Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three times
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Howard Jay Rubin is a financial planner and professional magician who lives with his wife and twin seven-year-olds in Corona, California. In the 1980s he was a contributing editor at The Sun and did nearly thirty interviews for the magazine. The interview reprinted in this issue was his first.
We know that the big job is to save the world, but where do you start? I’m convinced that if we are unable to work in our home communities, the job is not going to be done. The world is going to be saved by people who fight for their homes, whether they’re fighting for the block where they live in the city or a stretch of mountain or river. But unless they can fight within their own communities, I think they’re kidding themselves.
For many years, I’ve been doing basic research into the nature of human capacities — neurological, psychological, psycho-physical, creative capacities — and after twenty years and three thousand research subjects, and perhaps several hundred thousand seminar participants, we feel that we have some perspective on what human beings can be. This leads us to believe that we have barely begun to use our capacities and in fact could not have begun to use them before today, except in very isolated, remarkable instances.
Death is the most pleasant thing that will happen to you, though it is very hard to convince people of that.
I’m shy about writing, about exposing myself, but songs have come through me. Once, I was in Israel and had a hard night — an argument that was so unimportant I don’t even remember what it was about — and I decided I’d go to sleep. In those days that was the way I handled my problems. There’s a Chinese proverb that says if you have a big problem, and you need to solve it, go to sleep. The problem won’t disappear, but you’ll wake up in another position. (Chuckles.) Well, I got back to the hotel, and I couldn’t go to sleep. So I took pencil and paper in hand and out came a song. The kind of writing I admire involves yourself right out there, like Joni Mitchell. Her songs are about what she did or didn’t do or what she’s feeling. It’s almost like an exorcism. But I haven’t gotten there yet.
There is no correlation between scarcity of resources, density of population, and hunger. Hunger exists where there is a small minority of people who control the resources and use them for their benefit.
I just got back from Nicaragua. I hadn’t known much at all about this country that the United States has been involved with for many years. The Marines were in Nicaragua as long ago as the Thirties. How can you live in a country and not know about a place where your Marines have been for that long?
The unity that Judaism is looking for is the point at which, without losing this brain, a corridor of correspondence is opened between this brain — the individual identity — and the transcendent identity. But it isn’t that I become annihilated and flow into the great river; it’s that I am maintained in a scale model relationship to the transcendent. I stay here, but I grow outward. I stay here, but I use my here only to be positioned onto there.
These people have been compared to sand and stars. When they fall, they fall as low as the sand, and when they rise, they rise as high as the sky.
Building the pyramids or Chartres cathedral are not totally reasonable endeavors — to spend all this money and time and effort and lives in some cases, piling up beautifully cut stone, and yet it’s what gives the grandeur to human existence. It makes humanity in society have something of the brilliance of the light shafting down from the stars.
Underlying New Dimensions is a spiritual dimension. If there’s a focus it’s that we’re all connected. The scientists, the spiritual teachers, the psychologists, the educators — they’re all saying the same thing in different ways: everything is interconnected. If we’re consuming a third of the world’s resources that affects the rest of the world in a very direct way. If the space program did nothing else it did show us the earth hanging out there in space, it gave us a sense of being part of the same planet. We’re all using the same environment; spiritually we’re all connected as well.
At age fifteen, Ananda cooperative village is a thriving northern California community with more than 150 full-time residents — quite a feat considering that the average life expectancy of such ventures is less than 30 days. While its founder, Swami Kriyananda, credits much of Ananda’s success to the blessing of his guru, Paramahansa Yogananda — around whose vision of a “self-sustaining world brotherhood community” Ananda is built — his own strong leadership and practical know-how have been important guiding factors.
It is resistance that causes the pain; the less we resist the changes that are upon us, the less painful it will be. Earthquakes and holocausts need not happen on a physical level; they’re already happening in people’s lives on the mental and emotional levels.