In the early 1980’s I read a Jim Unger cartoon of Herman, cut it out then taped it to my refrigerator. This is not normal for me to do but I didn't think anything about it. The act was done automatically, without questioning why I did it. It remained there for some time, I can't remember exactly how long.
One day I removed it from the refrigerator then taped it to the doorjamb between our kitchen and dining room. I had never done that either but nobody said anything about it. Again I gave no thought to why I would tape a cartoon to the doorjamb. It was not often I cut out a cartoon for any reason and a cartoon taped on the refrigerator isn’t too strange anyway. But taping it to a doorjamb was unusual. I don’t remember that anyone ever mentioned it.
Whenever I glanced at it I noticed that I felt a mild irritation because I did not understand the cartoon. It wasn't funny because the caption seemed to have nothing to do with the picture and usually I laugh at Herman's doings. The cartoon remained there for another period of several months. One day I stopped to re-read the caption then jerked it off the doorjamb and threw it away.
More time passed, a few years that were extremely uncomfortable because an immense change was under way in my personal life. I could not have guessed how immense this change was going to be when I first read the cartoon, nor why a peculiar kind of blindness prohibited my ‘getting the point’ of the cartoon. Trying to understand what was happening in my changed mind, dealing with the new and unexplainably uncomfortable body condition and also handle my drastically altered real world life situation at home and at work absorbed all of my attention.
My mind had changed so drastically that everything looked different but the biggest change was in how I heard everything. I believed I'd had a head injury but there were other possible causes for the new effects. I'd had a complete hysterectomy and been told I had 'severe menopausal syndrome'.
By 1985, I’d gotten a job at Boeing and had been on the job for nearly two years when the cartoon came back into my mind one day as I went about my work. I can remember the exact moment it came back into my mind. I was walking towards a certain door into a cold room, temperature was carefully maintained to protect certain materials that were fabric basically, until they were baked. Walking towards a door, ready to open it, the memory resurfaced into my mind. The entire cartoon event was regenerated, complete with its history except that I could not remember the words in the caption.
I felt compelled to remember them.
Knowing how long it had been taped right in front of me it seemed absurd that I couldn’t remember the words. What I remembered most vividly was that the cartoon had not made me laugh and there was no reason to clip it out and keep it for so long. Only then did the event seem strange.
Let me describe the cartoon at this point: The drawing showed Herman standing in front of a closed door and his wife was standing on the other side. A clock showed it was the wee hours of the morning. Her body posture indicated she was very, very angry. I couldn’t remember the words of the caption in one day, or the next day or for several days.
And I couldn’t avoid trying to remember them.
A compelling impulse kept the cartoon in the forefront of my attention. This peculiarly compelling impulse was just beginning to make its activities very clear at that point. One of it’s manifestations was that a word or a few words would flicker into my mind, persisting for days. At that point a small body of experience had already built up, a few events had made me curious about my mind. I was watching without knowing it, a steady accretion of experience in a ‘new vein of thought’ that was oddly connected directly at times to what was outside of my eyes. (Examples are at the end of this story.)
After the cartoon event and it’s history re-surfaced, I went about my job with a divided mind, preoccupied with trying to remember the actual words in the caption and secondarily doing my work.
At one point something I'd read recently came to mind from a book that impressed me very much because it seemed the authors' way of writing was familiar to me. Theodore Reik, the author of Listening With The Third Ear had devoted an entire chapter (Love and the Despot) to writing about how a line from a poem came into his mind one day but he couldn’t remember the rest of the poem or where he’d read it.
The line from the poem haunted him the same way I was being haunted by the caption I’d forgotten. He was compelled to try to remember the poem just as I was being compelled to remember the words of a cartoon. When I remembered how he was plagued by a persistent need to remember the poem I felt a kinship of sorts with him.
Mr. Reik described the process by which he begins to remember. He described the mental process of retrieval in great detail as he observed the meandering route that led to his remembering rather suddenly the entire poem and where to find it. I remembered thinking that his mind seemed to cooperate in the search by retrieving appropriate memories, apparently randomly until he got the 'sense' of what they meant. Then the next clue emerged. One event led to another then finally he remembered where he'd read the poem. It seemed to me he was led towards remembering what he had forgotten by a process of his own mind which had slowly built a trail to the original memory of the poem and where he could find it.
