1 I'd now like to relate what happened in the spring of 1988, in late May or early June. It concerns Chief Joseph, chief of the Nez Perce Indians, in conjunction with Nez Perce, Idaho, and occurred over a three or four day period.
2 I was living with my mother at the time, in Santa Rosa, California, when one day she asked me to go to Safeway and buy a bag of potatoes. It was hardly an unusual request, so I went and did as she asked. When I got there I selected a bag of potatoes that were noticeably different. They were called Big Chief Potatoes, and profiled the large face of an Indian on front, an Indian chief in full headdress, with feathers and all. While it said they were from Pasco, Washington. It wasn't all that unusual, except I'd never seen a bag of potatoes with an Indian on it, and I kind of wondered about it.
3 A couple of nights later I had a very unusual dream. Like my experience in chapter 5 (n1-3), I became fully conscious and, was in the spirit. I awoke to find myself sitting in a chair, upholstered a velvety green color, more of a chartreuse, out in front of a secondhand store or trading post, right out next to the street. This is a store that really exists or, it did when I wrote this, and it's located on Highway 199 North, as you head into Grants Pass, Oregon, just after crossing the bridge.
4 I found myself sitting in this chair and, there was a rolled-up tapestryI didn't know what ofsitting on my lap. I then realized I had business with the owner and proceeded to go inside. When I met the owner I spoke to him; and, when he spoke to me, it was in such a way that the whole shop reverberated, in conjunction with each word he spoke. And I marveled, for everything was directly correspondent or, in the order of who he was. Such was the harmony between himself and those things that revolved around him.
5 I told him I had a tapestry for him to see, that I didn't know what of, to see what he was willing to pay. While in my mind I thought I could get five dollars, and sensed this would be his price; we seemed to read each other's thoughts. But as I unrolled it we were both dumbfounded. It was the picture of an Indian chief, in full battle regaliaand it was beautiful! And we both marveled! I started getting greedy at this point, thinking surely it was worth ten dollars or more, which I struggled to say. Admittedly I don't like to dicker. But he said he could only afford five dollars and we couldn't come to an agreement. I then awoke from my dream and began to marvel about what it all meant.
6 It was later the next morning or, the day after that, that I was working with my meditation, where I stage things in my mind (n8:4). Something which I believe is attributable to Dionysus and, similar to what Ezekiel practices in Ezekiel 4: "Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, even Jerusalem: and lay siege against it, and build a fort against it . . . set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about . . . Therefore thou shalt set thy face towards the siege of Jerusalem, and thy arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it. And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shall not turn from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege." (verses 1-8). Now this is an idea cited throughout the book of Ezekiel, where he sets his face against various adversariescountries, kings, etc.to lay siege and prophesize against them.
7 And it just so happened I was working with American Indians this morning, and in my mind I was portraying the story of Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob: an older story they could easily relate to. And I portrayed that he was Jacob's favorite son and was despised by his brethren, who planned to murder him but cast him into the pit instead, before selling him into slavery in Egypt where he became governor. Genesis 37-50
8 I was illustrating it in accord with Roy Masters and the Foundation of Human Understanding, the FHU, who have relocated to Southern Oregon from Los Angeles, specifically to Grants Pass. I had considered Roy Masters my mentor for about ten years, from 1975 to 1985, when listening to his radio program. And for the most part I agreed with his viewpoint. It hasn't been until recently though, since 1987, that I've determined much of it isn't true (n4:59-64; n11:79-87; n12:10-11,38-46; n13:8-35). In effect I'm referring to some of the staff members at the FHU, and how they conduct themselves, which comes across as brutal and austere. Indeed I've suffered a number of confrontations at their hands, and to be honest, they weren't being fair. Invariably I wasn't their caliber of person, and was ostracized from their midstthey're a very exclusive group. I recall the main encounter I had in chapter 13 (n36-69).
9 I've equated my rejection with Joseph, and his being despised by his brethren, as this testimony will bear out. I really did have something to offer, but they were so busy proving how tough they were, that they couldn't acknowledge their own insensitivity: uncircumcised, probably best describes it, as I relate below (n17-24). It's as if they were afraid of getting caught with their pants down, and somebody (Roy) might find out about it: "The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner." Matthew 21:42
10 This is what I was conveying to the Indians in my mind, as well as the idea that the people of the FHU represented squatters, who had come to Southern Oregon to inherit land that wasn't rightfully theirs. Which is basically what happened, for many people moved here upon Roy Masters' recommendation, to the point of nearly taking over. What I view similar to the white manin his infinite amount of wisdomand how he ran the Indian off his land and began defacing the earth. While it was something I had been working on for awhile, before the incident with the bag of potatoes occurred: having already sent the Indians on the warpath against the FHU numerous times in my mind.
