I DO NOT EXIST. I learned this in the
first grade from Mary Sue Smythe, the prettiest and most popular
girl in the entire universe.
One day, out of the blue, Mary Sue and
her band of merry followers surrounded me in the schoolyard,
pointed their little fingers in my face and chanted, "You're
not here! You're not here! You're not here!" Then they quickly
Mesmerized, I wondered what the heck
was happening but soon found out because from that moment
on, Mary Sue and her circle of trendsetters proceeded to totally
and purposefully ignore me. Everyday at school, I'd hand in
my homework, raise my hand, answer questions, go to the board,
eat lunch with my friends, play in the school yard, and do
all the things that the other kids were doing, and thereby
seemed to be there like everybody else. However, whenever
Mary Sue and her followers appeared on the scene to make a
show of ignoring me, I would actually start to feel like a
non-entity. For the goddess had spoken: In her reality, I
did not exist.
Then one day during recess, while in
the midst of a game of ringolevio being played in ordinary
realitythe St. Mark's schoolyard on East 18th Street
and Avenue Z in Brooklyn, New YorkI was running around
like a madman, dodging enemies and charging toward the "jail"
to free my friends. Suddenly I tripped and fell to the concrete,
tearing my slacks and scraping my knee. A crowd of excited
kids gathered round as I got up, lifted my pants leg and examined
the bloody wound. Ooooos, gasps and eeks filled the air, but
one girl's screeching "Ewwwwwwww!" pierced thru the cacophony.
I looked up in time to see that the screacher was none other
than the goddess herself.
Well I just had to laugh. Mary Sue had
noticed me. I did exist after
alleven in her world!
In contrast to the fabricated
world of make-believe that Mary Sue had created, there actually
do exist other levels of reality. Some of us have been there,
especially as children, but were often told that we were dreaming
or letting our imaginations run away with us. However, any
child who has ever had an invisible friend, talked to a deceased
relative, or seen a ghost, etc., actually may have been in
touch with what may be referred to as the
Mysticthat expanded state of awareness where
we can connect with Spirit,
and experience other realities. For the Mystic has been available
to us from the very beginning, and we as children were much
more capable of having mystical experiences. It's just that
we tend to lose our spiritual capabilities over time, as we
stray from the innocence and openness of childhood. We can,
however, reclaim the true magic of our youth by following
a spiritual path and seeking ultimate reality, and thereby
becoming mystics in the process.
"Why the hell
would you want to bother doing that?" my Brooklyn brethren
from the street corners of yesteryear might ask.
"To care for the soul,"
would be my answer, "and feel... complete."
I'll try to explain
how in the stories that followtrue
to which I hope you can relate, from which I trust you will
benefit, and within which resonates the idea that our ultimate
consciousness is only temporarily housed in the bodies that
we, as souls, inhabit. And so when life finally does leave
our physical bodies, we, as souls, will live on. For at our
own truest nature, we are all spiritual beings having
a human experience. It is the soul, not the body, that is
created in the image and likeness of "God,"
as an indestructible life force existing beyond the bounds
SEEKERS OF ULTIMATE
REALITY may be inspired to walk a mystical path for a variety
of different reasons. This inspiration may come as a result
of being born into a spiritually-minded family, hearing a
charismatic speaker, or reading a special book. Oftentimes,
however, a traumatic event can trigger the incentivebe
it a serious illness, a near-death experience, or the passing
of a loved one.
me it was the tragic death of my infant son and a visit from
his soul some fifteen years later that inspired me to walk
a spiritual path. I first related the facts and circumstances
surrounding this event in Dino's
which begins Chapter Six in Everything
Happens For A Reason, a book by Suzane
renowned psychic medium.
