Between Jerusalem I’m Sorry, Chapter 3

Jewish National Fund poster, ca. 1960. From the National Library of Israel Ephemera Collection

The Fruit Fly and the Blessing

We return from the past to the present of this story, Safed, the constructing arm of the spiral galaxy of this story. The social life there in Safed, or the one I was around, revolved around Shabbot, or the Sabbath, which started at the blast of a horn sundown on Friday and ended at another horn blast sundown on Saturday. What you can and cannot do or buy on the Sabbath has been and still is a source of debate in Western culture, not only among Jews, and when I was a boy, which wasn’t very long ago comparatively speaking, the Texas Blue Laws made it hard to buy things on Sundays, the Christian sabbath, things like a saw or screwdriver, any hardware, and restrictions on buying alcohol on Sunday are yet part of Texas law. But however holy we hold them, days like these don’t have an identity; we give them one. I think that’s basically what Jesus was trying to say to his day.

The whole week was a preparation for that day it seemed, what with all the shopping and cooking throughout the week that came to a frantic crescendo as the horn threatened to blow on sundown Friday. The day was not, at least not as I encountered it with the Jews I was with while I was in Israel, a time of quiet reflection and prayer, or of inward turning, and I’m not talking about the study and contemplation of books, which wouldn’t have been around when the day had originally been set aside, it being set aside, from my perspective, why there was no work, so you would be unencumbered by duties and could seek inner contact with the divine, but then you’d have people that would actually make that contact, admittedly few, but that contact has such an impact many would come to know about it, and you’d have a religion in constant evolution, something tradition abhors, and Jewish tradition, if anything, is exceptionally traditional, and even Reform Judaism, which tries to make allowances for that evolution, falls convincingly short.

It was a day of celebration and revelry, as I saw it anyway, and my vision wasn’t incorrect: the divine aspect of joy was stressed in the orthodoxy there in Safed. There were two principle meals, as I’ve mentioned, the first meal Shabbis on Friday evening, a modest affair compared to the big dinner of the week, the second meal on Saturday afternoon, where neighbors and family came to table together to eat, drink, and be merry. It was a time of sharing, being with your friends and family and enjoying a good meal, one usually many contributed the cooking for. There was also the tradition of going out and finding a Jewish person who didn’t have a dinner to go to and inviting them to your Shabbis meal, and so strangers also often sat at the table too, ones who didn’t or couldn’t contribute anything but their presence. Zeke had benefited from this tradition that night in Jerusalem, and I, though non-Jew, did too here in Safed, getting an invitation to Mosheheim’s house, also in that square in the artist’s quarter, for a sleepover no less. I was overjoyed at the invitation, which meant a night sleeping indoors and some good food, and I’d heard he was a good cook. He also turned out to be a good storyteller.

Body types abound in humanity, and they transcend race. Among those there is the at once recognizable bear of a man who has an open face that regards the world kindly and with a smile. Santa Claus is of this type. It’s not that Moshehiem (I don’t know if that’s the spelling) was always happy when you saw him; it’s that being sad or cross were moods not so native to his public character at least, however much he may have entertained those unlovely guests in private. He was, however, like Zeke, a Jew first and a human being second. He was part of the core group surrounding Avraham’s studio, although he had his own place and spent most of his time there. I didn’t know why he invited me, not at first at least, but I’d been in Safed a week or so by then, very present in and around the studio, and I was making waves because I wasn’t Jewish but was as serious about divine matters as they were, was a lover of God as much as they were. They believed but I had seen, speaking of divinity and speaking in a matter that smacks of a big head, but pardon me it’s also the truth here. That’s a difference (between believers and seers) hard to ignore but equally as hard to put your finger on, and when you did, if you only believed, you didn’t quite know what to do, examine yourself as to why you hadn’t seen, put the person who had on a pedestal, or put them somewhere they didn’t crowd in on your self-satisfaction at your religiousness, most preferably out of the picture.

I don’t remember where I was at that moment in investigating my own Jewish identity, but I hadn’t had the kippah dream yet and wasn’t wearing one. I remember talking conversion over with Moshehiem, and he was the one who filled me in on the ins and outs of converting, what a Shabbot Goy was and how I could become that for them, which is a gofer and errand boy not bound by the law, although he did not like the word goy, and he explained it as a racial and derogatory term for a non-Jew, akin in character to the word nigger, although it seems to me the n-word carries such a history of violence it’s not really in the same category as the word goy. Funny how he didn’t like that word but held feelings of racial superiority. Racism is like that; no one knows they’re racist.

