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I have a bunch of ideas I haven’t addressed with longer treatments but wanted to share them.

1) Losing my virginity and finding scientology.

The Summer of Love had come and gone. I was twenty-two and I hadn’t been laid.    I’d tried but  my mojo wasn’t up to my desire… which was more focused on the status and power I’d arrive at as a no-longer-virgin man… make that MAN… than the joys of the sexual act.   It came together  in a flat  I shared with Brian and Deena who along with me were former students at the Univ of Calif Riverside and Chuck from the east coast who worked for the post office.  It was kind of a hippie pad.   People showed up.  One was Ted who spoke about Heinlein’s  Stranger in a Strange Land, going out of his body, and the org (scientology slang for organization).    I was interested and so was Chuck after I told him about the talks I’d gone to at the org.   Another  show up was a young woman whose name I’ve forgotten.  She moved right in and into my bed granting my man-becoming wish… just like that after years of work and worry.   We slept together for a few months until I made my way to St. Hill, England to take the road to total freedom as far as it would take me.  It worked perfect for her too.   Her boyfriend was moving up from Southern California to  occupy my former room and  bed.  As far as I know Chuck is still “on the bridge”.

2)  David Miscavige… lovable???

I know the idea of loving DM triggers retching on the part of some for his ruthless and abusive tenure as the boss of scientology.  The part I love about the guy is that his unpleasant actions have been a catalyst for so many to take responsibility for their own lives… jarred out of the dream they bought into that placed the church of scientology and its technology as THE most important thing….above their own integrity.   Because of him many have had to come to terms with what is true for them and chuck out the rest…. not that I wish abuse upon anyone.  It should be noted that DM has been in power and doing this job for about 30 years.  While some got the wake up call early, others took longer to get the message…. no judgment… but however long, someone… many someones… had to have turned off  the inner messages  telling them things were out of kilter.   I know I did.  Isn’t validating your knowing the point of scientology?  Thank you David Miscavige.

3)  Seeking the Seekers.

About my love affair with Judith Durham and the Seekers known in the 60s for I’ll Never Find Another You, A World of Our Own, and Georgy Girl, plus others.  Re-discovered them on youtube a year ago.  Her voice sends me somewhere past heaven.

4)  Finding Home.

About me leaving conventional living, ie, sharing a condo, to camping out in state parks with tent and sleeping bag and for the past 6 years sleeping in a van…. all while passing as normal.  Many things to report and people met.  Also what is the true nature of home.   Not a place, maybe  a state of mind…. scientology was home where I parked my soul for me for a while…  more simply home is what you are.  Just as love is who we are, so is home.

5)  Four Star Soup Kitchen.

For the past 8 months I have been eating and volunteering at the St. Vincent De Paul Society Free Dining room in San Rafael.  It has been a joy to wash dishes, serve and prepare food…. great vibes, great people of all ages.   Some wise and witty   conversations over lunch with the diners.  And the food…. a couple great chefs.   Marie Antoinette would be astonished at the cakes and desserts that get served.   The cast of regulars include a cynical homeless christian, a guy who plays tennis and sometimes hangs out at the playboy club, an aspiring freezone scientologist, a guy in his twenties who  puts on an annual festival, an older hippie with endless stories to tell, a couple of germans that somehow remind me of Laurel and Hardy… no offense intended.  Today I exchanged beliefs with a Jehovah’s Witness who came to witness.

6)  Speaking Circles

The idea is simple.  It is billed as a kind of  training wheels for those who want to express themselves but are plagued with stage fright but different than toast masters. The process is simple.  In front of a small group  offering their listening presence you take turns hanging out without trying to overcome anything.  You allow what comes up to come, speaking as you are moved to… or not.  You are granted complete freedom in front of this receptive field.   This simple ritual has a way of drawing out the brilliant and the poignant.  Instead of trying to make you into a speaker it allows you to be yourself. Highly recommended.  More info at http://www.speakingcircles.com.

7)  The Extraterrestrial issue.

