Spiritualism

 

I've always sought truth in my life. These days I'm content just to make my art while living a simple existence, but it wasn't always that way...

I first took interest in parapsychology around late 2007, while developing the story of Maire in E2. In the Sketch Gallery, I revealed that psychokinesis and out-of-body experiences were my prime interests. I researched figures like Edgar Cayce, Jose Silva, Nina Kulagina, and Pam Reynolds. My mind ran wild with creative possibilities, and I even wrote theoretical pieces on the physics of these mysterious processes.

Making the Soul Catapult demonstration (for E7) brought these matters back to the forefront of my consciousness. Maire encompassed the PK aspect of my metaphysical interests, while her cousin, Kairi, explored OBEs. I will never forget the night I started writing Kairi's story. My spine tingled, my ears burned, I looked over my shoulder several times, and didn't sleep terribly well. I'd been brought up in a Pentecostal church, so this was completely new, even "forbidden" territory for me.

These things gradually faded from memory over the next couple of years, and were suddenly sparked anew in early 2010. My burning curiosity got the better of me; I just had to know the truth, if all of this was really real or not. On March 5th, 2010, I unsuccessfully attempted astral projection. I did feel something like low currents of electricity pulsing downward through my body, accompanied by disorientation. I tried a few more times over the next several weeks, but never worked it up as much as the first attempt.

However, as an awful side effect, I experienced an almost debilitating sensation of spatial oscillation for several months afterward. It was terrifying. I couldn't concentrate on anything without feeling like I was drifting out of my own body; this included playing video games and using computers. Sound, including music, also seemed to induce it. When I described the symptoms to my doctor, he asked if I was on drugs. Every night, I felt like I was being tossed about in a choppy ocean in my own bed. I also suffered vivid nightmares for a short time. I thought I'd screwed up, and that my life was over. I dove deeply into the Christianity I was raised on, and found peace and relief.

Over time, that ailment left me, though returned periodically over the next year or so, being triggered visually by oscillating movement. The best sense I can make of it is that it's linked to self-hypnosis, like the swinging of a pendulum. Indeed, Edgar Cayce induced his own trances via self-hypnosis.

In 2011, I happened upon a document about Theosophy on a CD that had been given to me by an old friend, ten years prior. I have absolutely no idea why it was on there, but of course I read it, and that's where I discovered writing on the seven planes. While my profoundly negative experience had dissuaded me from further experimentation, I found these concepts fascinating, nevertheless, and worked them into my stories.

After suffering a period of psychological darkness (and something of an identity crisis) in late 2012, I turned to kundalini meditation with intent to purify myself, because nothing cleanses more perfectly than fire, right? Misguided "reasoning" aside, on April 1st, 2013, I experienced a deep inner ecstasy while meditating, which served to motivate my continued efforts. I developed the ability to lucid dream with relative regularity, and practiced dream yoga; that is, conscious meditation while lucid-dreaming, to the point of obtaining awareness within a given dream, sitting down, crossing my legs and chanting. I sometimes awoke with short-lived sleep paralysis and other "transcendent" sensations; at least one morning, I felt the sensation of a spark moving up my back; I attempted to will it higher with some success. I kept a dream journal around this time, chronicling the more intense experiences.

That summer, I dreamed that I was initiated by a siddha master. He placed his hand on my forehead and I relented, feeling as though a geyser sprung up from the base of my spine; flowing up to the top of my head and then looping all the way down the front of my body before coming to rest in my ankles. I asked what school I had been initiated into, and he said "testimony". I pondered this for some time.

Soon after, however, I had another terrifying experience, wherein I dreamed I was petting a little curly-haired dog; when I woke up, I was still petting it, and thought, "Wait a minute, what am I touching?" In that instant, I felt something reach from behind me (in my bed) and bind me in its grasp, then press itself into my backside. I immediately visualized kundalini rising from the base of my spine, and the attack subsided. Needless to say, I largely abandoned my spiritual endeavors after this, save for one or two attempts to no avail.

I remembered it was said of dream yoga, "Living may become the dream, and the dream may become the living." What was happening was that my dreams were beginning to bleed into my reality, and that was enough for me to stop.

In the next couple of years, I found out about what was called "kundalini syndrome," along with the related "qigong psychotic reaction," and thought I might have experienced a mild form of it as a result of my actions in 2010. The moral of the story is that I attempted these pursuits in an undisciplined and unsupervised manner, without the necessary preparation required for safety and success. Even so, I was greatly enthusiastic for them and achieved rapid results; though for me personally, it was not worth risking my sanity for.

Rather than swearing it off, though, I wanted to bring something positive from it, and integrated these themes into my work. Another fascination from this same timeframe was the concept of the chakras; I identified most with Swadhisthana (the sacral chakra), in part due to its orange color which, in the context of the Seven Rays, was said to be related to Aquarius and personal growth through suffering... to which I can most assuredly relate.

Swadhisthana spiritually represents creativity, joy, and enthusiasm, while its bodily function regulates sexual reproduction. As an intersex person, I found solace in this. It taught me that, when one nadi is severed, the rest flow even stronger... because God is just, and recompenses those who suffer loss. That made me more proud and happier than ever (at least then) to be who I am, and I wouldn't have it any other way. And yet, my understanding of myself was still limited, with the most dramatic and life-changing revelations yet to come.

Of course, this was just one small step on the long journey of my life... and by the grace of God, that journey's not over yet!