And now the latest installment of John Gillanders’s continuing Extra Dimensional. Recently Mr. Gillanders was featured on the weird and irreverent Paratopia, a podcast which takes a controversial look at high strangeness and the paranormal. Check it out here.
When I found her she was huddled on a bed in the basement bedroom, laughing and crying simultaneously – it was quite a peculiar spectacle. They hadn’t held anything back with her, and I should have seen it coming. She was addicted to order, which is why she made such a formidable counterpart. There are holes missing from my brain, she helped fill in the gaps while my mind constantly drifted skyward. We made perfect sense in that quintessential odd couple kind of way. But letting go in the manner necessary to enjoy a hallucinogenic frenzy was probably beyond her current capabilities. I should have known this. If you resist the wave, it beats you into the rocks, and they’d been beating her for a while now. She was sick to her stomach, and one of those people that has problems letting go enough to vomit, so it tormented her internally. But there was more going on. There’d been a level of communiqué afoot. As she stared in the basement mirror something from within forced her to contemplate her self perception, and acknowledge her own distorted self image.
I was lost, I needed to pull her out of it, but as she spoke a force field of H.R. Geiger-ish mutations congealed around her head, and her lips sparked with a neon illumination. I stared at the ceiling and into the motion of psionic ripples – it was as if a cosmic millipede danced in circles among the plaster. It was hilarious. I started to jostle the bed. “Rock the boat, don’t rock the boat baby.” I sang joyously.
“That’s the stupidest song ever” she replied.
She was laughing again. It only took seven or eight more jokes and another twenty minutes to pull her back from the vicious cycle of logic she’d been unconsciously dragged into. I projected sigils into the ether. I’d been preparing for this and would use my pull with these weirdos to protect her in any way I could.
In no time, her stomach situation seemed to be improving. Suddenly, I realized the problem. We were in a house with a spectacular view of Mount Hood, and she was feeding the impulse to hole up in a dark corner of that particular world. Escape was imperative. I grabbed her arm and slowly coerced her toward the light. She got the captain’s chair by the living room window. I put on some Bardo Pond, and time began to gradually melt away. The transcendent beauty of the Gorge captured our spirits and things now seemed to be turning around with a slick rapidity.
The essence of the environment transformed. The light of the world had imposed its will upon our cognitive experience. The music merged with the eternal. The primary obstacle to the view’s entirety was a tree that now seemed a thousand years old. I had climbed it as a child, and yet never recognized the depth of its infinite wisdom. Right now I was seeing its true face – which included a multitude of perverse reptilian eyes, stinging my insides with boundless enchantment.
At the root of all matter of phenomenon dealing with things like divine connectivity, there lies a conjunctive telepathy – entire fields of transdimensional elation projected from one being to another. This is the future of language, and we’ve been building it all along in our recreation. Right now you can watch boundless hypothetical scenarios play themselves out for your amusement, at your demand. We call these things albums, movies, video games, books, paintings, graphic novels, etc. All attempts to replicate the higher level functioning of our wildest dreams. This tree was engaging me, and words alone couldn’t possibly do the encounter justice. So when writing about it in retrospect I was inspired for the first time in probably five years, to turn to a sketch pad to help better communicate this particularly indescribable sensational extravaganza.
Portrait of a tree:
Now, I’m not much of a visual artist by all admission, but I’ve always maintained that the most accurate visual representation of my own psychedelic encounters comes from Vancouver artist Luke Brown, who conveniently considers himself a “hyperspace cartographer”. So this would ultimately be a more accurate, and yet still somehow inadequate representation of what I was trying to pull off with my drawing:
You have to feel these things, I can’t stress that enough. The similarity of Mr. Brown’s art to my own psychedelic “contact” headspaces, is beyond conspicuous to say the least. I remember the first time I saw them. I was high as fuck at a friend’s art opening and stopped dead in my tracks. “My God, he’s captured the vibe completely” I thought to myself, almost in shock. There was an eerie familiarity to put it mildly.
So what does that connection mean? How could we be seeing the same thing if it was all hallucinatory? Why have these headspaces been repressed from mass consumption? You could have access to this dementia – Christ, everyone could. All you need do, is convince yourself that it’s possible. Devise a lexicon of abstract incantations, then navigate to the source.
My fiancé sighed a breath of relief and informed me she’d just been released. Angelic spirit beings had suddenly shown up and told her that she needed to “let go of her body” and that “this is what dying is like”, then quickly descended upon her soul and pulled it from her body, which fell limp in the cushioned chair. She needed a drink, which I fetched for her promptly.
I laid back on the couch and put on an old album by the Orb. “This pleases us” my fiancé cheerfully informed me. I laid back on the couch, still peering intently out the window, straight into the heart of the prime distraction. The entire scene crackled and pixilated out of control – possessed by a boundless, laser beam intensity. The plasma bolts appeared in concentric fixtures, then extended into my being by force. I was beginning to float upward and to the north, as if being pulled out of my body by psychic demons. Normal reality wasn’t even there anymore – consumed by the transient invasion. It was getting too odd, and the terror pulled me down a few rungs back to reality.
