As a surgeon, I always wonder about anesthesia. The whole thing is more than a little suspicious. What a weird human endeavor…we can disconnect one another, not only from all feeling, but from all sensation period. Sorcery.
For the first time I experienced that unique experience. I was awake in one place and then I was awake in another place and something big had happened in between the two. No memory, no residue, no smell could take me back there like a perfume might take a lover back in time. That chunk of time did not exist for me. Ok, so this is not new to many people, including thousands I have had the privilege to call my patients. But I am so curious about what happened to Me during that operation. I could geotag my knee during that hour or so, and I believe my bill will come from the surgery center where my body lay, but I have no idea where the part went that I hang out with all day, the part that I struggle to understand. In truth, the part that I am constantly struggling with to have feelings and to know it is having feelings. Etc.
All of my drug use in the past was not an attempt to stop the feelings. I was not looking for anesthesia. I was looking for the feelings. I liked psychadelics, eXstacy. I was feeling nothing and for a good, long while, the chemicals helped. In recent years I realized that I had become a master at indicating (an acting term) what the right feeling was, but mostly, I was not feeling it. If I broke up with my girlfriend, I knew I was supposed to feel angry/sad/relieved. I can’t say I could really identify those feelings or where/how they resided in me.
Since I have become aware of this, and since I no longer use drugs, and since I have done lots of work on this, I now know that feelings live in my body and they are the fiber optic cables that connect my head to my body. Instead of being two disconnected, highly functioning machines, mind and body, I have a third way: feelings. They are the honey that gums up the works. They are the wave and the particle. They are the color commentary. For me, they are new and different as well. It is a good thing, but of course, for me, also scary (although I might not be able to tell you just how this scary thing feels in my body–more like I know someone is around that next corner kind of scary).
Then there is the soul, the Knowing part, the fourth way, but I am not there tonight. Tonight I am happy to be back in my body after being submerged under a lake of disconnected flat water. I feel like a dog who has just taken a huge gulp…