Is This the End of Ape?

Dark times have come to be contemplated. So… what’s next?

When my mother passed away, the doctor wrote on her death certificate that the cause of death was a “failure to thrive.” She did suffer from Parkinson’s disease, and as it was becoming more advanced, she obviously didn’t have much longer to live. But they said at the time of her death that she could have continued living. She just seemed to not want to. I remember she was very sad. She would cry at the drop of a hat. And I wasn’t around, I was working overseas. I wasn’t around, ever. My OCD always kept me away from my family. That will always be the biggest regret of my life. I just don’t know how to keep my mental disorder from dominating my life. I manage it, I live with it, I function, and most people don’t even know I have OCD, but my family sure as hell knows as they are the ones that feel its effects the most.

I was at her side on the day she died, but I was not there at the actual time of her passing. They had her doped up on Morphine, and she slipped into unconsciousness. My sister followed as the ambulance took her to a hospice, but I didn’t. I knew she was already gone. Her body died later. I should have followed, but it was hard for me, that energy. That sorrow. In a daze, I drove to a friend’s place in Atlanta instead. I had spent the morning in a long conversation with my mother as she began moving toward death, and that was all I could handle. I still feel like I failed her.

The spires of Notre Dame Cathedral in 2014, before the fire (photo by Ape)

Truth be told, “failure to thrive” should be on my life certificate if there was such a thing. I have squandered my life. I have done nothing with it. I have traveled a lot, and that’s all I have to claim in this life. I’ve been around the world a few times, but I never learned to play the piano. This, despite the fact that I had the opportunity to take free piano lessons offered to me not once but twice in my life, when I was barely a teenager. I did begin to learn to play the drums, but I gave up on that after only a few lessons. I bought a guitar and tried to learn to play that during my first stint here in Korea, and I gave up on that as well after learning only a few chords. I’ve obviously got the affinity for music, just not the dedication.

That has been the crux of my life: Lack of dedication. I have tried to learn new languages – Spanish, French, Russian – and given up on them all. Even here, living emersed in the Korean language for over thirteen years, I have only learned “survival Korean” and cannot carry on even the most basic conversation. I have never been at one job for very long. I’ve been pretending to be a teacher for the past fifteen-odd years, but I never wanted to be a teacher. I just fell backwards into it, and it keeps the money coming in so that I can stay independent. And it affords me the luxury of traveling overseas.

Old Town Square, Prague (2014, photo by Ape)

I have no life savings. I have no family of my own. I’ve never been married, never even been engaged. It never even occurred to me that that was a possibility for me because I was never wealthy enough, and I never felt secure enough to provide a full life for myself, let alone a dog, let alone another human being, let alone offspring. And yes, I am aware that I am not required to provide for a wife, that women are independent, that “sistas are doing it for themselves.” I’ve just always wanted to be the kind of guy that, if my wife ever did come home from work with that “I can’t do this anymore” look in her eyes (the same look I sometimes saw in my mother’s eyes and somehow allowed myself to ignore) that I could say, “Then quit. Let’s go to Paris!”

I have produced nothing in this life but a bunch of badly written ramblings about my bizarre beliefs and experiences. I don’t know what else to say about them, but I have heard the word delusional used in their regard, so let’s go with that. That’s not to say that there isn’t a great truth in my writings. I have done my best to capture what I truly believe is really going on behind our limited perceptions of reality. Behind our religions, our superstitions, our folklore, behind those weird lights in the sky, behind all of it, there does lie a larger, more ancient, more refined, and far more powerful intelligence, a consciousness that we cannot yet perceive and yes, I believe that I have spoken with It. You can read back through this blog to learn more about that.

Our reality is a nursery. We are developing consciousnesses, and we need these physical forms, these meat-shells, to maintain our integrity until we can grow and develop enough to maintain that integrity without the need of a physical shell. Beyond our limited physical senses, guiding us in ways we cannot fathom, sometimes seen but usually unseen, is It.

As I wrote in my crappy book that no one should ever read, The Big Blue Turtle: The Meaning of Life and How to Survive Death:

This is what I was talking about when I said integrity is key. I’m going to do the unthinkable here, the one thing you should never do in a speech. Watch this: Webster’s Dictionary defines integrity as (1) firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility; (2) an unimpaired condition: soundness: (3) the quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness. … This is developing the learned ability to maintain an unimpaired condition, staying complete or undivided, when you shuffle off this mortal coil.

