When alcoholism has stolen your livelihood, your relationships, and your dignity, when you feel that you don't want to live but neither can you clearly die, nothing short of divine intervention can deliver you from such desolation. That grace arrived for Fred Davis during a stint at a psychiatric hospital in 1982, when a voice inside his head said, simply, "You should study zen." It was the beginning of an up and down, meandering spiritual path that would one day culminate in a spiritual awakening so sudden and powerful, he'd move "from utter misery to bliss in the blink of an eye."
I was right on the edge of death.
It was early autumn of 1998 when I found myself living in Mount Tabor City Park in Portland, Oregon. Yes, I was living there, in a park, in the bushes, scared and hungry, with blisters on my feet the size of the palm of your hand. When you're homeless, the police don't even want to arrest you. You're not worth the trouble. So they just nudge you along, keeping you moving, moving, always moving. Not on my beat, buddy.
I had sold my sleeping bag to buy a couple of bottles, and then I'd caught some kind of lung infection. My voice sounded like rocks grinding against each other. I wished I would die, but I noticed I didn't. That's the funny thing about alcoholism; it kills you if and when it wants to, not when you want it to. As the booze ran out and I began to have to face reality, I couldn't help but look back to a decade before.
In 1988 I had been living in the suburbs of Columbia, South Carolina. I owned an enormously successful comic, gaming, and science fiction shop. I had a great wife, a nice house, four nice cars, and according to my lawyer and accountant, I had a fine future ahead of me. All I had to do was not screw it up. That's a difficult thing for a practicing alcoholic to avoid. I had not the first clue on how to handle success, because it wasn't anything I was particularly familiar with. I was a crazy man with money.To enjoy the full article and have complete access to the magazine, please purchase a subscription. Free areas are Books, Music, Movies and the article How Diablo Became Spirit. It is our hope that the content of ONE will inspire your life and awaken your heart! Click here to register for your subscription.