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There were many people up there who had really strange looking hairdos.  You could tell the status of the person in this religion by there hair cut, male or female--these were all monks there near the holy place. Other people, all the other acolytes had their hair shaved in patterns, triangles, or squares.  The bigger the triangle the higher they were in that level until they had a full head of hair.  The only ones with the full head of hair were the nuns working out of the temple complex and one man, with a full head of hair, was the head priest.  He spoke English very well and I spoke some Vietnamese by then and I sat down in his hootch for a long time and talked to him about his religion. 

They showed how they liked you in Vietnam with a protocol: the first thing they would offer you was bread fruit.  Then they would offer tea.  After an appropriate amount of time when they did not offer you the next food item, that was their polite way of saying that it was time to go, that you were no longer welcome.  He kept offering me stuff and I knew that I was welcome.  He showed it with the way he treated me.  We were sitting there in his hootch; the side was up and I was facing the front of the temple which was brightly colored with blue and yellow.  It was more like a fresco, because the pigment must have been in the stucco on the outside.  I said I wanted to see the inside of the temple and he said okay that I could. 

He let us all go in with my girlfriend who was also a nun {as I had just learned} as my tour guide.  We walked up to the front door.  As we faced it, it was the only door.  The temple emerged from the mountainside from a big rock.  With a man — made surface which was the temple facade.  This front facade wall had a door in the middle.  The temple got extremely high as it hung out over the cliff.  There was a door a wide door, with a pillar in the center a few steps inside of it.  There were two smaller openings on either side of the pillar, those doors going into darkness. In the center of the doors there was a solid structure with a statue of a goddess. 

Walking in, up the steps and into the interior room, there was a golden idol in that solid part between the two doors on the inside.  I had a movie camera with me and I had been taking movies of the place and I wish I had taken more.  I didn't realize that it was the only chance I had to take pictures of that temple.  

I had no way of guessing what was inside this temple.  Sadly it was too dark inside the temple to get the pictures I did try to take.  The goddess figure didn't turn out.  My eyes adjusted and I got to see the golden idol.  It was an extremely well-endowed woman with 10 or more arms and each hand was in a different position,,,  typical of Hindu-type sculpture that I have seen.  She was nude and the sunlight was dancing on the polished her surfaces.  

It was a magnificent sculpture.  I wish the photo of it had turned out.

The sunlight was reflecting off her around the room like jewels of golden light.  The figure had a number of arms, ten or more, and each arm had a hand and the hands were in really exaggerated positions holding stuff.  I was amazed at how well the sculptor had brought it into harmony.  I looked at the back of the sculpture it really blended well with all the hands and different arms.  She was sitting in a sort of lotus position.  There were some jewels in the navel which I couldn't see really well and she was smiling.  

The floor was a highly polished mosaic surface with lapis lazuli and mother of pearl inlay.  Mother of pearl you have seen from abalone shells.  Lapis Lazuli a semiprecious stone which is blue.  You'd see much of it in religious art.  At one time the Virgin Mary's gowns had all been in Lapis Lazuli, so that anyone walking in would know immediately that image was of her.  It had iron pyrite in it too, which is fool's gold and the soft light on the inside of the temple gave off an iridescent glow. {I cannot believe the gold stuff in the floor was truly gold} 

     The guys were walking around, looking at things that caught their interest, and Murphy came up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder, leaned close and said, "Does this place have air conditioning?"  "I don't see how it could be," I said.  With this enormous balcony window here overhanging the jungle, looking down like twenty feet to the rocks below and then down the cliff side to the jungle with this uninterrupted view.  It was just incredible.  It was like having forty foot long wall with no glass.  Definitely was 100 degrees outside; inside the temple it was cool.  We had just finished climbing the mountain and we were really overheated and it felt like it was 60 degrees inside.  How could there be any air conditioning in here?  How could they get it up here?  It would take a Huey to bring it in.  No, it would take a shit hook to bring it in, and where would they get the power supply so far away from electricity up this mountain.  

It had taken us half a day to climb up to here, and we were in peak physical condition.  It exhausted us.  There was just no way they could have brought air conditioning up here that would be powerful enough to cool this place.  So we started looking around for this cool breeze and Romeo was standing on the far side of the room, back in the dark area.  He overheard what we were saying and he knew what we were looking for, and he pointed at an entrance behind him.  The facade of the building was built around the entrance was a cave and Romeo was trying to look in there and all of these acolytes were standing in the way, so we couldn't walk in there.  They weren't being rude, they were just blocking his entrance into that cave.

     I walked over and a couple of priests also blocked my entrance into the cave, but they allowed us to peer inside.  It was a completely natural cave.  I had never seen anything like it.  Afterwards, years later, I walked through lava tubes in Hawaii and then I realized that cave was a lava tube and that this big rock was a volcano.  

     On the walls of the cave were photo realistic portraits everywhere I could see.  On the side too my right I could see into a passage going into the mountain. There was cool air blowing out of the mountain as if it were breathing.   I could smell the sea.  Directly in front of me was a huge photo realistic tiger painted right on to the wall of the entrance.  The head priest came up next to me as I was trying to see the painting, and I asked him to explain the cave.  

He told us that in his religion, when a person felt that it was his time to die, they would come up to this temple.  They would meditate about their death, and then they would go into the cave.  I had never seen photo realistic art before in Nam.  There art was all stylized and abstracted, but here was photo realism.  The portraits were of each person who passed through that gateway on their way to heaven.  The newer ones were photographs.  I asked him, "Why, do you go underground to get to heaven?"   He said, "You feel the wind that comes from within the cave?"  I certainly did.  I told him I could smell the ocean.  He seemed pleased with my perception.  He went on to explain that inside the cave there were four logs.  If you thought it was your time to die, first you would have to climb the mountain, which you had to be vary healthy to do or have many good friends to carry you up.  Then you would go inside the cave after your meditation in the temple.  The person that was going to die could walk down to the first log and change their mind about dying.  Come back and move up spiritually.  You didn't have to become a priest, but you moved up spiritually because your experience of going up to the first log brought you closer to God.

     If you stepped over the first log and went up to the second log, you weren't allowed to come back out again without some dispensation from a priest.  One of them had to go in and bring you out.  I don't know what the distances were but it was totally dark in there.  How's he going to know they wanted to come out?  But anyway, somehow they believed they would be able to communicate to a priest and he would come and get them.  