The “phantom consciousness,” or “It” as I have come to call it, is a collective (perhaps individual entities or a complete singular entity) consciousness without need of a physical form as we know it. Thus, it is immortal as per our understanding of life and death. It exists outside of that limitation. And this is procreation on a cosmic scale. Reincarnation, I have begun to believe, is what happens when we pop out of our shells prematurely and are returned to a new shell to continue our development, like a premature baby being placed in an incubator. This is why suicide is not an option. If it were, I wouldn’t be here writing this.

Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal (photo by Ape)

Our physical world is manufactured and vibrates on a different frequency (a lower frequency, I believe) than the larger world around us, and thereby we are prevented from interacting with the unseen outside world. It is not really a corporeal world. It only feels that way to us as we exist within these physical shells within it, but it is only a simulation built on code like a gigantic computer program. This is why we see reoccurring numbers like the Golden Mean 1.618, and 137, as well as ‘sacred’ geometry. Physicists are in the business of hacking that code to try and influence, and perhaps eventually control, this reality. And this is precisely what we are meant to do – to develop as a collective consciousness. That is how we will eventually learn to create our world, thus hatching out of this corporeal form and taking our place in the real world beyond this illusionary one.

There are conscious entities beyond us, as I have said. These are the paranormal phenomenon we’ve been seeing since we began growing, everything from angels and demons to the Faerie Folk to today’s so-called “UAPs.” These are merely the interpretations produced by our minds as they attempt to process something beyond their capabilities, like trying to run League of Legends on an iMac. Sorry for the poor analogy, but you get my meaning. My point is that these manifestations are merely a reflection of our own cognitive development. See this article for more details on that.

These entities are tending the nursery, waiting for us to develop our own integrity so that we can move on. They are the Will-O-the-Wisp that I have been pursuing my entire life, ever since I first picked up that book about UFOs from my elementary school library. Ever since I heard that disembodied voice as I played in my grandparents’ basement. Ever since I saw one of those strange lights in the night sky. I have not done anything else with my life because I have had no other passion in my life. This has been my fire. Not music, not language, not even love.

A quick note on that last one, love: I owe so many apologies to all of the people who have loved me in my life. You all deserved so much better. I have not been a good person to any of you, and I will always be sorry. My head was in the clouds, and by “clouds” I mean my own ass. For this, I am burdened by deep regret.

Yu Gardens, Shanghai, China, Seollal 2008. I am so, so sorry, J. (photo by Ape)

Looking back, it is clear to me that everything I have ever done was just to buy myself more time so that I could keep pursuing this phantom that is all around us. It has led me here, to this foreign country, to these strange conclusions. And today, these conclusions are not so strange. If you follow the links I have slipped into previous posts, you will see that the world of physicists, those brilliant hackers of the code of physical reality, are beginning to arrive at the same conclusions as I have.

I lack a degree in physics, and indeed I am terribly inept at mathematics, but I have mad respect for those in the field of physics. They are my heroes. From Einstein to Feynman, from Hawking to Lisa Randall (there really need to be more women recognized in the field), what they do is so far beyond me. Yet I caught the bug at a very young age. I have read so much, researched so much, driven on by each new encounter, and yes, I have encountered this phantom phenomenon directly, experienced these things, I have spoken to these entities. How can you not end up like Richard Dreyfus in Close Encounters of the Third Kind?

But all of these brilliant physicists, either openly or begrudgingly, have all touched upon what I have experienced. Einstein himself sensed it. As Paul Ratner wrote in his 2017 article for bigthink-dot-com:

Einstein did seem to believe in a supernatural intelligence that’s beyond the physical world. He referred to it in his writings as ‘a superior spirit,’ ‘a superior mind’ and a ‘spirit vastly superior to men’. Einstein was possibly a deist, although he was quite familiar with various religious teachings, including a strong knowledge of Jewish religious texts.

I am writing because I am feeling rather poorly tonight. I am in a new job, in a new town, at a new university, and I do not like it. I am in Daegu, South Korea, now. Even my Korean friends up in Seoul warned me against coming here. They said Daegu was too hot in the summertime (they call it “Daefrica” due to the oppressively humid heat, which is held here below layers of smog trapped between the surrounding mountains, so the air is filthy). They said that because of this, the people here were unfriendly – and man, they weren’t kidding. Even the expats here are miserable SOBs. I have never seen a more segregated expat community anywhere else in the world. There is no community here.