Funny how human that is, to be an unconscious racist but espouse to hate racism, get it out of your vocabulary but not out of your heart. I don’t think a one of us is completely free of that hypocrisy, and when we start to see that we’ll finally be able to truly address racism among us. This bears more than a moment’s pause and is an idea I’ll return to often. We tend to see racism and bigotry as morally wrong, as an aberration of nature, but it is in fact natural to the animal us, to the ego nature, to see people from other groups as less human than people from ours, meaning they don’t deserve the same respect or rights as us, and the more different they are, a different skin color for example, the less humanity we give them. Education and inner development helps override this natural tendency in ourselves, but it does’t obliterate it. If you are sincere with yourself you can still see it.

Although I identify more as a human being than a White person, I still catch myself looking out White eyes, and when I do I try and catch from where it’s coming from inside me. It’s not hard to see it’s not coming from my soul but from the animal ego. Although most everyone would say it’s because I was indoctrinated as a child to see out those eyes, I’m afraid it goes deeper than that, although that certainly amplifies it. The roots of racism are in the very nature of the human ego, as I’ve suggested above, what would have to be more than rearranged if we want to get rid of racism, in all its forms, religious bigotry included; we’d have to get rid of the ego. Be that as it may, it seems to me that I had those conversion conversations with Moshehiem after I’d stayed with him and not during, but I don’t exactly remember.

What I remember most of my Shabbot with him was his stories. I guess it was my dad’s stories of being in the army that got me hooked on hearing people tell stories, as his were so animated and detailed, put me there for instance as the fuel depot blew up when he, as a joke, to scare the Black attendant sergeant filling up my dad’s jerrycan, took out the lighter he kept as a memento of something or another, the one that had stopped working months before, that he’d take out and flick every now and then. That time he flicked it, it lit, impossibly, and I could just see he and the sergeant hauling ass out of there as the flames shot up to the sky, the whole place going up in a matter of minutes, the surprise on my dad’s face bigger than the sergeant’s, a surprise I could feel in myself hearing the story. He said it almost re-started the Korean War, as this happened there just a couple of months or so after the war had ended, and everyone thought the North Koreans did it. When the truth came out, no one said anything to my dad, or so he said, so relieved it wasn’t the enemy. True or not, that story, along with his others about being a G.I., sparked in me a love to sit at someone’s feet so to speak and hear their stories, did not conflict with my love to tell my own, although you had to be interesting, had to know how to tell a story and give me enough of an image so I could see it in my mind’s eye, else you’d just be hearing a bunch of my stories and have a hard time to get a word in edgewise. Nobody’s perfect I keep trying to tell you.

The first image Moshehiem invoked in my mind was that of he and three or four other friends looking out an upper window at the stars at night and wondering over God, having come to a room upstairs, on their own, one by one, to get away from the noise and whatnot of the acid-dropping party happening downstairs, and the surprise he felt, they all felt, when they discovered they were all Jewish, all the Jews in the party. The room was only lit by star shine and the diffused glow of streetlights coming from the window, and with that soft darkness and the quiet in the room muffling the noise coming from below, combined with the mind-expanding effects of the LSD, which gives such a sense of destiny upon events, they had been taken out of the party, where all the non-Jews were, and into rapt contemplation upon God. He said they all looked at one another knowingly, as it had happened as if by design, the separation of the Jews from the rest, the non-Jews, who were all down there partying it up.

His story had come about because we’d been talking about the concept of the Jewish soul, a concept I’d been encountering more the more I was around Jews while in Israel, me being non-Jewish, a concept that, no matter how you sliced it, seemed to me to be racist. It proposed that there were two basic and fundamental groups in humanity, the Jew and the gentile. I’d been surprised to find that many Jews believed in reincarnation, especially the ones who hold the Kabbalah in high esteem, but I’d also been surprised, dismayed more like it, to find they believed the Jewish soul always reincarnated as a Jew, and the gentile never as a Jew, although one would if they converted, the immortal soul, as they saw it, being susceptible to manmade manipulation and device, the whim of the ego. The above story was the example Moshehiem gave me of the difference between the Jewish soul and the gentile, what had shown to him there was a difference, what had begun to set him apart from non-Jews, as up until that time he’d not made any distinction and mixed freely with other young people. The difference, he said, wasn’t one of superiority, but that it was the Jewish soul that could draw neigh to God, that was drawn to God, while the non-Jewish soul couldn’t, or not very easily, and wasn’t called to be close to God, not his exact words, but the gist of it.

