Tag Archives: Jerusalem

Between Jerusalem I’m Sorry, Chapter 6

La distruzione del Tempio di Gerusalemme by Francesco Hayez 1867, public domain

Legends of School

“Donny, come here, come, come.” It was my classmate, and he was eagerly motioning me to follow him. This was very odd because he was Black and I was White, and this was third grade in East Texas in 1970, and, although Leon County School was officially desegregated, that didn’t mean the different races mixed socially, not by any means. It was like there were two different worlds sharing the world, only no one shared anything with the other race unless they had to. I tried to ignore him, but he was persistent, standing there under the awning near our classroom putting all his will into his hand pulling me towards him.

I regretted again that day, some two weeks before, when, bored to have no boys my age to play with because we lived so far from town, I finally gave in to my sinful desire to go and play with the Black boys who lived on the same dirt road as I, sinful because I knew my daddy would not like me to do that and might whip me for it. We lived on Old Durant Road four miles from the town of Jewett, a road littered with the houses and trailer houses of both poor Whites and Blacks. We were different my daddy often said. We were Dukes and White, and they were just a bunch of niggers. I believed him, never challenged his racism, but I always wanted to point out we lived on the same road as they and were poor too, but I never did. We lived in the woods almost a football field from the road, woods I roamed in, where I became a thinker, because I spent most of my playtime alone in those woods. My two step-sisters told on me too much to play with. That scrubby secondary forest, punctuated with tall old trees, was where I put my thinking cap on, as a habit I mean, kippah-like, although I already thought a lot, and so the solitude helped me to grow, was something I actually enjoyed sometimes, but it did get boring, like on that day.

Anyway, I knew the boys lived a mile or so further down the road, and so I rode Dolly, my Welch pony, to see them. I rode her bareback and with reins of rope, Indian style we called it then, as we couldn’t afford proper horse tack. Boy were they surprised. They lived in a cluster of houses on both sides of the road, and all the boys came out to play. They were a lot rougher than I was used to, and poor Dolly got the brunt of it, but it was wonderful. I spent almost the whole day there and regretted it after because I thought I’d done wrong. I never went back and, although the boys, like this one now, held my one-day friendship still in their eyes, I didn’t talk to them at school other than what you have to say when you live side by side, and I didn’t want the White boys to know I’d made friends with them. My daddy never found out, but it’s doubtful he’d have whipped me. Kids have this way of taking the prejudices of their adults as something they wear at all times and in all circumstances, and that if they don’t do the same, they’re in big trouble.

An image of that day has stood out in my mind and heart ever since, my heart also because I feel the sadness of it in my bones, and I’ve wanted so many times to tell that little White boy I was back them to just eat and enjoy it. The mothers made a feast for us, happy to have me there, and they went all out, cooking fried chicken with all the trimmings, mashed potatoes and gravy and greens with bacon bits and other tasty things. It’s pained me so many times to realize they must’ve sacrificed for that meal, and I just refused to eat it, but I wasn’t trying to be mean. It was so clear to me that here was line I mustn’t cross, to be loyal to my daddy I said in my mind, and looking at that nice meal I had to repeat that a few times. I’d play with them boys but not eat their food. You’d think the women would be put off, but they knew what was up. They sat me down—I think there were three of them —and, smiling with the patience of the ages, waved a drumstick under my nose until I couldn’t resist it, knowing as they did the hands of little boys when it came to being offered what they liked, and I grabbed that leg and ate it, but that was all I’d eat I thought to myself, the chicken, but I wanted to plow into the rest like who would’ve thought it. I didn’t though.

Returning to that little Black boy motioning me at school, I followed him to where he was leading me, a place near the end of the row of classrooms where we wouldn’t be easily seen by anybody. He stopped and put a crayon to his arm, a black one, and said, “Look, I’m not black.” And then he put a white one to mine and said, “And you ain’t White.” I stood there and agreed with him, never having looked at it like that before. He was being painfully earnest, like he was showing me something extremely important, a discovery of his that would change, if not everything, then at least things between us. For just a moment I felt his pain at being Black in a White only world, as much of all that a nine-year-old can grasp, but then I quickly walked off back to the playground, eager to get away from his pain and the dawning sense, which I wanted to nip in the bud, that I was a cause of it. I felt really uncomfortable as I was walking away, as these weren’t feelings that fit into my kid-self (more grown up they were ), and like a kid I just wanted to lose myself in play, which meant in those third grade recesses get back to bulldogging it on the merry-go-round (grab its sidebars with both hands when it was at full speed and let it fly you through the air), and I was king of the bulldogs.

I was Donny Duke, a recent addition to that ‘been together since kindergarten’ ascending class of that one classroom per grade country school, and I was from Houston, the big city, and I was girl-crazy, girls in the class as crazy about me (Carla even dug up her dead cat to give me the skull, a prize for boy like me, a woods roamer), and walking to and fro under those tin awnings, my class going somewhere in single file, snaking this way and that, high school girls would come and run their fingers through my hair and fuss over me and say how cute I was and didn’t do that for any of the other boys. You would not believe what took that normalcy from me, religion believe it or not, but the spiral will fill that out later.

There was another reason I was making a hasty retreat from that boy’s pain, one deeper than a narrative of a lifetime can go without sounding like it’s gone off the deep end so far have we gone from the narrative of soul, a secret, awful reason steeped in my own unremembered murder at the hands of the KKK when my soul had donned the body of an African American man of the South in a former life, which was somewhere around the turn of the 19th century. It was a haunting really, and the memory hunted me in dream as a little kid, although in this moment it was a stirring awake enough to run from, dreams where I’d either be or be watching a Black boy growing up, and that day with the Black boys on Old Durant Road, playing among their smiling mommas and dilapidated old houses, was a sort of an unrecognized homecoming, why it felt so good but why also I really never went back: it really hit a nerve.

Getting back to the setting of this story, Safed, Israel, it’s occasion for being told, I don’t remember when I put on the kippah, before or after my night at Mosheheim’s, or if I had the dream of putting one on before, but I know I had it on after, when I attended a couple of classes at the Ascent Institute of Safed, where the crowd at Avraham’s was taking night classes. I wore a white kippah, which was for ceremonial purposes, not for everyday use, why probably I got pegged as a non-Jew so easily. I was and am a person that listens to synchronicities, and I found that kippah on the ground a day or so after the lucid dream about putting on a kippah, where I found it I don’t remember, but most likely in the cemetery where I was sleeping. Of course I put that one on. My whole time in Israel it was the only kippah I found. It appears the universe that put it on me didn’t want me to convert to Judaism, since it didn’t aid at all in that process, made sure I’d look like a Jew wannabe Jesus look alike and nothing more.

I went to Ascent in the late afternoon and asked if I could takes classes there, explaining I was a non-Jew but was thinking about conversion, and that I wanted to study Kabbalah. I was sent to talk to the director, or whatever he was called, who gave me permission. He told me, and it was literally the talk of town, that it was the time of the Revelation, not in the Christian sense of that word, but in the Jewish sense, when the Kabbalah would be disseminated throughout Judaism. Tradition has it that only when you turn 50 can you turn to it, after having learned the whole of the Law and having put it in practice for a lifetime more or less, so you won’t get sidetracked or go off the deep end obviously. In any event, their disseminating it to all Jews who wanted to learn it, regardless of age, was a breach of tradition, but they thought it was justified because they believed it was the time just before the end times and the time of Revelation. I left there with a small pamphlet I’d picked out to read among several, because the title caught my eye, which was something like The New World Order and the Coming of the Mashiach.

It spoke of the Mashiach as a political leader, not a miracle worker, and stressed that. He’d be the leader of the nations, and Jerusalem would be the capital of the world. That was basically the gist of it. I don’t remember much else of the pamphlet other than my thoughts while reading it, which that it seemed to me the writers of the pamphlet were trying to upstage the use of that phrase, new world order, by the former U.S. president George H. W. Bush. I didn’t know at the time it was or would become, with the advent of the Internet, a phrase linked to the conspiracy theory that claims Jews secretly rule the world and so forth. I didn’t buy into that theory then and don’t now (my awareness of the unlimited power Israel has to oppress the Palestinians and to influence especially the American government in its favor notwithstanding). I do, however, see that some sects or groups of religious Jews believe Jews should be the leaders of humanity and have prophecies that play that out, such as the pamphlet I read was doing. While it isn’t a whole lot different from the Christians or Muslims who desire the same, or, from a national perspective, the Chinese or Russians, and I can keep adding groups all day long, as it’s probably a desire among some in every human group on the planet, I think it’s quite prevalent among orthodox Jews in Israel.

I had an encounter with a young orthodox man on the streets of Jerusalem, the new part, not far from the central bus station, a month or so after leaving Safed, who gave me a very revealing picture of what it looks like to Jews (who believe it) to have the Jewish people as the leader of the humanity. He came walking up from the opposite direction and was putting leather bands on people’s arms, on anyone’s arm who let him, and it was a kind of complicated procedure with the knot he had to tie. He wasn’t wearing the Hasidic getup but was wearing the black clothes of the orthodox, with the 40’s style man’s hat. He appeared to be in his mid-20’s, and he looked determined. He was tall and rather slender, and when he bent over it was as though paper was being folded in half, was not a fluid flow. He had a handsome face but one not open and smiling. Watching him put the band on a man’s arm in front of me, I asked him what he was doing. He explained, telling me it was called tefillin, and that on it, or folded in it rather, was a verse from the Torah. It seems to me he gave me a rough translation of it, and I knew it from my Bible days (I’ve since learned there are four verses). I asked him to put one on me too. I no longer wore a kippah, was wearing my colorful hippie clothes. He looked me up and down a moment and asked if I were Jewish. I said no. He said no band then.

