SPIRITUAL SAILING is meant to refer to various experiences depicting how one might allow our universal internal Spirit to blow on our personal sails propelling our lives in whatever direction Spirit knows best. I would like to hear your stories along with my experiences. Please let me know you are on this site and… share with all!
In my mid-60s, I felt the desire to relate my life experiences. These words are the result. I am so thankful for the experiences which I have had over my decades of living – well… many of them, anyway! As I complete these memoirs, revised and polished over several years, I am not sure who, or when, anyone, except my dear wife, Sandee, will read these words. I hope that, at least, my children and their children, will read this someday, and understand a little of what I have learned from living.
I faced life with an air of excitement. With very little formal education, I have done some very interesting things, in my opinion. Some of my experiences have touched many other lives, hopefully, in positive ways. Some people will feel, I’m sure, that I touched their lives in negative ways.
“When we awoke this morning, we realized we had re-occurred one more time in these bodies. There will come a moment in time when we no longer re-occur in these bodies. That we may not pass this way again would be almost unbearable, except that it renders sacred, precious, holy, this moment in time here and now…
We’re having a party – it’s called life…
Can you come?”
In retrospect, I think that mostly, I have tried to live my life as a sacred and holy party, trying to enjoy my intuitions and inspirations, even though, often, in retrospect, they were radical and driven. I hope that someone else will grow spiritually from reading these words.
While traveling the path of this life, I was known by various names and titles used to describe my current station at the time.
• During childhood I became an older Brother.
• As a teen-ager, I became dedicated to enter full-time Christian service – someday.
• Upon enlisting in the Coast Guard at age 17, I asked to become known as John – a more mature sounding name… to go along with being a Bosun’s Mate in charge of a 40 foot Coast Guard rescue boat.
• In my early 20s, I became a Husband and Father.
• Upon receiving the first specialized career training in my life, I became known as a Coast Guard Radioman Petty Officer.
• At age 24, having turned my back on the Christian faith, I assumed the title of agnostic.
• Upon graduation from Coast Guard OfficerCandidateSchool at the age of 26, I was known as Officer-in-charge Radioman School.
• During my late 20s and into the 30s, I was known as ship’s Navigator, Executive Officer and Captain.
• At age 31, I repented of my agnostic title and resumed being called a Dedicated Christian.
• In my late 30s, I became known as Water Survival Instructor, Christian Book Store/Art Gallery Owner, Choir Director.
• In my 40s and 50s I was known as Pastor, Reverend, Foreign Mission Motivator, Voice of the Persecuted Church and Bible Smuggler…and somewhere in there, at age 50, I became a Grandfather.
• In my mid 50s I called myself an Adult Child of an Alcoholic and became an Addictions Counselor and Parole and Probation Drinking Driver Program Monitor, and… became known as a Divorcee.
• I became a spiritual searcher, exploring truths outside of the fundamentalist Christian view.
• In my early 60s, I became known as a District Supervisor for the State of Maryland, then a Retiree officially on Social Security.
• In my 60s and into my 70s, I was known as a Clay Artist and a Coast Guard Auxiliarist with the various positions of – Flotilla Commander, Public Education and Communications Staff Officer, National Division Chief, National Deputy Department Chief and finally, Director.
• In my early 70s, I might be known as a Meditator in the Zen tradition.
• Also, in my late 60s and 70s, sometimes my childhood nickname – Little Tommy - comes to mind as a reference to how little progress I have made in things which matter… almost back to the beginning of these full-circle memoirs of One Man’s Path – From Here to… Here.
I count about 37 different names and titles which I have used at various times to describe my station in life at any particular time… and if I really got into it, I could come up with a lot more subjective adjectives I might have used to describe my lot in life over the years.
I should caution any family member here who is reading these memoirs, that you might feel disappointed at the lack of intimate immediate family details. I offer the following explanation – the number of titles given in the above list is a very low percentage relating to family; the number of non-family roles regrettably reduced my focus on family priorities. For this I sincerely apologize.
The above titles (which, at this time in my life, seem meaningless) tell a lot about my unbridled radicalism and drive… however, rather than a bunch of mere information, I hope that you will be able to see the higher level of my stories – where the nature of my identity is revealed – stories that touch on the nature of identity, who we are, where do we come from… as I approach the full-circle beginning of this life called John Thompson Potts Jr., or more recently, by Buddhist Dharma name: "Arriving Home At The Source".
Please check back from time to time for Spiritual inspirational entries as well as some continuation of the above memoirs. Don't forget to make a Blog post and let me know where you are in your spiritual path... the blogs are short so don't hesitate to make more than one if needed!