Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I knew an old woman, who knew an old woman who knew another old woman.

Many years ago, not long after my first arrival in Eugene, Oregon, which was around 1969, I was invited to attend a Christmas caroling party. A man I knew at that time knew the couple who hosted the annual event and I attended as his guest.

The people in the group would gather together and then travel by car to various homes around the Eugene/Springfield area where old people lived. Some of the old people we visited that night were shut in, they seldom got out of the house, and had little or no social contact because they lived alone. We would enter their homes singing and then sing two or three more carols for them. They had all been told we would be coming, and some of them had cookies and candy waiting for us when we arrived.

It was a big night for them and it was tons of fun for us. I recall entering one old woman's house singing Silent Night as we filed in. Our routine was to sing a song upon entering and then ask the person we had been singing for if he or she had a favorite they would like us to sing for them.

This particular old woman was all but totally deaf. We sang Silent Night for her upon entering and then asked her if there was a favorite she would like us to sing. "Oh please sing Silent Night for me. It has has always been my favorite and I haven't heard it in such a long time," she replied.

The leader of our group smiled and gave us a starting pitch telling us that we should sing Oh come all ye Faithful instead. When we had finished, the old woman thanked us saying, "I have always loved Silent Night. Thank you for singing it so beautifully for me."

That night I met a lot of people; not only the old people that we had caroled for but also people within the caroling group who quickly became close personal friends. Amongst these people there was a woman who was a housemother for a sorority house on the University of Oregon campus. A few years later when two of my sisters joined me in Eugene, I introduced them to the housemother.

Soon after that initial meeting it became a common practice for us to drop by from time to time to have a cup of tea with our other mother, the housemother, who liked to be called simply "mom." We would sip tea, swap stories and laugh at the old times. One of my sisters and the housemother became pretty close friends. My sister would often drop by the sorority and visit with "mom," so they could talk "woman to woman" while I was not there.

It was after just one such visit when I returned from one of my dark sojourns through the city park that I found my sister carefully examining a lamp. It was a cute little thing with a very decorative porcelain base. It seems that the housemother was on the verge of throwing it out when my sister rescued it.

I don't recall what it took to fix it, something simple I know that. My sister was the one who actually repaired it and returned it to the sorority where our other mother, "mom," expressed disbelief that a woman could do something as complex as repair any device that operated with something as complicated and dangerous as electricity.

Thus it was that about a week later another old woman was standing at our door. She was a friend of the housemother and she too had a lamp. This one was an antique floor lamp and she had been told it could not be repaired. I looked at it and I knew it could be repaired.

She left it behind and in a day or two, after I found the correct parts, I repaired it and left it by the door for when she returned. I put a copy of the receipt for the parts on the lamp but I didn't think of charging her for my labor. It wasn't like I was working for her or something. I had simply fixed the old lady's lamp.

That opened the door. That old woman had a bunch of projects she needed help with and she also knew a whole bunch of other old ladies that all needed help. That is actually how it got started. At first I would go through a couple of weeks at at time with nothing to do. But just as often I was booked for two weeks or more with jobs.

That's basically how it was the whole time I was fighting my depression until I worked my way out of the other end of it. Over time the sphere of my work area increased until I was traveling as far south as Phoenix, Arizona, and as far north as the Canadian border to complete projects for various people.

It is important to stress here that even though throughout this time I often felt terribly alone, depressed and valueless I was never really alone. As I have stated previously, the universal forces from beyond continuously held my hand and I was given everything I needed to complete the struggle I was engaged in with my personal demons. When I would find myself broke, all at once a job would come through and I would earn just what I needed to get by for a bit longer. I never had much extra but I always had just enough.

At that time I owned a couple of old worn-out Ford vans which I used as work trucks. One of them had indeed belonged to an old marine who died. After his death it was bequeathed to his grandson who painted the word "Ahimsa" across the front of it. He left his grandfather’s sticker that said, "Semper Fi" attached to the back window.

It was a kind of a camper van but nothing like what I describe as Bobby Weaver's motor home in my satirical novel, The Interstellar Incident. I sold that van to a couple of hippie wannabe kids who intended to drive it from Portland, Oregon to the Burning Man gathering perhaps a dozen years ago.

More and more my work in those days was taking me to Portland, Oregon, and after a while I finally gave into it and moved up there. I had resisted going there for many years because I thought it such a huge place. But from within the gay and lesbian community of Portland and through the family and friends of that gay and lesbian community, I was being kept too busy to turn my back on it.

In time I informally rented a room in a friend's house and I parked myself there. During all of that time I had a computer of one kind or another and I did write occasionally. But I never tried to publish anything and I never wrote anything that I fantasized would ever be published or read by anyone else.

I had given up on that. It had done nothing but bring me down. I repaired things instead. I made my way by using the skills I had been born with that helped me understand how things work. I have a natural inclination, an almost psychic sense, that lets me know what is wrong with something before I have even attempted to fix it.

Of course I have made mistakes, some big ones in fact. But by and large I only need to know a bit about what is not working to know what to do to make it go again. Over the years I have built brand new houses from the ground up and rescued others that were slowly sinking into the dirt. I have unclogged sewers and rebuilt whole residential electrical systems. And yes, I have fixed a couple of lamps along the way as well.

Others who have done this kind of contracting have become financially comfortable, but that never happened for me. It was always a, "hand to-mouth," existence for me, and I seldom was in a position where there was anything extra to fall back on or waste on foolishness of any kind.

In that house where I rented a room there were several other tenants. It was a big old craftsmen style home on three levels. Christmas time was rolling around and of course I had no money to buy anyone anything. I had family that expected me "home" for Christmas so I knew I would not be in Portland for that celebration, but I still felt like I should contribute something to the Portland festivities.

Having nothing else to offer I turned to my computer. I had been toying around with this silly little idea I had for a Christmas card. Among my construction contracts I had participated with a friend who remodeled greeting card stores. As a result I had read many amusing cards and I knew how funny they could be.

So the day before I left town for the holidays, I sat down and wrote out a short story based on that card idea I had. Instead of doing the art work which a card would have required, I wrote out a description for each of the scenes that would have appeared on the card. The whole story was set on a tropical island so there was nothing about it that was anything like a traditional Christmas until the very last line.

I would happily share that card with you on this blog except that it was lost in a hard disk drive crash some years back and I would have to reconstruct it from memory. Perhaps one day I will do that. But that card doesn't belong to me now even though I created it. I gave it to my friends and housemates many years ago.

I printed out the text for my card idea and left it with them on my way out the door early in the day on Christmas Eve. Evidently the group was in the kitchen preparing the Christmas feast when they chose a member of the group to read out my story. He is a wonderful man but he has no patience with anything superfluous. He doesn't like extra words or beating around the bush. His unspoken motto has always been, "If you are gonna say it say it!"

As I was later told he slogged through the story slowly building up to the very last line. And he complained anytime I repeated anything, even though such repetition was all part of the story line I had created. But upon reading the last line to the group the whole place erupted into laughter. They all thought it was one of the funniest things they had heard in a long time.

I had given them something for Christmas which would not fit in a box. But the joy I brought them with my words was as valuable as most of the gifts they later unwrapped. And it was valuable to me as well.

