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Having experienced a traumatic near death experience, Howard Charing had his first of many out of body experiences. After the accident, he could barely hold the weight of his own head, couldn’t walk and found himself angry and depressed. This hit took 3 years to recover from and along the way he found an unsuspecting path to shamanism.
One of his healing practitioners advised him that he needed to forgive anyone associated with the accident. That shift in consciousness allowed him to begin the path to his new life and completely heal physically and emotionally. Howard had previously never heard the of the word shamanism in a modern context. Opening that door, he began hearing and feeling beings that were friendly and guiding his healing.
Howard went to Peru, arrived in the jungle, drank ayahuasca with Shipibo shamans there. His life will never be the same. Learning to step in and out of this world into the next and hearing shapes in sounds. It’s a phenomenal journey that you want to hear more about. Check out this interview and his new book that tells about the highs and the lows, The Accidental Shaman by Howard G Charing.
– Welcome back to The Urban Monk. Dr. Pedram Shojai here in studio talking about shamanism. I love shamanism. It is one of these words that no one even know 10, 12 years ago. You talk about shamanism, people look at you funny and now all of a sudden you’re cool if you’re a shaman and you’re cool if you’re a shaman if you’ve read certain books and you’ve run in certain circles and really kind of done the work and spent some time in Peru and been in the jungles and done all that. My guest today, Howard Charing, is an accidental shaman and so he didn’t intend to end up there. I’m sure he had a pretty normal life leading up to said event and suddenly his stars changed and now he hangs out with the likes of Graham Hancock and Jeremy Narby and people that I have a lot of respect for in the industry and he’s in the shamanic world by some happenstance magic coincidence of the universe. So, my favorite kind of story. A story that has rewritten stars and so I’m happy to have you here. Welcome to The Urban Monk.
– Thank you very very much for inviting me. It’s much appreciated, thank you.
– Cheers, thank you. So, you were a normal guy living a normal life presumably and then you had something happen in an elevator. Let’s talk about it.
– That’s correct. Well, you know, I was working for an American computer corporation in London and one day, we’re going back to 1983, I stepped in the elevator to go up and suddenly my stomach was in my mouth and I realized that the elevator was crashing and I realized this was it. This is where it all ends and so on. Then I had this strange experience. I left my body, I was gone, I wasn’t there anymore. My body was small. I just disappeared and I was somewhere else and I knew I was gonna die here, but part of me, well, not part of me, I didn’t want to die. I wasn’t ready to go and then I’m back in my body and then while the lift, the elevator, sorry, lift is elevator in English. I get mixed up with the two here. You know, so please bear with me and whilst the elevator was crashing, was falling down, I thought what can I do? I tried all sorts of things. I thought, well, I’ve seen in the movies like Road Runner and all those kind of cartoons. You jump up in the air and so on. Whatever, but of course I couldn’t move because I was in free fall as well. The fact that I had a box around me made no difference and then miraculously, this was the miracle. I knew exactly what to do. I took my handkerchief from my pocket and shoved it in my mouth and I crouched down on haunches and soon as I had done that, elevator crashed and of course my lower jaw smashed against my upper jaw. If my tongue was anywhere in that area, it would’ve been chopped off. It’s a huge impact there, but the thing is, one of the strange things was that time stood still. I felt I had a huge amount of time, even though it was just a few seconds at that kind of velocity and after that, and even though I went into a crouch and protected my tongue, I still broke my neck and damaged my back very severely and I was out of action for three, four years and that was during the period when I hit bottom during that particular period, but then something strange and mysterious happened to me. You know, when I was trying to get some healing. I was seeing doctors and professionals and specialists and all sorts of people. I went to see a healer and I was seeing him. It was good, he gave me massage and so on. I mean, I had collars around my neck and I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t walk. I’d been a very sporty guy. To be someone who couldn’t stand up, who couldn’t support the weight of my shoulders, the weight of my head on my shoulders was very very challenging and he said, “Do you want to get well again? “Do you want to heal?” I didn’t right away say yes. I had to think about this ’cause I was kinda used to being ill. Then suddenly, something in me said, “Yes, I wanna get well again.” Then he said, “Forgive, forgive all the people “you blame for the accident, for this elevator crash.” So I kind of got it together and I forgave and it was like 10 tons of weight lifted from me and that moment of forgiveness, that’s what really shifted things. That’s what really changed my life and I forgave because the elevator system was under maintenance and all the safety systems were switched off and that’s why the thing happened.
