Tuesday, August 9, 2011


on the lighter side...here is the link to a video of the resstock revue's 50-year anniversary tribute to the late/great buddy holly, ritchie valens and the big bopper...performed live at the sheepshead bay yacht club, january 2009 (i'm on drums)...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

An Extremely Valuable and Informative Book on Mysticism and Ancestral Wisdom

Today I have published on Amazon.com, the following five-star review of Hank Wesselman's new book, "The Bowl of Light."

An Extremely Valuable and Informative Book on Mysticism and Ancestral Wisdom

In “The Bowl of Light,” author Hank Wesselman, PhD, acknowledges that his writings about Hawaiian mysticism constituted "trespassing into an area that did not exactly welcome outsiders" (page 14). The validity of Hank's perspective is borne out here on Amazon.com among the one-star reviews and many of the related comments. In contrast to those reviewers and commenters, Hale Makua, a revered Hawaiian elder, saw Hank as the 'vessel-man...one of the light carriers of aloha.' Indeed, Makua went so far as to tell Hank in front of an audience in Hawaii that 'we Hawaiians need to support you' (page 18). Acting on Makua’s trust and encouragement, Hank has written "The Bowl of Light," which I find to be an extremely valuable and informative book on mysticism and ancestral wisdom.

I’ve been studying shamanism and going to drum circles and workshops for over ten years, since March 2001. As part of this ongoing journey, I’ve attended a number of Hank’s workshops which feature the teachings of Makua. "The Bowl of Light" discusses those teachings, and so much more, in the context of two best friends joyfully exchanging crucial information.

At his workshops, Hank usually presents Makua’s teachings in a way that is politically correct. But in “The Bowl of Light,” Makua’s words are often very direct. For example, when Hank and Makua are discussing the Buddhist idea that there is no such thing as self, and that the self is actually an illusion, Makua notes that 'this Buddhist idea is merely a theory. I don't believe the one called the Buddha ever said this. If he had experienced authentic initiation, and we can assume that he did...he would have known differently' (page 61). Makua expressed similar candor when providing his take on 'Your Judeo-Christian-Islamic god' which Makua viewed as a mere 'concept, a thoughtform that was created by human beings and that now resides as a guest within the human mind where it is fed and maintained by the belief systems of its followers' (page 183).

Insightful and thought-provoking are Makua's discussions of the positive and negative polarities for various life roles. For example, 'The negative polarity for the scholar is theory...but this does not mean that theory is bad...The negative polarity is where we work it all out...where we learn our lessons...The positive polarity for the scholar is knowledge’ (page 73).

To be sure, not all of Makua's teachings can be grasped easily, at least not by me. For instance, I still cannot come to grips with the idea that 'we are all actually dreaming twenty-four hours a day, that the dreamworld is the real world, and that this physical world we all take so much for granted is a manifestation of the dream, not vice versa.' Or that 'everything here, including ourselves, was sourced into existence by the dreamworld [which is] the same dimensional level as the spirit world' (page 83).

I find myself more in sync with Makua's refrain on the importance of knowing who you are and where you are (see e.g., page 95). Equally resonant for me is the idea that 'Each one of us is our own best teacher' (page 230). Also, I am in complete agreement with Makua's teaching that 'The goal for all of us is to seek truth above all things' (page 169).

Even serious students of mysticism may be surprised to read Makua’s statement that 'Hovering within the aura of Mother Earth are certain great spiritual forces and entities awaiting the opportunity to participate actively in the work of world redemption.' And many students will be prompted to inquire further about the 'three gods who are expected to appear soon.' One will appear 'at the end of the sea and land trails which are to be reopened by the trail-keepers of the twentieth century. This god will manifest as a teacher of love, wisdom, and unity, sounding a keynote of regeneration through aloha pouring forth on all, working primarily on the astral (spiritual) plane'. The second god is 'one of lesser order, due in the beginning of the twenty-first century. Its task will be the revelation and the rectification of man's relationship with the animal kingdom...in the promotion of the protection and well being of all animals.' The third deity is a 'seventh-ray god' who will appear in the twenty-first century when the seventh ray has achieved complete manifestation’ (page 96).

No less intriguing is Makua's account of the souls that inhabited humankind in the first instance. These souls 'originally came from across the universe in celestial canoes made of light...accompanied by high spiritual guardians' who would embody as dolphins and whales (page 134 et seq.), some 18.5 million years ago. 'This was a time in which the gods walked the Earth. We were those gods [but] we forgot who we really are' (page 155).

When Makua notes that 'We [as souls] descended and took up residence [on Earth] in these primitive [human] beings' (page 136), he is, I submit, essentially casting our immortal souls—our true selves—as entities who came to Earth from another dimension, and then essentially entered the beings that were already here—in a kind of benign or mutually beneficial “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” If so, it is we who are the aliens of this world. To me, this astounding message somehow rings true. But why would we souls, as such advanced beings, embark on this adventure? There are two reasons, Makua says. 'First, we were brought here to enjoy ourselves—to grow, increase, and become more than we were, in the beauty of nature of this wonderful world. And second, we are to remember our divine origins through the experience of love for one another' (page 137). Makua adds later that 'We all came into this world as holy beings, and part of our path is to remember who we are as well as where we are. We are wounded and corrupted by our experiences of this world, and our job, really, is to become holy beings once again before we check out' (page 144).

