WHAT INDEED SHALL WE NAME IT ??: Which do you prefer?! I’ve got a lot of ideas but below are the top 4 (at the current moment anyway). Will you help me pick one?? Awesome! I hoped you would. Take a second (that’s really all it takes) to cast your vote for the best title for BOOK I. Results are shown instantly, and as we get closer to publish time, we’ll pick the BEST title based on YOUR feedback! BTW, I’m writing this book as we speak… literally. So, new chapters will be released over time one by one (maybe two by two if it’s raining alot), so check back here periodically to see how the story unfolds! There may even be opportunities for you to help me write it by giving me feedback on which way you think the story should turn! Fun yeah? So, share this page with others! Be a part of the journey!
Don’t like any of the current working title choices? That’s okay. Simply suggest your own title for me to consider. Choose wisely because if I end up choosing YOUR title, you get my eternal gratitude, an honorable mention in and/or on the book (you may even become a character!), an opportunity to meet up and hang out with me on the official book tour (somewhere in the world sometime in 2014), AND receive several free copies (signed if you really want me too) of BOOK I for you, your friends and loved ones, and/or any random strangers you meet on the street! Take any, all or none of that if you wish, but do let me know if you have a cool idea for a wicked (and by that I mean awesome) title of the book! VOTE TODAY!
SYNOPSIS: The story of a boy and his journey and his evolution through life from growing up adopted, gay, catholic and eldest son of a military family to become first a financial planner, then restauranteur, then antiques dealer, then interior designer, to eventually spiritual teacher, healer, occasional poet and roaming gypsy traveler. It’s a modern-day ”hero’s journey” with plenty of “dark nights of the soul” fraught with the telling of long treks through the lonely deserts of the heart, moments with mystics upon venturing into the caves of the human mind in order to reach the many a mountain tops of immense clarity and Universal connection as the path unfolds for this soul-traveler on an ancient journey through the human experience. It’s a story that many will find hard to believe but will not be able to put down until they’ve discovered where the highway to heaven leads for this young man who comes to be known as Phanael the Truth-Seeker. [category: fiction based on real life events of the author] ©
PRELUDE A good ending is an important as a good beginning. Even more so perhaps, in which case, I am going to have to apologize to you in advance because this book has no ending. In fact, despite encompassing a telling of over 40 years of lifely Earth-bound events, it is just the beginning.
It never truly dawned upon me the earnest endeavor it truly takes to put one’s entire life, or the significant pieces of it anyway, into writing. As a child or even young person in my early teens, I actually deplored reading, much to my mother’s own recollection who often shares the story of how as a baby she placed the first fingernail clippings of both me and my next youngest brother, Tommy, inside the leaves of a Bible to encourage our desire to read and therefore become more learned and book-smart according to some long held Philipino belief.
As I recall, Tommy took to reading quite avidly, especially in the arts of philosophy and theology which were his two primary sources of interest in college and post-graduate studies. I have always been impressed and inspired by my brother’s propensity for reading scholarly bits. However, my mother admits to forgetting the fingernail blessing upon my youngest brother, Mark, and to this day, it seems he has not been much one for books or even scholarly exploits. Nor is that to imply that Mark is any less smart than his pair of bookish brothers. In fact, I often concede it’s quite the opposite as he runs a multi-million dollar organization for one of the biggest home improvement companies in the country despite having none of the added degrees of education that Tommy and I have strived for. Funny how life works, isn’t it? And these days he’s an avid reader to his two young sons who may very well some day themselves take up the mantle of bookmarking some great reads along the way; perhaps even one eventually penned by their own uncle.
I, however, recall deploring just about everything that I was supposed to read as a child. Whether it was assigned in school or in Bible study (yup, Catholic maternity and Protestant paternity) I often found myself in utter defiance, albeit much of it silent, of being told what it I was supposed to read and understand in the world of literature. Of course, like a good and over-achieving young’un that I was, I read (most) of them albeit begrudgingly, and I could scarcely recall the details of much of any of those readings today. That is, of course, unless there had been made a movie of any of the literary standards, in which case I could probably go toe to toe with even the director on the details. I was always much more of a visual learner, I realize now.
