The Messenger's Quest by mrgalacticone

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									The Messenger’s Quest

   Stuart N. Taba




                        1
         Table of Contents
             Prologue


Chapter 1: The Unfortunate Incident



    Chapter 2: Youthful Trials



     Chapter 3: Alden’s Role



      Chapter 4: The Soldier



      Chapter 5: Georgetown



        Chapter 6: Rehab



       Chapter 7: Leviathan



      Chapter 8: Manoa Gym



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    Chapter 9: Kekela Release



Chapter 10: A Theory of Everything



     Chapter 11: The Rescue



  Chapter 12: The Steam-Cleaner



Chapter 13: The Self-Hostage Crisis



    Chapter 14: Existentialism



Chapter 15: Cosmic Consciousness



       Chapter 16: The Play



     Chapter 17: The Message

             Epilogue

                                      3
                               Prologue

      This is the story of one man’s quest for enlightenment -- a

story of mistakes made and redeemed, a story of the eventual

attainment of cosmic consciousness. This “cosmic consciousness”

is the worldview that enfolds each and every facet of life: the

physical, the spiritual, the mental, the imaginary, the rational, all

elements of the human experience.

      When one realizes cosmic consciousness, one has come to

understand -- and actualize – one’s apprehension of the true

kosmos of the animate, all aspects rich in life, in soul, in

immortality, all aspects nurtured by the divine power of love.

All the kosmos is incremental – each part essential to the whole.

Because of this interconnectivity, each of our choices has a

consequence, either direct or indirect.

      Our one man comes eventually to this realization of

enlightenment, and his quest achieves good karma – positive

resultant cause / effect – for all about him. ^L^



                                                                        4
                Chapter 1: The Unfortunate Incident

But such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it
wants, is the liberty of appearing. The sun needs no inscription to
                   distinguish him from darkness.
                                                          Thomas Paine

     Now then, let us start from scratch; not needing a head start,

we begin at the starting line scratched in the ground of this one

man’s life – his unfortunate incident at Holy Mission Baptist

Church during the summer prior to his junior year of high school in

1976. He – Kirk – had just joined the church, along with his

younger brother Alden, and they were volunteering their service to

the church as summer-fun childcare assistants.

     They had heard about the church through the Southern

Baptist recruiting drive with the theme “I found it!” The church

fulfilled a need for moral direction in the young boys’ lives, and

their experience there would shape their future years, for better and

for worse. Our one man Kirk was born in November 1960, making

him a Scorpio Rat, while Alden was born in January 1962, a

Capricorn Ox. Unknowingly enacting the pattern predicted by the


                                                                       5
Chinese horoscope, Kirk’s scheming, intense Scorpio Rat was well

complemented by his brother’s stolid, forbearing Capricorn Ox.

     Their relationship is well illustrated by Chinese parable.

When the Buddha was preparing to depart the world, he

summoned all the animals to a farewell party. Realizing that the

Rat was most capable of all, the Buddha entrusted him with the

mission to spread the word to as many animals as possible. The

Rooster was also given this assignment, but worked the daylight

hours crowing, while the Rat worked the night, as was his

preference. Lacking the Rat’s scheming foresight, the Rooster got

so tied up crowing all day that he ended up being the tenth animal

to arrive, followed only by the Dog and Boar.

     Being the resourceful pragmatist, our Rat realized he would

be able to spread the good news to more animals if he caught a ride

on one of the others. Figuring the Horse was the swiftest beast, the

Rat asked for a ride. The volatile stallion refused, however,

angered by the cunning manipulation of the ambitious Rat, who



                                                                     6
was forever resentful of the proud, independent Horse’s self-

centered rejection. These two animals would forever be at odds.

The Horse trotted confidently to a sixth-place arrival, followed by

the sincere but sensitive Sheep, charming but self-absorbed

Monkey, handsome yet eccentric Rooster, loyal and obedient but

judgmental Dog, and reliable but somewhat self-indulgent Boar.

     Turning to his natural instincts, the Rat soon found a ride

with the sturdy, amiable Ox, who was the first to arrive at the

appointed hour, followed by the daring but unpredictable Tiger,

soft-spoken, gracious but sometimes moody Rabbit, fiery,

egocentric Dragon, and deep-thinking, enigmatic Snake. The Lord

Buddha was about to reward the dutiful Ox for being the first to

arrive by naming it as the first symbol of the lunar cycle when the

Rat nimbly leapt from the Ox’s shoulder and claimed that

privilege. The kind-hearted Ox did not contest the Rat’s

opportunism because he knew that the rodent had worked so very

hard to spread the good news. Thus, the Rat got first place in the

cycle and a free ride on the way.

                                                                      7
     But the matter of this award goes deeper, because the

ascending Lord Buddha had foreseen the opportunistic Rat’s

victory and took certain steps to assure the Rat’s success. Below

the surface, all the animals but he knew of the plot which would

cause the Rat’s victory in the “contest.” Not even the Horse

resented the Rat’s fortunate destiny because all the animals knew

that the sincere but crafty rodent was most fit to be the first sign of

the cosmological cycle.

     The departing Buddha was not trying to be deceptive,

because he knew that – in time – the Rat would be able to figure

out the Grand Plot for himself, alone – thereby achieving

greatness. So the clever, acquisitive Rat would get first-place in the

cosmological cycle and be given the challenge of comprehending

the reason for his good fortune on that blessed day of the Buddha’s

departure from the mortal world.

     Our one man Kirk personified the sincere, clever Rat on the

human stage, given by God the honor of achieving enlightenment,

and the grand test of finding out his own very reason for being. His

                                                                      8
kind-hearted younger brother Alden would help him along the way

of his spiritual journey, but would never cross over the boundary

marking the limits of Kirk’s natural solitary-reasoning ability. Nor

would any other person, leaving the spiritual growth of our one

man to be shaped by a near-constant stream of hints and clues each

and every day of the week for decades. This God-given challenge

was near maddening for our one man, but he would certainly

measure up.

At the root of human responsibility is the concept of perfection, the
urge to achieve it, the intelligence to find a path toward it, and the
will to follow that path if not to the end at least the distance needed
                 to rise above individual limitations.
                                                      Aung San Suu Kyi

     Myanmar social activist Suu Kyi’s concept of perfection at

the root of human responsibility was the moral direction our two

young boys instinctively sought to achieve at Holy Mission. Kirk

and Alden would both find a path to this enlightenment, but the

routes they traveled were of stark contrast, stemming from the

unfortunate events that transpired this day. On this sunny day in

August 1976, the morning air was unusually brisk at Holy Mission

                                                                       9
Baptist Church. At ten o’clock, our brothers led their group of

twelve elementary school children to the church cafeteria for their

morning snack.

     As the children received their goodies, Kirk had the poor

judgment to clown around with the kids by enacting a bit from the

popular comic television series Welcome Back, Kotter, which

starred comedian Gabriel Kaplan as a former truant who returns to

teach English at his high school alma mater, with John Travolta

playing his first big role: truant student Vinnie Barbarino, the

leader of his group of friends The Sweathogs.

     Barbarino, the macho personality who was the prototype

transformed by Travolta into greaser Danny Zucco in the later film

Grease, has a constant display of bluff machismo. Imitating him,

Kirk carelessly shoved a whole Hostess cupcake into his mouth

with bluff bravado. This did not go unnoticed. Having literally

bitten off more than he could chew, Kirk regretted his joke but

figured it no big deal. He was wrong. At any rate, the group

returned to the classroom after the snack break and our student

                                                                   10
leaders Kirk and Alden participated with the adult supervisors in

leading the kids in some feel-good educational games.

      After this, the kids were given free-play break time. A young

Caucasian girl –relatively big at 11 years of age – playfully jumped

onto Kirk’s back and cried out, “Giddyup, horsey!” Poor Kirk felt

a little uneasy – this was a big girl – but figured it was best to give

the kid an exciting ride. He began bucking up and down within the

church – and the young girl was having a very fun time – for a

while. She fell off of Kirk’s back and bumped her forehead on the

floor. His heart sank as her squeals of joy became the tears of a

stunned, hurt child. Alden, who was nearby, tried his best to

placate the situation, but the damage unfortunately had been done.

      Several weeks later, the summer childcare session came to a

close, and the program volunteers had a final meeting with the

church project director. The student helpers sat on the floor while

the adults sat on the chairs. The head of the program, a gentle,

serene Holy Mission administrator, asked the group to discuss the

program. In a heartbeat, one of the adult supervisors – a severe-

                                                                      11
looking Caucasian woman of about 50 or so years of age -- lashed

out at our Kirk without addressing him directly or even making eye

contact with him. 

     One of the student helpers, she said, had been a terrible

influence on the kids. “Do you know what he did?” she asked. “He

stuffed a whole cupcake into his face and ate it! And he never

brings snacks for the kids! Not even once!” Kirk’s self-regard was

shattered by this woman’s cruel, insensitive words. As he stared at

the floor speechless, Alden patted his shoulder compassionately –

without words telling Kirk to keep his chin up. The 15-year-old

Kirk chuckled, shrugged, and felt his throat well up, the precursor

to tears. He did not cry – not now, anyway.

     The mean-spirited woman was not finished yet, however. She

bitterly recounted the horsey-ride incident as our Kirk looked to

the ground in shame. He reflected on how it all had come to this.

Things had started out so well at Holy Mission. As high school

members of the church, he and his brother had excelled at the

church sports, softball and basketball. Many of their Roosevelt

                                                                    12
high school friends had followed them to the church, boys and girls

who otherwise would not have done so.

     Yet now, Kirk had come to a major turning point in his life.

He could raise his chin, thrust out his chest, and march onwards in

his newly discovered spiritual life, or he could quietly quit the

church, sadly casting off the shame and anger the mean woman

had elicited. He chose the latter; this would turn out to be one of

the most significant choices in his life, but at the time he could not

see this. He only knew the anger and shame he felt so strongly. He

had not asked the young girl to hop on his back; he had not been

asked to chip in and bring snacks for the kids. He had the money

because of his part time janitor job at a nearby Honolulu

department store: it’s just that nobody told him he was expected to

bring snacks! I mean, he thought to himself, I’m volunteering 4

hours every fucking weekday during the summer to serve the

church! And what do I get? This shit! Fuck them! Fuck them all!

     And where the fuck is God, he wondered. Kirk could not see

the big, big picture at his then intermediate level of consciousness.

                                                                      13
He was unable to see that the theistic, personal God he later

perceived had a grand design in mind as He subjected Kirk to this

youthful trial. Kirk wondered whether this God even knew he

existed – much less cared about him. Although Kirk had not at the

time the education to so articulate, he pictured God deistically, that

is, Kirk envisioned a Clockmaker God who created and wound up

the universe, then impassively lets it function on its own. Alden

and the hidden players understood the bigger picture, and for the

next several decades would attempt to gently guide Kirk to realize

his life’s purpose.

        Testing purifies the gold by boiling the scum away.

                                                Jalal Udo Dinn Rumi




                                                                    14
                     Chapter 2: Youthful Trials

      By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn.

                                                       Latin Proverb

     When school started again in September 1976 at Roosevelt

High School, Kirk was a junior and Alden a sophomore Rough

Rider. Kirk no longer went to Holy Mission Baptist Church;

though he had told his mother that he had “just got tired of it,” she

knew better – through a mother’s intuition -- reinforced by Alden’s

knowledge. Kirk’s expectation of a grand year at Roosevelt had

been dashed by the sour Holy Mission experience.

     He had been elected Class Representative before summer

vacation for the Roosevelt Student Council, but after the bad

experience at Holy Mission Kirk resigned abashedly. His best laid

plans for a stellar high school experience had been torn apart. He

quit Christian Fellowship; he began smoking cigarettes and

drinking beer. (Back in those days, tobacco and alcohol were

routinely sold to minors.) Kirk just wanted to forget about

everything and walk on anonymously. But something intuitive

                                                                     15
within our fallen hero told Kirk that he was being targeted for

something special.

     It was then that our one man began to find special meaning in

the songs he heard on the radio. One of his favorites was Simon

and Garfunkle’s I Am A Rock, because it expressed his toppled

emotions:

                          A winter’s day
                  In a deep and dark December
                            I am alone
                     Gazing from my window
                       To the streets below
             On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow

                             I am a rock
                           I am an island

                             I build walls
                     A fortress steep and mighty
                       That none may penetrate
                     I have no need of friendship
                        Friendship causes pain
                Its laughter and it’s loving I disdain

                                 …

                         Don’t talk of love
                  Well I’ve heard the word before
                   It’s sleeping in my memory
                   I won’t disturb the slumber

                                                                  16
                       Of feelings that have died
               If I never loved I never would have cried

                                   …

             I have my books and my poetry to protect me
                      I am shielded in my armor
                          Hiding in my room
                         Safe within my womb
          I TOUCH NO ONE AND NO ONE TOUCHES ME

                              I am a rock
                            I am an island
                        And a rock feels no pain
                       And an island never cries.

        It was during Kirk’s junior year that he started to work on

Round Up, the school yearbook. He had actually applied, and was

chosen, in his sophomore year (before the Holy Mission incident).

Following the incident, Kirk dropped all his plans for an

accomplished high school experience – instead, our young man

took up heavy drinking for recreation. Round Up’s faculty advisor

was English teacher Yvette Kawashima – “Mrs. K.” As the school

year started, she got all the staff brainstorming on a theme for the

year.



                                                                       17
     During one small group session, Kirk’s good Platonic

(because she was kinda chubby) friend suggested the theme “No

man is an island.” When he asked what that meant, she and Mrs.

K. pointed out the song lyrics of the Simon and Garfunkle hit,

which had been big a few years earlier. Since it wasn’t played on

the radio much at the time, Kirk had bought a cassette deck for the

car his father bought his brother and him, playing their greatest hits

album over and over.

                      And a rock feels no pain
                      And an island never cries

     Kirk was uncomfortable: “Do they know? Do they know of

the pain I felt? If that’s the case, why do they even care? I’m just a

nobody, right?” Kirk expressed his negative opinion of the

man/island theme, pointing out that the song had been pre-disco,

ergo passé. But inside, our one man was in denial of ever having

been hurt deeply. The man/island theme was nixed; eventually, the

theme of local Native Hawaiian musicians Cecilio and Kapono’s

song We Are Friends was instead selected.


                                                                    18
 Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide
  upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.

                                               Ralph Waldo Emerson

     As for resigning from the Student Council, Kirk figured that

he had done no great wrong. By resigning his post, he had simply

necessitated his classmates to pick a replacement – something

easily done by promoting the next highest vote getter, our at-the-

time conspicuous young man figured. Okay, admitted Kirk, it was

kinda irresponsible to resign from a political post you had just been

elected to, but there’s a bigger picture at play here.

     Had I not been stripped bare at Holy Mission last summer, I

would not have felt so awkward performing my Student Council

duties of interacting with students of individual classrooms,

reasoned Kirk. Fact is, the matter was of no big deal to almost all

students. It was to one of Kirk’s former Student Council

colleagues, however, and that former colleague – 10th grade

councilman Denzil Lee – kinda bad mouthed our hero every

chance he got. When a couple of his friends told Kirk that, he


                                                                      19
laughed it off because they all had to agree that Denzil Lee was

such a joke. (A skinny, wimpy nerd, he had campaigned the

previous semester with the slogan “Vote for me, I’m Denzil Lee!”

Kirk had no special animosity for Denzil because, as he admitted

to others, his younger critic was right.)

     Anyways, the bigger picture showcased the topple from high

spiritual ideals that Kirk had taken a month earlier. When the bad

incident occurred, the first big turning point in our one man’s life

was recorded. He chose to turn from the faith. Shortly thereafter,

he saw past the perception of student government achievement as

an absolute measure of a young person’s personal ability and

worthiness. He figured that the student government duty he had

turned from was of far lesser significance than his turning from the

Christian faith. Fuck ‘em all, he thought. Many years later, he was

to see how absolutism and relativism applied to his spiritual life

would be of unusual significance to it all.

          Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour

                                                                 Ovid

                                                                       20
     With church and student government out of the way, Kirk

once again took up baseball. He loved playing baseball; our one

man had been a stand out catcher with a good arm during his

playing days. He had skipped his first year of 15 to 16 year old

Colt League play, however, because he was spending so much time

at church.

     Having turned from Christianity, Kirk turned out for the

Manoa Colt League team in the spring of 1977. He was kinda

unaware that it had not been unnoticed that he had skipped playing

the year before. As such, he was only a bit taken aback when 2

lesser catchers were chosen for the first and second teams before

he was placed on the Manoa Colts third team. Being humbled by

their low placement, the C level Manoa Rainbows demonstrated

spunk by reveling in their nickname – the Bozos.

     The “Bozos” had some pluck, holding their own against

some stronger competition. In July, midway through the season,

they played the team from Hawaii Kai. The Bozos won the game;

                                                                    21
in it, our hero proved he has a pair between his thighs. He had

heard that one member of the Hawaii Kai team was a real flake

who dissed the Manoa A and B teams, so Kirk decided to

challenge the hot dog, a small local Asian surfer type. During his

first at bat, the target grounded a single to right field, and Kirk

trailed behind him up the first baseline (to cover any throw to

first).

          As the ball rolled to the rightfielder, Kirk noticed the target

taking a wide turn at first, so he sneaked behind to set up an assist

and put out from the rightfielder at first base. But the throw was

weak, so our catcher kinda smothered the throw and pinned down

the target runner diving back to the base at the same time.

          “Hey!” exclaimed the first base coach, Hawaii Kai’s star

pitcher/shortstop Jason Cray. He grabbed Kirk by the shoulder and

pulled him from the target he had pinned down. Immediately, one

of the umpires stepped between the players, and coach Natabe –

the best coach Kirk ever had – eased Cray’s ire through calm



                                                                            22
reason. Kirk – the instigator -- slightly shook his head and

chuckled as he ran back to home plate.

     “Yeah, okay, catcher – keep smiling, wise-guy – keep

laughing, keep laughing!” yelled a Hawaii Kai mother who was

cagey to Kirk’s game. The next batter smacked the next pitch for a

double to left, and there was a play at the plate – the targeted

Hawaii Kai player scoring from first, but after the play Kirk heard

cries that he had not stepped on home plate. So the veteran catcher

followed the runner back to the on deck circle and tagged him

emphatically. The home plate umpire ruled the Hawaii Kai runner

safe, confirming that he had stepped on home.

     “Hey, catcher! What you trying?” yelled Cray, pushing our

hero back.

     “Just playing the game. Just playing the game,” muttered the

catcher as he got back behind the plate – although he was well

aware whom he had targeted. As the game progressed, Kirk was in

the zone – throwing out 3 trying to steal and picking off a runner at

third in the late innings. The Bozos won the game, and our one

                                                                   23
man later heard that the Hawaii Kai coach emphatically said “Their

catcher won the game for them.”

     After the game, the teams shook hands with each other. Kirk

had impressed the opponents with the defensive game of his life. In

fact, the Hawaii Kai standout Jason Cray congratulated him when

they shook hands with thumbs upward. When he met the cocky

Hawaii Kai infielder, Kirk extended his hand but bent his thumb

downwards so his target could not shake it. The pair traded glares

and parted, Kirk kinda chuckling while the cocky infielder simply

muttered “Oh wow!”

     Silently watching the game had been the Holy Mission girl,

seeing her hero at his best.

                 To see a world in a grain of sand
                  And a heaven in a wild flower
                Hold infinity in the palm of the hand
                      And eternity in an hour
                                                        William Blake

The little Holy Mission girl – then 12 years old – saw the best of

all young men in her idol. Having seen “a heaven in a wild

flower,” she had seen all eternity in an hour of baseball. When the

                                                                     24
game was over, she called out, “Good game, catcher! Remember

me?” Kirk could not immediately place her face, but then

regretfully did so and asked, “Are you okay now?” She nodded and

smiled provocatively. The pregnant moment passed, and they

parted ways.

     But that was not the last Kirk was to see of the young admirer

-- she was a stalker in 1977, before the term had really developed

into the American English vocabulary. The young man had quit his

janitorial job at Discount Mart on Kaheka Street and had become a

rather surly one-man-crew at Sharon’s take out counter at

University Avenue and Metcalf Street, across the street from the

U.H. Manoa campus.

     One afternoon the Holy Mission girl approached the counter

with an older female friend who was kinda cute (big 16 year old

tits with no bra). The 12 year old admirer lasciviously offered the

16 year old virgin Kirk ANYTHING he wanted in exchange for a

couple of burritos for which they lacked money. Little did our one

young man expect such a dilemma to pop up. He – wanting to get

                                                                      25
laid as he approached the age of 16 – weighed his options

instantaneously.

     On the one hand, the older chick would be a very nice cherry

popper. But on the other, hell, the Holy Mission girl is only like 12

years old! C’mon, thought Kirk, I may not be of especially upright

morality, but I would never be a child rapist. Moreover, what if the

owner walks in? Hell, thought Kirk, this is one of the porno mag

fantasy letters that readers only imagine. This was another turning

point in our young hero’s life. He decided to just give the girls the

food with no strings attached. The Holy Mission girl was just too

young to mess with, figured Kirk, who got a very well deserved

reward – the knowledge that he had done the right thing.

It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we
                          are accountable.
                                                            Moliere

     Thus, Kirk passed the test of a major turning point in his

young life. Our young hero was molding into a virtuous young

man. Did he mold himself or was he himself molded by God?

Both. Individuals engage with the higher power in their actions: it

                                                                    26
is all One. We all have a free will to choose virtuous action above

the baser ways of the self.

    A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world to his
                              fellows.
                                                       Muhammad

So, as certain classmates bragged and boasted of their supposed

sexual conquests in fantastic places to him, Kirk was gaining the

true wealth of a virtuous man.




                                                                    27
                      Chapter Three: Alden’s Role

 Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are
         performed not by strength but by perseverance.

                                                     Samuel Johnson

     As for Alden’s high school development after his brother’s

Holy Mission experience, the younger brother more than fulfilled

his potential as a youthful scholar. Alden was not quite of Kirk’s

intelligence, but far surpassed his brother in study, the application

of perseverance to scholastic achievement. Unlike Kirk, Alden

continued to attend Holy Mission, being among the Key Players in

The Plan to enlighten his brother.

     Being a dedicated Ox, the scholarly Alden aimed from the

start to guide the Scorpio Rat Kirk back to the moral direction that

the 2 of them had found at Holy Mission. It took decades for The

Plan to attain fruition, but The Players – unbeknownst to Kirk –

were fully conscious that they were doing their part in the

formation of a new human society, and thus were prepared for the

work of a lifetime.


                                                                     28
Society is a kind of organism whose component parts or units are
most intimately related to one another in every conceivable way. If
any one part of it suffers damage in some form, the other parts are
    sure to share it sooner or later and in one way or another.

                                                          D.T. Suzuki

     Alden had an intuitive feel for the conceptualization of

human society being a unified organism that is an integral part of a

larger whole. He would major in philosophy at U.H., which he

entered in August 1979. He would wonder, ponder, and realize the

integral nature of what he would eventually learn to be the ancient

Greek term Kosmos. Kosmos is the Patterned Whole of all that

exists, composed of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual

domains. Modern English has reduced this to the merely physical

cosmos, that which is perceived by scientific materialism, as in the

study of physical matter.

     The lifeless matter of the cosmos is dwarfed by comparison

to the Living Totality of matter, body, imagination, soul, and spirit.

Alden instinctively perceived of this Kosmos when he was

baptized at Holy Mission with his older brother, and as time went


                                                                     29
by, he came to realize his mission of guiding Kirk to grasp this big

picture. He sought to pursue his highest enlightenment after the

occurrence of the Holy Mission incident. His brother was unable to

even speak about it because to do so would be to reveal inner

softness, but Alden completely understood this and felt

compassion for Kirk’s anger and shame.

     To extend compassion means to choose to step beyond the

boundary of one’s self and share Oneness with the suffering

person.

        Is there any one maxim which ought to be acted upon
throughout one’s life? Surely the maxim of loving kindness is such.

                                                        Confucius
And loving kindness flows fully from the enlightened person,

bringing forth additional loving kindness from the afflicted

recipient – and from on-looking third parties. The point is, don’t

delay:

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before
                 starting to improve the world.
                                                     Anne Frank



                                                                     30
      Alden knew that it was meant to be that his brother had fallen

from the moral direction of Holy Mission church, but intuitively

realized – understood and actualized – the bigger picture. Alden

knew that – given the purpose of The Plan – Kirk was meant to rise

after his life-changing fall, and pursue his highest enlightenment.

His enlightenment would open a floodgate releasing a benign

torrent of loving kindness and compassion that would resound

exponentially. Intuitively, Alden committed to a bodhisattva vow:

      Satisfaction lies in the effort, not the attainment. Full effort is
                              full victory.
                                                      Mahatma Gandhi

      You see, for the bodhisattva – an enlightened one who

foregoes nirvana to reincarnate and enlighten others – enlightened

life is not the destination, it is the journey. By fully exerting one’s

virtuous effort, one by definition is fully victorious – because one

has attained full virtue by exerting full virtue.

From this moment until I obtain the highest enlightenment, I shall
not permit ill-will or anger, avarice or envy to occupy my mind.

                                                                   Atisa


                                                                       31
                     Chapter Four: The Soldier

       Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

                                                                  Plato

      On July 4, 1980, Kirk headed for basic training into the

United States Army Reserve. He had enlisted into the military at

the beginning of the year, taking a break from his studies at the

University of Hawaii, where he was majoring in Economics and

English. Kirk sought to emulate his uncle Clarence and other such

Nisei [second generation] Japanese American men, who created

the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was the most decorated

unit of its size (larger than a battalion and smaller than a division)

in U. S. history.

      His father James was unable to serve – though he wanted to

dearly – because he was the man of his household, with 7 sisters

and a mother to take care of (since his father had died young

because of the tough plantation labor of his family). When Kirk

came to fully understand this, over the years, he felt a great

compassion for his father. Dad’s first duty was to his family;

                                                                     32
because of commitment to his most loved ones, he had to deny

himself all the pomp and excitement most of his friends were to

experience.

     The Army Reserve was the perfect outlet for our young man,

because after basic training, he only served 1 weekend a month and

2 weeks per summer. The Reserves and National Guard went

through basic and advanced individual training with the Regular

Army recruits, but didn’t commit to full-time service. They could

be activated during national emergency, so they are a very real

component of the military.

