A Personal Odyssey,
“The Proud Bird has gone down in flames,
but from the ashes shall arise the Phoenix.”
I’d like to just sit here today and write about what is, I guess, the major reason that “I AM THAT I AM”, as to Who and What I am today, and that one thing is what has been called, in psychological ‘lingo’, burn-out. Oh, Yes, in a (w)holistic sense, one might say that it has taken much more than just one thing in a person’s Life, to effect or cause their downfall or ‘burn-out’, or whatever else one’s Life might be. That I do acknowledge all of those other experiences as well, the usual and ordinary (for me) experiences of childhood, early adulthood, and on into the senior citizen category that I wear now. Experiences of parents, relatives, friends, coworkers, associates … (Whoops, can’t leave out spouses or children!) … in whatever ways that people, family, jobs, career, economics, religion and Spirit, and much more, have impelled one to where one is now. I must say, in all Gratitude, it has, with all of its ups and downs, been a Great Life, and I Thank the ‘Guy Upstairs’, as I might call Him, for ‘Being There’ and for providing all that has been wonderful in my Life. (And for those who might be reading this and who might be thinking, “Oh, oh, he’s writing his epitaph!” … No, not yet!) So, such has been my Life, but in this essay I am going to try to concentrate on the here and now, and specifically my ‘bane’, affliction and gift – that of ‘burn-out’.
Now, first of all, I was going to start getting into my ‘history’ and the various categories of burn-out, but I guess I had better address one important aspect of it first, and that is its definition. Whatever the DSM-IV Handbook or the dictionaries, encyclopedias or whatever might say, this is what it is for me. Generally, overall, it is a state of having had enough of whatever it is that one might currently be involved in or with, such as job, career, spouse, family, city, town, and so on. You just don’t want to experience the same everyday banality or tedium anymore … that ‘being stuck’ feeling!
There is also a second form of this personal definition, and that is the feeling that one has also had enough of man’s suffering, animosities, depredations, degradations, deprivations and anything else that might be classified as ‘man’s inhumanities-to-man’. In both of these definitional forms, you might say that I can certainly identify with the mad TV-anchorman-hero of the classic Hollywood movie, “Network”, who tells his TV listeners to “Get up! Get out of your chairs, and go to the window! Throw open the window and lean out, yelling into the night air – ‘I’ve HAD IT! I’ve HAD IT! I’m not going to take it anymore!’” Such is burn-out.
Now I’m going to get to the personal aspects, and I’ll try to be brief about the historical parts, because that is not really what I want to talk about. I can honestly say that I’ve ‘burnt-out’ any number of times in my Life already, usually, in the earlier years, having to do with job and career.
My first burn-out was in Electronics and Telecommunications, after an illustrious career of almost 30 years, working with famous companies, agencies and people, such as NASA, GTE, Harris, and Chuck Yeager, on worldwide telecommunications projects and systems that, in some way, shape or form, made history – the Apollo moon-landing; the X-15 project; Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant; Bonneville Dam Power Plant; the first (earth satellite) ‘Earth Station’ (telecommunications relay site), for: Beijing, China, Bangaladesh, India, Pakistan, and more; and the first U.S. Power-Relay-Grid-Control-System (for power-company grid interconnect); telecommunications systems for Exxon, A.T.&T., Bell, and many smaller Telephone companies worldwide; topping it all with two very important and responsible career involvements (in addition to NASA); first, with the U.S. Air Force’s Secret Service (USAFSS), Top Secret responsibility for the nuclear command-control system operated by the President of the United States. With what is affectionately called ‘the Football’ (Telecommunications-Control briefcase), if the President had elected to ‘push the red button’ for Nuclear Armageddon between the Super Powers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union – it was my equipment, my system, that had better damn-well work, or ‘my ass was grass’ (along with 17 other people worldwide who were responsible for operation of the system); the second was with GTE-Lenkurt Electric, where, as a Systems Engineer/Analyst, I was part of the Development Team that built (manufactured) the first SPRINT Telephone system. In those days (the ‘60’s), it was Southern Pacific Telecommunications SPRINT and used microwave-relay-sites across the country, but later it was renamed USSPRINT, using earth satellites and earth-relay stations.
