How did we choose the journey we’re on?

I would love to write a book about how people came to the current  journey they’re on.

You see, I have this tendency of going up to people and asking them how they came to be where they are; that is, spiritually, if you know what I mean. For instance, I quiz them at a Buddhist center, at a Center for Contemporary Mysticism, or at some New Age event where everyone seems to be seeking some sort of healing.

I have found that many of us have had to hit “rock bottom” before we surrendered to a force that was far above us. It is only then that we’ve turned to a Higher Course, a Higher Road.

Little did I know, that the Higher Force exists within each of us. It is our Higher Self. It’s the wisdom that we were born with that we finally got to tap into.

There are some people, like myself, however, who have been touched before such an “awakening.” I remember when I was an altar boy at age 12 and I how I was praying for the affections of a girl I had met the night before. I was in the sacristy of a Roman Catholic Church.

I prayed that Geraldine McFadden would like me. Before weeping like a lonely teenager, I felt the presence of something divine. I felt what I now perceive to  be the Presence of God. Nothing else mattered. I had no cares, no worries, and all was calm and peaceful with or without the girl’s fondness.


While talking to a friend at a Buddhist gathering the other day. I explained how Buddhism had called out to me some 40 years earlier.

I  read the Tibetan Book of the Dead, understanding maybe 5 percent of what was explained.

Did we choose the journey or did the journey choose us?

I put it away, went to war and did not think about it until 2009 when visiting a center in Philadelphia.

One of my Buddhist student friends, a non-practicing Catholic, told me about the “Golden Books Encyclopedia.” Mary said she had also obtained the Tibetan Book of the Dead, but never finished it while in her early 20s.

But what  “pulled” her at a much younger age was one of encyclopedia books. She had three older brothers and by the time she got to the books, there were only three left. But one of them was the book for the beginning letter “T”. She remembered opening the encyclopedia and seeing men and women bowing in prayer at a Tibetan Buddhist service. It touched her and left a memorable mark.


Was something or some force in the Universe calling out to her? Was it a foreshadowing of what she’d turn to years later when searching for answers?

I don’t know. But it sure is interesting to learn about these occurrences. I bet we all have similar stories to tell if someone would just listen.

How about you? Would you care to share?

Let me know…

11 comments on “How did we choose the journey we’re on?

  1. I think its interesting that so many of us former Catholics turned Buddhists… However I know several Jewish followers of Buddhism that don’t give up the former but practice both.


  2. OK, let me go way back.

    I believe that I was in the Bardo, you know, that place where our consciousness goes when we “pass on.” I think it was my third or fourth week while I was contemplating what I needed to learn in my next incarnation that I chose my mother and father for my newest journey.

    Is that going back too far?

    Yes, I think I had arranged things from the “get-go” in order to “correct” something in 2015 and 2016 (definitely before 2020). I can’t remember exactly what it was. You tend to lose all knowledge of your previous lives in that way station in the Bardo during the 49 days that you hang around awaiting the next life.

    Well, I got my travel visa and appeared on earth in the town of Philadelphia where I was raised a Catholic, married a Cajun girl and then divorced. Next, I married an Episcopalian while reporting the news for a paper and then tried to organize a newspaper before going to law school and getting 20 years of trials under my belt before hanging up my shingle and exploring life in the spiritual journey where I met you guys.

    It’s been fun.

    A lot of fun!

    But, now I don’t know where I’ll end up next. It doesn’t really matter. Just as long as I keep smiling . . . follow the path of least resistance . . . and go with the flow of a Higher power some of whom call God!


