Poet Kunitz, born in 1905 in Worcester, Mass., wrote at about the age of 80, of "listening to an old man, awake at night beside his wife of many years and still shaken by the erotic drama of his dreams." -San Francisco Examiner in 1997.
We proceeded on to a one story beige brick building, with glass brick in the front window area, as was used in 1930's style architecture. This seemed to be some kind of administration building, for we were taken in and seated beside desks, where ordinary looking clerks sat with clipboards, ready to record information from the "patients:' The feeling accompanying this scenario was one of extreme helplessness and isolation - I was agitated and frightened, and wanted very much to be out of there. I can't recall what they asked or wrote on the charts, but it must have been routine statistics, for we were soon finished and gathered together by the grim guards for the next step in their operation.
As we walked across the gravel and sand yard, I looked around and saw numerous barracks style buildings, of a neutral, light grey-brown color, with no vegetation or other detail to relieve the institutional drabness. There were a few dark vehicles parked here and there, but nothing that would identify the location of the compound. We walked towards a huge hangar-sized structure, with big doors closed, and then entered by a small door in the side of the building.
As we were herded into the enormous interior, I saw many, many curtained off areas, such as you see in emergency rooms. I was in a kind of daze at this point, and did not protest as I was led into one of the cubicles and placed on a grey metal table, which felt very cold to my bare back. There the dream gets fuzzy, and is a tangle of images, one a very disturbing reminder of the recurring "coffin dream" I had as a child. In both instances I was put into a small container, this time with electrodes fastened around on my body, and left for a frightening period of time.
I seem to recall hearing someone crying, but I can't get a clear picture of the activity which accompanied this image.
After that, I was back outside, walking towards the gate. I don't know if I was unclothed at this point, for the "dream" faded. I came to with a start, sat straight up in bed, and looked at my bedside table clock, which I could see by the streetlight streaming in the window.
It was exactly two a.m. I felt wide awake and terrified, and jumped out of bed and began pacing the floor, suddenly aware that my body ached from head to foot. After swallowing a potassium tablet and an aspirin, I went back to bed, determined to get some sleep, for the next day was a work day, and I needed to be alert.
I related this dream to a friend, at work, during my coffee break the next day. This friend is aware of my UFO experiences, is possibly an experiencer as well, and could be trusted to keep confidences. As I finished telling the last part, in which I woke up at 2 a.m., another co-worker came in the break room and asked why we had the serious faces. We laughed and answered only that I'd had a really spooky dream, which had upset my night.
"That's funny, r had a really weird dream too," he remarked. "r was out driving around, and I didn't have any clothes on! I came up to this big gate, and got out and went inside, and there were all these other people there, naked as jay birds." He didn't seem to notice that my friend and I were staring at him open mouthed, as he continued recalling basically the same dream that I had experienced, He finished by adding, "It was really strange - I woke up at two o'clock, wide awake, and my body was hurting all over. I got up and walked around for a while, and rubbed my arms and legs, and got a glass of water, but it took a long time to go back to sleep. I feel real hung over this morning, and I can't figure out why. I went to bed early, and didn't even have one beer."
Coincidence? Telepathically tapping into each other's minds? Or did we both experience the same event? I doubt if we will ever know, for I cannot discuss this mystery with my co-worker, He is a member of a fundamentalist religious congregation, and refuses to acknowledge that there are any other worlds except for our world, or that God ever created any other beings except for the humans on planet Earth. He has had dreams of being kidnapped by "demons", who took him for fantastic rides, to places where he saw "vampires", but these will remain dreams for him. I cannot topple his world by suggesting other realities - he wouldn't believe it if I did. He wouldn't believe a single word.