Therein ensued a conversation wherein he gave me that revealing picture. He likened humanity to a body and said that Jews were the head of the body. I asked then what people were the anus. He didn’t see my point. I went on the say that his idea was religious racism, although bigotry is the word normally used to describe his religion’s superior attitude. We’d need to see it as racism to change it, give it the charge it needs to see it. I explained that, inherent in that view, was Jewish superiority over everyone else. He denied that it was racism of any kind, laughed at the idea. He said humanity had to have a head, and Jews were it. What would humanity be without a head? I couldn’t make him see that the image was only that, an image for illustration, and that you couldn’t make it fit reality. Who would be the arms then, the hands, the feet and so forth, returning to the anus so he might see now what I meant. He didn’t, and he didn’t put a band on my arm. What struck me though, was how sure he was, dead certain. I realized I was talking to a brick wall, one that had been built by bricks of indoctrination that had been put carefully in place over the entire course of his young life, from birth onwards. It’s the idea of the chosen people pictured how it would look in practice: the head would look down on the rest of the body and order it around.

While I was with Lars camping on the Mount of Olives with our small Jerusalem Peace Group, some days after finishing the hunger strike, we heard a story about a Catholic priest that had been publicly asking the question: what’s the difference between the chosen people and the master race? The story goes that he got quickly transferred out of the country. Maybe that’s a folk story that’s been floating around Jerusalem for years, or maybe it’s a true story, but it’s a good question nonetheless and one that needs asking. Of course the ideas of the chosen people and master race are not the same ideas either in theory or in practice. There are big differences between the Jewish belief and the Nazi one, but the thing to ask is if there are similarities, and, if you’re honest in your assessment, whoever you are, you’d have to admit there are. It’s the same with the comparison of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians with the Apartheid of South Africa. It’s not the same thing, but you can draw a comparison between them, and that’s what needs to be admitted.

The world cannot, neither the Palestinians being oppressed nor the people wanting it to stop, expect either the Jews who are doing the oppressing or the ones unequivocally supporting Israel despite it to admit to that Apartheid-like oppression unless humanity admits that the Jewish people not only has a right to exist (as my muse has said in poetry) but also that we need them and always have, at least in this latest stage of being human, because they have something to do with who we are, with our becoming the modern ego us, but that’s a story filled out on the spiral later on.

But that pamphlet about the new world order and the questions it brought up were not the main things on my mind. At that moment in Safed, I wanted to attend Ascent to explore the possibility of becoming a Jew myself and to see what the Kabbalah was about. Constantly being discriminated against because I wasn’t Jewish just baffled me, as it was wholly unexpected and didn’t fit into my picture of how I thought Jews treated non-Jews, ones who weren’t trying to kill them or wanted them dead at any rate. Somehow I expected the best from them, which I know now you can’t expect from anyone, myself included.

The first class I attended, one late afternoon, was an introductory one in the main lobby, where there was a long table at the head of which sat the teacher, a man in orthodox clothes. On the sides near him we students sat, only two women and I, both of them married and wearing the hair net married women wore. We watched a short film on a television monitor about Hasidic Judaism, one full of enthusiasm like it was just the coolest thing, and then he talked about what it meant to be Hasidic, which was, as he explained it, to be on fire for God, and where, for example, you were by the Law required to put your cut fingernails and toenails into the trash, the Hasidic would burn them so to go that one step further in obeying God’s laws, and they would do that with everything. It gave me no desire to convert let me tell you, and I began to suspect that the teaching and study of the Kabbalah had been taken over by the orthodoxy, and I couldn’t see how the two could mix without the latter becoming so watered down it became only an outer observance and inner moral attitude and not the unbound and unpredictable opening of the inner consciousness whereby mystical experiences steeped you in knowledge of God. I didn’t know at the time that the Hasidic movement had been centered on Kabbalistic teaching since it began, or, to put it differently, that the orthodoxy had taken it over long before. It’s that way with any mystical tradition really; it’s too dangerous to the doctrines and practices of any religion to not be controlled by the orthodoxy of that religion, or banned altogether as it is in many cases. Mystical experience, which means both metaphysical and spiritual experience, has this habit of taking off habits and changing a religion.

The second class was my last. It was in the evening, and several Americans from Avraham’s were there, including he, people I knew and talked to on a daily basis, at least for the past two weeks or so, people I considered my friends, as much as you can in that amount of time, which, when you’re traveling, when time is or seems more compressed, is quite some time. It was a regular-type classroom, with student desks, the teacher’s, and a blackboard. The teacher looked like a regular collage professor, wasn’t dressed in the black of the orthodox or in the heavy getup of the ultra. I remember he was writing on the board the Hebrew word for charity and explaining that, according to the Law, whatever fell onto the ground in a farmer’s field could be gathered by the poorer Jews and was to be left for them, but they couldn’t take anything off the crop themselves, as that would be stealing. I think I must’ve asked a question, but I don’t actually remember why he suddenly centered his attention on me.

“Are you Jewish?!” It was a typical ‘who, me?’ moment as I tried to evade his pointed stare.

I just looked at him a moment, feeling like a Jew in Nazi occupied Europe being spotted in a crowd or whatnot. I’ve probably just offended a million people, because the consequences were so lopsided. Here I’d only be thrown out of class, while there I’d be sent to a concentration camp and probably killed, but I’m showing you the spirit of the thing, hatred, and you don’t know how interconnected we really are, or I doubt you do, connected in our very deeps, how we are not divided in groups or even as ego individuals as it appears on the surface, and how it’s these small ‘you are not in my group get out’ that add up to the big ones where you are killed for being in the wrong group. After some hesitation, I finally said, “I, I uh, no, but I got permission to take this class from the director, and I’m thinking about converting.…” I’ve always said too much in a pinch.

“I don’t believe this.” The transformation that he then quickly underwent was something to behold. “This is impossible. I can’t teach this class with you in it. Leave!”

“I’ll just sit here and not ask any questions.” I looked around at my friends for some support, but, like as happened before but with different Jews, they looked away or looked down, looked anywhere but at what was happening, although I think I caught a whiff in the room of a couple being happy about it, the ones who had wanted to tell me that same thing but couldn’t do it because of social constraints.

“You have no idea. Your very presence will disrupt the class. You don’t have the background, don’t know anything about the Jewish tradition, what these people have been learning their whole lives. You, you know nothing of it!” He was silent a second and declared, “I will not teach this class until you leave! Is that understood? He said the last part to the class, and now what was happening was being looked at, but not from my side. I decided to go, but what really got me was his hatred, and I didn’t’ t want to just leave without addressing it. He wasn’t just annoyed I was there. He was seething with anger, shaking with it. I really wanted to ask him why he hated me, and did he hate all non-Jews, or, for that matter, what had all that tradition taught him if, at the drop of a hat, he would just lose it and throw a fit, but I said nothing and just left, the room’s silence a thunder helping to throw me out.

I’d imagine the reader would be split 50/50 on this. Don’t people have the right to the privacy of their group? There’s a humanity involved. Maybe in matters of security privacy is needed if the secrets being told save lives, and even then a humanity witness would not be out of line if they know to keep the secrets that really do save lives, and they are there for humanity and not just the group telling the secrets, but things like a humanity witness in human groups won’t appear until we are quite a bit more mature as a humanity. I’m not talking about surveillance devices, electronic spying, but of living breathing human beings, and not ones necessarily appointed for that purpose but people, like myself in this instance, an outsider, that, as part of the mind-boggling all things connected movement of world process, just showed up. When you let them in it’s a process of soul. It could be too that a group needs their privacy if they’re teaching or telling things too deep, things that could harm the uninitiated, but that wasn’t the case here. The case here was the racist and exclusive attitude, which had superiority as its basis, that the uninitiated would harm the group just by being there.

I went to the office the next day to complain. I talked to a different man than the director, or the person I thought was that I spoke to the first time. This one was impudent but not so much so you couldn’t talk to him. He wore orthodox clothes, not Hasidic, and I think they didn’t dress as the Hasidic Jews they were because they didn’t want to scare prospective converts off. The whole place was a front to convert Jews to Hasidism more than anything else. He told me that the teacher was in his right not to teach the class with me in it, and, to sum it up, that I was no longer allowed to take classes there. I tried to talk about the hatred and anger, but to no avail. Finally, I did what I always did when being devalued. I bragged. God save me.

This meeting with him has played over and over in my mind since then, since it was here I began to realize I was only bragging when talking about my spiritual and metaphysical experiences (but realizing is not the same as stopping), my over the top outer ones too for that matter, like being a Green Beret on a tactical nuclear mission for example, not bragging every time, but most times, and that, usually, the person or people I was bragging to would not appreciate my experiences and were not ready to even hear them, as was the case here at Ascent. What is the case here? You not ready?

We were sitting at a small table in the large lobby near the entrance, in front of one of the windows, he with his back to it and me looking out it from time to time. I’d never just listed my experiences like I did with him, but the topic of our conversation had gotten to the Kabbalah, and I was expressing my thoughts on what I thought their thought was in regards to it, which wasn’t to either teach or encourage mystical experience other than surface phenomenon such as slight ecstasies, the seeing of visions, auras, the future, and the curing of sickness, and other things that had to do more with magic than spirituality. I figured, however, that he’d be interested in deeper things, and I figured correctly, only he wasn’t about to show that. As I went through my list I could see him try to hide his peaked curiosity and interest, which is how a little boy looks driving a motorbike on the roadways here in India, so serious and matter of fact, so to look like he’s not driving illegally most likely without his parents’ permission, when you know in reality he’s jumping up and down inside with excitement.

