Now here is a book that comes close: In the House of My Fear, by Joel Agee. Joel Agee, the son of the famed Depression-era writer James Agee, was raised in East Germany by his mother and stepfather, a well-known East German writer. Joel's half-brother Stefan was a precocious schizophrenic genius who committed suicide at the height of the hippie age, after searching unsuccessfully for spiritual illumination from gurus and teachers. Joel followed his brother's search for enlightenment with an intensity made possible only by the zeitgeist of a crazy time when psychedelics had created a huge thirst for God in young people.
The miserable war-waging society of dull squares that fought the young in the '60s made the whole God-seeking enterprise heroic. In Joel Agee's case, it certainly was. Determined to live in a communal household of people powered by spiritual principles, Joel runs through innumerable quasi-tragic, when not comic, trials along the nomad trails of the '60s. At some point in London, abandoned by his sensible but devoted wife and his beloved daughter, Joel becomes God. Given this weighty job, he stays awake for months for fear that if he falls asleep the world will crumble. How he eventually pulls out of the depths of the abyss, without forgetting what Henri Michaux called "the miserable miracle" of the journey, is the subject of this magnificent story. Written from the shore of sanity, the book dives fearlessly back into the Rimbaudian hells and the Blakean ecstasies and brings back what is almost the account of the '60s we so long bemoaned the lack of. I say "almost" because the '60s were as unique as fingerprints when you fail to describe them, but as communal as a sauna when you recall. Joel Agee writes uniquely, succeeds communally, and leaves the mystery still calling.