Exoteric Biography of Luis Prada
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Exoteric Biography of Luis Prada
Picture of Luis Prada taken on November 4th, 2002. Here he is in his study room from where the "Brother Veritus’ Website" originates.
First published on June 10, 2003. Original text.
"If you are sure of your faith, you will let others believe as they want. Insecurity cannot tolerate what is different."
—Anonymous Author. Original in Spanish, translation.
This biography consists of 18 chapters, every paragraph of each chapter is numbered for easy reference. Seventeen of those chapters describe my present life and Chapter 1, Introduction, is actually the last chapter, the grand finale, the wisdom I garnered as a result of living those seventeen chapters, from previous existences and from soul attunement. It reflects the evolving person I am today.
In the year 2002 a psychic and channel person told me that I was going to write a book in the year 2003 and that this book contained 18 chapters. I had the urge to write my autobiography, but just a small summery like a one page to post in my website, not a book, and I had the goal to make it early in the year but I postponed it for months. After I finally wrote the main core of this work, broke it into chapters, and continued adding material during the month of May, 2003, I counted the chapters, they turned out to be 18. Unbeknownst to me then and not connecting it with what the seer told me, the prophesy was fulfilled.
Illustrations are used here to enhance the text, they are not necessarily authentic scenes or places in Colombia, although they do have similarities. Illustrations of paragraphs 3.4.1to 3.4.8 and Gollum of paragraph 18.4.1 from the movie trilogy "The Lord of the Rings", based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece. Some figures are funny and that is intentional: I did not want to sound too serious, official and institutionalized here, which I have never been nor will. The rule in this literary work is that there is no rule, just flows. A serious person is missing the game. And life is just a game.
There is a poll at the end of the autobiography, after reading it, if you are interested in buying it as a printed book, then let us know.
All rights reserved. No part of this material should be published or distributed without prior written consent from the author. Quotations or small excerpts can only be used without permit.
Index of Chapters
Chapter 1. Introduction
1.1. This autobiography was intended for people interested in spiritual studies of the New Age and who read the Brother Veritus’ Website located atwww.luisprada.com. Anybody else, of course, may read it, but may not fully understand some clues, vocabulary, and concepts given here since it was not intended for the general public. Now, if you do not fully understand some of the terminology or need further clarification, look for the terms using the Brother Veritus’ Website search engine and the worldwide web.
1.2. One of the greatest tools for teaching is the use of life experiences as illustrations, another one is to use entertainment, fun and games, I have worked to merge both of them in this effort. Teaching with mental pontifications from a cozy chair is boring (I promise never write this kind of books). This is the value I see in this literary effort which is intended for teaching as is all the material you find in Brother Veritus’ Website. The biography is analyzed and dissected to use it asa learning tool. Who wants to read somebody else’s story unless there be something interesting or a message there? Celebrity biographies are read because people are attracted to these personalities for their talent and famous status which catches attention. My case is different, so I have to catch your attention in a different way, using some wit.
1.3.For a very long time I had kept my identity anonymous to create in the readers of my writings and of the Brother Veritus’ Website a focus on the message, not on the messenger and scribe. But over time many people asked the question: "Who is Luis Prada?" So, I decided to answer this question publishing this autobiography that will be expanded as time changes and more interesting things happen in my life. I thought my life had been very boring, not worthwhile of writing about, until I wrote this autobiography where I found it was not boring at all but it is all sprinkled with adventure as you will see. All lives are not boring, each has a lesson to teach and a theme to unroll.
1.4. Probably the only most boring and frustrating part of my life has been to work for the Corporate Beast and dealing with frustrations, pressure, politics, cancelled projects, lack of understanding and credit for my work, bureaucracy, paperwork, endless meetings, sittings in front of a computer and layoffs —more on this will be discussed later in Chapter 17, "Professional Life in the United States" . Engineering is fun, but unfortunately this is only a part of the reality and a small percentage of what you do in manufacturing companies —not in purely scientific firms, although, they have their own problems too.
Symbol of the Violet Flame
1.5. Writing some of these stories has been a bit painful, because they brought back to me forgotten and sad memories. One recall faithfully brought up with it the next one as in a line of little goblins holding their hands and being ready to be recognized, acknowledged and forgiven. It was a healing process. I forgive all persons, circumstances and places I interacted with and lived in and I transmute them with the power of the Violet Flame. They may go in peace now. I had to live this first part of my life the way it happened to allow me to grow spiritually and to develop the heart chakra —the center from which Love radiates and compassion flows— for even Greater Work to come during the Aquarian Age. The best is yet to come. The Age of Aquarius will be a time of abundance and you cannot receive abundance and understanding if your heart chakra is closed. I needed that link to Source that could not find with my heavily intellectually-oriented attitude, as you will see in this account. For me everything was the power of knowledge and the power of the mind, and even though I still appreciate knowledge, it was spiritual knowledge I was really thirsty for.
1.6. This is a historical recount from memory, as faithfully as I remember it, of just another human life with its ups and downs, rights and wrongs, strife and joy. Some of these events will serve you as inspiration to do even better in life, some others are not worth imitating. Take what is good for you and throw off the window the rest, like you would have never read it.
1.7. As you will see in some of my stories, at contact with me some people became irritated, as if I intentionally was trying to offend them. But I was not interested in irritating people but to honestly live my life authentically and with integrity without imitating anybody or following someone else’s script. In fact, most of my life I have lived detached from people and during school years I was a shy boy. I was just a mirror and a catalyst that reflected others’ imperfections and they irritated themselves when interacting with me because were unhappy of their imperfections and mistakenly judged me as the cause of their angry. They could not tolerate my accomplishments and savvy. It is a negative feeling of envy, resentment and victimizing some people have before the accomplishments and happiness of those around them. This negative feeling creates the reality they have manifested and that they blame on others without assuming responsibility for their acts. I have the feeling that even this biography may irritate some people that have never seen me or have interacted with me, simply because they disagree with the opinions expressed here or may feel envious of my humble accomplishments in life. But that is their problem as I just said. This quality of being a mirror for others is a human quality, everybody is a mirror for everybody else and what I said in this paragraph applies to you as well as to everyone else. Being aware of this truth brings so much comfort and support to those souls who have undergone similar tribulations I have.
1.8. This is the re-assessment of my life. I came to live in a family with psychological challenges to learn about human psychology so that I could help, with many other Lightworkers, Mother Earth in her transition —her prophesied destiny. It is also that I had to burn karma, an Alchemical process of purification through suffering as in the science of Alchemy the materia is subjected to fire in the crucible to get rid of the dross. And speaking of Karma, Earth civilizations are not evolving naturally in a geometrical pattern to the Light, instead they are caught up in a cycle of growth and destruction, so the final result is an average low. So with individuals, they are caught up, too, in this vicious cycle of repeating past mistakes in new lives as if running in circles on deep ruts.
1.9. As you read my autobiography you will notice that I have never held any high ranking professional position or just any management position where I had direct authority over others, or had upper social class influence and interaction, and yet, I have lived so far an interesting and intensive life. You do not have to be a President, a corporate CEO, a high ranking government official, a leading scientist or a member of world’s power elite to live a life that makes you grow. To me practical know-how, as in some common jobs and services, have great value in society too, if not, imagine a world without them. The hope of humanity is in its grass-root people, not in duplicitous and arrogant politicians and corporate moguls of the bureaucratic power structures, who have so much to risk to take any questionable stance in favor of a change in the status quo. My life, on the contrary, has an unconventional and common theme.
Sometimes is in ordinary lives where you actually are able to polish your rough spots. How come you may do that when you sleep on velvet cushions, and seep good wine while being pampered by maidens and waitresses?
1.10. Sometimes is in ordinary lives where you actually are able to polish your rough spots. How come you may do that when you sleep on velvet cushions, and seep good wine while being pampered by maidens and waitresses? Do not reject your life, it is better at this Change of Ages to have a life that teaches us more and helps us in our spiritual growth, than a life full of compromises, influence, prestige, recognition, keeping appearances and officialism. Because the corrupted power elite who did not act right when supposed to will be severely punished, they pleased the Beast and have its mark. And you do not want to be on the Heavenly Father’s left side in line with the Ignoble Liars. "The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes."[Benjamin Disraeli: Coningsby, 1844]. But not all high class people fall into this category, it is all related to inner intention, not only to external factors or appearances. Some of these high-class, high-status fine individuals are White Knights working forNESARA. However, enlightened rich are extremely rare, it is easier that a camel pass through a needle’s eye than a rich man enter the Kingdom of Heaven, as Master Jesus taught.
Each one of you have a deep-seated encoded or encrypted secret of who you are, if you find that secret you became really powerful or realize how much power resides in you waiting to be well used.
1.11. Each one of you have a deep-seated encoded or encrypted secret of who you are, if you find that secret you become really powerful or realize how much power resides in you waiting to be well used. Our mission is to find that unique secret and use it to the best to serve others. God created us to manifest that secret and find its place within the great puzzle of creation. Should each of us not be unique, there would have been no reason to make us, since we were redundant, a copy of somebody else. All my meandering in life has been to unravel that secret to myself and become a co-creator with God as is also your mission. You see, I tell you the story of my life or describe the path that is taking me to my Truth, but I cannot reveal to you this Truth, likewise, you have to find yours, and when you do, you cannot reveal it to others. That Truth will be your secret to keep and where all the answers you were looking for reside. And our unique Truth is our perfection, who we really are, our fixed-design, an absolute. Do not look for power in others, look for the power within yourself. The process of unraveling one’s mystery secret will lead one to a personal relationship with God and will reveal a personal interpretation or definition of who or what God is. I said, it’s a process, not an end.
1.12. This effort is not an ego trip, it was intended to help heal trauma in others who have undergone similar circumstances, because by them seeing pieces of their lives reflected here, their fears and conflicts get acknowledged and healed too as they were seen and acknowledged by me. My life acts as a medium, your stories are not the same as mine and yet they both have a commonality. Even a Chinese person of Mainland China, for instance, can related to these stories and associate places and circumstances here to similar ones in his or her beloved motherland, because we are all humans and, beyond physical appearances, driven by same basic motivations and emotional urges. This work has the blessing from Above.
If you bypass the rational mind and its complex verifications, and are willing to listen to your heart, it will tell you this story is true.
1.13. This is my story born of a past gone forever. People, facts, places, circumstances, even the same feelings in this saga, no longer exist today, like a strange dream that have never really happened, but that you only have a blurry memory of it as if artificially imprinted in your brain by a strange machine. You have to believe me or fake believe me because rationally you cannot fully verify if I am telling you the truth, or I made it up. You may verify few things, but that’s all. If you interview the protagonists they may not recall, or know, and they are now different people, with different ideals, as if they were not really the people described here. Even if you visit the same places, you will discover they are changed. Eventually all players are gone. And yet, this is the experience that has contributed to make the man I am today through personal growth. (I said contributed because this has not been my only life on this planet nor in the galaxy). If you bypass the rational mind and its complex verifications, and are willing to listen to your heart, it will tell you this story is true.
… what seems so important to you now will be just a foggy black and white memory, a simple dream, that no longer affects you because it has lost its grip on you, its energy —drawn from the players— is exhausted through living, and is turned into a fantasy in the mind.
1.14. Similarly it happens with your life, what seems so important to you now will be just a foggy black and white memory, a simple dream, that no longer affects you because it has lost its grip on you, its energy —drawn from the players— is exhausted through living, and is turned into a fantasy in the mind.
1.15. And yet I think this story, with all its anecdotes and drama, is still worthy of a Hollywood movie. You will be the judge. One thing I know for sure: You will never get bored reading my story, I guarantee it! Without any further perambulation, let’s go back in time and enjoy the show.
Chapter 2. The Birth
2.1.1. I was born in Colombia, South America, in the province of Santander, in a little town called Mogotes (072W58’00", 06N30’00") on April 5, 1951, around 9:00PM under the sign of Aries (Sun in Aries, Sun conjunct with Moon and Sun opposed to Neptune and triune with Pluto. Moon square with Uranus and opposing Neptune.) Having Neptune in Libra is an indication that I am not bound by tradition or personal ties of a domestic nature and open to others and the accounts that follow will testify of it.
2.1.2. Many things can be said about these zodiacal positions, nevertheless, I let them to astrologers. I can only say that having the Moon triune with Pluto has given me the natural psychological ability to work with the public and to handle emotional and personal issues of others "where angels fear to tread." Angels may touch these issues with a long stick, I do not need a stick, I approach people I have never known before, shake their hands and in some cases, if the situation is appropriate, I tell them what they need to hear. That is why I have talked on many issues covered in this Website without feeling afraid of ridicule, they have laughed a lot at me in the past, so one more time does not make a difference, I don’t care about it anyway. Whatever! Sometimes my family sees me talking to someone in a shopping center, for instance, they think this is a friend I have known for years for the way I address them and of what I am talking about, not knowing I just met the person a few minutes ago and some minutes later I may not see them again.
Mogotes was founded by the Spaniards and the Guanes Indians in 1703. View of the plaza in a market day.
2.1.3. Mogotes is a colonial town in the mountains of the Santander state (called in Colombia, Departamento de Santander). It is located on the Oriental Cordillera (Colombia has three major mountain ranges: The Oriental, the Central and the Occidental, all forming part of the Pacific Rim natural accident of the tectonic plate of the Pacific Basin pushing up the Continental Plate. The weather is similar to the weather of Bogotá City, the capital city of Colombia, or better called, Santa Fe de Bogotá,(53-63 deg F, 70-80% humidity). Life in that town has been peaceful because is not over the main road that connect Santander with Santa Fe de Bogotá.
2.1.4. I was born during one of the worst and most dangerous political periods of that nation’s history after its Independence, what was called "The Violence" (La Violencia). It started with the assassination in Bogotá of a Colombian popular leaderJorgeEliécer Gaitán, on April 9th, 1948. This event was known as the Bogotazo. Violence spread as a reaction throughout the nation converting it into a battlefield, with political persecution and strife between members of the two official political parties, Liberals and Conservatives. While the people were killing each other in the name of their parties, the political leaders of both parties were celebrating together in their private clubs. Does it sound familiar?
2.1.5. This violence reached Mogotes, with bloodshed and suffering. My father, who was not too inclined to politics and had friends on both sides, was spared. Today Mogotes is also suffering from guerrilla activities.
Chapter 3. Childhood in the Farm
3.1.1. I was named Luis Eduardo Prada Sánchez, Prada from my father andSánchez from my mother. Back in Colombia I was often called by this full name which I simply abbreviated as Luis Prada when I came to the United States. My close family calls me Eduardo instead.
3.1.2. My father’s name is Roque Julio Prada-Calderón (born in Mogotesin 1908) and my mother’s name, Blanca Sánchez de Prada (born in El Socorro, a nearby town, in 1911), when they met they were both living in the same town, Mogotes.
3.1.3. My mother lulled me in my swinging crib bed with Mexican rancheras sang off pitch. While cooking she sang loud those songs we heard from a battery-powered transistor radio hanging from a post at the front patio at 5AM while everybody was busy milking cows. For breakfast I handed an empty glass to a milking lady and she filled it with foamy and lukewarm milk directly from the cow’s udder.
3.1.4. In Santander there are many Pradas, I would say in the hundreds, if not in the thousands, you may judge that by looking at the telephone directory. Most Prada families in the United States came originally from the Santander province in Colombia.
The original owner of all these vast fertile lands was my paternal grandfather Aurelio Prada who looked white European of Spaniard descent.
3.2.1.I spent my first 6 years on the farm my father owned in the region known as San José Valley. The original owner of all these vast fertile lands was my paternal grandfather Aurelio Prada who looked white European of Spaniard descent. After his first wife passed away, my grandfather Aurelio married the farm’s cook, my paternal grandmother Nicanora Calderón, who was of Colombian nativeIndian stock. She was a sweet and caring woman who loved my mother. My mother’s family also looked mostly European white, they were of precarious means. By having American Indian blood I am a mestizo, a genetic that characterizes most Latin American Hispanic people. And thanks God for that, how ignorant are those of white skin who consider as "inferior" the Native American blood and genetics. I know better. Should their self-imposed veils were removed and truth of this mystery revealed to them, they would covet that blood even better than they coveted gold during the Gold Rush in California!
3.2.2. My grandfather was prosperous, "the rich man in town", so to speak, enjoyed drinking and singing and when he grew to an old age his children decided it was time to divide the farm so they would not end up losing their inheritance. So my grandfather parceled out the land to give it as inheritance to his children and my father had his share which was still very large.
3.2.3. My father became very prosperous there. He was always busy in new projects and running the farm affairs with lots of peons, some lived in hut houses near the main hacienda. He was brutal in punishing his children and harsh in his criticism. He never physically abused me as far as I remember, but did to my brothers. However, he offended me as a child with his uncaring comments and mental abuse. I was too small in the farm to work for him and my mother protected me. My father wanted, for instance, to wake up my sister Gloria Ligia and I early with the rest of the brothers, even if we could not help in anything, but my mother did not allow him to do so. She shouted: "Let the children sleep!" By the time I was old enough to help him we were living in the big city. My mother was the angel sent to me to protect me as a child against the Dark Forces. Over time my father’s temperament mellowed out.
3.2.4. At age 4 I ate super-hot pepper sauce my mother made with eggs, cilantro, tomato, salt and tiny red hot peppers she hand picked from bushes in front of the house. All these ingredients we had in the farm, chickens were running around the house and we knew where hens laid their eggs. In Colombia hot pepper is called ají [pronounced AH-HÉE], notchile as is called in Mexico. She made it really hot so people do not eat it fast and it would last longer for everybody. Jalapeño is not that hot compared to these little devil’s peppers my mother squeezed with a spoon on a plate to make hot sauce.
3.3.1. We had seven or eight hunting dogs, really nasty animals with unknown and unwanted visitors. I went to town for sometime and returned home. Mogotes was about two walking hours from the farm house and there was no car road. We had to pass on a creek near town and then go up the hill and down, up again and down to get there. I used to make that trip sometimes by myself. So it was at this time. I had a shining long snake keychain I was playing with, and was proud of having, as I was approaching the house. I coiled it over the index finger and then unwound it to do it again as I went along. Suddenly it slipped off my hand and fell in the bushes. I pass below the barb wired fence and searched for it. I never found it. The dogs heard me and came barking to inspect. I jumped on the road to surprise them and study their reactions, to see if they were to bite me since I was gone for so long —probably two days, I think. They stopped on their tracks as putting hot brakes on their paws and went silent for a moment and then they jumped on me licking my face and whole body. I was so happy with them.
I heard the sound of logging or harvesting from one mountain to the next with a long echo.
3.3.2. I was in contact with nature, the trilling birds, the singing creek, the rushing river which I bade even when swollen and dangerous, I climbed trees and picked up guavas that ate on the spot, I rode horses, even though, I admit, I was not really good at it, sometimes they galloped so fast and jolty that I lost the stirrups and looked like a clumsy bouncing potato sack. I rode mules, some were very tricky animals, they run for the barb fence to scratch your legs and applied on you a psychology missing in some humans I have known in my life —and people think they are stupid animals, ha! I rode donkeys which is easy but never on pigs as some of my brothers did. You jump on them and grab their ears. These animals ran fast and make such a squealing noise that pierces you ear drums.
3.3.3. I heard the sound of logging or harvesting from one mountain to the next with a long echo. I watched the cattle grazing on the distance and went with my younger brothers to bring it home for the afternoon sweet licking treat of panela, cane sweet,the one I will mention later,drink water and lick salt as food supplement. We also milked them then for home consumption. Some cows were so stubborn and tricky as some humans I know, or worse. They were in the bottom of the mountain, when we called them up, instead of gently come up the hill, they run under the forest to force one to go all the way down and bring them up. They know you want to spare the trip. And when you go down they look at you, turn around and start tamely climbing up. But, like people, not all are like that, some have understanding.
3.3.4. We rode horses on the mountains while singing Mexican rancheras at loud voice so our voices bounced from mountain to mountain. On torrential rains we sheltered under trees and big wild plants with huge leaves. We were not scare of animals or of the anticipation of snakes as the city people are. How many snakes have bit you or poisoned you in your life? If none, why are you scare of snakes, just because somebody told you so, or from an anticipation of danger that is only in your mind?
I loved to play with ducklings after they hatched, to me they are the most adorable animals I’ve ever seen.
3.3.5. After the rain the next day early in the morning we went to harvest wild mushrooms. We knew which ones were edible and safe to eat and collected them in a basket. They are found in clusters and some were as big as 5 inches in diameter.
3.3.6. I mentioned riding horses and also rain. The worst is the combination of both on the mountains. Steep-sloped Andean trails are sometimes covered with stone slabs placed there by farmers to prevent erosion and to protect them from wearing or are covered with rocks thrown in there by Nature, which present a perilous challenge to horse and mule. When you are mounting a horse and trekking on a descending steep slope, you basically lay your body down against the horse’ back, "standing" on the stirrupswhile with your left hand, for instance, holding the reins and with the right hand grab onto the saddle back ridge for stabilization and support, you are being tossed and jarred by the horse’ movements. You only see the horse’ ears, his head is near ground, you do not see the road ahead but the trees and the open landscape. The practical knowledge of the roads in raining conditions qualify these smart animals to make the right choices on how and where to position their hooves to prevent slippery, which sometimes occurs, and the beasts are quick to stoop and correct it. Here your life depends on an animal’s intelligence and its right choices. My father preferred mules to horses because, for these treacherous paths, mules were stronger, better adapted and less likely to sprain a hand leg. It is amazing to see the bony legs of these mules who have spent their entire lives doing heavy work: They are covered with a hard muscle with so much power to carry men and burden, like truetransportation machines!
3.3.7. I loved to play with ducklings after they hatched, to me they are the most adorable animals I’ve ever seen. I grabbed them and caressed them, same I did with chicken, although I loved ducks better. Even I grabbed mama duck and seized beak and head and played rough with her while quacking loud, I mean the duck, not me!
3.3.8. I played with ants engaging them in real pitched battles worthy of an epic saga for a movie. I chose big ants of a different family, like red and black ants who were diligently going about doing their business of collecting leaf cuttings and running on an fallen aging tree trunk. I started by taking, let’s say, a red ant and placing it on the route of the black ants and so I did until they got so annoyed that they went to attack the other ants on their tracks causing spectacular battles that lasted for hours, you see, you don’t need a dumb TV tube for entertainment. Nature provides it and it’s free. Today I do not recommend to play with ants as I did as a peasant kid. Just observe them and study their behavior.
3.3.9. We ate honey from wild bees, we broke the honeycomb and put chunks of it in our mouths and chewed the wax until the honey was gone.
3.3.10. We had a turkey of bad temper that did not like me. You see? Even turkeys have feelings! I have met in my life human "turkeys" as tricky and insidious as this one as you will see later on, probably he was an anticipation of what I had ahead. He did not attack Mom but when I was alone he charged me. He left his females turkey friends and found instead a better entertainment to run down the hill to peck on me. It was a real nuisance to me. However, he never caught me because I rushed so fast to shelter behind my Mom’s long skirt. In my life I always like to fly with eagles, however, I have ended walking with turkeys!
…crying women attracted to bodies of water (Las Lloronas, The Crying Ones), who were also known as men seductresses in long, white gauzy gowns.
3.4.1. In the evening, after dinner, we sat with the peons facing the main patio and near the kitchen and they played Mexican corridos and Colombian Bambucos, the typical Colombian folk songs of the country’s interior.
3.4.2. Then storytelling time came. In the cool night, these humble and ignorant people looked up to the mountain tops and bewitched by their mysterious and luring dark blue silhouettes, still visible before night painted them all with black, spoke of enchanted lakes beyond those tops where swam enchanted ducks, geese and swans. The spooky stories continued with spectral apparitions, nightly ghosts and creatures, and LasLloronas(The Crying Ones), they were something weird as you will know.
