Ever since the orgone energy was discovered in the atmosphere in 1940, it has become increasingly imperative to find the concrete links connecting the orgone energy within the living organism (bio-energy) and the (cosmic) orgone energy outside the living organism. [i]
Sunhill Asylum, January 6, 1956.
Before I tell of my first night in Sunhill Asylum, I should mention that to accept my fate was an impossible strain, and my mind felt stretched to breaking point. The Old World was ever present in my mind. But my true identity remained an impenetrable mystery. I knew that The Parisian Lady belonged to a menstrual epoch of violent pains, witchcraft, and dark teratologies. As for Jack Vallis of Selborne Road, Liverpool, I knew that he belonged to the great epoch of radio. But other than that, I could remember very little. My childhood was vague and indistinct; my adolescence a nightmare; and my adult life a gaping black hole. I remembered bits of the war: a bomb hitting the air-raid shelter in Durning Road; the burnt out shell of St Luke’s Church; and the railway arches on Bentinck Street getting blown to smithereens. But that was all. I also had dim recollections of my spirit circle. Strangers coming and going. But to recall my place of work, or what I did for a living was beyond me. As if this was not enough to unsettle my wits and confound my faculties, my psychosis (if it was psychosis), was deepening…
The hysteria that I experienced upon arrival lasted a period of about two hours. I know this because the asylum clock chimed on the hour and I was lying quietly in bed by nine p.m. But my actual sense of time was hideously distorted, and the hours became elastic, stretching into centuries, invoking a languishing delirium of fantastic visions…
Shortly after the strike of ten, I was tormented by a pantheon of spirits that frolicked in the vault. Sensual boudoir maidens, clad in satin and lace, made erotic provocations of the most lascivious nature, romping on beds of shimmering quicksilver. Others made coy flirtations, catching my eye, then smiling like vestal virgins and looking away. Yet I could not tell the pure from the impure, nor separate the spirit from its corporeal substance. Indeed, I could not decide if their amorous burlesque was for purely my pleasure, or if they were malignant faeries, doing all in their power to drive me insane. And I wondered at their chemistry: the moisture of their eyes; the plumpness of their lips; the natural colour and odour of their skin; what was fixed and what was volatile; the sublimation, reduction, and coagulation of their blood; what was inert and what was otherwise combustible; the quintessence of their flesh; and by what Spagyric art it might be found; the degree of distillation; how to separate the sulphur from the salt, the gold from the dross, and the female from the male.
I gazed bewitched at this enchanting scene for some time, as one nymphet disrobed after another, and strip-teased round the vault. But with each new pass, they grew older and older, and began to wither with age. It was a pitiful sight – this corruption of flesh – to behold their nubile bodies, once plump and flushed with life, succumb to the cankers of disease, then moulder like rotting fruit. One by one, the maidens turned to dust and my cell became a catacomb of bones.
The clock struck eleven.
To my utter astonishment, a green sapling burst through the floor, toppling a rick of skulls, and up sprung the mighty Yggdrasil, ash tree of world. The serpentine boughs thrust through vault, high into the starry realms of Asgard. Bubbling around the sacred roots was the mystic fountain of life, whose crystal waters rushed about the cell, sweeping me up, bed and all. Around I went, in a whirlpool of light, watched by The Three Norns, who appeared as hideous crones: The Triple Goddess, Urd, Verdandi and Skuld. They cackled with their distaffs, spinning my fate, from one life to the next, ’til the crack of doom. As if to boast their power, they unwound the skeins of Time, and the hags became pretty virgin brides, dressed in linen gowns, with wreathes of laurel in their hair. Around me was a garden of earthly delights, with throngs of nymphs who conversed in tongues amid hosts of blazing lilies. There were mirrored meres and lakes, with isles of white pavilions, where pink flamingos chattered of the Zodiac and mysteries of the egg.
