Purging Personal Artifacts On Spiritual Quest - Certain Of Victory - Tossing Love Letters, University Diplomas, Into The Trash - An Unwavering Intution That I Needed A Clear Break From Something I Couldn't Exactly Define

Purging Personal Artifacts - A Burden On Others' Pursuit Of Deep Autonomy - Certain Of Spiritual Victory - Tossing Love Letters, University Diplomas, And All Manner Of Awards Into The Trash - An Unwavering Intution That I Needed A Clear Break From Something I Couldn't Exactly Define

Personal Minutiae / Social Criticism / Spiritual Commentary - December 28, 1996


1996.12.28. [date uncertain]

When I left X (edit, a doctoral program), the only thing that I was clear about was that I would move to a warmer climate and go back into teaching special education.  On a deeper level, I knew that I had to resume my pursuit of happiness in earnest: time was passing me by, and it was either now or never.  In particular, I wanted a more subtle happiness, something that did not rely on possessions or book knowledge.  Confronting my personal artifacts, I decided to cut loose many of my possessions.  Despite music's being so important to me, I gave Y (edit) my audiophile stereo system -- the one I sold my car for while at Z (edit, a college) -- and my collection of nearly two hundred CDs.  I gave away a few thousands of dollars worth of suits, trench coats, down jackets, comforters, and all kinds of winter wear.  This all went to Y as well, as he had just transferred from U.C. Santa Cruz to New York University.  I kept in boxes most of my books.  The reason I did not toss them was that the spiritual happiness I sought was to include an intellectual understanding of the universe that would allow me to make sense of every sentence in the five hundred-or-so books that I owned.  I wanted to write one new book that would replace the original five hundred.  The boxes were a burden, but their intellectual legacy would be a cross that I would bear on my path to the tropical island chain.  For whatever reason, I decided to keep most of the pictures I had reluctantly collected over the years. I rarely went out of my way to be included in a photograph.  Part of me thought they would burden my family like the Captain's (nickname for my paternal grandfather) trophies. His silver hole-in-one trophy, trophies from his college football years in Wisconsin, etc. His children fought over these items after his death. I didn't want such distractions for my own children.

Certain of the spiritual victory that lay before me, I felt that I no longer needed physical reminders of my identity and accomplishments. So, against my mother's wishes I made sure most everything else was all tossed: the yearbooks, the love letters, the sports medals and trophies, fancy college diploma, and so forth. The day before the trashmen came, I placed all of it in the trash cans in the alley. Mother rescued them later that day. Early the next morning, I took everything back from the house and re-dumped them just minutes before trash collectors' arrival.

Comment from 2015.2.14.

It is now 25 years later, and I haven't had a need for my official diploma. Maybe if I had an office where I needed to impress clients with my credentials it would be helpful, but I don't. I had at least a couple of dozen medals for track, and even a paper route carrier trophy, when I used to deliver the San Mateo Times, but I haven't once missed those things. If I regret anything, it would be the loss of a dream journal, as well as a couple hundred pages of written journals from my time in college. There might have been some details in there that would flesh out my narrative more satisfactorily. Nevertheless, I do believe that the principle outline, in terms of the manner of awakening and attending kundalini symptoms, remains accurate and is sufficient for most purposes. Some of the love letters might be nice to have. But there would likely be nothing novel there -- just more evidence of my being self-involved, being hesitant to seek social intimacy, finding others to be a siphon on my energy, and having a propensity to idealize women (and everything else).

The drive to jettison my possessions was due to my certainty that the best experiences of my life lay ahead of me, and that they were internal and on a level of consciousness. I was 100% confident that anything that I set my mind to I could accomplish. If I wanted to achieve "enlightenment" -- whatever that was -- I could. Whatever I gave up, materially, would be a trifling compared to what I would gain in spiritual terms. A stereo system and a nice suit would have ZERO bearing on these positive future outcomes, as well as hinder my travelling 2500 miles away across the ocean. In my gut I knew I needed to break free of something. I wasn't sure what. A state of mind? A mode of perception? My experiences didn't follow any spiritual playbook known to me, but my intuition was unwavering in its determination of what I needed to do.


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