I am here to punch holes in this excellent writing of yours. I don’t particularly like to do it, but I guess I am good at it and hopefully what will happen is that you can hear the valid comments (that seem valid to you, I mean), and disregard the ones that simply don’t work for you.
Chapter 2, page 6: I marked out terribly and eternally because the word “terribly” means causing one to have terror, which isn’t what you mean by terribly trite. You mean very trite or excruciatingly trite, but you may not need the adjective at all and that is why I also marked “eternally.” Because how trite the true is the most over-used and very misunderstood saying, so I just did that. You will notice that whenever you have used a phrase as an adjective, I have hyphenated it like over-used and self-forgiveness.
I suggested that at the very beginning, after your statement, “almost anyone at any age can observe the talent mankind has for making mistakes, but how few are the eons that they can understand and practice the art of forgiving.” I think you can go back in history and look at people, specific people that you are fond of, that have had a mystical experience of self-forgiveness.
Jesus says, “If you forgive the sins of any, they shall be forgiven and if you do not forgive, then they shall not be forgiven.” So that kind of history might help right there.
Instead of saying, “forgiving of another individual begins here,” I would say, “it takes place here.” I crossed out, “I find it interesting that,” and started a sentence. “The dictionary defines forgive as,” and I took out “even more” so that it reads, “The dictionary defines forgive as to give up the wish to punish or get even with, and I find it interesting that most people who read this definition do not know that the act of forgiving another person begins after self-punishment ends.”
You will notice here and there I have suggested paragraph marks and I did the same thing last time. You tend to get on a roll and not think about the baby steps. Don’s advice as a teacher to me, which I have always had trouble taking, was to maintain baby steps. A little bit each time so what you want to do is crystallize, not necessarily my paragraphing, but the paragraphing that you feel separates thought from thought—A from B from C from D, things that go along. So that you can crystallize each thought and make the material flow a good deal better.
Later in the paragraph, usually “you and I,” I would include yourself along with the rest of the bozos in talking about what you have been learning as that which you are living and like to share, but that you have your clay feet just like anyone else. The very authoritative style is a bit dry.
I also marked on page 6 the whole paragraph starting at, “You will have noticed by now that the personal approach of this book goes beyond the customary habit,” is very “I” “you” and think about re-writing that for a more gentle touch. In other words, instead of saying, “You will have noticed by now that,” you just start, “The personal approach of this book goes beyond the customary habit of being personal by speaking directly to every individual. The teachings and information we share are intended to drive home a point. We, as co-creators, are the alpha and omega of all we experience in our subjective lifetime. The emphasis in this book is pointed directly toward the life we are leading right now for this life includes all.”
If you see the kind of way that it would change it. If you feel more comfortable with the “I,” “you,” go for it, but it would be my instinct to join the learn/teacher as a teach/learner and it would be more sharing of your own clay feet and that attitude of simple humility that you hope this will help. It has helped you, and we are all in the same boat, etc. Basically that is the attitude that I think would be good.
You see, it is not just you that has had a multitude of past lives, but it is that we all have a past and we all have a future.
I am going to 7 now. On reincarnation, you cannot prove reincarnation. You cannot prove any spiritual principle. If you can prove it, it is not a spiritual principle. Consequently, I have removed in the second line, “it is valid. If it provable as any other theory of life we attempt to substantiate with our earthly scientists.” This is opinion. You can say that, “it is my opinion that it is valid,” but it is completely unprovable, although there are some astonishing stories to be listened to of those who have experienced reincarnation consciously, and remember a past life very clearly, and then they go back and find their tombstone and find the right name, the right age, the right place, everything. You might trot that out. Instead of saying it is valid, you can say, “there is much anecdotal evidence to support this theory of cosmology.” Our earthly sciences will not accept anecdotal proof. It simply doesn’t compute.
I added in the fourth line of this, “It is not the answer to this life on this earth.” You might even add “now.” Getting the people into the moment is part of what you are trying to do.
I have removed the phrase “types of” quite a few times because it is unnecessary. If you read out loud, “those who seek information about previous lives often profit from their efforts by learning what problems they’ve carried with them into this life.” You don’t need “types of.”