From that experience I was once again reminded that I could write. I have no degree, no formal education that says that I can do any such of a thing. But I knew it inside and that experience was just one of many other similar experiences which reaffirmed what I already knew. The universe was holding my hand again or perhaps I should say still. It is that knowledge and reaffirmation more than anything a university degree can offer, which is the first step down the long road of becoming a published author.

Next: DOAP

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Welcome to my blog.

For those of you who are just now visiting my blog for the first time, welcome. What's going on here might not make much sense unless you begin at the beginning.

I am a self-published writer who has been writing and self-publishing for 30 years, more or less. I have published 3 books and I have written more short stories than I can recall. I have also published one book on line in the PDF electronic format. I gave that one away free to anyone who wanted to read it.

For me, writing is like an addiction. I sometimes hate it and I often hate what it does to me emotionally. But nothing else can provide me the satisfaction of putting into words what my heart and soul speaks. I believe I will never stop writing.

This blog is a chronology of sorts. It begins way back, years and years ago when I wrote short stories to enhance the back of a weekly gift shop flier. From that point forward I am slowly working my way though my memories and all of the trials and tribulations associated with what I have done.

The first book I helped publish was titled, Helen, A Psychic Gift, and the most recent book, which I have just published, is titled, The Interstellar Incident. That period of time spans 30+ years and this chronology is, as best as I can recall, a discussion of everything that happened during that period of time.

I hope also to hint about what can be expected of me in the coming months and years as long as I am physically able to do this.

Again, allow me to welcome you. I hope you enjoy my blog. I have truly enjoyed creating it.

While you are here leave a comment and tell me what you like or dislike about what I am doing or how I have done. You don't need to log in or leave any personal information in order to comment.

Have a great day.

TJ Davis

Friday, November 26, 2010

What was that you said Cyril?

Perhaps the most famous quote attributed to Cyril Connolly is: "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." His words are profound but conflicting. How does one write for oneself when putting a slice of bread on the table is the first and last thing that crosses one's mind on any given day?

I sometimes listen to a music television channel which can be heard quietly playing in the background as I work. The lyrics to one of the popular songs that is currently being played on that station go something like, "I wanna be a billionaire so fricking bad."

The truth is I do not want to be a billionaire or even a millionaire for that matter. I understand all too well what enormous wealth can do to a person. I have experienced that in the trials and tribulations of others whom I have worked for in the past. Not only do I not want to have to deal with those kinds of issues, I recognize I could never be the kind of person that those people apparently are. My understanding of life is much much different than all of that.

But even given that I understand wealth as I do, I would be less than honest if I said I want to be impoverished. Every time I have created something new over the years I have hoped that it would be the one to finally make a profit. Having worked in various distribution-based businesses, I understand how a small profit per piece can add up to a substantial gain in the long run. And I have often calculated that if just a few thousand pieces of something I have written were to ever leave the market place I would be in clover, at least up to my ankles if not to my knees.

If one considers how many hundred million folks are walking around this country and how many billion there are traipsing around the planet at any given moment, just a small piece of one percent of that total market would go a long ways toward paying off my debts and hedging against the future. With that in mind, what Cyril Connolly said, for me at least, becomes a paradox of sorts.

When my products have never sold well, I have asked myself why? Is my literature that wanting when compared to some other? I have read some of that other and I don't agree that what I have produced is that inferior. Obviously, I created it didn't I?

In my satire, The Interstellar Incident, I include a short story titled "I Saw Jesus In The Clouds." Within that short story I tell the story of a gynecologist who has had the world handed to him on a silver platter. He can't want for anything, without someone standing there to fulfill his wildest desires.

On the one hand I see life like that. It is a kind of a predestined game of roulette. For some the balls have always fallen in precisely the right slots at exactly the right time. For others of us those balls have always swirled haphazardly about the perimeter of the wheel and ultimately fallen off of the table and rolled onto the floor. But such mishaps haven't stopped us from getting down on our hands and knees to find the silly thing so that we might play anew.

I have wanted to solve the Beale Ciphers for three basic reasons. First, I want to know what that man had to say that was so terribly important that he could not just write it out. Why did he need to encrypt his words so thoroughly behind such a convoluted cipher? Was he writing for himself or the public when he did that? Was he simply trying to sell copies of that pamphlet? Did he have some deep and dark secret that he wanted reveled only after he was dead and gone? Until it is finally solved I will wonder.

Secondly, I want to demonstrate to others that I am not a total dope. I have long held the impression that others see me and my psychic beliefs and practices as idiotic. They see my work on those ciphers as speculative at best and by their definition, delusional. I have concluded that they think I am ignorant and unworthy of basic respect.

I know that isn't true, and I certainly don't want to solve that puzzle just so that I can rub their noses in anything, so to speak. But I would love to be able to share with them that there are things about this life which are neither easily understood nor apparent on first glance.

Finally, I have long believed that a book describing how psychic tools have contributed to the solution of something as complicated as those encrypted messages would ensure that it shared a positive position in the market place. I believe that such a book dealing with the solution of the puzzle would be the one to sell, even if none of the others which I have worked on have.

Setting about creating a book based on the solution to the Beale Ciphers is just one of the schemes I have employed in my attempt to write for public consumption and the marketplace. In some of my future blogs I will attempt to discuss others schemes I have employed. But in and around all of this I would like to stress that I have always attempted to created a product that told a story and was something other than just a marketplace scam created solely to sell books. I have always invested my heart and soul into everything I have ever written. Sometimes I have accomplished that more successfully than others.

When something I have created from the heart has not sold or brought any positive recognition, I have a tendency to review it over and over again. I often wonder what effect it would have had if I changed some chapter in some way or the other. I have massaged scenes, and put in new lines and paragraphs while taking out others. I have sometimes changed everything entirely so that a book ends in a way that is totally different from its original conception. In the end I have had to ask myself, "How many ways are there to say the same thing?"

Cyril says to write for me and not the public. But if I create the words and no one ever reads them then what good is that? If the exercise is simply that I might create the flow within my heart and soul never to be shared with anyone else, then why bother to push the keys at all?

Might I not just as well sit and simply stare out into space as though I were buried in a trance while inside I am creating the verse only in my head? So what if people passing by might see me and think I am some kind of an idiot? When I have tried to share my inspirations with them, they have demonstrated that they are disinterested in what is really important to me. Let them think what they want then. I am writing for myself not the public.

Changing the equation becomes all too important when the electric bill is due. I can't write for myself alone when nothing I am doing is finding any acceptance anywhere. I have found myself carefully studying what has sold and how various other people have found fortune and fame. I am guilty, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault, of trying to repeat what has historically succeeded for others.

That has not worked either. And when discomfort and despair finally tormented me to the extent that I felt that I could not take the pain anymore, I determined to stop it once and for all. Certainly, it is fair to say that addiction to anything is unrelenting, and I confess I am addicted to the keys.

Next: OK, I get it. I now understand what No means. From now on to buy my bread I'll do something else instead.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Don't let that baby drown.

Shortly after my relocation from Newport to the Willamette Valley, I began to more closely scrutinize the totality of the Beale Ciphers puzzle. I read the whole pamphlet over and over again and made a detailed list of the various peculiarities and inconsistencies I discovered. I also had two of my sisters read it from front to back several times making notes about anything they observed that seemed out of the ordinary.

