She’s lying dying there on a white gurney, halfway up this slope of hill. The wind is blowing. Her hair keeps covering her face; and the sheet billows up. As I approach, it suddenly flies loose and drifts away into the blue, with a roar and snap. Her hair flies back. Her face is full of pain and fury. Where once I’d held her lovely breasts, now were large wounds gaping raw and red. I turned to gaze into her eyes. I rehearsed my friendly, comforting lies. But she cut me off with a withering glance and high-pitched, bitter laughter. She tried to raise up. She started to point a thin arm at me. Her laughter turned to spasms of coughing that shook the gurney. The wheels shifted a fraction and she was off, gurney and all, careening down the hillside and disappearing in an instant. Her laughter finally resumed at last as she tipped over the edge and began to drop. I awakened, shaken.
2 SEP 73 - In the presence of the truly insane, we feel fear, disgust - and awe!
What a strange dance this is! It has its ritual pains, its ritual pleasures, but what does it amount to? Perhaps I’ve not yet learned the True Dance. And these groping, awkward steps of mine but ape, mock, and distort that Dance for which dancing was created.
My life - my life is, and seems always to have been, ironic, anomalous, paradoxical, convoluted.
Life is a game to be played, but all these folks, and too often myself as well, want to play it so damned seriously! They play "cut-throat!" All around you, everyone is so very earnest and sinister!
It is no disgrace to be a fool, a failure, to play life’s games and know they are just games, to be alone, or to be with others but miserable. The only disgrace is in not being honest, in not looking at oneself in the mirror. A person’s only true failure is in shutting the door on a real encounter with oneself. Finally, it is not a failure of nerve but of love.
3 SEP 73 - Whatever is of genuine significance comes out of the blue. Some call it "the unconscious," some "universal mind," some "God," etc. Whatever, it comes from beyond you and me, as we normally experience ourselves. It thus can seem to fit almost any halfway reasonable hypothesis or system of belief or myth about the nature of things beyond our everyday awareness.
What is real? Only our experience is real. There is nothing else.
I want to somehow express my essence through writing. This sounds absurd. But I find the impulse very strong to try. For me, it is a useful tool for the quest.
Two nights ago, in a dream, I accidentally chopped off my right hand with one of the sharp cleavers we use at The Orange Squeezer, for cutting up vegetables, for salads, soups, etc. Yesterday evening, trying to pry a lid off with such a cleaver, I sliced my right hand at the wrist. Had my force been greater or the edge sharper, the dream would have been fulfilled. Strange.
While on a Ritalin-CO2 trip, in a workshop in California, I saw my entire lifeline, the finished journey of my life and death, as a fine tracing neatly spun on a microdot. It was complete in every detail, waiting for me to fulfill it in moment-to-moment awareness, just as a fuse "awaits" the passing of the flame. All that remained was for me to move, in ordinary consciousness, along the whole circuit, like a tiny electrical pulse that was also information and being. In the explanations or myths of The Lifestream Way, I suppose this was a glimpse, in modern metaphor, of my "fate karma" or destiny.
As I see it, myths weld our rational, intuitive, conscious, and unconscious needs into a cohesive, meaningful whole in such a way as to present us with a satisfying and secure representation of reality, notwithstanding that, should we but scratch the surface a bit, our creative synthesis would be found to be built upon sand. The vastness of the unknown and unknowable is utterly unfathomable. With our best conceptions, our most brilliant insights into the nature of things, we but weave delicate webs of light upon the surface of a dark sea of nothingness. Nonetheless, for our subjective purposes, particular myths are more or less compelling, to the degree they are or are not consistent with the seamless fabric of all our prior experience and to the extent they do or do not challenge us and motivate us to venture forth beyond the current frontiers of our experience. At present, we seem near the zenith of the scientific mythology’s compelling influence upon the consciousness of men and women. Yet, already this influence begins to wane. Soon we shall be confused in trying to differentiate psychology and physics, the natural history of subjective experience and the nature of quantum mechanics. Out of this confusion, and a fundamental doubt about the common sense, neat explanations for everything, that pass for knowledge nowadays, must emerge, in time, a new identity for and definition of humankind. We desperately require a new, post-post-modern mythology to replace both the classical and scientific myths, which are proving inadequate in our day. As we explode into the Twenty-First Century, the gulf between our experience and our outmoded mythologies becomes alarmingly wider and wider. Here, then, is a challenge worthy of our most creative geniuses in the coming generations. If we "cop out" and settle for trying to still make the old myths fit, we may reap a grim harvest in unintended outcomes to which they logically lead: Armageddon, the attempt to ultimately manipulate nature, collectivism, subservience to the "needs" of alien (artificial) intelligence, synthetic life replacing the natural, the mechanization of the planet, the subjugation of the innovative, creative spirit by moralistic tyrannies, new dark-ages of the mind and spirit.
7 SEP 73 - The only reality we shall ever know, the only reality of any possible relevance is that of our own very personal, conscious experiencing. There is no "reality" out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered. There is only the ever unfolding reality of our own dull or brilliant conceiving into being. We are not the microcosm for some macrocosm. We simply are.
Our society, our culture, founded as these are on out-of-date myth-belief systems, fashioned willy-nilly as the common denominator of human consciousness, have little use or meaning or place for large numbers of people (witness the morass that Africa is becoming or teeming millions in hovels in India). Our obsolescent "civilization" has even less use for genuine growth, really new ideas (as opposed to technologies, or profits), most living plants and animals, "all things bright and beautiful."
9 SEP 73 - Gail, a follower of The Lifestream Way, a young woman whom I knew here in Austin, drowned yesterday. Her body has been recovered and the funeral is in a couple of days. She and her husband had been sailing on Lake Travis; and the boat capsized. She was not seen again till they found the body several hours later. It is so amazing how quickly a life full of promise and expectation can simply cease!
Made a date with Janet. I’ve become quite interested in her in the last few days. We’ll go to a movie next Sunday if she is free; but she may be going out of town. We’ll see.
11 SEP 73 - Feeling pretty down. Janet called and cancelled out on our date. She also declined to make any advance arrangements for another. Well, at least she is not "leading me on."
13 SEP 73 - Reading Einstein - The Life and Times, by Ronald W. Clark. I find much to appreciate in this man. It is always this way, isn’t it? We dream that our little similarities make us actually akin to the great ones! Well, at any rate, they are usually very intriguing and a lot of fun!
15 SEP 73 - Today Steve offered me a position in the restaurant management and a junior partnership in their business, if I would make a commitment to stay there for the next several years. I was flattered by the gesture, especially in view of our many differences in the past; but have decided not to accept. I feel I need to make a complete change of scene as soon as practicable.
18 SEP 73 - My whole life has been like a trance from which I have escaped but once or twice, and now again hope to wake at least once before I die.
There are no medals for loneliness.