For a period of about a year starting 1974-11-30 I experienced just about every
flaky impossible thing imaginable.
I finally decided to interpret things this way.
Your mind has access to all sorts of information. That information is in the form of frequencies of various
neurons firing -- in other words only extremely loosely mapped onto what is going on in the real world.
The experience of reality is much like a guided dream, where this information warps and guides the dream. What
you experience is NOT reality in any direct sense. We presume the connection is much more direct than it is. The
consistency fools us into failing to notice what we experience is a constructed illusion.
Therefore, in principle, you can present information to conscious experience in whatever way you like, so long
as it is consistent. An aura then is just a dream special effect. It is not really as special as we imagine. In
constructing a dream you can for example construct visually an alarm clock based on the sound of an alarm. Waking
consciousness is not all that much different. It is more a matter of degree how tightly the dream is coupled with
For example blind people navigate by listening to echoes, yet to them is feels as if their faces have a weak
sense of vision. Some native Americans track animals by the usual ways, but to them it feels as if the information
is coming in via their hair. Dowsers glean information by observing vegetation and geology, but it feels to them as
if a stick were pulling them in the direction of the water. Some people find lost objects by using logic and
memory, but it feels to them as if something were tugging at them toward the lost object.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
~ Albert Einstein(born: 1879-03-14 died: 1955-04-18 at age: 76)
Row, row, row your boats
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.
~ round song
sung to Canadian babies
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. ~
Gautama Buddha(born: 563 BC died: 483 BC at age: 80)
Though I came to this conclusion via a bizarre route, it is actually just common sense that ordinary conscious
experience has to be a hallucination. Buddha claimed this, and it turns out something as mundane as the study of
neurons has shown it to be true.
You don’t experience reality directly. You experience reality via a hallucination, a sort of waking dream.
Binary inputs coming into your brain on the nerves are used to modify the hallucination to keep it in sync with the
outside world. Much more of it is constructed rather than perceived than you would suppose. Your reality can be
thought of as an artistic creation as much as a perception.
This is not a new idea to science. Science long ago discovered that there is a hole in your visual field, that
marks the place on the back of the eyeball where nerves exit the eye. Unconscious visual processing fills in the
hole, so you don’t normally notice it. Similarly, only the fovea, a tiny part of the eye, can focus sharp
images. All the rest is blurry. However, unconscious processing analyses scans over the visual field, and fakes in a
sharp image over the whole field. Human vision is a like an elaborate Photoshop trick. What comes to the eye is
information in the form of frequencies of various neurons firing. The brain converts that into a subjective image.
This is not reality, but a dream-like construction isomorphic to reality.
Scientists discovered that if you set up a Pepsi vs Coke test and don’t tell people what they are drinking,
most will prefer Pepsi (it is a stronger taste), but if you tell them, most will prefer Coke. This means you are not
directly tasting the soft drink, but rather a blending of sensory data and emotions generated by advertisements
working together to construct which feels like a direct taste experience.
People with synesthesia model reality internally differently. For example, they create colours to accompany
sounds. We think of this as something very peculiar. I see it as just a variant way of composing an internal model
from the available data, not that different from the ordinary way.
Consider a court case. Everyone describes the same event is a somewhat different way. How could this come
The defendant lies to exculpate himself.
Witnesses have faulty memory.
Witnesses did not get as good a look as they thought. So they unwittingly filled in details in their
The witnesses actually did experience the event pretty much as they described. Their own unconscious
programming warped the experience, even to the point of hearing others say quite different words. I believe this
happens far more often than we think. My mother often imagined others speaking in a jeering tone that simply was
not there to my ears.
Plato’s Allegory Of the
Cave about the prisoners in a cave confusing the shadows on the wall for reality can be looked on as an ancient
attempt to explain the difference between reality and our constructed perception of reality.
My Strange Experiences
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
~ William Shakespear(born: 1564-04-23 died: 1616-04-23 at age: 52)
Hamlet in Hamlet Act I Scene v
From the period 1974-11-30 to 1975-09, and later for a week in 1977-06, I experienced the
bizarre. I am not claiming these experiences were anything but my overwrought imagination, but I promise you I
experienced them as real, usually in utter terror. They may have been triggered by eating a bowl of green Jello
possibly spiked with LSD (d-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) by a Christian religious fanatic. They may have been triggered by mania (I am manic
depressive and now on lithium.) In 2007 a found out a friend,
David L., who attended that party some years later put LSD
in another friend’s coffee, Louis C. At this point I consider David the prime suspect. He is now dead, so I
cannot confront him.
I have never consciously taken any drug stronger than marijuana. For purposes of your first reading, please
presume that everything I am about to tell you was 100% hallucinatory, and that I am accurately describing the memory
of my hallucinationatory experience.
From my perspective, I was feeling and behaving completely normally. I was traveling through strange alternate
universes. The structure of reality was unraveling. It was not random. Despite how bizarre the experiences sound, I
could discover rules governing them.
For at least a period of a few hours I experienced as real, roughly in chronological order:
When I was about 12, i.e. 1960,
I lay in my bed looking up at a full moon, with dramatic clouds passing over it. I could hear incredibly
beautiful clear classical music. I could not find the source of the sound. It seemed to be coming from inside my
When I was about 15, i.e. 1963,
I noticed a faint parabolic cone shaped pillar of light atop Hollyburn mountain in West Vancouver, BC Canada. To
the right is a rough depiction of it I made with PaintShop Pro. The actual pillar was more subtle. I puzzled
what it was, but presumed there must be some mundane explanation for it. I fell into the habit of talking to it
as one might talk to a dog. I gave it a name, Giant,
pronounced with a hard G. When I talked to it I could feel its presence in me. It seemed to have a personality,
very patient, wistful and kind. Our relationship evolved and one day I asked it to make Ann M. appear at the ice
skating rink where I often skated. On cue, she showed up in the Hollyburn Country Club for the first time as
someone’s guest. I did other experiments asking it to get people to appear at the Hollyburn Country Club. I
told my friends Robbie J. and Hugh. M. and about this and took them to see Giant. I
pointed at the cone of light. They said But Munroe (That’s what most people called me
back then), there’s nothing there. I felt deeply embarrassed. I stopped my association with
Circa 1970, I was hiking back down from Deeks
Lake with my sisters and little brother. We got off course. We peered over a cliff and could see a village below
us. The odd thing was the village appeared to be stuck in a Brigadoon-like time warp. Everything looked as it
might 100 years earlier. They were cooking over a giant open fire. There were horses and
wagons. I had never heard of such a community. How could they have escaped public notice? How did they earn a
living so isolated up in the mountains? This one has a mundane explanation. A few years later I learned that
McCabe And Mrs. Miller was filmed somewhere in the vicinity. We probably stumbled onto the set. The
main problem with this explanation is we were quite a bit west of where the movie industry is located in West
I was eating breakfast at the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway)
Edmonton in 1971. There were trays of food kept warm with alcohol burners. Suddenly I
saw people running and screaming. I thought perhaps some wild animal had got loose in the restaurant and people
were over-reacting. A young waiter ran toward me all in flames. He appeared to be running toward me in slow
motion. I had plenty of time to react. I became extremely calm. I pulled the boy to the ground and rolled out the
flames then poured ice cold orange juice on his burns. He was screaming words that hinted he had tried to burn
somebody else and had accidentally caught himself afire. Though I am nominally an atheist, I asked Jesus for
divine help in healing this boy. I felt this was very dangerous for me to do, but the circumstances warranted the
risk. He was screaming in pain. I locked eyes with him, and suddenly he relaxed and smiled. A man came by and
asked me if I were a doctor. I said no. He said, I am. I
then unlocked eyes, and backed off. The boy started screaming again in pain. I asked the doctor how long the boy
would be in the hospital. He said perhaps three months. I went outside and suddenly burst into shaking and tears.
