Thoughts: you know that Israeli girl. Which one, right? Yes exactly. this was huge. What if it has nothing to do with ‘the one’ or the ‘right one.’ what if it is just about being in the moment and experiencing each experience because we want to? Now, humans hate that idea. they feed off of the ‘meant to be’ concept. We all do. everyone always talking about ‘the one.’ the ‘meant to be.’ we pray to gods for help and guidance. We seek assistance and knowledge from science and psychics and astrologers and tarot cards and the IChing and neighbors and friends and family members and the newest self-help book on the New York times best seller list. We look for meaning and inside information from the bible and the Koran and the Kabala and the Bagavad Gita and the Dalai Lama. And we look for signs. Signs and clues and messages.
A logical pragmatist looks at what is real. At what is really happening in the moment. could it be that easy? to see what is real in the moment and make your decisions based on that and nothing more? must we always be looking deeper into things, looking for clues. Surely this is something I need to learn more than anything else. that there are no clues, only reality. As it is in the moment.
Last screening: Written on the wind with rock Hudson and Lauren bacal. This is another Douglas sirk classic. No wonder so much has been written about him by other directors. Bear in mind that this is real Hollywood cheese. These aren’t art films. But he has this way of creating stories both heart breaking and life affirming at the same time. he deserved the accolades.
Still in quiet awe and amazement at the results of the personal work I had been doing the last few weeks. when I look back at my spiritual life I can see the milestones, the different major events/moments, the sacraments if you will that led me to this place of peace knowing insight and calm. I reflect back on that bizarre meeting with Ramstein in the park that day a few weeks ago when he insisted that we weren’t enlightened, that enlightenment for most was near impossible, that in order to become enlightened one needed to not eat meat and drink only warm water and be a monk on a mountain in Tibet and study Vedic astrology and all of that other mumbo jumbo. And yet if this isn’t enlightenment then what is? indeed what is enlightenment?
As an exercise I meditated on and contemplated the different major events that led to this new found glory as I fell asleep last night…
Prologue: Having been raised a catholic; I never felt the presence or the spirit of God or godliness growing up. You just don’t feel that God presence anywhere near the Catholic Church. If you study human history I don’t think God has ever come close to that world. its always been a rather sinister evil world filled with murder and deception; grandiose gestures of hatred intolerance threats lies bullying murder and broad strokes of greed selfishness and punishment of others. that’s the catholic church in a nutshell. So to me growing up that’s what religion and God meant because that’s how I saw it in catholic school and from studying the history of the church and at church in those dark little confession booths and those mean and nasty little nuns and priests running around in aprons and nightgowns. No God was evident there.
So that was how we began. I started off in this life with a devout obsession with spirituality, but headed in the wrong direction, but not by my own accord. Walking backwards, not because I chose to, but because I was born into it. So the first step was just to recognize that how I was being raised, and what I was being told was spiritual, was in fact a hoax, a sham.
1. In high school after being expelled from my catholic high school thank god, I had the opportunity to attend a Christian high school (after a year at a military academy, but that’s a whole other book in and of itself). This was my first association with what we call the born again Christian types. I would say that this was the first major moment in my spiritual life – meeting these Christian people with that grace of God so present inside of them that you could see it and feel it emanating from them. [even though many including my dear mum Sister Mary Theresa would argue that my first major spiritual moment was my baptism and then my communion and then confirmation, these events meant absolutely nothing to me. they offered nothing holy nor sacred nor godly nor inspirational to me. just a lot of memorization of meaningless words and manmade rituals.] But being in a small school full of loving kind personable and spiritual people who called themselves Christian had a tremendous impact on me. I fell in love instantly with these people and with this thing called Christianity. It was the first time I ever felt real ‘godness.’ And I loved it. ate it up. basked in it. these were good people. honest people. these weren’t the hatred filled tyrants and bullies and delinquents that fill catholic schools, teachers and students alike. These were real live living breathing kind hearted people. and for the first few months I couldn’t believe that I never knew that these kind of people existed in the world my whole life. I became a born again Christian and enjoyed the experience very much. But eventually my mind got the best of me, or perhaps the best of the religion itself. I asked my preacher what would happen to all the people in china and Africa who had never heard of Jesus when they died and he replied that they would all go to hell because only through Jesus can you get to heaven. That was it for me. it was obvious that he was wrong. that there was something off in his thinking. even though he was a nice enough guy. but even at my young age I could see that that just didn’t make any sense. I was sixteen. And I was done with Christianity. I left the church and the faith.