For some  extraterrestrials or space aliens are good words for a punch line.  Others, I’ll call experiencers, have a different take.  They know something has happened to them but the hard part often is explaining it.  There is a lack of vocabulary and lack of receptivity…. though we’ve been beefing up the vocabulary with mother ship, beam me up Scotty, ET phone home, etc. There is another group that is convinced we are engaged with extraterrestrial life, historically and presently, based on all the best evidence… a no brainer…  and wonder when everyone else is going to get it.  A sub-group argue over whether the ETs are good or bad and who is reporting the truth and who is giving disinformation.  Then there’s those who are waiting to be taken aboard the ships to be taken god knows where to a better life.  Some focus on the practical issues… sources of energy and means of propulsion that would allow us to abandon the petroleum way of life.

The issue highlights our evolving awareness and perceptivity…. moving from a state of compartmentalization and separation to integration.  The tipping point won’t be when there is proof… more like recognition that we are part of a greater whole and what we call ETs are simply another expression of this.

The late John Mack, professor of psychiatry at Harvard and pulitzer prize winner, explored the psyche of experiencers in a couple of books.  http://www.johnemackinstitute.org . Lyssa Royal explores the subject via channeling and offers insights in her books Visitors from Within and Preparing for Contact.  http://www.lyssaroyal.com

Permission Slips

I picked up this idea from my extraterrestrial pal Bashar. He offers the idea that as spirit in physical form we make use of various ideas, devices, objects and procedures as an excuse or catalyst to be ourselves. He calls them permission slips and says any power the permission slip has comes from ourselves.

This is what he says in his own words… that is through the channel Daryl Anka… in a presentation entitled Permission Slips on June 23, 2007.



~~~

But in talking about all these different techniques, tools, rituals, meditations, books, information, what have you… there is something very important to understand about all these things… be they ideas or artifacts…. doesn’t matter

What they really simply are, are “Permission Slips” that you give to yourself to be who you are.

The power does not exist in those objects, in those rituals… no real effect per se comes from them. Now we understand of course that in physical reality when something is crystallized in a physical way of course it has its own attributes. Such things as crystals are obviously representative of certain kinds of energy patterns… yes. But nevertheless the point is that regardless what attribute the object, idea, tool or technique may have inherently, the idea is that it still doesn’t really create any effect within you or do anything for you unless… you choose to match the frequency of the idea it symbolizes for you.

So you are generating the effect yourself out of your own energy but what you are doing is you are relying on your belief system (which sometimes can be unconscious) to attract to you the symbol that best reflects the vibration within you, that will allow you permission to be yourself.

~~~

Let’s see if I got this right. We are essentially non-physical being who set up this context and scenario of the human experience…. a limited and focused experience where we basically forget who we are. We carry on doing all the human things…. birth, death, heart attacks, wars, loneliness, heart break, etc. To keep us back in balance and step out of the muck… or maybe just something that keeps us interested in this earthbound game… we attract permission slips that allow us be more of who we are…. for the most part not suspecting that we are the ones making the whole scenario and the permission slips work.

Permission slips range from the simple like taking a shower to finding true love to life long journeys pursuing spiritual freedom.

For Muriel in the movie Muriel’s wedding the one permission slip she had for being herself in her dysfunctional life was going to her room and listening to Abba convinced that getting married would be the ultimate permission slip that would make her happy.

One of my permission slips was getting involved in scientology and another one was leaving it. In both cases I experienced surges of being more myself. In the first case I was pretty convinced the permission slip was it… the reason for my own freedom and happiness. In the second I began to get that I was part of the equation. Another one was dancing. I used to love contra dancing…. the music, the motion, the physcial contact… it was like being in heaven. Lately, seeing a child smile, taking a walk, blabbing on the internet.

With this idea in mind it seems we can be a little more relaxed about our permission slips… knowing when one loses its charm we can attract a new one…. since we are the ones issuing them.

More of the wit and wisdom of Bashar is available at www.bashar.org. And at least when I just checked someone put an excerpt of his talk on youtube under the title Bashar Permission Slips.

ONEness…a Delusion???

There’s that oneness thing.

I heard it again recently…. that believing we are all one is a big mistake and that anyone who studied and applied scientology knows this. I love you Marty Rathbun (who said it). Yes, I studied and applied scientology and thought I knew it too. Until one day I had the god cog…. I realized I was god and so was everyone else…. we are all the essence and source of creation on an exploration of itself. We are the tao. Each one of us offering a different point of view and having a different part to play.

I don’t see the harm in that. Plus it felt right to me…. versus each of us being complete and total infinities unto ourselves…. kind of like walled mansions and gated communities….kind of lonely. It doesn’t matter to me what you believe… that is the power and grace of creation: we can believe anything we want. You can believe we are magical beings or accidents of the physical universe….and no one but you and perhaps your hair dresser and all her facebook friends can know for sure.

One thing did occur to me is that if we are not a oneness having an elaborate conversation with itself then there would be those considered so special that we would look up to them and perhaps depend on them for our salvation. They could make statements that groups could never evolve anything of value…. only an individual such as he could. Creative collaboration… humbug. Silly us… we may be infinite but we’ll never get to first base without this particular person granting us his take on the answers to life’s persistent questions… and the questions too.

The amazing thing is that if you so believe then so shall you see. Yes, I had many life affirming/life expanding experiences in the scientology world… no basher am I. But once I got my head out of the sand I could see that life affirming/life expanding experiences were happening all around me in all kinds of ways. Ironically, as a former scientologist for a while I still imagined that my journey through LRH’s world was somehow more valid then anyone else’s…. captured in the statement: “My former religion is better than your present religion any day of the week.”

To resolve the oneness question…. as if it has to be resolved…. I’m going to be like my dear Uncle Maynard who when asked which of two desserts he’d like invariably said: “I’ll take a little of both.” So I’m ME the individual with smilies, hearts and explanation points!!!!! but don’t forget a healthy dose of angst and feigned gravitas PLUS the ONEness simultaneously. When you’re god that’s much easier than you think.

The truth does not need to be defended. It withstands any attack. Aaron Christeaan


The Great MacGuffin

This was originally posted as a comment on Marty Rathbun’s blog entry “The land of milk and honey and virgins galore” where he chides David Miscavige for promising anything…even if it doesn’t exist… to squeeze more money from the believers and asserts there are no more levels above OT8.

I’m not quite tracking here. The land of milk and honey…. a cleared planet, an OT universe, only possible by concerted effort of the few in this brief window of time by applying the tech…. is the MacGuffin that drives the scientology saga. Why would people put their life savings on the bridge, sign billion year contracts, refuse to speak with family members, undergo years of abuse, abuse others, etc. if not for good cause The macguffin is the one thing in a story that the main characters are willing to do anything to attain. (see wikipedia for more).

Questions of whether or not the tech works or acting in integrity can easily get put aside when there is such a compelling vision driving one. I was under its spell for 29 years. It started with Ron’s Journal 67 where he says “we are mankind’s only hope” and that he has borne the burden too long by himself. In 1968 I journeyed to St Hill to go OT. I got the famous quickie grades and made a fuss expecting more than that. It wasn’t until LRH put in expanded grades that people gave themselves the luxury of thinking that the quickie grades weren’t everything…. and yet many were quite satisfied with them. Oh the power of the game maker and the power of belief.

At some point I came to the realization that the grand dream just wasn’t true for me though I imagine some readers of this blog still hold some version of this future unfolding as they work to right the abuses and eliminate the barriers to achieving it.

A far more fundamental and universal dream is expressed by saints and regular folk… simply the brotherhood/sisterhood of man… love they neighbor as thyself… do unto others. Marty, you are doing great progress on that front…. reaching out and embracing people no matter their beliefs or past. IMO, fostering an atmosphere where we can all be ourselves and appreciated, or only tolerated, for our version of reality is a more potent tool than the tech itself….the tech and the bridge to freedom being just one more way to explore and find love and acceptance.

Kudos for eliciting a touching response from Jesse Prince among others in your quest to move a little higher.

