"Caged Changes" By David Linton

The first time I truly saw the sunrise was when I was thirty years old, it was low, it crept slowly above the tree line. Unfortunately, my physical being was behind the barbed wire fence of a medium-security prison. Even Though my freedom was in hiatus my mind awakened, emotions clear and my soul elevated. This is my story of how I became a single being with the One.

Have you ever hurt yourself by accident, maybe bit your tongue, stub your toe or perhaps by cutting yourself while preparing a meal. You didn’t mean to hurt yourself but lo and behold you cry out in agony. Well, that analogy fits my life perfectly, well or at least it did. My pain wasn’t physical, it was a pain of the mind and emotions. The perpetual pain came from neglect of the desire of my soul, unfortunately I didn’t realize how much the neglect of my internal processes played a role in my life, sadly, the only way I uncovered the extent of neglect is by spending 2 ½ years with myself behind cold bars, for the crime of burglary. once I was sentenced and sent upstate my first stop was Elmira, Also known as the castle, a maximum security prison sits high on a hill in the town of Elmira NY, In fact, it is the tallest structure in the town and it resembles a castle or a military armory. Pulling up to the massive structure was intimidating, peering out the transport bus window I saw prison guards armed with military grade rifles and scopes attached. The processing was long, with hunter green Prison uniform and black bulky “State” boots dispersal, involuntary haircuts, and full frontal communal showers. After the processing, we were lead to general population called the “gallery”. As they walked us into this gigantic gallery I was astonished at how high and far this “Gallery” stretched, Prisoners clamoring from behind ancient rusty bars, gripping them with tightly clenched fist, shaking the cage loudly. Some were yelling because an old friend returned to prison with an even bigger criminal charge than last time, others because of the sheer frustration of their confinement. either way, I was scared to jitters, I was amongst Society’s Rejects, The Scum of New York, If you didn’t feel that way, in the beginning, the Correctional Officers has a ways of chopping your well-endowed log of a pride and sense of self-respect down to flimsy toothpick of self-pity over time. 

I arrived at my Cell, which shut with the sounds of finality and I looked around at the abysmal condition of the 10 x 6 foot cell, especially the toilet where a brown bundle of tender joy welcomed me warmly. I thought “How rude, the last tenant did not have the audacity to tidy up a bit before he vacated” so I dropped my belongings and took in the dank cell, there was a discolored metal cot, with a naked green rat-bitten mattress bolted into the wall, with as much grace as they took with the small window which was severely crooked and gave an astonishing view of a brick wall 3 feet away. The walls were once white perhaps 50 years ago, now it had a brown hue, with years of layers of sweat, dry skin and every breath of every soul that dwelt in this dungeon. I stood at the metal sink and gazed at my bent reflection in the dented metal mirror, I felt so sorry for me that I cried, and the dented reflection shed a crooked tear that followed the contours of the impacts. I laid on the dusty cot on top of the stiff mattress curled into a ball and cried myself to sleep. 

When I awoke it was dead silent and pitch black, The void so occupied it pushed up against the skin, securing me to this cot. I prayed God “How did I get here” I would love to say that the silence was broken by an intense White light and God Stepped out of the light and was like “Hey, Dave I got the key I'm gonna set ya free, oh the people you Scammed to get this lengthy sentence of 2 ½ to 7 years, I erased it from their memories.” But God never showed, never talked, never even whispered, I was alone for the first in my life, and honestly… I deserved it. 

In my period of incarceration I came to the realization that knowledge comes in stages, You never really see it that way when your in the first stage, just like you don’t see results the first couple of weeks or months while hitting the gym, but stay consistent and over time the transformation will be apparent. I learn this the hard way. 7 months had passed and now I am at a medium security facility. During this 7 months, I was utterly alone, No outside support and I shied away from attaining close associate, I tried so hard not to own the title: Criminal, Scum of the Earth, Social Vomit. I still Had this mindset of a victim as if I’d been wrong, well that came to an end once I met a man called X.

