Experiences involving Jim Unger's Herman, Theodore Reik and learning to read events in a new to me way events that happened in my life that created new to me ideas spoken in a new to me real new kind of an old language.
This is an example of how 'isolated, unconnected events' in my life accumulated and became connected over a span of years, creating a surprising experience. It's about my 'irrational' actions over several years that built an instruction 'spoken' to me, as though it came from a person! But it's an artificial 'voice', created by the string of events. One result was that the string brought an author, Theodore Reik, to my attention in a special way, forming a connection to him specifically because the 'string' built so slowly, but in a visible way. I had to discover how this kind of event created a ‘voice’ and then relate it to a process in life that has been written about throughout recorded history. I didn’t know about the process although I had noticed the pattern when I was less than a teen ager.
I thought it would be a terrible thing to be gripped by the idea that the “end is near’, but if you follow me, you will be saved”. It may be.
I experienced it in a definite situation in which several people seemed to knowingly participate, they talked and acted in a drama that unfolded in my thought, unspoken and unspeakable for years, at a point in time when they and my husband were trying to learn higher levels of square-dancing. It was a highly charged point in time in the 9 years before 1984. Then 1984 scrolled through Time and the real Voice spoke, delivering the content of my first ‘mind quake’. It used incidents from my past, to prove to me that my most intimate inner content has been saved and is accessed much as we access information in the Internet.
In the early 1980’s I read a Jim Unger cartoon of Herman, cut it out and taped it to my refrigerator. This is not something I usually do but I didn't think anything about it. The act was done automatically and without questioning why I did it. It remained there for some time.
One day I removed it from the refrigerator and taped it to the doorjamb between our kitchen and dining room. I had never done that before but nobody said anything about it and 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. 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 and usually I laugh at Herman's doings. One day I stopped to re-read the cartoon's caption then jerked it off the doorjamb and threw it away.
Still another length of time passed, perhaps a couple of years. They were extremely uncomfortable years because an immense change was under way in my personal life. In the late 1970’s I’d had a hysterectomy and when I didn’t recover, I was told I had problems that only a few women experience after that surgery. Also I’d had an accident and I believed the changes in my mind were evidence of brain damage. I had neurological tests done and the result was interpreted to me. “Your handedness has changed, your left hand is predominate.” That was in 1984, in February, exactly 3 years after I drove my car off a wrongly marked DEAD END street and my head slammed against the top of my car. Many changes had occurred in my body and mind when Dr. Waters at Harborview Psychiatric department told me I was ‘mildly autistic’.
I could not have guessed how immense this change was going to be. Trying to understand what was happening in my changed mind, dealing with a new and unexplainably uncomfortable body condition and also handle my drastically altered life situation at home absorbed all of my attention. Everything I heard, read, thought, felt in my body, was different in a way I could not see. And I certainly tried to see what was different. ‘Normal’ for me was different in every way.
By 1985, 2-11-85, I’d gotten a job at Boeing and by 1987 I’d 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 door into the 'cold room' and was ready to open it when the memory resurfaced into my mind. Walking towards a door, ready to open it, the cartoon memory was regenerated suddenly, 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 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 then keep it for so long.
I couldn’t remember the words of the caption in one day, or the next day or for several days. But I couldn’t avoid trying to remember them. I was pre-occupied constantly with trying to remember the actual words in the caption and secondarily doing my work.
At one point while the cartoon plagued me, something I'd read recently came to mind. It was a single incident abstracted from a book that impressed me very much because it seemed the authors way of writing was strangely 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 few lines from a poem came into his mind one day. He couldn’t remember the rest of the poem or where he’d read it. The lines from the poem haunted him the same way I was being haunted by a line I’d forgotten. He was compelled to try to remember the poem just as I was being compelled to remember the caption on 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 the poem, describing the mental process of retrieval in great detail. He observed the processes of his mind and the route that led to his remembering rather suddenly the entire poem. It was not a direct route but 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. One idea led to another and 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 and activity of his own mind. His mind had slowly built towards bringing back the original memory of the poem and where he could find it.