I also began to retrieve the words to the caption, but this happened gradually. At first my thought dwelt on the ‘sense’ of what the caption contained, trying to remember the precise words. Finally I remembered one word: hypothesis. I knew that one word was ‘hypothesis’. Over a period of time I 'guessed' at various other words that didn’t seem to fit, but finally remembered 'theory'. The caption was about a hypothesis and a theory.
One day all the words flipped into my mind and I knew immediately these were the correct words.
“Formulate a hypothesis then construct a theory to fit the facts.” “That's it. That is the caption!” I thought.
At that moment I ‘got’ the cartoon, it was embarrassingly simple. Herman was drunk. He knew his wife was waiting behind the door so he’d better have a good reason for being out so late. He was thinking up a good excuse.
Why it was not funny to me and why I could not see a drunken man’s plight is still a long story. I would have to write about blind spots, double binds, mixed signals, 'folie aux duex condition' as well as about how little I knew about stereotypes that we used to believe about alcoholics until recently. This alcoholic did not fit the stereotype, so he could not be an alcoholic. That's what he told me when I mentioned one day that he drank too much.
A word that changed my life was ‘co-dependency’, which had entered our common vocabulary. The word was related to alcoholics at first. But in the years since then,that idea spread gradually to account for other areas of dependency. drugs, cults, even people, etc. The pattern of behavior by alcoholics and how they affect those close to them was just the beginning of how understanding 'co-dependency' entered my mindset. But I was only one person, not the collective batch of people living with someone else's unacknowledged addiction. Because the stereotyped pattern was all I knew, I had not suspected someone close to me was an alcoholic, the commonly known pattern’ was not in evidence.
Behind all of these changes, I was becoming aware in a particular way, of a 'mental bond' to another person. I couldn't have known how deeply that bond could go, almost to the point of making one person from two persons' mindsets. I'd begun to recognize the source of many changes in my body and mind, it was a degree of role reversal and I knew nothing about psychology then. I was in therapy for the first time. (It is still a deep marital bonded condition but keep in mind that I had begun to recognize it myself, just barely by then. When I read Emanuel Swedenborg's Conjugal Love years later and had other real world experiences with 'bonded couples', I understood from my own life's events, and had observed in some couples we knew how 'two can live as one person'! A family can live as one person too!)
The caption's words had very much to do with the changes in how I heard as well as what I saw! I could not 'see' literally what the other half of the binary unit, didn't see, at least not easily. However, especially as I had to find out, I could not speak of what I did see. Many if not all stereotypes have almost vanished now in 2000 as I write. Reading a news story about Patty Hearst and the Stockholm Syndrome had made me pause to wonder what she felt, that caused her to join her kidnappers. It seemed she shared her kidnappers mindset, just the part that made her co-operative and sympathetic.
Yet as time passed there was another more compelling reason that explained why I couldn't relate to a very simple cartoon depicting an alcoholic trying to find a reasonable excuse for coming home so late: Future events had to happen, such as my opening a door in 1987 at Boeing in the Fabrication Division to the 'cold room' at work. I had to learn to make connections between what I was reading, certain thought and inner content that was new to me to what I was physically doing. Such a relationship was absurd but it was there.
What I was physically doing that day was an exact representation of another 'door' I had opened, the physical act was telling me what I was doing, in another context, in another world. It was a cold room literally, the atmosphere had to be controlled because certain work required low temperatures.
Remembering the words did not explain why the memory resurfaced so suddenly at that point in Time, 1987. It was only then that I realized it was a very strange situation that I'd not thought it was unusual, even a strange thing to do when I did it. What could account for my ‘strange act’ of taping it to the doorjamb, then a long time passed before I suddenly removed it? Then years later I'm plagued to remember the words?
There was no reason I could see that explained why I was prodded insistently to remember the caption. And why did the memory of that cartoon form an association in my thought, with a book I'd recently read, where Theodore Reik wrote about a similar event that had happened to him? And who was Theodore Reik anyway? I'd never heard of him and it was an unusual book for me to read all the way through, when reading was so painful. At times I thought my head would burst but I felt compelled to 'read the words anyway' by a subtle kind of inner content. (As I'd read it, I'd felt a distinct affinity for his way of describing in detail his mental processes and long trains of thought that led him to sudden moments of insight/understanding of his patients problems.)
