missed opportunities. I tell Breeze we have to get outside like we used to and get a fire lit under our butts. I briefly consider setting up a food store in the compound for self sufficiency, but it might be too late.
People are heading for the hills. We're already in the hills, but are we far enough? Breeze finally gets moving and I follow him. We're running along a wood frame thing outside the second story, so are other people, so I can't stop or I will be trampled. Every three or four feet there's a row of nails sticking up out of a crosswise wooden member which I must avoid [the Urumara] so I don't tear up my bare feet. These rows of nails are spaced in convenient intervals for normal running, so I start hovering a little between footfalls.
Breeze [SC] reaches the end of this rough elevated runway and leaps off to the ground and heads for the hills. I veer to the left side of the runway which is about eight feet wide--I had been on the right--there are taller structures on each side so it's like an unfinished flat roof--and from the edge of a roof on the left only a few feet taller than the runway, I push off with my hands and start down. In mid-air I slow my progress throught the air by wiggling my hips, which gives me control of how fast I fall. I steer between wires strung through the air. I guide my intent by speaking aloud, and as I approach the green lawn [the Nowhere] I say, '...and oh so softly I land.' I want to fly some more as it worked wonders on my mood, so I plunge forward into a dirty white froth [the Nowhere], not air or water, nobody else there, no structures, and I am aware this is just a dream and I am now nearly awake. I force myself to plow ahead through this mush, frustrated but determined. [Outside J. calls T. to wake up.] I am pulled out of the dream and [tears spring into my eyes unanticipatedly, I could break into deep, tortured sobbing, but fight it off. I am excruciatingly aware that life is all about compromise and loss at my age and it is so dreadful that not accepting it and moving on would literally be suicide.]
[This was my first lucid episode in many years, apparently due to reactivating my interest in unworlding as well as keeping a dream journal, since I was doing no other techniques. At this time I was working and planning to finish an old project in anticipation of beginning my long-anticipated retirement hobby: unworlding.]