      Some run swiftly; some creep painfully; all who keep on will
                          reach the goal.

                                                     Piyadassi Thera

     Kirk had the worst hangover in his young life because he had

passed out at his party the night before. Since their parents were on

a trip, the boys were responsible for the party. Alden kept this

under control, for the most part, but Kirk drank whatever was

placed in front of him without any arm-twisting. He had to report


                                                                    33
to Fort DeRussey at 0700 hours (7 am) for the departure briefing,

and Alden somehow was able to transport him there. At 1100

hours (11 am) there was a big ceremony for the Hawaii recruits

going to training, in particular the All Hawaii Platoon, which was

made up of recruits joining the 100th Battalion 442nd Army

Reserve. Somehow, Kirk was able to go through the ceremony

without barfing on one chick of the Cherry Blossom beauty contest

court.

 When sitting, sit; when standing, stand. Above all, don’t wobble.

                                                           Zen Saying

     After arriving at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, all the Hawaii

recruits “in-processed” (were fitted and supplied with uniforms and

gear), then were sent to a variety of basic training stations,

depending on M.O.S. (Military Occupational Specialty). The All

Hawaii Platoon recruits were all infantry, so they were sent to Fort

Benning, Georgia. It all was a tremendous learning experience for

Kirk, as he could feel himself being tested daily, as a soldier and as

a man.

                                                                     34
     Our Kirk had been motivated to join mainly by the fame of

the 442 Nisei, among whose soldiers was 1st Sergeant Clarence

Tenki, Kirk’s uncle. He had received a Silver Star medal in one of

the bloodiest battles the unit faced, and he had always kinda been

the man of his family. Being the same age, he and James always

got along. They were both born in 1922, a year of the Dog. Thus,

they both were honest, straight shooting, loyal and obedient. They

had a passion for fair play and justice; though unafraid of

dogfights, they always sought a clearheaded meeting of the minds.

     Clarence’s baby sister was Nancy, the youngest of the 7

Tenki girls. Born in April 1929, Nancy was an Aries Snake. As a

Snake, she was an innate deep-thinker who relied on her own

judgment and instinct. A female Snake is much the femme fatale,

her icy yet exotic beauty captivating all about her. Hers was not a

beauty of physical perfection, but of steely-eyed command

presence.

     Used to making up her own mind, Nancy’s Snake personality

never fussed about women’s rights. As life went by – with

                                                                      35
American women achieving greatness in a vast array of fields –-

she confirmed her own dismissal of the Equal Rights Amendment.

(Way back in the 1970’s, she correctly understood that the

amendment was unnecessary – what matters is the social/judicial

interpretation of the American Constitution.) Her Aries’ Ram

achieved what her Eastern Horoscope Snake deeply planned,

making her Aries Snake combination powerful indeed.

     Returning now to Kirk, E-1 recruit, basic training was the

longest 12-week period of his then young life. It’s like everybody –

even civilians – looks down on the recruit, thought Kirk, and

everybody is testing me. From Day 1, the infantry recruits

measured the strength of themselves amid the other men. Some

were bullies, some were respectful; some were friendly, and some

were not. Many had chips on their shoulders. Kirk could see that

each recruit had to draw a line that others could not breach. Not

being a violent man, he didn’t want to fight anyone, but certainly

did not want to be thought a sissy.



                                                                     36
     Early in training, a Baltimore recruit started to play-fight

with him but Kirk knew such “play” fighting often degenerated

into real fights. Thus, he merely smiled and backed away. As

things turned out, the Baltimore recruit became buddies with

another Hawaii recruit – a half Japanese/half Native Hawaiian Rat

from the Big Island of the Hawaiian chain. He would often play

fight with the Baltimore Caucasian and jest about his “haole”

comrade.

     Kirk never got such a buddy, but – sure enough – one of their

play fights got out of hand. The Hawaii recruit kinda got poked in

the eye, and he never forgave his former buddy. When asked by

the Baltimore recruit what happened to his friendship, Kirk just

shrugged and told him that he had done no wrong, so don’t worry

about it. Kirk figured it was sad, but the Hawaii recruit was about

to return home, so he had no use for his haole friend. Bad form,

bad form.

 The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace,
               making the best of circumstances.
                                                    Joseph Addison

                                                                      37
     As for himself, Kirk kinda was tested by circumstances when

he was cleaning the floor of the barracks one morning. A high

school recruit from Michigan – Woodkirk -- making use of split-

training (6 weeks of basic during summer of the recruit’s junior

year, then 6 weeks after high school graduation), thinking our hero

was messing with his locker, kicked Kirk hard on the ass – with his

boots on.

     That was a turning point for our young man. Would the rest

of the platoon think poorly of him if he did not fight the smaller

Woodkirk? He straightened up and sternly told the kid that he was

just picking up rubbish by his bunk. The high school kid voiced

some “chip on the shoulder” reply to mark his territory. Kirk came

up face to face with the fellow recruit, then calmly walked away.

Nothing happens to anyone which he is not fitted by nature to bear

                                                    Marcus Aurelius


     As things turned out, the other recruits did not think the

lesser of Kirk, and right before Woodkirk’s split was coming up,


                                                                     38
our young man came to the assistance of the high school recruit

when he needed help. The kid was about to collapse after an

intense effort of an obstacle course race, and our hero rushed to

him and lent a shoulder to brace his fellow recruit, who did not

object to assistance extended. Thus, no hard feeling either way.

Kirk figured that was the proper action for a soldier to take – that

which is compassionate.

 Whatever we have done in our lives makes us what we are when
     we die. And everything, absolutely everything, counts.
                                                Sogyal Rinpoche

     This quotation brings up an issue that Kirk would encounter

2 decades plus later, when his readings brought him to The

Butterfly Effect. This is the philosophical principle that the flapping

of a single butterfly’s wings in a Brazilian rainforest causes a

devastating windstorm in Texas. He would wonder if his assistance

to the breathless colleague was noticed by anyone. Perhaps it led to

good karma – karma being cause/effect fortune in life. Our hero

would later realize – understand and actualize – that morally good



                                                                       39
action always brings forth good karma, and morally bad action

always brings forth bad karma.

     Kirk had formed a conception of the soldier’s soldier from

readings he had done at U.H., including Hemingway’s The Sun

Also Rises and James Jones’ From Here To Eternity. Hemingway’s

“code hero” is a man’s man; drinking heavily, he is a man of

action, not words (thus, the code hero rejects codes). He rejects

thought of life after death – death is nada, nothingness. Thus, he

revels in the courage he displays when he faces danger. He has

grace under pressure.

     Kirk intermeshed his “code hero” conception with the idea of

the “common man” he picked up in Jones’ novel, which celebrates

the honor of the common infantry soldier at Schofield Barracks in

Wahiawa. Our young man wanted dearly to be a common man

soldier. He had looked into the Marine Corps Reserve, but decided

against joining because the Marines could not guarantee him an

infantry M.O.S. (He figured his college exposure might encourage

some officer to make him a lame clerk/typist.)

                                                                     40
     Jones’ ideal soldier is 1st Sergeant Milton Warden, played by

Bert Lancaster in the titular movie. He is a heavy drinker who is

unafraid to fight off duty, but does his enlisted infantry leader job

with manly grace and fortitude. He is an intense lover who lives

life to the fullest, like the Hemingway Man. Warden has a risqué

affair with his company commander’s wife Karen Holmes, played

by Debra Kerr. Yes, Lancaster and Kerr are the couple making out

on the beach under the moonlight. Given the choice of going to

Officer Candidate School while marrying his lover in the end -- or

breaking up with her and remaining a common man’s leader at the

outbreak of World War II at Pearl Harbor – Hemingway Man

Warner of course picks the latter.

   To have his path made clear to him is the aspiration of every
    human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.

                                                       Joseph Conrad




                                                                        41
                     Chapter Five: Georgetown

   Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds

                                                         George Eliot

     Three years later, in September 1983, Kirk ended up in

Washington, D.C., a first year law student at Georgetown

University. He had gone there for the wrong reasons. When he had

sent in his $100 tuition deposit, he foolishly believed that the

measly deposit was a significant financial commitment. In his

defense, I must point out that because he never attended a private

school, he never had to think much about the price of an education.

Kirk could have – and should have – gone to the University of

Hawaii law school, but he was unable to realize that was the right

choice.

     He was unable to make this realization – understanding and

actualization – because he making the wise choice was simply not

meant to be. His fairly haphazard choice of going to Georgetown

was mainly his way of running away from himself. You see, he

was one of those unfortunate people who drink way too much

                                                                     42
caffeinated coffee and therefore perspire very excessively. He

thought that maybe a change of environment would help, but of

course it did not.

  All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the
                      point is to discover them.

                                                    Galileo Galilei

      Kirk was totally out of place at Georgetown, and he didn’t

understand that he could simply drop out and enter U.H. law the

following year. Having been at the top of his undergraduate

studies, he was unable to cope with what in his mind were

disastrous. He thought that if he dropped out of Georgetown,

professionals would in some way blackball him from a successful

career.

When a particular perception, perverted or not, occurs frequently,
it grows stronger and grips our mind. Then it becomes difficult to
                    get rid of that perception.

                                                   Piyadassi Thera




                                                                    43
     He pondered what to do while walking along the Potomac

River. He had rented a condo apartment in nearby Roslyn, VA, but

he was in way over his head.

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of
                             the world.

                                                Arthur Schopenhauer

Making matters much worse, he believed, was the fact that the

homely daughter of his father’s work supervisor was in all his

classes and demanded that he not hang out with any haole chick.

     Kirk was in such apprehension that he did not notice that a

certain young Caucasian woman was apparent around him about

town. He had noticed her in one of the hallways at his condo

apartment, and was hoping to meet her (at her young age, she was

kinda easy on the eye). Unfortunately, Kirk was too gullible and

naive to realize that the long-haired blond had her eyes on him.

Thus she with stealth turned up in his sight from time to time.

     The word got around to the Hawaii students that Kirk was

uncertain about Georgetown, and so they invited him to dinner at


                                                                     44
their apartment. They made spaghetti and so Kirk took along a

gallon jug of cheap red wine. It was August 31, Wednesday, and

he was hoping that they would drink with him after their first day

at Georgetown. However, they were properly focused on study.

The homely daughter was quiet and undemanding throughout

dinner, so Kirk thought she may have changed for the better. But

when Kirk figured he had nobody to drink with, he tried to leave.

The homely daughter grabbed him by the collar as he exited the

living room.

     She insisted: “We have to stick together, OK? We’re the only

ones from Hawaii, right? Don’t you dare hang around the haoles,

OK?”

     Kirk looked to her roommates for some help, but they were

unresponsive. “Well, we’ll see” he offered. But the homely

daughter was desperate:

     “No, tell me yes or no, right now!”




                                                                     45
He struggled out of her grasp and departed, pointing out that he

had to beat the rain. No exaggeration – he almost had to run away

from the desperate, homely daughter.

     When he had escaped, Kirk realized that he had no cash for

the metro. By the most regrettable fate, the attractive Caucasian

woman had planned to ride the same metro with Kirk. They could

have met, gotten to know each other, and then magic could have

happened. But that was not meant to be.

     Thus began the longest walk of his life, on Wilson Boulevard

in Arlington, Virginia the night of August 31, 1983, leading our

bright young man from Clarendon to Roslyn, Virginia, where his

apartment in the River House condo was located. He despised

being the “troubled” student who was unsure what path to take.

Several days earlier, he noticed that the windows in his 10th floor

apartment could be opened from within to a slight ledge. Upon

learning this, he resolved that he would jump to his death if things

didn’t clear up; this – sad to say – brought him solace.



                                                                      46
     It was 7:30 p.m. when he left the other Hawaii students’

apartment – it would take about ½ an hour to get back to his

Roslyn apartment. During this time, he decided that he had

enough: No more. He grieved that all he had done to get here had

come to this failure. I’m a “Capital L Loser”, he concluded. Death

is either oneness with God or nothingness, nada. Either is

preferable to the crap I face. “Oneness with God” will be having a

certainty of all that is, was, and ever shall be – which is desirable;

nada is Hemingway’s nothingness —which is better that this shit.

     When he arrived at the River House, he went to use the

payphone in the lobby because this was long before cell phones,

and his apartment had not yet had an individual phone installed in

it. He called home to let everyone know everything was

straightened out, and that he would give Georgetown a try; this

was completely untrue, of course. In fact, he believed those were to

be his final moments of life. Our young man planned to wait for all

the other apartments’ lights to go out because he wanted no one to



                                                                     47
witness his final act. He opened the jug o’ wine and began his

apparently final drinking session alone.

      Kirk had no bitterness against anyone – not even the homely

daughter -- for he could see that she was filled with anxiety over

the scholastic challenge and wanted someone familiar to rely on.

While he could see her reason for being so forward, he did not see

that he didn’t have to accede to her companionship. (His father’s

supervisor was not at all any antagonistic to his father – Kirk’s

anxiety was simply his distorted perception.) Also, he simply did

not know that his problem perspiration resulted from excessive

caffeinated coffee consumption, nothing genetic. He didn’t need to

run away from himself; all he needed to do was to lay off the

caffeinated coffee. Oh well, he would later say to himself, se la vi!

[That’s life.]

         The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to
                      unlearn what is untrue.
                                                          Antisthenes

         The spirit and the body carry different loads and require
 different attentions. Too often we put saddlebags on Jesus and let
             the donkey run loose. Jalal Ud-Din Rumi

                                                                     48
     As Kirk imbibed the cheap red wine, the first long night of

his then young life took shape. He dismissed the thought of a

heaven or hell afterlife; there will surely be either oneness with

God or nada: both are better than this, he thought. Little did our

young man know that he would flesh out his consideration of this

question philosophically many years later, in the context of the

absolutism/relativism dialectic (interplay), which yields the

existentialist philosophy.

        The breeze of divine grace [undeserved forgiveness] is
blowing upon us all. But we need to set the sail to feel this breeze.

                                                        Ramakrishna

     At 9:00 PM, Kirk surveyed the windows of The River House;

seeing many of the lights on, the Hemingway man continued to

drink. When the time comes, he said to himself, I will climb out

that window and jump off the ledge. I will become One with God,

or cease to exist entirely. He was wrong, however, in thinking that

his apartment was 10 stories high – because of the split-leveled

design of the building, he would have fallen only 6 stories. (He


                                                                     49
would have landed on what would be the 4th floor, given the

architecture of the condo.)

      As the long night went on, Kirk would finish the gallon of

cheap red wine; doing so, he came to “the free will question,”

which is, if God is omnipotent, how can man exercise free choice?

Our young man reasoned that God was a clockmaker who winds

up his automaton creation and allows it to perform on its own. This

God created my life story to work out on its own, thought Kirk; He

knew I would suffer bad circumstances, but He is too busy to care.

The most part of the rest of this book seeks to convince the reader

that Kirk was very wrong at this turning point of his life; God

knew our one young man was suffering, but realized – actualized –

the strong free will Kirk possessed to bring forth righteousness in

this our world.

       There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be
now, t’is not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not
             now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.

                                        William Shakespeare, Hamlet



                                                                       50
     As the clock approached the midnight hour, Kirk had

finished two-thirds of the bottle and was feeling quite drowsy. He

therefore brewed a fresh pot of coffee, lest he fall asleep during his

suicide attempt. Oh yeah, he thought, these are my final moments

on earth, right? This being the case, what can I say: Time to jack

off! [To any reader who feels morally offended, I say this: No

harm, no foul.] He did so while looking at the chick in Club

magazine whom he had met a year earlier at U.H.: the nice set of

tits on the Caucasian/Asian wahine was to be those of his final

fantasy lover.

     As he periodically scouted the lights of the other apartments,

he could see some were still on until close to 3 AM, at which time

our hero put into action what he thought would be his final act of

life. Kirk took his “final” chug of wine, then climbed out the

window onto the small ledge. As he readied himself for suicide, he

heard the woman’s sympathetic and concerned voice: “Wish you

would step back from the ledge, my friend! Everything’s okay,



                                                                     51
you’ve nothing to be ashamed of! If you don’t ever want to see me

again, I will understand!”

     Without responding, our drunken, suicidal hero rushed out of

his apartment, heading for the elevator to take him to the rooftop of

River House in Arlington, Virginia. As things turned out – through

fortune or destiny – the elevator was out of service because the

condominium was renovating. Kirk was desperate; he must not be

prevented from his final act. Unfortunately, he was too drunk to

realize that the woman trying to save his life had her heart set on

him. She was there when he had visited Georgetown with his

father before the summer began, she was there when he walked

alone along the Potomac, and she was here when he had had

enough of life and sought to withdraw.

     Kirk entered the fire exit and stumbled up 12 flights of stairs

until the building top, which made for a fall of 18 stories when our

hero desperately attempted suicide. The young woman had a

terribly trying choice when Kirk disappeared from her sight. Was

he still in his apartment readying to jump? Or had he gone

                                                                      52
elsewhere? What to do, what to do? “My friend,” she called out.

“Are you still there?” After several minutes passed, she rushed to

his apartment, 1040 (she was 3 doors down, at 1036). Finding the

door opened, she rushed inside the departed efficiency apartment,

then deduced that her unknown friend had gone up the fire escape

to jump to his death.

      Fearing the worst, she flew up the stairs to the building’s

roof, then rushed to the edge and saw Kirk 18 stories down,

sprawled lifeless in the condo parking lot. She contacted River

House security, who summoned an ambulance. He did not die: it

was not his time. Our bright young man was taken to a nearby

hospital with a head injury and 2 fractured feet (plantar fascia).

His parents came to him as soon as possible, and Kirk underwent

rehabilitation at Arlington Hospital, where he was an in-patient for

1 month. He was quite dazed during his stay, but markedly

regained his consciousness when he and his parents returned home

by air (his memory returned when they were in a taxi to the

airport).

                                                                     53
                          Chapter 6: Rehab

Deliverance depends on ourselves. There is no chance that others
  will deliver us, just as no one can stop the dream of a person
                               asleep.

                                                           Longchenpa

      Kirk underwent another 5 months of intense rehabilitation at

Rehab Hospital of the Pacific in Nuuanu valley, and in January

returned to U.H. to test his thinking ability after his brain injury.

He luckily – or more by design – was able to take a class taught by

his favorite English literature professor, Dr. Ted Simmons, English

442 Early Seventeenth Century English literature.

      At U.H., handicapped students can be assisted by an

organization on campus called Kokua, which means

help/assistance in Hawaiian. Kokua was headed by a visually-

impaired woman with a Masters degree in Education, Amy Ige.

During his transition from Rehab Hospital to the university, Kirk

was required to make weekly visits to Kokua to get feedback and a

sense of direction. He was impressed by Amy, who promised to

stand by him, and would be willing to do everything but pity him.

                                                                        54
      When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often
we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which
                      has been opened for us.

                                                        Helen Keller

     This quotation from Helen Keller applies very well to our

one young man, who was so obsessed with the idea of becoming

an attorney that he refused to consider any alternative to law

school as soon as possible. At this time, spring 1984, the U.H. law

school had just completed a brand new campus building, and Kirk

was amazed at how wrong he was to have chosen Georgetown law

the previous semester. Shoulda, coulda, woulda, he sighed. I just

GOTTA get into U.H. law as soon as possible.

     As school started, Kirk began Honolulu City Department of

Parks and Recreation swimming lessons because he wanted the

exercise (and had never been a good swimmer). He soon began

swimming on his own at the 50 meter Manoa Pool and lost a lot of

weight. Kirk had never been really fat, but after losing 20 pounds

he was exceptionally trim.


                                                                     55
     Soon after Kirk’s return, he started listening to a new FM

Walkman all day. He began to realize the power of music to guide

the human quest. When he thought deeply about it, our young man

could visualize the scores of people involved in bringing the New

Wave music to his attention: the musicians performing, the

songwriters and lyricists, the makers of the paper used by these

songwriters and lyricists, the makers of the ink used by them, and

so on and on.

     Kirk fully understood the infinitude of possibilities in mortal

life, and the infinitude of cause/effect consequentiality inherent in

mortality. Decades later, he would learn of “The Butterfly Effect,”

whereby the flapping of a single butterfly’s wings in a Brazilian

rainforest causes a deadly windstorm in Texas. In like manner,

Kirk comprehended the integral nature of the music on his FM

Walkman. Deep! From early on, our one young man realized the

interconnectedness of all human endeavors.

         Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.

                                                                 Ovid

                                                                     56
     At Manoa Pool, Kirk noticed regularly a rather bizarre attired

Caucasian male of 30 or so years who did not swim, but used the

shower facility at the pool to bathe daily. He wore Egyptian-type

robes and headgear and lived in the woods of the valley. Kirk, who

felt uncomfortable around this apparently creepy fellow, came to

meet and befriend this eccentric man some 16 years later, when the

winds of destiny so ordained.

     In April of 1984, Kirk began hanging out with a group of

guys who would light up a hibachi and party at the adjoined Manoa

Gym after they were finished playing basketball and he had

finished evening swimming on Friday nights. They were not close

friends of Kirk, but he so wanted to be one of the stony crowd. The

group would party on one of the outdoor stairways next to the

entrance/exit of the pool, which would be the stage of the second

turning point of the young man’s life.

     Early Seventeenth-Century English lit was going along quite

well for Kirk because Dr. Simmons is one of the best teachers he

had ever learned from. The masters of verse and prose of the time

                                                                    57
period include John Donne, Ben Jonson, Andrew Marvell, and

Thomas Hobbes. On Friday, April 6, Dr. Simmons approved

Kirk’s required thesis request for the term paper, due on May 11th.

     Kirk had chosen to survey the dialectic between Donne – the

private metaphysician – and Jonson – the public moralist –

yielding the period’s public metaphysician – Andrew Marvell. Our

bright young man planned to do this by asserting that the lyric

poetry of the young Marvell and his later political satire

complement each other, given that each was written by the same

author – with the same central mind’s eye. Kirk was very confident

of his writing ability, and eagerly awaited developing this essay.

     Everything in our one young man’s life was proceeding well,

as he recovered from the injuries of his own suicide attempt. He

had connected with a marijuana go-between who scored him some

potent shit. On Friday, April 13th, Doctor Simmons complimented

him in class for his on-point remarks concerning the poetry of

Richard Crashaw. He had pointed out that the poet’s emotion

overruled his intellect, to his writing’s decline. The editors of the

                                                                        58
textbook, Kirk said to the class, assert in the writer’s introduction

that while most of Crashaw’s great poetry is devotional, unlike the

verse of Donne and Herbert,

           it seldom reflects the intellectual problems of
     devotional life, the conflicts of doubt and faith, or an
     apparently personal awareness of sin and grace. Rather it
     seeks to focus the senses, the imagination, and the emotions
     on the wondrous splendor of the acts of God and on the
     enraptured contemplation with which man can and should
     respond.
                                                              (p. 392)

Kirk more than ever felt connected with his life and everyone in it!

I am soon to be revealed to the whole world, he exulted, feeling

like he was just about to erupt with a creative force within.




                                                                        59
                       Chapter 7: Leviathan

     I do not say that the attainment of full insight comes straight
  away; it comes through a gradual training, a gradual doing, a
                    gradual course of practice.
                                        The Majjhima Nikaya Sutta

     Kirk had turned in his Leviathan essay on May 2nd, and

remembered that as class ended, he and Simmons seemed to be

waiting for the other to say something, but neither did. Kirk sensed

that something big was happening in his life, and that others could

sense this too. He had written a 5 page essay analyzing Thomas

Hobbes’ Leviathan, a prose work calling for the human enactment

of a civil society whereby all individuals would be fully

functioning increments of a greater whole.

     The editors of the text Seventeenth-Century Verse and Prose,

Volume One: 1600-1660 – from which Kirk encountered Hobbes -

- provided cogent introductory commentary preceding each

author’s pieces.

           It was during a second continental tour (1629-31) that
           his discovery of Euclid [Greek mathematician called
           “the father of geometry”] and the Euclidean method
           turned his thoughts in the direction of an analogous

                                                                  60
           philosophical system, in which human knowledge
           would be ordered in terms of inescapable conclusions
           arrived at demonstratively.

This mention of “inescapable conclusions arrived at

demonstratively,” caught Kirk’s eye as he sensed that all elements

of his life were falling into incremental place inescapably.

     As specific prelude to Leviathan, the editors describe the

writer’s general theme:

           Hobbes’ basic concept is that civil society is not
           “natural,” but artificial. It originates, to be sure, in
           man’s natural emotions and in his will, but is carried
           into being by human artifice.

This turn of phrase caught Kirk’s attention because of his

consideration of the “artificial” and “natural” aspects of the human

experience, following his suicide attempt.

           NATURE (the Art whereby God hath made and
           governes the world) is by the Art of man, as in many
           other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an
           Artificial Animal.

     Our one bright young man was nearly overwhelmed by

author Hobbes analogical comparison rationalizing his assertion

that “all automata” [human beings] have an artificial life:

                                                                      61
           For what is the Heart, but a Spring, and the Nerves, but
           so many Strings, and the Joynts, but so many wheeles,
           giving motion to the whole Body, such as was intended
           by the Artificer?

Hobbes extends his metaphorical passage, describing the “artificial

animal” created by humanity as that great Leviathan (civil society):

           In which, the Soveraignty is an Artificiall Soul, as
           giving life and motion to the whole body; The
           Magistrates, and other Officers of Judicature and
           Execution, artificial Joynts; Reward and Punishment
           (by which fastened to the seate of the Soveraignty,
           every joynt and member is moved to performe his duty)
           are the Nerves, that do the same in the Body Naturall;
           The Wealth and Riches of all the particular members,
           are the Strength; Salus Populi (the people’s safety) its
           Businesse; Counsellors, by whom all things needfull for
           it to know, are suggested unto it, are the Memory;
           Equity and Lawes, an artificiall Reason and Will;
           Concord, Health; Sedition, Sicknesse; and Civil war,
           Death.

Kirk was rendered breathless by this metaphorical extension,

decades before he learned of the Buddhist concept of self-

similarity, whereby each entity resembles itself in each of its own

constituent particles.

     This is it, Kirk exulted. I’ve reached the light at the end of the

tunnel! This is the reason for all my failures and defeats! This is

                                                                      62
the message I am to spread to the unenlightened world of 1984!

Kirk read further:

           The Pacts and Covenants, by which the parts of this
           Body Politique were at first made, set together, and
           united, resemble that Fiat, or the Let us make man,
           pronounced by God in the Creation.

