CANCER IS GOOD FOR YOU
A HANDBOOK FOR TOTAL HEALING
BY ALMADEUS STAR GIOELI
Opening Chapter to
It wasn’t the first time I had been shot at. I had been face to face with guns a few other times in my life. By destiny or chance, I had never actually been struck by a bullet, unless you count the shotgun pellets that hit me on the stairs of the library at the University of Buffalo during those ‘60s protest days. But this was different. It was surreal from the start. Out of step and time. The ‘crack’ of the powder, the hand of the gunman enveloped in a puff of white smoke, and the bullet striking the pavement startled me into an altered state of consciousness. No…actually I was startled out of an altered state of consciousness. When the first shot was fired I was in the middle of something like a thought…but not really a thought. Let me digress a little bit in time. When you learn the context of this incident you will also discover what this incident has to do with healing cancer.
About an hour before the gunshot I was in a vegetable garden in Sacramento, California. We had just finished planting the garden as a part of a healing program I was facilitating for my new friend, Jack. We had met months earlier at an alternative health exposition in Los Angeles. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was shopping for some magical, alternative cure. I was at the exposition to test market some proofs of a new book called Cancer Is Good for You. It was a shorter version of the book which follows this story. I was shopping for various opinions and reactions to the new book, especially the title. I presented it to various book publishers, book retailers and several alternative thinking professionals. Jack overheard my pitch to a bookstore rep and he waited politely for us to finish talking before he actually approached me.
I listened compassionately while he described his condition, as he understood it to be. He was compelled by a mixture of fear and grief to find help. As he spoke I studied his face, his guarded posture and his clothing which came from a ‘fifties’ catalogue. It was a 65 year old, pale colored face with lines and veins and other signs of distress. His eyes and his breaking voice communicated that he couldn’t bear the thought of dying from cancer. When he finally asked the question, “Can you cure me?” I replied, “I can help you to become healthier every day. Healthy people do not have cancer. If you are willing to work with me I can coach you to create the optimum conditions for a remission to take place.”
At first he seemed challenged by the idea of needing to cooperate. He was looking for an alternative medicine. But what I was offering was an alternative to medicine, or an alternative from medicine. I did not have any potion or tea that was going to kill his cancer. I did not have any organic radiation and I did not have any “natural” chemotherapy. What I did have was a vision and understanding of remission. And I had fearless enthusiasm to help Jack to experience remission of the condition in his body that was diagnosed as cancer.
The few words I spoke to him began to alter the way he thought about cancer and about curing cancer. He revealed to me that certain markers were being monitored by his physicians and there were indications that the condition was progressing and not responding to the medical treatments. After about five more minutes of conversation he eagerly accepted my proposal and we set a date for our training program to begin. Jack agreed to allow me to be his personal coach for one month. My training program required 100% commitment on his part and mine as well. For thirty days we would be together 24/7. This meeting of our minds and hearts took place about 2 months before the resound of the gunshot rang through the oaks and meadows of Sonoma County.
A few weeks after our initial meeting I traveled to Jack’s home in Northern California with my family. Our family was, by choice, inseparable. Denise and I had been blissfully married for a little more than a year. We brought our daughter, Elisabeth (a few months new). My son, Kenny (age thirteen) came along with his BMX bike and skateboard in tow. Kenny enrolled in a public school in the neighborhood. Denise was especially eager to come on the mission because her closest sister, Susan, lived only about seventy-five miles away from Jack and his wife, Janette. Denise planned to spend a lot of her time at Susan’s home in the city of Sonoma while Jack and I planned to be quite consumed by the training program. We would all be returning to our home in Idyllwild in one month.
Jack and I got to work right away. His work clothes were similar to his play clothes. Everything he owned was a shade of gray or beige polyester. Our first order of business was to locate sources for good drinking water, organic foods, organic seeds, organic compost, sprouting jars, a good blender, a juicer and other supplies for his program. Jack was amazed with the resources that we found in his neighborhood. He passed by them every day on his way to the supermarket, the gas station and his various doctors’ offices. By the second day we had transformed his kitchen cupboards, his pantry, his refrigerator, his bedroom, bathroom and his level of expectation. Where once were shelves filled with canned goods and processed foods there were now bags of whole grains, beans, dried fruits, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. The can of ground coffee was replaced with bags of organic herbal teas. The white bread was replaced with yeast-free chapatis and tortillas. The toaster was replaced with the juicer and the blender. The margarine, white sugar, vinegar, Jell-O, catsup and black pepper were replaced with…nothing.