In an overall assessment of modern civilization, Makua notes (and I would most certainly agree) that 'if we take an informed look at the world today, we are all in great peril. We all seem to be anchored in the negative polarity, in fear, and this has progressively taken form in our time because of a monumental failure of our political and religious leadership' (page 166).

With all the war, inhumanity, and terror prevalent in our ultra-modern world, it would be beneficial if we had a way to deal with the insanity that engulfs us. Enter “The Ancestral Grand Plan,” the chapter in which Makua advises that ‘from the perspective of the average person who thinks in terms of earthly happiness, the plan should be something joyful as well as something that makes life easier. But from the perspective of those of us who have moved into the spiritual hierarchy, and these include those spiritual seekers who attend your [Hank's] gatherings, the plan of the ancestors involves creating those circumstances that will raise and expand the consciousness of humankind' (page 191). Sounds daunting but...'The world is really quite simple...Either you're in fear or you're in love...As we face our life's challenges and learn our life's lessons, it's love that gets us from one level to the next' (page 146), while we negotiate all of the “levels of reality” (page 153 et seq.).

In the chapter "On Becoming Gods," Hank relays Makua's shared wisdom on 'What we know about the spirit world, or what some call the divine.' This wisdom 'comes through to us while we are embodied in three primary ways: through our direct experience of nature...through our dreams and visions and insights often gained in meditation...and through the testimonials of those authentic mystics who have been gifted visions in an awakened state of consciousness...When we enter into such an awakened state...many opportunities then become available to us [and] allow us to experience the higher levels of spiritual experience. This has nothing to do with organized religion...which is why our religious traditions have always been so threatened by genuine mystics and visionaries’ (page 223).

That same chapter includes a somewhat disturbing discussion of a "the deceivers” (called “archons” by the early Gnostics, as Hank observes in a footnote on page 250). Makua describes the deceivers as those 'free-ranging psychic entities, invisible beings [not spirits] who function as mind parasites...they especially attach themselves to our political, economic, and religious leaders--to all the major players in the game.' During Makua’s discussion of the deceivers, Hank pointedly interjects, "I thought furiously and responded, 'The Christian massacre of the pagans...the Dark Ages...the Thirty Years' War...the Inquisition...the witch hunts...the Holocaust...9/11...' Makua smiled sadly and simply nodded in agreement" (page 226).

Even more disturbing than the thought that “the deceivers” are in our midst, is Makua’s assessment that ‘there is virtually nothing we as individuals can do’ about the ‘questionable machinations or our politicians...virtually all of whom are allied with the corporate world and the military’ (page 232). As a 9/11 Truth advocate working to bring about a real investigation into what really happened on 9/11, I press on in the belief that Makua may be wrong when he says that there is virtually nothing we can do. However, I would acknowledge that the effort often seems hopeless. Nevertheless, I do believe that even a cursory examination of the evidence will, at a minimum, help each of us discern who we Americans really are, and where we are—benighted subjects of an imperial nation that has masterfully used deception to create a world of terror to justify its perpetual wars and conquests. So give 9/11 Truth a look-see, if you have not already. You can start by doing an internet search for “remember building 7”.

Since the official 9/11 conspiracy myth—that 19 angry Muslims with boxcutters somehow outwitted the most sophisticated military defense system on the planet, four times in one day—is used to justify our nightmare existence, undoing this myth, or at least exposing it, should be a top priority, in my view. Pursing 9/11 Truth is also consistent with Makua’s assessment that 'For humanity at large to experience a true global awakening...we will have to accurately perceive and understand the everyday world that we all take so much for granted. And seeing it as it is, as well as what it could be, we must consciously choose to change it [and thereby escape] the dark programming of the deceivers' (page 237). Simultaneously, and/or as a backup position, I would agree with Makua that we should 'encourage, advise, and help each other to find our way quite independently of the corrupted world state that our politicians and our lobbyists [and, I would point out, a complicit media] have created and thrust upon us' (page 232).

One very special area of resonance for me is Makua's teaching—which I came across for the first time while reading "The Bowl of Light"—that 'We [humans] cannot connect with Teave ['the eternal and sacred source from which all life flows and from which the world of form came into being' (page 177)] in any way that is meaningful to us as long as we are still souls embodied in human form. We have to go through intermediaries to do that...through the spirits...These beings are like extension cords between us and the higher intelligences, and these in turn serve as links to the great Source Teave' (page 183). I resonate with this perspective because the presence of intermediaries so accurately describes a vision I experienced at a Celtic shamanism workshop a few years ago, during a suggested "journey to God."

In my view, Makua made a very wise decision when he chose Hank "to become the kahu, the caretaker, of [Makua’s] sacred writings" on ancestral wisdom (page 207). Thankfully, Hank has written "The Bowl of Light," which presents for all those who might be interested, an opportunity to encounter and absorb Makua’s true Hawaiian mysticism. Yes, Makua has noted that 'At this time few will understand this mana'o (wisdom) or its implications’ (page 208). However, if you would like to have a shot at joining this select group of spiritual truth seekers, I would strongly urge you to read “The Bowl of Light.”