H. Beam Piper wrote a great sci fi short story about the power of hopes and dreams called Graveyard of Dreams http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18109/18109-h/18109-h.htm

———

If not LRH you make me wonder who wrote that issue stating there were 15 levels beyond OT 8 or that all orgs had to be St Hill size before the release of OT9. I remember the many attempts to bring LA org to ST Hill size including the day org being open nights and weekends… when most people came… all but completely bypassing the foundation org that was suppose to function in that time slot.

The religious scholar Karen Armstrong writes in the wall street journal http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052970203440104574405030643556324.html about two ways of knowing. Logos, the logical, practical and Mythos, the territory of the imagination:

“Most cultures believed that there were two recognized ways of arriving at truth. The Greeks called them mythos and logos. Both were essential and neither was superior to the other; they were not in conflict but complementary, each with its own sphere of competence. Logos (“reason”) was the pragmatic mode of thought that enabled us to function effectively in the world and had, therefore, to correspond accurately to external reality. But it could not assuage human grief or find ultimate meaning in life’s struggle. For that people turned to mythos, stories that made no pretensions to historical accuracy but should rather be seen as an early form of psychology; if translated into ritual or ethical action, a good myth showed you how to cope with mortality, discover an inner source of strength, and endure pain and sorrow with serenity.”

Looking at the Ron’s stories from that angle they take on a different meaning. In many ways they did just what she said: “…showed you how to cope with mortality, discover an inner source of strength, and endure pain and sorrow with serenity.” Some of us maybe took it took too far. Didn’t know when to get off the ship. Didn’t realize and appreciate the mythic nature of what we had embarked on.

Others, I know, are full steam a head in living and bringing back the dream. Happy sailin’.

