My Own Journey

While this book is a work of fiction, rather than the fictional character in this novel, Eddie Egen laying in an upside down police cruiser after the attempt to kill him failed as he drove back to El Paso as detailed in Chapter 14, it was me.

The actual time was September, 1997. I was then practicing law in El Paso and was on Interstate 10 returning from Pecos after a pretrial conference.  It was early afternoon and I was some forty miles from El Paso, when I entered a highway heavy construction zone.

The divided highway had two lanes going east that were closed and under construction, so that the traffic was redirected and could use only the west bound lanes both ways, which were then further divided as well and had massive concrete abutments between those now just two lanes.

As I was driving back to El Paso in my four-door sedan, I had the concrete dividers to my left and a sharp drop off on my right after the asphalt pavement ended with only sand, gravel and the endless west Texas desert.   The construction zone speed limit was 55 MPH.

I caught up with a large semi-tractor trailer ahead of me and slowed down behind it. Suddenly the trailer ahead of me started fish tailing and went off the sharp drop off into gravel and sand. I swerved to avoid, hit my brakes, went off the pavement myself and when I turned sharply to try to get back on the pavement, my right front tire dug into sand…and I was completely airborne… doing a one and a half gainer… the car landed, rolled and ended up stationary on its roof. I was in the driver’s seat, strapped in and held by the harness seat belt, upside down and the engine still running.

I smelled gasoline and looked up and very clearly heard a voice say, “turn the engine off” which I did immediately by reaching up and doing so.

There was complete dead silence and stillness.

After what seemed like just a few seconds, I unbuckled my seat belt and crumpled onto the car’s interior roof. All the windows were broken out all around and to my left was an opening, maybe a foot wide of jagged glass out into the desert and swirling sand.

I took several deep breaths and agonizingly started to crawl out. Seemingly seconds passed again and I was out in the sand on all fours, stood up and looked around. The wind was picking up, the sand was swirling and I was completely alone.  I looked all around and there was absolutely nothing visible all the way to the horizon. I noticed that the large accordion file I had beside me on the passenger seat was out in the desert and papers were flying all around in the sand. I walked over and was compelled to start picking up all those papers…

The next thing I knew, a fireman was walking beside me, saying “but sir, we have to immobilize you.” To which I said, “I’ve got to pick up all my court papers.”

I woke in a hospital emergency trauma unit two days later hurting and badly bruised. I had suffered a broken collar bone, had a severe concussion and suffered serious wounds on my arms crawling out of the car. Both of my arms were heavily bandaged and I learned that a passing driver reported my car lying upside down in the desert. From that time to the fireman’s question was apparently almost four hours that I spent in the desert alone!

I was saved by the Grace of the Lord.

That was the beginning of my journey.  I ended a very destructive personal relationship, wound down my law practice in El Paso and relocated to Dallas where I continued to practice law for a time and later retired from a Dallas, Texas law firm and returned home to Oklahoma to be with family.

This book is a work of fiction but is also an autobiographical account of my deeply personal emotional journey where I not only learned much about the therapeutic cycle, Freudian psychology and intimate relationships, but also learned a great deal about myself.  Most important, however, I learned about Faith, Grace and Love and learned for an absolute certainty that the only things of value that really matter in this world are my Lord, my wife Joan and our marriage, my family and our friends.

I was helped in this journey and during my entire life since birth by the Lord’s designated Angels and many are detailed in this novel as being in Steven Vandorol’s past, his early life and later emerging self-awareness.  In that regard, I wish to acknowledge another of the Lord’s designated angels, my Christian Counselor, who for privacy reasons in this novel I call Doc Bill. Thank you Doc Bill for teaching me about the Good Lord’s Grace which is humanity’s unmerited gift.

As I state in the beginning of this novel, this book is dedicated to my wife, lover, partner, best friend, love of my life and the Good Lord’s designated angel, Joan Carol, without whose help, support, encouragement and very practical suggestions, this book would have not been finished. She is truly my partner dolphin swimming in the wake ahead of an R.O.W. rest-of-world symbolic tramp steamer bearing down behind them that hung in fictitious Steven Vandorol’s bedroom on Golden Hill Terrace in El Paso.   Thank you, my Joan! I love you with all my heart, mind, body and soul, forever and always and am your Louis until death do us part but then join as one in Paradise.

