Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Ghost of Mrs. Killman



During this last weekend, while at Rick's 70th birthday dinner, we got to talking about ghosts.  Here is one experience of mine, excerpted from "Squatter in Los Angeles," available from Kindle, or the Store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, at a cost of way less than what  you customarily leave for a tip at a restaurant.

Dealing with the Ghost of Mrs. Killman



By “ghosts,” I am referring to the presences of people who have recently died.  Shortly after Edward and I moved in as squatters, we became aware the “something or someone” was still around in this old house. We presumed it was the recently-deceased owner, a Mrs. Killman who I later learned had been bed-ridden, overweight, and heavily medicated.



“She probably didn’t even know that she died,” my friend and associate at the non-profit, Ellen, told me.



One night while Edward and I were in our rooms – I had my door open and could see right through the kitchen – the kitchen door began to shake violently. I could both see and hear the door shaking. We both rushed into the kitchen to check it out. It was clear that there was no earthquake, and inexplicably, the kitchen became very cold. We looked around outside. There was no one in the inner yard, and we would have heard it if someone opened the creaky gate to enter, or exit.



This happened another time, and Edward and I talked about it for a long time, assuming it was some sort of psychic presence, but not really knowing one way or the other.  Then there were at least two occasions when we heard dogs barking in the kitchen.  There were no dogs in the yard, no dogs next door, no dogs in the yard. The barking was emanating from within the kitchen.   The dog barking could not have been an  “echo.” 



It turned out that Mrs. Killman did have two large dogs.  We determined that Mrs. Killman must have been a paranoid woman, for she had written multiple wills and various trust deeds pertaining to her property.  All this was unresolved when she died.  And maybe she was forgetful.



I was unsettled by these events, and at the earliest convenience, I shared these details with both the head of the non-profit, REW, and Ellen who resided in the non-profit’s facility. 



Shortly thereafter – within a week or two – REW asked me if I could come over at 3 p.m. the following day to view a show with him.  I said "yes."  He added that this particular program was extremely important, and that I should find a way to view it even if I couldn't return to his place.  He said that the show would help me to deal with the “ghost” that had been “visiting” at my home.



Of course, I returned the following day at 3 p.m., and seated myself comfortably in his cold “learning chamber.”  The show was about to begin, which was "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir."  During the commercial just before the show, REW told me to watch very carefully for the clues telling me what I should do about the "ghost" in my house. 



I had already told REW and Ellen all about it – barking dogs though there were no dogs, and no possibility of echoes, or underground passages, or a dog walking by.  We knew that there absolutely was no dog in the house, or near the house.  However, the old woman did have dogs that stayed in the house with her.  Also, the house’s glass doors rattled furiously on two occasions when there was no one around.



Since I had carefully inspected the many papers left in the house when I moved in, I was likely the only person aware that the old woman may have been the victim of foul play.  Also, since the old woman took massive amounts of medication, and Ellen  told me in her insightful way that Mrs. Killman was probably was very confused in her initial after-death states, and possibly didn't even realize that her body had died.  These circumstances were the classic ones which coincide with the presence of ghosts, or spirits of the recently deceased.



"The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" illustrated a couple who moved into an old house, and eventually began to have "appearances."  REW told me to be particularly alert during those scenes depicting the way in which the woman and man interacted with the ghost.



I watched the movie carefully, generally wondering what I was doing there, since I didn’t see anything that pertained to my situation.  It was an interesting movie, but seemed to be something other than what I needed.  When the movie was over, REW restated the practical lesson within the movie.    



"They depicted the proper two-step process for dealing with ghosts," he told me.  "What was the first way in which the people tried to interact with the ghost?"  Really?  I shrugged.  I tried to remember, but could remember nothing useful.  Ellen then spoke up, saying, "She asked the ghost, 'Who are you?  What is your name?’"  



"That's important?" I asked.  REW responded in the affirmative, as I began to recall that particular scene.  The first step was the name-challenge, and involved asking the entity its name.  Then the woman in the movie asked the ghost why it was there in the house. 



"That's right," said REW. "The woman queried the ghost as to its purpose.  And when such entities are queried using this formula, they are compelled to respond," he told me.  I found this fascinating.



"So this is the way you should interact with the ghost of the old woman," Ellen  told me.  “First make certain you know who, or what, is present, and then find out what she wants of you."



I wondered aloud how I would do that.  Ellen then began to explain a method which would make it easy for the ghost in my house to interact with me.  She pointed out that you don't always get vocal words from ghosts, nor do you often get writing on paper.  However, Ellen suggested that I lay papers on the floor for all the letters of the alphabet, and of numbers 0 through 9, as well as all of the key documents that I found which might be of some value.  Ellen suggested that I could talk to the ghost when I felt  “her” presence, and then ask her to communicate by moving the papers on the floor to spell out words, or numbers, or move key papers.



"You need to decide for yourself if you can help her in any way," Ellen told me, "and what you're willing to do.  She's contacting you because you're there in her house, and you are the most likely person to provide help.  But you'll have to use some creativity to get answers if you really desire to help.  She may not be able to just speak like you and I speak."



I wasn’t really certain about all this, and it sounded vaguely like some sort of séance session, and I wasn’t sure what I was willing to do. But Ellen was right, I was in her  house, and I would rather that the ghost of Mrs. Killman move on to somewhere else and not haunt my kitchen.



Lastly, according to both Ellen and REW, once I performed this task, or resolved the issue that was keeping the ghost of Mrs. Killman close to the earth plane, I was to tell her that she has passed away, and that she should now go on, that her work is somewhere else.



I listened quite intently to all of this, having a curious mix of excitement, anticipation, and even fear.  I recorded all the details into my notebook.



That evening, I prepared myself to interact with the presence of the old woman's ghost. 



Onto the floor of my room, I placed the key papers which had to do with the deceased woman.  I also placed squares of paper on the floor, one for each letter of the alphabet, thinking that perhaps "she" would rattle papers, and might even spell out some message by sequentially rattling letters of the alphabet.



By 1 a.m., I had everything set up, since the usual time of the "appearance" was about 2 a.m.  I wanted to be ready.  I sat there reviewing the papers, wondering how I would react if anything actually visually appeared.



