Monday, December 8, 2014

Searching For God in the Sixties - Dr. Dave Williams Part 5 - Death Literal and Spiritual

Welcome to Part 5 (Death Literal and Spiritual) of our 6 part series with Dr. Dave Williams, author of  Searching For God in the Sixties. Each part is being presented on Mondays. Dr. Dave is making himself available to answer questions in the comments section.

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 6


Manson's message then to the hippies he picked up along the road was one they were ready to hear, that the rational world they had dropped out of was false and that new possibilities existed once they broke free of that mindset. "People only love each other in books," he said, "you can't love each other in reality because you're all trapped in books, locked up in wars. You are all locked up in the second world war…. I'm trying to unlock that war." As the war raged in Vietnam, with the generals and politicians all projecting Hitler's invasion of Poland onto Ho Chi Minh, this made sense. With segregation still rampant in the south, racism a curse throughout the nation, the cities burning in yearly riots, leaders assassinated, nuclear Armageddon threatened, the need to break away from the old games and enter a new dispensation seemed clear.

Manson's songs are perhaps the best example of this message. "Look at your game girl," the song that Axl Rose made infamous, is Manson trying to convince a young girl that it is all "a mad delusion,/ living in that confusion./Frustration and doubt./Can you ever live without your game?" So everything she is is a game, and she needs to realize that "You can tell those lies baby, but you're only fooling you." Every adolescent, every human being, has doubts which reach far into the soul. In the Sixties, a whole generation going through an intense identity crisis, faced doubts about the game we had all been taught. Manson's message was not unique, but communicated one on one to young, uneducated drop outs it came across as cosmically original.

One other song, "Ego is a too much thing," also brings down to a basic level a complex idea which was very much part of the mindset of the era. They have placed rationality, your reason, Blake's Urizen, in control, and shoved all the love into the back, "And they call it your subconscious." The computer up front demands to be in control; it demands to be accepted as you. It "makes you want to jump on a band and fight,/And you can't stand not to be right." It makes you "afraid you are gonna act like a clown/And you get mad when somebody puts you down." The answer to the problem of ego being a "too much thing", is to lose your ego: "Your certainty turns to doubt/And then you start flipping out,/And then you ease on out of your mind."

To lose one's ego is to lose one's common sense view of the world, to leave rationality behind. Included in all that is whatever social construct one was brought up to believe, be it Mormon Republicanism or Jewish liberalism or Roman Catholicism or scientific atheism. It does not matter. Each and every world view, conservative or radical, is just another world view, just another game. This anti-rationality therefore lends itself very easily to relativism, to the idea that all belief systems are equally valid, or invalid, but equally whatever value systems are. They are all "just games." Or as Manson once succinctly summed up the spirit of relativism, "Shit's like sugar to flies."

And the games all take place in an illusion of which even the concept of time plays a role. It is part of Manson's whole conception that the normal cause and effect relationships in which we all believe, including time, are themselves part of the illusion, part of the fallen world, not the Godhead from which it springs. There is only, he keeps saying, an eternal NOW. In this, he is saying nothing that mystics haven't said since the beginning of time. But in his mouth, the idea has important legal implications. If there is no time, there is no cause and effect; if there is no cause and effect, what ever he might have said was in a separate sphere from whatever his followers might have done. The circumstantial cause and effect connections that Bugliosi carefully put together have no meaning. "The idea," said Leslie Van Houghton in a recent cell block interview, "was to let time disappear. There was no time." Asked by Diane Sawyer what he expected would happen after he told the girls "you know what to do," Manson answered, "I don't live in anticipation, woman. I live in now."

As a capstone, there is the theory of language. "The Fall is into language," said Norman O. Brown, and Manson echoed that idea too. He blamed his conviction on the way the prosecutors "had to use catchy little words to make it into a reality, like hippie cult leader." In such ways, the illusions with which we live in the world are created and sustained by language. Language is the instrument of the illusion, of the fall. Said Manson,
That's what Jesus Christ taught us, words kill. They've filled every living thing with death. His disciples betrayed him by writing it down. Once it was written, it was as dead as a tombstone... They killed him with every word in the new Testament. Every word is another nail in the cross, another betrayal disguised as love. Every word is soaked with his blood. He said, "go, do thou likewise." He didn't say write it down. The whole fucking system is built on those words - the church, the government, war, the whole death trip. The original sin was to write it down.
If the fall is into language, as Brown had proclaimed, then words are the evil of the world. Words are the tools of deception and control, the way in which the illusion is maintained. They must be used carefully, if at all. Or they must be discredited to liberate people from the illusion that words actually "mean" anything. What, after all, does it even mean to "mean?" It's all just words trying to fool us into believing we know not what. There is no presence in the text.

