The current incomplete page combines some of my earlier biographical material, and includes some new stuff. I'm writing it because I am no longer the same person as I was when I write the earlier material, and feel my (auto)biography should reflect where I am at the moment.
Writing a biography is something I have ambiguous feelings about. If there was not already this stuff on my website that needed revising, I would not do it at all. There is also the question of what to say and what not to say. In this biography, a number of things, including very important things in my life that have greatly shaped me, have been left unsaid. When the time is write I'll talk about them; probably not for a few years.
What we appear to be and what we often think we are is only the surface of a much deeper and larger existence. Most people live only in the surface of their beings; they are barely, if even at all, conscious of the depths within (and above, and around), and when they do receive flashes and intimations they call it God or Christ or Buddha or whatever.
The answer lies between and beyond secularism on the one hand, which only understands the surface (even if it does understand that very well, but its mistake is to assume that that is all that there is), and religionism, which is caught in literalist dogmas of some scripture or tradition, on the other.
Thus for anyone to write a biography properly, they would have to take into account past lives (which physicalist materialism doesnt believe in, nor do many religions), higher spiritual impulses that are at work (generally veiled) in the personality, the higher self and divine soul's activity and purpose for this personality, the semi-autonomous emotional-astral being, subconscious samskaras, miasmas inherited from one's parents (and they from theirs), racial memory, influences and formations from the subtle planes, spiritual and devic cosmecological evolutionary forces, and more, much more.
All these things fall outside the paradigm and dominant memesets of materialistic-reductionistic exoteric (not esoteric) judeochristian society
Without taking these things into account, anything that is written is ridiculous, a superficiality that appeals only to those who live in their outer or surface being. But if one does take thes ethings into account, then one risks being incomprehensible, because very often the thoughtform for these things does not exist, or if it does it is known only to the few, as part of an esotericist teaching.
In writing/updating my biography, I have tried to strike a balance between these two extremes
Everyone has their own myth, whether they know it or not. And that myth is true, not fantasy (even if the motifs and forms it takes in the surface consciousness are imaginary). Here is my myth, or rather myths, for there are many (as there are with all of us).
Here is the myth of one personality stream. "I" (inverted commas, because it wasn't "I" the current personality; the personality is mortal, the Divine Soul puts on a new personality with each life) am an exile, an outsider and an alien to this world and this universe, "I" have been exiled here to help, in whatever small way, in the spiritual transformation of the Earth. But unlike the gnostic mythos, there is no going back to "my" original home - "I" can only go forward. In almost every incarnation "I" have lived on the fringes of society, never quite fitting in, always contributing in some way or another. Perhaps becauise of the importance of the Work, or perhaps simply because of love of the challenge material existence, I have been keen to incarnate. Where many souls take rest for centuries between lifetimes, recovering from the trauma and hardship of physical life, I have rushed back in, keen to resume to work, sometimes two or three lifetimes in a century.
If the human side of "me" lived in "Atlantis" (regardless of whether Atlantis was on this Earth or some parallel reality) or in Ancient Egypt I don't yet have any memories, although there is my affiliation with the Kheper motif. The earliest civilisation of which "I" have clear association was Ancient Rome, reflecting perhaps my martial ideal.
Here is the myth of another personality stream. The non-human side of "me" has always been with the Earth, tracing and a part of Her transformations; I stilllove paleontology; it is the memory of the phylogeny of life on Earth. It is this life as a whole that will inherit the Divine, not just one arrogant species, H. sapiens, no, it is this life, the biosphere as a whole that will be transmuted to partake in the Supramental Transformation, the Divine Life on Earth.
Here is another myth, which may or may not be related to either of the above two. I (this life, so no inverted commas) used to think in these previous lives "I" was alone (alone but not lonely), but I (due to limited experience, limited knowledge, and limited awakening) was mistaken, because "I" wasn't. There are many working for the Divine Victory, and two integral avatars who have blazed the trail. "I" was never alone. And "you" - in whatever path "you" take, were and are never alone either.
In attuning to my past lives, I have picked up traces - whether pure imagination, metaphysical fact, or more likely some combination of the two - of many past lives. I used to believe that these were all part of a single stream or continuum; I now no longer consider this to be so. We all of us have many selves and many aspects and personalities, many selves or streams of consciousness; it is not just a simplistic evolutionary continuum, a linear sequence. Some of these lives and personalities are more spiritual or powerful, others more primitive, a few saintly, a few abhorrant, but most in between. It happens to everyone. The idea of a single continuum, moving from past to future, a la Hinduism, Theosophy, etc , I now consider simplistic and rationalistic.