3.4.3. Las Lloronas were wailing women attracted to bodies of water, where they could be seen at night taking a bath or wading a river or lake and noisily splashing water. They were also known as men seductresses in long, white gauzy gowns. These sad women were crying the loss of a lover who went to far away lands to never return, or the loss of a child they aborted to hide their "sin", and the sadness of their experience or the deep guilt made them lose their minds. This legendary character is present in folklore in Mexico, Central and South America, in countries that were originally poorly connected by roads and communications during the XIX century and early, it probably originated in Spain as most of these myths of the mischievous goblins or elves of Spanish heritage.
3.4.4. The peons talked about the haunting souls or the animas in penitence, and their long midnight processions with candles, carrying on the front, on a stretcher, an ailing and wailing person down the mountain slopes. Curiously these ghosts and creepy-crawling creatures, fascinated with the night, mysteriously animated into action at midnight as the clock struck twelve.
3.4.5. How about the Mancarita, this most insidious female creature that roamed country roads at night scaring men and horses in her long never-ending pilgrimage. Was she a demon or beast? Did she fly? Was she the mother or grandmother of the Chupacabras? I don’t know and probably never will.
The spooky stories continued with spectral apparitions, nightly ghosts and creatures…
3.4.6. And the nightly spooky lights that were seen going down the trails of mountain slopes. When you said: "See that light, there it goes", then the light came to you transformed into a flying skull, but the trick was to say: "See that light, there it comes", then the light fled away from you. What a trick to know! You had to know the proper passwords to deal with these things! But the people from the region knew them, it was part of the popular savvy.
3.4.7. And there was something magical about the Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Somebody, for instance, entered a cave opened as a dimensional portal on Good Friday as the Church bell tolled three, announcing the dead of Christ, and found a gold treasure but on Resurrection Sunday, as the church bell tolled again, the cave entrance closed leaving him trapped, since he, greedily busy with the treasure, did not leave on time. This poor guy had to wait for another year, if still alive. It was something like that, I do not remember details.
3.4.8. As I said before, thesepopular legends and stories, full of imaginationand superstition, came down from generation to generation and are part of popular beliefs, that, in those days of my childhood, were my beliefs. I did not know "Little Red Riding Hood" yet, which I learned in elemental school. After listening to these creepy bedtime stories, we, little children, afraid of the dark, headed for bed lit by a trembling candlelight.
In the cool night, these humble and ignorant people looked up to the mountain tops and bewitched by their mysterious and luring dark blue silhouettes, still visible before night painted them all with black, spoke of enchanted lakes beyond those tops where swam enchanted ducks, geese and swans.
The San José Valley was a vast farm of rich soil with cool weather and rainy seasons.
3.5.1. The San José Valley was a paradisiacal vast farm of rich soil with cool weather and rainy seasons. It had pastures for livestock and we had various brands of cattle mainly for milk. It was basically a dairy farm where we made cottage cheese. We had yucca, guava, cocoa, cane and coffee plantations, all exploited to sell the farm produce in Mogotes on weekends. Speaking of Paradise in other places,bah!, but if it is in Mogotes, where else! Let’s not its funny name deter you from reaching there.
3.5.2. During the cane harvest season, there called la molienda (the grinding); cane was cut and grinded with big wooden horizontal drums that were almost touching each other and were moved by man muscle power (mules were also used to provide the power but not in our farm, today all these grinding operations in similar farms are done using electrical-powered machinery.) The cane sticks were placed between the moving drums that squeezed them extracting the juice and leaving the waste pulp on the other side. It was a 24-hour operation that lasted several days. The cane sweet was a frothy, golden colored fluid, we used to drink it from the collecting tank. Then the sweet juice was cooked and made into panela (rectangular blocks) for storing and selling. It was a coarse and dark sweet without refinement that was loaded on mules and donkeys and sold in town at lower price than its equivalent, the more-refined and golden-looking cane sweet.
3.5.3. Coffee was hand picked, peeled in grinding machines, washed, and dried on big cement patios, then packed in sacks and sold in town. Our coffee did not meet the strict requirements for exportationof the Colombian Federation of Coffee Growers, it was sold only locally. In spite of that, even the worst crappy coffee batch from our farm, as when it did not receive enough sun and was stored humid turning moldy, stilled tasted better than the tasteless one I have drank sometimes in the United Stated, so-called "Colombian" coffee. I don’t drink coffee much today. Tinto is a word applicable to red wine, but in Colombia that word is also used to designate a concentrated black coffee served in small cups. You slowly sip tinto while engaged in a family conversation or in a café discussion on how to fix the country’s problems. It’s a cheap way to enjoy quality time with friends.
3.5.4 We also had a guava sweet factory in town, in our house, where we produced the guava candy bars and the guava jelly in round package to be distributed to local stores. My brothers and sisters worked on packaging chores after school hours wrapping candies in dried beige plantain leaves and packing them in wooden boxes. We had labor workers who cooked and beat the guava juice in big cauldrons. I was too small to help in the farm or in the candy business, and in the town home I walked barefooted and my soles were always sticky with guava candy. We became so tired of the smell and taste of guava that it took us about 15 years after we did not have this business any longer to tolerate and even enjoy the taste of guava candy again.
3.5.5. I did not contribute work in the farm nor the candy factory, as mentioned before, but only witnessed their operations. I mostly played with my little sister Gloria Ligia. Having an active imagination as a little child I imagined owning a big cattle herd which, in reality, was a bunch of tree twigs that at the base, that connects to the tree, had the shape of a cow head with its horns.
3.5.6. I loved to go to town on weekends with the family and attend church and to stroll around the busy marketplace in Mogotes’ plaza, full of busy merchants selling produce on the floor and peasants and farm owners buying rice, sugarand grain in sacks to take them to the farm. It was, as it is today, a serious business, so I saw it back then.
Chapter 4. Childhood in the "Big" City, Grammar Years
4.1.1. After selling the San José farm and the house in Mogotes, in early 1956 we translating to Bucaramanga, the state capital city, a city located about six hours from Mogotes through winding roads on the mountains. Bucaramanga is a city of mild climate and beautiful parks, it is called the City of Parks because it has so many, also the Pretty City because of the general care of its avenues, public places and parks with good city planning. My father purchased a farm in a very hot, humid and mosquito-infested area, full of malaria, by the railroad line. Coming from a cool weather in the mountains he could not tolerate the weather of these low lands, he sold it, lost money in the selling, and bought another close to Rionegro, a town about two hours from Bucaramanga and continued his farm business but not as successfully as he was in the past.
4.1.2. The trip to Bucaramanga was something worth narrating with a funny episode. Family and friends thought we were crazy to venture going to a big city, it was risky, dangerous, uncertain. But we were determined to leave town. The packing and truck loading started early in the evening. It took many hours and we started the trip like a 2 or 3AM. Only my Mom and my sisterInés went on the front seat with the truck driver, the rest accommodated on our belongings on the truck bed. I was dressed with clean dark pants and white shirt, for the city, of course! I cuddled myself between two dogs feeling cozy and went to sleep for the whole trip.
|Bucaramanga’s Cathedral of the Sacred Family. It faces the Santander Park.|
4.1.3. Next day I woke up and heard voices coming from the outside. The truck was not moving anymore. I checked between the railing wooden boards and saw a city street and my sister opening the front door of the house. I felt wet, so I checked my pants and found the dogs had peed on me. So the moral of the story is: Don’t sleep with dogs or you may get pissed.
4.1.4. We were very hungry from that trip. We inspected the house and in the back solar patio my mother saw plants she recognized as food we ate sometimes in the farm. She went and cut them and made a soup for the family.
4.2.1. I was born left handed, the only one in the family, but forced to write with my right hand. In my first grammar year I thought my left hand was more intelligent than my right one, that was why I could write easier with my left hand and so I told my teacher. For several years I had a hard time to write with my right hand and that affected my proficiency in grammar school since in those days most of the class was spent in dictation and writing. Today I am ambidextrous.
4.3.1. This next story I have for you is worth a prize in heaven. I was then 7 years old and in my first grammar year. My sisters were attractive and several suitors visited them. One such was one evening in our living room asking my oldest sisterInés to go out with him. She was not interested in him and wanted to get rid of him, She said to him she was not feeling well, he asked if she may go with her brother Hernando as a chaperon. She lied again saying Hernando was also not feeling well, "he had a cold." I overheard her arguing and felt upset for those blatant lies, since I knew nobody was sick at home. So I waited and when she left the room, probably to bring him a drink, I stood at the door threshold and told him clearly: "Nobody is sick here. She’s just lying on you because she doesn’t want to go out with you." I was aware of the repercussions for my action since even at that age I knew my people well. At that tender age my world was my home, that was my reference, so going against my oldest sister and a family provider was literally like going against my, back then, known world.
4.3.2. When Inés was coming back to the room she overheard what I had just said and saw the irritated face of the suitor. She considered that action of me as an invasion of her privacy and minding her own affairs. Being basically the head of the family, she could not accept that this little boy had any authority whatsoever over her affairs. She just was paled and speechless. The man stood up right away and coldly said good by and left. This was just the beginning because for me turned into a nightmare that followed me for months. My four older sisters aligned on Inés‘ side as was expected, fearing I may do the same on them. For months they called me names, did not talk to me making me really feel rejected. My youngest sister, Gloria Ligia, the "baby", was too young to know what was going on. My brothers, as usual, did not take sides and the small ones just were happy they were not the ones in trouble.
4.3.3. How wonderful the mind of a child is to cut through the mess adults create in their minds! I was right in what I said and for speaking the truth I paid a price, no different as it is today. Did I regret it? No, I didn’t. Well, everything eventually passes away and people forget the whole thing, they were not going to kill me for that, no big deal. So the question for you is: Given similar circumstances, would you do the same?
4.4.1. In the first day of February of 1956 I attended my first year in public elemental school in the school where I later attended some other grammar years. It was an school introductory day to inform us about school rules and other general information. Also to check on students. When the teacher was calling the roll and called my name in the confusion of so many students moving around, the noise coming from the outside, and my little body, I said: "Sí, Señorita", which means, "Yea, Miss." The teacher did not heard this and continued calling me. I shouted: "Here I am, Señorita,here I am, Señorita". Finally she saw me raising my hand. She called me to the front and asked me for my age, I was not seven yet, shy of little over two months. She did not allowed me to attend school. My older sisters paid in a private school to have me attend school that year.
4.4.2 One day when I was in class I could not speak, I was not sick. I tried to speak but no voice came out of my mouth. In my desperation I went to the teacher and whispered to her my problem. She sent me home. When I was entering home my speech came back. That day I stayed home.
4.4.3. I was a shy kid in that school and felt quite alienated.
4.4.4. During my grammar years I was of small and skinny body, and freckled and pale face. Kids laughed at me because of my freckles.
4.4.5. In my second grade I became very sick around April, I could not attend school. I lost two months laying in bed sometimes with fever. I remember one time I woke up around 3:00PM and had the sensation of the room’s door constantly moving away from me, in reality it was not moving, I was in delirium. I went out and stepped on the patio in front of the kitchen and asked my mother why all the faucets and the shower were fully opened. I heard loud sounds of running water. My mother told me that no valve was open. Later I recovered from this illness and was able to return to school. It took me several months to come up to speed with the rest of the class. The teacher, so kind, was taking notes in my notebooks for me while I was at home in bed.
4.4.6. During those days there was an American program "Caritas" that distributed powdered milk, yellow cheese and flour to developing countries (called underdeveloped countries back then.) At school teachers diluted the milk and gave us milk (they asked us to bring a glass from home.) They also gave us cheese. The program did not last for more than 5 years. Unfortunately, corrupted politicians sold the flour instead which as intended to be donated to poor people. My mother liked this flour, but we had to buy it in the marketplace.
4.5.1. Another interesting incident of my life happened when I was in my second year of elemental school. I was initially selected to play Saint Peter during a holy week school play "because of my look", but rejected later because my shoes were so torn down that they showed my toes and I did not have a replacement pair.
4.5.2. But I obtained scholarships and loans through proper qualifications and passing the required examinations and was able with these monies to study and buy my own clothes (and shoes) during Junior High all the way to the university.
4.5.3. As a child I was poor because of lack of economical support from my father, even though he had means. My father slowly turned into a poor family provider, brought less and less produce and milk from the farm and grew embittered and disappointed with his children, always complaining that yet with such a large family nobody wanted to help him in the farm, and instead, they all wanted to study to become "doctors", and that my mother was not living with him but was living with his children in Bucaramanga. She had to, to support the family, cook and attend our needs while we studied. He felt left alone and he grew estranged to his children and wife. He chose the farm’s cook lady, Eva, as his permanent partner with whom he lived to an old age. This lady was a widow loaded with children of her own and poor, my father’s money started disappearing over the years. He ended up having a small convenience store, two cheap houses and eventually, in his old age, nothing. He never bought a house for his family —which he always considered a bad investment— and we had to go renting from place to place, with no stable residence.
4.5.4. My mother grew tired of my father’s infidelities, his drinking habits and the physical abuses she suffered from him —she was a battered woman throughout her marriage, who never admitted it publicly to maintain my father’s good image.
4.5.5. On one occasion, when I was 8 years old, I asked my mother for money to buy a pencil and a notebook to replace the existing ones. My mother knew my father was reading the newspaper in the dining room. She asked me to ask my father for money for that. So I went to him. I asked him once, he faked not to hear me, then I repeated it, he turned to me and said: "I don’t want my children to become doctors." And continued reading the newspaper. My father never supported my education, but later in life when I had succeeded as an electrical engineer and was married and had a baby, a house and a car after five years of work, during a visit he felt very proud of me, took the baby in his arms and treated him the way he supposed to have treated me at that age. He never took me in his arms as far a I remember and was very harsh in his remarks and teaching when he asked me to help him with something. Yet, when I lived in Colombia I regularly visited him and later on, in his old age, I was there to give him money and support when I went back to Colombia and visited him.
4.6.1. As a child I always carried pencil and paper and was making drawing perfecting my craft as an amateur artist. I did many black and white drawings that over the years I gave away or lost. I wanted at that time to become a professional artist.
4.6.2. I sang ballads, Mexican rancheras and corridos in grammar school and loved poetry. I was able to memorize very long poems and recite them for all the students during especial celebrations and to entertain guests at home.
4.6.3. One poem I learned to perform well when I was 8 was "El Brindis del Bohemio" ("The Bohemian’s Toast") which I enacted as I recited it. I also recited "El Gato Bandido" (The Bandit Cat) and "El Renacuajo Paseador" (The Walking Tadpole), two famous Colombian poems for children written by Rafael Pombo (1883-1912), a Colombian poet who loved to write funny poems mainly for kids. The first poem describes the life adventures and moral lessons of a mischievous cat who wanted to turn into a bandit and after his failed ambushes he returns home, sick and contrite, and asked Mom: "Mama, you’ll see, never more will I be bad, Oh Mommy!, hit me with a stick, but give me something to eat!" The second one describes the adventures of a disobedient tadpole who went on a spree and ends up in the belly of a gluttonous duck. Any parallel with some people is pure coincidence!
4.6.4. There is a Pombo’s poem I also knew that is worth bringing here at this end times (2003). It is called "ElGatoGuardián" (The Guardian Cat). Here it goes:
El Gato Guardián
The Guardian Cat
|A Poem by Rafael Pombo, translation to English by Luis Prada|
| Un campesino que en su alacena
guardaba un queso de Nochebuena,
oyó un ruidito ratoncillesco
por los contornos de su refresco.
Y pronto, pronto, como hombre listo
que nadie pesca de desprovisto,
trájose al gato, para que en vela
le hiciese al pillo la centinela.
E hízola el gato con tal suceso,
que ambos marcharon: ratón y queso.
Gobierno dignos y timoratos,
| A peasant that in his pantry
kept a cheese from Christmas,
heard a little mousy noise
by the periphery of his refreshment.
And soon, soon, as a ready man
whom nobody catches lacking,
brought the cat, so that in vigil
did on the scoundrel the sentinel.
And did it the cat with such success,
that both were gone: mouse and cheese.
Worthy and prudish governments,
4.6.5. As far as I know the Colombian governments have been so corrupted because of too good a resources cheese and too many a greedy cat! I understand better now what Pombo meant, I did not as a child when I recited this poem.
4.6.6. I still sing Mexican rancheras, which I love, and may even challenge a Mexican-born person to a ranchera-singing duel. ¡Sí, Señor!
4.7.1. To the city of Bucaramanga came a couple of roaming psychic stage performers who did acts of levitation, hypnotism, clairvoyance, telepathy and mind control. The main mentalist was probably in his early forties and the young one in his mid twenties. They had presentations of their skills in a public theater. Their levitation seemed real because they did it with the young mentalist in trance flying among the audience at about three to five feet from the floor, with no strings attached. I saw black and white enlarged photographs of this levitation demonstration where people were startled look down at the person levitating face up in horizontal position, but I never personally witnessed this act. They also visited schools and made demonstrations of psychic powers. This most intriguing couple came to my school in second grade.
4.7.2. Teachers asked us to leave our rooms and make a circle at the formation patio and the mentalists went to the center of it. They did their favorite act which was to hypnotize the receptive or receiver man, the young man. He was then blindfold with a black thick fabric, and then the transmitter, with closed eyes, gave him mental commands to go and do things around the school, like bring something or to place the tip of a knife on the center of a cross the main mentalist had drawn on a wall as the other was blindfolded, or to do something else. The hypnotized one walked as an automaton and never missed a step or tumbled. Next the main mentalist asked the audience for personal things and the hypnotized gave the name of each owner.
4.7.3. Finally the telepath looked at me and asked me if he could borrow my notebook. On the first page this notebook had the school name, the subject name and my name underneath. It had a protective colored-plastic cover over its opaque thick-paper cover. My name was not on the cover. Since I was next to him I checked all his movements for any trick or sleight of hands. He did not open it, placed it in front f him on the palm of one hand and placed the other palm over it. Then he closed his eyes, concentrated and transmitted mentally my full name to the receiver who still blindfolded and in trance was about ten feet away. The receiver pronounced my full name, first, middle and the two last names. It was something really surprising to me. Other kids probably thought I was in agreement with the telepath and did not get so impressed, but for me that was a personal message, to know that there are other unseeing forces beyond perception. When the act was over, the blindfolding was removed, the receiver was brought back to full consciousness. I remember that his eyes were red as congested by the mental concentration.
4.7.4. Later, when I was in my fifth grade in the other school I will talk about later, these mentalists came to that school and performed similar psychic feats, except that this time the placing of the knife tip on the cross center was more challenging and impressive: Since this school was bigger and the formation patio was large, without cement, the receiver had to climb down the stairs, and then walking the open patio until finally find the cross which was drawn at a far wall next to the corner. We all held our breath and were anxious to see if he was able to do it. He climbed down the stairs, walked on the patio and, as he walked, he was being directed or mind controlled, because he hesitated, stopped and made direction corrections until he was able to do it and with perfect accuracy. Everybody was smiling and happy for him. I never saw these persons anymore, but with their acts they started to unfold in me curiosity and interest in the unseen world.
4.8.1. I was asked to repeat my third year of elemental school because I flunked Math. My elder sisters did not allow me to present a rehabilitation exam, since they considered this subject so important that I should take it again. Should I not repeat that year I were not able to meet my friends later on and my life would had been different. And what a friends I had, you will see that later on.
4.9.1. From second to fourth grade I studied in the República del Perú School, (Peruvian Republic School). I don’t have any clue why this school was named after another country. In the same school my sister Elisa taught second grade. At school I had friends and foes. A classmate who really hated me but who followed me obsessively was a child whose last name was Muñiz. He was an insidious, cunning, crafty individual, typical representative of those people psychically controlled by Dark Forces, as zombies. I complained in various occasions to Elisa but she said I should learn to solve my own problems without involving her, in that way I would grow more "macho." So she, having authority in the school, refused to use it to help me. My school recesses became nightmarish since I knew Muñiz.
4.9.2. Nevertheless, my brothers Alcides, Alvaro and Abdel were in the same school. Abdel, my next older brother, did not care for me, he never did. Alcides was in his fifth year when I was in my second year, for him the last one on that school. Alcides was and is a gentle, quiet, little-shy individual, of practical thinking, not inclined to theoretical studies and was not that social or had few friends. He stammered when speaking and used few direct words, just what’s necessary. He was tall —the tallest of the family—, handsome, of dark complexion, and very strong. He followed Mosaic Law, "you don’t mess with me or I punch you face", plain and simple. Classmates knew and respected him, he was left alone. However, when I had these disturbing people around me I looked for Alcides. He heard my complains, believed me, got offended too, and asked me to show him the troublemaker, he then went to him and punished him on the spot or scolded him for the first time, the second time was the real penitence. And who wanted to fight with this hulk? I had this guardian angel on my side and I was safe.
4.9.3. I remember that Alcides walked with long strides, so fast, for lunch than we could not cope with his swift and long steps, when we arrived home he was already at the table, we feared he would eat our food share. He ate a lot!
4.9.4. But Alcides left school and I was left on my own for the next years. My foes knew it and knew I had no support from my sister. When trouble started on my third year I went to Alvaro, he was an astute and mental man, unlike Alcides, and commanded a different authority, and yet, he supported me. He stirred me, instead, into fight. And so in one occasion I fought Muñiz. We got engaged in a tremendous box fighting that drew all students to the center patio. We were supplying free entertainment for them so they shouted encouraging us to continue and pushed us as if we were fighting cocks. The teachers came out to see what was going on and, to their surprise, saw me, the teacher’s quiet brother doing it. I was not just the teacher’s brother, but known since I provided entertainment for the school as singer and poetry reciter. My sister was notified and everything was cooled down with some scolds because of my sister status at school.
In big families there are internal strife, politics, alliances, favoritism and so on, the same as in a country.
4.10.1. I became so upset with Elisa for her lack of support at school that on one occasion I complained to her for her behavior, rebelled and fought her, she was too tall for me, so I was punching her on her legs. Elisa got very offended, being as she was, a family authority, a sensitive pretty girl who was a poetess, well loved by her brothers and sisters, and a teacher at my school. She told everybody what happened and my four older sisters again, as in a previous incident, got equally offended and did not want to talk to me for months. They didn’t care about my version. Some of my brothers seemed neutral about it, others didn’t care, whatever! My younger brothers just saw that this time they were not the ones in trouble but me. In big families there are internal strife, politics, alliances, favoritism and so on, the same as in a country.
4.10.2. Some years later Elisa moved to a rural town, Suaita, to work as a teacher. There she was elected Beauty Queen for the town festivities. In that town she found the love of her life —a wealthy owner of an hacienda, Gerardo Santamaría— and married him in December of 1962. They loved each other dearly. She died in a bus accident in April of 1963, when all four people by the bus widow died from the bus impact with a truck. She was coming to spend the holy week with the family. She had only two months of marriage and was pregnant. When her corpse was retrieved and placed on our living room floor, I sat by her dead body and prayed to her forgiveness for what had happened some years back. I feared then that she, now free of her body, may haunt me at night, in revenge.
4.11.1. At young age I was pretty much inclined to spiritual and religion. At age seven decided to attend church Mass every day before going to school, partake of daily communion and have confession on Saturdays. I also decided on my own to add a prayer every night for each wish I wanted to have fulfilled. Over time the prayers accumulated to near eighty. I knelt down on my bed by one-of-my-brother’s side, since I shared the same bed with him, and mentally prayed. By the time I was in my forty prayer or so, I was so sleepy that I started to cut corners, so to speak, on each prayer, I started it and then cut the center part and finished it fine, and so I did with the next one, finally the last ones were actually prayed at the borderline state between sleep and awake with my head almost touching the pillow.
4.12.1. My father sometimes visited the family in Bucaramanga bringing milk and some farm produce. When he was near to leave for the farm on Sunday afternoon, he wanted one of his young sons would go with him to the farm missing some days of school. He barely gave us money for the trip back in the train when he had the farm by the railroad or for the bus when he had the Rionegro farm. I refused to make that trip, so I left home and returned late when I knew he had already left. My sisters told me that my father was upset looking for me all over the place and waited for me until he had to leave. And so the story repeated itself again for the next visit.
