Up the road to one of the mines I found an abandoned shack. It was pretty near a wreck and I decided I would peek in it to see what shape it was in. Inside I spotted a sink and a fireplace, with a mattress shoved against one wall. Spider webs covered everything. A few old cups sat on a table in the center of the room. I tested the floorboards and it seemed safe enough to walk on. I saw a lot of evidence of rodents and decided to leave well enough alone when I spotted a pile of yellowing pieces of paper under one of the cups. I quickly snatched it and then left as fast as I could telling myself never to go back into the place. I walked for awhile and then found a good rock to sit on and began to read the paper. The first thing I did was search for a date but I couldn't find one. Then I sped read through it, turning it over and trying to get the gist of it right off. I wondered if one of the members had written it or whether it was written long ago. There had been rumors I heard from some of the members about this place in the mountains being a refuge for mobsters in the 30's. By the time I heard that rumor I realized that people up here liked to tell stories and not to take them seriously. Mona had told me this. "These guys were afraid of nature and the buyers of the property found all this toilet paper in the trees and brush. Apparently the mob guys couldn't find there way back out of the woods after they had shit out there and hung toilet paper all around the mark their path back." She laughed. "Don't tell me that's made up!"
A good story was worth any number of facts so I laughed with her and the image of tough guys getting lost in the wood going pee-pee or poo-poo.
I believed it even more when she told me the mobsters operated out of Los Angeles.
I sat on rock and began to read the paper:
and suddenly their eyes come at me and overwhelm the silence and I shrivel and tremble under the gaze still silent their bodies and faces and voices....
Then an old man was saying, "if I describe a house and a man sitting in it the description brings with it a set of perceptions that can destroy the essence..."
"Oh, that boy...he's really come to play... that's the idea. He suddenly blooms forth from the earth; has life experiences pure life unjudged until, he learns the play is over, that he is separate from all he sees; that the only contact he can have is through a learned form and when he reaches individualization he destroys the whole town.
Every word is a free symbol....
Every space between the word a significant mystery
Paragraphs run with the pace of the body.
First things first...anxious for me to meet people...live off property, “into themselves,” as one put it. Doom Man and Infinite Guy call them...tell me that both will entertain me if not make me think. “They are crazy but crazy the way we like the crazy to be.” “And how is that?” “Harmless but so out of their heads we can almost rest on the same asteroid as they do.”
I kept putting it off because I wasn’t sure I wanted to know people crazier than the people I was already hitched up with. After all, they provide for me and keep me from the authorities so I am loyal to them if not comfortable around them.
But the day comes as they always do. It comes and with it a peaceful rain, a drizzle really. The trees look sad and old in the rain. It was just good to get out, get away. I didn’t appreciate how that small gesture of getting away can play with a guy’s mental health. Get away with as little contact with humanity as possible. But in this vast forest there doesn't seem any place free of human beings. They range all over...even if you're taking a piss behind a tree up beyond the stream you come from around the tree and sure enough there's a human being. After awhile I am glad when there was only one other human being. It is easy to go silent on them and make them go away. With a crowd it is quite difficult.
So we climbed into the truck and off we went, down the old road, onto another road, then cutting through this small weird town and driving up this mountain. I call it a moutain but it was anything but. I guess they called them mountains here but they did rise above the valley and half-way up it did have a mountain feel to it.
We wound through a scar in the hillside to the summit, driving the summit whining, pulling going through misted blue pulling back shades blowing through them swirling caught and lifted the body shut down tight and I wonder Jack wonders where we are going what's through this smoky cloud where did the ocean go? The light is coming from the mist. Its movement is creating the soft light bounding in front and the crunch crunch underneath.
Yellow utensils, blackened irons and toasters on their sides like burnt squirrels, paper stacks of hard-bound dust filling one wall shoes on wood floor black scarred stove cooling in corner stools and chairs knife on table corkscrew out mattress laying perpendicular to the moldy stacks the air of cooked farts and mold half empty bottle sink continually running dust filters through yellow pane and out out beyond black and yellow centipedes.... Black and yellow centipedes burnt out empty shells shells rolling in dust blank stars just blank running to swiftly the innards intestines and heart bleeding.
