Happiness wasn't a mystical place to be reached or won-some bright terrain beyond the boundary of misery, a paradise waiting for them to find it-but something to carry doggedly with you through everything, as humble and ordinary as your gear and supplies.
The mystical perception (which is only 'mystical' if reality is limited to what can be measured by the intellect and senses) is remarkably consistent in all ages and all places. All phenomena are processes, connections, all is in flux... have the mind screens knocked away to see there is no real edge to anything, that in the endless interpenetration of the universe, a molecular flow, a cosmic energy shimmers in all stone and steel as well as flesh...
Have you ever wanted to learn Geometry, Calculus, Physics, German, and the mystical teachings of Orafoura? Well, now you can! Just not with this book. Well, except for the mystical bit. This book is guaranteed to cost you, or your money back. If there is ever a book that deserves to be burned, this is it. And while you are lighting a fire, why don't you also set your imagination ablaze? You can start by taking a gasoline shower and sprinting naked through Flint, Michigan. Or Phoenix. After all, the only way you'll ever be able to reach your true potential is with a stepladder and a stretch.
Many will argue that there is nothing remotely spiritual in combat. Consider this. Mystical or religious experiences have four common components: constant awareness of one's own inevitable death, total focus on the present moment, the valuing of other people's lives above one's own, and being part of a larger religious community such as the Sangha, ummah, or church. All four of these exist in combat. The big difference is that the mystic sees heaven and the warrior sees hell. Whether combat is the dark side of the same version, or only something equivalent in intensity, I simply don't know. I do know that at the age of fifteen I had a mystical experience that scared the hell out of me and both it and combat put me into a different relationship with ordinary life and eternity. Most of us, including me, would prefer to think of a sacred space as some light-filled wonderous place where we can feel good and find a way to shore up our psyches against death. We don't want to think that something as ugly and brutal as combat could be involved in any way with the spiritual. However, would any practicing Christian say that Calvary Hill was not a sacred space?
The [character-]armored, mechanistically rigid person thinks mechanistically, produces mechanistic tools, and forms a mechanistic conception of nature. The armored person who feels his orgonotic body excitations in spite of his biological rigidity, but does not understand them, is mystic man. He is interested not in "material" but in "spiritual" things. He forms a mystical, supernatural idea about nature. Both the mechanist and the mystic stand inside the limits and conceptual laws of a civilization which is ruled by a contradictory and murderous mixture of machines and gods. This civilization forms the mechanistic-mystical structures of men, and the mechanistic-mystical character structures keep reproducing a the mechanistic-mystical civilization. Both mechanists and mystics find themselves inside the framework of human structure in a civilization conditioned by mechanistics and mysticism. They cannot grasp the basic problems of this civilization because their thinking and philosophy correspond exactly to the condition they project and continue to reproduce. In order to realize the power of mysticism, one has only to think of the murderous conflict between Hindus and Muslims at the time India was divided. To comprehend what mechanistic civilization means, think of the "age of the atom bomb.
A man breaking his journey between one place and another at a third place of no name, character, population or significance, sees a unicorn cross his path and disappear. That in itself is startling, but there are precedents for mystical encounters of various kinds, or to be less extreme, a choice of persuasions to put it down to fancy; until-"My God, " says a second man, "I must be dreaming, I thought I saw a unicorn." At which point, a dimension is added that makes the experience as alarming as it will ever be. A third witness, you understand, adds no further dimension but only spreads it thinner, and a fourth thinner still, and the more witnesses there are the thinner it gets and the more reasonable it becomes until it is as thin as reality, the name we give to the common experience... "Look, look!" recites the crowd. "A horse with an arrow in its forehead! It must have been mistaken for a deer.
I hope you can see that I love Minnesota, ... You know, all the women from the mines talked to me about the beauty of the land. The idea that it has always been there, this mystical place that is scary and seductive and that, for many years, they never saw the inside of. So I tried to show that this land is very beautiful and that, even though a lot of ugly things happened, so did a lot of beautiful things.
And he came to understand how those almost mystical bonds of trust and affection, if nurtured correctly, might lift a crew above the ordinary sphere, transport it to a place where nine boys somehow became one thing - a thing that could not quite be defined, a thing that was so in tune with the water and the earth and the sky above that, as they rowed, effort was replaced by ecstasy. It was a rare thing, a sacred thing, a thing devoutly to be hoped for. p 48
There is no place in the world where nobody dies. There is no place where nobody is hungry, or nobody hurts. That place is only in our imagination. But if we get our heads around it, we can go a little way toward making this real place more like that imaginary place. They call that place Utopia.
She'd spoken of their happiness as though it were an undeniable fact, no matter what happened-apart from everything else and not subject to it. It was a new idea for him, that happiness wasn't a mystical place to be reached or won-some bright terrain beyond the boundary of misery, a paradise waiting for them to find it-but something to carry doggedly with you through everything, as humble and ordinary as your gear and supplies. Food, weapons, happiness. With hope that the weapons could in time vanish from the picture.
You said you knew the perfect place to run to. A place that was empty of people, and buildings, and far, far away. A place covered in blood-red earth and sleeping life. A place longing to come alive again. It's a place for disappearing, you'd said, a place for getting lost... and for getting found. I'll take you there, you'd said. And I could say that I agreed.