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22. Dr. Seuss = Ally?

22. Dr. Seuss = Ally?

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This chapter is particularly difficult for me to write. Reading over what I have written so far, it reeks to me of what one might fairly call delusionary thought. I’m well aware of this, but have decided to record my experiences as I experience them rather than as they “should be”.

The thing is I’m very familiar with the paranoid delusionary state, having been there myself as described in an earlier chapter. It is fraught with meanings that only the deluded can see. Is that what is happening to me? If it is, it isn’t paranoid this time it’s wish-fulfilling. The reason I am so suspicious of it is that it feels more real than normal reality. That’s the tip off that you are going over the deep end. If it isn’t normal, then it isn’t real, you’re deluding yourself.

But that bothers me too. It’s tautological in its nature and it won’t allow for any change. Nuttiness or Progress.

What’s a rationalist to do? Pick the “model” (of reality) that serves you best. OK, am I the best one to make that choice, given all the pressure I’m under? I’m not really sure. I’m doing reality checks wherever I can and so far am unconvinced that I would be better served by abandoning the reality model you will read of below.

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Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events which occur in a meaningful manner, but which are causally un-related. In order to be ‘synchronistic’, the events must be related to one another temporally, and the chance that they would occur together by random chance must be very small.

The idea of synchronicity is that the conceptual relationship of minds, defined by the relationship between ideas, is intricately structured in its own logical way and gives rise to relationships which have nothing to do with causal relationships in which a cause precedes an effect. Instead, causal relationships are understood as simultaneous — that is, the cause and effect occur at the same time.

Synchronous events reveal an underlying pattern, a conceptual framework which encompasses, but is larger than, any of the systems which display the synchronicity. The suggestion of a larger framework is essential in order to satisfy the definition of synchronicity as originally developed by Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung.

Jung coined the word to describe what he called “temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events.” Jung variously described synchronicity as an “‘acausal connecting principle'” (i.e., a pattern of connection that cannot be explained by conventional, efficient causality), “meaningful coincidence” and “acausal parallelism”. Jung introduced the concept as early as the 1920s but only gave a full statement of it in 1951 in an Eranos lecture, then in 1952 published a paper “Synchronicity — An Acausal Connecting Principle” in a volume with a related study by the physicist (and Nobel winner) Wolfgang Pauli.[1]

It was a principle that Jung felt gave conclusive evidence for his concepts of archetypes and the collective unconscious [2], in that it was descriptive of a governing dynamic that underlay the whole of human experience and history — social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. Events that happen which appear at first to be coincidence, but are later found to be causally related are termed as “incoincident”.

Jung believed that many experiences perceived as coincidence were not merely due to chance but, instead, suggested the manifestation of parallel events or circumstances reflecting this governing dynamic. [3]

One of Jung’s favourite quotes on synchronicity was from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, in which the White Queen says to Alice: “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards”.

Wikipedia

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The next day I drove down to Santa Cruz, picked Sauren up and brought him to my home in Bonny Doon. Naturally, he was blown away by the place, but not too much. Just the right amount, of course.

We sat in the sun on our back porch as the day was still a little chili. He sat on the swing sofa and I on the comfy chair. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk…. When would we stop? As he spoke about all sorts of different things, I began reacting to some of his phrases and gestures. I couldn’t place them, but I was sure they were reminding me of something.

And then, apropos of nothing he began reminding me of a TV show called Charlie and the Purple Crayon. I had never heard of it or couldn’t remember. Sauren got all excited and began telling me all about it. “It was the Shit, this kid had a magic purple crayon that he could draw things with and they would come to life. He would like, draw a door then stick his head through it.”

Sauren kept on talking about the show without noticing that I had visibly blanched. Remember what I told you about the nitrous hallucinations? The last one was the Dr. Seuss character sticking his head through my door into my office.

I held up my hand, “Sauren, why did you just tell me about that TV show. I mean what was it apropos of?”

He looked down and thought about it for a moment and then shrugged and laughed. “I have no idea. I just kinda thought of it for some reason.”

As he said that I realized that those phrases and gestures that had bothered me before in some way related to the nitrous visions I had had. “I’ve got to read you a chapter in my book,” I told him.”

