Evolution of the Peacock
My personal apocalypse was crystallized in this dream from 1990:
My girlfriend is an all-powerful being. On the fourth day of the fourth month, four years from now, she will bring all things horrible and perfect into the world. I say, "Will you remember me?" She says, "I will keep you safe."
I was still male when I had the dream. The "girlfriend" was my inner-woman. Today, she is me. Without my dreams, I would not have become a woman. My female self literally emerged through the dreams of my male self. In becoming my new self, I essentially have become, in waking-life, the main character of my former self's dreams.
My first sentence ever was, "Black sheep, have you any wool?" It set the tone for my life as a suburban misfit. A visual handicap kept me from getting a driver's license. I never had a credit card. Beck's "Loser" sufficed as my theme song. I graduated from college without a tassle for my mortarboard. Despite my artistic nature, my creativity dried up in my twenties because sex and nihilism drained my libido. By thirty, I was a benumbed clown partying on the fringe of civilization. I took nothing except for my dreams seriously.
In 1988 I had an epic dream which I shared with my psychotherapist. With her guidance I discovered the dream was rich with meaning. I began sleeping with a notebook and pen every night. Over the next ten years, my dream-life implored me to honor it, but I was too complacent to.
By 1998, I was on the cusp of either throwing my life away or going in a new direction. Trying to decide what to do, San Francisco attracted me because a best friend named Cedar was there. In college, Cedar and I enriched each other immensely with an ongoing, four-year conversation. We were like brothers. My friends were like family to me then.
The son of a Southern Baptist minister, Cedar was a magnanimous mystic and heir to the American south's obsession with Jesus Christ. We were opposed on Christianity because he insisted it fundamentally lessened the relevance of other religions to the human condition.
On the phone, Cedar asked why I wanted to come to San Francisco. I said that I had to make a leap of faith into something and he was the only person who could support me in it. In response Cedar said, "I feel the countenance of God ready to pour all over you. The wisdom that you'll be given will be passed down through generations. It's about sky."
Over the next ten weeks, I roamed the west coast guided by dreams while having encounters with the Living God. The initial one occurred in a motel room in Eugene, Oregon while Cedar and I were on a road trip with seven born-again street kids who were in Cedar's charge. Nothing incurred my loathing more than how such people twisted the Christian message. A dream showed them as naked people with guns.
In the motel room in Eugene, while Cedar slept beside me, I woke in the middle of the night with my heart racing, and my muscles cramping and twitching. The hatred the born-again street-kids evoked was consuming me. In his sleep, Cedar opened his eyes, took hold of my arm, shook his finger at me and said, "No no no no no. No no no no no."
The reproach enabled me to step outside my mind to see myself. I sensed an island of feeling around my heart. Focusing on my heart, I recognized it as a door. I turned away from everything but the door and called through it to "love beyond name." The door blasted open and love annihilated the hatred with a sweetness that burned through me like white fire, leaving me as defenseless as I was when I was born. It was painful to have my flesh so open so suddenly. The "love beyond name" told me, "I am the beginning and the end."
The next two months brought a number of similar experiences. "The countenance of God" gradually "poured all over [me]." (Drugs were not involved in any of my mystical experiences.)
My quest led to a week during which I had about two hours of black, dreamless sleep a night. I didn't need to dream because my dreams had merged with waking life. It had taken me ten years of attending to my dreams and ten weeks of questing to build up to the dreamless week. It then took about ten weeks to cool down from it.
During the week, poems, paintings, music and dance blew around me like wind, all of them interconnected on an unbreakable web of being. Wild animals gathered round me. When I passed babies, they gazed at me adoringly. People fuming with darkness were also strewn along the way.
The illusory aspects of my adult male self were asleep. I was like a seven-year-old boy-the seven-year-old boy I had forsaken to become a clown-man. My spirit was in union with Christ's. During the week of communion, I experienced him as a human-sized frog breathing through me, balancing the heartbeat of the World against the Beast.
I felt the signature of God in everything. There was no death. Metaphor was no longer figurative. It was actual. It was in the fibers of nature.
For psychotics, the symbolic consumes the real. For me, the symbolic and the real embraced, illuminating consciousness and making me whole. Alchemy figured prominently in my dreams.
Throughout the summer, the Spirit leached out of my body, back to the sky. I returned to Budapest where I had already lived and worked as an English teacher from 1993 to 1997.