Jack and I were gardening from the very first day. Actually we were preparing a section of his yard for a garden which would be planted with seeds of those things necessary for a remission of Jack’s condition. We built up the soil with organic compost and mulch. A little clay and sand were added for texture. We purchased a few worms at a local bait store. Little by little we created a household focussed on health and healing.
By the third day, as the earthworms were wiggling in the garden, Denise and Elisabeth were off to Susan’s home in Sonoma. This was the first time we had been apart since Elisabeth’s birth and I felt a little (understatement) separation anxiety. While they were gone, Jack, Janette, Kenny and I carried on the work of transforming the household and the garden.
About a week later, the organic seeds were in, the irrigation was in and the sprouts were sprouting in the refrigerator. We had established a daily discipline of breathing, stretching, exercising and study. Each day ended with Jack, Kenny and me sitting on the sidewalk at the end of his street gazing at the setting sun. I can still see the glow in his bronze colored face as he would tell Kenny a story from his life as a plastics consultant. He would always beam a half smile when he got to the part he thought was amusing. Kenny always reflected the smile, whether or not he caught the humor of Jack’s industrial world. As he spoke, I could tell that Jack maintained a soft spot for the industrial world of his past, even though he was retired from it and even though he suspected that it may have contributed significantly to his present health dilemma.
Before the 12th day, hospital tests indicated a profound shift towards normal levels of the markers they were monitoring. We had much to celebrate, so we did. The positive test results encouraged us all to proceed with “the program.” My joy was great but it was tempered by my longing to be reunited with Denise and Elisabeth.
On the 14th day, Jack agreed to let me use his little gray Datsun for the day-trip to Sonoma to pick up Denise and Elisabeth. It would have been a 45 minute jaunt down Interstate 80 followed by another 45 minute drive through the winding hills of Sonoma County. I say “would have been” because it turned out to be a much longer and broader trip with the addition of the shooting incident.
I had broken free of the congested traffic of Sacramento and I was cruising down the open highway of Interstate 80. The day was sunny and clear and I was doing about 70. The wind through the open window tossed my hair and my spirit. It was kind of an ‘Easy Rider’ moment (except for the music and the motorcycles). The Datsun was sporty enough. I was high enough (without any drugs). The only music was the sound of the wind and the tires spinning against hot asphalt. But I had a strong appetite to hear “Born to be Wild” to complete the illusion of anarchistic freedom. I reached over to the radio with lots of hope that I could find something appropriate to the moment. I was feeling good.
As my finger tips were about to touch the radio power switch, something happened. In some people’s lives it might have seemed more remarkable. Perhaps in my own life I should have seen it as more remarkable. But in the moment I reached for the radio, I perceived what happened as a mere matter of fact. Similar things have happened to me at various times in my history. I have become presumptuous about it. What happened was probably a miracle that I have learned to take for granted just because I have experienced similar miracles often in my life. The miracle was that a powerful, engaging thought occurred to me. It was an original thought that I had never had before. It was not something that I had ever read or heard and somehow just remembered. I stopped short of turning the radio on and, for the moment, I attended to the thought. I cannot say where the thought came from. I will leave it to your speculation. The thought was this:
“Wait! Hold off on the radio for a minute. Here is a marvelous opportunity during this weightless drive to Sonoma for me to spend quality, uninterrupted time…with God.”
The thought instantly displaced my interest in the fantasy of “Easy Rider,” and “Born to be Wild.” I dwelt on the thought for a moment and then, in my inner speech, said to God: “O.K. You got me. If there is anything you want to show me or tell me or instruct me, you have my undivided attention during this drive. I will be still. Talk to me.”
