The Lone Star. All this. Chicago, Oklahoma City, Houston. Whatsoever moves on earth. Twenty-two degrees, 9:10 am. Is to be hidden. Sky bright, vacuous. In the Lord. Norman, OK. The Self. The 908 arriving from Moore, signal bells ding-ding-ding. When thou hast surrendered all this. Two pick-up trucks. Then thou mayest enjoy. Pale brown, pale blue. Do not covet the wealth of any man! K-thump k-thump, k-thump k-thump.
9:36. “WAREHOUSE.” Pigpen on incline. Approaching Purcell. Quarter horses grazing the tundra; behind them a quarter-mile oval. Though a man may wish to live a hundred years performing works, it will be thus with him. 10:00 am. But not in any other way. Paul’s Valley. Work will not cling to a man. Water tower: “PVA.” Station pale yellow. “Royal Theater.” There are worlds without sun covered with blind darkness. Man gets on train in cowboy hat, black boots. Those who have destroyed their self. A single 40-watt bulb. Who perform works without having arrived at knowledge of the true self. The waters of a stream, running clear before Ardmore. Go, after death, to those worlds. 10:53. A gross, red-haired braceleted girl in purple cardigan, crimson pants takes seat opposite me. We are leaving Oklahoma.
Weaving under the Interstate, we cross the Red River. 11:36: Gainesville, TX entered. A man with a tooled belt – “TED” (in caps) – asks the redhead if she’s seen any keys. Kneels and searches. Redhead glances at me, blushing; smiles, arm now resting on window sill. “And come, holding the people of fragrant Eleusis and sea-girt Paros, you of the wonderful fruits, bringer of seasons, you yourself and your daughter.” A woman enters the car in dark glasses. Another, standing on the brick platform, leaves unattended a beige suitcase, a brown shopping bag; returns, grey coat trimmed with fur, blue hood open. We have moved on past her, leaving the station, in whose last window, atop an air conditioner, a single empty pop bottle sits. The redhead is reading.
For you see the Self is one, though never stirring. 12:48 pm. (“CNB”), 46 degrees (Fahrenheit). Approach to Fort Worth through shanty land, generations of garbage spilled beside the tracks. And is swifter than thought. Redneck population ceding to black. The Devas (senses) never reached it. “Hilton Inn” framed by station arches. It walked before them. Train at standstill; redhead joined by brother “CLIFF” (yellow letters on white shirt back, yellow collar, yellow arms). Though standing still, it overtakes those others who are running. Pretty girl, reading, changes places, takes seat in front of me, returns to Irving Wallace. A yellow tractor, its left front tire flat, parked perpendicular to tracks. It stirs and yet it stirs not. A white wheel affixed to supporting stanchion. It is far and likewise near. A dark dolly, parallel to tracks. It is inside all this. A wooden box, in front of which, heavy metal parts. It is outside all this. A smaller dolly, at forty-five-degree angle to tracks, on it a grey transportable locker, door open, caged window on its side, bordered in white. And he who beholds all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, he never turns away from it.
A dozen kids, seven to nine, suddenly appear, accompanied by counselors, one black, in purple letter jacket, “P” in white. Two rows ahead, a chubby eight-year-old in blue shirt, white sleeves, red stripes. To the left a freight train, engine orange, first car green. “That dog” – friend to chubby boy – “that dog will get up and cuddle, and play, and love, like no other dog.” Railway worker in bright blue pants enters right-adjacent baggage car. Crowbar in hand; hands crowbar back to black dolly operator who, with white fat middleman, now passes baggage into baggage car. Black dolly operator moves down track; takes out crowbar; opens second car. Fat white man uses red forklift to unload wire crate of plastic-packaged papers. White female counselor, red whistle, discusses seating arrangements. Redhead gazes out between orange engine, green freight car. Two-tiered dolly arrives, double load of ice; top half dry ice, bottom half regular. Natty youth boards train, walks down aisle, tiny moustache, plaid jacket; takes seat next to pretty girl. When, to a man who understands, the Self has become all things, what sorrow, what trouble can there be to him who once beheld that unity?
3:12. McGregor (Waco). Heat unbearable. He, the Self, encircled all. Author, up to look for a soft drink. Bright incorporeal. Finds that lounge car was detached in Oklahoma. Scatheless, without muscles. Returns to seat. Pure, untouched by evil. Attendant passing through, the redhead stops him, asks about soft drinks, receives answer. A seer, wise, omnipresent, self-existent. Author inquires of redhead, who tells him, “You can get them in the diner.” He disposed all things rightly for eternal years.
3:l5. We’ve stopped. There is one unborn being. Somewhere (nowhere). (Female) red, white, and black. High horizon. Uniform, but producing manifold offspring. Dull, cloudy sky; dull, winterized field, sparse rocky outcrop. There is one unborn being (male) who loves her and lies by her. A row of leaning stakes supports a triple strand of barbwire. And there is another who leaves her. Between the train and fence. While she eats what has to be eaten. Tall irregular grass bends in a northerly wind. He, the sun, without any color. The window dirty. Who with set purpose produces endless colors. Coated with hazy dust. In whom all this, in the beginning, comes together. Streaked with tiny rivulets. And, in the end, comes asunder. Smudged by oily fingers. May he, the god, endow us with good thoughts. Heat in the car still oppressive. That Self indeed is Agni (fire), it is Aditya (sun), it is Vayu (wind), it is Kandramas (moon). Occasional vague spots (between the panes?) add a distracting element, make it difficult to focus. The same also is the starry firmament, it is Brahman (Hiranyagarbha); it is water, it is Prajapati. Cactus clumps dot the distant ground. Nearby clumps of indeterminate shrubs wave in the wind at a cadence slower than that of the bobbing grass. Thou art woman, thou art man; thou art youth, thou art maiden. Reflection in the window; a goateed, grey-jump-suited local, sitting on my right. Thou, as an old man, totterest along; thou art born with thy face turned everywhere. As I write he steps to the back of the car, leaving behind a crewelwork bag with bird designs, a yellow plastic shopping sack. Thou art the dark-blue bee, the green parrot with red eyes, the thunder cloud, the seasons, the seas. Point of the long stop: to let a freight train pass. Thou art without beginning, because thou art infinite, thou from whom all worlds are born. We are moving again.
“Meanwhile, as she was about to give birth to the grey-eyed goddess, he deceived her, putting her inside him, in his belly.” Across a field, shadowed by the train, a black shanty duplex, three new cars out front, pickaninnies bicycling among them. All who worship what is not real knowledge (good works) enter into blind darkness. “We’re going backwards,” a mousy woman observes, three-year-old son whining on her lap. Those who delight in real knowledge enter, as it were, into greater darkness. Grey-jump-suited man returns, taking seat by his wife. One thing, they say, is obtained from real knowledge. Up ahead a beautiful black woman stretches in the aisle, reaching overhead into suitcase. Another, they say, from what is not knowledge. Her lovely breasts shake under a violet blouse, arms spangled with golden bracelets. Finding what she wants, she glances back at author.
He who knows at the same time both knowledge and not-knowledge. Temple, TX approach. Overcomes death through not-knowledge and obtains immortality through knowledge. Trip to the diner ineffectual – steward “sleeping” somewhere; author sits down anyway. Conversation between two tables: hard-nosed baby-doll Texan, two guys; worthy middle-aged woman, two kids. All who worship what is not the true cause enter into blind darkness. One of the guys, long hair, fires up a joint.
Baby Doll pointedly reveals to middle-aged woman that her kids are older, toking as she speaks. Those who delight in the true cause enter, is it were, into greater darkness. Baby Doll, friends, grey-lidded, detraining “T” “E” “M” “P” “L” “E” – spelled out in between station arches, reception committee awaiting them: dude the likes of Black Bart, Baby Doll’s teenage daughter, Baby Doll’s hubby. Hubby bolts for train, B.D. in pursuit. B.D. stops; gesticulating hubby returns. Now back in car again he still can’t find what he’s looking for. “A big box,” he tells us. Steps off moving train empty-handed, yelling. "Daddy, quiet!” – teenage daughter. Station clock reads 3:44. We’ve made up lost time.
5:16, approaching Brenham. Two members of family ahead of author change places, daughter getting up from aisle seat next to Daddy, mother moving over, Sonny still asleep in opposite window seat. Mother, across aisle, alternately disciplines/cajoles daughter, occasionally slapping at her to gain attention. Now pats daughter’s curls, reaching in behind her head to pull out more. Daughter, porcelain skin, ugly square steel-rimmed glasses, sits with legs stretched out, boots on “World Travel” bag. Up aisle, beautiful black woman stands to take sandwich out of suitcase, black, three-piece-suited train official stopping to talk/flirt. Raunchy white girl lurches down aisle, eyeing author. Mother hands taffy bar across to daughter who, halfway through it, coughs, chokes. Up leaps mother, alternately comforting/slapping daughter’s back. Mother, back in seat, to daughter: “You’ll give me grey hairs!” He who knows at the same time both the cause and destruction of the perishable body overcomes death by destruction of the perishable body and obtains immortality through knowledge of the true cause. Conductor to mother: “You’re goin’ all the way, huh?” “Yeah, we’ve had a long way to go.” “Well, you’ve got somethin’ to look forward to.” “Yeah.” Conductor: “Yeah, if you leave home you always have somethin’ to look forward to.” Outdoor scene fading fast. “But if you stay home you’ve got nothin’ to look forward to.” Trees grey sticks of charcoal. Black girl from seat glances back at author. “White” in white, circled in red, through blackening window. Brenham in pumice storm, red crossing lights through fog of dust, Vega waiting. 5:30. Two more hours to Houston.
