Intimate Conversation 4
"Life - A 'Definitely So' Story"
As Told to Ramón by EEAHHOOWEHEHH
This also appears as the final essay in the book, Conversations With
Shady,now available as an e-book at pulpbits.com.
A Selective Literary Electronic Book Shop
Ramón, your understanding of reality has been gifted to you during your planetary existence in what only can be referred to as a series of graces. It all began when the nurturing presence of your birth-mother Amparo was removed from you by her imprisonment and execution during the first year of the Spanish Civil War. This broke your two-year-old heart but, as everyone in planetary incarnation learns, it's from the deepest wounds that one's particular 'graces' emerge. You, therefore, enjoy the grace of empathic communication with toddlers. This is why your hang-out age-group-of-preference is nursery-school children, Grandpa Ramón! This is also why you have the grace of creating family and community around you wherever you are.
In March, 1936, you and your younger sister Andrea arrived in Manhattan as Spanish Civil War refugees, four and two years old respectively. Your father deposited you with a foster family and went to Mexico where start-up funds existed for Spanish exiles. When his publishing venture crashed, he returned to the States one-and-a-half years later only to discover that his children had forgotten their Spanish (despite a Spanish tutor). The part of this story involving your 'American mother' and your father became, in your father's own words, "Too romantic to tell," but you both remained as Julia's 'wards' for your growing-up years. Whatever mothering you received came from her -- and from your remarkable sister.
No documents existed to prove that you ever had been born (the birth certificates in Madrid destroyed by bombs, and you were not included on your father's Mexican visa). This bureaucratic snafu left two children without legal proof of their existence until, in your early adolescence, your father married an American citizen, became naturalized, and you derived American citizenship from him. It seemed more than symbolic that you and your sister thus became 'children without a country' early on, although in your pre-teens it came as a shock to learn that you could not become president because you were not native-born. At this point you swerved away from school politics and became the class clown instead. Clowning, ever since, has remained an important aspect of your persona. Grandpa Zero! Grandpa Zero!
Looking back upon your teens and twenties, you now must understand that the reason for your intense and traumatic 'immersion' in planetary living was so that you would develop a deep empathy for others. You therefore experienced both extremes of life before your twenties, the caste privileges of the elite as well as how it felt to live hand-to-mouth. It also was important that you make all the naive mistakes, marrying at 19 the first girl with whom you went to bed, starting a family at much too young an age while holding various entry-level jobs ('vegetable boy' at the Biltmore Hotel under whose clock you previously had paced awaiting your lover's arrival from her rarified prep school).
Besides devoting yourself to sheer survival, you continued your involvement in music that had begun in your early teens under the affectionate tutelage of your surrogate father, George Copeland, the first pianist to perform Debussy in the States. When your marriage fell apart (anguished betrayals with old boyfriends and extramarital nonsense), you drove to San Francisco for the summer of 1957. You lived in a cheap wino hotel in North Beach where you hovered on the edge of the Beat Scene while working swing-shift at the Bank of America. When you saved enough money to take a two-week 'Zen' retreat on Mount Tamalpais, you hiked up onto the Marin watershed with a sagging knapsack of potatoes, carrots and volumes of haiku, Kenneth Rexroth and Gary Snyder. You had discovered Japanese culture the year before, and Rexroth and Alan Watts were amongst the San Francisco luminaries you made a point to meet.
I had not intended to relate your complete life story, but suffice it to say that one evening, after a week alone in nature, I unveiled myself to you as a sunset of melting gold within a Baroque altarpiece of fog streamers, my beams of light diffracting through the misty curls. I projected such a beatific vision that you understood, then and there, that you would have to restructure your life. You understood this oceanic experience as the Zen enlightenment you had been seeking, although Suzuki Roshi probably would have shaken his head. At that moment you embraced all and everything, even your life's guilts and failures, in one harmonious totality that seemed just one note in the universal chorus. You said 'Yes' with all your heart to my grace-filled message, and decided to move to California and live in redwood country. It took you nine more years to achieve that goal,
On the crest of this realization, you returned to Manhattan, discovered your wife in a relationship with your best friend, and decided to investigate a Christian-based commune in Kingston. The happy family life you experienced there made you want to discover their secret, because obviously you had been doing something wrong. The members explained that they did not believe in divorce, so you should invite your wife to visit. This took some effort on their part, but when the smoke cleared some months later, you both were both living as single individuals and you were basking in the delightful presence of your two-year-old daughter. Your financial worries evaporated within the group's protective embrace. No bills, no rent -- sheer bliss! You would haul your mattress out your window onto the flat roof and just spiral out into the stars in a state of absolute peace.