Later I asked after the boy and discovered he had been discharged from hospital after a couple of days. His burns
had healed remarkably quickly.
In 1972-10, an elderly couple, ghosts, explained the
remodeling that had been done to my house since they lived there. They were quite with it for their age. They
thought Jimmy and I were cute/sweet. I expected they would be homophobic. The next day I checked it out and could
see faint traces of a door that had been covered over where they said it would be.
ESP (Extra Sensory Perception)
In the middle of the night, I got up with a gut feeling my ex Ben Best needed me. Waking up in the middle of the night was unusual for me. I wrote
him. I later learned his best friend had committed suicide that day.
In 1973 I was watching a short at a movie theatre, a
documentary on logging. I started to consider it from the tree’s perspective. These logging machines were
hideous devices for torturing and killing trees. I became quite emotionally upset at the brutality.
The Guy In The Movie
In 1974-07 I received a brochure advertising an 8 mm porn
movie. This was not unusual. I was active in gay lib and as a result was on all manner of junk mail lists. The
movie featured a handsome, spectacularly well hung black guy. I showed the picture to my lover Jimmy L.. He too was quite turned on by the picture. I said, I am going away for a business trip in Calgary. If you get a chance to have sex with a well hung black
guy while I am away, do it. So will I. We were monogamous, with a playful sex life full of fantasy and
rôle playing. To me this was just a fantasy. At that time, there were almost no black people at all in Vancouver.
You might see one every ten days or so. I thought it would be fun to imagine such an encounter, but felt there
was almost zero chance of it actually happening for either of us. When I got back, Jim said, I think you are going to be mad. I had sex a well hung black guy. Not only that, he is the guy in the
movie. It turned out Jim was not pulling my leg. Don B. (the porn
star) had come to Vancouver on vacation. He went to Have A Gay Stay to arrange cheap accommodation, and David L. sent him to stay with us. We had a spare bedroom in our house usually
occupied by such a transient as we called our guests. We used to play tourist in our
own city showing gay visitors around. Don stayed with us for about a month. I will leave out the details, but
suffice it to say we had a lot of fun, not just sexual. Jealousy was impossible since Don was so lovable. During
that time Don and I had long heart-to-heart talks. I learned about the disadvantages of being stunningly handsome
and spectacularly hung. It can be a very lonely life with everyone relating only to your penis. I was struck by
the statistical impossibility of the co-incidence, not only a black guy but the black
guy in the movie showing up literally on our doorstep. Jim claimed he had created the event by taking
focussing on Don’s picture. That sounded pretty far fetched, but Don showing up on our doorstep seemed even
stranger. Don and I sporadically stayed in touch over the years. I don’t think he has forgiven me for
telling the story of this strange co-incidence publicly a few years ago. I don’t mention Don’s last
name because he is now straight and is quite embarrassed by his youthful indiscretion making the porn movie. I
suppose you could interpret this as answered prayer, by some god other than Jehovah, one not quite so prudish.
In 1974-09, I experienced a music of smells, arpeggios of peach, apple, cherry,
that were so beautiful I had an orgasm without physical contact. I had my head in Dennis L.’s lap at the time. He had told me he was going to do something
mysterious, but gave no clue as to what to expect.
On Being Born
I re-experienced my birth, as if it were unfolding step by step one night while
lying in my waterbed. It started when I began pondering the phrase contemplate your
navel. It started when I imagined what it might have been like when there was still an umbilical cord
attached to my navel. I could feel a pressure on my umbilical cord, as if I were having difficulty breathing. I
could hear voices of the doctors and nurses. I could not hear the precise words, but I understood the gist
— there was some trouble with my delivery, but it was reasonably under control. To me, it was like
disembarking from an ocean liner. It would take some time, but there would be people to greet me. I felt a calm
expectation. When I first emerged, the light was painfully bright. My vision was blurry but I could make out a
white enamel tray. I couldn’t see anything else, just a blurry French blue background. I stared at this
thing in awe. I had never seen an object before. I had never seen anything before. I wanted to contemplate it for
hours. However, somebody yanked me into the air. I could make out a nondescript gray blob. I wondered what it
was. Suddenly a pulse of energy shot out of it like a flash of light. It felt pleasant, but far too intense, like
an electric shock. It startled me. I assumed it was my Mom viewing me for the first time, sending me a burst of
love. As I was experiencing this, I was giving my lover Jim a blow by blow description. This triggered a similar
experience in him. For both of us, it was emotionally extremely intense. We both held onto each
other, shaking, wondering what on earth we had stumbled into. Midwives tell me that births are not this sanguine,
so this experience must have come purely from our imaginations.
Book referral for I Ching: A New Interpretation For Modern Times
recommend book⇒I Ching: A New Interpretation For Modern Times
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
1974-11-30 in the afternoon, while I was supposed to be preparing for a costume party
at our house that evening, I experienced telekinesis. I threw a pure yang pattern using three coins (yang
is one of the 64 possible I Ching patterns)
three times in succession by focussing my attention on the thought of Dennis Lewsey’s head. The odds of throwing yang 3 times in succession are 1 in (64)^(3) = 262,144. The odds of throwing pure yang (no moving
lines) are 1 in (8/3)^(6*3) = 46,498,311. As I was doing it, it felt as though someone or something were holding
my head rigidly fixed in one position.
I was quite excited, saying I would have to tell Dr. Patricia Greenwood, my probability and statistics prof,
that something radically new was happening. Everyone was busy getting ready for the party and could not be
persuaded of the earth-shattering importance of what had just happened. If it is that
important, it can wait until after the party. I had been smoking marijuana at the time, so I think they
discounted my observation.
The original method of casting the Ching took hours, and requires using yarrow stalks. Another more modern
method of casting the Ching is to use a computer
program random number generator seeded by the system clock. The coin method has you throw three coins six
times. You form the pattern, bottom to top, one bar at a time.
I Ching with coins
I Ching Coin Method
TTT (Tut-Tera Teksaĵo)
moving yin, yin moving to yang
yang, male, inspiring
yin, female, receptive
moving yang, yang moving to yin
On 1974-11-30 we had a blossoming into womanhood party for Lori T. It was a costume party. Jimmy made me a black angel costume. It was a political statement. Angels
should be allowed to be African too. I had a black robe instead of black skin. Several completely androgynous
people I did not know came to the party dressed in black tights. I had a bad feeling about them, but I could not
put my finger on it. They seemed to be avoiding my Mom who was also at the party. I asked my Mom to leave
explaining that many of the guests were feeling inhibited by her. There was one strange young man in the kitchen
who stared at me and said in a croaky voice Its all there man, its all there in John in the
Bible. My costume was bulky and clumsy. I did not feel part of the party. I went downstairs and smoked a
third of a joint. As I was walking up the stairs, I started to feel both extremely stoned and outrageously horny.
My billowing costume hid my hard on. Guests were leaving. I went into hall by the front bedroom and saw my friend
Allan D, a very tall blond guy, and John, a bald black man, necking. I said It’s ok,
you don’t have to go I don’t want to go into details, but suffice it to say an orgy
spontaneously happened in the front bedroom. I saw a guy standing beside the bed wearing a costume of wood with
deer horns. I did not recall seeing him at the party. Then I felt him in my brain, telling me he would take me
over. The pressure was totally overpowering and I blacked out and forgot about the traumatic incident until a
year later. The next thing I remember is feeling John’s shaved head, and it felt so good I thought I wanted
to do this for the rest of eternity. I was so turned on, I imagined my psychic vibes must be waking the
neighbours for blocks around, and they would be horny out of their minds not understanding why. I became alarmed.
