I’ve been lambasted many times by many people, including friends, for expressing an attitude similar to the one you noted in your column, Issue 80. Such criticism no longer disturbs me. Often I think it only reinforces my certainty. Having spent too many years — some wasted, some morally rewarding (or selfishly rewarding?) — fighting all the varied signals and manifestations of American fascism in politics and the arts and social life, I’ve learned that the major difference between the New Left and the New Right is their self-delusion. Both sides are sincere liars. Both betray language, reality and themselves. Worse, both sincerely create new prisons. (My father was a union organizer in New York for 40 years and when my bubble burst it wasn’t easy.)
Marching in protest parades is good exercise. Mostly it accomplishes nothing more than a sympathetic crowd for necessary self-justification, which becomes a public masturbation. (Speaking before large crowds gives one a sense of romance, power, history, all those dirty little tricks of ego which are so damaging.) I guess even screaming invectives can be considered a form of therapy.
But deep down people know what they are, what they really intend, what really motivates them, all their hypocrisies, stupidities, paradoxes. I delivered my last semi-political speech before the SDS in 1968, during the Vietnam protests. I’ll bet half those students present then have civil service jobs today. Nothing much has changed. Humans behave much the same now as then. What difference Reagan, Nixon, Kennedy, Johnson, even Roosevelt? Aren’t they all purest products of America? There are no angels in politics. Politics is a case of one group of thugs trying to replace another group of thugs. There are no political solutions, only human and inhuman solutions. In politics we’re all forced to become imposters.
Therefore, my wife and I no longer parade, or do those other fashionable Good People Things. We just try to survive and act like human beings. That isn’t so easy.
I recommend New Dimensions radio to readers of THE SUN. Michael Toms and the New Dimensions Foundation have syndicated their show and National Public Radio carries it. I have heard and savored interviews with Hazel Henderson, Fritjof Capra, Joseph Chilton Pearce, Patricia Sun and Rick Fields. Religion, economics, physics, psychology, a mixture that reads as “contemporary humanism” in a station program guide.
Sy, I recommend it to you and I recommend it to Howard Jay Rubin. Michael Toms and Howard Jay Rubin interviewing each other would be a fascinating event!
Here’s my renewal check with an apology for keeping you waiting. My personal finances at this junction are not unlike THE SUN’s: it’s a day-to-day re-evaluation, and I sometimes wonder if I should take the fast train back to Securityville, i.e., the conformist cop-out, a secretarial or computer job . . . and the death of the spirit which secretly enjoys running along the edge of a steep cliff.
Now for my feelings about THE SUN. An ex-lover introduced me to it three years ago. It was one of the magical things about our giddy beginning. It reinforced the mistaken belief that we were blessed by the stars. I read, I tripped over, every back issue I could find.
The Ram Dass article last summer was an integral source of understanding and strength as I watched the relationship which introduced me to THE SUN crumble. I continue to find guidance, laughter and love here — I find that jolt that stirs me from that dreaded, societal slumber.
The greatest thing that THE SUN can continue to do is remain a personal sharing publication — a magazine whose aim is love.
Honey, don’t look now, or turn your head too sudden, but we’uns is in BAD TROUBLE, I came in here in 1917 and it was pretty bad then and it is much worse now.
A bunch of our higher quality people are down at the P.G.&E. Diablo Canyon monstrosity trying to blockade the damned thing, but they are more or less outnumbered by the salaried tax-supported minions of our state. We can disappear in 30 minutes and so far we can’t do a thing about it!
I’ve been working on the problem since I became aware of it from the point of view of “motherhood” — a mother is a kind of idea, if you think about it. I’m a mother, it’s all right for me to be one but, man o man! There are so many men who are MOTHERS too! Do you understand this?
We are corrupted by our powerlessness. Few of us understand or even seek to understand policy matters which are ludicrously SIMPLE. We have no military policy or war policy. We have an armageddon policy. We have no agriculture policy, or food policy. We have agribiz, factory fields, and junk food. We have no chemical policy. Disasters are mounting. Catastrophe is common.
As we frighten each other more and more by refusing to develop dialogue around our troubles, we get farther from each other and from solutions. I’ll give two examples. We have a magazine about holistic medicine. There was an article in it about anger by one of the fellows, and he described two kinds of anger. Actually there are three kinds of anger — old, new and conscious. Conscious anger is the problem solver — it’s cold, clear, and intelligent, very high, and allows you to look at events from a point of view not usually available. I wrote and told the young man this and sent him my “Modern Times Peace Packet,” which I’m also sending you. Do you know what his reaction was? He sticky-taped the letter shut and mailed the whole thing back to me without one added word! How’s that for holistic?
For a while I was a Mental Health Advocate. You helped people come back into this lethal society after they were decapitated and further destroyed by Napa or Agnew (state hospitals — awful places). One day I went to get an old alcoholic lady I was helping. She was in a local general hospital. As we walked to my van, an orderly came panting up to tell us the Head Doctor (MOTHER) wanted to see us right away. I was surprised, but mainly surprised at my alcoholic customer, who showed resentment and fear. I held her hand and we went back. This twerpy guy was reading Ram Dass’ The Only Dance There Is. He put it down elaborately on his desk and then he asked my old lady, on a rising note of accusation, “Did you wet the bed this morning?” I was shocked, said, “My goodness, you made me walk all the way back here so you could ask Katherine that?” He ignored me and asked her again. I was angry now! I said, “It’s very common in older women if they don’t know they should roll out of bed on all fours. I did it every morning myself until I taught myself how to get out of bed on all fours.” Katherine laughed. She explained that her sphincter was weak. I was tempted to say, “like Tim’s head,” but I didn’t.
He had called this old wreck in to punish her!
I made it clear that I volunteered my time, and that he was wasting it. Being an M.D., he had authority problems of the worst sort, and had probably tried pot and maybe acid. He was not pleased with my defense of Katherine. He felt right and he didn’t question it.
The best description of the destructive nature of acid on the more delicate members of our tribe is written by Susan M. Watkins in Conversations With Seth, Volume 2. Jane Roberts and her husband are doing some of the best work in psychology in the country. They’ve put out 16 high quality books since 1963. I like them all but one! Anyway, the one I’d recommend to you is The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events. If we want to avoid a mass event called nuclear holocaust, we’ve got to step lively. This book deals with both political and personal problems.
Also Alan Arkin, in Halfway Through The Door, has bestirred himself to describe his awakening and opening his heart after he found his guru.
It’s obvious that we need help. Political negligence has turned our country into an anti-people machine. SAD times. This is no time for you guys to be mothers.
For the past year THE SUN has been coming into my home like a letter from an old friend — touching my heart, stirring my mind, bringing me a smile. In answer to your heartsong, I have enlisted several friends and relations as new subscribers — with more to come. What more to say but thanks and let it keep on shining!
Laura rounded up 16 new subscribers. Our deepest thanks to her.