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(1971-1975)



XXIV

26 AUG 74 - Yesterday, attended association in Washington, D.C., for the first time, driving up and back with Cathy, a pre-initiate from Richmond. After all this time, it was great to get back to a large Lifestream Way group and hear a really good discourse.

30 AUG 74 - During a recent visit with Esther, I happened to mention feeling like "the living dead" because I have no love in me. She commented, with a twinkle in her eyes, that this same thing had once been said by Mr. Roger Hammond to his master and that the latter had told him to go on doing his meditation anyway and had predicted that one day he would then become "all love." Mr. Hammond later was for many years one of Maharaj Gujja Ram Ji's (our masterís master) pioneering, best loved, and most loving representatives in America. Evidently the prescription worked! You donít become one of the teachers for an enlightened being without at least a little love!

5 SEP 74 - LW calls upon the disciple to adopt a very practical style of life, which will assure him the best possible adaptation both to his own idiosyncrasies and to the peculiarities of his external environment. But this "normal" way of life of the initiate is so much at variance with the rest of the so-called norms of the societies of people throughout the vast surface of this planet of knowing that for most of us it may seem like a radical departure, a complete break with at least many of the most significant things to which we have become accustomed. We must, therefore, go through an early phase of radical readjustment. This stage may at times seem very difficult, until the benefits of the new way of living begin to be properly realized.

In our haste to demythologize we have simply substituted for the old myths of classical times our new ones befitting our more nihilistic, materialistic, and technological age.

If I am a fool and a dreamer to follow LW to the exclusion of all other paths, at least I am in excellent company! Where else could I find such a host of aspiring, intelligent, creative, beautiful people and so many who are in fact already well on their way to becoming real explorers of the inner worlds? And which of us can claim he is not a dreamer? Who among us is truly awake? If our dreams make us better people, helping us to lead better lives, may we continue, then, to dream! Life is too short to go through it without one or two great dreams!

16 SEP 74 - Yesterday I drove again to Washington with Cathy. This time, Pat and Esther came along as well. We all spent the weekend in association. We had a marvelous time. Tired today though!

18 SEP 74 - Association tonight over at Esther's, with Cathy, Pat, and Robert. Pat and Robert are a beautiful young couple, initiates, quite devoted to LW, full of love, recently back from working in the Peace Corps in Africa, and soon on their way to Central America to be healthcare workers. I marvel at their resourcefulness, energy, and upbeat attitudes. It cannot be easy to be strictly vegetarian and following all the other LW vows day in and day out, particularly in a foreign culture and one that is incompatible with a traditional meditative way of life. Yet they seem to handle it all as if they had always lived so and, at the same time, to share marital bliss. Either they are on drugs or a really extraordinary pair!

I find myself dwelling on death, sex, poverty, and drinking in a lot of my thinking lately. I suppose I must go through such obsessions for awhile to make any progress later in my meditation.

Lifestream Way is a path of learning to always emphasize and return to the positive despite our old habits, built up over many years, of picking out and emphasizing the negative in most every situation. This is the way of the world and of the lower mind. If we are to rise above this place and ever to get the higher mind as our ally for self- and God-realization, then we must break radically with this old pattern, comfortable and familiar as it may be. Meanwhile, self-pity, discontent, self-righteous anger, depression, anxiety, stubbornness, quilt, criticism, impatience, cynicism, etc., continue all to be very seductive temptations which, however, never do us any good whatsoever and take up the room in this temple (for the body is the temple of the living God) that could be filled with divine light and sound instead. The negative keeps us oh so very heavy. And yet we need to be light, so very, very light. And then one day we shall loose the last line that moors us to this realm and shall just race away upon the waves of love that are ever flowing out from the highest heaven. Then, upon the great Lifesteam vessel of sound, we shall be light enough to float back to our true home, our real source, love itself, our maharaji, the very highest of all creators, the indescribable deep ocean of happiness, the very nameless One.

21 SEP 74 - Is it at all likely that intelligence should spring from that which is without intelligence or consciousness from the dead clay? Can meaning be birthed from out of the womb of the meaningless? Is it truly conceivable that even the "lesser" complexities of gravitation, time, space, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and nuclear physics could have come into existence and been sustained in a state of cosmic indifference? Is there any sense in the notion that all that is has come out of chance and accident? Are we merely intricate machines, randomly evolved out of the ether, or are we something more? We must be more! To answer otherwise seems too farfetched, too completely incredible.

