From Dr. Ehirllimbal's private journal—
September 22, 1955: Today, a part of me begins the long journey back to the States. While my quest into the jungle is complete, my work is far from finished. I had thought this excursion would give me some guidance—some glimpse into the inner workings of the mysteries I had dreamed—but I am still ill-prepared to comprehend the full truth of what I have experienced.
Today, a part of me goes home; but, part of me is staying here as well. With each hour, as the boat moves further upstream, I feel more and more like one of us is dreaming the other. When I am the man in the river, the man in the garden is blurry; when former sleeps, the man in the garden snaps into focus, and the other life becomes phantasmal.
How long will this double vision last? This . . . yes, this "double you" existence.
But this confusion stems from my Western upbringing. The Ytucalis are using a different phonetic script, one that only has 23 letters, and I believe their use of the blackleaf preceded their need for a written language. Their alphabet is based around their entheogenic use of the plant—a letter for each expression. But, this isn't the case with the Latinate world; we have a different history, a different linguistic model.
Or not. That is one of the many questions I have, and that is why part of me must go back.
I may be misquoting Thoreau here, as it has been some time since I have had access to a copy of Walden. I am imprinting my own experiences on these words, my personal superstitions and desires, which may make them stray from Thoreau's original text. But . . . his conclusions from his experience at Walden Pond gave me guidance after the first dream, and they give me guidance now. "Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought."
This is a new age of exploration. The map is vast and uncharted. There are monsters everywhere, guarding all manner of riches and insights. What frontier is this, that I am about to cross? Is it still part of the human experience, or is it something else? Is this collective realm, this rich wonderland of the dream environment, an evolution or a remembrance of something forgotten?
The Aboriginal tribes of Australia call it the Dreaming, though I understand that term is a Western summation that fails to fully articulate the nature of their mythological space. It is a vast concept . . . no, it is more than a concept. It is . . . yes, this is the very deficit of knowledge that I am facing. I do not know what I am about to learn.
I can fall back to Jung. But even he shied away from exploring the world that he glimpsed. He understood enough to try to give it a name—the "collective unconscious"—and he furthered our understanding of the concept of the archetypes, but he did not go far enough. Or he knew more than he published. I am leaning towards the latter, and this is something I would do well to keep in mind. Why did he hesitate to publish his true thoughts on the world of the dream? Is it because we weren't ready for that knowledge, because we aren't ready to experience this other realm?
Are we ready now? As Thoreau also says: "The universe is wider than our views of it."
I must be careful with my enthusiasm and my investigations. I would do well to remember the hard lessons learned by Columbus and the other navigators who followed him: there are those who only see the New World as an opportunity for plunder. They have no use for exploration and understanding. They don't want new channels of thought or trade; they seek conquest.