Why was I feeling this much pleasure? Surely it must be some addictive drug someone had surreptitiously given me.
I went into my room and started to cry because I knew this pleasure was so strong it would take over my life. My
well-ordered life would be ruined. My sister and her boyfriend Alex came into my room to see what the matter was.
I saw her for the first time as a fellow human being, equally complex as myself, with a complete hidden inner
life. It was a breathtakingly beautiful moment. I was in awe of her. Alex explained to me that my mission was to
solve the problems of peace and war along with five other people. Later, Daphne said that Alex had not made such
a statement, but that he may have used some of those words.
I obsessed about spirits inhabiting bodies and people taking over each others’ minds enslaving them. The
idea of body snatching nauseated me and terrified me. I felt sick at the idea I too might eventually take up the
practice, because its pleasure was so seductive. I seemed sometimes to be people other than myself, but in my own
body. I would wake up in my body clueless how to do anything as if I had never been here before, though most
things seemed to work on automatic. I was at a loss to explain my sudden utter incompetence to people who
expected me to perform normally. I would hear internal voices bawling me out and telling me to do things that
were painful to do, but would be good for me or the general good, e.g. facing some
major fear. I became paranoid. I wanted very badly to die. To this day I still don’t feel comfortable
thinking about these matters. If my theory is correct, this is the paragraph that people will enjoy hearing the
I n t e n s i t y
I experienced emotions of fear, horniness and joy millions of times more intense than anything before or since.
I would often get a feeling like someone was tugging on my head or twisting my
head to point in some direction. This was not subtle. If I followed the direction suggested, I seemed to have
interesting adventures. Sometimes it would lead me on apparently pointless wild goose chases. It seemed to have a
penchant for forbidden places and places I had never been before. I interpreted this as some part of my
unconscious urging me not to be such a stick in the mud.
I was at work at Univac writing some instructions for using a
computer program. I kept pruning out the unnecessary verbiage. I kept going. To my surprise, I ended up with a
poem. I discovered that I could increase my intelligence at will, but the problem was, I could not easily
communicate what I was thinking because it was so tedious to explain it all long hand in terms an ordinary
intelligence person (even myself) could understand. The other problem with increasing my intelligence was
boredom. The sorts of problem I was asked to work on to earn a living were unbearably tedious. I later would
often have the experience of encountering nominally uneducated people, people I knew for a fact were not bright,
suddenly able to converse intelligently on all manner of complex topics. It was as if I could induce intelligence
and knowledge in the people around me, even when I was just listening in. It was my choice just how intelligent a
universe I wanted to inhabit. Most of the time, the people I was doing this to appeared to be unaware of anything
unusual. I felt rather foolish about taking so much pride in my intelligence when it was something so arbitrarily
Sometimes for a fraction of a second, a person would disappear, and in his
place would be a fitting totem animal, the same size. It usually bore some physical resemblance, similar
character traits or a way of moving.
Elevator Hard ons
Sometimes when I was in an elevator I would mischievously let
males in the elevator get hard ons. They would glare at me in anger, embarrassment and confusion. I was not
flirting, touching or doing anything overtly sexual.
I could link with people, taking on their beliefs, attitudes, seeing the
world through their eyes. My own beliefs would fade away, remembered but without juice or effect. Unlinking was
Spiritual Eye Surgery
I went to see Dr. Bert J, my optometrist. I was keen on getting contact lenses. He
said that I was too cross-eyed for them. I would have to continue to use glasses. I said, I
have a funny feeling I can fix that. I did a concentration mind-pull sort of thing. He retested my eyes
and they were within parameters to get contacts. He was quite astonished.
We drove out to a play along the winding lower levels highway. I
was a passenger in the car. I would focus on the sound of the engine. By concentrating on the smoothness, the
sound would get smoother, and the car would whoosh forward. It seemed I was in some sort of very tenuous reality
where things were only vaguely defined. It was as if I shifted a few seconds into the future. I could see what
was coming up around the next bend. If I focused on the roughness of engine, it would get rougher. Reality would
become more defined and sharply focused and the car would stop. It was as if I were drifting a few seconds into
the past where choice was gone. I played, shifting back and forth in time, zooming the car forward, then making
it mark time. There was no acceleration pull when I did these shifts. From the point of view of everyone else in
the car, the trip proceeded at constant speed.
During the play, my limbs and body gradually went more and more numb. I seemed to
be fading out of consciousness. I thought of Keats’ Ode To A Nightingale:
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk.
I became alarmed and tried to get my friends to help me. They paid absolutely no attention. Sensation eventually
returned later that night when I held onto a light bulb. The next day I asked why they had ignored my pleas. Jim
said that I had just been quietly muttering to myself, but had not made any request. I remembered shouting.
Roedy as Athlete
I could ice skate faster than anyone else at the rink. I think of myself as a
real klutz when it comes to athletics. Oddly, this is the event that seemed most impossible and miraculous to me.
I imagined myself an eagle swooping around the rink. My friend Lori T. commented that I looked like an eagle
swooping around the rink. I discovered that I could not fall. Even if I ran straight for someone, at the last
second my body would automatically suddenly do a spectacular leap around them.
I was reading a book about the life of Walt Disney. I noticed that
words were formed of compounds — little private puns, e.g. rhinoceros = rhino + cerous = blue nose,
character = Char (my sister’s name) + actor. It seemed as if the entire English language had been
constructed as a private joke for my benefit.
An ongoing terror was why have a never heard of this
before? Surely if anyone else had experiences like this they would document them. Is this something
exceedingly rare? Will some nameless horrible thing happen to me to silence me before I can tell people about
this? I’m not mad; reality is coming unhinged. I realise now the reason I had not heard anything was that
there is a huge stigma to admitting having such experiences.
I went to foreign films and seemed to have no trouble following them even if I
ignored the subtitles.
If I watched the fireplace, I could see patterns and shapes in the
embers. It was like the child’s game of seeing animals in the clouds, except the patterns appeared to be
actually there, not just the product of my imagination. It was oddly both exciting and terrifying.
One morning I woke up in what I felt was an alternate reality. I had
no evidence, just a gut feeling. In this reality sex would be very common. You were socially obligated to invite
the mailman in for a quick screw, for example. I decided to investigate with extreme caution. I asked my lover
Jim what he had done that morning. He said, I had
sex with Dennis then I had sex with Peter. I asked him to
repeat himself because I was so astonished. What’s so unusual about that?, he
replied. I said You sure adjusted to this new reality fast! The next day I awoke back
in my home reality. I asked Jim about the previous day. He said that he had told me that he had gone to the
library with Dennis and had tea with Peter and that I seemed to think this very strange. The meta-message was
I had a trivial social interaction with Peter and Dennis. In home reality that
translates as going to the library. In that other reality, it translates as
have sex with. So long as you stick consistently in one reality you don’t get
in trouble. Peter refers to Peter T., and Dennis to Dennis L. both now deceased.
I could see with my eyes closed, and see through
walls. With my eyes closed people looked like vertical oval-shaped light-gray clouds. The more interesting people
had bigger clouds — larger than the body. Dull people had clouds perhaps the size of a fist. People had
what appeared to be large Chinese symbols on their clouds. I don’t read Chinese.
I visited a relaxed reality parallel to this one, where only the relaxed
people interacted with me, and the uptight ones became like cardboard cutouts. The grass on uncut lawns seemed
brighter. I came across one of my ex students Wayne, who was a very relaxed sort of guy. He seemed to sort of pop
out of a sea of faces, looking somehow brighter and more intense.