 He extended Hobbes’ analogy of Commonwealth England’s

founding “Pacts and Covenants” to that “Fiat, or the Let us make

man, pronounced by God in the Creation” to include the American

Declaration of Independence proclaimed by our founding fathers.

This is it; our nation – led by me, is to bring forth a united world of

peace and prosperity! This is it; this is my quest!

     But as he wrote his essay, Kirk came upon the “freewill

question”: if humanity are automata driven to action like machines,

what about the power of choice? Kirk had been abstractly

considering the issue ever since his suicide attempt, but it was not

until reading the following passage that he had the framework to

address the freewill issue. The editors of the text summarize




                                                                     63
Chapter 6, in which Hobbes analyzes man’s ability to “actuate the

will”[sic]:

              Man is a creature of desires and aversions; love is
              desire, hate is aversion; good is anything we desire, evil
              anything for which we feel aversion; and it is felicity at
              which we perpetually aim – perpetually “because life
              itself is but motion, and can never be without desire,
              nor without fear, no more than without sense.”

      Using this framework, Kirk reasoned that a person never

desires what they feel aversion for, nor feels aversion for that

which they desire. He would later feel that this equation yields a

self-driven determinism, which is an oxymoronic [self

contradictory] label that can best describe a process otherwise

beyond the human intellect.

      In Chapter 8, “Of the Naturall Condition of Mankind, as

Concerning Their Felicity and Misery,” Hobbes points out that all

persons are equal:

              For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength
              enough to kill the strongest, either by secret
              machination or by confederacy with others, that are in
              the same danger with himselfe.

Moreover:

                                                                      64
           I find yet a greater equality amongst men than that of
           strength. For Prudence, is but Experience; which equall
           time, equally bestowes on all men, in those things they
           equally apply themselves unto.

     Consulting a dictionary for the term prudence, our young

man was further enlightened after skimming past the first two

definitions without interest. The third definition burst into Kirk’s

consciousness like a laser; “regard for one’s own interests.” Using

this definition, Kirk read that regard for one’s own interests

[prudence] is but experience, which equal time, equally bestows on

all men, in those things they equally apply themselves unto – that

is, the egoistic doctrine that all human action is based on self

interest. Reasoned the cynical young man, even altruism is based

on the giver receiving a good feeling in return. Our world will be a

better place when such “altruistic egoism” multiplies in

occurrence. However, that is not the case, thought the cynical Kirk:

           And therefore if any two men desire the same thing,
           which neverthelesse they cannot both enjoy, they
           become enemies; and in the way to their End, (which is
           principally their owne conservation, and sometimes


                                                                       65
           their delectation only,) endeavour to destroy, or subdue
           one an other.

     This leads to continual warring in the world; and remember,

the Cold War was still being waged in 1984. Our young man

concluded his essay with a Hobbesian warning of a post-nuclear

world:

           In such condition, there is no place for Industry;
           because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently
           no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the
           commodities that may be imported by Sea; no
           commodious building; no instruments of moving, and
           removing such things as require much force; no
           Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of
           Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is
           worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent
           death. And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty,
           brutish, and short.

     Kirk concluded here with the editorial summary of Hobbes’s

conclusion of part one:

           Thus it is that men, through fear of war, which is fear of
           death, will to bring into existence an artificiall society,
           a single sovereign authority and power, by means of
           which they may be delivered from the intolerable
           conditions in nature.




                                                                    66
Noting the “dire proximity” of humanity’s return to “the

intolerable conditions in nature” during the Cold War era of 1984,

Kirk cryptically hinted the coming of a world savior, but refrained

from doing so outright. Kirk was keenly aware of his actions and

the actions of others and realized that many sensed his arrival.

     The final meeting of Dr. Simmons’ class was May 11th,

1984, and the early morning Monday/Wednesday/Friday class held

a party. Kirk forgot to bring the cookies he was supposed to bring,

but Dr. Simmons encouraged him to stay. He did, and felt the

harmony, the unity, of all groups of individuals when he celebrated

the learning he had accomplished. Kirk was so aware of his

environment, but he was unsure whether Dr. Simmons would

present his work – namely, his 3rd class paper covering Thomas

Hobbes’ Leviathan, and his term paper on Andrew Marvell -- to

the class or not. When he did not, Kirk figured that since he was to

be the Undercover Messiah, he should not be alarmed.

       Bodhi [enlightenment] is to be looked for within your own
 mind. You seek in vain for a solution to the mystery in the outside
                      world. Matsuo Basho

                                                                   67
     After the party ended and everyone else had left, Dr.

Simmons invited Kirk to his office in Kuykendall Hall. Here the

plan was beginning to surface. You see, it had been known that

Kirk was to have a special destiny since his birth on November 12,

1960 because on that day his was the only birth. On average, there

are approximately 490,000 births each day; since he was the only

birth, he was guided and scrutinized carefully from that beginning.

          The greater the light, the stronger will be the shadow.

                                                  Anna Cora Mowatt

     On this day, May 11, 1984, Dr. Simmons was fully aware of

the caliber of our young man, and left it to him to direct the

conversation. When they had seated, Kirk gave his mentor a

typewritten – remember, this is before Word – list of his first

pronouncements to the world:

     PRIME MAXIM

     Not to be released prior to June 1, 1984.
     May all your actions be such, as to do nothing too much.

     COROLLARY DIRECTIVES


                                                                    68
     1. Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll is cool, but too much Sex,
        Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll is uncool.
     2. The only crime is rape.

     CELESTIAL SCOREBOARD

     Free Will: 1. Determinism, i.e., Automaton, i.e., Robot: 0.

     Kirk had added the stipulation that his pronouncements not

be released prior to June 1 because he was wary of the actions to

be taken by his schizophrenic frat brother who was jealous that

Kirk got into Georgetown law and he a law school of lesser

renown. Reasoning that just as circumstances had shot so high for

himself they must have shot so low for his adversary, Kirk

believed the jealous frat brother would surely snap at our hero’s

zenith. He would for the rest of his life remember the shame his

schizophrenic frat brother caused him at a party when he grabbed

Kirk by the collar, saying “Heard you got into Georgetown…”

then released our hero, sneering, “you’re lucky you’re a sweaty

guy!” Because things were happening so fast, Kirk had not the

time to think past his own mere hunches and conjectures. He



                                                                    69
figured that as he succeeded in life, so must his schizophrenic frat

brother be failing, leading to the jerk’s own suicide.

     Kirk was a little self-conscious of the corny, naïve nature of

his pronouncements, but he acted as he was called to do by the

spirit within. Oh, everything’s going so good! I’ve lost my spare

tire by swimming at the pool; stopped sweating like a horse; I got

accepted at U.H. law school, along with Alden, for the 1984

entering class; my world’s opening up for me; hell, I’m the

Undercover Messiah! Kirk could not realize that he was known to

be the Only Child of November 12, 1960, with his path guided by

oracles and agents from the very beginning. He knew his special

destiny in broad strokes, but could not imagine the labyrinthine

nature of this path. Kirk, who intended to demand money from

people who struck him as doing something wrong, asked his

mentor to accompany him to Rehab Hospital to collect from the

head psychologist (who had rubbed the injured young man the

wrong way). Dr. Simmons said he couldn’t because he had a class

to lead, suggesting instead that they go to Kokua’s Amy Ige.

                                                                      70
     They walked the short distance between Kuykendall and the

Kokua portable, Kirk mindful of his own faltering gait. Now more

than ever our youth was naïve to the tricks and traps of the huge

conspiracy. He saw things more as black and white – absolute,

rather than relative. Kirk was not meant to be presented to the

world as Savior in June 1984 – or ever – but to realize his destiny

over the course of his lifetime.

     Upon meeting with Amy Ige, Dr. Simmons announced that

Kirk had written a very special essay. Kirk told the director of

Kokua that the paper “answered the free will question,” and

heralded the arrival of the “Undercover Messiah.” The counselor,

being vision impaired asked Kirk to read it to her, and he did.

     “Oh Joy! Oh, Rapture!” she surreptitiously exclaimed.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” the woman gushed. She

carried on as such for several minutes – and our gullible young

hero ate it all up. Remember, only 9 months earlier Kirk was

driven to a suicide attempt, but now he believed he was on the

verge of an undercover proclamation of divinity. His creative

                                                                      71
juices were bubbling over in anticipation of complete fulfillment.

Yes, in the sense of sensory fulfillment, but also in the sense of the

fulfillment of his very destiny. He did not see that the fulfillment

of his mission was not an end to be reached after the quest is

completed, but a process to be undertaken over the course of a

lifetime.

      Now, he had plans for personal enrichment that he would see

within months as himself becoming what he supposedly despised:

the greedy, self-obsessed demon within. Kirk explained to Amy

that his scapegoat Rehab psychologist owed him money because of

the injustice our young man perceived. (Since he felt patronized by

the Rehab authority figure, Kirk rebelled.)

        Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an
                    understanding of ourselves.
                                                           Carl Jung

      The college counselor begged our hero not to confront the

adversary he perceived because it was too dangerous. Kirk insisted

that if Dr. Simmons or Amy went with himself to confront the

adversary, things would be case closed. When his mentors begged

                                                                       72
off the task, Kirk figured he was meant – by God’s will – to go it

alone.

     He did so, confronting the Rehab doctor amidst his medical

office staff. After reading a prepared letter of unreasonable

demands, Kirk was surprised to not get an acquiescent response,

but limped away defiantly. This did not go as he expected, but the

innocent young man figured things would eventually work out. Oh

well, it’s Friday night! Time to party at Manoa Gym! Kirk had a

fine stash of weed he had picked up from a friend he had made at

the pool even though Kirk used Speedos to swim in. (Local guys

disapprove of Speedos’ blatant display.) Oh well, our hero loved

getting stoned, especially when he could provide the weed.




                                                                     73
                         Chapter 8: Manoa Gym

     He went for an evening swim at the pool, showered and

changed in the pool shower room, then linked up with his Manoa

Gym friends on the staircase next to the pool. He busted out some

joints and had some brew with the boys, who busted out a hibachi

that they fired up and cooked the grinds. There were 6 men and 2

women there, all college aged. One of the women – Linda – was a

tomboy, while the other was the muscular leader’s girlfriend in a

revealing halter-top -- without a bra. Kirk struggled to divert his

attentive eyes, lest he resemble a deer in headlights.

     As the night progressed, Kirk could sense that the group was

egging him on to take action with the muscular leader’s girlfriend.

Being stoned, Kirk understood that such wild and lewd thinking

was far out of the ordinary, yet he also understood that he himself

was far out of the ordinary. When he saw the young lady make

gestures with her tongue and lips that no self-respecting young

lady would ever make – amidst a group of drinking, stoned young

men no less – he made his move.

                                                                      74
     Long story short, our young man ended up with his pants

beneath his ankles and several of the other men pinning him down.

They called his parents. Kirk may have been starved for sensual

fulfillment, but he would never be an attempted rapist. An

ambulance arrived to take Kirk to Queen’s Hospital’s mental ward

(Kekela). After getting coerced into literally being caught with his

pants down, our hero was livid momentarily. But as he became

aware of the massive conspiracy, Kirk realized he was being

groomed for enlightened leadership. Thus, he soon acquiesced.

      Have patience and endure: this unhappiness will one day be
                          beneficial.
                                                            Ovid

     Thusly began the third major turning point in our one young

man’s life. Like his suicide attempt at Georgetown, this turning

point occurred at night. It was 11 PM when the ambulance arrived

at the hospital. Kirk was stripped of his street clothing and placed

in flimsy pajamas. As he awaited being taken into Kekela, our man

was placed under the authority of an aide seated with his hands

folded behind his head – like the Rehab psychologist – showing off

                                                                       75
his dry armpits as Kirk uncomfortably perspired. Believing all

these circumstances were arranged to test his mettle, Kirk figured

that once he pronounced the “answer,” he would be released to a

new world of good hashish and loving. I’ll regain my freedom by

perfectly arranging my surroundings here at Kekela, figured our

hero. When he asked the aide whether he should do so, the aide

replied (using a Rehab buzzword), “If you think that’s

appropriate.”

     Some of the other patients were awake at the time, reading

magazines and drinking decaffeinated coffee. When they had

finished reading the magazine, they placed it back on the rack –

and Kirk would place the stacks into what he perceived as the

appropriate order. (With a more “egotistical” Sports Illustrated

with the cover titled “Here I Am” placed below a magazine named

“more humbly” Handyman. Kirk stayed up all night trying to solve

the puzzle he perceived to attain his release, but to no avail. After

failing to get his environment in “perfect” order, the young mental

patient limped disconsolately to his room, but was unable to sleep.

                                                                        76
       In the morning, a hot breakfast platter was distributed to each

patient. The former rising young man – now mentally suspect –

picked up his tray and ate among the other patients. These were

“genuine” Kekela patients, but Kirk had a hard time distinguishing

when his fellow patients recited speech meant to strike him as

aimed specifically for him to hear. Whatever the case, Kirk

realized the importance of all that was happening around him. One

fellow patient – a silent, dazed Caucasian man who stood listlessly

in the Kekela lanai – struck our hero as possibly being of

assistance because he realized that many times, the most unlikely

sources of assistance are in fact the most helpful.

       He approached the patient, Rich S., and said hi. Rich S. bent

down to Kirk’s face and whispered silently, “I have a message for you,

and you alone.”   Kirk bent his head forward and placed his hands on

Rich S’s shoulders, immediately perceiving the appropriate means

of converse with his fellow patient. “Why am I here?” asked our hero.

“Preparatio Christi,” replied   Rich S., voicing a theme Kirk heard of in



                                                                            77
his English 442 class. The basic idea was that Christ, as Savior,

needed to be trained vigorously in preparation for his ascension.

“When will my time begin?” asked   our man, to which responded Rich S,

“Long ago.”   In time, Kirk would come to understand that – being the

sum of each of his steps, each of his choices were very, very

important.

        Even sleepers are workers and collaborators on what goes
                         on in the universe.

                                                             Heraclitus

      Kirk was comforted to link with Rich S., who he immediately

realized was part of “the Other Side,” the transcendent realm Kirk

longed to learn of. Actually, our one man first heard the term

when he was listening to an elderly female patient, who spoke

reverently of this “Other Side.” Long story short, she was referring

to the adjacent wing of Kekela – literally the other side – where

rules are less stringent than the nutty side (where Kirk was).

      Rich S. knew what Kirk wanted, but he didn’t want to

overburden the young intermediary between this world and the


                                                                         78
“Other Side,” the spirit world. Rich S. reassured our man that he –

Kirk – was indeed a messenger between the two realms, and not a

deluded madman. It was somehow appropriate to our young hero

that the person he trusted most was – on the surface – the most

mentally impaired.

The best index of a person’s character is how he treats people who
 can’t do him any good and how he treats people who can’t fight
                               back.
                                                Abigail Van Buren

     At this time, spring of 1984, Kirk was just starting to realize

the guidance of music in his life. He listened to the New Wave

music on 98 Rock everyday/all day. His emotions had been rising

upwards and upwards until they reached a climax  in May, when

he first heard Duran Duran’s The Reflex:

                     You’ve gone too far this time
                  But I’m dancing on the valentine
               I tell you somebody’s fooling around
                With my chances on the danger line
                 I’ll cross that bridge when I find it
                    Another day to make my stand
                  High time is no time for deciding
                    If I should find a helping hand



                                                                   79
                               Chorus:
                      So why don’t you use it?
                         Try not to bruise it
                        Buy time don’t lose it
        The Reflex is an only child he’s waiting in the park
       The Reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark
         And watching over lucky clover isn’t that bizarre
                 Every little thing the Reflex does
            Leaves you answered with a question mark

                I’m on a ride and I want to get off
            But they won’t slow down the roundabout
                 I sold the Renoir and the TV set
            Don’t want to be around when this gets out

                               Chorus

        Oh the Reflex what a game he’s hiding all the cards
       The Reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark

Kirk’s intrinsic understanding of the interrelationship of all things

emerged during this period. When he heard this song, he

envisioned himself as “the Reflex,” an automatic and instinctive

response to a stimulus – the negative conditions Kirk perceived in

the world. While at Kekela, one of the female nurses

surreptitiously teased our young man by “randomly” singing the

line about being in charge of finding treasure in the dark,

coquettishly averting her eyes from his.  Teaser. 

                                                                    80
                    Chapter Nine: Kekela Release

                      Work while you have the light.

                          Henri Frederic Amiel

     While in Kekela, Kirk fully understood that he was being

watched intensively.  He was pretty much cordial to the other

patients, but there was a skanky [lacking in class] chick patient

who crossed the border of our hero’s civility by mocking his

manhood, given his virginity.  The skanky chick harassed Kirk

by crowing “queer man, queer man” while the strong young man

stood in line for breakfast. Humiliated in this way, Kirk tore off his

flimsy hospital wear and defiantly requested sex from the skank.

That shut her up.

     Kirk spent two weeks in Kekela (one week on the stricter

wing, and one week on “the other side”). He figured that the

orchestrated experience was somehow needed to ensure his safety

in his anonymous salvation of the world. He did not see that he

needed to be molded rigorously – as Rich S. had whispered – into

proper Messianic framework. And he was unable to see that with

                                                                    81
each step he took, he was – in reality – walking the Messiah’s

walk. Kirk was discharged on Friday, May 25, and he eagerly went

for a Manoa Pool swim that evening, then partied with the boys at

the gym because he had no hard feelings – and he wanted to fully

impress this on them.

     They showed no sign of that impression; in fact, the Manoa

Gym boys apparently – evidentially – distanced themselves from

the no-hard-feelings Kirk. That being the case, he left the party

earlier than he expected to. What’s happening? Have I not reached

the Promised Land? Where’s the fucking milk and honey? Oh well,

he figured, so long as Simmons don’t bail on me, things will

blossom.

     Well, Simmons did bail on Kirk; that is, on June 1, 1984,

there was throughout the world no grand celebration of the arrival

of the “Undercover Messiah.” It was a long time before our one

young man came to realize – understand and actualize – the fact

that he was indeed living out his Messianic role. This was the

lowest time of our hero’s still young life because he could not so

                                                                     82
see. Moreover, the harsh drugs he was prescribed by his dishonest

psychiatrist -- and forced to take by his mother – kept him awake

for days and threw off his breathing system such that he was

unable to swim. This hurt him deeply because he had been

trimmed down so well through daily swimming. 

     As a matter of fact, this drug – Prolyxin -- made Kirk feel

like he was drowning whenever his face was underwater (kinda

like waterboarding, I believe). After having his sky high

expectations ruthlessly bludgeoned to the ground, our young man

simply gave up. He stopped going to the pool and simply lay in

bed in the dark all day, feeling sorry for himself.  When his

father pointed out Kirk’s exercise of self-pity to him, our

honorable young man resolved to regain his high point.

     On Wednesday, July 4, 1984 James took his recuperating son

to an exhibit at Pearl Harbor showcasing the accomplishments of

the 442 during World War II. Kirk had always been proud of his

Uncle Clarence, who had won a Silver Star in European battlefield.

Now, he was beginning to feel his father’s emotions over being

                                                                   83
unable to serve because he was the man of his household of eight

females. In his household, he sacrificed the pursuit of glory and

heraldry for his family duty. James understood that he was not

meant to be combat soldier, so he actualized his destiny of being

the man of his family as best he could.

      “You see, son, my familial circumstances disqualified me
from my dream of being a soldier. Now, if I had rebelled my
destiny and denied my family duty, no good would have resulted.
Some things aren’t meant to be.”

       In sullen response, Kirk merely grunted.  He had great

respect for the 442, but he could no longer serve in the infantry

because of his fractured feet. By twist of fate, he would not learn

that he could’ve changed his MOS and been an Army desk worker

rather than infantry. ;( You see, several times Kirk would have met

people who would’ve told him of this possibility, but by sheer

chance he would change his plans (drinking at another bar,

shopping at another store, etc.) and the information never came to

him.

      He who thinks to realize the hopes and desires of his youth
when he is older is always deceiving himself, for every decade of a

                                                                      84
 man’s life possesses its own kind of happiness, its own hopes and
                             purposes.

                                         Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


      As Goethe is quoted, a new decade of Kirk’s life possessed

its own kind of happiness, hopes, and purposes. If our hero had

looked away from the closed door, he would see new opportunities

for fulfillment of these goals. If he had sought, and attained, an

office job in the Army Reserves, he could’ve learned about

computers – a skill that would’ve helped him in his pursuit of the

legal profession. Instead, Kirk left it to fate to assist him in this

pursuit.  Had he taken action – exerted his free will – he could

have been a lifelong Army Reservist, getting monthly wages and

PX privileges.

       In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments – there
                         are consequences.
                                             Robert Green Ingersol

      Kirk would think – when he encountered this quotation years

later – that it applied in civilization also. In civilized life, rewards

or punishments don’t always occur, but consequences do

                                                                           85
inescapably follow. He reflected – not smugly – that Amy Ige’s

eldest daughter died three weeks after her mother had deceived

Kirk. (She was killed in an auto accident while on a Christian

Fellowship high school trip to Kauai.) He figured that while it was

impossible to define this as punishment, it was an undeniable

consequence.

     Upon further reflection of this quotation from Ingersol, one

may discern that the “nature” spoken of subsumes humanity and

human civilization – it is the big picture nature, the “Nature, the

Art whereby God hath made and governs the Earth” of Thomas

Hobbes. In the big picture, figured Kirk, a broad justice is always

consequential – achieved. If not in the human realm, there is

always poetic justice whereby punishment or reward occurs. This

brought inescapable conviction to Kirk’s belief in a personal God,

concerned deeply with the fate of humanity, but often acting from

the “big picture,” the transcendental Nature of Thomas Hobbes. He

would much later learn of the concept self-similarity taught by

Buddhism whereby all entities are comprised of smaller entities –

                                                                      86
microscopic cells, which resemble the entity as a whole. This

phenomenon exemplifies the unity and order of the natural cosmos.

We may even derive right instructions from nature, from trees and
               flowers, from stones and rivers.
                                                 Piyadassi Thera

     Then followed 17 years of time, time in which Alden became

an attorney and Kirk did not, time in which Alden married and

Kirk did not. This was time in which the stage was gradually set

for Kirk to be molded, by a worldwide conspiracy, into an

emergent Savior. He would become one of those beings who

deliver the message from the spirit world of the way to realize the

cosmic consciousness potentially within each of us. This upper-tier

consciousness is the actualization of the divine loving Oneness of

all the Kosmos.

          The 2 most powerful warriors are patience and time.

                                                        Leo Tolstoy




                                                                     87
                  Chapter Ten: A Theory of Everything

                 Before virtue, Gods have placed sweat.
                                                              Hesiod

     Over the time between 1984 and 2001, Kirk sometimes was

able to discern his Preparatio Christi, but more often than not was

kinda drunk – yes, morning, noon, and night. *L* On Tuesday,

May 1st, 2001, he was at Manoa Marketplace wearing an old

school Primo beer aloha shirt, when he was approached by a local

man who was of a slightly earlier generation.

     “Hey, that’s a great Primo shirt,” he said. The man recalled

that – back in the day – he and his buddies would go to Primo

brewery on Aloha Friday, and drink at the bar upstairs. “You’ve

had it for a while, huh? I remember seeing you wear it years ago,

before it was in style. You must have started a retro-Primo fad!”

     It was then that Kirk reawakened to the role he was playing;

with all the world his stage, he had forgotten that all the world was

his audience. He guided his life in concert with the applicable New

Wave music he heard on Star 101.9, but he had forgotten about the


                                                                    88
human players surrounding him. Kirk joked with the observer a

bit, then went to Long’s Drugstore –- supposedly to buy his meds.

       Hah! I ain’t spending $100 a month from my allowance to

support Dr. Makasaki with his kickback from the drug developers.

Hah!

       He had been off his meds for many months; to no surprise, I

guess, he bought whiskey, tequila, and vodka with the extra $100.

(His beer came from his “real” allowance – not the “extra” $l00.)

It was when he joked with the Primo aficionado that our hero again

began to fully realize -- understand and actualize-- that his goal of

being Messiah was not an end to be reached, but a process already

taking place. 

       It was in this month, more than ever, that our man came to

rely on the radio for hints of the right action to take. He did not, of

course, carry out what every song said, but came to discern the

appropriate action to take, all things considered – dee-jay timing,

songwriter’s inspiration, commercials before and after the song,

etc. Here Kirk was unknowingly tapping into the wealth of

                                                                      89
information omnipresent in the Kosmos, “the patterned Whole of

all existence, including the physical, emotional, mental, and

spiritual realms.” He was to learn of this idea soon from an

unexpected source of information.

     This unexpected source was the unconventional Caucasian

male who Kirk had first seen 17 years earlier at the Manoa Pool

shower room. Kirk met him now at the Starbucks Coffee by the

Manoa Valley Church, where the unorthodox fellow was having

coffee with mutual friends. When they were introduced, Kirk

asked his name, to which he responded with bold, throaty vigor,

“You can call me Green.”

       If you are not learned but pretend to know, it is evil. If you
                   are learned but hide it is evil.
                                                    Tibetan Proverb

     It turned out that Mr. Green – as Kirk took to addressing him

when he could squeeze in a word or two – lived in the Manoa

mountains, though he had a generous source of income from his

family in Connecticut. Kirk could see that the unusual man kinda

patterned himself in the Henry David Thorough mold, taking to

                                                                   90
seclusion to cultivate his own self-reliance. Kirk hadn’t seen him

very much in the past 17 years, but recently started seeing Mr.

Green riding a moped around the area. Mr. Green was not bellicose

or boisterous but spoke with a rather booming voice. Mr. Green

was very well read, and recommended our hero read a recently

published book entitled A Theory of Everything written by Ken

Wilber.

     In it, the author/philosopher admits that such a title is

presumptuous, but asks isn’t it rewarding to get even part of

everything? Wilber, said Mr. Green, describes the integral human

consciousness as developing through 8 general stages – memes—

which are not rigid and exclusive, but interrelated, flowing waves

with much overlap and intermeshing. This means, Mr. Green

pointed out, that the possibility of upper-tier human consciousness

exists for all: the possibility of enlightenment is within the simplest

and most complex consciousnesses.

     The most basic meme is beige (archaic-instinctual) began Mr.

