Saturday, October 19, 2013

New Adventures in Sleep Paralysis

I call him Tarab.

I do not think he knows this. I do not think he would like this very much if he did know.

They say that in olden times, people believed that names held power. People believed that if you knew the name of someone or of something, then you held a sort of power over that person or that thing. Names limited the named.

People believed that. I mean, if what I have read is true, they did. Seriously.

Think “Rumplestiltskin.” Think Adam naming all those animals over which he was to have dominion.

I do not think Tarab wants to be named. I do not think Tarab wants to be limited. To be perfectly honest, I do not think Tarab wants me to write about him.

But the way I figure it, you are not going to believe any of this anyway, so I’ve got nothing to lose by telling you nothing but the truth. And the truth – the truth that you are more than likely not going to believe – is that Tarab and I have reached an odd sort of arrangement.

For his part in this arrangement, Tarab gives me information. Answers. Advice. Predictions.

And me? For my part? I give Tarab rum. Oh, and sometimes, I carry out his orders.

So okay, here it goes: Do you remember a few weeks back, when I told you about my bouts with sleep paralysis? Remember? I wrote about it here and I wrote about it here. You probably did not believe me then, either.

I told you about this dark figure thingthat I saw or that I hallucinated or that maybe I daydreamed – I was not asleep! – and I told you about what it said to me. I told you it said, “Recite!”  and I told you it said, “Read!”  and I told you it even said, “Write!”  only I could not recite nor read nor write, because I was unable to move at the time. That is, after all, sort of the idea with paralysis.

Now, I admit, reading that last paragraph again, this all sounds a lot weirder than it is. You should know that sleep paralysis is a real thing, so there is no reason for you to look at me like that.

Anyway, the dark figure thing I told you about?

That was Tarab. Only I had not yet given him that name at the time.

This shadowy maybe-hallucination that growled at me, he seemed a bit angry that I did not do as he said. Five times I purposely brought on sleep paralysis, and five times he came and barked orders at me that I could not follow.

Finally, I just stopped sleeping on my back, because really, who the hell needs to get yelled at in their own bed?

And I suppose by rights, that should have been the end of it, right there and then. Katy’s Great Adventures in Sleep Paralysis, Parts 1-5. The end. Something weird that happened that I got a couple decent blog posts out of, which is all I can really ask of any experience in life, right?

The thing is, that could not possibly have been the end of it. It could not be over. There is no scenario in which I could have simply moved on from there, not until I learned what the message was that Tarab was trying to deliver.

Don’t tell me that you would not want to know, too, if any of this happened to you. Admit it: You would want to find out what Tarab had to say as much as I wanted to find out what Tarab had to say.

I found out what Tarab had to say. 

(to be continued...)

52 comments:

  1. Name gives you power? Hmmm when you don't know someone's name, we kinda mimic smurfs and call them by their personality or their looks and thereby give the people we speak to the scale to measure our meanness or humaneness. " fat chick", "mythology freak", "mr.stinky pants", "big head" etc.,
    I remember one time preteen years I used to go to school with huge sandal mark (I am not religious ) and when teacher asked me why do you wear like this I said "I heard my schoolmates and classmates calling me mean or not- so-nice names, they didn't know my name, if I wear something distinct and different like this, they could call me "yellow road head" "pious nut" or something a label I could easily shed later if I stop wearing sandal mark on my head rather than some label I can't loose"


    And I am interested to know what your Tarab has to say. And I should come up with some name for my shadow man ? That sounds good rather than just saying angel on leftshoulder and devil on right shoulder. My dreams sometimes are funny. Especially when I have to see and talk to the person I had dream about the next day. I wish I could forget all my dreams but I can't.

    Can't wait for your next post

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    1. That's sort of a good idea. It's like picking your negatives.
      You know, like you have a huge scar on your face, so you wear a giant yellow hat everyday because you'd rather be called "Yellow Hat Girl" than "Scarface."

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    2. Exactly. And those gals werent exactly good in naming people you see. I had funny and awesome nicknames for the but all they had was mean names.
      bTb of all above names only mythology freak is mine. I don't have a big head, i am not a frog woman, I am a beetle woman.

      Allen's definition and your naming is kinda creepy. Did your subconscious mind named him Tarab or he introduced himself as Tarab to you? Tarab is your sleeping partner..sorry for PJs (poor joke) not pajamas. I know if is offensive to use sleep and sleep related terms to insomniac. :)

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    3. The boring answer is that I named him "Tarab."

      I have been looking for something to use that name on for a while now.

      I think I went with the Arabic name because I'd just read a book that speculated that sleep paralysis hallucination figures were actually djinn (genies, essentially).

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  2. “Tarab” (in Arabic) is a state of ecstasy and surrender one enters while listening, with body and soul, to music

    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship's smoke on the horizon
    You are only coming through in waves
    Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying

    http://tinyurl.com/Thinking-Sat-Morning

    -----

    Same story for me. only difference is beer

    "For his part in this arrangement, Tarab gives me information. Answers. Advice. Predictions.

    And me? For my part? I give Tarab rum. Oh, and sometimes, I carry out his orders."

