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Awakened at Needle Point

Awakened at Needle Point

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Published by John Jay Harper
The true story of my treatment for addiction, pain and stress disorder at Mind & Body Works clinic in Durango, Colorado in September 2010.
The true story of my treatment for addiction, pain and stress disorder at Mind & Body Works clinic in Durango, Colorado in September 2010.

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Published by: John Jay Harper on Oct 18, 2010
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Awakened at Needle Point: A Shamanic Journey into Body-Mind-Spirit WellnessBy John Jay HarperThe search for new shamans has begun in earnest.~Margaret Wheatley, Ph.D., Harvard University, author of 
Leadership and the New Science
 IntroductionIt was late Friday afternoon February 26
, 2010; a cold, snowy mid-winter day in the PacificNorthwest when an unresolved, incapacitating childhood conflict surfaced again. Indeed it wasthe source of symptoms, mental and physical, that had controlled my entire life story until now.These anxieties dogged me like a proverbial hound from hell and I began paying close attentionto them. I knew my sanity depended upon comprehending these symptoms as signs andsymbols of my unconscious psyche, but I did not understand why they manifestedyet!The original catalyst for my crash and burn was the abandonment by my father in Seattle at age5. He left my mother, Catherine, and my two brothers, Ron and Steve, homeless and penniless,so he could hire on with a fishing fleet. His goal was to become the chief marine mechanic tokeep them trolling for the deadliest catch in waters up and down the coastlines of Alaska,Canada, Washington, Oregon, and California. I never saw him again until I was 32-years old.In fact, as I shared in the Second Edition of my book,
Tranceformers:Shamans of the 21
, my perceived reality since the 1950s wasnothing but the symbolic cutting down of my family tree reenactedthrough me. And my heroic efforts to stop it from happening to those Iloved, again and again and again. Clinically speaking, I was sufferingfrom a borderline personality disorder known to psychotherapists asthird degree emotional burns. In short, I felt a swarm of toxicemotions sting me that evening and reacted as a helpless child alonein the darknot an adult. I truly did not have a life yet, nor anauthentic
sense of self 
that was symptom-free and able to engage theworld on its terms.But the scenario that led initially to nothing more than headaches and sinus symptoms wasClaritin clear enough. My beloved 20-year old granddaughter, Kathryne, who had been livingwith us for the past 3 years, was embarking on her first solo cross-country road trip fromSpokane, Washington to Jacksonville, North Carolina, and I was deathly afraid for her safety.Katie was en route to Andrea, a girlfriend she had known in Spokane since 14, to share arecently purchased home close to the Atlantic Ocean. Andrea was today a proud U.S. Marinestationed at Camp Lejeune, awaiting the return of her husband, high school sweetheart Joshua,likewise a combat soldier fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan until summer 2010.Specifically, in a Titanic-like panic-stricken spur of the moment decision that gripped my heartas within the jaws of a steel vice, I decided to drive our gas-miser Honda Civic in front of Katies
car for the initial one thousand of her four thousand mile journey to the East Coast of the USA. Iwanted to blaze the trail, so to speak, make certain she, and co-driver Jody, got safely throughthe snowy mountain passes in Idaho, Utah and then into the first city they planned to stop onSaturday afternoon: Las Vegas, Nevada. I even paid for a deluxe room-in-advance at the LuxorHotel for my wife, Connie, and myself before we departed Spokane that evening confident thiswas a mission possible.However, my cock-eyed military veteran optimism overstretched my capacity to drive around-the-clock anymore, as I did easily in my pre-retirement years. We never made it. For I collapsedfrom physical exhaustion early Saturday morning while driving on Interstate 84 through Boise,Idaho, forced to exit the freeway pulling into the Hampton Inn at approximately 3:30AM PST.Connie called Katies cell phone and explained what had happened and wished her and Jody afun weekend in Las Vegas, but without us. We would rest a few hours, we said, and chart a newcourse back home via western Idaho, eastern Oregon, and central Washington, avoiding themountain passes crossed in the middle of the night.With hindsight 20/20, I saw I was literally travelling on sacred ground, revisiting a segment of the migration route East-to-West from Virginia to California that was significant to my ancestry.I recalled my grandfather was born in Salt Lake City in 1890 and my great-grandfather, RobertHarper, helped lay stones on The Mormon Temple. Moreover, my father in fact who was bornin Eureka, Humboldt County, California on April 6, 1928, died at Las Vegas Medical Center onFebruary 25