I said it as if I was bargaining a deal and I presumed for some reason (perhaps experience) that God would accept it. By an act of Grace, God did accept. In an instant I began hearing Him say,
“Very cool, Star. But what makes you think I should bother to talk to you when you seem to be doing nothing about some of the very important matters I have already asked of you…years ago.?”
I reflected, kind of surprised, and quickly defended, “What do you mean? What is it you are referring to?”
God replied, “What I am referring to is that years ago I asked you to develop your vision for seeing me, my nature, within the people in and around your life, and I have reminded you often since,”
I knew in an instant that I did not need to ask for more explanation. I knew exactly what God was talking about and I knew exactly that I had conveniently been distracted by my cares of the world to the point of “forgetting” to practice the beatific vision. I don’t know how it happens that I could forget such an important literal instruction…but I did forget and I continue to forget. I felt immediate, strong conviction and remorse about my spiritual slacking. In my humanity, in my mind, in Jack’s gray Datsun, going 75 (more or less) I began groping for explanation/excuses. As the Datsun and my body turned on to highway 12 my mind was in a zone which I will refer to as “automatic pilot.” I was still conversing with God and not paying much attention to my driving.
So I reasoned, “But…people do not help with this problem. I mean, people want you to notice them as something else…a student, a cop, a doctor. They even dress up in costumes and postures to communicate an identity…other than God.”
God was silent. He is so good at that. I went on with my petty arguments and said,
“And besides, surely there are some beings on this planet who just do not ‘have it’. I mean they just do not have an ounce of divinity in them. My God! (excuse the expression) Just read the newspapers! Corruption, murder and mayhem…all done consciously, willfully and maliciously. If God was in these people they could not do these things. I would be wasting my precious time and effort to see or treat them as divine beings.”
More silence on the other end. If you can believe it, I had even more to say. So I went on,
“So how am I to tell you who has the “God gene” and who does not? Really! What are the signs? Who is genetically encoded for Divinity?”
As those last words were coming out of my, so to speak, inner mouth, I was startled out of the mystical state of consciousness by the crack of a gunshot, the ping of a bullet on the pavement beside my door, the sight of a hand withdrawing from a cloud of white smoke back into the drivers seat of a vintage VW bus. I let my foot off the gas, a little bit, and tried to compose my mind. I voraciously studied the view through the windshield, hungry for clues as to what exactly had just happened.
The bus was beat-up and dirty. I could not see inside the bus since the windows were obscured either by curtains, dirt or too many political stickers and decals. I was suspended in a moment of awe and wonder. Mostly I wondered,
“Did what I think just happened really just happen…or not?”
The wonder was displaced by reality when I saw the hand and the gun reaching again out of the driver’s side window and pointing in my direction. In the event I had any doubts, the next attempt of reality to impress itself upon me was another crack of gunpowder, a ‘clang’ of lead striking the front bumper of the Datsun and the hand again withdrawing into the bus from a cloud of white smoke.
I let my foot off the gas again and dropped back about a hundred yards. I continued studying the bus and searching the void in my mind for a thought…an explanation…a plan. There was nothing. Not even a thought of God. Speaking of God. I had completely forgotten about Him, our conversation, and my trivial pattering. How pathetically easy it is for me to get caught up in what seems to be a different reality. I was wondering about this guy…this bus…this gun…as if they were all separate from God. I know better. But knowing better did not stop me from forgetting. Animated, tangible, sensual, physical reality is so darn compelling, isn’t it?
I could have just pulled over and let the bus disappear down the road…but I was compelled by curiosity to follow along at a distance. If you are wondering why I was not afraid I will give you a reason which will have to suffice for now. I do not want to distract you from the important, singular point of this true story. So, just for now, consider my lack of fear…a mystery.
