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Dying to live


With about thirty people I participate in a medicine ceremony somewhere in the middle of nowhere in England. Everyone has settled comfortably on sleeping mats with a sleeping bag and the necessary pillows. We have just taken our first glass of medicine and the musicians have started playing, soft sounds begin to fill the room. I look around at all those people who, like me, are trying to understand more about themselves and life, who want to break free from conditioning that does not serve them, to break out of the much too narrow straitjacket. This is not the first time I have participated and I know that the medicine can be brutally honest, that in any case, it brings out what I unconsciously keep hidden within myself. But also that it shows my beauty that I hide for incomprehensible reasons. I crawl deeper into my sleeping bag, close my eyes, and take a deep breath.


Soon the surroundings disappear while out of nowhere a very tall, thin, dark red figure suddenly appears in front of me, it must be at least two meters tall or perhaps three meters. His face is triangular, he looks like a robot. It slides from left to right and seems to scan me until it hovers over a spot. From there he draws a circle around me. Suddenly I felt an iron band around my throat and there were iron pins on that band that bore through my skin. I don't feel any pain. The tall red man continues to observe me. His coldness and emotionlessness are starting to bother me. Why is he so indifferent?

“No,” responds the man, who can apparently hear my thoughts, “it's not indifference, it's utmost accuracy out of compassion.”

I feel somewhat ashamed because he is really giving me his full attention. As suddenly as he came, he disappeared, as if he had gone back to discuss his diagnosis. Suddenly, laser beams shoot through the tire, which then melts away. A deep sigh of relief escapes me.


My relief doesn't last long, I have to run to the toilet. When the door is closed, a wave of nausea sets in. With my panties down I don't know what to do first, damn it, no bowl, no fountain! Sitting on the toilet I puke all over the floor and my feet. Gawd! Why am I doing this?


I am soon back in my place with clean clothes. Another wave of nausea comes, then another and another, until I have to get it out of my toes again and there is still something that needs to be removed. I vaguely notice that one of the healers sits in front of me like a shield. Protection of a man, yes, that's right. This way I can do my work hidden from the world. After a while, I am close to complete exhaustion. I'm on my knees but hanging limply forward like a dried-out plant. The healer sits behind me, grabs me, and helps me to continue. Somewhere in the distance, I hear the sound of the tingsha, time for the second round. How do I get there? I drag myself to my feet. When I am back on my mat, I want to lay down but something forces me to sit up and continue working.


Suddenly the nausea goes away and the lump also seems to disappear. Great relief that immediately gives way to a huge ringing in my ears, only to be sucked into a tube, then I know: I have to die. Panic!

“No one can live fully without dying first,” says the now familiar voice.

My God, is that necessary now? I sit back resignedly and wait for what is to come. I don't have to wait long; the space is getting tighter, and my ears are ringing as if there is a storm in there. Thirst! Next to me is a large bottle of spring water, no, don't do that! Don't get distracted, only this is important, don't get distracted! But I'm so thirsty, I'm dying in the desert. No, don't do that, focus. Less and less oxygen, no more space. What strange sounds. I rush on through the narrow space that is getting tighter and tighter as the sounds get further and further away from me. Dead silence. I fly on at breakneck speed. Until I come to a stop in front of the threshold. I hesitate. More silence, strange whooshing silence. Nothing anymore. Now it comes down to it. I do not dare. Even with less oxygen, I shrink back. Suddenly a man stands in front of me and with a big grin on his face, reaches his hand for mine. I take his hand, step over the threshold and disappear.


Suddenly I'm back in the middle of the ceremony room with no memory of the realm beyond death, no idea of the time I spent there, looking at my enormous legs. Wow, what gigantic creatures! I'll have a good feel for those strange things. Meanwhile, people are dancing around me. They are all transparent. That one over there wants to sleep with that one, oh dear. And that one there, what fear. But that one, is so pure and so loving! Tears of emotion. I get up, dance towards her, and am met with recognition. My body follows the impulses from a time long past, the goddess is awake again and full of strength. She radiates and dances her world to Earth.


©2024-joy ligteringen

Out: The Story of a Thousand Lifetimes


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