Have you ever wanted to escape to a place where you could order a cup of coffee, a glass of water, and a new life? Michael Wyman has. Disillusioned and in search of something unknown, he finds himself at a cafe on a deserted road in the north woods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula at three o'clock in the morning. There, he encounters Angelina, the most beautiful woman he's ever met. She takes his order and introduces him to a whole new way of life.
But what he doesn't know about Angelina could hurt him. She's the spousal partner of a missing Nobel Prize laureate, William C. Fischer-Michael's longtime friend and associate. This chance meeting is more than either of them could have imagined. They embark on a twenty-fi rst-century psychological adventure that draws them, and those closest to them, into an intriguing investigation of awareness and self-discovery that uncovers a personal and global crisis concerning life, death, new life, and a common destiny.
Inevitably the intricately woven mysteries of interconnected lives, unexpected entanglements, and what has been called the perennial philosophy asks:
Who are you?
What do you want?
Why are you here?
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)|
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By F. W. Rick Meyers
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2012 F. W. Rick Meyers
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTime is not at all what it seems. It does not flow in only one direction. The future exists simultaneously with the past in this present moment. The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion. -Albert Einstein-
I don't know how I found that place when I did. I was lost in the north woods at three o'clock in the morning. I'd been driving all night. The lights were illuminated in the café and I saw the OPEN sign. I noticed that mine was the only car on the street. I crossed the threshold into Sunnyview Café. A tiny bell above the door jingled and an adventure began I never could have imagined.
I picked up a menu from the host's stand, noticed a wooden model of a sailing vessel, and sat down in a booth. I opened the menu and saw nothing but blank pages. On the back of the last page in the lower right-hand corner was a question in small print that simply asked, "What do you want?"
What do I want? I thought to myself. How about a glass of water, a cup of coffee, and a new life? What kind of joke is this? The night cook's way of saying, "Get lost," or did a disgruntled employee decide to be a smart-ass?
What do you want? The question began to sink farther into my tired mind when I heard a rustling in the kitchen and looked up to see the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen walk out. She approached me carrying a glass of water and a cup of coffee. She wore a dark blue flowing gown over a white robe that showed at the wrists and neck. An attached hood hung down from the neck of her gown onto her back underneath her well-coiffed auburn hair. The attire reminded me of a religious habit I'd seen somewhere in my travels.
She placed the water and coffee in front of me and sat down. Her eyes were brown, strong, and compassionate. They looked right into my soul. I could feel my pulse race as my metabolism shifted.
"What do you want from this new life?" she asked without introduction or hesitation.
I don't know why, but I felt as if I was going to pass out. Was her question rhetorical? What did it matter to her? How could she know what I was thinking?
The fragrance of her presence was like wild roses with a hint of mint. Her eyes spoke of a vastness that reminded me of a clear night in the Canadian Rockies, a billion stars shining and touching the depths of one's being. Her presence was that of a Greek goddess, although I'd never met one, and the sound of her voice was as beautiful as a rainbow, as bright as the sun, and as deep as the ocean. She seemed ageless. I couldn't tell if she was thirty or sixty, which added to my confusion. The silence that ensued after her question seemed to linger into eternity. I was speechless and stunned. Who was this person? Where had she come from? The silence persisted, as did the steady gaze of the look in her curious eyes. What do you want from this new life? echoed in my ears.
Remembering Alice in Wonderland, I pinched myself to see if I was dreaming. A sharp pain traveled from leg to brain and verified I was not dreaming. I was sitting in the presence of a very eccentric and stunning woman. I couldn't speak, so I picked up the glass of water, took a drink, and tried to get a grip. In my many years of life, never before had a question or a person had such a profound effect on me. I returned the water glass to the table and willed myself to relax. Not sure where to look, I closed my eyes and bathed in the moment. Relax ... remember ... surrender ... renew. The mantra I'd been working with for some time emerged as I became aware of my breathing. The short shallow breaths elongated and calm washed over me. Relax ... remember ... surrender ... renew. I could feel my body releasing its tension from the night driving and this new dark night experience. The energy of life seemed to be awakening in me and as it did, I was caught up in a vision.