Getting back to the story, the VW bus was holding speed. For a VW bus on a mountain road that means about 30 mph. For the next few minutes I held my distance and held my wondering. I was saved from eternal wondering when the bus pulled off to the side of the road into a kind of turnout or expanded shoulder. The fact that it was not a real turnout but only a bed of soft gravel would become important in a minute or two. I was forced to make an important decision…immediately. If I continued on past him he could have had a clearer shot at me as I passed by. As I was in the middle of this thought I reached the turnout. I had not resolved the thought regarding his improved angle/or not, nor had I made a choice based on those concerns but instead, because of certain spiritual training, I surrendered to the path of immediate, direct, face to face resolution of conflict or hostility. So I pulled over in the gravel right behind the bus. Without hesitation I exited the Datsun and walked calmly towards the driver’s side of the bus. I was midway between the two vehicles when the driver side door began to open. A large, growling German Shepherd dog came bounding straight at me. I think I slowed down…or stopped in my tracks. It appeared as if the dog was set on attacking me. He was ferocious looking and vicious sounding but, fortunately for me, he passed right by me, then circled back and ran around me a few times and then around the back of the bus. I was relieved, but only for a moment.
The next event was the emergence of a black leather boot, black denim pants, a black T-shirt with an occult graphic on the front. It was evident that there were more tattoos under the shirt to match the dragons and skulls on his arms. This was the uniform of a stocky, head-shaven, hostile man. He was about 35, dark-skinned and sweaty and angry. In some people’s vocabulary, he appeared demonic or satanic in nature. I was not sure what language to speak to him or to perceive him in. He apparently also had training to engage, rather than avoid confrontation. He briskly approached me. We met head on. There was an uncomfortable half-moment of silence. I wasn’t sure what I was about to say but it is my training to say something… anything. The words would only be a vehicle to convey my emotion, which was at peace. To my surprise I asked,
“What can I do for you, brother?”
His countenance changed, a little at first, and then quickly moved into a less hostile attitude and posture. He looked stunned, then puzzled, then pensive as he was trying to conceive of an answer to the literal question I had asked. He looked down at the ground, then at his shoes. Then he looked around the bus. He enthusiastically offered,
“Well, maybe you can help me with this.”
He led me to the back of the bus. The rear passenger side was hanging in mid-air over the edge of the shoulder which fell off in a steep incline. It was a challenging predicament. I agreed to help. My first thought was to look for a rope or chain in Jack’s Datsun. While I was rummaging around the car I found many interesting things including Jack’s copy of the proof of my book in the glove box, but I did not find any rope. After a few minutes the darkly clad stranger said that he had a “Triple A” policy and that all he needed was a phone to get a tow truck. I agreed to drive him to a phone booth and perhaps a garage in Sonoma. I was ‘in the zone’ of this experience. Surrendered. I forgot about Jack for a while. I forgot about Denise and Elisabeth for a while, and I forgot about my conversation with God since the moment the first shot was fired.
He jumped into the front and, without asking, he let his dog into the back seat. Normally I would have found this to be a rude presumption. But for this man and this dog and this surreal journey it all seemed…perfect. Our dynamic trio pressed onward towards Sonoma. We had about twenty minutes to talk. My unlikely passenger was eager to talk. I learned his name. I will call him “James” since I do not have his permission to use his name in the telling of this story.
James proceeded to make small talk. Honestly, I do not remember anything we talked about on the way to Sonoma. I also do not remember having eye contact with him since the first glare from his hostile eyes as we initially confronted each other beside his bus. I have a habit of looking away from projections of negative emotion that will distract me from being loving and accepting of a hostile, rude or obnoxious person. I did notice that he and his dog had the same offensive odor about them. I kept my ears opened and my eyes on the road until we reached the first phone booth in Sonoma. I imagined that he would hook up with the towing service and that I would then carry on to Susan’s house. Denise, Elisabeth and I would then return to Sacramento and complete our mission with Jack.