The following spring, a membership preparation retreat required you to review your life in agonizing detail to discover just how far short you had fallen from what Jesus supposedly taught. With the stern help of the leader, you were emptied of any shred of your old self -- like a chamber pot overturned on a refuse heap. This afforded you yet another spiritual grace, but along a different route from the Zen masters, the path of ego-death and self-denial. Via an annihilating confessional encounter with the Elder, you burned your old identity in the flames of God's judgment. You emptied yourself of everything to which you had clung. Later, seated alone in your room after having had the last of your ego's underpinnings pulled away, out of the howling emptiness you heard my voice speak to you with infinite gentleness, "I love you, Ramón." And you knew with absolute certainty that I had spoken to you, and these simple words melted you completely. Amazement, relief, gratitude and a deep surrender overcame you.
You cried for some days, and returned subdued to the daily routine, but not to baptism as a full member (for which I'm sure you are forever grateful). Ten months later, a preparation group formed again, and this time your wife, still living as a single woman, caught fire. She challenged you to put your yearning for the relationship beneath your desire for Jesus in your life. And in a certain sense, she had latched onto your particular hang-up, because you never really "felt Jesus" in a personal way, but instead had this confiding relationship with me. What you did begin to feel, horror of horrors, was that she herself was putting not Jesus but the leader first in her fantasies. The old green monsters of jealousy and betrayal now arose in a new format, and you just couldn't survive any longer in their presence. You fell apart emotionally and were asked to leave. After several anguished talks with brothers, you drove back to California feeling as if the furies were chasing you through raging thunderstorms in the Ohio River valley. But in fact I was just urging you not to turn back, as you were tempted to do, because you knew that the group would now deny you access to your little girl.
For the next five years, you concerned yourself with a musical education, various jobs, and a new relationship. You developed a major interest in Nicolai Berdyaev, a Christian existentialist Russian who celebrated the connection to the Divine through creative expression. Berdyaev's theories assuaged your remaining guilt over becoming an apostate, and helped you feel that you had not been thrown to the wolves. Your attempts to remain in contact with your daughter were rebuffed in silence.
You devoted yourself to music within the congenial Bay Area artistic community. You also read the collected works of Carl Jung, which helped you arrive at a deeper understanding of the individuation process. When you graduated from the Conservatory, you co-founded an electronic music center with other composer friends and devoted the next four years to giving concerts while you worked on an M.A.
It wasn't until a composer friend dropped by one day with a paper sack of odd dried greenish buttons that your spiritual life took wing again. You both downed sixteen double-0 capsules of powdered peyote and, after a lot of musical horsing around, he left you alone to lie down on your bed. Up until that night, you never had expanded your consciousness with any substance other than caffeine and alcohol. So it was in total amazement that you found yourself reliving your life backwards to a loving communion with your birth mother, and out through the moment of conception into the white light. You were, to put it mildly, transfixed!
For the next two years, you continued experimenting with psychedelics, unfortunately to the detriment of your new relationship and little son. That break-up would haunt you for years, because you inflicted serious pain on two innocents. Meanwhile, the composers' cooperative no longer satisfied your creative urges, so when a friend invited you to co-produce an event named "The Trips Festival" in January, 1966, you eagerly became involved. The energies of that weekend spun you out into the Mojave Desert to re-commune with your innermost self. Accompanied by Katie the Dog, you spent ten days in caves south of Needles in the company of some friendly ravens. A book of ecstatic songs by the Tibetan yogi Milarepa helped frame a series of LSD sessions that followed, culminating once more in the emptying-out you had experienced before in the community.