2. for a long time I called myself an atheist or an agnostic. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God. but I just wanted to really believe in God. I wanted to know God. if at sixteen years old I could already imagine a God greater than the one of Christianity and Judaism then something was off. God was obviously much bigger than they were giving him credit for with their limited imagination and insight. So I took off on a course of intense religious studies. Tellard de chardin and Thomas Aquinas and Thomas akempis and Kierkegaard and Alan watts and Merton and Lewis and you name it. I read it all. and the more I read the further I got from believing in God. But I did discover the Tao te Ching. And though this has nothing to do with God, it taught me that spirituality, the kind that I was searching for did in fact exist. that true human spirituality in fact existed without a God concept at all. and this was huge for me. there was hope. This was the second most important major event in my spiritual life I would say. Spiritual people existed and wrote about true good hearted spiritual ideas before the God concept ever existed. This was human spirituality with an attempt at understanding life in the universe. And since humans were and still are all we know in the universe this was an amazing thing that this old monk was able to pull off. The true bible if there ever was one or has to be one.
3. around this time I discovered unlimited power by Anthony Robbins. A classic introduction to NLP – neuro linguistic programming. At this time I was about nineteen years old. In desperate need of some assistance in how to get my life on track. Tony’s reassuring confidence gave me a sense that spirituality could also be practical. It wasn’t just sitting and reading and meditating and praying and BEING. But one could actually do something to create real change in ones life for the positive. My life turned around in many positive ways. My depression and self imposed exile from the world and my desperation began to subside. I was no longer the teenage monk alone in the world wondering what it was all about. it was o.k. to come out into the world and actually make conscious effort to be happy, successful, and to live spiritually, while at the same time honoring ones need and desire for money and materialism. NLP worked for me. it got me off my ass and out into the world. I started my first real successful business at age twenty and enjoyed years of material gain and monetary success, and dare I say my first glimpse at something I had heard was called happiness.
4. satisfied after years of studying Taoism and Buddhism without needing a God concept at all, I began intense studies of the sciences in college. I was a philosophy major and enjoyed it enough but thought it fun though rather useless. No sense in dedicating ones life to trying to figure out things that can’t be figured out. but there was real sense and logic in the sciences. I became a humanist and attended regular humanist meetings in town. no God there. good logical sensible things but no God. just good people trying to make sense of the world. but the sciences led me to an inner understanding that a God just may exist after all. it was the whole concept of the way matter works with the forces of the universe. The idea that science knew that there were these forces such as gravity and electro magnetism but they couldn’t find this fifth force that they were searching for that governed the other forces. I continued to pray to an idea of a God that I held that was that fifth force. Science as crazy as it sounds brought me back to God. But now I was in totally uncharted territory. This God was my own construct. I was alone in it. but this was event number three. I began to become spiritual again, only this time through and because of the very secular world of science.
