Saturday, January 10, 1970

Forest Dream

[May 1967]


In May 1967 I awoke from an astounding dream, ears still ringing from hearing two magnificent trumpet tones.

I am standing alone in a forest (like Big Sur in California). Soon an aristocratic older woman comes into view and speaks to me in English with a Slavic accent, "Ah, I thought I recognized you", she said. "I heard you sing long ago and was most impressed. And I hope I hear you sing again." A little later several older men with noble bearing come to me one by one to shake my hand and introduce themselves. I remain silent, not knowing what to say. Then I hear whispers from a crowd that has gathered in the meantime, identifying each man, "Oh, that's ..., and that's ... and that's the great Toynbee!"

Soon I am again alone and hear the two trumpet sounds in a descending fourth (as in the song "Born Free"). They begin pianissimo then gradually crescendo into commanding echoes from horizon to horizon as I awake.

The dream was so compelling that I wondered if it were an apocalyptic call and if the woman were Mother Russia. It came to me at a time where I had begun to loose my sense of direction and it gave me renewed hope. This was especially so when I learned several months later of Arnold Toynbee's appearance at the University of Utah (my alma mater) the following month to give the commencement address to the graduating class entitled "Three Generations in a Crisis". He also participated in a University sponsored Creativity Workshop and delivered a paper entitled "The Creative Process in History". These two papers changed my life and gave me new, confident direction.

The beauty of the dream trumpet tones led me to invent the "Solar-spectral Scale", which was eventually used to commission composer Eric Funk to develop an original piece called "Stellar Evolution" in summer 1972 as background music for The Immanuel Velikovsky Symposium at Lewis and Clark College. The composition was based on astronomers' star charts to musically describe the birth, life and death of a star.

Marrying Lawrene

Event: 6 April 1967
Updated: 6 April 2010

We made it legal on the earliest date possible: April 6, 1967. This was so Michael could now be considered legitimate--as if that mattered these days. It didn't matter to Lawrene, but it certainly did to the Mormon Church. Mormons will recognize April 6, since that is the date Joseph Smith announced that Jesus was really born--not December 25, as is normally celebrated. No matter how Joseph Smith determined this date, it is why the Mormon Church conducts its annual general conferences on the April weekend as close to April 6 as possible.

This brings to mind my dream of April 2, 1966, which was on the date I was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for not being legally married. In the dream I am being asked "How was Mazatlan?" This was a clear reference to Lawrene's and my intent to legalize our marriage earlier in Mexico, but which had been frustrated by a minor, but effective bureaucratic glitch.

On this date, April 6, 1967, Lawrene and I were married by Wayne Guthrie and Bella Karrish of the Fellowship of Universal Guidance. We designed our own ceremony, which Wayne read. In attendance were our two mothers as witnesses and baby Michael, who screamed bloody murder! He put up such a fuss that my mother had to take him out of the room so that the ceremony could proceed.

More irony!

Friday, January 9, 1970

The 1968 Rehearing

Event: September 1968
Updated: 14 Nov 2013

In September 1968 I'm given opportunity by Newport Beach stake president Ferren L. Christensen to appeal my 1966 excommunication. I am facing the High Council, whose members I do not know, but who are gentle and kind in their questions. I have now put my personal legal affairs in order and have become legally married to Lawrene. Our son Michael is now almost two.

After an hour or so of questions and answers, one councilman exclaims, "Why is this man out of the Church?" and invites me to rejoin. I reply, "Thanks, but no thanks." My purpose is to present the stake president with the original document dated 25 July 1965. I say to him, "President, my job has been to survive long enough to get this document into your hands and out of mine. Whatever you do with it is up to you."


After thanking the stake president, his counselors and the high council members for their time, I bid them goodbye, never expecting to return to the institution.

Reflections on First Excommunication


Event: Mother's Day 1966;
Updated: 13 Feb 2012

Dupre's Cain


I didn't learn about the excommunication until the following month--on Mother's Day, in fact, while on the phone to my mother!

I had called Mother on Mother's Day from the beach house in Laguna Beach to wish her well. While on the phone two men in dark suits came to the door and knocked. I opened the door while still on the phone to find out what they wanted, since I didn't recognize them. After asking my name, they handed me an official envelope in LDS stationery and left without comment. I described the event to Mother and opened the envelope to read its contents to her. It was the most terrible news she could have imagined: an official notification of my excommunication on April 2, 1966. Until her death in 2003, Mother believed I saved that letter to read to her on that date.

After ending the phone call and determining the actual date of the decision in the letter, I went to my dream journal to see if there was anything there and discovered this dream:

3 April 1966
CarmelCA 0515. I am walking alone, naked. An older man, official looking, also naked, approaches me with recognition. "Come, I've been waiting for you, looking forward to this," he says. Then he leads me on a circuitous route through unseen barriers over the wooden floor in the middle of a large deserted hall, like a basketball court in LDS church building. As I follow him he talks about how he has been looking forward to this and how much he has wanted to do this and how ready I seem to be.
 Eventually we come to a sophisticated machine. On it is the word "spectroscope". There is a chair attached to it in which I am to sit. A metal arm holds some kind of mirror with a slit device that is positioned in back of the chair which faces the consul part of the machine. Apparently I am to be examined through this slit from my back.
 Now I am aware of lying face down, still naked, between two metal posts on some kind of altar. Many men are milling around, members of the LDS priesthood (in their temple robes), going about their business in preparation to experiment with me. I'm being groomed or prepared for something.
 One of the men comes over to me, having recognized me, and asks, "How was Mazatlan?" (Up to this time everything had seemed impersonal.) I reply, "Oh, there were some complications and we haven't made it yet. It's still pending." Another brother (familiar face, reddish hair, one who curries favor with leaders) looks up a little surprised and asks if my first name is Gene.
 I acknowledge this and then realize he now knows who I am and of the stake action taken against me. I watch him go over to Brother Kenner, the presiding authority, and whisper in his ear while looking and pointing at me. Brother Kenner looks up with an angry start at me and with a fierce look and quick gesture with his right arm motions me to get out immediately (like being put out of a baseball game).
 Frightened, I get up and begin running away still naked and feeling like Cain fleeing. On my way out I hear angry voices behind me. Someone shouts, "I'll kill him!" Then another voice, interrupting, but emphatic and calm, says "No. In this church nobody better be found killing one of these!" 
[The voice is that of Ferren L. Christensen.]