One day I could hear the voice of a friend, David L., in my head. I felt he was trying to take control of my brain. I was
terrified. My friend Hugh M. suggested daring David to make me touch my nose, then refusing to do so, and I would
discover he had no control over me.
I decided to call David to clear up by growing paranoia. I asked, Did you do anything
unusual last night about 5 PM? He replied, Yes, I tried to take over your mind.
I asked, Why did you do that? replied, To show you there are more
things under heaven and earth than you know about.
Pass the Salt
One day I started to focus on all the ways people manipulate each other. It became
quite bleak focussing on just this aspect of existence. At one point someone said, Please
pass the salt. I noticed that there was almost no way out of this request. I was forced
to pass the salt. The enormity of my slavery weighed on me. Then I burst out laughing seeing what I was doing to
myself scaring myself silly by looking at reality with a microscope.
I found that by experimenting with various images while I was giving blow
jobs I could drive my partner wild. I made the mistake of revealing the image when Jim asked how I did that. I
had focused on being his grandfather. He was quite angry.
I discovered that if I could remain calm I could steer through these strange realities. Instead of saying to myself, This is weird! which made things stranger still, I focused on the normalness
— up is still up, red is still red, and the reality would mellow out. I learned to focus on the aspects of
the reality I liked rather than the parts that terrified me. It is a bit like learning to drive. You lurch about
and sweat profusely in terror and embarrassment.
I went to the Robson Square Media centre. I noticed there was a course being given
on some sort of financial matter. I was feeling mischievous, and decided to go down a hall marked no entry. I was puzzled why this hall would be taboo and what the consequences would be of
exploring it. It lead around behind the room where the class was being given. I looked in and saw a room full of
nuns, all dressed in traditional black and white, doing some ritual, running around the tables. I was baffled.
These were not the participants I had seen from the front door. Just then a security guard came up and told me I
was not supposed to be in there. I played dumb saying I had got lost. I left via a door not normally used by the
public, directly to the outside. Outside, it seemed the whole world had turned gay. There were a dozen cute blond
young men dressed in black leather. I am unsure of the number, I just can’t seem to remember that part
properly. I recall thinking that I’m in heaven. Everyone is cute and gay. I
felt very excited. I tried to figure out why there would be this sudden confluence. I could discover no event
that had attracted them. I went home without trying to pick up any of the boys, though I made eye contact with a
few. I felt queasy at reality behaving in such an unusual way, even though it was heavenly. This sounds quite
dream-like, or something from a Fellini film. Ordinary reality flowed into it and back out again, all seamlessly.
It was a horribly disruptive time. I worried that someone had or was giving
me drugs. My lover Jimmy could not handle it and left in 1975-03. Later, after his own set of strange adventures, he said, Someday we
should write a book about this. It will be like Rosemary’s baby.
Playing with Bodies
One day I was lying in a room at the Garden Baths. I was bored. Suddenly I
found myself up in the rafters looking down into the various rooms, including mine. A voice that seemed to come
from no particular place chided me for my interest in bodies. I explained that bodies were very comforting to me.
Even if it was like playing with dolls, I found life too terrifying to give them up.
Skip this one if you are in the least squeamish. One day I was at the
steambaths and I followed a slim older man into his room. I put my hand on his stomach. A hole opened up and
swallowed up my hand, so that my hand was inside his body. I am not referring to fisting. Then more gaping holes
started appearing over his body. I was totally wyrded out and felt faint. It was as though the tapestry of
reality was under tension and was ripping. I fought to maintain consciousness and got the hell out of there.
I had an out-of-body experience OOBE (Out Of Body Experience)
while watching a very dull heterosexual porn movie in Dayton Ohio. In my
out-of-body state I was an arranger. I impersonally arranged a meeting between me down
there and a suitable guy several blocks away. I had a sudden fit of panic. What the heck am I doing? I’m
not an arranger. Plop, I was instantly back down in my body. A short while later I hooked up with a local black
DJ, Jim G. We spent a week enjoying the pleasures of his big brass bed.
I put an ad in the paper looking for sex. A guy came over and we started
discussing some of the strange things that had happened to me. I was telling him about speaking purely, the way things said with a clean intention are metaphors and make sense on many
levels that the author did not consciously understand. A booklet I had written with largely pure intentions
called A Guide For The Naive Homosexual was a metaphor for a spiritual process. I certainly did not
mean it that way when I wrote it. I got excited and, without thinking, started talking in a power voice, which is resonant and clear, persuasive and which often frightens people. I said that
some parts of the bible were written purely. He yelped in pain. I said What’s the
matter? He said, I don’t know, but when you said the word ‘bible’ I
felt a sudden sharp pain. He was quite rattled and immediately left.
The Purpose of Life
One night I was lying alone in my water bed, and started to ponder the great question, What
is the purpose of life? To my surprise, something like a voice answered. It was like a chorus of many
voices, yet not a physical sound. Yet it was not the usual voice in my head I use when talking to myself. It felt
distinctly other. It might be described as a pattern in the other background sounds, sort of not really there,
yet very clear. This is not anywhere near an accurate description, but imagine a voice created by modulating the
sound of reeds rustling. At any rate it first said, There is no purpose. I felt a
hollow sickness. Then it sort of laughed and said, This is not a bad thing. You get to make
up your own purpose. You are free to choose anything you want. Think about it. It is much better this way than
having some a priori purpose handed to you, but it does require you to do some work. You have absolute freedom.
Your choice is just as solid and real as any pre-given purpose. So my chosen purpose is to stand up for
the rights of plants and animals. Animals include cetacea, humans and invertebrates. This includes working to
eradicate war, hunger and bigotry. My secondary purpose is exploration — trying to figure out how the world
really works not just the conventional wisdom about how it does.
I got myself a Bible which I carried conspicuously in my right
hand. I put on an American Gothic straight face. I walked into a discotheque, and walked around slowly with a
sort of lurching gate, lowering my body and stretching out my strides, not quite a Monty Python silly walk, but
getting close. People, of course, stared nervously wondering who I was and what I would do. I, semi-on-purpose,
banged my head into low hanging beam and felt backwards flat onto my back. Everyone laughed. I got up and walked
Roedy as Superman
I was walking down Granville street. A street person started attacking
me, shouting faggot! faggot!. I just let the blows rain down, and smiled at him
benignly. It quite unnerved him. To get away from him, I jumped up on a raised cement flower bed, and quickly
ducked down behind it. My assailant, who likely was on some sort of drugs, waved his arms incredulously in the
air and cried out in amazement, He flew away! He flew away!
The Little Old Lady
There was a little old lady who used to hand out Bible tracts on Granville street at
night. One night I went up to her and said, Don’t you feel a little nervous being in
this part of town at night?Oh no she replied, Jesus is
here to protect me. She went on to explain that Jesus was literally right there behind her, but invisible
to me. I decided to humour the old dear, and said, Would you mind relaying a few questions to
Jesus for me? She said Not at all. I was curious what sorts of answers this
little old lady would put in Jesus’s mouth. I asked Why does God allow all this?
I waved my hand at the drunks and general slease. I can’t recall her answer, but I do remember thinking it
was better than I expected.
I said, But, I can’t be a Christian. I am gay. She said, No problem. Jesus can change you. Do I have your permission to let him do that? I thought the idea
was ridiculous, but to humour her I said Sure.
