This is an important and timely question explored in the highly acclaimed spiritual novel, SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING, winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for New Age Fiction.
Written with young adult and young-at-heart readers in mind, SNOOZE further proved its literary merit by being selected as a 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Finalist in the Young Adult-Coming of Age category and receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Beach Book Festival Prize competition in the General Fiction category.
You’re invited to join—either with eyes or ears—Max Diver, a.k.a. “Snooze,” along the razor’s edge of a quest to rescue his astronaut father from a fate stranger than death in the exotic, perilous Otherworld of sleep.
This inspiring tale interweaves a plethora of paranormal and metaphysical subjects, from Bigfoot and enlightenment to the Loch Ness Monster and time travel via the Bermuda Triangle.
In her review of SNOOZE published in INDIE SHAMAN Magazine, June Kent had this to say about what she described as “superlative fiction”: “Engrossing, entertaining and occasionally humorous, SNOOZE also takes a look at a wide range of subjects including levitation, telepathy, lucid dreaming, spirit animals, parallel universes and shamanic-like journeying, giving a wide range of information effortlessly absorbed as you enjoy the story as well as much food for thought.”
Naturally, your generous review would be greatly appreciated even if you simply enjoy the full text now being presented on this blog and numerous podcast platforms. Keep in mind that paperback and ebook versions are for sale. A complimentary online version is also available for your reading pleasure.
SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING
By Sol Luckman
Professor Icarus listened, without interrupting, except to request the occasional clarification, frequently nodding along as Max recounted the full history of his paranormal experiences—starting with his earliest lucid dreams and continuing all the way up to his latest dream inside Dr. Morrow’s brain scanner.
Never before had Max laid out his complete psychic story (not all in one go, at least) to anyone. The effect was cathartic, cleansing him emotionally from the inside out like a Greek tragedy exorcising his demons and clearing the way for a brighter day.
He actually felt physically different—less heavy, more limber, and deeply relaxed to have finally gotten all that pent-up weirdness off his chest.
The experience, which took the better part of an hour, was uncharted territory for Max. He had no idea what to expect from Professor Icarus, who was eyeing him keenly in the silence that followed Max’s surreal narrative.
At last, without uttering a word, the professor stood and motioned for Max to follow him over to the far inside corner of the office beside the bamboo partition and funhouse mirror—where he proceeded to open what turned out to be a massive metal safe attached to the wall and floor.
“What are you doing?” asked Max.
“You’ve told me your secret. Now I’d like to show you mine.”
“Is that a box of art supplies?” wondered Max as the professor pulled out a paint-spattered wooden case about three feet long by two feet wide.
“Not exactly. The box is just camouflage. Let’s take this over to the light, shall we? I want you to see my baby.”
Professor Icarus asked Max to clear off his desktop; then he set down the box and opened it like a sideways door. Inside was what Max could only identify as some kind of … scooter. But not any normal kind of scooter. For one thing, it had no wheels.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” said the professor excitedly, beaming with pride.
“Beautiful? I don’t even know what it is.”
“That’s part of her beauty. She’s in disguise. Check this out.”
Removing the scooter from the box and setting the wooden base on the floor, Professor Icarus unfolded and extended its metal handlebars to their full upright position and delicately mounted the platform.
By squeezing a bicycle brake on one of the handlebars, he was able to open and close multiple layers of canvas partially covered in—Max realized with a mild shock—insect wings with intricate patterning that had been hidden beneath the base in stacked position … at which point the scooter resembled an elaborately gilded Japanese fan in the process of unfolding.
“What do you think, Max?”
“I think … I’ve never seen anything like it. But what is it?”
“Ever heard of Viktor Grebennikov?”
“I assume he was Russian?”
“Correct. A very brilliant and misunderstood Russian scientist. He invented a device similar to this one.”
“And time travel.”
“Are you serious?”
“Quite. Grebennikov applied for a patent on the device, only to have it suppressed. He even wrote a book about it, with pictures of himself levitating, only to see his text heavily censored for reasons of ‘national security.’”
“You mean why do those in power do such despicably unscientific things? Why are so many scientific breakthroughs labeled ‘hoaxes,’ when everybody knows, or ought to, that the labelers are pathological liars?”
“So they can maintain their authority, of course. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is easily controlled.”
“How does it work?”