 Arrive at another part of the building and come upon an Elders quorum meeting. It is the priesthood meeting of my old Berkeley Quorum that has just let out, while another quorum is starting its meeting. However, the officers of previous meeting have remained in the room (my old quorum). Art Wood is there, looks up to see me and looks startled. The other quorum is doing some official ordinance work (I am not acquainted with any of the members).  President Wood goes over to one of the new quorum officers and whispers in his ear. (I sense he knows my situation also.) The quorum officers and members begin moving themselves out of the room. I leave. Notice an envelope or letterhead or brochure about whatever is going on the big hall.  It is some kind of demonstration with modern computer type equipment.
 I awake deeply distressed.
.
February 13, 2012. This dream will be processed by a CDL interview here.
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Michael's birth

Event: 15 December 1966, 0333;
Updated: 25 September 20010


Hospital bracelet on Michael's wrist


To me it was miraculous. 

Michael (whose name his mother and I arrived to independently of each other before he came) was born without birth trauma. His mother Lawrene was so in tune with her body that she planned to have him delivered naturally by an experienced female German medical doctor, who was also a seasoned midwife. I was witness. As Michael made his appearance he came without birth trauma--the water sack did not first break and he came without the usual outcry. Lawrene cried out in a state of ecstasy and later declared that she felt like she had been "fucked by God!" Instead of the usual cry of a new born, his first sound--I was there to hear it!!--was a giggle!  The time of his birth in Los Angeles was 03:33, although the hospital bracelet had 03:32 written on it. Since I had a thing about Astrology and birth times in those days, I had carefully monitored the official time as he announced himself and then insisted that the hospital change the official time on his birth certificate, which they did.

Until that day, I never knew a new born could laugh instead of cry as its first sound.

Pre-Analysis Dream

March 2, 1966

Eugene's Dream Painting


After deciding to enter Jungian analysis with Psychiatrist Robert M. Stein, thanks to Lawrene's help, I had the following dream that same night:

Great Chain descends from black Storm Clouds.

Laguna Beach
2 Mar 1966 0600

Main Scene:
Stormy, wind swept desert. A great chain in the distance descends from heavy black clouds into the earth in three or four huge links. Closer by a small boy holds on to a rope that goes into the clouds as if flying a big kite. He doesn't know what he has got hold of and his mother doesn't believe him. On the desert landscape there is a complex of two white mobile homes at right angles to each other.
CREEI Score: +??--?//+++/++?: Anticipatory

(Note: Jungian psychiatrist Robert M. Stein's first priority analytical challenge: Help Eugene to protect the boy within so that he can mature, honor and comprehend the mystery he has got hold of. )

First Scene Change: In one of the mobile homes I am with two young women sisters, describing to them the numinous phenomena outside. We go into a public restroom while one or both go into stalls as I continue talking. They seem fascinated with what I'm saying, having not noticed that the door says "Men". Both find out in time to leave after doing their business and before being discovered.
CREEI Score: +++++?//+++/+++: Motivational

Second Scene Change: With Lawrene in a public complex of mobile homes, joined into an "L" looking out over a barren region, fairly flat with yellow-red earth, which is probably dusty when dry. The inside walls of the "L" are all windows. I tell her about the phenomena and she humors me good naturedly. I invite her to look and to see both the distant chain and the nearby rope. She does so and acknowledges what she sees and remains good natured. It doesn't seem important to her and doesn't affect our relationship. She offers to go to bed with me. We walk down the public corridor, wrapped in white towels, arms around each other and go into her room. I remark, "You're the greatest human being I know." She is glad to hear it and smiles. I mean it, but wonder if I've ever felt this way towards anyone else.
CREEI Score: ++++++//+++/+++: Transformative

Note: this is about the time Michael is conceived.

Dreams: Utah Corral Hero

Dream Event: 13 Feb 1966
Updated: 




13 Feb 66
Laguna Beach

(a) Somewhere in Utah sitting on the outside of a stand-like establishment on a stool as if waiting to be served. Glass separates me from those inside as well as the counter wall. I am not aware of others nearby. Two or three people deep inside the stand are having conversation about psychological tests or testing. One of the men turns to me eventually and asks, "And what is your opinion, sir?" I begin with a well ordered argument challenging the methods, ending with "…but in the end human beings just can't be measured, anyway." The argument has been an impassioned one. I become aware of applause. People all around that I've been unaware of before are clapping. I look around. Everyone is clapping. I am a hero.

(b) Scene changes to the ground: No structures around. There has apparently been conversation occurring led by a woman. I am part of a group that has been sitting in a kind of close circle. The woman turns to me and asks if I am LDS. I answer yes. Then she asks in an almost insistent tone if my friend (seems like the one who asked me the question in scene above) has known of the LDS. I reply seriously that I didn't know, but that the more important question to me as far as she was concerned was whether he wanted to know. My reply was emphatic.

(c) Another scene change: At a corral. I'm outside the wooden fence. The woman [above scene] is inside alone but in a position of standing to speak or preach to those on the outside of the fence. There seems to be a barn or stable nearby available to her. I am aware of people gathered near the fence near me. She is talking about spirituality, spiritual experience, and matters of the spirit in general. I begin responding with a statement that those who talk of spiritual experience in this way are fakes. Then proceed to ask penetrating questions, direct and even angry questions. Those around are startled at their bluntness. Those who once clapped are now stunned.  I am alone and in pain, but know I must proceed with straight questioning to be true to convictions and sense of duty. Suddenly I become aware of arms flung around my midriff from behind.  It is Lawrene! She is with me. My strength and courage increase.

(d) Subsequent dream fragments: In an upper story of a barracks-like building. With Lawrene. Apparently we are looking for a place to stay. There is a double bed in the center of a wide open space and a single, bare light bulb coming from the ceiling. There are other people around.

(e) Next: Some words about a blind man, unable to get work, but very skilled in certain measurements with a swinging small pendulum. The bob is elongated with a point on its end.

Meeting Lawrene

We met in early February at the Fellowship of Universal Guidance, a metaphysical organization somewhere in Los Angeles run by meta-physicians Wayne Guthrie and Bella Karrish. Wayne was the leader and Bella the channel. Both Lawrene and I had come to the fellowship for the first time to check it out, having just learned about it from friends.

I was homeless at the time, living temporarily in the garage of Russ and Patti Pratt, whom I met at Esalen the previous October. That was when I sang for the Mary Whitehouse dance group and they had invited me to visit them if I ever got to Los Angeles.

