CAVEAT: Warning! These letters have not been edited by Carla. Expect errors.
I have been lying pretty flat on my back for a while. The back problem that I had at the party continued. I don’t know whether I will send you this tape or whether I will get Jim to dub it off and keep a copy because the letter covers several points of issue and I know that you have always considered me someone whose opinions you respected.
It has baffled me since I decided to marry Jim, where our communications had gone awry and I was only able to begin to see things from your point of view more easily. The fact that she said that physically she was in a state of sin and it would be so much better for her if she would say, “I did wrong,” and forgive herself. This was one big problem.
Another problem was that I said that her problem was that she had broken her sacred contract. Let me define those terms.
The sacred contract is the easiest to define. When I talked this over with Jim, he was able to help. When I talk about a sacred contract, I talk about giving my word to someone. I don’t mean marriage. I have been married and had a sacred contract. I have been unmarried and had and kept a sacred contract, more than once. The difference between the sacred contract of a non-marriage and a marriage is none as far as I am concerned. Really, Jim and I married in order to celebrate and make a commitment. He was most willing to be married because as far as he was concerned, his sacred contract, his fidelity had already been given and that quite some time ago.
Now as far as I am concerned, of course, marriage does not change the commitment of a sacred contract. I agree with Jim that. He can decide to change his commitment at any moment and hopefully he would come to me before he did something about it, or I would come to him before I did something about it. We would talk. We would be honest with each other and either give each other a very straight and clear catalyst, and there would be no separation between the two that breaks trust.
Now to me, that is the great problem, you see, of being unfaithful. Let me say about being unfaithful, that what I have said before, but I think it is very, very true. I think that men and women, if they are conscious of their bodies, and men are trained to be more conscious of their bodies than women since women do so much protecting of themselves in order to get married—if you are in contact with your body, if you feel that healthy, vibrant life within you, passion within you, it is there for virtually for any attractive person of the opposite sex or whoever.
It’s never bothered me, and certainly during periods of forced abstinence on my part, it was very helpful to me to get a little off of the male energy of people around me, not draining them or anything like that, but enjoying the sexual tension, enjoying the energy that that all-purpose seventies word that seems to be so useful still today.
My sacred contract is my word, whether it is, “I am going to give you back your pencil,” or “I’m going be faithful to you for life.” I really think that is all we have in this world in the end is to know who we are and to be who we are, 100% right down to the ground. So much about the sacred contract business. That is easy.
Next is sin. I discovered from talking with Jim and from doing a lot of thinking on my own that my concept of sin has almost nothing to do with the worldly concept of sin. There are to me two kinds of sin. There is the big sin, capital Sin. There is little sin and that is in the plural. The big Sin is separation from God. We all have it. We all spend a part of our day and a part of our night unaware of the Divine, of our birthright, of a thought that is at the heart our being. We all Sin. It is the price we pay for entering into this illusion and learning what we learn from it. Were we not to have that separation, at least part of the time from the Creator, we could not possibly get ourselves into the messes that we do otherwise. And we could not possibly develop our facilities of will and we could not learn the lessons of Love.
We would already know what we came here to learn. We would have the textbooks open before us. It is not to be.
We are a deeply dualistic illusion. It is not our reality, but it is the illusion. That illusion itself to me is Sin. And I see no shame or judgment in it. I see it as a precondition of life as we know it. There are little sins and to me that is where judgment comes in. The sins are against yourself. You decide that this is what you believe about something. This is what you want to do, but you can’t do it. You decide to refrain from doing something; you have come to the end of your ability and you can’t do it. You decide to be completely courageous and not let anybody know how rough you are having it, but in the end you slip and you cry your heart out in front of somebody.
I did it today. I really felt—here I was, a daughter of God, full of joy, shining her light, crying just because I had a stomach ache and a back ache. I was really disappointed, but these things happen to us. They are errors. They are errors we make. We don’t always live up to our own expectations.
Now there are criminal sins, things that you go to jail for. I am not talking about those. I am talking about the conflict of perceptions. People in the south seem to think that it is judgment implied, necessary and burning in hell. I don’t believe that. I believe we are in hell. We are our own heaven and we experience that on earth. I truly believe that living in harmony with laws of the Creator, simple laws like the things that you learn by experience, things that you learn by getting knocked around, bring you inner peace and open the doorway to a focus in life that is more and more God-centered. That is why I personally chose to be faithful to one man.
I have it in me to be a whore; there is no question about that. I have even considered it. I considered it in college. It was a good way to make a lot of money fast and I liked it.
But the first thing that goes when you have more than one boyfriend is trust and the most important thing in my life has always been my relationships. I learned through them more than I learned from nature. I learned about myself through their mirrors as well as my own thinking. I put number one priority value on relationships. I don’t mind it that I am a sexier number than Jim or probably any guy could honestly keep foolishly happy the way they show it in the movies with honeymoon couples and the wife going around gaga. I don’t know what it would take. I have never really been stretched. Nobody has ever challenged the extent of my powers as a passionate woman. It doesn’t matter. It is just that the eighties have made things a little strange. You just decide ahead of time what the answer is going to be and then you just come right out with the truth. Sorry, want to keep my life peaceful. I’ve got one good woman.
