Señor Tao – Esalen Stories – A Personal Mythology I

What we are to our inward vision, and what man appears to be sub specie aeternitatis, can only be expressed by way of myth. Myth is more individual and expresses life more precisely than does science… The only question is whether what I tell is my fable, my truth.

Carl Jung Carl Jung (July 26, 1875 – June 06, 1961)

F2972869-FE45-4B48-8C91-C24455D33D62 I am starting these pages, journal, this life in January, 1998 upon the indirect advice of Carl Jung. I have been rereading Memories, Dreams, Reflections, his autobiography. The words above were taken from the prologue.

Part of the experience of my adventure this next year is spending time at Esalen Institute. Unlike a place like Los Angeles which I think of as more of a lifestyle than a city, Esalen is a unique oasis carved out of the coastal rock in the Big Sur area of California. It is to most who come here a heaven but it can also be one’s hell. The Esalen property represents the yin and yang of life and reflects as clearly as a mirror whatever is inside me. The Institute itself is a place which encourages each person to search for his true nature and provides a supportive environment for each to be comfortable with who they are.

I came here to have a meeting with myself in the fulfillment of a promise I made to a bodiless voice in September, 1997. My journey to Esalen started at the home of John Ramos, an artist I was introduced to by my friend Arnie Nybak. My life has taken many turns usually inspired by a book and this turn would be no different. While scanning John’s bookshelf I noticed a book by Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch. The adventure started that night while reading. I felt pulled to the area.

Now while living at Esalen I can be confronted by my demons and dance with my god self sometimes before breakfast. The experience is both personal and universal for each person who crosses the gate into this garden. Unlike the biblical Garden of Eden where it was forbidden to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, here at Esalen I was free to eat the fruit from every branch, of every tree. There are only two rules at this time 1. No violence and 2. No drugs. The first is strictly enforced. One of my classmates was asked to leave the property because he verbally threatened another classmate. The second is very broadly “enforced”. As long as one is not abusive to guests, classmates, etc. and keep their activity private and not public, there is acceptance.

The land at Esalen is spiritual. The property exudes essence of life. The Institution is supportive in the ways it can be but each person chooses to walk through the door or not. I came here to explore myself, to learn about me with no expectations or idea of how this exploration is going to take place. I want to be Closer To the Root of my existence, Further Into the Sky of being.

…to be continued


Señor Tao (April 17, 1948 -)