Excerpt: Chapter 4 ALTERED STATE page 58 – 60 (Nov. 22, 1963)

Excerpt: Chapter 4 ALTERED STATE page 58 (Nov. 22, 1963) Finding Heaven In The Dark, A Memoir by William L. Ingram 

On November 22, I stayed home for a rest. I wasn’t deathly ill,
but I had a cold. My attendance had been good, and I convinced
myself that I needed time off. I was still in my pajamas and robe
when I heard a knock at the back door. It was a minister from Shiloh
Baptist Church. He had come to give my mother a “love offering” of
money for playing the piano for choir rehearsal.

My mother struggled to maintain some semblance of emotional
and mental equilibrium. She was in deep pain, and all her medications
couldn’t touch it. She hadn’t gotten out of bed much during that
week, and I think some of her friends were concerned about her. The
reverend had come by to counsel and pray for her, if she would speak
with him.

Ma pulled herself together, and soon she and the reverend were
having a cup of tea in the kitchen. I could faintly hear their voices as I sipped my tea and watched television in the living room. All
three channels were covering the president’s visit to Dallas, Texas.
President John F. Kennedy was on a tour of the Southern states for
the Democratic party to shore up support for his reelection run.
Along with the president in Dallas was Vice President Lyndon
Johnson—a native son of Texas and a long-time Democratic power
broker.

President Kennedy was a relatively young man. He and his lovely
wife, Jacqueline, worked hard to win the respect and admiration of
most Americans and others around the world. His run for the nomination
and presidency against Richard Nixon was the first political
campaign that I had any interest in. The drama of the scion from a
New England family was captivating; he was a war hero, married to
an elegant, lovely lady. When the subtle bigotry against Catholicism
was factored (which made Kennedy an underdog), the stage was set
for a nail-biting election.

The leader of the free world and his lovely wife rode in an open
limousine; they acknowledged adoring citizens and spectators that
lined their journey. Suddenly, the presidential motorcade sped up and
left the plaza in confusion and disarray.

“The president has been shot!” the correspondent exclaimed. Few
generations had ever heard these words in their lifetimes.
Then, almost as if to confirm his own disbelief, the reporter
announced the news grievously: “President Kennedy has been shot.”
I echoed his words loudly and without thinking. “The President’s
been shot!”

Ma and the reverend stopped their conversation in the kitchen
and hovered by the stairs at the edge of the living room. We watched
silently as Walter Cronkite and others recounted the events of the past
few minutes. It was a surreal experience that I knew millions of others
were experiencing simultaneously. My mother cried softly, and
the reverend dabbed at his eyes; he kept saying, “I can’t believe it,” as
he shook his head.

Soon, the reverend departed, and ma returned to the dark comfort
of her room. I continued to watch the black-and-white images on the
TV screen, mesmerized by the events of living history parading
before me. Before long came the famous moment when Walter Cronkite removed his eyeglasses and stated, as calmly and professionally
as possible, that President Kennedy was dead.

Like the rest of the nation and the world, I watched the events of
the next few days unfold and spill into our lives via TV and radio. I
followed every twist and turn as authorities and reporters worked
tirelessly to piece together fragments of clues into a picture that we
tried to make sense of.

Lee Harvey Oswald was captured, and his wife and mother were
interviewed. Then, Jack Ruby thrust himself into the national nightmare
as we anxiously watched the president’s alleged killer being
transported from the Dallas jailhouse to his arraignment. Clearly visible
to all viewers, Jack Ruby pumped bullets into the body of
Oswald! Oswald died, and Ruby was jailed. The conspiracy theories
evolved exponentially— like germs—dividing and subdividing as
soon as they were born.

Other images swirled around in the vortex of that terrible time:
the swearing in of Vice President Johnson as President of the United
States; the former first lady, Mrs. Kennedy, in her still blood-splattered
dress at the hurried induction; and later, Mrs. Kennedy, in dignified
elegance with her children by her side, viewing the passing
casket of the nation’s president before a still-stunned world.