Jack introduces us, the old man Janus, and his hand is cold or maybe it's mine and his is nothing no touch "You two get acquainted, while I fetch the wood." Friend Jack leaves and we two look at each other and the old one drinks straight from the half-full bottle and offers me some and I take it and drink the drink and the fluid breath and I begin warming inside and ask him why he lives up here.
"They all want to know that and I tell them. Then they never come back."
Then there is a mountain silence that stirs within me moves me to say nothing to simply look at the old man Janus.
"You see, it's all coming to the end. It's curtains and exit time for humans, for all life except the mountains and water and solid things, yeah, anytime now. There ain't no hope. ..no hope is one of the solid things that will remain. First were the dinosaurs and they tripped around for millions of years king of all around them. I can see these beasts around these parts millions of years ago moving as they pleased full of king pride. Yep, they had it their way for a long time then one day ol' nature comes in and cut their feet off so to speak... and they leave without a trace 'cept the shark. So nature has to create another plaything like humans gives them a stab at it goes one step further and gives the new beasts imaginations and dreams see what they can do with it.
"And humans go so far as to create their own nature as if a tree could make itself a tree."
"They don't have to be saved. Each person's just a little bug some squashing others getting squashed that's just the nature of things something you accept but the fact that we're all bugs makes us all even and too small to be eliminated. Yeah the buildings will fall and the machines will change and everything will change for better or worse but we'll remain bugs and when we accept our bugness we become happy and what could a bug want more than happiness? Just a small collection of other bugs a bug wife and bug children doing bug things everyday to keep alive it's always been that way and always will and when everyone accepts it as that we'll all be happy and bugging all the other bugs and won't have to think we're superior or something thinking we have it over the next bug because we think we think or we think and believe and thought and belief is more than bug thought and belief. We're damn bugs and nothin' in the universe is afraid of a bug."
"Ha—Ha' I love that: bug—humans. Bugs that's it Jack; bugs we're bugs and we're going to destroy each other thinking we're not if we only knew. But you're young you have to hold on to a future of some sort even a bug future... I think maybe you'll be up here one day and if you are could you amile every time you pass my grave. Ha-ha-ah-ha-ha-ha-ha"
Then both hahahahahahhahahahahahaheehahahehaehaehahha
Another bottle passed around. Drinking freely warming the insides the words and laughter creating wafting song buried into the wood. Bug talk. Destruction. The end. Empty shelled centipedes blowing in the wind. The dinosaur the shark bugs MEN so strange what is this? Who and what are they destroying? What's the fascination they talk as if some darkness. ..THE DARKNESS, yes, they too must have had the nightmare maybe they do come from the rocks I am one of them. I am.
"I've seen your nightmare, yes yes. I know where it comes from, l know... Jack I know now the background you were there with me. "
"What's your friend here jabbin' 'bout Jack?"
"I don't know. He's as crazy as you. No one knows where he's from. 'Nesia you know. A good loon though strange and good like yourself."
"Now fella, what's this talk about the nightmare and all this, huh?"
"The trees chasing and the exploding water and the blue bolts and blackness the CHASE the appearance between the rocks the sudden THERE, you know..."
"Wow, you better have a little more of this or maybe not... what the hell you talkin' 'bout?
Then the old guy, "I'm all for the survival of the unfit-the misfits, culture puts people to sleep and the waking from the sleep MAKES you a misfit. Unfit, out of synch out of step. A dangerous course. What is culture? A man or woman wakes up suddenly and has idea IDEA and following the excitement of that discovery falls into depression because idea alone is as potent, is as valuable as a little dust raised, then, scattered on a vast arid plain. All problems keep expanding in depth and then there ia a crisis; a plague or a war, and the content swirls and dances seemingly out of control if form is gone. But form has just retreated a bit, taken a breather, and it comes back snaps back bringing everything under its demoniac control."
