Empire on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown II
People are crazy and times are strange - Bob Dylan
[Not done yet; I'll try to wrap it up tonight.]
Times Are Strange
Crazy people see things. Most everyone who's not crazy knows that. You'll likely remember than when it's your turn to see something, and be circumspect about to whom you tell it.
People have been seeing things in America since it was known by other names and hosted other nations. In the early 15th Century, in present-day New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, the first wave of Spain's explorer-conquerors were reportedly astonished to find indigenous people with apparent preemptive knowledge of Roman Catholicism, who had even crafted their own crosses and rosaries. The Europeans were told that a pale figure known locally as the "Blue Lady," had appeared to them many times in recent years, floating above the ground in an azure haze, preaching a foreign faith in their own language. When friars carried the story back to Spain in 1635 it was received with interest by the Inquisition, which was just then trying an abbess named Maria de Jesus Agreda.
About a dozen years earlier, after having put on on the blue habit of the Franciscan order, Maria Agreda had begun experiencing ecstatic visions and "raptures," and told her cloistered sisters tales of her more than 500 out-of-body travels to a distant land where she preached to "savages." She eventually wrote a book detailing her spiritual journeys, and she soon came to the attention of the heresy-hunting Inquisition. The story of the "Blue Lady," and the rapidity with which the Spanish were able to pacify and baptize the inhabitants of the lands she had visited, earned Sister Maria both an acquittal and a place in the court of King Philip. Regardless of the century, secular power always stands ready to recruit magicians, miracle workers and devils to its side.
Maria Agreda's etheric adventures and xenoglossia were understood by both the native North Americans and Spanish Catholics as religious events (the only question for the Inquisition was whether they were divine or infernal). Four hundred years later, what once could be called only either miraculous or fraudulent may be regarded as perhaps another category of the merely human.
Similar to Maria Agreda's recruitment by King Philip and John Dee by Queen Elizabeth, Robert Monroe's astral navigations were weaponized by the Pentagon, which schooled itself in his Virginia institute for bilocation. In Journeys Out of the Body, he writes of "raising himself out of the physical" and whoring about on the astral plane, eventually having "sex" - a "giddy electrical-type shock" - with with a female friend who, the next week, volunteered the information that she had had an erotic dream about Monroe the same night, in which he had given her "a detailed physical examination." In 16th Century Spain Monroe would have been called an incubus, and he would have been burned alive.
Robert Bruce describes witnessing his nephew Matt's first real-time OBE in his book Astral Dynamics, during a two-week visit coaching the boy on projection.
A few days before he was due to leave, while meditating late at night, I clearly saw Matt's projected real-time double float through the wall and come into the room I was sitting in. He waved cheerfully at me and I slowly waved back at him, without breaking my entranced state - no mean feat in itself - immensely pleased that Matt had finally managed to get out of his body. Matt floated about the room, seemingly having some difficulty with movement and directional control, but apparently thoroughly enjoying himself. He soon floated out of my sight and that was the last I saw of him that night.
Bruce writes that the next morning, Matt "vividly remembered" floating through the wall, seeing his uncle sitting below and the two waving at each other. And if we can believe his account, the fact that Bruce himself was in an altered state would have heightened his receptivity to seeing things, which makes me wonder whether the "Blue Lady" first manifested herself among entranced shamans.
Which returns me to America's ongoing manic episode. Which is the greater crazy: to see things, or to pretend that you don't?