Umpqua National Forest, Oregon, USA-Pacific Standard Time Zone
~~* Pilgrimage to the Golden City-Page 4 *~~
The hitchhiking trip back was quick. My whirlwind tour of the
counter culture took place in a year or so. It was clear upon my return that I
wasn't alone in having my world turned upside down. Hardly anything remained
of the life I once knew in Philadelphia. Old friends and acquaintances had also
been swept up in the frenzied drug feed. I could hardly recognize many of them.
While I was gone, my father had died. Was it an oddity of the
era in which I lived that I did not see my father buried or remember the burial
of my mother because of my drugged stupor? Family and friends had been scattered
far and wide. My then wife had thrown off any regard for our marriage and was
now pregnant by a friend of hers. The pieces that were to be reassembled upon my
return virtually didn't exist any longer. One year seemed an eternity. Growing
up as a youth, time seemed so slow, and change - a snails pace. How different it
was now. The life I sought to reconcile was non-existent. Again I was starting
from scratch in another turn of life.
~~*The Natural Food Way*~~
Fasting, praying and a cleansing diet became important to me
in those days. My travels exposed me to the idea that I could improve the
quality of my life by removing the effects of drugs and a lifetime of junk food.
There were also many religious practices that associated eating with a higher
plane of consciousness. I spent quite a bit of time studying methods of
restoring my health with natural foods, naturopathic therapies, herbal remedies
and the diet systems in vogue in various parts of the world.
At the time Philadelphia only boasted one health food store
in the entire city of 5.5 million people. Under a flurry of circumstances I met
and began associating with a few fellows who were very interested in starting a
natural food store. It all went very well. Soon we had a very large
constituency enjoying our homemade soups and breads, carrot juice and whole
grains. It took off like fire.
One interesting aspect of the natural food industry is that
it generally attracts people that have a broad range of spiritual perspectives.
So it was that my daily life was exposed to a menagerie of philosophical and
religious viewpoints. I took great care to hear out many of these views,
especially those concerned with Jesus. I wonder how many of you reading this
discourse remember a large cosmological book called Urantia? It was an enormous volume. I read the
entire thing. If you are unfamiliar with the publication don't feel slighted. It is so extensive and convoluted that it boggles the mind.
Another publication of particular interest caught my attention. It
was titled The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ. It contained an expose on
the so-called "hidden" years of the life of the Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ). A very
elaborate and detailed description was given of the Master's life that wasn't
recorded in scripture; illustrating him as going to the Far East, Egypt and many of
the world's mystery schools. It said that he attained to great mystical
stature, then returned to the Holy Land for his public ministry.
This idea became a catalyst to start me on the path of many
spiritual disciplines and mystical practices. These activities encompassed every aspect
of my life - from eating (Zen Macrobiotics), to astrology, tarot
cards, the Chinese book of Changes called the I Ching,
and a very intense regime of meditation. Every publication and book on spirituality that
I could access quickly became fuel for my hungry soul. The Upanishads,
Mahayana or Hinayana Buddhism, Khalil Gibran, the Egyptian Book of the Dead,
Tibetan Book of the Dead and a host of others became components of my
interest. I took a formal course in hypnotism and experimented considerably with
it. Hatha yoga, Mantra yoga and several of the other yogic practices were
part of my self-styled regime. As my quest intensified, the spiritual aspect of
life became very tangible. Almost more real than the physical world.
Clairaudience, clairvoyance and the ability to
consciously interact with the spiritual realm, without any use of drugs,
soon became a common practice for me. Visions, and the profound experience of
leaving my body, made my efforts seem rewarding and exciting. I was attaining
"mastery". In one session of meditation I hovered over my body and was
able to observe my physical form and all the objects in the room. Moving about
by force of will, I was fully awake as I re-entered by body. "Surely,"
I thought, "I am learning the things that Jesus learned and I am on the
Great Path of Enlightenment."
Intuitively I knew I was riding the crest of a great
worldwide wave of spiritual activity. Though the health food store was
prospering in a phenomenal way, the urge to find a solution for personal and
collective healing overwhelmed me. I began focusing my life. All aspects of my
attention were centered on the new dimensions I had become conscious of.
Physically I had never felt better. Mental sharpness and agility
returned to me in an unprecedented fashion. The smoking habit I had was thrown
off without difficulty after ten years of heavy tobacco consumption. Cigarettes and marijuana were gone in a single day. I've never looked back.
