I feel it’s all coming together for me, here near the end of my life, although not in a way that I had foreseen.
- I believed, even before I had grown to 50 years, that a direct connection with ___ (The Mystery) was possible.
- This was because I had overcome the ‘Religion of Materialist Science‘ in which I had been raised. (A great accomplishment, at least for me.)
- This happened because I was loyal to a voice within. One that spoke to me in synchronicities in my boyhood walks by the Olentangy River.
- My first doubts in the Faith that “everything ‘real’ is subject to measurement” came quite young. I remember asking mother, “What did Jiminy Cricket mean, let your conscience be your guide?” She stammered, and had no satisfactory answer.
- At 15 I read the Autobiography of a Yogi, given to me by a family friend. I still remember thinking “Either this book is a pack of lies, cover-to-cover, or there is a whole world I know nothing about.”
- With the coming of the Vietnam War I faced the possibility of being drafted. I was profoundly disturbed by the idea of participating in organized killing. I followed the prompting of a voice I called my conscience, claimed and won, the status of Conscientious Objector.
- How could the Draft Board understand what I was claiming, when I did not?
- Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends) offered me an answer, and I have been among them ever since.
- But then, I had to prove it to myself: Was I in touch with A direct and ongoing sense of Guidance when I opened myself to ___…?
- I investigated:
- Tarot (A system of contacting the spirit world / world of archetypes, developed by the indigenous peoples of the European continent, before the dominance of the Roman Empire: witch burning, Roman Catholic Church schools, etc. –Cultural genocide.)
- I Ching (A system of contacting the underlying phases of yin and yang, developed by several cultures in Asia, over many centuries. I favor the Taoist version.)
- Qabbalah (A Jewish spiritual discipline. My variant of it had been Christianized in Spain, in the 15th century.)
- Anglican Christianity (High Church Episcopal in US.) With the help of a lover devotee.
- In 1982 I was suicidal because I seemed not able to control the course of my life. I started therapy with a social worker in Chicago. Ann introduced me to the work of Carl Jung. She, the Field Museum’s shamanism exhibit and my own Inner Guide convinced me that my life had set me on The Path of a Shamanic Journey years before. It then became clear that I had better start re-forming my life around this Guidance, rather than fighting it with my own ideas of what I should be doing.
As I accepted this revelation:
- It was clear to me that further searching was not going to reveal anything better than Quakers, and I became a formal member of the Religious Society of Friends, under the care of Northside Meeting, in Chicago.
- In 1988, I moved into Betsy’s house in St. Paul, with a shared agreement that ours was a lifelong relationship.
- I investigated: