Sometime shortly after noon, July 22, 2017, a man wearing a police uniform (not identified as Hay River Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or Timbuktu Police; just POLICE in large letters across the chest, no visible badges, no other identification of any kind visible or oral) appeared out of seemingly nowhere blocking the entrance into booth 14 at Fishermans Wharf Market. This police-uniform wearing person immediately declared all persons and property in Booth 14 as detained for investigation, and started muttering words that sounded like everyone present was guilty of trafficking in marijuana and did we want lawyers, and if no particular lawyer, then legal aid lawyers would be provided should they be requested. All residents opted for legal aid lawyers for lack of knowledge of what was happening. This did not stop the investigation, but did bring the warning “Anything and everything the detainees said could be used as evidence in a court of law.” At this point no crime had been mentioned, no reason for the raid had been mentioned, and GUILT WAS ASSUMED in a country where the law states that people are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty. The words of the supposed POLICE assumed no such possibility of innocence. The operators of the booth, including a relative visiting from Manitoba, were basically accused of being guilty of trafficking in a narcotic and of being in serious trouble with the law. Was this Canada in the year 2017, or Nazi Germany in the late 1930s or early 40s? For the residents of Booth 14 it seemed like they had gone through a time warp, not like they were conducting legal business in Canada in 2017.

Eventually it was determined that a complaint had been made by an undisclosed member of the public that raw bud marijuana was being sold to members of the public in glass bottles. Two people in the booth readily admitted marijuana in various forms was being sold to the public for legal medicinal purposes, and offered documentation to prove they were conducting legal business, but this documentation was discarded to the side without even being cursorily examined. THIS was an investigation? There appeared to be no sign of investigation, just accusation and detention. Meanwhile, the patrons of Fishermans Wharf Market looked on in amazement as customers of the products being sold at Booth 14 were rudely turned away and threatened with criminal charges if they did not move away RIGHT NOW! Even an innocent child who wanted to witness the action was yelled at with raised voice (child abuse under the law) to get away from the area, with a threat of some fearsome thing happening to the child if it did not quickly disappear from sight. Again, Canada 2017 or Nazi Germany? The latter still seemed the obvious choice. Meanwhile, the visitor from Manitoba was in fear for her continued freedom, and all she was doing was sitting talking to her family members in a perfectly unthreatening way. But threats were hurled her way too, as if she were some common criminal, not a very courteous way to greet a person visiting from another province. No, because she was in the booth at the time of the arrival of the Nazi Stormtrooper, she would be amiss to think she could avoid arrest if the suspected substance was actually found to be on the premises. That was just total lack of courtesy on the supposed police officer’s part, an insult to her otherwise happenstance occupation of Booth 14.

Meanwhile, the two salespersons of the legal marijuana were moved separately out of the booth and interrogated out of eyesight of half the patrons of Fishermans Wharf Market, the other half who were in line waiting to purchase their fish and chips from the end booth getting a much better view of the action than they had previously been getting.

Eventually Mr. Jerry Miller, sole proprietor of the business selling the raw bud marijuana (Would an honest businessman actually be selling raw bud marijuana in such a public place? The officer assured him there were many stupid criminals who would try just that!) was allowed to lead the officer back into Booth 14 for a complete search for said raw bud marijuana in glass bottles. Of course, no such substance was found in Booth 14, and after another officer had contacted the home RCMP of Mr. MIller’s business who confirmed they were aware of said business and that the business had been determined to be completely legal under the ACCESS TO MARIJUANA FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES REGULATIONS attached to the NARCTOTIC CONTROL ACT in 1998 (meaning the sale of low THC medical marijuana direct to the public had been legal for roughly 20 years already) the Nazi Stormtrooper, now safely back in 21st century Canada, took his leave of the premises at BOOTH 14 without an apology but with what he later described as a public handshake to show the patrons of Fishermans Wharf Market that the investigation had been finished and the complaint proven to be baseless.

In a later contact between Mr. Miller and the then identified Officer Beck of the RCMP, Beck informed Mr. Miller that he had bent over backwards to be as courteous as possible under the rules of the RCMP when investigating such a complaint. This admission left Mr. Miller feeling slightly appeased but still in total wonder the Nazi Germany tactics could ever be described as courteous?  There is something wrong when the Police services in a supposedly free country such as Canada can look like something right out of Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib prison, or Nazi Germany, and the officer in charge is still trying to used the failed defence of Lt. William Calley Jr. who pled not guilty to conducting the My Lai Massacre of close to 500 innocent Vietnamese villagers in 1968 as just following orders, or in other words just doing my job! The circumstances of conducting a raid of a small home-based business in northern Canada are nowhere close to the circumstances of the above named atrocities, but the principles are still the same, and it is time the RCMP took a look at itself and ask whether it wants to be seen as a public protection service, or an out-of-control police reactionary force. After all, this is Canada 2017, not Nazi Germany.


Just to wrap things up, Mr. Miller was not told who made the complaint, but that it had been made by a prominent citizen of Hay River, and no charges would be laid for public mischief despite the fact the complainant lied by way of embellishment as to what was happening at Booth 14, including stating that many people were complaining, though not one of them had the fortitude to ask the proprietor of the business if anything illegal was taking place there. To the best of this writer’s knowledge, it was ONLY THE COMPLAINANT who was upset, and in his complaint he directly said the proprietor of the booth, Mr. Jerry Miller, had admitted to him raw bud marijuana was being sold there, which is a complete and utter fabrication of the truth. To this writer, that sounds like public mischief and wasting the time of all officers on duty at the time of the raid, leaving no officer available should anything of real criminal intent or purpose have happened at the same time, a definite and intentional misuse of public time and funds for unknown personal reasons.

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Hello Friends, It’s been awhile, which if I was a Canadian I might spend the next half-hour apologizing for, but while I was born and still live in Canada, I am a Child of the Universe, and for so-being I will not apologize for putting certain other activities ahead of this blog.

Also, I am going to start at the end of a conversation that took place today between myself, a spiritual atheist, and my friend named Peter who is a confirmed Deist. To make things even weirder, Peter is my mechanic, and I am his supplier of almost-free-of-THC medical marijuana. Sometimes when we meet to do business, we get into discussions between his religion and my philosophy.

Weirdest of all is that I am finding it necessary to start this blog, my first in what seems like months, with Peter’s and mine final sentences before saying “Good-bye,” for the afternoon. He, the deist, said to me, “Knowing that life exists proves to me [Peter] that God exists.” I on the other hand, restate my final declaration: “Knowing that Life exists allows me the freedom to think for myself, which tells me that no living being exists that can call itself God, or that we can call god.”

We are at that ultimate impasse where the person who was brought up to believe in a god-creator cannot see life without a god-creator. Meanwhile, though I was brought up to believe there was a god, creator or not, I learned to reject everything that was taught to me as a belief, and go with what I find within myself. There is no room for a god within me. There is only room for life. And life is eternal… And life is forever changing… Peter’s god is never-changing….

And yet we are so close together in thought it almost scares me. But he cannot make the leap from being a mostly-free-thinker to being a totally free thinker, whereas being a totally free thinker gives me the power to believe only that which I can find inside me, inside my mind, inside my spirit. This is like being in that proverbial place between a rock and a hard place–for both of us. Yet I cannot go back to believing in a god, nor do I want to, while he, Peter, cannot take that final step that makes him completely free.

The question, therefore, becomes does one of us need to change in order to co-exist, or is it sufficiently acceptable for both of us to accept the other as he is and allow life to go on, each of us in our own way. My gut tells me I can go on, because that is part of who I am. Accept everyone for who they are at this time, knowing they cannot escape the inescapable, when the time is right to move on, Peter will make that final step to totally free thinking and realize god cannot exist, and I for my turn will continue to search for what comes after accepting atheism as reality. This, I believe, is what upsets me so much about people who declare themselves atheists yet spend all their time still denying the existence of god. I see them as stuck, unable to move on, even when that too must change when it is time to make the change. I think I must be angry at myself, frustrated with myself for not being able to envision what comes next. Becoming atheist cannot be the be-all and end-all of life. Humanity is too inquisitive to allow that to be the ultimate goal. It contradicts my third condition of life, that need to keep on evolving. There was once a time I was satisfied having freed myself from the control of others, from taking complete responsibility for who and what I am and do. I am no longer satisfied with that position. I needed a rest after getting there, but now it is time to move again. But where?

