My dear friend Jackie suggested I try something she called the “answer box meditation,” in which I am to picture a cathedral to be entered, where I will find a box that contains answers. Without knowing if I am capable of such an imaginative visualization, and with not one question formed, I gave it a try. The following is what I experienced:
After a few deep breaths, I found myself making my way up a series of steps. Feeling unsteady, I held on to railings warmed by the sun. I ran toward a set of doors, greyed by my own inability to focus. When I reached to push them open, I found that they, or someone behind them, was pushing back. But in the next imaginative beat, I found myself inside, surrounded by the sweet smell of votive candles and incense.
If I listened closely, I could hear every cry of lamentation ever released inside those walls.
Immediately, I noticed that I was not alone. The pews were filled with people and demons, partially hidden by darkness. In the far off, the largest demon waited patiently for my attention. He, I knew, had the answers I wanted.
As he glided toward me, my intuition revealed him to be my shadow aspect.
“First, you must address your demons,” he said.
At this, I looked at two figures that stood next to us. With no visible wounds, they bled profusely and shook in agony. And without knowing if these were the demons my shadow aspect spoke of, or if every thing and person in the building with me were demons, I still attempted to defeat these two with my wrath. Every word driven by hatred, every action violent.
Soon, my shadow aspect stopped me to say, “Nothing can be achieved by violence, with the exception of death, and they are already dead.”
I looked to the demons again, and found that they had become transparent.
“Your demons are mere projections. They are your inventions. It is a sad never-reality you keep placing yourself in.”
As the truth of the words spoken became accepted, they vanished.
And while I wished it had ended there, next I saw Robert and me, locked in an amorous embrace. My past self was missing eyes, because she had no need for them. All that mattered to her, was worshiping her king.
Pleading with her to leave his side had no affect. So, I let him have her, this ghost, this nothing.
That woman is not me. She was tailor-made to suit Robert’s needs. She was my creation. And if I am careful, I would never need her again.
In the next row over, sat my mother. She cried in desperate, long moans. And I hated this familiar sight, as I hated her.
“That is not your mother,” the shadow aspect said. “It is who you think is your mother. Know the difference. Your thoughts are only a blurred reflection of reality. You magnify this, you stretch this out, and there you will have the most accurate representation of what you have just experienced. But even then, it is just a fragment of what truly happened. You must stop punishing people for what you think you know, when you know nothing at all.”
Just ahead, there was father. I slowly made my way towards him, afraid of what I would see.
I stood in front of him, but all I could see of his face was a series of shapes. “You cannot hurt me anymore,” I whispered into his ear.
He seemed not to listen. Instead, he fondled a child version of me. And I wanted out. And I was tired of seeing myself in that cathedral. But I knew that I could not leave until my work was done. So, I took that child and placed her inside of me.
Father did not attempt to stop me, though he began to wither without her next to him. Soon, all that was left of him was dust.
Behind me, there was a woman releasing feral screams. She opened her legs, exposing her cunt as an invitation to anyone that would care to accept it. Red hair wildly moving on its own, like hungry snakes. She was the whore inside me, with parted lips and bored eyes. Her chest was ripped open, revealing an empty cavity.
“The infection will soon spread and kill me,” she smiled.
I knew she was telling not just any truth, but my very own. And by sheer will alone, I created a heart that I shoved into her. Though that was enough to make her disappear, I realized that the struggle to allow myself to feel emotion, would be one that would not end soon.
Finally, I had earned the answers from my shadow aspect. Given a stern warning that a demon could reappear in careless moments, I was handed a piece of paper, folded in half. I waited for him to disappear before I opened it. The words written were few, and I felt that somehow I had been cheated. It said only, “Above all, learn to trust.”