13% [chapter 7]


Professional help never helped. Until one autumn day in 1990 when you felt compelled to seek the counsel of a Jungian psychotherapist in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts named Dr. John Huele. Initially, your parents agreed to pay for your weekly visits, relieved that at least you were finally out of their house and living "in squalor" in the big city. But once they received his bill for your first $90/hr session, they did not think your mental health was worth it. Dr. John did however, and asked you how much you could afford to pay without the help of your parents. So you continued seeing him for the next 18 months at the adjusted rate of $15/hr.

Long before the advent of hallucinogenic substances in your life, dreams had always been a place to receive guidance and insight, a place of both secret joys and enormous horrors. Often, it was easier to recall your childhood nightmares than to remember the actual events that took place.

The longest running reoccurring scene began at age 5. The whole family would sit in a small pink tiled bathtub inside a palatial space like a sound stage, always too brightly lit. One by one, they would pass around a plastic orange gun and point it at one of their own eyes. Pulling the trigger loudly sucked that eye out. Then they would all turn to you. Staring, one-eyed. The red hole of their newly exposed occular cavity dripping with bloody severed nerve endings. They'd hand you the gun and pressure you to do the same. Waking up screaming every time, your hands covered your face, guarding your precious double-eyed sight.

Together with Dr. John you moved through these quirky and cruel psychological imaginings, pieceing together an intricate and imposing map of your subconscious landscape. You began to uncover by emotional associations what certain colors, words, sounds, animals, people and places really meant. It was the only type of therapy you felt just as excited to engage in as did the Dr. himself. Whenever you would rattle on about the frustrating things happening in your regular life, he would patiently sit and listen. Inevitably, the words would come, "...and then, i had this dream," at which point, he would excitedly grab his yellow pad and pen and start scribbling down your dream's details like an inspired madman. The two of you would then set about working on the decoding process, slowly adding more elements to the expanding cartography of this emerging new found land.

It was fascinating and sometimes heartbreakingly illuminating. You would always have to take a step back in the presence of this other, higher mind. It would record and playback so many complex issues, effortlessly weaving together a song of solution, so delicate and so simple. You never felt quite qualified to take credit for coming up with these mechanisms for coping. They never seemed entirely yours.

Those sessions enabled you to first conceive of the viable possibility of self-healing through dreams. They birthed the connections your mind made to the infinite sources of healing energy out there in the unknown universe, inside the quantum omnipresent vibrating fields. You're forever indebted to the knowledge gained from Dr. John. You also thanked fuck that Jungian psychoanalysis existed at all. Otherwise, you might have succumbed to your parents wishes that you be committed to a mental institution for being depressed anti-social bipolar defective or whatever. It should come as no surprise then, that when you first heard the song "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies in 1986, you had found a long loyal friend in punk rock. And, incidently, the more involved you became with Jungian dream journeys into the collective world of ancient archetypes, mythological beasts, and other archaic symbols,the less involved you were with the outrageous consumption of drugs and alcohol in order to deal with the ongoing psychological and socioeconomic trials of anyone trying to stay alive below the poverty line.

Lucid dreams happened sporadically as far back as you can remember. But practicing "dream yoga" almost religiously, you were having sometimes 2 or 3 lucid dreams a night, most often in the form of nightmares. Gradually, you learned how to transform these repetitive haunted terrors. Becomming lucid, you could bolster the courage to take control of your own mind. The nightmares then began to diminish and nearly ceased. Getting to know those Black Dogs that chased you for so many years, you now took ownership of your imagination. You screamed at their snarling, "STOP!" No longer would you run from them. You stood still, commanding them with a pointed finger to "SIT." And they did. Their faces shifted to little grins with tongues dangling and tails began to wag. The Black Diamond Dogs became a crazy bitch's best subconscious friends.

However, for some reason, waking up from these exalted states of consciousness became more difficult. Equal amounts of curiosity and fear caused you to question the nature of reality itself in a much more intensely tactile way, having up to 8 or 9 "false awakenings" after each lucid dream. This was so exasperating that you worried if you would ever really wake up at all. And a part of you started to feel the distinction between real life and the lucid dream waning. Thinner and thinner. The difference was disappearing. It got to be a bit much.

This persistent fear of losing your mind, without the reliable excuse of being fucked up on drugs, induced a sober admiration for the practice and a larger sense of responsibility toward approaching this state of mind with sincerity, not aggression or greed. In return, you discovered many valuable truths within each dream's revealing riddle. It seemed these riddles were coming from, again, a source of higher intelligence you couldn't even begin to understand. Nor could you make any sense of why it would feel your damaged brain was worth receiving the wisdom embedded within these undazzling, but inspired insights.

Insights so hackneyed, yet they stood the test of time. Recalling these unvarnished mantras helped you regain a sense of internal calm while caught in the constant storms of stress and strife. All you had to do was take the time to look, feel and listen...because sometimes, it IS all too much. You get so tired of having to fight nonstop for every single little fucking scrap of some stupid bullshit basic need; like being heard, like being seen, like being treated with the barest thread of common human decency. Not being overlooked or ignored or cut off or pushed aside when waiting in line at the corner store or at a red light. Taking a timeout from society's infantile needs to go inward instead calmed you. It calmed the defeatism that would leak from feeling like the blank faced rusty little cog that amuses itself by squeaking in sync while it's trapped inside this massively malfunctioning male dominated earth raping kindness killing machine.

But this is life in the Natural World; even single-celled organisms have to defend themselves in order to survive. Every living thing is a sentient being, struggling just as hard as you to feel a momentary peace. Every single molecule is capable of reflecting intentions, of resounding vibrations of consciousness. Paying attention to those equally sentient cells involved alongside you in the act of living, breeds compassion and kinship. Insights are then bestowed upon us all when we open ourselves to the auras within empty spaces because they are Not Empty At All.

Put into the context of each individual's map of their own subconscious symbolism, any manner of things can take on new magical meanings, or renew a childlike curiosity with the mysteries of life. And despite society's attempts to carve, cut, shock, tranquilize and otherwise mute different kinds of creative thinking, as a species, we continue to be mystified with the ancient ancestral magic of dreams, with the connection we all have to the collective unconsciousness, with the innocent divinity we keep secret but secretly celebrate inside our sleeping minds as it delights us with it's absurd little insights on the nature of being.

Absurd little insights like "There is no such thing as Winning, there is only Spinning"- a phrase accompanied by an image of the cyclical rotation of the earth that occured while you were, once again, feeling like a total failure and considering suicide.

A song, whose humorous showtuney chorus,"Men are Minor, Waste of Eyeliner," was a response to your frustration with the misogynistic inequality you repeatedly confronted both in your intimate relationships and at work.

Your personal favorite, "If you take lots of small steps to hell, you will end up in hell. If you take lots of small steps toward heaven, you will end up in heaven."

After the more recent addition,"All there is is IS," you found some sense of ease in regard to making big life altering decisions, viewing the consequences of your choices as neither good nor evil, but knowing that no matter what you chose to do, all you would ever have to deal with is exactly what is in front of your face. Every decision therefore forces you to face simply THIS. And this 3rd face then revealed itself to you as a face that is All Faces, yet faceless.

*u can call me ph!*