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Our first cruise was on a lovely, old-style ship called The Vistafjord. We went to the Mediterranean ports of France, Italy, and Greece. There were about 300 people on the cruise (this was before ships that hold thousands became popular), and every passenger stayed in a beautiful and elegant cabin. The food was first class, as was the old-world-style service. We loved the entire thing - the food, the excursions, everything.
We went on this cruise with our good friends, the Flicker's. Marvin and Carole Flicker were both psychoanalysts who practiced in Beverly Hills in the classical manner. Marvin was an MD and Carole had a PhD. We enjoyed traveling with them, as they enjoyed the same things we did: great food, great service, and first class accommodations.
After this, we took cruise ships everywhere possible. We went up and down the West Coast of America, the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, Mexico, and all around Europe.
I was able to do this because I wasn't working much any more. While moving Certified and building the new factory, I had stopped handling new cases personally. I would still go to the dinners and parties and various functions which we attended in Los Angeles in order to obtain new clients and keep the old ones happy, but I handed over most of the work generated by these affairs to my associates.
Instead of working, I now spent lots of time during the spring and fall in Palm Springs. We spent large chunks of time during the summer and winter in Vail, where we skied in the winter and went rafting, hiked, and explored nature during the summer. The pressurized and overly hectic lives we had endured for the past few years was not what we had been looking for. Professional success is good for the ego and pocketbook, but we felt it was not really the good life. Perhaps the good life would be found in major pleasure seeking, in participating in all the myriad forms of entertainment that were available to us. We had proved ourselves to be achievers, we were moneyed, and now we were ready to enjoy all that money could buy.
Amazingly, however, Barbara and I were not any happier than we had been before. Sure we had a fabulous life. We enjoyed everything we were doing. But our lifestyle had no substance. We did not stop to ask ourselves what were we doing; I was my father's son and asked no questions. Looking back at this period of our lives, I'd say we were operating on automatic pilot.
Barbara's business continued to do well and grow, despite her lengthy absences. Nevertheless, she insisted that something was wrong, and decided to have a full psychoanalysis. Despite the time we spent in Palm Springs and Vail, and despite our trips abroad, she felt that she lived under tremendous pressure and she was seeking a way out.
I was shocked to learn that the process was five days a week. The daily one-hour session cost $140. We had no clue when she started what this commitment meant, and it went on for 16 years. She enjoyed her sessions with Freddie, the analyst. She came home most days bubbling with excitement over the insights she was getting into her mind and her feelings. I was very happy for her. She was calm and feeling great.
A problem developed, because we began to talk different languages. Barbara was deeply involved with feelings and ways of dealing with those feelings. I listened to her explanations and ideas, but didn't understand half of what she said.
I knew I was fine (perfect, even) and had no need for psychiatrists, and I became uncomfortable with all the analysis talk. We would go to dinner with the Flicker's and the entire conversation would be about feelings and the mind. I joined in the conversation as best I could, but I generally missed the point and felt bored. Barbara loved it and wanted more and more. Soon our social life consisted of dinners and parties with a bunch of analysts. This was not the real world to me. The real world was real estate and the law, not conversations about the status of people's minds.
I decided to make my own "intellectual" connection. I joined Mensa, the high-IQ organization. In order to get in, I had to take batteries of IQ tests and rank in the top 1 percent of the population. I got in and started to go to Mensa meetings. I wanted to prove to all of the doctor types that I was smarter than they were. However, I didn't fit in with the Mensa crowd any more than I fit in with the shrinks. To me, the Mensa members were merely a bunch of unkempt mad scientists with pocket protectors, and I did not enjoy a single meeting or affair of theirs. However, I did have a great deal of satisfaction from having the Mensa plaque on the wall of my office. It was a big ego trip. I was smarter than the analysts and I made more money than they did, so who needed them.
We did have one very interesting and humorous Mensa experience. We received an invitation to attend a conference on cosmology. The subject was the expansion of the universe - is it expanding or contracting? Stephen Hawkings was the main speaker and there were panelists from Cal Tech, UCLA, and other notable places. This was exciting stuff to me. I asked Barbara if she wanted to go, and she seemed excited and said sure she did. So we went.
When we arrived at the conference, there was the usual group of unkempt mad-scientist types. Barbara said that these people certainly looked like they needed a makeover. I laughed. The conference got underway, and one speaker after another gave his viewpoint about the expansion of the universe, supported with charts and mathematics. I loved it. Hawkings was awesome. Barbara, however, was becoming more and more upset. She turned to me and asked when were they going to do the makeovers on these guys?
