HAPPINESS; THAT ELUSIVE WILL-O-THE-WISP

HAPPINESS: THAT ELUSIVE WILL-O-THE-WISP

There are three kinds of happiness: the kind you wish you had, the kind you think you have, and the kind that’s unmistakable. Problem is, those who don’t have happiness are looking for it in all the wrong places, and many who think they are happy are actually pleased—a paltry consolation prize. A feather on the sole of the foot may provoke laughter but it hardly brings joy.

Up until recently it appeared that the advertisers had won. People were looking to establish successful lives through goods and services, or as one writer put it, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Is that to be our legacy, a tombstone surrounded with the gadgets that failed to add any years to our life or—more to the point—life to our years?

In the early l960’s a brilliant and my late partner, John Williamson ran computer models to determine what was wrong to cause everyone so much unhappiness and discontent? Ultimately his model findings would be the foundation to the creative design of Sandstone Retreat/Foundation, where the focus was belief that our minds, spirits, body and soul were loved and respected.

John determined that we were guided by the chatter inside our heads, a false sense of self that deludes us and which handles our problems by giving them names, namely the ego. We built a society on these false assumptions, either naively or cunningly steered by parents, school, books, film, television, advertising and other people’s feedback. And since most of the people on whom we model our behavior also conduct their lives based on false assumptions, we never learn to know anything different. We went about our lives based upon assumptions rather than real experience.

Upon examination, these assumptions turn out to be out of touch with reality. We say with the authority of tradition, ”Everybody knows that it is so,” or, “It has always been that way.” But if we try to analyze an assumption of this kind it falls apart as soon as we touch it. And that is why we prefer not to touch them and sometimes even fiercely defend them. We poor lemmings continue to leap into the sea, confident that there is land within our reach because, “everyone knows that.”

As a result, we end up living under the pressure of countless false fears. We live in a cage that is of our own making, but one that seems real enough so that we do not venture outside of it. We end up restricting, our actions and our choices, and thus strangle our precious potential. All this because of false fears based upon false assumptions.

The activity of ceremonial drumming is a pathway to the heart, leading us to know our true self. The heart reaches a magnetic field 500 times more powerful than our brain. One hour of drumming registers a huge boost to the immune system, and generates emotions of joy and bliss. It works across all cultural conflicts. Recently Cindy Stevens was in Iraq to revive their spirit. It is touching and you can view her drumming at; http://www.ubdrumcircles.com/video.php and join in to be a part of saving the world.

Meditation is another huge threat to the craziness in our lives. We are blessed with great support while heading into the New Year. May you have an exciting new year!

BORN TOO LATE

TRAMPOLINE05_cropLooking back in history to Sandstone’s sexual revolution in the 60’s and 70’s you will know that we wanted out of bondage and be free to explore and discover our little known inner self. We continually searched the consciousness to understand our purpose in life and help us mature from childhood to adulthood.

Sandstone dominated the Media coverage from 1970 through 1973. Over the past several years the mass audience has been exposed to Sandstone through numerous articles in diverse publications. I appeared on the Dick Cavett show with the Sandstone philosophy to inform the world that from my perspective life was a banquet and most poor souls were starving to death.

For those of you born too late for Sandstone here are some excerpts from a few publications with a total circulation well in excess of 15,000,000 copies.

 Rolling Stone: 1972 “Sensuality Comes to Suburbs.” In the City of the Angels, in the land of sensory overload, it’s Saturday night. From out a plate glass window in the main room of Sandstone Institute, you can watch the full moon make patterns on the ocean waves. Every 15 minutes a new couple arrives…Just regular folks, the kind you see in the shopping plaza on Saturday morning with three kids in the back of a station wagon. Inside the main room, 35 people are sprawled on the sofa and over the floor, eating dinner. Half of them are totally naked. Sipping wine and making conversation.

 LOS ANGELES TIMES: 1972 “Sandstone: Close-up of a Unique Life-style.” Sandstone combines an alternate life-style, a community, a private club and retreat, and a sociological research community. While there is a definite sexual basis for their interpersonal relationships.. . Sandstone is not a “sex club” or a wife swapping fraternity, at least not in the usual sense. While newcomers may be awed by the open sexuality, most old timers are more relaxed by the atmosphere and say they thrive in an environment which allows them to experience sex without guilt or social stigma.

 ESQUIRE 1972 “ Nobody Serves Onion Dip at Sandstone” Most American Suburbs are swinging these days. In the Los Angeles suburb, group sex has achieved a higher consciousness. An Esquire writer recently visited a place completely in harmony with the rest of our suburb, Sandstone Retreat. They make love openly, unconcerned by the lack of privacy, and, not intimidated by things that might inhibit outsiders. It is a fundamental concept at Sandstone that the human body is good, that sexuality is a positive force toward greater intimacy and understanding.

 PENTHOUSE 1972 “SANDSTONE—A LOVE COMMUNITY” On a California estate overlooking the Pacific, sexual hang-ups are treated by permissive therapy or orgy, depending on how you see it. I read some papers written by John Williamson where I found Williamson’s rationale for the Sandstone Community. Sex emerged as one of the major ways in which people must learn to communicate. “We waste a lot of time and energy on fantasies” said John, “I think that if you have a fantasy about taking your secretary to bed, then you should take her to bed, if she’s willing. That way you exhaust the fantasies and they can’t bother you. I’m not saying that public sex is better than private sex. It isn’t. A strong reaction against public sex is what’s debilitating. A little public sex will help you immensely in your private sex.”

THE END

LOST LOVE

kamasutraWell over a millennium ago, Indian Hinduism treated sex as an art, a science and a spiritual practice. It was not considered a remnant of some dark and ancient bestial behavior, but rather a civilizing force. As such they wrote extensive treatises on how to elevate their sexual potential.

