It’s March 3rd, 2018; I have decided to add this chapter to a book I have written, "An End to Loneliness." I am feel compelled to do so due to experiencing synchronicity. I am reading multiple books. And in one of them, I was reminded me of the planarian worm. What’s particularly interesting about this worm is that if you cut one in half, each half regenerates the whole so that now you have two complete organisms. That’s pretty cool in itself, but what’s more interesting, scientist have trained these little guys to like light by putting irresistible foods in light so that they associate the good stuff with the light. Once trained, they cut the little buggers in half and grow two new ones. As you would expect, the part with the brain goes to the light and gets more food. You would likely expect the one without a brain would need to be retrained. Guess what, it also knows to go to the light. It defies the scientific model that the brain is the most important organ in a system.
This shouldn’t be too surprising. Most people, in this day in age, have heard of memories being transplanted along with donor hearts. Maybe you have heard about this from a television show or a movie, but it’s a real thing, and well documented. The Heart's Code, Dr. Paul Pearsall is one of the books I was reading, when the other book that I will mention shortly reminded me of the planarian phenomena. Even though people know about memories being transplanted with heart transplants, after all, it’s well documented in medical literature, the scientific mainstream and the general medical practitioner ignore this at best, refute it at worse. If Pearsall is correct, memories aren’t just transplanted with donor hearts. All organ transplants come with memories from the donor. A blood transfusion could result in the recipient having new memories, sudden, inexplicable cravings for a particular food, even change in behaviors.
This is important in and of itself to note and explore, because it suggest we are not our brains, that we are something far more interesting, but that conversation tends to get shut down or relegated to myth, or I dare say fiction, or relegated to spiritual discussions, and again, I would dare say ‘fiction’ is how the mainstream would box that. I lead with that so I can get you here: in chapter 7 of ‘The Heart’s Code’ there is a casual reference to the “other.” The Observer. The Passenger. There are a quite a few names for this ‘entity’, because apparently all cultures have encountered this ‘being.’ Hypnotist encounter it when they descend a person through a certain level of relaxation. Meditators have gone deep enough to experience this ‘being.’ Novelists and poets have written about this. The other author I was reading just recently that introduces this concept in his first book follows it with a second book devoted solely to exploring the concept of this other being, “The Daemon” by Anthony Peake.
Why do I want to discuss, or add that here? Well, partly, because, I think I have evidence that I have encountered this being. I intend to share that here shortly. But also because if this being exists, it is just one more argument for ‘plurality,’ that needs to be explored. Medical science has demonstrated without a shadow of a doubt, we are at minimum two people. The Left and Right hemispheres of the brain function as two, independent personalities. If you severe the hemispheres by cutting away the corpus callosum it is possible to communicate with either halves. Each half operates as if were whole. Two people, joined together to make one. If Pearsall is correct in the premise of his book, then we can add the heart to this equation, and here is an argument for a third person! How many people have said think with your brain not your heart. At some point, you have to accept the literary evidence isn’t just a metaphor, this is our reality. If we accept Peake is right, then there is also this other being, our selves but with vastly more memory and access to greater sensory input than what we perceive through our personality filters. If you accept Jung’s assertion that there is a collective unconscious, then we are exchanging information on a superior level, and that, too, will manifest as archetype and or societal personality. More people! If you accept Pearsal premise in his book, “the Heart’s Code,” the heart is a bio-electric transmitter receiver that is in constant dialogue with every other heart, then again, more people because we’re connected with everyone else. We rise or fall together is no longer just a metaphor. We co-evolve. Once you know this, experience it firsthand, how can we ever say 'I'm alone?' Even if you are alone, who are you actually saying that to when you express that sentiment?
I like Anthony Peake’s work. I enjoyed reading his first book, “Is There Life After Death? The Extraordinary Science of What Happens When We Die.” I didn’t find it as comforting as say, Doctor Moody’s book “Life after Life,” but then, he wasn’t presenting information to increase a person’s comfort level. He was merely sharing data and philosophizing his interpretation of that data. I share his conclusions, based on the evidence he shares in the book, and some of my own personal, howbeit subjective, experiences. Where he and I diverge is on the number of ‘Passengers.’
What I am about to share, I have shared with very few people. The first time I shared it was after reading “Lucid Dreaming: Gateways to Inner Self,” by Robert Wagoner. In his book, he was discussing a feature of consciousness he had encountered, a light. The distinctive way he discusses that light completely encapsulated my own experience.
