Read here about my recent Floatation Tank experience! And for those who’ve known me for a while, and you’ve ever wondered what the significance was behind the feature photo above, you’re about to read and find out. The significance is for me, not the artist Nathan Sawaya, and rather how I immediately interpreted the art ‘online’ when I first saw it. Imagine every single yellow lego piece as a compartment of my life, equal in weight, and black acting as the canvas of thought. I’m confident enough with my relationship with ‘god’, that I can argue some of us don’t see ‘god’ the same way. I understand my readers are atheist, agnostic, part of a religion or group and I respect it for what it’s worth to them. Which is the same degree of respect that I have for myself. So, I asked myself how my god would feel about putting our conversation online, and the more that conversation progressed I eventually found myself at a point where either decision I make seems like an illusion anyway. For example, let’s say ‘if’ this is, or was god speaking to me then who’s stopping me? I am therefore I think. I have this Ego vs Id vs Self thing going on and so do you… Here’s another trio to digest, thanks for reading!
November 9, 2018

War with GOD I: in Black


Whichever story you’ve read about GOD being a black woman, the idea is limited to the means of whichever end you accept. In other words, it has no merit if GOD doesn’t offend you. Even if it did offend you, whose battle are you concerned for?

I can tell you about a stigma, or I can tell you about two (2) dark times in my life. Both heavily related to the idea of black. Black in terms of dark, no light.

I wrote about the stigma here, go read it later…

The dark times in my life are one of the same as good and bad. I’ll explain that later, but I also want to mention that I recently heard that story about the Astronaut who came back to Earth from space, and when asked what GOD looked like, he responded, “well, She’s black…”. It’s also an old saying, go google it.

So, about that dark time in my life.

What you’ll read about now is my recent floatation tank experience at the Everett House Community Healing Center. It’s a spa – my chiropractor is there too.

What is a Floatation Tank?

The floatation tank, also known as an isolation tank or sensory deprivation tank, vary in size, but the typical tank is 8′ long and 4.5′ wide. Air can freely flow in and out, and the tank is enclosed.

 

Think Claustrophobia.

The tank is filled with 10″ of water, which is soaked with 800 pounds of Epsom salt. The water is more buoyant than the Dead Sea – so you float on your back about half in and half out of the water. The water itself is at the skin’s average temperature (93.5° F), you feel nothing and the tank is sound proof.

No gravity, no touch, no sight, and no sound. Just pure nothing.

Are you afraid of the dark?

To begin this experience, before getting into the floatation tank I had to ensure my mind was clear of any distractions in my life. I brought no emotional baggage to this experience, you know, none of the bags that Erika Badu said would once get in our way. So, prior to this, I had to, pack lite. I couldn’t afford for any distractions to be crowding my space in the dark tank. I was nervous, so I took my time getting into the tank with all my clothes removed.

The water felt luke-warm and very slippery with the Espson salt heavily saturated, you can feel out of control and panic if you don’t take your time. The silky water floats your body as normal water would but its effortless in the tank.

The floating pillow I was given, was as silky as the water. So, at that point I knew I had to learn the number one (1) rule in the tank, balance.

Trying to find stability and balance in the dark was a challenge for me, especially when I had that first itch. Or, when I felt the pillow slipping from under me. I imagined a sudden move would accidentally splash salt water into my eyes. A lot went on in my head in the first 15 – 30 minutes.

Knowing balance and understanding the basic laws of physics in the tank, which are no different from the laws of physics outside the tank, I was able to relax and float. And so did the pillow.

Understanding the laws within the tank, there were still things within the tank that disturbed me, because we all have itches.

After muscling and bustling with the silky luke-warm water and finally floating, periodically I’d have an itch because sometimes my butt itches.

But you can’t simply reach under and scratch, because you’ll cause disturbance in the waters. By this point, I understood the first law in the tank, which was balance. In order to take care of this itch, I’d have to go at it maintaining balance so I won’t risk getting salt water in my eye. Which brought me to rule number two (2) in the floatation tank, order.

