Jack: So, Samuel, has something appeared? Where are you right now?
Samuel: I’m in a woods. Very young growth trees. And I’m walking through the woods. In Michigan.
Samuel: I’m by myself. The path comes out to the lake at one point going down a steep embankment and it emerges from the woods onto this wooden boardwalk, a little boardwalk path that takes you over the wetland right before the edge of the lake and then you emerge on this beautiful, beautiful lake. This is the north side of the lake so it’s bathed in the sun. I stand there waiting – sort of communing with this lake.
Jack: Yes, good to concentrate on that; concentrate on the lake, yes.
Samuel: And how deep it is. It’s very deep. [pause]
There’s something in the depths.
Jack: Yes, it’s good to feel that depth.
Samuel: I feel how the water is warm on the top. And the feet feel the difference in the cold of the water down below. There are very large old fish, deep in the lake.
Jack: Yes. Just stay with what’s happening visually. And sensation-wise, and especially the feet. Just feeling that.
Samuel: This warmth on the surface and the cool down below – not unpleasant but… And the memory of swimming in it when it’s been very rough. The wind creating these waves. This connection of the wind to a much larger movement. From very far away. Immense influence. And then it comes down to the waves hitting my face but knowing it comes from a long way away. And connected to something vast. A sense of the big and the small.
Jack: Yes, just stay with the images that are happening there. See if there is any particular part of that scene that attracts your attention more than another. Or see if there is a part of the body that is asking for your attention. [pause]
Samuel: Hmm. I’m swimming. Just sort of treading water, not like in the lake the last time [a previous session]. But that other lake is very much there now too. Feeling them both.
I must admit I’m drawn back to the second lake, that other lake from the last time. I’m drawn back to the incredible calm of it. The tranquility is simply pervasive everywhere. Nothing to be done. No treading. No. Nothing. And yet very clear. Crystal clear. The sun isn’t out. It’s a kind of slate grey sky. A little lighter actually but uniform – no clouds. The lake is reflecting that evenness.
Jack: Which shoulder?
Samuel: Over my right shoulder, back a ways, there’s this old boat. Nothing’s happening on it right now. In fact, it’s empty. It’s like a sailing ship. An old sailing ship. I can’t quite see how old or what style it is but the decks are empty. I can sort of turn and see it. It’s like I’m kind of fixed looking in one direction. I just know that it’s back there. Maybe a memory of it. Although whatever the boat did or what happened on it is long gone. It’s also there. Just peaceful. Just a part of everything.
The thought of others doesn’t seem to… as I say that there’s sort of a feeling of others deeper in the lake. A little bit of a fear of grabbing my legs or something. I’m sort of in between this emptiness and this kind of indulgent imagining. It’s like a children’s nightmare. It doesn’t have the feeling of any real depth. I can turn it off too.
Jack: Yes, just see where you’re being taken. Try not to allow the judgment to interfere or derail or…
Samuel: Right now I’m being pulled down into it. I’m not resisting. Deeper into the lake. It’s darker. There’s still light up above me on the lake.
Jack: Yes, up at the surface.
Samuel: A little bit of fear. I’m not being pulled down by any…
Jack: You’re allowing yourself to just float down? Is that it?
Samuel: I’m being drawn down but not by any imagined thing. Just beginning to descend. There’s no thought of it being anything other than what it should be. And then the memory of being above the water, my head just above the water. Now almost looking back up to that from a little ways down.
Feeling something in my stomach.
Jack: Yes. Good to let your body inform you of what’s happening.
Samuel: I am dissolving in the water. De-materializing. It’s like complementary to what happened last time only its deep in the water. Becoming a part of this darkness that is not foreboding. It’s just a depth. [whispered] A depth.
And no longing for the opposite. It’s just corresponding in a way to the memory of that other direction – into the light. It’s into the darkness but not in any way frightening. Or opposite. It’s complementary. It’s like the other side of the… The Yin and Yang. The symbol of darkness and light.
