By Carl DeVere
What is generally believed to be "true" at this present time, for most people, is that each individual is thought to be a distinct and separate being, completely independent of the so-called "others." This being is referred to generally as "Me" or "I." Indeed a lot of people will go so far as to say that this condition persists--even after the lifetime ends. What might be true however is that each "individual" only exists as a pattern and not a discrete being at all. You might notice in the following narrative how this notion may indeed be illustrated.
I suppose that you could call this tale an autobiography. Such classifications of writing are often imaginative and mostly fiction anyway. I've noticed, as I've reached my elder years, that I can remember in detail more things than most other folks can. And when I hear the same tale told by someone else it's always just a little bit different...isn't it? Some will say, of course, in their never-ending quest to define things, that this is a kind of "coming-of-age" story. But what is "coming-of-age" anyway? "Coming-of-age " is always happening all the time since hardly anyone ever succeeds in becoming truly adult. Anyway--here's how I see it.
|Author Notes||I have always been interested in the after-life, the before-life and the very life itself and it's meaning.|
By Carl DeVere
In the Fall of 1944, in the dark days of the second world war, I descended into the Earthly Realm circa 1945. I use the term descended only loosely, because "descended" is only an assumption on my part...like a "little bundle from Heaven", so to speak.
There seem to be some people who can speak far more authoritatively than me about this matter of descending and ascending. How do they know? I don't have a real clue. But I have noticed that some people are more psychic than others--that is... they "know" more about things from some mysterious source in themselves. Should there be any kind of limitation on these attributes?
These gifted individuals state that, at death, the best course of action for the now disembodied self is to go with the flow; that is naturally moving in an UP direction and not be distracted, in any way, by any thoughts of hanging around--you know-- just to see what happens next in the opposite direction of DOWN. Indeed, the most enlightened people caution to not even be tempted to look SIDEWAYS for therein may lie a trap of illusion...a so-called BARDO where you do not want to wind up. This BARDO idea is backed up by the Tibetan Buddhists that a lot of people seem to think so hip, and even by that grand old philosopher, Plato.
I have read about this so-called "tunnel of light"; swirling with perhaps ridges at its periphery and containing LIGHT at the end and have adopted this teaching as my own personal viewpoint. It's good advice and even agreed upon by the various psychologists and death-bed counselors who base their assumptions on the interviews of those who have technically died. So that's the what's what about the end of life...in my present viewpoint.
What still lies uncertain, for me though, is the opposite process of beginning a new life. I am logically supposing that what goes up must come down. But I will, no doubt, be forced to abandon logic at times...gladly. And so, I will begin my fanciful tale, unencumbered by any logic or sense at all.
I came down (or perhaps up) in a swirling tunnel of light with various ridges at its periphery, moving toward a new existence as an earthbound fleshling. I'll just stick to down for now; down, down, falling, in the popular imagination, to Earth. So here I come to Earth; a small oblong creature or not-quite-something with a squiggly tail. Out of the tunnel--into the atmosphere of Earth and somehow mysteriously drawn to what appears to be a SPEEDING TRAIN SLEEPING CAR in the middle of a Fall night.
Suddenly--SPLASH--quickly through some gonads and--SPLURT--out the penis and into another kind of tunnel, not so well lit. And I find myself in some crazy competition with others who look like me--other tiny little swimmers--all aggressive and figuratively (because they don't have elbows) elbowing each other like some kind of weird Roller Derby. Round and round we go pushing and shoving our way to somewhere that we are not even certain about; but we think that everyone else knows what they are doing and we want to win whatever it is, even if we don't know. Do you know what I mean?
At last, we see the PRIZE straight ahead--the goal! It looks like some kind of a huge egg, much bigger than our tiny little-individuated selves. I'm the fastest and strongest but the others are breathing down my tail now and even trying to bite it off even though they don't have mouths; and baying, like coyotes, at the Moon, straight ahead. At the last moment of the race, it becomes a huge long jump. I leap and land in the soft cushy egg exhausted. Can we conclude that life is not about individuated little squiggly forms--but rather about UNION?
SUDDENLY a huge shield goes up around our combining act and the others are just out of luck. They get flushed down some other kind of tubes. Ahhhhh...the sheer BLISS of it all...the cushy warmth...the savoring of victory and defeat for my competition. Time for a beer! I think that I am an individuated male and not really able to apologize for it. It was a tough race and I won.
