I believe that I have become a “spiritual soldier of fortune” and would travel anywhere my heart beckons me to learn, to pray, and to find answers about the universe.
I got an inkling of this calling when I was a teenager. It came about when I was 18, just out of high school, and experimenting with grass and LSD. Timothy Leary enticed me with his message in the 1960s, advising all to “turn on, tune in and drop out.” I turned on and tuned into the message, but couldn’t afford to drop out because I was from a working-class family that saw work as a way out of poverty and into the middle class.
My first adventure away from my Catholic upbringing was when I purchased the Tibetan Book of the Dead, highly recommended by the LSD guru, and I actually read it before going off to Vietnam. I knew back then that a higher level of consciousness existed and each and every one of us could reach that exalted plane if we but follow the path our soul wanted us to take.
The next adventure I felt a “calling” toward was with a real live guru from India, a 15-year-old who preached the life-saving and life-sustaining benefits of meditation in “satsung’ with other devotees. Try as I might, however, I could never reach that blissful state meditators said one could reach in silence. I gave up the guru when meeting a “Jesus Freak” and got into Christianity with an Evangelical twist to it with my born-again second wife. I attended Episcopal Church with her and got married to a Presbyterian Church by a Methodist minister. I went to bible study sessions and long weekend retreats for Marriage Encounter and prayer fests in the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
But it wasn’t until things really got tough that I ventured far away from my roots and ended up visiting other countries to study Kabbalah while learning about Sufism and Buddhism. I opened myself to aromatherapy, crystal healing as well as Reiki. (I’m a level one Reiki practitioner.)
I once attended a Voodoo ceremony with three women from Haiti who allowed themselves to be occupied by six spirits in a New Year’s Eve Ritual. I made friends and obtained (but not yet read) books on Wiccan. And I figure I would pretty much explore any spiritual path as long as it didn’t involve a form of devil-worshipping. (Following the beliefs of the Republican Party doesn’t count!)
What I’m saying is that these practices have one thing in common. They all seek to raise us from our ego-based self toward our higher self, the self that is in tune with the Universe and whatever definition you want to apply to the Divine. Call the entity God, the Force, or Unconditional Love. Each practice can elevate you to a higher level of consciousness, a level where we actually do feel one with everyone and everything in our Universe.
Not only have I learned a great deal on my journeys, but I have had a helluva lot of fun. I don’t believe that laughter, smiles, and a bunch of giggles were banned by any of the Greek gods worshiped by my ancient ancestors. As Zorba the Greek once philosophized, “A man needs a little bit of madness to cut the rope and be free.” You gotta be a little mad to truly enjoy and live life.
My new adventures are calling me to such “new” areas as the “Law of Attraction,” the Kabbalah as taught by Jews and Christians alike, and psychologists who practice forms of past life regressions. I learn something new nearly every day and every day seems to be a little sweeter with the newly discovered awareness. I still face dark moments. Suffering, sickness, and old age are all around me. But, I view them all a little differently now.
You can do that.
Take a chance by starting a new journey. Try something even if you think people will think you are foolish. Expand your horizons by challenging your old preconceived notions. And let go of that old-time dogma that keeps you trapped in the past.
Be a spiritual soldier of fortune right now.
Your & my journeys are so similar (though I missed out on drugs, combat, & voodoo). I have always referred to myself & my fellows as, ‘Spiritual Warriors’. I like ‘Spiritual Soldier of Fortune’ better, I think. I also appreciated the quote you shared by Zorba…anything, a rope of hope, to make my madness palatable. Oh to be free!