But where?

Date with Destiny, Missed

Hi Everyone,

This week seems to be my week for getting pissed off at people or organizations. My last two blogs were about Richard Dawkins. Well, Rich, you’re safe for awhile. Today I found someone who pisses me off more than you do. Actually it is a company that I have respected since I read my first issue as a kid — National Geographic. I’ll admit it, I have never subscribed to NG, so who am I to argue their policies. Obviously, I’m rawgod, and rawgod hates to be pissed off because he’s a nice guy, and it almost takes a worldwide disaster to piss him (me) off. And yet, This is my second or third day this week that I allowed myself to get pissed off and write nasty emails, as reported in my blog, to people I thought were nice people, concerned about World (maybe even Universal) Survival. So when National Geographic sent me a “personal” email today I wondered what might be inside. It was an announcement for a new contest, called “CHASING GENIUS” and it asked for ANYONE ANYWHERE to enter their contest by making a one-minute video about how their idea could change the world on one of three critical issues facing the planet: Making the world 1) a Sustainable Planet, 2) Improve Global Health, and 3) Feeding over 9 billion people.

Now remember what they say, ANYONE ANYWHERE could submit their “genius” ideas. Well folks, especially you folks who are not American, National Geographic does not count you (or me) as ANYONE from ANYWHERE. The very first rule of ELIGIBILITY states, no word of a lie, and I quote, “ELIGIBILITY

Only legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry are eligible to enter.”

NG says they are interested in saving the planet and all the people on it, but in one breath of a sentence they turn their brains off and their bigotry and racism on, and tell us only Americans are smart enough to change the world for the better. Can you understand why I AM SO PISSED OFF that I’m giving CRD a pass on his anti-theist campaign and asking all of you who do not agree with NG’s “National Narcissistic” stance to go to NG’s contact page and phone or write or email or fax them and give them your best rendition of a pissed off rawgod and tell them exactly how you feel about the brain power of Americans as compared to the rest of the world.

Now, I do sincerely apologize to any and all Americans who think NG’s stance is not acceptable, nor appreciated. In a world where (outside of the USA) Americans are disliked and often even hated, NG, along with Donald’s Trumpeter, are making YOU, even if you are the nicest person in the world to everyone in the world, if you are American you are considered the lowest of the low, and that is about to fall into a negative black hole you will never get out of. As I have said, I am sorry if I insulted you, but if you don’t stand up to National Geographic as most Americans are not standing up the the Florida Trumpeter, you deserve what you get.

I hope you deserve a bouquet of roses. Happy Mothers’ Day to all mothers everywhere, not just the mothers in the USA.

The Minions of the God of Atheism Respond

Goliath Refuses to Come to David. Instead He Lets His Minions Do His Wetwork

Dear rawgod gewcolo,

Your comment (full text below) has been removed according to our TED.com Terms of Use: http://www.ted.com/termsofuse.

If you’d like to rephrase your comment and rejoin the conversation, please review our guidelines for community participation:http://www.ted.com/about/our-organization/our-policies-terms/community-guidelines

The TED Conversations Team

Well, thank you for the acknowledgement that I am still alive and able to piss off the powers that be. It is nice to know that censorship is still alive and well and a significant part of what I took to be an outlet for Militant Atheists. Where I come from Atheists are, or at least should be, responsible anarchists. This is obviously not the case on Ted. As far as I know I said nothing that could hurt anyone, or their feelings. I told the truth as I see it, and, like Galileo, Darwin, and hundreds of others, I am condemned for being honest and truthful. That fact that you do not agree with what I said and removed my comments speaks volumes about how scared you are of me. God forbid, lol, that anyone should take on the God of Atheism. As far as I am concerned, not only is Richard Dawkins not an atheist, but you have no right to claim yourselves as the voices of reason/
Worst of all is that your decision was summary, with not even an explanation of how I broke your oh so precious rules. Well, convict me summarily all you like, I have already posted the entire transcript elsewhere on the Internet, and if you try to reach out your powerlesss fingers and try to get other websites to take away my freedom of speech, you will get your fingers verbally slapped. Nobody likes a bully, yet that is what you and your “yes-sayers” are, nothing but bullies.
Believe me, I do not need your community to let people know they can say anything against anyone who calls themselves an atheist, particularly a fellow atheist. It’s unequivocally equivalent to one nigger calling another nigger “Uncle Tom,”  As John Lennon sang, “Woman is the Nigger of the World,” so spiritual atheists are the niggers of atheism. And I am the nigger of spritual atheism.
By the way, I suggest you remove my TED account, or I may be tempted to make a 3rd attempt to gain the attention of the Giant among Giants. He is the only one I really want to talk to anyway. His minions hold no interest for me.
rawgod gewcolo

rawgod versus the God of Atheism?

The possibilities are endless.

Life is endless.

And I am endless.

A couple months ago I found a website serving the  God of Atheism, Clinton Richard Dawkins. I had tried to reach him before, but I guess I was beneath his notice. This site was about “Militant Atheism,” so figuring that title suited me as well as anyone else, I purposely called him an anti-theist rather than an atheist, because, in my opinion, that is what he is. I believe I have the right to tell someone when I think their anti-theism is hurting the atheistic cause. Continually arguing with, debating, and shaming others is not something to be proud of or praised, but rather something to be condemned for.  So I condemned him for his stance, insinuating that there is no such thing as an atheist movement which was what he seemed to be saying. For him to assume that atheism by its very nature is an organized group of living beings trying to convince the world we live on, the world we live in, that atheism is the only way to go is to assume, as I said above, the godship of the idea of atheism. I am not writing this protest for reading by non-atheists (well, maybe for agnostics who are leaning towards atheism), I am writing to grab the attention of people who are already atheists, or believe themselves to be atheists, to get CRD (not Charles Robert Darwin) to talk to me. He probably does not agree with me that atheism can be a spiritual journey through life. But I know it can be, and I know that it is exactly how I have described it. At least, it is for me, even if for not for anyone else. But since this group of comments was for Militant Atheists, I felt it is my right to FIGHT against anti-theists, and try to make them understand that the chaos of this universe, while it is not controlled, CAN BE CONTROLLED, if one has the desire to do it. And such is my desire.

(The above paragraph is a paraphrase of the first comment I wrote to CRD earlier tonight. The following paragraphs will be unedited (except for typos) of what I wrote tonight, attacking him with everything I could think to use, and still keep my words intelligible. If anyone who reads the following words happens to know the self-appointed God of Atheism, please pass on my message to him. I don’t know him at all except through his written and spoken words, and I might be totally off base on who he is inside his mind, but without meeting the man, I have to go with the image I see of him in public. And in public, he comes across as an intelligent, possibly even a genius of a man. But one with a chip on his shoulder that needs to be excised. And if anyone can do that, I believe I am the surgeon who can succeed. I am a virtual unknown in the world of atheism,  but that doesn’t mean I am weak, or unintelligent, if not a genius myself. And I am not out to argue with him, debate him, or shame him. I just want to show him he can be a much more important person than he already is, if only he would listen to someone besides his ego.)