I had noticed a slight similarity in that I talked to the way he wrote. “He writes like I talk.” I digressed a lot to set a context for what I was going to say.
And how odd that when I remembered the caption I understood the 'funny' aspect of the cartoon. It was a strange caption, not funny even then.
But this happened also: Remembering the words to the caption caused me to feel somehow rewarded! I had a barely there sense of words said to me: "You have done well." I had a sense, I cannot describe how it felt, of being praised, as though I had accomplished something. But where did this 'praise', this sense of being told: "You have done well.” come from? The words were somehow developed from a batch of memories from my past that came to mind. Little things I'd done when I was a girl and been told "Thanks" or praised. I'd mowed someone's yard, or done some chore for which I earned an entire quarter and been thanked. Or been the best speller in the contests we had in grade school. Incidents from my past were subtly retrieved and displayed.
Having remembered the words of the caption, they took up residency in the forefront of my attention after that day: “Formulate a hypothesis then construct a theory to fit the facts.”
But the words detached themselves from their actual origin. Now they did not seem to have anything to do with the cartoon or the original context in which I’d first encountered them. The words reoccurred many times a day but after a few days I didn’t think about the drawing, or its history, just the words in the caption.
They did not immediately seem to be words that had been spoken to me by an artificially generated ‘voice’ that was using those words that had been abstracted in such a memorable way from my past to give me, in 1987, an instruction that had been arranged in my past.
(Other events that were soon to occur built up that unexpected but distinct 'voice' attribute from the event. Over a period of time I recognized that the change in how I heard was a startling 'effect' that turned certain content 'towards' me, creating 'self reference, as well as seeming to be spoken by a person.)
After a few months during which two extremely important events happened, I related to the words in the caption as though a person was speaking them to me, telling me to do something, through the ‘event’. Several other events happened later that I had to recognize could not be random purposeless events because the precise timing became obvious. (The Safety Secret was the first incident.)
I noticed distinctly an activity in my mind that I had somewhat vaguely noticed and wondered to myself about: this 'effect' that I'd noticed over a period of 2+ years. The first incident had happened when I listened to a square dance caller, the man in the Dream, chant the name of a difficult movement: cast a shadow. Once I noticed that after he chanted the name of the movement, the words 'cast a shadow' always repeated clearly in quiet words in my mind. Many other callers used the words, I'd heard the call many times. But no caller other than this man produced the 'effect'. After I noticed it once, I noticed it happened every time he chanted them. The words repeated in my mind, always in that quiet but distinct thought voice repeated the words: 'cast a shadow'.
Eventually I wondered why the words occurred, then I wondered why the memory of the comic book character and radio show of The Shadow was retrieved. I heard again the creepy voice that said: "Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The Shadow knows. The Shadow has the power to blind men's minds so they cannot see him."
I had NEVER heard about or read anywhere any mention of Jung or his ideas then. My own mind was what I was 'looking at, into' then, but I didn't know that. When I read certain books, the words in the book seemed to be already present, somehow familiar to me but this was very vague. I will describe one event in which this effect on episodes of thought was quite distinct. It happened when I was assigned to a new station at work.
I was certain eventually that something was affecting thought that occurred into my mind, changing it but also I noticed some thought occurred that I didn't feel I was 'thinking'. What was going on in my head had become the focus of attention and I was curious about the new 'content' in my mind. I had already been experiencing a constant belt of thought streaming through my mind, although it was thought concerning a dream I’d had. Thought never stopped so I could sleep. It was always about one man, one square dance caller we knew. The streaming thought was about him and the dream, nothing romantic was involved. He was a man that I barely knew. This 'streaming thought' had been ongoing since the end of 1981 after the dream. That 'band of thought' was filling my mind, which had been literally 'empty'. It was new and I wondered to myself about how a short dream could produce so much thought, but also these new ‘events’ were different. Very different than anything I'd ever experienced.
How could I have not wondered about why my own body had taped a cartoon to a door? Why did I have the feelings of strangeness now? It did not occur to me immediately that the words from that caption were being used to talk to me. At that point in time I was having some very difficult to understand situations at work and my home life was non-violently violent. Our last offspring had graduated and married so the two of us were alone.
