Hi all: its great to be here! There's been a bit of a whirlwind rush of emails, and a fairly speedy process to being able to post here. Here's a longish post, introducing myself/us, and our situation.
I am here, less as a theorist (though I love philosophy, discussion, science, and many other topics, as does Dmitri) and more here to initially post my own experiences, to see how it correlates with the CTF/Daemon theory overall. I live with three other people in a headspace: Dmitri, Tybalt, and Tahl. I personally am 22, an honours student studying in
I was in online correspondence with a friend, who had schizophrenia. This person was somewhat unstable, and I was one of his support network. We had known each other for 3 years and I had done extensive research on schizophrenia on his behalf to try and help support him better. During this time, as well as before and afterwards, I had a character I love dearly. Tybalt was my Muse, inspiring me to art, writing, poetry, daydreaming, and to self improvement. However, as I thought more and more on the mind, on consciousness, and on the ways in which identity is formed, I began to have greater stirrings through his character. All of a sudden, I realised that he wasn't actually a paladin of Dungeons and Dragons fame, he was a young temple guard, without any of the powers or pretensions of fantasy. Not only that, but I was flooded by memories that were not mine, but were his. I wrote everything down, and it got to the point where I heard murmurings of thought and caught flashes of perception that again, were not mine. I was quite disturbed: I told this to my friend, and his blasé suggestion was "Well, why don't you try saying something?" So I did, and Tybalt talked back to me.
Rather than the character I had made on flashes of inspiration in the past, Tybalt turned out to have a life, a personality, and a will all of his own. I was shocked, and delighted: for an artist, this was an amazing experience! We would natter about things in his life, and he would correct me on certain details in the things I had written. Tybalt is to me what Conan was to Robert E. Howard, perhaps. He showed me his world, his self, and the workings of his mind, telling me his stories and delighted by my curiosity. He was not a 'fronter', though: Tybalt, to all intents and purposes, lives his own life somewhere else, and he can't possess our body or anything like that. He has asserted that when either of us dies, then we will still be in the same place supporting each other, but whether or not that will come to pass is speculation.
Initially, my rational, academic brain did not handle this at all. I dismissed it as a sympathetic delusion based on my friend's experience of inner voices and other personalities, and after the initial happy surprise of having a beloved character begin talking back and willingly projecting images of himself for me to draw, I was deeply concerned. Was I going crazy? Was this some sort of wish-fulfilment fantasy? I brooded myself to exhaustion over it. It was made more problematic when Tahl arrived at the end of 06: Tahl was like no one I have ever created as a character. He came into being as an insightful, human, fully developed personality, with a love of Australian cars, good cigarettes, Italian food and rugby (I like the food, but that’s about it). I was feeling overwhelmed at this point, and was considering psychiatric treatment or assessment. I was fortunate enough to have some very understanding friends and family at that time: my mother was quite spiritual, and once her fears of demons had been appeased (Tahl is very personable), we settled on an uncomfortable notion of this as being some sort of late-onset multiple personality disorder...without any actual trauma involved. My childhood was intensely difficult, but well processed: there were no sudden traumas, and despite my attempts at pinning down one event or the other, none seemed to fit. It was the closest frame of reference only.
Coming to terms with the experience over 2007 was terribly difficult. We wrote journals, back and forth, swapping hands, as Tahl is left-handed. Tahl would often predict small things and drop advice, but look confused whenever I asked him how he knew. He was a huge support through a very difficult time: my friend's schizophrenia took a bad turn and he started becoming abusive and self-harmful. We had to cut him off, but even without his influence, Tahl and Tybalt remained. I was a nervous wreck at that time: I had taken a year off uni to write and draw, which I did copiously, but I was so convinced that I was going insane by that point that I was having panic attacks over it. I saw a counsellor (who handled my story remarkably well), talked to all my friends that were willing or able to understand, and most importantly, talked to the boys. They repeatedly asserted their independence and their autonomy - Tahl is left-handed, whereas I am not, and was fully competent with the left hand writing after about 15 minutes practise - and they supported me as best they could. Tahl was often annoyed when I repeatedly denied his existence to his face, but remained patient. In the year where it was the two of them, we grew remarkably and stayed strong, despite all sorts of issues and my increasing depression. I developed a powerful awareness of my/our own mind, and we developed an interface of sorts, a whole inner landscape so that we could navigate it and partition it as we needed. It’s beautiful, and remarkable, but it was challenging to accept that it was there at all.
