Blinded By The Coincidences (4/5/1)
This is part four of five of these journal entries, although they could be read separately, just as its possible to eat chocolate cake and avoid the starter. (I will return to shorter periodicals after this unravelling).
Before I share this next chapter, I want to thank all of you for reading these, on occasion messaging me about how the story made you feel, what you liked, and I appreciate your patience in my responses.
While I’m here, I’d like to thank all those who have donated so far as a mark of appreciation for my work. It’s greatly appreciated. This week, my gratitude is to Kathryn Ryalls for her contribution. You can get involved here: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Lampaert
Once again, thank you.
These stories are fact imbibed with fiction. I have to fill the gaps.
Five parts, one act, that came out of me as I recovered from that paranormal experience, this psychosis or mania, my transient global amnesia.
As you can probably tell, it’s an arduous task sharing what life is like through these new lenses and harder yet to find the cause. How do you describe a sunrise to someone who’s never seen one?
“I am Frank Jackson and you are all Mary.”
I suppose this undertaking is the joy of generating art and expression through storytelling, to better know myself and the World around me, and somehow create connections across continents and oceans.
The first three chapters were discombobulated, without a clear through-line or protagonist, and although challenging to read, that in essence was the point of its structure. My dissociative state of mind felt as though I had been split across different timezones, or as farfetched as this might be, suddenly in tune with clones of myself across the multiverse, elsewhere down the fractal, for as above, so below, separated forever between the thin edges of our cosmoses, doppelgängers entangled to one another as a sort of safety net perhaps, biding the astronauts that go too far with their more grounded counterparts.
Let us travel back to 16th May 2020, two years after the first three entries.
My body is currently in a corpse pose on the floor of a borrowed apartment in Los Angeles, eyes closed, being breathed in and out, by the autonomous mechanism that keeps the machinery alive, as I meditate, so my router can access the Cloud, the non-physical realm where I might be able to request assistance.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
The sound of approaching police sirens merges with the soothing bamboo flutes playing from my laptop, as well as the repetitive mind-numbing on-hold music from the unemployment benefit line, interrupted occasionally with the almost sarcastic “your call is important to us”.
It isn’t the ideal atmosphere to meditate in, but nobody is hiring, my credit cards are maxed out, and I am at my wits end trying to get financial aid to survive this pandemic. Let it be known that if I hear “you call cannot be completed at this time. Please try again later” one more time, it’ll be the catalyst that turns me to a life of a crime…
I joke, of course.
I just need help.
I know I do.
But I don’t really know what help looks like when I can’t quite tell what the problem is.
Yes yes, my state of mind, but I can’t live in constant conversation with a therapist. We could forever dissect every detail of the human psyche. And anyway, why am I paying to entertain someone with my trauma? Therapists are lucky to have patients with comedic timing.
No thank you, if they must heal me, they can buy tickets to my show.
So for now, I’ll be my own guidance counsellor, and meditating seems to be the key, because at least, with my eyes closed, I’m able to dim the ceaseless fight or flight running through my veins.
Why am I on such high alert?
“Traumatized people have a tendency to superimpose their trauma on everything around them and have trouble deciphering whatever is going on around them.” (P17 – The Body Keeps The Score – Bessel Van der Kolk)
Meditating because I need answers.
Just before the pandemic, my understanding of what an actor is developed exponentially, at such a rate that it went beyond my comprehension, leaving me dumbfounded and looking in every corner of my mind for some semblance of a script, some notes from a director.
“What role am I playing today?”
“You’re an unemployed, unemployable, alcoholic hermit drinking away his sorrows. And action.”
“Yeah, but where does the character go next? Just saying, this character sounds like he could use a break. Does this have a happy ending?”
“We’ve not written the ending yet, just improvise, the show must go on, you’re doing great.”
Limbs limp, melting with the floor, all senses on hold, except for the sound of my shallow breathing and the red hue from the sunlight basking my closed eyes. It’s like my body is asleep, but I’m awake to the experience of stillness, a slice of solace amidst the World of Chaos outside of these walls. I imagine that’s what it must feel like to still be alive in a body going through the process of rigor mortis.
All that remains to achieve better meditation is the frequency of my thoughts bouncing around my skull.
I have to find some semblance of order so that I can quiet the ridiculous thoughts I have throughout my day.
