In The Joy of the Journey toward Greater Enlightenment, he narrates his journey and discusses his communications with the spirit realm. He tells how those communications have allowed him to receive answers to questions and concerns he had on a variety of issues such as creation, suffering, purpose, consciousness, and more.
A memoir and guidebook that explores a mans journey in spirituality, The Joy of the Journey toward Greater Enlightenment shares Keelys experiences in his lifeand death. It speaks to the presence of the divine, spiritual realm leading him toward a sense of self-awareness and enlightenment.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I have wanted to be a spiritual explorer, writer, and teacher ever since I started investigating the spirit side of my reality. When I was young, I was extremely shy and introverted. I probably still am that way, but I love discussing nonreligious spirituality. What is contained in this book are my views, thoughts, and discoveries. They are personal to me, and they might or might not be useful to others. I believe we each have to develop and nurture our own views and revelations. While we are all in this physical adventure together, we must travel our own autonomous paths. We can and should help each other, but because we have free will, we have to make our own decisions and thereby learn the lessons we came here (to the earth) to understand. We may have developed a general life plan before we incarnated into this world, but how we actualize that plan is up to each individual. There is only one mountaintop, but there are an infinite number of paths leading to that summit. Some paths are faster or easier than others, and some of us may be more skilled climbers, but eventually we all get to the same top. I offer this material as an example of what has worked for me. Hopefully, it will help others identify ways that will catalyze their spiritual growth and evolution.
As briefly discussed in the preface, there are a number of reasons why I have now agreed to write this book. Over the past eight or nine years, I have had a number of psychics tell me I needed to consider writing a book of my thoughts on the evolution of consciousness and how I have received information on that subject from levels of higher vibration. I would guess many advertised psychics are frauds, but I also believe many are gifted individuals who can be of great benefit. I do not accept everything they communicate, but I consider it all. I also now feel my spirit guides are suggesting it is time I share some of the information they have given me. A final factor in my decision to write this book is that I currently have a major health challenge. While I hope for a significant recovery, I can think of no better way of ending this life's journey than by putting my thoughts and my guides' communications in print to be shared with anyone who might benefit from them.
My personal spiritual views are not static but very dynamic, constantly changing and evolving. It appears that my ability to interact with the spirit realm has grown as I have become more open to receiving answers from that source. I am not implying I have any kind of special ability or talent. I am certain that my current views and beliefs are far from being absolutely correct. I am equally certain that as my consciousness continues to evolve, my understanding will expand and my views will change. My views today are much superior to my views from five, ten, twenty, or sixty years ago.
During the 1990s, I undertook a study of each of the seven largest world religions in an attempt to see what they had in common. I thought if I could find commonalities between them, those attributes might represent deep relative truths I could apply to my life. I found several concepts that were shared between all or most of these belief systems. While I respect and honor all sincere spiritual teachings, I find that formal religion often creates a division rather than a unity. As long as members of a religion think theirs is the only true and correct view or belief, I tend to avoid being involved with them. From all that I have learned, I believe I have found the way that works best for me at this time and that gives me answers to my search in the form I can understand.
There is a Taoist view that one cannot obtain enlightenment if one is searching for it. I accept this view. When something is ready, it will happen. But I have been trained as a research scientist and by nature am interested in how and why things come into and go out of existence and how I might personally affect those processes. My personal path has to start with an intellectual understanding that identifies my current best guess — the best that I have at this time. I realize eventually I will need to cease my attempts to experience things through my brain and allow my answers to self-manifest. I may be at an early stage in my awakening, but I thoroughly enjoy the process.CHAPTER 2
Important People along My Path
I refer to my personal philosophy as Stanism (Stan is my name, and the ism is to indicate it is my personal view). It changes regularly as my awareness and understanding increase. As I became more aware of my life's path, my experiences, and the lessons I have learned, my philosophy formed, grew, and evolved. Every person who touched my life had some effect on its expansion. I would like to especially thank nine wonderful people who agreed to walk major portions of my life path with me. At various times we gave each other love, anger, joy, pain, kindness, judgment, caring, jealousy, and support. In doing so they allowed or caused me to experience the many invaluable lessons that have supported my spiritual evolution. I am sure they have benefited equally from my being in their lives. From a spiritual perspective, everyone we devote significant time and energy to helps us grow, including those individuals we consider our enemies. The nine saints who make up my inner circle of earthly travelers in this lifetime are my father, Stan (who moved on thirty years ago); my mother, Eva, who l will say a bit more about below; my brother, Mike; my two children, Kristen and Robert; my first wife, Corrine; my second wife, Linda; my soul mate, Debra; and my partner, Tisa. I am extremely grateful for having each of these people play the roles they have in my life, and I love them all very much.
