The Other Guy (the Twenty-Fifth Chapter)

Hey there, maestro. I am writing from my father’s garden in Miramar Beach, Florida. I am in the United States. I came to get my COVID vaccine and to make preparations to travel to Europe and Israel in the fall. Thanks to COVID, it’s not easy to travel these days. I hadn’t been confronted with this because I had only been traveling between Mexico, where I have residence, and the United States, where I have citizenship. But in Europe I will just be one more foreign tourist, and in Israel I’ll just be gentile. There are going to be a lot of uncertainties and difficulties. I imagine that if I were not single and living on a soldier’s pension, it would have been impossible for me to even get the things together that I will need in order to travel, much less traipse across the world for these personal and spiritual goals.

Yes, maestro, my dear Mayra is no longer my girlfriend. You know that we broke up in April, but got back together rather quickly because we get along so well. We basically decided to separate because of my decision to return to Israel. But continuing to be close together caused us to fall back into our familiar pattern. However, the eve of my departure is now upon us, and we don’t know when or if or under what circumstances I will return.

A long trip to Israel or possibly a permanent stay abroad is the solution I hinted at in my previous e-mail to the problem that I couldn’t get comfortable in Mexico and couldn’t forget the Electrochemical Girl. When it comes to the girl, I’ve told you a thousand times that I don’t understand the matter at all.

Obviously I have an obsession, right? I can’t tell truth from fantasy. I can only guess. Of course now you are thinking that my solution will be to go to Israel to harass the chick. No. Those days are over. I decided after I talked to her brother that reaching out to those people was impossible, and this understanding was confirmed when my merely entering one word on a public comment on her YouTube page resulted in her taking all of her videos down. She had already read about me on Facebook and my blog. If she wanted to contact me, nothing was stopping her. I would have to live with my love or obsession or whatever it is without contacting her or any of those people. I could only hope that the spirit of God would inspire her to reach out to me to somehow end my pain, insanity, whatever you want to call it, either with offers of friendship, help, or at least a plausible and amicable rebuff.

I have not stopped loving her and I will always want to have a dialogue with her, but it is more than evident that she does not want to communicate with me. What else can I do? There’s a Sting song that says, “If you love someone, set them free.” This is my perspective. Noah, the old man with the ark, not the girl, sent out a raven and a dove. Noah, the girl, can be a raven or a dove. But I can’t make her be one or the other.

Save your disappointment, maestro. There is a lot of love in this story, but it is unrequited love as far as I have seen it. Only Spotify has had other things to say. I never promised you a story about romance. I told you it would be a story about madness, enlightenment, and destiny. Yes, there is a lot of love in it. But I can’t say it’s the kind of love that most people think of when they hear that word. Since you’ve already read a lot of craziness in my e-mails, now I’ll try to tackle lightening things up a bit. I’ll give you a spiritual perspective, starting with a little personal history.

Didn’t I tell you that I didn’t grow up in a religious or spiritual environment? I became a Christian on January 1, 1995, after a very wild New Years party. That day I prayed “the sinner’s prayer,” a prayer to God in which someone begs for their salvation. Protestants normally use that event as a date of initiation into the faith. I was twenty years old.

Before, in high school, I looked up various religions and philosophies. I have always been a spiritual person, even though my lifestyle has little to do with the typical conservative life of religious people. For this reason, when I decimated my psyche with the crystal, the fundamental part of my personality that bubbled up was the the battle between good and evil.

You already know that I studied Judaism in college and from our conversations at Café Madoka. You also know from our interest in yoga and meditation that I have also studied Eastern religions a lot. Spirituality has always been central for me. However, I don’t remember telling you that I joined the military for no reason other than to support my family. The whole Army thing was a sort of a two decade parenthesis. A long distraction. Maybe like Moses in Midian, if you will. Or Elijah being fed by the ravens. My primary aims have always been spiritual. Because of that, I wanted to start a career in some sort of spiritual discipline such as a pastor or religious scholar after I had finished my service in the military.

Divorce, the vat of asps and the star chamber in the Army, and PTSD changed me a lot, but my decision to become a monk after the military wasn’t solely to avoid women. You have surely noticed in my various verses and, of course, in my conversations with demons, that spirituality is something important to me.

Naturally, I always look for spiritual meaning in all my activities. From this great story I have formed two conclusions. The first is that there are not many Christians on earth who have my peculiar combination of intelligence and stupidity. The one that comes with the attitude of a “libertarian religious guy” who wants to explore and experience different things. The result of all of this wandering astray has been that there are not many spiritual people who understand the devil like I do. And, I must tell you maestro, that when someone has a lot of information about something, they can things about what they know.