I also began to retrieve the words to the caption, but quite 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, understanding after all that time that 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. What a trivial seeming thing! So simple.
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 waiting and she was very, very angry.
Why it was not ‘funny’ to me and why I could not ‘see’ an inebriated man’s plight is a long story. I would have to write about blind spots, double binds, mixed signals and a condition of 'induced psychosis' or ‘folie aux duex’ and other the Stockholm Syndrome which can occur in therapy as well as in the deepest relationships, and how I didn’t know I was in that kind of relationship but not the stereotyped version.
There was so much information that I knew nothing about at that point that I could not have 'understood' that Herman had to think of a good excuse for himself. The stereotype of an alcoholic was all I knew about and it didn’t fit in my situation. It was the point when the word ‘co-dependency’ entered our common vocabulary, along with 'enabling' and dysfunctional families. (I even read a book, The Abusing Family by Justice and Justice and decided the book was about my situation, literally.)
There was a condition that I had begun to realize just barely by then, that 'bonded' me mentally with another person, whom I had not suspected was an alcoholic because none of the symptoms defined in the ‘commonly known pattern’ were in evidence. (Those stereotypes have almost vanished now in 2000 as I write. In relationships like that, two or more individuals seem to be required for one to be that kind of alcoholic.)I didn’t know about parental bonds or how children can experience ‘thought parents’ even when they are mature adults.
Yet there was another reason, more real 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.
There was a factor beyond my control at work, and 'it' whatever that factor was itself, intended to become distinct. (see C. G. Jungs’ MDR, Encounter with the collective, loss of volition)
Remembering the words in the caption did not explain why the memory resurfaced so suddenly or why I was driven to try to remember the caption. Only then I realized it was a very strange situation and had been for years! What could account for my ‘strange act’ of taping it to the doorjamb, suddenly removing it, then a few years later I'm plagued to remember the words? Just when I'm opening a door, not just any door but to a controlled atmosphere room, at work?
And why did the memory form an association 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 although I felt a distinct affinity for his way of describing in detail his mental processes and the long trains of thought that led him to sudden moments of insight into his patients problems.
I had noticed a similarity in that I talked somewhat the way he wrote. I recognized that after I'd read Listening With The Third Ear. “He writes like I talk.” Trying to set a context, I often got lost, one event always emerged from another and that to another, which irritated my husband. And how odd it was that only after I remembered the caption did I understand the strange aspect of the entire cartoon event. That was unexplainable. This made me wonder why I'd not wondered about such an unusual thing when I had done it.
Having remembered the words of the caption, they took up residency in the forefront of my attention: “Formulate a hypothesis then construct a theory to fit the facts.”
But within a few days 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 re-occurred many times a day into my thought then a strange thing happened: I didn’t think about the drawing, or its history, just the words in the caption.
They had been abstracted so oddly from my past and in a very unique way. Words that I knew I’d fully recognized only because they had such a long very strange history. They did not at that point seem to be words that were being spoken to me by an artificially generated ‘voice’ that was using those words.
Other events that were soon to occur built up an awareness of that unexpected 'voice' attribute. After several other somewhat similar events happened I recognized a kind of pattern at work: taking some memory from my past and using its literal content to 'tell' me something, the original context was 'forgotten' no longer of any importance.
The words in the caption were displaced from their original context and they were 'said to me' as an instruction, I was to do what the words conveyed. I was noticing a relationship between my thought and what I was physically doing, it was strange and made me dizzy literally then.
There's a vignette in Fragment of A Great Confession in which Theodore Reik is thinking about a bridge game he'd played the evening before. As he replays each hand, using the words bridge players use, he notices that some of the words of his thought get 'stuck'. A few words in his thought develop what he described as a 'hidden meaning' a 'secret bottom'. This is the same kind of event that I've tried to describe above. The words that got stuck in his stream of thought were related to his life with his frail wife in the ‘hidden meaning’. The words of challenge level square dancing began to develop a kind of energy that made me feel ‘strange’ when I heard them although at the time I could not have made that relationship. I felt dizzy, literally.
