Chapter 2, The Reason Why
Vol.1 Issue 1
The Usual Unusual Beginning
This is the introductory issue of Spiriting.... Its purpose is to support and expand the concepts found in Spiriting Around: A Modern Guide to Finding Yourself. I hope that you enjoy it as a part of your life, a point of focus and consideration for you. I’ll try to keep the ideas fresh and relevant by extending their application into your everyday life. So I guess that covers just about everything.
First, a little history. I wrote Spiriting Around over the course of 9 years working mostly on the weekends. The first draft started as a complex outline which I later totally scrapped. But I now had a feeling for the book. Then I started with the six basic chapters and began to write from there—IN LONGHAND. I’ll never do that again but it got things started.
As weird as it sounds I knew as early as grade school that I’d write this book. This is a true story. I was eight years old and on my way to Barnum Woods Elementary School with nothing but third grader thoughts in my head when suddenly I stopped. I looked around and saw the physical world as separate from myself. I looked at the houses and the trees and thought to myself, “What is this stuff?” I had just had my first moment of conscious awareness. And this wasn’t the conscious mind we’re all familiar with. It was the consciousness of my soul.
A lot of what I write about relates to spirit, the soul, and spiritual experience. This is what I know best. I feel completely natural about it. And still I’ve had an ordinary life full of ups and downs with a few extreme ups and downs like we all have. But within this normal life I’ve had a series of momentary spiritual experiences which stood out as clearly unique. These were very unusual. Maybe happening once a year a feeling would come over me where I felt a heightened state of awareness and I was smarter than I expected myself to be. There was a comfortable lightheadedness about it and I came to look forward to them. It felt good and I felt strong but the experiences were fleeting and lasted only five to ten seconds at most. And as soon as the feeling was gone I missed it and I wanted it back, but I couldn’t control it. Years later when I questioned it in my mind I realized that they were little peeks at my spiritual consciousness. But it was enough to push me forward to finding answers which could help me explain what was happening. So my training had begun.
In junior high I was already looking for the basic sources people use to explain life; religious texts, books on ESP, and books about alien visitations. I was fascinated by the TV shows about unexplainable events, spontaneous combustion, and ghosts. And I wasn’t alone. These shows are popular for a very good reason. Many people have these unusual experiences. There’s a lot of information available and it’s amazing that it even exists because for much of it there’s no real evidence. But in its many forms it’s become a part of our common culture. That means it’s happening to everyone. And it’s popular because it has real meaning for us. It holds the potential to help us answer the mystery of our existence.
So what’s it all mean? That’s how I questioned myself. I got a big taste of it when I was 21 years old. And you’re going to have to take this story at face value because it’s very unusual. It happened just one time and it’s never happened since. I was at a party and I had telepathic communications with one of the people there. It scared the hell out of me. This was no five or ten second psychic experience. This went on for hours. I was terrified, extremely curious but very frightened. There’s a lot of security in the privacy of our thoughts and I was very concerned about my youthful confusion being exposed to someone else. I didn’t know what was happening or how to control it. I left the party early and ran home. My world had just changed.
The next day I went to a bookstore looking for anything that could explain what had happened to me. I found Edgar Cayce, the Sleeping Prophet. I read six or seven books about him before I even came up for air. I found out there was a lot going on that I was a part of. My experience while unusual was not that unique. People throughout history have always been looking for the meaning of this strange circumstance we call life. And the weird thing is that we all seem to be visitors here. Life’s not permanent in any way. So where do we come from?
But my youth was hard, burdened by a sibling rivalry that forced me to withdraw into myself for protection. And within that I was still young and struggling to find my direction. So regardless of these amazing experiences I still wasn’t happy. And this was what I thought about all day long, fixing myself and being happy. Because besides feeling the way I did psychically, I mostly felt wounded and confused about how to deal with my daily responsibilities. I won’t go into all the details. I’m sure everyone has a similar story, more or less. That’s what life’s about. Maybe I struggled a little more than others. It wasn’t so much that my problems were worse but, for whatever reasons, I just couldn’t handle them as well. But the good thing is that all together it pointed me in the direction that would serve to write this book. After all if we didn’t accept that these challenges were important to us, why bother being born.
I never spoke about these things and I expect that you haven’t either. That’s why I’m talking about them now. We all have this strange mixture of super abilities beyond what we can easily control joined to the raw realities of life’s demands. You can see it every day in our common experience, whether it’s deciding what to wear or driving down the highway with thousands of strangers. And in this same way we’re joined in Creation as part of the universal experience. Because wherever we are we’re always part of all there is.
Some people’s stories are a little more dramatic than others but they’re all pretty much the same. Life’s a parallel for all of us. And even with all its extremes there are still many ways to have a normal life. But we fear the arbitrary nature of it. We want to control it and point it in the way we choose.
So I studied intensely and stopped only when I started writing Spiriting Around in 1996. You see I had another unusual event in my life. The spirits I’d sought out for guidance wouldn’t talk to me anymore in the channelings I’d been going to. For a while I was totally frustrated. These channelings had been my one certain connection to the explainable truth. There I could ask spirits questions in a normal conversation. Then it all stopped. They let me down gradually though. But then they just wouldn’t talk to me at all. To my surprise I had graduated. I no longer needed the channelings to talk to them. I began communicating with them directly and I still do. It used to be more fun though but I guess sometimes we have to grow up. Now it was my turn to write the books for others.
I like to joke about it like this. It’s kind of like a dream. I envision myself standing at the edge of a tall cliff. All of a sudden I’m pushed over the cliff, falling helplessly. My arms are flailing, my legs are kicking, but there’s nothing I can do. I know that I’m going to hit the ground hard. Then at the very last moment, just inches above the ground, a hand grabs me and I’m gently let down. But before I can catch my breath I’m back on the edge of the cliff looking down again. And again I’m forced over the cliff with the same exact result. And this keeps happening over and over and there’s nothing I can do about it. Then I just get fed up. I decide that I’m not going to take it anymore and halfway down I just relax. And I think to myself—whatever happens happens. It’s in your hands now God. I don’t care anymore. Immediately I find myself placed gently on the ground. But this time I’m looking right into the eyes of God. And God says to me, “Kid, you’re no fun anymore. But I’ve got a job for you. I want you to write a book.”
That’s a little of what lead me to writing Spiriting Around. And because we’re all pretty much the same I guess it’s a bit of your history too. Spiriting Around is an effort to see that all the hard work life asked of me doesn’t go to waste—because it can help someone like you. And in its own way it covers these ideas in a style that should appeal to many of you. Every individual has a slightly different perspective on their spiritual experience. So, all the different books, religious doctrines, and disciplines are important in providing a variety of ways that can help make these ideas understandable to anyone, anywhere, whatever their experience. I hope that my style resonates with some of you. And even if it’s not all new, I think that you’ll find there’s something here for everyone.
© 2005 Martin Tomback