So, if I do not think atheists should be wasting their time on trying to change closed minds and closed ears, what is it I think they should be doing? The critical words in that sentence being “what is it I think they should be doing.” I think they should be working to improve the state humanity and all other living beings presently find themselves in. So let me define what I mean by “improve.” I’ll start by saying what I know it is not, which is anything to do with god, gold, or government. More people have died on this world because of religious differences. More people have been hurt and caused to live lives of suffering by those who own the most money. And more hatred has been caused by living under different governing systems, which includes words like culture, society, nationality, race, location, and whatever you can think of in that vein. But I have not yet added that system of government that is found all over our world, is worshiped by just about every mother and father, and yet ruins more lives than every other cause mentioned above added all together. That system of government is the nuclear family.
This is not to say that every parent is a bad parent, though 99% of parents screw up their children in some way or other, and not in just one way, but in so many ways it would take a million books to describe them all, and even then some would still be missed. The only people I might leave out of this list are those that have already learned it is best to share parenting as a group, not as individual families, and those would be aboriginal peoples still using the methods they used before the European Empire-builders tore their ways of life apart, believing aboriginal peoples were savages, meanwhile showing themselves to be the most savage group of people that ever lived, and who still live their savage lifestyles to this day.

These are what we must overcome if ever the people of earth are to become worthy of calling themselves human. I don’t have the room here to show how all these problems can be fixed, but I certainly have the room to declare that alienating others is NOT the way to succeed at anything. To succeed at making our planet the home of the mentally and physically healthiest beings in our universe, it will take cooperation, belief in the capabilities of humanity to create positive change, and the will and willingness to get it done.
And one of the first steps is to deconstruct the nuclear family and replace it with communal homes run by psychologically safe and loving people hired as community parents, and that would be their full-time profession. Once these community homes have been established, the next step would be to grow children into responsibly anarchistic adults. Responsible anarchy is the state of being wherein all people take responsibility for their every action, which in turn means that they would take responsibility to help all those around them to become responsible for themselves too. Remember, we are all members of one species, even though we seldom ever accept responsibility for ourselves, let alone responsibility for those around us. We would rather violate those around us in ways that show no respect for the fact we are all related. But this change is not only possible, it is probable. That is because, even as we are all physically related, we are also all spiritually related. While evolution accounts for for growth from single-celled beings to beings made up of somewhere between 30 to 37 trillion cells, spiritual evolution has helped raise us from never-concious instinct-driven beings to always-concious intelligence-driven beings capable of all types of genius.

But, a a member of the group of living beings extant upon our planet, individual lives can have other purposes. The life of my spirit, which has gone through millions of incarnations, shows my purpose is to be the best person I can be. And while I have not reached that point yet, I am working on it. Thanks to being born human, I can still see where improvements can be made. Thanks to having been born in Canada, I have been able to see what still needs to be improved. And thanks to having been born in a nuclear family, I can see its flaws. This is why I can say what my purpose is.

What next if ever I accomplish this task? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I know it won’t be heaven, hell, nirvana, paradise, Mt Olympus, Bifrost, or any other human-imagined place of reward. I expect it will be a place where the fight to survive and progress will be even harder than in our present universe. The chaos will be even more chaotic. But life as we do not know it will still be there, in some form or formlessness, shapeless or shapeshifting, monocellular, multicellular, or non-cellular.

The possibilities are endless.

Life is endless.

And I am endless.

Please, ia anyone out there?

Apologies to Anyone Following My Blog

I am presently going through an unexpected and good interruption in my blog life. I chanced upon a natural food supplement product with amazing abilities, and it made such a difference in my life I became a distribution agent for it in my area of the world. I started a one-man business operation. And doing that was much more involved than I thought. I haven’t hardly had any time for myself lately, and hopefully I will soon have time to get other things attended to, such as this blog.

The worst part, as my blog goes, is that I was simultaneously writing about two different seemingly unrelated topics, one being answering a blog that was in favour of capital punishment, at least at times, which I was countering with my belief that the prison system is just spiteful revenge with no real attempt at bring lost spirits back into the human herd, including why I thought that way, and how I would remedy the situation, which I have given you the name “Restorative Justice”  (RJ) but not said anything, I don’t think, as to how and why RJ is the better choice. RJ is the process Aboriginal North Americans, at the very least, dealt with their people who did not work for the benefit of the nations and its citizens (before Europeans came and screwed up their entire culture.) And in the middle of writing on that topic, I found my resolve was wavering on my understanding of the concept of reincarnation. It was mandatory for me to switch to the more spiritual topic.

I am NOT changing my belief that reincarnation is real, just only as to how the process happens. My blog page on Experimenting with Reincarnation still stands as far as what happens to the spirit inside a person’s body upon death, but I am now questioning if it is logical and if it explains the differences in character between most human beings, and for that matter, most mammalian beings. The story of my cat Loki tells me that genius is NOT just a human thing, and it was very much an honour to have been allowed to live with him. On the other hand was my feline friend Freebee, who chose me over his original person, and moved in with me by his own choice. He trusted me with his life, and it was a good life for many years, but when I decided to move from Winnipeg to “some other place,” (a destination I never thought about, it was just time to get out of where I was,) I could not find a new home for him, so took him to the humane society thinking they would be able to find him a new home to live out his last years in. But the instant he entered the Shelter building, he knew he hated it there, but I did not know what else I could do for him. I left him there anyway, and as I was about to open the outside door I saw a small sign on the back of the door that would not be seen as a person entered: Non-compliant animals will be euthanized.

Hearing the commotion going on in the room where I had left Freebee told me that with at least the person’s care that I left him in, he was being non-compliant. Did they have to euthanize him? I’ll never know, but because I could not afford to take him with me, I still left him there, knowing his probable fate. Thirty years later I still suffer for what probably happened to him, knowing after I read the sign he would likely be dead within the hour, and the tears rolling down my cheeks as I drove away were not enough to cleanse my heart of having murdered a dear friend. Who did the actual act I don’t know, but it was me who deserted a friend who loved me more than life itself, and he deserved a better end. Those tears I cried that day are once again being released, still trying to assuage my betrayal and guilt that I have endured ever since.

Though this story is completely unrelated to anything about reincarnation, I needed to tell it, because it shows how heartless I can be. Even though I didn’t know where I was going, it wasn’t a definite thing that Freebee could have still found a life with me. In future years I have had other feline friends, having six of them right now, but anything I do for them can never make up for what I did to Freebee. How could I have been so cruel?????

Now my dirty laundry has been aired once more, and if you want to hate me for what I did, sobeit. I take full responsibility for his murder. And that comes not just from my ego, it comes from the deepest part of my spirit where I believe every life should be allowed to live to its natural end. And maybe this is related after all, to my feelings about the prison system, and especially capital punishment. I am generally a man without a conscience except the one I created for myself. It is a variation on the Golden Rule we are all taught as children, but I have changed it in a way that gives it more depth, and therefore, I think, more value. But on that day I left Winnipeg, I put it aside for my ego’s comfort, I thought. It turned out my spirit definitely overrules my ego on this matter, and my ego hurt my spirit to its core. I leave you with this thought:



Freebee, please forgive for that which I willingly did unto you.

Rethinking Reincarnation Again

A brief History of Reincarnation, and Me

Here I am again, this time not writing off the top of my head, but writing from inside of my head, still not knowing for sure what I will say, but tonight I have a direction to go in. I wish I knew how to put background music onto a blog, because there are two or three songs I would love for you to listen to while reading this particular blog page. I would start with Neil Diamond singing Skybird, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyBkeUmUkfI) and follow it up with Eric Burdon and the Animals singing “New York 1963 – America 1968 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PVcC9KQB3Y), ending with Eric Burdon and War doing Visions of Rassan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ3tkwInb_g). These songs tell the story of a search for something humanity has yearned for from the time we realized we were intelligent, because we knew naught from whence that intelligence came.

It is my belief that intelligence came from reincarnation. And the knowledge of reincarnation came from the Indian subcontinent. While most people alive at the time were spending their days hunting for food, clothing, and other needs for survival, there was a group or groups of people who had enough sustenance to allow them time to think with their minds about why they even had minds. They exchanged their ideas with their fellow thinkers and other fellow thinkers, until they came together as a group and declared intelligence came from being born to this world time after time after time. And how were they able to do this? Because they were still close enough to their own incarnations to remember some bits of where they had come from.

