Here’s another weekly potpourri of thoughts and observations about breaking news and Valley things both great and small . . .


“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

- Neale Walsch

My older brother, Tom Gorman, once actually knew the true Secret of Life. Sadly, he has forgotten what it was. But for a magical short time he actually and truly knew. Of this, we are sure. Here is his direct testimony:

“Once upon a time about 40 years or so ago, in a land far, far away, I had a dream event like no other I have ever had. As a matter of fact, I knew that I was dreaming. My system had no drugs or alcohol in it. I was in no unique situation or under any stress of any kind. It was my usual bedtime so I went to bed. In my dream, the landscape was unfamiliar to me, but very ordinary. I was lying on my back on a grassy hilltop at dusk. Overhead there was a scroll of information with an unseen voice reading it aloud as it passed overhead and receded into the distance. I understood it to be ‘The Secret of Life’ but I did not understand why it was being given to me. I was mesmerized by the utter simplicity and beauty of it. I remember thinking that no one in a million years will ever figure this out; it was just too simple. After it ended, I’m guessing thirty minutes or so, the voice said: WHATEVER YOU DO DON’T EVER FORGET THIS!’ Upon waking, at my usual time I might add, all I could remember was that voice saying: ‘WHATEVER YOU DO DON’T EVER FORGET THIS!’.”

I wrote back, asking him if he could remember handling any weird chemicals where he worked at the time at Lawrence Livermore Labs or if he was in the middle of some formative tome he happened to be reading. I wanted to know about the characteristics of the voice and the font of the scrolling text. And I wanted to especially know WHY HE MANAGED TO FORGET THE SECRET OF LIFE! He wrote back:

“You asked if chemicals at work could have triggered the dream. The answer is no more than the chemicals at the corner McDonald’s could have triggered it. There’s freaking chemicals everywhere. So I put the dream as a response to any external stimuli at a long shot. The voice was male and older than me. The Wise One, the Akashic Record, the Zen Master . . . hell, I don’t know. The way I look at it now is that it’s flawed information anyway. Stay with me here . . . The information was imparted to me to disseminate. See, the guy He picks has got to have a brain large enough to remember things. Ergo, He made a mistake by picking me. You see how elegantly this works? The information could have been bogus because He, by virtue of me, proved himself fallible. Yes sir! Just give me the three premises required to form a syllogism any day and I can rule any argument.”

That is all I have managed to get out of him. See, Tom has always had a somewhat antagonistic relationship with the Cosmos and (I’ve seen this!) sometimes the Cosmos toys with him like a cat does with a mouse. I have had occasion to golf with Tom many times. With Tom, golf is an object lesson of Murphy’s Law. It’s almost eerie. To his credit though, he’s determined not to let it beat him down. Listen, I was there with him at my favorite golf course, Pacific Grove, the poor man’s Pebble Beach. We were waiting to tee-off by hitting a few balls at their little driving range when a full-sized Canada Goose, impelled perhaps by fate and a following brisk ocean breeze, died instantly in mid-air. Apparently, the goose flew through an overhead length of fine guide-wire which tragically sheared its head off in mid-flight. That (now ballistic) dead goose hit Tom in mid-swing so hard that it knocked him off his feet. We all saw it happen. He just shrugged it off and said, “OK, Let’s golf.”

So he’s understandably fatalistic about forgetting the Secret of Life. But I’m not. I feel that we ought to try hypnosis. A good hypnotist should be able to take Tom back to his mystic dream and record the scrolling text for all of posterity. So I’m now researching hypnosis and where I might find a competent, creative, patient and inexpensive hypnotist who may be willing to perform a little psychic surgery on Tom’s memory. But I know that here I must be careful. Is the world ready to learn the Secret of Life? Perhaps we’ll see.


That has been this week’s audioblog, and this is Skip Gorman ( returning you all now back to a quieter and gentler place. . .


The views expressed are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the official stance of the Daily Independent.