It’s been a while since I have mentioned my story of The One and the Prince. The one that describes the situation between the Messiah and the devil as a discussion about the nature of reality. Is reality the product of imagination? Or is it a story written by a perfect and eternal infinity (God)? While I do not know if any particular detail of my fairy tale actually did happen anywhere, I am confident in the truth of its fundamental message. This is confirmed by my conversations with Chaz, Melinda, Haley and Marcus, among other things.

By this I mean that I believe that my experiences have given me an ability to talk about basic motives of spiritual forces and beings at work in our world. I have the feeling that my adventures in the realm of relentless self-destruction gave me something of the gift of prophecy.

Now I must clarify what I understand by “gift of prophecy.” The idea of prophecy and the title of “prophet” is from the bible, and these terms have been used by men to claim titles of great station. Take Joseph Smith, for example, who invented an entire religion to be the head of and sealed it with the title of “prophet.” I don’t consider myself to be anything like that when I say I have the gift of prophecy. I am using the term as used by evangelical Christians and charismatics such as Pentecostals who use the word rather liberally to describe anyone who has things to say about God. A prophet is considered by them to be someone who is capable of interpreting mysterious things. In the Bible there are examples of many ordinary prophets. Obadiah saved 50 prophets from being killed by King Asaph, for example. Elijah shamed four hundred prophets of Baal. In biblical times, a prophet was what modern Christians call a pastor or an elder, or the Jews would call a rabbi. But not just a normal pastor (shepherd) or rabbi (teacher), but somebody who conveys ideas. Most pastors and rabbis should be able to do this, and would therefore be called prophets if we used the old language. But not all can. Some are administrators or community leaders. Those certainly are not my gifts, however. Saying wild things about spirituality is. So when I say I have the gift of prophecy, please don’t think I am comparing myself to Moses or Naason Joaquín. I’m saying I have some unique and wild experiences, and I think I can and should talk about those.

In fact, according to my understanding, there are different levels of prophecy and prophets. For example: on a scale of one to ten, the levels from one to three would be those concerning pastors, priests and rabbis who reach a certain level of wisdom. From four to six are the levels that correspond to the prophets of the Bible who have dreams and visions like Isaiah or Ezekiel. Seven through nine would be reserved for prophets like Moses and Elijah who do miracles and things like that. Higher up, in ten, we could place supernatural beings like the Messiah.11

I think I’m at a level one or two. I don’t think I have superpowers like Moses or Jesus. I only use the phrase “the gift of prophecy” instead of “I am a priest or pastor” because I don’t have a church or synagogue or community, nor do I particularly want one, as I just haven’t seen anything good in them after twenty years.

My advantage is nothing other than having had unusual experiences that have provided me with strange ideas. I believe that these ideas have endowed me with a certain kind of consciousness, a form of enlightenment, although mental scars will probably linger some degree. I do not recommend that you smoke a mountain of crystal to become a prophet, maestro.

Don’t worry about me, though. You know from hanging out with me that I generally behave like a typical adult. On that note, however, I should not be able to behave like a typical adult after what I have been through. I should be dead or spending the rest of my life in a mental hospital. I have been incredibly lucky. But I think that this luck came from God, and I owe something in return for that blessing. I’m just telling you that I want to do something with these ideas, which have been the result of my enormous idiocy, but that I think have clued me in to some things most people aren’t paying attention to.

There is an Englishman named Russell Brand, an actor who had a problem with drugs and sex, and who became a writer on spiritual issues. He said something interesting: “Most conversion experiences, whatever their variety, do have a common denominator: of ego collapse, at depth.”

So I take the risk of describing my interpretation of this story with words like “prophecy.” I just sent you over twenty e-mails about drugs and imaginary teenagers, and now I’m writing about prophecies. I don’t know if you are laughing or crying as you read this. Maybe you are just dead bored or disgusted.

I want to clarify that I am not some kind of biblical miracle-working future-telling prophet. I don’t want anyone to treat me like a prophet. I don’t want someone to jump off a cliff because I said something on the internet. And I certainly don’t want anyone to treat me like a madman because they think I consider myself a prophet the likes of Samuel.

Also, I don’t speak like a prophet. I have never experienced any dream in which “the word of God comes to me and says …”.