I also scored “disgusted” in the eighth line down just to ask you, and also down in 11, to ask you to think of a better way. Disgusted suggests that you are ready to throw up. I don’t believe that “disgust” is the actual disdain and you can quote people like Marx that “religion is the opiate of the masses,” and a lot of phenomenologist say that “if something has an objective reference, then it is real, but if you can’t taste it or measure it in some way, it is just not worth fooling with and in terms of science as we know it today, they are completely right. We cannot prove any spiritual truths. But try to think of a word other than “disgust,” which would indicate more of a feeling of scientists that they are closer to the answers than the rest of us because they are looking at the way things work.
Actually it isn’t true, but most people accept as authority the experts in these scientific fields. They do not have the courage to say, or perhaps even the knowledge to say, “we understand nothing for sure about this illusion. We don’t know why it works the way it does. We don’t know why the speed of light is not relative and that everything else is. We don’t know why it works with so many equations. It just does. We have never explained electricity to anybody’s satisfaction. Action at a distance’s effect has never been explained nor has gravity. However, people have used formulas with the speed of light, etc. and have found that they were able to determine.... Anyway, think of another word from disgust because we really have a problem with scientists.
We are giving a lot of authority to people who do not know the ultimate answers to their own science. I think it just needs to be said in some way that the ability of man to measure and study metaphysical things is not yet born so that the highest fact that scientists can offer, and Einstein did offer that, is to declare all of life a mystery. As a matter of fact, if you check back with Einstein, you will find he was quite a mystic.
I took out various types of (page 8) first line, I marked “I” just to keep you aware of the impact of what you are doing here. “I am telling you,” instead, “we have suggested that the Creator accepts the responsibility.” That is a softer way of saying the same thing. It may be too soft for you. Who knows? You do. If my suggestion does not ring true, just forget it.
I am glad that you got the mental/physical/spiritual thing right. I think little things like that are important.
I didn’t mark “perfection.” “Your true basic nature is that of your Creator, one of order and perfection.” This is still in the first paragraph. I might suggest growing harmony or euphony or a word like that, or balance, as opposed to perfection because perfect is a long way from here. It is going to be a while and we are not going to get it now. We are just going to be making basic choices that will put us on the path towards a full grasp of the perfection possible.
Here I begin suggesting various paragraphing and again, it is not change what you are saying. It is rather to help you focus on the thoughts that you are presenting and making sure that you have gotten the thoughts that are in that paragraph crystallized so that the next paragraph moves flowingly to the next point. It is psychologically a very bad idea to have too long of paragraphs in a book that are a page long or something. It makes the page too black with print and it disturbs one’s reading. Also those who are easily confused will be more easily confused by a lack of paragraphing because the paragraph is a little hint that you are going on to another thought.
I marked the whole, “those who believe they need to pay attention and it ends for this life,” I marked all of that in the middle of the page and ask you to rethink that. I believe that the fundamentalists believe that once they have accepted Christ as their personal savior, they need not any longer worry about their actions in this world because they have been saved by Jesus Christ. The reason they don’t worry about it is because Jesus Christ has already booted them into heaven.
Eternal infernos do not come in this thought really because if you feared an eternal inferno, you would certainly be paying more close attention or at least feeling a lot of guilt about your actions, so rethink that and say it in a way that really seems best to you. It is not clear or accurate exactly the way you have said it because the act of redemption of the fundamental Christ is accepting Jesus into your heart as your lord and savior. It is very simple and there are a lot of people with simple minds who find it necessary to have a doctrine to believe in that they can be sure about and rest on.
They shouldn’t actually be condemned, but perhaps merely reminded that once they are saved, they are still citizens of an earth that cries out for help and each of us has gifts and is, therefore, personally responsible for offering those gifts in the lifetime experience.
I took out “awfully in lifetime is enough a short amount,” simply to suggest again that you think through what you mean by “awfully.” Awfully means full of fear, so if instead of “awfully,” which is a real cliché word, you might consider a synonym like.. you could leave it out altogether, but perhaps something along the lines of fearsomely would get around the cliché of awfully. But indicate the mere possibility, if one thinks about it, of correcting one’s behavior to “be perfect as your Father is perfect” within one lifetime.
I felt that this paragraph was rather muddy. Again, if there must be some bias within you about church that I haven’t fractured in here, but I believe that you should expand and not just make things clearer, but perhaps speak just a little more about how people can believe that they are saved by immediate acceptance into salvation. I think the last sentence of the paragraph, “the simple truth is we have nothing recorded in our history books to evidence this truth.”
