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(1971-1975)



XI

26 SEP 72 - Joey stared at the drops of rain settling on the pane and slowly running down. He wondered what it was like--on the mountains of the moon. Joey wondered if snakes had souls like Daddy said his Mommy did. And he played with himself, while memories of his motherís screams seared his consciousness. A little gray toad hopped along the driveway across from the window. Little violin string pluckings of awareness slowly formed themselves into the next fearful image before Joeyís eyes: his mother lying in a plain wooden box, stiff and white, her mouth turned up slightly in a tight grin. Suddenly her eyes snapped open, she sat up in the narrow box, and slowly, slowly, she turned, and held him in her fixed stare like a pinned and mounted moth and smiled and smiled and smiled...With a shriek, he raced from the room and collided in the hall with Cookie, his devoted little mongrel, who yelped twice and ran about in an excited, frightened frenzy. Joey ran out into the rain, down the drive, and off beside the road, Cookie frantically barking and chasing after.

Headlights blinding.

Screech of brakes.

"Hey! Joey, Joey, is that you? Hey! Where ya goiní, Joey boy?...Stay there, Joey!"

Headlights turning. Long beacons of light thrust into the void. Returning, closer, closer, catching him like a bug in a flame, passing him by.

He stopped, confused, standing waist deep in the drain water, the stream rushing by him in the shallow ditch, cold, shivering...

Footsteps coming closer in the darkness, the light stopped, staring ahead.

"Hey, Joey! Hey! Hello, little man! Joey? You know me dontcha, fella? How are you, Joey? Here, get in the car now, Joey! Youíre soaked!"

Joey shrieked once more and tried to bury himself inside the manís chest, his strong embrace.

"There, there, Joey. Itís alright now. Did you have a bad dream? Come along, now. Weíve got to get you warmed up and dry you off, right, Joey?...Have you had anything to eat? Feel like a little hot chocolate? Hm? Weíll get you fixed up in a jiffy, my little man!...Come along, Cookie! Here, girl! Come on! Weíre going home now."

He opened the passenger door and Cookie jumped in eagerly. He helped Joey get in and went round to the driverís side and got in himself; and they set off. And he sang to the small boy softly and held him close all the way back and up the long drive, while Joey stared at the frantic swiping of the wipers and Cookie settled her dripping head against Joeyís side and smacked the seat a few times hopefully with her tail.

27 SEP 72 - In the brew out of which must come my final decision pro or con this philosophy or religion called Lifestream Way, or what to do with the rest of my life, the following wisdom of Krishnamurti must now be included: "And unless you find out for yourself what you really want to do with your whole being, you will end by doing something which holds no interest for you, and then your life will be miserable; and, being miserable, you will seek distraction in cinemas, in drink, in reading innumerable books, in some kind of social reform and all the rest of it...Donít begin by thinking in terms of earning livelihood; but if you discover what it is you love to do, then you will have a means of livelihood." (Think on These Things)

Fantasy: The hoary olí devil, bent with age and a multitude of disabilities, acquired after countless epochs over the eons of eternity, began to run out of death. Despite careful rationing, it soon ran so low that for enough to go round it had to be spread quite thin. This practice continued for some time. In our day it has become in this way such a sheer veil that, with a little practice, one trained not to fear its mysteries can sometimes even glance through it, glimpse what lies beyond, or go there freely and return.

Went to a T.M. introductory meeting tonight. By comparison to L.W., it does seem pretty low-key and geared more for popularity than genuine progress within. Zazen and Krishnamurti, to cite two other ready examples, also seem to have much more depth.

The only vocation I can think of now that I would love is that of teaching. How, then, do I get from here to there? And shall my choice be the same by the time I can realize such a goal?

An epidemic of an especially contagious form of diarrhea is sweeping through one of the dorms where I work, with calamitous results. Reminds me of the time a great, great aunt, on my mother's side, went to a popular evangelist in her day, one having reputed miraculous powers, and, there on the stage in his tent revival meeting and before the great throng gathered, was instantly cured of constipation.

