Serializing A Million Different Things: Meditations of The World’s Happiest Man
This is the Preface and Forward for A Million Different Things: Meditations of The World’s Happiest Man, my book about becoming aware. Every chapter, or meditation as I call them, will follow in sequence.
Happy reading. Comments welcome.
Credit where credit’s due. The book you are about to read was channeled, at least in the general way in which I understand the term. Not by any honest accounting can I take 100% credit for what ended up being this book.
What does it mean to channel? Most of us understand what intuition is, the ideas or suggestions that come out of the blue, often without our conscious prompting. Channeling, in my experience, is best described as a highly developed sort of intuition.
Ideas and conceptual structures can gush out at a speed hard to keep up with at any keyboard. Wayne Dyer has talked about automatic writing. He sits down with paper, pen or pencil and lets it gush. His story made no sense to me, as it wouldnt to most people, until it happened to me.
The initial idea for this book, my first in nonfiction, was one of those out of the blue things that just filled up an idle moment. It was a gift.
The title might as well have dropped out of the sky. Oddly, I knew before I typed the first letter on my keyboard what the length and structure of the manuscript would be. Thereafter, I mostly tried to keep pace with it, then shepherded a production full of surprises and spontaneous presentations.
The push I felt to get words typed onto a page grew in intensity as the weeks of writing went on. By the time I wrote the final pages, Id learned not to stop to make corrections. Get it down! The time for corrections and clarifications would come later. Broken red lines littered some pages because I couldnt allow going back to disrupt the stream. I was being pushed and pulled.
The results, I discovered when I was free to go back and rewrite, were startling. Many ideas made it into the text that Id never considered. Some intricate concepts seem, on rereading, to exceed my education or imagination. I was able to bring them accurately into focus in editing.
What you will read in the pages ahead is me plus something else, something larger, broader and more intense. Call it a highly developed intuitive gift and a willingness to get better at one of my weakest skills, proofreading.
I just call it my own good luck in being taken along for the ride.
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About Conscious Awareness and Spiritual Awakening
Welcome To The Chaos
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Almost everything we see, feel, smell, taste and touch is given to us. The world is there before we arrive, shocked and squalling in the bright light of a delivery room. Decisions we begin to make, values we recognize, go on to create the texture and range of our lives.
Our decisions flavor our world. The facts are simple and daunting. Our array of choices is so broad, we never get the full breadth of them. In every moment, nonetheless, we have no choice but to decide, decide, decide, choices without end or interruption.
Ideas, like the one to write this book, pop up amid what we think of as the flow of time. The more attuned we are to the calm center that transcends the illusion of flow, the more easily fertile ideas float to the surface.
Experience is our main business. Guides are plentiful. They coax, persuade, encourage and promise rewards.
But contrary voices argue for the opposite.
Its surprising that coaxing us to evade, rather than seek, the world can be so effective. Its arguing for limits and repetition while a field of infinite chances stands in front of us.
It seems a reasonable argument, I suppose, for safety, but dangerously, its also a case made in the interest of control and conformity. The more we’re willing to believe that there are invisible threats and hidden enemies, the more we distrust our own power.
Everything our parents ever taught us was wrong, unless proven otherwise. Thats rule #1. There must come a day when we no longer take any of what weve been told for granted. Otherwise, we can never really know, just for ourselves.
Much of our experience is universal and coordinated with everyone else’s.
We don’t have to waste energy acknowledging what instantly fits. Mom and Dad, for example, are there, fully blossomed, when we arrive.
Wayne Dyer has argued that we select our parents and other circumstances before birth as a sort of contracted learning or karmic process. Its one of the few things on which I disagree with one of my favorite teachers, but its a big one. I believe instead that we emerge into chaos and it’s how we scramble that into order that sets the tone for our lives.
A chaos fueled ocean of choices is what we discover, a choppy sea of everything possible, even as our magical powers are barely in place. The family we awake to after swimming happily inside the wonderful, warm sack of Mom, is as randomly acquired as our lives allow.
Chaos in Blue
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Whether powered by impulse or dragged along through planning, we are the result of cellular interactions under not well-known conditions. By this I mean that, while we know how babies are created, theres plenty of cellular gamesmanship and random interaction as the universal carnival produces the one and only you.
We arrive in the land our parents, and of course, there are times when were passed on or rejected. Then, we get another scene or some sort of proxy.
We’re not the lucky winners of some pre-birth choice. Sure, I could be wrong about that. Who can say for certain?
But if it turns out that we do chose, it will run against the grain of everything that follows in our lives and without benefit, unless one believes in karma or something like it that comes with the package. I dont. Predestination seems unlikely as well as boring. What Ive learned is that nothing limits experience, except the one and only me.
Other givens include the intertwined mysteries of DNA and RNA.
Our genetic inheritance brings with it the uniqueness of each of our physical bodies. Researchers in the field of epigenetics, propose prominent players other than those coiled in a helix, specifically proteins and a nebulous thing call awareness, much of which resonates, but as a curious as well as cautious nonscientist, Im holding those exciting possibilities at arms length for now.
We get our elements, mostly still invigorated by multiple unknowns, from Mom and Dad as eager cells take to the dance floor to produce an embryo. An embryo is as much toolbox as bank account. It comes with a construction manual that executes automatically, building the intricate community of molecules known as a human being. Although the greater construction and renovation projects are launched in our earliest years, our genetic operations continue, building, replacing and modifying, for all the time we remain in these physical dimensions.