At around 1:40, the room became very cold with an oppressive presence. The cold was very penetrating, and I felt some fear.  I knew that "she" was there.  I attempted to vocalize the words "What is your name?" but was unable to do so.  I literally could not speak.  This was a unique sort of fear. I tried hard to speak aloud, but could not!  I mentally stated the question, and I intently watched the papers on the floor.  I remained in a kneeling position which I'd originally adopted so I wouldn't fall asleep.  But I was now keenly alert, intently aware that something else was there in the room with me, and painfully aware that I could not utter a word.  My intense fear was not a rational thing, for I was aware that "she" could not hurt me.  Yet, I was actually sweating there in that ice-box cold room. 



None of the letters moved.  I  recalled the Biblical quote about “there is no fear in love, for fear has to do with punishment…” and so I worked to calm my fear-emotions, and made the strong effort to emanate  a Feeling of Real Love.  At first, I was simply attempting to allow that Feeling of Love to be there, within me, and to “send” it outward.  Once I was able to do that, I specifically attempted to send that Feeling of Love to the old woman, while letting her know that I could be of some assistance.  I mentally asked her to tell me what I could do, as I tried to squeak out the vocal words.  Then one of the old legal papers in the middle of the room rustled.  There was no chance of a breeze moving the paper, since all the surrounding papers right there on the floor didn't move at all.  A second paper moved.  I took note of which two papers rustled.



I sat there stiffly for another 15 minutes in the cold room, with its cinder-block walls.  The night outside was quiet, and dark, and cold.  After a while, it was clear that the presence was gone and I knew it was over for that night. 



I tried this on two more nights, but there was no presence, or cold, and no reaction at all. 



There were no more shaking doors or barking dogs, and that was the end of the “appearances” of the ghost.



Some months later, I gave those two specific documents to the lawyer for the heir of the old  woman.  The lawyer and heir thanked me profusely, for apparently those papers contained clues of foul play and forgery, and contained the name of the culprit.  The lawyer did ask me -- with a bit of suspicion in her voice -- how I came to find those two specific papers out of all of the many boxes and piles of "stuff" that was in the house.  Had I actually gone through all the papers that carefully?, I could almost hear the lawyer asking.  I was tempted to tell the story of how I actually did "find" those two papers, but decided it would be better to let her think that I just randomly happened to notice those documents, and just thought they might be important so I kept them.



The exact details of the resolution of Mrs. Killman’s mountain estate was never revealed to me, but I did learn that the identified culprit who attempted to illegally obtain Mrs. Killman’s land never did gain them.  This was partly the result of those two documents I gave to the lawyer, and partly due to other factors.  It seemed that the desire to disallow an unloyal "friend" from taking hold of her lands was strong enough to keep the old woman on and near the physical plane until it was resolved. 



Though I never again had a ghost encounter of this level, it left me with the lifelong impression of the reality of the spirit world.  I respect the deference that the old generation and indigenous people have towards cemeteries and burial grounds.  And when someone tells me that they believe that a place is “haunted,” I accept that it’s certainly possible that the spirit of a deceased person is residing there.  I know that some people do not believe in ghosts, and say they are simply figments of an excited imagination.  I always felt that there was probably something to the phenomenon of ghosts, and might have remained ambivalent had I not had my own experience. 


Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Notes from a past eclipse




This is an excerpt from "Searching for the Meaning of Life in the City of Angels" by Woodenturtle, from Kindle, or as an e-book from the Store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com

LET ME CAST A HEALING BALM

Interacting with the moon’s energy during an eclipse




In the mid-1980s, Shining Bear told us that there would be a full eclipse of the moon one night. It was in the newspapers, of course, but none of us had read it or taken any special notice of it.



We were talking with him around 2 p.m., when he explained that there is way to utilize the special lunar energy during this unique eclipse time.



"This is not a way to get something, or to feel good," said Shining Bear. "Rather, this is a way that you can choose to channel that very refined lunar light – the healing power of the light of the moon – to the benefit of your fellows on this prison planet." "Prison planet" was how he typically referred to Earth.



He instructed us to find a place where we can sit cross-legged comfortably, and face the moon directly. It would be around 8:30 in the evening. 



"This is best done with pure silver, since silver transmits the lunar energy best. I don’t know what the effect would be if you used sterling silver, but ideally use three pure rounds of silver." A "round" is simply the coin-dealers term for a round piece of silver that is not a government coin. They are made by private mints so that someone could buy pure silver with no numismatic consideration. And there are also pure silver coins issued by governments. Either way, it needed to be pure silver, 99.9%.  He spent perhaps an hour telling us how to interact with the special lunar light.  



I knew I had some silver coins at home, and some at my parents house.  But my living conditions were somewhat hectic, and I had some things in storage, and wasn’t precisely sure where everything was located.  I found some sterling silver coins – which were 90% silver.  I quickly drove up to my parents house, and searched around for some coins I had stored there in the basement.  Finally, after having to endure the suspicions of my father, Dancing Moon and I were seated in the upper terrace of the Island with the silver that I had managed to locate. 



We set down a blanket on the dirt, and then sat cross-legged.  We positioned ourselves so we could face the full moon as it went into eclipse. Shining Bear had indicated that we were to create a triangle with three pieces of silver and our body.   This meant that silver  should be in each hand, and another piece of silver held in the thyroid area.  Holding the silver in the hands was easy – each palm was simply held upwards and resting on the knees.  Holding the silver next to the thyroid was challenging.  We found that we could wrap a silver coin in a cotton kerchief, and then tie it behind the neck so that the silver was secured and stayed close to the neck.  That was sufficient, since we wouldn’t be moving around, and we’d only be there for 20 minutes or



We sat there on the blanket, getting things arranged.



“Look,” I said after a while.  The shadow of the earth was starting to cover an edge of the moon.  There was a feeling of mystery in the air, an electrical excitement, a buzz.  Even the wild animals sensed it.



It was a bright full moon night and everything was visible. There were no clouds.  In a few minutes, the night would darken and many more stars would be visible.



It was a little chilly so it took a bit of maneuvering to hold the silver in each hand, keep one next to the neck, and to sit with a light blanket over our shoulders.



Dancing Moon was in position, and was quiet. She seemed deep in thought as she watched the moon, and appeared relaxed.



We didn’t say much. I sensed that my runaround to find the silver was viewed with disdain by Dancing Moon, another sign of my being unorganized, chaotic, confused.  But there was nothing that I could say or do – at least not now.  Now was the time to go into the moment.