– So, there was negligence. There’s plenty of people to blame for negligence and why’d this happen to me? How dare they?
– Oh yeah, I was very very angry. I was very very depressed. I was very very low. As I said, I spent my lowest point in my life. I spent months sitting on the chair looking out the window just watching leaves fall from trees and that kind of stuff. I became kind of mindless until that moment of forgiveness and everything shifted.
– Now where did that take you? So, you forgive and suddenly your stars start to realign and your body starts to mend. Your mind starts to pick up some velocity in its ability to think and have clarity and then how does this take you into a different life?
– Well, because of the strange experience after forgiveness, I was having visionary experiences. I was hearing voices. I would see friendly beings appearing to me and encouraging me, giving me exercises that I’d wanna do. They would kind of wake me up and then I was sleeping. I was being woken up in the night saying, “Howard, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up.” There was no one there. Then a kind of a picture image in the room appeared and do these exercises, do these practices and so on and then I got interested in kind of a healing because I found it very helpful, what was going on with me, so that’s what got me into healing and I discovered–
– Hold on a second. After the accident, this happened or after the forgiveness this happened?
– After, well, the forgiveness was after the accident and this was after the forgiveness. Everything changed.
– So, you’re a kind of miserable dull affect guy sitting staring out of a window after the accident, not really together. You do this forgiveness. Now you have entities in the room and voices giving you exercises, kind of nudging you along.
– Yeah, that’s correct. You put it very succinctly there, yeah.
– That is profound. That is profound, and so who are these entities? Did you know them, was it Grandpa? Was it some random voice?
– No, they were appearing to me in very acceptable forms, such as Tibetan monks, Tibetan Buddhist monks. Just friendly characters and so on. Just very friendly and very warm and very very helpful. It was a very very, I felt good from this contact. It was not something that was just an image. It was a feeling too and sometimes I felt surrounded by colored pastel lozenges all around me. It was just a very very beautiful feeling, like fields of color around me. So, I was experiencing this in all kind of ways, all senses. Not just visual, it was a kinesthetic experience too.
– So then what starts happening to your body? Your neck is broken, your back is busted. You have obviously some orthopedic issues that have arisen from this free fall. Are you starting to mend on the physical level?
– I’m starting to mend. My back was like a piece of rock, it wouldn’t move. My neck was just very very weak. It couldn’t support the weight of my head and gradually my back started to ease. There was terrible pain, the back started to ease. Became flexible, kind of a lot like wood than stone and the same with my neck as well and I found I could, then the last thing to happen really was to walk because my knees were crushed as well in this crash, so I couldn’t really bend my legs. I certainly couldn’t walk up a stairs or up a slope and that started to heal as well, so I would say I was out of action for about three years due to get physically working again, but it happened and of course I was seeing medical people as well and they were very very impressed with the progress I was making and they didn’t say, “Oh, you shouldn’t be doing this. “It shouldn’t be happening.” They were just very very pleased for me, so I was getting positive support from all areas, but the main change was within me from being very very depressed and just looking out the window to suddenly entering a new world for me, a new experience for me. I was interested in a whole different bunch of things.
– So, now you’re having these experiences. Life has taken on a very interesting course and is starting to unwind your injuries in a way that was kind of unpredictable frankly. How did you get into shamanism? Did someone come to you? Did you read some books?
– No, no. I mean, I’d never heard the word shamanism. I mean, I’ve heard it vaguely, but I didn’t have it associated with more of an anthropological kind of perspective. No, I was at a healing workshop and I met a guy they call Leo Rutherford. You know, he’s in UK. He’s been one of the, I didn’t know at the time, but he’s very involved in shamanism and medicine teaching and so on and we just got friendly. We’re just talking and I’m just saying these amazing things have happened. I’ve never heard about them. I mean, I thought I was going crazy with all this, but it seems to be working. Well, he says, “Howard, really, you’re talking shamanism.” So, that’s what got me interested in shamanism and shamanism felt very much at home for me. It was very earthy, very grounding and that was something which was good for me and so yeah, there was a physical shift. There was emotional change. There was all sorts of changes in my life, but the main thing was having new direction. I had changed as a person. The life that I was living, had led up till then, it was no longer satisfying for me. It no longer had meaning for me, so I knew my life was changing and it did change.
