Life, death, and love among the gentiles*
by Brian Wright
Never in my life have I felt the alignment of celestial forces as I do today. The proximate causes are “my twins'” viscerally negative reaction to Mother’s Stone and the ceremony celebrating the passage of a good friend of mine back into the realm of the Great Spirit. The combination of insights of these two watershed events, along with my persistence in wanting to identify the spiritual solution that will free humankind—not to mention yours truly—from the unfriendly intentions of the Cabal, moves me along to a release or catharsis that can help virtually everyone.
Attack of the Medusae
First in the sequence of the awakening lies the hostile response from ‘my twins' to the recent labor of love I wrote, Mother’s Stone—a journalistic romp thru the halls and byways of modern medicine followed by a collage-bio/autobio of my dear mother, born Phyllis Joy Andersen. After an exhausting publishing cycle, I had finally produced the book and then a week ago media-mailed copies to a handful of friends and family. I was truly proud of myself, thinking I’d pretty well nailed the homage and thrown a flashlight on the inside passage of how Americans do health care… drawing a bead on how we might better do health care.
With the twins I figured the work’s fond reception would be a slam dunk. After all, they both knew and loved my mother and were a blessing in helping me to put together a marvelous remembrance reception of Mom for a handful of loved ones at my condo in Novi… a month after she died in February of this year. The second part of Mother’s Stone—the larger part—is actually a narrative built around my slide show presentation at that reception; it’s a narrative of my mom’s life from 10 to the end. Both R and T liked Part 2; but to each of them, Part 1 was so “awful” that it effectively negated the overall value of the book. This came from T’s email:
“… it’s graphically (and shockingly) racist/sexist in its language; is egregious, arrogantly insensitive to the human race and condition (obesity); and [any valid observations] are quickly overshadowed by your superior-ist philosophy and dialogue – which is far too raw and offensive…”
R confirmed having the same reaction to Part 1. [Later, I would narrow down their point of offense to Part 1, Chapter 1; then to three paragraphs and a footnote on pages 6-8.] As much as I tried to stay even-keeled to weather the storm of antagonism directed my way, especially since it seemed so personal—racist? sexist? insensitive? Oh my!—it was a big emotional hit to my system. I sought reassurance from those who had an entirely different take, one of whom simply stated about T’s barrage: “sorry that’s bananas, book is brilliant, wish I could write so well, smile.” And I read and reread, finally homing in on what must have been the aberrant sentences.
I knew that the gist of the book, both parts, was solid. The writing was strong, generally considerate, caring, poignant, and, in the journalistic treatment of Omamacare (Part 1), often razor-sharp in its descriptions and insights. I also located within Chapter 1 of Part 1 the wording that might have triggered a ballistic launch… especially in My Twins… with whom I’m at loggerheads about coming to see ‘the Truth.’ By which I mean after years of pointing out the lameness and malice of ‘Official Story America’ their refusal to even look at videos or articles has acquired the quality of, “Brian, if you don’t shut up, I’m going to kill you.”
In other words a simmering unacknowledged subconscious hatred… that only awaits an activating word or phrase to set it off. What were the words and/or phrases? I figured three within a span of three or four pages of Part 1: Chapter 1, which is where I’m shepherding Mom into her first encounter with the wonderful world of hemodialysis—an in-center facility in Southfield:
- reference to the extreme obesity of two women, one of them hostile, I had to deal with; I tossed in a couple of fat barbs their way
- rather oblique reference to the fact that the hostile individuals we were dealing with were black
- use of a gratuitous, out-of-context extreme pejorative adjective applied to the FDA; I referred to the FDA as homicidal
I know it doesn’t sound like much, and at the point of discovery I didn’t think much of it either. But the final pin lined up in the tumbler on the eve of going to my friend’s memorial service… which my presence at that service brought home. It was all anger and reactivity, in me. Every one of the above words or phrasings carried a negative charge—anxious, angry, fearful, reactive—like an inner Medusa, the Greek monster woman whose hair consists of venomous snakes and who turns anyone gazing upon her to stone.
