The ROAD TO ELEUSIS
It’s quite possible and perhaps even likely that we are all at home to these spirits one way or another, but they are so well integrated into our consciousness that we think they are us. This reminds me of the powerful scene from the Guy Ritchie movie Revolver where Jake is seemingly enrolled on a path of self-discovery by two mysterious men who want him to break free from his greatest enemy and they do this by repeatedly robbing him and manipulating him to the extent that he is forced to abandon everything he holds dear including his ego, after which he discovers that this is not his authentic self but a parasite which only has its own protection and nourishment in mind, pun not intended. This is what is known throughout the story as Sam Gold: a mysterious enemy which is feared by everyone but has never been seen and in the words of one of the mysterious men from the film who seem able to read Jake’s mind:
“You’ve heard that voice for so long you believe it to be you; you believe it to be your best friend.”
He then asks:
“Where’s the best place an opponent should hide?”
“In the very last place you would ever look.”
“He’s all up here pretending to be you, you’re in a game Jake: you’re in THE game; everyone’s in his game and nobody knows it. And all of this, this is his world. He owns it. He controls it. He tells you what to and when to do it.”
“He’s behind all the pain there ever was, behind every crime ever committed. And right now, he’s telling you he doesn’t even exist.”
“We just put you to war with the only enemy that ever existed and you think he’s your best friend.”
More ominously, if we remember the fate of Joe Fisher “No one lives and displeases Gold.” Many have interpreted the character of Sam Gold to represent the ego, and within the context of the story this explanation fits, but could it not also be that Sam Gold represents one of the Operators, or one of the Tempters surreptitiously influencing us? The movie shows us that Sam Gold is not the authentic self so then what is the ego? Could it not be a convenient place for the discarnate entities to hide? As Avi, one of the two mysterious men from the film says:
“Where’s the best place an opponent should hide? In the very last place you’ve ever look, he’s hiding behind your pain Jake, you’re protecting him with your pain embrace your pain and you will win this game.”
“If you change the rules of what controls you, you will change the rules on what you can control.”
This is why the voices harassed Evelyn Waugh, playing on his insecurities: in his youth Waugh had homosexual experiences and much of his novel Brideshead Revisited seems based on the life he had at Oxford and frequenting a circle of members of the elite and aristocracy and this is one of the things the voices taunt him with. Once he seems to have ostensibly defeated the voices by failing to be cowed by them and not even being afraid of the bizarre prospect of being captured by the Spanish and drawing a virtue of noble self-sacrifice from the prospect and finally by abandoning the nonsense of Margaret’s phantasmagorical teasing and going to sleep, he emerges from his cabin to find that the voices have left the confines of his cabin and now appear to be amongst his fellow passengers:
“That’s Gilbert Pinfold, the writer.”
“That common little man? It can’t be.”
“Have you read his books? He has a very peculiar sense of humour, you know.”
“He is very peculiar altogether. His hair is very long.”
“He’s wearing lipstick.”
“He’s painted up to the eyes.”
“But he’s so shabby. I thought people like that were always smart.”
“There are different types of homosexual, you know. What are called “poufs” and “nancies”—that is the dressy kind. Then there are the others they call “butch”. I read a book about it. Pinfold is a “butch”.”
“Oh, Pinfold lives in great style I can tell you. Footmen in livery.”
“I can guess what he does with the footmen.”
“Not any more. He’s been impotent for years, you know. That’s why he’s always thinking of death.”
“Is he always thinking of death?”
“Yes. He’ll commit suicide one of these days, you’ll see.”
“I thought he was a Catholic. They aren’t allowed to commit suicide, are they?”
“That wouldn’t stop Pinfold. He doesn’t really believe in his religion, you know. He just pretends
to because he thinks it aristocratic. It goes with being Lord of the Manor.”
“…There he is, drunk again.”
“He looks ghastly.”
“A dying man, if ever I saw one.”
“Why doesn’t he kill himself?”
“Give him time. He’s doing his best. Drink and drugs. He daren’t go to a doctor, of course, for fear he’d be put in a home.”
“Best place for him, I should have thought.”
Once the experience is over and he is safely returned to England he consults with Dr. Drake who tells him:
“Lots of people hear voices from time to time—nearly always offensive.”