– Yeah, it certainly did, it certainly did and so now you’re into shamanism and then someone mentions the word ayahuasca. This is, I think it was Terence McKenna or Tim Leary. One of them was asked about ayahuasca and he said, “That ain’t no Saturday night kind of drug.” Right, you gotta read a good three to 5,000 books before you mess with ayahuasca, right? It is a teacher and she is a powerful teacher and there’s a lot of people talking about ayahuasca right now, but ayahuasca in ceremony and ayahuasca done the right way has a mighty, mighty force behind it and so when did you get into looking into ayahuasca and what was that like?
– Well, yeah. Well, I wanted to go to Peru, but it wasn’t the ayahuasca that drew me there. I was kind of interested in kind of the Aegean teachings. That was the primary thing, but when I arrived in the jungle and when I initially went to Ucayali, which is a region around Pucallpa, around Lake Titicaca and I drank ayahuasca with some Shipibo shamans there. I thought, yeah, this was it. This was it. My whole, it was like a new universe opened up to me. Not just my outer universe, the inner universe and it was an extremely healing experience for me. It was extremely cleansing experience for me and it’s a lot like a vision, an experience of totality in some respects. A vision which was too big for me to contain. It was just too large, but the feeling was there and that’s what really started off and I was enchanted by the sounds, the chants of the shamans and so on and so that started. That was the late ’90s, late 1990s and that started off a whole many many months working with ayahuasca and plants as well, so yes. I’ve come through this on a traditional medicine way, the traditional plant way. I never see it in any way as recreational. I see it as a discipline. I see it as something that is certainly not universal panacea for all sorts of problems and so on. However, I’m noticing that the world is changing. Ayahuasca is coming into the western world in a very very different way and so although I still hold onto traditional ways, the discipline, the diet and things you should do or what they traditionally do, I don’t wanna say the word should. The things that traditionally are done, Yeah, I’m trying to adapt to kind of the new way. I don’t see it as a cure all, an immediate quick cure. I think that’s the wrong thing to say. I think it’s incorrect. It’s a discipline and it takes time ’cause ayahuasca to me is essentially a purgative. It’s a cleanser. I’m not talking about the physical contents of your body. It’s a cleanser of pain, trauma, emotions and so on. I say cleanse as a move through your body for release. You experience them, you feel them and that can be very very overwhelming for people. Thus, why my viewers are people that do need a lot of support and guidance during their ayahuasca. It’s not something casual. They need support and guidance, particularly with someone’s who experienced, an experienced shaman for sure.
– Listen, I’ve been very vocal about this on the show. I’m a starch opponent of this music festival spirituality that leads to people experimenting with drugs that they’re not ready for out of context of tradition. I’ve seen a lot of people get hauled off to the psych ward by being unprepared for an experience that is going to shake them at their foundation, so that’s why the shaman is there. There are so many layers built into the tradition when you’re out in the jungle doing this work the right way that are built, assembled around kind of handling your psyche and allowing for you to grow and have space to purge there, right?
– Exactly, I agree completely. 100% there, yeah. It’s not casual, but I think we have to face the fact that it is entering as I said before the western world in a different way, but we still have a lot to learn from the traditional practices and methods which have been there for thousands of years. It’s not something that people should treat very lightly and often on things like Facebook, I look at the ayahuasca forum occasionally and people say, “Oh, I’m gonna drink ayahuasca on my own.” There’s a whole dialogue starting and there’s this huge polarization. See, that’s what I find interesting. It’s polarization between no, it’s just a liquid DMT and other people saying no. It’s a traditional medicine practice and so on and I’m not seeing this dichotomy, this polarization any way coming together, so yeah, I do have concerns for it for sure. I can say what’s right for me and I feel very comfortable with that.
– Right, well, and it’s yes, yes, yes, right? There’s alkaloids, it’s an MAOI inhabiter. There’s a lot of other things happening in this brew than just smoking DMT and one of the, you know, it’s a very reductionist view to say, well, this is DMT and therefore, it is what it is and so, look, that’s something we’re not gonna resolve here, right?