Along the way, as the holder of not only the highest Commercial FCC Telecommunications License issued by the U.S. Government, but also the holder of a most prestigious Amateur FCC License (commonly known as ‘Ham Radio’), I had the honor (and pleasure) of talking ‘round-the-world’ as well as ‘Pole-to-Pole’ via Ham Radio: North Pole (KL7FDB, Adak, Alaska); South Pole (KC4USB, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica); EL4B, President Tubman of Liberia; K3UIG, U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater; Comedian Jerry Lewis; Comedian/Radio Host Arthur Godfrey (the old Red-Head); General Curtis LeMay (Commander of the Strategic Air Commend); Captain Kurt Karlsen, of the U.S.S. Enterprise, the commercial passenger-liner that sank in the Atlantic Ocean in the ‘50’s (next in history only to the Titanic); the famous U.S.S. Thresher, the first nuclear submarine, which was ‘lost’ under the Arctic Ice Cap in the ‘60’s; even the Soviet Union’s KGB outpost on Franz Josef Land (the Arctic Circle island north of Siberia); as well as many ordinary folks around the world who were also ham radio operators!
But, in the ‘70’s, after almost 30 years of being ‘on top of the world’ (in many respects), I ‘burned-out’ in electronic and telecommunications, wanting nothing more to do with responsibilities for the technical-‘mechanical’-operation of such highly-advanced systems and operations. Actually, today, I do now, again, ‘communicate’ worldwide, but only as a ‘user-operator’, of the worldwide Internet telecommunications-computer-network (which uses – Hey! – my SPRINT system, as well as others, to ‘create’ the Internet!), by which I have myself created and now operate one of the most popular Christian and scientific-philosophical websites on the Internet, presently listed in the TOP 1% of worldwide websites, as well as being voter-ranked in the TOP 100 websites across Europe! It is sort of like owning your own TV station, Radio station and Newspaper, and I do enjoy it, as well as receiving the E-mail comments, congratulations and awards from around the world.
Actually, another reason that I ‘burned-out’ at that time, was that my priorities and perspectives were changing. By then I had gotten married (and divorced!) and was also involved in my next career field – International Finance and Real Estate. Graduating from Greene International University of Real Estate and Finance in the late ‘70’s, and parting from Telecommunications, I had already started my own financial firm. Over the next few years I started another financial firm as well as a real estate investment firm. But finally, in 1982, after 7 years in the financial fields (and making a top annual income of over $735,000), I ‘burned-out’ again. This time it was by way of bankruptcy, both personal and professional. I lost everything, all my assets and possessions (over the immediately following years) and was, for all practical purposes, now broke and homeless. (I ‘gave away’ my over $400,000 home in the Belmont Hills, to the 4th mortgage holder, for the sum of $1.00, and I never even got the dollar!) So, having been ‘on the top’, I was now on the bottom!
I lived in my car for several years and worked at odd jobs (including for U.S.SPRINT, the very system I had built in the first place, but since I was no longer in telecommunications, this time it was only as an administrative ‘nobody’). And thus started my 20 year period of being an unemployed, homeless ‘nobody’, as well as not having one penny of income for almost that entire time of 20 years, which, incidentally, continues, to a certain extent, today, in that I have just recently started receiving official disability benefits, in a small amount, for multiple physical afflictions of the body to which I am subject today as a combined result of years of homelessness – and no money – and no medical care, as well as the fact of just ‘getting old’. But hey, I’m still alive and kickin’, no matter how old I might feel, and I do Thank the Man Upstairs for that, and for all that he does yet enable me to somehow do, with no money and almost no resources, to “Do Unto Others …”, in some way, shape or form, who are yet ‘laboring’ under the ‘System’ and Lucifer’s influences upon us all!