And from this one declaration came great philosophies of thought, and great religions that celebrated their discoveries. But as these great thinkers died and passed on their thoughts and words were twisted and turned around on themselves until the common castes forgot the purposes of reincarnation. And made of them a joke they used to defraud those who were luckier or richer than themselves. Only in the monasteries was the wisdom of the great thinkers preserved. But they too over time lost sight of the whole, and became but pieces of it. Each monastery specialized in the thoughts and wisdom of a single thinker, until there were many forms and sects of first the Hindu religion, and later the Buddhist philosophies as re-revealed by the Buddha to the people and monks of the various sects in a vain attempt to rebuild the whole from all the pieces of its parts. But not even the Buddha could do that, because he did not know where all the monasteries were located, so he could only reunite those of which he was aware. Of that he did an incredible piece of work, showing all the people what he thought it would look like were all the various sects rejoined in one big all-knowing group. His mistake, as was, and still is today, the mistake all great teachers have suffered from every era of intelligent life, They gave their wisdom away to people who could not understand it, and it did not take many generations to obscure the teacher’s wise words into that which he did not say. And that which the Buddha rebuilt from the ashes of the Great Thinkers tumbled down once more until as had happened to the great thinkers of the past, even as it would happen to those teachers who came after them, they died.

The funny thing about life on this world is that everything must always change. And this is especially true for humans from any and all generations. Change happens, and that which was truth become fiction, and fiction will become fact, and fact will become truth until it too is supplanted by a newer, more seemingly eternal Truth. But there is no such thing as eternal Truth, because, as I said earlier, everything always changes. Further, one can control his or her ideas, thoughts and wisdom from the grave. Once dead, always dead. No?

No. The wisdom might be gone from “samsara,” the physical world, as far as the death-on-Earth of the thinker in question, but it is not gone from the universe.

Where, then, is it gone to? In my opinion/belief system, It is gone to a wisdom bank of sorts, a place I originally thought was the universe in total, but on a different plane of existence, the plane of the Spirit of Origin. But as of this moment, since I cannot tell if it is ego or spirit that is doing the thinking, my gut feeling is that there are a great number of wisdom banks which have a certain number of spirits attached to them, but that number depends on how many spirits are on Earth or elsewhere in the universe at any given time. And the reason I think this is because I feel like I have been connected to my wisdom bank for hundreds or thousands of millennia…

( I actually think these banks were not for collecting wisdom at the start of life in our universe, because there was no such thing as wisdom in the early stages of life from the single cell onward until life reached the macro-multicellular stage where life began to think, rather than allowing instinct to be the only guide that a being could follow. It is at that time when life realized there were three raison d’être for life, which had ezisted since the dawn of physical life: live as long as you can, procreate as much as you can, and progress in some fashion as far as you can. These were not rules or directives or anything like that. How they even developed I cannot imagine, but somehow they did, And they drove life to continue, to multiply, and especially to develop better and better ways of improving something or someone or somehow between the physical doors of birth and death. I know, for myself, it was the banks that saved the improvements through the process of spiritual reincarnation.)

…And it is the number of incarnations connected to my wisdom bank that leads people to sense something in me that makes them feel and say the things they do.

In Buddhism it is said the physical body is connected to an Overself by a silver cord, which is basically the equivalent of my wisdom bank. Twice in my life I have had Near-Life Experiences, as opposed to near-death experiences. Both times my consciousness, be it my spirit or my mind or some other piece of the me that excludes my ego, travelled up a long shining tunnel that could be described as silverish. The destination I arrived at was incredibly beautiful, not only in sight, but also in sound, Each time I write about these experiences, I pull out my memory of that beauty, and it never fails to amaze me in its connecting electrified coloured lines of light, bobbing and weaving over, under and around each other, all musical notes corresponding with different colours, chords being represented by different weaves of colours, the music sounding closest to classical, and a definite feeling of home, but like on the veranda with an open door in front of me.

The first time I was there, a voice sounded in my head, speaking a language I did not understand, but still instantly translated into English for me, an instant echo booming in my head. “You are here before your time! You must choose to stay or go back.” I made an instant decision, basing that decision on two things: first, I did not want to leave my body a vegetable. Now I knew how so many others were turned into vegetables, still alive but no one home to direct what the body did or said; second, I had always thought I was born to do something important, and now I knew what it was. I would be my responsibility to tell the world about this experience. I was so close to entering the door, but then I was flying back through the silver tunnel at twenty times the speed I had travelled to get there. And I did get back, just like in the movies, with no time to spare. I looked ahead and imagined seeing bricklayers closing up the hole into my head where the silver tunnel emptied into the brain. I dived through just as the last brick was about to be placed, and I felt my spirit filling up my squishy flesh again. I opened my eyes, looked at the clock, and over two hours had passed since I last saw that clock. In my mind, it was barely seconds.

I soon fell asleep, which I had never done while high on acid ever, but I didn’t seem to suffer for that. But I did wake up exhausted the next day, wondering, but knowing that it was all true. One thing for sure, I didn’t feel anything like the same person who had woke up yesterday morning in this very bed.

How was I different that day. It’s not easy to remember almost 50 years later, but I can still close my eyes and see those beautiful lights, but I cannot hear the music that controlled them. To the best of my knowledge, Youtube.com has nothing like them, because I’m not sure the experience can be reproduced by even the most sophisticated computer imaginable, because it would take the mind of a software genius who has been “there” to even know where to start. And while I have been there, I am not a software genius. And if a software genius did go there, and return to tell the tale, it would only be written in the spaces between the seconds of measured time because in the seconds between spaces there would be no interest in repeating what had already been experienced.


More Rethinking Reincarnation

The Memoirs of a Cat

In the past seven years, while I have been recovering from Post-Concussion Syndrome, there seems to have been some rearranging of the synapses of my mind. This could just be ego speaking; we used to be friends but ego knew my spirit was in charge.  Or it could be spirit speaking, but with a different taste on my tongue. I am seeing some of the fallacies of what I thought I understood, particularly that the Spirit of Origin, as I have lately started to call the being of First Life, wouldn’t have such a wide range of personalities in people’s spirits, that there would be more homogeneity if we were all coming from the same source. I understand that there are so many spirits that make up the Spirit of Origin (consider how many trillions of cells there are in our bodies {30 to 37 trillion in the adult human body}, each with its own little spirit inside), and multiply that by the number of people in the world (presently close to 7.5 billion), none of that number taking into any consideration at all of the unimaginable number of other living beings on our planet, that it would take 10 to the power of infinity to make up the number of spirits that it would take to fill up our world–we would never even have a word to signify so high an unimaginable number. But every one of that number would each have a spirit, making the number of spirits in the universe equal a number that can only be expressed by infinity to the power of infinity squared. That number could only be comprehensible to the Spirit of Origin, if even to it. Therefore, if every being alive on Earth has 37 trillion little spirits that combine into one big spirit, how many spirits are there on the Earth at any given time? I don’t think even the best computer in the world can compute so high a number. And the thing is, each of the big spirits is so different from its fellow species  members as to make my old theory useless..

