Barack-O-Notta: the arguments against Obama

I can hear it already, a torrent of grade-school cracks raining down upon Barack Obama if he becomes the Democrat’s nominee for President:

Obama your momma. Osama-Obama. Barack-O-Notta.

They’ll find a way to hate him. The vilification has already begun.

But there’s another reason why he’ll never be elected President. He’s not presidential “material.”

The public has a conception of who is and is not presidential shaped according to the people who are supposed to know. It has nothing to do with race – Colin Powell is considered presidential – and everything to do with who he is.

For instance, he’s rated by “those who know” as the most liberal senator. Lord knows America can’t have a liberal in the White House. Just look at Jimmy Carter. If he would’ve spanked Iran for taking our hostages in the first place, we wouldn’t be having all of these problems now. America doesn’t elect liberals or senators – except Republicans named McCain.

Obama is a peacenik. He’ll sell us out. We can’t trust funny-name with the sacred duty of protecting our country from its many enemies. At war with the Muslims and America elects a guy whose name rhymes with the arch-enemy? Right.

He doesn’t genuflect to the flag, refuses to wear it upon his lapel to show his patriotism. He’s never served his country (we’d still swift-boat him anyway). Let’s not get started on the dangers of an inexperienced President during time of war.

Hillary hopped on the argument. She knows what John McCain is going to pull out. If the next eight months of Republican attacks could be summarized into a song, the chorus repeated over and over will be:

“He ain’t gonna make it, no flag waving or bacon. He ain’t gonna make it. To November.” Can you hear the Twisted Sister remake already in your ears?

Hillary can harp on experience all she likes, she’s shrill, and the American public – Democrat included – prefers her in the background. Hillary is Tracy Flick in Election who won’t accept that something so important to her – getting elected class president – boils down to a popularity contest. How could anyone vote for all-charm-no-substance when she so obviously is better prepared and versed in the minutia of running government?

And negative campaigning, a certain scene from the movie coming to mind.

Can you imagine listening to Hillary for the next four years weigh in at length on the issue of the day? She forgets that Presidents are part of America’s dream landscape, and a figure so intimately involved in our lives better be easy-going. The office of President isn’t just the job. It embodies our collective psyche.

And Obama has captured its imagination. He is more like R.F.K than R.F.K was to J.F.K. No wonder the Kennedy family enthusiastically endorsed Mr. Charming. But the politics of hope always takes a bullet, in this case straight out of the barrel of the national security argument. McCain’s support for the Iraq war could pay off because the end is in sight and we can’t pull out now. The argument is built upon a mirage though, because American tax dollars are paying the salaries of 600,000 Iraqi militia to keep the peace.

[The Bush exit strategy for the Iraqi war? Waste obscene amounts of money preserving an illusion, leaving office with affirmation of their policy and drop the mess on John McCain.)]

Obama in their minds is a non-possibility. At least Hillary plays their game; Barack-a-notta thinks the rules will be reinvented for him. Or so goes the argument. Facile and presumptuous but unfortunately true. I shudder to think what our star will look like after the mud sticks and the petty hate machine of Republican politics finds its teeth.

Let’s hope America has grown up and is ready for a fresh approach. And a guy with a funny name.

There Will Be Blood: why good Christians scare me

I know Jesus in a savior way but choose “other” as my religion rather than be associated with the fundamentalists who have hijacked the message of Christianity.

My despising of George Bush excludes me from many mainstream Christian churches. He’s my Antichrist. Jesus said feed the poor, pity the rich, live at peace, tell the truth. George says screw the poor, serve the rich, launch wars and tell any damn lie I please. For those of you who disagree, wake up. Jesus burns the chafe.

I know for a fact that Jesus doesn’t pick sides and won’t be at the pearly gates weighing souls against their adherence to his religion 2,000 years after he died. I was there. The original version looks nothing like what we see on television and in churches today.

