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Society, work, convention, drinking, and drugs: surviving in an unreal world

excerpted from IN AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey, by Jack Haas



This was a recognition which dawned upon me slowly over the time Glen and I roomed together, during which period it was a regular occurrence for me to awaken to the insult of the clock, jam down a couple of Tylenol in an attempt to quickly counterbalance the previous nightís excesses, gobble down a frantic, unsatisfying breakfast, and speed off on my bike to sell my soul in return for my humble daily keep; while Glen, on the other hand, would arise gently and only when his body was good and rested, would partake of a calm and peaceful breakfast, would go out for an easy stroll along the beaches and parks nearby, would perhaps read some poetry or a spiritual tract, and then he would sit down to the typewriter and pour out his own voice, his own vision, his own understandings, experiences, and delights at the privileged glory of existence. He was a master, I was a slave.

Each evening I would return from work, worn and shell-shocked and a beaten man, driven mad like a whipped beast from the continued onslaught of drudgery and repetition- a yoke I had convinced myself was the necessary addendum to being alive on this earth. And there Glen would be, sitting quietly, perhaps listening to jazz or classical music, enjoying the relaxed cadence of life which comes from living at oneís own pace. And I would burst into the apartment, contaminated by the disruptive vibrations of the false round to which I had been willingly shackled, and head straight for the refrigerator and crack a beer and begin anaesthetizing away the disharmony within me and the chorus of harangued and tormented ghouls which I was only able to still, at that time, with enough booze and dope to kill an elephant, pouring down draught after draught so as to forget how wrong it was for me to every morning spit at the sky and cast away the cherished gift of life I had been benevolently vouchsafed just so as to serve my wallet.

                The night of drinking, accompanied by the ongoing conversations Glen and I would engage in, would be followed by another disquieting departure, and another day of tedious torture, all the while holding in the back of my mind a vision of my buddy, free and relaxing, because he had forsaken all of it, and had learned to live on little, need little, and do little, and so had beaten the world at its own game and returned himself to his own way of life and the passionate living of it.

                This manís living example, during the precarious years of my so called work-ethic development, was incredibly important to me, because my whole life I had heard that one must go to school, do well, graduate with honors, strive to be somebody, and sign on for a tour of duty in the hallowed halls of money and make-believe existence which would not end until the spirit collapsed and the flesh gave it up to the wind. And I certainly was not fit for such a life.

                And so Glenís presence was incredibly important for me to witness. And yet it wasnít until I myself broke away- it wasnít until I made the decision to live my own life, regardless of the status quo- that I began to cherish the gift I had been, up until that point, taking horribly for granted and abusing. As such I began to turn the tables and work far less, so as to live more fully, rather than to work hard and not live at all.

                I soon recognized with the detached eye of one who has gone a certain distance away from an event in which they were once wholly bemused and ensconced, that the system had grown sick with greed and stupidity, and that it was only from myself, and for myself, that I would begin to nourish the seed within which had been lying dormant and dying and would need some tender care to get it to sprout and thrive, but which would end up growing strong and fecund and would itself choke out the weeds which had been planted in me by the collective confusion of society since day one.

                And it was Glen who catalyzed this reaction within me; it was his own personal force which I recognized and which then stirred the tepid stew within me into a fomenting cauldron of intention and drive which would in the end provide the escape-velocity necessary for me to leave the gravity of our cultureís torpid conventions behind.


excerpted from:

author Jack Haas, west coast British Columbia wilderness, ocean forest island



IN AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey

by Jack Haas



















Mystical books, visionary art, and fine art photography by Jack Haas




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