The way, finally, to escape from the illusion was to surrender the letter and to accept some larger vision. This could be achieved by breaking the hold of language, the letter, which keeps us chained to the illusion of the rational. Once one realizes that words are just sounds and then passes beyond the illusion of inherent meaning or presence in the text, escape becomes possible. In the "Bug Letter," written from his cell, Manson provided an example of this process:
To write I must slow my mind down. I'm not human in my ways of thought and I don't want to be programmed by schools of thought what man is or what man is not, woman, etc." nature" has a balance. I want it like a hunger. I learn a universe in a look, in a flash. I could slow down and spell the word over and over until it hangs in my thought pattern and holds little bits and pieces of power. I try to clear all patterns out of my mind to where I can become a tree or woods, a mountain, a world, a universe. Sparks in my mind become the only pattern I crave.
The pattern here is one that had been part of Manson's Protestant background for centuries, a death and rebirth sequence; it was to be born again. He himself often told the story of his own death and rebirth experience in the desert. He even used the scriptural language to define it. About the kids on his ranch, he said, "I turned ‘em loose. They became free in their minds. We started a rebirth movement, a rebirth in Jesus Christ. It's a Holy War really." But so ignorant was he of the larger historical framework and its wider influence over so much of American culture that he once charged Jimmy Carter and the religious right with stealing his idea, as if he had thought it up first.

This explains his fixation with death and the need to die. This is the meaning of the song "Cease to Exist" which he wrote for Dennis Wilson and the Beach Boys and which they put out as a mere seduction song, "Cease to Resist." But as so often throughout the history of Christian hermeneutics, the question of literal and metaphorical readings is constantly a problem. To have stated clearly a distinction between the two would have been to embrace another duality. As Emerson said in "Brahma," "shadow and sunlight are the same." So Manson talked death to his followers, some of whom never did understand that there was even a question of whether he meant literal or spiritual death.
Yet, literal death is important as a way of talking about spiritual death. They really cannot be divided. The death of Jesus of Nazareth the incarnate human on the cross is a necessary symbol of the spiritual death of the soul that is conversion. We humans love ourselves, our bodies, our existence. We don't want to die. So this fear of death becomes an image or shadow of the greater fear of spiritual death, of eternal death - "To die and know it! This is it. This is the black widow, death." Fear and paranoia thus become a part of the package. When the old Adam starts to die, he panics trying to hold onto the old consciousness as it disintegrates in his mind leaving him exposed and naked.

When the old certainties disintegrate, anything suddenly becomes possible, absolutely anything. Images of the devil, of hell, of aliens farming humans for consumption on their home world, you name it. Manson's and the Beatles' message then to "let go and surrender to the void. It is not dying" was a push into a terrifying experience.

To realize that one is only playing a game, and then to watch oneself playing that game, and then to watch oneself watching oneself playing that game, is a terrifying fade back into the infinite upon infinite layers of consciousness until one's mind is as Jonathan Edwards said "swallowed up in God." Thus all the emphasis on exposing game-playing that one reads throughout the Sixties finally culminated here. We have all been programmed by the combine. We need to realize that we are programmed, that we don't know why we believe what we believe or do what we do, and we need to escape from those illusions. This is true liberation from all of the games that have been laid down for thousands of years of civilized history.

Growing up in prison, Manson had experienced a different reality, a different world entirely from that on the outside. In prison, little tolerance is shown for the pretensions that so often mark personalities in the outside world. There each individual is forced back on his or her own final line of defenses, reduced, like the soldiers in Vietnam, to an elemental struggle for survival that has no patience for the petty games that people play. "In the pen you learn this, " Manson told one interviewer, "don't lie. I stand on my own. Not many people in your world can do that. I didn't realize this at that particular time. I didn't realize how weak and mindless you people really are." When he got out, Manson simply did not comprehend that people on the outside really believe their own movies. He had no idea that people actually took their own games seriously. This may explain part of why he allowed the game to get out of hand. At a rare moment in his 1986 parole hearing, when asked if he felt any responsibility for the murders, Manson responded,
Sure, I influenced a lot of people unbeknownst to my own understanding of it. I didn't understand the fears of people outside. I didn't understand the insecurities of people outside. I didn't understand people outside. And a lot of things I said and did affected a lot of people in a lot of different directions. It wasn't intentional. It wasn't with malice aforethought.
But a few seconds later when asked if he also felt "remorse," which presumes guilt, Manson sat for a long time in silence before saying, in resignation, "we reach an impasse here, man."


