I Met God — God Without Religion, Scripture, or Faith: Mind Meld
BRAD LINAWEAVER: Neil, the license plate on your vehicle says, “I met God.” Is it fair to say that that license plate is not so much referring to the encounters we have discussed up to this point, as the event you’re about to describe which almost could be more accurately described from your point of view experience as you merged with God?
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Yes. Now, we’ve gone through some pretty dramatic events in my life up to this point.
We’ve talked about, how at five years old, it’s almost like I’m having an encounter with God. I even need to say that looking back, I have a sense of God, early in my life. Not as in any intellectual sense but simply as almost like a taste of benevolence which I have been exposed to. That disappears for a long period of time and starts coming back with my childhood and adult exposure to C.S. Lewis.
Once I am told that Aslan is Jesus, well, that’s when Jesus starts becoming very very interesting to me.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: Is that right, the day you were told that?
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Yes. At the point when I know that one of my favorite characters as a child is supposed to be Jesus, that is the point at which Jesus becomes interesting to me.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: But if as a child you had been told it was Jesus then you never would have read the Narnia books at all?
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: That is correct.
Now moving forward, I have a number of different experiences, which are leading up to this thing, and a lot of them are confrontative and not pleasant.
The experience at the end of writing The Rainbow Cadenza when I have a feeling that God is possibly within me. I don’t even know that it’s God at that point but there is something going on and it’s shaking me to the core and is making me very, very afraid. At that point I don’t even know that its God, I don’t recognize it yet.
Nor on those occasions before that, when I had a voice telling me something. For example, precognitive voices telling me things. The event at a Halloween party when I see the woman who later becomes my wife, and I hear a voice saying, as I am looking at her dancing at this party, “If you ask her to dance then you will marry her.”
Okay, so I’m having things like that but then it’s getting stronger and the voice is becoming more identifiable.
I need to say that all of the times that I am hearing this voice, it’s my own voice. It sounds like me talking to myself. It’s not like I’m hearing Charlton Heston and it’s one of the reasons why later on when we are discussing some of the techniques of the writing of Escape from Heaven, why I identify God as a twin of Duj Pepperman. It’s because the experience is as if you are experiencing an image of yourself.
Then we have the incident in April of 1988, the hand on my heart, and then a few weeks later the dream where I’m finding out why this pathological fear exists and afterwards has gone away.
We have the dream in 1991 in which I am visiting Heaven for the first time.
And there are two other dreams later on that I’ll be talking about in discussions I recorded with Jack Landman on CyberCity.
But then we get to February 18, 1997, and the character of what happens then is so fundamentally different, and so much more intense — of a different character — of everything that has led up to this that it’s a singularity in my life. It is so much of a singularity that, even at the time, I marked it as having the effect on my life of being a birthday. That this was a date — February 18th — was going to be an anniversary in my life, very much as important to me as any birthday or anniversary or anything else.
You can almost, if you want to apply the Christian term — and I’m not sure how much of the Christian term applies or not — calling it the day I was “born again.” I have used that terminology in conversations, that this was the day I was “born again.”
Now, what happened to me on that date. Let me go back –
BRAD LINAWEAVER: Yes, please say everything that happened that day before the event.
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Right, I have to go back before the event, before that.
Going back five months before that, I started a diet. I had put on weight, probably as a consequence of the unhappiness of going through a divorce. I put on weight and I started a severe diet, and it was a diet which had worked for me before in my life very, very effectively. A diet of reduced calories, usually under 900 calories a day, but also restricting carbohydrates as well to under maybe 30 or 40 grams a day. In addition to which I was walking, exercising.
So the combination of restricted calories, restricted carbohydrates, and exercise put me into the state which the Atkins Diet and the Atkins diet books and Dr. Atkins talk about, which is you go into a state of ketosis.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: And describe what that is…
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Ketosis is the releasing of ketones into the blood. Ketones are a particular substance, which is released by the process of reducing intake, and having your body in essence be metabolizing from its own resources, in other words metabolizing fats and ketones are released. Now if you ask me why that happens, go talk to a biochemist or a dietician or somebody like that and they’ll explain the chemistry to you. I’m simply relating to you that what happens is ketones start appearing in the blood and this is necessary for the burning of fat to happen, a necessary consequence, it’s part of it.
Now, an extended period of ketosis, when you add it to something that happened maybe a month before February 18, 1997, perhaps starting in January, I think I got a mild virus flu cold or something like that but below the level where it was more than sniffles. But I was feeling a little bit of congestion and when that happens you breathe more shallowly, breathe more rapidly. So I was breathing more shallowly. Now in breathing more shallowly, the consequence of that is that you’re taking in less oxygen.
