Questions by the Moon
Are the Gods real? I’m talking about basically all of them, the present ones and the ancient ones whose names have come to us from this culture or that. This dawned on me as I was studying Greek Mythology in university and preparing a paper that argued Dionysus represented an intention to replace Zeus as the king of the Gods, but that intention failed, what drove Dionysus insane, arguing that this represented psychological events that took place in Greek culture, under the strong impression that the Gods were figures of human psychology, not yet ready to admit the Greek Gods were real unto themselves. Then I came across a copy of Dionysus Myth and Cult by Walter F. Otto, an author that felt they were actually real, or at least that’s how my Greek professor described him, and whether that was the actual case or not, it’s what stuck with me. It made perfect sense—of course I reasoned, Them too. My realization came from the experience I alluded to at the close of the last chapter, when I saw where the religions of humanity come from.
Up until that moment I only applied reality to the religions alive today, not the old ones. Of course there’d be a lot of interpretation, or imagination, applied to the reality of whatever religion, old or young, something the adherents of today’s religions don’t seem to apprehend, what becomes more apparent as a religion goes out of style as it were, but nonetheless the basis of the religion is real, speaking here of those that have come from inner revelation, from prophets and seers, not the invented ones, those that have been made up entirely by the human ego without input from the inner consciousness. Incidentally, in the study of religion today, on the part of science and academia that is, that religion has its origin from the inner consciousness, and not from environmental or social factors, isn’t even recognized, or if it is, isn’t yet admitted. That would be putting the emphasis on consciousness itself, what science yet avoids, it in the mainstream being dominated by reductionist materialism. I’m sorry; I can’t avoid the mouthfuls.
First, consider that there are regions of mind above ours, or our usual haunt of mind, and in an inner experience that was triggered by LSD (bear with me), I encountered above our field of mind what at that time I described as a thought grid that stretched to infinity in every direction, and inside the grid were squarish cubicles, what I’d come to call houses, but which are called the Heavens by most mystics down through the ages, which when you looked down into them housed in miniature fantastic forms of divine and not worldly origin. I was flying over that grid and only saw into the Buddhist and Christian heavens, as they were side by side, but I understood that this thought grid acted as a filter for the divine light from beyond, sending to our minds the seeds that not only create our religions but also make human civilization. You have to understand that in that height of Mind, your understanding is basically infinite and capable of realizing multiple ideas at the same time. These ideas were just present in my mind, not thought out, as I will explain.
With a remote possibility called the divine experience, you see that the many ideas of God are actually beings unto themselves when you get right up close to them, beings that to look upon is to see something our three dimensions can’t quite capture, beings that to look upon is to bring the upmost feelings of awe and reverence. In the line our language draws, I can’t speak of this at the same time as that, but not only our religions come from that thought grid, those innumerable heavens, but the ideas that are civilizing us to become more than the animal, ideas as mundane as the lowly spoon and sewing machine needle, as important as agriculture and mathematics, and I can go on and on and on, the seeding usually coming in our dreams but also in the visions of seers or prophets. That this place seeds civilization, is where ours comes from, was not something that occurred to me after in interpreting the experience; as I’ve said, that knowledge was consummate with being there and seeing that level of Mind, what I knew as I looked out on that divine region, not with the vehicle of worded thought but with a silent knowing that held that knowledge in its gaze.
I can go on about what I’ve since learned about that region from someone else who’s gone there, whose poem I referenced above, someone who can tell you a whole lot more about it than can I, someone there with me in Safed but not someone I realized was, a mind blowing synchronicity during the hunger strike involving a book of his notwithstanding, since I only had that book in my hands, The Life Divine, not his physical presence, though they were almost constant hands on that book, but it would be sufficient here only to explain that there on that height the religious ideals are in a perfect harmony with one another, do not clash, are opposites complementary to each other, but, and here’s the tricky part, upon entering the human mind and heart, they undergo what might be called a sea change, infinity as it is meeting the finite, which makes them very creative ideas as apt to go this way as that, meaning open to a variety of interpretations, and if that isn’t enough, they are filtered to us by individuals, prophets, seers, sages and the like, and the container damages the goods, whomever that container might be, even Mohammad, peace by upon him, and you can crown the whole problem with divine revelation with the fact that here on material earth the ideals each seem to want the world to themselves, I mean the whole wide world. If you are open to their height, and open to more than just one house, you hear their competition, a very friendly jousting, like with your other half that in the ears of most seers turns into an exclusivity.
