Across the Golden Bridge is a unique book written by 62 different people about their personal experiences on the spiritual path. Their expressions are as varied as people themselves, and yet are all unified in that these people have found that the "Light," the Mystical Traveler Consciousness, and the teachings of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness are helping them to understand and realize their true destiny on this planet. This is only a handful of people out of so many who are active in the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness. Yet their experiences represent many levels of consciousness and points of view. Some the reader may recognize as similar to his or her own experience and thus may be able to learn more about oneself. Other experiences may be quite different which will increase one's awareness by expanding one's consciousness of the life experience. These experiences are brought forward in a consciousness of love and Light honestly and sincerely in the hope that they may help to awaken others and support them spiritually on their path. Accepting them in this Light does not mean that a person has to blindly believe in these things, but merely that they are points of view of individuals as they see their experience. The readers are encouraged to check their own experiences in order to discover the validity of any principle or technique, so that they may find their own truth and way across the golden bridge.
Everyone is moving in their spiritual inner awareness, for life is change, growth, and movement. We all are attempting to understand our experience, and in searching for the answers to our questions, we come across the idea of God, or Spirit, or whatever we call the reality that is greater than ourselves. Ultimately each one of us moves into a quest to become more aware of Spirit, or the true essence of life. The Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA, pronounced "Messiah") offers conscious pathways in Light and Sound of the timeless knowledge of Soul Transcendence. This fellowship of Living Love recognizes the brotherhood of man in the Father-Mother God, and came into being in answer to many souls living here on Earth who have cried out to some source higher than themselves for help. The focal point of MSIA is the Consciousness of the Mystical Traveler and Preceptor, which exists simultaneously on all levels of consciousness in total awareness, and demonstrates the ability to work with individuals on all their levels from the physical to the soul and God realms. Anyone who asks for spiritual assistance may receive the guidance of this Consciousness in the perfection and protection of soul consciousness.
As Editors of Across the Golden Bridge, we are consciously endeavoring to help build a Golden Bridge to the new age of Living Love by facilitating individual Light expression of movement into this new consciousness. We are hopeful that this work may inspire and inform the reader, and we support you with our love and Light. Starting January 1 and continuing through 1973, we interviewed many people who are consciously working in the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness and received a few letters, selected and edited the contributions, and arranged publication. The experiences that are presented here do not represent any group or organization, but are solely individual expressions. Our remarks concerning each chapter appear at the beginning for general clarification and for explanation of terms that may be unique to the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA). We encourage the reader to go beyond the word level, as the validity of these expressions is in the experience. We are grateful to all those who have contributed their efforts in sharing these heart-felt and sacred realizations and events in their lives. We always give thanks to the Mystical Traveler Consciousness and the Light and Sound of the Holy Spirit for guiding and sustaining us.
Los Angeles, California
The Golden Bridge is a symbolic expression of God consciousness, Christ Consciousness, the Living Love. To move across this, there are precepts - acceptance, the first spiritual law, cooperating with what is accepted, gaining understanding with the cooperation, and then building enthusiasm. Look, listen, think, and do. Other Light-bearers can help support a Golden Bridge by looking the same way. Enlightenment is gaining knowledge, and illumination is having total spiritual flow. An illuminated one can illuminate the bridge, but will not walk it for another. Too many will want to walk it for others. The fun of the whole thing is walking it. The Golden Bridge has been called the true self, cosmic consciousness, the oneness or allness depending upon which group, conditioning, and environment. It is unique to each person and interpreted individually. Yet people can agree on a group understanding. Followers of Jesus would say Jesus. Inside of them, who knows what Jesus they are referring to - the Jesus with the short hair, the long hair, on the cross, cleansing the temple, coming into Jerusalem triumphantly, being baptized? Which Jesus? These are all different Jesuses, but they would all agree that he lived two thousand years ago in Jerusalem. Each one inside of them would look to him in a different way.
In moving across the Golden Bridge, one must have reference points of his progress - inside and outside to help bypass the inner and outer illusions. The one who is the reference point outside must be relatively free of illusions. He can't be totally free, because he has a physical body, which is an illusion. The inner must be able to function both as an Inner Master, and as an outer Mystical Traveler, or whatever term is used. To go to one teacher for the outer and another for the inner would be conflicting, because of the illusions of the outer vocabulary. Finding one who can do both the inward and outward, gives a stability and a line of flow. When one reaches his own stability, he becomes that same person who is doing the inner and the outer, even though it's a different body. One may take this idea to another group, use different words, but it's still the same thing. Groups have to be careful not to fight each other over semantics. There is no difference. When one says, "We are the only way" or "I am the only way," it means this is the bridge. The only way we can go is both inward and out.
Do everything perfectly today. When done perfectly the past reflects back into the present. The Golden Bridge is now - activated now and perceived now and worked now. A year from now will still be now. The bridge is infinite; it goes from beginning to beginning, or from ending to ending, or from alpha to omega. Travelers crossing the bridge always lift to new levels, though at different points on the same bridge. "As above, so below, and as below, so above" applies up to soul realm. From soul realm and above, there are no reference points, because it just is.
Many are consciously searching and seeking to be happy, to find peace of mind and greater understanding, and to realize God. There are as many ways to fulfill one's quest as there are people. The following experiences reflect various individuals' attunement to their inner guidance as they follow their unique paths back into the one Source.
Changelessly changing forms
My life has always been an unceasing struggle, however blind, to master the riddle of human existence. My parents seemed uncomfortable with orthodox religion and especially the word "God." When I was a child we had a housekeeper, a simple, loving, religious woman, who taught me spirituals, and once took me to a meeting where I experienced Light and love. I remember being surrounded and filled with a tremendous love, and looking up to see faces wreathed in Light. As a child, it seemed so natural to me that I took it for granted. She would point to a part of the sky where there were no stars and tell me, "That is where heaven is." So I would direct my communions toward that place.
I became an atheist and rationalist for several years, and experienced despair, depression, and desperation. Yet somehow I was always guided and protected. Then I studied eastern religions, and fervently longed for the master who could make the oneness of Spirit a living reality for me. I thought it would take at least two or three more lifetimes before I would be ready. The spiritual seemed so separate from me and my life.
out of the agony
Five years later I flew into Santa Barbara to go to school, and I almost immediately met Greg Smith. I felt a special affinity with him, and questioned him until he told me about John-Roger. He asked me if I would like to go to a seminar. When I saw John-Roger it was as though I'd been wandering around in a dark room, and he turned on the Light, not bright enough to blind me, but enough so I could begin to see. I realized that through all the stumbling, I'd always known, paradoxically, even though sometimes I'd had my eyes squeezed shut. The meaninglessness that had tormented me was gone, like a dream that fades into dawn. I had been in the Movement a month and a half when we had a meditation in a seminar. When we were told we could place any request in the Light and have it answered, I found myself entering into a fervent prayer, "Father, I want to be of service; let me be of service," over and over again. I was lifted up by this consciousness to great heights. When the meditation was over, I couldn't really follow John-Roger's words, though I could sense the essence. After the seminar I went up to him and said, "Thank you." Through the years, this promise has been a beacon to me. I listened recently to my first Light Study. At the time I received it, it had been so painful. This time I was awed by the love he expressed, so compassionate and reverent for my true beingness, and yet so clear in his explanation of the law as it applied to me. This Consciousness he represents is so holy, so perfect, so infinite. Now he tells me he and I are one, and I am realizing that it's true. The other day I was driving home, and saw a gnarled old oak tree with massive branches which had broken off and become ragged and gray. Yet young shoots were coming up from the tree and had leaves on them. This is what we are like: no matter how bent and broken we get, we still put forth shoots to the sun to receive the Light. The life force is going to leave that tree's physical form and go on to more experiences, just as our life force is going to leave our physical body. If we picture the Light as the sun, we move closer and closer to the sun until we realize that we are the sun. The sun shines upon all equally; whoever chooses to come to its Light will receive. Wherever it looks, it sees Light, because It of Itself is Light
Rev. Diana Davies
I went through a long period of depression and loneliness, and I wrote many poems describing how empty life was, and how there was no meaning. The only meaning I could find was in love. Yet I was far from love, because I didn't love myself. My father died, and then my younger brother died of cancer. I felt as if my family was dying out on me. I couldn't explain death to myself. I decided I wasn't going to shelter myself with illusions of God, that I was going to look into the face of "reality" and see existence for what I thought it was. I wanted to look into the horror of existence and find meaning in the emptiness. I found emptiness. I read Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf, in which Herman Haller is on the verge of committing suicide, totally disillusioned with life and its meaninglessness. In the depths of his despair Haller would come into contact for an instant with "the golden track of the divine." It would surprise him out of nowhere, maybe in a piece of music by Mozart, or walking down the street he would catch a glimpse of this golden track. Something inside of me said, "Yes, there is a golden track," but like Haller, I could only catch glimpses of it. I had a friend who wrote spiritual poetry about legends and mythological characters. I saw so much beauty in this person that I used to think of him as a god, but it never occurred to me that I might be one also. I wrote a poem then.
Eternity has not ended
After all, though dead
It seemed for all these years.
Instead, we find that all our fears
Of Love's decline and Truth's decease
Were but reflections in the mirrors
Of our own unrecognized decrease
In faith and wonder, hope and dreams.
But now the world no longer seems
Unfriendly to the dreams of men.
Eternity is born again.
I was back on the quest of the golden track of the divine.
Vera M. Sedler
I was born and raised a Methodist, went into the full Gospel Church (but found it too emotional), and then went back to Methodist. I studied Unity, Physiciana, Seekers of Truth, Practical Christianity for two years, spent four years in Mayans and became a 4th degree initiate, and then studied Divine Truth and Divine Science under Dr. Murphy for three or four years. I was a doctor and licensed in the New Thought Movement, and a licensed minister in the Spiritualist Church, and also in Practical Christianity. From each of these groups I gained a deeper understanding, but something was missing. I kept a haphazard record of what was revealed to me, but could find no one to tell me whether these were valid. I searched for a teacher who would verify them. I all but despaired, but continued to search. I took a correspondence course from Better Humanity and through its teachings and meditations I knew I would meet my teacher, the Inner Master, and was given the direction to find him. A few weeks later Alma Clary told me about John-Roger and asked me to go with her to a seminar. I said, "Well, Alma, remember the "master" who wasn't interested after finding out what race I am. I don't want to be pushed around anymore."
