The Time Exchange
Chapter 5

My acquaintance with the time exchange spanned about six years from early in 1981 to the end of 1986. I was awarded a disability pension in 1984 which may indicate how desperate things had become, but which meant I had time to do something constructive about my psychiatric situation. In 1985, with this welcome measure of social security, I enrolled in a Social Science degree at the University of New England in the north of NSW. Settling in to a studious life in Armidale meant a pretty serious discontinuation of much of the psychotic behaviour I had been practicing in Sydney. Throughout this episode I had been practicing the techniques for stopping the world which I found in Castaneda's 'Journey to Ixtlan'. I found that one of the techniques was particularly disturbing. In the book it was entitled 'Disrupting the Routines of Life' and I may have mistakenly interpreted it as completely randomising my behaviour, because I found it profoundly exhausting.

In any case, let me assure you that eventually I settled down, but for the first few years of my psychosis life was very chaotic. During these few early years I smoked very little cannabis. You may gather that for any smoker it has to come from somewhere. It has to pass through a chain of hands in order to arrive at the end user, and since I was a virtually solitary individual during this time there simply was no opportunity for me to connect with the supply chain. I moved around quite a lot during these four years, and I knew virtually no-one in the places I went to. This is not to say, of course, that I was immune from hallucination. If you know anything about Castaneda's work then you will know that the purpose of the techniques was to induce an ability 'to see' in the applicant which in practical terms meant a cultivation of hallucination. It wasn't difficult. The ghost I had been corresponding with was only too happy to see me exercising my astral abilities.

The other thing I'd like to mention in this context is that I don't actually enjoy smoking cannabis. There's a fairly strong sense of fear involved in smoking this stuff which I don't enjoy, and which is well documented both anecdotally and more formally. I feel insecure when I smoke cannabis. I'll tolerate this insecurity in the short term, but I'm not going to make a habit of it. If you happen to be a smoker yourself then you'll know what I'm talking about. I'm sure you suffer from a fairly serious approach avoidance conflict in your feelings about this substance, just as I do.

Let me also add another reflection of my experience at this time. I was doing a lot of walking throughout these first few years of my acquaintance with the time exchange. I was walking a lot later too, but not like those early years of increasingly relentless insanity. To be honest I found the whole time exchange thing a very disturbing proposition. It meant I had to accommodate an unfamiliar presence in my life which I was quite happy to do, but which also meant the introduction of an insatiably nervous anxiety. It was only after several hours of walking each day that my body could relax again and provide me with the temperament required to perform at least a semblance of normality. The presence in my life wasn't just a mental thing. It was thoroughly visceral which sometimes felt like my stomach was completely split in two.

I was walking around Sydney a lot in 1981 but in 1982 I was getting out of town and into some of the smaller country towns in the Central West region of NSW. I was walking along a lot of dusty country lanes around these towns during the day, of course, but I was also getting out at night which I enjoyed immensely. There's nothing like being far away from any kind of human settlement around midnight and watching a yellow moon rise above the eastern horizon. It'll make you feel like there's a tangible space out there, and you'll feel a heck of a lot of time too, but it's spooky more than anything. Contrary to the loneliness you'd expect to feel so far out there I was able to recall a long forgotten presence which I couldn't gain access to any other way.

Being alone out there gave me the ability to remember a lot of dreamy ancestor memories too which was pretty cool. I acquired a lot of nineteenth century memories while walking along these country lanes at night. They were dim memories but beautifully coloured with a shadowy yellow brown as if they were memories of the first light of dawn. They depicted rustic country houses where the people who occupied them dreamed of their dusty nineteenth century lives in spite of being dead and otherwise long forgotten.

I was able to recall some recent ancestor memories while walking around out there, but I also recovered some much older memories which I later came to think of as ancestral. The more I ventured out to walk across the night the more I let go of the social agreements which forbade the kind of thinking I was getting into, and the more I developed a rapport with the ancient beings I encountered out there: the planet, the solar system and galaxy.

Now, you may be thinking that I'm just toying with your faculties with all this talk about developing a rapport with such ancient cosmic creatures, but try to look at it from my point of view. I had begun to think of things which hadn't been conceived of before, things which led to the suspicion that cosmic identities possessed a kind of personality. But I haven't yet told you about the most intriguing thing I was thinking at this time which was the infinite regression of representative summaries.

When I returned to Sydney after I climbed the pyramid at Giza I believed it was inevitable that I start to think in terms of a diminutive infinity; the tip of that thing has a very singular identity. I conceived of the Host Model not long after that, but it was several years before I developed the group of paradigms which make the telling of this story possible. Most importantly, the infinite regression of abstractions was a paradigm which I conceived of in terms of how much we resemble the planetary host. It was this likeness that led me to conclude that matter could be organised according to a cascading sequence of abstractions which regresses infinitely.

For illustrative purposes I could characterise the infinite regression of abstractions in terms of a set of Russian Dolls, but really the regression of representative summaries are themselves a more complete characterisation of this conception. A regression of representative summaries allows us to infer that creatures on every scale of existence share a common identity. In particular I want to point out the implications which follow the very existence of infinities themselves. You may think that our human point of view is privileged above all others but I think you'll find that we are just one stage in an endless spatial progression, and that our dimensions are entirely relative.

Maybe you haven't thought about it much, but space is bigger than your ability to comprehend it. There is inevitably a limit to your comprehension of how big space is, and space is much bigger than this is. It is, in fact, so big that galaxies are tiny by comparison. Maybe you think that galaxies are huge sums of matter, but compared to the infinities of space out there they are so microscopically small that they nearly don't exist at all. This is not a very difficult concept to understand and represents a pattern of comparison which can also apply to other dimensions such as time and mass. Whether a dimension seems big to you or not depends on the scale of your existence.

