Are you a closet shaman, medium or prophet? History proves that certain people are called to engage with extraordinary powers and beings. These are folks apparently endowed with unusual mental gifts enabling them to serve their community in helpful ways. Shamans, mediums and prophets, however, are figures associated with the pre-scientific era. In the critical eyes of our mainstream culture, they are primitive, superstitious, and irrational.
We may be living in an age of quantum mechanics, the Webb Telescope, and computer programs that can write essays for high school students; nonetheless, our psyches are still part of an archaic, deep unconscious reality. If so, we should not be surprised if ‘calls’ from the unknown continue unabated, in spite of official intolerance of this region of human experience. The evidence for this is in the counter cultures that dot history—e.g., Spiritualism in the 19th century, the New Age in the 20th, and so forth.
The question is, what happens when a call from the unknown depths of your being is insistent, will not let up, fills your consciousness, and you are stuck in a psychologically hostile environment. My guess is that something like this is happening all the time. Impulses of unknown origin pressing on us in ways suggestive but not quite clear as to intent and meaning.
A while back I got to know a nineteen year old woman who had a prolonged encounter with the unknown that changed her entire life. I stayed in touch with this woman for two years. She gave me a copy of her diary describing some of the highlights of her experiences. I also got to know her fiancé who was a curious if uneasy witness to his girlfriend’s unusual phenomena.
Both he and this young woman’s family (well off and straight-laced) were upset and unhappy about her relationship—here’s the oddity—to a small boy in a dream. But this was not just any little boy. He had two distinctive features: he was all about changing his host woman into something very special; and secondly, he installed himself in her dream consciousness, so that whenever she dreamt, the magical child spoke to her, tried to guide and inspire her.
During the two years I knew her, I accumulated notes and we had many phone calls and meetings. I’ve recently been sorting the materials and forming a picture of her story. But here’s the part that interests me. She struggled to define herself in ways at odds with what everyone around her wanted or expected. She resisted her family, fiancé, priest, and employer—everything around her that conspired to destroy the encounters with her mysterious dream-child.
It’s a universal problem. It happens every day, everywhere, in small sneaky doses or systematic sweeps: destroying and invalidating the experience of people classified as deviant, dangerous, or too different.
So I mean to tell her story, one way or another, as I piece it together from bunches of unnumbered pages: dreams, abuses, coincidences, accidents, snatches of dialogue, reports of anomalies and even miracles.
And all in honor of the secret genius that lies in us all, asleep in the subliminal self. What would you do if night after night a strange dream being kept telling you things that would happen the next day, and insisting that you transform your life? The sin against ‘normality’ could be anything: the color of your skin, your sexual identity, an impractical ambition, an artistic or psychical ability you possess that may appear too far out. How much are we willing to put up with from people or institutions that want to mold us into something we are not?