My Story, My Mythology

June 29, 2012

I love my desert home. Originally I purchased this property as a getaway place, my writer’s sanctuary, a place where I could come and escape from the noise of Los Angeles. At first it was just land, 5 acres of California desert, rocks and dust on planet earth. There was no road onto the property, no water, no electricity, no telephone, no buildings, and certainly no Internet, that conduit to the universe. It was just an empty piece of land, a blank canvas. I had found this property while I was riding my motorcycle on one of my days off. While I was living at the Placentia Temple in Orange County in the 1990s, I had no personal space, my family lived on the temple property, which I found suffocating. To relieve my stress I bought a motorcycle for my days off to escape from the temple and visit Southern California. I was doing dig-vijaya, a Sanskrit expression meaning “conquering the directions.” On these days off I would travel all over Southern California, and during one of my dig-vijaya adventures to the east, I found my desert home in the high desert near Joshua Tree. I was actually looking for a cabin on a couple acres of land, something already built, yet because I was unable to find such a place I began to think about land and building my own place. I became intrigued and fascinated by the idea of building my own place. It seemed like the ultimate creative act and at the time I was reading a biography of Carl Jung, who had also built a getaway property on the shores of Lake Zurich in Switzerland. He too had purchased land and gradually developed it as his getaway. Yet he framed the development of his project not simply as building a home, but as creating his own story, his own personal mythology. This was the reasoning behind the purchase of my desert property, to create my personal mythology from my own hands. I wanted to mold and sculpture this land; out of sand and rock and consciousness I wanted to create a world that was uniquely mine.

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