Thinking About It…

Admittedly, I’ve agonized for a very long time about possibly going back to the UK.

And can you blame me?  The last few times I’ve left and been unable to go back it wasn’t exactly on my terms.  The thought of getting my MA at a prestigious university like Cambridge or Oxford (which I’ve visited) really made me excited.  I’ve also had a lot of trepidation about the next 10 years in my country and whether or not it will descend into total chaos.

But it seems that getting involved with this church, with an eye toward possibly getting ordained, might have answered the question for me.  It may sound dishonest for me to say that “God answered my question” because getting involved was my choice.  As a Gnostic, however, I believe that the instinct that guides us toward constructive decisions in our lives is basically our higher selves (i.e. the Indwelling Light of the Divine) taking the controls.  So in a way, if my heart takes me to explore priesthood in a Gnostic church then I suppose I did have help from a higher source.  And if that decision ends up bearing real fruit in my life, then who am I to question?

I still want to go back to England, at least to visit.  But right now I feel that a higher calling is keeping me in Portland for the time being and I no longer have any plans to relocate to the UK in the next 2 years.

For what it’s worth, Portland is a really awesome place to live right now.  This place seems to be a magnet for old souls!  I’ve often been surprised to discover just how many people here remember past lives and will talk about it openly if you get them on the subject.  You look at the people on the street and about half the people are gorgeous anachronisms of fashions from across the 20th century.  As a result, it’s become a metamodern, cosmopolitan cultural capital.  It’s like Paris during the Belle Epoque in a lot of ways.

We’ll see what happens.  Maybe I’ll decide this isn’t for me.  Maybe my romantic attachments to a past life home will draw me back against my better judgment.  I think I’m better off giving it a try though.

My Experience with Ecclesia Gnostica

I attended service at a local Gnostic Church today. I think I’m going to become a regular.

I have never heard a priest or minister of any denomination perform the Eucharist with such energy or conviction! The congregation was small- there were seven of us counting the priest and his lay server- but the people were interesting, erudite, friendly, and engaging and there was a vibe similar to what one would have expected of the earliest churches in ancient Rome. It’s in a small home chapel in an unassuming house just off of NE 60th, a part of town not known for much in the way of touristy stuff.

Best of all, I can be myself and all that implies, and all of the experiences I have had to date are regarded as valuable and worthy of sharing and even an asset to the community.  I can talk openly about John and everything his life taught me about the essence of our condition and that is such a relief!

Also, they need qualified priests and servers and that’s kind of an ambition of mine. I really do feel like I’ve found a home here.

Recent Developments

Lately, although my mind certainly has been on past lives (in particular my life as John), I’ve been bereft of anything but the briefest flickers of memory.

Instead, what I’ve had in the last month or two have been dreams and visions that seem to point to the Book of Daniel, a book of the Bible I hadn’t paid much attention to until now.

All I remember of the first dream is that I saw so much flashing, from the Old Testament through to the present day, in such a short time. The name “Daniel” came to mind; I think some (but not all) of the events described in the Book of Daniel may be linked to it.

There was an intervening spirit throughout these ages that broke the surface like a whale breaching the surface of the water, still reflecting the illusion on its wet skin but distinct enough that it could be seen. It moved, and was gone, amorphous, slippery, somewhat camouflaged, very much like what PKD called Zebra (but it was not one of the beasts that arose from the sea in the Book of Daniel because it was not linked to an earthly kingdom but rather, stood in opposition to them).

Then yesterday, I had a vision of five signs arranged in a tableau that I’m still trying to interpret, if indeed it means anything other than the random noise of an overactive imagination.

Across the top of the tableau were four signs which I understood thusly:

  1. A man drinking from a bottle, which I understood to be a reference to Thomas 28: “Jesus said, “I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty.But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways.”
  2. A bull or a ram, which I took to represent the fertility cults of the ancient Near East, such as the endemic religions of the Babylonians.
  3. A flaming Torah scroll, which I took to mean the Logos.
  4. A dove, which I took curiously to be the dove of the diluvian myth and not the dove of the Holy Spirit.

The fifth sign was at the bottom, as wide as all four of the others taken together.  It was a cracked stone slab with the word “KING” carved on it, which I somehow took to represent Nebuchadnezzar as he appeared in Daniel.

