Private Joke

I dreamed that I was traveling, and I occupied an RV with a very small footprint.  Some ladies asserted that I wasn’t doing my cleaning correctly, in the tiny compact bathroom, and I felt briefly ashamed.  I went in with spray bleach and a rag while they were both in there, and that didn’t feel right either.  But I sprayed bleach and wiped, all around their actual limbs and bodies, feeling pressured into it.  

I think this part of the dream spoke to my tendency to “do what you asked me to” when I feel caught out or caught short.  I become assive aggressive, with plausible deniability.  

Later in the dream, a silver haired girl sat on the little brocade upholstered fabric sofa, just outside the bathroom.  This is how things are in RV’s — the couch might be right outside the shitter, depending.  The girl was young, and had immaculately cut and styled silver hair.  It was silver like treasure, not like age, and it was all different shades.  She was waiting to receive something like her mission call, a place that she would go.  

It was told to her, I don’t know by who.  My consciousness, in dreams, often departs from any particular character.  The place was someplace far away, and I mean like lightyears through space, and it had a name.  A two or three syllable word, not especially exotic.  She was told this name and her reaction was interesting: at first a sense of reverence suffused her, because she had been anticipating this moment for so long.  But then it was over, and mostly anticlimax.  Her reverence collapsed in on itself.  

Meanwhile I was marveling — whoever I was, at this point in the dream — that she could travel so far through space knowing only the name of the destination.  She could just will herself there, now that she knew the name.  That impressed me.  

That’s all I remember of the dream, and as usual I suspect that was the least of it.  

I had an experience recently where I was voluntarily hypnotized, and I spoke as my higher self, answering the hypnotist’s questions which I had helped to create, prior to the session.  I learned a lot from this experience, much of which I’m still pondering.  I have a recording, which I’ve mostly neglected to revisit.

So, the experience was an anticlimax, which I interpret in two ways.  My brother was hypnotized several years ago, in regards to past life and more importantly, life-between-lives curiosity.  Neither of us, or anyone in my family for that matter, is “married” to the idea of past lives, but I’d say we are married to the idea of our current embodied selves as representing some fraction, not the totality, of an ambiguous and evolving wholeness.  He reported the experience as being one of getting into a really relaxed state and then, essentially, “making stuff up” in response to questions.  I can confirm this, and that’s one interpretation.  

Another is: perhaps my higher self consciousness is closer, more familiar, and more accessible than I formerly assumed.  Maybe I don’t have to be zonked or transported from my current perspective, in order to access insight.  Maybe the feeling I’ve been reaching for, or thought I should be reaching for, which would indicate broader perspective, doesn’t feel that much different from “Hannah on a good day”.  After all, Hannah on a good day is orders of magnitude more evolved and enlightened than Hannah on a bad day.  

My brother Abe’s hypnosis discovery, of which he remains skeptical, was this: the past life before last was a difficult one.  His higher self chose to advance perspectives of justice and fairness, and because high contrast yields dramatic gains, he chose to embody these sensibilities in a time and place most resembling what we’d call “medieval”.  Long story short, he had a difficult life — a painful, brutal, exhausting life.  

His higher self chose to follow that experience with a restful recovery life, following that one, and so he was born of a white man and a Native American woman, in the early days of European expansion in North America.  Both parents split from their clans to join together, to wander in a mostly intuitive way.  He was their son, and he lived on, hand to mouth as it were, after their reasonably peaceful deaths.  Eventually he was killed by a large animal.  But even that was okay, given the circumstances of his medieval life. 

Now in this life, his intention was to get back after it, promoting justice and fairness and a host of other qualities, this time from a 21st century identity, but he’s been a little slow out of the gate, after such a relaxing weekend past life.  

Under hypnosis, and when asked about his nuclear family connections, Abe asserted that he and I often incarnate together or in close proximity, for we both like to “travel” at around the same pace.  Our parents, however, came here to experience their last incarnations together, to do some mop up, and ultimately to peace out and move on to other things.  Our mom has already accomplished this, dying in 2011, and our dad remains with us for now.

I will include the transcript of myself recounting what is, apparently, an important past life experience of my own.  But I’ll comment first: it did feel like I was making it up.  Jean Noelle, the wonderful French hypnotherapist, told me that my conscious mind chatter would show up and attempt to invalidate my impulses, as I answered questions, and that there was no need to oppose it.  “Simply let it stand off to the side,” he said, several times.  So I did, and continued to go with my first thought, and the transcript you’ll read is evidence of that.  