The first time I experienced this light was in the Fall of 1982. I wish I were more specific, but I spent a good deal of time rationalizing away the event as just a dream. I didn’t have the guts to discuss it, and even if I had, I didn’t have a receptive audience. My parents would have dismissed it as a dream, and I was already discouraged from discussing dreams. I had some crazy dreams. In fact, I was having such crazy dreams that I think I evoked this intervention:
I had gone to sleep ruminating, worrying, and contemplating life in general. I remember carrying the contents of these worries into my dream state, where a peculiar summarization occurred: Everyone dies, and eventually, even the atoms that comprise everything will fade and vanish. Impermanence is the only permanence. Even God will die. That’s why He had a son, so there might be some hope of continuance. It was a fairly significant dream for a 14 year old, which in telling might sound like I was precocious; however, I would never claim such. In the dream, I was so freaked out about the existential dilemma that it felt like I was drowning and I couldn’t reach the surface.
Writers are advised to avoid the word “suddenly” but this is one of those stark moments when there seems to be no transition period. I was suffering one moment and then not suffering. I was surrounded by Light. I have labeled it blue, like sustained lightening. I could see the entire room in all directions simultaneously. There were no shadows in the room. I heard sounds that might be a gentle breeze, with musical over tones; if I had to choose, I would say it was music, not wind. And I heard a voice. “Be calm. All is well.” It was a voice and not a voice. I can’t clarify that statement further.
At this juncture I made an observation. I was examining a painting and looking straight on at it, but from my position on the bed, I should have been looking up at it at an angle. I said to myself, “oh, I’m floating.” On that remark, I began to descend, and crashed into the bed. I believe I was having an out of body experience, but I am not sure, because when I hit my body, my body jerked, like i had fallen into the bed from a height. I make that assumption it was out of body because the other possibility seems absurd: the moment I hit my body, my ‘eyes’ opened, the bed made a noise, and the room was dark. The Light and the sounds were gone, and I was scared. The illuminated clock clicked up one minute: 4:36. I got up and turned on the closet light and returned to bed, unable to sleep.
This experience as some features of what some might call an NDE. I clearly hadn’t died, but according to Atwater’s book of NDE there is also a term called FDE, or Fear-Death-Experience. You would think such an experience would permanently transform a life, but I am struck by how everything continued as normal. It didn’t immediately change my faith or perspective, though I was already struggling with that for a multitude of reasons. It may have accelerated me in a particular direction. Was this an intervention? That’s the only way I know how to box it. The question is, who or what was doing the intervening?
In, 2013, around Christmas time, I randomly stumbled across an episode of “One Step Beyond”, season 1, episode 10, “the Vision” which details the true events of four French soldiers who saw the Light and walked off the battle field. Flashback to above. Did I touch the same thing? Did the men who encountered this have permanent change? Did they go on to lead remarkable lives? Did I fail somehow? (I would really love more information about these people, and about the lives they led following the incident. This episode should be the movie Spielberg made, not “Saving Private Ryan.” I mean, I like SPR, but I love the message this episode delivers!)
The four Frenchmen probably went on to lead ordinary lives, or we would have heard more from them. Unless, those that live extraordinary lives get muffled. How many times did people report UFO’s only to be dismissed? Seriously, not just one or two people, but tens of thousands of witness even at one time. Phoenix Lights. The Chicago O’Hare International Airport incident. Even if you have an intervention and get all the answers, that doesn’t mean you don’t still have to experience what you came here to experience. Maybe, if you aren’t having interventions then you’re doing better than you imagine you are. If you aren’t being sedated, or otherwise restrained in a medical institution, you are probably having a good day.
I will end this with two of the most significant dreams and the circumstances leading up to it. Throughout childhood I had a recurring dream of being chased by a monster. On the verge of being caught, I would come full awake, panicking and desperate for light. Around age sixteen, his dream woke me, and I was so tired of being disturbed that I had an instant resolve, and declared, “should I have this dream again, I will turn and face the monster.” I returned to sleep, revisited the dream, but remembered my resolve. I turned and faced the monster. As soon as I did that, it ceased to be a monster, and proved to be a best friend. It wasn’t a friend that was in my external world, but rather something internal that at that moment I had come to terms with, and since it and I have had better relations. That was my initiation into dream work and lucid dreaming, way before I even knew what lucid dreaming was.