Each personís collection of realized myths is his or her measure of highest manhood or womanhood. In our myths we come closest to reality. Through our myths we attain to divinity, "reality-making" as we fulfill the myths we make! Such symbols, given vitality within, are the mortar and stone by which we arch delicate bridges of consciousness inward and outward, slowly extending laceworks of light into infinities of dimensionless darkness.

You may know a man by the depth of his visions. "But a man may know no manís visions but his own," you may say. Then love this mystery each man shares with no man and all men. And know, then, yourself in your own visionsí depths. And be, yourself, all men thereby.

Raskolnikov is, perhaps, the universal man in existential despair, devoid of vision, even of art, who seeks to render his existence meaningful by surrender to an idea, however shallow, and reaping the fruit of that surrender. Even sordid experience may seem at the moment more meaningful than the fact of despair, the full realization of the ordinary human condition. Yet may we learn to laugh, to love, to hope! We are tragic, it is true. But we are also absurdly wonderful creatures!

I would seek to be as good a humanitarian as my father is an expedient utilitarian.

4 OCT 72 - Meditation imagery this evening included an emergency vehicle at night with its red light flashing at some emergency site, then an infant with some head or neck injury, so its head was flopped over to the left side, a flood, myriad forms spinning out of a great wheel going counterclockwise, etc.

9 OCT 72 - Today I learned from Mom that Friday (Oct. 6) Eve took her new baby, Hank, my first nephew, in for a complete pediatric examination, one of his first since his birth a few weeks ago. Her doctor found and pointed out to her a neck injury in one of the main muscle groups or tendons of Hankís neck, that moves and supports the head, so that there is a little knot in the muscle and Hankís head then will tend to be pulled over to the left side.

During a trying time after the miscarriage of what would have been her ninth child, Mom relates, she was given Demerol, which seemed to thoroughly relax her. So complete, indeed, was the relaxation that one night her relaxed body was "sound asleep" below her while she, in full awareness, was somehow bobbing around the ceiling, surveying the scene below. She saw herself and Dad lying there and became so frightened ("too much like death...and suppose that other me down there should start moving independently...or suppose I never got back?") that she never finished the prescription and would not take that drug again.

My sister-in-law, Eve, says that, as an altered state of consciousness, giving birth is "Fantabulous!"

We are the lowest as well as the highest selves whom we both fulfill and betray. Judas hanged himself when he saw how utterly he had betrayed his own highest Self, in betraying Jesus. How many other suicides are the result of a similar realization of Self-betrayal? And it is perhaps this awareness of how much we are continually betraying our own highest Being that leads to despair.

11 OCT 72 - Applied today for a job opening at Villa Capri Restaurant. I believe the interview went fairly well. Trouble is, I do not think I would like the work. It would, however, pay much better.

Ricky was over today and we went out for a beer. He confided that his wife, Mona, has been sleeping with Roger, a mutual "friend" of theirs. Rickyís pretty upset. Seems she is quite open about it. They rendezvous while he is at work, using his bed! I suggested they separate and then see, after awhile apart, if they still felt is was worthwhile to go on with the marriage. Otherwise, I suggested he give his wife a choice: either give up Roger, once and for all, or move out of their house. But Ricky said Mona wants him to move out, even though it was his place before they got married and she's the adulteress! She seems to find nothing wrong with simply sleeping with both men, seeing it as Ricky's problem if he cannot deal with it, using this rationale for saying if he does not like it then he needs to move out! It is a shock to me to see what can happen between two people who are both good friends of mine.

16 OCT 72 - Mr. Enoch called from The Villa Capri Steak House today to tell me the restaurant night manager job is mine. Iíll start next Sunday.

17 OCT 72 - - Received the reply to my second letter to Maharaj Dayal Nam Ji today, to wit:

Oct. 12 í72

"Dear Brother,

I am in receipt of your letter of...and appreciate your frankness in expressing your views on The Lifestream Way. Please remember that Lifestream Way is not forced on anyone. The decision to accept or not is to be yours. You are absolutely free to make your own choice. Any path is to be accepted if the seeker is fully satisfied in every way and that will only be possible if one makes a thorough study of the subject with an open mind. If one starts with prejudices and preformed opinions, then it is not possible to arrive at truth. And then if any path is accepted it should be honestly given a fair trial.