For one thing, linear time does not seem to apply on the subtle levels (Robert Monroe illustrates this in his astral experiences - see e.g. Far Journeys p.83 ). Hence (from one perspective), all incarnations are in a sense simultaneously (Jane Roberts Seth material, need ref), or (from another) they follow their own particular logic
For another thing, these various lives do not necessarily belong to the same personality stream. They are many streams, and the present personality can resonate with all of them, some more strongly than others.
So for example I had a life as a citizen of ancient Rome, another as a Gnostic, another as a Mongol, several in China, several in India (one for example as a Jain), and so on. With one exception, all the lives were human.
More recently there was a life as a Polish Kabbalist in the late 18th/early 19th century; because of a wrong attitude (this person wasn't very spiritual) he died prematurely (perhaps late 30s???). Significantly, lots of Kabbalists seem to die at around 40 (Moses Luzzatto, Isaac Luria), so did Suhrawardi; in astrology this is the "Uranus transit".
There was a life as a 19th century English gentleman-scholar, philosopher theologian and naturalist,perhaps dorset way (where there are a lot of fossils in the cliffs, e.g. Lyme Regis); he seems to have lived off a comfortable fortune. He may have even travelled to India, a country "I" have a strong link to, and was greatly impressed by the experience. But he was not sufficiently considerate or sensitive in my dealings with another; he "played by the book", doing what he thought was right, but he should of listened to his Heart instead. I (personality in this life) know this because of my karma in this life.
I wish I could say I had a life with Max Theon and his Cosmic Group, but I don't feel that I did. Or if I did I don't recall it.
There was a life in the early to mid 20th century, as a German Soldier who was killed early in World War II. He was a big guy, but he abused his physical strength, and his ideology leaved a lot to be desired. But he was intelligent and thoughtful too. His last thought was "Next time I want to understand the meaning of things, how this came about".
It is said (in Hinduism) that one's thought at the moment of death determines one's next life time. Because of that, I (personality in this life) have dedicated this life to understanding. And also to growing spiritually, and working through "my" karma. "I" have gathered so much karma in so many lives, now is the time for it to be finally transmuted
I was born Martin Katz in 1958 in East London, South Africa to non-religious Jewish parents. My mother was agnostic, my father, a deist (later I would change my name to Kazlev to combine and honour both my parents names, Katz and Levin. My mother was born in Poland; all my grandparents are from the region of Poland-Belorus-Russia (the borders keep changing). My maternal grandfather (who I always felt a very strong connection with though he died when I was only little) travelled widely (including to America and Argentina), and lived through the Russian revolution and saw the atrocities first hand. He could see how Kerensky's weakness at not having Lenin killed when he had him in prison led to ultimately to the deaths of millions. During the 1940s and early 1950s, when intellectuals all loved and worshipped Stalin, my grandfather would say about his portrait "look at those eyes, those scheming murdering eyes". He later wrote two books based on the tragedy of the communist revolution in powerful and moving Russian (my grandmother said reading it brought tears to her eyes), unfortunately the original Russian manuscripts were since lost and all that remain are very poor translations in broken English.
Both my parents had university degrees (my mother, an extremely talented woman who was creative in music (piano) and dance, had two degrees, one in psychology, and one in law). East London was the town where (well, near which) the first live coelacanth was found, twenty years before. The coelacanth, a "living fossil" barely changed since the age of dinosaurs, and previously considered extinct (ironically, it is currently threatened by overfishing and climate change, what a tragedy that would be!). Considering my connection with the history of life on Earth, this is an interesting synchronicity
I remember only snatches of my time in South Africa. My mother told me that when I was two I could read the alphabet; she would put me on the shop counter (my grandparents owned a shop) and would hold up the letters and I'd read them and everyone would be amazed. My parents, who disliked the apartheit regime, emigrated to Australia when I was 4. We lived in Pymble, Sydney, where at first I was happy, and drew precocious pictures of trains (with Thomas the Tank Engine type face, although this was before Thomas the Tank Engine, in 1962), showing artistic perspective. I was, as much as I remember, loud, active, and an extravert.
At age five something happened; a part of life force, or maybe it was my orectic personality, left, and from that moment on I became shy, introverted, physically small and weak for my age, asthmatic, and stuttering. Also my drawings were no longer happy steam trains showing perspective, but - when I drew a train, it was sleek, fast, cold and ahrimanic. My mother says this was because I had to do repetitious colouring in at school (kindegarden), which screwed upmy creativity. I don't remember anything of the first year at school.
Nevertheless, all my creativity and spiritual soul had not departed. I was still, in these early years, interested in things like UFOs and ghosts and haunted houses, science fiction, the idea of time travel, dinosaurs, prehistoric life, palaeontology, shell collecting, and in nature and science in general. All these things really stirred my imagination. My mother bought me some of the How and Why Wonder Books, a truly excellent series of books that introduced a generation of kids to the wonders of knowledge and the universe (this was in the days when people still read books). I cannot remember when I started what would eventually accumulate over the years a large shell and fossil collection, maybe I was 4 or 5.