Excerpt: Chapter 4 ALTERED STATE page 58 (Nov. 22, 1963) Finding Heaven In The Dark, A Memoir by William L. Ingram 

 

IS SUICIDE REALLY PAINLESS ? Part 2

IS SUICIDE REALLY PAINLESS ? Part 2

Continued from Part 1 https://williamlingram.com/2020/10/02/is-suicide-really-painless-part-1/

Is suicide a selfish act? In many ways it is, but easy answers elude us. Torment by personal demons, or a public scandal and shame, can plunge anyone into the depths of depression and even suicidal thoughts. People in custodial care, or those under arrest for a heinous act, are often put under suicide watch. Caring people, know that time can be an ally in their eventual recovery, and seek to protect them from doing harm to themselves.
Faith in God, or a strong religious belief that stresses moral behavior, is often a guiding light to desperate souls searching for a reason to continue living in a world they no longer find joy in. Good religion can also be good psychology when enlightened practitioners use faith, in a loving and approachable God, as an aid in coping with stress and conflict.
Some callously accuse those who attempt or succeed at suicide of being weak-minded. Though there may be validity to such a charge it is unknowable in the aftermath of death, and completely useless in dealing with those who are also suffering from the guilt and shame of attempted suicide! The belief that taunting a potential suicidal person is a type of “tough love” is foolish. Daring a person who is threatening suicide is wrong!
In my memoir, Finding Heaven In The Dark, I recount how I feared that I was on a suicidal path already traveled by my birth father, who I never knew. Please see the excerpt below:
CHAPTER 4  ALTERED STATE
Dark Daze (page 77) My dark moods troubled me, but I was helpless. They descended on me like fog. I could see parts of myself that were like my mother. These traits were reflected in my loquaciousness, friendly banter, and dry wit that left people surprised and laughing. Though I knew my mother’s mood swings could be sudden and treacherous, I was also dealing with a part of myself that I didn’t understand.
My mother said that my father was a moody loner who had died from a drug overdose. That fact was all I had. I was afraid to ask for more information. Once in a while, I’d catch myself wondering what he was like. How did he sound and move? How personable and engaging was he? Then, I’d get a chill when I thought of the demons that must have tormented him. He died of a drug overdose! Wasn’t that really suicide? What if he gave in to the impulse to stop the tormenters and escape his demons with a little extra dose of whatever he was using? What if those same demons were here for me?
It is not natural or painless to end ones life. Some people never entertain such thoughts and have difficulty understanding any who do. Our reflex impulse is always to discourage such thoughts if suspected or mentioned, because we care enough to know that what seems unbearable at any given time, will soon pass.
To Be Continued in Part 3

IS SUICIDE REALLY PAINLESS? Part 1

IS SUICIDE REALLY PAINLESS?  Part 1

Another person has killed themselves. Statistics claim that over 100 people a day commit suicide in the U.S. That’s not counting attempted suicides. It makes me sigh with sadness. I know the pain they felt and I know the pain their loved ones will suffer. How can I know their pains? We all can if we are sensitive to the common thread that unites us as humans.

I often state that we don’t know what we are as human beings or who we are as individuals. The desire and eventual determination to end our life by our own hands proves that statement in part. To seek an escape from the pain of life by ending our life is often our secret escape pod. Many of us have experienced the terror, of seeing those flickering thoughts in our minds, as we anguish through sadness or a deadly dilemma. That tease, to end it all, can become a dark ceremony in the secret corners of our mind.

Finding comfort by entertaining thoughts of suicide can be very dangerous! Thank God that for some of us it’s a powerful wake-up call to do a deep dive into the causes for the intense internal pain we have allowed to dominate our thoughts and feelings! But for some it gives a terrible sense of peace. They have decided to do the unthinkable by ending their life, and leaving the painful aftermath for others to ponder, process, and anguish over. This is why so many that were close to the person so often recall how peaceful they seemed before they took their life.

