Summs: headache cure and “the true size of Summs.”


When you had a headache this is what you did according to Summs — you imagined as clearly as you could a number of boxes in an attic storeroom, regular medium-sized cardboard boxes as you might use when moving from one home to another. Then you imagined picking up the boxes and carrying them out of the room, and this would relieve you of your pain. The way that it worked was that the imagined boxes in your mind were the same as the real pain in your head, discrete parts of it, and as you carried them out of the imagined “room” you also released the real pain.

It was extraordinarily simple but it always worked. However one thing you must be careful never to do is to imagine the actual room that you’re carrying the boxes to, which, unless you have really become a master at this, will result in a mere transference of the pain from the head to another part of the body — a part which, moreover, you’ll probably have much less control over. This had happened to Summs himself once long ago; he had envisioned taking the boxes down a long series of staircases to a storage facility only to discover that, while his headache was gone, there had emerged a sharp pain in his hip, comparable to a pinched nerve. He had asked his guru at the time, so where do I take the boxes if not to the storage facility that are located down the staircases? He had even seen signs that had pointed that way… and what he had been told at the time was that you simply don’t imagine that part: you drop them off “where the mind ends” (which, in a certain sense, was everywhere), you drop them “beyond where the mind can envision.”

On another occasion, he took a box to a place he couldn’t find his way back from, which proved to be one of his strangest adventures yet — and one from which he finally a woke with a screaming headache and case of pink eye. Another time he had looked inside the boxes — which was another thing one must never do. Also: if someone appears and asks if you need help — say no. 

There, said Summs, tapping his temple with a finger and opening his eyes –but “there” what? The pain was gone but had there even been any pain to start with? (He smiled to think of how the mind played tricks.) Anyway, it was fine now and if Imp Peter said it was alright it was time to levitate. (Imp Peter said it was alright.) (Thank you, Peter, said Summs.)

LEVITATION: the true size of Summs

Summs usually did this on the bridge over the interstate and magically he appeared at that very spot. Of course, it hadn’t seemed exactly “magical” as he was making his way to that spot; it had seemed to take time, to involve space, to even exact a toll of effort to have gotten there. Thus, for example, he was perspiring now, having taken the elevator down from his building and walked the four or five blocks from his building to the overpass over the large highway, which was now very busy with evening traffic. The magic of it was this; he had wished for something — to be at this spot — and that wish had been realized — now he was here. And what had happened in between those events was as nothing — a smoke in the mind one could easily release, a gas, an evaporant, — which, once that smoke had been cleared from out of the house, who could say what had really happened, who could say what Djinni had fulfilled the wish? What mattered was that he was suddenly not where he’d been. What mattered was that his wish had been realized.

Until one had attained to full mastery one had to visit the bridge to levitate and one had to visit it at the height of rush hour traffic. Having reached full mastery one of course understood that all the world was such a bridge (or not) and all the world is energy ever passing under it (to which you could say “be still”), but he was not yet at that point. The trick was of course to make oneself feel very light, endowing the weight of the body, which was like concrete, the concrete of the bridge, with the immaterial levity of the imagination. One must realize one was only the act of imagining itself. One must realize one was only ones thought.

He wasn’t doing it very well today: he could feel his feet lifting from his shoes but he couldn’t feel his shoes lifting from the ground, except this one time when a large box truck rumbled beneath, then it was as if he had leapt up by about a foot, though he hadn’t exerted his legs at all; in fact, his legs had rarely felt so relaxed. (Levitation would be an excellent joint therapy, he supposed.) His walks back and forth across the short bridge, even when they did not in the strict sense result in levitation, brought with it the deep relaxing feeling of having a body massage. Then he was back in his armchair at home, as if he had never left, saying aloud to himself with closed eyes “I have wished” — perspiring but at ease. In fact, if he hadn’t been perspiring he would have doubted he’d ever left. It could have been more of the mind’s smoke.

Also, an unpleasnant incident had occurred on the way back, which he now remembered. Summs had come across somebody smoking a cigarette and told him to stop “you’ll get wrinkles.” The man had become abusive and so Summs had been compelled to become a fifty foot giant. He didn’t threaten the man or lose his calm naturally (you can’t become a giant without having a giant calm) but looked at him with kind and curious eyes. And of course the man backed off in terror and promised to quit smoking — after he saw the true size of Summs.

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