Today Eve and Ron, my second brother, are to marry.
Worked at the chicken restaurant, bought a gift for Ron and Eve, adjusted truck carburetor, and did the laundry.
The Year of the Rat, especially when it falls on a leap year, is said to bring good fortune. We shall see.
Went grocery shopping, shined shoes and treated them with a silicon compound, gave myself a shampoo, shaved, etc.
Reading Men in Arms by Preston and Wise.
Have decided to join a local yoga group, but which one?
(Read: Journeys Out of the Body; Zen Diary; and Janovís The Primal Scream!)
Iíve lost two more employees; but others are being hired.
Eveís sister, Gertrude, stopped by the chicken factory today and Trudy waved as she went by this morning. This is the extent of romance in my life lately - the most Iíve had in several months! Well, you just donít have much of a love-life if you spend most of your spare time as a hermit. Still, no need to give it all up. As in the olí Chinese proverb, that longest journey begin with but iddy biddy tippy toe step. Iíve just got to take it!
18 FEB 72 - Got off from ye olí chick factory tonight at 6:20. But will probably be heading back soon. One of my employees came in looped, smelling like a distillery. I called in once I got home and told another employee to call me if she is still high when he gets off and meanwhile to watch her carefully.
20 FEB 72 - President Nixonís little jaunt among the hated, aggressive Chinese is monopolizing the media tonight. I wish he would take his political gambit and trade it in on a modest, straightforward statesmanship.
My boss is in Dallas tonight, leaving me in charge of the three Jim Dandy locations here. Thus far only minor "crises" have developed.
The Chinese indifference to the coming of the United States President speaks well of them.
21 FEB 72 - Worked a long day. I interviewed over twenty applicants for an evening vacancy while operating the restaurant and supervising the three locations.
23 FEB 72 - 95 days of no booze!
Got the truck worked on and spent the day in bed with a sinus infection.
Have revised my plans for leaving Jim Dandy. I now think that Iíll stay on a few more weeks than anticipated earlier. I really need the money! Nonetheless, the situation at the restaurant has become a charade. I am not a manager! My attempts to be one are gestures and caricatures.
26 FEB 72 - 4:00 A.M. Up with insomnia and continuing sinus flareup. Drinking a mixture of "coke" and baking soda, my home remedy for gas on the tummy.
Blustery winds outside mirror the churnings within my guts and brain. My job now seems intolerable. My truck needs a major overhaul. BOTHER! BOTHER! BOTHER!
27 FEB 72 - Worked ten hours at Jim Dandy today, the entire time a torture of ill feelings.
Need to investigate acupuncture.
Fred pressed gingerly against the painful molar. It came out. It hung there by a shred of pink, bleeding flesh. He pushed it back into place and hoped it would stay for at least a few minutes. By then...by then...He closed his mouth and regarded himself in the mirror. Not too bad. Still a little youth left, he decided. He rubbed a hand over the two day stubble and decided it required too much energy to shave. What was needed was just a little more chilled vin rose. He poured some of the sparkling, deep red liquid into a coffee cup. He glared at a couple of scampering cockroaches, took a quick sip, and felt the pleasure of its sweet-sourness washing round his gums and down his throat, and tried to stomp one of the bugs. Got it! But then he remembered heíd taken off his shoes earlier. The roach was sticky and brittle against his bare foot. He gagged and threw-up. He wiped the foot with a piece of newspaper that he tossed into the garbage bag, where more scrambling and scampering was immediately heard. He took another drink, a longer one this time, until he came away from it flushed and gasping for breath. He carefully poured himself another cupful and inspected the remaining supply. "Hmm," he considered. "Gotta go to the store." He walked, rather unsteadily, back to his bedroom and slowly, with great deliberation, dressed to go out. He debated briefly whether or not to drive. "Of course! I havenít had that much to drink." He would just get a half-gallon, he told himself. He was very strict with himself, because he did not want to become an alcoholic. He would buy no more than a half-gallon at a time!
1 MAR 72 - A fine, fair, warm day! Got out into it about noon. Ran into Dick near the campus and we talked of prospects for each otherís success and mutual assistance in the yard business. It looks as if we may be able to begin as soon as two to three weeks from now. It has been a warm winter and already the yards are coming back to life in earnest.