I said, what do you mean makeovers? Barbara was angry now, and said, "You told me we were going to a conference on cosmetology." I explained it was cosmology and not cosmetology. She was annoyed, but once she knew there would be no makeovers, she managed to enjoy the rest of the conference.
A couple of weeks later, we attended a dinner party where the guests were highly intellectual types. The conversations were obtuse. Then someone brought up the issue of the expansion or contraction of the universe. Barbara knew this stuff from the Mensa conference and said, "Well, what do you think? Is it coming or going?" Everyone was shocked that the decorator was able to talk about physics with them, and we had a hearty laugh about it on the way home.
Barbara's analysis and the ramifications of it forced me to start thinking about things I had never wanted to think about. I didn't have any grounding in these aspects of life. Talk to me about real estate, the law, business, and concrete things. If I can't see it and touch it, I don't believe in it. I didn't care how the mind operates or anything else that's not tangible and scientifically provable. But what could I do? This was her interest and this was what she wanted to talk about.
Barbara said I needed to get in touch with my feelings and my inner self. I had no idea what she was talking about. She insisted that I didn't have any feelings. Nonsense, of course I have feelings, how could you say such a thing?
I was certain that if you don't have peace of mind, the solution is to do more physically. I agreed with Barbara 100% that the business world did not provide meaning; I had been in that world and I knew it wasn't so great. So more business wasn't going to improve our lives. I, however, was not unhappy and I was not depressed. I managed just fine in and with the world. True, I wasn't satisfied and I felt that something was wrong, but I could not express this feeling. I'm not sure that I understood emotions at that time. I knew that I loved my wife and my children. I understood what anger was. But I didn't see why talking about emotions was so important. I believed that life is about being in total control and keeping a lid on your emotions; not drowning in them. I was on top of the world. I was in charge. I needed nothing. If I had a gnawing, uncomfortable feeling that something was wrong, the question to be addressed was: What is it that I don't have control of?
I thought I needed to find something material or tangible, or something related to power or professional standing, or some form of entertainment or sport that we had somehow overlooked. I needed a challenge or a quest. I did not want to sit around and discuss my feelings.
No matter how often Barbara and others told me that I should get in touch with my emotions, I just couldn't agree. Then my good friend Doctor Dick, my Mammoth ski buddy, started to tell me the same things. Dick was always there for Barbara; he provided help for her in many areas. When Barbara wanted analysis, it was Dick who selected Dr. Vacquer for her. Fred Vacquer MD was the president of several medical societies, and Dick arranged for Barbara to get in to see him.
Dick and I had a great arrangement. I did his legal work and he was our doctor. I loved it when I went to see him in his medical office for treatment. I would sit in the waiting room among the pregnant ladies waiting to see the doctor. I relied on Dick and his opinions when it came to many things, and certainly for medical problems. He began to press me to go into analysis myself.
I tried very hard to hear Barbara and I tried to hear Dick. I heard their words but didn't believe them.
There must be some other answer, I thought. I came up with a solution: I would become an artist. I started art school. As with most things in my life, I jumped in with both feet. I was soon spending most of my time drawing and then painting. I discovered that I had a certain talent. This made me very happy, particularly because this was something that Barbara and I could do together, which we did.
We went to oil-painting classes together. We painted together. We started doing copies of the old masters and started producing copious quantities of paintings, most of which were very good. The feeling of something being wrong, however, did not go away.
I knew that getting a bigger and fancier house was not the answer. Our house had everything we could possibly want. I didn't need another condominium; I had enough with Vail and Palm Springs. I was driving three cars, all for me. I had a Cadillac for legal clients and certain friends where the Cadillac was the only car to have. I had a great Jeep for fun and for other clients who would be put off by the Cadillac. And I had a Porsche Turbo 930, a very fast and glamorous car. Barbara had a Corvette and a Rolls Royce Corniche convertible. I could use either of those whenever I wanted to. Five cars for two people, which covered the automobile spectrum very nicely, was enough. Another car was not going to make that something-is-missing feeling go away.
We could not eat at more expensive and better restaurants. We had our own waiters at the best places. Freddie at the Bistro Garden in Beverly Hills. We knew Wolfgang personally at Spago and Chinois, his places. More and better food was not going to make that feeling of something missing go away. It was not going to fill the empty feeling gnawing at me.