Had I just blown it? My chance at shamanic abduction – the experience of being taken to the stars and reconfigured anew by our shape-shifting overlords? In all my years of experimenting with hallucinogens, I’d never felt the magnetic pull upward before in the manner I just had. So many stories of souls being extracted skyward, and lives transformed at the forge of the “star people” maybe best detailed most recently in the brilliant book Supernatural, by Graham Hancock – which lays out the similarities between modern tales of “Alien Abductees” and shamanic initiation rites. He even talks about having a similar encounter with Ayahuasca in this interview on Paratopia, with the same result – the innate fear response taking over and ultimately preventing heavenly ascension.
It would have to be resolved at another time, and most certainly, in another reality. I had blown it, but took consolation in the continued technicolor onslaught projected directly into my being from the infinite hive consciousness from beyond. I was going to ride this out like I always have. We were meant to be here, right now, riding the cosmic current of the multiverse. My fiancée was actually enjoying herself. My magick had worked. She wouldn’t let go. She wanted to fight the wave, but the wave wouldn’t let her. She needed to be extracted from herself by the glowing hands of the divine. Now we could enjoy ourselves.
We nursed our drinks and rode the primal current of bliss emanating from the stereo, still entranced by the mountain’s hypnotic supremacy. We listened to albums by Liars, Meat Beat Manifesto, The Future Sound of London, Failure, and Ride, (classics) using the transcendent intensity of the music to merge our souls with the limitless ecstasy of the earth.
Eventually, the kaleidoscopic visions began to recede to the periphery of consciousness, lurking in the vibrant yet understated corners of my mind tunnel. My fiancée passed out on my lap as the music continued and the sun began to set, casting pink hued hyper color patterns steadily off the mountain. I carried her downstairs and tucked her in, somewhat disappointed that I hadn’t gotten laid, but understanding the inappropriateness of that disappointment. I had no idea the chocolates were that strong, which is always a variable in underground psychopharmacological experimentation rituals such as these. Note to self, next time, take a little, wait, and then decide if you need any more. You’d think I’d have figured these things out by now, but I learned a long time ago that I have to make the same mistake roughly 11 times (if not 1,000) before I finally change my behavioral response to the stimuli. Heather was going to make a great wife. I think possibly, she might curb that number down to 7 with her meticulous nature.
It was the fourth of July (which also happened to be the first anniversary of when we started, errrrr,…….dating), and that meant there was going to be celebratory fireworks, which I could watch from the living room apparently. Oddly, I think the only time I actually get somewhat excited by fireworks is when I’m tripping. I think it stems back from an innerworldly series of visions from years prior when I was 18 or so – stoned out on my head on mushrooms, watching fireworks on a golf course in suburban Ohio with people I barely knew and didn’t really like. Strange times.
I had another hour or so to soldier through, but I’d just throw on some Hawkwind and that’d transport me to the future in thousand year intervals of thought. And there I was. I promptly threw on an album I made called, The Dislocating Flesh Repents which according to Terrascope: “walks the line between noise and music in a repetitive ritual haze, threatening to drive you crazy at any moment”. I was kind of sick of it by this point, but it seemed like an appropriate nightcap soundtrack as I had finished recording it almost exactly a year prior. I poured myself another glass of wine and sat down just as the festive explosions commenced.
It wasn’t the greatest view of the action, but something about the vibrant colors bursting forth over the tree line instigated a particularly profound dialogue within me. What had happened to Heather down in that basement bathroom? What had she seen in the mirror that terrified her so? All these obscure philosophies I’d been studying lately and applying to my interior structure – things like Chaos Magick and Shamanism, why did it all seem so much like self help obviousness? The thought that my future wife dealt with self image issues, much like most of us raised on a constant diet of perfectly chiseled sexual impulse manipulation, wasn’t a topic I’d pondered at length, but all the signs were there. She was an admitted anorexic for years. It would be naïve for me to think those demons had been completely subdued. She’d even told me outright on several occasions that she didn’t even know she was hot, until she went to graduate art school and dudes were all over her. She kept repeating: “think about pretty girls, think about pretty women” under her breath after she’d been pulled from herself by the angels. “think about pretty girls”. As if something was subconsciously imploring her to confront her own issues of self perception head on and deal with the reality that she was, in fact, a pretty girl.
And now as we begin to study these things in a supposedly “scientific manner”, we’re finding them as a potentially useful treatment for things like post traumatic stress disorder, chronic depression, and my personal favorite – chemical dependency. As a mystic and artist rather than a pure scientist, or a transdimensional psychologist if you must only respect scientific inquiry as a means to bring about wisdom, let me posit a rather obvious hypothesis: There is a cosmic intelligence beyond our understanding that wants us to pull our shit together for the best interest of everyone. It’s there for you if you want to listen, and you might not like what it has to tell you, but if what it has to tell you is unpleasant, it’s only unpleasant because you don’t want to put the work necessary into changing. A good analogy would be that it’s difficult for a lot of people to take criticism, and yet criticism is integral to the process of learning, and even more important to creative development. You need to know what you’re doing wrong to understand what you need to improve upon. Letting go of one’s ego is of paramount importance. This should be your quest – to find your relevance in what some refer to as the larger reality.
All these years and infinitely expanding bizarro psychic enclaves – what was the message lying dormant betwixt the psychotic expanse of chaos? I suppose I’d known all along, but on this particular night, it resonated spectacularly in waves of exotic sensation exploding forth amongst the fireworks: “You hate yourself, and you need to stop hating yourself.” It came in visitations from the DMT mind entities, in sigil magick astral contact messages about ancient God incarnations – and even more coherently in specified disembodied hypnagogic voices in my head: “you love you, you want us to save you”.
(continued next month)