readers write


I thought it best to leave these excerpts from readers' mails anonymous. If anyone, recognizing their own writing, would prefer not to have it publicly available, please let me know. I am grateful for all the mail generated by the Tales and the mail becomes very much a part of the experience of writing them ... and of living.



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Subject: Re: Tale 213

: Well at least the hacienda's ceiling has some numerological
: reason to it in your everyday life.

Hey. Pity there aren't a couple of golden arches somewhere, too.

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Subject: Re: Tale 213

: Well the number is wrong too, the golden arches are three
: columns and two arches, the hacienda's got two columns and
: three arches.

Maybe the secret is the number 26, for senior coffee. I'll have to see if I can find someplace at the hacienda where 26 is used.

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Subject: Comments on Tale 206

[excerpts from a most excellent and appreciated email]

I think that it is nice to be admired, period. And rarely when someone is able to possess enough personal assuredness or ego-confidence or whatever you want to call that quality of not being so concerned with yourself, but with others and feeling like everything is okay and that you possess the peace and confidence to extol the admirable traits of someone else without the hope of something in return, it invariably seems to inject into the recipient a dose of something good.(Boy, was that a run-on!)

I don't know Albert, maybe some local guys do like being watched, maybe they're gay as well, or maybe they're not gay and don't know that you are. Maybe they see a quiet, unintrusive, respectful guy who is just looking around at a beautiful day and appreciating God's creatures for what they are.

When you say, "...the vast majority of local men do not resent being admired, no matter by whom," I assume by "admired", you mean being watched. I'm gonna have to contend with that by saying that I do know for a fact that that many "local" men don't enjoy being watched. These local men or more specifically, the "thick" local guy's who seem to possess not only masculinity insecurity, but also power and control issues have a familiar if now banal phrase designed to avert the perceived challenger, "I owe you money, or what?!!"

Nevertheless, people aren't dumb, I think they can sense where someone is coming from and if we're coming from the right place I don't think we have anything to worry about. We can get rid of our, "furtive, shamed remnants..." and allow ourselves ,"a more candid, relaxed attitude, openly enjoying and admiring the physical beauty" The surreptitiousness masks the selfishness.

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Subject: Re: the artist trip

: As it is, it reads sort of like a name-dropping catalogue,
: without a clear focus.

That's an absolutely perfect summary of my life in the first half of the Sixties.

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And yet you made quite an impression on me, as you must on many people's lives.

Thank you.

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A reader protested my writing that no one took me seriously about the job idea, suggesting it sounded like a test idea I was bouncing off people. Actually, when I said no one I had more in mind the people who might actually be able to help with ideas, bartenders and such, but replied:

At this point, the jobs I most envy people for having are the guys I see cleaning up Korean bars after they close at 4am and the ones with dustpans and brooms cleaning the parking lot at the mall in the early morning. A non-thinking job which would only take up a few early morning hours.

But you're right, thus far it's just a trial balloon idea.

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: how you gonna drown yourself if you learn how to swim?

Well, unless I learn to fly, too, there's always the tall building option.

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: Well, it's clear you have achieved some notoriety. Now, how do
: you plan to exploit it

Nawww, you don't want to know that.

: BTW, I *liked* your mention of the possibility of getting a job

No one, but NO ONE, will take me seriously. Funny as hell (hmmm, where did that weird saying come from, who thought hell was funny?)

Which reminds me, I thought you would be the one to tell me why there are THREE dames of fate.

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: I'll bet. You've been getting a bit lately, it appears from
: the Tales. Not bad for a homeless old guy. [g]

More than the Tales have revealed, actually. Don't want to give the impression I'm a total slut.