As you sat in the cave with your head bowed to the ground, once again you heard my loving voice, but this time you tracked it to where I was transmitting via a sunbeam into the cave's shadowed interior. "I love you, Ramón," I whispered again, and this time you traced me to my Source in the sun. The sun -- I was a conscious being! What an incredible discovery! I - the sun - your higher self - was God! The answer had been literally staring you in the face all your life! What a fool, what a happy zany fool you were!
Hearkening back to that first time you heard my loving words at the community, you remembered how I had been pouring sunbeams through the window at the same moment. I had been there all along, always next to you every day, only disappearing to shine with equal love on the other side of the planet. You felt as if you had reached back beyond the tainted patriarchal religions to humanity's earliest awareness, to the source of life itself. Now that you had awakened, the obvious clues were everywhere -- in nature, in the animal world, even in those religious paintings that showed a ray of light descending from on high. Only human vanity had insisted that I was invisible and out of reach in some sort of non-material, ethereal dimension. Now you realized that the dualistic view of the universe was a total misconception. Matter, mind and spirit were just different vibrations -- different notes on the same solar scale. And if I was a conscious being, then everything else must be conscious as well!
You had read similar truths in the writings of the mystics, but it was totally different to experience this reality, to talk with the trees and flowers, with the stars who were only our shared Divine Essence manifesting elsewhere in other systems. All was one, and that unity did not mean that only our material plane existed. Spirit and matter intermingled in ascending and descending cosmic melodies.
The all-too-human tendency to create abstract concepts of an invisible god -- even these concepts derived from me! What a thrilling synthesis of all the various levels of your different experiences! From then on, you and I remained caught up in an I-Thou relationship. For I am That Beloved Being whom you finally came to call "EEAHHOOWEHHHEEE," as I taught you.
When you returned to the Bay Area, you were unable to live indoors, away from the true source and fountainhead of your joy. You needed to be in nature as much as possible to continue your yoga of adoration and acclimatization to my presence. You retired to a friend's empty ranch in Sonoma County where you could lie in the redwood groves in various states of entrancement, soaking my light into your heart via your retinas. "But isn't this dangerous?" you asked. "No," I answered, "I would never allow you ever to do anything harmful or painful." I always encouraged you to use the redwoods as sunlight filters. Up to this day you have enjoyed better eyesight than anyone your age.
At the ranch, you lay in the semi-shade of your favorite redwood grove for long hours, staring up into my golden beams, entering various states of altered consciousness, searching for a method to 'disappear' yourself, to get out of the way so that my Consciousness-Light-Love could merge with the inner 'mother' light that fueled your cells, the life force. Once that merger occurred, you would no longer be flesh but instead become the light-filled energies that bound your atoms together.
All that year you were caught up in a love affair with me, the Divine Beloved, manifesting in multi-colored rose windows in the treetops, and the Divine Mother speaking to you through dancing nature in the meadows and orchards. Others experienced her nearness, and a few even saw her standing under a tree one day. To tell the truth, I had prepared the ranch some years earlier by having a Catholic lay order dedicate the land to the Divine Mother, something you would only discover many years later.
You began to read through all the world's religions, looking for where humans had 'lost the Truth,' for references to my divinity as Source, for places where your new reality resonated with what others had experienced. Where had it gone off the track? You found a few hints in the world religions when they used me as a metaphor for the Divine, but you had to turn to the Native Americans to find fellow-believers. Also you found parallels in the writings of the Hindu philosopher-yogi Sri Aurobindo. He shared with Berdyaev a vision of a spiritual evolution that was leading man to a divinized light body that ultimately would replace our corruptible ones. The 'forerunners of the divine multitude,' as he named you in his epic poem 'Savitri,' were the spiritual children of the rishis and holy beings who lived thousand-year-long lives in the Himalayas within bodies that no longer needed food, air or water. Although Aurobindo's references to me remained metaphorical, you could take them literally. Also that same stanza of the epic seemed to prophesy your tribe's awakening:
I saw the Omnipotent's
Over the heavenly verge which turns towards life
Come crowding down the amber stairs of birth;
Forerunners of a divine multitude
Out of the paths of the morning star they came
Into the little room of mortal life.