I see I could have posted this on my own blog but you inspired me and I am most grateful to be a participant in the discussions. Plus you have a bigger audience ;-)

~~~Max

Scientology and Bashar

In the mid 1980s there was a wave of people leaving the Church of Scientology due to changes in management.  At the same time the phenomenon of channeling was getting popular.  One of those channels,  Daryl Anka, who was channeling an extraterrestrial named Bashar attracted a large following including many former members of the church.

Bashar sounded like a cartoon character, had a great sense of humor along with a fresh point of view.  He said he was here to help our society in “third density” with its fear and separation evolve to “fourth density” of love and integration.   He offered a simple philosophy that could be summed up in the phrase “follow your excitement”.  In just about every talk he made he talked about that as an organizing principle in life: if you are living your highest joy or excitement you are being your natural self.  In that state you can effortlessly attract the things you need.   He talked about his home planet and his society but mostly he answered personal questions from the audience which he often dealt with by pointing the person in the direction of their own passion or excitement.

Questioner: “Things aren’t going well at work.”

Bashar: “Are you following your highest excitement?”

Questioner hesitates.

Bashar: “Hesitation usually means no.”

Audience laughs.

Questioner: “I dont know what it is.”

Bashar: “You don’t need to know some overall goal for your life, just what excites you in the moment.  Excitement leads to more excitement.”

etc.

There were questions about  scientology.  The way he explained it was in a story equal to any Hubbard came up with.  Scientology, he said, was made by and for Orions…. that is belonging to a civilization in the direction of the Orion constellation. The characteristics of that civilization included being very structured, hierarchical and authoritarian with those at the bottom serving those at the top. It became oppressive which lead to an underground resistance known as the Black League.  The Black League tried to be decent and honorable but took on the same kind of oppressive strategies that were used against it.  Beings incarnated into lives on both sides of the conflict.  Eventually many of these beings came to Earth to live in more freedom.  The Orions who came here have a tendency to view freedom through the lens of structure, hierarchy, authority and  conflict. They need that familiar sense of structure to “find” freedom. Once they realize their nature is freedom then they can let go of the structure.

As  for OT3, the wall of fire, he didn’t see it as valid though he would say that anything you can imagine has some kind of reality.  Moreover he stressed that we didn’t need him and that we could access our own answers just like he does.

As I shared this story with a scientologist I realized there was a parallel between Bashar and Hubbard whose vision was to clear planet earth using the tech and then move on to the next planet and the next.  Bashar’s idea was that we would evolve from third density to fourth density as a natural course of events and as we did we would perform a role that he and others are doing with Earth but with other planets…. become their “UFOs” and “extraterrestrials”.

As for believing Bashar is from another planet or his stories, the way he and Daryl Anka tell it, it doesn’t matter.  If the ideas he shares have any value, use them.  Otherwise toss them and move on.

Bashar is still being channeled and can be found at http://www.bashar.org or on facebook as Bashar Extraterrestrial.  Around 1990 a book was published called Bashar: Blueprint for Change that contains his basic ideas…. they are not complex….and descriptions of his society.   Several former scientologists wrote glowing endorsements printed in the book.

A man needs a little madness…. or else he never cuts the rope and be free.

Zorba the Greek

Leaving scientology took me  three years.

Training in scientology for me was near impossible. I say impossible because as someone who was determined to do it “right” leaving behind no be-deviling misunderstood words, no glibly understood material, no unmastered drills, and my favorite bugaboo “no doubts or reservations”, I didn’t make much progress.  And I was a difficult task master to satisfy.  But whatcha gonna do when the whole agonizing future of every man, woman and child, not to mention my own self is hanging in the balance of the success or failure of this subject being broadly applied… first here on planet earth, then the next planet and the next and the next.  So goes the dream laid out by L. Ron Hubbard.

Twenty-two years into this movement and I was still a disaster as a student of it.  I’d studied Level O three times.  That alone would make me an expert in the field of communication according to Hubbard.  But I wasn’t.  I felt more like the star of an old Woody Allen movie.  It wasn’t that I didn’t learn anything or get anything out of it…. I just was what I was.  And I wanted effortless ease and competence.   That’s what the man said.  My experience in study was looking up word after word which would often put me to sleep which according to the required study methodology meant there was no doubt more words I’d passed I didn’t understand.  And then the drills.  One of the most famous being TRO where you are supposed to sit in front of another person with eye contact and just be there without any wiggles, winks or blinks (later explained as no unnatural blinks).  My conclusion after many hours of dedication to this activity as if I were a  zen monk seeking enlightenment was that it wasn’t possible.   Or maybe after I was some higher level of attainment in scientology’s ascending hierarchy I could do it.  At this point I was already OT5, having done the famous OT3 wall of fire and supposedly “free from overwhelm”, and I was Clear which I would have thought would have rendered me clear headed and sane.