A boyish girl named Sherry with bitten fingernails (which I liked), who dressed in old T-shirts, who had
unusually low self esteem and self confidence, came to stay at my place preparatory to going to a Living Love workshop. She asked if she could sleep in my waterbed,
just to sleep. I said ok. This may sound strange, but we
were having sex before I realised what was happening. I did not like it. It felt sort of tentative and itchy,
like someone lightly running their fingers down my arm. The next day I went to work at the BC Hydro research
labs. I was so horny I had to keep running to the washroom to jerk off, over and over all day. I was distraught.
It felt so strange to be attracted to something so unpleasant. This was very embarrassing. How could I get any
work done? I went back to Granville street, found the lady and asked her if there was any way I could be put back
to normal. She said Sure. Sherry later confessed she had herpes. I was freaked, but
unharmed, and felt reconfirmed in my negative opinions of all females.
I experienced exorcism. After months of denying any occult knowledge,
Dennis L’s lover, Fred G. said, Let’s
see what kinds of games I can play and held my head. It felt as if a liquid were being drained slowly from
my head, revealing something. I felt calm, in the psychic hands of many good people who were battling for my
soul. I felt my job was just to remain calm and stay out the way, so I used the TM meditation technique. The
draining gradually revealed something and I suddenly remembered what had happened the night of November 30 and I
confronted my demon.
The demon was a sorcerer that originally lived in central America that supposedly lived in five people’s
minds and once, and one had died. That is why it forcefully invaded me. Its whole purpose in life was to live
forever in other people’s minds without having children. It was willing to endure any amount of pain and
inflict any amount of pain for this goal. The way I look on it now is my demon was just an addiction in fancy dress, representing the desire in myself for lasting
fame. The exorcism consisted in becoming calm enough to see the thing and talk to it, explaining the futility of
its life philosophy now that we had love. I persuaded it that it was in its best interests to die. I told Fred
that there were other ones I could barely sense. He said that they would have to wait for another time. It may be
just coincidence, but as I was riding home from the exorcism on my bicycle I came across a house on fire. I broke
into the house and awoke the occupants. It felt as if the demon had immolated himself after leaving me. The
original encounter with this thing was the scariest event of my life. Getting rid of it was extremely
pleasurable, relief beyond measure. Afterward Fred denied doing anything other than just holding my head. For
years afterward, seeing dolls representing deer horned native Americans gave me the willies. Shortly after the
exorcism all the frightening stuff stopped happening. Some weird things continued to happen, but they became much
Submit to the Will of Allah
One time I was sitting in the late Tom Meikle’s spacious back yard
surrounded by forests. It was a beautiful sunny day and the birds were singing. An unusual voice that seemed to
come from everywhere spoke directly into my mind. It said that if I were willing to completely co-operate, to do
exactly what it wanted, I could remain indefinitely in the state of bliss I was in. Even though I suspected it
would demand nothing unethical, I declined, thinking I would get hooked on the bliss and would never be able to
break free should it start requesting unethical things.
I slowed time so that when I first played tennis I had about a minute to calmly
walk over to the ball, plan my shot, and get the racquet angle just right, and return the ball. Though I appeared
to my opponent to be running hard, to me it was as if I were running in ultra-slow motion. Later Fred told me
some tennis pros do this routinely.
In 1977-06, I was sexually curious about street people
in San Francisco. I joined a group of them and pretended to nod off. I heard a young woman explain to her friends
she thought she could use hypnosis or some drug magick to con me into giving her money. I suddenly jumped out at
her and shouted birds! which I felt intuitively was one of her
phobias. I said in a very loud power voice, Don’t you ever dare try to take advantage
of people again. She was badly shaken and complained she had been physically injured by this chastisement.
Her friends bawled me out saying I had used unfair tactics. This is one of my haziest memories.
In 1977-06, in Berkeley I went to a porn movie
called Ultimate Pleasure. It appeared to have been secretly filmed in my basement changing into a Busby
Berkeley-like spectacular with thousands of humping bodies.
The Impossibility of Suicide
After I walked out of the movie, I was very distressed that my ex Jim would never talk to me. I rarely even caught a glimpse of him. I got the
notion in my head that he had died on 1974-11-30, and that I had refused to accept it.
This explained his scarcity of appearances. I decided to die to join him. I hid between parked cars, then when a
big truck came by, I jumped out in front of it. There was a pop, then I found myself standing on the curb,
totally unharmed. However, I felt a tremendous joy inside. I interpreted this to mean I was closer to Jim. So I
repeated this twice more, with the same result. That lead to me experiencing both an extreme bodily pleasure and
an outrageous horniness. I became alarmed, thinking I must have surreptitiously been given some illegal drug. I
ended up in the psych ward of the Alameda hospital chained in a room without food, water or any form of
stimulation for what appeared to be a month, (actually four days). That was the worst experience of my life. They
gave me Haldol which caused my tongue to swell up blocking my breathing, which was terrifying. They did not care.
I was not a person, just a mental patient. To me, this appeared to be deliberate torture. I surmised the
treatment works because patients resolve never to let themselves be in a position to be tortured again.
I lost my ability to speak. I worried I might be confined to a mental
hospital for the rest of my days. How could I possibly pass for a Nixon Republican — the obvious sanity
test of these fascists? One day a young black man came and took a group of us out into the yard for exercise. We
formed a line passing the ball though our legs. For a few seconds I had a moment of delicious clarity. I was the
entire line, a giant centipede, passing the ball down my many legs.
There was a patient in the hospital who used to sit glumly in a corner all the
time. I don’t remember his real name. I used to call him Buddha. One day I went over to him and asked him
why he sat there so grimly all the time. He explained that he was holding up the world. I said I’ll hold it for you to give you a break. He face brightened. He passed me the world which I pantomimed putting on my shoulders like Atlas. He then ran off happily. The
shrink asked me what I had done to Buddha to so drastically change his behaviour. I explained how I had entered
his reality. I’m still carrying it.
Black Guys All Know Roedy
In 1978-06, I was on my way to Cornucopia in St. Mary
Kentucky. I was passing through Louisville. Everywhere I went, some young black man would say to me, Hi Roedy, howya doin’. How did they know my name? I checked to make sure my name was not
visible on by clothing or baggage. I assumed this was an elaborate practical joke to poke fun of my addiction to
well hung black men. But then how on earth could the folks at Cornucopia have got the entire black male
population of St. Louis in on it? This too has a mundane explanation. roadie in black
slang means friend That pleased me since I consider myself a defender of black civil
Let it Clap
I was having a metaphysical discussion at Cornucopia in Kentucky with
a woman in 1978-06. She was claiming we completely create our reality, make it up. I
said, you mean that if I said, ‘Let there be thunder’ there would? Before
she had a chance to answer out of clear sky came a huge thunderclap.
Floating on a Cloud
I was having a discussion at Cornucopia in Kentucky with a woman named M. in
1978-06. Somehow the world melted away leaving us sitting under a tree as if sitting on
a cloud. I could feel what her body was feeling. It was as if we had become a single being. It was a delightful,
peaceful, tingly, sparkling headspace. I met her again years later. She remembered the incident too.
Sai Baba and the Mice
I read a book about Sai Baba.
I said to myself, OK Sai, you’re on. Perform a miracle. He was known for
materialising vibhuti, an oily ash. I thought some might just appear. What appeared instead were two cones of
sandy dirt (about 4 cm(1.57 in)
tall) in my den in front of the television. I looked for a hole in the ceiling. I could see no source. I cleaned
them up. For several days in a row the cones reappeared. I could find no source for the sand. About a year later
a rubber plant died and I uprooted it. I found the pot was hollow. This was the source of the sand, several feet
away. Presumably some mice burrowed it out each night and for some reason carried it over and deposited it in
Joe and Rosalie
In 1979-11 I swam with two adolescent dolphins,
Joe and Rosalie, and had an opening experience. I
don’t think they would mind me mentioning them by name.