I sat by a small campfire in the Black Hills. A woman laid beside me wrapped in a buffalo robe. The night sky was shimmering with stars. The howls of wolves sang the end and the beginning of an era. It was the end of the world, as we had known it. The Wasechu, the crazy white people, had come to the land and were overtaking her. The ways of the reds were over, the ways of the whites beginning. The two of us were medicine people for a tribe who had lived and loved in the plains and mountains of what was to become the state of Colorado. We represented the last of our band and were making our way north to make a new life for as long as it was given. The spirits of the deep, who accompanied us along the paths of the ancestors, were our guides and protectors. We saw the end of our place in the grand design and were now traveling to the beginning of another. The night was cool and opened to the infinite possibilities of life. We were at peace.
The café sign flickered on and off and finally went out. The smell of freshly brewed coffee drifted into my nostrils and brought me back to the question, the present moment, and the woman. I shook my head slightly, trying to shake loose from this strange vision.
"What do you want from this new life?" she asked again.
"What new life?" I blurted out. "What the hell do I know? How about peace on earth, good will for all creation? How about the enlightenment of humanity? How about a whole new way of being together in the world that honors and respects the dignity of everyone and everything? How about the end of exploitation, greed, hunger, and war? An end to anxiety, regret, despair, blame, and humiliation? No more condemnation, hopelessness, fear, craving, enslavement, antagonism, scorn, righteous indignation, pain, suffering, and ..."
Tears began to seep from my eyes. The sadness from all the journeys, all the difficulties, and all the despair I'd witnessed and experienced began to pour forth. I tried to control myself, but the dam broke and I began to cry. My grief sparked a flashback.
"I can't stop the bleeding!" I yelled, as I grabbed more gauze. "The whole side of his head is gone!"
The other medic came to my side to assess the situation. "Move on, he's gone. The casualties are coming in like a wave. We can only do so much. Save the ones you can and let the rest go. That's the choice we've been given. Move it!"
The blood, the sounds, the pain, the suffering, the futility of war ... and for what? Another foothold in another part of the world so we can drink more oil and eat off the backs of the peasants? Patch 'em up, sent 'em home or back into the fray, so we can eat another Big Mac and clear-cut another forest?
The scene changed and I was wiping my teary eyes with a napkin. Where am I? I looked down at the table. There sat the steaming cup of coffee and glass of water that reminded me I was still in the strange café somewhere in the middle of the night. I looked up; the mystery woman was still there with an angelic glow around her. Embarrassed, I ran my hands over my face and tried to rid my mind of the war scene I hadn't remembered in decades. I had no explanation for my behavior or my surroundings. In defeat, I put my elbows on the table, rested my chin on the heels of my hands, and looked up curiously at the woman. I was growing more tired by the moment.
"It's been a long dark night," she said, "and it's a brand new day. It's time for some rest. There's a cottage and a bed with clean sheets out back. I'll lead you there."
She got up. I followed. The darkness enfolded me. We walked for some time. All I remember was hearing a door close as my skin embraced the cool cotton sheets. Was I home?
Chapter TwoYou have now found the conditions in which the desire of your heart can become the reality of your being. Stay here until you acquire a force in you that nothing can destroy. -George Gurdjieff-
I woke up not knowing where I was, who I was, or why I was. It was a strange experience. It seemed like I'd been traveling forever to unknown and familiar places. The experience lasted only a few seconds, and yet there was a lingering sense that way more was going on in the universe than I was conscious of when I opened my eyes. I reflected on the paradox of my reality: the smallness and spaciousness, the constriction and expansiveness. Is it possible to hold two apparent opposites together at the same time?
