Meditations: Validation

“We’re going to do a simple meditation to get you familiar with the process of placing yourself in a hypnogogic state.”

Gertrude painstakingly explains to Jason the value of being able to place himself into a hypnogogic state so that he can access the data that’s encrypted in his DNA.

“While in a hypnogogic state, you’ll see, hear, feel, and know things you’re unable to in a conscious state. There is nothing to be afraid of. This isn’t even like a hypnosis, and I won’t ask you to cluck like a chicken. Gertrude jokes with Jason.

“I’m going to place this ball in your hand, Jason. You will drop it the moment you slip into a hypnogogic state, and it will bring you back here with me.”

Jason takes some rhythmic breaths and closes his eyes. Gertrude walks Jason through some simple breathing and relaxing exercises that eventually lead to Jason slipping into a deep state of relaxation.

“I want you to imagine you’re in a room, Jason. This room can be any room you want to create to be. It can have walls or no walls. Ceiling or no ceiling. It is whatever you create it to be in your mind.”

Jason sees a bright tunnel in front of him as he begins to tune out Gertrude’s instructions.

“One,” he hears a voice say through the tunnel.

Jason can feel the ball Gertrude placed in his hand begin to slip out of his hand.

He runs frantically into the tunnel and is consumed by the light. He feels his body merge into the light and then hears the voice again.

“When you awaken in the next second, once the ball hits the ground and awakens you back to consciousness, she’s going to ask you questions about what you experienced while you were here. It’s important that you don’t mention this experience.” The voice says to Jason in a way that makes him feel at peace.

“What am I to tell her instead?” Jason asks.

“Tell her about the room you created.”

“But I don’t even remember the room I created.” Jason searches for any memories about the room he created and becomes frustrated.

“It’s okay to be frustrated, Jason. When you awaken, you will regain your memory of the room you created. It’s a magnificent room. Your imagination is exceptional.”

“So, what is the purpose of this? Are you part of what she is looking for?” Jason suddenly has a feeling in his awareness that Gertrude might not be as good intentioned as she seems. “You’re her husband?”

“No.” The voice remarks with a flat response. “I am a gatekeeper.”

“A gatekeeper to what? The information sequenced in my DNA?”

“No.”

“Then what?”

“The next gatekeeper.”

Jason remains silent as he ponders the gatekeeper to a gatekeeper concept.

“And after that gatekeeper?” Jason asks.

“I do not know, Jason. I only know my function.”

There’s silence for what seems like eternity.

“Two.” The gatekeeper says.

“What are you counting?” Jason says in a confused manner. He’s starting to feel a pressure building around him.

“The ball will slip from your hand in one more second, and you will be awakened. It is very important that you listen to me carefully and remember as much detail as possible.”

“I’m all ears!”

“Tomorrow, you will be in a car. There will be a car that you pull up next to at a stop light. There will be a woman who looks like this driving the car.” A 3D image of a blonde woman with a large nose and bob hairstyle displays in front of Jason.

“Now, I know this is some weird dream. Nobody drives a car anymore.” Jason thinks to himself. “She’s not really my type,” Jason says to the gatekeeper.

“She will be singing a song, Jason. I need you to remember as many words of that song that she sings.”

“I’m not much of a music guy, gatekeeper.”

“You will remember what you remember, Jason. Later that day, you will be back here in a meditation. Tell me all that you remember, and I will send you to the next gatekeeper.”

“What if I don’t remember anything?” Jason says.

“That would be rather unfortunate, Jason. But I don’t think you have much to worry about. I have faith in you.”

There’s a moment of silence as Jason ponders how a voice inside is head just told him that he has faith in him.

“Three…”

#

Jason sits up abruptly in his chair, startled by the sound of the ball hitting the floor! He’s breathing heavily. Gertrude places her hand on his hand.

“Are you okay?” She asks softly.

“That was weird, Mrs. Hammenstel.” Jason says in a broken chain of words, trying to catch his breath.

She hands him a small glass of water. He takes a big gulp and quickly downs the entire glass before he notices it has an odd taste to it. He looks at Gertrude who smiles softly at him as his vision blurs for a brief moment. He begins to feel a bit dizzy and tries to speak. But his mouth won’t move, and he can’t make a sound. He falls back into his chair and collapses.

Jason hears someone whispering his name softly, but he can’t see anything or feel anything. He tries to open his eyes, but everything remains dark. He can sense there is someone surrounding him from all sides but above where there appears to be a tiny pin prick of light so far away that it just appears like a speck of dust above his head.