Another reason I’m skeptical of it is this: in this apparent past life, I’m irritated by all the same things I am now; hungry for the same forms of relief, and lonely in all the same ways I’ve been lonely in this life.  Does that make it less valid, or more?  Why wouldn’t my personal themes play out on a macro scale, as well as a micro?  

In any case, the way it felt to go with my first impulse, again and again and again, in response to questions I truly did not know the answers to, a half hour before — and I wrote the questions, so obviously their answers eluded me — then to be deeply relaxed, to have these questions posed to me, and to internally pivot again and again to a perspective which knows their answers — was an experience I’m still coming to terms with.  I think I’ve been led away from my own internal guidance system somewhat less than others I encounter, but still, it is our obsession to consider ourselves a blank slate, upon which the world writes its answers.  What things mean, how to conduct ourselves, what matters in this circumstance and that.  My experience with hypnosis was a surprisingly powerful reminder that looking for an answer within doesn’t feel like transcendence or witchery or religion or even nonsense.  It feels very mundane.  I emphasize: very mundane.  Pragmatic, even, like washing the dishes.  But the crazy thing is, an answer comes.  And that answer also feels mundane, pragmatic.  

For instance, later on in the session (not included in this transcript), Jean Noelle posed to me my own question: what is the deal with Buffy?  How and why did this little white dog appear in my life, abandoned on a busy road, shivering in the rain?  I’ve always been so curious about her, as she is an animal match to my preferences on every level.  Deeply relaxed, pragmatically speaking as my higher self — or making shit up, whichever — I answered, “Oh, it was a joke that only Buffy and Hannah would get.  It’s a private joke.  They both enjoy looking like one thing and functioning on other levels, regardless.  And so she showed up, ready to be underestimated by everyone but her, so that Hannah would understand how powerful that is.  We all think it’s really funny.”

When asked about the outrageous degree of turmoil my partner Nick and I experienced, in our first year together — and as of the date of this session, we had broken up and only recently come back together, an outcome which neither of us expected, and which was mostly driven by prayer and noncommittal receptivity on his part, and a trip to Hawaii to visit another dude, albeit platonically, on my part — Higher Self Hannah said, with zero hesitation and total confidence, “Oh, they just wanted to get all their knocks out of the way quickly, so they could get on with it.”  Just that!  It was a whole ouroboros of entangled questions and wounded neurons, in my waking consciousness, but my higher self dealt with it in one sentence.  When asked if marriage was right for me, or something I should consider, HSH said, “It’s a question for him to ask himself.  His sensibilities are more conventional, on the persona level.  It’s irrelevant to Hannah — she’s already married to him, in all the ways that matter to her.”  

So, whether I was making shit up or not, I can’t deny the validity and straight up helpfulness of this experience.  I find that my steps are slightly more steady around such esoteric matters as writing, recounting dreams, finding my meaning in the world, suspecting as I now do that broader perspective is no further away than a looked-for impulse. 

Thanks to Jean Noelle, a fellow traveler in a time of pandemic, holed up at the same Air BnB in Hawaii as us, and to Paul, our host — I only wish I had realized at the time what a raging conspiracy theorist you are so we could have really gotten down to brass tacks!  To Buffy, for her monumental sense of humor, and to Nick, Abe, my parents, and Blake, for being my long-looked-for tribe. 


Look all around you.  What do you see?


What else?


Smoke?  Where is the smoke?

I don’t know, I can’t see.

Oh, you smell it?


So, are you in the forest?


So look at your feet.  What can you see?

I’m a man.

What are you wearing?

They’re wrapped.

Ok.  And what else are you wearing?

I’m cold.  I have a lot of clothes on.

Do you feel young?  Old?

No, older.

Ok.  So what else do you perceive in this forest?

Mm — I’m tired.  It’s a lot of work.

You work in the forest?

I don’t know — I think that surviving is a lot of work.

Ok.  Do you live in the forest?

Everybody lives in the forest.

Are you part of a village or something?

Yes, but…I don’t really…feel that.

Ok, why?

They all…idk, maybe they worship a different god or something.

Ok.  So what are you doing in the forest right now?

I think I’m picking things up; I’m looking for things or, I have like a little sled.  Trying to collect things.

