Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Remembering Ivan and meeting his older daughter

Posted: 26 July 2017
Updated: 1 Aug 17

Devon and friend at Yosemite in June 2017

Devon, 23

Ivan would have been 56 today (his favorite day of the year), had he not suddenly left us 21 years ago, leaving the family in a state of shock. Nevertheless, over the years since, we have recovered and made peace with the reality of his untimely loss. 

Ivan on Family Wall (age 35)
What none of us knew at that time was that Ivan had produced at least two children, the oldest of which is Devon, now 28, whom I met for the first time face-to-face last month (June 18). Since she worked nearby, Devon picked me up at the Long Beach airport and drove me to the hotel in Anaheim where I was scheduled to present a dream workshop at the annual IASD conference

She and I met again the following evening to get better acquainted and she revealed to me some surprising and heart-warming information about her birth father, whose name she did not yet know until age 23 when her adoptive mother showed her his obit and she found me on the internet. She was 12 years old (2001) when she began to feel her father's influence as a protecting presence. As she told me this I had a rush, such as I often do when the truth has been spoken. She also had a similar rush in the telling and we compared goose bumps.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Reflections on 1965 "Epiphany"

The Conversion of St. Paul (Wm Congdon 1912) 
(per David Brewer)

Event: 17 July 1965
Posted: 17 July 2017
Updated: 21 Aug 17

Although it is still my anchor point after more than five decades, I can't say I wasn't warned about being most careful with whom to share it. That was long ago and I wasn't as careful as I should have been.

But now it feels right to say more in this forum. The two words " day..." are what often come to mind these days and continue to make me wonder. I cannot deny the power of the experience, but wonder if I have ever really understood it. The few others who know about it have different explanations, ranging from divine to demonic. [See letter from David Brewer on July 26, 1965]

Just before this "epiphany"
 took me into a place I could never have imagined, I assumed that the words "one day" that came into my mind in a quiet, repeating simple message, meant something in the distant future. No longer do I assume this because of all that has happened since. That particular one day actually came less than a week later! Before I began to comprehend what was happening, it suddenly became the 'hill I chose to die on'. See here for the story, here for the first of two events less than a week later and here for the second, plus the the confrontation that followed. 

I've not been the same since. 

My normal, socially acceptable, professional and personal life went into upheaval. Its consequences led to losing virtually everything: family, friends, church, reputation, career, material possessions, etc. Everything but a vow made during that extraordinary morning of July 17, 1965 and before the Epiphany manifested.

After a 7-year wilderness period beginning in mid October 1965 and many following years of rebuilding personal, family and professional reputation, I wrote a play called "The Defense of Cain", which was my attempt to bring light to the struggle that ensued following the Epiphany. Its first draft was completed on June 8, 1978 and I was amazed to discover the next day that the Mormon Church had changed its prejudicial policy toward the Negro via a news release that very morning of June 8! It felt like a task completed. When I wrote to friend Arnold Mindell [founder of Process Work] about the synchronicity of it, he replied that "Inner work is world work". That summed up a 13 year process for me!

Fast forward to June 8, 1978 Epilogue


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Friend Bill is gone.

Professor William D. Romey

Posted: 16 July 2017
Updated: 20 Jul 17

When his regular monthly newsletters to friends and family ceased to arrive like clockwork on the first or second day of the month for the past five years, I feared something had happened. It had. My old friend Bill had passed on June 3, surrounded by loving family members who had gathered from here and abroad to say goodbye.

I first became aware of Bill when I received a note from him in 1959 during undergrad years in the School of Engineering at Berkeley. It had these simple words: "You don't know me, but I know you. You were great 'over there'. Regards, Bill Romey."

The note shocked and distressed me, since I sensed this guy was referring to a clandestine military operation I'd been in during the Cold War. But I did not know this name and had been ordered to secrecy about the operation for 20 years. So, I never responded to him, but never forgot the note nor the name.