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Enjoyed your narrative of "accurate" recall under Paxil -- it's not as accurate as you may suspect, however, as the mind does conflate missing information, whether operating consciously or unconsciously. Although many memories (especially those "film clips" associated with strong emotions) can be retrieved decades after they are stored, extensive research in episodic memory persistence has shown that details are blurred during recollection. This is similar to the "filling" in of details in dreams, many of which have bizarre twists of plot and happenstance due to cutting off of perceptual input to the brain during sleep. That is, the brain works with the information it has (memories) to attempt construction of a coherent plot according to the dreamer's world knowledge and experience. Where perceptual details are needed but unavailable, they are filled in.

This brings to mind Shakespeare's statement, "Oh, what a piece of work is man..." Fortunately, we are not alone in this capability of dreaming, as animals (at the very least, the mammals) all seem to share our ability of visualization during sleep.

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: Tale 153a is only funny so far as one can be absolutely
: certain that it is not true.

Well, Tomita-san did tell me he'd gotten better grades since he'd been hanging out with me than he'd had throughout his college career. Mere coincidence, I'm sure.

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But i also wonder about your analogy of a "mask" - I can see that with lithium, but don't be too hasty to judge the antidepressants. I will refrain from telling you what i decided about them in the end; suffice it to say I'm not taking them now, but I think they serve a purpose. Think about your experiences with psychedelics - when all was said and done, you learned what you learned from that experience using the drug as a *tool* - there was no truth inherent in that tab of acid, it just removed the glasses through which you normally view the world. Same with some antidepressants, perhaps - there's no truth there, but they help you to clean off your lenses for a new look at the world.

Less a mask than a psychic enema maybe. The truth is within you, and always has been, if you can clean out the crap and see it.

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: Work sucks.

Yes, I became aware of that some months ago. Odd how no one understands.

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Re: Tale 148

A little fib--lost Scrabble by a large margin, huh! Best not to lie.

Hey, that was no lie. By my standards, anything more than 10 points *is* a large margin.

BTW, the account of the young evangelists made me laugh. I occasionally get accosted by some of them, and don't handle it with the humor and grace that you did, or enjoy it nearly as much.

Those two might have had a different effect. They were so sweet, so innocent, and so energetically enthusiastic and delighted by finding someone who didn't just brush them off.

But I love talking with young people, so they had the advantage.


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Referring to Tale 135, a reader provided some interesting ideas on how to discover what I want and then said:

Or, you may discover that you are indeed a lovely Budha who doesn't want anything beyond What Is, and all this time you were looking for something you already have.

Dunno about the Buddhahood, but the rest of it wouldn't surprise me at all.

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Subject: Tale 134a

: Never mind, I told myself, too settled a routine
: of habits just isn't appropriate for a Nomad.

I'm concluding that nesting is really whatever one does to feel personally at home in whatever environment one's life happens to be drifting through, and it _doesn't_ require a specific physical space, physical boundaries, or material Stuffs to surround oneself with.

Personal spaces can be created by routines. One's own personal routine as the boundary around one's life. It can be one which supports or supresses my own feelings of freedom, of _belonging_ on this earth.

I can include in it only things which are essential to survival, or I can include things of a more luxurious nature. A very long pampering shower on Sunday. A quiet meditation by the creek during my daily morning walk.

Not finished with the thought yet, right now still a little overwhelmed by the power of it - how I live (want to live) is actually defined (definable) AND implemented within what I come up with for a personal routine. Everything else is filler.

No, that's not it either. Everything else Isn't. It's routines which make anything Be. Routines are the actualization of The Wheel. I wonder if we could even think we know who we are if there is were no routine at all. And I wonder to what extent we tend to use physical space arranging/ownership to define ourselves in lieu of routines.

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Your "readers write" page has the comment:

: Forget "truth" -- even Webster waxes subjective about this most
: conceptual of human illusions.

One might observe that there is only one truth, namely, the existence of the Divine, which cannot be proven and is therefore "truth" defined axiomatically. The remainder is perception, cognition, and modelling.

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A reader who must have escaped from the Betty Ford Clinic tells me the blue valiums are 10mg. I wuz robbed! No wonder I had to pop an extra one or two so often.

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Somebody might see fit to attack you for it.

Screw 'em.