In our times suicide has sometimes morphed into horrific tragedies. “Suicide by cop” is now part of our language and national consciousness. “Suicide vests” and other detonating devices are still in the tool chest of terrorist minded, homicidal/suicidal maniacs. Workplace violence, school shootings, violent custody and hostage standoffs often end with self-inflicted wounds that cause suicide along with other deaths. These incidents don’t include drunk or drugged driving, or drug and alcohol abuse, where high risk behavior often results in “accidental” overdoses and death.

When someone who seems to “have it all” willingly ends their own life it shocks the system. If you have riches, fame, looks, and power what could drive you to tragically end your life? Why would you leave your family, friends, and especially your minor children, with the terrible guilt and unanswered questions? Was it a terminal disease? Was it mental illness or chronic depression? The BIG WHY often goes unanswered even when a note was left. Remember those who commit to personal suicide are usually trying to escape those questions and the answers themselves. They just want the pain of their existence to end, NOW!

Continued in Part 2 https://williamlingram.com/2020/10/12/is-suicide-really-painless-part-2/

William’s Still Talking! 

William’s Still Talking!

The only true cure for all our nation’s ills is Morality! Moral Re-armament means seeing our own darkness and refusing to condemn others for theirs. It’s called forgiveness. Peace grows from there and heals all.

Remember the 1960’s claim that “the revolution will not be televised”? It was a a lie! We are being manipulated to hate each other in living color! Everyone is guilty! A National Day of Forgiveness begins the healing!

William L. Ingram / Tweets    https://twitter.com/WLIngramAuthor

 

Author Biography

Author Biography

What if you could overcome painful life circumstances,  forgive your past and find the healing joy of your present? Imagine finding love, joy, and peace of mind as a way of life!

Those essentials were the impetus that eventually inspired William L. Ingram to write about the life changing events, and life altering principles that saved him from his youthful course of self-destruction.

After 40 years as a successful small service business owner and entrepreneur William decided to complete a memoir manuscript he had begun years earlier. The events he recounts took place during his youth amidst the turbulent political and racial climate of 1960’s America.

After 40 years of calling Ct. and R. I. home he now resides in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. An avid reader of several books at a time, Bill is also a movie buff, and is interested in world history, religions, spiritual and personal growth.

William is married to his wife Susan, a retired music and elementary school teacher. Having found each other after both were widowed they enjoy an active life together along with their black & white cats, Mitzy, and Mollie.

William L. Ingram is the name on his birth certificate, but it’s not the name he grew up with or used for the first 21 years of his life. 

Spanning his formative years as a Black fatherless youth of the post WWII era, author William L. Ingram has written an honest, inspirational, and award winning memoir. This inspiring true story of his troubled and rebellious teen years, his desertion from the US Marines in 1967, his cross country trek as a fugitive, and eventual discovery of faith and life saving principles reads like a prodigal son tale of redemption and joy.

Get your copy of this inspirational story today!

https://findingheaveninthedark.com/ Memoir Website

https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Heaven-Dark-Discovering-Meaning/dp/ Buy Your Copy!

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01LP28J7C Amazon Author Page

https://www.facebook.com/william.ingram.7906Facebook

https://twitter.com/homeTwitter

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15594325.William_L_Ingram/blogGoodreads

The Authors Show Interview with Author William L. Ingram

William L. Ingram’s Blog: William’s Still Talking!

William L. Ingram’s Blog: William’s Still Talking!