He was neither a Torah scholar nor a rabbi, although he had spent some time as an Hasidic Jew and a little crazy time thinking he was the Mashiach, the Jewish Messiah, experiences that would give one some intense thoughts on such matters you’ve got to figure, and this is how he viewed the difference between the Jewish soul and non. It doesn’t say in the Torah that Jews have one soul and gentiles another, but it does say Jews are a people chosen by God, have a covenant with Him, does set Jews apart from non-Jews, proscribing what Jews and non-Jews can do together and what they can’t, such as Jews not being allowed to leave their wine with gentiles or let them cook their food, and it can be said without a doubt that many of the restrictions on Jewish diet and behavior was to restrict their social interaction with non-Jews. And so the separation was part of the religion of Judaism in its foundation, something I believe has more to do with the formation of the human ego, or its final form rather, than with an intrinsic separation to last an eternity, but let us return to the idea of the Jewish soul and look to see, since it didn’t originate in the Torah, the founding text of Judaism, perhaps why and how it came to be.

First let’s look at an offshoot of Judaism, Christianity, in order to draw an analogy. Although the virgin birth of Jesus is a central part of Christian doctrine, a belief not even questioned by most Christians, the same was said of Confucius, and probably of many others that people of old wanted venerated who have been lost to history. It was said of Confucius to give him authority, and it was the same in the case of Jesus, only with him it was more a moral necessity and was created, made up, to escape the fact that a teenage girl had him out of wedlock, making him a fatherless child, a stigma in that culture and at that time akin to being a criminal in today’s society, an inevitable  persecution he would have faced at the hands of his society interestingly left out of the Gospels. That persecution we might call the primary school of Jesus, what he cut his teeth on, so pronounced a suffering it was upon his early life, and we can draw many parallels from this discrimination and his compassionate teachings if we were on the subject.

At any rate, people in his society did not consider him the son of God when he was growing up, and no one would’ve accepted him as the Mashiach if they knew that he was a bastard once he’d died, and so the founders of the Christian religion invented the story of the virgin birth to give him the moral authority he needed to overcome the stigma he represented, however much it is indeed possible his birth was heralded by an angel to Mary similar to how Buddha’s mother was foretold in a dream her son had an extraordinary destiny to fulfill, be either a great king or spiritual leader, and aren’t these parallels between the King of the Jews and the Enlightened One revealing? Their houses (heavens) were, in my divine experience, side by side.

Likewise, in the Jewish tradition, while the creation of the idea of a separate Jewish soul wasn’t to give that soul authority, or not specifically, it also came about as an invention of man, but in this case to make the Jewish soul, and hence the Jew, as distinct from other humans as possible, the soul in its usage being, even figuratively for people who don’t believe in a soul, the essence of a person, the deepest we go. If something is said to be in the soul, it’s like saying it’s really real.

Unlike the virgin birth concept in Christianity, however, the idea of a Jewish soul did not arise immediately but resulted from a long process of evolution of Jewish thought and tradition, and nor was the idea simply a caprice of the human mind, to cover a hole people wanted filled, as was the case with the Christian virgin birth. I’d imagine the origin of the idea can most likely be found in the origins of Jewish mysticism, where there were Jewish mystics having spiritual and metaphysical experiences, though within the confines of their house, their divine ideal, quite sophisticated experience compared to the churning ocean of the mass of humanity around them, who was concerned with much lesser things, surface phenomena, not the deeps of God, and they, like the Vedic Rishis of India, like other mystic groups, attributed the phenomenon and capacity to their religion and racial type. It’s a prejudice and is because the mystical experience within the confines of any divine house will be just as sophisticated, however different if may be in terms of ideals stressed, not of course with coarse people, but with seers who have reached the level of development the Vedic Rishis and the early Jewish mystics had. In passing it’d be appropriate to note that Jesus, whom we can at least agree was a Jewish mystic, probably had the divine experience I’ve mentioned and seen the “many mansions” in the house of God.

