Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Spiritual Journey as far...

Awakened by the need to use the facilities, a five-year-old notices his older brother sleeping to his left.  Having soiled the bed the night before (by ignoring his Mother’s rule of a half a glass of milk before sleep, instead of a soda), he didn't want to make the same mistake in the bed of his brother. His brother was, after all, kind enough to let him sleep beside him that night, while the "christened" mattress across from them was drying out after having been washed.


Lying on his belly, he turned over from his right side, kind of in a roll, and then became like a statue because of what his eyes caught…because of what was looking at him. Hovering, or "floating" in mid-air was a figure—oval in shape, humanoid and having a "face" accompanied with observing eyes, not angry, nor sad, nor even happy, just observing the boy. A beautiful white and greenish light illuminated from the entity. Convinced he was witnessing a ghost, he slowly turned back onto his belly, facing the white wall to his right, and closing his eyes. As sweat poured down from his brow, the only three words he spoke silently in his mind, and repeatedly, were: "Please go away… please go away…please go away!"

 No, it didn't look like this image, but I only wish...  :)

This five year old boy was me. I am now thirty four years old, but I can still see the "observer" in my mind. Of course hardly anyone has ever believed me, explaining it as just a dream, or my Father checking on me, but not-a-one of those answers brings satisfaction to my heart. I knew it wasn't a dream; after all, I was relieved to have woken up and not urinated yet another mattress, until I saw the Observer. Also, my Father didn't "float," neither did he illuminate white and green light.


Why did this Observer show itself to me? Why was I able to see it? I haven't the slightest idea, but because of that event, up until my mid-teens, I had always believed in ghosts, and some type of afterlife. Though I had no idea the knowledge I'd eventually come to discover twenty five plus years later.


As a mid-teen I disliked talk about God. I was angry quite often, and very pessimistic. Foolishly, I either blamed "God" for the troubles in not only my life, but my parent's also, or I simply believed God didn't exist, and if he did, he obviously didn't give two shits about the world. I must admit, I favored the "God doesn't exist" idea much more.


In my early twenty's I began to take a new perspective on things, mainly the concept of "God."  For a long while I was taking in by Christianity's many creeds. I went from calling myself a Protestant, to labeling myself as just a mere Christian (though with a Calvinistic mindset), and eventually to converting to Catholicism—which had been my longest stretch until I finally left Christianity.


(For any devout Christian who might be reading this, please understand that I am not an anti-Christian; I still respect the Faith for various reasons, but I no longer see it as the "absolute Truth." The reasons are my own).


Something positive I do wish to say about Christianity, as opposed to what some commonly believe, is that it opened my mind to think, speculate, and aiding me in becoming a healthy skeptic. Until Christianity entered my thoughts I never bothered thinking about life in such depth. Rather, I'd sought out my own likes, desires and fantasies. I can thank Christianity for opening me to become a thinker, and I can thank my own mental torments and sufferings for making me a more humble individual.


While I was departing, I admit, I did feel "lost" for a time, wondering where I'd be going, and/or where my spirit fit in the grand scheme of things. Then a tragedy struck; as anyone who personally knows me, also knows how much I love my companions (pets, but I dislike that term). My husky, Meira, who was nine years and eleven months of age, unexpectedly passed away. One afternoon she was having trouble breathing, and about three hours later, while at the veterinarian's she died. I was utterly destroyed and torn up inside. It was the worse pain I had ever felt in my entire life, the pain of loss—her loss. I speculate that there were people out there (who were upset with me leaving my previous faith), who presupposed that with Meira's passing, I'd return to Christianity, but as my wife said to me just a few weeks ago, Meira's "death" only pushed me further away. Not in the sense that I was blaming God, instead, I dug much deeper for a truth that didn’t feel like a cesspool of negativity and constant fighting among one another; again, this was my perception.


I was reading a lot of literature on various different subjects, I was visiting a lot of websites talking about many…unusual ideas and things generally opposed by my previous Orthodox beliefs, but I still felt like a "wanderer." In the meantime, there were lots of negative things happening in my life, such as issues with my wife (not between us, per say, but outside elements that had been severely persecuting her). Then a second member of our family unexpectedly died—two months after Meira’s passing, his name was Kaylis, our orange tabby cat. My wife and I were conversing on our sofa, and sometime later she decided to take a nap. After she fell asleep I rose to do a few chores. I stepped over Kaylis (he looked like he was sleeping), and after doing the dishes I decided to vacuum our fur-coated carpet in the living room. Kaylis still lay in the same position, and as I attempted to move him I realized he was stiff. I knew he was gone, probably had a cardiac arrest due to his past seizures. I woke my wife to tell her. He was five years old, and such a lovable cat. We buried him shortly after. There was already so much sorrow and depression in my heart that I hardly had space left to mourn his death. The only time I shed tears was as I was digging the hole and listening to my wife—who was standing beside me, holding Kaylis' body in her arms, crying, asking, "Why do all these things keep happening to us?"