MHN said...

"But so ignorant was he of the larger historical framework and its wider influence over so much of American culture that he once charged Jimmy Carter and the religious right with stealing his idea, as if he had thought it up first."

And this is the sad paradox: that if it weren't for the written or spoken word, for the systems of cultural transmission, for the mechanisms he despised, Manson wouldn't be Manson - because almost everything he says is a borrowing or a warping of what someone else has said. He is the follower of a fairly common group faith, even if that faith defines itself as hyper-individualistic antinomian anti-establishment non-doctrine.

It's hard not to notice that, while living in the 'now', Manson was always careful to make sure his 'now' was happening a safe distance away from the 'now' he sent his followers to inflict on Cielo and Waverley.

And that's no impasse.

Mr. Humphrat said...

In reading Manson's lyrics I wish he'd been on an episode of Dragnet singing his lyrics in the park to some stoned out kids and have a philosophical showdown with Joe Friday. That would have been precious. Of course in the Dragnet framework he would have lost the argument, but if it really was Charlie Friday would have walk away shaking his head.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Manson's quotes on words in this article I think betray his frustration with his quasi-illiterate status. His lyrics and his guitar playing are impatient. He was brilliant at ad-lib but lacked the patience to learn to become a great musician or to write great lyrics. when he put his thoughts on paper they looked mundane. When he recorded his songs they sounded unexceptional. But when he performed he held some people spellbound.

Robert Hendrickson said...

YES Michael, the view (perspective) is different from on high. Moses had to climb the mountain as well as Martin Luther King. That's why GOD created ladders.

Back in the 1970s, in San Francisco I witnessed an actual hollogram of a human like head suspended in a the middle of a room. You could walk all the way around it, even viewing the backside. So I realized then, we only SEE the front side of our fellow human beings. Ever SEE a picture of Manson's back of HIS head ? AND if we only see the front side, how do we get the "whole truth and nothing but the truth ?"

PS: both the Tate house AND the LaBianca house were perched upon a hill.

Last night I was going through a couple of boxes of OLD books on the Occult, Spiritualism, psychic powers, etc. It was a "collection" I purchased decades ago, but never read much of it. The books were from the early 1900's through the 1940s, which led me to think: There must have been plenty of such books (on the subject) available then.

So is it possible, Manson had access to these kinds of books in prison? AND do these types of books from that time period reflect ideas that Manson could have read about and later adopted / talked about ?

Good question for Dr. Dave.

MHN said...


PS: both the Tate house AND the LaBianca house were perched upon a hill.

Yes, I hadn't thought of that. And Spahn was - unless I'm misremembering - built in a little gully at the foot of a rocky hill.

After the murders they relocated to a cosmic exaggeration of Spahn's topography: Death Valley, the lowest elevation in the United States, 280 feet below sea-level, but bounded by some of America's largest mountains. And Charlie, if we believe the story, wanted to get down even lower - into a subterranean world beneath Death Valley. The symbolism here is such low-hanging fruit I'm almost embarrassed to taste it.

The TLB murders as a topographically literal perversion of a mythic anabasis/katabasis story. To warp Dr Dave - "Death Valley Literal and Spiritual".

For me personally, the draw of the TLB murders isn't principally found in dead movie actresses or celebrity stylists, or even Manson himself; it's more to do with those strange places - firstly Spahn's ranch, which occupies a kind of liminal state between the city and the desert, (indeed, built in imitation of an outpost of the 'wild west'), and then finally the desert itself, the great and terrifying purity of the inhuman desert, the annihilation of the self made manifest in every bleached rock. For me there is something about this disturbed group of people crossing the line physically and spiritually between the desert and the city, that I find absolutely compelling and irresistible. But it wasn't until Dr Dave contributed here that it began to become clear to me just how 'plugged-in' to the American tradition the whole story was.

Dr Dave said...