25 SEP 74 - Tonight began hatha yoga classes at Fort Lee.

The "man is nothing more than..." schools of thought may surely help us to see what we are, but hardly what we may become.

A still legal source of psychedelic experience: Heavenly Blue Morning Glory seeds (Ipomoea rubro coerulea). A trained and trusted guide should be on hand.

Esther drops these hints (dancing before the blind?): 1. During the day, try meditating with a blindfold perhaps; 2. If no other position seems right, try meditating sitting up in bed; 3. Meditate when you feel calm; 4. Meditate when you feel restless; 5. Meditate before you go to bed; 6. Meditate after you get up; 7. Meditate every chance you get; 8. Let your duties in the world be simply breaks in your meditation; 9. Keep up your mantra repetition; 10 Get up early enough to have plenty of time for your meditation; 11. Do everything in Maharajiís name.

(Read Janovís The Primal Revolution, Simon and Schuster.)

29 OCT 74 - In every experience we may gain something. In this way the ups, downs, and vagaries of lifeís contingencies need not be merely a waste of precious time.

2 NOV 74 - Last night I had this strange dream: I was asked to speak to a dinner gathering in someoneís home. I stood up rather apprehensively, but shed my tension as I got started and suddenly felt full of exhilaration. I said, "You see, we think that we are just this body. But we are not. What are we really? (As I was speaking a sound increased and a sense of expectancy and immense power seemed to fill the room. People began to glance anxiously at one another.) Do not be afraid. We are not the body! We are experience, perception, or consciousness itself, floating free!" (And suddenly I was a drifting point of awareness looking down at my standing form speaking these words. The words themselves seemed to rise up and out of me like air bubbles rising to the surface of a spring. Then I awoke.)

3 NOV 74 - A busy day. Cleaned up the apartment as well as my shoes, car, dishes, etc. Also visited with Esther and listened to a couple of good tapes on LW over at her place.

7 NOV 74 - The characters and situations that we see depicted on television or in the movies are meaningful to the extent they represent our own psychological conditions. Then they serve as a means of draining off tension while helping to channel us into socially appropriate and accepted ways of seeing ourselves and our culture.

10 NOV 74 - Just there, if you could place it, just a suggestion away, less than a thought distant, is the canopy of sky of that "alien" universe of experience in which we really live, not this earthly, familiar sky hanging above these known hills and artifacts. And it may be known, seen, felt, smelled, heard, tasted, and so fully apprehended in greater essence than any electronic melody or merely broadcast display by which we seem to understand what we call "reality."

An interesting feature of the mind is that once it has made a choice, even one which was unavoidable or which came only after much agonizing over the consequences either way, it then begins to conform itself to the decision that has been taken. I must try to cleverly arrange things so that the mind has no further option but to make bold and steadfast efforts to "go within."

16 NOV 74 - A man - or a woman, of course - should be judged, if he must be, only by the quality of his visions. There is his true humanity. A transforming vision will transform the man. But who may chart and measure the soaring spirit of a true poet?

All the great systems, philosophies, sciences, religions, and schools call upon their students or devotees to sacrifice everything, their very lives if need be, for a single transforming dance with the utterly unknown. No words or descriptions can express that dance nor even serve to introduce us to the dancing partner, for the unknown shuns the shapes and sounds of mere words. They have their own ends and power. From deep within us they create shimmering phantom worlds and the rare glint of the miraculous. But the unknown remains, beyond all this, and will not dance with just any eager suitor.

Our lives are shaped by our coming death, perhaps as much as by the circumstances of our birth. It is not simply that our death is inevitable, but that it awaits us at a definite place and time and will overwhelm each of us in a manner individual and unique, glimpsed beforehand, throughout our lives, within our deepest selves, at that ever moving edge where we merge with the unknown.

A most worthwhile goal is to have the dance, at least once before we die, with the absolutely, utterly unknown, to have it in full consciousness, without holding back.