There is another thing to mention. From a young age I remember my parents used to argue a lot; theirs was an unhappy union, but they stayed together because it those days that is what one did (baby boomers changed all that). There was never physical violence thank god, only - as befits unhappiness between two intelligent individuals - verbal abuse from both sides. Later on I noticed there would be on average five shouting matches a day. If you grow up in a home without love between the beings that made you, it does affect you, although I only became aware of this much later. I don't blame my parents for this; both their lives were tragic, each in their own way. Each of them deserved better; each of them deserved love. But they too were caught in the web of karma, and to work out their own lives, their own karmas, just I have had to mine.
One of the happiest times in my life was the 9 months we spent in Grafton, in 1967. Okay I hated going to school as always, but for the rest, I love the tropics (well, subtropics, Gradfton is in northern NSW), and hope to move north one day. At that time my eyes suddenly got weak. It was because my mother was giving me anti-asthma drugs and they were screwing up my eyes. My uncle told her to stop immediately, and she did, and my eyes stopped deteriorating, but I'm still short sighted. I owe my uncle the gift of my sight, and also, in a strange way, Sri Aurobindo. In fact my uncle, Rubin Levin, was the eccentric of the family, I always felt a special closeness with him (and with my maternal grandfather in South Africa, who died when I was still little).
We left Grafton because my father's boss at work, a guy named Korf (I never met him), was an antisemitic arsehole (apologies for the language, but he was) who made my father's life on the job hell. My poor father would come home from work and rage about Korf this and Korf that. I don't know if he's alive or dead by now, but if he's dead I won't shed a tear. But yes, karma again (because in my last life I was on the side of the nazis in WW II)
We moved back to Sydney ( Artarmon this time). I used to love playing in the quarry down the hill. I still hated school. My parents made me go to Judo classes for self-defence, which I also (being not very physical) hated. At the same time I retained and strengthened my interest in the history and evolution of life; my mother would buy me increasingly more advanced books on dinosaurs and prehistoric life which I would study eagerly..
Here is something strange. Over a period of several years when I was about 10 to 12 or so I went through that religious phase where I was very religious and liked thinking about God, but never in a fundamentalist way. e.g. I thought (after my father had once said this in a conversation) "maybe God is a machine" and thought what a Divine Machine might be like, things like that (postscript - consider this poem "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace"). But I believed in God and really loved Him/Her/It (mostly I thought of God as an It, I never ever in my life believed in an anthropomorphic God, not even when I was 10 or so) and would even every evening at one point pray to It, not to ask for anything, but simply to Thank It. My heart filled with love and joy when I did that.
When I was about 11 my father got a job with the Water Resources Commission in Deniliquin (country NSW) so we moved to the country. By about age 13 or 14 or so I had totally lost interest in God, I just stopped thinking about and praying to It. Then I went though a phase for a few years where I was a vehement materialist and atheist. By now I was reading more advanced textbooks on paleontology; my favourite books were those by American paleontologist Edwin Colbert, such as The Age of Reptiles (reprinted in Dover edition as many classics are and available on Amazon com) and on Dinosaurs and vertebrate paleontology (Dr Colbert actually introduced an entire generation of students to the wonders of paleontology; I wrote a short bio on him on Wikipedia). I also would draw "evolution charts"; I was fascinated by the concept of phylogeny (although I didn't know the word, I would just say "evolution") and how one species or genus evolves into another over time. I rember seeing in a book in the library once (the title of which I did not recall) drawings of prehistoric South American Ground Sloths etc to scale, arranged vertically by time and connected by lines; this one image had a huge effect on me and I tried to emulate it in all my evolution charts (which would mostly be about Mesozoic reptiles). I had a kid's microscope but it was enough to reveal the microcosm of life in a pond; a wonder that has always remained. At the same time I had very little social life and didn't relate to other kids; essentially my only social life was through friends of my brother (my brother - who is four years younger than me - being the one who is more competant and grounded). This is due to the fact that my physical and especially emotinal development always lagged behind, whereas my intellectual development and imagination was very advanced.
At the same time, my alienation was so great that I remember thinking at this time that I really might be a martian.
I used to read to superhero comics which I would get at the local coner shop 2nd hand - mostly black and white DC comics because they were cheaper, but I really preferred Marvel. There is something about comics and geeks. I also read a lot of science fiction, essentially science fiction books of my father's (he and I shared a love of SF, and he absolutely raved over Asimov, considering the Foundation Series the most brilliant books ever written), or ones that he got from the library
Having seen the effects of both communism and nazism, the twin demons that afflicted Europe during the 20th century (and my grandfather as mentioned having seen the Russian revolution and atrocities first hand), my parents had an entrenched political conservatism that was however common to people of that generation. Thus I grew up thinking that " Labour was too communist" and that the peace movement was a KGB front. Representative of this time was Michael Barnard, a conservative Christian columnist of the Age at the time who had a typically McCarthyist type worldview, he referred to the Friends of the Earth, who used to (and perhaps still do) go by the unfortunate acronym FoE, as "the aptly named FOE". Despite her political conservat6ism my mother despised the right-wing National Party (country party) for their love of guns and hunting.
