Seven of July, 1978, Roman calendar probably inadequate, in long run, as chronicle of man's brief occupation on planet. Will surffice for time being. Temporal trivia, for the moment, irrelevant anyway: Viola, in apricot colored gown, in process of interpreting elderly customer's fingertip aura (just photographed on Polaroid film, $3).
"You have an inner knowing. Free flowing thoughts that pop into your head." Viola, somewhat buxom, eyelids lowered. Elderly man looking uneasy. Viola places had on his chest, moves closer. "This is healing, this white love is healing. You have a beautiful soul and you are a very spiritual man, right?" Man, timidly: "Not really." Viola undaunted. "I have to put some energy into your heart. From the time you were a little boy you've been putting negative thought forms into your heart. Just tell your heart that you love it, than you have faith in the creative love of the universe."
Man nods, backs away.Viola inhales. Nostrils tremble. Booth doing a very good business. This day No. 2 of New Age Awareness Fair, giant trade exposition of psychic, spiritual, emotional and edible necessities for the enlightened self. Ailses ablaxe with clear-eyed smiles. Balanced postures. Blockage-free accupuncture points. Pyramid hats. Man under pyramid hat explains: "We create an electric current, which creates a magnetic field, which energies the body." Model on man's head made of titanium over copper, costs $100. Looks DUMB. This thought highly incompatible with the New Age.
"We wanted to bring consciousness above ground," says Rusan Corono, organizer of exposition, in morning paper. So he has. Self-awareness business reaching unprecedented levels of positive thought forms. Fifteen thousand people show up here over four-day duration of fair, $4 admission apiece, $3 for students and senior citizens. Three hundred West Coast exhibitors, including tarot readers, psychics and personal reincarnation consultants.
Best approach to all this uncertain. Consciousness not only above ground, but offered at a discount. "Cut rate Astral Projection in the privacy of Your Own Home. 'Sort' of New Age Montgomery Wards. Shopping list seems in order.
1. Success journal. Includes date book with daily inspiration messages. "Thursday, May 11. There can be no rainbow without a cloud and a storm." Also tips, e.g., make lists of goals: What I WANT - suggestions: $100,000 house, a new Mercedes, a swimming pool, a tennis court. $50,000 annual income." Regularly $7,50, on speical for $4.
2. Cassette tapes guaranteed to induce Astral Projection by Sound Testimonial from Mr. J. H., Los Angeles: "The first time I used the tape I experienced floating and began to have very mild, pleasant hallucinations . . . I am happy to report that I successfully achieved an astral projection approximately 85 percent of the times I listened to your tapes." Includes free subscription to Psychic News and Astral Projection Newslatter. $10, plus $1 shipping. Visa/Master charge acceptable.
3. "Do It With Awareness" T-shirt, chrome yellow with brown lettering, $8.
(Young man with crewcut, exteremely wide-open eyes: Hey, listen, it's all free if you take it. If you want to suffer suffer, because of an energy level, on a being, body level, it's all ours." Appears to be conversing with self.)
4. Dynavit Conditronic computerized exercycle. Provides continuous digital readout of pulse rate and number of calories expended. Nice two tone, red and black. Dazzling white teeth on male demonstrator, 1,995.
5. Total Freedom Trip personally conducted by Arthur Lyons, Kabuna Nui (chief honcho) of First Universal Church of Immortal Souls. "For a brief period of time you find out what it's like to truly be alive." No brochures available because church does not have enough money yet. $5.
6. G. Pat Slanagan's Rods of Power (set of two). Magnetic rod rest in left hand; carbon rod in right. Energy zaps through magnetic rod, into left arm, through entire acupuncture system, and out through right hand into carbon rods in hand reverses energy flow and put users to sleep. Includes velvet carrying case. $15.
7. Modulion Negative Ionizer. Home or car model, removes nastiness from air. Woman explains: "Our surroundings destroy all the negative ions. That's why people get so much static electricity. That's why people get the blahs, that's why we don't feel good."
8. Curried Rice Cake. Taste not unlike grated hockey puck. 50 cents.
9. Registration for four-day conference at Kerista Village, Utopian Egalitarian Community. Topics to include polyfidelity, culture sculpture, neotrbalism, and gestalt o'rama (this possibly village Irish sage). $45, hotel not included.
10. Miracle Ultra-Matic Automatic Pulp Ejector vegetable and Fruit Juicer. Man behind counter working furiously. Moustaches twitches. biceps ripple. "Your body could NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS break this carrot structure down like we do t in a juicer. It's imposssible. Everybody DESPERATELY needs it." Selling like hotcakes. Regularly $349.95; on special for $289.95.
11. Aura Cleaning and Reading from The open Heart, evidently a professional aura cleaning company. Cleaning in progress on blonde surfer-joe typein straight backed chair; young woman behind him, eyes closed, is directing energy from cosmos into sur-Joe's body. "His back seems to have spikes in it. A lot of spikes. I'm seeing a gold split going down his back. This gold is going all the way down his spine." $5. Also Open Door to Past Life, $3; Fix Body Circuity, $3; Balance Programming Switch, $2.
Gerri Nodopaka, assistant exhibition organizer, rapt a big turnout. "California is kind of the psychic center, one of the psychic centers of the United States. People are much more open . . . people are ready here, they really are." Defines New Age so: "They consciousness and awareness that we are more than physical bodies . . . concepts of love . . . learning to tune in and become a part of our universe."
Nodopaka asked whether this not perhaps vastly self indulgent. "Yes!" Self indulgent to excess? "No! We need to be more self-centered. Looking within. You are responsible for what you create." Nodopaka creates computerized astrological birth charts, suitable for framing. $4.75.
Berates silly idea that business somehow incompatible with awareness. "What is your concept of money? Is money to you bad, evil? It's a way to survive in our physical body on earth. It's a beautiful experience. You learn that hey, you're okay. You're mean to be. You chose to be. You're a child of the universe.If it's a business, then I tip my hat. I say, Far out!"
Is joined by Phil Selders, ascetic male body inside much curly black hair. Owns Universal Thread cotton clothing. Sells while philosophizing. "There is so much happening on this planet. What do we know really? We really know nothing at all. That's the understanding, those are $14, with pockets they're $14.95, to really reach understanding you're got to one with the situation."
Points to next booth. "Arthur over there, he's a very far out man. Now he's into massage and his whole thing is drinking your urine. I'm a very open person but I have to really open up wide for that." Pause. Nodopaka, thoughtfully: "That is far out."
Seldes clearly bubbling over with positive energy flow. Offers final pronouncement. "If your spiritual leg is too long, and your material leg is too short, you're gonna limp."
Man named Captain Carrot conducting back massgers with glorified maple rolling pin, $14.95. Similar device for feet, enabling stimulation of sciatic nerve and gallbladder through simple, self-administered foot massage, $8.50. Porta-Yoga Mat, regularly $120, on special for $100. Juice man's voice drifts across exposition: "Everything in a can or a bottle is DEAD."
Total cost, including fingertip aura reading and titanium pyramid hat: $2,682.65. So far. Pyramid counter in next aisle offering everything on special, including giant pyramid networks to hang from ceiling. Passersby asked to raise arms, hold fingers near suspended pyramid. After short pause fingertips tingle, just as vendor predicts. Mysterious and wonderful. Vendor suggests taking pyramid home and placing over one's wine rack.