As time passed and events happened, I began to have a sense that my own thought, generated by every day situations as I went about my life, was somehow ‘heard again’, or so it seemed to me to happen, with no space between words, a rapid replay a bundle. The effect was impossible to really 'see'. I noticed this over a period of time, almost 3 'event filled' years after 1984.
One day something happened at work that made it distinct, that a kind of extremely rapid 'replay' of 'bundled thought' was constantly happening. It was obvious only in certain distinctly isolated events. At other times the sense of 'familiarity' or 'recognition' was noticeable.
I was certain after that event, there was no doubt about it that this new 'mechanical operator' in my mind was really happening all the time but was not visible in 'generalized form', only in specific incidents. It had been so rare, so occasional until 1984 but after then it was constant. The few 'selections' of unusual events that had happened prior to 1984 were not identified as 'strange' by me although I remembered them until after 1989.
That's when I had the second stage event, the first of two mind-quakes I had that year. It connected to 1984s' mindquake and I was amazed because I related to it when it happened. This connection to the event in 1984 was so unexpected, so surprising I literally almost swooned, and laughed because of where I was when it happened. That event linked to 1984 but also further back in my past and to the past of the family I married into and their history.
The information in the last one in 1989 made them distinctly connected together but also informed me that I'd learned a new language, and correctly interpreted the form in which 'bits of information' had been experienced as a kind of voice, speaking through real world events to me. The first one in 1989 informed me by implication that I had not formed a connection that was essential to make between an event that had happened in 1982 in my mind
But as well there was a connection, a linking to an event my husband had mentioned as 'sitting under the apple tree with his maker' that had happened when he was 18 or 19. He had often mentioned that event, especially during the first 9 or 10 years of our marriage. There were several points of change in his attitude to that event and by 1980 he never mentioned it.
The first 1989 mindquake happened in a location that I didn't think I could ever write about. The second one was more than a shock because it also linked to my first memory when I was a little more than 2 years old, and to many early life events and to an impulse that had caused me to learn from it what I later learned from books or some situation in life. It happened when I glanced at the back of a book I was reading, The History of Pi by Petr Beckmann. .
In the Herman ‘event’, very specific words had been brought forth from my past, through an event that was very easily remembered because it had been such an unusual thing for me to do.
After several other events happened, I had a remote awareness of the sense of a kind of ‘voice’ that was being generated by this kind of ‘abstraction’, 'speaking' words to me, through a distinctly memorable event that I had not thought was different and unusual. The original context to the words vanished, they were re-used literally. There came a point when I realized the words in the caption were 'told' to me and they were an instruction, something I was supposed to do. I was to do what the words said.
"Formulate a hypothesis then construct a theory that fits the facts." about what was new to me, what was this 'thing'. It was somehow connected to my past and a few memories I'd had that had re-occurred through out my life until I became curious about them.
By then (1987) I had begun to feel like I had caught a glimpse of something strongly linked to some memories I'd had that had flickered briefly into my mind from the time I was very young until I was in my mid forties. Those memories were different in content but individually they had reoccurred for decades before I wondered to myself about their strange regenerations periodically, apparently for no reason.
Let me say at this point that I have become aware that there is a rational connection between what I'm physically doing when such memories are retrieved and the content of the memory, believe it or not describes to me what I'm doing! My 'opening a physical door' when the cartoon came into my mind later had a relationship to 'opening a mental door' that day. But I didn't realize that immediately, in fact such a connection would never have occurred to me, normally.
I was plagued quite frequently during the following weeks with the memory of one sentence from an article I'd read about intelligence when I was in my mid teens. "Intelligence is the ability to identify isolated but related facts and to form them into theories that explain the universe."
It had emerged in my mind before I settled on the word 'theory' as a word in the caption. It probably brought the word 'theory' back to the cartoon. I had felt amused at that sudden 'thought', knowing where it came from because I remembered distinctly that the article had affected me in many ways afterwards. But I had not thought about this particular sentence after I'd read the article, it was not a re-occurring memory. When the sentence flipped into my mind, I knew where I'd originally met the words, having read them as a teenager, in a magazine article about intelligent people in Seventeen magazine.