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To drift is all we -can- do. It's only our gravely deceptive conditioning that twists us into believing that we are, in fact, doers, achievers, acquirers, effecters, affecters, and not mere drifters.

: However, if the drifting can indeed be heard, then I'm still making : too much noise, can't really just be drifting.

Nah, noise is irrelevant, no noise is irrelevant: pay it no mind. You're definitely drifting, loudly or softly, like it or not.

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Subject: Tale 74/74A

All cats falling from high places land on their feet; "true" according to Webster's 6th definition, is "determined with reference to earth's axis rather than magnetic poles" (i.e., only the spineless will be confused.)

Forget "truth" -- even Webster waxes subjective about this most conceptual of human illusions. Your use of "situational ethics" is just fine the way it is.

and from the writer of Tale 074:

Whoa, you're in luck: it is true! In fact, it's the primordial truth, from which all subsequent truth flows. Check it out.

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Subject: the latest tale [065]
BWA!!!!!!!!! You should have said that a hell of a lot earlier. would have been a lot easier on you. You can put that in the next tale. Tell those pushy people to butt the hell out of your life. Tell them ***** said so too.

[I'll resist that invitation]

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Stop worrying so much about what other people say.

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And that panther guy, I think lavanet crashed on him. I can't get to it right now but I could have sworn he was talking about cruising around campus.

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Trouble with joints etal, the "dreams" STOP at the door to Universal Mind (where the answers are). Can't get there from there. Need to be All One (revelation of "alone") with Self. I believe I see Albert's progress in latest tale. Soft bed and sanctuary presents peaceful plane from which to observe.

Incidentally, "life" does not "exist"; it is a human concept ... a non-reality in which we casually dump everything we're too lazy to analyse or be decisive about. A great cover for the Victim. "LIVING" is reality -- a constantly moving, changing, incorporating verb, and a skinless awareness of each moment. Yes, sometimes it hurts, but you sure can't dump anything there; there is no thereness!

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What? Albert with HAIR? These are the times that try.....

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Philosophers and gurus do *not* enter ocean, they quietly view reflection of Self in *stream*. Big Mama Sea is to be Born In only. Otherwise, it's a salty devil blessing only those surfers who could care less. Note that sailors and fisherman have *boats/ships* under them at all times.

Note: the pragmatic German term for "Life Preserver" is "Schwimvest". That should tell you something, literally.

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Giving up your last guru is to give up your "guru ego". It does mean giving up your ego-self in order to reveal your True Selfness. Another matter entirely. It's about being guided by the spirit within, not the "icon" without, be it rice cup, showing up as "slut" (as you put it), or identifying yourself as any of the addictions you Have. They are not who you Be. They are guru-crutches. Giving up on your Ego self is the hardest guru of all to surrender. We always fear who we might be without it, even though that surrender IS the "light at the end of the tunnel". Translate "enlightenment" as "lightening up", being inwardly burdenless. Look mommy, I can fly!

[Leave my Peter Pan Complex out of this]

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Ashtrays - what you do is to take the hardly used cig, smile and say thank you, or bow slightly in the direction of the "giver". You are after all the guru of tobacco. This will probably surprise and confound the "giver", but strangely s/he will soon feel very good inside to helping someone out. In other words, your thing is to respond to *all* "finds" as a Receiver of Gifts, not as a taker of other peoples' trash. Higher Consciousness, dear friend, rather than anal reaction.

There is a follow-up mail from another reader.

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People whom I've sat around with munching on buffalo wings have - seriously - become disgusted at the sight of the way I ravage the bones of those little chicken parts. In the end, however, I get more meat from my six wings than my friends get from their 20. Why? Because I'm not ashamed to get my fingers dirty - not even in front of the people whom I respect most and whose respect I seek most. So, chase that kim chee with a couple of puffs from that cigarette! If you catch somebody looking at you, think only of what a shame it would have been for the remainder of that cigarette to have gone to waste. Why shouldn't you have it? You SAVED it!



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