What was I going to do after the military? As my discharge date from the Air Force approached (Aug., 1964), I found myself thinking more and more about my future. It was the end of a major chapter in my life and time to move on. Late one night, I got up, put my clothes on and pulled the blanket off the bed. For some reason, I wanted to go outside and look up at the universe.
Laying on the ground with one hand resting on my stomach and the other behind my head, I gazed up at the stars above me. Wondering what prompted me to be here, I became infused with a profound sense of awe. In this heightened state of consciousness, I began to think about the challenges that lay ahead for me.
First, there was the drinking problem. I drank almost every night since joining the Air Force, often heavily. I wanted to be more sociable and fun, more at ease with myself. I knew that if I kept drinking the way I did, my body’s health would break down. At the age of twenty one, I already had high blood pressure and my kidneys, or so I thought, ached after heavy drinking. I had been ignoring/denying the effects of my debilitating lifestyle and knew it, which brought my mental/emotional health into question.
I used alcohol as a crutch, a form of self-medication. It lessened my feelings of guilt and anger from past behavior and experiences. It also alleviated feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem that often plagued me. From a young age, loud voices in outer reality (reacting to fear from beliefs in scarcity, separation and competition?) told me, “you’re bad” and “you can’t be trusted”. at the same time, quiet, inner voices whispered of love, oneness and collaboration. They told me to “believe” in myself and that “what you are is good.” Unfortunately, the outer voices prevailed most of the time because they were the loudest and most authoritative. “It’s my way or the highway.” Smack!
Being judgmental myself, I carried dark, angry thoughts around with me. Many were aimed at me but the strongest ones were reserved for the predators and bullies I encountered in life. Because of my nature, I found myself attracted to people who loved and cared for other people. Those who lived only for themselves at the expense of other people, I found the least attractive. I’ve always been loving and caring, and when I drank, I could even be fun! Therein lay the heart of my dilemma. When I drank, I became the person I liked to be, playful and outgoing. When sober, I closed up like a clam from self-doubt, uncertainty and inhibition.
Looking up at the universe now was magical. I felt supported beyond anything I’ve ever felt before. With great clarity and without hesitation, I decided to stop using alcohol as a crutch. If people didn’t like me the way I was, that was just too bad. I wasn’t going to drink myself to death just to make others happy at the expense of my body. There were things I wanted to do in life, like getting married and having children. Instead of letting myself continue to feel powerless and angry at the world for the way it was, I decided that what I didn’t like, I could help to change.
Then there was my hatred of school. There were things I wanted to know and learn but how could I do that without subjecting myself to the dehumanization ideology of public education – the tendency to treat students as if they were blank slates to be written on, empty sponges to be filled or clever robots to be programmed? How could I overcome the compartmentalizing mentality of education, the everything is separate rationale? And how could I deal with the authoritarian attitude that pervades educational institutions: “Sit down, shut up and do as I tell you. I’m the teacher and I know what’s best for you!” Normally unspoken, this attitude is real, and every student, teacher and parent knows it. In my case, it was literally yelled at me by a teacher in kindergarten. (See: What I Learned in Catholic School)
The answer? If I wanted to be the person of my dreams, there was no way to avoid going back to school. Once this issue was settled, I accepted that I’d have to attend one more year of high school to catch up and pass college entrance exams. My next big decision dealt with what I was going to study and how soon I wanted to graduate. I knew the GI Education Bill would help pay for school but it wasn’t much over two hundred dollars a month, not nearly enough to pay for housing, food, transportation and education, even if I didn’t get married and lived with my parents the whole time. There was no way I could go to school and not work at the same time. Even so, I determined to graduate from college in four years. No matter how hard it was going to be, I was going to graduate as soon as I could.
Knowing that my primary educational interest lay in wanting to know what/who we are, what reality is and what the purpose of life is, I needed to figure out what to study. Since I was already a medical corpsman with almost five years experience, I decided in favor of pre-med. It would answer some of my questions. If something else seemed more interesting later, I could switch to it.