My search continued, as did my sorrow, still feeling like a wanderer. Then something amazing happened, I found out that my wife was pregnant. It was one of the best feelings I’ve yet to experience. Neither of us has used any "protection" in the past five or six years. I was beginning to think we would never have children. But my wife always insisted that we would, only, she would be thirty years old. She'd been proclaiming that ever since she was a little girl. And behold, when our child Alexander Seth Baccaro is born, my wife will indeed be thirty! Her intuition usually always proves valid.
Go Honey Bunny!!!  ^_^

Feeling blessed and extremely excited, there was still something missing. "God," some would say; perhaps, but not the model of God Christianity paints. Whenever I think about my previous faith—accompanied with all of the dogmatic teachings one is required to accept and believe (again, my take on it), it drives me to an incredible sadness, not joy. I don't see absolute Truth in it. The Beatitudes of Jesus are wondrously beautiful! As are the many symbolic stories and/or teachings on moral values. At the same time, for me, there are just too many discrepancies, violence, emotional persecution, selfish pride and unloving damnation ("believe what I say, or burn in Hell."). Not to mention the Character of "God" is placed in a box. Once again, this is my perception. It's all right to disagree.  
So…what was missing?


I continued my search, again reading lots of materials, including eastern philosophies and religions, but my western way of thinking was having trouble understanding the mindset of the east. Still, I continued…


One day I stumbled upon a video clip on Youtube by Rene Jorgenson. The clip had to do with Near Death Experiences. I've heard of NDEs before, but thought little about them, perhaps they're real, or perhaps they’re not; my former faith referred to them as demonic. Of course, anything that doesn't fit an organization’s dogmatic teachings must be demonic, or illusionary, right?


As I watched and listened to Mr. Jorgenson's videos I came to realize just how amazing these experiences are, in fact, I had no idea the amount of literature written about NDEs was so enormous, including in-depth studies and even “experiments,” such as the Dutch Study of the Near-Death Experience—a large-scale prospective and longitudinal study with Dr. Pim Van Lommel M.D. Mr. Lommel is a cardiologist and was at one time a non-believer in anything “spiritual” until his own NDE, accompanied by the testimonies of his patients’ NDEs. He’s also written a fabulous book titled “Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience.”


I continued to learn a lot more about Near-Death Experiences and came to understand that it’s by no means a new phenomenon. There are numerous tales and stories by those in antiquity, such as the Egyptians, Tibetan Buddhism (the Tibetan Book of the Dead), the Roman Empire, the Mystics of Christianity, etc.  I was also studying the paranormal for a short while—mainly the subject’s on ghosts and poltergeists. But the NDE research intrigued me much more, and the more I read, listened, paid attention and learned, the more spiritual I felt I was becoming.


Then, another tragedy struck, my father passed away. Now, I am a seeker of Truth, and I always want the Truth, and so I must admit, my father's passing didn't hurt as much as Meria's did, but…there are several reasons for that. First of all, I was a lot more "lost" when Meira passed away, and undergoing a lot more personal problems. Also, my father was severely sick, and had been suffering for ten years—each year the pain dramatically increasing, so it was a blessing for that to finally cease. And lastly (something my wife also said), Meira's passing was perhaps a way for me to learn these “new” insights, building them up in me, making me strong for when the time would come for my Father to pass away. Meira opened the door for me to dig deeper into philosophy, Truth, right and wrong, cruelty and love—true love, which is unconditional and non-judgmental. Love is the way of Existence, and that which you hurt only hurts you in the consequence.

I miss you, Father.  (Yes, the teen with the "mop head" hair and Megadeth T-shirt is me, at my brother's wedding of all places. Notice I have that "F**k the world" look on my face. LOL).


The night my Father died, I had a dream about him. He stood before me; it was dark all around him, but he could easily be seen, and he looked as he did while in his forty’s, the way I saw him when I was a child. And like the "ghost" I talked about in the beginning of this blog (which was not a dream), my Father was just "observing" me. That's all I recall.


It seemed everything started hitting me at once, new understandings to Consciousness, Awareness, Spirit, the belief (some would say undisputed fact) that we are all "one" with the universe, and there is no real separation, nor can there ever be. Quantum Physics, the universe existing as a hologram, etc. So much was directed my way, even Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander's book "Proof of Heaven," one of the most amazing NDE accounts ever, and funny thing is, my beloved friend, Christina, linked it to me the night my father died. At the time I didn’t know who he was, or what his NDE was about. And ever since, I've been heavily studying Quantum Physics, the possibility of our universe being a Hologram—as how Karl Prigbram and David Bohm suggests (and ESPECIALLY Michael Talbot—who died the same year David Bohm did. Mr. Talbot was only thirty nine, and already had such in-depth descriptions, ideas and knowledge about the Holographic Universe—which is the title of his final book, published a year before he died).

I still seek answers, I still desire to learn and understand so much more. Do I believe in God? Yes, though I don't hold myself to an organized religion, but that's because of my perception and experience. Many of my friends and family do, and I think that is beautiful. We all have to find our own way on this journey in Consciousness, or Experience and/or “Reality.”


I still have “demons” to conquer, but life has never been more beautiful for me than it is now, and I thank the Almighty for that.


As a wise man once said, “You will know them by their fruits.” Be fruitful, and spread love and knowledge, for “the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.”