There is a saying that goes, “If a man asks you to go one mile with him…be prepared to go two.” I also learned from experiences in the construction trades that things usually take twice as long as you think they should and cost three times as much as you think they would. Both of these pearls of wisdom came together in Sonoma when James got off the phone and asked me to drive him back to his car. There were ‘insurance reasons’ why the towing service could not pick him up and drive with him to his car. I smiled and agreed to go the “extra mile.” We got back into the Datsun and headed down Highway 12. James became quiet. He was apparently finished with the small talking and was now thinking of something compelling. In the hour since we left the bus James had been talking most of the way, and he never once mentioned the gun, much less his inspiration for shooting at me. Since he did not bring it up, I politely avoided the subject assuming he might not be comfortable talking about it. But I was not of the same mind. In fact, it was the most curious subject in my mind and I was having a hard time ignoring the thought. I was sure that James realized by this time that I was no threat to him. It seemed like a safe moment to bring up the subject of the shooting. I was still finding the entire incident hard to believe. It would have been appropriate for my first question to determine if he was even able to acknowledge or admit that he had shot at me. But instead, I asked a leading question.
“So James……what was that you were shooting at me?” I did not intend to ask him that question. It just came out. In retrospect I see how the question, asked in a spirit of peaceful curiosity, implies that I have accepted the shooting without malice. James quickly and sharply, almost proudly replied,
“That was my forty-five.”
I moved ahead quickly to the key question,
“Why were you shooting at me?”
Without hesitation or deliberation he replied,
“You were tailgating me.”
I was startled by the matter-of-fact simplicity of his answer. It triggered a kind of flash back to our initial moment of truth. At the speed of light I reconstructed my memory of the smoke, the sounds, the bumper stickers right in my face…Hmmmmm. Bumper stickers right in my face? Guess he was right. I was tailgating. Didn’t even realize it at the time. I replied,
“So. You were telling me to back off? I never thought about it before but you’re saying that shooting is a kind of language. Different kinds of shots have different meanings. Right?”
“That’s kind of strong language for a civilian world…don’t you think? If you had shot at someone else like that you might be in serious trouble right now.”
“Well…I was pissed off…I guess. Not just about the tailgating. I’ve been pissed off for a while. Ever since coming back from Vietnam.”
James went on to disclose that he was a discharged, U.S. Marine. And he was on a personal mission to get even. He was obsessed with acting out his anger at a world that he trusted and served but was betrayed by. Although his story is one of many of it’s kind, it has many elements which are unique. James had completed a “tour” of duty in Vietnam. He received a “friendly fire” dose of Agent Orange. Years later he wound up in a V.A. Hospital and was treated for the symptoms of his damaged organs. Eventually, he learned that one of the so-called symptoms was technically named, “hepatoma” (liver cancer). It developed slowly over time and he was told that he had a few months left to live. It was a traumatic truth that he was not prepared to accept without some kind of emotional processing. James personally designed his own therapeutic process for this emotional trauma. He got a gun and some sympathy money from family and was headed for a connection in Northern California to purchase a wholesale quantity of illegal drugs. The plan was to sell the drugs at street costs and raise a larger sum of money for his one last fling with life, and death. A part of his plan was to dare…even hope that some cop, agent or other authority figure of the government would try to stop him from realizing his vision. He had a few choice “words” ready for them in the same language he had originally “spoken” to me. Once he seemed finished with his story/plan I remarked,
“Well…today is your lucky day, James. You certainly shot at the right person.”
Of course, James did not have the slightest idea where exactly this remark was headed. Nor did I for that matter. I went on to say,
“You shot at the right person because I want to help you.”
Maybe you are wondering why I wanted to help a man who just shot a gun at me. It was because, in this moment in time, I did not perceive him as a man who just shot at me. I saw him as a man who was making choices to ruin his life because of the way he perceived himself and because of certain things he believed in. He perceived himself as a man dying of cancer. He adopted this perception because of some professional opinions that promoted this perception of reality. The opinions he received were from professional men and women who need James to believe that he is dying of cancer in order to convince him to accept the harmful, dangerous and EXPENSIVE “treatments” which they have to offer.
