The Choices We Make

Hey Wilson. I have a story for you. I’m curious to know what you are going to make of it. It starts when I was twelve. I was living in Tulsa, Oklahoma at that time. Sixth grade. Edison Middle School. I’d been living in Tulsa since second grade, and would leave after seventh grade to move to Dallas. Tulsa was kind of my home for elementary school and middle school, even though I did first grade in Houston and eighth grade in Dallas.

Middle school was quite a time. I think I’d say that’s when I learned what insecurity was. You know, hormones, puberty, all that. The girls are taller than the boys, everybody looks funny, everybody trying to figure out how to act.

Now there was this kid, Bobby. I’d gone through all of elementary school with him, and during all those years he was a kind of a pudgy, nerdy kid with very thick glasses that blew his eyes up to the size of walnuts. He was the kind of kid you’d expect to find in some movie like Christmas Story or Stand By Me or something. He would be the nerd kid. But something happened to him in sixth grade. He started wearing cool clothes, trench coats and stuff, and hanging out with these two cool guy kids, Kam King and Clay Romine. I don’t know Bobby’s last name. Kam was like an athletic blonde, big kid type, and Clay was a steely-eyed heartbreaker, like say River Phoenix back when he was young. Both of these dudes could pull any girl in school. In sixth grade, they were dating the most beautiful eighth grade girls. Can you imagine, Wilson? Please don’t forget, this is middle school. So sixth grade boys were just getting their first pubic hairs, meanwhile the eighth grade girls were starting to have to worry about attracting too much attention from Jeffrey Epstein types, breasts and hips and all. But while these girls could have been dating college football players if they could just act mature enough (they couldn’t – I’m describing the middle school disparity between body and mind), these chicks just couldn’t stop drooling over Kam and Clay, who were legitimate studs for their age. And Bobby was right there with them.

One time Bobby came over to my house after school. I thought it was kind of odd. He hadn’t been my friend previously. I’d never given him a hard time or made fun of him back in elementary school or anything. It’s just that he’d never been in my circle, whether as a pudgy nerd with glasses or as the cool guy with trench coat. Anyway, one day he just asked me what I was up to, suggested we hang out, and more or less invited himself over to my house. I had no issues.

So he comes over, I show him my place, and not too long after he’d been there he strikes up a strange conversation with me. Something like, “Hey, have you ever heard of the idea that the world isn’t a good place, but you can be on the world’s side, and things will go good for you, but things go bad for you after you die, but you can also try for the good side, and things will go bad for you in life, but things will go good for you after you die…have you ever heard that?”

I was like, “No, I haven’t heard anything about that.” It seemed kind of a stupid idea to me. I was raised in a completely secular environment. Any notion of some kind of karmic order to the universe or universal moral system just came off to me as ridiculous. I was a completely rational kind of person at that point. We were just biological machines, or so I thought, and there was no logical reason why my decision to be good or evil, or to be with the world or against the world, would make things go better for me or worse for me. Much less all the “after you die” nonsense. When we die we just cease to exist, or so I thought. But just to make conversation I humored the guy. “So which did you choose?” I ask him.

“I choose the world and this life,” he said. “What about you?”

I wanted to analyze the scenario. “How long does the next life last?”

“Oh, that’s forever,” he said.

“Well, if this life is for less than a century, and the next one is forever, why would anyone choose some decades of the good life now if that’s going to mean a bad forever afterward?

“Well, because there might not be a next life,” was his response. That brought a quizzical look to my face. The framework of the whole exercise was the truth of a particular scenario. It was about making the decision to have it good now and then bad later, or vice versa. But then the driving factor of his decision-making was that part of the scenario was not true, and that there was no later. I didn’t quite get it. Again, he asked me, “What about you?”

