As a teen at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, the author had a recurring dream of a youth about to jump off a ledge somewhere out west. Guided by the dream as if a premonition, the boy journeyed across the country on Rt. 80 and encountered the youth on the Golden Gate Bridge where the dream became a reality as he rescued the youth in an episode of synchronicity. At that moment, the boy understood that while we exist in different places and at different times we are all inevitably intertwined, and that coincidences are just God’s way of being anonymous. GOD AND LOVE ON RT. 80 weaves together thirteen episodes of synchronicity from Post’s journey to demonstrate the power of human connectedness and the value in being open and hopeful to surprises. It’s a book that fits in the long tradition of successful metaphysical titles like The Teachings of Don Juan, Be Here Now, The Secret, The Power of Now, and Loving What Is, but by a highly regarded scientist whose work has been praised by his peers and popular readers alike.
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About the Author
An opinion leader and public speaker, Stephen G. Post, Ph.D. is the best-selling author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Happier, Healthier Life by the Simple Act of Giving (Random House Broadway Books).
He has taught at the University of Chicago Medical School, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (1988-2008), and the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University (2008-Present), where he is founding director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics. He is an elected member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Royal Society of Medicine, London.
In 2001 he founded the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, named by Sir John Templeton, who selected Post as president (www.unlimitedloveinstitute.com). The Institute is a non-profit 501(c) 3 public charity that investigates kindness, giving, and spirituality.
Larry Dossey, MD, is the author of One Mind: Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why it Matters. A distinguished physician, Dr. Dossey is among the most influential and creative leaders worldwide in bringing scientific understanding to spirituality. He is the author of a number of profound books on spirituality in healing, including the New York Times bestseller Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine, and The Power of Premonitions. In One Mind, considered one the most innovative books of our time, Dr. Dossey draws on spiritual wisdom traditions, great philosophers, personal experiences, and the sciences to make the case for a universal consciousness or One Mind that connects us all.
Table of Contents
Prelude to a Journey Synchronicity, Not Luck 22
Episode 1 The Dream and the Car: How the Journey Began 30
Episode 2 The Youth and the Ledge: "If You Save Him" 68
Episode 3 The Biker and the Premonition: "You Too Shall Live" 88
Episode 4 The Patients and the Rice Balls: Route 80 in New York 106
Episode 5 The Synchronicity Whispers and Chagall's Blue Angel: Finally a Fellow Traveler 128
Episode 6 The Great Healer and the Deeply Forgetful Prophet: Premonition on the Highway 144
Episode 7 The Big Bold Prayer and Two Miracles: The Inner Road 160
Episode 8 The Road to Milesburg and the Mystical Walking Stick: A Bus Ride on Route 80 176
Episode 9 The Limo Driver and the Cross in the Sky: A Highway Revelation 196
Episode 10 The Golden Rule and the Cheerful Giver: A New Jersey Trip 208
Episode 11 The Blue Angel and the ISIS Web Attack: Things Happen for a Reason 220
Episode 12 The Young Writers and The United Nations: Expanding Route 80 Worldwide 232
Episode 13 To Give and Glow: Ten Route 80 Ways of Love 250
Episode 14 The Route 80 Philosophy 270
The Route 80 Youth Essay Contest Love All Means All (Lama): How I Live by the Deep Golden Rule & Flourish 284
About the Author 300
What People are Saying About This
“Sometimes things happen that reveal an apparent pattern, plan, and meaning to the workings of the world. When this revelation occurs, it’s as if the Universe winks at us as if to say, ‘Now you’re in on the secret!’ The ‘secret’ is the realization that an infinite, unitary intelligence pervades everythingwhat author Stephen G. Post calls IM for Infinite Mind. And that’s why God and Love on Rt. 80 is a poke in the eye of materialism, the numbing ideology that all happenings conform to the so-called blind, meaningless laws of nature. Post’s ‘journey west’ is a coming-of-age metaphor for the discovery of ancient truths: that Consciousness is primary, that Mind was ‘here first,’ and that love is a kind of metaphysical glue that holds things together and provides a delightful fizz to the whole show. God and Love on Rt. 80 is more than an enchanting, beautiful book; it indicates the kind of awareness that is required if we are to survive the challenges we face as a speciesthe awareness of our connectivity and unity with all else, the knowledge that our world is sacred, holy, and worth saving. Thank you, Stephen, for reminding us of this essential truth.”