At the apartment, am getting into Monroeís book, Journeys Out of the Body. Feeling much excitement! Things are changing for me and I expect that more will alter in my life in the next three months than in the previous three years!
"Salvation" lies, I think, only in increased, never decreased awareness, the very opposite of drug or alcohol oblivion states. But most of what goes on in the world can be viewed as nothing but "noise," hardly worthy of our attention, except to protect ourselves from its often seductive appeal.
Several key experiences alerted me to the fact that this ordinary world is not all there is. They were simple enough; but their implications have haunted me. What do such things mean for our everyday conceptions of things? And afterward, can we really go on as if nothing had happened? Some questions seem to demand answers. When they are not readily available, we become still more intrigued. Here are a few examples:
--- In 1966, in Berkeley, CA, I had a series of drug "trips." Each of these gave startling quantities and intensities of information from the inner self that were simply not of this world of common reality. (These were conducted under the medical supervision of a physician doing legal research and in a group setting, for added support and safety. Each of the "journeys" was authorized and planned, under the auspices of professionals.)
--- In 1967, also in Berkeley, about a year before Dr. Kingís assassination, I had a striking dream in which I found myself on a wide thoroughfare up which marched a throng of thousands of Blacks led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fearful of being trampled, I fire a revolver directly at Dr. King, killing him with a bullet in the forehead. The crowd went wild and chased me. I managed to evade them by escaping up the steps of the Justice Building, in Washington, D.C., where I became a reporter covering a speech by Mahatma Gandhi, who earnestly addressed a vast assemblage of Blacks. I tried to get a "scoop" by seeking answers to deeper questions that I put to the Mahatma.
--- A few weeks after the Dr. King dream, still in Berkeley, I was reading Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, by Dr. Carl G. Jung. I read the following on p. 105: "Suddenly there sounded a report like a pistol shot." Just then there was a loud crash nearby. The hair on the back of my head stood up, quite literally, and a chill sped up my spine. After a few moments, when I got up the nerve to investigate, I found that the bathroom window had broken outward. No one had been in the bathroom. There was no evident cause for the occurrence.
--- About a month later, in Austin, TX, I had a "Technicolor nightmare" in which I experienced a terrible accident involving a station wagon filled with people. I saw the bodies, heard a woman's hysterical screaming afterward, and saw blood flowing in a stream across the pavement. I couldnít get back to sleep. So I turned on the radio. At 5:00 A.M. the news came on and they reported a freak freeway accident earlier that morning in which several people were killed in a station wagon filled with people on route north out of San Antonio, about eighty miles away.
--- A few weeks later I dreamed of being in the car of a friend, Jeff, on a Sunday (remembered because the library was closed in the dream and, trying to see why, we discovered that it was closed on Sundays), when Jeff, stopping on an incline, got out impatiently, forgetting to set the hand-brake. The car then rolled backward toward a cliff and I slammed on the foot-brake myself, stopping the vehicle in time. The following Sunday, in reality, by arrangement made after the dream by Jeff, who was unaware of the dream, he and I, with two others, were looking for a house to rent together and were going around in Jeffís car, with him driving. I had never ridden with Jeff before and no one had ever remarked to me on Jeffís driving habits. After picking up two of us, Jeff drove over to get the last of our party at his apartment. However, that person, habitually late for things, was not ready and did not come in response to Jeffís honk. Jeff therefore hastily parked the car near the corner on an incline, got out, and went in to get him, forgetting, in his impatience, to set the hand-brake or put the car in gear. It began to roll backward into a busy intersection. As in the dream, I leaped over from the backseat, where Iíd happened to have been sitting, and slammed down the foot-brake, then set the hand-brake myself and, only as I did so, remembered the dream.