At 10:10 am on February 16th 1996 the present author stumbled across a kind of companion volume to 23 Nails while drifting uneasily in what Lovecraft termed "the twilight abysses." Titled XALEPH or XAL-EPH, it seemingly dealt with the ritual application of mirrors and other reflective surfaces as a means of contacting Cthulhu-like 'Lloigor.' Unfortunately close scrutiny was made difficult by the fact that great chunks of salient information were printed backwards as if to confound the casual browser. Thus the text itself could only be read comfortably with the aid of a mirror.
Thematically XALEPH echoed Robert Bloch's mythos novel Strange Eons, stressing that the Old Ones derive sustenance from the fear engendered by their more overt manifestations. In this respect it also resembled Carlos Castaneda's extrapolations of Yaqui Indian lore, which make repeated reference to praeterhuman forces known as 'allies.' According to Castaneda's authorial voice Don Juan, quoted in The Fire from Within allies "are attracted to emotions [and] fear is what attracts them the most. It releases the kind of energy they like."
Significantly, The Fire from Within also contains a pivotal interlude in which an ally emerges from a mirror held under the surface of a fast-flowing stream. Readers interested in trying a variation of this technique for themselves are referred to Greg Little's Grand Illusions (White Buffalo Books, ISBN 0-940828-1 0X reviewed in ELFis#3). Little first of all refers to 'UFO-like' abductions in which aliens have emerged from mirrors; then: "If you want an ET to come to you," he continues, "get a big mirror and a dark room; get into the right mental state and sit there and wait... You can, if you really want to, bring alien 'greys' to you this way, though you'd be stupid to do it... The surprising thing is that people think they can control what comes out of the mirror..."
XALEPH likewise bristled with vague, generalized admonition about the dangers of summoning or invoking Lovecraftian elder gods. Unfortunately attempts to salvage even a few specific phrases proved fruitless: they lingered tantalizingly for a few moments as the dream faded, then withered like fairy gold in the morning light.
From the piece of cold steel in my breast a long cord bound me to a heavy pole set in the ground; symbolically I was also tied to the sun itself, staring down from its lofty seat on our proceedings. The Medicine Man had once told me that this pole was the center of the world, but I hadn't really understood what he meant until now. The intent of the Sundance ceremony is to put one's weight on the cord as much as possible, an ordeal to induce an ecstatic mental state as well as prove one's mettle to the others. I would remain suspended thus until the hook ripped free or I collapsed from the pain and exhaustion - no more than an hour or so, in most cases. Before the ceremony, other participants had proudly shown me scars from previous year's sessions. One young Indian, whom I took to be the Medicine Man's son, had several. Now their faces were but a blur as I hung suspended between heaven and earth.
I began chanting as the Medicine Man had taught me during the prior month's instruction. After an indeterminable amount of time probably only a few minutes by the spectators' reckoning - the throbbing pain was glossed over by a certain dullness. It was as if I were no longer a part of my body; though still quite conscious of the pain, I felt beyond it somehow. I squinted into the sun until I couldn't stand it, then shut my eyes and saw the illuminated red of my eyelids' blood vessels, the veins crisscrossing each other in a complicated network of knots. Small phosphor dots of light whirled around and around, now nearer, now farther. One larger dot in the center began to spin slowly, but when I focused my attention on it, it would disappear. Others seemed to be nodes linked together by a grid of lines; this whole web would rotate sometimes, until the lines would once more dissolve into the warm redness.
I opened my eyes again and saw the fiery orb to which we were paying homage, my heart physically and symbolically bound to it for the duration of this test. To my amazement, a second sun seemed to be there as well. As I wondered if this were some sort of optical trick, this second sun began to fall from the sky in a slow, leaflike motion - drifting back and forth as it descended. The pungent odor of sweaty bodies covered in dust was replaced by a strange floral scent, and a sinewy white flax floated down upon us, silken strands which dissolved as they touched the ground. Though the sky was clear, a heavy downpour drenched the small group of dancers, then just as suddenly it stopped. I thought it odd to find myself so dry after such a rain, then collapsed upon the ground unconscious. The weight of my body ripped the hook from my flesh; the ordeal was over.