To start with, you have to have faith in the teacher who gives you some knowledge. If that is not there the student can get nothing from his teachers. When you are told, for example, by a teacher of chemistry that hydrogen and oxygen combined form water, then you can not stand up and say that all that is a lie and you do not believe it. You accept the statement of the teacher on faith and then you go to the laboratory to prove for yourself the truth of that statement. If at the very outset you have no faith in your teacher, then it is no use going to him and trying to acquire any knowledge. Lifestream Way requires no blind faith; but you have to accept its truths as they are expounded and then prove them for yourself in the laboratory of your own body. There, if you do not get a corroboration of what you have heard and read outside, then you are fully justified in giving up the science. If you follow the instructions of the Master in doing your practice on the Lifestream Way path, you will definitely be convinced of its truths. The emphasis here is on following the instructions of the Master in your meditation. The laboratory tests will only bear results if the teacherís instructions are carried out to the letter. Otherwise, the results obtained will be wrong. Look at the whole question from these points of view, as explained above, and then thoroughly study the teachings of the Masters, which are as old as creation and every one has given the world the same message. True faith will come when you go in. With best wishes

Yours affectionately,
(signature)"

My immediate reaction is that, within limits, unknown and unknowable limits, one obtains the results he expects to obtain in meditation. So, naturally, if one follows the L.W. instructions, what one experiences is consistent with the context, i.e. with L.W. My own bent seems more in harmony with Zazen, for instance, which does not seem to beg the question but rather leaves it open, unanswered: What is Mu? What is the sound of one hand clapping? This would seem to leave the Zazen meditator free to discover inner truths, free from preconceptions, interpretations, explanations, descriptions, moralizations, proscriptions, etc.

Meanwhile, my goal remains to obtain a unifying poetic vision, one that encompasses at once all the apparently disparate elements of inner or outer experience in a single, dynamic, profound, creative, and ultimately meaningful and beautiful whole.

As I am about to embark on a new, illustrious career in steak house restaurant management, I wax philosophical. Epitaph: Here lies the mind of an excellent teacher, buried beneath this heap of discarded food, facile insults, and petty wrangling. Here it came to rest, necessitated by financial embarrassment, as the administrator of a grand and glorious greasy spoon.

22 OCT 72 - I should ask Martha out. Sheís obviously a nice woman. And I find her quite lovely.

I note that for a radical change in lifestyle it may no longer be necessary to change jobs or living arrangement. The environment itself is changing so rapidly that one may simply "stand still" and watch the dynamic world spin by. Then, at the right moment, one may leap onto the favorable situation as one might jump upon an attractive steed on a merry-go-round as it comes by.

23 OCT 72 - My first day at the new job was put off till today. Wow! I never would have believed so much food could have been prepared and served in so little space and time and all of it, apparently, quite delicious. Iíd no time to be nervous. To try to "run" such a place, with so many things breaking at once (sometimes quite literally) seemed to me like suddenly being cast in the role of captain of a great ocean vessel, in a storm, when all of oneís previous experience had been with rowboats and canoes on calm waters.

Phallic pulsings of desire - fantasied gypsies full of fire - dark tresses, hot caresses - eyes wide window souls full of sympathetic speechlessness - speak softly, softly - breath breathed deep, deep, deep within innermost spaces - shouting, screaming silence - Hush! Be still! -- "Alive, alive, alive, alive!" she yells, throughout the spaceless universes eternally stretching through her limbs - "Iím dying, dying - Iím nearly dead," he laments, exhausted, crashing the last breakers, defeated, upon this vast glistening shore. The moon is full. A prancing shell skitters across the wet sand. Above the din - deep, deep silence.

26 OCT 72 - It is my birthday.

My job turns out to require many more hours than Iíd been led to expect and involves, so far, none of the training I was assured I was to receive. Also, my boss has hedged on the pay he is to give me, pulling back from what he had first promised. All of this, plus the onerousness of the work itself, is quite distressing.

I am 29 today. From this day, I plan more and more to live as a "warrior," as in Castanedaís writings.