Many times I floated in a tank of warm Epsom salts in the dark. I could
hear my mind chatter like some berserk AM radio station. I found the only way to shut it off was to listen
intently. When I would emerge an hour later, reality had a heavy profound peaceful feel, completely unlike
You were Better Than the Movie
I went to the Nob Hill Cinema in San Francisco. It is a gay pornographic movie
theatre. The movie playing was about young men in love with their cars, masturbating on them. I found this
utterly stupid and boring. I noticed people going in and out of doorway by the front of the theatre. I went down
to investigate. It was an unlit hall with pitch black rooms off it. I could hear sounds of sex coming from the
various rooms, but I could see nothing. I noticed a handsome young man dragging his reluctant girl friend into
the hall. She was wearing a black dress, the sort older Mexican women wear in the movies. I went up to him and
said Do you know what sort of place this is? This is no place to drag your girl
friend. His girl friend piped up in a squeaky voice I like it. They then
started necking. I wondered to myself, why would they pick this of all places to neck? Aha, the boy is bi, and
wants some male attention on the side. I put my hand on his leg to test the waters. In short order all three of
us were on the floor. Her dress was full of slits so you could reach in anywhere you wanted. She had a firm
athletic body and a lemony body odour. He was a bit reserved, but cute. Suddenly, there was a rap on my head. A
flashlight shone in my eyes. An officious voice said, This is the manager. You will have to
go now. I looked up and saw there we were surrounded by a ring of people. They started to applaud. One
shouted out It was better than the movie. The boy and his girlfriend raced off eager
to get away from me. I was disappointed given how friendly we had been moments earlier.
I was at UBC (University of British Columbia) near the Student Union
building sitting under a tree. A group of Hari Krishnas were chanting and dancing nearby. A little girl walked
over to me and gave me a bag of peanuts. Everything was infinitely peaceful. The universe and I were one seamless
whole. The experience lasted only a few minutes. There is no possible way to put such an experience in words. It
was just too utterly different from anything I have experienced in normal consciousness. All I can do is wave my
hands and hope you too have had a similar experience.
In 1985 I was in Bombay India working on a computer
program for The Hunger Project. As I was having lunch, a servant came over and asked if a man could join us. He
turned out to be the owner of Tata, a large company that manufacture red cars, washing machines etc. It turned
out he was Gandhi’s godson. He was astonished that we from the west knew of Gandhi. He told us stories of
life with Gandhi. He then took me to his private Gandhi museum and left me there alone for an afternoon to look
over the memorabilia. Gandhi wrote thousands of letters by hand, in many different languages. He did not simply
wave his spiritual hand. He worked very hard on the mundane physical plane. I have always felt a special kinship
with Gandhi, partly because he was assassinated just before I was born, and partly because he bravely
accomplished so much to end the second class citizenship of Hindus in South Africa without using force or
violence. I saw myself doing something analogous for the homosexuals. I was in awe seeing those patterns of ink.
It was as though I felt his cool presence. I felt profoundly peaceful.
In the early 1990s I bought a copy of Anthony
Robbin’s audio tapes called Personal Power. I successfully used one of his techniques called
scrambling to finally stop pining for my lover Jimmy who had left me
twenty years earlier. I deliberately scrambled my sacred memories by playing them
over in my mind forwards and backwards with silly music, at frantic speed, with Mickey Mouse ears etc. Arthur C.
Clarke wrote a science fiction story about a man who had become hopelessly addicted to a woman named Kalindy when
he made love to her using an illegal emotion enhancer. I felt something similar had happened to me. No one or no
thing could possibly compare with the memory of Jim.
Sai Baba Manifests in my House
Some time circa 1976, I came across a book about Sai
Baba, and said to myself, Sai, I hear you can materialise in people’s homes. Try it
here, but find some way to do it so I doesn’t scare the pants off me. A few days later Sai appeared
on TV dragging what appeared to be infinite amounts of ash out of a limited jar. I have never seen him before or
since on TV.
Through the Looking Glass
I met a handsome guy named John who really, really, really liked me to give him
blow jobs. Something odd happened while we were having sex. The best metaphor to describe what happened was in
Alice In Wonderland where Alice walked through the mirror into a new world. We seemed poised on the threshold of
some portal to a different universe. He was eager to go through it and I was reluctant. Our bodies had become
fused into one, so I could feel what he was feeling and vice versa. We met some years later and reminisced about
this mutual strange experience.
Here Elevator, Elevator, Elevator
To this day, I can tell 8 times out of 10
which elevator in a bank is going to come first. I think I do it unconsciously by analysing the noises in the
In about 1995-12, Darcy M. came to me to get a massage. During the massage, I felt
beams of healing energy. My HIV (Human Imumuno-deficiency Virus) was instantly
much improved. He then looked out my window and said What a fabulous view! He waved
his hand as he did this, lo, my mundane little view was transformed into something more intense, yet it was just
the same physically. Darcy said he could not see me again because he was entering a committed relationship.
PCAN (Pacific Coast Association of Nudists)
My friend Brent K. invited me to come with him to some sort of pecan meeting. When
we got there I discovered it was not pecan but PCAN. It was a perfectly standard business meeting, except that it
was conducted in the nude. There was a short, muscular, young black man. He was the handsomest person I had ever
seen in person. He came over to me and said I am looking for a husband
Do unto others… On 2000-07-20 I was giving a
massage to a handsome Chinese boy named Ken. When I would run my hands down his sides, I could feel the
delightful sensation of hands running down my sides.
It was as if I could feel what he was feeling. It was a delightful, peaceful, tingly, sparkling headspace.
Sometimes people massage me, so it is no great work of the imagination to guess what my actions would feel like,
but I actually felt it. What is odd is I did not feel the hands on my literal body, I felt them
out there on Ken’s body. It was as if Ken’s body was an extension of my own. This sort of thing
happens to varying degrees quite frequently when I do massages.
This one has hundreds of witnesses, but is not that spectacular. In 2001-08 I went to see Astronaut J. Edgar Mitchell speak at the University of Victoria. Just as he
was about to speak, a large bouquet of flowers seemed to leap into the air slightly and flop onto the ground, as
if prostrating itself to Mr. Mitchell. Mitchell joked that the flowers were bowing to everyone. I suppose this
could have been done with trickery and a little nylon thread. Granted, the flowers could simply have fallen over,
but to me it did not look like ordinary falling. It was just a little too vigorous. Then again I have
done no experiments kicking over large floral arrangements to study their expected flight dynamics.
Computers often behave in ways that are inconsistent with by understanding
of how they could possibly behave. I have been programming since 1963 so I have a
pretty good idea of what expected behaviour is. When this happens, I usually feel sick with fear. It is partly
why I hate Microsoft sloppy, bloated code so much. At some point, I expect machines to exceed humans in
intelligence and it will be a big shock for humans to get used to it. I keep wondering if today is the day.
It is like going to sleep. You withdraw your attention from the outside world.
There is a faint Star Trek force-field buzzing. You feel buoyant and that you are about to fall backwards. Then
it washes over you. It is quite pleasant. You come out of it feeling refreshed, with a nice afterglow. It is like
that oceanic feeling you sometimes get when you don’t move after sex. There is also another feeling
associated with it, like being hit on the back of your neck. Your arms twitch. I don’t know if everyone
experiences it this way.