No one in their right mind would allow anyone to impose the harsh “treatments” of conventional cancer institutions. The fear of imminent death spins most people out of their right mind and into duress. From that altered state of mind it is a simple matter for the professionals to convince them to allow the harmful, dangerous and expensive “treatments” to be administered. I have emphasized the word expensive because this is the primary motivator in this codependent illusion. I am not suggesting a diabolical conspiracy to establish this co-dependence between the general public and the conventional medical establishment. I think it just evolved by a selective process that works like this:
There really are some doctors who believe that cancer is a terrible, deadly disease which requires radical intervention of a technical or chemical nature. There really are some people who believe that cancer is a terrible, deadly disease which requires radical intervention of a technical or chemical nature. These two groups naturally find one another. There really are some politicians who believe that cancer is a terrible, deadly disease which requires radical intervention of a technical or chemical nature. The politicians exert effort and pressure to channel money, lots of money, trillions of dollars to support the institutions which support the illusion that cancer is a terrible, deadly disease which requires radical intervention of a technical or chemical nature. The illusion does not ever give people a relief from the fear of death because there are never any guarantees given that the “treatment” is going to work. So the patient continues to be in fear and therefore out of their right mind all the way to the end.
I saw James as one of those unfortunate people. He was not dying from cancer. He was dying from what he believed in. The belief itself was not killing him, although believing you are dying of cancer is definitely not a healthy nor health-promoting concept to hold in your heart and mind. He was dying because the illusion that he believed in was keeping him from seeking, and finding, the truth about his condition. The truth would lead him to an effective, sane remedy.
It is easy to see why the conventional cancer institutions cling to the fear based illusion. It is profitable. Cancer institutions are a business. Like all businesses the ones which make the most profitable choices of processes and philosophies are the ones that flourish. It is extremely profitable for institutions to adopt and promote the idea that cancer is a terrible, deadly disease which requires EXPENSIVE radical intervention of a technical or chemical nature. These institutions are flourishing today, economically. Some of the surplus money is re-invested in propaganda and political pressures while some of the surplus money is re-invested in “dressing-up” the facilities and machinery to resemble a luxury hotel.
James’ personal philosophy is a perfect match-up. It is based on fear. It is based on war. Just as James developed a “language” spoken with a gun, so too has the conventional medical establishment developed a “language” spoken with a gun. Actually they have various guns and various bullets that are available at various prices. Some bullets are silver (radiation) and some bullets are gold (chemotherapy). But all the bullets are deadly just the same. The modern silver bullet myths are strikingly akin to the old vampire myths. It took centuries for intelligent minds to convince the masses that vampires and silver bullets were just an illusion. In fact, some people still cling to those myths in spite of scientific and theological expositions that ‘evil’ is most often found within the mind of the one perceiving it.
The current government statistics are that one out of four Americans will, at some time in their life, be medically diagnosed as having cancer. Most of those people will literally buy into the popular illusion that cancer is a terrible, deadly disease which requires radical intervention of a technical or chemical nature. In fact, most Americans have bought into that belief long before the “diagnosis.” Most Americans buy “health insurance” because they already believe they will need it, not if, but when the diagnosis finally comes. When the medical insurance policy comes you will see a careful itemization of where the money will be spent. You will not see any categories listed like:
there definitely is not a single insurance invoice
form that has a line saying:
The reason you will not see payments made out for healing, remission or curing is that insurance companies and medical institutions and technicians are not about that. What they are about is ‘treat-mint’. They deal in silver (bullets), gold (bullets) and pain killers. No guarantees. But I can guarantee you one thing. Bullets are deadly, silver or gold. It is only people who have a horrible fear of cancer who will allow such deadly warfare to be waged inside their bodies. I saw James as one of those unfortunate people. I saw this moment as an opportunity to provide him with an alternative to silver bullets and warfare. I had no guarantee that he would grasp the opportunity…and live.
As James and I drove south along Highway 12, I quickly filled him in about Jack and Janette. I also shared with him about my path and the book I had written. I did not have eye contact with him because I had made a conscious decision to be attentive to my driving the whole time. But I did not need eye contact to recognize the changes taking place in his emotion, his voice and his vocabulary. He seemed engaged and I sensed a glimmer of hopefulness in his words. I offered to help him directly as I was helping Jack. But he was a stoic type and had become attached to his condition as he had understood it before and he was also attached and invested in his drug dealing mission. He declined my offer to let me coach him personally. I asked James to open the glove box and get the book out. He was fascinated and challenged by the idea of Cancer is Good For You and he accepted the book.
