ONCE UPON A TIME . . .
The first cancer diagnosis came in April, 2013; I was 49 years-old. The diagnosis was accompanied by a label: Anal Cancer.
OH GREAT! That's going to look fabulous on my epitaph.
The diagnosis was also accompanied by a statistic: 50% five-year-survival.
The second cancer diagnosis came—despite six weeks of combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy—exactly one year later. This time the diagnosis was not accompanied by a statistic; there simply wasn't one.
I am pleased to report that, at present—3-4 years post surgery—I am currently cancer-free.
As a result of these diagnoses, my life now looks very different than it did just a few short years ago. Cancer invited me to stop the forward momentum of my life, and to deeply question: What's important? Where do I choose to put my attention? What do I want to give the remainder of my life to? And what, finally, is the meaning and purpose of a human life—of my life—anyway?
I'm excited to report that an unfamiliar, but most welcome, bubble of creativity is arising in me. This creative bubble is clearly out of my control, and the best description I can find for it is: The urge to become a storyteller. The primary goal of said storyteller bubble seems to be to create a piece of musical theatre that is about spiritual awakening, and which uses the Enneagram.
The musical, whose current working title is THE GARDEN, commences briefly in the biblical Garden of Eden. The main body of the musical, however, is set in New Eden—a city that bears an uncanny resemblance to the New York that we all know, and either love or hate (or both). The remainder of the Act 1 is set in the recent past. Act 2 takes place in the near future: the year, 2020.
Now I know this is going to sound crazy—coming from someone who's never written a musical before—but I keep getting a message that THE GARDEN will be performed on Broadway one day.
Hmm, I wonder if l'll be around to see that?
The ego is the part of one's mind that identifies as being an individual entity. Believing oneself to be separate from other humans, and separate from the rest of the universe, one resides experientially in egoic—or separateness—consciousness, and one is asleep, spiritually speaking.
My deepest passion—if I had to choose just one—is to see freedom, peace, health, and happiness available equally to all beings everywhere.
It is my sincere hope that in the near future a sufficient number of humans can realize the deepest Universal Truth — described by Aldous Huxley in his book The Perennial Philosophy — which states that there is a unifying intelligent, loving nature to the universe, that is variably called God, Spirit, Emptiness, Brahman, Allah, JHVH, Tao, etc, and which is both the source, and the inner nature, of everything. This Truth lies at the core of all world religions, and of every spiritual philosophical system. This realisation is available to everyone . . . if they are ready to hear it.
I believe that if a large enough percentage of the human population achieves Self-realisation, then it
is possible that the dominant worldview of humanity can shift from the selfish, narcissistic, destructive, ego-centric one that is, unfortunately, so prevalent across the globe today, to a view that sees through the apparent differences and separateness on the surface of things to the interconnectedness, harmony, and oneness that is the essential nature of the universe.
This Non-dual way of being and living arises naturally when the desires, fears, judgments, obsessions, and identifications of the dualistic mind are finally seen for what they are—unfulfilling, and empty of Truth—and the mind becomes still.
In this moment of stopping of the mind all thought falls back, for just an instant, into the formless ocean of silent Awareness, the Source, from which it arose, and Peace and Love are re-discovered to be one's true nature . . . and finally, the nature of everything.
Thankfully, this new worldview is becoming increasingly evident—at least transiently—in the global responses to extreme acts of violence and terrorism, natural and man-made disasters of all kinds, and thoughtless destruction of the environment.
This hearted-centred way of being and living in the world quite naturally gives rise to compassionate, loving action. The potential outcome of such enlightened action: health and harmony restored to the environment; protection and care for all plants, animals, and human beings everywhere; a possible future for the Earth that includes humans in it; freedom, peace, health, and happiness available equally to all beings everywhere.
Hmm, I wonder if I'll be around to see that?