Yesterday I ceased my commitment to The Lifestream Way. I just remain too skeptical. I am not certain that it is not the best way for me or anyone else toward the highest self, even toward God-Realization. But neither do I feel certain that it is really all that the literature claims for it. My intellect feels more comfortable with Zazen, which does not even try to answer fundamental questions, but simply presents a method that works, than with L.W., which seems in its explanations to carry a lot of excess baggage. Since I am giving it up, I shall no longer attend associations or remain on the vegetarian diet, etc. Meanwhile, I shall meditate on my own.
I have also decided not to go to school again until after I have a job that pays considerably better than any of the score or so Iíve had heretofore, and perhaps not until I am happily married.
(Study The Science of Yoga by I.D. Taimni.)
2 SEP 72 - 6:40 A.M. I have just had my first "out-of-body experience." It was only a partial exit, but quite definite. I had been having a series of sessions and exercises, and no sleep or food, since day before yesterday; and I took a hot bath and then lay down, still nude, eyes closed, arms extended back and up from my head, on the floor. I concentrated intensely on visual imagery. All of a sudden, I realized that my arms had gone to sleep but that a "second" right arm was "floating" over my head, my "second" hand dangling right over my face. It was the darnedest thing! With my eyes open I couldnít see it; but I could still feel my arm and hand floating there! I wondered if I could move this other arm. I thought about moving it over toward the bureau to my right. At first nothing happened; but then it slowly drifted or floated over there. It continued to slowly extend over in that direction beyond a normal armís length! I grew a little frightened that if it then actually touched the bureau I might freak out. So, I "thought" it back into the physical arm and then tried to move my right hand the normal way, physically. There was a weird transition while I felt sensation returning to my physical member and also "feeling" my other arm still floating, barely above. Then the two blended together and I was able to move my "real" arm. Wow!
Later. I rushed over to tell Ricky and Mona of this experience and, as I did so, for the first couple of miles it was as if I were in a special state and I "knew" what was about to happen the whole way. For instance, it seemed that I knew just when each of the lights would turn and that a gust of wind was going to come up off the right and blow a bunch of leaves and debris into the road, just there, etc. Each of these things came to pass just as I had known they would. It was as though my present had been extended slightly to include the next twenty or thirty seconds ahead as well. As I dwelled on this unique phenomenon, however, it gradually faded, like a veil coming down, drifting over things, so that once more only the immediate instant was open to my awareness.
4 SEP 72 - In Socrates' day there raged a conflict, I understand, between the traditionalists, and their faith, and the expedient materialists, and their cynical disillusionment. In their midst, Socrates urged the answer be sought neither in uncritical acceptance of the first nor in the second position, but rather in pushing reasoning still farther. He suggested, then, the discovery of knowledge that underlies all things, a quest for a foundation of true understanding to which we may turn to rid ourselves of illusion and ignorance. Today we are told that reasoning too is unreliable and are urged to push consciousness still farther. In my view, we must take consciousness and reasoning together to their limits in this pursuit of a truth made ever elusive because we ourselves are intimately involved in its formulation. At best, we may acquire a more and more rarified and refined appreciation of truth. And many obstacles lie along the way, among them inertia, fear, attachment, the seductiveness of power and ambition, etc.
Because of such obstacles, the pilgrim may need a context for his journey beyond himself. He may require a definite path and guide, perhaps even the company of other wayfarers who can encourage and console one another along the passage. But I hope not. My decision to forego the security of my brotherís Lifestream Way rests on the assumption that one may still make meaningful progress entirely on oneís own.
6 SEP 72 - I would prefer, if it is open to me, the way of the explorer to that of the devotee. My natural bent seems too skeptical for the path of discipleship and faith.
Listen well to utterances of "Yes!" in a tired body. But tend to ignore those of "No!" even in a well rested one.
Revelations, disclosed as universals, are shaped and interpreted in the particular. Any path which involves us in certain freeing ways and which permits us glimpses of super-consciousness is "right." Its unique rightness will be confirmed for us by the experience itself, wrapped as it is in the seamless garb of universality, and transcendent as it is over the merely particular, finite, phenomenal conditions of our daily to-and-fro comings and goings. The quest of more and more profound experiences beyond the small self may be the real pearl of great price, the closest we may come in our short lives to true reality. It may thus be worthy of our greatest resources and commitment, no matter if we are all nonetheless doomed, despite all visions, to die utterly within a short space of linear time.
One could do much worse than to launch his small craft of consciousness upon the waters of the unknown and discover thereby the new and old worlds waiting within. So let us see where the inner currents may lead! Let us plumb their great depths and race away upon their boiling eddies, beyond all familiar horizons! And if for this one must submit to the most stringent, disciplined efforts, what of that? Is there anything else so worthy of the cost?
7 SEP 72 - It occurs to me, despite all the above, that if this year of my life should mark a turning point for me, away from arid intellectual groping and toward spiritual pursuits and values, then of what great value this year!
8 SEP 72 - The more I think about the L.W. and read about this and other paths of mysticism, the more I am becoming convinced that the L.W. line of Masters, and the leaders of several other paths, are spiritually advanced far beyond Lilly, Pearce, Monroe, Castaneda (and his "Don Juan"), or my own former teacher, Dr. Harold Pearl. My experiments, as related here, and even those exercises related by Monroe, Lilly, Pearce, etc., seem more and more like childís play by comparison with what is involved in the Lifestream Way.
There is no matter, even in this very materialistic age. All is thought and energy. ("The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine." Sir James Jeans)
I find I now hope to be "seduced," despite my rationality, by things of the spirit and swept away by this higher passion.