(Questions and answers from Book V are shown with this background color.)
Jim: At the beginning of Session 18, in response to a general query from Don concerning the information Ra was transmitting to our group, Ra innocently “told on” Carla. A good friend of hers had offered her the opportunity to experience the effects of LSD, which she had never experienced before. She used it twice in early February of 1981 as a programming device to attempt to achieve an experience of unity with the Creator, but she did not wish Don to know about these experiences since he was very much against the use of any illegal substances at any time and especially during the time during which our group was working with the Ra contact. In a later session it will be suggested by Ra that these two experiences were arranged by the negative entities monitoring our work with those of Ra in hopes that Carla’s ability to serve in the Ra contact might be hindered. As a result of this particular session it was the determination of the three of us that there would be no further use of any illegal substances for as long as we were privileged to work with the Ra contact so that no chinks in our “armor of light” that we could eliminate would be present and so that the Ra contact could never be associated with the use of any such drugs.
The information on Aleister Crowley is self-explanatory and underlines again the caution that each seeker must take in moving carefully through its energy centers in a balanced fashion.
By chance, a few sessions earlier, we had discovered that sexual intercourse was an aid to Carla’s vital energies during the trance state and would increase the length of a session if engaged in the night before a session was to be held. Thus at the end of Session 18, when Don asked how we might avoid further difficulties in the contact, Ra affirmed the aid which we had discovered sexual intercourse provided. We also found that the conscious dedication of the act of love-making to the service of others via the Ra contact increased its beneficial effects.
Carla: As a young college woman, I never dated or spent time with anyone who smoked marijuana or took LSD, or any other drugs. People all around me were experimenting, but I never was offered any drugs. It was the day of flower children and high ideals, a wonderful time to be young. The hippies ruled but I was only an honorary flower child, since I worked steadily throughout that decade. In 1981, I was 38. When an old friend offered to let me try LSD, I was tickled and eager to try it, for I had long been curious to see what this much-touted substance did to one’s head. In the event, I thoroughly enjoyed the experiences—I tried LSD twice—and found that there really was a wonderful increase in the sense of rightness of things under its benign influence on me. Since then, I have heard from many people that my utterly positive experiences with LSD were somewhat atypical, in that most people deal with at least a little hallucination or departure from consensus reality, or even a negatively experienced “high,” or bad trip. So I was either lucky, or my subconscious mind was more settled in its own skin than some others. I’d bet on luck!
Needless to say, I was not happy to learn that Ra had blithely told my secret to Don. I valued Don’s opinion above all things, and he was not pleased with my judgment in taking illegal substances. But I did not, and do not, feel guilty or ashamed for satisfying my curiosity, under circumstances as safe as one could make them. I also have tried cigarettes and alcohol, both heavily addictive substances, but rarely drink and never use tobacco. (In cooking, however, I use many different spirits, as they offer such delightful notes when put into the harmony of cooking things.) My curiosity was satisfied, and I moved on. The freedom to do this, to know what is out there, is a valuable one, to my mind, if not abused. Moderation seems to me the key.
I have very fond memories of reading Aleister Crowley’s autohagiography to Don. He did not like to read, so I frequently read to him. Once we got into this outrageous, brilliant man’s work, we were fascinated. Crowley is a fine writer, regardless of what his polarity might have been fumbling around with. Our favorite poem of his is a perfectly ghoulish nursery rhyme he wrote as a precocious toddler. It begins, “In her hospital bed she lay, rotting away, rotting away, rotting by night and rotting by day, rotting and rotting and rotting away.” Now that I have told you this, you may perhaps see why this character grew up to become … eccentric! But always interesting.