My very Christian mother played a paramount role in the development of my secular philosophy. She usually has very firm views about most things and does not back down from a good discussion (i.e., argument). I have been told I share this characteristic with her; however, my views are somewhat f luid and regularly change. Until recently, whenever I visited her we would spend the last few hours of my stay with a lively discussion of our differing views of reality. I modified my views with each discussion, although hers did not change, for which I am very happy. She draws great joy and comfort from her belief system, and I would not want that to change. As our discussions would become more heated, I would often hear myself express some rather profound and insightful views I had not considered before. Often as I drove back to whatever state I was living in at the time, I would reflect on what I had said. I was always surprised at how much sense it made to me. I would then modify my Stanist philosophy to include these new thoughts, views, and ideas. I do not know where my new thoughts came from (internal or external) but am grateful to my mother for being so argumentative.
My mother and I love each other very much, but we are polar opposites. This brings the heat to our fiery discussions. The other eight members of my spiritual posse played different but equally important roles in my life (often more pleasant) and in my development of Stanism. One of them even came up with the term Stanism. Their roles were usually supportive, but at times they provided critical and opposing views to my thinking. I go into some detail about each of these loved ones in part 4 of this book. I hold great love and respect toward each of my nine major human teachers. I am sure we all knew what we were getting into before incarnating into our present lives, and I am completely grateful we played the roles we did.CHAPTER 3
Major Events in My Journey into Spirituality
A few years ago, I read an article written by a secular humanist that began by stating, "There is no God, there is no life after death, there is nothing beyond the physical." I personally do not like to use the term God, as it often carries different preconceived ideas for different groups. I might agree with the secularist if he were referring to one of the Greek or Roman gods or one of the gods presented as the "one and only true god," as is usually done by most religious movements. For the sake of full disclosure (or near full), I do believe that all that is came from somewhere or something outside normal space-time, or at least got started from that source — the so-called uncaused cause. I prefer using terms such as Source, Absolute, or Creator. It is the reason there is something and not nothing. Currently, my preferred term is Absolute Source. I do not use "the" Source, since that may cause it to appear to be something that is separate, rather than being all prevailing. I believe Absolute Source is beyond our human ability to comprehend or understand. That belief does not keep me from trying to experience Source as best I can and to understand the various worlds or realms we exist in. I most certainly believe there is more to existence than just the physical and that our essence(s) or consciousness continues after the death of the physical body. Absolute Source is nondualistic, and therefore I do not believe in the existence of a classic heaven and hell. Nor do I believe in divine punishment. I feel that evil does exist but that it is of human creation and not a holy-evil cosmic duality. I do believe in karma (i.e., cause and effect), but not in good and bad. Many times I feel something is bad only to later realize it was very beneficial (i.e., me developing diabetes). I usually do not believe in anything that invokes dualism (up/down, light/dark, low/high). These things are necessary for comparison and to keep score but are not of an absolute everlasting nature. Obviously, there are many awful, inhuman things in our world that we all should do everything we can to stop or prevent (the Crusades, the Holocaust, slavery, genocide, terrorism, racism, violence, etc.). Hopefully as we evolve spiritually, we will realize we are all one and stop inflicting so much suffering on others and ourselves.CHAPTER 4
Experiencing a Higher Realm
The major reason I so strongly believe in an afterlife and the existence of higher non-physical realms is the near-death experience (NDE) I had in 1968. In the fall of that year, I was a graduate student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. I was married to my first wife, Corrine, who was a nurse. I had been diagnosed with type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes in 1959, and when I moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio to study for my doctorate (1966), I started seeing a new local physician. My new doctor immediately changed the type of insulin I was taking from PZI insulin (very long acting) to Lente insulin (shorter duration of activity). This was well before diabetics started to measure their blood glucose levels directly, and they were then dependent on a relatively imprecise urine analysis to get a crude blood glucose level estimate. Shortly after being diagnosed, I had observed that exercise helped me control my diabetes and allowed me to eat more, so I became an avid exerciser. That fall I had joined a graduate school intramural basketball league that played on Tuesday evenings. One night after a particularly long and strenuous game, I came home exhausted and only ate a piece of toast before going to bed rather than the cheeseburger and two beers that was my usual bedtime snack. This was a perfect storm for a hypoglycemic event, which did occur. It drove me into a physically unconscious state. I became aware of my consciousness floating above my physical body, which laid motionless in deep coma on the bed below. I felt absolutely no attachment to that body but did realize what had happened to it (strenuous activity and less-than-the-normal carbohydrate ingestion). I remember thinking, That poor dumb man. He really messed up. Words cannot describe what I experienced next, but I will do my best to portray it. My attention or awareness went to a huge, extremely bright cloud of golden-white light that at first moved toward me and then engulfed me in its warm, brilliant presence. I realize that golden-white light does not exist, but that is what best describes what I experienced. It was not a mixture or shade. It was different from anything I had ever experienced. It was pure and singular. I felt completely at home, as if this were the place I was always meant to be.