But, I must admit, that it was a comparatively short race even though I thought it took forever. To be fair, there were some women swimmers in that race. They were not as fast, seemed to be much smarter, had stronger swimming skills and were much more polite. If the race had been longer, one of the ladies, probably even assisted by another lady, would probably have won. I really want to be fair about women. I love them so much. Some of my other ramblings have been misconstrued as being rather cavalier and condescending. I can be that too sometimes...sorry.
Back to my "love nest": I am so much in love now with this egg and the combining just continues on and on in an orgy of pleasure not ever before experienced--a happy little zygote, just sloshing around. Next came a process called Capacitation...which involves the destabilization of the little squiggly sperm allowing greater binding. Get the picture here? You must become destabilized before you can be successful with a woman.
The next nine months of Earth time seemed like an Eternity. I could not go anywhere or do anything. I just had to continue to develop and mature. Most of the ladies I was to meet in this present incarnation probably thought that was the only time I ever did that. Some people believe that the little zygote, the rapidly becoming fetus, is just a load of some fleshy matter that will ultimately become a responsibility that they may not want. This is the first conflict.
Just because the developing little zygote isn't yet a cute little cuddly bundle from heaven, it does not mean that it's just a fleshy something. I need to clarify this matter from my viewpoint: While I was a little fetus, although I was confined physically, I was mentally and emotionally very active. I was able to transcend the limitations of a physical body and travel to other realms; both the one that I had just come from, various assorted others that may have aroused my curiosity, and even outside the womb into the world that I had not even entered physically yet.
These are the metaphysics of the situation: EVERYTHING HAS CONSCIOUSNESS...I think...ok ok I'm not really certain.
What a predicament. I noticed while I was still in that amniotic fluid-filled sack, that I was getting a bit impatient with the Japanese refusal to quit the second world war, then still raging. So I decided to drift over to the Throne Room of the Great Emperor of Japan at the time, Hirohito. When I was ushered into the Throne Room, Hirohito was having a bowl of noodles and some green tea--all washed down with a glass of Saki. These days he did everything while sitting on his throne--which was, no doubt very huge and impressive. He seemed to me to be multi-tasking, eating his food from a small table pulled up to the throne and reading a poem that his grandfather had written:
The seas of the four directions--
all are born of one womb:
why, then, do the wind and waves rise in discord?
Good point--why indeed?
"Hey Don--what in the world are you up to these days?" said the great emperor. I told him that I was about to be re-born into this world that he was now screwing up. He squirmed a bit, not used to being in the presence of only those who revered him as God and replied, "I'm trying my best to end this ridiculous nonsense but you know it just ain't easy." He went on to quickly explain that he had to think of his people and how proud and determined they were to make him into some kind of a "divinity." He told me that he now understood that it was his destiny and that he still had to play along in this, his pre-ordained pattern. After all the people had given him a "Snow White" horse to ride around on--well you get the picture. He had to play the role. He had no choice. He then had me promptly thrown out.
I returned to the confinement of my mother. Here I was, trapped inside the amniotic fluid-filled sack and dependent wholly upon the actions of my mother. What a predicament. What a conflict--confined physically but still able to travel around various realms. I was the first child so my mother had no previous experience and assumed that I had no idea of what was going on... wrong. I was aware of the circumstances surrounding my eventual birth. Heavens! Not an easy place to cheerfully enter, to say the least. Much easier to just "zone out" to some other realm and put off the responsibility of another lifetime. Some folks keep doing that even after they are born!
On and on went the second world war. War sucks. It's all about communication in some way. But, in war, communication goes past talk and becomes more solid; thereby taking on a leaden form that snuffs out lives and horribly cripples people physically and emotionally. I had been hoping that it would be over by the time of my arrival, but no such luck. My latest earth father had served in the early part of the war against the Japanese and had already received his share of the lead in the form of some fourteen-inch naval artillery shells--an event which, no doubt, shaped the rest of his life. He returned to the United States when there was still about a year and a half to go before the war was to end. He married my mother and took a SPEEDING TRAIN SLEEPING CAR to his next duty station.