“I dunno. Interesting to think about. I’ll have to think about it,” I said. And with that, Bobby said he would be taking off, and he’d see me the next day at school. It was almost as if he was making a business call or something. I mean, I wasn’t offended. I didn’t know the guy all that well, and he was welcome to hang out or not. I think I suggested we do something, I can’t remember what, and he said he needed to get going or some such thing. Off he went. I am not really sure about the details, but it went something like that. He came over, pitched me this idea, and then took off. We didn’t hang out much after that. I’d see him in the halls or classes or whatever. I kind of had an impression of him as some kind of superstitious guy, and I think he thought of me as someone who was passing on an opportunity. At any rate, we never became friends. Although I suppose it was as previously, that we weren’t enemies either. Then I never really thought about the guy or the conversation until much later in life. After all, I would move to another state a year later.

The conversation did feed into things that I recognized later in life, though. You know there is the whole method of the selling one’s soul to the devil. Say Goethe’s Dr. Faust and his contract with Mephistopheles, for example. And then there is the music world.

By the way, Wilson, did you know that Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake all met each other when they were twelve? They were all performers on the Disney Mouseketeers Show. Kinda odd that they all became world famous. Almost like some kid like Bobby made his pitch to them about having it good in this life, and they took him up on it. Each one of them ended up having their day where they were unquestionably the center of the world music industry.

This all kind of intersects with the whole Robert Johnson urban legend. There is a great documentary about that on Netflix. You should definitely take a look at it if you get a chance.

The Netflix documentary is entitled “ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads.” It’s less than an hour long and an interesting watch.

You might think this myth is Christian, but actually the whole thing about the crossroads comes from voodoo legends about Papa Legba, who is a voodoo rendition of some African god, I can’t remember if from the Igbo or Yoruba or somewhere else. You should Google Papa Legba, Wilson, since I know you’re a Wikipedia addict.

And you know the whole sensation about the spirituality of Bob Dylan, right, Wilson? He was born a Jew, secular though, then became a Christian, or Messianic Jew, in the seventies I think, but then there was that whole sensation about statements he made during a Sixty Minutes interview he gave in the eighties.

Have a look. There are a lot of videos about this. A pretty sensational moment in music history.

So to this, I wanted to ask, Wilson, if you remember when Justin Bieber said there were pedophiles running the music industry? I’m not going to link anything to you about this. You can search it yourself. You’re not going to find anything about it except from right-wing fundamentalist Christian websites and corny YouTube videos, plus a number of Reddit posts about it and references to it on people’s personal blogs. You’ll also find a number of fact-checking sites such as Snopes that say he didn’t really say anything about it. Kind of like when Norway said COVID wasn’t dangerous and all the fact checking sites came out afterward saying Norway didn’t really say that. Likewise when Italy revised their COVID death counts, and the fact checking sites came out and said Italy didn’t really do that.

I didn’t hear about it from a fundamentalist Christian fake news rag, though, Wilson. I use Flipboard, a news aggregator app, which for the most part sticks to mainstream sources. I remember an article where he claims someone told him that basically, you’d have to have sex with a kid in order to be a part of an “in crowd” and your success would increase massively, “like Jay-Z kind of rich.”

You know Justin Bieber got his fame in a very big way at a very young age, and he got into a lot of trouble, and became religious for a time, leaving the music industry, then he married Steven Baldwin’s daughter. Stephen was one of the three Baldwin Brothers, the one who got blacklisted in Hollywood because he became a Fundamentalist Christian – totally into that culture. So Bieber returns to the music industry, though at a fraction of his former fame, but then I think it was just this year that all of the sudden Justin develops some facial paralysis that prevents him from singing. Again, you’ll have to Google all this and see what you make of it. I can’t find any of the original sources I read on it. It’s like they were all cleaned away.

Now we are getting deeper and deeper into the urban legends, off into conspiracy territory, but there was another Netflix documentary where the Son of Sam serial killer claims all kinds of things about Satanic cults where people killed people in groups to ensure loyalty and all that.

This is definitely a sensational documentary.

I don’t want to go on and on and on about all this, though. This material is out there, and the mystery of the phenomenon exists. I just want to point out that I have personal experience with the “you can sell your soul for success” phenomenon via my middle school conversation with Bobby.

