December 16, 2021

 Even after a year, I still waffle between thinking I’m hallucinating and trusting that at least some truth is being revealed to me by way of the Imaginal. Today was no exception. I started out thinking that it was all in my head (which, I suppose, it is. Or at least, it’s in my soul which appears mostly within my body awareness.) 

You’ll recall from yesterday’s entry that I encountered the man who was worried about his daughter (or at least I think it was his daughter) because he’d died, leaving her alone. He took up residence within my soul and I could feel the patterns of tension in his body within mine. It’s clear when this happens that the tensions aren’t mine, although they do have some impact on my experience. I tend to feel slightly numb emotionally when the soul that is occupying my own is numb. It’s not bad, just noticeable.

This morning, my meditation was just a regular meditation at first. Gradually, though, I became more aware of his experience in my body. I learned that his ethnicity was not white; he was definitely brown-skinned during his human life. (Yesterday, I couldn’t tell what his race might be because he initially appeared caked in white clay or wax. Not sure what that was about but it’s not uncommon for the ‘lost’ souls to appear encased in something when I meet them.) As I felt into his experience, there was a little tension because, of course, he knew that I’m white. Also, he could tell that I’m gay. I get the strong sense that he was heterosexual in life and probably didn’t have a very flattering view of homosexuals. So, there was tension around me, a white homo, being the one who was called to help him.

I wasn’t offended by his resistance to me. Why would I be? There was nothing to do but just allow him to work through his reactions. It helps that time is strange in the Imaginal - it can both freeze and accelerate. Usually, the souls I meet work through their stuff pretty quickly and this was no exception. Despite Griffin’s goading (Griffin doesn’t possess the same restraint that I do when it comes to intransigent souls), this guy worked through his resistance relatively quickly.

His resistance gone, things started to happen. I became aware of a light shining through evergreen trees. I was a small clearing. It was wintertime but only cool, not cold. Because of this, I felt like I was somewhere in the South, although I don’t know for sure. I moved through the pine trees and saw a cabin before me. It was gently lit - all wood, fairly rough but homey and comfortable. I immediately felt relaxed.

I get the sense it was Christmastime and there were either candles or lanterns in the house. I could see a wood stove and a table and chairs through the windows. I walked onto the porch. It was a beautiful porch, wide and welcoming. The eaves stretched out overhead, rough hewn wood. Entering the cabin, I looked around. The place was cozy and pervaded with an intimate sense of calm. This feeling is familiar; there is a sweet tenderness one feels in the Imaginal, especially when encountering death. It feels like time has stopped and you have the luxury of completely melting into the scene. Every detail is sharp and clear, every emotion is beautiful. It is like stepping into utter silence, silence with heart.

I’ve never been present at a human birth but I wonder if it’s similar? When the baby finally emerges and takes her first breath, is there a moment when time freezes and the intimacy of the moment touches deeply all who are present?

I could feel the man inside him responding to the scene before us. It touched him in another way, one that made me think he knew where we were or at least recognized what was happening personally in some way.

There was a bed to the left side, barely more than a cot. Like the rest of the cabin, though, it was cozy. There was a handmade quilt upon it and, under the covers, lay an old woman. I got the sense that, even though we were alone with her, it’s possible that there were people present with her in physical reality that we could not see. Even though she was alone, I didn’t feel like she was really alone.

The reason we were here became clear over the next few moments. The man inside me was stricken at the sight of the old woman, stricken with all sorts of emotions. All traces of tension or numbness dissipated within him as his heart came alive. He was moved and I was moved along with him.

Who was this old woman who lay dying? Was it his mother? Grandmother? Actually, no, I don’t think it was either of them; rather, I believe it was his daughter. The same young one he was distraught about leaving behind too soon when he died. I believe we had been called forward through time to meet her at the time of her death. I believe the man inside me was there to meet her, perhaps to take her on.

My assumptions were turned on their head. When I first encountered him, I believed that he needed my help to continue on his journey. After all, a guide had led me to him, right? But maybe there were multiple reasons. Like I’ve written, time is different in the Imaginal. Moments that are far apart in linear time occur simultaneously or are at least adjacent. So, his death and the death of his daughter could take place nearly together. He could meet her and she could meet him, they could help each other.

This training in the Imaginal keeps me wondering about the nature of things. When one steps out of time and space, the laws are different and things that are impossible in the physical world–fantastic, almost inconceivable things–are possible and in fact are fated to occur. I find it both awe-inspiring and touching. It makes me wonder and it makes me feel reassured. I feel like I can relax in ways that I’ve never been able to.

Life can be brutal and harsh in the physical world and it can also be incredibly sublime and beautiful. If you took the physical world to be everything, you would be missing out on a whole universe of possibilities. Only by taking the numinous together with the physical can you begin to understand the meaning of life.


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