However, one book and one book alone stands out in my memory from those early years. I was at the age of about thirteen that the title of a book caught my ear and I decided to venture to the library for the first time on my own without provocation of an assigned essay paper or summer reading list. The title of the book, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It was the first time I truly experienced the absolute magic that a book can bring. I was hooked. Well, at least for a moment. But for that moment, for the duration of that one story, I was taken to another place; a place that seemed to remind me of something I already knew and have been trying to remember even more about ever since. Prior to that, never had I experienced the truth of what a great story could reveal about one’s self… and I’ve been searching for more of that Truth ever since.
At the current age of forty, just shy of my forty-first birthday, a date which I’ve actually set as the deadline for completing this manuscript, in fact, I look back upon my life. In truth, my whole life has felt like a wrinkle in this proverbial time we live in. So much has occurred prior and so much more since that boy of thirteen sat alone swinging in the seat of a swing set all alone in the park just behind the house with that book gripped tightly between his fingers wishing and wanting to understand this thing called Life; hoping to make sense of this thing called Time; praying that one day he’d have some awesome adventure that might perhaps inspire him to even write about what he’s come to learn about it all… some day. Well, that some day is now.
Over the recent few years I’ve become quite the avid reader. Over the past few months it seems I can not read enough, as I’m making up for some lost time. In the past, when I kept a home of my own I was surrounded by shelves and stacks of books. Today, as I travel and am “in between homes” at the moment, many of my old books have found new homes with friends and loved ones while a few are tucked away in storage to be leafed through and languished over once again by human hands once it’s time to settle down in one place once again. However, with the beauty of the digital age, I have come to fall I love with the e-book and have begun to build my reading reservoir of classics and contemporary alike on my little eleven inch personal library. One of the perks of travel is that there’s often extended periods of time where a good book is a blessing while waiting for a bus, a plane, a train, or a new-found friend to pick you up and take you to your next destination.
And that’s what this story is about… the destination. Which, of course, is the journey in and of itself. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” so says an ancient Chinese proverb. That’s been something of a mantra I’ve chosen to live by ever since it first descended upon my ears. It was the tagline of theOCGproject.com website (formerly On-Common-Ground.com) when I first launched it back in the fall of 2007. I’m not sure how many thousands of miles I’ve already covered in this lifetime. I imagine that I’ve covered probably near a hundred thousand or so in words since writing publicly (and privately) about my journey over the past several years, but still far less than what still remains.
So, whether you are an avid reader, someone who simply loves the story, or someone who just so “happened” to come by this book that lies now within your hands, I hope that you will enjoy, appreciate and even glean from its pages what that first book offered me. There’s something here for you. I’m not sure what it is… but you will. Why? Because I know there’s something here for me too, although I’m not quite sure what that is either. Even as I write this story, I am remembering that which I have lived and learned for myself, and the truth of all of it has still only begun to make itself all the more fully known. So, together let’s discover it shall we? I thank you for joining me along for the ride. I hope that it may inspire you to share your own with others, because, in truth, that’s all there really is… the Journey.
And to think it’s only just the beginning.
Love Enlights… Always, Pheonyx Roldan Fonollera (Wilson) Smith
P.S. The following is essentially a working draft so please forgive minor grammatical errors (feel free to mention them in the comments below if you catch them though!), and know that characters and story line are subject to change at a later date. Not likely, but we like to at least reserve that right. And so it is. =)
CHAPTER ONE: In the Beginning… Again
“Where are we going?”
“To the entry point, “ said the larger of the two orb-like energy “bodies” as they moved down ghost-like corridor of sort towards the waiting the room.