Our story is wound by stories, and back stories spin off of it like lightning, and if we don’t tell our story in a straight line from the beginning to the end, not digressing with back stories, or not much, choosing instead to tell the original story by telling also the many stories that spin off of it, the story can get lost, but if you can just remain seated, or, to say it differently, ‘don’t touch that dial!’, in this here book I’ll give you a story wound round like no other, weave different stories into the narrative the way the universe spins stories, or how water drains from a sink, to give a more common picture of what I’m talking about: a spiral fashion, which means you first get a glimpse and then bigger and bigger looks until the damn thing’s in a whole picture of sight, and all the stories have come together as the one story.
So I would venture to digress here and say that I believe Nietzsche did not lose his mind from syphilis but from being such a hardcore atheist and then having a divine experience, as he had the intellectual passion to break the lid over the intellect separating us from infinity but not the flexibility to assimilate such a crash upon his atheism when that lid broke from so many repeated assaults on it. However much he was predisposed to mental illness from whatever, I believe such a catastrophic assault on his core beliefs triggered his insanity. I say that because, in the aftermath of such an impact upon my beliefs, I almost lost my mind, as I had been an atheist too, though one fervently asking the question is there a God, and I was no longer looking at books and arguments of reason; I was looking on the inside, and at that moment I was an open book. My set and setting for that LSD trip, one I had planned for months so to ask the question of the existence of God, were maxed out. I had no a priori, I mean, I hadn’t made up my mind that God does or doesn’t exist, and I was not out to prove either of those, like science does in the question of the origin of consciousness—it seems to be only trying to prove it arises from material process, from the physical brain. It was my openness to an affirmative answer that saved me, although I in no way expected the answer I got.
For weeks after the divine experience, long after the effects of the substance wore off, I was still tripping. Something had happened to the definite separation between my inside and outside, called a spiritual emergency in today’s parlance, and I could not look at any media whatsoever, even a newspaper or magazine, without it being synchronic with what I’d just been thinking, and with that and the pounding explanation point in my mind that there really are God-beings involved in humanity, involved in our very minds, beings so much beyond us it wasn’t even funny, it was all I could do to get a job washing dishes and vowing never to have anything more than the most shallow and mundane of thoughts ever again. It was a scary time.
I guess it was 6 or 8 weeks after the experience that I met a young Jewish man that helped me, inadvertently, to face my fear and move on, but it was a long journey to where I faced my fear. First, I’d traveled in terror from Spyrock Mountain in Northern California, where the experience occurred, to a veterans hospital in Sacramento where I almost died, from terror I kid you not. The exclamation point went from my mind to my stomach, thankfully, as it saved my reason, but an excruciating and hellish pain in my solar plexus was the price I had to pay, and I could not stop vomiting and diarrhea. After several days, I was told by the doctor assigned to me that I was about to die, and there was nothing they could do, and my parents had been informed and were on their way from Texas. He admitted they had thought I was a heroin addict going through withdrawal, why I hadn’t been given pain meds—the jerks—but after having all my fluids tested they saw that wasn’t the case. He said he did not know what the case was, what was wrong with me. He then apologized for the missed diagnosis, and left. Hopelessness and despondency hit me over the head, and that’s an understatement, but help was coming, immediate help.
It was a common ward, and I had been there a week, moaning and thrashing my body constantly from the pain, vomiting and whatnot. When the doctor left one of the patients came and sat next to my bed. He said his name was Jim, and he told me the other men were talking about having me tied to the bed I was such a disturbance. Then he asked, like he knew I’d experienced something really, really, heavy, “Man what happened to you?”
