Leaving Fort Benning

Fort Benning, Georgia.

13 November 1976
Fort Benning, Georgia

Whatever malaise I felt once has now subsided. I am in excellent health, with the swine flu and Hong Kong flu injections rolling around my bloodstream. Aside from a few bits and pieces of personal affairs I am ready to depart for Europe.

But most of all I feel as if my major problems, stemming from my youth, are solved. I have come to understand the human condition and have come to terms with it. I have made some modest inroads in society with only one major faux pas and am involved with what could earmark a successful life.

As always one asks by what standards is success judged? To this I answer first of all good health. Without this one is hard pressed to be successful. Without health, success can be judged only in terms of living within whatever handicap one possesses. While in the eyes of many, myself included, this is an admirable achievement, for me success must include good health. This is not to be in comparative terms but free from bodily ailments which distract the mind/spirit relationship.

Second in the measure of success comes adequate food, clothing and shelter — with imagination in their implementation. The basic needs must be taken care of with style and diversity in order for success to be achieved.

Next in considering success is a spirit/mind awareness. The spirit must be able to sort itself out from the mind. Upon sitting back, the spirit must be able to observe the actions of the mind. If this can be achieved then success is evident.

The last and most important aspect of success is the ability to be in communication with the other members of the human race. To be open minded and willing to believe, knowing that each person is capable of letting the divine essence shine through.

I by these terms am now a success and hopefully I will remain successful for the rest of my life.

May the Lord have mercy on my soul, that success not swell my pride, that I may also live through the next week.

~ Excerpt from my personal journal before departing Fort Benning, Georgia for Thanksgiving in Davenport. From there I would drive to Terre Haute, Indiana, and then to Charleston, South Carolina, where I would ship my vehicle to Bremerhaven, West Germany and take up residence in Mainz.