He was more than happy to hear it but it took another 45 minutes of excited talking before I drew a stop to it. “Let’s go to my office now or we’ll never get there…”

I read him the chapter while he smoked a bowl in the chair opposite my desk. When I finished I asked him if the chapter meant anything to him in particular. He looked a little confused and began guessing all sorts of wrong things.

“No, don’t you get it? It feels to me like you are a continuation of my hallucinations… What the fuck! Why are you wearing that purple thing on your head?”

I pointed with a trembling finger at the purple bandana he had tightly tied over his head. With his hair hanging out from beneath it he looked exactly like a Dr. Seuss character to me. And he was sitting exactly where that thing had stuck its head in.

“You mean to tell me that I’m here in order to fulfill some sort of completion to your hallucinations?” He pulled the bandana off his head. “I don’t know why I wore it; maybe I was cold or something. So you really think that?”

I let out a deep breath. “I don’t know what I think. All I know is what I’ve seen. It’s too much for me to logically dismiss as coincidence. There’s way too much going on here with us.”

Sauren looked away and nodded vigorously, “You’re damn right there is, and I don’t know what the hell is going on either…”

I took Sauren back to his garage where we continued continuing. It just wouldn’t stop. I called my wife and got permission to spend the night. Sauren dragged an extra mattress onto the floor and set me up quite nicely.

The reason Sauren had come to Santa Cruz nine months ago was to use certain alternative medicine machines that were run by a fellow called Dean in Aptos. After a little more discussion, I realized that Dean was partnered with one my oldest friends, Dennis, who used to live with Rosemary Leary before she died. “So the reason you came was because of my friend.” Just one more “coincidence” to throw on the pile.

I was beginning to feel like Jeremy Narby with his “Cosmic Serpent”. When too many “coincidences” occur, anyone is likely to feel like there’s “something going on,” but what could it possibly be?

That night I went home and read over the reactions I had gotten to the Nitrous chapter when I had posted it in my support group two weeks earlier. Outside of the ignorant and vicious attacks that had been launched against me there for using a drug that “kills kids”, there were three responses to the post that spoke about Castaneda’s notion of needing an “ally” to break through to the spiritual plane.

An ally? Was Sauren my ally? I looked it up on Wikipedia and Google. In general an “ally” is considered to be a plant teacher of some sort, like Mescalitio or the like. Sauren was no plant, and he was dying with cancer. What kind of an ally is that? And then I remembered a joke someone had once told me. It goes something like this:

A man of faith gets caught in rising flood waters and is forced up on to the second story of his house. A row boat shows up offering to take him to safety. He declines the offer, saying he has faith that the lord will save him. The flood waters continue to rise till he is on his roof. A helicopter tries to lower him a rope, but he waves it off. “I have faith in the Lord!”

So he drowns and gets into line to meet with God. When his turn comes up, he says to God, “Why god, when I had faith did you let me drown?” God looks confused, “I’m not really sure what went wrong,” he says. “I did send you a rowboat and a helicopter…”

Does an “ally” in the spiritual sense need to be anything in particular? Must it be a plant? What if Sauren was really being sent to help me without his knowledge? Maybe the opposite? Maybe I was sent to help Sauren. And then I hit on it. I called Sauren on the phone.

“Boss, I think I figured out what all this that’s going on between us is about.” I breathed excitedly into the phone. “We’re each other’s allies who were made to meet in order to help each other live.” He took a beat of about four before answering with enthusiasm, “I think you’re right. You got it!”

As he said these words my heart leapt, I couldn’t believe this was happening. How could it be? It wasn’t possible! But he now seemed to be acknowledging my understanding of the situation.

My friends, the power of a hallucination shared by two is a LOT more convincing than when held alone. Think about it. This was very hard to take, overwhelming in fact. The only way to get by it is to acknowledge its weirdness and move on. Saving each others lives. Even if it’s a delusion it’s hard for me to imagine anything bad coming out of that attempt, can you?

I mean the absolute worst that could happen would that Sauren would turn out to be a flim-flam phony and get some of the little money we have. That’s bad, but the potential payoff if he’s for real…. It’s simply too good to be true. Right?

Stay tuned. I don’t know yet either.

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July 16, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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