In the early spring of 2011 I moved to Rhode Island from New Hampshire and soon after met my spiritual mentor, teacher, guide and friend, Greg Squillante. Trying to convey in words the depth of feeling towards our meeting and the work we set out to do is a bit strange. Words could ever do justice to the wisdom bestowed upon me and the fellowship created. So I’ll divert with a timeworn expression. That is, there is a buddhist proverb that states when a student is ready a teacher will appear, and likewise when the teacher is ready a student will appear…
From conventional views, Greg lived a full life before our paths merged. He had a loving family, who were raising their own families. Through his invention and genius he contributed businesses and employment within his communities. While most would be satisfied with strong family bonds and well-to-do living, Greg was not. He was self made and accomplished (a modest thirty businesses under his belt), but it was not enough. There had to be more to life… So he soon became the cliche millionaire who decides to quit the C.E.O. lifestyle in pursuit of the greater meaning of life.
Not many are capable of letting go of past identity/titles/tasks/routine, ect. and of course the comfort which accompanies an inflow of earned cash. These changes may be dealt to us but rarely chosen. Even if chosen most cannot conscientiously comprehend the package they are signing up for and be able to exist after without regret, loss and insecurity.
Greg was a fountainhead of happiness to those around him. He was a source of information and sustenance, which not only inspires but comes with a responsibility to those whom depend upon him. His change of person and his decision to seek what transcends material enjoyment had to be done with care and delicacy. Without such grace would prevent the fulfillment his spirit longed for. A double edge sword of sorts.
His determination had come from an event in his early twenties. Greg experienced what some may call “divine insight” but regardless of the label attached to it, in the face of the experience, he knew what it entailed, and as most young minded-bodies would think (deceptively), death is far far away. So he decided he would wait. He would take part in wonted society, because he knew if he chose what was shown to him in those moments, convention could be no part of it. Greg decided that when he was ready, he would just remember and have it back, like turning the light switch off then on again. It was simple, so he thought…
And so, Greg began his spiritual quest nearly thirty years after.… he spent extensive time in researching world religions, meeting gurus, and immersing himself in study/practice. His search was not without obstacles and he was quick to realize the switch cannot be so easily flipped on. Conviction and devotion to his pursuit had to be balanced with a compassionate methodical disentanglement from previous commitments. Not to mention the called for persuasion to his family and friends who were understandably left puzzled by his shift of goals and of person. It is commonly accepted that change is a constant force in life, yet in face of change, it is uncommonly accepted. Despite his extensive research, practice and legitimate genius to perceive connections, he had hit many dead ends, found more questions than answers and realized he had many many miles to go.
After years in earnest effort Greg was near exhaustion in his search to learn again what he had forgotten. He decided to retreat, to make one last effort in his quest to understand the greater meaning/purpose of life. He went to the mountains of New Hampshire for quietude and hoped for answers. Nearing the last night of his retreat, he realized, despite his efforts, no real progress had been made, and so he began to meditate on internally accepting non-fulfillment. After he successfully resolved all negative feelings from his loss and openly accepted his situation…the universe conspired. It was by snowstorm, lack of rooms, and chivalry which united Greg with his teacher Campanella. This meeting and the lessons that followed made his sought for happiness possible…with a catch… In exchange for the gift that surpasses the joys of 3d world success, Greg promised he would share and facilitate a way that would make it possible for others to follow.
It was soon after that Greg became a double cliche. After turning his life around, prioritizing his goals, Greg then discovered, he had an incurable disease. And so his real test had begun… As it turned out, the wisdom bestowed upon him (and later myself) withstands the tests of time and even in its own way conquers death. (For further insight and in Greg’s own words you can read from the blog Introduction for Paths).
A combination of universal design and one’s free-will resulted in concord between persons of equalled desire for the pursuit of an everlasting happiness… and so it happened, a single moment of synchronicity that continuously shines light on an entire lifetime. Greg and I were brought together to share the lessons of The Philosophy of The Eight Guided Paths (POTEGP). At twenty four my trials as apprentice began…Greg’s promise to his guide was becoming more realized through me (the facilitator) and The POTEGP Spiritual Guidance Center (the facility). This kind-of-marriage makes possible the oral tradition of POTEGP to continue to illuminate the minds of the willing (seekers). With eyes wide open I dove into my purpose and now (years later) I’ve gone so far down the rabbit hole, there is no coming out… free will comes in a package. My life will never be the same, my choices have become both narrowed in some respects and broadened far beyond in others. What I have learned will continue to incandescently remain and shape my future. (and possibly yours if you choose it)
The Book of Eights was inspired from Greg’s meeting with Campanella and the lessons that succeeded it. It aspires to illustrate the Noble Attributes that a spiritual seeker should strive to live by before they die. In its flawed and limited form we realize the book at best may only plant seeds amongst fertile minds. Greg started writing the book but before its completion, he passed on December 8th, 2014. Chapter 3 is the last chapter Greg contributed.
I will finish what remains while choosing to keep the Chapters written by Greg as they are. I understand the difficulty or disharmony it may bring to the readers, due to the unquestionable style change that occurs from the passage of hands. So in advance, I ask for your forgiveness.
[please enjoy the preview of the book of eights in this blog. The full book is not yet fully realized but will be available upon its completion and provided to members free of charge and to the public for a nominal fee – if you would like to be on the list to receive a copy please email firstname.lastname@example.org]
Before you read this book, you first have to realize the limitations of human words, my spiritual guide once asked me….
“How many different languages are there in the world?” My response was a weak, “I don’t know, maybe hundreds and if you count different dialects, maybe thousands”…….
My guide’s response was, “If there are six billion people in the world then there are probably at least six billion languages”.
I assume most of us can relate to a kind of vagueness in human vocabulary when it comes to personal differences in phrases like its warm, or cool or hot….. Or something is large or small…… or even what is beautiful (if “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”…. Than six billion different sets of eyes would probably give you six billion different definitions of beauty).
This problem of human vocabulary is even bigger when it comes to abstract ideas or concepts, and magnified even more when dealing with what can be the very emotional topics of spiritual, philosophical and/or religious concepts.
So when you read this book, keep in mind that there is bound to be some confusion caused by our different personal vocabularies. One should treat this book as just a general guide to the thoughts I was taught and not an attempt on my part to teach the reader those concepts (teaching would require in person
bi-directional discussions, so that we could resolve as much of the vocabulary challenges as possible).
In summary one has to remember the limitation of 3D/
human words, especially when one is trying to describe spiritual processes or divine truth, as my mentor liked to say, “Even though Eskimos go to great lengths to describe snow with their 37 different word labels for snow, it still falls way short of the universe’s infinite variation of snowflakes”.
This book contains some of the conversations I had with my spiritual mentor…in those conversations he also explained his spiritual Path and Life philosophy……..P.O.T.E.G.P. The Philosophy Of The Eight Guided Paths
-Greg Squillante [February 9th 1949 – December 8th 2014]