I don’t remember either the order or the exact manner I listed the experiences, not anywhere near as neat as I do here for you, but this is the basic gist of the list. I asked him did he want to hear about driving my truck and going several meters over my head and being for a moment who I am beyond all the lives I’ve had, my Godself, or did he want to hear about driving that same truck a year later and not only my thoughts stopping but my breathing and heartbeat, and down the road I drove still, in a sort of suspended animation, or about the time I found myself inside my grandfather’s body as he died of a heart attack two weeks before he did in the way and in the place I experienced it beforehand, or about the inner journey I took to someplace deep inside me, which was all the way through dream to what was beyond it, an ocean or realm of Spirit, or about the time in university I conjured a demon? I didn’t include the divine experience because I was on acid, and so I didn’t think he’d think it was real, and I only included the biggest experiences, the ones I knew that would impress him the most.

He wanted to hear about the demon, and I remember I thought at the time that showed me how mundane he was, unspiritual, since a God lover just wants to hear about God, any and every idea of God, to see how it stacks up to theirs, to see if they might be missing some possible way to get closer to God. I was surprised at his choice, and he knew it. A look passed between us that put the conversation on a different footing, a look where he no longer held the look of holier-than-thou, a footing where he no longer held the higher ground.

He got a very abbreviated version of the story of conjuring the demon, which happened soon after I returned to Houston to study the History of Science, returning there from Seattle, where I’d been washing dishes so to try and forget about thinking deeply, if you remember. The detailed story I put on the web some years back with the title, “Breaking Silence, Careful to Stay an Apparition”, but maybe I was too detailed, or too careful, because only a handful have heard that silence broke. It’s the silence in regards to being molested by the Hostile Powers, whom my muse has described in poetry at the end of the last chapter.

Even though I was no longer an atheist before the conjuring event, I hadn’t become interested in knowing God or in spirituality, wanted only knowledge and returned to college for that, as I mentioned earlier. I as yet had no idea where to put or what to do with what I’d seen in that divine experience. Returning to Houston after that experience, it took some three months to settle down enough to begin classes at the university, and because I had a dual focus, inner exploration and university study, I had to find a full time job that would support me but wouldn’t rob me of any thinking time or shake me up out of myself and my inner focus. That’s why I kept the job as a doorman, valet and concierge I’ve mentioned earlier, at Four Leaf Towers near downtown Houston. They preferred college students and allowed us to study at work, and it was a calm, quiet environment conducive to an inner focus. I should mention that, other than with my mom and high school best friend Randy, I didn’t socialize with anyone (no net then). My life was concentrated on gaining knowledge, not of the material world but of the unseen, to a degree that all else took second place, because I’d seen it exists and knew there was knowledge to gain. And so begin those three exceptional years or so of mystical experience I’ve referred to.

I don’t think you ever write a university thesis on really what exactly interests you the most. Other than having a small brush with a tactical nuclear device in the army and becoming interested in atomic science, I don’t know why I decided to write a Master’s thesis on the origin of atomic theory in Greek science when what interested me more was how we came to be different from other animals in the first place and how we become the ego-organized human beings that we are, ego transcription, mainly because I wanted to know where our sexual preference comes from, but that’s a story for later on. I wanted to show that their atomic theory came more from intuition than empirical observation, perhaps wholly so. I suspected the early Greek scientists were mystics, and that they did as much if not more inner exploration than outer observation. That tactical nuclear weapon mission in SF had made a deep impression on me, and I basically wanted to know why, being so much more civilized than other animals, we were at the same time hell-bent it seemed in destroying the whole human world, and much if not most of the natural world, with nuclear bombs. The Cold War was still going on remember, as this was 1989. Also, I didn’t want to come from the standpoint of religion but of science, what I still held as the most reliable means to investigate reality, if it would but admit the results of inner exploration and modify its method for that. If it would but admit it was wrong. Fat chance.

As it turned out, I didn’t get past the initial idea stage of the thesis, didn’t even complete the undergrad History of Science class I’d enrolled in at the request of the professor who’d oversee my studies, who also taught the class. What happened was this: I’d begun to wonder if, like Socrates from his daemon, some early Greek scientists got ‘help’ from non-material entities in their investigations. The divine experience had opened the door in me to such possibilities. My question concerning them took the form of a more general question concerning us: are such beings involved in human life now? My life was arranged to answer such a question, and so when the writings of Carlos Castaneda gave me the knowledge and a drawing of M.C. Escher suddenly the how-to, I used them.

I remember sitting on my sofa in my small, rundown apartment on Old Galveston Road near Pasadena, Texas, looking at an Escher drawing on my wall, the one where he’s looking at his reflection in a small glass crystal ball, and then looking at my own glass ball of the same size on my coffee table, which I’d rubbed my blood, spit, and semen on in the weeks before in order to ‘program’ it to me, things I just did on the spur of the moment looking at the thing, having heard you have to program crystals. It was a Christmas gift from my mom, made in India, and I do think those things add to the whole thing. Anyway, I snatched it off the table and got it to how he had it in his drawing looking at himself in it sitting there on my sofa looking at myself in it. Putting the two and two together had not occurred to me before, believe it or not.

I didn’t just look, but looked with that knowing Castaneda talks about in The Fire From Within (or maybe it was The Eagle’s Gift?). You have to look into a reflective surface so to call up what he calls an ally, his name for the disembodied beings that help him with his exploration of dream and magic in his books. It’s hard to know what I mean; it’s not believing you’ll see one but knowing you will with a certainty, the same kind of certainty you use in lucid dream to supersede the laws of matter. It certainly helped that I’d just smoked some skunk my sister had given me that’d been grown on Spyrock Mountain.

With that certainty, I was not surprised when clouds began to form in the crystal ball, but I was very excited. After a few seconds they took animal shapes, each with the same silvery, mirror color, a donkey, monkey, and then the shape of my surprise: looking at me with his pure red eyes was Chevy, the dog-dragon, the imaginary playmate from my early childhood. He was standing in the reflection as if behind me and had one furry paw over my shoulder, like he was posing for a family portrait, the fur on his body standing straight up like it’d been electrocuted, which really added to the atmosphere of hysteria let me tell you. That devil wore the same shit eating grin he wore the last time I’d seen him, when he’d shut the storm cellar door down on me after having tricked me into the Void, that cellar door how my four-year-old mind represented the entrance to the Nothing, or nonexistence, or bottom-most hell, or whatever you want to call the sum total of all our fears. We were looking eye to eye the demon and me.

The eyes of a demon are the damndest things, holding awful knowledge you really don’t want to know, knowledge you gain in the Biblical sense of to know, being fucked, but it’s not consensual intercourse; it’s like you’re being raped, ravaged. And it wasn’t just any demon. The hell of the whole thing was that it was the imaginary playmate I knew I had but didn’t remember how it looked exactly, until now, when I saw it wasn’t imaginary but very real, what it wanted me to see. It was looking into those calamitous eyes that I realized, among many things in that terrifying moment, that Castaneda did not have the reader’s best interests at heart, had the worst intentions in fact, and I had been snared in his intricate, tantalizing web of lies lighting every truth. He says two very contrary things to do, several pages apart, if you find yourself looking into the eyes of an ‘ally’: if you keep looking in its eyes you’ll bring it out into your outer reality; if you look away it’ll kill you. What is a Faust to do?

I tore the thing from in front of my face and held it at arm’s length, stood up like a jack-in-the-box, shaking like a leaf, and ran to the window to fling the thing as far as I could from me, then thought better of it, since I realized it was now an object of power, something those books also explained, went back to the sofa and plopped down into it in that state of terror that visits a man when he’s come face to face with something really and truly to be afraid of, something from the jaws of hell, a devil. Fortunately, terror of the unknown and I were very acquainted, as you have seen, and it didn’t unseat me, just scared the shit out of me. Hastily I put the crystal ball back on its stand and sat there trying to calm myself down. I had to be at work within the hour.

In our talk we miss somethin’:
God simply is.
And that’s a whole other business,
like the mountaintop.
The mountaintop
came into my arms so easily.
I did not know what it said.
I ignored its wisdom.

I looked on the floor and found God.
This was a world away.
God became the center of my attention
in long slow leaps.
It’s where I put my feet today,
and I’m not crying.

I don’t think so,
I don’t think I will be here tomorrow.
Do you have another one?
Of course.
I will guide tomorrow
all levers to enlightenment.
My body will be here but my mind will not,
not the mind you know,
not the one called Donny.
We’re picking it up now,
and I don’t know how long it’s going to take,
but here I am in the room with you.
Field with me.

Let’s bring this to enlightenment,
the village in our room,
the city we sit at.
It’s what’s going to take tomorrow
in human consciousness,
in long slow years,
as the years open up.
We gather it today.
And here we are.

You ever seen it?
And this book will show it to you
in the course of its pages.
So it’s here before me
in my mind’s eye,
completing the world.
Do you hear it?

We’ve listed it,
put it where aim bothers you.
How would you grasp life?
You’re reaching for enlightenment.
But know this:
it’s not the end of the world.

Supermind comes down
in your ascension,
and you fulfill the world
with your consciousness.
You become That who you are,
and we are here for that.
Great the days play towards that end:
a new Jerusalem,
in the symbol paradise of man’s mind
Heaven on earth you see.
And there we are.

Let’s talk about the soul.
We did.
The Supermind
is where your soul sits above time,
and there it is inside you
a piece of itself
evolving in its ways.
It’s what we are becoming
if you want to know the truth,
our soul self.

That meets enlightenment.
That gets ascended
in the supramental transformation,
an enlightened being soul.
That ascends with soul force.
Ace ascension,
it’s a hard part,
the ascension of the soul
into everyday life
from the depths within.

Where the soul meets life,
it’s not an automatic process.
Can you grasp your soul?
Can you bring it on?
Touch it and it will come.
Be ever present with it.
Soul involvement
to open your life
to an involvement with God.
This is ascension.

Really come ascension.
It probably goes to me right now
provide you the milk.
Deal with it.
Deal with it plainly.
You have the news.