As an example of our discoveries, subtle as they may seem to be, one of those sisters reported to me that while various seasons of the year are mentioned in the pamphlet only the season "Fall" is spelled with a capital letter. By definition when you spell the word "Fall" with a capitol letter it does not necessarily refer to a time of the year but rather most often it means the Fall of Man. That is described as the loss of innocence when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden apple and were expelled from the Garden of Eden.

Remember, the pamphlet was written 20 years after the great Civil War when the south "fell" to the Northern states. To this day many people in the southeastern United States refer to that tragic conflict not with the common term "Civil War" but rather as "The War of Northern Aggression." And I further note that as a matter of historic record, the alleged author of that pamphlet had attended West Point and was a member of the aristocracy prior to the war but apparently worked in an animal feed store afterward. I wonder what the terms "Garden of Eden, The Fall of Man" and "loss of innocence" meant to that man?

A brother of mine, who had no interest in the puzzle, one day out of the blue said to us, "I know what that paper says is not what it really says at all. If you read it some other way it will say something entirely different."

A couple of nights after he had said that one of my sisters had a dream in which that brother was holding a baby up out of the water. As I recall it, in her dream there had been some kind of a crash and our brother had rescued that baby from the crash. Had he not held the baby above the water the baby would have drowned. When I heard that dream I knew what it meant. I knew that baby was really the Beale Ciphers. Don't ask me how I knew that. I just knew it.

And so it was not so terribly surprising to me that sometime later I discovered it was possible to extract clues from the original clear text found in that pamphlet. Exactly what I did is too cumbersome and involved to fully describe here in this blog. But I can tell you that I employed the word, "hexameter," as well as the mathematical formula obtained in the small book my sister found at the University of Oregon library. I then rearranged the syllables to form new words.

In short, what that means is if you read the clear text message from that pamphlet the way it is printed out it will say one thing, but if you read it the new way I discovered it will say something entirely different. That is precisely what my brother had said and what my sister's dream had reinforced in my subconscious memory.

I could say here that there are 25 clues but that is an arbitrary statement. The new clue text all runs together in a long string and so what is an individual clue statement and what is part of a previous clue statement is rather up to interpretation. Also, some of the text does not contain clues at all but simply makes statements reenforcing the general theme of the allegorical puzzle.

All that being as it is I know that the alternative text I produced way back then is actually a list of instructions telling me how to retrieve the clear text from those mathematical tables. I was delighted when I first discovered those clues. They meant absolutely nothing to me at the time, but I was delighted nonetheless.

Because they are so introspective and complex, I might have dismissed them had the spiritual universe not reenforced in me ahead of time that the discovery was indeed an important discovery. It was important that the brother who spoke those words to us had no interest in or even a basic understanding of what that pamphlet is or anything about it.

He was the most disinterested third party who could speak those words. And just to make certain that I fully understood how important it was that I pay attention to that message my sister had that dream and shared it with me. A lot of individual events had to occur in sequence in order to emphasize the importance of those clues and that they did I believe is a mark of the importance of that discovery.

I must make one additional interesting note at this point in this discussion. Both my sister who introduced me to that pamphlet in the first place as well as the brother I am speaking of are now deceased. They both gave me these gifts while they were alive. Neither of them had any interest or enthusiasm in the Beale Ciphers pamphlet. Neither of them understood even fundamentally what it is all about. But both of them have played an important and fundamental role in what may someday prove to be its solution.

For 30 years now I have worked with it. I have become so upset over it that I have attempted to give it away to others who could claim the prize of having been the one to produce the clear text. I even made it part of an attempt to publish a book online in PDF format asking for donations but also giving the book away for free to anyone who cared to download it. Like Pontius Pilate, I have tried to wash my hands of the whole affair numerous times. But the lack of a solution has spoiled any attempt on my part to do that.

Summarily the clues I have extracted are either dismissed as gibberish or simply regarded as a curiosity. But of course, they mean no more to any of the other people I have shared them with than they originally did to me. They have only come to light for me when the spiritual universe is ready to explain another of them to me. That is also why the great cryptographers I have attempted to share them with are unable to make any sense out of them either. I know, even if they do not, that their successes come from the goddess as well.

Over the years I have been enlightened and when that happens I can see what some one of the clues says and how it applies perfectly to the problem at hand. I cannot turn such enlightenment on and off at will. It comes to me on its prerogative and when it does what I have been shown proves mathematically and is sufficient to reinvigorate my enthusiasm. But today as in the beginning I have no clear text to show for my efforts.

I know there is an answer and I know that one day it will be revealed. In doing auguries on the subject I was told, "You know that the answer will not come one second before it is ready." Indeed I do know that. Perhaps my work will be what unveils the mystery once and for all. Perhaps it will not. I have all kinds of personal theories about what it might say.

That puzzle and my long-term work on that puzzle is why I put a puzzle in my satirical novel, The Interstellar Incident. You can click here to see the puzzle I created. I want you to know that I have left detailed instructions on how I created my puzzle and how to extract the clear text so that in the event of my untimely demise anyone can find out what is hidden inside the curious symbols that appear on my puzzle page. I don't intend to die and leave any unanswered questions behind if I can at all avoid that.

Next: On the road again, or out damn spot, out I say!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Welcome to my blog.

For those of you who are just now visiting my blog for the first time, welcome. What's going on here might not make much sense unless you begin at the beginning.

I am a self-published writer who has been writing and self-publishing for 30 years, more or less. I have published 3 books and I have written more short stories than I can recall. I have also published one book on line in the PDF electronic format. I gave that one away free to anyone who wanted to read it.

For me, writing is like an addiction. I sometimes hate it and I often hate what it does to me emotionally. But nothing else can provide me the satisfaction of putting into words what my heart and soul speaks. I believe I will never stop writing.

This blog is a chronology of sorts. It begins way back, years and years ago when I wrote short stories to enhance the back of a weekly gift shop flier. From that point forward I am slowly working my way though my memories and all of the trials and tribulations associated with what I have done.

The first book I helped publish was titled, Helen, A Psychic Gift, and the most recent book, which I have just published, is titled, The Interstellar Incident. That period of time spans 30+ years and this chronology is, as best as I can recall, a discussion of everything that happened during that period of time.

I hope also to hint about what can be expected of me in the coming months and years as long as I am physically able to do this.

Again, allow me to welcome you. I hope you enjoy my blog. I have truly enjoyed creating it.

While you are here leave a comment and tell me what you like or dislike about what I am doing or how I have done. You don't need to log in or leave any personal information in order to comment.

Have a great day.

TJ Davis

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I am very skeptical of skeptics.

Maybe the reason that I was inspired to base my satirical novel, The Interstellar Incident on a UFO crash is that I enjoy watching TV shows that deal with UFOs and the prospects of alien life. I recall one such program wherein a group of people claimed that some years back an object that seemed to be under its own control crashed into the countryside near a small Midwestern community.

They claimed that shortly after the crash the military intervened and gathered up all of the evidence and then set about quieting everyone including the local radio station which was interested in doing a program about the event. The military later claimed that nothing had crashed and that nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened there nor had they ever been involved in anything extraordinary in that area.