Lawrene and I did not speak to each other that night except when we introduced ourselves to the group of about 15 to 20 people sitting in a circle. I was on one side of the circle; she 180 degrees opposite. Although we did not speak, I felt attracted to her. When it came to my turn to introduce myself and sang two songs, a Russian folk song and a Negro spiritual.

The next week when we came again to the fellowship, Lawrene chose a seat next to me in the circle and after the meeting, we began an intense hours-long conversation. She seemed to understand what I was saying, where most others did not or became afraid. When I observed that many of my old friends and family thought I was possessed of the devil, Lawrene replied that she thought the devil was a bit misunderstood. She invited me to come to her beach house where we could carry on our conversation more privately. That night we began living together.

Letter to Eugene England

Event: Verse on 1 February 1966; Commentary on November 2, 2006
Updated: July 28, 2010 (Reformatted)


Letter to Eugene England

Gene: re-entry?

Closing scenes
The work’s begun.
Lonely.
Wanting everything to know;
Knowing too much to tell.
Listening inside
For what will one day
Come outside.

Wanting to tell,
To share,
To offer.

Refused with smiles
And frowns:
Endured by those
Whose words claim knowing.

Tired inside
But wiser out.
Streams of words
Are turning into trickles
While glances take more place
And I become a serpent
With slits for eyes
To those once close.

But were they close in heart?
I think it no,
Else they would not have
Seized the Sign:
Usurped my place.

Where is the Red Man
That I should sing?
Why Columbia in dream?

She is my friend
But fears my love;
But why?
Because she fears her own?

Next in time
Are those of Rodina.
Then to Judah
And last the princely line.

Who knows these mysteries
And destinies
With certainty?
Who really knows
The face of God
Or unseen world?

Friend, I seek you truly.
Are you inside
And tired with me?

But what is my wish?
To serve right now.
But be specific:
Get to work
And win that place and time
To build for new emerging age.

Songs will rend the air
While hearts unite
To leap ahead
Of desolation coming.
And we will walk to Zion
Through its ruins. 

Santa Monica 
1 Feb 66 
(Op. 16)


Commentary on Letter to Eugene England. [A response to England family's request to explain my poem, part of my contribution to their 2006 memorial project about their father, who was one of my closest, most loyal friends.]

Dear Rebecca. This is the last item in my mind for adding to your “Remembering Eugene England” project. It is now more than 40 years since I wrote this “poem” as a letter to your dad. I don’t now recall if I ever sent it to him, in which case you would have it somewhere.
The time was January 1966. Dialogue: A Journal for Mormon Thought was in utero, and I was living in a Santa Monica garage of a new found friend whom I’d recently met at Big Sur Hot Springs (eventually Esalen Institute). My new friend’s name was Russell Pratt, a descendant of one of the Pratt brothers Parley or Orson, but not LDS. We hit it off as kindred souls at that mystical place in a northern California coastal forest. Only a few weeks earlier I had quit the Church after having become homeless, family-less, jobless, reputation-less and almost friendless. [See my 2006 SL Sunstone Symposium paper Annealing and Healing].
I say “almost friendless” because your dad never faltered as my friend, as his letters to me, now in your hands, reveal. He was a beacon of light and I wrote this “letter-poem” after having just met Clifford Cummings, a member of the Pasadena stake presidency. I don’t recall how or why we met, but Cliff’s attitude reminded me of Gene’s. I dimly recall that we met as fellow scientists at a company called Electro-Optical, a spin off from Cal Tech or JPL. I was looking for a job and he was an executive for that company. I don’t recall how I became aware of his being LDS, but he urged me to reconsider my decision to quit the Church. I began to do just that.
Hence the first line in the poem: “Gene: re-entry?” I wanted to report my thinking to Gene, but became confused whether I could communicate meaningfully with him—or whether he would believe me. He would often appear in my dreams, which accounts for the line “Friend, I seek you truly. Are you inside and tired with me?” Although he was my contemporary, he was also my mentor—and disciplinarian father.
So, here is my letter trying to tell him something of what had been happening in my life since we last talked on the phone the previous August and he expressed concern for what I was telling him regarding what had been happening to me that summer. He was primarily concerned with my “pride”. This “letter” therefore is addressing Gene’s concern--trying to say something substantive, but guarded and using provocative images: “… I become a serpent with slits for eyes to those once close…
Most of this letter is trying to say something about what I was seeing within myself in those days, whether as a visionary or a crackpot. Hard to tell, isn’t it?
Next in time are those of Rodina...” clearly refers to a long-time search for my Slavic roots [“Rodina” is Russian for homeland], which was completed in 1995 when my brother found our dad’s long lost family in his old home town of Melitopol, Ukraine. This discovery completed that search. The next year I spent 3 weeks in Ukraine getting personally acquainted with all those relatives, and we have been in contact ever since.
Then to Judah and last the princely line.” The time sequence is out of whack here. I don’t know about the “Judah” part, but the “princely line” refers to a revelatory experience I’d had the previous July 25, which began my confrontation with Church authority, which is why I’d called your dad one late night that previous August. That revelatory experience was a mind-blowing surprise response to my prayer to know what lay behind the then policy of the Church regarding the Negro. Because of what had been happening to me the previous few weeks, it never occurred to me that the Lord would not answer my question. In the document that came out of me that early July morning, the word “priesthood” is never mentioned.
But what is my wish?” What was my most earnest desire then? “To serve…
Obviously I was not a very effective servant in the outer world. Your dad was the example to me of the kind of service I valued most.
…build for new emerging age”. I’d like to think that Dialogue is a significant cornerstone of this “emerging age” and that the uniting of hearts is exemplified in your Eugene England Memorial activities. Gene was an effective worker in the exterior society, while I had been relegated to the inner world and shadow of our common culture.
And we will walk to Zion through its ruins…” God only knows what this means! Stuff is still pending after 9/11 and who knows what or where this “Zion” is? Perhaps it is still somewhere in our cultural shadow--our Zarahemla?!

Thursday, January 8, 1970

Esalen

Event: October 24, 1965
Updated: March 27, 2010

Episcopal priest John David Arnold, pastor of The Ranch of the Way in Ben Lomond, California, at which I stayed for a few days (after having permanently left home in San Diego less than a week before that) wanted me to meet and sing for his friends at Big Sur Hot Springs (Esalen Institute). The first people I met were members of a dance therapy group headed by Jungian oriented Mary Whitehouse and Josey Taylor. This was my introduction to the world of Carl Jung.