I believe Emanuel Swedenborg described this as 'double thought'. Eventually I formed the name 'second underlying contexts’ for such events because an automatic meaning was created, I didn’t ‘think’ it myself or originate this new second layer of context. Experience provided the name. My circumstances and thought were quite different than Reik’s ruminations about bridge games. I was thinking in terms of challenge level square dancing and its particular 'Moebius' mirror image concepts but the pattern is identical. The words that relate to square-dancing were used in my experience, similar to how the words used to talk about a bridge game were used by Reiks’ mind. There is one square dance movement named, ‘cast a shadow’ that became very significant in helping me identify the source of this new kind of ‘voice’.
Theodore Reik was familiar with the meaning of the term 'magical thinking' which I was not. I knew nothing about psychiatric terms. My point is that he knew nothing about (or didn't believe in) the kind of life process that Carl Jung described as 'individuation'. (It’s important to know that Jung also omitted from his Collected Works any mention of the unusual experiences he'd had that were written in private, that resulted in the Red Book, The Seven Sermons To the Dead and the last chapters in Memories, Reflections and Dreams.)
Theodore Reik wondered why his mind hovered over certain terms, but he does not 'get' the message that the words that lingered in his thought were attempting to 'say' to him certain details about his life. The words that seemed to have a 'hidden meaning, a 'double bottom' were telling him real details about his own life! That's a new way to think about 'magical thinking', which most people do not realize is an 'outmoded' form of thought, a form that was replaced by Aristotelian thought after the middle ages. That incident is in the chapter titled In Small Packages. The title of the chapter is not a small co-incidence, small events bundle together just as I've described to completion, then the string makes sense.
There's more on this string:
More About Theodore Reik:
One day soon after that a very vivid color image of a man's face suddenly flipped into my mind!! The image was more brilliant than a movie image filling an inner mind-screen, not merely flashing briefly, but lingering so that I saw distinctly a man’s face. The face 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 any picture and it was the first time such an inner image happened that way. He seemed to be flesh and blood looking right at me. Then it disappeared. Let me repeat that this was new to me.
Then one morning 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 it seemed, the author was unsmiling and very serious. It was Theodore Reik and I thought he seemed to be looking right at me. 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, who was a square dancer had a truly striking resemblance to Theodore Reik! They were both balding, about the same age and wore glasses but it was the utterly serious penetrating gaze, looking directly at me that was the greatest difference from the man I knew. The picture of Reik was dead serious as my grandmother would have said. They were look-alikes in many ways.
The eyes on the jacket were intently focused it seemed and very serious, looking directly at me in the same way the man in the true-life image had done. The real man that I knew had an easy-going light hearted face, very friendly look all the time. But 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 when I glanced at the picture on the back of the book as I walked by. The man in the 'vision' was not the heavy thinking kind of man but they certainly shared many features. Mr. Reik's picture didn't look like he made many jokes.
The vivid image and the way it came 'just out of the blue' seemed somewhat purposeful at that point. That's because other events had happened that had caused me to believe there was something purpose-filled and methodical at work in every day of my life. I knew I was not creating it. I was watching it and trying my best to understand what was making me feel so 'dizzy' so often. The same picture of Theodore Reik is on several of his books. It creates the impression he is looking directly at whoever is seeing the picture. In this case he was looking seriously at me; I experienced a heightened sense of that. Why?
I was now aware of Theodore Reik in a different way. He stood out vividly now as though a highlighter had brought him to my attention. This kind of event was somewhat a new thing too. We used pencils to underline details in books to mark important information, if that reads as strange. Certain every day events stood out as though highlighted by how they felt. That difference abstracted an ordinary situation from embedded-ness but I’m a slow learner, another event had to happen later that brought the word ‘embedded-ness’into the forefront of my attention.
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 strangely telling me that whatever was underway had been an unfolding 'event' staged at long intervals of time in my life. These incidents 'meant' something, but what did they mean?