My soul has lived many human lives and will return until this world no longer needs me. I have an EZ Pass through all spiritual toll booths. I wave to Jesus going by the gates and we share a chuckle about the line of souls waiting with fear and trembling for him to dispense exactly what they’ve been expecting.

The road to spiritual maturity requires many lives. Inevitably, one of those lives stinks. But it is never unworthy. Never.

My differences with common Christian doctrine extend back to the beginning. There was a Garden we can call Eden. There is a Garden right here all around us where our creator wants us to play like Adam and Eve. Or Adam and Steve for all the universe cares as long as union is entered into consciously and lovingly. Our creator is a clever teacher to entice souls into experiencing lives often including suffering and injustice. The pleasures are here for a reason.

And it all began with a Big Bang billions of years ago.

Evolution is a theory and should be taught in the scientific tradition. Darwin never claimed that humans evolved from apes. Nothing disproves that the human life form didn’t develop from simple organisms in the seas, then God breathed special life – souls – into two bodies. Those two, so enthralled at experiencing each other separately in incredibly sensitive flesh, copulated like crazy producing offspring to spread into the world and mate with the natives.

A lot of public copulating went in the early days before we knew shame, I imagine. For many of us today that is a damn good reason to be. I think therefore I am? Nah, I can think of a much better reason to be alive. The monks have it wrong: ‘ohm’ isn’t the sound of creation, it’s ‘ahhh’… baby that was fabulous. ;-)~ Let’s do it again!

The creator inserted a few strands of DNA and off we go, fusing matter with spirit. Could have happened same as evolution or intelligent design. So-called Christian leaders habitually distract their flocks with small issues to indoctrinate otherwise capable minds. It’s an age-old technique of manipulation. Some people have to live that way, God bless them. Just don’t infiltrate my school board with your simple-mindedness because scientifically, you are clueless, and I’m a scientist – old school. I’ve seen way more than enough proof that life and the cosmos cannot be explained by any theory, but we can sure try. And that explanation makes a lot more sense. Otherwise, why put us in a world so obviously contrary to scripture? To test our faith.

I’m testing my fate and faith by believing my own conclusions being open to everything. Everyone’s got something good to say about God. I hold all with the same esteem.

Some Christian churches receive the wisdom of the ever-unfolding moment and use the Bible as a compass, not a map with clearly defined borders and destinations. Boundaries and morality create space for the soul to more fully inhabit the flesh. The morality of Bible-only churches is stifling to the soul that wants to use the body and mind for what they’re intended:

Exploration. Of ourselves, each other, our world and the universe so full of clues about its creation. Of the fifty churches I’ve attended, two or three might have understood me. The rest would embark on a quest to save my soul. Sorry but I once convinced half of a Methodist ladies’ convention to have wine with dinner. Once I enticed one, the rest cut loose with a glass or two of wine. A few even got imported beers. Don’t condemn me before seeing the tips those nice ladies poured on me for convincing them to loosen up. Hours of being preached to wears out about anyone’s patience.

I stomached five minutes of Jesus Camp until they marched out the cardboard cutout of George Bush and prayed to it. What you do unto these, you do unto me, sayeth Hayseuse. Adults can believe whatever deluded bullshit they want, but when they make children believe it, they’ve committed a crime.

These Bush-worshipers are supporting a crime against humanity. George W. refers frequently to history’s judgment, but billions of voices have already joined to condemn a preconceived war twisted to fit around a national tragedy, serving the interests of dynastic families propped upon the backs of the rich and elite. They should all be flogged and humiliated in public.

My church would never support a cabal that could be seen coming in 2000 before November. They would be ashamed now that the truth is out to have voted for the men and redirect it where it belongs. The way the Bush scion took office – took office – foretold the trouble to come. When he answered during the campaign that Jesus was his favorite political philosopher, this student of political philosophy literally cracked up laughing. People in politics who knew W.’s shuck-and-jive routine from his fraternity days (and later years as purveyor of dirty tricks and family glad-handing) found the comparison absurd. Say Jesus and His followers voted for Bush despite the glaringly obvious fact that he was not qualified. Christians should have seen the shiftiness in his eyes from the beginning.