The burning of Jerusalem,
I’m just really well on the water.
Someone with an advanced degree
has just barked at you,
read you the riot act.
No I haven’t done that.
Enter your community
someone who reach people with ears.

I’m listenin’ to my world.
I write it down for you
a world need.
You’ll just lock me up
if I get unprotected.
You hate prophets and seers.
You will just get rid of us
to get out of that word.

I think I saw it a short film
and ah
notion you ride in your head:
my path lays straight the ways of the Lord.
Read my path that way.
No need to divorce.
We’re not gettin’ a divorce.
I’m right here at book.
That cannot be;
that can’t happen:
and the God who was in the book dies,
and we’ll never hear it.
Just look at me please.
You’re gonna have to sooner or later.
Now that’s the stuff
build us a better world.
Let’s get this show on the road.

Next post:

Chapter 7
Some Inner Life

Between Jerusalem I’m Sorry, Chapter 4

A Living Incense Link

There’s a danger when the mortal mind meets the infinite. Your mind really has problems handling a divine experience because you’ve encountered sights and ideas that do not fit into the one train of thought limit of the human mind. Your mind may break, as mine did afterwards, and your ego may put on some grandiose title, as mine did, although it didn’t do it willingly, and you may walk around for weeks in that feared weirdness we call a psychosis, and I did, although I’d rather call it a spiritual emergency, and you’ve got to figure I was an accident waiting to happen, but none of that detracts from the fact that you saw divinity with your own very eyes, as I did. Do you have anything like that set of divine visuals?

When a substance, such as LSD, or grass for that matter, is a trigger for spiritual experience, and I understand most believe it cannot be, and here again we encounter another discrepancy between popular belief and reality, you are not ready for it. You have been put there too quickly, although it might fit perfectly into your program (or it might not), be actually what you need as hard as that might be on you, and you suffer such a shock it’s all you can do to stay sane. I might say here welcome to the Path, unruled, unbounded, unpredictable, spontaneous, not a step 1, 2, 3, but I’d be getting way ahead of myself.

It wasn’t like I just dropped a couple of hits of acid on the spur of the moment, LSD 25 to be exact. I had planned the trip for months. The idea to do it came because of the effects I was experiencing from grass, which I didn’t start smoking until my senior year at university, when I was 26, although I’d tried it as a young teen a couple of times, the second time experiencing the dissociation state and getting so terrified I begged God to let me be myself again, telling Him I’d be a preacher if I woke up the next morning normal, and I did, and that’s how and why I became a Jesus freak in my teenage years. Being an English major minoring in History, I had more books to read than I could possibly read, and, not really knowing the usual effects of weed, that it makes you scattered, and having lost my terror of the drug, what I had for any and every substance on account of that dissociation experience, I thought grass might help me to sit and read as long as I needed to, since I remembered it did give me an incredible focus, albeit so remote from the world, and so I asked a friend, whom I knew smoked, to give me a joint. I smoked it and read Huckleberry Finn in one sitting, although it took some hours, hitting two or three tokes on that joint when the effects began to wane. I managed to complete my coursework that way.

As I explain in an essay/nonfiction narrative entitled “The Evidence of Man”, during my undergraduate years I did a lot of lucid dream and out of body exploration, the former to a degree I was a god in dream more or less, until I got killed, stabbed in the heart, and then I had a near death experience, but that’s a story wound round this one wound told better in the aforementioned article. Having had that opening with death, however, in the heart to be exact, enabled me to experience my grandfather’s death, a year or so later, of a heart attack a couple of weeks before it happened where it happened and how it happened. I mean I was inside him me myself, though of course my body wasn’t there, with my thoughts and feelings, hearing/seeing and feeling his plus what his external senses were experiencing—he was building a barbed wire fence on a neighbor’s property—, though much more remotely than I was experiencing his inner field. I call that inner body time travel, and like a lot of things we think technology will give us the means to do one day, consciousness already has if we could but realize it. While that experience wasn’t the result of a substance and wasn’t planned and took me completely by surprise, and nor is it anything I’ve been able to experience again, it’s been a fountain in what it’s shown to me of reality: many, many things if you can get the picture. I’m telling the story here to show how open I was before that LSD trip, open in my inner consciousness.

On the level of normality, it would bear mentioning that I’d undergone a year of psychoanalysis as an undergrad, where I’d learned of my mother’s sexual abuse of me. My doctor, a psychiatrist, would not talk about anything paranormal, lucid dreams and O.B.Es. included, especially wouldn’t talk about such things as my mom’s phantom lover before my sister and I were born or my imaginary playmate Chevy as a baby and toddler, who turned out to be the same entity that had sex with my mom, was what the ancients Greeks called the family daemon, what we call a demon (that future discovery being another story lost to this present one, but it’s entered the spiral), my doctor being the devout atheist and materialist she was. She focused solely on my thoughts and feelings in regards to the material field, examining a dream every now and then in that Freudian way that sees only what it wants to see, but, being such a paranormal person, that was what the doctor ordered. It did help.

I’ve described to you my set for that acid trip, so you might not wonder so much at me going over the top. Like I said, the purpose of the trip was to find God. I was an atheist up until that trip, as I’ve also said, but I was a searching one. The metaphysical experiences I was having were too big for atheism, for reductionist materialism, and I was burning with that question. I figured, since LSD was so much stronger of a psychedelic than pot, that I might get my question answered. I had no idea.

My setting was not mismatched with my set. I’d arranged to do it on my 27th birthday, (1988), another key ingredient of my set if you know how open we are on our birthday, at my sister’s cabin on Spyrock Mountain in Northern California, called that because of a giant rock halfway up the mountain with American Indian markings on it. She lived in a small community of pot growers and smokers, most of whom were from our hometown of Houston, Texas, where I was traveling from in my black Datsun diesel king cab pickup truck that features on other occasions in my spiritual adventures, although here it was only a taxi to and not one during. On that fateful day she decided she was busy and turned me over to David and Joelle, a couple who were part of my sister’s group, he being the founding member of the community, if it could really be called that so loosely put together it was, she being a hippie moving through there on mushrooms one night trapped, as she described it, in another dimension. I’m sure it was the dissociation state. David took her into his trailer and talked her down, and they stayed together after that. Being around 10 years my senior and quite experienced with tripping, they were my minders. I wouldn’t call them guides. I could actually call him a few bad names.

I dosed with them in the late morning, and when the effects began to hit I wandered off on my own down a dry creek bed that meandered down the mountain. It was bordered on both banks by an unkempt forest and strewn with big grey boulders here and there that were contrasted by the small stones and pebbles of many colors on the dry bottom of the stream, dull now because there was no water to make them shine. Jake, David’s German Shepherd, was close on my heels. Dogs just know. When you trip it’s like you’re a little child again so fresh and alive the world is in that delightful but also frightful way that gives everything you see almost a depth of personhood, and which you feel, fear or joy, depends on the same things that make a child cry or laugh, and you can go from one to the other in the drop of a hat.

A good dog, the kind that watches and protects, of the gentle dogs that is, will almost always prefer the company of a child, even over their master’s presence—well, up to a point: a power-grabbing toddler will send a good dog to their master’s side for protection. Jake knew something was up with me kid-like, as this was my first trip, and I was noticeably tripping, the others no. For me it was so natural his coming with me, and it made me feel very safe because, as a toddler, according to those who were there at the time, I was a wild child hard to handle, and you would not wonder why, did not like staying indoors, and no one wanted to just follow me around the yard for hours on end, but we had a good dog, Buckshot, a Collie Shepard mix whose parents were army dogs, and he babysat me I kid you not. There was no fence, and it was a very big yard, and I remember, when I got close to crossing the border of the yard, or on the verge of doing something that made him feel I was in danger, he’d hunker his head down and look at me with compelling eyes and make this funny combination of whines, low growls and half barks to get me to obey him, and if I didn’t, he’d gently take my little hand in his mouth and lead me back towards the house.

At any rate, to make a long story short, I speak dog, what Jake could sense in the ambience of my tripping self, and I was a toddler once again, on the hunt for this and that and whatnot, being babysat by my Buckshot. Three images organize my memory of that passage down the creek bed. The first sees me look back at my entrance into the stream’s world, having entered its bed from the thin strip of forest on the other side of which is the yard of whomever’s property we were on. I don’t think it was David’s. The feeling of being enclosed in nature and closed off from the human world dominated my inner senses, not just my outer. I was looking back upon a large, tall stone formation that sat right in the middle of the stream, and it struck me how, when there was the flow of water in winter, the current would get split in two right there, creating I imagined an interesting effect of the combination of sight and sound. Looking at the top of the formation, I noticed how flat it was, worn down even in the center, as though it was a chair of sorts. With an exclamation point, my surmise saw a seat a hundred years old or more, where an old native American sage must’ve sat and contemplated, taking advantage of the strange effects of sight and sound and the interruption in the flow of the stream’s energy, perhaps tapping into it even. Although it was a human element, or would be if that were indeed the case and it was an old sitting spot, I remained in my inner and outer senses enclosed in nature and unbothered by man.

The second sight was a bona fide hallucination. I’d crawled into a little crevice made by large boulders piled together, against Jake’s wishes, who was nervously waiting just outside, the small opening and passage too tight for his comfort. Inside there was a very tiny cave of sorts, just big enough to stoop in. In the ‘wall’ I was facing, there was an indention in the rock that formed something like a deep shelf. Inside was a large flat stone that I stared at, and as I stared there slowly appeared the biggest and most beautifully decorated rattlesnake I’d ever seen either in waking life or in dream, animated to be larger than life. It was coiled with head raised, looking at me. I had more or less willed it there, remembering a scene from the film The Trial of Billy Jack, where he goes into a cave of rattlesnakes and meets his shadow brother. Billy Jack was my hero as a very young teen, before Jesus replaced him. The original movie, Billy Jack, has been a big and positive influence upon my life, despite how hokey it appears today and the violence of the main character, who was actually involved in trying to overcome it. There in that crevice on acid, I felt also to be involved in Billy Jack’s quest, seeking to heal my nature, and the snake bore witness to that, although it wouldn’t be till the next day that the idea would take on a concrete form. Here it entered my conscious mind, coming as it did from inside me. It was there a few seconds, breathing and alive, with eyes like diamonds on fire, and then it was gone, both the snake and sense of healing.