I had become acquainted
with Suzane thru a series of events that began in the fall
of 1996 when Dave, a friend of mine at work, handed me a copy
of Suzane's earlier book, The
I had never heard of Suzane at that time but took the book
from Dave and read the cover. I judged immediately that the
book wasn't for me, and told Dave so, but he insisted that
The Séance was
worth the read, explaining that he "just happened to catch"
Suzane on the radio while he was away on vacation, and thought
she was incredible. In fact, Dave had gone to a lot of trouble
to track down the book, which was then somewhat hard to get,
and pretty much unavailable in bookstores. I appreciated all
that and so accepted Dave's copy of The
Séance, basically so as not to offend him. I
put the book on a shelf in my office, figuring I'd retrieve
it for him someday, dusty and unread.
In late December 1996, Aunt Lenamy
mother's sister and my godmotherpassed away. I drove
in the funeral procession with the extended family to the
Calverton National Cemetery, which for Brooklynites is "way
out on Long Island." Calverton also happens to be where the
body of my two-week old infant son had been buried fifteen
years before. Shut down emotionally, I had never visited Ryan's
grave, but during my aunt's burial services I felt a real
energetic pull to do so.
I resisted the pull that day and for
a few days thereafter. However, I soon started having spontaneous
visions of an entity, someone or some thing,
beckoning me to pay a visit to my son's burial place. The
entity I was "seeing" (in my mind's eye) was some sort of
tiny little being, about the size of a three-year old child,
and I speculated that it was my son beckoning me to his grave.
Simultaneously, for some reason, I also
began envisioning my son on "the other side" with a little
girl his own age, protecting or helping her, and I could not
help but wonder what the hell that was all about as well.
At this point in time, mind you, I was not
into mystical happenings, spirit guides, spirit helpers, what
Suzane calls "DP [dead person] contact," or anything like
that, and so hadn't a clue as to what might be going on within
me or without me. In fact, I began to seriously question my
own sanity. Nevertheless, I resolved to visit my son's gravesite.
Soon thereafter, on a rainy Friday night,
I purchased a gravesite flower arrangement from a florist
in my Bay Ridge neighborhood and drove up to Calverton very
early the next morning. It was almost dawn when I got there.
The fog was dense and eerie, like out of a Stephen King movie.
Nobody else was around.
Over, around, and in between the graves
I walked, following the cemetery markers on the approach to
my son's gravesite, fifteen years of repressed emotion coming
to the fore. As I neared Ryan's marker, the entity that had
beckoned me to the cemetery manifested itself in my mind's
eye as an elf-like adult, and disappeared off to the right,
skipping happily along the wayhis job apparently over.
I realized at that moment that this entity was not my son
at all, but intuitively thought of it as a "spirit guide"
of some sort.
walked over to my son's grave, read the marker epitaph and
started to cry violently, apologizing out loud over and over
for not visiting him sooner. I set the flowers down near the
marker and turned to leave, but felt that "pull" again, this
time coming from the left of my son's grave. I followed the
pull and two markers over discovered the grave of a girl named
"Jennifer" [no surname] who, the marker indicated, had been
born two days before my son was born, and who had died on
the same day of her birth. I somehow knew that Jennifer was
the little girl I had "seen" with my son, and that they were
together, and that he was caring for her.
I tried to leave again but was overpowered
by a need to stay. Distraught, with the tears still pouring
from my eyes, I returned to my son's grave and resumed apologizing
to him for not visiting sooner. Suddenly I "heard" a young
man's voice say "What's the matter, Dad?" and simultaneously
"saw" Ryan appear out of what I can only describe as infinity.
He looked to be regal, a prince of the Cosmos,
and seventeen years oldtwo years older than he would
have been had he survived his two-week ordeal on Earthbut
I knew it was him.
"I'm sorry I never came to visit you,"
"That's alright, Dad," Ryan answered
compassionately. "That's alright. Don't worry."
And with that, I felt true forgiveness.
Totally spaced, I hung around a bit, composed
myself, and left.
Soon I was in my car driving home, and
again seriously questioning my own sanity. The more I analyzed
the events, the more insane I thought I was.
