Category: Essays


This blog is dedicated to Q&A . . . questions come from you . . . answers come from me.   If you have a question feel free to ask by using the comments section or e-mail me at . . . I’ll try to help or at least give my opinion.


Q: What about credentials? Are you just an old hillbilly like the title of this site says?

A: 1 . . . I have no social science degrees if that’s what you’re asking. I am a 75 year old man who has learned and studied the human condition via the two greatest teachers available to us all . . . experience and observation. My only desire is to share what life has taught me. . . my goal is not to wow you with my knowledge and intelligence, it is to wow YOU with yours. That is certain to happen once you break the matrix and see for yourself what you really are . . . a highly evolved, creative spiritual being. . . . This is no prelude to buying or joining anything. 

2 . . . I moved to this small valley in the Appalachian foothills about ten years ago and consider myself a hillbilly by choice because I believe the ‘down home’ way to be the only way I wish to live. I find great comfort roaming these hills and studying nature. It is here I feel the strongest ‘connection’ to all living things. 



A Dog Story

Copy of raventhedogEverybody loves a dog story . . . right? Well here’s my latest one. It happened yesterday.

I arose from my reading and looked out the front window. The sun was beginning to brighten the hilltop across the narrow country lane and Raven, who was watching my every move, knew it was walk time. I knew she was about to go into her, ‘super dance for a walk,’ routine so I calmed her with a nose bump (pitbulls like that) and got things together for the walk outside to Max’s pen.

Every morning without fail, as soon as they see each other, both dogs break the silence by yelping and barking at one another when Raven attempts to play ‘attack’ with Max. It’s no big deal though, because there are no closeby neighbors. Anyways, once lined up and moving in a straight line things get quiet again and we are on our way down the middle of the lane for our daily trip to the head of the valley and back.

I generally spend my time daydreaming and looking for herbs alongside the road while the dogs try and see how many of those herbs they can pee on before I get to them. The lane itself winds gently through heavy woods and is always scattered with various animal scents, so along with herb hunting I spend my time cajoling, pleading, and pulling at the the dog’s leashes, one in each hand like a guy driving a mule team trying to keep the whole thing going in a straight line. One more big, strong dog and I will be skating on the soles of my boots.  

All is fine until I get about a half mile from the cabin when I begin to see a blood trail on the road. ‘Wow, someone must have hit a deer’, I thought at first. Then I glanced over at Max and saw that he was the guy bleeding . . . not just beeding . . .  HE WAS GUSHING BLOOD! . . . Bright red blood that was squirting from his front pad in a long thin stream.

I quickly went to my knees in the middle of the road and grabbed the foot in order to apply enough pressure to stop the bleed. As I did, Raven, probably thinking it was play time dove on Max and would not stop no matter how hard I tried or how hard I yelled. . . she went totally nuts when she smelled the blood that by this time was pooling around us. I had to stop her!  I HAD TO STOP THE BLEED! . . . I only had minutes until my beloved old Max would be dead. It was imperative that I react quickly and take charge of the situation, but how? I had absolutely nothing to work with. No phone (it’s on the table back home). No med kit ( in my room back home) No help (as there are few folks in this valley and only about ten cars a day go up this roadway).

First things first . . . I jerked Raven free, pulled her across the road and tied her leash to a tree. Went back to where Max by now was laying quietly in the road and grabbed his foot and applied pressure with one hand while taking off my boot with the other . . . I ripped out the string, tore off my sock and made up a tourniquet by wrapping the sock around the leg at the point where I thought the artery was and tied it tight with the shoe string. The arterial bleeding slowed to a trickle. In my favor, (and his) Max was very good during all this.

Back across the street, I went for Raven who was by now totally wrapped around the tree and choking on her special choke collar. Seeing the uselessness of trying to get the leash free I pulled my knife and cut it leaving just enough for me to grab hold of. Once free I began running back to the cabin with Raven in tow. My goal was to run the half mile back get Raven in the pen, get the pickup and drive back to Max and get him to the vet.

Now I’m 75 years old, and believe it or not that is a huge liability when it comes to doing stuff like this. Regardless, heart attack be damned . . . I’M SAVING THIS DOG’S LIFE! So off I go trotting up the road when I heard a vehicle slam on it’s brakes and slide in the gravel behind me. . . SHIT!! . . . Someone just hit my dog!

Looking back, I saw the red pickup of my neighbor who lives up the street coming towards me. Mike stopped, “What the hell’s going on? You need help?”