“Excellent question. The complex patterns in the chitin of the beetle wing casings appear to harness the flow of gravity for lift and even temporal displacement. Grebennikov claimed to have literally flown backward and forward in time on one of these.”
“Does it really work?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
“I haven’t finished it yet. I’ve dedicated the better part of two decades to this project and have only been able to find enough scarabaeus specimens to cover roughly half the surface area of the canvas folds. Care to give it a try?”
“But you said it isn’t functional.”
“I mean just for fun. In the immortal words of Kurt Kuzba, ‘Anyone can pilot an improbability, but it takes a special touch to fly and land an absurdity.’”
“Sure. Why not.”
Professor Icarus stepped down off the platform and let Max have a go. The canvas folds with their patchwork of beetle casings easily collapsed and expanded like a frill-necked lizard in territorial display as Max braked and released.
“I like to imagine I feel just a tad lighter when I do that,” commented the professor. “What do you think?”
“I think … it would be really intense to just float up in the air on one of these.”
“You of all people should know what that feels like, Max.”
“Maybe. But I’m always asleep when that kind of thing happens.”
“You must realize there’s no ontological difference between our world and the dream world? Both are equally real—or equally illusory, depending on your perspective.”
“Space-time and time-space are mirror realities?”
“You’re familiar with Dewey Larson’s work?”
“My father mentioned it once.”
“He must have learned about it from your mother. I know I did. She wrote a groundbreaking paper using Reciprocal Theory to explain the existence of cryptids—animals that supposedly don’t exist, like the Loch Ness Monster—as ‘interdimensional’ beings that live in time-space but occasionally visit space-time. This would explain why such creatures are so elusive. She never did find a publisher.”
“When you seek a path to any new truth, said Albert Guérard, expect to find it blocked by ‘expert opinion.’ And the worst part is, I never received a copy myself.”
“Would you like one?”
“You have a copy?”
“I have the original. I can make you a copy.”
“This is a minor miracle, Max! I was just daydreaming about your mother’s theory last week while working on my new book. Have you read the article?”
“You might find it … illuminating.”
Max got down off the scooter and helped Professor Icarus fold and replace it in its box. When the professor had locked the contraption back in the safe, he joined Max again in the “living room” to continue their chat.
“I take it you believe my story about my dreams?” said Max.
“I absolutely believe it.”
“If nothing else, being an academic surrounded by such piles of BS all these years has taught me to discern truth from falsehood.”
“And you showed me your scooter—which I found very interesting, by the way—why exactly?”
“Care to venture a guess?”
“So that … I’d know you’re familiar with the territory I’m attempting to navigate and listen to your advice?”
“How observant of you. You must have some questions still, Max. I had my first, and only, out-of-body experience at sixteen—and I still have questions about it. Anyone attempting to penetrate the mysteries of the Undiscovered Country can’t pretend to grasp its intricacies fully.”
“You’re right. I have several questions.”
“Pick the most pressing one and ask away.”
“Okay. I suppose the most important question is how am I able to do what I do?”
“That’s where I’d start. Your ability certainly isn’t common. Any ideas?”
“Well, my roommate, Raul—who’s admittedly a bit off his rocker—has this notion that my caul acted like a computer disk. He thinks that when it was given to me by my alter ego from the cosmic sector, it ‘downloaded’ (retroactively, as it were) his natural ability to operate in the dream world into me. That sounds pretty far out, doesn’t it?”
“Far out, perhaps, but probably true. Scientists have discovered a way to store MP3 files in DNA. Why not an ‘operating manual’ for a world with different laws of physics that otherwise make it difficult, even impossible, for normal space-time humans to function? A caul is full of DNA that, technically, isn’t your own. And it’s attached in close proximity to your developing brain in perfect ‘downloading’ position.”
Professor Icarus made this point while lighting another stick of frankincense and replacing the burnt-out stick with it in the ash-covered test’s “mouth.” “Next question,” he said, smiling kindly.
“Okay,” said Max. “This is something I’ve often wondered. It’s a rather painful subject, but I need to bring it up. Do you think my mother’s death was in any way related to my caul?”
“That is painful,” replied the professor, the smile disappearing from his lips. “But it’s a fair question. The answer, in my opinion, is no. But it’s probably accurate to say her death had something to do with your paranormal ability.”
“Among the depressingly few scientists willing to examine the evidence for the paranormal and supernatural scientifically, there’s a growing consensus that at the moment of an embryo’s conception, a ZCR, or zero chronology reference, is created.”