5. Krishna consciousness. I then discovered Krishna consciousness and all that jazz from the east. The whole Hindu/Buddhist thing. chanting and vegetarianism and abstinence from sex and all that. I was in love with this God for a few years. I didn’t eat meat for years, abstained from sex for months at a time, practiced yoga everyday and chanted endlessly. I felt very good from being a Krishna devotee. Once again I felt that special something that comes from that sense of godness in humanity. This was a major event for me. I discovered Ram Dass and his monumental Be Here Now and swami propupada and Krishnamurti and the maharishi and paramansa yogananda and ravi shankar and that whole lot and it made me feel very good. I felt God’s grace in it. and God was good. there is real godness in that world. and one could bask in it forever I believe and be perfectly content if one had the discipline. It worked fine for George Harrison and plenty of others. but of course I couldn’t put my finger around all the rules and rituals and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why true grace had to come from all this abstinence and sacrifice. The idea that the world around us is illusion and the after life is what is real made no more sense than when the Christians or the Jews or the Muslims claimed the same thing. after all, here we are, and here we always have been and this here/now is what is really real. I know that sucks and you don’t want to hear it so we create religions that create glorious after-lifes for us, but the truth is that the here/now is real and all else is illusion and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why all the eastern, and western religions for that matter, couldn’t see that, or didn’t want to…. Why create that this is illusion? Seems pretty real to me. I do not believe that what we are experiencing here on earth is illusion. In fact I believe the opposite. It is as real as real can be. if there was a God, he was smarter than that. God and spirituality has to come easier. Anyone who tells you any different just hasn’t reached that lifetime yet that they eventually will when they realize that enlightenment and spirituality is easy. very easy. it does not take work or sacrifice or ritual or abstinence. It takes being born. Anyone who has looked into the eyes of a baby knows this. But dare I say, don’t ever get into an argument with a religious person about these things. like I said, its all about what lifetime they are in in their own travels of their soul. Hundreds and hundreds of lifetimes probably…. Its their journey and if they aren’t there yet, you aren’t going to convince them of anything in this lifetime. But yes, for me, the discovery of this God, Krishna, was a big one. still today I cannot help but smile when I think of him or chant the hare Krishna… it is a beautiful feeling and leads to an almost instant state of enlightenment and grace. This was major event number four and I will be forever grateful for the discovery of that world and still return to chanting and Krishna and Buddha and Shiva and Ganesh at times for comfort and inspiration.
6. I then discovered witchcraft and magic and the idea of the Goddess. I had never heard of the Goddess before. I had only heard of God. that God was male and all that. but it turned out that the Goddess concept was much older than the God concept. We had been creating and worshiping the Goddess for thousands of years. I will never forget my initiation into the coven where I pledged my belief in the Goddess and in protecting nature. I became the nature boy. And for years I was busy enjoying casting spells and dancing in covens naked around fires and having fun with oils and incense and herbs and brews and potions with my big canes of fresh oak or my athame (essentially a magic knife.) the only problem was that as I got older I noticed two things. one was that a lot of the people who were also witches lived pretty crazy lives. Not exactly spiritual. And two, couldn’t enlightenment and manifestation come easier than all this ritual and hullabaloo? I mean, couldn’t we just create out of thin air if we were really witches and magicians? Why all the dancing and ritual? Had to be an easier path from a to z. but again, this was a huge moment on my spiritual path. From that point forward I never put down the Goddess concept and even today when I pray I always pray to God/Goddess and never just to God. for without one the other can not exist.
7. there was a brief moment there when I began finding feathers. Tons of them. everywhere all around me. and I was called at one point to return to the Christian church from all around me it seemed…. I must say that it came at the right time in my life. it felt pure and beautiful and absolutely heavenly. By then I didn’t care about the myths purported to be truth in the bible. I was there for the God feeling. And I really felt Gods presence all around me during that time. it was as if sometimes I was being guided and carried by angels. And it was there and it carried me through both good times and bad once more. I began to understand that God was something that transcended religion. It could be in any church in any religion. It was something that humanity brought or didn’t bring. It had nothing to do with books or religions or bibles or creeds or rituals. It was all about the people present in the community. And for me in that moment I felt a big beautiful strong God presence there. you wouldn’t believe what that church has turned into now. it is gigantic and takes up five city blocks. Its called Calvary chapel and is now one of the most famous churches in America. people come from all over the country to attend just one service at Calvary chapel. I was right. God was there. and I wasn’t the only one that could feel it. this is the moment when I committed to always believing in God/Goddess. No matter how many times my mind argued against the notion because of how illogical it seemed I never stopped praying from that moment on. God had made his/her presence very clearly known to me and I would never forget it.
