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The Transpersonal Christmas Cat

By Simon Brown

This is a true story.

   Over the Christmas period I experienced one of the most profound events in my life.

On Boxing Day, around midnight I was the last one up in our house. My partern and children were asleep leaving me to smoke a spliff and finish a brandy on the doorstop. I let what I thought was 'our' black cat in the house and locked her in the kitchen. I then went out the front door for another smoke and was met by ‘our black cat.’ I immediately though myself too stoned and the scene in the Matrix where the two black cats walk past the protagonist and the notion of ‘déjà vu’ (a glitch in the Matrix) flashed in my head. I looked at this cat sitting before me and it was 'ours.' The one I had locked up had exactly the same mannerisms and was friendly and knew its way around the house, knew where to be fed and settled down easily. Then it occurred to me that the cat I had locked up already must be ‘Shoes’ our cat’s mother who had disappeared some two years earlier after givng birth. I was so excited that she had retuned…at Christmas…on Boxing Day…I wondered if I should wake my partner up to tell her.
There was no need.

As I walked in the house Alison was in the hall ecstatic and excited with both cats next to her. She explained she woke up and felt compelled to go downstairs to the kitchen. This was anoher totally freaky occurence.

Suffice to say we were all overwhelmed with joy, happiness and thinking ‘how freaky is this?’
It occurred to me that I was deeply moved in seeing ‘Shoes’ again, I was completely attached and connected to the cat. It was as if a very significant other had returned. ‘Shoes’ spent the next four nights on our bed purring away and I felt something really special. It dawned on me that as well as having feelings for this cat I was also ‘possibly’ experiencing the closest thing I will get to fatherhood should I stay in my present trajectory.
A day or so later, as I came to bed to find Shoes purring away on my pillow, Alison said ‘I have something to tell you.’ I looked at her bemused. She then told me that this was ‘not Shoes’ as it was a male cat. Upon closer inspection…. indeed it was. However, it was there, ‘she’ had walked into our house, completely unafraid displayed exactly the same mannerisms to ‘Shoes’ (meows, movements etc) but it was not her.
Thus, all my feelings I experienced were not based upon reality nor my understanding of a transpersonal experience or ‘person to cat’ relationship, which I originally thought of. They were based upon transferential notions. I had evoked so much attachment and appreciation, love and closeness to something that represented what I thought it was. In reality it was a strange cat with very similar mannerisms and I/ we had completely projected onto it.   
Thus, it may appear I am feeling somewhat deconstructed at present and it seems I have made decisions in my life based upon heuristic computations based upon a plethora of prescriptive, emergent and imminent variables. I am wondering to what extent I feel, think and behave in ‘real terms’ and to how much projection and transference govern my affect, cognition and behaviour. I am also questioning how and why others act or choose things in their life.
Philosophically speaking I am leaning towards the belief that we as people live in a liminal and  determined reality, where there is no ‘free choice.’ That there are only options based upon our computations from previous experiences that determine our decision. Moreover, these thoughts are governed or influenced by external conditioning; social influence and resource based evolutionary paradigms. I am indeed more incongruent and have a lot less personal agency to what I think is real, is me and what my life is.
However, this is the ‘wow factor’ to me and this is totally transpersonal. It is a rare encounter that really demonstrates the complexity of our psych and may present a portal or doorway to try to understand my/ our deeper beliefs and behaviors especially around attachment. One notion I have is that underneath our romantic, ethereal, mystical selves are really quite mechanical and logical substrates and processes we have that are geared towards us gaining our needs or resources. We maybe masters of our own self deception and self actualizing process. We may be entities that want and need to self actualize in a maze, a maze of meaning. No wonder we go through mid life crises…we start to gain a sense of self just as we tip over the hill to walk a path towards death knowing we have created our nests, lives, safety, beliefs, values, fears and other constructs based upon us grasping at illusions and life style shrines. 
Even science backs this up. In quantum terms the universe is made of atoms that can appear in different places at the same time and never touch. Thus, we are all vibrating in a haze of fluid motion, all interconnected and made of the same composite material.  
 My counselor really didn’t understand what I was getting at and asked me how I felt…
“Alive,” I replied, “with the notion that the universe and life is unexplainable and unfathomable.”
Though I guess, as we always want to have an answer or solid ground to walk on that the moral of this story is ,…
“never look a gift horse in the mouth but check to see if it’s got balls.”

This page was added on 06/01/2013
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