INTERVIEW — TAPE #31, SIDE #2
Q: Mark Russell BellI: Marie Todd (friend)S: Stephan Hoeller, Ph.D., PRS faculty memberH: Obadiah Harris, Ph.D., PRS presidentP: Pierre Grimes, Ph.D., PRS faculty memberB: Michael Paul Russell (my twin brother)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THIS IS CONTINUED FROM THE PREVIOUS TAPE SIDE. I ADJUSTED THE GRAPHIC EQUALIZER ON THE FISHER CASSETTE PLAYER AND WAS ASTONISHED HOW CLEAR THE FIRST WHISPERY SPIRIT VOICE SAYING “NO” IS HEARD WITH THE PRS CASSETTE IN THIS MACHINE, ALTHOUGH THE MAJORITY OF COMMENTS ON THE PRS TAPE ARE FAINT AND ABRUPT. I DIDN’T PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE MICROCASSETTE AFTER TRANSCRIBING THE REMAINDER OF DR. HOELLER’S COMMENTS WITH THE PRS CASSETTE.)
S: — to our geographical region. ([PRS] “I WOULD SAY THAT”) And that should not be diluted because anything diluted loses its strength. ([PRS] “BEFORE”) But on the other hand it also must be recognized that it is a mystery. And to define a mystery and to carve it in stone is always a deplorable mistake. ([PRS] “OH YEAH” [PRS] “VILLAIN”) The great poet and visionary of the English tongue, William Blake, ([PRS] “AN”) was asked once whether he believed ([PRS] “PUT THAT DOWN”) that Jesus Christ was the son ([PRS] “NO”) of God. ([PRS] “TELL ME”) And he said in a loud voice, “Oh, yes, I certainly do.” And then he said in a somewhat softer voice, ([PRS] “YEAH”) “And so are you. And so am I.” ([PRS] “U S A [PRS] “ONE”) And this again should not be taken in an arrogant sense that we are already fully grown ([PRS] “MY”) sons of God — and that we know everything and we’re all empowered as the present word has it and so forth. Because with that kind of inflation we develop into a kind of psychological balloon that will eventually burst with a loud and ultimately sad pop. ([PRS] “AN”) But we need to remember that we are potentially the sons and the daughters of God — that in us dwells something extremely important and that through us something very important can be borne — brought into this world. ([PRS] “TUESDAY”) That which is beyond this world can come into this world and sanctify it, elevate it and bring it to a, perhaps, at least a measure of the fulfillment of it’s own indwelling potential. ([PRS] “WHO”) And in that sense our own inner being is the key. ([PRS] “UH-HUH” [PRS] “ONE”) Or the receptacle wherein the savior is born. ([PRS] “LIKE THE”) Like the mother of Christ, we have to offer our own inner being as the place ([PRS] “WHERE”) where the redeeming light can come and brew and ultimately come forward. And if we do that — if we ask for that — if we continue to reach out with our — with the hand of the totality of our being toward that which is beyond us. ([PRS] “NO”) Then we may be assured ([PRS] “THAT’S WHERE”) that the response will come. It always has and it will continue to do so. At the same time, we should not have unrealistic and wild fantasies and expectations. ([PRS] “VULNERABLE”) This world is the world. It always has been that and it will probably continue to be that. Another great messenger of light, Buddha, ([PRS] “PICK UP”) said that embodied existence is suffering. This is not likely to change. ([PRS] “YOU IN THEIR PLACE” [PRS] “AND”) We are unable to change it. ([PRS] “NO WE’RE NOT”) If we had been able to do so, somewhere along the line we would have done so already. But we can do something else. We can lesson the impact of ([PRS] “BETTER” [PRS] “THE”) the horror and the despair of that suffering ([PRS] “BY”) by looking around us ([PRS] “HERE”) and doing as much as we can under the circumstances to help. ([PRS] “HERE”) We cannot save the world. ([PRS] “SAVE”) Someone else, perhaps, with us and through us may do that. But we can make the suffering and the sorrow and the darkness of this world a little bit less. ([PRS] “YOU BETTER”) We can bring a little light into it, a little more compassion into it, ([PRS] “EVERY”) a