Aphorisms of a Derelict Yogi
Sayings of a modern mystic who was down-on-his-luck
(more about the Yogi)

About the Aphorisms

Here's the story:

Little is known of the early life of Derek X, the man I call "The Derelict Yogi."

We know he went to Berkeley in the 60s; "tuned in, turned on, and dropped out"; and took off for India. What happened between then and 1980 or 1985 is shrouded, as they say, in mystery.

But for the past 25 years or so he was living in a fifth-floor walk-up in Hollywood, with a hot plate to cook on and a toilet down the hall.

A friend found his body one day not too long ago, after what the county described as "several days." He (or she) also found some notebooks. This friend had known the Yogi, and wanted to share his wisdom with the world--but anonymously.

I don't even know if this benefactor of the world's wisdom is male or female, let alone his/her name. But from what I can tell, he (I'll call this person "he" and use the name "Ananda") was as familiar with Derek's life and thoughts as anyone.

Why call him "Ananda," you may ask? Three reasons:

  • He's an amanuensis (scribe, copyist, secretary) and it sounds a little like "Ananda."
  • Ananda was the disciple of the Buddha best known for passing on his teachings.
  • If it turns out he's a she, I can easily change it to "Amanda."

Anyway, Ananda has chosen to share these sayings in bits and pieces, sometimes with comment and interpretation, sometimes standing alone. He often sets the sayings in the context of the Yogi's life (as Ananda did with the Buddha's stories). I will publish them as they're received, and as I have time.

I made up the title "Aphorisms of a Derelict Yogi"; in fact, I decided (with Ananda's tacit agreement) to even call Derek a "yogi." This word means one who pursues yoga, a connection ("yoke") with that which is beyond.

I, too, could not resist adding occasional thoughts to those of the Yogi and Ananda. These are clearly marked "Ed."

Warning: some of these sayings are not for the faint-hearted. The language and imagery can be crude. (I have chosen to censor some words with asterisks (*) not out of prudery, but to avoid various filters built into the Internet.)

But they show that wisdom abides everywhere. It may be a fluke that Ananda has brought these to our attention, but it reminds us of the countless accomplished yogis throughout the world that we will never hear of.

That's what we know. If I learn more of Derek or Ananda (or Amanda) I'll update you in these pages.

But mainly, I hope you will read and contemplate these Aphorisms without worrying too much where they came from.

Everything on these pages is © 2009 by James Baquet.

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