The other thing which particularly stands out about Higdon's encounter is Ausso One's glowing or sun drenched transport which takes the form of a transparent "cube" with the dimensions "five feet high, seven feet long, and four and a half feet wide"* (despite Ausso One being well over six foot) and somewhat suggestively puts Higdon in mind of a "huge Christmas package".
But Ausso One's transport's so small in fact when Higdon suddenly finds himself inside it he rationalises he has to've been miniaturised (as indeed must the elk he'd hunted earlier when Time slowed down because they're now also on board though apparently Time’s now completely stopped for them) hence he begins to have a panic attack.
And at this point Higdon suddenly notices his hands and legs're being restrained by ‘bands’ attached to a high backed "bucket seat" he now suddenly finds himself strapped in and to make matters worse an Ausso Two's popped up out of nowhere and started helping Ausso One ram a football helmet-like device on his head with countless wires sticking out it prompting Higdon to observe he felt “like the monster in an old Frankenstein movie.”.
The twin Aussos and Higdon now find themselves touching down upon a "basketball" shaped planet (163,000 “light miles” from Earth) about 150 feet away from the foot of a structure so enormous they'd seen while approaching from off out in Space resembling Seattle’s Space Needle but totally covered in endlessly rotating brilliant lights which seem unbearably hot to Higdon's eyes if not skin.
Ausso One then takes Higdon for a medical suitability test he'll fail at the top of the tower and it's difficult not to wonder if the elevator they go up in isn't really just Ausso One's transport all over again.
In fact I find myself wondering if I mightn't've taken a ride in it myself (or something similar) because sometime during the early part of this Millennium I underwent an experience where a voice suddenly seemed to order me, "Look at the world..." at which point I suddenly found myself being apparently atomised into countless fragments while being simultaneously bombarded by a kaleidoscope of seemingly billions of scenes from all over the world after which the voice further demanded "...and say what you see."
I now heard my voice quite independently of me respond "Half the world dying from starvation - the other half dying from over consumption" and suddenly I found myself in the midst of a night time scene standing on a hill gazing up over the rim of the dimly illuminated walls of an otherwise radiant 'Heaven' which looked suspiciously like a Christmas card artist's attempts to render Jerusalem in the style of a Renaissance painter.
And here I have to admit never being big on Heaven ever since my passionate debates as a little kid with various teachers and even my mother over how Heaven could possibly be Heaven so long as even one person was suffering for all eternity in Hell.
[Which might be why at a later date I underwent the experience of being dropped into Hell only to find the medieval legend of Jesus supposedly harrowing the place for the three days he was dead seemingly true because now it wasn't just empty but the fiery brimstone’d been turned to a food tasting somewhat like rusks in milk and the word over the entrance HELL’d been replaced by the word HEAL].
There’s actually a longer story accompanying my supposed visit to Heaven [revolving around countless billions of souls’re supposedly camping out on the infinitely extending plains surrounding the place like some post mortem Occupy refusing to accept their Heavenly reward for the sake of the ineligible].
But the relevant bit here’s how I seemed to get ‘up’ there accompanied by a sort of British Jeeves butler type in a rickety wooden elevator of the improbable dimensions 7 foot high, 1 foot wide and 10 or so feet across (approx.) which even at the time resulted in me being bombarded with all manner of data to do with the likes of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Rocking Horse Winner, the Tree of Life, the Argo, the Ark, the First House (or artificial cave) the wooden cross used to crucify Christ, genies in bottles and indeed the earth filled wooden box Dracula used to reach England.
But there’s another striking detail in the Higdon story which only occurs long after he’s parted company with Ausso One when he grumbles about sharp pains in the base of his skull and neck – highly suggestive in itself – and asserts his body feels like it’s been used like an accordion: “I feel like I’d been pushed together like this. That’s just the way my muscles feel — like they were compressed, and then yanked apart.”
If you think back to his attempt to shoot one of the elk you’ll recall he experiences the sensation of time being stretched out.
Then there’s his sense his bodily dimensions’ve been compressed somehow on realising he’s in Ausso One’s impossibly compact transport.
When he finds himself inexplicably in the bucket seat he’s subjected to further compression via restrictive 'bands' and a football helmet shaped device rammed on his head.
Then on the basketball shaped planet he finds himself physically contracting as a way of warding off the burning Space tower lights.
Reading the books of Carlos Castaneda you constantly come across references to methodologies involving incarceration in uncomfortably restrictive boxes, being buried alive, binding with the likes of rope or straps, assuming expansive or contractive bodily postures, ‘metaphysical’ experiences of extreme contraction such as Carlos becoming so tiny he perceives a tiny gnat as a hundred feet high (he even feels the same stomach churning physical disgust for it Higdon feels for Ausso One) or experiences of extreme expansion such as his scaring the living crap out a jaguar by chasing it off in the form of a giant sized version of himself.
People’ve noted how Victorian era spirit mediums often submitted to restraints and always assumed this was the basis or their fraud (or proof they were bona fide) but it's never apparently occurred to anyone this might’ve be the method by which they released the ‘genie’ from the ‘bottle’ of their body.
Yoga achieves even its mystical evolutionary results by assuming bodily postures which oscillate between expanding and contracting the body.
Martial Arts’re full of dramatic static postures intended to affect the 'soft body' (as opposed to the physical body) like standing unmoving under devastatingly percussive waterfalls for weeks on end.
Even Kinbaku the Japanese bondage art of tying people in complex knot structures’s said to have a non-sexual spiritual dimension to those sufficently sensitive to perceive it.
Then there’re the reports from wearers of Western style bondage suits of experiencing strange inexplicable sensations of freedom transcending mere sexuality as a result of being encased in rubber.
And of course who isn’t familiar with kids who toss aside their Christmas presents to play inside the boxes they came with or for that matter the peculiar notion kids have pulling their sheets tightly over their heads somehow transforms a threatening environment?
When you factor in sufferers of more extreme forms of agoraphobia or claustrophobia reporting often striking hallucinations during their panic attacks then all these activities seem to have in common the implication interfering with the physical postures we were trained to assume as we grew up (“Stop fidgeting child!”) not to mention disrupting our tendency to experience Time in terms of 9-5 style cycles ("You're late for work - expect a dock in yoru wages!") somehow temporarily wakes up some unknown component of us which experiences Space and Time in precisely the same strange way it did when we were first born.
As to whether that unknown component’s capable of more than merely experiencing the world as a very strange place you’ll have to decide for yourself.
*5 x 7 x 4.5: curiously similar to the 150 feet Higdon lands from the Space Tower