little more wisdom into it. ([PRS] “AS YOU LEARN”) And, while we assuredly must do that under our own circumstances — in our own lives, in our own homes and in our own communities; if some of us are able to band together and do some of that with each other’s assistance and presence and friendship, it will thereby be that much more effective. ([PRS] “TODAY”) And I hope and I pray on this Christmastime that is what we are doing here at PRS and that is what we will continue to do. And then if we are able to move in that direction step by step, ([PRS] “THEN WE WILL”) Then, we will not have betrayed the trust that Manley Palmer Hall and all those great and fine people who were with him throughout those many decades: my good and late friend, John Henry Gregg; many others have invested in this. ([PRS] “NO”) And then when, as it must, our time will also come to ([PRS] “GET OFF THE”) step off the edge of this world and keep walking, ([PRS] “AND” [PRS] “WHY”) then perhaps ([PRS] “WE ARE”) in some fashion, in some way, we will meet them and they will be able to tell us, “Well done, my friends. ([PRS] “YOU HAVE DONE”) You have done within your own circumstances in your own time and with your own limitations what we have done.” ([PRS] “DIFFERENT STATE”) And together we will be able to stand before a Greater Presence and say that ([PRS] “A”) humbly and with our faults and with our difficulties, we still tried to make the heavy ([PRS] “MY”) burden of embodied existence lighter in this world ([PRS] “NO”) and we have brought a little light, ([PRS] “ON”) a little comfort, a little compassion, a little wisdom. May we continue to do that. Merry Christmas and God bless you all. (“OOOOHH”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: APPLAUSE IS HEARD ON THE TAPES HERE. AS OBADIAH HARRIS BEGINS TO SPEAK, THERE ARE MANY PERCUSSIVE SOUNDS.)
H: There is a classic line in the Bhagavad-Gita, which is the sermon on the mount of India, that as clearly as any that I can think of at this moment —
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: OBADIAH PAUSES BECAUSE OF THE STRANGE SOUNDS BEING PICKED UP BY THE MICROPHONE.)
I: How weird.
Q: (to Marie) It’s Michael.
H: You hear that? That dicker?
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE PERCUSSIVE SOUNDS GET LOUDER ON THE TAPE HERE.)
H: There’s a lot of energy being poured out on the world like that. ([BOTH TAPES] “NO”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE SOUNDS STOP.)
H: It heard you coming. ([PRS] “NO” [PRS] “CLOCK” + [PRS] “GET HER” [PRS] “I DO”)
I: Now see? ([BOTH TAPES] “OOH NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW”)
H: Now we have a lot of ([PRS] “FAITH”) wonderful food out there in the foyer, Stephan.
S: Oh yeah.
H: I’m just going to say a few words. I want to continue with this synthesis approach to Christmas. There’s a classic line in the Bhagavad-Gita — ([PRS] “KNOWN AS THE SER”) the sermon on the mount of India — the song of God, ([PRS] “MAKE YOU FEEL”) which I think dutifully defines this ([PRS] “WHOLE PARTY”) — this great mystery ([PRS] “OF”) of divine incarnation. It says that whenever there’s a crisis in cosmic affairs; ([PRS] “FEAR OF GOD”) whenever there’s an eclipse of the higher values, ([PRS] “YES IT’S REALLY”) the Supreme Spirit is manifested in human form ([PRS] “ON THE STAGE”) to hold back the forces of ignorance ([PRS] “OH YEAH”) and insure the progress of the race. ([PRS] “ONE POWER”) And this (+) classic definition — ([PRS] “WE HAVE A”) we have a universal explanation ([PRS] “HIS RETURN”) of what this phenomenon is that we ([PRS] “LOVE”) celebrate every year. ([PRS] “YEAH”) And we see that it’s not just once ([PRS] “BE CAREFUL”) or in one place. ([PRS] “OUR OWN PROBLEM” [PRS] “NO”) But it happens whenever that crisis ([PRS] “YOU’RE IN TROUBLE”) is sufficient, then the grace of God responds. ([PRS] “HELP WITH OUR”) And I think that’s the universal view that ([PRS] “THE WORK”) the PRS has adopted to draw upon all those great cultural forces ([PRS] “FROM THEM ALL”) and insights and recognize that this is something that happens more than once and in more than one part of the world. ([PRS] “BEFORE”) Also, the Gita points out that every individual, as Stephen so eloquently alluded to a moment ago, has this Divine Presence — ([PRS] “OF THE”) this Christ within — and the potential of realizing its fulfillment. ([PRS] “SO I”) So if there is no unbridgeable gulf ([PRS] “NO UNBRIDGEABLE”) between finite and the infinite. If there is no ([PRS] “DEEP”) deep cleavage ([PRS] “GRAY MATTER”) between the eternal and the temporal. ([PRS] “WHERE THE ANSWER LIES”) Then what is the difference ([PRS] “WITH MY”) between an ordinary human being ([PRS] “DON’T HELP OUT”) and an enlightened soul like that of Jesus the Christ? ([PRS] “MARK”) And the Bhagavad-Gita goes on — it poses that question that I’ve given you. ([PRS] “RIGHT”) Then, it goes on to answer that question. It says there are three essential differences ([PRS] “BE”) between an ordinary human being ([PRS] “NO”) and an avatar. An avatar, you know, comes from the — it’s a Sanskrit word which means ‘he who descends — passes across.’ One of those differences the Gita says is that the avatar, the divine incarnation ([PRS] “DIVINE SO ARE YOU”) is aware of his divine heritage. ([PRS] “HE’LL ENJOY”) It’s obvious that we are not all fully aware ([PRS] “OF OUR”) of our divine heritage ([PRS] “OF OUR DIVINE HERITAGE”) from the sufferings we endure ([PRS] “WHAT”) and the limitations that we struggle with. ([PRS] “YOU ARE”) And ([PRS] “SAY”) the dictations that we tolerate. So the spiritual teacher like a Jesus or a Buddha or Krishna (“NO”) or Hermes — who all of these were people of virgin birth, we’re told — ([PRS] “AWARE”) is aware of their origin ([PRS] “OF THEIR ORIGIN — THEIR ORIGIN — DIVINE”) — of their divine history. And every one of them comes to try to awaken us to realize that. Every great spiritual teacher spends most of his public ministry in trying to help the average individual realize his own identity — that we are truly all God in the making. And the second difference to be discussed between an ordinary human being and the avatar is that the avatar is in control of the principal of maya. He’s not unaware of it. He uses the principal of maya. He goes into it and knows how to control it. For most of our lives we are underneath various influences of maya — unconscious forces, forces that we’re not even aware of and that call us to act in strange ways and not fully recognize what are spiritual origins really are. The spiritual teacher — the avatar, the Gita said, is fully aware of the principal of maya and is not subject to it. It doesn’t even attract him. You hear one occasion where Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan.” I know you’re quoting the Bible and I’m aware of that. But what you’re saying is an offense to me. Didn’t sound like an addiction or an attraction, did it? So it is the principal of maya is subject to — we are subject to it. But the great realize — spiritual teacher — that transverse subject to them. [PRS] “THIRD DIFFERENCE”) And the third difference — ([PRS] “NO”) the Gita says in an ordinary human being ([PRS] “WHO HELPS HIM”) and a God-realized person ([PRS] “GOD-REARED PERSON”) is that ([PRS] “GOD-REALIZED PERSON”) the God-realized person ([PRS] “AWARE OF”) is aware of and is fulfilling the divine mission in the world. That’s the third difference. ([PRS] “OH YEAH”) It’s call artha. Everyone has his own artha. You’re familiar with the word Siddhartha which means ‘your divine mission.’ ([PRS] “BRILLIANT DO THAT”) Siddhartha or Buddha ([PRS] “SIDDHARTHA OR BUDDHA”) perfectly fulfilled and completed his divine mission in the world. And I think at this time of the year we recognize this great teacher whose birthday we celebrate today ([PRS] “FROM ANTIQUITY”) fulfilled his mission. “Not my will but thine be done” was the ultimate prayer that he prayed. ([PRS] “YEAH”) I would like to think that would be a good note for us to ([PRS] “PROBABLY NOW”) complete our services on today. That each of us has an artha. ([PRS] “NO”) Each of us has a divine mission. ([PRS] “MANLEY HALL WE’RE ALL DIFFERENT”) Manley Hall said that our mission and our road in life was to learn and to grow and to share. ([PRS] “IN OTHER WORDS THINK”) You know the word Christmas etymologically ([PRS] “COME”) comes from the two words: ‘Christ’ ‘mass.’ ([PRS] “AND MASS YOU”) And mass is an English word which means a ([BOTH TAPES] “HO”) holy communion or communion with the divine. And if we can recognize that today, this will be a very significant Christmas in each of our lives. ([PRS] “YOU”) It’s used also in the Eucharist which is to reach out to ([PRS] “HELP”) — with good favor to all those around you. ([PRS] “AILING”) In Christ mass or the holy communion that we celebrate today ([PRS] “IS A”) is a way of getting into contact with ([PRS] “THOSE WHO HAVE”) and beginning to dedicate ourselves ([PRS] “I”) to the fulfillment of our divine mission in the world. ([PRS] “MANLY HALL SAID”) Manly Hall said one Christmas years ago that there’s no reason why any of you shouldn’t have a merry Christmas. ([PRS] “NO REASON WHY YOU SHOULD”) And there’s no reason why you should think it’s selfish to give yourself presents ([PRS] “IT’S GOOD”) on Christmas Day. ([PRS] “YEAH”) And he made a list of suggested gifts that you could make to yourself on Christmas. ([PRS] “FIRST ON THE LIST WAS”) And the first on the list was ([PRS] “GIVING”) give yourself ([PRS] “NO”) a little peace and quietude. ([PRS] “WITH A FRIEND” [PRS] “WE’RE ALL SUBJECT”) We’re all subject to the materialism and commercialization of Christmas. ([PRS] “JUST HEARD”) And I just heard the other day that the average American spends forty-seven hours shopping. ([PRS] “OOOH”) Can you imagine how much time he spends in going back and forth on the freeway? All that shopping? So we’re all subject to that. ([PRS] “GREAT BUT LOOK”) But Manly says that great gift for you to give yourself at Christmas is that of peace and tranquility and quietude. ([PRS] “GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF LOVE”) “Give yourself the gift of love. ([PRS] “GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF LOVE”) Give yourself a gift of compassion and harmony.” ([PRS] “GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT THAT SAYS”) “Give yourself the gift that says ‘a little less anger.’ ([PRS] “A LITTLE LESS”) ‘A little less irritability.'” That was in the Christmas of ’85. That’s a marvelous Christmas present and I think we ought to check it out and begin by giving ourselves the gift of peace and love. Thank you.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: APPLAUSE IS HEARD ON THE TAPES HERE.)
Q: How are you, Stephan? Hi. I’m a cousin of Arthur Young and I’m working on a book.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: MY REVISED FAMILY TREE DOES NOT INCLUDE THE ARNOLD AND YOUNG FAMILY CONNECTIONS.)
Q: It’s sort of a New Age bible.
Q: I loved your sentiments. Can I include some of that information in my book?
S: Oh, sure. Anything you like. (“THANK YOU”)
Q: Thank you so much. Did you know Arthur Young?
S: I don’t know him personally but I’ve heard of him. (“UM-HUH”)
Q: Um-huh. (“RIGHT”)
S: Oh, yes.
Q: I guess he was a genius and a fool, which I guess —
S: Well, —
Q: — we can say that about each one of us.
S: Oh, I would think so. (“BIAS”) (laughs)
Q: Thank you.
( . . . )
Q: Hi, Pierre. My name is Mark Russell Bell. I’m a cousin of Arthur Young.
Q: Did you know Arthur?
P: Yes, I did as a matter of fact. We were going to have a few meetings just before his death. Unfortunately, that didn’t take place. But I have had talks with him and I enjoy his work. And I think his work is a great direction.