You can only wear one suit at a time, one pair of shoes, and one shirt. At some point I refused to spend more and more on clothes; I refused to buy thousand-dollar suits. I felt fine in the $300 variety. I had dozens of suits and a large variety of clothes. Barbara, a fashion designer in addition to her other design talents, had more clothes than space to keep them. She made clothes for herself because she couldn't find things in the stores that she liked as well as her own designs. She had seamstresses who made shirts for us. More and better clothes were not going to make the empty feeling go away.
I also knew that increasing my financial portfolio with the acquisition of more buildings or whatever was not going to make me happier.
After the art didn't work, I began to feel lost. I couldn't fathom what it was that would get rid of this feeling. I knew for a fact that something was missing, but what could it be? I had all of the physical objects I needed or could use. I had the clothes, the cars, houses, and, well, everything. What could it be?
Finally I caved into the pressure of my wife and friends, and decided to enter into a complete psychoanalysis. I would go to Doctor Grotstein, MD, an eminent and respected Beverly Hills analyst.
I was giving up control, and was most uncomfortable with that. I was putting myself into a situation which I did not control or understand. I was told that I was very lucky that Dr. Grotstein accepted me as a patient. I was told that he rarely has an opening and has a long waiting list. It was only through the good offices of my doctor and analyst friends that I went to the head of the list and got in.
Analysts have a strange medical practice. Each of their patients comes in five times per week. That's the deal - you come five times per week or not at all. There is more demand than supply for their services, so they won't compromise.
An analysis is a long-term commitment. It takes several years at least, at $140 per hour, five days a week - which adds up to $2800 per average month. It comes to somewhere around thirty thousand dollars per year, which is quite an investment. I would now have to pay for both Barbara and myself because medical insurance doesn't cover this kind of treatment. In addition to the sixty thousand for the doctors, it cost ten dollars to park in central Beverly Hills, so that was an additional five thousand dollars per year.
Even when the money is not a problem, the commitment to go five days per week at the same time every day hampers your ability to do almost anything else with your life. Unless you do not need to work, or you work for yourself and can be at the doctor's office at the same every day, you've got troubles. Most employers are not so understanding as to allow this much time off, particularly in the middle of the day, every day. In addition, you pay for days that you miss. If you are sick and can't get out of bed, you pay. If you are traveling, you pay. Basically you pay for every session whether you are there or not.
The result of this is that you don't miss very many sessions. You go even if you have a small cold, or even if you have a big cold. The situation is actually fair - you have reserved the doctor's time and he can't fill your hour like a dentist or lawyer can. The hour, by the way, is actually 50 minutes, which is more than enough.
There is a couch in the doctor's office, just like in the movies. The office is a nicely decorated office. I sat in an armchair, as did the doctor. Barbara had the same arrangement. No one actually lies down on the couch as they do in the movies. You can if you want to, but no one does.
I arrived for my first session with a good deal of apprehension. Despite all the psychiatry talk, it was still an unknown. The doctor put me at ease at once. He asked me why I was there. Well, for an analysis of course. Well, what does that mean to you? I was the lawyer who was supposed to ask the questions. This was weird for me, but then again it was a totally different kind of questioning than the kind I used. I knew that Dr. Grotstein was here to help me and improve my life. In a courtroom, and in all legal settings, the purpose of questioning someone is to undermine, trip up, and deceive - not to be helpful.
Another obvious difference was the nature of the questions. They were soft and kind. They were probing, but not offensive. You come out with the information freely; it seems to come out of your mouth by itself.
Very early on in the process, Dr. Grotstein asked why was I here? I would come up with an answer and he would shake his head no. Then at some point it was a verbal, no. We danced around each other like two well-trained boxers. He had to break down my lawyer-like responses because here the truth was paramount. The truth was the only reason to be here. The trouble is that I had built protective walls around my mind to keep the truth locked up inside. Here the idea was to knock down those walls. That is what I was paying for.
At some point I answered the question: "I am here because I need to feel." Good, was the reply, we can now move on.
I literally turned around in my chair and looked around. Who said that? Where did that come from? Certainly not from me. I feel. I have feelings. Well, I learned from my own mouth that that was not true. I didn't have true feelings or emotions. My reactions were rote and I responded the way I was taught to respond. I was not spontaneous.