--- Near the same period, I was alone in my apartment, tired, depressed, and lonely. I had, only a few weeks before, left Harry and the group in which I had participated in California, returning to this city. I lay down on the bed and closed my eyes for a few moments but was not yet asleep when, suddenly, in a flash, there appeared a bright light, uniform across the field of "vision" and accompanied by moving stripes of green playing across an intense white background. Soon afterward, in the same location, and again just after I had lain down, very tired, but not yet asleep, I suddenly found myself in a room with several of my most intimate friends from the Berkeley group. Michael was speaking to me impatiently as follows: "You know what is screwing you up! Youíll never get well until you face it." Then the room began to fill with carbon dioxide, as I recognized from its "odor," from my memory of carbon dioxide/ritalin "trips" in CA, and from its immediate effect on my senses, which went reeling and were swiftly blanked out by the intensity of the inner visions and sensations, the most pronounced of which at first was a sharp hissing sound that quickly became a roaring, rushing, mighty wind, that seemed to tear through my mind. At the same time my body seemed to grow rigid and then harder, harder, and still harder, until it was turned to stone and I was hurtling through space at ever increasing velocity toward a hideous, hated face, my father's, which somehow receded as quickly as I raced toward it. I was accelerating at fantastic speed, beyond time. At last I screamed out with utter intensity and murderous intent: "I HATE YOU!" It trailed off into a prolonged cry that seemed to blend with the wind-like roar and to impel me on ever faster until it was as if I was no longer a separate person but had become the energy itself, hurtling on, without brake, forever toward the face out of Hell. Suddenly I heard a voice near my right ear call out to me: "STOP! Or youíll never come back." At once it was over. The roar had ended. I opened my eyes. I was back in my room. All was still.
--- In the winter of 1971 I had a dream of humanoid animals born in a litter and then shortly afterward dying of neglect and inadequate nourishment from their mother. A few days later I dreamed that my parentsí dog, Scruffy, had a litter of puppies. On awakening I called out to my folksí place and learned that Scruffy had been bearing all night and that, even as I called, the last puppy of a large litter had been born. However, in the next few weeks only two of them survived. Scruffy was by now a very old dog, no longer able to care for them properly; and her milk lacked sufficient nourishment. Once the problem was realized, my familyís efforts had been too late to save more than two.
5 MAR 72 - An employee from one of the Jim Dandy stores called me last night, quite late, to get me to join in a plan of several fellow employees to quit all at once, together, while our area supervisor is out of town. The idea is to use this gesture as a protest against certain practices and policies that they do not like and feel are unfair. Part of the plan would be to call our supervisorís boss in Dallas to explain what was going on and why we felt we had to take this action. He also informed me that he had heard our supervisor talking to another area supervisor and overheard him saying he was going to fire me as soon as he returned from Oklahoma. This report is all the more convincing since, although I am the store manager, my supervisor left on this trip to Oklahoma without even informing me, simply leaving certain instructions with one of my employees. Today I was at work, despite this warning; but there was a massive walkout at one of the three stores. In addition, there had been an attempted robbery at another of the restaurants. My authority, of course, has been completely subverted. It all seems like theatre of the absurd! I have spread my employees thin to keep all three places open; and, as a result, the rebellion seems to have folded. Some of the employees who walked out are now saying theyíll report to work, as usual, tomorrow. Whatever happens, I am here for only another two weeks before starting my yard business.
7 MAR 72 - Completed Journeys Out of the Body tonight. While I am trying to be a skeptic, I am also very excited. I want to experience it for myself and then I can best judge the true place of such things in relation to waking consciousness or normal dreaming.
108th day of no booze!
8 MAR 72 - Up at 9:00 A.M. Showered. Played myself a self-hypnosis tape, suggesting greater relaxation. Brushed teeth. Dressed. Breakfast. Off to the Dobie Center where I searched for some good book. Purchased A Separate Reality by Carlos Castaneda. Back home.
A cloudy, windy day. Spring has arrived. The grass is lush, green, and tender again. The leaves are just coming out on trees and bushes. Many are in beautiful bloom. Temperatures are between 50-80° F. every day.
Spent the evening practicing some fundamental auto-suggestion techniques.
9 MAR 72 - Using the pendulum method of questioning the inner self, I asked a series of questions this morning after I suddenly awoke about 1:00 A.M. From the answers, I was given "evidence" that just before I had awakened I had taken a trip out of my body and had visited with the ghost of a young man who had died this past Saturday. The meeting allegedly occurred 10-11 blocks from my apartment, in a field, due East from where I live. I got in my truck and drove to a point 10-11 blocks due East of my apartment and found there was indeed a broad field at that location, where I would have expected a neighborhood built up with houses and lawns. The pendulum also had swung strongly in the direction meaning "yes" when I had asked if death had been by electrocution (after narrowing cause of death down from unnatural to accidental and having eliminated other possible means of accidental fatality, to each of which the pendulum had swung in the direction meaning "no"). It was interesting, then, that although there was no report in the papers of an electrocution around here last Saturday, there was a very noisy electrical transformer on the telephone pole at the edge of the field, giving out a continuous loud hum. I am very doubtful of these answers from a pendulum and suppose that, at best, they reflect hints of what one wants to "hear" at the particular moment one is using it. However, these coincidences are intriguing.
