I am just back after a few days at the hospital in Oslo.
I broke a tooth. The infection in the root spread to the face. I felt surprisingly unwell and, without knowing it, had the beginnings of sepsis. And following a dentist appointment, my system went into septic shock. There is about an hour I can’t remember, and I woke up sweating profusely, shaking uncontrollably, and without being able to think much at all. Fortunately, I relatively quickly got sent to the hospital in an ambulance and received critical care, was then under observation for a day, and then spent a couple of days in the infection section of the hospital.
It was a dramatic and scary experience, I am profoundly grateful for modern medicine and for being able to receive such good care so quickly. Without it, I may not have been be here today.
SHIFTING INTO BIG MIND
I also noticed what seems to be a natural tendency in my system. In a crisis, the “center of gravity” shifts into Big Mind. I far more strongly and clearly and unmissably find myself as Big Mind, as what this human self and the wider world happens within and as.
I can see it as a kind of safety valve. Or my system may not have the energy or ability to operate closer to the human side of the equation so this is what’s left. Or it just makes sense. In these types of crises, it’s helpful to function a bit more from and as Big Mind.
In daily life, I always find myself as Big Mind. It’s always there. It’s easy to notice. And yet, the “center of gravity” tends to shift around a bit on that spectrum from the human self to Big Mind. Sometimes, its more over to the human side, sometimes more over on the Big Mind side. It depends on the situation and where attention is and what’s required, and also if anything is triggered in me and how much I get caught up in it.
THE EFFECTS OF BIG MIND
How did I notice the effects of having Big Mind more strongly in the foreground?
The most obvious is that in my immediate experience, what I am is this crystal clarity anything happens within and as. Any ideas of boundaries or time or space or divisions between this human self and the wider world and so on happen within and as this crystal clarity.
I found myself surprisingly OK with the whole situation. At one level, my human self did its best to get the care needed and to tell the nurses and doctors the symptoms and what had happened. At another level, there was just a noticing of it all and a slight curiosity about how it would all unfold. Would he survive? How would it be to die? What’s on the other side of death, if anything? How is that big adventure?
I also noticed that things that normally would annoy this human self, like a nurse talking unnecessarily loudly in the middle of the night or someone making a lot of slime-related sounds, were fine.
And I noticed and experienced the whole situation as love. The words and actions of the nurses and doctors were love. The iv was love. The cardiovascular monitor was love. The ten tubes and cables attached to my body is an expression of love. All the work innumerable people have engaged in for all of this to exist was love. I know that, for them, it may “just” be a job. And, for me, it was love. It’s an expression of care. It’s what helped me survive and get back to health.
That said, there are also some challenges at the human level.
For instance, the first night at home was riddled with restless dreams bordering of nightmares, involving imagery from the hospital stay – including wanting to not move too much because of all the tubes and wires connected to my body. I was also generally disoriented.
At the hospital, I spent the last two days in the infection ward. Since they didn’t have enough rooms, they put me in the corridor. The first afternoon and evening, my bed was next to the room of a woman dying. The nurses said it was best to stop treatment so she could die sooner since there was nothing they could do for her.
My bed was moved down the corridor for the night, in between two isolation rooms. The people in both rooms were screaming in agony – or confusion? – through the night. Groups of nurses went in and out of the rooms most of the night, dressing in and out of their protective astronaut outfits.
In spite of having been close to death just a day or two earlier, I was one of the healthier people there. It really felt like one of the first circles of hell – hearing and imagining the agony of some of the patients and seeing the nurses literally running around to try to keep up with everything while somehow and miraculously still being attentive, with a smile, and often a good-hearted joke.
My body and mind function as if I was ninety years old and in bad shape even for that age, although I know it will change. And I imagine I will enjoy the small pleasures of life even a bit more. I already do.
I get even a bit more viscerally that life is change. Nothing that’s here will last. Enjoy it while you can.
Note: After I came back to the house, I have been in bed most of the time. Just now, I went outside in the beautiful summer afternoon and had dinner in the garden. It literally felt like being reborn into this life.
Note 2: I suspect I may have had this infection for a while, and wasn’t able to have it taken care of it because of a confluence of reasons including the pandemic. It may explain why my body has seemed to struggle and has felt especially weighed down for a while now.
Note 3: I have had a couple of infection-related dreams. A day or so after returning from the hospital, I dreamt that some ruthless burglars wanted to break into my car and there was nothing I could do. Last night, July 5, I dreamt a fake male nurse wanted to put poison into my iv to kill me. The first is a typical infection dream, and it’s a good sign it was my car and not my house. (It seems to suggest that my mobility will be impaired, which it was.) The second seems to mirror the poisoning of my blood that did happen, and perhaps that I am not out of the woods yet. I am still on antibiotics and will take another step to remove the source of the infection. (And, of course, I can explore these dreams in a more psychological-mirror way as well.)
Note 4: I noticed my misophonia went away during this experience. Sounds that usually would trigger stress in me were just sounds. Maybe because of the stronger shift into Big Mind?
Note 5: It’s now a week after I returned from the hospital, and I still feel like I have been hit by a truck – with fatigue and brain fog as the strongest symptoms. (On top of what I already have from the CFS.) This means I am not writing so much here, and that may change in time.
- Health challenges
- Very grateful for modern medicine
- For the people working there, is their job and mainly do it for the money, and may like/love it to greater or lesser degree
- For me, it’s all love (care, love, caring society)
- Shifted center of gravity much further into the BM side of the spectrum
- no fear of death
- Vivid imagery, explored dall-e prompts and how they may look, and sometimes saw them in great detail and could study them in detail
On the human-to-Big-Mind spectrum, it shifts quite far over to the Big Mind side. I always find myself as I found myself very clearly as Big Mind through it all.
In daily life, I always find myself as Big Mind. It’s always there. It’s easy to notice. And yet, the “center of gravity” tends to shift a bit on the spectrum from human self to Big Mind. Sometimes, its more over to the human side,
The most obvious is that in my immediate experience, what I am is without any borders, there is no inside or outside, all happens within and as me, all happens as what can be called consciousness, and so on.