Say I reach under and scratch my butt with my right hand, I’d then immediately lose balance floating on my left side causing that side of my body to go up out of the water. A very simple law to understand, yet I forgot in that moment. However, when I came to that moment, I apprehended there could be disturbance in the waters by just reaching under disorderly. And I used to watch Law and Order religiously during my teenage summers, the moment was like an epiphany as well. I mean, I had to scratch my butt otherwise I’d be distracted from the most important and fun part of the sensory deprivation experience. Which I’m getting to.

Naturally understanding law number one (1), implied order.

What laws do you trust?

Think synergy. What goes up, must come down. They’re one of the same in success and due process. It was obvious that my left arm and hand had to come down with my right arm and hand if I was going to take care of the itch and avoid disturbing the salty waters.

As you could imagine, when both hands met under there, they argued who’d do the scratching.

After the first itch was taken care of, I forgot about the other ones. Because I trusted the balance and order, which are the main two fundamental laws that allowed me to see the light in the dark.

This is where the reward began.

Floating is the vehicle in dark

When I began to float, think black again. The number three (3) rule I manifested in the floatation tank was ‘not to think’. To let my brain do the thinking. That in itself was a challenge, because you can’t tell yourself not to think. You regress to the point where your thoughts are just in the air and you forget how you got there.

So, think black again; no feeling, hearing, tasting, smelling, but I see black. And every compartment of my life floating above me in the dark. A black atmosphere and assuming rule number three (3) is fully enforced, I don’t choose what compartment I get to think about in the tank.

But it’ll spill out eventually.

So, who decides? Some floatation tank experts say to just let your mind do the thought manifesting, and everlasting wandering. It took me 30 – 40 minutes to fully embrace sensory deprivation. Prior to all this I was afraid of dark thoughts developing, or even disturbing times of my past coming to haunt me in this dark tank. But in the moments of calm and honesty I had no choice but to welcome them.

If you’ve heard the phrase, “let go and let GOD” – then rule number three (3) is something like that I guess…

I won’t tell many of the stories that manifested in the tank, but I’ll touch on some enough so that you as my reader understand the significance and meaning behind them.

So, follow this blog!

Floating Forever

Stories manifested deep enough that I came out of the first story when I felt my hands twitching in the water. Sensory deprived, I’m first in a boxing ring. However, this story after fully manifested brought me back to the now – to the tank I was in at the Spa. As if I was asleep but I wasn’t.

I felt the hand wraps being wrapped around my spread-fingers before getting into the ring. I felt my sparring gloves being pulled up my wrist to get my hands over my tight knuckled wraps. I was sparring in a large gymnasium, and I even felt the eyes of other boxers on me, watching ringside as I was in a flow-state.

The story felt so real, which is why I think I woke up even though I wasn’t sleep. It felt like I was coming in and out, watching and feeling myself throw punches meanwhile holding a tight fist in my snug sparring gloves. Eventually, by disturbing the waters enough, I was brought out of it.

I trusted the laws as much as I trusted the GOD controlling my thoughts. Because the boxing story came back in a different form. In the form of, ‘been there, done that’. I caught myself thinking about thinking, just for continuity and my love for boxing. But I needed a new meaning in the tank because I felt in control, which goes against rule number three (3) in the tank.

So, I had to ‘let go and let GOD’ again…

The other stories that manifested are noneya for now.

Again, are you afraid of the dark?

For the dark thoughts, they developed but I was responsible about them. I let some play out, and I immediately realized I was wasting my time thinking like that because it didn’t feel as genuine as the true thoughts that developed, except for one story. Which is important for the people.

The wealth of knowledge knowing and understanding that you can thrive in the most disturbing mindsets is fulfilling. Especially when you cause little disturbance around you doing so. Some people call individuals of this nature a sociopath, but I think it’s what keeps society normal. If we understand the limit to a disturbance, we won’t go there. More importantly, we don’t go down the avenues that get us there.

Unless we often take unwarranted risks. Now might be a time to self-reflect.

But let’s be honest about those dark developing thoughts, or me since this is my experience. I welcomed them as much as I welcomed the good thoughts and stories, like boxing. The same way the positive stories developed in the dark tank, the negative stories did too.

Because GOD let it? That would all depend on your interpretation of GOD.

Who is your GOD, Terrell?

