Writings by Stephen Capizzano

Email: sgcapizzano@gmail.com


My Meeting with Ivan Osokin

My medical procedure was supposed to take five and a half hours. It took eleven.

While on the table, I heard the nurse say, “We’re losing him.” Eight days later, the breathing tube was taken out, and I heard another nurse say, “You are a blessed man, Mr. Capizzano.” 

It was shortly after this that I was introduced to Ivan Osokin. I had read about him years ago in Ouspensky’s book and felt compassion but a lack of understanding of his situation.

But now I realized that Osokin was speaking right to me. He was giving me an opportunity to verify, for myself, some of the points that had eluded me about his life. Could facing the situation finally be a way to rid myself of lifelong habits? Could I start anew and maybe, just maybe, change everything?

Still under heavy sedation, I rested and prepared for what was to come. After another month in the hospital, I went home to meet the Magician. During this meeting, I thought of all the possible changes and what it could mean to be free from the habits of yesterday. I could sense that something was different; habits years in the making seemed to be distant memories.

But shortly after this, things did indeed change. While sitting in my favorite chair, I began to feel a familiar sensation; the old ways were coming back. The Magician had left. It was a realization that both terrorized and comforted me. I knew that nothing had changed and forces greater than myself were now at play. And if I wanted real change something more fundamental was needed. And then Osokin spoke to me one last time.

“Moscow is waking up. Church bells ring for early Mass. Carriages rattle along. Dvroniks sweep the cobbled streets, raising clouds of dust. Two cats, one grey and white and the other yellow, sit opposite each other on the pavement, very intently, and seem to converse. Osokin looks around and suddenly an extraordinary vivid sensation sweeps over him that, if he were not there, everything would be exactly the same.”