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 involved such precise timing. But there is more to that also. Another event in my past had been lurking in the back of my thought.
I remembered quite frequently during the following weeks 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." This thought had a history. It had been a re-occurring memory after I was in my thirties. I’ve had a few re-occurring memories of events that happened usually when I was less than 9 or 10 years old.
I made my first moebius band when I was about 9 or 10 years old and an impulse caused me to do something.. but that’s another long string of events…
This statement about intelligence had emerged in my mind before I settled on the word 'theory' having been 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: this thought had re-occurred into my thought for no reason, many times after I'd read the article. When the sentence flipped into my mind I was familiar with its history. I knew where I'd originally met the words years previously, reading them when I was a teenager about 16 or 17 years old, in a magazine for teen age females.
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 because he went into such detail. I often got lost when I tried to recite a 'string' of events, intending to set a context for what I was saying. I remember forgetting what point I wanted to make because each 'event' reflected to another, and that to yet another like a hall of mirrors. Theodore Reik was now firmly attached to this 'strange flow of events'.
But this also happened:
Remembering the words to the caption caused me to feel somehow rewarded, praised
as though I had accomplished something! But how did this 'praise', this sense of
being told: ‘You have done well.” originate? Memories from my past came to mind,
of situations when I'd been praised for doing a good job, (usually in school or
doing yard work to earn a quarter or making supper for an old neighbor also for
a quarter. It did not occur to me to relate those memories to the feeling of
being rewarded for doing a good job----at that point.)
After another incident happened I understood what I was to do. The words in the 'effect', which I had begun to notice in the same way Mr. Reik had described when the words used by bridge players talk about the game, developed another new context and meaning, it happened so rapidly reflecting the package of thought with no space between the words. The reflected content told me precisely what I was supposed to do as though a person had said the words to me. I was supposed to ‘formulate a hypothesis and construct a theory to fit the facts’ about the almost imperceptible-to-normal-ways-of- seeing, flow of events that had been happening to me. I had to notice this, the perfect timing didn’t come to my attention until one event happened that I couldn’t ignore. Each ‘event’ 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.
Because a third factor startling and unsuspected by me had begun to emerge: I was reading a book, the title of which as well as the contents seemed also perfectly timed to relate to these uniquely personal physical events. The titles of the books actually described what I was doing at the time I read the book more often than could be purposeless. The content of some books seemed so familiar to me as I read them, that I felt 'weird' while I read them. An example is The Hidden Dimension by Edward T. Hall, which I found somewhere and read although it was not usual for me to read that kind of book. As has happened many times, I just happened to notice The Silent Language by the same author soon after finishing The Hidden Dimension and read it. I read ‘The Life of Cells’ by Lewis Thomas and was introduced to the idea that the earth is like a cell in a kind of body.
How does 'weird' feel? The only word I knew that made sense was a faint dizziness gripped me, sometimes I felt like I would really faint. Literally the titles of those two books described, or said to me, a detail about what was happening, and let me repeat this, I knew nothing then that I could put into words. The words I could use, were in the books I just happened to notice, then feel unable NOT to read. I HAD to read them, and my head felt like it would burst at times.
The timing was genuinely awe-inspiring. Feeling 'amazed' all the time was getting to be very common. But I had no explanation for why I felt so peculiarly curious and driven, literally driven, to do many things that ordinarily I would not have done. What my body was doing was astonishing ...to me during the 5 years between 1984 and 1989.
There was one incident that made a lasting impression on me, immediately when it happened. It caused me to know for certain that a mechanism of mind was at work, an 'operator' that was not ‘me’ 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 couple of basketball courts and seven large vats were embedded in the metal work, with narrow aisles between them. They were deep, so they extended down to the lower floor which made the grid work seem suspended when there was a light in the area below as it was when I walked onto it for the first time.
I stepped onto the grid without any hesitation and walked a few feet towards the 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 almost obscured the grid work.