Indeed, the wilderness is my theme. My first book, the fruit of my PhD dissertation, was titled "Wilderness Lost:The religious Origins of the American Mind." We have forgotten the spiritual meaning of wilderness. Since the Old Testament, the wilderness has been used as a symbol of that place outside of structure, outside of common sense rationality, outside of the narratives we all cling to. As Norman O Brown said "The world is the web we spin to hide the void." To leave the lies of the web of a world to seek true vision requires leaving Egypt, leaving the web, and crossing that void of a wilderness, literal and spiritual. This is so imbedded in American culture that we find aspects of it everywhere. Think of Thelma and Louise leaving their domestic structures to flee into the literal wilderness to be transformed and finally forced to choose between prison or, as Thelma says, "to keep ongoing." Or Luke Skywalker pushed by Yoda into the wilderness where he must fight the evil side of his own self before he can re-emerge transformed into a Jedi Knight. The wilderness is the terror of the void that transforms, as Michael says the liminal space between this Matrix/reality and a truer REALITY. This is why we need wilderness, to remind ourselves that this combine we inhabit is not everything. This, I think, is what Manson knew.

MHN said...

And words are the bricks and concrete we use to tame the wilderness of the human soul, and construct a 'person' in its place.

Dr Dave, you're reminding me that modern culture has wilfully misinterpreted the nature of Eden, at least as presented in the book of Genesis. It is frequently held to be some innocent 'first' place, a virgin wilderness, unspoilt and unsullied by man, a place we have to 'get back to'. But a professor of Old Testament Theology once told me that when you look at the original language, it's quite clear that we are dealing with a garden, a landscaped, cultivated garden, of the type found in a human metropolis, and that the story of Eden is - paradoxically - a memory of the great gardens found in the city of Babylon during the Hebrew exile and captivity there.

I mention that only as an aside - as an example of how even Eden might turn out to be something of a sham once we actually get there. Perhaps the Hebrew writers felt the terror of the wilderness, and elected to present us as having morally emerged - and quickly fallen - safely contained within the construct of the city rather than being formed in the abyss of the wilderness.

I was re-reading your piece and find this grinding of the gears - of the literal and the spiritual - fascinating. Perhaps the dissonance is neatly expressed in this passage from Helter Skelter:

Q: "Did it bother you when she screamed for her life?"

A: "No."

Katie testified that when she stabbed Abigail she was really stabbing herself. My next question was rhetorical. "But you didn't bleed at all, did you Katie; just Abigail did, isn't that right?"

Anonymous said...

Burt Reynolds as Lewis, immersed deep in the wilderness: "The law? Ha! The law?! What law?! Where's the law, Drew? Huh?"

MHN said...

Squeal like a political piggy?

Robert Hendrickson said...

Actually Michael, the Spahn Ranch site is UP in the Santa Suzana mountains. We would go to a spot behind the Ranch and look down upon the whole San Fernando Valley. Interestingly, it can be said that the Spahn "Western" town movie set represented the early settlers who invaded the homes of the original native Americans - the Indians. AND the Santa Suzana mountains were home to the legendary Chumash Indians. AND Charlie's buck-skin outfit was NOT intended to be a Halloween costume.

The Barker Ranch is also UP in the mountains above Death Valley. We would go to Zabriski Point and look down upon the entire Owens Valley. Bugliosi saw a similarity between Manson and Gengis Kahn (who would ride out of the mountains and attack villages in the valleys.)

We discussed the coming revolution - the burning of the cities - and getting back to the "wilderness" - literally.

AND the Final Conflict (Armageddon) was the Black Muslim vs the Christian American was a primary focus. "Islam is rising" Sandra Good 1970. Any relevance today ?

These Dr. Dave posts and comments, or lack thereof, are living proof that had Bugliosi gone for the TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH, the jury would have dosed off into the abyss. AND Bugliosi's version SELLS ! Just as BLOOD dripping from the cross is the best seller of all time. Can you blame the Muslims for wanting some of that $$$ action $$$ ?

AND how about this Michael: In Vietnam and now in the Middle East, American helicopters - from ABOVE - swoop DOWN upon the adversary BELOW.

AS Bruce Davis once said: "EVERYTHING is RELEVANT."

MHN said...

Yes, Robert, you're right. But maybe it's one of the odd things about these places: visiting Spahn I felt like I was in a trench, whatever the actual altitude above the Valley. It was not Hitler's Berghof. And in Death Valley, however high you climb on those twisty roads out through the Panamint range, you still feel conscious that you are, at best, climbing out of a hellish pit, like a spider trying to escape up the side of a scalding hot bath.

