From a new series: What I would do if I were President
By Bruce A. Smith
After attending a retreat at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE) in April 2003, I became very ill for several months with recurring fevers and sweats, bronchial congestion, and unrelenting fatigue. Except for lots of Twilight meditation in bed, I was unable to do any of my normal meditative disciplines, such as a morning power-breath exercise called “C&E.” Rather than focusing on mind-over-matter issues like healing myself, I played endless rounds of solitaire while listening to jazz on the radio, and eating gallons of Breyer’s peach ice cream.
I was able, however, to read a few hours each day and slowly absorbed the novel, The Nine Faces of Christ. I felt like I was reading a training manual for God-Realization, as I identified completely with Jeshua Ben Joseph—the Aramaic name for Jesus Christ—particularly his forty-six days in the Persian wilderness. There he experienced a physical transformation though illness—a feverish realignment of his molecular structure—one that molded his body into a state ready for a higher consciousness. From time-to-time in the wilderness of my Eatonville sick bed, I would hear a voice that reassuringly said: Don’t worry. Just weather the storm.
I knew intuitively that I was changing, transforming in order to become greater. But to what I had no clue.
In May, Ramtha called a two-night event, and I knew I had to be there. I whipped out my near-maxxed credit card, dragged my feverish and hallucinating body to the Ranch, and listened to the Ram.
He spoke of “Who does the Grail serve?’ and I took that to mean: How I use these teachings in my life? Do I serve myself and my own self interest, or do I serve others? I felt I wanted to serve others, and had often done so in the past as a recreation therapist. I had spent twelve years working in in-patient psychiatry, and then as a community family and youth counselor for another two years.
But more importantly, the Ram spoke about our being “world players,” challenging us to develop ourselves as dynamics forces for positive change in the world. He spoke extensively of Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I and how they had changed England for the better, setting the stage for the development of our American Democracy.
On the way home that night, as I passed JZ Knight’s front gate I recalled hearing earlier on the radio that Washington Governor Gary Locke was not going seek re-election. Then, a thought just popped into my head, Why not run for governor?
I became electrified. Yes! What a great idea!
I buzzed with ecstasy as my mind flooded with ideas: I could form a transportation district for the Puget Sound area and erase the traffic jams—by-passing eastern Washington’s conservative Republican opposition to the taxes that it would take to get western Washington rolling again. I could turn the schools into wonderful places of mentored, cooperative education instead of fact-factories that have 30% drop-out rates and high school grads who read at the first grade level. Yahoo! Yippee!
As I stopped for a red light in downtown Yelm, a second thought popped into my head: Why not run for President of the United States?
YEAH! I felt more energy flow into my body; more excitement, more buzz and tingle, more euphoria. “YES!” I said out loud. “Why not? Of course, yes!”
I radiated the entire way home. I got into bed and only remember lying flat. I don’t remember being on a mattress or covered with any blankets. Regardless, I stretched out, my arms straight and fingers splayed, legs and feet the same, all pulsing with a powerful, energetic charge.
I buzzed all night, with thoughts pouring into me about what I could do—how things could be different for this country. No travesties like Iraq. No obscenities like the Patriot Act. No regressive thinking, no neo-conservative, reactionary, militaristic power-tripping. Honest CEO’s. No Enron scandals. Health care for all. A new consciousness where everyone knows that God is within, and acts accordingly. Helping people learn how to heal themselves. A perfect balance with Mother Nature, and no more clear-cuts with mountains full of slash and stumps. The world looked beautiful, and I felt great.
The birds started chirping as the sun came up, and a voice in my head began saying, You’d better get some sleep, you’ve been up all night. You’re sick, you know. I turned over and slept until 2pm.
The Presidential dream faded after that. I made no affirmation cards on it, nor did I give it much attention during my morning C&E. Too sick and too broke to go to the next retreat at RSE, I turned my attention to returning to work as a union stagehand in Seattle.
My first call back at work was a carpentry gig at the Seattle Opera Shop in Renton. What a tough way to get back in the saddle, I thought, as these shops are the dirtiest places in the world, especially for a guy coming off bronchitis. But I swirled my arms and spun my energy bands a little when no one was looking, did C&E a little during breaks in the washroom to build my energy, and wore my respirator all day long. I thrived. I also made $1,400 for the week with the overtime, and that helped my energy and attitude immensely.
Throughout the summer I received more union calls and rebuilt my physical health and finances, which was important since I had to ask my parents for $1,000 to pay the rent and groceries when I had been sick. By the time the next retreat I came around in late July 2003, I was ready.
Not on the first day and not on the second day, but I think on the third day my Presidential dream came back. I had placed a focus card titled: “I Have Never Been Afraid of My Power” on the RSE field where we do a walking meditation, a place we often called The Field of Dreams.
My card, “I Have Never Been Afraid of my Power,” dealt with a limitation I had felt ever since I was 10 years old. All my life I felt I had been a guy with lots of potential and only an occasional glimpse of greatness, like being the 1997 National Storyteller-of-the-Year, Runner-Up. Simply, I felt I had never fully accepted my power, nor experienced it.
I traced this limitation back to a ballgame in Little League when I had hit a massive home run in the first inning. The next time I came up to bat I tried to bunt. My father, the manager, came running over to me saying, “What are you trying to do? Swing Away! You hit a home run last time up. C’mon.”