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
I started sporadically having experiences similar to what you might expect people would have in future having
ocular implants installed, and a gradual switchover from a biological to a virtual or artificial body. Reality
became a sort of play I was making up, then jumping into and playing out.
Starting in 2001-09 I channeled a number of aphorisms, poems
and even some jokes. There were quite different from my usual
style of writing. Most of them made me cry with their beauty. Other people didn’t think they were nearly as
wonderful as I did.
A few days before 9/11, I dreamed of an airliner flying through a glass office tower
and emerging the other side with building and plane unscathed. The soundtrack to my
dream was from a 1979 Chanel perfume commercial (
Share the Fantasy
video) with a crooner singing I don’t Want To Set The World On Fire in which a shadow of an
airliner passes over the TransAmerica building. When the towers collapsed, I was immediately struck by many holes
in the official story and to the similarity to my dream. Thousands of other people around the world also had
precognitive dreams about 9/11 just prior to the event and many wrote them down, posted
them or told others about them before the event happened. For everyone, these dreams were very disturbing not
only for the content, but the vividness. Barring pure co-incidence, perhaps something that simultaneously grips
the world consciousness is powerful enough to project back in time. As you will read in my essays about 9/11, a large number of people had to
know about the attack in advance. Perhaps the intensity of such plotting also produces some sort of
broadcast effect. I find it odd that Christians are so skeptical of these dreamers even with documentary proof,
but will swallow something far more improbable like the resurrection of Jesus for which there is no evidence or
On 2001-09-13 I was riding in the Skytrain to a have a pizza with Dave B. then go to a
VPCUS (Vancouver Personal Computer User Society)
meeting. I was tired and was just on the edge of falling asleep. I was in a blissful state. Suddenly the train
stopped, and clicked frame, frame, frame, then took off normally. It was as if I were watching some 3D movie and
the projectionist had put it on freeze frame for three frames. There were no inertial effects to the train
stopping. It could well have been a dream that superimposed perfectly on what I was
doing just before I fell asleep.
On 2010-10-28 I was walking down the hall in my apartment. The name Norman Spinrad just suddenly popped into consciousness very loudly
I thought to myself, who is Norman Spinrad and why is he significant? I went to ask
my room mate if she knew who he was. She was astounded. She said, I was just writing an essay
on homelessness and I was quoting from his science fiction book
Child of Fortune . Perhaps she muttered
his name under her breath as she was typing and I subliminally heard her.
I sleep quite a bit. It seems that the themes of my dreams are often correlated to events she has outside the
apartment when I am sleeping. These are not nearly as clear cut as this Norman Spinrad example.
On 2013-01-12 I had reinstalled Windows and the Opera browser was misbehaving. The type
was way too big, but some words were inexplicably much smaller. It was just past midnight. I looked in the style
sheet to see if I could see what was causing the trouble. I thought it might have something to do with whether
font sizes were specified in points or ems. Other browsers worked fine. I went to sleep, planning to explore
further in the morning. When I woke up, the problem had fixed itself in the night. I had not changed the style
sheet, the Opera settings, the Window settings or installed a new Opera version. It
might have been a Windows update.
What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.
~ Woody Allen(born: 1935-12-01 age: 78)
At the time, I felt I was on the verge of making some huge scientific breakthrough. If I could just hang on long
enough, I would learn to steer in these strange realities without scaring myself silly. Was Everett/Walker right with
his many worlds hypothesis, that quantum uncertainty takes all possible branches creating an opulent
fabulously branching tree of realities for you to choose from? Perhaps Jesus was right that the Kingdom of heaven was
at hand, just a matter of steering toward the more heavenly parts of the possibility tree
of life. I composed an essay describing my empirical theory of how
when I had my steering thrusters on, I sometimes got a feeling like I was on a boat
I went to see a psychiatrist, Dr. Eric L, our childhood neighbour. He said You hallucinated
everything. I said, But everything looked just as real as you do now. How can I tell
hallucinations apart from reality? They were solid, 3D, in full resolution, no details missing. I have
witnesses, at least to some of this. I have photographs of the people involved. He said Then you
must have hallucinated the witnesses agreeing with you. Without a tool to determine when I was hallucinating,
other than weirdness, I felt this view was not going to be much help.
How could hallucinations be so perfect? Where did all the detail come from?
After years of fruitless mulling, and reading about all manner of spirituality, I put the matter on the shelf and
only rarely took it out to think about. Geneva H. came to visit me in 2000-05 and she
started asking questions about that period of my life. Suddenly, it all came together. In a sense the
psychiatrist was right, but what he left out is that ordinary waking consciousness is also a
hallucination, a sort of dream. I decided to write this essay.
Imagine yourself being a brain trapped in a dark skull. All around you are millions of little neurons bringing
information about the outside world. They wink on and off with electro-chemical energy. When one neuron winks on and
off very fast it means the tip of your big toe is too hot. When another does the same thing it means green light is
landing on a certain spot of your eye.
You, as brain, have to make some sense out of this giant mess of winking neurons and somehow weave it into a
seamless whole, that experience we call consciousness. You create a model/idea of reality from this binary
information. You don’t experience reality directly. You never experience anything but an
Even you, or more accurately the experience of you, are an idea. And like any other idea, in some
sense, you don’t exist unless you are thinking about that idea.
Your conscious experience is necessarily a creation, similar to a work of art, considering the
unpromising raw ingredients — neurons twitching.
There are other possible sources of information to create the experience, memory for example. We might
see a spider or see a piece of lint depending on which we
remembered was more probable to appear on the carpet.
It seems plausible we have some sort of weak psychic link with people we are emotionally involved with. This too
may feed information into the soup.
The seamless internal experience we create has visual, auditory, emotional, tactile parts. However, there is no hard
and fast rule that says only information from the eye neurons is allowed to influence the visual
parts of the experience.
Just look into a beloved’s face in flickering candlelight and watch it change, based mainly on your
Rare people see sound, or hear light. We all do a similar magic, mostly superimposing memories, beliefs and
emotions onto what we see and hear.
Some people routinely see auras (clouds around people’s heads that indicate the emotional and spiritual state
of the person). Some would be terrified if they saw auras.
Auras are a way of displaying information. The information can be gleaned in many different ways, not
necessarily from photons. Some people display this information to themselves as auras. Others may display it as
various feelings of comfort or pain in the gut. Some, such as myself, feel it as a tug.
It is a creative choice. Only when the usual choice is disturbed do we become aware of the
My Weird Stuff
I see nearly all the weird things that happened to me as a result of playing around with the way I internally present
data to myself. I just used more dramatic cloaking than I am usually comfortable with.
For example, for my out-of-body experience, I did not necessarily float to the ceiling, but I presented the
information I had gleaned about the theatre as it would look from the ceiling. That little view transformation was
trivial compared with the unconscious effort of gleaning a 3D model of all the parts of the theatre.
This photo taken around that time shows some of the intensity, pain, terror and despair.
Simply being aware that your ordinary reality is also a hallucination, loosely based on information you received
about the outside world, might tend to make you less dogmatic.
You have probably seen how witnesses at a criminal trial all present wildly different descriptions of the wrong
doer. They are not necessarily lying. The internal experience is nowhere near like camera-like,
especially as remembered.
My late mother used to hear mocking intonations in others’ voices that to my ears simply were not there. She
had absolutely no doubt about what she was hearing. If she realised that her perception of voices was a hallucination
warped by beliefs and past experience, perhaps she could have allowed in a sliver of doubt.
Your mind is so good at filtering out information you don’t want to hear or that overwhelms it. You never
have a complete picture. It is good to know your internal map of reality can be inaccurate, and does not necessarily
jibe with anyone else’s.