I say things that I haven’t the slightest clue about the factuality of to communicate truths literary and thematic truths. For example, there are some verses in the New Testament that mention stars that fall from heaven and mountains of God that afflict the earth. Several Christians interpret that an asteroid will hit the earth in the last days. I don’t know if these interpretations have anything to do with reality. But in my outrageous social media posts, I constantly mention asteroids crashing into the earth. I don’t have the voice of a prophet. I am a literary guy. I am a poet and a writer. I use literary archetypes and phrases to communicate my ideas. When I want to conjure up the image of a God who punishes the earth, I make up tales about asteroids and all.

I’m not excited by the idea of being some great prophet. I have too much crap going on to be worried about claiming some kind of grand identity. I just want to say that I have had rare experiences that have provided me with opinions, perspectives and, in some cases, awareness. These issues have a lot to do with spiritual and philosophical ideas, but I have nothing to do with any church or religious culture.

My separation from religious culture is not only due to my experiences with Harold van Ouwerkerk. It is much older. I attended various churches in the military. In my experience, church leadership is self-centered and short-sighted. I would occasionally try to serve them, and the leadership never bothered to get the slightest idea of how I could really be useful.

In fact, I once called a bishop and told him that I was a retired soldier and that I could work for him, completely free, in service to the church and God. He told me that he had nothing for me to do. Apparently he did not want anyone to clean the toilets of his cathedral for free. He wanted NOTHING from me.

When I had the problem with Harold, I consulted the messianic rabbi at their synagogue. He told me that Harold was someone important in the community, and that I should keep my distance. The Messiah said that we should honor the poor and the stranger, and not show favoritism. He said that the rich and powerful should be humble. But the messianic rabbi told me that I should stay away from the rich man who I had disturbed.

But I’ve already complained a lot about the church. I should probably get back to finishing my story. I just wanted to emphasize that I want to relate my strange experiences, not as a pastor, priest or clergyman, but as a simple wierdo who might just have some stuff to say that you aren’t going to hear from other sources.

I don’t know precisely what I want to do. I already have my money, and because of PTSD it is very difficult to complete a day of work without an abundance of stress, so I will probably write things, do podcasts, videos on YouTube, I have no idea. I have many ideas about aliens, gods, the devil, sorcery, superheroes, conspiracies, and other things that could teach someone about life, God, and the human soul.

I would have no difficulties being a writer or YouTube character in Mexico. I would also have no problem if I wanted to communicate with Americans, Germans or Israelis. The irony is that none of this has to do with the Electrochemical Girl. So why is she so important?

Let me tell you. If we continue with the metaphor of the prophet, the story of Jonah can be illustrative. Most Mexicans know the story with the whale. Jonah was a prophet who had a mission to the city of Nineveh. But he was stubborn and hated this city, so he took a boat in the opposite direction and went to Tarshish, which most think was in Spain. The other side of the world, maestro. At least as far as they were concerned back then. Anyway, by the act and power of God, there was a storm, and the crew threw him into the sea, and a whale swallowed him and spat him out in Israel. He was divinely compelled to fulfill his mission to Nineveh.

Like Jonah, I too have tried to escape something. Israel is my Nineveh, and Mexico is my Tarshish. And if we really want to take the metaphorical application to it’s fullest, the Electrochemical Girl is my whale. Again, I insist, it is not that I want to go to Israel to bother Noah van Ouwkerkerk. She doesn’t want anything to do with me. However, the Electrochemical Girl is a significant part of understanding my inability to continue my life in Tarshish, that is, in Guadalajara.

The Electrochemical Girl, or Noah van Ouwerkerk, or both, I suppose I will always hope that they are connected somehow, has provided me with something I cannot forget. She gave me a mystery that that I have not been able to solve. I suppose there is a remote possibility that there is something between the real Noah van Ouwerkerk and me, even if I only have a list of songs that I had a dialogue with. Absolutely everything else indicates that she hates me. She’s done nothing but block me, complain about me to the police, and tell me I’m disgusting. But yes, there is a possibility that something has happened. The only way I will ever know is if Noah tells me.

However, even if I have simply been immersed in a psychotic fantasy, the situation remains significant. Even moreso, probably. I left Israel according to the devil’s plans, but later songs from Israel came to my ears saying:

  • I miss you.
  • I am not happy without you.
  • I’ll wait for you.
  • I love you.
  • You have what I need.
  • Only you understand me.
  • We are going to have a good time together.
  • Don’t worry about the police.
  • Come back soon.

If the songs weren’t from a young woman in Israel, you can imagine how the songs could still have a relevant message. Possibly a spiritual source used the girl with her playlist to tell me something. Maybe the Electrochemical Girl is not Noah van Ouwerkerk. Maybe the Electrochemical is Israel. Maybe Israel misses me. Maybe I have what she needs. Maybe Israel wants me to come back soon. In the absence of sufficient information, this will be my interpretation.

