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i am everything


I AM EVERYTHING.(The Big Bang. Look at the DVDs.) the most amazing night of my life, and what i learned from it.
I ate 4 mushrooms around 7 pm, and Donna and I took the bus downtown to meet Sam and Mike. My head started to feel a little funny, and I could almost see the pattern, but I wasn’t really tripping. After a while I took some E, but I never really felt it. We drove to Mike’s house. My thoughts had been kind of strange all night. Whenever someone said something I heard it twice in my head, and I thought about everything that happened way too much. I didn’t really think anything in particular about it, I was just really aware of everything.
None of my drugs were working, so I took two hits off Mike’s bong. I never really felt the pot either. Mike offered me some more mushrooms, so I ate 3 more. While I was still eating them I finally started tripping. I was standing in the kitchen and I decided to write “I LOVE YOU” on the cabinet. My thoughts started racing faster. They didn’t mean anything, I just felt like they were going way too fast. I sat on the couch and tried to make them stop. I’ve been doing a lot of Kundalini yoga lately, which focuses on breath, so I tried holding my breath. That made the thoughts slow down temporarily, but once I started breathing again they came back. I called Donna into the room. “I’m going insane,” I said. “I don’t know what’s happening to me.” She sat next to me and I told her about what was going on. Sam came in and sat next to her. I was babbling on and on about how I was going insane. Then I started to tell them about all kinds of things I wouldn’t normally talk about. First I told Sam about my social anxiety and explained it in perfect detail. Then I started telling stories about all these things that I’m normally really embarrassed about, but everything seemed fine. For some reason I was touching Donna a lot, it was kind of like I was on E.
As I kept talking about myself, I started to lose my mind. Literally. I don’t remember exactly what it felt like, but I kept repeating, “My mind is going. Help. Help. Help. Help. I’m losing my mind. My reality is crumbling. My mind is going. I’m totally losing it.” Donna asked, “Is there anything I can do?” And I said, “No, my reality is just crumbling. My mind is going. I’m going insane. Help. Help.” At this point Donna started writing down what I was saying. I was babbling, just spewing words. I kept saying all these really poetic things like “the forgotten sorrow” but I had no idea why, I didn’t even know what the words meant. This is what I said:
"I cannot believe it, today I was thinking about the infinite varieties of human experience. It just came back right now. Everything is the same. My breath. My voice. My memory. One flat head. I’m so divorced from reality. You’re in a room. It’s parallax. Everything looks that is going to make sense. Beauty. What is the meaning of life. Look at the big bang. Look at the DVDs."
"The memory folds upon itself. Look at the trees. Something I forget and it’s what is unfolding. No human society where people learn as little as I do. It’s all being one and the same. Look at Donna. It’s love. Love, it’s unfolding. My hands. My breath. It’s all the same thing. Took me out of myself. Oh my god. It’s my life. It’s unfolding. It’s like a forgotten sorrow. You come to a wall and it unfolds. The rose. The teardrop. My thoughts are going. Where is my memory. The big bang. What is being a person. I love Spain so much but what does it mean to be in an alley. Nothing makes sense anymore. I love Henry Miller. A brand name. A snow."
"Consciousness and breath. It’s one and the same. My teacher was life. Why are you doing that with your hand. Market. Target. I never want anyone to sleep with me when I’m addicted to wine. My voice is like... There is no culture where they manufacture essence. Everything’s essence is. Breath is the view. Just like fucking you. Humanity is on the breath. Whisper. Everything is so fucking unbelievable. I really walked at Spain and the liminal boundaries. Help help help. My fucking reality is crumbling." (I was quiet for a while, chewing on my hand. Then I started biting Donna.)
"Believing. Geometry. Humanity, it’s unfolding. Relationships. Help. Everything is the same and I’m a fucking monkey. My pattern is... Everything is one. The glasses the teeth Kundalini. Wrap your mind around this! Help. You unfuckingbelievable present does not make sense. Like Cuba. Breath and whisper. Sorrow and memory. The forgotten sorrow. I love her. Unfuckingbelievable. Fortunate. Geometry. Everything is strengthened by... is sinking. A scholar. Heaven and the place to view heaven from."
At some point during this soliloquy, I had gone from stroking Donna to biting and hitting her. I was biting my hand, biting her hand, putting my hand inside her mouth, biting her breast, her arm, her leg, hitting her, pushing her, poking her. I had my hand in her mouth and was pulling on her teeth and cheek, touching her face and hair. The cat was sitting on her shoulder against the couch, and every time I realized that the cat and Donna were two separate things I said, “The cat!” She was trying to make me stop biting her. I started chewing on my glasses, which is when I said, “I’m a fucking monkey,” and she took them away from me.
Here is my expanation of what was going on, which I realized after it was all over. I had become everything. I was the entire universe. I couldn’t tell the difference between myself and anything else, and I couldn’t tell the difference between anything and anything else. It was all the same thing, and it was all me. That’s why I kept biting Donna, because I was semi-aware that she was a different consciousness, and I was trying to find a difference between me and her. I kept biting her to try to feel the difference, but I just couldn’t, so I kept trying. Everything I bit felt the same.