6:02. Sister hits brother, brother hits back. 6:05. Sister moved to window replacing brother, brother moved to window replacing dad. 6:11. Father and son play slap-hands, father winning handily. 6:29, Rosenberg; an hour more to Houston.
7:45, approaching Houston (already late). “U-tote-M” sign. Blackness. A string of four lights, perpendicular to track, shifting as we pass them. “Atlas Rentals.” Blackness. Distant whistle (ours). Blackness, pierced by four red radio-tower lights, taillights of a car on service road beside us. “Stop-Go.” Blackness. Motel window lights, flickering as trees pass between us. “K-Mart.” White lights, red lights; road beside us filling with autos; trucks, traffic in both directions. Blackness. Miniature crosses of light on window-pane (focus). Vistas enisled with signs: “Flowers,” “Randy’s Drive-in.” Blackness. Residential darkness. A poor people’s house beside the railroad tracks, its backyard light on. Darkness. Towers. Blackness. Lower middle-class equipment (backyard views). Blackness. “SHELL.” A Winston man billboard. Enormous impersonal building. An older, semi-suburban street, “Burger King” in the middle distance. Blackness.
The door of the True is covered with a golden disk. Darkness. Open that, O Pushan. A wall of yellow light emerging on the left. That we may see the nature of the True. Blackness. Two solitary lights cast a dim glimmer over a pebble-floored transformer station. Darkness: the outlines of trees, visible against a faint general glow of smoky pink. O Pushan. Trees. Only seer. More trees. A four-lane divided highway. Blackness. The train is beginning to slow down. Yama. Is slowing down further. Surya. It has slowed down to five miles an hour. Son of Prajapati. It has stopped altogether. Blackness. Spread thy rays and gather them. It has started up again. O Surya, the light which is thy fairest form, I see it. A double, ten-lane highway, sporadic light everywhere. A yellow maintenance truck, gleaming in the light. Warehouse back lots guarded by rows of light. A motel. I am what He is. “MOTEL.” The person in the sun. A “Tom’s” truck. Motel lights. A man eating dinner through the window of his house. Breath to air, to the immortal. The black woman takes down her suitcase. Blue-hard-hatted black in shop window looking over plans, hand on coffee cup. Daddy brushes hair into place, anticipating arrival. This my body ends in ashes. Distant downtown office buildings. Warehouse obscured, re-emergent. Mind, remember! “BAIL” sign in huge red neon letters. Daddy points it out Remember thy deeds! “24-hour Service.” Mind, remember! Remember thy deeds! Mother, daughter amused by sign. Agni, lead us on to wealth (beatitude). Train slowing. By the good path. Skyline holding. Thou O God, who knowest all things! Buildings held together by yellow light. “Houston!” – conductor’s weary voice. Keep us far from evil. “Yes, Tricia will be here” – mother. And we shall offer thee fullest praise.
“Houston, Houston. This way out.”
The Pupil asks: At whose wish does the mind sent forth proceed on its errand? Fairview and West Gray. At whose command does the first breath go forth? Fairview and Commonwealth. At whose wish do we utter this speech? What god directs the eye, the ear? Z.Z. Zamora’s. “Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo.” The eye does not go thither. Lost: Male Golden Retriever / Needs Medication / Reward. Nor speech. New Year’s Eve / Paradise Island / Rock ’n’ Roll / The Pin Ups / Plastic Idols. Nor mind. Atrium Townhouse of Montrose. We do not know, we do not understand, how anyone can teach it. Fairview and Montrose. It is different from the known, it is above the unknown; thus we have heard from those of old, who taught us. “Help keep Christ in Christmas / Happy Birthday, Jesus.” That which is not expressed by speech, that alone know as Brahman, not that which people here adore. An Ozarka Drinking Waters delivery truck: “Superb Service.” Jingle Bells: J & B rare scotch. A Gremlin from Oregon. A red Toyota: “Rotary Power” (white). Parks Department / City of Houston, Texas: yellow truck, two blacks, one in baby-blue stocking cap. Girl, in green Monte Carlo, cig at lip, flies east down Montrose, 40 mph. “Fall Yoga and Meditation Class / Register Now.” “That which does not think by mind, and by which, they say, mind is thought, that alone know as Brahman, not that which people here adore. Kwik Kar Wash 25¢. A black woman, off-yellow Thunderbird, gold trim. A dented Nova. “Wait.” Two pigeons soaring over truck (returning Ozarka), one landing on red roof, one continuing on to TV antenna. Skylark full of Hispanics. Cupric brown Lesabre, “Landau” in white on back side pane. US Mail truck doing 30, Hispanic in modified Fu Manchu. A black Ninety Eight, “ight” missing, “YES” fingered in dust. Winish blue Imperial, front hub missing. That which does not see by the eye, that alone know as Brahman, not that which people here adore. Dignified black rumbles by in Hou Tex Kroger rig: “The People’s Choice.” Gal (45-ish), dirty ochre sweater, walks past, pauses, kicks bent Schlitz can. Olive girl screeches to halt, flexing facial muscles. That which does not hear by the ear, that alone know as Brahman, not that which people here adore.
Montrose Blvd., 2300 block. White guy driving Coors truck (white). Green parka-ed female (black). Pink house, orange Triumph, dusty, parked under low turquoise corrugated shelter. Montrose Blvd., 2400 block. Mixed crew – half Mexican – works on new footing. Woman, VW station wagon: looks at me with curious, knowing interest, cross dangling from visor. “Tax the Rich / Not / Working People” plastered on streetlight control box (Eagle Signal Co.). Left turn signal arrow (green). Behind/beneath it: wash on line (pink sheet; blue-striped socks; red-striped sock), white building behind. In front of which: leafless trees. Cars: red, yellow, white; off-white, off-gold, lemon; off-lemon, dirty white, canary; U-tote-M beyond. “Montrose Auto Parts” colonial mansion. Gent in Ford 100 checks billfold. That which does not breathe by breath. December 27, 2:46 pm. That alone know as Brahman, not that which people here adore.
The Teacher: If thou thinkest I know it well, then thou knowest surely but little, what is that form of Brahman known, it may be, to thee? Black man looks out blackly from black and silver van (silver and magenta seascape panel). Yellow, red. Green Ford pick-up heading south on Fairview, driver’s hand resting over girlfriend’s shoulder. Jo / Hi sign at feet, many more scattered about in fragments. Oak Farm truck at stoplight. Chartreuse poster. Black and white Continental right turns into Fairview. Man with kids in Fleetwood stops at light; checks out author; flips curbside lock shut; boy in front seat turns to look at author, blows bubble. The Pupil: I do not think I know it well, nor do I know that I do not know it. Hispanic cyclist slows for light, checks out author; turns away as author looks him down. He among us who knows this, he knows it, nor does he know that he does not know it.
West Gray-Dunlavy: “Grill.” “You held my hand, you stand alone with me.” She replied. “You put me high up on a pedestal, / So high that I can almost see eternity.” It is through Brahman that you have thus become great.” You needed me, you needed me.” After that he knew that it was Brahman. Chili. Cracker mess. Butter (correction: margarine) patties. Nabisco Premium Pack. Gay cowboy, reddish-bearded friend. “Him?” “Her.” Pull (Benson & Hedges 100). “Shipley,” says a menu. Author’s chili bowl almost empty. Light from West brightening whole situation. “After Christmas SALE!” – Houston Chronicle. “What part of Los Angeles are you from?” – heavily unshaven man to gay cowboy, gay red-bearded friend liberally salting his whatever (hidden by menu). “This is my favorite snack.” Two almost identical matrons in reading half-glasses, one daintily munching on saltine. “Not quite able to” – female voice behind author. Light brighter still, sunset light (4:15), bouncing off Dunlavy asphalt. “Some singin” in there” – waitress, indicating black woman (see-into kitchen). “They don’t even know what they’re singin’ I guess.” “Sounds pretty good to me” – author. Telephone ring. Telephone ring. “Hello. Shipley.” Half-glass types seated opposite white-haired gent, his beloafered foot extended in nervous posture. “Mrs. Baird’s Bread,” “Mrs. Baird’s Bread” – two identical rigs parked across street, two Hispanic girls trotting across Dunlavy together. Second waitress checks out author, finger in her ear, wondering (to first waitress) what he is doing. He who knows this and has shaken off evil stands in the endless, unconquerable world of heaven. “That’s – whatja call it? – happiness,” – first waitress – “that’s what ya call it.” Yea, in the world of heaven. Heavily unshaven man has coffee refill.