I had been raised a fundamentalist Christian and thought it might be Jesus or God. I had left my earlier beliefs and was somewhat a new ager and thought the light might be my higher self. I still have no idea what it was, but it was completely accepting, without any judgment, and radiated what I will call unconditional love. The only words that come to mind to describe how I felt are: complete bliss, unmatched joy, absolute belonging, and pure love. These are just words trying to describe an experience that was indescribable.
While I was engulfed in the cloud of light, I noticed my wife standing in the corner of our bedroom and saw my doctor standing over my body. My wife had realized something was wrong when our alarm did not rouse me. When I did not respond to her attempts to wake me, she called my doctor at his home. I observed my doctor try to inject a huge syringe of something into a vein in my right hand. I was later informed that he injected two fifty-cc syringes of glucose into a hand vein since most of the big veins in my arms had collapsed. I then noticed two men, who today would be referred to as EMTs, standing in the bedroom doorway holding a stretcher. While I was out of body, I could tell what my wife and doctor were thinking, although there was little or no communication between them.
My doctor, who was now sitting on the bed, still holding the now empty second fifty-cc syringe, looked up at the EMTs, and said, "I think he is going to make it. We may not need you, but stick around awhile." Then the golden-white cloud of light started to recede, and I faded back into my body and regained physical consciousness. My NDE was over, and I experienced very significant depression being back in a material body. I do not remember being given a choice to return to my body or to go on. Being out of body was so wonderful that I do not believe I would have made the choice to return. Maybe I do not remember making the choice or maybe some other energy decided for me. My depression (disappointment) dissolved over the next few weeks, and within a month I was back to my normal physical existence. I did not know how to process my experience and told no one about it for many years. About ten years after my NDE, I learned about the work of Dr. Raymond Moody on NDEs. Then I realized that that was what I had experienced. While I do not remember a dark tunnel, meeting loved ones who had already passed over, or a life review, my experience was not too different from most other NDEs: wonderful bright light and feelings of belonging, bliss, joy, peace, and love. I had the realization that we are far more than our physical bodies and that a spiritual realm(s) exists.
I wish I could definitely say that my experience immediately gave me great insight, dramatically changed my life, or made me a better person, but I cannot. It may have produced those effects and I did not realize it or they may have occurred gradually and I did not notice. I am not sure. I was still filled with fear and anger and had low self-esteem. I continued to have difficulties with relationships. But I had a newfound peace about death and a greatly increased interest in nonphysical existence.
Several months after my NDE, my wife and I separated and were in the process of getting a divorce when she was tragically killed in an earlymorning auto accident in February 1970. At the moment of her death (2:43 a.m.) I awoke with a heavy feeling of loss and sadness. I feel she reached out to tell me she was transitioning out of her physical life.CHAPTER 5
Positive Things Start to Happen Professionally
By my early teens, I had stopped accepting things just because most people said or believed they were so. I started searching for my own truth. That search appears to have accelerated shortly after my NDE, although it was not obvious to me at the time. By the mid '80s, my search had become one of the primary focuses of my life and has brought me to my current level of understanding. I could easily believe that a seed was planted during my NDE that eventually drove me to become the spiritual explorer I feel I am today.