But my personal experience with this kind of thing doesn’t end there. I need to explain a little bit about my drug history, though. I just self-published my first novel, and it centers around three drug experiences I had in October and November of 2019. I’ve mentioned that I’ve done drugs before, though. My drug experiences have a pretty close relationship with my spiritual experiences, so I will be talking about them a lot. I don’t want the world to think I am a drug addict, though, so I will offer a little explanation.

I tried a variety of different drugs during high school, though really not very many. Now I know most high school kids don’t do any drugs at all, but quite a number have. Usually pot. There is always the high school pothead to talk about. Most kids who try drugs, though, just do a bit of experimenting, say being able to count on one hand the number of times that they used drugs. I am no exception. The only difference between me and any given high schooler would be diversity. Like, I tried LSD, ecstasy, and cocaine in high school. Not just pot. But I didn’t develop any habits or anything. The diversity had to do with my best friend’s older sister being a legitimate drug addict who gave us access to more drugs than most kids will have access to. Overall, though, I was like the others, being able to count on my fingers the number of times I’d used drugs, and all I was doing was youthful experimentation. Yet this did leave me with a certain lack of fear and aversion to drugs.

This would get me into trouble after high school, when I got a job at a nightclub where there were a lot of drugs, and I ended up really going off the chain for about six months. It’s was a Less than Zero kind of time, and I almost died once or twice. Due to the excessive mess of it, though, I got myself out of the scene and ultimately joined the US Army and never messed with drugs again until literally over twenty years later with the drug experiences in 2019 that I talk about in my book. Then finally, after all that mental mayhem, I have ended up using medical marijuana a few times per year to alleviate some PTSD symptoms. But this usage always comes with a fairly significant cost to me. I’ll talk about that sometime, Wilson.

Suffice it here to say that my drug experiences are related to some pretty lofty aspects of my spiritual life. There are a number of reasons for the relationship between drugs and spirituality. For one, they break down the personality, so they open up aspects of primal aspects of human psychology. Second, they seem to add an aspect of deniability. It would seem that God and Satan both agree that they don’t want to trouble skeptics with their existence.

Shaman: I saw an angel!
Atheist: Oh did you, now?
Shaman: Yup! I was high as hell on shrooms!
Atheist: Ah, yeah, okay, I gotcha.

That is, the Evangelical Christians have a saying, “the Devil’s favorite doctrine is: I don’t exist.” Yet he has to talk to people somehow. So he can communicate with them while they are high, and everything just looks like a drug experience to people who are not involved.

The final dimension to the relationship with drugs and spirituality is that when it comes to spirituality, people tend to find what they believe in, and when your mind is all messed up, you can believe things that you wouldn’t normally believe were possible.

So anyway, Wilson, I’m a spiritual guy, and have had some pretty incredible spiritual experiences, and a number of these experiences involve drugs. That said, though, don’t treat me like a drug addict. I don’t use them regularly. I haven’t used them during most phases of my life. And in my entire life I would only consider myself to have fit the pattern of a drug addict for about six months when I was 19 years old.

So with that defense out of the way, I do want to tell you about an interesting drug experience I had. But the interesting part had nothing to do with anything that happened when I was on drugs. This was during that drug addict phase when I was 19. I was hanging out with a guy named Lee White. He had some LSD he wanted to share with me. He had two hits. Two little white squares of paper dipped in acid that he had hidden in his hand. Now the interesting thing about this episode of drug use was not what happened when we took the drugs, but what he said when he was offering them to me.

With the hits hidden between his clasped hands he said, “I have two hits. One for each of us. You can choose which hit you take. One of them has a cross on it, and the other has a star on it. If you take the star, you can do whatever you want. If you take the cross, you have to be moral and fight for everything.”

I thought that was some kind of a bizarre game. Now you know I was a Dungeons and Dragons nerd as a teenager, right, Wilson? My favorite class was the Paladin. The Holy Knight. So I imagined a knight with a cross on his chest fighting off orcs and goblins and whatnot, and I chose the cross. He was surprised. “Really?” He said.