“A zero chronology reference?”
“Yes. The ZCR is what marries together space-time and time-space and energetically modulates the reciprocal relationship between the material and cosmic sectors.”
“You said the ZCR was created at conception. But what about the moment of my birth when she died?”
“It’s possible her death widened the connection between space-time and time-space and made it easier for you to do what you do.”
“You mean it blasted a hole not just in my life—but in whatever separates this reality from the dream world?”
“Precisely. A hole specific to you which you’ve used, albeit unknowingly, to gain access to the interdimensional realm.”
“You’re talking about the Interface between worlds, aren’t you?”
“Yes. Think about it this way, Max. There aren’t just two worlds. There are actually three: this reality, which from a psychological point of view is consciousness; the dream reality, which is the unconscious; and the in-between, otherwise known as the subconscious.”
“I get all that.”
“Good. You yourself inhabit the material world. Your alter ego lives in the dream world. And a Dreambody belonging to both of you, in a nonlinear sense, exists in the Interface and can be utilized by both of you when traveling out of body.”
“When astral projecting, in other words?”
“You may have begun by astral projecting. But trust me, you’re a long way from that now.”
“It’s true many of the same rules that apply to traveling in the dream world also apply to astral projecting.”
“Like the rule of opposites?”
“If you wish to call it that. When we’re out of body, whether in dreams or otherwise, down is up, up is down, outer space is inner space, and that sort of thing.”
“But astral projecting and actually traveling in the dream world aren’t the same?”
“Not at all. Astral projection, where awareness stays embedded in the material realm, doesn’t access the cosmic domain. Pushing out of body in this manner merely allows you to nose about in space-time by proxy. Remote viewing comes to mind. Still with me, Max?”
“I’m with you.”
“Glad to hear it. These ideas have become hopelessly muddled in popular literature and can be extremely confusing for the novice.”
“I’m not exactly a novice.”
“True. Now, if you wish to journey into time-space, or perform concrete acts here in space-time, while dreaming, you must initiate a ‘physical projection’ via the Dreambody from the Interface. Think of the Dreambody as a two-way interdimensional vehicle that allows your consciousness to operate physically in both space and time.”
“So when I bring back objects, I’m using my Dreambody?”
“And when I fought Doug Biggins, that was also my Dreambody?”
“And the same goes for telekinesis and levitation?”
Max thought for a moment, letting this new information sink in while watching the incense smoke spiral in a tight vortex toward the pressed-tin ceiling. “So if I understand correctly,” he said finally, “the blue Max uses the same Dreambody.”
“He most certainly does.”
“But if we were both using the same Dreambody, how were we able to meet each other in the Interface?”
“Elementary, my dear Watson. You are each other.”
“Everything is one?”
“Precisely. The shortest distance between two points is to bring them together so there is only one point. According to Larson, human beings are a ‘life unit,’ a viable amalgam of more or less tangible matter and etheric antimatter. What the average person can see is a fraction of our totality. We are both a body here in space and a spirit, or soul, there in time. Next question.”
“This is really mind-blowing information. But are you sure I’m not boring you with my questions?”
“Boring me? Max, this is the stuff I live for!”
“And you don’t have to teach a class or anything?”
“I am teaching a class. Of one,” said the professor with a wink.
“Fair enough. My next question is about my father. Would it be accurate to say that if, somehow, he’s still alive in time-space, he probably wouldn’t be able to function very well there?”
“That would be my guess. It’s likely his circuits simply aren’t made for a world that is in every way imaginable the inverse of this one. The experience of landing in the cosmic sector, for the typical material being, would be like that of a fish taken out of water and thrown upon sand.”
“Meaning he could be in real danger?”
Professor Icarus leaned forward to emphasize his point. “Max, I won’t lie to you. I was very upset with your father when he married your mother. But I certainly never wished him any harm. If—and this is a big if—he has somehow become stuck in time-space, he could be in grave danger.”
“Because everything, to his way of seeing, would be reversed?”
“Everything. Completely inside out. Including, most importantly, space and time. As difficult as it may be to visualize, time there is space, and space is time.”
“Is this why Grebennikov’s scooter didn’t just fly physical distances, but simultaneously traveled in time—because moving in ‘space’ there equates to traveling in time here?”
