There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
– Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio
As many of you already know, back in 2010, I began an epic, soul-searching backpacking expedition to the Far East. By throwing myself into the unknown, I hoped to dig myself out of a ruinous mid-life crisis, hit the reset button, and discover a new life path.
It worked … and then some! After some time on the road, I began bouncing back. I was living in Bali, had an incredible girlfriend, and was exploring the worlds of mystical shamans and gurus. I had seen things that shouldn’t be possible, and I was going to get to the bottom of it. Who knew? Perhaps in the process, I, too, would develop mystic superpowers! Even to me, it sounded at least partly delusional, and yet … my gut told me to venture forth and investigate.
My then-girlfriend Sofia (not her real name) nicknamed me “Mike-Elektro”, because I had been working specifically with a Balinese husband & wife, both of whom had this bizarre gift of having super strong electricity in their bodies. It was the craziest experience, getting healing sessions from them. If it wasn’t merely a trick, then I wanted them to teach me to be ‘electric’. But, as the wife once scolded me, “It’s not yoga, Michael! I didn’t learn it … one day, it just turned on!” But that didn’t deter me, and over the many months hanging out with these healers, I observing even stranger things … such as the day, while Sofia and I were both being treated, electric shock came out of Sofia’s finger. Another friend reported that, hours after her treatment, she began spontaneously, uncontrollably, shocking her son. Maybe, I thought, it’s not merely a matter of being trained, but creating some set of unknown conditions which would then facilitate the expression of this electric ability.
So, I kept going to treatments, as often as possible. I became her occasional assistant, participating in healing sessions with her other clients. Maybe, somehow, this would benefit my health and my quest.
Think of it like this … as kids, many of us fantasize about being a superhero, of being bit by a radioactive spider, or being able to fly. We know it’s possible until, that is, the relentless assault of massive culture tells us it’s not. And we listen. And we relegate our belief in magic to residing merely in a realm of childhood fantasy. We grow up. But here I was, as an adult, and suddenly, I had seen something that looked life real-life magic.
You know, when I decided to return to Bali to pursue learning about this ‘electric’ healing, I wasn’t so naive as to think or assume that it wasn’t merely a trick. But – I kept asking myself …. if it’s a trick, how are they doing it? And if it’s not, then just what in the hell is it? I just couldn’t get it out of my head – if it’s real, this is more important than anything I had ever previously encountered.
And even so, I hesitated. I had just returned from 1 1/2 years on the road, happy but at a crossroads. And pursuing magic didn’t seem like a particularly smart way to restart my post-mid-life-crisis life. To be honest, I might not have gone down this path at all, were it not for having met Sofia, an incredible woman who, as it just so happened, was about to move to Bali.
Yet, returning for possible love wasn’t enough, either. Somehow, this next life stage was such a crucial inflection point, that I kept throwing up barriers from fear of further radical change, rather than simply embrace it. So, the Universe added another shiny object to lure me back … when Sofia and I had been mading love, she began speaking in tongues, spontaneously, uncontrollably. Every. Single. Time.
Are you getting this? Electric healers. Love. Speaking in tongues. Okay, I get it … I have to go back to Bali!
So, there I was, living in Bali, attempting to apprentice with Electric healers, living with Sofia the accidental channeler, and trying to figure out what I could do to ‘turn’ this magic on.
So, if the couple couldn’t (or wouldn’t) teach me, then I’d find someone who could. I figured, they could’t be the only ones with this gift. So, after an extensive Balinese version of a Where’s Waldo search for electrical healers, I actually found another one – who lived just a few villages away. And … he promised to teach me. It was going to be amazing!
While I was working with this guy, who’s nickname was “Elektro”, I subjected myself to repeated electro-shock treatments, believing that his ‘mystical’ energy would heal my psoriasis and jump-start my own internal electrical plant. Moreover, I was going to be famous, a lead character in a documentary film which would be tracking my process of becoming a real-life superhero.
Oops. Turns out that Elektro was a fraud (in itself a fascinating story), and that I was that guy – the naïve, gullible fool whose total lack of discernment led to potentially life-threatening situations.
When I found out he was a fake, I was crestfallen. A moment captured, no less, in the documentary film. It gets better … in the film, the director interviews with therapist who proceeds to remotely psychoanalyze me (based solely on footage of interviews with me) – and let’s just say, his diagnosis would certainly have warranted an unflattering DSM V classification.
Beyond being pissed at myself for having been fooled by Elektro, I had to reexamine my fairy tale, Harry Potter adventures through the lenses of possible self-delusion. I. was. Not. A. happy. camper.
