The Path of Return Trilogy
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First edition cover
|Cover artist||Mattijn Franssen (photomontage)|
|Publisher||Dog Ear Publishing|
|Media type||Print (hardcover)|
|Preceded by||Letters from the Afterworld|
The Path of Return Trilogy is a single volume comprising three related and sequential novels by T.L. Orcutt, published November 11, 2011. The first novel in the trilogy is Jamayah: Adventures on the Path of Return and develops themes of paranormal mastery and cosmic awareness. The immediate sequel, Collateral Karma, focuses on ritual, ceremony, magick, lucid dreams, evil, occult and shamanic magic. Third in the series, Letters from the Afterworld, published for the first time in this single volume trilogy, develops themes of soul essence, mediumship, automatic writing, astral projection, and reincarnation. The trilogy frequently incorporates elements of humor and satire.
The period of writing covers 21 years, from 1990 - 2011. The period of publication covers over 16 years from 1995 - 2011. Obviously, the world has changed considerably over 21 years and the author takes this into consideration by weaving the three stories with newsbites and historical events. Written from the first-person point of view through the protagonist, known by his alias Bob Kramer in the first novel, and Rickshaw Lubowski in the second and third novels, the genre of the work may be considered as paranormal fiction, psychological thriller, adventure fiction, and science fantasy.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Setting
- 3 Principal Characters
- 4 Occult Symbolism
- 5 Philosophical Themes
- 6 Praise
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Jamayah: Adventures on the Path of Return
Set against the Aquarian optimism and affluence that dawned the new millennium in 1995 San Diego, Jamayah: Adventures on the Path of Return is a paranormal and mystical adventure marbleized with humor. Baby-boomer Bob Kramer arrives in mid-life crisis with a job loss and recent divorce. Jamayah, an unlikely cosmopolitan guru, mysteriously recruits Bob as an initiate on the Path of Return, a fusion of wisdom traditions tempered toward paranormal mastery and cosmic awareness. The progressively intense challenge is how Bob will reconcile his scientific skepticism in a paranormal and mystical adventure that embraces a strip bar, demands trusting synchronicity in the face of homeless humility, and a past life regression realizing the horrors of war.
Three of the four initiations on which the story unfolds, in this first novel of The Path of Return Trilogy, focus on experiencing the optimal possibilities of human awareness: (1), mastering paranormal ability to explore an altogether different universe from the homogenized world view that is anchored in materialistic reality, (2), experiencing humility and trusting intuition and synchronicity, and (3), unattached observation of life in the moment. In the end, Bob returns to ordinary life, but feels detached, alone, and indifferent, a malaise Jamayah reframes as having passed a sacred rite of passage.
For ten years, Jamayah, a mysterious mystic from Argentina, has instructed Rickshaw Lubowski (formerly Bob Kramer in Jamayah: Adventures on the Path of Return), in wisdom teachings oriented toward paranormal command and cosmic awareness. After completing three initiations along the Path of Return, Rickshaw feels as if he knows everything he needs to know. Collateral Karma opens after Rickshaw has ditched the Path of Return in search of more tangible things - like sex, drugs, occultism, and sorcery. He realizes his vulnerability after becoming the target of a curse cast by an evil leader of a ceremonial cult calledThe Alliance, a sorcery coterie of the Order of Aldabaoth, who practice ritual sex and black magick.
Rickshaw’s descent into the world of sensation and desire has generated collateral karma that incurs freakish nightmares all too real, starting with the obsessively expected death of his new fiancé. Rickshaw attempts to reconnect with his teachings and powers to no avail. Seeking help wherever he can find it, he meets a blind fortuneteller who seems to know more about his destiny than anyone should and with whom he falls in love. Only when Rickshaw believes he has lost touch with reality does Jamayah appear. Together, they join forces to confront the evil intentions of Aleister, leader of The Alliance. With the help of two Native American shamans, Jamayah and Rickshaw use all their powers to save their lives.
In the end, Jamayah requires Rickshaw to complete a fourth initiation. Now discovering that Raoul, (Jamayah’s son), and Crystal Meadows, (Carmela’s daughter), have been on the Path of Return and have completed this initiation as well, in spite of his common sense, Rickshaw is compelled to undergo the initiation. Called cascading boulders in trance, this initiation is about completely trusting in the universe at the risk of physical death.