These thoughts are mostly harmless.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horse sitting down.”
And then silence.
Just one thought that leaves only curiosity behind.
It’s not too much of a rabbit hole. Easy to deal with.
I google “horse sitting down” and I immediately laugh at how ridiculous they look, and get on with my day.
On other occasions, I catch myself thinking at a velocity which requires more expert attention, like some detective tackling an evading informant addicted to philosophical meanderings.
“OK, OK, you got me, I’m just saying, is for example the release of a film, or the score of some sports game, actually secret indication of things to come, working as subtextual meteorological patterns? Come on man, think about it, it’s pretty interesting that we’ve got that nerd Nolan who bangs on about time, finishing up a film about Oppenheimer, as humanity returns to its highest threat of nuclear armageddon since the Cuban missile crisis. You feel me? We’re in a story, and that story has got its own little baby stories inside of it, film inside a film, and that’s why you’re thinking, does death bring me to the green room or to the premiere maybe? That’s what’s on your mind ain’t it?”
Disorientation leads to suggestibility.
Once the logical mind sees the unbelievable, it’s hard to know what is and isn’t real anymore. Suddenly the detective and the informant are in cahoots, bellowing streams of consciousness like two friends waiting for Godot.
“When people blink, it could be morse code asking for help because we’re all in a way trapped in our own husk, we observe, we’re observed, we are in nature, we are nature, and so you tell me, is it this person’s fault that they’ve gone crazy or do Seasons bloom for us all at unique times, depending on when and where we were pollinated?”
“Yeah, yeah yeah, I get you, yeah. It’s all possible. Like, sometimes, I look at a map of the Earth and imagine it’s the archipelago of something much larger, and unless you go to the stratosphere and see it for yourself, you can’t really know the truth, so you have to choose to believe what experts say in order to have some anchor in a shared reality, because once you’ve lost your mind, it ain’t hard to start contemplating things like – “
“ – like countries are actually regions in consciousness? We only experience it as physical because that’s easier for a smaller mind to comprehend.”
“I once met an entire city personified as a person, but you wouldn’t know meeting them at first, because the idea is just too farfetched – ”
“It’s all too farfetched until it isn’t. The stuff of today would have Elon Musk burned at the stake for being a witch.”
That’s why I meditate.
It’s loud in here sometimes.
Because it isn’t just one person speaking, and it often feels like nonsense.
Nonsense that can alter my day for real, because if I don’t keep an eye on it, their whispers infiltrate my decision making.
Nonsense that I’ve entertained because it’s a comforting distraction from the outside World.
As the great Stanislavski once said, “an Artist desires to create inside of himself another deeper more interesting life than the one that actually surrounds him.” It seems we’re all clutching onto the stories we need to survive.
And then there’s the thoughts from the one that wants to destroy everything… I don’t think he actually wants that. He’s just angry and tired.
An apache helicopter flies overhead and shakes the entire house, interrupting my mediation, and for a brief moment, I see through the eyes of the pilot. A city structured in a grid system, with rows of cubed houses resembling the integrated circuitry on computer chips. Highways of fast-flowing energy transporting information and mechanisms. Simulation theory disguised as a city.
It’s difficult to have an ego when you visually see how insignificant you are, yet that is exactly what the thespian needs to survive Hollywood’s machine; Ego.
Look at me!
I am alive! It’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive!
In the corpse pose of this temporary home, I take my time re-animating the body, slowly, by moving a pinkie, one flick of the little finger which feels like a giant movement, like that of the paralyzed bride wiggling her big toe.
In the obsidian, blanketed underneath my closed eyes, I can see the movement as electric signals, hovering in an empty space, devoid of gravity.
I revive another finger, and once again, see the circuitry involved, the communication between the brain and its parts.
For some reason, I only see the return signals; from finger to brain. Probably because I can’t feel the brain’s message to the finger, but I can the response, the actual movements of the phalanges through the specific muscles used, up the shoulders, and imagination finishes the rest of the imagine, up the spine and the motor cortex.
I begin to move all my fingers and toes simultaneously as if I were masterfully playing the piano with both hands and feet, and I am suddenly dazed by a fluorescent display; a firework in the shape of a human; large tentacles with sensory wires protruding out of a glowing bulbous center resembling a bioluminescent cephalopod in our deep oceans.