Oh no, fundamentalism is not just in religion, I have found it in so-called mystery and occult schools, too, and in other philosophies. It is a cocky way of thinking, "We are the Only Ones who know the Truth and we do not accept any other thinking but what we teach."
4.12.2. Finally my parents separated in 1963 when I was 12 years old. They never divorced. I grew up with no paternal influence and with a mother that only had two years of grammar school. That gave me the opportunity to be on my own and to choose my own belief system independent of other’s opinion. I’m glad for that, that’s why I am not fundamentalist. Oh no, fundamentalism is not just in religion, I have found it in so-called mystery and occult schools, too, and in other philosophies. It is a cocky way of thinking, "We are the Only Ones who know the Truth and we do not accept any other thinking but what we teach."
4.13.1. Mother worked very hard to support such a large family mostly on her own. She offered room and board for university students since we lived near the university. She cooked big pots of meals for so many people and made tamales to sell them in local convenience stores. She made also curd, cottage cheese, and fine cheese to sell from home to home and for home consumption. At times she baked her own bread. She was very astute when buying groceries and managed to buy second rate fruits and tomatoes for cheaper price to stretch the family’s meager budget.
4.13.2. Because we sub rented some rooms of the rented house, several brothers and sisters had to sleep in the same room and to share the same bed. I, being the smallest lad, slept with another brother until finally the older ones started to move out of the home to pursue their own interests and to start their own families and the remainder had more room.
4.13.3. When living in Bucaramanga we were also economically supported by our oldest sister,Inés and, later on, in the late sixties and early seventies, by my brother Hernando, who was working as a mechanical engineer in Venezuela, he sent us bolivars when that currency was stronger than the Colombian pesos.
4.14.1. At near age 10 my oldest sister Inés decided that I was being brought up with too much pampering since I was the "baby" for the rest of brethren and a child of great sensibility —which was not really true, I had a rough relationship with my brothers and some fights, they were different than me, that’s why I had my own friends I hanged around with. She also said I should study with male teachers in a place where we had more discipline, not with those female teachers in our nearby grammar school in the San Francisco neighborhood —which, again, was not true either, I also had fights with classmates during recess time and some teachers were tough, all carried a disciplinary ruler and were ready to spank you with it at the least provocation. She registered me in a disciplinary school (Escuela Camacho Carreño) which was about six to seven miles away from home. I had to walk since there was no money to pay for public transportation. I was the only child who attended that school, so far away, the other younger brothers and sisters studied grammar school near home —with exception of the elder brothers and sisters who studied grammar and part of secondary school in Mogotes and other places away from home. I complained to no avail.
4.14.2. In those days teachers and parents thought that to learn you need physical punishment. It was done on them, so you should have it too. There was a saying in Spanish they always reminded you: "La letra con sangre entra", which means: "The letters enter in you with blood." That was the cultural paradigm of the time. Another one was that schools —except universities— were segregated by gender. In one occasion we have a "distinguished" visitor from the infamous Escuela Camacho Carreño. His first name was Secundino. He was visiting our school and probably brainwashing our female teachers to become even nastier with students because he was know as a disciplinarian of the worst. And it happened that that day one student stole something from other who complained to his teacher.
4.14.3. He asked all students to leave the classrooms and to form in the patio, and then he spanked us with his ruler which he always carried with him. It was a custom design with two flexible thin rulers fastened to each other but still independent with drilled holes on it so the air would not cushion it as it swung down on your extended hand. Because of this design when it hit you it does it with double momentum. When he slammed it on one’s hand he requested the other to do the same. The hands turned swollen and red immediately and children cried which only served to stir in him more aggression.
4.14.4. We were all punished several times until the witnesses or the one who did it confessed. It was typical of schools to unjustly punish everybody for the sins of few. The worst part of the story is that Secundino was working in the school I was later to join. I received physical punishment when I did not have my homework done or did not give the right answer in class.
4.15.1. A Poster Boy for Malnutrition. I have been of slender complexion all my life, independent of how much I eat, I do not gain any weight. But as a child I was skinny. I remember I saw a picture of a starving boy in shorts, with no shirt, at the marketplace: He looked as a Biafra’s starving child. When I went home, I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror in underwear. To me, I just looked like the poster’s child. This poster was a commercial for a flour with vitamins and supplements. I asked my mother to buy it, and she started doing it. I continued being skinny, the soup did not do the miracle. My face, on the contrary, had fatty cheeks. The lady of a convenience store near home saw me over the counter and called me "gordito", which means, "little fatty boy." She did not see the whole picture. Those cheeks were gone long ago.
4.15.2. At home my sisters were in charge of house cleaning and floor mopping. I had my home chores, too. My first home chore was to go with Mom to the marketplace and help her with the carrying of food baskets and guard them when full in some place to spare the effort of carrying them around while shopping. My mother always "paid" me for helping her by taken me at the end to a treat of a fruit and milk juice, which was prepared at the juice shop in the center of the market. This public market (Plaza de San Francisco), as well as others around the city, had a variety of merchants, grouped by specialty, that paid taxes to the city that owns the public marketplace, and displayed produce on the floor or in their own display counters.
4.15.3. I did that activity with Mom since I was 7. I remember as a child seeing a "blind" beggar at the marketplace. One day while guarding our food baskets next to the so-called beggar, when nobody was around but him and me, he removed his dark glasses and started to dance before me. What a liar!
"Lo que la amargan son sus culpas"
4.15.4. I also made the juice at home. My mother bought second-rate fruits, I had to wash them thoroughly and then remove the bad parts. I did the juice in the blender with milk. The foamy juice had always good friends and rarely a complain, they did not see how it came to be, neither did I reveal the secret. And if a sister ever complained that "today’s juice tastes a little bitter", my mother retorted: "Lo que la amargan son sus culpas",which means, "What embitters you are your faults." And with this sharp remark the case was closed. When you have a big family to feed —and that is expensive—, and your job all day long is cooking, you do not have time for fussing.
4.15.5. I also grinded corn in our grinding machine, manually operated by a crank. We used this flour for the corn soup —a corn soup with a weird and funny name, "mazamorra"— and for the thick tortillas —about half an inch thick— called in Colombia and Venezuela, arepas, arepa is the singular. My mother amassed the dough with grinded fried pig’s skins (that we called chicharrones,chicharrón is the singular.) Then she added other ingredients like butter. In some parts of Colombia, as is in Venezuela, the arepa is white, of peeled corn, and of about 4" in diameter. The arepas done at home were of unpeeled corn and about 10" in diameter that we cut in pieces like a pie. My mother always liked to good season the meals and stretched her budget to buy species. She was a good and creative cook that could make a meal with almost any edible thing she had at hand.
4.15.6. Grinding was not just helping mama with her cooking, but was an opportunity to exercise and to get muscle strength, sometimes I grinded for 1 or 2 hours, I rather did all the corn grinding at one time on Saturday and stored the flour than to do it every day. Like the mind power, the body muscle development should be done at an early age, then the rest of your life you just maintain that foundation. When all my younger brothers lived at home, others helped. Later in life, I did this by myself. Older brothers did not do this, they considered themselves of higher status, you know, "big brother."
4.15.7. My father brought cans of milk from the farm, my mother made cheese for home consumption and made extras to give some financial help to my older brothers. Some of this cheese was distributed between my brothers Hernando and Roque. They were self-conscious and did not like to go soliciting or peddling from home to home, but they did want the money, so they asked the younger brothers to do this selling business for them. I do not remember getting any money from them for this. We had to do it after school. I remember going from home to home, knocking at the door and calling in loud, "Buy cheese?" I had a problem, though. I knew the concept and the words sell and buy but had a hard time to distinguish which word is used for what. I had to think twice. In one occasion I made a mistake, I said, "Sell cheese?" The people of the home came out and saw me holding a tray full of fatty home-made cheese. They gave me a lesson. One said, "You should say, ‘Buy cheese’, not, ‘sell cheese.’ That day I made a good deal, anyway. My brother Roque was following me and he laughed at my confusion. My brothers sent me to the store near our home to buy things for them as a courier. It was not fair that my older brothers took advantage of their younger brothers.
Here is the prophesy: Before the year 2012 all corrupted politicians on planet Earth will be removed from power and judged. It will start in the United States and Canada and then spread throughout the rest of the countries. All unconstitutional laws will be banned from the planet.
4.15.8. That’s why the government has been called the Big Brother because most politicians after being elected or when they self-elect themselves, feel they are of higher status and look down on We The People, forgetting the people they suppose to represent and break their oaths, do what they want, get their noses in your private affairs, seat there and get somebody else do the dirty work, this last statement in similar way as my Big Brothers did. That’s why the whole planet is in shambles (2003). Here is the prophesy: Before the year 2012 all corrupted politicians on planet Earth will be removed from power and judged. It will start in the United States and Canada and then spread throughout the rest of the countries. All unconstitutional laws will be banned from the planet for the establishment of Universal Law.
4.15.9. Things changed in the relationship with our older bothers as we grew older, but that will be explained later on, stay tuned.
4.15.10. There are other Big Brothers that are our elder Galactic Races and the Ascended Masters. This term in reference to them is used by the Native American.
4.16.1. So I attended the Camacho Carreño School. I took a breakfast, the "mazamorra" corn soup, with butter, and coffee with milk accompanied with integral bread or the thick corn tortilla mentioned above, and headed for school. I took the Avenida Libertador (Liberator Avenue, afterSimón Bolívar, who passed through Bucaramanga using this road) and then the Carrera 15 (15 Street), finally I took the Calle 35 (35 Street) and went directly to school, sometimes I did route variations. I made four trips since I came back for lunch and right away headed back to school, I guess in those days kids did not carry lunch boxes, I should have made one out of wood! What a bomber! Well, too late for lamenting now!
4.16.2. When going to school sometimes I found company in other student who was enduring the same treatment. I traveled through residential areas and through the busy commercial district of the Carrera 15, I took sometimes shortcuts behind homes and the Salesian Technical School, through unknown passages and dirty roads where the homeless and the forgotten lived.
4.16.3. At that school, on fifth grade and at eleven years old, I attended theater classes and memorized all the scripts of the cast since we had to repeat these rehearsals so many times. My teacher left me go early knowing I had to walk that far and come back for the afternoon session. I just knew well my lines and how to act naturally.
4.16.4. In the infamous school —may not be today, times have changed— you have to be exact at 8AM at the door. If you were late you were punished for at least half an hour jumping in squats up and down the stairs facing the open formation patio. Then, you all sweaty were asked to go to your classroom. Needless to say, I endured this punishment several times because of my tardiness.
4.16.5. But not all was suffering, I had my ideal teacher, a writer of the local newspaper, a critic and intelligent renegade from the school establishment who taught us to think, which I don’t think previous teachers really did. He started every day his classes with the reading and analysis of his column in the newspaper. The school required us to attend Catholic Mass on Saturday, but this dilettante teacher did not agreed with it, among other things, because he was sleeping late his Friday night drunkenness. We had to go to his home and bang on the door to awake him up, so this rule was loosely enforced, and not followed by all classmates. However, this teacher was worthwhile the long trip I did.
4.16.6. The next year I expected to join Junior High and to be released of that long journey, nevertheless, to my disappointment, the city authorities decided to break the Colegio de Santander in a series of small schools to end its long history of student strikes and revolts —that plan did not work out well and was dropped due to the high operating expenses it demanded. So they decided to start the plan with the sixth grade and moved it to a location of an old school that happened to be located just near the school where I was just finishing my fifth grammar year. Again another year of long walk. But nothing I could do about it.
4.16.7. I had sometimes to walk and run under heavy rain without a jacket or umbrella since could not afford them. Since modern pen were not invented yet we used fountain pen and pencil in those days, my notebooks, even though I protected them inside my shirt, were still full of running ink because of the rain.
4.16.8. Having to walk those many long miles every day taught me discipline, endurance, made my leg muscles stronger and improved my health, how important that is now that I spend so many hours at the computer.
4.16.9. Because of those long trips I was exposed first hand to human nature. At eleven I saw the whorehouses, the drunk, the beggars, the street tricksters and peddlers, the snake man selling the latest potion to cure all —and promising for hours to take out the snake from that box—, the metal polisher selling tarnish cleaning products, the man selling "gold" chains, medals and crosses for a very cheap price. I enjoyed the band retreat at the park and could study the physiognomy of each seasoned musician altered differently through so many long years of playing the instrument. I saw human suffering and in the afternoon I lingered longer with no supervision or pressure to get home. I felt free and grew up stronger, more mature from the experience, that happened to be what I needed, even though at that time I did not see it that way. That was certainly an agreement with my sister Inés before incarnation and a hard trial in my life.
4.16.10. When I got home I went to the kitchen and I loved to tell stories of my adventures to my mother and she enjoyed them and laughed with me while cooking a meal. In the center of the kitchen, as a stage, I imitated and described the faces of those musician playing the horn and flute. Mama always liked my stories and always believed in me and in my potential. I could have written books on those stories, full of practical psychology and street savvy.
4.16.11. When my sister Blanca overheard my storytelling, she complained and made harsh remarks. I continued telling Mom new ones, but was cautious to do it when my sisters were not around. Sometimes you learn to be discreet and to keep your mouth shut. Some people can’t take it when you’re having fun. Today, Blanca is quite different and listens to all my stories with real fascination, in fact, Blanca is one of my best listeners.
4.17.1. At the end of my fifth grammar year, I had to decide which school to attend in junior-high/high school. I chose the Santander School in Bucaramanga —located on 9th Street between 25 and 26 Streets (Calle 9, Carreras 25 and 26)— because my older brothers studied there and I have a sentimental attachment to it. My classmate objected my decision saying that that liberal school was revolutionary, had strikes and that I should attend a technical school instead as the Superior Institute Dámaso Zapata or the Salesian Technical Institute, both regimental and run by priests. Technical education and mathematics were superior in those schools but they missed a full integrated education, which was what I was looking for. So they were not my favorite choice. I wanted to study philosophy and humanities, so I went to Santander School.
|Growing the culona ant in a space station?|
4.18.1. Being originally from farm life I enjoyed going with brothers and friends to nearby mountains. Near Bucaramanga there is a hill called Palonegro (Black Stick) of yellow dry earth, in some places the eroded hills resemble the landscapes of Arizona in the United States. In Palonegro is today located the Bucaramanga Airport. We used to make excursions there and looked for the Santander big-rear female ants, the culona ant ("hormiga culona", do not pronounce the h). This is the Santander symbolic animal, used sometimes as emblem. It is named culona because her rear is nearly from 3/8 to 1/2 an inch in diameter at the middle, of black color. It is a delicacy when fried, it shrinks and becomes crispy, the aroma is exquisite. Today they are sold canned and are exported. Since this name has a too explicit connotation and sounds like a bad word, some prudish people prefer to call them "Colonas" since they live in colonies, all ants live in colonies anyway. These ants love rugged and dry terrains to make their nests, it is believed they were originally harvested by local Indians. The female ant workers are protected by battalions of male warriors. We disturbed their nests by sticking a reed down the nest hole and thrusting it up and down. Eventually the males came out to inspect and we pushed them aside until the culona ants came out. Then we grabbed them and put them in glass jars. The harvest was sometimes very productive and we arrived home to show the prize to Mom and to proceed to fry them. Their aroma filled the house. You do not need oil, since their rears are full of it. Today I enjoy culona ants only when I visit Bucaramanga and have the opportunity to buy them canned or receive a gift from family. Just imagine we had as food supply culona ant colonies in space stations, in the Moon or Mars or other planets we visit or to grow them in space ships, doesn’t it make sense?, well, if you’re not fully vegetarian, I mean. See my rendition of the culona ant.
Chapter 5. Entertainment?, Partying?,YEAH!
5.1.1 As far as entertainment is concerned I did it the cheapest way, I don’t think you can do it cheaper than this, I challenge you: Going to free black-and-white Superman movies with George Reeves projected on a white wall in front of the Cristo Rey (Christ the King) Catholic Church and sponsored by the priests of that church —we sat on the street and the street curb—, or jumping on the roof of a home next to the St. Vincent of PaulChurch —with the complicity of the boy who lived there— to watch from the roof the movie the church was projecting on their open theater to collect funds, or going to the circus when it came to town and jumping the circus fence by the animal cages and the elephants and then stooping-walking in the dark to find seats, or begging for a spare change at the movie theater to collect money to buy the ticket. That was really cheap entertainment, don’t you think so?
5.2.1. Well but that was young good-lads adventurous entertainment, not for lasses, oh no.o.o! My sisters liked it big time. Too many pretty girls and handsome boys living in the same home attracted too much attention and with good neighbor friends it made it all possible. My sisters were good at planning parties at home. They invited about fifty guests and played Rock-n-Roll, Go-Go, Ye-Ye, Twist, Colombian Salsa and Colombian hot dancing —Cumbia, Mapalé, Vallenato, Rumba, Caribbean, you name it.
5.2.2.My sisters prepared the whole house as a dancing stage, they even labeled bathrooms "Gentlemen" and "Ladies", we usually rented big homes for a big family, the living room was looking at the street and we kept the windows open, many people accumulated at the window for party watching, chairs were lined up against the walls along the house aisle and the central patio was open to the sky as in most those homes in the San Francisco neighborhood which were built at the beginning of the twentieth century.
5.2.3. I learned to dance a 7 years of age by watching others do it and from some occasional classes my sisters gave me. I loved to exhibit my dancing skills in the living room so passing-by people would see me. And did not like to dance with little girls but with grownups. For long time I liked older women, now is different, you change, you know? I swept the floor, so to speak, from one end to the other, gently pushing people, I added variety, style, because I never liked repetition, but creative steps.
5.3.1. When organizing a party the main problem was always the cost of drinks. So, once upon a time we devised a clever trick to solve the problem. My sisters told my father about the cost of liquor for the party. My father said that in neighboring farms there were some people making Aguardiente [hot water, literally translating it, it is a clear alcoholic drink looking like Vodka]. This drink was actually manufactured illegally, kept secret and sold locally among farmers —illegal because it did not paid state taxes. People of that region called it Barsalero —even today I still don’t know what this word means, I guess something really bad because its high alcoholic content level, probably 20%, who knows, and who cared then anyway. So my father said he could buy and give us several boxes, each one with about thirty bottles. It tasted tough and rough to me, well, some may say it tasted really good, it all depends on your taste and how many years you have been drinking, I guess.
5.3.2. So we bought sparely some bottles of the "legal" aguardiente from a local liquor store, the one that pays taxes and has a labeled seal on the cap, like Aguardiente de Caldas or aguardiente from the Licorera de Santander (Santander Liquor Company). And that was the one we, young kids, started to distribute around the party, like a teaser.
5.3.3. As the music got hot and the conversation more interesting, the good drinks were gone, as in the Weddings of Canaan, except that here there was no Master Jesus to supply us with the good wine from his miraculous hands. We, the waiters, went to the kitchen and grabbed good old Barsalero and filled the cups! Suddenly the guesses saw an abundance of drinks offered here and there like a miracle. They tasted it and found a slight different taste and some made some comments I heard on my passing by carrying a tray full of drinks, we said, it is just a different brand our father brought from Rionegro ( the town near his farm). But this drink was good and fast. The party got more animated and then nobody cared about the taste anymore. Our parties lasted all night, at about 5 AM we still had some people lingering and dancing. And we still had several boxes of Barsalero unopened.
5.4.1. We had many parties like this one, sometimes they were rotated between several neighbors and always organized by my sisters. They were good dancers, still, when I visit them at the end of year I danced with my younger sister, Gloria Ligia, as we did, well, so many years ago.
5.4.2. Sadly my older brothers and sisters started to leave home and the family was reduced, we did not need big houses for only the younger children, we also could not afford their rent, so we had to move to smaller and cheaper homes and by leaving our neighbor we knew for years the party time was over. We still danced but in discotheques and in somebody else’s places but not at home anymore.
5.5.1. My family always celebrated Christmas when I was a child and in my teens. It was the time when, above our personality differences, we gathered together and worked to dress the Christmas tree as a whole family. Artificial Christmas trees did not exist yet, my sisters found friends or family members who took us in their trucks to the country side where we selected a tree branch for a tree. At home we used yucca’s starch to glue the fake snow pellets on it. We cooked the yucca into a liquid soup that then applied on the twigs. When the starch was dry, which took about a day, we placed the adornments on the tree and the Christmas lights. Yucca is a white tubercle root which in Colombia is a main staple food (we grew yucca in our old farm in Mogotes). Christmas tree decorations we carefully saved for the next Christmas, over time some became quite old, so the investment in replacements was minimum.
5.5.2. We then placed the Christmas gifts wrapped as is customary. Most of our gifts were really cloths we needed for the next year. The gift unwrapping was always on Christmas eve at around midnight. Before then we played with powder sparks, volcanoes and other fireworks and danced at home or in the neighborhood.
5.5.3. I remember when the Bucaramanga’s local cloth company, Nogal (it no longer exists), went to our school when I was 8 years old and as a promotion had a presentation of their products, then the salesmen said that if anyone had a shirt and pants made by Nogal, then they would give him a set of pants and shirt as a gift. The teachers were diligently checking the manufacturer’s tag on both pants and shirts for all students. Now the question, what are the odds of that happening? Very rare. Except that my sisterInés worked for Nogal at that time and dressed us by Christmas with cloths she purchased there at special discount prices. So the teachers found that only myself had both matching tags from Nogal and I received the prize.
5.5.4. On the twelve days before Christmas we celebrated the novena with prayers and Christmas songs we sang before the tree. Our caroling attracted neighbors to our living room front window that we kept open at novena time. As the older brethren started to leave home the younger were the most proactive in this endeavor. Over time we replaced the tree by an artificial one and eventually we did not pray the novena anymore.
5.5.5. We had a sense of pride in our family and in spite of differences, believe it or not, a support for each other before others and strangers. In the farm we had enough and never worried about food or rent. When we arrived in town (Mogotes) from the farm on Saturday morning we formed a big caravan of people on horses with mules and donkeys burdened with farm produce and milk, followed by servants on foot. Mother, father, my sisters and older brothers were all on horses, some of the younger children on foot. The hoof beats on the town’s cobblestone roads was impressive and everybody went to the front door to witness the Prada family arriving town. And, ironically, now we had to struggle for food and shelter. But this memory of those old days and of our Prada stock stayed with us to give us courage through hardships. We never felt we were really poor or of low-class, we just were temporarily enduring difficult times, and that memory, as a vision, kept us with our heads high and with a desire to excel to what was expected of the Pradas, it stayed with all the brothers and sisters and inspired us to go ahead and have good accomplishments in life. We all went to school to learn skills and worked and made it.
Chapter 6. A Little About the Family
6.1.1. I was the seventh youngest male child, and the family second youngest, my sister Gloria Ligia being the youngest of all. We were twelve children, seven boys and five girls. Their names arehere from eldest to youngest. They actually interacted and related naturally among themselves within these two groups. The ones that today live in the United States, with exception of me, are located in several cities around Los Angeles metropolitan area:
6.1.2. The Elders:
Inés (Original family provider, went to United States in 1963, she started the migration to the United States for the whole family. Run a successful business in real estate, accounting and income tax services, now widow, a son and a daughter),
Misael (Dedicated to farm and horse selling business, did not study high school, the only one interested in farming, lives in Bucaramanga, Colombia, had several children, the "black" sheep of the family, greedy and self-serving man),
Elisa (Grammar school teacher, the prettiest, poetess, bullfighting lover, married a wealthy man, passed away in 1963),
Saturia (Secretary, went to the United States in February of 1971),
Hernando (Mechanical Engineer, worked in Venezuela as an engineer and professor, died on October 11, 1978, in the United States),
Roque Julio (Veterinarian and Agricultural engineer, retired teacher for a agro technical institute, shows a deep interest in the spiritual search and psychic healing which he did from home for almost fifteen years without accepting any pay, lives in Barranquilla, Colombia, and is taken care of his ailing wife. He is a friend of Beloved Master St. Germain, who is considered part of his family. Two children.)
