Green Eggs and Ham(let)
The Search for Me Between the Pages
I am a visual, tactile person. I love holding a book. Smelling the paper and the leather. But reading one has to really grip me to hold me.
I can’t say that I’ve actually read Green Eggs & Ham. I was four, and more fascinated by Dr. Seuss’ images and how to curley cue myself into their fantastical world than reading them. I had a crush on Seuss.
Fast forward to eleven years old, when our class was introduced to Shakespeare and I was lost in a sea of turbulent language that no compass could help me navigate. Everyone seemed to grok the Bard but me. I couldn’t even follow the cliff notes … yet I sensed the immensity of this great writer’s mind as we studied Hamlet and I studied Hamlitt (as in Emmanuel, the erudite student seated in front of me all semester). Emmanuel Hamlitt smelled of Britain and his father’s aftershave. He wore little business suits to school and was very small and wiry. But his brain was wired for very big — which had nothing to do with the merciless teasing about his name he politely ignored.
When we finally had our Hamlet exam, he passed as if he’d written the play himself. What a confounding alien, he. I wished I could befriend him or just have an hour to probe his mind. But alas, I never had the nerve because I felt so inferior. He was brilliant. And that was as close as I’d ever come to comprehending either of the Hams … and prompting my early departure from the likes of Shakespeare who didn’t seem to like me one hoot.
After that frustrating period I veered towards simpler works; The Encyclopedia Brittanica. There were no motives or character twists to decipher. No monologues or sonnets. Just snippets. Info that was as short as my attention span and allowed me to wean myself off of books entirely for many years thereafter, except under duress. Yep, I was an oddball.
Another fast forward 24 years on, after a long hiatus with papyrus and a looney tunes love affair that was now driving me to despair. My dad had given me a holy grail when I was much too young to appreciate it — and he was enthusiastically espousing it. A Course In Miracles is not typical reading for a 12 year old. Open any page with its multilayered psycho-spiritual passages of hidden wisdom and you realise how intellectually demanding (yet invigorating) this incredible read is.
In fact it’s not at all a read. It’s a release. It’s an unlearning; of every little notion ingrained in us from the moment we enter this fear-based planet until departure. It was given to me with love, and the hope I’d one day open to a loving way of perceiving All That Is. Now … at this particular crossroads in my life when the post-millennial fury cast its mighty gaze upon the world and that of my personal world, this complex wellspring of truth became bedrock for further ongoing inquiry into what makes Mankind (and me) tick.
Personally, there’s nothing more absorbing than learning about Consciousness and the nature of Existence to help me put Me in perspective. But at this delicate juncture in my life I craved a more immediate, accessible read.
Enter The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle’s timeless tome about the simplest concept of time there is. The Present Moment.
This distilled version of A Course In Miracles comforted me through a sprawling decade of unhinging from my troubled relationship amidst the devastation of a paranoid post-9/11 world … along with other notable reads like David Richo’s How To Be An Adult In Relationships (and a parting “gift” to my partner, Romance: the Way to a Man’s Soul). As I spiralled deep into a personal wormhole other great words from Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart restored equilibrium like a salve directly upon the wounded soul.
This spawned further inquiry into all manner of Conscious Awakening … and the inestimable works of Gregg Braden—who cracks open the fragile eggshell of Life and expressively exposes us to our rebirth (or as I refer to his cinematic impact on me, The Gr’egg and I).
Gregg has rearranged my very DNA. His mind-bending reads like The Divine Matrix redefine the very notion of who we are as humans within a larger, publicly unaddressed schematic. Thus further unfolded my love affair with the healing arts, metaphysical experiences, and what lay beyond-behind- betwixt.
There were other notables along my winding footpath like Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces and many compelling works by modern day Conscious Evolution forefather Professor Ervin Laszlo, through whom I encountered another mind-bending read which has now permanently pivoted me about the very notion of Life Itself.
Esteemed neurosurgeon Eben Alexander’s astonishing experience of another realm of existence during his Meningitis-induced coma is the stuff of magic.
Yet this magic inexplicably resonates with reality that utterly stymied a respected medical community and made The Map of Heaven a life affirming page-turner about the ultimate unexplored journey of life-after-life. Its nearly implausible premise led me to explore other internationally credible findings relating to altered states, NDAs and the whole mysterious spectrum of parallel universes and metaphysical phenomena that have impacted me profoundly … and lo and behold, those I personally know.
The subject is still taboo and has yet to be integrated into popular Western culture but that’s changing. As I cautiously broach worldwide others I discover how many “normal” people discreetly admit to having had “extraordinary” experiences which lay heaped in their attic full of other useless quirks and discards.
Humanity’s potential to penetrate that thin veil which blankets our incomplete notion about Existence is a frontier like no other. It puts what we call “Reality” into a huge and healthy reality check. It deeply broadens perspective, bends possibility, and opens further inquiry into the backstage of Life — a mystical terrain we spend too little time understanding compared to the klieg lights of ego-driven fascinations and machinations. That is one humdinger worth sync-ing about.
So there I am … somewhere within the vastness of those Green Eggs and that Ham. Where are you :-)?