Letters from the Afterworld
The third novel in the series, Letters from the Afterworld, begins with Rickshaw reminiscing about his wedding to Crystal Meadows a year before, an event that reunited the five members of the Posse, a renegade faction of Sigma Nu Mu at Berkeley. Rickshaw attends a seance in Los Angeles conducted by a medium with a gift for automatic writing and receives a channeled letter for his friend Murdock. Evidently, Murdock is on a soul recall list of people whose souls prematurely inhabited their selected bodies. Other friends of Rickshaw have dreams of similar recall letters and incur near fatal illnesses and accidents. Jamayah distrusts the source of the afterworld letters and believes hybrid souls (souls who formerly incarnated on an alien planet), are exploiting humans for enzymatic blood transfusions. The hybrid souls’ former embodied lives limit their current metabolism, which translates to a shorter life span and more illnesses. The tradeoff is they have amazing psychic powers. Stakes are raised when Murdock and Rattlesnake Dan are kidnapped and a ten-year-old son of Crystal’s friend is murdered. Finally, Rickshaw, Jamayah, SBL, Weird Willie, Raoul, Juan, Apollo, and a modern-day Billy the Kid mobilize the Cosmic Rangers, travel to Mexico, and battle the psychic insurgents with the pledge of liberty and justice for all.
The trilogy is set in downtown San Diego, the harbor and beaches. There are four travels to Mexico: downtown Tijuana, the Tijuana countryside, Cabo San Lucas, and in the desert southwest of Mexicali. Travels extend to Julian, Santa Ysabel, Del Mar, Laguna Beach, Malibu, Santa Monica, and Santa Barbara.
There is an expansive cast of over sixty characters. About a fourth are principal characters, central to the entire trilogy, and are ordered according to overall contribution and importance. Other characters are often introduced to embellish subplots or principal characters.
- Rickshaw Lubowski - Rickshaw Lubowski (alias Bob Kramer) is the protagonist. Bob Kramer was a college classmate’s name that Rickshaw used to maintain his anonymity during his adventures in Jamayah: Adventures on the Path of Return. After a divorce and loss of job, he began an apprenticeship with Jamayah in 1995 at the age of 41. In Collateral Karma Bob Kramer’s real name of Rickshaw Lubowski is disclosed along with his family of origin, college friends, and intimate relationships.
- Jamayah (nickname for Jose Guerrero) - A genetic and cultural blend of Spanish, indigenous Argentinean, Italian, and English and speaks Castellano, Basque, and English. He is educated, dyslexic, over six feet tall, and has chestnut skin, a lanky frame, large appetite, and passion for fishing. Jamayah is an unconventional visionary and healer who sells Bob Kramer on the commitment to become his currently singular apprentice in an inner wisdom tradition oriented toward paranormal mastery and cosmic awareness. His spirituality most closely associates with Zen and Advaita Vedanta (non-duality).
- Naomi (no last name) - A Piscean crone and clairvoyant who divines from cards and birds who lives aboard a fishing boat across the docks from Jamayah.
- Brodie (no last name) - A member of the five man Posse who quit Berkeley after a year to work at a surf shop in Malibu. Brodie is the only person Rickshaw truly trusts.
- Richard Murdock (addressed by the surname of ‘’Murdock’’) - One of Rickshaw’s best friends with whom he went to Berkeley and golfs regularly. Murdock lives in the chic neighborhood of Little Italy and has no affiliation with the world of paranormal beliefs.
- Crystal Meadows - A 33-year-old, mostly blind fortuneteller with whom Rickshaw falls in love and weds. Crystal’s mother is Carmela de Avila and Crystal’s father was an army officer who died in the Vietnam war.
- Struck-by-Lightning (often addressed as SBL) - SBL was raised on the Navajo reservation. Cursed by his uncle, a witch of the Corpse-Poison Way, at 17 SBL was struck by lightning which unexpectedly gave him the ability to shoot bolts of energy from his fingers.
- William Randolph Sterling (nickname Weird Willie) - An Army Special Forces subcontracted-mentor for Jamayah who supervised Rickshaw’s second initiation about humility and trusting synchronicity. Willie becomes the Field Commander of the Cosmic Rangers.