Yes! . . .Go back and get Max! . . . I need to get this damn dog (Raven ) into a pen and Max to the vet . . . she’s bleeding out if I don’t!

“OK . . . . take it easy man, your gonna have a heart attack, slow down! I’ll get Max and be right back.

Zoom . . . off he goes . . . Zoom . . . off I go. Just as I got to the house Mike pulled in with Max sitting in the bed of his truck. I gave him a hero’s welcome and a thousand thank you’s as I dove into the house, awaken my wife to call the vet, grabbed my med kit, fixed Max up proper by exchanging the sock for a pressure bandage, got him into my truck blood and all, (something good can be said about old pickups) and headed to the vet’s office.

The vet got squirted in the face and arm, but found and stitched the cut artery in time to save Max. Now he has a custom pen on my front porch where I feed him and doctor him until he gets better.

Moral of the story . . . you never know when a disaster will hit. Carry a med kit! I have enough first aid stuff for a whole platoon and yet when I needed it, it was tucked away in my bedroom and I had to rely on a dirty sock and a shoelace. You don’t need a large cumbersome pack, either. I’d suggest making your own and putting stuff in it that actually come in handy, a lot of junk you’ll never use is sold off in the pre-packaged kits. Maybe later on I will post a good small kit for a day hike or a chain sawing accident, etc. . . . . . . JW


A Hippy Thanksgiving

hippie thanksgivingWell here it is again for the 74th time. The kids who can make it will be coming down with their wives, a couple of friends from town are also coming, and the only neighbors we have may stop in later for a drink. All in all it will be fairly quiet and traditional. I know my pit bull will hate it because she will have to be caged up all day and I, being the loner, will endure and enjoy this holiday all at the same time.

Fact is, though I am totally content with my present life, things are not the same for me as they used to be back in the day when we were tip toeing through the tulips dreaming about making the world a better place. Back when the music never stopped, till the day it died . . . Bye, bye, Miss American Pie . . .

This morning I got to thinking about Thanksgiving and the best one I ever experienced, when it was and who I was with . . . that sort of thing. Following is the true story of the best Thanksgiving I ever had.

It was about 1969. I was living in a walk up crash pad in Portland, Oregon, just one more run away hippie looking for a spark of reality, and thinking I could find it by denouncing all that my parents generation stood for. I had just left the military and the following  short but bad marriage, and was hiding out from all the heavy emotion that went with them. Of course I was kidding myself as to the fact that I could actually do it.

It was Thanksgiving morning, and in my mind, I didn’t have anything to be thankful about. I was alone and depressed. As I walked through the old neighborhood I was more alone still as the usual hustle was not there. Even the drug dealers seemed to have taken the day off. I was walking, but going nowhere. . . . just walking.

There was a music store a few blocks down Burnside and I was heading in that direction, probably to stare into the window at the old Martin I would have given my last dollar for, had I actually had one.

As I walked along the empty street a Volkswagen van passed me by. It was full of freaks just like me. (in those days being a freak was cool) They pulled up in front of the music store and the guy behind the wheel who must have been the owner, unlocked the door, went in and came right back out again. He jumped in the van, turned around and came back in my direction.

The van stopped in front of me and a girl on the passenger side rolled down her window, smiled and asked, “Hey man where you going?”


“Wanna come to a party?”

“Sure” I said perking up a bit.

The van door slid open, “Hop in!” she said. I hopped in and away we went. Everybody in the van was in a very upbeat mood. “We’re having a far out dinner party for a bunch of people and you’re invited!” she said as she turned in her seat and faced me.

“Wow man, yeah man, thanks for stopping, that would be so cool.” I answered. The day that began as a huge bummer had suddenly become a life giving adventure because that little lady thought it would be cool to pick me up and take me to her party.

A couple minutes later we pulled up to one of the old Victorian homes that dotted the SW Portland neighborhoods at the time and parked. The van unloaded. We all walked up the concrete steps and entered the magical atmosphere of a house turned hippie haven.

There were couches, stuffed chairs, funky second hand furnishings, door beads, and brightly dressed people everywhere. Music played. People, laid back and relaxed, laughed effortlessly. ‘no canned laughter here’ What a lovely place to be. There were no introductions, no embarrassing ‘trying to say the right things,’ I merely walked into the large living room, found an empty place on the couch and sat down. The guy who was already sitting there said to me, “ Hey brother, how you doing?”

“Great man, just great.”

Using half sentences, chopped up wording and a lingo from Mars, off we went on a discussion encompassing so many variables that I can’t describe . . . ‘the kind of stuff people say when they are flaunting the norm and trying to be real I suppose.’