“When I went to California,” he says. Black woman from kitchen: “I didn’t say a word.” “8 mg tar,” reads sign, south side Dunlavy. “You want sugar, too?” “Terri and I were thinking of” – voice behind author. Waitress holding two long cartons, each packed with margarine patties. “Want a sack?” “Ha, ha, ha.” “You wouldn’t want to carry those hot things in your hands.” Black woman jaws on. “Did someone write the screenplay?” – red-bearded gay, who, as author regards him, is pensively flushed. Crew-cut man from “Risher Sprinkler Co.” (pocket oval), looks at menu (upside down). Two blacks, southeast corner, get up from bench, revealing Roto-Rooter ad. “Make it roast beef,” says Risher man, Houtran for Fulton passing behind him. Three girls up to leave, one a rising sun embossed on belt; UPS truck passing. “I was in L.A. for five months,” lisps spectacled red-bearded gay; “I was in L.A. for five months.” Unshaven man examines author as he records it. Two blacks enter, take booth, one the image of Tony Oliva, the other straining with laughter/amusement. Telephone rings, “Gladys” answers. “I had plenty to eat, uh,” says first waitress, leaning over to pick up dropped utensil, pot held aloft. “Does anybody need some coffee?” Blacks, cooled down, in complexly laid-back individual worlds. The teaching of Brahman, with regard to the mythological gods. Sun dips underneath rattan shade, burning retinal image into author’s eye. It is that which now flashes forth in the lightning. Risher man digs in (roast beef). And now vanishes again. “Well, I know I didn’t drink it” – first waitress. White-uniformed Gladys, observing author, picks her nose. Blacks’ chow-laden plates arrive; one begins to salt, one begins to ketchup. If a man knows this here, that, then, is the true end of life. Black teenager, comb in hair, passes east. And if he does not know this here, then there will be great destruction. Telephone ring. Followed by new births.
McFan Clinical Laboratory, 2317 Fannin: “All visits cash.” Nurse in white (white hair, white dress, white shoes): “McCullough?” Black man stands (black cap, red shirt, brown pants). Return to silence, quiet AM radio, middle-aged black woman chewing gum, leafing through Living magazine. Though sitting still, he walks far; though lying down, he goes everywhere. Christmas tree silently flashing: string of green, string of white; constant bulbs, pink and blue. Most of the ornaments reflective: star in circle, interlocking square. The tree itself is plastic. An ancient tree. Six feet high. Whose roots grow upward, whose branches grow downward. Underneath, a round cloth: “Merry Christmas” in script, “M” and “C” green, “erry,” “hristmas” red, Santa pointing a black boot toward “Merry.” Green tree on the white ground, a red five-pointed star, dislocated, half an inch above. It indeed is called the Bright. Followed – counter-clockwise – by a reindeer; a bow with holly; a sleigh containing a single package. That alone is called the Immortal. All worlds are contained in it, and no one goes beyond. This is that.
Black woman, talking now to receptionist, speaks of her second cousin, “a prettygirl,” shipped back a month ago with her husband, “a fine young healthyman,” in the wake of Jim Jones massacre. Whatever there is, the whole world, when gone forth from it, trembles in its breath. “I don’t understand it,” she says. “I won’t never understand it.” That Brahman is a great terror, a drawn sword. “He’s just crazy” – receptionist. Those who know it become immortal. “Power just went to his head.” Black woman impassive in white stocking cap, its top a checkerboard of white and baby blue; white pants suit, red flannel sleeves protruding from above the elbow down. Black shoes, red leather purse, large modern glasses. If a man could not understand it before the falling asunder of his body, then he must take body again in the worlds of creation. A black man enters, takes seat behind the Christmas tree.
Between the two, a symmetrical arrangement: two colonial benches, two colonial railback chairs, one on either end. Between two of the chairs, an entrance into the doctor’s inner office. Beyond the Undeveloped is the Person, all-pervading, entirely imperceptible. And every creature that knows him is liberated, every creature that knows him obtains immortality. Over the benches, two dog and bird-dog with bird portraits: white, black-speckled bird-dog with mallard duck in mouth, his dead head and neck mournfully adroop; a black, mournful bird-dog, female duck in mouth, her head and bill, too, pointing toward the ground. His form not to be seen, no one holds him with the eye. Black woman picks up Newsweek, “Polish Pope” on the cover. Black man, partly visible, partly hidden by tree, in blue jacket, beige slacks, brown monk-strap shoes. He is imagined by the heart. “I’ll be back in two weeks” – patient emerging from office. “They’re payin’ for it” – receptionist to black man, who has risen to join his wife. “You takin’ off?” – receptionist to black man. “Lord no,” says he. “We can’t take off, like you all.” Seated black woman smiles, turns to smile at me too. He is imagined by wisdom. Her head surmounted by inverted conical section of light casting its glow on ceiling. He is imagined by the mind. Those who know this are immortal.
Cough Cough – from inner office. Turning of magazine pages louder. Light through outer door spreads across waiting room floor. Symmetrically-placed conical section lights also cast glow. Two still, symmetrically-placed overhead fans: 1:32 pm, December 28. And Death said: “The Self-existent pierced the openings of the senses so that they turn forward.” To the right of receptionist’s window – through which five cabinets are visible – a side table, atop which a lamp, its stem growing out of a mallard duck. Therefore man looks forward, not backward, into himself. “The other night I was watching P.M. Houston” – assistant to receptionist. “Did you know she was a concert pianist, Phyllis Dillard?” Black woman overhears: “Every time I see her I say, ‘I could do that.’” But she must have somethin’ hid, back in her brain cell.” However, some wise man, with his eyes closed, and wishing for immortality, saw the Self behind. Over the mallard lamp, two paintings: Old European peasant man in red stocking cap, blue vest, white shirt; Old European peasant woman, red nose, blue vest, white hair. “Connie, this is Dr. Hine’s office” – receptionist on phone. “All you can do is take those pain pills. They couldn’t do a thing in the world at the hospital.” December ’75 issue of Texas Monthly, sitting in chair next to author, three flight attendants, female, fighting in the clouds (“War in the Sky: Southwest, Braniff, TI Fight It Out”). Dr. Hine passing behind lattice work of door into inner office. Assistant begins electric typing. Death: “Children follow after outward pleasures and fall into the wide-spread snare. Wise men only, knowing the nature of what is immortal, do not look for anything stable here among things unstable.” “I’ll read all this back to you then: the total tax is $1,480.92. The account number, 61 82 934. It’ll be ready by Monday? And that’s all I have to put on there? OK. Thank you, Terri. You too. Bye. “Typing stops.” That by which we know form, taste, smell, sound, and loving touches, by that also we know what exists besides.” “Do you have any of those envelopes?” “I don’t have any, but I know where they are.” “This is that which thou hast asked for.”
Christmas lights continue to flash, radio barely audible. Sounds of pieces of paper being turned in receptionist space. Sign above file cabinet visible but not legible, calendar next to it, dates not legible either. “The wise, when he knows that that by which he perceives all objects in sleep or in waking is the great omnipresent Self, grieves no more.” “He is such a character” – receptionist to assistant, whispering. Stands up, opens door, enters reception room, in butt-length brown-white-and-black-woven cardigan, carrying herself as though worried she might fall over. Death: “He who knows the living soul that eats honey (perceives objects) as the Self, always near, the lord of the past and the future, henceforward fears no more.” Reseating herself, she stares absent-mindedly, clicking a ball-point pen. This is that. Black woman shifts posture, turning a page in Newsweek, all the way over, onto the back of the magazine. Door to the inner office opens. Old black man emerges, steps to reception window, speaks. Receptionist comment: “You sound like you’re talkin’ from the bottom of a well.” “Hope it don’t get no worse” – black man. “He who knows him who was born first from the brooding heat (for he was born before the water), who, entering into the heart, abides therein, and was born from the elements.” Black woman rises to join her father. Together they exit, leaving the waiting room empty.
This is that.
Hand reaches across receptionist window, depositing slip of paper. “He’s not going to dictate it, no. I’ll get it before he does.” Ballpoint pen drops to desk. “We’ll have to find out about that”; in-exhaling sigh. Shadows play over wall as pedestrians pass by outer door to office.
Schlovzsky’s, Westheimer Blvd. 5:15 pm. Three teenie girls enter cloud-darkened, nearly-deserted restaurant. Different from this. I smile. Which consists of understanding. They smile back. Is the Inner Self which consists of bliss. They’ve come to see the surfer boy serving at the counter. The former is filled with this. “Schlitz Lite,” says blonde, mouth full of braces. “You under age?” – surfer boy, white Schlovzsky cap. “Not me.” It has the shape of a man. “Not me” – teenie girl number 2. Like the human shape of the former is the human shape of the latter. Surfer boy: “Whatja all be doin’?” Joy is its head. “We should be back by now” – teenie girl number 3. “Why don’t y’all come by later?” – surfer boy. Satisfaction its right arm, great satisfaction its left arm. “We’re goin’ by Wendy’s” – teenie girl number 2. Bliss is its trunk. “Y’all gonna go now?” – surfer boy at drink machine – “or y’all gonna stay?” Teenie girl number 3: “Ready, Karen? (Pause). God!” Brahman is its seat. “Here’s your Dr. Pepper” – surfer boy. Giggles (number 2), followed by giggles (number 1). Buxom black woman passing by window, buttons up against a mild north wind.
