Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Was Pixilated or the Grocery List Returns!

Obviously I wasn't sure what to call this post. Pixilated is a nod to author Patrick Harpur who wrote Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld and The Philosophers' Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination. Harpur's mother referred to "Pixilation" as what happens when things go missing such as keys and other items and subsequently turn up-usually in the spot where the person missing the item frantically searched for them earlier. This quote is also from Patrick Harpur, "Indeed, perhaps the purpose of pixilation is to introduce us to the in-between world. It opens a nagging crack in the fabric of our comfortable reality, a crack small enough to ignore or overlook if we wish-as we must, if we are not to plunge into unfathomable depths. Pixilation is analogous to the weak spot on those violent, busy, invulnerable heroes, such as Achilles and Ajax or Sigurd of Norse myth. It is a mixed blessing to be invulnerable, because it also seals you up in your own world and cuts you off from commerce with the Otherworld. Thus, like the little spots of weakness on the hero-the heel or the patch on the shoulder-pixilation is a tiny fault-line symbolising the moment in the midst of our armoured surface, and our invincible egotism, our heroic hurry and certainty, when we are suddenly opened up like wounds to the possibility of death. Death, that is, of the ego and its commonsense life, and the beginning of the deeper, imaginative life of the soul."

After wanting my whole life-or almost my whole life anyway-to have some kind of contact with the mysterious and ineffable it may finally have happened yesterday. Previously I had always wanted to see and have some sort of contact with a ghost or the crew of a UFO-to solve a conspiracy-you name it -just something to take me out of this mundane existence if for only a little while. Hell-in the last few years I probably would have settled for an Elvis sighting or to figure out where Lord Lucan went or even to find out if Anne Coulter is really a woman. Of course with what happened yesterday I think I got the Yugo version instead of the Rolls-Royce version. Here is the story. I have referred various times to being a victim of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD for short. I am very lucky that my symptoms are fairly mild. They do involve a lot of checking on things like seeing if the door is locked, coffee pot off and so on. I think one of the symptoms of this OCD thing with me is always and I mean always to know where I put stuff-things that I will need to use in a short matter of time. I always put my wallet, car keys etc and anything I will need to do or use for the next day in the top drawer of my dresser.

I had been making out a grocery list for a time and was finally ready to go to the store yesterday morning. I ritually put the grocery list on top of my wallet the night before so I would be good to go the next day. As it turned out, I had an awful time sleeping the night of the 31st and woke quite late (noon) on the first. I really wanted to hustle as I had a lot of things to buy and wanted to get it done before the heat of the day really got going. I threw on some clothes and shoved my wallet -along with I thought-the darn grocery list in my pocket-I had seen it right there where I left it the previous night. Wanting to make sure I had everything I did one last check before getting out the door and sure enough-no grocery list. I thought no prob-it must still be in the drawer where I saw it last. Well it wasn't-I must have checked that damn drawer no less than five or six times-thinking perhaps that I was so irritated I was looking right at it and not seeing it. I finally gave up looking for it and made a new list to the best of my memory. I finally got back home with the groceries and put those away -looking once again in the drawer to see if the original list was there-just out of curiosity-it wasn't. Hours and hours later when I was going to bed for the evening I opened the drawer to put my wallet, keys and other stuff in-perish the thought I could ever leave them on a table or a dish like most normal people!

Well whaddya know?? There was the original grocery list in all its glory sticking out like a sore thumb! I would not have been as dumbfounded were it not for the fact that I must have been in that very same drawer almost twenty times before this-both in the search for it and after getting home. I have no explanation for what happened. All I know is that the list absolutely positively 100% certainly wasn't there before and I live alone so unless Clementina the Cat has learned some pretty nifty tricks no one is screwing around with my head. God forbid should that ever happen-it wouldn't take much to make me certifiable at this point in my life.