If you walked over the second log and up to the third, you couldn't come back out unless you had a divine experience.  Only the head priest could return with you after passing the second log.  He'd have to go down there and listen to your divine experience, and then say you could come out.  If you crossed the third log and walked up to the fourth, you couldn't come out unless you were a high ranking priest.  High-ranking priests go up there, I imagine, to repair the logs and whatever was inside the cave, but no one else.  Anyone that crossed the fourth log, anyone even the priests, that walked beyond that forth marker could not come back — a tiger would eat you and you would go straight to heaven.  

     He really believed that!  I asked the priest if I could go in.  He thought about it for a moment, thought we were infidels, closed his eyes and asked God for guidance.  He said that God couldn't see us anyway, so it was okay if we went in.  There was much surprise from the acolytes who had never been allowed in there, but for some reason the priest thought I should be allowed in there.  He talked about divine intervention and that I had been sent there to get my next step, in my spiritual path.   My experience on top of this mountain, this religious temple, was the next step on my path to heaven.  So he let us go in.  I wasn't going to go anywhere without the other dudes.  So, we all walked into the chamber, and started looking at all the portraits.       

Cushing was first displaying the most bravado of all of us.  He always had to prove something.  He was the son of Jewish refugees from Auschwitz, and he had joined the army with a specific reason.  He would always say, in a really serious way, that the Jews were never going to walk to slaughter again.  He was going to learn all there was about combat, and if the shit was ever to hit the fan, the Jews were going to fight, and he was going to lead them.  It was impressive from him because he meant it all. Cushing was Mr. Teenage New York as a body builder.  He had like an incredible body.  He worked on how he looked all the time cause he intended to compete as a body builder when he got out of the army.  Anyway, he was always full of this bravado, and always pooh — poohing everything.  So he started walking down the tunnel like nothing was happening. 

I was last with Murphy and Sam because we were looking at the artwork and falling behind staring at stuff.  As we walked into the cave where it started to get really dark, the number of paintings diminished.  We could see, that the more recent ones were photographs, but the older ones were paintings right on the rock wall.  They were just incredible!  As good as any renaissance master I had ever seen.  I lingered behind to examine the art, Murph and Sam were lingering too.  So we three were last.  After all we had shared in Nam we three were blood brothers and stuck together.  My guess, was that some guy had to go inside the cave and paint the art after — all they were right on the wall.  There might not have been enough light to go beyond a certain point.  Maybe the stones started getting wet.  There was this sort of phosphorescent stuff growing on the stone; maybe it wasn't suitable to paint on.  

I got distracted looking at the walls and floor.  As we walked on, there was a path through the middle of the cave.  On the sides of this path there were decomposing bodies all along it.  Skeletons, some of them had flesh on them, but there was no stench.  No smell at all, just a fresh breeze from the ocean, and it smelled great.  How could there be these decomposing bodies with no stench in this cool damp cave?  We got to the first log.  Took us about an hour.  If somebody was going down to die he was probably walking slower than me; all these bodies piled up along the edges of the path.  

We got to the first log, Cushing was already across it by the time I got there, and he walked on.  I guess we were getting close to the second log.  The ocean smell was stronger, and even sounds of the ocean.  I would imagine that the lava tube could have continued the whole twenty miles, looping through the earth and running underneath everything until it got to the ocean.  Vung Tau had some high cliffs around it and this tube I guessed must come out at the ocean level.  From the smell and the cool breeze, it had to be above water.  I thought, it will be really cool to walk out on the beach in Vung Tau, but I never found out. 

     Because the quiet of our exploration ended with screams.  The guys in front of us turned and ran past us in total panic.  Screaming like some cartoon characters running from mice capping rounds behind themselves.  Damm; what a deafening noise that was, inside a cave.  Being combat soldiers that we were, I just couldn't believe that they would be running from nothing.  So Murph, Sam, and I did what we were supposed to do.  WE plastered ourselves up against the walls and prepared to give covering fire so no one would get shot.  Nothing happened just total silence and complete darkness.  After a while Sam pulled back to follow those guys to see if he could figure out what was going on, leaving Murph and I in almost total darkness.  In all the excitement many of the guys had dropped their flashlights. Murph, Sam, and I had thrown ours on the ground on purpose when we threw ourselves into the bones alongside the walls, because we didn't want the gooks to see the light and know where the hell to shoot.   

The two of us stayed pressed down on the cold damp stone, silent in the blackness for the longest time.  There is not a sound.  There is not a smell.  I decided to risk going for one of the flashlights dropped by the other guys which wasn't too far away.  

Besides, laying here with only these skeletons around me was not exactly my idea of a good time.  It was a really big risk to go out and get that light.  For all I knew it could have been a trap.  Cushing could have seen VC waiting for us.  I picked up the flashlight and looked down the tunnel at ground level, expecting another combat soldier to be on the ground or up against the wall.  I didn't see anything and Murphy moved closer to me.  He said, "Higher, Buono, higher."  I wasn't looking higher in the tunnel.  It was a big tunnel; you could probably drive an ordinary car through it, maybe a truck.  I lifted the flashlight up higher and there was a human skull floating in the fucking air.  Jesus Christ!  White bones, the jaw was moving, the eyes were red and it was polished clean white.  It was the scariest thing I ever saw in my life.  Floating in the air the jaw was going up and down as if it were trying to talk and here's these red eyes.  Man!...was that ever really, really weird!  

      I whispered back, "Should we run, too?"  Murphy said, if I run from this I'll never sleep again!" 

I admit I was looking at it but I didn't know if it was a gag, was it real, or what.  Jesus Christ!  It was certainly a real skull, but this cave had an abundance of them, so I said, "Yea, that's true.  I won't either.  So we'd better go see what that fucker is."

So we did a combat creep closer to it.  Real slow and easy.  One guy moving up at a time always covered by his buddy who was not moving.  Going from one bit of cover to the next.  Takes a long time to move up on something that was that far away.  We were both in a cold sweat.  It was like 50 degrees inside that cave, and the closer I got, the colder I got, still sweat was running off of me.  Close up now I could see tentacles sticking out of its mouth.  Black things moving in the air making the jaw move.   I could see red in the eye sockets.  That skull had one of the highest pucker factor ratings I ever saw in my life!  We got real close.  By now we picked up all the flashlights that were left laying on the ground.  We had plenty of light now.  We could see that there was a big heavy spider's web, and this skull was suspended in this spider web.  The head that we saw was a human head.  There was this big ground spider the size of my fist.  It had eaten its way inside of the head to eat the brain out of the human skull.  It had gorged itself to the point that it was too fat to get out.  Until it lost some weight it was stuck in there.  Sort of like a hermit crab stealing a shell, but there was this spider stuck in there.  The red part of its body just happened to be stuck by the eye.  The spider was red and black and its legs were sticking out the mouth and hole in the skull base.  As it moved around slowly in the web, the jaws would move with its legs.  It looked like it was in a bad way. I wonder if it could see at all.  The red eyes were actually the spider showing through the skull eye holes.