The long train of memories behind the search for the words in a Herman cartoon would fill 30 or more pages if I wrote them down, which Theodore Reik at times did. I'd never heard of Theodore Reik but in reading his book Listening With the Third Ear I had noticed within myself what seemed to me to be a kind of similarity between us, except that he finally 'got to the point'.
I often got lost when I tried to recite a 'string' of events, intending to set a context for what I was saying. In trying to set a context I found myself forgetting what point I wanted to make because each 'event' reflected to another, and that 'point' to yet another like a hall of mirrors.
Another incident with Theodore Reik happened soon after that day when I opened the door to the cold room:
One day a very vivid color image of a man's face flipped into my mind! It was just like a photograph, the image filling an inner mind screen not merely flashing briefly, but lingering so that I saw distinctly a man’s face. He seemed to be looking directly at me and it was a face I recognized. He was a fellow square dancer in our mainstream club. This man's alert, lively looking face appeared in my mind more vividly than a picture. He seemed to be flesh and blood looking right at me. Then it disappeared. This was absolutely new to me at that time.
One day soon afterwards I walked past a bookshelf in my house and noticed the picture of the author on the back of a book. The man's eyes looked at me, directly at me but the author was unsmiling and very serious. That's odd, Theodore Reik seems to be looking right at me, I thought. Then the memory of the image returned and I realized Theodore Reik seemed to be looking at me from the jacket the same way the face in my Technicolor 'image' had done. Then I recognized the man in my image had a striking resemblance to Theodore Reik. They were both balding, about the same age and wore glasses but it was the penetrating gaze, looking directly at me that was most startling.
The eyes were intently focused it seemed and very serious. The real world man that I knew had an easygoing light hearted face not the somber unsmiling face of Theodore Reik on the back of his book. It was an image that I'd passed many times without noticing. I believe his resemblance to Theodore Reik would not have come to my attention if I'd not had the image flip into my mind before I glanced at the picture on the back of the book as I walked by.
Mr. Reik didn't make jokes. The vivid image and the way it came 'just out of the blue' seemed somewhat purposeful at that point.
I was now aware of Theodore Reik in a different way.
The same picture of Theodore Reik is on several of his books. It creates the impression he is looking back at whoever is seeing the picture. In this case he was looking seriously at me; I experienced a heightened sense of that. Why?
I could see that I had been forced by a strong compulsion to recall the caption's words, now this new event linked to it, so whatever was underway had been an unfolding 'event' staged at long intervals of time. These incidents 'meant' something, but what did they mean?
After another incident happened, I understood what I was to do. The words told me precisely what I was supposed to do as though a person had said them to me. I was supposed to ‘formulate a hypothesis and construct a theory to fit the facts’ about the almost 'imperceptible to normal forms of seeing and getting meaning', flow of events that had been happening to me.
Each ‘event’ that I remembered then was obviously perfectly timed, precisely timed to happen. Yet I knew one fact about this astonishing flow of events: I realized that my 'understanding' of them, even my noticing them could not happen to anyone but me.
And a third factor startling and unsuspected by me had begun to emerge: I was reading all the time then, some book I'd found in various place, the title of which as well as the contents seemed also perfectly timed to relate to, as well as describe generally and at times precisely, these uniquely personal physical events.
It became obvious: The titles of the books actually described what I was doing at the time I read the book more often than could be purposeless. At times an entire book had an 'effect of already knowing what I read in them', I felt a sense of familiarity, when I read The Hidden Dimension by Edward Hall, then almost immediately read his The Silent Language. It came to my attention but I didn't find it because I looked for it.
The timing was genuinely awe inspiring. Feeling 'amazed' all the time was getting to be very common.
One day after the incident I just described was understood I grasped what was going on, because it was laid right in front of me, through another event.
This singular event happened within the same year, as best I can date it. This is what happened.
I owned a tattered paperback book that I'd not read although I’d had it for several years. I had bought it and began to read it but after a few pages it didn't interest me. We'd moved twice and I'd thought about throwing it away when I cleared out unused items. But I kept that tattered worn paperback book thinking I would try again to read it, which I did try to do more than once.
Each time I read less than 20 pages into it before putting it aside because I couldn’t grasp what it was about. There were two characters in the book whose relationship to each other and to other characters in the book I could not ‘get’.