No well-informed person could be a member a church pushing a political agenda disguised as morality. A shame because I have a ministry waiting for a community.

It’s called, Save the World. Jesus I love you but your followers scare me. When oilmen get religion, There Will Be Blood.

Boy Meets Evil Spirit

It attached to me at age nine. Entered my mind as I slept and stirred an epic nightmare. My deepest self knew the ugliness of the entity that chose my life to extend its own and continue a generational curse. It is resolved now, only the damage left to deal with in the lives of the people affected. That face of wickedness though I’ll never forget.

He came to me as a living dead man, fully animated and glowing with supernatural power. He tried to claim my life, but in the nightmare I hid behind a pinball machine, perhaps a sign of how I’d learn to deal with the deep wounding and hidden knowledge of the presence of evil in my life: distraction. Zone into a game and the mind gains rest from the imponderable. Even at age nine I knew something was very wrong. Questioning the assumptions of my family home though did not figure in the bargain we made for livable existence. We kept secrets so secret never once were they spoken – even in secret! Not your ordinary secrets like uncle Tom is buried in the wishing well, or daddy isn’t really working late at the office. More like secrets about the dominating pain surrounding us, kept at bay by willful denial of its existence.

Secrets like some people will never join us in our deal for happiness no matter how much we enable them. Some people don’t want to help themselves. Some hurts can’t be healed. Some things can’t be said or else they’ll intrude on our reality.

My secrets were attached to the deepest love and deepest wounding I’ve ever experienced: the maternal.

I gained my first clue about the dark blot attached to my energy field that became a presence in my life at age 13. By then I’d reached my apex. In my quest to become Superkid to make up for what lacked at home, I developed quickly and conquered every sort of game or contest. Superkid comes from a trophy I wond that kicked around the house for twenty years. I had uncanny luck, drawing both admiration and jealousy from my peers. Adults raved. And according to a test I took in sixth grade, I belonged in the “gifted” class.

Gift of gab is more like it, but I won’t put down my intelligence. My soul woke up early, realized its plight, and sent me everything it could to illuminate my situation. In seventh grade – age 13 – the message came in the form of a dream therapist who visited the gifted class and took me under into a haunting dream – the aforementioned epic nightmare. By then I’d dabbled with drugs and dark magic, and my teacher Mr. Whitmore, a deeply sensitive and spiritual man, knew I was about to uncork. I couldn’t contain the pressure anymore. I had no idea the forces compelling me to overachieve, quickly morphing at that age into overachieving at acting out. Reality came crashing down in the form of my parents’ separation. I still had a chance to keep the energy blot from spreading into my nervous system and infiltrating my thoughts by answering a question posed by the dream therapist.

My classmates gathered around with a hand on my body as I lay down and followed instructions to trace the nightmare to its roots. After some balking from my rational mind, I allowed my intuition to tell a story about a family in the midst of a terrible feud. Blood had spilled for generations. Betrayals ran so deep to be incomprehensible to my young mind. I had no idea people could be so cruel to each other. The dream therapist asked me to resolve the conflict by standing between the families and telling them why they should drop their feud. After thinking about it best I could, I told them to stop ’cause fighting is pointless. It’s not nice.

The feud went on.

And a doorway opened for evil to directly enter my life. No wonder by age 16 I’d sought out the church and given my soul to Jesus. Came in handy in later years when I “backslid” seeking solace, comfort or just numbing. I tried also to live up to the early image of myself as The Natural. The tremendous split down the middle of me and the entity attached to my back like a knife between the shoulder blades created living hell at times. Life became exhaustingly complicated. How many times I wanted to end it, even when sober as a stone and otherwise successful, let alone the darkest days driven desperation. Once again my soul attracted people with answers, even while the thing over my heart called forth every distraction and deception. And minions; he has many servants in the world. He knew my every weakness and ruthlessly exploited opportunities to invite chaos.

