For the last 24 hours I appear to have been hosting one of those temporary hitch-hikers; you know, the ones too small for the human eye to see and made entirely of RNA.
Probably a form which was dormant through the cold winter and now has woken up, singing and dancing, in my tissues. Wrecking the normal functioning of my immune system and providing me with an interesting day.
Being a Monday, it’s difficult enough for my beleaguered colleagues in the Fraud Department without having to manage minus their data provider, however grumpy she may be. So I went in to the office.
At times I really wished I hadn’t: I was sweating and shivering by turns and pretty faint at all times. But what was really interesting was my introversion.
“Normally”, I’m a near-perfect introvert – an INTJ with heavy emphasis on the I and the N – but today I felt as if all my human-communicator tendrils were pulled in, wrapped around my core. I could hardly say a word to any human – when I did, the interaction was fascinating; unusual and entirely honest. Which caused me to appreciate why we have social conventions, sometimes. Or is appreciate the right word? I felt today that when I did have something to add, it was of greater value than what usually passes for social lubricant in our culture.
On the other hand, my interaction with the non-human world was unaffected, or slightly clearer than normal.
Towards the end of the day, I was at a loose end, so I plugged the iPod into my ears, put on POCO (a sort of proto-Eagles, mostly good with outstanding soaring patches of divine radiance)..their Rose of Cimmaron album. I called up the blasted FreeCell user interface and played a few rounds.
Now, I don’t know how common this is, but I find that playing FreeCell on a monitor puts me, after a while, into a softly altered state of consciousness. Add to this that my brains were being fried by the waste products of a bloody virus, and perhaps what happened next was to have been expected.
I found myself recalling the felt flaying-open of my heart the night before. This civilization breaks us open on so many levels that we tend not to notice it until it has reached a critical point. Then it becomes painful.
Well, as the words go, that’s how the light gets in. And I had felt a filling-up with light the night before.
Now, however, I was holding seemingly every single human I had ever known in my heart-chakra, and knowing how they strive so utterly to be something when they already are something, how they knock themselves out to gather more learning, more money, more prestige…and then find it was all an ashen illusion. That there was never anything in the bright beckoning of industrial civilization’s phantoms which one does not already have -in fuller and truer measure.
I was overwhelmed in that instant by a wave – just one wave – of sorrow, love and compassion that I nearly cried out. You know how a complete, sudden wave of deep sorrow washes you sometimes? Perhaps it’s called “the blues”. This was like that, but so much more intense. A lifetime of hurt and understanding in a split second.
Actually, I’m doing a bad job of trying to explain it, because it seems the words aren’t. It was one of those moments which sweep in, change you forever and then leave. While you grope for meaningful ways to describe it.
Never mind. Maybe having no words is the essence of a peak experience.
If we could capture it, I’m pretty sure this culture would’ve made a roaring trade out of it already.
Pic: Tendrils in the Dark by Imajilon