X also know as Mike, was a God, Well not in the terms of deity, that’s what his religion, the Nations of Gods and Earth, revered themselves in the knowledge of self. He was a Tall, Handsome man, with a warm smile and a deep fatherly voice, This was the man who helped me to see that it was how and what I thought dictate the direction of my life. He said, “ The way I think got me here.” I replied “No, I got Caught” He looked at me and shook his head in warm admonishment He said, “No, Young God, your Mind is not in the right frequency to be the best you”. His Parting words were:”you have to show your mind itself and allow your heart to speak and then your soul will be revealed” I grimaced my face and Exclaimed “What?!” He confused me, as he usually did with these conversations and I excused myself to walk the yard. As I made my way around the 2 miles long track, my thoughts were conflicting with each other, and I did something I never did before, I just walked and observed what I was thinking, and horns from heaven Trumped and a voice said, “Well Job my son you have found the Keys of Life” well… not so dramatic, it was more like a dim light bulb flickering on. I spent the next couple of months assessing my thoughts, and they blamed everyone, never taking sincere responsibility for my thoughts words and deeds. I was ashamed of my thoughts because it showed that I had no control over myself and that frighten me. So I decided to start being responsible with my thoughts and trained to guide my thoughts towards positivity, kindness and most importantly love. As I did so internally the external world started to change ever so slightly, I realized that the fear mentally manifested itself into dangerous criminals with faces of stone, as I started to think love and kindness I started to see broken men, cast into exile. This was the turning point and a fundamental truth hidden from the fearful was revealed, that thoughts shape reality and if thoughts can do that what could my emotions do?

That question invoked in me the awareness of the feelings in my body, and how this feeling colored the world of thoughts. Emotions were truly the spice of life, I was completely ignorant to the fact that emotions can speak if you hold your tongue and listen your heart will speak to you, and my heart said it hurt! So I talked with my heart and asked what's wrong? And my heart was afraid to speak up because I had abused and ignored it for such a long time, but I assured the fragile heart that I would listen this time, and the events of intense emotional distress sprung forth, so many memories I wish could just toss away, confronted me, and I entered in to instant regret. It was so uneasy, so embarrassing that I wanted to turn my attention away and keep it away. But I remembered the promise I told my heart so I asked my heart to slow down and start at the beginning. He spoke for several months, we talked about the pain that I caused all the people in my life and how when I hurt them he was hurt as well. We talked about broken hearts, failed dreams and abandon ambitions. My heart was timid at first but over the passing months my heart became bolder, even brave so I listen with greater intent, we even talked about how I been so oppressive over my heart, how I beat him into submission to be silent and lay down. I surrender the freedom of my heart for its safety and security. I told my heart that I didn’t want it to get hurt so I harden it to so that no one can break it, and close it so that no one can see what I feel. My heart said that it was my purpose to feel, to emote, to move, to cry, to hurt and most importantly to love and absorb love, and my heart unburden its lifelong load and it forgave me and was happy.

My mind took Longer and I still have much work to do, My mind was so fast, so loud and exceedingly busy. There were many thoughts talking at once, so much so it produced a din, like a pack lunch room in high school, would produce. My mind didn’t even notice me, It was so rude. I asked for its audience but my mind rambled even louder. It wouldn’t even listen to me. disregarding my request to quite. I did notice some peculiar things about this entity called my mind. I call it an entity because it seems to choose to willingly ignore me. My mind favorite thing to do is ramble and it’s equally favorite thing to do was worry, oh, and I almost forgot when it's not rambling, or worrying it’s was blaming. That was the equivalent of a dog chasing its tail. It took me 6 months to gain it my mind’s attention. One day I was getting fed up with the attempt to communicate with “My own mind” and I was just going to quit until I remembered what X said. To show my mind itself, “Now how in the world do I do that?” So I asked a question in all its Brashness, and this one question silent this indwelling entity. For months I was demanding, swearing, threatening My mind, and nothing worked, but a question, a question allows the mind to do what it does, which is to know what it knows. The question was: Why is my life the way in shambles? it thought for a beat and answered my inquiry. It started to blurt out names, your mom alcoholism did this to your life, your father abusiveness this did to you, poverty, ex-girlfriends and on and on the list went. For weeks I listen to all the people who destroyed my life but one important name was missing, so I asked my mind another question, have I destroyed my own life, and it did not compute, so I asked again and it said “error” it dawn on me, my mind, has no sense of responsibility, I have no sense of responsibility. My heart asked if I needed help, and I accepted, and My Heart and I talked with my mind and showed him proof of how the lack of direction and personal responsibility got us in prison all alone. My heart and I didn’t burden my humbled mind and accepted the blame equally, and so from that day on, my mind quite an octaves as time passes, and my heart has Gained a new Friend, sometimes I hear them communicating and I am filled with joy at their plans. I just had one more question. If I was talking to my heart and mind who am I? 