This pastoral scene was interspersed with mad fantastical buildings that clung to wooded hills; Byzantine onion domes and Gothic churches with sparkling silver spires. All manner of beasts roamed freely for their pleasure: peacocks, panthers and pangolins; lions, leopards and lynxes; wildebeest, wombat and wolves; bison, beaver and bears; gorillas, gazelles and giraffes; elephants, elk and echidna; horses, hares and hinds…
I wandered down Arcadian halls that wound through myrtle bowers, overgrown with jasmine and honeysuckle, where the nightingale sang all day, and ballerinas spun pirouettes in ruby rotundas. And all about were faeries, flying through the air on celestial birds of paradise.
Leaving the myrtles behind, I entered a marble palace with mosaic floors of crimson fish, and turquoise dolphins in plumes of dædal jade. The precinct was a labyrinth of towering minarets, alabaster cloisters and ponds of golden carp. High above the ramparts was a gallery of gilded books lit by an immortal flame. Therein I found the secret of the gods, the great purpose of Creation, and the Tantalus key to the Tome of Death.
Then out into bluebell woods, amid chestnut groves and blooming bowers of love. There were lime-trees, yews, and cedars; rosy arbours and arches; green bay thickets with shady seats; and sprawling canopies of ruddy rhododendrons, through which the Hesperian breeze whispered of the sea, bringing scents of sandalwood and myrrh. Beyond the woods was a crystalline basilica, glittering like a sapphire, with emerald terraces of gurgling rills, and camomile lawns where svelte black girls danced upon the sward.
This was my Elysium, where the surreal wonders of Bosch met the satin world of Albert Moore; where every girl was Silver, and not a man in sight; where I was Silver too, reclining with the Dreamers, sipping nectar of the gods from jewel encrusted goblets, and feasting on salads of forbidden fruit.
Yet even as I beheld this vista of Elysian fields, with its enchanted grottos, golden apples, and happy grazing hinds, I knew that Doctor Bloodhound had given me an opiate. I sensed the drug had polluted my psychic centres but my reason was still intact. For I also knew that hallucinations were very common during fever, insanity and mania. So I lay still, and waited for the vision to pass.
At length, the mirage began to fade; the birds flew away, the waters ebbed, and the mighty Yggdrasil shrank beneath the floor. But then I noticed the vault had entirely disappeared. In its place was a lucent portal, rippling like water. As I looked up, my gaze penetrated the entire asylum. The upper floors were transparent as glass, and I could see through the rafters, far beyond the roof, out into the distant realms of space. There was the Milky Way, stretching across the firmament, from Cygnus to Cassiopeia, Perseus to Auriga, and Gemini to Canis Major. With reverent awe, I beheld the majesty of the starry heavens, my soul a spec of dust amid the cosmic infinity.
There passed another epoch of fevered confusion and desolate moaning wind.
The clock struck twelve.
I felt cursed, abandoned and alone. My cell had long since grown dark, for the moon had completed her transit across the fanlight. I lay in icy stillness, the winter wind rattling the panes. The darkness was profound. I could see nothing before nor around me, except the portal above, where the stars gyred around Polaris. But then I glimpsed a ghostly glow at the side of the bed. At first I thought it was the watchman’s lamp shining beneath the door. But as my eyes accustomed to the gloom, I beheld a spectre in the pitch. A tall horned figure, weird and ghastly, was peering down at me. Yet I instinctively knew this apparition was real, and not the result of some internal psychic disturbance. The wraith stood motionless, head bowed, as if mourning at a grave. The body was obscure and cloudy beneath the waist, but the upper torso was quite distinct, and its features almost visible. The horns disturbed me most, for they were very broad and large, curling at the temples like the cornus of a ram. Within moments, the spectre began to fade, gradually becoming less distinct, until the legs had vanished completely. Then it turned away and glided through the wall. As it went, I was overcome with a grievous sorrow that I cannot describe; tears would have been a cathartic relief, but they did not come, and a terrible foreboding oppressed me. Curiously, the phantom left a phosphorescence where it passed through the bricks, and there shone an unearthly light, bright as a moonbeam. This luminescence flickered round the cell, sparkling on the bars and copper basin. And as I lay there in the gloom, watching the light dance upon the walls, my surroundings took on an uncanny familiarity.
