In my last blog, I discussed a bit more about the time I spent in Sedona, AZ, during my westward trip. The journey began shortly after my spring release show at Johnny’s Speakeasy, in my hometown of Ann Arbor, MI. My wandering had led me to a place called Sacred Rocks Sedona Metaphysical Bed & Breakfast, where I would spend three nights. Although I’d decided to take part in single “healing session” while there, I found myself included in a separate ceremony on the first night, and additionally, invited to take part in a traditional medicine-wheel ceremony on my final morning. During my time at Sacred Rocks, I adopted a state of quiet acquiescence, choosing to roll with whatever came my way. With this in mind, I thought it prudent to explore this state of "openness" a little further before writing about that final ceremony.
When I woke on that last morning at Sacred Rocks, I felt ready for departure. Although my stay had provided much needed rest, it also required a level of stillness from which I felt ready to emerge. This is a something of a complex idea to expand upon, the notion of a situation requiring “stillness”. In searching for a better explanation, the word that comes to mind is transduction.
While riding through some interesting experiences in the last couple of years, I have taken a measure of comfort and guidance from a book titled The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. Although many are unfamiliar with the life of Philip K. Dick, most are familiar with his work, whether they know it or not. Since his death in 1982, Dick has become one of literature's most celebrated Sci-Fi novelists. Many of his books have been turned into popular films, such as Blade Runner, Minority Report, and Total Recall. The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick differs from Phil's novels in that it was written in response to events that transpired in his life during the early seventies -- events he deemed to be of a mystic nature.
Although Dick continued writing novels following these strange events, his life had changed. He began witnessing a mysterious order in the world around him, and dedicated his nights to feverishly analyzing these experiences through the lens of science, philosophy, theology, etc. In reading his work, one might - at times - consider Phil to be mad, or perhaps suffering from delusions of grandeur. In the end, however, he always seems to check himself: going so far as to question his own sanity in the face of bizarre life circumstances -- something crazy people do not do. Once a person gets the feel of Phil’s exegesis, the work becomes quite endearing - assuming you're into that sort of thing - a fact that may explain the cult following it has amassed.
Phil’s exegesis is interesting in that it was never intended as a declaration of his truth; it was a private journal, in many ways, something he did not intend to share with the world. He believed the work to be of profound significance to humanity, but also that it would die with him. As far as he knew, it did.
Phil was writing for the sake of his own sanity, and I suppose that fact was something I could relate to for a time. Following his death in 1982, the voluminous work fell to his children, and eventually made its way to someone who knew Phil, an editor who took up the task of sorting through the many stacks of folders. In 2011, a 976-page book representing a small fraction of Dick’s exegises was finally published. The work bore the title: The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.
In purchasing this exhaustive work, I opted for the 8-part, 56-hour, audiobook version. As I listened on long, cold, winter walks, I was amazed at the breadth and depth of Phil's knowledge, finding that Phil's exegesis helped me connect a great many things, in many cases saving me the effort of connecting them for myself. In time, however, the work served me in a greater way: as a warning.
As I listened, hour after hour, I began to witness a pattern in Phil’s exegeting. Time and again, he would reach an ultimate conclusion, only to toss it aside and begin anew. The text allowed me to observe how this action, over time, seemed to be an unhealthy aspect of Phil’s life. I suppose the Exegesis taught me the dangers of getting lost in one’s own mind, and for that, I am grateful.
Apart from serving as a warning, the exegesis provided me with possible explanations for some of the experiences I was personally dealing with. Philip K. Dick saw his experiences in a way that made sense to me, positing that he had altered his state being in some way, allowing him to transduce information in an abnormal – although not unnatural - fashion. The notion of transduction via the mind, body, or both, fascinated me, as well as provided an interesting explanation for many of my personal experiences, whether out in the world, on the yoga mat, or in songwriting.
In truth, interesting experiences have followed me my whole life. Among friends, I have something of a reputation for finding odd adventures, while my father has observed that I seem to live a “charmed life”. This is not a matter of coincidence in my mind, but concerns the state of a person's alignment with natural order. It is this phenomenon that is pointed to when uttering a statement such as, "you make your own luck."