6.1.3. The Younger:
Blanca (Secretary, lives in United States since the seventies),
Alcides (Successful merchant, owns a car spare parts store in Villavicencio, Colombia, dropout from high school, disliked formal learning. Two children),
Álvaro (A one time owned a cigar factory in Colombia, now does odd jobs, lives in the United States, never finished university, tried twice. Three children),
Abdel (Died drown at age 14 in November, 1963),
Luis Eduardo (Myself) and,
Gloria Ligia (The "baby", now her name is simply Ligia, she lives in United States since the early eighties. Married, two daughters.)
6.1.4. My mother, Blanca, lived in the United States since beginning of 1979. She was attended during seven years by her daughter, Saturia, who lovingly cared for her, should not be for this caring woman, my mother would have died at least ten years ago. Saturia also likes to see me engaged in my spiritual studies which she esteems very high and likes ritual as in psychic cleansing of the house, this is an indication that her soul is ready for the Spiritual Path.
6.1.5. My father, Roque Julio, lives in Colombia, he is being taken care by his son, Misael. He no longer lives with Eva, his companion of so many years. Both of my parents are in wheelchairs and unable to take care of themselves now.
6.1.6. My wife and I have two children, they are grown up now. I do not mention their names here since they are not interested in this type of work I do. I only want to mention that both have been very good children and dedicated to their professional studies and to their parents, what makes my wife and I feel proud of their accomplishments. Both have gone to the university and have great talent in their different disciplines.
Chapter 7.Youth, Secondary School Years
7.1.1. Before I start with this part of my life, let me describe what happened to my brother Alcides after he left grammar school. He went to high school, to the same school I attended. He was responsible and aware of the importance and need of studying but had a very hard time to understand abstract concepts or memorize text. At eight grade he dropped out and rebuffed the family attempts to send him back to school. He had enough. So my older sisters agreed to send him to El Socorro, a town near Bucaramanga where our Aunt Isolina Sánchez lived, she was my mother’s oldest sister. She might have been a member of the "Holy" (Holy??) Inquisition in other lifetime. She was so strict and cruel, like Cinderella’s stepmother, I guess, a "dragon" lady. [Now, before you mispronounce her name, which she may get offended and punish you for that, let me tell you how it’s supposed to sound: it is pronounced, EE-SO-LÉE-NA. Go it? I told you, you don’t mess with her!]
7.1.2. Isolina had always been a teacher and disciplinarian, of course—she never married and died in the late 1980s. To reform Alcides there were two choices: One, send him to the Army, or, Two, to Aunt (Tía) Isolina. I think the last one was the worst choice and probably the most effective. So they chose to send him to a El Socorro school and to live in TíaIsolina’s home. Alcides went there but six months later he came back. That didn’t work. And everybody gave up. He ended up doing minor jobs in Bucaramanga, Barranquilla and finally became successful in Villavicencio, a city on the Colombian savanna planes, in his own car spare parts store. Alcides married a cousin and formed his family. Sometimes to make money you don’t need much too brain, but guts, and Alcides got them!
7.1.3. In 1982 my wife, our first baby and I went to El Socorro and there we visited Aunt Isolina. She was about 72 years old and already retired from her teaching profession. She looked adorable and very kind. She was living in a friend’s home. She took us to her home which she kept locked. There she showed us mementoes and family photographs. She was paranoid about being assaulted at night so she did not want to live there by herself. She regretted not marrying a pilot who loved her and having lived her life as single. Some years later she passed away.
7.2.1. With the untimely death of my sister Elisa and my brother Abdel we had met death in our family for the first time. It was a very hard experience to take for us as a young family since with death you are forced to accept that a person you interacted with and shared so many experiences with up until recently, now abruptly you will never see him or her again. During both funerals my mother cried so much and so loud we had to keep her drugged because of her inconsolable wailing and our fear she might lose her mind. She was not allowed to attend the requiem masses nor funerals. How strong is the love of a mother, with twelve children and she could not accept to lose any!
7.2.2. At the beginning we visited both brother and sister and prayed at their tombs almost every week at the "Cementerio Central" (Central Cemetery) in front of the"Parque Romero" (Romero Park) in Bucaramanga where they were buried. While visiting I roamed around the cemetery and saw bones and skulls and checked inside of partially open tombs. Both brother and sister were interred in tombs built as long and tall walls with six or seven tiers. I remember next to the tomb of my brother Abdel was the cemetery morgue. We used to climb its wall and see through a top open window dead bodies laying on granite-top tables made perhaps of cement and brick. Probably these were people who did not have mourners or relatives. The room was partially lit by the light entering through the high open windows. It was a macabre scene! Those with no relatives were cremated in an open round area enclosed by tall circular walls.
7.2.3. Over time our visits were less frequent to finally stop when both corpses were exhumed.
7.3.1. On my seventh grade I was selected to sing in the Santander School Choir, a vocal counterpoint choir of soprano voices to enhance the school hymn. The school sang its hymn in patriotic events and celebrations, in those occasions the music teacher gathered this small choir of boys who could sing soprano voice and asked us to go to the front. There I sang with other kids a high pitch arrangement responding in counterpoint as the rest of students sang:
Santanderinos, el nombrees nuestro orgullo yblasón... (Santanderians, the name is our pride and heraldry…)
and so on…
The falling leaves…
7.4.1. When I was thirteen on one occasion I got a composition assignment to not exceed a written page. I decided to describe in autumn a leaf falling off a tree. I described its free-falling motion, its gentle and capricious swaying driven by the breeze, its red and golden colors and the tree trunk on the backdrop of my sight with its mossy and textured amalgam of dark colors as I observed the leaf falling. It only took half a page.
7.4.2. The teacher liked my composition and when he handed them back he asked me to read mine loud for the class as an example of a good work. This I did with hesitation and shyness even though I knew I had goods in there, and to my surprise the whole class applauded and asked me to read it again, this I did for the second time, they applauded again and asked me to read it for the third time, so I did. It was like I had cast a spell on the class —or sprinkled some pixie dust on them.
7.4.3. Time slowed down. In their eyes I saw a delight I had never seen before, especially in the eyes of the bully boys and the aggressors who usually sat in the last rows. They turned into innocent children, were touched by an angel. It was a natural happiness —not scorn— and their inner real true natures showed through, not the outer egos I was familiar with.
7.5.1. At age fourteen I was entering eighth grade. The school had several classrooms for the same grade. The first day of class all students were in formation to enter the classrooms. We were asked to form with the last year’s classmates, and so I went to be with my friends. When I approached the line, and greeted my friends at the beginning of the formation —it was in order of height—, the big boys pushed quickly to the front and closed the gap my friends had opened for me. I insisted again, and they did it again.
7.5.2. After seeing my attempt was futile, I went to the teacher and told him what happened. He told me to go to another class, and so I did. These students were jealous of me because I was always the number one in class in these two previous years with them, was always asking questions and boldly correcting the teacher when he made a mistake or misspelled a word. And worst of all, never cared what they thought of me!
I was laughed at many times, called names and labeled for being different than the average but there was a minimum level of human dignity and respect below which I could not tolerate any more abuse.
7.6.1. I was laughed at many times, called names and labeled for being different than the average but there was a minimum level of human dignity and respect below which I could not tolerate any more abuse. When I was in this eighth grade I met a fellow named Jaime Almeida. He was a teacher’s son, later in life he graduated and became a lawyer in Bucaramanga. He was not a smart student and he needed help from me, so he invited me to his home. His father was a successful real estate owner as well as teacher, so we had a comfortable place to study and good food in the refrigerator. See any connection here?
7.6.2. But this Almeida fellow was an abusive boy and spoiled child. One time when we were in class waiting for the teacher to come in, Almeida was cleaning his desk. When he finished he then passed the cleaning rug on my face as if cleaning it too. I found that action a denigration of human dignity. I swung my fist in the air and punched him so fast and hard on the face that he felt on the floor on the spot and I didn’t even moved. All the students in class surrounded us and could not believe I had done such a thing. They knew well the school disciplinary rules and actions for fighting in a classroom, so before the teacher entered they mediated the incident. Almeida did not retaliate. My relationship with him grew colder, and eventually each other went our own ways.
7.7.1. I was not good at competitive sports —I loved running, bicycling, gymnastics and bodybuilding, which I still love today— because my interest and motivation were not there and because I had poor sight: I was unable to see the ball until it was too close, too late, nor distinguish faces when they were over ten feet away, they looked fuzzy and moving, so from that distance I did not know who was on which team, I only heard confusing shouting voices, sometimes offensive and nasty, calling me names, that frustrated me even further, and lowered my self-esteem in sports.
Remember: The artificial holographic matrix you are in did not happen by accident, it is a clever reality construct carefully planned, it is like that by design!
7.7.2. Being an intellectually-oriented individual back then I did not understand why people placed so much importance on game results, so impermanent, who would remember a score in a week?, and how important is that in life to require so much time and mental and emotional power from you? I know now why people are led into professional sport watching: Not just the outside is a very profitable business, which you may think it is all to it; on the inside, however, which is the worst part, it feeds human emotional energy to the guys on the other side who need this energy to survive, read the book "Bringers of the Dawn" by Barbara Marciniak. Remember: The artificial holographic matrix you are in did not happen by accident, it is a clever reality construct carefully planned, it is like that by design! Read my articleThe Holographic Prison.
7.7.3. I played chess but not being competitive, usually lost interest after a while and lost the game.
7.7.4. I practiced weight lifting. My brother Hernando liked to lift weight and bought a set of weights with which all my brothers including myself practiced body building. For over a year, at age 17, I used to go with a friend the stadium after school and run several laps on the main arena.
7.8.1. I was aware I had some vision problem, but not how bad it was. I usually sat in the first row near the teacher and when the problem got worse I had to drag the chair with me to get closer to where the teacher was writing so I could read the blackboard or I read my neighbor’s notebook.
7.8.2. At age thirteen I had my first pair of glasses, an ugly and big brown-plastic frame glasses with heavy green lenses —no wonder why they nicknamed me "owl" after that— but I found them fantastic since I could finally see well and read the blackboard. I discovered a different city and different people I had never seen before. By the end of my second year in the university I replaced them with contact lenses and at the end of 1999 and beginning of 2000 I had the Lasik surgery on both eyes to correct my myopia.
7.9.1. Until I was seventeen we lived in various rented homes in the Barrio San Francisco in Bucaramanga. It is very interesting to note that I lived as a child in SanJosé Valley in Mogotes, Colombia, and grew up in San Francisco neighborhood, two names that later on in my life continued to follow me since I have worked in the San José Silicon Valley and live in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.
7.10.1. In high school I loved to study many subjects from Grammar, Composition, Literature to Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, History, Philosophy, etc. I moved from one subject to the next with ease and considered them equally important with no preference. Since I had no money, study was my best entertainment, as it is still today. Most of my classmates at the end of their school day went home tired to take a rest, after a long working day, before they did their homework, poor little souls! I instead read a novel or an interesting book while listening to the class. I paid attention to each new concept the teacher introduced and understood its essence as if I already knew it, then I read the book while the teacher explained the principle to the class. Sometimes I avoided boredom by drawing the teacher’s face while in class.
7.10.2. Now comes the real work: When I left school I rushed to the university (Universidad Industrial de Santander) located nearby and on the same street (10th Street) where my high school was and there I found a place where I sat and continued reading my novel or any other book I was reading at that time and not related to my classes. I read very intensively for two to three hours and then rushed home to have dinner at around 8 to 9PM, and engaged myself in my homework until eleven to twelve when I went to bed. Next day I have all my homework cleanly done and was ready for more assignments. I liked to always study the subject of the next class beforehand so I could ask intelligent questions of what I did not understand. I was always ahead of the game.
7.11.1. In my last two years in high school (1968 and 1969) I rode a bicycle I borrowed from an older brother. By this time we were living in a rented apartment on the Carrera 27 and Calle 48 (27 and 48 streets). I rushed through that Carrera 27 as a lightning bolt or a bolide on that bicycle and got home to start my homework. At that time Bucaramanga was a quiet city with less traffic. By this time I had extended my studying hours until 1AM. I am a late bird, so you may just imagine how I looked like when I woke up the next day to attend classes, and rushed to be on time. I slept late on weekends to catch up.
7.12.1. I loved the end of classes when teachers gave us the problems to study for the final exams, I solved them all and then shared them with others. I always liked to share all I did, even in exams I helped others with the answers unbeknownst to the teacher. Being the best of the class when I received my score book to take it home, show it to my mother and have her sign it, in the majority of the cases I faked her signature and returned it to the teacher without showing it at home, I already knew my mother’s remark, that I was the best anyway.
7.12.2. If you think you did not study or scored low in school because of your family or are blaming it on others I have a different story to tell you: I grew up in a dysfunctional family with a lot of strife, quarreling between family members, lack of money for food or to pay rent, with no educated role models to follow. One of my worst nightmares as a child was to be evicted and ending up homeless living in the city dumping lot with all that smelling of rotten food and smoldering garbage, crowded in tents with all our belongings exposed to the sun and rain because sometimes we were two or three months behind the rent payment. When we fell behind the rent payments —I was nine or ten— I was anxious every day to get home from school because I feared not to find my family since they were all forced to move out to the dumping hell.
7.13.1.And yet with all these disappointments and frustrations, and doing the best with what little I had, I managed to find a modest peace-and-quiet corner in a room where I did my homeworks while listening to a rock-and-roll station from a battered radio, I gotta have music, man! I listened in those days to Nat King Cole, Matt Monroe, Eddie Gorme with Los Panchos, the classic sound of the Big Bands, Andy Williams, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, The Brother Four, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, and Johnny Cash singing in his baritone voice The Miner’s Song:
St. Peter don’t call me ‘cause I can’t go..
I owe my soul … to the company’s store…
7.13.2 I memorized many of Sinatra’s and Billy Joel’s songs to help me to learn English. And I loved the encoded song "Aquarius", made famous by "The Fifth Dimension." I’ll tell you more about that later.
7.13.3. In Spanish I liked the Mexican singers: César Costa, Enrique Guzmán, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Los Panchos,Lola Flórez, Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante, Javier Solis, José Alfredo Jiménez; from Spain:Joselito, Marisol, Rocío Durcal, Rocío Jurado, Isabel Pantoja, Paloma San Basilio, Camilo Sexto, Raphael, Lolita, and later, Julio Iglesias. From Chile, Lucho Gatica.
7.13.4. Being vocally inclined, I preferred singers rather than instrumental music. Not all above artists are from the same time period, they are from the 1960s to 1990s. There are many more artists I liked, this is just a sample. Today there are new generations of artists I listen to, but not mentioned here.
…classical music and meditational music help you fine-tune to Divinity; that was one of the main reasons it was brought to Earth by inspired beings.
7.13.5. I loved then, and I love now, all kinds of music as long as I like the singer’s voice and the music is not heavy-metal Rock-N-Roll. This dissonant ‘heavy-metal’ rock music is the contribution of the Dark Forces and is not new, it has been around in the planetsince Abraham times. The purpose of it is to disharmonize your body so you may be psychically easily influenced by the lower astral planes. On the contrary, classical music and meditational music help you fine-tune to Divinity; that was one of the main reasons it was brought to Earth by inspired beings. Some of this music genre are played in other advanced planets of the galaxies and is part of the harmonies sang and played byangels.
7.13.6. Today I mostly listen to classical and meditational music, which I play from the radio you see to the right of the picture above. Above the radio is a CD player hooked to it. It is a modern radio that resembles the first radio my father had in Mogotes when I was 4.
7.14.1. I had nobody to ask questions or to help me with my homework. Sometimes I associated, though, with classmates to form study groups and to study for finals, this I always did even in my university years.
In the land of turkeys you dress like a turkey, even though you are an eagle.
7.14.2. I was a good student but never you ever think I was a so-called brown nose, far from it. I did not buy into the disinformation I was taught at school and stubbornly rejected it once I discerned it —as I do today. I just learned to give the teachers the answers they expected from me, but I knew better. In the land of turkeys you dress like a turkey, even though you are an eagle. Also, you have always been surrounded by cleverly crafted disinformation, as is the case of history which gives you an open version but never revealing the other, the real story.
7.14.3. Science is clogged with disinformation, cocky scientists of the establishment act as if ‘they know it all, can explain it all.’ David E. Twichell, the writer of "The UFO-Jesus Connection" reminded us: "Mainstream Science thought they knew everything there was to know at that time, as they do today. At the turn of the twentieth century they looked back one hundred years and laughed at their arrogance. I have a distinct feeling that at the turn of the twenty-second century, they will look back at the science of today and laugh at ours." Just as John Stuart Mills summed it up: "That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation, often becomes the height of wisdom in the next." It does not matter who said it and how many titles hang from his name: if it is a lie, it’s a lie. You should learn to take out the good and throw away the hog’s wash because there is a lot of good academic knowledge worthwhile studying which is the result of thousands of years of thinking and discovering.
7.14.4. I never compromised to please a teacher. In those days I was a sympathizer of the students union called Santander Student Committee (Comité EstudiantilSantanderino, CES). I supported it and participated in student strikes to improve the conditions of the school and to protect student rights. And my classmates knew me in that respect —for being fair— and they respected me for that. I am an early version of Indigo Child reflected in my stubbornness to stick to what I considered right: I was, as I am today, a lover of truth and fell always on the side of the less fortunate. Influence?, position in life?, they have never been major motivators for me, and yet God has always provided for me more than I ever expected. If you do the right thing you will never go hungry again!
7.15.1. I continued making pencil illustrations. An important one was from the famous painting of Galileo Galilei. I drew him life size and this decorated my room for many years, another one was from a photograph of Albert Einstein, this I did later on when I was at the university. I also had it on my room wall, near to Galileo.
7.16.1. I loved cat and dogs but when I was living in an apartment I has a female cat. I called her Mirringa, after a known children Colombian poem, "Mirringa Mirronga", written by Rafael Pombo —I mentioned this poet in paragraph 4.6.3. I named all my cats after Pombo’s poems, Micifú, after "Las Siete Vidas del Gato" (The Cat’s Seven Lives)and now my present cat (2003), Michín, after Pombo’s El Gato Bandido (The Bandit Cat). (Click here for a feline surprise. Open the Felix.exe file and then click on the icon.)
7.17.1. Remember I mentioned the Master-slave relationship my older brothers wanted to create with their younger brothers as I was a child? As we, the small ones, grew older, we developed bigger and stronger bodies and more willpower and independence. We rebelled to the authority of my father, of Misael the farmer, of Hernando and Roque. They did not have their male authority they used to have on us, the bully-boy stance, and we did not tolerate it either, the grip turned loose. Our relationship was turning more as equals, the relationship sort of "matured", even though not completely. It is hard to keep slaves and servants for long working for you for free, eventually they become rebellious and leave, history proves it.
|A powerful energy entered my body and caused me such pain that I could not bear it.|
7.18.1. The Rebuke of the Masters. I can’t find a better title for what follows. Near graduation, at age 18, a classmate who was from Cali, a Colombian city in the west coast near the Pacific Ocean, suggested me to go to a whorehouse he frequented, and he took me there where I made love to a prostitute. Another classmate invited me to another one, he took me in his car to the place. That night we were just having some light drinks, listening to music and observing the scene. Then we went back home. The seed was in my head, though. When visited my brother in Barranquilla on vacation I had another experience with a African American prostitute from which I developed a gonorrhea that showed up in the bus when I was traveling back to my home in Bucaramanga, that really scared me and with medication I was able to heal. My spiritual guides were observing me very closely on these faulty activities not in line with my future mission and they disapproved the stray behavior.
7.18.2. One night as I was near sleep, a very powerful voice in my head commanded me to stand up. My physical body remained in bed but my astral body immediately raised, moved by a strange force, and stood up on the bed, as my physical body was laying down. Then the powerful voice started to rebuke me for my fault. The voice emphasized I had done wrong. It told me about a great mission awaiting for me in the future and for which I needed a clean behavior and many other things I do not consciously remember today. The sermon lasted for what seemed like fifteen minutes and I listened to it with the fear you feel when standing before an enraged father; worst, of course, than if the problem is that you stole some cookies from the cookie jar. (At that time I did not know how to use telepathy or thought transmission).
7.18.3. After the rebuke was over, they proceeded to punish me for my act. A powerful energy entered my body and caused me such great pain that I could not bear it. I writhed by the excruciating torture of a force so strong and of such magnetic nature that threatened to pull apart and destroy the very fibers of my being. I felt it like a continuous electric discharge through my whole being. I, in my astral body, twisted sideways, covering my face in pain and mentally asking them to stop it, but they didn’t, the torture continued. It was irritating, as the sound of scraping chalk on a wooden blackboard or a metal utensil on a kitchen’s metal pot. As I was collapsing in my physical body I was pleading mercy, finally the force left me. I was exhausted in bed. My astral body aligned with my physical body and I was left bewildered and recovering. My Spiritual Fathers had spanked me for my actions and I understood it, since then I never got involved in this misbehavior.
7.18.4. I know it sounds like I made it all up or is all a fantasy in my head. If I did or it is, then I should have already won a Pulitzer Prize as a best creative writer. I know it was true, I wish you could have a little feeling of it, I have actually got felt two electric shocks in my life, these were only physical, the other one was affecting my make up.
Chapter 8. ‘E Pluribus Unus’ Award, 1969
8.1.1. As previously described I spent most of my childhood and youth living in the city of Bucaramanga, in the same province of Santander. There I attended grammar, high school and university. In the Colegio de Santander I was awarded the title "E Pluribus Unus of the Year 1969" for being the best student, having the highest scores among 350 graduate students, and have never failed a subject in a month or at the end of the year, rehabilitation exams not accepted. The second best student that competed with me for that title would have to have studied two extra years and have the final highest grade in each subject to reach my score. At that time I thought I was the best at school, I just could not believe there was someone else so passionate about knowledge.
Seal of the United States
8.1.2. "E Pluribus Unus" is a Latin motto of classical heritage that means: "From Many, One" or "Out of Many, One", claimed by some to be an adaptation from Virgil’s or Pseudo-Virgil’s Moretum 100 or 102 or 103, not sure: "color est e pluribus unus", which means, an old farmer mixes a spread for his bread. "Color est e pluribus unus" (one color comes out of many), see it on the web by clickinghere. A variation of this expression is "E Pluribus Unum", a phrase that appears in every US coin and in the seal of the United States which is shown in the one dollar bill, it is printed on the banner the eagle holds in its mouth. Nevertheless my award ends with Unus.
8.1.3. I was able to be awarded this high honor even though I was so busy studying for the exam to enter the university, going to the army, I’ll talk about it next, and studying my regular classes. Too much class juggling. During the first semester of my eleventh grade I did three feats of studying: I studied my regular classes, studied at the same time the rest of the chapters of the books of each subject without teacher’s help, and studied subjects of previous years so I was prepared to present the university entrance exam in the middle of the year. This I did and was able to rank third place among thousands of students who presented the same exam for Electrical Engineering. The second semester was a relief since I had already secured admission to the university.
8.2.1. By this time you may be thinking I was a genius. I met geniuses in the university, I know basically how they are, I was not like them: They usually sit in the last rows, do not take notes or take them sparely, study little and get the best grades. I was not like them, I studied hard, was self-disciplined, sit in a front seat, took a lot of notes, asked many questions and studied long hours by myself or in study groups. If I did it, so can you.
8.2.2. I am glad I’m not a genius, but a regular folk, that gives me empathy to work with the less fortunate and to understand them. One of my best friends in grammar school was a mentally-challenged person. He could understand me and was a loving and caring person, not exhibiting that pride, aloofness and bragging I many times saw in those so called "geniuses."
8.3.1. But let me tell you other of my stories. The second student that competed with me for the "E Pluribus Unus" award was a conceited individual, quiet and considered himself of special and better family than me. He considered himself the best, there was not question about it from his viewpoint, and he was smart, I admit it. So he told his mother he was the E Pluribus Unus. His mother invited family from their original town and announced it in the Social Section of the Bucaramanga’s newspaper Vanguardia Liberal. The description of his accomplishments there was so glorious and long he should have been awarded the Nobel Prize instead. The publication came out on the Saturday’s edition and that night was graduation night.