What happened next was that I felt very dizzy and 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 after it occurred into my mind! It happened in a flash of time that this episode of thought was 'regenerated' as a unit, with no spaces between the words. The entire package of thought had clearly re-occurred’ but bundled. I understood and actually heard a 'package' in a fraction of a second but as though each word had been 're-spoken'.
Noticing another effect of the regenerated unit was not difficult this time: I had begun to notice this effect: the words of my re-heard thought were ‘turned around’ so to speak and were ‘heard again’ in that ‘flash’, which was an incredibly rapid ‘re-play’ but they were experienced as though another person had said them TO me. There was an obvious 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. It was the first time that kind of event happened that was so distinct, but it caused me to think that literally I was 'lifted up' somehow and could see what was going on around me as well as what was in my own mind, and into 'depths' that were extremely distant from any words I could say aloud or write down at that point.
My own thought generated by what I was actually doing, had produced a statement, directed to me when that event happened.
(I had recently read an unusual book, titled Replay by Ken Grimwood. The plot of that book had an effect on me, it was another 'unreal' effect that I could not find a word to describe.)
I had caught glimmers of this 'heard again' activity in my mind at times, it was a two years long span of time between about 1986 and 1988. I could never be certain it was happening until this time I saw that the words of thought clearly were derived from a real world incident, then repeated, somewhat like a word that came to me slowly during that span: the re-played thought was an echo. But a different context built up from it, and I don't believe I built it myself, I saw the effect of my thought words, turned around, directed towards me.
The term 'self referential' seems appropriate now but I didn't know it then. The words of the 'second under lying context' that was the result of the 'echo' were generated from what I was actually doing. But in the 'regenerated' unit of thought they were redirected to another application, a completely personal situation and towards me, they seemed to be actually ‘said’ to me.
And this was distinct: The words described actually what I was doing in two levels, working in perhaps two separate worlds but certainly what was in my mind had become visible to me, all the time. I had been basically 'thought' less until I had lived half a century Slowly, and quite gradually I had begun to see what was going on in my own mind, some events happened in the 9 years before 1984, that were quite unusual. I was 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. Emanuel Swedenborg mentioned ‘thought that is far from speech’.
After many more events happened and a span of about 3 more years passed, it seemed likely that the content of a stream of thought, which I had tried to describe as ‘non-stop thinking’ must be meeting an exact match of its exact content in the exterior world. I could not account for the precise timing of this thought with what was outside of my body in any other way.
It was not déjà vu in the usual definition because the inner content preceded meeting its exact match. That seemed unlikely to happen even once in a lifetime! It was déjà vu turned around!!1
There were other events that were as yet unconnected in my mind but in those events, this attribute of utterly precise timing had been more than 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 single events, immediately grasped because they affected my body. There wasn't any period of 'unfolding' or development of a string. Individual events happened that seemed unlikely to happen even once because the timing and where I was when the event happened was so 'accidental'. They were each ‘singularity’ events happening and I was eventually not immediately curious. I had not mentioned them to anyone else. The word 'coincidence' did not occur to me.
This was one kind of experience that affected my body. It’s possible to see that a ‘difference’ from ‘normal’ is potentially perceivable when something new happens. But…."What you get used to gets to be normal." really means that 'normal' becomes invisible.
Abnormal experience is more visible. The experience of the opposite of what was my ‘normal’was at that point caused by my marriage bond. Later I was forced to change my mind about the source of this ongoing event, it comes through people and events in the material world. Swedenborg wrote that the material world has only effects, not causes but quantum physics also says that. “Dust thou were and to dust thou returneth.’
I can give many similar examples now, 21 years after July 31, 1984. (Now its 25 years, this is July 23, 2009) Irrational as it may seem, it is reasonably explained if anyone wants to take the time to understand someone else’s experience. (It’s February 20, 2017 today. I am proofing and clarifying some details, I hope.)
That is not easy to do.
