The problem is, how do you explain it to people? I’ll tell you. What have I got to lose? I think for a hobby. There you go. That’s it! Well, that isn’t exactly all of it. I should explain what I mean by “think”. I mean, we all think pretty much all the time, even when we’re dreaming, if you count dreams. But that’s a different category of consciousness altogether. So, I don’t mean thinking about what to eat, or what a pretty girl that was I just walked by, or how I am going to get my work done and still get home at a decent hour today.
I think inward. And I sure don’t mean meditation. Some people get confused. They think that if you are quiet with your eyes closed and not sleeping, that you must be meditating. That is not meditating. It is just the opposite. If you do it right, meditation is the absence of thought. I’m talking about going deep down within, like an explorer, to see what I can find there. David Lynch …you know, Eraserhead and Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, he said that “Ideas are like fish…Down deep, the fish are more powerful + more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.” And that’s where I’m going. Down deep.
But it’s hard to explain it to people. You can say that you’re going to ride a bike, or you’re going to read, or you’re going to write. You can even say that you’re going to meditate. But try telling someone that you need to get home and think for three hours. They won’t get it. They’ll look at you like you’re one crazy hombre.
So a diver going deep, especially into caves, will pull a line. That way he can always find his way back. I free-think. I go as deep as I can, and I do it without any line or tether or bread crumbs, or whatever.
Now, it is my belief that we are a network of minds, so that our minds all connect back to the same central place. The main server, if you will, God. And that is why archetypal ideas exist across all cultures, even those that have never interacted externally. We are all connected within.
Some people are afraid that if you think too far into the red zone—the equivalent of above 25,000 feet on Mt. Everest—you might not be able to get back in one piece of mind, that is. I don’t buy it. I am fearless because I believe that there is no danger.
But one day I will dredge up something forgotten not only by myself, but by the whole generation or our entire civilization. Joseph Campbell gave me the idea that it could be done. If I did this, I would become “the boonbringer, the culture hero of the day—a personage of not only local but world historical importance.” That’s how Campbell described it.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Campbell is dead, but he laid the foundation. He knew that treasures were buried and long forgotten. I am a treasure hunter. I am a sort of archaeologist of the soul. People aren’t expecting it but I will come back with something profound one day.
Think of it. Say 10,000 years ago, there was some essential knowledge, essential to the whole human race, and it somehow died out, the way we lose songs and stories and rituals and languages. The people who knew it, died out, and they didn’t manage to pass the knowledge on to someone who cared enough to look after it. So that was that. But the knowledge is there, buried deep in the collective consciousness of mankind. And the only way to retrieve it is to go after it.
Just think what that will mean. And when I come back with that treasure, which will only be the first step. It won’t be like I come walking into the village with an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus. In that case, people would run out and be so excited, and I’d be a hero right then and there. But I will come back to a quiet room. I will still have work to do. Specifically, I’ll need to find a way to infuse this knowledge back into the cultural identity of mankind.
I don’t know how that will work exactly but I will need the help of storytellers. Our stories preserve these ideas, and make us aware. We may not consciously get it but our subconscious will read the symbolic aspects of the story. So, Noah’s Ark, for instance, was not about a boat full of animals. Nooo. It was about the possibilities for cleansing and renewal. We need to understand at some level that we can screw up and still make it right again. Our karma can be straightened out. We need to believe this.
The storytellers of course are the writers, the musicians, the film makers, the makers of art, and even the comic book artists. But I am getting ahead of myself. I have some deep diving to do, and I feel that I’m at a critical point in my think-work adventure. I may be on the verge of a breakthrough. I may be…don’t tell anyone but I may be close to reaching the main server. Yes, that’s right!
Hm. You know, maybe there is one thing that could go wrong, come to think of it. It is theoretically possible that I could travel deep enough down my projection-ray of consciousness to reach the main server (i.e., God). Then, once I’ve uncovered the sacred knowledge, the treasure, I would return to my projection-ray, back towards the surface. Once there, I could break back into the known-world only to discover that I had gone up the wrong projection-ray.
This would be a problem. My body would be left in a vegetative state—a comma. And I would share a body with another person. I would share their body. This of course, come to think of it, explains Multiple Personality Disorder. That, I assure you, would not be good. The two of us would have to share being in charge. Christ, there’s not enough time in the day as there is. And what if I didn’t like him or her? Surely, we’d end up being diagnosed as crazy. Which we wouldn’t be. Though we might get crazy, having to share a body and all. Oh my gosh! This is horrible.
You know, it’s a beautiful sunny afternoon. Maybe I won’t go thinking this weekend. I could probably use a break. And if I have to explain it to my girlfriend one more time, well you know….No, this is a lovely day to get out. I need some fresh air and some exercise. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be riding my bike. It’ll do me good. Yes! I’ll be riding my bike all afternoon.
Clay Sparkman hails from Portland, Oregon. His poetry, humorous pieces, short stories, and essays have been published in Praxis, Moonglasses, Occulum, The Higgs Weldon, Down in the Dirt Beautiful Losers, and 1859 Oregon’s Magazine. He currently lives in Nicaragua, with his wife, 12-year old son, dog, and cat.