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(if you should learn to do this will your toys of knowing,
you will achieve a form of liberty more valuable than any other skill)
the south american girl : the conspiracy : the leader
This dream was so realistic and emotionally involving that it stood out entirely as something completely new in my human experience. I still remember the imagery from it almost 30 years later. It occurred when I was 9 or 10 years old.
I knew almost nothing about sexuality at this point in my life, and was practically innocent in this regard, however I was familiar in a general way with what the term rape indicated.
I interpret this dream in very real terms as a fable — one where the planet herself is talking to one of her male children, about a story that is actually very real. It has as much to do with the rape of a world as it does that of a culture, a people, and the men, women and children and animals who comprise it.
In one sense, a man of my age writing a dream I had when 9 or 10, is, in itself, a startling experience. I hope you will accept it in the spirit it is meant in, which is one of exploration, and mutual reCognition.
I am alone at the Sumpter Quay house in Stockton, 70’s. It is a Saturday — a day to make cities and lego-spaceships with my two 13 year old friends, G and M.
I go out the back sliding glass door, across the tiny backyard, and out the back gate to the alleyway which separates the carports and the 'sides' of our rectangular suburban block. As I exit the gate, I see, a little off to my left, a woman lying in the ‘drainCenter’ of the alleyway. She is naked, scratched and scuffed up — making tiny mewling sounds. The rags that were once her clothes are shredded and filthy with being ground into the dirt. She is curled up in a foetal position, quietly whimpering and weeping. I become very very very small, and approach her as gently as possible.
“Are you ok? What happened?”
Girl: (Wide-eyed, whimpering, trying to hide herself from the world a little more so as not to be an offence.) [She whimper-babbles in spanish.] I make out after a while that ‘three men in suits who were very wealthy or politicians’ kidnapped her from her home.
I run into the house and get a bed spread, and I cover her and help her into the house. Since no one is home, I take her to the big bed in my parents’ room, next to the shower, and I set her up there so she can be safe and comfortable. I clean and dress some of her wounds while we talk.
She explains that after the kidnapping — which was from a place near a village by a mountain and a river and a forest — they brought her to the US (to New York) and took her to a ‘cement palace’. They offered her riches in return for her body, which she did not want — and she hated the men all around her and explained that they clearly considered her to be property; she refused all their threats and offers.
They kept her there awhile and then told her that ‘her time was up’. They put chains on her and flew her across the country to an airport near Stockton and then they took her to a field nearby and raped and beat her. They told her she would be deported and would be raped or killed or forgotten, and that her life was over. They told her they would find her sisters and friends and do the same to them — until all of them were gone.
As I cleaned her wounds and asked of her story and listened, I saw that she was older than me. Her skin was the most incredible golden color I had ever seen, and smoother than silk. Her hair was shortish, straight and deep black with dark blue highlights and her eyes were glowing, multicolored emeralds, burning with an ancient heartfulness that could silence a volcano — or so I remember them. I loved her.
I told her with all my heartful sincerity that none of the things those men said would come to pass — ever again. I told her that I would protect her forever — from now on. After a while she seemed to calm down and was ready to take a shower, and she did. While she showered, I considered what I was going to do.
I got some clothes together from somewhere, perhaps my mother’s wardrobe, or mine. I decided to take her to see M and G and see if they would have advice or back me in a bid to protect her. I left the clothes on the bed and left the room, she dressed and came out — and I was already madly, hopelessly in love with her. I knew I would die before I’d let anyone hurt her again.
We went to visit M and G, at M’s house, out my back gate and to the right about half a block. We found them in the alley behind M’s house, building something with toys. They listened intently to the story, and together we worked out our understanding of what had actually happened and what could be done.
They became very angry when they heard the story, and we decided that the only way to keep her from being deported was for me to marry her, which they both vigorously supported. We also decided I was going to have to run for the Presidency, to insure that the men in the suits could never hurt her again, and that they could be found out, and stopped. M and G agreed to help, and we were quite convinced of our ability to succeed as a team.
I knelt down and swore eternal devotion to her with tears in my eyes, and I swore I’d protect her forever and asked if she’d marry me. She knelt down beside me and gazed into my eyes with a wild and playful abandon and smiled and said yes. First we started crying, then we started cheering, and then all of us got very silly and started tickling each other and dancing around shouting and laughing and whooping. I’m not too sure what happened directly after this scene. Time sped up, considerably. Somehow, we were all adults — without actually having aged.
The next scene I remember is that I am passing a magazine stand in a grocery store, and there is a copy of Car and Driver. There’s a photograph of me in a suit, with my foot on the low hood of a laborghini countach (an italian sportscar). There’s a big white caption, that says (My last name) - can he deliver? Will he win? It doesn’t seem out of place to me, since I remember having the photo taken, and that tomorrow is the vote in which I am competing for the Presidency.
The next scene is at a party where we are awaiting the count of the votes, and we are pretty certain that we've made a valiant stand, but will lose. The final count comes in, and we win, and there’s a big celebration. My fianceé is dressed in her wedding gown and ascends the stage and we kiss and swing each other around happily. The celebration proceeds for a while, and I awaken, startled — and upset at having lost my bride — who I had actually fallen in love with in my ‘dream’.
the kingdom : the two princesses : the horde : the skyGod
This dream takes place 1-2 years later — in the same place, but a different setting. Instead of taking place on ‘my block’ the dream takes place in ‘my neighborhood’. The neighborhood has become a fantasy kingdom but it looks and acts the same, except there are horses, knights, princesses, etc. The story begins with my friendship to a kind and gentle princess who is pure and virginal yet bright with every grace and vitality. She wears white, and light blues and greens all the time. Her jewelry is silver, and graceful — not ornate. We dally in the nearby fields, ride horses together, etc. As time went on, we became engaged, and we were very happy — having long adored each other without measure.