She made inquiries, and the one she asked said, "He would love to have her." Out of curiosity and to please Alma, I went to Faye Shanklin's home in Temple City to a seminar. I was expecting someone entirely different from J-R, but I was interested in what he had to say, and proceeded to test him. Not saying a word to him, I tested him in Spirit, not only that night, but for six months. I had confidence in him, but this time I wanted to be sure. My sureness came to fulfillment on Palm Sunday, after going to every seminar in my area for six months. I awakened with joy thrilling every nerve and fiber of my being. I went outside to empty the garbage and at the door something hit me, and I began to rejoice, inwardly and outwardly. I was babbling and speaking so fast and rejoicing with so much enthusiasm that I hastened back into the house to keep my neighbors from thinking that I had gone loco. When I got inside, it seemed as though the house lit up, and I could hear a voice speaking to me and through me and out of me - a thrill, a joy, and upliftment that I had never before received. I had heard J-R say it was possible to be lifted into the higher states of consciousness and be aware of it, that it is not necessary to be asleep. I made up my mind that while going from level to level on the inner realms, I wanted to be awake. So I know that this experience had taken place in the outer, because this was what I had determined to do. Almost all the steps I have made, I have been consciously aware of, which gives me greater assurance and leaves no doubt.
Seleta M. Johnson
When I was a month old I was lying in my crib, and saw my parents arguing, hurting each other. I cried out telepathically, "Why aren't you using other things that will work for you?" They didn't answer me, and I came to realize after a few situations that people were not very aware. When I was 7 and on a farm, I went to the back door to get some milk. The sun was just coming up, and as I opened the door I got the impression of a most beautiful form twenty feet in front of me, hanging six feet off the ground. It was in the shape of an ovoid, in the form of Light. I stood there feeling it. Later I remembered what my eyes had seen. I didn't know what it was, nor do I remember much of the communication, except that it was an angel or spiritual traveler giving me energy, and telling me telepathically, "Don't let anything get you down, because you have many heavy things to go through. Always remember this consciousness, this perfected being. Don't look at people and see their outward form, but see what I am." It related to me its beingness and was masterful in giving of itself, totally unafraid, and in harmonic love with everything. I turned away. I don't know how a person can feel inwardly what this was and outwardly ignore it, but I did for many years. From the angelic experience until I was 19, I did not have one happy day in my life. This is no exaggeration. Everything I did was measured against suicide. I was deeply depressed, and in intense pain, because I could pick up impressions. I would see a drunk and be depressed for weeks. Every time I saw suffering, it would fill me until there was no room for anything else. I began resenting people for their suffering, and for hurting each other. I had forgotten about the angel. Then I started getting sick. I had taken this negative energy, and had developed a disease that would have been critical by the time I was 26. I got into my depression so deeply that when sitting in a darkened room across from a young lady, who was sensitive herself, we became so immobilized that neither of us could speak. We both were constantly living in pain. Then I felt an energy rise in myself, and I picked up more than impressions. I could know exactly what was going on in her mind. Then I could see through walls, and see through the back of my head; I had 365 degree vision. I immediately got up, feeling tremendous power come into the body, and walked down the street four houses to my home. I asked my son's baby-sitter if she saw anything strange. I told her I could see through the four houses to where my friend was, and that she was picking up the phone to call. "Here is the last digit, and the phone is going to ring." Bam, the phone rang. I told the baby-sitter what my friend would say, to check out whether or not it was an illusion, because I thought I was going crazy. I wasn't into anything psychic, and was the most anti-God person. (I couldn't see air unless there was smog.) I was not on drugs at this time, but a deep depression had opened the centers, or perhaps the Light was working with me, because this was a big turning point in my life. For the next three days I had this 365 degree vision. I could put out a mental thought and have somebody obey it; someone would pass a block down the street, and I could make them walk backward looking at me, without being strange about it. I went to a psychiatrist to whom I had gone earlier in my youth, and she sent me to Arthur Ford, the medium. He didn't want to touch me, so he sent me to a doctor who had been studying psychic phenomena. His explanation was that I was having a psychic experience due to a chemical change in the body, resulting from emotional trauma. He mentioned that it happened to other people, and that it wouldn't last too long. It passed, and then for two years I was relatively happy. I was depressed many times; but during the three days I saw many things behind the physical. I went back over my life clairvoyantly, which gave me a new perspective and broke some old patterns. I thought of suicide every other day instead of every day. After that things got bad again. I was taking heroin, but I was not on drugs when I had this experience. I laid down, and as my head hit the pillow, the most beautiful hand came down, and my etheric hand reached up. I was pulled immediately out of the body before I could go to sleep. This happened two nights in a row, and both nights I was taken above the planet and shown enough of the evolution of the planet and my place in it to keep going. I saw men on the Earth walking around. They were made of Light, like little flames, some brighter than others. This gave me tremendous energy, and I vowed to try to stop thinking of killing myself and find out what these energies were. I started reading. I would read one sentence and tap into five paragraphs of knowledge that would come inwardly. However, I still had many old patterns. Hearing about the Vietnamese War on the radio and TV would get me very sick. I started taking as much heroin as I could get. Previously, I had been hospitalized for taking barbiturates, had been an alcoholic for years, and been on speed, not for the kick, but to find some Light and raise my consciousness so that the despair wasn't there. By the time I was 26 I had been snorting heroin for two and one-half years; not even during the evening would I miss a hit. My friends were supporting me. I loved my friends and was teaching them, but I was so sick I was bed-ridden. It got to the point where I knew I would be dying soon. I had studied medicine, and knew the signs as the organs stopped functioning, one by one. Then I was told telepathically I had about three days to live, at which point birds were flying into the window and killing themselves by the flock. I decided I would find out if this spiritual jazz was right and made a decision to ask God (whatever that was) for help. I had been reading about masters and angels, and didn't believe or disbelieve but thought it was a great opportunity to find out.
First, I had to make up my mind whether I was going to live or not. If I was, would I suffer any pain, and not look back and say it was a mistake? Would I have the courage, no matter what? I got the impression my part of the deal was "no matter what." I would live, be with my son, work with my friends, and someday learn something that would help many people. I prayed in the sense of outwardly saying, "This is it. I want to see if there is anything here. Do it, because I am going to do it." If I suffer and don't get negative, and still die, then just before I go, I will know it was bullshit. Then I went through all the pain. My mind got strung out, and my body got wasted; I almost died. Lightning didn't strike, and an angel didn't come down and whisper in my ear, and give me pills to take. But I did get information like, "Look into vitamin therapy. These products are good, and these are bad." Sometimes I wasted my money on junk reading, but so many of my impressions were right that I helped myself. I found through the living-dying process that one can't do something half-way. I met Sri John-Roger six months after I had passed the crisis of dying, although I was still very sick. He gave me a Light Study, and when he said things I didn't know consciously, they fit. I didn't recognize him, but he seemed to be the person who had taken me out of the body when I was younger. He gave me an Aura Balance and then set me on the way. Ever since, there has been no doubt about who I am, where I am going, and that the Light is.
Rev. Michael Bookbinder
I died in Jamaica in 1969 thanks to a total stranger who stumbled upon me where I was living in the mountains about five miles outside of Montego Bay. He walked into my room and started talking to me about flying saucers. He ended up talking about God which was just about the last thing I ever discussed or even thought about. The next thing I knew I was on a plane back to the U.S., a move I had not previously considered likely. I said I died in Jamaica because the person who entered Miami (a city I had said I'd never revisit once I'd left) was by no means the person who had left Detroit two months before. When I got to my new home I quit smoking, stopped eating meat, dropped the drug consciousness, started eating health foods, and began meditating (something I didn't know enough about to even ridicule). I also started attending meetings of new age meditation and metaphysical groups where I hoped to discover my own inner nature. At that time I was 25 years old, but I was experiencing life more as might a young child. I had broken many old habit patterns and was kind of hanging because of it. Just not smoking left big gaps in my day, and I couldn't even sublimate by eating because my new lifestyle was, in a word, monastic. Further, I was in a new town that I didn't know; my only friend was a person I had known just over a week, and I couldn't walk because I had picked up a foot infection in Jamaica that left me all but immobile. Like a small child I couldn't even get around the block unless my friend drove me. I guess the first miracle I encountered was when I was discovered in Jamaica. The second was when I was invited to return to the states and room with my discoverer. The third miracle must have been when I accepted his offer as if I'd known him all of my life. My growth from immobile infant to something of an adolescent was relatively rapid. I was almost totally disoriented from my previous existence and was therefore free to progress experientially as fast as I could. Besides, I already knew how to talk and read which sped up the process. Although I was attending several meditation groups, I did not feel at home at any of them. Besides, I had not been much of a joiner in the past. It seemed like years, but it had been only a month or so after I had arrived in Miami that I moved into a one-room efficiency apartment with two other fellows. Shortly thereafter, one of them began disappearing on Friday nights. I thought little about it, and when I did ask he simply said he was getting together with the most beautiful people in the world. I was not impressed by his statement. One day he said to me that there was a new group that was meeting and listening to taped lectures of a man who seemed to have something going. He thought I might like to go to one of their "seminars". I decided to go. I wasn't particularly impressed the first night, but somehow I never quite stopped going to those meetings. I can only attribute that to something I have since learned to identify as the Light. My life was already in a state of flux at that time, so I can't say that MSIA changed my life. Perhaps it is better said that it gave me a sort of direction. A couple of months after my first meeting we were told that John-Roger, the man on the tapes, was coming to town and would be giving "Light Studies." I was reluctant to sign up because of the cost. But my friend, who never tried to compel people, compelled me to do it. All I can say about that first Light Study is that a perfect stranger told me more about myself than anybody could have known. He pointed out my weaknesses and showed me how to transform them into strong points. He mentioned my strengths and helped me to strengthen them. And, in the months that followed, the things that had really been troubling me, even though they had hardly been touched upon during the reading, began to clear up. Yet it was so subtle that it was not until months later that I noticed that they had disappeared. I have had certain inner experiences that were brought to me through the person of John-Roger that simply fall flat when words are placed around them. But I know that he is who he says he is, and I trust that J-R can direct me to reach the heights that I choose to reach. And now, in my new life, the total stranger has become one of my closest friends. We rarely talk about flying saucers, but we often talk about God. Upon certain occasions we even talk to Him.