Incidentally, speaking of ‘getting old’, I just happened to see Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson in “Terms of Endearment” the other day, and I couldn’t believe the ages that they were purported to be in that movie. Shirley and Jack both said they were about 50 years old! Well, if they were ‘50 years old’ … Well then, I must only be 30 years old, instead of almost 63! Because to me, these ’50 year olds’ ‘shure’ looked like they were at least 80 years old! I dunno. I guess folks say I look younger than I am – even that I look exactly like Jerry Garcia, with the beard – but I ‘shure’ do enjoy those young ‘gals’ who feel the need to be ‘feeling their fingers’ around in my beard!
Anyway, to get on here with this essay, in January of 1984 I moved into a small room in the home of an elderly gentleman in San Mateo who, due to a mental deficiency, needed occasional help to do things around his home. And such was my version of ‘Being There’ (the famous Peter Sellers comedy movie), as needed, which left me yet homeless but at least with a room and bed to sleep in, so I now had time to find my own way during most of the daylight hours (and nights as well, since Robert, the elderly gentleman, retired to his bed soon after 6 PM).
In 1982, while living in my car on the highways of the Bay Area, I was ‘re-commissioned’ by the Ancient Order of Christ, the OA/OWB, in effect resuming the ancient Ordination and Consecration of my Soul, that had been ‘vested’ unto me millennia ago and which I now honor and so live to this day. After 1984, having the time available, I pursued further non-secular studies with the OA/OWB at the Freedom, Independence & World Democracy (FIWD) Institute, in London, England of the OA/OWB’s dimensionality, which, in some respects, was the ‘graduate’ extension of my earlier secular under-graduate studies of the 70’s at a number of Bay Area graduate institutions (my two Graduate degrees, from the Ancient Order, in Theology and Physics, had already been re-affirmed and Consecrated by the Order in 1982, although neither was accredited in secularity, only in non-secularity). So, in the 70’s, I was only able to qualify for under-graduate studies at the several secular schools that I attended (my Graduate diploma in Finance from Greene University did not ‘carry’ into the Humanities), such as CITP, the California Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, but those studies in Jungian Psychology and other fields helped to broaden my perspectives beyond engineering, finance, theology and physics. So it was that I became more knowledgeable and aware of a more overall functionality, operation and existence of human society, civilization and history, as well as of mankind’s place and responsibilities in the Universe and the Cosmos (which can be called ‘the Big Picture’).
As such you might say that I ‘burned-out’ on a few more aspects of Life, as a consequence of such education and awareness. I said at the beginning of this essay that there was also a second form of ‘burn-out’, that of ‘burning-out’ on such things as the sufferings of mankind and the many ‘inhumanities-to-man’ that man does inflict upon him/herself. Of course, this was a result of my increased awareness of such things, as a person who was now in contact with one’s Soul, and thusly in access to incorporeality and all beyond mere corporeality. So, the further result, in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s of this ‘lifetime’ of secular existence, was not only a few more ‘burn-outs’, but also the beginnings of the research studies and writings that have been the ‘capstone’ of my Life over the last 20 years. So this is where I also consider ‘burn-out’ to be a ‘gift’, in that it has enabled me to pursue my Life’s ‘Work’ and to become that which I am.
However, what this means, as to ‘burn-out’, is that what I now need to address, in relation to Who and What I presently am and my present existential situation, is how that ‘burn-out’ affects me, in the here-and-now, as to what I might experience (having the free-will to choose) and what I do not wish to experience, what I might ‘celebrate’ and what I might ‘condemn’, in the Name of Christ and the sensibility of the human Spirit.
