By Bruce A. Smith
A selection from my upcoming book, Stories of the Journey – From the Suburbs of NY to God-Realization, due in early 2019.
I’ve come to realize that I am an adventurer. I’m like a dog that likes to ride in the car, sticking his face out the window for every mile—always sniffing the breeze, wanting to see what’s ahead and around the corner.
Others may want a more obvious destiny like parenthood, and watching a daughter grow into womanhood or coaching a son in Little League. But not me. I’ve been married four times and have no children, as I’ve never felt a pull to have any of my own.
In my younger years I never had a career path, either, nor a clear idea of what I wanted to do in life. I rambled around—dropping in and out of college, finding strange pick-up jobs like driving a truck for the Salvation Army, or hitch-hiking through the Canadian Maritimes. So it was a shock to my family when I announced that I was going back to college to become a doctor.
In truth, I was already back in college, as my latest project – to attend a physician’s assistant program at the University of Colorado in Boulder—had demanded that I first obtain some college-level biology and chemistry. As a result, I had enrolled at my local college, Hofstra University, as a non-matriculated student picking up the necessary credits.
But when I saw all the nerdy, immature, fresh-out-of-high-school “pre-med” students in the seats next to me, I decided that, first, I didn’t want to be their assistant, and secondly, if they could be a doctor then I would become one, too.
So, I switched my matriculation status and became a full-fledged student in pre-med. My parents were shocked by this turn of events, and in turn I was shocked by their response—they began to like me! Actually, they began to be proud of me, and kvell about me in front of their friends and neighbors. “My son, the doctor-to-be,” became a refrain that was both amusing and frightening as their love was so conditional.
However, pre-med was tough, and I struggled in my science classes. I had to study harder than I ever had before just to get a “B.” Biology, chemistry and physics were just not in my wheelhouse. It all felt so foreign, but I slogged through it. But, I never got the “A’s” that I knew I would need to get into medical school. I got close to the “A,” but on test after test I scored only high enough to get a “B+.” I once joked with one of my professors that I was the smartest “B” student in Hofstra. He didn’t laugh, and I knew then that humor, even when the joke was fresh and original, wasn’t gonna get me into med school.
But my humanity did make an impact on my teachers. When I needed a faculty adviser to help me plot my course through the pre-med program to medical school, Dr. Courtney Weems surprised me by volunteering for the job. I didn’t have any particular affinity for the man, but he was a decent prof so I accepted his offer.
A significant part of applying to medical schools is a Letter of Recommendation, an assessment of my scholastic work and a description of how my personal strengths would make me a great doctor. On this task Dr. Weems stepped up to the plate, Big Time. Oddly, I only met with the Dr. Weems once to discuss my doctoring—and it was just a brief chat—and I was surprised to receive a phone call from his secretary soon after our conversation.
“Mr. Smith, I feel compelled to call you because I just finished typing your Letter of Recommendation from Dr. Weems and it is the finest Letter of Recommendation that I have ever seen—glowing and supportive. So, congratulations, and good luck getting into med school, and good luck with your career.”
Despite Dr. Weems letter, however, I didn’t get into medical school. Lots of “B’s” just didn’t cut it.
Upon graduation I didn’t know what to do. So I applied to graduate school and figured that I would re-apply even applying at places that had once rejected me was a long shot. Or perhaps I would apply to schools overseas, such as Bologna, Italy.
But more importantly, being a grad student allowed me to keep my student Work-Study job at my local hospital, where I worked two days a week as a Recreational Therapy aide in psychiatry. Plus, as a graduate student I got a raise to $2.25 per hour!
I plunged enthusiastically into my Plan B, but halfway through my first semester of grad school my boss at the hospital asked me if I would like to work full-time as a regular employee, since one of his therapists was going on a maternity leave and would be out for six months.
“Sure,” I said. After dropping out of grad school I eventually stayed at the hospital for another ten years. It was fantastic. My basic skills of sports, yoga, art, music and drama that I had honed working in Boy Scouts camps and YMCA youth programs had given me a deep-but-camouflaged resumé that was ideal for working in psych.