“Sure,” I said. Now I was still an atheist at this point. It would be another couple of years before I became a Christian. I didn’t believe there was anything spiritual going on. And I did not remember the conversation with Bobby. So with a shrug he gave me the hit with the cross on it, and we got high. That’s the drug experience. It doesn’t have anything to do with what happened to us when we got high. It was about that statement. Yet now, today, I do have a sneaking suspicion that if I had chosen the hit with the star on it, something very interesting would have happened to me when I got high.

See, in my book I title the eighth chapter “the Illuminati” because there was an episode, and this is at a 47 year-old man who hadn’t done any drugs for decades, where I had an interaction with a Latino guy who acted like some kind of Illuminati agent, like Bobby talking to me about the world going my way. You’ll have to get the book and read the chapter to get the impact of it, but there was a point where he gave me a bag of drugs with a skull on it. I made some observations about skulls in Latino culture, mentioning a friend of mine who likes to keep Aztec style skull pictures and trinkets everywhere. Now before publishing the book I used to put the draft chapters on this website, and like this post I am writing to you, Wilson, there is always an image up at the top. Since the chapter had that catchy little skull motif, I decided to look for some Latino Aztec style skull pictures to add to the blog post of the chapter to give it a nice flare. This is what I found:

Notice the crosses and the stars in the eyes, Wilson? God is an artist, isn’t he?

So that picture of the crosses and the stars in the skulls that I found online in 2021 when looking for an image for a blog post/chapter about a guy tempting me with the prospect of being able to do whatever I want called my attention back to that conversation from decades prior in which a guy offered me to choose between a hit of acid that would let me do whatever I want versus one that would force me to be moral. And both of these incidents were of the same type as my conversation in middle school with the kid who offered me the option of having everything go my way in this life, only to pay later, or have it tough in this life in order to gain rewards later.

Again think of the phenomenon of the rock stars. Did you notice that it’s rock STAR? Movie STAR? Anyway, I wanted to let you know, Wilson, that I have had some brushes with it. Each time I didn’t take the bait. However, these people are out there. If they’ve talked to me, how many others have they talked to? And those others, did they even realize the conversations that they were having? Especially during the conversation with Lee White, I had no idea what sort of conversation I was having. I thought I was playing some kind of a Dungeons and Dragons-themed game. Maybe Britney and Justin and Christina had a conversation at age 12 when they were offered “stardom,” and they took it. Did they even remember that conversation when they became famous years later?

I just want to tell you, Wilson, these folks are out there. In some cases, such as the whole Sons of Sam documentary, there are entire groups of them, and they know what they are doing. They know what they are choosing, and they know what is happening to them.

But this choice is a choice that everyone makes on some level. Even if you don’t see things on this black and white, good and evil level, in your life you are going to experience drives, desires, and urges. If you don’t acknowledge the good or evil of these urges, and choose to accept or resist these urges accordingly, you will end up doing what you want to do. If you don’t acknowledge that some of these urges are bad and should be resisted, and you just do whatever feels good to you, then over time, I promise you, you’ll end up devoting yourself to things that feel good to you and end up being opposed to goodness and to God.

You see, a human being is a window of consciousness, his memories, and his urges. His urges come from the spirit or spirits that influence him. So if you don’t make a choice based on a conversation with someone like Bobby or Lee, you’ll make a choice by choosing to be influenced by urges given to you by the spirit of God or the spirit of evil. If you don’t resist the evil and force yourself toward God, over time, those urges from the spirit of evil will take you over, and in the end, you will simply be a sock puppet for that spirit.

I’ve seems some pretty strange examples of this phenomenon, Wilson, and I hope to be able to write about some of them for you. But needless to say, there is the state of the guy who is nothing but a demon inhabiting a body whose owner is nothing but a zombie, compliant to the will of that spirit in every way.

But this is getting complicated, Wilson, and this post has grown long, so I will try to write you another one about some of these things later. Take care, Wilson. Talk to you later.

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