The inner Medusa is a graphic analogy to what Eckhart Tolle calls the egoic mind, or the reactive mind, and what I have come to call the compulsive mind. Unfortunately, most humans harbor this violence-inclined usurper in their heads consisting of a complex—though often discordant—hierarchy of conceptual labels and emotional-perceptual loves, hates, and cravings that can literally take over a person’s true being. This pseudo-you thrives on negative energy: meaningless conflict, drama, fear, revenge, anger. Often, in those who have developed a awesome proficiency for manipulating words, it builds itself into a formidable beast—like the idealist communist unfazed by mountains of corpses or the state-worshipping security czar who tortures women at a distance and kills children with drones.
In my own case, because of a passion for liberty and justice combined with a finely honed skill in writing—of a certain kind—I have always run a high risk of takeover. But a latent spiritual appreciation and growth has averted that risk… to a point. My Medusa has been generally in hiding from me, but occasionally lashes out, as it did in my first release of Part 1: Chapter 1 of Mother’s Stone. Which R and T witnessed. Because of their own Medusae (I venture more dominant than mine), they assailed me way out of proportion to the reality.
Immediately I drew a profound insight from my faux pas in the book:
Words have an immense effect and power over people to the extent they are run by the egoic mind—their inner Medusae. Far out of proportion to reason and common sense.
Thus on the eve of my friend’s life celebration—which occurred only a few days after R and T’s reactions—I was also coming to see that if I wish to persuade people of what is true and just, I have to avoid the reactive response. Take the inner Medusae out of the equation.
In other words, do what Jesus would do… or it’s not so much what you say as how you say it.
Last Rites for Betty
Don M (Betty) is a friend of mine from the close-in huckleberry crowd. [In a former life, I earned a mechanical engineering degree at Wayne State University. I wound up in the so-called cannon business working for a aerospace company in Walled Lake, Michigan, that made gas turbine engines… commercial and, in the beginning, mainly military applications.] Don worked at this company with me, a few years my senior, but what’s more important are his qualities as motor-head and an artist. He also collected antique outboard engines, service station signs and equipment, and all things Ford Motor… to mention three biggies.
Very early in my career at the aerospace firm (ca. 1977) my boss in the Accessories group, Jim Cline, and I formed a poker gang consisting of six men: Tom, Darryl, Julius, and Don were the four others at the beginning, as I recall. Later, Jim Cline, Darryl, and Julius would move away or lose interest, and Jim D, Chuck, and Larry-then-Calvin-then-Kevin would come aboard. There have been some other iterations, but the group has remained intact now for 35 years, with Don as a charter member. We make an annual pilgrimage to northern Michigan to Jim D’s cabin on the Manistee River: playing cards, tossing pancakes (really), canoeing, yodeling (kidding), campfiring, drinking, playing poker, tossing horseshoes, performing motions simulating croquette.
In the group, I’d have to say Betty was the quiet, consistent ringleader in the ‘laughter is the best medicine’ caucus. He simply had a unique take on whatever it was—from Model A and Model T Fords to where to pick up the best neon beer signs to propeller dynamics of a 1954 50-HP Evinrude outboard. And he told stories that would have us in stitches. I particularly remember the one that started off, “We were fairly well behaved in those junior high school days back in Ottawa, so the principal really got his nose out of joint when he found out we were making pipe bombs….”
Don was like the others in our group (except for me): married with children, industrious, more smart working than hard working. Mr. Unflappable. And like the others, a wonderful husband, father, man. Good values, productive and respectful of everyone. And like every other red-blooded American, not to mention R and T above, pretty much goes along what the gummint and mainstream tell us… or don’t tell us. If Betty—and probably 95% of the social circle I have matured with (and that would certainly be 95% of the guests at the ceremony tonight)—were Neo sitting across from Morpheus in that classic scene from the movie, The Matrix, he would quickly select the Blue Pill and hang back in his comfort zone.
Of course, the cultural divide between us Red Pill junkies and the Big Blue Juggernaut is the last thing on my mind this afternoon. I’m heading to the funeral home to pay my respects to Don in all his benevolent incarnations, to ‘celebrate his life’ as the program says. Something is different, too; I had spent the morning rewriting the text in Mother’s Stone, to a point that all the inner anger and negativity simply evaporated. I wouldn’t have a phrase for what happened until after Don’s ceremony, but by making those small changes my whole consciousness shifted. An immense burden had lifted.