I don’t remember how it happened to be so handily nearby the day I started out the door for work then realized I’d nothing to read. I ALWAYS had a book to read at that point, it was in 1987. It was somehow critical to always have a book to read in any spare moment I had. This tattered book was so handy I thought grimly I’d take THAT book rather than have NO book to read.
I began to read it before work started and progressed further than I’d gotten before. At morning break time I’d read 40 or so pages and I’d begun to get a glimmer of the nature of the relationship the two characters had to each other as well as to other characters in the book. I had never read a book like this one. The book was beginning to make sense finally; I was interested in it now.
A safety meeting was scheduled which I knew would end at lunchtime so I carried the worn paperback with me to read in the lunchroom.
We saw a film that was different in comparison to the boring safety films we usually had to struggle to stay awake through. It was more like a story than a presentation of facts about safety on the job. A man got up late and rushed through getting ready for work, hustled into his car narrowly avoiding an accident, arriving unprepared for a presentation he was to give that morning. He decided to skip a safety meeting to prepare the presentation but first he would make coffee. He stepped into a puddle of water as he plugged the coffee maker into the wall.
The next scene was heavenly, literally; he stood before a man who was obviously an angelic type in a business suit, pleading that he couldn’t die because he had a family. "Give me another chance, please give me another chance. I want to go back to my family."
He was given another chance to go back to life but there was one condition. He was told he would have to learn for himself the 'secret of safety." He wouldn't have to return by himself; the angel/business man would go with him.
They reappeared in an office where a secretary was at work. She opened a bottom file drawer, took something from it then walked away leaving the drawer open. The 'dead' man remarked that someone could trip over the drawer. The 'angelic business man' said: "Tell her to shut the drawer." to which the 'dead' man replied: "But she cannot hear me! She obviously can't see us." Finally he spoke to the woman moving about the room. "Shut the file drawer, someone might trip over it."
The secretary stops what she’s doing, walks over to the drawer and closes it. Her face 'reflects' that a thought occurs to her; she stops what she's doing to walk over and close the drawer. He understands then that what he has said appeared to her as a thought in her head.
That is when I made some sound because everyone looked at me after the sound of my hand slapped down onto the table drew their attention to me.
Suddenly I recognized the connection between the characters in the book I was reading and the film I was watching. They were identical in one attribute and that seemed hilarious even before I thought about the timing and the unusual history of the book.
I had just begun to realize the two characters in the book, The Education of Oversoul by Jane Roberts were invisible to everyone but each other. Quite suddenly I 'saw' that Seven appeared as a thought in the head of people who didn't know the thought that Seven 'inserted' was not their own. And that Seven and Cyprus appeared to other characters in the book as a ‘thought’, presumably of the character’s own.
They were teacher and student to each other, and they were each a ‘teacher’ to characters widely scattered in Time, and in quite different circumstances. They moved through Time in a way I'd read about only in science fiction stories, one of which had affected me very much: Isaac Asimov's The End Of Eternity.
The characters in The Education of Oversoul were 'like' the programmer Harlan Ellison in The End of Eternity, who had unrestricted freedom in Time. He traveled 'up when' and 'down when' and 'any where when in Time' to arrange events so that a planned future event would happen. This was all accomplished through real people who did not suspect their lives were designed and arranged for the overall good by the programmers. .
I had just 'got' the fact which was not written in the book, that Seven appeared as a thought in the mind of certain people. The secretary had an 'implanted' thought but she experienced it as her own thought. I had just began to understand that Cyprus was Oversoul Sevens' teacher, he was a student but to others he was a teacher. Seven had 'people' whose lives he steered very, very minimally and very rarely onto a definite path. The important detail was that he 'sensed' when they needed him. Then quite suddenly he was 'within them', actually he became a resident within each of them for a time.
This which I had just grasped was precisely similar to the way the 'angel/businessman' related to the 'dead' man who had to learn the secret of safety and the way the 'dead' man related to people he observed, helping them.
That book which I'd put aside many times, just happened to be laying nearby today, the day I saw a film that had a plot that was distinctly the same plot in more than one attribute and aspect. Only at that point I thought it quite odd that I'd not 'gotten' what the book was about until precisely this day and that the same theme was 'echoed' in the film, Safety Secrets. This was a real distinct event where perfect timing could not be ignored.