Now you might think that I was gratified by this moment…after all, I wrote a book about healing cancer and someone who needed the information had just accepted the book. Sounds like an author’s dream come true. But not so for me. You see, I wrote the book to help people to understand the simple concept of organo-mutagenesis and the necessity for alternative thinking and actions in response to the concept of cancer. I later realized the flaw in my thinking. Understanding is not the issue. People do not understand conventional treatments of cancer and yet they submit themselves to harsh, painful and dangerous chemical and technical interventions. It is not because they understand anything but it is because they have been sold a packaged deal that sounds good and looks good and most importantly, it is popular. I realized that my book had to “sell” the concept of orgnao-muta-genesis…not merely explain it. I cringed at the thought that James’ life might depend on my salesmanship. The book I had written was dry and technical. So in this moment that James accepted my book I was anxious, uncertain and concerned for his life.
James said that he would read the book and keep an open mind about attempting “The Cure” in the near future. He said also that he would contact me (my contact information was in the book) if he had any difficulty understanding or following the program outlined in the book. I was not totally convinced that he would do it but I validated his stated intention and affirmed my availability to any future questions or assistance.
Honestly, I had strong thoughts that he might not even read the book. And I did not think I would ever hear from him or see him again. I hoped that he would read the book and I hoped that he would be motivated to follow The Cure. And I hoped that one day I would see him again and he would be healthy and whole. Hope is good. But faith?…Faith is better than hope. Faith is unshakable truth based on experience and observation. I did not have that with James. I had no evidence of his sincerity or ability to take responsibility for an interactive healing process. I tried to have a positive expectation and visualization of his altered path. It was challenging.
I knew that I could not take personal responsibility for his healing nor could I feel accountable for his life or death. After all, I had done a lot more than could be expected of me already. And besides, he did not approach me and ask me to help. He did not display Faith in me or my book or God or anything associated with holistic healing processes. It wasn’t on me now. It was on him. The ball was in his court now. The VW bus was in sight.
I would always remember him as my enigmatic teacher. I would always remember that first impression as he exited the Bus. I hadn’t really looked him in the eye since that first encounter when he displayed the countenance, attitude and personification of a demonic being. We reached the bus.
I pulled off the road and onto the shoulder of Highway 12 near James’ bus. I felt a sigh of relief come out of me knowing that this challenging relationship with James was about to come to closure. I felt joyful anticipation of getting back on track to Denise and Elisabeth at Susan’s house. I felt even a little self-gratification for what I had already done for James and for what I had given to him. I was trying to hide my condescending thoughts from James and myself as I turned to him to say goodbye. And then…I was stunned by what I saw. I was astonished by what I perceived, or was it what I did not perceive that astonished me? I did not see the satanic dude who shot at me just about an hour ago. Something had happened to him, and/or something had happened to me. I did not see anger, or hostility or evil intent. I saw…or perceived, a light in his eyes. I felt warmth from his smile. I saw virtue and I saw grace. I saw a brother. I saw a pilgrim. I saw the paradox of a man who once shot at me for being too close and ever since that shot we became closer and closer and closer still. I was humiliated by what I realized when, at the speed of light, I flashed back through our entire experience and beyond our experience to a vague memory of a conversation I was having with God the instant before the gunshot broke our metaphysical dialogue.
I remembered that while I was unconsciously tailgating James I was consciously conversing with the Voice of God. But after the gunshot I was unconsciously conversing with the James of God. I lost my eagerness to leave James, though I knew that I must. He showed no reservation about leaving me. He was not attached. He and I reached out simultaneously as if the moment to shake hands and say goodbye was preordained in our genetic codes. He opened the door with his other hand and began to exit as we still shook hands. I did not withdraw my hand…He withdrew his. And he got out. And he shut the door. And he crossed the road back to his bus…never looking back. He was a Zen master of detachment in contrast to me.
After a moment of hesitation I made a U-turn and slowly drove away. I kept looking in the rear view mirror as I drove away. I knew that the tow truck was on its way to tow the bus out of its precarious position. And I knew that I had received a great gift. I also knew that I was late so I stepped harder on the gas pedal.
