Formerly Two Essays for All Humanity
The World of Madness is Round
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This is an Incomplete Rough Draft.
Writing this book will require a year at the very least.
I value any comments you may have; send them to:
swift@softwareproblem.org

Jonathan Goes for a Walk

I Asked this way many times before but only today came His first Answer.

Jonathan Swift
swift@softwareproblem.org

April 14, 2010

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Recall that I was told in April 1994 that among more traditional cultures, Schizoaffectives such as myself are the Shamans. When I need to get my head fixed up here in Silicon Valley, I seek the counsel of Dr. I. and Dr. G. Were I to live in the Amazon rainforest, all the Amazonian crazies would instead seek comfort from me.

There's a bit more to it than that.

When the Faithful of the World seek Answers to Life's most important Questions they turn to one of The Great Books: The Scriptures, Torah, The Holy Qur'an, The Bhagavad Gita. There are many, many such books. Far more have never been written down and never will be written down, but are passed from generation to generation in poetry, in song, in dance, in legend.

When these Books yield not the Insight we seek, we rest not there, but turn instead to prayer. It is fashionable today to claim that no such insight is to be found that way. Those who are so mistaken as to make such claims are sorely lacking, not only in what is most important about being human, but also in what is most profoundly satisfying, even joyful, about having been granted the privilege even to exist for our single Tick in Eternity's collossal Clock.

As some Books are not Written but Danced or Sung, when Insight is not to be found in the Dance or in the Song, there are other ways to seek it. The Huichol People of Mexico, for example, walk hundreds of miles across the barren desert. Upon arriving at their destination, they stalk a certain Deer, then slay it with an arrrow fired from a bow. That night, gathered around a fire, they eat the meat of this Deer, and by so doing, the Deer enables the Huichol Hunters to speak directly with G-d.

There are some people in the Amazon who find their Insight by Drinking of a certain Root.

There is a certain difficult question I struggled with for what I now realize has been twenty-six years.

Early this afternoon I grew impatient with my inability to obtain this very precious Answer to one of my own life's Important Questions, so I finally decided to seek the expert opinion of The Man Upstairs. Having had a good lunch before I set out on my journey, I hungered not so needed not to Eat of the Deer, nor thirsted not so needed not to Drink of the Root.

I obtained the Answer I sought, but experienced this afternoon's Quest for that Answer so Powerful, so Frightening as to be completely overcome.

While I was raised as a Christian, and still regard Jesus as a Great Teacher, I no longer Believe. It's hard to explain - I will die trying if I must - but there is a new path for me now, a path which is in itself the goal.

I was having trouble making sense of what I learned, so I turned to those who I knew were prepared to render the kind of interpretive aid that I required:

When I filled out the Patient Registration Form this evening at the Emergency Room at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Gatos, California, in the blank where I was to write the reason for my visit, I hesitated, then thought, What the Hell, there's just no hiding it.

Shamanic Journey.

You might be surprised, but I've been here before. What's more, I've been in that particular Emergency Room before. Out of considerations for her privacy I won't say her name, but there was a young woman there tonight, who I hoped I might see, simply that I might thank her for the compassionate kindness she showed me during one of my previous visits.

I asked to speak either to her, but she was busy with other patients, or to a mental health professional, but none were to be had. But I was quite pleased with the Emergency Room physician, whose normal fare consists of auto accident carnage, gang warfare, Swine Flu and Salmonella.

I explained my entire enlightening afternoon to this gentlemen, my Bipolar Schizoaffective Diagnosis, my Shamanism, how the various Healing Arts I know were not learnt, but, as far as I am able to tell, simply encoded into my DNA. I pointed out what a G-d Awful struggle it is for me to read written piano music, but that I find it no more difficult to make a Schizophrenic stop hallucinating than I do to say my own name.

He was completely cool with the whole thing, but felt I should hang out for a while. I sent a text to Jason, asking that he let y'all know I just got myself admitted.

Happily, that young woman was on duty, and remembered me very well. I was indeed able to give her the thanks she deserved.

But after a few hours, and a telephone consult with my Psychiatrist, he said No, I didn't need to be admitted, and sent me on my way. "You're very Insightful," he pointed out.

"Funny you should say that," I replied.

I'll get back to you tomorrow evening on my Question, and its Answer. It's not at all any manner of Secret I wish to hide from you. It's just that when one has gone on this kind of Journey, one would do well to rest a bit before taking up any other manner of Labor.

[ Next | Previous | Contents | The Call of Duty | The Enemy Within ]
The World of Madness is Round
Formerly Two Essays for All Humanity