In answer to my spiritual calling, I spent two years in solitude; exercising, meditating, contemplating, and recording 10 to 15 dreams a night, unwittingly bringing consciousness to my unconscious self. The cornerstone dream of the 4,500 I recorded was that Jesus marries his mother.
My spiritual practice precipitated, in 2000, the sudden, unanticipated identification of myself as a woman-this after being born a man, and growing up identifying as one.
I had never before considered changing sex, and assumed that I was magically turning into a girl. My psyche was pouring into consciousness. When this happens it is called "psychosis." In the word "psychosis," "psych-" means "soul," and "-osis" means "sickness." I had soul sickness. I did not see it as a condition to medicate, but rather a process through which I could piece together my female self. I understood the end of soul sickness as soul wellness.
The very day of my self-identification as a woman, two archetypes took center stage in my inner-world: God personified as an old Jewish man, and my inner-woman. She was given the name "Rose Mary Pillowwater" by a 1990-dream. Within me, Rose Mary and the old Jewish man dialogued and engaged in psychodrama for a couple days before I went into a ten-hour meditation the day before Easter. The meditation was supine, in what yoga calls "the corpse position."
In perhaps the eighth hour of the meditation, my face began to twitch and shudder a bit as God readied me to feel him exercise through it. He did a kind of yoga, stretching my face into positions I had never experienced. My face filled with flowing warmth that rippled in my flesh like water. After about a quarter hour of exercise and sculpting, I could feel my countenance had become Rose Mary's. It felt beautiful and gentle.
God then practiced making music with my mouth. It sounded like a combination of speaking in tongues and beat-box. He moved down to my hands and arms. My hands were especially spastic because God was trying to shake them awake. (Ever since then, I have practiced being a receptacle to the energy personified as "God" in the ten-hour meditation. As I learn to let the energy dance through me, my body becomes a vessel of it.)
The next day, Easter Sunday, God took the personage of a lion. He romanced me over the course of a week. We had sex often. Lying in bed, I recalled to him everything that ever happened in my life and thanked him for everyone I loved. I told him, "George [my given name] was a neat guy."
I was regressing into adolescence, but as a female. Intercourse hurt, and then stopped altogether. I became a virgin again. Regressing further, my body felt swollen with femaleness as if I was experiencing water retention. My drawings were feminine. I couldn't make a mess in my room anymore. Wherever I left things they seemed to be in the right place.
The last time I encountered the lion, I was walking outside one day feeling anxious and uncertain about existence. He told me to hold his hand. I let my hand go slack and it began buzzing with the energy of his big hand around it. I felt him beside me standing seven feet tall. I felt six years old, like Georgie (my boyhood name) and Rose Mary (my girlhood name) combined, walking safely down the street hand-in-hand with the lion.
My romance with the lion set the stage for more such experiences that edified my new identity as Rose Mary Pillowwater. (Today, instead of "Rose Mary Pillowwater" I use "Amy George" out of the need for a persona through which to interact with the reality of the old world.)
The world inside me was ending. One afternoon, energies began to emerge from my within my body and hover on its surface. They were what was left of my inner-demons, and were ready to leave. The first came out of an area on the right side of my chest that had been in pain for about three years due to a curve in my spine that was pinching a nerve. Spirits surfaced out of my damaged nerves and crawled on me. They were frightened little chipmunks without mommas. I opened my heart to the chipmunks, cupped my hands for them and they crawled in. I leaned my head down to the chipmunks and kissed them softly. Then they were ready to go and I released them. They couldn't get out of my room because the windows were closed. I opened a window and they scampered out. Then lots of bird spirits flew out of my body away into the sky.
Then my parents came out of me. Each was a little infant in my hands. They were unsure about whether I loved them. I told them I did love them and I looked at their lives. I kissed them and let them go.
A big strange thing came out of me. "What are you?" I asked.
"I'm television," it said, "You may hear the echoes of me for awhile, but I will fade eventually."
Years of cigarette smoke that had settled in my butt sifted up through my body. This felt like warm vapors seeping through my flesh and veins. They released through my right arm.
A big, black mass of tarry crap came out of me. "What are you?" I asked.
"I'm drugs. Take a look inside me."
I slowly peeled away the layers of crud from the black mass, and inside, at the center, there was a glowing white egg. I took this and placed it at the foot of a Tree of Life sculpture I had made in my room.
I had quit smoking, drugs and alcohol two and a half years prior. They had been good to me for a long time, but it had been time to move on. The glowing white egg symbolized the way drugs vitalized consciousness. It contained the divinity of drugs. Perhaps I would use them again someday, but I had no plans to.
