Who is this man?

Men (and women) who wake from the slumber of humanity, progress to a spiritual consciousness of all that is good. They traverse the hero's journey, deal with the dross of their character and personality, formulate a mission to serve their fellow travelers in this realm, and dedicate their lives to spiritual progress. They leave behind the baggage of hate, discontent, judgment, resentment, addiction, anger, depression, and fear. They lessen the hold of ego. They infuse their souls and their lives with love, acceptance, integrity, humility, positive values, and the spiritual virtues. They come to know who they are and why they are here. They awaken!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I had three experiences this past week that, as I think about them, turned me inside out and upside down.  I love that, because such experiences turbo-boost my journey! 

It started with a wonderful dinner with two friends of recent years who are moving to Toronto.  I like to pontificate about my spiritual beliefs because I believe them, and because I think others need this information.  I experienced my wife nudging me under the dinner table as our friends started to glaze over when I spewed forth my viewpoints about consciously co-creating the world in cooperation with the intelligent cosmos, or some such esoteric gobbledygook.

The second experience was when my anam cara[1] confronted me with this question: “How do you know all that, any more than some other person thinks they know the truth?”  I heard it as, “You can be no more sure about your own beliefs than another person.”  My initial reaction was, “Ouch!”

All this led me to question my beliefs, which is good.  I realized that she was not questioning my beliefs, but rather my projections onto other people, to wit: “I have the answer to life, the universe, and everything, and they need this understanding.”  It led me to see how I pontificate from my ego, and how I compromise my goal of humility coupled with wisdom.

The third experience involved dealing with a man I know who occasionally talks cryptically about some mysterious set of experiences and encounters he has had during his life.  My confusion reigns when I try to decipher his gobbledygook, but I found, gratefully, that he is a mirror to me.  I often go into “flights of fancy” while avoiding the real issues, deep feelings, and connection with others.

The awakening man understands that what may be his essential understanding may be gibberish to another, and that is OK.  He does not judge another person's belief system because it is sacred.  He does not force his beliefs on others, either by monopolizing the conversation or lopping off his head.  However, like a sensei, he shares his truth and asks deep questions when invited.  He blesses when he can...

May you have -
Walls for the wind,
And a roof for the rain,
And drinks beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire.
     - Celtic blessing
[1] Anam cara – “soul friend”.  Refer to the book of the same name by John O’Donohue.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Alternate Route

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

The journey of the awakening man (or woman) occasionally brings what we may perceive as diversions.  We may have to take an “Alternate Route” from time to time.  Like the signs that divert us from a closed highway, our consciousness guides us off our main route.  Often, we do not know the reason until we travel the byway and allow it to reveal its gifts.

I did not post to this blog last week because I was on an alternate route.  A detour sign appeared two weeks ago when a new memory came to me about “the illness” when I was six years old.  Hospitalized for six weeks, I almost died from rheumatic fever and pneumonia.  At that tender age, I realized how close to death I was.

My recalled memory was about receiving the Catholic sacrament of anointing with oil, one of the last rites.  Performed by a priest when death is imminent, Extreme Unction is the final sacrament to provide comfort, ask for divine healing, and help the soul enter the next life[1].  My turmoil grew during the week as I contemplated the idea that my family, and perhaps I, too, had abandoned hope for my life.

My vision became clearer during the week as I confronted my near-death experience and the trauma that haunted me.  These thoughts roiled my mind until Tuesday morning when I broke down, crying uncontrollably about the import of what had happened.  My wife held me in her arms and comforted me.  I visited one of my guides for insight.  I did some bio-energetic work by beating some old tires with a large stick[2], releasing sadness, fear, and anger.  Finally, I pictured the scene as an ice sculpture.  A final blow of the stick shattered the frozen diorama in my mind, and I imagined the fragments slowly melting into the earth.  Near the end of last week, my wandering on this byway ended with clearing and acceptance within my heart.

What we experience on the byways of life may be more important than our desire to stay the course of a journey we have preconceived.  Life’s alternate routes can reveal much, affording opportunities for healing, growth, and soul-filling.

Do you see an alternate route sign?
Do you feel as if your journey has been disrupted and you are on a different path for a while?
Can you relish it, continue your awakening, and know that this is your journey?

[1] For more information, please google “extreme unction” and “last rites”.
[2] The “Forman Anger Obliterator” is a three-foot long, stout plastic pipe with a baseball bat grip.  It is ideal for beating old tires, padded trees, or cushions to release negative energy.  Email me if interested! petegf@att.net