Sensory Deprivation: Meeting My Allies

The breath felt effortless. The 30 breath cycles took me into the river of styx; the underworld. As I began to get to the end of each 30-breath cycle I held my breath after inhalation. Time passed with ease until it was time for the re-uptake for one more breath hold.

Even longer this time…

I started to breathe deep again as the 30-breath cycle was renewed. What transpired after each cycle was beginning to take me away from counting each breath. Drifting into the clouds of my sub-conscious and the vastness of imagination.

I began to get lost in the river. To the uninitiated it would have been a terrifying river but I had been down this river many times before. After so many failings on this river and running away in fear it became a close friend. I was grateful for it because being lost in this river is beautiful.

As I came back each time for the 30 breaths and the back yet again to being lost I began to play with being lost. Being lost started to become love. I started to envision the demon from my vilca experience; its black garment and halberd standing tall with boldness. But this time, he didn’t scare me. I put my hand on his all black garment and felt no body; it was an illusion all along. The garment and halberd fell to the floor. Behind what once stood the ten foot tall demon was a mirror. I looked into the warrior’s eyes and smiled. It was me. The man told me not to trust appearances and we went our separate ways.

As I started floating down the river of styx something illuminated in my mind’s eye: To receive everything we could ever want, to have everything be perfect, to never lose was not heaven at all. Losing, struggling, adversity, darkness, demons, and the trials; that is heaven.

I smiled as this illumination overtook me. The man in the mirror; his one statement made so matter of factly without hesitation shined through so brightly. It filled my entire being. This was heaven all along. Oh how I had been fooled. To think that heaven is the most perfect place where nothing ever goes wrong; this is a fallacy. That place is hell. How could it not be? For all the beauty we experience comes not from perfection but from overcoming darkness. Darkness bores its way towards us not to frighten us but to be danced with. And we are the lead. We are its opposite.

Light. Beautiful, illuminating light. I love darkness. I love my shadow. I love my demons. They aren’t evil. They are misunderstood. They aren’t here to hurt me. They are here to dance to the music of life. And so we dance to the most beautiful songs day after day. They challenge me to learn new techniques. They challenge me to be adaptable to different music, different rhythms, and different environments.

Soon, the songs will cease and my physical form will be replaced. But the songs of my life will have been taken to the brink with each breath. Twenty-eight years of life it took me to realize the gift I was wasting; the potential I wasn’t fulfilling. Not anymore. As far as my shadow; my demons…maybe they will find another soul to play with. I sure hope so; it’s sad to think they won’t find the light they seek. But I have faith. It all seems to work out in the end.