The group had just finished an exhaustive dance process as I arrived and was introduced and asked to sing. As I began singing various songs ranging from Russian folk songs to Negro spirituals, one or two of the dancers began to move spontaneously. As a few more began to move, Josie came over to me and said, "Eugene, we practice moving spontaneously to unstructured sounds, but you are singing structured songs. Can you consider letting your singing become spontaneous sound?"

I'd never done such a thing before, but agreed to try. I asked to use noise and sound making instruments I saw scattered around the dance floor and gathered them around me for easy access. Then I asked the dancers to let whatever sounds they felt like expressing to come out of them and that I would see if I could use what happened to make a medley with what came up in me.

So we began the experiment. And what an experience it became! At first as I began humming aimlessly, those dancers already on the floor began moving more energetically. Some began to hum and chirp. I took those sound bites into my own sounds which included my voice, bongo drums and various metal gongs. More and more dancers joined in as the sounds accelerated and the volume increased. It didn't take long for all dancers, previously exhausted, to spring to their feet and join the event, which continued to spiral up and around us all. This went on for perhaps an hour or two! until we began to descend and slow and taper off to a beautiful quiet peace.

We all sat soundless now, looking at each other in amazement with grateful smiles at what we had all just experienced. No one was tired any more, but very much at peace. It was a spiritual experience.

One of the dancers came over to me and introduced herself as Susan. Lenard Cohen's famous song "Suzanne takes you down by the river...." began playing in my mind and my life took a fateful, irreversible turn.

Crossing Taboo Threshhold

The Anointing

Event: Late October 1965; Updated: 10 August 2011

She came as Mike and left as Michelle. I will never forget those few evening hours in late October 1965 at The Ranch of the Way on Alba Road near the little town of Ben Loman. We had eaten fruit from the trees outside: apples and pears; perhaps something else. An egg breakfast would be coming in the morning, fresh laid offerings from resident hens, with fresh drawn milk from goats.

John David Arnold (a lapsed Episcopal priest) had brought me to his Ranch after we’d met earlier that evening at The Big Red Barn in Scott’s Valley. I had sung extemporaneously at a folk song festival at the Barn after the scheduled program had ended. Al and Patti di Ludovicco befriended me and had shared their last $2 on something to eat when they learned I was hungry and after hearing my impromptu performance. John David was also in the audience and offered me a place to stay that night.

When John David and I arrived at the Ranch, “Mike” had already been there a day or two and was the only other person at the main house. She, like I, had been invited to the ranch by John David to rest and be safe. She had fled a professional burn-out situation just up from Big Sur Hot Springs (later to be known as Esalen) to escape exhausting physical and spiritual work at the Springs. She was noted for her talent and ability, but had to get away to recharge her spirit. I knew nothing about her.

We three talked quietly into the night. They asked about my life and I told them I was new to the wilderness, having just two weeks earlier lost career, family, church, reputation, money and almost all my friends—virtually everything I had held dear. Suddenly I found myself without boundaries. I’m not sure, but I think I also sang a little, probably the birch tree song.

Then I asked about her—what did she do. “I’m a masseuse”, she said as a matter-of-fact.

Innocently puzzled, I asked, “What’s that?”

“Take off your clothes and get on the table!” she commanded.

Shocked and surprised, I dared not disobey. I’d never had a massage, nor been intimately touched by a woman in my adulthood other than by my now estranged wife. Nervously, I crept into an adjacent bedroom to disrobe and wrap myself in a white towel I found on a dresser. In the meantime she, too, had disrobed and spread the big dinning room table with a white tablecloth.  A large jar of olive oil was near head cornier of the table in preparation for what seemed would be a ritual.

It was more than that.

What happened on that table was a veritable anointing! As I lay face down on the table, eyes tightly closed, both hands clenched in fists, she turned me over, removed the towel, and literally drenched my frightened, uptight body with oil and went to work. Hour after hour she worked, but I could not relax and take in the care from her hands. Eventually I felt her begin to lose energy and become tired.

Then she began talking to me, telling me of things about myself I’d never told another. “You’ve been hurt”, she said. “Every cell in your body is screaming in pain for love. That is what I do. I pour love into bodies!” Hearing such evocative words, I began loosen. And with this tiny opening, new energy swept into her as well as me, as I then experienced a process that literally transformed me on that table. Physical changes began to course through my body as I gradually opened up to her caring hands. All embarrassment vanished as I eagerly took in this new love, even including an erection. As the process ran its course, I sat up in wonder, marveling at the wondrous changes I was feeling.  She, too, now sitting at the foot of the table with widened eyes and looking into mine, had changed from “Mike” into “Michele” during those magical moments. Both of us had experienced a radical, profound if not  miraculous transformation.

But then I began to feel awkward as I perceived she was feeling amorous and wanted me to bed her.  It was too soon. The transformation was too new and I did not know how to graciously decline her obvious desire or to express my wonder without hurting her feelings. I simply did not know how to respond in any way but awkward and inelegantly stumbled off to be alone in the bedroom where I had left my clothes.

The next morning I awoke and came in to sit at the kitchen table. John David was busily preparing a breakfast of eggs, fruit and milk. Michelle came in a little later, saying nothing and deliberately not once looking at me. Her whole demeanor expressed disappointed and humiliation.

Alarmed at this, I began talking directly to John David, expressing my gratitude for what had happened last night.  “Last night I felt loved like I've never before known”, I began. “It was a love that could only have been administered by a woman, like her who is sitting at this table, and I feel blessed and so very grateful.”
As I spoke I saw her eyes fill with tears and acceptance. Then silently arose and went outside to climb a tree and sit on one of the branches while hugging its trunk in continued silence.  John David turned to me and said, “Eugene, I think she has now received what she came for” and then began explaining things to me to address my ignorance, such as the gay condition.  


After what seemed like hours, Michelle came into the house and walked confidently up to me. Taking both my hands in hers she softly said, “Thank you. I’ve never met a man before and will never forget you. Now I am going to India.” I never saw her again, but never have I forgotten the miracle of her God-given, powerful, loving and healing hands. 

As If Time Existed

Event: 20 October 1965
Updated: 27 May 2016

Written to Al and Patti DiLudovico of Santa Cruz, CA.  Originally a simple essay. Later put in numbered format.


As If Time Existed
(A Credo)


1. We shall speak of time as if it existed, not in terms of the rotation of planets or of stars, but in terms of experience: a sequence of events or circumstances.

2. Experience is our only reality, and knowledge of reality is truth (that is, knowledge of that which was, is, and will be).

3. We are personalities, each distinctly unique and different from any other, caught in a set of circumstances (not outside our own choosing) and undergoing experience. We, individually, are responsible for the choices we are free to make--always have been and always will be.

