Eccentric Evangelist and Evangelism: spiritual awakening: owning our God power
A book excerpt from the spiritandflesh.com religion and spirituality online library.
I may have certain spiritual ideas not incompatible with conventional religion, but I am no evangelist. That would make me nauseous. Not that I have anything against evangelists. As a matter of fact, I find them quite entertaining, with their apocalyptic fervor, sweaty brows and armpits, and three-piece suits into which are stuffed their burger-turgid bellies. And, to be sure, I would much rather listen to one of those bombastic, bellicose men of God, instead of the soporific, and simplistic palaver of a new age guru, any day.
In fact, I once met an extremely unique ex-evangelist who came into my life at a very pertinent time, and though he bellowed as loud and eloquently as all the other well-dressed lightning wielders, he was neither well-dressed, well-behaved, nor even slightly charming, and, in a way, was an outright bastard. And yet, I stand and salute him, for reasons I will now relate.
I met Frank on the north shore of Oahu, during my time as a wayfarer, while I was chumming about with Geoff, the HIV-positive holy man whom I had met on my first trip to Hawaii. Geoff and I were sitting at an old wooden table in the sun, drinking our morning coffees with a number of other societal outcasts and street folk, and Frank arrived at our ranks with a larynx full of fire and brimstone, and began forcefully delivering his impassioned sermon composed of a hodge-podge of scattered axioms and novel platitudes. But Frank was no bible-quoting, mealy-mouthed preacher. He was the real thing. By which I mean that regardless of whether I agreed with what he had to say or not, and largely I did not, I quickly recognized that his ideas were completely his own, his observations were well thought out, his words were extemporaneous, and passionate, and his facts and proofs for his theories were based on no one's experience but his own. I had found myself a live wire, and I tapped in and enjoyed this rare breed of a man who had found within himself the fire to glow, and who came with a blazing torch toward anyone in his way.
Frank also seemed to take a liking to me, most likely because I did not agree with what he said, and I was none too shy to voice this, though nor did I snub nor disrespect him, and instead tried, as best I could, to dance with his character and energy, to create a thriving dialogue and transform his staccato monologue into a tête-à-tête where I could participate and surf inside with some flow.
We conversed for a couple of hours that morning, and then Frank asked if Geoff and I would be interested in coming back to his property and, for a couple of bucks, cutting down a few palm fronds from some tall trees, which he intended to use for crafts he was involved with.
Being ever low on greenbacks as I was, I readily accepted, and so we went back to Frank's place, and set up a twenty-foot ladder precariously against the palm trunks, up which Geoff and I took turns climbing, shakily and hesitantly, until we arrived at our prospective targets and hacked through a number of the fronds until we were finished.
Back on good old terra firma again, Geoff drifted mentally away, and Frank and I got to talking a little more personally, and after I shared with him that I was an aspiring writer, his eyes lit up and he beckoned me into his house.
There on a desk in the middle of his living room sat a stack of typed papers, rising about a foot high, which must have been no less than fifteen-hundred pages. His manuscript, a true magnum opus.
It turned out that Frank had been an evangelist back in Texas, up until about ten years ago, when things started going weird on him. He related that he began waking up in the middle of the night and hearing a howling, blood-curdling, terrifying wail from some animal he had never heard before, and it sounded ghastly, as if it was from hell itself, and was dying at the hands of a pack of deranged ghouls.
This sound recurred irregularly, every other night or so, and went on for a number of months, and Frank had no idea what was going on, and he was getting quite shaken, for the ghostly beast in anguish seemed to be getting closer to his house whenever the howling occurred. And then one night he awoke and the frightful sound was right at his front door.
Frank was shit scared, but made himself go to the door, and with the tortured groans wailing out in the night only a few inches from him, he finally found the courage within himself to open it, but nothing was there. Frank knew instantly where the horrid squeals of anguish had been coming from- himself; from somewhere deep within the caverns of his own soul's pain. And that was the end of his days as a conventional evangelist, and the beginning of his life as a man of God, or so he said.
After that meeting with whatever aspect of himself was in such sorrow and ache, Frank began years of solitude and deep introspection, and writing down conversations he was having with a voice he called Wisdom, the voice of God.
And there lay the fruit of his labors- fifteen-hundred pages of asking, listening, learning, and transcribing.
I spent only a brief period leafing through the papers, as I had no need to dive into them heavily, what with the living word in my presence, and though it would be impossible for me to sum up Frank's findings, a few key elements have remained that were the cornerstones of his perspective.
To begin with, according to Frank, although we are all, at this time, liars and thieves- and anyone who declares otherwise is also a self-deceived coward- although we are all liars and thieves, we are in this universe so as to mature, and learn not only how to live properly, but also how to create our own universe, just as Jesus Christ, who created this one, had done, and then died into it- as one must do as the final act which brings into manifestation one's creation. So saith the voice of Wisdom.
As I said, I held little agreement with this sixty-year old, four-time divorcee, foul-mouthed, truculent, recalcitrant sooth-sayer's opinion, but I liked him. Even if he were a liar and a thief and a self-deceived coward, I liked him, for he carried a boiling cauldron of enthusiasm and determination around inside of him, the force of which drove him on through life with a conviction and intent rare to find in this world of flabby-hearted followers.
Frank was no follower. No way. And that made me respect him. Though I also saw his imperfections, weaknesses, and confusions, and I even fell victim to one of his well-disguised foibles, after he had hired me to edit his manuscript and then pulled the plug at the last moment, exposing the bluffer hidden within. No matter, Frank was no follower. He believed in himself, in his own experiences, in his own words, and in his own creations, and therefore was true to his vision of this world, and the next. And for that I commend him, because, though I disagreed with his final conclusion- that we must die into our own creations- like him I saw that we exist in an infinite cosmos, not only physically, but metaphysically as well, and since we are co-creators of our life in this realm, I saw no reason why each of us would not some day have the skill, knowledge, and courage necessary to create our own reality, our own cosmos.
And therefore, I say, if Frank wants to die into his, so be it. I, instead, shall be born into mine.
I state these things without being facetious, because I honestly believe that God receives what God creates, and we are all pupils in the schoolroom of the master, learning that to be God is to create what we experience from what we are.
And though we are truly the only ones who can make or break ourselves, there is also a pedantic domain within the tenure of our unconsciousness; a rhapsodic impediment which obviates our ancient folly. There is a trembling underbelly buried beneath the mind of all men, a fevered and uncouth dominatrix pinned behind the eyes of the soul. And it is this imprisoned power which wails and gnashes in the night of all our days. It is this flightless monad, this empty revolver, this checked war cry which dooms us to become the victim of ourselves. But if that is the case, let me be instead the hegemon and not the prisoner. If I am to be held by nothing but my own force, let me wield that power and be healed.
I ask for this with both courage and trepidation, for I have seen many self-created disasters looming large in the lives and deaths of all who come and go from this plane, and I do not claim to hold the key nor the answer.
Perhaps this is why God once came to me, at a time when I was seeking to manifest something which I desired very much- but had not thought through all of its karmic and collateral fallout- and God asked if I was willing to take on the consequences of my creation, a question which set me aback and forced me to delve in and try to understood the gravity of such a power, and so begin to see that to make even the simplest of things in this world is to set an infinite string of dominoes falling, and to never know exactly what will become of that first push.
And so, until we are capable of creating what will not be disastrous for us to experience, we must remain under the tutelage of those who have mastered their means.
But when we are finally ready, we are released on our own recognizance, so to speak, and allowed to be the Maker and receiver of all that is Made.
(excerpted from Roots and Wings: adventures of a spirit on earth, by Jack Haas)