So we sat, focused on the theme of healing that Shining Bear told us about.  Nothing for ourselves, but for the earth, for all earth’s inhabitants.  Of course, there is always an enlightened self-interest in such things – we would benefit personally in some way if the spiritual and mental health, and the level of harmony, was collectively raised.



The moon was nearly in full eclipse now. 



“Let me cast a healing balm,” began Dancing Moon, slowly, thoughtfully, methodically. At first I tried to say it along with her, but our timing was off so I just continued on my own, focusing on the moon, canting in my own timing.  I mentally worked to feel the lines of energy to the three pieces of silver on my body, and the triangle of light between the three pieces of silver, from hand to hand, and from each hand to the throat.  I visualized the triangle of light and the silver lines extending outward to the moon. 



I continued my canting, focusing on sending a healing balm over the earth.  My eyes closed gently, and I could “almost” see the lines of light extending to the moon.  I could feel a hush fall over the land, a calm that was both physical and psychic.  The landscape had become eerily darker, and the animal sounds were different.



Ten minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes elapsed.  I continued to cant and realized my voice was now in sync with Dancing Moon.  We continued our slow methodical canting, looking at the moon, watching the shadow move across the surface.



The moon was nearly full again when we stopped and put away our silver, and packed our things.



It was been an exhausting evening.  We had no tangible way of knowing if this had any positive benefit or not. There seemed to be “something” detectable that was calmer, more relaxed, peaceful.  Everything was the same, but somehow we had interacted with a force of nature, and somehow, in some not fully tangible way, the world was now different.



We were tired but very relaxed  and the edginess and irritation from earlier was now gone.   I went home and slept soundly.



We didn’t speak of it until the following Sunday when everyone shared their experiences at the regular Sunday gathering. 




Monday, January 29, 2018

Year of the Dog


Year of the Dog





 [Nyerges is the author of “Extreme Simplicity,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and other books. He teaches survival and self-reliance at Pasadena City college and throughout the community. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041]



As we are about to begin the Chinese Year of the earth Dog on February 16, it is a good time to take note of all the good things about dogs. It seems that everyone has something to say about the character of dogs.  They exhibit unconditional love, they are loyal, and they really seem to want to be a part of your life, to the extent that they are able.



Dogs are deeply loyal to their families and friends. They are regarded as honest and straightforward, and they can be deeply responsible for the welfare of those around them (remember old episodes of Lassie saving someone?).



Many of our most profound observations about human nature come from our observation of dogs.  For example, Sigmund Freud noted that “dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.”



James Thurber observed, “If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.” 



One of my favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone was “The Hunt,” where Hyder Simpson and his dog went for a hunt one day.  Hyder’s dog jumped into a pool, and didn’t come out and Hyder looked for him, eventually finding him.  They both had died, but Hyder didn’t know it, and he strolled down a road where a man informed him he’d died and that he was now at heaven.  Hyder was about to enter but the gatekeeper said dogs were not allowed. So Hyder just kept strolling, saying he’d not go anywhere if his dog couldn’t go.  He eventually came to another gate and the gatekeeper again invited him in.  “What about my dog?” asked Hyder hesitantly.  “Oh, he’s welcome” said the gatekeeper.  It turned out that this was the real heaven, where both Hyder and his dog were welcome.  The other gatekeeper was at the entrance to hell!   It’s an excellent episode and makes you think about what is important to you in life – and after life.



Ann Landers once wrote, “Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”  And I really like the bumper sticker I once saw that read, “I wish I was half the person that my dog believes I am.”   A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself, said Josh Billings.  And Andy Rooney noted that the average dog is a nicer person than the average person. How true that often seems!



We make fun of some habits of dogs, like going in circles many times before they will lie down, or sniffing everything, because perhaps we do not understand dogs.  Dave Barry once comically noted that “dogs need to sniff the ground; it's how they keep abreast of current events. The ground is a giant dog newspaper, containing all kinds of late-breaking dog news items, which, if they are especially urgent, are often continued in the next yard.”  Funny, but probably true. I remember walking my pit bull Cassius Clay in my Altadena neighborhood, and there were certain lines of bushes which he had to slowly sniff before we could move on. It took so long to get by that area that I would sometimes avoid it entirely or I would never get home.  What did Cassius smell? His brain was likely translating the different odors left by other dogs, just as Barry suggests, and those odors conveyed a complex picture of each dog that had passed by and probably a few things about its history.



As for the intelligence of dogs, I believe it is quite high. Much has been made of the supposed higher intelligence of pigs vs. dogs.  I don’t doubt that some scientist conducted some tests of brain activity and found that pigs were higher functioning in some areas.  Pigs certainly have incredible memories. When I had both a pig and a dog, I observed that my pig, Otis, had an incredible memory, but the memory was largely limited to food: where he once found it, whether he liked it, and whether he might find more there again.  Whereas the pig seemed to be less interested in humans and wanted to live for food and pleasure, the dog’s mentality was very much geared to the human “master,” and very much included the concepts that we humans call love and loyalty.



I have so many dog stories – stories that are uplifting, sad, hilarious,  stories of how our dog pal made our life more meaningful, and taught us to love even more. I realize that if you’re not a “dog person,” you’re not going to get this.  I remember once on the Dennis Prager radio show – not a “dog person”, by the way --  he talked about people who love dogs dearly.  In his attempt to figure this out, Prager concluded that people who love dogs more than people have some sort of deficiency, and they are trying to make up for it by loving dogs.  Respectfully, I think you got that one wrong Dennis.  Granted, no two people are alike, but I see that people who can love dogs too are people who are big lovers, not small lovers. They are people whose hearts are big, and they see the beautiful life force and vitalistic energy within these non-human beings. 



I have spent some time attempting to master human-to-dog communication.  It is definitely not about words.  Yes, dogs will remember certain sounds and what they are intended to convey, regardless what human language you are speaking.  But they primarily pick up on your tone and intent.  They know anger, fear, uncertainty, love, respect, and many more of the so-called human emotions.  I also believe that Beatrice Lydecker got it right in her book, “What the Animals Tell Me,” where she shared her “secrets” to animal communication.  Essentially, Lydecker explains that you need to think in pictures, and to then attempt to convey those pictures to the animal, mentally.  I experimented with the Lydecker approach many times with Cassius and found that, towards the end of his life, we had some very deep and profound exchanges of ideas.



