Well, I have had time to digest all that went down during my 14 days in the dark, and now it is time to try and share as much of it as possible! Many thanks to my boyfriend Kevin for taking care of me for that long, I literally couldn’t have done this without him.
I spent the first four days sleeping – a lot. It was a weird feeling of losing all personal responsibility except for taking showers and brushing my teeth. Actually, even those two simple tasks seemed very hard. I would spend an hour just thinking about how I should be getting up to brush my teeth!
On the fifth day I had my first altered reality experience. It was very short. I was lying in my bed and a theater screen was in front of me. It was showing a pixelated tapestry, blue yellow and green (something like the image to the left from Nicholas Pike). I could hear Enya-type music, which was fun. There was a high-frequency sound in my ears as well. The images would get brighter and clearer when the frequency became louder. Unfortunately, the vision was so real that I started freaking out because I thought that the light from the screen would ruin the darkness I was supposed to be in, so I reached over to put my blinders on and the vision stopped. I felt very, very dumb for the next few minutes!
After the fifth day I started seeing lights about half of the time. Mostly they would be in the corners of my eyes, but occasionally one would move closer to the center of my vision. One time I woke up and there was a really intense ball of light that looked like the sun right in the middle of my vision. The flickering light was comforting and beautiful.
Also, after the fifth day I started to be able to “see” in the dark. It was really freaky to go into the restroom with my blindfold on and still be able to see my dark shadow in the mirror. I suppose that the whole “third eye” thing is true, as I was definitely not using my normal two eyes!
Towards the ninth day I began to really hallucinate. That was when things got a bit creepy. On the left side of my vision the lighting was red, and I had to watch, over and over again, bodies having sex. Ok you might think that is cool, but after several hours it gets old. Not to mention the fact that on the right hand side of my vision, the lighting was a cold blue and there was a dark figure continually crouching next to me! Whenever I would move or get up to use the restroom, both hallucinations would stop what they were doing and imitate my exact movements. The part that freaked me out the most was one time as I was walking into the bathroom two figures had already anticipated my move to sit down on the toilet and they were imitating me in the shower. Keep in mind, these things didn’t go away if I “closed” my eyes! I had to eventually get used to them and not get freaked out.
The hallucinations weren’t all bad, however. On day 10 I woke up from a dream to see a golden angel statue in front of me, holding what I think was a ruby by her heart but who knows. She had these really cool wings that curved upwards and almost made a circle, I couldn’t tell what they were made of but they sure weren’t feathers. I remembered this image and wanted to look it up online when I got out. I spent the last two weeks searching for this angel on google, to no avail. Then finally just a few days ago I accidentally stumbled across her. Meet Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of compassion.
Avalokitesvara was a bodhisattva (male or female, depending on the story) who took a vow to assist all beings to achieve nirvana before allowing himself to attain enlightenment. When I learned of this, my heart leapt. For me, it is a sure sign that I am on my path and that I am being guided in some way. But wait, there’s more: Avalokitesvara’s mantra that she teaches is “OM Mani Padme Hung”, meaning something like “The Jewel Is In The Lotus!” In Sanskrit, he is also referred to as Padmapani, which means “Holder of the Lotus”.
Need I remind you that the friggin poster for my film is of a human rising out of a lotus flower. !!!
Avalokiteshvara is known to hold a cintamini, a wish-fufilling jewel. I think that is the ruby that I saw she was holding! In Japan, the same deity was known as Kwanon, which is where the camera brand “Canon” comes from. I am shooting this film with a Canon…
I also had the most meaningful dream of my life during my time in the dark. I won’t relate the entire dream, as it was very personal, but at the very end I was told to count to three and say the word “Love” and then the first word that came to my mind. As I counted to three, I woke myself up by saying “Love yourself.” That may be all the enlightenment I need right now!
So yeah, I am pretty happy with what went on in the dark. There are probably a few too many things that happened to tell you about in great detail right now, but one of the last ones before I got out was seeing an indigo blue flower with a pink center (almost exactly like the Morning Glory flower pictured above). It was in the middle of my forehead and I took it to be a good omen, much like the omens in Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist, which I am reading right now. I love this quote from it: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. I’m still trying to reach enlightenment, but I think I’m one step closer.
When I got out of the dark, I may not have been enlightened, but the experience of seeing another human being’s face – in particular, Kevin’s – was breathtaking. And the sky was so blue, and the plants were so green, it was awesome.
If you have any specific questions about my experiences in the dark, just comment and I’ll be sure to reply!