      We started cracking up, man!  Murphy and I laughed ourselves into hysterics.  I leaned against the wall, lacking breath, and slid down.  These bones slipped all around me.  This skull gets up in my face.  I yell and then I started laughing again.  I was so weak from laughter.  There was nothing to fear at all.  We thought we were looking at the devil a minute ago, now we just laughed...belly ached laughter.  Tears coming out of our eyes.  We had to sit down with all those bones.  We were flipping bones back at each other and laughing all the harder.  We had to sit there until we caught our breath.  It was way funny.  All that tension and terror from a minute ago was totally broke up with this spider.  To think that I would still not be able to sleep at night if I hadn't crawled up on that thing to see what it was.  We walked back out — we walked back slowly — every now and again we had to catch our breath and laugh some more.  When we got out to the entrance of the cave, we came out the door and we seemed to be in the back entrance of a religious ceremony. 

This place only had a front door and the big windows that you couldn't climb in and out of unless you were repelling up or down the sheer wall, or the entrance to the cave.  So we entered the temple; we had to go through the temple but we didn't want to disturb their religious ceremony.  Didn't know what it was at first.  The guys that were with us were kneeling on the ground and praying as fervently as the acolytes were.  Some of them were really serious.  Copski was on the ground and cowering in front of the idol and begging for mercy.  He was really scared.  We realized they were giving a burial ceremony and the priest was saying, partly in English, because they were burying Murphy and me!  He was saying that we had been eaten by one of the spirits of the cave, not by the tigers because we weren't part of the religion and we weren't good enough to be eaten by the tiger.  But because I was a really good guy, the spirits had eaten us.  We had gone directly to God.  We got as close to God as any nonbeliever, barbaric heathen could get.  I was at my own funeral.  Me, Tom Sawyer, and Huck Finn...Buono and Murphy....how about that!  In another language, in a very strange place, in the Temple of Fuck on top of Gia Ray Mountain.  I thought how good to die in the temple of fuck; how cool is that.

   We stood there for a long time until one of the priests noticed us.  As the priest noticed us he looked shocked.  The guys saw the fear on his face and looked around.  Soon my own guys and all these priests were staring at us.  The look on those people’s face’s!...they looked like they were confronting the other world, seeing the dead.  Copski screamed like a banshee: then the whole place suddenly broke into bedlam and everybody ran out on either side of that idol I described.  Once outside everyone scattered in every direction except for the grunts.  They kind of gathered around in a group and looked like they were about ready to confront the Devil or last judgment.  

   The high priest was the only one who wasn't frightened and he was the only one still in the temple with me and Murph; we were thinking like what are we going to do?  We have to go out the front door.  We walked over and he got this strange, inscrutable, oriental expression and said, "You've really shaken up my people.  You should leave now.  It's time for you to go.  The gods have given you your initiation." Then he gave me my first mantra to meditate with.  

pg2


SPIDER IN A CAVE    8/18/2017 


     In 'Nam troops like the 11th Cavalry were not allowed into "civilized" areas because they were afraid of our reactions to any threatIn other words, we might shoot first and ask questions laterTrue; they had good reason to think that, but that's another story

We saw a lot of combat so we had to have a place to blow off steam, someplace to relaxSo they would assign us to security at a mountain called, Xa Gia Ray which was not far from Vung TauThe Brass used to send us there to guard the place and protect the water from saboteurs.   Gia Ray was a big rock that stuck out of the otherwise flat plainLater I came to know that it was an extinct volcanoFalling from this mountain was a waterfall, into a damned up pool that was the water supply for Vung Tau and much of our core.

    I do not know where the waterfall came from, but every time I went there I would be real curious about the source of all that water. There wasn’t always enough rain to create a waterfall. I wondered, unless there was a lake up there of some kind how could it be? I learned from people that would come there to sell us stuffThey had a Buddhists’ {Puck or fuck} religion and to them the mountain was sacred; they had a temple on top of this mountainThat is where the water came from.  

     Gia Ray was a really beautiful tropical place with lush foliage growing on the mountainWe set up a water filtration plant at a French built dam thereAt the dam we could swim in a small pond-like lake that was created by the dam and the dam would also make a waterfall we could shower inIt made a great place to batheThe girls would come there and take their donations to God from the GI'sI had never seen any combat thereIt was a very relaxed kind of placeWe would still set up to defend ourselves, of course, but we didn't have much of a problemWe had this guy from New YorkWe used to call him "Copski" because he said he was a New York cop and was draftedHe was a fuck-upI don't know if he was ever telling the truth but I do know cops were exempt from the draftSo if he were a cop he really had to do something wrong so that he would be drafted and then wind up in Viet NamHe was always doing something stupidHowever he could hustle girls anyplace he was

     One day all that tranquillity was broken when a sniper started shooting at usCopski's first reaction was to grab the girl and hold her in front of him as a human shield so that she would take the round before he would get hitThe Vietnamese girl was very upset about being a human shieldMy first reaction was to grab a weapon and kill the gookSo as he was cowering behind the girl...  He was always afraid of everythingHe was either brutalizing somebody, hassling somebody weaker or hiding behind somebody because he was afraidThere didn't seem to be anything in between for this guyI ran in front of them and spotted the muzzle flash from the sniper in the trees and started returning fire, other guys started returning fire and it wasn't long before we had a dead sniperIt was only one sniper in an isolated incidentWe never got shot at there again

     After the fight was over, I walked by Copski and she was really pissed. She cracked me up; not a easy thing to do after a fight like that, she was truly trying to beat the shit out of him. If she weren't so little she would have kicked his big ass. He decided he would punch her out cause he didn't want to deal with her objections to his behaviorSo he was getting ready to swing on her and I told him he better notHe looked at me and I had just come back from a fire-fight and he knew that I wasn't in any mood to screw with himSo he let her go; he turned and walked away

I walked back by the river and took off my clothes and jumped in and swamI had really worked up a sweat in that little brief fire-fightThe gook had a superior position on us so we really had to move in closeTake really lethal fire before we could take him out of the treeHe had himself strapped in there, a very difficult target to hitIf he hadn't strapped himself up there he would have probably been able to get away.