Welcome the Year of the Dog!  What an auspicious year. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

An Argument for Frugality





[Nyerges is the author of various books such as “Extreme Simplicity: Homesteading in the City,” “Self-Sufficient Home,” “Squatter in Los Angeles,” and other books. He has led outdoor field trips since 1974. His schedule is available at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com or at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041]



I don’t like seeing people waste money, their own or other people’s.  For most of us, money represents the transfer of our work into a tangible abstract which we use to get the things and services we need in life. Money equals our time, our work, our life. If you think that I am placing too much value on money it’s undoubtedly because I place money right up there with oxygen as something that is essential. (yes, stolen quote)



I am not optimistic about the state of our economic health, with the government doing what no one of us can do – survive decade after decade with “deficit spending,” which means money we don’t have, which means, literally, bankruptcy!



The individual should do everything possible to live within their economic means both as a lifestyle, a mentality, and as a way to avoid personal disaster. 



Though this is part of a much longer series about personal economics, let’s start with credit cards. 



The convenience of a credit card is obvious.  I can go to Trader Joes and not have to worry about carrying sufficient cash, and I can buy what I need, slide my card, and go home with groceries.  The problem with this is that too many users – especially in the beginning – get addicted to the card in the same way that one gets addicted to heroin.  It is so easy, and it feels so good, but it is not free.



Let me begin with my conclusion, something that too many have learned too late. If  you cannot pay off your credit card at the end of each month, you cannot afford what you have purchased, and you should not buy whatever it is you think you need or want. There are a few exceptions, however, as my friend Robert Blair always told me: A house, obviously.  An education, because the education presumably will enable you, long-term, to earn much more than you would have earned without it. And, unfortunately, a vehicle. More on these three later.



Remember, if you cannot pay off the balance of your card every month, you cannot afford the items in question, and should not buy them in the first place.



But everyone forgets that last sentence, at one time or another, to their peril.



The balance – and interest – build.  You learn to pay the minimum required by the credit card company, as the principle gets bigger.  Eventually, you learn to juggle your credit card debt from card to card to try and find the lowest interest rate to handle your balance.



Eventually, all your money goes to paying off the minimum amount due, and it seems that you will never get out of debt.  Was it worth it?  You’re now a slave of the banks. 



I once overhead a conversation where the individual was describing how much money they had left. “What does that mean?” I inquired.  They were describing how much more credit they had left on their credit card, as if that was their own money in a wallet somewhere. In fact, the person had NO money “left”—the amount being discussed was simply the amount of more money that the credit card company would allow the person to go even deeper into debt without worrying too much. 



Though lots of people use credit cards without any serious problems, for many others, the use of easy credit is part of the fast road to financial failure.   If you’re one of those people, one of your best courses of action is to first take a complete assessment of all your actual needs.  Stop buying anything you absolutely cannot live without. In fact, if you are having difficulty paying off your credit cards each month, you might be well advised to cut up those cards and operate on a cash basis until you know you are back on solid footing. 



There are also legitimate agencies that help you manage your debt so you can get out of debt. This means the agency will re-negotiate your debt so that you can pay one fee each month, often at a lower interest rate.  Obviously, however, you must change your behavior or you will never get out of debt, and you will be “poor” forever.



When I read statistics about how up to 90% of the American public are dissatisfied and unfulfilled in their life, I have to look at the possible reasons. One of the biggest reasons is a dissatisfaction with one’s chosen employment, because – let’s face it – everyone needs an income and sometimes we take whatever we can get.  If we do not continually seek employment that is more personally fulfilling, we begin to wonder what our life is all about. I have seen it all too often.  Then, too many of us try to find fulfillment or happiness with the junk that we buy, and then we lose ourselves into our technological world of emails and smart phones and facebook and twitters and television.  And that choice to seek meaning with more stuff, and more technology, proves to be a futile path, where we don’t find happiness and we get even poorer.



Yes, I know this is just the tip of an iceberg.  In summary, you really must work hard to stay out of debt by always delineating need from want.  If your life doesn’t depend on it, don’t buy it. And your fulfillment in life will come from your face-to-face interactions and workings with other people.  Go on a diet from your technological toys for a while. You might find a new life that was there all along, and you might find that your wallet is a bit healthier too.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Year of No Christmas




[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Self-Sufficient Home,” and other books.  His blog can be read at www.ChristopherNyerges.com. He can be contacted via his site, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041]

When  I was around 10, my brothers and I were particularly bad, belligerent, and misbehaving one autumn.  My mother gave us several warning and threats and a few “beatings” in her ceaseless attempt to get us to obey.  I don’t recall what was “wrong” with us that year.  It was as if we were afflicted by some unseen infection.  Or maybe it was what all teens go through when they believe they know more than their parents.  So my mother said, “Keep it up and there will be no Christmas this year.”  Of course, my mother didn’t control the calendar.  She just meant “no gifts.”  That threat did at first affect our behavior,  but then we’d go back to our nonfeasant and malfeasant ways.  There were numerous threats, as November rolled into December, but things didn’t substantially improve.

Now, I was at the age where I began to think about things, and the relative unfairness in the world, and the questioning of authority. But I also wondered why we should  receive gifts at Christmas.  By this time, I was aware that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus at this time, and that it was primarily a religious holiday.  I just didn’t get the whole gift thing –not that I minded receiving.  But because I lacked an understanding of the whole picture, the idea of “no gifts”  didn’t seem that threatening to me.

Thinking back, our bad behaviour that year was likely the trickle-down defiance from our oldest brother.  David was never a defier, certainly not an open defier, but the defiance of Gilbert the eldest would have trickled down to Thomas, to Richard, to me.  We were not an ideal family, and I am sure I have suffered my entire life due to unnecessary defiance and the disrespect that I showed to my parents.  Did my parents deserve respect?  In retrospect, possibly, though the question would have been irrelevant then – like the pot calling the kettle black. 

We were not saints, so who were we to point out hypocrisy in our parents?  Anyway, by mid-December, the word was out: No Christmas this year.  We were schizophrenic about this.  “Oh, we don’t care,” we sassed, but inwardly I believe we each felt a deep dismay at our own inability to live up to our household’s very simple standards.  I felt particularly dismayed that I had been no better, and that I was swayed along with the tide of my older brothers’ mob mentality.  No Christmas.  “She won’t follow through on it,” Tom told us with assurance.  But inwardly, I felt my mother had  to follow through, otherwise her word would mean little to us, and she’d gain little by “being nice.”  I don’t recall what my father had to say about this, but it wasn’t much.