“Oh? Now?? I thought I wouldn’t be going for a little while yet,” replied the smaller of the two; well, more like thought since physical words weren’t actually used in the Central Realm.
“What’s ‘a little while’? You know as well as I do that we don’t have any real time here in the Realm,” Mikel replied again pointing out what Phanael already knew. However, the two enjoyed these exchanges just the same despite the many times they’ve had them before. It was a bit like a ritual for them.
“I knowwwwww… but you know what I mean. Why right NOW? I wanted to continue some more exploration of that new star next door over in the 8th Quadrant. You know, the one that was… uhm… just born… uh… a little while ago.”
“I understand, Dear One,” Mikel referred to everyone within and even beyond the 7th Realm as Dear One. There was a certain unifying ring about it. It would, in fact, become a bit of a calling card for him among the many realms. “But yes, it’s time. And yes, now. You’ll have to visit when you get back. We just got word that your maternal contract is ready for you. She has met your paternal contract, and they’ve been engaged to marry for the past several months. Your physical vessel is about to be conceived this evening, so we need to get you ready.”
The two light-bodies glided down the long corridor towards a crowd of other beings. The smaller of the two forms, Phanael, glowed with a soft hue of purple with a tinge of green at the center and along the outer edges which left a long trail trailing behind before disappearing into void again like a mist. The two floated along towards the crowd that eagerly began gathering and singing lightly in the large gathering space.
Mikel, larger by a somewhat considerable amount, glowed a bright white with hints of an iridescent violet radiating from the center as he glided along side purple-green glowing charge. There’s a soft wisdom that is detectable within Mikel’s light, and Phanael gives special awareness of this guiding companion’s nurturing yet protective presence, always enjoying the opportunity to share space with this long time friend and loving guide.
The two had been together from the very beginning, since the time of No Time, when the first batch of radiant souls was “birthed” from the Source. The Guides had been present at the time of coalescence, when billions, perhaps even trillions of light-bodies exploded from the Central Star of this vector of the Universe. A unit of Twelve Universal Guides were assigned to a certain grouping of souls to help nurture and guide them in the way of the upper worlds and facilitate their incarnations and returns to and from the Nethers, what they referred to as the lower physical planes. It was a big task, but these angelic beings were more than skilled for the job. Besides they were eager to serve in a new and unique way having been around much longer in what is known as the Eternal Frame. In fact, they are the reasons why it existed in the first place. All others who arrived after them were to be their charge, like children in a way.
The Angelics knew they could never physically incarnate. Not fully anyway. It was up to them to oversee the regular ebb and flow of planetary bodies, monitor the birth of new star systems, and mediate conflicts and concerns among the members of the “First Family” as they moved and formed “families” and neighborhoods of their own throughout the cosmos. The many Universes were expanding at an exponential rate, and someone had to oversee that the growth was relatively well-managed while also allowing the cosmos to take its natural course of evolution thus achieving various levels of its own self-acknowledgement. Each one of the twelve higher beings, primary members of the original family of Mother-Father Source agreed to head the celestial houses and assist the newly born beings in and out of life. Essentially, they serve as both guardians as well as mother and father to the new and highly inquisitive souls.
“Mikel?” Phanael inquired with a quiet determination in his voice.
“Yes?” Mikel smiled internally while waiting for what he knew to come next.
“Are you sure that I’m ready to go back down there? I mean, it seems like I just got here, and there’s still so much I want to do yet here in the In-Between. Are you sure we can’t maybe postpone things… you know, just for a little while longer? A few Earth years at most! Maybe give dear ole future mom and dad an extended engagement; let them get to know each other again a little bit more before I… you know… pop in… errr… out.”