11 While at one point during my meditation I fell asleep, at which point I had a vision: of an Indian pulling a knife on a white settler. Now things are getting interesting! For later that day, when running through the channels on TV, I came across a movie about Indians. My mother was in the living room at the time and I said, "Just wait and see, something will likely come out of this." And said I had been working with Indians in my meditation that morning.
12 The movie was called, I Will Fight No More Forever, and was about the plight of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians, and their persecution by the United States governmentliterally. So here I was working with Joseph, the son of Jacob and, the American Indians! Pursued by General Howard and his men, across Montana at the onset of winter, the Nez Perce were desperately trying to reach the border and flee into Canada, out of Howard's jurisdiction. While at the time I equated General Howardand his relentlessnesswith Roy Masters, and his attitude towards people who do wrong things: who are apt to get run out of town if they don't agree with him or, bashed on the head? Now what's especially intriguing is what touched the whole episode off: one of the Indians pulled a knife on a white settlerlike in my vision! Although it was entirely provoked by some of the white people, who committed an atrocity against the Indians.
13 Now the grand finale of all thisyes there's moreoccurred when my mother received a phone-call from one of her best friends during the middle of the movie: who had just gotten back, from all places, Nez Perce, Idaho! It was Dorothy, a Methodist Minister and close friend of the family since I was small a child (n6:76-78; n11:298). Dorothy and her husband owned a house in Nez Perce and were vacationing there. While it's interesting how my mother tried getting ahold of her earlier in the week, and was considering the possibility of renting her house in Nez Perceof all things! But she didn't have her phone-number, and tried getting it by calling information in Nez Perce, to no avail. While there was one final thing Dorothy said over the phone, that she had spent some time in Pasco, Washington, with some friends or relatives. Remember the bag of potatoes, from Pasco, Washington? Well it certainly is intriguing how it all came about!
14 Yet there's even more, for nearly the same thing happened eight years later after I gave a copy of this to a friend at work to read. We had talked about the book before, but she began pestering me after I gave it to someone else to read, this and two other chapters. It was right after I got it back that I said, Here! and tossed it on her bench. She began to read it but couldn't concentrate, and I said it was okay if she wanted to take it home to read.
15 A couple of days later after reading about Chief Joseph, she said she was looking forward to reading The Bear and the Garbage Can (n17), and was intrigued by the title. Well that night when she got home and was looking through the paper, The Vancouver Columbian, out of Vancouver, Washington, just north of Portland, Oregon, there it was, an article about General Howardand his dealings with Chief Joseph! On the very same day! May 9, 1996. What she would have otherwise overlooked if she hadn't just read about it!
16 And while the article was about General Howard, who was stationed at Fort Vancouver, it essentially reiterated Chief Joseph's story, and spoke of his surrender on Bear Paw Mountain. Which really corroborates the next experience, for although both occurrences speak of the FHU's uncircumcised attitude, hence the eight years (n4:83), I wasn't sure it belonged here, either here or in chapter 13. Yet it would seem some giant bear came out and snatched up Joseph at the last moment! Indeed, these were Joseph's own words: "We were like dear. They were like grizzly bears!"
17 I'd now like to relate the dream I had, which was more of a vision, for it lasted only a moment and occurred almost the instant after I fell asleep; and I woke-up immediately afterwards. When a vision like this occurs, it's usually very symbolic and represents the compilation of my thoughts on a specific subject, and is therefore specific itself and clear in detail. And at the moment I fall asleep I'm transported to another dimensionin the spiritwhere everything is then expressed in spiritual terms.
18 Just prior to the vision, I was working with Roy Masters, and the typified attitude of his male listener: regarding the man/woman relationship, more specifically a husband with his wife. So it follows the vision would be about this, for this is how it usually occurs (not always), much in the way our dreams serve as a barometer for those things which happen during the day. Whereby a vision would be a condensed dream.