  3. sam davies says:

    I am on a fantastical journey as a trans masculine person that began when I was little and has resurfaced for me. It’s a wild ride and I have much support and love; it didn’t exist back then. I was about three years old. Scary and new now, yet not, I pray to my Higher Power each day and am thankful to be alive. Transition nearly took my life as I attempted suicide many times, became an alcoholic and had deliberate, unprotected sex, in the eighties and early nineties. There were over thirty inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations for me and at one point I was in search of a priest so he could perform an exorcism. What I’m going through goes against the grain of so many. Being transgender is frowned upon and some consider me a freak. Guess what? I’m happy and others’ perceptions of me melt away as I realize: 1.) I am not hurting anyone; and 2.) I am being true to myself. I don’t imagine my Higher Power would want more from me than that.

    Thank you, Michael and Cassandra, from my heart.


    • contoveros says:


      I can never fully appreciate the pain you must have gone through, and are still going through. We all have our own obstacles and our life is formed by how we deal with those obstacles.

      The choices we make go into making up who we are today. And the journey was never promised to be an easy one.

      But at the end of the day, the end of the year and the end of the life it will have been our journey. It will have been our life. We can only be authentic to our true self and be who we were meant to be through the hands of the Almighty.

      Welcome to Contoveros land!


  4. Cassandra says:

    I believe that you captured the reason that we turn to or return to a practice… “It’s the wisdom that we were born with…”. I was stopped in my tracks by “Light of Asia” by Sir Edwin Arnold in my early twenties. Book eight was my first spiritual awakening since leaving Catholicism at a very early age. I think of it as recognizing or remembering what we subconsciously know as our own personal imprinted truth.


    • contoveros says:

      Everyone has a story, don’t they? I really am thinking about interviewing people to get their spin on this. I betcha lots of people could relate to it.

      Maybe I can do the research over the next several months and then finish it up for NaNoWri Mo . . .

      See you next Tuesday, God willing!



      • Cassandra says:

        When I moved to a different position within my former organization, on my first day, I was settling into my new office and organizing my files, books, etc. During this process, I was thinking a lot about who my neighbors would be and how they would receive me. I was accustomed to using strong but, positive influence to let people know that I was professional, formidable, even handed, and kind. It never took long but,

        I was thinking about this when a gentleman walked into my office and sat down. He introduced himself in name only, no title, and then said the most wonderful words to me. “Tell me about you.” At first I thought that he meant my job function but, he quickly explained that he wanted to know about the human being called “Cassandra”. As I proceeded, he never interrupted me and he listened with focus and great apparent interest. When I felt that I had talked enough, I asked him to tell me about him and he was not extraordinary but, he was an amazingly human being with a story full of sadness and joy. It was a wonderful experience and when we wrapped up, we shook hands and I wondered if all of the people in this department would be like him.


        • contoveros says:

          It sounds like an angel guided both him and you together for an enlightening moment that I am sure you both recall with such heavenly delight.

          I feel lots of love and “awe” from your words and am uplifted with this story, even though you never once used the words “spirit” or “spiritual.”

          Michael J, now a little “touched”


          • Cassandra says:

            I believe that every encounter with any living being touches the spirit (their spirit and mine). Also, I believe that every life has a spirit… birds, bugs, and even people! 🙂 The important thing is to do our best to make it a positive encounter wherever possible. Living mindful


  5. It is usually an emotional experience. After HS coming off a Wuthering Heights kind of first love I found Isabel Hickey’s Astrology A Cosmic Science, then the Rosicrucian Cosmo Conception by Max Heindel. They both explained things I never learned in church (I’m a Lutheran by upbringing). From there I read a lot of Theosophy, but never found a guru. At around age 50 (as my kids had grown) I started in again, beginning with The Celestine Prophesy, and have read hundreds of books since then. I should compile a list and put it on my blog. I am closer to the answer now, and I’m surprised at what I have found …


    • contoveros says:

      I never heard of Isabel Hickey or Max Heindel, although both sound familiar. I plan to look ’em up now. Who knows? Maybe your comment will get me started along another path, another journey to who knows where.

      Ain’t it fun to simply reflect on how these things effected our lives?

      See you later!

      Liked by 1 person

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