I told him about the acid trip on Spyrock, my first, which was on my 27th birthday by the way, and how I’d been an atheist but now knew there was a God because I had seen divine form. As I was saying the word God, he was taking my hand so to pray for me. The moment our hands touched the pain, the vomiting, all the symptoms of my mysterious illness, disappeared completely, and I was healed. The sudden relief flooded me with peace. He was as surprised as I was.
After one of those long moments where two people sit silent and stunned, staring at the unknown because they’ve had something happen to them, together, akin to seeing aliens or something, not just a flying saucer, Jim began to speak about himself, telling me he’d had some really weird experiences too, why he knew something heavy had happened to me. He said he had a large house, and young men stayed with him, as he was a sort of teacher, not a guru or anything, but a friend. He invited me to stay at his house after I got out of the hospital.
And so there I went, after spending some time with my mom and step-dad, who were of course relieved that they hadn’t come to see me die. I was no longer terrified as I had been before going to the hospital, but I was still in that place of the mixing of the inside and outside, and very close to fear, as it was a very uncomfortable place. Arriving at Jim’s, he greeted me kindly and helped me unload my things and put them into the room I’d be staying in. I had a shotgun under the seat I took out and carried to the room last. He widened his eyes at it but didn’t say anything. Then, Jim busy elsewhere, I sat down on a sofa in the living room, which was lined all the way around with sofas and chairs, except the wall the TV was up against. It was on, and the game show Wheel of Fortune was on. A few other young men, some younger, some older than I, were sitting around the room. A young man came in through the front door, and Jim met him just inside it and began speaking to him. The man was visibly upset, and I heard him tell Jim that the FBI was after him, something about terrorist activities, and Jim said, in a loud voice, “Don’t drag me into it!” At that exact moment, the sentence puzzle on the wheel in the game show was solved, something Jim had not been a witness to, what was on the TV, and it was ‘don’t drag me into it’, which was said in a loud voice by the players and audience, said also by Jim at the same time if you’re following me. Everybody in the room said a big, “Whoa!” I jumped up and ran out the door, Jim close on my heels trying to calm me down. I went back and forth into the house a couple of times to get my things and put them back in my truck, a black, king cab Nissan truck, Jim trying his best to get me to stay and just talk. I left him standing there and drove off like a bat out of hell. Funny, I left the shotgun behind by accident.
After a week’s stay with my step-dad’s niece, Nadine, and her husband, as I had to get my truck fixed, a week seemingly underwater with the fearful state I was in, using the song “Drowning Man” by U2 to help me not drown, and R.E.M.’s “You Are the Everything” to comfort me, what I listened to over and over, I made my way to Seattle, where, after working a couple of weeks on a building demolition crew made up of convicts from the local prison, a job I took because it was the only job available, and I had to have a job to stay at the Y.M.C.A., I got a job, like I said, as a dishwasher, and it was at a factory cafeteria that made monitors for infants in the womb, and when you walked through the factory, you heard the sound of unborn babies breathing all around you. How that helped to calm the exclamation point in my mind. It was on the way to becoming a regular period.
That was triggered one evening after work. I was driving past King’s Cafeteria I remember, when one of those strange insistent feelings hit me that had been coming up for weeks now, one in that instance that, not in actual words but as a strong impulse, told me to stop there and eat. One, I wasn’t hungry, had just ate at my job, and two, I was quite tired of cafeteria food, but this time I just went with it, and I pulled in and parked. I ate a little something and then lit my pipe and leaned back to smoke it (this was in 1988), when another insistent mental impulse hit me, one that had with it a story that had just appeared in my mind, one about the man sitting across the room from me, how he was in trouble and needed help because he thought he was the Messiah, and I needed to talk him down. It wasn’t anything I heard in words; it was just an understanding that I had when I looked on the man. Naturally I fought with myself awhile, not wanting to be rude and intrusive, as the boundaries between us, in the West that is, when we are at a restaurant (anywhere public) are something like international borders we are so private and unto ourselves and our own party while eating. I imagined myself walking up to him. “Excuse me, but I couldn’t help but notice you think you’re the Messiah…” It was ridiculous, and I wouldn’t do it, of course not.