, 1991. So my advice early on is pay attention to the meaningful
forthey are sprinkled throughout this autobiography. These, of course, are relevant to me and mylife story ultimately but let me give you a hint upfront: Your life is an open book too. Wake-upand follow the trail of breadcrumbsblood and bonesof your genealogy for there is meaningto everything in existence once can read the signs of the times symbolically mapped by TheWorld Tree and The Cosmic Serpent in the Garden of Eden.French scholar of religions, Mircea Eliade, classified the axis mundi or trunk within The WorldTree as the gateway to the gods, and devils, writing in his classical book
Shamanism: ArchaicTechniques of Ecstasy 
: The underworld, the center of the earth, and the gate of the sky aresituated on the same axis, and in past times it was by this axis that passage from one cosmicregion to another was effected.Clinical psychologist Wilson Van Dusen, Ph.D. (1923-2005), coulddo just that, soul travel, and worked for many decades with thementally ill in California state hospitals and as a training officerwith the United States Coast Guard. He concluded that spiritpossession can be the root cause of illness. And upon retirement,he wrote about his life as a mystic, sharing a lifetime of insights inmany inspiring books on heaven, hell, and hyperspace nature of existence: infinite worlds within worlds without beginning or end.Dr. Dusen became a proponent of Swedish scientist, inventor, andChristian mystic Emmanuel Swedenborg (1668-1772), and
learned, as I had, that The great spiritual adventurers found the whole of creation and everypart of it symbolic as he shared in
Seeing Through Symbols: Insights into Spirit 
.Wikipedia records this much on Swedenborg: In 1741 at the age of fifty-three he entered intoa spiritual phase in which he eventually began to experience dreams and visions beginning onEaster weekend April 6, 1744.
This culminated in a spiritual awakening, where he claimed hewas appointed by the Lord to write a heavenly doctrine to reform Christianity. He claimed thatthe Lord had opened his eyes, so that from then on he could freely visit heaven and hell, andtalk with angels, demons, and other spirits. For the remaining 28 years of his life, he wrote andpublished 18 theological works, of which the best known was
Heaven and Hell 
andseveral unpublished theological works.To this point, I also have had such visions since childhood and investigated mystical, prophetic,near-death experience (NDE) and prophetic visions of the End-Times for that reason, as well aswritten and spoken to millions of listeners on talk radio shows regarding my conclusions aboutthem since 1993. Today these themes are common cocktail party conversations amongpsychiatrists, psychologists, philosophers, and physicists; so at least I am in good company,finally. I no longer feel crazy nor like a fish out of water. My vision is we are in the early stagesas a species learning to climb the world tree, walk between worlds, bring the spiritual truth of heaven and hell to planet earth again through the eyes of the shamans. I see us integrating thewisdom within the human body into a new world order science of soul in the 21
century.(Seewww.near-death.com/experiences/experts13.html)Shamans of the 21
CenturyIn the days, weeks, and months of spring 2010, my symptomsincreased from sinus to serious and I lost the ability to controlmy neck muscles and it collapsed. A pinched nerve in the upperregion of my spine at the base of my skull became so painful thatit demanded medical intervention. This bracing against pain 24/7began a decline in my health with sleepless nights and miserabledays of suffering spiraling towards disaster. I no longer had a lifereally; rather I became a walking, talking set of symptomsconstantly seeking a savior with a magic silver bullet.So I brushed-up on my pig Latin because my constant bedfellowcompanions spoke only in the multisyllabic language of the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR)dictionary. My medicine cabinets stock and trade went from boxes of Alka-Seltzer to neatlyordered rows of pill bottles from the allopathic pharmacy. To my primary care doctors credit atGroup Health Cooperative in Spokane, Tim J. Meyer, M.D., and Jan H. Mueller, M.D., I began acourse of drugs that did address the PAG (periaqueductal gray), the pain control center of thebrain. Thus we started down the right track pharmacologically even if I was to derail later. Ireviewed the medical literature in articles, books constantly for clues to my situation and readin
Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel 
the encouraging words of biochemist

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