The idea of the Jewish soul comes from an ignorance of soul development, an evolution that would transcend the limits of time and space, and so language too, and so I can only paint impressionistic pictures. There’s more to the soul than its human part evolving, what we call the individual soul that’s putting on one body after another in this present eternity we find ourselves in, which is not the only one we’ve been in nor the last we will be in. In regards to that human part, there is a tremendous deal of diversity in levels of maturity, a mature soul being one that can concretely grasp its embodiment and lead the life, what may take many thousands of embodiments. It happens within this evolution of souls that every and any kind of grouping can take place to quicken both the development of individual human souls and the world soul, where groups of souls come together for that reason, a quickening, one that not only effects the individual souls involved but the whole human race, what acts like a leavening agent upon humanity, a grouping together of the human soul, not a creation of different kinds of human souls. Such a grouping can provide a system and structure for the quickening to continue, though quite diminished, sometimes to the point of being dead, long after the original initiating group has left the scene; such a grouping can create a religion such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity for that matter, and I can continue.

Judaism stands unique among the modern world religions because it created a people within humanity, a more apt word for what Jews are than race or nation. It also stands unique for a reason more vital to the entire race, but more on that later. The birth of the Jewish people had the divine as a midwife, was created by a house on the divine plane to embody on earth the ideal of that house. The people did not eventually come about as a result of all being of the same religion; it was created hand in hand with the establishment of Judaism, in a covenant a divine made with a human man, who was the head of a large family, Abraham, a promise that from his family there would arise a great people, and it wasn’t until much later that the religion was more formally established, although the worship of that divine and that one alone, the ideal of that house being there is only one God and making life holy for His sake, was the part of the covenant the people had to fulfill, was present in the very beginning.

That it was a people a divine house established and not only a religion, makes Jewish identity among the strongest of peoples on the planet, makes Judaism a religion in the bones and not only in the heart and mind. Seeing it in this light makes it more understandable how such a segregating idea as a separate soul was created by Jewish thought, and I can say that it came from the Jewish mind (was invented) with such certainty because the overriding knowledge you come away with from soul contact is the identity we share with all things living and non. You don’t see your people as having a separate soul. It’s a different group soul within the soul of humanity, and of those, there are many.

My discussion with Moshehiem about the Jewish soul did not come anywhere near the depth I’m discussing here, and I see now I’d have been more to the point if I’d have talked to him about it from the perspective, metaphysically speaking, of when the Jewish soul supposedly had been created, with Abraham or at Mt. Sinai (tradition has it that every Jewish soul was present when the Torah was handed down at Sinai, meaning any real Jew has been incarnating as a Jew at least since then). It doesn’t really matter if it’s one or the other or both, since it poses implausible theories in regards to the inviolable and immortal soul that more readily reveal the origin of the concept, that being the human intellect, than does what I focused on with Moshehiem, which was the afterlife.

“Come on Moshehiem, you mean at death the Jews are separated from everyone else? Do Jews go to heaven and the gentiles to hell? How is that different than the Christian belief that, no matter what kind of person you are, if you’re a Christian you go to heaven, and if you’re not you go to hell?”

“No, no, gentiles don’t go to hell. They have an afterlife…”

I just cut him off. “Separate but equal right? Where have I heard that before?”

“With Jews the afterlife is concerned with being close to God, giving glory to God, and the gentile afterlife with…” He paused to consider his words.

“With what?” I asked, jumping on his obvious difficulty in making it sound like the gentile afterlife wasn’t inferior to the Jewish.

We were in his apartment standing near the table just outside the kitchen, where he was cooking dishes for the second Shabbis meal, which was the next day, this being late Friday afternoon before the Shabbot horn, and he was pressed for time. It was a small place but nice, an old stone house of sorts that was conjoined with a row of them on that side of the square, which was to the left of Avraham’s studio as you faced his studio. He returned to the kitchen and spoke from there. “There’s just no way to understand these things with the human mind,” he offered, using an argument I often used. “Gentiles have an afterlife, go to heaven and all that, are not in death necessarily separate from Jews, although there would be some kind of separation, gentiles getting what is right for them, and Jews what’s right for Jews.”

“You’re intelligent. I’ll give you that, but think about it, it’s all a bit arbitrary don’t you think? Just by being born a Jew you can have an afterlife close to God, but if you’re a gentile, even if you’ve spent your life loving God, you have an afterlife further from Him. No matter how you put it, you’re still speaking as though the Jewish soul is superior to the gentile. I mean, what’s higher than God, if you see what I’m saying?” He did, but refused to admit it.