We are looking for evidence of reincarnation. We have lots of books that indicate the reality of reincarnation, of course, because two-thirds of the world’s religions believe in it and the Episcopalians used to believe in it back before 300 A.D. or something; some conference decided that reincarnation was not any good for people because it made them loaf in this life, believing that they always had another shot. So take a good look at that paragraph and try to remove personal bias and add clarity and content.
Down towards the end of that page 8, chapter 2, you say, “that you will admit the concept of salvation and perfection within the span of one’s lifetime is interesting and sometime comforting.” Interesting is a buzzword like fascinating, fantastic, beautiful and excellent. There are several words like that one rather wishes to avoid if one wishes to sound as if one was a writer and actually, the sentence reads well without those words. That is, “I will admit that the concept of salvation and perfection within the span of one’s lifetime is sometimes a comforting thought.”
I think that reduces the distance that you have from the material. The reader will, therefore, have some of the material. If, when you talk about things being interesting or fascinating, you are either being an evangelist or you are being a scientist, both of whom are attempting to explain why their view of things is right. I think that tends to put people off unless they are in that mode of thinking where they desperately need some kind of authority.
I changed on page 9, I marked two semi-colons that I didn’t think were necessary in a couple of paragraphs and just encourage you to continue the process of looking at what is in each paragraph and seeing if you have said that particular chain of thought as well as you can. Then going to the next paragraph and judge it by itself as a crystalline thing. You are basically trying to crystallize and make clear and lucid ideas that have been knocked around so much by the New Age that they are all knocked into a cocked hat. There is as much to undo as there is to do and it is very helpful, I think, in these matters to maintain an attitude of utter humility because it is a mystery about which we all speak.
I have no arguments with you about any of this. This is all nice material and I think that people will like it, and I merely encourage you to write it in a less formal “I,” “you” manner and in more of a clarified, look at the situation we are in point-of-view. The honesty of that approach is infinite.
You did something that a lot of people in spiritual work do. You didn’t say physical life in the last paragraph, as marked by me. You said, “within the physical.” Do put life in there or life experience. The physical is not a noun. It is an adjective and it needs something to modify.
More semi-colons that I didn’t feel were particularly necessary.
The last sentence of page 9, “the importance and validity of their messages “lie” rather than lay.” Just in case you care, the verb to lie is an active verb or transitive
verb. It is conjuncted lie, lay, lain. The verb to lay is something that one does to something. It is an intransitive verb. Like you lay the table. It is setting something down. That is lay, laid, laid. If you can remember that, you are better than 99% of the people in this culture.
In chapter 2/10, you were really cooking talking about living in eternity and in life at the same time and I would suggest to you that you do use Brother Lawrence here as an example. It is a little fuzzy to say, “You know all these masters. They serve as our example. They were experts at living life to the fullest on planet earth.” They were not born that way. There was a process of choice, etc. You might expand on that a little bit.
Brother Lawrence says things in a very simple way. He simply says that whatever you do, if you do it for the love of God, it is well done and you can be completely happy in whatever condition you find yourself, including being totally laid up. You don’t have to be healthy, wealthy and wise to be a gladsome, happy soul. I think that living life to the fullest means coming to terms with the fact that you don’t have to be perfect to be happy. Not physically perfect; not mentally perfect; not psychologically perfect; not emotionally perfect, and certainly not spiritually perfect.
In the interest of feminists, I would change mankind in the third line to humankind. Instead of humanness in that same line, I would suggest humanity. It is a slightly more classy word.
I really let a long paragraph go here, but it just seems to me that you were working on one thought for most of the page. “That mankind has made many attempts to deny the humanity of the teachers that they worship and in so doing have done a great disservice to itself.” You carry on with that for quite a lot of time, and I really can’t see that this is going to be a short paragraph
Whenever you see self forgiveness, remember that the only way that a noun can become an adjective is to put a hyphen in so it is the wonder of self-forgiveness in the middle of that page. Otherwise, grammatically speaking it doesn’t compute. At least it doesn’t compute to me. I am a classical writer. That is, I taught myself to appreciate writing all the way back to the Bible and all the way up to into the 20th century. I am not real up on the latest, but the basic principle is that one writes responsibly and with as much flare as possible, and clarity, and crystallization of concept. So if you have a long paragraph, it is because you have a large concept basically in this particular paragraph; the basic concept is that there is no use in searching for forgiveness outside of yourself and I think you do a good job of that. You could tighten that up a bit, I think, and read it over out loud to yourself and see how it sounds. I do that when I am writing.