At once I plunged myself into meditation. But my trial came back to haunt me. Especially the sixty photographs of drooling women. Where were they from? I didn’t shoot those pictures. Did I? And what of the sex machine itself? Was I the engineer? My chattering monkey took up the case:
‘That lawyer was a numbskull. What did he know of The Serpent Power? Nothing. He was an ignorant, bigoted, sex-phobic reactionary. He knew nothing of Tantra; not to mention Prâna or the etheric double! Prâna exists on all planes – physical, etheric, astral and mental. Prâna is the One Life, “the nave to which are attached the seven spokes of the universal wheel”. You kept much to yourself. Very wise indeed. I mean, why spill the beans? As for that judge, he was a pompous old fool. Orgone metaphysics was beyond him. What would he know of astral travel? Of bodiless consciousness? The secrets of Mind over Matter are for adepts only. He charged you with gross indecency; called you a deviant; a sexual degenerate; an exploiter of women. All profane expressions of sexuality are of a non-transcendent nature. But your work goes beyond the gross body. You manipulate the subtle body. You know the difference between spiritual love and hedonic gratification. After all, you channel the Light Stream from realms eternal.’
‘Monkey, be silent. I’m trying to meditate.’
‘That’s very noble of you, especially considering your dire predicament. Meditate, yes. Escape this place. Withdraw your consciousness from the perceptive field. That is Dharana.’
‘Illume yourself with the divine light. The eyes cannot see the supreme being; nor can it be reached by the other four senses. The supreme being can only be reached in Dhyana.’
‘Concentrate. Dhyana is concentration on the divine being, who is quiescent, luminous, pure, and blissful in the centre of the heart. Disengage yourself from pleasure seeking patterns. The noise of this world.’
‘Be quiet. I must spiritualize myself.’
‘Yes, spiritualize your consciousness. But true knowledge of the self is required. Do you know who you are? I think not. You can’t even remember your own name.’
‘Silence, I said.’
‘Silence, yes. The Tantric cosmogony of the Word is born of Silence. The superiority of the invisible over the visible, of silence over speech, is the oldest Tantric tradition. Dhyana is to hold the form of the deity in consciousness without interruption.’
‘Then stop interrupting, if you please!’
‘You must be motionless like a rock in a storm. Samadhi is that state in which consciousness is fixed solely on the object in mind. You must become still, like a flame on a windless mountain. The “I” must disappear. The “I am concentrating” must disappear.’
‘How can I concentrate with your constant chitter-chatter and yackety-yack? Get out Monkey. Leave me in peace.’
‘Peace, yes. Be calm. Samadhi is without duality and full of bliss. Concentrate on your subtle body. The subtle body survives dissolution of the gross body. The mind of the subtle body bears the Samskâras of past actions. You reap what you sow.’
‘What? You think this is all my fault?’
‘Of course. And you shall not find peace until you pay for your abominable crimes.’
‘What abominable crimes, for pity’s sake? I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that puritanical judge!’
‘The puritans are unregenerate and earthly; for their serpent path is obstructed by sleeping Chakras. To raise the Kundalini, the Chakras must be awakened. But to the ignorant, the lower Chakras appear as vices of human nature. Sexual pleasure is sinful. Sex is for procreation only. But we both know the energy centres and their glands act like transformers to higher states.’
‘The carnal emotions are not, strictly speaking, the most dangerous assault a disciple must undergo on the path to enlightenment. But rather a necessary initiation. The true purpose of erotic love is unity with the divine. The primal brain stem governs the sexual instincts of the three base Chakras, Muladhara, Svadhisthana and Manipura…’
‘—But the midbrain of finer sentiments is associated with Anahata and Vishuddha – the fourth and fifth Chakras.’