In working to fit myself into Don’s requirements for a mate, I became a user of relative ethics, a practice that seems always to offer a challenge eventually. Don wished to be celibate, which became obvious to me within six months of our coming together in 1968. I always said that his inability to resist me for those first few months we lived together was my greatest compliment of all time! I attempted a celibate life, after we had talked this issue through, for a little over two years, before I concluded that celibacy was not for me. Don had also decided that we should not marry. This implied, to me, a relationship based on a commonality in a metaphysical rather than a physical sense. Always logical, I suggested to Don that we make an agreement: I would tell him before I took a lover, and when I had ceased seeing him. In between, there was no need to discuss it. This would preclude his hearing about such company from others. As he was gone flying about half the time, I had no difficulty in finding time for the lovers’ relationship. My lover for most of the time Don and I spent together, ten of the sixteen years, was a trusted and much-loved buddy of mine ever since high school. We had thought of marriage years before, and then decided against it, but we’d remained close. He got the notion to come see me perhaps once a month. I stopped seeing him when he began to wish to take our relationship further, and I was celibate again for some four years before Jim. When Jim began coming to the group, we eventually got together, and he became my lover. All of this was done in the good mutual faith between Donald and me. He was genuinely happy for me to have these relationships, and they did not intrude upon our harmony.
However, in time, after Donald’s death, it became clear to me that my relationship with Jim, especially the intimately sexual part of it, did bother Don at a level below the threshold of his awareness, or mine, for that matter. I doubt he ever realized or acknowledged the emotion. I certainly never saw any trace of it, and I am a sensitive person, able to pick up nuances of feeling. But he must have felt these things, and it led him, in the end, to lose faith in my allegiance. And that completely misplaced doubt was the weakness in his armor of light that resulted in his dying.
Long are the hours I have spent reflecting upon this matter. On the one hand, if I had been completely chaste and celibate, he would never have doubted me. He would have still been living, and with me. But we would not have had the contact with Ra that gave us the Law Of One material, because it was the combined energy of us three that contacted Ra, not myself as channel, or any one of us as L/L Research, or even L/L Research as an entity. This is clear from the simple dates: Jim came to L/L permanently on December 23, 1980, and we received our first contact from those of Ra on January 15, 1981, less than three weeks after Jim moved in. And Donald felt from the first session with Ra that this was his life’s work, the culmination of all he had been through since the ’50s, and his gift to the world. Logic fails in matters like these. One can hew completely and faithfully to the agreements one has made, and still err.
If one can move beyond the mythic tragedy of Donald’s death, and believe me, one can, after a decade or so, barely, one begins to see the inherent humor in that human, prideful assumption that one can control one’s destiny by doing only what is seen as right. One can certainly try to be without error or sin. My pride in myself as being one who always keeps her word blinded me to the suspicions Donald had, but kept completely to himself. His lack of faith in any opinion but his own, even when completely healthy of mind, made it more likely that when he became mentally ill, he would experience paranoia. It is a perfect tragedy.
Don wanted always and only my presence. He never asked for anything else, with the exception of the work we did together. He even begrudged me the time to work on his projects when he was at home. I did all the work for the books we wrote together while he was flying. When he was home, my job was to be in the same room he was in. I was delighted to do this. He could never bring himself to express it, but well I knew how devoted he was, and I felt the same. We had little choice in this; we both felt we were destined to be together, that we were truly star-crossed. Loving him was like breathing, and it did not matter how his needs impinged on mine. Indeed, my spiritual adviser said more than once that I was guilty of idolatry. I did not care what had to be lost to achieve his comfort. I knew these losses included marriage, home and children, things I valued highly and had hoped for. But we were “home” to each other in a way I cannot describe. He rested me, and I, him. I received two compliments from him, in our whole life together. He did not want to spoil me! The lessons were to see through the issues of home, family and reassurance to the ground of being that we shared, to the sensibility we had in common. I embraced them. He was worth whatever it cost. I look back and know I would not change anything. All our choices were made as well as we could make them.