Mikel beamed down at the eager light-being having anticipated even this part of the conversation since it takes place just about every time they go through the process of preparing the inquisitive charge for re-entry, “Dear Phanael, you are ready. And besides, it’s time. The contracts have already been set with the others whom you have sent ahead who have agreed to prepare the way for you for your next journey. Their Higher Selves are already heavy at work making all the arrangements. Everything has been arranged, and if you don’t show up, then they cannot learn what you have already agreed to help them learn and do on their own journeys. Plus, I don’t need to remind you that there’s much karmic work to complete this time around. No more putting it off. It’ll soon be time for some bigger work down there and you have to be ready for when that time comes.”
Emotional imprints began to register again within Phanael’s energy body as they approached what was affectionately dubbed the “launch room”. Phanael began to feel a slight irritation towards the decision to ask the contracts to return so soon. Of course, Mikel was right, it was time to go back. It was time to return to finish what had been put into motion long ago. The agreements had been made, and the others were already ahead doing their parts in preparation for what was to come. Earth was completing her own cycle and needed a great deal of support in that process as time progressed towards the transitioning. All had agreed to do their part. Even those who agreed to make The Transition difficult for everyone as well.
“Besides,” Mikel leaned in closer to Phanael as they neared the large gathering, “you don’t want to disappoint them do you? They’ve come a long way from all over seventh sector, and more than a few others from the lower eight and upper nine. There are a lot of folks rooting for you and are here to support you on your final launch back down onto the Gaia plane. You’ve been waiting for this moment too for what would equate to a really long time. They believe in you. We all do.”
Mikel wrapped one of his large energetic wings around Phanael as they approached the crowd. Like a fantastic light show of multi-dimensional colors beyond the known spectrum of any mortal being, the glowing and dancing bodies of light undulated in a rhythmic fashion welcoming the two as they entered. Sounds of singing and celebratory “voices” grew louder and more beautiful as the two entered into what was referred to as the Temporal Portal of Time.
The temple “walls” glowed an etheric bluish-green with hints of yellow and white along edges. The etheric ceiling made of pure light, just like everything else in this Central Realm, glowed an iridescent radiance of a thousand sparkling diamonds illuminated from behind; and yet the light that emanated was as soft as a pre-dawn sunrise down on Earth, gently warm and welcoming.
The actual size of the interior space would be difficult to measure or even describe accurately in human terms, such as it is in the realm of no space and time. Space is something simply perceived not measured, just as each individual being desires to perceive it. So, for one energy-being the space could easily be as small and intimate as any broom closet on the face of the planet and yet still hold every single light-body that decided to appear. For another, the interior space could be represented as the largest of any physical gothic church or temple built by the hands of man or any other sentient being.
It’s well known in the Central Realm where each and every one of the early temple and pyramid structures are which dot the face of many planets throughout the Realm. Even the ones that can not be seen by the planet’s inhabitants naked eye. Not only do the original structures serve as common communication points between the physical and higher realms, but they also serve to help the inhabitants remember what they had come to forget while living so long in the material realm. At least that was their original purpose dating back all the way to the very first ones which were simply earthen mounds built over large natural caves and caverns carved out by planetary winds and waters over time.
Over a vast number of millennia, humans learned how to build free-standing structures of their own competing with nature for the most elaborate and exquisite designs. On Earth, however, man’s ego got in the way, and the original purpose and use of many of the buildings was lost. It became more about man’s status, self-affirming structure and control and less about remembering places like where Phanael now stood, within the absolute perfection of the Divine.
Hundreds perhaps even thousands of energy-bodies filled the space as they crowded around Mikel and Phanael and began to blend into one another forming a large multi-colored spectrum of blended, vibrational light, like a big pulsating donut around the two. Phanael could feel nothing but pure love and compassion from all around. Pressing into the warm energy of Mikel’s wing infused Phanael ever more deeply with the infinite love of the cosmos that resided there, an energy was all around and permeated every single space of every single thing. It could be felt and literally seen as it coursed its way in, down and through the center and back again connecting all the gentle beings who stood in the round. Candied outstretches of color and light only perceived by a handful of special beings in the Nethers emanated from the center points of every being there in the circle. I’m going to miss this spectacular beauty of the upper realm of the In-Between, Phanael thought. I really really don’t want to go.