My mind went to work after the first mindquake in 1984, unpacking the content that was behind the part that I experienced. How that was experienced is not difficult to describe in simple words:
(Examples: 1. The word ‘overt’ occurred into my thought once, then it happened again 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, and noticed the literal ‘c’ in covert ‘sounds like’ the word ‘see’ and that is the difference between the two words. The question formed: ”What is the difference between ‘overt’ and ‘covert’? It is a similarity that is also a difference, it’s a ‘see/c’. That seemed interesting. This was my first introduction to the 'literal sense' and another kind of 'sense', trivial as it may seem! It’s not strictly poetic or mythic interpretation.
2. Then also at work, the word ‘numinous’ occurred in my thought one day, quietly spoken, emerging as somehow quite distinct. I remember pausing to consider the word, then wonder what it meant. Then in the same quiet thought voice words occurred: “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, even then 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 spontaneously into my thought, prior to reading it anywhere. The mention of the word 'numinous' in the book brought forth the incident of when my mind had spontaneously produced first the word, then later, thought about it: 'the numinous is hard to bear'. The word was related to pi in Carl Sagans’ book. He wrote the words into Ellen Arroway’s character, he told her that pi is coded. In 1989 I had my ‘pi quake’ which related my first memory at age 2 and a half to an event that happened when I looked at two pages of pi’s decimals in Petr Beckmann’s History of PI.
Over the years I've had several astonishing events 'like' this one, where a word emerged into my thought. This link describes what happened one day when the wrong name for a person occurred into my thought: Synchronistic events/Compton-Fermi Incident
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 always had a memory that was very good, but now I would glance at a 7 digit number and not be able to remember it. That was a distinctly noticeable change. 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 pre-occupying my attention and held my attention captive when I needed it on my job. I was also constantly reading some book I'd picked up somewhere and it was uncomfortable for me to read anything. My head felt like it would burst and it seemed that what I read actually hurt me but I couldn’t choose to NOT read them. I felt a force that demanded I read non-fictions rather than fictions. Reading fictions was a habit of a lifetime. I believed the words in this new vein of activity 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 then,BUT this is important to know and keep in focus: every fact I knew was connected to everything else. I could not find one definition for a word in a dictionary, they were all necessary to define the words. The interconnectedness of all things began in my own mind and understanding. No detail or concept was isolated from everything I knew and understood. Although a new understanding was developing even then, it was built from the material in the books I was reading; what I was doing at work; what was happening in my home, what two groups of square dancers who were trying to introduce the 7 levels of advance and challenge levels to the outraged mainstream level; as well as what had happened in my mind in 1984. I had not heard the message that was embedded in the first mindquake which I did not relate to an event my husband had when he was in his late teens that he referred to in an odd way. He described it as ‘sitting under the apple tree with his maker’. He said he was told everything he would ever need to know. He also remarked that he could not change, I would have to change. That was the truth but I didn’t know much about psychology, history, patterns in our lives at that point.
There were other memories that for no reason I could see began to haunt me at about the time I got my job in 1985 at Boeing. Images flashed into my mind of myself when I was a very young girl, stringing beans, (tubs of them) shelling peas, peeling tomatoes, peaches, seeding cherries (mountains of them) for my mother to can. Images of shelves in our basement of food I’d preserved myself suddenly flashed into my mind, vanishing so quickly that I wondered about this new kind of ‘inner content’ and it’s apparent ‘speed’.
The memories were prodding me, trying to get me to understand a single word, one that I could not say myself. But someone else said it one day when I was trying to describe the memories that were flickering through my mind for no reason I could understand: "Process...the word you are trying to say...is it 'process'? It seems you are describing a 'process'." Dr. Terrance Chinn said the right word. He was a psychiatrist that had been recommended to me by another psychiatrist because I had been told he had the same personality my husband had. That seemed to be true at first glance because I noticed right away that this psychiatrist was alone in his office, he did the work a receptionist would do, he transcribed his own notes, did the billing, he was self sufficient...and he was also able to tell me something that helped me begin to understand the mindset that is 'concrete, literal'. He was a Christian man and in his practice he mixed psychiatric ideas with religion.
