I’d been on a lot of rivers in my time, some grand and beautiful, others ugly and smelly. I’d had a lot of amazing adventures in my trusty little boat, but despite many grand vistas and even grander claims of the promoters, they all ended up in the same boring Sea of Conformity.
“There has to be something else,” I said to myself, sitting alone on a park bench by the Aquarius River. “I’m tired and bored and I just know there’s a river somewhere that can take me someplace new. I feel it in my bones, but I’ve looked everywhere and haven’t found it.”
“I know where it is,” a voice said, and I jumped a little, startled to find a man sitting next to me on the bench.
“I know where to find the river you seek.”
“You do? Where?”
“It’s right in front of you.”
“Nonsense. I’ve been down this river a hundred times and it empties into the Sea of Conformity, just like all the others.”
“Ah, but have you ever allowed the river to carry you? Have you ever told the river you want to go someplace new, and then put aside your paddle and let it take you there?”
“You’re crazy!” I exclaimed. “That would be suicide! And why would I talk to a river? It’s just water and it can only go where its banks guide it.”
“Perhaps,” he said, looking intently into my eyes. “Or maybe there’s more to rivers than what you realize. And maybe you’ve already told the river what you want, and that’s why I’m here.”
I stared at him.
“I’ve got to run,” he said, rising abruptly. “But I’m taking a group down the river tomorrow and we’re NOT going to the sea. We leave at 6:00 AM sharp if
I stared at the river a moment, incredulous. “But...” I began, and when I looked he was gone.
What a crazy lunatic! But something about him intrigued me, and by the time I got home I knew I wouldn’t be able to rest until I knew what it was. I was bored and had nothing to lose anyway, so why not a little adventure?
Early next morning I pushed my little boat – food, water and gear carefully secured inside – into the river and floated down to where the guide, already in his boat, was watching a crowd of people desperately trying to cram way too much stuff into their boats. As soon as he saw me he called to the crowd, “We’re leaving now! You won’t need all that stuff, so come along or stay behind as you choose.”
“Welcome to Realization River!” the guide’s voice floated over the water as we all gathered around him in our boats and began our journey. “I’ll be with you all the way, but you’re about to do something no one has ever done. Even I have not been where you are going, so you’re entirely responsible for your own journey.”
“This guy’s crazy!” someone shouted. “Everyone knows this is the Aquarius River, and that there’s nothing new between here and the Sea of Conformity!”
“For you that is true,” the guide said, “for the river always reflects your expectations. Anyone who cannot accept that there might be more than one river in this space should turn back now, for it’s going to be a rough ride that will undo everything you ever thought you knew. You’d best go home and enjoy your boring and comfortable life while you can.” Quite a few people turned back then, and I was tempted, for this guide was clearly crazy. But I was fed up with my boring and comfortable life, so I stayed just to see what on earth he was talking about.
Soon we rounded a bend and were swept into the first rapid. It was a mild one I’d been through many times, so I didn’t think twice as I dug in my paddle and aimed for the usual channel. But to my surprise, the harder I paddled the more it seemed the river fought me! Then my boat flipped and I was in the water, with nothing to do but let it carry me to a sandbar at the bottom of the rapid. Some of my gear washed up there too, along with my capsized boat.
“That was spectacular!” the guide said, laughing and sitting calmly in his boat as the water rushed past. I glared at him. Where was his paddle? How was he doing that? “There’s only one rule on this river,” he said: “Allow it to carry you.”
“Of course it’s carrying me!” I replied indignantly.
“Then why are you spending so much energy fighting it?” he asked, before zipping effortlessly off to speak with someone else.
After washing up several more times I finally eased up on controlling my boat, mostly from pure embarrassment. And to my surprise, my ride got a lot smoother. It made no sense at all.
The journey continued, and a few days later we entered a canyon with much more intense rapids. By then I was realizing there really was something to what the guide kept telling me, and just in time I remembered to pull my paddle out of the water. To my amazement it was the smoothest run I’d ever had through that canyon, but that was nothing compared to my surprise at emerging from the canyon into a land I had never seen before!
“Congratulations,” the guide said as his boat came effortlessly alongside mine. “You finally allowed the river to take you somewhere new!”
