Pathena: Who was Donato?

by Dorie/Pathena

Your questions echo in the depths of my own consciousness. I find I can’t just brush them off with easy answers – I don’t think there is any easy answer to these questions – because we are talking about Perception. My Perception at the time I was in ML, was vastly different than it is now. However, I have to give credibility to my process. When I was in Morningland – Donato was the Christ, yes. Not ‘a’ Christ – ‘the’ Christ. And I was one of his brides. What a special chick, eh? I still travel these roads with tender steps because there are parts of me I realize are not totally healed from that part of my journey.

At least I can see them… and see the needs that accompany them…

Was Donato a Christ? Yes – Donato was a Christ – just as everyone reading this note right now is a Christ – as every person on the planet is a Christ- by definition, a Divine Reflection/child/offshoot/creation of the Supreme Source of all life – Each of us – we each are a ‘Christ’ …A divine son or daughter of the Source. And even if the only level of Christhood he ever achieved was that which I gave him by my perception, then that, for me, was real – is REAL – and is Divine. There IS no other reality than the one which we PERCEIVE.

Was Donato THE Christ? No – I cannot reconcile that either by the variety of definitions I may come up with, nor by the perception of my energetic experience. In my observation, I’d have to say that Donato was a gifted psychic, teacher and healer, (as I’ve stated before) – a fun and humorous person that most people liked – a decent provider who kept an earthly job until the day he died, and perhaps a learned and even masterful teacher. Can anyone define ‘Master’? Shall we open Bailey’s books to find a definition or shall we travel those hallways within ourselves? As I remember – a Master is one who chooses to be here – does not have to be. I do not feel qualified to make this kind of judgement about anyone – today or in yesterdays. Donato studied metaphysics and spirituality for many years – no doubt about that. He did move through altered states of consciousness via drug experiences – which many of us did as well. Many different traditions use some sort of drug to alter the perception – to shift the world view – to loosen the Assemblage Point, according to Castaneda – to give you a glimpse of another dimension or reality or perception that you may then be able to achieve through your work in a non-drug state. You still have to do the work however – there is no way to cheat that process – and without proper guidance and instruction a person could certainly lose contact with reality and be non-functional. But, that is another discussion…

Donato did make an effort to simplify spirituality.

Your questions about how the sexual links figure in to this scenario are very valid- but I cannot definitively give you a reason that makes any kind of sense even to me! :) I know that the dictate of the Party Line indicated that this arrangement was a necessary ‘sacrifice’ that the Master made to insure that the Plan would work. It was a burden he bore in other words, and a sacred set up that served the purpose he intended. Bondage. Fidelity. Control. I have missing pieces here too, but I’m working on retrieving them. I do not have all the answers, but I can tell you at the time, that we accepted and for the most part, were content with the setup. From the reactions of different people I have spoken to over the years, those that have had a similar experience or even studied the tantric systems of spirituality say things like, “So?” or “Oh yea, I understand that…” Those who come from the Judeo-Christian, Western established constructs of sexual repression and moralistic codes gasp open mouthed at the insanity of accepting that kind of relationship. I can only tell you that from my perspective back then, it was an acceptable situation that empowered me by my acceptance. Not that I haven’t had to deal with a lot of shit because of it – but I keep coming back to the thought that ‘It’s not WHAT you do, it’s WHY you do it…’ At the time, my ‘why’s’ were very pure. I gave that part of my discretion and energy away willingly. I would not do so today. But sex, in and of itself, only becomes an issue if we have an issue with it. (Most of us do, of course…. :)

Donato – funny little man. That smile and hoarse laugh – that devil-may-care attitude about consequences – the person who ate too much, smoked too much, slept too little and seemed to truly live for the experience of helping others, overshadows for me, the later presentation by his wife of someone to be feared, idolized, worshipped and deified as the only salvation for the planet…. waiting on a spaceship to swoop away those who were worthy of salvation by their ultimate devotion to him through her… alien and foreign concepts that seem so ultimately delusional. No, that was not the Donato I knew…. But truly, I cannot claim to have known Donato – except through my Perception, at the time, of who he was, and who I was in relationship to him. I loved that guy – completely.

So, who was he? He said he was a teacher of teachers – ok, I can buy that. Especially since I was one of the teachers he taught. He said he had a direct hookup to Upstairs – ok – I can buy that as well – because we each have the very same. He was a friend, a companion, a provider and a mystical maverick with a vision. His vision was for a place where people could come to learn, to be healed and to find the way through the pathways of maya in which we entrap ourselves, to achieve freedom and soul empowerment.

So, what’s so wrong with that?

Well, nothing – except the fact that he died before he could actualize his plan – and his wife took over and changed a bunch of stuff. He even admitted that the ML philosophy was a blend of eastern and western truths. There are days when I have some anger surface toward him, but for the most part, I have no anger toward Donato that is not just residual threads or fragments. For that matter, I don’t have any anger toward Sri either. What purpose would anger serve except to show me where I have more work to do? If anger comes up – I’ll go after it… For those of you who never knew him, Donato used to work at the Boys Club all day, have a quick dinner, then go to the temple where he would see people all night long – some by appointment, some impromptu – quick readings, private meetings and counseling sessions in his office in the old temple – drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes one after another. He never taught any classes or led a Sunday Service or anything like that… he was behind the scenes, although he did occasionally do public readings – that is, he would stand in front of an audience and pull cards or something and one of the Gopi’s – as he directed them, would read. Anyone could see him – and the gopis too – we were ‘in the trenches’ so to speak, as opposed to some of the recent images shared with us lately by later members, of a Morningland today where Sri is completely isolated, and the gopis are too – isolated and removed from the people. That sounds very foreign to me. Not unimaginable, just foreign. I know that Donato did believe in ML – and he never took any money from it. There was always that vague goal that he would be able to retire from the Boys Club at some point and that ML would support him, but he was always reluctant to the idea until he was sure that ML would survive and support the gopis as well.