31 OCT 72 - Closed up at 2:00 A.M. today at the restaurant, after an eleven hour shift.

Happy Halloween!

Perhaps there is no reality we can know outside each personís unique universe of experience. Our "reality," then, would consist entirely of a flow of individually unique moments of awareness. Who knows but what this entire unique universe of experience is a projection of the experiencing being.

2 NOV 72 - The circumstances at work having gotten no better, I have begun looking into my options for soon transferring to different employ.

Had my second date with Martha tonight. Back at my apartment I tried to embrace her and was rewarded with a rather disconcerting, impromptu epithet: "Oh jump, you dog! Wait long for guarded meat. Your tasteless hunger touches shell, and spits with satisfaction." It seems my luck with women lately is matching that with work. Sigh.

We like or dislike aspects of our environment to the extent we have not yet come to terms with ourselves.

By sincerely following a quest for his highest self one will, I trust, achieve results greater than but in keeping with the total of his moment to moment efforts and expectations. Further, one is, I believe, always vastly more than at any moment one can imagine himself to be, barring psychotic grandiosity. And one can never really fully disclose himself to himself. However far one advances in self-realization, the unknowns arise geometrically at the edge of perception. It is like a new rosebud caught in a state of perpetual unfolding to the light or like the tree in spring growing at every tip at once into the expanding light of a universe of suns bursting continuously, beyond the limits of any single universe or even any universe of universes!

10 NOV 72 - Yesterdayís workday was the worst yet at the restaurant. Everything seemed to go wrong and it was totally out of my control. I felt like the sorcererís apprentice. During the height of the confusion one employee simply disappeared! My frantic efforts only seemed to compound the problems and alienate everyone. I have decided to resign. I am simply not competent to handle the job!

Feeling extremely discouraged, not just by todayís events but generally, over the last few months - years - my whole goddamned life? Am reminded of something I read in one of the L.W. books: "Life is not worth worrying over too much. It begins in folly and ends in smoke (or "dust," here in the West). And its middle portion also passes away. It has to come to an end one day, whether you like it or not. The best policy is to laugh its worries away." And I can not help thinking that a path with such good philosophy deserves serious consideration. The restrictions are difficult and the concepts are pretty hard for a Westerner to swallow. But if one could take it seriously...L.W. can afford to suggest you laugh lifeís troubles away. After all, by the time you listen to such advice youíre already committed to a belief system that includes your being looked after even beyond death, in higher regions, and even all the way to an inevitable union with God! With that kind of guarantee, one might very well laugh at a few trifling troubles in this world!

13 NOV 72 - Am continuing experiments with sensory deprivation. Have discovered a kind of "sight," in complete darkness. There appears to be some field that surrounds the body, which is completely dynamic, flowing, and active. It can be interrupted, as by my hand passing through it. On the other hand (no pun meant), I can also see the hand itself as having its own field. And it turns out the hand is still "visible," and the rest of the field, when my eyelids are closed, though without as much clarity. That makes it sound more distinct than it is, however. Iím talking about a very faint, light "glow" which at times seems to have waves and swirls within it and against which my fingers passing through create the impression of a dark "space." I also noticed a slight sensation in my hand as my "vision" passed over it, as though there was some actual energy flowing where I would look. The phenomenon occurs immediately after I am in total darkness. Yet the "field" is not reflected in the mirror, even as, glancing down, I am once again fascinated to observe pillars of light, luminous limbs!

Meanwhile, attention to domestic routines goes neglected. I brushed the olí toophies this morning for the first time in two days. Clothes lie everywhere in disarray. The kitchen and dishes have not been touched in over a week, etc. Only my fart bouquets get daily notice - or the fungus between my toes!