So I'm sitting in the stream and the girl comes up by the stream and takes her clothes offVietnamese people, men, women, children, young and old, would freely bathe in public but they left on their underpantsNone of us had any underwear, we used them as gun cleaning ragsSo this girl came up to the edge of the stream and left on her bright red American underpants and jumped in, started swimming alongside of meShe wanted to talk to meI had spoken some Vietnamese by thenSo we started talking and swimming in that little pond, and she had decided that I saved her lifeShe was grateful and she wanted to repay me which she did in many, happy ways.

We were there for a few days and now; she was spending as much time with me as she used to spend with CopskiShe spoke English well and started telling me about her religionI was very curiousI was very curious about the mountain with the waterfallShe told me she had been up to the top of the mountain many times and at the top of the mountain is a temple for her church

Most of my Vietnamese was guttural i.e. dirty words, she was a very highly educated womanI couldn't understand the ideas she had about her religion. We each wanted to understand the other but language was the problemSo she offered to take me up there so I could experience it myselfI thought way cool there is no better way to learn her way of life, then to experience it myselfWe agreed I could climb this mountain to see this holy temple which was magical by her descriptions and she agreed to lead the way. She was proud of her religion and wanted to share it with meSo, not trusting Vietnamese people entirely, although I liked her a lot I did not want to go alone. I got a few guys together, about half a dozen, eight guys, I thinkWe decided to climb the mountain and see what was at the top of the mountainI put it together as if we were going on patrol so that we would not be missedLeaving camp just for the fun of it or to brake the tedium, was not a thing the brass would likeWe were going with each other to protect each other's back for obvious reasons.

We packed our gear as if we were going on a light patrol; plenty of ammo water and explosives. The only thing different this time was, I took with me a super eight movie camera I had bought at the PX

   We set out the next morning early and started climbing this mountain with a couple of the girls leading usThe mountain was a really arduous climbIt was really hot!  'Nam was always hotWe started off when it was cool, but we worked up a lot of body heatThe mountain didn't have any dirt on itIt was just really huge bouldersBoulders that were too big for large numbers of men to moveEverything small enough for even two or three guys put together to carry away, had been carried away

So, that explained the really solid building of the village at the bottom of the hill by the rice pattiesThat village was stones from that mountain, carried down, cemented together, and smoothed over with concreteThe walls were very thickThe buildings were very cool inside and now I knew where they got their rocks from

My guess is the rocks they had around, had come from this mountain for thousands of years with basketsThey had taken all the dirt down off the mountain, filled in the whole valley so it was all leveled by the water, making one huge flat plain for the growing of their rice, with a tiny creek running through it.  

The creek must have once been a riverAt the time I was there it was about ten feet across and the water was only a few inches deep, like the headwaters of the Wisconsin River here in Land O' LakesThe bottom of the river was very muddy so we didn't go in it very much, but they had taken large rocks and they situated them in the river so they could cross it and stay dryThe kids made this a play ground the stones that isThe children would jump from one rock to another,,,  barefoot children jumping from one rock to another and the game was to not fall in the water. A group of us tried to play with them once and all of us wound up in the waterNo, American could jump as blithely as those children we just didn't have the coordination to do that.

        As we climbed the mountainside it got hotter and hotterIt was really a difficult climb because we were just scrambling from one rock to anotherThere was no actual walkingThe vines helped a lotThe rocks were slippery so that made it difficult to climb and we had gone up with gear for a light patrol, so we were all armed.  'Nam was not a place for Americans to be going around on casual strollsAn extra fifty pounds of ammo was difficult to maneuver as we climbedWe climbed all the way to the top of the pass, a little bit below the summit and here was this beautiful temple up thereWe had come up the easiest wayAnybody that went up and down that mountain had to be really in good shape, because there was no easy way up or downHere was this totally out of place, brightly painted, oriental temple with smooth stucco walls like you'd find in the southern USA.

     Climbing that mountain impressed me with the idea that for eons Vietnamese people had come up here with straw baskets and carried away handfuls of dirt over time to create the levies that were now the rice patties that were below us

     Now we are looking at this unusual, beautiful templeThey must have carried all that stuff up that mountain to build the place, probably took generationsThe houses around the temple were much simplerThere were on top of posts driven into the earth with hootches built on them so they could have a flat floorWith the really rocky surface up there that was the only way to have a flat floor.  There was some dirt so that there could be pathways, but their raised platforms gave them homesThe sides of the platforms were like venetian blinds, draw curtains of reeds, that they could pull up entirelyThe platform was like a big kids tree fort with inspiring views of the land below.  

pg1


This is my current sculpture.  Which is in process.


This sculpture is about the greatest quest that a person can make -- acquisition of one's entire self.


My sculpture is about a person's life journey to gather all of the shattered pieces of their true self.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder {PTSD} is the name given to a person who's had an event or series of events in their life, which had been like a hammer blow smashing their psyche {true self}.  The smashing causes them to break into separate pieces often called Multiple Personality Disorder (now also known as Associative Identity Disorder).  If all the personalities are added together,  they are what I call, your true self. 

Having five or ten different personalities is really not a problem.   If they all know each other and work together and are obvious to their owner, a person can communicate with all their different parts successfully.  Each of these shattered parts owns a different aspect of the true self. If all are under the control of the one person -- the conscious self -- then it could be a good life. 


On the other hand, if a person has a part (also known by psychotherapists as an alter) or more than one part that they don't know of -- a part of themselves that is a stranger to their conscious mind -- then that can be and often is a very big problem for them self and others they touch.  Therefore, if the parts are not all  known as one's self, then that unknown part will be in control of some aspects of that individual's life. 


The true self is then the slave of this small part rather than the master of the total self's destiny.  A single dark part will take control of the individual's life, without that individual's understanding -- perhaps not even having an awareness or remembering that they did something while that small part was in control.

 

Say a small part (or alter) is named M;  then M has a major control over the life of the entire person. The person unfortunately  doesn't know what M is doing and is no longer in control of the direction of their own life. 


My sculpture is about the courage it takes to make the quest to discover and gain knowledge of all one's broken parts and gather all the parts into one total self. 


I have a very appropriate name rolling around inside of my mind for this sculpture, but sadly I cannot stop it from rolling.  I am asking all of my friends for their opinions on what the name of this finished sculpture would be.

There will definitely be two more elements to this piece of art, perhaps three. 


I will not elaborate as to what they are at this time for reasons of confidentiality.  I do feel I've given enough information at this point for individuals, such as yourself,  to give me feedback as to what I might title this piece.  I do value the input  of you and your opinions which may help birth this developing art.    


Thank you.