Getting back to Dr Dave's writing: it was only when visiting these places that I got a sense of the weirdness at the heart of the murders: hardened career criminal, yes; bitter failed musician, sure; practiced con-man, of course; but over and above all of that, Manson as someone born (spiritually at any rate) in a desert, raised by rocks and jackals, someone whose ethics are those of a desert flower. I never really saw Manson in the same way once I'd visited Death Valley. Those naked teeth of rock and multi-coloured mineral at Zabriskie Point speak of a creator (or simply of a Nature) entirely without sentimentality, an ethic stripped of any human accretions, a purity that is as terrifying as it is beautiful.

It didn't give me respect for Manson, not at all, but it did tell me something about him. It left me thinking that Manson was, at least, authentic, however absolutely I might despise him for what he did.

crash said...
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crash said...

Always does seem to be a mountaintop or some sort of wilderness the seeker has to cross. Symbolic or otherwise. Arnold Mindel called it the shamans death walk, not sure if its his term , but I like it. Its the struggling, suffering time he goes through completing his task.
An example he uses come from Tales of Power.
In Tales of Power, Don Juan eventually tells his apprentice they have reached their last crossroad together and that few warriors are able to survive the trip into the unknown and return.
The experience is so intense and life changing that its difficult for them to come back "to the world of order, noise and pain". They realise they cant go back to a place that doesnt put the same high value on dreams, body experiences and secondary processes. Its not easy for them.
Its painful to come back to the world full of the same old petty stuff and they fear they could lose the connection to their inner self that they finally achieved. If they return, ordinary reality just doesnt cut it any more for them once they have that experience..
IF they stay in "NOW" all the petty past stuff cant touch them, and there is no future to stress about. It almost cant be any other way, both cant exist. You cant be in NOW and worry about past or present.
Manson could do it, but I think it frustrated him to no end that not many others could do it. So out to the desert he goes, unable to cope with little games we play. But not before he took some of his apprentices though their own death walk..

MHN said...

Crash: You cant be in NOW and worry about past or present.
Manson could do it, but I think it frustrated him to no end that not many others could do it.

Manson could do it? Is that what he was doing hiding under the washstand? Just being in the now, not giving a thought to the past or the future...?

Dr Dave said...

"If I had not seen the sun
I could have bourn the shade
But light a newer wilderness
My wilderness has made."
Emily Dickinson after her sojourn in "Madness."
I am also reminded of Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire" where he wrestles with the wilderness as spiritual place just because it is empty and swept clean of human meaning.

MHN said...

Dr Dave, do you think that, merely because it is a 'blank canvas', we (urban educated types) can too easily project our spiritual emptiness or the pains of our intellectual indigestion upon it?

Many say that facing the abyss is dangerous and difficult. But for some of us, some of the time, facing life in human society is far, far more difficult.

Dr Dave - I just looked-up Desert Solitaire, and have downloaded the Kindle edition, thank you for the tip. I'm also going to read The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality by Belden Lane. I'd very much like to explore Wilderness Lost: The Religious Origins of the American Mind - by a Dr David R. Williams - but Amazon UK is out of stock and there is no kindle edition :(

crash said...

what do you think he was doing under there robert? fixing a leak? or writing his memoirs?
The entire thing is about the struggle between the two. If you dont believe he was gifted in some ways like that then thats fine. It was the outside world that crashed down on him, or that would be what he would say. And has said over and over. He doesnt connect the two, "its not my world, it happened in your world, not mine".
"I was in the desert minding my business when they came and got me and brought me here"

MHN said...

What do I think he was doing there? Hiding from the future.

Crash I find it difficult. As I've said, I think there is something genuine and authentic in Charlie. But I think there's also a moral imbecile and a near-bottomless pit of self-exculpatory bullshit in there too.

Your world, my world, blah blah blah. The La-Biancas were the ones in their own world minding their business when the Family came and crashed another world down upon them.

I find all of this fascinating, but duelling realities don't trump those knife wounds.

There are plenty of people who do stay in the desert minding their business; it's a shame Charles Manson wasn't content to be one of them.

ColScott said...
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ColScott said...

Who are all of these commentators and why do not of their comments make any freaking sense?

ColScott said...

Who are all of these commentators and why do not of their comments make any freaking sense?

ColScott said...

Who are all of these commentators and why do not of their comments make any freaking sense?

ColScott said...

Who are all of these commentators and why do not of their comments make any freaking sense?

MHN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Dave said...

Michael: Amazon has used copies available at reasonable prices. Try them and if not, I might be able to get you a copy
-Dr Dave

Robert Hendrickson said...

He sure was gifted Crash. You try stuffing yourself into a very small container with pipes already in the way.

