Collecting bottles, tossing leftovers, taking out the garbage
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Bo Lozoff is the director of the Prison-Ashram Project. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Nice to hear from you. You know, you said that you were a coward and a real piece of shit, but if that’s so, then who was the sensitive, intelligent human being who was moved to tears by the story of Gandhi’s courage? That takes a lot of courage and openness, too, you know.
I can’t know for sure what you need to do. All I’m giving you is my opinion, and you have to sort it all out and make your own decisions. But I do want to be straight with you about what my opinion is, because it’s 180 degrees from how you interpreted it. I think you should try a radical change of environment and interests. If you keep revolving your entire life around the trauma you went through, it might make good Hollywood movie stuff, but I don’t think it will meet your deepest needs.
We’ve got to appreciate that the “New Age” is not immune to corruption, sophisticated fundamentalism, empire-building, or sincere delusion. In any age, a variety of appealing fads will be taking place alongside genuine spiritual evolution. The decision to surrender to a teaching or teacher is not one to be taken lightly.
Every thought, word, and deed in our lives is a seed which we plant in the world. All our lives, we harvest the fruits of those seeds. If the seeds are full of anger, fear, greed, desire, and doubt, then so will our lives be. If the seeds contain love, kindness and understanding, then our lives will as well.
I’m presently in the Idaho State prison for first degree murder, two counts. I was arrested in November of 1974, taken to trial, found guilty and sentenced to death, March of 1976. In October of 1977, the Idaho Supreme Court vacated my death penalty, but I’m under review to receive a newly enacted death penalty in May of this year. At that time the courts will decide if I can be given the new death penalty or a double life sentence. These two charges in Idaho aren’t the only ones I have. There are seven more in other states. Please let me explain why I did these cold-blooded, without any mercy, killings. In April of 1974, 11 men entered my home in Portland, Oregon, raped my 17 year old wife, who was three months pregnant at the time, then threw her four stories out our apartment window.
The anger will go through; there will be no place in you it can hang its hat. The sticky thing in you is your model of who you think you are. But if you think of yourself as a soul going to God, then other people’s criticism either of your personality or of your body has no real effect on you.