Who am I? It was the simplest most rudimentary question in all of existence and human philosophy. It was the same question our early ancestors pondered self-reflectively whilst gazing into the cosmos. My soul, was easier to communicate with, and it had such wisdom, but I was only able to hear the still voice once, I free my heart from its “Protection” and silent, communicated and strengthen my mind. My Soul showed me things that I only now realized... That I am much more than David, I didn’t understand them at the time, but they incrementally apparent now. The soul is silent, it doesn’t have a voice. It doesn’t get angry, it's almost like an observer, a person relaxing on a couch looking what's going to happen next. But it’s the most important part of the internal functions. Because it injects life into everything that you focus on the mind, and emote from the heart. It is literal and truest sense a fragment of the All.

Finally, I’ll leave you with one of the most profound songs of our lives. Row, Row, Row your boat gently down the stream, merrily merrily life is but a dream, That simple song holds one of the optimal ways of living, I’ve ever experienced. Row, keep going, gently, without worry, down the stream, through the bumpy road of life, life is but a dream, accomplishments and achievements to live your best life in the now. When you truly take the time to know yourself you will see, that truly you are no victim, in fact, your in much more in control of your life that you could ever imagine. Every thought isn’t important, but the ones that we have a deep, impactful emotional response to are, the ones that we focus and give attention to, and we know that energy flows where attention goes, so think in terms of this, your mind sets the mold, our heart gives inspiration and your soul gives it life. I have brought many thoughtful and positive emotionally profound experiences to my life and it all started by realizing and asserting my power, which is communing with my Heart, Mind, Soul and establishing harmony. Remember to remember when life is beating you relentlessly, that you are much more than you think you are.

About David Linton:  My name is David Linton, I’m an American with Jamaican heritage, I grew up between Mt.Vernon New York just outside New York City and the rural parts of Jamaica. I dropped out of high school at 16 and received my GED a couple months later, I join the navy at 17 as an Aviation boatswain mate and served on 2 aircraft carriers the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS John C. Stennis and was discharged at 20 under general conditions. From one horrible relationship to the next, at much of the fault of me, I spiral into a world of abuse and chaos, primarily because my mindset was one of fear insecurity. 

I spent my entire 20’s on the west coast traveling and backpacking up and down the pacific coast line. I worked many dead-end jobs from dishwasher, carpet cleaner, tire technician, oil changer, asphalt sealer, mover to roofer and much more. I moved back to Rochester where I perceived that I could not found a worthwhile job, where I turned to scamming abandoned and vacant houses to unsuspecting potential tenants. Even now if you looked my name up in google and include the word scam and Rochester, you’d would see a mugshot and news reports from local news. I was so embarrassed I convinced someone to bail me out of jail, where I ran from the law. I hitchhiked and train jumped all the way to Portland OR where I avoid capture for 3 months. That’s until the U.S. Marshals tracked me down and gave chase. I was captured at gunpoint and was forced to face the legal music. I was extradited back to Rochester and was sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in New York state prison. 

There I had too much time on my hand, at first it was a time of self-hatred. Then after months of loneliness, I finally began to get to know myself. I read many books such as the Bible and As A Man Thinkth but the book that changed my life was Science of the Mind by Ernest Holmes. I read the first page and I was hooked, I applied the teaching and actually believed them until the universe assist me at mending my mind and heart (emotions) I came to a realization that everything was energy and that love was the highest form. I came to the pivotal decision in my life that every action going forward would be rooted in love. And that love is the true will of God. 

When I was released I applied the principle of love in my life and the seeds of this energy rooted and took hold. I live above the previous life that I live, and now bask in the fruit of the harvest. 

I now lead a church call Elevated Ministries and spread love and peace with every being I come in contact with. I am Married to my best friend Brandis Linton and we work together spreading the gospel in the way it was intended to be spread through truth love and action.

David Linton's website: http://www.elevatedmin.com