Ok.  What for?

Just — I need them, or…

Ok, good.  What else relevant do you sense?

Mm — I think that I was supposed to form connections with people or have a family but I didn’t, and so…they see me as mystical or crazy?  


But I’m not, either.  

What makes them think that?

Because…if you live alone, that’s what they think.  If you’re not part of everything.  If you’re not connected.

So…anything else relevant?

I feel like I don’t know anything; like I would leave, but I’ve never seen a map.  I feel very uneducated.  I feel everyone is very uneducated.  We just don’t know much.  

So that’s why you can’t go?

I think it makes it hard.

I see.  So what do you feel like doing now?

Build a fire at home.

Are you there yet?


Tell me about your home.

It’s very simple. I built it.

How does it look?  Describe it to me.

It looks like…it’s made from the materials all around it so it doesn’t really stand out.  Earth and rocks and wood.  I mean, it’s ok.  

And what’s inside?

A fire, a cook pot, a bed.  I made the bed.  And some shelves and things I pick up in the forest.  

And what do you do?  What’s your job or occupation?

Well, I think maybe they come to me sometimes for herbs or something, but if I was a woman it would be more appropriate or I would be seen as being better or more knowledgeable.  I’m actually kind of disadvantaged.

Because you’re a man?


Ok, so you’re helping them with herbs or potions, stuff like this?


What are those herbs for?

I think that…maybe a lot of people have a problem that I figured out how to not have.  Like, I think it’s simple.  Maybe it’s headaches or…

I see.

Something.  They have a lot of problems with it.

So it’s hard to heal people?

No, it’s easy.  It’s like they’re just seeing it wrong.  

What do you mean?

That’s what I mean, like they worship the wrong god.  They give themselves problems and then they think I fix it but really I just see them differently and somehow that helps them.

I see.

It’s not really a problem.  They’re superstitious.

So they think if they take the herbs they will be healed, so they take the herbs.

Maybe, something like that.  It’s not even like I convinced them of that but they feel like there has to be a thing.  Like, it’s really not about the herbs, but if that helps then I don’t mind.

I see.  Anything else relevant?

I think that I’m lonely but I’m lonelier with people than not.  Because they see to always follow the same grooves with their thinking.  Like, the personalities are just themselves telling themselves the same story.  So I think that I’m lonely but I’m lonelier in the village.

So you don’t have a wife or…?


Ok.  Anything else relevant that you sense?

Hm.  Just feels like a lot of work, you know?  Like that’s how it is for everybody so on some level it’s invisible for me but on another level I feel like life is not supposed to be this hard.

Why do you feel it’s hard?

I think that when I was a kid I didn’t feel that life was hard.

What was different?

Idk!  Really nothing.  Because I still basically cared for myself and fended for myself.  But it seemed easier to be a kid.

Ok.  So, let’s leave that scene now, and let’s go to another important time in this life where you will find answers that you seek for your highest good.  You’re there now; what do you see or sense?

I think I left.  

You left?

Yeah.  I went down.  I followed the land down.  


And I’m connected with some people now.  


And I don’t really worry much about anything.

Ok.  And who are those people?

They have brown skin.


And what are they doing?

They’re just hanging out.  They have a totally different attitude.  

How are they?

They’re like children their whole lives.  They just have fun.

Like what.  What are they doing?

They play games.

So you participate with them?

Yeah!  You don’t have to be good.  It’s easy.

So you enjoy it?


What else relevant do you sense?

They make good food.

Is it different from what you were eating?


How different?

It’s like spicy, with different ingredients.


Yeah, they don’t have a lot of fear.  I’m kind of big and shaggy and they like having me around, I sort of seem intimidating, so it can be helpful.  

What for?

Oh, just to make me feel useful, you know.

That’s nice.

Yeah.  They’re very quick and I’m kind of slow. 

What do you mean slow?

I think I’m older now.

What else can you see?

I don’t need much, I’m just happy.  I like watching them.  I like feeling connected to them.  We wander around and life doesn’t feel so hard.  I didn’t like the forest, and I’m not in the forest anymore.  I kept going down and that’s how I found them.

Are they like in a village?

No, they’re more nomadic.

How do they travel?

On foot.

What else do you see relevant?

They appreciate me.

How does that make you feel?


Ok.  So, let’s leave that scene now and go to another important scene in this life, where you will find answers that you seek for your highest good.  You’re there now.  Describe what you see.

