Reflections From Alan

We asked, “How did you get to a place of being fearless? Have you always been fearless?” Alan said, “No. I don’t know how I got there. It just happened. I was scared of dying. I didn’t know what was going to happen. But now I’m not afraid. I’m curious.

“The power of my mind changed my beliefs from having cancer to not having cancer. I imagined daily going back to the surgeon and him examining me and saying, “I no longer see the cancer; and the viral wart is gone too.”

“There are a lot of other things I did too. This is a story about how I fundamentally changed my beliefs to heal from cancer and heal from the fear of dying.”

“I know that I’m going to die soon. There is no fear. In fact, I’m kind of looking forward to it. I’m very curious. In fact, I’m sure that there are other planes of existence. And I’m curious as to what they are, how they are, and how they affect this planet, and maybe other planets.”

What does it mean to be living in the present?
“As each minute passes, whatever I’m doing is what I’m doing and I don’t wish I was doing something else which I did when I was younger. That’s all gone. I feel relaxed, and grateful that I’ve had such a great life.” – Alan

We asked, “How did you get to a place of being fearless? Have you always been fearless?” Alan said, “No. I don’t know how I got there. It just happened. I was scared of dying. I didn’t know what was going to happen. But now I’m not afraid. I’m curious.

We then asked, “You’ve been a spiritual seeker since the 1960s. What have you done and how has it affected your life today?” Alan replied, “I don’t know if I’ve been a spiritual seeker because I wasn’t looking for anything. But I was curious about life and what causes people to do what they do….and various techniques about how I thought about things.”

We asked, “What are some of the techniques?” Alan said, “I’ve done a lot of meditation of various kinds, of various schools.”

We asked, “How do you think meditation has helped you.” Alan replied, “It has helped me not get caught up in the insanity that surrounds us all. I think there must be a reason for everything. So it seems like life is a big experiment to see what happens. If someone is organizing this – I’m assuming this is occurring, some energy – it’s like a big experiment or maybe lots of experiments, and the one I’m in, organized by some energy, is to see what happens to me, the earth, the people that are close to me, people that aren’t close to me. I think it’s random. My sense is that everyone who comes up to a spiritual path has a tiny bit of the truth and is trying to figure it out. But the Truth is huge and no one can grasp it. I think there are a zillion forms of truth. It is not The Truth, but a truth, and everyone experiences their own truth.”

I don’t think I’m sad because I’m sick. My tears are because I’m grateful. – Alan

We continued and asked, “What did you do to become so accepting of your death?” Alan said, “When I knew I had cancer and I thought I might die, I all of a sudden thought it was okay. I can’t attribute it to anything I did. But it happens to everyone.”

“What did you have to do to get to this point of acceptance?” Alan replies, “As to what I can do as my mind decreases, there is less and less stuff that is important or matters.”

“What matters now?” Alan says, “Love and appreciation.”

He continues. “My parents were very critical of everything. One day I was at the dinner table, and I was holding a cup wrong, and my father went ballistic. He just got furious at me. How you did things was important to them, and to their friends. They were legitimately worried that I would be in public and hold my cup wrong and disgrace them. And people would say, “Did you see how Alan held his cup?’

“One day I came back from camp, age ten or eleven, and my mother turned to me in the middle of the day and said, ‘This is the first day I can remember in a long time where you didn’t do something that you needed to be punished for.’

“The other experience that informed my life was when I was in the first grade, my father said to me, ‘You have to do well in the first grade because if you don’t, you won’t be able to do well in the second grade, and then the third grade, and then on and on.’ “So I always was trying to do better. I was always trying to please my parents. This went on for a long time.”

“When did it stop?” Alan said, “I think fairly recently. I don’t even think about what people think about me anymore, and I did for most of my life.”

Alan, during one of the many magic/storytelling shows that we performed together

“Did it stop before or after you got cancer?” Alan said, “It was around the time I got cancer. I knew at that point that I was mortal, and so if I was going to die, it wouldn’t make any difference what I did.”

“Was the cancer a gift or a curse to you?” Alan replied, “Definitely a gift. Once I realized I was going to die, then it didn’t make a difference what I did.”

“I think I was open to receiving love. I think I assumed that people didn’t love me. And then when I got cancer, people started responding and visiting and bringing food and stuff, and I realized that they loved me. And not for what I did, but because of who I was. In that sense cancer was a big gift. People started treating me differently when I got cancer, and I saw the love behind it.”

Our last question to Alan was about the Science of Mind. Alan and I had been going to the Center for Spiritual Living for some years and it teaches the Science of Mind philosophy. Alan was the keyboard player in the band at the Center for seven years. We asked, “How did Science of Mind influence you?”

“You are what you think. On a different level, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is more cerebral. Science of Mind is, “You get what you believe.” The concept of Spirit isn’t involved in NLP. But many premises are the same. God is a big part of Science of Mind.”