Reality really is much stranger than fiction, and, as it happens, what became apparent only after many years in interpreting the divine experience, when we die we don’t all go to the same place, not by a long shot, although we do go to ‘the other side’, the place of the dead, unless we are unfortunate and become ghosts trapped here. Nor do we all ‘end’ our afterlife journey in a heaven that we eventually rise above to as well in our journey to becoming again our pure soul, so as to take on another life and body, but for the purposes of illustration it can be said that we all do go to Heaven, but not some general, generic heaven, but the Heaven, or house, of our divine ideal, the one our soul is drawn to the most.

So, in a manner of speaking, Jews do have their own heaven, but not all Jews go there; the ones whose soul is drawn to another divine ideal go to that Heaven. In other words, what Heaven, or divine house, you go to isn’t based on blood, on the flesh, but on what religion or divine ideal your soul is most drawn to in this your present life, and in the impossible to our ways way of soul and difference in the way time passes on the other side than on material earth, some souls might go here and there.

It’s crucial to understanding soul process, and hence its inviolability, to realize it isn’t passed through sperm and gene, as I’m sure most Jewish rabbis would tell you, but when you get into the ins and outs, the semantics, of the concept of a Jewish soul, that’s what it boils down to, something dependent on material process and heredity, something passed from parent (mother) to child. As for when it incarnates, at conception, at this or that trimester in the womb, it’s also crucial to understand that uniformity has nothing do with the spontaneity and plasticity of soul process. It incarnates in an infant once the vehicle is sufficiently formed for its needs, which is not the same for every child born, and in some cases, that might even occur shortly after birth and not in the womb. It’s this question we’d have to base the issue of abortion on, not the morality of it: has the soul taken its vehicle yet or not? That can be determined by the mother and interested parties ‘seeing’ on the inside through dream and vision, which just sounds arbitrary hogwash now so far we are from knowing the reality of seeing inner reality.

The question would come up, from where does the soul come to take on a vehicle? Does it come, or they rather, in this pluralistic view, from all the houses or Heavens? After all, it’s drawn to this or that house. That would mean we would have separate souls, as we do egos, and that the soul does not transcend the Heavens, the universe, but is created in it and by it, and neither are those the case. But it is undergoing an evolution within the conditions of the cosmos, which I’ve called a process of maturation, or growing up. That would mean it changes and aligns with this divine ideal(s) in this incarnation, and with that one in another, with a lot of going back and forth and tarrying with this or that ideal(s) a few of incarnations, speaking of the human portion of the soul inside us, that portion of it individualized for the purposes of evolution, what’s called the psychic being in the yoga I follow, and there is infinitely more to the soul than that.

The human soul does not come from the Heaven it’s drawn to in its embodiment, if it’s drawn to any, and many aren’t, but a house can emanate itself into an incarnating human soul, or, more concretely, send down an avatar, an actual incarnation, which is extremely, extraordinarily rare I’m afraid. The emanation, however, is more common. In such a scenario, it’s easy to see how the concept of a separate Jewish soul, or an inherent, intrinsic Jewish ‘spark’ in the soul of Jews, a pintele yid it’s called, could come about: from an incomplete ‘seeing’.

The soul is not from around here I must stress, and it comes from a realm of oneness beyond the universe to incarnate in bodies on earth, and it’s not of spark of Jewishness the Jewish mystics saw, if the image of a spark comes from something seen in vision, but a spark from the fire of God they mistook for the fire of their ethnic group, understandably, if the human mass around their little, ordered, clean, Jewish island was yet raging in primitive man, something I’ll come back to later on, that ordered Jewish island when man was yet rather lost in chaos.

From afar in dream and vision the soul appears as an impossible to get to incredible, and dry, city at the bottom of the ocean, or one that lies in a blessed little valley so far below there is no hope to get there, but when you get right up to your soul, hold it in your hand, if you ever dream down deep enough to have it represented in dream, come into that holy, mute, dim shrine, which might be inside an ancient cavern, an ages old temple, or the puja room of an old Indian house, depending on how your dream maker makes it, it’s an unwavering, inextinguishable flame that you know is lit from the home fire of God. Personified in dream, when it meets you face to face, and in my dreams it’s always female, it comes to you as the sweetest, most trustworthy and nonjudgmental person you’ve ever known, or someone you know is that just by being in their presence. To actually go to the realm of soul is to be immersed in the boundlessness of Spirit. A point of light, yid, immersed in form, is just a representative surface. Can you see the difference between personal experience and belief? I’m showing it to you.