In the third organizing image, I’ve made my way some distance down the mountain, how far I’m not sure, and I’m standing on a large rock where the stream borders the busy and groomed world of us, a few trees standing around not able to hold back the tide of  the sights and sounds of man entering into the stream’s enclosed world. The ground declines steeply from that point, how far I don’t know, because it was where I left the stream and joined back with David and Joelle. Since the crevice, the world of symbol had superseded the world of visible sight, and I was undergoing what felt to be a process of being born anew. Standing on that rock I was seized with the impulse to remove my shirt, which was an OD green jungle fatigue top of the Vietnam era, and my dog tags, which I yet wore on occasion being still very attached to being a soldier, even after five years, and I hurled both as far as I could down the stream.

The act symbolized letting go of my old identity and left me shirtless. I then walked to the nearby road, where David and Joelle were talking to a man, obviously a part of the mountain’s alternative lifestyle, but nonetheless, realizing how odd it must be to see a grown man walking shirtless, I mentioned how hot the whether was, and it wasn’t. David, as though I were a child talking the way kids do about this and that so seriously, and this and that are really something else, and they are just talking to sound bigger than they are, cut me off and told the man I was tripping, and it was my first time. He gave me that knowing look, the one that says don’t take anything I do or say seriously, the look you give to people who are tripping. The three had a good laugh, and I felt such the misunderstood child.

We went back to their trailer house, the evening rapidly turning towards night. How time had passed so quickly I had no idea, and David stopped me before we went inside. “Do you want another hit? I should tell you that a night trip is very different from a day one, very different. It could turn into a bad trip if you’re not careful.”

Psilocybin mushrooms grew wild in the cow pastures that bordered the behinds of Sagemont, the suburbs I grew up in from eleven to adulthood. So many kids ate them we had like a mini Woodstock environment going on on the sidelines of our growing up. My big sister Gwen was part of that crowd, but I never ate shrooms on account of my bad trip from grass I’ve mentioned previously, figuring if grass was that bad, shrooms would be ten times worse. One kid from that crowd, an eighth grader, blew part of his head off with a shotgun while on shrooms he’d gathered from the fields. This was a major event in my junior high school, George A. Thompson Intermediate. And it was so very sad. My choir teacher, who had also been his, told the story of going to the house, how the mother was in a state of shock, how she felt his presence still, like he wanted to say he was sorry, how she’d walked in and saw his brains scattered on the wall, the gun rigged with wire and string sitting there like an angel of death. The story was used to warn us of the danger of mushrooms, of course, and it had its desired effect on many, but the fields were still ripe for the picking, and they begged the question of what’s out there, and, despite the dangers, a lot of kids wanted that question answered. As I see it now, it wasn’t so much the shrooms that were dangerous; it was the ignorance of the kids who ate them and the adults who tried to stop them, the one not understanding the magnitude of tripping, how it’s not for everyone and especially not for the unprepared and the too young, and the latter not understanding a need, in a suburban world that boxed reality into a squeeze hole, to visit the forbidden zones.

On the mountain, I couldn’t see how a bad trip could come out of such a wonderfully deep and symbolic day, and I didn’t want the effects to end, waning, as they were in sync with the sun, which was going down, and so without much hesitation, I took a second hit, and we went inside. We smoked some grass, and I waited to peak again, the couple of hours or so of a trip when the effects are at their height. Earlier, when I took the first trip, David had explained that smoking grass while tripping produced a different trip than if you didn’t smoke, and I didn’t really appreciate that at the time, nor that we were smoking mountain grown skunk. It was quickly dark, and, after an hour or so of waiting, the peak reappeared.

He turned down the lights and put on some Indian music, and with the dimness and sound of the sitar, it occurred to me to lay down and close my eyes. I don’t know how long I’d been laying down—I seem to remember it being almost instantaneous—, but suddenly the scene of the trailer, which I was seeing with that other vision, the strange one that can see with the eyes closed while you’re between waking and sleeping, first cracked and then shattered into many pieces, like a windshield on a car. I found myself, as I described earlier, flying over a thought grid that stretched to infinity in every direction, one made up of thought cubicles, as I experienced them at the time, coming to call them houses later on, as I’ve said, and I was flying over what I knew to be the Buddhist cubicle. The forms I saw down below were in miniature, shaped out of the fantastic, a shock to my vision. I recognized what looked like the forms of stupas, what’s on the top of many a Buddhist temple, and with an instantaneous apprehension without thought I knew that it was here the forms and thought of Buddhism came from. The beings in that well of a world were not something I could firmly apprehend, are not even forms I can remember, as they were so foreign to my vision I couldn’t really see them in the sense of making any sense out of what I saw. I just knew they were alive and divine.

But as captivating as it was, the scene below me was pale in comparison to the peace and bliss I had become, which the fact that I was flying did not abrogate, and with that apprehension without thought, I knew this to be some semblance of Buddha consciousness. Just as that apprehension came, I flew over the border of the Buddha cubical and over the cubicle of Christianity, and I’m calling it that because the forms of the religion were there, not because it wore any label on itself or in my mind as such, and, if surprised you can be in such a state of completeness, I was surprised to find that the consciousness there was identical to the Buddha consciousness, why they were side by side, but there was one subtle difference, but to call it the presence of fear wouldn’t be exactly what it was, since it wasn’t discordant with the bliss and peace, or I should say, it didn’t wipe those away. It came from a sort of pole in the middle of the Christian cubicle, what the beings there worshiped, or worshipped around, but what they also didn’t understand, because it was incompatible with the compassion of that realm, and the closest word I can use to describe it is wrath, and all this, again, did not come in a train of worded thought but arose instantaneously upon seeing inside that cubicle that held the forms of Christianity.

I saw places inside where the major figures of Christianity resided, like little rectangles or such, all this what I might call a figurementation, to make up a word so to describe something indescribable, and I saw that in the Christ one Christ was there, and it bears mentioning there was no sign of a cross at all, but in the Antichrist place, he wasn’t there yet. It might be hard to picture, but his place was as integral as Christ’s, I mean was a part of the house, and that place was empty. The transition from bliss and peace to an almost abject terror happened immediately upon realizing I could fill that place, not in the sense that I wanted to, but in the sense that I couldn’t help but fill it no matter how much I didn’t want to, what would be unavoidable destiny, what was one hell of a thought, an exaggeration of LSD, not the wordless kind of all-knowing thought but a thought thought, what happens in narrow reality, what happens when that is in the way, as in that exclamation point of sudden terror I’d come down to the level of our mind, and I fell towards that vacant spot in a swoon of darkness, coming back to the forms of this world and to the living room of the trailer house before I arrived down inside, rushing back to the scene in the trailer and jerking up into a sitting position, making sure to hold my eyes wide open so not to ‘leave’ again.

I was then hit with a rush of images of many past lives, something I didn’t believe in until that moment, and the terror of possibly being the Antichrist left me as suddenly as it had come, and I saw the nature of my soul, which was not antichrist in the least—another thing I didn’t believe in until then, my immortal soul. The images rushed past my mind’s eye as I looked upon the external scene, and I held my past lives in my view, what seemed like all of them as impossible as that sounds to hold in one’s mind at once, not those lives in detail but as indexes of things I felt could open if I put my attention there, like those cubicles were indexes to the divine realms, and I stood up and started saying that I was the illustrated man (the book of that name obviously had made an impression on me), the experiencer, the traveler, the explorer, the scout, the pathfinder, meaning my soul not ego Donny, and I had this vivid feeling-toned living image of going down into a long and dangerous crawl space of many twists and turns, incredibly remote, into a chamber far, far from the surface, feeling that by doing so I’d extended the human range. This I saw as the function of my soul. 

It seems I babbled some about my past lives and what I’d just seen, the houses of divinity, whereupon David laid back on his sofa, put on a pair of mirrored sunglasses, put his hands behind his head and put on a self-satisfied ‘got you in checkmate’ smile, and he looked at me like I imagined at the time Charles Manson might’ve looked at a prospective disciple and said, “Give me the keys to your truck and all your money,” and those were his exact words.

what makes that city special?
Can we call the Earth?
Can we stand and sing?
I think there it’s more potent.

I doesn’t belong to the Jews.
It’s just a century old,
the Palestine Mandate,
where Jews flocked to Zion.
I mean Palestine.

We’d need to rewrite the history books.
Jews gave that city its name
a good 3000 years ago,
at least.
Jews is the capitol of Jerusalem, period.

And you got a book
put Mohammad in the sky from there.
What a holy place for Jews
and Palestinians,
and the Arab world,
and all of Islam.
What do we do with that?

We come together.
We go to school.
Like everybody needs to go to school,
the Jews to learn Palestinian,
the Palestinian the nation of Israel.
The importance stresses the Earth.
We can’t do without it.
It’s vitally important.
The importance can’t be stressed enough.

Instead everybody’s fighting.
There’s no way to stop them.
This stands to reason.
It’s all we see.
Can you tell me how to stop it?
I think we’d need to recognize the State of Israel,
the whole human race.

We do this first.
Recognize their right to the land?
And we have the State of Israel.
That’s who governs it.
Where do we jump off the cliff?

Here take the bike it’s so much calling me.
You had your soul housed in time.
It didn’t work.
There was things about it screwy,
between Jerusalem and Palestine for example.
Oh Lord I’m a she wolf.
Let’s murder babies.
Let’s put our heads on the chopping block.