I lay with my eyes open in the bed I'd been so graciously led to the night before, trying to recall my thoughts and impressions. It ranked in the top ten of the strangest experiences of my life: the mystery woman, the vision and flashback, the outpouring of grief, my not knowing, and now my own place to stay. Something was very strange about these happenings.
I scanned my surroundings and realized I was in a clean and efficient one-room cottage constructed out of what I assumed were native logs and timber, and it looked to be a perfect square with a window in every wall. I saw a small woodstove, a desk with a chair, a wingback chair with a floor lamp beside it, and a small closet that was simply a wooden bar with hangers. A nightstand stood next to the bed that held a small lamp. I was lying on a very comfortable double bed covered with a handmade quilt and down comforter. I sat up and saw above the bed a framed aerial photograph of a tropical island covered in palm trees. The cottage was heavenly. I laid back, stared at the ceiling, and attempted to make sense of the night before. Strangely, I didn't feel afraid. On the contrary, I felt safe and renewed.
As I pulled back the covers, I noticed the crispness of the north woods air. I looked at my watch: five o'clock in the afternoon. I'd slept through the day. Eager to get moving, I made my way to the restroom, splashed some water on my face, and walked out into a world I didn't know. To my great surprise, I was standing on a porch looking out over a lake in the midst of a forest. The sun was dropping in the sky directly in front of me casting a reflection on the lake. I looked west, felt the sun on my skin, wondered where I was, how I had arrived here, and gave thanks all at the same time.
I sat in one of the two chairs on the porch that faced the lake to enjoy the warmth of the sun. I scanned the shoreline to my left and right and noticed other cottages like mine interspersed among the trees. Curious, I got up and walked to the shoreline twenty yards from the cottage. The trees, trimmed to create a park-like atmosphere, felt friendly, inviting, and even embracing. Each cottage seemed deliberately placed to create both a private and a public feel. Each had its own space and yet, there was a sense of community among them. I counted a dozen cottages scattered through the forest, all enjoying a serene view of the lake and western sky. When I reached the shore, I noticed a series of docks that extended a couple sections out into the water in front of each cottage. Attached to my dock was an aluminum rowboat, and upside down on the shore, a one-person kayak waited to be flipped over, slid into the water, and paddled across the stillness. The water was clear and the bottom displayed light brown sand that gradually dropped off into the depths. I removed my shoes and socks, rolled up my pant legs, and walked a couple feet into the water. The approaching winter cooled the autumn air as well as the lake, both clearing my head a little more.
Be still and know, I heard from within, presumably prompted by the serenity of the moment. You're on sabbatical with no agenda, and you're exactly where you need to be. I closed my eyes and rested in what I'd been working on for decades—inner peace.
Stop, look, listen, breathe, don't try to hang on to anything. Let come. Let go. Pure awareness. My inner voice was speaking freely, and I was attending to it in awesome silence.
The birds sang their salute to the sun as mother earth rotated through her movement around the great fireball in the sky. As the sun dropped toward the horizon here, it was beginning to bring light and warmth to the other side of the globe. I backed out of the water and sat on the dock. What was happening to me? What was it about this place that prompted all this introspection? I was beginning to see the ordinary as extraordinary. It felt strange and at the same time perfectly normal.
I put my socks and shoes back on, rolled down my pant legs, and backed off the dock caught up in the stillness and beauty of the moment. A massive blow to my body broke my trance, and I was knocked off my feet and landed in the sand. I looked up to see a young man half my age stumbling to catch his balance before he too hit the ground. While I was slowly getting to my hands and knees and assessing any possible damage, I noticed that he avoided the fall and was quickly coming back to help me.
"I'm so sorry, sir. I was in the zone and didn't see you until it was too late. Are you all right?"
"I'm checking on that at this very moment. Help me up and we'll see," I replied.