Jack: You mentioned your stomach. Is anything still going on there? Has it settled down?
Samuel: A little bit. It might just be lunch. Feels more organic than psychic but it takes me to other parts of my body. There’s tension in my face. But I feel it relaxing into this darkness. It’s getting darker now. Losing sight of the surface. There’s a little anxiety in that.
Jack: Yes, of course. But in the emotions there seems also to be something that’s not anxious.
Samuel: Right. It’s an accepting of this. This depth. Almost the gift of it. It’s almost a gift. Something deeply organic.
Trying to resist thinking about it, analyzing it.
Jack: Feel it. Just feel it.
Samuel: Now I’m on the bottom of this lake. In the silt. There are these plants that you’d find at the bottom. It’s clean. And there’s a movement of seaweed at the bottom. And somehow a light. I don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s down far. It’s far from the surface. It’s illuminated still in some way. Like it’s dappled from the sun.
Jack: Yes, and perhaps your eyes are simply becoming adjusted so you can see…
Samuel: Yes. There’s a whole world in there. I don’t see any fish. It’s in a way like the surface. Very tranquil. The currents are waving these seaweed plants that are on the bottom. Very soft and green. Quite beautiful.
There’s something… there’s a something, a quiet beauty of it that has an inner depth. There’s another layer. There’s another realm within it that’s even deeper. Like something’s opened up and moving one more layer down, which didn’t seem possible before. It seemed like it was the bottom of the lake but now it’s opened to another darker world but… Again not foreboding. But potent. Powerful.
There are very few signposts.
I just now relaxed a little deeper. I was tense. I could tell.
Jack: Yes, you mentioned a tension in the forehead.
Samuel: And in my arms. They just let go a little bit as I’m in this… in this darkness. It doesn’t have a bottom. It’s infinite. I’m very small. Like a bubble.
Jack: Yes, yes. Just go with what’s taking place. Don’t let the mind or apparent contradictions interfere.
Samuel: Yes. It’s as if the inside turned out. Now it’s… I’m in this galaxy. All these stars around me. The quiet still…
I don’t know what I’m doing there. It doesn’t seem to matter.
Jack: It’s the being there that’s important.
Samuel: Yes. I’m just floating. But it’s very vivid. This empty space has almost a materiality to it. Like water.
Samuel: It’s empty air. It defies my understanding of empty space; it doesn’t feel empty. It feels vast but… But alive.
Jack: Ah, alive! Interesting!
Samuel: It’s alive. Everything is alive.
There are distant stars. Some now very close. I can almost touch them. The stars are coming to me. They’re coming to greet me. They’re curious about me. It’s like they’re some sort of creatures that are just curious as to what I’m doing there. They’re curious about me. They’re examining me. No threat, no nothing, it’s just… I’m having a relationship with them. I feel a warmth with them. It’s like I’ve been recognized; and I somehow recognize them. As if we’re somehow connected. As if I’m another star now.
My body is kind of not at all like it was in the lake where it was more like my body. It’s like… It’s not that I don’t have a body and it’s not that I was… There was some sort of entity. I’m kind of glowing. I realize that I’m emanating some kind of light too just like these stars that are like bright orbs right nearby. But I feel like I’m inside them as well as they’re inside me.
Samuel: We can go back and forth.
Jack: It’s a type of communication, eh?
Samuel: Well, it is and all notion of my identity is eroded. It’s not eroded – it’s just dissipated, dissolved. I can barely keep a sense of it.
Jack: But also a feeling that this isn’t a bad thing, right?
Samuel: No, not at all. It’s like I’m at an atomic level. And blended. Somehow blended with these… these lights. And right in the middle – very bright. And now inside just sort of… I’ve now been absorbed by one of them. And I’m inside it. Just part of it. [intonation of wonder] Really indistinguishable from it. My talking about it is the only distinguishing part. It’s just blended. It’s quite amazing. And inside… [chuckling] is larger than the outside. It’s like it’s been folded in again to this bright… this bright universe. It’s like being in a sunlit cloud – only nothing soft about it. More bright. Or brilliant.