You’re not gonna get Israel that way.
Do we blame their foreign policy?
It’s Israel or nothin’.
You mean the State of Israel would have to change?
Like become Palestinian lovers.
It’s a shortcut for humanity.
See what I mean?

I think Jewish identity’s exclusive.
How do you change it
and not give it away?
Can Jews fall in love with humanity?
Put that first on their chopping block
so far,
speaking of the genesis of the People.
Jewish identity human identity,
and human identity wins out,
how to get an Orthodox Jew to do that?

It’s here we vie for change.
Then the State of Israel will live in peace.
There’s no other way around it,
a lover of humanity all Jews
living in the Israeli state.
And then you have peace on earth
in a matter of months.
No, between Jews and Palestinians
and the rest of the Arab world.
It will be an example for all mankind.

How do we add this to the Torah?
You’re strong enough
you just have to shed orthodoxy and go deeper.
No constraints
on your inner investigation.
Keep goin’ until you find One,
until you find the whole.

Hashem’s there
as a filter.
You have to get bigger than that.
That’s not blasphemy.
That’s the organization of your religion
around soul lines.
It brings your religion to its fullness.
It’s coming
to all mankind.
It’s here
on this page.

I’ve just given you the means to change.
How about it Rabbi?
Can you get any bigger
in the land of Israel?
A precision strike
right where you meet God,
and all the Law can do is catch up.
It’s been surpassed.

We we’re gonna communicate
a Stuchbery.
That’s the primary school of God.
It got engraved in stone,
and no one got out of fifth grade.
Now we’re in New York,
really livin’ it up
in exclusivity.
Okay find God
on your soul ground.

The whole thing has evolved.
I think this is where religions go
if we let them evolve,
any religion,
if it comes from God.
They get bigger all the time,
bigger as in substance,
inner strength.
You got that Judaism?
It’s here.

Now get your book in order.
You’re about to get grand slammed,
and we talk to the poet.
Do we just keep doin’ this?
He’s your
place you see the whole,
from the university of life.
Glory hallelujah amen,
how about it Rabbi,
a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict?
Not two states,
one complete Israel.

And a few crack up go over it.
You have the Talmud use in the garage,
in a sentence.
a humanity teacher.
She never kept these regarding
flow existentialism.
God almighty,
they’re Jewish.
You have the performance
of a Jew last life.
It really get complicated,
all this off the cuff,
the general meat of things.

Wow, I’m sorry,
should’ve kept my mouth shut.
Can we quote the rabbi?
As overall things were happening to blood pressure.
I forgot to prepare.
You learn how
right here, hello,
a Jewish poem.

I like the truth.
Alright Edmund,
we’ve already stated it a couple of times.
Everybody that’s the truth.
It has to do with what’s goin’ on,
not made up truth.
Hey, that’s happenin’.
And who brings it up?
An alien,
usually some outcast involved in his world.
Reside in this joy.
Reside in peace.
I love you.

The origin of God,
how the One handles science.
Bake this bread.
I’m activity center.
So I found the Leaves of Grass,
a good many.
Just put them in,
in that tightrope on life.

Hey man,
I will only say now
it’s something we can work with.
Thank you Jewish field speaker.
Thank you pot darlin’.
Shut up.
I was only tryin’ to help.
Something’s broken.
And we’ve reached a limit.
Gotta sleep more wake up again and write more.

This is the anti-buy,
a shopper’s guide,
a holistic reality.
You’d think it was the anti-sleeping tablet,
as much sleep as I’ve got.
A Jewish review say it friendly:
rose to the surface
the person that time forgot,
and I’ll hook you later.
can read it
and also at this point,
in New York today.
Oh my goodness vocabulary,
a double speaker, you know?

Welcome to the land of Israel.
It’s gold you grew up.
It’s the space age race.
It’s all these great things they can do,
if humanity accepts them,
if they accept humanity.
It’s written in the stars.
Come on let’s go.

You’re allowed
to be Jewish,
That’s the title of the book.
Control me Houston,
I love the Jews.
I love them very much.

There’s the hero’s journey.
It’s the path I’ve been on.
It’s where I find myself.
I’m a lover of little boys,
and that’s now in their best interest.
It really is.
And you know the part that bites,
it’s not a part of this anymore.
There’s his hand in mine,
and you bring poetry letters to a boy.
Number one he’s my grandson,
and that’s my job to take care of him,
and I love my job.
I do love my job.

You know holism holds his hand,
and we put that on life, the universe, and everything,
and you’ve encountered reality.
You really have,
and there’s no other way around the universe.
There really isn’t.
Can you hear me Judaism?
Can you hear me?
Let’s go buy Jerusalem,
and we’re a holistic Jew.
And we’re a holistic Jew.

Next post:

Chapter 5
A New Car, a New Character, a New Interpretation

Between Jerusalem I’m Sorry, Introduction

Lars Nørgaard, from Denmark, my hunger striking partner, made this flyer in March 1995


I am the non-Jewish traveler in Israel, that one [1], that did a three-week hunger strike for peace in Jerusalem and afterwards taped poems of mine on holy sites in the old city, on the top of Mt. Sinai and inside and around the Great Pyramid in Egypt. This is the story of after Jerusalem and before the mountain and pyramid postings, a five month period in 1995 when I was in-between actions, when I was a vagabond sleeping outdoors more than in, when the Internet was yet too young to be the world wall or whatnot I posted my poems on. Those actions are told in a series of stories entitled, “A Journey of a Thousand Tongues”, posted on the world wide web, a stand in for honest to God face me reality, where we are yet but stand ins for human beings and not actual living and breathing people a world unto ourselves, or at least that’s how we act with one another on the net, where value is not put in terms of quality but in how great a diversion something gives. Nonetheless, it’s where I’m publishing this book, because of the absence of the usual censors, who most likely wouldn’t let this book pass. I doubt you’ll find a book that’s that hits us in the quick of our social selves more. Netizen, you’re in for a wild ride of a read.

You know about memory? Number one, no two people will remember the same event the same way, and even the same person will give slightly different accounts of it as time goes on, because memory gets things mixed up over time, puts this after that when this came first, forgets what a location was wearing, can’t remember this name but remembers that one (oftentimes more the name that did you wrong than did you good), adds things that weren’t there (usually things that make you look better), gets rid of things that were there (things that make you look bad), and it exaggerates events to make them more interesting or you more the hero or victim. Yet the mind is sure the story’s true when told. Dialogue is especially difficult, impossible really, since you basically just have to make it up when relating what was said (why I use it sparingly), trying as best you can to capture the gist of the conversation, if, that is, you are trying your best to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and many of us aren’t. It isn’t only Hollywood that embellishes stories to make them sellable. We all do that a certain extent, even when we don’t want to.

That’s just the way memory works, unless you’re under hypnosis or something, or the whole thing was filmed, the conversation taped, and even then there’ll be debate. It makes narrative nonfiction part fiction no matter how you slice it, why I imagine the genre autofiction has come about in the first place: just to admit at the get go you’re not letting the facts get in the way of the story, to quote partly Farley Mowat, author of The Dog Who Wouldn’t be and Never Cry Wolf. You might wonder if he’s not doing that with his attitude to the truth. Getting the facts as accurate as possible gives the story more reality, and that’s what I’m doing, showing you, as best I can, as much of reality as I can. If you haven’t seen sides of it I’m going to show, then I’m doing my job. My muse however, which gives the inner perspective on the happenings of the outer world, has been insistent on adding the following: “I don’t think facts life earth.” Since it’s basically also the inner that remembers events, it seems the deck’s stacked against a 100% factual narrative of any event in the whole history of us.

It’s all so normal, so everyday, but, when you look at it, it’s out of this world. I’m talking about the fact that we are only here for some seconds before here becomes a there you cannot go to again save by a faulty, elusive memory. It’s a little scary too. Did that really happen, I mean, anything that we’ve experienced? Past experience has a will-o-wisp feel about it, can make you doubt the reality of reality itself. When you top that off with the fact that you only hear your inner life and not that of anyone else’s, as if you’re the only real one around, even though you know you aren’t, know with the same sense you know you’re real, you get the strangest world, impossible to capture with so many words.

Now let’s just get down to business. What’s at the bottom of racism and bigotry? I explore that, with an eye on how to heal it, but I’m not looking at it through the usual lens, the Black and White card of racism, although I do look through that lens quite often in this book, as a way to see more clearly the main focus here, which is something that is not officially allowed to even be named, much less examined, without you yourself being charged with racism. It’s a no name situation. This book exams the bigotry I experienced being a non-Jew in Israel, not only by religious Jews but also by Jewish American university students and graduates, and it was so ‘don’t sit at the table with us’ it felt like the lines weren’t being drawn on religious lines but on racial ones, like there was a fundamental difference between us in our very humanity, and I was the inferior type among them. Many Jews will tell me I’m being anti-Semantic just by saying this, but I’ll tell you what I felt: I was the Black American trying to be seen not as nigger but as a human being. You know, maybe it’s here, in this unwieldy, unmentionable thing, the bigotry of Jewish people, not all Jews by any means, but enough it was the main course on the table, humble pie, when I was a gentile in the land of Israel, and I seriously doubt I’m the only person that’s ever experienced this, that we just might find the heart itself of Western racism, and in so doing, have an eye yet to heal the world’s.

Yet this book isn’t about racism, and it doesn’t put Jews low on the rank card in terms of being human (if you’re not Jewish you might be offended where I do place them on the totem pole). Racism’s the tool I use, the jumping off place, in order to get at world origin and human meaning. Can you think of a better one? And if those two inscrutable, cabalistic things aren’t enough, I will take this book all the way to spiritual enlightenment and beyond, all the way to God, mentioning even devils in-between, and I’ll do that with my very hands and feet, not just my mind and mouth, and, believe me, you’ve never read anything like it in your life.

