Canyonlands –
 
 

___I came at last to Canyonlands. Unimaginably complex and beautiful stonescapes of the Colorado and Green Rivers. This is one of the world's great vistas.

___I have been coming here for more than half of my life to see yet again the majestic space and the colors that seem to belong to some other planet than the one that contains my green home. I sat on the edge of the world and tried to make sense of my quest.

   

___In Search of My Other Self –

___In my vision quest, I may have received a healing instead of a vision, but I have found that my mind has quieted down and opened up and I have begun to sense the moods and whispers of my subconscious mind. It seems to be another voice that is always sounding in the distance, but normally overrun by the noise of the cognitive mind – the me that I recognize as me.

 

___I still find this frustrating, though. How can I break through to my other self, my primitive "subconscious" brain? It is not accustomed to being addressed directly and it either cannot or will not respond. It may not be able to respond in a simple stimulus-response manner. It may be "tuned" differently, making it seem dull and slow to my cognitive self. I can speak to it, but its response may come only later and in a form that seems sideways and indirect – perhaps in a dream.
___The question then becomes, is there really a signal within the noise? The forms and stories within our dreams often surprise and disturb us. Where is the source of these tales and scenes? Who is speaking and who is showing? Are there simply endless compartments of our memories and our stores of knowledge about the world that, combining themselves randomly, suddenly open up like windows or surprise packages?
___
Or, is there perhaps another personality - another being - within each of us who was there long before our cognitive self was developed. Perhaps it is a prisoner, trapped in a runaway train and only able to communicate its own situation with pantomimes and bell tones in the dark, when the wild conductor is forced to relinquish the controls for a time. Perhaps this is the animal person we all once were (and if so, indicates the manner in which other animals perceive the world).
___ Maybe it is a manifestation of Jung's "collective unconcious," but if so, why is the massed message of uncounted millions who have, do, or shall exist, be so abstract and unclear? Are they, or is it, so alien to our earthly selves that communication is only possible through the distorted lens of dreams and feelings? Why should I give heed to such an entity?
___ All I do know is that every now and again, I will be dreaming and will be presented with a fully detailed set piece of incredible beauty and complexity, complete with characters, architectural designs, textures, colors, and lighting - all on an instant, as if in a movie when the scene changes, and I sense my cognitive self who is viewing this novel scene almost gasp with the surprise and dramatic impact of it. I know I did not create this scene! That is, I did not decide to make it and I did not compose the elements sequentially to arrive at this vision. It came to me in total form, and it appeared instantly.
___ Moreover, these scenes always come with a strong component of emotion. Emotion is a resource that our sub-concious self uses with the same ease and expertise that I, as a television set designer, can use lighting instruments and colored gels. The difference is that I am invoking or suggesting a mood, but he is applying the emotion itself directly to the vision's canvas. What a remarkable skill, and how any artist or writer would love to be able to wield such!
___ It is this kind of experience that causes me to think that our bodies contain two different beings - two life forms that are either competing or are symbiotically cooperating, but are quite alien from each other.

 
 

___ In Monument Basin, far below me, the stone heads seem to nod and slowly fade as the yellow sun falls down one more time.

___On the rim, over 2,000 feet above the two rivers, I found three feathers from a bird of prey. I knew they should not be considered sad relics, but rather powerful icons and symbols. I held them out and saluted the vertical depths they once flew over, as my spirit flies now.

___Over the canyonlands, over the great desert, over the empty places, over the beautiful places, over the unlikely place where my heart comes to be healed.

 
     

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