Nearby, across the main road, in the Larger Houses, there lived an evil black sorceress, who had a kind of a plot against our marriage.
She kidnapped the princess because I would not go to her elsewise. I disliked her, but not as much as others did, nor for the same reasons. But more frightening was this: I knew she had a power over me, one against which I would be weak. I knew it was her goal to seduce me. I did not know why, but I also knew that it could happen, given the wrong sort of unwanted circumstances. And the kidnapping set this up perfectly. In order to rescue my betrothed, I would have to face this sorceress, who was of some distant but royal heritage.
I remember she always wore black, trimmed in gold. Her jewelry was the shout of complexity, and that of wizards. She wore a kind of crown as well as a mark of her distant but respectable family. It was discriminating in size, not vast or kingly, but it was real.
I had an encounter with her on the road, in the evening, a day or two before our reckoning and we talked for some time. She tried to sway me from my hope of storming her palace to retrieve my fianceé, but she also offered some fascinating perspectives on the situation which were as alien as they were brilliant. I was at once somewhat taken aback, and spellbound by her eloquence and the depth of her vision.
The day of reckoning arrived — and I mounted my white stallion at eventide to travel to her abode — and though it was but a few short blocks away, it somehow it took until the depth of the night to arrive.
I am welcomed there instead of having to battle my way in. I am come to her chamber, which is reds and blacks and strangely shifting colors and dark purples and blues, and she is...there, arrayed in her most precious splendors, with every possible device and effect that might soften a man’s will, and harden his resolve, so to speak.
We talked and drank — taking our leisure, because otherwise we must make war, and one or both of us will perish if the game should fall to this. We are also testing each other’s positions and powers, in the oldest way known, which is to commune heartfully and deeply.
I find that I am moved at once by her arts and her person, in ways I could not have predicted or even guessed at. In a word, I am, at last seduced. We make love, rather briefly, and fall asleep.
I awaken, of course, in a kind of inner hell. I have won the release of my beloved, and am still betrothed to her alone in my heart, and yet...how could this be true whilst I just last night gave myself completely to her captor — the black princess?
My spirit, dignity, honor and hope are crushed, for I know all in the kingdom have seen my nakedness in this matter. It seems the bitterest and ugliest defeat, for I know the white princess who I adore will never forgive me for my unconscionable infidelity.
I return to my castleHome (in reality a rather shabby suburban duplex) and the ‘responsibilities’ of my ‘kingdom’. As time passes, I grow thick in the gloom of my inner banishments and condemnations. But a ray of light reaches in. A message from my fianceé tells of a gathering of unruly people near the main road (Benjamin Holt is the road, at Herndon) and that she has forgiven me, and seeks my aid and hand in investigating the terrible thing that is happening.
I am flush with delight and duty as I get my shield and sword and mount my white horse. On the way I pick up my fianceé...and she tells me that a strange and beastly host has gathered and is crying war and rape.
We ride quickly to the intersection, and there a sight like none I’ve seen: To my right, a host of armies reaching all the way to the distant Mt. Diablo, as far as the eye can see, an ocean of people. And they are rabble, and vicious, and hopeful of terrible mayhem.
I know I cannot best such a force, and I know they are here to seek my blood and the blood of all that is sacred. But I am determined to live, and my princess is with me on my charger. I draw my blade from the scabbard, and raise it in the sign of the cross, holding it high, and there is a redness in the clouds, and I shout: Die Pigs!
At that moment there is a rending in the heavens, and lightning comes down, and in the flash the faces of the rabble are illuminated, and they are like Orcs. Just in the flash...then snakeLightning comes, and flashes through each of them...and they are children...little children...playing games and laughing. We are victorious, in the best possible way, my beloved and I embrace in the present glory of the setting Sun, and the dream resolves to waking.
the three men and (unknownWord)
[see the 4th vision]
The date recorded with this is 10/17/94. During this time I had been avidly reading and considering Carlos Castenada’s books. I didn’t know precisely what to make of them, but I was extremely taken with certain correspondences to my own experience, as well as some of the new metaphors and implications behind the stories themselves. I felt a very strong personal correspondence to many aspects of what Don Juan spoke about, and the realities he generally and often playfully sketched. In reading the (fictions) of CC, I became aware that there was something real hidden within them, in a way that — if one took everything literally — would be nowhere apparent. This was inspiring; for I felt that I had located a text in the real world, that related to my own questions about anomalous cognition, precognition, and the sources of organismal identity, experience, expression — and arisal.
I had a variety of interesting adventures during this two or three-year portion of my life. I think about one year into it, I had this dream.
The wooden fence surrounding the property could not be said to have invited inquiry. In fact, the fence gave the whole area into a hole, which caused it to be extremely difficult to notice. I think that the day I went in was simply the first time I had managed to see that the place existed. We often heard strange sounds, laughing and sobbing, or yelling in the late night, but were never able to determine their source. When I saw the fence I knew that there were crazy Mexicans inside, and that I was going to have to go in there and meet them and find out what was going on behind the fence.
The fence itself was made of what looked like roughhewn redwood bark. It was a hairy, rust-colored wood, and each slat was cut to a different height, but none of them were less than nine feet tall. It was not straight-the line of the fence meandered crazily along, it seemed to leap from the nowhere zone between my house and the neighbors' all of which were semi-Victorian flats. Clearly it never belonged there, and that, perhaps is part of what made it so nearly impossible to see, even though the face of the fence was at least a hundred yards long.
I went in alone, but knew that someone had come with me the moment I crossed the threshold of the large gate. It swung shut of its own accord, and I knew that I had crossed into something stranger than what I had first thought because I could see redwood trees all around, and the earth was hilly and uneven. Those trees couldn't be seen from outside, even over the tops of the fence.
