His textbook "Interviewing Greatness" is still required reading for aspiring journalists at all the best schools worldwide. To use "David Narby said" in conversation is still regarded as the equivalent of quoting from the bible or other holy book. It is regarded as almost miraculous that he interviewed leaders from diametrically opposed parties, sects, or factions. In fact, he knew no frontiers, social, cultural, political, or religious when seeking people to interview. As his reputation grew, he was sought out by leaders and potential leaders. It was rumoured in many circles that getting interviewed by him was regarded as a sure guarantee of becoming the next leader.
There are countless theories as to why he disappeared. These fall into three main categories, Abduction, Abdication, and Wilderness. The abduction theories seem very unlikely since no individual or organisation has claimed responsibility or looked for any reward. The unlikely scenario of alien abduction, while holding lots of followers in the lunatic fringe, is given no creditability. Some credence is placed on abdication because of what he left behind him on that fateful day. Also, all his affairs had been left in order. Before every assignment he had always updated his last will and testament. The Wilderness Theory takes the evidence of the abdication theory and adds the concept of "walkabout". David was aware of the need for some major change in his life and took the opportunity presented to pursue an alternative life. In the light of his most recent report, received today, it looks like the Wilderness freaks got it right.
Let me recap the relevant facts regarding David from 26 July 1997. David's last report, The Vatican Report, was sent from the base of the obelisk in St. Peter's Square. David then returned to the Hotel St. George, Roma. He paid his bill, packed all his gear and left it with the concierge. He gave the concierge a generous tip, as usual, and told him that he would collect it after he had finished his business at the Vatican. What was unusual was that he packed everything, his personal phone, his pens and notebook, his watch, his wallet and credit cards. He literally left the hotel with only the clothes he was wearing. The hotel and staff were examined and re-examined and all of this has been verified. He then took a taxi to the Vatican, which is unusual because he preferred to walk. At the Vatican, he confirmed that they had received his report, met with the Pope and senior cardinals, all very amicably, and left.
He was last seen at the obelisk, talking to an older man. This he confirms in his RA report. The older man has never been identified. All the photographs taken of them talking together have been analysed in depth, but while the image of David is clear, the image of the older man is always fuzzy.
We are publishing this new report out of our high regard for David. We have not seen or heard from him in more than 13 years. We still have no evidence of his whereabouts, his welfare, or even his state of mind. What he talks about is a complete turnaround for him.
Runaway Awakening (RA) Report
As I left the Vatican I bumped into an older man. He was vaguely familiar, but I had never met him before. He took me into the shade of the obelisk; and I'm not sure if he even said hello. He asked me to close my eyes and tell him what I saw. That I did so surprised me, because I don't take kindly to passes from random strangers, usually telling them rather impolitely to get lost. However, his penetrating, totally serene eyes held me rapt. I said I saw nothing. He replied that to see nothing is quite an achievement, maybe even a miracle. He put his hand on my back between my shoulder blades and told me to look again. This time I saw a blank, black screen. After a few moments it began to change and I could see three dots of light, like stars. I watched these, transfixed, and eventually they began to spiral away. I opened my eyes to tell him and get an explanation, but he was not there any more.
So I started searching. A strange calmness had come over me since looking at the three stars. I was not too concerned that I could not find the older man. I started to wander, and allowed myself to be guided, if that is what it could be called. Whenever I came to a junction I would ask myself, left, right or straight ahead. A small voice would repeat the direction three times and I would follow it. So there I was, walking around Rome with a voice in my head going "left, left, left" and "right, right, right". After a few hours I came to a bus. The engine on the bus was running and I climbed on board.
In the back row of the bus sat three of the largest black women I had ever seen. They were so big that I could not imagine how the seat was able to hold them, and I definitely had no idea how they got on the bus. Beside them was an emergency exit and I thought that they would never fit through that door. All of the seats were occupied. One of the three ladies called to me..."Hey, shining little white man, you come down here and sit with us." From the look of the women and the state of the bus I had not been expecting anyone to speak English. As I went down the aisle I wondered where they would squeeze me in. As I got closer, they pointed to the back of the seat in front of the emergency door and said "You sit there, shining little white man and be a good boyo." There on the back of the seat was a pull-down stool like the stewardesses use in aeroplanes.
I sat down. "Oh my God", I said in a patronising tone. "When God said go forth, increase, multiply and fill the universe, he did not mean that you had to do it personally." At this they all laughed uproariously together. I asked them if they were triplets, they looked identical and appeared to be exactly the same weight, size and shape. They said that their appearance was just an act to put me at ease and that they were more like a trinity. They came from totally different backgrounds but had achieved amazing abilities over their bodies and their environment. I asked them what their names were. They replied, "No use for names, but to make your mind easy, you can call us Mi-Li-Sam or Li-Mi-Sam or Sam-Li-Mi or indeed any one or combination of Mi, Li, and Sam that you wish. David Narby, we know all about you. We read you like a book, well, more like an open space. When you entered the bus, it became populated with your past. You carry everything about yourself around with you and we can see it all. You may fool yourself and everybody else, David Narby, but there's no fooling us"
The bus had been moving for some time now and I had no idea where we were going, except that we seemed to be moving in a general easterly direction. I asked Mi-Sam-Li where the bus was going.