As a youth I was adventurous and experienced different aspects of society by living in a city's wharf area and then moving to a rich area, etc. By the age of 21, I was wondering how I was going to experience everything, because I realized that's what I intended to do. This created some disturbance for me, and I realized I had to be selective. A fellow in Vietnam introduced me to Nichiren Shoshu of America, which is based on the chant "Nam myoho renge kyo." Our army unit would sit around and smoke volumes of dope while he told us how we could chant for material goods and get them. He mentioned also that one could chant for universal consciousness. I tried it, because I hadn't experienced universal consciousness yet. I chanted for that, and in three days I was a believer. New energy patterns, new thoughts, and frequencies were coming into my body so fast that within a couple of weeks my consciousness and attitude had changed tremendously. I would sit out by the guardposts, and chant for long periods. I was trying to find out what made this work. Why were people chanting for material successes when a wealth of energy and beauty would come through when chanting for universal consciousness? I decided to learn to teach this to people so that they could all enjoy the beauty that I was experiencing. When I came back to the United States, someone told me about a fellow named John-Roger, and the sensational things he does. I applied his teachings in my consciousness, and they worked beautifully. I was perceiving from a less-educated consciousness than some, but now as I progress, I find greater truth, and more accurate perception than what is taught in words.
The first memory I have is before I was one year old: my parents took me along with them to a movie, The Bluebird of Happiness by Maeterlinck. The story was about two children who leave their home in search for the Bluebird of Happiness. They visited their grandparents in heaven, and also the isle on which the unborn children live before birth, from where the children took a ferry-boat across to the mainland to meet their parents. I marveled at how closely the Hollywood producers had come to describing the emotional content of the experiences before birth and after death. I was bed-ridden two years with tuberculosis when I was young, and denied much contact with people. As a result, I went into my mind and developed quite an imagination. My mother taught me to read Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, and Spenser, and also myths of all cultures. My early spiritual learnings were gathered from fairy tales and primal myths.
When I recovered, I didn't lodge securely into society and perceived through archetypal images. When I was 14, we lived on California's northern coastline in a fairly desolate area. In the attic of a run-down hotel, vacant for many years, I found a library of old books. Among them was Eugen Sue's Wandering Jew, a three-volume Victorian novel describing the adventures of a man who refused Christ refuge and was condemned to await His return. Reading this book, my mind encompassed the ensuing 2,000 years, and I was carried away from my physical environment. In the public library I discovered Oriental mysticism and the 64 hexagrams, which I later came to know as the I Ching. I made up some Chinese wands to create the ideograms, and would sit cross-legged in a dark room and cast these wands. I visualized a door at the end of a long corridor on which these symbols were engraved, and in time I would find myself carried forward. The door would swing open, and I would be carried through and up into other worlds. When I came to Berkeley to begin my sophomore year at Cal in 1960, I was studying to become a writer. I had the conviction from the time I was 6 that I could write, and consciously designed my life for that. My first exposure to literature had been classical, and I wanted so much to emulate the epic style that captures the essence of the civilization from which it emerges. I conscientiously avoided the popular forms, seeking out the experiences which would contribute to the epic narration of the soul of the era. I had already studied technique and form and had written plays which were produced, poetry, and short novels, but nothing that I considered more than an exercise. When I was 22, I experienced a devastating affair with a woman in San Francisco which submerged my childhood and initiated me into the urban pessimism of nightclubs and bars. I shared an apartment with a fretless banjo player now on the Rolling Stone staff, a Maoist revolutionary, and Augustus Owsley Stanley III, a soon-to-be famous underground chemist. They formed archetypes of Berkeley, yet I remained in neutral gear and very much alone. I suddenly decided to hitch-hike across to New York. There I saw a man die in the subways, and never before had death seemed so frightening, anonymous and horrendous. A girl in New York wanted me to marry her and settle down, and I was very confused. The I Ching, however, was quite clear in telling me to go back to California to get on my path. I have been chided back onto my path several times by "occult" sources.
I studied William Blake at the University, who I feel made the most recent attempt at writing the epic poem. His is very dense literature, and many people have had difficulty in understanding his work. He made reference in one letter to documents he had of the Atlantean origin of the English people and that he was reconstructing the myth that accounts for the soul of the people. In another letter he pointed out the relevance of astrology as a language, which struck me as would a thunderbolt. Astrology is perhaps the one major metaphor to which great writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton have referred. Very little academic research has been done on astrological metaphors. During the shootings, tear-gassings, and burnings at Berkeley, I did my thesis on Blake's use of astrology.
By doing people's astrological charts, I was learning about the spirit of 20th century America and the human race as an organism attempting to understand itself growing into a whole. I related the intellectual knowledge from books to living people. I became economically dependent upon astrology, casting charts, and teaching a non-accredited course at the University. I met Barbara, who was a good student in the first class that I taught. From a different intellectual background, she completed me. Barbara and I had a weekly one-hour radio program on astrology emphasizing the spiritual movement. We were married during the last program.
Astrology can be traditional (basic self), objectively scientific (conscious self), or humanistic (spiritual). Dane Rudhyar, who I most admire in astrology because of his humanistic approach, spoke to my class, and since then our friendship has deepened. He carries a strong Light and has given us much support and purpose. A group of local humanistic astrologers met in the basement of a Berkeley bookstore and discussed charts in a Jungian psychological orientation. Because of my vision of astrology and people's expectations, I became a leader. I found it difficult to assume the responsibility of telling people how to express their lives. I could only live my life as an example.
Early in our marriage, we were given two tablets of LSD as a gift, a 200-microgram tablet for my metabolism and 1500 for Barbara's. We switched them by accident, and I went through hell. I came down with two clear choices: one in a hospital, cared for by doctors and nurses and the other with Barbara and a friend, where a large question mark hung over my body. I chose the latter, because ahead I saw much struggle and growth.
Soon afterwards a clairvoyant woman, who taught classes in herbs, was explaining how poor smoking is. From the age of 14 I was a chain smoker. I asked her if she could give me any reason for her comments. She retorted that in my case I smoked heavily, because I was attempting on a subconscious level to emulate a person who influenced me at a very early age. I had developed a habit pattern, but that was a surface coating. A habit pattern can be destroyed, but if the root of the problem is still there, a new habit pattern will form. She had simply touched the source itself, and there was no longer reason for my smoking. On a spiritual quest, one should think only essential thoughts, speak only essential words, and do only essential acts, removing irrelevant material.
Barry Patch, an astrologer, came to us and played a recording of a seminar and his Light Study with John-Roger. We had conscientiously sought out a spiritual teacher, who could pace our growth. I felt J-R was very intelligent, though he wasn't trapped by his mind, as I recognized I was. He said the things on the tape that I had been waiting to hear. We immediately wrote, asking if he could come to Berkeley. He came in February 1971, and about fifty people heard him speak. We had been having astrology meetings once a week already, so as soon as the tapes arrived we started holding seminars. Every Friday night for many months we would have fifty to a hundred people - in our small living room on Woolsey Street, which will always be a little golden spot in the middle of Berkeley's dingiest district. Once a week the incredible Light that was developed in that one room flooded the neighborhood.
We moved to Richmond and formed Astrologos, a group experience expressing the Light action within the metaphor of astrology, each person being sustained on his path by his brothers and sisters.
I am committed to the spiritual path. I have seen that people on each side of the path urge the seeker to come off and join them, begging and pleading and pulling. Yet despite his concern for these people, he should keep moving toward his destination.
My life was hardship and struggle in the beginning, with so many mountains to climb. However, I have felt a certain freedom in knowing and understanding the Creator, which convinced me to climb those mountains, and I'm still climbing!
I am the oldest of eight children, and fortunately, I came through a mother whom I love and admire. The relationship I had with my father was quite the opposite, as he left my mother and the children when I was 8. This parting was the beginning of an important growth cycle for me. I began to assume great responsibility in our family, and because of this my mother showered me with love and gratitude for my strength, maturity, and concern. She made me the model child, and I tried hard to live up to her image. I felt as if I had a position of respect and honor, and I loved it. I felt needed, and the more my mother (and other big people) praised me, the stronger I would be. Any sign of weakness I found in myself I would hide beneath my cover, forcing myself to handle these insecurities.
I did not have many friends. Our family was always the outcast in the neighborhood. We were rather wild and undisciplined in our behavior, barefoot and dirty-faced; we definitely did not keep up with the Joneses. I had a fear of not being accepted because of my family. I felt as if my friends were too young and that I could not communicate my inner feelings and experiences with them, which may have been an excuse for my shyness and resentment of their position. It seemed as if many people just did not know about life, and I saw many cruel games that were hard to understand.
Because relationships were difficult and since my own home was so chaotic and full of demands and pressures, I would find great pleasure in going away once a day to my little spot in Nature. Feeling quite alone I began to pray for guidance, and I felt that I formed communication with the Almighty Lord. I would dwell upon the Greatness of the Creator. Although I always thought of God as being outside of myself, in the heavens or trees or birds, I could experience great love and appreciation for my existence.
After my father left, it became important for me to understand the concept of the father. Since there were no men around of particular importance, I thought of God as being the Father (the Great Man). I looked as hard as I could to understand the order in the universe, because there definitely did not seem to be any order in my life. Childhood was very difficult, because we were in poverty, always wondering what we were going to be eating. When one struggles on those levels, one doesn't have much time to do anything else. But I started going to church, seeking for more understanding of God and a group experience to share God together. I read the Bible, and I had dreams where Jesus would come to me and give me guidance and comfort; this kept me searching even more to understand Life and God.
