I have been a follower of yours for about 20 years, since I met a friend in school who taught me about meditation and showed me your books. You have led a beautiful life. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for all of us, meaning the human race. It is a privilege to have read your books. 20 years later I can say that I finally am understanding a lot of the concepts which were hard for me at first.
After meeting my friend David at the University of Kansas, and experimenting with psychedelics, learning about meditation, ram dass, buddhism, trungpa rinpoche, and different religions, i came upon your books and jim marion’s (god rest his soul) books. They have taken me down a long, long spiritual road for which is finally starting to make sense. Jim was my spiritual guide for 13 years. He visited me in the mental hospital at NIH where I was in a double blind study. He did it twice. We talked on the phone maybe 3 times, but the 1000’s of email exchanges we have had have led me through bewildering darkness, suffering, sickness and pain I could never have fully integrated into my consciousness without him. God bless him, Ken.
I moved to Boulder after finding out that you lived there at the time. Seriously, I came here because of you – to be near a fellow writer, philosopher, psychologist, spiritualist, and madman, because let’s be honest, you are a real Freak, Ken, in the best sense of the word. Anyone who would take on the burden of assaulting our most deeply entrenched belief systems in America, (“and an Oklahoman no less”) must be more than a bit insane. BTW, I’m from Texas… But I don’t like to admit it either.
You’ve led me to the deepest parts of myself, my unconscious worries, fears, demons having been transformed into the light after years of mania and depression, hope and fear colliding like stars in the night sky, as I continue to grow and learn, shattering walls and making space in this mental prison. In other words, Ken, i’m trying.
I still live in Boulder. I’m attending college at Naropa. I’m dropping as many attachments as I can to things like corporate coffee shops, cigarettes, mental drama and noise, and even deities. I believe I may have been going through a type of Vishnu complex, as mentioned in Simple Feeling of Being, but I could be wrong. This could all be a delusion and a dream, and maybe should be regarded as such, just as the buddhists say, just as the tibetans said, regard all of life as a dream, right? Or as you said, suffering happens when we start believing we are the characters in the movie of life instead of the witnesses and watchers of it.
This is a thank you, note Ken. I’ve learned from you that I’m not always wrong, that i’m not an abomination, that i’m a smart, intelligent, good person, and that it’s ok to be a man and reject the parts of this world (like MGM) that I don’t understand or vibe with at all anymore. You’ve taught me that awakening isn’t a paradigm I can read in a book, that it takes practice, long hard years of practice, and experience, like looking at a map of hawaii instead of going there (or reading Boomeritis without attending a deeply entrenched camp of leftist mobsters – all led by our most perfect enlightened founder, who happened to be sleeping with dozens of his students, shh, and whose son touched minors, “8-year-old’s, dude”). Naropa, rock on you diamond starlet, crazy wisdom, more crazy than wisdom (and btw was CTR actually enlightened, and if so, why did this keep happening?) yeah, but it is lovely here and i’m glad to be here.
I’m glad to still be in Boulder.
Many years ago, in the days of Integral Naked, I would post completely off-putting, emotional, irrational nonsense about how much I knew about this or that. Well, it’s come back full swing. I’m surrounded by kids now, Ken, who want to tell me how much they know and how little I do.
Sorry bruh, I’m going a little crazy. I keep thinking about meth and tweakers. Sometimes I feel like I’m going insane, Ken.
Anyway, sorry, just one last thought, thank you so much beloved, my lover, my teacher and friend, my pandit and guide, my beautiful lost one who i may never find again, you are my friend and my hero.