“Finally – I have found THE answer”

I do not know quite why it is that I keep believing: “Finally – I have found THE answer”. I long ago learned that is a fallacy. It is a statement that is nearly always wrong.

My journey to curing my arthritis is an example. It seems like a dozen or more times I felt: “Finally – I have found THE answer”. Each time has been hugely important. Each step filled in gaps. Each step accomplished a better solution. Yet each step was incomplete.

I am there again. Perhaps this is a part of why I have had difficulty writing my stories. More to the point – why I have had difficulty motivating myself to write my stories. The stories aren’t done yet. They haven’t finished with me.

I have been impatiently awaiting the arrival of several of Stephen Harrod Buhner’s books – two in particular. Both books cover co-infections for Lyme disease. The first arrived yesterday.

To the best of my knowledge I have never contracted Lyme disease. However, I was severely bitten by a cat when I was ten. My hand swoll to many times normal size. It hurt. The doctor gave me what seemed like a huge shot of penicillin.

I ‘knew’, or at the least I believed, for my whole life that that cat bite caused my 30 plus year battle with two rare forms of arthritis: Reactive Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis. They are twins, slight variants on one another. I had both. They turned most of my spine and neck to solid bone. They fused my sacroiliac joints. My entire pelvis is one bone. This hugely limits my flexibility.

Over decades, I told every doctor I met about that particular cat bite. I attributed my arthritis to it. They were never able to “hear” me. I also told doctors over and over that I was experiencing “bone crushing pain”, especially shin pain. It crushed my soul. A lot of my life’s story centered around that pain and it’s impacts. I lived with it crushing me day and night for over 30 years.

I tried all kinds of things to cure the disease, and to relieve the pain. Some worked a little. Most did nothing. Many were extremely dangerous. The pain was savage. It was unrelenting. Opiates merely seemed to cut the edge. Only in the last few years have I learned that my body doesn’t process opiates as most people’s bodies do. I lack a critically important enzyme. In truth, the opiates never did anything at all. For me they were and are placebos.

After decades of research I believed I found answers. I did. It was caused by bacteria. I killed them. It worked. I cured my arthritis. The anti-inflammatories shredded my intestines. I healed them. My immune system misfired and thought I was the enemy. I quieted it. The story though was bigger than I thought. It was simpler too.

The key was in the pieces that never fit. The shin pain was a biggest clue. There were others. Endocarditis. Skin conditions. Swollen lymph nodes. A chronic unproductive cough that lasted a decade. Repeated bouts of eye inflammation. And many more.

I was right all those years ago. It was the cat bite that started it all. It was Bartonellosis, an infection with bartonella henslae.

Stephen’s book details that. All of the pieces finally fit. Cats are often infected with the bartonella bacteria. Cats transmit it to people most often through scratches. That causes ‘cat scratch fever’. It is more than that. They also transmit it through bites.

In many ways the disease looks like Lyme disease, with a twist. That twist comes from my genetics, genetics that make me susceptible to arthritis.

All of my puzzle pieces now fit. Finally.

Stephen details the mechanisms, herbs and nutrients needed to fully resolve the disease. I am likely cured already. But the bug is good at hiding and waiting. So I will now embark on a journey to finally clear any last remnants of the infections, infections from more than half a century ago.

Here I am once more thinking: “Finally – I have found THE answer!” I know that is not true. This is just another step. It is a big step.

The journey has been long. It has taken me far afield. It changed my life. It dominated my life. Yet, I am so very much the richer for it, despite the decades of pain and suffering.

— Dirk

Whatever I want, I cannot have.

Whatever I want, I cannot have.

In a program at the Monroe Institute, I learned a powerful lesson: “Whatever I want, I cannot have.”

The Institute is an amazing place. Its mission is to explore human potential, to learn for ourselves how much more we are than mere matter.

The core of the experience is first-hand learning. Ask questions. Challenge yourself. Challenge what others have told you. Question some more. Find more answers. Test them. Repeat.

Part of the magic is the Institute’s sound technology. Part is the beautiful rural setting, away from the hubbub of life. The largest part comes in the magic of the group of people who come together to share the week. And I do mean magic.

It is more than a collection of individuals. Often – very often in my experience – the groups are and were connected in magical ways before they ever arrived, though they had never physically met or ever heard of one another.

But, as I say, I eventually realized that “Whatever I want, I cannot have.”

