My name is Martin, and I didn’t expect to live to write you this letter.
Back in 2009, I contracted a seemingly lethal case of toxic mold poisoning, complicated by Lyme disease. Each of them has a profoundly different treatment protocol. The doctors, not knowing I had both, fed me with medicines that started to kill me.
For several years, I could barely climb the stairs to my bedroom. I often awoke in the middle of the night, screaming in pain. I was frequently in urgent care, and four times in the hospital.
I’ll never forget the stone-cold look of death on the doctors’ faces as they reviewed my medical reports and told me there was nothing more they could do. I was still a young man when I wrote my will and prepared to die.
I know we’re supposed to face the end with courage. But honestly, I was terrified. I read hundreds of books. I attended whatever seminars I could, often in a wheelchair. I sought counsel from psychiatrists, psychologists, alternative healers, swamis, rabbis, famous gurus. None of them could soothe my pain.
I turned to the great humanist authors, poets and philosophers. I deepened my devotion to the faith traditions and practices of my younger years — Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, yoga. Nothing — and I mean nothing — soothed my pain.
Everyone I met along the way taught me something valuable. I respected them, I appreciated them, but they just couldn’t plug the aching hole in my heart. In a universe that’s 14 billion years old, with life so miraculous and short, why was I suffering so much? Why was I squandering my one wild and precious chance?
In a final act of desperation, for four days a week, for eighteen months, I met with a team of unusually progressive holistic doctors. They gave me infusions, transfusions, shots, and all sorts of experimental treatments. Then, on the fifth day, a nurse came to my home and administered a four-hour infusion that left me nauseous and incapacitated for days.
I have no idea how I survived. Yes, I’m sure the treatments helped. But if you ask me, my renewed presence on this planet is an act of Grace.
When you lose everything in the material world, and the last thing you’re holding onto is a body, it strips you bare… puts a firehose to your ego… cracks you open like never before. Compassion, once a trickle, becomes a flood.
So many people I know who survived a brush with death — maybe a car crash, a drug overdose, or a serious legal or business problem that would have lead to ruin — after their problems were solved, they reverted back to their old habits. Instead of embracing life with gratitude, they complained about this and that.
But something within me shifted, at the deepest level. I was a different person. Madly in love with life and people… and utterly astonished by the whole experience of being alive inside a body on planet Earth.
It was in the hospital bed, quite literally, that the vision of Favor Fields came to me. I was in a roomful of suffering souls, listening to Beethoven, wondering: Where is this beautiful spark of the Gods today? Are we not brothers and sisters, sharing a common miracle? Why is social media not a grand symphony of loving souls — an Ode to Joy in an Age of Wonder?
At first it might sound like a lofty ideal. But it was real in the deepest way… because I was prepared to put my life in its service. At long last, I had found a rock… something I was willing to die for.
With what little time I had left on Earth, I resolved to dedicate my life to building of a new kind of interconnected platform. A place for meaningful encounters, for saying "namaste" to other souls. But also a place to help us let go of the old patterns — the fear, anger, and inner hostilities that yearn to heal.
I hesitate to call it “social media” because the phrase is so tainted with negativity. Platforms that facilitate the spread of lies, anger, hatred, envy, self-promotion… such cannot possibly be the way forward for our species.
Homo sapiens is a species of genius — and we need to put it in service of peace and love.
Maybe you’re in pain right now. Maybe things aren’t going your way. And maybe you feel like no one can help you. But there’s something that longs to come alive within you, something that only you can give birth to. Helping you do it is what motivates me to get out of bed in the morning.
On my deathbed I made two promises. First, if I lived, I would never forget the hopelessness, loneliness, and despair. And second, I would stand up for people who are being unfairly exploited by a system that profits from their pain.
Because this is the kind of world we live in today: one group profiting from another's pain.
I don’t naively suppose that in a short lifetime our little band of brothers and sisters can fix all this. But here’s what we can do. We can build working prototypes of our new vision. We can show the world new ways of connecting and bonding. We can take baby steps towards our dreams each day. We can love one soul. Then two, then three.
The dreams of Schiller and Beethoven need not stay buried in the dustbins of history. In Favor Fields, we’re creating Joy Feeds and Love Feeds and Peace Feeds. We’re not waiting for perfect times or perfect songs. We’re singing the music now, while we can.
And why not? Let ours be the generation that proves it’s possible. Maybe it will take our children, and children’s children, to turn our scattered voices into a full-blown symphony. But let them look back at us, at our common ideals and sacrifice, with gratitude and love. Let them say of us: “There was a courageous, compassionate generation who did their imperfect best.”