San Diego 1986:
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I was back.
Now what, I said.
I started up my yoga again.
But Stan's ideas still intrigued me.
Where could I find some LSD?
I would frequent this New Age bookshop on El Cajon Blvd. This unusual shop had a hidden float tank. I would submerge myself inside the inky darkness.
It was a supreme refuge.
I clearly saw that the body and the mind were not really the same. That they were linked rather tenuously and that this link was extremely impermanent.
The LSD in the tank amplified this experience. Stan was definitely right. A COEX system was at work. This vast constellation of memories was fiercely stimulated by the LSD trip. I was experiencing different kinds of mind states and life experiences simultaneously.
This had been Joyce's unique mind frame when composing Finnegan's wake. This Grofian psychology was the perfect template for the Irish master.
I continued developing my yoga asanas.
I began to understand nadis and chakras. These were the geographic markers of a subtle human anatomy only the mystics knew.
I visited the Ojai institute and met a master Japanese potter named Toshiko Takaezu. Her ceramic art was Joycean. It was chaosmotic. The chaos and cosmos all rolled into one. It was simply coincidence dancing....
I took some mushrooms and saw Aztec guides wearing ritual necklaces with little skulls. I had a physical orgasm without any physical stimulation. The drug released the necessary chemicals into my pulsating body.
I was studying all kinds of subtle things.
I had a small sitting bench made for me and I sat on it. It felt comfortable. It was good. It was simple. I packed the bench into my car and threw a small library into its trunk and quickly headed for Washington state.
I was now going to totally disappear from society.
I was so overjoyed.
Eugene, Oregon 1986:
Butte Bond Rd....
What a lonely place.
Smack in the middle of economically depressed Oregon farmland.
This is where my poor Honda died. Not too far from Eugene. I traded in the expired car for an even newer Honda and got quite a deal on it.
The cars sped by like noisy phantoms....
I was shedding my obsolete skin. I was getting a newer horse for the fateful journey ahead....
My old life was already dead.
Port Angeles, Washington 1986:
I arrived at scenic Port Angeles in the late afternoon and drove on to Crescent Lake hidden away in the cold Olympic peninsula. This would be my monastic center for the next eight grueling months. My cave here was called Sunnybank. It was a cabin owned by a remote state legislator who leased it out to a park ranger who then just turned around and leased it to me. The brave ranger had taken off for Antarctica. I then forwarded all his mail. That was the deal.
I read all day and dutifully did my yoga asanas in the morning. I would then take the row-boat out into the freezing lake. This seemed to me a really major feat. But being surrounded by these tall mountains made life pretty dramatic. Yet it was the inner theater of my fluxy mind that kept me the most occupied.
I had no one to project my emotional stuff onto except the silent cabin walls. Yup. This allowed me to see certain mazey mind cycles. I then followed these mind threads to their source.
The mind thread always led to this deep fear of death. Unholy thoughts of sex were not that far behind. These two preoccupations seemed primal and deeply related. I knew that if I could somehow get a firm handle on them. Then I would be in pretty good shape.
This was my lonely struggle. All my esoteric books talked about this weird thing called the EGO. It seemed to be the edgy source of all my troubles. But what exactly was it? The ego seemed a bit mysterious. It was somehow related to my shaky sense of who I thought I was. This brittle self-identity. But beyond this basic understanding the ego seemed to be a slippery thing.
Sunnybank became the center of this heroic mind struggle. The days came and went without me seeing a single soul. The days grew cold and the snow was a constant reminder of my survival needs.
I had a cozy fireplace and kept close to it. I eventually started writing about my Asian and Esalen journeys. It was my first serious attempt at writing a book. Before that it had just been my lonely private journals.
I soon discovered that these embryonic books would become more than just a snappy collection of words. I began pasting in many kinds of cryptic pictures and symbols. This writing adventure was going to become a right brain journey as well as the usual left brain one.
I also stopped taking drugs completely near the start of my retreat. My secret guardian angels told me to do so. So all drug experiments simply ceased.
The dark premival forest that surrounded the old cabin was lush and mysterious. I would often walk at night in the dense woods without the aid of a flashlight. It was good training for my evolving senses.
I discovered that silence had very deep qualities....
I was now clearing my emotions in order to take on more robust phychic and spiritual challenges.
My family seemed far away. I looked at stock market quotes and read news magazines, but the inner quest was becoming a lot more encompassing.
I was playing catch-up with my self....
I would sometimes visit a British friend in nearby Victoria. Canada, indeed seemed prim and neat after living in Washington.
The colorful gardens hid however this depressing conformity. My British friend also seemed to have no real interest in meditation. No, for him big science was much more appealing.
My friend played me a tape of scary Iranian revolutionary songs. The beat was violent and non-compromising. I could see why we were in serious trouble in the Middle East. I was also shown this Kama Sutra book with ancient, yet satisfying pictures.
But I felt mostly this heavy dissonance....
I soon stopped coming to Victoria altogether. My inner journey was becoming now too all consuming.