Ultimately this book is dedicated to our Lord, the Father, and Jesus Christ, His only begotten son, that are in both or our hearts, minds and souls and will join in Heaven hereafter when we are called by our Lord.

For those readers that are interested in further “blah, blah, blah…” that my practical wife Joan has been so very helpful in striking from my earlier drafts of this novel’s manuscript because I, the dreamer, do have a tendency toward overdoing everything both in daily life and in writing.  As she, the practical one, has told me on occasion that my writing needs “less blah, blah, blah… rather than more!” said with great affection and tenderness. I took her words to heart in finishing this novel but just can’t resist a little more “blah, blah blah…” for those readers that are as interested in human nature and motivation as I am…

All three of the sayings at the beginning of this novel are very important to me in that I have lived them all and they have been crucial in my personal transformation and inner changes in my heart, soul and psyche, and I now govern my life accordingly.

My very favorite saying is “The ultimate of human freedoms is the freedom of choice.”  I adopted that one as my own personal truth because life on this planet for the individual is full of choices both good and bad… We humans with our God given brains must always choose very carefully and are always responsible for the consequences of those choices.

The first saying, “The farther backward you can look…the farther forward you are likely to see,” was instrumental in my journey of transformation and self-awareness in that it helped me look all the way to my birth to recognize all those R.O.W. rest of world influences, conditioning and enslaving pressures from others in my life, intentionally or unintentionally inflicted by parents, siblings, relatives, friends or enemies, good or evil.

While there is much good in our world and the good Lord provides both this Grace and designated Angels to help us humans, Lucifer, a fallen angel himself, on the other hand, is always ready to dispense both his evil and designated demons to hurt, enslave and defeat us humans as well. Casual Christians know nothing of spiritual warfare, for that warfare for man’s soul has been fought since Eve first offered Adam the apple in Paradise.

Then with the awareness of my past and in the pause period in between the past and the future, I reflected on all of it, processed it and with God’s given Grace was able to clearly “the farther forward you are likely to see.”

That saying helped me to understand the Therapeutic Cycle whereby we humans, with the freedom of choice and the Good Lord’s unmerited gift of Grace, can rise from one level of behavior, jump over a fence by holding our own bootstraps as I am always saying, to a higher level of human behavior and achieving a positive and lasting change and transformation. This then has been my journey!

The Therapeutic Cycle mentioned on occasion in this novel has a very special meaning to me in my own transformational journey. This is a well-known model that is useful in psychotherapeutic counseling. It envisions the recognition of some neurotic behavior that is harmful or self- destructive, requires one by self-analysis to first become aware that such behavior is harmful or self-destructive, then understand why one engages in such behavior and then make a rational decision or choice to change that behavior. Then comes the hardest part:  the constant and continued practice of that choice, to not backslide, but to then reach a higher level of freedom from that behavior to a lasting transformation. The distance between the old and new behavior is our own personal “growth.” The Therapeutic Cycle is not unlike the Twelve Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous, for example.

My Christian Counselor was most instrumental in helping me understand a loving, intimate relationship by explaining the four phases of such relationships in the context of the therapeutic cycle. The initial phase or the brand new beginning of a relationship between a man and woman is the falling in love phase, that initial feeling of ecstasy. At that point the relationship can take either of two paths. On one path, either the man or woman blames the other for the failure to recapture the ecstasy which then leads to evil and the destruction of the relationship. That is the dark “blaming” or selfishness stage for failing to recapture the ecstasy. On the other path, either the man or the woman give to the other, both recognizing that the relationship requires the efforts of both to last. This is the “giving” to the other or selflessness stage leading to a good and deeper love, the forever and always love that is unconditional for true love means “giving” everything and not expecting anything in return.

I’ve also lived that saying. Before my accident in the desert, I was governed not by choice but by those layers of evil enslaving me since birth from that were acquired first my parents, then from my older brother and ultimately from all my associations, friendships and ending with all my destructive relationships.  I finally became not what others wanted me to be, but that God created individual that I really was! Only through Grace was I saved by the Good Lord’s whispers to me that spurred me into action and by my own choice turned off the engine before the car could have exploded.

After awareness comes understanding in the therapeutic cycle. The understanding of my own personal evil came one evening in Durango, Colorado, visiting who I thought were friends but were not. I was with a woman with whom at the time I was in yet another destructive relationship that I attributed in this novel to a fictitious Glee Robinson and describe in Chapter 15. It was a moment in my life where I clearly understood Sigmund Freud’s very old and now probably dated Oedipal and Electra complexes in my own life.