For this example I will use cats. I’ve probably had at least 20 different cats in my lifetime, and not two of them had even similar personality traits. Loki, a short-haired black, was probably the smartest cat I ever lived with. He could look at something, and know if it was fact or fiction. His first time ever in front of a TV he watched the actors do their bits on the screen. He watched it from the front, from the top, and from each side trying to figure out where actors were coming from as they entered the screen, and where they were going when they left the screen. Finally, when the credits started to roll upwards, he watched each one disappear from the screen, He jumped back on top of the TV and waited for the credits to appear. When they did not, he turned his back on television, and never watched it again. But that was just a start of how he showed off his wisdom and his street smarts.  He would go for walks with the woman who was to be my wife and I, walking ten blocks or more away from home, inspecting all the yards as we walked past them. Every once in a while we would have to stop and wait for him as he read the smells and scents left behind by previous mammals. If we kept on going, not noticing he had lagged behind, or if he was taking too long in one place, we would walk on ahead, and maybe five minutes later he would rush up to us, and meow his bewilderment or anger that we had gone on without him. He had little fear of dogs or other cats, and none of people. The world was his to explore, and if he wanted us to go walking with him, he would paw at our knees as if to say, time for our walk, let’s go. We would let him lead the way, and he would find places he or we had not been to before. And he could lead us home by completely different routes, knowing the streets that led to his street, and knowing which direction would lead home.

But that was not the most shining example of his intelligence. First I have to tell the story of his first (and only) mating season. We were living in a five story walk-up at the time, occupying an apartment on the fourth floor. Now, I will admit that even as a kitten we had been taking him down to ground level and carrying him across the street to the only green space nearby. He would run and chase butterflies, follow an ant for half an hour to see where it was going, play with daddy longleg spiders, who rolled themselves into little balls when he approached. Sometimes he would pick the defenseless spider up gently with his teeth, and walk around us with his head and tail held high. Then he would put it down as gently as he had picked it up, and bat it softly around like a hockey puck. Those spiders would entertain him for hours. But then, one night, when it was time to go home, he ran under a parked car and stayed just out of our reach. That was the first time he had ever stayed outside by himself. He was almost a year-old by now, and presumably he could smell the female pheromones in the air. About two o’clock in the morning we heard scratching at our back door, the one leading to the combination fire escape/ balcony. The smile on his face was tremendous. He went to sleep without even eating first. He slept way past his usual waking time, and because he did we were late leaving for work. He had always been our alarm clock on weekdays, letting us sleep in on weekends. This day he slept the sleep of the dead. I always arrived home from work earlier than my to-be ex., so I was the only witness to his actions when I closed the apartment door behind me. He walked over to his food dish and showed to me how shiny clean it was. I put some food out for him, and he ate it with great gusto. I was sitting on the couch, reading the newspaper when he surprised me with a godawful grumbling sound that sounded as if it were coming out of his throat. I looked at him, and he looked at me, then at the door, signifying he wanted to go out. He had never gone out on his own before, our outside time was always after supper. But today he was in a hurry, and made another yowling sound like nothing I had ever heard before. It was like he was twisting the vocal cords in his larynx and coming out with sounds no cat had ever made. I told him to be quiet, and wait for “mommy” to get home. Since it was time to start supper I got out of my chair and started towards the kitchen, which was where our back door stayed locked whenever we went out. Loki ran straight to the door, but I veered to the right towards the refrigerator. And what happened next as far as I heard it is no word of a lie. His third attempt at making this indescribable sound  was his best try yet. In one long vocal explosion I heard a stuttering a sound that I suddenly realized added up to the sentence, “IIIIwaaaaantttttogooooooooutttt!” He was doing his best to speak English with vocal cords never intended for human language.  I stood there for ten or so seconds while he pawed at the door handle as if trying to turn it. Then I unlocked the door and barely started to open it. He was out the door like greased lightning and running down the stairs to ground level. That was about by 5:30 PM.  By 11:00 PM my best friend and I were worried. We had gone out looking for him a few times, but had not seen him anywhere. My bff thought the story of him speaking English (as close as he could) was all hooey,  but the longer he stayed out the more worried she got.  At 11:00 PM we found flashlights and went looking for him one more time. We heard a screeching sound from down the block, and we went to investigate. The sounds were coming from underneath a car, and when we got down on our hands and knees and turned on our flashlights what we saw was our Loki, having sex with a queen,  but it was the five cats waiting around him that amazed us. They obviously were not males, since they weren’t fighting, and they all seemed to want to carry on Loki’s gene pool. We left him there that night, under the car with his harem, after he had glowered at us for interfering in his personal orgy. It wasn’t till about 3 days later that we next saw Loki, dragging his beaten and bedraggled body up the four flights of stairs to his home. Of course we took him straight to the veterinarian, who put a cast on his broken right front leg, and cleaned up all the scratches and bites he had most likely suffered from the males who had attacked in a moment of weakness. He was attracting most of the females near our home, and we can only imagine how many kittens he sired in that time period. To complete this part of Loki’s life story, (which this blog has obviously come to be about), after wearing the cast for 4 to 6 weeks, the vet took it off and announced that he was all healed. For the next few days he still limped around, favouring his right leg, until one day we arrived home early. Either it was poppy dèay (what we now call Remembrance Day) or an election day, because Loki was not expecting us at that time. He was playing Chase with our other cat, and he was chasing her all over the room. When he suddenly saw us watching,  he stopped running and immediately started limping again, “on his left leg.” He realized his mistake too late, and switched to limping on the right leg, but he knew his secret had been discovered. He had lost our sympathy, and when my girlfriend said to him, “Forget it, Loki, we know you’re all fixed up,” (or words to that effect), he put his right leg down and started playing chase again.  That was the last time we trusted him when he told us he was injured, and as far as I know he never tried to fool us again.

And now for the “pièce de résistance.” My girlfriend and I split up. I cannot remember why, but we did. Loki was very unhappy after I moved out of our new apartment.  I didn’t move too far, about six or seven blocks away, down one of Winnipeg’s main feeder roads for people going to and from work. This was a just-off downtown area, and traffic was fairly heavy all day long, and even moreso at rush hour. Fortunately we both lived south of the street, so there was no reason for crossing it, but still it would be a dangerous walk for any lone child, let alone a cat. But with no reason for Loki to have any idea of where I was living, I came home one night to find him camped out at the  side door I frequently used, as that was where I locked up my bicycle. I didn’t drive, as in the city there was no need to add the exhaust of another car to the already noxious fumes surrounding us.  Besides, I did not have, nor never had at that time, a driver’s licence. I saw no need for one. Winnipeg had about the best bus service in Canada, and I used it extensively to travel to and from work in the vicious Winnipeg winter winds. But as soon as spring came, and until the snow started to fall, I travelled everywhere by foot or by bicycle. And that left no scent for Loki to follow in order to find where I lived, yet here he was, patiently waiting for who knows how long. I took a long time giving him scratches and cuddles and pets and just holding him, while he purred away in my arms. After I let him know how much I still loved him, I told him to go back home because his “mother” would be missing him. He would have no part of leaving me. He wanted to come in with me, and I finally relented. I had no food for him, didn’t have his favourite water bowl, nor did I have much from our old home except my clothes, and the waterbed. Everything else was new, and one thing I knew, cats do not like change. But I rang for the elevator, and when the doors opened he slithered in as if he had been doing this all his life. He sat beside my feet as I waited for the elevator to arrive at the sixth floor, the site of my new home. The door opened several times between the parking lot and the sixth floor, but I did not move, so neither did he. I led him down the hall to my apartment, unlocked the door, and followed him in. He immediately went into the kitchen, and did his little food and water dance. He must have been waiting for me all day, because this was not his usual feeding time.  Luckily there was a mom and pop store half a block away, and after I gave him some water in a soup bowl, I went to the store, bought cat food, cat litter, grabbed a box to put the litter in, and returned home as fast as I could. I fed him, and then I fed myself. It was the first night in two weeks that I felt comfortable in my new home. I watched some TV while he curled up on my lap and went to sleep. I phoned my ex and told her not to worry about Loki as he was safe with me. At first she accused me of catnapping him, but eventually I convinced her he had come of his own volition. I slept like a baby that night, Loki curled up at the foot-end of the bed, and slept until the minute before my alarm would go off just the way it had always been. He washed my face until I woke up and gave him a big kiss. But I had to go to work, and I did not want to leave him all alone in an apartment which he was not familiar with. But I didn’t have to worry about that for long, because as he watched me get ready to go to work, he went and sat at the door, letting me know he wanted to go outside. Once again he got onto the elevator and went down to the parking lot one floor below ground level, but with both an entrance and an exit ramp to the outside, doors that were almost always open. I went to work, happy that Loki had come to visit, but not expecting him to really be there when I got home.  It was too much like a dream to actually have happened. And sure enough when I locked my bike up after riding home, there was no Loki waiting for me. I noted that I was actually sad that he wasn’t there, yesterday had been such a wonderful evening and night. Half dejectedly I got into the elevator, and took it up to the sixth floor. When I reached my floor I didn’t really think about Loki, he had come for a visit, and now he had gone home. I thought! When I arrived at my door, there he was, lying in wait for me in front of the inset door where I had not been able to see him as I walked down the hall. I unlocked my door, opened it,  and together we walked in. This time he did not look for food or water, He ran to the couch and jumped up on it, sitting with exactly enough room between him and the arm of the couch for my butt to fit in, and waited for me to join him. Soon I did, and he got back on my lap, and we told each other how much we loved each other. This time I didn’t wait, I phoned my ex to let her know he was still with me. That was when she told me he had come to her home about mid-morning. played with our other cats till mid-afternoon and then jumped out the catwindow, a window that was always open in summer for cats to go in and out without bothering us. She had not seen him since, and when he didn’t come home at snack time she was worried about his whereabouts. I told her where he had waited for me, and we talked a bit about how he could always surprise us with his intelligence, and said good-bye.