Now. You and I have had a discussion previously — and I’m going to put it on the record right at this point — of a few days before we started these tapings, of my going back and reading the beginning of the Four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew, Mark and Luke agree on the following sequence: that after Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist and John the Baptist hears the voice of God saying “this is my Son whom I well love” — all three of these gospels say that Jesus went into the desert for forty days to be tempted by Satan.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: Yes.
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Now. Jesus is a physical human being and what is going to happen to Him in the desert is the same thing that I have done to myself by going on this diet and exercise program. He is going to go into ketosis because he is going to be fasting. We don’t know how many extra pounds of fat Jesus had at that point. We don’t have a physical description of Him, He may have had 30 or 40 or 50 pounds extra fat on Him from high living which are burned off during those 40 days and he becomes the lean, mean Messiah machine in the desert. Okay, but he is going to be in the desert He’s going to into ketosis He’s going to be dehydrated and that is something that happened to me during this period I became dehydrated.
Within a couple days before February 18, 1997, which was a Tuesday, I have been in the hospital emergency room because I feel myself fainting. I feel my heartbeat is irregular. I feel in serious danger. And so I go into the Emergency Room and what do they do? They say you’re dehydrated and they rehydrate me by putting an intravenous saline drip into me to get me back up to rehydration.
This happened twice, at least once before the 18th and I’m not sure exactly which day but it probably would have been the Saturday before. I think it happens within a day or two after the event, on around the 19th or something like that.
So two times during this period, I am in such ketosis of blood poisoning from the excess of ketones in my blood caused from five months of severe diet and exercise and just before and just after that I am dehydrated in ketosis and breathing shallowly. Now breathing shallowly, we have Moses going up to talk to God and he goes to high altitude to do it, less oxygen. So there’s a physiological thing going on there too with less oxygen. With Jesus out in the desert as Matthew, Mark and Luke describe it for 40 days — He’s going through ketosis and dehydration.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: I’ve never made that connection before.
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: But in essence the precondition for what appears to happen to me appears to have a physiological component to it and it is described in the Bible and I unwittingly, simply by trying to take off weight, have put myself in the same situation as if I’d gone out to the desert to fight the devil.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: As are all the famous mystics throughout history, who have done fasting as a ritual.
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: As a ritual, right. Fasting puts you into ketosis. Apparently the ketones have some toxic effect on the brain, which enables something to happen.
This is not a drug experience. We’re not talking about taking an artificially engineered substance, or even a natural plant substance, into the body, to produce some sort of effect. We’re not talking about my taking Peyote or Marijuana or LSD or anything like this. This is something, which is in the body’s mechanism, itself, which can be triggered by a specific technique, and that technique is denial of food. And something happens in the brain.
Now, the other thing that was happening in my life at this particular time is the civil verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial, where O.J. Simpson is found civilly liable. And I had been watching the criminal trial avidly, and had written couple of articles about it, and paid somewhat amount of attention, but not as much attention to the civil trial.
A week before the February 18th thing, I see something which creates cognitive dissonance in me, something odd. And that is at the end of the civil trial, I see Ron Shipp, who is supposed to be one of O.J.’s friends, hugging the man who has sued and just won a lawsuit against his friend, O.J. Simpson. I see Ron Shipp hugging Fred Goldman at the conclusion of that trial.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: And that strikes you as very odd?
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: It strikes me as very very odd. Yes! He testified against him but now he’s hugging who is in essence O.J. Simpson’s worst enemy and he’s supposed to be a friend?
It created cognitive dissonance in me to the extent that I woke up and said, I have been looking for somebody who could have possibly framed O.J. Simpson, and here we have Ron Shipp, who is an intimate friend of O.J. –
BRAD LINAWEAVER: Or supposed to be.
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Well, intimate in the sense that he has access to the property, okay? He’s done security work for O.J. at various different times. He is an experienced police officer who describes himself on the stand as having detective skills. Even though he wasn’t a detective grade, he nonetheless had L.A.P.D. training, and had worked detective details, had been a training officer at L.A.P.D. Academy. And he fulfills all the psychological conditions of somebody I would have looked at to be a fan boy who then turns on the object of his worship.
Okay. At that point I started doing the research which eventually, a few years later — actually a few months later in the web version but then a few years later, in 1999, in the published book version — becomes my book The Frame of the Century?.