At about age 13 there was a moment of extreme clarity about my search for God in churches. I had gone to many different churches trying to find the right one, but I would have negative feelings about the hypocritical element of most of the people. I went to a church where guilt was popular, where one would cry out and beg the Lord for forgiveness. I did it, and it didn't feel right. I strongly objected to the idea that God was punishing us all for our mistakes and stopped going to church. My heart told me that God was Love.
I was entering into my teenage life and was anxious to grow and to experience. My mother had given me freedom to move in ways that I chose I could handle. I respect her for that, but I knew very little about what I was creating for myself. I would allow myself to roam only after my school and job and household responsibilities were done - and somehow I found time for a boyfriend. At 13 we were talking about marriage, and at 15 I married. I really wanted children and wasted no time, but my first husband was not ready. His life was complicated enough in trying to deal with his problems with authority. He was jailed shortly after our marriage, and when he was released he still could not handle marriage or his role as father. He did not work, and I adapted to the same "do it yourself struggle" as my mother had. I had three children by him, one of whom died. I was losing faith. A very dark night of my life started, because I believed that my love had been crushed. I felt lost, confused, and could no longer see the beauty of life, and feared giving and loving and trusting. I felt trapped by my own creations and totally alone. It was a blind struggle, and the only meaning was in my children and my family. I began working two jobs at once. Putting out this energy, I avoided handling my own problems. Besides, working to support my children and my mother's family made me feel worthy. That situation was quite a trap. My children needed a mother, yet they needed to be supported financially - I was pulled apart by trying to do both and feeling as if I was failing. I knew that I was doing the best I could, yet I judged and condemned myself for creating the situation. I held much resentment within against the world and became reckless and accident-prone. I had a series of wrecks, hospitalizations and illnesses. Each one was trying to tell me something.
The dark night was coming to an end. After many broken bones and what seemed to be near-death experiences, I opened my eyes and saw some very interesting patterns of my life. I saw that I had a lot of work to do on myself. Also a small feeling of purpose returned, and I was excited about my long road to recovery. I wanted to return Home and opened up and let God be my companion again. My perceptions changed completely - the search was on, and I expressed a great hunger to know. I found goodness everywhere - in people, in experiences, in books. Everywhere there was another lesson to learn. Most important, I loved life again. My negative patterns still existed as it was not an overnight transformation. I had much to learn about personal relationships. I had two more children by two different lovers, but the disillusion and disappointments in love did not overwhelm me, because I still felt excitement about my destiny and had a feeling that things were working as they should. I gained acceptance to a high degree.
Until then I was hearing, but I was not following through. Knowing what I needed to do yet impulsively going in other directions and continuing old patterns, I had to be shown many things. Each time the lesson would become a little clearer.
In September of 1967 I was on the way to Sacramento to get my driver's license cleared from previous accidents. All the way there strange feelings kept impressing themselves on my consciousness. I would see things in the clouds, and a message was emerging. I finally understood the message that I should not drive home. I asked my friend to drive. Five minutes out of town, there was a flash flood from a heavy rain, and a truck spun out; five cars behind crashed into it including ours. This time I saw it from the passenger's side, and I realized in one flash that those feelings I experienced were guiding me in the right direction. I did listen to my inner voice, and I did follow through. At last I was in touch.
I didn't get hurt, even though the car was totalled. The accident-proneness ended, and my pace of life slowed down. I began walking and was reunited with the universe, having mystical experiences and REALIZING that all is ONE. I started actively shaping myself from that point to do what God had planned, and what I had planned - living according to the Light within myself.
I quit work, went back to school, and dedicated myself to learning astrology. Philosophy and psychology courses aided greatly in preparing me for my work as an astrologer. Mental clarity brought my emotional nature into balance, and the process of Self-healing and actualization was under way. Day by day I understood more and freed myself from my own complexes.
This prepared me for meeting Jim. It was obvious to me from the beginning that we had a destiny together. I was totally confident and accepting of whatever was to take place between us. As we became friends, I was continually surprised at the beauty and perfection that came through me in relation to him, and I was surprised that he was experiencing the same thing in relation to me. We both excelled in our growth tremendously. It was so right and simple and free of conflict. What I saw in him I also recognized as part of me. We felt that the child we would have would bring us together, and get each of us actively on our paths. We waited until things were relatively smooth and harmonious. When she was in my body, I had to change many of my eating habits and emotional patterns. This purification period while I was carrying her gave her a very good environment within me which shows in her astrological birth chart as well as within her whole beingness. All my children have helped me in ways that I do not have words to express. I would like to always see through a child's eyes, for children are so real. They keep me in touch with life's process.
My marriage to Jim has also been a partnership in our astrological work. Astrology has given me a philosophy and a religion that helped me to see how God exists all around and within. I trained myself to see how each person carries forth a magnificent moment, a tone of the Universe, and to help them to actualize it. In learning this I developed holistic perception, which helps me in day-by-day living. Jim and I balance each other, as he develops theories, improves our tools, and is excellent in simplifying the teaching of astrology. I work to heal a person, acquainting them with the wholeness of their mandala through empathy and understanding.
One day Jim had to leave to take his brother to the hospital; it was a day of emergencies. I had to meditate lying down in those days, because I was very large (pregnant). I started going to a place where I had never been and seeing things I had never seen. Soon it got to be so beautiful and ecstatic that I knew I couldn't handle the energy any longer. I walked into the bathroom, looked directly into my eyes in the mirror and saw into myself, and within thirty seconds the whole room was bright white Light. This introduced me to the Light.
We had many friends who were also on their spiritual paths, but we had nothing to centralize our energies around. When we heard a tape by John-Roger, we wrote him, and he said he was coming. I felt a great enthusiasm which spread to many people. Twelve of us had Light Studies, and these twelve are still very involved in the Movement. Starting tape seminars gave us our central force, a nucleus of Light energy to tune into, that would nourish and guide us in our own spiritual development - and anyone else who came close to that central fountain of Light.
The contributions at seminars for me are very important, especially here in Berkeley where we don't have J-R physically. It becomes a workshop for people to learn to express their own true selves. As a child my despair came from not being able to relate to people. Finally in MSIA I did not have to relate my image; I could be myself. I see beautiful souls who are lost and confused drift in, and suddenly there is a spark of Light in their eyes. I think Roanne Ramar was one of the most spectacular examples. She was so desperate the first contribution; with the second contribution she was better and then better and better, and soon she was such a gigantic ball of Light that people came to the seminar just to see her!
I feel Astrologos, a communal-living Light Center, is a baby, and the mother is MSIA. When we look for guidance, we look to J-R. It takes energy to learn the art of daily living and to help each other in our spiritual growth. We want to live all the time expressing Light as we do in seminars. It is hard, because of the needs and demands of the physical plane, and it is easy for us to fall into habit patterns and roles. These two years at Astrologos are a workshop preparing us for our next move. When we know how to live together and exchange energies, then we can organize ourselves to help others.
Rev. Barbara Shere
I came to Berkeley, California for graduate school in American History; I was intellectually searching. I got married, bought a house in Berkeley, and life was beginning to become routine and boring. Then I met a man who taught me karate, and I found my energies going in new directions. I dropped out of school, and left my marriage behind. I moved away from the people I had known, and found myself alone, lonely, and misunderstood. I found out in a Light Study later that about this time an entity did possess me. I had created this in a past lifetime by a curse I had placed out, which came back, and I had to handle the negative energy. It led to some harrowing experiences, and I was tripping emotionally and mentally. My ego allowed this entity to control me, and I wound up at Napa State Mental Hospital for aberrated behavior. I had been a straight A student in high school, the well-adjusted person, well-liked by everyone, and the last one anybody would imagine going off the handle. It was a totally new experience for me, and I suffered tremendously. I saw some Light, but not handled in a correct manner it went astray. I thought that I had been Christ. I wound up out on the street with no friends, no money, feeling crucified psychically by the world, which I felt owed me something for my suffering. It was so painful that I had to get myself together to stop the pain, and so they wouldn't think I was exhibiting aberrated behavior anymore. I got out of the hospital, but I was absolutely at the bottom physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I got a job, even though it was painful to work right after my extremely weakening situation. John-Roger said later that it was necessary to ground me on the physical, because I had been tripping in the emotional and mental realms.
In the fall of 1971 I started working out in karate and eating health foods to get my body together physically. I discovered occult literature and delved into it with a fervor. It gave perspective to what I had been going through, because I found that the problems I had had were just part of being on the path. One of my karate students told me about her Aura Balance and Light Study by John-Roger. I was interested in going to see this person. I put it out of my mind, but that afternoon I got a clear message in my mind, "Don't forget to go hear John-Roger tonight."
So I went to a seminar in Berkeley and observed that he spoke without fear. He was talking about soul travel. He seemed to know, and he seemed not to care whether anybody else knew or not.
For twenty-four years I taught first-grade children in Methodist Sunday school. I learned many things from the children, because they are so open and trusting. Their questions are so to the point, yet they are hard to answer in a meaningful way. One Christmas we were using the nine candles to teach the Hanukkah celebration of Light. I was holding my hands over the candles and realized that the warmth that comes from the light of a candle is like the warmth of love; children are so loving. It suddenly dawned on me that I wasn't teaching the feeling that comes from the emotions, which children already know, but adults have forgotten. Although I'd given years of service, I decided it was time for me to work on myself, and I gave up my job. I've thought about going back to it, but I am still seeking.
After looking at a candle, I shut my eyes and felt my head become larger, as though it was encompassing the whole room, although my body remained the same size. This seemed to go on perpetually. Upon waking up five hours later, I shook my head and was a new person. I wrote these experiences to my sister Carol, and our letters crossed, as she had just written me about the Movement in Miami. Fifteen months later, when Carol came home, we talked in the garden. I remember an exercise mentally seeing someone sitting on my forehead, expanding my faculties. Then eighteen months after subscribing to the Home Study Discourses, I had the special experience of going to Miami and meeting the people there and seeing J-R for the first time. There was an abundance of love, and to bathe in the bliss seemed to bring new things forward in an uninflictive and flowing manner. Then, after three weeks there, I went through spiritual indigestion and didn't want to be around anyone.