The next day being Saturday,  he didn’t wake me up until 8:59 AM, still one minute before the alarm was scheduled to ring. We ate breakfast together, and then he let me know he wanted to go for a walk. I got dressed, and out we went, but this time going out the front door rather than using the parking lot. It didn’t phase him one bit,  He headed straight towards Broadway, the busy street that ran from my new street to my old street, walked to our old ground story apartment, and he jumped right through the open window. I had no idea what to do, so I turned and walked back to my apartment to decide what to do for the day. And then it struck me! How had I not noticed before? Yesterday, after work, Loki had not met me at the door in the parking lot, he had met me at the door to my apartment. How had he done that? I knew he was smart, but the only way he could get to my apartment without going through fire doors on every floor of the fire escape,  was to use the elevator. How had he entered the building? How had he got into the elevator. Though weird, those two things were easy enough for a child to do, just wait for someone to open the building door, then wait for the elevator doors to open. But how did he know which floor to get off on, and how would he get to the exact floor he needed at get off at? There was no way he could have reached the buttons, and definitely no way to press one even if he could reach them. He could have ridden in the elevator for hours, waiting for someone to get off at the right floor. But however he had done it, he did it successfully. And I was so happy he did. I was supposed to go out with some friends that night, but I begged off, not telling anyone the real reason why I wanted to stay home. I wanted to be there if and when he came back. I sat there all night, and he never showed up. My phone rang about 9:30. It was my ex telling me Loki had stayed home all day, once he got there, waiting and watching the door for something to happen She didn’t know what, but I did. He had led me home, and he had expected me to join him on the inside. I can only say I must have disappointed him thoroughly. Finally there was one thing he could not understand, the end of a relationship. But his action also told me something I did not understand; whatever had happened between us we both still loved each other, and Loki knew we belonged together. And for three days  in a row now we humans had talked to each other, both concerned about where Loki was, and was he safe? We were talking civilly to each other again, whereas the frost in the air when we decided to split up had prevented us from seeing the truth. I got back on the phone, and when she answered, I asked her  to promise me one thing.  Her voice sounded questionable, but she asked, What thing?” I answered that if Loki asked to go for a walk the next morning, and he led her to my place, would she please bring him upstairs?” She laughed and answered, “If he walks me to your door I will definitely bring him up.” I could hear in her voice that she thought I was crazy, and so she had gone along with the gag.

Next morning, just before ten, my buzzer rang. When I answered it her incredulous voice said, “Here we are. Let us up.” I had been ready for this to happen for almost 15 minutes now. I had her favourite tea brewing on the table, and three places set, one each for the humans, and one place for the cat. When the knock came on the door, I opened it and said, “Please come in.” She looked around the apartment, which I had gotten up early to make spotless, which spoke to her pet peeve as to how sloppy a man I was.  And she was right, I was a sloppy man, but only between the wall and my side of the waterbed where no casual visitor could see my mess.  She was stunned speechless for a moment, then she asked, “How did you know?” I returned. “Because that’s what he tried to get me to do yesterday, about this same time, but I didn’t follow him in. I just walked away. And that’s probably what you would have done today.” “Yes, I was almost going to do that anyway, but I had promised to bring him upstairs and so I did. I was not expecting this,”  she pointed towards the table set for three, with a pot of tea in the middle of the table. cream and sugar beside it, knowing  that I drank my tea black. “Why”, she finally added.

“Because Loki knows us better than we do. He knows we belong together. and he doing his best to be a matchmaker.”

“Do we belong together?” she asked. “What about…?”Loki chose this moment to jump up on the table, and started to eat the food I had put out for him. We both cracked up laughing, but she said, “Only if we get married.”

“Is that a proposal?” I asked,

“I guess. It sounded like one to me?”

I got down on one knee, accepted her proposal, and then asked if she would marry  me?

“Only if you stay here until after the wedding,” and that was how I came to be married to her for the next 7 years. And it was all because of Loki…

Now, you might be wondering why I told you this story in a blog that was supposed to be about Rethinking Reincarnation.  And I have to say I don’t know, but hopefully I will figure it out before my next blog. I started my last blog by telling you I was writing off the top of my head, and I had no idea where we would end up. Well, this is not the end, not yet, but I never expected to come here. As I started today’s blog I thought I was going to write about the intended subject, and maybe I have, I don’t know yet. We’ll all have to wait and see where this is taking us. I can definitely say now, though, that this is my spirit talking, decidedly not my ego. I believe my spirit is finally taking back control of my life. I certainly hope I am right.

Until next time…

Rethinking Reincarnation

Memoirs of a Hippie

I am writing this off the top of my head, so even I don’t know where it will take me. For years I have believed that reincarnation works as I described it in an earlier blog called “Experimenting with Reincarnation.” I never doubted that I was wrong, or even could be wrong. The Buddhists talk about releasing themselves from the world of “samsara,” meaning the physical world in which our bodies live and act between birth and death. They also talk about freeing themselves from “ego,” which I think is the same thing, only using the living language of English as opposed to the almost dead language of “Sanskrit.” Latin is to us and our ancestors mainly a language of science and religion, so that while it is dead it is still being used today in very strict ways, but no one speaks it as an everyday language. In the Middle East, throughout the Indian subcontinent, and encroaching into the Far East, meaning Afghanistan, Tajikistan, India, Tibet, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and possibly even Sri Lanka, Sanskrit was the language of trade and economy of many peoples, thus affecting many Indo-European languages to the point it’s descendant languages were spoken by more people than those who spoke Latin-based languages, the languages that grew out of ancient Rome. And equally as Latin is still the language of science and religion, Sanskrit is still the language of scienceand religion in that area, but is also the language of philosophy, and even some of the spoken or written arts in subcontinental India and surrounding nations. Unlike Latin, however, Sanskrit is slowly being revived in certain areas, I would suggest possibly because Sanskrit is a more precise language, whereas, like English and other languages, words are becoming confusing, having more than one meaning through common usage.