This was the jigsaw puzzle within which we were living, in the world-drama, soap-opera consensus reality of our everyday lives. Carla and Don worked perfectly, as did Jim and Carla, and Don and Jim, who loved each other like family from the first meeting. These relationships were strong and true. Naught could have come between us except for doubt. It never occurred to me that Donald could mistake my fondness for Jim for any sort of alteration in Don’s and my un-marriage version of being wed—and we were indeed truly wed, in spirit. You can imagine my wretchedness when one of his friends told me, long after the funeral, that Don had thought I had fallen out of love with him. I was flabbergasted, completely unaware of these doubts, so it never occurred to me to reassure him. How I wish I had! But I was grieving, for the man I knew was gone, and what took his place was a person in very bad need of help. And I was angry that he would not seek help, or follow any medical suggestions. He was my world, and without him, I felt I did not exist. I think most of my grieving was done before his death, in those surrealistic months when he was so very ill, and nothing I did to help was of avail. It took years after he died for me to come to a new sense of myself. That I have now done so is a gift of grace from the Creator, and has been greatly aided by Jim’s sensitive treatment of me during the long years of confinement with debilitating episodes of arthritis and other troubles in the decade following Don’s death, and during my rehab period in 1992. For the first six years after Don died, I actively felt I should kill myself, because I had “caused” his death, inadvertently, but surely. This was my longest walk in the desert until this present moment. I was resigned to having this basic mind-set for the rest of my life, and I was not aware that time had begun its healing work until I picked up something I’d written and forgot about. I read it anew, and thought, “you know, I like this person.” Six years in the desert! Many were the times I was tempted to lay down my faith, but I could not, would not do that. So I survived, and waited for grace. The lesson here is simply that waiting does bring all things to one. Patience cannot be overvalued in the spiritual journey.
This world remains to me a sea of confusion. Knowing well how much I have erred, in what I have done and what I’ve left undone, and knowing how little I understand, I am well content to remain in the hands of destiny. One of my desires in publishing this personal material is to expose, with utter lack of modesty or fear, the humanness of the three of us. We were not “worthy” of the Ra contact, in the sense of being perfect people. We were three pilgrims who found comfort in each other, and who sought honestly and deeply to serve the light. The material is completely apart from who any of us was or is, and we are not to be confused with Ra, as having some sort of special excellence. This just is not so.
Are relative ethics OK? I still believe they are, and that keeping carefully made agreements is a real key to harmonious living and clear relationships. But it is just the best we can do. That doesn’t make it perfect. Further, one cannot expect the universe to bless us with perfect peace just because we are keeping our agreements. We all are blindsided by life itself, and continue only by blunder, faith and a good humor in the face of all. There is an art to cooperating with destiny. And may I say, I am grateful to James Allen McCarty for that selfsame good humor, and for deciding with me, three years after Don’s death, to take hold of our friendship and create a marriage between us. He was most ill-suited to such, as I said, and his gallant cheer and courtesy in accommodating himself to this role has been and continues to be remarkable to me. Truly, he has been a good companion through many waters.
One thing is sure: in true love, the star-crossed kind, there is incredible sweetness, but also immense pain. Don was a hard man to love. Not communicative in the usual sense, he never said what he wanted of me, but just waited for me to guess right. I did not mind, and still am glad of every bit of pain I went through trying to be what he needed me to be, which was essentially without sexuality or the usual reassurance of words, yet greatly intimate. In the density we came from, we were already one, Ra said. So there was an ultimate satisfaction in being with Don, having to do much more with eternity than any particular time or space. What Jim and I had and have is the devoted love of old friends and lovers, who have an earthly pilgrimage together. Our time together is child’s play after Don, as far as my being able to handle whatever happens with us. Jim will communicate until we find every bit of misunderstanding, and so we have an easy time of it and when we do have catalyst together, it is quickly worked through. Jim’s never had that ultimate romance, and occasionally misses it. But what we do have is so good to us that we have found a considerable happiness with each other, and the good work we have between us.
We see ourselves as still working for and with Don, keeping L/L’s doors open and our hearts as well, and living the devotional life that we have learned about from the Confederation teachings. These teachings are at one with universal wisdom as well as my Christian heritage, and have to do simply with living in love. This is such a simple teaching that it escapes many people. But that focus upon Love is one’s access to truth, and one’s willingness to keep the heart open, which one may call faith, is the energy that brings to us all that was meant for us, both of lessons to learn and of service to offer.
And above all, we may acknowledge, for once and for all, that we are but dust, unless we are living in Love. This helps one to deal with sorrows that inevitably visit our lives. We are not supposed to be in control, or perfect, or any particular thing, but just those who continue to love, through whatever confusion there is. Sheer persistence in faith, regardless of the illusion, is the key to many blessings.
Ra: I am Ra. This is not a clear query. Could you please restate?
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