The reason I kept saying “The big bang! Look at the DVDs!” was because I was a consciousness contemplating its origin and its attempts to understand itself. I kept trying to imagine the beginning of the universe, but since I was the universe, it was like trying to think about the beginning of your own consciousness, or a time when you did not exist. It’s a thought that you just can’t hold in your head. It’s like trying to contemplate infinity, you just can’t conceive of it. I was trying to imagine my own beginning, the big bang. And I kept seeing Mike’s shelf of DVDs, which represented my attempts to understand myself. It’s like if I were in my room and looking at my shelf of journals and thinking, “Look at all the things I’ve done to try to understand myself.” But since I was the universe, the DVDs were like my journals, my explorations of myself. I didn’t know any of this at the time, I just kept saying those things and I figured them out later.
I kind of stopped talking, and Donna was concentrating on trying to keep me from biting her. At this point I really lost my mind. After this I didn’t have any conception that I was a human being. I was just everything. I was cold, and I kept trying to put the blanket on myself. But since I was everything, I couldn’t tell the difference between being under the blanket and not being under the blanket. Normally if you have a blanket over your head the space feels small and dark and enclosed, and when you take it off you’re aware of the whole room. But I could not feel any difference between the two spaces. And I also could not feel any change in my coldness when I had the blanket on. I kept ripping it off myself and then putting it over my head again, and it just didn’t make sense. I did this for about 15 minutes, over and over again. I felt kind of sick, and it seemed that everything was going to go on forever.
Then I really lost it. I was desperately flailing around with the blanket, rolling around on the couch, and I fell onto the floor. I was jerking my arms and legs back and forth, all over the place, making my motions as violent as I possibly could. Later I realized that since I was everything, rolling around on the floor was just like moving one part of my body. Like, if I were trying to contemplate my existence, I might look down at my hand and open and close it and just think about it. Well, when you’re the entire universe, rolling around on the floor is just like moving your hand. The confusion in my head was so intense that I was trying to move as much as possible to try to make sense out of everything. My memory of this period is very hazy. I felt like I was a blob of gray silly putty, a nebulous mass, being stretched and contorted and folded every which way. I kept thinking about the beginning of time, and my head just couldn’t conceive of it, and it hurt. The dog came in to see what was going on, and I licked it. I licked the dog. Donna said, “You’re licking the dog!” And I said, “Dog!” After a while I stopped flailing around and I just lay on the ground chewing on my hand.
I was trying to figure out the nature of the universe (myself), the nature of existence. World events kept flashing through my mind. It was like thinking about highlights of my life, like, “I remember my graduation, I remember prom, that was pretty exciting.” I kept thinking about world wars as if they were events in my life. I kept thinking “What is everything??” And the thought that constantly hit me was “exponentially increasing strangeness.” Those weren’t the words I had at the time, but I kept realizing that the nature of everything was this incredible strangeness, and as soon as I could hold that thought in my head it just got bigger. As soon as I was able to conceive of the inconceivable, it jumped up another dimension so it was inconceivable again. And this was happening incredibly fast, moment by moment, so the thoughts just kept transcending each other, transcending and transcending and transcending and transcending. My thoughts were eating each other. It’s so strange. No, it’s stranger. No, it’s that strangeness squared. No, it’s that strangeness cubed. No, it’s that strangeness plus infinitely more strangeness. This was driving me insane. I had no conception of time, so it felt like infinity and one second at once. I had no idea that it would ever end, or that it had ever started. My brain kept doing flips and turning inside out.
Up until this point I was everything and everything was the same and I didn’t know the difference between anything. After the “strangeness” thoughts subsided a bit, I started to be able to conceive of the difference between good and bad. And what I realized was: as soon as you divide things into good and bad, you instantly identify yourself with the bad part. As soon as you invent bad it takes you over. It’s like Christianity. As soon as you say, “This is sinful and this is good,” you assume that you’re bad and you can’t stop doing the sinful things. Fear makes you identify yourself with the bad things. And so this thought kept turning in my mind: first everything would be the same, then I would realize that good and bad existed, and then I would realize that I was bad. It wasn’t a painful or scary feeling, it was just true. The same thing happened when I tried to think of what made sense. As soon as I divided things into “this makes sense” and “this doesn’t make sense,” instantly nothing made sense. I was inside a paradox.
I was starting to kind of remember things from my life, and I kept thinking of sitting in class, and wondering, “How can I go to class like this? How can I do anything?” Although I could kind of remember my life, I still had NO conception of time. I couldn’t figure out what time was. I knew that things were separated, but life no longer seemed linear, it all seemed the same. I was thinking about why we do things: why do we go to class, and go to the doctor, or walk, or talk? Since I was still everything, it didn’t make sense to do anything: why do anything when you are everything? Eventually I realized that we are living, breathing, bleeding beings, and that somehow gave me a clue, the fact that we are mortal. But since I didn’t know what time was, mortality didn’t make sense, I couldn’t hold the thought in my head. At this point I started talking aloud to myself. I didn’t remember Donna at all, or any other humans. I was everything talking to itself, trying to figure itself out. “What is time?” I said, “Time doesn’t exist.” And I kept thinking, thinking as hard as I could until my brain hurt.