It wasn't until the spring of 2012 that Bill and I met on the phone and became fast friends. Click here for my earlier account of meeting my esteemed friend.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Stranger in a Strange Land--revisited, PART III

Posted: 15 July 2017
Updated: 20 Jul 17

It looks like getting a blog worthy dialogue established between Jim Wood and me, based on our respective experiences of Stranger is already challenging! We both face different and steep learning curves in adjusting to each other's expectations. This involves an initial mastering various long private message exchanges via text, email, phone calls and voice mail. 

I hope we learn to edit well enough to make this interesting to others!! [We both need to get Strunk and White's classic The Elements of Style under our belt. It is new to Jim; I've got to review it myself and adjust!]

On July 16 Jim texted: 
Greeting Eugene! 
I am attaching a 2 page 'notations' that correspond to pages IN MY BOOK.  I realize they likely will not [match] your copy. 
I am going to create a Word document that expands my thoughts a bit more on these topics and send pictures to your phone that also has my notations and thoughts on the particular pages.  We can begin like this to choose which items we want to blog and expand on [plus] some that you may know [about to] give me input or direct me to specific focused readings so I may gain much more understanding of the item.  These latter ones may not be something that would go into the blog for lots of discussion and debate.
[But] we will start this way and adapt as we see how this is going. 
Loving that we are in the journey of exploration and learning together, using this book as a catalyst for [a] deeper dive into WHO WE ARE  as Human Possibilities!!
17 Jul 17: THERE IT IS! Jim's last paragraph captures his expectations!

My own expectations will follow after we get further along in this dialogue. For now I am motivated by his desire to share our respective life experiences, beliefs and hopes.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stranger in a Strange Land--revisited, Part II

Rodin image behind title

Posted: 11 July 2017 
Updated: 14 Jul 17                                                               

Below is nephew Jim Wood's original comment to Part I, before he learned that it wouldn't fit the constraints of the space provided. I asked for an email with the original text, thinking it could be edited to an appropriate size. However, both Birgitta and I thought that it deserved its own post. 

Since my intent for these blog posts was to provide a personal record for the family, we feel his contribution is already significant. His post here is only slightly edited for clarity.

On July 10, Jim wrote:
[This is] my first BLOG experience EVER. Reading or posting [or] adding to one. 
My first exposure to this book [Stranger in a Strange Land] was in 1973, during my first 8 months or so of enlistment in the US Navy. I was stationed on Treasure Island Naval Station in the middle of San Francisco Bay at Electronics Schools Command. 
My memories of reading this book was identifying 100% with 'how relationship, love and family' could be - should be. I so desired to live this way with no idea how to implement or actualize this into reality. I was pretty immature for the better part of my adult life, so it was not obvious (as it is now) how to find 'like minded' folks to put in practice a Polyamorous Life Style in intimate relationship or with family or friends.

I defaulted to a standard monogamous marriage - knowing secretly that 'something was missing'. The missing was NOT multiple sexual WAS living in LOVE RELATIONSHIP without jealousy and the usual possessiveness and closed off of emotional feelings of relating to many folks with open love, connection and 'compersion'. Compersion means recieving pleasure from experiencing someone you love, often your primary partner, having pleasure and or connection with others. SIMPLE, yet challenging for [us] humans that have been acculturated that EVERYTHING must be judged and most all judgment is some form of "BAD OR WRONG". We specialize in GUILT, particularly by our structured religions. "Had your daily dose of GUILT yet?".

Anyway, she was a fine woman. We were both so immature even for the entire duration of 11 years together - we should have never gotten married and it took a long time to 'call it quits', but it had not taken all that long to know 'oops, this isn't it'. We both worked long and hard at the 'marriage' that we both knew wasn't soul satisfying. Takes a lot to admit you blew it and so you do what you have learned one does in these situations. Work hard, earn more money, buy more stuff, more houses, bigger houses, bigger / better cars, furniture, jewelry. STUFF! Robert Kiyosaki's first and best book identifies this [as]: THE RAT RACE.

When you are not happy with your Life trajectory, are immature and 'educated', like as in many degrees, but completely unaware of Who You Are, then the daily advertisements, marketing and family; friends influences do the work on YOU: Buy more stuff; attain more identity enhancing prestige; better jobs; promotions; titles; [the number] of people who report to you; blah, blah, blah. Numb out and don't think for yourself! Get busy enough that communication breaks down or you realize was never present with your mate such that you are so distracted that you don't notice the years moving past and fundamentally you have no idea of Who You Are and certainly NO PEACE OF MIND!