Though I saw this in practice in myself and others repeated time and again, it took me half a dozen programs to put it into words. The core of it was realizing that the wanting of something, of anything, triggers powerful emotions and thoughts. Both are important.

By getting caught in that wanting, that desire, that insistence, I was trapped. So too were the others in the groups – trapped by their wants, as I was by mine.

In becoming focused on the wanting, I, and they, could not let go. I was trapped in my mind’s patterns. I was locked in on remembering what was, or what I desired, or what I insisted must be.

It was only when I could finally let go of that wanting that I could truly explore and find truth.

In 1984 at the very young age of 26, my dear sweet sister Shawn died of primary Addison’s disease. No one dies of Addison’s anymore. Her death was one of the greatest tragedies of my life and my families. It shattered us all. Shawn was a poet and an artist. And we lost her so early.

I had an unusual form of arthritis that was trying its utmost to kill me. It had nearly succeeded several times by then. Then Shawn died. How was this possible? Why her and not me? I was shattered.

When I first went to the Institute in 1995, I went because I was fascinated by the brain and the mind, as well as hard science of all kinds and the esoteric as well. Here they were researching all of that – together. Little did I know then how much my life would be changed.

What I did not realize is that in going I was searching for Shawn. That wanting haunted me both in life, and in my time at the Institute. I tried many times to “find her”, with no success. Others succeeded in finding ones they loved. I did not. Why? For a while, I set that aside.

In a Guidelines program I had an experience with an Owl in my visions. Nothing that happened told me anything directly. But I knew with absolute certainty that my cousin Kristi was dying. I was distraught. When I got home I called her mom and her and we talked. About a month later she was diagnosed with cancer. From then and for the next year I spoke with Kristi every night.

We talked a lot about my experiences at the Institute, about life, about healing, and about death. Kristi was an astounding young woman. She, her cousin Yvonna, and my sister were the best of friends. And like my sister Shawn, Kristi died young at age 27. Her life in that final year was glorious.

About a year after her death I was back again at the Institute in another Guidelines program. The group was amazing. It included two dancers from Paris.

As the program went along, I found myself in Paris on a particular street beside a café late in the evening. I had thought that I must be in Paris for some reason related to the two dancers. That wasn’t it at all.

In the next exercise, I found myself back in Paris. I heard someone behind me. When I turned around, it was Kristi. I was both overjoyed and overwhelmed with emotion. We could only talk for a brief time before I emotionally lost it and came back to full consciousness with tears running down my cheeks.

In the third exercise of the morning, I found myself back in Paris again. This time I was not surprised to find Kristi. We had a fuller conversation. Toward the end she surprised me by saying she had someone she wanted me to meet. She took me around the corner. There sitting at a table outside the café on the late evening streets of Paris was my sister Shawn. Even now 22 years later, I am overwhelmed with emotion just remembering that encounter.

I had “forgotten” that I was looking for her. Oh my! I cannot even begin to tell you how important that was, or how deeply it affected me. I can barely see to write this through the tears.

In time in that program and later ones I met Shawn many times.

As I thought about all of that and so many other instances I realized that in wanting so badly to find Shawn that I had become trapped in my own thoughts and feelings about her here in the physical. I was entirely unable to let go enough to actually go find her. And then through two diversions – the two dancers¬, and my cousin Kristi, I finally did find her.
“Whatever I want, I cannot have.” For it is in the very wanting that I am trapped and blinded, and thereby prevented from finding the very thing I want, the thing I most desire.

I am ever mindful now of that lesson. When I get stuck, I stop and ask myself – what am I wanting so badly that I am stuck?

I have found this truth has wider application. It extends to beliefs, especially deeply engrained ones, and to lessons learned in school and life. Often those are subtly wrong, or even seriously flawed. But in being trapped into believing they are true, in accepting them, I am and we are trapped.

Recognizing that, I have learned to let go. Let go of the beliefs that bind me. It is then that the magic truly happens.

— Dirk



I have to laugh. This story is about yeast. This story is about remembering. And most of all this story is about knowing just how much more we are than we often imagine. And it is about how connecting with guidance can help you explore that, as well as to explore what you might do with these tools.

Bear with me a brief while to get there. I need to tell another brief story first for this to make sense.

I spent a large portion of my life in a battle against a rare form of arthritis. I had Reactive Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and a tongue twister – Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis. That last one goes by the moniker DISH. These are terrible and destructive diseases.

