THE PATH YOU SHALL TAKE
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1979
I wake up with difficulty, like trying to get up out of sand that has been piled around me up to my armpits. My body aches and there is a sharp pain in my chest each time I move even the slightest bit. I open my eyes and see the white, blank, and bare walls of my bedroom.
Wow. That was some dream, Lamont. Was it? Was it just a dream? It didn’t feel like any dream I’ve ever had before. It felt even more than just completely lucid. People talked in the dream as if they were in some city within walking distance of their home. They acted with a simple ordinariness and acceptance of the place. They knew it was real. Tezcat sure seemed real! I spoke with a God. Wow. Jaynes would say Tezcat was all in my bicameral head. Was it only that? Only a dream? It seems so real. Then again, what is real? The question is kind of relative. Dreams are real, when you’re dreaming. All sensory data looks alike. But there’s a difference between being awake and dreaming isn’t there? Hmm? For the sake of further analysis, I should demarcate things and assign some terms. Small letter d for ordinary dreams and dreaming, which as a subset is lucid dreams, capital D for Dreams and Dreaming I’ll use when referring to what Tezcat called Dreamland. What’s left over, the time when I’m awake, is the World of Waking.
I hear the sound of my radio. It brings me back to the fact that I have to get ready to go to school. Even the extraordinary must flee in the face of the ordinary reality of the Waking World and its mundane responsibilities. I do everything on autopilot, shower, and dress, eat breakfast, get my bike, and ride to school. All the while, I can feel my mind buzzing, silently processing through last night’s events.
Trust us. Listen to us. We will show you the way.
Damn, I’m hearing voices again. But, remember Jaynes, Lamont, it’s just you doing the talking to yourself. Okay, I’ll humor myself; I’ll talk with my bicameral hallucination. Okay voice; show me what? What way are you talking about?
The way to the gateway between the worlds.
I keep hearing about this gateway between the worlds. Okay, you got my attention, where is this gate?
Hey! Where did you go? What? I’m already at school and I don’t recall getting here. I’m really going over the edge now. Don’t panic. I’ve done this before. I’ve been so wrapped up in what I was thinking that I just walked or rode somewhere without really knowing that I did. That’s not a sign of lost sanity. Or, if it is, I had lost it long ago.
Now I’m really preoccupied. First this Dreamland thing, and then I keep hearing a voice from Beyond; from somewhere off in the caverns of my overcrowded little mind. But, hey, Lamont! Hello! That wasn’t just any auditory hallucinative voice. That was Her voice! Tezcat! Is that possible? Is her voice a figment of my imaginings or it she really a unique individual? Is there any way to tell the difference? Not that I can think of now. Tezcat said she’d help with Lana and Jon, didn’t she, Lamont? She must be fulfilling her promise and trying to teach me what I need to know or do. But, it all could be only me talking to me. Tezcat and all the rest could be a very elaborate dream. But, what if she ain’t? Maybe all my reading has caused brain damage and I’m just finally gone really wacko.
“Are you okay? Hello? Is anybody home?”
Who’s that? She doesn’t sound like Her? Am I starting to hear from more than one deity? Wait, wake up, and smell the cinnamon, Lamont.
“Earth to Kid. Earth to Kid, come in Kid.”
That voice is real. I think it is, though the other voice seemed not to come from any source within me. Why can’t she (small s) be some-thing?
I’m just making it up? Lamont, just look around you, if you see her then you’re not hallucinating. Not necessarily, I could be having a visual hallucination with an auditory hallucination... Oh, shut up! Look, I’m at my locker, and so is she.
“Ah. Hi, Basha.”
“Welcome back Kid. So? Has my charms so overwhelmed you that besides rendering you speechless you have lost your hearing as well?”
“Ah. What do you mean?”
“You walked up to your locker and just stood there. Doing nothing. Except standing and possibly breathing. Something was definitely not right with you. I walked up and you did not even hear me. You usually get this cute glazed look on your face when you see me. Did you sleep okay last night or what?”
“I’m okay Basha. (Yeah, how can I tell her about going to a magical realm in my sleep? She’ll really think I’m a kid then.) I was up late last night ...ahh...reading.”
