It was 2012 and I was walking around a bookstore in Boulder, CO when suddenly my eyes shot down to this book on the bottom shelf. I stared at it in wonder and eventually reluctantly picked it up. When I opened it I was presented with a bunch of strange drawings and my pragmatic Taurus side immediately kicked in and deemed the book “new age hocus pocus”. So I set the book down and tried to walk way. The book kept pestering me though, I can’t quite explain it. Like a destiny you just aren’t aware of but agreed to long ago. I saw it and something old stirred in me. Something much more primal than my humanism, deeper than my dreams or fantasies, and stranger than de ja vu. It was an embarrassing connection for this pragmatist. I base everything on what I can see, test, feel and reproduce. I love the idea of mysticism, but I love science more.

I grew up with a single mother who was a self-proclaimed “seeker of the truth”. I almost literally studied or attended just about every western religion you can think of. I stayed with mormons over a summer (they taught me how to swim). We studied to be Jehova’s witnesses at one point, though I’m pretty sure my Mom was only interested in converting this poor soul to christianity. I’ve been to churches where people would lose themself to “the spirit” and talk in tongues or become so overcome by the power of this spirit they would lose all sense of gravity, dropping to the floor in a frenzied flash of seizures.

The most memorable and powerful churches for me were Baptist. During my childhood I was poor and a minority which may come as a surprise to some since I’m white. I would be the only white child in a church filled to the brim with people of color. My brother and sister were half Mexican so they fit in much better than I did. The walls would vibrate with their majestic and powerful voices and it would be one of the very few times that I could literally feel something moving through me.

My mom had an envious level of curiosity. She read anything she could get her hands on and her photographic memory meant she could recite verses at the drop of a hat. Her curiosity navigated us to so many faiths…Seventh Day Adventist, Catholic, Protestant, Spiritualist, Buddhist…etc. She’d go from reading me the bible every night to reading me whatever she pulled out of her latest automatic writings. My mom wanted to know the truth and she spent her entire life searching for it, while attending college being a single mother living on welfare with three kids. A part of me loved this about her, but another part of me couldn’t understand how someone so brilliant (and my mom is absolutely brilliant) could waste all that time on spirituality.

I was 16, living on my own and working full time by the time I dropped out of school. I had gone to 13 different schools and only made it to 10th grade. I immediately enrolled myself into a GED program. I worked full time to put myself through college and get a career. I struggled, but I never lost sight of the goal – to never return to my roots. I shunned my upbringing like a lottery winner sheds her clothes. This included my spiritual upbringing. To me it was all nonsense, a trap.

So here I am in a Boulder bookstore and this book is calling to me and there’s a part of me that understood what this meant, but there’s that other part that’s had enough of all the hocus pocus. After what felt like an agonizing tug-o-war with my subconscious, I finally submitted and purchased this book. Scarlett and I walked over to a coffee shop where I read the first part of the book which was actually quite interesting

While sitting in the coffee shop several people walked up to me and told me this book would change my life. “Yeah thanks”, was my answer. Whatever hippies. Once I finished the intro and got to the more eccentric pages, I put the book down and didn’t touch it for a few years.

In 2015, out of the blue, I started thinking about this book again. I dug it out of a pile of books and flipped to the odd drawings. I started studying them and I could feel things shifting in my mind. A new awareness that I didn’t know what to do with. I was working from home at the time and one day during my lunch break I decided to take in a few more pages…then I stood in silence while washing my lunch dishes and I had this overwhelming feeling of love come over me. Freaked me out and I didn’t pick up this book for another two years!

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In mid-2017 I started thinking about this book again. It would creep along the edge of my subconsciousness like a jingle from an 80’s commercial on constant repeat.

“Double double your refreshment…double double your enjoyment! Oh no single gum double freshens your mouth like…double mint, double mint, gum!”

Yeah, like that, but a book! I was really busy with work at the time and working 12 – 14 hour days so I kept putting off finding and reading this book. Then my wife and I flew down to Miami and one night we were hanging out with her cousin Michelle and her husband Diego. We were having some deep conversations about how quantum mechanics and string theory are almost proving that “something more” actually does exist and maybe spirituality is a real thing when Diego stood up and declared that he had “just the book I needed to read!” He ran back into the house and emerged with, you guessed it, THAT BOOK! Sigh. I told him I have this book and I promised I would read it when I got home.

I got home and kept my promise. I found the book and after late nights of working I’d often pull it out and read a few pages before bed. My mind would wonder to crazy places…connecting dots that held no real significance in a single lifetime, but would be all that matters outside the limited confines of a single human existence. I would ponder what it meant and struggle balancing these new age’y thoughts with my ever reliable logic. I like clean lines and balance. I prefer to understand the outcome before I invest the energy, and I’m truly happy when something I believe in can be backed up by hard evidence. I prefer Frank Lloyd Wright over Picasso…chaos is not my thing. I want a simple package, easily explained by scientific facts, and of course relevant to whatever it is I’m pursuing. This was all very frustrating to me, but at the same time, it lit my curiosity ablaze and this sent me tumbling into new worlds I just didn’t know what to do with.

Finally I did the only thing a sane person would do…I told my boss! Luckily my boss was not only brilliant, with a mind I could pick for ages containing a breadth of wisdom so expansive and covering so many topics I would happily be lost in it forever and never get bored. I opened up to him one morning via Skype and told him about my frustrating little paradox. His answer led me to the most healing experience of my life.

I’ve been through a lot…more than I would ever post to a public forum. Through sheer will and determination I’ve managed to come out the other side of it “successfully”. I’m a fully functioning highly productive member of society, but it took a lot of disassociating and while that worked well when I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I found it working against me in my 40’s. It’s difficult navigating life when you have 1000 lbs of baggage you endlessly drag around but don’t understand why. This book led me to the amazon rainforest where I did my very first Shamanic Dieta in 2017 and it changed everything for me. Suddenly all those political things I was so fired up about where a drama and meant very little to me. I did this trip again in 2018 and now that 1000 lbs of baggage feels at least 800 lbs lighter. I did this trip to escape reality and what I actually found was reality. I came back a different person.

This book:

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I totally recommend this new age’y hocus pocus. 😁

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