THE SILVER PLATTER
Always A Rainbow At The End Of My Path
In April of 1992 I was kicking around Central America having spent most of the Winter in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, and then Panajachel, Guatemala, on the shores of stunning Lago Atitlan. I had roomed for awhile with an American college student in a bungalow complex about 30 km. from the world famous Mayan ruins of Tikal in the Peten Province of Guatemala. He had told me about the psychic talents of a woman he had traveled with and recommended that I look her up since she was then living in an area that I'd be passing through on my way to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
Her name was Marla Zahn, and she was a businesswoman from Washington State who had retired at a young age to travel and look for some suitable land in Central America. She had worked for the Peace Corps and was familiar with the conditions of Third World countries. I found her in Corozal, Belize, and eventually asked her to do a channeling for me while I tape-recorded the session. The most memorable thing that I recall from that particular channeling was that I was told that I have a "Money Star" following me around this lifetime and that money is the one thing that I do worry about and yet money is the one thing that I never need to worry about in this lifetime.
I fully understood that the "Money Star" was a symbol conveyed in the language of the channeling, and my interpretation of it through the years was that it was a force-field of some obscure sort that provided abundance to me in any time of need and in whatever form that abundance was needed. I never pretended to understand the reason for this "Money Star" and why it should be following me and was not given a glimpse into that until the Summer of 2003 while working with a very psychic woman. In fact, I wasn't even sure that I believed in it until I began reviewing the events of my life and the repeated "miracles" that crossed my path when most needed and least expected.
Then years later when visiting friends and, in fact, spending the Winter in Southern Oregon, I was informed by a very psychic man that I had a "Silver Platter" available to me this lifetime and that it has always been there though little did I know of its existence. This man was of Eastern Indian origin and had the most unusual ability to consciously receive spontaneous messages from his Higher Self, That Which is called The Atman in India. This revelation occurred, unexpectedly, when sitting around the kitchen table one evening with him and his wife who considered me like a brother to her.
It was recognized as a symbol by all and not taken as a literal aetheric silver platter. The symbol was given to him to pass on to me, and I was told that it represents a source of abundance and assistance sent to me from a Higher Level of Existence, that it had been granted by The Great Lords of Karma for this Star System of evolutionary schemes as a reward for the love and compassion that I hold in my heart as well as for the numerous good actions and good deeds that I have performed in my other lifetimes and, to some extent, in this one. I was told that it was a karmic tool for me to learn the true meaning of "whatsoever you sow, you will reap". It was a reward for my good heart and good actions and has been there for me my entire incarnation, for without it I would have been dead a long time ago (according to the explanation given to me).
A few years later, during the Summer of 2003 when I worked in the proximity of Mt. Shasta, California, I was further informed about "The Silver Platter" by The Guides of the highly psychic woman that I worked with. They said that the silver color of the platter was also representative of protection as in the color of the shields and armor of the knights of the Middle Ages. The Silver Platter Force-field was also one of protection for me, a source of personal protection from a very High Level, so I was told.
A few years later, there was another updating of information associated with this Silver Platter in the early part of 2006. A highly intuitive friend who had been receiving messages for me from The Spiritual Hierarchy for Planet Earth had a strange but fascinating experience. As he was glancing through an old photo album, he came upon a picture of my sister, Virginia, who had had Cerebral Palsy and "died" in 1967. Immediately as he looked at the photo, the following message repeatedly came into his mind so strongly and forcefully that he said it was like it was being hammered there: " Here is Jim's Silver Platter ", " Here is Jim's Silver Platter ", etc. Then he digitalized the picture, and when he went to name it, he received in his mind an even more forceful message: "Ascended Master", "Ascended Master", etc.
Through his psychic/receptive input, it was clarified that The Master Who had incarnated as my sister was The Administrator, so to speak, of all the help and abundance and protection symbolized by that Silver Platter which had ultimately been granted by The Lords of Karma for reasons mentioned. I was told that This Master is always with me and serves as a protective Guardian to me.
I then made an effort to try to recall those many instances in my turbulent and impulse-driven life wherein "The Money Star" and/or "The Silver Platter" may have been operational if, indeed, they do exist, and if I've not been misled into believing in their existence. I recognized that the symbol of "The Silver Platter" was an updating and a reinforcement for me of the earlier symbol of "The Money Star".
This exercise proceeds with a real sense of wonderment, surprise, and confusion that such help could be made available to such a one as myself, who is not pressing for sainthood or sanctity or anything of the sort. The whole matter remains fairly mysterious to me, but the memories should speak for themselves.
1. As a small child in Fowler, Indiana, one winter morning I stood too close to an electric heater for its warmth, and my bathrobe caught fire. I hysterically ran screaming through the house, then around the back yard, for what seemed like the longest time, the robe becoming more enveloped in flames. When I was finally caught, I was rolled around on the ground in my burning robe to put out the fire. As I recall, I received no burn wounds whatsoever from the incident.
2. In my senior year in high school at Boys Town, Nebraska, I had been accepted to college at San Jose State in California for Fall Semester 1962, however I had no money, no scholarship, or any visible way of paying for it. But I don't ever recall worrying about it or wondering that much about how I was to pay for this college education. I just assumed that I would somehow be attending in the Fall. I can't explain it, but I had some unassailable conviction that I would just be going to college in the Fall.
During the Summer that I spent in Indiana, a part time lifeguard job came my way even though the pool (in Oxford) had already hired its usual full time staff. It didn't pay much at all, but Red (my Dad) said that he would match each one of my paychecks, and by the end of the Summer I was heading for California to go to college.
3. The amount of money saved during the Summer of 1962 was hardly enough for even one semester of college, but that failed to deter my enthusiasm and determination. "Red" would, now and then, send $50 which barely squeezed me through the first semester. However, there was definitely no money for tuition, books, and board for the second semester.
On semester break, along came my step-father (Julius) who lived in San Francisco and worked as a steamfitter and plumber on a large project. He got me a job during the break which raised enough money for my tuition and books (but little else, to be frank). There was no money for room and board let alone any other expenses. During the first semester I had been "rushed" by Sigma Pi Fraternity and invited to pledge, but their monthly fees (or dues) were even more than the boarding house I stayed in for the first semester.
Upon returning from semester break, I was informed by Sigma Pi that if I pledged their fraternity and "hashed" the meals (serving, washing the dishes, and cleaning up) I could stay at the fraternity house free plus get my meals. Thus Spring Semester was covered, and I couldn't have made it otherwise!
4. For the Summer of 1963 I went down to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to stay with a close buddy from Boys Town, Greg Paul. Again, for some reason, I didn't have monetary concerns for the next school year, and I didn't particularly look very hard for work, although my lack of transportation was a factor. I got a part-time job lifeguarding at a neighborhood pool, which paid a pittance and I had very little by the end of the Summer. Even so, I was still drawn to return to San Jose despite having no financial means or prospects for enrolling in classes.
I hitch-hiked back for "hell week" to become initiated as an active member into the fraternity. My money was gone before registration had even begun, and I had not eaten in 2 days. I don't know what I expected in going to San Jose without the money, but I guess that at some level I must have known that I would be attending Fall Semester at SJS. It was one of those impulses that I followed without rationality. Then when my plight became known at Sigma Pi, someone told me about the student loan programs, something I had never even heard of before (naively).
I made a bee-line for the student aid office, met with a loan officer, and when he saw my GPA (grade point average) for the first year and heard of my dad's modest income, he pushed it right through then and there, saying I was the type of applicant they were looking for for the NDEA loan program. That very day I had the check and enough to cover expenses for the semester and was just barely in time for class registration. It seemed at the time just like manna from Heaven, and each subsequent semester the check from the NDEA (National Defense Education Act) was there for me all the way through college, the big fat handout.
I might mention that when I went off to college, I had no idea how I was going to pay for it. I had no savings; my father didn't have the money; and I wasn't aware of loan programs. That didn't seem to restrain me. I went anyway. And the money came when it was needed. I had even been discouraged by my high school academic adviser to forget college because of no means for financing it.
5. During Summers while away from college (1963 to 1966), I lifeguarded, coached, and competed in springboard diving and swimming. At a swim meet in Hoopeston, Illinois, I took the first practice dive off their diving board. The diving end was much shallower than our accustomed depth at Oxford, Indiana, where even there I would immediately be at the bottom of the diving pit on a good dive. At Hoopeston, my head very forcefully hit concrete bottom without the protection of my outstretched hands, because I wasn't expecting it to be so shallow and because it was a near-perfect vertical entry.
I was stunned, and when I climbed out of the water I had sustained only a frontal scalp laceration which had to be suture closed. Because of the swiftness and force with which I hit that bottom, I could well have gotten a much more serious head and/or spinal cord neck injury, but it didn't happen.
6. When I returned to Indiana for the Summer of 1964, Red presented me with my very first car, a '54 Chevy that he'd gotten for $75, and I was thoroughly delighted with my freedom of movement and transportation. Anyway, that Christmas Break from SJS the Surfer Owl and I (the Seal) took my '54 Chevy down to Long Beach (Calif.) to stay for free at one of the Sigma Pi chapters there at Long Beach State. As usual we were both very low with the legal tender, and though stretching it in ingenious ways we didn't between us have enough to get back to San Jose. We had just enough gas to make it halfway, but still we set out in that direction. Along the way, we found enough used soft drink bottles to turn in for deposit and come up with enough cash to roll into San Jose on absolutely treadless tires, a fuel gauge reading beyond empty, and 2 quarts low on oil -- presumably wafted in on the fumes.
7. During college days, I was at a party one weekend night in San Jose, a beer bust of sorts. For reasons not recalled, an altercation occurred between me and another guy who might have been one of the organizers of the party. He was quite a bit larger than me, had pushed me toward the street and, I think, was trying to eject me from the party. I was drunk and feeling aggressive. I broke my beer bottle on the curb, holding onto the neck and the jagged glass fragment, went into a fighting crouch, and was going to use the sharp instrument as a weapon. He wasn’t backing down or being intimidated.
Just precisely as he was going to lunge at me, suddenly, as if out of the blue, two of my fraternity brothers were there on either side of me, dragging me away and stopping the fight. I didn't even know they were there at the party and saw them only when they suddenly appeared! That broken bottle was a deadly weapon, and the consequences of using it would have been far reaching in my life, my education, and career. In fact, I never would have been accepted into medical school with a felony conviction like that.
8. Arriving in hometown Indiana for the Summer prior to starting medical school (1966), I had no money or job prospects as usual. Then one day my aunt casually mentioned that the new community swimming pool was nearing completion and that the town board would be looking for a manager. I called the man whose pet project it was and arranged for an interview. After our discussion, he said that I was just the type they were looking for because of my experience. My hiring would have to be passed at the town board meeting, which I didn't even bother to attend though it would have helped in getting the job.
Nonetheless, the board approved my hiring and even granted the full salary amount that I had asked for. My Summer was set and the money was good, giving me a head start toward the first year of medical school. Then once enrolled in the medical education process, I always received, through the years, all the loans I applied for to cover the expenses of that education and for some extracurricular frolickings as well.
9. Just a few weeks before starting medical school at Indiana University in 1966, I had driven to San Jose, California, to party with the boys for a couple weeks. The car I was driving was an old Desoto or something. It had run well on the way out and all the while there. On the return trip, a distance of some 2500 miles across desert, mountain ranges, and the Great Plains, it cruised along its way without apparent difficulty to me. However, when I had gotten just 10 miles from my hometown destination, that car flat out died and gave up the ghost for good, the motor blown.