Daily I poured over the "sacred" writings of the
various epochs and cultures of the world. From Cabala to Tao De Ching, from
Stonehenge to the recesses of the Himalayas, my soul swept through to
grasp greater depths of insight and continuity. From the cosmic reaches of the
astrological vastness of space, to the hidden depths of obscure spiritual
realms, my mind and heart searched and probed for the doorways of spiritual
initiation that I now was convinced I must pass through. I also made great
efforts to watch what was happening with others as part of a "spiritual
awakening" washing across the land. Was the Utopian Aquarian Age prophesied by many appearing? Was humanity about to take a quantum leap of some kind into a new epoch of evolutiion?
One of the organizations that particularly caught my interest
was the Summit Lighthouse. They have since taken the name Church
Universal and Triumphant"(CUT). They were headquartered in Colorado and
claimed to be in touch with a spiritual hierarchy of ascended masters. (This
hierarchy of enlightened beings was said to have attained liberation from
ignorance and the sorrow of the earth.)
Most of their doctrine was very eclectic. They incorporated
ideas and religious practices from all major religions and schools of mysticism.
Their bi-monthly publication called Pearls of Wisdom really caught my
fancy. This group was to play a big role in the next phase of my life.
~~*Into the Mountains*~~
In March of 1969 I once again abandoned the mundane routines
of daily life. To be sure, the health food business was prospering and expanding
far beyond our expectations, but the unsettled state of my heart beckoned me to
press on in my spiritual quest. With a large quantity of religious literature in
hand and through a very circuitous route, I landed in the Rocky Mountains of
I had purposed to live as a religious recluse. I wore a
woolen hooded robe that I hand stitched out of army blankets. My diet consisted
of brown rice and any foods I could forage in the wilds. I had long since sworn
off eating meat. Roots and greens, along with grain, salt and flour, sustained
me. In my mountain refuge I built a little lean-to to protect me from the
ravages of the high country's early spring weather.
Quickly my life settled into a routine of reading, meditation
and food gathering. Each morning during a ritual bath, I would immerse myself in
the icy spring runoff of the stream that flowed nearby. After thawing out I'd
breakfast, pray and study. Not a day would go by without casting the I Ching (a
form of Chinese divination that incorporated casting yarrow stalks and
interpreting them in the context of the Chinese Book of Changes.) I found
a clay deposit in the stream bank and fired myself implements to eat out of and
store things in. All in all I was tranquil and considered my endeavors
As weeks went by and the elements became more spring-like,
the only adversity I encountered was a squirrel's persistent ransacking of my
grain stash. My nights were accentuated by very profound dreams. One morning in
late April I was startled awake by a vivid dream in which I was told to leave my
mountain sanctuary. The I Ching indicated that with movement I would
Inspired, I hid my supplies and began descending the mountain
valley. I had not seen anyone for the entire time of my stay in this remote
region. Indeed, even the old dirt roads were overgrown and rarely traveled. Not
very far from my camp sat a young man in a vehicle, staring off into the grand
mountain view before him. We were both startled at each other's presence. As I
approached him he smiled and said, "I guess I was supposed to meet
you here!" I told him of my dream and he politely invited me to his
car and proceeded to take me to Colorado Springs, a then small college town not
too far from Denver, Colorado. Our conversation focused on matters of philosophy
and religion. He dropped me off at the campus and that was the last I saw of
Quickly I made acquaintance with several
"seekers" in the area and we became fast friends. Although we had
all taken drugs in some form, we had left that option far behind in our pursuit
of the truth. We now engaged ourselves in a plethora of disciplines of
the mystery schools.
Many of them required rigorous regimes of meditation and
study. On one particular day I had an encounter with a spiritual being whose
outline appeared before me as I was in contemplation. There was no
communication, but only a conscious awareness of this entity. The
"field" of the spirit was full of sentient beings. Who and what are
they? Was this an ascended master or an angel? It never said.
Several of us decided to visit the headquarters of the Summit
Lighthouse, which was located in the Broadmoor District of Colorado Springs. I
was astounded to find an oil painting in the center of their
"sanctuary" that was an exact replica or portrayal of my initial
experience on STP of passing through the rainbow! To see such a work of art
depicting the hidden knowledge I literally partook of completely captivated me.
In addition, my first visit was highlighted with an intense
awareness of the spiritual elements that surrounded the people of this
organization. Having become adept at discerning auras and seeing in the
spiritual realm, I commented to many as to the colors and forms that surrounded
their immediate vicinity. Much to the astonishment of many who attended the
meeting I was describing very specific designs and actions that these
individuals would visualize as part of their spiritual practices.
It was obvious to me that these people were tapping into a
sphere of knowledge without having ever taken drugs. They claimed to be in
contact with a spiritual hierarchy of great men and women
(The Ascended Masters) who had attained enlightenment
and were now transmitting knowledge and assistance to the human race for it's
freedom and reparation for a new age.
34620 Tiller Trail Hwy.
Tiller, Oregon 97484