Excerpt from: About The Book
Mr. Ingram’s odyssey of rebellion and redemption led to his discovery of life saving and life affirming principals. His introduction to the Primitive Christian practice of Meditation, taught by a Los Angeles preacher and his foundation, began his journey of self-discovery and awakening.
The answers to the mysteries of life were never more needed than during our present age of loud and competing voices that pressure and control us. This book is for anyone interested in clues to the true purpose of life. Is there a real moral compass? What is your true Identity? It’s for church goers and the un-churched, all religious believers, spiritual seekers, and skeptics.
The author asserts that because we don’t know what we are as human beings or who we are as individuals, we are hypnotized prisoners in a matrix of life view confusion! He stresses that religion in general and historic Christianity in particular have failed to enlighten their believers.
What difference have your beliefs made in your life? Are you sleepwalking through life? Are you always taking the path of least resistance? How much peace of mind do you have? Are you getting better at life or bitter at life?

He cautions readers not to judge God by religions, or Christ by Christians! The true message and direction that Jesus and his Apostles revealed as “the Way” is the “Light that shines in the darkness” of each of us.

The “Be Still and Know…” form of embodied prayerful Meditation learned by Mr. Ingram, has blessed his life every day since he stopped running from himself and found the Light of Heaven in the darkness within. Some who wander are not lost.

Listen to the Authors Show interview of William L. Ingram 

For more information on this Judeo-Christian Meditation exercise click below:

https://www.fhu.com/meditation/

Official Review by Mallory Whitaker of: Finding Heaven in the Dark

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of: “Finding Heaven in the Dark” by William L. Ingram.]  Review by Mallory Whitaker

Have you ever felt like your mind is working against you? That you are too bogged down by negative thoughts about both you and the people around you? That you are your own worst enemy? In his spiritual memoir, Finding Heaven in the Dark, William L. Ingram explores the idea of the “enemy mind” and how he has conquered his through the lost art of Christian Meditation.

The book is divided into two parts. The narrative is nonlinear, but the author does it in such a way that it’s not difficult to know when and where things are taking place. Ingram’s natural storytelling abilities coupled with his casual tone makes the narrative flow effortlessly. Ingram is personable and relatable.

The reader first meets Ingram when he’s twenty-one years old and has turned himself into the U.S. Marine Corps after three years of being AWOL. This is also the first time he communicates with his family after three years of silence. It’s a modern version of the Prodigal Son. The book explores the psychological effects of events and relationships during his childhood and how these led him to join, and eventually leave, the Marines. The largest portion of the book focuses on the three years he spent at a skid-row mission in Los Angeles. Here he redefines his religion and makes leaps and bounds on the road to self-discovery and redemption.

The novel takes place during the tumultuous 1960’s; this provides the book with a colorful setting. Ingram is a young African-American male trying to find his way during a time when so many are trying to redefine not only themselves, but the American culture. He explores things like racism (which he faults both sides for), the hippie movement, a group I was unaware of called “Freaks for Jesus”, and the effects of the Vietnam War on the American psyche. All of this leads to Ingram being surrounded by very colorful characters who bring this rich history to life. It also illustrates that Ingram isn’t the only wayward spirit in a rush to identify himself without first learning who he is. This journey of self-discovery is a prominent theme in this book, especially in Part II.

In Part I, Ingram is shown as both the best and worst versions of himself. First, there’s the reformed Ingram turning himself in to face the music (and his family). Then there’s the immature Ingram who left the Marines, his family, and frequently succumbed his vice of choice. This juxtaposition effectively shows just how far he’s come during those three years. The flashbacks to his youth show the reader everything they need to know about how Ingram came to be the disillusioned, bitter and self-conscious person he was prior to his discovery of Christian Meditation.

The author’s knowledge, passion, and colorful life story make for a truly intriguing read.

I would recommend this book to readers who are exploring Christianity and/or meditation, enjoy reading stories reminiscent of the Prodigal Son, or are trying to find ways to cope with their own inner demons and seek an inner peace.

Official Review by Mallory Whitaker of: Finding Heaven in the Dark, A Memoir by William L. Ingram

Excerpt from THE HUNGRY I – Chapter 11 page 267

Finding Heaven In The Dark

Excerpt from THE HUNGRY I – Chapter 11 page 267

When the group wasn’t talking about sex, cars, or sports, the subject returned to race. Naturally, I endeavored to elevate the conversation. I believed that I had a lot to contribute, because I was an expert on the subject. After all, I grew up among all types of people and was an insider and outsider in both white and black groups. More importantly, though, I had an objective insight I loved to share.