So much for the history lesson, I just wish I could write in Sanskrit so I could be more precise in why I might be changing my mind about how reincarnation really works. Certainly, beyond death, there is or are (a) bank(s) or (a) reservoir(s) of collected wisdom that incarnating spirits bring to the physical world inside them. This wisdom doesn’t show up right away, of course, but as a child grows into a teen their personalities generally change to some extent, a change that becomes more and more apparent as the teen become a young adult, and beyond until we end up with people who all started out the same way at birth (knowing nothing) becoming older adults with such different characteristics it is unable to be explained by nature (DNA) or nurture (how they were raised) WITHOUT the colour of the background of reincarnation. I am not going to even try to rule out nature or nurture, because that would be foolish. Your DNA affects you physically, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Your nurture can affect you mentally, being brought up in a good home by loving parents or brought up surrounded by physical, mental, or sexual abuse including any combination of those three factors. Then there are the problems of the early death of a parent or sibling, entering the children’s services system where any kind of happiness or hell is possible, having good and loving friends or friends who are just using you for something you probably would not even realize until years later, if ever. That is what life is like in our modern society where parents own their children until they prove totally incapable of parenting a child or children.  Such children can very easily turn into adults with all kinds of neuroses or psychoses, just as children can who are born into rich families where the parents have no time for their children and they lavish them with money instead of love. All these conditions and many more can adversely affect how children become adults, if they ever grow beyond mentally remaining a child for life. And what of the children who grow up in a loving family, that is still no guarantee that they will become good people when they grow up? Most of these children will grow up to be good people, but not all of them. Some of the world’s most famous psychopaths or sociopaths were the product of good and loving parents and homes.  Conversely, not all people who grow up with physical problems and/or abusive parents or friends, or illnesses of the mind will become bad people. Who can know why? Not our psychologists and psychiatrists, that is for sure, because they aren’t allowed to even think reincarnation is real, or might have a hand in whether people grow up nice or not.

Here I offer myself as an example of a child who grew up with an abusive father, and a weak mother who died early of cancer, leaving my devil of a father to raise ten children alone. He sexually abused my three sisters, and physically and/or mentally abused all ten of us kids, even my little brother who was born with Downs Syndrome. Being the one with the “brains” of the family, I was probably the brunt of my father’s rage as he accused me more than once of “stealing my little brother’s brains.” I’m not going to say I didn’t have lots of medical and mental problems as I grew up and some that have lasted to today, as I sit here a 67 year-old man, living with a woman much younger than I (close to 20 years, and six cats) and with a complete litany of medical conditions. But in spite of all that, and other things that I did or had happen to me in life, I have a smile on my face and a Bachelor of Social Work in my pocket after finally graduating university at the ripe young age of 57. The other thing I have is a VERY STRONG sense of spirituality that I did not realize was so strong until many many years ago when an acquaintance (we didn’t know each other well enough to be friends) told me that I was alive way before my time, that I had an innate wisdom that far exceeded his mother and father put together. But not so much wisdom that when I was approached by a Buddhist monk about a year later, he looked deep deep deep into my eyes and said these words to me, and they were the only words spoken between us in that single meeting, “You’re not ready yet.” And with that he turned on his heel and virtually disappeared out the door of a restaurant where I was having a late snack before heading for home in an abandoned house in East Vancouver.

Those are the kinds of things that have happened to me in all kinds of circumstances, by people I had never met before.  Once a woman told me I scared her because my eyes were so old. Other people who read my poetry which I was writing in my “I want to become a poet” period, told me there was something in what they read that spoke to the future of life, a future they had never imagined. The most recent such event was only about 6 tears ago when I got into a taxicab in Edmonton, and the East Indian or Pakistani driver turned around to face me at a red light, and said, “You are very wise, you will never return to this world again. This is your last incarnation.” Then the light turned green, he put up the plastic screen between us, and did not say another word to me until the end of the trip, at which point I paid my fare and offered him a tip to which he put out his hand in a “stop” gesture, and said “It was my honour to drive you today.”

What am I to make of all these strange occurrences? The Buddhist monk was the most bewildering event in my life, though I have had many others that would be considered close seconds. However, it was his words that drove me after our very short encounter. I was already into spiritual studies on my own before that, but he inspired me to delve even deeper, and to study Buddhism to the best of my ability in the days before computers and the internet. There were very few books on Eastern religions and philosophies in Canada at that time, the Beatles had not yet travelled as a band to India, though George Harrison had had discussions with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi sometime earlier when he went to India to study the sitar.  After the Beatles went east to study Buddhism there was much more interest in Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Hare Krshna movement than ever before in the West, and it would grow because the Beatles led the way (again). Hinduism and Hare Krshna movements were about as attractive to me as was the Jesus Freak movement that had started on the West Coast around that same time. Young people were falling off the bus joining whatever group would take them in. And then along came Scientology and they were extreme, but that made them all the more magnetic to people who had never had anything. The youth of America had “dropped in, tuned out, and turned on,” so Timothy Leary had said, and they had been becoming hippies and flower children. Suddenly they were becoming desperately religious, but mostly not for the religions of their parents, those were passe and no fun at all. Christian-based religions  called for suffering and eternal damnation, with a slim possibility of reaching heaven if you could stay sinless for the rest of your life. Young people had been eschewing money and material things for drugs and excitement.  Now they were eschewing drugs and excitement for Eastern religions. The Western world was changing, and our beliefs about the world and life on this world were changing too. And one of the biggest changes for those years was the advent of the Buddhist and Hindu philosophies of reincarnation. The idea of reincarnation blew a wide swath through our subculture, affecting different people different ways.

I was (and still am) a hippie, but I was not doing drugs for excitement. I started with smoking marijuana, and after each time I smoked it I began to notice an increase in my ability to think. While I may have been speaking on a normal conversation level, my mind busy listening to what I was saying, and was translating my words inside my head, looking for hidden gems of wisdom that could be garnered from my words. And there were a lot of those, maybe nothing world-changing, but ideas that were changing how I functioned in the world.  At that time I was living off money earned by selling marijuana and hashish to people who wanted it, never to anyone who didn’t approach me.  And that was also the time that I started doing LSD (acid, we called it), the drug that really opened my mind to possibilities so far outside the box of normal thought that I couldn’t even see the box anymore.  Where were all these ideas coming from? I knew they were coming from me, from my mind, but how did they ever get there?

That was also the time that I became more careless in who I was selling drugs to. I was still only selling to people who wanted the drugs I was willing to sell, the list of two drugs I mentioned earlier, but now I was also selling acid, because I believed in it, and I believed it could help others the way it was helping me. Even so, as I said, I was getting careless, and I ended up selling drugs to two undercover RCMP narcotics agents. I was still living in Vancouver at the time, sleeping on the beach at English Bay, or at crash houses some of the more moneyed hippies were setting up. The two undercover agents, using the names of Sunset and Hart, befriended me and let me stay with them for awhile, as long as I turned them on to the dealers that were supplying those of us who sold the drugs on the streets. And I did a fine job of that, not realizing I was leading them to almost all the dealers in the West End of Vancouver, Kitsilano Beach, and even North Vancouver. At first I never clued into the fact that these two “fellow hippies,” who said they were AWOL from the army or something stupid like that, were not selling or using the drugs themselves, but were sending them back to “friends” in Saskatchewan where such drugs were said to be very scarce. I started to get nervous, something wasn’t going right, so one day I bought a bus ticket to Hope, which was all I could afford, and hitchhiked the rest of the way back home to Winnipeg where I started going back to school to finish my Grades 11 and 12. I was still keeping up on any news that came out of Vancouver, and when I heard that a number of people got busted by undercover narcs, and I read some of the names, I knew what had happened and that I was responsible for a lot of those people getting arrested and being sent to prison. I disappeared even deeper into normal society, and thanked my lucky stars that I got out of Vancouver in time. I took a part time job at a local grocery store to help finance my rent and meals while I was in school, and I thought I was safe.

to be continued…


The True Story of Rehabilitation

In Answer 2 PUNISHMENT BY DEATH I left you standing in a locked cell with your new cellmate, an open lower bunk bed waiting for you to make up your mind which of two bunk beds you were going to take, the lower bunk that looked unused, but your new cellmate claimed it as his, or the upper bunk upon which your new cellmate sat, and where his bedding warmed the mattress. Nervous as you are, still feeling shamed by your experience walking around nude in front of half a dozen uniformed guards, and then having a unknown doctor shoving his finger up your ass, feeling around for any contraband. Doesn’t he know you’re innocent of all charges? Doesn’t he know you don’t even know what kind of contraband to smuggle in, if you were going to smuggle something in? At last the finger was removed, and a line on a piece of paper checked. “Next,” the doctor had called, and you ran for the exit door. You didn’t want the guy behind you to see your shit running down your leg and leaving a line, no, adding to a line that was already on the floor but which you hadn’t noticed before. But that’s in the past. You’ll never have to live through that again. And you’ve got more immediate worries. Which bunk are you going to choose? Does it even matter? You say to hell with it, and sit down on the bottom bunk.