When the Key to Life Course came out I jumped on it. The answer to study difficulties was here.  What it is, is a well illustrated study of basic English done  in a unique way along with a fascinating process using clay figures representing your own problems.  After almost a year on it I was kicked off… and I don’t blame them. With a partner I’d gone over all the small words of English (of, for, at, as, etc)  making examples of each of their senses and most of the grammar giving me a fresh grasp of the language and communication.   But I was getting pretty fried on the  oral reading of the material to your partner that required he stop you if you made any unnatural glitches or pauses in the reading whereupon you had to find and look up some misunderstood word you surely had passed.  I now had to do the PTS/SP course about anti social personalities and how to deal with them and become a class 4 auditor before continuing. I made it through the PTS/SP course…. the hardest part being listening to the melodramatic “Can We Be Friends” tape. Would I send that to someone to make friends or heal a rift on the subject of scientology…. not a chance.

I persisted all the way through to become Class 3 auditor over a few years. Did I say full time…though to full time students who were on staff I must have looked like a dilettante.  Perhaps my biggest lesson was learning the art of patience and letting things unfold. It wasn’t like I didn’t have a clue about auditing as I’d years before audited dianetics for a short while at AOLA for paying clients. I was just compelled to do it “right”. Not that I really did but it was my rationale and what I was “trying” to do.

As I was completing Level 3 I ran into  Bare-Faced Messiah…. an unauthorized bio of LRH. While my jaw dropped at some of the heretofore unknown facts about the man all in all my impression was the guy was human just like me. I wanted to talk to my fellow scientologists about this L. Ron Hubbard but knew it wouldn’t fly.

Even Sisyphus deserves a break.

Summer 1994.  One of my sisters had a construction project to do. I am a licensed building contractor. So I headed for Northern California and got involved in building a covered arena for horse riding.

My sister in the meantime had gone a bit new age and had some channeling tapes. I was curious as I’d heard about this phenomenon but knew nothing about it. So with the superior sense that what they had to say couldn’t possibly compare to scientology’s wisdom I began listening to them as I drove back and forth from the jobsite.

What the channeled beings said was kind of simple stuff but really resonnated. In fact, I thought it was so right on that  surely some OT8s who had exited their bodies must be involved…. such was my faith in the scientology mythos. What these beings known as the Pleiadians shared was love yourself, don’t bother with teachers who don’t come from love, you are a sovereign being, how could infinite creation only supply one person with all the answers (and not the rest of us), and the one that had me stumped for a while: you are it.

A crack was open for me to look at my devotion to scientology. I had been hoping Hubbard, the tech and the organization would do what it took to turn me into a god. I’d been doing my best to follow the rules so I could get the golden reward of OTness (access to the innate power of spirit) and open the way for others.  Now I was beginning to see I was denying my own self and my own power and that wasn’t gonna work no more…. thank god!

Saying “I love you”

After following a suggestion to look in the mirror every day and say “I love you” I had this  shift and felt filled with love…. for self and everyone. I was amazed and delighted how interesting and beautiful people were… even those non-scientologist, “who weren’t even trying”.  I was alive with creativity and produced many projects that I could have barely conceived of before.

Next I was questioning who had the right to tell me what I could read or who I could talk to. When I got online I looked at all that was said about scientology at the time. Gulped twice then  read so-called versions of OT 8 and 9 that were supposed to be highly confidential and possibly harmful to those not ready.  Later I freely talked to a psychiatrist… deemed congenitally evil in the scientology world…  only to find he was just a fellow traveler. (I’d once turned down a construction project handed to me by an architect because the client was  a psychiatrist.)

In 1996 I had reason to travel to Southern California at the time of Ron’s Birthday… the most revered celebration in the church. I went to the event. Found I could not participate in all the obligatory standing ovations… just couldn’t do it…. so I hung out in the hall and talked to others out there.

By then I knew I was cooked as a scientologist though I didn’t quite admit it. A year later I confirmed it by writing letters to some people I knew. The hardest part was letting go of the two fold belief I’d developed: 1) that there was a route to total freedom I could follow and 2) that if I didn’t do it or “we” didn’t succeed  there’d be a heap of trouble. Pain and unconsciousness forever is one version scientology hell.   So convinced was I it took a lot of courage to go beyond. Also there was losing the camaraderie of the community and the star high ideal of doing nothing less than bringing back to rights the entirety of creation.

Spiritual beings having a human experience

I still love the idea that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And to my friends who still consider themselves scientologists or love the tech, if it is helping you and others pay me no mind.  Having found my own way I love you more than ever….. doesn’t mean I’m any more sane though.  To put my leaving experience in a scientology context I would say it was akin to a super duper OT level and stepping off the bridge to freedom was for me like stepping across the bridge to freedom.

Helpful along the way as I transitioned out of my fixed beliefs were family members such as my ex-almost-wife Robin who made her presence felt, listened but didn’t try to tell me how to think and my son Sasha who loves me way more than I deserve 😉  Plus I spent a few years very close to nature at a farm/resort run by another sister and her husband in a remote part of Northern California.  There is nothing like nature to help you find out who you are.

Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.

Rumi

Cowboy Poets

My response to an invitation to a Cowboy Poetry fundraiser for the Willits Library  with memories of my young sister responding to being given milk fresh from the cow: “I like bottle milk better”.

Cowboy Poets

dono ’bout dose cowboy poets
nex’ thing dey gonna do is say dat
mars, dat little red speck o’ plannet, gonna grow
real fas’ an’ be big as da moon.

dats fine fo’ you folks out in de country
who drink all dat moon-shine an’ even
b’lieve dat milk comes from cows
har-de-har-har
who prol’ly never sawed inside no telerscope.

but us city folk we know betta.