It did not look like the stubborn Imperialist Japanese were interested in surrender. And, if they did not surrender, my father would probably have to go back to what was shaping up as a horrible bloodbath. That's the way it looked, at the time, before the even more horrific explosions that were to cast a giant shadow over the entire lifetime coming. I had a glance at some blinding light and a premonition of something exceptional in my life even before I arrived. I was, however, uncertain as to what that something exactly was. Moreover, I had a premonition that this life was not going to be easy or even easily understood at all.
My latest earth father had returned early from the war, no doubt to impart a certain military kind of operational wisdom to those who had not yet gone to combat. He was stationed in some rather primitive place in the United States. My latest mother hated the place and, after the SPEEDING TRAIN SLEEPING CAR incident, had refused to give birth to her first child there. I was checking the place out. It was shacks and dumpy little makeshift trailers, out-houses and boiling water over a fire just to wash clothes. My latest mom had lived in New York City and had seen Frank Sinatra in concert and screamed with all the other "bobbysoxers," so she really knew what real civilization looked like. My latest earth mother insisted on a more civilized surrounding for her new little cherub's delivery.
|Author Notes||Do you ever wonder what is going on in the mind of the unborn...or even if they have a mind?|
By Carl DeVere
The nearest upgrade of civilization for a birthplace was this little town on the Mexican border where both my father's parents and my mother's parents were in the motel business. My mother could then at least count on the support of family and not solely upon my father who could be ordered back to the war. There was also a hospital in that town and more modern methods of medicine—supposedly.
Meanwhile, inside the womb, I was taking my bloody time arriving. This became a problem since my father had taken leave from his duty station to be present at my birth. It might have been me or it might have been the medical prognostication of the day for predicting things like birth date—it was probably both. The arrival date and my father's leave time soon became overdue. My father now had new orders to sunny California and had to GET GOING GET GOING GET GOING—HURRY UP LITTLE FOETUS—YOU ARE HOLDING UP THE FOOKING WAR!
So much pressure and so little ability to deal with it—I drifted back to the relam that I had suddenly been flushed down the tubes out of. I needed a long chat with somebody more knowledgeable. I knew that the Heavyweights of philosophical and metaphysical teaching were not available in that second or third rate class of realm that I had just departed. I had looked there for Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, and Mohammed, The Prophet and heard that they were all existing in realms far beyond my own. There were, however, some disciples of each kind on my level and they gathered in their individual coffee houses and wine bars where they could discuss their particular belief with members of their own choir.
In that realm I drifted back to the office of my old Punjabi Swami psychiatrist, Deepak Sadana. When I entered, Sadana started waving all eight of his arms and yelling, “Get the hell out of my office you moron and back to the fluid-filled sack—soon you will not even remember me! Your next lesson will be that of life itself.
And so I found myself back in the sack, holding up the war. I was also picking up on a lot of tension and conflict in the family motel business and a great deal of squabbling between the in-laws. So I refused to be born and, in that refusal, I grew larger in the womb; so that by the time I was actually forced to arrive I was huge...far too big for my mother's cervix and vagina...OUCH!! What a struggle and ordeal for both my mother and myself.
My head popped out...so far so good...not so fast. My head got stuck as well as the rest of me and the modern medical practice at that time was to resort to forceps. These were nothing more than ice pick tongs.The doctor then sunk this tool into my face, just behind the cheekbones on both sides and dragged me out. I had two little scars on my face well into childhood.
I just checked in the mirror—Oh my God...one of them is still there. It's morphed into an age wrinkle now, but I know what that line is at seventy four years of age even. Like I said...well into my childhood.
Can you imagine the pain endured by a sentient little cherub under these circumstances? I might imagine the pain, but to tell the truth, I really don't remember. I must have zoned out to another realm and the pain is only entered deep into my subconscious.
Subconscious: that's an area of existing outside of the normal blah blah blah yak yak yak consciousness. It's not easily accessible because there is a limit to what can be held in conscious focal awareness.
So there is this alternative storehouse of one's knowledge and prior experience that may well contain some painful experiences. Sigmund Freud, the guy that most people assume had things like this figured out, said that, “the subconscious mind has a purpose of its own that cannot be known to the conscious mind.” Swell.