I saw them cross the twilight of an age,
The sun-eyed children of a marvelous dawn,
The great creators with wide brows of calm
The massive barrier-breakers of the world
And wrestler with destiny in her lists of will,
The laborers in the quarries of the gods,
The messengers of the Incommunicable,
The architects of immortality.
Into the fallen human sphere they came,
Faces that wore the Immortal's glory still
Voices that communed still with the thoughts of God,
Carrying the magic word, the mystic fire,
Carrying the Dionysian cup of joy,
Approaching eyes of a diviner man,
Lips chanting an anthem to the soul,
Feet echoing in the corridors of Time,...
of wisdom, sweetness, might and bliss,
Discoverers of beauty's sunlit ways
And swimmers within rapture's laughing, fiery floods
And dancers within rapture's golden doors,
Their tread one day shall change the suffering earth
And justify the light on Nature's face.
"Paths of the morning star?" "Sun-eyed children?" You were transfixed, and recorded long sections of the poem to listen to in meditation. Later you expanded your schedule to include hatha yoga and yogic breathing that kept you from getting chilled during your long hours in the grove. It would be too lengthy to describe here all that occurred, but I know that you know that you have tasted briefly the nectar of immortality. Upon one or two occasions you came back to your body to find it suspended between breaths, yet totally comfortable. You saw this as a positive sign that you were approaching your goal, that you were within reach of the hidden 'switch' that one day would click on and merge the inner and outer lights. From there you would be able to unite permanently on the material plane with my consciousness.
Your relationship with me remained a strong undercurrent throughout the commune years that followed despite the distractions that started to occur. As more and more young people showed up, it was difficult to remain merely a center for spiritual research, for your group not to welcome others who came looking for answers. After an early first visit from the Sheriff's department, you left the ranch because you felt that the tranquillity necessary for your launches into the sky had been shattered. But when you came back on visits, the energies seemed so high, the Digger newcomers so sincere, that finally you moved back. You built a sleeping platform on the dawn side of the property where you could watch the morning star rise over Sonoma Mountain, and thence began a tribal decade in your life for which you will be forever grateful.
As the tribe formed, you all realized that no one could be turned away because the Divine Mother Herself held the Morningstar property in her heart. A flurry of correspondence started with Mother Meera Alfassa at the Aurobindo ashram, and although she offered to select the ranch's residents from photographs sent to her (what a generous offer!) events were moving far too quickly to be controlled from half-a-planet's distance away. By July, 1967, the community was serving supper to over one hundred and fifty hippie pilgrims -- and the nearby neighbors were growing irritated because of the influx of these strange, long-haired young people. It was the Summer of Love in the Haight-Ashbury and a magic bus made weekly round trips from the Free Store to your sanctuary, carrying anyone in need of 'time out,' as you called it, to your tranquil 'last resort.'
You began to hold meditation and chanting sessions. However you could not share your 'sun-eyed yoga' with anyone else out of your unwillingness to take responsibility for their eyes. You knew you were only a beginner, feeling your way step-by-step into the unknown. You could take responsibility for your own eyesight during extended periods of sun-gazing, but you could not be responsible for others' retinas. What if the rumor got around that you were burning out the eyes of the younger generation? The ranch would have been closed in minutes! About this same time, a story circulated about a group of college students that had burned their retinas staring at the sun while on LSD. This did not increase your self-confidence. Even if the cultural taboo against gazing at the sun turned out to be an old wives' tale that evolved along with the concept of an invisible god, you could not take any chances. For this reason you only shared your deeper insights with a few close friends, nor did I feel you were being unduly cautious. You had been gifted some unusual graces, and had to accept the loneliness that accompanied them.