The implication is, of course, that it could have happened anywhere out there in that vast expanse between Indiana and California. Yet where it did happen was close enough for "Red" to come and get me for the short ride home. And it happened on the weekend when he would be home and not at work in Indianapolis.
10. When I first applied for medical school at Indiana University, I applied to just one school not knowing that most applicants applied to several (or a bunch of) medical schools at a time just to get into one. Additionally, I applied after only 3 years of undergraduate studies and without a bachelor's degree, which was generally considered to be the minimum requirement. Furthermore, because I was on the West Coast I could not return to Indiana for the interview with the admissions committee and had to have mine conducted at Stanford University. Yet I was accepted (possibly with outside intervention).
11. In the Fall of 1967 I made a determination that I was going to hitch-hike to South America, having taken a year's leave of absence from medical school. I guess that I had no fear in those days and was looking for adventure. I had only $500 in savings; I couldn't speak Spanish, and I carried no map or Spanish-English dictionary (or even a canteen). I was simply going to South America and wouldn't be deterred by minor obstacles. With back-pack, sleeping bag, and passport I fearlessly (and probably foolishly) set out on the road in a southerly direction, knowing that a number of Latin American countries were in violent revolution and having the hairy and bearded appearance of a revolutionary of the time. The longer hairstyles of North America would take many years before they became popular in Latin America, and "hippies" were social outcasts and threats to the established order.
I guess that my first encounter with danger after crossing into Mexico should have been a sign and an omen to me, but I knew nothing of those things back then. It was after nightfall and I was on the outskirts of Mexicali along the road leading down into the interior. Looking to get some shut-eye, I just rolled out my sleeping bag on the ground not far from the road and climbed in. A very persistent man that I'd never seen before came up to me and kept repeating "peligrosa" in an urgent tone and pointing to a bus stop shelter that had a tin roof I could sleep on. This man was so insistent and adamant in warning me, a stranger, that I finally heeded his warning as I took it to be, though I didn't learn until later that peligrosa meant dangerous. I don't know where that man came from or what prompted him to get me off the ground, but I passed the night without incident and the tone was set for the rest of the journey.
Trying to conserve money, I laid down my sleeping bag just about any place I could think of that was free. I went to police stations and asked to be allowed to spend the night in one of their cells, and yet despite my revolutionary appearance they always let me out the next day, sometimes feeding me. I went to fire stations and did the same thing. The military barracks of the National Guard in Guatemala City took me in for a night in the same quarters as the troops who were most fascinated with my long hair. (Guatemala was a dictatorship at the time.) I slept in ambulances at the Red Cross, and I slept along the roadside in many Latin American countries, some of which were in revolution, but no harm ever came to me from man or beast (or snake or malaria-carrying mosquito).
12. During my trip to and through South America, the money ran out somewhere in Northern Peru even though I had been extremely frugal. The primary destination was Rio De Janeiro and that was thousands of miles away through Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and much of Brazil, but I wasn't going to let a little thing like the lack of money whatsoever stand in the way of my going there. As I pushed onward with no money and knowing very little Spanish, whenever a need arose it seemed to be provided and most of the time without my asking. Meals and various forms of lodging were offered many times. Rides were given to me, money dropped into my hands, and invitations were made to let me stay in a private home for the night. These offers and handouts and gifts were to see me all the way to Rio De Janeiro.
I remember walking down the highway in No. Peru with pack on back and thumb out for a ride. The Peruvian Coastline is one of the driest, most arid places on Earth, and I wasn't even carrying any water on me. I was just walking into the desert and hoping for a ride. I was startled to hear someone shouting at me from some little adobe structure a couple hundred yards away from the highway. A woman was waving her arms at me and shouting something about agua. After I stopped, she came all the way over to the highway and brought me a large glass of water for me to drink before I walked any further down the road. How she knew that I had no water is beyond me.
When I finally did get that ride, it was with a trucker going to Lima. The truck had two trailers that were open to the sky. They had no roofs. I joined several other people in the first trailer behind the diesel cab. I found out too late that the driver was a maniac and screamed through the desert as fast as he could go. On one passing maneuver he swerved out too suddenly to pass another vehicle, and the rear trailer began to sway and rock increasingly which was destabilizing the whole rig. We watched it sway further and further and thought it would flip both trailers, and we had no protection of a roof. It continued swaying until it flipped over on its side in a cloud of dust and burning rubber, but somehow the front trailer remained standing as the imbecile brought it all to a stop. Had our trailer gone as well, we all may have been killed, and as it turned out there was no oncoming traffic while the trailers swayed and pitched from side to side down the road. Without a word and feeling weak-kneed and distracted, I walked on down the road ruminating on the close one.
13. To get from Panama into Colombia I followed a smuggler on his trail through the jungle for two days. We had to cross 15 or 20 streams and rivers along the way, and I was wearing cowboy boots as my only alternative to Mexican huaraches. The boots rubbed sores into my ankles, and they became infected later on as I continued my travel. I had no money for medicine and just lived with the festering wounds which were growing larger. My wrists had also developed circumscribed infections which had gotten to be about 2 inches in diameter by the time I got to Lima, Peru. I tried to pay them no mind, but they were pretty unsightly.
As I was sitting in a little park in Lima, a man came up to me and handed me a tube of some antimicrobial ointment and pointed to my wrists and ankles. He had bought it at a Farmacia and brought it to me as a gift. Whether those lesions were bacterial or fungal infections, I know not now, but the ointment cleared them up and at a time when I had become virtually penniless.
14. My travel had gotten me all the way to Buenos Aires, Argentina, but there were no roads north to Uruguay, because the two countries are separated by the wide Rio Plate, and the only way to get there was by ferryboat. I went to the ferry terminal and asked at the ticket counter for the price of a ticket just to see how much I was lacking. I dejectedly told the agent that I had no money and would just have to think things over as to what I would do next. I sat down leaning against a wall in the terminal thinking that my sojourn may have come to a halt, but soon employees of the terminal were dropping spare change into my hands and I had enough for the ferry to Uruguay (much to my surprise).
While on that ferry, I met a German student who invited me to travel with him on his way to Rio De Janeiro. He was also hitch-hiking to conserve the money, and he shared all his food with me. We got all the way through Uruguay and into Southern Brazil, when he said that he didn't want to miss Carnival in Rio and so bought a bus ticket for the rest of the way. However, before he left he handed me enough money for my own ticket to Rio and some food along the way. The Carnival had been my own destination, and I have to say that I arrived in Rio the very day that it started after traveling thousands and thousands of miles without a penny to my name, knowing very little Spanish and knowing no Portuguese once in Brazil.
15. The day that I arrived in Rio penniless but undaunted, I just wandered the streets with back-pack on and hair billowing as the Carnival celebration was getting off to a start everywhere. I just happened to run into an American graduate student down there working on his thesis, and without my prompting he invited me to stay at his apartment and gave me spending money to boot. Then within a week, my mail had arrived at the American Embassy (or Consulate) in Rio, which included my tax return from the previous year, and I had some money at long last.
16. Thrown into a dangerous prison in Asuncion, Paraguay, for being with a Danish guy who got into a knife fight in an (ahem) house of ill repute, we were subject to the whims of a totalitarian state which was run by an ex-Nazi dictator (Straussner) for 30 years. The guards of the prison, in a drunken frenzy on the previous New Year's Eve, had slaughtered by machine gun fire 100 of their most hated prisoners and then made the other prisoners clean up the bloody mess. Imprisonment without charge or trial was commonplace, and we were not informed of the charges or arraignment or a trial date, etc. We were just thrown into prison. I thought it was probably good-bye USA after several days of silence.
The Danish guy got through to a library employee who spoke German and who contacted the Danish Consul who, in turn, went looking for a lawyer. After a few more days, we found ourselves standing before a judge in a "Hearing" arranged by the lawyer who had taken our case. He pled our case so passionately and so convincingly before this judge that the judge said he would release us from prison and give us 12 hours to be out of the country before the indictment or the charges against us would be handed over to the police.
Then this angel of mercy of a lawyer astonishingly told us that he would accept no fee for his service, because he was ashamed of what his country had done to us. He (whoever he was) refused a fee for getting us free. Then to avoid possible detection or any kind of a problem at an exit point from Paraguay, the Danish Consul found a Guarani Native to row us across the river separating Paraguay from Argentina.
17. After leaving Paraguay, I made my way across Northern Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru eventually landing back in Lima, the capital. By then I was having the wearisome sensation that I had just about had enough of the traveling for awhile, but I was still in South America and a long ways from the States. If I were to have returned by land, it may have taken months, the way I was traveling. In Rio I had gotten my draft notice for the military when I picked up my mail and didn't have that much time if I were to comply (very reluctantly).
I went to the airport in Lima just to find out the cost of a flight to Miami, the closest and cheapest destination in the States, but I really didn't think that I would have enough to do it. As it turned out, the cost of the ticket was exactly the amount that I had left, $200! And I mean exactly. When I arrived in Miami, I was basically penniless again and a long way from home in Indiana. Well, a phone call to Red provided all that was needed. Money was wired, and I was on the first smokin' Hound headed north.
18. When I was conscripted into the U.S. Army in 1968 during a one year leave of absence from medical school (because my draft status had changed while on leave), I was a 2-year draftee, which would mean 2 years of active duty and 4 years of inactive reserve. Those who signed up for an extra year (total of 3) of active duty would get their MOS (military occupational specialty) or job of choice. Those who remained 2-year draftees or Regular Army invariably ended up in one of the combat arms (infantry, artillery, or armor) right after Basic Training and then, of course, went to Vietnam during that time.
I hated the Army and its mentality so much that I opted to take my "chance" for only 2 years. After Basic Training in my unit at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, all of the 2-year draftees went to combat arms except me. No orders came down for me for days, until I discovered that I'd been assigned in OJT (on the job training) as a personnel clerk right there at Fort Campbell. I had been the only trainee left in my Basic Training Company awaiting orders. It's readily known that many of those in the combat arms who went to Vietnam lost life, limb, or sanity in the Vietnam War.
19. In 1969 my orders came down for Vietnam, and I was assigned to a combat unit from which I really didn't think I was returning alive. I had given all my things away before I left the States, and I had stopped writing all my relatives and friends. I thought Vietnam was the end of the line and that this disgruntled G.I. wasn't returning to "The World" (as we called the U.S.)
About 3 months into my tour of duty, I received a letter like a bolt out of the blue. It was from a personnel clerk that I'd known at Ft. Campbell, a guy I'd gone out with on a couple of occasions to raise hell but not someone who was particularly that much of a friend. We'd just kicked around a few times together with mutual friends, and I never thought that I'd see him or hear from him again after leaving Ft. Campbell. Besides, I don't recall sending him my address once I was assigned to a unit after arriving in country in Vietnam. I have no idea how he got my address or why he even sought it out.
In his letter he indicated that he had been assigned to the U.S. Army Headquarters in Vietnam (USARV HQ)) and, in fact, had been placed in the position of assigning or reassigning all enlisted personnel in country, an amazingly powerful position. He could cut orders from the top Army Headquarters in all of Vietnam to reassign any enlisted soldiers in the Army to anyplace that he wanted. He asked me if there was anything else that I would rather be doing or anyplace else that I'd rather be in Vietnam. I could hardly believe my eyes!