These are and were caused both by a genetic susceptibility – an antigen called HLA-B27 and an infection. Scientists love to name things with terrible names. This antigen is one of the “friend and foe” antigens. These antigens are the ones you hear about in medical dramas and at doctors office when they talk about doing a tissue match for organ transplants. These antigens are like flags that cover the surface of cells telling our immune systems – “hey, I am one of us, please don’t kill me”.

My disease is/was an autoimmune disease. It is/was caused by bacteria pretending to be “me” / “us”. The bacteria has a part that looks very much like HLA-B27. When I was infected with one of these as a kid, my body recognized the invader and fought in. But the tricky bugger pretended to be “me” / “us”. And my immune system stopped fighting. This continued as an on again off again war for decades.

The battleground was my body. And the battlefield damage from that war was my spine, my neck, my pelvis, my eyes and more.

In 1997 I cured my arthritis. Doctors say that is impossible. I did it anyway. That story is a long story in its own right, fraught with difficulties, pains and perils. But that is for another time. The story today is about yeast.

A week or two ago I was lamenting to Frank that I was unable to grow yeast in my house. I have tried on and off for the last decade to bake bread, brew beer, make ginger bear, ferment grapes into wine, make yogurt and more. Ever single time that ended with me throwing it all out.

I purchased yeasts of a dozen types tailored to each purpose. I treated them gently. I abused them. I nurtured them. I ignored them. I tried everything I could think of. Yet, not once could I get yeast to grow.

I worried that the water was bad. Perhaps chlorine residual, or something else was killing them. Maybe I even had a bacteriophage (a virus that infects and kills bacteria) that targeted yeast. I tried several types of spring water, distilled water, and others. Nothing. Yeast would not grow.

I borrowed starter from friends. It died. It didn’t seem to matter what I did. The yeast always died.

With the virus and being stuck in the house, I thought again about trying to make bread myself. But my attempts at creating sourdough starter were going no where.

As I talked with Frank about that, he stopped me and asked as he always does – “What do the guys have to say?”

I have been doing my own version of communing with guidance since I was a child. For most of my life I set that aside as I did professional work. In that work, proper “scientists” would reject anything I had to say if they ever thought for an instance that I believed in such ‘nonsense’. My “credibility” would be toast. And so I set it aside for a good long while.

In the past two decades going to the Monroe Institute and getting to know Frank, I have let my hair down again, and returned to my roots. I learned Franks Intuitive Linked Communication version of how to connect.

And so, I asked “the guys” – “What is going on?” “Why is the yeast dying?”

The answer they replied with was immediate and blew me away. They pointed out that I had learned to do esoteric energy work and that I had gotten quite good with it. I knew all of that of course. It is part of my day to day “normal” that most people think is “impossible”.

They went on to say that in using those techniques that I had suppressed the growth of the bacteria that caused my arthritis as a part of the larger battle against it. I knew that played a part of the larger story of how I cured the arthritis.

They said that what I failed to realize is just how powerfully I had invoked that. They said that the reason the yeast wouldn’t grow anywhere around me was because “I wouldn’t let it. I was suppressing it.”

Well, duh! So, right then and there, I changed my energetic pattern so that I would continue to protect my body from a resumption of the arthritis, and at the same time to allow and support the yeast and other beneficial organisms that I grow.

Well that was fascinating. Frank and I continued our discussions and wrapped for the night.

Meanwhile, back in my dining room, I had been trying for a week to get sourdough starter to start with no success. Nothing was growing at all. Before I went to bed I checked on it one last time. It tasted liked flour and water. Nothing. hmmm… Perhaps I can start tomorrow.

Not long after I went to bed. And I thought of a plan for the next day.

I awoke in the middle to the night, as I often do. That too is another long and fascinating story for another time.

I got up and went to the kitchen for a glass of water. Along the way I stopped and checked my proofer where the sourdough starter was sitting nice and warm and had been for over a week. And what do you know, the thing was boiling over.

I opened it and smelled – yeasty!! I tasted it. It was doughy, sour and wonderful. It was only four hours or so since Frank and I chatted and since I changed my energy pattern.

In the week that followed, I have started several different sourdough starters. All of them have worked. I also found a very old, undoubtedly dead package of Red fast rising yeast hinting in my cupboard.

I threw that in a jar with some water and flour. Shazam, it went bonkers. And the next day I made bread for the first time in decades.

The tools we have available to us in connecting with guidance are immensely powerful and varied.

My journey, with the arthritis, with the yeast, and with so many other things has been a journey beyond doubt. It is a journey of remembering.

Yours can be as well.