Solution?: more money; more stuff AND further avoidance of introspection.

Marriage, when it is working, perhaps there is really NOTHING BETTER to experience. But, when marriage is not working - seriously not working - it can and should be re-labled ENTANGLEMENT. "How long have you guys been entangled?" 'Going on about X years now. Thanks for asking.' Marriage as a concept in the structure we have in Western Culture (I can't opine on Eastern or other cultures) is DOOMED to failure from the moment of "I DO". I now possess you. YOU are now supposed to be EVERYTHING and capable of filling every need/desire I have. And oh by the way, lots of guilt to you if you even have a thought or look at anyone else. We agree we own each other from this day forward. Also, no need to 'create' daily who you are for me nor I for you. You promised [that] 'back there' at VOW day, and by god, don't you change or evolve!
Ok, so near the end of 2002 I had hit rock bottom. Really ready to exit the show. I was fortunate to attend 'Date with Destiny' hosted by Tony Robbins. I found a new view of Life and committed to "Learning Who I Am" before being willing to enter ANY deep committed relationship where I'm to bring them into me at a completely deep level. (There is a DVD that exists about that event and [available from] me for anyone interested).

Fast forward to December 7, 2008, about 11:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning: I was assisting at an event put on by Landmark Education (at the time), [and] a 19 year old was sharing with the Forum Leader, Lloyd MacIntosh, during that exchange [and] I experienced an Epiphany! - that has changed these last years of my Life. I got and have kept Peace of Mind.

These have been very turbulent years in the 'real world' setting of earn money and daily living to satisfy Maslow's Level 1, 2 or 3 needs--mainly Level 1 or 2. Yet I have been privileged to live most of the hours of each day from the 2008 day to present at a Level 4 or 5 in my connection with fellow Human Beings AND discovering, exploring and finding my place in a Poly/Tantra/Conscious Connection World!!! I have two loving Soul Mates in my Life that I have learned to Trust with my emotions and deepest thoughts - Good and Evil - and a growing group of 'like-minded' friends and close friends. I have not [yet] found my own Poly Family or Pod, as it is referred to by some, [and] that may or may not occur in the balance of my years. I DO KNOW WITH CERTAINTY that NO close relationship is WAY [MORE] PREFERABLE to one that sucks your Soul and all of your Energy!!!
So, I am seeking, happily mapping my journey in exploration of sensuality, sexuality (not a big deal for me) heart connection AND never compromising or taking the 'low road' emotionally. I continue to learn what I like, love and [what I] WILL NOT PUT UP WITH. I don't care what financial 'opportunity' I pass on, how much money I could have made; i.e., going back into Corporate World: NEVER. I work with whom I choose, charge what I feel is fair or right, do a lot of pro-bono work, have huge visions of what impact I can have with folks 'out there' and generally continue to work towards stabilizing those Level 1 and 2 needs to be able to realize my Visions at a large level. I have much to correct from [the] past - mainly involving money - and lots to learn about Who I Am. 
HOWEVER, I am very happy and pleased with Who I Know MySelf to BE now on the inside: my emotions are congruent with my Heart and Head. I'm working on more maturity each day and each new workshop, book or experience I put mySelf into! However many days I have left--lots or not many/any--I like me. I'm open to welcoming others in "on my terms". I am so pleased to KNOW AND SAY I would love to have someone(s) in my Life deeply connected. [But], I don't NEED anyone to feel complete.

Ok, so the following and all other posts will be in relation to content and observations of the masterpiece 'Stranger In A Strange Land'. And any comments made to me in response to my posting.