I responded, still in disbelief, that yes, I would rather be doing anything else than what I was currently doing and casually mentioned some life-guard experience in civilian life. Within 2 weeks, I received orders all the way from U.S. Army Hqtrs. in Vietnam that could not be countermanded by any of my incredulous local commanders. The orders stated that I was to be reassigned to the Vung Tau Sub Area Command as a lifeguard to work on the beach at the in-country R & R Center (Rest and Recuperation) of Vung Tau, which had been the French Colonial resort of Cap Saint Jacques.
It was a beach area along the South China Sea and one of the most secure areas in the country with R&R centers also for the Aussies and Kiwis, the South Koreans, the South Vietnamese Forces, as well as the Americans. I spent the rest of my time in the Vietnam War as a life-guard on the South China Sea, getting a tan, drinking 10 cent beers at The Beachcomber on the American Beach, and chasing French Vietnamese girls around Vung Tau. And I never saw nor heard from my personnel clerk friend again, though I've often smiled at his memory through the years.
20. When reapplying to medical school a second time (in 1972), having lost 5 years in that effort due to military conscription during the Vietnam War, I applied to the University of Missouri in Columbia. However, I failed to make 2 separate and critical appointments for interview on consecutive occasions. On both occasions, while attempting to drive my old Pontiac junk heap from Springfield (Southwest Missouri State) to Columbia, the beast broke down and I had to call and cancel. Finally, on the third attempt I made it by driving the car of a friend.
Medical school admission committees place such qualities as reliability, foresight, planning, punctuality, meeting deadlines and appointments, and judgement all into the equation when evaluating applicants for the highly competitive places for a medical school class. Yet despite my repeated faux pas, and despite the more difficult nature of getting accepted a second time, I was accepted. And again I had applied to only one medical school.
21. While driving to Mexico from Columbia, Missouri, one Christmas Break from medical school, I encountered a snowstorm in Oklahoma and an ice-covered turnpike. Most of the traffic had gotten off the road or pulled to the side, but I continued on in my bull-headed determination. At some point I hit a patch of ice that sent my car sliding out of control.
It skidded through and across the center strip dividing the lanes of the turnpike and drifted into the oncoming lanes while spinning in a complete circle before coming to a stop. As it turns out, there was no oncoming traffic at that precise moment, and there was no bridge or other obstacle or drop-off in the dividing strip to impede my progress (or kill me).
22. On a trip to Mexico one year during Christmas Break from medical school, I was way down in the State of Jalisco hanging out on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta. I had depleted my monetary resources past the point of return and didn't have enough pesos to get back to the States (this despite sleeping in the back seat of my car, a big Mercury Marauder). I met a friendly man on the same beach several times and he came to know of my plight. If I could get back across the border, I could use my petroleum company credit cards to get myself the rest of the way to Columbia, Missouri (Pemex was the only kind of gas station in Mexico).
On the night before he was to return home, he took me out to dinner at one of the more exclusive restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, and as we were parting for the evening he handed me his copy of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" which he wanted me to read. Though he had made no mention of it, tucked inside the pages of the book were enough pesos to get me back across the Mexican border (which was a very long drive) and, with the use of my credit cards, back to my medical school in Missouri.
23. Visiting friends in Northern California on a break from medical school (Spring of 1976), I was in Durham near Chico. Their property was accessed by a narrow dirt lane over some railroad tracks of a busily frequented north-south line. One evening in the dusk hour of waning daylight when crossing this narrow lane slightly off center, my car bottomed out and got stuck on the tracks. Quite a few people were at the house having a party and came out to help, but all of them combined could still not move my car off the tracks.
Then to the south we saw a train coming in the distance, and I thought it was all over for my transportation, the newest car I had ever owned, a Ford Elite. A last ditch effort of desperate pushing and lifting simply would not budge it. About a mile from our crossing the train came to a halt to my disbelief. We later learned that some people who lived across the road had called the county sheriff who, in turn, had called the railroad company which had radioed ahead for the train to stop. The sheriff had also dispatched a tow truck out to the scene, and soon it had lifted my car off the tracks. I didn't even have to pay for the tow truck, as one of the partyers offered the use of her AAA card.
24. One evening (1979) in Lafayette, Indiana, while out drinking and hopping bars with a cousin, I was speeding along a highway to the next spot. A cop had tailed me and pulled me over for speeding. Although drunk and caught red-handed for speeding, I became very abusive and hostile to the cop, angrily telling him off in some fashion that I don't now recall for stopping me. Not only did I not get a speeding ticket, but I was not arrested for drunk driving though I was likely over the limit and my breath must surely have smelled of booze. The cop simply told my cousin to get behind the wheel and drive, and then he took off.
25. I had moved from Indiana to Chico, California, in the Summer of 1980 after closing my medical practice down in the Hoosier State, hauling everything I owned in a U Haul trailer. I then proceeded to frolic and play for about 6 months until the cash reserves were almost depleted. Pondering my options, I decided to set up a medical practice in Durham near Chico but, of course, had no money with which to do it. It would take about $35,000 overall to do it.
I had poor credit from Indiana and nothing as collateral. How could I pull this off under the circumstances? I was facing no other prospect and the cash was running low. Well, "some thing" clicked in for me, and the support came flowing in. A banker friend of a friend gave me a $5,000 personal loan on my signature. A carpenter friend would do the interior remodeling of the office on credit. Other friends, who were teachers in San Jose, extended me about $10,000 in loans from their credit union so I could get some equipment and supplies. But the full order from a medical supply business left me roughly $20,000 in the red, and they wouldn't wait long to be paid.
A woman from the community, who was a well-to-do almond rancher, befriended me over the next couple of months, becoming a patient and sending others. When I approached her one day to be a co-signator on the big loan (20 thou) that I needed to keep the practice open, she agreed. The bank then granted the guaranteed loan, and all my start up costs were covered -- in ways that I never could have anticipated nor thought possible.
26. In 1985 I had been living in the Panhandle of Florida for a couple of years, being in private medical practice. My wife and I had separated, and she was living in Chico, Calif., with her parents. I drove her VW to No. Calif. to return her car to her, and by the time I had arrived I was virtually down to $50 to my name with no savings in the bank or anywhere else for that matter. I had no idea how I would get back to Florida or what I would do for money once I did, because the medical practice had been closed, but even so I do not recall spending my time worrying about it. I was just stranded in Chico, Calif., with $50 and no transportation.
Well, while drinking beer with some "buddies", I let my predicament be known without asking anyone for help. I was just humorously describing the Seal's latest screw-up to prompt a chuckle or two, as if to say, "I wonder what's next in this adventure." The Hideous Klip (Kent Klippel) was there and said that he had a TWA credit card that he could let me fly on if I would repay him and if it could get me anywhere near to where I needed to go. It just so happened that TWA did fly to Pensacola, Florida, and I found myself being given The Gift once again, in the nick of time I might add.
27. Once back in Florida and having closed down the medical practice, I was without income and pretty much in the same position with a few dollars and a desire to extricate myself from Florida and move back to No. Calif. To complicate matters, my car was badly in need of repairs and would not make the trip otherwise. The tourists had gone home for the season and the area was fairly unpopulated (South Walton County of the Panhandle), nevertheless I thought I would attempt to sell off some of my office equipment and furniture.
The response was far better than I could have imagined, and I was able to generate several thousand dollars which took care of the necessary car repairs and the expenses of hauling all the personal belongings in a camper trailer back to California. Then after arrival in Chico, I was given a place to park my trailer and live freely in the driveway of my wife's grandmother. In fact, I had done so well with the sale that I had enough leftover for a 2-month venture down to the Mexican Riviera.
28. In the Fall of 1986 I flew down to Australia, The Land of Oz, to kick around for awhile and see the country. I had bought an old Ford station wagon in Sydney for $500 and, after seeing much of Queensland, I was driving across the country on the northern route to Western Australia. The steering column was on the right-hand side, and the vehicles drove on the left side of the road as inherited from Britain, so I had to stay focused on the driving as I could never get used to or comfortable with the arrangement. And furthermore, the only highway that connected the East and West Coasts in the north of the country was too narrow to accommodate two vehicles passing each other side-by-side. It was not even a two-lane highway, and the various provincial governments didn't even bother with a center stripe. The larger the vehicle and the more aggressive the driver, the more right-of-way was assumed. It was a guessing game requiring considerable flexibility (and tolerance).
As I got out into Western Queensland, the bush opened up and there were no more trees and very few bushes for that matter. The towns were hundreds of miles apart, and there was very little traffic on the only highway that joined the two coasts in the north of the country. I had noted with curiosity a kangaroo carcass by the side of the road every kilometer or two and kept my speed down and an eye out for the suicidal 'roos. The ice chest was within arm's reach; the beers were chilled to perfection; the sunset had been inspirational; and a wave of self-satisfaction had washed over me as the dusk gathered around the endless desert landscape.
From out of nowhere, it seemed, a huge kangaroo came bounding onto the road in front of me, and I had no time to swerve or slow down enough before impact. The inevitable came in an instant, and I crashed into the big 'roo, coming to a halt in the middle of the road. The kangaroo was tossed onto the roof of the station wagon, tumbled over it, landed on its feet, and unceremoniously bounded off into the bush as though nothing unusual had happened, leaving me swearing a blue streak into the silent void.
Steam was coming from under the hood, and the motor wouldn't turn over, so I looked under the hood. The radiator had been pushed into the fan, and the fluid had all leaked out. I had no tools and found myself stuck 250 miles from the nearest town. The mood had definitely altered, and some of that steam could have been emanating from out of my ears. And yet, it couldn't have been longer than 15 minutes before a car pulled up beside me, and the driver got out to help me without my asking. When he saw the radiator, he pulled out his tools, dismantled it, and gave me a ride all the way to the nearest town.
It took 3 days to get a new radiator delivered, and then I hitch-hiked back to the vehicle with no problem. But there I was in the middle of the Queensland bush with a new radiator and no tools to install it. The very first driver that came along stopped and had the tools and installed it for me, asking nothing in return and wishing the Yank (me) well.
29. Continuing my journey across Northern Australia, I had gotten well into the Northern Territory, which was even less populated and drier than where I'd been. I had been watching a road train in the distance, coming my way and kicking up clouds of dust which allowed me to see it from miles away. Road trains are big diesel trucks (lorries) that pull 3 or 4 trailers that are a lot larger than their American counterparts, and the trucks have massive 'roo bars mounted on the front for mowing down any animal foolish enough to stray into its path. They drive right down the center of the road giving right of way to no one except maybe another road train.
Well, I knew I would have to get off the road to let it through, but I couldn't find any safe spot because of embankment and other obstacles. The road train wasn't slowing down and was getting closer as I searched frantically for a place to pull off. Then I could see ahead of me a one lane bridge with a suitable spot just on the other side of the bridge, but I would have to hurry if I was going to beat the road train to the bridge. So I sped up.
All of a sudden the hood of my station wagon flew up and smashed against my windshield and I couldn't see anything ahead of me, not the road train or the bridge or the road. So, I leaned out of my right-sided driver's window to be able to see enough of the road and the bridge, although I couldn't see the left side of the road after the bridge where I'd have to pull off. I could hear the road train coming and see the dust it spread, but the distance and the speed was impossible to gauge. This was an all or nothing with heart-in-throat situation, and there was no time for panic. Just as I crossed the bridge and radically swerved off the left side of the road, the road train was upon me, never having slowed down, and roared past over the bridge, four huge trailers passing in a blur as I fumbled with the cap of a beer bottle in hopes of calming my frazzled nerves.
