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Chapter One Tasting the White Water (standard:Psychological fiction, 1594 words)
Author: Joe E.Added: Apr 14 2004Views/Reads: 3390/2213Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Chapter One is the first chapter of Tasting the White Water and is an introduction to the main characters Jack and Alex and thier quest to reach a higher level of consciousness.

Tasting the White Water describes Jack's experience in the white water
of three California Rivers, and in the psychological truth of esoteric 
teachings. Jack, and his friend, Alex, have white water rafting 
adventures on the Tuolumne, the Stanislaus, and the American rivers 
while they explore esoteric Christianity through the teachings of 
Gurdjieff and Krishnamurti. Off the river, Jack explores his nighttime 
dreams, and copes with the struggle and suffering of a middle class 
America that has lost its spiritual foundations. 

Tasting the White Water 

By Jack Daley 


"Without self knowing all meditation leads to delusion and to varying
forms of self-deception, factual and fancied." Krishnamurti 

Two weeks before our first rafting trip, Alex and I were up in Greely
Hill looking at a piece of property that we were thinking about going 
partners on. At four thousand feet and dotted with pines, twenty 
minutes from the north gate to Yosemite, the ten acre plots were a 
really good investment, Alex was telling me. But, I wasn't paying much 
attention. Somehow, I didn't have the spiritual high that I always get 
when I'm up in the Sierra foothills. 

All I could think about was how difficult the last couple weeks had
been. First of all, Stoke moves back after a year out on his own, and 
is not at all happy about it. He wants his old room back, but he 
doesn't want any rules. Vickie is cutting classes right up to her last 
week of high school, and, picking up on Stoke's hours, staying out 
passed her midnight curfew. Anne and I are disagreeing more and more on 
what to do about the kids. "That's you to a T, you want me to be the 
bad guy. You never back up what you say you'll do," she's telling me. 

As we checked out a view of the snow capped Sierra from a high point on
the rock strewn property, I was telling myself that things were no 
better in my economic life. "The worse case scenario actually happened. 
I didn't get my regular summer school job. My mentor proposal to add 
video filming to the classroom curriculum was turned down. And, my 
novel came back with another form rejection," I explained to Alex. 

On the way down hill, as we pulled over to get a view of the Tuolumne, I
told him, "You know, twenty some years now I've been trying to make it 
as a writer, and I still don't know if it's what I'm cut out to do. I 
know I don't want to stay in teaching. And there doesn't seem to be 
anything else. I keep asking myself, 'What is that one thing on earth 
that you were sent down from the stars to do?'" 

Alex opened the pick-up door and shook his head. "Of course, you
realize, Jack, that's the hardest question a man can ask. Though it's 
really, 'What is it that a man can be in life?'" 

At the edge of the dirt road, we caught sight of the river winding its
way some three thousand feet below. A definite feeling of power rose 
from the water and touched our very bones. We could both feel it. 
Above, white puffy clouds were pushing off the Sierra. 

"I'll tell you though, Jack," Alex said breaking several minutes of
silence, "I have figured out a way for you to get published. No 
question about it. Just string together that whole series of dreams. 
Your dream journal. Write it exactly as you dreamed it. No revision, no 
plot. Just a vivid recreation of all the detail. Call it, 'Dreams of a 
Madman.' Instant success!" 

When his laughter died down, I had a little laugh of my own. "Well, you
don't know. You haven't read the latest revision of the Alaska novel. 
I've inserted a whole series of dreams. Dreams that I've had in the 
past two years while rewriting. You wouldn't believe how they tie right 
in. What I'm trying to do is carry out what Jung calls the 
individuation process, to examine personal dreams that will lead to the 

"Like there's this dream I had last week. I'm in a long empty hospital
corridor. A doctor in a white coat with a stethoscope around his neck 

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