Avatar No7, Sept 1 - Sep 14, 1967

Letters to Mel

Dear Mel
I'm not one for writing fan letters, much like Miss Chesleigh, but your article in the last issue of AVATAR has stirred me to anger, which, believe me, is quite from the heart (again like Miss Chesleigh).
Just who the hell do you think you are? You and your pompous pronouncements about Truth (?) and Love (?). I'm pretty weary of fools myself, and to me you're a fool of the first order. Truth is a fine thing, but what about the rest of the Trinity of Love: Goodness and Beauty? Go ahead and chide your fellow (or should I say lesser?) Hippies for not knowing themselves, but don't forget that Socrates, among others, thought that knowing yourself was a rather admirable feat. Maybe your great understanding reveals to you the Truth and justifies to you your own egomania, but others are not so fortunate. They're still hung up in preferring phoney, non-violent love to honest, real kick'm-in-the-guts hate. Maybe Haight should be re-spelt. However, I don't think so and I doubt if you'll convince me. No amount of truth in Macbird and his cronies can outweigh the destruction of the beauty of so many lives and countries or change the evil of napalm and cattle prods. And no amount of pomposity will ever make spontaneous (even if confused and uncertain) love less real than socially conditioned hate. Frankly, Mel, you turn me off.
One line from Macbird comes immediately to my mind and I think it's as appropriate to you as to Macbird: "what a shit!"
Quite sincerely,
E. Hammond
Newton, Mass.

Dear Mr. Hammond,
Very well written, perhaps you should write an article for the AVATAR yourself. I'm glad to see you enjoyed my article, a strong reaction is a FAVORABLE reaction. I like people who say what they think, even when they're wrong, it's the best way I know of to begin a truly intimate relationship. I don't know this Macbird but he sounds like a turd. I get the impression you hate me. I love to be hated, it's the most honest feeling most people are capable of, it always leads to love if you have the courage to stay WITH it, all my best friends have been my worst enemies. Let me see if I can't hate you back a little just to keep the relationship going: Just who the hell do I think I am, a good question. Actually I answered that one in my first article where I announced that I am the Truth but I'm willing to go over it for your sake. I am a gas, I am a waker of sleepers, I am much more than THAT, I'm beyond your wildest dreams and I'm home. . YOU'RE NOT! With my help you may get a little closer. I'll help you in SPITE of yourself, your strong letter to me is your way of ASKING, I understand that, you don't, you don't HAVE to, at least not yet, that's what I'm for, I am UNDERSTANDING ITSELF. I also have a beautiful sense of humour but of course that comes with understanding, in fact, I'm beginning to feel real LOVE for you. Frankly, Mr. Hammond, you turn me on.

Quite lovingly,
Mel Lyman
P.S. I'm not an egomaniac, I'm a meglomaniac. . .

Dear Mel Lyman—
No one can speak the Truth — yet the Truth is there and here for each one of us, singularly and totally, the Truth lays beyond the limits of man's vocabulary. Language is a wall in itself and the Truth cannot be expressed within it. To define the Truth is to limit it. Therefore by writing around and about the Truth you can never say what it is. You and I are both approaching the Truth. But you think you found it — you haven't. If you had you would know how ludicrous your futile attempt to define it is — especially in your egotistical insecurity. Search — you have not found; you are just opening the door. But even here I am wrong — I can only tell, not teach — each man is his own teacher — each experience his own guru. You are the teacher, you are the student — that is the secret — becoming aware of what is happening, what has happened, what will always happen. Let the Truth be known in natural flow from within.
No preacher knows all — he only approaches it. Writing of Truth demonstrates a karma stage. I also write, but I try to send natural good vibrations to everyone and anyone thru humility. You send yourself thru insecurity.
SEARCH — LEARN — ADJUST — GRASP and move on. Question WHY YOU TRY TO IMPRESS BEFORE YOU QUESTION WHY.

Chuck Klein
Philadelphia, Pa.

Dear Chuck,
Your letter made me very sad. I don't know if I can tell you why. Already you are gone. I don't want to tear down your arguments. The truth is in my heart, when I speak my heart I speak the truth. That's all there is to it. The truth is very simple, don't complicate it.

Love, Mel

Dear Mel Lyman:
"To Those Who Would Know" is great and terrible and good and bad and yes and no. The only important thing about it is that some of it is true. Here and now is true. And love is something you become when there is no more you. "You can't make bargains with God". . Maybe we differ in concept, in word pictures for the same thought. By knowledge of cause and effect you can "make a bargain with God" if you care to phrase it that way. Many have done so. A certain type of action always causes a certain reaction. By knowing this your actions can guage the quality of your reactions and reactions to you. A bargain? Maybe. Maybe not. It's how you look at it. "I can promise you nothing" is beautiful and dramatic and I instinctively like it but it is not true. You can promise anything. Getting it is another matter. But you can honestly promise everything and all result depending on the person, his conviction, his willingness to will and experience and give up. Love is something you become is one of the most wonderful things I have seen. I hope to see much more of your writing in AVATAR in the future.

Sincerely,
Salli Atkinson
Charlotte, No.Car.

Dear Salli,
Where you are living is safe for the time being, until that next ache in the heart comes along and takes you somewhere where you haven't been before, until what you now term "cause" becomes only the effect of a GREATER cause. Then m'love your lease has expired and your actions will surprise even you. If you do not dare to take this chance your cause will turn to stone. There's always a surprise around the corner, a bigger street than where you have walked, a new world to discover which will dwarf everything you thought to be true. If you dare to walk there, and you must, you cannot guage your actions, you are at the RECEIVING end, you are in no position to do any bargaining, you are the product itself. . . .

Love, Mel

Mel,
Your words are real, true, and beautiful.
You have touched a miracle. Come and
see me when you are ready.

Finley

Finley
What about?

Mel