Writers sometimes get blocks that prevent them from writing. They may sit for hours, days or weeks staring at a blank sheet of paper. In those days it was paper. Now they stare at a computer monitor. From time to time during my life of writing I have endured such blocks for varying periods of time. They are nothing particularly noteworthy and I am not going to describe any of them to you here.
What I would like to share with you is an experience that was just the opposite. For a period of about two weeks while writing that story, I heard this very quiet and soft spoken female voice talking in my head. Same voice as before? Could have been. In retrospect I would guess that it was the same. But at the time I did not make any connection that I remember.
At any rate, she was telling me the story! It was like she was writing that story and I was just taking down her words. Hour after hour, day after day, I took her dictation. I typed as fast as I could trying to keep up. But I just could not keep up with her and she did not repeat herself. This frantic process went on for ten, twelve, sometimes fourteen hours a day for two weeks. Occasionally I would get up and walk away from the typewriter. I just could not take it any more.
Once in a while I would get up and grab a bite to eat. Or walk to the library or just around the block. You try sitting for a few hours without getting up. It is a pain in the you know where. Try it for two weeks.
Eventually, she stopped talking to me. The story was over as far as she was concerned. But it was not over for me.
I spent the next two or three weeks getting down on paper all the material I could remember that I had missed while she was telling me. This was lots.
I really got to know that typewriter well!
The details of that story are not relevant here. It was never published and never will be. But this particular experience and that story influenced my life significantly for more than a decade. That science fiction story was the beginning of my journey to the center of the earth - my own psyche - and it eventually culminated in the writing of this book.
The first relevant thing about the experience was the experience itself. Connecting with that creative source within myself was about the most exhilarating experience imaginable. I had never before encountered my inner Muse in such a graphic and real way.
Sure, I had been inspired to write before that. I had written lots of fiction and poetry. Much of it was inspired by that same inner Muse. But never before had she shown herself so openly and so clearly.
I felt that I had discovered the most important part of myself. My intuition and my creative imagination became my personal reality. And my life has been enriched enormously because of it. I have been empowered to infuse meaning and significance into otherwise mundane events and experiences. The world has become a living and growing event. Majestic!
Here is an example to show you what I am talking about. A couple of years after this experience occurred I discovered the Apocalypse Unsealed in Old Favorites bookstore on Adelaide Street in Toronto. I took a quick look through it and realized that I was not ready to understand what it had to say. But I bought it because I knew I had to have it.
A year later I spent part of the summer in the Yukon Territory. I made a canoe trip down the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City. It is a popular trip and thousands have done it and continue to do so every year.
Two things happened during that trip while I was on Lake Laberge. The first event occurred just as I entered the upper end of the lake from the river. The second event happened about ten miles down the east shore of the lake overlooking a quiet little cove and a rocky bluff.
The Yukon River makes a very wide and sweeping bend just before it empties into Lake Laberge. There is a long row of old pilings along the west bank.
As the canoe glided in the current past these pilings, the river began to widen into the lake itself. As it did so, the view opened out into the wide expanse of the lake. On that day the lake was calm and smooth as glass from the upper end to as far as I could see. I could not see the lower end of the lake, but I could see a low row of mountains beyond the lake that were gray blue in the clear distance.
What happened there as I drifted out onto that great mirror of water was a mix of flashback and vision. It was incredibly vivid.
When I was a child I had been quite fascinated by the romance of the Holy Grail. I had read several versions of the story. In one of those versions there was a picture in the book of Arthur and Merlin in a small row boat in the middle of a lake.
In that illustration, the water was calm, like a mirror, and the two men were standing in the boat. A short distance away from them, the mysterious Lady of the Lake was holding Excaliber out of the water in her upraised hand.
As I drifted slowly out onto the clear, calm expanse of the upper end of Lake Laberge, that picture of Merlin and Arthur flashed in my mind. It was so vivid it was as if it were actually happening to me at that very instant!
That moment was an experience that will stay with me forever. It is just as vivid to me now, twenty-five years after the fact, as it was when it actually happened. My inner Muse had spoken to me again. This time in a vision. The next day she spoke in symbols.
About ten miles down the east shore of Lake Laberge a beautiful little creek rushes down out of the mountains. Its water is clear and cold and tumbles down an impressive ravine just before entering the lake.
A couple of hundred yards south of the mouth of this creek I discovered a little log cabin sequestered in the spruce trees on a small bluff. The cabin looked across the lake towards the west. There was a small note tacked to the door of the cabin. The note said simply, "Use, but do not abuse."
In the north in those days there was a custom of hospitality in the bush. This custom encouraged folks to share - in this case the comfort and convenience of a cosy cabin. My travelling companion and I did so.
There was a supply of wood and kindling for the stove. The floor had been swept clean. The door and the windows secured against squirrels.
The two of us used the cabin for a day or two and then left it as we had found it. As I said, this was the custom. So the note on the door was not very unusual in itself.
What was striking about that note for me was the name of the person who had written it. The note was signed by JOHN LOGOS.
I am not making up the name, honestly! That was the actual name on the note. I will not elaborate here, but by the time you finish this book you will realize the full significance of that name for me.
For now I shall only say that my Muse had spoken to me loud and clear. She had shown me a pathway. First the vision of the sword and second the symbol of this particular name. I suppose it was both an invitation and a challenge for me.
I got onto this short digression to show you an example of just how my life has been enriched by connecting with the intuitive and creative part of my mind. I want to be certain you understand what I am trying to tell you here. If you have already got it, please bear with me.
Psychologically, the sword is that of discrimination. It rises up out of the depths of the unconscious to show that it is already at work or at least ready to go to work. The sword also symbolizes action and power. To unsheathe one's sword is to go on the offensive, so to say.
The name on the door showed me the direction that my action and my discrimination must take. Doors open to opportunities. Names identify and give power.
That is the underlying nature of the myth of correctly guessing the demon's name. To do so puts the demon under your control. It must then do your will, or grant your wish.
John, via the Apocalypse he had written, was about to introduce me to the secrets of the logos. These would lead me in turn on a journey of self discovery through the depths of my own unconscious. Everything connects!
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