(This is a late comment on my first "To All Who Would Know")
TO ALL WHO WOULD KNOW
Why did you pick up this paper? You must have wanted to hold a piece of paper in your hand. For those of you who would know me, my name is Bill Ryan. I'm a tormented, struggling individual. I'm also something much, much smaller. I'm the voice of your wee little conscience. Did you brush your teeth tonight? I haven't done it yet this morning, and my teeth are getting worse every year, so I'd better do it now.
There, that's better. Now I'm not bugged with anyone, because my teeth are clean, and I've taken a bath.
This writing doesn't add up to anything, I promise you, so don't read it unless you're high on grass, LSD, or a natural sense of humor.
Conscience means "knowing with"
Now I'm smoking a cigarette, so my lungs, windpipe, throat, mouth, and teeth are getting dirty again, so now I can get bugged with someone again, if I want to, and the nerves in the back of my neck feel funny, like I was on a drug or something, so maybe I'll get a good idea for attacking someone's cherished values. It isn't good to cherish values, you know, because the world is changing. Didn't you notice the trees got green again this spring? You see, you've learned something from me, because I'm an educator.Bill Ryan
Well you squirmed your way out of that one didn't you BillYour old buddy
I think what I'd like you to give me are some ideas that I can believe in. I used to have a lot of really strange ideas, but at least I had them so I was happy. Now I don't know anything. I don't even know what to think about things that happen. I just feel like an empty blackboard and I wish someone would write something on me. It's very difficult to explain the way I feel. Anyway you could help me if you'd answer a few questions.
I'm really interested in what you've been saying about God in the AVATAR, but you haven't really said enough for me to understand completely. Will you tell me about God?
Then there's what you're always saying about how everyone has to work to fix up this world. Well that's exactly what I want to do. I think that if I were working and doing something I believe in I wouldn't need to worry about my head so much. But you write as though everyone should be able to see the work he has to do — like he knows it all the time — he just has to make up his mind to do it. Well, I don't know what I should do. What you've been saying is just too general to do me any good. Could you tell me exactly what I can do?
I've been wanting to tell you how moved I was by your article in AVATAR No5. For some reason I had to cry when I read it. You're a beautiful person, Mel,Love, Cathy
The things you want to talk to me about are very difficult to say on paper, I assure you I understand completely and I could enlighten you on all points given the proper time and place. I would like to know your birthday, you have a ring of the sign, cancer, about you. I am, along with many other things, an astrologer, don't let this scare you, a master is still a master regardless of which languages he employs to express himself. I have written a book which might answer some of your questions. You can get it by mailing $2.25 to Jessie Benton, 4½ Fort Ave Terrace, Roxbury, Massachusetts, 02119. Still your biggest questions cannot be answered by anyone but yourself, thank God. I can help lead you to it but you must take that final step alone, I mean REALLY alone. Don't be disturbed over your emptiness, REJOICE, you must be COMPLETELY empty before you will even BEGIN to fill up from within. Have you ever heard of the expression "dark night of the soul"? That is what you're going through. There is a book by that title by St. John of the Cross, the terminology is a little outdated but he covers the subject well. You ask me about God, God is the light that you are seeking in your darkness, God makes that which is empty full, full of light, full of joy, full of love, full of pain, full of FEELING. Don't look for answers with your mind, the mind can only finally bear witness to a LACK of God, God DWARFS the mind, He cannot be contained in thought, only in moments. Really I think you should read my book as this letter is beginning to SOUND like it.
Way down deep inside of you there is a little seed and in that seed dwells the essence of what you are seeking all around you, you cannot unearth that seed and probe it with your mind, it totally ignores all questions, it waits, it only waits, it waits until there are no more questions, until you stop stirring up the earth all around it, and then finally, and only in absolute stillness, does it begin to stir and awaken you from your long slumber. Be still and wait is THE occult maxim. Only when there is no longer any interference from you, only on the brink of absolute acceptance of absolutely nothing, beyond despair, beyond hope, when you are absolutely still and expecting nothing, only then does the moment of birth arrive. It is so delicate. Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night and found that you were asleep without breaking the thread and have you ever tried to sustain that waking-sleeping consciousness? That is what it is like when the world and your dreams are one, flawless motion, perfect acceptance, FLOW, and it doesn't last long, soon you will be catapulted back into your troubled, jumbled daily existence, then accept that too, make it flow, it SHOULD flow, you must find and create harmony all around you, everywhere, every moment of your life, it all is designed to fit into place, YOU must do the fitting. . . .Love Mel
It is hard for someone who has not found the truth to accept the words of a man who has. A man who is becoming truth can understand only to the extent that he has become that truth himself. I am just becoming healthy — the Life within me begins to stir and starts to realize itself — and now I will go on becoming.
This letter is to tell you of a man whose works have helped the most in my self realization. He speaks in the language of natural science and many will be turned away by this because so-called "science" has for so long ignored Life. (For instance, a psychologist may tell me how long it takes me to react to the word "shame", but cannot tell me why the human organism feels this perverse emotion.) But Wilhelm Reich was an Avatar in every sense of the word, and built a science which exposed the emotional illness of mankind and which eventually was suppressed by the U.S. government as late as the early sixties. (Reich died in federal prison in 1957.) He speaks of "our great obligation: to stop running away from it, and to enjoy what now he dreads so much." Truthfully, I did not understand you, Mel, (The heart of the universe beats in YOU") until Reich helped me there.
I won't try to explain further, because my inability to put my feelings coherently into words may make you toss this letter aside as confused and worthless. Please, if you haven't already, read something by Reich ("The Function of the Orgasm" is easiest to find in paperback) and comment on it in AVATAR. True natural science must in the end be found at one with all truth — and the truth must be seen as greater than any particular language in which it is spoken, be it the language of true astrology or the language of functional (not rational which imposes its own perverse form upon its subject matter) scientific thought.
I find it hard to understand your astrology — still cannot feel it — so cannot get from it what I believe have felt in other parts of AVATAR — functional motive of letter being to try to get us closer together by asking your opinion of what I have found the more meaningful language.Reaching to you,
Excellent letter! Wilhelm Reich has helped so many people. I strongly advise him to any and all who can make use of him. He knew the truth, he expressed it in a language that many can understand. For myself I can only say that by the time I discovered him I already KNEW him. Emerson was a great help to me in my youth. Also, believe it or not, Henry Miller. The words of a master always only serve to lead the disciple to his own emptiness, the path is intricate, a master has walked that path and has returned to help organize it and make it easier for others to walk, it is the path to the void. At the void all language falls away, explanations turn inside out and diffuse, nothing remains but the Law and it cannot be grasped or touched or known but only EXPERIENCED and the experience is a total LACK of experience. Until then, however, read on, learn the rules, devour the masters, exhaust all knowledge, become wise, you will use it all someday to help lead those behind you, but not until you have first lost it and found it again. You must know everything before you are ready to know nothing and you must know nothing before you can attain that true humility and emptiness which is always ready to be filled with the right thing at the right time. Astrology, writing, cosmic law, music, yoga, people, oh I know so many things, I am master of so so many languages and yet, at my best, I am nothing but a feeling of love. . . .
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,
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,P.S. I'm not an egomaniac, I'm a meglomaniac. . .