I was sitting by the pool reading Siddhartha and fell asleep. The rest of the book came forward to me in the dream state. I woke up six hours later, and Carol, who was a bit worried as it was nine in the evening, was sitting next to me; she wasn't sure what I was experiencing. I said that I was going to go lay down on the deck chair because it was so cool, and I fell asleep again. At 3 in the morning I went inside, and lay down on the sofa for another five hours. Within that space of seventeen hours, I knew that MSIA, John-Roger, and the Mystical Traveler - Preceptor Consciousness were what I had been crying out for.
Rev. Nicholas Brown
One day in London I was being delayed continually. I was going home to a seminar at Nicholas and Carol's house, when a man with long, flowing hair, dressed in Pakistani garb, boarded the train. His energy made everybody turn around and look. I could see love exuding forward; it was like he was floating. I saw that he had a little book on Sufism, so I started talking with him.
After a few minutes he said, "You're the person I've been waiting to meet. I've been walking all over London for the past two hours trying to find you." He told me that he was a scientist working for Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, when he was sent over to Pakistan to develop a computer and got involved with the culture which transformed him. Now he was on a spiritual quest. I told him about John-Roger and the Movement, inviting him to a seminar that night. Then he met the person who he was really coming to meet, John-Roger, through a tape discourse.
While studying drama in graduate school at Berkeley, the confrontation that set off a real change in my thinking was the draft. I not only didn't believe in war, I didn't even believe in the military, because I could not give up my freedom to an outside organization or person. I knew that I could be free in prison but not in the military. I didn't have a religious background, so I hesitated before applying for Conscientious Objector. I knew in my own mind that I was conscientiously opposed to war; the only doubt was whether I would be considered as such by the authorities.
The first question on the C-O form was, "Do you believe in a Supreme Being?" I realized there must be a Supreme Being. When it was put that abstractly, I could go along with it. So I checked yes. Then I came to the second question, "Define the nature of the Supreme Being you believe in." I decided to do some research, and I am still investigating that subject. I read the Gospels, the Portable World Bible, philosophy, psychology, etc. I could agree with the Hindu ideas of the Self in all things - that when the Self leaves a tree, then it dies, and if it doesn't leave it, it doesn't die - the essence of life. When I was young, I had marveled at the miracle of life in plants, the miracle of animals, and the miracle of man. I also like the Buddha's teaching that "Hatred does not cease by hatred, but by love." In my imagination I visualized the complete transformation of contemporary society by a true religion of love, led by one who merely called people to join him in this perfect life.
In May 1968 while on LSD I saw 200l A Space Odyssey and intuitively understood the symbolism. That night I read the little book called the Tao Teh Ching by Lao-tzu, which contains the mystical philosophy. I understood ideas as perfectly natural that I had not been exposed to in this lifetime. I turned in my application for Conscientious Objector, writing, "I believe in Tao, and I seek Teh" and giving them a copy of the book. I indicated that violence was contrary to my nature. Finally when I did appear before the draft board, I explained in my own words that since the unity exists, and everything is one consciousness, I no more would want to hurt my brothers and sisters than I would take my right hand and try to destroy my left hand. Apparently I was convincing, and was given the status of being conscientiously opposed to war in any form.
I went to the University of California at Santa Barbara to enroll in the Religious Studies program. I also studied astrology and gave Tarot readings. I observed people and how they fit with their signs, and the present time and how it fit with the planets. I examined myself most closely and the cosmic plan when I was born. It helped me to integrate my own personality and to understand my interest in drama and mystical philosophies. I read the Aquarian Gospel, and understood the cosmic change of the ages - how the Piscean teachings were brought forward by Jesus and how now we are entering the Aquarian Age.
In a spiritual reading Gladys Jones told me I had refined out harsh qualities through many incarnations. Reincarnation was so natural and logical that I accepted it. When I mentioned the Tarot, she said that I was more mystical than occult and that I could develop direct communication with God. When I asked her if this would be my last lifetime, she seemed taken aback by the question and said she could not answer that. I encountered many spiritual groups but still hadn't met anyone who could show me how to break free of the wheel of reincarnation.
Continuing my investigation of Supreme Being, I developed a working, living philosophy that I could use. Love is paramount as being the unity of all; consciousness learns, understands, and knows; while creativity perceives the beautiful, contemplates the true, and acts for the good.
In 1969 a man asked me to give Bishop James A. Pike an astrology reading as his gift for Jim. A few weeks later he unexpectedly died in Israel. I also read his wife Diane's horoscope and others, beginning to practice astrology professionally.
By January 1970 I was awakening to the reality of the Christ, the Buddha, the prophet Mohammed, or whatever terminology may be used - that that is in me. I did my best to carry that consciousness with me wherever I went. When I attended a seminar and experienced the consciousness of John-Roger, I went up to him afterward prayerfully in the sense of worshipping the God within him that is within everyone. I knew his Divine Nature was awakened. I said I was very impressed by where he is and asked him which of my chakras were open. He told me about chakras that I didn't even know about. When I said that most people aren't aware of those, he said that most people don't see.
I experienced the Mystical Traveler Consciousness working with me. Once before going to a pot-luck dinner where there were many people involved in MSIA, I asked to grow as fast as I could, asking John-Roger inwardly to really lay it on me, and he did! I must have had an illusion per minute snapped away or shown to me. The Holy Spirit was everywhere, and the Light was bouncing these reflections back to me. I kept thinking, "How do these people know exactly what to say?" But then I knew that it was John-Roger and the Light coming through. After that evening I decided to completely quit taking drugs and subsequently went through quite a hell getting free of the negative effects.
I had been searching for three years to find the Spirit and the guidance I needed. As I straightened my path I had to clean house of the repressed and hidden fears, resentments, etc. Through the support of MSIA and the guidance of John-Roger, I have walked through the shadows in the perfect protection of the Light. Now the way is becoming ever brighter and smoother, as the spiritual heart radiates the divine love that is in all. My gratitude can only express by using this Light for the highest good of everyone.
I see the beauty of acceptance in opening to the flow of Spirit. By accepting that I am capable of doing something, the Spirit is able to work through me in writing or singing a song, acting or directing a play, writing poetry or philosophy, counseling or teaching with the Light, healing spiritually, soul traveling, etc. Consciously I would not have dreamed I could do works that are already being accomplished. The Light and the Mystical Traveler Consciousness accomplish all things in perfect harmony; we are but the channels as we allow ourselves to be. In this Golden Age of Living Love, the Holy Spirit is being poured forth through humanity in the freedom and grace of the Christ Consciousness which is transforming man's limited awareness into the infinite potential of the Hu-man divine creator. By opening to the Spirit that is eternally present, we truly realize that the blessings are already here now.
Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness seminars are an experience in the Light and the Sound under the guidance and protection of the Mystical Traveler - Preceptor Consciousness. During contributions each soul is given an opportunity, as the focus of Light comes to him or her, to express whatever they wish. The Mystical Traveler Consciousness works with each one spiritually for their highest good to help release karma and to balance and lift the consciousness. John-Roger brings forward the teachings of the Mystical Traveler Consciousness either in person or through a tape discourse, and demonstrates the ability to work with each individual in their own inner levels.
When I first met John-Roger in May of 1968 at a seminar in Santa Barbara, he led us in meditation where we walked along the beach. We met the Christ and walked with Him. Something beautiful and lasting happened to me as the words, "Be still and know that I am God" flooded my consciousness. I felt deeply moved and silently wept, feeling I had come home after a long hard journey. I belonged, even though most of the people in the room were strangers. There was a feeling of oneness that was new to me.
The seminar started, and people were giving their contributions. I thought this was my chance. All my life I had been busy perfecting a facade, so people wouldn't know where I was coming from. I could be feeling tremendous emotionality, but I wouldn't show it, because I didn't want to become vulnerable or be laughed at or scorned. I wanted to look like I had it all together. But that night at the seminar when it was my turn to talk, I sensed, "I've got to come clean if anything is going to happen here." My voice was catching as I spoke, getting emotional and overwrought, saying that I felt I had been pulled into this by some incredible attraction.
John-Roger replied, "Can I tell you something?" I said yes. He said, "Pull your emotions in; they are way out here." I don't know if he said it at the time, but it was the "wearing the heart on your sleeve" trait. I tried to figure out what that meant.
I went to the seminar every week. John-Roger would say, "I'll tune into that," or "I'll look into that." This man had cosmic consciousness. He could teach individuals soul travel. This was the heaviest thing I'd ever seen, and I was going to stay with it. John-Roger was dealing with seeing the aura, being more sensitive to one's guardian angel, and psychometrizing. He was also dealing heavily in areas of how to cope, which I had never done too successfully. He was giving pertinent information for all my levels from the mundane paper work, to accepting job responsibility, to having better emotional and mental balance, and in my spiritual growth. I was seeing answers to my questions. I had to have reasons, and I found that I could take the information John-Roger had given me and keep expanding it. There was always continuation and etcetera. Part of the teaching was to be able to use everything that happens; this is a fantastic key. If I was in a traffic jam, I could work on impatience. Or if I was required to do something that I didn't see any reason for, I could work on that area to make myself more complete. I started noticing things align in my daily life. I was taking on more responsibility. I even tried something adventurous like balancing my checkbook.
Gregory S. Smith
I have had out of the body experiences for the last twenty years. It used to scare the devil out of me, because I didn't know how to handle them. Whenever I would talk to people about it they would think I had gone off my rocker. I used to leave my body once or twice a day. If I took a nap during the day (I was a farmer then), as soon as I would feel myself about to leave the body, I would shake myself loose, throw myself off the bed or do anything to avoid it. One day, I was leaving my body but stopped myself. I was under the bedcovers and very frightened. I asked God for help. After a while I couldn't breathe under the covers, so I stuck my head out. I saw someone with long hair. I didn't know if it was a man or a woman, which scared me even more. I wouldn't get out of the covers the whole night. I had been searching for so long, but I didn't know how to handle these things.
