Oahu, North Shore :
spiritual experiences in Hawaii
"Upon landing in Oahu, on my first visit to Hawaii, I headed instantly north, out of Honolulu’s fervor and moan, towards the famed North Shore, home to the world’s most consistent and breathtaking surfing waves, including the ever impressive Bonsai pipeline. But I was not going there to surf- not in the ocean anyway. I was gliding instead on the sublime wave which the spirit sets behind one, so as to coax a person towards the distant shore.
On the commuter bus headed north I had poured over a map of the island and selected a Hawaiian holy site as the most proper locale in which to find a secret hideaway where I could camp unfettered upon the earth while trying to find some peace in the ethereal tumble. However, after disembarking from the bus at my chosen spot, I wandered about for an hour or so until I was fidgety and sensed that it was not the place for me to stop after all. So I hopped onto another bus and headed west along the north shore, until, just before entering the quaint little town of Haliewa, I noticed a large wooded area leading out to a beach, and decided that this was going to be the place for me to take refuge. I disembarked once again, and made my way towards the sea. En route I stopped to urinate at a public restroom, and there met a long-haired, middle-aged fellow who was punch drunk and alone, and was quick to offer me a can of beer- which, naturally, I accepted- and then another, and another, then a toot on a reefer, and so on, until we were great comrades by the evening, and I was half-baked, and so I thought it best to find a place to lie down and dream off the buzz, at which point I gathered up my goods and thanked my new found buddy for his generosity and company, to which he unexpectedly recounted: “Don’t thank me, thank Jesus.”
Yes indeed, the wave of spirit had carried me across the dark sea of grosser possibilities and placed me on the implausible shore of a brother’s soul.
After that first evening, I ended up spending a great part of the next week with Geoff, a dope-smoking, probationary, neurotic, beer-swilling, HIV positive, holy man. A holy man, I say, because he was neither respectable, nor did he have respect for others. He was a fool, a castaway, an ignoble scavenger who did not give a damn, and so he had transcended the oppressive bonds of respectability and sanity, and had become a fool in other people’s eyes, a nobody in his own, and a fit vessel for the living, mad spirit in God’s.
Not that he spouted any monumental, cosmic truths or had any great union with the absolute or anything, yet Geoff knew who he was, why his life had taken the turns it had, what the payment for his errors was, and how he was going to live, and laugh, and endure the sentence placed upon the remainder of his days. And that was- he was going to live life to its fullest each day, and not let up until he was harkened home.
I had met him very soon after the turn of the millennium, on my return from New Zealand, at a time when the whole world was standing a bit on edge, expecting that maybe we’d all be called at the same time. Perhaps this was part of the reason Geoff seemed at such peace within himself, because he believed that no one on earth lived without a sentence placed upon them which carried a finality as definite as his own.
Upon discussing the aforementioned millennial shift with Geoff, I remarked that it had not yielded the expected apocalypse, and then I made some flippant, rhetorical query as to why nothing had occurred, since everyone thought something would occur. In response to my statement Geoff, with an all-accepting countenance and tone, turned to me and stated matter-of-factly: “Because no one shall know the hour or the day of its coming”, which is a trite, biblical misquote perhaps, but, after all, Geoff had been living ten years or more with his own, inner apocalypse, and he was certainly more of an expert on the matter of endings than most of the new age doomsayers who had been spouting calendar dates and predilections over the last few years, none of which came to pass, because no one shall know the hour or the day.
In Geoff’s company I became quickly assimilated into a loosely-knit pack of homeless drunks, drifters, vagabonds, big-bearded pariahs, and pseudo-mystics, all of whom exist in substantial numbers throughout the Hawaiian islands, including Oahu’s north shore, where these fringe types appear not unlike odd thistle bushes in a sea of roses, as they are mixed incongruously into the cornucopia of the bright and beautiful, fit and firm young men and women who have made this chunk of paradise their home. In fact, I have never been to another place on earth in which so many firm and fit, bikini clad vixens, and hard-bodied, rock-jawed studs abounded. It is no wonder that the television series Baywatch- known so well for its skimpily clad Aphrodites and Adonises- was filmed in the area."
Books by Jack Haas
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