Q. What’s going on inside?
Q. Processing what?
Q. Where does this occur?
A. In the brain.
Q. Not in the mind?
A. No. The brain and the mind are two different things.
Q. How’s that?
A. The brain is the physical organ inside the body whose function is to process the thoughts that are formed in the mind.
Q. And the mind is not in the body?
Q. Where is it, then?
A. That question is difficult to answer, because I have never been out of the body.
Q. You haven’t?
A. OK I take it back. I have been out of the body. It’s happened several times during sleep paralysis. But I don’t know the name of the place that I go to when I have left the body.
Q. Do you enjoy leaving the body?
A. Not at all.
Q. You’re not into astral projection?
A. I understand that some people astral-project on purpose. For me, that would be like sky-diving or bungee-jumping. No thanks.
Q. Why not?
Q. Isn’t there a sense of adventure involved? And exploration?
A. Sure there is. But there are many other realms to explore where I have found adventure. That just doesn’t happen to be a realm I am interested in exploring.
Q. Why not?
Q. Why are you avoiding the question? Are you afraid of astral-projecting?
A. Wow, we are really off the subject!
Q. What is the subject?
A. I was hoping to talk about thought processing.
Q. Can we discuss that later?
A. I suppose.
Q. So what is it about astral projection?
A. My God doesn’t want me involved there.
Q. Why not?
A. He says that this kind of practice is unnecessary and unwise.
Q. Are you sure you’re not just afraid of it?
A. Well, to be honest with you, once I was out there for a really long time, and yes it was scary. It was as though I were immersed in a raging river, struggling to stay afloat. I felt as though there were rocks on either side of the river that I might have been dashed against. I heard three male voices right nearby, saying things like: “This way!” “Keep him from heading that way!” “I got him!” “He’s safe!” It felt as though these beings had been assigned to keep me from my ass kicked out there.
Q. But you eventually came back?
A. Three times. When I came back it was like being washed ashore. But then I went back into the paralysis, and soared up into the “Beyond” again — and the same thing started over again. After the third time, I gave up and went to the Emergency Room.
Q. What happened there?
A. I told the doctor exactly what I just told you.
Q. What did the doctor do?
A. He said: “Your description was very poetic.” Then he dished out the benzos.
Q. Is that what you wanted? The benzos?
A. Not at all. I hate benzos. They had me on 6mg of klonopin a day for almost ten years. I got off it cold turkey on May 10, 2004 and have been hyped up ever since.
Q. Well, what did the benzos do?
A. They enabled to get back to sleep without entering into paralysis.
Q. So they worked?
A. Yes — for a one time shot. I didn’t take any further, after that.
Q. Then you admit it was scary?
A. Yes. And it wasn’t comfortable.
Q. But don’t some people astral-project on purpose, and enjoy it?
A. Of course they do. I’m just not one of those people.
Q. And you believe your God has told you not to do it?
Q. How did He tell you this?
A. Look. I seek Him all the time, all day long, moment to moment, throughout each day. He says in His Word to “seek first the kingdom of God, and the rest will be added to you.” Seeking the kingdom means setting priorities. This isn’t a priority in my life. There are other priorities that are far more important to who I am and what I am here to do.
Q. Like what?
A. I think you know what I’m about. I’ve got all kinds of things to do besides waste my time soaring through the Beyond wondering how long it’s going to be before I come back.
Q. So you are calling the place where the Mind exists the Beyond?
A. Yes, I recall now, that’s what they called it.
Q. They who?
A. I don’t remember their names.
Q. How did you meet them?
Q. You were channeling?
Q. Aren’t you a Christian?
A. I prefer the term Christ Follower.
Q. Aren’t Christians not supposed to channel?
A. I was doing it anyway.
Q. Then you disobeyed your God?
A. I did.
A. Well — it was all part of a larger disobedience. I was inquisitive as to a greater picture.
Q. A greater picture than what?
A. Than what’s ordinarily available through the usual methods of research based on empirical data and sense experience. I wanted to learn some secrets, that’s all.
Q. But isn’t God capable of revealing any information worth learning?
A. He certainly is.
Q. Then why didn’t you just turn to Him? And to His Word?
A. Because I was tempted. So severely tempted, that I succumbed.
Q. Why did you not resist?
A. Because I suspected I would learn something. And I wanted badly to learn.
Q. What did you learn?
A. Mostly that in seeking greater knowledge, I lost sight of love.
Q. So you regret the search?
A. Not entirely, no. It might be that the search can still be conducted, though not at the expense of love.
Q. How was love sacrificed?
A. Damage to essential self. Self in need of self-care, of love.
Q. Self-love has been difficult since then?
A. I emerged with incredible boundary issues, to be honest. I go about trying to serve others, as a Christ Follower. But often I neglect my own needs in trying to serve others. And then, sadly, I wind up not helping the others much either.
Q. Are you sad?
A. Not particularly, no. I’m just trying to focus on other ways to be of service. Astral projection and channeling are not ways for me to be in service to others.
Q. Where were you when all this happened?
A. Outside. Sleeping in strange nooks and crannies. This particular experience occurred in a stairwell attached to Berkeley City College.
Q. Why is this all coming up now?
A. Because the things I learned are beginning to come back to me. Like the word “Beyond” for example.
Q. Why do you think that is?
A. Passage of time is clarifying the message. And I’m getting better sleep.
Q. Why is sleep so important?
A. I’m not entirely sure yet. But it has something to do with the realm of Mind as it relates to sleep states and dream states.
Q. Do you think it will all come back?
A. Only the good and useful parts will come back.
Q. Not all of it was good?
A. No. Some of it was clearly good and breathtakingly beautiful. It bespoke an incredible array of hope for the human race. But its glory was obscured by all kinds of garbage. It was as though the garbage were thrown in there by malevolent entities in order to keep me from getting the Beauty.
Q. And your job was to edit out the garbage?
A. It could have been. And it still might be, in some ways. It’s just that — it seems I can’t possibly serve the good of the planet at the expense of my personal health.
Q. But didn’t Jesus do just that?
A. He died, yes, that many others might live. But He also rose again. If I destroy myself, I doubt I will rise again. I am not God. He was. Or that is, an incarnation thereof.
Q. But aren’t you a Christ Follower? Don’t you believe that if you died in Him, you will also live in Him?
A. Sure I do.
Q. Don’t you believe that, even if you destroy yourself, you will rise again to live on in heaven?
A. Why are you tempting me to destroy myself?
Q. Why are you unwilling to do so? Did not Jesus destroy himself?
A. No he did not.
Q. How can you say that? Didn’t he have a choice in the matter? Couldn’t he have refused to take up his cross?
A. Had he refused to do so, you and I might both be burning in hell.
Q. But don’t you feel that you may have a special calling? A mission to delve as deeply into these dark ethereal waters as you can, in order that humanity will receieve a needed message?
A. I feel that I am delving deep enough into dark enough waters as it is, without risking destroying myself in the process. And humanity will receive whatever message it is that I am meant to convey.
Q. Well then — can you at least give me a rough overview of what you learned?
A. I’ve given you enough information — for now.
The Questioner is silent.
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