Something about my mother.

What about your mother?

I think that she wasn’t with my dad when she had me, and she did the best she could for me I think that’s why I got off to a bad start in that village.

Ok.  And what else is relevant?

Well, she was close to having me and she didn’t know whether to keep traveling or stop there, and I don’t know why she was in that situation, but she stopped in that village for her safety and for mine.  But I don’t really think it was the right place.  We weren’t from there.

So she didn’t belong in that village?


And that’s where she met your dad?

No.  She stopped there bc she was about to give birth.

So she needed a safe environment.

Yeah.  But it wasn’t really good, it wasn’t really the right place.

Ok.  Anything else of importance?


Ok, good.  So let’s leave that scene.  Let’s move to another important time in this life, where you will find answers that you seek for your highest good.  We’re there now.  What do you see?

I think I got injured when I was a teenager.  

Ok. What happened?

Something with an axe.

Ok.  What happened?

I was chopping wood and I was chopping wood for a girl, for her family.  It felt like she and I could marry, and then I got hurt, and it got infected, and I had a fever for a long time.  And I think that when I recovered she had already gotten married.  

Ok.  And how did that make you feel?

I felt bad and I had a lot of pain, too.  And I felt like there was less to look forward to in life.  I felt the fear of pain, and disability, which I never really thought about.  


I was scared of getting hurt.

And how did that affect your life?

I got less competitive with other males.  I kept to myself more.  And pretty soon everything just passed me by.  

Anything else relevant?

I don’t think that I really had many strong characteristics one way or the other; I think that the village just decided what they thought about me based on their really un-complex beliefs and whether you fit into that or not.  I was just very passive.  I mean everything was just kind of black and white, there was nothing you could do about that.  

So let’s leave that scene now and let’s go to the last day of your life in this life.  What do you see?

Fire.  A big bonfire.

What is in front of you?

A big bonfire.  And I’m happy.  Everybody’s happy.  My vision is bad.  I can’t see much.  

What else do you see?

The kids are dancing.  I feel like we’re on the beach or a shore.  

Ok.  What else do you see?

That’s it.  I’m very old.  

Ok so now, whatever happened is already happened, and you can see it from the other side. Every life has a purpose and lessons.  What do you think were the lessons for this life?

To find — to leave what’s familiar and find the place and the people that feel right.  

Ok. Any other lesson?

That there’s nothing wrong with me.  And that I don’t have to hurt myself competing for resources I don’t even want.  That life is supposed to be easy and feel good.  


I’m supposed to be connected to other people.  Men and women and children are all supposed to interact lovingly with each other.  Not to be separated from each other because of ideas.  

Any other lesson?

It’s better not to worship any god than to worship the wrong god.

And what was the purpose of that lifetime?

To feel how easy it is to be happy under the right circumstances.  I had to know the opposite of that, though.  

So that’s why you started rough?

Yeah!  Like it can be heaven or hell, you know.  

Anything else relevant that you can see from that life?

Going down off the mountain to where it’s warmer feels relevant.  I think that the people match the elements and the elements match the people.  

I see.  So, let’s leave that life now.  We’re moving away from that man, leaving him there, so that he may continue on his path.  Blessing him on his way with love and peace.  We now leave that scene with gratitude.  Can I please have all the consciousness of Hannah return back into the body, fully integrating?  Can I please speak to the higher self of Hannah?  


Am I speaking to Hannah’s higher self now?


Thank you.  I love you, I honor you, and I respect you for all the aid you have given us today.  I know you have all the record of Hannah’s other lives.  May I ask questions?


Why did you choose to show Hannah this life?  What was the reason?

Because her sense of relief is so great when she finds the right answer.

And how does that relate to what you showed her?

I showed her a life where the problem was so great, and the relief was even better.

Oh, I see.  And that relates to her life now?

Yes!  She doesn’t want to not have the problem; she wants to have the relief of the solutions.  

Ok. Anything else that’s relevant about the lives you showed her.  

There was a lot of love in that life; a lot of love wasted!  

And what is the message for her for this life?

To not waste her love!

And how can she do that?

To love!

And how should she change things?

To just give.  To just give.

Anything else about that life you would like to share?

That’s why she loves dancing.  

What do you mean?

Those people, those brown skinned people, with their children and their fires?  That’s why she loves dancing.

Oh I see!  Nice!  


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