Most of us are walking around thinking that we know everything and every little pronouncement that comes from our precious little minds is, of course, the absolute truth. What might be the case is that there is an entire agenda in all of us that directs things sometimes that we are not aware of. I think of it being like an area with a huge brass door that is not easily openable, and may even be sealed, although not completely. Stuff leaks out in bits and spurts. How?
There is a practice recommended down through the ages, by all faiths, and maybe even before recorded time, by the wisest of men and women. This practice is called meditation. More on that later because I'm trying to get back to the story of the pain of my birth.
I use meditation to help me with this story by focusing my attention. Lo...I hear the sound of my paternal grandmother's voice, loud and clear, commenting on the efficiency of the nearby airbase where she owns her motel, in the town where I am to be born. She has good reason to be buttering them up as we will soon see.
This airbase is not where my father is stationed since he is in a different branch of the service. It is a boon to the motel business since there are not enough living quarters to handle the stream of air corps personnel streaming in for the war. My grandparents are making a fortune, having built two motels before the war started—war profiteers you might say. Sounds like a pretty good and affluent situation to eventually inherit huh? Born into affluence: isn't that what we all wish had happened to us?
But what my little infant being is now picking up is that there is trouble brewing among the inlaws.
A quick overview of the motel business: My dad's Uncle Bill, who was my mother's step-father had the money and the original idea to build the motels in the first place. His sister, my dad's mother, was in a tight spot. Her husband, my dad's real father, had fallen ill in the late thirties and was no longer able to provide for his family. My dad's Uncle Bill packed up his sister, her ailing husband, and her teenaged son, my dad, and moved them from snow-bound Minnesota to the sunny climes of the Mexican border. There Uncle Bill and my teenaged dad built two motels from scratch.
Uncle Bill had enlisted in the army before World War One and had served as a motorcycle courier, to General “Black Jack” Pershing. Pershing wanted to get some combat experience before taking on the Germans in Europe. Pershing decided to chase the Mexican bandito, Pancho Villa, who had been raiding US border towns and making a pest of himself in Texas. That's how Uncle Bill got the idea for the border motels.
My dad’s real father did not last long after the motels were built and passed away leaving my grandmother a widow at only 39 years old and my sixteen-year-old future father, fatherless. My grandfather is thus buried in the same town where I was born. I used to joke with my dad when I got older and found out about reincarnation. Since my grandfather, my father, and I all share the same name, I told my father that I was my own grandfather. My father did not agree, but he once took me to see grandfather’s tombstone; there’s nothing on it but my name, no birthdates, no death dates, no fraternal order of the whatever--just my first and last name.
So at only 39 years old, my grandmother was still a very attractive woman and the wants and needs of a woman her age--you must realize. So here’s where the possibilities of inheriting a motel empire start to crumble into conflict: Enter one traveling candy salesman, a real charmer from back East somewhere. He has a wife already, but when he sees my grandmother, he just can’t help himself and the set up is too good to pass on--so he moves in on the situation, gets divorced from his poor wife back East somewhere, and marries my grandmother.
He is heavily resented by the rest of the family and is viewed as an opportunist by both my dad’s uncle and his wife, my mother’s mother. But my dad’s mom really wanted the big silver-tongued devil.
Add this: my mother’s mother is from New York City and does not like the Texas border town at all. My mom’s mom has quite a bit of fashion sense coming from the Big Apple and my dad’s mom has only lived in small towns. So when my mother’s mother buys herself a fashionable dress, my dad’s mom so admires it that she goes out and buys the very same dress…not understanding the faux pas at all. Well, can you imagine what in-law relations were like surrounding my birth…CANDY SALESMAN…BOUGHT THE SAME DRESS…YIKES! There goes the motel empire. The candy salesman is not nearly as talented as Uncle Bill; who then decides that he’s done his dash for his sister--now on to his own life. Too bad--I always loved Mexican food and motels after that.
So in review: Conceived in a speeding train sleeping car and destined to be born on the Mexican border where both my father’s parents and my mother’s parents were in the motel business. Just in case you missed this point, my mother and father are cousins by marriage—not by blood, as you might think that I'm an idiot—you may well think that anyway.