19 Like I said I had just fallen asleep: and I saw a (black) bear rummaging through a brand new galvanized garbage canand I awoke. That was about the extent of it, except it was very specific and clear in detail. And I immediately understood what it meant. While it coincides with my friend John's encounter with a bear in chapter 11 (n144,153,372), although it didn't occur to me at that time.
20 As Swedenborg explains in The Apocalypse Revealed, a bear signifies ignorance: "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear. . ." Revelation 13:2 And here, regarding Roy's male listener, the bear signifies the man's ignorance towards his wife which, as it digs through the (galvanized) garbage can, signifies his sanitized attitude towards her. As she's reduced to nothing more than a pile of garbage, that he rummages through, for a "choice morsel" here and there. While indeed, Justine (8), regarding the FHU's uncircumcised attitude (n8-9), sheds the bearskin of ignorance! (n4:85; n11:374).
21 It's funny but that about sums up the attitude developed here. For when the woman enters the relationship, she brings all her problems with her, while the focus is directed almost exclusively towards her; she's considered more of a liability. And being a bear about the whole thing (ignorant), the man draws sustenance through this. He's then challenged by her problems, as she becomes the "making or breaking" of him. All the while he's sniffing for tidbits. What follows is a heroic struggle on his part, as he attempts to bring her to redemption (n4:61). And being of galvanized steel, the garbage can signifies his firmness or resoluteness on the matteror austerity!
22 There is an element of truth to the woman's position above, but Roy Masters also advocates the diminishment of the sex drive, to its eventual exclusion! (n13:32). And says God intended for man to be asexual. Hence through its proliferation, a man can only bring out the wickedness in a woman: and promote hell on earth. And by its removal, he sanitizes their relationship (n19:12-13).
23 There's also an element of truth here but, is your wife more than a pile of garbage? (as corresponds to her will). And let's not castrate mankind for this sake, and focus on the quality of one's sexual relationship, as opposed to the quantity. This I believe is what God intended when He commanded Abraham to circumcise all the male children of his household. The very nature of which focuses the attention on the genitals, and if anything heightens a man's sexual experience, probably why Roy Masters doesn't believe in it. Whereby increasing his affection towards his wifeor, sensitivity (n4:88-91).
24 While it's through sexual union that a man comes to know his wife, more and more intimately. And being intimately joined, they become one flesh! (n3:3). This I believe is what God intended from the beginning. Genesis 2:24 And, as conveyed in Swedenborg's Conjugal Love (n7:6-9), it's indicative to the way angels relate to each other in heaven.
25 As for in the beginning, is it only a coincidence that the head of a man's penis looks like the head of a serpent? Could this be why God commanded Abraham to circumcise all the male children of his household, to remind us of what happened in the Garden of Eden? And God says, "Let this serve as my everlasting covenant between thee." Genesis 17:7-13 Indeed, in some parts of the world the serpent is revered as a symbol of eternitywhere it sheds its skin and, in effect is reborn. While the Masons I believe (n6:27), portray eternity as a serpent in the form of a circle biting its tail. Are these mere coincidences as well? Wherefore man, by shedding his foreskin or, bearskin? (n20), is reminded of his serpent nature and ancient karma from the past. Or, he has lots of time to think about it at least; albeit it doesn't explain the nature of the fall but, only alludes to it.
26 Thus as Swedenborg explains in his work, Heaven and Hell, heaven and hell is from the human race, meaning spirits or angels could not exist, in either capacity, unless human beings were first born and die in the natural world. That's because as spirits we become forms of energy or, say like EMF generated over the radio and, while time and space may appear to exist (as it does in our dreams), it's only an illusion, because everything is updated immediately in the moment. So, while one may experience giving birth one moment, we may find ourselves racing in a car around a race track in the next (n5:6) or, just about anything else. Meaning there is no linear sense of time, and without that there is no gestational period, and human beingswith spiritscannot be born.
27 So even if there was a Garden of Eden, and ensuing fall, that doesn't mean sex is original sin, as Roy Masters might suggest (n13:32). Although both are clearly related, otherwise Adam and Eve wouldn't have noticed they were naked, by which God commanded them to leave the Garden and go out and replenish the earth. Genesis 1:28 If Swedenborg is correct, it simply means this is how beings are created to populate the spiritual world, by which the serpent or, man's phallus, becomes the means by which it's accomplished. This is why it's so revered.