Dozens of years later a group set about proving that something did happen. They found an eyewitness, who was a young man at the time of the incident, and he took the researchers to the exact place in the woods where the thing had crashed. He told them he had seen the thing in the sky and after a short search he had discovered where it had crash landed. He pointed out to them where it had sat down and to the trees that were broken off during its crash landing.

An old man at the time the documentary was being made, he still recalled clearly how the whole thing had unfolded. He had actually seen the thing before the military had arrived and closed off the area. He had watched them haul it away on a military truck. He didn't know what it was but he knew it was indeed something.

Subsequent to that visit to the woods with him, the people producing the documentary employed an arborist who inspected the trees and using proven scientific methods determined they had to have been broken at about the time the incident was alleged to have occurred.

Then the documentary producers introduced a skeptic into the discussion. He first suggested that what had been seen was a meteor which had been reported someplace over Canada a few weeks prior to the incident. He talked about group hysteria without using those specific terms. He suggested that trees break all the time, and that simply because someone was aware that a tree was broken about the time others were hysterically pointing out that the sky or something else was falling to the earth didn't prove anything. He concluded his testimony by repeating that the military said they had never been there so probably they never were.

The thing that disturbed me was not the skeptic’s observations. He is entitled to his beliefs. I have come to an alternative conclusion. I too am entitled to my beliefs. This is not an issue of conclusions or beliefs but rather of attitudes.

You see the whole time the skeptic was being interviewed and asked to make observations about what people claimed had happened, he was smirking. Maybe he didn't intend to do that but there was no denying the look on his face.

He was talking down to me the whole time. It was as though I was ignorant and he was not. It was as though I was uneducated and he, well he was something other than that. It was as though he was taking time out of his very busy and important day to help us disillusioned individuals understand just how incorrect we are. It was as though what he was really saying was, "There, there. Now go on home and don't get so upset about things you can't possibly understand."

I also like to watch Public Broadcast television, particularly documentaries. I recall a documentary I once saw about an individual whose name is Srinivas Ramanujan. He was an individual who was born in India and who had an unbelievable talent for mathematics. The program I watched about him was broadcast many years ago but I remember that it was well produced, very informative and very entertaining.

But it was the very last of that program which caught my attention more than anything else. It seems that after the death of Mr. Ramanujan, a box of his formulas was found which he had not had the opportunity to share before he died. There were wonderful discoveries in that box which addressed complicated mathematical problems still being researched many years after Mr. Ramanujan death. At least one of those documents found in that box actually helped resolve one of those problems.

The man who was narrating the program, a mathematician, who was trying to explain to us non-mathematicians what it all meant, was then forced to confront a problem that he was wholly ill equipped to address. It seems that when Mr. Ramanujan was asked about his technique for deciphering the complex and puzzling world of mathematics, he had replied that he did little of that work himself.

He said that many of his formulas came to him in dreams told to him by the goddess Namakkal. He would simply wake up and write the formulas down. Indeed, earlier in the program that very same narrator had suggested that one of the peculiarities of Mr. Ramanujan's work was that he often introduced complicated formulas without the work or proofs which generally accompany such presentations. That he presented his formulas without the proofs but with startling accuracy was considered a mark of his genius. Mr. Ramanujan, however, attributed that genus to Namakkal instead of himself. I note here that by its very nature your typical mathematician has little information or understanding of spirituality or the spirit world.

When the mathematician who was narrating that program finally addressed what Mr. Ramanujan said about the goddess, he was very nervous. He face was noticeably flushed as he attempted to explain what Mr. Ramanujan had said, and he finally dismissed the statement as being all tied up in the Indian mathematician’s cultural and religious beliefs. He concluded that given those beliefs it might be anticipated that Mr. Ramanujan would say the things he had said. The narrator was not able nor did he believe that any credit should be attributed to Namakkal. I believe that Namakkal fully understands all of that and is not offended in any way whatsoever.

I personally am not a stranger to skeptics. Shortly after I arrived in Boulder, Colorado, I was introduced to a man who was the only successful treasure hunter I have ever met. He had in fact chased down various old treasure tales and had recovered gold and silver long since buried and lost. And he authored an article titled something like "Why the Beale deal is no steal."

Many, highly educated individuals who have extensive training in cryptography have studied the Beale Ciphers. I actually had the opportunity to visit with one of them in his office in California, at least 20 years ago now. He is a highly educated man who believes the ciphers are an elaborate hoax. I understand that he has written an extensive paper on the subject establishing his arguments in various, indisputable mathematical observations. He is not by any means alone. Many others have also come to the conclusion that there is no substance to the unsolved mathematical tables contained in that old pamphlet.

I know differently. But you see my lack of education and my reference to all things psychic in coming to the conclusions I have come to at once disqualifies anything further I have to say about that subject. It matters not that Helen Gilman told me the solution was the third eye and soon thereafter I discovered that article in Fate Magazine by a Masonic scholar.

Nor do any of them care that there was that curious old book of mathematical games that the universe gave to my sister who gave it to me. It was that article in Fate Magazine, that curious little book of mathematical games, and my augury program giving me the hexameter word over and over again that brought me around to my conclusions. And that is precisely the reason they must at once dismiss my discoveries and theories.

There is nothing scientific or mathematical about any of my conclusions, but I know that they are correct. I do not smirk when I say that. I simply know there is a solution. I don't believe for a moment that there is any gold or silver. The story is an allegory and the gold, silver and jewels it talks about are something quite apart from the precious metals and stones we think about when we hear those words. But that does not mean that those mathematical tables are unsolvable or that there is no clear text behind them.

In my satirical novel, The Interstellar Incident, I note that Bobby Weaver is grinning. That is a grin of contentment when he has the solution in hand and there is no further speculation about how to solve the problem. That is not the same as a smirk which instead suggests, "I know better than you and you will just have to accept that because somehow I am more important than you are."

Next: Hints, and hope.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The very useful Usenet News Archive.

Shortly after I discovered that I could access archives like the one at the White Sands Missile Base in New Mexico, I discovered Usenet News. For me it was the on ramp to the World Wide Web super highway.

To those of you who do not know what Usenet News is allow me to say that I believe you have never lived. In short it was a place on the Internet where one could go to read a bit of something about most anything. Click here if you would like to read more about it.

I wish I could tell you how many total news groups there were back in those days, but I have forgotten. There certainly were thousands of them that’s for sure. I want to say there were around 8,000 or 10,000 groups back then which had easily grown to twice that many the last time I looked a few years ago.

For me Usenet News and E-mail came at about the same time. I had actually migrated up from my clumsy old box computer and I owned a slightly out of vogue IBM Think-Pad laptop by that time. It had a huge, 5-gigabyte hard drive, a compact disk reader, a floppy drive and a built-in phone modem. Imagine! I think the screen was 12 inches measured diagonally, but it could have been smaller.

With Usenet News and my little old Lappy, a whole new world opened up for me. I was slowly but steadily recovering from my many years of deep dark depression and that tiny machine and limited resources allowed me access to a virtual world within the privacy of my own bedroom.

I quickly determined that I am not alone. I am not the "only" one. I am not the only gay man who was taught from the time he was a small child just what a terribly, dirty beast he actually is. And I am not the only lonely old man who had sunk so terribly low as to consider preempting his existence in a gamble that whatever was next might be preferable.

