A Story Of Discovery: Alexander's Quest
My journey began in earnest at age 17 when I had a surprising spiritual awakening at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest...
It was my senior year of Roman Catholic High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Every year the school offered (still offers) three-day retreats for seniors called Encounters. It involved staying at a catholic retreat center, located across from the beach, just north of Miami.
It was three days to get out of school and hang out with friends at the beach with a kindly old Nun who was known to let us kids do whatever we wanted. For instance, couples would sign up for this retreat so that they could sleep together in the same dorm room.
Three days out of school at the beach with friends! Sign me up.
On the last night, a priest came to talk to us about walls around our hearts, walls that block out God's love. He led us on a powerful exercise that reduced everyone, I mean everyone, to sobbing floods of tears. Perhaps it especially affected me, though, because, for the first time, someone spoke into the depths of the emotional trauma of my childhood.
Afterwards, I ventured to speak with him. It was the first time, in my long and dreary Roman Catholic upbringing, that I had ever actually wanted to talk to a priest. I sat opposite him on a metal folding chair on a linoleum floor in a large, otherwise empty conference room space, just the two of us, in what is termed "face-to-face confession."
I don't recall what I said to him. But when I was done, he stood up to pray the traditional prayer of Absolution that I had heard umpteen times in my youth. As he did, he put his hands on my forehead. The moment he touched his fingers to my forehead, something went wooooosshhh right through my body from head to toe, in a split-second flash of electricity and water all at once, unmistakably flowing through my body from head to toe.
And suddenly, inexplicably, I felt washed clean.
In shock and amazement, I also instantly realized that there was something Real behind all the religious mumbo jumbo that had been stuffed into my head.
And it launched me.
I didn't know it at the time.
But it launched me on a quest to find out What Is That Reality that lives behind the words, the rituals, and the practices that both conceal, and yet aim to reveal... That Reality.
I couldn't have, would never have imagined or predicted where my quest would lead me. All I can say -- and I knew it subconsciously somehow throughout the whole, almost twenty-year journey -- is that I would know it when I found it...
- As a graduating senior, I had earned a partial academic scholarship to attend Harvard. There, I studied philosophy, psychology, and social theory… looking for answers in the words of our great thinkers. And so it came to pass in the Fall of my sophomore year that I stumbled into an Intro Psych course taught by a young, unknown professor named Jordan B. Peterson. I ended up taking every class he offered. And thus, from 1992 - 1995, I learned from him what tens of millions of people would later learn from him (beginning in approximately 2017 and onward) in his YouTube Biblical lecture series.
- Separately and synchronistically, before I returned to school that Fall, over the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I became a born-again Christian... as in, full-on slain-in-the-spirit, speaking-in-tongues, born-again Christian! When I returned to campus, I was, as the saying goes, on fire! And in my Christian zeal, I became an Evangelical student-minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, leading prayer groups and Bible studies on the Harvard campus.
- After graduation and (long story short) the realization that Evangelical Christianity was a lens too small with which to view reality, a paradigm too limiting to encompass the reality I faintly knew, I returned to the tradition of my upbringing. I also contemplated becoming a priest. I enrolled in a Jesuit Seminary but left after two years with a master’s degree in Roman Catholic theology.
- Then, in a u-turn, I leveraged my Harvard diploma and got a job on Wall Street as a consultant, which transitioned (when my firm was bought) into a job as a Director of Marketing for a wireless software company. Interestingly enough, I was ahead of the curve there too. For, part of my marketing job description in 2001 was to write articles for magazines on the benefits of wireless mobile devices (in those days RIM Blackberries) and why people should buy them. For reference, the first iPhone was released by Apple in 2007.
- Meanwhile, living in New York City, I adopted the work hard-play hard lifestyle. I dove deeply into the nightlife and underground rave scene of New York City and tried every recreational and psychedelic drug I could find. It was an itch I needed to scratch. I can't explain it other than that. Something in me was urging me to break the rules of the good-catholic-boy-straight-A-student I had been.
- However, when the dot-com bubble burst in 2002 and I was laid off along with everyone else at my wireless tech firm, and with no Monday - Friday job to anchor me anymore, my recreational drug use became everyday use and not-so recreational any more. T'was not good. People who knew me were worried. So, needing a change, needing to get out, I bought a one-way ticket to India. And the only reason I went to India was because my ex-girlfriend was there and invited me to visit.
- After staying with her briefly in Delhi, however, I travelled to the Osho Center in Pune, which is where I really wanted to go. There, I meditated eight hours a day and took initiation as a Swami.