Mikel, hearing Phanael’s thoughts made a gentle assurance, “Earth has its own unique beauties. Remember that, Dear One. And besides, you will be back soon enough. This trip will not be as long as some of the others you have been on.”
Phanael allowed the energy of this reassurance settle deep into his core soul memory bank in hopes of being able to retrieve it when future time called for it.
Of the multitude that gathered, Phanael knew them all; not only by their Central Realm names, but also by the many mortal names they each possessed during previous stints in the lower realms together. Every one was directly connected one way or another. Some fulfilled the roll of former parents. Others were siblings, friends, teachers, “children” of Phanael’s own, especially from the lives when Phanael incarnated as a woman. Also present were some of the gentle and loving spirits who played the role of pets. Phanael looked especially fondly upon these souls recalling times when these beings served in beautiful animal forms and were the only beings who could provide the comfort and unconditional love so needed during some of the most difficult times in previous more difficult journeys.
Every being had a role to play in the myriad cycles of lives. And for each one Phanael also played an important role as parent, grandparent, lover, friend, child, and yes, even a pet once or twice as well. They all felt a deep love and appreciation for each other knowing the lessons and life experiences they shared together were irreplaceable. Phanael felt an echo of human pang at the thought of leaving them; they would be deeply missed until it was time to see them again whether here in the In-Between or on some future plane of the Nethers.
“So, how long will I be gone this time do you think, Mikel?”
“Now you know I can’t tell you that. Besides, I don’t truly know. It’s really up to you. When you’ve got what you’ve needed to get, and given what you’ve needed to give, then you’ll be when you’re back.” Mikel paused for a reflective moment. “You know very well how it all works, Dear One.”
“Yeah, I’m aware. I just hate the forgetting part. You know, when you go back down there and everything you know here gets lost in the transfer. I hate that process of trying to remember why I’m there all over again. Don’t you think we could come up with some sort of better way??”
Mikel especially enjoyed Phanael’s constant effort to try to “improve the system”. Mikel mused upon the consistently curious quips and inquiries that Phanael always had to offer, and let out a series of chuckles that sent a series of pulses of light waves that rippled out into the gathering of ethereal bodies who, in response, let out an equally contagious series of giggles and guffaws until the whole entourage was filling the temple with a symphony of laughter. Phanael noticed the temple roof and walls expand and glow more brightly with the influx expression of joy and gratitude into the space. It too penetrated the core of the little but potent purple-green light-being. Waves of expanding colors pulsed out several volumes in response.
Suddenly, Phanael felt a surge of energy rise up towards the crown knowing that the surge meant the next mortal body was being manifested through the joining of the seeds of the Earthly embodiments of current mother and father contracts. Phaneal felt light of a masculine energy begin to surge through “him”. Ahhhh, a boy this time am I?, Phanael thought to himself. Well, okay then. I suppose I can work with that. It’s been a few cycles, but I’m sure I can figure it out.
The last few of Phanael’s lives were primarily female in form. The most recent one was one of a woman living well into her late 80’s during the late 18th century in the south of France. Especially loving that incarnation, Phanael knew it was a karmic reward life to be able to live as a beautiful vibrant being; a saucy gypsy woman living long into her mid-eighties leaving behind a slew of child contracts despite never having married. Many beautiful lovers, Phanael remembered with a smirk. No husbands. No hassles. It was a good life living in community with a band of strong women where everyone enjoyed the company of one another and shared the roles and responsibilities of daily life.
There were men there, of course, and certainly many of the women were married, but the women were strong and ran with a loving but firm fist. It was a communal and loving livelihood, while the men took care of what men needed to take care of… primarily the women and the children, and the women took care of everything else. It was a simple life, nomadic and free, far from the conflicts which were taking place in the overcrowded capital city of Paris. They had little concern with wars and revolution as they traveled from village to village selling their wares and setting up homesteads on the land owned by those who sought out the wisdom and the blessings of the nomadic healers and teachers of old ways up and down the Mediterranean coast.