Green, the most basic survival level. Food, water, warmth, and sex

                                                                     91
take priority in this stage, the consciousness of newborn infants,

senile seniors, late stage Alzheimer’s cases, deranged street people,

and such others. Wilber figures beige level persons make up 0.1

percent of the adult population, wielding 0 percent of the power.

     The next wave is purple (magical-animistic), which attributes

conscious life to objects and phenomena in nature, continued Mr.

Green. Good and bad magical spirits surround the world, leaving

blessings, curses, and spells which determine events. Those of the

purple meme – third-world settings, gangs, sports teams and fans –

believe in voodoo curses, blood oaths, ancient grudges, good luck

charms, and other magical ethnic superstitions. Purple level

persons make up 10 percent of the world’s population, 1 percent of

the power.

     The red (power gods) meme comes next, said Mr. Green, but

remember, there is much interlapping/intermixing of these waves

of consciousness. The red stage brings the first emergence of a self

that is distinct from the tribe: a powerful heroic self that conquers a

worldwide jungle of powerful adversaries. One can detect this

                                                                     92
emergence of heroic self in the case of feudal kingdoms formed by

powerful lords who protect underlings in exchange for obedience

and labor. Red level persons make up 20 percent of the population,

wielding 5 percent of the power.

     Mr. Green continued with the blue (mythic order) category,

which perceives of an absolute order enforcing a code of conduct

dictating severe moral principles of “right” and “wrong.” Violating

this absolute code brings on severe, possibly everlasting

repercussions. Following the code results in rewards for the

faithful. Blue meme persons formed ancient nations with their

perceptions of rigid, paternalistic hierarchies. These are people

such as religious fundamentalists, such as the American “Moral

Majority,” and jihadi terrorists. Blue level persons make up 40

percent of the population, wielding 30 percent of the power.

     Next comes the orange (scientific achievement) meme, in

which the individual self breaks free from “herd mentality” to

make remarkable scientific discovery. Perceiving of the world as a

rational, well-oiled machine governed by natural laws that can be

                                                                    93
learned and manipulated for individual gain. Examples include the

secular humanists, who manipulate earth’s resources for

individualistic material gain. Orange level persons make up 30

percent of the population, wielding 50 percent of the power.

     Then, boomed Mr. Green, comes the final tier of the lower

consciousness, the green category (sensitive self). This is the hippy

level, he said, which has strong points and weaknesses. The green

meme is communitarian, placing high value on human spirit

bonding, ecological sensitivity, and networking. This sensitive self

meme opposes hierarchy; preferring, instead, lateral bonding and

linking. At this level, decisions are made through reconciliation

and consensus – the negative result being the interminable

processing making decisions painfully difficult. Often called

pluralistic relativism, this worldview values egalitarianism,

pluralism, and relativism. The green meme makes up 10 percent of

the population, wielding 15 percent of the power.

     After these lower-tier stages comes a quantum leap into

second-tier consciousness that Mr. Green confidently proclaimed

                                                                    94
to be humanity’s destiny. “Yes, we were guided by God all the

way,” said Mr. Green, ”but all our steps were consciously chosen.”

Free will and determinism engage in a dialectic where human

choice is the central issue, he continued – a little above our hero’s

speed of comprehension.

      Kirk asked whether his mentor believed people have souls.

Mr. Green was gladdened that his cohort was thinking on the

second-tier level, and knew that – therefore – a yes/no response

was inadequate. “Well,” he responded, “I guess I both believe, and

disbelieve, in the existence of souls. Let’s come back to that issue

later.”

      For now, he continued, let us concentrate on the Theory of

Everything; the next stage up – but, mind you – these are not

discrete and autonomous, but intermeshed and integral – part to

whole. The quantum leap up to the second-tier level is

enlightenment, clear as that, said Mr. Green. At the yellow

(integrative) level, life is a kaleidoscope of interconnected patterns

and integral order. Egalitarianism is complemented with natural

                                                                    95
degrees of rank, which is to say that equal rights are the backbone

of society, but wisdom rises naturally to the top. Knowledge and

competency naturally supercede power, status or group affiliation.

Enlightened people (bodhisattvas in Buddhist terms) are at the

yellow stage, with 1 percent of the population wielding 5 percent

of the power.

      At the top of the second-tier, declared Mr. Green, is the

turquoise (holistic) level. At this level, multiple levels are

interwoven into one conscious system. What this means is

stunningly integral, the unusual man said: the positive

characteristics of different memes interweave into a grand

unification. The courage of the power god red can merge with the

moral certainty of the mythic order blue, logic of the scientific

achievement orange, and the earth-cherishing of the sensitive self

green. Ultra-enlightened people – those who can see the total forest

from the single tree – are at the turquoise stage, with .1 percent of

the population yielding 1 percent of the power.



                                                                     96
           It’s never too late to be what you might have been.
                                                       George Eliot

     Kirk later picked up a copy of A Theory of Everything and

realized that he was on the right track, thanks to the unorthodox

Mr. Green, when he was drawn to the calculations done by Dr.

Phillip Harter of the Stanford University School of Medicine.

     If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of 100
people, it would look like this:

There would be
     57 Asians
     21 Europeans
     14 North and South Americans
     8 Africans
     30 white
     70 nonwhite
     6 people who possess 59% of the world’s wealth, and all 6
     would be from the United States
     80 would live in substandard housing
     70 would be unable to read
     50 would suffer malnutrition
     1 would have a college education
     1 would own a computer

Wise people take the needs of all the people as their own. They are
 good to the good. But they are also good to those who are still
                   absorbed in their own needs.
                                                            Lao Tzu



                                                                     97
It was in May 1984 that our one man caught messianic fire and it

was in May 2001 that this fire reignited; he realized at these times

that our governing bodies, educational institutions, business

practices, and health-care facilities are in dire need of an integral

vision that will see synergistic solutions to the plight within our

global village.

     He discovered, on his own, that his target audience was not

those who would be unable to intellectually grasp the concept of

cosmic consciousness, but those who would assist those of lesser

faculty. Again, the memes, waves, stages of any given individual

are intermixed and inclusive. Says author Ken Wilber, each and

every individual has all of these memes potentially available to

them. A person, in general, is not 100 percent any particular color,

or meme, but a mixture of all. It is important here to grasp that

each wave transcends and includes all prior waves. Each wave

goes beyond it predecessor, yet it includes or embraces it in its

own makeup.



                                                                        98
     That is, blue meme patriotism is transcended yet embraced

by green level post-colonialism. In other words, patriotic love of

country is transcended by yet included with a higher love of

Mother Earth. ^L^

          Philosophy, the love of wisdom, is impossible for the
                            multitude.
                                               Plato, The Republic

       Of what use is the philosopher who doesn’t hurt anybody’s
                              feelings?
                                              Diogenes of Sinope

Such is the accommodating nature of human consciousness; the

negative features of the lower meme are transcended by the higher,

but the positive features of the lower meme are not replaced but

accentuated by this higher meme.

     This whole idea of a Theory of Everything is grandiose, of

course, but is not an incomplete version of such a study better than

none at all? This whole idea rests on the shoulders of what the

Greeks called kosmos: not just the physical cosmos, but the

physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions taken

altogether.

                                                                     99
           Kosmos! – now there is a real theory of everything! But
     us poor moderns have reduced the Kosmos to the cosmos, we
     have reduced matter and body and mind and soul and spirit to
     nothing but matter alone, and in this drab and dreary world of
     scientific materialism [in which only physical matter is
     studied], we are lulled into the notion that a theory uniting
     the physical dimensions is actually a theory of everything...

           So without in any way denying the importance of a
     unified physics, let us also ask: can we have a theory, not
     merely of the cosmos, but of the Kosmos? Can there be a
     genuine Theory of Everything? Does it even make sense to
     ask this question? And where would it begin?

           “An integral vision” – or a genuine Theory of
     Everything – attempts to include matter, body, mind, soul ,
     and spirit as they appear in self, culture, and nature. A vision
     that attempts to be comprehensive, balanced, inclusive. A
     vision that therefore embraces science, art, and morals; that
     equally includes disciplines from physics to spirituality,
     biology to aesthetics, sociology to contemplative prayer; that
     shows up in integral politics, integral medicine, integral
     business, integral spirituality… [integral being an
     interconnection of constituent parts essential to
     completeness] (pp. xi – xii)


     At this time – May 2001 – Kirk felt kosmic – all the

physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions merged in a

definite, positive direction. From all dimensions – the alternative

rock songs on the radio, the commercials, the articles and


                                                                   100
advertisements in the newspaper: EVERYTHING – Kirk could

sense a cry for help from a damaged woman. All this led to The

Rescue of May 5, 2001.

         When you are inspired by some great purpose, all your
thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your
consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a
  new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and
  talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater
        person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.
                                                          Patanjali




                                                                 101
                         Chapter 11: The Rescue

      If you master others, you are forceful. If you master yourself,
                      you have inner strength.
                                                             Lao Tzu

     Kirk’s day began as usual on May 5, 2001, beginning with a

mug of coffee, followed by morning alcoholic consumption. Since

it was a Saturday, our hero was off from his paralegal job at the

State Attorney General’s office. He had become a paralegal after

flunking out of U.H. law school; actually, Kirk could have entered

the school on probation, after failing to make the grade through the

school’s pre-admission program. However, he turned down the

opportunity mostly because of his misperception of his karmic

destiny.

     Kirk believed that he would attain his karmic place in the

world after a hard-fought journey ended; he failed to realize that

the hard-fought journey was his destiny. At any rate, our one man

dropped out of U.H. law school thinking that that would trigger

some means through which he would become the Undercover

Messiah. Actually, he did not understand fully that he was already

                                                                     102
this Savior already. In May 2001, Kirk could very well feel the

interconnections of human life – just as well as in May 1984; these

would become focal points in our hero’s life. At these times, Kirk

could vividly sense a fulfillment of destiny – for himself, and for

the very world.

     In May 2001, Kirk reveled in the spotlight he perceived,

living out the poetry of Theodora Lau, Asian horoscope expert:

                    I am the self-proclaimed acquisitor.
                         I am a link yet I function as
                                a complete unit.
                       I aim at encompassing heights
                             and strike my target,
                               sure and steady.
                      Life is one joyous journey for me.
                  Each search must end with a new quest.
                  I am progress, exploration and insight.
                          I am the womb of activity.

                          I AM THE RAT. (p. 1)

Somehow, Kirk sensed his special future, most of all by the

influence of his FM radio on his imagination. In this way, he came

to the rescue of a fictional damaged woman on this day – a Boy’s

Day in Asian culture.


                                                                  103
     As he listened to his Walkman throughout the day, our one

young man came to realize – actualize – his rescue of the fictitious

damaged woman. He felt the forces throughout the universe were

driven to get him to take action – to seize the moment. Kirk first

felt this message while listening to the song Torn by Natalie

Imbruglia, in which he visualized this fallen woman as a Thai

dancer he had encountered many years before:

              I thought I saw a man brought to life
       He was warm, he came around and he was dignified
                 He showed me what it was to cry

              Well you couldn’t be that man I adored
                     You don’t seem to know
               Seem to care what your heart is for
                  But I don’t know him anymore

               There’s nothing where he used to lie
                  The conversation has run dry
                     That’s what’s going on
                     Nothing’s fine, I’m torn

                         I’m all out of faith
                          This is how I feel
                     I’m cold and I am shamed
                      Lying naked on the floor

                      Illusion never changed
                        Into something real

                                                                     104
    I’m wide awake and I can see
        The perfect sky is torn
  You’re a little late, I’m already torn

   So I guess the fortune teller’s right
  Should have seen just what was there
         And not some holy light

      It crawled beneath my veins
   And now I don’t care, I had no luck
      I don’t miss it all that much
      There’s just so many things
       That I can touch, I’m torn

            I’m all out of faith
             This is how I feel
        I’m cold and I am shamed
         Lying naked on the floor

         Illusion never changed
           Into something real
     I’m wide awake and I can see
          The perfect sky is torn
You’re a little late, I’m already torn, torn

  There’s nothing where he used to lie
      My inspiration has run dry
        That’s what’s going on
       Nothing’s right, I’m torn

            I’m all out of faith
             This is how I feel
        I’m cold and I am shamed
         Lying naked on this floor


                                               105
                      Illusion never changed
                        Into something real
                   I’m wide awake and I can see
                      The perfect sky is torn

                         I’m all out of faith
                          This is how I feel
                   I’m cold and I’m ashamed
                 Bound and broken on the floor
            You’re a little late, I ‘m already torn, torn

     Kirk figured that the Thai dancer he encountered at Club

Mystique II was witnessing his revival as a man who seized the

day – a man who was warm, yet dignified. She is torn – that is,

not a virgin – thought Kirk. Maybe I have seen her in one of the

cathouses or strip joints I frequent – cold, shamed, and naked on

the floor –- and she needs me to rescue her.  Cool, she thinks I’m

DIGNIFIED…

     Perhaps another hint for me, thought Kirk, is to be found in

Eddie Money’s Two Tickets To Paradise:

                  Got a surprise especially for you
          Something that both of us have always wanted to do
                We’ve waited so long, waited so long
                We’ve waited so long waited so long

              I’m gonna take you on a trip so far from here

                                                                    106
        I’ve got two tickets in my pocket, now baby, we’re gonna
                              disappear
                  We’ve waited so long, waited so long
                  We’ve waited so long, waited so long

                     I’ve got two tickets to paradise
              Won’t you pack your bags, we’ll leave tonight
                     I’ve got two tickets to paradise
                     I’ve got two tickets to paradise

                                   …

              I’m gonna take you on a trip so far from here
        I’ve got two tickets in my pocket, now baby, we’re gonna
                              disappear
                  We’ve waited so long, waited so long
                  We’ve waited so long, waited so long

                     I’ve got two tickets to paradise
              Won’t you pack your bags, we’ll leave tonight
                     I’ve got two tickets to paradise
                     I’ve got two tickets to paradise

Kirk went so far as to pack his Soloflex duffel bag with a

weekend’s essentials while at home listening to the radio. Maybe,

he thought, my admirer is that Thai dancer, who longs to live a

straight life with me.




                                                                  107
     However, Kirk thought, I believe she’s married -- or in a

deeply committed relationship. That’s the message I believe I’m to

take from Sugar Ray’s When It’s Over:

                          When it’s over
                  That’s the time I fall in love again
                           And when it’s over
                That’s the time you’re in my heart again
                       And when you go go go go
                                  I know
                            And it never ends
                              It never ends

                                 [chorus]
                    All the things that I used to say
                   All the words that got in the way
                   All the things that I used to know
                       Have gone out the window
                  All the things that she used to bring
                     All the songs she used to sing
                        All the favorite TV shows
                       Have gone out the window

                             I’m missing you
                 I never knew how much she’d loved me
                             I’m missing you
                I never knew how much you meant to me
                  I need you and when you go go go go
                               I know
                               It never ends
                                Never ends

                               [chorus]

                                                                 108
                             I’m wishing you
                  You never said you were pretending
                             I’m wishing you
               You feel the same and just come back to me
                 I need you and when you go go go go
                                    I know
                               It never ends
                               It never ends
                              When it’s over
                           Can I still come over
                            And when it’s over
                              Is it really over
                              When it’s over
                   That’s the time I fall in love again

                                  [chorus]

What Kirk missed, however, was that not every song was meant to

be taken at face value.

      Had he paid attention to the music video of Sugar Ray’s

When It’s Over, he could have realized that the song was a farce –

it was not meant to be taken seriously. In the video, each of the

band members has his fantasy video pictured: the drummer is

pictured taking the limelight of the stage, the guitarist is

performing in a heavy metal version of the band, the keyboard

player fantasizes of a strip bar filled by many Asian dancers, and

                                                                    109
lead singer Marc MacGrath envisions the band doing an 80’s style

of music video (like the quintessential 80’s music video by

Scandal, The Warrior).

     After their fantasies are pictured, the band bursts into

laughter as MacGrath tells them that they should just do what’s

right for the song, and then they are pictured having a beach party

with many friends. But Kirk did not focus properly on the music

video’s message, and he pictured the damaged woman being still

committed to her present man, hoping to eventually break away.

Goddamn, talk about a complicated relationship between 2 men

and a woman!

     I figure this damaged woman is involved in a dangerous

relationship; she probably works as a dancer or hostess, and she

needs me to rescue her, thought our hero. The next song, Thank

You, by Dido, gave Kirk a mistaken belief that the damaged

woman was an Asian dancer/hostess who had a drinking problem:

                My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why
                         I got out of bed at all
                The morning rain clouds up my window

                                                                   110
           And I can’t see at all

    And even if I could it’d all be gray
       But your picture on my wall
    It reminds me that it’s not so bad
             It’s not so bad

I drank too much last night, got bills to pay
         My head just feels in pain
 I missed the bus and there’ll be hell today
           I’m late for work again

  And even if I’m there, they’ll all imply
       That I might not last the day
 And then you call me and it’s not so bad
              It’s not so bad

         And I want to thank you
   For giving me the best day of my life
        And, oh, just to be with you
     Is having the best day of my life

    Push the door, I’m home at last
  And I’m soaking through and through
    And then you handed me a towel
           And all I see is you

   And even if my house falls down now
          I wouldn’t have a clue
         Because you’re near me

         And I want to thank you
For giving me the best day of my life
        And, oh, just to be with you
     Is having the best day of my life

                                                111
                         And I want to thank you
                   For giving me the best day of my life
                        And, oh, just to be with you
                     Is having the best day of my life

She will be walking across the street, and I’ll save her life by

offering her my YMCA workout towel! It’s so obvious, Kirk

mistakenly thought. While he was correct in believing he was

being set up with someone, he had no idea that she had been set

aside for her entire life to wait for Kirk.

      Our mistaken hero knew that he must proceed to the Aloha

Tower Marketplace post haste, lest his woman be killed or gravely

injured without his rescue. He was a little drunk, but experience

told him that he was in driving condition; so long as nobody does

anything stupid with their driving, things will be okay. The traffic

was light because it was a Saturday, but Kirk truly believed he

could not spare a second. He made it to the back entrance of ATM

and rushed to park his car and give his YMCA towel to his

damaged woman.



                                                                    112
     When he attempted to do this with a rather plain-faced Asian

woman crossing the ATM street, she shook away from him, and

when he pursued her she complained to one of the ATM security

guards. He took our confused – but noble – hero aside, and

professionally explained his concern, while Kirk was hopping out

of his shoes, his mind transfixed on making a heroic rescue. Kirk

understood that he could not reveal his messianic identity to the

guard – nor the heroic rescue he was soon to make – so he kept

quiet and cool. 

     After the guard let him go, our man drove to the ATM rear

entrance, where he saw a boat cruise center, where he saw a young

Asian woman working. THAT’S HER, he again mistakenly

thought. When he tried to start up a conversation with her, she was

uninterested, and when he continued, the woman’s supervisor told

him that she would call security if he persisted. He was stumped.

There had been no heroic rescue. He sat on a bench outside of the

ATM deciding what to do now.



                                                                    113
     He listened to Star 101.9 alternative rock station on his

Walkman, trying with all his mental/spiritual power to conceive of

what to do next. As he listened to the waves lick the sea walls

beside the boat cruise office, he heard Yellow, by Coldplay:

                           Look at the stars
                      Look how they shine for you
                        And everything you do
                       Yeah they were all yellow

                              I came along
                         I wrote a song for you
                        And all the things you do
                        And it was called yellow

                        So then I took my turn
                    Oh all the things I’ve done
                         And it was all yellow

                               Your skin
                     Oh yeah your skin and bones
                     Turn into something beautiful
                D’you know you know I love you so
                        You know I love you so

                              I swam across
                        I jumped across for you
                      Oh all the things you do
                       Cause you were all yellow

                              I drew a line
                          I drew a line for you

                                                                  114
                          Oh what a thing to do
                          And it was all yellow

                              Your skin
                     Oh yeah your skin and bones
                    Turn into something beautiful
                 D’you know for you I bleed myself dry
                      For you I bleed myself dry

                  It’s true look how they shine for you
                        look how they shine for you
                        look how they shine for you
                        look how they shine for you
                        look how they shine for you
                            look how they shine
              look at the stars look how they shine for you

His woman was infatuated with him, she might have wrote him a

song, swam across the bay even – if one were to take the song

verbatim – okay, okay, get real, thought Kirk. As he heard U2’s

Walk On, he decided it was time to leave (7PM):

                      And love is not the easy thing
                   The only baggage you can bring…
                     And love is not the easy thing…
                    The only baggage you can bring
                    Is all that you can’t leave behind

                And if the darkness is to keep us apart
             And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
                  And if your glass heart should crack
                     And for a second you turn back

                                                                  115
                    Oh no, be strong

                   Walk on, walk on
             What you got they can’t steal it
               No they can’t even feel it
                  Walk on, walk on...
                   Stay safe tonight

You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
        A place that has to be believed to be seen
              You could have flown away
             A singing bird in an open cage
         Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

                        [chorus]

                  And I know it aches
               And your heart it breaks
             And you can only take so much
                   Walk on, walk on

                      Leave it behind
              You’ve got to leave it behind
                   All that you fashion
                    All that you make
                     All that you build
                    All that you break
                   All that you measure
                     All that you steal
              All this you can leave behind
                    All that you reason
                    All that you sense
                    All that you speak
                     All you dress up
                   All that you scheme

                                                        116
What does this mean, wondered Kirk. Walk on, walk on…Stay safe

tonight…My mystery girl wants me to stay safe – but she also

wants you to be strong…And if your glass heart should crack / And

for a second you turn back / Oh no, be strong…What does this

mean – walk on/walk on – walk away from, or walk to, danger?

Kirk pondered as he drove home to Manoa (a 25 minute drive); the

moment he returned to his family’s driveway, he knew what to do

because at that instant Walk On played again on the car stereo. 

The Rescue continued. 

       In my tradition we revere the masters for being even kinder
than the Buddhas themselves. We cannot meet the Buddhas face to
face. But we can meet the masters; they are here, living, breathing,
       speaking and acting to show us the way to liberation.

                                                   Sogyal Rinpoche

          The idea of the bodhisattva is the one who out of his
      realization of transcendence participates in the world.

                                                  Joseph Campbell

     Kirk and Alden learned of the bodhisattva in college, Alden

while majoring in philosophy, Kirk while reading some of his

brother’s reading material on the study of Buddhism. In this way,

                                                                  117
the two brothers came to know that the buddha is one who attains

enlightenment and attains nirvana, while the bodhisattva is an

enlightened one who foregoes nirvana to reincarnate in order to

help the unenlightened to see. These quotations from Rinpoche and

Campbell show how the greatest humanitarians are bodhisattvas,

who “are here, living, breathing, speaking and acting to show us

the way to liberation,” whose actualization of goodness is to

participate in the world. 

     The study of Buddhism often begins with the consideration

of the appropriate label:

     The question has often been asked, is Buddhism a religion or
  a philosophy? It does not matter what you call it. Buddhism is
   what it is whatever the label you may put on it. The label is
                            immaterial.

                                                   Walpola Rahula

Exactly! The label is of no matter. Moreover,

         The moral and philosophical system expounded by the
 Buddha demands no blind faith from its adherents, expounds no
dogmatic creeds, encourages no superstitions, rites or ceremonies
 but advocates a golden mean that guides a disciple through pure
               thinking and deliverance from evil.
                                                     Narada Thera

                                                                   118
     Oh yes, when Kirk returned to his family’s driveway, Walk

On played on Star 101.9 at the instant our hero reclined to relax

after the stressful experience. I must return. Simple as that: I must

return, he thought, as he returned to ATM in the early nightfall. He

knew he was being watched, but he didn’t know he was being

watched: by everyone. He drove back to ATM, then reluctantly left

after being kicked out by security guards twice.

     He then drove eastward on Ala Moana Boulevard, stopping

at a deserted bus stop which he believed may be the magic

rendezvous point. He drove there and parked, all senses keen to

make contact with the damaged woman. Again, authority figures –

Honolulu police – chased him away – after his explanation that he

was rescuing a distressed woman didn’t fly.  As he drove

eastward on Ala Moana, he quickly heard – after the cops came – a

radio commercial for the Venus Nightclub on Kona Street, right

alongside Ala Moana Shopping Center (still one of the largest in

the world).


                                                                    119
     He rushed there, parked the car, and paid to get in, wondering

if she was a dancer. As soon as Kirk got inside, though, he realized

that he had made a big, big mistake: Lady’s Night! The male

dancers flaunted what they had, with everyone – even Kirk –

laughing at his mistake.  Having a shot and a beer, our hero left

the club bemused but still gravely concerned with The Rescue.

Driving westward on Kona Street, he stopped in front of The

Pachinko Karaoke club (and brothel).

       If you add a little to a little, and then do it again, soon that
                          little shall be much.

                                                                 Hesiod

     The Pachinko point man signaled within that The Man had

arrived, initializing a procession of people leaving the club. Kirk

took this to mean that the damaged woman had family in need of

assistance. When he saw a pair of children come out, he figured it

meant she had offspring with her current lover. Kirk internally

accepted this situation, and awaited the Thai dancer’s exit from the




                                                                      120
building. He waited for hours and saw many other people enter and

exit the bar, but the Thai dancer didn’t appear.

     Midway through his wait, Kirk approached the man at the

door and asked if the Thai dancer was there. When the bouncer

didn’t give him a straight response, instead couching his response

in code terminology, Kirk figured that perhaps she wanted to

rendezvous elsewhere. Our hero drove over to McCully Zippy’s

24-hour drive in, after leaving hints of his intent with the doorman.

     At Zippy’s, our man was still keyed up, ready at each instant

to take action. Fully focused on his mission – to make this “secret

rendezvous” with his other – Kirk took time to consider that

perhaps the Thai dancer was not his woman. With all the

circumstances he experienced recently, he was positive that

someone was waiting for him. Unfortunately, our man was too

naïve and gullible to realize that just as he was The Chosen One

because his was the only birth on his day, she was the only birth on

her day of arrival: thus, she was The Other.



                                                                   121
     To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every
    human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.

                                                      Joseph Conrad

     The Other was born on February 1, 1965, making her a

Dragon:

                      I am an unquenchable fire,
                        the center of all energy,
                         the stout heroic heart.
                          I am truth and light,
                  I hold power and glory in my sway.
                              My presence
                         disperses dark clouds.
                 I have been chosen to tame the Fates.

