What I Learned From Ray Lewis


I recently had a very important life lesson validated courtesy of Ray Lewis.

Lewis is somewhat of an enigma.  He was said to be the heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens team that recently won the Super Bowl.   Ray has played linebacker for the Ravens for 17 years. That is remarkable longevity given the constant, high velocity collisions that go with the position.  He has been selected to the Pro Bowl (NFL all star game) thirteen times.


Ray was a sensation the minute he hit the league in 1996.  By 2000 he was an established super star.  Apparently, it went to his head.  He hung around with an expensive, outlandish outlaw posse.   He was convicted for obstruction of justice in a case involving two murders that occurred in a club he and his crew frequented in Atlanta.  Ever since Lewis has carried the stigma of the ill-intentioned, ghetto-grown hoodlum who got away with it because of the wheelbarrows of money he made as a pro athlete.

A good friend I watched the super bowl with told me that he would root for the 49ers because he couldn’t stomach Ray Lewis’ act.   That was ok with me since I’ve followed the Niners since shortly after birth, being a Bay Area native, and besides, who wanted to see a gang banger glorified.

Last night I happened to come across a documentary on Lewis on a cable station.

Had I seen it before the game, I might have bet on the Ravens if I were a gambling man.  I think I would have been pulling for Ray in any event.

Lewis it seems had found religion back in 2000 when his life hit a nadir.  He has chaired bible study meetings with his teammates ever since.

But, that isn’t the lesson Lewis re-enforced for me.

The documentary gathered six former defensive coordinators for the Ravens who had coached Lewis.  Each of them, because of their success with the Ravens, were promoted to be head coaches of other teams.  Each of them attributed their success to their pupil Lewis.

Mike Singletary, hall of fame linebacker with the Chicago Bears, almost didn’t take the defensive coordinator job in Baltimore.  He too only knew of Ray what he had read in the press and heard on the grapevine – an arrogant, spoiled all pro who would be impossible to coach.   When he met Lewis for the first time, he was shocked.

Mike Singletary

Mike Singletary

Lewis made Singletary promise him that he would teach him everything he knew about the linebacker position, how to be a good teammate, how to be a leader and how to be a better man.  Singletary said Lewis set an example for every other player by continuously listening, asking questions, learning and applying what he learned.

All five of the other coaches who were promoted because of Ray had similar things to say about Ray.

What I believe the Ray Lewis story teaches is that if you really want to become the best you can be, you don’t hitch your wagon to one teacher and attempt to emulate him, worship, comply and obey and tune out the rest.  Instead, you remain ever curious, ever reaching for new understandings and new heights. I believe the minute you agree to willfully ignore any other teacher but for a chosen one you have in effect made yourself a little more blind, a little more deaf, and ultimately a lot less bright, intelligent and capable.

Is there any reason this does not apply to philosophy, religion, psychotherapy and one’s search for greater spiritual heights?

149 responses to “What I Learned From Ray Lewis

  1. (In general)

    You obviously see the cliffs,

    You don’t become a Scientologist without a groundbreaking, lifechanging WIN, followed by a gratifying feeling towards LRH. You know, HE really got it/ME!
    But that’s not the same as LRH is “god all mighty”, it’s simply denotes that source is all abundant and LRH is a “link in chain” of an all compassing wisdom. He codified the “LRH-brand” with great insight in a newer before seen manner, yet with a important reservation, it is a “reminder that you already knew”.