I did do it. With a great deal of reluctance, I got up and walked over to him. It was obvious something was bothering him, since he was sort of rocking back and forth putting his head in his hands and then taking them off. “Excuse me, but it looks like something’s bothering you. Can I help?”
“Eh?! What?” he said looking up at me sharply. “No, nothing. Leave me alone!”
I began to walk off, feeling like such a fool, when he called me back. “Yes, there is something really bothering me…” I sat down on the other side of the two-top, and he began by describing how he was using his charisma, which he felt was a magical power, to manipulate women who were his followers, sexually manipulate them, and how badly he felt about that. Okay, I thought, he does need someone to talk to. Then he talked about his childhood, how he’d been raised in a small Jewish sect, raised as the Jewish Messiah, and now he felt he was going insane because he didn’t want to be that but felt he couldn’t help but do his destiny, if it really were his destiny and was not just some seed his sect had sown. He was basically torn in two. Was he or wasn’t he? At any rate, as a child he’d learned metaphysical techniques to have power over people, or so he claimed, and now it was all crashing down on his head, having all these women worshipping him, and he just using them for sex, and then there was this idea in his head that he was the messiah. It was all too much.
Tell me about it. Even though I ‘knew’ that before I went over to him, it still came as quite a surprise you might imagine. I grabbed onto some boards on the bottom of the table like I was holding onto the world itself, the real world, the one of reason and natural laws, it threatening to leave me in the strangest of places. I gathered myself and told him the story of what had brought me there, the insistent mental urge, how I knew what was bothering him and how he had to believe me because he would go insane if he didn’t. I told him that something cared about him very much to bring me there to help him, and that something was God, not bothering with any distinctions with that word at the moment, obviously. I went on to explain something I’d learned from my divine experience. We weren’t waiting for a messiah, neither the Jews nor anyone else, because we each and every one of us were ourselves the Messiah, and it was that that was coming, was what we were waiting for, not a messiah but that fundamental, global change in humanity itself.
I urged him to leave the group he was living with, just strike out on his own and away from being a messiah, away from being a lord over his band of young women. I didn’t ask for any details about that, didn’t want to know the dirt and did not have a moral reaction over what details he did give me, which were very few. If I had had one, there would have been no way I could help him, and consequently, the young women he was sexually manipulating, although at that moment he and not they was foremost in my mind to help. He was the one in front of me. I do believe it’s going to take us centuries, judging by the all-encompassing and absolute importance we give to the victim today, which leaves no room for daylight to come in and confound our moral reaction with the truth of us, to give as much importance to the victimizer as we give the victim, the kind of importance that wants to help and heal, what we readily give to victims, but until we give that also to victimizers, there will always be victims. You can kind of see where you are with that by watching what you do when you are confronted with someone, on the net or wherever, that has committed sexual sins. You’ll see why I say it’s going take so very long. You’ll want to know every bite and scratch, every name he chewed on. You won’t want to know his origin or even his heart.
The conversation took just several minutes, but by the end he had calmed down, was all ears as a matter of fact, as he felt the magic that had brought me there to help him. We left without even giving one another our names, but it was a meeting that had more of an impact upon our lives than most of the ones where names are exchanged, as it wasn’t each other’s names we came away with; it was the comforting but intense impact of getting each what we needed by a higher power. I have no way of knowing if he took my advice or not, but, by the divine arrangement of the encounter, the magic, I know that it came just at the very moment he needed it most, where he was predisposed to listen, if he were going to listen, and so that’s all I needed to know. The rest was in God’s hands.
For my part, I saw how our hand is held, and that, far from being a pathological state I just needed to end, this blurring of the line between my inside and outside, which made the world too deep to live in, or so it felt such meaning lined the world’s page, was in fact a blessing in disguise, one I could get used to and live with, and here I’d seen how much it could help, how hurt had nothing to do with it, and the exclamation point calmed into a regular sentence ending.