It is real simple. It is just a matter of wanting to do it that way. I have felt for you and K, M, because I know that K has loved you romantically and you have not loved her romantically. But I don’t think it is the end of the road for you two, unless she takes it too hard or unless you begin to feel you can’t live like this. I spent many years being far more in love with Don than he ever was with me and certainly, but I can honestly say that the benefits that I gained from loving without condition were far more than I can express, really. It taught me about myself and deepened my nature. It matured me. It is truly a spiritually opening act to love and not expect anything in return.
As for you, you have chosen someone you respect, someone you love, someone you admire, the mother of your children. It is kind of a rough act for K. I am sure you see that. Actually it is the same thing that I experienced all of my life. I have never had somebody be romantic towards me. Jim actually comes closer to me than anybody else ever has.
I suppose it would be really, really wonderful, but I don’t think it is what makes the world go round. I think what makes the world go round are people who make choices and then try to live with them. I think that the whole idea that I was trying to get across about telling the truth was that she had this choice to tell the truth with L, talk it out, work it out, or to maintain a separation from her. A actually took me aside at the party and thanked me very heartily for the talk that I had with her that Sunday, the one in which I said virtually the same thing to you in the letter. She knew I wasn’t judgmental. She knew I was saying 2 + 2 doesn’t equal 5.
If you have a desire to change the agreement, you need to talk it over and not just do something about it. It is a contract and agreement between two people of whatever nature. It is not something that is unilaterally abridged by a good ethical person. You talk about it first. You adjust. You compromise. You part friends, you stay friends. Whatever happens you need to communicate. That is my idea.
I don’t believe in a sinful relationship in the same way that the Southern Baptists and most southern Christians do. It isn’t real to me. What is real to me is far more the beauty of the redemption that lies within us just as the illusion does. The redemption of reality is available at all times, floating between every atom, ready to engulf us if we can but recognize it. Christ is our role model for forgiveness and that brings me to your friend.
I am not a biblical scholar, but as far as those that condemn homosexuals, I can’t remember whether it was Plato or Socrates who had a young man whose hair he plaited with ribbons at the table during one of his diatribes. This is a part of life that God has given us to experience. I realize your friend has got a straight ticket to heaven and I don’t want to change him, I really don’t. I would not want to change a Fundamentalist Christian, but all I can say to him.
The reason I wouldn’t want to change him is that as far as I am concerned, a Fundamentalist Christian is so far ahead on faith and the spirit that wonderful things will happen to that person, if he can just keep the judgmental side down, the apocalyptic side down, the holy war side down. As far as I am concerned, if you can keep that part down, the part of passion that gets into dissension and war, there is no straighter path to God, to the face of the mystery than a fundamentalist Christian church.
I cannot accept it and a lot of other people can’t either, which is why I do what I do and a lot of other people read what I write. My path has not been a simple one. I’ve read too much, I’ve thought too much. Perhaps other people have gotten angry. Perhaps some have left the church because of that. There are all kinds of reasons to leave. But people who can go to church as part of the group worship experience, it is very, very much worth it.
He has not expressed his sexual preference. He is Christ, he is unblemished. He has a hard row to hoe in his life ahead if he wants to join a Christian church, but he must somehow know in himself somewhere, that Christ would never deny him or call him simple. If Christ heard of him, he would immediately sit down and eat with him, he would break bread with him. He is a humble soul. He is me. He is the kind of person that Jesus was seeking for his kingdom. You make it to heaven on His faith and that is a mystery that I have not yet found.
Christ would comfort him and stay with him and be his friend from now until the day he dies and forever more. I know He would strengthen him, and I know he must love his Jesus as much if he is willing to give up his actions. Now you say what he wants to do is to learn how to be heterosexual and that is not a scientifically valid idea. However, I do have a homosexual friend who attempted to do this. I just hope that something that you can say to him can turn the trick and make him realize how valuable he is just as he is and how worthy.
I have been flat on my back. Had pain real bad. It just got worse and worse and worse and finally I had to do something about it, so I went and got some x-rays taken to make sure that nothing ws terribly wrong. The back is okay so I have been given the go ahead to really exercise again and my feet are well enough to do that even though they are still in braces. I take the braces off at times. It is hell, but the last time I did it was excruciating for me and I don’t expect it to be any different this time, especially not ten years later. I was down so bad. It is just one of those things with arthritis. You just got to keep on atrucking for a while, but I have had a real good time here. The only thing that I can really complain about is that I hadn’t been able to do any writing or turning of pages because right where it got me in the back was where my arms move off to the side, so I haven’t been able to do anything except watch TV. Jim has been bringing me a bunch of videos so it has not really been that bad.
I will be glad to be out of the pain. I expect to be laid up for a while, but at least I can watch Jim having a good time and forging ahead. He has seldom done anything else. I really don’t have any response to it except to have faith in the law of supply that what we need will be given.
I guess in closing I don’t have anything to say except that what I try to do is look at things straight on and say straight on what I think. I am usually not a confronting person by doing that, but usually I have my vocabulary in better shape. I am a very worldly person. Sin is a very worldly concept so almost everything is sin and a great deal has been tied into mostly having to do with national security or world security or one of those big buttons like patriotism has gotten involved. And you do what is in front of your face and you do it to the very best of your ability, give it a maximum effort. And K has to find it for herself.
Let me know how things are when you get a chance. I love you and so does Jim. and so do the kitty cats, even if you are allergic to them and I’ll be seeing you soon. I promise.