By Russell Scott
A selection of Russell's writing from his book: Awakening the Guru in You
Many years ago I had an alarming and comic cosmic experience of the power of belief in creating a reality that did not exist. It led me into contemplating the power of masses of people holding the same belief. The implications were illuminating and at the same time alarming.
The Twits of Saint Twinkle
In the 1970’s I was living in a co-op house with some friends. We were pursuing a healthy, spiritual lifestyle and exploring all manner of new-age practices and philosophies. There was an explosion of this across North America. It seemed that everyone and his grandmother was coming up with some new belief system and healing modality. Just as a joke, and perhaps as a disguised cynical comment on all of this, one of the residents of the house and I decided to start our own new religion. We called it “Twinklism”.
We created a Saint of “Twinklism” called Saint Twinkle. Saint Twinkle was an animated 5-pointed star with two eyes, a nose, a smiley mouth, and seven rays of light emanating outward. We designated Saint Twinkle as the patron saint of joy and enlightenment. We were his disciples. We called ourselves the “Twits of Saint Twinkle” and we each fashioned a sacred garment for worship, which was a large paper bag with eyeholes and a nose cut out. We drew a picture of our holy master on the bag just above the eyeholes (of course where the third eye was) and placed it on our head.
We had holy relic (a beer nut) and a sacred elixir (beer) that we had to drink before any ceremony with him/her (being new-agey politically correct, the saint had no sexual orientation). Since this was going to be a secret society we decided upon a secret greeting to indicate our membership. We would extend our arms out towards each other and point our index finger back at ourselves and touch our fists together and say “who-r-u”, indicating our deep commitment to self-discovery.
Since Saint Twinkle was the saint of joyousness and enlightenment, the goal of the spiritual path was to open up our “Clown Chakra”.
We would put on our sacred garment, the paper bag, and go into a darkened room and light a candle. We would start off meditating quietly in a mock solemnity and then just laugh whenever we felt like it. Of course it was very easy to laugh because what we were doing was so hilarious to begin with. We always felt good after drinking the sacred beer and paying homage to the holy beer nut and laughing ourselves half to death.
We did this a number of times and decided once again just as a joke that we were going to present our new religion to the world.
There was a protest rally against the Vietnam War and we thought that since there were a lot of other philosophical societies and religious groups in the protest we felt we needed a representation there as well. We put our sacred paper bags over our heads and walked in the parade occasionally chanting “Make bags not bombs, Make bags not bombs”. A few people asked us what we were doing and we told them. Some people got the joke but a lot of people thought we were nuts. We just pretended that they were crazy and that we were of course of a much higher vibration than them, being the chosen
ones of Saint Twinkle.
This hilarity continued for a few months and at one point in the meditation I decided that since channeling was finding its way into the new-age, I would try my hand at channeling Saint Twinkle, once again just as a joke. I would go into a meditation after we both chanted “Ohm silly mahn. Ohm silly mahn” and communicate in a far-off spaced out tone, some inane esoteric things about life on the seventh plane of some made-up non-physical realm.
But at some point something changed and I began to have a vague feeling that Saint Twinkle was actually there. I would put my attention on him/her and feel the presence and receive some guidance. Remarkably the guidance was quite cogent to my life. I began to feel the presence more often throughout the day as I went through my normal activities. Then one day, something happened that changed everything.
I was traveling on the subway one morning. I was feeling very down about my life, how it was going nowhere, I didn’t seem to be getting what I wanted out of life, I was a loser, etc., the whole thing. At one point, I had to close my eyes to hide my tears from the other passengers. Suddenly a vision of Saint Twinkle appeared in my mind. The saint was radiating light and appeared suspended just in front of me and was mocking in me with a very sad face and a tongue hanging down, with the message, “Be happy, this is only temporary”.
I was shocked at how clear the image and how palpable the vision was. I was also shocked at how something Ralph and I had both made up became so real. I began to wonder about belief systems and religions. If just two of us were able create something that we could actually experience and communicate to, out of nothing knowing full well that it was not real from the start, what did that suggest about thousands or millions of so-called “believers”? Are they experiencing phenomena that are real or is it simply a mass hallucination created by huge numbers of people putting their attention on the same thing? Did my friend and I create a false experience but were subsequently contacted by an actual angelic being appearing in the form as Saint Twinkle, a form that we could accept? I do not know.
To this day, my experience of Saint Twinkle amazes and puzzles me. At the time it was a major epiphany to realize the extent of the psychological forces that condition and imprison so many of us on the planet. I let go of the Saint Twinkle joke. The joke ended up being on us! But it helped me realize the double-edged sword of religious dogma. We are not only the prisoner but also the jailer, imprisoned by our own device, limited by what does not exist. The insanity of it all was hilarious but also alarmingly painful. That backfiring joke changed my life!
It was then that I made it my life-long aspiration to experience the truth for myself independent of any fabricated belief system. It is that commitment that still motivates me, years later, to assist and encourage others to go beyond belief to the truth itself and to not settle for anything less.
Get a copy of Awakening the Guru in You at: www.AwakenTheGuruInYou.com