I decided, concern about the authoritarian games people played when I was in school earlier, no longer mattered. I was going back to pick people’s brains for knowledge, not play the “I win, you lose, I’m smart, you’re stupid” game with them. As long as I felt good about myself, that was good enough. I also decided that I would not settle for anything less than a four year college degree; not only for the knowledge and communication skill it would help me develop but for improvement of my self-esteem. As a high school dropout with a GED, thinking I was smart wasn’t good enough. I had to prove it to myself! Out of nowhere, or the universe, another thought came to mind. It was a powerful idea that shook me to the core. It was the realization that, all I want to do is be me!
“All I want to do is be me!” There it was. Somehow, my waking mind (personality, outer ego) had become convinced it was not okay to be me. Why? Who or what made me feel unworthy (see: My Recurring Superman Nightmare for clues)? Did I play a role in the matter? How could I accept myself without condition when the thought of doing so created conflict in my mind? What was going on? If I could accept myself and others unconditionally, wouldn’t I be a lot happier? Wouldn’t conflict and intolerance fade away in the presence of unconditional love? Don’t we all want to be loved and valued?
Despite the importance of these questions, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I loved the idea of being free to be me. It was what I wanted more than anything else. Talking with the universe now made me feel worthy of love. It made me feel that what I was, was good, not bad, as I had been told to believe.
For the first time, I worried that someone might see me lying on the ground outside the barracks. It was late at night and they’d probably think I was drunk, or nuts. Having broken my connection with the universe, I went back to my room for a good night’s sleep.
For another example of Inner communication, read Ask Value Questions and Listen for Intuitive Answers. The format is antiquated but that’s where things were at at that time.
My talk with the universe had been created by a perfect storm of events. Pressure from my pending discharge from the Air Force was the Big Kahuna but without the impulse to go outside and lay on the ground, the presence of a clear, star-filled sky and the warmth of the night, where would I be now? It was as if some unseen force was directing my thoughts and actions, pulling my strings from behind the scene. I could have chosen to ignore my impulse as many of us often do, but this night, I chose not to. Who or what prompted me to get up and go outside to talk with the universe? Is asking this question all that strange? Perhaps not. (see: Encounter with Unconditional Love)
Over the years, since serving in the Air Force, I’ve conducted many experiments to study the nature of Consciousness. Two that come to mind involve my son, Evan, while he was addicted to methamphetamine. It was a very difficult time for the whole family. The first experience involved an experiment proposed by Seth, a non-physical personality channeled through writer Jane Roberts. Seth suggested that one way to help someone with a health issue is to imagine the energy of an entire galaxy and draw it into yourself. Once it’s inside, you release it into the person you want to help while thinking of it as a powerful healing force. Returning home after work around eleven PM one night, I started meditating as usual. Evan slept in the room next to mine. Remembering Seth’s healing idea, I decided to try it.
The idea of gathering together and containing the energy of an entire galaxy in my mind seemed beyond crazy but I started doing it anyway. Imagining my mouth like that of a snake, I unhinged my imaginary jaw and began to feed the energy of an entire galaxy into my imaginary mouth. Like a snake I worked my mouth back and forth around it, slowly gathering every bit of galactic energy into me. Once it was completely inside me, I used my hands to projected it into Evan’s body in the next room. After completing this exercise/experiment, I went to bed.
The next morning, as Sandra and I ate breakfast, I told her what happened the night before and asked her not to say anything to Evan. A few minutes later he stormed out of his room and down the hall to the kitchen. He said he had a great dream during the night. When I asked him for details, all he could remember is that it had something to do with the universe. Coincidence or is “universe” close enough to “galaxy” to be a hit? Did the energy of the galaxy help him? I don’t know because we tried so many things to help in those days, Evan himself most of all.
The next experience began in a dream. In my dream, Evan was a Forest Ranger, something he wanted to be when he was younger. Even in this dream, Evan was dealing with his addiction to methamphetamine or “speed”. Taking a job as a Forest Ranger was his way of helping himself. The change took him out of an unhealthy environment and put him in a healthy one, one that provided him with natural beauty for support.
