On the drive home, I was finally alone for the first time in over 5 days. Being a loner, I do not care much for human contact. Find it painful for the most part. Minds press too close. Probes attempt to penetrate. I turn to smoke.
The rental car glides easily through the desert, with Leonard Cohen's gruff voice on the CD player and massive thunderheads gathering in the west. The Nevada/California desert weaves an alien landscape. Joshua trees walk the night. Jagged mountains poke bony fingers skyward. Skid marks zip the road tight to a parched earth.
Words are only fodder for semantics, tools of misunderstanding. You had to be there.But I was alone. No way to tell the tale but to trace along the edges, maybe to reveal what lies beneath. Such is the contour of the nagual.
"The self dreams the double. Once it has learned to dream the double, the self arrives at this weird crossroad and a moment comes when one realizes that it is the double who dreams the self. Your double is dreaming you. No one knows how it happens. We only know that it does happen. That's the mystery of us as luminous beings. You can awaken in either one." (Carlos Castaneda, TALES OF POWER)You can awaken in either one.
Somewhere in the middle of the desert, in the middle of a long and winding road, I awakened inside Orlando. It really was that simple. Opened my eyes, looked around, had a laugh or two at the human condition, a bigger laugh at my mortal self going through the machinations of Life, and began to cross-ponder from what can only be called a "dual point of view" (Orlando and Della) this bizarre thing called Time.
Time is a mortal construct. We make it up to use as a yardstick, a reference point against the backdrop of eternity. But it isn't "real" in the sense we might think. Impossible to describe how it felt to be outside of time altogether. Orlando often talks about Time, but after today's experience, I now realize he talks to us in much the same way an adult would talk to a 5-year old about the birds and the bees. He uses language we can understand, but the actuality of it all tends to lose a lot in the translation. Birds and bees have very little to do with human reproduction, and time has very little to do with life and death. It's just an egg in which we gestate while waiting to hatch. While. Waiting. Our language itself creates Time, referencing it in countless subtle ways...
So there we were. Mortal self and eternal double driving down a winding 2-lane road in the middle of nowhere in the geographical center of infinity. Perhaps chance chose the space-time. Who's to say? Life seemed strange, at odds with itself in so many ways. The organic robot in the SUV behind me was flashing his lights while puffing on a cigarette and talking on a cell phone. Funny monkey - all red-faced and angry, holding up a predictable finger while mouthing some obscenity in my direction as he zipped past on his way to his appointment with death. For kicks, I showed him my own finger in return - it was expected, after all, and I had a bigger ring that caught the sun - and with that little ritual out of the way, I turned my attention back to Orlando.
"You are the final fragment of yourself," he whispered, so close to my ear I could feel the heat of him, even though logic and reason said it was only the sun pouring through the window. "Touch me with your naked hand, touch me with your glove," Leonard Cohen murmurs in a black silk velvet voice that sends shivers down my spine, a voice that invokes the midnight even in mid-afternoon. I felt Orlando's touch. As if in a vision more visceral than stone, the thunderheads in the west trembled. A lover's caress. Lightning snaked parallel to the ground. A golden butterfly struck the windshield and entered eternity. An eagle soared over the desert, hunting. Two fine fat black ravens strolled along the side of the road, oblivious to the slipstream thrown off by a careening 18-wheeler.
"There is a crack. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Cohen again. Wickedly perceptive old man.
I laughed, hearing it echo from here to there and back again, from the dark into the light, manifesting particle-wave duality riding itself back into the blackness, serpent eating its own tail only to turn wrongside out into some other perception of an ever-evolving reality. "You are the final fragment of yourself."
And then I was mySelf again, just a mortal crone propelling herself down the road at dangerous speeds, cycling endlessly between one moment and the next, between here and now, drifting between the harsh terrain of Time and the snowscape of timeless infinity.
"When the final fragment is integrated, Time itself will end."
"I see," said the blind man.
An Excerpt from Quantum Shaman: Diary of a Nagual Woman
copyright 2015, by Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved
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Scrawls On the Walls of the Soul