So, sure enough, Christmas came, and we went glumly into the living room to a fire and the usual Christmas tree, but there were no gifts.  We went to church and we talked with our schoolmates. When they talked about what they got for Christmas, we just found ways to change the subject.  We had a quiet Christmas dinner.

One of my brothers told his friends that my mother was mean, but I never did that.  I knew we deserved nothing, and I felt a certain euphoric sense of justice in her actions, and I respected her more because of it. 

Interestingly, in certain ways, I felt closer to my mother after that, was more obedient because I simply felt better doing what was expected of me, and I never complained.  Despite a seeming lack, it was actually one of the best Christmas’ ever, where I received the most fitting possible “gift” – the ability to quickly experience that my choices and actions have consequences.

The story about my mean mother gradually got out into the neighborhood, and my mother once again became the topic of conversations, mostly criticizing my mother.  I always remained silent, trying to listen to both sides. But I only heard one side—no gifts – from those who truly lost the meaning of Christmas, whose sole focus for Christmas seemed to be the acquisition of things. 

So I was “given,” slowly,  a second “gift” by my mother’s action – a unique insight into the all-too-common mundanity of most people’s very narrow thinking.  And I was allowed the rare opportunity to try and experience the meaning of Christmas without the over-focus on material things.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Searching for the Real Meaning of Christmas





[Nyerges  is the author of several books, including “Enter the  Forest,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and “Whose Child Is This” (about the meaning of the symbols of Christmas).  He can be reached at www.ChristopherNyerges.com or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.]

I was waiting in line to buy something at Target, and the friendly checker asked the man ahead of me if he was ready for Christmas.  It was a cheerful and innocent question. After all, in December in the United States, it does seem like getting ready for Christmas is the number one dominant activity, and it’s the reason that lines in all the stores are long and why you cannot easily find parking.

“No, I don’t celebrate Christmas,” the man responded, and then he went on to explain how much money he saves by not observing “all that silly stuff.” I did overhear enough to hear that he was single, and then he walked on.  I wondered if that was the real reason he didn’t observe Christmas. He could  have been a Jehovah’s Witness, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or any of the other dozens of religions and sects which don’t observe the Christian Christmas holidays. 

Though I have both fond and depressing memories of the Christmas season growing up, I have worked through all the mish-mash of symbols that have gotten thrown into the Christmas motif, and I regard them as generally uplifting.  I have long ago ceased my mindless Christmas card-sendng and gift-giving out of some sense of social obligation, but I still immensely enjoy special times with friends and families in what is the darkest time of the year.

Many years ago, I was asked by a local non-profit to share at a Christmas event the “real meaning” of Christmas.  Even after I agreed to do this, I wondered to myself:  How can I do that?  How can I be sure that I’ve really got it?  How will I know whether or not I’m right? 

My job was to discover what all the symbols and practices of Christmas mean, and how we might best realize and vivify those meanings during this time.  Needless to say, it was a tall task.

I found that the best way to share my research was to be honest, explaining my background, how I went about my research, and what I personally concluded. 

I explained how I grew up in a Catholic family, and was taught that Jesus was born on December 25, which is obviously why we celebrate his birthday on that date.  So I had to begin my presentation with the man who is at the center of Christmas, Jesus.  It turns out that all historians agree that Jesus was not  born on December 25, but rather in May or September, probably  in the year 6 B.C. by our current reckoning. Not only that, many of the modern symbols and practices of Christmas-time actually pre-dated Jesus, and were celebrations of the Winter Solstice by the people that Christians called “pagans.”

So then I  had to stop and define “pagans.”  Originally people outside of the strong influence of Roman power were called the pagani, country folk, a term that had no religious overtones in the beginning. Eventually it became a term of derision, meaning non-Christian, for the people who practiced the old religion of Mithraism. 

In the time of Jesus, there were many religions and gods and Gods, and they didn’t all get along. Jesus, as everyone knows, was a practicing Jew, and observed the Jewish  holy days. After the crucifixion, his followers carried on the message of Jesus the Christ, and they still mostly-observed the Jewish traditions, hence, Judaeo-Christianity. 

None of this is new, of course, and these details can be found in any encyclopedia, including such tomes as  The Golden Bough, and Manly Hall’s Secret Teachings of All Ages. 

So why do we celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25, when we know that the early Judaeo-Christians didn’t celebrate Jesus’ birthday at all?

Most ancient religion is astronomy-based, and draws great symbolism from the cycle of the earth around the sun.  The winter solstice is the day of the least light, from which the days have increasingly more light. The birth of the sun has long been anthrpomorphized into the birth of the sun.  Jesus wasn’t the first to be commemorated with the winter solstice.  Mithra, born of a virgin mother in a cave, was said to be born on December 25.   Nimrod from Babylon was also said to be born on December 25, as was Osiris, Quetzalcoatl, and others.

The new religion of Christianity was still struggling in the 4th century, and its adherents were still being persecuted for their  faith when Constantine became the emperor.  Constantine also converted to Christianity.  In his attempt to unite his kingdom, he made Christianity the official religion, and he Christianized all the so-called pagan commemorations.  As a result, the birth of the Sun that was already commemorated by the Mithra-"pagans" was now going to commemorate the birth of the Son, Jesus.

Some of the symbols that have been adopted into the Christmas season are universal symbols of eternity, life, and light, symbols such as  wreaths, evergreens, the tree, lights and candles, the giving of gifts, the virgin birth, and birth in a stable.

Santa Claus was based on a very real Catholic bishop named Nikolas of Myra (modern day Turkey) who gave gifts during the winter and the newly-established Christmas season.  He was born in March 15, 270, and actually participated in the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the famous council where early church doctrine was argued and decided.  He died on December 6th, 343.   This generous bishop was remembered for the gifts he gave, and his image was severely watered-down over the years by Coca-Cola and others who used him in their advertising.

It’s correct that many people have been turned off when they learn of this hidden history of Christmas -- and I've just touched the tip of the iceberg here.  Some even find all this depressing.  But I am not like the man in line ahead of me at Target.  I’ll still observe the Christmas season, and I enjoy the lessons that are buried within all these symbols. 

Can I say that today I know the “real meaning” of Christmas?  I have come closer to experiencing the universal “magic” of Christmas in my personal life, year by year, and I feel that this is an on-going process, where there are always more nuances to be learned.  I never get tired, for example, of watching Capra’s wonderful Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and watching Jimmy Stewart confront the meaning and purpose of his own life, and the value of true friendship.  Though he had nothing to give others that fateful year, it turned out  his greatest gift was the service he’d done for so many in the town. 