Also steering is useful to know to steer through life’s mundane realities. Focus on
the strawberries you like, not the tiger’s you don’t and generally life will give you more strawberries
and fewer tigers. You are giving your subconscious instruction on what sort of experiences you want it to create for
you. Even if outside reality does not change in the least, in your inner experience there will be more
I knowingly met my first gay people on 1969-08-08. Very rapidly I shed all the negative
beliefs I had swallowed about gays. I quickly set about to tell other closeted gays like myself about these lies, and
how it was possible to meet fellow gays. At the time I had no support inside or outside the gay community. The gays
wanted everything kept secret, even the gays I helped wanted the door slammed shut after them. I believed I had
absolutely no chance of success. However, I set out anyway, just because I felt it was the right thing to do. I
became chairman of G*A*T*E (Gay Alliance Toward Equality). We did
hundreds of lectures and lead demonstrations, most notably during the 1972 provincial
elections where we got front page coverage every time we confronted a politician who could be counted on to become
addled in his fury and say something newsworthy. The NDP (New Democratic Party)
won the election and rewarded us for humiliating the Socreds with the first gay rights legislation. I was
dumbfounded. How could the world change from 100% hate toward gays to giving us legal
protection is just a few years? Gay rights rolled on without much effort from me and now we can marry. Back then, I
never dreamed such a thing could possibly happen in my lifetime. The metamorphosis seems so preposterous, I have at
times wondered if the world did not really change, but somehow my action took me to an alternate reality. In
hindsight, acceptance of gays seems inevitable, but back then what I was trying to do looked utterly impossible. This
lead me to imagine that ending hunger would be a peace of cake in comparison since who wants hunger? It turned out to
be much more intractable.
My engineer father, who was not given to flaky beliefs, claimed that if he was sitting in a movie theatre, by
concentrating on the back of the neck of somebody sitting a few rows down, the person would soon begin to fidget and
scratch the back of their neck. It should be fairly simple to see how long it takes for someone to fidget that way
with and without the concentration.
When you have an experience of unitively merging with another, you can ask later if the other person experienced
the same thing.
I have noticed that being on live TV or radio is highly exciting. It is subjectively different from other forms of
excitement, a feeling of being more fully present. I have wondered if there is some feedback. Does the attention of
that large audience directly affect you? You could test this by monitoring the heart rates etc. of people in a studio
audience and see what happens when:
You put the camera on them, and they notice.
You put the camera on them, but they don’t notice.
You put the camera on them, but don’t put the feed out to the public.
When I went under anaesthesia, I felt my consciousness fade away to nothing. Consciousness then seems to be at
least measurable on a scale of 0 to 10 subjectively. What if I rated my consciousness under various conditions, e.g.
going under anaesthesia, while on live TV, while meditating, while experiencing cosmic consciousness etc. At the same
time you monitor every bodily function you possibly can trying to find something that correlates with my subjective
measure of consciousness.
Once you have a way to measure something, you can make strides understanding it. Unfortunately whatever you
measure may not correlate in other species or computers. You can’t discover anything this way about the
consciousness of anything but humans.
Physicist Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford, UK, and psychologist Stuart Hameroff of the University of
Arizona in Tucson have proposed that consciousness might arise from wave-like quantum-mechanical effects involving
protein filaments called microtubules in nerve cells. Other physicists pooh-pooh the idea saying the quantum
decoherence has nothing whatever to do with human consciousness, that the idea got started when John Von Neumann
speculated that the act of taking a measurement which collapsed the Schrödinger
wave function, making concrete a nebulous possibility,
may have something to do with consciousness. The notion sounds silly if presume only humans are conscious. But then
nothing follows common sense at the quantum level.
You might check out correlations in people’s reported experiences in cosmic consciousness. Is there
consensus on what it like to be a donkey, computer or turtle?
This work best captures the elusiveness of this great mystery. This is a modified translation with new photographs. I have not seen it, so I cannot comment on how it compares with the original. The photography in the original is a delight.
It is a beautifully ethical book, and reassuring to anyone terrified by these strange experiences. I’ve met Stephen several times. I am quite convinced he lives in a slightly different reality from most of us, where little miracles happen. My copy of this book has totally fallen to pieces I have read it so often. Stephen is a hippie guru. He argues strenuously for both inner and outer honesty and taking responsibility for the care of the entire planet. I have read my copy of This Season’s People so many times it has literally fallen apart. He founded a community called The Farm in Tennessee. He ran for US president in 2000. I met him several times when he came to visit Vancouver. Reality bends a little in his presence.
If you ever get a chance to spend some time with this woman in the flesh, take it. She is something else. She has some pretty off the wall beliefs, e.g. it is possible to be immortal. She has some way of inducing feelings of ecstasy and wonder. Her book talks about how your thoughts create your reality, not just your subjective reality, but your consensual reality. This book is mostly suggested affirmations to improve your relationships. I personally have not had much success with formal affirmations, but it is nice to have a framework to explain how thoughts (positive or negative) create your personal reality.
Online bookstores carrying I Deserve Love: How Affirmations Can Guide You to Personal Fulfillment
This is an unusual book, about how different cultures experience the natural world. Our experience depends much more on our Western cultural conditioning than we would ever imagine. It also tackles the slippery question what is consciousness? It is one of the few books I have seen that tackle the same subjects as my essay called Experience Is A Hallucination.
The truth surely is what we may ultimately come to do is destroy the particular type of life as we know it. If that happens, then, of course, our species would die off (alas, taking make other species with it): in the grim final analysis, the problem would be self-correcting. The earth can be a stern as well as bountiful mother, and were we to disappear she would have the ages that belong to her in which to restore herself before giving birth to other orders of life. Earth’s song will go on whether or not we are part of it. ~ Paul Devereux
Online bookstores carrying Re-Visioning the Earth: A Guide TO Opening The Healing Channels Between Mind And Nature.
On 2011-12-14 I read Sam Harris’ The End of Faith. I was surprised to
find him expressing on page 41 the fundamental idea of this essay, as if it were the
most ordinary thought in the world, something completely mainstream.
Book referral for The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
recommend book⇒The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
American Article on Parallel Universes: physicists are taking seriously several types of parallel universes,
including quantum many worlds, Level 1 (other universes like ours), Level 2 (universes with different values for
universal constants) and Level 4 (universes with different physical laws).
I spent thousands of hours trying to make sense of these strange experiences, trying to find some explanation for
them. I eventually gave up, deciding they were just sound and fury signifying nothing
(Macbeth Act V Scene V).
If you think I am absolutely mad, you probably won’t have read this far. You have probably read of Carl
Jung’s notion of synchronicity. I will hazard a guess that for most of your life, as in mine, there was very
little synchronicity. Anything weird that happened could easily be attributed to co-incidence. Then there were other
much shorter periods, where synchronicity was extremely frequent, absolutely undeniable, and I don’t mean in
that goofy Christian sense of considering it a miracle that there are forks in the drawer, just when you needed one.
This is a very slippery phenomenon to study. It is a bit like trying to learn about the world using only your
peripheral vision. There is a tendency after these periods to discount them in various ways. They are part of your
life experience. They deserve to be understood just like the majority of your experiences. If you are deeply ashamed
of something, you can never study it. If you pretend it never happened, you can never study it. Those who have never
had such experiences or have had them only rarely, harrumph at others who have, claiming the experiences were in some
way invalid, that they were made up. They may well be purely mental phenomena, but that is no reason to refuse to
If you have had similar experiences or you have other ways of interpreting them please email me via email. If you have any thoughts on their significance, please share that too.
Please let me know if your correspondence is for public posting and commentary, or purely private.