You’re sitting right there a you. The complexities of the relationship between us preclude any real knowledge of me, I mean that you taste me as substantial as you taste yourself, and, like me, you taste yourself bigger than you appear, much bigger of course than me at this moment. That’s just human nature. But read this book, and another person will become real to you in taste, become a taste of your very self. That person is this author. You game?

Because curd rice
is a healthy alternative to chicken.
Center for where things go alone.
Are you anti-Semitic?
I think you see the healthy alternative:
examine racism in all its forms.
That's the hero of the day.
We get rid of racism that way.
Now let's go.

You’ve added onto barley.
This smells the world.
Tell me about it,
a feature of muse.
Come on let’s go ride the mountain,
a lonely seer’s voice in time,
the exclamation of the book.
I’m modal thinking.
I’m reachin’ for everything
that will knock your socks off.
You’ve got the book.

Chapter 1
Where White Puts Supremacy Last

Title of tomorrow’s post
I’ll be publishing this book serially, daily, or thereabouts,
unless circumstances don’t allow that.


[1] The writing of this book resulted from the efforts I made over a period of months to get Ari Mahler to speak to me after he accepted my friend request on Facebook. He never did, although finally a personal friend of his did and told me basically to be quiet, that he was a public figure and to leave him alone, and I did but began this book, which has been some three years in the writing, put down, picked up again, and now picked up to finish and significantly edit all I wrote before. Ari wrote the famous Facebook post: “I am The Jewish Nurse. Yes, that Jewish Nurse. The same one that…

Without a Miracle a Few Fools Salvaged Hope

Taken with a Nikon FM2 on black and white film and developed in my darkroom. It’s a body being cremated.

A Journey of a Thousand Tongues

Part 4

The psychologist Carl Jung tells the story of a patient of his, a Christian minister, that came to him for psychotherapy. In one of the first sessions, he told Jung of a dream he had where he was sitting naked in the middle of a room and rubbing shit on himself. Jung advised him against therapy because, by the man’s dream, he saw a psychosis that might be triggered by it. The man was not in any kind of crises, although he wasn’t without life difficulties, why he’d come for therapy to begin with. He was a family man, upright and responsible, although rigid and moral-minded, and there was no need to risk setting off the psychosis by the inner work the therapy would have him do. It made Jung realize not everyone should do or needs therapy, and, especially with people who were religiously devout, it was best to leave some people be. Sri Aurobindo, who became my teacher upon leaving Israel, says that such people oftentimes are following the movement of their soul in following the religion they so ardently follow, and that to be rigidly religious like that is a necessary lifetime to have as the psychic being[i] matures, and so it’s best not to try and ‘convert’ them to spirituality, that being actual personal inner experience of the soul and the divine, as opposed to religion, which is adopting beliefs and a moral attitude and doing rites, rituals and practices. But does this general rule of leaving the religious alone apply in every case? That’s the question of this story.

“I’m going to throw my Bible in the fire, and if it burns then what you say is true,” Andre said.

That was not all he said, neither the first nor last thing, but it had been at that point I turned my head around to look straight at him, congruent with the surprise of hearing someone say the impossible, and it was the flare of sudden fire in his normally tranquil eyes that showed you he defied the impossibility it wouldn’t burn, such was his faith. My first reaction was to be rather pleased with myself that I’d made him question and confront his beliefs, feeling that fine familiar rise on the swell of an ego wave: how profound I was, how important things happened around me, how this thing and that. But seeing him distraught, my fondness for this man, Andre, took the helm of my feeling and then quickly overtook my thought, where it became admiration because he could live up to his high ideals, and I could not. How refreshing it was to be around someone who was slow to anger, lived without lust, a help to everyone, a lover of the world, a friend to the worst people, and a good one to me, I rumored to be of that latter crowd.

Andre was a French Belgian self-proclaimed Catholic monk that had been roaming the Holy Land for 2 or 3 years as a vagabond pilgrim, trying to embody the principle teachings of Jesus, earning his way by his friendly and open manner and his strong back and hands that could handle heavy work. He was a year older than I, 34, and in the past few days, which seemed like ages already, we’d taken to discussing our differences in opinion regarding religion. We were both part of a small group of several people camping in tents on the Mount of Olives, near the top just below a Palestinian village, in its dump actually, which we somewhat cleared so to erect our tents. Below us and off to the left, as you walked down the mountain, was the Russian Orthodox church, and near the bottom of the little road we used was the entrance to Gethsemane. We had tentatively named ourselves The Jerusalem Peace Group, Andre having joined our group as we were leaving our previous location in a park outside of Jaffa Gate, a group that had formed around a hunger strike two of us were doing for inner and outer peace, Lars and I, where there was no real hunger nor the sincerest desire for peace, because every other day we had a milk and fruit or vegetable puree. And I must admit both Lars and I were doing it more for personal motivations than for peace, and here on this day we were going into the third week of the strike and were scheduled to stop at Easter and Passover, which occurred at the same time that year (1995), just a couple of days away.

Our other vagabond pilgrim, Zeke, a Russian Jew, Torah scholar, and Kabbalist, who I’d been having such conversations with before Andre, couldn’t camp up there with us because it was Palestinian-owned land, and Hamas was rumored to hold meetings in the village we were camped directly under. If a Jewish person came to our camp, even in disguise, the young village boys always about our camp would quickly discover them and heckle them loud enough for nearby adults to hear until they left, fearing the worst. Andre was nowhere as learned as Zeke, nor as skilled in such subtle conversations, he so young and Zeke in his 50’s, but he had a sincere faith that made up for that. He was one of those kinds of people you like just the way they are, religious fanatic though he was, and here I’d gone and messed with his engineering.

So as to dissuade him, feeling now his mental anguish more than my ego, feeling something aptly called empathy, I reminded him about that scripture that says not to tempt the Lord thy God, and with a mixture of both agitation and devotion he told me how much God loved and cared for him, and how he wouldn’t let him down. It was then I saw a danger you see befalling people that you can’t warn them about so blind they are to it coming, a danger that mixes well with the kind of faith he had equally blind, sincere or no. He believed his Bible would not burn.

It was precisely here we differed on religion. He believed whole-heartedly not only in Jesus as the only way to God but also in the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church, so much so he lived homeless and without possessions, going to mass everyday and taking others (our whole group would go with him on Easter so as to appease him). At that moment in my life it was my ideal not to believe anything about God and the soul until you had experienced it personally, unconscious of my own belief system whose totality I had not experienced yet and may never, at least not in this present incarnation of my soul into the vehicle of Donny, meaning I too had to fill in the infinite gap in experience with belief. Even though you know your personal experience is inadequate to encompass the totality of things happening all at once everywhere, past, present and future, or, how I might say it, ‘the all at once’, when you’ve nonetheless had genuine firsthand experiences of God and the soul, and the person you’re discussing those things with only believes in some inflexible shadow of them, you see that person as being limitedly orthodox, however much you limit yourself by belief much like they do, and neither is the agnostic and atheist excluded from this universal limitation of relying on belief. We all use belief to fill in the gaps in the knowledge and experience that inform our ideals.

Like I said, he believed in the Catholic Church, all of it, its doctrines and practices, blindly you might say, and the only time I saw him come close to anger was when he was telling me, as he did in that conversation, as he had in previous ones, that I, a single, little person only 33 years old, could not negate hundreds of years of tradition with the wave of my hand. Who was I to do that? All the great people that had built that tradition surely knew more than I. If I’d been a little more observant, less intent on making my point, I’d have seen that his irritation resulted from the fact that our conversations were making him question that tradition, the ire his protection against doubt. You’d wonder what it was I told him that made him doubt his beliefs.

I guess you just have to be there, I mean, be physically present with me, see my face and look me in the eyes as I relate my experiences, because I’ve done that so many times on the net and hardly even gotten a nod from anyone, much less this degree of soul searching engagement I was getting from Andre. I say this because, when relating my experiences in person with another person, it’s rare that they don’t believe me and aren’t moved to the point of putting their spiritual beliefs alongside my experiences to see how they stack up. I’d have to add though that it’s not my path and never has been to be a spiritual teacher or speaker, although it’s part of it to share my story and my creative work on the net. In the past, I wore my experiences on my sleeve, or as merit badges on my chest, and I related them more to impress people than anything else, but I must say that oftentimes too it was to get a meal or a place to lay my head for the night, as I was to become a vagabond pilgrim myself a couple of years after this, for some years, in a journey that at least touched upon 5 continents, only taking a plane ride twice, once to go from South America to Europe, and once to return to India, where I remain to this day. I must say even today the ego is still involved in the telling.

Sitting there in old Jerusalem under the Moslem masonry, in a little sitting area just off the road and just inside Lion’s Gate but well past all the commotion of pilgrims getting off buses and filing to the Dome of the Rock, I had one of those moments you have when it’s almost as though you’re seeing outside of yourself watching yourself act and speak, one of those moments that somehow passes muster as one of the snapshots most viewed in an important journey in your life, or among the top ones in an especially rich cycle of time, when in the years that wane by you look over the big moments in the significant movements of your life. That it was more his big moment than mine attests to the mystery of such moments, why it is your selecting mechanism chooses this moment to throw up when you’re going over the big moments. Maybe the mechanism is not as centered on ourselves as we’d like to think, and maybe neither do we know yet what qualifies as a big moment and think of it only in terms of the greatening of ourselves or our people. This moment has always stood out in my mind when going over my time as a vagabond pilgrim in training in the Holy Land, when Andre and I were sitting there in a quiet cove under Moslem arches and debating the question of him throwing his Bible into the fire to see if it burned.