The kangaroo impact had damaged the hood latch mechanism, and as it turned out the roadside spot on the other side of the bridge didn't have any obstacles.
30. In 1987 I was beginning to feel the need to get out of the Sacramento Valley, especially the pace and congestion of Chico, and I hoped to get a small plot of land for myself. I hadn't really made or saved that much from doing periodic "locum tenens" in the medical field, but I thought I would look anyway. One day while perusing the classifieds for real estate, a particular add just seemed to jump right out at me and immediately grab my attention. It was for a piece of land in an area that I hadn't even considered looking into, Forest Ranch, about 15 miles from Chico and at an altitude of roughly 2500 ft. on the western slopes of the Sierra Mountain Range.
The three and one half acres was undeveloped and its original growth trees had never been violated. It was just off a paved road, and the power line was easily accessible. The real estate agent and the owner worked out a contract that made it affordable to me with a modest down payment and monthly payments of $250. Thus I was able to afford the site preparation, the county red tape, and purchasing and installing a used mobile home there. The way the whole process worked out, it was almost as though it was being orchestrated from another Level of Existence, because it dovetailed toward my limited abilities to pay for the whole deal.
It became my sanctuary in the world, my elysium, and my safe harbor from the madness of the masses in the valley down below. That is where I underwent my transformation of consciousness and transmutation of self, and I then understood why it had come to me so easily in an area where the real estate prices were prohibitively expensive (because it had become time for me to undergo my expansion of awareness). It was the finest place I had ever lived, and the nearly 4 years there were the most important years in my life (to that point in time).
31. When living at my beloved sanctuary in the mountains of Forest Ranch, Calif., I had returned my medical license to the State of Calif., no longer desiring to be a part of the deluded allopathic "profession" and needing to live my inner integrity. I had no income, savings, or liquid assets to turn to. My money was close to running out yet again, and the payments on the land were $250 per month. The previous year when I was flush with bucks, I had bought the Klip's camper trailer for $1500, so I would make an attempt to sell this to generate some money.
The very first person I contacted by mail, a yuppie computer jock named Brandon Persinger living in Sacramento, expressed interest in it. He and his wife came to look at it a few days later and bought it on the spot, handing me $2500 in cash on the barrelhead. They hooked it up to his trailer hitch and drove it away that day. The money covered my payments for 6 months and all my other modest living expenses.
32. In the Summer of 1989, I decided to go on a road trip in my '64 Cadillac Convertible. There was no particular destination in mind. I would allow for inner promptings and synchronicity to guide my way. Before I left, I drove down to Chico, Calif., from Forest Ranch to visit an old friend (the Surfer Owl) who was in town for a short stay.
When I told him of my plans and without prompting or being asked, he said he'd check out a few things on my Cadillac before I hit the road. He found that the oil drain plug of the oil pan was loose and ready to fall off. If I had taken off with it that way, the motor would have seized up and blown when all of the oil had drained out from the pan. Whatever prompted him to get under my car and look at that plug?
33. One Summer (1989) while living in Forest Ranch I had the urge to get away and get out on the road to dance with spontaneity and synchronicity. I had only a couple hundred dollars (a familiar refrain) and still no income. Though my credit with them was absurdly bad, I applied to several petroleum companies for credit cards, and to my wonderment I received 2 cards back. I had forfeited on accounts with both of these companies only several years previously.
Now I would travel for free. After traversing much of Canada, my journey found me in Indiana visiting cousins. When I was ready to leave after a couple of weeks, I was down to $50 total in the legal tender. Unsolicited, one of my cousins quietly handed me $200 as a gift even though he was a tradesman with a young family and a mortgage and a tight budget. I have to say that even though I had gotten down to $50, I don't remember being apprehensive about it. I was just going to continue on my way and expect some thing to happen, and something did happen (somehow).
34. In 1990 while living in Forest Ranch, my resources had been reduced to $200, and while I was doing my inner, spiritual work there was no work and no income. A couple years previously I had bought a '64 Cadillac convertible from a friend in Oxnard, Calif., for $500. Then I had put some money into restoring it while I was still working. I put it up for sale in the classifieds of the Sacramento Bee, and within 4 days it was sold for the asking price of $5,000, enough to live on for a year. This occurred despite the still considerable amount of restoration and body work needed to revive it. I had placed the classified in only one paper, the Sacramento Bee, and not even in the local Chico paper. And the economy was in Recession.
35. Riding my 650 Yamaha Maxim motorcycle one summer day in 1990, I had already cruised about 30 miles at usual highway speeds, and, as usual, I wore no helmet. I turned onto a road which went to Upper Bidwell Park in Chico, California, and was going the slowest that I'd been going that day, only about 15 m.p.h. Precisely at that moment I had a blowout of my rear tire which had worn all the way through to the inner tube.
Even at that speed I had trouble keeping the bike upright and bringing it to a stop. It was all over the road, but there was no other traffic at that moment. At higher speed, especially at 60 and without a helmet, I would have been killed if the tire had chosen to blow out then. It had worn all the way through and could have blown at any time.
36. I lived in my mountain retreat during the years of 1987 to 1991. It was near an unincorporated area by the name of Forest Ranch, and my sanctuary was very special to me. When I moved onto the property, I made a promise to all of the trees on that property, many of which were mature, original growth trees. I promised The Devas and the nature spirits of those trees that I would take care of them and see that no harm came to any of them and that none would be cut down.
However, I didn't know that the reverse would hold true and that all those trees would be kept from harming me or doing any damage to my trailer. During my stay there, 3 separate trees that were easily within striking distance of the trailer fell down. All were large, heavy trees that would have crushed anything in their path.
In one instance, the tree fell parallel with the trailer and landed 10 feet from it. The other 2 both fell directly toward the trailer and definitely would have crashed into it if they hadn't fallen into the waiting arms (limbs) of another tree that prevented any damage from being done. One of those trees came within 3 feet of the trailer before being stopped by the only tree on that side of the trailer, and it fell on the largest of the branches that was able to withstand the force of that falling tree. If the angle of descent had been in the slightest degree different, it would have struck the trailer, perhaps with me in it.
37. After roughly 4 years of living on my hallowed ground in Forest Ranch, I was being impressed or guided to move on. It was time for movement, for change, for the interaction with synchronicity down the road, wherever that might be. The 4 years of my isolation from "society" had been a time of rapid expansion of consciousness, the assimilation of a vast amount of spiritual and metaphysical knowledge, and the initial movement down the Path of Self-Realization. And, predictably, my currency at hand had gotten precariously low.
Enlisting a realtor, I placed my property up for sale on the real estate market at an asking price above what the realtor suggested was the value of the property. Within 5 days I had a written offer for $5,000 more than my asking price which the realtor had thought too much. There was no quibbling, no counter offer, and no difficult contingencies to meet in the contract offer.
This was during a Recession, and my property did not have a well and running water. Most of the neighbors had had to drill 600-700 feet for their water at $10 per foot, and there wasn't any certainty that water was even available beneath my property. I remember the San Francisco couple coming through while I was peacefully watching a TV program and drinking a wine cooler. They commented that I seemed unconcerned that my property would sell, and I told them that I knew psychically that it was going to sell soon. (which I did even though I didn't consider myself as being very psychic)
When the escrow closed and the money was made available to me, I had precisely $7 left in my pocket, and that was all the money I had. I was able to clear $16,000 from the sale which would last me quite a while in my homeless state.
38. When I sold my Forest Ranch property (1991), I moved to Arkansas to be of help to a woman who was intending to establish a "Light Center", become self-sufficient on the land, and prepare for the geophysical cataclysms and tumult of dimensional change. I met her in No. Calif. before she had moved, and the idea had appealed to me. I had intentions of being there for many years, but when I discovered her true personality and emanations of negativity after only a week, I knew I had to get the bloody hell out of there.
There I was with all my worldly possessions and 2 vehicles in backwater Arkansas, far from Calif. friends, and with no alternative plan. Through one phone call, my 3 Hoosier cousins took off from work, drove their pickups all the way down from Indiana to Arkansas, and extricated me from that viper pit.
As it turned out, Mike and his wife had bought a 3-acre property in the country outside of Lafayette, and they had a barn to store all my junk and offered me a camper trailer to live in on the property. It had just become available only 3 weeks before when someone else moved out of it. As if a gift, I then got to live for free on a quiet, isolated farm completely surrounded by trees and bursting with the sounds of Nature for Summer and Autumn -- reading, writing, meditating, and getting even closer to my beloved Nature. And I had the conveniences of propane, water, and electricity (and few disturbances of my privacy). It was one of the nicest places that I've ever stayed, freely presented to me just when it seemed that my plans had gone up in smoke.
39. 1992 found me back in Chico, Calif., living homelessly and surviving out of a car ('78 Thunderbird) and a tent. An elderly friend allowed me to pitch my tent and spend my nights on her property in the mountains above Forest Ranch. In the Fall, however, there would be too much rain up there, and the nights would be getting too cold. Just before those conditions developed, I was sitting in the sun at Bidwell Park, reading and warming up. I saw a van pull up and a woman stepped out and walked over to me. Her name was Barbara (married to Howard, a quadriplegic) and she said that she had attended a few of my talks on The Earth Changes. She and Howard invited me over to their humble abode saying that their casa was my casa.
I found myself going over there more and more often and eventually felt comfortable enough to ask if I could pitch my tent in their backyard since it was getting too cold in the mountains. They gladly acquiesced and I had a secure place to spend the nights on the ground of the valley floor. It wasn't long before I was invited to spend the nights inside on the carpet of the living room floor, as the Winter had become unusually wet and cold. This synchronistic assistance had originated with a friend of Barbara and Howard. Kay had had a psychically-mediated impulse to tell Barbara that she should invite me to their home, and I was given some shelter from the elements (as well as some valuable friendship).
40. Sometime during the Fall of 1992 while I was living out of my T Bird in the Chico area, my money had nearly run out, and I think that I was down to the $100 range with no prospects and no income or friendly sources to tap. I was expecting the hammer to fall this time. All my spiritual friends had very modest incomes, and I was not going to impose some monetary request on them.
Right at that time I received a letter from my second cousin in Indiana. I had left behind my '65 Mercury with him as an ace in the hole, asking him to try to sell it for me. He informed me that he had recently been able to do just that. The money was wired to me and held me through the Fall, Winter, and following Spring.
41. I had been in Southern Arizona during the early part of the Summer of 1993 after I had helped an elderly woman move from Chico to Green Valley, Arizona. I was camping out on the federal lands in the desert, and the heat prior to the monsoons was becoming nearly intolerable. Because of all the mechanical problems of my T Bird and my dwindling funds, I didn't think that I could get anywhere for security or help, and so I wrote up in my journal all the episodes and anecdotes I could think of wherein it seemed that I had received help from somewhere when it was most desperately needed. My brain was being cooked in the heat, and I guess I was grasping for straws or just any kind of assurance that "The Money Star" could actually exist for me.
Undergoing this trial by fire, applied by The Solar Logos, all of the above anecdotes in their totality were so remarkable and so convincing that I was swayed in the direction of believing that something truly extraordinary was going on in terms of forthcoming assistance, especially monetary, when a distinctive crisis point had been reached each time in this life, this dramatic little Walk-about. (This was before I learned about The Silver Platter.)
