Do you think the U.S. will survive attitudes such as found in Miller, Mailer, and Manson? I was fifty before I had the courage to read Miller, and I told the children and my husband (whom I have since lost) that it seemed pornography is about careless, cruel and unloving behavior toward women and children. I was very fortunate for an American woman. I kept my husband for twenty-four years (loved him very much) and had five beautiful children, and I know from all that experience how much fathers, as well as mothers, matter, and how bad parenting is in our country.
Why don’t you do a thing on Sigmund Freud and how, with Charles Darwin, they have brought the country to its knees? Such low attitudes, such miseries as between the two they have laid on us with their shabby, sorry doctrines. They crop up everywhere. The other day, I was in a metaphysical bookstore where I read THE SUN, and a beautiful red-haired girl was there, selling a slick “astrological” magazine called Magical Blend. Pretty shlocky, actually. I leafed through it looking for what young people today are thinking and doing about the lethal nature of our foreign and military policy, not to say our lack of any sane or sound agriculture policy, or chemical policy. Nothing. I tried to talk to her about it, but she had no mind to speak of, and I didn’t push it. I wrote a letter to the “Editors/Publishers” because I think these are sad times, and it sort of surprised me that they were so heedless about whether the world got any better for them or not. Turned out that she was the editor/publisher! O man! And she said, her “politics are personal,” and why didn’t I mind my own business instead of telling other people what to do! Etc., etc. And said that she was relying on giving people information about seaweed — her virtue depends upon the seaweed. Such sad times.
In any case, it is very easy to pinpoint policies. Politics come out of our paying attention to the policies — and since we are apolitical, we are all about to die in a nuclear, accidental war, accompanied by MX missiles going off and electronic berserk garbage. Why are we so crazy? We don’t ask.
We got started on this path about at the turn of the century, and it is a reflection of our mindlessness, our lack of a true mentality. When Warren Harding was President, his own supporters freely granted that he had no mentality, and it was not seen by anyone I knew as a lack. We’ve always been fairly mindless as a nation, and no one can ever say that we love children. We hate them, can’t stand them, mistreat them, warehouse them, and miseducate them. Most lethal nation in history, perhaps! I was born in 1917. My favorite writer is Jane Roberts, who channels Seth and gets lots of help from her bright husband. Do you know about her? The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events is a rouser. Good luck on a future — you are going to need it!
I love THE SUN. It has become the most important publication I receive. I like everything about it. In fact, as a former resident of Chapel Hill, I find even the advertisements reminiscent of a mellow and richly satisfying way of life I have found nowhere else. I am also in complete agreement with your sentiments concerning “work that is personal and social rather than a job that is neither.” Having just worked through the confusion about money and what it cannot buy and having taken a delightfully satisfying job at half my former salary, I am getting the practical experience of living simply. Which means that I simply can’t afford to send you a contribution as I would like. I can only send my love and friendship and promise always to renew my subscription at whatever the cost. You richly deserve it. I am also enclosing the names of three friends who would appreciate a free copy of your magazine.
My friend and cohort Dave Scavone has been in touch with you before, having traded for a copy of our High Rock Review, and then having ordered a stack of back issues, as we consider your format one of the most exemplary in terms of diversity and quality of both writing and graphics out of all those we have seen in the crowded arena we have joined. We can’t imagine how you’ve hustled it so well for so long without having to cop a different means of support — there’s some kind of magic in your being able to handle business in a human, creative manner, something we’re still trying to come to terms with. We have good prototypes/consultants around here in the Bruchac’s of The Greenfield Review and Mary Ann Lynch who puts out a photo journal called Combinations — but a lot of their work is helped by grants, and it is encouraging for us to see the results gained with the support of local, non-conglom merchants and distributors.
Enough random praise — certain articles or stories that stick out from recently read issues include: the Spangler piece, Roxy Gordon’s artmagic ideas, your mention of the Seth stories in the intro to #58 (having been inching through those narratives nightly myself), the Ben Chavis interview, and the birth of Sara issue, which was stunning/straightforward/beautiful but also very gutsy — to celebrate the most expansive moments of intimacy like that was a marriage of family- and creative-life that few would risk, and fewer would pull off so gracefully.
But the one piece that got the most belly laughs and most paragraphs read-out-loud was the “We Killed ’Em, Coach!” episode, about the retarded kids playing in the special olympics tourney. Both my girlfriend and I are involved, in different places, in working with such kids and adults, and we know that to pick out the redeeming moments is a challenge of each day of such work.
Glad to see you decided to raise the rate. I’d much rather pay a little more and keep on receiving THE SUN than to save a few bucks and watch it die!
Ram Dass being here has been a “big event” for me, since it has caused me to confront certain things. I felt it was good discipline to get my responses down on paper. Hope they are as helpful to you as they have been to me.
For Ram Dass: a response
For a moment, let’s play with some assumptions:
(1) That there exists “GURU,” which Ram Dass calls “Maharaji.”
(2) That “Maharaji” is all of space-time and matter-energy (“all power is given me in heaven and in earth”).
(3) That the evolutionary process of consciousness for us all is ultimately to become “Maharaji.”
Ram Dass speaks of the idea of “matter,” or “form,” which he calls “BEING,” the idea of “space,” or “HERE,” and the idea of “time,” or “NOW.” The Way to Maharaji is thus, BEING HERE NOW (at least).
What about the idea of Maharaji’s “energy?”
At one time, Ram Dass spoke of “going to God in FULL-ness.” Can we BE HERE NOW into a Nirvanic “emptiness” and leave part of Maharaji’s “energy” behind? Or are we not obliged to become one with all energy first, before going “beyond.” (One “returns to the Father through the [Divine] Mother.”)
Ram Dass writes in Miracle of Love: “In this here that we share, beyond time and beyond space, Maharaji is. Always.”
What about within time, within space, within matter, and, above all, within energy?
Aren’t we ultimately obliged to BE HERE NOW FULLY? (Love every ONE?).
For Ram Dass and all of Us
(To the reader: try reading this as if you yourself were saying it. It might be a good test of truth).
At some point in space-time and matter-energy, I, too, will have to undertake the last temptations of “Christ” (“Maharaji”). The Consciousness-Love of my Self will have to confront the possibility of misusing power:
—lest I dash my foot against a stone, I can have the power of safety (even now, I can get many devotees to bear me up if my body were uncomfortable or in danger).
—lest I hunger for sense-sustenance, I can have the power to command stones to be made into bread (even now, I can have enough “bread” to drive a sports car and lie on beaches with beautiful bodies).
—lest I lose control, I can have dominion over all the kingdoms of the earth (even now I can go on lecture tours and have many listen to me and be famous).
Although I have these powers right now, I could say that I am not attached to them. Or can I really say that until I actually give them all up? Maybe I can still be “had.” In which case, maybe you can still be “had” by me.