When I was fourteen or fifteen, my uncle, in a letter to my mother which she read out to me, said that he felt it was "his destiny" to tell me about Sri Aurobindo, He also mentioned a "French lady" who had taken over the task of leadership of the ashram. This was either in 1972 or early 1973, I don't recall. The Mother passed away later in 1973, but it was when she was still alive. I was at the time still too immature and materialistic in outlook to appreciate what my uncle was saying. Even so, the memory fragment has stayed with me.
My mother was - due to my uncle (who, remember, saved my sight) - into naturopathy. When she was 50 she contracted breast cancer - this was due to her - in her unhappy marriagae - not being able to have the opportunity to express love, keeping all those feelings pent up inside. She used alternative healing techniques to heal it, despite having to put up my father shouting at her "if my foot's gangrenous, I'd cut it off!". I was too young and emotionally immature and self-absorbed to understand, she had no-one except for her brother, my uncle. He didnt know much either, he advised her to go to a quack healer whose name I now forget who put her on a distilled water fast. The world is full of quacks and shyksters; it was then (in the mid 1970s) and it is now. She even had her breast cut off, but refused radiation treatment (I cannot recall for certain if it was radiation or chemotherapy, but it was the follow-up at the time, I think it was radiation, because I only became aware of the word "chemotherapy" much later). In the end she somehow cured herself, despite the fact that after having a masectomy but without radiation treatment she was worrse off than she would've been if she had never had the operation, through a combination of natural food, wheatgrass, meditation and creative visualisation (she corresponded with and met Ainslie Meares, and had the greatest respect for him). One often hears of cases of people who contract cancer and use alternative methods and still die. My mother is proof that one can heal oneself. In fact I think that the mass media, conservative as it is, loves to publicise cases of the failures of alternative healing, while ignoring cases of its success.
At about 17 or 18 or so I read a book called "Three Magic Words" about the Power of creative visualisation and positive thinking, which spoke about the Universal Mind, and with references to Jesus etc, but as an example of someone who had reached this level, not religious preaching. The three magic words are, you guessed it, "You are God" Anyway I thought this book was pretty neat (now i'd just think ah yeah another creative visualisation book, without even esoteric insights into planes of consciousness etc, but at the time it was all knew and exciting). So by this time I had outgrown my atheistic materialism. Also around this time, when I was 18 or so, I read Life after Life ( Wikipedia page), by Raymond Moody (near death experiences) ; it made a big impression on me.
I was also at this time - yeah this is dumb - became very superstitious and scared of things like tarot cards, dabbling in the occult, etc. Even though I knew that was fundamentalist Christian propaganda and fear-mongering, my subconscious was susceptible and I was full of fear about it. This shows the power of suggestion.
When I was 19, I moved down to Melbourne. I was tired of living in a small country town and wanted to live in the big city, and Melbourne was the nearest big city to Deniliquin. At this time I was still extremely emotionally immature and arrogant. I rteurned home a few times and then back to Melbourne. When I was 19 I went to the second Confest, in 1977, at Mt. Oak near Bredbo, but was again much too young and immature to appreciate it spiritually, although obviously I thought the naked girls looked cute! I rember Jim Cairns gave a talk, in which he raged against Kerr's sacking of Whitlam (that was the only thing I remember, although he said other things too. I met Cairns and his wife briefly at a much later Confest when he was quite elderly; I felt and feel he was a very decent man).
At some point, I can't remember when exactly, I was in Sydney (where my uncle lived with his mother my grandmother in Waverton, on the North Shore) and we (him, my mother, my younger brother and myself) were driving around in his little van when I saw some student grafitti about anarchism equally freedom or some such. At the time, my thinking was still determined by simplistic anti-communism and Michael Barnardism, and I made some disparaging remark at that. My Uncle said "You've got a lot to learn Martin" (In those days I was still called "Martin"). In a rare moment of humility I replied "I know I have." Perhaps impressed by my reply, he said "and that's the first thing to learn, that you have a lot to learn." It would however probably be another couple of years before my thinking switched from right-wing conservative to leftist environmentalism.