"The right time to pray is when you have nothing to pray for." Ishwar Puri

23 NOV 74 - In the path towards oneís highest self lies all one's fears, hurts, angers, memories, and hopes, all oneís load of mental/emotional stuff or baggage. There resides also all oneís claims to self-importance, oneís prejudices and biases, oneís conditionings, and all oneís words, clichés, and descriptions. One must go beyond all of these, overcoming all the seductive reasonableness of one's doubts that the path is even worthwhile, or that the map one has been given of it is a true and useful guide along the way.

Read The Fearful Void by Geoffrey Moorhouse. A portion of it that I particularly enjoyed: "It was because I was afraid that I had decided to attempt a crossing of the great Sahara desert, from west to east, by myself and by camel...One of my weaknesses is a deep need to justify my actions; I have always found it very difficult to do something simply for the fun - or the hell - of it. I did not need to look far for a justification of this journey. It was there in my instant recoil from the prospect of commitment, in the fearful sweat that sprang out of my palms. I would use this journey to examine the bases of my fear...it would be necessary to place myself in a completely unknown context, in which imagination might find the most fearful possibilities rampant. Once I recognized the opportunity for engaging in it...The Sahara fulfilled the required conditions perfectly."

We live by and in and largely for a world of metaphors. We have no language and hardly any conception of ultimate reality.

24 NOV 74 - To face oneself fully is the hardest and yet the most worthwhile challenge a person may ever accept. Having done so, the rest of life's and society's encounters may seem easy.

We live in a tantalizingly opulent age of fantastic food surpluses and daily deluges of kitchen waste into the garbage disposal or trash compactor or landfill or into the seemingly boundless void of the sea. And yet, at the very same time, ours is an age that has seen and continues to see, year after year, millions and millions of our fellow human beings on the very edge of, or toppling over the edge and falling into, the yawning, bottomless chasm of starvation. Ours is an age of the unleashing of the atom, of medical miracles, of creating new forms of life artificially, of marvelous networks of sophisticated computers, of the "global village," of our first tentative steps into the wonders and technologies of space, of automation, etc. And, at the same time, the gaunt specter of starvation runs shamelessly through many a vast countryside or teeming urban hive of humanity. Ours is, amid unparalleled plenty, the age of hunger!

In great extremity our normal conditionings break down. When this occurs, we can sometimes discover our own inner natural history. How we interpret the results of these brief forays into the unknown or unfamiliar worlds within will depend on what we still carry with us there. But to make our new knowledge meaningful and relevant, we must take what we learn and test it and apply it in our day-to-day lives.

The unknown must be respected for what it is, not interpreted in advance of each personís deep-level experience of it. Both the religions and the sciences are suspect in this regard. On the one hand, the religious true believer makes dogmatic claims about the nature of things of which he is personally unfamiliar. On the other, the scientific true believer expounds an "objective" reductionism that holds that this or that unusual phenomenon or experience is nothing but some vastly simpler things with which he already feels secure. At best, both approaches just mirror our deepest wishes, needs, expectations, and ambitions. At worst, they lead us far astray from a whole and truthful and harmonious being in and of the way things simply are, here and now. We must hold all our notions very lightly. Yet, with all their flaws, our religious and scientific metaphors have their uses too. And they may be taken as important clues to the riddles of getting through life, even if they tell us little about life itself.

22 DEC 74 - In the early morning, growing up, during the winterís cold,
Karen used to warm her hands by the cowís hot sighs,
And then loosen her shirt
And let the warm, moist breath of the animal
Blow over her breasts,
Before she would milk her,
The fresh white liquid steaming in the bucket.

25 DEC 74 - Christmas. A gloomy, cool, rainy day. Yet the sun keeps darting out of the clouds and making the streets gleam. Then back he runs; and the gloom settles heavily once more.

It is a day of car troubles, nameless fears, loneliness, apartment troubles, and of hope. I began this journal three years ago. In that time I committed myself to the practice of a form of practical mysticism. I do not know if there is in fact a personal God. But I am charmed by the lives and the teachings and simple wisdom of saintly men and women and of their sincere devotees. I think I can do no better for myself than to continue to follow the path called Lifestream Way.

The winds blow through the branches of a cedar close to my window.
The stars twinkle merrily now in a clear canopy of sky.
A quarter moon glows aloft.
It is cool and fresh
As I walk and jog round and round the block.

Listening to LW tapes of several of its great teachersí talks, I am again, anew, refreshed and inspired, and once more resolved to begin again.


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