8.3.2. I was so confident I was the selected person instead and as I grabbed the paper in the morning and found his announcement I showed it to my brother Hernando who was visiting from Venezuela, I said to him: "There must be a trick in here." He said: "Let’s go to the school, I am friend of the Rector, let’s talk to him." Hernando and Roque had both graduated from that institution and knew how tough it was to get that award. We rushed in his car and made an immediate appointment with the principal. The principal looked at the newspaper add and remarked: "They may say whatever they want. We just finished counting scores and your brother is ahead of this guy by 100 points!" We breathed relief and I went home to get ready for graduation.
8.3.3. During the ceremony I received the award and a gold medal was placed on my chest, I was lifted in arms by my best friends and walked like a hero among the crowd of shouting graduates around the arena in front of probably 5000 people attending the ceremony. And yet, this arrogant second place student did not tell his visiting family and friends attending his party he was not the awarded person, but accepted all honors as if he was. You have to consider that people sometimes get confused with the nominations due to the loud voices coming from the stadium speakers heard from their bleaches, the proud students running to and fro to see their families, and the fact that the principal named the list of the five best where his name was in. I ended up that night in his home party having a good time, anyway!, and keeping my mouth shut to not offend the host and his family, wouldn’t you do the same? Of course, I removed the medal from my chest and placed it in my pocket, I’m not stupid!
"Noensille antes de traer las bestias."
8.3.4. The moral of this story can’t be better described than by using an old Spanish motto: "Noensille antes de traer las bestias," which means: "Don’t saddle the horses before you bring them in."
Chapter 9. Joining the Army
9.1.1. I had to learn to manage even better and more wisely my time now if I was going to continue excelling in my studies because in 1968 the army decided to draft us from tenth grade and be part of a program where you attend high school and twice a week go to the army as solder and get trained. At the end of your second year you graduated and could either continue the military profession or go to the university. The "contract" was expired at that time and they gave you a reservist card of first line.
9.1.2. Well it was obvious they really wanted talent to join the army and to brainwash the older students of a revolutionary school, for mind control purposes. We were drafted against our will and we never really made it into good solders but cost them money, they dropped the plan of drafting us full time for two months after school graduation because they were no seeing the results they expected. We were rebellious, inattentive and never volunteered to anything.
9.1.3. I was convinced I did not qualify because of my myopia. I went for a physical medical examination and I found myself, for the first time in my life, waiting in line and being asked to lower the pants before an army medical doctor for a checkup while other students were in line too. The doctor found me fine and I went home to tell my mother the thick glasses did not help me.
9.2.1. I, Luis Prada, born a pacifist, attending a military school for two years, 1968-1969, what a contradiction! I enjoyed the physical exercises and the outdoors, tough, I had the opportunity to go in excursions to the mountains around the city and to places I had never seen before. Growing as a child in a farm, it reminded me of my childhood. Other urban boys did not like it because of the strenuous hill climbing. I was good at long walks because of my long walking for school as a child. We were taken to those places for physical endurance training, anti-guerrilla warfare training and shooting. I was not good at shooting, but had to do it. We learned to do maintenance to our rifle by disassembling it and oiling it. We never went to real combat, only had training and a lot of practice.
9.2.2. Physical training was great, but I did not like the military intelligence classes, if you were not attentive during class and could not respond their questions they punished you by sending you to run fast around a post half a mile away or do pushups in front of everybody and be treated rude as those guys like to treat their people. Worse was incarceration or other humiliating punishments. A one time I was ordered to carry a pound of meat with some buttons sewed to it and dressed as a soldier to show it to the guard around midnight. The guard that saw this had no idea about this penalty, he just nodded. I managed to hide my face from the instructor so he would not see I was not interested on the subject.
9.3.1. During my last two years in high school, and while attending the army, I had a terrible attack of amoebas. They gave me diarrhea: Almost everything I put in my mouth caused me a trip to the bathroom, especially pop soda.
9.3.2. I was a regular patient of the school medical doctor that showed up every Thursday at the school infirmary. He asked me for stool samples and sent them to the laboratory for analysis. The results showed benign and malign amoebas. He always gave me the same generic pills and hoped for the best only to see me again the next Thursday.
9.3.3. In the army, during one of physical trainings to start the day, the drill sergeant saw me so pale that he thought I was getting sick because of the physical exercises and asked me to sit down and to not do anything in that hour. I said to him that I was fine and continued with the practice, he did not know I was that pale because of the diarrhea. I think the amoebas drained my energy and this was another of my great challenges I had in those days —I forgot to mentioned it in Chapters 7 and 8.
9.3.4. When I arrived home I was so thirsty that I drank a pitcher of lemonade before my lunch and then headed for school. At that time I figured out that instead of lemonade to quench my thirst, I should drink something that did both, replenish fluids and also work on my amoebas, so I asked my mother to have ready for me a pitcher full of paico, also known as pasote. This is an American plant of the genus of the quenopodiacias, its leaves and flowers are drank in infusion as tea. My mother had two full pitchers of this green devilish potion in the refrigerator ready for me to drink at any time. It is bitter as hell, so you drink a glass as a cure-all medicine, especially as concentrated as I took it. You drink a little of it and you grimace. I drank a whole pitcher in one sit! By this time I was not convinced the pills that doctor was giving me were any good!
9.3.5. The diarrhea left me when I enter the university, thanks God! I don’t think paico did any good job either, so don’t try it for this.
9.4.1. At the end of the practice when we were really tired of physical exercises, march training, running up and down hills and when really wanted to go home, then was instruction time. A high ranking military, a colonel or something, I didn’t care, went out on a platform, we were in formation and he started a long, tedious, patriotic speech that lasted for over one hour, we were thirsty, hungry, tired and had classes in the afternoon, but they did not care, that was not their problem.
9.4.2. We got so pissed off that some classmates said to ourselves and the voice run through the formation: "Don’t pay attention to that stupid fool. He is just doing brainwashing on us!" So, everybody around was aware of the real purpose of the speech. We discussed their tactics on us at school.
9.5.1. Near the middle of the second year the army decided it had enough with us —sounds familiar?, peaceful resistance?— and offered us to drop out of the program. I thought: "I have endured this for so long, I just wait for rest of the year, maybe my first class reservist card may help me in the future", especially being known that Colombia has always been a militarized country faking democracy.
9.5.2. Finally came the school graduation and also the army graduation, I convinced a pretty girl, a friend from the university, to attend the army ceremony and to place the metal on my chest. My sister Ligia also attended that ceremony.
Chapter 10. Academic Years at the University
10.1.1. I attended the Industrial University of Santander (Universidad Industrial de Santander, UIS) where I was an honored student, most of the time I studied there for free because of my average score and low income. I graduated there as an Electrical Engineer in September of 1975.
10.1.2. Remember I told you how hard I prepared myself for the entrance exam to the university? When I was in my first semester in 1970, I was helping two girls who were nursery students. They had hard time with Chemistry. As I was helping them, I noticed their limited intelligence, specially of one of the girls. I wondered how she was able to pass the admission exam. I asked her for that exam. She said: "No. I did not present that exam, I wanted to study in Bogotá City, away from home. But my father wanted me to study here and continue living at home. My father called the Rector of the University and asked him to admit me without presenting that exam. When students were presenting that exam I was inBogotá." That influence was not knew to me. At that time it was well known among students that at least ten percent of admissions were reserved, so the rest of people, ten thousand or more per career from all the country, competed for the left ones, the 90 percent. The network of influence of the power elite in Colombia is great, as it is around the planet, many selected bred families of the power elite are actually controlled and work for the Illuminati. Why do you think Colombia is in the political mess it is today (2003), as it has been throughout its history? That hold is so strong that only with the help of the Ascended Masters we will be able to free ourselves.
10.2.1. My school years had as a backdrop the sixties and seventies with the flower children, the rock-n-roll music, the Viet Nam War, the American Imperialism and the Cold War. Were times filled with clashes with police forces, hungry strikes, anti-war rallies and a lot of anti American sentiment.
10.2.2. Communism and socialistic ideas seemed to be the solution to the disparate difference between the rich, the Oligarchs, and the poor, the proletariat. I was influenced by this trend and was a left-wing sympathizer. I joined some rallies and at one time I was in a clash with the army that was sent to stop a student manifestation in front of the university. I remember throwing a rock against a solder, I think I hit his head, a little karma here on that head bump, well, whatever will be, will be!
10.3.1. In other occasion I participated in the tearing down of a Coca Cola billboard that was located by the university entrance. I worked hard with other students to take it down with the idea of fighting the American imperialism of the corporate world.
10.3.2. I also was in a rally that expulsed a newly-appointed rector of the university, a well known canning politician who had this position by as a political payoff and cared less about the institution. Students grabbed him from his office in the university and dragged him out along the entrance avenue with the shouting: "Here they are, those are the ones, the ones who sell the nation!"
10.4.1. Sometimes we had to run for shelter when the police was shooting, chasing students, throwing tear gases indistinctively or detaining people during student strike and rallies. Sometimes we were not involved but had to protect ourselves as if we were participants of the demonstration. Since my high school, university and my for-long-time home were close to each other I lived this situation for all my youth.
10.4.2. I saw graffiti constantly in the university and almost on every white wall near the university. But in contrast to graffiti in the USA which is done by street gangs, there it was political graffiti, full of left-wing protest and anti American imperialism slogans. One very typical was Yankees, Go Home! in reference to the Viet Nam War and the infiltration of the US in Colombian affairs.
10.5.1. I attended the student association AUDESA meetings in the cafeteria of the university. Some of the student leaders felt honored to have good students participating in their meetings and campaigns.
10.5.2. Over time I grew disappointed with the campus politics, the student school board and the communist ideas, and decided to move out. I realized that was not the way and not my Path.
10.6.1. The Industrial University of Santander has one of the world’s best sacred and secular music choirs. I was not a choir member because of my studies did not leave me enough time for music, however I did apply admittance at one time and went to some rehearsals.
10.6.2. The music director of that choir was at that time Maestro Gustavo Gómez-Ardila,the composer of Bucaramanga’s theme song Campesina Santandereana (Santanderean Peasant Girl). He was the choir director for 35 years. Members of the choir suggested several times to Maestro Gómez-Ardila to incorporate the song Aquarius in their repertoire. With reticence he finally gave up. It made them win a national award.
10.6.3. This song "Age of Aquarius" was made famous by "The Fifth Dimension", another coded name for Aquarius, and part of the Broadway Musical hit, "Hair."
10.6.4.The song has an encoded message for the Aquarian people. It is connected to what has happened and is happening to the planet during my life time. The song gives the planetary alignment that marks the official beginning of the Aquarian Age, which happened on February 4, 1962, with the planets of our solar system in conjunction in Aquarius house between 2 and 3PM in the afternoon. This congregation of planets, extremely rare, occurs only once every 2160 years, moving from one constellation to the next.
10.6.5.It talks about crystal technology being revealed, harmony and understanding among people (with the opening of the heart chakras and other powers), no more hidden agendas and cover-ups that make mockery and derisions of sacred teachings and extraterrestrial knowledge, the celebrations in the New Age communities, the connections with angelic realms, interplanetary traveling (traveling our starry courses), the guidance of the Extraterrestrial Elders (cosmic forces), etc. Galt MacDermot, who composed it —who composed "Hair"— should have known what he was talking about, it is not a coincidence.
(Click here for the Fifth Dimension version of this song of the Hair Musical, 2.13MB)
When the Moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars,
then Peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars.
This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,
Age of Aquarius,
Harmony and understanding,
Sympathy and trust abounding,
No more falsehoods or derisions,
Golden living dreams of visions,
Mystic crystal revelation,
And the mind’s true liberation.
When the Moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars,
then Peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars.
This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,
Age of Aquarius,
As our hearts go beating through the night
We dance unto the dawn of day,
To be bearers of the water
Our light will lead the way.
We are the spirit of the age of Aquarius,
The Age of Aquarius.
Harmony and understanding,
Sympathy and trust abounding,
Rising fiery constellation,
Traveling our starry courses
Guided by the cosmic forces
Of care for us.
10.7.1. Like in any university you found there professors, and pseudo-professors or impostors, which is the same, they just need the money and care less about education. One such notorious personage was the the Dean of the Faculty, the teacher of Electronics and Electronic Laboratory. He seemed tired of teaching the same subject for years and rushed through it expecting you to know what he was talking about. His comments were harsh and he kept an aloof demeanor when talking to students or during consultations. His tests were tough and flunking students was on of his specialties.
10.7.2. My class of 1970 was all characterized for students who complied with the rules, dreamed about their professional careers and wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. So they tolerated this guy. But the class of 1971 was of a different breed: it had representatives of the student association, AUDESA. They were revolutionary and did not accept the improper behavior of this professor. They applied a practical psychology on him: They studied his attitude to the last detail, and then wrote a whole Memorial of Aggravations that they pasted on the walls of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering entrance hall. It was written with neat letters with subtitles in other color on big paper sheets lined up from the ceiling down. And they initiated a strike to demand the removal of this teacher from the faculty by disrupting classes, they entered classrooms and asked all students to leave the class blocking the teacher from continue teaching. They also convoked all students of the faculty who had classes with him to a room to sign a petition. I went there, of course, and signed it, and to my surprise, I did not see any of my classmates. Chicken!
"Do not sit and wait for things to change for better because most likely they won’t, get out there and start the change."
10.7.3. The management of the university urged negotiations with the students union and rushed an unplanned appointment of a new Dean, an excellent professor of Digital Electronics, who was loved by everyone. He was a scientist and away from internal politics. But he did not like the previous Dean. After negotiations he assigned to him only the Lab. The bad teacher felt displaced and unwanted and six month later resigned and left. There is a moral here too: "Do not sit and wait for things to change for better because most likely they won’t, get out there and start the change."
10.8.1. Being surrounded by self-conscious people and at an age when good "look" seems so important, I became self-conscious of my appearance. In the university I had a scholarship from the ECOPETROL, the Colombian refinery I joined later, because I applied for it and was granted based on my school grades, a small scholarship from the city I had since my seventh grade, and a student’s loan. Then I could afford better clothing.
10.8.2. It was the seventies when we dressed with gabardine tight pants of squares that had big bell bottoms that covered the shoes. I had several of those stylized pants of different colors. My pants and shirts were mostly custom-made of models from tailor’s catalogues. I always liked to buy quality woolen cloths and get custom pants from them. I dressed with better clothes back then than I do today, simple because that is not as important to me anymore.
10.8.3. My wife for a while reminded me of the way I used to dress and complained about my present informal dress, because that’s the way she saw me when she first met me, and she thought I was going to continue dressing like that. However for work and lectures I always wear necktie.
10.8.4. Far into the future I will dress more colorfully in accordance with the Aquarian Age.
10.9.1 During most of my university years I went with a friend to the gymnasium and practiced weight lifting in the afternoons. During a semester when I interrupted my practice because I thought it was affecting my school performance, actually I had the worst semester when I failed a subject, Electrical Measurements. Instead of regularly attending this class, I preferred to spend my time studying Strength of Materials, that I found so fascinating. The next semester I repeated Electrical Measurements and had the highest score. Because I failed this class I had to take summer classes and graduated a semester later. For the rest of my career I went back to my bodybuilding to only quitting it after graduation.
10.10.1 I did my thesis with my bodybuilding friend and long-time university companion during vacation time at the end of my 10th semester. He helped me very little and was most of the time absent living already in another city. I worked very hard, most of the time on my own, and completed it before the school started in February of 1975. Then I took some classes and a summer course and graduated in September of 1975.
10.11.1. As I write this autobiography I regret not being taught at the university the life and works of Nikola Tesla, the ignored science hero, the zero point free energy and the MEG technology of Dr. Thomas Bearden, which main mathematics was researched at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Because the electrical circuits are faulty if they do not take advantage of the vacuum energy. But I do not fully blame the university for that: Suppression of this information has been part of the disinformation control that the Illuminati/Dark agenda has exerted over the academic world. The agenda had help, with no so much pressure, by narrow-minded professors.
10.11.2. I hope our Santander Industrial University will be a major player in the study of these technologies. Solar, wind, geothermal is not the final solution; these technologies have been used as a smoke screen and disinformation agents to deviate public attention from the real one: Zero-point quantum vacuum.
10.12.1. Before I close this chapter I am going to tell you a little anecdote with a scientific twist. In Bucaramanga the weather is so nice that most of the time you do not need hot water in the shower. When we lived in the San Francisco neighborhood the water was colder than in other parts of town and taking a bath with room temperature water was a torture, at least for me. I jumped shivering under the water to keep my body warm and when came out I was shaking of cold and pale. Whether or not we took frequent baths during the week, it was mandatory for everybody to take a bath on Sunday morning.
10.12.2. It is typical of Colombian homes to have a water tank, mostly outdoors, over the roof, as emergency water in case the water service is temporarily cut off for maintenance or repairs, which may take sometimes a day or two to return service. So this tank is not for hot water. When I was in the university for some years before my graduation we were living in a rented house that had an indoor tank on top of the bathroom toilet. It looked similar to a hot water tank, except that it had a removable top cover. The maintenance of this home had to be done by us since the owner did not take good care of it and wanted to evict us instead to sell it.
10.12.3. The water tank level buoy had a leak at the connecting point to the lever arm. I put tape on the thread but only worked for few months before the problem showed up again. As the water surface moved the arm to a horizontal position and the inlet water valve closed, the continuous water force over the metallic buoy sphere warped it and the leak showed up again filling the buoy with water through the leak and sinking it. The sinking of the buoy created the opening of the water valve and the overspill of the tank. One day this created a big flood and mess in the house.
10.12.4. I devised the solution without replacing any component. I closed the main entrance water supply. Then removed the buoy sphere and emptied it, next I made a hole of 1/16 " diameter on the opposite side of the sphere attachment to the lever. Then I taped the thread again and reinstalled the buoy. The tape on the thread was only to secure the buoy, I knew it would present a leak again at this point allowing water to enter the buoy. I turned the water back on, the water tank filled up and the water lever moved up and closed the valve at the horizontal position, as it was supposed to. This level switch worked fine —up and down— and never gave me any problem again. I let to your reasoning and good intelligence and as a homework to analyze why this simple solution worked.
Chapter 11. Initial Philosophical and Spiritual Search
11.1.1. I did not find support at home for my beliefs and intellectual pursues, so I looked for it outside. I also found peace outside that I usually did not find at home. I first got acquainted in 1962 with a philosopher of modest means but with a deep passion for knowledge with a magnificent collections of rare philosophical books, he had Kant, Rousseau, Voltaire, John Locke, Charles Darwin, etc. He was a street male-shirt peddler and the uncle of a classmate. He lent me books and I spent hours on weekend afternoons in circles of friend discussing politics and philosophy. He married a woman he was twenty years her senior.
11.2.1. I found great interest in the teachings of Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the Gnostic movement. I still have some of my original Aun Weor’s books that I don’t know when I packed to bring to the United States. He tells us that the Age of Aquarius began on February 4, 1962. This date is recognized by Gnostics as the Official Gnostic New Year and is celebrated at Gnostic centers throughout the world. More on this in the Section of the Aquarius Song.
11.2.2. I liked to go to the Centro Colombo Americano (American Colombian Center) in Bucaramanga, for the learning of the English language. My sister Inés graduated there and I took classes and loved to go to its library during my school vacations, mainly. One time I left the library and in the park facing the center I saw a congregation of people. Curious I decided to investigate.
11.2.3. In the center of the circle were officials of the Gnostic movement during a ritual open to the public. The high priest and his wife were officiating the ceremony. But above us the sun was too bright and it was too hot. Then the priest said: "It is hot. Before we start, let’s pray for the clouds to hide the sun so we can have a fresh place for the ceremony. He prayed, while we vowed our heads, and commanded the elementals undines and sylphs to move the clouds. In less than five minutes the clouds had moved and the ceremony was continued with a fresh weather for us.
11.3.1. I also enjoyed the company of my best friend with whom I grew up attending junior high and high school. His name was Eduardo Hernández–Guillén (he passed away in November of 2000 from a brain cancerous tumor, he is survived by his wife, Olga, and two children, one of which is an artist like his grandfather). Eduardo was the son of a well-known Bucaramangan master painter, Mario Hernández-Prada, not related to my family. I learned from Eduardo to do artistic painting and the techniques of color and shade, artistic composition and balance by critiquing his father’s work. On weekends I went to his home, went into Eduardo’s bedroom, woke him up and then spent the day in their home drinking coffee and talking art, cybernetics, man-machine interface as in the cyborgs, history, philosophy, aesthetics, etc. We were ahead of our time and our age.
11.3.2. EduardoHernández was a genius, humble and very creative, even though he scored average at school. Some of our ideas have not materialized yet, they will during the Aquarian Age. As his father heard these eleven- or twelve-year-old lads talking this good he got interested and as we grew older he took us seriously as his "peers" by joining the circle. Today Mario is handicapped of a stroke and can no longer paint, but the talent is continued with his daughter Clemencia who paints as good as her father. Blanca, Mario’s wife, an Art History teacher, passed away in the early eighties. She was like a mother to me. With Eduardo we used the school recess to discuss philosophy, away from the noise and non-sense of students chasing each other or to a ball, so I saw it that way back then. However, the friendship with Eduardo and our teaching was of an intellectual nature. It was a rational mind knowledge that did not completely satisfied me, although I enjoyed it.
"I was free and I was me"
11.4.1. In my class of literature in seventh grade the teacher recommended the students to carry a pocket notebook where we kept a collection of maxims and phrases from famous people and writers so we could refer to it often to memorize them. So I did, in my little book I wrote this sentence attributed to the German existentialist philosopher Nietche, "Convictions are prisons." I knew it was important for a good man to have good convictions, so this sentence seemed contradictory. I asked for its meaning to my teacher of Philosophy, but his answer did not satisfy me, so I kept pondering on it. Finally I understood it. It had to do with the belief system. If you keep a rigid belief system in yourself, then you self-imprison in it. In a visualization I saw myself incarcerated in a gloomy room made of my own convictions with no doors and no windows. It was mostly formed of ideas not originally from me, but given to me by others, and that I had accepted. So I rejected this prison I was in and visualized its walls crumbling down. As I did it, I saw cracks in the walls until they fell revealing to me in any direction a vast expanse of green fields bathed by the sun. I felt free, "I was free and I was me", parodying the title of one of David Icke’s books.
May you, my reader, question anything coming through the Illuminati-controlled mass media or told by parents, friends or society in general. It may have a hidden agenda or an error.
11.4.2. Some people have such as deep mental programming that makes them identify with their unarguable belief system, which involves religion, politics, science, etc., and an urge to give their power away to "authorities", be them a politician or a scientist. They fear the demolishing of this belief system may leave them "naked" and reduced to almost nothing. It is a deep attachment to self-limiting ideas and false human idols or otherwise, and, they believe, these ideas are what they are or these idols what they want to become. The more formal education you have, the harder it is to break through the mold of this false reality. It is a mental construct so ingrained in their psyches —and in defense of which they may even kill or turn savage— that can only be demolished through deep traumatic experiences such as wars, floods, fires, etc., or official exposes of the corruption of the authorities they looked for guidance and norm. And because some only grow that way, these experiences will come to make them wiser and smarter. In Spanish there is a motto that says: "De las faltas ajenas corrige el sabio las propias",which means, "From somebody else’s faults, the wise corrects their own." Just study others and do not fall in their same holographic trap. May you, my reader, question anything coming through the Illuminati-controlled mass media or told by parents, friends or society in general. It may have a hidden agenda or an error.
I became deeply disappointed with the Catholic church and with all Christians churches as I studied the history of the church and its manipulation and control it exerted throughout the ages.