                      I AM THE DRAGON. (p.117)


This made her a well-matched partner for Kirk, the self-proclaimed

acquisitor, leader of the pack, the Rat. Writer Theodora Lau

elaborates on the tight-knitted Rat, Dragon, Monkey trio:

            The Rat, the Dragon, and the Monkey are performance-
     and progress-oriented signs adept at handling matters with
     initiative and innovation. Self-starters, they prefer to initiate
     action, clear their paths of uncertainty and hesitation and
     forge ahead. Restless and short-tempered when hindered or
     forced to be unoccupied, they are full of dynamic energy and
     ambition. This trio is the melting pot of ideas. They can team
     up beautifully because they possess a common way of doing

                                                                   122
     things and will appreciate each other’s method of thinking.
     (p. 12)

     Anyway, on the late night/early morning of The Rescue at

McCully Zippy’s, our hero waited a while for a clandestine

rendezvous with The Other, but concluded that he was meant to

take action. He thought deep within himself of who this woman

was and how did he know her. At 2 AM, he came to somehow

know that he should go to a church – either Central Union church,

where his parents married or Holy Mission church, where he had

once been a member. He decided that whichever direction gave

him the best radio reception of rock music on his Walkman would

be the church he would go to. It was Holy Mission.

     He went to the McCully church spontaneously – without

deliberation – parked his car and waited for the rendezvous. As he

reflected on his Holy Mission experience, it all came back to him:

the excruciating experience with the little girl and her guardian

which led to the shame and anger that turned him from the faith.

He cried, but felt a tremendous relief of burden when he


                                                                    123
understood that The Other was not the Thai dancer from Club

Mystique but the female bartender there who he had met at the

YMCA weight room many years before.

     Thinking deep, he realized that this Caucasian woman from

the Y was the little Holy Mission girl he had made cry 25 years

before. He remembered that she too had strayed after that incident,

but could sense that all would be made good this early morning.

After waiting an hour or so, Kirk decided that it was up to himself

to bring on this clandestine meeting by taking action. He figured

that there were many people watching him, so he would drive until

he ran out of gas, thereby giving her a chance to help him out.

     He drove away from Holy Mission, down Kalakaua Avenue

entering Waikiki, crossing the Ala Wai Canal, until he ran out of

gas near a traffic triangle at the meeting of Kalakaua and Ala

Moana Boulevard. Okay, Kirk figured, now’s the chance for her to

help me out – she’ll pick me up and we can fly to Las Vegas,

perhaps. He was as certain as he could be, but just how certain

could he be? As all this had been going down, Kirk had been quite

                                                                    124
forward with many YMCA women he thought might be The Other.

(And he had a number of quite certain rejections. )

     Our one young man waited for The Other by his car for 15

minutes or so, then took his Soloflex duffel bag packed with a

change of clothes and a bottle of Chivas Regal Scotch whiskey,

and walked down Hobron Lane (kinda at the junction of Ala

Moana, McCully, and Waikiki). He stopped at a 24 hour ABC

drugstore to pick up a pack of smokes, then paused to light one up.

An apparently homeless local woman asked for a cigarette, and

Kirk gladly obliged. (Since she was clearly homeless – but not

smelly – Kirk figured she had been planted there as part of the

Gentle Conspiracy.)

     They sat on a short wall between the sidewalk and a building

and smoked together. He asked if she lived around there –

immediately regretting his question, which assumed she had a

home – and she uttered an unconvincing affirmation. She asked

him what he was doing there, and he responded that he had just run

out of gas up the street and was waiting for “a friend” to pick him

                                                                  125
up. Playing rascal, Kirk – believing all he said “his friend” would

do would be enacted by The Other – told his homeless companion

that “his friend” had a habit of parading down public streets,

twirling around lamp posts, in her rather ill-fitting negligee. “It’s

kinda mean, but kinda funny to watch,” he said with a chuckle.

     But the homeless woman was prepared with an exacting

strategy in retort. She began asking about “this friend,” suggesting

that she had a friend like that – a friend who had stripped on stage

for too many years, and thus had been driven to many suicide

attempts. The strategy, however, did not sink into Kirk’s

exhausted, rather drunken brain immediately. After a couple of

hours of discourse, she said she was going to a cheap corner

discount store and asked if he wanted something. Our fallen hero –

still incognizant of where his homeless friend was leading – asked

her to buy a t-shirt and pants for his scantily-clad lady friend,

adding that she was kinda chubby.

     After the homeless woman left, the plan began seeping into

Kirk’s weary head. Her friend must be equated with his friend,

                                                                    126
despaired our hero…The Other must have led a tortured life of

stripping, prostitution, drugs, and suicide attempts! Oh, dear Lord,

what have I done? He pounded the sides of his head in self-hatred,

wailing tears of utter, abject despair. Several condo residents who

had observed him overnight playing the clown for the homeless

woman sympathized with Kirk’s anguish, clucking their tongues

and sighing.

     Soon, a police sergeant of Native Hawaiian ancestry came by

and stopped, asking “Hey, bruddah, you okay?” Because of the

cop’s friendly demeanor, Kirk kinda gathered himself and said that

he was waiting for a ride from a friend. “Is that your car on the

street, bruddah?” the sergeant asked gently.

     “Yeah, my friend will come down to pick me up, sergeant,”

said Kirk, still clinging to the belief that The Other would enact

whatever he said she would.

     “Who’s this ‘friend,’ your wife?” the police sergeant asked.

     “No, just a friend…”



                                                                     127
     “Oh, I can’t let you depend on a non-relative, y’know,

buddy?” the cop earnestly asserted. “Don’t you have a mother or

father, maybe, or sibling?”

     Realizing that The Other would once again Not Show, Kirk

gave the sergeant his home number, which the good-natured cop

called, then explained the situation to Kirk’s mother, who came to

Waikiki to pick up her wayward son while Alden took care of

Kirk’s out-of-gas car. When his mother arrived, Kirk was very

deliberate in shaking the HPD sergeant’s hand, telling the

compassionate Native Hawaiian man that he appreciated the help.

     Still thinking that he had so wronged his female counterpart,

Kirk, near tears, attempted to explain himself to his mom, but she

sharply cut him off. “I don’t want to hear about this mystery

woman who’s supposedly a friend! I was worried sick about you

all night!” Kirk, physically and emotionally exhausted by his

long, long night, wearily rested the side of his forehead on the

passenger’s window as his mother drove away from Hobron Lane

that early morning – down, but not out was our virtuous man. 

                                                                   128
The all-important thing is not killing or giving life…winning
or losing. It is how we win, how we lose, how we live or die
               and, finally, how we choose.

                                                   R.H. Blyth




                                                          129
                     Chapter 12: The Steam-cleaner

       Nothing that actually occurs is of the smallest importance.

                                                        Oscar Wilde

     Kirk was kept in check by his parents for the next 2 weeks,

taking away his driving privilege and giving him a 10 P.M. curfew.

Unsurprisingly, it should seem, he was at the end of his rope; to be

so cruelly denied his natural mate would make any man so. But, he

understood, he was not the run of the mill, average man. Still, he

would harbor a resentment that would never leave.  Bitterness

mounting, he refused to go to the YMCA, instead working out

daily on his Soloflex.

     On Saturday, June 2, 2001, he has a few drinks at home, then

goes down to the Y. In the weight room, he sees The Other, and

she appears to be in a non-irritable mood.  Kirk calls out her

name, and, testing his feelings, she expresses surprise that he knew

her first name. Hopeful, he sought to further assure her by saying

he knew her last name too, which he had heard her paged with.



                                                                     130
Smiling, The Other said that that was her maiden name, further

testing our hero solely to protect her own feelings. 

      Who creates karma? We ourselves, by what we think, say, do,
                  desire and omit create karma.
                                                    Dalai Lama

      Of course, The Other had never been married, but was simply

testing our stalwart hero. Caught unaware by such 8th grade

runaround, Kirk is stumped into indirectness. Feigning

simplemindedness, he ventured that “maiden” means prior to

marriage. She nods, waiting for our tired hero to continue, but he

was weary of the chase, and so he just wished her a good workout

and moved on himself. After his half hour workout, Kirk crosses

Atkinson Boulevard to Ala Moana Shopping Center, going directly

to the Cove Bar in the Makai Marketplace (where most of the food

vendors are located).

      Kirk had been drinking at Cove Bar since it had first opened

a little while earlier. He had a lot of fun flirting with the waitresses

and female bartenders. One of them was Tyra, a multi-ancestral

chick from Kalihi who would years later join the Honolulu Police

                                                                     131
Department. “You can strip search me any time you want,” teased

Kirk, years later. But in 2001, Tyra asked him who he thought was

the best-looking chick at the bar. Honest Kirk spoke frankly: “You

would be, if you lost 20 pounds…” Sure enough, just before she

joined HPD, Tyra actually lost 20 pounds (thereby becoming the

subject of some of our horny hero’s wet dreams ).

     Anyway, on this day – June 2, 2001 – Kirk drank from 5:30

P.M. to last call at 9:30 P.M. (with several time outs going window

shopping). Quite drunk at closing, he stumbled around his pockets

to pay the bill and give a tip to Mina, the boyish figured Japanese

waitress. She put up a display of impatience and indignation that

Kirk understood was all part of the well-plotted scheme. “Hey, I

gotta find a tip for you, Mina!” our one man slurred.

     “I don’t want your money! Go away; go get a life!” she

snapped. Now, if this were another person in another place, Kirk’s

feelings may have been hurt, but not here. 

     “Wow,” he muttered to another waitress, “what a b.c.!”

     “BC?” the girls asked.

                                                                    132
     “Yeah,” our well-mannered young man affirmed, “blunt

cu…”  “Oh well, time to be moving on,” he said in departure.

     “What, blunt cunt?” asked Mina.

     “No,” replied Kirk, as he stumbled along his way, “blunt

runt.”

     Even the outwardly hostile Mina giggled at that. Oh no, I

missed the last Woodlawn bus! Kirk rushed to the bus stop, only to

see his ride turning left from Kona Street up Kaheka Street. On top

of that, I lost my wallet! Oh well, perhaps The Other is meant to

come pick me up – hand me my wallet, then head to the airport, on

to Las Vegas. Although the two of them were little more than

friendly acquaintances, Kirk could sense that they were more than

this, and – with his back to the wall – left it to the woman to make

things happen. Big mistake! The barren woman would do nothing

for more than a decade. 

     But on this night in deserted Ala Moana Center, dedicated

Kirk was certain that The Other would not leave him hanging. He

was almost like Hachiko, the Japanese Akita canine who had a

                                                                    133
movie made for him telling of his absolute devotion to his master –

a devotion transcending death. (After his master dies, for 10 years

Hachi continues his practice of waiting at the train station for him

to return after work.) This kind of dedication – so Japanese –

inspired the creation of a statue of the loyal dog at the very spot he

would always return to, hoping to walk home with his master. In a

similar way, although all people he shared this with mocked him as

the fool, Kirk walked on. 

     He positioned himself at the most convenient spots for him to

be picked up for hours, to no avail. Oh well, he sighed, guess I’ll

report my wallet missing at the security office this early morning

(it was 3 A.M.). Where is the security office, he wondered. Hell,

the security must have had cameras on me all night long, right?

Hell, I’m the only person here, besides that steam-cleaner at work

on the concrete floor. Okay, I’ll ask him where the office is. So

deciding, Kirk limped over to the steam-cleaning contractor. But

this man was not apparently friendly. (Kirk needed to look below

the surface to appreciate the steam-cleaner’s compassion.)

                                                                    134
        Profound sutras say that enlightenment is seeing the unseen
itself, and in it there is no seeing and no seer – it is beginning-less
                            and endless calm.

                                                                  Atisa

     Kirk approached the snarling steam-cleaner, and asked where

the security office was. The contractor – a bit hot-under-the-collar

himself – growled out instructions, then gave our famished hero a

pair of Hostess Ding Dongs, a package of Cheetoh Cheese Puffs,

and a bottle of pickled pigs feet.  Kirk thanked the man and

followed his directions. Having been sleepless for several days,

and drunk on top of that, this man was unable to find the office –

instead sitting down in one of the many corridors journeying into

the inner core of the mall.

     Down, but not out, our one man devoured the Ding Dongs

and Cheese Puffs fully aware that the joke was on him. He was

hungry, but not enough to venture out ethnically and consume the

pigs feet (very vinegary). Though his feet were aching, Kirk made

it a point to return them to the steam-cleaner, who probably didn’t

expect the very human gesture. He scowled disgustedly, on the

                                                                    135
surface, then snarled, “GOD BLESS YOU!” Unused to seeing a

person beneath his surface, Kirk took several minutes to

understand that the surly steam-cleaner had, in fact, blessed him on

the concrete walkways of Ala Moana Shopping Center, as most of

the state soundly slept.

      Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. Everything
                     passes away except God.

                                               Saint Teresa of Avila

      Having broken his 10 P.M. curfew – and then some – Kirk

very reluctantly called home at 5 A.M. Luckily, his mother – well

aware of the pressure her eldest was under – got his brother to pick

him up at Ala Moana that early morning. When he got home, his

mother made sure he took his medications and got sleep. Kirk did,

and was not to awaken until 2 P.M. He spent the next week mostly

at home, his body unwinding after such a long time being wound

up and up and up. At this time, Kirk very deliberately planned out

his armed self-hostage taking of Friday, June 8, 2001.




                                                                 136
                   Chapter 13: The Self-Hostage Crisis

        If a man’s mind is concentrated and calm, and if he has
      abandoned both good and evil, there is no fear for him.
                                                The Dhammapada

      Our man went through this day very coolly, taking the time

to tend to gardening and housekeeping chores. Of course he

worked out well on his Soloflex machine and stationary bike – as

was always his practice. Kirk’s nerves were calm and deliberative

on what he foresaw as the most crucial turning point of his life.

When he was alone in his room, he several times took his handgun

out of his secret hiding place and got the feel of it, turning on to its

life and death power. 

      His father had not been well, having suffered a stroke nearly

a year earlier, and Kirk realized that his mother was hard-pressed

to care for him. But what about me, he figured, what the fuck about

me?! At least Mom and Dad have had a good lifetime together; all

the conspirators involved – and there must be millions of them –

have worked very hard to prevent me from linking with The Other.



                                                                     137
Fuck’em all, their games with my mind end tonight: either I score

her or I swallow lead. 

      It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest
        potential for doing good, for both oneself and others.

                                                          Dalai Lama

     Our hero, though unaware of this quote from the Dalai Lama,

instinctively enacted it this day. But the good done for himself and

others springing from the adverse situation was not the hand of his

natural mate, but yet another learning session for the Undercover

Messiah in which he was reunited with a long-lost friend.  But

before that, Kirk enacted the frustrated longing of a desperate man.

At 7 PM, he locked himself in his basement bedroom and took

himself hostage (hey, even a borderline wimp gets respect when he

has a loaded .38 caliber revolver in one hand and a bottle of tequila

in the other). *L*

     Kirk, not bold enough to make a specific demand (with

names and such), voiced a general threat demanding that “the

charade” end now or he’d make people sorry. When his mother


                                                                    138
requested that he be more specific, he blasted his stereo and

refused to reply. Okay, the bullshit ends tonight, he thought to

himself as Star 101.9 boomed through the house. Trying to take the

edge off his distraught brother, Alden came to one of the louvered

windows and calmly assured Kirk. But our one man heard nothing

above the blaring music, and drank his tequila straight from the

cheap bottle.

      Soon the police responded to his mother’s 911 call, to Kirk’s

surprise. He had not meant to make “this thing” so big – drama-

wise – but he only feared humiliation. (Like 17 years earlier, when

he left Manoa Gym with his pants beneath his ankles.) He heard

the sirens of 3 or 4 cars above the stereo, then the sound of the

cops entering the house and discussing the situation with his

brother. Their sergeant came downstairs to the indoor patio outside

Kirk’s room, and smiled gently at him, requesting he turn down the

music. “We can’t resolve this situation unless we can talk to each

other, Kirk,” he calmly pointed out. Kirk assented, turning down

his blasting stereo.

                                                                    139
     As they talked, our hero was not bold enough to specifically

demand that The Other come to him free of dishonest front,

although that was what he wanted. He had wearied of figuring out

labyrinthine romantic riddles (which tended to be resolved only

when Kirk got an egg in his face). “Hey Kirk, mind putting down

your gun?” asked the police sergeant. “You’re making me

nervous.”

     At first defiant, the fed-up rebel assented after about 20

minutes of persuasion. “Mind letting me in your room so we can

communicate better?” asked the cop.

     “No, no,” replied Kirk with a smile, “I’ll only let you in if

you’ll have a double shot of tequila with me.”

     “Oh, I’d love to drink with you, Kirk, but my captain won’t

let me,” replied the cop. “But c’mon, a lot of people are worried

about you. What is it you want? Maybe we can help work it out for

you.” But Kirk hadn’t the nerve to express his true feelings for the

woman he had always been meant for – they both having been the

solitary births on their special days. So he talked to the sergeant for

                                                                     140
about 20 minutes, eventually giving in to custody in which he

would spend time in Kekela, which Kirk was assured was much

more lenient than 1984. Of course, he would have to turn over his

gun, but he could keep his yoyo, clothes, and cigarettes. Trusting

the law enforcement official, gullible Kirk surrendered, was frisked

and cuffed, then taken to Queen’s Hospital’s Kekela, where he was

required to turn over his yoyo, clothes, and cigarettes.  Sucker!

      Hearing the law, the wise become like a calm, unruffled lake.

                                                  The Dhammapada

     Our man Kirk – all things considered – was quite a calm,

unruffled lake as he chatted with the patrol officer driving him to

Queen’s Hospital. This policeman turned out to be Chuck, one of

the guys Kirk had played pick-up half-court basketball with in high

school. He was a 6 footer – which made him a center at Manoa

Gym at the time – but never figuratively looked down at his shorter

Asian teammates. “Hey, Chuck, can you take off my handcuffs?

They’re kinda uncomfortable,” said Kirk from the backseat of the

HPD car, while still parked at his house.

                                                                  141
     “Oh yeah, pretty soon.”

     Then they happened to start talking about horoscopes –

Eastern and Western. It struck our man that so many people he

talked with had a good knowledge of their zodiac. It turned out that

Chuck, the tall Portuguese cop, was a Virgo Horse:

           Virgoan horses are well-balanced people. Virgo cures
     some of the horse’s shortcomings, such as lack of precision,
     lack of self-discipline, irresponsibility, and unruliness.

             (The Book of the Zodiac, The Diagram Group, p. 154)

He said that before he joined the force, he was a real troublemaker.

He smoked weed, snorted some magic dust, etc.

     “But my life turned around when I accepted Jesus Christ as

my lord and savior,” Chuck spoke. Kirk was a bit tired of hearing

this line again and again from so many people; he considered it

cliché. Kirk had this negative reaction to Jesus because he knew

damned well that he himself was Jesus Christ reincarnated, but

would only get affirmation of this cryptically – that is, in codes, or

secret signals. *L* But he kept this within himself.



                                                                    142
     As Chuck gave a subdued testimony, our hero realized that

the man was an absolute Christian believer. He was of the

perspective that there is a single universal standard of morality.

Right and wrong, good and bad does not depend on what

individuals believe, but on what the Bible says.

     The opposite of absolutism is relativism, the view that there

is no universal standard of morality. Right and wrong, good and

bad depends on what individuals believe. Kirk had been treated at

Taoist master Lilly Tsai’s acupuncture clinic for a number of

months, and she was a relativist. She taught how can one be sure

that there are no absolutes; the very premise is self-defeating (if

there are absolutely no absolutes, there is this one absolute).

     Absolutism represents the Western perspective while

relativism represents the Eastern view. The Eastern view includes

Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Hinduism, while the

Western perspective is represented by Jewish, Christian, and

Islamic faith.

     Anyway, back in the police car, Kirk felt moved – inwardly –

                                                                      143
because he understood that every glorious thing the born-again

Christian cop attributed to Jesus’ compassion and grace was really

being attributed to Kirk himself, handcuffed in the backseat of the

police car.  “What’s your sign?” asked the cop, as they drove

out of the driveway.

     “I’m a Scorpio Rat,” replied our man, recalling non-verbatim

what he had learned from the words of Theodora Lau, in The

Handbook of Chinese Horoscope:

            A scheming, intense and fantastically effective Rat.
     The Rat is competitive by nature and here Scorpio will
     strengthen his willpower and possessiveness. Efficiency is at
     top level here. Hard working and productive, this personality
     is as powerful as a waterfall and will generate tremendous
     support wherever he goes. Being a double water
     combination, the Scorpio Rat is silent and deep. If he had the
     power, he would not hesitate to strike out at his adversaries
     with the use of his pen. While he is a good writer, he is an
     even better critic. (pp. 25-6)

When the cop asked Kirk whether he was, in fact, a writer, our

hero professed that he was considering a career change from

paralegal to author. Chuck gave Kirk encouragement to make the

career change since he was living with his parents, and something


                                                                 144
told Chuck that Kirk had interesting knowledge within to share.

Kirk sensed altruistic veracity in the policeman’s words and body

language because Kirk had learned to listen as a Scorpio Rat:

           A wink, a nod, or the tiniest move of an eyebrow is all
     you need to signal the Rat that something’s afoot. He will
     track it all the way to its source. (p. 5)

He was attentive to the speaker’s attention – outwardly absent – to

the most seemingly insignificant actions. In this episode, Kirk

noted that Chuck was rubbing his forearm with his fingertip as

they talked, and the tiny fact that he did so convinced our man

“that something’s afoot.”

        Integral awareness is fluid and adaptable, present in all
                     places and at all times.

                                                             Lao Tzu

This quotation assimilates well with the present discussion because

awareness that is integral is a state of consciousness that is mindful

of the interrelationship of part to whole. Thus, the mindfulness of

the interrelationship within the kosmos is ever-possible – it need

only be summoned by the individual.


                                                                     145
      A man protesting against error is on the way towards uniting
            himself with all men that believe in truth.

                                                    Thomas Carlyle

     Soon they arrived at Kekela, and Kirk was stripped of his

clothes, yoyo, cigarettes, and dark sunglasses, regardless of what

the cops had said.  He was isolated in a tiny intake room with

padded walls and treated as just another patient. He kinda

appreciated this (for he had long celebrated his commonality), but

he couldn’t help but be a bit resentful (because he was the

Messiah). There was no need for resentment, however, given that

Kirk would encounter allies who would assist him in finding his

niche in history’s page.

     One such ally that Kirk encountered that night at Kekela was

Dave, a Mexican/Caucasian man who he realized was Dave Sierra,

a co-worker/friend Kirk had met in college when they worked

together at an ice cream parlor at Ala Moana Shopping Center. The

young man of Kirk’s age did not identify himself as Dave Sierra,

but merely as Dave. He was a bit more disheveled than Kirk


                                                                  146
remembered, but our hero could not mistake Dave’s Texan drawl.



     The trim, medium sized Dave acted kinda nuts – but in a non-

threatening way – prone to random, wandering discourse. He filled

our man in on the rules of Kekela’s West Wing (for the extreme

mental patients): no smoking except for 3 cigarettes per day at

appointed times on the outdoor patio, no personal items (such as

clothing or watches), no Walkmans. Dave would prove to be a

fertile source of information for Kirk, the Undercover Messiah,

even providing hints that The Other had -- as had Kirk -- been

born solitaire, and that he had first met his natural mate when she

was a newborn and he 4 years of age. Dave did this during his

random, wandering discourse by giving Kirk, his listener, the

tiniest of signals – for example, a glancing touch of the nose when

our hero would make an “on the nose” guess of Dave’s meaning.

              The wise man regards watchfulness as his greatest
                            treasure.

                                                  The Dhammapada


                                                                   147
        Kirk had, in fact, first met The Other at a Fourth of July party

in 1965 at New Haven, Connecticut. It was a neighborhood

celebration on the backyard of Kirk’s mother’s college landlords.

(She rented a room there when she went to college.) Kirk later –

after his discharge – watched his father’s home movie of this

event, recalling some of his first memories of life. He saw himself,

on the film, tickling a tiny newborn in a basinet – the first meeting

of the Undercover Saviors.  Then Kirk remembered the next

time they met – at her father’s quarters at Schofield Barracks in

1968.

        The Other – as a 3-year-old tyke – was crying, and he had

given her a sugar cane sample from the fields his family had taken

an outing at. She stopped her tears and planted a kiss on our hero’s

bashful cheek.  Then came epiphany: that little girl at Schofield

was that little girl at Holy Mission Southern Baptist Church! And

that little girl was the newborn baby in the basinet at New Haven!

Suddenly, all the misguided and mistaken paths Kirk had taken in

life were incorporated into a higher order – this order being a

                                                                     148
logical vehicle fueled by Divine Love. Given that the pair had each

been the only births on the special arrival days, their paths had

been guided throughout their lives, unbeknownst to Kirk until this

revelation.

                Deceptions cease in the realm of truth. There are no
                           boundaries to be seen.

                                                               Sosan, the 3rd Zen Patriarch

         After a long night of discourse with his fellow Kekela

patients, Kirk had a hot breakfast in the early morning of Saturday,

June 9, 2001. After the meal, the patients that smoked were

allowed one cigarette on the outdoor patio. It was then that our

hero first came into contact with Rich S., the insightful friend from

Kekela, 17 years earlier. Immediately remembering his clandestine

friend’s mode of communication, whispering with his arms to

Kirk’s shoulders, our man greeted his ally in this subdued fashion.

         “Been waiting for me?” asked Kirk.
         “Yes, I must tell you who and what you are. You are Shaman: an intermediary with the spirit

world. You are material – made up of matter – yet you connect with the world not of matter, but of spirits.




                                                                                                        149
This is the challenge that will define your life; if you succeed, the world will be a much better place and

many lives will be saved,”   replied Rich S. in a whisper. “You must learn of Franz
Kafka.”

          With that, the mysterious Rich S. – at Kekela in 1984 and

2001 – silenced himself and backed off Kirk, the central figure in

our tale.

    The great scholar of mythology Joseph Campbell once said,
  “Participate joyfully in the sorrows of life” – which echoes the
    Buddhist teaching that calls for “joyful participation in the
sorrows of the world”. This advice is not meant to suggest that we
 try to enjoy suffering – rather, it encourages us to recognize that
   hardship and pain are an unavoidable part of life. If we face
 sorrow and suffering knowing this, we embrace the experience of
                             being alive.