8. one day God whispered for me to take the Avatar course. and then screamed for me to do so until I could avoid it no longer. I had avoided it because I thought it was too expensive. Two thousand dollars at the time. and I was a young broke struggling musician. But there was no doubt about it. no matter where I turned there was gods whisper, study Avatar. Take the courses. Learn it live it be it. and so I did. I had read living deliberately by Harry palmer and along with the Tao te ching and Ram Dass’s BE HERE NOW I thought it was the most important and enlightened collection of ideas I had ever read. I read it in one sitting. In the bathtub. For three hours. I devoured it. I had no idea that there was another who understood the possibilities, the truth of what was really going on… I just couldn’t believe that this book, with these ideas was out there… I was homeless, carless, penniless, going through a much needed karmic transformative cleansing at the time — but I took my last money in the world and ventured off to the great red rocks of Sedona Arizona and had the most enlightening and transcendent experience of my entire life there for ten days. I had found God alright, but I had found him/her/it within my own being. I have written enough about avatar. So suffice it to say that it is IT. it is the IT that everyone searches for and hopes is out there somewhere and it should be and hopefully one day will be required study for all of us. its just that good. and true. it isn’t for everyone. The basic idea behind it, the foundation of it, is that we are creating our experiences from our own beliefs. this was hard for me to swallow at first but through the exercises I soon learned that it was in fact the truth behind it all. we were the creators. if you want to change an experience you change the belief that is creating it. and the good news is that we have the power to do so at our fingertips. Like I said it isn’t for everyone. A lot of people have a problem with that idea. they need to believe that a God or a Goddess creates their reality. But Avatar leaves room for God. though it never mentions it even once. It would never pretend to know anything about God. the sacred is sacred because it is sacred. And what is sacred to one may not be sacred to another. It is up to each of us to decide for ourselves on these things. Avatar gave me life. for the first time in twenty years I felt real enlightenment. I was reborn. My life spiraled up so high for the next ten years that I never thought that kind of happiness was possible. This was perhaps the seventh major event of my spiritual life but by far the most important one. real spiritually existed right here. inside each of us. no God. no bible or holy book. Just us being us. being happy. being free. Being happy to be us in the eternal moment.
9. it was at this time that I also began to revisit be here now by ram Dass and discovered that you could rent and trade and purchase his lectures that he had been giving all over the world for twenty years on tape and CD. I won’t say much except that I think that he’s the closest the world has ever come to Jesus since Jesus. He is a just man after all, and that is half is appeal. He is willing to sit with you and cry and laugh at the great mysteries of life as a human in the vast universe. And he’s o.k. with our not knowing. And through that, he helps us all feel o.k. with our not knowing. I would fall asleep every night to his lectures for a few years. he is more than a mentor to me. he is more like a father. A saint of some kind.
10. one brief but powerful event was in finding anthroposophy, the philosophy that sprung up around the works of Rudolph Steiner. [at one time he worked together with Madame blavatsky but they soon parted ways. She formed theosophy and the theosophical society and he formed the anthroposophical movement.] A beautiful sacred little community of people all over the world now exist in every country of the world living in their own little communes and they are the most soft light beautiful people you would ever want to meet. If you have heard of waldorf schools or Steiner schools or camp hill communes, this is all anthroposophy. It is something to behold. It is living breathing human spirituality at its finest. Without all the myths and dogma of the major religions. Without all the ritual and icky feeling gibberish of magic or the craft, without all the sacrifice and rules and asceticism of Hinduism or krishnaism or Buddhism. Just pure beings living the best most honest lives they can live. being kind to others, eating organic. Giving back to the land. Worshiping in whatever tradition feels best… its just a beautiful thing to behold. I would say that along with Avatar that anthroposophical communities are the most sacred and holy and enlightened happy feeling ideas that exist on the earth today. my prediction and my hope is that one day one will annex the other, that they will combine into one movement, one force… the way I see it is that since Avatar does not have a community and is much more focused on just getting the message and the materials and the tools out to consciousness and anthroposophy already has a pretty strong network of communities all over the world, that Avatar consciousness as it continues to spread around the planet will begin to get absorbed into the anthro world. together they could be a powerful force for peace and goodness and light and joy. ask an Avatar or an anthroposophist about “God” and chances are they will just smile, either of them, and you will see and know all you need to about God right in that smile. Rudolph Steiner and anthroposophy was a major moment for me. a major event. it showed me that true human goodness and spirituality really did exist. and it didn’t need anything but good people being good people. if I am ever lucky enough to have children, they will be raised as Avatars, but they will be raised in an anthroposophical community so they can feel what that feeling is like from the moment they are born.