All of the foregoing events collectively gave me the courage of making the decision to "go for broke". I had reached that point again, a point which I had flirted with so many times in the past, and now I would need to test my hypothesis that there is some abstract field of energy such as a "Money Star" following me around and that for reasons unbeknownst to me I am somehow being protected. And not without trepidation would I take the plunge.
If I waited any longer in that desert of 110+ temperatures, my survival money would have dwindled to the point of not being able to attempt to go anyplace else. Additionally, the monsoons were coming within a week, and the flash floods would trap me in my remote desert location if I did nothing. The decision was between action or inaction. The best place for my continued physical survival was Chico, Calif., where I at least had a few friends. I guessed the distance at 1200 miles, and my vehicle was a "plethora of pathology". The analytical aspect of mind screeched in outrage that such a folly would be attempted or even considered.
The T Bird had accumulated 312,000 miles on the original, unrebuilt motor which was hitting on only 6 out of 8 cylinders (according to one mechanic). There was a deep gash in the sidewall of one tire, and the radiator was shot. Hence it ran hot, boiled over, and required a lot of water. There were mountains and large deserts to cross. All the while, a record-breaking heat spell was occurring. All the fluids were leaking: power steering at each turn, water from the radiator, tranny from the main seal, and oil was burned and also thrown out of the block. The brakes were almost gone (? master cylinder), soft pedaling to the floor when called upon, and 1200 miles would naturally call upon the brakes many, many, times. Sudden stops were not in the repertoire of the vehicle's performance. Routine stops virtually required a city block of pumping and preparation.
If anything went wrong, there would not be any money for repair. There was just enough for the 1200 mile trip. This was the big test of the proposed hypothesis. If I were actually able to complete the journey under the ludicrous circumstances and get this vehicle to the mid-Sacramento Valley of No. Calif. without serious mishap, breakdown, or collision, it would be quite evident to me that I had been given assistance from Higher Levels of Existence, meta-physically speaking.
There would be no more room in the ruminations for doubt, what little there remained. A minor "miracle" would have occurred to the Newtonian, reductionist way of thinking. The decision congealed overnight. The back was, once again, against a towering wall, and desperation governed the circumstance. Excessive heat, sun, and lack of shade were proving intolerable. The monsoons were coming. The money was running out, and my seriously handicapped vehicle faced 1200 miles of desert, mountain grades, and a sizzling Central Valley of California.
Well, I daresay that I sent my supplications to The Great White Brotherhood of The Spiritual Hierarchy, entreated my I Am Presence within, and vowed to accept the end result with equanimity. There was a lesson of faith and trust in this one.
I would need to run at night and the early morning hours (for cooler conditions and less traffic) and then try to sleep during the day. I would take 12 gallons of water and supplies of extra fluids. The boiling, leaking radiator would need to be refilled and cooled off every 40-50 miles. Limping, lurching, leaking along the highway and taking the trip in stages, to my incredulity, my slack-jawed amazement, my wounded yet courageous Thunderbird (the vehicle, home, and protector) rolled into Chico and brought me to my destination!!
The story doesn't end there. At this point I was nearly busted and, of course, was driving a dangerous machine around the streets of Chico with nearly no brakes and no insurance. The very first friend I decided to visit (Jon Ferguson) was given a description of the situation and asked to check around to see if there was any temporary work I could find to make some money. With no prompting whatsoever (on my part), he casually handed me the keys to his second vehicle, a large Ford Van (which could be slept in), and told me to hang on to them for now and just use the van.
He then provided a safe storage spot, off the street, for my T Bird. And then, equally casually, he said that he could find some projects for me to work on around the house which could generate some immediate income. He had, incidentally, only a month previously gotten a second vehicle, thus freeing up the van.
Then, several months later I was told that he had been thinking about turning over the title of the van to me, however the title was held by the banker of the trust fund of the comatose person for whom Jon was the caretaker. The banker who managed the account became very cooperative and formulated an acceptable plan to the bank officers for this to be accomplished. Three more rooms in the house needed the ceilings and walls to be painted. I would be paid twice my previous wage and make $15 per hour. Then I could purchase the van at a very reasonable price with the earnings.
Three offers would be submitted for the purchase of the van, two which were lower than mine from friends who were going along with the game. I then made an offer of $750 for the '84 Ford Econoline Van worth twice as much, and it was accepted by the banker. Then in our proposal to the bank, we estimated approximately 100 hours of work at $15 per hour for the overall job estimate, which would bring in $1500 for me, $750 for the purchase of the van and $750 for my future needs and survival -- cash to carry me into Winter, money from "The Money Star" above and beyond that needed to obtain the van. Then to my wonderment, after 3 weeks of work the total job was completed in exactly 100 hours' time (Neither of us had ever estimated the time for a paint job.).
Thus did the title of the big Ford Van come into my possession after the miraculous run of the wounded and dying Thunderbird, a full-sized van in which I could live and sleep and travel and get sheltered from the elements. Before the title was transferred to me, it had been given 2 brand new tires, the rear tires being fairly new. The week before I had been handed the keys, it had been given a thorough maintenance check up.
42. In the Summer of 1993, I was homeless and living in the Ford Van while in the area of Chico, Calif. In the evenings I would park out on a fairly quiet road outside of the city limits and with a view of the Sacramento Valley. One evening while quietly minding my business and sitting out on a folding chair, a Chico cop stopped beside me and began asking me questions. (I had long hair and a full beard -- suspicious, no doubt.)
I lucidly and calmly pointed out to him that I was violating no law and that he was outside of his jurisdiction. He didn't like it one bit and said that it was within the jurisdiction of the county sheriff and the CHP (California Highway Patrol). I felt that he was, right then, going to call one of them on his radio. Precisely at that moment, a message came over his police radio that help was needed at another location. He pulled away without another word. If a sheriff's deputy had come and invented some phony pretext to search my vehicle (which isn't that uncommon), he would have found an open container, a wine bottle, in the rear part of my van. I was spared the pain of all that nonsense by an exquisitely-timed radio message to a cop who wanted to harass me for no good reason whatsoever.
43. In mid to late April of 1995 I found myself cruising the coastline of Northwest Florida of all places, the "miracle strip" of pure white sandy beaches that stretch from Pensacola east to Port St. Joe, the incredibly beautiful stretch of coastline which has been dubbed "The Emerald Coast" due to the appearance of the gulf waters set against the incomparably white sands of the beaches.
It's not really sand, which are particles of silicon dioxide crystals, but rather an unique and entirely other substance comprising the fine, white grains that make up the beaches of this part of the world, and I can't say that I've seen lovelier beaches despite the number around the world that I've vegetated on, or perhaps I should say chilled out on, from Vietnam to Southern Thailand to Australia to South America, Mexico, and California. Pure white beaches! How I came to be here instead of the deserts of Arizona is another story.
Well, I'm cruising out onto the St. Joseph Peninsula, also called Cape San Blas, and looking for the quiet little spot to camp out free of charge and without disturbing anyone, something close to the beach, of course. Pulling onto a sandy drive that appeared to meet all my prerequisites, I tried to barrel my way through a sand trap that was lying in wait for me, a spot that had trapped many others. My judgement had become clouded this time despite my experience with many a wayward road in the wilderness of the desert and the mountains. The tan van got stuck for the first time, stuck in the sand, trapped in the miracle white. I worked on it. I shoveled and dug and scraped and tried all the maneuvers that came to mind, but the white stuff had me.
I thought I would ask for help. So, a call went out to my Guides and to The White Brotherhood. Then I went back to work. It couldn't have been longer than a minute or two when some "man" pulled into the same driveway, parked his car, and began walking toward me. Hmmm, I thought, pretty fast response. According to his explanation, he had on the previous day done the same thing himself, and when driving by and seeing me stuck he said that he thought he would come to lend a hand.
He was a nice man, a gentle man, in fact a Hoosier down from Indiana where I'm originally from. He had been so influenced by the writing of Tom Brown Jr. (the white coyote shaman) that it had changed his life-style (as it had influenced me as well). Well, this "man", whoever he was in appearing so quickly after my request for help, gave me his help and we got that baby out of there with a little elbow grease applied and a little determination. I thanked him kindly and set to reorganizing the van and reloading all the paraphernalia that we'd used to bring it off. As I was focused and working away, I thought that the angel of mercy had gone on his way, but in about 10 minutes I was startled to hear his voice once again as he was approaching from the main road.
He said that he was enjoying his visit to St. Joseph Peninsula so much that he was just having a lovely time and asked me if I would be interested in accepting a gift from him in the form of the amount of money needed to camp out in the Florida State Park just down the road about a mile at the end of the peninsula. We had discussed the difficulty of finding an isolated spot on this developed peninsula. He handed me $15, the fee for camping one night in the beautiful state park that was just down the road apiece. He had driven down to the park entrance to find out the fee before returning and handing this gift over to me with the words that he wished my stay upon this lovely peninsula to be a pleasant one. (a peninsula named after St. Joseph, the father of The Master Jesus and an embodiment of The Ascended Master St. Germain, The Lord of The Seventh Ray)
Then to my surprise, as I was thanking him he bowed to me with palms held together in the pronam gesture of India and the Far East, and then he turned and proceeded on his way. I returned this gesture and thought, "From Indiana?" People in Indiana (generally) are very conservative and traditional and rigid and steeped in fundamental Christianity. This "person", whoever he may have been, even though of common appearance, was someone exceptional if he did, indeed, hail from the Hoosier State.
I don't know about accepting any mundane explanation for what happened. This someone who came right out of the blue had such exquisite and precise timing to be dismissed as a common act of kindness by a passerby. I just think that it was more than what met the eye. There were too many signs pointing toward the metaphysical and a response to my request from The Brotherhood. And I have wondered since that day if The Master St. Germain had anything to do with the help I received on that peninsula named after one of His more notable lifetimes.
44. In the Summer of 1995 I was up on the Colorado Plateau of Northern Arizona staying cool and camping in the Coconino National Forest. For a couple of months my van had been having a disturbing noise which was coming from beneath the vehicle. It was a metallic, high-pitched sound of something rotating, and it was getting progressively worse. It occurred only on acceleration, and the entire van shook with vibration when getting past 30mph.
Before I got work that Summer and while the money was running out, I took it to a garage in Flagstaff. After describing the problem, the shop foreman thought that it could be the radiator fan clutch or a camshaft bearing. Synchronistically (or providentially) I was given an honest and friendly mechanic whose eyes were clear and forthright. He had quit his former job in Ohio because of the dishonest practices of the garage which ripped people off by doing unnecessary repairs. He found that my fan wobbled a little bit indicating a clutch problem, so a new one was ordered costing $130. Before putting it on, however, he noticed that the water pump wobbled just a little, and hence this was the source of the wobble not the fan clutch.
Since the water pump had been working okay, there was no need for work on that, and he refused to install the new fan clutch since there was nothing wrong with the old one, instead returning the new one and saving me the $130. The camshaft was visually inspected and appeared alright. We then took it out for a drive while he used a stethoscope on different areas to find the source for the noise. Surprisingly, the van chose that moment and that drive to stop everything it had been doing. There was no noticeable noise, not even through the stethoscope, and the vibration was so minimal it could scarcely be felt. This was after months with the problem and with it getting progressively worse.
We took it back to the shop and I had the belts replaced with used ones that I carried with me. The mechanic had spent a good 4 hours of his time working on my van, but, as indicated, the problem had not definitively been identified. I decided that I would ride it out a while longer and see what happened.
