There comes over me the ‘buzzing’ state that heralds an out-of-body experience, but although it fails to develop, neither does it fully recede. It settles into a pulsing rhythm, quite unpleasant, but I decide to put up with it. My body is guided to a specific place, as if I were floating feet-first. This state does not feel deep. I wait for it to stabilise. It seems as if the cat is scratching my bedroom door. I decide to abandon this working, because the cat is bound to distract me, but then I realise there’s no evidence the cat is really there. If I am experiencing sights and sounds, then these cannot be distractions from the state – they are the state. And so I ask for admittance to the aethyr. I ask three times, because each request seems to strengthen the state.
[I was staying at my mother's. She was able to confirm that the cat really had been scratching at my door.]
There are two spirits who spout all kinds of sententious-sounding stuff. But it’s nonsense. They take the form of a small aluminium pan and a plastic food container – which betrays their nature. Then I see a procession of things, which I repeat verbally to ensure I will remember. Yet I have forgotten them all. They seemed meaningful. It is only in the next moment, when the vision feels as if it has changed into a different mode or was drawing to a close, that my memory of it properly begins.
[Was there really stuff that I have forgotten? Or was this the vision's way of saying, 'You have forgotten everything that came before because you changed to another mode'? In a vision there is no boundary between experience and symbols.]
I am in a small room with patterned wallpaper, bare except for a bed against one wall. In the same wall is a big window onto absolute blackness. In the forgotten part of the vision, I was in the same room, but it had no window. Now, I stare through the glass, and briefly see my reflection on its surface. My reflection is replaced by a manic, seething face with long hair and bushy eyebrows. The face seems about my age – perhaps a little younger – but strikes me as very different from my own.
[The room reminded me of the one Ken Wilber's reported during a near-death experience ; and of the climax to Sapphire and Steel, a supernatural sci-fi drama, in which the heroes were trapped for eternity in a very peculiar motorway café . The face is very much like the psychopathic spirit ‘Bob’, who possesses Leland Palmer when he kills his daughter, Laura, in the TV series Twin Peaks. ]
I turn around and behind me, on the bed, is a woman dressed in a blue-grey smock with a pointed witch’s hat. She seems frumpy and ill-at-ease in her body. I realise that the face in the window is not my reflection, but hers. I am between them, but I have no image. I have a strong feeling that this is a joke. Someone is making fun, at my expense.
Then I feel again that the vision is changing mode or about to end. I am suddenly alone, until my sister appears. ‘Well, that’s it, brother. Weird, wasn’t it?’ she says. As she sits on the foot of the bed she transforms into a small wizened creature. It’s about two feet tall, totally paralysed, with round, staring eyes, and matted hair that fans out around its head like seaweed.
[The creature reminds me of a Fiji Mermaid  and the baby-creature from the film Eraserhead (directed by David Lynch, 1977).]
As I stand, staring, it transmutes into an inanimate object: The Ace of Wands, as depicted in the 1JJ tarot deck. Then the vision falls apart.
[The next day, I happened to read this: 'The garbha-grha, or womb-chamber, is the enclosed, windowless room where the deity is kept in a Hindu temple' . This synchronicity perhaps offers a key to an interpretation of the vision. The room is the womb. Early experience is forgotten because there is no reflexivity or ‘window’. Self is an illusion created by the window, from a position between the body (the woman, ‘witch’) and spirit (the man, ‘Bob’). In the vision, this process is presented as something uncanny and potentially ‘evil’. The womb is an emptiness, a void, and yet it is the space in which everything arises. ‘Sister’ is the one (who is not ourselves), who is made, spliced together (like a Fiji mermaid) in the womb. Again, the symbolism turns the generation of life into something grotesque and frightening: the horrifying baby from Eraserhead. In the garbha-grha is the image of the deity; here, the womb-chamber contains the Ace of Wands, a very conspicuous phallic symbol. The vision seems to be showing that whether the womb is empty or filled (by the father’s phallus, or by the deity) we can never find or position ourselves within it. If it is filled then we are displaced; if it is empty then we are not there. Like Sapphire and Steel, we are always already floating in eternity, lost forever.]
 Sapphire and Steel was created by Peter J. Hammond and aired between 1979 and 1982 on the UK’s ITV network.
 Twin Peaks was created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. It first aired between 1990 and 1991 on the USA’s ABC network.
 An object presented as the mummified body of a mermaid, which was actually the remains of a monkey and a fish, spliced together. (See picture, above.)
 Sarah Caldwell, ‘Margins at the Center: Tracing Kali through Time, Space and Culture’, in: Encountering Kali: In the Margins, at the Center, in the West, edited by Rachel Fell McDermott and Jeffrey J. Kripal (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003), p. 265.