– I know, I know, I know and you can’t argue that with people who have that position. You know, there’s no argument. They’ve got a close to that, that hold on, there’s about 40 alkaloids active in ayahuasca. It’s not just one and that they work like a symphony orchestra. It’s like taking the string section and the horns out of an orchestra and saying that’s a symphony orchestra, which it’s not. You’re missing the harmony, you’re missing the balance, the kind of interplay between these various parts of the medicine and so on, but hey, that’s the way the world is now.
– Well, yeah, exactly. That’s the way the world is and that’s what we’re dealing with, so when someone hears this and says, “Ooh, that’s interesting to me.” What would your recommendation be to someone who’s interested in shamanism? How does one go about finding a good teacher?
– Yeah, well, the old method of trial and error. You find someone who works for you or someone who doesn’t work for you, but someone asked me that question earlier today on an email. They said, “Should I come on your course?” This workshop I’m holding in the next few months. I said, “That’s not my place to tell you. “You have to trust your instincts. “You have to trust your feelings “and if you’re on this path, that is what it’s about.” It’s about not just intellect and not about reading books and so on. It’s about your feelings, your heart, and your body. Your body and your heart cannot deceive you. They can’t lie to you. The mind can play tricks and so on. The body can only tell you, yeah, this is okay or it’s not okay, so I encourage people to go with their feelings. Go with their intuition and instinct to see the right teacher, to do the right program and so on and with trial and error. I mean, trial and error is part of it as well because even from mistakes are not always mistakes. Mistakes are places where you can learn from. You know, confusion, mistakes. They’re milestones on your path, so everything’s okay. Everything’s okay as long as you don’t give the teacher a kind of a guru status, place the teacher on a pedestal and so on ’cause that’s an imbalance, you know? You may loan the teacher, the workshop leader, whatever your attention and authority for the duration of the program, but the point really is that after the program’s over, the workshop’s over that the workshop leader returns that authority to you, that attention to you and you go away in a way which is expanded and prove the life and that should be the gratification for both parties, the whole point. So, I think you need some smarts. You need some experience, but trust your intuition. Trust your feelings, you know? That’s the thing and even things you think, oh, that was a mistake and I shouldn’t have done that. Well, hold on, mistakes are okay too, as long as you don’t make the same mistake all the time ’cause a mistake is a key point in learning, experience. I’ve made loads of mistakes probably and they’re in the book as well.
– Yeah, sure, and that’s part of being human, right? There’s no supernatural shaman out there. They’re all just a bunch of people, right? People are people are people.
– For sure. For sure.
– One of the things that is really common in this narrative of ayahuasca and basically shamanic practices in general is this visionary art that then is kind of birthed out of it and so there’s a lot of commonalities in the style, which is interesting ’cause it also speaks to possible commonalities in the experience and so I’d love for you, I mean, I see a couple of pieces of art behind you that look like they come from that flavor, if you will, so what’s the role of visionary art in this practice?
– Well, let’s say I think visionary art stands outside any practice. Visionary art has been there since art began. To me, I mean, obviously it’s there for inspiration. It’s there for pleasure. All those things about enjoying art. It’s for the feeling ’cause art to me is a feeling. A good painting, a good picture, a piece of art should make you feel something, but visionary art, it presents to the viewer a different perspective, a different way of looking at your life, at reality and if it does that, then it’s achieved its objective because we need to be lifted from our everyday mundane view and receive some kind of inspiration or some kind of perspective, difference. That’s like traveling, if you travel, you get a different perspective. You meet different people with different culture and so on, so it takes you out of your everyday kind of limitations, shall we say. Kind of increases from two dimensions to three dimensions, your perception, and that’s what visionary art does. To me, it gives a person a new perspective, a new insight on something which may be mundane or commonplace. There’s something as adults, I’ve gone into my piece about art now, but as adults, we forget. You know, we take things for granted. Now, we were all children once. We were all seeing something for the very first time in our lives. We saw a flower for the very first time in our life when we were a child. No other terms of reference. Just this was the flower. This is what we’re looking at and so on and art can take you back to that kind of place of innocence where you see something, but fresh. See something new and that to me is kind of the expansion of consciousness and a connection, a deeper connection within, so it has many many things, but visionary art is, as I said, is outside of kind a narrow field like shamanism. It has been throughout humanity’s existence and so on. It’s the way of, you could also say it’s been traditionally a way of reaching the divine by painting, by viewing icons, by viewing religious figures and so on and religious scenarios. It’s a way to connect to kind of a higher form of consciousness.
