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Awakened at Needle Point

Awakened at Needle Point

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

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Published by: John Jay Harper on Oct 20, 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 theNew Science
 IntroductionIt was late Friday afternoon February 26
, 2010; a cold, snowy mid-winter day in the Pacific Northwestwhen an unresolved, incapacitating childhood conflict surfaced again. Indeed it was the source of symptoms, mental and physical, that had controlled my entire life story until now. These anxietiesdogged me like a proverbial hound from hell and I began paying close attention to them. I knew mysanity depended upon comprehending these symptoms as signs and symbols of my unconsciouspsyche, 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 age 5. Heleft my mother, Catherine, and my two brothers, Ron and Steve, homeless and penniless, so he couldhire on with a fishing fleet. His goal was to become the chief marine mechanic to keep them trolling forthe deadliest catch in waters up and down the coastlines of Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon, andCalifornia. 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 reenacted throughme. And my heroic efforts to stop it from happening to those I loved, againand again and again. Clinically speaking, I was suffering from a borderlinepersonality disorder known to psychotherapists as third degree emotionalburns. In short, I felt a swarm of toxic emotions sting me that evening andreacted as a helpless child alone in the darknot an adult. I truly did nothave a life yet, nor an authentic
sense of self 
that was symptom-free andable to engage the world on its terms.But the scenario that led initially to nothing more than allergy headaches andsinus symptoms was Claritin clear enough. My beloved 20-year old granddaughter, Kathryne, who hadbeen living with 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 wasen route to Andrea, a girlfriend she had known in Spokane since 14, to share a recently purchased homeclose to the Atlantic Ocean. Andrea was today a proud U.S. Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, awaitingthe return of her husband, high school sweetheart Joshua, likewise a combat soldier fighting the Talibanin Afghanistan until summer 2010.Specifically, I decided to drive our gas-miser Honda Civic in front of Katies car for the first one thousandmiles of her four thousand mile journey to the East Coast, in a heartfelt albeit panic-stricken moment. Iwanted to blaze the trail, so to speak, make certain she, and co-driver Jody, got safely through thesnowy mountain passes in Idaho, Utah and then into the first city they planned to stop on Saturday
 afternoon: Las Vegas, Nevada. I even paid for a deluxe room-in-advance at the Luxor Hotel for my wife,Connie, and myself before we departed Spokane confident this was a slam dunk mission possible.However, my cock-eyed military veteran optimism overstretched my capacity to drive around-the-clockanymore, as I did easily in my pre-retirement years. We never made it. For I collapsed from physicalexhaustion early Saturday morning while driving on Interstate 84 through Boise, Idaho, forced to exit thefreeway pulling into the Hampton Inn at approximately 3:30AM PST. Connie called Katies cell phoneand explained what had happened and wished her and Jody a fun weekend in Las Vegas, but without us.We would rest a few hours, we said, and chart a new course back home via western Idaho, easternOregon, and central Washington, avoiding the mountain passes crossed in the middle of the night.With hindsight 20/20, I saw Id been literally travelling on sacred ground,revisiting a segment of the East-to-West migration route from Scotland-to-Virginia-to-California that was significant to my family ancestry. I recalledmy grandfather was born in Salt Lake City in 1890 and my great-grandfather, Robert Harper, helped lay stones on The Mormon Temple.Moreover, my father, in fact, was born in Eureka, Humboldt County,California on April 6, 1928, but died at Las Vegas Medical Center onFebruary 25
, 1991. Ironically, none of my fathers family becamemembers of any organized religion as far as I know but I bet they werebona fide mystics! So my advice early on to my readers is pay specialattention to the meaningful
sprinkled like Old World spices throughout this autobiography.These, of course, are relevant to me and my life story ultimatelybut let me give you a hint upfront:Your
is an open book too! Wake-up and follow the trail of breadcrumbsblood and bonesof your own genealogy for there is meaning to everything in existence symbolically mapped by The WorldTree and The Cosmic Serpent in the Garden of Eden.French scholar of religions Mircea Eliade, saw the trunk, conduit or tunnel, within The World Tree as thegateway to the gods, and devils, declaring in his classic book
Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy 
:The underworld, the center of the earth, and the gate of the sky are situated on the same axis, and inpast times it was by this axis that passage from one cosmic region to another was effected. The shamanwas a skilled person that could use altered states of consciousness and knowledge of the north-southpole axis running through the center of the cosmos to soul travel. The Cosmic Serpent is nothing more,or less, than our DNA macromolecule that is the human body made flesh.Basically, you have to be brave, at least fearless enough to face these things that go bump in the nightand, hence, the need for so-called guardian angels and a supportive spiritual community would be nice.Otherwise, it gets mighty scary! I also have had
close encounters
with the citizensand denizensof hyperspace since childhood and methodically investigated mysticism and near-death experience (NDE)visions of the End-Times for that reason. Ive spoken to millions on talk radio shows about myconclusions since 1993. Today these themes are common cocktail party conversations amongpsychiatrists, psychologists, philosophers, physicists, and theologians; so at least I am in good company.They are themes to television series and movies too; so I no longer feel like a fish out of wateror crazy.Clinical psychologist Wilson Van Dusen, Ph.D. (1923-2005), could do just that, soul travel, and workedfor many decades with the mentally ill in California state hospitals after serving during WWII in the U.S.Merchant Marines. He had a remarkable life concluding that spirit possession can be the soul causeof illness. And upon retirement, he wrote about his life as a mystic, sharing a lifetime of insights in many
inspiring books on heaven, hell, and hyperspace nature of existence: infinite worlds within worldswithout beginning or end. Dr. Dusen became a believer in Swedish scientist, inventor, and Christianmystic Emmanuel Swedenborg (1668-1772), and learned, as I had, that The great spiritual adventurersfound the whole of creation and every part 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 into aspiritual phase in which he eventually began to experience dreams and visions beginning on Easterweekend April 6, 1744.
This culminated in a spiritual awakening, where he claimed he was appointed bythe Lord to write a heavenly doctrine to reform Christianity. He claimed that the Lord had opened hiseyes, so that from then on he could freely visit heaven and hell, and talk with angels, demons, and otherspirits. For the remaining 28 years of his life, he wrote and published 18 theological works, of which thebest known was
Heaven and Hell 
and several unpublished theological works. Interestinglyenough, overall Swedenborgs model of creation matches the shamanic that is usually akin to a three-layered cake: upper, lower with earth in the middle of it. So how does evil work against us? Quitesimply, through negative emotions; anxiety, pain, stress seeks to destroy our will power to live fullypresent in each and every moment now!My future vision in total is that we are in the early stages as a species learning to climb the world tree,walk between worlds, bring the spiritual truth of heaven down from the magnetosphere and hell of our fiery molten core imagery up to the surface of planet earth again through the third eye skills of shamans. One of the leading NDE researchers, Dr. P.M.H. Atwater says: Hell refers to levels of negativethought-forms that reside in close proximity to the Earth realm. It is where we go to work out, or remainwithin, our hang-ups, addictions, fears, guilt, angers, rage, regrets, self-pity, arrogance, or whatever elseblocks us from the power of our own light.Moreover, I see us integrating the wisdom of outer and inner space through an emerging science of soul wellness clinic in the 21
century. (See
)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 control my neckmuscles and it collapsed. A pinched nerve in the upper region of myspine at the base of my skull became so painful that it demandedmedical intervention. This bracing against pain 24/7 began a decline inmy health with sleepless nights and miserable days of sufferingspiraling towards disaster. I no longer had a life really; rather I becamea walking, talking set of symptoms constantly 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 neatly ordered rows of pill bottles from the allopathic pharmacy. To my primary care doctorscredit at Group 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 the brain.Thus we started down the right track pharmacologically even if I was to derail later. I reviewed the

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