Pilgrimage to india: 1976


Download 152.08 Kb.
Date conversion29.03.2017
Size152.08 Kb.
  1   2   3   4   5


The following diary, written between September 1976 and January 1977, tells the story of what was conceived at the time as a pilgrimage. (Indeed I took with me a book called ‘A Pilgrim’s Guide to Planet Earth’). It was a journey that had no planning. Less than a week previously I’d had an unusual experience while very stoned at the house of my psychedelic friends Steve and Calla who had themselves, maybe a year before, under the influence of LSD, become very ecstatic and convinced that an underlying spirituality and magic(k) ruled one’s life. The books of Baba Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, Castenada and John Lilly, along with the music of the Moody Blues, Jefferson Airplane and Ravel, informed their thinking. Of course I read the same stuff and, typically, became intellectually curious while experientially barren. After reading Yogananda’s autobiography I thought that maybe his was a path I could follow and I enrolled in a correspondence course provided by his organization, which taught meditation techniques, affirmations, prayers and spiritual attitudes.

On the evening in question in September 1976 I was meditating with Steve and Calla after smoking excellent Afghani hash, while listening to the Moody Blues and Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Have you Seen the Stars Tonite?’ when my head and body began to shake and I experienced an inner energy I’d not before, and even though my eyes were shut I felt my head lifting and it seemed as if the sun were rising inside my own body. For a short while I felt joyful and then I heard a voice inside me say, ‘Go to India, find a Guru, put god to the test.’

Probably if I had been on my own that would have been the end of it because I had no desire to do any of those things and I didn’t really believe that what had happened had any real significance. It was telling Steve and Calla about it that caused something to occur because they were so positive and enthusiastic about my following my instruction. Somehow just a few days later I’d borrowed £50 from my startled and worried parents and commenced my trip with no expectation of getting anywhere but with two destinations in mind if I did: 1) the Yogananda Ashram in India and 2) Cardinal Gracias of Bombay.

I had a short list of self-imposed instructions - such as hitch whenever possible and accept every lift wherever it goes; only eat after sunset unless given food first: repeat daily affirmations and prayers from my Yogananda book; only turn back if given no choice: a copy of aforesaid Pilgrims Guide, a sleeping-bag that doubled as a rucksack and was held together by a piece of rope, a change of clothes and a semi-precious ring that I had decided I would leave at the Ashram in Ranchi.

Thus empowered I set off.

A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness.

He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge. A warrior is impeccable.’ – Don Juan

Exalted truth imposes upon us

Heat and cold, grief and pain,

Terror and weakness of wealth and body

Together, so that the coin of our innermost being

Becomes evident. –Jalaludin Rumi

Five Rules

  1. Non-injury

  2. Non-theft

  3. Non-greed

  4. Truthfulness

  5. Spiritual Conduct.


I’ am a Centre. Around me revolves my world.

I’ am a Centre of Influence and Power.

I’ am a Centre of Thought and Consciousness.

I’ am Independent of the Body.

I’ am Immortal and cannot be Destroyed.

I’ am Invincible and cannot be injured.


Monday September 13th 1976

One o’clock in the morning. Am sitting, cramped, with cigarette in hand, writing by torchlight in an old A30 car, about 30 miles from Paris. My sleeping companion is John, a sixty-year-old Scot escaping tragedy with a fantasy of screwing a lady in gay Paree. He’s been really nice. Picked me up in Canterbury where I was getting soaked. My luggage is a problem, nylon rope cutting my shoulder & constantly coming off the sleeping bag. Crazy journey down following fast moving lorries in the night. John has bought me food and drink. Already have gone somewhere I wasn’t meaning to go. Meant to go to Belgium. Didn’t even get time to have spare passport photos done. Would welcome some sleep. Is all very strange. Say a prayer every time I pass a church.


Tuesday September 14th

Tonight when I need more than ever to meditate and to draw down the grace of my guru, I quit after a few tired seconds to write this and go to bed. Really it has been a good, magical and fortunate day but I’m sitting here on the verge of crying: bad emotional fear ruling me. I want to go home. Have lost my torch, seems indicative of darkness to come. God help me, Yogananda help me.