4. We find ourselves in a setting called the Cosmos, a system of space and energy and mind, governed by natural law. It is our task to learn this law by experience according to the choices we make. Success brings joy; failure brings sorrow.

5. A complete knowledge of cosmic law brings freedom from bondage to it, as well as complete harmony among personalities (who remain unique) who have also been successful. They experience then a fullness of joy, yet are forever learning by forever experiencing.

6. Just as our personality forever will be, so it always has been. But most of us are not aware (are not conscious) of our having always been, though it is difficult--if not impossible--to imagine extinction or nothingness or never being.

7. Before this present set of circumstances, we were involved, all of us, in planning and preparing and achieving experience to ready us for what we call the present, just as our present activity and experience prepare us for the future.

8. But we have little, if any, knowledge of this future; and we have little, if any, knowledge of this past. Our awareness for the most part, then, is short range. This is by design: it was our choice.

9. However, there are some who, because of special appointment (and special experience) are given to know the future and the past to a greater extent in order to make the consequences of choice clear to any who decide to be genuinely interested in progressively freeing experience.

10. These appointments have existed through all ages. Coercion or insistence has never and will never, be associated with genuine appointment. The ultimate decision for individual action rests only with the individual personality, never with an institution or some other individual.

11. A lack of respect for this principle has been central whenever there have been contentions among humankind, whether individuals or nations.

Mt. Herman
20 Oct 65
(Op 12)



Commentary on As If Time Existed (From Notes to son, Nick)
(Updated edit: 27 May 2016)

As If Time Existed was written as a letter to new friends Al and Patti DiLudovico of Santa Cruz, whom I met at after a local folk song festival in Scott's Valley, a few miles north.

I'd managed to get on stage after the regular program and sing a few songs to some folks who remained. Al and Patti were there and introduced themselves. We struck up a conversation that lasted hours. We felt like kindred spirits and they asked me to write down my “credo” and send it to them. This poem is the result. I wrote it in your grandfather Filson’s cabin in the Mt. Herman Presbyterian Camp Grounds in Felton, California.

A week or so before, on Saturday, October 9, 1965, just after returning home from my crisis trip to Salt Lake City, I left our San Diego home again, this time for good at your mother's (Betty's) request. I left in a state of numb shock, I think, since I had returned from SLC actually believing that all was well at home.

As I wrote, I was remembering the “Recrystallization” dream I'd had on the night of 21 September '65 (while an overnight guest of Morrie Kjar) and had my 'inner wife' projected on Betty. [See Poem #11 (Nathan's Cry) and its commentaries.] It was another rude awakening, which finally sunk in when I went to the bank to see how much was left in our joint account. I had wanted to determine how much time I had left before having to get another job or some other source of income, since I’d failed to get financial help while in SLC.

Imagine my surprise to discover a zero bank account balance! I went ballistic! But the message became crystal clear: the marriage had ended and I was done! Suddenly I felt emasculated and powerless. There was nothing left to do, nowhere to turn, except the wilderness. So, that’s where I headed--back to the Santa Cruz Mountains for starters and then uncertainty after that. Except for my typewriter and some clothes, I left everything behind: home and family, friends and Church. Am not sure what car I was driving. (The new motorcycle I’d ridden to Salt Lake had broken down there, and I had it shipped back to the factory in Las Vegas in a box, returning to San Diego by bus.) Actually, Nick, I think I tried to take you with me into the wilderness, but your mother prevailed on me to leave you there.

[BTW, I discovered in reviewing my pocket journals that I’d had a disturbing dream about you, son, on September 16, 1965, while an overnight guest at Joel Richards’ place in Las Vegas on the way to SLC. The dream came 2 days after I’d written poem #10, Posterity, to your mother. I’ll attach the dream to this commentary below and put it through the CREEI Process to see what I can see from today’s perspective.]

One of my first stops on the way North from SD that Saturday, October 9 morning, was to have breakfast with actor Eddie Albert at his home in Pacific Palisades. Albert had given me his phone number a year earlier when we had met at J.B. Rhine's laboratory at Duke University and Rhine had surprised me by asking me to sing "The Song of the Volga Boatmen" extemporaneously at the staff meeting. (See Commentary on Pilgrim.) Albert and his friend, Burl Ives, were impressed and took me to lunch afterwards. Albert insisted I get in touch with him sometime soon on "what to do" about my singing voice. I chose this day, almost a year later, to follow up on that invitation.

In his garden Albert and I talked about many things ranging from Rhine’s work, my short-term relationship with JBR, other esoteric subjects, and a home experiment Albert had been conducting. I think he sensed that I was under emotional and spiritual stress, because he did not renew his offer. His last word to me as I drove away was to shout, “LIVE!”

Two days after writing As If Time Existed I received a letter from an assistant to President McKay asking me to take what I had written to McKay about a week or two earlier (my intent to withdraw from the Church) since I had failed to reach him while in Salt Lake City. The assistant asked me to take my concern to local authorities. For me that was a last straw, since I felt I’d already gone the local route and that such counsel was futile. So, I quit the Church in a reactionary reply to that assistant, symbolically ripped my temple garments in two, while "crying aloud" in grief, frustration, confusion and disillusion. That letter would eventually be used months later as legal justification for the Church's proceedings at my first excommunication trial in absentia in April 1966.

Many years later (20?) I met 'by chance' my old colleague, H. Birch Holt, at UC Berkeley's Campanile (in 1991?) for whom I had worked as a graduate research assistant at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory during the summer of 1962. At the time Birch lived near San Jose and as we talked about old times, he told me that he had received word from President McKay through the local (San Jose-Santa Cruz) stake president to find me and to address the issues described in my letter of October of 1965. But by the time Birch had figured out where I’d been in Felton at your grandpa's cabin, I had already moved on, into deeper forest territory and into my own personal wilderness.

Recrystallization of Church

Event: September 21, 1965
Updated: 17 July 2014

I had come to Salt Lake City in a personal crisis, looking for help and counsel from old friends, colleagues and Church leaders whom I had known in graduate school at the University of Utah from fall 1960 to summer 1963. During the last two years at the U of U, I served as an extra-curricular Mormon Church stake missionary under the direction of Morris A. Kjar at whose home I am now a house guest. Since he is well-connected with Church General Authorities at the highest level, Kjar is able to make appointments for me to meet with several general authorities. My primary objective for coming to Salt Lake is to meet with President David O. McKay.