I will turn once again to Patrick Harpur before closing: "It looks very much as though so-called pixilations are as much the work of the dead as of the fairies. This should not surprise us: the Otherworld is an ambiguous realm, in which the daemonic beings and the dead often overlap. The dead are often seen among the fairies, for instance, in Irish fairy lore; and in Brittany, all the characterisitics of the fairies are attributed to the dead. As Camille Flammarion remarked in Mysterious Psychic Forces (Boston, 1907), the spirit manifestations in seances more often resemble "the prescences of mischievous boys than serious bona fide actions. It is impossible not to notice this...Either it is us who produce these phenomena or it is spirits. But mark this well: these spirits are not necessarily the souls of the dead; for other kinds of spiritual beings may exist, and space may be full of them without our ever knowing anything about it...Do we not find in the ancient literatures, demons, angels, gnomes, goblins, sprites, spectres, elementals, etc? Perhaps these legends are not without some foundation in fact." Harpur goes on to talk of an ashtray that was in his mom's car that he used to borrow and smoke cigarettes in. After he cleaned the ashtray and left it in an area to dry it also vanished into thin air.

Harpur continues: "My mum died suddenly. (Incidentally, her bunch of keys disappeared by pixilation the day before, but returned on the morning of her death. My sister even remarked that some transition must be in the offing). The day after her funeral, I took her car out. I lit a fag. The ashtray was back where it should be, installed in its slot under the dashboard. Did she replace it? Or did those pesky pixies-the ones she quarrelled with all her life but which now, perhaps, were abetting her? Either way, I had to laugh." OK -I would very much be interested to know if something similar to my experience or ones Patrick Harpur talks about has happened to any of you? Something that you are 100% certain of. I have had some "iffy" strange experiences in my life-but this may very well be my first that I am 100% certain of and that I do not have an explanation for. I am sorry it is not exactly awe-inspiring! Oh the pic is of me and our treasured dog -taken sometime in 1981 or 82. I got the idea to put personal pics up here and there from Aggie who I very much hope is feeling a lot better! If you are not bowled over by my movie star good looks-wait till you see what "times winged chariot" did to me later haha-although I am happy to say I am at least normal weight now and have lost the weight of a small child I was carrying around-knock on wood (more OCD superstition for you). Thanks again so very much for your kind, thoughtful and intelligent comments!

Talk about thought provoking and beautiful please go to this link if you have time-it is a long article-but more than worth your time to take a look at -amazing work Christopher! Link


Sub Specie Aeternitatis said...

Pixilation eh? I now have a new concept to play with.
This sort of thing happens to me a lot, especially when tensions are running high, emotions are running riot. It's tempting to attribute the ubiquitous "lost keys" to their slipping into the "inbetween world", and maybe it is so.

Or not.

The tension could blur memory, being in a rush could distort perceptions and cause a person to miss what is right in front of their face. Equally just such distortions could be a catalyst for the slippage, of pixilation.

Who knows? As the guy repeats all the way through the movie "Shakespeare in Love" after being asked how he knows everything will turn out O.K.:

"It's a mystery..."

Life is eh?

Autumnforest said...

Beautiful observations! Wow! Yeah, I know that pixelation thing. When you're mildly OCD, you account for every place several times, so when it shows up in a checked place..wow! Sometimes they can be the best witnesses to phenomenon. Thanks. You really gave me a whole new line of thinking for today, as I was hanging pictures around the house and can't find the hammer. I'll have to look in the places I looked before! p.s. Anne Coulter has balls; I don't believe that's compatible with being female...

Nina said...

i woke up this morning thinking "i wonder if devin got around to putting that experience on his blog". whenever someone has told me he/she has had some paranormal/unexplainable experience, i want to know the details NOW. so to my curiousity i say thank you! and what a wild experience!! it didn't even happen to me and i'm super curious as to just what exactly was the REASON why the list was absolutely not there but then hours later, there it was.

maybe you created it simply by wanting such an experience so much for so long. and so with (possible) help from the other world(s), you were given a real gift. and hey it could have been your car keys! lol

i like the quotes from the book as well. i remember meeting a guy once--bookstore owner--who told me, so matter-of-factly that he had seen fairies in his yard. that was years ago and my mind wasn't as open as it is today to such things, so i kind of looked over at Mr. N and did a "this guy's cuckoo" look w/my eyes. today, i totally believe it--at least in the possibility. ALL is possible in this unlimited Universe in which we reside.

thankx for sharing! happy for you that you can now say "i had THIS experience..." and no need to underplay the value of it--i think it's quite an experience!