This is how my parents acted. This is how I had been trained to act. Respond "correctly" and "appropriately" to each and every situation. You must be in control. I was in so much control that I had no spontaneous emotions. When I thought about it, which is what I was now starting to do, I realized that I never cried about anything. I laughed at a good joke, but that is also a controlled and correct response to a particular situation; one laughs at a good joke. But did I laugh when no one else did? Never. My laughter was controlled not by my emotions, but by a very controlled, non-emotional, knee-jerk response.
I would drive home from almost every session in a daze, the revelations of the day swirling around in my mind. Some days were painful, some just reflective. There was almost no day that was neutral. Some were so full of impact and awareness that it was almost too much to take. There were days when I got up to leave my session early because I couldn't take any more. I would say, "I must leave now." The doctor would tell me to sit down as there were so many minutes remaining.
There were days when I left crying. One day, I went out into the hallway and stood there bawling loudly. The exit from the doctor's office is separate from the entrance. There is a very small waiting room for one person, the next patient. When the doctor is ready for you he just opens the door to his office. The previous patient has departed through another door. Therefore you never see the patient who has the session before yours, or after yours. You never see another of your own doctor's patients, but the analysts often practice in very quiet medical buildings that are reserved just for them, so you do see other people's patients in the hallways and elevators. Often I would recognize a movie star. On this day, as I stood there weeping, a soft hand landed on my shoulder. It was Michael Jackson. In his little boy voice, he comforted me and offered me a handkerchief. I was so startled that I just took the handkerchief and walked off to my car in a fog.
This was not the only day that I sat in my car for some time before turning on the engine. I needed the quiet insulation of my car, I needed to just sit there and think about what had taken place.
The day that I discovered I had no feelings, I sat in my car for a long time. What do you mean I have no feelings? Yes, its true, and it wasn't the doctor who said it, it was out of my own mouth. This was not a nice revelation. I was extremely uncomfortable and didn't know what to do or think. The fact is that I operated at such a controlled level that I had forced myself, without any conscious action, to push down and out all feelings and emotions.
When I realized this, and accepted the fact, I was miserable. Newfound emotions erupted, and they were very painful. I loved and hated the burst of feeling. The first time I really cried at a movie was wonderful. It was scary, but wonderful. Barbara was in ecstasy over it. She had tried to tell me I had no emotions, but I hadn't known what she was talking about.
The movie we saw, "Being There" with Peter Sellers, became my favorite movie. It was my coming out. Barbara and I went to see it a couple of times. I cried and cried, and laughed, and loved it. Barbara was delighted to see me open up like this. I experienced a mental rebirth. Everything changed, although it took a long time to digest and assimilate all of this.
When I became more in touch with my feelings, I started to make changes in my life. I began to see the world differently than I had before; I had a new slant, a new angle. The funny thing about being in touch with my feelings was that I became less wrapped up with myself rather than more so. I decided that it was time to give something back to society instead of just taking. I worked out a plan.
I opened a law office in East Los Angeles for the purpose of helping disadvantaged and oppressed people. I advertised in the local East Los Angeles newspapers both in English and Spanish. I offered to handle a wide variety of cases for a very nominal fee. I charged twenty-five dollars for an adoption or child custody matter. I did divorces for the same fee. I went after husbands who would not pay child support, for no fee at all. I did all manner of social conscience matters. The criteria was that there be a serious social need, and that the client could not afford a lawyer at his normal rates.
I spent several days a week in my office on Whittier Blvd. in East LA. The income I took in didn't even pay the telephone bill, which was fine as this was the plan. I felt a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure from helping people who might not otherwise be able to engage legal services.
A few years earlier, we had opened a branch of Certified Dinettes in Mexico, just south of the border in Tijuana, Baja California. We needed a Mexican partner under the laws of Mexico, and found a super rich Mexican to join our venture. We built a factory and produced dinette furniture at a very low cost to sell to the Mexican consumer. We also fabricated steel parts and chair frames to import into the US for our factory in Los Angeles. This filled the need of some of the manufacturing facilities we lost when we made the deal with Hughes Aircraft.
This Mexican operation had improved my Spanish skills, so I was able to have my East LA office and take care of Spanish speakers. Spaniards tell me that my Spanish is Mexican, which is a dialect of Spanish. I drew laughter when I spoke it in Spain, but they understood me. During the Certified venture, I had become aware of the horrible poverty of Mexico, and also of the dire situation faced by the Mexicans who immigrate to the US, and in particular to the Los Angeles area. I decided that I would do something to improve their lot, no matter how small an effect I could make.