When I arrived at Susan’s, everyone was happy to see me and visa versa. Denise was not at all concerned about my late arrival. She had more time with her sister because of it. I was really eager to talk about what had just happened on my journey but it was not a good moment for Denise and Susan to hear a long story. They were already in a zone of their own and they were not willing to let it go. So I made myself busy cleaning the dog hairs out of Jack’s Datsun. Then Elisabeth and I found a comfortable chair in a sunny spot in the yard to wait discretely for Denise and Susan to create a moment of closure. That moment eventually came and we piled ourselves and the luggage into the Datsun. All in all, about an hour had passed from the time I arrived. I can still remember the bittersweet smile and wave from Susan as we backed out of the driveway. By the time we got up to cruising speed down Highway 12 Denise was eager to know what was going on with Jack and Kenny. I filled her in on the remarkable progress we had made already in modifying his lifestyle and living environment. She was pleased, though not surprised, to learn of the amazing effect the changes had already made in Jack’s health. She was not surprised because she too had seen these causes and effects work in other people’s lives many times before. Once I had satisfied all of her curiosities I was compelled to tell her about my meeting with James. It was a long story and she was all ears. By the time I finished the story she too was concerned about James’ future and not sure how he would make out on his own. She too was uncertain that he would read or understand the information and instructions in the book I had left with him.
By the time I finished telling the story to Denise we were approaching the location where I had met James. About two hours had passed since I had seen the light in his eyes. I fully expected that he and the dog and the bus were long gone and far away by now. But much to my amazement, the bus was still on the side of the road. It had been towed out of the earlier predicament but apparently James had not yet left the scene. I looked in his bus but it was empty. I was perplexed. Denise was eager to move on and not eager to meet the guy who had recently taken a few gunshots at her husband, no matter what I thought I saw in his eyes. After all, what about Elisabeth? I responded to Denise’s prompting to get back in the Datsun and slowly, reluctantly pulled out onto the highway. Looking over my shoulder, I scanned the landscape one last time. The bus, the ditch, the fence, the meadow, a hillside, a cluster of oak trees. It was a scene from the movie “Princess Bride” complete with puffy clouds and a dog.
A dog? And a man…dressed in black sitting on a boulder reading a book? It was James and…I never did get the dog’s name. And it was apparently my book. My heart throbbed. I could not drive. I pulled over for a moment and pointed him out to Denise. The sight of James reading my book helped me to go on to the other mission with confidence that I had not left him in a helpless or hopeless predicament. I have to admit that it would have been presumptuous of me to believe that James was going to read the book and follow ‘The Cure’ and be healed. So I did not believe it. But I did hope for that to happen, with all of my heart. And I did visualize it and have continued to hold that vision in mind and heart even to this day.
Denise, Elisabeth and I returned directly to Sacramento and reunited with Jack, Janette, Kenny and the new garden. It all looked the same as when I left. It seemed like so much time had passed and so much had happened that I was honestly surprised to see that the garden was still…just dirt. I stared in amazement at the rows and mounds of composted soil. I was amused by my derailed sense of time and I realized that nobody else knew exactly what I was smiling about so I kept it a secret.
The next few weeks went by quickly. Jack dedicated himself to fulfilling the training program to the letter. His results reflected his sincerity and determination. It was less than a month from the day we arrived and Jack was free of his symptoms and free from fear…and free from cancer. With the mission accomplished, our little family returned to Idyllwild. Kenny was happy to reunite with his friends and Denise was happy to have seen her sister. And I was quite happy to have been able to help Jack and James. I was grateful for the sharing of our lives and I am especially grateful to James for firing “the shot heard around my world” which awakened me, literally and figuratively to a realization, or two. Along with the awakenings, there were other concerns, mysteries and questions:
a book really save a life?
The book you are about to read contains the same information and instructions as the one that James was reading when we left him sitting on the rock in the middle of the rolling hills and oak groves of Sonoma County, California in 1982. I have added Chapter Zero and a few other anecdotes to make certain points more vivid. After you read the book yourself (following this story) you will certainly understand the reason for my questions and you may also have your own speculation regarding James’ fate.
Cover | Preface