The Shabbot horn sounded sometime later. Moshehiem said it came from an ultra-orthodox community nearby, where it was like a trumpet of God to the people there, who dropped at once whatever they were doing, went indoors, and heeded the law of the Sabbath. I remember the pictures this posted in my mind: first, of a loud speaker high up on some pole, it sitting up there like some exclamation point in reality, then of people somewhat alarmed, somewhat relieved, scurrying about to get inside as quickly as possible, packages and parcels hanging this way and that on them, leaving the streets empty of life, like everyone that lived there had died so pronounced was the silence the streets presented to an outside witness eye. Moshehiem too stopped working, and we sat down to more conversation, he and I alone together, he, I already figured, curious about me, being non-Jew, and my love for God and the spiritual and metaphysical experiences I wore on my sleeve. It seemed strange to me though, knowing that was the case, that he didn’t really want to hear about me; he wanted to talk about himself and being Jewish. His unwillingness to listen to my stories I think was a combination of being around my eager ears that like to hear people’s stories, and the unease my over the top stories brought in people who likewise sought God and who wanted such experiences, but never got them.

I forget what he told me of the events that put him there in Israel, but he gave me a vivid image of him in a phone booth in New York City talking to a family member about his pressing need to reveal himself to other Jews as the Mashiach. It was time. The family member was trying to talk him down. I think they did manage to talk him home. I don’t know how long it’d been since the acid trip at that party, a couple of years I think, but it was after that trip that he’d begun to explore his Jewish identity, becoming in time a religious Jew. It would be interesting to know when and how exactly the notion of him being the Messiah entered his head, although I’m sure it had something to do with that idea being so prominent in the Orthodox Jewish mind, the coming of the Mashiach, but he didn’t exactly know himself. Whenever and however it came in, he found himself thinking about it more and more until it reached that breaking point, crossed that red line, where he actually believed it. This opened up what in psychology is known as a psychosis, where your inner reality sort of swallows up your outer reality, with all the weirdness that entails, something LSD is a window into if you want to see what it’s like to have your inner do that, not necessarily a bad thing, at least not when it’s your soul taking over or a very conscious, ordered inner being full of light, but not when it’s your subconscious.

On acid the experience is temporary and what you make of it, is what your set and setting make it, many times that being no more than a wonderful weirdness that gives your senses so much room to play, but if set and setting are the right combination, consciously arranged, painstakingly prepared, it can be a powerful healing experience, even a religious one, but a psychotic break is a whole other story than an acid trip, even if one triggers it, although a psychosis too can bring about healing if it’s handled as though it can. Whatever I experienced after my acid trip, when I had that divine experience, the term spiritual emergency describes it pretty well, but I’m sure some would call it a temporary psychosis. In Moshehiem’s case he said it took months for him to recover, from the Messiah notion, not the acid trip, but he hadn’t been hospitalized. When he came back to himself and got his feet back under him, he decided to go to Israel, and did so and made Aliya. I’m not sure when he became a Hasidic Jew, whether that was in New York or Israel, but by the time I met him he’d taken off those black garbs, that religious fur, and was just focusing on observing the Law and being a good Jew, but it was obvious to me that wasn’t enough, and he longed for more but had no idea what that would mean. He’d already tried what most try if they feel lacking in their religion: go as orthodox and strict as possible, to the extreme in the observance of your religion, and so doing we make the biggest mistake in regards to religion, which is to substitute it for God. It never works.

Encounter in a goodwill’s party that your story is welcome too, but here mine wasn’t, as I’ve mentioned, and when I tried to tell the story of my first acid trip, as a way to show him that non-Jews thought about God too when tripping, and not only thought about God but could actually have an experience of God, he cut me off before the trip could take off. Room, there wasn’t enough room. His being Jew took up all the space, and he didn’t want to hear spiritual stories from a non-Jew that made him question his belief in the spiritual superiority of Jews. Although it was like he hit me over the head, what being squelched has always felt like to me, and I get hit in the head more than listened to in my life, I was glad to be indoors, thankful he’d invited me and was spending such a concentrated time with me, not what I could actually call giving, as he had his reasons for bringing me there, and they weren’t the best of intentions I could see, but I thought “what the heck, so I can’t tell my stories. I can listen,” and so I did.