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    1. "When I was a child, I had a fever
      My hands felt just like two balloons..."

      "Tarab" is one of those cool words that doesn't really have any sort of English equivalent. "Yugen" in Japanese is like that, too.

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    2. OK some weird stuff

      anti-Nirvana

      Most schools of Buddhism explain Nirvana as a state of bliss or peace, and this state may be experienced in life, or it may be entered into at death.

      Nirvana in our lifetime?

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    3. Hmmm... Might be possible for very short periods of time, I guess. During life, I mean. Human beings just aren't made out of stuff that can function as a still pond for very long. And there's nothing wrong with that!

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    4. I experienced something similar to Nirvana for three years. I'm not sure where it went. I highly suspect that one of the doctors cut it out of my heart when they did that first CABG. One of them DID look Mayan.

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    5. You're lucky or something, then. I have not. I am up and down a lot - just the way my life is. In retrospect, sometimes, I remember things wrong and it seems like it was all good or that I was completely Zen, but... it's always a mixed bag with me.

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    6. Bad things happened to me but I was still content and had the feeling of Nirvana. I always knew that God, or the universe if you prefer, would provide for me so I continued to good for others. That was when I was in West Virginia and a year or two before. When I got back to texxas I had th problems with my heart then the CABG and haven't fully felt tje feeling since. I even seem to have lost the power of long distance healing, at least in severe cases where the person is terminally ill. I've been afraid to offer to try to lay hands on someone to heal them like I did in WV because the feeling left me. I guess I just lost faith in myself.

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    7. I love reading about and talking to people who can do amazing things like you're talking about with the healing thing. I don't understand any of it, but I always want to know more...

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  3. Nice one, @Allen Reinertsen :-) Comfortably numb = Sleep paralysis. Except I wonder if "comfortable" is the first word that Katy would have used ...

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    1. You're right - I can't be comfortable, or else Tarab won't be there. When people get comfortable with sleep paralysis, there are no hallucinations. At least that's the way I understand it...

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  4. Sounds like a good demon name. Ask him nicely and he'll give you a conducted tour of the Infernal Regions. Then you can write the definitive book. With photos.

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    1. This post would have been way better if I'd written the second half, which was sort of the point of it. Not Dante quality, but better.

      I hope I write the second half.

      I don't know what it is with me writing beginnings and then skipping out on the part that was supposed to be the point.

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  5. Did...Did he not just want to say "read" and "write"? He pretty much put it out front. And Allen just blew my mind that there's a definition to "Tarab"! Did you know that ahead of time? Are you that calculating? Damn, you're good at this. Also, does this mean the internet has no power over me as I have a pickled avatar doing my evil bidding which I can hide behind?

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    1. I know I'm hallucinating this thing, but I also know why I am hallucinating him saying these particular things.

      Depending on your source and the translation of the story, these are the same words that the Archangel Michael said to Mohammed before he started dictating the Quran.

      Hell, maybe I'm NOT hallucinating. Maybe I am to be the vessel through which a new holy book comes into the world.

      If so, I hope there are some great sex scenes...

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    2. God works in mysterious ways...

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    3. Haha... This would be one of the most mysterious ever.

      Seems like it would be easier just to let me get swallowed by a whale or, you know, miraculously impregnated.

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    4. Well someone who loves God admires you very much so he put in a good word for you. ;)

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    5. I've been pretty sick a few times, and I had people who prayed for me, and I ain't dead yet. I don't know whether to give anyone credit for that or not...

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  6. Your cat should protect you from Tarab. My cat Zoee keep away both zombies and the invading horde of gekos that siton our glass front door each night. The gekos appear just be eating moths as they fly by, but you never know what they are thinking.

    The ancient (and perhaps current) Jews believed if you could speak the name of God you could create your own worlds. Powerful things, names

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  7. When I was a kid, we only had anoles in Houston. You know, those little things people call "chameleons" because they change color, only they aren't chameleons. They're anoles.

    Then sometime, in the last 15 years or so, the geckos have moved in. The little pink lumpy lizards that sit around your porch lights at night.

    I don't think I ever saw one of those until about 15 years ago, and now they are everywhere. I will assume they're an invasive species...

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    1. Geckos in Houston? I can understand it out here in the now semi-wild but I wouldn't have expected them in Houston. Maybe they were imported by GEICO to get you to buy their insurance?

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    2. My neighborhood has it all. Ducks, roosters, raccoons, possums, various and assorted lizards... all within sight of downtown.

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    3. That's very cool and very interesting. If he has a shallow pond like one of my neighbors on the next block though, it can be a horrible breeding place for mosquitoes. You could almost see a cloud of them approaching you from where he lived.

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  8. I see your cat isn't pulling his/her weight. If you want to borrow mine, she assassinates poisonous spiders. I'm sure for the right price she could take out Tarab. Assuming, of course, that Tarab's message is a bad one and not something positive. By the way, damn you for making us wait. What is this, a soap opera? Stay tuned until next week to see if the evil Stefanopolis's twin brother, who faked his death in a car crash, is still sleeping with his brother's wife?