If such a thing were the construction of one’s own consciousness, why would they generally be offensive? From a psychological perspective such a thing would make no sense. It would seem much more logical that these voices are NOT part of the psyche and are inimical to it and somehow, they benefit from attacking the person in question.
People as diverse as Philip K Dick, Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill, Anthony Hopkins and Brian Wilson had all reportedly heard voices. Some relentlessly critical and offensive and some, ostensibly seeming to be helpful, but in the case of Ghandi before the end of his life a voice apparently told him:
“You are on the right track, move neither to your left, nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow.”
It might have been more useful if the voice had told him some crackpot was going to assassinate him. Ghandi also said, of the voice which he attributed to God itself:
“Charitable critics impute no fraud to me, but suggest that I am highly likely to be acting under some hallucination. The result for me, even then, will not be far different from what it would be if I was laying a false claim. A humble seeker that I claim to be has need to be most cautious and, to preserve the balance of mind, he has to reduce himself to zero before God will guide him. Let me not labour this point.”
“The hearing of the Voice was preceded by a terrific struggle within me. Suddenly the Voice came upon me. I listened, made certain it was the Voice, and the struggle ceased. I was calm. The determination was made accordingly, the date and the hour of the fast were fixed…”
There are two things which ought to stand out in Ghandi’s account, the fact that the hearing of the voice was ‘preceded by a terrific struggle within’ which we can perhaps assume was a kind of hormonal crisis, the kind we have seen with the story of Barbara O’Brien, we can therefore assume that Ghandi may have experienced a similar condition to Barbara O’Brien, namely Adrenochrome toxicity but also this seems to be a factor not only of secret occult groups but also UFO groups as is referenced in Jacques Vallee’s book Messengers of Deception:
“For every individual who is openly identified as a contactee, how many more have received what they regard as a ‘secret illumination’? It is apparent that the transformation they undergo can strike at any place and at any age. Is it purely random, then, or do the UFOs select their ‘victims’? Does it spread like an epidemic, or does it develop like a psychosis?”
Anthony Hopkins went on record in a 1993 News of the World interview:
“I’ve always had a little voice in my head, particularly when I was younger and less assured…While onstage, during classical theatre the voice would suddenly say, ‘Oh, you think you can do Shakespeare, do you?’ Recently, I was being interviewed on television and the voice inside my head said to me, ‘Who the hell do you think you are. You’re just an actor, what the hell do you know about anything’”.
Brian Wilson is one of the most high-profile people to go on record about hearing voices, his voice was typically threatening:
“Well, a voice is saying: ‘I’m going to hurt you, I’m going to kill you.’ And I’d say: ‘Please don’t kill me.’”
Like the Evelyn Waugh voices but seemingly more menacing, I wonder if the tenor of the voice changes depending on how you react to them; as we saw with Evelyn Waugh, he refused to be intimidated by the voices, even though he was under the delusion they were actual physical agents, it was only when he thought he was going mad that his defences seemed to crumble, but Waugh despite his somewhat dissolute student life and obese drugged form in later life, served in the Royal Marines and was given a position of command; he was prepared to fight or even if all odds were against him surrender, but on his own, noble terms. I suspect the voices see what they can get away with and if their victim proves to be made of stronger stuff then they adapt their tactics, though it would still appear that their final goal is either the destruction or complete possession of their victim. Furthermore, in his conversation with the doctor who has told him that they were part of his own subconscious Pinfold/Waugh is puzzled:
“What I can’t understand is this…if I wanted to draw up an indictment of myself, I could make a far blacker and more plausible case than they did. I can’t understand.”
Mr. Pinfold/Evelyn Waugh never understood this; nor has anyone been able to suggest a satisfactory explanation. I have an explanation. What Pinfold means is that although the voices were insulting to him, if the attacks were from his own mind, then he would have been able to draw up a far stronger line of personal attack on himself. The attacks were very general: attacking his excessive use of drugs and alcohol and his previous homosexuality, but nothing very specific or damning about him as a person and his decisions, just somewhat general comments about his lifestyle choices. The reason might be that possibly the ‘voices’ can only hear your thoughts in the present moment but do not have a deeper access to your memories and your past deeds. Since they do not have that level of access to information one might assume that they do not come from the self but are interlopers and opportunists which exist in a kind of mental astral realm and can pick up on people’s thoughts and in exceptional circumstances such as Waugh’s experiences with his unique combination of drugs and personal stress, can in turn be heard themselves, at which point presumably, knowing that they can be heard, they start to mentally abuse and torture that person for their own demonic pleasure.