Q: I think he was a genius and a fool.
P: Oh — well — (“LIKE”)
Q: Like all of us.
P: Well. (“BUT UM”)
Q: Um, I love what you had to say. I’m writing a book that’s sort of a New Age bible that encompasses all forms of New Age (“NO”) thought. Could I include some of your sentiments that you expressed today in it?
P: Oh sure. Anything at all. Please. Be free. (“I”)
Q: Thank you. (“COME UP AND PLAY”)
( . . . )
P: The word codex is a certain name given for a Bible that they found that is in all capitals. (“SNI”) And the Codex Sinaiticus is the name of the Bible that was discovered in Mount Sinai at a monastery. And it was in the 4th century. There are some very fine books written on it and I could recommend them to you if you get in touch with me.
Q: By the way, this is my friend Marie.
P: How do you do?
I: Pleased to meet you. Merry Christmas.
Q: She’s close to the energy of the virgin Mary. Believe it or not.
Q: She might be channeling, like, the Virgin Mary or something.
Q: We’re trying to figure it out.
I: Your channeler said that. I didn’t. (laughs)
Q: Thank you.
( . . . )
Q: Some people even have to work on Christmas Eve — which is myself working on my book. I loved your sentiments.
H: Thank you.
Q: I know it’s available on the tape that you made for the Society. (“BUT WWW”) Can I also include that in my book as well?
Q: I should speak to you some time about coming in and maybe reading some chapters from my book on a Sunday. (“UMMM”) It encompasses all areas of New Age thought — like ‘Son of Man.’ I don’t think anyone else has ever done that subject.
H: Well, you can come talk to us about it. We’re booked for six months in advance.
Q: You are?
H: Um-huh. And usually these books are published like —
Q: Oh, okay, well after my book is published, then we’ll have — (“NO”)
H: We have a lot of people come and they kick off their book here. Many publishers use PRS as a kick-off point. Houston Smith is coming in March to present his new book on the triumph of the Native American Church. (“I”) Judith Orloff, who’s a famous clairvoyant psychiatrist, is coming and she’s going to start her series. Many authors with bigtime publishers use PRS as a kickoff. Particularly, if it’s in the area of a universal spiritual approach.
Q: Well, what do you think of Judith Orloff’s work?
H: I don’t know about it. I’ve never seen it. I don’t know. But it was recommended to me by a young man who comes here a lot.
Q: Arthur Young’s friend?
H: Yes, that’s right. Jeffrey Mishlove.
Q: Thank you.
( . . . )
Q: So, unfortunately, (“YEAH”) Marie and I found an injured, dying baby bird on her car. Of course, I tried to get someone else to put it on the ground but no one was there so I had to myself. So I’m just heartbroken about it and so is Marie. (“BUT”) I petted it and I said a little prayer for it and prayed that God would take it (“AND”) and comfort it. I think it will be alright. It’s just I wasn’t expecting this. But I guess it was good to be reminded of how brief and fleeting life is. What did you say, Marie? (“GOSH”)
I: That’s exactly what it is but also, perhaps, it fell out of it’s nest. There was a tree with lots of chattering birds right above it that didn’t come and get it. So —
Q: We can’t judge ourselves. We don’t know.
I: No, we just don’t know what might happen next.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: MY BROTHER DIDN’T MEET US AT THE PRS SO WE STOPPED BY HIS HOUSE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED. A CLIENT WAS LEAVING JUST AFTER WE ARRIVED AND MY BROTHER AGREED TO GO TO LUNCH WITH US.)
B: My battery stopped working today when I was supposed to meet Mark and Marie. (“SO WHAT”)
Q: Did you leave the lights on?
B: No. I think it’s the cold air.
Q: I think it’s Michael.
B: I don’t know, Mark, but last year — last Christmas Eve, remember? (“I”) My key wouldn’t work in the lock. And now this Christmas Eve look what happened. Last Christmas Eve, (“NO”) I came home with my key and it broke in the lock. And I had to call Mark and I spent the night at his condo. And I called the locksmith the next day. And then today I went to meet you and I put the key in and the battery was dead.