PS  I see this work of art as a quest for self the rewards are the ablity to give and receve love the gratest love of all.  I see people put into relationships to give them love an wisdom but a fear of being hurt and of change of doing it wrong stoped one from wining this race by turning it into a game.  The photos attached is my work as it is now.  All this is out of my imagination I had a model but no longer.  I would like all of your thoughts as to the way you get the look and feel of this.  

I will do my best to reply to all personal messages, in truth I am seldom on the PC.   I have my personal site @ www.tuttibuonofinearts.com if you wish to know more about me or my art.  I am  happy to say my art has been included in a new collection and fine arts book.  I can say I am having fun at my own book signings.  My next book signing is in WI Nov 26 stop if you are around.
An Elephant Steals Trava

When Trava was very small, still bald, and not able to walk or talk much, I bought this Cadillac of strollers, a very expensive stroller. It was so fine that she just absolutely loved it. I had purchased it used at Goodwill. The other thing Trava loved was being with me; walking,  hanging out.  She got to roll around the world.  She absolutely adored animals and they all adored her.  I have a-lot of stories about Trava and animals.
This is the first story… I took out a membership to Brookfield Zoo, and I would take Trava to the  zoo as a reward for good behavior at least once a week.  I was there with Trava in the stroller, and as a member, when the zoo closed we didn't have to leave the zoo.  My little one really liked the closing time because animal trainers would take the animals out of the cages and walk them around inside the zoo for exercise and training.  Trava absolutely adored that time of day.  She would get to see the creatures close and touch them.  
One such day, as we were walking down one of the city block wide center aisles, there was a zookeeper walking an elephant.  My Trava was in her stroller.  She was all enthusiastic about seeing the elephant.  So I was hanging out near the elephant; letting her watch the elephant, which is what she wanted to do.   Actually she wanted to ride the elephant.  On the opposite side of the boardwalk this really good looking, very athletic blonde goes running by.  She's keeping her body in fine tune.  Being me, I watched with great admiration how well her body just slipped through the air; how athletically buff and healthy she was.  
While I was lost in 'Happy Dream Land' looking at this beautiful runner, as she passes me, smiling at me.  I watching her fondly as she jogs by me.  I was about ready to turn around when suddenly this hysterical guy gets in my face, screaming as he clutches at me. "It's going to be all right!  It's going to be all right!  Don't get excited!  We will get her back!  We'll get her back!  Don't be excited!"   This guy was really incredibly excited, and about what I didn't know.   Nor did I get why he thought I was going to be excited.  So, I turned around to look at my daughter  but  she was not in the stroller.  I was still holding the stroller. She could not have gotten out with me holding it.  Could She?  Well, she had done stuff like that before.  I often thought I needed a dog like leash that would attach my Trava, who must be Houdini's current reincarnation, to me.  So I was not totally shocked by seeing, that my daughter wasn't in there.  This guy was all flustered and excited, and now he was far enough out of my face that I can finally see he is an animal keeper from the zoo.  I am like, "All right, so what is the deal here?"  What do you know about my kid that I do not?"
This zoo keeper animal guy is, flustered, excited, flailing his body about, gesticulating madly.  I wonder  he is maybe having an epileptic seizure.  I don't know what's going on, but to hell with him, my daughter is not in the stroller.  Where is my baby?  Being a baby, I looked on the ground for her and then I noticed that all these people were "wooing and awing" and gasping and stuff like that.  They were all pointing in the same direction.  So I followed their fingers to where they were pointing and I found my daughter:  Happily sitting on a elephant's head.  An elephant, that the zookeeper had been walking, had reached into my baby buggy, picked up my daughter, and put her on his head.  How? Maybe the elephant keeper had been looking at the same delightful girl at the same time I was.
So here's my baby, diaper and all, sitting up on top of the elephant's head and she is totally ecstatic, totally happy.  Well, I'm not totally happy.  Well, I could understand how she got up there.  There were plenty of witnesses there that knew that I was watching the blonde and knew that the elephant had just simply decided that he…or she….I never thought of that..not until this moment… that he/she was attracted to my daughter, and put her on her head, intending to keep her apparently; which was interesting.  I wanted my daughter back;  my daughter didn't want to come back;  the elephant didn't want to give her back;  the zookeeper had absolutely no influence whatsoever on the elephant's behavior;  all that and  the crowd kept growing larger.
After a bit, the elephant decided that it should allow me to reunite with my daughter.  It bent it's leg in such a way that I could just stand on it's leg to use that to get up on his back, which I thought was great because my daughter was extremely happy, and I didn't mind riding an elephant either.  I thought it was actually very good until I sat down.  You know, elephant hair is like wires. I was sitting down on all these little pointy wires on my next to bare butt.  I had pants on and all that, but that was only one layer of cloth between me and all those little tiny spikes.  I realized that my daughter was absolutely so happy because she had on this really big thick diaper, that was plastic on the outside, and she was not being poked by anything. Then I came to understand why the zookeeper was saying such weird things such as, "Don't worry she'll be alright." because my daughter had the diaper protecting her.  
The elephant eventually let me have my daughter back.  I think the elephant was aware of my discomfort on the back of itself, with those tiny prickly hairs all up inside of my much bigger body than my little girl.
That's the story of an elephant stealing my daughter.  I think I got it all.  I think it's probably one of her happiest days in life; and actually I like the story.  She didn't mind it up there at all. She and the elephant were buddies.  I am going to share a whole series of Trava animal stories. They're actually quite amazing.
I just discovered thai I am featured in    DanNeamu        danneamu.deviantart.com/journa…
Thank you so much for featuring my work Dan
Thank you for the mail, ect ... I wish you to know why I will  not be visiting your pages or responding.    I live in the North Woods and slow Dial-Up  phone ISP's are all I can get, sorry, but I  will most likely not be able to load  large pages at home.    However I do travel often, and when I am at faster hookups' I will ck. this site.  So do keep sending to me.  There lots of photos on my site of me, on my site under my Neighborhood, and my art.  I also like to see other people's photos so do know I will like seeing yours  I have been trying to reply to all the mail I receive but there are simply too many, I must work and living alone I must do everything that gets done.  If you need to type to me and have my email address I can get that. rbuono47@nnex.net
You will read about me in the library soon  ahhahahahahahahahah   and they all expected that would be on the post office wall.


On Jul 22, 2009, at 9:39 AM, Sandy Palmer wrote:

cool

FYI  She is writting an art book  she has read your story about me.  

Begin forwarded message:

Hi, Robert,

Thanks for returning my phone call this morning. I really enjoyed talking with you and appreciate your sharing your story with me. It is quite moving.

I'm sorry I missed your follow-up call. I had a business meeting at noon.

I have read two of your stories on your Web site's "Tell me a story" page. You asked me to critique them. I am happy to try.