Because of the mechanic's honesty, not only was I saved the cost of a fan clutch but the cost of taking out the torque converter (an early consideration) because he was doubtful of it as the source of the problem after the stetho ride. Then the manager went to computing my bill. He could have charged me for all the hours that were put into working on my vehicle, but (so he said) because the problem had not been identified and repaired, he asked me if a charge of $40 would be okay. This was the first time that my opinion was solicited regarding auto shop labor charges. $40 was quite alright with me and the dwindling legal tender. There was something peculiar and mysterious about the whole affair.
Just as soon as I left that garage, the noise and the vibration started right back up again as if to signal to me that there would be a better way to resolve the problem in the future. I got work on a golf course maintenance crew, continuing to drive the van as it was and procrastinating on getting it fixed because of my concerns for the cost of repairs, and yet all the symptoms continued to get worse and more prominent. If I had broken down, the towing charges and time lost from work would have been added to the expenses.
After weeks of this procrastination, one day I asked the shop mechanic, Mike, if he knew anything about auto mechanics (He managed the equipment for the golf course.). This was after an 8-hour day of work and we were both preparing to leave, tired and hot from the day's labours. He patiently heard me out and said that it could be a bunch of different things. Instead of just giving me some advice and blasting on home in his pickup truck, he suggested we take a spin in my van so that he could hear the noise and get a feel for it.
We were off the time clock so, of course, he didn't have to remain around and was not getting paid. After the drive, he thought that he knew what was going on. He pulled the van into the shop, jacked it up, and got under it. When he came back out from underneath, he proclaimed that the problem was my universal joint and that the bearings were so shot and the joint so loose that it could have gone at any moment, wreaking havoc and costing much more. This was excellent news in that it was nothing more serious or complicated.
He went to a cabinet in the repair shop and found a couple of new u-joints still in the boxes, and he said it might be worthwhile to see if either of them fit my vehicle. Remember, this was a maintenance shop for a golf course and its specialized equipment. He also said that once the driveshaft was pulled and the old u-joint removed, if the new ones didn't fit, I'd be out of luck because I wouldn't be able to drive anywhere and would have to leave my vehicle there and sleep in the maintenance yard (next to a busy and noisy interstate). He then proceeded to remove the driveshaft and u-joint. Taking the latter into the shop he showed me that 3 of the 4 bearings were completely gone, and the 4th was on its way. Neither of the 2 new u-joints quite fit.
He then rummaged around a little more in the same cabinet that had previously held just the 2 u-joints and suddenly seemed a bit surprised to find another new u-joint sitting in there. When he brought it out and made the comparisons, it fit exactly with my old one. "You must be close to God", slipped out of his mouth. I was a bit slack-jawed that a u-joint from a golf course maintenance shop precisely fit on my '84 Ford Van, one that hadn't been in the cabinet on first inspection.
The mechanic installed it then mounted my driveshaft back onto the van, knowing just what he was doing all the time. When I tried it out and took a short drive, it worked perfectly, the noise and the vibration being entirely eliminated. Though I offered, Mike refused any form of compensation at all, saying that he had to live in the woods for awhile like I'm doing and saying that this was his good deed for the day.
The whole process did not cost me a cent for either labor or for the new part, a repair which I had thought was going to be very costly, dipping into my winter monies. Though the mechanic worked on specialized vehicles, he knew exactly what my vehicle's problem was unlike the garage where I had first gone with the problem, a place which could have charged me the big bucks to investigate any number of irrelevant matters had I not an honest mechanic. The maintenance shop just happened to have a new u-joint which perfectly fit my vehicle. And the mechanic stayed behind after a long day to take care of the whole thing for me, knowing exactly how to make the repairs and asking nothing in return for the act of compassion and generosity.
As bad as the bearings were, the u-joint could have gone at any time, leaving me stranded in the isolated areas of a high country forest where I would go every day to camp, and a fallen driveshaft could have cost me greatly for towing and repairs, but it simply didn't happen. Furthermore, the shop had all the needed tools and equipment for the job, and I didn't have to spend one night next to the noisy interstate. When the u-joint with the terrible bearings had functioned perfectly for the Flagstaff mechanic (and only for that moment), there had, indeed, been a better resolution to the problem waiting in the future. It would be years before I'd come to learn of The Force-field herein called The Silver Platter.
45. In the Winter of 1995-1996 I went down to Southern Mexico and Guatemala after making some money on a golf course in Northern Arizona. I took buses all the way down and all the way back, utilizing the cheap public transportation. There was revolution happening in the southern State of Chiapas, and the military and police were a presence everywhere in the area. Roadblocks were common and frequent, and solitary gringo male travelers were suspicious as being collaborators or sympathizers with the indigenous guerrillas.
In fact, on the way down at a checkpoint, the police removed me from the bus, made me get my baggage (a back pack), and stood me off to one side with my passport in their custody. They huddled together and talked in serious tones. Now, in Mexico police corruption is pervasive and any gringo thrown into jail has to pay his way out. No charges are necessary; no paperwork is created; and no one knows the difference. Under the Napoleonic Code of their constitution, the arrestee is guilty until proven innocent. The burden of proof is on the prisoner not on the prosecution, and that has created the power of the policia.
I hadn't done a thing, but they could throw me into jail just to extort money from me, and they could sell my passport on the black market. After some tense moments and just as the bus was ready to depart, they came back over to me, handed me back my passport without saying a word, and let me get back on the bus. The other passengers looked at me like I was one fortunate gringo to have slipped the clutches of the feared police so easily without the mordida (the little bite or bribe).
After spending most of the Winter in Guatemala on the shores of a volcanic caldera, the famed Lago Atitlan, I journeyed through the Mayan lands of theYucatan Peninsula and visited some of the ruins thereabouts. While at Palenque, I went into a nearby town to cash a traveler's check which required identification with passport. I was in hypoglycemic state of mind (low blood sugar), and I forgot to take my passport with me after cashing the check, leaving it behind. I didn't discover my idiocy until I was hundreds of miles away, and it was too late to turn back and try to recover it. Passports are too valuable on the black market.
Now, I was faced with trying to get back north to the States without a valid passport and hence proper identification. Police and military checkpoints were all over the roads of Chiapas and Oaxaca, the two most southern states. I was a gringo traveling alone and hence vulnerable to any police official looking to line his pockets. In fact, I could have been jailed for simply not having the proper documents required of a foreigner. They didn't even need an excuse in my case. Who would ever know I was rotting in a Mexican jail?
I did have an old, expired passport, but the front cover had been punched with holes to indicate expiration, and a bold red stamp inside read, "Cancelled". I forgot to mention that I had also lost my Mexican tourist card which I had left inside of my valid passport that had been left behind. The tourist card which is gotten at the border crossing is the official permit for traveling in Mexico. I was illegal and they had me dead to rights.
I couldn't afford to fly and had to take buses if I were going to take anything. Well, I had to at least try, so I went off on bus after bus to see how far I could get. I have to say that the buses I was riding were stopped 9 different times, and the police either ignored me completely and walked right by me on the bus, or when they asked me for my documents they just glanced at the obviously invalid passport and handed it back to me without a word. They did not ask me for my tourist card. They did not ask me for a valid passport. They did not ask me to step outside of the bus. And most of the times, they walked past me as though I was invisible. There was no harassment of the gringo, and not one of those 9 times did they discover that I was not in possession of the travel documents required by law, a discovery that would have landed me in jail.
As I got further north and past all of the roadblocks, it occurred to me that something out of the ordinary had taken place. But then I still had to get through the border crossing into the U.S. They would surely not be as lax as Mexican officials, if laxity can accurately describe it. They check everyone's identification and proof of citizenship, don't they, especially when crossing on foot?
I arrived into Nogales, Mexico, in the morning before sun-up and made my way to the U.S. Border by 8 a.m. As I walked into the U.S. Immigration Office with back-pack on, long hair, rumpled clothes, and beard-stubbled face, I expected not only to be questioned about my expired passport and lack of proof of citizenship but to be searched for drugs or anything else not allowed into the U.S.
There were 3 immigration officials in the room, and I was the only person at that moment crossing over from Mexico. It wasn't as though they were overwhelmed with checking out a long line of people, because there was just me. I stood there in the center of the room waiting for the next move, but it was so strangely like they didn't even see me there. They were just milling around and seemed oblivious to my presence.
I had to speak up and ask what I needed to do. One of them asked me what country I held citizenship in, and I said simply, "The States". They waved me on and said I could proceed on through the border. They did not check my I.D. or even ask to look at my passport. They did not ask for proof of citizenship or a driver's license. They did not want to look through my pack or check anything on me. They hardly even glanced at me after I answered their one question. It was the strangest border crossing I'd ever had but a perfect conclusion to a miraculous run from Chiapas to Nogales.
To top it all off, when I'd gotten to Flagstaff, Arizona, by bus and was waiting outside of the bus station for the several hours that it would take before the shuttle bus left for Munds Park where I had stored my van, at that moment a guy I worked with on the golf course at Munds Park drove by and recognized me. He was heading for Munds Park (18 miles away) right at that moment and asked me if I'd like a ride. It was his father who had stored my van, and he called ahead to let him know I was on my way. I was taken right to my van, and because it was Winter at 6500 feet elevation his father had started the motor in my van and had it warmed up by the time I arrived!!!!
46. I spent the Winter of 1996-1997 camping around the wilderness areas of the Sonora Desert of Arizona in my van. Having purchased an Arizona Atlas and Gazetteer, I had the topographical maps of the whole state and could find my way out to the wildest and most remote areas possible to commune with Nature at its purest. The areas I would go into would sometimes be 40 or 50 miles from the nearest phone or paved road, and they were areas where no tow trucks would go in case something happened to prevent my getting back out again. But I was trying to live fearlessly and trying not to let fear enter any of my decisions (nor much common sense either).
I went to Parker, Arizona, for provisions one day and had pulled into the city park to relax and have lunch. When I finished, I tried starting my engine but the starter chose that particular moment to fail, and it wouldn't turn over. It could have failed at any of the many times when I was in the wilds of the Sonora where I wouldn't see another person for weeks at a time, but instead it failed when I was safely in a town, comfortably situated at a grassy park and only 2 blocks from a garage. And it was in a town that had an auto parts store that had my starter in stock.
47. Years later in my wanderings I found myself (and my van) back in the Panhandle of Florida, visiting a cousin that lived near the beach west of Panama City Beach. One evening around dusk as I was driving through South Walton County on a usually busy 2-lane highway, I had a blowout of my front left tire. Even though I was traveling at only 25 m.p.h., my vehicle was pulled into the oncoming lane despite my attempts to muscle the steering column to the right. At that moment it turned out that there was no oncoming traffic in that lane, and I was able to work the vehicle over to the side of the road. When the blowout happened, there also wasn't anyone immediately behind me, who might have run into me.
On that stretch of road there was very little room to get off and away from the highway, and my vehicle was parked only inches from the pavement, the driver's side front tire needing to be changed. The traffic had picked back up; the evening was getting dark; and the tire changing only inches from a 2 lane road had become a dangerous enterprise, as I had to stand on the road to remove the lug nuts and manipulate the wheel. While I was jacking up the front end, a semi truck with trailer pulled over to the side of the road about 200 yards behind me and flashed his emergency lights which alerted all traffic going my way to slow down.