When I get the transcript back, I’ll read it out loud to myself and things will become obvious to me that would not have been obvious had I merely been proof-reading it.
When you talk about rituals in this last paragraph on page 10, it might be an idea to express what kind of rituals because many, many people do not know, for instance, that holy communion is a ritual; that morning prayer is a ritual; that the things that they do at the Presbyterian or the Baptist or whatever church are rituals. They simply do not realize this and they think that you are talking bout magic, Wicca, and being a Buddhist and God knows what all. So communication stops at that point, in my opinion, so try to clarify that.
It isn’t that it is wrong to devote large amounts of energy to rituals. It is just that it is not in the hope that they will receive forgiveness as much as it is in the hope that they will find renewal and strength so that they may continue to go about the Creator’s business. Group worship has definitely its place, no question about it.
On to page 11, paragraphing here. I marked efficient because I thought efficacious would probably be a more accurate word. I think that at the end of the paragraph when you say, “you are the one who is blind to the love and light within,” you need to express yourself first of all without the implied judgment of you are the one who is blind.” Basically that means that you are speaking as the voice of the Creator and even in wonderful books like “The Impersonal Life,” I find that a little off-putting because some man wrote it and he really should have been sure enough of himself to write it with his name and including himself in the human flock.
I think we are all more or less blind to the great resources of the unconscious mind. The deepest resources of which are, of course, the love and light of the Infinite Creator. If you express the process, instead of saying, “you are the one who is blind,” you say, “even though you may not yet be aware, continue working day-by-day and in days, weeks, months or years, however long it takes, your soul will awaken to the joy within.” Something like that.
I marked perfection on this page because balance or harmony is perhaps a gentler way of saying perfection. It is a difficult ideal to grasp. Perfection is an absolute and, of course, that is the nature of the Creator, but we will not realize that we are perfect, I don’t think, within this illusion unless we have an extremely unusual experience that is not given to most of us.
But we can by acting instead of reacting to what people say to us and choosing our actions, we can bring balance, and love and kindness to a situation that if one gave a harsh answer would become quickly a confrontation. I hope you see where I am going with that. I just want you to work more with that idea of the gradual awakening of everyone; the fact that everyone has a time to awaken; the fact that there is a choice to make to accelerate consciousness on the spiritual path and after that, one may still be blind for a while to the love and light within.
I think for some people, they simply are physically unused to sitting still. So meditating and sitting still for fifteen or twenty minutes is liable to cause headaches, stomach aches, visions of monsters and all kinds of disturbing things because the body is basically saying, “Get me out of this chair. I am not doing anything.”
I think also it is as good to call meditations done with prayers as it is meditation within this culture, but since you are writing for the New Age, you might simply use both words. Say silent listening prayer in meditation to equal the same thing.
Again on page 12, I marked perfection because you really don’t practice perfection. You practice experiencing the presence of perfection within yourself. I think it would be beyond all bounds of reason to assume that one’s perfection is realized within this illusion, but that does not mean that we should not have total faith. That we are self-forgiven; that we are forgiven immediately by this kindly universe and this kindly creator. The Old Testament is basically a soap opera and not much more except for a few things.
An infinitive is not to be split so I moved “fully” in the second paragraph to before to so it would be expected fully to realize and practice your complete perfection.
I am taping this on two different tape recorders because I have incredible problems getting my voice on the tape anymore. Jim thinks it is because I am getting a stronger spiritual field. I think it is a cosmic joke.
I quit marking “good” because just about everything you had to say is very much on the beam so don’t think just because I didn’t write good here and good there that I didn’t think this stuff is good. I think that it is full of potential and that with the full time to work on the book, and to write, and dream about it and meditate about it, etc., that you will be very much able to be of aid to people if you can get the thing published, and weren’t you the one who told me that you might get it published just because it was written in Oklahoma, or something like that?
It could be. I am not remembering right now.
I hope you have a chance to publish it because you write very well, but you sort of over-write or you do it sort of all in a burst and so therefore you are not as picky about the shape of your prose. You must realize that my attitude is that there is no such thing as non-poetic prose that is good. Prose can be deadly. Governmentese, educationease prose with all of its footnotes and all of its back-ups and proving of this and that are utterly boring. But I know you do, L., want to write as well as you are capable of and I know that you are capable of writing with more finesse and the only reason that you haven’t written with more finesse is that there wasn’t somebody around that said, “Look here and look there and think about these things.”