I left Seattle not too long after that, but not before getting a better job, as a waiter at T.G.I. Fridays, and a one bedroom apartment, landing on my feet after arriving there dead broke, a skill that I would hone down to a science in the coming years vagabonding. I just suddenly left it all, another skill I would hone as a perpetual traveler, and drove back to my hometown of Houston, intending to go for it, I mean get as much knowledge as I could of the deepest things possible, and to do that I didn’t decide to become a monk, minister, priest, or whatnot, but went back to university for an advanced degree, still under the mistaken impression that you could get real knowledge in a university, the kind that helps you translate the world’s deeps. You’d think I’d study religion or philosophy, but I decided upon doing graduate work in the History of Science, specifically on the origin of atomic theory in Greek science, wanting to argue that it didn’t come from empirical observation but from inner experience. I also went to the university of the inner life, as I’ve mentioned a couple of times, and to attend that school I organized my life to do inner exploration along with the outer study, go as deeply as I could go, wanting to see how far up, down, and to the sides we go on the inside. Has the thought ever entered your mind to do that? You’d think it’d be at the top of our bucket list, I mean, if we want to really know ourselves.
It so happened that, early on, I conjured a demon, another story wound round this present one I will only mention now, fill in later, but suffice it to say it was a rather Faustian episode, although I didn’t exchange my soul for knowledge, was just ardently pursuing esoteric knowledge. I got the daylights scared out of me yet again, this time looking dead in the eyes of a demon, got knowledge I could not get rid of nor knew of anyone that had such face to face knowledge that could help me assimilate it, and so I took the advice of my Greek professor, who became basically my confessor for those three years, and I just focused on learning to translate Attic and Homeric Greek, for purposes of grounding, dropping the science thesis but picking up, as self-study, the investigation of the origin and transcription of the human ego, as I’ve said.
I was interested in the origin of atomic theory because of the brush I had with a tactical nuke as a Green Beret, when an A team I was temporarily a part of, one that specialized in hand-placed nuclear weapons, parachuted into West Germany with one, a real nuke. To make sure it was just a practice mission, as we’d spent two weeks in isolation in England beforehand, where a little doubt did crept in if it were real world or not, we checked as soon as we hit the ground if it had plutonium, or the regular nuke team members did I should clarify, who were from Operational Detachment Alpha 334. It wasn’t armed. I and three others from my own A team, 331, C company, 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, from Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, were pulling security for the mission and had been told not to even look at the thing. It looked like a keg of beer.
At that time down to a man we’d said we’d go through with it if it had been real world, even though it was certain we’d been lied to about the fallout, and we’d die too. Upon more honest reflection after the mission, however, I was not such an unquestioning patriot, and I realized the enormity of the consequences of the mission if it had been real world, as this was 1983, during final stages of the Cold War. Although you can pass it off as just a training mission, and most Green Berets would probably laugh at the effect it had on me, it amplified my thinking, and strangely the world began to loom larger in my mind than my nation, which clashed greatly with my redneck Texan outlook on things, and I got out of the army when my time was up and started college with some big questions I wanted answered. I had no idea at the time, like I said, that those questions university can’t answer. Inner exploration, the exploration of your consciousness, however, can.
I see you! [said in the voice of a common dialogue plugin on YouTube] Gather your nations. Is there anything that brings us together? I’ll never answer it if I can’t say, shazam! You know what I’m talking about, just utterly blowin’ your mind. Now tell me again you have religious experience. We gather in the unknown. We come together on ourselves faced with a larger us. Shazam! God dog do you have details. I don’t think I’ve ever touched anything like this before. I’m scared of you. He’s innocent of anything hairy scary. He’s just livin’ life at a level you ain’t, and he apologizes to your ears. My main hiding places your river, my main heartbeat your mood, [this and above line heard sung] but this kept going. Radical yoga mystical borders, that’s the ocean spray. On chewing that list: available here sundials. I have a good question: where is the sun on our map? You’re in representative mind, you and the Gods too. The sun is Supermind, what’s manifesting this show. You get a map that shows off the map, just wait and you’ll see. How long it took it took it over an impossibility with me. In the meantime I was just in the zoo looking for all of the particulars a novelist rocky mountain.