Experience at 1st Speak-up

A bit of background for my first post is in order. 

Who am I, where do I come from – these are typical questions that are supposed to give the recipient of this information a context to interact with. Of course the audience is the determinative factor in the interpretation of information given. Who I’m speaking to is an image that I conjure as I’m speaking,,, or perhaps it is myself as a reference-point that I am conjuring up as a beneficient and compassionate observer. This is in reference to the thought of addressing a public – you – whose context is unknown and unfamiliar, from all around the world. 

My path to Joshua comes through a prolific poster on Facebook named Ashley Aurora, who in turn is someone I noticed in interaction with another friend I interact with whose name is Maytreya (for those in the know, this is a heavily loaded word with religious Hindu connotations). Him I met when I was living in Crestone, CO.

About Crestone: I arrived in Crestone CO by the suggestion of my Aunt Nina in the course of my journey across the country that I was undertaking camping out in my Jimmy GMC 1998 truck making stops in various sites/cities, etc. It was suggested to me because of its being a New-Age type place, which seemed to be in alignment with what I was after exploring. She had been to a Yoga-Teacher-Training event in this town. 

My journey began from Brooklyn, NY. There were questions which answers needed. Going on a road-trip seemed like a necessary, and desperate measure at the same time – there certainly was also the element of excitement and adventure. I did not undertake the journey in a happy-go-lucky type way exactly. What I was seeking were difficult challenges, I would even say soul-wrenching terrain. Seeking to meet people and exposed to cultures/ways of life etc. To come to the edges and gain information/wisdom from interaction. I did not see myself as being very brave or courageous particularly. In many ways I did not feel I did not measure up to many of the folks I was around.  Generally, back before I left Brooklyn there were people there that I was associating myself with who lead me down rabbit-holes where I felt that despite myself I was being impelled to act through negative motivations such as fear/jealosy/anger/greed etc.

Now, finally to a bit of background. I have always felt that I must mention my Jewish Orthodox heritage and upbringing. I have no idea how y’all might take it. I’ve been taught to understand that announcing my Jewish heritage to non-Jews (goyim in my old-parlance) can very much bring about negative triggers in my audience – “them be fightin’ words” type stuff… I’m reminded of a scene in a recent movie I watched called “Synonym” in which an Israeli guy working for the Israeli Embassy in France knowing about the rise of anti-antisemitism there deliberately accosts people in different places, like the bar, the train etc, and tells them in so many words “I’m Jewish, so what you gonna do about it?!”. Daring them in other words do to do something. Truly though, I feel that I was encouraged to have a fightin’ attitude towards non-Jews. So I would say there is a case to be made for shadow manifestations in this regard, although that’s not necessarily the whole story.

There is a lot of complex history that brought it about that my parents who were actually raised in a normal national American context chose to impart to me this identity. I feel that there is something to it that is divinely given, and that it is in the highest for me to embrace in this in some way/shape/form. I have come to view religion as being training wheels. Perhaps I haven’t outgrown Judaism yet, so in that case, I am compelled to continue to ride the tricycle until I am ready to mount the bicycle.

So, in any case, this post is become a lot than just about my introduction to the group isn’t it?! 🙂 My father told me that he saw the beautiful America that he knew growing up falling apart, and that family values were deteriorating – and that it was having to do with this reason that when he was around 18-19 years old he chose to look towards what the community and teachings of Judaism had to offer being that it suggested itself to him the image of valuing and holding family values. The thing that I understand my dad wanted most was to bring forth a loving family who held values that bring forth and the idyllic existence and cultural values that surrounded him at the time of his childhood.

So, for the first year and a half of my life I was in Brooklyn, NY. At this point I magically got transferred to the city of Tzefat, Israel along with my parents and younger sister (magic having something to do with something called an airplane! 😉 ) — I grew up in Tzefat for the next 7 years or so. Very short, but obviously very significant time for me in my life due to my young impressionable age. Tzefat is a place in which it is clear and obvious which there is ancient origin to -across the road from us there was a cemetery in which there were graves of folks who lived thousands of years ago. It was surreal, magical, ancient.

There were fault-lines, yes there were, in the family. It wasn’t all magical. We weren’t integrating well in the community there. My father was getting in some legal tangles. My mom had her issues with integration. Marriage wasn’t on best footing. Foreshadowing ominously what was to come… 

So, I wanted to speak about the topic a bit… I spent the first meeting that I participated in mostly just listening. At the beginning of that first meeting (before the start) – Moses theme, I was enthusiastic and interacted with the participants. When the meeting began I found myself more and more in my head, having thoughts that took precedence in my mind to participating authentically. One such thought was, the meeting is going so well, I wouldn’t want to sabotage it with my (then current) intellectual/skeptical/observational attitude. But there was a process to it in which I became increasingly observational and detached. I was in self-observation, frozen, not wanting to make a move here or there. Some thoughts of inferiority/ — (related to superiority complex) as well came up – seems related to previously mentioned thought. 

Then came this last meeting, which was the first in a new series, called Heart Break Hotel. So, I want to say that I have been a little bit resistant to also for other reasons for being involved with this. This is really something that is psychically/psychologically very different from common sensibilities in a way that some thoughts of potential dangers/pitfalls have occurred to me. Felt myself somewhat in periphery and wanting to have more information and awareness relevant to making more conscious responsible choices in involvement. 

I’m glad I finally asked Joshua by chat to please call on me when the moment felt appropriate. I felt that there was a positive approach towards being welcomed into the conversation. 

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  1. This was excellent brother, I may come back and re-read this periodically as I get to know you further. I am so glad to have you here with us and I am excited to see what happens next in our co-creation!