My very own brain in a jar experiment.
One massive drug trip through spacetime.
I once read a fascinating story about an experiment, although it may have been the other way around, about a scientist who would torture a type of tapeworm to gather results about memory. He would send flashes of light and then electrocute the specimen to see its reaction. The worm would roll in a protective ball, resembling as much as possible a sphere protecting its most sensitive region.
This experiment was repeated until the worm had adapted to the information, displaying this evolution by morphing into this new adapted defensive stance; it would go into a ball before the electric shock to avoid the pain.
The scientist, knowing the tapeworm’s ability to grow new limbs, sliced it in two, the head grew a tail and the tail grew a head, to repeat the experiment on what is now two new specimens, hypothesiszing the original brain would remember the first experiment while the new one would have to be taught again.
But on the second experiment’s first attempt, the scientist discovered the two had kept the information, showing the original tail had a muscle memory which could transfer to a new brain.
The clones now had the same information.
The scientist repeated the conditioning with a fresh tapeworm and, knowing this species to be cannibalistic, cut and reduced the sample into a mash, to feed it to one of its brothers and sisters who had not been through the process, and therefore did not know a flash of light resulted in electrocution.
After digestion, the scientist flashed a light thrice, on this worm who had eaten a family member with the memory of the process, and discovered the worm rolled into a protective ball.
These results proved that information and behaviour could be relayed in the muscular structure of a body without the need for the brain, and this updating of memory, although only tested on the conditioned tapeworms of that species. existed in digestion.
That’s all I know from that experiment. I know not the intention of that scientist and where the worm exists on the cartography of conscious existence.
I jolt back to a present state, open my eyes and back to my reality, on someone else’s floor, drifting further away from my past like the first few seconds after waking from a dream.
I am still on hold with the unemployment benefit line.
I rub my eyes, and spot the scar on my right hand which is now so triggering it returns me immediately to a sense of dread and hope. That stigmata alone could be an entire journal entry; a book perhaps.
There are certain memories, specific junctures about my life, that are so out-of-this-World I don’t know wether I should keep them to myself or not.
In the interest of balance, I acknowledge these details may be delusions of grandeur, but they are real enough for paranoia to play a part in my personality.
Did I discover a secret which must be kept or am I duty bound to share the knowledge?
I fear revealing some details could hurt people close to me, but the silence eats me from the inside and I want this parasitic story out of me.
It’s funny. I feel like all those protagonists in films who can see the ghosts chasing them, the aliens, the monsters, the details that haunt them, but nobody else in the movie can. They get chased down the corridor by a murder, turn a corner and bump into a group of people.
“I’m being chased!”
They look from where he or she came running and see nothing.
Sometimes, the other characters eventually see what the hero does… Sometimes, they remain alone and on other occasions, it engulfs them, and they now become the antagonist, prepped to chase someone fresh.
Once you’ve broken through a fourth wall, which may very well be the dimension of time, the knowledge of hyper technology, which mirrors that of magic, alters the once logical mind.
I have accidentally cut myself with Occam’s Razor and I don’t know what to do with all the blood gushing out of my neck.
Occam’s Razor; the idea that the fastest way to the truth is by eliminating unnecessary information in order to arrive at the best solution or explanation, and often provides better results than that of a complex one. When faced with two equally good hypotheses, choose the simpler one.
When you’ve had a loosening of priors such as myself, a deconstruction of reality that has me unbound from the mothership and drifting into space in which nobody can hear me scream, this scientific and philosophical method is a difficult one to apply.
Going from A to B isn’t as easy as 1, 2, 3, when you believe the World is not as neatly outlined as the alphabet. After all, we need to jumble the letters around to formulate different equations, cast spells, and communicate effectively among a people who all speak different languages, looking at the same painting and seeing a different image.
One hour for me is different than an hour for you.
I stare at the scar on my right hand, and this one little detail, has confused my ability to use Occam’s Razor, because the results are dubious. But perhaps, I’m just scared of what it suggests.
One thing I do know, is I don’t know.
There’s some comfort in that.
You can’t blame the fool who’s oblivious to what’s going on.
There’s also a lot of value in being the fool.
If you don’t know anything, you’r forced to pay attention, and focus on every new scene, new interaction, new characters and environments.