The Galleria. Skating atrium view from Level 3, knock-kneed amateurs scraping the ice. “When one understands the True, then one declares the True.” Haig’s Hots: four plastic bubbles overhead. “One who does not understand it does not declare the True.” “Let’s Go Shopping.” “Only he who understands the True declares it.” “It’s My Bag.” “This Understanding, however, we must desire to understand.” “Sir, I desire to understand it.”
Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith. “Houston 222 PM”; “New York 323 PM.” December 29. “When one perceives, then one understands.” Ticker tape sliding past too fast to record it. “One who does not perceive does not understand.” Broker sits sipping Diet Pepsi, fingering moustache; engages pretty blond girl in conversation. “Only he who perceives understands.” Customers sit in theater seats watching quotations. Girls in the office very well dressed; men statistical goons. Broker (provincial French postal clerk?) sits with hand flat on desk top. “This perception, however, we must desire to understand.” There’s a lack of coordination in the color scheme here. “Sir, I desire to understand it.”
“Lou, you make your New Year’s resolution yet?” “No.” “Resume the exercise and push back from the table.” “Ha. Ha.” “When one believes, then one perceives.” “Lou, I think it’s going to close on the downside.” “One who does not believe does not perceive.” “Yep, the rally petered out.” Galleria postcard inset, brown-bordered, skaters frozen, blurred. “Down 0-8.” “That’s because of the Shah leaving.” “This belief, however, we must desire to understand.” Pretty blond girl leans back, stretches, yawns; long lashes, liquid gold cascading. “Sir, I desire to understand it.”
Don’s Bar – next to bowling alley. “When one attends on a tutor (spiritual guide), then one believes.” “I can’t wait any longer. This feeling’s getting stronger.” Drinks served in large wineglasses. Dark-haired waitress looks, brushes back hair. “One who does not attend on a tutor does not believe.” Four waitresses standing together: red, blond, brunette, black; black girl with keys at her navel. “Two bourbons?” she orders. “One with soda, one with Seven-Up?” “Only he who attends believes.” Barkeep turning disco down, house mike up: “Cindy, Cindy, your order’s ready.” “This attention on a tutor, however, we must desire to understand.” “Woodrow, come to the desk.” Greater Houston phone book, beige phone atop it. “Sir, I desire to understand it.”
“The Yoghurt Culture.” Small cup of raspberry (64 cents). “When one performs all sacred duties (restraint of the senses, concentration of mind), then one attends really on a tutor.” Two elegant witches at adjacent booth, one with hair elaborately curled, one with tricky Vogue-translated French fashion (either six months old or six months ahead of its time). “One who does not perform his duties does not really attend on a tutor.” A more attractive woman, heavy-set, 24, sits with her boyfriend. “Only he who performs his duties attends on his tutor.” To right: a recent arrival reading Agatha Christie’s Elephants Can Remember. “This performance of duties, however, we must desire to understand.” “Sir, I desire to understand it.”
Fay-type married men talk with their tourist wives. “When one obtains bliss in oneself, then one perform duties.” “Do you like scotch on the rocks?” “One who does not obtain bliss does not perform duties.” “I’m sorry.” “Only he who obtains bliss performs duties.” “You’re so soft-spoken.” “This bliss however, we must desire to understand.” “Sir, I desire to understand it.”
Woman with boyfriend wears digital socks (different-colored toes) in open-work shoes; white linen skirt; ferociously worn work shirt. “The Infinite (bhuman) is bliss.” Two chicies arrive, sit nose to nose. “Infinity only is bliss.” Christie reader reads, engagement diamond slightly off center. Gorgeous Latin strolls by with sister, baby-stroller. Chicies gab on, darker of the two giving glance of hostility/enquiry. “This Infinity, however, we must desire to understand.” A darling little red-haired girl sits in booth to left, talking to daddy. “You want one of these things? Go on up there and figure out what you want.” “Sir, I desire to understand it.”
Where one sees nothing else.” “Fashion Plates of Houston.” “Hears nothing else.” “The Organ Exchange.” “Understands nothing else.” “Treasure of the East.” “That is the Infinite.” Two buttons open on less-than-tender breast. “Where one sees something else.” “Grandpa, they’ve got some shoes right there!” “Hears something else.” “The Athlete’s Foot. “Understands something else.” “The Upper Crust.” “That is the finite.” A very pretty girl with her boyfriend – wine and off-white horizontally-striped sweater. “The Infinite is immortal, the finite, mortal.” A stroller baby with rainbow seat strap: colors jumbled. “Sir,”in what does the Infinite rest?” “The Elaine Shop.” “In its own greatness.” “Playhouse Toys.” “Or not even in greatness.”
“In the world they call cows and horses, elephants and gold, slaves, wives, fields and houses ‘greatness.’” “Two girls making it past in high-heeled clogs, a heart (pale blue) dangling in the cleavage of one, as silver light strikes the shoulder of a brown-shirted black man. “I do not mean this,”he spoke. Très chic middle-aged Jewish femme fatale; a dazzling Viet girl, Frenchly fashioned; a blowzy high-tone Hispanic girl, carefree in her pumps. “For in that case one being (the possessor) rests in something else.” Gay in brothel creepers, silver cross on V-neck. “But the Infinite cannot rest in something different from itself.” A group of middle-aged black women, stylish as Martians. Joggers circling the upper (skylight) level of the atrium. “The Infinite indeed is below, above.” Jogging girl in ponytail passes smiley oldster. Behind, before. Boyfriend and girlfriend in matching red plaid shirts and jeans. Right and left. Pale, almost greenish, chic black girl, saggy sweater in wide orange stripes. Gays in fancy running shoes, leather jackets. “It is indeed all this.”
Warwick Hotel Coffee Shop, 2:00 o’clock, December 30. Indirect Musak, hum/buzz/flutter (air conditioning, coffee maker, refrigeration units). “Now follows explanation of the Infinite as the I.” Enormous ten-foot porcelain urn, tied in the middle with large (six-inch-wide) velveteen bow. “I am above, I am below.” Red cloth place mats, red napkins. At back of restaurant: a real Christmas tree, pine-cone bedecked, heavily cluttered with lights, tinsel, bas-relief dolls, a jolly rich man’s Santa, large package dangling from right arm, jolly little boy from left. The whole tree wrapped in bow at base, ribbons dangling down over plastic case of inverted glasses. “I am before.” Hotel emblem on coffee cup: two swans, a gold crown between them. Coffee maker: BUNNOmatic.Coffee and strawberry shortcake. Over the counter: enormous bowl of roses. “I am right and left.” At counter’s end, a bucket of red poinsettias, garnished with pine-needle sprigs. At other end: a waitress in modified dirndl, red, with white under smock. “I am all this.” White walls, red carpet.
Houston Museum of Fine Arts. This city of Brahmam (the body); in it, the palace, the lotus (the heart). “Praxiteles.” Om. “Erected By the People For the Use of the People.” “Phineus.” Hari.
John A. and Audrey Jones Beck Collection. Caillebotte garden. And in it that small ether. “There’s a Mary Cassatt down there that’s beautiful.” Bulbified tree receptacles. Now what exists within that small ether. Ill-formed man reading a letter. That is to be sought. Oriental woman (Thai? Burmese? Laotian?), large black glasses on end of her nose, contour of sole visible through black silk stockings. To be understood. Stops to examine Renoir “Liseuse.” And if they should say to him. Caillebotte titled “The Artist’s Brother in His Garden.” “Now with regard to that city of Brahman.” 1878. “And the palace in it.” Glass catching light from skylight above, as do polished beige tassel loafers of middle-aged Hispanic viewer (Caracas? Sevilla? La Cuidad de Mexico?). His wife has joined him, wine-colored pants over tiny derrière, greige Hermès bag pendant from shoulder. “I.e., the small lotus of the heart. “As she views the Renoir, “Girl Reading” (pastel), 1890, her heavy-lidded, full-lipped face reflects in my direction off Caillebotte glass. “And the small ether.” Liseuse lovely; better from middle distance. “Within the heart.” Up steps black; split-pocket jeans, red leather jacket, untrimmed beard; checks Cassatt, studies Morisot. Caillebotte brother, Renoir girl continue to read. “What is there that deserves to be sought for?” Two black women take a seat, back to author, opposite end of bench. “What exists to be understood?”
“The police have him in custody.” Then he should say: “As large as this ether is.” “She stabbed several times on steps.” “So large is that ether within the heart.” Inaudible mumble. “Heaven and earth are contained within it.” “See, he talk to ambulance, to ambulance man.” “Fire and air, sun and moon, lightning and stars.” “You jes’ know he stolen it!” “Whatever of him there is in this world.” “Yeah.” “Whatever of him is not.” Jongkind, Guillaumin, Boudin. “Wouldn’t have been big enough to get it.” “All that is contained within it.” Three landscapes: Dutch, Parisian, imaginary.