I don't know if that was the intent of Usenet or not, but for me it was better than any psychiatric counselor, a professional I could not afford at the time. All I needed to do was imagine something and there was a group already discussing that very subject. And there was also every kind of kook-pot you can imagine joining in the discussion along the way. To that I must add that the spam kings of today are silly pikers compared to some of the stuff I encountered on Usenet News.

Those early day Internet pirates had the ability to commandeer my computer right out from under my nose and before I knew what was happening. They would take me away to a land someplace where the only possible escape was to click on something I did not desire or power down the machine to get out of there before something more severe happened. In one of those instances a remarkable event occurred.

I was sorting through the garbage on some "alt" news group when all at once an innocent click took me to a place where they were intent on selling me videos of "Erotic Lesbians Peeing Sex." Of course I was totally disinterested. What I had clicked on had nothing to do with sex of any kind let alone lesbians peeing, which I must say would most certainly fall into the category of my least amorous fantasies. I tried to get out of the site but they had me locked up. I was finally forced to turn the computer off and reboot to get rid of them.

When I finally got back and was up and running again, I was angry at whoever had done that to me and when I returned to whatever group I had been searching through I decided to post my discontent. In those days I was simply a lurker. That term means I would visit those various sites to read, watch and listen but I seldom posted anything. But on this occasion I made an exception.

Allow me to interject here that at that time a drama had just unfolded in a preschool someplace in the southeastern United States. It seems a man who was estranged from his wife and who had been forbidden contact with her or their children had burst into the daycare center where one of his children was present and his estranged wife worked.

He had entered the school wielding a shotgun and held the whole place hostage for several hours before he could be talked out there. In the end no one was physically harmed. I am sure that some children and staff were thoroughly traumatized but no blood was spilled.

The following day while talking to one of my nephews on the phone he asked me, "What could that man have possibly been thinking? Did he think that the judge would watch this all unfold on national TV and rethink his decision to deny him custody of those children or contact with his estranged wife? What did he hope to accomplish?"

So when I composed my post I said something like, "What could those people possibly have been thinking? They commander me away from the site I was legitimately searching and into an area in which I have no interest. They simultaneously infest my machine with scripting that renders it dysfunctional. They took away my free choice. If you are trying to sell someone something you don't force it down his or her throat in the hope that he or she will buy it out of desperation just to get rid of you. The only thing I wanted to do was run away. And if I ever do have an interest in lesbian peeing sex, I certainly will never consider buying from them given what they did to me."

I then went on to compare the activities of that peeing sex site to the hostage taker. I said something like, "What could that hostage taker have possibly been thinking? What did he hope to accomplish? Did he think that all at once the judge would jump up and announce he had made a terrible mistake? Did he think he would say something like, 'Why just look at that man threatening all those innocent children with a shotgun. Of course he must be a wonderful father. What could I possibly have been thinking when I denied him custody and contact?'"

I was ranting, but as it turned out it was one of the most successful things I have ever written. In the days following that post I got literally hundreds of responses. They all praised my brilliance and that gave me both encouragement as well as a good strong shot in the ego which I desperately needed at that time and which I have never forgotten.

But that was not the only miracle associated with that post. I tried to reply and thank all of the people who had responded to my post. Most of them had blocked their e-mail addresses and so I simply replied to them as a group. But one of them and I somehow made email contact with each other off group.

I think either my email address or the server name suggested I must be from Oregon. This man then responded that he had spent a lot of his free time in the Alvord Desert of Eastern Oregon. I replied to him indicating what a godforsaken place that is. He countered that in his opinion God was more present there than in any of the other places he had ever been. As a result of that exchange I opened my satirical novel, The Interstellar Incident, in the Alvord Desert.

After exchanging emails over a period of time, he and I agreed to meet. He was living several thousand miles away from Oregon where I was at the time. But a series of events were beginning to unfold that would bring us physically together, and that is where this miracle really began.

I was well into my 40s by the time he and I met the very first time. But it turns out we were born no more than 10 miles from one another. His mother and my mother both used the same doctor at birth. We were both born in the same hospital, a couple of years apart. It is very likely that his father sold a truckload of hay to my father and mother. We both took swimming lessons at the very same pool from the very same instructor. His sister and I rode the school bus together. We all shopped in and our lives all revolved around the same small Eastern Oregon community.

But he and I only met as a result of my rant on Usenet News. And we shook hands for the very first time several thousand miles away from the place of our birth and early lives in that same small community.

What a huge yet tiny place this world turns out to be. The man remains my friend to this day and I go out of my way to visit him whenever the opportunity allows me to do that.

Next: The solution is just around the corner. I just know it is.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Welcome to my blog.

For those of you who are just now visiting my blog for the first time, welcome. What's going on here might not make much sense unless you begin at the beginning.

I am a self-published writer who has been writing and self- publishing for 30 years, more or less. I have published 3 books and I have written more short stories than I can recall. I have also published one book on line in the PDF electronic format. I gave that one away free to anyone who wanted to read it.

For me, writing is like an addiction. I sometimes hate it and I often hate what it does to me emotionally. But nothing else can provide me the satisfaction of putting into words what my heart and soul speaks. I believe I will never stop writing.

This blog is a chronology of sorts. It begins way back, years and years ago when I wrote short stories to enhance the back of a weekly gift shop flier. From that point forward I am slowly working my way though my memories and all of the trials and tribulations associated with what I have done.

The first book I helped publish was titled, Helen, A Psychic Gift, and the most recent book, which I have just published, is titled, The Interstellar Incident. That period of time spans 30+ years and this chronology is, as best as I can recall, a discussion of everything that happened during that period of time.

I hope also to hint about what can be expected of me in the coming months and years as long as I am physically able to do this.

Again, allow me to welcome you. I hope you enjoy my blog. I have truly enjoyed creating it.

While you are here leave a comment and tell me what you like or dislike about what I am doing or how I have done. You don't need to log in or leave any personal information in order to comment.

Have a great day.

TJ Davis

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sum? Here let me see that, I'll add it right up here on my computer.

While my, “miracle on the bridge,” was playing out in Eugene, Oregon, at about that same time another miracle of sorts was unfolding across the country and throughout the world. The World Wide Web as we know it was anything but a super highway when it was first born. Back then that miracle was little more than a rutted, dirt path.

In my book, The Interstellar Incident, I tell how Bobby Weaver is amazed that the space alien known as, "One," has manipulated his old laptop so that it can receive Wi-Fi signals from many miles away. In those early days of the Internet there were no laptop computers, no wireless connections or any of the other modern conveniences we have come to expect today.

Another of my nephews, a student at the University of Oregon in Eugene, turned me onto the exciting possibilities of interconnecting my computer with other computers around the world in order to share information and creative ideas. By that time I had graduated up to an IBM clone of some kind. Forgive me that I can't begin to tell you what it was but I do recall how excited I was to find it.

It had been discarded as too old by the firm that bought it new and I could not believe that someone would throw out a perfectly good computer with a whopping 5 gigabyte hard disk drive. I was probably still using the basic MS DOS operating system back then but I know that I also had Windows 3.1 at some point in the game so I may have been using that too.

