Like so many people, I was moved by “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield and loved how a story carried nine helpful insights. I had an opportunity to attend an event with the author in a tent in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA that I paid more money than I could afford at the time eager to experience the author. I sat in the front middle and cherished eye contact with James and his wife. I wanted to write a book like his.
I needed an idea for a story. Life had been tough for me and I was looking for a break. I’d been living homeless for over a year, something that would continue off and on for years even though I had jobs. My income was garnished leaving me 23% for my own needs. It was a time when personal growth was all I could afford to get relief from the misery and despondency of my situation. There was no end in sight unless I could transform myself. There wasn’t much hope to change the outside circumstances unless I could change who was interacting with those circumstances. I knew that much.
I’d been in the Phoenix area looking for work. I needed some sleep and my preferred place to park my pick-up truck with a shell covering the back for a night’s sleep, was at airports. Back when the Scottsdale airport was out in the desert bush north of town, I drove toward the north end of the runway in the bushes where I was hopeful no one would disturb me. My last thought falling asleep was asking, yet it wasn’t directed to anyone or anything, asking for an idea to write a story with.
Several hours later I awoke to the roar of a small jet accelerating just over me. Of course, that was it, my answer! Being a private pilot I could build my story around flying.
I had ten dollars cash to my name. I’d already sold my valuables except my outboard tri-hull runabout boat which would have to be a giveaway in winter, and only had some yard sale junk left I might sell. I went to McDonalds for a cheap breakfast and put the rest of my money into gas. I returned to Sedona where my stuff was, where I knew friends still owed me, and I could get something to eat and indoors in the winter nights.
I’d written 3 books to go along with work I did when I had my fifteen minutes of fame. They were technical in nature and supported personal growth, something easy to talk about as an expert but challenging to live, but I was determined to speak as an example. I was turned off by those who knew all about how to fix others but had philosophy to explain why it wasn’t right to apply their principles to themselves. It was the stuff hypocrisy was made of.
One Saturday morning soon after my epiphany for a story line, I went into a trance and began writing. I was staying at Daniel and Kathy’s place. They didn’t say anything about what they observed until exactly a week later when a novelette was completed. Somewhere mid-week I asked where it was going much like asking as the last thing before falling asleep, and wrote the ending chapter. Then I wrote the bridging chapters until a week later to the exact hour, the book was finished and I came out of my creative trance.
It was an other-worldly experience yet I knew something of me, much bigger than the me I was familiar with, had expressed. In Sedona, even in conversations, if I say something deep, wise, and profound, people often declare I channeled it. I must be someone in their perceptions that could never of myself have anything wise or intelligent to say. Yet I wasn’t going to give away my power and my participation to a separate entity expressing through me. I knew I had to own every moment, every aspect of my life, to have any power to have a better life than the miserable one I’d been living.
I wasn’t a writer but I loved to try to be. There were two kinds of writing for me. If I wrote from my head, from my knowledge, it was such crap even my computer would dump it and I had to try again. I marveled at how when it came from my head it would disappear as if one of Santa’s elves was really watching me and knew just how to mess with electronics. Of course I’d played Santa Claus so I knew there was some other explanation but the fairies, guides, angels, archangels, masters descended and ascended, were only part of the list people talked about. They were quite proud of who they were being helped by, and there seemed to be competition to have the very highest and best. Of course it was only a matter of time people would be channeling some description of a supreme being, usually from Christian mythology.
Something was undeniably active in my life yet I knew I couldn’t declare belief in what it was, in fact I knew such a declaration would mean I created limitations for both myself and whoever, whatever was active in my life.
I only knew that if miracles weren’t a regular occurrence I needed to look at what I was doing out of harmony with them and find my way back into harmony. It was usually anger that I got lost in. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a lot to be angry about. I did. It was that I also knew it wasn’t serving me to be angry, but it came so easily.
So my first attempt at a novel was near perfect. I couldn’t edit it more than 18 punctuation changes I could find. It touched me deeply and I shared it with a few people who of course said nice things. They could see a guy down-and-out who was struggling to find something to believe in as his way out, couldn’t take much discouragement.
Just after that, visiting Nevada City, CA, USA, Blue Dolphin Publishing offered to publish my self-help book “Claim Your Power” but it was on a Commodore 64 computer and the owner told me he needed IBM format. I was not able to be honest enough to tell the owner that I didn’t have the resources and by the time I sold my motorboat in the spring to buy a computer and did the work myself, the offer went cold. I could see too how I bought into diversions that slowed me way down. Yet I somehow didn’t get the part that I had to say NO to diversions.
