Sunday, September 11 My graphics illustrator, Diana Souza e-mailed me today. She will be here in Ithaca for five weeks, starting in early October, to format the text and create a cover for We Meet in Dreams. Meanwhile, I have received a few new dreams from people and am including them in the manuscript, and making corrections as I find them. I very much look forward to working with Diana again. Last night I had dinner with Peg and Johnny.
Peg was talking about Paul Brunton’s beautiful volume The Quest of the Overself , a book I had read over thirty years ago and soon after I met Brunton. She was speaking of the flames in the spiritual Heart – and I inadvertently fell into an ecstasy and was unable to come out of it. Luckily we were in a corner booth at the very crowded and noisy Souvlaki House, so I wasnt very noticed. And luckily it was not a full ecstasy – I could still hear the voices around me – and it was fairly brief. Or my poor friends would have had to sit there with me for a few hours…. When I emerged, Peg asked me to describe what I had experienced. I was a little surprised by her question – I suppose I forget not everyone has these experiences…
I have spoken of ecstasies in past Journal entries, but it might be helpful to repeat a bit. The main thing one remembers in ecstasy is the Light: It is so strong and Luminous and Radiant – and It is Everywhere. And the Peace and Joy and Awareness: In those times we truly know who we ARE – and we are the soul, a being of Radiant Light. It is not a Light we have on earth, and It is, for that reason, very difficult to describe. Neither the sun nor the moon come close to that Radiance and Luminosity and Intensity. In those times, the physical body is frozen in its last position – and cannot move. In the highest experiences, we are not aware of anything outside the soul, all the outer physical senses are taken from us. And here is where words again fail me: The highest Mystical Experiences are truly ones of Wonder.
Even if you imagined and could remember all the wonder you had ever felt, in your entire life – it could not equal the Wonder felt in those times of true ecstasy… At the Beauty, the Truth, the Awareness of Self, the true Self… In those times our normal identity is taken from us, and we are shown who we truly ARE. And who we truly ARE in something we could never even imagine, even guess at… And in those times we know that we are the soul and that the Divine, God, is mystically united with the soul – like two flames, the Divine Flame and the flame of the soul, standing together, superimposed. Monday, October 3 A friend has sent me a new dream example for the book, unfortunately in a format I cannot open. Will phone her and ask her to cut and paste it into an e-mail. Diana arrives tomorrow and will begin formatting the text soon, so this might be the last new dream example I can accept for the book.
When she resends her dream I will need to read it through and ponder it – and then write some thoughts and decide where to put it in the book. This very well might be the last book I write, and I intend to enjoy it, even the tedious corrections and proofing stages…. Sunday, October 9 Diana arrived in Ithaca some days ago. She is again staying at the Quaker House, a beautiful old building just up the hill from us. The Quaker House is at the top of Fall Creek Falls, at the edge of the gorge, surrounded by trees now changing color. Diana said that you can hear the falls from their back porch – and a few days ago she met four deer in the front yard as she was leaving to do an errand. The House is a monastic sort of dwelling, with heavy, dark, wood everywhere and stained glass in many windows. Diana has a small room on an upper floor, which she has festooned with cloths of various colors and textures. The room, besides a bed and dresser, also provides a wooden desk, which of course delights her.
We can also hear the falls from our house, at night, and especially after a rain. Which reminds me how very magical Ithaca is…. At the moment Diana is seated downstairs at our kitchen table, with her laptop, starting work on formatting the text of We Meet in Dreams. Presently she is trying to figure out how to set up endnotes. We had decided to switch from footnotes to endnotes after finishing the last book, Visits With Angels. I cannot help her with the technical aspects of her work, so instead will turn to my own chores regarding this new volume. Meanwhile, I am watching my friend Diana work at her task, and enjoying the day which surrounds us. Warm and sunny, in the low seventies – I have left the kitchen door leading to the back garden wide open for some fresh air. Through the open door, instead of the sweet and varied songs of birds, come the comforting and mesmerizing sounds of antiphonal crickets. How I will miss the crickets when the frosts and snow arrive…. 4 pm Went back downstairs: Diana is now formatting the text of Section I. Work on ‘We Meet in Dreams’ has officially begun. 11 pm Diana has gone and the first two sections of the book are formatted. She e-mailed me the file of Section I to print up for corrections, and then a corrected file to Section I. I printed up the corrected file and then looked at the initial file she had sent: Diana had redone the folios, the section titles placed at the bottom of the right hand pages to reflect the section of the book for the reader. In the first version the folios identified the chapter titles; the corrected file gave the section title in the right hand page folio. After some thought, I saw the reasoning behind her decision and agree with her choice of simplicity; most often simplicity and clarity walk hand in hand. Diana also asked me to use a red pen to circle the endnote numbers in the text, so that we can easily find them later. This also seems like an excellent idea, especially when I reflect back to the trouble we have had in the past locating footnotes in the text, in the proofing stages of correction. Now to look for any mistakes in the text, either ones missed in the past or ones newly created when the manuscript was formatted. First I must e-mail Diana: The text size looks too small. If it is, she will have to reformat all her work so far. Looking for a pen, I glanced upwards and faced a radiant full moon through the skylight in the big upstairs room…. My work has begun. Monday, October 10 1 pm Another beautiful sunny day, in the high sixties. Looked out of the kitchen door: My neighbor Janet is out front gardening, tidying up a bit in a patch of sun. Called Diana: She is working on the book. I was right about the text size and she has corrected the problem; she will send me the new files to print up. We plan to meet this afternoon to work together. Meanwhile I have my own work to do on the book, correcting the new files. Received another two new dreams for the book: One flying dream and one where the dreamer went to another place on earth that exists in our reality, before she consciously knew it existed. These sorts of dreams intrigue me, for they are a proof of sorts that our lives are not always as they seem – and neither is time or space. We limit ourselves endlessly, in our thoughts, in our opinions of what human beings and our lives are capable of, what we and our lives truly are. Most of the time, if not all the time, we live on the periphery of truth…. Meanwhile, to print up those newly corrected files and take out my red pen….