                                                        1,001 Pearls of Buddhist Wisdom

          At mid-morning, having completed breakfast, smoke break,

and personal grooming, most of the patients attended a stress-

management exercise conducted by Janice, an occupational

therapist. On an outlined sheet of paper, each person – including

Janice – filled out a personal Stress Buffer Shield. Each sheet was

divided into 4 squares: 1) Life experiences that have strengthened

me and taught me to manage, 2) My support networks; people who


                                                                                                          150
nurture and console me, 3) Attitudes/beliefs that help protect me

and view life differently, 4) Physical self-care habits that prepare

me or help me release tension.

     The group discussed their buffer shields around the circle,

one square at a time:

     1) Life experiences that have strengthened me and taught me

to manage: One of the female patients, a young Samoan woman

named Lucille, began the discussion by offering that her

strengthening life experience was her attainment of an ROTC

scholarship to a local college. The other patients expressed life

experiences that were also positive achievements that gave them

strength. When it was Kirk’s turn, he gave an unusual answer: “My

suicide attempts – ironic but true.” He explained to the group that

when life completely knocks him down, he gains strength by

getting back up. The group nodded in silent agreement with Kirk,

who had expressed what they all had felt within.

      2) My support networks, people who nurture and console

me: Lucille described how she was especially close to her family

                                                                    151
elders. Rich Sierra said that his Japanese wife and extended family

likewise nurtured and consoled him. When it was Kirk’s turn, he

again answered unconventionally: “Everyone,” with arrows

pointing North/South/East/West. He explained his response

carefully – lest he be diagnosed mentally unbalanced -- describing

how he perceived a worldwide network support group – available

to all. As Undercover Messiah, he was on the surface no different

than anyone else, but in fact he had – from the start – been given a

special destiny – a special quest. 

      3) Attitudes/beliefs that help protect me and view life

differently: Kehau, a slender Native Hawaiian female patient,

began the discussion with her personal Native Hawaiian musing:

“Kupuna lehua,” kupuna being one’s elders and lehua being –

figuratively --- warrior, beloved friend, sweetheart. The other

members of the group – Kirk included – nodded appreciatively as

Kehau explained that this saying paid homage to one’s beloved

elders.



                                                                  152
     Speaking next, our man explained that he had written “GOD”

in bold letters because he knew that his own belief in the divine

helped him keep everything in perspective. On the other hand,

explained Kirk, he had written upside down “life sucks” because

he realized that mortal life is improving, but fundamentally flawed.

Within himself, Kirk wondered if his work could ever enable

humanity to hurdle mortality’s basic, fundamental flaw:

selfishness. Many years later, our hero realized that this perfectly

unselfish world is indeed possible, and shall eventually be attained.

     4) Physical self-care habits that prepare me or help me

release tension: Dave Sierra initiated the discussion of this topic --

karaoke singing (and practicing) being the habit helping him deal

with tensions. Kirk appreciated the tension-breaking faculty of

singing, but remembered the time Dave had gotten him to sing My

Way at a karaoke bar and Kirk declined to try ever again.  Other

patients spoke of their tension releasing light exercise of walking

and/or calisthenics.



                                                                    153
     When it was Kirk’s turn, he again ventured a superficially

negative response that was positive taken from a slightly different

angle. He said his tension releasing physical habit was drifting,

which carries negative connotations of, perhaps, irresponsibility.

But again he cleared off the negative tint of his answer through his

well-directed reason, pointing out that his seemingly aimless

wandering around town had the positive effect of making friends

and learning the ways of the street. The group nodded in agreement

over Kirk’s response, then broke for lunch.

 A tranquil mind is unshaken by loss and gain, blame and praise,
and undisturbed by adversity. This frame of mind is brought about
   by viewing the sentient world in its proper perspective. Thus
evenness of mind leads man to enlightenment and deliverance from
                            suffering.
                                                   Piyadassi Thera

     After lunch, Kirk met with Dr. Makasaki and asked for his

discharge from Kekela, which he provided. Kirk kinda liked his

physician, but if you are treated by a dishonest, hard drug-

prescribing psychiatrist, you’ve got reason to feel victimized. 

The unethical psychiatrist had insisted to our hero that he was not


                                                                     154
the Messiah, and it was impossible for him to have been the only

birth on his arrival.

      “All you have to do is check government records and you’ll

find that there were many births on your day of delivery,” said Dr.

Makasaki. “It is impossible that you were the only birth on that

day. Impossible.”

      “Astronomically improbable, certainly; not logically

impossible, however. True, there surely would be many births

recorded on November 12, 1960” admitted Kirk, “but hospital

records can be easily falsified. And for such an enormous

event…well, all the more reason…” Makasaki chuckled, realizing

that this was as close to “seeing eye–to-eye” as he – the dishonest

psychiatrist — and Kirk – the Undercover Messiah would ever be.

Then, Dr. Makasaki told Kirk that he could leave the next day. For

the rest of Saturday, June 9, 2001 our one man interconnected with

the other patients, common people who needed to take a break

from outside-society.



                                                                   155
        Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your
    heart open through everything, your pain can become your
      greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.

                                                   Jalal Ud-din Rumi

     On Sunday, Kirk left Kekela with his mother. He had gained

much from that day of compassion because enlightenment requires

that one apply its fruit -- equanimity and loving-kindness – to

one’s fellow beings, one’s fellow travelers on life’s journey.

Nevertheless,

       Bodhi [enlightenment] is to be looked for within your own
 mind. You seek in vain for a solution to the mystery in the outside
                               world.
                                                      Matsuo Basho

     The spiritual introspection advocated by Basho is essential to

enlightenment, the second-tier awakening of Ken Wilber. That is

to say, that before an enlightened person may apply one’s

equanimity and loving-kindness to one’s fellows along the divine

journey, one must attain these traits through spiritual introspection.






                                                                   156
     This spiritual introspection need not be book learning, I

guess, but for most adults – like Kirk – it is. Along with this

edification, the upper-level consciousness memes – as Ken Wilber

called the enlightened – have within an intuitive cognitive sense

that they have inherited from past lives. Within his consciousness,

Kirk had always this special intuition to help others -- this urge to

bring happiness. After his discharge, our hero went to an early

Father’s Day hibachi dinner at one of his paternal aunt’s Palolo

home. As the evening passed, Kirk faithfully discharged his

familial duties, maintaining a loyal attentiveness to the gathering

while also being mindful of his sacred destiny.

        According to the French philosopher Alert Camus (1913-
    1960), Sisyphus, the ancient Greek sentenced by the gods (for
  trying to cheat death) to rolling a boulder up a hill only to see it
 roll back down in an eternal cycle, “was basically a happy man.”
 Camus maintained that because Sisyphus had a purpose and was
 therefore “master of his days,” he could accept his destiny with a
light heart and meditate on his situation while he walked down the
                hill to begin pushing the rock again.

                                    1001 Pearls of Buddhist Wisdom




                                                                    157
     At the party, Kirk – mindful of Rich S.’s instruction – asked

Alden for Franz Kafka’s Metamorphoses, and went on to Google

“existentialism” for a quick overview of the topic. He would come

to see the subject as his unorthodox mentor’s impetus to lead Kirk

– the unorthodox messiah – to seize his belief in the personal,

loving God and to propel onwards toward spreading a worldwide

enlightenment.




                                                                  158
                    Chapter 14: Existentialism

 The Kosmos is the most beautiful thing of everything that exists.
                                                              Plato

     The philosophy of existentialism begins by defining the

contrasting terms absolutism and relativism, reinforcing Mr.

Green’s teaching to the Undercover Messiah. According to

Wikipedia, these definitions encompass two dimensions:

epistemological (of the philosophy of knowledge) and ethical:

     1) Epistemological

           Absolutism is the view that there is a universal standard
     of truth; what is true or false depends on what the facts are
     not on what individuals or societies believe to be true.

           Relativism is the view that there is no universal
     standard of truth; what is true or false depends on what
     individuals or societies believe to be true.

     2) Ethical/Moral

           Absolutism is the view that there is a universal standard
     of right and wrong, good and bad, etc. does not depend on
     what individuals and societies believe to be right and wrong,
     good and bad, etc.

          Relativism is the view that there is no universal
     standard of right and wrong, good and bad, etc.; what is right
     and wrong, good and bad, etc. depend in some way on what

                                                                 159
     individuals or societies believe to be right and wrong, good
     and bad, etc.

     Anyway, absolutism and relativism are central to the

meaning of existentialism, which came into being in reaction to the

absolutism of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who believed

           that history is the unfolding in time of “Absolute
     Spirit.” The spirit of one age (say, uptight 1950’s
     conformism) generates its own antithesis (the hippy
     movement of the 1960’s) and the clash of the two creates a
     new synthesis (the “plastic hippies” of the 1970’s, like Wall
     Street bankers with Beatles haircuts).

           And so it goes, on and on, a dialectic [interaction of
     conflicting ideas] of thesis/antithesis/synthesis (which
     becomes the new thesis) and so on. (Plato and a Platypus
     Walk into a Bar…, p. 116)

Hegel took the perspective of God – the Absolute – and looked

down on all the trials and tribulations on our tiny pale blue sphere

– like Chaucer’s Troilus, thought our man Kirk, on his way beyond

mortal life – and figured everything’s pretty cool from God’s point

of view.

           Enter Hegel’s contemporary Soren Kierkegaard, and is
     he ever pissed. “What difference does it make that all is well
     from the point of view of the Absolute?” Soren asks. That is
     not – and cannot be – the point of view of existing

                                                                    160
     individuals. In that statement, existentialism was born.

     “I am not God,” Soren said. “I am an individual. Who cares
     how peaceful it all is from on high? I’m right here in the
     finite thick of it and I’m anxious. I’m in danger of despair.
     Me. And so what if the universe is ineluctably rolling on –
     it’s threatening to roll over me!” (p. 117)

     Writes Neil Turnbull in Get A Grip on Philosophy,

            By the beginning of the nineteenth century various
     philosophers made new attempts to try to combine
     Rationalism and Romanticism [a philosophy which
     underscores the reality of the imagination] into a new “higher
     order” philosophy.
            …
     Hegel…viewed reality as the product of the activity of a
     rational mind. However, this mind was a very different kind
     of thing from the solitary Cartesian ego of the rationalists
     (including Kant). For Hegel, Mind was a kind of universal
     spirit (Geist) that moved through time and space.

     Reason was viewed as the underlying principle that governed
     the movement of this spirit through history…

     Put crudely, the contradictions at the heart of Geist were the
     rational “engine” of historical change. (p. 129)

Hegel believed history would end when there were no

contradictory systems of belief fueling “the rational ‘engine’ of

historical change.”



                                                                    161
      He thought that this was achieved by Napoleon’s defeat of

the Prussian Army in 1806, which “represented the final triumph

of the ideas that had motivated the French Revolution: ideas of

liberty, equality, and fraternity.” Turnbull then notes that

contemporary philosopher Francis Fukuyama believed history

ended with the downfall of the Soviet Union.

            We are now, according to him, living in a “post-
      historical world” where nothing much happens and the most
      pressing social problem is boredom. However, thankfully,
      most of us are still curious about the future course of history.
      Fukuyama, like many others, just got a bit philosophically
      carried away by the end of the cold war. (p. 131)

I guess I similarly believed history would end in June 1984, when I

thought my “answer to the free will question” would be revealed to

the world, thought our hero. *L* My post-historical world would

be one of a free lifestyle of moderate sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

*L*

      Kirk came to believe that the end of history can only be

achieved when humanity’s dialectical processing advances our




                                                                    162
consciousness to second-tier level and beyond, perhaps to a stage

where we transcend time and matter. *-D

…Of the infinite there is no beginning…but this [void] seems to be
 the beginning of the other things, and to surround all things and
steer all, as all those say who do not postulate other causes, such
  as mind or love, above and beyond the infinite. And this is the
            divine, for it is immortal and indestructible.
                                                            Aristotle

  Recall how often in human history the saint and the rebel have
                      been the same person.
                                                        Rollo May

     Kirk believed that he was the agent to shift human

consciousness up a notch, thereby bringing on incremental, holistic

thinking that will better the welfare of the lower consciousness

levels of the eternal spectrum. I embody the dialectic of the system

of belief labeled absolutism and that of relativism, he thought to

himself. History fueled by my reason shall yield a higher level of

consciousness that interconnects the two.

     The blue meme Western absolutism shall merge with the

green meme Eastern relativism, synthesizing into a

yellow/turquoise meme growth level that signifies humanity’s


                                                                     163
salvation through the exercise of group/personal responsibility. Not

all, nor even most of the world’s population shall be able to

theoretically comprehend my writing, but it is enough that I reach

the ready few who can save the destitute lower spectrum levels.

0*-D I embody the mixture of East and West, green and blue

meme, relativism and absolutism because I am Jesus Christ

reincarnated, and only I can guide the collective mind to its more

enlightened upper level, thought Kirk.

     Kirk wondered if he – the Rogue Messiah – was expected to

save the world while working “brotberuf” [bread jobs] that paid the

bills. But unlike Gregor (the protagonist in Franz Kafka’s

Metamorphosis who writes privately and takes brotberuf), his

family had been gainfully employed from the start and his mother

provided for him as he undertook the clandestine salvation of the

world through a leap to a higher base of human consciousness.

Wikipedia notes that Kafka’s literary works attracted little

attention during his life and he asked his friend and literary

executor that his work be burned following his death, but his friend

                                                                  164
overrode this instruction, believing Kafka gave him the

instructions knowing that he would not honor them.

     There are ten concepts central to existentialism:

                     1) focus on concrete experience

                     2) existence precedes essence

                     3) angst

                     4) freedom

                     5) facticity

                     6) authenticity and inauthenticity

                     7) despair

                     8) the Other and The Look

                     9) reason

                     10) the Absurd

                1) Focus on Concrete Experience

     The existentialists focus on concrete human experience,

  which is determined through life choices, rather than human

  essence, which is predetermined through one’s given (“ in-

  itself”) genetics. By this it is meant that man, standing outside

                                                                  165
  from human existence, projects meaning into the “disinterested

  world of in-itselfs,” which do not project meaning (they just

  exist).

           This projected meaning remains fragile, constantly
     facing breakdown for any reason – from a tragedy to a
     particularly insightful moment. In such a breakdown, we are
     put face to face with the naked meaninglessness of the world,
     and the results can be devastating. (p. 7)

     For Kirk, the two major examples of projected meaning

breakdown are, first of all, his suicide attempt at Georgetown. He

had falsely projected meaning of the significance of a degree from

a prestigious law school, and when he came to realize the

meaninglessness of this assumption, he experienced projected

meaning breakdown.

     Secondly, his comprehension of the word prudence, an

insight which fueled his “answer to the free will question,” a

discovery explaining the bizarre character of much of Kirk’s life

was also an example of projected meaning breakdown. *L*

Actually, his discovery that prudence means “regard for one’s own

interest” did not reveal the world’s “nakedity” of meaning to him,

                                                                    166
rather, it revealed the meaningfulness of all the world, all the

universe, all the meaning of God. *L*

      Common to most existentialist philosophers is the “concern

with helping people avoid living their lives in ways that put them

in perpetual danger of having meaningful break down.” I guess the

point is, when human projection of meaning is kept under control

by focus on concrete experience – when concrete action precedes

projection of meaning to passive human nature or genetics,

apparent meaninglessness is avoided through positive action.

      As Webster’s Online Dictionary puts it, “To claim, then, that

existence precedes essence is to assert that there is no such

predetermined essence to be found in man, and that an individual’s

essence is defined by him or her through how he or she creates and

lives his or her life.” (Definition of existentialism, p. 2) That is,

one’s essence – one’s human nature – is not predetermined by

God, but – absent projection of meaning – is defined by an

individual’s positive, concrete action. Thus, more power to the

people! 

                                                                        167
                      2) Existence Precedes Essence

           What is meant by this statement is that a person is

           1) defined only insofar as he or she acts and
           2) that he or she is responsible for his or her actions.

           For example, someone who acts cruelly towards other
        people is, by that act, defined as a cruel person.
        Furthermore, by this action of cruelty such persons are
        themselves responsible for their new identity (a cruel
        person). This is as opposed to their genes, or ‘human
        nature,’ bearing the blame. (p. 8)

This is to say, we are self-made by our choices, rather than made

by our genes. Hence, culpability. Kirk noted that here freewill is

assumed – over the possible determinative power of a cosmic

essence in human nature – the powerful hand of God. No, he

decided, it’s not one or the other exclusively; there exists a

freewill/determinism dialectic yielding a human reality that gives

us a confident feeling in the power of almighty God alongside the

power of free human choice. 

The best existential analysis of the human condition leads directly
                into the problems of God and faith.
                                                     Ernest Becker



                                                                      168
                                 3) Angst

     Angst is the result of our freedom and responsibility. It is

“sometimes called dread, anxiety or even anguish,” over possible

consequences over one’s choices – or one’s involuntary actions.

           The archetypal example is the experience one has when
     standing on a cliff where one not only fears falling off it, but
     also dreads the possibility of throwing oneself off. In this
     experience that “nothing is holding me back,” one senses the
     lack of anything that predetermines you to either throw
     yourself off or to stand still, and one experiences one’s own
     freedom. (p. 8)

Ah hah! thought our hero. This angst is the reason for my

prescribed “anxiety” medications. I always understood anxiety to

be feelings of benign insecurities, not morbid, “involuntary

choices” of suicide (like I got driving out to fish at Kualoa beach

park on the narrow Kahekili Highway when I envisioned crossing

into oncoming buses and vehicles).

           It can also be seen in relation to the previous point how
     angst is before nothing, and this is what sets it apart from fear
     which has an object. While in the case of fear, one can take
     definitive measures to remove the object of fear, in the case
     of angst, no such “constructive” measures are possible.



                                                                    169
      The use of the word “nothing” in this context relates both to
      the inherent insecurity about the consequences of one’s
      actions, and to the fact that, in experiencing angst, one also
      realizes that one will be fully responsible for these
      consequences, there is no thing in you (your genes, for
      instance) that acts in your stead, and that you can “blame” if
      something goes wrong. (p. 8)

      This result of human freedom and responsibility, angst, is a

complexity I did not take account of in my earlier writings, thought

Kirk. In my first manuscript, My Quest, I analyzed the editorial

summary of Hobbes’ Leviathan. They described free will as man’s

ability to “actuate the will”:

      Man is a creature of desires and aversions; love is desire, hate
      is aversion; good is anything we desire, evil anything for
      which we feel aversion; and it is felicity at which we
      perpetually aim – perpetually “because life itself is but
      motion, and can never be without desire, nor without fear,
      any more than without sense. (p. 25)

I then described my epiphany upon realizing a “framework upon

which to answer the free will question.”

      I pointed out that a person never desires what they feel
      aversion for, nor feels aversion for what they desire. Too
      simple? Need the source and nature of human motivation be
      more complicated than my reformulated equation? (p. 25)



                                                                   170
     Thought Kirk, I now believe that angst is that very

complication to my reformulated equation, that is, when you desire

what you feel aversion for or feel aversion for what you desire, you

experience angst. In the Kosmos of experience, there exist just

such blurry, hazy areas along with the black and white areas that

represent a blending of contrasting themes into the “flowing

wholeness” of chi.


                              4) Freedom

          The existentialist concept of freedom is often
     understood as a sort of liberum arbitrium where almost
     anything is possible and where values are inconsequential to
     choice and action.

     This interpretation of the concept is often related to the
     insistence on the absurdity of the world and the assumption
     that there exists no relevant or absolutely good or bad values.

     However, that there are no values to be found in the world in
     itself does not mean that there are no values. We are usually
     brought up with certain values, and even though we cannot
     justify them ultimately, they will be “our” values. (p. 8)

Such is my value of patriotism, thought Kirk, a value of courage

and sacrifice for a higher cause. This I learned deeply during my


                                                                    171
formative years as the nephew of Item Company, Third Battalion,

442d Infantry’s First Sergeant Clarence Tenki. (And in my later

years, I discerned this courage and sacrifice in my father’s choice

of forgoing 442 service to fulfill his duty as the only male in his

extensive youthful household.)

     Patriotism is a blue meme/fundamentalist value – which

doesn’t make it bad, in itself, but a value to be transcended – yet

cherished – upon arrival to a higher level of consciousness.

           …existentialist freedom isn’t situated in some kind of
     abstract space where everything is possible: since people are
     free, and since they already exist in the world, it is implied
     that their freedom is only in this world, and that it, too, is
     restricted by it. (p. 9)

Thus, I cannot be a war hero like Uncle Clarence was; I am

restricted by the circumstances surrounding. I joined the 100th

Battalion/442d Infantry Reserve when I was physically able…but

there was no war. Twenty-nine years later, there is a long war

occurring, but I am now unable to hump. :-\

     One is responsible for one’s actions and one’s values because

one may change one’s values – they are not set in granite.

                                                                      172
            Thus, the focus on freedom in existentialism is related
     to the limit of the responsibility one bears as a result of one’s
     freedom: the relationship between freedom and responsibility
     is one of interdependency, and a clarification of freedom also
     clarifies what one is responsible for. (p. 9)


     When Kirk joined the Army in 1980, it was a free choice that

bore the assumption of a soldier’s responsibilities. When he chose

to jump from his apartment building when he went by choice to

Georgetown law school in 1983, Kirk bore the responsibilities of

his choice as a mortal in the physical world. He fell a great

distance and became physically and mentally disabled.  But Kirk

also eventually became aware that he had always been – and will

always be – the Undercover Messiah. 0*-)

               Without awareness, we are not truly alive.

                                                James F.T. Bugental

                               5) Facticity

     Facticity is a concept that is “both a limitation and a

condition of freedom,” in that you cannot choose certain things

that constitute your being (limitation) yet your values depend on


                                                                    173
them (condition). Philosophically, facticity is the “‘in-itself’” “of

which you are in the mode of not being,” for example, one’s past:

           Your past is what you are in the sense that it co-
     constitutes you. However, to say that you are only your past
     would be to ignore a large part of reality (the present and the
     future) while saying that your past is only what you were [is]
     a way that would entirely detach it from you now.

     Using Kirk’s life to illustrate facticity, I assert his

Georgetown suicide attempt co-constitutes him in that his resulting

injury precluded further Georgetown study and Army Reserve

infantry duty for him; it has also shaped his present and future

because Kirk’s values have been shaped in large part by the result

of that long, lonely Georgetown night in August of 1983. :-\

     Our hero was able to retain his ambition to become an

attorney – a value of Kirk -- by eventually entering U.H. law

school’s Pre-Admission program, then further adjusted his values

when he dropped out after failing to make the grade.  No longer

mindset on becoming a downtown attorney big shot – wearing

their professional ensemble of coat, tie, and leather shoes– Kirk

has emerged who he now is: Undercover Rogue Messiah in his

                                                                    174
chosen ensemble of dark glasses, baseball cap, t-shirt, jeans, and

white sneakers.  ( A simple man.)

                        6) Authenticity and Inauthenticity

      The dichotomy of authenticity/inauthenticity is common to

existentialist thought. One should be authentic when one takes

action; that is, “one should act as oneself.” The authentic act is one

taken freely, not determined by one’s facticity. I would have to say

that I am an authentic, simple kind of man, thought Kirk. I am

sincere, and detest brown-nosers.

      The Politician loses his authenticity when he becomes a

political icon of his district; if he were to lose this identity, he

would become like the last emperor of China dethroned, a man

stripped of all facade. Eventually, he shall die, be reincarnated, and

lose his present identity. But he will not start life again with a

blank slate. Rather, karma of his previous life determines his

current role – that, I believe, is truly his authenticity. 

      …that because of this interplay of conscious and unconscious
  factors in guilt and the impossibility of legalistic blame, we are
    forced into an attitude of acceptance of the universal human

                                                                       175
situation and a recognition of the participation of everyone of us in
                    man’s inhumanity to man.
                                                          Rollo May

                              7) Despair

      The next concept central to existentialism, writes Wikipedia,

is despair:

            Commonly defined as a loss of hope, despair in
      existentialism is more specifically related to the reaction to a
      breakdown in one or more of the “pillars” of one’s self or
      identity.

      If one is invested in being a particular thing, a waiter or an
      “upstanding citizen,” for example, and one finds oneself in a
      situation in which one has done something or had something
      done to oneself that compromises this “being thing” one
      would normally find oneself in a state of despair, a hopeless
      state.

      Kirk had such an experience of despair after surviving his

suicide attempt. He had so identified himself as a sparkling

Georgetown law student – a future lawyer – that he felt

emasculated when he returned home not a jewel of a lawyer, not a

promising law student, not even a crappy college student.

      But there is a further dimension to the existentialist concept

of despair, and that is that one is always in despair, so long as “one

                                                                    176
is vulnerable to having one’s world break down”; that is, “one is

considered to be in perpetual despair,” given that one’s pillars of

identity have the very possibility of being knocked down. 

However, given that Kirk’s pillar of identity was being the

Undercover Messiah, he was sorta immune from perpetual despair.



                    8) The Other and The Look

     I will illustrate this concept with Kirk’s stolen glance

experience while an undergraduate. Wikipedia reads,

           the experience of the Other is the experience of another
     free subject who inhabits the same world as you do. In the
     most basic form, it is this experience of the Other that
     constitutes intersubjectivity and objectivity.

I believe that this means that the objective sphere is composed of

the subjective experiences of both you and the Other – your

intersubjectivity approximating/yielding the objective experience

of the world.

     When Kirk worked at an ice cream parlor in the late

seventies, on separate occasions both pop music stars Cher and


                                                                      177
Bono shared “The Look” with him while he was behind the

counter when they were seated. He remembers kinda feeling their

eyes on him, then when he returned “The Look,” their eyes met

momentarily, then the moment passed and they shifted their gaze.

What Kirk and they –from “over there,” – experienced

intersubjectively constitute the objective reality of the experience.

           To clarify, when one experiences someone else, and
     this Other person experiences the world (the same world you
     experience), only from “over there,” the world itself is
     constituted as objective in that it is something that is “there”
     as identical for both of the subjects: you experience the other
     person as experiencing the same as you. This experience of
     the Other’s look is what is termed the Look (sometimes The
     Gaze). (p. 10)

            …no existence can be validly fulfilled if it is limited to
                                itself.
                                                Simone de Beauvoir

                      9) Reason

     Existentialists argue that humans are not primarily rational,

but make their decisions based on personal meaning. “Human

reason has boundaries,” exclaimed Kierkegaard, asserting

rationality was a “means to interact with the objective world (e.g.,


                                                                   178
in the natural sciences),” but was insufficient to deal with the

existential problem of anxiety and angst.