The phone modem was a complicated box that set outside of the computer and had it's own power supply. It was connected to the computer by an elaborate cable that had taken me a long time to build and debug so it would work properly. You could buy those cables already made up but I could not afford that so I had bought the wire and two connectors and soldered the whole mess together myself using a diagram that had been copied from a book someplace and given to me on a piece notebook paper.

I remember that I used to have to turn on the modem with some kind of communications software which I booted into the system. I then dialed a number and was able to log onto the VAX computer at the University or Oregon. I basically became a terminal that was connected to that massive VAX computer complex via my telephone line.

And then the fun began. I communicated with the outside world via a protocol known as Telnet. One of my brothers, a very well educated and adept computer engineer once said to me something like, “The man who wrote Telnet must have been a Trappist monk who spoke only an ancient dialect of Latin and had become a hermit hidden away on the top of a mountain someplace.” That is a rough transcription of what he said to me and I fully agree with him.

There was nothing like the browsers that we know of today where you can move a thing called a mouse around the screen and click on this or that at will. A mouse was still a problem that had to be exterminated, and browsers came in a variety of configurations but were mainly categorized as cattle, sheep or goats.

If I wanted to connect to some other mainframe someplace I had to go through an elaborate set of commands. They embodied terms like, “open, close, set, send, display,” and so on. Those terms or commands had to be implemented in a very strict manner with quotation marks and accents applied in perfect sequence or the whole operation would be rejected.

I recall how excited I was to learn that I could persuade the University of Oregon VAX computer to interconnect with a lot of other computers around the world like the one located at the White Sands Missile base. It seemed so official and exciting to be able to do something like that. It was almost like I had joined up to the big world of computer engineers and entrepreneurs in California who were growing more and more wealthy by the minute as they schemed this or that down in silicone valley.

So of an evening I stole away to the small alcove near my bedroom and began the complicated process of accessing the White Sands Computer. I began by unplugging the wire from the telephone and plugging it into my phone modem. That exercise in and of itself seemed so evil in those days because only a few years previous anyone messing around with “ma,” bells wires was liable for prosecution.

Next I booted in the communications software and began my call. I had written down a long list of commands and the proper syntax so I knew how to enter them and what to do when I got a response. Halfway through the process I would forget a comma or add one too many spaces and the whole procedure would simply quit and hang up on me.

I started over again and tried some more, and more and even more until finally, success. I was finally logged into the public access area of the great computer at the White Sands Missile base in New Mexico. It seemed incredible to me that my little computer sitting on a make shift desk in Oregon had connected via who knows how many wires to be talking to such an important machine.

I remember that when I connected that first time I sat there in awe and wonder reflecting on my accomplishment. In the meantime I allowed too much time to elapse without touching any keys and it hung up on me. Finally when I got it to connect again I hurried to the directory of free programs for the IBM-MS-DOS operating system.

There were so many programs to choose from but I finally selected a few and downloaded them to my system. Success, oh how sweet thy are. Those few programs were absolutely marvelous and so advanced. They represented the very cutting edge of computer technology at the time and I was amazed they could be had for free, that amount being just within the confines of my personal operating budget.

And consider what they did for me. With them I had a desktop calendar and clock which was accurate within a microsecond of some amount. I also had at my disposal a 10-key adding machine which would respond to the 10-key numerical typing pad on my keyboard.

Wow! I had them. I installed them without a problem. And they worked perfectly. And I don't recall ever using any of those programs. But there was no question, technology was a sweet thing and I was getting right into the swing of it.

Next: Usenet News and how it changed my life.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Another attempt to promote.

What do you think? I have appended this statement to the front of the puzzle page on my website for Brownsville Publishing. It is my most recent attempt to stimulate interest in my book, The Interstellar Incident, and drive traffic to the site. In the next few days I hope to buy some Google click adds pointed to the puzzle page.

I will pay $.50 (fifty-cents) per copy of the book, The Interstellar Incident, which has sold, to the first person who solves the following cryptographic puzzle. The rules are as follows:

There will be one prize only.

The one prize awarded will be paid only once to the first person who solves this puzzle.

Buried in the following cryptographic puzzle is an email address. The person who solves the puzzle will have extracted that secret email address and will use that address to mail me a copy of the clear text hidden within this puzzle.

The puzzle must be completely solved before someone will be declared a winner.

No partial solutions will be accepted or declared a winner.

No partial prizes will be awarded to anyone who solves a portion of the puzzle but not all of it.

Nothing will be paid to anyone who figures out the email address but does not solve the cryptographic puzzle located on this web page.

The prize pool or total value of the prize paid will be calculated based on the number of copies of The Interstellar Incident sold and calculated from the beginning publication date of August 1, 2010, up to and including the date I receive the winning email solution.

No additional prize of any kind will be paid out for sales accrued after that date.

There is a clear text solution to this puzzle. There is only one clear text. I have composed easily understandable, step-by-step instructions that, when followed, will produce that clear text. I have left the instructions in the charge of a friend who will provide them in the event of my untimely demise.

The prize awarded will be based on the number of book copies sold as described above. Book copies will include both printed books as well as digital copies. The total prize will be calculated based on publisher compensation reports which I will have received up to the date that the cryptographic puzzle is solved and which will match deposits into my business bank account up to that date.

To offer an example of the potential prize pool, as of this date, November 1, 2010, a total of 9 copies of the book have sold. That represents 6 printed copies and 3 digital copies. If you choose to download a free copy of the puzzle and not buy a book and you solve the puzzle straightaway from that free download without buying a copy of the book, your prize will total $4.50, (9 copies of the book, The Interstellar Incident, sold and multiplied by $.50 per copy sold, equals $4.50)

Conversely, if 1000 copies of the book have sold by the time the solution reaches my secret email box then the prize pool will total $500.00. If 10,000 copies have sold by the time the puzzle is solved then the prize pool will total $5,000.00, and as the numbers of copies sold increases so too the prize pool itself will increase. Anytime that you wish to know the size and status of the prize pool simply send an e-mail to
tjdavis@brownsvillepublishing.com and I will give you an updated estimate.

Any recipient of this prize is responsible for his or her own taxes. I am not responsible for taxes, legal fees or any other expenses a person chooses to incur while trying to solve this puzzle. I am sure that state and local governments in the United States and perhaps other governments in other countries will obligate me to do things like withhold taxes or provide social security numbers or other such bull caca. I will of course, abide by all applicable laws.

Hey, if the prize pool is still hoovering around four bucks by the time you solve it then I am going to chance legal repercussions and simply send you the money. If the prize pool has worked its way up to a hundred grand by then you can be assured I will seek advice so that we are all on the same page and everything is legal and copacetic.

That said, any taxes I am forced to collect on your behalf will come out of your winnings, the point being I am not going to pay them out of my earnings.

You don't have to purchase anything in order to obtain a copy of this puzzle and participate with any others who have chosen to try to solve it. Anyone who buys a digital copy of the book will not receive the whole puzzle due to technical limitations associated with the digital publishing industry. However, within every digital copy of the book that is sold there is an Internet web address which will open this very page and provide a free copy of this puzzle to download.

There is probably a whole lot more legal mumbo jumbo that should be appended here but you know what, I am no lawyer and I can't afford to hire one and I’ve got nothing to lose in any event. To add to that, even if I did append tons of legal verbiage here you would be unlikely to read it in any event. So why bother?