“Muy Buenos,” I said. “I'm practicing my Spanish.”
I realized that I had just said ‘Very Good’ and I hoped that nobody would actually attempt to communicate with me in Spanish. On the ground and a couple of nearby stumps, with certainly a few of them hidden from view, there sat perhaps eight apparently South American Indian men, of varying ages and in various stages of dirtiness. I was being scrutinized. There was a general air of dirtiness about the place, like you’d find in a refugee camp. Garbage was strewn haphazardly around the forest floor. Beer cans and tissue paper and such. The men seemed unwashed and scruffy, though there was an air of friendliness about them. They projected a tricky trust at first, such that I could not be certain that they were not simply playing an elaborate joke upon a naive young gringo.
One of the men was laughing. “Muy Buenos” he repeated. His teeth were a mixture of bright white and dull yellow and his face was wrinkling with the laughter, His skin was very deep red, almost brown, and very weathered. He just kept laughing. All of the others were looking at me, mostly with expressionless faces, except for the oldest one, who must have been about seventy; his gaze seemed slightly expectant, as though he was waiting to see what I would do next.
“Practicing his Spanish.”, repeated the laughing one. “Who are you, one of our neighbors?”, he asked, still chuckling. His accent was fairly severe, but not entirely placeable, I wasn't familiar with the area from which it came. “You’re not Mexicans, are you?”, I asked. He laughed some more as he rose to his feet. He made a sweeping gesture with his hands, which seemed to encompass the whole area within the fence. I could see that it went on to an unknown distance. At the edges of my vision there was a thick fog so that the area just faded away.
“No,” he said, “We’re not Mexicans. Come over here - we’ll show you around the place! Do you know where you are?”
I realized that I did not. It was clear that where I had previously thought I was going was not where I had arrived. I didn’t say anything, but I actually felt fairly well — I felt that I was pretty safe, that this man and the oldest one would protect me and my invisible companion from any real harm. As I approached him, the others got up from their sitting places and gathered around me. We set off on a small trail that led off in a variety of directions. We moved along it to my right, with the laughing man leading and the old man closest behind me. The rest followed along in a rag tag way, sometimes mumbling amongst themselves in what sounded like Spanish sometimes, and like something completely different at other times.
“We’ve been living here for a long time now, ever since we came to the United States, but we don’t get very many visitors. You must have seen the gate out front, huh?”
I nodded. “You're Indians, aren’t you, from Central America?”
He laughed again “Good Guess! Yes, you’re right, we’re Indians.”
I heard a question in my head and asked it before I had thought about it at all: “Are you Mazatec Indians?”
Now the old man was looking at me very closely. I felt his breath on my cheek. He seemed to be looking into me, and some of the other men had stopped following us for a moment, as though re-assessing something. The laughing man was silent and he turned to me. “That was not a guess, my little gringo neighbor, how did you know?” We all stopped. His tone wasn’t threatening, though it certainly could have been. I knew that I was as out of my element as I might have been if I were underwater, but something in me had come unhinged so that I could not interpret the stimuli as menacing, only as fascinating, like the way a child who has never been injured might interpret and encounter with a playful dog twice his size.
“I didn't really know it just seemed like the right thing to ask, I’m not sure what happened to me.”, the words came out of my mouth as though I intended them, but there was no real intention — I was just naturally responding. We continued walking. The terrain remained basically unchanged-redwood forest, a layer of redwood dust everywhere, covering a fairly thick layer of fallen detritus from the trees. Here and there a bush or other small plant, and a trail moving unremarkably through it.
“How did you come to be here?”, I asked, thinking we were in America.
“How do you know where you are?”, countered the old man, his voice surprisingly youthful-sounding.
“I don’t”, I said, realizing it again, “but I mean, how did you get here.”
The laughing man’s face straightened noticeably as he began to recount the story of their journey.
“Between our homeland and this place there is a river of fire”, as he spoke I felt a strange sensation; it was as though there were a fiery fish swimming very quickly in circles in my belly. I was there, then. I could see the river of fire, it sloped unnaturally downward at a ridiculous angle. I was watching them from their right side as they, in a white boat that looked like a bathtub, tried frantically to negotiate the rushing, flaming waters. “Grandfather guided us here in the white boat, over the river of fire.” Because I could still see them in the boat I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this man was telling the truth.
“Though the journey lasted for three years it was completed in a few moments. We lost two of our companions. One we could not recover, and the other is buried here”, he pointed to a patch of ground that had been cleared of branches and was simply damp earth.
His gesture indicated a small semi-circular mound, a half-oval rising up perhaps an inch from the dirt. About four inches wide in the middle and tapering to points at either end. It bowed away from me, off to our right. The moment that I saw it an uncontrollable urge gripped me and I knelt near the grave and began sobbing until I was nearly incoherent with mourning.
I could not understand what was happening to me, but there was no time in which to make the attempt because the emotion was overwhelming. I wept and wept and prayed for the soul of the departed one, whom I knew to be much like the other young men who surrounded us. Finally we were done there. We went on around a couple of turns in the path until we came to an area where two medium-sized shacks had been constructed out of sheet metal.
“This is him, the one who was lost and is buried there, where you knelt a moment ago.” As we came near to the first shack, I could see that the door was ajar and inside, on the left, there was a statue of a young Mexican Indian man. He was naked, but bathed in a reddish glow, as was the inside of the shack. It looked as though a rusty liquid had been spilled upon him from above, and his skin was stained from it. We moved on. As I peered into the next shack I could see the same color scheme, the reddish glow-while on the left there was a young white woman wearing some black leather straps in the manner of popular sado-masochists. Most of her body was naked as well. She was fairly attractive and stood very still. On the other side, the right side, there was a tall, fairly thin young white man who was playing a long guitar and looking very cool, except that he was naked. I realized that the girl was watching him. Neither of them were moving, really, although I could sense that they weren't simply statues.