Devin said...

Sub Specie-thanks so very much for stopping by-always appreciate comments so much-I would definitely have called this a no-go had i not been in that very same drawer like twenty different times it seemed like looking for the thing-I have been losing massive amounts of sleep lately -and this is also bound to affect a persons perceptions and memories-however with this incident-it was "too much"-unless of course I learn that Clementina is even more intelligent than I already give her credit for;-) best to you as always and so appreciate you stopping by-all the best!!

Autumnforest -I loved to hear your thoughts on this as you have a lot of thoughts along these lines in several different areas -and your comment about Anne Coulter made my evening -thanks for the laugh!! The OCD was the clincher in this for me-had it been kinda wishy washy-"well i only checked two or three times" it woulda been one thing-but in all seriousness i mustve opened that dang drawer 20 times in the course of the day until all of a sudden-boom-all the best to you as always!!

Nina thanks so very much for stopping by and giving me your thoughts on this-I am so happy that of the folks who have responded so far that no one is ready to consign me to the funny farm!! and I always love hearing about your experiences-even with this i am keeping options open-but so far in my life -this rather unglamorous story is my best bet for a "real" paranormal type event-best to you as always!!

Christopher Knowles said...

This is great- that exact phenomenon is just like Synchronicity in that everyone experiences it. Good one, Devin!

Devin said...

Christopher-thanks so very much for your comment!! I very much agree that everyone experiences synchronicity and phenomena like these-whether they acknowledge it or not-best to you as always!!

Alex Robinson said...

Just love the photo Devin, so far beyond any super star glamour.

Also dearly loved your tale. OCD must be a scientists dream, for all the necessary strict measures for measuring are in place. I've had things like this happen, but have explained them away - your OCD tale allows me now to let them be as they are. No particular memory springs to mind, but your story has freed my mind for future pixilations.

I hope you are having a remarakble day - with or without pixies :)
Word veri = lituring - did your grocery list end up on the pavement of a 'nother world for a while before being returned?

Anadæ Effro said...

Devin, brilliant piece … i've gotta pick up Patrick Harpur's books now. I'm glad, do youhear me, GLAD that I'm vulnerable to the Otherworld… mayhaps without my vulnerable senses I'd've NOT been able to perceive Newgrange when I was their with Sequoia last month as the Stargate that it is! And thanks for the heads-up on Christopher Knowles's piece, which I duly commented on, also. Not having anything Pixilated lately … LOL … you? I DID, however, see a sleeping (feeding?) three-ended-tailed blue dragon, nestling in a castle-like cumulus, below me, when I was over 40,000 feet up on our way to the Emerald Isle. Just remember, Devin …

Trína chéile a thógtar na cáisleáin,
Anadæ Effro (•:-)}

Anonymous said...

This kind of thing happens quite often in my house. I call them the mischief pixies. Although I do have a very smart/cunning black cat called Sophie. She herself is so mischievious at times, I often suspect her of being the culprit. However, if she is, she ain't talkin. She just opens those strange golden yellow eyes wider and looks super innocent.
Now Devin ... which one are you in that photo .... hehehe! Very cute.

Devin said...

Alex, Anadae and Aggie-the 3 "A's" thanks so very much for your cute and kind comments!! alex it has been a pixieless weekend so far;)

Anadae-Daemonic Reality is the book I am trying to decide if to buy with some money left on a Barnes and Noble gift card (if you can order stuff that is) these quotes from Harpur were in fortean times magazine (where else-haha-apologize for not giving issue number etc-will come back when i have time and do it!!thanks as always for your delightful thoughts!!

Aggie-I did actually suspect Clementina just slightly:) I have often thought she had a kind of "cat magic"!

thanks again to the three of you and everyone else for your lovely comments-if anyone has updated their blogs that I cant get to this afternoon because of time-i hope to be able to tomorrow-all the best!!

Ricardo said...

