by Bruce Adams
I once read a story about a monk who became enlightened.
According to the story, there was a young man who was curious about how life
changes once one becomes enlightened. In order to get some clarity the young
man asked the monk two questions. The first question the young man asked was,
before you became enlightened what did you do? The second question he asked was,
after you became enlightened what did you do? Without hesitation the monk
replied before I became enlightened I chopped wood and carried water. After I
became enlightened, I chopped wood and carried water.
In an earlier blog I spoke of going through a sort of
transformational experience in order to write the spiritual book that God asked
me to write, Prophet or Madman. For me, the changes and experiences went beyond anything I
previously believed was possible. I can honestly say with complete certainty, my view and understanding of
creation can never go back to what I once thought life was. That does not mean,
however, that I can not do the same tasks or jobs I once did. Today for
example, I am going to be scooping Ice cream just as I have done for the last 6
years. In some later blog I will share my thoughts about free will and how our
ego and spiritual thoughts play into what we find ourselves doing in this world,
but for now I am going to share something else with you. – something guaranteed to make life a little sweeter/
For those of you who enjoy ice cream and coffee, I believe
you will find the following recipe a delight. To start off with you take one
shot of espresso and add about one and half ounces of half and half. Next add 2
scoops of snickers ice cram along with 1 scoop of cookies and cream and blend
until completely smooth. The combination of the caramel and the chocolate in
the snickers when combined with the creamy flavor of the cookies and cream come
together with the espresso in a way that just works.
At Daddy Dee’s Ice Cream we call our shakes combined with
espresso Arctic Blasters. Although we are known primarily for ice cream and our
Arctic Blasters are almost like a well kept secret, once someone tries them they
are hooked. I have one customer, for example, that could not come in to the shop
with out ordering his Blaster. Being that many of our customers are snow birds,
they spend their summers somewhere up north. The gentleman I am speaking of
has family in Alaska and goes there most every year.
Upon his arrival
back in town some years ago, he told me how much he missed his favorite coffee
drink and then shared a story. He went on to tell me that he told everyone he
knew in Alaska. What he told them was, if they want a Real Arctic Blaster they
would have to come to Daddy Dee’s Ice cream in North Ft Myers, Florida.
For any one out there that finds you don not have the right
ingredients for this recipe or you would rather we make it for you, please
remember we are open seven days a week.
P.S. There is
not a day that goes by that we are not talking about and sharing spiritual
insights with anyone who is open and seeking. For those who have no interest in
speaking about God or spirituality, our ice cream and coffee drinks are just as sweet.
Love and Light
by Chris Johnson
Hi Beliefnetters and newfound fans and friends of our page, Prophet or Madman.
I know we’re just newly acquainted, so I hope you’ll forgive a foray into territory not usually covered here, namely the tragic shooting of so many innocents in Arizona recently.
First, it is only proper to offer our condolences to the many who have suffered mightily through no fault of their own in this sad affair. That one hopelessly misguided and unwell individual could spread so much misery, while not unprecedented in our time, is a deeply unfathomable matter.
Second, this is not the time and place to agitate for or against Second Amendment rights. Neither is the argument that guns don’t kill people, people kill people wholly relevant. Our civilized neighbors to the north, Canada, own more guns per capita than do we Americans, but their death rate from gun related incidents in nowhere near ours (roughly 30,000 die annually in the U.S. from gun violence,) in either absolute or relative numbers.
Third, this piece advocates for neither the position of the right nor the position of the left in the spectrum of public opinion. Indeed, left and right are archaic holdovers adopted by us from a convention used to separate partisans in the post-revolutionary Republican government of France in the 19th Century – concepts we might consider leaving behind as we seek common ground on which we can all stand and from which we can all move forward.
This piece is about the common ground on which we all stand. Did you know that there is less than a one percent difference between Shaquille O’Neil and Brittany Spears (to use two examples with which you all are probably familiar)? If fact, there is less than one percent difference in the DNA, the stuff that makes us human beings, of any two people on earth. I can’t think of a more glaring illustration of the inescapable fact that we have much, much more in common, much more that unites us, than anything or combination of things that divide us.
Yet we fixate on the one percent difference at the expense of the ninety nine percent similarity. Sadly, it is just this fixation that can lead to tragedies like the one we’ve all seen unfold in Tucson. We have become such an ‘us’ and ‘them’ culture, even though biology has recently shown us that there really is no ‘them’ – only us.
So, what are we to do? How are we to find and share the ground common to us all? I think it all comes down to a few simple principles – patience, kindness, tolerance and understanding. And as we hash out our perceived differences, a little dose of common, garden variety good manners wouldn’t hurt, either. As we create and participate in the public discourse necessary for the maintenance of a democracy, a government of the people, by the people and for the people, let’s not shout. Let’s not harangue. Let’s not deride any who don’t share our view. In short, let’s return civility to civil discourse.
As has been said, democracy is supposed to be a noisy and sometimes messy business, but let us allow tolerance and understanding to pervade our civic dialogue. The purpose of democracy is to offer the greatest good to the greatest number, to consider the common welfare, to work for the commonwealth, the commonweal. In doing so we must remember that the commonweal is constituted not only of the wealthy, the property owner, the successful and well adjusted. No, the commonweal is us all, as you all well know.