– It seems that there are commonalities in style, in kind of thematic imprints that come out of this kind of shamanic art. I mean, it all has kind of a natural tinge to it. It all has interesting kind of texture and colors and it’s like the genre of art and it comes from, they’re different, I mean, you’re an English dude. Anyone who goes down and does this work seems to kind of see similar stuff and it expresses in a way, I mean, it all looks different, but it all to me has a similar flavor. Is there just this kind of universal ayahuasca universe that people are tapping into or are people tapping into what things look like in the energy realm? This is obviously your opinion that I’m asking for here.
– Yeah, well, I can say yes to both. Yeah, yeah, for sure, for sure. I mean, there is a kind of a cosmic geometric structure which people do connect to when the ayahuasca opens it up to them and also, I mean, I can bring other factors as well. I mean, some of my work is based on, well, I’m into medicine. I have synesthesia, so I can see sounds. Sound has shapes, sound has forms and the ayahuasca that the shaman is chanting have a geometric structure, a form and a very very, obviously, it’s not a static thing. It’s a changing thing and that’s the structure and that’s what really influences my painting. It’s that kind of place where sound becomes shape, form, and color and ayahuasca and other hallucinogens open a person up to another way of perception and that perception is a combination of energy vibrations which can be seen. I say yes to both of those things.
– Sure, sure. Did you develop the synesthesia in the falling elevator with a bang of the head or did you develop it through the work that you’ve done or did you have it before the elevator incident?
– It was through the work I’ve done.
– Through the work you’ve done.
– Very clearly, yeah.
– Yeah, wow. One day, it was just boom, I now have synesthesia or is it a muscle that you can flex and get more of with kind of concentration and focus?
– Yeah, well, I’ve learned now after the door has been opened to do it through attention. For example, when I play classical music, like Baroque, such as J.S. Bach, I can see or sense with my kind of energy perception the shape of the sound that he composed. It has a shape, a form, a geometric structure and I’ve taken ayahuasca before and played Bach and Handel and it’s a whole different experience aligned to the mathematical geometric universe and I’ve taken that away with me and have placed that kind of attention, without any medicine, on the music, on the sound, but open to the forms and the shapes that are being constructed and so on and I could speculate, this is speculation. This is a rather speculative hypothesis that J.S. Bach also has synesthesia as well because his music has a shape to it and it’s not only, I believe he was composing for the sounds. He was also composing for the geometric form of the sound as well.
– So, when you’re seeing this shape, let me get you to shift a little to your left. You’re in shadow a bit, yep, thank you. When you’re seeing this shape, are we talking about elaborate platonic solids? Are we talking about angular geometry? Are we talking about more kind of sign wave curvature? What does this stuff look like?
– It looks to me like geometric forms. I’m not saying platonic shapes and so on, but certainly they’re not static. They move with the sound, so it’s probably a combination of waveform and geometric structure. It’s dynamic.
– Got it. So, angular and circular.
– And it expands. And it expands, it expands, it contracts with the sound itself and that’s something which when the door was open to me obviously through the plants and so on, but ever since then when I pay attention and I switch off the lights and just switch on the music and base my attention on that, that’s when I get that kind of an experience.
– Can you shut it down too? I mean, it seems like something you don’t wanna, you know, if you’re listening to Bach in the car, that’s probably something you don’t wanna be experiencing.
– No, I have to be in a very mellow relaxed place and make a decision to do that. Yeah, yeah.
– Got it. You gotta go there.
– Yeah, you gotta switch it. You gotta make the decision this is what I want. This is where I wanna go.
– Got it. Well, you know, it seems so nice to be able to have that much more range in your human experience in being able to kind of come back and forth and choose the experience. I mean, some people end up becoming psychopaths or sociopaths and they just lose it because they have too much information and they can’t control it. It becomes overwhelming and they just cannot function in society and you’re a nice articulate well-spoken dude who can access certain things and shut them down and do things and so that seems like it’s just more tools in the toolbox that allow us to experience reality and taste her different flavors, right?
