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FORKS AND SAUCERS

Dreamed 1988/10/18 by Chris Wayan

THAT DAY

I'm reading Leslie Cameron Bandler's The Emotional Hostage--on people with out-of-control feelings, whether classic phobias or chronic anger or depression or panic attacks.

And by her standards, I'm one.

At least, according to her, I'm doing the right thing about it. My agoraphobia and social fears are extreme enough to be classified as not just out-of-control emotions, but out-of-control perceptions, where you're unable even to observe clearly. I'd never thought to make that distinction.

Her exercises for coping with extreme reactions like mine urge:

  1. detaching from your feelings and observing closely... and/or
  2. just plain walking out. Leave! Explore it later, somewhere safe.
I've been feeling like a coward and a neurotic for instinctively doing just this--shutting down and just trying to get through social encounters that feel like torture, and leaving as soon as I can. When that's her advice for severe cases--like me.

THAT NIGHT

I'm a magician early in the twentieth century, exploring Tibet .

I discover a secret people who have great mystical powers derived from an ancient science. They live in and around old crumbling temples. They're a fearful, suspicious people in general, but they seem to dread and nearly worship me in particular. They say I'm one of the ancients returned. And, oddly, I do remember or sense how the parts of their shattered temples go together. I even find myself saying "we" about the ancient people, without meaning to. Could they be right about me?

Their task, since the ancient days when this was the dominant civilization on this planet, has been to guard us against alien starships, what we call UFOs... They're elusive for a reason. If these guardians spot them, they shoot them on sight!

This seems un-Buddhist, to put it mildly. A whole cult of paranoid magicians! Who says all aliens are hostile? If not, isn't this an excellent way to MAKE them hostile?

They try to distract me from this line of argument by asking me to trace the boundaries between parts of their temple/resonator. They don't know any more... they've lost the detailed knowledge of the ancients.

So I climb around the temple complex... keep thinking I can't do more, because I can't get up on the walls, but I always run into a convenient block or railing I can use as a stair, leading me onward, higher and higher, deeper and deeper... like the structure itself is welcoming me.

Or swallowing me. Still, I'd rather go ahead and risk traps in the ancient fortress than argue with these guys.

I find part of the ancient mechanism for detecting flying saucers. It's in terrible shape: the pieces come apart in my hands. They're covered with soot and grease, understandable since it's an old hibachi or barbecue grill. Or was it a radar dish used later for barbecue, after the war, or after this civilization reverted?

Find more bits of the saucer-detector, lost in the ashes. I sift through them, try to sort out what's salvageable. Knives, forks, spoons, and tongs. Saucer equipment indeed! All they need are teacups...

As I sort out the fossil silverware, a Tibetan guard comes out of the stone arch below me. Another follows. They point at me and mutter. And then in an instant, they snap--they're shouting curses, and one throws a spear at me, and the other starts firing arrows! They think I'm one truly of the ancients returned, an inscrutable magician sabotaging or redirecting magic for my own monstrous purposes. Furious, I yell "Idiots! You ASKED me to clean this up!" But they keep on firing, trapping me inside this roofless tower. I fumble through my pockets, but the only weapons I can come up with are a small pocket knife and a rusty old campaign button with a large pin.

I throw the knife at one of the guards and miss. I throw the campaign button and he yells "ow!" The pin goes deep and really stings--he can't fire his bow. I feel no guilt--he was trying to kill me. His friend hesitates; I pick up rocks and forkshaped bits of ancient antenna, not sharp but filthy with grease and soot... He doesn't want to get forked! And it's quite clear to both of us I can throw things at an impossible velocity: true magic.

He backs away in horror. His suspicions were right--they've let an enemy into their magical hoard!

Yeah, right. They've just done it--done what their ancestors did, made an enemy of a guest. Managed to create an attacker! Did they do this to the saucer people?

Or peoples... who knows how many, over millennia?

Sitting there in the ruins, I feel so disappointed. Mystical powers, ancient treasures, Tibetan sages... all gone sour. Ruined for me. By a lack of the simplest social skills.

A beat-up old fork floats over a mountain landscape where small figures throw rocks and shoot arrows
NOTES IN THE MORNING

LISTS AND LINKS: self-defense - shamanic dreams - phobias and fears - trust and mistrust... right up to paranoia! - social advice - violence - Tibet - Buddhism - aliens and UFOs - a similar book, Emotional Intelligence, inspires The Paint Kids

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