At around age 20, I bought a book called "What the Great Religions Believe" which was just a very simple book with a chapter on each faith. I was most attracted to Buddhism and Hinduism; the concept of karma, reincarnation, godhead etc (although these were described in very simple terms). By this time I wanted to be a writer, and tried broadening my reading away from SF to general action like Alistair MacLean and Frederick Forsythe, although I could never enjoy that genre as much as science fiction.
At this time I had a friend called Daniel, a young Yugoslav guy (this was when there was still a Yugoslavia; he would be Croatian now), who was schizophrenic and hyperactive, but a really nice guy, not at all intelligent but very feeling centered, tall, social and emotionally developed and easy going, extravertive and talkative, obsessed with sex, and would go on all the time about things like how long his dick was, which I really wasn't interested in hearing about. He was the opposite of me who was (and still am) short, intense, moody, intellectual, private, emotionally backward (not now, but then). Because my name was Martin he used to call me "Little Luther", or just "Luther", after " Martin Luther KIng". But because I used to read superhero comics as a kid I tended to associate the name "Luther" with Lex Luther, the evil scientist who was Superman's nemesis, which was sorta cool in a way, because Superman used to anoy me, he was always so squeaky clean. Daniel was one of my few close friends at the time, although we were quite opposite in almost every single respect.
Once when we were walking down Swanston Street we saw this guy standing on a soapbox (well, one of those plastic milkcrates) outside the town hall. Anyway we stopped and listened and he was talking about things like spirituality and so on. The guy's name was Michael, he was only a young guy in his twenties, but very serious-minded. A Christian in the true sense, he wanted to encourage people to do good deeds, and had gathered a small group around him. I would go to the city to listen and talk, and used to socialise a bit with them. This was the trigger that made me decide I should go to university, where, I imagined, there would be many other such intelligent young people.
Then one day - I was about 20 - I was thinking about stuff like occultsim and so on, when I just thought to myself, "why should I be scared of tarot cards? I don't believe in the Christian devil (or the Christian god)". And with that one thought (or something like that, I don't remember the exact words obviously, this was many years ago :-) , the scales fell from before my eyes (as St Paul said), and I could see clearly, and I understood everything, such as that the Godhead is within (as the Three Magic Words book said), and that what the fundamentalists say with their fear-mongering is all garbage, and it's ok to study all these things. So I just bought books and started reading up on esotericism, occultism, and spirituality, and have never looked back.
It's pretty funny looking back at this now - I guess (re my fear of tarot cards and "dabbling in the occult") that these were residual samskaras from a past life, perhaps as an English Gentleman-Naturalist, or maybe an earlier life where I used occultism negatively. Add to that the whole collective miasma of fear created by the Christian Church; especially the Catholic Church, where all those revolting Omen and Exorcist films emanate from; the whole aura of fear and obsession these people have is incredible! And if you are susceptable, but not yet awakened esoterically, it is very easy to get sucked in with this sort of thing, and so to connect with those "lower astral" realities.
So, having bummed around for a few years (story of my life!), I was 21 when I finally went to La Trobe University, Melbourne where after some indecision I decided on an Arts degree, majoring in Philosophy. The best thing about La Trobe was their huge (by the standards I had previously known) library. It was at this time, in 1979, that I first became really interested in states of consciousness, comparative religion, mysticism, occultism, esotericism and spiritual philosophy. This was when I was reading and studying Jung, the Willhelm-Baynes edition of the I Ching, the Evans Wentz edition of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and books on Occultism and Hermeticism, such as McGregor Mathers' the Key of Solomon the King, and Dion Fortune's The Mystical Qabalah
The initial obligatory marijuana-addled student experience gave me only a few interesting experiences. The most intriguing (indeed one of the most fascinating experiences of my life) was one where I was able to see the fourth spatial dimension by manipulating pens (I had to use 6 pens, plus my thumb for the seventh axis), which raised my consciousness moved me into a another state of consciousness where I was challenged by a 60 cm (thereabouts) wide crab in the corner of my room, by the front door; which was angrily clicking its claws (it had small claws like a spider crab, although the body was large and flat and round). I suppose the creature was angry because I had imposed on its domain. I saw and heard it for perhaps 5 or ten seconds, then it disappeared. This was not a "hallucination"; (of course the whole subject of hallucinations is problematic from a phenomenological point of view; it is just an excuse materialist sceptics use) I had had a "hallucination" on marijuana (incvolving both sound and visuals) and this was different. Rather, this petained to an actual realm close to the physical, what i now call the Subtle Physical. Later I would read of an LSD experience involving ."hallucinations" of insects; then there is Franz Kafka's metamorphoses; so it is evident this is a genuine realm. Science-fiction writers (especuially pop sci fi) who also write or make movies about giant insects are also tapping into the same realm.