For a reason unknown to me I did not feel any desire to ask about the two people in the second shack. Soon we were past it, though, and another question rose: “Have your people been taking auyehuesca?”. The laughing man smiled broadly, and I heard him inside my head: “Yes, last night, you just missed it.”
“Do you think that Grandfather would teach me?”
The large man raised an eyebrow. “Who could say? You should ask him yourself.”
I noticed that the oldest Indian was not around and I ran back along the trail until I caught up with him.
“Grandfather”, I managed to speak reverently but without fear.
He turned and looked at me with eyes like dead stone. But he was paying attention.
“I was hoping...I wanted to ask you...will you teach me?”
“Teach you what?”
“About the earth. I want to know about the earth and the plants and the animals. Can you teach me about them?”
[I believe I then awoke]
This event probably followed within a year of the previous one. I was visiting my grandmother’s house, which was the only piece of property on the planet that remained in our family throughout my life. This place was one where I had existed as an infant, and in every other phase of my life it was present. It is an older suburban home, probably built in the 50’s. My companion, ‘k’ was with me. That evening, after my grandmother went to bed, we were watching a documentary on the archeohistory of Mayan culture, concentrating primarily upon their cities and artifacts. During one brief discussion of Mayan philosophy, the narrator implied that their civilization believed that the world of dreams was reality, and that the world of forms and material was a dream. Although I’d certainly heard similar things before, for some reason this idea rung me like a bell. I suppose I realized that an entire culture had existed somewhere, in which all the participants could have either really believed something like this, or actually experienced it.
This startled me emotionally and intellectually. I felt something deep inside myself awaken, something that had long been silenced. I didn’t decide anything new was true, but I felt that a new question was making itself known in me, and there was an uncommon intensity and fervency to this question. After the show, k and I discussed this idea briefly. I commented that if what they had believed was in fact true, there must be teachers on the other side — in the dreamworld. We spoke excitedly about this idea as we prepared for sleep.
I’d brought my zafu, and before retiring I sat zazen. During the whole sitting I felt the most fervent desire — a heartful longing — to meet the teachers, my teachers — who might exist in a world near at hand, but which my own civilization denies the reality and meaning of almost entirely. When I was finished, as I lay down to sleep, the question and the longing were foremost in my mind. I wanted to meet the lost teachers, more than anything.
The dream began with a campus, which was alike with or a representation of the University at Berkeley, in California. There was a sort of secret ‘club’ there, of which I was a new member — and much of the dream was spent meandering about the campus and meeting (secretly) other ‘members’ of our cabal. The club was a sort of revolutionary artist’s research group — and we embraced a new cognitive technology of co-operative learning that we had discovered. There were two primary leaders, a Man and a Woman. We were trying to continue our project of learning and assembling others who were of similar mind. Essentially, we were something unlike revolutionaries. We were looking into the magical technologies of group participation in new ways — and this was more playful and heartful than it was militaristic. So our group, while clandestine, was of the brightest and most creative people. It was a group of very intelligent, caring and hearful people. The secret we seemed to know together that gave us great power was simple: we are children, together — learning to protect the children.
A few days of these brief introductions and wanderings passed before the entire group was to actually meet. I spent time with a few others, and we ranged around the vast campus on various minor errands. Eventually the night of our first physical meeting (it was implied we’d met before) was upon us.
Late in the night, we went to a large outdoor ballfield, and made a standing circle. I seem to remember about 30 or 40 people in the ring. The Man and the Woman stood near home plate, and I was three or four people to the Woman’s right — the Man was immediately left of her.
Everyone was excited, and smiling and chattering as the game began. The Woman had an unusual vessel before her, a sort of small half-barrel filled with water. From either side of the barrel, thinning pipes rose to about the level of her solar plexus, and there was a simple sort of sluice-like device at the end of each pipe, facing toward the other, over the barrel below. The Woman began to sing, and spread her hands, palms inward, before her — as she sang, water flowed up from the barrel and fell from the tops of the pipes to form a thin veil — a flowing sheet about two feet wide, that arc’d back toward her in such a way as to fall between her spread palms — and then back into the barrel from which it rose. Someone near me said that she had constructed this device magically, with the help of the Man, who was a ‘worker of metals’
As she sang, she moved her hands and fingers — and the water flowing in a sheet between them morphed and shifted miraculously. I realized that the combination of her singing and the manipulative motion of her hands was shaping the falling water into animated forms. What emerged in the small space above the barrel at her behest was an endless array of magical and animalian forms, springing fully formed in every detail from the falling waters between her hands. The three or so feet of space between the top of the pipes and the barrel leapt with every possible animation. Faeries and sprites, dragons — monkeys, cats, horses, cows...prides of lions — pods of dolphins, flocks of birds. Her music was exquisite beyond anything I’d ever experienced, and seemed to animate the entire universe. Next to her, other young people were beginning to ‘do their individual magic’. A young man to the left of the Man — caused a white string to hover before him. He was mumbling to it as it changed shape in the air — forming itself into glowing sigils whose light reflected on the waterCreatures of the Woman. The Man was quiet, but was smiling. I sensed his power was that of being ‘the center of the ring’ — and thus all the powers were really his children’s powers — and thus his. The Woman also had this quality, but in this game hers was outwardly active (creative) and his was outwardly quiet (foundational). Various others around the ring were beginning to emote their powers, and the quality of the entire atmosphere was changing, becoming charged with an impossible energy and enthusiasm. I was so overwhelmed emotionally that I felt I was going to cry with joy and the incredible smallness I felt in the presence of these amazing people.
