Co-creating a new reality, while surviving this one

Author Jock Whitehouse believes we can alleviate much of our unhappiness and that of others by reconnecting to the source of the universe. His novel, The Ledge of Quetzal – Beyond 2012, is an effort to show us how—and to debunk the myth that the world will end with the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012. In part two of an interview with Jock, the author deals with the age-old question of balancing our work, family and personal lives.

What does co-creating a new reality mean for most of us who are holding down jobs and raising families?

This goes back to the previous question, the “plane of our divinity.” I think there is literally a larger force guiding our lives. It— the universe itself—intends us to succeed. Just look at our immune system and our entire structure and the structure of the universe—how incredibly well built it is in every detail to survive and become what is inherent in itself. That “intention,” so to speak, is personified in each of us in a very particular way.

I think we co-create when we become aware and listen to that intention and allow it to manifest through us. We dance with it in a manner of speaking. We have free will to do and become almost whatever we would like, but our co-creative power is in doing it in harmony with the universe’s intention. We become the intention. We become God, really. I know that may sound blasphemous to some, but each of us is God.

As far as holding down a job and raising a family, the act of co-creation shifts the realities of work and family to become more aligned with “intention.” It’s not that you’re one thing while at work and raising a family and something else while you’re “being spiritual.” When you’re co-creating, all phases of your life begin to merge into a single resonance. I know, I’ve seen it and done it. I’m doing it now.

Jock WhitehouseWhat did you learn in the advertising world (specifically at swb&r) that you’ve applied in this new phase of your life.

I worked for 11 agencies in my professional career, and SWB—which later became swb&r—was the best of them all. It was small, intimate, and there was a lot of compassion, and I would emphasize compassion. We made room for everyone’s idiosyncrasies—mostly they made room for mine. Perhaps more than anything, the agency had soul. In Atlanta I ran into one other shop that had soul, and there I realized how dysfunctional it can become without clear leadership. SWB had that leadership.

As to what I learned during my time at there—a little over 10 years—I saw how “organic” both social and corporate change actually are. We espouse being guided by reason, but there’s always a great underlying organic—human—process going on. And that human element trumps reason every time.

You say you lost five jobs in eight years, then went on a quest to discover your own divinity. How did you manage to support yourself while following your dream?

I believe now that had I embarked on my spiritual quest after the first job loss, something would have materialized to support that quest, and I will address that belief in a minute. But as you say, it took five job losses—and the pain they caused—to wake me up. And because that’s the way it happened, I believe that’s the way it should have happened. By the fifth job loss, I was eligible for Social Security and I had managed to rebuild a small nest egg after a bankruptcy along the way. The nest egg got us to Mexico and the Social Security helps us keep our heads above water, barely.

But as I have pursued my dream, as you say, Social Security and the nest egg were not enough. A small investment in and resale of a piece of land that practically fell from the sky is the only thing that allowed me to stay on the path until equally small royalties started to come in. I’ve taken these manifestations as evidence that we will always have what we need. And we will. The book itself is testament to this.

Next: The journey from crappy to happy.

— Jeff Widmer

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and that’s a good thing

Jock Whitehouse is on a quest. Several, in fact. The first found him digging his way out of the dark hole of unhappiness into which he’d fallen. The second saw him return to the place of his birth, in Mexico, to discover a purpose for his life. The third comes in the form of The Ledge of Quetzal – Beyond 2012, a novel that pitches protagonist Daniel Bancroft into the mythological realm of southern Mexico to “discover the inspirational truths and transforming practices that open the way to his Oneness with the All,” as Jock describes the book.

“Against the backdrop of the Mayan 2012 world end prophecy, this magical allegory offers spiritual, inspirational and practical tools to help you find your way in an alarming and unstable world.”

A former creative director and new-business executive for several advertising agencies in the States (I worked with him in the mid-1990s at swb&r, a mid-sized agency in Bethlehem, Pa.), Jock stopped by recently to catch up with old friends and to make some new ones. Here’s the first of three posts on those conversations.

Why did you write this book?

The short answer is, “I had to.” When I was 55 I attended a time management seminar. We thought the facilitator was going to show us how to plan our day. What we didn’t know was that he wanted us to plan our lives. His first question to us—and this is described in the book—was “What’s important?” We responded with 24-karat corporate-ese: “Profits,” “Client relationships,” “Margins,” that sort of thing.

Ledge of Quetzal coverHe practically laughed in our faces. “What’s important?” he repeated. Then we thought he was looking for the soft values: “Family,” “Relationships,” “Love.” Again he shook his head. “What’s important?” he asked again. I thought I’d be a smart ass and I called out, “Survival.” He turned and looked me squarely in the eye and said, “That’s your lowest calling. What’s your highest calling?” And in that instant, I knew I’d never pursued my highest calling in my life. I didn’t know what my highest calling was, but I knew that what I was doing wasn’t it.

It took me seven years to figure out what my highest calling was, and that was living a “spiritual” life. For me, than means living with the awareness of my oneness with all things, and I express that through writing.

I think “What’s important?” is the most powerful question we can ask ourselves … over and over again. It helps clear our vision and our heart.

There are parallels between your life and Daniel’s, I would guess. How much of the book is autobiographical?

Virtually all the emotional and spiritual material is autobiographical. The anguish of divorce, job loss, separation from Source. The spiritual transformation itself is fully autobiographical. The meditations and nearly all the visions occurred to me. I’ve never done a single drug in my life, but a few reviewers have said the material seems hallucinatory. I know it does. What is fictional, or allegorical, as I would say, are the meetings with the mythological figures, Quetzalcoatl, then Quetzal, the hooded figure, the shamans, and such. As a result of these two influences, the story ended up having the credibility of non-fiction combined with the inspiration of allegory.

Is the Ledge of Quetzal a real place, and did you climb up there and have this life-changing experience?

By the time I finished writing about the climb up to the ledge, it sure seemed real to me. But no, it’s a place in the imagination. What had happened to me with increasing frequency before writing about it was the experience of facing what seemed to be life-threatening situations—job loss and such—to suddenly have myself lifted from a place of fear to one of utter serenity and wholeness.

That’s what I tried to express through Daniel’s experience on the ledge. We die before our terror and are taken to a higher place. I’ve come to believe that this “plane of divinity,” as I call it in the book, is far more real than anything we face here in our daily lives. It’s a metaphysical reality that is there for us all.

Next: What co-creating a new reality means for most of us who are holding down jobs and raising families.

— Jeff Widmer