“Really? So, what was so exciting that you could not put it down?” Basha asks.
What was I supposed to be reading? I’m too ashamed to tell her that I’m not allowed to bring books into the house. She’ll want to know why, and I can’t tell her about my parents. I stall for time and open my locker. I grab the book I got from The Symposium the other day.
“Here, this is what I was reading.”
She takes the book and scrutinizes me oddly. “Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind,” Basha reads the title aloud. “It sounds like a real page-turner, Kid. Though how you read it while it was in your locker and you were home in bed is a neat trick. A very neat trick. Could be useful though when it comes to studying for tests. You will have to teach it to me. Listen, you do not have to tell me your problems, Kid. That is okay. But be careful. Try not to walk into any walls. Now, we have got to get to class.”
I watch her pivot gracefully and glide elegantly down the hall. I stand transfixed. Even the way she speaks has elegance about it. She never uses contractions; it’s as if she is somehow above the tongue of commoner’s like me. And, what could be a more stunning example of perfection then her hourglass figure, how the seams in her tight denim jeans accentuate the hills and the valley of the wondrous landscape that modestly is calling her behind.
Corazon have you forgotten us?
Huh? That voice! It’s not my voice, it sounds like Tezcat. Could it really be...? No, go away. I can’t listen to her! I’ll space out and not get to class. I can’t stand here in the empty hall. I’ve to get to my class! Concentrate Lamont; focus on what we have to do, find your homeroom. Damn, I’m such a space cadet! I run down the hall, feeling like a fool. Don’t listen to any more voices, Lamont, whether they are yours or anyone else’s.
Major use of autopilot now. I sit in class, but my awareness is split between this world and the other one I’ve found. In one of my classes, the teacher starts to fade away and in her place, I see, forming out of gray smoke, the lush abundance of Tezcat. Bloody Hell. I’m losing it. Focus on the teacher. Which one? Where am I? I’m in a classroom, dummy. Her body flows like that of a serpent. Lamont, don’t look. Her skin glistens like that of a serpent. Lamont, classroom. The teacher is lecturing. Come on Lamont pay....
I stare at her lush, sexy figure, hypnotized by the sensation of lust that stiffens my whole body. She’s doing that on purpose. Don’t fixate on her. Hey! She’s gone! Tezcat is gone. My teacher is back.
Oh my God. I’ve been staring in her direction while I was lusting after Tezcat! My teacher definitely noticed me ogling her! At least she thought that’s what I was doing. Good grief. For how long have I been transfixed? The sound of the bell breaks the awkwardness. I quickly slink out of the class, avoiding eye contact with my teacher. At lunchtime,
Tezcat’s naked form slithers along my fingers as I try to eat. I can’t hear the sounds of my classmates in the lunchroom, only her seductive voice.
Hear us. Seek us. Follow us.
I’m so glad when the final bell rings, ending this school day. What an embarrassment. I hasten to my locker and run out of the building.
Oh great. Please go away. I manage to focus and get home and set my bag down, I watch myself ignore my Mom and go out get back on my bike and start to ride. I find myself in front of the book store, The Gifts of the Goddess, wandering through the aisles looking for something. Oh great, I’m still losing it.
Keep silent concerning us. Stealth is needed. Always listen and obey us.
I see my hands pull down books, my eyes scan the pages, books are returned to the shelf.
This is the one we seek. Now it is as if you were in front of the fire. As if you were standing before the step. Within those pages is learning gathered from before. It contains something of the smoke and of the mist.
The phrase conveys meaning and yet I can’t gather up a sense of comprehension. They’re not my thoughts. I notice the title of the book I’m reading. Where The Spirits Ride The Wind: Trance Journeys and Other Ecstatic Experiences. Why this book? I’m clutching at it. Reading it. Devouring its words, feasting on its meaning. My heart flutters with anticipation.
This tome can show you a path that had once been taken.
The clicking of the clock beats off the flick of the pages. Miriam informs me that I have to go. I’m late for supper.