Everyone was entering a very playful and emotional unified trance, in which each person’s magical activity greatly magnified that of the others, and was also reflected in it. I began to become frightened at the incandescent truth we were somehow together crafting by merely playing this ancient game. There was a connective power growing rapidly in the atmosphere — as though it were thickening and pulsing and dancing in to the sporadic and unusual singing arising from various assemblies and individuals in the group. Some of the others, including the Man and the Woman were looking at me expectantly, and I realized with grave chagrin that I had no ‘special power’ like theirs. I felt very small, a tiny clumsy child amongst gods — and I was frightened and embarrassed that I had no power.
Then I remembered that ‘I could sing’ — but the singing I could do was totally broken. A coarse chirping or honking, emanating from deep within my throat, trapped in there. I could squeak-chirp-honk, in a kind of strangled, helpless and very tiny way.
I tried to sing, but only struggled to produce broken chips with herculean effort — but others seemed to find this useful, so I tried extremely hard, and was able to sing a few irhythmic notes, string a few more together — squeaking and chirping almost like some kind of broken dolphin. Then I started to realize that this wasn’t actually broken, or useless at all — that this was my power — an animal-like dreamChirpingSqueaking. I began to feel a great sense of astonishment at its usefulness, and now the song of the ring was growing ecstatic together, and waves of birdlike music were passing between us. Our feet started to glow, and we all rose up together off the ground, a tiny ways, each time I chirpSqueeked. Soon I managed to find a way to keep it a bit more regular, and the entire ring rose up about five feet off the ground — and floated weightless, singing in portions, as each one continued to emote with their unique power.
The realization that my tiny broken song was equivalent to all the powers, and that it could lift the entire ring into the flight was heartwrenchingly powerful. Tears of joy ran down my cheeks as I made my seemingly silly childSound and the faces of the group were exultant in our unity. A lot of them were grinning at me, noticing that I was being released into being able to interact with and share my power. I felt a feeling so profound that since I have felt no other like it then: a feeling of real belonging. Of having at last found my real family, which was filled with unique children, who were filled with unique teachers. I bathed in the joyful feeling of sudden release from the burden of seeking and not knowing. I rejoiced in the strange songs, the strange feelings as we floated in a circle, and the waterShapeSprites of the Woman.
the shit-eating woman : white coyote : the tree
Some years ago, perhaps on a Saturday - during the afternoon, a close friend of mine with whom I’d been composing poetry, ‘A’arrived at my house to visit. He discussed in an entertaining way, an anecdote about a girl he knew, who, earlier that day, was commenting on the yogic or semi-yogic practice of drinking one’s own urine. We chuckled over the idea and talked about it briefly, considering it rather incidental.
[This was perhaps 5 years ago or more, but could be dated by writing we did together. Shortly thereafter, ‘k‘ and man whose name escapes me at the moment, and I took a trip which is elsewhere described to a mountain called Shasta, by which I can determine that this was prior to the I AM HERE phenomenon.]
The night of A’s visit, I had a rather incredible dream. I had been intentionally enmeshed in a variety of impossible quests for some time; but at this point I had little idea or real belief that any of them could ever be reasonably completed or provide the rewards I was seeking, not so much for myself, but instead for the people and places I adore. The dream definitely reAwakened my questions, and my quests.
The dream began in my room, with me reclining on the floor, which was carpeted. I was musing that my quest had become rather confused, and longing (as I always tended to do) for an older mentor who was wise in the realms and domains of my seeking. As always, those few I found paid little attention, or charged too much gold, or were false to their own hearts upon any reasonable examination.
In my room, I was perusing a new copy of a magazine like Shaman’s Drum. On the cover, there was a dark or reddish-skinned woman, with black hair. There was an absurd headline to the left side of her image, something like: silentWoman Eats her Own Feces. I became extremely intrigued, and I examined the article. The text was legible, clear, and did not morph as I examined it, which was common in dreams. It also related specifically to this woman — in other words, it related to an index elsewhere in the magazine properly — an extremely uncommon thing in dreams.
Some time into reading the article it became clear to me that the walls of my room had dissolved, and in fact, my room was no longer in a house, or within a city - at all. This didn’t seem out of the ordinary, and I rather enjoyed it. Though my room was the correct shape and size, and all of my furnishings were there, there were neither walls nor ceiling, there were merely four ’posts’ at the corners. I don't remember if they went to the top of the sky, or were short. The whole affair was set in the middle of a small field, with a lot of small weeds and flowers growing in clumps nearby.
The weather was pleasant and not too hot, nor bright. I lounged on my floor with the magazine, feeling that the world, and the rest of the house, could be accessed through a doorway that was present, but only framed against the ... real world around me. The door was gone.
The article turned out to be extremely interesting. A prophet had arisen to moderate notoriety, who never spoke at all. She would listen, or watch, and then speak through a man, who was her public face and her companion in the deepest, and apparently not romantic sense. They were both indigenous individuals — and though it was not clearly described, but it appeared they were of Native American and and probably from South America. So people would speak with or be mentored by this ‘medicine woman’ and yet she would never speak a word. Fascinating.
She apparently had a variety of extremely unusual practices, many of which she would not discuss beyond the fact that they had been revealed to her as necessary and in fact sacred; meaning that she considered and defended them as holy, regardless of their appearance or the ideas of others. The most remarkable, to me, was that it was clarified in the article that primary amongst these, was the practice of eating her own feces, regularly — in fact, every day.
As I read the article, I became flush with a kind of longing; I felt this woman was very real — that she was precisely the sort of person that I had so long searched in the world, literature, practice and theory for — a person who would really be able to guide me in the paths that I felt so certain were critical to our lives, and just as certainly obscured from us in our living experience and modern industrial world. A world that was dying, just as fast as I myself was...and from precisely the same causes. I knew I needed some keys to the puzzle of societal extinctions, racial extinctions amongst humans, symbols, language, and - in a word - atrocity. I needed some answers, because, along with my own life and world to save, there were those of my son and family — and when you extended that with any degree of rationality — that family had no end.