  2. Link in a chain of course.

  3. I have long asserted our problems as a family began with changing the purpose. From “clearing the planet” to “getting ethics in on the planet”.
    It occurred to me yesterday I was wrong. When everyone was just interested in clearing themselves and friends things were going along very nicely. Imagine if the Catholics had the purpose that the entire planet be converted to Catholics. If the Muslims had the purpose for the planet to become Muslim? You would feel a bit put off, as if you were not being granted beingness. Of course, clearing the planet meant everyone needed to speed things up considerably and then stat push became a life and death matter. Of course, who would bother to learn from any other teacher any other lessons if the purpose it to turn the planet into a Scientology planet? Then you see the way some clears behave, with out any regard to the ten commandments, and you realize an education is senior to a case state. You see someone like Anthony Robbins get out there and blow case on an entire auditorium, and you see the value in a person’s vision and purpose, not a case state or a certificate. The first message I read from the Church of Scientology was the day I walked in and saw the huge poster in reception of a planet, underneath was written, “We Want To Make One Thing Perfectly Clear”. So it has been a long walk since I have been able to distance myself from this group purpose. But I have come to the point of knowing the state of clear can not always be purchased. Sure I have seen people come in and pay to go clear. I did it myself. But without enough vision and understanding of conditions, with integrity, one can not remain a clear. It is not something that can be sold. That in itself breaks apart my entire foundation for holding the third dynamic purposes built around that enlightenment , apart like another reactive mind. People blame it on Hubbard and blame it on the tech. A person can go clear and remain clear. It depends on their knowledge, vision, choices and character. Even moods. But clear is not something that can be purchased.
    All other props, policies, terminals, divisions, justice etc were built up to prop up the original claim that clear could be purchased. I have come to the point where I think keeping together within secret societies would have been a more workable approach. I have lost my interest in “clearing the planet”. And Frankly, I do not care if everyone goes clear. I have known enough “clears” to know that if the entire did go clear, we still would not have any guarantees to survival. Clears can be overwhelmed and manipulated and degraded. And as fast as you can make a clear, someone can come along and unmake one. Then the entire technology gets declared unworkable. The hidden standards around a clear are not easy to live with or live up to. Just look at the clears that continued to run engrams after they went clear just because someone asked them to. I still can’t figure that out. I didn’t even attest to clear when I went clear and spent MONTHS trying to find one engram. There was nothing there to run. I did get to do all kinds of interesting rundowns though to find out why I was an “occluded case” all of a sudden. When I finally did crash, about seven years later, I decided I wasn’t clear. All I had to do was read the OT3 materials to key it all out. The point is, Scientology is not the ticket for everybody. And we have been taught to believe it is. I have come to the point where I don’t care who is clear and who is not. And I have come to the point where it is not the top priority for me. It is not ones beliefs that matter, it is one’s behavior. This involved being able to view life from many different angles, cultures, friends and teachers. That is why we live, to view. To view life through other people’s eyes is an adventure. If you are prevented from doing that you are in a prison. I do not care anymore to convince others the rightness of Scientology. Or the work ability. I have known too many people involved in this subject that do not belong in it. Frankly, when someone says it has not worked for them and they want a refund, if it had been handled properly as an origination, and the refund given with good ARC, and they were HEARD and UNDERSTOOD, we would not be a midst all of this conflict as we are. I further do not need the people it has not panned out for, declaring me as brainwashed. This attitude is just as fixed as the non comprehension on Scientologists part, to insist that clear and OT can be bought for a cash dollar amount. It can not. For me, this has been the basic truth I have come to. And the false data I had to remove from my space. Religion, education and spiritual awareness is a personal thing. Seventh and Eighth dynamic are created just like the first and second. Or not. Hubbard had knowledge for sale. Others do as well. I do not shop at only food market, seclude myself to only one culture or race or neighborhood. If others do and I know they do, that is by choice. But for sure, those people do not have “to know”, as a purpose. And therefore are misplaced in Scientology.

    • OM: Is there any possibility that you might double space between paragraphs so that one huge chunk of print didn’t come through?

      It is possible that your computer program doesn’t translate well to this blog format …

      In which case, you might just want to type a reply – adding spaces between paragraphs.

      I tend to be unable to read a big block of print without any spacing which is a shame as I do know you have some terrific insights to share.


    • I really, really, really hate the term “get Ethics in on…” whomever. “I’m going to get your ethics in!” “Get ethics in on the planet!”. What the cuss! Whose ethics? People who say that are talking about morals not ethics, and further, morals that they feel are “right”. In other words, people who say that are self-righteous bores.

      This reminds me of a time when the MAA of ASHO had me clear “Cavalier” as in “Cavalier Attitude”. I looked at it and went “That’s right. So?”

      This is a great observation.


      • One of the hallmarks of the not-quite-bright in the SO or Scientology generally is that they tend to (knowingly or unknowingly) dramatize earlier practices, “thinking” they are applying Scientology when really they are applying something off the track.