Q: If you had gone to meet us, would that producer not have come by?
B: Well, he was going to drop the screenplay by but he came by completely unexpectedly.
Q: Right. And who was he?
B: He’s the co-producer of this movie. It’s called, “Tea Town Video.” Anyway — (“A LOT OF”)
Q: That’s his production company? (“THAT’S WHAT HE SAID” “PERFECT”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THESE SPIRIT VOICES WERE HEARD ON MY DICTAPHONE VOICE PROCESSOR. LISTENING TO THE TAPE ON THE MICROCASSETTE RECORDER AND PEARLCORDER TRANSCRIBER, I HEARD MY BROTHER SAYING “HE’S GOT DIFFERENT —”)
Q: I was thinking last night what you said about the Foreign Press and how the films that are nominated reflect that each studio is represented. Their choices really do have a big impact on the Academy Awards. (“UM-HUH”) And what they choose is from the big studios — they don’t really go for the best films. Tell Marie a little bit about that. It’s political, isn’t it?
B: I think it’s a little political.
Q: But they want to have each studio represented.
B: But I — but no, I mean (“WELL” “I”) I don’t know if that’s conscious but, yeah, I mean, you know, it’s (“BUT”) that’s the way it’s best because — you know.
I: Like, duh, you can’t?
Q: But the films that usually do well in the Golden Globes do well at the Academy Awards?
B: Usually. Jonathan Pryce was not nominated.
Q: Why wasn’t he nominated?
B: I don’t know. I guess the members didn’t see the movie.
Q: But why was “Sabrina” nominated for Best Picture?
B: Because the members liked it.
Q: Why was “Persuasion” overlooked?
B: Because not enough members had seen it. If they’d seen it, it would have been nominated.
Q: Do you think it’s better than “Sense and Sensibility”?
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: AN UNATTRIBUTED HUMMING IS HEARD ON THE TAPE HERE AS I ASK THE FOLLOWING.)
Q: Who else was overlooked for the Golden Globes?
B: Kathy Bates.
Q: From “Dolores Claiborne.” Based on a Stephen King novel.
B: Many people believe at the Academy that hers was the best performance by an actress of the year.
Q: Do you think she’ll receive an Oscar nomination? (“IT’S”)
B: It’s — well, after this, it’s doubtful. (“UM I”) You saw that, Marie, right? (“DID YOU SEE KATHY” “UH”) “Dolores Claiborne”?
B: Wasn’t she incredible?
B: How could she not be nominated?
Q: You know when I saw that movie (“YEAH”) didn’t she remind you a lot of our mother? That character?
B: Well, that’s because she struck a universal chord. I think everybody can see parts of their mother in that character.
I: And that’s what made it a great performance.
B: Yeah. And the bedridden miserly woman (“WAS IN”) gave the best supporting performance I’ve seen all year.
Q: And she was overlooked too.
B: And she had no campaign.
Q: Why is that you have to have a campaign in this day and age for somebody to get any kind of award? (“ESPECIALLY MARK ISN’T IT”) Well, I mean that’s not fair. It should be whatever — whoever gives the best performance.
B: Well, it shouldn’t but — in reality.
Q: People always vote for the films that they think deserve to win — the most highbrow stuff. Not for the best films or the best performances and it’s not fair.
B: Well, also, the HFPA, I believe, has a penchant for nominating big stars. That’s why you get Brad Pitt — because they also want them to come to the award telecast —
Q: Right. (“SO”)
B: — too. They love big stars. That’s why Sophia Loren got nominated. Brad Pitt. (“IT’S”) And they don’t take themselves as seriously as the Oscars. So you get a lot of big stars nominated. Schwarzenegger was nominated last year. (“SO”) You know, they love Hollywood. They love big Hollywood actors.
Q: But now the Foreign Press is becoming an award show that’s almost reached the caliber of the Academy Awards. I guess it just really goes to show you what complete utter nonsense all of these awards are, really.
B: Exactly. Right.
Q: I mean you can’t take them seriously. But the way they have those ads and everything —
I: No, you can’t. (laughs)
B: What? (“I MEAN” “BUT THE”)
I: No, you can’t.