Larry Dossey, MD
Author: One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters
“Stephen G. Post in this highly readable and deeply profound book shares his journey to that which is whole, holy, and healed in all of us. Beyond the secret passages, the dark alleys and ghost filled attics of our individual conditioned and separate minds there is a single infinite boundless awareness that differentiates into all observers, all modes of observation and all objects observed. We can call it Ein Sof, Brahman, Nonlocal mind, God, Allah or the Self. Transcendence to this domain is the experience of absolute love and spontaneous creativity, intuition, insight, and higher vision.”
Deepak Chopra MD
Author: You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters and of Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles
“Brilliant…Stephen calls us to live soul-sized live.”
Sister Helen Prejean
Author: Dead Man Walking
“In this fascinating and moving spiritual adventure story, which I was honored to help edit, a boy follows a dream…and it leads him on a journey of amazing encounters that reveal deep truths about the nature of the universe and the power of unlimited love. It also opens a path to a life of extraordinary creativity and achievement. Rarely has a book so vividly captured the ways in which the human mind is connected with the divine, and how through synchronicity we can be guided and supported by a presence in the universe that is greater than ourselves. Here is inspiration for anyone seeking the courage to live their dream‘because,’ as Post reminds us, ‘if you don’t you will always wonder what you might have discovered if you had.’ ”
Ann Kathleen Bradley
Writer and Alumna, Harvard Divinity School and Union Theological Seminary
“Though very much the prodigal son, I still identify as a Quaker, believing in an ‘inner light’ accessible in and to each person and in all aspects of the natural world. Life is an opportunity to seek the ‘inner light’ in others and yourself. Stephen G. Post is someone whose light shines brightly indeed, because, to paraphrase George Fox (1656), Stephen walks cheerfully over the world answering that of God in every one. Part autobiography and part guide book of collected wisdom, Stephen witnesses in deed and word to the transformative power of love in the world. An inspirational read.”
William Grassie PhD
Founding President, The Metanexus Institute
Author: The New Sciences of Religion: Exploring Spirituality from the Outside and Bottom Up and Applied Big History: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Other Living Things
“Mind, as Stephen G. Post so beautifully points out, is more than tissue, neurons and matter. Sharing his three decades of experiences with those he refers to as ‘deeply forgetful people,’ Stephen pulls back the veil so we can see that our souls remain whole despite the advance of deep memory loss. Underneath the chaos of deep forgetfulness dwells our profound eternal essence and nothing can separate us from it. Post has brought the message that ‘Grandma’s still there’ in an inspiring fashion to millions of caregivers globally, reassuring them that their loved one is much more than a shell or a husk, and teaching them ways to connect with expressions of continuing self-identity. In Canada we cherish his many visits over the years to every province and city, including twice to my city of London, Ontario. He is the recipient of the Annual Award in Medical Humanities by World Literacy Canada, which he received in a packed Royal Ontario Museum.”
Co-Founder (with her husband Ross Chapin) of Highview ResidencesExcellence in Alzheimer Care, London and Kitchener Ontario, Canada.
“A beautifully written and illustrated spiritual adventure in which readers are fondly invited to join the author on a soul-seeking, soul-reclaiming, and soul-sustaining journey. Stephen G. Post has done it again. It is good to be good to all HUMANITY!”