You got to be willing to get your hair wet if you’re going to wash someone’s hair, hair being a symbol for the mind and its thoughts, and it’s not Moshehiem’s hair I’m talking about; it’s ours. The young Jewish man in King’s Cafeteria went through a bout with the idea he was the Jewish Messiah, too. Then there was Lars with the idea he was Islam’s Madhi, mentioned in the Tongues Jerusalem story, and I with the idea I was the Antichrist of Christianity would you believe it. You’d wonder what is going on with us, with so many of us, having such symbols and tattoos in the being. While it is a form of megalomania, it doesn’t come about because we are just egomaniacs. With the young Jewish man it’s easy to see how he got the idea in his head: he was raised to believe he was, who he was told he was during ego transcription. With the rest of us it’s not so clearly spelled out, but it comes about in the same way: our parents and/or primary caretakers, or only one very intensely, adores us, worships us really, when we are infants and toddlers, and we are their little Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Mohammed, Moses, or whomever. Even if you are never called these things, the devotional energy given to you, the importance you are shown to have by your parental devotees, and I’m not talking about simply adoring your child but putting this emphasis on them all out of proportion to their place in the world, which even for a prince or princess is nothing compared with the size of the world, is something pathological and causes complexes like a messiah complex, which the child, at some point in their adult life, manifests and puts it in the terms of their religion.

Good God why did I have an antichrist complex? In addition to being my mother’s little Jesus, I was her little lover, her relationship to my penis and the whole nine yards captured well by a line of muse poetry, from the inner voice, that came to illustrate the above point: “a combination of suck it serve it, have Sermon on the Mount with it.” In such a taboo relationship, so hedonistically Oedipal, you wouldn’t imagine I’d grow up and believe I was the Messiah would you?

The antichrist thought had never even entered my head until I dropped acid for the first time, was not anything I would’ve identified myself with, was not anything I even remotely wanted to be. I had wanted to be a prophet when I was a teenage Jesus freak, like I wanted to be a Green Beret and astronaut when I was a little kid. Although my self-importance had always been barn big, as a result of being worshiped by my mom, I’d not thought myself any kind of divine specialness, good or bad. That it was not only a bad specialness but the worst you could be, in my cultural/religious context anyway, when such an insane thought did hit me, resulted of course from my sexual relationship with my mom from birth until I was four. Other bad things resulted from that too, as well as things that never would’ve happened if that hadn’t, incredibly good things, like being wide and open enough to encounter the behinds and in-betweens of reality. Do we only cuss Eve for eating the apple, simply despise Pandora for opening that box?

Radical consciousness,
it proved things through inner experience.
It's hard on time.
It's all we can do to stay awake.
It's all we can do to be alive.
It's all we can do to stay alive,
if we've confronted the Antichrist,
if we've confronted his paper.

You're caught up in pegging people evil.
I don't think you can see yourself
if you've confronted the Way.
No finger wagging at me
if you've confronted it honestly.
Can you turn the pump off,
wash the live yard?
I think everybody is up in arms over everything.
Hit over the head with morality,
even the undefined spiritual path.

The workings of the spiritual path
what I'm showing you,
what I'm here to find out,
specifically the spiritual divide in that,
where racism starts,
the spiritual process in that.

You are really you.
The Messiah,
I'm poundin' on your door.
I think this is where humanity springs.
I think this is every one of us,
whoever we find Messiah.
It's our larger self
comin' down the pikes through time.
I'm a seer to help us get there.
That's my public face.
I'm not about to ditch you in the ditch.
I'm serious about this stuff.
Listen to me speak.

Can this doctrine go the distance?
[dramatic music from the U2 song "Drowning Man" heard here]
It's reaching out for you now.
In the future
it will be the doctrine of our self.
It will be where we carry our bank card.
won't necessarily find us this order.
It's a handle from the creators of this universe,
a supramental handle.

Oh my gosh,
you've changed the face of God.
Brushed with death
to get this across to you.
The Gods in their starry heaven
have to be surpassed.
The universe is so small, you know?

You were born in your south.
It's where we all march on to improve.
It's what I'm about here.
It's what I'm doing with you.
I'm making you lunch.
There, another chapter.

The image of the werewolf,
I'm not about that spirit.
I've had to overcome it to be on this page.
I've had to overcome it to get here.
And we need this overcome in man.
How easily you'll assign to me the worst evil possible,
but I'm giving you joy.
And here it is on your page.
Good evening.

Next post:

Chapter 4
A Living Incense Link

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