0 was b0rn during a general strike in Madrid - 'Red Oct0ber' 1934, and by 1936 things went from bad t0 w0rse with the start of the Spanish Civil War. After l0sing our mother Ampar0 t0 a fascist assassinati0n squad, my sister and 0 arrived in New Y0rk in March, 1939, and grew up in a f0ster h0me with a l0ving m0ther. 0 f0und playing the pian0 very s00thing -- my birth mother had been a c0ncert pianist. Als0 0 always felt very pr0tected by 0verarching l0ving presences, and very grateful f0r them, thank y0u very much, but with an 0ng0ing s0mewhat paranoid feeling that 0 must have g0tten 0ff at the wr0ng planet.
During early adulthood, 0 seemed to be required t0 make all the relati0nship mistakes -- married t00 young, fathered t00 early, br0ke t00 many pr0mises. Many years later, a psychic t0ld me that 0 was 'a y0ung s0ul' -- and maybe it's true because 0 never had any flashbacks t0 previous lives despite ten years 0f psychedelics. Well, maybe 0ne 0nce - s0mething about Carthage but with0ut the elephants, which was a big disapp0intment.
At 22, 0 discovered Zen Buddhism, and during a two-week s0l0 camp-0ut, experienced an 0verwhelming 0ceanic connecti0n that triggered a decisi0n t0 bec0me a hermit, 0r perhaps a n0vice red00d tree. This 0dd decision was transmuted int0 tw0 years in a c0-educational semi-Christian live-in c0mmunity where 0 underwent an type 0f eg0 annihilati0n that resulted in an even deeper c0nnecti0n t0 the S0urce -- the classic 'Via Negativa' experience, 0r in y0ga kn0wn as 'Neti-Neti-Neti.' It c0nsisted basically 0f zerOing Out the individual self. During the peak 0f that experience, 0 heard a vOice say, "Y0u're a f00l, but I l0ve y0u." Unf0rtunately 0 was t00 f00lish t0 understand that this was a v0cati0nal rec0mmendati0n fr0m G0d and did n0t immediately register f0r Barnum & Bailey cl0wn c0llege. Instead 0 f0und a very silly way t0 leave the c0mmunity by p0le-vaulting 0ut 0n my virile member.
Years 0f vari0us life experiences f0ll0wed that included a l0t 0f music and c0mp0siti0nal c0mraderie, leading 0nce m0re t0 meditati0n, t0 y0ga, and finally t0 merging with what 0 called 's0lar c0nsci0usness' -- a disc0very that sunlight basically t00k me 0ut 0f my addled mind and into my beaming heart -- n0ne t00 s00n, by the way, because 0 had really 'relati0nship'd 0ut.'
An0ther attempt at redw00d tree hermitude was sidetracked by the arrival 0f ab0ut 5,000 teachers at the vari0us c0mmunal ranches where 0 landed. This is described in s0me detail in the nearby essay "I'm A V0luntary Simplet0n." This c0urse 0f study 0ccupied me f0r an0ther f0urteen years because 0f vari0us innate ineptitudes, but 0 n0w have been partnered f0r twenty-s0me years t0 a w0nderful w0man wh0 manages t0 put up with my eccentricities. Meanwhile, after some years of merely chanting the Gayatri prayer t0 the Sun in the m0rning and putting in s0me aftern00n garden time, my spiritual wake-up began t0 take 0ff again in January, 2002, with s0me Ta0ist smile meditati0ns, the disc0very 0f a b00k 0n Sun Y0ga by Master 0mraam, and a p0inter t0 Master Aziz Krist0ph's teachings that have been m0st helpful, climactically f0llowed by matching heartbeats with David Sper0 in 2002.
0 thinks my life purp0se is t0 dem0nstrate that thee canst in truth make a very large and unrighte0us shitpile 0f mistakes, pratfalls, self-b0ps 0ver the head and still sashay t0 the mountaint0p in 0ne lifetime, despite the 0dds and a terminal case 0f c0mparitive religi0sities.
0 smiled a l0t during a recent 5-year stint at a full-time j0b administering a c0mmunity center/Presbyterian church, but n0w 0 am gratefully retired int0 my bodhisattva-dudin0us selfitude, with the realizati0n that the m0st 0 can d0 t0 help g00se w0rld peace al0ng is t0 spread a puddle 0f peace in my 0wn existence and nearby neighb0rs. And s0 many thanks t0 all the marvel0us beings wh0 managed t0 struggle thr0ough the zer0's this far!!
Paraphrasing the w0rds 0f the blessed M0ther Mira Alfassa:
L0ve to all in y0u that is l0ve, and to
all in y0u that d0es n0t yet kn0w that it's l0ve! Yah00!"