Protective cocoons: Be careful what you let in.

4 min readDec 27, 2017


I received ‘The exegesis of Philip K Dick’ as a festive gift this year and on the strength of my reading so far, I heartily recommend it!

This stream of consciousness work certainly gives me quite a familiar feeling.

It seems almost as if two different processes are carrying on concurrently; Processes, however, that are working in completely opposite ‘directions’.

Two ‘streams’, one propelling us outward, divaricating, increasing separation and another gathering what has been lost, bringing elements together and heading back to the source. The outside finding a way back in.

PKD appears to have been engulfed by a rush from this ‘inward’ stream, I certainly recognise the ‘taste’ in his writing. As I say, It feels familiar. I say this even though I have only dipped my toe.

I have the strong sense that we are cocooned in bubbles, largely experiencing our own ‘projections.’

We are cut off! Is this some sort of protection like with the egg shell. It must be cracked from within for progress to be made?

We are either ‘fledgelings’, in a ‘protective’ environment. Or possibly undergoing a challenge or test; Separated and tasked to find our way back. Or even cast into a ‘prison’, cut off with all privileges revoked!

I sense that the cocoon is mostly protective, with some aspect of test. An ‘experiment’ where the separation and seeking, bring something fresh and novel to the enterprise. A ‘trick’ that generates fresh information via modified feedback.

The cocoon can not be pierced from the outside without our permission.

This is the protection; Nothing ‘magical’ can happen to us against our will; Positive or negative. It is a double-edged sword.

In the words of Dumbledore, “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.” ;-)

There are many old allegorical tales which show Mephistophelian figures being unable to cross a threshold without being invited. Permission is always called for, and this is where the trickery comes in, for in those stories, no one would willingly ‘sign the contract’ if they were aware of the full picture.

I’ve also been re-reading some Castaneda and I still love the below appended scene. It seems very low key amid the general magical and mysterious atmosphere, but it also, in a quiet way, points towards this idea that we need to meet things half way. Nothing from ‘outside’ can happen to us against our will.

‘It was a cloudy day and the twilight quickly enveloped the area. I became involved in watching the speed with which the crimson clouds on the west faded into a uniform thick dark grey. Don Juan got up and went to the bushes. By the time he came back the silhouette of the lava mountains was a dark mass. He sat down next to me and called my attention to what seemed to be a natural formation on the mountains towards the north-east. It was a spot which had a colour much lighter than its surroundings. While the whole range of lava mountains looked uniformly dark brown in the twilight, the spot he was pointing at was actually yellowish or dark beige. I could not figure out what it could be. I stared at it for a long time. It seemed to be moving; I fancied it to be pulsating.
When I squinted my eyes it actually rippled as if the wind were moving it.
“Look at it fixedly!” don Juan commanded me.
At one moment, after I had maintained my stare for quite a while, I felt that the whole range of mountains was moving towards me. That feeling was accompanied by an unusual agitation in the pit of my stomach. The discomfort became so acute that I stood up.
“Sit down!” don Juan yelled, but I was already on my feet. From my new point of view the yellowish formation was lower on the side of the mountains, I sat down again, without taking my eyes away, and the formation shifted to a higher place. I stared at it for an instant and suddenly I arranged everything into the correct perspective. I realized that what I had been looking at was not in the mountains at all but was really a piece of yellowish green cloth hanging from a tall cactus in front of me.
I laughed out loud and explained to don Juan that the twilight had helped to create an optical illusion. He got up and walked to the place where the piece of cloth was hanging, took it down, folded it, and put it inside his pouch. “What are you doing that for?” I asked.
“Because this piece of cloth has power, “ he said casually. “For a moment you were doing fine with it and there is no way of knowing what may have happened if you had remained seated.” ‘




Head in the clouds, but really quite practical. Fine art trained, but frequently seduced by the promise of science.