A few years after that incident, our daughter Sherry became ill with Hodgkin's Disease, and we moved to Acapulco, Mexico. There we met a hotel owner who had a picture of a man on her desk. The next day I realized he was the person who had appeared to me when I had asked for help. I told the hotel owners, and they introduced me to Self Realization Fellowship. There was a very warm feeling, and I felt I had come home for the first time and that Paramahansa Yogananda was my true guru. I was in SRF for ten years, and became a lay disciple, but something was missing. I needed to know more. I went into Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation, but that didn't do it. I had become very friendly with Herbert Holmes and Robert Ford, and we shared SRF and the Flying Saucers Club of America together. We were searching all the time. Herbert called me one day and told me they had met a man named John-Roger who spoke at a Flying Saucer meeting, and that he was having his own seminar at Marvin Mochel's (head of the Amalgamated Flying Saucers of America in the Hollywood area). Would I like to go? I really did, but it was Friday night at the restaurant, the busiest night. He accepted that, and an hour later Robert Ford called and said, "I urge you brother, please, it is so important; you have got to make it." Because of the way he said it, something clicked. I knew that I must go, somehow. I asked my wife and son who assured me not to worry and to go; maybe this was what we had been looking for.
I went and sat up front. The vibrations of the Light were too strong for me to handle. I knew through yoga that I could block this by crossing my arms and legs. When the seminar was over, John-Roger asked me if I was in yoga. I felt Herbert and Robert had clued him in, but I didn't know and was suspicious. I asked, "How do you know?"
He replied, "There was a man who had his arms around you. He looked like Paramahansa Yogananda, but he was a much younger man. I asked him, 'What are you doing here?' and he said, 'Yogananda sent me here to watch over him!'" I felt that it was safe to be there as long as Yogananda protected me.
After I left, John-Roger told Robert and Herbert that I was a beautiful soul, but that there were three men who were blocking me spiritually and otherwise. They posed as my friends but really were not. His words hit me. I knew just who he meant. I had had a suspicion, but I was always easy-going and made excuses for people. I told the people that I didn't feel they were my friends and that I didn't want to be associated with them anymore. From that moment things changed. When I first went to seminars people would come to me after it was over and exclaim, "Wasn't that seminar fantastic?"
I didn't feel anything. I couldn't understand, but I would tell them, "Yeah, yeah, really great." They had the Light in their eyes and were so uplifted. Something was wrong. I didn't seem to be getting much out of it. I made up my mind to watch them during contributions to see what was happening, why they were so lifted, and why I was not. It was very interesting. They were giving of themselves. I had come to seminars to see what I could get out of them never thinking that I had to give to get. Then, as every person spoke, I listened. If they were having problems, I would send them the Light, really being a part of them. I was giving of myself and sending the Light. The more I gave, the more I received. I would be bursting with the Light, and I would want to hug everyone. I was so glad that this awareness came to me early, because I have seen many people come to seminars looking to get something out of it and not getting it. I found this was a key. People would tell me they felt the Light coming through me. After many people told me, I realized the Light really works.
I thought if I could do this at seminars, then I could do it at my Italian restaurant where two or three hundred people a day come to me. I give the Light to every person who comes to the window. Practice makes perfect. Many of the people say, "I don't know if it was the food or if it came from you." I tell them it is the spark of God, the Light that we all have.
I think the biggest problem in my life was that I had been judged as a phony, and I believed it. I didn't like myself; I judged myself. During a Light Study, John-Roger told me how people see me, how I see myself, and how I really am. He told me that people judged me, even though they didn't know what I was like. Then he told me that I was more critical of myself than the people who judged me. Then he described the real me. This was the first time that I loved myself, and it was so nice. I thought of all the years that I didn't like "me," and I was ashamed of myself. I found the things that I disliked in me were really beautiful. It was like having my first love, and I wanted to cry. From that time everything opened up, and I was happier than I had ever been. I found that what I had learned in ten years in SRF, I had gone way past in six months. I had found myself. I started to understand "me." When I stopped judging myself, it made it so much easier to love others.
The freedom of expression in MSIA is what I needed for my inner growth. At the seminars during contributions, one can say or do anything one likes; sing a song, bitch about the terrible day one has had, or say God's name. Then the next half is John-Roger's spiritual wisdom. He tells us, "If it works for you, use it. If it doesn't, have the wit to let it go and go on to what works for you." I have a tendency to latch on to an idea and squeeze it, so I am learning a fluidness - to listen to the Inner Master. I found that I need not be bound permanently to anything. There are four billion people on the planet and four billion different ways. Everyone's movement of spiritual inner awareness is as unique as their fingerprints. Each is special.
We used to go to seminars, and the contribution time would bug me no end. I'd think, "Won't these silly people ever shut up so I can listen to what John-Roger has to say? Why are they carrying on so? Who cares about that anyway?" Now we go, and I enjoy that part of the evening just as much as J-R's talk, because it is really all the same. Watching, supporting, and loving the movement of spiritual inner awareness in others is a fantastic, mind-expanding experience. The concept of "for the highest good of all concerned" is paramount in my philosophy right now. If I learn nothing else in MSIA except calling in the Light, channeling and intensifying it, and then putting it out for the highest good of all concerned, it will be worth the effort.
In my search for Self and God-realization, I have taken many paths, side-roads and detours, all leading to the Supreme One, the Sarmad. As a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara, one "trip" which kept "tripping me up" was taking drugs, a short-lived but very heavy experience. In my attempt to give up this activity, I studied many religions and philosophies and took up meditation and yoga disciplines.
It wasn't until I made a conscious commitment to attend a MSIA seminar, that I was able to change my consciousness and break this pattern of drug-taking. The night before I was to attend a seminar in Thousand Oaks at precisely twelve o'clock, April 8th, 1969, a force overcame me. I was moved to get up from my bed and take out the vestiges of marijuana hidden in my closet. It didn't occur to me to doubt or hesitate as I flushed the drugs down the toilet.
The next day I walked around in a daze, unable to relate to the physical world, and unable to comprehend the meaning behind my actions of a few hours before. Yet when contributions began at the seminar in Wanda Mansbach's home, and Spirit wove It's way to me, a profound understanding and appreciation of each event in my life flooded me. On the way home I reviewed my life, and even in that neophyte stage of awareness I knew then that my drug-taking was not a detour but an avenue to greater spiritual awareness. In the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, I have gained greater understanding of the ways in which the Mystical Traveler and the Holy Spirit work to unlock blocks in our consciousness and dissolve negative habit patterns and attitudes. Sometimes it is a powerful manifestation of the magnetic Light, as this first experience was for me, and sometimes the lessons are more subtle. The challenges present themselves when the law of reversibility, acting as a divine boomerang, returns to test our strength and purpose. Joy and wisdom pour forth in realizing that each test is for our highest good, revealing once more that our true expression is that of soul transcendence.
Rev. KayAnn Turbak
I thought it was an earthquake, because I had my eyes closed. When I opened my eyes, I found out that the fellow behind me was shaking very much. John-Roger said, "That's the Holy Spirit. Don't worry about him. It's okay; he's being hit by the Holy Spirit."
I was thinking, "I hope the Holy Spirit doesn't hit me."
John-Roger said to us, "The day will come when someone will ask you, 'When did you first begin soul traveling?' and you won't be able to tell them." We move into it, and find our awareness is growing without even realizing it. John-Roger said to me, "Your truths will be changing as you lift higher."
When I first started coming to seminars, Michael and I (we weren't married yet) seemed to have a pretty good relationship. No ups, no downs, pretty steady, and everything was going fine. But by the third seminar, everything had suddenly fallen apart. We had split up, and my entire world was down around my head. I could not understand it. I knew it was connected somehow with the seminars and with John-Roger, but I said in my contribution, "I don't know what is happening, John-Roger, but since I have been coming to seminars, everything has gone wrong. It's terrible!"
Everyone laughed, and so did John-Roger. He said, "It looks as if you have been working off your karma prematurely - you are banging on the doors of Heaven wanting to get in, and things are coming down fast and heavy."
I asked, "But could I have some kind of respite? Just a day?" I wasn't going to ask for too much.
He said, "Okay, I can give you a day."
I could not believe those words, but from that moment on for an entire day, I was so high and free, and people were responding with such love to me. Then the next day, I was right back in it again. But that memory of knowing that John-Roger could actually help me in the distress boosted my faith in him tremendously. Since then, I have been able to inwardly ask him to do this for me. There will be nights and days when I go through heavy karma, and in the morning I'll awake and feel so tired, and then I'll drag through the day. Then at night I'll go through it again and have nightmares. So the next day, I'll ask inwardly, "If it's for the highest good, John-Roger, could I have a night's rest?" It is so beautiful, because I'll sleep through with nice dreams and wake up feeling so good.
It is nice to know that someone is taking care of bringing my karma forward just right. His love floods me, and my love for him is so strong. At first my mind was skeptical about him, but something was awakening in me and saying, "Yes, Vivian, he is the one. You'd better listen." Thank God I listened to that voice.
I had been in the Movement a few months when my cousin Sara Namias' husband died at age 32. Her whole world went to pieces, for her life had been wrapped around him. I had been to the funeral and to her home the week after and saw that she didn't care to live anymore. I told her about John-Roger, and she said, "Right now, no one can help me." About three weeks later she called and said she wanted to kill herself, but she didn't know what to do, because of her children. She couldn't bear her life without her husband.
"Would you like to come to a seminar?" I asked. She still didn't believe that anyone could help her, but getting out of the house was fine. I remember seeing her in the back sitting by herself, and suffering within, not listening to what John-Roger was saying. After the seminar about twenty people were waiting to talk with him. I was sitting on the side, watching Sara and hoping that he would have some time for her. I had asked her to go to him and talk with him, but she wouldn't. I was sending her the Light. Then John-Roger told everyone to sit down, and he called my cousin up; I was so pleased that he could tap into that. He did most of the talking, and she would cry and smile a little and cry some more. They spoke for about twenty minutes. She gave him a big hug, and her eyes lit up. I couldn't wait for her to share with me what happened. She was just beaming. "My God, he is really something. He knew everything about me, about Marvin, and I knew you clued him in."