I took out the “the” on page 13 down to the 6th or 7th line, because I did not feel that all of the explanations that have preceded this paragraph were given because these are the areas in which many suffer from confusion thus, we are hindered from successfully practicing the steps that are involved, etc.
Pay attention to my paragraphing, not that they are right. I might have mistaken the flow of your thoughts, but all that I ask is that you consider how to crystallize and say in the clearest and most pleasant way what it is that you want to express in that paragraph.
I liked this discussion of the lesser of two evils, etc. When you said several lines from the bottom, “this is a simple realization about a basic reality of life,” my instinct would be to say, “This is a simple realization about the basic quality, which is black comedy,” but that is just my point and I wiped out another “types of.” It really does read better without the types of for that is just irrelevant. “It is the attitude you see towards those situations,” not types of situations.
Talking about making words count here. It is all right to write a real long book, but you’ve got to make sure all of the words count.
In the middle of page 14, I changed types to sorts simply to get you out of the habit of using the word “types” because it is a terribly over-used word.
I think proofs should be put in quotation marks because no one can prove the validity of inner points-of-view based on beliefs. You might say a word in this paragraph about the fact that service-to-others is not serving others as you feel they need to be served, but serving others when you are asked to serve and only if you consider what is asked to be of spiritual value. There are a lot of difference between pleasing people and serving people.
I didn’t hyphenate all of the self-forgivenesses, but I think you get the idea.
I slightly shortened the sentence near the bottom. “Sometimes these dynamics were small in nature and at times they involve differences that can accumulate resentment that leads to death, war, separation and any manner of personal ill feelings.” I put the word “personal” in there because I thought that would be separated from social ill-feelings because death and war, war especially, and the sad state of our diplomacy, these are [inaudible] right things, but death and the choice to separate from another human being, these are personal feelings, so I think that you could perhaps express that not only do the dynamics of self-forgiveness involve one personally, they involved the whole culture. They involve the whole planet because we are all trying to lighten the consciousness of planet earth.
These are things that you just haven’t quite said and maybe that isn’t the place where you want to say them. Perhaps my stumbling around here might give you some ideas as to how to crystallize each thought.
“Your appreciation and acceptance grow in direct relationship to your ability to see yourself in the process and realize your experience is not unique and open your mind and heart to the other person involved. This process initiates self-forgiveness.” Actually I think you may have gotten the cart before the horse. You have not gotten the cart before the horse in that you express your infirmity as a person to be able to judge, but how you get from non-judgment to self-forgiveness needs to be expressed and I encourage you to do it in whichever way you wish. Attempt is spelled wrong.
“A part of the mystery is the glory of the creation. These are the dynamics,” and then I added “of eternity.” “And to resent them is to stifle the energy it allows them to create.” If you don’t like the word “eternity,” think of what the dynamics refer to. I understand from the way this stuff is written that you mean the mystery of the glorious creation that lead to the dynamics. Basically what I object to in New Age things in general is the bottom-line viewpoint. Part of the ministry to the unchurched has always got to involve giving people tools and resources that they may use to learn. We can’t simply tell them that they are God. Maybe one person in a million will respond to that idea either because of an excess of ego or because of a complete lack thereof and complete disinterest in the ego.
I am moving on to 16 here. More paragraphing. In the middle of the page, I put an in because unique begins with a vowel, so it would be “has an unique free and viable part of the creation.” I hyphenated face-to-face because obviously two nouns and a preposition do not an adjective make unless one hyphenates them.
I suggest that you say, “more fully enjoy his basic nature in the greater balance of life.” I removed the participate because it seems to me that one is participating within the process already implied in that sentence earlier. In other words, it has the option to initiate this process within himself. It is vaguely redundant and perhaps the use of the word “engaged with those difficulties of society to which one resonates,” or something which I think is truly so. We didn’t come here to learn a few lessons ourselves. We came here to do some hard work in service-to-others.
Page 17, I took away a typo and another typo and put some paragraph suggestions in and marked spiritual, mental and physical because it is mental, physical and spiritual evolution and that is the way it has gone.
