I was ordained an Interfaith minister at age 46 by Beautiful Painted Arrow and Reverend Betsy Stang in the Sound Chamber at the Wittenberg Center. Beautiful Painted Arrow aka Joseph Rael aka BPA is known to some of his friends and students as ‘that sneaky shaman,’ perhaps because of how his teachings sneak up on you sometimes many years later. Anyway one of his teachings is ‘confirmation.’ If you think something cosmic is happening ask for confirmation and you’ll get it.
I’ve been feeling called to do ceremony for the earth and today I went out back to burn some old herbs I’d had hanging around since forever. I knew I was making some offerings and followed intuitive prompts for a while. I started receiving feedback from the world. Actually I was getting feedback all along from a gentle deep background thunder that never really stopped for about a half hour or more. At one point I was giving thanks and I knew I had to give thanks for 911, even if the benefits from it are not very clear yet. As soon as I did there was a sound nearby like something dropped on the ground or hit something but I saw nothing. I just heard yesterday that Neem Karoli Baba Maharaji’s mahasamadhi (death) occurred on September 11, 1973 or 4. This guru’s impact on the west has been powerful, partly through Ram Das’ book BE HERE NOW featuring Bhagavan Das. A few weeks ago I noticed another quite remarkable coincidence. Vivekenanda, a disciple of the great guru Ramakrishna, was among the first to bring Vedanta to the United States in 1893. The first major address on Hinduism was delivered by him at the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago on September 11, 1893. It was a plea for interfaith tolerance. What is truly noteworthy about this date is that the time elapsed between that talk and the attack on the World Trade Towers was precisely 108 years. One hundred and eight is the holiest number in Hinduism and also features prominently in Tibetan Buddhism and some other traditions. On the face of it this indicates that the attack on the towers was somehow holy, or carries a special blessing or was ‘an act of God,’ as Bin Laden claims. Actually it’s not hard to imagine how this could be so. Suppose that something far worse was set to happen. Hopi prophecy, for example, allegedly predicts atom bombs to be ‘thrown’ on the US. Perhaps the introduction of vedantic concepts and yogic practices in the west got that penalty reduced to 911? Or perhaps the US has been given the advantage of a warning. Those events occurred on a day whose numbers are the American code (911) for ‘emergency.’ I’ve never heard Al Qaeda claim they did that on purpose. So is it a coincidence then? Or did God do it as a joke? Whatever it is, suffice it to say the events of that day are welded to the concept of emergency by virtue of the numbers 911.
Sitting on my stoop eating a sandwich a few minutes later I overhear the conversation of people pitching horseshoes next door. One says, “It’s 9 and 1.” I think wow, she almost said 911. Is that confirmation of my offering being received? I then thought not really. It’s close though. Then I wondered if the 1 could change to 11 but reasoned that would be hard because the second team would have to score ten points while the first team scored none. I thought, “well maybe if the next thing out of her mouth is ‘one.’” Instead the next thing she said was, “Now it’s 11 and 1. You’ll never catch us.” So, to me that is confirmation. It’s evidence that the principle of Causality is hitting the ping pong ball back onto my side of the table.
The search for God and the search for truth are one and they are no more than the search for comfort. That’s because not knowing God is excruciatingly painful.
I’m interested in what happens at the edges of ‘known’ reality, like the one Columbus thought they might sail over the edge of. Dark matter, crop circles, prophecies, ufos, miracles, visions, interdimensionality, etc.
Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge. As a kid I read a lot of Grandpa George’s books about the Loch Ness monster, famous con men, ghosts and such. When I started getting interested in mystical subjects I read a lot of ‘channeled’ material and accounts of near-death experiences and reports from ‘the other side.’ These accounts regularly include going through a tunnel, emerging on the other side and being met by “whatever you believe in.” Grandfather Thundercloud once had a vision in which he was invited to transition to the happy hunting ground, which he saw in great detail, where his deceased family and friends were. He was also shown the world in stark truth and he saw what terrible problems there were. He saw he still had a lot of work to do and turned down the pass to the happy hunting ground, but the point is he believed such a place existed. (He did not go through a tunnel. He was suspended above a fire.) Others are met first by Jesus or twenty-seven virgins, by their mother or their departed pet. It is a widely held notion that whatever you believe in and have a strong bond with is what you will experience after death.
