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Excerpt from Dreams

Muse Hitchhiking (p. 260)

From chapter "Possession"

I’ve long experienced a close relationship between my muse and my sexuality. At first I didn’t recognize it as such. I just knew that often when I was trying to write and I was stuck, having an orgasm would lubricate the writing, unstick it. And I also knew that while the stereotype of male sexuality is that orgasms are supposed to cause men to fall asleep, after an orgasm I would often be filled to bursting with ideas, and would want to immediately start writing.

My early interpretation of this was that perhaps the orgasm had somehow stilled my conscious mind enough to allow the ideas to bubble forth. I thought this for a year or so, even though it never felt right, never satisfied me.

My understanding of the relationship between writing and sexuality finally became clear when I realized that I don’t actually write what I write; I just essentially take dictation, and then edit what I’ve transcribed. That it’s written by my muse. I use the word my not to imply ownership, but relationship, as in my friend, my partner, my lover. She—my muse is a she, though I have no idea if all muses are female—is an actual being. She’s not a metaphor, a personification of my unconscious processes, or even some archetypal figure either bubbling up from my organs or the collective unconscious, or, as I’ve heard some New Agers label it, descending from the superconscious. She’s a being, like you, like me, like a salmon, like a white pine, like a ghost spider, only different.

When I understood that, everything else fell into place. A major reason that making love makes me so receptive to my muse is that she enjoys making love as much as I do. Just as the muse uses my fingers to write through me and my voice to give talks through me, she uses my body to make love through me. She enjoys that physicality, of sex, of eating, of walking. She enjoys hitchhiking into me.

I don’t believe muses are the only ones who hitchhike. I think that sort of possession—because hitchhiking and possession are deeply related, with hitchhiking being perhaps more transitory and also less total, but really differing more in degree than quality—is quite common. Recall the parasites, and the question of who’s in charge. Know also that there are a hundred times more bacteria in your body than there are your “own” cells…. My point is that we’re already possessed, physically. Beings hitchhike into or onto us all the time. They possess us, and we possess them. And knowing that we are physically permeable, what makes us think that psychically, spiritually, emotionally, and so on we are any less permeable?