Unfortuantely, marijuana accentuated my stutter big time. A good friend and fellow-student at the time, a guy called Lindsay Gawain (I've probably spelt his surname wrong) who was in a rock band, was surprised by this, he thought i would be able to talk better by feeling more relaxed. But in fact drugs made me became more tense and introverted). When I got to the stage when I would open my mouth and could literally not make a single sound come out, I mean it, I couldn't make a sound, I knew it was time to forget drugs and get seriously into meditation. Unfortunately, I had and still have problems when meditating with obsessional thoughts (what William Sargant in Battle for the Mind; A physiology of conversion and brain-washing calls "ultra-paradoxical" thinking. If I didn't have this resistence that comes up every time I try to meditate, I might be very advanced by now. Or maybe I would be no different to how I am now, as it is very easy to be lazy.
In the next year, 1980, I began taking classes on phenomenology from Moshe Kroy and Indian philosophy from Ian Kesecardi-Watson. It was probably also that year (unless it was in 1979), that I encounterd essays by Ken Wilber in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, and a little later his books Spectrum of Consciousness and The Atman Project : A Transpersonal View of Human Development. Also in 1980 I began for the first time reading the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo,, which exerted a huge influence on me. I began buying more esoteric books, to pursue these subjects more deeply
Moshe exerted a big influence on my thinking at the time, although he would later come to a tragic end, an example of what happens if you embark on the spiritual path without sufficient guidance. But when I knew him in the early years of the 1980s he was at his peak, a charismatic powerhouse. He would come into his lectures and speak at a thousand words a minute (well, it sounded like it!), and everyone would go, huh, what? He influenced many, I am sure. At the time he was right into Sathya Sai Baba, an Indian Guru who would later become notorious for sexual abuse of his devotees. I knew nothing of this then, nor would I believe it when I did, as I had a very naive view of gurus. Moshe was very persuasive in telling me about Sai Baba, and I was very niave and immature, and wanted to believe all the stories about miracles and so on. I now know that, as with Evangelical Christianity, Sai Baba attracts a very emotionally immature class of devotee; the sort of people who need to believe in a big daddy who waves a magic wand and grants their every request. So Moshe introduced me to Sai Baba, who I became enthusiastic about, while I introduced him to Sri Aurobindo, who he became enthusiastic about, although perhaps not to th same degree. At some time, Moshe also travelled to America and met Wilber; the two got on famously, and Wilber would later give a fairly accurate account of Moshe's philosophy in Boomeritis.
In late 1981 I connected with Barry Pittard, an important Sai Baba devotee who lived in Sydney. Barry seemed to me be a very spiritual and authentic person. I don't recall how I got his contact details when I was in Melbourne; perhaps it was through Moshe. Latter Barry would be among many important devotees who would break with Sai Baba, but at the time all this was still in the future, because at the time we all beleived that Sai Baba's claim that he was the avatar of the age. Barry organised for me to travel to India with a small group of other western devotees, including both newcomers like myself and old-timers. This was in the summer (northern winter) of 1981/82. We visited Sai Baba's two ashrams, one in Puttaparti (now it has an airfield, but in those days the place could only be reached by some hours travel along a narrow bumpy road), and the other, Brindavan, in the suburb of Whitefield, on the outskirts of Bangalore. I had a really amazing, fantastic experience in India. Bangalore was a really nice city too; I don't know what it is like now. It was the only place I saw young Indian women in jeans rather than saris. After a month I left the Sai Baba group and travelled around the south. I can tell you that a tourist stop-off called Kovalam Beach sucks, the Indians I encountered there have become ugly through grasping at the ugly young drug-fucked western hippy tourists. (to be fair there were also some friendly Indians, some helped me find seashells for my collection, but lost interest when I couldn't give them money). I couldn't wait to get out of the place. I don't even want to imagine how bad Goa must be! So I went further south,. I stayed for a few weeks at Cape Kumari, the southern most tip of the country, and my favourite place. I would go collecting sea shells, I went in the local temple (if you were a guy you had to remove your shirt, the HIndus were quite stroppy about it), saw a genuine sadhu, I mean a real yogi, meditating motionless, had lots of fresh grape juice, and even looked at some small dung beetles playing in the dirt by the beach. the scarab of course is sacred to me, but an Indian walking past didnt understand, and said "they are dirty creatures" and with my stutter and shyness I couldn't be bothered explaining.