Something about Korea in general that has always bothered me a bit: They don’t seem to have much connection with the “superior spirit.” There used to be a strong Shamanistic culture here, but if I understand the history correctly, it was criminalized long ago and has since become little more than a novelty, traded in for the flawed dogma that passes for modern-day Christianity. The streets are lined with Tarot and palm-readers, and some marriages are still decided based on astrology, but only for those that have not found their way to the altar by more modern methods. Still, UFO sightings have never been a thing here. It makes me wonder if the higher consciousness I have been pursuing is even present here. I have only had one encounter here years ago, and ever since, the voice has gone silent. And I sorely miss it. Now it only underscores the profound sense of loneliness I feel here in Daegu. I feel cut off and isolated – not just from friends in Seoul, but from It. And I cannot abide that.

Jabreen Castle, Sultanate of Oman (photo by Ape)

To add to it all, I am feeling rather poorly tonight for physical as well as spiritual reasons. The two are closely tied here, you know. I have come down with a very bad throat/sinus infection, perhaps it is flu? I have ruled out COVID (I am triple-vaxed, ‘House Moderna’) but this, whatever it is, is bad. I usually catch a cold whenever the seasons change, but I have not been sick since the pandemic started. This year, though, as the COVID restrictions are dropped, it has come back with a vengeance. I think the stress from my new job and this overall malaise has contributed greatly to my current state.

Now, though, as I lie here, I realize I can move on if I want to. There’s really nothing keeping me here. I feel that I have learned everything I can about this “It,” this “superior spirit,” this “phantom consciousness” that I can from this limited physical perspective. I just need to let go. I need to get my house in order, so to speak, and go home. See my family, see my friends, maybe check off that one final thing on my bucket list (Peru), and then check into a nice hotel with the last of my measly pension from teaching in Korea, and get comfortable. Eat some Ben & Jerry’s, smoke a fat joint, enjoy a good bottle of wine, and just let go. And part of me, God help me, a growing part of me, is really drawn to that now.

As I contemplate this, I become aware of my sore throat, impeded by severely swollen lymph nodes, and I realize that I could very easily drift off and my airway could snap shut like a Venus fly trap, choking the life from my body in mere moments. We never really consider how dependent we are on that tiny little fifty-cent-piece-sized tube, the esophagus, to keep the life-giving air coming into our lungs. So small, so easily obstructed, so quick to kill.

[I have a copy of my book lying here next to me, and just wrote in Hangul on the inside cover: “Next of kin: Sister” and my sister’s phone number. I am pretty sure some agency in Korea has this contact number for just such emergencies, but I have no idea if I ever even gave them the correct number. Better to err on the side of caution.]

On the grounds of Bongeunsa Buddhist Temple, Seoul, Korea, walking among the lanterns set for the upcoming Lotus Lantern Festival (photo by Ape)

I can’t thrive here in Korea, not anymore. I will continue to fail to thrive if I stay. I am past my prime, as they say, and I am not good coupling material. I don’t have any money, I can’t buy a home, I can’t choose where I want to live, I have to go where the jobs are. $100,000 in student debt and I’m a fucking migrant worker chasing a ghost.

I’m finally feeling my age. I have squandered every wonderful opportunity at a better life in pursuit of It, and this is what happens when you pursue a Will-O-The-Wisp, the old faerie tale warnings were true. Maybe I am just deciding it is time to move on. Maybe it’s time to hang up my Ghostbustin’ gear, stop chasing this phantom, and finally go and meet It, on Its side of things. That is tempting. I’ve thought about doing it through DMT, ayahuasca rituals in Peru. I even have an old friend who’s been through it many times, and he knows true native Shaman in the deeper parts of the Peruvian jungle, not the touristy shit popping up all over the area these days. He tells me they will not only take me through the full ceremony but teach me to brew the ‘medicine’ myself, including the extra-potent ingredient from the sacred Brugmansia tree. Apparently, there is quite a thriving business these days for gringos who move down to Peru and set up little ayahuasca retreats for aging hipsters that want to explore their own mental faculties. They charge them USD$2000 a pop, and in this way, you can make quite a nice living in Peru. It seems insincere to me, and yet I wonder if perhaps this is an option? I don’t know.

I feel I am adrift at a crossroads in my life. But I do have the option now, if I just want to follow the Will-O-The-Wisp straight on through. I’ve come this far, haven’t I? I can have a nice, quiet, peaceful passing, and move on to whatever is truly next: reincarnation or integration? Hard to say.

Hard to say.

Published by pookabazooka

I am an ape living abroad, writing to stay focused and to remember the things I think about. I post them here in case you'd like to spend a bit of time thinking about them, too.

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