I am learning from my struggles at Jim Dandy that, if you would be a good manager and do not already have a knack for it, you must first learn to manage yourself, in my case perhaps the task of a lifetime.
15 MAR 72 - Worked 17 hours at ye olí chicken factory yesterday and early this morning. Finally home after 1:00 A.M.
Have received from my brother Ralph a couple of books on his religion, a sect called The Lifestream Way.
(Read Stevensí Donít Push the River! Also The Tibetan Book of the Dead!)
17 MAR 72 - There is now no alternative to a hell of a lot of work, physical and emotional, in the next several months, whatever course I choose to take.
I am completely discouraged with trying to use self-hypnosis as a way to reduce anxiety. I do not seem able to induce any "suggestible" state in myself; and the instructions from the tape then just donít take.
19 MAR 72 - Worked over twelve hours at the chicken place yesterday. But the evening shift was shared with a new employee, Trudy, and one other girl. I have actually been looking forward to working when it means more time with Trudy! I drove her home after work this eve. It is obvious we like each other. And now that my time at Jim Dandy has come to an end, I feel free to take her out, when I would not have so long as she was still one of my employees. But today was my last day at the chicken factory. GOOD RIDDANCE!
20 MAR 72 - Stayed up last night till I finished A Separate Reality. WOW! This is a fantastic book! WHEW! HOT DAMN! I am more excited by it than by any book in many a year. GREAT, GREAT!
And so my yard business gets underway. Fittingly, it is also the first day of spring. Worked briefly with Dick today, until we were rained out by a sudden thundershower. Then various odds and ends. I have arranged to have some business cards printed up and have done a little yard contract soliciting, just to get my feet wet. Brief rest. A customer called in response to my ad in the paper, wanting some hauling done tomorrow, $12 for two loads of tree trimmings.
Called Trudy and arranged for us to go out for dinner Friday night.
Now 127 days of no alcohol!
22 MAR 72 - My hopes for the yard business were dealt a serious blow today. Dick originally, last summer, had said he would provide me with 80 good yard contracts in exchange for a commission of the profits. (He already has enough good yards besides these, he says, to earn $15,000 profit a year, despite having to hire people to help him get all his yards done every week, ten days, or so during the height of the yard growing season.) Today, however, Dick let me know he would not be able even to live up to the more recent diminished agreement of 50 yards for a fee. He now offers to HIRE me for $3 an hour, for four hours a day, and says thatís the best he can do! I told him "Thanks, but no thanks!" and talked rather self-righteously about integrity and living up to oneís word. Clearly, business with oneís "friends" is not wise, especially in the absence of a written contract. I left a little more cynical, rather bitter, and scared. Now Iím on my own. I must try to get more customers right away. I must start full-time soliciting. After all my expectations, I am left with nothing but a long hot summer and lots of debts. Indeed, last week I borrowed $400 from Ricky and Mona to be able to get some good equipment and my truck fixed up. I would have done better to have stayed at Jim Dandy. Maybe I should have taken Dick's peanuts-offer of part-time work! Bother!
I made up a bunch of handwritten "business cards" since my printed ones wonít yet be ready for a few days. I got out and began soliciting about 10:00 A.M. and worked at it for six hours, getting four definite contracts. If I can maintain this rate Iíll soon be able to go it alone despite the setback Dick gave me this morning.
Went this evening to see "The Last Picture Show," a really very fine film.
Have been rereading Journeys Out of the Body and now am starting to reread A Separate Reality.
23 MAR 72 - Another busy day. Am feeling a cautious optimism. Three more people called me tonight about yard work.
My brother Ron has agreed to help me some with the soliciting and yards work. And I shall be able to dump brush and branches on my parents' acreage outside the city. The leafy stuff is food for their goats. The dry stuff will help to keep a fire in the fireplace in cooler months.