Think of the scene in the movie Titanic, when the watch tower man alerts the captain and crew on the ship’s bridge that an iceberg is in site, and on the ship’s trajected path.

That’s an ego who knew best in the moment, but it was too late for them.

It sucks that you can’t always prepare for events like that, because either way, you risk significantly disturbing a balance trying to help. But in that case, the itch, or the iceberg is the disturbance so are we talking law and order during a crisis?

Maybe that one is for you to decide because ego got us there either way. But again, your ego knows best, and with self, it’s like a superYOU. So, pay attention and be responsible.

Fundamentally, I understood the floatation tank in terms of maintaining balance, order, and letting my mind do the thinking. But whoever decided my thoughts and story manifestation was someone or something of a dark and very black space.

Balance is fundamental like water; inside and out of the floatation tank, as is the laws of physics – thus, order. Order is important to me, despite some laws being a peeve.

The most interesting phase is number three (3), because if it holds true, I’m not sure who to blame those stories on that manifested in my head. Was it GOD? If so, one day I’ll share with you GOD’s plan for me.

For now, you can read on this site what his plan was for me these past 31 years.

As if I was running from my suicidal days, which is the other dark time in my life. One story that manifested, I realized I had run so far and hard up Mount Zion I forgot what I was running from, who I was running from, and where to.

Success can be depressing at times, especially when the people see it. However, not sharing the experience is simply not fare and selfish. Imagine defeating your own purpose, having to find another. It’s a blessing and a curse, but it also could be someone else’s purpose. So, I share how I did it.

It’s your responsibility to interpret an experience. And whether you believe in a GOD or not, my curiosity about him brought me to some deep thinking and dark places. Maybe he’s not a black woman, but how would you explain Kali?

I’ll talk about her in the War for GOD II: KALIthe sequel to this piece you’re reading. And later conclude with the War and GOD III: the People.

Balance, order, and letting go was nothing more than me interpreting this experience as I would in the real world. And so far I feel I’ve succeeded.

Something I can assure myself after this experience, my GOD is not the same one who emerges from the heavens up above, out of the clouds as an old white bearded man. Because if that holds true, then the next time we see Santa Clause let’s call it quits.

Most people fear the dark, so looking up into the sky is as far as they get anyway.

Next time you’re outside at night, look up into the skies and ask yourself what you’re looking at? Stars if it’s clear out, yet think about this as if you’re looking up when the sky is clear, as if your mind is just as vacated as the dark skies above. It should look something like a dark clear mind, and maybe that’s hard to grasp.

It’s kind of like explaining dark energy, or the dark matter scientist can’t seem to figure out.

Need Help?

Envision a fire in the dark. Invisible to the naked eye because its only visible eye to eye. While looking up at the stars at night, all we see are the stars. We don’t see the dark matter in between, just the light. And the dark skies act as a canvas at night for the stars to shine. Or maybe it’s our imagination?

But it’s abundant.

As if the Astronaut who saw GOD in space as a black woman knew there was something up there, we on earth don’t know anything about. Again, darkness was abundant and so was the floatation tank.

I envisioned the Astronaut speaking on behalf of those who see the Sun at midnight, and not mistake it for the Moon.

I found myself running from one dark space to another and creating the light in between. The balance I maintained was critical because I used to be shy with a lot of social anxiety and I didn’t care for having all eyes on me. Which is likely why I ‘woke up’ out of the first story manifested in the floatation tank.

Order speaks to my success, because I can read my suicidal letters today and laugh when I’m done – all 3 years’ worth.

So, when you see me running at night on Tom McCall Waterfront Park, you’ll know where my mind is. The war is in the actions between, who decides what you decide?

Now let’s talk about the consequences of disturbing the balance and in between, which brings me again to Kali.

Thanks for reading!

-VD

Please follow my blog to read the sequel, War for GOD II: KALI

I once thought long & hard about the challenges we give ourselves daily, of finding an eternal feeling of joy and abundance. Through inspirational explorations of my past, I've digested each experience with gratitude. Here on @vehicledigest.net you'll see what allows me to display my enthusiastic lifestyle. Allowing the words to be my vehicle through creativity, elegance, and wit.

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