And I guess here I should take a moment for an aside. Again I have something to say about our dear Harold van Ouwerkerk, one of the villains in this story. I’m going to give him a compliment. But of course it’s going to start out with an insult. I have to say what was in my head. I’ll tell you first about the day Harold got his Israeli residency. There was a big celebration at the synagogue. I mean when I get my driver’s license renewed there is of course no big celebration at the synagogue, right? But Harold is important. So there was this big party for him. Noah was even there. She didn’t normally show up. After the service everybody was standing around eating, and I went up to Harold to congratulate him. He treated me like, “you young aspirant, if you work hard and pray every day and spend thousands of dollars, you too can be a resident of Israel like me.” At that time I wondered what was wrong with the guy. I certainly had not set my heart on the same things he had, and could not say I was that excited about spending the rest of my life in a little country dodging Palestinian rockets, Iranian nukes, and paying $15 dollars for a sandwich. Frankly, even as I prepare to go back I still can’t say I am that kind of excited. I’ve got spiritual reasons. But it just ain’t the best place to live life. I know. I’ve lived in the best places to live life. But anyway, the guy was so thrilled that he just assumed that everybody else in the world wanted the same thing that he did. He had been working for it for years. He paid huge amounts of money, relocated businesses, bought property, rubbed elbows with politicians, the guy literally did everything.

The last thing I learned about Harold before he made his Facebook page private was that he finally got his Israeli citizenship. Along with Noah, who got it by joining the Israeli Defense Force. He may well have gotten it because she did.

I asked Harold why he was so into Israel, and I never got a substantial answer. Nor did I ever hear what his plans were to do things with this dream come true of his. I do know he took his whole family over, and that they initially didn’t like it, so he had to put them in an American school.

So the above is nothing but another denigration of Harold van Ouwerkerk, right? He schlepped his whole family to that place against their will without even knowing why. But I can tell you what he did. The guy literally biologically created Noah van Ouwerkerk. And he sent her to an American school. So of course she was going to listen to Detroit R&B and New York Alternative music. I imagine she even used the music to learn my language. Back when I was in Germany in the infantry in the 90s, I remember talking to some chick in a bar about how she knew English so well and what she liked about it. Her answer was “the lyrics.” And Noah eventually started making playlists. And those playlists would eventually become the Electrochemical Girl.

That guy loves Israel so much, so I thought I should say that as far as I am concerned, his daughter Noah actually IS Israel. How could I not love that guy? You don’t produce Noah van Ouwerkerk without doing something right. I just hope some day he teaches her to love the stranger and the enemy and help him out with a little friendship.

But okay, back to me and the conclusion of my story. I want to describe something important. Yes, it’s going to refer to the damned story of the One and The Prince. Again, the Prince says that reality is just a product of our imagination. The One says that reality is a story made by God. Review my life as if it were a story:

Did I by chance study Judaism in college and my teachers treat me like a genius? Did I by any chance learn all the languages of Israel in the Army? Did I by any chance go to that place to accompany my daughter on her travels? And was it just by chance that upon my arrival in Israel the devil attacked me with my greatest vulnerability: accusations of being harmful to women? Was it by chance that after Israel the devil attacked me with drugs and incomprehensible events that had the purpose of altering my conception of reality, showing me everything about the perspectives of the Prince? Finally, was it just by chance that because of these songs and the mystery around them I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable while trying to start a new life in Mexico, despite having found the best girlfriend of my life? And, as if that were not enough, was it by chance that to this day I still listen to these songs from Israel with words that say “I love you” and “come back soon”?

I’m trying to tell you about how a divine calling works, maestro. This term is very common in religious culture. People who receive it often cannot distinguish between that “calling” and their personal wishes. A pastor who “feels that God is calling him” to go as a missionary to a Pacific island to evangelize the indigenous people usually says that he does it by divine mandate, although in my opinion, he may just want to go there. It’s that easy. I’ve talked to a lot of Christian missionaries who feel divine callings to go to exotic places. Divine callings are a good way to raise money.

Likewise, we occasionally hear this ridiculous dialogue among people in religious culture:

Lupita: Pablo! Take the damned trash out!

Pablo: My love, God has spoken to me and asked me to stay here to watch the football game. He also told me that he wanted you to take it out.

