Monday, September 26, 2011

Flash Crash and the Now Moment

By Pauly
San Francisco, CA

Have you ever had a near death experience?

I was involved in a car accident and for a few seconds after impact, I thought I was dead. I know that sounds spooky and out right scary, but because I didn't see any blood anywhere, I assumed that I died and passed over into the next life. When I climbed out of the wrecked vehicle, I could barely feel my body. It was like I was floating. Of course, that was all from the shock and trauma of the incident, but during that minute or so before I started shaking and had "sea legs" and needed to sit down on a curb, I kept thinking, "Wow... so there's a seamless transition between life and the, one second you're alive, then WHAM!!!!!! SUV plows into you and you die just like that."

It really took a couple of hours before I stopped asking myself, "Wait, am I really alive?"

That realization coincided with aches and pains all over my body. If you've been in an accident, you know what I'm describing -- how it takes a couple of hours or even a couple of days for the weirdest spots on your body to ache. Once the pain pulsated through my body, I knew that I was still alive. You feel no pain in death right? That's why so many people commit suicide, or so many terminally ill people want assisted suicide -- to get over the intense pain they have in every day life -- to null it, to void it, to become one with nothingness. Of course, the soul is eternal and no matter what, you'll still harbor a bit of pain for eternity until you make peace with yourself.

Then again, the more I thought about the accident, I started to think that maybe I did die and I was feeling pain because I was shipped off to hell. After all, I lived a life that was less than angelic. I called Sin City my home for a while, and heck, I lived in the modern day Gomorrah every summer for two months. I might as well have a Nevada driver's license. Surely those in charge of the afterlife know my vices and proclivities to not-so-pious lifestyle. Maybe I was experiencing hell? After all, it was hot as balls and looked a lot like Las Vegas. Maybe hell is what you despise the most? Sartre thought hell was other people. Maybe hell becomes your greatest fears. For example, if you hate Dave Matthews Band in real life, but when you die, then you get stuck being a roadie for DMB in your alternative hell.

During the millisecond of impact during my accident, I had a strange flash. It wasn't the white light. I want to say I saw sparkles, but it wasn't as cosmic or dramatic like that, rather it was burst of the windows shattering into a million little shards. I didn't have the white light or a have a million warm and fuzzy memories flash before me. It's not how some people describe it -- you know -- "your life flashes before your eyes." Rather, I had a what I would describe as a quick burst of... love.

That's right. Love.

I'm not what you call a sappy person. I respect the past, but I'm someone who lives in the moment. The now. But at the moment of impact in the accident, it's hard to describe that moment which triggered an outpour of deep, emotional feelings of love because I had immediate, almost concurrent thoughts of three people: my brother, my mother, and my girlfriend. I had an immediate memory burst of the people who obviously mattered to me the most, but not so much in the mind, but I kinda felt it all over my mind and body. I guess you can say it encompassed me.

A month after the accident, I had a Reiki Master tell me that I lost part of my soul in the accident because it's a natural thing that sometimes the soul jumps out of your body during accidents or traumatic incidents -- as a means of self-preservation. Whether or not it's true, or whether you believe that hokey spiritual mish mash, it doesn't matter because the person who told me was deadly serious, and I knew something was wrong with me -- I wasn't quite there. Luckily, I was about to see a few Phish concerts, and the band is highly inspirational. I hoped the music or a mind-melting party favors would get me back on track. And yeah, the band and the concerts helped get my soul back. I didn't have to hire a soul retrieval specialist. I just took matters into my own hands.

It's hard to describe that "life flashes before your eyes" moment any other way. It's taken me a few months before I could even begin to write about the accident. And yes, I've been afraid to ask any of my loved ones if they felt a jolt of energy at the precise moment of impact. I don't want to freak them out. The accident was crazy enough and they worry about me as much as is, so I really don't need to be digging into other people's psyches.

Life is strange. The mind is even more bizarre. As I try to find more answers, the more I come up empty handed. But I flirted with the life's razor's edge for a brief moment and walked away with my soul outta whack, my hip all kinds of fucked up, little nicks on my hands and arms, bruised ribs, and a piece of windshield glass that got stuck in my palm for several weeks before I managed to pull it out with tweezers. At that point when the shard was expelled from my palm, I knew it was time for me to mentally heal myself, because I knew there would be a major event happening in the ensuing year or so. I needed to get healthy to help prepare for that defining moment -- whatever it might be.

Now, that defining moment is drawing close. The event is nigh. I can't explain it any other way but the chronic insomnia is as worse as it's ever been. When I do sleep, I'm bombarded with the most bizarre dreams that are too intricate for me to even begin to analyze.

With that said, it's important to take time this week and really figure out what's important in life and stop being irked by the little things. Because when the proverbial shit inevitably hits the fan, you're gonna be kicking yourself in the gonads thinking, "Why did I even waste all that energy on that, when I could have been spending time with the people I care about, or the things that bring me the most happiness."

If I told you a flash was coming soon, what would pass through your mind? Loved ones? Moments of glory? Pangs of guilt on the things you didn't do, or the people you might have hurt along the way?

I know this is a lot to think about, especially from me. Shit, just the other day I posted a video about titties and carrot cake, and now I'm asking you to go hug your kids and step outside and enjoy the moment.

The moment, the now, is all we got.