After classes we would leave the Temple and go have breakfast, usually at that restaurant up on Signal Hill. The waitress there – Mary – was always so kind and so curious about us. Donato would read for her often.

I remember how Donato loved to play the first section of ‘Ride my SeeSaw’ by the Moody Blues up at Crestline. He’d say we were going on an elevator ride, and by God, when he started that record, you felt yourself go up. Can anyone listen to that today and NOT go up? How much of that was Donato and how much was our own selves? How much does it matter? Everything we experienced, no matter what it was, had to be a result of our own energetic expansion – our hookup to our higher, more perceptive Self – there is no ceiling, in my opinion, that we cannot penetrate ourselves – there is no need to wait for another to take us somewhere we think we can’t get to ourselves. That was the deception – although I believe it’s true that some people have more energy than others naturally. Perhaps Donato was one of those who did. That’s why we felt energized when he was around – or did our expectations of that energy fulfill the requirements for the linking to occur and jump us to alternative perceptions? The belief, in other words, that something ‘more’ was going to occur, enabled us to be open to the perception of that as a reality. The possibilities, so to speak. We expected to feel good – and we did. We expected miracles and so we experienced them. Nothing stops us today from expecting or experiencing the same.

I don’t think we’d have this discussion at all if he was nobody or nothing. I think he was something unique. He had abilities that he learned how to use. He tried to teach some of that. I think he was basically good – basically inspired – and in many ways, a little boy who was having the time of his life living out his own fantasies that he had managed to manifest. Manifestation on that level takes power – and focused Intent. I cannot place a judgement on that at this point, but I can recognize it.

Donato said so often that everyone remembers it – that whatever he could do, we could do – and do better. That is a standard teaching from every teacher worth his salt throughout history. There is no human doorway of experience that can be passed through by a teacher that cannot also be passed through by the student, (or, perhaps to say by another human would be more accurate). It’s just not possible to erect barriers of experience in the psychic/spiritual/meta-physical or para-normal realms that can confine or define the experiences of another.

I felt like I knew Donato – knew him very well. I loved him completely. There was not a thought I could not share with him, nor any part of me, on any level that I felt he did not know. Losing him was the most devastating experience of my life. And trying to perceive him accurately now, 22 years later, is an ongoing process in which the perceptions of those on this list have played an invaluable role. As an event in my life, he definitely holds a unique place, that’s for sure. And as I look at our growing list of sharer’s, it seems a blessing in more ways than one to be brought together now – are we travelling back to the future? :)

He frequently addressed this issue of how he was perceived, himself. He said, “I am as you perceive me to be – as you see me, so I am.” What could be more clearly truth? This is true for each of us from then till now and pertains to every person we know in our lives. It is our Perception that dictates reality – that’s why no two people will share an identical view. Not only that, but as we grow and change that perception does as well. We are the creators of our lives – and our perceptions. Donato – as a mirror – in his best moments – only reflected back to us that part of our selves that we were able to see through his reflecting. How often I saw what I wanted to see…..

Personally, I didn’t like the reflection I saw coming back to me via Sri. She scared me more – she was more alien – insane – fearful – unpredictable – higher up on the self-created pedestal than Donato ever was. He was earthy – a dude – a friend and lover… a sweet, funny man who wanted to do good stuff – even if he went about it in a way that, in hindsight, seems to have been his own undoing. Even that, however, is a judgement. At least we could say that we don’t really know of too many folks that he hurt along the way. (as in threats of spiritual annihilation, clearing sessions, sabbaticals and excommunications, that is…) This is not true of Sri. What price does our forgiveness exact? I think it is the true barometer of our progress.

I mean, how many men would say it was a good ending of life, to go out while sleeping in a roomful of women with your belly stuffed with Lasagna? Crude, perhaps, but truthful. He lived a life of excess in some ways. But he was also a delightful person who everyone seemed to want to be near. I was very near to him. I knew he thought Sri too questionable in her perceptions most of the time – yet after he was gone, I did not stand up against what I felt to be wrong at the times I saw it . What on earth was I so afraid of? Spiritual annihilation, that’s what. The repercussions of not towing the party line. Failure…. However, that’s my failure – or my learning process – and I certainly don’t place the responsibility for my own learning on anyone else any more.

As I scurry through the hallways of my life to retrieve my own power from the experiences of my past, I give a prayer of thanks for the wonderful, courageous partnership represented here – of those no longer afraid to lay open their souls and release the darkness that has held us prisoner. Those of us who take polar opposite positions in this dynamic to each other, help to manifest, in the space in between, a reality that could only be brought to this dimension of experience through the poles of that opposition.

Thank you for that, everyone. Let’s continue to explore, define and heal those parts of ourselves we are gifted to reach, through each other…