The most famous pieces of Indian literature on sex are the Kamasutra (aphorisms on love) and the Kamashrastra (from kama “pleasure”, and shastra “skill”). This collection of explicit sexual writings, both spiritual and practical, covered most aspects of human courtship and intercourse. The Kamasutra is thought to have been written in its final form sometime between the third and fifth century AD, a period of Indian history when sex epitomized love, pleasure, synergy and happiness. It was a successful strategy, which begs the question why around the 11th or 12th century, India took a conservative turn toward decreased freedom for women and a proscription against premarital and extramarital sex. They wrote a new sex manual suitable for their new order.

In Jewish law, sex is not considered intrinsically sinful or shameful when conducted in marriage, nor is it a necessary evil for the purpose of procreation. Sex is considered a private and holy act between a husband and wife. The residue of sex (as with any lost bodily fluid) was considered ritually unclean outside the body, and required ablution. Perhaps this is how sex became cast as a dirty act, forming an imprint in our brain that must somehow be removed.

Christianity re-emphasized the Jewish attitudes on sexuality with two new concepts. First, there was the reiterated idea that marriage was absolutely exclusive and indissoluble, placing further guidance on divorce and expanding on the reasons and principles behind those laws.

Second, in Old Testament times marriage was almost universal, in continuity with the total matrimony in Eden, but in the New Testament, the trajectory is extended forward to the goal of no marriage in the new heavens and new earth (see Matthew 22). Practically therefore the new age after Jesus now has marriage as only normative, but celibacy is a valuable gift in and of itself.

In present time, it feels as though our free will and identities have been stolen from us. My understanding from birth has been that each of us has a free spirit and entitled to create and live a chosen fruitful life of discovery, adventure, productivity and happiness, without meddlers and the dictates of a false society. This period of an open attitude towards sex reflects love, pleasure, synergy and happiness in their culture.
It was necessary to have a sexual revolution and the reason we pioneered Sandstone Retreat, which became known as the hub of the sexual revolution.

In 1972 we went so far as to create the Sandstone Movie for viewers to look in on members happily living an alternate lifestyle. It just happened that our principals were in sync with Hindu principals and expression of an open attitude towards sex reflects love, pleasure, synergy and happiness in the culture. The Sandstone Movie (only one of a kind) has been re-released on https://www.indieflix.com site. Just go there register (free) and search for “Sandstone.” Enjoy this rare event.

Honoring my late partner, John Williamson

I was pursuing the American Dream at full throttle, working hard and playing hard, but coming no closer to real happiness. I was trapped in the web of conventional wisdom, which is far more conventional than wise. What I was looking for was the form of success I call the “tomorrow,” that elusive happiness that always hovers one more day away from realization. Oh if I could only have that new car, that private plane, that house on the hill. And when I got it, there hovering before my eyes was another tomorrow success, mockingly urging me toward the next big stepping stone to sybaritic bliss.

I didn’t want to admit that I was failing in achieving my innermost dreams.  Where would I start to realize my inner most dreams of being creative, happy, loved and feeling peaceful?  As a so-called expert in achieving my dreams, I was a sought after speaker and role model while most other women chose to stay home.  Yet a voice, vague but insistent, kept telling me that the next big step to happiness resided inside myself. It was something that overtime could not tame, money could not buy, and fame could not secure. Yet how could this be? The indoctrinating drumbeat of conventional wisdom has lyrics: “You were born bald, toothless, helpless, and broke, but you sure as Hell shouldn’t have to die that way!”

The first day John and I met he recognized my great values and at the same time saw through my inner weaknesses.  Instantly he intuitively knew how to lead and guide me to repair these.  I yearned for inner peace that at age twenty six was painfully absent.  The two of us matched up our strengths to become two halves of a perfect relationship. I discovered something amazing…that success was not a possession, it was a characteristic, and it is one we are born with. Success is something we actually have to be programmed not to achieve! Success, you see, is natural, and we are raised from an early age to “rise above” nature.

John, like other great leaders, learned his craft by overcoming adversity. He came from such a poor environment that he didn’t have food to eat at times.  He relied on catching fish or killing meat, daily or selling bootlegged whiskey. The family was so poor that their cabin only had a dirt floor.

Attending school was a ten mile hike through the swamps in Alabama each way.  These hardships became the mother of invention, and how John learned to build everything by hand from scratch.  Practice would later deem him a terrific pioneer and entrepreneur and ultimately be known for his ability to solve problems.  His mind was brilliant and being so isolated it gave him ample time and space to think.  He never carried any homework from school but still received all A’s on his report card.

In the sixties all of our friends and acquaintances were so unhappy and seemed quite dysfunctional. After much research with our highly professional folks we determined it to be caused by sexual repression that had steered people away from Mother Nature’s proscribed pathways.

His background prepared him to create our own alternate lifestyle. Even though it involved a community of people it was still a system that John had a firm grasp of.  He developed his inner ‘Shaman’ which is devoid of a false self. In doing so, he bypassed the ego.

Therefore, we created Sandstone Retreat, removed our own masks and left others with no place to run and hide, leaving them to face their inner truths. John continued to remind me and others that we had all the answers inside ourselves. As soon as we accepted that reality we would be on the highway to repairing ourselves.

John supported the idea that women should be running the world.  In the sixties, women’s ideas and principles were incubating and not yet ready to be woven into the cultural fabric.  The men took our culture to war, while espousing “make more money” and love the American dream with all the toys, automobiles and more things money can buy. That scenario was not going to make women happy.  Now that women have stated their list of principles and values some are; intimacy, caring, love, compassion, freedom, owning sexuality, peace, happiness and full cooperation with each other. Competition tears at our souls and is highly destructive.

God bless John for bringing his higher self and wisdom to share with the world.