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Difficult Choice

Sunday, July 30, 1995 (10:56am)!



Sunday, July 30, 1995 (10:56am)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God help me. God, have mercy on my tiny bone/flesh world.

I don't even know where to begin and I'm almost afraid to begin because I am worried that I won't be able to say what I feel I need to say.

J went upstate this weekend and I had planned to take a large dose of the mushrooms and really get into it, to really sit down and pay attention and listen and watch and be in it. I weighed out 6 1/2 grams and made it into tea, the same way we did last weekend, according to Dojah's recipe. I used a little bit less than two coffee cups of water, probably about 2 measuring cups. I had made a space on the floor at the foot of the bed with the comforter and the Indian spread and all the pillows, the spiral altar, mylar, a joint, candles, incense, two flashlights, remotes etc. and loaded the CD player and set out some tapes and the videotape of the mountain gorillas. Started drinking the tea at 9:07 and finished it around 9:30. Waited for what seemed like longer than last time but it was only about 30 minutes before I began feeling it. I sat there waiting and intent on observing carefully, as if I might miss it!! God what a joke. I remember thinking, "Don't go running around the apartment getting hung up on this and that because you'll waste the time you have." Little did I know that there was no chance I was going to "miss" anything. Little did I know that I was about to be shot out the other end of the universe.

So I barely remember the beginning. I know I was hallucinating but I don't remember any of what I saw or how I felt. I know that by about 10:20 I was already beyond my mind, slipping out of my ordinary, everyday consciousness, and into some "super"-consciousness. I had headphones on and hearing mixed tape of Indian music, that must have been the first tape I played. Toward the end of the tape, Nusrat came on and I've never heard him like that before. It seemed indescribably beautiful and right. I seemed to understand the words he was singing or I seemed to completely "get" the impulse behind the words, which was enough. More than enough. It was like there was some super-translator working, not inside my head but at the interface of his voice and my ears in the headphones. I felt like I received them already translated. The alien words were being translated not into English but into direct meaning, direct multifaceted metaphor. This began a long period where I had the CD player on shuffle so random songs were coming on: women of Mali and Talip Ozkan and Mickey Hart and Passion soundtrack. I began to dance to the music with my upper body as I sat there and as each song ended I'd fall back against the pillows exhausted, panting and sweating as if I'd just had sex. The dancing got more and more... weird. I had my head facing the ceiling staring straight up and running my hands down my face and throwing my arms in the air and making strange faces for some reason. Part of me could observe what I was like and it was a bit disturbing. I was acting exactly like I see mentally ill people on the street acting: babbling, face twitching etc. but although I could "see" myself I didn't seem to be able to stop acting this way or maybe that it just felt right to be twitching and talking like that. I felt that I was praying and I began to see myself as part of looooooong history, I could "feel" scenes of people sitting around fires or in ancient drum circles and I felt myself part of it, like part of a group of people thousands of years ago sitting somewhere and huddling against darkness and vastness, praying or just wondering.Then I hardly remember what transpired. I began to lose my sense of the everyday and I couldn't remember how to work the stereo or the TV. I couldn't remember what light and sound were and was a bit worried that I was going to do something to attract the attention of the neighbors. I couldn't remember if the lights were on or off. With my eyes closed I began to fly through my own mind and I felt able to go towards particular memories from my past. I "visited" a number of what I thought were very old unconscious memories. I felt that I had absolute control to soar from any thought to any other thought or memory.

It occured to me that I might be dancing in front of the window and that somehow this would alarm the neighbors and they'd call the police and I'd be busted, however that notion was becoming more and more vague until I just knew there was some kind of threat of being taken away but I didn't know who would do that or why. Many times I got up to put my clothes on, thinking this would make me more "reasonable"(?) but never made it. I'd go looking for jeans and that would lead me to a hundred other things. I couldn't tell if the music was loud or if the speakers were on or off. I was trying to use headphones but...

The most amazing thing about it was that for a while I had no notion of myself as a person in the world. I was being dispersed in the great God-blob, sucked up into the Greater Consciousness. It seemed that I had died or was in the process of dying and I felt that was the right thing, the most natural thing in the universe. The thought of being a physical "animal" seemed so trivial and old fashioned. I went through a lot of confusion about that for what felt like a very long time. I felt that nothing in the "previous" world mattered, but I knew that there was a reason people continued living lives and staying embedded in their physical forms. I saw people on TV and couldn't relate at all. I kept reminding myself that they were doing things for a reason and being for a reason but it was quite unconvincing so I had to go on faith. I looked around at all the tapes and books and tried to tell myself that I must have collected all this stuff for a reason but it was harder and harder to see what life was. It was really a matter of, "do I go back to the physical realm or not? Why should I?" This seemed like a decision I could make. I felt that I had the opportunity to go out into the All if I wanted and that seemed like the only right decision although I was convinced this meant death, the death of my self and that I couldn't come back. I felt like if I just sat there and let go completely somehow I would dissolve into the Vast. It seemed so silly to go back to the world when I was in such a higher state. After a while of this thinkng I remembered that I was a person, living in the physical, who had responsibilities. I thought of J and how she would feel if I didn't come back. That made me realize that I should come back: that even though I can see that this life is illusion, I am here and I have a life interwoven with other lives. I don't know why I am here, I don't know why we are all here, but I accept that I _am_ here and I want to live and participate in this life _because_ it is. Humbling, and also implies surrender in a way. I accepted that I don't know why I am here but I take it on faith that it's about living interwoven with other creatures' lives. Since we find ourselves here together we have an obligation to each other, a responsibility to stay and live the physical ape-life. The responsibility is to those around us. We are responsible because of familial ties. Responsible because as physical beings, we have feelings and can be hurt and that's just the way it is. No reason. It just is. Of course this account can't possibly convey the depth of this realization. I felt that I had discovered a "way to live."

So my choice was to come back. After I felt that I had resolved that (somewhat) I went in and took a shower and had to keep reminding myself that cold was cold and hot was hot and that I should be careful because I could hurt myself although that barely felt real. I just had to trust that it was real. I had to sort of take my own word for it that the hot water could hurt me. The shower was mindblowing - water fell at me like quicksilver or liquid mylar or chrome. I was standing in there looking at the water bouncing off my chest and getting one strange humorous revelation after another and laughing hysterically. When I got out I came back and turned on the TV and somehow managed to get the VCR working so I watched the gorilla video. I immediately saw them as close kin and saw my own self in their staring eyes. They were really sweet - just babies and they rushed about examining the photographers equipment. At one point there was a scene where a film crew was filiming another film crew who was filming the gorillas (they were making a film about the film). The thought of the gorillas looking at the camera and the camera looking at the gorillas and the 2nd camera looking at the first and me looking at all of them, it was like this intense staring session between all of us and I felt that we were all looking at each other like I was in a room with mirrors all over the walls. The gorillas and the cameras and the people and I all blended together into this calm, staring, primate-child.

After what seemed like days(!) I began to come down to the point where I could think again and know where I was. Still very high I sat the rest of the night listening to strange college rock station, smiling at every song, all of them screaming their discomfort with being apes with eyes and hearts and metaphor and I identified and cheered them on. I was tripping now but also laid back euphoric, relieved that the heaviest was over and I thought I would have a chance of getting through the night and returning to normal. I hung out until about 5 am and seemed to go straight to sleep after taking a melatonin. Even now, tired and brain-stretched, I feel altered.

Well as I anticipated, this account just barely gets the essence or intensity but what can i expect. So jetting into the space-God-universe only brought me full circle right back to this life as confused, metaphor-making, mammal. It reminds me of Ginsberg's revelation on the train in Japan.

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