While these theories may have been relegated to the dust bins of modern psychology, I have lived them!

Modern versions are still popular in modern culture by examples. Alfred Hitchcock’s old blockbuster movie “Psycho,” recent television series “Bates Motel,” and the “Menendez Murders” currently shown on the series “Law and Order: True Crimes, all being most graphic examples.

As Steven tells Eddie Chapter 25, “The bottom line for us males is as children we have intimate feelings toward our mothers and are subconsciously jealous of our father who is our main competitor for our mothers’ affection. So if that relationship is normal and lasting, we males eventually transfer that desire and find a woman of our own and as in the fairy tales live happily ever thereafter… But what happens in the real R.O.W. rest of world, most relationships and marriages all end because of the sexual, infidelity, divorce, conflicts, us males just thinking with our…”

The Freudian Oedipal and Electra complexes hold that the sexual is the basis of all neurosis or personal evil in this world. The enslaving evil forces a human being into escapes of all types which for humanity as a whole leads to its ultimate destruction.  But it also reveals that there is salvation for the individual. The individual can find peace, serenity, happiness and joy through love and can join with another for the survival of that particular intimate human relationship.

Thus the last saying in the beginning of the novel:

“With God’s Grace freely given, the completion of the intimacy work in progress between a man and a woman depends on each, by their own God given choice, coming to know themselves fully and only happens the moment that the woman forgives her own father, lets him go and lets her son go to another woman of his own… and the man forgives his own mother, lets her go and lets his daughter go to a another man of her own.”

The “One, Two, Three, Four” theory of human relationships on the planet, our world as human beings, as described in this novel is my own.   I first described this theory to an audience of teenagers that were recipients of Masonic College Scholarships and were gathered and honored at the Masonic Temple in Guthrie, Oklahoma in 1977. I had been practicing law in Oklahoma City for almost five years. I was previously an alumni recipient of one of those scholarships without which Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma University College of Law would probably have been difficult if not impossible. That scholarship was a result of my guardian and uncle, Ted Lewis, having been a lifelong member of the Masonic Lodge and his efforts when I was a senior at Lawton High School in Lawton, Oklahoma, from where I graduated. Ted attempted but could not obtain a congressional appointment for me to enter the Military Academy at West Point. Ted Lewis, a Jewish New Yorker from South Bronx was career military, a veteran of World War II, and a member of the “Greatest Generation.” He was one of the Lord’s designated angels that saved my life three times and I know where he currently resides.

The essence of my “One, Two, Three, Four” Theory of human relationships (referred to in this afterword simply as “4”) is the “Self and the One in “4.”

As the One in “4”, the self refers to an individual human being with the Good Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ in that individual’s heart that begins the circle of life for that individual at birth.  In One, if there is no spark of life by our Creator, then there is nothing.

The Two in “4” represents the two and only important aspects of life in our world, survival and an individual’s quest for emotional intimacy with other individuals, the top being between a man and a woman as created by our Lord between Adam and Eve to begin the human experience. The product of survival and doing that well is serenity, while the product of the quest for emotional intimacy is happiness and joy.

The Three in “4” represents the “how to” an individual connects with another to gain “emotional intimacy” in that relationship. The answer is that there must be three (3) ingredients between them to begin an upward progression in intimacy for that particular relationship to be ultimately successful. Those three ingredients are commonality, sharing and love.

Commonality between two individuals means that they have similarities in character, morality and life experience. Sharing on the other hand is the one to one contact between these individuals and includes the “good, bad and the ugly” all shared truthfully, honestly, and regularly. Finally, love is the emotion and feeling that binds them together as one.

Lastly, the Four in “4” is the four-part definition of true and real love between two individuals and is applicable to all relationships from nodding acquaintances, to friends, to husbands and wives and consists of passion, tenderness, commitment over time and the cornerstone of love, self-love. As it’s been said, one cannot love another if one does not love oneself.

In reverse order, the cornerstone – self-love – is defined by one having passion, tenderness and commitment with one’s self. Passion in love is much more than just the sexual. It is also pride and respect of another in that relationship while tenderness is recognition of another’s humanity by acceptance, understanding and affection.   Finally, commitment is the “until death do us part” in the Christian marriage vows, and should be finished by saying “then together as one in paradise,” but is not, most unfortunately for our crumbling human condition.


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