SO HOW DID THESE POEMS WASH UP ONTO THE INNER SHORES OF WHO I AM?
The Windmill Chapel at SRF Lake Shrine
This photograph was taken March 7, 1952, in Los Angeles, California, one hour before Yogananda's mahasamadhi - a yogi’s conscious final exit from the body. Eyes full of love give a final blessing to his millions of friends, students, and disciples around the world.
On the time-yellowed first page of the manuscript when I wrote them is the date of March 1971. I was 32 at the time and from where I am today, that's over fifty years ago. Today I’m a grandpa, a Pappy, and the young 'me' of back then is like someone in the past I used to know. I was being the person I needed to be for that one of the many journeys that make up this life.
Editing them now is a look in the rearview mirror. This was my ten-year mystic period as a totally devoted disciple of the father-mother creator that by many names we call God. I was on the road the Beatles sang about – ‘the long and winding road that leads to your door’. Paul wrote the song at his farm in Scotland and later said it was:
"All about the unattainable; the door you never quite reach... the road that you never get to the end of."
For me, life was the long and winding road, and yes, I did get to the end, I did reach the door. Like Steve Jobs and so many other seekers of that time, I was a devotee at Yogananda's Self Realization Fellowship. Over a period of many years I meditated four to five hours a day, attended four or five services and meetings a week and led my own meditation group. I was crazy for God. I was not going to stop until I attained the superconscious, reached and opened the door to what Jesus called the 'kingdom of heaven within'.
The Gandhi Memorial at
Steve Jobs said he read the Autobiography every year and had a copy given to all the people who attended his memorial service. His last words as he died were "Oh wow...oh wow...oh wow...
I was climbing a mountain to the top of my own being and these poems are when my soul helped me capture moments along the way. It wasn't anything I had to do, only get out of the way so they could happen. I was learning to ‘let it be’ as the Beatles sang in another song, and the thoughts here came as if something specific in my own life was in fact ‘speaking words of wisdom’ from my own unique way of ‘letting it be’.
For Paul they were wise counsel from his mom, his mother Mary, as he went through a hard time. For me it was a voice inside. I share them so they might be for you as they were for me, inspirations through which to know better and make friends with the spirit inside. My journey began with the wonder of discovery and total devotion to what I accepted as the father–mother God of eternity.
My hope for these poems is that they open a door to your Spirit Guides so they can embrace and lift you, hold you tight, give you strong inner shoulders to lean on. We are all part of the same family, all of us in our own ways and capabilities working to surrender like drops of ocean waiting to be lifted into the shining white clouds of what we have been taught to call heaven.
It will happen. It is our destiny and why we’re here on this planet, lost in this human-brain simulation dream that is a human life in a physical universe. As Einstein said - what we call reality is an illusion. What is real is love. We are here to find and become love. It is love that lifts us from the human ocean. It is the only ticket for the journey home.
My book IS ETERNITY ALREADY HERE is the autobiography of my physical journeys as well as journeys of discovery to become who I am and reach where I am today. This book is the autobiography of my mind, the journeys it was taking inside at the same time.
It is for all of us someday somewhere no longer to be lost, to know who and what we really are and to re-unite with a love that is beyond any imagining of our human minds. Consider these poems like steps that I hope will help you on your way there. And when we are ready to leave, I pray that like Steve Jobs, for all of us our last words will also be:
'Oh wow...oh wow...oh wow..."
This is the book cover. Click to get it for Kindle from Amazon.
The photos are mostly from Dreamstime but the watercolors were painted by my roommate of that time, a fellow devotee of Yogananda’s and also a musician. He was married at Lake Shrine and our lives of course went different ways. But the memories of that time will live always with his art and these poems side by side. Thank you brother Keith.