I was born to a lower-middle-class family right in front of the main street (Ponce de Leon Ave.) within a poor barrio smack in the center of downtown San Juan, PR. I loved the neighborhood and the closeness of being part of it, and the amazing continuous activity going on. The whole neighborhood was torn down to make room for the new Fine Arts theatre and new highways, so the poor people were separated into groups and moved to Public Housing and my post-divorce family moved to a more middle-class neighborhood.What made you decide to pursue writing at 70 years of age? Do you think your age gives you any sort of advantage or disadvantage?
I share this in detail in the epilogue of my last book, when at 61 years of age at the end of my surgical career, I started to miss the challenges (fun) in what I was doing. One day while gazing at the image in the magical mirror of my mind, I saw a saddened young man who had spent his life living the life that others had chosen for him. Then I decided to start doing the things I had postponed with my left brain, by giving my creative right brain equal time. It was then the fun started again! Then at 70 years, I started feeling a strong urge to write a book, under very unusual circumstances, which is described in detail in the epilogue of my book. Aging is a beautiful process of reviewing your mistakes and transforming them into lessons of love that made you wiser.Tell us about some of the day jobs you've held? Which one was the best and which one the worst?
I was fortunate to have been able to study without financial hardships, yet what to do with that was the difficult part. I was able to get 100% full tuition because of my grades. Then finally all I have done for the last 47 years is be physician and a pediatric surgeon, yet it was not until the last 12 years where I really learned to become a healer.As someone who's certified in both, what are some major differences between Western and traditional Chinese medicine? What is the principle of acupuncture and what is its importance?
Modern medicine is focused on the Cartesian view of fixing the problem in the parts of the machine, traditional style medicines focus on restoring the proper integrity of the parts of the whole being. Modern medicine separates the influence of the emotions (mind) and the Spirit from the process of disease. In future books, I will delve into a holographic theory of disease, that will integrate all present therapeutic modalities into a single system, emphasizing self-healing as the main action.What was the most memorable part of writing your first book? In what ways have become an author been different than what you imagined it would be?
Being able to share my love lessons acquired in my school of life, and the knowledge I received from my more advanced fellow schoolmates, makes me feel I am following my true purpose in life. In addition, the fact that I could blend the religious (right brain) with the scientific (left brain) of the universe into an interdependent harmonious symphony of spirituality, seems to reflect my own healing path in life. The healing that will occur from the pacification of this unceasing battle, is my hope that will reflect in the inner peace of beings and the outer world peace that will result from this. An author is just a very learned reader with the courage to share his inner experience into written words and activate the writer residing within each of you. As a writer, I feel I channel the hidden wisdom, in the magical mirror of my mind. My books are really our books!Why did you choose to write about Religion and Spirituality? Have you ever tried your hand at fiction?
It is my bias that the misunderstanding of the role of sectarian religion has separated mankind into conflictive views that can be only be integrated by a spiritual view that unifies the original source of the message. “The name of God is so huge, that I cannot pronounce without distorting it” Fiction? I am considering writing a science fiction story to be developed into a video game and movie. I have the script, I just need the right ghostwriter and gamer creator.How did you come up with the idea of mixing together religion and technology, two things thought of as opposites, for the book "Spirituality 1.2 For The Disconnected From The School Of Life"?
I just decided to adopt the religious language of my first book into the cybernetic language which young technological (tekkies) minds would understand. Here, users, gamers and programmers could feel comfortable with this view of spirituality.Define spirituality; what does spirituality mean to you? Do you think that you have changed as a person and as an author in any way since writing Spirituality 101 to now?
Is the state that arises spontaneously and gradually as we strive in the spiritualization of our humanity and the humanization of our Spirit. This will naturally, germinate, within the archetypal seed, the hidden sprouts of empathy, compassion and brotherhood that had been dormant, as an undiscovered treasure since beginningless time. This is the intentionless state of awareness that will view the Universe through the eyes of the Spirit, that can only see Love. This is the final goal of our inner journey of self- discovery that will allow us to live fully our universal experience with our feet firmly on the ground but our eyes fixed on the Heavens. Have I changed? Every word I write, every book I read, every sound I hear, every dream I have, every patient I help, makes me different person.How do you do the research for your books? Have you ever used religious books like the Bible or Quran as a reference?
I don’t research outside, I research inside my soul. I write by inner inspiration in a very rapid manner. Most of my books are written within 2-3 weeks and the first one was done in a weekend. My views of the Bible are mainly memories of my repeated readings of it to me by mother as a child. All of what I have read influences my writing and I look up these ideas afterward to insure my views have a basis for it.What are a few moral codes you like to live by? Is there something you've promised yourself you would never do?
Live by the Golden Rule, "Do to others what you want them to do to you”. I am too aware of my human side to promise not to do anything, yet I am also aware of the power of forgiveness and compassion of my Spiritual side to understand my mistakes. (Read the Forgiveness Code)Have you ever encountered or held a long conversation with a fan? What was your most memorable encounter?
I have had the joyful experiences of having both reviews of readers and testimonies of patients on how my books have empowered them to understand and heal their love lessons. These make my day!Do you think you would enjoy your books if you didn't write them?
I always keep a copy of them in my inspiration heaven, the bathroom, where I can’t stop reading them and feeling perplexed I wrote them!Now for a random question- what is the weirdest dream you've ever had?
A dream that occurred about 30 years ago at the beginning of my meditative experience. In it, at a distance I saw a beautiful a young woman with silver colored hair, dressed in a white tight jump suit, waving me to come to her, in front of a spaceship, and as I approached her, she smiled and said, “ I am so joyful you made it, I have been waiting for you for 24,000 years”. It was not until I started writing my books I finally understood who she is.
Dr. Ivan Figueroa is a retired pediatric surgeon, a healer and an educator who is compassionate about the humanization of the spirit. He indeed enlightened us on how he had blended the religion and the science of the universe to create an interdependent harmonious symphony and heal his path of life. Post-retirement, at the age of 70 years, when he had a strong urge to give equal time to his creative right-side of the brain, he started writing and having fun! For him, as a writer, he is able to liberate his inner encounters into written words which channelize his "hidden wisdom into the magical mirror of the mind". He also told us that his bathroom is his inspiration heaven, where he keeps a copy of all his books to perplex upon. Well, for us Dr. Ivan Figueroa is a truly thought-provoking and refreshing man. Kudos to you, Sir.