by James C. Stephens


August 1, 1978 1 a.m.

The date is now upon me.

No longer can I wait.

It is now an internal fight

against Gumpon no mumyo.*

Honnin’myo

Let me begin!

This is the beginning of the battle which I have contemplated for so long. It is a battle of using theory for practical application. A battle I have been poor at up til now. I am unhappy intuitively because I have until now not challenged this weakness in my life. Now, I promise to devote my life to the mystic law. To help all my fellow countrymen understand this philosophy through my practice and application. No longer can I sit back in the bleachers as a mere observer I, oh I must become a torchbearer and fight with every ounce I can muster! This is my eighth year of practice and the eighth month–Let me open the door of my true human revolution! Only with that concentrated Ichinen can this happen.

In this diary I will record current events, trials and tribulations and as in the beginning of my diary be as truthful as possible.

Each day evaluate my actions and take a step forward, each night evaluate my actions and plan a step forward.

August 2, 1978

up at 6:00 a.m.–1 hour daimoku–August 1

Yesterday morning I spent sometime giving guidance to Brent Wilson. It takes him time to absorb anything since he is so defensive in his manner. I told him this and also that it was a major problem in my practice several years ago also. We talked about jobs, goals and attitude.

Richard Dreyfuss the Big Fix 1978Set up some indoor-outdoor ferns and plants at an actor’s place in the Valley. His name is Richard Dreyfuss. I didn’t meet him, but worked with his mother for a few hours. They bought me lunch for helping them out. She’s a nice gal. Richard and Rob Reiner have been friends for along time. Since New York. They played stick ball and all those N.Y. street games there. Evidently Richard is under a lot of pressure at the moment since he is producing and acting in his own film. It must be extremely arduous. I really feel for him in his situation. Just seeing his movies I feel he is kenzoku.* The fact that he lives here confirms my feeling. They seem very down to earth as people.

[Of course an early film he was best remembered for was Jaws. Jaws Trailer ]

7:00–Jerry Wilhelm and I did Gongyo together and later discussed the YMD situation in Marina and planned out who would contact who and set up some visitations. Afterwards we had some nice Cabernet Savignon, hit me very fast. Out like a light last night. Must watch drinking on an empty stomach and also on weekdays!

August 2, 1978

Up at 9:30–ugh! Gotta watch that alcohol. Gongyo, very little daimoku and then on the road. Back–finally dug into tons of paperwork and got organized. Feel 100% better!

Dentist stitches out…

Called Pat Flaherty in Montana–new attorney office–own practice..now a Christian. Correspondence starts again. This time through an agreement-a dialogue on life.

Did estimate in Valley on some benches with an old fellow member Chico Olivera. He’s a great guy. I have some carma with him, I need to change, but I really like him.

Home visitation in Pasadena with Tony Schmidt on young guy named Mark Sanchez. Have problems with his father and also with Gongyo. Tried my best to encourage him. Read Advice to Young People before hand, it sure came in handy.

Got back 9:45. Mike left. We were supposed to have a toso to start our campaign towards Sho Hondo 1979, October 12. He called is having problems. Needs guidance, I will try to help him find a Men’s Division leader soon.

Worked on YMD Seminar Book til 12:00. Bed 1:00 a.m. Determination for tommorrow–Compilation of Seminar Book.


* Gumpon no mumyo– is the inherent darkness within which Nichiren said was the most difficult obstacle to overcome in the human being quest for enlightenment.

*Kenzoku-friends, a bit like birds of a feather flock together.

Note in retrospect: Even as newlyweds, Elizabeth and I were both senior leaders and kept quite busy with independent activities. She was one of the few members who actually had a steady job and worked for General Telephone for years. Looking back at my journals it struck me how little we were prepared as members to have functional marriages outside of our hectic schedules.

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