And for this reason, I have long felt that “It’s a Wonderful Life” expresses “the real meaning” of Christmas: slow down, breathe, recognize the higher power, and acknowledge your friends and family who are the real gifts in your life.

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In Search of Santa Claus



[Nyerges is an author / lecturer / educator who has written such books as “Extreme Simplicity,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Guide to Wild Foods,” and other books.  Information about his books and classes is available at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock,CA 90041]

A few years ago, I recall a Christian woman complaining about the fact that “Santa Claus” has gained a more prominent role during the Christmas season than the Jesus child.   She argued that this was a sign that “we” have allowed secularism – and maybe even paganism – to creep into the Christmas tradition.  I didn’t jump into the conversation because it would have been a very long conversation.  I would have started with the fact that many of today’s Christmas commemorations predate Christianity.  And I would have addressed her notion that “Santa Claus” is from the so-called “pagan” tradition.  Really?
 So then, who is Santa Claus?  Is he just a fictitious jolly man to make us feel happy during the dark of December?  No, not really.  There was an actual historical figure upon which “Santa Claus” is based.
Nikolas of Myra was a  4th century Bishop in the Catholic church of Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey).  He was born on March 15, 270, in Pataya, Lycia, in Asia Minor, what is now modern Turkey. At that time, however, the area was culturally Greek, and was politically a part of the Roman  diocese of Asia.  Nikolas was the only child of wealthy Greek parents, who both died in an epidemic when Nikolas was young.  As a result, Nikolas inherited much from his parents, and was then raised by his uncle (also named Nikolas), who was a Bishop of  Patara, and who trained the young Nikolas into priesthood.

Nikolas was said to be religious from a very early age, and he always chose to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays.    
Because of his outspoken beliefs, he was persecuted by the Romans and was imprisoned during the persecution of Diocletian.  Remember, the new religion of Judeo-Christianity did not find favor in the hierarchy of the Roman empire.

In case you never heard of the “persecution of Diocletian” – also known as “the Great Persecution” -- it was the Roman Empire’s most severe of the persecutions against Christians, simply because they were Christians. In 303, four emperors issued a series of dictatorial laws which essentially did away with any legal rights of Christians.  The edicts demanded that the Christians comply with traditional Roman “religious” practices, meaning, giving sacrifices to the various Roman gods.  The implementation of these edits was weakest in the British colonies where the Empire had the least sway, and the most severe in the Eastern provinces, where Nikolas lived. 

Since Nikolas refused to worship the Roman gods, he was imprisoned, and suffered hardship, hunger, and cold for about 5 years.  Then Constantine came into power, who nominally became a Christian, and ended the persecutions in 313, and Nikolas was released. Constantine is known for “Christianizing” the Roman Empire, and co-opted and re-named all the Mythraic (“pagan”) holidays so they could all now be regarded as Christian holidays.

Shortly after his return to his homeland in 317 A.D., Nikolas became the Bishop of Myra. 

He was later invited to attend the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the famous council where much of the modern dogma of the Catholic church was determined.    Nikolas of Myra was one of many bishops to participate in the Council at Constantine’s request. He is listed as the 151st attendee at the Council.

At the Council, Nikolas was a staunch anti-Arian.  Arius of Alexandria held the position that the “Son of  God” did not always exist, but was created by the Father.  Nikolas disagreed with Arius, and defended the developing orthodox Christian viewpoint.  According to stories told, Nikolas got so angry at Arius that he punched him in the face!  Really?  Proto-Santa Claus punches a fellow man of the cloth?   That’s what the historians tell us happened!

Back in his homeland, Nikolas developed the reputation of being a generous bishop.   He inherited wealth from his parents, and he would sometimes give gold and other valuables to those who he learned were in need.  In one case, it is said that Nikolas tossed a bag of gold coins into a needy family’s yard, anonymously.   Those who wrote about Nikolas said that he was a humble man, and didn’t want to be seen giving money to people, so he did it secretly.  He was well-known for wanting to give such gifts in private when he traveled the countryside,  and so children were told to go to sleep quickly or  Nikolas would not come with gifts.  This, apparently, is the origin of telling children to go to sleep or that Santa will not come.

In one story, he apparently snuck into the home of a family where the three daughters of a poor man were about  to get married. Nikolas put some gold into the stockings which the girls left by the fire to dry.  This, apparently, is the origin of hanging up stockings on Christmas eve.  Nikolas was also well known for the gifts that he gave to newly married couples during the already established Christmas season.

And so it goes.  Nikolas was a complex man, part of the new Catholic tradition which now celebrated the birth of Jesus on the already-observed winter solstice. (Early Judeo-Christians did not celebrate the birth of Jesus, a date that has been lost to history.  Some historians argue that the birth of Jesus occurred in either May or September, but everyone agrees it was not December 25.)

He died on December 6, 343,which is to this day known as “Saint Nicholas Day.”  Upon his death, he was buried in the cathedral of Myra.  He is revered as a saint in most sects of Christianity and is especially honored in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

By the  year 450, churches in  Greece and Asia Minor were being named in honor of Nicholas. (His name is normally spelled “Nicholas” in most modern English renderings of his name.)  He was officially honored  as a saint by the Eastern Catholic Church in 800.  December 6 began to be celebrated as Bishop Nicholas Day in France  by the 1200s. 

As time went on, when ever someone received a mysterious gift, it would often be attributed to Saint Nicholas, which helped to grow his mythology.

The Dutch called Saint Nicholas “Sinterklass,” which is the most likely manner in which the name Saint Nicholas gradually evolved into “Santa Claus.”  Along the way, Saint Nicholas was given some of the attributes of Odin, the Norse God, who could travel through the sky and who had a secret home somewhere around the north pole.  Come to think of it, even the Superman story borrowed from Odin.  Remember how Superman sometimes goes to a secret cavern in the Northern coldlands and converses with his ancestors via ice crystals? 

The image continued to morph over the years, with the Coco Cola company giving the world a somewhat sanitized and plumper  Saint Nicholas / Santa Claus with their early 20th century ads. There we began to see the fatter bearded man in the red suit. 