The Administrator gazed affably but patronizingly over the little group of prisoners. It was his habit thus to lecture to, even at times to confer with, a randomly selected handful of the prisoners every now and then, at his whim. He was Administrator of the largest prison system. And its legend was emblazoned in mile-high letters at the front of the wall, itself light-year thick: "CONSENSUS REALITY." He went on: "Yes, as Iíve told some of you before, this is a liberal prison system. We do a great deal to make our prisoners feel at home here. And I may say without boasting that in this we have been astonishingly successful. Only a few have ever even seriously wished to leave. After all, the world outside is now all but forgotten; and this is for the best. Of course, there are those few who do attempt to escape, against their own better judgment, if I may say so, and, indeed, rather half-heartedly, if truth be told - they really know better! But we are stubborn, so like children sometimes! And escape is permitted of course! But I personally know of none who have succeeded in doing so. We are all working far too hard supporting our great and benevolent institution to devote much energy to finding a way out. --- Well, thatís all for this time. Itís been fine talking with you and I can tell that you are feeling better about things now. Have a pleasant day!"

The entire universe may be sustained by the collective consciousness within it. And I certainly would not exclude from this consciousness suns, planets, moons, all creatures great and small, cells, atoms, etc. That Which Is, then, would represent itself as it does because in this form it is a meaningful synthesis of all separate instances of awareness. Thus perhaps ambiguity exists in the "real" universe because of a pluralistic competition of "ideas" which are to be fulfilled. In this conception all our ideas are continually being mirrored in a dynamic, creative, ever-changing universe. The fully conscious being would be he/she who is fully involved in and aware of their own participation in the process of reality formation and maintenance.

14 NOV 72 - Find myself up, reading, at 3:00 A.M. There is a chill wind blowing outside. Otherwise, all is quiet there. For years and years I have lived virtually alone...The wind reminds me of the surf as it moves on, moves on, inexorably, rustling dead and dying leaves as the sea rushes over and dislodges the countless bits of protoplasm upon the briny beach...Long sandy seashore, gleaming in the high, hot sunshine, sparkling with salt-cleaned shells. A fishing boat lies on its side, off-balanced by the keel. Strewn guts and heads from the catch attract scores of wheeling, darting, screaming gulls. The sky out over the ocean, off in the distance, is such a deep blue it seems to merge into the farther blackness of space, the sea itself becomes now a deep, deep black-green except very close in, lighter there, and then exploding in brilliant flashes of churning whiteness where the waves collapse upon the slow slope of glistening sand. The sun is behind as you look out to sea. What creatures dwell in that deep, deep black greenness beneath such dark, boiling clouds? A tiny, tossed vessel appears and disappears and then, when youíve given it up to the mist, suddenly, briefly, appears once more, slightly larger than before, off to the right. Hot big drops begin to smack into the sand all round. Two large young women, hips and breasts swinging, shriek and laugh and dash across the steaming dunes and disappear into a storm culvert under the shore road. The gulls, snatching at the last shining morsels, rise and ride the stormís advancing eddies inland. Fascinated, I wait for the full fury to break upon us. Just then, awakened by the slapping of the huge drops upon her face, Monica jumps up from the mound of hot sand Iíd poured over her, grabs my arm and, laughing, races us away. A bright flash behind, the dipping sun ahead. A sharp crack of thunder echoes in the wild wind like the angry snarls of a cornered lioness. I glance back. The little boat, pitching and rocking wildly, is almost in. A shimmering curtain of water hovers briefly at the bayís narrow entrance, then crashes on through.

We need not view ourselves as subject to an alien nature or submerged in a dehumanizing culture. We need not project upon the ether either God or no-God. We are responsible for our own reality, perhaps not absolutely, but to a very substantial degree.

We would rather die than fully face our own fears.

What I seek is not God but a new synthesis that releases the human spirit rather than being stifling or perverting of it. I seek then an encompassing poetic vision, one that contains within it all of the paradoxical aspects of reality and human experience.

16 NOV 72 - Consciousness slowly intrudes, painfully, through my hangover, my flowing sinuses, my filthy teeth and gums, the puffiness throughout my body. The light is on. It is cold. I find myself lying naked on a bed, just as and where consciousness departed from me hours ago. Minutes pass, an hour. Eventually I move. And finally get up and painfully walk over to the toilet, stand dizzily over its gaping orifice, and spray my urine into it. The universe is fuzzy. Someone has rapped my skull with a hammer and stuffed my veins with poison. And then it dawns upon me. I have done this! Taunting me in the refridge is the nearly empty evidence. Shit! My heart works overtime on double-duty keeping consciousness, stabilizing reality, sustaining me to stand as I straighten the bed and pull on my pants. The blood nearly shouts its beat within my head. This vital spring of fluid gushes forth and irrigates the inner vastness of my body despite the scourge and plague I have scattered upon the land. --- And so, I live. Once again, reprieve. Once again, for the last time, I shall reaffirm as a basic law of my life: No more alcohol. Never again shall I take a single drink of anything alcoholic. Never again shall I so give in to despair.