So that is what is the center of my focus during that week, while these physiological things are going on with me, is that I am starting, for the first time, to become an active researcher in the O.J. Simpson case, triggered by my observing, in essence, the last legal aspect of it, which is the liable verdict in the civil case.
So that’s where my focus is.
Now, on the Monday before, when I go to the Karl Hess Club, suddenly it occurs to me I have done things over the previous few days. I have, in essence, sent out information to various different people. I have met during that previous week with detectives at the L.A.P.D. and presented my theory to them. I have presented it to O.J.’s attorneys. And that night it occurs to me, if this has gotten to Ron Shipp, if this information that I am presenting a theory that Ron Shipp was involved in these murders and framing O.J., I could be in physical danger.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: I remember you from that period and I remember I’ve never seen you more paranoid.
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Right, because I suddenly thought, “what have I done to myself? I’ve exposed myself, I’ve exposed my family here, and I need to take immediate action to batten down the hatches before because if I am vulnerable I wouldn’t know about it.” In essence I go to high alert.
That night I went to my bank, I withdrew cash, got into my car and started wondering where should I put myself for the next few days, while I’m making further contacts? Who can I go to who I wouldn’t necessarily be traced to, if I were to go there as a safe house? Should I drive to Jean, Nevada, and stay in one of those $18 a night hotel rooms, which I could easily afford to do? Is there some friend who could be useful to me?
What I essentially decided to do that night was drive out to Randy Herrst’s house and ask him for help. I drove out late at night to Randy’s. He came down with me, and we basically sat in my car, and I laid out all of this to him. And I said, “Look, am I just being paranoid or is there a real possibility that I’m in danger here?”
He said, “Neil, the point is that you have no way of knowing, and so, yes, you were right to take protective steps. Now let’s figure out what we’re going to do, to resolve this quickly, in such a way that you don’t have to go into hiding if somebody really is pissed off with you and is going to take some action.”
Okay. Now what we resolved to do was go to an attorney whom we both knew, through Second Amendment work, who had been involved in filing some of these suits against the Los Angeles Police Department about concealed carry licenses for handguns, and seek his advice here.
So, we made an appointment that morning to go to this attorney in Beverly Hills, and sit with him, and ask him what should be our next step?
So around 10 o’clock in the morning of February 18th I’ve been up all night talking with Randy and strategizing this. So now in addition to the physiological condition of ketosis and dehydration, which I’ve been experiencing, I’ve now gone without a night’s sleep.
And we go have the meeting with this attorney in Beverly Hills. He says, “Well, look, I know another attorney who has a direct contact with Gil Garcetti at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. Let’s present your material to him.”
And so we make an appointment for me to go back to his office later that day and meet with him again.
Now, having had this first meeting with Randy and this attorney, in the morning of February 18th, I need to get some sleep. Randy thinks it’s a good idea if I not go to sleep unprotected. That I not go to sleep and simply be alone.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: You mean have somebody on guard?
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Have somebody on guard. This is Randy’s suggestion. Randy is acting in essence as my bodyguard at this point. But Randy also has gone a night without sleep and he needs to go home and sleep as well, before this meeting, and so we called up another friend of ours, Dafydd ab Hugh, and I said, “Dafydd can you come over to my place?” and I explained the situation in brief. I said, “There’s some potential for danger. I don’t know exactly how to calculate it. It may be a small potential. It may be a large potential. But we don’t know. Could you just come over to my place and just sort of watch my back while I get some sleep?”
And Dafydd said, “Yes,” and he came over.
Dafydd gets there around 11:30 or 11:45 in the morning. And Randy says, “Okay, I’m going to go home and get some sleep and I’ll meet you later today, and we’ll go over to the attorney’s office again.”
So Dafydd is out in the living room, and I say, “Okay, I’m going to lie down.” And I go into my bedroom, and I close the door to lie down and get some sleep before the meeting.
And I lay down on my bed, and about ten seconds later — almost immediately — something has happened and I sit up in bed.
The first impression I’m having is that I have just traveled a long way, and I’ve just arrived.
And I’m looking around and I’m thinking, “Where am I? What’s going on?”
Remember, all of this is from my internal perspective.
Okay. I am sitting up and saying, “Huh! Now I’m here. I’ve just arrived.” But I wonder what’s going on.
And suddenly I sit up, stand up, and I remember that I am God.