As soon as I was born and found to be alive and taken on my father’s and grandfather’s namesake, just in case dad still does not survive the fooking war, my father GOT GOING, GOT GOING, GOT GOING…to his new duty station in sunny southern California. My mom and I waited around for a while but not for long--maybe two to three weeks and we GOT GOING, GOT GOING, GOT GOING--again in a speeding train from the Mexican border to sunny southern California. When we arrived, I greeted my new dad with a mustard-colored blast into my diapers on the train platform.
It is said that Karma, or life-pattern if you will, is the working of cause and effect.
Karma produces happiness through positive action and suffering through negative actions. Personal Karma means that you take on the karma of the family that you are born into.
Here I am baby—Signed, sealed and delivered, so to speak, back to the awfully solid and conditional realm of Earth.
|Author Notes||I was surprised at how many readers so far had little idea about the so-called "afterlife." Well, who does for certain? My contrived fiction is based on certain metaphysical teachings that I have been attracted to. Of course, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.|
By Carl DeVere
After I was born, the war only had a few months left. The US had won the final big and horrific battle for Okinawa and US planes were fire-bombing the Japanese homeland and even the capital in Tokyo. But still the obstinate Japanese would not give up; it was all about honor and saving face. So, at just a little bit older than one month for the scar-faced little cherub, the President of The United States, Harry S. "Give 'em Hell Harry" Truman, ordered the newly approved for operational use-- BIG ONE, to be dropped on Hiroshima, on August 6. Still, the Japanese were not convinced and so three days later the second BIG ONE was dropped on Nagasaki. I tried in vain to gain entrance into the throne room of my old friend Hirohito. But all access was denied to foreigners...especially Americans. I was promptly thrown out and nearly hanged.
I reflected back on Hirohito's wise observation: We are all just pre-ordained patterns...but a pattern of what?
I was then in the first stage of life. This stage is no picnic regardless of how many people might think that the little cherub is still in the bliss of freshly-arrived-from-heaven. The main feature of this first stage, which lasts for around 6 or 7 years, is the adaptation to the physical body--dealing with the awful effects of gravity-- what a pain! Where I have just come from, of course, everyone knows people just float around. And I'm a fat little butterball at this stage. I'm so fat my parents have to prop me up with a pillow so I don't roll over to have my cute little naked infant photo taken.
At first, it is somewhat of a blessing to not be socialized and just let the defecation and urine flow right into the diaper-- AHHHHH-- without any embarrassment at all and someone else, usually Mom, has to clean it all up. But if they don't get it right away there's no way of letting them know verbally and the only method of communication is to wail and cry like a little baby, with no praise or blame if you have a great parent. Not everyone is that lucky though. I'll have to admit that it seemed rather a daunting task to deal with this new idea of individuation and separated from unity with my mother. This resulted in being dependent on my mother now as a separate individual or "other" This involved the drama of breastfeeding. I don't think that I ever really got over that.
So here we were waiting for "Give Em Hell Harry" to get the war over as quickly as possible and wondering if daddy would still have to go back. We were living in a trailer in sunny California under some very crude wartime rationed conditions. But I was very happy still struggling with gravity and lacking communication skills notwithstanding. I had some very young parents who were strong and who had already endured the hardships of the great depression (don't ever forget it sonny boy)-- so it was not such a big deal--struggling.
Harry S. Truman must have struggled with the idea to drop the Atomic Bomb. The conflict is this: Today some folks continue to criticize this action complaining that so many women and children died or suffered horribly. But that's the deal with war; if you start one like the Germans and the Japanese did, it might well get out of hand and involve your whole population--not just your brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.
The Germans and the Japanese had to get the point: if you tolerate the politicians, presidents, emperors or kaisers that get you into wars, especially initiating wars...well, then it just might backfire on you. OK off my soapbox.
By the way, if I have any younger readers, the "soapbox" reference is about public speaking in an especially self-righteous manner and extemporaneously in public. Since the speaker had to elevate himself in order to be heard by many, he would use a soapbox to stand upon. Here ends the history of ancient expressions used by older people.
At just a little older than two months of age, the war finally ended. My dad and thousands of others had to find new jobs fast. The motel business was out. The two sides of the bickering family sold one of the two motels and my mother's family moved out from the Mexican border town all the way to Florida and the three of us had to GET GOING, GET GOING, GET GOING--to sunny Florida from sunny California--thousands of miles away. So instead of the karma of a stable and affluent business, I get the karma of being constantly on the road searching for the next "green pasture".