And if they should say to him: “If everything that exists is contained in that city of Brahman.” Japanese man, traditional wife, enter room, scan contents, moving directly to Guillaumin (view of Seine, apse of Notre Dame seen around bend in river). “All beings and all desires.” Bearded black in red leather jacket returns, pulling complacent (if not willing) Thai-like girl into room. “Then what is left of it when old age reaches and scatters it?” Points out Monet detail. “Or when it falls to pieces?” Woman (middle-aged white): “They got some new pictures here.” Then he should say. Husband: “They got the Renawers. Or wasn’t it up in New York where they got the Renawers, so much?” By the old age of the body, the other, or Brahman within it, does not age.” She in Chinese red openwork sandals, emerald double-knit slacks, black white-stitch-bordered smock; he in blue leisure suit, bright shirt over collar.” “By the death of the body, the ether, or Brahman within it, is not killed.”
Guillaumin undisturbed. “That (the Brahman) is the true Brahma-city (i.e., not the body).” Three trees in foreground. “In it all desires are contained.” Three trees in background. “It is the Self.” Foreground empty. “Free from sin.” Mid-distant figures. “Free from old age.” Paired symmetrically. “Free from grief and death.” A jauntiness about them. “Free from hunger and thirst.” The cathedral – dead center – on horizon. “Which desires nothing but what it ought.” Partly obscured by steamboat smoke. “Imagines nothing but what it ought.” Guillaumin a more authentic urbanist than Monet (Caillebotte reverberations), despite a mildly histrionic heaviness (cloudy sky creating Hibernian summer ambiance, river hue unconvincing in view of overcast condition). But figures psychologically apt. “Now as here on earth people follow as they are commanded, depend on the object of their attachment, be it nation or garden.”
End of the gallery empties; cream walls lighten (clouds dispersing); works momentarily leap forward. “And as here on earth, whatever is acquired by exertion perishes.” Then recede. “Thus perishes all acquired for the next world by sacrifice and other good action performed on earth.” Sisley, “Flood on the Road to St. Germain” (1876), a pleasant muddiness: Pissarro, “White Frost” (1875), a sentimental pastoral – woman with geese. “Those who depart from hence without discovering the Self for them there is no freedom in all the worlds.” Between them the Monet: witty, delicate, economical; a photographic cropping. Facing, the Cézanne.” “I like that” – sweet South Texas accent; little tits but tight pants. Impasto sky, monumental composition, “Bottom of Ravine” (1879), a. ae. 40. “But those who depart from hence, after having discovered the Self, for them there is freedom in all the worlds.”
“Thus he who desires the world of the fathers, by his mere will the fathers come to receive him and, having obtained the world of the fathers, he is happy.” Degas pastel, “Russian Dancers” (1895), a. ae. 61. “He who desires the world of the mothers, by his mere will the mothers come to receive him and, having obtained the world of the mothers, he is happy.” Cream-colored sky essential to simultaneous frontality/recession. “He who desires the world of the brothers, by his mere will the brothers come to receive him and, having obtained the world of the brothers, he is happy.” Right-to-left reading created by facial expression. He who desires the world of the sisters, by his mere will the sisters come to receive him and, having obtained the world of the sisters, he is happy.” Central figure in blue/red skirt, adjacent figures in lavender and green. “He who desires the world of the friends, by his mere will the friends come to receive him and, having obtained the world of the friends, he is happy.” Russian-ness conveyed.
“He who desires the world of food and drink, by his mere will food and drink come to him and, having obtained the world of food and drink, he is happy.” Black/white-shirted 50-year-old Houstonian, in half-glasses, studies Bazille bust. Through door, the Douanier Rousseau: crisp and original. “And he who desires the world of women, by his mere will women come to receive him and, having obtained the world of women, he is happy.” Girl on bench with husband comments on Rousseau’s “photographic clarity.” “Whatever object he is attached to, whatever object he desires, by his mere will it comes to him and, having obtained it, he is happy.”
The Brahma-students say: Is Brahman the cause? Houston Lighting and Power. Whence are we born? Lobby. Whereby do we live? Customer Services. And whither do we go? Downtown office. O ye who know Brahman, tell us, at whose command do we abide? January 2, 11:55 am. In pain or in pleasure? Houston cold snap. Bright brisk morning. Should time, or nature, be considered as the cause? Half-Hispanic, half-Oriental guard. Necessity, or the elements? Seated behind Plexiglas shield, accepts inquiries. Or is it he who is called the Person (purusha, vignanatma)? Clientele awaiting their conferences.
Lobby, office building, Hart, Shaffner and Marx display. The sages, devoted to meditation, have seen the power belonging to God himself. Light dim. Hidden in its own qualities. Vapid blonde in light topcoat next to author, joined by woman bearing plastic lunch tray. He, being one, superintends all those causes. “She answered the phone, but I couldn’t hear her.” “That’s funny.” We meditate on him who, like a wheel, has one felly, three tiers, fifty spokes. “A man came to our house on New Year’s Day. “Did y’all go out to eat?” “Un-hun.” “Restaurant?” “No, we just went to these people’s house.” Whose rope is manifold. “He went to Florida and forgot to get money.” Who proceeds on three different roads. “The party that we went to was real nice.” We meditate on the river whose water consists of the five streams, winding back upon its five springs, its waves the five vital breaths. Smell of roach-killer. Its fountainhead the mind, course of the five perceptions. Overhead connecting tunnel: rust, maroon, deep blue. And it has five whirlpools. “We didn’t have any water, though.” Its rapids the five pains. Ferny, multiplying plants hang down from the marble balcony. Its five branches contain the fifty sufferings.
Oriental man enters lobby; picks nose; confidently glances at blonde speaker, who draws on her soft drink (red-and-white striped cup). In that vast Brahma-wheel, so long as he thinks the self in him is different from the mover, the bird flutters about. Maintenance woman works on lower lobby foliage, plucking, watering. When he has been blessed by the Lord. Botanical garden fragrance (damp soil) reaching us. Then he gains immortality. From pit below (basement), sound of slow typing. The Lord (Isa) supports all this: imperishable and perishable together. Maintenance woman shakes tree, releasing dead leaves. The living self, not being lord, is bound (because he enjoys the fruit of works). Steps back to look at tree, as though it were floral arrangement. But when he has known the god, he is freed from all fetters. Takes seat next to black hefty bag, fills it with dead leaves; industrial watering can seated on other side of her, its bottom black, body yellow.
Hyatt Regency lobby. Members of NASA tour assembling: two Japanese businessmen; Caucasian woman in “sensible” shoes; Iranian in highly polished loafers; blond Colorado type – Aspen-rich – in mountain boots, etc. Two there be, one (Isvara) knowing, one not-knowing (Giva); both unborn. H.-R. bellhops in blue uniforms, asymmetrical four-inch stripe on jacket. One strong; the other weak. “Concierge” sits behind plastic leather desk. Then there is she, unborn also, through whom man receives recompense of his work. Long full hair, terminating in ringlets. And there is the infinite self under all forms. “Something ferocious,” says tour guide. But himself inactive. “Can I help you?” – concierge, turning to beaver-jacketed European woman, two beige phones side-by-side on desk. When a man finds out these three, that is Brahma. “Everybody goin’ a NASA!” – tour guide, Mexican accent.
Lobby, Holiday Inn. That which is perishable is Pradhana; the immortal the imperishable is Hara. Carpet of octagonal dirty beige-yellow elements, ringed with brown/carmine/brown, interstices filled with squares (diamond-oriented). One god rules the perishable and living self. Two South American airline pilots departing lobby. From meditating on him, from joining him, from becoming one with him there is further cessation of all illusion. Spanish-speaking blond woman passes by: red lipstick, hunting cap at rakish angle. “Cashier/cajera,” “Registration/Registro.” Orange wall, clock in wooden frame: 1:52, longhorns above it, six-foot spread. When that god is known, all fetters fall off. Two poinsettia pots, Christmas tree ornaments dangling from their sides. Birth and death cease. “What a con job, if ever I heard of one,” says female clerk. Sign – “Hospitality Coordinator” – hung as shingle over desk, her poinsettia pot dangling intertwined red-and-green ribbon. From meditating on him arises, the body dissolved, a third state, universal lordship. H.C. now alone at desk: blotter, folder, ashtray; black telephone; 1979 ring calendar (one side full, one side empty). Only he who is alone is satisfied. Single black chair for consultation.
At other side of entrance: Bell Captain’s stand – slightly off-center. As the form of fire, while it exists in the under-wood, is not seen. On paneling behind: Greater Houston map. Nor is its seed destroyed. Phone receiver barely visible. It must be seized. B.C. appears. By means of the stick and the under-wood. Assumes station; fidgets; leaves. The self must be seized in the body. Walks around, stroking trimmed beard. By means of the pranava. Glances sharply; returns to place call. By making of his body the under-wood, by making of the pranava the upper-wood, man, after repeating the meditation, perceives the bright god as a spark hidden in wood, as oil in seed.
Janitor enters, trailing trash receptacle. Collects waste baskets – B.C.’s (white), H.C.’s (brown). H.C., returning, sits down at desk; fidgets; stands up; looks down; leaves. As water in dry riverbeds. Elderly Negro entering aluminum doors (“Push,” “Push,” “Push”). As a fire in wood. Red-dyed hostess, Latin American, male-flight-attendant-accompanied, leaves behind trail of delicious phrases, Venezuelan perfume. So is the Self seized within the self, if man looks for him by truthfulness. H.C., disappearing into alcove, glances back. If he looks for the Self, which pervades everything. To the right of her: “Lil’ Britches Lobby Bar” – sign in frontier wood, wine glasses hanging from wooden dowels. As butter in milk. Lounge interior dark, customerless. And the roots whereof are self-knowledge and penance. H.C. back to desk. Dials; blinks; reaches out with pink nails to catch at paperclip. Flushes slightly, hair a little astray. Hangs up phone (no answer). Then he finds Brahman. Man with brimming face, houndstooth jacket, striding past decreases smile in calculated way. This the teaching of the Upanishad.