It’s funny what memories come back to me, as if detonated with careful and clinical precision.
When I was studying Theatre Arts at University, I performed a play with a group of students called The Wonderful World of Dissocia, written by Scottish playwright Anthony Nielson. The play has two acts, one in which the hero experiences a Universe full of colour and excitement, and the second act, the harsh reality of the protagonist in hospital. Our performance was back in 2009.
Ten years later, I am taken to hospital for Confusion Delirium, a state of mind in which my mind either hid or deleted me, and turned me into a phantom. Such a substantial shift on my being that I am unable to shake off the feeling that I am here and also somewhere else, comatose, maybe just asleep, perhaps still under hypnotherapy, all sorts of different save-points like in a video game, and although this life I have now, here, writing this is indeed a life, it feels like a lie.
I will eventually die and wake up at one of the moments.
“You’re waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don’t know for sure. But it doesn’t matter. How can it not matter to you where that train will take you?”
I sit up straight from my koan and return to the table to continue writing in my journal, collecting as much data as possible to make sense of all of this.
“Just before the pandemic, I wrote a screenplay in which a plague takes over the planet,” I pause, acknowledging this is merely coincidence. This has happened to many writers across time.
“No but there were too many synchronizations for me to dismiss as coincidences, and anyway, if I just brush away what he experienced then it wouldn’t be telling his truth” I speak aloud, as if talking to others in this empty apartment.
I would know, I was there.
He goes back to writing.
“And now, if I choose to accept that you all have your own consciousness, with your own feelings, and goals, griefs, laughs, loves, fully formed identities that exist on our one planet, and you too have been affected this pandemic, with no promise of the Nelson Mandela effect, then I have to tackle the ramifications of being weaved in its creation. It would definitely be absurd to say I wrote the plague into our reality and am responsible for the deaths of millions, so instead, we’ll consider the guilt-free possibility that a future event revealed itself through me, perhaps as quantum superposition.”
It’s ridiculous, I know, and yet…. This is my Occam’s Razor.
Let us add another complex element to simplify this essay.
Belief is the marriage of thought and emotion.
When we think a thought, we can fuel it, we can give it life through an emotion we associate it with; love, fear, etcetera. This mixing can become powerful enough to transform into an unshakable belief.
Feelings are hard to visualize other than through body language and facial expressions as well as tone and tempo of the words uttered. But does a thought, which can’t be grabbed, exist as waves emitted from within?
Quantum possibility exists as waves.
You and I are made of atoms.
Atoms are waves of energy.
There’s an epicenter to my being.
I exist in here. I feel myself in this body, and although I appreciate I am not the centre of the Universe, I am certainly the centre of my experience.
I react to my external.
Do I have access to my own atoms?
To the energy that exists inside each atom?
The field that connects everything is what Einstein calls “The governing agency of the particle”, and this field determines how the atom behaves.
This field is made up of electrical and magnetic energy, so if this field changes, so does the atom.
The shift in the energy level of an atom is caused by an external electrical field called the Stark effect.
If the magnetic field changes, it’s called the Zeeman effect.
Now, consider the organs in our bodies.
These emit waves, with the heart as the most powerful electrical and magnetic field.
Could the heart be accessed?
Can I gain conscious control of it much like I do with a limb, or as I use a brain for thoughts?
The heart’s EKG is more powerful than the brain’s EEG.
Our bodies emit all sorts of waves, behaving much like a radio transmitter, receiving and transmitting signals across space and time.
Therefore, thoughts and emotions combined, creates a heightened and powerful feeling, a belief, which alters the internal World of a person and can be observed as new behaviors, and thus, also changes how they now see the external, shifting that subject into a different dimension.
Everything is the same, and yet, completely new.
Their feet can feel the ground below, but unsure wether it is Terra Firma or another planet, another platform to play on.
A new paradigm has unveiled itself in front of your very eyes, and just like that, your reality is transformed.
Ask any parent if their life suddenly changed as soon as their baby was born. This one new little creature completely changed them and how they view and interact with the World around them.
Millions of miles of ancient DNA and a brain able to think of technology that could break the highest kardeshev walls, in our fingertips.