And in this I will be getting down to the ‘nitty-gritty’, as to the existentials of my Life. But such shall be necessary in order to relate ‘burn-out’ to that which I am now. To put the following in a context, relative to ‘burn-out’ (and this is part of the ‘knowing’, understanding, of oneself and one’s Soul, that enables one to be ‘I AM THAT I AM’), let me relate a personal ‘awareness’ of myself, as such has been ‘shown’ to me in dreams. Now, even though I nominally put little stock in dreams nowadays, I have, as part of my graduate studies, learned certain ‘fundamentals’ of the dream ‘sequence’. Such that, in dreams, a ‘structure’, a building of some sort, is always the ‘representation’ of the self, the body, ‘you’! Thusly the dream that I once had, was of this gigantic warehouse, which was so large that one could not see from one end to the other inside of it. And just as well, because one could see nothing anyway. It was all BLACKENED and ‘burnt-out’! THAT was myself, ‘burnt-out’, on what I once upon a time had been or was concerned about! However, THERE, in the midst of all that ‘blackness’ of myself, was a ‘pinpoint of Light’. And that immensely-small ‘pinpoint of Light’, was, however, SO BRIGHT and INTENSE, that one could NOT EVEN LOOK AT IT! And guess what? THAT was my Soul! Shining bright, within the ‘blackness’ of my Life, and ‘connecting’ me to God, to Christ, to the Holy Spirit, of which myself, I, my Soul, IS A PART THEREOF, as well as to the Collective Consciousness of Humanity, and all of the other wonders of the Cosmos, which are accessible within ANYONE’S Mind, via their Soul!
To get back to ‘burn-out’, this Spiritual ‘awareness’ of Who and What I was, and my direct ‘connection’ to God (as I have noted on my website, among other ‘privileges’, I have even had the Honor of shaking His Hand!), has, in the here-and-now, revised and re-structured completely, my personal ‘attributes’ and character, as well as my personal preferences for ‘exposure’ experiences to and with human society, culture, education, history, ethics and so much more. To try to explain this ‘sensitivity’ to the ‘realities’, or pseudo-realities, of Life, let me put it into the context of at least one form of media – education and entertainment, as such do so impact one’s character, feelings, emotions and Spiritual (Soul) ‘understanding’ – one’s KNOWING – of that which IS – the basics, the fundamentals, of Life and Existence. What this means is that I have again ‘burnt-out’, as I have said, on man’s ‘inhumanities-to-man’ – ANY DEED whatsoever, that relates IN ANY WAY, to Lucifer’s ‘evils’, that he has foisted, or influenced, upon mankind! (In this regard, years later, after my experience of being responsible for the President’s nuclear-war telecommunication system, you might say that I am ‘burned-out’ again, just realizing that I was once a part of a system and responsibility that could have resulted in the nuclear annihilation of mankind!)
Of course, such KNOWING comes from understanding the SCIENTIFIC ‘basics’, fundamentals, of Life and Existence, INCLUDING KNOWING God AND Lucifer (as explained factually and scientifically). The result of this is that I DO NOT WISH TO EXPERIENCE the ‘evils’ that I can now see all around me. I WISH TO REMAIN POSITIVE, and to NOT be ‘influenced’, or even exposed, TO EVIL! (With such sensitivity, of course, I cannot help but cry, as I feel the sorrow and the pain, of whatever ‘inhumanity’ man might do, or have done, to man, just as, in Positivity, I do feel the JOY, the LOVE, the HAPPINESS, and more, of the human condition.) In other words, I wish to CELEBRATE (in tears, if so), the Positivity of humanity, BUT … I DO CONDEMN, nor wish to experience, the Negativity of Lucifer, AS ENACTED through humanity!
And, as I said, in relation to education and entertainment (as the epitome of daily REALITY), what this means is that I am VERY SENSITIVE to those EVILS, in daily life, which are ‘promoted’, depicted, or shown, IN THE MEDIA, via TV, video, newspaper, magazine, and even via the Internet! Of course, the personal ‘criteria’ for this, just as it also might be for anyone else, IS MY SCIENTIFIC, and FACTUAL, KNOWING of the TRUTHS, of human reality and existence. (And I am not herein ‘belaboring’ the fact that I have a Doctorate in Reality!) Such as, that I DO KNOW, that ANY, and EVERY, form of human COMPETITION is, as Christ has said and as modern science has proven … EVIL!
