Yesterday I was clever and wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. — Rumi
“Right now, right here, you are free.” With these seven words George Falcon began each session. The topic was always the same. Who are we? How do we live a spiritual life and what does this mean? He was unknown to the masses but he touched thousands of people and influenced multitudes of lives. He was a mentor, a teacher, a spiritual guide, a man of peace. To know George was to know God exists.
I met George at a Christmas dinner with my best friend Lee’s family in 1986. George was married to Lee’s sister Belinda. He sat at the end of the table with his aging parents. He was professorial in appearance with a thick beard and olive skin that belied his Latino heritage. He wore a blue Adidas tracksuit (his standard uniform) and was quick to smile and laugh. Dinner conversation was lively and entertaining, but George remained quiet. When the conversation shifted to spirituality, I expected him to say something. Instead he was content to listen in silence tending to his parents’ needs. After dinner, he took his plate of pie and wandered to the living room to watch the Bulls play the Knicks.
George loved basketball. This was how we first bonded. We talked for hours about the Lakers and their chances at another championship. He spoke about Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan and how they both hated losing more than they loved winning. This prompted the first question I ever asked him. “Are you saying hate is more powerful than love?”
He answered, “love is a higher frequency emotion but sometimes we act more urgently to avoid the pain associated with hate.” These spiritual basketball talks were my first George lessons. He loved to tell the story about Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone in the 1987 NBA Finals. Game 1 was on a Sunday and with nine seconds left, Malone (nicknamed “The Mailman”) had two free throws to give Utah the win. Pippen stepped in front of Malone and said, “the Mailman doesn’t deliver on Sundays.” Malone missed the shots and the Chicago Bulls won the game. George used the story to emphasize the power of the “low self” over the body. Pippen’s statement was a subliminal suggestion planted in Malone’s subconscious. Malone could have countered the suggestion with his own statement such as “cancel cancel” as if to say ‘I’m consciously canceling the words spoken…