This earth is the honey (madhu, the effect) of all beings. Borden’s Fountain Restaurant. And all beings are the honey of this earth. Full staff, light clientele (temperature still in the forties). Likewise this bright, immortal person in the earth, and that bright immortal person in the body (both are madhu). Workman, green pea shirt, orange shirt under; Hispanic waiter (cap: “Borden / Total Loss Control”), friend of Hispanic waiter; hairdoed Jewish matron, leopard skin coat, hassling staff over sundae; Caucasian manager (female), sitting with 55ish (male) customer in beige coat, suspicious man in red shirt talking to them. He indeed is the same as that Self, that Brahman, that Immortal, that All.
This water is the honey of all beings. Hamburger comes in folded, glued paper container; milkshake, in squat cup with purple swirls inside pink swirls (upper ones ending in bulbous tips, lower ones – reversing colors – in pointed spikes); coffee, in double white disposable cups, seated in coffee-and-cream-colored plastic holder. And all beings are the honey of this water. Friend of Hispanic waiter asks Hispanic waiter if he can split without paying; waiter answers by gesturing toward cashier.
This fire is the honey of all beings. Forty-fivish Mexican waitress in white-ribbed turtleneck, white-ribbed uniform, apron. Black waiter, seventeen, in too-large white uniform, waits on black woman. Hispanic waiter – snub-nosed, Vicks orange cough drop box visible through uniform pocket – explains to older Mexican waitress how to make milkshake, using perhaps four words. And all beings are the honey of this fire.
This air is the honey of all beings. Hispanic waiter leaves on coffee-break, buttoning jacket. Workman squints to keep Marlboro smoke from eyes, finishing coffee. Coffee-breaking Caucasian waitress returns to work, blond curls on back of her neck sexy. And all beings are the honey of this air. With entrance of each new patron: fear/anxiety/uncertainty on faces of personnel.
The sun is the honey of all beings. Four middle-aged black construction workers enter, view of them obscured by black-coated white standing with bill in hand. And all beings are the honey of this sun. Watch turned inward. The moon is the honey of all beings. Mexican waitress receives another milkshake lesson (chocolate) from black waiter, half a toothpick in his mouth. And all beings are the honey of this moon. He teaches her to add in tax. Big white manager organizes staff, directing them about in menial tasks. This space is the honey of all beings. “Mary” – to Mexican waitress – “Let’s get rid of these filthy rags.” And all beings are the honey of this space. “They look terrible around here.”
This lightning is the honey of all beings. Among clientele author has now gained absolute seniority. Sexy white waitress explains pie selection to newly-arrived older black, yellow stocking cap (maroon trim). “It was 59 degrees in here this morning,” she complains. And all beings are the honey of this lightning. Sports tiny engagement diamond, large gold wedding band. “Cream for your coffee?” – she asks, looking at author. “No.” Returns with coffee pot. “Writin’ a book?” This thunder is the honey of all beings. “Yeah.” And all beings are the honey of this thunder. “What’s it about?” “About everything I see.” “That’s interesting,” she says, blushing.
She and manager, in conference at other end of counter, have it figured out. This ether is the honey of all beings. Tempt, avoid eye-contact, waitress returning to register; pokes keys, two bills held in same hand. And all beings are the honey of this ether. Likewise this bright immortal person in this ether, and that bright, immortal person existing as heart-ether in the body (both are madhu). Three gorgeous, lively Mexican women, waitress smocks/frayed snoods, enter to give our Mexican waitress her first emotion break. She takes it all with dignity, disguising equally pleasure, anxiety. Lubricious, over-glasses look from Caucasian waitress filling milk glass. Hispanic waiter returns, takes off jacket. White waitress looks for pen. “There it is” – picks it up off floor, explaining as she does so to stocking-capped black man how she’d “noticed something” hitting her foot.
This law (dharma) is the honey of all beings. Black man steps to register, silver chain about his neck. And all beings are the honey of this law. Check rung up, he comments on “Chinese.” This true (satvam) is the honey of all beings. Young black gives Mexican waitress vanilla-sundae-with-pineapple-topping lesson, she following him about, check pad in hand. And all beings are the honey of this true. Dark, beautiful Hispanic woman appears at register. Holds up $5 bill without removing glove. Leaves keys atop it on counter. This mankind is the honey of all beings. Young black waiter turns around, is caught looking at beautiful woman. Five-way eye-dance. And all beings are the honey of this mankind. Young black waiter, sexy blonde, Mexican waitress, dark beauty, author. Verily this Self is the lord of all beings, the king of all beings. And likewise this bright immortal person in this Self, is indeed the same as that Self, that Brahman, that Immortal, that All.
“Call Larry Doyle.” The snare. “At 522-9807.” Who rules alone by his powers. “And let’s talk about putting our people to work for you.” Who is one and the same. “Ninety-nine per cent of the work we do is custom-tailored data processing.” While things arise and exist. Houston Data Center. They who know this are immortal. 2625 Louisiana. “Sue.” For there is one Rudra only. “Sue Denning.” They do not allow a second. “Sue, please call Operator” – loudspeaker, soft receptionist voice. He stands behind all persons. “Sue” – receptionist speaking into phone – “I have a long-distance call.” And after having created all worlds. “Bye-bye.” He, the protector, rolls it up at the end of time. Thick impasto Rabby on stone (marble-fudge-enhanced) lobby wall, maroon-rust heavy-duty carpet abutting beige tile floor. Area “controlled” by wicker-basketed planter, twelve-foot tall leafy marginata. Expensive sofa, two tube chairs in brown velour, modular tables. That one god, his eyes and face in every place, produces heaven and earth, forging them together. Rabby 3’ x 5’ deft palette-knife construction. He, the creator and supporter of the gods. Coastscape, four (?) fishing dories. Rudra, the greatest seer. Sky in olive, olive-blues. The lord of all. Undulant shore in olive grey. Rudra, thou dweller in the mountains, look upon us here below. Sea in total palette: dark brown, umber, yellow; olive, grey-blue, flesh/salmon. With that most blessed and auspicious form of thine.
“Chris Park, please call Operator, Chris.” O lord of the mountains. Receptionist partly hidden behind vase of ebullient, artificial flowers: bright blue/rust rouge; white blooms; she pink-sweatered. Make lucky that arrow which thou holdest in thy hand. Through window: stylish lamppost in Data Center lot – metallic brown, square pole; hexagonal globe, yellow bulb within it. Shoot not man nor beast! To right: open stairwell, red haired 48-year-old woman in too-loose, too-asymmetrically-patterned sweater, seated on second step to package a present. I know that great person of sun-like lustre beyond the darkness. Joined by young female employee, plaid “go-everywhere” blouse, flannel slacks, low-heel black open-toe-slings. A man who knows him truly passes over death. “I’m going to go up and do . . . my office work,” she says, pointing dolman sleeve upstairs. There is no other path to go. “I’m not talking to you” – redhead. Young female pulls back mauve-nailed forefinger, places tip at chin-cleft, beads author with rounded blue eyes for careful one-count. This whole universe is filled by this person, to whom there is nothing superior. Something at receptionist desk makes repeated noise. From whom there is nothing different. Redhead, the present wrapped, clicks past across tile floor in deferential manner. Who stands alone, fixed like a tree in the sky. Young female in single pose, elastic-cuffed forearm descending, graceful fingers grazing rail. That which is beyond this world is without form and suffering. “Sue, you need to call Cindy; at 2342.” Stairwell glass: disconcerted brow reflection. They who know it become immortal, but others suffer pain indeed. Bobbed head flips, upstair ascent recommencing. That Bhagavat exists in the cave (the heart) of all, the omnipresent Siva.
The Valakhilyas, whose passions were subdued, approached him full of amazement and said: Tomorrow: Stem Turns. Your home. At true values. To fit your budget. “O Saint, we bow before thee.” “Sit down, ma, I wanna talk to you about something.” “Teach thou, for thou art the way, and there is no other for us.” And we meet a woman who’s been helping the police for over a decade with her psychic powers. “What process is there for the elemental Self?” It was warmer today in Houston. An overnight low of 18. Normally we would have had a 42. “What process by which, after leaving this identity with the elemental body, he obtains union with the true self?” Intercontinenta1 airport has 45 degrees. By Friday it should be getting back up into the 50s.
And Prajapati Kratu said to them: Here’s the National Map. In the eastern part of the country their major problem is sleet on the roads. “Like the waves in large rivers.” All right, thanks a lot. “That which has been done before cannot be turned back.” Most of us have enjoyed the ducks in Herman Pond during the summer, but ever wonder how the ducks get fed in the winter? “Like the tide of the sea, the approach of death is hard to stem.” Helen Manning reports on The Duck Woman. “Bound by the fetters of the fruits of good and evil, like a cripple.” That’s why I made a no-nonsense deal at Al Parker Buick. This is the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. “Beset by many fears, like one standing before Yama.” Listerine works hours longer than . . .
