In less than a decade, after a failed marriage while in my early thirties, I found myself on the verge of tears complaining to a close friend. I said “They won’t let me be MYSELF”. Who this vague THEY was wasn’t clear. But, what was clear was that I found it almost impossible to adjust MYSELF to the rest of the world.
If I had been a little wiser, the distress I felt could have triggered a deeper insight and I would have suddenly realized that what was happening to me, although not necessarily normal, was perfectly natural and was part of the game of life. However that did not happen.
So for nearly a half century, I did the best I could to understand and deal with this apparently unavoidable conflict between me and the rest of the world. During that time I had regular employment, I read as much as I could in my spare time searching for answers to my problem, and I only took part in other activities that I found agreeable.
I even went to India in search of answers from the wise men of the East. And there, much to my surprise, I learned that they believe that the world is OK just the way it is. Besides, it doesn’t matter anyway because it is all MAYA (what we take for reality is like a moving picture show that doesn’t last). This seem hard to believe but didn’t Shakespeare tell us practically the same thing nearly four hundred years ago when he wrote “The world is a stage and all its people players”?
The good news that happened to me during that time was that I got married again, we bought a house that we now own, and we recently celebrated our thirty-fifth anniversary.
Then one day I found myself in the emergency room of the Veterans Administration Hospital in West Los Angeles with a severe belly ache. An emergency operation that removed my colon saved my life but left me physically weak and partially disabled. So, at the tender age of eighty, I was forced into retirement. The good news is that I now had plenty of time to read and think about and understand what has been happening to me all these years. And most important, the emotional shock awakened that deeper insight that could have happened nearly fifty years ago and opened the doors of perception so that I now understood that the world REALY is OK the way it is.
I also feel like I live in a different world; everything has changed. I can’t help but feel like I have joined the ranks of the fortunate few who have experienced what might best be called a second birth. It may be too much to say that my near death experience was a blessing. Yet, if that is the only way I could have gotten this new awakened state of life, I have to say I wouldn’t have it any other way.