Ah. I feel it going through my body right now. Like being infused with this light. Just circulating as I’m lying here. I’m feeling it, lying here, and at the same time, somewhere else. It’s diminished now. It’s more like digested. And now that world is inside me. Amazing! Everything is reversed again. That vastness is inside me. Impossible!
Jack: [chuckling] Impossible but not impossible.
Samuel: I can feel it!
Jack: Yes, it’s there.
At the same time I feel the weight of my body. But not in the normal way. The density of it.
As I close my eyes more, this universe appears again – outside, and I’m out in space again. And still the memory of it being inside me. [intonation of wonder] It’s very strange!
Jack: But you’re able to go back and forth.
Samuel: Yes, but almost simultaneously. I’m existing in both. It’s just incredible! This vastness inside and then being part of the vastness outside. It’s just… [sigh] There’s no beginning or end. [pause] In breathing in the universe.
Jack: Ah, yes, I think it’s good to connect to the breathing.
Samuel: I think that’s a kind of portal that exchanges, like in an hourglass, these two worlds. This vast world outside and this vast world inside. Endless universe.
And it’s benign. I don’t feel it as bedeviled as I did the last time I was out. I mean the sense of it… of the love of God. This is more the fact of God. The fact of it. The fact of this endless life source. [whispered] [pause]
No sense of identity as being meaningful at all. Nothing personal about it. In fact extraordinarily impersonal. But not… unkind.
Jack: Not cold, right?
Samuel: Not cold at all. And there was… What’s coming back to me is the warmth of a kind of greeting, being greeted by this star close by. It’s like the distant star is not any bigger than I am when it gets close. It’s not like it becomes a gigantic thing. It’s not that big. There’s a similarity. Literally. It’s a funny combination of a curiosity, a warmth of a kind of curiosity coming from this light, this emanating light. The warmth of it. Like a smile of sorts. Of recognition. Of another life-form. In this dark, in this blackness. It’s extraordinary! The space having a kind of… I was about to say viscosity to it. But it’s not quite that but… It’s nothing I can describe. But it’s not empty.
Jack: I think that’s the best you can do. It’s just not empty.
Samuel: It’s all connected. Everything is connected. Everything is related at a very fine level, an imperceptibly fine level and now right through my body, all of my body at a sort of granular level. I’m just in my body right now feeling that almost cellular level of relationship. I feel the outside of the body but I feel this movement of energy inside that’s material. It’s not the way I usually think of the sensation as a result of the energy. It’s material – materialized in the… I can’t explain it. It’s the cells. Just having a feeling for this other very fine level of life. [pause]
And I seem to be coming back to the lake.
Jack: Ah! Coming back to the lake where we began?
Samuel: No, the lake that’s quiet with the boat – the second lake.
Samuel: Back to that. I don’t have any sense of the boat it’s just the… Now the lake is a little different.
Samuel: It’s more like kind of a blend between this lake in Michigan that’s rooted in a reality I know and this second lake that’s mythical – that exists on this mythical level – and not that that’s any less real.
Samuel: I call it “mythical” but only because it’s not held by my idea of it. The experience of it is new every moment. Kind of continually unfolding.
Jack: Coming back that way to both lakes is a way of completing the circle I think.
Samuel: I feel that. The memory of the space odyssey is there but it’s receding.
I’m not sure where I am right now. I’m hovering above the woods. Floating through the trees.
Jack: Yes. A different perspective.
Samuel: I’m floating over our house. A feeling of fondness for it. [big breath]
Jack: [chuckling] Yes a big breath is good. Both at the beginning and at the end. [The induction begins with a big breath.]
Samuel: Now I’m on the deck, waiting for my wife, looking at my Manhattan.