"I never told him anything," I replied. "That's interesting, but I would have known it anyway, from the things he told me. He seemed to know, to understand what I was going through." Marvin had had a heart attack five years previously, and she was giving him her energy to keep him alive. "I knew the minute I came up and told him, I let Marvin go. I felt him die, but I couldn't hold out anymore. He told me many things about Marvin and how he was much happier now that he was free of the pressures as vice-president of the trucking company. He worked very hard, and sometimes came home at 3 o'clock in the morning completely exhausted. He would say, 'One of these days I'm going to chuck it all and retire.' On the other side he was working with flowers, which is what he would have retired to do. John-Roger worded himself just the way my husband would have worded himself, and I knew where Marvin was and that he was okay." That lifted me and helped me so much.
Sara's husband had been dead for almost a year when Thanksgiving and Christmas arrived. She had been sustained by the seminars, but now they would be discontinued throughout the Christmas holidays, and she was going through a depression.
"How will I go through the whole Thanksgiving without a seminar? I will go out of my mind. It has been my breath."
I told her that we would send her the Light and that she could come and stay with us for a while, but she had three children, and it was hard.
At the next seminar, John-Roger said, "We are going to have a different seminar. We are going to call this a Love Feast. Someone get a chair and put it in the middle of the floor. Now we need a volunteer." People raised their hands, but he said, "No, Sara, do you want to come up here and sit down?" Although she didn't want to, she sat down. He had his hands on her shoulders from behind and said, "Sara, I love you so much." Then he told her why. "I remember when you first came here and how you have opened up to the Light, and even in your grief you have been supporting everyone else and sending them the Light. "He went on for about three or four minutes telling her how much she had grown and how much he loved her. Then everyone else came up. It helped many people, because they couldn't say that they loved, and when they opened up it lifted every person. She had been given so much love that for weeks after into Thanksgiving and Christmas she was floating full of bliss. She would call us and say, "God bless John-Roger. " He took his time, and it was so interesting to see the love he has for all of us. I don't think there is one person in MSIA who doesn't think John-Roger is giving him his personal attention. He really cares for each and every one of us.
My first encounter with the Movement was at a seminar in Berkeley. I discovered I knew many of the people already, and when they played the tape, I instantly recognized the voice of John-Roger. I felt that I knew that voice always; I had heard it speaking to me through many people. During the tape, I felt the wheels turning inside, and for the first time I experienced the Light. For me that experience was heat within the body, great heat in the chest area, and great joy. It didn't happen in a meditative state, but in a social atmosphere with people talking and expressing love, joy, laughter, and acceptance. Acceptance is very important to me as I had a tendency to set up patterns of rejection in relation to negativity in myself. So I got hooked. I was back the next week, and I don't think I've missed a seminar since.
Rev. Rudy Tambone
In September 1971, I was looking for a new direction in astrology. One day I picked up a local Berkeley newspaper, "The Telegraph Monthly" and saw an article on astrology written by Jim and Barbara Shere. Their view of astrology was different than the popularized news-stand variety. I wrote them, and Jim responded, "We approach astrology in a humanistic and holistic way. By the way, we have a communion, meditation and mantram every Friday evening, and we certainly welcome you to come by and see what's going on."
I went there, expecting to see astrologers rapping, but this group was chanting the mantram HU and listening to a tape. I went home feeling pretty high. After a few weeks I realized that these tapes had to do with some movement. What I was learning made sense, so the externals didn't matter. At this point, smoking dope was giving me headaches, so I said, "I don't need this anymore, obviously; headaches every night - that's absurd!" So I quit dope altogether.
I was in the Movement about a year when I called my mother in Miami and talked to my kid sister, whom I hadn't seen in ten years. I was always the weird one in the family. When I was sixteen I became a vegetarian, practiced yoga, and accepted flying saucers right away. Rebecca, at 26, found she was relating to me, as she was a vegetarian and had joined Zen Buddhism. We talked for five minutes, and it was so nice seeing that she didn't judge me. Three days later I received a letter from her saying she didn't understand why people were coming to her asking advice, seeking help, for she knew nothing. She needed help. "I am looking for a master, a teacher; I'm searching. I have joined Zen and Edgar Cayce, but that doesn't seem to be the answer."
I was so excited that I called her right away and told her about John-Roger. She asked, "What does he do? What is he like?"
"I don't know all of his capabilities, but he has helped me tremendously. I see him as ten times higher than Edgar Cayce." That hit her. She knew she must come.
In June she arrived for her three-week vacation. She asked to hear his voice. My son Mitchell was listening to his Light Study that morning, and she took the tape into the other room and played it. An hour and a half later she came out and said, "John-Roger knew I was coming." Nobody had spoken with him about her. "It is in Mitchell's tape."
It couldn't be, I thought, because I spoke to her for the first time in June, and Mitchell's reading was in March. John-Roger talked for the hour and a half about many different things and in between said, "When your aunt comes, we will work with her also." She was so excited. She felt that when she came to the seminar he was going to put his arms around her and say, "I've been waiting for you." I introduced J-R to her, and he seemed very cold and distant. She was so hurt. She had traveled thousands of miles across country, and he didn't care. Because of her ego, she needed this. She was supposed to stay for three weeks and stayed six, going through many changes. She wanted to stay in California and work with him, but he told her that there were many souls in Miami who were waiting for her and that she would bring the Light to them and would hold seminars there. She didn't know anything about the Movement or the Light and questioned how she would do seminars.
"If you allow me, I will work through you. Two men will come to you, and they will help you start the Movement and bring many people to assist you."
She called me four weeks later hysterically crying and laughing at the same time. "Exactly how John-Roger told me - that's how it happened. I'm having two seminars a week." Eventually she had seventy or eighty people attending. She was lecturing and would learn from the things she was saying.
Six months later John-Roger went to Miami for a conference with 350 people. Shortly after she called and informed me that she was no longer in the Movement and that John-Roger was a phony and out for the money. This brought me doubts. I had devoted my whole life to this. Could I have been mistaken? I stopped doing my spiritual exercises. Two weeks later J-R came to me and asked, "Do you want to talk to me?"
I didn't have the courage to come to him and tell him. "Yes. I spoke with my sister, and she said she is no longer in the Movement, and you are not the Mystical Traveler." I was ashamed, because I felt I wasn't as devoted as I thought I was; one person tells me negative things about the Movement, and I'm skeptical.
"I understand," he said. "Could you at least give me a chance to defend myself?" That hit me. Who am I? Why does he want to defend himself against me? I was suffering within, and he cared enough to lighten the burden. He told me what really happened and then called Phillip up for verification. "It is important you don't go blindly into this. Be skeptical. Check me out. Don't give your heart to this until you really know." He explained that my sister helped everyone tremendously. They would call her at 3 or 4 in the morning. She was needed, because they needed John-Roger coming through her, and when John-Roger came physically they dropped her like a hot potato. Here was the master, and they ignored her and flocked around him. She was letting the ego go and showing anger and resentment, and he had to back off from her. She was hurt. "I am always with her. I had to stand back until she asked." For a year after that I checked and re-checked because there was a part of me that loved John-Roger so much, and a part that said maybe this isn't so.
I was counting the money intake at the seminars. At the first conference there were 500 people at $5 a head, or $2500, plus five seminars a week. I was counting all the money and thought that guy can become a millionaire in no time. It was disturbing. There was an hour intermission and Robert Ford, Herbert Holmes, Bill and Jean Baeli, Bernice and myself went to eat. "There is a problem that I feel. What does John-Roger do with all the money?"
Their feeling was, "I never even thought of it. It has changed my whole life. He probably uses it for the Movement."
We came back, and John-Roger excused himself from a crowd of people and came over to me and said, "How do you like the conference? Come sit down; I want to talk with you. The Movement is growing tremendously. It is in many parts of the world, and we send literature and tapes. This costs money." He was explaining to me that the money that comes in is used to further spread the Light. "I have an ability to know who is sincere and who really needs the help. "He must have tapped in or been right there when we were eating. He told me that he worked as a school teacher and that he doesn't take a penny out of the Movement. In fact, he gives.
I remember now never to take from the Movement, but to give. Automatically I am receiving much more. John-Roger gives so much of himself that I thought, "Who is this man? What is he?" He seems to have the ability to know everything about a person. He is here to help and to work with us. It is very inspiring.
When I was very young I experienced a moment of eternity when everything opened up, and I knew that dying was not the end. Then for many years I wandered up mountains and down into abysses searching, but not knowing for what.
In October 1969 I went to a MSIA seminar in Miami, and something inside me knew that at last I was going to discover myself. I absorbed the teachings of the Mystical Traveler. I began to share with others love - a love that asked for nothing - a love that lifts me into joy and understanding. The chrysalis of despair and doubt and illusion broke, and in that pure Light I observed the new form of myself emerging, gradually reflecting to me the places I could go within and without.
For me now the greatest thing is to be in the awareness of total love, to be in tune with the consciousness of the Mystical Traveler, and to lift into that awareness.
In 1971 I returned to England to start MSIA seminars, all ways knowing that it is the Spirit working through me, and more and more I learned to tune into the Inner Master for guidance and to move on that which comes from within.
I am going to become one with the Light and Sound. Part of the greatness of John-Roger's teachings is simple perception, allowing the conditionings we have placed upon ourselves to break away.
I have experienced out-of-the-body movements and traveled in other dimensions of time and space, always knowing that I am walking in the protection that is.
Living in England, not having John-Roger in the physical, it is easier for me to flow, and break crystallized thinking patterns, programmed responses, and the facade. One is exposed to oneself. Sometimes I am lonely, because I know there is much happening in the United States. However, the love is always here, and as John-Roger says, the portable paradise is within. I know from communing with the Inner Master that the same spiritual promise is here in England.
The euphoria during the seminars is so special as we glimpse and feel the vibrant Light and listen to the sound of love. Perhaps one appreciates this more when there are fewer people, for each second is savored. When we are lifting above our feelings and being open and listening and learning from all people, we are living the movement of spiritual inner awareness. Even outside seminars, listening to someone express himself on whatever level is a joy. They don't have to express a jewel, like we might get in a seminar, because every ounce of joy is a treasure. Everyone is bringing forward their own spirit. Throughout the world people are working the Light and living the love, making a large family. Everywhere is home. The world is not a fearful place. There are loving people, who with every breath they breathe, love and give this breath out to the universe. Anyone can tune into Spirit and translate it through the body.