We emerge, an adorned framework, trillions of cells interacting like a universe all our own.
We can think of ourselves as soft computers before anything but the basic operating system gets installed. Our processor hums, but it isnt doing anything special with all that capacity.
Then, something excites us into diverse activities. ‘Thou movest me,’ is a theme extracted from scripture. But Im not religious, and for me, the idea is secular. It’s about how we go from a peacefully humming processor to a jangle of things and experiences from which no return is possible. Thou, as they say, never quits moving us. Days off are a happy illusion.
We do best when we avoid abstracting Thou into another, inaccessible space, when we resist the impulse to create gods.
As we navigate our lives, it makes more sense to think of a power source or a persistent impulse we all share, one heavily populated gang plug into which were inserted. Yes, there is a God, but he doesnt want you to think of him as relaxing in some remote postal zone where deliveries come only a couple of times a week. Hes right there, next to you, friendly and favorable and packed with wisdom. You can join into Gods embrace in a single motion, whenever you want. Its easy. In fact, youre already there, just as you always have been. You cant be anywhere else.
Another set of givens are the rules of the games, the physics into which we awkwardly arrive, wet and screaming.
Inside that package is a collection of all that has already been, thought, built and recorded, the legacy of before. Ive read people who describe themselves as leading edge or New Age who insist that they create their own reality. From scratch. While this can be said with some general accuracy, the fact is that we create out of a preexisting, albeit often chaotic, set of ingredients, and we create on top of or as a variation on what has preceded us over millions of years.
No one steps into a void and creates a universe. Its mostly about recognition and choice.
Points of reference are guideposts put up throughout our universe. Theres gravity sticking us in place and the flow of life in which we believe we swim. Were familiar with the basics of physical existence, three dimensions anchored by time, that are the foundation of what our brains cobble together. Its artificial in that our brains brew the bowls of soup we stamp as real, each unique in every second, from the ingredients we find in our kitchens.
Becoming physical, we limit our recognizable dimensions to just three, fake stillness by inventing time, and voila! There you have it: The Real World. Then, the art comes in.
Welcome to A Million Different Things: Meditations of The World’s Happiest Man
The inspiration to write this book was plunked down in front of me one early morning as I sat with my usual coffee. Gusts of autumn wind sprayed rain against our window, making a sound I love. The idea, like the one governing my series of novels, came from a place, if not totally unfamiliar, at least mysteriously ineffable.
It came like this: Heres the book youve been thinking about. Lets do it now. My inner spirit has never made claims of producing relentless poetry, just good ideas. Rewrites are mandatory.
My wife and I live with our cats on an upper floor in a high-rise apartment building. When we stand or, in the cats case, sit at our windows, we look upriver at a convergence of waters known as Hell Gate. It once was hellish for navigators. Rapids churn as currents merge. Ships are pushed hard in the direction of Carl Shurz Park and the grounds of Gracie Mansion, our mayors official residence.
Manhattans once rocky shore has been extended to make way for a belt highway, and the dangers of Hell Gate have been reduced by underwater detonations that blew up treacherous reefs and deepened the channel. Barges, yachts and tourist craft pass. The color of the estuary changes according to conditions, from deep blue to slate gray. As darkness spreads, lights in towers bordering the park and receding into Manhattan come up, subsiding as night deepens. An endless flow of vehicles rushes north and south on the FDR. On still nights when the tide ebbs, reflections produce a mirror city sinking deep into the water that always gets me thinking about parallel worlds.
The cats and I get up early and enjoy the city in its least energetic, as nearly idling as the metropolis ever becomes with fewer lights and less traffic rumbling along the water. I catch up on the news, work for a while on whatever book or article Ive assigned myself, and meditate in the stillness of sunrise. Sam and Billy enjoy their breakfasts, hunt for bits of dry food Ive hidden, and depending on mood and interest, they puzzle over whatever Im up to, nap or simply relax serenely with a style that is uniquely cat.
Cats, I think have the art of living figured out better than we have, maybe best of all species. Theirs has been a successful evolution. They manipulate environments like masters of the universe and adapt as necessary. When they share quarters with us, we may sometimes frustrate and disappoint them, but although Ive observed the full range of emotion from cats, Ive never seen one struggle with insomnia.
I dont consider this time, shared with the cats, as day nor night. Its unnamed time, available to everyone, but usually skipped, when exclusive information about the world is made available. Its a library with limited hours when normally inaccessible knowledge is available for clarification. Logic seems a little spongier. Guides answer questions and offer tips. When morning comes, the doors close again, the guides retire, and we are left with as much of insight as we can carry and a chance to merge it into reality.
While rain rinsed out summer and wind pushed it against my window, the idea came to me. I love rain, by the way. It changes everything. It infuses reality with complex textures and unexpected angles. I was letting myself be saturated by it when I got a message more clear than most.
Here, Id been bragging that I was, not only the worlds luckiest man, but also the happiest. No monarch ever had more of what he or she wanted than I had. So, why not write it directly instead of dropping hints in fiction?
The voice inside me says its easier. Lets see.
David Stone, Writer