‘Be still. Breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth…’
‘The cerebral cortex of the upper brain governs inspiration and free thought, both associated with Ajna, the sixth Chakra. But the ultimate goal of human consciousness is to pass through The Tenth Gate. To awaken the pineal. The Third Eye. That is Soma Chakra, the seat of Supreme Consciousness. Meditate my little yogi.’
‘Chance would be a fine thing! You’re talking my head off!’
‘Then dwell on Sahasrâra, the seventh Chakra. Enlightenment of Sahasrâra is the thousand petalled lotus, bright as the full Moon, but without the mark of the hare, resplendent as a clear sky. It sheds its rays in profusion and is moist and cool like nectar. Within this mandala is a triangle, which constantly shines like lightning, and within this again is The Great Void, which is served in secret by all the Suras.
The clock struck one.
I longed for sleep, but Monkey kept prattling…
‘Fancy the police finding all your books on Wilhelm Reich! I thought you hid them under the floorboards? Poor Wilhelm Reich; he was the victim of slanderous conspiracy—a sexual-smear campaign directed by the neo-Marxists. Did Reich not claim that love, work and knowledge are the wellsprings of Life? Reich, like you, was a man ahead of his time.’
‘Ahead of my time? In a loony bin?’
‘Reich’s orgone theory reveals the vital role of emotional-sexual energy in the psychosomatic process.’
‘Will you shut up about sexual energy!’
‘What biologists call “bioelectricity” is in fact a mysterious odic field that suffuses the cells of living organisms; a vital force that expresses itself as emotion and sexuality. Prâna. That is the Kundalini serpent. Sex machines are good – if you like that sort of thing.’
‘Shut your trap! I don’t want to hear another word about sex machines! And stop showing me those photographs…’
‘I know. They’re painful to look at. Especially for girls like you. All those drooling women, quaking with ecstasy. The depiction of female tumescence is always heavily censored. You love the faces more than the bodies. The anticipation of sexual gratification; of eager receptivity; the dilatation of the pupils; expansion of the nostrils; the slight extension of the tongue; the tendency to salivate and utter broken words. Pleasure in living organisms is always correlated by vascular, muscular and glandular expansion. The whole arterial system becomes dilated, especially the dermal capillaries of the face, neck, scalp and hands. The eyes begin to bulge and glaze. Likewise, the whole glandular system is stimulated, causing copious secretions—salivary, lachrymal, sudoral, mammary, gastric and genital—all accompanied by a rise in temperature and catabolic activity. These organic convulsions involve extensive motor excitement. It is a profoundly deep and intimate function of the organism; and under favourable loving circumstances, the results are always beneficial, especially when orgasm is prolonged and repeated. A woman may climax for hours on a sex machine. Her detumescence is generally followed by an expansive feeling of lassitude and mental liberation; a sensation of repose and self assurance; a state of intoxicated joy which may last several days. Altered states. But forget their delirium. Think of something else. Think of Orgone…’
‘Did you know that you’ve left your lipstick at home? There’s only one thing worse than having no money to buy bread at the baker’s – and that’s having no money to buy lipstick at the chemist’s…’
‘You said think of Orgone, not lipstick! How can I think of Orgone when you talk of lipstick? In fact, now I come to think of it, I didn’t want to think of Orgone in the first place!’
‘Of course you did. You’re just confused, that’s all. Orgone is that glowing blue aura that radiates from all matter – animal, vegetable and mineral. Did you know that orgone exists in the atmosphere as an envelope of blue energy surrounding the whole planet?’
‘I wonder where my corset is? Have they stolen it, Monkey?’
‘Your corset? I thought we were talking about Orgone.’
‘Yes, very well. Go one then…’
‘The Vitality Globule is a sub-atomic hyper-meta-meta-proto element, that it is created and held together by the force emanating from the Second Logos.’
‘That’s theosophical rubbish! Reich never said that!
‘Sixty drooling women. Touching your genitals is sinful. That’s what the headmaster said. But those manacles will make a chaste girl of you yet. Relax. Repeat the mantra of the uncreated self…’
‘I would if I could! But I can’t get a word in edgeways!’