The last sentence of the chapter 2 is weak because you simply say, “indeed, my friend who errs to [inaudible], I would definitely take out the “my friend.” And perhaps I would think about what I was saying. It is not the divine right of each person. It is the design birthright of each person, to exercise his... It is his responsibility, not just his right. It is his responsibility and his honor to play an active part in life. See if you can rework that one, even if it is just “indeed to err is human and to forgive divine.” I think you can put a couple of sentences in between the dynamics of the physical life and, indeed, that would segue to the end of the chapter.
That is the end of that and I will send this back to you. I am not usually this prompt, I know, but I am quickly trying to clear my desk.
Jim just gave me a tape recorder for my birthday. We have like seven around the house and I have destroyed all of them with my touch I guess. I try never to touch them, but it just seems like lately I don’t even have to touch them to bother them. They will work for somebody else, but they won’t work for me.
Having chewed that material over and marveling again at your incredible energy, it is a very stressful thing to move. I don’t at all envy you having to do that twice in one year. I did it twice in one year, the same year that Don died. I was so freaked out. If I even saw a cardboard box, I got just really depressed. I hate to move and I am very much a fixed-space operator.
What is going on with us? Jim is bustling around getting things together for the vacation and I am trying to finish up my business so that I can be ready to go without having any work hanging over my head before our vacation. I have today and tomorrow and I think Jim and I are going to pack off Thursday morning and leave about noon because we are only going to make it Knoxville. Jim likes to do it in easy stages. We are going to go down to a place in South Carolina called Pawley’s Island. We have rented for several years a place, not exactly on the beach, that’s a high rent district. It is right behind exactly on the beach so all you have to do is walk through the driveway that goes to the house in back of you and you are right at where the sand is. But you don’t have to pay the price of being on the water.
We will take three days to go from here to South Carolina. Jim really likes to take it easy on a trip and make it part of the fun and not make it something that you have to do before you start having fun. We take it in easy stages and it will be fun. Jim is a fun guy to be around.
I am singing in the beginning of my twenty-third season with the Box Society. I have already started practicing. We are going to do Hayden’s Mass in Time of War. That is the only thing I know for sure.
I am very excited about a couple of women who are coming to see me in September or early October. One is K.H. who is coming here to stay. She has been thinking about joining us for three years, a caution that I wholly applaud because this work is a labor of love. We don’t make a penny and I wouldn’t want anybody to come into community with us on a semi-permanent or permanent basis, even on a trial basis, that didn’t have in mind of service-to-others. We are not interested, Jim and I, in community for the sake of survival or only having to buy one lawnmower for three families or any of those other big ideas. We want to be of service in our humble way and all of us, Don, Jim and I, and now K. are all very much of that nature also.
There is also a delightful woman whom I have not met yet except through the mail. She wrote in because she was having psychic greetings in the form of spiders and getting to the point where I think one time she looked up and she saw a four-foot in diameter body of a spider. You can imagine how big the legs were, and it was coming down from the ceiling towards her. This is a psychic greeting of a certain type and I felt that she was probably stressed out and probably had some poltergeist-type of abilities, some mojo, if you will, and was simply unaware of how to tune it and use it. My guess was that she was probably a possible healer and could use that mojo for good instead of for that energy being soaked up by negative-polarity entities.
What you do in a situation like that, which is about the hardest thing I can think to do around a four-foot wide spider, and that is to take it into your arms, to love it, to tell it how much you appreciate it, to pray for it that everything will be fine and just shower it with love and realize that spider represents a part of yourself that you have removed from the acceptance of yourself and you must, therefore, take that to your bosom and embrace that spider or whatever it represents, and say, “Yes, this too is I.”
She did exactly that and the phenomenon diminished and went away. It did come back under the stress of her marriage’s break-up. She married one week and was divorced by the end of that month. It was just one of those things where she didn’t really realize it. I guess she hadn’t been in an alcoholic situation before, but she was allowing her feelings to act themselves out without regard to her conscious will. Although I dislike the book “the Right Use of Will” because it is an [inaudible] of an opinion, I do think there is such a thing as the right use of will and that will is simply to move from willfulness to willingness to serve. Part of that is being willing, and able and ready to admit that we all carry the same everything inside of us. We are all of creation and that includes murder, homosexuality, theft, dishonesty of all kinds, pettiness, any bad thing that you want to think of.
Maybe you don’t express it. Maybe you don’t even feel it, but you contain it because you contain all things.
I am a little light on the news. Jim has been having a ball going up to Avalon, the 90-acre wilderness he found with his homesteading money. He is gradually putting the shack back together, board-by-board really. It is going to be a cute little shack when he is finished. I told Jim to call it “sugar-shack” now I have to find the words to that old song so that I can prove that I don’t mean something terribly rude by it.