The trucker stayed in that protective position the entire time that it took me to change the tire in the darkening evening. Just as soon as I had finished and stored my jack away, the truck pulled out and went on his way. As the rig drove past me, I tried to signal my appreciation for the act but could not see anything inside of the cab. Where he had pulled over behind me, he had just come over a hill and could not have seen and recognized my dilemma soon enough to pull over where he did. There was something extra-ordinary about the whole thing. He didn't even honk in acknowledgement of what he'd done for me when he drove on past my van. But I'd experienced too much to consider a word like coincidence (which I didn't believe in anymore).
48. In 2001 to 2002 I was spending another Winter in Arizona trying to stay warm, and I was still living and traveling and camping in my Ford Van which, materially speaking, was all I had in the world of form. Everything I owned was in that van, and it was the only thing that stood between me and destitution.
So I became concerned when a certain noise began developing and seemed to come from just inferior and posterior to the engine. Over time it had progressively gotten louder. I went to 3 separate mechanics who were all of the same opinion. They thought that I had a crankshaft bearing that was going, and they said that it could go at any time, that it was unpredictable, and that they wouldn't recommend that I travel very far. They suggested that I keep my traveling distances down, because when the bearing went my van would be stuck wherever it happened.
The only fix was either rebuilding my motor or purchasing another rebuilt motor, and the lowest estimate I received was $2000. I simply did not have the money, and the van was the only place I had to live, and it contained all my worldly possessions. If the bearing failed I would have to walk away from everything that I had and hitch a ride to the nearest homeless shelter. So I nursed the van along, driving it as little as possible, and waited for the Spring warmth.
When April rolled around, I made a desperate decision that positively baffled and horrified my rational aspect of mind. I was going to try to go for broke and make a foolhearted run for Chico, Calif., a long, long way for a crankshaft bearing that could go at any inopportune moment. But to me it was either bust in Arizona or bust somewhere in California.
Well, I drove on the edge of my seat and with a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel and a pounding pulse in my ears, but to my true astonishment and perplexity that van rolled into Chico with the bearing still intact, and I made contact with the person from whom I'd gotten the van 9 years previously (Jon Ferguson).
He comprehended my acute dilemma and the precariousness of my plight, the vulnerability I faced. We discussed strategies; he gave me friendship and support; he got me a 3-month membership in his athletic club for hot showers and free phone calls and exercise. He bought me lunches and let me know that I wasn't facing my problem alone. We hashed out all the options, and my fear was held in check.
After a couple of months, I found a rebuilt Ford 302 motor with a thousand miles on it, the same size and motor as my old one. The shop would sell and install it for a total of $1300, and Jon said he would contribute half of that, not as a loan but a gift. I would need a place to stay while my van was in the shop, and he let me pitch my tent at his place in Forest Ranch which was cooler at night than the Sacramento Valley. Then he drove me to Oroville when the job was done.
It was as though in my moment of need (and dire need at that) an angel had been sent to me to see me through that crisis and send me on my way. In fact, a year later during the Summer of 2003 while I was working at the Mt. Shasta Resort, I was told by the psychic woman I was working with that he was, indeed, a guardian spirit who had been assigned to help me whenever I so needed it.
49. In the Spring of 2005 I found myself back in Chico, Calif., after another Winter in the Sonora Desert. I was waiting out the cold, wet weather conditions in the mountains to the north before I made my way to Mount Shasta which was beckoning me. Over the Winter I had come to a resolution of offering my hands for the healing of others and pursuing the path of the healer which had been my long-delayed intentions for this life, and I wanted to make a sign which announced free healings to any who might be led to inquire about it.
I had no talent for painting and didn't want a sloppily-made sign to display on my van wherever it was parked. The one person for the job who came to mind was a talented graphic artist by the name of Steve Ferchaud, whom I had known since 1992 when I gave a series of talks in Chico on the coming Earth Changes. I hadn't seen Steve for many years and he wasn't listed in the phone directory, but he kept coming to mind as the perfect person to do the job for me if I could somehow find him.
One day on the spur of a moment, I bicycled over to Kinkos to see what kind of graphic art service they might provide, and as I walked through the door I could hardly believe my eyes. There was Steve Ferchaud at that precise moment bent over a copier making copies of his book illustrations to send to an editor. He had bought a house in Paradise, no longer living in Chico, and was currently housesitting for his parents in Red Bluff (40 miles away) while they were on vacation.
He just happened to be in Chico that day and just happened to be in Kinkos at that moment that I walked in. I had been told about Kinkos' sign service by a friend earlier in the day and otherwise wouldn't have gone there. Why Steve had driven 40 miles for photocopies I never thought to ask. (Red Bluff has photocopiers.) He was happy to help me with the sign, bought a piece of foam board for the project at home, and arranged to meet me in Chico in a few days. When he delivered the lovely sign he wanted no payment from me for his work.
50. Likewise in the Spring of 2005 when I was in Chico, Calif., waiting for warmer weather so that I could head for the mountains and Nature, the transmission of my beloved Ford Van went into failure mode. I had it evaluated at two different transmissions shops, and they both agreed that the vehicle needed another transmission and estimated the installation cost of either a rebuilt or remanufactured one to be around $2000.
I was devastated! I had no such money, not even close, not having worked for a couple of years and receiving a total of $4600 in unemployment benefits the previous year ending in July of 2004. My money was running out, and I had lived in the Ford Van for 12 years with all of my worldly possessions being in it. It was one of the lowest emotional points I could remember. There were no job prospects and I had been having the worst lower back pain of my life for 7 months, which would not allow me to work. I thought I would probably end up in the nearest homeless shelter.
A few days previously, a friend who had repeatedly helped me in the past (Jon Ferguson) arrived back in Chico from his 6-month winter excursion to the Pacific Coast of Mexico and had found me parked in a familiar location. I called him to let him know what had happened to the van that I'd gotten from him in 1993. Without even being asked for help, he proceeded to talk about finding another van for me and suggested we look through all the classified ads for the area.
I found an '83 Chevy Van for $1000, but it was 100 miles away, north of Redding. Jon didn't hesitate and volunteered to drive me up there to take a look at it. It was better than we expected, had been well maintained through the years, and had been driven only 1,000 miles a year for the previous 4 years. After going to the bank, the Ferg quietly handed me a thousand dollars to buy it. Then at the DMV, the former owner volunteered to pay for the title transfer and new registration ($73), saying that she felt responsible for getting the transaction right. The emissions test had been passed recently, and I wasn’t asked for proof of liability insurance which I didn't have yet, even though it is a state requirement in order to obtain vehicle registration.
We drove back to Chico, and it ran perfectly. There was work to do to get it ready for living in and for being roadworthy, and we met the next day to remove the rear seat for more space inside. As we were working on it in a quiet area of a shopping plaza, a man strolled over to see what we were doing. He was homeless, living on the streets of Chico, and had built his own camper home from scratch. He struck up a conversation and offered some suggestions for the Chevy Van I'd just gotten.
He turned out to be a master mechanic and a machinist and had tools and equipment and his own electrical generator for doing any kind of complex work that needed to be done on a vehicle. He was highly knowledgeable and suggested that the high top from the Ford Van be transferred to the Chevy Van, and he described how to do it and convinced me that he could do it. The high top had been the best part of living in the Ford Van for the room that it afforded and the space it allowed for storage. I couldn't pass up the opportunity that had suddenly come my way.
A few days later, he did what he said he could do and worked from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. finishing the job in one day. Another friend (John Wilford) came by to help move the heavy roof from the Ford to the Chevy. He had said he would come for a little while but stayed for the entire job, seeing it through to completion and without whose help at times it couldn't have been done, considering my lower back problem. He even paid for lunch. Then the master mechanic, who had some sky-blue paint and a spray gun, included a paint job in the project and painted the high-topped roof of the van to more closely match the Chevy's colors. When the work was completed, he asked for only $50 for the job, but I gave him $100.
It looked professionally done and I didn't have to reinstall my solar panel as it came with the Ford's roof. Over the next couple of weeks, the master mechanic helped with numerous things to get the Chevy Van ready for travel, and he asked very little for his services and always knew what he was doing and always did high quality work and always had the tools for the job. The last night before I was to leave Chico, the Chevy developed a fuel leak at 10 in the evening. I called him on his cell phone and without hesitation he drove over to find the problem and repair it.
If he had not spent the night and been parked nearby when the Ferg and I were removing the rear seat, and if he had not come over to talk, I never would have been blessed with the high top on the Chevy Van and never could have afforded shop prices for the needed repairs.
The timing of events was all so precise and exquisite as though being worked out from another Level. The day that the transmission failed was the day before I was leaving Chico for Mount Shasta. If it had occurred after I left, the resources and the help would not have been available to me, and I would have been stuck somewhere else without the money to extricate myself from the dilemma and would truly have been homeless. If Fergie had come back from Mexico any later than he did, I likewise would have been facing the streets of Chico in a homeless manner. In fact, the day of the failure I had driven 15 miles in the morning from Forest Ranch to Chico without problems, and the tranny failure didn't happen until I was in Chico.
Could these two angels of mercy (the Ferg and the master mechanic) have been sent to my aid as a consequence of the protective force-field that has been called The Silver Platter? Before I finally left Chico, Fergie handed me an additional $200 without strings attached to see me on my way.
51. When I left Chico in May of 2005, driving my now roadworthy '83 Chevy Van, I was heading for the higher country of Mt. Shasta and area. The Sacramento Valley would be much too hot during the Summer to be living in a van, and I needed to find work where the temperatures were more tolerable for that time of year. My monetary resources were dwindling and wouldn't last much longer unless I was able to begin generating some income.
Siskiyou County in far Northern California is an impoverished area for much of the population. The unemployment rate is high; the wage scales are low; and there is job scarcity throughout the entire area. Still, in spite of those hurdles, I would follow the inner beckoning that was driving me to the sacred mountain. The pull was strong, and I suspected that it was coming from The Source of my being.
One day, after a week of tranquil camping on the slopes of Shasta, I decided to go down into town because it was raining and cold at the higher altitudes. The laundromat was one of my stops, and because there was nothing else to read I picked up a weekly advertiser full of classifieds called "The Supersaver" to lightly peruse through it. I normally wouldn't bother to read it, but there I was looking through it.
In the help wanted classifieds, one almost leaped off the page at me. A full time, experienced gardener was wanted, and although the business wasn't identified, I recognized the phone number as being that of the superintendent of the golf course at Mt. Shasta Resort because I'd worked there for two seasons, one on the golf course crew and the other as an assistant gardener. I was struck by the seeming synchronicity of this find. The previous year, because of budgetary reductions, only the head gardener was retained and I had not been able to work there and had expected her to stay there for many years because of her love for Mt. Shasta.
This is what I learned after I talked to the superintendent and passed the urine drug screen and was hired as gardener for The Resort. The previous gardener, Karen Kennedy, had suddenly moved to Montana with her boyfriend 6 weeks before I saw the classified. She'd given her boss 3 weeks notice, so he could hire someone for her to train, but he didn't place a want ad during all of that time. Then when he did, he put it in a weekly advertiser that hardly anyone ever read instead of the main newspaper for the area, "The Mount Shasta Herald". And then, despite the numbers of unemployed being high and jobs being hard to get, not one other person applied for that job during the 6 weeks it had been vacant. Not one! It was the one job I could move into with experience. I knew the grounds; I knew the irrigation systems; I knew the job and I knew the people.