The reverse case is also worth noting. Maybe you think that atoms are small, but compared to particles which are infinitely smaller than this atoms are astronomically huge. There's no need to mention the physics of atomic particles because this is simply based on the logic of spatial inversion, but which is also borne out by the infinite regression of abstractions. In any case there is presently no theoretical limit to how small particles can be so we may feel free to enjoy this little curiosity of spatial speculation. Whether a particle seems small to you or not depends on how big you are by comparison.

It is a very natural thing for people to recognise that space is infinite and for them to wonder what might exist beyond the visible universe. I remember doing this as a child and I think everyone does it from time to time. It is also very natural for people to think that the being who exists beyond the visible universe represents some semblance of us, if not a being who is identical to ourselves. While people tend not to mention this somewhat awkward subject in their daily lives I would be very surprised to find that people didn't associate this being with the unique identity of God. If I may offer my own view of the matter the host model and its implicit regression suggest that this being will resemble a galaxy more than it will resemble our particular kind of body. But in terms of the essential features of our lives I think it is reasonable to suggest that we share a common identity.

Whatever the true nature of this being may be space nevertheless proceeds from this creature in every direction infinitely so that inevitably we arrive at an even larger scale of existence which is occupied by countless other beings just like it. This is followed by vast tracts of space which are relatively empty, and this pattern is repeated over and over as the infinities of space are filled with life. We may be sure of this because this is what we see unfolding on our particular scale of existence.

Now, imagine that you are one of those beings looking in on our spatial dimensions. I'm sure you will appreciate that compared with beings on such a scale as this our bodies are vastly smaller than atoms are compared with our scale of existence, and yet our bodies consist of a vastly intricate complexity. It surely follows that every scale of existence consists of such an intricate complexity and that subatomic particles possess spatial attributes which make them conform to this rule.

While some may have a vested interest in characterising atoms as the simple building blocks of nature the truth is that there is no such thing in a universe of spatial infinities. Everything is a vastly intricate complexity and atoms are no exception.

My point in the context of developing a rapport with the cosmic beings I met while walking in the country overnight is that everything consists of consciousness in an infinite regression and in a universe of spatial infinities everything is a galaxy from someone's point of view. In terms of their inherent spatial attributes there is a necessary equivalence between beings on every scale of existence where the only significant difference is one of relative proportion. It is therefore quite rational to suggest that everything has galactic proportions from the point of view of beings who are sufficiently smaller, and these in turn have galactic proportions to beings who are sufficiently smaller than them.

And when I say that everything has galactic proportions I mean everything: that car, your computer, that street sign, that flame tree on the corner, you know, the one you're so fond of, those subatomic particles, those chromosomes. Everything!

Now, I know that you're going to want to call this sort of talk preposterous, but give me a break. This happens to be how I think. I'll be the first to acknowledge that this is fairly non conformist thinking, but I think you're getting the impression that I'm quite earnest about it. It's not invalid just because it differs from your way of thinking. Nevertheless, you've probably already recognised the little psychedelic perception here, and I'll bet you find it somewhat unnerving. Well, hold on to your hat fellow traveller because there's only more kookiness to come.

I recognised the relationship between the British Isles and the rest of the planetary topographical configuration early in 1981 soon after I conceived of the host model. This led almost immediately to the infinite regression of universal summaries, so I was in possession of this very useful paradigm from a pretty early stage. It was many years, however, before I was able to assemble a bunch of other paradigms which I could use to connect all the bits of observation from this time, so I'm telling you much of this now with the benefit of hindsight. I was still very much at sea with much of what was happening to me at this time, and I wasn't coping well with all the odd things I saw and heard.

For example, the first time I heard a street sign talk to me I thought "Oh great. Now I've got signposts talking to me." I found it a little disturbing and I wasn't too happy about it.

It was a long time ago and I don't remember exactly what it said, but it was at night and it said something very simple like "This way to the edge of time." You will no doubt be familiar with the creaking sound a signpost makes when it rotates back and forth in the breeze. Well it sounded like this, and it wasn't very coherently spoken, but it was quite distinct. You wouldn't mistake it if you had heard it yourself.

Another more recent example occurred in 2008 when I took the train back to NSW from Western Australia. I lived in the west for about ten years and I had a car which I wanted to keep, so I had it loaded on the back of the train which is a feature of the Indian Pacific. The train left Perth at about eleven in the morning, so it was over the hills east of Perth, and onto the plains by late afternoon. I was sitting in my pokey little single berth cabin looking out the window, and not thinking of anything in particular when I saw a vision of the car emerge in my thinking. It was just another thought, but I could feel the pressure of it on the fabric of my mind. My car had evidently figured out that we were undertaking an epic journey together, and it was enjoying it so much that it wanted to let me know.

It reminded me of a dog enjoying the breeze on the back of a pickup truck. It had a big grin on its face which I couldn't help returning. All I could do with my surprise was grin back and think "How cool is that! My car has found me in its thinking." This was the first time it had spoken to me like this, and it really made my day because this sort of thing doesn't happen very often.

This may sound a little too kooky for you, but trust me when I say that I'm going somewhere with this. I expect that you're familiar with modern cinema as most people are in this day and age. I also expect that you like to see super heroes exercise their powers to save the world from evil, and I doubt that you question their possession of special powers because it defeats your enjoyment of the show. I believe that schizophrenia has been unfairly demonized in modern society, and I hope to add to the correction of this attitude with the telling of my story here. At the very least I'm sure you'll find that my literary behaviour up to this point has not been too discomforting. If it helps you to continue with your reading of my story then think of me as a funny cinematic hero in possession of special telepathic powers.

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