- After the Osho Center, I travelled to Goa and lived on Anjuna Beach for another couple of months, smoking hash all day, playing chess, and enjoying the full-moon beach parties. I even considered staying there and adopting the Hippie, New Age, beach-bum lifestyle permanently. It was tempting... especially because I could live like a king on $10 a day. The room I was renting right on the beach, like step out of my door and walk on to the sand, cost $2 a night. And what with teaching English to the local shopkeepers or selling trinkets in the flea market to tourists, one could easily make a living.
- Instead, after almost six months in India, I felt like it was time to leave. I felt drawn to come back to America, to New York City.
- Upon my return, I briefly considered applying for jobs in corporate America. I had a stellar resume. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Something in me had changed, and I couldn't go back.
- So, penniless and homeless at the age of thirty and with a Harvard degree, I slept on a mattress on the floor in the back room of a grimy construction office in Long Island City where I worked for $10 an hour doing manual labor. I worked other odd jobs, too, like bartending and as a temporary secretary. It was a depressing place to live and a depressing time in my life to say the least. But again, something in me would not allow me to go backwards. So, I held fast and stayed the course.
- Pivotally and importantly in my journey, at this time, I started doing juice cleanses, which transformed my health and healed me of several supposedly incurable, and for me, debilitating auto-immune diseases like Psoriasis, Eczema, Crohn's Disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This process of intensive self-healing took many years and eventually led me out of the allopathic paradigm of medicine completely.
- Fast-forward in my story a bit and I went back to school to study nutrition and health coaching. I also co-founded a successful holistic health center in New York City.
- I did extensive Ayahuasca ceremonies and apprenticed to Shamans.
- I travelled to festivals like Burning Man.
- I read every spiritual book and met with every spiritual teacher I could find. Any time anyone was in town or giving a talk or hosting an event, I would go and meet them and find out what they had to say.
- Meanwhile, I also got married and got divorced. And I have two children from my first marriage.
- Over the years, I’ve studied every system of esoteric knowledge I could find. I know my Vedic Chart, my Western Chart, my Sidereal Chart, my Mayan Chart, my Palm Lines (I studied palm reading), my Animal Totems, my Human Design, my Gene Keys...
- I’ve done Reiki, Colonics, Acupuncture, Biofeedback, Breath Work, Core Energetics, Craniosacral Therapy, Crystal Healing, Cupping, Chelation, Hypnosis, Theta Healing, Urine Therapy (Yup, I drank my own urine for six months.), became Raw Vegan (I'm now Paleo.) and I’ve been Rolfed…
- And there's still a lot I'm not sharing here, a lot of things that happened in between these bullet points...
- You name it and I’ve probably done it, all in search of lifting the veil to find The Answer to my driving question.
And then, it happened. Unexpectedly. At a party in Brooklyn.
And it came when someone casually introduced me to the deeper, hidden meaning of the Deck of 52 Playing Cards. It was another woooosssshhh in my life. The air got thick around me, and my knees buckled for a moment.
The year was 2009. I was 36 years old. It was the day after my son's second birthday.
On that day, November 7th, I found out that I'm born to play the 9 of Hearts.
And it hit home so resonantly and so strongly as the primary pattern of my life that it was undeniably true: all the times I had cried on the playground as a boy and was ashamed of my emotional sensitivity; all the ways I felt an unspeakable sense of loss and trauma from even the slightest events of my life; all the ways in which I did things to the 9s, to the maximum, to the extreme; and all the ways in which a profound, intense passion drove me to transcend my circumstances and elevate my life.
And yet... and yet... it still didn't make sense all at once.
Plus, I was very skeptical. I couldn't wrap my Harvard brain around the fact that the answer to the meaning of life was found in an ordinary deck of playing cards.
In fact, it took me several years to unpack the real meaning of these cards and come to trust them completely as the guiding truth of my life. And that came through testing them out but also through my meditations and in the ceremonial Ayahuasca work I was still doing at the time. I brought a deck of cards into the ceremonies, set them in front of me, and set my intention to ask what they meant, what they were all about, how to work with them, and why they were just now peaking back through the veil of our collective consciousness.
From those direct downloads of information, I wrote my book and started a non-profit organization to share this ancient, hidden knowledge.
I also realized that the pip patterns on the faces of the cards are a visual language that express the meaning of the Flower of Life. They symbolize the sacred geometric building blocks of our space-time matrix, and in their usage and meaning, they were once known as the Tree of Life and the Book of Life.
Then, luckily, gratefully, I found my life partner who is here to work with me in partnership to help teach this Knowledge. I couldn't do it alone. And I wouldn't want to.
So finally, together, in my 48th year, we launched The Source Cards on January 1st, 2022.
And as I finally realized for myself, I say unto you: may you live your life like it's your favorite game to play.
That's the answer.
with all my love,