“Good choice,” the surly voice comes down at you from above, like God talking to Moses or Abraham. You take a deep breath and let it out slowly. And that is about the last time you feel safe while you are behind all those locked doors.


Being in jail is not like being in school, or even university. Nothing like work. You are told when to go to bed, and when the lights are about to be turned off. Come morning the lights come on, and something related to a fog horn is blown. You’ve got 10 minutes to shit, shower, and shave and get dressed for the day, but you are competing with your cellmate who wants to do exactly the same things. You quickly teach your body to get up 15 minutes before the light comes on, which is just a guess because you cannot wear a watch in prison, and there is no clock on the walls. Ten minutes after the lights come on, your cell door opens and you best get out fast. The door isn’t open very long. You join the other prisoners all walking in the same direction, walking down 6 flights of stairs, and into the mess room. Some trustee shoves a metal tray in your hands, and in no time more trustees have thrown dollops of mush, or eggs, or even sometimes bacon on your tray as the line forces you forward. You get about 8 minutes to eat and drink the slop they call coffee, then everyone is getting up and heading for the exit door while you see prisoners from another floor start to file in the entrance door. Any food or coffee you didn’t finish gets pushed into a giant garbage tub, and someone else collects the tray and spoon you used, just another dirty dish added to a growing pile of dirty dishes on what looks like a table on wheels with a garbage can stuck through a hole in the middle where the spoons end up. Your cup is unceremoniously thrown into another tub, smaller than the previous one, but used just as noisily. The room is a cacophony of sound that just about deafens you until you get out the exit door, and the sound level drops several decibels, telling you just how thick those walls are. Now people are walking in all directions, probably going to some kind of work or class or something. You have no idea what to do, until you hear your named shouted out across the floor by a guard. When you get almost to the guard, a short conversation ensues.

“You got any skills for a place like this?” the guard almost yells.

“Don’t know. I was a taxi driver before…”

In one smooth move the guard makes a tick on one column, then makes another tick in the box in front of the words next in line on the second column. “Yard duty.” the guards says with a straight face, “and I don’t want one piece of garbage on the ground when you finish before supper, and before you can say even one word the guard is already calling out another name, and you wonder what jobs the guy in front of you or the one behind you are getting. They’ve got to be better than yard duty.


Rehabilitation, you say, when do prisoners get rehabilitated to be better citizens when and if they ever get out of prison. For you, your rehabilitation program is learning how to pick up garbage off the ground, a highly needed skill on the outside. However long your sentence is, that is what you will be doing. Of course, there are times when psychologists offer their time to come and do group sessions for prisoners with specific problems, be it child abuse, a mental illness, PTSD, victims of racism, or whatever the good DR. is wanting to write a book on. Psychologists, psychiatrists, brain doctors, and a lot of other professionals need to publish books to keep in good standing with their Associations. Some write books by studying other books to put information from each book together in a new way, or they use old surveys to gather evidence pro or con the theory the survey was studying. But there are two specific populations that they use as subjects in new studies: university students, and prisoners. Neither group represents the “common people,” though, so their results are almost always skewed. University students do surveys either to impress a professor, or to make beer money without their parents knowing about it. Prisoners are never paid money, but they are paid in time away from whatever job they have been assigned to do. Neither population is trustworthy as a general rule, but the surveyers couldn’t give a damn. They’ll contort whatever evidence they are given to prove or disprove the theory they are writing about. That, hospital visits, trials for other offences, and conjugal visits are about the only things a prisoner can do to end the boredom. Even gang wars or other kinds of struggle are done just for the entertainment. Strikes and prison takeovers seem to be a thing of the past, but then I don’t read much news at all. Maybe they do still happen occasionally, but unless guards or visitors are being murdered they are not as newsworthy as they used to be. It’s all been done before, and for the most part the public do not want to hear about the plights of convicted criminals.


But if prisons are so boring, why is the recidivism rate so high? There are many factors in that statistic, and every person has different reasons for letting themselves get caught again, and again. 1) They don’t know how to do anything else except commit crimes. And while they are in prison, they learn better ways to do things, more ways not to get caught, but they are learning from people who were caught, so where is the logic in that.

  • They learn how to commit bigger crimes, to go from convenience store robberies to bank robberies, and how much more money you can make in the process. Criminals love to make money without having to work for it, and thus they go from stealing purses off little old ladies to pickpocketing, and armoured car robberies. They go from being “poor starving artists” to counterfeiters, or faking art, or stealing art that is worth millions that they sell on the black market for tens of thousands of dollars.
  • The thrill of it. Some thieves get orgasmic feelings from walking out of a business or home with something that does not belong to them. They start by stealing money from their mothers or fathers, and end up stealing fancy cars or fancy jewels. And there is always someone who will give them money for their stolen goods. Never close to the value of what was stolen, but they understand that getting ripped off by fast-talking fences still gives them more money than they could make in a year of slinging burgers in a McDonald’s Restaurant.


But those are the easy reasons for so many recidivists. Then there are the people who remember how they were treated in prison, like animals that had to be shamed into compliance. It might have been a guard who shamed them, or a warden, or the cop that arrested them in front of TV cameras, but now they want revenge, and they don’t particularly care who they take that revenge out on.

And then you have your psychopaths and your sociopaths who have no regard for other people or their property. Without medications these people are as unpredictable as a tornado, never going in a straight line destroying lives as if the people were dolls.


With help, all of these people can be made into good citizens.  But staying on medications for life takes the fun out of life. And fun is what they feel is their right, pursuing their happiness in whatever way they want to. And if they get caught, they just pull out their papers that say they are insane, and as soon as they are back on their meds and looking as normal as anyone can look, they have to be allowed out of jail. And they are free again, so who knows what they are going to do next.


The next time you look at the stats for recidivism rates, who do you blame for how high they are. The people who need help but never get it, or the prison system that is supposed to provide that help, but instead of hiring psychologists and social workers, they hire guards that are disgruntled police failures, or people who love to lord it over others, bullies all of them. Big adult bullies, who just love to push others around and say, That’s my job! I’m just doing what I’m told to do. And maybe that is what they are told to do, and that is why the bullies were hired in the first place.


But what else can we do? We can’t afford to run prison populations that overcrowd prison facilities. What else can we do, we have to protect the regular citizens of our nations. What else can we do? What else CAN we do?


That question has more than one answer, and in this blog I am only going to give you teasers for the next blog on PUNISHMENT BY DEATH. The very first thing you do is study those who were in prison once, and never went back. Another thing is taking the word punishment out of the adult population. You punish children when they do things the parent doesn’t like, actions they want to teach the child not to repeat. Third, you treat them with the respect any person wants to be treated with. And four, you use restorative justice every opportunity you have. Fifth, and last, or probably what should be done first, you deconstruct the nuclear family, and stop letting parents raise their own children , and make sure all children get a good start in life, without abuse, without poverty, without learning how to be bullies, but by giving them love, respect, and human contact of a meaningful kind. But who, besides me, is willing to look that deeply at the nuclear family, and realize that while it is responsible for creating non-criminal adults, it is just as responsible for creating criminal adults?


Where are the people with the strength to stand up and say, “It’s at least worth a trial, it can’t do any worse than we are already doing?