Eventually, I was forced to admit that regardless of my feelings on the issue, no matter how much I wished that I was normal and that I understood what was happening, and no matter how many times I told Tybalt and Tahl they weren’t real, it wasn't going away. I made another close friend, who I am still in contact with, who is in much the same situation. She has active companions with her and has had since childhood, and in talking to her, I was able to ease some of my fears. On November the 17th (I will always remember the date xD), I was chatting to her when I felt my throat tighten, and a sudden tingling spread over my body. I looked inward (I had a fairly well developed 'inner eye' by this point) and saw a thin, crazed man in my mind's eye, doing his very best to choke me. His thoughts were extremely confused, angry and painful: he couldn't actually harm the body, but he was trying his damndest. Me and Tahl contained him, and 'locked him up' in a part of the mind away from where he couldn't try and mess with our body. It took Dmitri several days to calm down: when he came out of his psychosis, he was deeply unsettled by his sudden relocation, but was an immediately strong, vibrant presence. After his dramatic appearance, Dmitri settled in, and proceeded to challenge my strictly materialist viewpoint, dismantling it systematically with a combination of fierce logic, wit, and evidence by example. He was dead, and asserted that in his lifetime he was a theurge and a scribe, that he had been a monk, and that he was not from ‘here’. He was drawn to our mindspace, and to me from a void, where he had been in a state of semi-torpor, unaware that he was dead. He knew he had died under extreme duress, in a dark stone cell, at the hands of his own church for heresy. His psychosis was due to him sensing another presence, and immediately thinking that someone was coming to collect him for interrogation: his instinctive response was to attack.
I was understandably sceptical, and I asked him to prove that he was what he said he was. He proceeded to draw a complex esoteric diagram (with the body), along with several symbols, and tapped one. "That's Cheth," he said "The sound is used to bind, to contain. This is the sort of basic invocation circle I would use to summon an entity for questioning." He also drew and illuminated a gorgeous capital D, complete with miniture inkwork, in about 15 minutes, declaring it a draft in an unfamiliar alphabet. I have ever only had a rudimentary exposure to the workings of ceremonial magic, and no experience of illumination and calligraphy at all: my art is purely restricted to figure drawing. I did poorly in graphic art in school, due to my inability to rule complex shapes and to understand perspective and space, but Dmitri came here complete with knowledge of geometry and the ability to draw straight lines by eye, no rulers involved. I wasn't convinced, but I found it impressive all the same. I was floored when later, out of curiosity, I went looking to see if ‘Cheth’ meant anything: it turns out that it is a Kabbalic letter, meaning 'gate, enclosure', and associated with the number 8. Dmitri had told me that the octogon was the ideal shape for binding or containment. It is possible, somehow, that I have seen this, and that he drew that detail up from the depths of an unremembered time when I happened to glance over the Mathers Table of Kabbalic letters, their pronunciations, signifiers and uses. However, it seems unlikely, especially because the symbol he used was different to the Hebrew letter, being from his own language: it was the sound, meaning and usage that was the same. Why would my memory preserve some aspects, but not the visual sign, when I can still remember the fine details on my grandmother’s paintings? Selective memory seems unlikely, considering that I remember no other Kabbala whatsoever, meanings, symbols or otherwise. It was an eye-opening exercise for me, and I have actively pursued sources where I gained some kind of cryptoamnesia of it. I haven’t been able to trace any back, and Dmitri likes to say he told me so.
