Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hot Leads, New Eyes

I have direct experience of altered states. It was a long time ago. It was also not fun. I did not do drugs for fun, not after a certain change. But at the moment of the change, something else happened. I have been working hard ever since, casting out what needs to go, keeping what needs to be kept. I share what I know by writing poems among other things. Here is one side of the experience. If encountering raw spirit is much like grabbing hot electrical leads, then one could surmise some things.

It is not always like that. The encounter with spirit can be amazing and easy, peaceful, full of love. But it can also be a dangerous matter. The Bardo Thodol was written as a guide for Tibetans who might enter demonic realms in their spiritual passage. And more. Because the wise will point out that the bliss of spirit can be even more dangerous, entrapping a soul short of the mark.

But the biggest thing to know because raw spirit can burn you, get a guide. Another thing to know, if there is such a thing as insulation, then get some of that too. Another thing to know, if spirit is stronger than you, then beef up. These images have actual counterparts in the spiritual disciplines. The only reason to strike out into the spiritual wilderness without discipline, training, guidance, fellowship, tradition and practice would be a direct call of spirit to do it, or as happened to me, by "accident", meaning spirit comes to you.

But that accident was no easy thing. I nearly paid with my life, also with my sanity. The next thing that happened to me was four months in an institution and two more years on antidepressants, and at least some of that really needed. I have journals from that time. It is amazing to me that I have this double vision. I know I did not feel depressed. I was really excited, chasing spirit, hoping to learn what happened to me, and being convinced it led further than my insides into what was happening in the world. But. When I read those journals, I read the work of a depressed young man. Wow.

Hot Leads

I asked if I'll snap
Stretched like this. You said, "Maybe".
That's just friggin fine.

I've been here before,
Took me years to untangle
And stitch a new seam.

This spiritual stuff gets me
All riled up, hair stands on end.

Like grabbing hot leads
And power searing my soul,
I just can't let go.

January 4, 2009 9:14 AM


Here is praise for the internet. To have these moments of communication on a global scale is just... We take this so for granted. Nothing like this was happening twenty years ago. If you are young, this seems like a permanent feature of things but for people like me, this is simply amazing. I actually make my living in a way that started for me in the nineties, but my trade actually started in the seventies. I spent twenty years doing mechanical and industrial design by book, calculator, SLIDE RULE, pencil, templates and straight edges. My most used tool? A mechanical eraser. I got into computers (AutoCAD) by a fluke, though I earned my chance. New Eyes? Internet eyes, phosphor eyes, led eyes. When I started AutoCAD, it was a DOS program and we grieved a little when Windows took it over. Heh. I still miss XTreeGold for DOS as the file manager. There was a global file view which made picking out all the newest files very easy even though your machine file saving architecture might be quite complex, like mine has to be. So back up of the necessary newest files was really easy then and has never gotten any easier. Windows was a loss of speed and clarity in this way. As far as I know, it remains so today. DOS is so much closer to the machine language. Manipulations of the file architecture is way more simple and easy without the Window overlays. Other things than file management pushed windows. I believe there is still a core of DOS involved somewhere in the deeps of Windows.

New Eyes

How good to see it:
Flying all that way to her
Would turn my winter
Into her summer
And I would shed my woolens
For her cotton prints.
I would not have seen her thus
Until you offered your eyes.

January 4, 2009 9:49 AM


  1. What did i just write? see my blog:)
    -Caught in the Alders-
    again and again
    untangling myself
    at once i see sharply
    smell a sweet fragrance
    am higher as i thought

  2. "Took me years to untangle
    And stitch a new seam."

    The trouble is, Christopher, that there are always tanglers out there, things that trip you up, demon your days. I've never felt the hot lead of the spirit, just a gentle flow. Sometimes I wonder why and what this means about my own spirituality.

    Love the computer tribute, by the way.

  3. Jozien, to have the same thought means we both understand :)

    Karen, yes indeed, we continue. That's the old story of what happens next after achieving enlightenment. Walk on... Repeat as necessary.

  4. New eyes-- it is all about perspective, isn't it? One thing I've always loved is that sense of paradigm shift, like the world shifts just slightly and I SEE, really see. Love the woolens and cotton prints; that's a sweet image.

  5. The fact that you have always searched for the spiritual is a beautiful thing, Christopher. The spirits you describe sound frightening. I also love the stanza Karen mentions. Fantastic writing.

    I enjoyed "New Eyes," too. The internet really is a gift for communication if it's used in a good way. Our computer room in high school consisted of one computer...lol! I never cared much for them and can't believe I'm even using one now. But I'm glad I am, because I get to meet so many good people...like you:)

  6. Rachel, There's a mystery in the perspective thing, how you can't see until you can. Then it's easy, and you can't go back to when you couldn't see either.

    Julie, you are very kind to say such things to and about me.

  7. I remember that first one....talk about a wild ride. Far better for having been there, far far better to never go again. Nice to have a choice these days :)


  8. Michelle, Yes and yes! But I am not sure in either case it's a choice...:) Of course I can choose (so to speak) not to fry my brain or pickle it... The second one had spending time with Aussies in mind :)


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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