In 1992, the most important person in my life died. My paternal grandfather. My father flew on a pass to go attend to things, and my mother and I remained, intending to drive up three days later, from San Antonio to Abilene. I spent those three days intending to dream of Papa, as it was the only way I figured I could connect for that that final farewell. I went through each of the three days repeating the mantra, “I will dream of Papa.” I woke from the first nights attempt to a remarkably beautiful day that had no purpose being so beautiful. I remember being on the porch and watching closing diamond patterns on the surface of the swimming pool, and a clear blue sky that should not have had such clarity, and only irritated me further because it wasn’t cooperating with me. I wanted storms to match my mood. I turned to go back in, paused to collect a white feather from the top of the barbeque, and mechanically placed it in my book “illusions” by Richard Bach. I proceeded through the second day, increasing the frequency of the mantra. I awoke from the second night, again with no result, not even normal dream recollection. I went out on the porch to greet another day, even angrier that the day still didn’t reflect my mood. And again, I collected a white feather from the top of the barbeque and mechanically put it the book next to the first. I proceeded through the day with intense mantra vocalizations, and again woke to the third day with no results. The one difference was as I looked over the balcony, there was a small boy, black, staring up at me.
“Have you seen that dove that has been visiting your porch every morning?” he called up to me.
“No!” I snapped, turned to go inside, grabbed the third feather from the barbecue, and placed it with the others.
I never saw that child before, and I have never seen him since.
I drove to Abilene, accompanied my mother, and along the way I disclosed my intentions to dream of Papa over the last three days. She said something disparaging, such as “your dreams are nonsense, the combination of too much television and movies and I don’t wish to hear about them.” Not only did she shut down that conversation, it shut down all conversations. On arriving in Abilene, the first thing I did was find Papa’s keys. I believed these were something he held every day and if I held them, it would increase the probability I would dream of him. That night I also slept in his bed, and wore one of his night shirts. (My grandparents slept in single beds, like the Flintstones or I Love Lucy, and Mama didn’t mind, as all the other beds in the house were occupied with visiting family.) I surrendered to the night, my mantra fading as I slipped into that transition state from wake to sleep, only to wake to the sun streaming in through the window, alone, and, again, having had no dreams, or recollections of dreams.
I made my way to the kitchen. Mama was making breakfast. Eggs, bacon, biscuits. My mother was at the table, writing something. I sat next to her and inquired what she was doing. She waved me off. I persisted. She asked me to give her moment and still, I persisted.
“I’m writing down the dream I had last night.”
“You don’t write dreams down.” I reminded her of our conversation where she said my dreams were fluff.
“Please, I want to finish this.”
“You don’t remember saying that just yesterday?”
“I dreamt of Papa and I don’t want to forget this.”
“Oh, no you didn’t!” I snapped. I was really angry.
She put down her pen. “In the dream I went into Papas room and I didn’t see him till I looked in the mirror on the dresser. He was sitting on the edge of his bed and he looked confused, so I told him we would be okay, that he could go into the Light…”
“You would not say that!” I yelled. “You would never say that. If I had said that you would have said I had watched Poltergeist too many times. You’re making fun of me, you don’t believe in dreams. Why would you even say this?”
“And you were in the dream,” my mom continued, surprisingly calm for being yelled at, “And you were telling him not to go.”
I relinquished my hold on the keys I was still holding. They left impressions in the palm of my hand, even a cut. I realized that I had indeed been telling Papa not to go. I began to sob and was so inconsolable that I was not even asked to speak at the funeral, where most of the other grandkids said something. It was the only time in my life I saw my dad approach something akin to sadness. I saw tears coming from his eyes.
For about two weeks I rode some extreme emotions. I gave up trying to dream of Papa. I returned to life. During this time I moved from San Antonio to Dallas to work at DFW. On the first night at the new apartment, I experienced my first dream of Papa. The dream was bizarre only in that time seemed to move as it does in real life. We were on an airplane, and he was sitting two rows in front of me, talking to my parents. I could not hear the conversation, but I sat there, watching. He eventually got up, came one row back, and sat down with my brother, who was sitting in an aisle by himself. I’m not privy to that conversation, either, which is interesting in terms that it seems to defy normal dream mechanics. And time continued to click off in measurable units. Papa got up, came one row back, and sat down next to me. He did not speak. Neither did I. The silence and the measuring of time was uncomfortable.
“You’re taking this much better than I imagined,” he said.
“I don’t want to take this at all,” I countered, aware that I was crying.
“Look out the window,” he directed.
“What do you see?” he asked.
“Nothing.” I said, defiantly.
“What do you see?” he asked again, more firmly.
I described the broken terrain of farmland and cars and things you would naturally see from thirty thousand feet.
“That’s where I am buried. That’s not where I am,” he said.
I woke up, my pillow wet with tears. Everything began to connect, in metaphoric context. The dove, the black kid who got elevated to angel, (Daemon?) the barbeque, the mirror in mom’s dream, the keys, the feathers in the book, 3 feathers specifically, holding onto and finally the release of both intention and physical objects… This was a spiritual experience unlike anything I had had prior. Naturally, I could simply rationalize the event that my brain built constructs to cope with the grief. That is a possibility.
I prefer what seems obvious to me: I had another intervention. I am not alone.