F O U R Writing 11

La Paz, 09/28/1996

(On vacation, in my hotel room, I put out two chairs for 'us'. I don't know why negative events flashed through my mind: muggings, AIDS threat, surgery, finances and neighbor problems. Yet I also was aware of my lifelong deep sense within me that the worst would not happen to me.)

I asked if it was appropriate for the journeys to continue while I was on vacation. You let me know that one was waiting for me and that it would be a bad one. "Hold on to your seat!" You said.

Immediately, I saw a reddish horse, wild looking. But after I mounted it, I felt comfortable. It seemed there were many other horses around us. Mine took off as a meteor. I knew You were still close by. You confirmed that and said, "I'm as a voice in you. I'm the one through whom all exists, remember! Therefore, you can always sense Me as being close."

The trip was long. Eventually I saw a red tinted horizon. Coming closer, I observed dark clouds caused by fumes from a fire, like heavy smog hanging over a city. We went straight into the clouds. You warned me that I would hardly be able to hear You. The air got thicker and thicker. 'This must smell awful,' I thought. Deliberately I tried not to inhale through my nose. I had no difficulty with that. The journey seemed to last for days. I didn't experience hunger or thirst, I noticed. Suddenly, the horse was gone from under me. I fell. It seemed for hours. It numbed me. I went through layers of grayness first, and then everything became black. Finally, I landed in what looked as a huge cave and I found myself in the midst of, millions it seemed, people.

In the semi-dark, I first could only distinguish pieces of bodies, all looking pale. Then, I saw that many had red spots and open sores and wounds. The stench was incredible. I didn't smell this directly; it registered through my mouth. Nobody paid any attention to others. The space was filled with a constant groaning. The floor undulated slightly. It felt like slimy rock. I moved around. Stepped over bodies. There was movement but in no particular direction. I gave up walking. By the sparse light I looked at myself. It was awful: nothing was normal anymore; blood was all over, cuts everywhere; all my body parts were swollen. But I felt no pain. I put my hands to my face. It felt covered with bumps and holes. Just as what I could see in the others.

Then, some light came in on the left. Huge waves of water washed over us. I had a short vision of an enormous dragon-type monster spewing water as by an immense hose. Again, this seemed to last for hours. I hardly could get any air in. I was rolling in the waves until I landed on a heap of bodies in the darkness. I didn't talk to You at all, busy as I was to survive. I did not panic and didn't seem to have time to even feel scared. I was completely engaged in what was happening. I had no choice than to take it dead seriously. The tiny bit of 'free' energy left to me went to observing what was going on. But it gave me no time to feel or reflect.

Then, a hatch opened beneath me. With others, I fell a few feet into a tunnel with a low ceiling. It wasn't possible to stand, so we had to crawl. We all crawled in one direction. My hands plunged into excrement that covered the floor. I couldn't avoid it. I had to move through it. I blocked out the implications of this horror for my body and mind. I felt fright rising in me. (I knew this also had to do with a phobia since boyhood for narrow passages in which I can get stuck.) My thinking became panicky. I lost all perspective of time. Finally, a hug space opened up in front of us. Facing us was an enormous, our whole horizon filling, statue-like but also moving and constantly-changing-color monstrous face. Between it and us was a chasm filled with an infernal red-hot fire. Over it, on our side, hung a wide precipice.I saw that on all sides bodies kept falling over the edge into the fire. I knew that my turn was coming. When I came close to the edge, I saw a net hanging between the precipice and the furnace. All bodies had fallen into that net. I did. I didn't see anybody falling into the fire.

We then were somehow shepherded onto a passageway to a stage. It felt as if the air around was scorching me, yet at the same time my skin turned icy cold. I stood in a line of people that slowly moved forward. A sort of voice said, "Say 'A'." I automatically did so. All did. I wondered about non-English speaking people. I guessed they probably reacted the same way I did because it was not really a word from a language I heard but more a sound that triggered something in my brain and had me respond. Then the same type of command came, "Say 'B'." Again, I did. This went on and on. Actually, it didn't stop. I kept responding to it. Vaguely, something in me reminded me that I didn't have to obey the command.

We moved towards the big monstrosity I had seen at the other side of the abyss. It consisted of millions of cells, or holes, like little caves or a honeycomb. In each one of them a person fitted. I don't know if I stepped into one by myself or was shoved in. The moment I was in one of the cubicles, a gate locked behind me. I was told to say 'C'. Doing this caused the outside of my cell to flash a light. I realized that now I was part of that hideous face. I was one of its on and off flickering lights. I looked at my body. Just below my elbow I saw a tube stuck in my arm with lines attached. I tried to see the rest of my body, especially my feet, but they were not there. None of the other parts I saw either. 'I'm not a body anymore,' I realized. 'I'm just a spirit. 'But then I noticed the tubes again. That didn't fit the picture of having no body.

I wanted to give up, feeling passive and resigned. I thought of masochistic ideation. There was a vaguely sexual undertone in this being nothing but a non-entity. Was this my destiny? Would this go on forever? My earthly life seemed far away. I wondered what was more real, this here or that out there. I recognized that I now functioned in the evil state. I was a part of it. I contributed to it and seemed to fit in nicely. I then thought of You! What do You know about the existence of this world? Were You in it? Did You get in as deep as I do now? And then, in case You did, how did You get out of it? I wondered whether You heard me. Your voice sounded 'thin', when You said, "I took out the tube." After I heard this, I decided to try if I could do that. I started to pull all my thinking together in order to believe that pulling the tube could be also a possibility for me. With all my concentration and willpower I focused on lifting up my hand. Evidently I still had one! It felt as in a dream when you can't move. Yet with an all-out effort I was finally able to get my arm close enough to my free hand to pull out the tube.

It was a very desperate and exhausting act. It resulted in an immediate sensation of disappearing, of going up into nothingness. I mumbled that several times, 'Now I'm nothing anymore. Now I'm nothing.' Except for this awareness of not existing anymore that also seemed to weaken fast, all else was gone. I've no idea how long it lasted. At one point, I heard some slight explosions, three or four, there, where my head had been. Then, a somewhat stronger one. It snapped me back into my 'normal' life, because I was sitting in the hotel room chair.

Friendly, You looked at me. You must have noticed my bewilderment when spontaneously I asked You to hug me. You invited me to come over to You. Physically, I stayed in my chair but the rest of me went to You, embraced You. I felt so comforted. We didn't talk anymore. I knew that first I had to write down this terrifying experience.