Over the next several months, he continued to challenge my preconceptions. He showed an aptitude for mathematics (I personally have next to no mathematical ability, having been bullied by a math teacher in Grade 5) and wrote out words in his own alphabet. I remained (and still do remain, but more healthily) sceptical that he is what he says he is, but the evidence for it is mounting over time. I challenged him to write out his alphabet, and then we would go back through various words and phrases he had written for me to demonstrate his language, which were often done far apart and in a language I don't understand, with grammar I didn't understand, and a system of vowels different to English. He agreed to the experiment: it matched up entirely. The language he writes has no relation to any language I have studied (Russian, Chinese, German). In investigating it linguistically, it seems closest to Icelandic or Finnish, of all things. The only experience I have for Scandinavian languages is though the Swedish pop group Aqua. I am forever grateful that my companion’s language sounds nothing like any of their songs.
There has been a lot left out in the telling of this: there are hundreds of individual incidents, thousands of valuable moments, and many profound experiences. He’s out wandering the ether (or wherever discarnate entities go when they say ‘I’m heading out for a while’), and probably won’t be back for a day or so. Tahl and Tybalt are still vital presences, acting respectively as companion and muse, but Dmitri and I occupy a special place for each other. We are both incessantly intellectual, unceasingly curious about our state in the world, nerdy social critics, and dedicated to learning and questioning. He is a cranky, short-tempered, egotistical eccentric, and I am a brooding, occasionally whimsical, strong-willed eccentric: go team! After 8 months of him living here, we have bonded like siblings. He produces works of illuminated textual art that are distinctly not mine, advises and consoles me, argues with me, scorns the world and the odd crank and even occasionally smiles. I have helped him recover a great deal from his traumas and disappointments, and together, we head what is now a functioning plural consciousness. He provides evidence willingly and concretely, and I am coming to doubt the whole situation less and less: the question that has opened up now – rather than ‘What the hell is happening?’ – is ‘How and why is this happening?’
I am not a true believer. I don’t believe there is a ‘proof’, only the accumulation of evidence to support a theory. Dmitri and I have discussed whether or not he is actually a discarnate entity, or if that is a sort of ‘fill in the gaps’ history. He has said that, regardless, he is who he is. He doesn’t know precisely why he’s here, but we recently discussed that perhaps, we are here to guide each other. We work well together: there are highs and lows, and the occasional sister-brother spat (which Tahl finds extremely amusing). Mostly, it’s a dynamic, vibrant partnership. My grades at uni have gone up: we are doing mathematics, astrology, botany and studying the occult as written about by Dion Fortune and Israel Regardie. Dmitri has been encouraging calligraphy, art, poetry and science – very much his passions – while I take care of the literature thesis (he edits). We both philosophise and ponder problems together, drink coffee, and bore Tahl to tears. Good times.
But how has this come to be? How do a dead monk, an aspiring transgender academic, a young religious soldier and an easygoing rev-head end up sharing the same consciousness? Are we even sharing the same consciousness, or is this an elaborate delusion? There are many, many questions, and many areas in which my perceptions – and theirs – could be fallacious. However, my attempts to ‘catch them out’ have failed, and there have been a lot of them. Dmitri has illuminated a poem in his own language; Tahl has bought me out of panic attacks, to stop me from hyperventilating. They have woken while I am sound asleep to carry on perfectly coherent conversations with my mother, only to have her tell me about it when I get up in the morning. I have put myself through harsh reflection, but no matter what angles I take or what hypotheses I make, I can’t find any other explanation except to believe them for what they say they are. Of course, I could be living a ‘fixed fantasy’ or engaging in some kind of multiple personality disorder or dissociative disorder. However, I’m not aware of any of those being typically enriching: in fact, the only detrimental effects have been from outside! The people who respond with fear and disbelief, the friends who decided that I was crazy and they weren’t going to stick around, the spiritual teachers who decided Dmitri was a demon because he was “creepy looking” (he can’t help how he looks…), and the effect of the pathologisation of experiences that really go back to antiquity.
It will be many years before I am fully accepting of this, but until then, I put our story to the people who read this blog, and to the researchers and thinkers who are beginning to form conceptual answers to these questions, to think about these things and take them seriously, rather than adopting attitudes of condemnation. Having been down that path myself, and burning myself out over it, I’m coming to the same conclusion that Shakespeare did: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than dreamt of in your philosophy.”Seraph.