He loves the solitude and I think that one thing that is going to be great about K.H. being here is that she and I are about equally sociable where Jim is an utter and complete loner. I am surprised he can put up with me. He will be able, with K., to have the confidence to go up and down to Avalon and spend not just a day, not just a workday, a treat time. Work during the day, retreat during the night, meditate; think over things, and I think that will help him out a lot. I have never been able to give him that one thing—solitude, and I think that his growth has been more difficult because of the fact that he felt so terribly responsible to be here every night and make sure I had everything I needed, etc.
He knows that K. has the same natural feeling for me that he has in terms of my being virtually about a three or four-year old when it comes to what I can do with my hands. It doesn’t bother K. to strip down and take a shower with me. It doesn’t bother her to wash my hair or do whatever needs doing because I can’t do it. It just simply is something she is tickled to do and basically feels that any way she can fit into our work at all, is the way she wants to fit into it. So I think we must have planned all of this ahead of time because it is really unusual to have anyone, especially a man, so able to act as a father-figure while still keeping friendship and lovership alive.
With K., of course, we don’t have to work on a sexual relationship, but we are heart-sisters. I don’t know exactly why I love her. It is just that when I met her, I felt very comfortable and easy with her and we have many, many of the same character defects as well as good points. The one that comes to mind first of all is low self-esteem.
[phone rang and message answered.]
I think it is the lady who had us on her talk show. It is in the Bible Belt, but she has a real late night hour and it is on an extremely strong signal so it gets sent all over the place and we have fun doing call-in shows because it is much easier to answer people’s questions then it is to start from scratch and try to develop a thought, at least over the radio and on an hour show. We really enjoy doing it and I enjoy the Bible Belt fellows because I am a Christian and I stand up to them and ask them to pray for me and tell them that I honestly believe that I am under divine inspiration and that I am guided completely by my spiritual director and He thinks I am doing just a great job.
He says, “You are Christ to those people. I can’t get them through the doors to this church, but you can get to them.”
And I think that is the reason you are writing the book too and in that way, you become a teacher and a Christ to people. I guess maybe that is one reason why I encourage a forthright, but gentle and non-egotistical, non-self-centered approach to speaking things. Not separating yourself from the reader as somebody who is a teacher and the rest of those idiots are just students. It is just not that way in the spiritual realm and the more you have to teach, the less it is that way because the more you have to learn. Things open up in front of someone who keeps going, keeps going. Things don’t get more complex. They really get simpler but your realizations become deeper and your truth does continue changing, so you, yourself would feel pretty bad in five years or ten years, or whatever your consciousness has moved on to, a newer personal truth for yourself, to go back and read the authoritative tone in that book. I do you urge you to consider that.
I guess that is my biggest thing is the tone of the book needs to be loving and compassionate and the “I,” “you” dichotomy is an artificial separation. It is good to be personal, but I think including yourself with all of the readers is an awfully good idea. Simply that it will read more smoothly and go down more easily and have a chance to sit there and see if the soil is ready.
Other than that, I don’t really have any news except bad. I am still wearing a cervical collar so I have to lie back most of the day on the couch. I still have a headache, ever since November, but I am getting to the point now where I can deal with it. I have discovered I have to take a nap everyday, which is very irritating because I really value my productive periods and a nap really cuts into that.
I basically wind down at 11 o’clock, but I have discovered paradoxically enough so that I know that it is the right spiritual decision to make, (paradoxes are always a good sign in spiritual work) that I have been getting more done since I began taking a nap in the afternoon than I was getting done before and being cranky to boot because I was exhausted.
I guess I am off to my nap and then on Thursday, to Pawley’s Island and we will return home on September 4th. Obviously you can’t stop by here on your way to Oklahoma because I am writing you on the 15th and I think you are heading out on the 17th. Is that right? I gave that piece of paper to Jim so that he could correct your address, so I don’t have it right here. But at any rate, our paths are not going to cross this time. Maybe another time.
But it should be fun this September because on the 17th K. comes to stay permanently and then I’ll get a week’s visit also from R. in Florida, who has been through so much and after the spider thing was worked out, her house burned down and weirdly enough, the only things that were left in the house that were intact was a completely burned out dresser, but the two tapes that I had given instructions on psychic greeting. I had written to her at length twice working with this. These thoughts are not that simple and it takes a while, so I had two full hour and half tapes that I had sent to her. They were miraculously, completely untouched along with the first book of the Law of One, the Ra Material, which is all she had at the time.
