Saturday, February 7, 2009

Reading adventures

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

My reading is not up to par. Over the past six or ten years, it seems that I've neglected to read in any book every day. Before that, I was an avid reader. I would always read something in my spare time, especially before dropping off to dreamland. That was the time I did my best reading, even though at times it would only be a paragraph or up to a complete book.

When I was in Honolulu, I visited one particular bookstore fairly regularly. I was into history back then, ancient history. One occasion I purchased a three-volume set on the history of Egypt, leather bound, each page was double columns, each volume had at least 800 pages, printed in the year 1885, cost me five dollars each, and I bought them one at a time. I always wondered later how much I could have made from them, because it wasn't just your run of the mill shoot-'em-up, although death and destruction ran amok throughout what with all the Pharoahs dying and being poisoned, etc, and the thousands dying from the plagues and pestilence, not counting those killing themselves working on the pyramids. When my final days there were about finished, the books were passed on to a shipmate, the only person whoever expressed any interest in them.

Another thing bought was a four volume set of books on Yoga. My interest was aroused when I heard the hearsay about how wonderful it was. I studied each volume and practiced breathing techniques, relaxation, movements, etc. I didn't actually do any of it, just studied it, er, read it, I mean, although I found it to be very helpful in putting yourself to sleep. I didn't actually need any help going to sleep, but psychologically I guess it helped. A few times I did try to follow through with the out-of-body experiences. It was explained very clearly how to do it and it looked easy. It never worked very well, though, as I could not get myself into a deep enough trance to actually put my spirit or other being or consciousness out of my body. Just wouldn't happen. I think it was because I began thinking about how I was going to get back into my body when I had had enough traveling around the world that way. And since I had a hard time finding out how you were supposed to do that, my out-of-body experiences were pre-destined to fail.

Maybe the swabbie who started a fire in our living quarters was practicing the same thing when he fell asleep smoking a cigarette. It caused quite a commotion with all the smoke and what-all, but he was still sleeping like a baby, or was it passed out from too much beer? No matter, we got him awake finally and drug his mattress out of the building still smoldering under all the water that was directed his way. I'm sorry to say he received what they called back then as "three days piss and bunk." His father was a full commander in the Navy and he probably heard about it worse from him, than having to live in the brig on bread and water for three days. Here, he was just trying to catch a little sleep after a hard day's work and a few cocktails or whatever, and he couldn't be left alone. Poor fellow. I felt sorry for him, but I'm glad that I didn't smoke.

That was back before I was reading many westerns, but I still squeezed in a "white hat gets the girl in the end" now and then or one of the western pulps.

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