Francisco Cardoso Gomes de Matos, PhD
Distinguished Brazilian Professor of Peace Linguistics
Co-Founder: The World Dignity University
Author: Dignity: A Multidimensional View
“How fortunate I was to have Dr. Stephen G. Post in my hometown of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, when I was in the planning stages for my One Million Acts of Kindness bus tour. Stephen kindly took time out of his busy schedule from Case Western Medical School to meet with me and Bogart, my Boston Terrier, to discuss the importance of having kindness as a goal in all our lives and to offer important insight as a professional in the field of the kindness of humanity. No one has contributed more to the science of kindness and giving than Stephen. On several occasions during our travels these past ten years, I was able to bounce some kindness ideas off him, and we reconnected when I drove by kindness bus to Stony Brook. He has a steady and knowledgeable mind in all things kind and is able to convey, in person and on the pages of his books, sage-like wisdom. Stephen is on loan to New York but a Clevelander at heart, and Rt. 80 connects the two.”
Founder: One Million Acts of Kindness
“After reading Stephen G. Post's personal coming-of-age story, you too will believe in ‘destiny more than goals.’ This compelling narrative unfolds around experiences of synchronicity that point to a subtle, benevolent source that links our apparently separate lives.”
International Initiatives, Brahma Kumaris and President & Founder ivoh (ivoh.org)
Founder and President of Images & Voices of Hope (www.ivoh.org)
Co-author: Something Beyond Greatness: Conversations with a Man of Sciences & A Woman of God
“Over coffee at the Tick Tock Diner in Manhattan with my friend Stephen G. Post, he once remarked ‘I am quite spiritual.’ I corrected him saying ‘No, you are profoundly spiritual.’ This book, God and Love on Route 80, certainly confirms my observation. Read on and you will be richly rewarded by seeing the unseen in life.”
President: The Caldwell Group
“Few are so uniquely equipped to write about God and Love than Dr. Stephen G. Post whose lifetime of leadership lies at the very intersection of humanity and divinity. In God and Love on Rt. 80, he traverses the physical, metaphysical and spiritual dimensions of life with personal narrative evidencing the Divine Mind that orchestrates all. On this road trip we find that Man and God are not on parallel paths, but on one and the same road. For Stephen, Rt. 80 is a metaphor for the Ground of Our Being traveled daily by all of us. On this road we find ourselves merging into oneness, guided by Divine Providence, and served with all manner of synchronicity.”
President: Soulful Work, LLC
“Stephen G. Post offers us a fabulous spiritual journey…real, power-filled, insightful, and compelling…living into our dreams and fulfilling them along the way. Combing the finest of psychology, wisdom traditions, and theologies, Post offers us a journey into non-dualism and Unitive Consciousness. As I read God and Love on Rt. 80 I kept hearing: “…God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16). TAKE THE JOURNEY. This may be the most astonishing spiritual journey book in decades. It provides a stellar road map. Dare to begin again. If any journey can help reclaim your soul, this is the one.”
Rev. Gregory L. Johnson,
President and CEO, International Center for Family Caregiving
Inter-faith Minister for Family Caregiving of the Marble Collegiate Church, NYC
Senior Advisor for Family Caregiving, EmblemHealth
“Of all approaches to life, I truly believe that following a spiritual path is by far the most rewarding. Out on Rt. 80, Stephen G. Post allowed Spirit to work at a young age with ever-expanding soul-growing experiences, increased wisdom, and a joyous contentment with the mysteries of life. He learned about the Oneness early on.”
Donna L. Johnson
President and CEO, Unity Worldwide Ministries www.unityworldwideministries.org
“Stephen G. Post has done it again in his most recent personal and uplifting book by providing a key to unlock the experience of tasting eternity or the presence of god in everything through unlimited love. You do not need to be a mystic or prophet or philosopher but dedicated to follow your dream of helping humanity in your own special way. It is a must read for all those to need a rudder to live a meaningful life in the wilderness of the twenty-first century. God and Love on Rt. 80 is a journey worth taking.”