Early this morning arrived in Paris with John. At about 5a.m. we parted company. Walking into a café to ask for Paris I was helped by a guy called Giles who took me to his home where I have stayed most of the day. Went into Paris with him; saw some artists painting which was good. Also went into a fabulous church which I felt I’d been missing. Giles is out now. I’m going to have an early night with a prayer in my heart that I can realize the joy of having my guru teach and protect me. I need it tonight. I’m hoping it is the tiredness and with god’s love I’ll feel better when I awake. Hope I find my torch.


Wednesday Sept 15th

Dana’s birthday. Just awoken, feeling better. Today’s prayer: Divine Mother, teach me to recharge my body, mind and soul with Thine unlimited, all healing light which is within me.

..Now 1 a.m. In a motorway café at Mannheim with a Czech guy. It is raining outside. We don’t know what to do. Today I spent 7 cold hours waiting for a lift outside Paris. Happy birthday Dana. Then got two lifts, the second fast and smooth with a man from Sudan and his German girlfriend. Recovered my spirits. They bought me a meal and tea. Ended the day here as Thursday begins. THE DAY DOMINIC WAITED SEVEN HOURS FOR A LIFT OUTSIDE PARIS.

Thursday September 16th

About midday. Am in the hut by the woods in Stuttgart and my thoughts go back to last year. Can not get of my head the pain of Barby. But the story. Spent the night in the café with the Czech guy. Slept a bit. Was warm, contented. Was raining this morning so continued sitting around till it eased off. (Text unreadable). Then another hitchhiker got me stoned. Was laughing, feeling gay. Almost immediately got a lift to Stuttgart, straight to Botnang! In heavy rain and mist. Exciting and joyful. Felt overrewarded. My prayers haven’t brought this to me. Is grace not karma.

Am about to have a joint with Tommy’s brother. Tommy not here yet. Thinking a lot about Steve and Calla. Their love must be so strong. I had a strange dream last night which I don’t remember very well. It was unusual in that I was in it but not the main character. Two little girls (out of a number of girls all dressed in white) were talking. One was telling the other she was leaving the district. It wasn’t true but the second girl was really unhappy about it. I experienced it from her point of view. Very strange.

{Writing this Saturday.} Well I thought the day was pretty (sussed?) especially when Stefan and Barney reckoned a job would come together in France. B&S went out. I closed my eyes to mediate, then, thinking of food, I looked up to see the hut on fire. Frantic efforts to put it out failed. Recovering my stuff, minus my glasses, I stand and watch the fire with detachment. Then the police arrive, take me and my things, ask me questions and then put me in a cell with an Italian guy. I think I’m there for protective custody while they find my friends whose house has just burned down.


Friday September 17th

Soon in the morning discover am gaoled with no guarantee of imminent release. A bit freaky. Undrinkable coffee, mouldy bread and fag-ends for breakfast. Photos and fingerprints taken: “We are only the technicians.” Time drags by. I stand up. Next thing I know I’m on the floor, head bleeding, fighting off terror and trying not to freak out. So slowly, it seems, I’m taken to hospital where they put stitches in my head, bed me and say they want to test me for epilepsy. Head hurts. I try to sleep, to keep calm. Wondering if anyone will come to see me. Later the policeman arrives with a translator and releases me from custody. Doesn’t know anything about my friends.


Saturday September 18th

With aching head and having been told to go back to England, the hospital let me go. A doctor gave me 10 marks. I got my things from the police station and came to Botang in the vague hope of finding Tommy. Magically he appeared in five minutes. I’m really pleased to see him. Now we wait in a friend’s home hoping Stefan will appear equally magically and tell me to go to France tomorrow. Otherwise?

My head hurts.

After much smoking and walking and taking care of my body, Stefan turns up and says we hitch to France on Monday. I don’t think it’d be wise to go on to India with my head like this so France is a good place to be while I recover (hopefully). Tommy and friends don’t seem to blame me for the fire and are happy to have me in (freedom?). Really don’t want to go to prison or hospital again. Finally go to sleep in Stuttgart, very late. Saying prayers when I remember but unable to find the space to meditate.


