burning questions with jay schryer: a man who digs the goddess..and the prince

“Porsidan” means “to question” in Persian. I know that because Jay Schryer is a questioner par excellence. He writes about his search for meaning and rock ‘n roll on his blog, Porsidan.com.

Jay is one of the reasons I adore the global brain we call the internet. You get to climb inside of stories. You argue in the spirit of seeking – like when Jay took me to task on my No Pity For A Strong Soul article. You learn that the most excellent people can fall on very hard times and that love finds a way. You learn about life and near death.

You make friends and you find new questions inside their story.

What question(s) in your life have been the most empowering (either mind-blowing or gently pervasive) for you?

When I was 19 years old, I was in a nearly-fatal car accident. In fact, I was dead for about a minute or so. In that time, I had a near-death experience where I met the Goddess and talked with her. At the end of our time together, she gave me a choice. I could either stay with Her, or go back to Earth. I chose to come back. Since that time, I have often asked myself why. Why was I given a second chance? Why was I allowed to come back, when so many other people never get that chance? Why did the Goddess handpick me to come back to the physical world? Why am I here? Why are any of us here? And last but not least, what can I do to make sure that I’m not wasting this opportunity, wasting my life? What can I do to make the world a better place simply by being here?

My entire life revolves around those questions, and finding new answers all the time.

If you had an altar, what symbols of devotion would you put on it?

Actually, I do have an altar. On it, I have: A statue of the Goddess, to remind me of Divinity, spirituality, and to always do the right thing. A deck of tarot cards to remind me of the power of symbols, hidden imagery, and mystical, magical powers. I don’t believe in divination; I believe that the future is constantly in motion, and that every choice we make changes it and affects it. It’s like Schrodinger’s cat, which is both alive and dead inside it’s closed box until somebody observes it. Even the act of observing the future by reading the cards changes it in some small way, thereby making the reading useless.

But I love the symbology and the esoteric nature of the cards. I keep them to remind myself that although the future can’t be known, we can still tune into our own divinity and spiritual nature, and perhaps the cards can show us what our heart already knows. You’ll also find a living plant to symbolize the Circle of Life (a la The Lion King), and the interconnectedness between all living things. There’s a photo of my daughter and another photo of some of my ancestors. A turkey feather to represent the elemental spirit of Air, a crystal for Earth, A candle for Fire, and a bowl of water for Water. I honor the four elements as representative of all the spirits, the Kami of Shintoism, that live in all sacred spaces.

Finally, I also have a voodoo gris-gris bag that I made while on a spiritual trip to Mississippi long ago and far away on my altar. I went to go visit the crossroads. THE Crossroads, where legend has it Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. I scooped up some of that sacred soil, cut myself, mixed it with a lock of my hair and a fingernail clipping, and wrapped it in a bag with some sacred stones from a Native American shaman friend of mine, and a guitar pick. Then I sat under that tree and played the blues. The devil never showed up, but something definitely awakened within me that day. I don’t believe in the Devil, but I do believe that if you want something so bad that you’re willing to sell your soul for it, then you’ll get it eventually, no selling required.

What music has been the most healing for you?

Oh man, I love music! Freakin love it. All of it. I grew up in a very musical family. My dad introduced me to old blues and early rock n roll, up to and including Motown. That’s where my mom took over, and gave me the joys of the disco era. I have an older brother who introduced me to classic rock and early heavy metal, and I took it from there. That being said, my favorite artists are Prince, U2, the Eagles, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, and the Cure.

Now to actually answer the question. Healing music = sappy, sappy (As in Air Supply) love songs always do the trick when I’m feelin’ the blues, and I’ll tell you why. It’s because I like to imagine the Goddess holding me safe and warm, and singing those songs to me. The best way to heal is to throw yourself into Divine Love. Take the lyrics from any love song, and just imagine God (However you imagine Him/Her/It to be) holding you tightly, and whispering those words to you. That’s the way to heal, from any heartache.

In one of your recent posts, you talked about honoring the muse. I believe there’s only one muse, and she speaks for Divinity through all the musicians, painters, and other artists of the world. So in a way, whenever anyone writes a love song for anybody at any time, it’s just like Divinity is speaking those words to us.

What book(s) are you always telling people to read?

  • The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. Awesome, awesome love story.

  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and it’s all Small Stuff, by Richard Carlson. Lots of good philosophies on life in that one.

  • For men specifically, The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida is a must-read.

  • Watership Down by Richard Adams is another great story, as is

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Finally, I believe that everyone should read at least one book every year that challenges them or upsets their status quo. The last such book I read was The Evolution of God by Robert Wright. Changed my view on organized religion for all time.

Who or what has rendered you awe-struck?

Seeing Prince play the guitar solo to Purple Rain live in concert. Absolutely blew me away. I have never, and I mean never felt closer to Divinity. Not even when I had a near death experience, and visited with the Goddess Herself for a while. It was absolute perfection: perfectly accurate, technically speaking in that he never hit a wrong note, emotionally powerful beyond words, and charged with magic and power. Who can doubt the power of the Muse and divinity Herself when faced with such awesome evidence?

I’m going to give you a word. Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when you read it… Ready? The word is: IDENTITY.

Crisis! Identity crisis. About a year ago, I completely lost my way, to the point of not knowing who I was anymore. That led to a lot of questions, and caused me to start my blog as a way to search for the answers. It also caused me to reconnect and re-evaluate the questions I outlined above, about life and my place in it. I’m finally finding my way back to myself, and it feels fine.

{insert a great blues guitar lick here…and hails from the crowd.}

. . . . . .

FIND JAY
Porsidan.com
Twitter: @jayschryer


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