Founder of the Ninash Foundation promoting literacy for the poor in India
Emeritus SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor
Author: Instant Nirvana: Americanization of Mysticism and Meditation and Yoga Philosophy: Health, Healing and the Stars of Connection
“Stephen G. Post was the first person to show me that it was possible to maintain a free spirit within the rigidity of academia and academic research. One would think that this realm would be full of freedom, but, in reality, this is not always the case. It can be rife with layer after layer of regulation upon regulation from an endless supply of authorities and regulators. This is hardly a place for a supposed ‘free spirit.’ But there we were, the two of us. I remember the day I first went to speak with Dr. Post about his newly formed graduate program. I was hooked immediately; his passion for what he did was infectious. His presentation and perspective werealthough secondary to his passionunique and commanding of undivided attention. I wanted some of that for myself. Over the years, through many office visits, I was to find a kindred artistic and creative spirit like myself, motivating me to pursue topics and experiences that would push personal, academic, and professional limits. Dr. Post validated for me that I could import elements of that creative self into my daily work, despite whatever apparent mundane environment I might be a party to at any given moment. This is also where I was to learn that listening is perhaps more important than speaking. Expressing emotionlove, caring, and empathyis not only possible but necessary in our world, regardless of what profession you’re in. Make it an art. Explore everything, for that is the path that will lead you to who you are and help you to bring something special to your chosen vocation. When you bring a true piece of yourself to your work, you transform it into something spectacular. Take Rt. 80 because it will allow you to become more than your goals. As Dr. Post states: ‘Let destiny find you…. Look for the synchronicity.’ It’s certainly not going to cost you anything, but the payback to yourself and othersno value can be placed on that. Dr. Post is a teacher in the truest sense of the word, so read this book…you will learn how to become.”
Stacy Carey, MA, MS
Director, Office of Human Subjects Research
Florida State University
“I come from a little town in Poland named Ciechocinek. Since my early youth I felt that a Higher Love (a.k.a. ‘God’) had a destiny for me that I knew about deep down inside my being, but I had to respond to it. When I spoke about it to my mom (when I was five years old), she took it as child’s wild dream to travel to the US one day, to concertize there on its famous stages, to achieve great success and to meet some of the great minds of our time. But my mom and I learned years later that no one should ever underestimate a child’s dreams, no matter how crazy they may seem, as all of the above came true in my life. I first encountered Stephen by reading his book, Why Good Things Happen to Good People, which I loved and felt inspired by because generally speaking what goes around comes around, and when we are kind we cannot be bitter at the same time. Later, I was happy to actually meet Stephen in Stony Brook, where he had moved from Ohio to join the medical school faculty. We instantly connected through shared love for music and truly fascinating conversations about life’s hidden purpose and synchronicities. We spoke at our friend’s events or at our occasional coffee meetings in the Tick Tock Diner in Manhattan, sitting under giant clock, where he regularly meets with the artists, spiritual leaders, and philosophers from around the globe who seek his conversation. He leaves people uplifted by his attitude, his joyous energy and his Rt. 80 style wisdom. I was honored when he asked if I would like to perform a meditative piece at United Nations fr the Youth Essays on Peace, Tolerance and Human Rights conference on International Youth Day 2016, as organized by Stephen and his Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. I knew immediately that this would be deeply meaningful as an action of service with my violin’s music. The day of the conference, finalists and winners from all over the world read and discussed their ideas about spreading peace among all nations and religions as the only way to survive for our human kind. I met the renowned Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., with his wife Edwina, and many young inspiring writers and poets who demonstrated a new level of positive consciousness among young people. Synchronicity was alive as I decided intuitively to wear a blue dress that I had not worn in years, and later that day stood by the Chagall blue UN windows.”
Vioinist, Founder and Artistic Director of New York Chamber Musicians, Joanna has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, members of the Emerson String Quartet, and many others. She is Director of Undergraduate Chamber Music at Stony Brook University.
“I have known Stephen G. Post since he was fifteen; I was his house mother at boarding school in at St. Paul’s in New Hampshire. At that time, he was taking courses with my then-husband, Rev. Rod Welles and talking about a dream, synchronicity, infinite Mind, and things Emersonian. Even then, he clearly marched to another drummer and had a mirthful wisdom beyond his years. It never surprised me that he went west on Rt. 80. I always learn something from his books, and I am reminded of how we are meant to live in faith. God and Love on Rt. 80 is the book he sometimes spoke about writing when the time was right. To open this, you have to be open to surprises.