The East Los Angeles Bar Association forced me to close my office. They were irate that I was giving away my services, even though the clients I accepted could not afford to pay the fees of the members of the guild. I fought them for a year, but finally they had goons threaten my life and my family, so I gave up. The Mexican Mafia is very powerful in East Los Angeles, and they instilled a great fear in me. After their threats I never again returned to East LA. I donated the office equipment and furniture to a local charity, and for a long time afterwards my "giving-back" to society was limited to monetary charitable contributions.
While I was doing this charitable work, Barbara helped form a group called the Children's Psychiatric Guild. This was a group of women who all had been in analysis and felt how much it had improved their lives. They went into the psychiatric wards of the public hospitals and took care of the children. They purchased vans so that the kids could go on field trips. They made all types of parties for the kids. Each child had a wish list of presents they wanted, and each received two of their wishes on Christmas and their birthdays. Barbara was in charge of running fund-raising luncheons, designing centerpieces, and obtaining items to raffle off to raise money. She also went into the lockdowns to visit the children and give them friendship and support.
This analysis thing was not a smooth ride. There were ups and down; very large highs and very low lows. I was feeling for the first time, and I had days of deep depression. There were also days and weeks of highs, and the highs overshadowed the lows, but the lows were bad.
My basic character did not change. I was an improved version of myself, maybe not so much so that the world would notice, but my family saw the change. I continued to see the world in very physical and concrete terms, but enhanced by feelings and emotions.
The analysis was wonderful, special, and very egocentric. Nothing matters in the session except the "me." The time, the cost, and the exertion are all about me. Although it's very egocentric, it seems to me that every human being can benefit from introspection, and by setting aside time, regularly, to get to know oneself. It's difficult to improve and grow if you aren't aware of your shortcomings.
When you can recall a dream, you go in to the doctor and relate it to him and discuss it. There is always some very interesting revelation that comes out of each dream. Often it will not surface for months, until some additional piece of information comes forth from your subconscious, or another dream. The substance contained in dreams was another concept which I had not believed in before my analysis.
I had a strange dream about being in a bubble under water. The bubble rose into the air, and I was floating in the air looking down. I was looking down at a swimming pool in a rustic setting. There was activity at the poolside; people in a group were surrounding someone lying on the deck. That was about it. I explained the dream to Dr. Grotstein. I received no feedback other than the standard, what do you think? I had no clue what to think about it.
The more he asked, however, the more the images became clear in my mind. This had really taken place. I was in that bubble under the water. I had floated up out of the water and into the sky and I had been looking down on the scene. I then continued to float up into a very bright light. It was not a dream, it was a recollection of something that had taken place in my life. Or was it? I had never had a recollection of this occurrence before. I discussed it with Barbara. I was disquieted and very uncomfortable about the dream.
Then one day I was watching television with Barbara and my parents at their home. As a show ended, my father noticed that the writer of the show was Joel Kane. He asked me did I remember Joel Kane from Camp Max Strauss. I did not. I had almost no recollection of Camp Max Strauss.
When my father was still a schoolteacher, he worked a summer job at a lovely camp near Arrowhead, in the mountains outside of LA. This was a camp for disabled children and underprivileged kids. My mother was the camp nurse and my father the camp director. He continued to work at the camp even after he joined Certified, and, as the family believed it was a valid contribution to the community, he received his salary from Certified while he worked there. He contributed the money he earned from the camp back to the camp. I was slightly aware of all of this, but that's all. I spent the summers of the second, third, and fourth years of my life at Camp Max Strauss.
No, I responded, who is Joel Kane? He is the man who saved your life when you almost drowned in the pool at the camp. I was shocked. I almost drowned? When, how, what, I need details, and I need them now. I must have sounded crazed, but I had been searching for the answer to my dream or memory and now I knew that it was a memory for sure.
My mother explained what had happened. I was three years old at the time, and she and I had been at the camp pool. Somehow I got off by myself and was in the deep end of the pool, under the water in a fetal position. I was drowning. Joel Kane spotted me, dove in, and pulled me out. My mother was hysterical as I lay on the deck not breathing. Joel gave me artificial respiration and saved my life. I would have died if Joel Kane had not acted quickly. Was it a coincidence that his name popped up on the television screen on one of the very rare occasions that I was watching TV with my parents?