“Exactly. Our duration is distance in the cosmic realm, and vice versa. How quickly you’ve grasped a most challenging concept. You really are your mother’s son!”
“But apparently, Grebennikov was able to come and go easily between space-time and time-space.”
“Some people do. Others aren’t so lucky. Consider the fairy stories where ordinary people are lured into the ‘Otherworld.’ The Otherworld appears to be time-space, where traveling even short distances can produce disproportionate temporal effects in space-time. There are dozens of accounts of individuals stumbling into the fairy world by one path and exiting by another—only to bewilder their aging friends who had gone on living for years in what felt like merely minutes or hours to the disoriented time traveler. Any more questions?”
“Just one more. It’s a two-part question, actually.”
“Be my guest.”
“You said you’ve spent years searching for scarabaeus specimens for your scooter?”
“You’re talking about a type of scarab, right?”
“By any chance, did you ever give my mother a scarab hairpin?”
“You know it?”
“I’ve seen it.”
“I gave it to her for her twenty-sixth birthday—not long after the photo on my desk was snapped. She was just finishing her doctoral thesis.”
The professor seemed to peer back in time with his wide-set eyes. “Besides being a fascination of mine, given my work on Grebennikov’s scooter, the scarab represented rebirth in ancient Egypt. What better way to celebrate a brand-new phase in the life of a loved one?”
“I assume you know the famous story of Carl Jung and the scarab?”
“I know my mother liked Jung.”
“We both did. One of Dr. Jung’s patients was telling him about her dream of a scarab when he heard a tapping against the window. As soon as he opened the window, a rose chafer beetle (the kind most closely resembling a scarab in Switzerland) buzzed in. This was an aha moment in the development of his theory of synchronicity—a phenomenon that proves the cosmos isn’t meaningless but full of messages. It’s teeming with vital connections, not some lifeless mechanism as many so-called intellectuals would have us believe.”
“I believe in synchronicity. It’s what led me to you.”
“Synchronicity demonstrates the reciprocal nature of reality, Max. The cosmic sector is always impacting and informing the material sector, and vice versa, whether we realize it or not. Just the other day, having not so much as thought of it in years, I was wishing I’d made a copy of your mother’s article—and here you suddenly show up saying you can provide me with one.”
“I can. And I will.”
“I really appreciate that. What can I do for you in return?”
“You’ve done quite enough already.”
“I’ll tell you what. You can borrow Dewey Larson’s books. They’re out of print, believe it or not, but I have several copies.”
Like a homing pigeon, Professor Icarus popped up and zeroed in on a specific shelf behind his desk. Quickly locating what he sought, he returned to Max with three books: The Structure of the Physical Universe, The Universe of Motion, and Beyond Space and Time. “Take these,” he insisted. “Keep them as long as you like. I’ll wager they’ll occupy even your sharp mind for a while.”
After stashing the books in his backpack, Max stood up and shook the professor’s bony hand. “I really appreciate your time, Professor Icarus.”
“Andrew. And I really appreciate your time as well. I haven’t had a conversation this stimulating in years. Just do me a favor, Max. Two favors, actually.”
“Try to pull yourself together enough to keep from flunking out. I’d like to think I have another several years to enjoy your presence on campus.”
“I’ll give it my best shot. What else?”
“If you do enter the Otherworld in search of your father, be prepared for anything. Anything. And make sure you drop a lifeline of breadcrumbs as you travel through time so you can find your way back to us again in the here and now.”
Copyright © Sol Luckman. All Rights Reserved.
Introducing Sol Luckman’s new visionary novel, CALI THE DESTROYER. Learn about the single most censored story in the history of the human race—and why it matters today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sol Luckman is a pioneering ink and acrylic painter whose work has been featured on mainstream book covers, the fast-paced trading game BAZAAR, and at least one tattoo on a female leg last sighted in Australia.
Sol is also an acclaimed author of fiction, nonfiction, and humor. His books include the international bestselling CONSCIOUS HEALING, which you can read free online, and its popular sequel, POTENTIATE YOUR DNA, available in English and Spanish.
Sol’s popular book of humor and satire, THE ANGEL’S DICTIONARY: A SPIRITED GLOSSARY FOR THE LITTLE DEVIL IN YOU, received the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award for Humor and was selected as a Finalist in the Humor category of both the 2018 International Book Awards and the 2018 Best Book Awards.