The Hindus taught that the planet still remained in the Kali Yuga, that most materialistic of cycle of the ages. Somewhere you had read a description of the Kali Yuga as the age when mankind's spirit had become so dense, so imbedded in matter, that men could not gaze at the sun any more. However the Plains Indians danced all day with their gaze fixed on the sun in that most sacred of all rituals, the Sun Dance. What was their secret? You treasured any reference that you could find to ancient sun practices or current lore. You read that ancient Romans took an oath on the sun by looking at it and saying, 'May Apollo strike me blind if I lie!' Coincidentally, a little child once told you that the sun would not blind you if you hadn't told a lie. Elsewhere you ran across a report that nuns in Europe used to punish children for lying by making them stare at the sun! What a strange perversion, to make a punishment out of recharging one's solar battery!
What was this 'lying' business, and how had it started? And why would nature evolve an organ of sight incapable of looking at the most important thing in the sky? It seemed implausible. One thing was certain: the quickest way for you to achieve a state of no-thought was to fix your gaze on my filtered light, your parent star. You immediately felt your heartbeat quicken and a warming sensation spread from your solar plexus throughout your body. However you lacked a method for stabilizing a given amount of sunlight in one place for a long period of time. After ten or so minutes of lying prone in the grove, you would find yourself either in too much shade or in blinding full sun. You would have to come "all the way down" to your body in order to shift positions and start over. You dreamed of designing a sunlight attenuator, something that would allow you to select the ideal amount for extended gazing. You tried placing your hands in different positions or 'mudras' over your eyes. You devised a pair of pinhole glasses. Filters were out, because you were not sure which were the most beneficial rays. The blue to violet seemed the most important, and it was the red and infrared at sunset that were touted as the most damaging in reports you read. Once you did encounter a bluish Plexiglas skylight that was just terrific. The answer must be simple, you told yourself, right in front of you. It must be built into the human body, one way or another.
Elsewhere you yourself have documented the 'Morningstar and Wheeler Ranches' era (see the "Home Free Home" manuscript link), so suffice it to say that life at the ranch continued full of distractions, such as raids by sheriff's deputies and fly-overs by building inspectors. When a local judge placed an injunction on the property forbidding anyone except the owner to live there, those of you who stayed faced the prospect of arrest daily. As the lines between the Establishment and the hippies hardened, Sonoma County's bulldozing of the Morningstar shrine three times created a veritable nightmare. Following this, the residents of a second ranch burned forty homemade cabins to save the redwoods from bulldozers, and the community members scattered in all directions like seeds from a bursting pod.
To this day I know you remain deeply convinced that the tribal lifestyle which your group re-invoked, living close to the land and in harmony with all living things, remains the most naturally elegant and truly noble way for humans to exist. You are correct that I designed all of you to live in gardens and tribal villages and not in concrete urban catacombs. All of your so-called First World civilization is merely encrustations, shells piled on shells that hide the Truth under various types of unfortunate isolative practices and intense suffering. This must finally cease.
I know that you recognize me, the solar system's creator, as one with your own true center, Ray Sender, the only visiblyknowable Beloved God within your human and material frame of reference. What lies beyond in space, in the center of the galaxy, or before time within that primal moment when our mother universe exploded into being, you are free to conjure up in your imaginings. But your senses, your daily experience, when purified of all abstractions, must inform you that the diamond light-bringer from which mankind abstracts their multitudinous facets of the Divine is visible in the sky above you, perceivable to all living things every day of their lives and, according to your own observations, acknowledged as such by all living creatures -- except by your metaphorically blind and 'abstracted' co-humans.