I close the book. Hey! Bloody Hell! I lost it again! This isn’t Goodman’s book! I’m not at the bookstore. This book is one of my textbooks. I’m sitting at my desk in my bedroom. Well, at least I managed to accomplish something while I was gone. There’s my homework assignment. They’re done. The clock tells me it’s ten. But, damn it, I have no memory of the passage of time! Lamont, this ain’t good. This is way beyond space cadet.
This is blackout time! You’re losing...
It is the path you must take. The black and the red of the ancients you shall learn to walk. With the valour of eagles and the ferocity of jaguars, you will come to have.
What path? Tezcat what’s happening to me?
You must learn these ancient ways. You must lie down in the way of the shamans, like that which was shown in the text that you examined.
I’m going over the edge. I... I... can’t help myself. How will this help me find Jon?
When the stars are right. In the new year to come.
I would think the longer we wait the harder it would be to find him in Dreamland.
When the stars are back in the time that it was.
Okay. I hear and I will obey. No. Don’t. Lamont, come back. Patience is supposed to be a virtue, and I guess if “Father Knew Best,” a Goddess should know better.
Silence. Lie yourself down. Learn.
I’m in my pajamas and lying on the bed. Hey. What’s going on here? Who’s running this show? Lamont, we have to focus. Okay Tezcat, now what? The book was filled with many positions that lead to trance states. Which one do I choose? Lamont, don’t do this. I’m afraid.
‘In scanning the archeological record…’
Another woman’s voice? Who? Is it Ms. Goodman, the author of that book I was reading....’I found that there was a parallel series...one a man, the other a woman, found hidden in a cave. Traces of it occur in Sub-Saharan Africa and Polynesia, and early representations were found in prehistoric central Europe and eastern Anatolia, Turkey.’
Hmm. This is interesting.
‘This posture experienced an intense local flowering on the Cyclades, a group of islands north of Crete…every grave, it seems, of that particular period, whether of a man or a woman, contains a characteristic figurine exhibiting this posture. What is involved…is the representation of a psychopomp and a power object. Psychopomps are shamans who have the office of accompanying the soul of the person who just died on its way to the Beyond.’
In the room, I see all around me the figurines she was talking about. Am I supposed to lie down in that position? To match the way all those figures look? I guess so. I lie with my legs together, placing my arms across my stomach, my left arm lying flat and atop my right. I close my eyes and now I hear rattling. The sound rhythmic tone draws me in... Lamont, wait, don’t....
I’m assaulted by the stench of seaweed rotting in a starlit night sky. My skin is slimy, as if someone has poured some awful sludge over me. I’m tired. I’ve been crawling a great distance. My legs and arms are stiff and my knees are sore. I attempt to get up and survey the scene. There’s this heavy steamy fog everywhere. The horizon line undulates. I’m losing my equilibrium. This place exists in rebellion against the normal laws of geometry. What my eyes see, and what my body’s sense of spatial references takes in, contradicts one another. I decide to return to my crawling position. At least, in this way, I can tell what’s up and what’s down, although I shudder with repulsion at the slick cold surface. A creepy feeling ripples through my body. The stuff that I’m crawling on feels like the outer skin of some gigantic unearthly insect. I try to look around again. The haze clears and the landscape before me comes into focus, sort of. It’s awesome and discordant.
It’s a terrible towering city of jade and obsidian. A horrible necropolis is what it feels like. A necropolis of anomalous antediluvian architectural shapes. What I see at the center of this chaotic labyrinthine city is not at all surprising. It is an all too familiar monstrously sized, glistening black Ziggurat. I can hear barely human voices croaking and screaming
I listen to this sound that emanates from all around me. By their mindless repetition, I eventually discern some resemblance to coherent speech. I realize that this is some ritualistic chant. To my horror, the repetition spawns meaning in me. I can understand the sickly speech. The meaning slithers into clarity. It’s a dreadful chant. Unholy déjà vu! I’ve heard this sometime before! They are trying to make the chant a reality. It’s a magic spell.
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.”
 From Where the Spirits Ride the Wind; Trance Journeys and Other Ecstatic Experiences, pages 155 - 159.
 H. P. Lovecraft, ‘Call of Cthulhu’, Weird Tales, 1928, Chapter II, The Tale of Inspector Legrasse.