26 MAR 72 - (133 days of no alcohol!) Had a nice long time with Trudy Friday night, getting back home about 3:30 A.M. Had her over here in my apartment, then, last night. She stayed till noon today. Everything peachy-creamy! However, sheís still feeling a lot of involvement with a fellow sheíd been very close to up till a few weeks ago, which makes her confused about her own intentions with me.
27 MAR 72 - Got three more regular customers today, mowed one lawn, and did a hauling job. Also got in some further soliciting and bought some miscellaneous hardware that Iíve needed.
Iíve sent in reservation request and fee for the next sesshin at the Los Angeles Zen Center, May 18-21st.
2 APR 72 (Easter Sunday) - Trudy stayed here again last night and we spent most of the day together. Stayed in bed till nearly noon. Then out to Bastrop State Park for a great picnic. Spring break being over now, weíll have less time together as she has gotten behind on her busy schedule, what with studies for her music masterís, plus working, practice, and piano recitals.
3 APR 72 - Spent the better part of the day working with my brother Ron on one yard. While digging up a juniper shrub, Ron pierced the pipe for the house water supply. At once a lovely little fountain shot up; and I lost a dayís earnings.
My sister Alice and her husband, Al, showed up this evening for a visit and stayed to listen to a new cassette from our brother Ralph, who is stationed in CA, in the Air Force.
Now 141 days without a drink!
5 APR 72 - More bad luck yesterday. A pebble shot out by my edger shattered the right door window on my truck. There goes another dayís wages. Today, however, I earned $25 (before expenses) and nothing unpleasant or expensive happened. Count my blessings!
Trudy is down with a kidney infection and is really feeling lousy. She was beyond being cheered up tonight. If she does not sit just so or if she moves in the slightest, the pain is too much to bear. Her doctor said this might continue for days!
6 APR 72 - In order to attend the Zen Center sesshin in L.A. next month I must earn $20 a day, six days a week, between now and then.
Bought some more books today and began Lillyís The Center of the Cyclone.
Made a couple of estimates and mowed one lawn.
Talked to Trudy on the phone today. She now seems a little better.
Later. Called Trudy again this evening. Sheís gone downhill. Said sheís really feeling badly. Also very tired. Sounded really depressed.
Took a bath while concentrating on visualizing 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005, then circles with X, then A, B, C, D, E inside, to represent progressively deeper levels of relaxation. Afterward, feeling free of tension and in really good spirits. Also recalled several childhood memories.
Went over to see Trudy late this evening. She was still feeling the aches all over and nauseous and depressed. I tucked her in bed after we had watched T.V. for awhile. I grew depressed myself and ill-at-ease, not knowing what to say, feeling useless, out of place.
7 APR 72 - More work on the yards. Itís going better than I had expected it would. If I should want to continue with this kind of work there is no question now but that I can earn a modest but adequate living in this way.
Later. Have just completed another "hydro-hypno-therapy" exercise, as in yesterdayís entry. Several vivid visual and auditory images.
Later. Spent another evening with Trudy. At least she is feeling better. I suggested the possibility of her staying with me this summer. She was shocked and said she thought I understood she just was not ready for leaping into a real involvement, that she was still getting over an intense relationship, that if ours could not be more casual then she guessed it just could not be at all. Well, I guess weíre just "out of phase." Here I am completely over several relationships, some casual and some intense, and am eager to start a new one. I feel pretty foolish now for having thought sheíd like the idea. Thatís that. I must say, I donít feel particularly merry tonight!
8 APR 72 - I got $108 worth of new business today, a record. Also got car-sick and was bitten by a giant dog! Will give me a lovely, large bruise.
9 APR 72 - Despite the disagreement the other night, Trudy, now feeling better, joined me tonight in going to a drive-in. We got each other quite horny and had a jolly good time together back at her place. I wonder how long we can keep up this detached sexuality without getting involved.
10 APR 72 - I have received an answer of sorts to my rhetorical question of the last entry. Trudy now says we must stop seeing each other, that it is "better" this way. It seems she has become more distressed about where our friendship is going and is afraid if we do not break off now that she will be further confused. She still has strong feelings for her last boyfriend. I found discussing it with her quite fruitless. Now I feel even more sad and lonely than before I met her.
