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  James "At certain times in the night I would be overcome by a drive to kill myself. Sometimes while driving home in my crushable VW it would hit me how empty and void and hollow my life was and felt. That would be when I'd put on the gas and aim for the largest ponderosa pine off the distant curve and then start crying. I moved out of my house just before New Year in about a foot of snow with all the wool I had, my dog, my backpack, eye fulls of tears and a heart full of vinegar. I left my mom crying on her porch - we weren't getting along.

I continued high school working two jobs - living in a party house with four other wine drinking, beer swilling, pot smoking, radios rolling, house burning down almost twice, kinda wild man set loose guys. I had it all. I was school president fighting with the school superintendent to get the drug dogs out of the hallways, to let us wear our shirts with George Washington smokin doobies in the school and get hacky circles in the hallways at lunchtime. I was the man. Everybody liked me except myself. No matter how much fun I had smoking or how inebriated I became, I couldn't fix the inside problem.

So I started figuring out the whole problem and then getting the answer and fixing myself entirely but the problem was I was only fixed until I was done meditating or a few hours after the smoke cleared out of my bong. It was a sacred bong, I'd made it from a gourd and sealed it with wax and clay. I had loads of eastern mysticism, the Heart Sutra, tons of Isopanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Tao te Ching, Baba Ram Das, astral travel, the Kama Sutra, and yet with all these I continually sought to end myself.

Then I got a book called 'Hang Loose with Jesus' and I liked it. I read a little in the Bible. The man I worked for began to tell me a bit about Jesus. He made sense, Jesus definitely knew something about life. But still I wanted something else. I became so hungry that not even a 17 inch Village Combo could fill it. So I meditated, searched and tried things. I tried to fill the space in my heart with everything. Slowly I saw that I wanted to be loved. So I began. It took a while to see that I really wanted love and connection with life and real people, and that sex even in the most tender moment couldn't do it. We'd feel strangely needing to separate or shower after sex and somehow feeling wounded deep inside no matter how open and honest and caring we were with each other. Instead of coming closer to each other and gaining a soul connection it went the opposite.

Jesus was still cool, Kama Sutra wasn't so cool (sex), Tao te Ching was nice, Bhagavad-Gita was nice, and Buddha very goof too. My mother and I began to rework our relationship. That felt good. Having my mother who I knew loved me for what I was and am just feels real good. I needed to travel. It was my dog, my thumb and my backpack. I started listening to what my heart wanted. It wanted to know if God was real.

He is. I read "He who seeks shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you, ask and ye shall receive". I came to San Francisco after many strange and wonderful encounters. Then I met the Hare Krishna's with their Bhagavad-Gita's and Krishna Consciousness. I wanted to know God in more than just what I saw in the Bible. So I lived with the devotees for a while.

The Hare Krishna's had neat robes, statues and paintings and doctrines, spiritual teaching, Indian culture, and food that tasted great. But four months before an old devotee of the sixties came and stabbed a young devotee in the temple bathroom. At least half the devotees hated their brothers, sisters, and fathers and mothers. This was a bit disturbing. Then when we had the feast and kirtan and chanting every week at open house there'd always be someone gone wing-nut - obsessed with the temple. The temple was not a place where I felt deep and genuine relationships happening, yet most of the teaching seemed true and good.

But then I read on the back of a pack of rat poison the ingredients. Only 5 percent is poison and 95 percent good rat food! The Krisha's put saltpeter in the food, there was not enough protein either. Salpeter shrinks your sex drive - your libido. This was so we wouldn't start making babies in the temple. Soon after your sex drive has stopped, you lose self confidence and will. This was not mystical ego death, this was fear and brainwashing and chemical and diet manipulation. I didn't feel comfortable taking care of myself, I needed them. When I saw how weak I was, I had a chance to give in and let them tell me who I am and what to do or leave. I left.

God wants you to be with him because you want to be with him. He is not a fascist. He gives us a choice, he doesn't manipulate anyone. He wants to love and bless and help, but if I don't want him, he doesn't force feed, trick or brainwash or manipulate. I won't make my dog go anywhere with me. He follows me because I love him and care for him and he loves me and trusts me because I know what is best for him. It isn't because I take him for walks, feed him, pet him, scratch, run him, play with him, protect him or even clean up his poop. Of course I discipline him when he needs it, because I love him and don't want him to ground score, pee in the house or walk in the street. It's that simple. God loves us even though we have been pooping on his carpet, chewing up his shoes, and barking at his friends and all that. We should listen to him because he knows what is best for us and wants to be our Father and friend and Savior."

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