I was simply startled that the position had become available just when I needed the work and the income and that for 6 weeks it had been vacant in the job hungry Siskiyou County. I came to the conclusion that, by some means which shall probably remain obscure to me, the job had been held for me.
I completed the season there, was able to save most of my pay by camping freely in the National Forest every night and was able to qualify for unemployment benefits because of a seasonal layoff from the work. And I was able to remain in the aura of Mt. Shasta for 6 months, deriving a great deal of emotional and spiritual benefit.
52. Tire blowouts when traveling at highway speeds can be not only dangerous but deadly events. Vehicles can be thrown out of control and into other vehicles or may be forced off the road into unyielding obstructions. The vehicle may roll over, or any number of perilous situations may occur as a consequence of a tire blowing out at high speed.
In April of 2005, I was returning from Texas to Arizona on Interstate 10 and passing through El Paso. From experience I had considered the I-10 stretch through El Paso to be one of the most dangerous of roads that I had traveled, and I always felt uneasy and apprehensive when driving through there. The lanes are entirely too narrow. The traffic is too fast for conditions. The trucks, buses, and RV's come within inches, and plainly there is just not enough room on I-10 for all the vehicles that are trying to use it in El Paso, and yet they speed up instead of slowing down to the speed limit. There is absolutely no room for the slightest error or malfunction. Any braking would result in a rear-end collision because of tailgating at high speeds.
I had made it through the worst part of the downtown area and was going north and away from El Paso when my right rear tire blew. It so happened at that moment that traffic had thinned out and no other vehicle was near or behind me. It happened right at an exit, so I was able to get off the interstate immediately, and enough air was held in that tire for me to get safely to a quiet side street and park for repairs.
Then again in October of 2005 when I had finished my seasonal job and was driving north on Interstate 5 from Mt. Shasta to Grants Pass, Oregon, it happened again. I had just crossed the Klamath River traveling at 60 m.p.h. when suddenly and unexpectedly the right rear tire had a blow out. Naturally, it greatly destabilized the van, but at that moment yet again there were no other vehicles behind or to the side of me. It occurred right at the on-ramp of the Klamath Highway onto I-5, and so I was able to back up the on-ramp and get off the interstate. And strangely enough, enough air remained in that blown out tire (with gaping hole) for me to safely pull off the interstate highway.
When I got to Grants Pass, I went to the Les Schwab Tire franchise to see if my tire warranty would have any meaning. The 4 tires had been purchased new at another Les Schwab franchise 4 years and 4,000 miles previously. The employee that took care of it pointed out a gash in the sidewall of the failed tire that likely caused the blow out. The gash defect should have negated the warranty, but instead he proceeded to mount and install a brand new 6 ply LT 235/75R15 tire and charged me just $15 for it, and he did not ask to see the warranty or sales receipt, nor did he measure the remaining tread on the old tire for price adjustment purposes.
53. During the Summer of 2007, I was camping in my van in a remote area of The Coconino National Forest of Northern Arizona and had gotten there on a narrow, rough, tertiary road, more of a dirt track. As I was repositioning my van for the night and shifting into Park, my shifting lever went loose and I had no gears. I couldn't move my van. I couldn't go anywhere, because I couldn't get my transmission into gear. Even if I could afford one, I knew that no tow truck would go onto the poor road that I was now stuck on, because they have instructions not to go onto rough, unimproved National Forest roads.
I felt myself initially go right into a cynical, negativistic thought pattern, expecting the worst until I caught myself by remembering the messages I'd been given by my Teachers and Friends in The Spiritual Hierarchy. I was hoping to God it wasn't the transmission because I had no money for it, and if I could somehow coerce a tow-truck driver into coming for me, I knew that it would be expensive and that the repair bill at some garage would likely deplete my laughable cash reserves. In fact, I didn't even know if I had enough to cover the expenses, depending on what the problem was.
It seemed I was really stuck this time, and I had the hardest time in looking at a glass half-full instead of one half-empty. I didn't see how I was gonna get out of this one, but I began formulating a plan for the next day once it became light. I'd forgotten about The Silver Platter Forcefield following me through life. I went to bed puzzled and disheartened over my circumstances.
I awoke in the dark at 4:30 a.m., my mind playing through all the possibilities of what the problem could be and how I would approach it at daybreak. It kept going through my mind that I needed to stay positive and maintain an optimistic approach. I didn't see a way out, but I was going to be optimistic. At the crack of dawn, I got up and got ready for the day.
My mechanical knowledge was rudimentary, but I'd heard of transmission linkage and squeezed beneath my van with one-eighth inch to spare to see if I could find out what that was. I saw a couple of rods going to the transmission and fiddled with and moved them back and forth not really knowing what I was doing, just experimenting. Then I got into the driver's seat and turned on the ignition to see what would happen and was amazed that the van lurched forward indicating that I'd gotten it into gear to my surprise. I then knew that I could at least drive out of the wilderness on my own steam and make it into Flagstaff and not have to worry about begging for a tow truck and paying for one, and I knew that the worst-case scenario of a failed transmission was not the problem.
As it turns out, the gear I'd gotten it into was 4th gear, so I didn't have to stop along the way and crawl under the van to fiddle with the linkage rods and try to find the right gear. The trip in was smooth sailing and I was getting lighter the closer I got to town. I still thought that wherever the linkage had broken, it was going to be an expensive repair, perhaps having to take the steering column off and waiting for parts to be shipped to Flagstaff, but I didn't allow my mood or thought to swing into the darker side of things. I was just gonna deal with it and accept it, come what may.
The first garage I found (which had previously overcharged me for minor work) was too busy, and I found another with a friendly, honest manager. Even though he was working on replacing a motor in a car, he took some time off and came out to look at my van. After looking at the steering column, he looked under the hood, and I remember him saying, "This is gonna be easy". My heart leapt, and he showed me that the linkage problem was simply that a cotter pin had broken and a washer had fallen off. I felt a rush of elation and relief wash over me. Within minutes it was fixed and I was on my way.
As I pulled away from the garage I knew that, first of all, this little crisis had been a lesson given to me by The Lofty Ones to maintain optimism in the face of difficult conditions and, secondly, that I had received help from Higher Levels in getting it resolved by an honest, helpful mechanic and at a bare minimum of expense. I believe that The Ascended Master Who incarnated as my sister (Virginia) oversaw this offering of The Silver Platter, and I saved hundreds of dollars by the way it all worked out.
54. In January of 2008 my 25-year old van had developed a loud, clunking sound whenever I shifted the transmission into gear, and I took it into a repair shop to have the universal joints checked out. The rear one was especially bad, and I had both of them replaced. As soon as I drove away from the shop, the van had a vibration that wasn't there before. I went back to the shop, but the manager refused to claim responsibility for having done something wrong, and I went my way. I didn't have the money to investigate it, but I knew that it had to have something to do with the driveshaft and the replacement of the u-joints. Some damage had been done by the mechanic or the job was botched in some way.
I had to drive it, and drive it I did. Over time, the vibration became worse, and I could hardly see out of the rear view mirror when driving down the road. I knew the implications of a vibrating driveline. It was dangerous! If the front u-joint were to come loose, the driveshaft would drop onto the road, dig into the road, and depending on the angle would destroy the entire rear end or the van itself by lifting it up like a pole vaulter and bringing it to an end along with the driver. Every time I drove it, I knew that the vibration was loosening the u-joints and could even do damage to the transmission and the differential. If something happened while being passed or followed by a big rig 18-wheeler, there would be carnage and loss of life.
After 8 months of white-knuckled driving, I'd saved enough from my $600 per month Social Security income to have the u-joints checked out again. The rear one was loose and needed replacement though they should last for 200,000 miles. When I drove away, the vibration was still there. Nothing had changed. This went on for another 4 months until I became determined to have it evaluated by people who specialize in drivelines. I wanted the opinion of the experts.
When the driveline shop was finished with my repair, the chief mechanic, who specialized solely in drivelines, told me that he was astonished that my driveshaft had not fallen out, and he called it a miracle that I had driven it that way for a year. He said my driveshaft had been turned around and installed backwards (both times) and to top that off some fasteners attaching it to the differential were missing. There was a one-quarter inch side to side play in the rear end of the driveshaft. He said that the only thing holding the driveshaft in place must have been suction, though I fail to see how that could be possible. He was totally dumbfounded as to how I could have driven so far without losing the driveshaft or doing other serious damage. I should mention that if my van would have been wrecked and I lived through it, I would have been homeless.
As it turns out, my little miracle was, indeed, a gift to me from The Silver Platter. After it was over, I received a confirmation that my Master Guardian, The One Who protects me and administers The Platter, was responsible for the miraculous driveline that held together for so long.
55. In October of 2009 I was in the high country of Northern Arizona camping in the National Forest. One day, while I was in Flagstaff, I was caught in heavy traffic and a long line of vehicles that were waiting to turn onto the highway that goes to the Grand Canyon. The pickup truck in front of me had stopped faster than I anticipated, and I was following more closely than my usual cautious distance. The bicycle rack mounted on the hood of my van slammed into the tailgait of the truck, something that had never happened to me in all my years of driving. The mild collision of the bike rack had left a sizable dent, and the bike had scratched the paint of the nearly new truck in several places on the tailgait.
I was disconsolate and furious at my stupidity. My driving record had been excellent, and I'd gotten very good deals on my vehicle liability insurance because of the clean driving record without moving violations or vehicular accidents. That was all going to end because I was clearly at fault in this accident, and my insurance premium would jump up dramatically, which would take a bigger bite out of my limited Social Security budget, and this would go on for years. The driver of the truck in front of me didn't get out immediately to look at the damage but waited until making the turn after the traffic light.
I followed him and then waited as he got out to inspect the damage that had been done. I fully expected to be told that the police had to be called to make out a report on the accident as stipulated by law so that the repair expenses could be recovered from my insurance company. I glumly waited for the dreaded pronouncement, but what happened was so unexpected that I was left shaking my head in wonderment. The owner of the truck yelled over to me that no real damage had been done and simply got in his cab and drove away. I could hardly believe my ears. His nearly new pickup had looked to me in pristine condition before I ran into it, but for some reason he chose not to take me to task for it.
56. In February of 2010, while camping out in the remote desert wilderness of Southeastern California, a powerful cold front was approaching. It was moving from the northwest to the southeast and the winds were strong, buffeting and rocking my heavily-laden three-quarter ton van back and forth. There was lightning, thunder, and hail; and the sky turned an eerie color as the squall line approached. Visibility had dropped dramatically because of the heavy rain, and it took a couple of hours for the front to pass through.
The next morning I drove into town, which was southeast of me, on the road that followed the same precise vector that the storm front had been moving from northwest to southeast, and I came upon four telephone poles that had been snapped in two like matchsticks by a tornado. They were only a mile or two from where I had been camped. It was very obvious that the tornado had passed directly over my van and could well have touched down on me, bringing to an end this earthwalk, but it didn't. I also found that its touchdown had been prolonged as evidenced by the number of roofs on the edge of town that had been blown off and the debris that was scattered around.
I wrote of the event to the friend who has received messages from The Ascended Masters for me for years, and while reading of the tornado he "felt" a huge smile from my Master Guardian, The Master V. It was a confirmation, in my opinion, that That One had protected me and my van and prevented the tornado from touching down on me. I believe that the message of the smile was given to reassure me that protection had been in place.
James Oliver Cyr, M.D.
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