The Elusive Search For Peace
So. I haven’t written in a while.
Over a year according to the logs.
I had to go on another mission. Y’all know how that goes.
When I was in the 6th grade I used to take my mother’s college psychology books with me to school. Why people do what they do always fucked with me even when I was a young’n. Believe it or not I was baptized Catholic (an L.A. nikka with Louisiana roots.) I never got confirmed though. I could see through that shit at 9 years old. Way too much follow the leader/Simon Says type shit. “We lift up our hearts… we lift them up to the Lord.” I used to love that call and response shit. But I was destined for juju.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with organized religion if it satisfies your thirst for the divine. But for me it only sparked questions. Questions like why do we trust the dudes who wrote THIS book as the authorities on this shit? And why are people not responsible for their actions? How come you can just apologize for your sins and it’s all good?
The clergy tolerate you for a while then you really just end up pissing people off who are pretty much satisfied with the salvation equation. I went to Lutheran school for my primary education and Jesuit Catholic for high school. Confession was probably the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for me though. “So you’re saying I gotta tell you what I did so you can tell me what god wants for me to do to make up for all the bad shit that I did?” Jesus Christ, God needs technology badly!
So when I left home and went up north to Berkeley for college I finally had the freedom and resources to explore all the interesting belief systems that I had really only heard of in my earlier years. I investigated Buddhism, Hinduism, Tantra, Kabbala, Taoism, Islam, Gnosticism, and after all that landed at the traditional African religions. My buddies and I tackled Yoruba and the cosmologies of the Bantu, the Dogon, ancient Khamit etc. We dug in as deep as we could with the resources we had and when I neared graduation I had gone from a beer guzzling, womanizing frat boy to a regularly fasting vegan meditator with a passion for yoga and the djembe. And for 12 years I reeled in awesome states of ecstatic trance, sacrifice and spirit possession, ancestral communication and general feelings of superiority to lowly christians and all the rest of the spiritually indigent.
But in the end I wasn’t fuckin’ happy.
So I divorced my wife. And I found a new one. Then I had a kid. Then another one. And I swore off religion for a while and became a hardcore capitalist. And that was about as unsatisfying as it could possibly be. All that trial and error. Begging and praying. Failing and chasing. Chronic dissatisfaction with life… It was enough to send you to church! Ha! So I decided to turn back to the ancestors once again. But I couldn’t go back to my old Afrikan church folk so I decided to check out my Cubano roots and culture and look into the Santeria/Palo connection. This was a very fun time for me. The visceral earth oriented nature of these religions for me was fascinating and fun and exciting. I enjoyed the awesome interplay of the elements and the raw power of the spirit world that made the world so much more fun to live in! But damn was it expensive! Do you have any idea how much goats and chickens and flowers cost?? I think Ocha was gonna run me around $12,000. And that was a modest estimate!! Oh, and I needed to make Ocha YESTERDAY!!! Of course! What a life!! You gotta love it!
So before I began to dig up bodies in the local cemetary in order to get the spirits of the dead to do my bidding I met a lion-headed man as I was driving back home from ‘table’ one day smelling like Florida water and cigar smoke. Just as plain as day I saw him sitting in the passenger seat of my explorer. Just chillin’ as I drove home. We met a few more times and after my wife complained about me spending ‘all that damn time’ with those African folks one last time I said screw it and threw in the towel. I knew the lion-headed man was somebody important though and I wanted to know who he was so I started researching the good books that are out there on majik. As a result of my research I met a master magician who showed me the REAL science of manifestation. No more killing chickens. No blood-letting required. Let the games begin! And begin they did. I had fun! Lots of fun. But I was wreckless, and experiemented with the fire and of course I got burned…
Yep. Fire burns. But it also acts as a catalyst. It speeds up chemical reactions and brings change quickly. And I was never a patient man. Ha!
When I began my recovery from the 2nd and 3rd degree burns (figuratively speaking) I began to ask the type of questions that one gets to when he is nearing the end of the road. What is the purpose of life? Who am I really? What’s the point of all this suffering and searching? What the fuck?
And as I asked, answers began to come. They came in the form of teachers and literature that I had up to that point not come across. The works of Ramana Maharshi, Sri Nisargadatta, Adyashanti, Shri Atmanada, Gangaji, Jean Klein, Francis Lucille and finally, Rupert Spira.
And while sitting in my living room reading The Transparency of Things I read a passage and felt a snap and looked up in a room I’d sat in 1000 times before and I suddenly saw things like I’d never seen them before. And I clearly for the first time knew exactly who I was. And I thought, HOLY SHIT!! This is amazing! And then I had no idea what to do. I had no one to call. No one who would even remotely understand, but at the same time I didn’t care. I felt as if I was being born right then, right there. And for 3 months after that every day I would stare out my back window into the woods that encroached upon my back deck for hours, watching leaves fall and rain drops and birds dancing and butterflies playing and the light of awareness, of self realization, of awakening dawned and my life finally began.
And finally the search is over.