"Bus is going to begin your real education" they said. "You have been living in a world populated by phantoms. Nothing you see is real. We are going to change all that."
I asked "And what if I don't want it all changed".
"We've gone way beyond that. When you walked onto the bus you sealed the door on your past. There's no going back. You will have lots of work to do. You have been living your life braced for impact. We are going to prod you and poke you until you learn that you are free, that you are a powerful creator. How much pain and suffering you endure is entirely up to you. What we teach is simple and easy. Your reluctance or resistance to learning it will make it extremely difficult. The world you see has been a very complicated one and you will probably over-complicate the simple lessons we will be giving you."
I began to protest that I had interviewed some of the most powerful people on the planet. I was rudely interrupted. "Those people have no power. They are puppets. They are controlled by their schedules. They all have job descriptions. Not one of them can do a single thing they want. If it is not in the script for their day it does not happen. Even their so-called 'free' time is tightly controlled." The sham Jamaican style of speaking had been completely dropped. They asked "So, world renowned journalist, what did you learn from all those 'powerful' people." I remained silent for quite a while. There was no sense giving these people my usual socially acceptable response. I did not want to lie, but mainly, the question took me by surprise and I had never thought through what I had really learned from all those interviews.
"Now that you ask the question" I said, trying to buy some time, "All of the leaders I interviewed were very similar, like they all came from the same mold. Their thinking was hierarchical. They all saw themselves as being in the top echelon of power. And if they were not the alpha-male, they soon would be. They all used aggression as a means of getting their own way, even though they appeared to be charming and courteous. To stay in control they encouraged conflict in all levels beneath them, and were not averse to using violence to eliminate rivals. Their leadership style was based on the divide and conquer principle. They showed a complete lack of compassion for the people they ruled, seeing them as totally beneath them, almost as if they were animals. And they had an overwhelming need for ritual in everything they did, even down to their ceremonial approach to offering cups of tea or drink at every meeting."
The ladies were not in the slightest put out by what I said and all I got in response were some gentle nods of their heads. They seemed to know what I was talking about. They said,
"You left one thing out. They always see 'attack as the best means of defence'. Their attack usually takes the form of an accusation and this puts their opponents on the defensive, as well as getting them into fear and guilt. So, David, do you think that your description of these leaders might represent your own life so far?"
What a question. My anger flared up instantly. Who did these people think they were to accuse me of being like those tyrants?
They fell around the place laughing. My anger turned to rage. I was getting really mad. That made them laugh even more. "What's so funny?" I bellowed. After a while their laughter died down. "Well, your reaction proves that we hit the nail on the head. You don't have the position to be a real tyrant, so lets call you a petty tyrant." I heard a sharp popping noise and something clicked in my head. My tantrum ended instantly. I looked at the three colossi and realised that they were pushing my buttons. That I reacted so dramatically was witness enough for me to know that they were right. They started laughing again and this time I joined in.
"Anyway," they said, "we are not really interested in these leaders and their position power. We want to teach you about your personal power. But before we do that there are a few things we need to straighten out." At this, Mi-Li-Sam assumed a professorial approach and began to lecture me on 'what it was all about'.
The key points are as follows:
- We are always thinking. Your thinking has been predominately attack-defend. Your life for the last forty years has been spent in the who-where-when cycle of accusation, interrogation, sin confession and penance, action reaction and retribution. You have bought into 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth', hurt and revenge. You have climbed the ladder of fame and success and have reached as far as you can go. You were not born into the right family so you could never have achieved the position you wanted. This period is over. And even though you do not fully realise this yet, deep down you know that it is true. When you stepped on the bus you started your 'great escape'.
- You are now entering the what-why-how period of undoing all that you have learned. This has been referred to as 'a mid-life crisis' and 'the dark night of the soul'. You have woken up to the real purpose of your life. 'Crisis' and 'dark night' imply that we go through these phases quickly, but sorry, the realisation may be quick but the process of undoing is going to take some time, years and decades rather than weeks and months.
- The world of everyday life is not real, or out there, as we believe it is, it is only a description. As children we learn to perceive the world as it is described to us by everyone around us. We have no memory of the moment we accepted the description, because we had no point of reference to compare it to anything else. From then on we make all the proper perceptual interpretations. Our thinking conforms to that description, and so validates it. We identify with it and define ourselves in its terms.
- The reality of our day-to-day life consists of an endless flow of perceptual interpretations. This reality we share with everyone else. We are slaves of our consensus thought system. While we may be able to think outside the box, it is impossible for us to deviate from the prescribed behaviour patterns. Our thoughts and our actions are fixed forever in their terms. Our lifelong habits unavoidably make us stick to our old patterns. We have a habit of making the world conform to our thoughts. When it doesn't, we simply make it conform. Whatever is happening, we are doing it to ourselves.
- We are carrying an awful lot of baggage. We've learned to see things in black and white, right and wrong, good and evil, and that the only way of ridding ourselves of the black-wrong-evil is by severe cruel methods. However, we can simply let all this go. We need to let the past go through the process of being sorted, of keeping what we regard as useful and dumping what is not...
