07
Sep
16

3rd Quarter of a Spiritual Sojourn

spiritual

This past spring marked a milestone birthday for me. I haven’t killed myself yet with too many illicit drugs or alcohol, or gone through with some feeble suicide attempt. I knew if I lived this long, I would pick up the spiritual journey I started almost forty years ago, back in Austin, Texas. Like so many from that era, I was intrigued by the novelist/spiritual teacher, Carlos Castaneda and read his books, working to grasp his explanations of a separate reality. Time marched on and Castaneda’s stories of the teachings from don Juan, his supposed Yaqui medicine man teacher, slipped into question; his followers began to diminish like rats on a sinking ship…most of them, that is. There are still pockets of Castaneda believers out there, but then again, we still have pockets of Bernie Sanders supporters who believe he’ll walk into the White House this year.

The reality of this year’s election is something I don’t think any of us could have imagined. Our electing process seems to be turning into a sham before our very eyes and all we manage to do is turn our heads the other way and ignore it, like the Jews must have done when Nazis first started banging into their neighborhoods to rough things up. Who can blame me for wanting to go back to the pursuit of more spiritual matters? There are stranger things in our world than Jesus and the Trump/Clinton saga has grown to a lull, with regards to actually accomplishing anything. I’ll have plenty of time to check in on which ever of those two nightmares win the Presidential race, come twenty seventeen.

The year goes into the third quarter and my trek back to exploring spiritual matters had me surfing the web in search of what used to take much longer; flipping through card catalogues in a local library, or scanning articles in various publications for hidden gems of guidance. One place my web surfing led me was evaluating more recent documents and data collected by New York State University Professor Robert Davis on NDE’s (Near Death Experiences). Researchers continue to try and merge the line of science and spirituality by finding out what this phenomenon might be. Earlier research was written off due to lack of volume or accurate recording of collected data, but newer studies have shown some interesting connection between those claiming to have had Near Death Experiences and individuals who claim to have experienced alien abductions. The aftermath of what these two groups of people took away from their experience(s) has to be considered a positive thing. In both study groups, the out of body experience, or alien experience, brought out new characteristics in these people of ‘noteworthy’ percentages, according to Davis. Characteristics like a greater desire to help others, more compassion for others, a greater appreciation for ordinary things, an increase in the ability to love others, more sensitivity to the suffering of others, more concern for spiritual matters and less concern for organized religion. Whether the things these people experienced are ‘real’ is another study in itself, but so many people coming away from their experience with positive, spiritual benefits – life changing outlooks – we’d be foolish not to try and spend some time investigating what makes such a thing happen. Studying this would make more sense than the money and research we currently spend on the most ridiculous shit ever, shit that bears less positive or usable conclusions. We’re spending almost $50,000 on a Federal grant to have someone write a historical saga on the Russian smokers. We spend 3.1 billion dollars on vacation for federal employees placed on administrative leave. The National Science Foundation spent nearly one hundred fifty thousand dollars to understand why politics stress us out. My plea to study NDEs and UFOs doesn’t sound so crazy by comparison any longer.

Time marches on. The election looms closer.  My quest continues, with one more quarter in the year after this one. I’m hoping that like the NDE and UFO stories I ran across, my pursuit of deeper meaning to life will bring me some positive personal transformation. That, to me, is what spirituality should leave you with. Negative personal transformation seems to be what religion will leave you with. I could fill up a few more posts on the experiences I have been recently going through, with regards to this journey, but that would take some time. If you really want to hear all that you’ll have to track me down-and bring a bottle of scotch. Dewars will work. In the meantime, suffice it to say that I have experienced one positive from this revived interest in my spiritual side…it’s given me relief from the upcoming election and that within itself, is a fucking miracle.

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