But I responded by saying, “But they’ll never expect me to bunt, that’s why I did it.”
“Okay, but swing away now, will ya!”
I went back to the plate and bunted again, and again my father yelled, “Whaddaya trying to do?” But I squared around to bunt a third time and struck out.
The next time I got to bat I attempted to bunt again. My father walked over and pulled me to the bench. He knew something was up.
“Why are you trying to bunt again?”
“They’ll never expect it.”
“Hogwash. They do now.” After a pause he asked, “Are you okay?”
“Sure Dad, I’m okay.” But I wasn’t. Somewhere deep inside I was afraid. An inner fear, like the Balrog on the bridge in the Lord of the Rings, had gotten me. Without knowing it, I went under its spell.
I have never hit a home run ever again, not even to this day. Not even after I hired a minor leaguer from the Chicago Cubs in the off-season to teach me how to hit better. In fact, I never hit a deep fly ball ever again until I was a recreation therapist and playing in a staff-patient softball game. Somehow, as a therapist in the safe confines of a Veterans Administration psychiatric hospital, I caught a lick when my Balrog was napping.
So, I made a card to fix that. While focusing on regaining my power, somewhere in the middle of the RSE’s Field of Dreams I envisioned once again of being President of the United States. I left the field and made a card: “I Have Always Been President of the United States,” but when I considered placing it on the fence in the Field of Dreams I was too scared to put it up and let the world see. Instead, I put it in my note book and focused on it privately, slowly nursing the dream forward into reality.
Not that day and maybe not the next, but definitely by the third day I told my retreat partner, Toni, what I was doing.
“I’m focusing on being President of the United States.”
“Yes, it is cool.”
“Yes, it is cool,” and that was the extent of my first presidential announcement. We talked about it a little more in the hours that followed, but not much.
When I left the retreat I focused extensively on this dream. I also dreamed that I won the lottery in every state, running the table so to speak as I crossed the country campaigning. As a result, I gathered the money I needed along with the recognition that I was a legitimate, powerful world player who possessed a great mind.
However, a voice inside said, Don’t tie the two dreams together. You don’t have to win the lottery to be President. I listened and agreed, but continued to tie the two together.
After several weeks of focus and no lottery winnings, I lost heart. I stopped focusing on becoming President, and in fact, didn’t think of it at all when I began my next retreat in September, 2003.
Again, not on the first day and probably not on the second day, but definitely by the third day, my Presidential dream came forward. This time I made a new card and placed it on the fence. All through the retreat I focused intensely on my refined vision: “I Have Always Been President of the United States.” On the field I walked as President, letting the realization sink in that everyone I passed on the field would be my constituency. I absorbed the fact that I now had a new responsibility to them—to care for them and always act in their best interest. It was a profound and sobering realization.
Twilight meditations were filled with new thoughts—more ideas about Iraq and immediate withdrawal. I cooked up my “Bus to Baghdad” program—where I go to Iraq to learn first-hand what needs to be done. In my tent during free-time, I created my “Salaam Aleikem” program, which builds bridges to the Islamic World via sports and art groups interacting. In my Twilight discipline dream state I created federal scholarships and cultural exchange programs for the best and the brightest of the Islamic World, so they can learn our ways, take our best ideas, and apply them in their own countries in ways that best suit them. Further, I re-instated the visas for the 12,000 Arabic men deported in the post 9/11 hysteria. In general, I devised plans to build new relationships with the Middle East so that mutual trust is fostered, reducing the need for military intervention.
One afternoon, I went into the woods along the southern edge of the Ranch and wrote down my ideas. They formed the basis of my presidential platform, the leading theme of which is helping America shift consciousness. In effect, I wanted to change how America thinks, moving away from the fear-based thinking we have now to a more mature, discerning consciousness. One that knows we are all expressions of the divine, and that every American sees the face of God in everyone, including when they look in the mirror.
Over time, those thoughts evolved into a simple political mantra: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number.
For the next six weeks I actively campaigned to be President of the United States. I started to learn the ropes of what it would take. I began to contact the Secretaries of State in every state to learn their application procedures, and was surprised to learn that the President actually has to run in fifty different elections. In truth, national elections are actually a collection of state-run affairs.
I learned about federal financial campaign regulations and began to set up the proper checking accounts, and found people who could handle the monies that I hoped would come.
I made flyers and designed a large sign for my pick-up truck that I was planning to drive to New Hampshire in mid-October to begin a formal campaign in the country’s initial primary.
Before then, though, I attended a weekend event at RSE where I heard the Ram talk about applying one’s dream. My take-away from that teaching was that until I could actually manifest physical changes with the power of my mind, all I really had were “clever stories.” It was true. I had a dream and I was excited, but I couldn’t actually manifest anything miraculous, like money. I was broke, and I struggled with my physical health, and I certainly couldn’t paralyze any assassins as they stormed through the barricades, as I heard the Ram suggest to his audience during the event.
So, I’ve suspended my candidacy until I can.
Bruce A. Smith
Editor’s Note: In this time of political turmoil. I thought it might be useful to re-visit some old thoughts and dreams. I invite all Mountain News readers to tell us what they would do as President of the United States.