The first is funny military humor. You and my husband laugh at lighting farts! It must have been quite a funny scene.

"I Remember Heaven" is an interesting and very personal memoir. The combat portion is very descriptive. Writing it in the first person is effective, allowing the reader to see and feel events through your senses. Your near-death experience is fascinating. The piece tells an unusual story about war from a perspective that I've never read before. How comforting it is to know that a happy, beautiful place awaits us.

I assume you received one or more Purple Hearts. Are there medals that I should mention in your bio?

Have a wonderful week.

~~ Jini Clare
I would ask all of you for suggestions regarding how to avoid this, in the future.   I think I need a bit of enlightenment would any of you have thoughts to share?


Could be the stars. I had a bad day.

  Short version of a long story:   A museum has been showing my art. When I stopped by unannounced,  I  found my art ill handled.  (how?)   I found a fool that told me he ran the place and I complained.  He became insulting and told me to get out and take my ugly art. I said, " OK; I will go and take my art with me."  I carried 1 sculpture out and returned for the other 6.   %$#$^ jerk told me my art was his and I could not have it until I proved in a court of law that they had not payed for it.  They had not.  I told him he could not stop me from taking my art.  He blocked one of the gallery doors with himself.  Then he called the police as I looked at him  and claimed I had assaulted him.  As he waited for the police he dared me to pass him  .... threatened me, attempting to insult me into touching him as the police were on the way.  As he blocked that one door I went into the other rooms and took all my other art to my van.  He insulted me the entire time but remained in front of that same door.   Now, only one sculpture remained a small bronze in the gallery behind his body.  I told him to move or I would make him move.  By now I was quite angry.  He told me he had 4 workmen there to harm me if he told them too, but I had seen them go out of the building as soon as he called the police and the yelling began.   The police had not arrived as of yet.    He was calling them again.  As fool stepped away from the door to get cell reception, I went into the gallery and took  my art.   I left the building before the cops arrived.   I did get my sculpture back.
Today, I was told that my art has been used in a inspirational video traveling the internet.  I would like to see it but I have not.  I would greatly appreciate it if any of you could hook me up with that video.  Thank You
I had a most wonderious time with my daughter.  Thank you to all our well wishers.

:heart:
Tomorrow My Daughter and I begin her vacation together ;-)))))))  I will not be able to reply to stuff until I get back.  Thank you in advance for those who :+fav: and the rest. I appreciate support for my work.  MAY ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE!
Could anyone inform me what is happening with My diviantART  in box?   Using Safari or Firefox, in the past each folder would show the number of messages or Deviations in that folder.   That is say; Polls = 1  or Comments = 11,  Today that stopped happening would someone tell me how to fix that?
Thanks for thinking of me I have nearly 2,000 messages etc ... I will lok at them all but do not have the time to reply to each So I will say thank you all for everything and you are all welcome.  I did not succeeded at making any $ in NY but I received good value fore the time I was there = I had an excellent trip.
I will be traveling to NY tomorrow and back on the 11 I will not be able to see this page.  I wanted all of you to know that I will not be replying to things for that time.

MAY ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE!
Whoa! So many new watches and fav's on my birthday.  The most ever! Way cool, thanks.  I wonder how that happened?   I get 1 or 2 a day, never this much. I cannot reply to all of them individually.   So I will try to reply to all the questions at one time and Post it as a journal.   Thank You.

That is fun, and the story why is also fun. Short version: I applied to grad school at the Art Institute of Chicago as a figure sculptor.  During my evaluation interview a sculpture professor ranted at all the flaws in the photo of my sculpture, beside the same photo of the model for the sculpture.  Along with a medical prognoses that I would soon be blind;    after he insulted the black and white photos for a long time, he began insulting me personally.  At a point, I interrupted his tirade saying, "What are you babbling about?"  He grabbed an 8x10 glossy and screamed: "This is a shitty sculpture and you are too stupid to take offense."  Then he demanded I not be accepted to the school. That I was not an artist nor a human. I replied, "You are holding a photo of the model not my sculpture.  You have been saying nice things about the photos of my sculpture.  Do you, oh great sculptor professor, not know the difference or are you pulling my leg?"  He answered," #5$#$#%."  and I got it that he was not joking. Surprise!  I did not say a thing as I uncovered the full sized completed sculpture, which I had also brought to the all important evaluation. (He thought she was the sculpture and visa versa = he was a fool with a job he did not deserve.)   A sculpture student standing in the door, all the loud sounds drew a large crowed, said, "Whoa! What a moment in time!"  The crowd of 200 laughed me into grad school.

I did this blindfolded.  This is why.  Having flunked art in high school and been convinced by my art instructor that my interest should be directed elsewhere, I stopped thinking of myself as an artist and enrolled at Purdue, planning a practical career in chemical engineering.
However, life has a way of intruding on one's plans.  The year was 1966.  I was drafted and critically wounded in combat in Vietnam, my injuries would forever change my life.  I returned to Purdue to continue my engineering degree pursuit; paying the bills by starting my own small photography business.   In my junior year, a follow-up letter from the Veterans Administration arrived in 1971, four years after I was wounded, in short saying; "I would be blind by age forty."  Bummer!  I became very depressed, "How would I make a living?"   "What can a blind photographer, engineer do?"
It now happened I was sent on an assignment to photograph a master sculptor.  This Egyptian sculptor guy grabbed me and said, "You are my son!  You have eyes in your hands!" He affirmed that all sculptors had eyes in their hands and that he could teach me to sculpt blindfolded.  So, a blind man can do this!   I followed him; he made good on his word. I learned to sculpt blindfolded hmmmmmm I loved it.  By the time I left Naguib I had done many sculptures kinesthetically.  

Yes, others thought she was real also, I like that.   Most Diviant say; "Really beautiful. It looks like it's made of chocolate!"  that is a thought I like chocolate.
This is a story that I tell often and that I have never recorded before.  Telling such stories is easier for me if I have someone to talk to.

I Remember Heaven

The first time I remember being on the other side was when I was wounded in December in Vietnam; my last combat action, my last purple heart in country.  I was on top of a vehicle full of explosives, when it was blown up by other explosives, so the combined force was about 250….500 pounds of explosives ... which were less than 3 feet underneath me when it went off.  I survived that.  That it is a separate story from this, but I don't remember it.  I remember everything up until the explosion.  After the explosion I remember very little.

I remember knowing, somehow, inside of myself, that the explosion was going to happen.  I remember leaping onto the back hatch of the vehicle … a door on top of that 113 ...  I used it to protect me from the explosion.   I was fighting with another guy who held my legs over the top of the explosion.  Actually he was standing on top of cases of explosives.   