I helped a woman write her biography and wrote letters to try to get a representative to be interested in my books. One day I backed up my books on 5 floppy disks and did something I forgot for years, putting one of them in the pocket of a set of cassette tapes I cherished, The Dhammapada, the way of the Buddha.
Later I found my books all erased from the floppy disks and my computer. All my work was gone and for years I just couldn’t find my way to writing any more.
Then one day after the evolution of computers to a laptop without the feature for floppy disks, the other disk was found. I bought an adaptor to be able to read my disk through a USB port. My books were there! Writer’s block was gone and I realized how deeply I’d been discouraged.
There’d been a lot of living since the books disappeared. I now had a successful business, it was years since the child support garnishments had ended, and I had my own place nicely situated at the foot of Thunder Mountain in a beautiful destination resort town. I had a big motorcycle and a camp trailer to add to a van I bought new and a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I’d been around the world staying at an Ashram in India and made more trips overseas for personal growth. There was a string of relationships people referred to as serial monogamy I’d been seeing mirrors of myself in.
Getting back in touch with my lost books, I was misty eyed most of the way through reading “The Bridge Between Us” my novelette and realized I couldn’t re-do it. That was the birth of “The Gods Must Be Us.”
I’d tasted that creative space. I found that I could meditate and write. When it was from my heart and whatever parts of myself I seldom visited, it was amazing, yet my mind snuck in its say too. I spent 6 months following my plan to do as Richard Bach had done and write several alternative realities. I actually was a crusader against doomsday predictions and somehow wanted to play with them in such a way as to have the lesson be to live as if forever was inevitable one moment at a time.
Since being a kid laying in my bed up on the hill overlooking town and waiting for the evaporating blast of an atomic bomb while the fire siren wailed for hours before someone returned from the fire to turn it off, I wanted to write something that would make people think how final it would all be. So I started with that scenario not knowing how I would develop that alternate reality but knowing I wanted to somehow touch the deepest levels of finality if I could.
I surprised myself. Something different happened. My story kept evolving and started playing out the opposite direction I intended and before long I had written chapters of “how to” masterfully bringing together bits and pieces I knew to be right from my own experiences. It seemed so innocent and just ideas of fantasy. I was satisfied that section of the book was finished and took a trip to Nashville with my girlfriend to visit her family. What happened there so surprised me I made up all kinds of story of why I couldn’t ever publish what I’d written. I did another alternate reality and the reality of life goes on and declared the book finished to be left un-touched on a hard drive for 3 years.
Someone once declared me one of the world’s most powerful wizards. In Sedona people will say such outrageous things. I wasn’t sure if I was a wizard or not, but just in case I really knew something, I didn’t think the world was ready for it.
Meanwhile life taught me that my stories of why I couldn’t share that book with the world weren’t quite right.
Finally, during a 2 week series of events at the foot of Mount Shasta in Northern California, USA in June 2014 I felt strongly inspired to switch from the book I had been working to publish to the novel. I also felt I must write the experience that is now the preface of the book. Later, in India at a meditation resort, after getting the content edit back from Balboa, I dropped all but the story that led to that event and re-wrote most of the book. The setting couldn’t be more perfect. The floor of my room was the other side of the ceiling of the stage area of the pyramid of the main meditation hall. It was the next best thing to having my writing space in the meditation hall itself!
Those of you who know meditation and yoga know what the energy may have been like and how it would influence creativity!
Lark, my wife, says I need to go back to India to write the sequel. People come to Sedona to be in that kind of energy but Sedona is home and has been 1/3 of my life. We know the story line of the sequel and developing the manual for transformation from the concepts in the book seems like an easy task.
I couldn’t find a title for the book. Lark was driving through Northern Nevada on our way home from Mt. Shasta CA, USA, and I was taking notes on ideas from our conversation. When it was my turn to drive, as we were going along, I looked at a paper laying on the console and Lark’s suggestion illuminated. There was the title: “The Gods Must Be Us”. Later when the book cover was designed the staff of Balboa Press added the sub-title “When Fiction Becomes A Miracle.” The story I convinced myself I must not tell publicly was being boldly and joyfully proclaimed.
My challenge: get over myself and grow into it. There’s a force expressing in this book that has its own power not of me but which I participate in. It has had its own journey where sometimes I have been the biggest obstacle. As its representative I’ve said YES just as Teuton arrived at his YES and the book is, as the publishers say “alive” which I am learning means it has a life of its own now, out in the world moving and touching lives as it has mine, and I get to be its spokesman. How cool is that?