The first appointment was with Joseph Fielding Smith, then president of the Quorum of the Twelve and next in line to become Church president at the passing of McKay. I was surprised by how feeble Smith's mind was as we talked. I had originally wanted to discuss the "revelation" of July 25, 1965, and how it might affect the Mormon policy of discrimination toward the Negro race, since Smith was well known for his ultra-conservative position on the issue. When Kjar realized the subject I had come to discuss, he felt it too much of a burden to keep it to myself, which is why he arranged for me to see Smith. Unfortunately, while meeting Smith in his office it soon became clear that such a conversation would be fruitless. When I told him that I might be excommunicated because of that event, he demanded to know which stake I was a member of in order to call the stake president to back off. However, when I told him it was the San Diego Stake, he heard "Sandy Stake" and immediately began to call to the Sandy Stake president. (Sandy is a suburb just south of Salt Lake City). I was surprised and disoriented by his misunderstanding and immediately realized that it would be useless to continue the meeting. So, when the call did not go through, I thanked him for his time and left the office without further conversation, but with a sinking heart.

The second appointment was with Harold B. Lee, next in seniority after Smith and a future Church president. I had written him a letter a month earlier about my experience with KR and the crisis with former Ricks College professor Howard Salisbury, a mentor of mine whom Lee had once championed as a potential stake president and general authority long before Salisbury was excommunicated by Hugh B. Brown in 1963.

Lee greeted me as I entered his office with angry orders demanding "Don't you ever see that woman again!" without any preliminary questions or discussion of the issue. I was somewhat prepared for him because of a dream I'd had of him some months earlier, but unprepared for him as a bully. I told him that I would obey him, not because I believed him, but because I was committed to the order of the priesthood. Without a moment's hesitation he roared  "Well, you'd BETTER believe it!! That principle has been repudiated!!" I was again shocked by this behavior and, remembering my May Day dream the previous May 1, I silently vowed never to sustain him when he becomes Church president. Before leaving his office, Lee suddenly changed his attitude--like Jekyll and Hyde--into one of gentle solicitation, "How is Howard?" When I reply that Howard was having a tough time, Lee added, "We are trying to save souls, not destroy them." I left his office realizing that this man had no clue as to how destructive the Church excommunication process is and has been.

When I realized I would not be able to meet with President McKay because of his fragile health, as well as his having to prepare for the impending semi-annual General Conference, I wrote the poem Nathan's Cry and delivered it personally to his private secretary Miss Clare Middlemiss, with whom I had spoken by phone the previous January (1965) about a national security issue.

Poem for President David O. McKay
(Found in President McKay's personal papers in 2005 by Church archivists and emailed to me.) 

Prior to the above appointments and the attempt to contact President McKay, I had the following dream:

Dream: 0530, 22 Sep 1965 in Salt Lake City (while the overnight guest of Morris A. Kjar)
Re-crystallization


I am with some people at an outside celebration of some kind and in close contact with two women, one my wife (Betty). The other I don’t recognize (in outer life). I walk over to kiss the other woman (large, well shaped, long blond hair) while my wife looks on approvingly. Then turn to those gathered and remark, “This is to celebrate the beginning of the re crystallization of the Church.” Then I return to and kiss my wife who is happy and responsive and gives me a knowing and approving smile.
Commentary on the term “re-crystallization

Re-crystallization is a common metallurgical term that metallurgists use to describe what happens when a metal, such a steel or copper, is heat treated in order to render the metal able to absorb stress while forming it into a final shape.

Let us say that the smithy has a metal ingot (some basic form such as a cylinder or cube) that he wants to fashion into some useful form, say a tool, vessel or weapon. He firsts heats the ingot to an appropriate temperature (usually about 70-80% of the melting temperature) where he can begin forging it into a desired shape. This forging or shaping cannot be done all at once, but requires many stages. Depending on the metal used and the end use envisioned, the smithy must know how much stress and deformation the metal can absorb before it fractures. If he mistakenly applies too much stress too soon, the material will fracture and be lost. 


Journey to Salt Lake City

Events: September 1965

Updated: Feb 9, 2013

When I returned to work on Monday, September 2, 1965, having been released from the psychiatric hospital the day before, my employers we surprised and embarrassed. Bets had been taken that I'd be put away for a long time. I was asked to resign. "If you will release any patent rights to ideas I might come up with that can be traced my time at General Atomic", I said, I will resign. That was the deal we signed and I was now out of a job. A generous severance pay allowed me time to search for support to build a laboratory.

This development greatly distressed wife Betty and she demanded a divorce. Although this surprised me, I was too focused on recent events to take her demand seriously. "Of all times to pull the rug out", I thought and decided to contact former professors and church leaders in Salt Lake City for professional and spiritual help. My primary objective was to reach President David O. McKay regarding the July 25 revelation as well as the aborted idea I had earlier written to him about. The secondary objective was to find support for building a laboratory.

I purchased a motorcycle and took off for Utah.

On the way I wrote Posterity while reflecting on Betty's fearful request.

Posterity

Thy fate rests
In her heart:
Sealed—or doomed.
Like whim almost.

Profound beginnings
Still unknown
Until so late—
How precious time!

The choice remains
While Future waits
To tell this rising peak
Its height.


Las Vegas
14 Sep 65
(Op 10)

[9 Feb 13 Note. Adding commentary to Posterity as requested by and for son Nick]

Commentary on Posterity
(for son Nick in ~2003)
Posterity was written to your mother, Nick. I was in Las Vegas on the way to Salt Lake City and having all kinds of trouble with a new motorcycle that I’d bought for the trip, just after being released from the hospital and subsequently resigning from General Atomic.


The poem reflects my uncertainty about her commitment. Betty vacillated during the days when I was in the hospital. It was disconcerting. I wanted her to make a clear choice about her life with me, but she seemed unable to makeup her mind. So, I pushed her with: "You're either for or against me."  She said she certainly wasn't for me.


I’m aghast when I review my pocket journals for that time period. What a chauvinist I had become! So full of myself and believing that once I made it to Salt Lake, the Brethren would recognize me with open arms. From today’s perspective I wonder how your mother could have stayed with me as long as she did. Poor woman. All she ever wanted was a stable, reliable husband like her blue-collar father. And what did she get? An inflated, moody, singing scientist-engineer-mystic!

