Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Fugue State

"An individual with dissociative fugue suddenly and unexpectedly takes physical leave of his surroundings and sets off on a journey of some kind. These journeys can last hours, or even several days or months. Individuals experiencing a dissociative fugue have traveled over thousands of miles. An individual in a fugue state is unaware of or confused about his identity, and in some cases will assume a new identity..." (source)

The book on my nightstand (ha--okay, one of the books on my nightstand) is Daniel Pinchbeck's 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. I read Breaking Open the Head a few weeks ago and it got to me; I am fascinated with the concept of modern shamanism. It's seemed to me that a large part of my struggles have been based on the dissonance caused by comparing what it feels like I should be doing and what I think I'm expected to be doing. Okay, so this is Psychotherapy 101, right, because it's pretty obvious that people who repress their core urges tend to act them out in destructive ways. See: Jeffrey Dahmer, Larry Craig. People like Pinchbeck and Edward Tick argue that we have to somehow reconcile our inner urges with our societal roles if we want to break through to another level of consciousness.

A major message of many of these books (and my shrink) is that opportunities present themselves (or are arrived at based on past choices and random coincidence, I'm not sure) and if you're tuned in to what is available you might just find the path that leads you to, as Joseph Campbell says, your Bliss. Not really along the same lines as "Everything happens for a reason," which is my mom's favorite saying but a mixture of entropy and fortune. But at the same time contained within our perception of linear time. So you see it's actually very tricky to find the way to separate the signal from the noise.

Pinchbeck believes in this sort of consilience that I've found appearing in my own life. The myriad of other books I've read along the same vein + a peak experience I had earlier this year = feeling more and more that the direction I am headed is full of opportunity for psychic transformation. There's something terribly appealing about being able to steer my own destiny in a world that is good at making me feel hopeless (see: celebrity worship, economic crisis). I feel like I am being given a chance, taking a chance, to find out what happiness is. Or I'll at least become familiar enough with it I could pick it out of a line up.

So we're making a psychic break as well as a physical move. We're not moving to live this life in a different place. We're shifting our perspectives and our frames of reference (Donny) to what may sound insane to some people. A guy my age who lives in our building chatted me up about moving and I told him we were going to semi-retire. He stifled a laugh and asked how old I was... people don't want to believe that there is any option outside of what they're doing because that means the time they've invested might be for naught. But don't throw good money after bad! If you see the other option(s), seriously consider them. If nothing else, imagine yourself as someone suffering from amnesia. Where would you go and what would you do if you could start over? What's keeping you from living that life? Can you adapt it for your current circumstances? ... I'm trying to answer these for myself.

1 comment:

evangeline said...

i admire you both in ways that i could never type out for fear of being found out.