I enter the visitation—set up as a celebration complete with balloons and flowers and other bright things complementing the mementos of such a good and happy man’s life—immediately running into friends from my decades-distant engineering past. Also, more recent buds from the golf league and, of course, the poker gang… to which I am still loosely attached. I feel such an inner peace, the conversation flows, the inner Brian—a friendly, even happy-go-lucky guy—comes to life. With the proper subdued aura of respect for the occasion. These are my people. I love them. It doesn’t matter if they prefer Blue Pill nirvana. I don’t care. Positive energy is all that matters; truth comes out of that and, sometimes, later.
Another thought emerges: Everyone is aging. I think Don was 73. A lot of the crowd, full of several former higher-echelon management, is now into their 70s. I just turned 64. Mortality, more than ever before, hits me over the head as a concrete reality, not just an abstraction that afflicts others. Yet strangely the realization of the proximity (10? 20? 30 years?) of my contemporaries and me to Don’s grand exit—or to simply being infirm and hanging on as old persons in the end years—turns me yet more peaceful. The final epiphany comes during the wonderful remembrances of Don’s wife and three girls, friend Tom, and a couple of others:
July 24, 2013, 5:00 p.m. that’s when I let go of the black beast, exorcised the inner demon, coughed up my final fur ball. As I walked out to the parking lot into a beautiful, clear Michigan summer’s evening, I said to myself, “I just fired my Medusa.” There was no confrontation; the creature didn’t whine and cry or protest that it would do better next time, it just left my body. I can’t imagine it will sneak back even in disguise. The next few days would prove me correct. Sure a couple of times, out of unconscious habit, a negative-energy reaction would raise its hand wanting to say or do something. But I’d just ignore it.
That very night I call the ex (R) and we have just a ‘warm and friendly back and forth’ the likes of which got us together in the first place so many years ago. It’s like the good Brian just walked out from under a cloud. The flow, the comfort, the ease, the peace, the energy is astonishing. It’s as if I’ve been burning all these BTUs and “not even getting a pork chop,” really, like Sisyphus, pushing a big ol’ rock to the top of the mountain and watching it fall back down repeatedly. Now, the sky is the limit. I wish I could say I did something brilliant, or showed how clever and hardworking I am, but that would be the ego qua compulsive mind talking. The renewal is from letting go of (that sort of) ego.
Coming to Jesus
Here’s where it gets interesting. A day or two afterward, I had a long conversation with another lady I’ve been seeing about this catharsis of mine. I had already sensed the process was comparable to ‘what Jesus was really talking about’ on the subject of salvation. She, having read Eckhart Tolle and being spiritually inclined, further suggested that what Jesus taught and encouraged in us is almost exactly the experience I had had: positive personal spiritual transformation thru letting go of one’s unreality of anger, anxiety, false joys, cravings, etc.—the inner Medusa. She also put forward that what Jesus was saying is the ultimate in simplicity, available to everyone, and a sure route to the next stage of consciousness.
I’ll leave the implications of that conversation to Part 2. [To paraphrase The Course on Miracles: “Nothing real passes away, nothing unreal matters.” Still we need to deal with ‘the unreal’ effectively to enhance our reality, and I will share some ideas on how to finesse the 900# gorilla of the Collective Mind and its aggression as more and more of us break thru to the New Paradigm.
As a benediction for transition, let me bring the following meditation to you from a cultivation practice series I subscribe to called Intentional Journey from Robingale Masters.
I envision a newfound reality based in love and abundance.
Over and over I see the wisdom of a love-fueled, New Paradigm way of living and viewing the world. Instead of the dependent, competitive ways I learned, I intend to fortify my internal resources and build personal empowerment. This vision inspires me while I attend to the many aspects of my life.
Folks, we are on the cusp of a Great Awakening… more to come.
* using the term gentiles in a secular sense, meaning those who haven’t been ‘saved’… yet.
 Don came by the name ‘Betty’ by making the mistake of selecting a coffee cup with the name of the proprietor’s mother on it at one of our poker outings up north. I think I was the one who made a deal out of it; then everyone just got comfortable using the new name, including ‘Betty.’
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