- Rattlesnake Dan (sometimes called Dan) - An old Chiricahua Apache who migrated from New Mexico to live in the desert near Indio. Snakes do not bite him. Similar to advanced yoga techniques, Rattlesnake Dan uses a practice of recirculation to neutralize energy thresholds.
- Carmela de Avila - A voluptuous Wiccan sorceress and former lover of Jamayah. Raoul Guerrero is their only child conceived together out of wedlock. With a different lover, Carmela gave birth to Crystal Meadows.
- Aleister Dalton - The antagonist in Collateral Karma. Aleister was the alpha male of ‘’The Alliance’’, a secret order about celebrating pleasure and valuing earthly passions equal to spiritual devotion. Magick used in ‘’The Alliance’’ was empowered by a sexual process similar to Tantra. He was once a student of Jamayah who was dismissed from the ‘’Path of Return’’.
- Raoul Guerrero (nickname Snake Wizard) - The only son of Jamayah and Carmela, he lives in Tijuana, surfs, and works as a healer, supporting himself by selling poisonous snake venom to hospitals.
- Henry McCarty (alias Billy the Kid or Billy) - A 21-year-old friend of Rickshaw Lubowski, who is extremely similar to the historic Henry McCarty.
- Todo (no last name) - Having tired of the rigid requirements of his monastery and now living in San Diego, Todo is a Japanese Zen Master who was Jamayah’s primary mentor.
- Wasabi Kuroda - Spokesperson for the hybrid souls’ underground community in Mexico south of Mexicali in Letters from the Afterworld. Wasabi holds unique moral values for the preservation of his soul culture, but nonetheless exemplifies the justification of exploitation.
- Jack Bledsoe - A famous medium known mostly in England, Germany, and France, who is responsible for conducting the Kirkwood Inn seance for Paradigm Research Institute in Los Angeles.
Special to The Path of Return Trilogy is the Afterword. Orcutt has been conferred the title of Tarot Grand Master by the Tarot Certification Board of America and is a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason In the Afterword, the author reveals that he employed and used as a blueprint a variety of occult symbolisms in the writing of the series.
Occult and esoteric traditions are taught through a series of initiations oriented toward paranormal mastery and cosmic awareness. Initiations are adopted by shamans, yogis, mystics, occultists, sorcerers, martial warriors, Zen practitioners, fraternal organizations, and both magickal and magical societies. Progressive initiations are rites of passage, guided by mentors at evolved levels who conduct rituals and ceremonies to inaugurate transformations into new roles. In the odyssey of the trilogy, Jamayah (the mentor) confers upon Rickshaw Lubowski (alias Bob Kramer) four initiations. Three are given in Jamayah: Adventures on the Path of Return and one in Collateral Karma.
Flying the cosmic boomerang aimed at minimizing rational thought and empowering paranormal ability. Within Western Elemental theory, it represented fire and symbolized creative emanation.
Unmasking the naked soul aimed at neutralizing the importance of the ego through humility and trusting synchronicity. Within Western Elemental theory, it represented water and symbolized emotional transmission.
Objectively observing the world aimed at realizing the unity of self and Spirit through meditation. Within Western Elemental theory, it represented air and symbolized balanced harmony.
Cascading boulders in trance aimed to empower ultimate trust in the universe through trance-walking. Within Western Elemental theory, it represented earth and symbolized materialization.
Occult tarot is the story of life unfoldment, the individual development of the personality and the evolvement of the human soul. Tarot outlines the specific challenges to the personality and the soul in life’s journey. Tarot has been referred to as the path of return. Similarly, the protagonist’s journey in The Path of Return Trilogy is an unfoldment, a journey of ordinary personality development, extraordinary paranormal mastery, and an expansion of cosmic awareness.
The value of organized religion is viewed as a social institution that teaches ethics and social responsibility. It provides a sanctuary for the celebration of weddings and baptisms and offers comfort with terminal illness and grieving at memorial and funeral services. Prayer is viewed as a meaningful act that counteracts narcissism and hedonism. Religious observance is a reminder there is more to life than materialism. However, church attendance and observational service does not lend itself to spiritual evolution and has no transformational power. Additionally, ecclesiastical control is viewed as political and exploitative, if not corrupt.
