As the snow was coming down two nights ago, a long buried reality suddenly surfaced. Something about the cold dampness in the air, and that first dark of the evening evoked a new state that I recognized as an old identity. It was much more than a memory. Immediately I am experiencing the world as it is shortly before Christmas of 1949. It is actually another reality into which I have accidentally fallen. I feel the heavy wet snow, hear the chains on the tires of the cars moving down Morrison Road along which the snowplow has recently piled up a three foot bank of snow. Our old 1936 Dodge just brought us home from a visit to my grandparents and the snow is coming down hard. My dad is an excellent driver in any kind of weather and as a native Coloradoan; he has driven in snow since he was fourteen.
I love this time of year. Christmas is a time I can go beyond the ordinary without anyone objecting. My cousin Billy and I have two games we play to avoid boredom when we are on the road, one is identifying the model and year of the cars we pass on the road and at Christmas season it is counting the decorated houses and rating the decorations. I’m seeing Christmas decorations in the style of 1949. The big bulbs in red, green and blue with the heavy wires, pinned around windows and hung from eaves, I can see them perfectly just as I can feel the cold air. People with lights on their outdoor trees get extra points. And lighted nativities are awesome. These are usually on wealthy homes. My folks will drive us through these kinds of neighborhoods during Christmas season.
This particular year I finally get through to my parents that I don’t want dolls for Christmas and they give me a toy model of a 1950 Ford. I am both surprised and delighted. I still have that Ford even though it shows the wear of time and use with a bumper tied on with bailing wire. Ordinary memory tells me that next year I will get a dump truck. Wow!
I have fallen back to a previous identity many times, but with this occurrence, it dawned me that it is more than a curious anomaly and I decided to explore the phenomena. It usually happens when a sensory memory is triggered. The particular feeling of a breeze, a time of day, or the sight of a familiar object related to a time in the past. Suddenly I am in that world even though it may be buried under many layers of personal history and represent a self whose identity is long forgotten.
I was recently listening to an interview of Brugh Joy by Jeffrey Mishlove:
Brugh Joy is talking about what could be classified as multiple personality disorder by a traditional psychologist. However, he is saying that it’s something that everyone has. Is this being that is writing this page carrying an illusion of self? The good students of psycho-science will probably get upset with this thought and say that we are really just making a disorder sound cosmic. But my question is, why call it a disorder? Maybe we are just tapping into a bigger order than we usually care to deal with. Also it’s just plain confusing to think multidimensionally. We must trim experience down into chunks we can deal with every day on just one dimension at a time.
I suspect that even though our need to focus requires a trimmed down reality these other identities with their own time/space are necessary resources. But it goes both ways. They need our current time/space surface self as well. This on stage self in the so called here and now is unwittingly working for all of our selves.
You probably know that I don’t believe that creation occurred with a big bang billions of years ago, nor do I believe that a supreme being made it a few thousand years ago. I believe that creation is now, all of the nows; from the tiny now that I’m experiencing, to a place that time can’t touch. Time is convenient and probably necessary for physical existence but it only works on a narrow platform.
We usually think we know who and what we are unless we accidentally fall through a soft spot in the floor of our agreed upon existential stage. Brugh Joy talks about the phenomena that one of our selves can be fit and healthy while another one may succomb to a disease. It’s actually possible to save the physical body by putting the identity that is healthy on stage or transversely a sick self may be appeasing a demon that requires a toll for something from the past or is protecting us from something even worse. What seems tragic may have deeper roots into a dimension and reality that would only make sense if we had eyes like a cosmic eagle that saw the overall picture. This is the reason, of course, that Native Shamans cultivate eagle essence.
All of the different selves from different times in a single physical life are energetically connected with each other as well as with the self we currently claim. They can become a working community or they can lead to chaos. Most of the time (I get nervous anymore whenever I use the word time) we get by without any recognition that we are more than me. But usually the other people in our lives can attest to there being some surprises under our hood. Just as primitive people get a shock when they see themselves in a mirror for the first time, the recognition that I am not who I think I am is both unsettling and intriguing. Let’s see where it goes. There are Everest’s to climb in that other world just as in the one I'm peering from now.