awareness, Cambodia, Enlightenment, Siem Reap, spiritual awakening, spiritual enlightenment, Spiritual experience, spiritual memoir, The matrix, The Thirteenth Floor, Travel, Vanilla sky, writing
Draft extract from my travel/spiritual memoir
See you in another life, when we are both cats*
I watched a couple of YouTube videos with Anthony about ‘the matrix’ and felt trippy and inspired, as usual. I scribbled down quotes and ideas :
Words are spells that programme you
Make friends with your body, subconscious, conscious, make all one
People inside same age- body irrelevant look past this
Don’t live in the past
Don’t live in the future
Stay in the NOW
Don’t live in fear
Raise your frequency
Dream where you are now
One of the comments mentioned language and conditioning; would we be freer without language? I’d talked about this before when thinking about the man at Osho’s guesthouse in Kerala who couldn’t read. If you didn’t see any ads, if you weren’t exposed to all those ideas and conditioning… But it is double edged: the good books get you there, wake you up, the bad ones keep you sleepy and distracted. Who defines good and bad though? I’ve had an inspiration moment through a car ad and they’d (car ads) would probably be banned if I was in charge…
Anthony had seen The Thirteenth Floor and told me about it but I hadn’t seen it. In Koh Rong I had a conversation with a fellow blogger who had written a blog post about Westworld and its effects re thinking about consciousness etc. I mentioned Battlestar Gallactica which we had recently finished and had similar themes. Anthony said, ‘Tell him about The Thirteenth Floor.’ It turned out that The Thirteenth Floor was kind of like his (the blogger’s) The Matrix, he had gone to see it with his cousin, hadn’t known what he was going to see and had his mind blown unexpectedly. The internet wasn’t strong enough at Koh Rong to download it. We tried again in Siem Reap: bingo.
We switched off The Thirteenth Floor. I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror, still kind of in the film, feeling or imagining that I had just ‘arrived.’ I noticed two new moles on my body. I came back in, still feeling floaty, as if I was a film character. I looked out of the window. There was an unrecognisable animal sitting on top of a car. I couldn’t process what it was, and I couldn’t find the words to name it. It was black and about the size of a monkey. But at the same time it looked like a cartoon; with big orange triangles inside its ears and an orange ‘O’ shape for a mouth. It was as if my brain didn’t recognise it at first. A monkey? A cat? A completely unrecognisable animal, before coalescing into a recognisable creature; a black cat. Or possibly a small monkey. I remember returning home at seventeen and thinking the cats were enormous, having not seen them for a while. Anthony didn’t look until it was almost too late; he thought it was a cat, although he admitted it did look weird.
We went outside, me tripped out on a drug free high, everything colourful and sparkly. I pointed to a building, struggling to speak: ‘Look- orange- no- purple-.’ I couldn’t find the words, couldn’t say the colours. I was looking at a small purple house set back from the road. Next door to it was a bigger building, a guesthouse, peachy orange with shiny chrome balcony rails. Draped in front were sparkly tubular lights, plastic tubing, it was still daylight, sunny, and the lights in the tubes were subtle like a prism or glitter.
I wanted to talk about the cat. I kept telling Anthony off for not staying with me; I used to say this a lot when I was trying to explain something strange and he was either trying to ground me or finding it hard to follow me. Plus he was hungry. We went into the 7/11 next door. I told myself: ‘Don’t think about coffee or deodorant or mascara (things I wanted). Don’t speak. Wait for him to eat and go back’ (To the cat, etc)
We sat outside the 7/11 on a bench. ‘Don’t let me get put off. Don’t look at anything. Pick the most boring thing to look at.’ But even just sitting on the bench, it was hard to keep my focus on my ideas, a man walked by, some interesting dogs, always distractions…
To wake up is to realise. To unplug is to disconnect- no distractions, no phone, no unconscious actions/interactions; no actions/interactions that aren’t conscious. Act in awareness. Wake up.
We walked down to the river. I had to sit down again. Even under normal circumstances I can get overstimulated walking and talking. It’s easier for me to be still when talking about something serious, and if the visuals around are interesting I can’t take both in and process everything. So we sat down on a bench. I looked down- it was made of shells, like a mosaic. Like the paving in Otres Village, like the path to the village in Koh Rong. Even the bench was overstimulating. Shells and mosaics seem to be kind of a thing for me, maybe they signify arrival?.
So are there blank lives we go into, available slots that we light up on the circuit board? I have visualised this like a ball of stiff string, with many intersections, our lights/us moving around it and lighting up different places. Like a circuit board crossed with a ball of wool attacked by a kitten; like The Thirteenth Floor? Or is it remembrance of other lives?
It was hard to focus on thought. So many distractions- a man acting weird, on drugs, two weird dogs. Keep focussed, wits about. It felt like it was a matrix. Experiment with thinking it’s a matrix. Stop saying hi to everyone- waste of energy. Don’t worry about what others think; people near/walking past. Parents, possibilities; if not real then not scary. Personal power.
We kept looking for a quiet road- but it just got busier- and then the neon lights of Pub Street with the multi coloured tumble blocks of lights. Eventually we came to a dusty road, three stools were set out at a mini table; I felt like I could sit there. ‘I think that’s just where the staff go for their breaks,’ Anthony said. It was the back of a hotel.
Even underfoot, so many distractions, so much to focus on, sand, uneven paving of all kinds, constantly watching footing, feeling footing, small chairs in the path to go around, being aware of obstacles, constantly aware/distracted, how much variety/stimulation can there be?
Home…. The plastic cable lights of the orange-pink and chrome guesthouse were brighter now that it was dark, I could see all the different colours, blobs on a loop…
Day after, had I changed reality? Egg off the menu- avocado egg sandwich. I used to order without the egg, almost every day, a wet, full sandwich chock full with avocado and salad, absolutely delicious. Now it had a blank sticker over the egg! I was excited, Anthony not so much, he said he tends to just notice and accept things like this and move on rather than focus so much on them as I do. Aside from whether it was exciting or not, we agreed it was a sign of being in flow like Instagram synchronicities, like all synchronicities. Like ‘conjuring’ sheets, towels, beans on toast at the ‘wrong time,’ in Kerala. Why so hard to believe, when people have vision boards of Porsches and trips to Australia? Because people think the little things are just coincidences. As if The Thirteenth Floor wasn’t enough, we also watched Vanilla Sky: exploring consequences, the little things, decisions… ‘There are no bigger things.’
The hotel had really lovely staff but ultimately they weren’t all that effective; they never did fix our window mosquito mesh which we improvised a repair for by stuffing tissue in the hole, and they didn’t book our cab for the correct time to get to airport. Still, it didn’t matter. The happiness of Siem Reap, me experiencing a work-pleasure balance, or at least, both things; us both physically well and feeling close again, the out there experiences… It was a very full six or seven days, and we didn’t even go to Angkor Watt…
Thank you very much for reading