It is a test you have to pass. Then you can learn to heal with the finger, said Essie pointing over our heads: I went thru every test on the way, that's how come I'm a shaman. Be careful on the journey, they said, the journey to heaven. They warned me. And so I went. Thru the rolling hills I walked and walked, mountains and valleys, and rolling hills, I walked and walked and walked – you hear many things there in those rolling hills and valleys, and I walked and walked and walked and walked and walked until I came to a footbridge,
I wish to suggest a rather subtle shift in the way we think about our trips, and indeed, our experience in general.
Of course one can and often does simply become lost in the colors of the phenomena that produce themselves for us. But equally frequently, for many of us, the trip is fraught with ontological issues. The matter of the reality of what is going on and what we are experiencing: the reality and nature of the entities we encounter; the nature and reality of the apparent narratives we are the part of.
I did indeed receive your letter urging me to send you the promised text for your special issue on love. But I did warn you that I could tell you only what I think. It was you who questioned me, it is to you that I respond. For I have had, for a long time, nothing more to say about love. It’s a feeling that I believed I had and understood, at a time when I was developing false ideas about life, for in truth I never found any love in it, only in me:
[The following is text of a talk I gave early this fall at the Philadelphia conference on Psychedemia (C.S.)]
The point is that a thought — any thought — retards time: The infinitely rapid rush of transition — the white susurrus of the immediate movement from one instant to its successor. To be possessed of a thought — it is as if there were a station in time at which one could have a recess from its passage. One stops to consider. One places before oneself that which a thought contains in order to elaborate, reflect, develop, associate . . . while holding the position of the original thought. Time flies on, but the thought remains... Sort of.