Rev. Nicholas Brown
I got my courage up and called Dr. John-Roger Hinkins. He listened to who I was and said, I would be welcome at a seminar. I had a feeling of excitement when I hung up the phone. That night when I got into bed, I looked up to my left, and although I didn't see anyone there physically, I heard a laugh. That laugh I have heard so often since. It was like, "You knew I was going to call, didn't you?"
"You know me, don't you?"
I went to my first seminar by myself in Alhambra, and Seleta Maye Johnson greeted me lovingly and asked me to put my money in the basket. There was a tug in my consciousness, but I put in my money, went in and sat down. I became acutely aware of the conglomeration of people. I had always known that I was not prejudiced, but I had to admit I felt a little strange with the mixture. Thank God there were some housewives there with whom I could identify! I thought, "Oh, Carolyn, you have really been fooling yourself for a long time about accepting people." I was amazed at the expression of love in the room. Contributions started, and when it was my turn, I said, "Boy, you're all a bunch of weird people." Of course, everybody laughed which released much for me. Then I added how much at home I felt. Something inside of me said, "This is the freedom I've been looking for." I was experiencing the Darshan.
I could only remember two words that John-Roger talked about that night - "the Light." I noticed that many people went up to see JR after the seminar. I really wanted to, but I was shy. I felt accepted and felt his love, but I couldn't quite enter into an exchange. Yet I wanted so much to meet him. Finally I dragged my body to where he and Phillip were sitting and said, "I guess you're a very busy man."
"I guess you don't have much time to talk."
"I have these questions, and I'd love some answers...." Then I said, "I'll see you later tonight, and we'll talk, okay?" John-Roger said that was a very good idea, and I left feeling excited.
In a seminar, each person makes his contribution, and the love and Light flow through him, as he expresses. One can accept it and send it back. Lately, I have been constantly on the verge of tears, especially when I'm thinking about John-Roger and the essence that he represents - the consciousness of the Preceptor and the Mystical Traveler. Since the Christmas Eve meditation, when John-Roger spoke of a living, loving heart, I picture him and think of the love that he manifests and constantly sends, and I send it back. I don't think one can come any closer to love than to experience John-Roger. My human vessel just can't contain it, so it has to overflow in the form of tears. Since I have been in the Movement, I know what love is. J-R is here to remind us and to awaken us to what we are. Love does whatever it has to do to awaken love in us.
Love is the Light Movement, reaching into each level and clearing like a healing balm. The weight of guilt that so many of us carry for so long can be lifted by a love that transcends these levels. In my Aura Balance I forgave myself for having done whatever I'd done to myself and forgave myself for feeling guilty. The Light simplifies our life, if we allow it.
I found my love-nature growing. I had always been striving toward a universal expression, and it is easy to love everybody. Hugging people in the seminars has become a definite part of the Movement where people express their love.
People told me, "You appeared in my room last night. What do you think about that?" What could I think about that? I wasn't going to deny their experience. But at the time they said I appeared in their room, I'd be either in a theatre or visiting friends or sometimes asleep. One person told me that she saw me as plain as day in New York, while I was in California.
I thought, "Obviously, something is going on, even though I am not aware of it consciously." Since we are all multi-dimensional in our consciousness, at some level of consciousness somebody knows something, even if I don't. I asked John-Roger about it. He shrugged it off as bi-location.
I had a psychic leader and was going to group meetings. We were constantly putting up guards against other people. I went into a restaurant down the street from where I was teaching acting. I met Marcie Martini, a waitress there, and my thing was to get it on with her. I was talking to her about the psychic teachings I was involved in, and she was telling me about spiritual teachings. She didn't try to convince me, but I was always trying to get her to go to my meetings. One day she asked me if I would like to go to a meeting. I said yes, but I couldn't understand why, because I didn't think there was anything like the psychic.
My psychic had told me to look for John-Roger's third eye and for a certain aura around him, because she felt that he was just a medium. I'm straining trying to see auras and things, and J-R was aware of this. I wasn't seeing anything, though I thought I was. During contributions I crossed my arms and legs so that I wouldn't pick up anything, because she taught me to cross my arms and legs to keep everything away from me. She also said that sometimes one can accept and see what happened. As soon as I did, my whole head got hot, and my body started getting warm all over. It panicked me, because the heat was flowing all over me; so I immediately crossed my body again. Then I let go again, and the feeling was nice. When it got to my contribution, John-Roger and I hit it right off, doing the joke thing back and forth. I came back a second time, but I couldn't understand why.
One month after the loss of my husband, my son Wayne was trying to persuade me to attend a MSIA seminar. I wasn't very anxious to go, because I felt there wasn't much room for improvement where I was concerned. However, I decided that I would go, just to prove how wrong it was for me. That was the turning point in my life.
In November of 1971 I attended a seminar led by Dr. John-Roger Hinkins. At first I had a deep suspicion and doubt that this man would probably try to hypnotize me as he had my youngest son, or so I thought. I listened and watched him very carefully, waiting to see if he was going to give me the hypnotic eye. Not once did this spiritual leader even glance my way. This didn't do my ego any good, but it was the beginning of a deep respect and great affection for John-Roger. Before that, I couldn't possibly see where there was any room for improvement. That must have been my ego. I'd like to think that now I've improved to a much greater degree due to an excellent teacher and great leader. I used to be critical of others. Now instead of seeing faults in people, I notice their good points. John-Roger has opened my eyes to my imperfections, not in a verbal way, but through his discourses and seminars.
I decided to spend some time in San Felipe, on the gulf side of Baja California. Pretty desolate. I got into town at dusk, wanting to go past the town, but I couldn't find my road out. I was wandering around not too sure what the action was. I went into a place, had a beer, talked to some people, and then went to other places and did the same thing. At one restaurant an American guy and girl asked me what I was doing. "I don't know."
They invited me to stay with them at a beach. We drove out a hand-made road. It reminded me of Don Quixote. Being out on the desert and shut off from many physical stimuli allowed me to focus more on the non-material energies. I had brought seminar tapes with me so that I could put in the earphones and listen while lying down. I was getting ready to lie down when the guy said, "I see you have brought some music."
"No, these are MSIA seminars," I replied.
"Who is the guy who does those, John-Roger?" he asked.
"Right." Being out in the barren desert in the pitch black with my flashlight not working, and I run into this guy. It turned out he had gone to a couple of seminars in Fullerton, and was now going off into different actions. The day before I met him, he had some situations which allowed him to look at his doing dope in a different consciousness. We sat down and did a seminar together.
For two and one-half years I wouldn't talk at seminars. Many people would come up with very inspiring words, but when it came my turn my mind would go blank. I would say, "My name is Reuben, and I'm glad to be here, and I love everyone. "Many times I would rehearse at 3 o'clock in the morning, and the Light would be coming through and flowing. I was going to have pearls to inspire people. At the seminar I would rehearse, not listening to the other contributions, but when my turn came it was, "Reuben, and I'm glad to be here."
We had bought a house and were fixing it up, hoping to have John-Roger do seminars in our home. John-Roger said to wait and see until after the first of the year, and if he couldn't do it, then Phillip or Wes could. At the Christmas Eve meditation I asked Phillip if he was going to be able to do them, but he said he was very busy. I went to John-Roger, and he said to me, "Why don't you do it?" I panicked. I didn't even talk at seminars! Then I felt guilty. I had asked to be of service, and the first time John-Roger asks me to do something I get excited like a little kid. I went to J-R the next seminar and confessed I was foolish, and if it was for the highest good, I would do the seminar. I was inwardly thinking that once I said that, he would say it was okay, but he would have Phillip or Wes do it. Instead, he said, "I knew you would do it."
I was nervous about the seminar. I wanted to know what to do with the money that came in from it. We were having financial trouble at the time, and J-R indicated I could keep the money and buy tapes; he was really giving me an out. I wanted to give all the money to the Movement. It was like giving to myself anyway. I went to a Wednesday night Encino seminar and mentioned to Sandy Landen that I was scared. It is so beautiful the way people in the Movement help each other. "Don't worry," she said, "just glow, send everyone the Light, be the Light, and everyone will feel it." That was another key.
I found sitting in the chair conducting a seminar unique, because the Mystical Traveler is working through you, and you are a different person. I was so pleased, so honored to be in a different consciousness. I couldn't wait until the following week, and then the following week. Each was more beautiful, more precious. I had asked John-Roger what my life's work was so that I could prepare. He said, "How would you have felt if I had told you you were going to give seminars and lecture?"
"I would have gotten sick."
"This is the reason I can't tell you what your destiny is. It may very well block you. How do you like giving seminars?"
"I love it."
"You will have to wait until you are ready to do, and then you will do."
The Conference of Elation was coming, and I was thinking that J-R didn't call anybody about speaking. What if he called me? I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I figured he would never ask me, for I was not a speaker. Lo and behold, at the next seminar he whispered, "You are going to speak at the Conference, if you want to."
"Yeah, I'd be honored." It was the worst thing he could have said to me.
I asked people who had previously spoken, and some said the speeches were fifteen minutes long. I expressed that while rehearsing I spoke for one minute, the longest minute of my life.
"When you are up there, speak for ten minutes. What can they do?" they advised. "Say thank you very much and sit down, and everyone will applaud you." I started writing things down, and nothing hit. I just let it go. I spoke with John-Roger a few times, and he said not to worry, to relax. It was getting closer to the Conference, and I still didn't have anything. J-R told me that he saw it on the other side, and it would be all right.
Finally, at the Conference, the next to last speaker said, "By the way, John-Roger said to me you would speak for 45 minutes." That knocked me for a loop. I figured he must hate me. He knew what I was going through. Twenty minutes before I spoke I wrote little notes and then got up to speak. The support I was getting from everyone was fantastic, and everything was flowing beautifully. I was talking and crying, and the audience was crying. It was a breakthrough for me, because I never would have accepted this, and would have blocked it if it hadn't been for John-Roger. I thought, "Do I have any more time?" Looking down at my watch, I was ten minutes overtime. It was a beautiful conference.