The theme I am referring to is that of 'a thought in the mind that the person believed was their own thought', which was really caused by some 'other'. That theme meant very little to me then, but still I felt quite strange for a few minutes. It was a total reversal of one idea about my mind, that my thought was not all produced by me.
Something was making life 'weird'.
I felt at some point afterwards that the safety movie re-iterated a fact, a detail about my life, back to me. It was a form of speech. Like telling me what was happening in my life, 'echoing' is a good word to use but it didn't occur to me for some time and more events brought the word 'echo' into focus.
The relationship between what I was reading and what I was actually seeing in front of my eyes, just emerging at that point was vague, not at all well defined until this incident.
I had begun to be aware of a purposeful intent other than my own, and whatever it was, it had arranged the timing of reading the book the same day I saw the Safety Secrets film. That was the only explanation for my keeping that book so long, this ‘purpose filled Intent' that was driving me. That feeling also was vague and not well defined because my home life and work life were difficult, really difficult then. But emerging through such precisely timed events was a different 'stream of causality'.
The relationship was just 'dawning' when this 'event' made that point quite obvious.
There were other incidents of a similar kind that had happened in the early 1980's, only a few but I had not thought of them after they happened. When I remembered them later, they seemed to be miracles of precise timing but I had given them little thought after they happened. A 'string' of them had to draw attention to the precise timing.
One incident made a lasting impression on me, immediately when it happened. It caused me to recognize for certain that a mechanism of mind was at work:
I was assigned to a new area at work, where it was necessary for me to walk onto a floor of metal grid work such as bridges have. The area was larger than a tennis court and seven large vats were embedded in the metal work, with narrow aisles between them. They were deep, so they extended down to the next floor. There was a light in the area below when I walked onto it for the first time.
I stepped onto the grid without any hesitation and walked a few feet towards the huge tanks embedded in the metal grid work. Then suddenly I felt as though I was standing suspended in air because the bright light in the room below nearly obscured the grid work.
What happened next was that I felt very dizzy and felt faint, like the floor was moving around. I held onto a rail, steadying myself as a thought occurred to me. "It's just like being raised up, so that I'm standing on an invisible floor. I can see what's going on around me and I can see everything below me at the same time."
Then I clearly saw something happen to that thought. It happened in an almost impossible to detect flash of time that this episode of thought was 'regenerated' as a unit, with no spaces between the words. I realized that the entire package had ‘re-occurred’ but I understood and actually heard as though each word had been 're-spoken' to me! Noticing the effect of the regenerated unit was not difficult: the effect of the words of my thought were distinctly ‘turned around’, reflected so to speak and were ‘heard again’ in that ‘flash’, an incredibly rapid ‘replay’.
The word 'replay' was immediately available probably because I had recently read an unusual book, titled Replay by Ken Grimwood.
But there was a difference: this time the words seemed spoken to me as though a person had spoken them, not as a thought generated by me about what I had just physically done.
I had caught glimmers of this 'activity' in my mind at times, but I could never be certain it was happening. This time I saw that the words of thought clearly were derived from a real world incident. They were generated from what I was actually doing but in the 'regenerated' unit of thought they were re-directed to another application and a new personal context, towards me, actually ‘said’ to me.
And this was distinct: The words described to me a new idea, telling me actually what I was doing in two levels, perhaps two worlds. I had begun to see what was going on in my own mind, unawares at that point that what I was seeing was laying at depths where I could not speak aloud what I saw nor could I write down at that point anything that I experienced as thought.
It seemed likely that a stream of thought, which I had tried to describe as ‘nonstop thinking’ must be meeting an exact match of its' content in the exterior world. I could not account for the precise timing of this in any way. There were other events that were as yet unconnected in my mind and in those events, this attribute of utterly precise timing had been more distinct. But I had so much going on then, everything was different and small details were lost.
The first events that happened were less complex, they were immediately grasped, there wasn't any period of 'unfolding' or development of a string, they were each ‘singular events’, happening and seeming ‘unlikely’ to happen but not remaining in the forefront of attention. I had not thought about them afterwards, nor had I mentioned them to anyone else. The word 'coincidence' did not occur to me.