What I believe Eugene and I agreed to explore together were philosophies, ways of living, and for me in particular to draw upon Eugene's vast knowledge of formal education and Life experiences in regards to very specific statements made in exchange with Jubal Harshaw by other characters in the Story. To live as Valentine Michael Smith is a lofty goal and I choose to emulate much of it in my remaining time on this Planet. To have the viewpoint and patience, or no reason to show patience, of Jubal is what I am exploring in depth with Eugene.
[The novel character] Jubal personifies who I see mySelf having evolved [towards] on my Life path thus far since December 2002 and particularly since December 2008 at the moment of TRANSFORMATION, which is no less than what happened to me and my Self. My 'Identity' took a back seat for the first time in my Life and my Self emerged and began to say "Let's learn and Live!" Jubal is the Icon or talisman role model for me. I LOVE his INDEPENDENCE, Focus and Freedom without regard for what others judge or think of him.
FREEDOM of spirit, thinking, how and whom to choose to LOVE AND a wisdom of how one must blend to some measure in the 'real world' of Society when you have to mingle in with them. In essence a balance of NO COMPROMISE by 'have to', but living my own Life on my Terms AND respecting how I impact and treat others.
Eugene can, and I hope WILL shed a lot of wisdom and insight for me as we move through the pages and concepts in this wonderful tale! God bless Robert Heinlein for the many spiritual and mental adventures he made possible for me since I discovered him in 1973!

I will throw in for anyone reading this [and] who does end up reading Stranger, that a wonderful further exploration of FREEDOM and INDEPENDENT LIVING is to be found in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". For context I do suggest reading it AFTER embracing Stranger.

In the context of "SMALL WORLD" it is fitting that Eugene found a connection right off on page 3 of this book, when discussing the University of Edinburgh. He commented to me about this a couple of days upon his return from the IASD Conference.

It is useful to note here [that] I TREASURED that one week period [in Anaheim at the IASD conference] where I was able to spend likely about 25 hours or so in Eugene's company. Time does not exist when I am speaking with him. I feel we have so many congruent notions of how one chooses to live Life, and somewhat similar backgrounds in [our] willingness to follow our own path. Others may join in or be damned!
He and I share a Nuclear Power background, I having been a Nuclear Power Operator in the Navy. I ascended to a qualification level of Engineering Watch Supervisor and oversaw critical Reactor plants underway, in port, in Shut Down mode and under emergency conditions. (Trained to mind numbing levels for Emergency Operations/Conditions AND actually was on watch as EWS [Emergency Watch Supervisor] when a real one occurred involving possible emergency shutdown of our main reactor. My watch team and I successfully brought it all back into steady operations. An amazing 25 minutes of my Life that I can still recall just about every conversation, order and minute of that 'at sea' crisis).
Eugene's involvement in Nuclear Power, Science etc., makes mine look like kindergarten and our training background does allow me to follow in pretty good depth his discussions about science and related adventures of his past!!
Eugene's real Life sojourn in LIVING his Spiritual Commitments are nothing short of AWE INSPIRING to me. I love hearing about his confronts through dreams, orders from military, directives from former wives (ugh) - Side note: it does seem he won the Lottery with his marriage to Birgitta!!! - You got the 1 in 10,000 - 100,000??? ---and through his many work spaces and connections with fellow FREE THINKERS at Planet level impact. 
I listen, wish to learn the time sequencing of these events in the context of his Life and then listening/learning to his observations and inspired insights to living Life on one's own terms while honoring and valuing others!! He is [as] close to 'God Like' as any one I know living or perhaps of this last couple centuries.

To me his MEGA BADGE OF HONOR of being removed twice from the structured framework of the Mormon Church. This is one of many massive proof of 'bona-fides' of his KNOWING, not just talking about what Life is about and how one negotiates it!!

So my desire is to find those aspects of Jubal that I wish to enhance and emulate in my actual living experience and to learn from Eugene those guides, signposts and references for more study of the particular citations or references Jubal makes to others when making his points AND 'lively' discussions with Eugene about some of the tenets involved in living the philosophies Jubal refers to in the course of this book.

Well this was all a mouthful. Now to the book...
12 July 2017. Birgitta asked me last night if I had edited some of Jim's above comments having to do with me, which she and I both felt were disconcerting. (Too glowing). I told her no, because I realized he was telling his heart's truth and who was I to mess with that! The ultimate truth in any of this will emerge as we continue to take each other seriously and respond to questions and events as they occur.