The juxtaposition makes no sense, and I’m still trying to figure out why I keep referring to Daniel, a book I really don’t know what to make of.  To literalists, it’s a one-to-one account of lives and prophecies of the captivity of the Jews in Babylon; to Bible scholars, it’s one of the earliest of a genre of apocalyptic writings, the same tradition as the various books of Revelation (yes, there is more than one but only one made the final cut).  One thing that stands out to me is a repetition of the meme of a holy person in captivity who gains the favor of a king by interpreting their dreams; that meme is also seen in the Joseph story in Genesis.

But as far as Kabbalistic or Gnostic interpretations, I’m still trying to find resources.  If any of my readers can point me toward one I would be most grateful as these dreams and visions have me in an odd place.

EDIT: I took a few moments in Gimp to mash up some images and show the tableau more or less as I saw it, though the images as I saw them were more stylized:

tableau

Relief

I may no longer have to sell my story.

I’ve got a phone interview for a job as a copywriter in a couple of days.  If I pass the phone interview the next step will be a face-to-face.

This would be a very good job for me, the sort of honest work that I can actually do easily and enjoy.  I would actually be making money with words I write.  Even better, I’d actually be making a steady income with words that I write.

This is an entry-level position, but it’s a small company poised to grow big.  If I can get this I’m fairly confident I’ve got a leg up on a career as a copywriter, a job that pays well enough that I could finally have a good life and not have to struggle month-to-month.

I’m unsure of what to do except prepare myself for either the sort of job I’ve wanted for years, or a painful disappointment if I can’t get it.

I may still go public about John at some point, but if I can just get honest work doing what I do well, I can put it to rest until I’m really ready.

I really hope I get this job.  I’ve gone far too long without a break.

Memory Fragment

I remember a book from some time in the Middle Ages, I think it was my own book.

One particular page had the text coming down to a funnel shape, as if blooming out of a large red flower at the bottom of the page.  Up either side of the page were bean poles or tall straight saplings with green leaves over them.  The top of the page had a cloud from which a face representing the winds came.

I wish I could remember what this book was.  Such a stunning book!  If it ever even existed it’s probably long gone by now.

Going Public?

I may go public about my memories before long.  One of my upcoming books will be based on my memories from WWI and I may decide to openly state that it’s based on actual events.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought for a long time.  I stalled on it because of my suspicions that I had been Philip K. Dick.  Now that I no longer stand by that claim, I no longer feel like my abilities as a writer are overshadowed by past life claims.  As far as I am aware, writing novels was something I learned in my current life.  I can own my talent as something built through practice and effort, and not through an eyebrow-raising claim of a famous past life.

However, I still value how this might be perceived and I intend to handle the matter with integrity.  Even though I am in too much debt to turn down proceeds from my book, I have no intention of becoming rich from it; I feel that there is a distinct ethical difference between taking care of myself the best way I know how and using my claims to get rich.

In the highly unlikely event that this book is extremely successful, I will give any share of any proceeds I don’t need to maintain my current working-class standard of living to charities that work for world peace, give help and solace to those whose lives have been disrupted by war, and help low-income transfolk.

I do not intend to set a date or announce the title of my book on this particular blog unless someone is stupid enough to try to rip me off by claiming to be me; the purpose of this blog is not and never has been to hype my books.

I am still unsure about this.  It’s a huge risk and a huge commitment.  I’ve gotten some positive feedback from friends but it’s been mixed.

It will be a while before the book I’m planning to do this with is actually ready, so I’ve got time to think about it.

Tonight’s Dinner

Now and then, I like to have a nice meal with my fiance.

Tonight was a special one.  Steak and ale pie, lentil soup, and blood orange shandy.

Having backed off the vegetarian diet for the time being I’m trying to vary my diet as much as possible and I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration from historic and Old World diets.  Since shandy and steak and ale pie aren’t the healthiest things, the lentil soup was a nice compromise to round it out with something wholesome.

Very satisfied with how this worked out.  OK, I kind of cheated by getting the pies and the soup pre-made, but they were the good gourmet stuff from Trader Joe’s.  For the shandy I decided to go with Czechvar (also known as Budvar or “the real Budweiser” but for copyright reasons they call it Czechvar here) and blood orange soda because fizzy lemonade wasn’t as easy to find as I’d hoped.

Also, I finished ad-hoc edits on one of the books I’m writing my past life experiences into.  It was an older manuscript I had that described my time in London, but I added past life material and I have to say, a lot of the stuff I did in London just makes more sense now.