Everything else in her whole house was ashes and those things didn’t burn. I thought that was a very interesting subjective thing. That is not proof, you see, but it is spiritually interesting. She is about my age. K. is much younger, about 32 or 33. I feel no age difference between K. and me. K. is a very serious minded and mature girl, but thank God, she has got a sense of humor as earthy and as broad as my own so we do a lot of giggling when we are together. That is awfully good for me because Jim tends to be very serious, efficient and things like that. One gets tired sometimes of being efficient and serious. I am ready to kick up and have a little joke or two, so it will really be nice to have K. here and to visit R. in person. She has always been such a joy to correspond with and, of course, the welcome mat is always out for you too, L, you being the same type of heart-sister.
You would get a kick out of me. I am so different than you and I know I would get a kick out of you. You see, we are on the same path and that is why we can each be teacher to each because I go at things in a way that is probably almost diametrically opposed to the way you go about things, and yet, we are both on the spiritual path so we have a lot to say to each other.
I am going to miss cantata 104 next Sunday because I will be on vacation. It is really a pretty one. Probably one of my single most favorite. It is all I think of cantata 104. The shortest cantata that he ever wrote. It just has the one movement but it is so joyful to sing. I practiced it this last Sunday and next Sunday I will be gone.
I’ve gotten the ECW President that I need to report to about the Episcopal Church women’s convention planning arrangements, a letter written to her to explain what my intentions are and to ask for her help. And I’ve gotten a letter off to somebody else that I needed to communicate with. It was Father Ben. He is my priest and he is also my spiritual director. He is very, very good for me because he is a mystic too. I believe he is more orthodox in his belief system than I am and a total mystic. I don’t care whether Christ ever lived or not. It is a wonderful story.
I needed to write him and tell him that mission work that I do for the church, which is goofy because I am not an evangelist who believes in missions, but God words in mysterious ways and I don’t say no when people ask me to help out at church if it is something I can do. In this case, write a campaign twice a year to get people to fork it over for missions and the united thank offering is head and shoulders above any other missions program I have ever seen because it responds as much humanely as it does to religious needs.
It might give a meal to a visiting priest that has to get places where nothing else can go. It might be a ramp that a woman who is taken on many handicapped children desperately needs and cannot in any way afford.
It can be so many different things. They are all over the world. That is one thing that that the Anglican church and the empire on which the sun never sets, is that we have a very rich Anglican communion and all over the world, I don’t know of many countries except places like Russia and China, etc., that don’t have communities of Anglican church of England type parishes, only it is called like the Church of God, the Church of South Africa. It is all the same communion with the same Archbishop. We do not have a pope, however. A signal victory on King Henry VIII.
I don’t like the idea of a pope. I never believed anybody that was human in my life without checking it with my own discrimination and as far as I am concerned, that continues to be true. I may not have things right, but I have no evidence that anybody else has it right either, and certainly a pope that tells people to go ahead and use rhythm is not looking at the over-population problems and population basically.
I guess that is about it. I have been having a happy time doing my exercise six days a week and then I have Sunday off. I don’t do the exercises on Sunday. At least not right now. I might go back to it in the Fall. I take that day off and just snooze because I sing all morning. Choir practice starts at 9:30 and we finish singing the service about 12:15.
I will bid you adieu and wish you much love and light and encourage you on your project and to encourage you to realize that you work in a very, very stressful situation right now and if things are hard for a while, that is only to be expected and nothing should make you discouraged. It would be a little strange if things were easy because too much change has happened to you in too little time for you to be entirely comfortable, I would think. You are pretty adaptable. You are pretty much of a gypsy so I may be giving you a bum rap here.
Don’t be down on yourself if you are not doing as well as you thought you would be at some point. You can’t judge yourself in the first place, but in the second place, when you are under the kind of stress that you put yourself under this year with relationships, moving and with wanting to write a book, etc., things are just going to get tense, that is all. That is the way of it. Change hurts.
“Life is lost,” Joseph Campbell said, and what he meant by that was that from the time we are born, we are losing life until we are out of life and we die. In between are a series of ordeals for us to pass through, which is his basic contention, and I think he is quite correct, and they are quite well suited to each person.