As Phanael’s cosmic memory was flushed with images of that lifetime, his resonance aura became a little brighter with hints of pink and blue. This next life would be different. He knew that this journey wasn’t so much a vacation. There was work to do. Important work to do, and the time for life of carefree play was, for now, but a distant past, but the memories and experiences of that life will serve the next life well. They will help “him” remember what needed to be remembered in the coming life; to help set up assurances that the final goal that needed to be completed would be achieved.
Suddenly, the images faded into the backdrop as Phanael took one last look upon the memories that in Earth years was nearly two hundred years ago but in cosmic terms was like yesterday. He began to feel the effects of a gravitational pull on all the major points of the light-body, as it suddenly began to give into weight. In the overall scheme of things, the effects were microscopic, but in the confines of no space and time even the coming together of human egg and sperm creates a powerful vortex of energy that calls to a soul immediately no matter where its placement in the Universe.
It’s good that Mikel found Phanael when he did. There have been many a soul pulled directly into the Temporal Portal while otherwise preoccupied exploring or simply relaxing in somewhere far off and distant region of the Realm. Fortunately, Mikel was paying attention to this particular union and was able to prepare Phanael for re-entry, pulling him from his pending hop over to the edge of the eighth sector, and Source only knows where. Others have been somewhat shocked to find themselves one moment sharing conversation with some of the ascended masters in the Great Hall of Sirius. Others have been caught by the vortex perhaps while moon-hopping around a gas giant only to suddenly find themselves floating in ambiotic fluid.
Phanael looked around one last time with a final look of mixed anticipation and remorse as Mikel spoke to him through the inner ear and a set upon his beloved little being of light a message of complete love and support which Phanael had come to recognize as the key that unlocks the door to what destiny has to offer; always received just a few final moments prior to launch. Mikel spoke, “You will be fine, Dear One. We will be watching over you, and I will come to you in the right and perfect time. Try not to ever forget that you are forever, now and always loved.”
And with that, the light fully engulfed and pulled Phanael through an open space in the floor of the Temporal Portal of Time, dropping him through the celestial realms towards his next manifestation in mortality. His final entry point, a small group of islands known as the Philippines.
© 2013 Pheonyx Roldan F. Smith and theOCGproject.com
CHAPTER TWO: Of War and Remembrance
Arnold was a young, handsome, sandy-blond buck of being somewhere between the transitional realms of boy and man of standard lower-middle class breeding. At twenty-one (although he would already claim twenty-two despite being three months out from official) and fresh out of community college, he still had not qualified enough in life experience to quite yet be deemed a man of his own resolve. He was getting there, but was still working out the kinks.
With an over-protective mother and pair of significantly older sisters, twins no less, Arnold had grown up in and knew just about everything one needed (or even cared) to know about An Arbor, Michigan. He had yet to step out and see any other parts of the world. All that he knew about anything outside of Michigan pretty much came from the few history and geography lessons he happen to muster to stay awake for. Glady’s wouldn’t even let him cross over the border into Canada for the weekend joy rides that his high school buddies would tempt him with. In order to feign embarrassment, Arnold would just argue with his friends that Canada was pretty much the same as America but with more moose, and would wave them off. Besides, he hated drinking beer anyway, which is all they ever wanted to do. Plus, Arnold couldn’t bear the thought of worrying or upsetting his mom. She had been in a worrisome fragile state since the death of his father. And now there was still the lingering war in Vietnam which as taking a toll on her nerves. In fact, it was taking its toll on just about everyone’s nerves those days, especially upon the psyche and the physical population of “able young men” throughout the U.S., and no doubt over in Vietnam, too. Too many deaths. Too much darkness. Not enough valid reason for most.
(… to be continued.)
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