In 1984 I went to the "Sky to Earth" alternative festival in the Daylesford area. ("Billed as ‘Australia’s first National Occult and Alternatives ConFest’, Unicorn Star Enterprises’ Sky to Earth ConFest, a non-DTE event held at Glenlyon in 1984" - Graham St John, Alternative Cultural Heterotopia: ConFest as Australia’s Marginal Centre ). It was organised by a local group of the OTO (who follow Crowley) and was absolutely amazing, far more inspiring than the Down to Earth Confest. They had some really great speakers, and one guy gave me a Christos past life session, where I tuned to a Roman era Gnostic or Christian? life. In this, we were having some meeting when a bunch of soldiers burst in and killed everyone, including my lover whose throat was slashed. I don't know if it was real or fantasy, but the guy suggested that's why I have a stutter now. Anyway, at this time I still had a lot of bittreness and negativity, I remember one hippy style woman came up to me and said I shouldn't be so negative. That annoyed me because I didn't feel negative, but it must have shown in my aura and on my face. Anyway, I must've been negative because I started coming down with a bad cold (I can't recall if this was after or before this hippy female had approached me). I knew once I had a cold I would be screwed, I would be sick as a dog the whole weekend. I prayed desperately to Sai Baba, then I felt his astral presence (it was definitely his aura, that is the sense of a personality that I felt when looking at his picture or reading stuff about him was there, it was identical) and his hands (they were astral hands) grabbed the yuck (the congestion or whatever) and took it away. I could sense it on the astral. This was no illusion, buta real occult experience. From that moment on my cold receded and the next day I was better. Since at the time I tended to get very bad headcolds and oonce I felt one coming on like that there was no way out, this was absolutely unprecedented; it has never happened before or since.
At Sky to Earth I met Tim Hartridge, a pagan, who had a group called Dark Circle. While Tim has been criticised by some other pagans (there is apparently a great deal of factionalism in the wiccan/neopagan subculture), I found him to be a really decent guy, and a true friend. He lived in Sydney, where I visted him a few times. The only reason I didn't become more involved with his group is that his dionysian approach does not appeal to my own personality character, I follow an apollonian approach.
After having bummed around at uni, not knowing what I was supposed to do with the material side of my life, and just wasting opportunities, I moved to the formerly bohemian, but now increasingly gentrified and trendy suburb of St Kilda. where my mother bought me a flat. At the time I thought this was a good decision but I can see now it locked me in to one location. For a person who loves freedom, that is no good. Indeed, it brought great suffering. Yet I always had this self-destructive side of making bad decisions. Ultimately I would have to suffer, in order to grow spiritually.
I had already spent years (both at Uni and after) studying esoteric philosophies. I work best on my own, and I'd say that 99% of what I've learned has been self-taught, through my own reading and contemplation. For years I practiced meditation and worked on self-transformation. I would sometimes go to groups, but every group I went to felt constricting. So it was more of a social; thing for me, I didn't need to learn anything spiritually
In 1985 it may have been, I did a speech therapy course involving the "smooth speech" technique, where you practice joining the words tiogether so as not to allow time for a stutter to form. You start at sssiiiiiixteeee siiiiiiiillllaaaabuuuulllssss ayyyy mmmiiiiinnnnahhhhht and gradually go faster, upto the speed of normal speech. But each day you have to still spend half an hour with the really slow stuff. It really helped some, but i don't have the discipline to sit still or do really boring repetition. I jujst can't do it, it's like Chinese water torture or something. But i did meet some good friends there. The only alternative person there, not a gnostic or esotericist like myself, rea;;ya New Age type guy, was a guy called John, a devotee of Rajneesh. He was a schoolteacher, and had a kombie van which was very nicely done up. We used to go to ConFests together. He was the opposite to me in many repscts - tall, easy going, able to socialise, no problem meeting women, into the feeling and New Age hands on approach rather than the metaphysical or gnostic approach.... Rajneesh (Osho) had given him the name Adesh. He had a true guru-bhakti devotion for Osho, and would talk about his growing relationship and feelings for him. It's not my path, but he seemed to me a very sincere guy. He respected all masters (this was before the abusive guru phenomenon had become widely known), and we found a number of things to agree with. We both really appreciated Da Free John at that time. But once I told him that Sri Aurobindo spoke about states of realization beyond Enlightenment, and he found that impossible to accept, becfause Osho (and all the other gurus) only taught a nonduality. Later we dridfted apart; I stopped going to Confests (because of the drugs there). I don't know what John (Adesh) is doing now.
It was about this same time that I met another friend, Paul, the only person from this time that I remained in contact with. He had and still has long hair and a long beard, and looks like a real hippy. He was and is an uber socialiser, an extravert, feeling-type person, as opposed to me, an introvert. He would go to all the confests, all the gatherings, all the protests and demonstrations. We would often meet up there.
Thus it was that in the mid to late 80s and early 90s, I lived an alternative life, associating with like-minded friends who combined spiritual consciousness with political activism. I went to alternative gatherings, several confests, the free Vegetarian meals at the Hare Krishna temple in Dank Street Albert Park on Sunday, and to one of Tim's pagan gatherings (called Eostre Gathering) where I met some really great people.