Anyways, we were talking away when a girl entered the living room from another room. She stopped close to us, pulled her long blond hair across her face and began to comb it. As I glanced up, all I could see was one gorgeous blue eye staring back at me. I was instantly attracted to her.

She must have just arrived because she was still wrapped in an old 30’s style fur coat that reached almost to the floor. She took the coat off, dropped it on the back of the couch and sat down beside me to complete the job of combing her hair.

Once finished, her face turned my way. “Hi,” she said. I don’t know what I said . . . the power in those bright blue eyes had tied up my tongue and caused my heart to bleed.

I quickly regained my composure and we talked. We laughed. We smoked a joint together. We shared our intimate details . . . all before dinner.

The girls soon called from the dining room and we all (about 25 of us) went in and sat around a huge rigged up concoction of tables and benches all loaded with food and closely spaced bottles of wine.

Nobody prayed or did any of the traditional stuff. Someone said something nice and we dug in. For a brief moment in time we became the kings and queens of the world enjoying the greatest feast many of us would ever remember having.

After we ate and were all stuffed and laying around like a pack of wolves who had just devoured a moose, the joints came out and passed around one more time. Many of us just passed out.

The blond ended up alongside me on a couch. We kissed and snuggled and fell asleep in each others arms. I don’t remember how or when I got back to my pad, but I do remember the blue eyed blond and the two month love fest we had following Thanksgiving Day.

But like all things in those days, our love was fast, furious, and burned out just as fast as it had started when she went to Hawaii and disappeared from my life forever. She was my angel and I loved her dearly and I will never forget . . . whats-her-name.

Ego-syntonic Conditioning


Since life began to form on this planet survival has been an absolute necessity. All living things have had to immediately come to grips with that reality or perish. Evolution of the species is, in large part, merely life choosing to adapt in order to guarantee it’s survival.Today in the US we face the greatest threat to our survival we have ever faced . . . and yet who can see the threat?

I have pondered this over and over and have finally come up with a reason as to why so many of us have given up our innate survival system and have chosen rather to follow the party line like a pack of sheep being led to the slaughter house instead.

We don’t question TOO much . . . .

We don’t break rank TOO far.

We fear everything, but the greatest fear we seem to have is standing out cold and alone crying into the wilderness like John the baptist . . . “ I’M TIRED OF THE LIES AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY LONGER!”

We have fallen prey to what psychology calls: egosyntonic programming [Egosyntonic is a psychological term referring to behaviors, values, feelings that are in harmony with or acceptable to the needs and goals of the ego, or consistent with one’s ideal self-image.]

Imagine Germany in 1936 when the Nazi party was in full control of the country. Imagine viewing one of the old videos of the era as Adolph stood before the large masses of people with his hands on his hips as thousands raised their right arms in unison and shouted, “HEIL HITLER!!” What could possibly have had happened to all those people?

How much had they been able to overlook in order to become a part of this new National Socialism? How long did it take them to fall under the influence of this high talking psychopath?

I believe it was mainly because Adolph made them feel good, and special, and powerful. Master race? I think they were merely ignorant nobodies looking for easy glory after years of hard economic times in post WW1 Germany. I also believe they had given up their basic survival instincts in favor of Nazi egosyntonic programming.

Simply put . . . I believe they bought Adolph’s line of bullshit. Adolph excited their lust for power and control so they joined his brainwashed army of screaming idiots and followed him out of their normal life patterns and into the fiery pits of Hell, from which most never returned.

They were willing to submit to . . . to die for . . . a man who not too far in their past would have been just another crackpot in the park. They would have laughed at his antics and perhaps dropped a coin in the hat at the foot of his soapbox, but that would have been it. Had it been that way the earth would not have suffered such a horrifying blow, that’s for sure.

We in America are in the same condition today that the German citizen was in 1936. We are failing to heed our survival instincts because we have taken for granted the same stuff the common German citizen took for granted.

Those who have not fallen under the government/media/corporate ego syntonic spell and are actually questioning these strange happenings are being ostracized by our leaders as ‘conspiracy theorists’ and ‘buffoons in tin hats’.

We are not strong and virile like them. We are all pussies. They are all heroes. . . . BUT it is our kids who fight their wars and die for their business interests while they sit behind their posh desks and prognosticate upon the value of the stock market.

The majority of America has been compromised, and nothing reveals this to me more than the presidential race between Trump and Clinton and the aftermath of demonstrations and total lack of attention to the details of especially HRC. What made Hillary rise to Joan of Ark status anyway? Or Donald Trump also for that matter. These two were both bad news. And believe you me, if you can’t see that your instinct for survival has been compromised.