Didn’t Jesus say in his parable about the judgment of nations, “As you have done it to the least of my brethren, you have done it to me?” By his actions the young man who perpetrated this senseless violence against innocents placed himself among the least of our brethren. But he didn’t develop his mania in a vacuum. Couldn’t someone have intervened in his downward spiral into larcenous madness before his violent, murderous outburst? Are we our brothers’ keepers? I suppose in some way, especially if we consider Jesus’ words, we ought to be concerned for those of us less fortunate, those of us afflicted in some way. And our concern, if manifested as care, may very well have allowed someone to intervene before the deranged young man could inflict so much pain and suffering on his fellows. But, at the very least, we should all do our best to refrain from the kind of talk and action that incite those alienated, those sick and untreated, those whose grasp on reality and civility is tenuous, to the last resort of the impotent – violence.
How we treat and care for our fellows, especially those among us who are not well and who suffer, says more about us as a nation, more about us as human beings, more about us as children of God than anything else we do.
May divine mercy and our own better natures carry us through as we grieve, recover and press forward.
Hi, Beliefnet fans and friends we’ve not yet met.
We couldn’t be happier to find a home with the fine folks who bring us so much insight, wisdom and joy on Beliefnet.
As the co-producer of the web series we’re about to unveil here, perhaps a few introductory remarks are in order.
What is Prophet or Madman? Prophet or Madman is the title of a book authored by our main character, Bruce Adams. Bruce is a fine fellow, a gentleman of the old school, born and raised in Worchester, MA, now resident philosopher and ice cream scooper at Daddy Dee’s Ice Cream Parlor in Fort Myers, Florida.
To fill in a few of the blanks between his birth and now, along the way, Bruce was visited by a voice and presence he calls the Almighty and instructed to write a book meant to help humanity awaken and live true, spirit based lives. He did as instructed, at no small personal cost to him, as you’ll see, and found no one paid any attention. Being a pretty modern fellow, he came up with a reasonable answer to his dilemma: “I need a PR guy!”
Enter Steve Allen of Steve Allen Media – PR with a conscience, Steve calls it – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Steve elicited the help of some of his pals and partners in the film world and began tracking and filming Bruce, his friends and family, people he’s influenced and a number of Steve’s Hollywood pals, resulting in the first pieces in our web series, Prophet or Madman.
So, what is Prophet or Madman, the Web Series? They say if you have to explain the joke, it isn’t funny, but I’ll take my chances.
First, Prophet or Madman, the Web Series is not a joke, though that’s not to say it isn’t funny. We simply tell stories about serious matters from a lighthearted point of view.
Before Bruce started writing divinely inspired works and scooping ice cream, he was a successful businessman.
Before Steve got in the PR game, he was a moderately successful actor. His claim to fame? He was the Father of the Ugly Baby on the Seinfeld series. And this, dear reader, goes a long way in explaining how we tell our tales. As the Buddhists say, “Before enlightenment, rivers, mountains, trees. After enlightenment, rivers, mountains, trees.” There are no big deals in higher consciousness, right?
We ask you to suspend judgment for a while and forget that there are no car chases, no shoot-em-ups, not much action of any kind in our stories. There’s also no fire-and-brimstone preaching in our stories. In the way that the Seinfeld series was a show about nothing, our stories are about the wonders of no big deals. Exhibit A: The wonderful lady at the opening of Prophet or Madman #1, The Opening, says, “Oh, it’s the League of Love. We’re all one.” The pretty blond lady says that one day it’ll be hip to be awake, not just buy the latest new release from Lady Gaga. And Steve goes a bit gaga over the improbability of Hollywood coming together to discuss transformational entertainment. All pretty small deals in the grand scheme of things, but taken together, could there be a movement afoot to inject spirit into ordinary human affairs?
We’re hoping so and you can bet we’ll not only hope, but we’ll be there to film it, too, wherever it can be found.
Chris Johnson, Prophet or Madman Co-Producer
Now let’s let Steve Allen put in his two cents.
Hi everybody and thanks for joining us!
Here goes video #1 of our on-going, lighter side of higher consciousness, time to awaken web series. What a perfect place, a perfect venue to set the launch of our web series. Ladies and gents, we give you the Fox 20th Century lot in Hollywood, California, celebrating GATE’s (the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment) inaugural event. You see, the GATE founder, John Raatz, had this vision that GATE would be a place where the Hollywood community could come together (Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen, Melissa Etheridge, among others,) to incubate ideas and projects with a transformational slant. What a great idea! And John asked Steve Allen Media to help promote it. I have to say our team was ecstatic to be part of this endeavor.
So, just before it started, as Hollywood was filing into the famous Zanuck Theatre on the Fox lot, a major intuitive vibe came over me. Back-tracking for a moment- for the longest time, our production team (Mr. Lucky and me), was having a tough time figuring out how to start the web series. Well, the end of the rainbow was given to us. The Fox 20th Century movie lot, the inaugural GATE event, movie stars…what a perfect place to introduce our web series! I grabbed our competent Steve Allen Media cameraman and asked him to turn the camera on me as I let come what needed to be said. It was unrehearsed, spontaneous, from the hip.
I forgot to add that one of my favorites was a keynote speaker that evening- Ekhart Tolle. I love that man. If you all have a chance, look up www.gatecommunity.org. The organization and its founder are special and they have very cool events coming up worldwide.
Meanwhile, grab your favorite electronic device and follow along as Steve, PR guy extraordinaire and Father of the Ugly Baby and Bruce, Ice Cream Man and author, explore, document and describe their particular and peculiar take on the lighter side of higher consciousness.