I needed to talk to a this woman. Or a woman who was alike with her wisdom. I also knew the futility of attempting such a thing. I would, I felt, be ‘reduced to a kind of hanger-on’ — a humiliable ‘consumerThing’. I knew that any feeble attempt I might make to establish meaningful contact with such a person would be thwarted by my apparent lack of status. Or my inability to spew gold like some sort of absurd machine that eats its own blood to make money...
I felt a kind of excited resignation, as one often feels when consuming the evidence of the potential for real liberty, while being denied access to the door itself, which — it is also (all so?) clear — lies within the very self thus denied. All the eyes are moving, all reflecting water and eyes within water and sky and world.
As I was musing on my desires, the man approached from the outer field, followed by the woman. I was surprised, but not shocked; and I soon filled with excitement, coupled with a reasonable but small amount of confusion. There was no introduction. We all knew each other, somehow — but the relationship, for some reason, was meant to be formal, and had to be maintained in this spirit in order to be beneficial for all.
The couple seemed kindly disposed toward me and sincere. They appeared to trust the same of me, and the man said, basically:
“We have come — now you must ask what it is you wish, or seek what you called us for.”
I was utterly at a loss for words. The situation was so novel, and my position so irregular, that I did what I might do if I were suddenly naked in a crowd — I waffled, treading water inwardly for a moment.
“I um, well...I trust her to show me. Can she just show me what I most need to see?”
The man looked at her, and turned back to me.
“Come, follow me.”
We began walking.
We went along a path, the man in front, the woman far behind. I stayed with him. We passed a large dead tree, and the woman was no longer with us. The man took me off to the left of the tree, off the path, and into a terrain of dry grasses and bare but gentle rocky earth.
We came, after a while, to the side of a very gentle hill, and there was a small lump of earth, somewhat elongate, perhaps 15 feet long, and 8 wide at its widest. The lump made a rather crude cradle, and there rose nearby some grasses, weeds, and, a little ways off to our rearFacing left — some brush. The whole area was on the side of a this gentle hill. The weather was calm, there were a few clouds in the sky. The man motioned for me to sit or lie down here.
“This is the place. Just stay here and watch. Enter what you see.”
I did as instructed, feeling a deep sense of trust, and a little confusion at the simplicity of his request, but I felt capable of doing it. I lay down with my head along our path, and he departed. I lay as one might on a summer day, looking up at the sky, the nearby earth, the clouds. In the direction of my feet, off to the left, was the brushy area. Farther in the same direction, but off to the right, was the large old tree, which was far out of view.
I remained there for some time, perhaps fifteen minutes, when, rather suddenly, a very subtle yet profound change began to accrue in the central perspective of my awareness. I felt calm, and present, and aware, and there seemed to be a kind of (subtle-but-essential) playfulness to the color and characters of the world around me as I watched it in stillness and movement. Just about the time I noticed this, I heard a sound from the brushPlace, and I kind of sat up to see what was making it, because it was loud enough to be a large animal.
I saw something really terrifying emerge from the brush — some 100 yards away — in the direction I considered northwest. It was a White Coyote, and it wasn’t like any possible coyote I can imagine, it was a nightmareCreature — it had the power of being incredibly scary in the way we tend to call alien. It moved wrong, and too fast, and too weirdly. It was clearly some sort of infernal nexus of strangeness. It had really frightening teeth, which grew in a horrifying wall of razor-edged, linked bananaShapes from its upper and lower jaws. All these effects combined into an earthshattering sum. But the worst part — aside from all the really obvious terror of its teeth, nature, terrorPower and movement — was the surety that it had come specifically for me, and was sniffing around at this moment in an attempt to better locate the spoor which had already led it to my proximity.
I knew two things: I was in unexpected trouble unprepared, and that some sort of action was going to be necessary. There was no reasonable nearby cover, and the animal moved, like lightning. There would be no avoiding it, that was instantly clear, and there was no reasonable weapon or shield handy. My mind flashed to the old tree; I thought I remembered some large branches which might be handled to advantage, lying near it.
As I rose, from slightly up the hill to my left, I saw a movement, and as the Coyote was moving rapidly toward me, this other creature — which I could now see was a large and regal-looking Wolf moved to a place above and between us on the upper hillside, and stared down at the Coyote, which stopped in its tracks instantly. The Wolf was grayBlack in color.
The two seemed to exchange a challenge and an answer, and the Coyote returned to the brush, appearing defeated. The Wolf glanced at me, emotionless, and then turned and departed.
I felt relieved, and thankful that the Wolf had come, and wondered at the relationship of this Wolf to myself, and the whole situation for a moment — whereupon I realized that the Coyote was still nearby, and quite formidable. I decided I should head for the tree, and see about locating a large branch with which I could at least defend myself to some degree.
I returned to the tree, and discovered that I had failed to notice some of its features in my prior passing. It was moderately sized by the standard of an Oak tree, its bark was thickly textured — a deep wrinkly black which was almost shiny. In numerous orifices along its bare trunk and branchings, there were ‘holes’ of a distinctly vaginal shape, akin to those which sometimes occur in real trees, but are generally more round. These were like elongated eyes, turned on their sides — with a few rings of unusual rung of growth around their edges. Within the center of each of these there was an unusual crimson/pink berry. It was generally roundish, but irregular, and the surfaces was complexly and geometrically articulated — bumpy in patterns, one might say. Extremely bright, almost fluorescent— and covered with tiny hemispheres of itself.
