I wrote an essay recently that some of you may have read. The reason I took it down was I didn’t like the tone and conviction of the essay. Yes, a lot of the things that I wrote in that essay may feel true but I did not truly express what I was getting at.
In the discarded essay I was talking about something I really have no business talking about anymore. It wasn’t anything scandalous it was just a road I have traveled on before that is no longer a dimension or perspective I want to give attention to, or at least for now.
Dimensions of existence is a term that may explain the subjective world we all live in to an extent. I am not speaking about quantum physics or the essential nature of this reality, whatever that is. I see these various dimensions like focal points in our attention, and I think we all have our own frequency even though these frequencies sometimes cross or commingle. It could also be said that these dimensions are just narratives that are constantly implying a subject that is mercurial and not necessarily available like an orange is at the grocery store.
I heard a shaman recently say that many human beings are living in a dimension of reality that is more like a raw nerve or an automaton constantly responding to stimulus. He believed that these automatons do not have the ability to self reflect. 20 years ago I might have fallen into that category. He also said that some human beings are finally starting to become human which he believed was the ultimate evolutionary state. He mentioned the importance of our emotions and them being a path to something sacred that this world does not encourage.
The young shaman also mentioned that in the western world people that hear voices or visions are unemployed, homeless and locked up in looney bins. He said that in his culture those people are considered to be called upon to become shamans. It was a nice positive spin on something that western culture demonizes and is quite cynical of.
I had an experience yesterday that made me realize that these “dimensions” are constantly shifting for me, sometimes quite drastically. You will probably agree that they do for you as well. We do not really have much dialogue about these constantly shifting dimensions. It seems that the world we are told to believe in is very stable and operates in just few dimensions like right or wrong, true or false, this or that. This is not anything new but it relates to what I wrote yesterday.
As I worked on this essay yesterday all of a sudden I heard an unrecognizable voice fill the space I was in. The voice was mumbling but it was not coming from the computer or my tv it was very intense. The voice got louder and louder. It was a woman’s voice. My first instinct was to stop typing and just try to locate myself and the voice. I found my body after a few seconds. I established quickly that this body is me and then my mind I guess suddenly tried to locate the foreign voice and its origin. At first I thought maybe it was coming from my neighbor downstairs but the voice was too loud and kept getting louder, then I thought oh shit this voice is in me.
A second later I was like OH here it is, finally the last part of my complete collapse. I really felt that this voice was in me. I was welcoming my own insanity with a surprising calm. I wasn’t upset or scared it was just like —ah, yes here is the voice that I feared my whole life. It is now actually really here and it is not that bad.
I thought this is just a voice, it is not telling me to kill or do crazy shit, yet. Maybe it will get clearer? My next thought was now I can officially tell people that I am really crazy. My wife is in for a surprise tonight!
The voice got louder and finally I could understand one of her words — “ball.” She said something about ball. OK, I need to stay focused, pay attention Luis. The message is clearer now! I know the word “ball”and that is good right? Go on, I’m listening I told the voice. I listened carefully for the next clue in complete attentiveness as the mumbling persisted. I was excited but confused. All of a sudden I heard what sounded like an audience cheering.
I got up and looked out my window and forgot that there is a stadium near the building I live in. Eventually I heard some feedback and was brought back to this regular dimension of reality. Something was wrong with their PA system and they were playing with the audio levels. The acoustics and the thin walls of my apartment with their single pane glass windows created a strange ventriloquism making my living room a receptor of dislocated sound.
I laughed and could not believe that my first instinct was not to assume that it was coming from outside of me but that it was coming from inside of me. This is not the first time that this has happened it actually happens to me more than I care to admit. It is a silly quirk I know, but the shaman was right about different dimensions.
What fascinated me as typed this out for you to read is if we say that it took a year or a day for me to figure where the noise was coming from your perspective on my sanity would change I imagine, if not you’re nuts, right? But if I tell you that it took a few seconds there maybe some of you that feel that is well within the boundaries of sanity. We all have our measures of acceptable sanity and at times I feel completely insane. It is something we don’t care to admit at work or even tell some of our friends for the reprisal of shame that only serves a useless social hierarchy. But I am not saying let us do away with shame I do think it has its place, especially when it comes to useless violence. I wonder if we had more dialogue about all of our insanities instead of the character we try to paint ourselves as for ourselves and an audience would that make things feel less divisive and threatening?
I went to the grocery store that afternoon after my dislocated voice episode and looked all around me as people mindlessly pushed their carts, others were reading those gossip magazines about actors getting divorced. As I waited in line I could see the grocery clerk in my lane looking so tired and disappointed as she shuffled the endless cascade of wrapped foods. The lady in front of me holding one of those magazines pointed to a celebrity and said to her partner, “It is good she is finally leaving him!” She had a kitten tattoo above her ankle living in a bouquet of faded flowers. A weak red heart hung over the kitten’s head like a thought bubble with nothing in it. I smiled and thought some people were almost custom made for this world.
I saw her groceries traveling on the conveyor belt in front of me and it reminded me of those charts that you see in schools or museums where there is a monkey evolving in stages into a modern man. Her food selections were an evolutionary chart of my old food choices evolving from Cheetos to a banana. There was something tender in that dimension as I clutched my organic kale like a purse and I said goodbye to her Cheetos.
My recent health issues and my desire to heal myself “naturally” (I see nothing resembling natural but you catch my drift) has been a strange gift of fear. Several days ago I started to detox from all the sugar, caffeine and processed foods I had been addicted to. I felt that I was dying as this stuff started to leave my system and then today for the first time in years my body felt what I would call normal. It felt like what I imagined my little kid body felt like when I was happy and not sick.
Even in the paragraph above I notice something about my narrative that I am winning at something. I feel to some degree no matter what we say when we tell a story to an audience we are the hero. I think it is Bukowski that said– ‘no matter how bad it gets in the things I write I always win even when I lose.’
One thing that I realized right now that bugged me about that essay I wrote yesterday that you wont ever get to read was that I was subtly trying to be the hero with a way things are, or the truth about something I know is not truly constant or certain. I have struggled with that role long enough knowing the costume doesn’t really fit. I keep stepping on the cape and have grown tired of it.
I am enjoying more and more the discovery of what I am not than what I am.
As the Buddha once said, “I don’t need Cheetos, coffee or donuts and it feels good.”
Thank you for reading this,