However, normally the callings of God have nothing to do with the desires, much less with the whims, of the people called. I recently told you the story of Jonah, the guy who didn’t want to go to Nineveh, but was swallowed by a freaking whale and taken back, etc. Another example is Moses, an eighty year-old man who was forgotten in a desert. He was exiled there, accused of being a murderer. They threw him out of Egypt where he was a prince and all that. You already know the story. The point is that at that time in his life Moses encountered a flame of fire that commissioned him. He had no confidence in himself. I didn’t want to do anything. And by being told to go somewhere he didn’t want to and do something he didn’t want to, he ended up being convinced that his mission was from God and not a result of personal desire.

I insist that I am not a true biblical prophet like the guys above. I’m just inspired by their example. Guys who did not have any clergy credentials or high office in a religious institution, but who were chosen as messengers of the wisdom of God. I confess that my patron saint in my years as an Anglican was John the Baptist. He was a man with no social connections. In fact, he was a hermit who came from the desert to bring the word of God. Naturally, his task annoyed him a lot, but he accomplished it. Each of these guys is an inspiration to me.

John the Baptist was a type of herald who announced when things were about to happen. He was not the only prophet of this type. The Hebrew Bible mentions that Elijah will return as a herald of the last days. Most Christians think he is mentioned in the book of Revelation. But in that book are mentioned the “two witnesses,” one of them is Elijah, and the other is unknown. Furthermore, the Jews have “four craftsmen”: Elijah, The Righteous Priest, The Messiah Son of Joseph, and The Messiah Son of David.

This archetype of the herald-prophet inspires me a lot. Do you remember my friend Juaisca? Do you remember I told you that we had created our own vocabulary to talk about all our crazy ideas? We invented a term that comes to mind now. In the book of Revelation it is mentioned that Elijah will be a herald of the end times and that he will have an unknown companion. Our way of talking about this unknown companion was “the other guy.” This was, in general, our term to refer to a messenger who has no credentials or religious identity.

This guy, the other guy, is the pattern of my inspiration. I guess I am a missionary to Israel. However, I am not an ordinary missionary like a Christian pastor who wants to win the Jews for Jesus Christ; in other words, he wants to convert them, like any given Jehovah’s Witness. The Bible says that Elijah will wake up the Jews. Not me.

In the 1990s, when I was in Germany at university, I learned that there were thirty thousand Messianic Jews (Christian Jews) in Israel. And more than twenty years later, upon my arrival in Israel, I learned that there were still thirty thousand in the country. What the hell had they been doing for the last decades? During my stay there, I always saw Orthodox Jews in the streets and in front of shops with their pamphlets trying to convince secular Jews to embark on the devout life of a religious, with their thousands of rabbinical decrees and their interpretations of hundreds of commandments. But the seculars hate the religious because the government pays them to stay in seminary all their lives and have lots of kids. Further, the Orthodox are the only Jews who do not have to serve in the army. Needless to say, they aren’t terribly popular in the greater Israeli society. Nobody over in Israel is getting anything done for God.

Maestro, we are at a time in human history when no one listens to anyone. Nobody has time, and everybody is always busy. This condition is general and does not only apply to people not having time for religion. Also, spirituality has always been a difficult subject for people to talk about. I don’t think this is going to change unless someone comes firing laser beams out of his eyes or something. You know, a miracle worker who shoots fireballs from his mouth and ass that scorch everything they touch.

Until this happens, maestro, my mission will be to prepare the Jews so that they can recognize the miracle workers when they see them. Nowadays our concepts about gods, aliens, prophets, magicians, and superheroes are so confused that if the antichrist appeared today, the population of the world would think that he is Tony Stark, the Iron Man. If Elijah were to appear, they would surely think that he is Thanos, or some other jackass out of a Marvel movie come to invade the earth.

Elijah can appear as an old prophet with a long silver beard, or he can appear as a little green man who comes from the planet Mars. It’s the same with the Antichrist. He could accuse Elijah of being an invader from another planet and no one would know who was telling the truth. Unless they understood the fundamental principles that underlie the things that each of them will say, that is. My message is that the only way to tell the good guys from the bad guys is through their words. Bad guys will always say that the truth is whatever you imagine. The good guys will always say that you are a character in a story that has been written by boundless intelligence and love, and that you have to discover what your character is and what your destiny is.

That’s the dichotomy. No one will wake up and pay attention without lasers and fireballs. But no one will understand unless they know the meaning of what is said.

There are other doctrines and other philosophies that I could mention here, but this is not a book for that. However, I do reiterate that the distinction between the reality created by the imagination and the reality that has been written by a higher being is fundamental in all this. This is my message to you.

With this, my friend, I press “send” and finish this story. As we Texans like to say, maestro: “Vaya con Dios.”

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