This is one kind of experience that affects the body. Its possible to see that a ‘difference’ from ‘normal’ is potentially perceivable.
"What you get used to gets to be normal." really means that 'normal' becomes invisible.
Abnormal experience is more visible. Mixed signals are 'feel-able' and in a way visible too.
I was 'told' by this string of events to 'Formulate a hypothesis then construct a theory to fit the facts." about the 'strange experiences' that I was having, each of which had involved such precise timing. It seemed to me that appointments in Time had been made and kept in which other people had appeared on schedule, saying things that caused a body response from me that caused me to feel 'strange'.
People I knew were doing things that fit exactly into an emerging line of my own unspoken thought as though they were characters in a movie in which they knew the script before I did! That is important to understand: they, both people and objects that use words, as well as events that normally happened, were 'telling me' a long unfolding story.
It became obvious later that nobody but me was able to see, hear and understand what these 'characters' in this drama were doing.
This event was an important one because it happened at a time when I was nearly overwhelmed on all fronts by situations in my life, in my job and having to cope with a mind that was suddenly very different than normal for me.
I can give many similar examples now, 21 years after July 31, 1984. Irrational as it may seem, it is reasonably explained if anyone wants to take the time to understand someone else’s experience.
That is not easy to do, find someone that really tries to understand some one else's experiences. It may be impossible for one person to understand another person's 'understanding' but this paper is about how understanding is created.
(Examples: 1. The word ‘overt’ occurred into my thought, for several days. Then the word ‘covert’ joined it. I wondered to myself why those two words had drifted into my thought. One day I wrote the words on paper then noticed the literal ‘c’ in covert ‘sounds like’ the word ‘see’. That is the difference between the two words, a 'see'. The question formed in my mind automatically. It seems to me even now it was 'inserted' from some other, not from an unconscious part of me: ”What is the difference between ‘overt’ and ‘covert’? It is a similarity that is also a difference. A ‘see/c’. That seemed interesting, and even amusing to me.
2. Then also at work, the word ‘numinous’ occurred in my thought, quietly emerging, somehow quite distinct. I remember pausing to consider the word, and wonder what it meant. Then in the same quiet thought voice: “the numinous is hard to bear.”
After looking for the definition in the new dictionary that had just been distributed to each of the factory clerks, it was not a word I understood. We had laughed about being suddenly ‘gifted’ with a paper back dictionary. It had seemed unusual. It was only a short time later that I read the word ‘numinous’ in Contact by Carl Sagan, remembering then, the strange appearance of the word prior to reading it anywhere.
During the two years after 1985, ruminations of quite a variety often diverted my attention from what I was supposed to be doing and this kind of event was just one of them. It was very difficult to do many activities that I’d always done very easily.
I had a memory such that I would glance at a 7 digit number at work and not be able to remember it. That was a distinctly noticeable change because I'd always had an excellent memory. Part of my job required finding job numbers and I was in distress constantly because it was so difficult to do.
It seemed to me everything took a very long time to do because I had to work so hard to get past these intrusive thoughts that were preoccupying my attention and hold my attention captive where I needed it on my job.
I was also constantly reading some book I'd picked up somewhere but it was uncomfortable for me to read anything now. That was a big change. My head felt like it would burst. It seemed that reading actually hurt me but I couldn’t choose not read. That probably was because it was a habit of a lifetime. I believed the words fell into a black hole because I couldn't remember anything I read. This had been going on for about 4 years by 1987.So much was changed I could not isolate one factor that had changed then. Little by little I sorted out what had changed, and noticed precise timing of events. My body was very different.
I remember hearing every breathe I took as I walked about doing my job, it was a 'primary' kind of hearing, overlaying everything else. I thought many times a day of Hal the computer in Space Odessy because I actually heard myself in the same way Hal's breathing is heard in the film. I had a sense that a newly born infant may experience hearing that way, hearing it's own breath and everything else is 'beneath' it.
This 'hearing my own breath' happened for at least 2 years after I became more aware, and had noticed or discovered the message. Hearing my breathe primarily seemed to put everything else behind my breathing, it was the first thing that registered. It taught me about 'layers' of consciousness as well as about how anything that become ever present vanishes, is no longer perceptible.