Last Friday, January 18, 2002, my mother drove down from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz to pick me up on her way to Southern California. It was going to be the first time she'd seen the room I'm living in now. Shortly before her arrival I made a quick inspection of the room in order to hide any contraband. I stowed my pipes and other paraphenalia away from prying eyes. For some reason I also covered up the book, Autobiography of a Yogi, which has been prominently displayed on my bookshelf for months. The cover shows a famous portrait of the author, Paramahansa Yogananda, and his piercing gaze is a presence I enjoy having in the room as a reminder of spiritual aspirations. Perhaps because I wanted to avoid a possible discussion, I chose to put another book in front it--thus occluding Yogananda's powerful stare.
Since returning home from the trip with my mother, I've forgotten to uncover Yogananda's portrait--though I've noticed it and reminded myself to uncover it at least five times over the week. Today I reminded myself twice to do it, and yet got distracted before ever completing the task. Tonight I was sitting at my desk when my phone rang. I answered it and it was my mother on the line. A few minutes into the conversation I heard a thump! to my right. Turning there I beheld with amazement the depthless gaze of Paramahansa Yogananda--the book that had been covering it, Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger, was now lying on the floor.
I grinned and stared back at Yogananda as that warm glow of the numinous descended on me.
Funny, I'd just been reading a passage about wish fulfillment in Terence McKenna's True Hallucinations:
I have come to believe that under certain conditions the manipulative power of consciousness moves beyond the body and into the world. The world then obeys the will of consciousness to the degree that the inertia of pre-existing physical laws can be overcome. This inertia is overcome by consciousness determining the outcome of normally random, micro-physical events. Over time the deflection of micro-events from randomness is cumulative so that eventually the effects of such deflections is to shift the course of events in larger physical systems as well. Apparently, when wanting wishes to come true, patience is everything....It is easy for consciousness to direct the electrical flow in the central nervous system (though we have no idea how this is done); it is less easy for it to move, not electrons, but the whole atomic system spread far and wide in time and space. This may explain why it is easy to form a thought, but having one's wishes come true takes longer.