After a few months and two extremely important events happened at work, very slowly I related to the words in the caption of the cartoon as though a person was speaking them to me through the long string of disconnected events that now became one ‘event’.
I slowly noticed what was happening in my mind, new content that I had somewhat vaguely noticed, then wondered to myself about, memories from my past were being systematically retrieved for a reason. And an 'effect' caused certain thought to seem to be spoken to me, after the original thought occurred! It was not an easy effect to be certain about, it had happened constantly since 1984. Prior to that this 'effect' has occurred very rarely, but when it did occur I was nearly overwhelmed with confusion.
It was an effect that happened after a thought occurred naturally as a result of what I was doing physically.
Something was affecting thought that occurred into my mind, changing it.The effect also occurred when certain situations and people that I was living through, I felt dizzy, weird and unbalanced. There was no way to describe it even then but I had already experienced thought that could be 'heard/seen' in a constant belt of thought streaming through my mind, concerning a dream.
This stream had been continuous since the end of 1981. That kind of 'thought' was new also but these new ‘events’ were also different. One of the events that happened at work had made it quite distinct that thought generated by every day situations was somehow regenerated, i.e. ‘heard again’ but it, the replay, was batched into a unit, no space between the words or so it seemed to me, it was instantaneous, that bundle.
I had slowly become aware (over a two year period!) of an 'effect' that seemed to be there, but I could not fully grasp it or understand what was happening in my mind until the event at work happened and that made it distinct: I noticed thought that had been produced by something I did or was looking at was replayed in a flash of a second but the content of that thought was turned towards me the way speech from a person is experienced.
And there was a completely different context for the words generated in the 'replay'. The context was building in my mind.
I did not at the time think it was significant that I'd recently read a book titled REPLAY by Ken Grimwood. The content of the book had somehow affected my body when I read it and that was just another effect that was puzzling me constantly at that point in Time.
I was certain after that event, there could be no doubt about it, this new mechanical operator was really happening all the time. It had almost certainly been an 'operator' at work for years. But it had built a history, so that its effects were more distinct: there was a 'hearing again', a literal re-viewing of certain re-generated content. But in the 'replay' this content was changed so that it seemed spoken to me. Another effect, turning the direction of this content towards me created literalness which made this content real and true. Movies I had watched as 'fictions' now were clearly about real world situations. I had begun to feel uncomfortable when I saw movies such as Thoroughly Modern Millie and saw myself laughing at young girls being drugged and kidnapped. Such 'funny' movies were beginning to make a different impression on me.
In this 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. It was an event that had been 'abstracted' from many events, but why?
Gradually after several other events happened, I had a remote awareness that a kind of ‘voice’ was being generated by this ‘abstraction’ of words from a distinctly memorable event and these words were being 'said' to me. I had begun to realize this flow of events always related to the enormous package of information that I'd begun to think of as my 'mindquake' which had happened in 1984, during the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
There came a point when I realized the words in the caption were 'told' to me, as an instruction, something I was to do, I was being instructed to do what the words said. By then (1987) I had begun to feel like I had caught a glimpse of something strongly linked to some memories 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 many ways, they had re-occurred for decades before I wondered to myself about their strange re-generations 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 re-occur and the content of the memory, believe it or not!
My 'opening a physical door' when the cartoon came into my mind had a relationship to 'opening a mental door' that day. It told me I was entering a cold room, which I was actually doing, the temperature was controlled. But I didn't realize that immediately, in fact such a connection would never have occurred to me normally.
I wrote to Wilson van Dusen in 1992 (the anniversary of Columbus discovering America) and asked him several questions about different kinds of thought and levels in the mind, some of which produced content that was visible but could not be related to, nor spoken aloud for a long span of time, and about some thought that was more like a fragrance of words than real words. I have his letter in which he did not seem to think my experience, discovering this information by myself, was unusual! To him everyone should know what I had discovered!!He validated my hunches that influx does occur in our mind and that mechanisms alter thought, causing self-reference. Later I met him several times at local Swedenborg meetings.