I found myself falling asleep. Everything they were saying made sense, but their continuous drone made it difficult to pay attention. I vaguely remember them saying that I should pay attention as I wake up. I fell into a very deep sleep and have no idea how long I was out of it. When I woke up I kept my eyes closed and looked at what I was seeing. The background was a radiant blue black colour, like the sky behind a full moon. In the foreground was the most beautiful, calm face I had every seen. It looked at me with total acceptance. I opened my eyes, and for a moment I thought that I saw the three as one. I blinked and the three were restored.
I asked who the face was and they said "That is the feminine side of your nature. That is what you will be uncovering for the next period. This is a more gentle, nourishing and compassionate side than you have shown so far. Up till now you have been a 'macho' man, driven, and driving yourself as hard as you drive everyone else. Anyway, let's have a look at you, now that you've had your little snooze."
I stood up and turned around in a mock-model sort of way. The rest of the bus was empty, except for the driver. I reasoned that everyone must have got off while I was asleep. "As we said earlier, you are living your life 'braced for impact'. You hold your head and shoulders as if you are expecting a blow on the back of the head at any moment." I could feel a tightness at the base of my skull and a slight headache coming on. One of them tapped me on the top of the head and I felt better.
"So," I asked. "Where is everyone gone."
They said "Gone off bus, boyo. Stop trying to change the subject. You never liked anyone looking over your shoulder. You get nervous if someone is standing close behind you. You think they are going to discover something about you, something that will expose you."
I could feel myself getting angry again. I have never liked anyone pointing out my faults.
"Now, now, David, no need for that. We are showing you that what you have been afraid to see, or allow others to see about you, is another side of you. A side that you need to develop to become whole. You have developed your intellect at the expense of your emotional life. You have planned your life in a cold, hard, calculated manner and we refer to this as your right-hand path. Now you have to travel the left-hand path - walking gently through the world, enjoying the view, smelling the roses. Rather than being a leader or a follower, you have to learn to walk side-by-side, together. Rather than seeing authority figures as your teacher, you must learn from everyone you meet. Rather than doing what society has dictated to you as your existence, you become the author of your own life."
What they were getting at was difficult to accept. I had always quoted sources, gaining authority for what I said from the important person who had said it. Mi-Li-Sam said, "You have been 'stealing thunder'. You now need to speak from within yourself, develop your own wisdom and say it in your own words."
I asked, "You mean that I have to internalise my message rather than being a delivery man."
They replied, "Yes, David, you must speak from your heart. Speak only what your really believe to be true. Stop 'parroting' what others have said."
"Wow! that's going to take some doing," I said.
"We are coming near the end of road and before we go we have a few last messages for you. Getting you to look at the screen is just a way of getting you into the present. You can just as easily keep your eyes open and look at anything. What you'll see will depend on the ideas you have about what you are looking at. Another way to become present is to take your awareness and scan through your body. Let's give that a try."
"Where do I start?"
They said that it didn't matter, that I could go from my head to my feet or from left to right, anyway I liked as long as I went through my whole body and overlooked nothing.
I scanned through my body, and was surprised that I couldn't feel anything anywhere. I told them that I felt nothing and they said that I was experiencing a state they referred to as 'body neutral.'
"We are helping you and you have released all the blocked energy in your body. This will not last. As you start thinking in your old way again your body will revert to its old patterns. Nearly everything that you have learned has to be looked at and turned around. You will have to do a complete thought reversal of the way you think about the world.
"The world is neutral, your body is neutral, but your thinking is never neutral, and it can never be neutral. It always produces form. But the world and your body can be used as learning devices. What you see happening in the world, what you feel going on in your body are the effects of your thinking. This is the primary cause and effect relationship. You think and what you think causes effects. Through these effects you can see the state of your thinking. Peaceful thoughts and your body will remain neutral, attack thoughts and your emotions will cause effects in your body."
"And now, David, we need to change. So could you leave us alone for a while."
I walked up to the front of the bus. It was completely empty, even the driver was gone. I sat on the steps and waited. I watched the sun set over mountains and really began to enjoy the view.
From the back of the bus Mi-Li-Sam said, "In the past whenever you were waiting you would spend your time reviewing your previous interviews or rehearsing the upcoming one. From now on whenever your are waiting, just become present and enjoy the view. In fact, one of the key things you need to learn, is to do only what you enjoy, and if you think that something is a chore, change your thinking about it, and enjoy what you do."
There was a subtle change in their voice. "Now we are leaving."
I wondered how they were going to get off the bus. Right behind me I heard them say "Excuse us". I stood up to let them past and got the shock of my life. The three huge ladies were gone and in their place were three of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. They bore no resemblance to each other, or to their previous form.
Each of them in turn gave me a great hug.
Mi, now looking European, said, "This is the beginning of your real work."
Li, who looked Asian, said, "You will become like us."
And Sam, who looked Native American, said, "Let your thinking, your talking and your actions be consistent."
And then they walked away. As they moved into the distance I heard them say together, "We are always with you."
And then they were gone.