The dispute erupted after three days of rain kept us inside. The chemistry among incarcerated youths is always fluid and can easily turn incendiary with the right provocation.

“Hey ya’ll,” Leon shouted during a quiet moment in the dorm. “No white boys on any teams, starting tomorrow!” he finished with an arrogant gesture. Most of us looked up from what we were doing and laughed nervously. Leon’s taunting statement was made to get a reaction, but we did not take it seriously.

“Nah, nah, nah, ya’ll, I’m not jokin’. If I see a white boy playin’ basketball when we’re on the court, I’m gonna kick his ass!” Leon threatened slowly, so there would be no misunderstanding. With Ted on my team, this was a direct shot at me. I decided to make it a teaching episode and be philosophical regarding the racial topic that we were repeatedly drawn to.

“Race is an illusion,” I said to get everyone’s attention. “Racial classifications, ethnic groups, even nationalities are all artificial barriers that men created to divide people.”

“That’s bullshit, man,” Leon shot back. “You’re talkin’ outta your ass!”

“It sounds far out, I know. We identify races, nationalities, and ethnic groups; yet, they develop from natural selection. Negro blood, Oriental blood, and Caucasian blood are all the same! Unless you note skin color or facial characteristics, there are no distinctions among us. We share the same fluids and organs! That means we’re all the same human beings in reality, in God’s sight,” I concluded my message, and arguments broke out around the room.

“Niggers been catchin’ hell from the white man for three-hundred years, and that shit ends now! Leon shouted. “No white dudes on the court!” he added and gestured. “It’s simple! You come on the court while the black brothers are playin’, and your white ass gets kicked,” he ended his rant; it was followed by a chorus of laughs from his stooges.

“That’s wrong,” I said, as all eyes looked my way.

“Well, you don’t have nothin’ to say about it. You’re just a part time brother anyway! You can’t hang with the whites and the blacks! You need to dig yourself, bro, ‘cause the revolution is comin!’” Leon said, as he walked toward me.

Community Reviews From Book Bub Readers

From Book Bub Readers

Community Reviews of:

Finding Heaven In The Dark

A Memoir

4 stars

I appreciated this man’s honest account of his life journey including thoughts on faith. He does not tow the traditional church line.

5 stars

Loved it! Wow, what a man, what a life. Read it.
Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Inspirational
Romantic
Realistic
Tragic
Wonderful characters

5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book. It kept my attention and is very well written. No problem following along with author.
Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Easy-to-read
Realistic

TRUE LOVE HEALS by William L. Ingram

TRUE LOVE HEALS

Is the love you take equal to the love you make? Are you keeping score? After a tragedy we’re prompted to hug those we love to show that we cherish them. The routine “goodbye” and “have a nice day” take on a sacred significance when we try to infuse them with our love.
What about the stranger or the unlovable? They need love just as much as those we care deeply for. Not the phony emotional or sentimental love we confuse with the real thing. No, strangers and hard to love people need a non-judgmental patience that is the closest we humans can come to Godly love.
If we are conscious of the Godly Love that has blessed our own lives we have only to learn to share it with those we contact. There is a price however and that is how we grow in grace and faith. We pay the price of patient love by allowing others to be what they are. We should correct them when required and guide them when requested, but we must be patient and honest enough for them to see God’s Love through us.
We can’t fix others and we shouldn’t condemn them! We are to be the mirror they need to see themselves. In Christianity it’s called loving the Christ in someone even before they are aware of such a presence. True healing love is the being of one human interacting with the being of another in that present moment.
If we shared with others the patience and forgiveness we have for ourselves the World would begin to heal immediately.

William L. Ingram/Author

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