11.4.3. I became deeply disappointed with the Catholic church and with all Christians churches as I studied the history of the church and its manipulation and control it exerted throughout the ages. Then I saw the contradictions of the Bible, the dogma and fundamentalism of the church, imposed dysfunctional ideas that were not really mine as were many other cultural lies people worked hard to sell me, but that came down through culture and handed down from family. These false ideas and values, religious or otherwise, are a chain, one brings the other, so cleverly crafted and so cleverly reinforced that you do not know what is true and what is a lie.
11.4.4. People think that if they remove their culture and religion, they simply fall apart, when in reality these ideas are exactly what they are not. There is a lot of mistruth and misguidance in the world and it is your responsibility to listen to and let inner guidance tell you what is good and what is distorted. As I said before, people work hard to sell ideas —based on fear— but when you consistently reject those impositions then they go away and do not bother you any longer. This is just a trial in life. They did not do it because they wanted to do evil on you, they did it because they didn’t know better and thought this is what good is and wanted to do you a favor.
11.4.5. This stupid idea of heaven and hell and one-time-deal incarnation seemed so absurd! But I can’t put in better words this business of so-called Heaven, let’s use the words of a master of the subtle language —English is my second language— and an expert in extraterrestrial studies and contactee, Dr. George Hunt Williamson. He can whip these self-appointed priests, ministers and impostors with his own prophetic words much better than I can. Let’s quote Dr. Williamson’s book "Other Tongues, Other Flesh", Chapter 14, The Remnant:
"The Aquarian Age then is not going to see a decline of inventive activity or pursuit; the Master is not going to abolish everything except a picnic society that drives the Father to distraction with all sung hymns!
"The Father’s ‘mansions’ are beehives of activity, where we are each working out our destiny and serving our brothers and sisters to the best of our ability. Our ‘heavenly’ reward in the Golden Times will be the opportunity for more and more expressive labor in order to better serve ourselves and others. Harp-playing forever? I’m afraid not. That would soon become "hell", as anyone knows who has been forced to practice music lessons day in and day out. Humanity needs intense activity and the opportunity to expand our consciousness…"
11.4.6. And so it’s written, and so it shall be!
"A faith that does not enter in crisis, remains infantile." —Anonymous Author.
11.5.1. I decided never go to church and became atheist. Somebody said: "A faith that does not enter in crisis, remains infantile." I liked to invite church people when they visited my home during their proselytism and challenge them by pointing church inconsistencies and the Biblical contradictions —I made a collection of hundreds of them. They were overwhelmed by the evidence presented to them and never wanted to discuss with me anymore.
11.5.2. But when I left this period of my life I came out as a new man, with spiritual convictions of my own, sprouted of long hours of analysis. Now I was not following somebody’s ideas but they were my own beliefs to stay. It was like I had died to the old ways and became anew as the Phoenix bird.
11.5.3. And I became a person inclined to mysticism and spirituality. Then I met the Lerzundy family. Don Tomás Lerzundy was a successful tailor of high taste and refinement who made custom tuxedos and suits mainly for the upper classes.He cut the fabric and then contracted local tailors to sew it. His wife, Doña Josefina de Lerzundy, adapted the dress after it was tried on the client and corrected any imperfection. They also rented out tuxedos for parties.
11.6.1. I visited this most unique family who on the side studied the Hindu philosophy, the yogis from India and their feats of psychic and supernatural powers and were pretty much interested in extraterrestrial teachings and channeling. I enjoyed seeing Don Tomás cut the wool cloths and comment about Ashtar Sheran and the world evacuation plan, about the "Secret of the Andes", the prophetic book of Dr. George Hunt Williamson (Brother Philip), about the unusual and supernatural, about the teachings of Lady Master Ogamisama, the prophetess of Tabuse, Japan, and the daily reciting of her mantram Na-Myo-Ho-Ren-Ge-Kyo. Don Tomás had a vegetarian diet which he broke once in a while to satisfy a craving for a good juicy piece of sirloin barbeque. He practiced yoga and meditation. He was also excellent as entertainer, had memorized jokes and long poems, making him the center of any social gathering. He never worked for anybody, but was an independent entrepreneur.
11.6.2. I spent long hours in their company reading books and texts of the latest transmissions of the Ashtar Command for the Aquarian Age and their predictions of world changes. I became very close friend of their youngest son, Tomás, Jr., about my age, whom I affectionately called Tomasito, as I still do today. Doña Josefina died in the early nineties and DonTomás in the year 2001.
11.7.1. Most of the weekend spare time I shared it between Eduardo Hernández and the Lerzundy Family, who never knew each other.
11.7.2. I had other very good friends in my life, some of them were like family to me, I do not mentioned them here since they did not directly contributed to my spiritual and philosophical upbringing.
Chapter 12. Dental Material Business
12.1.1. My brother Hernando decided that instead of giving us money as economic support, he should give us dental material (epoxy compounds, silver amalgam for fillings, bits, forceps, etc.), so I could sell it and make a profit maximizing the money for home expenses and to have his own share when he visited us on vacation.
12.1.2. Hernando was a womanizer, drove a fancy Mustang sport car, dressed elegant, liked to associate himself with upper class people whom he admired, and loved to smoke and drink. What a contradiction that my mother thought he could make it into a good priest to follow in the vocation of so many priests in the family, so she sent him to a seminary. He escaped from the seminary/jail by hitchhiking and hanging from the back of a truck. I think he did the right thing. Should Hernando have become priest, he would have had an eye focused on the altar and the other on the pretty señoritas attending Mass, and loading too much the altar’s cup. Thanks God he changed his mind. Otherwise he might have been the disgrace of church and family, not that much of me, I don’t care much about that kind of disgrace anyway.
12.2.1. At the beginning he brought the merchandize with him, but later wanting to avoid the risk of customs he got rid of the problem by dumping it on me.
12.2.2. By this time I was living with my mother and with two or three other brothers and sisters who went in and out of the house. So I became responsible for running the home affairs.
12.2.3. I learned the business by studying the literature that came with the products and by learning from dentists. I translated to Spanish the literature in English on new products, trained dentists, and with the selling of the material I gave them my translations.
12.2.4. Hernando called me from San Cristóbal, Venezuela, where he bought the merchandize, and asked me to travel there and meet him. I had to secure a permit to enter Venezuela. I managed to smuggle dental material through the border between Colombia and Venezuela and never get caught —I had to lie a little and be resourceful in more than one occasion, I should admit it.
12.3.1. One time I saw how a custom agent was giving a hard time to a cab passenger —seating by the window and next to me on the front car seat— who had a bag of grapes and he did not paid custom taxes on them —probably this guy was coveting the grapes for himself. Ironically, I had in today’s money over US$10,000 in dental bits, which are expensive, made of steel and diamond, which by being so small they can be camouflaged in a small package. I faked sleeping and ignoring this arguing while the merchandize was between my feet on the floor and covered by a blanket.
12.3.2. I usually traveled at late night, the weather was awfully cold and misty, with poor visibility. I had to pass safely through 18 custom check points between San Antonio and Bucaramanga. In some of those check points the guards were sleepy and did not want to get out of their cozy booths to check cars and just wave their hands, they acted differently, at day time, though. In some others, known at tough check point, there was always checking, sometimes two guys approached the cars. Every trip was an adventure and risky business but the rewards were great at the end. Later on, with the change in currency value when the bolívar fell, even below the Colombian peso, this enterprise was no longer as profitable.
12.4.1. In Bucaramanga I sold the materials at a competitive price and the business took off as a home operation but only as a temporary one since I was really focused in my Electrical Engineering career. I was known by the competition but they let me alone and sometimes I sold them dental materials too. We had no more money issues and had enough to pay rent, then in the university I met my future wife. I had had two previous girlfriends but not serious relationships.
Chapter 13. We Eloped
13.1.1. We were boyfriend and girlfriend for two years. We loved each other. I saw her for the first time as she was waiting for the bus carrying a mandolin, she was still playing with her high school in a tuna (group of student minstrels) as she did for several years when she was in that school. At that time I was struggling to learn to play guitar and with some effort I played and sang. Sometimes we got together and played and sang. She was good at guitar accompaniment and could easily fake music or figure out the music accompaniment with just listening to the song. I, instead, had to have the music notes written on the song verses in front of me. Some years later, I quit playing guitar.
13.1.2. Two months before my graduation decided to elope and get married. So we did. At that time my parents in law did not like me.
13.1.3. The wedding ceremony was simple, lady of honor and her mother, best friend, the marrying couple and the priest. We wore normal street clothes. When it was time for wearing rings, the priest looked at me. I waved my head saying no, the priest understood and skipped that part, nothing is cast in concrete in that ceremony, it can be worked out and compromised on the fly. It was a custom-ceremony. My wife was always watching at the church door as we were getting married, to see if her parents were to abruptly interrupt at any time and stop the ceremony, they never showed up, that mostly happens in movies and soap operas.
13.1.4. It was a very cheap wedding, I can tell you that, on a week day, and done early in the morning, too. You cannot make it cheaper than that, can you? And yet it was for life. See others that marry with so much pomp to break vows six months later. If you really think about it, you do not need all this fancy to please others for a day and then you get stuck with a big bill to pay, a simple ceremony will do, better save your money for what lies ahead, lo que será, será! (what will be, will be!) as in that song.
13.1.5. After the wedding we had things to do, so we went to our regular business. When my wife went home, she was evicted from her home. Later on my parents in law changed their minds about me, that is why you should not judge others, you never know what they have in store.
13.1.6. My wife moved to live with me at my home (my mother’s home.)
Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
(Click here for the Andy Williams’ version of this beautiful song, 2.63MB)
Love is a many splendored thing.
It’s the April rose that only grows in the early spring.
Love is nature’s way of giving, a reason to be living,
The golden crown that makes a man, a King.
13.2.1. My wife lived with my mother while she finished her education in Mathematics, which she did while working sometimes full time in two schools, and as I moved to get a job and later to start to work in the refinery, in Barrancabermeja, a very hot and humid town about two hours from Bucaramanga. Thanks God it was like that, otherwise I would have not resigned to a good position with good remuneration and benefits to move to the United States where I had no job and an uncertain future.
Chapter 14. Job Search in Venezuela
14.1.1. When I graduated from the university I sold out all the dental material left and closed that business.
14.1.2. Because during the sixties and seventies the Venezuelan currency, bolívar, was stronger that the Colombian pesos then it was better to work in Venezuela, save and invest your money in Colombia to accomplish more in less time. My bother Hernando did it, so I walked on his footsteps.
14.1.3. When I graduated from the university at age 24 I went to Venezuela to find a job. I have never traveled away from home, except for short trips to visit family within the country, and never to a foreign country.
14.2.1. In Venezuela I lived one of the saddest and most painful chapters of my life.
14.2.2. My brother Hernando worked since 1966 as a Mechanical Engineer in the Siderúrgica del Orinoco (Orinoco Siderurgy) and lived in CiudadBolívar, a port of the Orinoco River in the central part of Venezuela. Later he translated to Maracaibo and worked as a professor of Physics for the Maracaibo University. During that time in 1975-6 he started developing schizophrenia. His stories about work experiences, when he visited the family, had a strange touch of surrealism. Some were descriptions of hallucinations.
14.2.3. Now, I am an occultist, I study paranormal and know about visions. Analyzing them from my present perspective I know these were not visions of a spiritual nature but of a mind in disarray. He presented to me a conflict between practical and theoretical people beyond what normal common sense may accept and about Venezuelan politics and dressing codes with particular color coding to please his boss or others of particular political affiliations. In one occasion I went with him to a male clothing store and he bought a purple suit and pink shirts and neckties of strange colors that were not his taste and style of previous years. Something was not going right in his mind. He brought his class textbook of Physics when visiting us and asked me to solve all the problems for the semester and explain them to him. This I did. He was unable to solve them himself.
14.2.4. I graduated and went to Venezuela with him in his car. I expected he would help me find a job as a teacher. He tried but his reputation at the campus was not good so his help did not work. Then he wanted me to stay with him —he had a big apartment with several rooms, some rented—, attend his classes as a student and solve all the textbook problems and teach him. I attended one of his classes and found him meandering the subject and confused. But I could not sit in his classes and live with him, I had to find a job and start my life. So this I told him.
14.2.5. He turned very irritated and threw me out of his apartment. One of the renting students, a person I just knew, felt compassion for me and found somebody to take me in his apartment for free. From now on I was alone in that country, with no help. I returned to Colombia and then went back to Venezuela to continue my job search.
Maybe the "Chinita" was helping me.
14.3.1. When I arrived back to Maracaibo, at around 5PM, it was during the day of the Festival of the "Chinita" (an affectionate name given by those locals to Mother Mary). This was popular festivities to Virgin Mary that lasted several days. They have a deep cult to the Holy Mother Mary and people from many provinces travel to Maracaibo for that festivity. All hotels were booked. After driving me through town from hotel to hotel unsuccessfully, the taxi driver suggested me to stay overnight in the bus terminal that is open all night long. He said he could not drive any further with me because his shift ended at 6PM and he wanted to go home.
14.3.2. He headed to the terminal but changed his mind and instead went to the residential hotel of an Italian lady to check out for vacancies, he said she was his friend. He asked me to stay in the car so she would not be influenced by my accent and may turn me down. He tried to convince her on my behalf, but she said she couldn’t because was expecting somebody to come that night to the only empty room available. Seeing his futile attempts I went to talk to her and beg her for my stay even if I had to stay in an aisle, since I had a small rolled-up mattress. Finally she accepted and gave me the empty room. The person that booked it never showed up. I wonder, was that done on purpose by someone to keep that room for me? Why the cab driver remembered that place at last moment?, it was not his first choice. Maybe the "Chinita" was watching over me. I stayed in that hotel several weeks eating the cheapest dish they had: boiled spaghettis with tomato sauce and eating some food I carried in my luggage.
14.3.3. I initially remained in Maracaibo for over a month. Then went to Valencia, Coro, Puerto Cabello and Caracas. I traveled with a luggage in one hand and the rolled mattress under the arm pit of the other arm, ready to sleep in an aisle of a boarding house if there was no room available, or if I found free accommodation someplace.
14.4.1. Being a Colombian in Venezuela I was usually discriminated upon because of my nationality. Jokes were made on me suggesting I might be a thief, because of the popular misconception that all Colombians were —originated from some cases of Colombian criminals operating in Venezuela. Criminals are everywhere.
14.4.2. This anti Colombian sentiment in Venezuela was stirred by the yellow press, creating a negative atmosphere to those good citizens who looked for decent jobs; it had really as a root cause job competition, and job displacement for locals, because of the well known reputation of hard working Colombians among companies’ executives. Being minority, Colombians had to excel to survive. In Venezuela I suffered discrimination for the first time —the second time was the United States, where I live today, where discrimination has gone today, sadly, from overt to covert. Before then I didn’t know what that feeling really was. You cannot know it until you are discriminated yourself.
14.4.3. Venezuelan people of those times imitated my Colombian accent and told me I was an Andino (Andean, from the Andes), they usually associated a lowly image to Venezuelan Andean people who were usually rural and peasant. Over the years I have met good Venezuelan people, specially in the New Age movement, and when I tell them these stories, they turn sad and understand me.
14.5.1. Other painful moments for me were when applying for visa extensions and visa applications at the Immigration offices in Caracas. There were interminable lines. Employees were very rude with Colombians and requested lengthy lists of requirements for visas. When you brought them as requested, they filed your application and forgot about it. That was my case, but when I visited again they said I had to be in Colombia to receive my visa, they cannot give it to me while being in Venezuela. Then I went to Colombia and waited for it as promised, but that visa never arrived. Well, I don’t know if I am still in the waiting list, maybe some day I get my Venezuelan visa and show it to my great-great-grand children, that I finally can work legally in Venezuela.
14.5.2. Because the visa never arrived I lost the job in Carúpano I finally had after so much struggle and travel. I will tell you about that next. But that was supposed to happen, otherwise I would not have traveled to the US as later I did.
14.5.3. Well, Colombians were discriminated minorities in Venezuela because of their lack of voting power, same as were the minorities in the United States for over two centuries…
The sun was not yet in the horizon and I still continued focusing in my soul’s Light as I was softly lit by a street lamp.
14.6.1. In Caracas I lived for almost a month. I did a lot of walking around searching for a job. From Caracas I went to Puerto La Cruz where I stayed in the home of some Colombian Hernando’s friends. It was from Puerto La Cruz that I visited Carúpano several times in search for a teaching position.
14.6.2. I found a job as a Professor of Physics in the Fishing Technological Institute in Carúpano,in the Sucre State. During the interviews and several follow-ups I was dropped early morning about 5AM, at the wharf by a taxi cab with several passengers. The cab took about two hours to make the trip from Puerto La Cruz, in a a road with an ideal panoramic view of the sea.
14.6.3. There, on that wharf, before the rushing sea waves pounding on the rocks of the breakers, I sat alone on a park bench on the boardwalk while some merchants were getting their business ready for the arrival of the fishermen and the fish bargain. There, under a black sky sprinkled with twinkling stars, I started to meditate with the soothing sound of the waves as a background music and a gentle breeze caressing my face. The sun was not yet in the horizon and I still continued focusing in my soul’s Light while I was softly lit by a street lamp. I thought about the nature of reality and imagined matter vibrating at an atomic level, not a theoretical model of chemistry but a true essence. This gave me the start into my own spiritual search.
14.6.4. Then day light came and I walked up the street to get some breakfast and to catch the bus to go to the institute. For breakfast I had "arepa de huevo", or "arep’ ‘e huevo" for short (thick corn tortilla with eggs inside) and a sandwich with "carne desmechada" (shredded meat), accompanied by a cup of coffee with milk. This is fast food very typical of the Atlantic coast of Colombia and Venezuela.
14.7.1. But the 5 months experience in Venezuela did not land me any job.
14.7.2. Hernando finally lost his job as a teacher, returned home and left for the United States where he did minor jobs. Unable to hold a steady job and as his illness progressed he felt frustrated and the morning of October 11, 1978, he went into his car to go to work and in the garage of my sister Inés he shot himself in the head. He was 39 years old. God bless his soul.
14.8.1. I am going to tell here an anecdotic incident that happened to me on my returning trip from Venezuela. Since my visa was expiring in Puerto La Cruz I had only two days left to leave the country or become illegal, I went to Caracas and took a non-stop trip to Cúcuta, a Colombian city on the border between Colombia and Venezuela. The bus left Caracas in the late afternoon.
14.8.2. At about an hour North East from San Cristóbal and some hours after midnight, an immigration patrol stopped the bus and an agent in uniform jumped in asking for papers. I handed him my passport but he noticed that my visa had expired some hours ago, so technically I was in an illegal status. He escorted me out of the bus and took me to the back end of the bus and told me that my visa was expired and asked me for bolivars $100.00 to let me go. I told him that my bus was stopping in a few hours in Colombia as its final destination and that my visa had expired during the bus trip. I argued that I was a responsible citizen, an engineer in search for a job and aware of my legal status, that was the reason I was going to Colombia, to extend my visa. I even wanted to show him my resume, but nothing convinced this stubborn greedy head. So I pulled out from my wallet a $20.00 Bolívar bill and handed it to him. He did not accepted the money and asked for the originally requested amount. He pointed to me his boss, a big man of higher rank in military uniform who was beside the patrol car parked on the opposite road shoulder. He seemed busy talking to another immigration agent.
14.8.3. The "negotiating" agent said that his boss was very strict, that if he would inform him that I was illegal, he would immediately detain me, would take me to Caracas in the patrol car where I would be jailed and fined for being illegal in Venezuela, deported and would face all these consequences. And here is the best part: All my experiences of my youth in dealing with human psychology and listening to my inner feelings paid off. I said to him: "I’ll talk to your boss and I’ll explain to him my situation." This man could not believe my tenacity and boldness, I have all odds against me and yet I was not even willing to sacrifice those few bolivars.
14.8.4. Before he said a word I was in front of his "terrifying" boss. I explained to him my situation, what his immigration agent was asking of me and showed him the $20Bolívar bill I was willing to pay to clear my situation. The bus passengers patiently waited and lurked through the window curious and in expectation of the results, some may have even heard my dealing and arguing.
"There are uncertain times in life when you should totally let your inner boss take complete control of the situation."
14.8.5. The boss looked at me directly into my eyes and calmly said: "Give me those 20 bucks and jump in the bus. You’re free to go!" The other agent was upset since he had lost the money that now was in his boss’s pocket. When I got on the bus the whole crew applauded me including the bus driver, at that moment I was a hero to them.
14.8.6. The moral of the story is: "There are uncertain times in life when you should totally let your inner boss take complete control of the situation."
Chapter 15. Professional Life in Colombia
15.1.1. When I was at home again, I applied for a position in the Colombian Refinery of Barrancabermeja, known asEcopetrol. There I found a job in April of 1976 and started my professional career as an Electrical Engineer getting involved in many electrical power projects. I worked there for nine years since 1976 to 1984. I wrote technical manuals and training materials too and taught multiple courses.
15.2.1. At the refinery I met my first work political challenge. In the Electrical Group I found an agreed-upon policy followed by managers even though it was a made-up treaty, not a written one, most likely after working hours discussed between rounds of beer and aguardiente drinks at a party or in the company’s club bar by preceding engineers, as sometimes new policy seeds or work assignments were born. It run like this: To keep a balanced and friendly power structure, free from the frictions created by jealousy, or somebody stepping on somebody else’s toes, there was a clearly defined boundary of power between the three authorities: the administrative group manager, the technical senior engineer —who was the group highest technical authority— and the manager of the supervisors, usually a practical or empirical technician, not a graduated engineer, who was promoted to this position because of experience, practical knowledge and years of service. So far, so good.
|Back then I had the same basic desire to bring the light of knowledge to the masses and to dispel darkness as I am doing it right now through my website and as I will do eternally!|
15.2.2. The problem with this power scheme is that anybody that was not part of this triangle of power did not have opportunities or they were scarce. They dictated what and who did what and when, and it was hard to get credit for personal work. That sometimes bothered because was a limiting factor in career advancement. Other thing that bothered me most was that technical people were not trained enough on engineering aspects I understood then as vital to accomplish their job. And still another, which was related to training too, was to prevent the engineer from acquiring hands-on experience in areas of technician domain and where the trade union did not want engineers to get involved. I came there to learn, independent of which domain the work fell into.
15.2.3. So I had frictions with the head of supervisors, don Miguel Ferreira, because I told him what to do, based on engineering knowledge, or because I was getting into practical knowledge which combined with my engineering skills was making me grow too fast.
15.2.4 I had troubles with the senior engineer, Gustavo Hernández, because I was doing sometimes a job he considered not of the "level" of an engineer and also I was creating a new standard of engineering behavior. Also because I wanted to teach engineering aspects to electricians, he did not like it because now, according to him, I was "democratizing" engineering and knowledge. According to him, knowledge should not be brought to the masses because they lack of enough education to understand it correctly and, wrongly thinking that they now know enough, apply what learned and make mistakes. In reality, it was an ego, selfish position to try gain job security, to make engineers more needed and to make them gain "admiration" in the eyes of technical personnel as engineering "gurus", and a personal peer jealousy towards me because I was able to do something he would like to do but because of his position he considered it inappropriate.
15.2.5. The administrative manager, Jorge Tadeo Silva-Ramírez, knew what was going on and did not support me and ignored my job so I did not become too popular and admired too soon, after just few years of joining the company. A great deal of my previous projects received almost no credit for this reason, or others, that worked on them too, received the credit instead. In engineering as in any other job credit is very important because it dictates your job future and opportunities to a high degree.
15.2.6. I understood these various power compromises, but did not want to adhere to them or that they would dictate and interfere on how should I proceed to accomplish my job assignments. Aware of the power struggles, I ignored them and acted as if they were non existent. This created tension in the triangle of power. I was seen with high rubber boots entering power manholes and making drawings of the conduit lines, hanging with linemen and asking them to teach me and allow me to insulate high voltage electrical joints under their supervision, not working on aerial power lines but on the ground. Sometimes I climbed electrical power towers under maintenance. I was in the power plant doing maintenance to power relays, learning from power plant control operators, etc. I was learning, and fast. So when I studied the engineering material I already had the hands-on experience.