     When I attempted suicide during that long, lonely August

night at Georgetown in 1983, I did not base my decision on reason,

reflected Kirk, but my vague perceptions of the meanings of my

situation. I believed –by projected meaning --that the homely

daughter had some control over me (because her father was one of

my father’s bosses), that if I dropped out of Georgetown law

school, I would be unable to become a lawyer, and that my

clockmaker God was too busy to care about my choice to end my

young life. I was wrong on all points, thought Kirk, acting without

sound reason.

  …the individual is defined only by his relationship to the world
  and to other individuals he exists only by transcending himself,
   and his freedom can be achieved only through the freedom of
    others. He justifies his existence by a movement which, like
freedom, springs from his heart but which leads outside of himself.

                                                 Simone de Beauvoir




                                                                   179
                      10)    The Absurd

     This segment of existentialism “contains the idea that there is

no meaning to be found in the world beyond what meaning we

give to it.” This meaninglessness entails the amorality of the world,

this perception contrasting the justice embodied by religious

conception of earthly life. Writes Arthur Goldwag in –Isms & -

Ologies,

           Everybody knows intuitively that they exist – it is the
     why, how, and what of being that are so problematic. In a
     world in which religion, nation, social class, and custom no
     longer provide secure identities, people felt empty,
     oppressed, and panicked. If there is no God, if human history
     and life serve no grand, transcendent purpose, then aren’t all
     our strivings absurd? (p. 89)

     That being the case, Kirk strongly rejected this existentialist

perception. While Friedrich Nietzsche’s answer was not God, but

the Ubermensch (directly translated Overman, figuratively

Superman), who was a kind of Greco/Roman hero, Kirk felt that

with his educational background, he had long perceived that the

universe, and humanity’s part within it, is just. This is clearly

opposed to existentialist thought, which “crucially depends on the

                                                                    180
fact that there is no God, which makes the universe ‘absurd,’

without meaning or purpose. No God also means no such thing as

‘human nature,’ because human beings have not been

‘manufactured’ to some divine plan or ‘essence.’” (Introduction to

Philosophy, Dave Robinson, p. 122)

      Kirk’s education convinced him otherwise. In his college

study of economics, he remembered the marvelous rationality he

perceived in the logical precision in microeconomic models, their

graphs and charts so rationally sound, in English literature, the

voice of reason presenting tales of our human experience, and in

history, this same reason describing with specific clarity the human

tale past.

      My belief after all these years, thought Kirk, is that when you

do good, good karma results and everybody is better off; when you

do bad, bad karma results, and everybody is worse off. The absurd

results at times, I guess, but one must look at the big picture to

comprehend the meaning of what seemed meaningless and random

in the small picture. This “big picture” can be understood only

                                                                     181
when one sees “the forest for the trees,” and recognizes all the

interconnections comprising the causal network of karma that

assures us of eternal justice.

      In humanity’s timeless big picture is divine justice – if not in

societal institutions then – it always amazes me – there is poetic

justice. Surely, there is a higher order guiding the doings of mice

and men to bring about this everyday righteousness.

Because our interests are inextricably linked, we are compelled to
accept ethics as the indispensable interface between my desire to
                        be happy and you.

                                                          Dalai Lama




                                                                     182
                      Chapter 15: Cosmic Consciousness

      After he had learned from the existentialism material after

discharge from Kekela, Kirk asked Alden’s assistance in

expanding his worldview. Alden first of all guided him to the book

by Tom Butler-Bowdon, 50 Spiritual Classics, realizing this

writing would consequentially lead the emerging messiah to

Cosmic Consciousness by Richard Maurice Bucke, one of the 50

spiritual classics.

                     Vos estis tam sancti sicut vultis.
                 You are as holy as you will yourself to be.

                                                      Meister Eckhart

      First of all, however, Kirk learned in 50 Spiritual Classics

that according to the topic’s logic, there are 3 levels of

consciousness in life:

      1) Simple consciousness is the animal awareness of their
      bodies and their environment.

      2) Self consciousness is the human awareness of self.

      3) Cosmic consciousness is an acute awareness of the true
      “life and order of the universe” that sets those who possess it
      above the ordinary person.

                                                                     183
     Cosmic consciousness is the upper-tier perspective of the

yellow and turquoise memes of Ken Wilber’s Theory of

Everything, which is available for all people to experience at peak

moments, if not of the upper levels of consciousness themselves.

That is to say, even the lower consciousnesses at times can

experience glimmers of the Greeks’ kosmos – the integral

interconnection of the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, the

metaphysical. And the beauty of all this is that those of cosmic

consciousness “see that the nature of the universe is love, and that

we are all part of an undying conscious life force.”

     When all humanity attains cosmic consciousness, a veritable

paradise arrives:

           In a time of cosmic consciousness, Bucke says, religion
     would not exist, as there would be no need to profess belief
     or unbelief – everyone would have first-hand awareness of
     God and the perfect spiritual nature of the universe. The
     difference between that world and the one we know now
     would be like that between the dawn of humanity and the
     present.




                                                                     184
     Imagine that – a world of “first-hand awareness of God” that

renders religion obsolete! I take it that everyone will be a shaman,

as the spiritual universe would totally merge with the mortal world.

At present – May 8, 2011 – we may seem far from this reality, yet

perhaps we are not so far. 

            A leap in evolution of this magnitude sounds far-
     fetched, but Bucke points out that all new human traits or
     abilities began first with one person and in time became
     universal. The apprehension of color, for instance, came
     relatively late to humans. There is no mention in the Bible of
     the sky being blue, and the ancient Greeks perceived no more
     than three or four colors. Bucke’s point was that as time has
     gone on, man has been able to perceive things that weren’t
     previously considered to exist.

This apprehension of the sense of color is like that depicted in the

movie Pleasantville, in which 90’s teenaged nerd David – who has

memorized pretty much all the trivia of Ozzie and Harriet-like,

black and white, conformist 50’s family happy ending TV script

world, where nothing unpleasant ever happens.

     When David transmogrifies into the TV land, he gradually

brings color —expanded consciousness – to the black and white,

happy ending TV script world. Expanding human consciousness

                                                                   185
defies the status quo, eventually yielding the cosmic

consciousness,

           which enables man to realize [understand and actualize]
     the oneness of the Universe, to sense the presence in it and
     thoughout it of the Creator, to be free of all fears of evil, or
     disaster or death, to comprehend that Love is the rule and
     basis of the Cosmo’s.

                                                         (Acklom)
The cosmic consciousness brought to Pleasantville is signaled by

the enlightened person’s vibrant coloring; gradually, all in

Pleasantville break away from the monochromatic existence by

attainment of cosmic consciousness. Richard Maurice Bucke

predicted that there would be a snowball effect as more and more

people attained enlightenment, such that cosmic consciousness

would eventually become a “regular attribute of adult humanity.”

     The attainment of cosmic consciousness will have an

awesome unifying effect:

           In contact with the flux [fusion] of cosmic
     consciousness all religions known and named today will be
     melted down. The human soul will be revolutionized.
     Religion will absolutely dominate the race. It will not depend
     on tradition. It will not be believed and disbelieved. It will
     not be a part of life, belonging to certain hours, times,

                                                                  186
     occasions. It will not be in sacred books nor in the mouths of
     priests.

While it may seem undesirable to have all religions “melted

down,” this assertion’s context is the stripping away of dogma and

pretense of each different religion, which will be actualized by

each person throughout their lives.

     Cosmic consciousness

           will not dwell in churches and meetings and forms and
     days. Its life will not be in prayers, hymns nor discourses. It
     will not depend on special revelations, on the words of gods
     who came down to teach, nor on any bible or bibles. It will
     have no mission to save men from their sins or to secure
     them entrance to heaven. It will not teach a future
     immortality nor future glories, for immortality and all glory
     will exist in the here and now.

Cosmic consciousness – upper-tier meme enlightened thinking --

will be actualized all day/every day. When that time arrives,

humanity shall actualize a heaven on earth. 

           The evidence of immortality will live in every heart as
     sight in every eye. Doubt of God and of eternal life will be as
     impossible as is now doubt of existence; the evidence of each
     will be the same.

            Religion will govern every minute of every day of all
     life. Churches, priests, forms, creeds, prayers, all agents, all

                                                                    187
     intermediaries between the individual man and God will be
     permanently replaced by direct unmistakable intercourse. Sin
     will no longer exist nor will salvation be desired. Men will
     not worry about death or a future, about the kingdom of
     heaven, about what may come with and after the cessation of
     the life of the present body.

           Each soul will feel and know itself to be immortal, will
     feel and know that the entire universe with all its good and
     with all its beauty is for it and belongs to it forever. The
     world peopled by men possessing cosmic consciousness will
     be as far removed from the world of today as this is from the
     world as it was before the advent of self consciousness.

                           Cosmic Consciousness, First Words, p.5

     Non-dogmatic religion will strip away the fearful dread many

people have of dying. They will come to understand that death is

not Hemingway’s nada, not a termination as much as a transition.

Your former incarnation is terminated, yes, but your being transits

to a new incarnation – and you have another chance at

enlightenment. In fact, I believe, every person will be a shaman

until there is no need for shamanic intermediaries; as Bucke wrote,

“all agents, all intermediaries between the individual man and God

will be permanently replaced by direct, unmistakable intercourse.”



                                                                   188
  When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on
   earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it.

                                                Frederick Douglass

     Acting alone, Kirk applied this learning to his reading of the

1993 edition of Chicken Soup For The Soul, in which cello

virtuoso Pablo Casals had the following to say to each of us – be

we enlightened now or to be enlightened someday:


                              You Are A Marvel

           Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the
     universe, a moment that will never be again…And what do
     we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make
     four, and that Paris is the capital of France.

           When will we also teach them what they are?

          We should say to each of them: Do you know what you
     are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that
     have passed, there has never been another child like you.
     Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move.

          You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a
     Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are
     a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another
     who is, like you, a marvel?

          You must work – we must all work – to make the world
     worthy of its children.        Pablo Casals

                                                                    189
Each day, our man Kirk realized, was a unique and amazing

moment of the universe. Yet, as Casals asks, when will we teach

our children that they, as part of this universe, are new and unique

marvels of experience? He could remember this excited awakening

from his youth at Holy Mission Baptist church – this confirmation

of the enlightenment he was in the process of receiving.

     Given this marvelous potential in us all, this potential for

yellow and turquoise upper-tier consciousness -- this capacity to be

a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethovan – Casals asks how

can we grow up to harm others who are just as unique and special

as we are. The answer is that we do grow up to harm others just as

unique and special as us because relatively few of us are of Ken

Wilber’s upper-tier consciousness. I believe, however, thought our

hero Kirk, that as more and more of humanity achieves cosmic

consciousness, a snowballing effect will ensue – until all humanity

realizes the integral law of the universe, the truth expounding the

interrelationship and interdependence of all.


                                                                    190
     Thought Kirk of the absolutism/relativism dialectic

[interplay], I have long thought that there can be no answer

between the “correctness” of the two, but only – at best-- a choice

of their dual natured reality: relative absolutism or absolute

relativism. This gray area nature of “truth” is about the closest as

you can get to a final answer, Kirk once thought. But now, he

asked himself, is there a God? Well, he thought, Western faith

says there is, but Eastern belief, while not saying there isn’t, does

not address the question. That being the case, thought Kirk, I

choose to believe the relative absolute that there is a personal

loving almighty God, given my exposure to the teaching of cosmic

consciousness, which absolutely proposes the existence of such.

And although I may spend a lifetime trying to rationally achieve

the answer, I will be unable to get any closer than this: it is my

choice to believe in a personal God. Therefore I have a free will

and an almighty God.

     By so reasoning, our hero Kirk transcended Wilber’s

indecisive green meme, choosing instead to boldly declare within

                                                                     191
his absolute belief in the Almighty. Kirk had come to this

resolution by fairly painstaking research and effort. He realized,

however, that many others have or will have achieved the same

enlightenment without intensive thought – reaching the same goal

instead by living lives of simple compassionate loving kindness.

Such people have achieved enlightenment by realizing –

actualizing – their loving kindness, and really, many needed no

more than Kindergarten education:

                All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in
                              Kindergarten

           Most of what I really need to know about how to live
     and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten.
     Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate mountain, but
     there in the sandbox at nursery school.

            These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play
     fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them.
     Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
     Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands
     before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good
     for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and
     draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every
     day some.

          Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the
     world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be

                                                                     192
     aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup.
     The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really
     knows how or why but we are all like that.

            Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the
     little seed in the plastic cup – they all die. So do we.

            And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and
     the first word you learned the biggest word of all: LOOK.
     Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The
     Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and
     politics and sane living.

           Think of what a better world it would be if we all – the
     whole world – had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every
     afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or
     if we had a basic policy in our nations to always put things
     back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes.
     And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go
     out into the world, it is better to hold hands and stick
     together.

                                                    Robert Fulghum

Kirk got this essay from the 1993 publication Chicken Soup for the

Soul, written and compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor

Hansen. In Kindergarten, Kirk could sense a coming era of

worldwide peace and prosperity when people would have the

humility to actualize their early childhood learning:



                                                                 193
           Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things
     back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t
     take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt
     somebody.
                                          ( Robert Fulghum, p. 130)

Many would scoff at my vision off as simplistic idealism, thought

our man, but I can truly sense the beginning of a snowball’s tumble

of ever-incremental expansion. It may take hundreds, or

thousands, or hundreds of thousands of years for all the world to

embrace these Kindergarten rules, but the time is coming when

Cosmic Consciousness – the end result of an individual’s

realization of these Kindergarten rules – shall be the human norm.

     Kirk had thought about it for a while, now is my time to act; I

shall enlighten those who have ears to hear. He realized, of course,

that he would be dispensed as a lunatic by many, but drew

encouragement from his high school namesake’s words:


                 Are You Strong Enough To Handle Critics?

            It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points
      out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds
      could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man
       who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust

                                                                 194
       and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and
        comes short again and again because there is no effort
        without error and shortcomings, who knows the great
     devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best
     knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who at
      worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall
      never be with those timid and cold souls who know neither
                            victory nor defeat.

                                                Theodore Roosevelt

Kirk came to understand that he had pretty well actualized

Roosevelt’s call for heroism, for striving valiantly for a worthy

cause. It was not for our hero to remain a timid and weak soul

“who knows neither victory nor defeat,” but rather to be “the man

who is actually in the arena” -- such as Hobron Lane -- his face

marred by tears, daring to quest onwards while realizing that he

would not be celebrated during his lifetime, but cherishing the

good he can accomplish now anyway.

     He realized – actualized – being a bodhisattva, knowing he

would not be overtly thanked, by his free choice. Kirk had read of

such people in the following account of Nazi persecution:




                                                                    195
                             Obstacles

We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men
who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their
last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they
offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but
 one thing: The last of his freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in
    any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
                                                    Viktor E. Frankl
                                         Man’s Search for Meaning

Our hero was one who could see that

      The all-important thing is not killing or giving life…winning
 or losing. It is how we win, how we lose, how we live or die and
                      finally, how we choose.
                                                           R.H. Blyth
     He now understood that he was of the humble elite, gifted to

lead humanity to a higher level of excellence. Given Kirk’s

experiences of failure and disappointment, he was very receptive to

Chicken’s invitation to

                          Consider This

  After Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the memo from the testing
director of MGM, dated 1933, said, “Can’t act! Slightly bald! Can
  dance a little!” Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his
                         Beverly Hills home.

An expert said of Vince Lombardi: “He possesses minimal football
                  knowledge. Lacks motivation.”


                                                                  196
      Socrates was called, “An immoral corrupter of youth.”

Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his
own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher
              called him hopeless as a composer.

The parents of the famous opera singer Enrico Caruso wanted him
to be an engineer. His teacher said he had no voice at all and could
                             not sing.

   Charles Darwin, father of the Theory of Evolution, gave up a
 medical career and was told by his father, “You care for nothing
but shooting, dogs and rat catching.” In his autobiography, Darwin
 wrote, “ I was considered by all my masters and by my father, a
very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard in intellect.”

  Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of ideas.
  Walt Disney also went bankrupt several times before he built
                          Disneyland.

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything.

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four years old and didn’t
 read until he was seven. His teacher described him as “mentally
slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams.” He was
  expelled and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic
                              School.

Louis Pasteur was only a mediocre pupil in undergraduate studies
            and ranked 15th out of 22 in chemistry.

          Isaac Newton did very poorly in grade school.

  The sculptor Rodin’s father said “ I have an idiot for a son.”
Described as the worst pupil in the school Rodin failed three times

                                                                 197
   to secure admittance to the school of art. His uncle called him
                            uneducable.

Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace, flunked out of college. He
     was described as “both unable and unwilling to learn.”

  Eighteen publishers turned down Richard Bach’s 10,000-word
  story about a “soaring” seagull, Jonathan Livingston Seagull,
before Macmillan finally published it in 1970. By 1975 it had sold
        more than seven million copies in the U.S. alone.

At this time, August 2001, Kirk finally decided to take a big step in

his life – he chose to quit his civil service paralegal career

(brotberuf) and devote himself fully to scholarly writing. Facing

life became more fulfilling to him because he had long understood

that he was meant for so much more than being a lawyer’s helper.

He had saved enough money to have his first manuscript published

for $10,000 and he felt quite confident that his time had come. As

it turned out, however, he was wrong and very few people bought

his work.

 Consider that I labored not for myself only but for all those that
                          seek learning.

                                            The Book of Sirach 33:17



                                                                     198
      After quitting his bread job, Kirk had the time to clown

around by calling into local radio stations. He was especially fond

of the Star 101.9 alternative rock music station, and became

friends with many of the different deejays. One morning, on

Hudson and Scotty B’s show, the theme was different listeners’

various initiations in life. Kirk called in and described his first

“male arousal” taking place during the final time his attractive

cousin Cyndi gave him a bath. Hey, it was entrapment, man! I was

like 5 years old and she was like prime time 17 or 18!

      “Thanks, Kirk from Manoa Valley!” exclaimed the deejays,

cutting our hero off at the borderline. Kirk called in daily for a

while, then actualized his higher priorities after the World Trade

Center’s mark on the world’s new era. On the Sunday of

September 9, 2001, our hero approached The Other in the Central

YMCA’s weightroom, trying to earn some points, but she was

having her period (so pretty much any and everything pissed her

off). On September 10, 2001, Kirk, acting on his own volition,

went on a month long abstinence from alcoholic beverage on the

                                                                      199
condition that he would get his driving privilege back if successful.

*L*

      On the Monday night of September 10, 2001, Kirk fell asleep

watching television, waking at 3 AM, Hawaii time, barely minutes

after the first airplane crashed into the World Trade Center.

Immediately he awoke and gathered his thoughts. Oh, this is big!

Is this the end of the world? Moments later, the second plane

struck the tower down and it was announced that another plane had

crashed into the Pentagon, and another crash-landed in nearby

Pennsylvania.

      As the reports came in, Kirk soon enough understood it was

not the end of the world. Well, this is bad, but the attack is not

really sophisticated, Kirk figured. He had no doubt who the

terrorists were – the same group that carried out the explosive

attack on the U.S.S. Cole 11 months earlier. This is the time I am to

matter in the world. I thought that with the Cold War over, the

world was not really desperate for salvation. But now I see my



                                                                     200
calling; I am to heal the terrorist-battered world of the 21st

century.

     Kirk’s father had died the month before all this, and our hero

missed him during this time of trial. But Kirk truly felt happy for

his late father, because he knew that he was in heaven, or nirvana,

at one with God. Kirk was doubtless about this, given all the

volunteer work his father had devoted himself to, and all the

sacrifice he had made because he was the sole male in his family.

As a matter of fact, his story of sacrifice was written up on the

front page of the daily newspaper shortly after his death. Kirk

knew his father was gone, but could also see that he was right

beside his Prodigal Son, in the spirit world. I need to decipher all

the Shamanic messages from that world, and I know things will be

okay because of the benevolent nature of the Almighty. Thus, in the

End, it’s all good. To those who will ask, “Well, what about now?”

all that can be said is to have mindful patience. 

     In the time after the attack – days, weeks, months later --

Kirk was inspired by the devotion of rescue workers tirelessly

                                                                    201
tending their assistance. He was almost tearful that he was unable

to participate in the recovery, but he came to understand that his

part is to guide the world without recognition by voicing his ideas

through his writing. This was the reason he quit his bread job – to

commit to a bigger – more worthy -- cause. Since he could not

express this openly to others, many of his associates thought he

was nuts. But it doesn’t matter what other people say, you gotta do

what you know is right.

       Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you
   decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are
                              wrong.
                                            Ralph Waldo Emerson

     On Sunday, October 23, 2001 at 11:00 AM, Kirk went back

to Holy Mission Church, figuring it was the right thing to do.

Since “The Rescue,” he knew that the little Holy Mission girl who

fell off his shoulders was The Other. He really, really hoped that

she would not put him through an endless test. He was wrong. She

did. He was met at Holy Mission by Alden, his wife Lavonne, and




                                                                     202
their 2 kids. The service began with contemporary rock and roll

Christian music that Kirk very much enjoyed.

     Pastor Steve continued the service, exclaiming how he could

feel the divine presence in the very Holy Mission church building.

He praised the infinite ability of Jesus to make His teachings

accessible to humble followers. Kirk was rapt in attention, all his

ability devoted to perform the correct action the Holy Mission

hinted at. He discerned that he was to remain anonymous – not

leap up and proclaim his majesty.

      Then, Pastor Steve gave his sermon, which centered on the

Prodigal Son story:

           Today, I’d like to talk about Jesus’ parable of The Lost
     Son. (“Parable” means story.) There was once an aging
     father with 2 sons working his fields. The younger one asked
     for his share of inheritance. So, the father divided his
     property between his 2 sons.
           Not long after that, this younger son got together all he
     had, set off for a distant country (similar to Las Vegas) and
     squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent
     everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country
     and he began to be in need. So he went and got a job in the
     fields feeding pigs. He longed for the pods that the pigs ate –
     which is pretty humbling for the lost son, who was Jewish –
     but no one gave him anything.

                                                                  203
      When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my
father’s field hands have food to spare, and here I am
starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and
say to him: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and
against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
Please make me like one of your field hands.’ Thusly, he got
up and went to his father.
      But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him
and was filled with compassion; he ran to his son, and
hugged and kissed him.
      The prodigal son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned
against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be
called your son.’
      But the father was overwhelmed with rejoice; he told
his servants to bring the best robe and ring and sandals for
his wayward soon. “Bring the fattened calk and kill it. Let’s
have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead
and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So started the
party.
      While all this was going on, the elder brother was
working in the field. When he came near the house, he heard
music and dancing. He asked the servants what was going
on, and one said that ‘Your brother has come back and your
father has killed the fatted calf because he has him back safe
and sound.’
      The older brother became enraged and refused to go in.
So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he
answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving
for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave
me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
But when this son of yours who has squandered your
property with wild living comes home, you throw a party!’
      ‘My son,’ said the father, ‘you are always with me, and
everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be


                                                            204
     glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive
     again; he was lost and is found.’”

The story brought tears of relief to Kirk’s eyes, as he painfully

recalled his past at Holy Mission 25 years earlier, and also his

failure at Georgetown in 1983. The prodigal son’s apology to his

father struck at our hero deeply, as he recalled the shame and

defeat he felt quitting church in high school and returning from law

school after his attempted suicide: I am no longer worthy to be

called your son.

     He remembered the lost/found framework that was preached

by the Southern Baptists in 1976, and he sensed the anonymous

attention of everyone in the church. After telling the parable,

Pastor Steve almost directly called Kirk to the altar by inviting all

who might have been hurt earlier – maybe by mean words at this

church – to come to the front and share a moment of reconciliation

with him. Kirk did so, telling the pastor that he had quit the church

25 years ago, but was ready to return. Pastor Steve congratulated –




                                                                    205
and thanked –- Kirk for sharing this with him, then prayed with

The Fallen One:

                             Father God,

We humbly thank you for this eternal period of reconciliation. This
young man Kirk has come forward to again walk the walk. Please
   grant him the strength to do so, and receive his sacrifice as
                    homage to your holy way.
                     In Jesus name we pray,

                                Amen.


Kirk liked the reverend’s brief, cogent prayer, and thanked him for

it, then returned to his seat. Pastor Steve was a straight shooter,

thus attracting our sincere hero. In the coming Sundays, the

minister revealed his own sinful tendencies, but always closed by

relating the power of God to heal all wounds, to cure all addictions.

Kirk knew he had done right by choosing to walk the walk again at

Holy Mission because he knew that the little Holy Mission girl was

The Other, the woman meant for him from Act One, Scene One of

The Human Tale.

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have
done for others and the world remains and is immortal. Albert Pike

                                                                      206
     On Veteran’s Day, Sunday, November 11, 2001, Kirk went

to Holy Mission to pay homage to the Chosen Few who had faced

combat for an American ideal, but unexpectedly for him, Pastor

Steve requested all who have served -- peacetime or war, regular

service or reserve – to rise and be recognized. Kirk did so rather

sheepishly because he felt unworthy of distinction, but Pastor

Steve said he understood the reluctance of many veterans to

receive acknowledgement, but humbly requested that we all rise –

for us all. Thus, our hero arose, kinda embarrassed, but kinda

proud because he had once done the right thing. He would have

willingly – proudly, in fact -- served in Iraq and Afghanistan, but

these were not the circumstances he faced.  At any rate, one may

note a discrepancy in Kirk’s hypothetical combat service in that he

disagreed with the American use of force in the 2 wars, but

nevertheless would have been proud to serve therein. His blue

meme wave of consciousness -- valuing patriotic duty --would

supercede his green level ideal of conciliation.


                                                                     207
          Stop attachments, coveting, desires, and let go of
embarrassment and timidity in doing deeds that increase merit and
                     engage your talent.

                                                       Santideva




                                                              208
                           Chapter 16: The Play

        On Sunday, December 16, 2001, Kirk took his mother to the

Holy Mission Christmas play All On A Christmas Day, a

Broadway style musical celebrating one man’s journey to faith.

This play – and the Holy Mission version of it – was meant to

strike our man close to home. The story details the life path of a

Rufus Miller, a man born on Christmas Day 1915.