‘I’m thirsty. What I wouldn’t give for an ice cream. A lovely, cool, sweet ice cream. Everyone likes ice cream. And chocolate. I wonder if Wilhelm Reich likes chocolate?’
‘Will you shut up about Wilhelm Reich?’
‘Reich’s climate model is based on Orgone charge variations in the upper atmosphere. And this opens many new doors into weather modification… Oh! My nose isn’t half itching!’
‘You prattle on and on!’
‘A pity about your lipstick. I love the smell of lipstick, don’t you?’
‘Yes. I love the smell of all cosmetics.’
‘It is a well known fact that libertines and prostitutes love perfumes. As well as sensual women of the upper classes. Heschl reported a case of a man of forty-five in whom a lack of olfactory sense was associated with imperfect development of the genitals.’
‘I can’t smell anything in here except mildew and damp.’
‘Have you lost your sense of smell?’
‘This place is no better than a prison. “A fine hospital”, Doctor Bloodhound said.’
‘Well have you?’
‘Have I what?’
‘Lost your sense of smell. Anosmia. That’s from sniffing too much ether. It is well known that olfactory hallucinations are associated with psychoses of an erotic type…’
‘But listen. What I have to say is important. Very important. Reich’s experiments hint at a new source of pollution-free energy. An energy which could propel mankind to the stars!’
‘I’ll propel you to the bloody stars in a minute.’
‘Listen. Reich has made a motor. A free energy device that runs directly from the background ocean of orgone energy.’
‘I refuse to hear another word.’
‘But this is important I tell you! Don’t you want to know about UFOs?’
‘UFOs? What about them?
‘The vimana of the Ramayana! They fly with the speed of the wind and give forth a melodious sound! According to Reich, flying saucers are powered by the same cosmic energy which turns his Orgone motor. Prâna. The Serpent Power. And his understanding of the orgonotic field effect has inspired a new theory of gravitation.’
‘Will you be silent! For crying out loud! I’m trying to meditate!’
‘UFOs. No wonder the F.D.A. banned all books containing the word “Orgone”… Er, do you know that John Stuart Mill read Greek when he was four years old?’
‘Yes, yes! I know, I know!’
‘Extraordinary powers of mind are often linked to madness…’
I closed my eyes and fell into a pool of darkness. But the monkey kept chattering:
‘You’re smart. Clever. Very clever. Be still now. Still waters run deep. And yours are deep. So deep. Fathomless. Abyssal. Like Reich, you are a child of many sects, not least the Vedic creationists. But that judge was a Christian puritan, sick in mind and body, with an aura dark as death. How I detest all those Catholic taboos against non-procreative sex. If you had confessed your truth, they would have sent you to the gallows.’
‘That you are none other than Hermaphroditus, child of Hermes and Aphrodite, a fusion of both genders.’
The clock struck two.
I lay shivering in the Stygian darkness, fearful for my future and in turmoil for the past. The minutes were passing like years, and my cell felt like a sepulchre. The portal in the vault had become a ravenous vortex, and the constellations warped into a long dark funnel. The space beyond was blacker than black. A void of palpable darkness. An intelligence. And it began to frighten me.
‘What’s that hole?’ asked I.
‘That,’ said Monkey, ‘is the wormhole to the supreme Godhead; the omnipresent, primal energy; the womb of all the gods, that sacred yoni wherein the whole universe is born.’
A momentary blinding flash.
A rattling peal of thunder.
They came through the yoni one by one – the ten avatars of Vishnu, marching in regal procession, radiant with the colours of the rainbow: Matsya, the fish; Kurma, the Turtle; Varaha, the Wild Boar; Narasimha, the Man-lion; Vamana the Dwarf; Rama with his bow; Parasurama with his axe; Balarama, Krishna’s fair skinned brother; the atheist Buddha, and Kalkin who will destroy this age of degeneration.