It became clear to Betty after I left the hospital that I wasn't getting any better as far as she was concerned. Besides, Kaye and other women were coming into my life [thus into hers] and, albeit they deferred to her, she could not cope. She had obviously forgotten an incident when we lived in Berkeley in the summer of 1959. At that time she expressed regret that the days of plural marriage had ended, that she felt inadequate to serve my needs, and that I needed other women. Her expression flabbergasted me. At the same time it moved me deeply. I knew she was unhappy in the marriage, but I thought her expression was one of extra-ordinary unselfishness and care in the face of her unhappiness. I remember that my own feelings for her became more affectionate. On reflection I wondered if she was also saying that she needed someone else, herself. I remember beginning to look for a more down-to-earth type fellow for her to relate to. I seem to remember that she and I talked about this then.

Just after I was released from the psycho ward, Betty asked for divorce for the first time. It was hardly good timing. I needed her more than ever and didn't believe she meant it. I thought she was playing a manipulative game. So, I left on a trip for Salt Lake City to gain Church and professional support. I was in for a rude surprise.

Between Las Vegas and Provo I encountered an historic snow storm for which I was ill prepared. I had on only summer clothing and soon began to freeze. By the time I reached Provo I needed to gas up, but could not get off the bike. I had to lean against the pump while stuck to the seat in order to fill up. But now I was too cold, tired and hungry to continue. Who could I ask for help? The image of Briant Jacobs, my old English professor at BYU, came to mind. He was in the phone book and I drove to his door. He opened the door and remembered me. Seeing my condition he and his wife warmed, fed and showed me to a room to sleep in. After hearing some of my ramblings, he invited some of his university colleagues to visit and talk. One or two were professors of physics.

The next day I arrived in Salt Lake City and became the house guest of Morris A. Kjar, to whom I'd been a counselor when he was the mission president for the University of Utah stake. When I explained what I'd been going through the past few months (he'd been on the July crisis call list), he decided to help me make contacts with several general authorities, including Joseph Fielding Smith and Harold B. Lee. President McKay was not available at the time both for health reasons and scheduling. The October General Conference was looming.

Inversion

Event: 1 Sept 1965: Updated: 11/26/2011

Poem written while in the San Diego County psychiatric ward for a 72-hour observation. The results of this observation period are recorded in a report comparing my pocket journal notes and the official nurse's station record, which was obtained years later by a psychiatrist friend [Allen Bates, M.D.] thinking it might be useful material for a play.

Inversion
  
Walls and windows
Friends and faith
Fail
To change the scene
From mirror irony.

At first when low
Was disbelief,
And now when high
It is again—
The record
Shows the purpose.

Mysterious ways
Are hid from view
Except to one who knows.
The work demands
A strict review.
Mercy cannot rob it.

Others’ faith
Is quit this time
To prove
This one himself.
At last will come
The final meaning
When lowness
Claims its own.

San Diego Country Psychiatric Ward
1 Sep 65
(Op 9)


Commentary on INVERSION

[Written to son, Nick, at his request in 2003]

It was like being in Jack Nicholson’s cuckoo’s nest 10 years before the film. [One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest] What an experience! Wouldn’t change it for anything, though it probably wrecked my career. I was fortunate to keep my pocket journal and a pen to write with. The hospital attendants took everything else away.

I had volunteered to enter the San Diego County Psychiatric Ward on August 29, 1965 at the suggestion of Martin Nalder, an LDS psychiatrist whom I’d seen a year and a half earlier when I was in that post-doctoral depression. I had insisted on seeing Nalder after being put under house arrest at General Atomic when the company doctor had demanded I see a psychiatrist. The company drove me up to UCLA where Nalder was on staff. After hearing my story, Nalder said that it was fantastic, but had a 95% chance of being delusion. If he had some kind of evidence to back it up, even a little, he said, that would make a difference. For example, if he could read the revelation I claimed to have had. I told him the original was in the hands of the San Diego stake president and there were no copies. He seemed to think that was further evidence of delusion. Then I sang him a song and that impressed him!

Then I told him about Newport Beach Stake President Ferren L. Christensen’s recent confirming witness to me, whereupon Nalder called FLC at his home in Laguna Beach.

(Note: Ferren L. Christensen was the bishop of Laguna Beach Ward in 1957, the year you were born. Your mother and I were members of his ward while I was a student at Orange Coast College. Ferren was then the youngest bishop in the Church, and it was he who introduced me to President David O. McKay in Laguna that summer as “the young man I told you about who speaks Russian.”  I remember that Pres. McKay shook my hand and then held it for a very long time, during which he closed his eyes and nodded his head slowly. Then he said, still holding my hand, “This is good. Don’t forget it. I have a strong feeling that that mission is about to open. Maybe we can use you.” That encounter with Pres. McKay was a turning point for me. I had been trying to leave the Church shortly before.)

I don’t know what Ferren said to Nalder on the phone that day, as I sat in Nalder’s office, but apparently it was different from what I thought he had acknowledged to me weeks earlier. After their talk, Nalder suggested that if I would volunteer to be examined for the legally recommended 72 hours, it would relieve the anxiety of a lot of people. So, I agreed. His last words to me were, “You’re a very brave young man.” I wasn’t sure why he said that then, but I learned later.

Since the morning dream-like image of August 14 and the sighting of the Flying Saucer fleet that afternoon in the company of my worried mother***, I had been working night and day on the experiment. The lab was in an uproar. Some technicians, after hearing what I was up to, wanted to come work for me. Others thought I was nuts. Management was in a quandary. Dr. Alan Searcy, one of my Berkeley professors who had initially recommended me to General Atomic, called me, greatly concerned. My response to critics was, "Let me alone to do the experiment. If it works then it will speak for itself. If it doesn't work, then I'll know I'm either wrong or need to make adjustments. Research is always thus. Either way, I need time and space to work. Telling me I’m crazy doesn’t help.”  I got only one opportunity to make the experiment work. It didn't. So, I needed to get away. However, as I was preparing to go out to the desert to rest and think, that’s when I got put under house arrest.

[***Note. As you know in having talked to her yourself, every 5 to 10 years since that afternoon experience with Mother, I would ask her if she still remembered the event and if she had managed to rationalize herself out of it. She would always acknowledge its reality, but never offer any comment about its implications. At the very least, for me, that was important evidence to illustrate that our joint experience was not hallucination. For me, however, that experience turned my experience of the world upside down. As a scientist, I was trained never to ignore data. Just because a datum point did not square with current theory was no excuse to dismiss it. On the contrary, it demanded a re-examination or modification of the prevailing theory in such a way as to account for it.]