"And from the beginning people have feared. Animals don't fear. What people have observed as fear in animals is their own fear. Man's observing tool, his ego, projects his fear onto the animal world. When two cats square off they are protecting an area or offspring or simply playing and all these things (at least to the cat) are positive values. The cat values his offspring and territory, he doesn't fear their loss. That's a big difference between man violence and animal violence. Animal violence is a positive protection; man violence is a fear of loss. What does he fear to lose? His life? In war there are innumerable instances of life sacrificing events; men throwing themselves on grenades and mines. Men go to war prepared to die and when he has resolved this he becomes a good fighter. No, I think that what men fear most when he wars is loss of his precious ideas. He identifies his Ideas with time itself. To lose these ideas, to have them decimated by struggle; either the struggle of war or struggle in culture is to lose himself to become a nothing, a zit. Culture demands this from the people. A cat doesn't fight for its identity; a cat knows just KNOWS but men don't know they don't know so they develop culture to tell him.
The Doom Man was not entertaining because he desired utter destruction... gleeful nihilism... something attractive about it. I can’t say what it is. The earth blows up and all the problems are solved. Or the earth blows up and we understand the cosmos as it is. “No more BS,” shouts humanity has it is hurled from the horizons of earth. Or we are part of a vast board game played by intelligent life that is completely out of our range of senses. I’ve heard that one many times.
(Musing)I could tolerate this. Life destroyed but the earth intact. Then life going through its old process, mere millions of years, to produce a new form of humanity with the memory of its destruction down in the genes somewhere. You didn’t need loco weed to speculate along these lines. It made me jittery sometimes and then I simply came back to the excellent soothe of commonplace things.
The Infinite Guy was a nervous nutty looking character. His appearance seemed to say, “I might have one idea in me that transform humanity or I might die penniless in the street.” And so I glimpsed at a possible motive for him to move into this rural arcadia and speculate about surviving end times. “These boys up here are either dreaming about end times or shooting guns at life more intelligent than they are.”
He lived in an uncluttered barn converted into a living space by someone, I never did find out...funny in a serious sort of way, hebrought us a few homemade cookies on a plate and some beer.
If took him awhile to get going on his ideas. We did a little chit-chatting, rumor mongering, establishment bashing and then got into his specialty.
"It may seem comical to you, me being in this dump, in this mole hill of a town, but I'll tell you something and I tell you because I can see that you're still naive and will listen. I trust your eyes...go ahead and laugh but I'm ah, looking...no. I'm trying to create..now don't laugh... immortality! If I felt it wasn't possible I would end everything right now."
"What is immortality?"
What? Damn, you are naive. LIFE AFTER DEATH!"
"Birth after cessation? Something like that? I dont understand. Please explain."
"Yes, yeah, birth after cessation...no, no more like life, ah, extending itself further into the universe, yeah, something like that... there is a state of delusion created when people are afraid of unknowns and have to create all manners of fantasy to meet the unknown 'X'. Same place that created the fear created the salvation. It's a vicious cycle that's only been devastated for a short time. But now nobody believes in anything much less life after death, ..oh, some revert back to the old salve... the unimaginative ones and it works for them.. .prevents them from shoving a gun in their mouth..do you want to hear more?"
"Of course. You are interesting."
"Crazy. ..but the only way to stay alive in this cow town is to be crazy... anyway, ..how can I explain all this? The universe is a subtle movement, that's a good place to start. It has a movement and rhythm that can't be measured, understood (as we allow understanding) ever. In fact, movement and rhythm are a description a billion light years from what IT is. Immortality gives understanding...that is what immortality but I'm getting ahead myself. All of these alleged scientific laws ruling the universe are voodoo. Salve...creations ...that work, by god, they work we can send up freaking rockets and men through gravitational pulls and vacuums...but it's still voodoo, scientists are shaman's. We've made them shamans given them that power for salve on the misery of the unknown 'X'. You see, scientists make creation whatever that creation may be, uh gravity for instance and then people give their collective assent and then gravity comes into being... or maybe I should say gravity comes into focus as gravity. When people used to fall down they ascribed the power that to a god or God...now, they blame gravity. I mean, after all, how do we know that when you throw a ball up in the air and it falls back to the earth, how do we know that the ball doesn't simply WANT to come back to the earth?
What it was back when men and women had looked up at the stars and had truly felt WE ARE? Maybe he did. But somewhere along the way he no longer felt this. He felt separate, alone and frightened. OF EVERYTHING. He banded together but he wasn't ready for it. The mistrust the fear he felt that made him band together was still with him now directed towards his fellows. Destroy everything! Create from anew. There's no need fo destroy the physical because the physical is all idea. Destroy the idea; lose the ego but watch out as is seen today people are trying to destroy their ego's and are being picked out of the air like clay pigeons; they are captured 'by one big IDEA.
