I’m walking down an endless series of stairs inside a cavern, a mountain, an old castle, everything looking like it’s been carved out of a cave with stairs surrounded by cave-like walls and ceilings that change shape with each step, uneven, with lighting coming from somewhere below so I can see where I’m going. There are young people, kids, coming up. As I go down, I see/hear what look like saunas, locker room/shower areas.
Is this the last level? Why am I going down?
To get to “the bottom of things.” That’s everything. That’s what I’m doing. Of course, getting to the bottom is about right now. There will be other “bottoms” to “get to,” I’m sure. Some, perhaps of a different, more delightful nature.
In the meantime, it’s weeding out, pruning time. Junk status for lots of email, more “un-following” on Facebook, anyone who isn’t a part of my life – gone. I don’t want to have all that distraction. It’s needless, that’s why it’s called a distraction. Gives the impression of belonging. Not real. Items posted may be pointing to something interesting or worthwhile, but it’s become way too much. A time-sucker. Not worth it.
As I lay in bed this morning, I suddenly become fearful. The “bottom.” Is it “falling out”? Money worries, empty-life worries. Confusion. Anxiety about living.
And then… getting to the “bottom of things” comes to me as I jot that note down from one of my new dreams, those words serving as a cue for later morning journal writing. Aha! I take a toke, listen to my mind (?) my heart (?) and I become aware that I have a choice of versions of reality to pick from, all but one already waiting to be followed. Everyone does. That’s all everyone is doing, all the time: picking their version of reality. There is no one version of reality, however. We may choose to try to believe that, try to align what we think that “version” really is with what we believe is the social version, the compatible version. And so, we stumble along, never really sure. Why? Because it’s impossible to know deep down, since it’s based on something “out there,” an abstraction. “Fitting in” means different things to different people, perhaps done to ease the tension that results from living from the outside-in, and “knowing” deep down, deep, deep down, that something’s amiss, fake. It’s an attempt to foist something less authentic onto something real. And what is that “something real”?
It’s you. It’s me.
In the quiet of my lonely room, eyes closed, mind floating, body relaxed and stretched out horizontally, untethered from top to bottom, I begin to imagine possibilities instead of feeling anxious. At this sleepy stage, it’s more about the possibilities of possibilities than anything specific. I can tell I’m onto something real because I’m nodding off, I can feel it in my body. “Dreaming. Sleeping.” My temporary mantra. I relax and enjoy the blend of thought with feeling, not sure which is which and not caring, either.
An insight into real living leaves behind the worry and doubt of “hitting bottom,” replaced by “getting to the bottom of things.” There is no Secret Code, unless that’s what I want. And then, it’s just a secret I keep from myself, if I choose to. And it’s not about “not fitting in,” because it’s about something that’s not a “not.” “Nots,” after all, have the potential to become “knots” in the end.
Everyone’s version of reality is a like a movie. That movie can be a seemingly endless series of reruns, an endless series of sequels, attempts to play someone else’s dream as you perceive it. It might be “Fun With Dick And Jane,” or it could be “The Stepford Wives.” Or a television show, like “Ozzie & Harriet.” But why something “out there” instead of what’s “in here”? Isn’t what’s “in here” the real thing? And how much do we know that’s what we are doing? Sure, you can like or appreciate certain aspects of those programs. But in the end, they’re just “programs,” aren’t they? And can you see the results of trying to live “out there” instead of from “in here”? One has the potential to become pathological, the other moving us toward personal integration and a lifetime (not the cable channel) of discovery (also not the cable channel).
We are surrounded. Like in a shooting match, and we’re outnumbered. Or so we think. “It” is waiting for us before we’re even born. It “welcomes” us with “open arms.” It’s Disneyland. It’s “Apocalypse Now.” It’s “Nothing But A Man.” It’s your favorite “reality” TV show or “source for news.” Anything but what’s right in front of us.
Being damaged is one thing. Staying damaged is another. Does it come down to “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” (you pick the best version you like) or that which is indescribable except by each and everyone of us, individually, each and every day?
“But is Brain all that important? Is it really Brain that takes us where we need to go? Or is it all too often Brain that sends us off in the wrong direction, following the echo of the wind in the treetops, which we think is real, rather than listening to the voice within us that tells us which way to turn?”
I’m tired, exhausted of being afraid of what’s inside of ME.
The only true claim on anyone’s life is their own.