Many people say that earthly life is like a school and that all the things that happen during our lifetime are opportunities to learn lessons and/or make discoveries. I am not sure I completely accept that view, but I do not reject it. I have had five major committed relationships in my life with four beautiful, loving, and intelligent women. (Yes, one of those wonderful beings decided to give me a second shot.) The first four relationships ended in what I originally thought was failure. Viewed with the benefit of time, I now appreciate that I learned and experienced much from the beginning, duration, and ending of those relationships. I am very grateful that those wonderful ladies were part of my life. I am still good friends with the surviving three. All four allowed me to learn some painful but important lessons, and in that sense, our relationships were very successful. If, as I choose to believe, we are born into the physical world with some sort of life plan, then I would say our coming together and coming apart were all part of my school's curriculum.
As I will next review, I have had six major jobs. I was hired into each one, learned from each position and environment, and then moved on to a new position that required me to face new obstacles and evolve both personally and professionally. I had originally intended to work my entire life for a single company, as my father had done. Looking back, I realize how difficult it was changing jobs so often and having to prove myself again with each new position, but I also see how much each change allowed or caused me to grow and expand my abilities. I am grateful to all my previous bosses, even though we often saw things very differently.
After the death of my wife in 1970, I was filled with regret and guilt. I had little motivation or focus. After several weeks, I returned to my laboratory and finished the last few experiments I needed to complete my PhD research. I had just started writing my dissertation when May 4, 1970, happened, where four Kent State students were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard and several others were badly wounded. Occurring so close to my first wife's death, these killings had a huge impact on me. I learned how suddenly and unexpectedly physical death can come.
Until I took my first philosophy class during my sophomore year in college, I believed many of the Christian teachings I had heard from various preachers, teachers, and community elders. By the spring of 1970, those teachings and my childhood faith stopped making much sense. I started searching in earnest for a religion or spiritual path that would comfort me and help me better understand life. As my spiritual search expanded, I started questioning everything I heard, saw, or read. I accepted nothing unless it was logical and could withstand debate. I did not realize it, but my spiritual journey had begun, and it would lead me in an entirely new direction. I am very grateful for my early training in Christianity because it exposed me to the teachings of Jesus on love, peace, forgiveness, joy, nonjudgement, and service. These are teachings that many people who say they know Christ as their personal savior appear never to have learned with their willingness to destroy anybody or anything that does not align with their views and beliefs. This attitude is, of course, common to most religions. I often wonder why the beautiful teachings of Jesus on love, compassion, caring, and service are commingled in a book (i.e., the Bible) filled with stories of violence, hatred, and inhumane behavior.
After finishing my PhD at Kent State, I did two years of postdoctoral research at Ohio State University. This is where I met my second wife, Linda. I had become dissatisfied with the type of research I had been doing (organic chemistry) and wanted to change my focus to biochemistry and molecular biology. I learned that a professor at Vanderbilt University had just won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology and decided to see if I might be able to attend Vanderbilt and study for a second PhD working with that Nobel Laureate. I was invited to interview at Vandy and was very happily surprised when the Department of Physiology (which had a heavy focus on medical biochemistry) offered me a visiting investigator position rather than a graduate student fellowship. This position paid me a lot more money and allowed me to just do research with no additional course work requirements. So my new wife and I loaded a U-Haul and headed to Nashville.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Joy of the Journey Toward Greater Enlightenment"
Copyright © 2018 Stanley Keely, Ph.D..
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
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Table of Contents
1 Introduction, 1,
2 Important People along My Path, 4,
3 Major Events in My Journey into Spirituality, 6,
4 Experiencing a Higher Realm, 8,
5 Positive Things Start to Happen Professionally, 11,
6 My Evolving Views on Reality and Consciousness, 16,
7 Communicating with My Guides, 21,
8 Suffering, 23,
9 The Dying Process, 31,
10 Creation, 33,
11 We Are All One, 36,
12 Where Do We Go from Here?, 39,
13 Personal Anger, 42,
14 Becoming a Better Person, 45,
15 What Has the Highest Priority?, 48,
16 Fear, 50,
17 Desire, Craving, Grasping, 52,
18 Just the Next Step, 55,
19 Life in the Spirit Realm, 56,
20 Different Levels, 58,
21 Self-Healing, 60,
22 Energy, 63,
23 Selfishness, 65,
24 Where, When, and How Did My Spirit Come into Being?, 69,
25 Life Plan, 71,
26 Does Absolute Source (God) Think?, 74,
27 What Created Me?, 78,
28 Change, 80,
29 Beliefs I Am Unaware Of., 82,
30 A Brief Overview of My Life, 87,
31 My Current Core Beliefs, 113,