And then I realized that Donna was in the room, and it was like a revelation: “There is another consciousness besides myself!!” And I said, “Donna!” with surprise. Then I would fall into my thoughts again, and once again realize that there was another consciousness. “Donna! I love you.” I felt like she was really the same thing as me, but at the same time I knew she was outside of me. This started to bring me back to reality, as I kept pondering time, and good and bad, and Donna, and talking to myself. I started to tell her about divisions. As soon as you divide things, it changes you. I was starting to realize that I wasn’t everything. I told her about good and bad and how once you conceive of bad you become it, in some way. Or it tries to take you over. We decided that “bad” was an invading consciousness, like when you become depressed and your life seems horrible: that’s another consciousness trying to take you over. We decided that retarded people don’t have the thing in their brain that makes divisions: everything is good to them. They can do anything and they’ll never be embarrassed, no one can stop them from drooling and talking to strangers on the bus, because it all seems fine to them, and they have a simple, shallow joy about everything.
It’s exactly what Rousseau thought of in “The Origins of Human Inequality.” The birth of comparison is the birth of reason. In order to survive, people must learn to tell the difference between things (as I was unable to do). Comparing thing in nature, primitive people conceive of the relations between things, and of things to people. This brings ideas of merit, and judgment follows. Comparing himself to others, man wants to be the best, and pride is born. “It is reason that engenders self-love, and it is reflection that strengthens it; it is reason that turns man back on himself and that separates him from all that annoys and afflicts him. It is philosophy that isolates him...” Compassion is naturally stronger when one feels the most similarity to the other, and as people perceive more divisions and differences, natural sympathy dies, and we becomes selfish and greedy. Rousseau accuses imagination of “wreaking so much havoc among us,” in the form of rationality and society.
So Donna and I thought that there are three kinds of consciousness: 1.The retards, to whom everything is the same. 2. Humans, who can see differences and conceive of a variety of things. 3. Then there is a branching: where some people are overcome by bad and consumed by the “invading consciousness,” others are at peace with the world and accept it as good. You can tell as soon as you step outside and walk through a forest that the nature of everything is essentially right, perfect, and pure. When you ignore that or become blind to it, the invading consciousness takes you over. And if you realize that conceiving of bad puts you in danger of identifying yourself with bad, you can try to resist the invading consciousness. Once you realize that the nature of the universe is good, you can point out where the invading consciousness is influencing you too much. If you’re confused, go outside and walk around for a while and pay attention to everything you see. It will all make sense.
After I had regained my sense of identity and my sense of time, we talked about these things on the couch for a long time. The blanket was once again making me warm, and an incredible sense of calm spread over me. Everything seemed perfect. I felt peaceful, at ease, at one with my breath and the world. I was amazed to touch my skin and feel how good and soft it was, to touch the cloth of my dress and wonder at its substance. Things that I like but normally take for granted seemed exceptionally beautiful. I loved myself, not in a manic way, but in a pure, simple, timeless way. Strangely, I had lost my sense of touch. I had my mind back, but to my fingers, everything still felt like the same thing. I tried to go to the bathroom, and I couldn’t pull my skirt down because everything I grabbed at felt the same, I was tearing at my clothes trying to make my fingers work. I finally called Donna in and she helped me.
The perfection of the world was overwhelming. We talked about the idea of “mutual arising,” something her friend Bojan used to talk about. It means that whatever state you’re in will attract other things of the same state.
In this state of perfection, perfect things kept happening. There was a knock on the door and Sam answered it. Normally, the people who come over to Mike’s house are pretty strange and I don’t really feel a connection to them. But these three visitors seemed to be in the same mood as me: smiling, friendly, accepting. They said, “Wow, you guys look like you’re having fun. I always like coming over to Mike’s house and finding great people here.” They talked to us about their lives, and I was amazed at how wonderful they were. I said, “You guys are really beautiful. You are perfect.” And one of them said, “Right back at you!” Eventually they left, and we had to take a cab home so Mike could sleep. When we opened the door, the moon was visible behind a tree, and wispy clouds were floating over it, white and blue. Sam made us pause and look at it. It was a checker cab, and Donna said, “Look, we’re getting into a cab, just like in a movie.” And it felt like a movie, the whole street was so perfect. We got in the cab and an old lady was driving. She looked like a librarian, she had neat hair and glasses, and she was listening to classical music. The drive home was beautiful and haunting, and Donna and I talked about things, and everything was very peaceful. As we got out of the cab I told the driver, “You’re beautiful!”
The sense of calm remained for a few days afterward, even for Donna, and we were both able to use things we learned in our real life. This was the most amazing night of either of our lives.

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