Sunday September 19th

After sleeping at Tommy’s place in Stuttgart spent the day in a group wandering around here and there in the woods getting stoned. Feel that Tommy is in trouble with his vivacious but doubtful girlfriend. My head is becoming more comfortable. Tomorrow I will set off with Stefan to the South of France, the opposite way to India. Have written a letter to Steve and Calla but not posted it yet. There are a few hours left but I guess it is safe to say SUNDAY IN THE FOREST.

Monday September 20th

Hitching not very far with Stefan. Long waits. Great joy in the evening when got stoned and was momentarily in the here and now. Words in my head saying, I am not my voice or my photographer.’ The night was not so bad. A NIGHT OF SEEING.

Tuesday September 21st

Slow hitching. A cold night out in Berne. Sent postcard to Jade.


Wednesday September 22nd

Finally arrived by train from Lausanne to a sunny place. I pay the fares and buy the food, spending money in advance and now discover there is to be no work. All that money spent, none to come, on a fruitless journey. Don’t know what to do now.

-Am thinking thoughts now merely because I have the time and warmth to write. No plan has formulated yet. I’ll be here another day or two with or without work. My head is much better but I’ve developed a cold and bad cough. The cough reacts badly to the cold clear Swiss air. If no work comes I’ll aim for Chur.

-Seen that I have developed an attachment to my money. I must be careful of that. I have prayed less today. Do I have to be down and out before praying?

-Am much admiring of the german (physique?). Am very pleased to have Stefan as a guide to this part of the journey. Still thinking and dreaming of Barby. Judy in Stuttgart turned me on and produced more wonderful and weird nighttime dreams. THE DAY THERE WAS NO WORK IN NYON.

Thursday September 23rd.

Was just thinking that if I go to Chur I’ll try and borrow some money to have my beard (?)shaved off. Today has been relaxed and easy, messing about Nyon, looking at the lake and flashing on being by Galilee. Tried to go to Geneva but couldn’t get a lift. Pirette gave us money so I bought an envelope and stamp so I can at long last post my letter to Steve and Calla. No news of work yet, maybe on the road again tomorrow. No meditation yet. These are social days (which is, I guess, a poor excuse). Tried to visit a Sufi place mentioned in my book but couldn’t find them. My cold continues, runny nose etc. THE DAY DOMINIC LOOKED DOWN ON LAKE GENEVA.

Friday September 24th

So it goes. An early morning telephone call & we’re off to work picking grapes high above Lake Geneva. Very hot. Enjoyed every minute of it – except when I got paranoid about the speed of my work. Was really good. And as much food as you can eat every 2 and a half hours. Have never seen people eat so much. Not that I starved myself. And wine all the time. A good day. In the evening we stayed out at the farm, penniless, bookless, diaryless. Went to bed where I dreamed of the war in Lebanon, Aleister Crowley, Idi Amin and other strange things. THE DAY DOMINIC WENT TO WORK ON THE GRAPES.

Saturday September 25th

Much the same as yesterday except we finished at 6p.m. 80 Swiss francs richer. Back to Pirette and (?) who has packed in his job. Someone else’s story and not so happy. Tomorrow maybe I go somewhere, maybe I don’t. What I really need is rope for my bag but tomorrow is Sunday and I imagine the shops will be shut. Must post my letter to Steve and Calla. THE DAY I EARNED 80 FRANCS.

Sunday September 26th

More strange dreams; one about Christmas in which Steve and Calla had given me a history book but I just couldn’t see the magic in it. Anyway soon after waking Stefan and I conferred and decided we should leave. Pirette and Rato (?) were really nice. I owe them karma and like always I feel that all I have to offer is my prayers. Stefan and I parted at Nyon. I felt like visiting Geneva, maybe sussing out the Sufis before aiming for Chur tomorrow. To my surprise I was almost immediately spirited to Genf (?) & for a bonus a pipe of nice smoke. Then a bottle of wine opposite the lake. Felt very high. The guy went & I set off in the direction of the Sufis and the old cathedral. I’ve really been feeling the desire to visit a church. Thereupon I was met by a Malaysian guy who against my conscious will took me down back to the lake. Only later did I come to the conclusion he had been sent by the Sufis. He is a traveller – been on the road 18 months. At first I thought the message was to go to Fribourg and work but then he recommended me to speed up, wanted me going right around the world! Then he said I could stay in his room overnight. He has fed me. I have a headache but that could be no glasses, or my diet, or my head, just no telling.