I remember the door, the back hatch, that I was laying on becoming detached when the explosion when off.  I recall stars like in a cartoon drawing, like a Saturday morning kid's cartoon …. seeing stars.  It was night.  I got pretty close I guess.

But I remember seeing stars, and flying, feeling like I was on a magic carpet, as I hung on to the door, as I was blown maybe a mile away from the explosion.  At a point I lost my grip on the door and it fell away.  I was much lighter and I continued to travel flying through the air.  When I came down to land I was in dense jungle.  I fell through the trees.  I speculate that the trees saved my life.  They ripped off all my clothes as I fell through, except for my pistol belt and a few really heavy materials things, but my ordinary clothes were torn away…. I was naked when I hit the ground.  Naked and cut up so much I looked like raw hamburger.  I do remember that part.  That is a separate story.  

I remember calling for medics….a lot.  I remember fighting with two Viet Cong that heard me and came too kill me.  A lot of what happened the rest of the night I do not remember.  It was all told to me by other people.  

It appears that for about two weeks or so, I was leading two separate lives.  Part of me, the physical part of me, was still here on earth and doing very heroic things.  I really wish I was that guy all the time. I just envy the stories they told about me.  I have no idea if they're true, but most of my memory of that last battle in Vietnam is stuff that other people told me or sent me letters about.

The army wrote me up for medals, so they had to tell stories when they gave me the medals.  But actually my memory is very vague.  I remember what I already said I remember.  The rest of it I believed to be true, but it was told to me by other people.

What I do remember is that I was in a really, really beautiful place, earth-like on it's best day.  Shimmering lights moving through plants and trees as the food for life will in all things.  Glitters and beautiful moving, changing colors,  Heaven!   I was the only physical body in that place.  There were these gaseous clouds that had flickers of light in their outer surface, moving around within this garden-of-eden. I think they were souls.  They were intelligent beings.  They had no sex and all sexes at the same time.  They were gas-light.  I was still me.  I was a little bitty Tom Thumb in a land of giants.  One of them was connected to me and other people in bodies. They spent a great deal of time educating me and they wanted me to remember stuff and they said I had something important to do.  Then they said that I had to come back to this body and I didn't want to come.  I told them I wouldn't do it and that I was staying there.  And they said, "No, indeed  ... you're going back."

One of the gaseous clouds formed a toe.  It was huge.  It was the jolly green toe in comparison to me. That toe pushed me out of heaven.  I've come to think that that gaseous cloud was me …. my true self …. my soul.  It pushed me out of heaven.  I fell down through this tube of light and I woke up in my body.  I opened my eyes.  I was in so much pain!  I started screaming.  The nurse came over.  

I looked up at the nurse and she said, "What's wrong?"   

And I said, "I hurt.  Something's wrong with my eyes."  

She leaned over me in a very caring way.  She said, "What's wrong with your eyes?"

"It looks like there are tiny hairs sticking out all over your face." I said.  Quickly she made a ugly face at me, and then she punched me in the face!  

That was my welcome back to the body.  I really shouldn't say what I believe to be true.  I get in a lot of trouble.  I always have.  Still do it.  Haven't been smart enough to stop the habit.  

There I was, laying there in the bed, punched out and in a lot of pain.  I couldn't figure out what was going on.  The guy in the bed next to me had been shot in the butt   He had four bullet holes through his butt from one bullet.  He was laying on his stomach and he started to laugh.  I was offended!  Here's this guy. I just got punched out.  I am really hurt.  I am laying in a hospital bed.  The nurse punches me out and the guy in the next bed is laughing at me and I'm really upset and I decide I am going to do something about it like roll him over on to his boo-boo butt.  I discovered I could only move my left arm.  Everything else was too trashed.  That guy was the only person who was close enough for me to talk to. I had been fragged in my eyes and didn't see too well.  Explosions had blown out my eardrums. I couldn't hear very well, but this guy made an effort to talk to me.  He was mobile enough that he could get up from his bed and talk to me.  

He's the only person who came to believe that I had no knowledge of all the things that I had done while I was laying in that bed after I had been wounded.  He's the only person who came to believe that my conscious self ….. the part of me that I know …….. was in a different place all together.  A very beautiful place where I wanted to stay.  The only way I could stay is by dying.   But the teachers, they wouldn't let me.  My own way-shower's made me come back.

However, my unconscious self .… my id …. was functioning at a very high level here in this earthly plane.  He was heroic.  He was aggressive, and he went for the things he wanted.  He was well-liked.  He was funny and he was a hero.  He was my hero.  They told me stories about all the stuff I did.  I've never had the balls to do all that kind of stuff.  I wish I could be like him/that/me all the time.

The guy in the next bed was not the only one telling me tales, of the me I did not know, and there was plenty of evidence that he wasn't making this up.  These things just happened.  

Basically, I got split in half.  The heavenly part of me, the higher mind part of me, the soul part of me, ...  was in heaven getting refresher courses of what I was supposed to know, of which I probably don't remember anything.   I certainly haven't exhibited any extra abilities to do anything way cool;  actually, at a time when most self help Guru's say they got there profound knowledge on a trip to death and back.  Therefore people follow them for the divine guidance, I have no one listening to me.

Whereas the physical part of me, the part of me that I don't really know … the id …. the unconscious … the basic self …. the child within …. depending on what some physiologist wants to call it;  but that part of me was still in my body feeling everything and doing everything and being the person of record on the planet.

Since that first time when I was on the other side, I got to stick my consciousness through the barrier that separates this side from the other side.  That's probably the best way to describe it.  

I got to look through a window into the other side and actually step into it.  I always remember it that way.  It was an incredibly beautiful place, no sex, no money, no religion, no government, no lawyers, no law, no leaders, no followers,  no need for law.  … just these cloud-like forms of energy that had these flickers of color on them, like a translucent shower curtain being hit by water.  Their goal was that all of these colors would be progressed up into this rather silvery moon-like color that they were.  That was their mark of achievement, that they had their colors in order…..mostly silver.  So, I remember being on the other side three times.  Consciously.  Most people call those death experiences or near death experiences.  


Robert P. Buono
This is a story that I tell often and that I have never recorded before.  Telling such stories is easier for me if I have someone to talk to, but my stories are alone now.  

I Remember Heaven

The first time I remember being on the other side was when I was wounded in December in Vietnam; my last combat action, my last purple heart in country.  I was on top of a vehicle full of explosives, when it was blown up by other explosives, so the combined force was about 250….500 pounds of explosives ... which were less than 3 feet underneath me when it went off.  I survived that.  That it is a separate story from this, but I don't remember it.  I remember everything up until the explosion.  After the explosion I remember very little.