A decade ago over breakfast conversation on Christmas Day I found out about an old family feud. Eighteen years of history arced together like lightning. The roots of the nightmare at age nine and analysis at age 13 extended from a blood feud long in the past.

I researched and discovered that a side of my family had fought like the Hatfields and McCoys but on a national scale. Entire families were wiped out. The other clan lost half of their primary members in one fell night known as the Massacre of Glencoe. The bad blood lasted centuries and spanned continents.

The tragedy continued in the lives of the women of the “victors.” They devoured their men, for generations attracting the same abusive, and/or lost souls for them to justly despise. They might have joked that they were only following a family tradition, but it would be one of those jokes that hit too close to the truth. A dark magician made sure that the opportunities existed in abundance by accepting the money to cast a powerful spell to cause the women to experience the same tragedy that befell the women of the other clan. Or perhaps just one woman in particular beaten and abused so badly, but rather than leave, enacted her darkest desires. An affair that went wrong. I’m not sure of the ultimate source – who actually paid to place the curse – but the unfortunate magician spent the next centuries carrying it out, bound by his very spirit to his black magic.

It twisted him into a man neither living or dead, glowing hot with malice and in pursuit of me. When I traced him to his source in my unconscious, he lay in a coffin, his body sapped of all animation yet strangely alive. He relished the possibility of my suicide – even helped put the gun in my mouth – so that his spirit could bind to my soul and become something unspeakable. He even convinced me that I might be able to sacrifice my life by taking him with me into death, thereby preventing more damage in the lives of those I love. A freak storm and paramour’s surprise visit prevented me from enacting the ritual. Imagine my surprise to find out that my passion was no match for his skill, even if I cast my circle and summoned him for the final battle, willing to open my veins if necessary. Thank God I wasn’t so foolish, or he might have lived again by fully possessing me during a near-death experience. I depart and the doctors bring me back. Not me but a Dark Master….

I had to find a master to help. His name is Steve. Thanks bro.

First, I worked with another master, Larry, in a therapeutic environment for a decade to arm me with the skills and knowledge needed. And just to survive the turbulence in my life and the conflicts over the secrets I still carried, ashamed of myself for my weaknesses. I found help in mind-body work, discovered insights strewn along the way, and finally began to understand my family home and the deal that drove my early success. Life was still messy but the light slowly came on.

I followed the dream therapy into deep waters and found at bottom the magician with a secret name. My dreams whispered Dark Master. I rid myself of his minions, and his efforts to pry open doors into my life grew frantic. He had to give away a lot of information in order to sidetrack me and stifle my best efforts at full healing. Took another seven years of putting it all together until finding out his true nature and sending him into the great Eye.

…A man neither alive nor dead, caught in the ethereal realm, desperate to break free – and terribly afraid of the consequences he expected for the evil he’d caused….

I wanted to believe anything but the scenario that confronted me. An evil spirit, really? A generational blood feud? A curse? Crazy talk some would say. People with whom I shared my secret reacted all sorts of ways. Some doubted my mental stability. I did too sometimes; I was split in two, living duel lives. One side still tried to fulfill its ambitions, and the other demanded time at the altar of Good Times. The split opened opportunities for more darkness to attach to me.

Once confronted by the truth of evil’s existence, it is either assimilated by the conscious mind or is left free to create havoc in the unconscious. It drives people insane. I did everything in my power to help my soul brother Matthew, confronted also by dark generational forces, but he refused the lessons of calming and centering that create safe space inside to work within. He didn’t have the help I did or the unconditional love to see him through it.

The calm mind receives wisdom. The intruded mind has little chance – the soul sleeps, and the container limps or speeds to a tragic conclusion.

I am by nature a skeptic and struggled like any uninitiated person with whether I was grasping at anything in a desperate attempt to find meaning. Parts of the story I’m pretty sure have been filled in by imagination when memory fails. But the basic plot is as real as it gets. The fact was confirmed 48 hours ago when I visited a spirit worker who saw it all and freed me.