-Has been really nice with this guy Mike: I’ve been as open as I’ve ever been with anyone. Been able to tell of my trip, even to talk of christ who I felt danced with Stefan. Went to bed but was woken up by a late visitor whose presence made my free room cost six francs. THE DAY I MET MIKE.

Monday 27th September

Writing this late in the evening and am tired and not able to adequately describe a mad day. Arose quite early and made good time to Montreux when I finally decided to take the freaky route rather than the ‘safe’ road via Zurich. On this trip I’m constantly reminded of the Aslan quote, ‘You never know what would have happened’. [Just remembered that last night found it very hard to sleep and when I did I had erotic dreams.} Anyway I then got a lift from a loony Swiss guy who detoured to deliver some cookers (?) and have a meal in his caravan, plus wine and cognac. He took me to Martigny, the beginning of the mountain journey. Seemed quite possible that, mountains permitting, I’d get to Chur tomorrow. Becoming attached to the idea of seeing Dick and Estee which is maybe why I then got a lift to a small village called Saxone. There I got out of the car and was immediately apprehended by a Belgian guy called Joe. He seems quite young. He has been living in a free hut around here and wanted company to look for work or go to Geneva. Well I was keen on continuing my journey but the good lord doesn’t send these people just for me to ignore them. We went to the hut and at once were descended upon by a bunch of mad freaks – including a chinese chic called Dee who is taking my fancy. They have dominated the evening. Now Joe and I are having a beer before returning to the hut with another guy who stays there. I’m not really keen on staying here but I’ll spend a day looking for work before moving on. – 2 habits I’m trying to develop; 1, to say peace be with you every time a car passes me by and 2, to say a Hail Mary whenever I see a crucifix. THE DAY I WAS INTERRRUPTED AT SAXONE..

Tuesday September 28th September

Yet again endless dreams in the night. One in which I remet all my school acquaintances, a sexy but weird one in a park with some girls and worse, dreams about Barby. All these dreams of barby. I don’t remember the details but I woke-up feeling sad and it has stayed with me all day. At any moment I could cry. Has fucked my day completely. Hasn’t been a good day anyway. Joe and I went looking for work; my body was awful and was being dragged along. We did not find work and decided to leave this place which has only had a negative effect on me. (And is expensive, though I’m not supposed to worry about money.) Anyway we hitched then split up and hitched but I could not get a lift and I felt worse for being on the road so I have come back to the hut. Hoping that in the morning I will feel lighter. At the moment I have no strength for my journey and my pilgrimage seems short of holy places and me far from being a holy person.


Wednesday September 29th

After writing last night a guy came round with a chillum and address for work. Improved my spirits. Really like the hut and Olaf too as he got into Pilgrims Guide and began discussing it with his French friends. This morning I woke-up early and redid yesterday’s walk with a little more spirit despite a pain in my side. Felt I was being told to do it again. Still no work so, quite gratefully, I began to hitch away from Saxone. Had another lesson when I forgot my bag; fortunately the driver went in a circle and the bag was returned. Slowly made progress. Was actually picked-up by a girl! Then at about 3pm I was dropped off at a nowhere place around 180kms from Chur. The village was full of large crosses. I couldn’t help but ask for a lift all the way to Chur. Miraculously one came and I mean miraculously. From an English guy, all the way across high and misty mountains, then (raining?) after the blue glacier & the windscreen wipers wouldn’t work properly. Amazingly I wasn’t frightened. The guy was nice; we talked about Don Juan and impeccability. Arriving I met an unsurprised Dick and Estee. Much relieved to be here. THE DAY OF THE MIRACULOUS LIFT IN THE MOUNTAINS.

Thursday September 30th

Really very little. Had a bath, read Shardik, posted a letter to barby and a postcard to Jade. Read all day long. THE DAY DOMINIC READ SHARDIK.