He pushes himself up towards the speck and launches himself at what seems like a speed faster than the speed of light. Suddenly, he bursts into the spec and is surrounded by light. He awakens on the same chair he was on just moments earlier where he drank the poison Gertrude had handed him.

“Are you okay?” She asks startled. She reaches for a glass of water, and Jason quickly pushes himself out of the chair and kicks it out of her hand.

Startled, she recoils from him. “Jason, it’s me, Gertrude.”

Jason glares back at her. “I’m your friend, Jason!”

Jason heads towards the door of Gertrude’s office and reaches for the door handle.

“What happened, Jason?”

He pauses with his hand on the door as he hears a voice inside his head tell him to go back and sit in the chair and listen now that he knows the truth about Gertrude. He sighs and lets go of the door knob. Gertrude watches closely as he sits back in the chair.

“It’s been a difficult couple of weeks, Mrs. Hammenstel.”

“I can only imagine, Jason. I know this must be a lot for you to digest.”

“Are you sure your guys can’t get the encryption key to work?”

Gertrude explains to Jason how they continue to work on decrypting the information in his DNA and that these exercises are for helping him with the voices in his head and not about the messages in his DNA.

“I think of you like a son. This work is for you. I want to help you with the impact this is having on your mental health. I know you are struggling with all of this…”

“I’m struggling with hearing voices inside my head, Mrs. Hammenstel. How is this going to work? How is any of this going to help me? Shouldn’t I be in a padded cell? Shouldn’t I be on medication? I don’t even know what’s real and what’s not real anymore! I don’t even know if this is real!”

“I understand there’s a lot we don’t know. I understand there’s a lot you’re trying to work through and so much you can’t wrap your head around. This is where I can help you.” Gertrude leans towards Jason and touches the top of his hand. “And you should absolutely NOT be on medication, Jason. And it’s very important you don’t seek traditional mental health and medication.”

Jason looks at her with disappointment.

“The forces you are up against are powerful beyond belief. Your friend Jessica is lucky to be alive.”

“I’d like to go see her tomorrow.”

“She’s not awake yet, Jason.”

“I know. I just want to see her.”

“Okay, we can arrange that.”

“I want to go by myself. I know you think those goons are going to come after me, but I called Detective Gomez. She’s going to take me.”

Gertrude pauses for a few seconds while she sorts through what Jason has just told her, having ignored her directions to not contact anyone; including Detective Gomez. “Jason, I’m a little concerned that you aren’t taking me very serious. Your life is at stake here.”

“If these guys are as powerful as you say they are, then they could just come barging through that door and kill me right now. Or they could have killed me when I was younger.”

Gertrude shakes her head as Jason points out the various holes he finds in her conspiracy theories she’s been sharing with him over the last couple of days.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, Mrs. Hammenstel, but I’m thinking either these guys aren’t as powerful as you think…” He pauses as he gets out of the chair again and walks towards the office door. “Or I’m a lot more valuable alive than I am dead. Which means, it’s not just about the DNA.”

As Jason walks out the door and down the hall towards the front door, he hears a voice inside his head, “Good job!” He smiles.

#

Jason is sitting in his car as it drives him to the hospital where Jessica lies in a coma. As the car pulls up to a stoplight, he hears someone singing at the top of her lungs in the car next to him. He looks to his left and sees a young woman, exactly as was displayed to him during his hypnosis the prior day. She has her hands on a steering wheel and looks over at Jason and continues to sing the song as Jason’s car starts to drive forward with the green light.

Jason tries to get his car to stop, but there is nothing he can do to control his car. He hopes that the next stoplight will turn red for him so that he can hear more of the song. He tries to look back towards the car to see if he can see where the young woman is. Soon, he realizes that he’s not going to see or hear the young woman again, but he can’t remember anything the woman was singing.

Frustrated, his car arrives at the stoplight to turn into the hospital. Within a few seconds, the young woman driving the old car pulls up next to him again. She looks over at him while singing as loud as she can. He watches her and listens to her with 100% of his awareness, being sure to tuck away as much of the lyrics and melody as possible. The light turns green for the woman’s car, and she waves at him as she drives away and Jason looks on longingly.

As his car pulls up to the drop off zone, Jason continues to hum and mumble the song out loud, hoping to retain as much as he can for his next visit with the gatekeeper. Jessica’s parents (Mark and Martha) are waiting for him at the hospital and are glad to see him. He hugs both of them, and they check-in with the front desk.

