January 15, 2021

 


I found the above screencap from the Internet. Clearly, the Tibetan experience of the fifth Bardo is colored by their culture but it jibes pretty closely to my experience. Is this the Bardo that I’m encountering? Sure seems like it.


Yesterday, I was pretty hyper from my experience in the Imaginal that morning and didn’t sleep well. I kept feeling like I was in the Imaginal even before my eyes closed. Finally, after waking after midnight and lying there with my eyes open, I decided to meditate to clear my mind. Even though I was tired, in a few minutes I found myself back in the Imaginal.


I noticed that my experience of the Imaginal is enhanced when I’m well-rested. I still experience it when I’m tired but my senses are dulled and it takes longer to recognize what’s there.


This time, I encountered three souls consecutively, one of which may not have been dead.


When I entered the realm, I became aware of a greenish, deathly light and scattered skulls and bones at the base of a tower. For some reason, I started crying when I saw the bones and knew they belonged to people close to the heart of the soul I was about to visit. I climbed the stairs and met her. At first, her form was monstrous appearing as a bloated, hairless ogre. However, when I invited her to tell me about herself and opened up my heart to her, she changed and the ogre form melted away, revealing a woman in her middle years. Somehow, I knew that she was a mother and I also knew that the bones scattered around the base of the tower belonged to her children. I cried with her then and we held each other, sharing in this terrible grief. When I looked up at one point, we were surrounded by a host of shades, the spirits of the people who died on the plain surrounding the tower. They were only there for a moment before they disappeared.


After we cried, I took the woman by the hand and led her down the stairs and out of the tower. No longer weighed down with grief, she squared her shoulders and walked across the bone-strewn field and disappeared.


I stood for a while on the side of the field of death in a little stand of pine trees. I breathed in and savored the sound of snowflakes falling on the trees and at my feet. It was a still, cold and beautiful night and I was in no hurry to go anywhere.


As I waited, the shadow of the ‘demon’ I mentioned at the end of my January 14, 2021, entry appeared and attacked me verbally, questioning my motives for being in the Imaginal and accusing me of doing it for egoic reasons. I didn’t react to the attack and instead acknowledged that, yes, I knew that my ego is involved and wants to puff itself up for my experiences in the Imaginal. This seemed to deflate the ‘demon’ and I countered by asking him about his own motivations. Why was he attacking me? Had I done anything to harm him?


This precipitated an inner crisis and the soul’s demonic form disappeared, revealing a small, hunched man. The man opened himself up to me and I saw how tormented he had been in life. He had been abused horribly, ridiculed and rejected and called a monster. I cried with him about this, telling him that the people who abused him were the real monsters and there was nothing wrong with him. This seemed to help but I sensed there was still more. I asked him to tell me his story.


He revealed that not only had he been treated abusively in his adult years but had been horribly abused as a child. He couldn’t remember any happy memories from his childhood, it has all been awash in fear and pain and torture. We cried more and gradually the burden lifted. I saw his form change again such that he was made of softly glowing, white light and he was cradling a baby in his arms. He hugged it fondly, murmuring to it and telling it how precious it was.


The next thing I remember is that he was standing beside me, relaxed and reinvigorated and ready to face what was to come next in his journey. We stood together, holding hands and listening to the snowfall. We could have had sex then; he wanted it. But I politely demurred. In the end, he walked off into the night much like the woman before him.


The final soul was different. For some reason, the Hindu God Ganesh appeared before me. Why Ganesh or all things? I have no idea but that was definitely who it was. I don’t know much about the Hindu pantheon but I do recognize the elephant-headed deity. He sat before me, observing me silently. I bowed to him in acknowledgement and stood there silently. Gradually, I became aware of a feast of Indian foods laid out before us. A sea of food, brought by worshippers as offerings. Ganesh regarded it with amusement because, as a god, he had no interest in food. Still, he saw the dishes for what they were and appreciated them.


Ganesh nodded his head, indicating a person whom I first took to be a young, beautiful woman. She was dressed in a beautiful sari and sat with her head bowed, praying to Ganesh. The longer I observed her, the more I realized that she wasn’t a woman...or a man, either. She seemed to be an intersex person or maybe nonbinary. I’m not sure. I do know that ‘their’ gender was not completely female, although they did appear as female.


The person appeared to be praying to Ganesh for wisdom on how to be themself. There was a lot of confusion inside them because they knew they weren’t considered ‘normal’ by their society. Also, there was a young man involved and the person wanted to be with him. I’m not sure whether the young man knew of their gender identity or not.


I was a bit mystified about what to do. How would I make a difference here? In the end, I approached them and opened myself to them, welcoming them to share their story with me. We hugged and I celebrated them, telling them they were loved by Ganesh and they were completely normal. They responded joyfully to this and we even danced a little together (something I would never do in real life) because they were so exuberant. When we parted, they left feeling like their prayers had been answered.


This is a mystery to me. Was this a product of my imagination? It didn’t feel like it but who knows? I’ve never encountered a living person in the Imaginal before, much less a Hindu god. What does it mean? I’m glad that I could provide affirmation to them but how much good did it really do? And why me? Couldn’t Ganesh have done the same? The Imaginal is so weird!


This might be the first time I journeyed to the Imaginal that I didn’t have sex (or Griffin didn’t have sex) with someone I encounter there. Maybe this is a new trend? I’m still not sure how I feel about having sex in the Imaginal.


Also, Griffin appears to be gone for good, possibly he moved on to the next realm and I’ll meet him there when or if I visit. Maybe he only appeared long enough to give me an orientation and make sure I knew what to do? A temporary guide? That seems to be the case. I still feel a connection to him but it’s changed and he no longer appears beside me or fused to me like he did for the first week or so I was in the Imaginal.


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