Then came Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas, also known as Uma the gracious, Bhairavi the terrible, Ambika the generatrix, Sati the good wife, Gauri the brilliant, Kali the terrible, and Durga the inaccessible, with her sword, drum and bowl of blood.
Her multiple aspect was in eternal flux. I longed for the beautiful Uma but she changed into Kali, drunk with bloodshot eyes, her face and bosom polluted with gore. Her complexion was dark, her long hair matted with filth. She wore a necklace of human skulls, and two corpses hung about her ears. She had four arms; in one she held a dagger, in another a giant’s head, whilst the other two beckoned me forward.
My bed rose into the air. I cried in horror, fully expecting my total annihilation. But she transformed into a tantric goddess, striking seductive poses, tracing her fingers over her breasts and hips, lighting up the cell in a pornographic fountain. She wore an exquisite floral chiffon dress that billowed like a cloud. I beheld every detail of this garment with all the ardour of a seamstress; the warp and weft; the stitching, the trimming and the lace. She became a kaleidoscope of lithesome legs, silk panties, stocking feet, up-skirt gussets, chrome suspenders, nylon slips and coral lips. The sweet timbre of her voice ran through my mind like a cleansing mountain stream:
‘I am wearing a high waist Promise girdle, with biaband control from the midriff to the mid-thigh. You’ll always feel comfortably lovely in gleaming silk elastane. This is Promise. So try it on, and see yourself transformed, uplifted and slimmed. What’s the fun of being a woman if you don’t have a good figure? Undercover strategy begins with Promise. So many lovely styles to choose from…’
And all the while, she flirted with Siren eyes, tossing her tumbling locks of auburn hair. She was the embodiment of Eros; the recombinant image of every glamour girl I’d gloated on throughout my wretched life. All my secret lusts came flooding back to me: every pin-up I’d pawed over in school; every centre-fold I’d envied and thrown away in shame.
‘I am ruined,’ said I.
‘Fear not my child. I am with you forever. I am the supreme essence of all Mothers, of all conscious beings; and I alone can make your dreams come true…’
I was smitten by her beauty, my throat parched, my eyes wide as saucers. She drove me to a frenzy of insatiable desire; yet the more I craved her lithesome form, the more I became aware of that inseparable gulf between her elegance and the bulk of my hoary male incompetence.
‘Am I awake or dreaming?’
‘Consciousness and unconsciousness are always intermingled.’
Her Chakras spun like suns, with all the lustrous filaments of a pomegranate flower. Then her provocations ceased and she became immaculate, still, shining like a lotus in a pool of light. I could only gaze in worship. So chaste and radiant was her face, that she might have been The Mother of God. But I was suspicious of her true nature. For I knew that fallen spirits are often deceptive.
‘Who are you?’ I demanded. ‘You are not Parvati.’
At once she changed into an opalescent orb of light. She hovered in the vault, a lambent globe which illumed my cell with eerie coruscations. Her answer came like waves foaming on the shore:
‘I am Grazide, Queen of the CORE people.’
‘Cosmic Orgone Engineers. We use Orgone energy to propel our ships – interdimensional craft that circumvent your laws of Time and Space.’
‘How it that possible?’
‘We are familiar with the laws of the cosmic Orgone energy ocean, especially with gravity as a function of superimposition. But these secrets are concealed under a veil of hieroglyphics, lest mankind use our science for apparent miracles, and establish a tyranny by the means of false wonders.’
‘You have come to torment me with apparitions.’
‘Do not fear. My manifestions are true. We commune by Telegnosis with the Source. I am the mirror of your soul, and you are its reflection. Within my sphere live the effluvium and emmanations of your mind.’
‘What do you want of me?’
‘Orgone energy fills the cosmos, maintaining harmony and peace. But the Orgone ocean has been been greatly disturbed by the atomic explosions on your planet. Orgone becomes highly unstable when excited by nuclear fission. The effects of your atomic blasts reach far into cosmic space, and are felt by all Creation. The unmistakable blackening of your moon indicates the true extent of this damage. The Selenites and other CORE beings have decided that mankind is a menace who threatens the cosmos.’
