Thankfully I was deep into political and social activism by the time I developed PTSD and knew the dangers of treating such a condition with the legal drugs they give you down at the local pharmacy. They only make matters worse by masking the symptoms of the problem and encourage despair, depression and suicide. However I knew that something had to be done about it because I may not necessarily believe in a Hell that God gets kicks and giggles throwing people into because they didn’t pray a certain way or call out a certain name; I can assure you Hell does exist. Post-traumatic stress disorder is certainly a circle of Hell. Much like Dante, I was determined to find my way out and back into the Light. The loss of my Father had also turned me quite bitter at God for some time, or I should rather say it made me quite bitter at my conception of God at the time which was limited to that which I had been told about Him or It. Though I never denied Him, we certainly weren’t on speaking terms for a good long while. So my battle with PTSD, addiction, grief and impending divorce was going to have to be a solo mission.
My approach was going to be four fold; mental, spiritual, physical and emotional. The man I was before my Father’s passing was no more; his mind fractured, his memories scrambled, his perception of reality and spirituality in a limbo of sorts waiting to be re-created into something more fitting. While I began treating my problems with homeopathy; natural supplements, diet, yoga, and cannabis I also began looking into faiths other than the one I had been surrounded by my whole life. Buddhism was the first.
One day I had to drive my mom to a specialist in Atlanta to see about some stints that had been left in her since she put the ass whooping on cancer like a boss. I loved getting in the car, turning on some music and just following the open road and it was an even more special treat to do so with my mom. On the way to the hospital we spotted a Buddhist temple peeking out above the trees and I lit up with joy. She and I decided that after her appointment was over with we would find it and take some time to look around. It took us an hour or so off the interstate to actually get to the site but when we did it was worth it. Just walking on those grounds brought her and me such peace, almost as if the energy of the place exuded the peace of countless prayers and meditation. For the most part it was done, but still under refurbishment. The monk overseeing the temple came out from his home with hands covered in paint and rather than robes as you would imagine; this monk was simply in a T-shirt and worn out jeans. As he approached us he was being escorted by five or so Buddhist dogs that also seemed very Zen. We bowed to one another and I explained to him that I had recently come to discover the path of Dharma and was on my quest to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha. Obviously for an Irish descendent living in the Bible belt, he was curious to know why I was on the path of Enlightenment to which my only reply was “Because of the peace I see in your face.” He smiled and simply uttered the key word back to me, “Peace.”
Something changed in me that day, I actually began feeling peace once again in my life and I didn’t want to let that go ever again. I began going into deep Zen meditation each and every day, eliminated meat from my diet and decided to take a thirty day vow of silence. The idea was to suppress expression in one area so it would spring up in other areas and that’s exactly what it did. While going through my month of silence I began building a Zen garden in my back yard and obviously my in laws thought I was losing my mind. When asked about it, my wife at the time really didn’t have a response for them because I don’t think she really understood it either; nevertheless when you do something perceived as “strange” or spiritual in a culture that is dogmatically Christian for the most part you best expect to have your sanity questioned. The fact of the matter is that I was most certainly not losing my mind, rather expanding and healing it.
I highly recommend everyone take a vow of silence for a period of time you are comfortable with. One of the most liberating feelings in the world is not responding to people verbally. You never really know how many pointless things you say in a day until you don’t. You also never really realize how much pointless drama you get yourself into by having the knee jerk reaction of responding to a lot of people’s bullshit. It is ever so satisfying to have someone try to spew all their venom onto you with their words to draw you into their misery and seeing the perplexed look on their douche-bag face when you simply smile, wave and exit stage right without uttering a peep. It really screws with their head. What’s even better is when you get pulled over by the highway patrol because they couldn’t see your tag properly and you respond with a hand gesture that indicates you are mute. Cops hate silence when attempting to lure you into their little back and forth to probe for more infractions of statutes and acts.
My exploration of Buddhism was enlightening in another way as well. For one, I had been a Sunday school teacher in the Baptist church for some time and an ardent student of the Bible. The person of Jesus Christ or as I call him, Yeshua, had always been very appealing to me. I loved the idea of being a Prince of Peace. I admired his kindness and selflessness. I was in awe of his simple yet complex teachings of being good to one another and I especially loved it when He opened up multiple cans of whoop ass on religious hypocrites. Now I will say that my beliefs about the Bible and the teachings of Yeshua are what most fundamentalists consider heresy, however though my views are very unorthodox I still believe the books of the Bible are indeed inspired and profitable. It’s not the teachings of the Bible I have a problem with it’s the dogma and doctrines of the churches. That being said, my exploration of Buddhism showed me something I never considered before and that was that the teachings of Christ and Buddha are essentially the same. It was apparent to me that the Truth of the Universe had been filtered through both men with different expressions in word but for the most part they taught the same thing. Don’t be a douche. That was pretty much the backbone of their teachings. This revelation opened up my awareness to a great many things because after all the Christian church heavily scorns exploring other faiths because they are all of the Devil and the fact that my studies had shown all religions are essentially the same at their core caused a major paradigm shift in my thinking and way of life. I was a little upset that for most of my life religion had deprived me of some of the most beautiful philosophies from cultures I was told to be demonic. Naturally I was off to the races at that point and couldn’t get enough knowledge from other faiths including Islam, Hinduism, et al.
Now while I was on this pursuit of enlightenment and inner peace through the gambit of different faiths the one thing I was not expecting was the kundalini rising best described in Hinduism. I had not expected what happens when one begins to undergo the transformation of Krishna to Shiva in opening up the third eye and crown chakra. Though this process of radical self-evolution is encoded in all the world’s scriptures, it took the scriptures of the Bhagavad Gita to unlock the process for me. I will say that this process simply is not for everyone and even for those who have balanced the four fold nature it is beyond intense. Once done the veil between our world and the spiritual realm is ripped in two and there is never going to be a day you unsee what you see or process life the same ever again. I had heard of people like David Icke speaking in regards to the kundalini rising but didn’t think the process would be as life changing as it actually is. After all who wants to be able to see angels, demons or entities from all over the sephiroth that don’t necessarily have your best interest in mind? Who is prepared to go from a suburbanite lifestyle to being a walker between the worlds?
When first diving into Hinduism however, the topic of my first two visions resurfaced and a great truth was again revealed to me. In my vision of the apocalypse with a very angry Christ appearing in the sun, the symbol that had been burned into my consciousness, that for years I believed to be the number 3, turned out not to be at all. It was only after I began working with chakras that I discovered the symbol I actually saw was that of the crown chakra; the symbol I had seen in those visions without any prior knowledge was actually OHM. The symbol and the sound of the sun itself.
A SONG TO PLAY US OUT…