Well folks, I’m feeling a lot better. Some good meditations, good, cleanse-friendly food, decent sleep; it’s all adding up. To top it off, two friends returned to town yesterday, and I was just tickled pink to see them! One tough thing about living in a town with such a high transient population is the probability that most of the cool people you meet and grow to love are going to move away in under three years. I’ve had a difficult time saying goodbye, but I get better with practice. Some of the people I meet out here are instantly familiar, like Jesse, an Ontario boy himself and progressing through exactly the same spiritual places.

When Jesse showed up at the Rukus concert a month ago, right away I knew that I wanted us to be friends. The only black fellow in the room, he seemed right at home anyway, dancing by himself, happy to be back in a town he loved. It was one of those, “Oh! There you are!” moments, and conversation with Jesse has been free and easy. He and another friend, Kyle, have taken it upon themselves to teach me how to play guitar, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, but somehow told myself I wasn’t able to learn.

Last night, during meditation, something strange happened: Jesse showed up. I’ve heard of these things happening in dreams or meditations, and I have sought out the “higher self” of other incarnated people during meditation in order to resolve conflicted feelings or to understand our relationship on a deeper level. But never during meditation has an incarnated soul just popped up in the same manner of a discarnate soul. Suddenly, there he was, right in front of me.

“Jesse, is that really you? Are you *really* here?”

Jesse looked as shocked as I was, “What? Where am I? How did I get here?”

I think, reflexively, I telepathically projected the idea to him that he’d either astral projected himself into my meditation, or I his, or we happened to be going to the same spiritual place on the other side when we meditate.

“Are you meditating?” I asked.

He showed me he was playing his guitar on a couch. Then I saw him stop playing guitar, place the guitar in front of him as thought it was a cello, and then bend forward over it as thought he was suddenly struck with a headache, resting his forehead on the back of the guitar’s neck. It didn’t seem like a physical pain, but a sudden-onset freak-out.

“HOLY SHIT!” he yelped, as he watched himself from the meditation room. And then he returned to his body and I couldn’t talk to him anymore.

Thing is, Jesse may have left late last night for a job in the Rockies. I know he wants to live here, but it is challenging to make ends meet out here, especially in the winter. Yesterday he was struggling with whether to stay or go, and it was a decision he needed to make immediately. I asked him if he would disappear in the night, and he replied, “I might.”

And so it goes. I might never see Jesse again in this life. But what I came to understand is that I *definitely* know this guy on the other side, and if we don’t cross paths in this life again, I’ll see you on the other side, my friend.

We’ll see if he’s at Humanity when I go there later today. I feel like he’s there. Besides, if he was leaving today, he’d have to hitchhike in the rain, and that is not fun (not that I’ve hitchhiked… well I did one time when our car broke down – I got to ride in a big rig and that was a LOT of fun.)

I hope I get to ask him whether he remembers anything about our merging meditation last night.

In the car on the way to work this morning, our random ipod played “Sympathy” by Sleeter Kinney. It’s a beautiful song relating the spiritual journey of a typically agnostic / atheist child of the 80s. She sings about atheism, about denying religion and so denying any faith, but then turning to prayer when she was really desperate and needed help. Then the heart-wrenching, tearful relief of an answer, the complete joy of discovering that help is there, and God, or whoever, is real.

It’s an interesting phenomenon, this generation of children without religion. A lot of the sub-culture in the 80s and 90s was about rejecting organized religion, but there was nothing left in its place. In the absence of religion, we are discovering we still need faith.

I have a friend back in Ontario, Alison, who has an extended Mennonite family. Her parents were raised in an orthodox Mennonite community, but they were university professors and not strictly religious themselves. Alison was obliged to go to religious family gatherings (weddings, Christmas) but was never asked to attend church weekly or to identify with the faith herself. Her family gave her the space to define herself. She’s never defined her faith in religious terms, but the last time I saw her she was wearing a vintage style shirt with a silk-screen image of Christ giving the peace sign with the caption, “Jesus is my homeboy!” I know she wasn’t being completely ironic.

Many of us now are moving not through religion, but spirituality. It reminds me of Chris Rock’s line in Kevin Smith’s movie “Dogma”: Instead of beliefs, it’s better to have an idea. Beliefs– people die for it, people kill for it. But an idea, you can change an idea.

That’s not a direct quote, but that’s the thrust of the scene. You can respect differences in ideas, you can discuss it, you can live in harmony with people who have different *ideas* about faith.

I think that’s an important concept to bring forward in the coming years. There is a lot of new age writing circulating online outlining precise theories on humanity’s “ascension” and what we need to do to ascend! The implication being that if we don’t do these things, we could get left behind, which isn’t true. That’s a fear-based assumption. I absolutely believe that there is no human or spirit garbage, and no such thing as being left behind. It’s not like Heaven is going anywhere – we’ll all go Home again anyway, ultimately. No one gets lost.

If you find yourself discussing spirituality with someone, and you’re not seeing eye to eye, remember it’s all about ideas. If you’re walking a spiritual path, changing your diet, your lifestyle, developing your psychic abilities, remember that so much of your experience is your ideas. If you’re not doing these things, that’s okay. Nothing bad is going to happen to you just because you have different ideas. You can relax and let your heart guide you on your journey.

That last thing wasn’t from me. I usually don’t go for cheesy sentiment, but there it is.

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