Saturday, March 28, 2020

Blavatsky, philosophical yoga and flying saucers

I described in an earlier note, an English major acquaintance-longshoreman-communist who regularly loaned me books with the intention, perhaps, of converting me.  In a similar fashion, a few years later, at Douglas Aircraft Company I worked with an English major (MA from Duke) who was interested in a variety of off-beat authors and subjects, one of whom was Madam Helena Blavatsky, and so I read her Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled and then branched out into others, writing roughly on philosophical yoga – as opposed to the two other forms of yoga, mastering the body through yoga exercise and a life of service. 

I recall that Blavatsky's reported claim to have direct contact with immortals living in the Himalayan mountains; which always struck me as a bit doubtful – and then there were the various practices she was involved in none of which did very well if I remember correctly.  She was primary founder of the Theosophical Society.  I checked that out and found there was a small group that met in a small building some place in Los Angeles, but I never attended any of their meetings. 

But this Duke fellow was much more interested in flying saucers at the time.  That was a lot of fun.  I spent a lot of time staring at the sky at night through binoculars.  I also had a telescope that would block out the sun’s bright light.  He believed flying saucers could hide in front of the sun much as Zero’s did during WWII.  We resolved to investigate further.  He joined Donald Kehoe’s NICAP and I joined Coral Loranzen’s APRO.  We would get their monthly publications and exchange them.  But my friend was more attracted to the NICAP conclusions: there is something out there that witnesses have verified that can’t be explained.  I found Loranzen’s conclusions much more intriguing: there is something out there and it is hostile. 

But we did talk mostly about poetry.  He had planned to get his PhD and focus on criticism (a plan he gave up after getting his MA).  Since he worked with a fellow who wrote, he expended all of his critical energies on him.  He eventually got tired of working at Douglas  (McDonnell Douglas by that time) and didn’t resist being laid off in about 1970.  He was very good at picking winners at local race tracks and supported himself doing that for several months, but after tiring of that got married and took a job in some lower-tier aerospace company after which I lost track of him.

As to being affected by having to sequester myself as a result of Corvid-19, after the broken knee-cap incident on 8-15-19 I found ways of getting everything I needed delivered to my front door.  Also, I had previously taken to stocking up on various essentials partially because I didn’t trust the world out there.  My daughter in Idaho, who also has stocked up on necessities says they call it “getting ready for the Zombie Apocalypse.”   Also, the outings I enjoy most involve hiking, which my broken knee-cap may inhibit, but it has also been raining which also inhibits hiking.  I suppose when the weather clears up I’ll be wanting to try out my knee again on some hikes and will chafe a bit more over Corvid-19's restrictions.

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