I had had a near death experience. I had not believed the stories of out-of-body experiences that appeared in magazines or whatever, but that's exactly what had happened to me. I was floating in the air. I was calm and serene as I looked down on the scene which was going on below. I hadn't known that the group of people on the deck of the pool were in fact surrounding me and working on me. I was floating in the air. I clearly remember the dazzling white light, although I do not recall a tunnel that others report.
Once these facts had become known, I worked on it with Dr. Grotstein. It became clear to both of us that I had attempted to commit suicide. I worked out with him the why of it, which was my total unhappiness at the time, and my feeling of being abandoned. As an only child at the time I was doted upon by everyone. I was reading at three and very precocious. At the camp, I was apart from my parents and just another camper, which I did not understand. Why had all the attention and focus on me stopped?
I had a revelation of another out-of-body experience when I was eight years old. I was floating above the house and looking down. It was as if there was no roof or ceilings and I could look down into every room and see the activities. When I discussed what I recalled with my mother, she confirmed all that I remembered, activities I could not have possibly known about. Dr. Grotstein and I never figured out what had caused this one.
Another event took place in Dr. Grotstein's office, which was extremely bizarre. I had been seeing Dr. Grotstein for a year or two at this point. I felt, and the doctor agreed, that I was doing very well in my analysis. I was coming to a good place in my mind, and my relationships with people, but mainly with Barbara. She was doing well in her analysis and we were getting along fabulously. As great as our relationship had always been, it was now much better. We could talk more deeply about more things. We were now on a more similar emotional level, talking the same language.
I was telling Dr. Grotstein some factual details about some mundane, day-to-day situation. Not every day did I came in with a dream or a problem. If I had nothing special to say, I would talk about the ordinary things that were going on in my life. This always led to some thought, fact, or revelation that otherwise probably wouldn't have surfaced.
While I was telling my story, I mentioned an important player in my life. I was relating his part in the story. Suddenly, I had a flash of insight - I knew that this person was the devil. That is a mouthful for sure, but it was clear to me that I was dealing with the devil himself.
When I say the devil, I mean it. This person, I now knew, was bad and evil to the core. No sooner did I verbalize that I knew so-and-so was the devil, then the room became cold. Very cold. A strong wind started to blow in the room. Papers flew around the room. Frost formed on the inside of the windows. This in an office building with double-paned, sealed windows. It was a hot, southern California day outside. The room became cold. Not just cool, but downright, shivering cold.
The force that I had uncovered was furious. It did not want to be discovered and it displayed its anger visibly and physically. I would never again deal with this person in the same way I had dealt with him before and he knew it just as well as I knew it, at that very instant in time.
I was in a state of total disbelief. I looked at the doctor who just sat there calmly, and said to him, "Did you see what I just saw? Did you feel the wind and the cold, which I just felt? Did you see that?"
For the very first time in my analysis he got up from his chair. He walked over to the window and ran his finger through the frost and showed me the ice on his finger. He then went around and picked up the papers that had flown around the room and he held them up, showing them to me. He sat down. I repeated the questions. He quietly said, "You see the frost. You saw me pick up the papers from the floor. Yes it happened."
But what had happened? How could this happen? He did not respond. We sat there until the end of my session without saying much. It was too overwhelming. The fact is that I knew what had taken place and I knew why. I had uncovered a force of evil.
I then knew, at some level, that there was something more than the observable and physical reality in the universe. We were not just electrons, molecules and nuclei bumping into each other in some random pattern. There are things unseen, a reality beyond the physical. There are forces beyond our comprehension. I had no clue what these were or what any of this meant. I wasn't so sure I could rationally accept the idea of the devil despite what had just happened. After all, if everything is scientific and random, how can anything be evil? Something can be nice or not, it can be moral or not, according to one's society, but raw evil? There was no doubt about what had happened, but I needed to suppress the whole thing as a quirk of nature.
Because giving up control was one thing, but admitting that higher powers exist in this world and that I never had any control to begin with was something else, way beyond my scope. What had just happened had happened and I couldn't deny it. But I could ignore it, and refuse to deal with it, which is exactly what I did, until many years later.
I am sure that I didn't make a conscious decision to put myself in denial over this issue. I simply had no idea how to deal with what had happened. I pushed it out of my mind as a mere curiosity and I allowed myself to minimize its importance and to ignore it. Interestingly, Dr. Grotstein never mentioned it either.