Stephen’s house mother at St. Paul’s
“A work of love and a gift. Stephen G. Post’s spiritual journey resonates with those of us who are still looking for meaning in a world that at times appears increasingly meaningless. His book conveys a sense of ultimate unity that is both refreshing and inspiring in times of pessimism and divisiveness.”
Salvatore Mangione MD
Co-Director of Medical Humanities, the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia
“For over two decades, Stephen G. Post has been a part of Alzheimer families, care communities, and uncountable simple visits with the deeply forgetful and those who care about them. Stephen is part poet and part prophet, with a lightning fast wit and a story teller’s kind heart. All these gifts combine in this new work to teach, evoke our empathy and (gently) demand that we acknowledge the personhood and mysterious inner life of the deeply forgetful.
Former Director of State Government Affairs in the Public Policy Division of the Alzheimer’s Association; Splaine Consulting
“Stephen G. Post explains the connectivity between mind, life, and living, beautifully in God and Love on Rt. 80. His experiences of infinite Mind break through to take us beyond our small, everyday awareness to a true oneness with the Ultimate. Life on Rt 80 is life at a higher level of Consciousness. What a thrilling journey!”
Sangeetha Menon, PhD
Dean, School of Humanities
Professor & Head, NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme
National Institute of Advanced Studies
Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bangalore, INDIA 560 012
God and Love on Route 80 is an astonishing true story of faith, love, and destiny for everyone who suspects that our universe and encounters are infinitely more enchanting and meaning-filled than dry old materialism allows, or than our narrow little goals embrace. Spiritual awakening often begins with the sense of the hidden mystery of human connectedness. Most of us, even if we don’t like to admit it, have had powerful moments when we encountered the perfect person in the perfect place at the perfect time as if in answer to a prayer, especially in our more desperate moments. We pause because it felt so uncanny, as though some encounters are guided by a cherishing and unifying presence in this universe in which we somehow participate and that sets these encounters up. This connectedness might even begin with a dream, a premonition, or a deep intuition that brings us to the right place at the right time in this huge world of ours.
In this true story of God and Love on Route 80 awakening begins for a boy at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire with a recurring dream of a youth dangling off the ledge of a bridge somewhere in the unknown west and who was about to leap into the sea below. At home that summer, having nothing more meaningful to do after a family quarrel, the boy followed the dreamy premonition across the United States, hitching along Route 80 from New York leaving behind a broken down family Mercedes 190 in the middle of Pennsylvania. Curiously, he would encounter what seemed to be exactly that same dangling youth on a bridge ledge in San Francisco one early morning late in the summer, and the boy was able to save his life with the right words and a gift. The boy in that moment realized that he and the youth had been brought together for a reason―to save each other. Their meeting was not luck, but graceful synchronicity―one of an uncanny series of events that could only be the work of an infinite loving connecting Mind (a.k.a. “God”).
God and Love on Route 80 is a different kind of road trip. Follow the often mirthful but always deepening Route 80 episodes that reveal just how incredibly cherished and connected each of us is. Follow the boy’s faith in a dream from which many miraculous encounters followed. Consider that there may really be an infinite Mind in which we all move beyond the boundaries of self into Oneness. Too many of us are unable to speak of the spiritual side of our lives because we are told that Matter is all there is, and that our minds derive from nothing but cells and tissue. But we are more than matter. The boy’s dream and the experiences that ensued proved for him that materialism can never explain the depths of Mind, and that the spiritual philosophers reaching back to the ancients had it right. God and Love on Route 80 is a mix of uplifting encounters and reflection on infinite Mind, resonating with the newfound respectability of these ideas as recently captured in the writings of such distinguished thinkers as Larry Dossey MD with his book One Mind, or philosopher Owen J. Flanagan with his The Oneness Hypothesis. Many scriptures state that “in the beginning” was the divine Mind, from which comes the universe of time and space in a Big Bang, and it is always there underlying all that is, including our own consciousness, but we have to mindfully notice its loving whispers and winks as we move through our lives. Everyone’s journey is meaningful after all, even when we stumble on some desperate detour.