At work the following Monday, I was drawn
to and picked up Dave's copy of The
Séance and started to read it that night. Suddenly
I didn't feel insane anymore. All I was
reading hit home, especially the part where Suzane mentions
that our children who have crossed over, actually grow up
on the other side,
which really struck a chord and confirmed the validity of
my own vision and experience. That's
why he was a teenager when I saw him, I realized.
Soon thereafter I learned that Suzane
would be holding a seminar in nearby Newark, New Jersey. I
went and was intrigued by every aspect of the event: the lecture,
the questions and answers, the guided meditation, the mini-readings,
and of course, by Suzane herself. I later attended a second
Suzane seminar in Manhattan, and another one a few months
after that back in Jersey.
By the third event, I pretty much knew
what to expect and had become very comfortable in that setting.
At the first couple of seminars I actually had feared
that Suzane would read me, but by now I had completely relaxed,
figuring that she never would.
During the mini-readings portion of the
third seminar, Suzane came charging over to the area where
I was seated, and in her direct manner and ultra-fast speech
pattern asked, "Who lost a child over here?" Still figuring
that I would not be read, I didn't answer. Nor did anyone
else. "Come on," Suzane said. "Somebody here lost a child.
This is very strong." Again I didn't answer, and again no
one else claimed the DP coming thru. Trying to leave, Suzane
walked away but quickly came back saying, "He's not gonna
leave me alone...Is it Brian?...It's Brian. Who knows a Brian?"
wasn't my son's name. But no one was claiming Brian, so I
finally answered, "Is it Ryan?"
Suzane snapped her fingers as her face
lit up. "That's it!" she said, and proceeded to tell me that
Ryan wanted me to know (apparently to make me aware of the
sacrifice he had made, I would later discover) that it hurt
him to be born the way he had, but that now he was alright.
Thru Suzane, Ryan added that his sister
with the K name "won't let him go." The K
identification was right on for my older daughter Kristen,
but I was still somewhat skeptical for I no idea whether she
could "not let go" of her brother.
Suzane continued, "He also visits his
sister with the M name,"
and whether the visitation part were true or not, again I
didn't know, but my younger daughter Mallory does indeed have
an M name. Then Suzane stood
right in front of me and asked, "Did he die of cancer?" I
indicated not. Suzane said, "Then why is he showing me this?"
as she tied an imaginary rope around her neck and lifted it
up as if she were being hung.
A strange calm had hold of me. I replied,
"That's because he choked to death on the umbilical chord."
And in that moment I knew,
not just believed, but knew
that there was life after death, and that my son was indeed
okay on the other side.
The remaining grief and guilt I still was harboring vanished
in an instant, and the questions I had about my own sanity
also disappeared, for the most part.
"You have a very strong son," Suzane
told me afterwards at the book-signing session, and I was
just so happy to hear that stated in the present tense, that
I very much wanted to hear it again.
So I asked Suzane, "What?"
She looked me in the eyes knowing I had
heard her the first time, and repeated sternly, "You have
a very strong son."
I thought, Yes,
I do. Have, not
Soon after that magnificent mini-reading,
I became a participant on Suzane's interactive internet message
board, going by the name of Dino. Later I would get to know
Suzane a little better and become her board administrator,
helping to provide a safe haven for discussion and sharing
of experiences among those who believe in communication with
the dead, mediumship, shamanism, spirituality and the like.
Over the years, I've gone to many of Suzane's seminars and
workshops, plus one séance, and the results are always
staggering not only for me, but also for
the people I bring with me, and so many others in attendance.
I've also helped at "the door" for some of Suzane's events,
and even gotten to emcee and work the mikes
I ask myself,
Was it by mere coincidence that Dave just happened to catch
Suzane on the radio, buy The
Séance, andacting a guide of sortsurge
me to read it? And that I in turn would find such a complete
degree of healing from the book and Suzane herself that I
would become very active on her board and in my own circles,
working to help others achieve the same kind of healing from
Suzane and her teachings that I have experienced? Was this
all just mere coincidence? And the answer I get is,
"No. No coincidence," which is in line with what Suzane often
says, "There are no coincidences."
then there emerges this question regarding any seeming coincidenceIf
it wasn't a coincidence, what was it?