‘I am not responsible for man’s ignorance.’
‘Nevertheless, I have come to warn you.’
‘Warn me of what?’
‘Unless you turn back from your destructive path, we will be forced to take matters into our own hands. The New World has been marked for destruction.’
‘I think that’s a very good idea. Wipe them all out. The capitalists, Marxists, Maoists, heathens and atheists. But not me. I’m a true believer; one of God’s elect. I will be Raptured before the Great Tribulation.’
‘Raptured? All men are children of mighty Vishnu, creator, preserver and destroyer of worlds. Vishnu, eternal male, immortal source and centre of the Universe. But you alone have been chosen by the CORE.’
‘Ha! Ha!’ laughed I, mad as a hatter. ‘Chosen? I thought as much. You fallen spirits are all the same; pandering to human vanity. Well I won’t fall for that old trick!’
As I said these words, I saw myself from above, fettered to the bed, my eyes fixed in cataleptic trance, my body possessed by a malignant fever which exuded a cadaverous odour. It was indeed the very image of insanity. And I wondered if the orb was there at all. But I could not discount her existence entirely. For I knew from my communes with the dead, that when a medium is in trance, you may cut them to pieces without the slightest indifference, and that the internal soul can see without material eyes, and know equally the near and the far, the past, the present, and the future. Yet my predicament was this: I could not discern if I was in trance, insane, or both.
‘Forgive me,’ said she. ‘I have obviously come to the wrong place. You are not the one I seek.’
‘Who is it that you seek?’
‘Jack Vallis, the miracle worker.’
‘There’s no miracle Jack can do that will change the hearts of men. You’re wasting your time. Mankind is not worth saving. He’s too blind and selfish to change. Besides, even I wanted to, I can’t do anything. I’m locked in a lunatic asylum, in case you haven’t noticed.’
‘You don’t belong here.’
‘Do I not? Try telling that to the doctors. The whole world thinks I’m mad.’
‘You think this world is run by normal people? Planet Earth is run by psychopaths. All their institutes of intelligence produce madmen and fools. If men were sane, they would leave atomic weapons alone. For thousands of years we have given mankind guidance and advice; but he prefers the psychotic disorder of his own paranoid brain.’
‘My brain is anomalous.’
‘The anomalous development of your mental apparatus was conceived before birth, just as aberrant nutrition produces giants from parents of ordinary size. What is your excuse for shirking your responsibility?
‘For this planet.’
‘I’ve lost my wits. Gone cuckoo. Amnesic.’
‘Memory is no marker of intelligence. Most idiot savants can repeat the contents of whole books after a single reading.’
‘Can you restore my memories?’
‘If you so desire.’
‘Now I come to think of it, I would prefer complete regression.’
‘To become a baby and start again.’
‘Yes. A baby girl.’
‘Do you not wish to escape this place?’
‘If you’re so powerful, why don’t you release me?’
‘We have tried and failed many times before. The deterministic chain could not be altered; the periodic flux of quantum recurrence initiated a closed loop; the Time Stream always buckled and returned to stasis point. The consequence is your present state of Limbo.’
‘I am trapped here forever?’
‘The CORE beings have formed an alliance to break the loop. A new time line has been computed – one that uses the fundamental discreteness of Orgone state space. But I am forbidden to say more lest your precognition of past events undoes future changes.’
‘Precognition of past events? That’s a paradox indeed.’
‘Quite so. But all things are reconcilable – even the misalliance of body and mind.’
‘Your voice sounds familiar.’
‘We have met before.’
‘In another world.’
‘A tale fit for a madman. I know the Rig-Veda backwards. And I’ve seen that “imperishable world, where there is eternal light and glory.” This world is just a shadow. This world is just a dream.’
‘Even if this is a just dream, there is still a small part of you which knows you can be something great. You must trust that part of yourself.’
‘I don’t know. I’m unsure.’
‘What are you frightened of?’