When I re-read my pocket journals these days, written during that period almost 40 years ago, I have mixed feelings. I cannot deny the reality of the bizarre experiences I had been having, but I am embarrassed at my reactionary behavior towards those who found it difficult to believe me. I had lots to learn about growing up spiritually and emotionally and controlling pride and “haughtiness.” I could not hear good friends such as Eugene England or Sherman Brown or even Bishop Reed Durham on that account. I was sometimes confrontational and combative--especially with some local Church leaders; fighting to save what I felt was my spiritual life. 

Dear son, Nick, I envy you the opportunity you have had recently to prepare for your own evaluation for a similar emotional state that has concerned your family. The psychological intervention evaluation request made of you wasn’t the surprise for you as it was for me back then. I was put under house arrest at General Atomic and not permitted to take anything with me before being forced to see a psychiatrist. No doubt I’d brought it on myself with a polarizing attitude. I’d managed to put the Laboratory into an uproar with my excitement about intending to disprove the Universal Law of Gravitation--to say nothing about the earlier Psy-war project it had initially backed, but which I subsequently aborted. (Wow!) Then, I wasn’t making the local Mormon Church leadership very happy, having had a revelation on the Church’s most embarrassing issue. (Again, Wow!) Nor had I comforted my family in becoming involved with the issues of homosexuality and plural marriage. (Double Wow!) Too much was happening to me too fast, and I wasn’t making mature decisions in dealing with them. Incidentally, the last three of these four issues were left out of Dialogue editor Karl Keller’s “Journal of an Excommunicant”, written years later. He thought what he had extracted from my papers was hot enough to handle for Dialogue to illustrate the original point, let alone include those additional three zingers.

Among many people I was calling at all hours of the day and night in late August 1965, was Eugene England, whom I called just past midnight on August 23. He called me back that evening, warning me of “righteous pride.” I called Sherman Brown at 01:30, just after calling England. Brown said he had written a letter to me earlier the previous day, but had torn it up because it didn’t make sense. He said in the letter he’d had the impression that I was not aware of certain dangers, that I was blind to traps being laid to “thwart” me and that I ought to lie “fallow” for a few months. Don’t abandon, he said, just lie fallow. The dangers are those things that will ruin. One of the traps would be my complete undoing from within, akin to possession. The very gates of hell would open up to receive me. The only path of safety: lie fallow--cool off over a period of months. Do this, he said, and then look back and proceed with safety. (Incidentally, this is the same guy that called me here at home in Los Alamos on Thanksgiving, 2001, after over 35 years of silence between us. You, Jim and Johnny were visiting with me then in our living room and I had just been talking of the experience of having successfully defended my doctoral dissertation in the midst of a depression in early 1964. Remember? When I told you three who, of all people, had just called out of the blue, you exclaimed, “You see, Dad, it’s not over yet!”  Sherman Brown had been a member of my faculty thesis committee and was present at my miraculous dissertation defense). It is too bad that I didn’t register seriously enough the warnings of these guys at the time. I’m not sure I would or could have done things any differently if I had. At least I wrote them down!

On August 26, 1965, I called my friend David Brewer, who was then professor of sociology at Fresno State. He sat down and wrote me a long letter immediately after our conversation. I’m attaching it to this message. I didn’t receive Dave’s letter until the day after my release from the hospital, but I carried it around with me in my wallet for years afterwards. It was Dave’s letter that allowed me to begin to differentiate between the functions of prophet and president. To me, having grown up in the Mormon Church, “The Prophet” and “The President” were different terms for the same thing. I was soon to learn different.

In the fall of 1967, two years later, I visited Professor Calvin Taylor, an educational specialist on creativity at the University of Utah. From him I learned more about the creative process in history from recent proceedings held at the University in a workshop on creativity with historian Arnold Toynbee. But that is for later. (See Commentary on poem 28, Forest Dream Remembered.)

I ought to say something about what went on in that psycho ward. It was actually a fabulous experience. The inmates almost immediately started following me around and we talked constantly about all kinds of things. I listened to their stories, even though many had difficulty making sense or speaking coherently. To me they sounded reasonable and my validation gave them comfort. Some began to speak rationally for the first time since being admitted. I recall telling one young man to forget expecting the hospital people to understand him. “Can you speak their language?” I asked. “Yes”, he said. “Then do it and don’t speak yours”, I challenged. Simple. He did that and was released soon after.

I enjoyed singing to both the men and the women (who were in a next cage). Even the orderlies came in and sat down for impromptu concerts.

I had predicted I’d be out of the hospital after the mandatory 72 hours evaluation period, even though I know bets had been made that I’d be put away for a long time. But I was out in the three days, despite the fact that my wife, your mother, had come to sign commitment papers for me to be sent to the State Hospital. But, at the very moment she was about to do just that, she hesitated and changed her mind. “I can’t do this to him, I believe him,” Dr. Wallace, the chief psychiatrist told me she said, just before he released me.

A few minutes earlier he’d called me into his office to say, “I don’t know what’s going on here. Your wife won’t sign, and I can’t hold you. Besides, there’s not a judge in the country that would put you away. And you are wrecking our place here. (The inmates had stopped talking to the doctors.) You are going to be in trouble all your life. There was another guy in history like you. He wrote a book called Mein Kampf!”

Smiling, I said, “Dr. Wallace, my ideas aren’t like his,” and turned to leave. But before going he asked me to stay a little longer and got up to close his office door. First, he asked me to see one of the inmates who he learned had a fork in his possession. Could I coax it away from him before I left. I agreed to do that. Second, he sat down and beckoned me to sit, also. Then he proceeded to tell me about his problems as head of the ward. Who did I think he talked to about decisions he had to make in his capacity as the chief? Nobody. He felt isolated and often alone. So, he asked if he could unload for while. He was confident I wouldn’t tell anybody. Besides, who would believe me? I sat and listened for a long time while he unburdened himself of both personal and professional stuff. Again: Wow! But he said he felt better and shook my hand.

After I was out, I returned to General Atomic. Most were surprised to see me, some embarrassed. I began looking for a new work situation at the Laboratory. I had quit my immediate boss for failing to support me and undermining me with other opportunities at GA. There seemed to be some alternatives possible. I had negotiations ahead of me to keep rights to my anti-gravity findings. These looked promising for a short while, but then they took a turn for the worse.

David Brewer’s letter was waiting for me in my office.

And then I went home. Not all was well. But that is for another chapter, the next poem: Posterity.

[Note: journal fragment to be added to commentary regarding my first impression of the inmates in the psycho ward: “People virtually thrown away by a society that didn't know what else to do with them.”]