Life coaching: Return of the Life Auditor

The goal was for Henry to try two or three lifestyles, return to himself, and then be motivated to select a major, graduate, and get a life.

ben goldfarb 88 (photo credit: )
ben goldfarb 88
(photo credit: )
Many of us have audited courses in university, and some of us have been audited by the IRS. However, there's only one documented case of a person auditing other people's lives. That person is Henry Wilbanks, class of "07". A senior at USC, Henry Wilbanks changed majors a record 25 times. And that was just during freshman orientation. His academic advisor, Mr. Tanner, was running out of advice for this wayward student. He was about to give up on Henry when he decided to send him to the controversial dean of the Parapsychology Department, otherwise known as the Department of Last Resort. Henry walked into Professor Sine's laboratory. It looked like a cross between an Intensive Care Unit and a Polish dentist office. Henry handed Mr. Tanner's note to the professor. As the professor read Tanner's scribbled handwriting, his brow furrowed and his mustache drooped in perfect synchronization. The professor told Henry that he could volunteer to join an astral projection experiment and receive course credit. Looking for any excuse to get out of studying for his finals, Henry readily agreed. He signed release forms and promised not to mention the experiment to anyone over the age of 8. "Your life force is going to enter different people of your choosing. Your body will remain in our care here in the lab.This will give you a chance to get first hand experience about different professions and lifestyles." "You think this will help me decide what I want to be when I grow up? "We hope so. You will experience a kind of reincarnation without having to die first, a transmigration of your soul, so to speak, with a 30-day escape clause." "What's that mean?" "You have 30 days to decide if you want to remain in any particular body permanently, or return to yourself." The goal was for Henry to try two or three lifestyles, return to himself, and then be motivated to select a major, graduate, and get a life. However, Henry loved the variety and excitement of life auditing so much that he refused to return to himself and he kept jumping from person to person. Being a master of indecision, Henry spent three years auditing over 400 lives. He had lived in 39 counties, trying his hand at banking, film directing, and gourmet cooking. He was a CIA agent, a fireman, and even an academic advisor. Just when he came close to choosing a life to permanently audit or returning to himself, he changed his mind at the last minute. At this rate, Henry was going to end up as a career life auditor. That was destined to change when Henry woke up one morning in the body of the happiest person he had encountered so far. In audit number 402, Henry found himself as the father of 8 in an Italian neighborhood in the Bronx. From his surroundings, he could tell his host was lower middle-class, rich in consumer debt, but incredibly happy nonetheless. In his newest persona, he felt satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment and a quiet pride that required no publicity or fanfare. Henry had woken up in castles, presidential suites, native huts, and once due to a technical error, in a dog kennel. But something was different about this new life. His wife called him Antonio. Her voice resonated like an opera singer when she spoke to him. Her blue eyes danced with love when she looked at him. His children, whose ages ranged from a newborn to a senior in high school, waited on him hand and foot as he got ready for work. Maybe I'll just be Antonio for the rest of my life, Henry thought. I've had money and power, but I've never tasted this degree of happiness. Henry wondered what the secret was to Antonio's contentment. However, Henry's other voice kicked in telling him to be careful. He reminded himself that once he made a decision, it was irreversible. Once he chose a new life, he could never go back to himself. After three years of life auditing, Henry was beginning to think he might have a slight problem with making commitments. After a quick breakfast, Antonio/Henry drove his oldest child to school, and then went to work. He never had a problem navigating within his new lives, because he was just an appendage to an existing life, an additional soul hitching a ride in a self-sustaining creature. He had access to all of the stored memories, instincts, and responses of the host organism, who remained passive during the 30 day visit. Everyone seemed happy to see Antonio as he walked from his parking space to his company. Why was he so popular? Maybe he was a closet philanthropist who himself lived modestly to hide his wealth. Perhaps he was natural healer or a miracle worker. When he showed up at his company, Antonio/Henry was almost mobbed by his appreciative employees. This brought back very recent memories of being a rock star. Henry was Bruce Springsteen for 10 days on two different occasions. The "Boss" was the only personality he audited twice. Antonio/Henry noticed that each employee in his company had either a physical or mental challenge or was a social outcast of one type or another. When he made it past the cheering crowds to his desk, he looked through the employee files. His work force included ex-convicts, recovering alcoholics, escaped cult members and even a former lawyer. Antonio hired people whom no one else would even interview. These employees were filled with gratitude towards Antonio and worked hard to show their appreciation. Antonio/Henry thumbed through some spreadsheets and saw why Antonio wasn't a rich man. The company, which was a modest textile outfit, barely broke even each year. Any profits that were made were reinvested in the company or in treatment programs for the employees. Henry made up his mind. He wanted to remain in Antonio's body permanently. Antonio was more than Henry could ever become on his own. Henry recited the official incantation that Professor Sine taught him. "I am now one with Antonio. Antonio and I will now share the same body and life. He will now have two life forces, and I will not interfere with his life. I will only enrich it. Antonio will always have the power of veto over any of my decisions. " Just then Professor Sine appeared. "Congratulations, Henry, on finally making a decision. I'm proud of you," the professor said. "Thanks Professor." Antonio/Henry answered. "However, I can't let you become Antonio." "Why not? Those were the rules." "I lied" "That's comforting. What else did you lie about?" "That's it. Just one untruth. And it's for your own good." Sine said. "Yeah, go ahead, tell me how you are saving me from myself," Henry said, expecting the professor to echo Mr. Tanner's non-stop lectures. "Now that you finally saw a life that you respect, a life where you can give to others and be happy as a result of it, it's now your job to return to Henry and use Antonio as a role model." "But, how?" "You've learned from over 400 experts. You have more stored knowledge about life and business strategies than most people can acquire in a lifetime. You can go back to Henry, and do an even better job than Antonio can." "But, Professor, I'm not sure I'm ready." "You are ready." With that statement, the professor left Antonio's/Henry's office just as quickly as he arrived. Antonio/Henry ran after him, but he couldn't find him anywhere. Antonio/Henry returned to his office, put his head on his desk and fell asleep. When he woke up, Henry was back at USC in the parapsychology lab. Henry got out of bed, disoriented with his reunion with his original body. His head was spinning with memories of hundreds of short but intense relationships he had started and stopped with virtual families, employees, and bosses. He felt a sense of loss and longing. He quickly left this reverie. There was no time to get sentimental or nostalgic about the past three years of life auditing. He had work to do. Henry was excited about his new career path. He would start a company just like Antonio's, but he would go global within a few years. For the first time in his life, Henry felt happy and he was imbued with a sense of purpose and mission. However, the happiness he felt was emanating from the prism of his own soul, and not from Antonio's or any of the other hundreds of souls he audited. He would take the first steps to start his company today, right after he had his teeth cleaned. Ben Goldfarb was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Israel in 1988. He is the founder and director of Paradigm Shift Communications. He has given seminars and training sessions at Israel Aircraft Industry and Philips Medical Systems. His book, "Double Feature: A Nostalgic Peek into the Future" will be published in the summer. He lives with his wife and children in Jerusalem. For more information about his coaching practice, visit the Paradigm Shift Communications website, or send an email to [email protected] © Copyright 2008 by Ben Goldfarb