        The play opens in Holly’s house on Christmas day in the

present day. She is a young mother, Rufus’ granddaughter, busy

decorating their Christmas tree, as her daughter, youngster Megan,

shuffles between helping her mom and talking to Poppy Rufus,

who is barely able to move after a recent stroke. Megan adores her

great-grandfather and begs her mother to tell his story from a

family photo album. After seeing a couple of his youthful photos,

she asks why he never smiles. Holly leafs through a couple of

pages and realizes he never smiled in his youthful pictures. She

begins his life story with a photo of the hospital he was born at in

1915.

                                                                     209
     The next scene takes place in that Kansas hospital’s delivery

room, with Rufus’ mother Eliza singing just prior to birth,

             Oh God, it’s a miracle. Oh God, it’s a miracle.
                  Let this child be a blessing, Lord.
                         Let this child be great.
                   Keep him healthy in your care.
                        Oh Lord, keep him safe.
                          (It’s A Miracle, All On A Christmas Day)

      In his boyhood days, Rufus longs to make a name for

himself, singing when 11 years old along with a chorus of friends

on Christmas Day 1926:

                         I’m Gonna Be A Hero

            Show me a guy who’s got fear in his eyes,
            And I’ll show you a kid whose got nothin’!
            No desire to be what all real men can be,
                     He’s afraid to stand free,
                 But that kid won’t be me, ‘cause

                       I’m gonna be a hero,
                    The best they’ve ever seen.
            Then folks’ll think of Christmas and Rufus.
                They’ll put me in the schoolbooks,
                    Hang pictures on the tree.
             Then folks’ll think of Christmas and me.

                      I’ll wear a silk top hat
                        And a pair of spats
                   That’ll stretch up to my knee,

                                                                210
               A sealskin coat
            That’ll help me float
         When I swim from sea to sea.

            He’s gonna be a hero,
          The best they’ve ever seen,
  Then folks’ll think of Christmas and Rufus.

                Hold me back
     ‘Cause I’ll be ready for any attack,
     Conquer the world and give it back
       Swim the oceans upside down,
         Fly so high I catch a cloud.
      And I’ll make my momma proud,
   ‘Cause that’s the stuff that makes a hero.

           I’ll have me jinglin’ spurs
             That’ll shine and whir
            And a shooter on my hip
                 Men will swoon
             When I’m on the moon
            In my very own airship.

             He’s gonna be a hero,
          The best they’ve ever seen;
   Then folk’ll think of Christmas and Rufus.

    Then folks’ll think of Christmas and me

         He’ll be ready for any attack,
      Conquer the world and give it back
        Swim the oceans upside down,
        Fly so high he’ll catch a cloud.
                     Rufus!
(I’m Gonna Be A Hero, All On A Christmas Day)

                                                211
     In the next scene, a prerecorded voiceover announces that

“…British pilots rush to stem the German war machine in Europe.

In Nazi-occupied Poland today, a British plane flown by a

volunteer American crew was shot down near Warsaw. And in

other news…” When Rufus’ mother Eliza hears this, she prays for

her son, just as Kirk’s mother Nancy prayed upon hearing that her

son had been found unconscious that morning of August 1983 at

Georgetown.

     In Act I, Scene 5, Rufus in flight uniform awakens in a

Jewish family’s house in Poland. In the plane crash, he had

suffered a head injury. In Holy Mission’s production, Rufus has a

severe limp thereafter, but in the original script he does not. This is

to let our hero notice that it’s all for him. When Rufus becomes

acquainted with the family’s bleak wartime existence, he must ask

how they do this. The elder father Uri and choir representing

oppressed people who hold tight their faith in God sing

                                  …


                                                                    212
         God, who carries the wind and holds the seas,
       This God has love enough to reach and care for me.
                When I am crushed by all I see,
             He helps me to trust, and know that he
              Hears every cry of those who grieve
      And moves in the hearts of all with simple faith to see.

                I do not know why things are unfair,
              I don’t understand the hate men share,
                     But I know God is always,
                        God is always there.

                                 …

                   (God Is Always There, All On A Christmas Day)

     The next scene takes place in 1940’s Hollywood, where

Rufus meets Ginger, his future wife. They are both bit part actors,

and Rufus feels claustrophobic in this environment. As he

denigrates his lack of achievements in life, Ginger consoles him,

saying strongly, “I love you, and I want to be your wife.”

     This stung Kirk’s eyes, as he could see The Other and

himself in their shoes. Since he had never had a steady girlfriend

even, he could only imagine what a love affair was like. He tells

Ginger:



                                                                     213
           “ Don’t you see? I just want to be somebody. I need

     something to wrap my arms around, something to grab a hold

     of. Be what I was meant to be. Do what I was made to do. I

     thought this was it. But I’m just a failure.”

That was Kirk’s self-appraisal after failing law school twice. Like

Rufus, he had envisioned himself as a youth to be a hero when he

grew up – a sports star, a war hero, the policeman saving the day.

     Even a glossy head-shot posted at a five and dime would be

better than being worthless, laments Rufus. Replies Ginger, “Rufus

Miller, you are not worthless to me or to God, you hear me?”

     “God gave up on me, Ginger.”

     Ginger turns the corner, saying “God doesn’t give up and

neither will I. If you don’t like it here, then let’s go somewhere

else.” As the scene closes, Ginger convinces Rufus to return with

her to Indiana, land of opportunity, where Rufus muses about

taking up politics to make his mark.

     Next came intermission, and Kirk stepped out of the church

auditorium for a smoke break. He noted how the Rufus character

                                                                     214
of Holy Mission’s version stretches the mind’s eye, given that he

was trying to break into the movie world despite his pronounced

limp. He saw a lot of himself in the protagonist; of course, he was

meant to.

     Act II returns to Holly’s house on Christmas Eve. Megan

asks Holly if Poppy Rufus had ever traveled with a circus, as a

strong man with his big, rough hands picking up elephants, maybe.

The absolute love Megan has for her great-grandfather reminded

Kirk of the complete adoration of his second cousin’s children for

their great-grandmother that he witnessed at one of his father’s

brother- in-law’s apartments at a get-together. The bond he saw

between the elderly Japanese woman with humble downcast eyes

and the adoration of her young great-grandchildren for her was

palpable. The instant he thought of that, Kirk was reminded of his

sacred duty to the world, from yesterday’s generation to

tomorrow’s and onward. 

     The life of Rufus reemerges in Act II, Scene 11, where it is

Christmas Eve, 1952 in Munster, Indiana. He is working at his

                                                                   215
father-in-law’s pharmacy, and he is unable to call Ginger’s father

Dad. His wife tells him that that is what her father wants, but he

shies away from the relationship. He longs for something more

from life, some achievement worthy of remembrance. He has a

picnic lunch engineered by Ginger, who is in late pregnancy. She

points out, hopeful to lift her husband’s spirit, that her father would

soon retire — and he could take over. She doesn’t realize the depth

of his outer sullenness. Rufus sings:

     She’s so demurely chewing on her watercress souffle,
    While I’m quietly stewing on my life within a masquerade.

                   This smile is hard to maintain,
                        I feel politely insane.
                            It’s calling me,
                  A tom-tom drum in my brain, but
                           She sees nothing,
                      She sees nothing wrong.

                   I wrestle both day and night,
              With something wrong, something right.
                       They’re calling me,
                 But here I stand in her eyes, and
                         She sees nothing,
                           Only nothing.

                      I should be up on my feet,
                        A man made complete,

                                                                    216
                        A high-wire star.
                   Up there it’s never how slow
                         A fella can go,
                          Only how far.

                         She sees nothing,
                          Only nothing.

                    I should be up on my feet,
                      A man made complete,
                         A high-wire star.
                   Up there it’s never how slow
                          A fella can go,
                          Only how far.

                    And so I struggle and strain
                      Against a solo campaign
                         That’s calling me.
                It’s sure she’ll never complain, for
                          She sees nothing,
                          She sees nothing.
                            I am nothing,
                    But she sees nothing wrong.

                        She Sees Nothing, All On A Christmas Day

     The scene ends, and 19 years go by. Ginger had successfully

delivered Jennifer, the couple’s only child, who, in 1971 is a hippy

protester of the war in Vietnam specifically, and the closed-door

nature of American government, generally. Rufus has made a

name for himself in Washington, D.C., in politics or some federal

                                                                    217
government administrative post. On Christmas Eve, 1971, Jennifer

is protesting with hippies outside the White House. Her boyfriend

is Ricky, seated with a blanket around him.

     “The protest will be cool, but sorry, not much of a present,”

he says to her.

     “It’s OK… I don’t believe in all the Christmas vibes

anyway,” she replies.

     “You don’t?” Ricky opens up to Jennifer, saying “Jesus is

cool. He was a lot like us, you know? He fought injustice. Paid the

supreme price too, man. When you look into it, you know, you see,

the whole plan is, like, heavy.”

     Unconvinced Jennifer responds, “Life is a garbage sandwich

and every day is just another bite. People are dying…if there was a

God how could He…?”

     Ricky expands, “People are doin’ it, not God. In the middle

of all the worst downers with this war there is always one sure

thing. God will always be hangin’ tough with you. We’ll talk.



                                                                  218
Once I lay all the facts on you, you are gonna freak. I’m telling

you, Jesus is where it’s at.”

     Ricky’s words of praise for Jesus touched Kirk, who had

begun to realize that he was Jesus reincarnated. What good is a

Jesus who sits at the right hand of God in heaven? he wondered.

As in Get Up, Stand Up by Bob Marley, Kirk knew damned well

that “Almighty God is a living man.” And our hero had really, for

all his life, an enormous love of the common-place human doing

common-place deeds. If he could be known for any one thing, that

would be it: devotion to the common man.

     In the play, a well-dressed Rufus next enters the scene with 2

security heavies. The protesters begin to chant, lead by Rickey.

After several rounds, Rufus holds up his hands and says, “I get

your point. Nice Christmas carol. The president would appreciate

it. But you’re trespassing. You’ll have to leave. Take it as a

Christmas present that I don’t have you arrested.”

     Then Rufus and Jenny recognize one another, and there is

coldness between them. Ricky tells the other protesters to give the

                                                                    219
father and daughter space to privately discuss their issues, but

Jennifer insists her future husband stay by her side. She expresses

her bitterness of her father’s distance from his late wife and

herself. Jennifer says angrily that her mother forgave him but she

could not.

     Rufus tries to explain “there are times when life offers you

something you know you were born for. I tried to explain that to

your mother. She didn’t want to live in Washington…it’s hard to

explain.” He says he never stopped loving her or her mother, but

she bitterly expresses the lack of incidental gestures of love – like

hugs – in their former home life. “Things aren’t always like they

seem,” says Rufus. “She wanted me to retire…mow the

lawn…keep tabs on that stupid drugstore…be a regular kind of

guy, I guess. She was asking me to be something that isn’t

only…isn’t me.”

     “And me…” replies Jennifer. Rufus starts to reconcile with

his daughter, but Ricky cuts him off, criticizing him for losing



                                                                    220
touch with his family: “No job…no position is more important

than the ones you love.”

        When Ricky tells him to sacrifice a little, Rufus responds

with misguided anger:

      “Sacrifice? What do you know about sacrifice, buddy?
Sacrifice for you is what….missing a lunch during a protest…a
haircut? I saw too many good men killed, from Poland to Italy
protecting your right to mouth off at something you don’t even
understand. So don’t talk to me about sacrifice. I know sacrifice.
I’d be surprised if you could spell the word.”

        Ricky rises with Jennifer’s help, revealing one missing leg.

He salutes Rufus, reporting as “…Corporal Pendergast, Sir…3rd

Battalion, Bravo Company…Nim Bien Phu, Sir!”

        Rufus knowingly murmurs, “Hamburger Hill.”

        “Yes, Sir. 46 dead, 400 wounded, Sir. Things aren’t always

as they seem,” affirms Rickey. The group then exits, with Rickey

encouraging Jennifer to work things out with her father. She is

unable to, angrily backing away from Rufus. The protesters then

take over the stage, waving their signs and chanting, as the scene

ends.


                                                                     221
     Act II Scene 4 takes place on Christmas Eve, 1986 at

Durango, Colorado outside a church with people lined up to see

their Christmas play. A very pregnant Jennifer waits alongside

Rufus to attend the play worked on by her now husband Rickey.

They haven’t been together in a long time, the widower Rufus just

arriving by plane earlier that day. Jennifer annoys her father with

her “keywords,” and he objects:

     “This isn’t the first time today that you’ve brought it up.

You’ve been lobbing them in my direction Ever since I stepped off

the plane – ‘blessings, God’s grace, prayers.’ Both you and Ricky

have gotten into this church thing, huh?”

      She says that she did not know it bothered him, but Rufus –

sounding bothered – claims not to be bothered, adding that her

mother was a religious woman – but it never bothered him. She

needed religion, and that was fine with him. “But you don’t,” says

Jennifer, “…need God.”

     “That’s what this is all about then,” mutters Rufus. “This

‘reunion’ we’re having. I probably should have put it all together

                                                                   222
on my own. After 15 years it had to be more than ‘let’s be a family

again.’” He starts to leave the scene.

     Jennifer says, “Then hobble on out of here. Hello everyone,

don’t mind this little limping man, he was just leaving. Just like he

always does.”

     “Oh, here we go,” complains Rufus, turning around.

     “I thought you were leaving,” says Jennifer, then gets into a

shouting match with her father using the phrase “Merry

Christmas!” against each other. Then, as Rufus shuffles away,

Jennifer clutches her midsection; she and her father realize that the

time is now. Rufus hails a taxi, and the scene ends.

     Scene 5 takes place in the hospital, where Jennifer has given

birth to a beautiful daughter. As the scene opens, Rufus stands at

center stage, granddaughter Holly cradled in his arms. Jennifer is

brought in by wheelchair; Rufus thanks her for allowing him to be

there, then prepares to leave in his waiting cab. He says if he had

caused a miscarriage, he would have been unable to live. Jennifer



                                                                  223
asks him to stay, saying the baby’s fine, “God took care of her, and

me…so stay. I want you to stay.”

     As the scene goes on, Rufus becomes circumspect: “I get so

angry, so impatient. I was yelling at you, in the middle of the

street. There I was, screaming. What was I screaming about?”

After Jennifer replies that it had something to do with Merry

Christmas, Rufus relates regretfully that he was never listening,

never paying attention, so he is unable to remember what the

young mother, his daughter, was like when she was a baby:

“ When you were that little. I don’t remember you. I can’t

remember you growing up. What were you like? Did you like ice

cream, what’s your favorite color…”

     When Jennifer tries to solace her father by assuring him that

memories fade, he won’t let himself off the hook: “No. No, no, no.

This isn’t my memory. This is my failure. I was never…Jen, I

look back and all I see is a blur of hurting people and a lot of

stupid choices.” Kirk felt a lump in his throat as Rupert says that

he could never do life well enough – that although his mother had

                                                                      224
always told him that he had been brought into the world for great

things, God had given up on him.

     Jennifer replies, “I don’t know how it all works, Dad…but

sometimes I think that we have to be ready for the great things.

God is patient. He doesn’t give up…on any of us. He waits ‘til

we’re ready.” These lines rang true for our hero, as he understood

that he was not ready for the grandiose, great things he had

envisioned of himself in May 1984, but had unknowingly shaped

human society from many years before. While the fat lady isn’t

singing yet, she’s clearing her throat, the two agree.

     Seeing all the “failures” in her father’s life, Jennifer sees not

coincidence, but providence. “I see God drawing you to Him,

calling you. Just like me. At some point we all have to give up on

trying to improve the past. It’s not gonna happen. The most the

past can do is point us to the future. There’s scripture that talks

about how God will make known to us the path of life.”

     Ending the scene is a depiction of Rufus’ train of thought

leading to enlightenment. He sees his mother praying God to keep

                                                                      225
her son safe, Uri asking rhetorically what is faith, Ginger telling

him that God doesn’t give up and neither would she, Jennifer

saying that sometimes we just have to be ready for the great things,

and Corah testifying that her “people live for God, who is our

hope: His grace will see us through no matter what.” Rufus then

sees a quick succession of short lines, quickly flashing:

     Uri: What is it to have faith in God?
     Ginger: God doesn’t give up.
     Jennifer: He waits ‘til we’re ready.
     Uri: How can I want for more?
     Jennifer: Is it possible…?
     Corah: We live for God.
     Ginger: …whatever He gives us…
     Jennifer: …coincidences…
     Uri: Faith.
     Corah: …live for God.
     Ginger: …give up.
     Jennifer: …possible?
     Uri: …pure joy.


As the flashback ends, all the people in Rufus’ memory fade to

black, and he has made his decision to follow God:

Rufus:

     You must be so patient
     To have waited this long for me.

                                                                      226
O the time you must have tried
To show me things I would not see;
Foundations you have laid,
And pathways you have paved,
But I was busy walking fast the other way.
I beg to be forgiven, I’m told you’ll find it in your heart
To take me just as I am, laying nothing to my charge.
Lord, wipe the canvas clean
 And paint a brand-new scene;
You are the author and the artist of my destiny.


I come, I come, I pray it’s not too late;
I come, I come, with nothing but a trace
Of hope that you can fill me;
And trust that you can heal me.
I don’t know what to do,
But I come in simple faith to you.

Lord you’ve gotten my attention,
You gave me the perfect sign…
God, I see your reflection in the eyes of a little child;
It brings me to my knees
And I can hardly speak.
So, God, I don’t know what to do but reach out to you.

I come, I come, I pray it’s not too late;
I come, I come, with nothing but a trace
Of hope that you can fill me
And trust that you can heal me;
I don’t know what to do,
But I come in simple faith to you.




                                                              227
        This leads to the final scene of the play, at Holly’s house on

Christmas Day. Holly is now the wife of Jeff, mother of Megan.

Megan begins the scene by finishing her “reading” of the

Christmas story, in which Poppy Rufus becomes a disciple

“who told everybody about God and heaven.” All the room

chuckles at this, except for Poppy Rufus, who sits motionlessly

after his recent stroke.

        Holly insists that she had not coaxed that from her daughter,

that she had merely told Megan that Poppy and Jesus had the same

birthday. “She even thinks he was in the circus for some reason,”

says Holly.

        “The circus part might be a bit closer to reality,” jokes

grandmother Jennifer.

        “Well, circus or not, I’m glad his life worked out the way it

all did,” adds Jeff. “As I understand it, I have Poppy to thank for

your safe arrival in this world, and that’s God’s handiwork and

disciple territory as far as I’m concerned.” Jeff and Holly hug and

kiss.

                                                                      228
     “What a night that was,” reflects Jennifer. “The beginning of

a lot of wonderful changes, right, Dad? Just wish this stroke had

never happened. There’s a change we could have lived without.”

     “He’s getting better, Mom. He is. I swear he winked at me

the other day. He’ll fight his way back. He’s got a hero’s heart.

And don’t forget, Megan says he was a strong man in the circus,”

offers Holly.

     The grown ups chuckle, then tend to their duties for the

Christmas party, leaving Megan and Poppy alone. Megan gets a

picture book and climbs onto Poppy’s lap.

     “You really were in the circus, weren’t you? I think you

were. You were the strongest man. I think you were prob’ly the

bravest, and strongest, and you were a hero. That’s what I think.”

Megan lays her head upon Poppy’s chest, who with great effort

puts his arm around his great-granddaughter in a hug. The

audience sees a slight smile settle on Rufus’ face. Megan

recognizes his hug and accepts it calmly, squeezing his arm in

return. “I love you too, Poppy Rufus.” After the final choral song,

                                                                    229
the play ended. Kirk was a bit choked up because he knew that it

was all meant to awaken himself primarily. Kirk and his mother

had dinner at McCulley Zippy’s, then went home.

     This would turn out to be a night of supreme enlightenment,

as our man sifted through all the concepts presented to him for

years. As each concept surfaced, Kirk sought to maximize the

interconnections between each concept, on all levels. He became

much like Rufus sorting his thoughts in All On A Christmas Day,

much like John Nash code breaking in A Beautiful Mind. Kirk

began seeing interconnections unseen earlier in life. These would

be shamanic connections that heal, messianic connections that

point out the direction of salvation.




                                                                  230
                     Chapter 17: The Message

     Soon after his mother and he returned home, Kirk got on his

stationary exercise bike. Usually, he would turn on the TV when

he did his cardio-vascular exercise, but tonight he neither wanted

nor needed such distraction. There was a pool of thoughts in his

mind as he sought to interconnect a network of ideas, models, and

concepts to enlighten the world. In a stream of consciousness, he

encountered this cascade of thoughts:

     …shaman: intermediary between material and spirit world…

“There goes my hero – he’s ordinary”…kosmos: patterned whole

of experience—logical, spiritual, emotional, physical, rational,

irrational …yellow/turquoise: upper integral

consciousnesses…egoism: acting in self-interest…memes: 8 stages

of consciousness development...existentialism:

Kierkagaard, Kafka, Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus… prudence: regard

for self-interest…angst: natural powerlessness of free

choice…reincarnation…God…Scorpio Rat…Holy

Baptist…clockmaker: disinterested God…self-interest…

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altruism/egoism: concern for others/concern for self…altruistic

egoism: self concern is one’s concern for others…

     “The Reflex is an only child/He’s waiting by the park/The

Reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark”…

      integral: to integrate, bring together, join, link, or embrace/

“With one breath, with one flow/You will know/Synchronicity/A

sleep trance, a dream dance/A shared romance/Synchronicity/A

connecting principle/Linked to the invisible/Almost

imperceptible/Something inexpressible/ Science

insusceptible/Logic so inflexible/Causally connectible/Yet nothing

is invincible”…

      absolutism/ relativism: “there are absolutely no absolutes;

everything is absolutely relative...reason/absurdity: Godless reality

is without reason…exotic dance/go-go/burlesque: time to step

back…cosmic consciousness: yellow/turquoise meme/wave of

consciousness…simple consciousness: animal awareness of

being…self consciousness: human awareness of being…blue



                                                                   232
meme: fundamentalist action to correct behavior…beige meme:

Alzheimer’s…egocentric…Georgetown …Kekela…unethical

psychiatrist…“answer to the free will question”… “See yourself/

You are the step you take”…suicide…“Wish you would step back

from that ledge, my friend/You could capsize from all the lies

you’ve been living in/And if you don’t want to see me again/I will

understand”…

     During this brainstorm, Kirk listened to the FM radio,

allowing the songs to help guide his path – as during “The

Rescue.” In this way, our hero was not flying blind. He knew that

it was up to him to deliver the messages of the spirit world – he

was Shaman to all the world. *L* He was not too smart – as in

knowledgeable -- but he had a special intuition, a gift to help him

through the tough times he would face. And now, I am prepared to

save the world from self-destruction by writing about myself and

my thoughts on living; yes, I am Kirk.




                                                                    233
     Although I’ve changed various names and chronologies, all

that I’ve written is true to my perception of my humble quest

through life.

                           One Solitary Honest Man

   As we turned and moved again through the temple, I wished that
      the illustrious men who had sat in it in the remote ages could
    visit it again and reveal themselves to our curious eyes – Plato,
    Aristotle, Demosthenes, Socrates, Phocion, Pythagoras, Euclid,
     Pindar, Xenophon, Herodotus, Praxiteles and Phidias, Zeuxis
   the painter. What a constellation of celebrated names! But more
     than all, I wished that old Diogenes, groping so patiently with
    his lantern, searching so zealously for one solitary honest man
   in all the world, might meander along and stumble on our party.
     I ought not to say it, may be, but still I suppose he would have
                             put out his light.
                                                           Mark Twain

Am I Twain’s “one solitary honest man,” or just another self-

obsessed author blowing my own fanfare? I think the former, the

same man-hero New Wave singer Patty Smyth sings about midway

in her career:

                      I met a man who would be king
                       He had a dream to see forever
                        It was a promise in the dark
                   It was a promise we made together
                     I was a girl who would be queen
                    I didn’t know the cost of freedom

                                                                  234
            It was a secret he would share
        It was a word we both could believe in
                  Some kind of hero
              Catch me again I’m falling
             ‘Cause I can hear you calling

                         Chorus:
It’s never enough, it’s never enough, it’s never enough
It’s never enough, it’s never enough, it’s never enough

            I met a man who had no name
          He spoke the language of the spirit
         He took a chance for heart and soul
       And with a laugh, he dared me to hear it
          I met a man who watched the stars
         He had the faith behind the reasons
            It was a secret he would share
        It was a world we all could believe in
                  Some kind of hero
              Catch me again I’m falling
             ‘Cause I can hear you calling

                       Chorus

          I met a man who would be king
          He had a dream to live together
             It was a promise in the dark
        But he was lost in the storm, forever
          Now I’m standing here all alone
          Now I know the cost of freedom
            It’s a secret we all can share
        And it’s a world we all can believe in
                  Some kind of hero
              Catch me again I’m falling
                Now and forever calling

                                                          235
                                  Chorus
                                        Patty Smyth, Never Enough

That is me, as a shaman I “speak the language of the spirit.” The

secret I share is “the cost of freedom,” the value of humanity’s free

will; being priceless, the cost is never enough. I take “a chance for

heart and soul,” and with a laugh dare The Other to hear it. I am

able to do so because I realize that as time goes on, we each die,

and each has been given a chance of enlightenment; the beauty is,

we are each given as many incarnations as necessary to achieve

this cosmic consciousness – this enlightened way of life.

     Life’s a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.

                                Zen Saying

     The point of this proverb is that – just as the existentialists

hold dear – speculation over life’s mystery is surpassed by

positive, concrete living of that mystery. This lesson has been

taught throughout the ages to virtually all students of life. 




                                                                       236
                                  Epilogue

     So ends this story of one man’s quest for his destiny. As

always, this ending is also a beginning – the beginning of my quest

to teach all the rest of the world about the enlightenment possible

to all upon realization – comprehension and actualization of what

Ken Wilber called second-tier thinking, what Richard Bucke called

“cosmic consciousness.”

     And, my dear reader, eventually all the world shall come to

this comprehension and actualization, given the ethical beauty of

reincarnation. This “ethical beauty of reincarnation” points out the

fact that there is a higher justice in the process of living and dying.

And this “higher justice” is the karma surrounding us all.

Eventually, we all come to enlightenment; thus, if an individual

has lived a bad life, that unenlightened one will get all the

reincarnations necessary for attainment of The Way.

     In conclusion, take with you this charge, this mandate, on

your own quest: “Have a happy life helping others have happy

lives.” ^L^

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