Alpha (the beginning)

The Dark Tower; I am still wondering what that means. I have always thought about the deeper meaning of life, or the nature of reality.  My life journey has had dragons, princes, and princesses, because I couldn’t have made it through without the women in my life. The sojourn has had castles and scorching deserts (did I mention that I live in Phoenix, AZ?) and thick jungles with tangled vines. There have been jesters and fools, kings and queens and paupers, peasants and nobility. I’m still not sure what the dark tower is, but I don’t know if I care anymore.  It’s not that the quest was for naught, it’s just that after the long journey, I’m just about ready to become the wise woman on the hill. I really just want to sit on a mountain and have people come to me and ask “So, Robin, Earth Mother, Woman of the Spiral Hair, what is the meaning of life?” and I will say to them, “Go forth and live your life. Go forth and laugh and sing, cry and feel pain, feel anything, for if you are feeling something then you know you are alive. If your blood runs red when you are cut, you are still alive, and that’s what matters.”

As a little girl, I didn’t really have much religion. There were the Passover dinners at Cousin Rozzie’s when we read the Haggadah (the prayer book) in English and Hebrew, which was always a hoot because you have to read the book backwards, and when it came time for Cousin Rozzie to read, we would have to wake her up.  

There was some belief in a nebulous idea called God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, and although I didn’t really understand these  words, I loved the way they sounded because I love words and they break apart so easily. I didn’t really think much about this, because how many children really ponder these deeper questions. 

Then, I became a teenager, and reality began to blur. I began to analyze the nature of it. Sometimes, I would look at the world around me and I wouldn’t just be looking through invisible airspace to the next object, but the world itself would dance and vibrate in some sort of connectedness. That’s when I sensed that there was something beyond the third dimension that we know of as the physical reality. Of course, indulging in an exploration of alternate perceptions, shall we say, probably helped that imagery. 

I discovered the impressionist artists; I got to see their art in person at the Jeu de Pommes in Paris (art gallery) and Seurat’s pointillism spoke to me. There, in his paintings, was my world, one without glasses, one where the atoms came alive. 

Of course, being the cerebral intellect, I postulated that God was a figment of the human imagination, and took pride at one point in calling myself an atheist and a scientist of life. I argued with everyone who challenged this idea. Every young man on the street corner selling sticks of Teaberry gum, raising money for some church or Buddhist temple or another was a candidate for debate. I studied philosophy in my college classes and took no greater delight than arguing in cyclical roundabouts. 

But something was missing. I’ve never bought the stories of any religions to this day, but there was a depth and mystery to reality that I sensed lay in wait for me to find. I don’t remember which came first, my involvement in Eckankar, (the Science of Soul travel) or reading Shirley McClaine’s books, or recognizing that my experiences of astral projection were real, but these things opened my mind and my sensibilities to greater, deeper, more spiritual realms. 

I have always quested after truth. My essential question (note, the reference to essential questions, as an educator) has always been: What is really going on here?

When I was a child, I used to fly around my neighborhood in my nightgown. Of course, I thought these were dreams, but one night, when I first came to visit Phoenix, I discovered that perhaps that wasn’t the case. 

1974: It was the first intersession in my first year of college. My dad and I drove across the country to Phoenix, AZ where my good friend had moved and we took an apartment for a month.  I lay in bed and quickly fell asleep, but shortly awoke to feel a cool breeze blowing across my body. The full moon peeked inside my window and the curtains blew slightly. After a few minutes, I decided to get up and have a look-see out the window at the moon, but I found that I could not move from my bed. Instead of panic, I was a bit angry because I commanded my body to move but it was not behaving. Suddenly, I realized that my body was lying in bed, but I was hovering outside the window, calling to myself. This was my first conscious experience of astral projection. 

And so began my lifelong quest for truth and meaning.

Liked it? Take a second to support Robin Engel on Patreon!

Leave a comment