hygienic darkroom retreat

profound rest for the self‑healing psyche

a book by andrew durham


2020 November 10

[Scene: Booth with sign that reads: “Volunteers wanted. Must be clever, practical, and a little hopeful. Major personal benefits.”]

D - What is your project?
A - We will apply nature’s solution to unhealed childhood trauma.
D - That’s a very big deal. Nearly everyone suffers from it.
A - I agree, it is tough and it is epidemic. I suffer from it myself. It made no sense to me. So I spent my life investigating it. I discovered that nature gives us a specific condition to heal from trauma. I developed it as a practical solution. Everyone can do it.
D - What it is?
A - Darkness. In perfect darkness, the organism rests deeply. With enough time, it heals itself of everything. So one makes extended stays in darkness. It is called hygienic darkroom retreating.
D - I never heard of this. But it makes sense. How long do you retreat?
A - Eight days is best to start with, four at a minimum.
D - Ok. Why is it hygienic? Is it a cleaning process?
A - Hygiene is actually the science of health. It is a branch of biology. It consists of all conditions and practices conducive to the preservation of health. These include knowledge, darkness, and rest, as well as cleanliness. Hygiene is a complete approach.
D - Hygiene is the science of health. I didn’t know that. So it isn’t a cult!
A - Haha, no. But you aren’t entirely mistaken. Most spiritual traditions use darkness. I extracted it from that context. I made it strictly for health, reintegrating it within hygiene. Hygiene requires rationality, not strange beliefs or practices.
D - That’s a relief. My name is David, by the way.
A - Glad to meet you, David. I’m Andrew.
D - Now, if you don’t mind my asking: if this works, why do you still suffer?
A - I don’t mind. Healing requires a team to apply the complete solution. I just finished developing it on my own.
D - I see. What does it take?
A - It takes three things: an informed retreater, sympathetic supporters, and an excellent darkroom.
D - Would you explain them a little?
A - Sure. Reading my book or even an hour’s conversation imparts enough information to start with.
D - You wrote a book about this?
A - Yes. It’s a complete manual, with theory, protocol, and construction plans. You can read it for free or download a cheap e-book at darkroomretreat.com. Or I sell paper copies.
D - I’ll take one. [Makes exchange.] Please continue explaining.
A - A supporter is reliable and has common sense. He has retreated and found value in it. He has read my book and helped support a retreat.
D - Ok. And the darkroom?
A - It needs a small fully functional house in a quiet location. We darken it with simple removable components. It has a separate building a supporter can sleep and prepare food in.
D - It is all so reasonable. I …
A - What is it?
D - It’s funny. I was just talking with friends about childhood. None of us had it easy. It has seemed impossible. This makes it so simple. Could you come tell us more about this?
A - Yes.
D - How about tonight at my place? Everyone is coming for dinner. They would love to hear about this. Maybe we’ll all volunteer.
A - Great!
D - Here is my address and phone number. I’m glad to meet you, Andrew. Maybe we can help each other.
A - Yes, that is the idea. Glad to meet you, too, David. See you soon.

< scene-basic