Inside My Sanctuary.
In my article, "Living a Darker American Dream", I spoke of my many hours of chit-chat with Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. These two quirky old Germans (who were so engaging) asked me to really think hard about the mind, reality and the mystic nature of the life of the self. While talking to these men in the halls of analytical self dialog, they began poking and probing me. They answered my deeper questions in the echoes of inner awakenings.
Hermann Hess was a friend of Jung's and so I decided to talk to him one day. I met him through Demian (an interesting name). Demian was an experience of individualization; I was beginning to get a grasp of this world of ubermensch (over men) and under lords. And so I began to draw them out. In this article you can find the drawings as they came forth from the shadows. 'Slipping Through the Cracks', 'Shedding My Skin Again', 'Ancient Compass', 'Dark Ritual', 'Circle Of Distraction'; please view them with an open mind. What I found in my journey was that we are not so far from one another.
I never had the opportunity to truly speak to living psychologists, all my encounters were through the works of the authors I mentioned, as well as numerous others. I had no guide in my self-education, no set curriculum, and no class syllabus or prospectus. This is not to say I'm special, only that my learning was unorthodox.
I found it necessary to examine the religious component of my person. I had rejected the belief in God at an early age, but I found him cropping up and often lurking in the fringes of my soul. I discovered that the real quandary was in the 'God' definition. There is no definition for God; each individual must find it within themselves. This discovery was an eye opener, I began to see that this was the very reason there is so much confusion over the subject. If I was really going to disassemble the house that Jack built, I would have to at least acknowledge that the compounds, structures and nails for my belief systems were an integral part of me, no matter how twisted or warped they might be. It's hard to speak on these things without offending or causing discord, but how can we speak of an American ethos without it? So I will try to speak of myself and attempt not to offend.
I heard it this way many years ago. There is only one way, it is the only way, it is my way, it is the only way "I know." This phrase, I feel, expresses the isolation of the self. In truth, no one has ever seen me; the world only sees what I reveal to it. I do this not only through word and deed, but also in less obvious ways such as the clothes I wear, my hair style and even my physical posture so that the whole being is projecting outward in an attempt to manifest the self. At the same time there is also the struggle to hide that which is deemed unacceptable.
If this weren't complicated enough, as time and experience collide I discover aspects of myself I never knew about. I'll give an example from my life. There was an instance when I was lost in the world of methamphetamine; I was in an abandoned house and had been awake for three days. The house was boarded up and very dark inside. I heard what I thought to be a police radio, and then I saw the door open. In stepped a man, his gun drawn and pointing at me. As the light flooded in behind him I could only see a blur of dark shadowy silhouette. Time slowed to a crawl as adrenalin danced on my every nerve. I raised my hands and the man with the gun yelled, "Get down on the ground." I didn't move as his voice echoed off the dilapidated walls. In that moment a deep and unknown primal instinct took hold of me; I became very calm and said to him, "Are you a cop?" He did not answer. I asked again, taking a small step forward. He trembled and I could sense the fear in him. In that moment I was no longer the me that is so familiar, but someone whom I did not know. Something primal? No, someone primal that had stepped forward from beneath the shadows of self. I looked in his eyes and calmly and authoritatively within this other self said, "Don't be afraid I won't hurt you." I reached out and gently removed the gun from his trembling hands. Who was this other me? Where does he live, and how did I come to acquire him? Was this the ubermensch, the super ego? To this day I still don't truly know, but I do know he is there waiting in the shadows.
How can any of us say for certain what we will or will not do, in a given situation? We may never encounter the precise set of circumstances that will reveal the true depths of our capacity for madness, valor, genius, sorrow or joy. The circumstances of life can unfold in random free form or they can be forced upon us or we can choose to dive in head first. Perhaps there is nothing beyond this life, but if something lingers, all that we could hope to take from this life is the experience of having been. I don't believe such a thing can be valued in terms of good and evil, but perhaps it could be valued in terms of full or empty.
One day I lay in my cell, as an eternity of seconds worked their way into days and endless weeks. I postulated this question, 'If I had all the money in the world, would it satisfy my need to have? At first glance the answer was a resounding yes, but then as I went deeper into the fantasy I saw that at the end of need, the rode of desire continued on.
So I postulated power, but with absolute power is absolute control and with absolute control there is no challenge and without challenge there is no growth and stagnation is a fate worse then death.
As I grow older I see what has been unfolding and what is manifest and what is revealed. And I am in awe of the transubstantiation. I understand better why Bethlehem is called in scriptures, 'a house of bread', and why living is as important as dying and why compassion is painfully beautiful. Life is process and it is in process that the meaning of life to me is revealed.