In the dream, Sandra and I visited him at Yosemite National Park. He was working at the East Gate with a young woman about his age who was also recovering from an addiction to methamphetamine. As Evan, Sandra and I walked in the meadow near the East Gate, we caught up with the latest events in each other’s lives. Then Evan got excited and told us about a new insight he had just recently had. According to him, it gave him a new perspective on life, one that made him feel empowered to deal with life’s challenges. It also allowed him to forgive himself and others in a way he had never been able to do before. Sandra and I felt relieved and happy for him.
At breakfast the morning after my dream, I told Sandra about it and, again, asked her not to tell Evan. I told her I wanted to see how long it would take for the insight Evan had in my dream to surface in his waking mind. It took three days! The third morning after my dream, Evan joined us for breakfast and couldn’t wait to tell us about the dream he had during the night. In the dream, he realized that “life is all in the way you (choose to) look at it.” I added “choose to” to the equation to acknowledge our role and power in the matter but it’s a great insight by itself! It allows him to forgive himself and others in a way he has never been able to do before. As a result of his insight, he said it makes him feel more at peace with himself and the world. It’s the same insight he shared with Sandra and I three days earlier in my dream.
Regarding the results of my talk with the universe, I stayed and worked in southern California for six months or so after being discharged and then headed back home to Maine when it became undeniably clear to me that going back to school was the only way for me to be the person I wanted to be and do the things I wanted to do. Even though it was unusual, my old high school agreed to let me finish out my senior year of high school enrolled in college preparatory classes. It was also necessary for me to take several correspondence courses to complete graduation requirements. As the universe would have it, one of my high school English teachers volunteered to help me with the correspondence course on grammar and punctuation, which I was forced to take because I was so far behind where I needed to be.
I got married just before beginning my freshman year of college and worked forty hours a week all the while I attended, except for one semester. During college, we had two children and I broke my arm in a motorcycle accident, which took nine months and a bone transplant to heal. Even so, I finished college in four years. There was one minor problem, however. Even though I earned a 128 units of credit, I was told that I missed a necessary course in the humanities. It was several years later, after returning to California with my family, that I completed all the requirements for a B.S. degree in Psychology. I didn’t hit a grand slam home run regarding my promise to the universe but I came awfully close. Looking back, this was, by far, the toughest part of my life for sure. Struggling to stay awake all night at work and in school after work, I wanted to quit many times but I just couldn’t let myself. My promise to myself and the universe was just too important. I couldn’t let myself fail in the presence of all that support.
What do experiences like this tell us about who and what we are? What do we know that we don’t know we know? What can we do that we don’t know we can do? Where do we begin, and where do we end? What is reality? What is the purpose of life? Can talking with the universe help us be more honest with ourselves? Without honesty, how can we overcome life’s challenges? Without curiosity and intention, how can we expand our awareness and understanding? The next time you’re stymied in life, Talk to the Universe!
If you like Talk to the Universe!, you might also like: The Healing Power of Forgiveness.
Pete – http://realtalkworld.com
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having (creating) a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Instead of money, power and privilege, wouldn’t love, truth and joy be a better measure of success? One set of values isolates us in the material world of separation, scarcity and competition, while the other not only acknowledges our oneness as well as our individuality, it acknowledges our role in creation itself. Using love, truth and joy to measure success provides us with a moral compass. It encourages us to live for the love of Being and Creation, instead of running from the fear of poverty, suffering and death. It inspires us to find and express what’s best in us and ALL that we’re a part of, instead of giving in to the least of what we can be.
“How you define yourself and the world around you forms your intent, which, in turn, forms your reality.” – Seth
In other words, we create our own reality from what we choose to believe about ourselves and the world around us.
If we don’t consciously choose the ideas we accept as beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations, we unconsciously absorb them from our surroundings.
If the ideas we accept as beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations create our reality, can we afford not to question them?
The more we love and appreciate ourselves, the better we treat ourselves and each other.
What do we want most for our children, ourselves and the world?
What can we do today for the selves we’ll be tomorrow?
The secrets of the universe lie hidden in the shadows of our experience. Look for them!
Affirm what you believe!