The story of how I found Steve is important to anyone reading this who is fighting for their lives or a loved one. The stakes of the fight are literally life or death. One can be dead inside and still alive. Call it quality of life, freedom to live every day to its fullest. Freedom to imagine the life we want and work toward it, enjoying the journey. Freedom from addictions, fears, anxiety and compulsions, with a positive voice in the mind leading the way. I got so sick of the darkness fouling up the most precious parts of my life that I did something about it. The student was ready and the teacher appeared.

I met Steve at his home. He’s not the sort of naturopath who advertises. A close friend who knows directly his ability to work with spirits referred me. The heaviness of his work is balanced by lightness of personality and deep grounding in humor. You’d never guess by seeing him at the grocery store that he is a shaman, initiated into the world of the spirit worker. Few could look in his eyes and see the healer, the one who takes on the wounds of others as if his own. He’s a Brooklyn boy.

Steve interviewed me to understand the basics. He then read my energy body and saw the split. Not your everyday wound, he realized, when he saw the black spot between my shoulder blades like the fragment of a Nazgul blade centimeters from my heart. He saw how the left side of my body acted independently of the right, and the split side to side and up and down. The entity over my heart absorbed the energy traveling up from my root chakra and traveling down from my crown chakra, like King David’s son Absalom intercepting petitions at the Jerusalem Gate. No matter how hard I worked, the Dark Master foiled my best intentions. Because he took my energy and added his own, embedded into my very nervous system like a parasite.

The harder I fought, the stronger he became. As long as he kept me muddling through life, he had room to work. I’m sorry to everyone subjected to his Trickster games.

Such an extreme split has spiritual roots. Steve began asking all of the right questions, delving into my insights gained from a decade of preparation. Then the light came on in his head and the work began. My personal wound had to be healed before we addressed the deeper, generational wound. We discovered that the doorway for the Dark Master to enter my life opened because of the nature of my home life – the secrets, the pain, the Oedipal bargains. Guilt and shame on the paternal side, combined with pain and tragedy on the maternal, mirrored the combination that drove some hateful bitch – excuse me, woman – to curse my family many generations ago.

Steve saw a tragic progression of mother to daughter passing on the same wounds and patterns of finding men to inflict them. They played masochist and martyr some of the time and sadist and abuser at others. I took on the martyr complex, fully lived it, to the point of over-identifying with the story of Jesus, a la The Last Temptation of Christ. I would save my father; I would save my mother; I would save the world! I saw a way. It can be done, but the martyr’s path has already been tread by Jesus. The door is closed. We’ll have to figure out another road.

To heal my personal wound I had to separate my self from my family’s pain. I had to forgive by understanding that they were overwhelmed, too. I had to say over and over, “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough. I am all the proof I need.” I can separate my pain from theirs, render it moot by forgiving everyone who failed me when the problem went far deeper than most people can handle. We’re only human, but we’re also so much more. I don’t have to save anyone but myself. Only then can I freely choose to take on that work; otherwise, I act unconsciously, setting myself up for failure. Like Icarus, I’ve crashed hard a few times. These wings made of glue were formed one lesson at a time.

Steve saw how I’d created a complicated formula for my life. Living wore me out, and for long stretches I had to be unconscious, seeking the next high, the next pleasure. I sought the spirit in the bottom of the bottle. I drank enough to learn that all that waits at the bottom is darkness, confusion and shame. Whoever labeled booze the Devil’s drink knew how right they are when applied to alcoholics. Steve and I cleared my space of that mess to move on to the deeper wound that blocked my ultimate healing. Time to get serious. Time to call upon our guides and the great Eye of the cosmos to come to our aid.

The Dark Master wasn’t giving up without a fight.

Steve spent a lot of time working my back to remove the blade. He played a tape of shamanic drumming, lit a candle, called upon his guides – and told me to shut up and let him work. I felt the ritual magic rising and encouraged him, but I was wasting my breath: he knew already. I had to feel like we were in the fight together, so I used every imaginative and breathing technique at my disposal. I was so thankful for my previous ten years of study and practice. Like I said early on, my soul marked the path to healing with a crumb trail; otherwise, I think Steve would agree, there was only so much he could do. I say that with a little bit of pride because I endured so much pain along the way and mastered arcane knowledge, but that’s neither here nor there.