Then the river became even more intense, sometimes passing through deep and treacherous canyons and whitewater rapids like I’d never seen before, and sometimes through gentle stretches so beautiful it took my breath away. I was learning to keep my paddle out of the water, but every so often something would scare me and I’d forget. That never ended well and soon all but the barest essentials of my gear had been lost. Yet somehow, I always had what I needed.
Every day now, the guide talked to us about what was happening. “You’ve entered an entirely new reality,” he said. “You’re starting a whole new lifetime without dying, so your body is having to adjust, and that’s painful. Just let it happen, and let the river carry you. It’s a natural process that you’ve chosen, so don’t fight it and don’t try to control it. The river knows what you want and it’s here to serve you, so let it!”
Six days after leaving the Aquarius river we stopped early, a thundering roar coming from just around the next bend. “You’ve come so far and let go of so much, and I’m so proud of you!” the guide said. “But from here on, if you want to survive you’ve got to let go of all your battles. And not just with the river. It’s time to let go of the battles with yourself, with your body, and with everything else, for any battle you’re still fighting will suck you right to the bottom. You don’t have to be perfect, for the river will cleanse you and take whatever you don’t need anymore. But trust me on this: do not go forward until you are at least willing to let the battles go!”
Next morning I woke early, eager now to see where this incredible adventure would take me. Leaving my tent and everything else behind, I was already sitting in my boat at the edge of the river when the guide called everyone together for another meeting. “Today is your day of realization,” he said. “Today is when you realize that you are creation itself. The energies of this river are your energies. Allow them to serve you, for this is the day when the creator (you) meets itself within its own creation and everything cha...”
The guide’s voice was drowned out by the noise of the river, and suddenly I realized my boat had somehow come free and was being carried swiftly downstream. For a moment I panicked and paddled desperately for shore, only to find the river pushing me harder, and then I remembered. “There’s only one thing for this,” I said to myself. I threw the paddle away and surrendered. And then the river was gone. With a soft whisper it simply fell out from under me, and my boat and I plunged into the cloud of mist rising from thunder below.
For what seemed like ages I fell, or floated, I can’t tell which. Many experiences met me along the way: a long airplane ride; a sunny Greek island with amazing food and new friends; a beautiful and amazing woman, with whom I simply feel “home”; living in a beautiful new country I barely knew existed; I’m married and have a stepson (wait, what?); I’m a channeler (really?); and so many more unexpected experiences. And I’m so happy!
I look around. Even the boat has disappeared. It’s just me now, watching myself. How did this happen? Is it a dream? Is it about to end in a sudden crash at the bottom of the waterfall? Where am I? One moment I’m walking on beautiful solid earth, the next I seem to be floating, but in what? A river? The sky? I can’t tell and it’s constantly changing. I can’t see where I’m going, but where I am is so beautiful, so full of love, joy and grace!
Uh oh, I see a storm just ahead. For a moment I panic and run, and the storm instantly becomes a dark roiling monster with lightning striking at my heels. Then I remember and stop. I surrender, and the storm becomes gentle mist and warm sunlight that tenderly caresses me. I realize there’s nothing to do now but let in the love. Oh, the love! I’ve never known so much, from myself or others! I pinch myself in case I’m dreaming.
My body feels as though it’s been shredded into a thousand bits with each one living in a different dimension. I’m so very sensitive. So much joy. So many tears. So alive, so close to death. So disoriented. So clear. So...
“Welcome to your new life, my friend!” It’s the guide, on the eighth day, and we’re sitting in a grassy meadow full of wildflowers and butterflies.
“Thanks,” I reply. “I feel so disoriented, and my body feels like it could disintegrate at any moment. And I’m so happy and crying so much too!”
“No one has ever experienced this before,” he says, “not even I or Kuthumi. Your body is crying, for it has taken the brunt of all this transformation. Just keep allowing it, and keep allowing all the experiences of this new life.”
I look around and everything is so amazingly beautiful. The future is unknown and even the river is no longer here to guide me, but there’s a flow to this new life. No, there’s a presence to it, and I realize it’s my own presence. I am within my own creation, and in surrender to that I find such a ground of joy that supersedes even the deepest confusion and pain. I exist! I am that I am! And ALL is well in my creation.
John McCurdy is enjoying his new life with his new family, in his new home in Slovenia. To contact him or find out more about his channeling and other work, visit www.johnmccurdy.com. You can hear more of the river guide’s discussions in the Master’s Life series of Cloud Classes, available in the Crimson Circle Store.