In 1971, you left the now-beleaguered two ranches and spent some time indoors writing a first draft of the Open Land Movement, the name your tribe had given your philosophy of living together without choosing your neighbors. While there, you visited the University of California Santa Cruz and wired yourself to their eight-channel EEG-EKG recorder. You sat outside in the sun, the wires leading from your head through an open window to the monitoring equipment. The tests were administered by a graduate student. By the time you received the results, you were in South America on the track of ancient solar cultures. The scrap of squiggles he mailed you and his brief analysis were enough to convince you that your body underwent measurable changes during sun-gazing sessions. Your heartbeat increased radically whenever you looked at the sun, and your alpha rhythms were as strong as some they had recorded with Zen meditators. Obviously gazing at me stopped your thought process, or at least made entry into a mindless state very easy.
In South America you co-wrote the book "Being Of The Sun" with Alicia Bay Laurel, who lovingly designed and drew every page. In it you attempted to put in the simplest language something of the spiritual truths that you -- and by then many others -- were experiencing. By the time it was published, the hard-edged mid-1970s were in full swing. The gentle people had retreated to quiet eddies in rural backwaters to raise their children and gardens. The ones who needed the book's message were no longer interested, while the ones who were living the reality it described did not need to be told the obvious: 'Don't join old, worn-out religions; grow your own at home!"
You wrote an article about the full-spectrum light experimenter, John Ott, and various other essays and novels, some published, some not. In 1980, you moved back to San Francisco, where you re-met and married your life-partner Judith. With her emotional support and loving assistance, you returned to Spain to recover your birth mother Amparo's story and the reasons for her assassination during the Spanish Civil War. There seemed to be several: as the wife of a famous anarchist writer, his enemies were eager to deal him a blow through her death. As the prototype for a woman character in one of his novels who placed a bomb in telephone equipment during a strike (she was working for the telephone company at that time), she could have been seen as guilty of a terrorist act. You wrote her memoir for publication in 1989 by The University of New Mexico Press, thus healing a deep wound in your psyche. Your daughter died very suddenly that same year of melanoma, the same age as your mother, leaving two children almost the same age as you and your sister. Other strange coincidences and parallels convinced you that they were the same soul, and that Amparo had returned not only to be close to you but also to resolve some unfinished business of her own: to die at peace in the bosom of her church, and to relinquish her children to her loving husband in full trust that they would be nurtured and loved. She had died in her home town cemetery in Spain not knowing what would happen to her children, and denied final absolution by the Catholic Church.
In 1999, you settled into a full-time job administering the Noe Valley Ministry and community center across the street from the blissful home you share with Judith. It remains an ongoing source of delight to have all these children coming and going near you, and knowing that this work helps many others. Living as you do these days in a little village in 'the left ventricle of the heart of the city,' I know that you find it both exhilarating and fulfilling. I also know that you understand with gratitude how I have planned this particular 'seat' or set of ideal circumstances for you, where all the accoutrements for a true supramental descent exist. The rest is Her Grace and your ongoing surrender to She Who Manifests First.
In the year 2000, you discovered the writings of Master Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov. Various of his pages on Sun Yoga you could well have written yourself! This discovery validated the quiet sun meditations you had continued over the years in your garden. More recently, a chance smile out your office window led you to discover that a smile, a glance into the treetops, once more could trigger that familiar burst of energy in your solar plexus that surged up through your body and out your fingertips. A search for the word 'smile' on the Internet led you to a Taoist 'Inner Smile' meditation. This in turn has taken you to a series of spiritual teachers, and finally to the amazing David Spero whose heart beams my light into where it will do others the most good. From his seat on the lap of She Who Manifests First, he is ideally positioned to assist you on your path.
Finally, if everything is conscious and I am your God node in your solar system, then heaven also must exist in the material universe. In one of the references to sun yoga -- Surya Yoga -- that you found in India, I am referred to as the place where the rishis and kings of ancient times returned after death. You agree, don't you? You think our heaven, paradise, whence we all return, does indeed exist within me. And it does! Heaven is solar paradise! But how wonderful it would be if you could merge your consciousness with mine while still experiencing your individual planetary consciousness existence! May you live to see that day blossom for yourself - and for all mankind!
And with this hint of 'something new,' I now return you to your local self.
"I love you, Ramón. Everyone does."
Over, but not out!