Today, the man you see in the mall is the modern condensation of fact and myth, embodying the generosity of one Catholic Bishop, the good will of all who gave gifts in his stead, and bits of the mythology of Odin.   And I was really feeling good about that, thinking that the mall is at least one last place where you can go and take your picture with Santa for free – except, in most malls these days, you can’t!  Yes children, even Santa has to make a living.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Chapter from "The Los Angeles Book of the Dead."



 
DOLORES 63rd MEMORIAL BIRTHDAY

A chapter from "Til Death Do Us Part?: How Death Taught Us Some of Life's Most Important Lesson," by Nyerges, available on Kindle, or from the Store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, for less than you usually give a tip at a local restaurant.   


I planned a gathering to commemorate what would have been Dolores’ 63 birthday.  It was for Saturday October 3, 2009, the day after her birthday.  The full moon was Saturday night – it was the “harvest moon.”  It may have seemed like a casual event, but a lot of planning and preparation went into our small gathering.
            Michael and I cleaned up the area around the two trees where we buried Dolores’ ashes earlier in the year, and we made sure that the many steps leading down into the Island orchard were safe and not slippery.  We set down strips of carpeting on the terraces so that guests would have a place to sit.  Plus, I’d noticed that a raccoon had been coming and digging around Dolores’ two Meyer lemon trees, so the layer of special rocks and quartz and handstones that I’d carefully placed under the trees was now tumbled and jumbled.  So I re-aligned these specially-placed stones as best I could.
            This is Dolores’ gravesite, I kept realizing.  This is where I go to commune with Dolores.  Though I often feel Dolores with me while walking, driving, or typing at home, the grave site is still that one unique spot where her final physical remains are buried, where “she” could overlook the burial site of our three beloved dogs, Ramah, Lulu, Cassius Clay.
            Our mentor Revve Weisz was also preparing a reading from Thinking and Destiny about the process that one goes through in the afterdeath states.  His editing of this passage took considerable work in the editing and retyping until we had a final draft.
            Finally, I did much research into corn and the mythology of corn in Native American traditions.  This was my way of continuing Dolores’ work, since Corn (and several related topics, like Bread, and Grass) was one of her ongoing research topics.  I began by finding all that I could on corn in her notes, and then following up with some of our books.
            On the Thursday before, I met with RW after I had spent the day at the farmers market in Glendale.  He told me that a major Occult Correspondence with the Dolores birthday commemoration and the tie-in to corn was that this year there would be a spectacular rising of the Harvest Moon shortly after the sunset.  The Harvest Moon was the full moon that occurred during that time of each year, which enabled farmers and Native Americans to harvest their corn (and wheat and other crops) nearly all night long because that moonlight was so bright.  Plus, after what was often a day of wiltingly-hot heat, it would be comfortable to spend the night outside. 

            I invited 50 friends to join us for the October 3 event, and by Friday – Dolores’ actual birthday – I felt pretty prepared for the gathering. 
The weather on Friday was remarkably cooler than it had been, with a cloud cover and light wind that made the day not only pleasant but mysterious.  I was working on the roof  that day with Robert Johnson, and we both commented on the remarkable weather.  Later, while speaking briefly with Revve Weisz, he told me that, yes, the “cloudy coolth” [his words] did in fact have something to do with The Lady Dolores.  I was overwhelmed to hear this, and found it difficult to hold back tears.  I very much felt the presence of Dolores, as if she was curiously observing the goings-on in her honor. 
Revve Weisz further told me that the unusual, remarkable weather was an honoration of the unique  kind of Real Love that “best friend Christopher” exhibited towards Dolores’ memory.  He further explained who or what that honoration was from, and though that is a topic unto itself, it had to do with the higher Spiritual Powers or Entities who “watch over” this earth.  Revve Weisz added that that LOVEPOWER which was exhibited and felt – he emphasized the word “felt” – by my “higher Self” had been broadcast worldwide since I’d arrived that day.  I felt overwhelmed, and felt good that I had been able to rise to this occasion.  But mostly, I still felt so much regret and sadness for all my past failures with Dolores, and all the things I should have done better.  So while I felt uplifted, I inwardly just went on with my needed preparation, knowing how much more I needed to do to get back to zero, in my own mind.
           
           Around 5 p.m., I got to the site of the commemoration and  was greeted by both Racina and Nicole, who’d arrived before me.  Nicole practiced her violin while I set out pictures and burned white sage.  Prudence arrived. Francisco Loaiza arrived.  Francisco never met Dolores but seemed to know her through her writings, and through me.  Helena arrived.  It made me happy to see Helena, since she, Dolores, and I were partners 15 years earlier producing maybe a half-million pencils for gift shops.  We had a good several-year run of the business and became close friends.
            We began with a toast.  We filled our cups, and as we touched them, I read the Shining Bear work called “Herbs and Meat,” which Dolores orated at the closing ceremony of the 1989 commemoration of the Trail of Tears in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.  I pointed to a photo that I set up by Dolores’ tree.  It was Dolores reading “Herbs and Meat” in the Cherokee amphitheatre in Tahlequah.
            The sun was low and it was cool, and I felt an aliveness of the spirit of Dolores as we touched our cups in that act of communion.
            I then began the prepared Thinking and Destiny reading, which described each afterlife stage, and compared each lifetime to a day in our life, and compared the death stage to the sleep and dream stage each night.   After looking at some photos of Dolores, I told everyone how I intended to continue some of Dolores’ life’s work, such as the corn research I’d be sharing that day.
            We all then added some more quartz stones to Dolores’s grave site, and then we planted a little corn patch.  For this planting, Francisco Loaiza gifted an ear of blue corn that his father had raised for several generations.  I had soaked the corn in water for some time, and then we each made little holes in the patch with sticks and planted our corn.
            Prudence asked me if Dolores had ever worn long robes and beads.  In response, I read a paper Dolores had written about how she made and sold clothes when she lived in Hawaii. Prudence said that she “saw” The Lady Dolores there with us, adorned in what appeared to be blue and maybe tan long garments and beads – like braided with her hair and falling on either side of her face. It was as if the beads were part of her hair. It looked just right.
That made me happy that someone else “felt” and “saw” Dolores presence.  I couldn’t remember Dolores dressing like that though, except maybe when she did a SerpentDove reading on the Island and dressed the part like an older Native American woman.
            Everyone was quiet as Nicole played beautiful sounds on her violin.
           
