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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Searles Speaks

Making Sense Of Seth

It has been interesting to watch the Seth Thing devel­op in The Sun. First, there was Sy’s review, then just about every month some germane excerpt from Seth Speaks would show up somewhere in the magazine. I began to think Seth was Official Sun Philosophical Doc­trine or something. It was a little like that old nature show on Channel 28 where the host always manages to find something in each episode’s outdoorsy subject mat­ter that’s analagous to life insurance. “Yes, and just as the shimfeathers on the African Nutcrested Bloodwrench protect it from snow, Mutual of Omaha protects you from even the most unlikely misfortunestance . . .” Anyway, with trust in the Safranskys’ good sense, I went down to Fowlers and picked up the copy of Seth Speaks that had stared for what seemed years from the top row of the paperback rack there. This took some effort, because the cover is about as off-putting as any Troo UFO! or Van Daniken Space Teacher book from a 7-11 paperback carousel. Jane Roberts strikes a front cover pose that’s pure Dracula, and rifling through the pictures inside isn’t much more encouraging. Under Seth’s alleged influence the otherwise attractive Ms. Roberts looks like hell. I also borrowed The Seth Mater­ial, an earlier book by Jane Roberts which is more about Seth than by him.

From The People Who Brought You Law An’ Order

In his unceasing quest to keep this country great by returning himself to office in November, Gerald Ford has been making some very troubling noises about national security lately. Initially, many of us were willing to regard speeches of this sort as little more than political necessity; a Republican candidate paying homage to the more rigid, “spare the rod, spoil the Dow Jones” spirits in the conservative camp.

Channel One

“Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, flittering hither and thither, to all interested purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awakened, and there I was, veritably, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.”


From The Bottom Up

Contemporary builders have a set procedure for doing business. It may prove expedient and trustworthy to some and expensive and cumbersome to others. General­ly it reflects the way in which we run our society in a caste system: white collar - blue collar.

Small Is Beautiful

Many writers, dazzled by the growth in size and power of national governments and corporate enterprises, make the mistake of calling for a single, global organ to coordinate human affairs. Their idea is to free industry from national shackles and supercharge the market by way of central organization. This would hopefully result in a decent level of material wealth for all the world’s people. It would also replace the unreliable “balance of power” nation-state system of maintaining peace with enforceable world unity. This method could also bring about a new generation of oppression.

Another Appetite

Little Rebecca has inherited her mother’s desire to explore foreign places. She can sit in the car happily singing, sleeping or just watching the world go by for ten hours as long as she is moving on to new people and places. Some morning she’ll run to the car demanding to “go, go, go someplace.” A drive to the supermarket or through the town usually satisfies that craving. But as her horizons grow, so will her curiosity and it won’t be long before she starts studying the road atlas along with her father.


Off The Road

Studying astronomy, as a child, I was fascinated by the Earth’s movement, its rotation on its axis, its orbit around the sun, its sweep, with the rest of the galaxy, through space. Despite the evidence of my senses, nothing stood still. When I learned, later, that everything was made up of atoms in motion, reality became even more suspect. The world of solid objects, science told me, was an illusion; the tissue of creation was appearance, nothing but show.

A Short History Of Part Of North Carolina

With Some Names Changed To Protect The Innocent, The Guilt, & The Dead

Although the distance is only thirty miles, I go home once a year. Once a year, for the last ten years, in August. I always drive at night. I never travel the highway, I take the back roads. I know them best.

The Wanderer

I was walking with a friend a few nights ago, sharing tales of lusty, high adventure drawn from a mid-winter’s odyssey to Boston, when Joe offered a remarkable insight: “You know, it’s the settled man who keeps the wanderer on the road.”

Little Soapy And Big Jim

We’re sailin up the Limpopo River from Fool’s Tide to Pope’s Eye. In some places we can reach out and touch the dried old balls of priests hanging from the trees way out over the river. We slash off the hair of electric witch-looking spiral glows just under the surface of the water and have elctric ringworm pie for breakfast. Me and the colored slave, Big Jim. And me, I’m taking skin treatments to turn myself black like him, blacker and blacker each day with the sun and the electric burn-worms and all. Some places the river turns to bog and swamp and we got to jump out and slog through mud to pull the barge through. Only thing keeps us going then is little hydra-heads nipping at our legs and making us howl like mother­ fuckers.

Eat Your Heart Out

My friend, Arnold, is having a fight with the steward­ess. “I will make you into salami!” he is screaming. I’m making believe I don’t know Arnold. I bury my face in a magazine, “Modern Maturity,” a few seats back from his. We are flying Astral Coach to Venus. Of all the planets and planetoids to which I have been, Venus is by far the finest. It is, of course, the next Earth, so­-called. As the sun kept cooling, the Earth became — about 30 years after you read this — impossibly unpleasant. For a while we all wore sweaters. But even this was not enough. It got so cool that the beaches all got covered with ice caps; indeed only recently one man set the record for a non-stop ice-skate across the Atlantic.


Photo Essay By Rick Doble

The photographs from this selection are available as a PDF only.

My main subject, as a photographer, is Durham, the community in which I live. I like also to display and publish these images within the area because it is extremely satisfying to listen to a response from people who live here.

May 1976

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

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