Thusly, to make an example of such kind of media that I DO NOT wish to expose myself to, someone asked me the other day if I wanted to watch a TV movie that the person also said was ‘real good’, because the story exposed the anti-Semitism and ‘skin-head’ bigotry of certain people in a Mid-Western town and how such did affect the town’s Jews. Well, I DID NOT want to watch such an ‘enactment’ OF EVIL (Yes, I would have cried!), such a ‘presentation’ of evil, for the mere sake of education and entertainment.
So, I will NOT watch media that depicts man’s ‘inhumanities-to-man’, EXCEPT IN THE CONTEXT OF THE BATTLE OF GOOD AGAINST EVIL! I WILL WATCH anything in which GOOD, Positivity, Righteousness, God and man, IS FIGHTING EVIL! Now, even though this might include some war-situations, I limit myself in such Positive criteria for doing so.
Getting back to the media, and specifically TV, here is what I will NOT watch on TV: since ALL COMPETITION IS EVIL, I will not see sports of any kind (except as to a ‘ceremony’, as the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics, even though it is ‘promoting’ a Negativity); NO ‘game’ shows (I absolutely hate “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune”, even though I myself, as well as many other good folks, might occasionally watch these shows, their COMPETITION is still EVIL, and it is NOT human COOPERATION, but merely entertainment FOR MONEY – and that’s another EVIL that I am not even going to get into herein this essay!); NO “Cops”, “America’s Most Wanted”, or police shows (EVIL!); NO ‘justice’, or judgement shows, such as “Law and Order”, “LA Confidential”, “JAG”, or even “Judge Judy” (EVIL, even though I do occasionally see such as “JAG”!); NO ‘violence’-shows of any kind, EXCEPT where the ‘violence’ might be Positively-redeeming with respect to family, love, happiness, etc.; NO homosexual, ‘macho’, tough-guy shows (again EVIL!); NO comedies (EVIL taking ‘advantage’ of others, in words or deeds, no matter how much many folks might enjoy comedy); and I have ‘reservations’ about many other ‘cultural’ things, including many of the ‘classics’, or Westerns (John Wayne, Clint Eastwood), or other such Hollywood ‘fare’. I WILL watch adventure, sci-fi, and other ‘true-story’, reality-based, movies, WHERE GOOD IS FIGHTING EVIL! In this respect, having been in the Transitions Shelter since September 11th, 2001, I HAVE YET TO WATCH ANYTHING that I would have wanted to watch on the TV myself! Only ONCE did I put on a program that I wanted to see (GOOD fighting EVIL!), “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”, and because of the ridiculous and stupid ‘remarks’ of other viewers (not understanding at all what the show is about), I never have put it on again. (In itself, an example of EVIL ‘suppressing’, or subduing, the viewing of something GOOD!) In fact, when I do inevitably sit down to watch something that someone else in the community has selected on the TV or video, it usually winds up having some evil or violence in it anyway. But, that is the ‘hazards’ of living with other people and when you accept and respect an individual as Whoever they ‘are’, at Wherever they might ‘be’ in their Life at that time … Well, sometimes one has to just overlook personal ‘evils’ and decide to, personally, either accept that person ‘as IS’, or else just walk away!
So, to end this essay on ‘burn-out’, I will say that I WILL AVOID ANY EVIL to which I might be exposed (INCLUDING EVIL people!), just as I will also CELEBRATE any GOOD which is engaged in the battle against evil. I hope this might be all of humanity and that some day Lucifer can be ‘overthrown’ BY SCIENTIFIC KNOWING, and that a Positive human society, a Utopia of humanity, can come to BE, in fulfillment of mankind’s DESTINY – that which all of us have been ‘BORN TO DO’ – to be the ‘instrument’ which finally eliminates that Cosmic ‘Duality’ of God versus Lucifer, Good versus Evil, and does restore wholeness and Oneness once again to the Cosmos! THEN, my ‘burn-outs’, and my Works, and my Life, will have been worth it!