        Nowhere is this more true than in the area of Ethics application.

        Anybody remember Cosima, the Italian MAA at Flag? I’m telling you, whenever I had the misfortune to sit in front of her, it was the Grand Inquisitor I was facing, straight out of 1492.

        I remember one time when some overt of mine prompted this response from her: “Don’t do that again or I’ll cut off your head”.

        I have no doubt that, had we been having that “discussion” in 1492, the sentence would have been carried out.

  4. Yay. Thanks for saying that. I couldn’t agree with you more. I have been teaching and training business people and that’s what I have been telling them for over 7 years. I don’t believe int “having a mentor” like so many people do. I believe in having a dozen of them. “Following” a person and making him your only source of wisdom is the exact recipe for selective blindness. In my industry, everyone wants to be “a guru” and be followed (because, of course, that is profitable). I tell people NOT to “follow me” but learn what they can from me and go learn from others as well so they can build up their own understanding.

    LRH advocated the multiple viewpoint system to look into and understand a situation for what it really is, as opposed to “reliable sources”. Why wouldn’t that apply to understanding life? Whatever the subject may be, to learn about it is a process of observation of problems and possible solutions and a bunch of other components, and none of these benefit from the nomination of a single source of “the truth”.

    I think this contradiction has to do with the law of the stable datum. If you don’t have the time/resources/willingness, etc. to inspect every part of a problem and a solution yourself, personally, the second best thing is to have some stable data form someone else who did it.

    LRH spent a lifetime creating a system that works. Most of us won’t spend a fraction of that time dealing with the subject, but we still want to understand, and have answers. I believe LRH had to make himself a stable datum to protect what he created and give others a chance to get to achieve a better life without having to walk all of the same road, which would mean you would have to spend a lifetime yourself to arrive where he was at. That’s what he is saying in KSW – what he created is not a perfect system but a workable one.

    You have to study anything with a purpose. Want to achieve a result LRH describes without having to learn all about why and how it works? Use his system. Want to go deeper and really understand how he did it, why it works, or even how life works? Do or do not follow his system, as you wish, but study his contribution to philosophy, study his methods, results, etc. and draw your own conclusions. That doesn’t exclude gathering info from as many other sources as you want.

    So I see both arguments as valid – if you want to be a good Scientologist, that’s what you gonna be, but you will probably make a terrible student of philosophy or life. If you want the results and don’t care about how or why it works, follow the system. If you want to understand, go deeper and do your own research, just like you study any other subject – do you believe you will be a good sound engineer or anything, if you only ever study one person’s work on the subject and refuse to learn form anyone else? I doubt it.

    So these are two different approaches and either one achieves something else. Many people just want to go Clear or OT. They don’t need other sources. Marty goes beyond that – he wants to understand and improve life (and I’m with him on that – I have the same goal). That is a prize you don’t get by following slavishly in someone else’s footsteps.

  5. I’ve heard it said that on great teams in sports the great players have to be the hardest workers. They set the tone for the team. I coached sports for years and I can tell you that when a great player wants to be coached and learn you really have something. Ray Lewis’s approach to football should be an inspiration to everyone. I’ve never really admired Ray Lewis because I’ve always thought he was too angry. I have to say that this new information will get me to take another look at him.

  6. A major purpose of Scn is to enable an individual to look.

  7. Ray Lewis, was responsible for this murder situation in 2000, he was there and he sold out, under pressure from the Feds. Sorry Christ is not the solution this time.

  8. Globetrotter writes….”To understand and improve life …….. That is a prize you don’t get by following slavishly in someone else’s footsteps.” I’m with you on this. While I have had a “mega teacher”, whom I have followed for years, I have had many “occasional” teachers. By that I mean exceptional beings who have taught me very deep lessons about life, sometimes without them even knowing it. But for these learning’s to happen, I had to be out there, be open to meet these people, to learn from them, to listen to them.