Again I heard movement in some nearby brush — in the same direction as my return, and again to the left. I knew it was the Coyote — and the Man and Woman were nowhere to be found. I hurriedly glanced around and found a perfect branch. It was long, wieldy, and hand a complex broom-like mesh of twigs at the end — a perfect tool for the idea I had.
My idea was to try to ‘squish’ the Coyote down against the earth with the mesh of branches, trapping him with a broom’s pressure. This, I felt, would signal that I was not going to be trifled with — and would rattle him enough to convince him to seek elsewhere on his errands. We approached each other, and things speeded up, very suddenly.
We began a rapid and brief series of circular feints as he closed upon me — and just as he leapt for me, I ‘squashed him down’ with the branchBroom. As I did that, he twisted, however, and I had to adjust my leverage to keep him restrained. When I did this, he squirmed very rapidly and was able to brush the edges of his teeth on the left side of his horribly toothy and seemingly cheekless face against the soft flesh above my right thumb.
The Coyote’s white teeth left a small but clear series of thin bloody cuts in the soft skin there, and I leapt back, letting go of the branch in shock. The White Coyote simultaneously leapt out from under my broom and was gone into the brush in a flash, his errand apparently accomplished.
I felt extremely uncertain and really worried about the fact that he’d broken my skin with his teeth. It seemed clear that there was some potentially dangerous principle in his bite. Though he’d not bitten me — his teeth were so sharp that merely brushing their sides along my skin had cut me. I headed back for the tree, hoping to find the Man and the Woman. When I got there they were standing near the tree, the Man in Front, the Woman behind him — to his right.
The Man seemed to already underStand what had transpired, but I think I made a brief report which was limited to the incident with the Coyote that I had just returned from. He and the Woman conferred very briefly, without words, and he turned to me and spoke:
“She says that you've been bitten by the White Coyote, but it is not clear to you what this means. She says that it is good, but that you will have a hard struggle to see this, and that there will be a lot of confusion or early trouble, but the outcome will be better than if you'd not been bitten. She says it will be good in the end.”
I was confused, but I trusted his answer. Implicit in something about the way he told me all of this was that I had received something like medicinePower, or a gift — that was also going to be a great burden.
I believe they left, I looked at the tree for a moment, and awoke.
It later became clear to me that the Wolf was not in fact my protector in this matter, but instead — an agent of something habitual ‘that stands in the way’ of growth.
the underground homestead : the timeBasement : the shorn lion
This dream occurred after the I AM HERE event. Probably around 3 years later. It involves ‘A’ (mentioned in the above experience) as a character in the dream. Long ago, in the late 70’s my mother ran a resort hotel for a few years on the Russian River in California. The dream began near this hotel, with A and I passing the hotel on a road. The homestead beneath it echoed some structural features of my grandmother’s old suburban home in Santa Rosa, California.
We passed before the pseudovictorian hotel from right to left, and on the left side of the hotel, down some rustic earthen stairs there was a storm-cellar door. (I’ve never actually seen one of these.) I realized then that there is something really amazing down there that I wish to introduce A to.
“Wow, you’ve got to see this, there are some people I want you to meet down here.” I opened the storm doors and we descended a long wooden stairway — which came out in a something reminiscent of my grandmother’s garage. There was a woman there, waiting to meet us, who I knew to have a male companion. She was an artist, the keeper of the homestead, her work was painting. Her husband was a poet. I greeted her warmly and she began to show us around the room we were in, which was a sort of garage-like affair.
The homestead was made entirely of old barnwood, and all the inner walls had been painted with fantastical and surrealistic images of incredible and whimsical beauty. There were scenes of ecstatic dimensions — dreamworlds — each intricately and heartfully rendered. Incredible natural settings were rendered with an unearthly skill and realism. A magic seemed to leap from the wood into the air, a soothing and incredibly playful warmth. Intricately and ingeniously woven into the scenes that uniquely covered every wall were the man’s poems. His script was incredible – unique in every instance, and always adding to the scene perfectly, wherever it graced the walls. The words, like the images, were the work of a master poet, who was sensitive to the most minute elements of form, playfulness, and potential.
I immediately felt a sense of relief at having arrived, and I knew we were in an entirely different world. We went together through a door and up a few steps to a large open room, which looked out upon an entire underground domain. It was bright, sunny — and endless rolling hills and pastures were spread out in all directions. There was no evidence of technology of any sort — and I do not remember seeing animals.
Like the other rooms, the walls of this room (which had large windows) were intricately and artfully worked, and I realized that the walls had not merely been painted, but were in fact sculpted and painted — such that many of the images were actually bas-reliefs. The words and images mixed in an incredible symmetry which I discovered was an entire story, told on the walls of the entire house, in images and paintings. But there were also shelves everywhere — and each held the most amazing of toys and novelties — utterly magical, and perfectly placed. It was a wonderland of creativity, and as A and I enthusiastically explored the walls we began a conversation with the woman.
“This is the most amazing artwork I’ve ever seen — it’s almost perfect. You and your partner work together as though you are a single person.”
A: “Yes, it’s uncanny — it does appear to be a single artist’s hand...”
woman: (smiling) “Many have remarked upon this — but we have worked together for many years now and we both adore each other’s creativity — so sometimes we sort of get into this competition where one tries to set the stage for the other to really fly, and then the other does the same thing in their flying...but enough of that. Let’s see the rest of the house.”
We wandered around some, and went down some stairs into a really vast workshop that lay beneath the open room. It was divided up into smaller workshops — and all the walls and shelves continued the story. The walls were dark, and there were no windows down here. The toys and shelves that were arranged in perfect symmetry with the stories behind them we so intricate that they appeared almost futuristic — or nonmechanical. I began to wonder about this, but I was so excited that I started to talk about wanting to live in a place like this — for this feeling had been building in me since our arrival.