Mysticism weaves throughout the novel. The primary guru in the trilogy is Jamayah (nickname for Jose Guerrero). Identifying himself as a mystic, his path most closely associates with Zen and Advaita Vedanta (non-duality). Therefore, his teachings favor an immanent God over a transcendent God and therefore meditation is favored over prayer. Occultism, esotericism, and in particular, Western esotericism, are viewed as paths toward a universal and inclusive reality. Initiations, as rites of passage, are implemented for increasingly inclusive levels of consciousness.
Paranormal experience is a major theme in the trilogy that includes: astrology, numerology, divination (tarot and ornithomancy), magick, clairvoyance, telepathy, psychokinesis, levitation, out-of-body experience (OBE), forecasting weather, perception of auras, ghosts, and disembodied entities, exorcism, soul retrieval, medical intuition, spontaneous healing, synchronicity, lucid dreaming, and astral travel. The trilogy takes the viewpoint that Occidentals (more than Orientals) can benefit from the psychic dimension as a sublime and effective bridge to enlightenment. Prone to the rational, logical, and mechanical dimension, rigid thoughts can be sabotaged by psychic practice and seduced into trusting the spiritual domain. Paranormal experience is a valuable, if not critical method for Occidental transformation.
As stated in the trilogy, "Power in its natural state is neutral and it is the user who determines both its force and value" and "the value of power is defined by the result of usage. When the use of power is life-enchancing, when it optimizes the health, wisdom, and integrity, and freedom of all concerned, it is benevolent. When the use of power is life-limiting, when it exploits, diminishes, or decreases any sentient being’s own measure of contribution, then it is evil."
Within the trilogy, reincarnation is a conspicuous reality that deserves no special attention. Reincarnation presumes that after the death of the body, the soul returns (reincarnates) in a new human body. The more evolved and conscious a person is at the time of death, the greater the opportunity for choice regarding time of rebirth, parental and body selection, and path selection.
Karma is the universal law of cause and effect through the natural laws of causation. It is a repetitive theme in Collateral Karma. Neither punitive or rewarding, karma is simply a consequence of intention, thought, and action. Karma is stored through many lifetimes and is therefore a principle in conjunction with reincarnation. Effects may be mitigated by past and future actions and are not necessarily fated. Neither is the process a simplistic one-to-one correlation, but takes into consideration the totality of actions in the stream of consciousness through many lifetimes.
Government is viewed as the most successful gangster. The system is not broken. By nature, it is political, corrupt, and economically exploitative. It is nonetheless needed for the management of a large, capitalistic, and free society. There is no favoritism toward either Republican or Democratic philosophies.
Catherine Kitcho, editor of Hot Lava! Book Reviews, called Jamayah: Adventures on the Path of Return ”a wonderful blend of contemporary fiction and metaphysics”, and further stated, ”You will enjoy this tale of an ordinary guy discovering a world that is not so ordinary...Once you start this book, you won't be able to put it down, except occasionally to ponder some of the book's profound insights. Bravo”
Feathered Quill Book Reviews called Collateral Karma, a mesmerizing journey into the dark recesses of the mind and world of black magic, cults, and the hardcore sorcerers engaged to battle their curses. The review further stated, the tale is interspersed with metaphysical philosophy that the New Age reader will thoroughly relish. Quill says: If you have a serious interest in the outer reaches of the world, the paranormal and the occult, this is a book that will pique your interest and widen your eyes.
- Retrieved 2009-03-11.https://www.amazon.com/Jamayah-Adventures-Return-T-L Orcutt/dp/0962343455/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236788264&sr=8-1
- Retrieved 2009-03-11. https://www.amazon.com/Collateral-Karma-T-LOrcutt/ dp/1598586971/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236788643&sr=8-1
- Catherine Kitcho. “Pele Publications Book Reviews”. Retrieved 2009-03.08. http://www.pelepubs.com/bookreview.shtml?id=69
- http://tarotcertification.org/members.html. Retrieved 07-21-11
- http://scottishritesandiego.org. Retrieved 07-21-11
- "JAMAYAH - Adventures on the Path of Return". Pelepubs. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Retrieved 2014 07-02 http://www.featheredquill.com/reviews/sciencefiction/orcutt.shtml