Twice I almost wore out, but Steve is a strong man and sustained our space. He called up helpful images from my dreams. He also saw the drain to my stomach leading to hell, the stinky mass of rotting miasma from swallowing pain for so long. A dreamed represented the toxic dump as a black portal. Think Amityville Horror. Twelve disciples were gathered seeking the one strong enough to go down there and battle the demon – me, by default. That’s when I decided to enact a ritual to summon the Dark Master for direct confrontation. But as Larry my guide told me many times, that’s exactly what DM wants. Like the Dark Lord in Star Wars, DM wanted me to feed upon my anger and be consumed by it, putting to sleep my soul and allowing my spirit to be energized by dark intentions. I could be Anakin or I could be Luke, and the two possibilities battled incessantly.

Steve pulled the image that ultimately prevailed straight from another series of dreams during my first go-round consciously wrestling with DM: the Storm. Some dreams it was funnel clouds descending from the sky. Others it was volcanoes exploding, hurricanes pounding, earthquakes rattling. But time after time my dreaming mind chose funnel clouds to illustrate my dilemma. What I didn’t know was the funnel didn’t come for me but for my nemesis, the undead warlock whose time had come. Time for him to return to whence he came.

Steve and I were really close but the window of opportunity was closing. He told me to call upon the Eye in the funnel. That’s when twenty-eight years of struggle, pain and secrets fused together. I stood separate from my wound and beheld its ultimate source. I didn’t see him directly – he was not allowed entry to our circle – but I felt him. I also felt pity, because the forces he’d unleashed had consumed him. He chose me because I reminded him of the golden life he’d left behind in pursuit of secret powers. In the ultimate display of spite and jealousy, the Dark Master chose my life to destroy because of its potential for light. The dark hates the light. Doesn’t matter if the one possessed dies on top of a pile of gold or in a ditch, so long as the life is annihilated – the more promising the better. The Devil doesn’t care about the efficacy of his servants. DM was deceived into believing himself master of the powers he served.

He wanted me to hate him for what he’d done to us – all of us many generations, my parents, and myself in particular. To do so gave him an avenue back to life: my life. But my guide Larry prepared me well for the moment. Luke, resist your anger. Serve the light. Be love. I forgave DM for all of the damage. I can’t get back what has been lost.

Steve saw the spiritual benefits of my path. I chose this destiny. I chose to come from Heaven to right this wrong and balance karma. My soul has inhabited many lives all leading up to this one; many times it has chosen the path of pain and suffering like my brother Jesus. From the wound comes the call to initiation into deeper living. The golden child I was would’ve chosen to serve his own ends taking full advantage of the many gifts my soul arranged for the task of this life. I would’ve sought glory instead of sorrow, and someone else would’ve taken on DM at some other time. More generations lost to tragedy in the meantime.

But we sent him back by letting him know that inside of the funnel was understanding and love. Nothing is unforgivable. Steve called upon his guides to prepare the way for a tormented soul deserving of rest. The funnel descended. Light whirled around our circle building a charge of power. We were fighting for my life and the lives of the ones I love. Two hours had passed in deep concentration and the moment arrived. Above the crown of my head, the peak of an energy pyramid formed with four lines running into the floor. Think of the Death Star when the laser beams fuse into one planet-destroying death ray, but reversed. I saw it all with the mind’s eye, the physical eyes closed.

The power discharged as a beam aimed straight into the Eye. Steve clapped his hands loudly. My eyelids shot open. It was accomplished. The curse was lifted, the entity departed. I had my life back. We looked at each other like we’d just experienced the most amazing orgasm, a release like no other after literally years – centuries – of building.

That’s the story of Boy Meets Evil Spirit. Or, How Jason Got His Groove Back.