The three of them walk into Jessica’s room where the robot nurse scans their badges and confirms their facial recognition with the International Legal Compliance Records. Jessica’s mom explains to Jason that she hasn’t seen her respond to anything. She’s tried every sound and smell she can think of, but Jessica doesn’t respond to anything.

Jessica’s father fights back tears as he puts his right arm around Jason and brings him in tight. “I know you and Jessica were just friends, but I also know you were her best friend.”

Jason looks at Mark and can see the pain on his face. Jason hears a voice inside his head, “She will listen to you.”

“She will hear me, Mr. Chance.” Jason says with confidence as he looks Mark in the eyes and sees his pain disappear.

Jason walks over to Jessica’s right side and holds her hand. He leans in and whispers in her ear, “Jessica, I know you can hear me.” He pulls back as he feels her hand move in his.

“Look!” Jason turns to Mark and Martha in amazement, but they look confused. “I felt her hand twitch in mine!”

“Do it again, Jason. Please!” Martha pleads with him.

This time, Jason doesn’t hold her hand so that Jessica’s parents can see. He whispers in her ear again, “Jessica, I know you can hear me.” Jessica’s hand does not move.

“It might have just been a reflex or a timely twitch,” Mark explains.

Jason’s face drops from excitement to disappointment immediately, and Martha joins him in disappointment as they both look at Jessica lying in a coma. Jason makes a few more attempts, each with the same non-result.

The mood in the room slowly shifts down as it becomes clear that Jason’s presence isn’t making a difference for Jessica. Jason slowly walks towards the door with his head down. He hasn’t heard a voice inside his head since entering the hospital. Suddenly, he’s inspired, thinking the hypnosis gatekeeper was trying to send him a message about how to help Jessica! He turns around and begins to sing the song he heard the young woman singing in her car:

All I can say is

After today this

Love goes away with

One more goodbye kiss

Jessica’s parents look stunned as they listen to Jason’s terrible singing. They look at each other in astonishment. Then, in hope, they look at Jessica with an enormous mutual smile… Nothing.

They look back at Jason who flaps his hands at his side in disappointment.

“It was worth a shot, Jason. It’s a beautiful song.” Martha says.

“I’m sorry I let you down, Mr. & Mrs. Chance.” Jason says before leaving the room.

Mark catches up to Jason in the hallway and stops him. “Jason, we really don’t want you to think this is your fault. There’s nothing you could have done if you were there anyway. The police said these were very bad men who did this. Please don’t feel like you’ve let us down then or now. You’re a wonderful young man, and we know our daughter had nothing but the utmost respect for you.”

Jason starts to cry and hugs Mark who hugs him back.

#

“I want you to imagine you’re in a room, Jason. This room can be any room you want to create to be. It can have walls or no walls. Ceiling or no ceiling. It is whatever you create it to be in your mind.” Gertrude leads Jason into another hypnosis.

“One,” Jason hears the gatekeeper.

“I remembered the lyrics, but they didn’t do me any good,” Jason explains to the gatekeeper.

The gatekeeper asks Jason to recite the lyrics, and he sings them as he did in Jessica’s hospital room. “They didn’t do me any good though. Jessica is still in a coma.”

The gatekeeper has a new voice. “You have much to learn, Jason. Why would you think these lyrics have anything to do with your friend?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know what any of this has to do with anything. I honestly feel like I’m going insane. You know, when I’m in the real world, I hear voices. Not voices like you though. They seem to just be me but with difference voices.”

“I’ll let you know something very important now so you can make a choice for yourself, Jason. But I can only let you know if you choose to know.”

“I’m starting to question whether I know anything at all, gatekeeper. So, if you want to bestow some great wisdom upon me, I’m all ears.”

“This isn’t wisdom, Jason, but it is something you need to choose for yourself.”

“Okay, choice-bot, hit me with it!”

The gatekeeper is silent.

“Hello?” Jason keeps looking around for something visual, but there is nothing but darkness all around him.

“This has nothing to do with you, Jason. You are not a chosen one. You are not going to save the world. You won’t have any superpowers. You won’t win any great battle or become some great hero. You won’t even be able to save your best friend from dying.” The gatekeeper delivers in a dry tone. “Which is happening at this very moment, Jason. Your best friend is dying, and there is nothing you can do about it.”

Jason is filled with rage at the gatekeeper and this hypnosis. He can feel his heart racing as he tries to escape the hypnosis. He remembers he’s holding the ball in his hand, so he thinks of dropping the ball and imagines the ball hitting the ground.