Master Lao Tze
15.2.7. Sometimes I became engaged in hot discussions with some of these managers, but, at the end, I was left alone because what I was doing were needed job assignments. My manager started to understand me and to give me credit. So I worked on my "democratization" of knowledge after working hour or when engineers were not around. I wrote manuals and included a lot of engineering material in those manuals. And taught classes to technical personnel using these manuals. Back then I had the same basic desire to bring the light of knowledge to the masses and to dispel darkness as I am doing it right now through my website and as I will do eternally!
Lao Tze through his book [the Tao Te Ching] gave me all the support I needed in those challenging times.
15.2.8. One day my manager asked me where was I getting all this personal power that seemed to provide me with a level of personal assurance. I don’t remember my answer, but I will give you who was actually helping me cope with all these trials at that time. Help came from one who lived about 600 years BC. His name was Lao Tze (or Lao Tzu). I was reading at that time the book "Tao Te Ching" of this Taoist Chinese philosopher and master, and I cherished this book as my personal bible. Lao Tze through his book gave me all the support I needed in those challenging times.
15.2.9. As inMahatma Gandhi’s "The Four Steps to a New Idea", eventually they did not bothered me anymore and what I did became the norm and news no more. The "power triangle" has accommodated me as a variation in its "policy".
15.2.10. Fifteen days before I left the refinery, my administrative manager, Jorge Tadeo Silva, gave me the best credit I ever had for my years of service before the whole electrical group staff. That was as a premonition for what was about to come: The closing of another chapter in my life, since I left that job to never return to it again.
You should never be somebody else’s puppet.
15.3.1. Because I always exhibited some natural talents from boyhood to adult life I attracted individuals who wanted to profit from them, not giving me authority or leading participation in the deal, but to use me for their purposes, they were members of the family, school ground bullies, "friends" and work bosses. I never liked to follow somebody else’s script but to be myself. When I discovered their real intentions I disobeyed them and started to fight them. Once they realized I didn’t want to cooperate, they felt upset, some left and never wanted to interact with or influence me or even see me, some others resigned their intentions and continued the relationship but under different terms. If feels so good when you act yourself. You should never be somebody else’s puppet. And you should learn to say no. Do not let others abuse you.
15.3.2. I did not like either when somebody followed me around unconditionally and was always waiting for me to approve or disapprove him or find the answers for him. That happened more often in high school, rarely in the university and at work. Today I see this attitude in people as giving their powers away and to hang on someone else’s back, not assuming their own responsibilities. A servile attitude of Master-slave relationship.
15.3.3. Sometimes in the spiritual studies some people do not use common sense when looking for help and advise —to look for help and advise in itself is a correct attitude—, and tend to go over the board expecting the advanced student on the Path to become his or her guru answering all questions and giving all advise without taking the time to investigate on their own and to meditate on possible answers and choices; their doubts and confusion are part of the process and their opportunity to develop their own mental and emotional muscles.
15.4.1. In September of 1980 the refinery sent me to have an specialization in Electrical Power Engineering (PSEE course) for a full time two-semester study at General Electric, Schenectady, New York. I was paid room and board. This course was very hard, I studied more than when I was in the university. During the recess between semesters I traveled with my wife, the baby and a classmate from India to Niagara Falls and to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. After completing the course I returned to the refinery in 1981.
15.4.2. You may wonder: How was I selected for this important assignment?, how did I do it?, did I had any influence or lever to get it for me? These and other questions were asked on me by engineers there who wanted to do the same. No, I did not have any influence, except from Above.
15.4.3. A main requirement for the course is that you should be fluent in English, I had that. However, my boss, Jorge Tadeo, did not. And yet, for over a year, on my back, he was desperately working to have him approved to travel instead. He just wanted to take a long vacation and meet the USA for free. Unfortunately for him he had problems with his growing children and could not afford to stay away from home for too long.
15.4.4. Unable to travel, he appointed me to attend the course, instead.
15.5.1. I worked smart in projects (1976-1979) —before my travel to the United States for my specialization— that had a lot of professional risk involved other previous engineers did not want to take, like making an electrical power relaying coordination study, where I changed the protective settings of all the refinery’s electrical power system which is very big and complex. If you change the setting of a protection of an electrical generator or make a change of its protective scheme, for instance, and make a mistake, during an electrical fault that generator may burn and other electrical consequences may happen in a chain of events. Then you lose your job probably for life, they may even take you to court and you may end up flipping hamburgers at the street corner. Which is fine if that is the experience you need to live, and no work pressure, however, I studied hard and wanted to continue in my profession. I did that study with another engineer, my highly appreciated and long time friend, I mean amigo and compadre, Luis Alberto Angulo, who is my oldest son’s Godfather. When I visit Colombia I stay at his place.
Sometimes in engineering you have to follow your guts, the Force, to take you there faster.
15.5.2. One interesting detail I want to mention here was that to speed up the relaying coordination study I devised a method of creating and using plastic templates with the time versus current characteristic of the relay. This graphic is provided by relay manufacturers on a semi logarithmic sheet. Because each manufacturer uses different scale, the characteristics could not be transferred directly to the work sheet. But I created a common standard semi log sheet where we plotted the manufacturer’s characteristics and then this was the pattern the acrylic manufacturer used to make the templates. The work sheet also had the same semi log grid to make it compatible. I knew in my heart this method worked but I just did not have the time to prove it yet. When I was in Bogotá ready to visit the acrylic manufacturer I received a phone call from an engineer to double check if the method would work to authorize the manufacturing of the templates. I could not afford any loss of momentum which could cause a possible project cancellation, so I said: "Yes, it does", without telling I did not have a mathematical verification yet. Then we proceeded with the fabrication of templates. Later I demonstrated mathematically that, in effect, it does work. Sometimes in engineering you have to follow your guts, the Force, to take you there faster. Today we use computers for this kind of work and these manufacturer’s characteristics are in the software built-in data base.
15.5.3. The protective relaying coordination study took us two years fulltime to complete, we made replacement of protections and did the installations. I wrote a book on electrical protections and taught classes for engineers and technicians. Electrical protections became my specialty. I continued working there for the next six years after full project completion.
15.5.4.As I was working in this project my boss and the chief technical engineer thought I may not have proper qualifications for this task given, in my case, the time at the job and my age since I was the lead engineer. They decided we should teach a class and instruct other engineers about the criteria and the mathematical approach and methodology followed. We were well versed in the American IEEE Standards on the subject since we collected them along with books, technical papers and literature on this topic and had created a handy standard manual for internal use as a working tool.
15.5.5. The class, we were supposed to teach, was mainly intended as an evaluation of us as qualified individuals for the job, as in supporting a thesis in front of a jury or panel. It would place us in front of seasoned engineers to test our metals, so to speak. In this way they rested assured we did not make mistaken calculations or assumptions that might create havoc in the electrical power grid. It was a challenge, and we took it even though I disliked the crafted scheme approach for its covert mistrust in our abilities, again as if planed around sets of drinks at the bar after working hours. And so I did an unexpected twist to it as you, after reading about my life so far, may already intuit I did.
15.5.6. The study consisted of two parts: A short circuit study where we obtained the short circuit values to check the nominal interrupting ratings of circuit breakers for safety and to place short circuit levels in relay charts, etc., and the relay coordination properly, which is science and art. They wanted us to give them the relay coordination criteria first. I knew exactly what they wanted and why, as I mentioned it before. So I rearranged the course with the short circuit studies first. Now the first part involved the calculations of the maximum and minimum levels of short circuit electrical current that would flow to a fault as the insulation fails for different fault conditions. It uses what is called in electrical terms the "Thevenin Equivalent", a system equivalent circuit at the fault point. The criteria is long, tedious and involves many calculations.
15.5.7. By the time this first part of the course was done, which took about two weeks, the students were tired and impressed with our work. Most of them came honestly to learn from us and were graceful for what they had received so far: Two manuals, new knowledge and some days off work for training, some came from other cities around the country and had daily expense allowances. Then we went into the relay coordination. The senior electrical engineer, GustavoHernández, attended that first class of the second part of the course and followed the script, so to speak. He went to the front to argue some of the criteria I was teaching the class, even against our research and the technical papers that backed us up. I politely corrected him in front of the group. He never returned to the following classes. Their plan was frustrated and they had finally accepted our authority.
15.6.1. Other interesting project I worked on, from 1982 to 1984, worth mentioning here, was the replacing of an electromechanical-type power control center for the generation and distribution of electrical power by a computer-controlled centralized power control center using SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) technology. The senior electrical engineer of my electrical group who worked in the selection and installation of the existing system was unwilling to replace it for a more modern system alleging costs, I think it had more to do with professional image and pride, since the current system only had two years of operation at that time. I was determined to improve it and automate it, so I worked on my own in this new endeavor.
15.6.2. I had a subscription of a magazine specialized in power control centers from Brown Boveri. It showed and described the latest projects installed mostly in Europe that used this technology. I borrowed from my coworker Luis Alberto Angulo a manual he had recently written describing the current power control system and its operation. I went to the various power plants and to the power control center and inquired the operators for all the flaws of the current system and inspired them into my proposed system. From the existing manual, from the Brown Boveri magazines and from the input from the operators I created a similar manual but describing the proposed control center. Since it was based on our actual electrical power system, it had a practical feeling and looked as if it already was implemented and fully operational. I illustrated the cover of the manual. Then, I hired a local photographer who took photographs from the magazines and made me slides for presentations. I then invited operators and supervisors of the electrical power plants and engineering managers to my presentation of this new proposal. I told so many people about it than when my friend Luis Alberto and I entered the conference room to present the proposal we were surprised to see a room so full of people that some had to align against the walls and some couldn’t get in.
15.6.3. Most people thought this was the official announcement for the new project. In the presentation I emphasized the disadvantages of the then current system based on my personal experience and the input from plant operators in comparison to the good qualities of the mostly automated system. At the end we distributed copies of the manual and had to print more copies since we run out of stock. This manual and the presentation imprinted a deep seed in the minds of the operators and supervisors since they saw their complains of the current system addressed and solved with the new system, at least on paper. Needless to say, the pressure from the people to management to get this project approved took it off the ground and years later it became a reality, just as I had it envisioned. I did not work there until it was installed since I left before the equipment was ordered. I worked on the proposals and the international bidding just before I left. A good friend of mine and coworker, Pablo Chinchilla, became the manager of this power control center until his retirement.
15.7.1. I said before "I worked smart" and I meant it, I studied hard because that was my passion, but I never worked hard for someone else, except for occasional short work loads or peaks. Working hard is a misconception and part of the manipulation and control. You suppose to work and enjoy life, like having a side hobby or interest where you learn other things, and having time for the family. I have found through life that those individuals who work hard never really do anything else but work. This "working-hard-business" is a stupid idea, don’t you think so?
15.7.2. Besides, you are paid regular hours, the extra time you put is unpaid —except in the case of the hourly-paid worker. Why do you work for free? Sometimes I did because of emergencies on the job or required extra effort to meet a schedule, you have to understand circumstances and make exceptions, but the people who work hard all the time do it regardless. And when exceptions became the rule I complained, because I always needed my spare time among other things for my spiritual development, work was not the main reason for me being here on this planet. I knew it since I was young. Individuals who work hard all their life do not have spiritual interests and think the 5-sense reality they experience is all there is.
15.7.3. If you are pressed to work hard all the time against your will, it is time for you to look for another job. Don’t you know we suppose to work only four hours a day and then spend the rest of the day doing what we like? The main reason people have been forced to a longer schedule is to keep them in a dumb-down state, so they do not develop their spiritual side in their spare time and become enlightened and the manipulators (the Dark Lords) won’t be able to control them. This is part of "The Matrix."
15.8.1. One interesting note here is that I made the decision on my own as an inner challenge and discipline to start thinking in English, not in Spanish anymore, when I was 26 years old and living in Colombia. That I made into a rule that I have kept ever since, because I never thought in Spanish anymore, except when speaking or writing in Spanish or preparing key phrases for a Spanish conference. It is really weird that somebody living in a country that speaks a language other than English to think in English when it is not his first language and when everybody else is thinking in their native tongue. And yet, that decision helped me to learn English because I quickly could find words I did not know then go to the dictionary and learn them so I could be fluent with myself. Because of my continuing effort and discipline on this matter I was able then to have a normal conversation with an English speaking person which gave me great advantage in the refinery where sometimes I acted as a translator in classrooms, in the field, etc., for American technical personnel during installations and plant startup projects.
15.8.2. For several years I lived in an apartment building for singles, part of the company’s property, where I did not pay rent as part of the company’s benefits. I was actually living in the company’s club, called Club Miramar, for members of the staff. I played tennis almost every day, took a bath, went to the restaurant and then to the movie theater where every other day they have a different movie. I went to the movies in English and I heard and understood the dialogue first and then I read fast the Spanish titles for reference and to be sure I had it right. The subject of the movie did not interest me and in some cases I left the movie theater not fully aware of the details of the film because of the extra effort I had to put to focus on the language. Today, even though Spanish is my first tongue and I speak English with an accent, I think and write in English, then I translate to Spanish my own writings. This skill proved to be very useful in a bilingual website where every article is written in two languages, I translate from Spanish to English or vice versa, with no problem as you may have noticed. As I said before, if I did it, so can you, no excuses!
15.9.1. When I was 28 years old for over a year I traveled along the Magdalena River, a main navigable river in Colombia, in an Ethylene transporting barge loaded with the dangerous and explosive ethylene in liquefied form at -108o C from the port of Barranquilla to the port of Barrancabermeja for the start up of an Ethylene Plant. Barranquilla is an Atlantic ocean port and also river port since the Magdalena River’s delta flows into the ocean at Barranquilla. Barrancabermeja, or abbreviated Barranca, is a port of the Magdalena River near the center of Colombia.
15.9.2. Ethylene is a dangerous and highly explosive gas that explodes in contact with air. It was like traveling on a bomb, well, not completely, it had safety valves, but who relies on them when your life is at risk. For us, at the beginning, the assignment was seen as a major punishment in life because of the danger of the mission. And during our work we actually witnessed on the deck pipe leaks that exploded so fast, like powder, and so hot that volatilized the insulating material of the pipes. The refrigeration units and the power diesel generators must be on 24-hour-a-day operation to prevent the gasification of ethylene, which with overpressure starts escaping to the atmosphere through the safety valves and producing dangerous leak on the piping. It was a special assignment because of my engineering skills and the fact that I spoke English and could coordinate the Ethylene transfer —using a Walkie-Talkie system— from the Massachusetts Barge from the United States to our barge. Our crew oscillated from six to eight people working in two 12-hour shifts. The whole trip took about a week with meals supplied by the boat that tugged the barge.
15.9.3. On the day the weather was hot and sometimes the work turned tedious, I used to listen to programs in English from my short-wave radio. The river landscape was beautiful, specially at dawn, the red crimson splashed the shores and vegetation adding a touch of glory and zest to the joy of living.
15.9.4. One of the worst jobs on board was to replace the cooling water filters on the empty compartments underneath the deck —designed for buoyancy. You had to go down there through a lock gate with a flashing light and walk on wooden boards lying on the edges of the floor vertical structural beams and get to those filters, replace them and then take the dirty ones up to the deck for cleaning of all algae, mud, weeds, sticks, etc. In those empty compartments the temperature was extremely hot and humid, the air suffocating —over 100 deg. F and 95-99% humidity. You had to work fast and get out of there fast to prevent suffocation and dehydration. When you emerged to the surface you were drenched to the skin with sweat.
"If you want to know how is to live hell down there, just get your white ass out of your comfortable chair and go down there to help."
15.9.5. Some months after the operation started and everything was running smooth and on time the company was planning and forcing on us a reduction of our compensatory time and pay for working non-stop including weekends and away from family. A negotiator from Bogotá City was sent to make a trip and evaluate conditions on board. We planned his reception well. When the trip started we explained to him the job conditions and invited him to help with the cleaning of the filters. He was a fine individual, of fair complexion, with some overweight and too neat and too clean for the job. He spoke English very well, not by learning it like me using a beaten up dictionary, but by studying in the United Sates, as an international student, where he graduated and had his master’s degree. Coming from a city of such a mild and wonderful temperature (53-63 deg F with 70-80% of relative humidity) he indeed was unfit for this indecent job. After doing it he certainly agreed with us and needless to say the company did not touch our compensation. So, the moral of the story is: "If you want to know how is to live hell down there, just get your white ass out of your comfortable chair and go down there to help."
15.10.1. In one incident our Ethylene barge was "kidnapped" by local people from El Banco, a fluvial port near Barranquilla, to put pressure on the local authorities to improve the town’s lamentable water supply service. They surrounded the barge with canoes and afterwards jumped on the tug boat and demanded it to stop. Then run on our deck requesting speak with the person in charge, who was a veteran supervisor of the refinery. These people also wanted to take as hostage the foreign "Japanese" engineer on board, and that was Luis Prada, because of my complexion and facial features they mistaken me as Japanese. As all this pandemonium was going on, my coworkers surrounded and hid me and told me about the "kidnapping plan" afraid these locals may detect me.
15.10.2. The barge did not move for several days, news reached the refinery and a boss fromBogotá City who was visiting rushed with food provisions in a chartered speedy boat to help us. He loaded this boat with so much food as for a military contingent. We had then the best food we could ever dream of.
15.10.3. At the end everything was worked out well and they left a barge without me, thanks God! When we arrived to port we took the leftover food with us and were able to feed the family with it for almost a week.
Power corrupts the unprepared to handle it and the selfish when they have a taste of it.
15.11.1. To keep employees the refinery gave good job benefits to qualifying members of the staff and according to availability, one of such was a rent-free home and loans payable with work. Some of these benefits, such as the free-rent house, were not assigned based on administrative rules and regulations but done through convenience and favoritism and even decided by the executive wives at the club while socializing at a card game during working hours. Is this corruption? Of course, it is! Power corrupts the unprepared to handle it and the selfish when they have a taste of it.
15.11.2. Strangely, none of these benefits were given to me, even though I requested them several times. And that was suppose to be that way, otherwise, burden by a big loan payable under a work contract and a house benefit for living, I may not be able to resign my position and travel to the USA.
15.12.1. My love for music led me to sing as a high tenor in the refinery employee choir and later in the United States in church and community choirs.
15.13.1. When living in Colombia my wife and I purchased a house in Bucaramanga, then sold it and bought a property in Barranca and then bought an residential apartment in Bucaramanga in the business district (Calle 35 between Carreras 18 and 19, 35th Street between 18th and 19th streets). We sold our home in Barranca and after living in the United States, five years later, we sold the apartment.
Chapter 16. Maternal Home in Colombia Closes
16.1.1. By this time my mother was living in a house my sister Saturia purchased from the United Sates, we did not pay rent anymore, I just visited them, Mom and wife. When my wife finished school she wanted independence and against my mother’s will she moved out of her place. She lived in a rented place and then in a house we purchased in Bucaramanga. The economic support from my sisterInés had dwindled over the years and I was more economically supporting my mother.
16.1.2. The need for my mother to have a house and live by herself was not there anymore, her daughters had already moved to the United States and she was by herself. So she moved to join her daughters in 1979. The Prada Family paternal home was finally closed, another big chapter of our lives had come to an end.
16.1.3. Update 3-28-04: My mother died at age 93 on March 28, 2004, at 6:30 PM PST in the home of my sister Saturia. She was diagnosed of a cancer tumor in her liver that never developed and caused her pain and of which she never knew she had. This was not the cause of her death though, but a congestion of fluids in her lungs and internal organs and old age. For the last 6 years she was not able to take care of herself and needed the constant and patient care of Saturia. God bless her and have her in his glory. Amen.
16.1.4. Update 11-16-09: My father died at age 101 and about four months on November 16, 2009, at about 4:45PM PST, 7:45 PM Colombian Time, in a house for the elder in Bucaramanga, Colombia. He was born on July 22, 1908, in the town of Mogotes, Santander, Colombia. God bless him. Amen.
16.2.1. My wife grew tired of working and living by herself in Bucaramanga and seeing me only on weekends. She wanted to live a normal family life, I knew the weather in Barrancabermeja was too harsh for her. We rented a place and had our first baby, then I traveled to the USA to study, with her and our first baby. Came back and I ended up purchasing a nice home in Barrancabermeja after returning from the United States.
16.2.2. We had our second child. We decided to sell everything and moved to the United States. We obtained the permanent resident visa for the family and went through all the visa requirements.
16.2.3. I moved with my wife and our two children to California, USA, as a permanent resident in January of 1985.
16.2.4. From the United States I resigned from the refinery after working there for nine years.
Chapter 17. Professional Life in the United States
Flag of USA
17.1.1. The Miracle of Lord Sananda. Before I start describing my business experience I want to give testimony of an spiritual experience of most high praise I witnessed when we had recently arrived to the United States.
17.1.2. Before departure from Colombia in late December we were getting final preparations ready. In Barranca my wife went to the bank to cash the school paycheck. The school did not have established a direct paycheck deposit at the bank. Usually after receiving her paycheck notification, then she waited few days until the cashing rush was over so she did not have to wait in line for long, but this time she did not have time to do so because of the imminent trip. So she went to the bank right away. She had to wait in line for 5 continuous hours, and being a little overweight herself, her feet were dislocated. After that, there was so much walking and moving that her feet conditions deteriorated further with some swelling.
17.1.3. We went to Bucaramanga and had her checked by a masseur. He objected our trip to Bogotá because of the cold weather, but we did not have other choice, the plane tickets were already purchased and the reservation done. Carrying the two babies and their baby needs between the two of us, and the luggage, affected her feet to worse. We left the country from the Bogotá‘s International Airport before New Year of 1985.
17.1.4. It was an eight-hour flight and because of the air conditioning in the plane, her condition got worse, her feet started to swell more. Finally we arrived at my mother’s apartment and there my wife had lo lay in bed unable to walk, and even to go to the bathroom, she had to crawl —the room had a bathroom. I remembered back in Barranca the prophesy of a Rosicrucian healer, Don Luis, who said that near her thirties she would have problems with her feet and she would have to use crutches or a wheelchair. I did not want to rent a wheelchair because I did not want that bad omen become reality.
17.1.5. One night we were in the room, my wife was in bed and in physical pain with swollen feet, the two children were in the room. While I temporarily stepped out of the room, she saw on the turned off TV set the face of Jesus just as the image of Jesus that was hanging in one corner of the room (not the illustration shown here). When I entered the room she told me about that, I thought she was delirious and did not give importance to that. She asked me to remove the bed sheet since she could not withstand its weight, so I left her feet uncovered. Then I proceeded to change the baby’s diaper. I laid the baby on the carpet and went busy with this. My wife asked me to bring a doctor, because she was feeling very sick. I asked her to wait until next morning so we could look for a hospital because it was too expensive for us to bring a doctor home. She kept insisting and I was arguing that it was too expensive. We even did not know much about this new country or how to get things around. When I finished the replacement of the diaper, my wife suddenly jumped on the floor and started to tell me she was now healed. To prove it, she jumped several times feeling no pain. The two babies were very happy, the four-year-old child jumped in excitement and the baby on the floor smiled and waved his little hands. A miracle performed by a Divine Masseur had happened, no doubt about it.
17.1.6. She laid back in bed and then she said that she thanked me for bringing the doctor. At the beginning I was surprised but did not show it or contradicted her because I wanted to get more information about it. So, I faked that as to be true and started to interrogate her. I asked her to describe the doctor, she said "Why do you ask me that question, didn’t you see him and didn’t you bring him?" I said, "Well, I was so busy changing diapers that did not pay attention to his face." She said he had a beard as the one in that picture and signaled to the wall’s picture, and had a white apron as a doctor. Her version was that He entered the room, greeted her in Spanish —He spoke Spanish—, stood at the bed’s end, and asked her to raise on foot, then He took it in his hands and massaged it, next, He asked to raise the other foot and did the same procedure. He said that she will recover in three days but had to be in bed all this time and to take some aspirins. Then He left.