I don’t care how many degrees you have, how much money you have, the size of your boy toy, or anything else . . . you have been blinded by ego syntonic programming.



dreamlandThere are a few things that all men, rich or poor, black or white, aborigine or modern, have in common. They all have the mental capacity to dream . to imagine . to perceive . to project . and to promote all that dreaming as reality. That’s why we have problems with each other, we all think OUR version of reality is the one true reality. The others? . . . well they are dreamers.

Another thing we all have in common is the fact the we are locked into a universal system that demands movement. Nothing stands still, everything is either growing or decaying. Dreams without action will not work. We can imagine and hope and project and perceive all we want, but without action the fruits of idleness will only create decay and criminality.

We want something free? . . . nothing is free! Anything freely given without the need for hard work is probably going to either be a false religion or a diseased seed, if not immediately, then soon. High flying words are just that . . . in order to land they must be coaxed to the ground and watered and fed daily. That means in order to bear the fruit of your dreams YOU must work for your reality to become anything more than a shell of empty promises emanated from a Pied Piper leader looking to walk you over the cliff. (I could go on a huge rant here about American politics and religion but I will save you the agony)

What’s your dream? Everybody who has not been beaten down or brainwashed by the system he lives in has one. What do you need to do in order to fulfill it?

As a balance, in order to follow your dream you must be realistic in your goals. Otherwise you will spend your valuable youth chasing after someone else’s dream, be he/she a scholar, a movie star, a musician or a magician, it doesn’t matter. You will merely be living as a copycat who will never be as good as what you copied.

Why? It’s not yours. you are just fantasizing. Has anybody ever made Mozart’s music as good as Mozart himself? No, of course not. He may be good enough to copy and be almost equal to Mozart, but never will he surpass him. It’s impossible.

I fundamentally believe that each person born into this world has a gift of some sort programmed into his DNA and his goal, in order to be happy, is to find that gift and use it to the betterment of himself as well as his fellows.

The problem I see, at least in this country, is that in order to create anything of value you first must follow a learning curve of dedication, commitment, discipline and practice. (This applies to both inner as well as outer changes of all sorts.)  All that hard work seems to be out of vogue in this “hurry up I want it now!” society we live in.

As a practical matter we need to have a place of quiet solitude where we can meditate upon these questions and resolve them in our own minds before we even begin. Then we need to move forward and practice them. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, is a great example of a man who practised his dream and became that which he practiced.

In the midst of the Vietnam War while the Americans were bombing the hell out of his country, he and his organization were busily rebuilding bombed villages, setting up schools and medical clinics, and helping through non violent means all he could to alleviate the plight of his fellow citizens.

For doing that he was ultimately forced out of his country and banned from ever returning. Nothing stopped him however and he remains practicing peace to this day in Plum Village somewhere in France.

We in America have been taught wrongly all along the way. I’m 73 years old and when I now look back on my well fed life all I see are walls and wars. . . and it saddens me with something similar to ‘Survivors Guilt’ that I have lived in such privileged comfort in a world filled with starving children. I have taken the time to study and research as to why that is and I am embarrassed by the results I have discovered.

I can already hear the “love it or leave it crowd” . . . and I’m not judging it, just seeing things differently these days and saying it.

It is impossible to practice war in hopes of obtaining peace . . . practice hoarding in hopes of obtaining security . . . practice hate in hopes of obtaining love . . . practice dark politics in hopes of becoming a beacon of light. We have been taught wrongly.

Our country is built upon sand and collapsing around us as we speak. Corporate Capitalism is a naturally progressing ponzi scheme that was doomed from its very inception. The pyramid has become top heavy and lost its balance because all the money has risen to the top.This is an easily obtained, undeniable fact. Research it from anywhere except the corporate owned media and you will get your own picture of the state of the union. Obama was lying through his teeth when he stood before the world claiming otherwise.

 I no longer have hope for the two party system because they have morphed years ago into one corporate entity. Washington has become, especially since the last trade agreement, merely an arm of the New World Order. We must break clear of the Matrix and begin anew and this time practice what we preach. There is no other way. And in order for it to work we must individually start from the inside out  . . . and not come out until we are ready. The universe will shut us down if we don’t.

As is we have ALL been blinded by greed and consumerism . . . the ones in the streets demonstrating as well as those sitting smugly at home rejoicing. These are hard times, harder than most can understand. We have already hit the spiritual wall . . . the physical wall is dead ahead and we are gaining speed.