Then, a thing was coming out of my back. I tried to get a handle on it, but it wouldn't let me. It was uncooperative and didn't want me to free myself of it, unlike the chipmunks, birds, cigarettes, television, and downside of drugs. "What are you?" I asked the stubborn thing.
"I'm your past and I'm going to take some time to fade. In six months you'll feel me less." I let him stay.
A huge thing began to come out of me. It kept coming and coming and seemed to have no end, but finally it was out hovering in my room; a gigantic ball that was much bigger than me. It was the world. I was finished.
I was told I would be on stages performing and singing, and in film. I was worried about how men would treat me as a woman. I was frightened of how they raped, molested and cursed women. A voice comforted me, saying that men would love and respect me completely. I was a reflection of their inner-women, of their love of women. I was the anima that they sought so desperately outside themselves. Only I was real.
Then, I received some spray paint. "What?" I asked the universe, "Spray paint?" I received some women's shoes. I would spray paint my shoes to wear for concerts as a kind of Rose Mary trademark. Cool.
I was given a pair of white gloves to wear when I danced.
I received a magic basketball of glowing colors. I dribbled around my room a little and took some jump shots. The basketball suggested that I would never miss a shot. I was like the Harlem Globetrotters. (Basketball was my favorite sport. I don't care for sport nowadays.)
I was told I would learn to swim and kayak. I would kayak the longest river in the world, the Amazon. This frightened me a little because it reminded me of a recent, upsetting episode where Rose Mary had told me she wanted to swim around the world seventeen million times. Sometimes she seemed like an alien body snatcher. I imagined her on the Amazon, pushing along alone, sleeping on the riverbank, impervious to the elements.
But then I was told I would travel the river with my friends. I saw that the river, like Rose Mary's swimming-around-the-world, was symbolic. The longest river in the world was the River of Life, and "Amazon" denoted a female, man-sized warrior. I felt assured that I would go all the way to wherever I was going, and would have everything. (To most people, my "everything" was nothing.)
I was told I would be a teacher.
Then, Jesus came to me as a hermaphroditic angel. He kissed me on the mouth and I had a vision of Rose Mary riding a magic horse somewhere I had been before I was born. Jesus was very soft and gentle, and surprisingly normal, especially compared to dreams I'd had where he raped me. (Ironically, in high school, I had played in a band called "Dr. Jesus," and had tagged a wall with "Dr. Jesus rapes.") The purpose of his rape was to neutralize the effects of the world's rape of the individual.
Within a few days, I got on a plane following my personal apocalypse to New York where police found me dancing naked on a soccer field. Then, after twelve hours of psychic crucifixion in a Brooklyn emergency room, I reached the safety of a psych unit.
In a few weeks, I returned to Budapest and underwent a deeper cleansing of my male self, losing my name and becoming a collection of dialoguing personalities: a ten-year-old girl; a ten-year-old boy; the body; the mind; the heart; wisdom; a soul-scientist; a being called "the Sesame Street Buddha;" a therapist; and myself three years in the future. These ego-elements saw themselves as a team working to reconstruct me.
In essence, the Sesame Street Buddha was the ten-year-old girl and boy united in one being. This being possessed the balance of my female self, and the power of my male self. When I tried to relax to let the Sesame Street Buddha into my body, I was hurled to the floor by aliens, namely "Rose Mary the Kundalini-bitch-goddess and her seven menservants." They personified the deeper nature of the Sesame Street Buddha, which I was not yet apprised of.
My dreams sometimes referred to God/the Self as "aliens" to denote the alienation of the ego from God/the Self. (Encounters with aliens are waking-life dreams that dramatize the dissonance between the individual and God/the Self.) After I made the aliens' acquaintance, I gave them a tour of Budapest.
Such experiences inundated me, many of them jettisoning my mind past the end and beginning of the world. For two years I survived without a fixed-identity, every day navigating through visions and psychodrama, often bedridden in a trancelike state. My journey from 1998 to 2000 is chronicled in an unpublished, four-book, thousand-page memoir.
Today, in the spirit of alchemy, I live from the perspective that I am base matter perpetually evolving into a vehicle for higher consciousness. The end goal of this process is attainment of the everlasting life humans were created to realize. The ethos of everlasting life is catalogued in books that fill the library of my body. I don't know whether my current body will persist eternally, but I live as though it will, as the unconscious has cultivated me to do.
Photo by lightgazer, courtesy of Creative Commons License.Tweet