Q: But the way Hollywood treats the Academy Awards is like they were seeing the Holy Grail instead of a little golden statuette. (“UH-HUH”) Right? I’d rather keep my artistic integrity than sell out with some schlocky movie.
B: Well, I want to hear about what happened today at your party. (“WELL A”) But I just remembered I could have driven this car to the party. I should have realized. Ohhh.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: WE BORROWED JAMES’S CAR BECAUSE HE WAS OUT OF TOWN AND MARIE’S CAR ONLY SEATS TWO.)
I: Well, you’re really flustered. There’s nothing worse than when there’s car trouble.
B: How was it? So what did I miss? What happened?
Q: Well, there was a lot of Christmas caroling, a lot of songs about Jesus. (“MMMM”)
I: Traditional (“BUT”) Christmas. (“KAREN GOLD” “I MEAN”)
B: So I missed nothing, then.
Q: There were also some (“NO”) lectures.
I: There were three speakers between the songs.
Q: And I (“AND I REALLY CARE”) taped each one so you can read them in my book.
B: Who were the speakers? Religious mumbo-jumbo?
Q: No, I actually thought there were some good (“EX”) thoughts there. (“ANKH”)
I: This dude, Obadiah — what’s his name — Harris? —
Q: Right. (“FAKE”)
I: — gave that lecture that we attended when I went with you before — where he talked about the Indian, White Bear, in Arizona.
B: (sarcastic) Oh, that sounds fascinating. A Shaman?
I: Yes. I want to hear him. I want to go when White Bear comes to speak because —
B: White Bear?!
I: — it was very good because you know (“FAKE”) — and then these two other guys spoke. One was Stephan Hoeller, I think — and I forgot — (“THE OTHER”)
B: That name sounds awfully familiar.
I: And I forget the other person. (“NAME” “PNON”)
Q: But they had noble sentiments. (“YEAH”)
I: Yes, and they didn’t go on forever and ever. (“WE’LL DO IT” “RIDDLE”)
B: So it was sort of like going to church. (“THING TO DO”)
I: Well, I can’t — I mean they did the traditional Christmas carols — “The First Noel.”
B: Which carols? “Silent Night”?
I: They didn’t do “Silent Night.” They did “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Deck the Halls” and “The First Noel.” Oh, “Joy To the World” was the last song.
B: (singing) “Joy to the world.” (“YEAH”)
Q: When I heard “Joy To the World,” I was especially struck by some of the lyrics. (“HMM”)
B: Mark, you’re never going to finish this book.
Q: No, actually the song that really struck me —
I: Okay, it’s — so, it’s alright. ($ )
Q: — was “The First Noel.” Because if you really look at the refrain, it’s saying, “No. El. No. El. No. El. No. El.” It’s saying —
B: It says a ‘noel’ is all.
Q: — No. He. He didn’t exist. No. He. (“WELL WH”) He didn’t exist.
I: Oh, you mean breaking it down in syllables?
Q: No. El.
B: He? You mean in Spanish?
I: El is man because E — L — L — E is woman. (“CORRECT”)
Q: No. El. (“NOT THE SON OF GOD”) No. El.
I: Not him. (small laugh)
Q: Not him. (“NOT TO HIM”)
I: I never thought of it that way.
Q: He never existed. (“THAT WOULD’VE”)
( . . . )
I: Michael’s Christmas card just made me scream when I opened it. It was hilarious. (laughs)
Q: What does it say? (“I GAVE TO YOU”)
B: You have Mary —
I: (laughing) “Jesus Christ, close the door. Where were you born? In a barn?”
I: (small laugh)
B: You have Mary. In the background Jesus has come in (“THROUGH THE”) the door.
I: Through the snow.
B: And you can see the snow outside. And there’s a caption above Mary. And she says, “Jesus Christ, close the door. Where were you born? In a barn?”
I: I just laugh — oh, this (“I HAD”) is priceless. I thought it was just — (“BUT THE SON OF MAN IS SENSITIVE” “BIB”)