Of course, If you can make the Prosecutors watch stop and others go to prison for you, an old Houdini box trick probably isn't that difficult. BUT why - why NOT just run out the back door and disappear into the desert landscape. BUT first ask yourself WHY did Jesus Christ NOT go out the back door and just disappear - when HE knew the Romans would be coming for him ?

MHN said...

Thank you Dr Dave. I hope you won't feel cheated if I buy a used copy - I'm really keen to read it.

Anonymous said...

Another movie quote in honor of ColScott's contribution:

"One through nine, no maybes, no supposes, no fractions. You can't travel in space, you can't go out into space, you know, without, like, you know, uh, with fractions - what are you going to land on? - one-quarter, three-eighths? What are you going to do when you go from here to Venus or something? That's dialectic physics." ~ Dennis Hopper as the photojournalist.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Watkins should have said: "Metaphorical death is Charlie's trip."

MHN said...


BUT first ask yourself WHY did Jesus Christ NOT go out the back door and just disappear - when HE knew the Romans would be coming for him ?

Come on Robert, it's not like Jesus was doing anything that might warrant a death penalty, like, say, selling loose cigarettes on the street.

Matt said...

"I'm sure that we can handle this situation maturely, just like the responsible adults that we are. Isn't that right, Mr. Poopy Pants?"
- Leslie Nielsen (The Naked Gun 2 1/2)

Robert Hendrickson said...

Ah, Michael, it warms my soul to hear such intellectual humor. BUT for those who have NOT reached the level of us "cracked pots," I offer this: According to the Holy Scriptures," Jesus physically ASSAULTED "business men" in the temple. For those who need video proof of HIS crime, back in the 1950s - 60s there were numerous films made in the Spanish language, showing Jesus literally terrorizing these "moneychangers."

The CHURCH has since convoluted the real story to make it sound like Jesus was a hero for "throwing the JEWISH moneychangers" on their asses - and was thus wrongly convicted by the Roman governor.

Of course, through out history, "the moneychangers" put up the money to build the grand temples and cathedrals The only distinction being, when JEWs do it for their religion it's BAD and when the Mafia does it for the Vatican it's GOOD.

It's kinda like: A Roman soldier named Longinous) actually snuffed the life out of Jesus, BUT the JEWS are blamed for it.

I'm a "realist" who also accepts the TRUTH of the scam artists as having a profitable purpose in life.

TO: the Colonel - Dr. Dave has come along at a perfect time in order to help us understand that NO sense to most folks does make sense to some. Come join us ! Cause all we have to loose is ignorance.

MHN said...

From Lt Frank Drebbin to Jesus Christ in the space of two posts. That's why I love this place! I always thought of Drebbin as a kind of Holy Fool.

Robert, Jesus actions might be seen as purifying the Temple, but another reading might see them as being a symbolic closing down of the Temple - because the Temple couldn't function without that gentile money and its idolatrous images being changed for Temple money. In effect Jesus is closing down the Temple.

During Jesus' trial the High Priest rends his own garments in outrage at the blasphemies of Jesus, and at his death on the cross the veil concealing the Holy of Holies at the heart of the Temple was torn down the middle.

Make of that what you will. The Temple shall not function. God has left His sanctuary, and is to be found in a man's willing self-sacrifice. Henceforth prayer shall consist of acts of love and mercy, not of ritual and protocol.

Or something like that. I really don't know anymore....

MHN said...

Letters and Numbers: I prefer "Death is Metaphorical Charlie's trip."

Robert Hendrickson said...

OMG Michael: Maybe you hit upon something relevant. Could Manson have been "purifying" temples on the hills. Even Gary Hinman's house was up many stairs on the side of a hill. AND Shorty Shea, maybe Charlie was throwing the "squealers" out of Spahn Ranch.

MHN said...

Well Robert, I've been waiting for more on this occult angle you tentatively introduced earlier.

But I was almost afraid to ask...

Robert Hendrickson said...

WHOOO Michael: Hold-on! We're STILL searching for GOD here. AND looking for something that is "beyond the bounds of ordinary knowledge, mysterious, .....secret; communicated ONLY to the initiated... is the definition of OCCULT.

SO, you better not shout, you better not pout, you better not cry - cause I'm telling you why - Santa Claus is coming to town.
HE knows when YOU are happy and HE knows when YOU are sad. So you better be good or the man with the black hood will chop YOUR head OFF.

Dr. Dave should take it from here.

MHN said...


Less SANTA, more SATAN please. We want pentagrams, not anagrams!

Unless this was all a clever clue about dark rituals at the Santa Susana Pass...