Completed Center of the Cyclone tonight. I am resolved now to commence an intense quest for greater meaning and fulfillment in my life.
11 APR 72 - Things have a way of not going as per expectations. Trudy and I have gotten back together, agreeing we may as well enjoy each other for the moment if we can, though there may be no future in it. So, tonight we at least found pleasure in our one overriding common interest: good sex.
12 APR 72 - The work for several days now has been extremely long and strenuous. Tonight, returning very late and so exhausted I was shaking, I dented in someoneís car door while trying to park my truck in a tight space. I put a note on their vehicle, explaining what had happened and where to reach me. There went a weekís wages.
13 APR 72 - Another "hydro-hypno-therapy" exercise today. This time I got still more relaxed and also had several vivid memories as well as heightened sensory awareness.
14 APR 72 - I came home very tired last night; but Trudy and I had made plans to go out. We went down by the river for awhile and then back to my place and she stayed the night. However, I just was not up to being a lover. It was a real bummer. I wound up feeling very confused and depressed. Trudy, I think, was not bothered by my "poor performance" but was by my negative reaction to the whole thing. I never did get to sleep. She got little rest herself.
16 APR 72 - Trudy has now stayed the night three days in a row and we seem to be getting along better than ever before, not only in sex but just in enjoying being together as well. We are, however, staying clear about the need to keep "detached." This part of it, apparently, is easier for her than for me!
17 APR 72 - (Read What to Do Till the Messiah Comes by Gunther!)
Fell asleep today during my sixth HHTE ("hydro-hypno-therapy" exercise). At least itís a great way to relax!
Have been doing a lot of thinking lately, out on my jobs and back here in the apartment, about all sorts of things, like: the purpose of life; means to greater awareness; the traps we fall into; things that keep us "asleep;" the obstacles to higher states of consciousness; the need for growth to be gradual, in small increments, so that the "stem" may go up straight and strong, able to withstand the buffeting of adverse winds.
21 APR 72 - Trudy spent the night again. Our relations are still not in good harmony, even in bed. From time to time there are mix-ups in communication or coordination that are amusing or exasperating, depending on our moods. And I am still overly anxious that everything be just right.
I have decided to leave for Los Angeles in three weeks. Intend to get involved in the Zen Center there and do odd jobs till I can get regular work. Must inform my customers.
159 days without alcohol! Iím beginning to really believe I have it licked this time.
23 APR 72 - This morning it occurred to me I might be able to finish up my major in psych., to go along with the one Iíve got in history. I took the shuttle down to campus and checked it out. Iíve decided to stick around here long enough to take the two remaining courses. I can get them both out of the way this summer and so put myself in much better shape for getting a good job thereafter.
Trudy has stayed around for the last three nights and most of the days as well and weíve gotten in a lot of great rapping, canoeing, and screwing. Whooppee! I donít think Iíve felt so good since before Carolyn and I split up six years ago! The only trouble is Iíve gotten very little sleep for several days.
(Read "Speed Psychosis" article in recent issue of "Psychology Today," early í72.)
The truth game: Two or more people swear, separately, with raised hand, tape recorder running, staring into the eyes of one other participant, that for an agreed number of questions they will each be absolutely candid in their replies. All possible questions are permitted. The players take turns with asking and answering. No comment is permitted on the content of either the questions or the answers. There will be a time limit for pauses before answering after a question has been asked. Strict confidentiality must be agreed to.
25 APR 72 - Did three yard jobs today, then turned to behavioral statistics studies. Am beginning a more relaxed working schedule, combining a reduced lawn business with my studies and meditation.
Trudy stayed last night and we were up talking and loving till 3:00 A.M. Fortunately a heavy rain kept me from getting out on the yards this morning; so we slept late.
Signed a new rental contract, to stay on here through August.
Arranged for a flight to Los Angeles for sesshin next month.
Went and saw a fine film tonight: "Mary, Queen of Scots."
29 APR 72 - Trudy and I are still acting like a couple of honeymooners. She stayed last night and till noon today. But she still insists we must not get "serious," that our friendship is disturbing her studies and rehearsals.
(Read Jamesí The Varieties of Religious Experience.)
I must begin to significantly alter my whole lifestyle if I would really improve my state of awareness. Several measures come to mind.