While shaving he hears the family of voices conversing about him which develops from the lines that he drinks too much and to his own suicide. The voices make no pretence at this stage that he is not a party to their dialogue and they directly address him
“‘I know you can hear me Gilbert, why don’t you kill yourself’ Then Goneril’s steely voice cut in: ‘I can tell you what he was doing on deck. He was screwing up his courage to jump overboard. He longs to kill himself, don’t you, Gilbert. All right, I know you’re listening down there. You can hear me, can’t you, Gilbert? You wish you were dead, don’t you, Gilbert? And a very good idea, too. Why don’t you do it, Gilbert? Why not? Perfectly easy. It would save us all—you too, Gilbert—a great deal of trouble.’”
He emerges from his cabin, believing the voices are a product of some old war-time inter-ship communication system which hasn’t been decommissioned properly, and emerges onto the boat deck to find everyone talking about him in an incessant dialogue.
They encouraged him to commit suicide but Waugh being a Catholic and a fairly successful man, wealthy and probably in his own way, quite pleased with himself, such an effort wouldn’t lead to their desired results so instead they settle for continual abuse, except one of them, a character called Margaret.
It seems that what the voices want from Gilbert is his attention and when the threat of violence fails to cow him and he reveals that he is prepared to physically fight, even in his infirm and bloated condition, then the voices try a different approach.
This leads to the development of the character: Margaret who reveals that she is impressed by how Gilbert bravely confronted the prospect of hooligans which he faced down outside his door and how he nobly chooses to offer himself as a sacrifice to preserve the security and safety of the secret agent which the Spanish authorities were trying to capture. She declares herself in love with him and ready to yield herself to him. This story becomes increasingly bizarre until at one point Margaret is all ready to enter Pinfold’s nocturnal bed chamber and yield herself to him utterly. Naturally she never materialises.
The voices of Margaret’s family are overheard coaching her and preparing her for her nuptials and things take a grossly comic turn:
“That’s my beauty. Go and take what’s coming to you. Listen, my Peg, you know what you’re in for, don’t you?”
“Yes, Father, I think so.”
“It’s always a surprise. You may think you know it all on paper, but like everything else in life it’s never quite what you expect when it comes to action. There’s no going back now. Come and see me when it’s all over. I’ll be waiting up to hear the report. In you go, bless you.”
Pinfold then awaits her in the darkness, in his delirium, expecting a girl he’d never met before whom he can hear speaking with her family in her cabin and who can read his mind which is all somehow connected to some kind of radio technology left over from the war, to come into his cabin and have sex with him. There is some hesitancy however on her part in showing herself and her father the General is surprised that things have not developed to their natural conclusion.
“What the hell’s going on? You ought to be in position by now. Haven’t had a Sitrep. Isn’t the girl over the Start Line?”
It would seem that although Margaret and the hooligans’ approach is radically different, the hooligans attempt to instil fear in Pinfold while Margaret tries to instil love, in a manner of speaking they are both doing the same thing, that is getting ‘attention’ and in that way drawing a kind of energy from Pinfold.
Although Pinfold is unwell and heavily drugged it seems something in his mind is able to perfectly well articulate a highly complicated and serpentine plot, almost Dickensian in its colourful cast of characters and their high levels of melodrama, but the one common thread which runs through the whole experience is that of abuse, abuse and denigration of himself. Since the experience and the organisation and colourful characterisation of the voices are so similar to the voices which haunted Barbara O’Brien then we can collate these experiences within the same category.
So, we might therefore draw the conclusion that Barbara O’Brien’s analysis that the voices were from her own consciousness and were there to help her become sane again, was incorrect since nothing of this nature can be drawn from Evelyn Waugh’s similar experience.
So, if we can allow ourselves the belief that such a thing as God exists, then logically there must be an invisible world of the spirit which accommodates a varied flora and fauna of disembodied entities. Not all of these entities have our best interests at heart and perhaps for some unknown reason, they are directly opposed to us.