Meanwhile, you ask me to use Occam’s Razor…
The only thing that makes sense to me in this chaos is Feigenbaum’s Constant. That even in chaos, there is clearly defined time for order, and like clockwork, a time for chaos, and then a time for order, and then chaos, etcetera, ad infinitum.
Seasons, that if witnessed can make us believe in God, or at the very least, in a universal mathematics that has you and I dance a pas-de-deux with geometry.
I’ll leave you with one comedic catalyst that messed with my head, and further fueled my curiosity with memory and time.
Many people asked me how I got amnesia, and as I searched for the reasons, I unearthed some interesting details which further led me into the vortex.
One thing that is unavoidable is the acknowledgement of my divorce playing a part in my eventual self-destruction.
The nights I would ruminate over what I could’ve done better as I lay on a floor of empty whiskey and wine bottles. My anger at the stupid mistakes I made, and the rage at understanding I was doing my best.
“Well your best was nowhere near good enough! Now drink this and try to forget.”
I’ve often told friends, if I knew what I know now at the beginning of my marriage, there wouldn’t have been a divorce. Alas, it was only through the separation that I became the person I am today. Prisoner of some bittersweet symphony.
I won’t divulge any details other than She was a brilliant person and I am grateful to have been with her, albeit briefly. She remains one of the best people I’ve met, and has certainly raised the bar very high for my companionship.
There is one element that I must share however, to give voice to that version of me that saw patterns so supernatural it had us feeling like I was seen by the Universe.
The wedding was utterly brilliant, except for my speech. I wanted to speak from the heart and had so much love for this woman that I assumed it would flow out of so easily and organically, but I suddenly panicked and babbled absolute garbage, and even began to twerk, as one voice in the audience…. Not audience, I mean, family, as one voice said “I thought this guy was a comedian?!”
Not my greatest work…
Thankfully, the best man speech, delivered by my lady groomsmen, as well as the bridesmaid’s, were delivered beautifully and saved the day.
This catalyst. October 2014.
This wedding photo which was inspired by so many other iconic poses from other weddings leaves me perplexed.
I love all sorts of movies, and the superhero genre tends to always be a fun movie theatre experience, but my knowledge of their universes is lacking. I barely know anything. I just like the colors and the shapes and the way they make me feel when I go see them on the big screen. But my illiteracy of their worlds was highlighted when quite a few people asked why I had mixed universes together?
“What do you mean?”
“You’ve got a Marvel character, but the rest are DC.”
“Oh right” I nod, not too sure what they’re referencing.
“Spider-man. He shouldn’t be there.”
This didn’t trouble me too much, I just assumed that my inner clown was at work.
And then, in early 2020, when I started analyzing the evidence, the photos, the journals, did I notice something spectacular and troubling. The kind of discovery that would further alter my identity.
Superheroes mixing universes wouldn’t feel of importance, until I realize the films following my wedding has been of spidermen breaking through their multiverses, fracturing time and space, involved in the wiping of memory, and I would attempt to ignore it but it all seemed so familiar. Ant-man returning from the quantum realm without memory, the antagonist Ghost in the sequel who is intangible, constantly displaced because “in an isolated system, particles co-exist in a stable phase relationship. If the system is interfered with, that stability becomes chaos. Unpredictable. Dangerous. Beautiful. Isolated completely, a quantum system would revert back to separate states of matter, each entangled with a distinct state of its environment. In other words, the object would be both in and out of phase with multiple parallel realities.”
I literally don’t know what’s going on… But something’s going on!
I don’t know what this means to me, to my friends and family, because this further questions my ultimate identity.
Disorientation leads to suggestibility.
I’ll leave you with this. 2019, in the months following my hypnotherapy, the day before my amnesia, I discovered something about my birthday that alarmed me with such strength I don’t know if it further broke my heart or suddenly crystallized it with the love of some eternal cosmic mother. The next day, I, a stand up comedian get strapped to a stretcher after escaping a hospital. That same year, on my birthday, the movie Joker comes out, involving a stand up comedian, who at the end appears to escape a hospital.
Coincidence is defined by remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.
At this point, I don’t know what that means anymore.
But as Commission Gordon once said, “you’re a detective now. You’re not allowed to believe in coincidences.”
I drop the pencil and sigh with relief, just in time to hear “your call couldn’t be made at this time. Please try again later.”