17.1.7. Why didn’t I hear anything or notice anything unusual?, was this happening in a time warp or did I have a lost time experience, as if my kids and I were frozen in time with conscious mind turned off? I did not checked time then, these are speculations I draw today.
17.1.8. I rushed out of the room and went to talk to my mother and explained to her what happened. Being a simple minded woman of deep religious convictions, she immediately believed what I said and told me she had some aspirins. We gave my wife the aspirins and I was making sure she did not walk and followed "doctor’s" advice. The swollen feet went back to normal and she was able to walk normally within the next week. Lord Sananda knew that one of his friends was in trouble and he came to rescue.
17.1.9. Just to wrap up this miraculous story I want to mention something else but related. I have told this story to family members and to some other people I consider may receive it well. Some just show signs of incredulity even though may not make any comment.
If you had the faith of this holy man, you might also know my story in your heart, because it is in there where the confirmation resides.
17.1.10. One day after taking a rest from working in my sister Inés‘income tax business —before I was hired as an engineer—, I went out and talked to an old man while he was watering his entrance beautiful garden. He was a retired minister that used to live next to her business in North Hollywood. When we entered in conversation I mentioned to him this story and to test his faith and inner development, I asked him, looking at him in the eyes: "Do you believe what I said?, do you believe that really happened?" He replied right away with conviction: "Yes, I believe that is true." That was to me a sign of friendship, a Carte Blanche, if you will.
The Veronica’s Veil
17.1.11. He invited me to his home where I saw many paintings of biblical scenes hanging on the walls, the best one was the "Veronica’s Cloth", an artistic rendering of the sacred veil that shows Jesus’ countenance made by the wiping of his sweat and blood when he was carrying the cross on the way to Calvary, similar to the one in the Sacristy of the Church in the Carmel Mission in California, USA.
17.1.12. He sat at his desk in the living room and invited me to sit and listen to some reading from the Bible. What was curious about this was that his message was mostly passages from the bible, he opened the book and started to read and made minor comments, then he jumped to other place several chapters later and continued reading, he did it up to Acts of the Apostles and Revelation. I asked him: "I see as you read the Bible that all you read is compatible as if it were a written composition on one particular subject. He said: "It is because in my heart I am given the citation, I just look for it in the Bible and read it." If you had the faith of this holy man, you might also know my story in your heart, because it is in there where the confirmation resides.
17.2.1. In the USA I have worked as an electrical engineer in the high tech industry of the Silicon Valley in Northern California where I live with my immediate family.
17.2.2. What I am going to state next even though is true, you still have to consider it in relationship to getting a job in a big well established company, or any company for that matter. Having a steady job gives a sense of relief and security, when you need one to pay bills, support yourself and your family and to put your skills to good use. How good it feels when you receive a phone call from a company to hire you or call you for an interview. It turns into a blessing to have a job when you desperately need one. It also gives you the opportunity to create and enhance talents through daily work. In engineering there is a sense of pride and accomplishment over your work when is prototyped and tested and works and it is released to production, to know that what people are building on the production floor was designed by you. This is the positive side I see. I would have never been able to live as I live and have my children educated should not it be for the various works I have had in the electrical profession. I always keep this in mind. How beautiful life would be if only this part were true and everybody were caring and loving as in the future utopian world. Nevertheless, we still have the other side to consider, what comes next. Note: Here the term Corporation is used as applicable to for-profit organizations.
The Corporations are not going to disappear in the Aquarian Age but are going to evolve into cells of consciousness with particular missions, working in harmony and following universal laws.
17.2.3. The Corporations are not going to disappear in the Aquarian Age but are going to evolve into cells of consciousness with particular missions, working in harmony and following universal laws. Executives will be liable for any decision affecting the Corporation, its members and products. Areas of concern will always be the protection of the environment, recycling, use of free-energy devices, welfare and self-empowering of the individual encouraging creativity, sharing among members and with the community, and harmonious relationships at work. Quite in contrast to the gloomy panorama most of them present today (2003) and in the preceding years which will be presented next.
17.2.4. As I mentioned in the Introduction probably the only most boring and frustrating part of my life has been to work for the Corporate Beast of the Silicon Valley and dealing, I repeat here again, with frustrations, pressure, politics, cancelled projects, lack of understanding and credit for my work, bureaucracy, paperwork, endless meetings and sittings in front of a computer and layoffs.
This is how I felt when was going to Corporate "All-Hands-Meetings. I saw so many a lost soul heading for alignment.
17.2.5. These high tech companies act as if they own your mind or you’re their slave —a gray automaton, robot or zombie with no mind of his own— and who only obeys orders. To start, they assign you, for instance, an identification number from which to track you down. Most employees live in that holographic matrix reality and paradigm "to get out of trouble" and do not see what’s out there beyond their noses and so they live as "happy" or in-denial campers. There is not enough time to develop your spiritual life or religious life —if it is that what some of these people understand as spiritual— or a critical mind focused on issues affecting their lives, since some of these poor souls always get home late and too tired to read or study uplifting material in the Internet. They end up materialistic minded, as most of their bosses are, and believing what they’re told, some are really proud of themselves because some economic conditions they have achieved better than the average and admire the CEOs as their gods, their idols.
17.2.6. However, in general everybody in that business accepts all of this non-sense, or learn to live with it, or live in denial of it, because of survival needs, fear of layoff retaliation and other repercussions. High tech companies have wellness and community outreach programs which make them sound politically correct —or give them tax-deduction advantages. The individual not really gets fully grown and developed in all personality aspects there, only super-specialized in a technical or business skill, the one they hired him for. Over time you start facing obsolescence in other professional aspects.
Clean, organized and institutionalized on the outside, Corporations are nasty, practical and very cold institutions inside —after joining a company you may discover that a year or two later.
17.2.7. Clean, organized and institutionalized on the outside, Corporations are nasty, practical and very cold institutions inside —after joining a company you may discover that a year or two later. You work there and endure all hardship and frustration made bearable by the warm friendship and partnership you develop with people like you over the years, they also suffer your disappointments and understand you.
17.2.8. Big CEOs and corporate executives of the bureaucratic power structure sit in big office areas, taking sometimes precious floor space of the upper floors in areas rarely visited by regular employees. They usually don’t get down to get their hands dirty or to meet their employees and only run the company through numbers on charts. They could actually run any company, the product doesn’t really matter. Some of them could actually by mistake run into a room full of people and make a presentation to the wrong audience, they do not recognize people anyway!, except by few organizers who sit in the front row. It is well said then that Corporations are not created for your welfare and to help you but to make money. Does it sound familiar?
17.2.9. And then you have the quarterly report all-hands meetings which are not just informational and company’s propaganda but aimed to get you in-line: There is always something not working right and you are to be blamed for or it has to be blamed on the business slow down cycle —which means more layoff in the horizon because this is the only real practical solution management has in mind to business conditions and to stay in business. They are not accountable.
17.2.10. I have written Corporations in generic terms and applicable to all, and did not use the word "most" as in "most Corporations." If you feel that is a mistake, then send me an email with an example of a good for-profit organization that really cares for its people and keep them in good and bad times. If you find one, then I will rephrase above statements.
17.3.1. I was sometimes yelled at in meetings in front of a full audience when I presented what supposed to be done, since I was the expert in that field and knew this was the right thing, but it involved additional work, to later ending up doing what I told them on the first place but at a higher cost or not doing it at all which did not improve the tool in that respect —if the window of opportunity is there and you miss it, it’s gone! I worked in projects that consumed a great deal of my time to be cancelled six months or a year later.
17.3.2. You may say, well, but they paid you anyway. The problem with this is that as an engineer you have to be needed to support your projects, if they’re cancelled, then they can get rid of you during the next layoff because you’re not really supporting new production projects, released projects always give you more job security.
17.3.3. I spent days getting a requisition approved because of so many signatures needed —yes, in the information age, with computers, and you still have to chase signatures, believe or not!— and had to "baby-sit" management, which took my attention away from my real work, and then those unproductive meetings, the list is endless.
17.3.4. After a while your self-esteem grows low, I kept it high to myself because my strength has always been in my spiritual life, the real, real you, not in the external, which I kept to survive.
17.3.5. I think I leave it here, enough.
17.4.1. In 1991 I received a phone call from my friend Pablo Chinchilla who invited me to go back to Colombia and to work for the refinery ECOPETROL again. He was moved more by nostalgia and a remembrance of the good professional times we had together when we worked in several projects. He said he and my friend Luis Alberto Angulo had requested management to have me back and the reactivation of the position I had. At that time I was not working since I was laid off from a company. I accepted the invitation and sent my resume with some requests for benefit compensation and a presentation letter in which I described what the company might benefit from my hiring. The company officially responded one year later rejecting the offer. Years later my friend Pablo Chinchilla retired and then in September of the year 2000 my friend Luis Alberto Angulo retired. With the retirement of these faithful friends the possibility of me returning to work in my old job was closed. I found a good job in the US after I sent that letter.
Chapter 18. Spiritual Quest Gets Serious
18.1.1. During the refinery job I started to study the Lobsang Rampa’s books. I found those books very fascinating as I still believe they are. I believed what I read from Rampa and considered myself "a Lobsang Rampa’s expert" at that time. Later on when I joined the Rosicrucian Order I found that about 25% of the principles taught in this Ageless Wisdom school was actually in Lobsang Rampa’s books.
Since early childhood I was thirsty for spiritual knowledge and always questioned if there was life in other planets.
18.2.1. Since early childhood I was thirsty for spiritual knowledge and always questioned if there was life in other planets. At night I looked at the stars and sighed upon them. I was fortunate to find the before-mentioned mentors and guides who were interested in similar subjects and who oriented me and from whom I borrowed books to start my search.
18.2.2. Then I gathered of my own a good collection of books on esotericism, occultism and extraterrestrials that I mostly left in Colombia when I moved to the United States. However I have now an excellent collection of books on many subjects of the spirit and New Age, some of which I use as material for publication in this website.
18.3.1. In August of 1985 I joined the Rosicrucian Order AMORC with the general headquarters then in SanJosé, California. In this organization for 18 years I studied all the degrees, a lesson a week, did all the experiments and home studies and became active in the different internal activities.
18.3.2. I also associated myself with Builders of the Adytum (BOTA) and studied the three degrees of the Traditional Martinist Order (TMO).
The Hermetic Cross
18.3.3. I love ritual and ceremony in convocation temple settings. I learned ritual in the Rosicrucian Order and the Traditional Martinist Order. The latter functions under the auspices of the Rosicrucian Order AMORC. The Aquarian Age is an age where ritualistic ceremonies will be the main form of worship to the Divinity. One place to learn ritual and its discipline is the Rosicrucian Order.
18.3.4. I always considered fundamental for a New Age student to familiarize himself with Ageless Teachings, that is why I joined these traditional mystical and kabalistic orders. They discipline your mind and organize your knowledge compartmentalizing it and giving it structure. I recommend other seekers to do the same.
18.3.5. Later in this section I will criticize certain policies of these organizations in the external manifestation of their activities. I make clear here that that has nothing to do with their teachings, which are the result of ancient sciences and occult technologies proven through centuries, please do not misunderstand me. I recommend to anyone who would ask me if they should join them, that please do so, it will greatly benefit them in their Greater Work and enhance their lives. Learning about them does not profit you that much, but to be part of them.
18.4.1. Are you afraid of darkness? I am talking to you, reader. Face your fears, that’s the only way their energy gets transmuted and they are no fears any longer. In the middle of a dark night I have challenged the Dark Forces to come and dare to get me or hurt me, to get a taste of me, and they have not, they know well why! I have learned to kick their butts!
18.4.2. It is said that one of the worst lies of the devil is to make you believe he does not exist (or it is a symbol or an idea as in part of the collective unconscious). Nothing is farthest from truth. There is Satan and satanic orders run by Children of Satan and Black Magicians.
18.5.1. I love gardening and most of the meditations and preparations for a presentation or lecture I do while removing earth or planting flowers on a flowerbed. There I always find excellent metaphors appropriate to life by comparing nature and how she works to how we should. I have a beautiful home in the San Francisco Bay Area where I spend my time reading, writing, and gardening.
18.5.2.I always wanted to do things with my hands, using and learning to use good tools. When growing up I disliked to have to use only a pair of scissors as the only tool for repairs. I wanted one day to have all the tools I needed to do any job at home for any repair. That dream has come true. I have a well organized garage with many different tools and there sometimes I spend hours doing creations with wood and acrylic. I do most of home repairs and only contract construction work that involves cement and other construction techniques too intensive and heavy for me to handle, but I conceptualize and supervise this work.
Jump on it now [referring to teaching others], that, if you’re sincere, the Masters and other Forces will come and help you succeed. Even an entourage of angels will follow you because they also want to do their service through you.
18.5.3. I love traditional meditation but most of the time I do not have the time it requires to sit for hours when there is so much to do and the day is so short. If I have sat in deep meditation I might have achieved enlightenment, but you did not have my Internet website.
18.5.4. Also, my advice to you: Do not wait until you’re feel wise and ready to start your service of teaching, start early because you never become wiser enough, in your personal perception: When you reach an ideal you set years earlier, by then your ideal has grown bigger without you realizing it and you feel again that you are not worthy yet, or ready. At the end you may feel ready when you’re in a convalescent home for elderly people. Jump on it now, that, if you’re sincere, the Masters and other Forces will come and help you succeed. Even an entourage of angels will follow you because they also want to do their service through you.
Because of the vast amount of disinformation in the controlled media news, today I do not watch the news on TV or read newspapers.
18.6.1. Because of the vast amount of disinformation in the controlled media news, today I do not watch the news on TV or read newspapers. I do keep myself informed, though. I read with discernment more reliable underground independent websites, and spiritual websites as sources of news and information in general. I do not watch pornographic websites because they are aimed to control your psychology, get you out of attunement and make you addictive.
I have been a humble person in life as most Lightworkers on this planet. Our time has not come yet, that is why we have taken the back seats and last places at the banquet table.
18.7.1. I am a simply person and lover of truth, and so I see myself, and that is why I chose my mystical name as Brother Veritus, since you may see me as your brother regardless of social class. My cosmic or galactic name is different, though. The following definitions are from the Harper Collins Latin Concise Dictionary English-Latin/Latin-English": Veritas is truth in Latin and its adjective is Verus, which means "true, real, actual; truthful, right, reasonable." Veritus is not the adjective of veritas as you may have thought. Veritus is the past participle of the verb Vereor. Vereor is a bipolar word or a dichotomy. Vereor means "to fear, be afraid; to revere, respect." Thus, Veritus is he who is to be afraid of or the feared one, also respected and revered. I am respected and loved by the spiritually-inclined individuals and hated and feared by the Dark Forces. So both definitions apply fine. In ancient times you respected those in power who you also feared. I did not know this word but I wanted to know it since that was me. Then it was telepathically given to me. Later I confirmed it with a Latin dictionary. I go by Luis Prada, not Brother Veritus. I used this pseudonym only as a catching name for my website. I have an unswerving knowledge that the Force is with me, guiding me and protecting me, and today I just laugh at the trials of the Dark Forces.
18.7.2. I have been a humble person in life as most Lightworkers on this planet. Our time has not come yet, that is why we have taken the back seats and last places at the banquet table.
18.8.1. From my association with the Rosicrucian Order I learned about Egypt and ended falling in love with the Egyptian Pharaonic culture, their religion and rituals.
18.8.2. When I arrive to the United States I decided to start painting in color and I have been doing it since using water colors and acrylics on canvas, you may see a sample of my work in the Art Gallery.
18.8.3. I painted Akhnaton and Nefertiti, his wife. They were actually initially painted to offer as a donation I wanted to make to the Grand Lodge of the English jurisdiction of the Rosicrucian Order in San Jose, California. I placed them in my garage facing the wall, I didn’t want to have any attachment to them, there they were for several months. When offered I received a poor-response-to-none from some members of the staff, I got disappointed, so I changed my mind and decided to keep them. Ever since, both paintings hang in my study room from where I publish my website.
18.8.4. I did a research on the Initiations in the Great Pyramid of Gizah. I made presentations on it but decided that a research had taken me a year and a half to write should benefit more people. So I decided to submit it for publication, I presented to the Rosicrucian Order in San Jose, California, for publication in the Rosicrucian Digest magazine, and the Spanish version I submitted twice to the Spanish Rosicrucian magazine El Rosacruz of Mexico City. Both submissions were ignored and not approved.
Sometimes you need to get pissed off to reach within for the energy you need to take you off on a new endeavor or adventure.
18.8.5. Frustrated by that lack of interest, I told this to my elder son when he was sixteen in 1996. He said: "Dad, I have been studying HTML language off the Internet and I can make you a webpage where you publish your article, I also can get you a free server space." I agreed and started my website with this article and with the allegory The New Jerusalem Message. Sometimes you need to get pissed off to reach within for the energy you need to take you off on a new endeavor or adventure.
18.9.1. Later on the Brother Veritus’ Website grew up with many other articles and then we moved it to other server and finally at the place it is now.
18.9.2. My goal in this Internet site is to expand the teachings and make them reach the masses that are prepared, especially those who cannot afford to buy books or lack time to read massive material, that is why I created the Sections "Small Discourses" and "Fables and Tales." This Website is eclectic, syncretic and synthetic as I am and available to anybody, some subjects may be too esoteric or confusing for you, just move to the ones you find easier to read, I have here information on the mystical path for everyone, for the very-advanced and the less-advanced individual. If you study and meditate on all the material of this website you create a knowledge, vocabulary and level of discipline necessary to progress in the Aquarian Age.
Remember that nobody is a prophet in his own land.
18.9.3.I have worked very long hours, unselfishly, on my own, in the creation, maintenance and expansion of this website, even against my immediate family willand opposition. Remember that nobody is a prophet in his own land.
18.9.4.I recognized God gave me a good family. My wife loves me and even though is not interested in my studies has allowed me to pursue them.
18.10.1. One of the big mistakes I have found in mystical and traditional esoteric organizations is to have ignored the subject of extraterrestrials, their teachings and technologies, as well as the contributions of Ascended Masters through channeling. It is sort of like they are part of the massive UFO cover-up of the Dark Forces/Illuminati agenda or unwillingly fall there by omitting these subjects altogether, which at the end lends to the same final results, anyway. How could these people miss the most important spiritual teachings of humanity which explain all the unknown about the history of the planet, the esoteric teachings, Egyptian Mysteries, Maya Mysteries, etc.?
Esoteric and kabalistic organizations in general —not the so-called New Age organizations and the interplanetary missions— need reformation as much as churches, they are presently stuck in dogma and hierarchical power structures. A major shift in them should be to accept personal sovereignty and lodges’ self-reliance as oppose to restrictive hierarchical control.
18.10.2. Not wanting to be compartmentalized in limited thinking, I decided to become an independent researcher. My website is a link to both models of teachings. Being a 360 degree open minded I have no problem to connect them seamlessly (I threw my blinders and limits when I was in high school, remember?, go back and see paragraph 11.5.2.) If somebody says I am wrong or diluted because of my viewpoint that is his problem, not mine. Going through the experiences I described above made me the unconventional and open minded person I am which is so important to write about spiritual subjects without biases and to help others coming from all walks of life and spiritual traditions.
18.10.3. Other thing that bothered me in esoteric and initiatic organizations is their obsession and zeal for tradition, for keeping the purity of their ancient teachings, everything you write should be based on long-gone revered authorities, the more ancient the author, the better he or she sounds. If you cite modern thinkers or just express your own New Age ideas or channelings, then your research is highly questionable. They never tell you that because they always sound politically correct, but you know they rejected your work. In the spiritual circles people are more sophisticated in their criticism, they "suppose to be ‘spiritual’, not harsh and… and… ‘uncaring’ as the world is" (read this sentence again loud but with the proper soft and lofty voice intonation of a so-called "enlightened" being.) However, they do want your money, talent and have you as a volunteer because, regardless of your thinking, no volunteer is rejected, there is always something for you to do, maybe not in teaching but in other minor task.
… all kabalistic, initiatic, occultist and ritualistic organizations need reformation and correction to function within the new energy and vibration of the Aquarian Age. Either officials of these organizations comply, or they will be ousted and replaced.
18.10.4. This is the test and challenge you can subject these kabalistic organizations. When you find one you are interested in, email them asking questions such as if they teach about Ascended Masters current teachings —not historical information— or extraterrestrial knowledge and why they do not, you’ll prove to yourself what I’m taking about.
18.10.5. Also I did not like when they checked on my writings word by word for approval for presentation or publication, that is just ridiculous and borrowed from the Middle Ages. First of all, if I just regurgitate what somebody else wrote without adding my own perspective and personal knowledge, why don’t I just give you the source instead and let you read it yourself. Every generation adds to the teachings, it has always been that way, that’s why we have those teachings accumulated on the first place, through the contribution of individuals in the past. I bet I have more credit for what I write from people that have never seen me, than from people that share with me experiences. But this is not always the case. I have some people that know me that really love to hear my lectures. Esoteric and kabalistic organizations in general —not the so-called New Age organizations and the interplanetary missions— need reformation as much as churches, they are presently stuck in dogma and hierarchical power structures. A major shift in them should be to accept personal sovereignty and self-reliance of their local lodges as oppose to restrictive hierarchical control.
Think in galactic terms now, break the cocoon stage.
18.10.6. As religions, some of these organizations have heavy manuals of protracted rules, the result of years of bureaucracy. Everything is based on a rule. You want to go there to learn and have fun and look at what you find. However it is obvious that in any enterprise you need to create rules and regulations to give it structure in order for it to function efficiently and in an organized manner. But common sense is required here. Ritualistic manuals are excluded from this observation.
18.10.7. I think I have found a deep-seated root cause of their rejection of New Age teachings I have been thinking about for a long time: Esoteric organizations and religions see Man as the center and measure of all things, as the classical Greek saw him, an archetypal thinking that worked fine for the Hellenistic paradigm. It is an extension of the "Flat Earth Mentality" and the Earth as the center of the Universe —refuting this thinking of the narrow-minded Catholic Priesthood caused Galileo his career and almost his life. This is a New Age, which started on February the 4th, 1962, people have to stop thinking as a human, bound to this planet, and start thinking as a Galactic Being or an Extraterrestrial. All the Nature’s Laws and Spiritual Laws, such as the Law of Karma —that you have studied in the various traditions— should be projected out as Universal Laws applicable not just to this planet but to the Universe of Nebadon. Think in galactic terms now, break the cocoon stage.
18.10.8. As can be inferred from above and to summarize, all kabalistic, initiatic, occultist and ritualistic organizations need reformation and correction to function within the new energy and vibration of the Aquarian Age. Either officials of these organizations comply, or they will be ousted and replaced.
18.11.1. I have been given public lectures on subjects of mystical, spiritual and extraterrestrial nature since 1997. Most of my lectures are based on my writings and on subjects covered in this Website. See the SectionConferences for an update of next presentation. You may also sponsor me for a conference in your area.
18.12.1. This first part of my life has finished with my spiritual quest. Other chapters of it will unfold and be added to it where the wisdom accumulated so far will be put to service.
18.12.2. There is another biography of me —anesoteric one— running parallel to this one and which covers my spiritual visions since childhood, star seed genetics and galactic mission, DNA activations, spirit guides and galactic family, etc., that I am not planning to discuss hereyet. I have had many visions and psychic personal experiences that I do not like to talk about, not even in my lectures, to avoid overpowering the student and deviate him or her from the Path. Because you are not powerless, you can do this and better, even the Divine Master Jesus (Sananda Kumara) taught us that.
…as a human I am not different from you, just another seeker.
18.12.3. I do keep a log of some of these experiences and encourage you to do so. Always mark date, time and detailed account of what happened, you will need that information later. Since we all have this same potential, as a human I am not different from you, just another seeker.
God Bless You, Dear Soul, and Good Bye for now!
I AM Luis Prada