But then, a few weeks later, something truly bizarre happened: I began having psychic visions. Photographs appearing in my mind’s eyes that were not memories. Clear. Distinct. Lasting only a second or two. Maybe a dozen or so, over the course of a month or two. And one of them was so specific, about a childhood friend who I hadn’t talk to in years, that I emailed him about it. And he confirmed that what I had described was EXACTLY what had happened to him, a day or two before, on the other side of the planet.
It was the strangest thing, and I didn’t believe it, especially given my recent head-on collision with my own naïve stupidity. Also, I didn’t entirely trust that my friend wasn’t just fucking with me. So, months later, after returning to west Marin, I sat him and his wife down at the local bar, bought them a beer and, looking into his eyes, asked again. Are you telling me the truth? He was, and I believe him.
But … are you ready for a pattern to repeat? … I still didn’t believe it. I needed independently verifiable proof. It took many, many months, repeated experiences, confirmation from trusted friends before I began to even consider accepting that what I was experiencing could be, indeed, real. Still, until I had some type of third-party verification, I wouldn’t be convinced if I was onto something big, on something, or simply off my rocker.
I kept exploring and, about a year passed, I had my first, independent confirmation of a psychic experience. And that so mind-blowing, that it took yet another year before I allowed myself to begin to grok what had happened. According to my education and life experience, what I had experienced was simply impossible. Then, one day, I had two, back-to-back, major successes. Finally, I was starting to get some proof that convinced even me. I was ebullient. Ecstatic. And a little scared. A few years earlier, I had set out on a quest to become a magical superhero and … now, it seemed to be working!
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been digging deeper, determined to ‘awaken’ this ability to its maximum potential. In efforts to awaken these abilities and to cure my psoriasis, I’ve tried a staggering quantity and variety of techniques including countless flavors of meditation, cleansing diets, mysterious breathing techniques, Kundalini yoga and martial arts. I’ve worked with mystical healers in a dozen countries, sat with shamans, gurus. I’ve imbibed vile concoctions intended to heal, and dabbled with acid and shrooms. I’ve spent a lot of time practicing with a technique called Remote Viewing – basically, a psychic spy training program developed by the U.S. military at Stanford University (here’s the recent Newsweek cover story on the topic, and here’s some examples of my own self-documented experiences).
Simultaneously, as part of this exploration, I’ve been interviewing dozens of people about their psychic and paranormal experiences. And it’s. been. fascinating. About 70% of all the random people I interview report having had one or more specific, significant psychic, transpersonal or paranormal experience. That is to say, these experiences, rather than being anomalous, are actually ubiquitous. Let that sink in for a moment. Somehow, the majority of people are touching / experiencing some facet(s) of this great mystery. And if you haven’t yourself, chances are that someone who you trust deeply has. But don’t take my word for it, ask around. Let me know what you find out.
Along the way, I started also delving into quantum physics and explorations of consciousness. One day, I met a brilliant UCB pos-doc who had just written about the fractal nature of Time. And through an ensuing series of conversations about ‘ah-ha’ moments, I began hearing about ayahuasca, a very powerful entheogen that’s been used for thousands of years by Amazonian shamans. So, I decided to see if ayahuasca could help with my search – both for healing of my psoriasis and for the psychic awakening.
After about 30 times, I’m beginning to notice some specific changes. For example, shortly after 15 ayahuasca ceremonies with shamans in Brazil earlier in 2015, I suddenly started experiencing an entirely new flavor of psychic experience – precognitive visions, of specific events which then came true 1-3 weeks later. It happen four times, each one documented here. There have countless other, significant experiences, but until I can demonstrate substantive correlations, I’ll withhold (public) comment on them.
So, in January, I’ll be heading to Peruvian Amazon, to participate in a number of ayahuasca ceremonies, and drink the medicine from other sacred plants, all combined with an intense cleansing diet and a lot of solitude in the jungle. I’ll try to report from the road. If all goes well, I’ll see you on the far side (“Dude. Your life is the Far Side”).[Along those lines, one of my oldest friends thinks that I’ve lost my mind, that I’m merely naïve and gullible. ‘Suggestible’. “Batshit crazy”. And I know he’s not alone. Fair enough … there have been many times during this bizarre adventure when I’ve questioned my own sanity.
But I’m convinced that my experiences are merely the tip of the iceberg, and the implications are vast, profound and deeply important. Trying to wrap my head around it is like … putting together a million-piece jigsaw puzzle. But … I think, finally, I’m starting to see a plan beginning to develop. Please have some patience while I try to wrap my head around Infinity, okay? 🙂
When I get back to California, I’ll be hosting a series of gatherings and conversations about a range of (broadly speaking) psychic topics, and I hope you’ll consider joining me on this epic, magical mystery tour.[Note: For those of you who don’t know me, I grew up on a dairy in Northern California, and had a long career in the organic milk world … hence the (half self-mocking, half aspirational) moniker].