The only way to describe it is not, this is unlike these previous things that have happened to me where when God has His hand on my heart I know that it is God’s hand or I am in a dream and God is next to me as a woman or any of these other contacts where it’s a voice. This is none of those. I am God at this point. I wake up and I remember that I am God. I stand up and the first impression I have standing up is that I feel too tall.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: Hmm, that’s odd.
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Why am I so tall? This is bizarre, I’m looking at myself — I’m looking at my body — I’m so tall and this body is so out of shape. How is it that this body is so out of shape? What happens then is that I walk out of the room and I see Dafydd sitting in the living room.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: What is Dafydd doing?
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: He sitting there reading or maybe watching TV or something like that, and I’m just looking out there, and he’s saying, “Is everything okay?”
I say, “Yes, everything seems to be okay.” I said, “I guess I’ll go back into the bedroom.”
BRAD LINAWEAVER: You have not slept yet?
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: I have not slept yet. But I have chatted a little bit with Dafydd and suddenly it’s starting to come to me that I’m looking around and –
This was at an apartment that I was renting on Overland Avenue in Culver City. This was a two-bedroom apartment and it was very cluttered because every career that I’ve ever had accumulates stuff, and I’d been doing a radio show in 1992 and so I had all the recording studio stuff I had set up to do a radio show in there. And I had all the things from my previous electronic publishing venture, SoftServ, all those business records and filing cabinets. I had been writing about the Second Amendment and so I had stacks of newspapers with articles that I’d written, and the place is pretty well cluttered. The place is as much a storage closet as it is an apartment. It’s an office, a storage closet, and a living residence, and I had always been very frustrated at how cluttered this was, and felt really like it was a cage that I was trapped in it. That I didn’t have enough space.
Suddenly I’m looking around at this little two bedroom apartment with all this stuff in it, and I have a different view of it then I’ve ever had before. I’m not seeing as a cage anymore. I’m seeing it as a nest, which I have built for myself as a protection.
I’m realizing as this is coming along, as my mind is sifting through all the new stuff, that J. Neil Schulman is a fictional persona, which I have created my entire life, because up until that moment I was hiding from myself the fact that I was God.
This is what is going through my mind while this is happening.
Now. One can say that I’m going through a psychotic episode at this point. Certainly the physiological conditions for a psychotic episode — ketosis, dehydration, lack of sleep — all of these various things can add up and say that I’m having a break with reality.
But the problem is that I’m not experiencing it as a break with reality. I’m experiencing it as the most clarity and intense ability to perceive, and to think, that I’ve ever had in my life. Far greater. It’s not that I am diminished in any sense. I am enhanced.
Okay? And I am looking at Dafydd, and I’m experiencing something in looking at him that I have never had before, a cognitive enhancement. Because what I am able to do — and it’s hard to describe this even today because the words don’t really match any other experience that either I have had or you have had — presumably.
I’m looking at Dafydd and suddenly it’s like there is a twist going on in the way that I am looking at him and I am seeing him in four dimensions. I’m seeing the core of his soul and I’m seeing him as a four-dimensional event, with a beginning and something going off into the future. I’m not seeing a death but I’m seeing a different segment, as if I’m looking at him through a different time angle or something like that.
Suddenly my angle of looking at him is shifted and I’m not seeing him in the normal way from the surface, as one segment. I’m seeing a four-dimensional event. And what I’m really seeing is, I’m seeing into his heart. I’m seeing his desires.
BRAD LINAWEAVER: You mean his soul.
J. NEIL SCHULMAN: I’m seeing the core of his desire and I’m seeing that the core of his desire is to make it as a serious writer. Above everything else, that’s what he wants, is to really be a serious writer.
I don’t say any of that to him. I realize that I am revealed to myself. The game of hiding from myself is over and now obviously I’m here. And now the mission begins.
This is what’s going through my mind at that point and I begin asking myself certain questions about what’s going to happen.
Am I going to have to go through a crucifixion? No that won’t be necessary this time.
What will happen? A circle will form around me.
What’s going to happen in terms of the O.J. thing — is my investigation correct? Yes, your intuition there was correct.
All of this libertarian stuff, which I had been writing about — yes that’s all correct. The principles of natural law and free will and that sort of thing. Yes that is correct.
Guns. I’d been doing all this stuff with guns. Well, yes, we eventually die, but protecting the good requires that good people protect themselves from the evil people.
And all these sorts of things are going through my mind. It’s not even like I’m being told things or something like that. It’s like a continuous revelation going on as I’m remembering who I am and who I’ve been.
Next in I Met God — God Without Religion, Scripture, or Faith is Chapter VII: Revelations
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