Friday 1st October

So with the warmth and security of civilization I preoccupy myself with thinking about food and unobserved sneaking of extra pieces of bread. Dick and Estee away this evening. When I’d finally done with eating I attempted a little meditation and studied my Yoga lessons which should be tried daily if possible. Also read the bible which is full of interest. This evening recentred on my journey via a book by Geoffrey Moorhouse and a tv program on St Francis. Still worrying about money and shouldn’t be. THE DAY I CLEANED THE KITCHEN FLOOR IN PAPON.

Saturday 2nd October

During the night was dreaming again, particularly remember a dream in which I was Clyde Barrow telling Lucy about Bonnie’s death. Lucy was appalled and saddened. She said Bonnie had been spoilt by her schooling (maybe nuns). The day that followed was slow and greedy. In the evening read an amazing book about Uri geller. THE DAY I READ ABOUT SPACEMEN.

Sunday 3rd October

Awoke in morning after a dream in which I’d had another epileptic fit. Also dreamed I was underwater in a frogman’s suit; water got in my eyes and I couldn’t get it out. Other long weird dreams. –Looks as if I may be here until Friday when maybe Dick can get me a lift into Austria. Not really a long lift but maybe the reading I’m doing here is significant. –Day of vibes with Estee’s mother grumbling about the house and Dick and Estee talking about going to England. On the walk to Vabella they argue and I just think it is funny how Barby and I had so few of these scenes and how I so rarely acted thus and yet my family fell apart. Meanwhile I eat bread and show I’ve not changed yet. DICK AND ESTE ARGUE ON A SUNDAY.
Monday 4th October

Begin to question my role here. To wash up and keep Este comfortable. That is satisfactory. The rest of the time I spend eating and reading as if I’d never heard of discipline or of a pilgrimage to India. This afternoon meditated awhile and later looked at the night sky searching for the Star of Love. Later in evening discovered I have to leave Friday or Saturday. It is good to be so directed though I’m wary of the immediate future & going back on the road. Then I realize whichever way I go is the right route. Can’t think of anything to put in capital letters. DOMINIC IS GIVEN THE DATE OF DEPARTURE.

Tuesday 5th October

Reading Zen & the Art Of and thinking of leaving, realize that maybe I should be deeply thinking about something. But I’m not. I’m neither high nor low or anything really. An elderly woman, a Rosicrucian, visited today. Took it as a sign of sorts, a reminder of my search, but the search is so indefinable that I can’t even tell when I’m searching and when I’m not. What am I searching for? The ‘I’. How do I know when I’ve found him? That I don’t know. Maybe when the voice that says the affirmations at the beginning of the book is not just the voice of Dominic saying the voice. Yes, that must be the ‘I’ I am looking for, to merge with the one who is already there. And maybe I’m looking for the I that knows what ‘God is love on cavalry means. And I’m searching to know the I that loves all. I suppose that apart from keeping to my five basic rules there is nothing else I can do but go to India and pray that the rest is revealed to me. In the evening had a smoke. It does help. ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE.

Wednesday 6th October

First thing in the morning, beginning to think again. Never know whether I should be thinking or not. Maybe if you think you should, think deeply and when you’re not thinking you shouldn’t think at all. Siting still my head is catching up with me. Pirsig, Krishnamurti and maybe Don Juan as well seem to say you can’t and shouldn’t be trying to, conquer fear. Climbing one mountain makes the next no easier to climb. The aim is to live with the fear, to carry on regardless.

Today I got my arse and did something. In fact, ironically, I climbed a mountain, even reaching the snow though I wasn’t trying to. Fantastic sun and trees and snow capped mountains. In words, cliched, in reality, perfect. And the rushing shouting streams reminding me of seeing electricity in my trips with Dana. Soon I came down. I get freaked out when I get too high up, fear of sudden mists. Down and back to Pirsig who climbed down his mountain. I hadn’t really followed his thought but at the end I felt depressed so maybe thinking isn’t to be recommended. – a tool of the moment but not a ‘way’. – Later went to Varbelle with Este. Really pleased that my body is working at all after the last few days. THE DAY DOMINIC REACHED THE SNOW AND THE MOUNTAINS

  1   2   3   4   5

The database is protected by copyright ©hestories.info 2017
send message

    Main page