    (Yes, yes he is. She's addicted to pills and she puts out)

    I'm waiting for this to just be a sponsored troll post. We come back next week only to find that Tarab's message is "YOU CAN NOW GET 15% OFF YOUR NEXT PURCHASE AT THE SUNGLASS HUT! CLICK HERE AND ENTER 'lesbiansinmysoup' AT CHECKOUT TO APPLY YOUR DISCOUNT!"

    Was I close? Let's face it, Katy, all of the good bloggers sell out at some point.

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    1. No! Don't put that idea in my head!
      Since I am assuming that my nighttime hallucinations ARE in fact just that, you could put an idea in my head that ends up affecting what I'm told by Tarab. Tarab is going to end up just telling me the best place to get cash for gold or else maybe he's a Nigerian prince who needs to launder some money.
      If you ruin my hallucinations, I'll never forgive you.

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    2. great comment - LOL

      good bloggers sell out at some point - giving that some thought

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    3. GOODSTUFF: I was talking to my brother about how, in the past, the best rock bands could balance their commercial and artistic sides. U2 and REM and Prince used to see how much they could "get away with" and still pull their audience along.

      I don't see a lot of that balancing now. I see a lot of pure commercial product, and some pure art, but not a lot of stuff that walks the line between the two.

      I'm not sure what I would sell here: "Watch me do drugs and make a fool of myself. Now buy a Volkswagen."

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  9. You should have given the shadow figure some generic name like Steve. It'd be so irritated by being called such a mundane name as Steve that he might just forfeit its real name, if it indeed has one.

    And wait, Tarab said, "To be continued..."? He/she didn't say anything beforehand, so what is he/she intending to continue!? But on a serious note, perhaps Tarab is an angel coming to you to write the next gospel. You could be a prophet! That'd be pretty cool.

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    1. You're right, of course. "Until I hear otherwise, I dub thee Fred Allen Johnson III."

      That would have been the way to go.

      If he ends up dictating a holy book to me, I think I'll have the first revealed religion begun in a swamp. Deserts seem to be the environs for most of those...

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    2. You'll have to wander through the swamp for forty days and forty nights. Let's hope God protects you from the alligators... unless you intend on using them for food.

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    3. I've been in this swamp for almost 30 years.

      The revelations always happen in a desert. God must not like humidity much.

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  10. I'd desperately need to know as well.
    And even though it would scare the hell out of me, I'd go back time and again as well.
    Perhaps just make sure the good Doctor is on hand, should you need someone to help you wake?

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    1. Hey, whatever it takes to convince Belloq to stay overnight, right?

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  11. Katy. The visitor I find most often pestering me during sleep mode is God. It's somewhat touching and reinforcing in some ways, yet bothersome as all Hell in others. Does this Tarab asshole always arrive in the same visage, or does he shape change and shit like God?

    Unsettling, night visitors are, and mostly unwelcome. So, fuck walmart!

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    1. Reading your blog, it appears God has way more of a sense of humor than Tarab. Tarab is mainly just mean and shadowy.

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    2. Mean and shadowy? Either he's a demon or a black guy. (Did I say that?)

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    3. I read up on these things. Most people who see a figure around them during sleep paralysis see a) an old hag (the most famous manifestation), b) a demon, or c) just a shadow.

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  12. Is the paralysis a medical condition or a result of doing too many psychoactive drugs? I haven't read much about sleep paralysis so I don't know much about it. Normally I could just do a quick Google searchbl in another tab but I'm not at my computer.

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    1. When people enter REM sleep and have our dreams, our bodies paralyze us so we don't act out our dreams. When they stop this paralysis in cats, the cats will act out their dreams while asleep.

      Regardless, this can go wrong. One of the ways it goes wrong is by the brain paralyzing the body when we're coming OUT of sleep. You wake up, you can't move, and you freak out. The hallucination somehow goes with that - trying to figure out what's wrong.

      Freaky stuff. They think this explains most alien abduction stories.

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    2. I appreciate your explanation of sleep paralysis. That's quite interesting. Watch out for hypnotists though. They sometimes have ulterior motives.

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    3. Hypnosis is on my short list of things to read about.

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  13. I'm watching the movie INCEPTION... there's a lot of sleep paralysis going on in there.

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    1. Inception! Great concept. They only half pulled it off, though.

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    2. Which half didn't they pull off?

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    3. I loved the first part: The dream logic, the whole premise.

      The second half just felt more like standard big budget explosions and stuff. Plus the point was pulling off white collard corporate crime, which they successfully pull off in the end. It was like "Prometheus" in that it was a great idea and had great elements, but it fell into special effects eventually.

      That's the way it felt to me, anyway.

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    4. Inception was better the second time I saw it. I could follow it a little better. Probably because I was less distracted by the special effects.

      Well both movies involved military weaponry gone awry,
      and keeping a person in a sleep-like state :)



      I liked Prometheus too!

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    5. I don't see many movies and when I do, I almost always think they could have been better.
      I don't feel that way with music. I listen to music all the damn time, and I love almost all of it.

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