There’s a sudden thud on the ground! Jason springs out of his chair and runs out of Gertrude’s office yelling, “I’ll be back! I need to check on Jessica!”

Jason arrives at the hospital where Jessica’s mom is waiting for him. “What’s going on, Jason? What’s wrong? You sounded to worried over the phone.”

“Is Jessica okay? Is she still alive?”

Martha looks concerned as she can see the panic on Jason’s face.

“She’s fine, Jason.” Martha pauses. “Well, she’s as fine as she can be in a coma.” She stops to catch her own emotions. “And she’s still alive. Thank God.”

“Can I see her?”

“Jason, I’m not sure that’s a good idea right now. I don’t feel like you’re in the right state of mind to see her. You’ve got me a little worried for you right now.”

Jason’s breathing has switched into full panic mode. “I really need to see her. I just need to know she’s okay, right now, at this very moment!”

“She’s okay, Jason. I was just in her room 10 minutes ago. I’ve been with her all morning. She’s fine, son.” Martha hugs Jason in an attempt to calm him down.

Jason breaks down crying, “I just want her to be okay. I’m so sorry, Mrs. Chance! I’m so sorry for making your worried. I’m not doing well.”

“I understand, Jason. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you as well. I know you love my daughter, and I know she loved you too. She would always compare any boy she’d go on a date with to you. Even though you were just friends, she would always compare them to you. No one ever made it to the second date. You’re such a great young man, Jason.”

“Okay. Okay.” Jason panic begins to subside. He pulls away from Martha and starts to walk away. “Okay. Jessica is okay. You said Jessica is okay, right? She’s Okay?”

“Yes, my dear. Jessica is okay.”

#

“I want you to imagine you’re in a room, Jason. This room can be any room you want to create to be. It can have walls or no walls. Ceiling or no ceiling. It is whatever you create it to be in your mind.”

“One.”

“You’re full of shit, gatekeeper!” Jason yells. “I don’t even think you are real. You’re just inside my head!”

The gatekeeper responds, “You are so certain, are you?”

“I went to the hospital, and I saw that Jessica was just fine!”

“You didn’t see her, Jason.”

“You don’t know what’s real because you can’t be honest with yourself, Jason. If you can’t be honest with yourself, of course, you won’t know what’s real.”

“Jessica is okay! You’re just some voice of paranoia inside my head!”

“You don’t know Jessica is okay. Someone told you Jessica is okay, and you believed it. That’s how you’ve spent your entire life, Jason. You’re entire life has been spent believing what someone else has told you. Even when you think you are thinking for yourself, you’re just searching for validation from someone else for a thought you didn’t even truly have yourself. Your very own thoughts are just what’s been programmed into your brain for you to output at a given time under given circumstances.”

“So, I’m programmed to think you’re a jerk?”

“Yes.”

“Why do you waste your time on me then? I’m not a hero! I’m not going to save the world! Why waste your time on such a meaningless robot?”

The gatekeeper is silent.

“You’re just a voice…”

The gatekeeper interrupts, “Because that is my purpose.”

Jason pauses for a moment to digest what the gatekeeper has told him… He starts to cry, “I’m a nobody. I’m nothing. And you’re just wasting your time on me because that’s your purpose?”

“No, Jason. You are not a nobody. You are not nothing. And I am not wasting my time on you. You are my everything. You mean everything to me. You are everything to me. My entire existence is dependent on you.”

“But you said all of this had nothing to do with me. You said I couldn’t save Jessica. Who happens to be alive, by the way.”

“Yes, Jason. The greater purpose has nothing to do with you. You won’t be the hero in this story. You won’t save the girl in this story. None of that means what you made it mean. You don’t mean nothing.”

Jason begins to dry his tears from his eyes.

“You are my purpose, Jason. You are everything to me.”

“And that’s supposed to comfort me? I’m supposed to feel great because some voice inside my head tells me that I’m its everything?” Jason screams in an almost state of madness.

“You sound ready.”

“Ready for what, gatekeeper?”

“Ready for validation.”

In complete confusion, Jason answers question after question about his past and his upbringing. His parents had impressed upon him to learn his genealogy as far back as he could. He had his entire family tree engrained in his memory going back to the 1600s. The gatekeeper asks about the books he read in school, the animals he owned growing up, and so much more.

Finally, the gatekeeper is quiet.

“Hello?” Jason again looks around for any visual signs of the gatekeeper.

The gatekeeper has a new voice, “I’ll see you next time, Jason.”