Is this really so odd? Granted, it's not taught in elementary school, nor even college courses, as far as I'm aware. Yet, given the fractal nature of our universe, wouldn’t we expect our lives – when properly aligned - to exhibit some elements of patterned design?
It is a relatively simple notion: in my life, I have noticed that during the times I felt most energetically heightened – both positively and negatively – life seemed to show its hand in regard to design, with synchronicities appearing abundantly. Having observed this phenomenon throughout my adult years, I came to experiment with synchronicities, attempting to use them as a kind of “early warning system”, deducing that the appearance of overt design in physical reality was an indication that something was taking place non-physically, and that I should proceed with all due patience and care.
In the last few years, I have found myself passing through an unparalleled transition, a time in which patterned design seemed to be "going overboard" in regards to the life events I was experiencing -- to the degree that I no longer knew how to rationally manage events in real-time, given that they seemed to violate rationality as I’d been taught to understand it. In past blogs, I've discussed this crux in my life, describing it as the universe's invitation for me to "let go of the side of the pool".
In wresting with this conundrum, I figured there were two roads I could take. In taking the first, I could buy-in to these events: attribute value to them, labeling them as profoundly significant; as meaningful in and of themselves. By contrast, the second road involved releasing the events altogether: recognizing that while I was clearly passing through a significant time in my life, the events themselves were nothing more than byproducts and, as such, did not require any action or attention.
I chose the second road.
Yes, I was undergoing profound changes, both internally and externally, and the energies working within me did align with all sorts of wild synchronicities in my reality. But eventually I learned to view these events as little more than signals: indications that I was flirting with my natural state of being, rather than puzzles demanding a solution.
Synchronicities, as I came to view them, were akin to receiving a pat on the back. They did not require my participation, nor were they attempting to point me this way or that. I concluded that the existence of synchronicities in my life was evidence that I was already where I needed to be: that witnessing design within reality was nothing more than the feedback one might expect when living life in adherence to nature's fractal order. As I've written before: we are nature.
Having gained some clarity regarding the circumstances of my life, I began to avoid being drawn into highly charged moments and, instead, practiced observing them with whatever calm I could muster. I reasoned that the physical circumstances I was witnessing were illusory, secondary: a byproduct of the nonphysical. This belief freed me from involving my mind in events as they passed. If physicality was secondary, it meant I was not on the hook to do anything other than be in the moment, and let things happen as they needed to happen.
By the time I arrived at Sacred Rocks I was quite familiar with strange life events, and I had begun learning to allow their passage without the attribution of undue meaning. Hence, while my Sacred Rocks experience was rife with synchronicity, I chose to be with the experience rather than in the experience. I spent my time in stillness, desiring little more than to remain open to what may be happening non-physically. All the while, excusing circumstances that might violate my limited “rationality”, and doing my best to understand that life, as I have witnessed it, is capable of following a non-linear design that supersedes linear rationality.
Short-story long, I felt I was there to transduce. The why was irrelevant, by that point it was clear enough to me that my life was in the midst of significant transition, and that following without excessive analysis had proven an effective way of smoothing out the ride. Yet, as those who practice walking the "middle path" already know, non-doing isn't always as easy as its name implies. Even though my stay at Sacred Rocks was completely restful and afforded me every comfort, a malaise had overtaken me while there, as well as the onset of pronounced weakness. So, while I felt I was there to "take it easy", the stay was anything but, requiring ongoing intention: an inward focus on openness and acceptance.
As to what exactly I was I being open to, I have no clue, and I may never know. Yet, I sensed that something was taking place during my time in the desert: perhaps a kind of alteration or transition, its presence betrayed by the bizarre physical circumstances surrounding me; each synchronicity, in its own way, acting to loosely frame the outline of some unseen narrative.
As I woke on that third morning, I knew my time at Sacred Rocks was coming to a close, and I greatly welcomed that fact. Yet, opening my eyes to the familiar sound of a small, black cat meowing in the red-dirt below my window, I also knew that I had one more obligation to fulfill: the medicine-wheel ceremony.
Till next time!
Americana Singer Songwriter Ed Dupas’ lived-in melodies unwind with reflective lyrics that speak to the current state of the human condition. Soothing where possible, agitating where necessary, and calling for change where appropriate. Ed Dupas creates and shares well worn wide awake music.
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