– Yeah, for sure. I mean, to me, it’s really the essence of shamanism, that you do have access to these other realms of the consciousness and energy, that you can do that at will because the main purpose is to function here on Planet Earth, yet to bring this knowledge, this experience into everyday life, so you have to be grounded. You have to be kind of able to switch on and switch off. If you can’t switch on and switch off, then life will become very very difficult because what is reality? Now, I diet plants, some plants. If you want an example, I was dieting, many many years I’d diet a plant in the Amazon called guayusa. Guayusa is a plant which is a number of things, but traditionally, it kind of erases the boundary between waking and dreaming, which in the jungle is great. It doesn’t matter if you’re sleeping, waking, dreaming. It’s no difference and I brought it back to England with me, the plant, and I started to diet the plant in England during the regular discipline and so on. Well, I woke up one morning and I wasn’t sure if I had woken up or I was dreaming that I was waken up and I thought, Howard, stop it right now ’cause you’re in a different reality here. You’ve got to be functional. You can’t walk across the street and say, “Oh, I’m dreaming there’s a bus “coming towards me or something.” No, so yeah, you’ve gotta really be able to function, yeah.
– That’s one of the classic stories in Daoism is Zhangzi waking up confused whether he was dreaming he was a butterfly or if he is now a butterfly dreaming he’s woken up as a human, right? It’s that real pivot between that lucid state and the concrete reality, if you wanna call it such, that the rest of us can agree upon and stay in our lanes and not crash into each other and there’s a fine line, but staying just in that concrete reality I think has led to a lot of rigidity and closed us off to an information stream that’s A, part of who we are and B, incredibly valuable for our personal growth.
– Absolutely, absolutely, but as you’re pointing out, there are some kind of pitfalls in being out there because it means you can’t function here and the whole point of being here is to function as a human being, to experience the full range of human experience and emotions and so on, so it’s a judgment, a judgment, but the decision has to be at the end of the day that you wanna be a human being to function here on earth and the other experiences and the alternative realities and other realms of consciousness and energy are there to support you in the physical reality we all agree on, but you know there is another reality. You know you are aware of these things. You’re aware that the world is alive. Plants have a consciousness. You’re aware you can interact with other species and so on. You know this, but you are disciplined and you switch it on, switch it off. Now, that’s my opinion. I’m not saying this is how it should be, but for sure, if you wanna function in the everyday world, you’ve gotta take some kind of position and decision on this.
– Well, you know, I would put it that if the people walking on this planet lived on this planet, but had that orientation and understood that plants had consciousness and there was this undercurrent of life communicating through this channel of life all throughout us, we would act a bit differently towards the environment and towards each other and many other things, so I think that is a healthy dose of something humanity can use a little tonic of and so the book is called The Accidental Shaman, Howard Charing. It just came out a couple days ago and is available I’m assuming anywhere books are sold and I just love these kind of practical approaches to things that people think are just so far off and so out of reach for them. I mean, you’re a normal guy who had an extraordinary circumstantial kind of mishap that thrust you on a different path, but look, you don’t need to fall out of the sky or get hit by a bus to look into this stuff and as a matter of fact, when you start looking into it, the lessons are there to be unpacked and can a normal person listening to us right now start to experience these wonderful things in shamanism?
– Well, yeah, obviously a generalization, but for sure. If somebody feels they wanna do this, if somebody feels this is right because this is how people are attracted to this kind of work. It’s a feeling, so if a person is able to have that feeling and not ignore it, not dismiss it and it’s not just for this. It’s in everyday life. You know, we have feelings, we have intuition. It’s to follow your feeling and intuition and I’m sure they will be on the right way, you know? It’s a challenge and yeah, they may have preconceived ideas from the culture and various notions which are gonna limit them in any kind of a physical world, but if they feel it here, it’s their soul is speaking to them. Their spirit is talking to them, so all they need to do, they have everything they need, is just to listen to this, just to feel this and just to go along with it.
– We all have this capacity, yeah, for sure.
– Amen, amen. Howard, I wanna thank you for your time and the work that you’ve done. I encourage everyone to check out this book and this subject. It’s fascinating to me. I love this conversation and I love seeing it continue to move forward in the world that we live. Thank you so much for being here and for my Urban Monkers out there, let me know what you think and let me know if you’ve had any shamanic experiences, where you’ve gone, what you’ve done and let’s share. Let’s see if we can get more people exposed to this information.
– [Howard] Well, thank you.