When I was twenty-one years old, I became a Police Officer. I had been a Police Cadet for two and one-half years and went on the streets one day after my twenty-first birthday. Within a week I was riding by myself, patrolling the West End of Kansas City, Kansas, which was the quiet side of town. I worked from 11 P.M. until 7 A.M. five days a week. For a short while I absolutely loved my job; after-all for the entire two and one half years, spent as a police cadet, I could barely wait until I became an officer.
Within two months of beginning my patrol duties I began to see my work as routine. What had once filled me with excitement now became boring and predictable, which is funny because if you ask any police officer what they love most about their job, they always reply that no two days are alike; that they never know what to expect when they go to work.
Due to my lack of enthusiasm for patrolling the suburban neighborhoods, I transferred into accident investigation. The advantage here was that on the midnight shift you were free to roam the whole city and be involved in anything you chose (when you were not investigating accidents, of course.) This was stimulating for a while. I would hurry up and finish my accident reports so that I could help catch armed robbers or burglars. I was good at it too. I always had a sixth sense of what route the fleeing felon might take and I was able to capture “bad” guys on a regular basis.
Before long, this too began to bore me. When bids came up again, I switched to working traffic on the afternoon shift. It was so busy that there was hardly ever time to eat lunch. I literally ran from call to call, some traffic and some disturbances, robberies, burglaries, and all other manner of calls for service.
Once again, I was soon bored. While my adrenaline was on overdrive, the job itself quickly became routine. It seemed like the only reason for the existence of police officers was to protect citizens from drunks and druggies. Nearly every call involved someone stupid from the effects of alcohol or drugs. Add to that the guilt I felt when I went into someone’s home and found it burglarized and vandalized by some dope-head, and I soon felt compelled to join the ranks of those who self-medicated with alcohol to ease the pain of living the life of a cop.
After only fourteen months on the streets as a patrolman I requested a leave of absence and went into the Army for three years and two months. Because of my test scores I was able to land an MOS in INSCOM, the intelligence branch of the Army and I spent twenty one months in training. It was in this three years and two months that two significant events occurred in my life.
First, I was introduced to marijuana and subsequently other chemical highs. Secondly, I was exposed to a book, the title of which remains a mystery, but the contents of which changed my life.
I bring up the marijuana use because I basically became an addict for the next eleven years of my life. I absolutely loved pot. One of the reasons for my affection was that it always made me feel so smart and creative. When I finally mustered the courage to quit it was because of an epiphany that I could enjoy the bliss offered by the drugs without the harmful effects to my body. Once I discovered meditation and the ecstasy of living life “In-LOVE” the attraction to mind-altering chemicals no longer held any power.
Marijuana does nothing to actually make one smarter or more creative, it is just one of the lies it tells. I know this because I used to get high and then I would try to write or I would talk into a tape recorder. I was certain that I would find amazing words of wisdom when I checked the tapes or the writings, but as any of you know who have ever tried such an exercise, what I found was that it was all illusion. The thoughts that I put on paper and the ones which I recorded were all over the map. What I was convinced was profound, was in fact dribble. Once this illusion was shattered, it was only a matter of time before I was able to overcome the physical addiction, which pot smokers insist does not exist, but take my word, it does.
The second event, the introduction to the Teachings of Mother, forever changed my life. When I read these words of wisdom it was the first time I had heard anyone outside of my own heart, share her ideas, which I immediately recognized as Truth.
When I got out of the Army I returned to the Police Department and within the first year I was shot, and my career as a Kansas City, Kansas Police Officer came to a close. While in the Army I had bought eight acres and a three bedroom home in Georgia and I had a dream of living off the land. Eventually, this adventure lead me to the University of Georgia where I renewed my exploration of Eastern Philosophy.
Even though I have never found the exact book which was shared with me while I was stationed in Korea, I have, to this date, continued investigating the teachings of Masters from the East. Meditation, which is taught by any Master worth his or her salt, has changed my life. In fact, I would say that meditation has saved my life. I quit smoking pot over twenty five years ago and I gave up alcohol many years ago as well. I have no intention of ever putting anything into my body temple again, which may have harmful effects. I love my life too much to have it altered by any type of intoxicants.
Why am I sharing all this information today?
I am merely answering a call I feel to dispel the myth that marijuana and other mind-altering substances makes one wise. In my experiments I learned that these drugs had exactly the opposite effect. I truly thought my mind was expanded and that I had all the answers to life when I was high. I was convinced that I had something to share, something that most people did not have access to. I am here to tell you, some twenty five years plus after giving up drugs, that it was all a pack of lies. None of that made me a bit smarter nor even a little more creative than I was when I was clean and sober.
Meditation, on the other hand, has put me in touch with who and what I truly am. It has opened my eyes and my heart to experiences I could never quite reach when I ingested intoxicants and hallucinogens. In retrospect, I know I was searching for something when I used the mind-altering substances. I knew there was more to life than I was experiencing, but the drugs never did deliver. If I still had the tapes today to show you how stupid drugs made me, especially when I was convinced that I was so smart, you would laugh as I did once my eyes were opened.
I have shared these stories with prison inmates who, like me, believed that mind-altering meant mind-expanding, but I have never shared them with my children. If they read this, they may learn something about their father which they did not know. It’s a risk I must take, however, because for whatever reason this story needs to be told today. If this speaks to you, I hope it somehow helps. When I was getting high, it was because at some level my life was not working and being high was preferable to ordinary life. I have wished, many times, that I could have those eleven years and billions of brain cells back, but that is not the way life works. In the end, I needed to do what I did to bring myself to where I am, and where I am is really good.
Today, I am happy, peaceful, and healthy. Today, I love life. That is not something I could have honestly said during my hazy days, even though I loved being high, I could not have said that I loved life when I was not.
I am very grateful for the life I now have.
I am grateful for the experiences I had which have brought me to this point in my life.
I am very grateful for the young man who shared the wisdom of The Mother with me. He probably never knew what an impact that sharing had on my life.
I am very grateful for the Awareness I have become and am still becoming.
Life is Grand. Thank you for sharing it with me.