    I remember one night in Calcutta in the 80s, at a religious event, I met this simple man who had come on the back of a truck from Kathmandu, to be at an event with his master. He was obviously very poor. He had holes in his soles, many teeth missing in his mouth, glasses that did not fit on his nose. We talked about his life. He worked as a janitor at the British embassy in Kathmandu. With his meager pay, he told me, supported 18 people, members of his extended family. He said he was grateful for what he had been given, that he felt had the best life, that all his dreams had been fulfilled. I remember feeling so humbled, so touched, I wanted to cry. I wished I would have felt about life the way he did but was unable to. He was my master that evening.. To this day I remember him. I never saw him after that, but he is one of the many remarkable “occasional teachers” I have met in this life. Being cloistered in the confines of one religion can sometimes cut you from the opportunity to be taught unforgettable lessons by people like him.

    There are so many great souls out there, so many beautiful human beings out there if you care to look for them. Some may present themselves as a teacher, some may just say they are just a student. While religions can be of great help, for those who give themselves permission a time comes when they hear a voice calling to continue on the journey of self-discovery. From my experience, nothing is as gratifying as responding to a higher calling. Thank you for all the really interesting comments.

  9. Hi Marty,
    This is a bit off topic, but I have watched this docu about Thomas Jefferson a couple of times. For some reason, I keep thinking I should recommend it to you, so I will! :)

    If you haven’t seen it, I think you will very much enjoy it. Jefferson had his own way of slaying “sacred cows” and finding wisdom in many places. This docu focuses on his journey in that regard.

    It’s called “Jefferson’s Secret Bible”, and was produced by the Smithsonian. I found it fascinating, and highly recommend it:

    Hope you enjoy it, as I enjoyed this post.
    — CV

  10. Here it can be viewed a Floating TA just after a solo session.

  11. This ‘site’ Marty’s place is to heal.
    Marty has no other intentions.
    Thank you Marty & Mosey for that.

  12. After having seen Jenna Miscavige Hill in 2 interviews (thanks
    Karen for posting these) and again being reinforced in the
    knowledge of the complete unknowness of the outside world
    the SO children were brought up in, it is interesting to fit that into
    what LRH said about the TR’s, how you are supposed to be
    able to talk to an average guy down on the street corner in a
    natural way. To do that you got to have an understanding of
    the person and to a degree the subject at hand. Same with a
    psych or a mathematician or whoever. That includes being
    humble which is one hallmark of a human relation if you want it
    to survive (IMHO, as you say here).

    Ray Lewis seems to be a guy you would like to meet and talk
    to down on the street corner. Oh, and yes, I have learned a lot
    about American football since out of the church despite being
    a Swede. However it would have been more fun if the 49ers won!

  13. I have never been a member or associated with COS, I just finished ‘Going Clear’ by Lawrence Wright and loved it. I pulled notable names from the book and was lucky enough to find your site. You and others are doing such good work. I write this as someone who simply does not like to see people taken advantage of, manipulated, abused, etc…My question is what can people like me with no history with COS do to help combat what is currently going on? Thanks again, impressive and important work.


  14. Chocolate Velvet: I enjoyed the film about Jefferson. Here is a short letter he wrote: The tree of liberty… (Quotation)

    “I do not know whether it is to yourself or Mr. Adams I am to give my thanks for the copy of the new constitution. I beg leave through you to place them where due. It will be yet three weeks before I shall receive them from America. There are very good articles in it: and very bad. I do not know which preponderate. What we have lately read in the history of Holland, in the chapter on the Stadtholder, would have sufficed to set me against a Chief magistrate eligible for a long duration, if I had ever been disposed towards one: and what we have always read of the elections of Polish kings should have forever excluded the idea of one continuable for life. Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it’s motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion.[1] The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independant 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure. Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusets: and in the spur of the moment they are setting up a kite to keep the hen yard in order. I hope in god this article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted.” – Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, Paris, 13 Nov. 1787[2]

    Two parts of it make me think that Jefferson would not like the CO$:

    “Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying.”

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

  15. EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING should be your teachers. Everyone and everything has something to teach, whether it’s what to do or what not to do.

  16. “Seek not follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek instead what they sought.” — Matsuo Basho, 17th century Japanese poet

  17. Thanks for this post, Marty. I was one of those who had a thoroughly negative impression of Ray Lewis without really knowing anything about him. It is good to have that dispelled. It sounds like he has worked hard to make amends for whatever wrong he may have done earlier in his life.

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