The Company You Keep

This website is primarily devoted to writing spiritual insights, thoughts, experiences, etc. But I do read a fair amount, and I just finished a book which has little to do with spirituality, but was an impactful book none the less. This novel, written by Neil Gordon, has recently been made into a movie, which is what drew my attention to it. The movie review sounded like this was an interesting story. And boy, is that ever the truth!!

Growing up in the USA, an adolescent in the 1960’s, I was very affected by all the social unrest happening at the time. While I was never directly involved in much, I was fairly aware of the civil rights movement, the antiwar protests and the like.

This story deals with a few members of what began as the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), a group I was distantly aware of. Then some of the more radical members formed the Weatherman Underground, and began planting bombs and blowing up government buildings in protest to the dominance of the ruling powers. The Weatherman ethics kept them from killing; they timed their explosions to be away from people and times when people were at work.

But of course, their activities were illegal, so many members were forced underground. Many surfaced over the next decades. But the two main characters of this novel remained underground until 1996. The novel takes place in 2006, in attempts to get parole for one of the characters. There are many, many “flashbacks”, both to 1996, and to the 60’s and 70’s.

Neil Gordon very accurately captures the mood of those earlier decades. Not all of us were actively spending our lives in protest over social injustices, but all of us were certainly impacted by those who did. This story took me right back into those times, telling an inside story of groups I knew only vaguely. But the author gets it right!

It is very well written. His character development is top-notch. I as the reader ended up caring very deeply what happened to these terribly flawed individuals as their lives slowly unfolded through the course of the book.

I would recommend this read to anyone wanting to understand just a little more about the generation of the 60’s and 70’s. It is entertaining on many levels, but also very insightful.


Galatians 5.1 (yes, I quote from the Bible!) says, “For freedom Christ has freed us. Stand then, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

I have no trouble affirming Church and the task it has played in society over the centuries. It is not an accident that Church was established those many years ago. But there are those who find Church to be quite limiting. I believe this occurs most in people earnestly seeking God and his Spirit.

For myself, I feel I have grown to the place where I really do not need Church anymore. I continue to associate with Church for reasons other than Spiritual growth. I do not believe this puts me into any sort of danger, as some would assume from reading these words. In fact, on the contrary: I would be in graver Spiritual danger if I returned to earlier and more limiting beliefs than I hold now. I feel so free in the place I find myself I am filled with nothing but the most profound gratitude to God for where he has taken me. I am more sure and certain of my spiritual state than I have ever been in my entire life.

Some would think me deluded. I would encourage those ones to consider the biblical example. When Jesus appeared on the scene, his most vigorous opposition came from those who appealed to the Bible as their authority. And since Jesus did not match the scriptural record, he must be of the devil. (For a more in-depth discussion of some of these issues, see my chapter on “Trust” in “Out of Winkler.”)

Those today who appeal to the Bible as ultimate authority are the ones from whom I receive the most vigorous resistance to my beliefs. Therefore I consider myself in very good company indeed!!!

Over and over again I am hearing how much of a restriction to freedom organized religion is. I hear this from those who have gone beyond (as in NDE’s), received profound wisdom, and returned to share with us what they learned. I hear this from those who have devoted the greatest energy in seeking God and his truth. I hear this from those most acutely attuned to the Spirit dimension who hear messages from beyond.

I believe what we are experiencing in society in the present day is more and more freedom to seek truth in ways hitherto not embraced by Organized Religion. I believe God is moving in today’s world in new and exciting ways. Not “new” ways in the sense that we haven’t seen this before. After all, as I referred to above, Jesus came revealing truth outside of Organized Religion. I think what is “new” is the degree to which this is happening. There is almost an exponential growth in people seeking truth outside of Organized Religion. This growth is both numerical–more people than ever before are on this spiritual quest–but also in spiritual depth. The truths about God, heaven, the universe, the Source, Spirit, are accumulating and growing deeper all the time.

I have absolutely no idea where this will lead! Where does all this end up? The passage I quoted above from Galatians, in the Bible, goes on to say that our freedom is to be used to love one another (verses 13,14). Once again, the overwhelming message from heaven is love. We are to establish God’s presence on earth through the medium of love. It is in loving that we experience God. It is by loving that we show God to those around us.

While Church anticipates some sort of divine interruption to our existence on this planet, we are to be bringing about God’s authority through love. There is definitely the feeling in the world that a shift is occurring. There is no consensus of how this shift might ultimately happen. It could very well be that there will be some catastrophic events which bring about this shift. But I think it could also occur very quietly as each of us who are being enlightened continue to live faithfully in the freedom to which we have been called. Stand then, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Table of Contents

first posting: INTRODUCTION
Chapter Four: SEMINARY and BIBLE
Chapter Six: BABYLON
Chapter Seven: NDE’S
Chapter Eight: PAST LIVES
Chapter Nine: TRUST
Chapter Eleven: PHARISEES
Chapter Twelve: THE MAGDALENE
Chapter Thirteen: SOUL REGRESSION
Chapter Fourteen: MY OWN PAST LIVES
Chapter Fifteen: BETWEEN LIVES
Chapter Sixteen: WHAT NEXT?
Chapter Seventeen: DOES IT FIT?