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My husband Anthony John Hill ‘became enlightened’* in 1985 in his mid twenties and the fact that he’s stuck around so long I sometimes take for granted.  Remembering explains why I cried so much when I watched the end of The Good Place on Netflix. (*my words not his)

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They Live 1988 film

His words:

‘I became aware, or more aware, and began to question things, to question the world I lived in, and to see through the facade.  It was in 1985 that I realised I was here to ‘bear witness.”

How it started:

‘My girlfriend at the time,** her mother liked me a lot and lent me books; On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Memories, Dreams and Reflections by Jung.  Later I found The Electric Kool-Aid Acid test by Tom Wolfe, about Ken Kesey; Fear and loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson, The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs, and, most important of all, Journey to the East by Hermann Hesse’ (which we both regularly mention whenever we feel as if we’ve ‘fallen off the path.’) (**who he remains in contact with to this day)

‘Becoming vegetarian was the big thing.  You can read as much as you want but it’s the actual doing something that makes a difference.  That was the first thing I actually did in terms of self improvement.  From that moment I started questioning things more; I moved away, and started doing courses in personal growth.’

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The Merry Pranksters were cohorts and followers of American author Ken Kesey in 1964.

‘Once you wake up the veil is lifted.  It’s like being on a hill looking down.  You have the opportunity to step out of it and look back and see it as it is.  Of course that could be all part of the illusion too, you can’t know.  All you can do is be as genuine as you can.  I still get angry, I still make mistakes.  I can still be unaware at times, a lot of the time, not be full of love to my fellow humans.’

Anthony John Hill at 25

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My anchor and my guide