“Intoxicated by the wine of illusion.” The fire started just a few minutes after 4:00. Second and third alarms were quickly sounded. “Rush about, like one possessed by an evil spirit.” All the water pipes that had frozen this past weekend have now unthawed. “Bitten by the world, the one bitten by a great serpent.” Have been injured and killed here. “Darkened by passion, like the right.” Without the Shah’s presence, his supporters were left without a policy. “Illusory, like magic.” For some of those schools providing adequate heat was a real problem. “False, like a dream.” The whole pizza tastes better. But you’re popular with the intelligentsia. “Changing its dress in a moment, like an actor.” In the presence of soldiers . . . continues to battle anti-Shah protestors. “Fair in appearance, like a painted wall, thus they call him.” Some days has been pretty bad. Some questionable ways that Houston officials have of awarding private contracts. And therefore it is said: Is to sit down with a pencil and write on a yellow pad.
“Sound, touch and other things are like nothings.” And I’ve just finished reading the letters of Edmund Wilson. “If the elemental Self is attached to them, it will not remember the Highest Place.” The mountains behind Beverly Hills. “This indeed is the remedy for the elemental Self.” Fish, poultry, beef, so good it’s guaranteed. “Acquirement of the knowledge of the Veda.” The chief also had called the staff together to introduce his new psychologist. People say the man said to have used the knife was shot to death. Then pulled a knife. “Through it one obtains the Highest above, otherwise one falls downward.” Two of them apparently hit Ferguson. “No one belongs truly to all order who transgresses his own law.” Reflected perhaps the conflict in Mrs. Lyle’s life, but perhaps also the peace. “No one who is not an ascetic brings his sacrificial works to perfection.” And a nineteen-year-old man is dead over an allegedly unpaid pizza bill. “Or obtains knowledge of the Highest Self.” They say the couple left without paying. “By ascetic penance, goodness is obtained.” Hitting Ferguson in the abdomen. “From goodness, understanding is reached.” And that was the reason Ferguson stabbed at the officer. “From understanding, the Self is obtained.” You’ve got to file your complaint within 180 days. “And he who has obtained that does not return.” Now comes Miller Time.
“And penance is the door to Brahman.” According to the record, Strickland said no. “Thus said one who by penance had cast off all sin.” Dan Rose, Eyewitness News. She said it was a king-size. “Thus said one who, well-grounded in Brahman, always meditates upon it.” Carlos, how long was it between the time your wife discovered she was pregnant and when she first told you? The hundred-and-thirty-year-old institution is meeting for the first time in Houston. “Therefore by knowledge, by penance and by meditation is Brahman gained.” American Association for the Advancement of Science. “Thus one goes beyond Brahman, to a divinity higher than the gods.” His grandson Kevin has been giving him a hand. Comin’ through for you. “Nay, he who knows this and worships Brahman by these three (knowledge, penance, meditation) obtains bliss imperishable, infinite, unchangeable.” The Nets will be playing tonight.
“Then freed from those things by which he was filled and overcome, a mere charioteer, he obtains union with the Self.” And fined $1000 for going crazy. Tomorrow night the Eyewitness Eye will make its prediction, right? The Valakhilyas said: All because we’ve had abnormally cold temperatures lately. “Oh Saint, thou art the teacher.” Associated Press has named Alabama the number 1 team in the nation. Gotta lipstick on ’em. Some form of public transportation. “What thou hast said has been properly laid up in our mind.” Buildings are planned with energy efficiency in mind. During the Trainload Anniversary sale.
Now answer us a further question: Very cold air is pouring down into Florida. Agni, Vayu, Aditya. Westerly winds in the upper levels. Time (kala) which is Breath (prana). At the same time a trough of low pressure has developed. As it meets up with moisture off the Gulf. Brahma, Rudra, Vishnu. Noon. Thus do some meditate upon one, some upon another. Pasadena, Houston and Galveston. “Say which of these is the best for us.” Mrs. McClury, can you? And he said to them: Oil negotiations. Keep a smile on their face. “These are but the chief manifestations of the highest, the immortal, the incorporeal.” This is Walter Cronkite, CBS news, good night. “Brahman is indeed all this.” Join us tonight again at 10:00. “And a man may meditate upon, worship, or discard also those which are its chief manifestations.” Herman Melville’s classic nineteenth-century story, adapted for television by Israel Horovitz. “With these deities he proceeds to higher and higher worlds.” But usually the heel and the toe in this part stay real dirty. “And which all things perish.” KPRC-TV, Channel 2, Houston. “He becomes one with the Purusha.” Sometimes they do it in bunches. “Yes.” You’re in a heap of trouble, boy. “One with the Purusha.” On a recent trip to Houston.
There are two forms of Brahman, time and non-time. The Rothko Chapel. That which was before the existence of the sun is non-time and has no parts. That which had its beginning from the sun is time and has parts. Of that which has parts, the year is the form, and from the year all creatures are born; when produced by the year, they grow; they go again to rest in the year. Therefore the year is Prajapati, time, food, the Self, the nest of Brahman.
The central panel of the northern triptych has a slightly off-center, slightly irregular square, defined in calligraphic strokes. The panel to the left is marked by a light, diagonal streak on the right-hand side of its upper third. The right panel is characterized by horizontal strokes and a central, illusionistic void. Time ripens, dissolving all beings in the Great Self; but he who knows that which time itself is dissolved in, he knows the Veda.
The single southern panel, unique in size, has been hung with more bare wall-space surrounding it than any other panel. The most coloristic of all, it nonetheless gives a first impression of vacancy. The manifest time is the great ocean of creatures. He who is called Savitri (the sun as begetter) dwells in it; whence the moon, the planets and the stars are begotten; whence the year and the rest are begotten. The eastern triptych has been composed in symmetrical fashion. Stripes in the left panel find their reflection in the right. From them again comes all this. Stripes in the right panel, their reflection in the left. Whatever of good or evil is seen in this world comes from them. An emptiness withal; a subtlety; a sense of high Asiatic stylization.
In the western triptych we feel an immediate contrast: its scumbled surfaces, its illusion of natural forms (clouds of a Marias Himmelfahrt?). Therefore Brahman is the sun’s Self, which a man should worship under the name of time. But much open space as well. Some say the sun is Brahman.
The northwestern canvas, on first examination, is refined to the point of non-descriptness: monochrome; only lightly marked, by occasional short vertical strokes, oblique in orientation. Gradually, however, a triangular form emerges. The sacrificer, the deity that enjoys the sacrifice, the sacrifice itself. In hue the canvas approximates an adjacent panel of the northern triptych. Vishnu, Prajapati, the oblation. Though it is slightly deeper, lacks that brownish cast and is more highly saturated. All this is the Lord, the witness, that shines in yonder orb.
In several respects the southeastern canvas is its opposite. In the beginning Brahman was all this. Light in hue; gestural; varied in facture; horizontal in its major compositional elements. He was one and infinite. Also less highly saturated and less sustained in intensity. Infinite in the North, infinite in the East, infinite in the South, infinite in the West; above and below and everywhere, infinite. Likewise, the northeastern canvas is paired with the southwestern canvas. These regions do not exist for him; nor above and below. Lively humanity vs. spatial depth. The highest Self is not to be fixed. Like the ether he is everywhere. At the world’s destruction. he alone is awake, his luminous form, unlimited, unborn, not to be reasoned about, not to be conceived.
Houston, TX, 7:09 am-Norman, OK, 5:35 pm. That pure great light. January 5, 1979. Which is radiant. A red van, white lateral stripe. That great glory. Enters and leaves grey scene. Which the gods worship. Followed by Pearl Beer truck. That by means of which the sun shines forth. An institutional building looms. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. “Phillips Paper & Box.” From that pure principle is the Brahman produced, by that pure principle is the Brahman developed.
Two dusky figures (black) approach a departing train. That pure principle, not illumined among all radiant bodies, is itself luminous and illuminates them. One track parallels another. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. Light of day comes on. The perfect is raised out of the perfect. Being raised out of the perfect, it is called the perfect. The perfect withdrawn from the perfect, only the perfect remains.
Dark sedan, mired in mud. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. Lumber, stacked along the siding. From the Brahman, the waters are produced; from Brahman, the gross body. A swinging red light. In the space within that dwell the two divine principles. A single, white, on-coming beam. Both, enveloping the quarters, support heaven and earth. Three trucks parked beside the tracks. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. A tube and pipe shop, lengths distributed for cutting. The horse-like senses lead towards heaven him who is possessed of knowledge, he who, divine, is free from old age, he who stands on the wheel of the chariot (the body), which is transient, but the operations of which are imperishable.
The sweet sound of bell through glass, Doppler effect decreasing its pitch through successive rings. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. Autos passing us in opposite direction. His form has no parallel. Their headlights on. No one sees him with the eye. “Kathleen,” across aisle, one seat ahead, in conversation with conductor, discusses her husband. These who apprehend him by means of the understanding, and also the mind and heart, become immortal. Horn (our own) audible ahead. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees.