“How long have you owned this place?”, I asked.
”Oh, we are not the owners. We love it dearly, however, and we’ve been caring for it for many years. There were many before us — many.”
“Are you going to stay?”
“Things are uncertain at the moment. Why do you ask?”
“I would love to live here. If you ever need someone to take care of the place — or if you leave, please tell the owners that I would adore this place, and care for it as though it were my own. I would never allow any harm to come to any portion of it.” I felt ardent and plaintive — I was deeply sincere about this.
She smiled, and said, “Oh, yes. That’s a good idea. We will mention that if we should decide to leave.”
The woman seemed very definite and also pleased. I was developing (or remembering having had) a rather significant crush on her — but I respected her companion and the sanctity of their home and partnership more deeply than my other feelings.
At this point we wandered around some more — A and I were looking at the artwork and the novelties on the shelves. She guided us back to the room we had entered from, and I suddenly realized that the was a basement and this was of incredible significance. There was something magical, amazing and delicate in the basement.
“Would it be alright if I show A the basement? We will be extremely careful.”
The woman hesitated for a moment. Did I mention she was exquisitely attractive in a simple and human way? “Yes. Do be careful however. He has not seen it before.”
I was very excited, and A and I exchanged grins. “This is going to blow your mind,” I confided in him. I opened the door, and it was very dimly lit inside. We looked at each other again. “Be careful of what you touch. Things in here aren’t things.” A seemed to understand, and acknowledged with an attentive nod as we passed the threshold and I closed the door behind us.
‘The Basement’ was not merely a basement. It was an infinite rectangular room — or functionally infinite. We could only see the near walls. The light was dim, and came from no obvious source. Colors were lacking — we were in a sort of catacomb. The ceiling was far above, however, and the space was more enormous than anything I’d ever experienced or imagined. As we walked in I realized that no one had been here in thousands of years. I literally realized this specific thing, and it startled me. I began realizing more very quickly.
“Everyone and everything who ever lived is here,” I told A. “Each of these niches contains not only them, but every artifact they ever made contact with in their lives.” A feeling of incredible sacredness came over me, the atmosphere itself was alive with something forgotten and unnamable— a connectivity-sense. I began to explore, and as I explored, I quickly had a few other realizations. The walls were lined with large niches, each with a single occupant. It was clear that those who were related were always in near proximity.
Everyone who ever lived is here in one room, with all their artifacts. That means that -the first humans are here-. I marveled inwardly at the incredible and sovereign treasure I beheld. And then I heard a jinkleing sound, as of a lot of glassware, suddenly disturbed.
Behind me was a large circular table, which we’d passed upon entering. It was probably 10 feet in diameter, and make of some antiquated hardwood. Upon it a copious and diverse quantity of ancient glassware was stacked absurdly, in a pyramidal formation. A had touched the table, and now appeared to be glued to it in a sort of feedback-terror — and the table itself seemed to jiggle and gyrate somewhat madly, as though his mere proximity were disturbing it. I rushed over to the table, and grabbed onto the edge, in an attempt to stabilize it — and then I realized that he was not the source of its motion — it was shaking because he was touching it with fear. “Let go! Quick, before they start falling!” I sort of danced around the table and pushed him away, because he was too frightened to respond. Once he let go, the table stopped shaking, and settled.
“We should probably get out of here,” I suggested, and he definitely if quietly agreed. As we made our way back toward the door, I noticed that there was another door in the floorboards — and I realized for a moment the awesome significance of this fact — but I had to get A back upstairs. We left the basement and began wandering separately around the homestead, exploring. The woman was nowhere to be found. Eventually, some time later, I found myself in a hallway with entrances to three rooms. I casually walked into the nearest (I believe the middle room) and as I looked up I realized that there was a recumbent lion facing me, about 4 ft away. It was a male, and its mane had been shaved off. No sooner had I discerned it from the background than it leapt up and grabbed my testicles in its teeth — and instinctively grabbed his throat with both hands.
We stood this way for a moment, and I was extremely confused. I called out for aid, but it appeared that the house was now deserted but for me and the lion. It basically had the entire portion of my body between my legs in its jaws, and they it was trying to clamp down — but the pressure of my grip on its neck seemed to cause its strength to fail. I was terrified, and felt totally helpless. At last something gave way within me, and I squeezed the creature’s neck with all my might, until at last it passed out. I quickly left the area, and wandered through another hallway, into a place that was practically a duplicate of my grandmother’s livingroom — including the small court of brokedown houses around her, the street, telephone poles — all of this could be glimpsed through the screen-door, because the door itself was open.
Somehow I had become unclothed. Perhaps I took my clothes off after the lion adventure — but I do not recall that and I was clothed then. I was considering taking a breather and relaxing in the livingroom when I heard a car drive up and saw that the man of the house had arrived. He was getting out of his car some 40 feet away, after parking in front of the walkway. I realized that if I was naked when he arrived I would not only be embarrassed — he might suspect that I’d been amorous with his companion. I tried to dress quickly — but I failed to do much more than get my pants on by the time he came in. He was very friendly, and dressed smartly in a dark blue suit. He expressed surprise, but did not seem offended or suspicious — and he put me at ease immediately. He implied that he and his companion had been somewhat at odds of late — and that things around the homestead had been changing for some time since my last visit, that he wasn’t at all certain how it was going to turn out. While I was dressing, shortly after he explained this in the way an old friend would — I awakened.
An idealized remembrance of the layout of the homestead:
green marks are doors. windows in the open room are
marked with blue.
0: Where we arrived, inside
1: the garage that wasn’t one.
2: The open area
3: a room
4: the lion room
5: a room
6: the ‘livingroom’
9: the walkway
10: the underground workshop
?: the entrance to ‘the basement’.
: home :