I remember knowing, somehow, inside of myself, that the explosion was going to happen.  I remember leaping onto the back hatch of the vehicle … a door on top of that 113 ...  I used it to protect me from the explosion.   I was fighting with another guy who held my legs over the top of the explosion.  Actually he was standing on top of cases of explosives.   

I remember the door, the back hatch, that I was laying on becoming detached when the explosion when off.  I recall stars like in a cartoon drawing, like a Saturday morning kid's cartoon …. seeing stars.  It was night.  I got pretty close I guess.

But I remember seeing stars, and flying, feeling like I was on a magic carpet, as I hung on to the door, as I was blown maybe a mile away from the explosion.  At a point I lost my grip on the door and it fell away.  I was much lighter and I continued to travel flying through the air.  When I came down to land I was in dense jungle.  I fell through the trees.  I speculate that the trees saved my life.  They ripped off all my clothes as I fell through, except for my pistol belt and a few really heavy materials things, but my ordinary clothes were torn away…. I was naked when I hit the ground.  Naked and cut up so much I looked like raw hamburger.  I do remember that part.  That is a separate story.  

I remember calling for medics….a lot.  I remember fighting with two Viet Cong that heard me and came too kill me.  A lot of what happened the rest of the night I do not remember.  It was all told to me by other people.  

It appears that for about two weeks or so, I was leading two separate lives.  Part of me, the physical part of me, was still here on earth and doing very heroic things.  I really wish I was that guy all the time. I just envy the stories they told about me.  I have no idea if they're true, but most of my memory of that last battle in Vietnam is stuff that other people told me or sent me letters about.

The army wrote me up for medals, so they had to tell stories when they gave me the medals.  But actually my memory is very vague.  I remember what I already said I remember.  The rest of it I believed to be true, but it was told to me by other people.

What I do remember is that I was in a really, really beautiful place, earth-like on it's best day.  Shimmering lights moving through plants and trees as the food for life will in all things.  Glitters and beautiful moving, changing colors,  Heaven!   I was the only physical body in that place.  There were these gaseous clouds that had flickers of light in their outer surface, moving around within this garden-of-eden. I think they were souls.  They were intelligent beings.  They had no sex and all sexes at the same time.  They were gas-light.  I was still me.  I was a little bitty Tom Thumb in a land of giants.  One of them was connected to me and other people in bodies. They spent a great deal of time educating me and they wanted me to remember stuff and they said I had something important to do.  Then they said that I had to come back to this body and I didn't want to come.  I told them I wouldn't do it and that I was staying there.  And they said, "No, indeed  ... you're going back."

One of the gaseous clouds formed a toe.  It was huge.  It was the jolly green toe in comparison to me. That toe pushed me out of heaven.  I've come to think that that gaseous cloud was me …. my true self …. my soul.  It pushed me out of heaven.  I fell down through this tube of light and I woke up in my body.  I opened my eyes.  I was in so much pain!  I started screaming.  The nurse came over.  

I looked up at the nurse and she said, "What's wrong?"   

And I said, "I hurt.  Something's wrong with my eyes."  

She leaned over me in a very caring way.  She said, "What's wrong with your eyes?"

"It looks like there are tiny hairs sticking out all over your face." I said.  Quickly she made a ugly face at me, and then she punched me in the face!  

That was my welcome back to the body.  I really shouldn't say what I believe to be true.  I get in a lot of trouble.  I always have.  Still do it.  Haven't been smart enough to stop the habit.  

There I was, laying there in the bed, punched out and in a lot of pain.  I couldn't figure out what was going on.  The guy in the bed next to me had been shot in the butt   He had four bullet holes through his butt from one bullet.  He was laying on his stomach and he started to laugh.  I was offended!  Here's this guy. I just got punched out.  I am really hurt.  I am laying in a hospital bed.  The nurse punches me out and the guy in the next bed is laughing at me and I'm really upset and I decide I am going to do something about it like roll him over on to his boo-boo butt.  I discovered I could only move my left arm.  Everything else was too trashed.  That guy was the only person who was close enough for me to talk to. I had been fragged in my eyes and didn't see too well.  Explosions had blown out my eardrums. I couldn't hear very well, but this guy made an effort to talk to me.  He was mobile enough that he could get up from his bed and talk to me.  

He's the only person who came to believe that I had no knowledge of all the things that I had done while I was laying in that bed after I had been wounded.  He's the only person who came to believe that my conscious self ….. the part of me that I know …….. was in a different place all together.  A very beautiful place where I wanted to stay.  The only way I could stay is by dying.   But the teachers, they wouldn't let me.  My own way-shower's made me come back.

However, my unconscious self .… my id …. was functioning at a very high level here in this earthly plane.  He was heroic.  He was aggressive, and he went for the things he wanted.  He was well-liked.  He was funny and he was a hero.  He was my hero.  They told me stories about all the stuff I did.  I've never had the balls to do all that kind of stuff.  I wish I could be like him/that/me all the time.

The guy in the next bed was not the only one telling me tales, of the me I did not know, and there was plenty of evidence that he wasn't making this up.  These things just happened.  

Basically, I got split in half.  The heavenly part of me, the higher mind part of me, the soul part of me, ...  was in heaven getting refresher courses of what I was supposed to know, of which I probably don't remember anything.   I certainly haven't exhibited any extra abilities to do anything way cool;  actually, at a time when most self help Guru's say they got there profound knowledge on a trip to death and back.  Therefore people follow them for the divine guidance, I have no one listening to me.

Whereas the physical part of me, the part of me that I don't really know … the id …. the unconscious … the basic self …. the child within …. depending on what some physiologist wants to call it;  but that part of me was still in my body feeling everything and doing everything and being the person of record on the planet.

Since that first time when I was on the other side, I got to stick my consciousness through the barrier that separates this side from the other side.  That's probably the best way to describe it.  

I got to look through a window into the other side and actually step into it.  I always remember it that way.  It was an incredibly beautiful place, no sex, no money, no religion, no government, no lawyers, no law, no leaders, no followers,  no need for law.  … just these cloud-like forms of energy that had these flickers of color on them, like a translucent shower curtain being hit by water.  Their goal was that all of these colors would be progressed up into this rather silvery moon-like color that they were.  That was their mark of achievement, that they had their colors in order…..mostly silver.  So, I remember being on the other side three times.  Consciously.  Most people call those death experiences or near death experiences.  


Robert P. Buono