            As it was getting dark, we all gathered up the hill around Dolores’ redwood table by lamps, and shared her favorite brand of pie, by Fabes, which had no processed sugar. It was a pumpkin pie, along with coffee-elixir, water, and fruit juice. 
            I shared some of the details about corn, and how the Hopi and others believed that humans were created way back in time from corn kernels.  Plus botanists do not know the exact origins of corn, adding to its mystery.
            Despina showed up and we read more from Thinking and Destiny.
At the same time, Racina and Nicole glanced at each other. Nicole looked at Racina and said, “You know Dolores is present right now?” Racina nodded knowingly. A very loving and sweet Dolores proceeded to give Nicole a beautiful “soul hug” and whispered very kind thoughts about her and Christopher right into her ear. Racina then looked at Nicole and said, “Oh my gosh! Dolores is here and she is making me smile!! I just can’t stop smiling….”  The next moment Dolores’ spirit lovingly moved around the table…a light and loving presence was shared by many of the guests.
And towards the end, even Mel showed up and joined in our conversation.  I also read some corn-related selections from the book by Dolores’ mother, Shiyowin Miller, entitled The Winds Erase Your Footprints, a true story of Shiyo’s friend, a white woman, who married a Navajo man and moved to the Navajo reservation during the 1930s.  The section I read pertained to the ma-itso, or wolf clan, which used corn pollen to “cast spells” in what was referred to as “Navajo witchcraft.” 
Here is what I read, from Chapter 7, The Sing:

   And then Shimah was telling him about the yellow pollen. Juanita could almost follow the story by her mother-in-law's excited gestures. Shimah's face was strong and tense, no room for gentleness, and her voice carried a new undertone--like fear. Only her hands seemed natural, although excited, as she gestured. Strange that Shimah should tell about the yellow pollen, rather than ask the rider about himself, about news which he was surely carrying. Of what interest could the yellow pollen be to him?
   But he was interested. He leaned forward as though better to hear her words; his eyes narrowed and his face looked very grave. He asked many questions. Shimah answered and sometimes Yee-ke-nes-bah. Through their conversation one word seemed to repeat itself until it began to echo and re-echo in Juanita's mind: ma-itso . . . ma-itso.
   ...And then Lorencito began to talk seriously to Luciano; Juanita heard the work ma-itso repeated again and again. Shimah sat nodding her head as her oldest son talked, occasionally adding a word to what he was saying. Luciano turned to Juanita; his face was marked with gravity as was his older brother's. "Lorencito says that it is not safe to keep this from you any longer; I should tell you now."
    Juanita waited. Her mouth and throat felt suddenly dry. She could not have spoken. Her thoughts raced: this is in some way connected, ma-itso and yellow pollen. Perhaps it's all connected, all of the puzzling and unexplained things that have happened. And somehow, the looks on their faces, Shimah's and Lu's, Yee-ke-nes-bah's and Lorencito's, are a little bit frightening.
    "Before we came here," her husband began, "when I tried to tell you about everything which might seem strange to you, I didn't tell you about ma-itso--the wolf clan. One reason, it no longer seemed as believable to me as it once had; perhaps all the years in school did that; anyhow, in Hollywood I seldom thought of it. When we came here, my mother told me the wolf clan was still strong in Cañoncito. I didn't tell you then because I could see no reason why they would try to harm us. But to be sure you were safe, my mother and sisters watched you every minute.
    "There were times when I almost told you, those times when you were upset about things you didn't understand. And yet I hated to frighten you needlessly. Already there was so much for you to worry about. It seemed better to wait until I had a job, until we were living in town and then tell you. "But now two things have happened which make me sure the ma-itso is for some reason after us. I found yellow pollen in an X mark on my hat brim, and today my mother found pollen on our clothes. That is their warning. Lorencito thinks you will be safer if you know about this evil thing."    A hundred questions sprang to Juanita's lips, but her husband went on talking, interrupted now and then by Lorencito or his mother.
    "The wolf clan is as old as the Navajo tribe. From the beginning some men turned certain powers, which should have been used for good, toward evil things. Corn pollen, used for blessing, is used by the ma-itso as a warning to a person marked for death. And death does not come in a usual manner; it comes in a round-about way which cannot be easily traced. The victim sickens suddenly; sometimes his mind leaves him. No Medicine Man can cure him. Sometimes the victim meets with a mysterious and fatal accident.       

It was dark outside as I was reading this, all of us seated around Dolores redwood table, with a single electric light for illumination.  Everyone listened intently to the story. 
            Prudence said that while I was reading this, she could “see” Dolores shielding her face with her arm, as if protecting herself from this dangerous information.  I shared it to point out that all things have a “positive” and a “negative,” and the passage from The Winds Erase Your Footprints described how corn pollen was used for evil purposes.
            It was a wonderful gathering to commemorate the special being of Dolores, and to recognize how she affected each of us.
            When Prudence, and I, and Revve Weisz further discussed the event the following day, we recognized the positive influence that Dolores was now playing in our lives.

            RW pointed out something that both stunned me and made me feel uplifted.  He said that there was something I should HOLD in my forethought.  It was my (The Christopher’s) miraculously Loving interaction with Dolores (The Lady Dolores, as he referred to her Doer, her Divinity) that totally altered The Lady Dolores’ Doer.

We discussed that for a bit.  It was obvious that my interaction with Dolores during her last days changed me, but I had not considered how I had changed her.  Prudence and I both witnessed an incredible new being arise within Dolores in those last weeks. 
RW added that this radical alteration of The Lady Dolores’ Doer will never be known by anyone else, because I (The Christopher) did it all alone, at a huge personal sacrifice, only to benefit The Lady Dolores and not at all “for show” to anyone else.  I cried as I re-lived and re-membered those days.

It was late Sunday, and we were ready to depart.  RW then shared what was a final “farewell” message from The Lady Dolores, something that Dolores conveyed psychically to him. It was her URGING for how all of us should begin interacting with each other.  But it was also such  a universal message that is needed by all people, that I share it here:

FARE WELL SONG TOO-SELDOM SUNG


This could be the last time that I see you;
either you or I could die before we meet again;
so please know that I deep-admire your admirable traits
and laud your ceaseless efforts to perfect your soul
and elevate your character (and that of everyone you interact with).
I hope we interact again (in this life or the next);
but if we don’t
I want that you should know
my heart has been enriched by having had you in my life
and hereby do I wish you Godspeed
in your up-and-onward sojourn through Eternity.