‘Making things worse. I am quite incapable of redeeming myself, let alone the world. Perhaps it is best that I die in this godforsaken hole. All is vanity. But I am not so vain as to believe I can change what the prophets foretold. This world is to be destroyed by fire.’
‘How long have you been here?’
‘I don’t know. Impossible to tell. They treat me like a caged animal. A monkey. They keep me in isolation and pick apart my brains bit by bit. Every now and then, they throw me a nut: a word of praise; a walk outside; the promise of release. But it’s always false and insincere. They won’t accept my gender, let alone my miracles. They pass me from one doctor to the next, and each time I have to re-explain myself from the start. The indefinite sense of my grim existence. It is easy to speak when there is little or nothing to say; but always so difficult when there is much to explain. My tongue gets stuck in my throat. And no doctor familiar with Freud can accept a paradox like me.’
‘Ask yourself: how do you know that? You haven’t been at Sunhill more than three hours.’
‘Three hours? That’s impossible.’
‘Exactly. So how do you know so much about the doctors? Think.’
‘I don’t know how I know. But I just know. There are bad men in this place. Powerful men. Men who want to steal my pearls. Men who want me neutralised.’
‘You would not fear them if you remembered who you really are, and what you’ve done.’
‘Sunhill Asylum lies at the nephroid of a temporal rift. A paradox of your own making.’
‘A conjunction of two worlds – the Old and the New.’
‘That sounds like the enchanted spell of an invisible magician.’
‘You are a magician.’
‘The world that you inhabit now, was never meant to be. It was created by you. You existed long before all the chaos, pain and schism of that present body; and unless you do exactly as I say, you shall continue to exist in that state, even after death.’
‘What must I do?’
‘You must return to The Old World and solve the Paradox.’
‘Where did the paradox begin?’
‘The Paradox began where all things began. The paradox began with an egg.’
‘I will infer from that, a most absurd and paradoxical conclusion. That the end of the world begins with an egg. The world gives birth to the death of itself. How do you explain that, by your celestial jurisprudence?’
‘All life is born by the fusion of an egg and seed. But by your paradox, no fusion at all. The end of this world is caused by the motive of your alchemy.’
‘To lift the curse of Adam. To break the bonds of Death.’
‘A narcissistic fantasy. Why should I seek perpetuity in the flesh? The soul alone is immortal.’
‘Did you not behold the eidolon of yourself?’
‘The horned man.’
At this, I was thrown into the utmost confusion and my mind began to race. I felt sick to the very heart and possessed by manic fear:
‘What are you? Angel or devil? Where are you from? Are you, you? Or are you me? Am I a boy or girl? Old or young? Where am I? And where have I been? I feel as if I have just awoken after a span of ten thousand years! Like the sleeping beauty, reborn from The Great Void of Chaos. But why have I returned an ox? See how I suffer with all the pains of transsexual incarceration! Will you not reveal yourself? It is a torture to me! I must know who you are!’
‘Do you not remember me Jacqueline? Those bygone days of long ago? Your hovel in the blasted oak; your love for spring and its scented breezes; your choir of frogs in the pond; cutting rushes and making altar lights; the bubbling race beneath Mill Bridge; the blackbirds singing in the dark wood; and the majestic peaks around your green valley? Did I not promise to make you beautiful?’
A rush of exaltation swept through my soul, for I suddenly recalled the nobility of her rank:
‘Grazide! The Faery Queen! I remember! The Old World! My destiny lies there! I knew it! I knew it all along!’
But no sooner had this proclamation passed my lips than Grazide shot into space and vanished in the pink haze of a distant nebula. The vortex collapsed and the vault shut with a thunderous clap.
I was left alone, fettered in the darkness.
The clock struck three.
I tugged at my manacles and wept…
Copyright © Nicholas Shea 1992-2022. All rights reserved.
i. Wilhelm Reich. ‘Ether, God and Devil / Cosmic Superimposition’. Ch. VI.
Image: Parvati sitting © Nicholas Shea.