17 NOV 72 - Despite yesterdayís good intentions, today I wound up drinking over a quart of wine and then several beers with friends. Sigh.

Today I also signed a contract to be a Fuller Brush salesman and picked up my kit and got my territory.

19 NOV 72 - After two days at this, I see Fuller Brush work is not for me! Meanwhile, Iím heavily in debt, even to good friends like Ricky and Mona. Iíve now no idea what to do for meals, much less a career. A few minutes ago I called my supervisor and resigned. He was rather aggravated. Like Mr. Enoch, at the restaurant, he reminded me I am getting to the age I can not keep jumping from job to job but must stick with something, even if it means forcing myself at times, as when it may seem very difficult. So, now Iím 29 years old and have gone through perhaps 25 job changes. Iím broke. And I have a drinking problem. What now?

Maybe all this is just a bad dream. More T.V. Plenty of beer. Oblivion, oblivion, oblivion!

21 NOV 72 - A year ago I started for the third or tenth or twelfth time to try to stop drinking. Now I must begin again. I realize, moreover, that my present pattern of living is completely self-defeating. Despite many intellectual reservations and even emotional qualms, I see now that L.W. at least offers me the most positive context I have yet discovered, and one ready to hand, for transcending this small destructive self and getting well along in the quest of my Highest Self. Three things now seem paramount: 1. I must commit myself firmly to the Lifestream Way; 2. I must give up drinking forever; 3. I must get a job.

One thing of which I am becoming convinced: my situation has been chaotic and my life a mess because I lack control of my own mind. If I can find a way to bring the reality-shaping nature of my own mental force into less ambiguity, my overall situation, mirroring this change, will also become clearer and favorable. A one-pointed, well focused commitment will be realized. It seems my chances are better of attaining this if my sights are set on a really worthy goal, such as the realization of my Highest Self, through L.W.

Out for another six-pack! To hell with L.W.! To hell with philosophical speculations while my guts are churning in fear and Iím so lonely I could cry! To hell with no more drinking! I can not sleep. A beer is a small thing and will help me relax.

22 NOV 72 - Once more, hungover. Once more, I see I must seek refuge in Lifestream Way. Of course, it obviously wonít be easy!

Iíll not require of myself that I give up my skepticism. Nonetheless, I shall eat no meat nor drink any alcohol, etc., and shall read from L.W. literature daily, and attend at least one association meeting a week. After three months, hopefully I shall be accepted for Lifestream Way initiation and may then commence in practice this unambiguous commitment, if I can.

Tonight I lay down and concentrated on relaxing each part of my body while holding my mind still, alert, and awake. Suddenly, I felt as if I were very, very buoyant. I felt I was just floating upward. There was, throughout this, a sense of a special "vibration" surging through me. Part of the time there was also a very rapid flickering of light.

In addition to my brother Ralph, our brother Allen has also now decided to follow the teachings of L.W., is studying the books, and has stopped eating meat, despite the ribbing and rejection he gets for it from the rest of our family, especially our father, as Allen is just 15 and still living at home. Meanwhile, my intellectual wrestling over this approach continues ferociously.

26 NOV 72 - Attended a Lifestream Way association meeting (hereafter just called association) today, for the first time in many weeks. To my surprise, it felt great, like coming home again.

If one wants really to change, he/she must finally just push off from shore and have a river-run! Only later can one reflect objectively on the nature of "river-running," and perhaps also go on to other river-runs. Having, after these 29+ years chosen L.W. as my river to run, I intend to really run it - so long as my little craft shall float, until this stream Iím on runs out into the sea toward which all rivers flow, or until it thrusts me headlong into another river, that may take me the rest of the way. Attaining that sea, I can then assess the entire journey better.


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