I will come clean and say it was I who snuck into your home and moved the grocery list around to mess with you. I had spare time now that I'm not working and just felt like doing something eccentric.

Is the upstanding young man in the picture you Devin?

Devin said...

Ricardo thanks so much for fessing up haha-but damn you why didnt you stay!!!! thanks so much for stopping by and yes that is yours truly around 16 or 17 years old-best to you as always!!

Michael Skaggs said...

VERY neat experience shared here Dev!

I had some similar experiences with items before, wondering if somehow they "phased" into the next realm just to be an "annoyance".

Glad to see people sharing here at your blog! Sorry I missed this piece earlier, just been so darned busy!

Read at "A Light in the Darkness" blog, thought you might take a peek and see what you thought.

Be well!

Devin said...

Michael-no worries ever!! I know you are busy -this was a kinda synch in that i was trying to wrap some things up and realized i had meant to read your latest post-so it was very cool to see the comment from you here-and it looks like i didnt miss it by much timewise-best to you as always!!

X. Dell said...

(1) I hope Coulter isn't a man. Our image has suffered enough as it is.

(2) Agree with Alex regarding the photo.

(3) My life has had too many of those moments, including one recntly. If I ever meet you in person, I'll tell you about it.

(4) Forgive my contrariness, but what I think you experienced is what is know to shrinks as a PE, or poultergeist effect (so-called because in days of yore, people used to attribute these sorts of thingst to poultergeists and other spirits). I would say that this post makes a pretty strong argument for the power of the unconscious mind.

Psychologists would say that when you didn't see the list immediately where you left it, then your unconscious mind registered the reality of no-listness (to invent a term). Because that registred in your psyche so powerfully, your eyes kept perceiving the light reflecting from the paper, and sending the signal to the brain, which interpreted it as no-list--because it had already decided (unbeknowst to you; that's why they call it an unconscious) that you were in a state of no-listness.

Later when the brain no longer sees the item as necessary, the no-listeness function goes out the window, and thus the listness returns. Voila.

Well, either that or a visitor might be playing a prank on you.

Devin said...

Xdell I so appreciate you stopping by tonight-tonight is one of those nights I could definitely use the humor-and thanks for agreeing with Alex about my ugly mug!!:) You do great indepth analysis of this kind of thing--and in a comment no less-you know me I always want to swing towards the magical but believe it or not I am somewhat of a rationalist also- perhaps I should also have mentioned in this article that the hours of sleep per week I am getting have been dropping like a stone -I kinda said it half jokingly before but I truly consider myself an insomniac now-and anyone who knows what lack of sleep does to a persons mind should consider this in reading this article -I would very much enjoy meeting you in person as I would other people I have "met" on the web-even ones who have philosphies and politics and all manner of things I don't agree with-hopefully for all of us the time will come!! As always thanks so much for stopping by here and commenting and I hope everything in your life is going beautifully!!

foam said...

hey devin ..
am sort of catching up here a bit.
let me tell you ..
it's a good habit to put your wallet and keys always in the same spot. you don't know how much time i waste looking for those darn suckers. i'd like to blame it on pixies or a poltergeist or an alternate universe ...
but i know it's me.

but i sometimes i know i've put something in a certain place only to not be able to find it. it's been my experience that when i stop obsessing about finding it and even forget about it, i'll find it in the very place i knew i had put originally.

Devin said...

foam-thanks so much for your comment and sorry it took a bit to get it here! I am taking some more offline time than i usually do-this was an interesting one for me and I agree with a lot of what you said-many times it seems that when i stop obsessing over something-the situation will resolve itself-best to you as always!!

Justin Russell said...

Speaking of pixilation and slippage between worlds you may find this little spaced out oddity of interest:

A dimension slip?

Devin said...

Justin thanks so much for stopping by!! I really appreciate the links you and others are leaving-I do not know how to leave a "live" link in the comments section-if anyone who sees this or you yourself will let me know i will start trying to link in comments again-i stopped doing it cause i thought whats the use in a "dead" link? all the best to you my friend and hope you are off to a great start on your weekend!! I may be offline tomorrow but hope to be back soon-will look at your link now thanks again!!