Edgar Cayce often said “Mind is the builder.” What you see is what you get. “I’ll see that when I believe it.” Controlling the mind is the purpose of meditation. The relationship between inner and outer is the mysterious region of shamanism, psychology, dreams and psychoactive substances. I say the part of me that can talk doesn’t know much. Someday I might stop talking and only sing.
End of installment #1 of MEME MOI by Paul McMahon
Here’s a piece about Grandfather Thundercloud
Grandfather Thundercloud stood in the middle of a circle of about fifty or sixty people. He was in his seventies, about 6’3″ and very thin. When he spoke he sounded like an old black man from the south. The sky overhead was totally clouded over and it was misting lightly. It looked like it was going to rain all day. People were wondering if the medicine wheel ceremony would get rained out.
Grandfather Thundercloud looked up (I think he held his thunderbird pipe up to the sky) and said, “Grandfather, Wakan Tanka, we are here to do sacred ceremony to extend all life itself and I ask that no rain fall on the sacred fire once it is lit.” Suddenly there appeared a small circle of blue sky directly above the fire which Grandfather was lighting. Within ten minutes there was not one cloud in the sky. Not one. All blue.
So began Grandfather Thundercloud’s medicine wheel ceremony at a woman named Joy’s house somewhere in Westchester County in July 1990. The wheel consisted of 28 stones in a circle 28 feet across with a small fire-pit in the center. Thundercloud gave a long teaching about many subjects, the interconnectedness of all life, the four directions, healing, Jesus and the meaning of the Sacred Fire. He told stories of his visions and experiences, how he became a healer and more. He talked about the power of prayer and taught us ways of praying, like making an offering of cornmeal to the fire. At the end he smoked his sacred pipe and blessed us all individually.
I was assisting this day by tending the fire. I kept it going during the ceremony. As Thundercloud finished he instructed me not to put out the fire but to let it die by itself. The fire was understood, literally, to be God. As the fire dwindled I noticed the sky darkening over. When it finally went out I felt it jump out of the fire-pit and into me.
In about 10 minutes the rain started falling again. There had been none since Grandfather’s request at the lighting of the fire. Now it started again lightly, with overly large drops, but within a few minutes it was a downpour. Once it started pouring it poured nonstop for two or three hours. Probably two inches of rain fell after waiting so politely all that time for the Sacred Fire to go out.
That was also the day I was invited to play on WFMU’s on-the-air musical barbecue with Nick Hill. I had had to choose one or the other. As we drove back to Grandfather’s lightning struck off the highway about thirty yards away from us. It made no sound. He seemed not to notice it.
i am apparently secretly king of the universe and have apparently chosen woodstock as my planetary hQ for saving the world and/or universe and/or my soul and/or sanity and/or write a bestseller and/or escape the worst ravages of the end times and/or just have a good time and don’t hurt nobody; whatever resonates with you but essentially i’m here now. maybe a comedian on an incredibly inflated fictional egotrip of a fortunately god-realized ass-ended mashter tater, highfunctioning woodstockificator on a trance-mission to shave the whirled. my cover job is artist and/but my blessing aspiration is more in sound and silence. head and heart together is the way forward into the present. a grateful servant and child of the goddess kali and a worshipper of the goddess in all forms, a student of bhagavan das and beautiful painted arrow, the latter of whom, with rev betsy stang, ordained me at the sound chamber at the wittenberg center. i have taken refuge with bardor tulku, was made a relative by my younger sister gayle two eagles in a hunka ceremony in South Dakota, initiated into sufism on the street in brooklyn after having an interdimensional experience with lex hixon, initiated into kriya yoga by atmananda, received darshan from sri hari harinanda, pir vilayat inayat khan, and have been blessed by knowing grandfather thundercloud, grandmother twyla, ira schepetin, eleanor moore, reese williams, many more; saw long recitation of hopi prophecy by thomas banyacya, studied/did ceremony with two feathers, charlie thom, oshinnah, been in the presence of hh 14th dalai lama and hh 17th gwalya karmapa, blessed to meet grandfather titus lemson, arvol lookinghorse, grandfather william commanda, chubb, connected by providence to alex grey, daniel pinchbeck, and you.