This is what it is, a straightforward challenge. You think you’re pretty smart? Go ahead, make my day and win four bucks, or forty, or whatever the fates bring your way.

Good luck.
Bobby Weaver.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Welcome to my blog.

For those of you who are just now visiting my blog for the first time, welcome. What's going on here might not make much sense unless you begin at the beginning.

I am a self-published writer who has been writing and self- publishing for 30 years, more or less. I have published 3 books and I have written more short stories than I can recall. I have also published one book on line in the PDF electronic format. I gave that one away free to anyone who wanted to read it.

For me, writing is like an addiction. I sometimes hate it and I often hate what it does to me emotionally. But nothing else can provide me the satisfaction of putting into words what my heart and soul speaks. I believe I will never stop writing.

This blog is a chronology of sorts. It begins way back, years and years ago when I wrote short stories to enhance the back of a weekly gift shop flier. From that point forward I am slowly working my way though my memories and all of the trials and tribulations associated with what I have done.

The first book I helped publish was titled, Helen, A Psychic Gift, and the most recent book, which I have just published, is titled, The Interstellar Incident. That period of time spans 30+ years and this chronology is, as best as I can recall, a discussion of everything that happened during that period of time.

I hope also to hint about what can be expected of me in the coming months and years as long as I am physically able to do this.

Again, allow me to welcome you. I hope you enjoy my blog. I have truly enjoyed creating it.

While you are here leave a comment and tell me what you like or dislike about what I am doing or how I have done. You don't need to log in or leave any personal information in order to comment.

Have a great day.

TJ Davis

Thursday, November 04, 2010

On the other side of that bridge is tomorrow!

There is a kind of a spiraling, cyclical descent that occurs within the soul of someone imprisoned in the grip of deep depression. The truth is, in order to free oneself from the death grip of that affliction, one needs to communicate with others in the outside world. But the disease forces one into a self-imposed isolation that borders on reclusiveness.

During those many years when I was walking alone I used the augury program, sometimes incessantly, as a method to communicate with anyone, anything, something. Sometimes I would lose hours or even whole days while generating words and trying to understand what they might mean. As often, when I got a series of words and finally decided what was being told to me I would often angrily respond with more demands questioning the universal forces which I determined had the power to change things if only they would.

But while these sessions were distracting me and perhaps preventing me from making some foolish mistakes regarding my physical welfare, there were also providing me with some subtle bits of information on a variety of subjects. As an example I began to better understand the Beale Ciphers. It was during that period of time that I was able to extract and reconstruct the cryptic clues that are buried within the pamphlet that provide instructions for how to decipher it.

And over a long period of time, I cannot tell you how long and by how many different means, I was told that my life here, in my current circumstances, was not by accident or simply the result of a stretch of bad luck. I was told exactly that I was experiencing the life I was living as a result of a careful, precise design.

Further, I was told or at least I came believe that I am the reincarnation of a blond German woman who lived during WWII. I didn't share that information with many individuals back then, and when I did I was very careful about what I said even to close family members.

I don't know her name or her precise birth date. I have recently come to believe that she came from Eastern Germany, but I can't even be certain of that. What I had learned about her is that she was totally infatuated with Adolph Hitler and all he represented. She hated Jews but was never really certain why she should. After her death she learned that she had hated Jews because Hitler had hated Jews. She also had been led to believe while she was alive that Jews were responsible for all of her pain.

She had been born impoverished and she was certain that the reason she was poor was because Jews had stolen all of her family's money, as well as the money of many other German families. When she was alive she knew all of these things were true because it was what everyone around her had told her at that time. It was only after she died that she learned how wrong she had been.

I came to believe that she had traveled with a group of others to The Netherlands during WWII after the Nazis occupied that country. There she had worked with the German occupiers to ferret out Jews who were hiding in plain sight behind false identification papers. After a period of time she traveled to occupied Paris where she carried out the same kind of work. She had an affair and was deeply hurt by a very handsome German officer either in the Netherlands or France, I am uncertain which.

After the liberation of France she was gathered up with other women accused of assisting the Nazis. The number 7 came up over and over again. I cannot be certain if there were 6 others as well as the blonde woman, or 7 others together with her for a total of 8 in all, but the number 7 was repeated over and over again. These women were all murdered and then surreptitiously taken in a wagon led by two horses out to a farmer’s field where they were buried in a mass grave.

I was given a couple of very interesting details about all of this which I am still uncertain about. For one I was told that all of the women had their hair cut off on the day they were captured. Evidently there was a community gathering of several neighbors who lived in that neighborhood where these women were brought together. They were all very angry with the women, who were all French except for the woman that I was who was German. They were very brutal to these women as they were shorn leaving them with bleeding scalps by the time it was done.

I was also told that we were all bound together with a large rope, one tied to the other and we were imprisoned in a cellar or dugout area for a time before we were murdered. I was struck in the chest with a heavy club and I was told specifically that my sternum was broken. I was told specifically that when the bodies are finally discovered they will know it is me because my sternum is broken. I was never told how long it will be before those bodies are found, but I was told that someday they will be discovered.

The image I received of my former self’s last night was of a couple or three farmers working though the night in a plowed field some distance from Paris, France. There was just enough natural light to be able to see to dig a hole capable of burying the 7 murdered women.

At the location where we were murdered and under the cover of darkness two men put the 7 bodies into a large wagon that was made of wood and which had four wheels. It was a horse drawn wagon designed to transport freight and as such it could haul a lot of weight.

They covered the bodies with a variety of items, old blankets and various other items, to disguise the contents in the event that they were stopped, and then they left the city for the site where they planned to bury the bodies.

They did not take a direct route out of Paris to the farmer's field. They could not do that because of the skirmishes still going on around them. They had to stop several times during the night in order to hide, make detours, or to let the horses rest and drink.

It was very early in the morning but still dark when they finally reached the field where the hole had been prepared. Working together the men interred the bodies covering them over and smoothing the surface as best they could.

They chose the plowed field to bury the enemy woman in because old farmers working early in the day out in a field like that would not seem out of place by anyone who might observe them. Also, a disturbance in the surface of the field would not seem out of place as the whole of the area was plowed and disturbed anyway in preparation for planting.

It doesn't matter if any of this is true or not. What is important is I have come to believe it. And as such you can see how the suggestion being made by some college kid whom I did not know struck me as it did. He claimed to have seen me metamorphose from a blond woman into the person that I am. He claimed it happened before his very eyes.

For myself his explanation was nothing less than a slap in the face. I say that as I do because that young man knew nothing about my beliefs that I had once lived as a blond woman. That was all a very introspective and closely held personal understanding I had between myself and the universal spiritual forces.

It might have come as just as profound a shock to me had Jesus Christ himself stepped onto that bridge that evening and asked me, the doubting Thomas, to look at the holes in his hands and side and then asked me if I was now ready to believe. Regardless if he was mistaken or even if he made it all up, he had no idea how pertinent what he was saying to me was at that point in my life.

It was on the eve of my carefully laid plans to end my life and his words were like a slap in the face that brought me back from the brink. All I know is that the universal forces stepped in and changed the course of events in my life. I have since realized that they do that all of the time for me, every day that I am alive. At the time I would not have believed anyone who told me such a thing.