11. Finding Christ church on 60th street and Park Avenue in New York City. – a spiritual experience? Sure. A major event on the path to be sure. I have already written about it in the diaries recently. I was called to enter that church for no reason on an afternoon shopping excursion. it was a Wednesday. in the afternoon. But upon entering I felt by far the most powerful feeling of comfort security joy God presence I had ever felt up to that point in my life. just sitting there in the pew. The message was clear and simple. God exists. angels exist. here we are. we are real. something exists that that we can call God if we want to. it is kind loving perhaps all-knowing. Loves us deeply and unconditionally and understands all. and in the end and in the present, all is well. I walked out of there changed forever. So suffice it to say that I now understand that the most important thing at this point in regards to spirituality and humankind is how does it make us feel? does it feel enlightened and transcendent and soft and warm and fuzzy and sweet and serious-but-light at the same time? does it make us better people? kinder towards others? more loving and accepting of ourselves and others? that’s the thing there in a nutshell. can you feel the presence of godness in it? Are religions still bad? Sure they are. plenty bad. But not all bad. Is the religion of Islam bad? You bet it is when it condones suicide bombers and murdering people…. just as bad as the Christian religion has been in the last two thousand years as they’ve killed hundreds of millions for whatever reason-of-the-month they’ve come up with. Are they also stupid? sure if people go around thinking that the reason they are living a good life in this lifetime is just so they can get into a good afterlife (one that includes 12 virgins…) or because they will go to some afterlife that will last an eternity and they will live in gold mansions with God and Jesus and all that other crap. so yeah, sure, as with everything else human, religion can be wicked and evil and just plain laughable and stupid. But I’ve been reading this book that Rev Bauman gave me a few weeks ago and it speaks of what he calls the “emerging paradigm of Christianity” and I gotta say I have been intrigued by the leaders of the Christian movement’s willingness to accept and promote this new way of looking at the religion… check it out: new paradigm = sacred metaphor versus fundamentalism, living for this lifetime instead of for reward in some “afterlife,” inspired by God rather than written by God, even the basic ideas such as the virgin birth and the resurrection are able to be questioned and pondered rather than blindly accepted, and in fact, facts such as these aren’t even what’s important in the emerging/new paradigm that is developing. What is important is how a person lives = are they attempting to live the Christian life here-now for the benefits to themselves and others in this lifetime, or are they just waiting to die for some reward in an imagined and hoped for after-life? anyway, I love it. a totally new and inviting way of looking at religions…. if all the religions start to accept this evolvement the world will be a better place and churches the world over will find themselves filled to capacity once again… I am now in a place where my intellect’s desire for logical understanding is overridden by my heart’s desire for spiritual fulfillment; in whatever form that takes.
12. Last on the list, but certainly not least, was this most recent monumental exercise that I began six weeks ago with a simple ten page manual called the personal integrity rundown, a deceptively simple little exercise developed by Harry palmer, the inventor of the Avatar materials. I had heard about it for about a year. I was receiving regular emails from people all over the world literally raving about it. every few weeks someone from some different country would write to me very personally hewing and hawing about how miraculous it was for them and how it transformed their lives. Eventually I did it because I just had too many damn people telling me too many damn great things about its power. I’ve already said enough about my experiences with it. as I said, I believe it is the final step in the Jedi training. You need to be an Avatar master at the very least to take it and its recommended that you are a wizard really. Again, as simple as it is it takes real boldness and courage and a strong will to venture into those deep dark caverns of the past to rid yourself of it once and for all. but after a while it feels effortless. It just comes down to the doing of it. and so in regards to spirituality could it be as simple as just cleaning up our own shit? taking responsibility of who we are and who we are being? Taking a total stock of our life from beginning to end and acknowledging our past mistakes and errors and misjudgments, making amends to others and to ourselves as well. truly forgiving others and ourselves and letting it all go? could be. I know that for me it was miraculous.
So here we are. that was the journey… from what I can tell… so far…. The end of the story? I don’t think so. I would say we are more at the very beginning of it….