In my case, I think that the experiences
described above were all part of a series of mystical experiences
designed in part to present
me with an opportunity to walk a spiritual path. It's not
something my conscious mind would have chosen to do, for I
would trade every single one of my spiritual experiences in
a New York millisecond to have my son survive the fate that
did befall him, and be okay here, in the flesh. But it appears
that the forces of the Universebe it "God," my own oversoul,
my spiritual committee acting in concert with the oversouls
and spiritual committees of everyone involved, and/or whatever
elsehave arranged otherwise, and there is no trade to
I have come to accept that the souls
who incarnate here on Earth and die as children are often
spiritually advanced, and that their brief stays afford those
of us left behind an opportunity to advance spiritually and
achieve soul growth in the processsoul growth being
the main reason we all incarnate on Planet Earth to begin
with. Which is in large part why, after my son had visited
me in the graveyard, and then once again thru Suzane at her
seminar, I felt compelled to journey into the Mystic.
Along the way, two events that had occurred
weeks before my son was born, but which I did not at the time
recognize as anything profound, came to mind.
The first event happened while I was riding
the subway home one evening after work, before Ryan was born.
I was leaning against the back door of a middle car of the
F train, as it pulled into a station under the streets of
Manhattan. On board came a middle-aged White woman cloaked
in black. She seemed to glide onto the train, and stood right
in front of me. Curious, I eyed her witch-like outfit in an
intense search for some article of clothing or accessory that
was not black. There was
As I was glancing towards this mystery
womanwith her blank expression and totally black witch's
outfit that looked to be designed for some sort
of occult funeralshe gently held out her arms, palms
up, as if cradling a baby that was not there. The huge sleeves
on her cloak slid down to her elbows revealing pale white
arms, which were blotched and reddened by an apparent flush
of blood beneath the surface.
At the time, I simply thought, Huh!
That's weird, even for the subway. But following my
son's after-death visits, I came to see in retrospect that
this woman's appearance was an omen. I would wonder later
whether I could have saved my son from his death had I understood
the omen when it appeared.
I would wonder also if I had missed an
even-clearer second warning that came one night soon before
Ryan was born. I had just parked my big old Chevy Caprice
on Ryder Street off Ocean Parkway, when I felt an energetic
force move my head and direct my attention to the bicycle
lock and chain that I had rigged thru the Chevy's hood and
bumper (to prevent the battery from being stolen, again).
The power forcing my eyes' attention onto the chain was so
strong that I actually yelled out loud, "What?
What is it?" while thinking, What are you trying to show me?
I had no idea with whom or what I was trying to communicate.
There was no reply.
In retrospect, it seems that the message
was coming from my son's soul, who was directing my attention
to the oddly positioned chain as a way to let me know that
the umbilical chord was (or would be) similarly misplaced.
I could not help but feel later that he had been trying to
get me to realize what was going on, so that I could help
him... save him. But, I did not realize this at the time,
and ended up kicking myself for years over this failure.
Those with whom I've shared this story
say with honesty and compassion that there was no way I could
have understood the symbolism except in
retrospect. But for the longest time I could not help but
feel that my son had reached out to me from the interlife,
and that I had failed him.
These two failures to recognize signs
that might have helped me save my son from a traumatic death
would belatedly prompt me to delve further into the Mystic.
It took years on this journey for me to realize, with maybe
a 95 percent degree of certainty, that my inability to see
those signs and save my son was understandable, given the
circumstances. Even though there still is that 5 percent doubt,
I have come to forgive myself for this possible error.
I have moved on, living life as happily as I can, feeling
quite strongly that learning to re-experience joy is one of
the things we all need to do, following the loss of a loved