Friday, June 23, 2017

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND--revisited

Posted: 23 June 2017
Updated: 12 Jul 17

Scan of library cover of 1961 edition (75 cents}


This promises to be interesting! (If not bizarre!)

In Anaheim, California this past week, while attending the 2017 IASD conference [International Association for the Study of Dreams], I presented a 2-hour dream workshop, which was facilitated and financed by newly discovered (in 2003) nephew Jim Wood [JW]. 


(Jim is the second son of Dorothy, my dad's first child, born in Texas in 1926, whom we knew nothing about until she found us on the internet in 2003. Although Dad left her and her family when she was only 3, she never forgot him and her love for him. Toward the end of her life she began to obsess about finding some trace of her father to fill a life-long yearning.)

Because of our unconventional post-workshop conversations, Jim asked me to reread Robert Heinlein's classic novel over the next few weeks, so that we can discuss it from today's respective perspectives, both of us having first read it many decades ago in our mutual states of naïveté.

The subject came up during one particular conversation when I observed to Jim that he appears to "grok" when confronted with difficult issues. "Stranger in a Strange Land!" he exclaimed, recognizing the term grok


"Yes", I replied, having learned that term while reading the book as a teenager--or so I thought when I spoke to Jim about our agreement to reread this particular classic book. However, when I checked out the above-illustrated copy from the local library, I discovered it was first published in 1961 and NOT in the late '40s as I had supposed. Thus, I deduced that I must have been recollecting my reading of Heinlein's 1949 edition of Red Planet --the acknowledged precursor of Stranger in a Strange Land--since in those teenage years I worked as a page in a local library in Phoenix during which I became smitten with science fiction. 

This gives me clear warning to beware of trusting my memory without corroborating evidence!!

In any case the earliest I could have known that word was apparently when I was in graduate school, having had such an experience the first quarter of grad school at the University of Utah in fall 1960. This is now a mystery! When did I actually first read that book??!

When I suggested an on-going blog conversation with nephew Jim, I asked if he'd mind being identified, since this blog and its antecedent is dedicated to my family, which now includes him and his brothers. Jim replied:

Sure use my name….I have a lot to say and those that wish to hear it and read it [but] those that don't, don't have to talk to me.
I love the intellectual exchange between different philosophies and modes of culture that begin to be questioned versus the Automaticity of our upbringings. I so love the lifestyle outline of loving many people and having them all love me at once. I fully embrace that lifestyle and I currently live it now and have been cultivating more and more people of like minded point[s] of you.

Friday, 7 July 17. Having now re-read almost 90% of the book, it is clear that virtually everything but the word grok must have passed me by at my original reading. I'll have to wait for Jim's questions before continuing with Stranger.

Later this Friday evening (7 July), my youngest son John called on FaceTime from Utah. He took an interest in the above mentioned dream workshop and this post (hope he will join in the conversation!). I want him to know that the DreamTime story about the origin of the CREEI Process was invented when we lived together with his mother in Long Beach in 1987. He was but 3 or 4 years old. Before the process successfully addressed a severe morale problem at the aerospace company I then worked for, I'd offered it first to the Mormon Long Beach Third Ward Elders Quorum leadership in which I was the oldest member. 

Unfortunately, it did NOT take root there, apparently requiring an urgent need and the participation of women, as well!


TO BE CONTINUED IN PART II...




1 comment:

Eugene said...

Nephew Jim Wood attempted to leave a comment here, having never commented on a blog before. So, he was dismayed when it was rejected as too long.

I asked him to email his comments to me, expecting to whittle them down to an acceptable size. However, when I read them out loud to my wife Birgitta this morning (7/11) we both felt they were so good that they deserved to be a post all by themselves.

Thus, Jim's comments will appear in the next post as Part II.