28 Whereby Adam and Eve's encounter with the serpent in the Garden represented a sexual awakening of sorts which, presumably stirred up feelings of lust (n19:13), which is not spiritual and why I think they noticed they were naked. And so donned the first article of clothing fashioned to cover up, the fig leaf. This I think is the key. And here a distinction is to be made between sex or carnal lust? which is natural (1), eroticism which is spiritual (2), and marital love the third and final degree which is celestial (3)which, according to Swedenborg, is the only one truly marital (n7:8).
29 Also, for those arguing original sin precludes free will, as it required Adam and Eve to take the fall, it would have been tantamount to being coerced, yes or, put in a situation beyond their control. However, a sense of restriction cannot be experienced either without free will, as the two go hand-in-hand. Take for example the policeman who comes to your door and handcuffs you and throws you in the back of his car without your consent (n11:270). It's basically the same thing, which of course happens all the time in the real world. This is called compatibilism. So no, you can't use it as an excuse to deny original sin or, that sex is a by-product, although like I said, I think it has more to do with lust. Though in all fairness, I think a majority of fallen folks are unable to differentiate here, which lends itself more closely to Roy Masters' point of view.
30 So once again, you may be wondering what it has to do with Chief Joseph or, even Roy Masters? But like I said above (n7-9), I had been conveying the story of Joseph to the American Indians in my mind, regarding Roy Masters and the FHU's uncircumcised attitude. So it's only fair that I give some idea about what's en-tailed afterwards. Say what, a serpent biting its tail? Sorry, I couldn't resist! Yet that's exactly what's conveyed above! (n25). And so leads to Justine (8) shedding the bearskin of ignorance, regarding circumcision (n4:83-85) and, The Bear and the Garbage Can above (n17). Which, once it occurs, leads to a state of true intercourse, as conveyed In-Diana (9) (n4:88). Did someone say American Indian? Oops again! I'm also reminded of the song, Diana, by Paul Anka.
31 Okay, so I have a sense of humor. However, since I have moded the chapters of the book after the fourteen Gerarai (n4:1), mostly noted the similarities, come to find out chapter 8, in accord with Justine (8) and the number 479, corresponds to the high priest (n8:12): by which the veil is lifted and circumcision is performed (8). While chapter 9, in accord with Diana (9) and the American Indian, signifies a state of true intercourse, and a relationship with Mother Earth: where the American Indian is basically honest and down to earth, and intimate with the symbols and correspondences. Which in my mind portrays the priesthoodof the earthor, at least is closest to the idea (n1:32-35). So there it is! And of course Mother Earth's favorite pet was most likely the serpent. God's Penis? Or, at least it was Hera's favorite pet, the Python. Did somebody say hole in the ground? So here we are back to the Garden of Eden! (n25).
32 As for the number 479, it was the first thing I wrote about in the book, and was part of the letter addressed to David at the Foundation of Human Understanding in Grants Pass, which is now part of chapter 8 and aptly calledDear David / 479. This was back in November, 1987 at my fourteenth residence (n11:364), after I camped out along Highway 62 and the Upper Rogue River north of Shady Cove, and thought I had a run-in with a bear that night which, came over and started shaking my truck. Instead, my truck had rolled 30 feet downhill, after I forgot to set the parking brake. Come morning, when I got up to look, there was the bank of the river four feet away, and my truck about to plunge into the river!
33 There was also the remains of a deer carcass about 20-30 feet away from where I parked (n11:366), which coincides with the idea that Chief Joseph surrendered on Bear Paw Mountain above (n16), and compares General Howard and company to grizzly bears and his people to deer. Wow! And indeed, a bear signifies ignorance! (n11:369).
34 So once again, Chief Joseph, Roy Masters, circumcision and the bear are tied together. And, as it occurred along Highway 62, it ties in the number 62, where both the marriage (7) and circumcision (8) occurswhich is the bear!i.e., the number 78 or Justine (8). Which occurs between the 6th and 2nd aspects of the cross, by which the 2nd aspect becomes the extension of the 6th (n6:58). And so coincides with the Church of Philadelphia, the sixth church in Revelation 3:7-12 which, is called The Pillar.
35 At the same time it signifies, "He who hath the key of David" which, in accord with the name Dennis, is precisely what the number 479 means (n6:84; n8:7-23). And here I am writing to David about the number 479 specifically! although I didn't mention the part about the name Dennis. While I give more detail about the bear and the number 62 at my sixth and seventh residences (n11:144,153).