A little embarrassed, I quickly checked my body as he helped steady me. "Looks like the only thing hurt is my pride," I said, extending my hand to the runner. "My name's Michael Wyman from Denver."
"My name is Anthony Amir from San Francisco. I really am sorry for running into you like that. I was in my third mile coming down the stretch, and well, I'm glad you're not hurt."
"Not a problem, Anthony. Are you a resident here?"
"No, I'm on a vacation retreat. A friend from college days works here. He does research, design, and development in alternative energy. We haven't seen each other in years, so I decided to visit him in this remote outpost that he raves about. It's an amazing place with awesome people. How about you?"
"I just got here." Not wanting to elaborate, I asked a deflective question. "You mentioned college, what did you study?"
"I wanted to study political science and economics, but my dad wanted me to study physics and chemistry, so I majored in physics and chemistry and minored in econ and poly sci."
"Was your dad a scientist?"
"He was an astrophysicist in Iran doing research and development for the Shah's government in collaboration with the Americans before the Shah got ousted. When the government fell and was eventually taken over by the Ayatollah, Dad moved to the United States with my mom and sister. That was in the early eighties. I was born here. He worked for Lockheed Martin until a few months after nine-eleven when he lost his security clearance for no reason. That was when I ... whoa, I've opened Pandora's box here. I'm talking way too much. What's the deal, are you a psychologist or something? I don't usually spill my guts to strangers." Anthony paused. "I'm sorry again. I don't know what got into me. Maybe it's the silence. I'm not used to being so quiet. Maybe that's it, or maybe it's everything about this place that's making me loony."
"No apologies necessary, and if it makes you feel any better, I am a psychologist and am honored to meet you, Anthony Amir. I'm in the cottage right up that path. I don't know how long I'll be here, but I'd love to continue this conversation. Drop by anytime. Between my hurt pride and your loony tunes, we should be able to have a few laughs and solve all the world's problems. What do you say?"
"Thank you, Dr. Wyman. I just may do that and ... I just have to say it," Anthony paused, sweat dripping from his well-chiseled face, "Nice running into you."
Anthony turned to continue his run. I watched as he disappeared along the trail and up into the woods. I heard the sound of a twig break behind me and turned to see an elderly man coming out of the park-like forest and onto the path. I watched as he approached. He had a slight smile on his well-worn face.
Chapter ThreeLife is meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn their back on Life. -Eleanor Roosevelt-
"Good evening. You must be Michael. My name is Favor." His smile widened as he extended his hand. "I'm staying in the cottage next to yours. Did you have a good rest?"
His handshake was firm and strong. I felt an unusual energy from him. His hand moved from the traditional handshake to the more intimate handclasp, one that draws the arms closer toward an embrace. It was a gesture of brotherhood and greater caring. I'd learned it years ago in college.
Our eyes met in this reconfigured handclasp. The moment expanded and grew. Somehow, I knew this older man whom I'd never met. A message beyond words was communicated. Again, I relaxed, remembering to surrender.
Excerpted from Mystic Travelers by F. W. Rick Meyers Copyright © 2012 by F. W. Rick Meyers. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Too late?" She askex brushing wavy blonde hair from her sea blue eyes
Mystic Travelers: Awakening is a book that continues to resonate within one’s soul. This beautiful, sensitive novel provides a broad and comprehensive vision for the future which transcends the barriers of traditional religious beliefs. It envisions new possibilities for humans in shedding fear and anger as we connect with the divine within. It belongs to the rich, sacred heritage of thought by helping us to remember who we really are and who we can be. It’s wonderfully hopeful and highly recommended. -- Deborah Saxon -- Doctoral Candidate -- Iliff School of Theology/University of Denver
Wonderful book! Haven't finished it yet - take your time while reading, it is captivating and mind boggling. Really makes you think about where you are in your life!
An intriguing, captivating, and thought-provoking novel. An author with a distinctive voice and an emotionally charged message. I enjoyed the journey and I think I'm still on it. Marya33