In this time around, it seems that my mother's mother had taken a Greyhound bus to escape the New York City winter and she only had enough money to get to a place called Hollywood, Florida. When she saw the ocean and the palm trees and felt the warm Florida sun, she may have mistaken it for the film capital of the same name--and just fell in love with the place. That's how my other grandparents decided to move from Texas to Florida. Florida--then still an idyllic little paradise filled with beaches and horse and dog racing tracks.
My dad had a wartime buddy who owned a relatively late model car. Remember, no civilian cars were produced during the war years 42-45. Try that these days huh? So my dad's buddy, we'll just call Wally, to protect his identity, had a 1936 Hudson that seemed practically new since it had not been driven during the war. The Hudsons were much larger inside than other cars. The 1936 engines had 124 horses under the hood and a column-mounted gearshift lever to free front-seat space--a classic road car. So my dad made a deal to pay Wally to drive us to Florida.
Wally was restless, like so many other recently discharged veterans, and eager to travel and make a buck however he could. So off we went, myself being constantly diaper-changed in the back seat. I wonder if Wally had counted on that.
The USA was still a very sleepy place only very crudely connected by two-lane roads. We drove straight through, my dad and Wally taking turns at the wheel. We passed through many little villages in this way as there were no such things as "by-passes". What struck me, as I gazed out at the countryside, was how simple it all was. Everything was pretty much the same, as far as cornfields go, but, at the same time, taking on a slightly different character in each little town or village that we passed through. It was peaceful and the rolling pavement under the 124 horse hood seemed to console me during the occasional discomfort of an unchanged diaper. This "rolling pavement" consolation remained the rest of my life.
One night we were running low on gas and Wally decided to stop before it got too late and all the gas stations closed. In those days you could fill the tank yourself in some places. So Wally, still wearing his wartime flying outfit, filled the tank first, checked the oil and cleaned the summer bugs off the windshield as my dad got out for a stretch and got ready to take over the driving.
I was WIDE AWAKE having slept most of the day and watched Wally as he entered this little, what they used to call, "filling station". Inside was a small little general store offering some food and automobile parts; like spark plugs, fan belts--that kind of place. On the cash register counter, I noticed some pickled pig's feet in a glass jar-- a delicacy, no doubt, in those parts of the great hinterland of the USA. Some other parts of the pig were also available and labeled Rocky Mountain Oysters.
Since I was only a few months old, I could still drift out of my body for a closer look. I drifted in. Wally had noticed that, since it was late and might have been past closing time, the lone clerk-attendant was asleep in a chair behind the counter. So Wally proceeded to fill all of those big pockets in his flying suit with items needed for the road; like spark plugs, potato chips, little wieners in a can or two, a couple of beers and a scoop from the big jar labeled Rocky Mountain Oysters.
Wally then crept deftly out of the store, leaving the sleeping clerk still snoring away, ran over to the car and told my dad at the wheel now, "Let's get outa here fast". I was probably less than ten weeks old and had already participated in a highway robbery! The excitement of a whacky semi-dangerous adventure has always stayed with me. These are more formative years than most people realize.
I drifted back into the safety of my mother's bosom--drifting quickly to another realm where a panel of long white-robed and bespeckled "Judges" said to me, "Judge not lest YE be judged".
Since we did not get caught I let this memory and a few others about that road trip slip into my subconscious. They're all parked there: the diaper changing, the small little towns and Wally chomping on the Rocky Mountain Oysters and saying, "hmmm...very chewy and kinda salty...they might be oysters."
As we finally arrived in Florida, the more subtle world, thus far described, was beginning to fade in memory but not completely-- as I still had ideas that I had absolutely no idea where they came from. And more mysteriously, since I could travel in and out of the body...I wondered if I even was the body or simply just a pattern of changing events. What was I and why? The arrival in Florida marked the beginning of a more solid and limited world that I was now dealing with as an infant. Small wonder babies cry so much at times.
|Author Notes||From his very conception, in a speeding train sleeping car, Don Pattern keeps constantly moving; from his birthplace on the Mexican border, to sunny California and finally all the way to Florida--well-traveled at only a few months old.|
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