No, they did not make me wealthy beyond my imagination. Nor did they make me famous and popular. They did not make “him” love me. They didn't make me handsome. They didn't change any of the physical aspects of my life that I felt were all factors that contributed to my demise and current state of being. These issues are all the characteristics of my life and I know now that I must learn to live with them without expectation of them being removed from my experience.

This story is important to who I am and why I write and say the things I say. It is important because a series of otherwise very introspective thoughts which I had not shared with anyone suddenly surfaced and spoke to me in real words emanating from the mouth of a young college man whom I had never met before.

Of course I would love to know if there are any facts associated with any of the German woman story. It would not change who I am or what I must experience this time around. Nor would it really prove anything to anybody. But still I would love to know.

Did any women from German travel like that during WWII? What bureaucracy in the Nazi regime might have hired them? Are there any records in Germany, The Netherlands or France that might hint at who that woman was? If there are such records who has them? Can they be researched? How does one even begin such a search where there is no name or other pertinent information to begin with?

I have made some feeble attempts to discover what I could about it but all my efforts have been to naught. I don't know anything about such research or even how to begin. I don't speak any German, Dutch or French and so I suppose even if I discovered that such records still do exist I would be unable to read them.

Perhaps I will never know the truth until once again it is my turn to pass from this life and I have reached the other side where all truth is clearly evident.

Next: More miracles, and this time right on my desktop.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Atop the bridge that extends from yesterday into tomorrow.

It would be inappropriate to leave the subject of my dark days of depression without relating a couple of very significant events. They go to the heart of my spiritual growth and my understanding of the powers of the spiritual universe, and they form the basis of later publishing exercises which I engaged in.

Understand that in my youth I was raised in a fundamentalist, Catholic Christian environment. I had my first communion in first grade. I was an altar boy and served at many Catholic masses. For the most part I attended a small Catholic school.

I was not a good student and so I cannot say that I am well informed when it comes to Catholic dogma. But I can say I certainly was given a very broad exposure to that religion and the basic beliefs associated with it.

I don’t remember exactly when I actually abandoned that faith. In a way for me it was like quitting cigarettes. I had to do it a few times before I actually got over it. But in the end I was able to make a distinction between religion and spirituality.

By abandoning religion I did not abdicate my belief in God or the spiritual universe whatever that actually is. Neither I nor anyone else can describe with accuracy what the spiritual world is. As human beings any ideas we may have about that are purely conjectural. However, what goes on in the various churches around the world is far and away removed from my understanding of what the spiritual universe is really all about. Of that I remain certain. I can't help but stress that point whenever I write on this subject. In my latest novel, The Interstellar Incident, I write about this subject several times.

During my deep, dark days of depression the universal, spiritual reality that permeates all of our physical experiences walked hand and hand with me down each of those small pedestrian paths and sat silently with me on every one of those park benches. And there were many miracles that I could point to, some very introspective, which attest to that experience.

During those days marijuana kept me alive. If I was high I was in a kind of a fog and it dulled the pain. Also it kept me alive because I could not kill myself and be high at the same time. I thought of killing myself many times but being high I decided to do it tomorrow instead. I am not advocating the use of marijuana as a way of treating depression. I have absolutely no clinical information on which to base such a contention. But what I can say is it kept me alive and I believe that I would not have survived without it.

Those who have ever smoked marijuana know that there is good marijuana and bad marijuana. And good marijuana is very expensive. It shouldn't be but it is. And in those days I had absolutely no extra money whatsoever. I often could not drive my old truck because I didn't have the cash to buy gas or parts to make it go. Whatever money I earned went directly to food and basic survival.

Thus it was while walking one of those paths on a particular day, I was ranting silently in my mind against an unjust god who would assign me to such a life when I made an unbelievable discovery. I had just been cursing the fact that I had no marijuana to smoke and no way to begin to think of buying any. Spiritually I was as low as I have ever been. And as I stumbled along an isolated part of that path there in front of me in the middle of the path was a substantial bag filled with some of the finest marijuana I have ever consumed.

I don't relate this past experience of mine to suggest in anyway that God or the spiritual universe advocates the use of marijuana. I think in moderation it probably isn't any more harmful than alcohol, salt or trans fatty acids, or any number of other things that should be consumed only in moderation if at all. To that I can honestly add that I think that during those times when I smoked too much of that stuff it must have been doing terrible things to my lungs.

And while I used to smoke it then, I don't smoke it anymore because I am afraid of what it might do to my lungs. But I am here to proclaim that I believe God, whatever or whoever God is, filled my prescription that day, so many years ago. God could care doodly-squat about marijuana. Churches may condemn marijuana as being of the devil. The augury program has told me that those churches have a right to say things like that if that is what they wish to do. We all have free will.

For myself that is what God is. God is not that huge building down at the end of the street with the tall spires and the loud bells. That building is part of a religion and while religions might have at their center a quest to understand God, religions are not God. All religions are clubs designed and built by human beings for human purposes. They are no different than the golden calf that Moses found when he descended the mount in that famous biblical passage.

When my depression had grown to the point that I determined I had to do something drastic to stop it, again I was not alone. As I stood on the bridge and looked down at the swirling waters below thinking of how peaceful death would be, someone took me by the hand and led me to the safety of the bank on the other side.

Of course it didn't happen just like that but what did happen was every bit as remarkable. I have come to call the incident the miracle on the bridge. I was sitting on a bench located on a bridge overlooking the river. I had determined to eat poison and had come up with a plan to get some. I was on the eve of doing just that and was basically trying to hide from the world when a young man walked up to me and began to speak.

When I looked up at him you would not believed the confusion that engulfed his face. I had seen that young man walk behind me only a moment before and I was confused as to why he had suddenly turned around and come back to talk to me. He had walked right by me on his way to wherever he was heading and then all at once inexplicably there he was talking to me.

I wanted to be left alone. He was in my face so to speak. So I asked him why he had turned around and come back.

He was even more confused by my question but then he replied that if he told me I would not believe him. I pressed him. He finally confessed that he had seen someone, perhaps me, perhaps someone else, sitting where I was sitting some twenty minutes before and...

I interrupted him and said when?

He said twenty minutes before when he had crossed the bridge to run to the jogging paths nearby.

I said you passed by me only a moment ago, maybe 1 minute at max.

He shook his head no, and said he had been gone at least 20 minutes given the length of the path and how long it took him to run the whole circle.

That was not true but I didn't argue. I let him explain.

He said when he crossed over the bridge on the way to his jogging exercise he had seen a beautiful blond woman sitting where I was sitting. What was more she was dressed exactly as I was dressed, in a blue windbreaker and jeans. He said she was looking deep inside of herself and he determined that if she was still there when he returned he would stop and talk to her to see what was upsetting her so.

He said he saw the woman was still sitting on the bench when he returned and he could clearly see her face framed by her long blond hair. But, and here he stammered a bit looking for the right words, when he got close enough to see my face he saw a large blonde man with relatively short hair.

Queer? Strange? Unbelievable? Impossible?

Let me assure you that you don't know the half of it. I was awake that whole night and in a strange sort of a way I have been awake ever since.

Next:The Nazi connection.