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I am finding this very difficult

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  • richard_pendarvis
    I am finding this very difficult An autobiography of a mystical life. Has anyone ever done it? If so I would like a few tips on what to put in and what to
    Message 1 of 3 , May 23 10:37 AM
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      I am finding this very difficult



      An autobiography of a mystical life. Has anyone ever done it? If so I
      would like a few tips on what to put in and what to leave out. Not how
      to write it, for I can just about cope with that OK – but what to
      write. Do one they say! I really do think WHY is a good question. So
      too is the question FOR WHOM? I don't need it. I had it :- ) Does
      anyone want it?



      But the problem I am having with even starting it (which I have on
      request) is what to write. What to say and what not to say. Every time I
      write a page I am sitting here thinking of all books which I have
      written, plus the poems, plus hundreds of articles and thousands of
      emails, which are all about the same thing, then if all that were put
      together in a book then how thick would the book be? And that is only
      the things which one has written about, not the things which one has not
      written about. As I said in the beginning I think this is impossible. I
      sure don't mind trying the impossible – if there is a good
      reason for doing so. But what if there ain't?



      It is a funny thing isn't it. Everything which I have ever written I
      was inspired to write it at the time, even if it were only an email. It
      just hits you at the time (and it does not matter what it is about)
      `I have got to write about that' ! Kind of thing. There is a
      passion for it. None of it was forced, against my will; and none of it
      was needs must; like having to eat.



      I would imagine that my memory is reasonably average; and you cannot
      write about what you cannot remember can you. But if one only wrote
      about what one could remember of any one year then how many books would
      that fill? Do you remember that song with the words `when I was
      seventeen, that was a very good year'? Well, they all were.
      Leastwise the seventy of them that can be remembered. One could write a
      book on any one day, let alone one day multiplied by seventy two years.
      That amounts to few days doesn't it.



      But, suppose you took just one day (out of a mystical life or not) then
      what would you write. Just the things that happened on that day, the
      events? Or would you also put in how you felt about all those individual
      events? Would you also put in what your thoughts were about those
      events? And what you thought about ones feelings of those events? What
      do you put in and what do you leave out?



      One day an atom bomb dropped. The next day I went swimming. The next day
      I had fish and chips for dinner! The next day Fred came around for a
      chat, and it rained. Hardly the stuff of literature is it :- ))) It is
      easy to write about a mystical experience. Or all of them. Not that one
      would ever guess it. I read thousands talking about `mystical
      experience', `altered states of consciousness', etc etc,
      reams and reams of words, and not ONE of them ever tells me what it was
      like. Why? Because they cant, and they cant because they are not
      writing about what they KNOW from experience. If they did then they
      could write it. QED!



      Now, I have stated it many times, and it is true, I see the whole of
      life, every day, every moment, as a mystical moment, a mystical day, a
      mystical year, a mystical life; and the sum of which is just that, a
      mystical life. I find existing in the transcendent mode to be no more
      mystical and wondrous than sitting here under a tree in the sunshine. I
      think the latter is even more mysterious and amazing. And you get
      critters to share it with here too. But they phooey phooey all that as
      either mundane or an irreverent illusion. Truly do I think they are MAD
      ! BLOODY MAD ! However, perhaps I am not up to their exulted level of
      understanding things yet. The only difference between a mystical day
      and a mystical life, is that the latter is longer. I don't think
      they love life do they.



      So, perhaps I am just having a bad hair day, because I don't know
      how to put a lifetime into a book. But the sun is shining, it is a
      beautiful day, the music is sounding good, a breeze is making the
      foliage move a bit and the birds are singing, and a cat jumps up on the
      desk and sits there looking me straight in the eye. I wonder what it
      would say. Does it need to? For it is already killing me softy with its
      song.



      One day I was sitting on the grass looking into the eyes of a young
      lover. She looked into my eyes, I looked into her eyes (and which made
      life worth living) nothing was said, nothing was done, neither wanted
      anything or demanded anything, just in bliss doing this. One moment in
      time. Multiply that by a zillion or two and there you have a mystical
      life. Do you know what I mean?



      Just had an email asking me to transfer my funds from this bank to that
      bank. I have not got a bank. I have not got any funds. What are they on
      about? What do they want?



      Anyway, I feel better now after that :- ))



      rwr





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Herman
      Hi Richard, ... I understand the difficulty you are having. I think it stems mainly from the fact that experience is not verbal in nature. The only words that
      Message 2 of 3 , May 23 5:15 PM
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        Hi Richard,

        On 24 May 2010 03:37, richard_pendarvis <richard_pendarvis@...> wrote:
        >
        > I am finding this very difficult
        >
        >
        >
        > An autobiography of a mystical life. Has anyone ever done it?  If so I
        > would like a few tips on what to put in and what to leave out. Not how
        > to write it, for I can just about cope with that OK – but what to
        > write. Do one they say!  I really do think WHY is a good question. So
        > too is the question FOR WHOM?  I don't need it. I had it :- ) Does
        > anyone want it?
        >

        I understand the difficulty you are having. I think it stems mainly
        from the fact that experience is not verbal in nature. The only words
        that you can faithfully commit to paper are the words once thought and
        now remembered, and I would doubt that exercise belongs in the
        "mystical experience" category.

        I am not trying to dissuade you from writing your book. I am only
        pointing out that a book on mystical experience is self-defeating.

        Polly
      • fleeting_return
        ... Hello Dick. I ve been thinking about this question of yours for a little while. There s Richard Rolle. A good straightforward Yorkshireman. And a
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 2, 2010
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          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "richard_pendarvis" <richard_pendarvis@...> wrote:
          >
          > I am finding this very difficult
          >
          > An autobiography of a mystical life. Has anyone ever done it?

          Hello Dick.

          I've been thinking about this question of yours for a little while. There's Richard Rolle. A good straightforward Yorkshireman. And a reputation for impatience with the less enlightened :-). He wrote, "The Fire of Love", which includes spiritual counsel based on personal experience. Not quite your kind of thing, but then you are not a Christian mystic. What would be the equivalent, from your perspective? The advice you give is fairly elementary and invariable - go out there and find out for yourself. Encouragement to overcome torpor and the scorn of others.

          So an autobiography in your case might be more or less void of exhortation and exegesis, letting the experiences, mystical or not, speak for themselves. That is how I would imagine an autobiography that you might write.

          As to what to put in, leave out, I do not think you need to find any definite pattern, only to provide context which enables the reader to follow the sequence of events (unless you particularly wish to subvert expectations in this regard, or reflect an uncommon view of temporality, which is also, I think, not your type of thing). Put in what is vivid, the common and the uncommon.

          By the way, I am completely unqualified to offer advice on the basis of knowing what might be popular or saleable. Just a few passing thoughts. And I think the question here of how to write a book touches also upon the remarks Jim is making about 'changing hearts and minds'. It is not at all that I am somehow opposed to such changes occurring. Some forms of sensibility, motive, and action, really are, to my perception, more enlightened than others. But whether there exists an intent to change hearts and minds is not necessarily the way such change may occur. And, as Nietzsche points out in "The Joyful Wisdom" [*Sanctus Januarius* 321], our efforts to change an individual may result in ourselves being changed.

          Best wishes,
          Louise
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