Twenty years later I heard about Ramtha and his School of Enlightenment, and the adventurer in me leapt at the chance to do something truly remarkable, like walking on water or healing with a touch. I left New York and headed to Yelm, Washington to study full-time with the Ram.
Surprisingly, much of what he taught us was based in the natural sciences, such as the biochemistry of emotions, the body’s interplay with genetics, and the neurophysiology of thoughts, attitudes, and memories. These were all studies that I had struggled with many years before at Hofstra, but my background allowed me to grasp easily what Ramtha was teaching.
As I sat in Great Hall at RSE and learned about the power of the mind, a sweet memory swept over me. First, I remembered the pain and misery from my pre-med years, but now I knew deeply in my soul that those efforts were paying huge dividends.
So yes, I didn’t get into medical school, and I had to witness the disappointment of my parents realizing they weren’t going to have a physician in the family, but the Twists and Turns of Life had delivered me to a wonderful place. I felt truly satisfied, and still do.
I say that because I have felt an inner contentment at RSE unlike any other time in my life. It is sublime and deep. There have been days when I didn’t want to leave the campus at an end of an event, and once or twice I have been the last person to drive out the gate. It reminds me of the total joy I felt as at Wauwepex, but now I can re-create that bliss every day in my meditations. I taste it in my storytelling performances, too, and I am beginning to see the miraculous bloom in my daily life.
For instance: money has been an ongoing issue in my life, but I am reversing that dynamic by applying my lessons. This summer I faced an escalating mound of bills for car repairs, insurance and health matters, which motivated me to intensify my focus on abundance and opportunities. In quick response, I got a gig appearing in a cable TV show on DB Cooper. Even better, I met other performers who told me about their careers – and salaries – and I realized I was much underpaid. With their encouragement I found the cajones to ask management for more money, and within days I received an email from my producer assuring me I would receive an extra $250.
Similarly, fifteen years ago I grew despondent because I couldn’t heal my teeth, and five of them fell out because of the lack of treatment. Only when my mother stepped in and paid for thousands of dollar’s worth of dental care were my teeth restored. But the dental decay continues and once again I am confronted with the need to “get ‘er done,” as the Redneck comic, Larry the Cable Guy, has famously said. So, as my teeth begin to chatter and ache with pain once again, I am intensely focusing on healing them.
That sense of desperation and empowerment also led me recently to confront WordPress, the folks who run Google ads at my online news magazine, The Mountain News-WA. They have never paid me for those ads, so I demanded payment. Again, they have assured me a check for $471 will be forthcoming at the end of the month.
Further, I know I can not depend on Donald Trump to reverse global warming. That directly affects my health as I deal with severe pulmonary issues. I know the forest fires of summer will continue, especially here in the western Untied States, and smoke will smother our cities and towns. I know that I can not continue to live for months wearing a respirator to take out the garbage, drive to a grocery store, or work in the garden. I know I can not continue to spend my summers indoors with air purifiers purring every minute and air-conditioning units dropping temperatures to livable levels.
In the face of this personal trouble I know I will have to create a bubble of pure, clean air around me—to establish a miraculous replacement to my N-95 breathing mask. Specifically, I envision a zone around me that ionizes the particles of contamination into nothingness, allowing me to walk around outside as if nothing is wrong.
In addition, my transportation needs are once again requiring an intervention. My car, the Red Rocket that my sister helped fund, has been overheating and might need a head gasket along with other coolant-related items. As a result, I am focusing intensely on the Rocket being “Solid and Tight,” and plugging that leaky engine.
So, I may not have always known what I wanted to do in life but I have found my way. It has taken awhile but I am where I want to be—learning the power of my mind and applying it to make my life better. In fact, engaging my consciousness and making it more robust is now a life-saver. Life is becoming too troubled, too desperate, too problematic not to engage the power of a fully consciousness mind. The way I see it, I must become a remarkable mind if I want to continue to live.
Becoming God-Realized is a matter of life and death.