Well anyway, I have no real beef with science except when people make a religion out of it...it's just another superstition and like all superstition works as long as there's belief. Science will putrify more and more and reveal its worst nature, a generation or two will rise up and throw it off keeping the convient ideas and saying, "that era had too much self-righteousness, too much hubris and so we act on behalf of, if not God then nature and history." It's fait a'compli strange fellow. They will say in the future "the more they tried to change things the more they stayed the same but amplified the worst while the best started fading out like an old star.
I had to say this because science tends to disbelieve that there is such a thing as immortality. Immortality wouldn't conform to many laws so poof...no immortality. And if you destroy the science that is in you a person is left with a strange power...the power of infinite possibility. Anything is possible including defiance of scientific law. ..including immortality. Men have chosen a very narrow road all through history. It's his beliefs. Belief keeps us away from the infinite possibility. Volumes could be written on this. Anywhere along the way had man cast off his belief totally, well I think we wouldn't need to build rockets to go to the moon; we could fly there ourselves.
I think this is the meaning of the universe ...infinite possibility and I think that when you reach immortality you've reached this place and become part of the universe ...no you become something of the universe itself. What are the two main impulses in people? I call them the UP and BACK impulses. The attempt at connection with what Is UP THERE, you know and BACK THERE at the beginning. These impulses can't be explained away as escape or fantasy, they're as real as this chair. ..Solid within us like the hardness of the chair but moving all the time like atoms. Two things emerge as truth when we think about the UP and BACK impulses. We know that there's life on other planets or I should say consciousness on other planets and that back there we were bequeathed TRUTHS that have since been perverted or lost. These are not things we think about or formulate consciously but are intuitions, part of our heritage that makes up a great deal of our hopes, desires, philosophy, religions science, etc. the whole shit bag. Our relation to these two impulses determines the quality of life here and now. So the further back we get the closer to the truth we get realizing all the time that we can't view with a clean eye.
People used to think that life was pervaded by spirits... everything was spirit and I believe this is very close to the truth and possibly this is the truth that man has lost. Everything as spirit and consciousness; clods of dirt, spoons, bottles, lightning everything possesses consciousness, ..pure consciousness. The work of a lifetime, ..that's what I’m doing...that's my life. If consciousness is energy or vice versa it must be released at death, ..and as energy connects expands I mean if the universe infinite possibility. It's also infinite discovery I believe this star or conscious' souls or at one time were and evolved to that energy and will keep evolving 'till they explode scatter and term new life tirelessly forever...I think this is immortality.
I leave with strange unwanted buzz in head. Sensible no-sense. Will think on flying through universe tonight as I look up at the stars, at the gaze of 'em.
Then the pages stopped. I tucked them in my pocket and carried them with me but in secret, as a secret until I could learn more.
After reading through the pages I got very curious about the origins of it. Without showing the people anything I began to question them one by one on whether they knew of anyone living in the cabin before they arrived. Of course they had heard stories. They had made up stories as well.
"Years ago an old gold miner was driven mad by his failure to find gold and his isolation. He built that crude cabin and spent his last days in it."
"There was a guy who in the 1880's robbed stagecoaches from Weaverville and came up here to hide. He buried some gold on the otherside of the mountain, no question about it. He's your guy." Said without the person knowing that the note contained references to cars and things a person in 1880 would have no knowledge of.
"An owner in the war years had a crazy son that he put up in this cabin to keep him out of trouble."
"It's one of our own. Probably Blu who said he always wanted to write a novel."
It was a brief item that circulated hot and heavy around the place and then drifted off into nothing. I didn't want to show anyone the writings for a variety of reasons. I was particulaly concerned about ---------- who believed in extrterrestials, UFO's and the like. She said flying saucers had been seen descending into Mt. Lassen, a mountain we could view from the trail when it opened up over the valley. She would have taken the paper and made it clear they were the writings of an alien and get people all stirred up. Looking around the place it was clear to me there was enough to stir things up without letting the unprovables get in.