At the time, I passed his impulse off as him simply having a momentary loss of faith, and it didn’t even cross my mind he would actually test his faith like that, although I was quite surprised to hear him entertaining such an urge. In all of our conversations he’d been Peter the Rock, and he never conceded a single point, gave no indication, that I saw at the time anyway, that he was at all impressed with what I’d told him in regards to experiences of God and the soul, or what you can but give those titles to so spiritual and totally other such experiences are. I didn’t realize how fanatical he was, that he’d gone in his belief much further than the institutionalized uncritical thinking of the Christian mind– virgin birth, God needing a human sacrifice, etc. – and had crossed over into the delusional by believing his Bible wouldn’t burn, and so it wouldn’t be too long before his hands heard about it.

Andre, however, wasn’t without his vices, which were principally cigarettes and coffee, which, if you took a look at how attached he was to them, how much he needed them, showed you he was stuffing something, some stronger hunger that he was using those substances to try and pacify. Watching him play with the boys who invaded our camp from dawn to dusk, his easy, affectionate manner with them, his patience with what to most of us was simply intolerable behavior (they tore our tents down, picked up and tried to break everything that wasn’t tied down, were always trying to saw a tree down with our saw, which in the end they finally succeeded in doing, which got us kicked off the mountain immediately) you saw his color for the boys, color being desire you feel for people that only expresses itself as ‘color’, not any overt romantic or sexual word or deed. It’s the driving force behind so much of human relations and isn’t a bad thing when it simply stays as color. It’s not to be confused with lust, and, oftentimes, the person feeling it isn’t even aware any desire is present. With Andre, you got the impression he wasn’t. I would learn later, however, it wasn’t desire for boys he was denying. That desire, or color, was part of another more general desire complex he denied.

A handsome devil Andre, he had that generations of French face about him, though with a Belgium twist. He was rather tall and slender, with dark hair and eyes, the former made of soft curls kept well under control, the latter large and slumberous, though lit by purpose and conviction in his faith. Always on his head he wore a taqiyah, or a skullcap, a more general variety that didn’t look precisely like either a kufi or a kippah. He shaved regularly, and I think he did so more because he didn’t want to look either Jewish or Muslim than because he preferred to shave, because his vagabond lifestyle made it difficult to have the infrastructure to do so.

You’d think he would be a hit with the ladies, but he seemed to have no interest in women, had no color towards them in their presence, nor they to him, despite his good looks, and it was easy to just pass that off to his strict religious vows (he’d readily tell you he had taken a vow of celibacy), but something was up with him in regards to sex and that whole nine yards that added up to more than simply to a vow of celibacy.

Regardless what that added up to, and you knew like you know the feel of fresh air that there was not a nightmare thing about him, Andre was one of those people that was under a lucky star, that is, he was taken care of by thy universe. I saw that most clearly one day when we’d walked out of Damascus Gate and were walking towards New Gate, following the outer road that runs parallel to the wall of the old city. Damascus Gate was the most lively of gates, was where the market was, and we’d find ourselves just drawn to it in our wanderings in the old city. We did a lot of walking and talking, especially in the mornings, when, as had become our habit, I’d give him the shekels he needed to buy Nescafe and a pack of smokes. I had only arrived in Israel with, once I changed money, about 700 shekels, but because I was sleeping outside and basically wasn’t eating, I wasn’t spending anything. Still, I knew the strike would soon end, and our group go its separate ways, and I’d be shekelless in no time, and so I wasn’t a happy giver to Andre, and he’d picked up on that.

I always waited for him to ask, and on this morning, he was hesitant to do so, when, voila!, he swooped down and picked up a whole pack of cigarettes, unopened and undamaged, from the gutter that lined the side of the street closest to the wall. I then gave him the shekels to get a cup of coffee, without being asked, since it was obvious to me the universe at least, and maybe even God, was providing for his vices, and so maybe it wasn’t out of line for me to do so too. It’s hard to appreciate from the distance of reading this how much of a ‘thing’ that event was to us at that particular moment. It seemed divine. In any event, it’s an event I’ve recounted countless time to people to show that the divine isn’t moral-minded and will even give us our desires, harmful ones at that, if we really want them, sort of like how a parent indulges their child with way too much sugar just because it makes their kid so happy to have it. I have the feeling, however, in the case of the divine, that we’re sometimes given what’s bad for us if we insist so upon it, not so as to indulge us, but so that we get burned by it and learn to want what’s better for us instead.

Not long after that, a few days, the strike ended, and all but Lars, his sister, Zeke, and I went to the four winds. After the poem postings in the old city, Zeke and I went to Safed, which is captured in the book in progress, Between Jerusalem. After Safed, I did day labor in Tel Aviv and then Eilat, returning to Jerusalem to go to the Sinai and Cairo to post poems in those locations, which is captured in two preceding stories of “A Journey of a Thousand Tongues”, also posted on my blog here along with the first story in the series. On my last trip to Tel Aviv before leaving Israel altogether to go to India, I met Andre ‘by chance’ in the street. I’d last seen him five months before, and boy had he changed.

The first thing I noticed was he no longer wore the skullcap, but then I saw the change in his whole person, which was accented by his new look, different style of clothes, longer hair, and so on, but those things didn’t determine his persona as they had previously, or, I should say, were not what he was wearing so to determine it. There had come about in him a global change in his person. His face was more relaxed for one thing, his posture too, but looking deeply into his eyes as he grabbed both my hands and pulled me close so glad he was to see me, I saw they were no longer lit with purpose. It was obvious to me he’d left religion. After a moment of surprised greeting, he took me to where he was staying, an apartment not far from there. As he was showing me his recent drawings and paintings, which were quite good, had a spiritual behind to, he told me what had befallen him after we had parted company, I a person he most wanted to tell.

He got right to the meat of the matter and said he went to Ein Gedi to pray and fast so to put his Bible in the fire. Ein Geti, a place I visited on my way to Eilat, where I began the journal that never made it into book form, The Overthrow of I Am at the Equality of Soul, excerpts of which I relate in the story “Clambers on the Mountaintop” , found also on this blog, is an oasis and nature preserve near the Dead Sea. He said he’d initially wanted to fast for 40 days as Jesus had done in the desert before being tempted by Satan, or so the New Testament says, but, if I remember correctly, and I may not, after about 15 days he’d just gone and done it, thrown it in the fire, and then watched it burn like he was watching his life burn down.

He said he just lost it after that and wandered around Ein Gedi for a couple of weeks, having momentarily lost his mind. When I was there with the new little group I was part of, calling ourselves the dharma bums[ii], there was a young man there wandering around and guarding the dumpsters like a dragon does its treasure (but he couldn’t guard both at the same time), who was obviously a little touched in the head, and by his appearance, he’d been there awhile, and so, at least at that time, I knew such was possible there, although my group had to get special permission to sleep there even one night. I guess they just left the crazies alone. Food was not a problem because the two dumpsters at the bottom near the sea were always full of unopened tourist lunches from the buses full of tourists that visited every day. Andre spoke very fondly of those dumpsters. I imagine at some point they got locked, as the world power came in and closed a door, as it always eventually does, that opens to experience beyond the limits of what’s considered normal.

Anyway, he very slowly and quite painfully came back to himself and went to Tel Aviv, where he lived on the street for a short while, until an older gay couple, the owners of the apartment, found him and took him in. They were well off, and they could afford to take care of him. It was a nice apartment, and artwork lined the walls. They cleaned him up, bought him new clothes, and encouraged him to draw and paint and address his denied sexuality. Andre, if you haven’t figured it out, was gay.

I don’t know what happened with Andre after that, as keeping in contact back then meant having a physical address and/or a land line, the net not yet being the ticket, although Zeke had given me his email address, the first person to do that and the first time I heard of such. I left him there in the living room of that apartment his life up in the air. Where he landed I can only guess, but one thing’s certain: he began living life a gay man. If you were to accept it, and it’s being pushed with a lot of force today, he should be proud of that because being gay is as right as rain, as natural as being straight, and it’s a toss of the coin which you’ll be, has nothing to do with any kind of pathology, and it isn’t even remotely connected to pedophilia. I would point out those are statements of beliefs too.

I guess I should state my opinion about being gay, although in regards to Andre, he certainly needed out of that religious straight jacket, needed to be himself, confront himself, but he didn’t need to leave God altogether or not for the remainder of his life. About being gay: I believe that like pedophilia it’s a social disorder, although not near as harmful to society as the sexual love of children, and what harm it does cause to society isn’t harm to individuals but to social maturity as whole, although at the same time the outcast station of being gay, that conflict of an individual with their society, has contributed greatly to the evolution of society, to a culture, for example in art and thought. I’m a person under the impression that it might very well be a necessary stage for someone to be actively gay, how long depending on a person’s soul needs, and it’s important for it not to be illegal and subject to punishment or be a social stigma, in other words shouldn’t be persecuted, but if a person is to realize God and the soul, it’s a stage that needs to end at some point, any kind of romantic and/or sexual indulgence, not because it’s morally wrong, but because you won’t have either the will or life-force necessary to find God or the soul spending those on that, so much finding those things cost your will and life-force.

[i] In his yoga the psychic being is the evolving personality of the soul, what is maturing, or growing up, what is evolving, as one goes through their lifetimes. Grown, it would become the leader of the life.

[ii] It bears mentioning that the four of us that made up our group were on our way to Eilat to find work, taking a bus as far as Ein Geti and then dividing up into twos and hitching the rest of the way. I’d told them about the book of that name, by Jack Kerouac, and we began calling ourselves that. When we arrived in Eilat we got beds at Home Hostel, and under my bed I found a copy of The Dharma Bums, and that was the only book there, and there were no more books under anyone’s bed, or even a bookshelf in the dorm room. I’m just saying.

[additional notes] To see the cause of being gay, as well as the cause of pedophilia, at least as far as a divine revelation is concerned, one I received, seeing also where those causes are linked, read the poem  “Tonight on Television” .

For a prose version of this theory, though also applied to sexual harassment and rape, read the article “Make Peace With the World”