Young girl, seated across aisle, destination (inaudible) announced to conductor. The currents of twelve collections supported by the Deity. Face radiant. Regulate the honey. Wrists translucent, blue veins interlacing them. And those who follow after it move about in this dangerous world. Ice-blue eyes. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. Removes her white, cable-knit sweater, revealing tight yellow V-neck top, taut bra-strap beneath it. The bee drinks that accumulated honey for half a month. Turns toward me, revealing nascent nipples. The Lord creates the oblation for all being. Smiles. That eternal being is perceived by devotees.
Pine trees. Those who are devoid of wings. Throughway rush/wave. Come to the Asvattha of golden leaves. Window rain droplets rushing like spermatozoa. There become possessed of wings and fly away happily. Bound to their courses by physical force. The eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. A suburban pool. The finesse of forested landscape. A condominium (under construction). The upward life-wind swallows the downward life-wind. Houston fading. The moon swallows the upward life-wind. Houston awakening. The sun swallows up the moon. Houston awake. Another swallows up the sun. Houston arisen.
Outskirts. Overpass. Outskirts. Overpass. The arteries of Houston. The supreme self, moving above these waters, does not raise one leg. We are leaving Houston behind. Should he raise that, there will be no death. But Houston remains. No immortality. Houston lives. That eternal divine is perceived by devotees.
A porcine woman in white sweater, red scarf about her neck, responds to “First call for breakfast?” The being which is the inner Self. Returns, black heels clacking down aisle. The size of a thumb. Smelling of strong soap as she passes. Is always migrating. Mounds of sand at trackside. In consequence of its connection with the subtle body. Plastic pipe in bright pastels. A yellow school bus. A cement truck with American-flag stripes/stars. The deluded ones do not perceive that praiseworthy Lord. Chickens in a lot. Primeval and effulgent, possessed of creative power. Girl in golden sweater, “GLD” monogram (deep blue), glances as she passes. The eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. 55 degrees, 7:53. Still in the suburbs of Houston.
8:19. A cream-colored car. Beautiful soft green fields. Holstein cows. A white delivery van. In front of author a dark-haired girl stands up. Leading mortals to destruction by their own action. Then disappears into her seat again. They conceal themselves like serpents in secret recesses. Station stop (nowhere). Twenty-year-old girl, seen boarding, emerges into aisle; approaches author; takes seat next to him. Then the deluded men. Pulls out book, begins to read. The enjoyments afforded by them cause delusion. Shrugs shoulder, altogether ignores him. And lead to worldly life. We are going backwards. This seems to be common to all mankind – whether possessed of resources or not possessed of resources – it is common to immortality and the other.
8:52. “76 All Right” on pillar supporting interstate. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. “BRENHAM.” “James Brothers PAINT n’ Body.” Public swimming pool. Park. Suburbia. Shovel, planted in trackside cinders. Those who are possessed of them attain there to the source of the honey. A boarded-up house with three pink windows. Branches, branches, trackside branches. Many small trees in middle distance. A pool at the base of a tree. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. A watering tub in the center of a field.
A fence. Cow dung. Tract houses. A golf course. A moment’s grass. A perched owl. They go, pervading both worlds by knowledge. Retinal vision: rapid, minutely realistic images, seen as though from a train window. Eyes open: wooden planks. A pyramidal roof. Cylindrical tanks. Cows; chickens; dark cows. Your knowledge of the Brahman, therefore, will not lead you to littleness. Lovely view of a man by the tracks watching the train go by. He touches his cap. Dark trees. Knowledge is his name. A field of dark loam. And to that do the talented ones attain. Shadowy foundation of no-longer-existent house, first mistaken for graveyard, then for menhir display. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees.
“T” “E” “M” “P” “L” “E.” A man stands in a window over central portal (in between “M” and “P”). The Self of description. He has a green shirt on. Absorbing the material cause becomes great. “Prime,” upside down. Bluish-grey cloud cover. Black telephone in cab of adjacent engine. The Self of him who understands that being is not degraded here. An architectural (ornamental) pattern: brickwork with diamond lozenges. A red car; a yellow truck. Engine green, black border. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. We are picking up speed again. “Union Equity” (grain elevator). “Dick’s Country Bar-B-Q.”
Ever and always one should be doing good. 2:25. Gainesville – leaving Texas. There is no death, whence can there be immortality? Red River under cover of ice and snow, Oklahoma eroded into it. Density density siccity siccity clickity clickity click. The real and the unreal. Sparse spriggy tree configurations. Have both the same real entity as their basis. Field in scrubby grass, tire tracks half filled with snow, grey-tinged in light beginning to fail. The source of the non-existent and the existent is but one. Discontinuous brooks and gullies. That eternal divine is perceived by devotees. Street of town coated with ice except for bare streak down its center; parking places lightly sanded; station deserted. The being who is the inner self, and who is the size of a thumb, is not seen. A single black car, unattended.
Being placed in the heart. Author to lounge car. Moving about, day and night, unborn. Table of four back people, seated at cards. Meditating on that being, a wise man is placid. Conversation among them: “I can’t help it.” “You gonna say four?” “This is rag-ged-dy.” The eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. “You goin’ six?” “Say, where we at anyway?” “On the way out.” From him comes the wind. “I am at the learnin’ stage today.” And in him, likewise, is everything dissolved. “Rummy may be cool, but 500 is too cool.” From him comes the fire. “Somebody’s house is burnin’.” From him comes the moon, from him comes life. “No jive!”
Passing out of ice-coated Ardmore: shanty town 1950s trailer villa. That is the Brahman, that glory. Black guy to black chick: “Say, girl.” Immortal perceptible.
“Listen, man” – black chick to black guy. The support of the universe.
“Take you out to Crossroad’ and blow your mind.” From it were all entities produced, and in it are they all dissolved.
“You write to her” – black chick – “and I be collectin’.” That eternal divine is perceived by devotees.
“You know a broken-down Bar-B-Q” – black guy. The brilliant (Brahman).
“No?” Supports the two principles.
“I tell ya, that was the bes’ Bar-B-Q in town.” He from whom the rivers flow in various directions. Amtrak map, red swatches for major routes. From him were created the oceans.
Passenger car, back in seat. In my absence Ardmore matron has taken seat next to mine: brown double-knit, brown leather bag, brown and white polka-dot blouse. Landscape too dark to see into. Passing intersection, horn announcing us. Young girl opposite has decided to take nap. Elegant black girl dances down aisle, gold pendant “A” asway on breast, shimmering on glossy black blouse. Ardmore woman opens brown handbag, takes out paperback, retaining mean expression; swoopy, brown glass frames; reddish, mottled cheeks. The eternal divine being is perceived by devotees.
Girls across the aisle (ahead of sleeping young girl) peer out window intently. Should one fly, even with thousands of winds. Traced in snow by tire wheels: an enormous question mark. “There it is!” says one, in full length belted sweater. Even though one should have the velocity of thought. “Gollee,” says the other, “it’s another bridge!” One would never reach the end of the great cause. “It’s not even runnin’ the way it should,” says first girl. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees.
Paul’s Valley immobilized, streets coated with ice. His form dwells in the unperceived. Light beginning to fail. And those whose understanding is refined perceive him. Two tots at play in arctic field. The talented man, rid of affection and aversion, perceives him by the mind. Black woman with large, overhanging lip, enters car, distributing herself amidst prejudice/indifference. Train leaving Paul’s Valley behind. Gibble Gas sign goes “G”-“ibble,” “G”-“ibble,” “G”-“ibble.” Railroad tracks bumpity bump.
Big white woman in brown shuffles her crap together: pats purse, touches her glasses, rearranges gloves. Picks up paperback again, waiter passing through, single Coke held with glass atop it. Big woman in brown takes out tissue, blows nose. Wipe, wipe. Crumples tissue in hand. Beautiful black girl sashays past on way to seat, straightened hair motionless about her collar. When one sees this Self in all beings, stationed in various places, what should one grieve for after that? Purcell, Oklahoma: passenger waiting alone; stationary engine. I alone am your mother. Big white woman departed, man with arm in sling takes seat next to author. I alone am your father. Vietnam veteran, arm badly swollen, en route to VA hospital. I too am the son. Swelling won’t go down, he says. And I am the self of all this. Fingers of swollen arm tremble as he talks. I am that which exists. Recounts Viet experience. And that which does not exist. Stationed, atomic sub base, Guam. I am the aged grandfather, O descendant of Bharata! Stories of Charlie’s psychopathic behavior (combat troops on R & R). You dwell in my self only. Had nervous breakdown there himself. But you are not mine. Divorced three years ago, no girlfriend. And I am not yours. Norman arrival imminent. The Self is my only seat. Post-operation plans: The Self is the source of my birth too. Phoenix, Juarez whorehouse (“best blowjob I ever had”). I am woven though and through.
6:05. Norman station. My seat is free from old age. Lobby scene: beautiful black girl cops cab, snubbing inquiry of old white woman to share. For I am unborn, moving about, day and night. Single Levi-suited dude remains. A wise man, knowing me, remains placid. Temperature 15 degrees, snow occurring. Minuter than an atom, stationed within all beings. “No Smoking.” The father of all beings in the lotus heart of every one. “Exit.”