From 1987 to 1990 I produced, with my friend Steven Guth (who I had met a few years earlier), a magazine called Eco-Gnosis, providing a forum for ideas concerning a synthesis of spirituality, esoteric-occult knowledge, and planetary activism. I would distribute it at Confests, and elsewhere. It ran for eleven issues, but production was halted when I lost the use of the cheap photocopying facilities.
In the end I had to stop going to ConFests, because the incessant marijuana use there made it impossible to do anything other than walk around in a drugfucked haze. Truly, this is where the alternative movement lost the boat. Rather than become a force for transformation, they became a force for drug-addled inertia. It was a perfect but by no means unique illustration of where the alternative movement went wrong. Paul, who knows the entire Australian alternative secene, and also has travelled widely overseas, told me that it is the same everywhere. He has been to communities all up the East Coast of Australia. Drugs everywhere.
This failure of the revolution in consciousness that was the alternative movment to transcend drug hedonism and indulgence (for a mainstream analogy, imagine an ocker pub full of chronic drinkers) would later inspire in me the idea of an authentic alternative community, free of drugs. So far however I have gotten very little response. I don't think people are ready for this level of conscious evolution.
My other big project at the time (beginning in the mid 1980s) was a book on esoteric-occult cosmology, an integrated map of all possible states of existence, which flowed naturally from my meditation and study of of esoteric philosophies. This would be a universal involutionary (pertaining to the decent of the Absolute into matter) and evolutionary cosmology which would explain all states of existence. Although the central orientating perspective was that of Integral Yoga philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, I also followed the "perennialist" thesis that Reality can be understood through studying the different interpretations and misinterpretations in various spiritual teachings, thus arriving at a common truth. I hoped to show how the various esoteric and occult philosophies were all talking basically about the same thing.
The book was never completed, because I kept changing and revising my ideas in the process of writing them down. In the process of writing them down I would also rethink them, and hence have to further rewrite them. You can imagine it got pretty frustrating after a while! Ultimately I was still working on the level of the "middle mental", guided by flashes of inspiration from the Higher Mind. I knew that many of the current esoteric-philosophical systems were deficient, being too culturally or dogmatically limited. But I didn't yet know enough to provide a replacement.
At some point in the early 1990s, I am ashamed to say, I decided to let my meditation go, because I wanted to experience a "normal" life. As a result my consciousness went right down. This was a real screw up. So I can assure you, if you are into meditation, that it is incomparably preferable to the so-called normal life (and what is normal anyway)
I will say however how thankful I am to my friend Dee, who in the two years we were together in a relationship, helped me to develop my E.Q., so I didn't look like an out-of-place hippy (though I still dress like a slob at times).
Around this period, I spent several years addicted to computer games. I spent at least 18 months addicted to Sid Meier's Civilization. Can you imagine, doing nothing but playing Civilization for 18 months? A bizarre experience.
A picture of me, late 1990s. Sorry about the red-eye flash thing. This is me at the helm of Enterprise.
For some time (in the 1990s) I tried writing science fiction (especially cyberpunk), this was no more successful completion-wise as any other projects. Here is chapter one, which I made into a self contained short story. Except for very minor changes this material dates from around 1994 or 1995, and was inspired by my reading of Jeff Noon ( Vurt), William Gibson ( Neuromancer), Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), and other such writers . Currently I have yet to finish a novel, and it is most unlikely I will do so in the foreseeable future, as I have so many other things happening at the moment.
I also started writing a paleontology book; although I never finished that thing either! But it would eventually become the basis for the Palaeo section of Kheper net, most of which would later be transferred (in 2002) to Palaeos com.
In 1995 or so I became interested in Reiki, which I had heard about through a friend, Rita, who had been initiated into it. I got initiated into Reiki I, and later Reiki II. Denise Crundall, the woman who taught Reiki and along with her husband, was the one who initiated Rita, and as I respected Rita's common sense and didn't want to go to a more shonky New Age operation, I did her weekend intensive and initiation, which cost about $150 - $200 or so (I don't recall the exact amount). The funny thing, the actual initiation just takes a few minutes, the rest was this increadibly tedious, (at least to my intellectually-orientated mind) with Denise talking on and on and on. At first I thought it was necessary information to understand Reiki, and listened carefully, but it was just stories of people, healing, and so on. If you were what in Jungian typology is called a feeling-sensation person, or in astrological typology a earth or water person (earth = sense, water = feeling/emotion) it would be fine. My understanding at present (2009) is that the best healers are precisely sense-feeling types, with some intuition. I'm really a philosopher, not a healer in that sense. Anyway, he weekend was almost entirely attended by women. There were about 200 people oresent, of which only about 5 were guys (this was Reiki I, I seem to have forgotten the Reiki II weekend, but it was probably similar, but a bit more expensive). At one point we males were standing around together, and one of the guys said it was a relief because all that female energy is a bit too much. In hindsight that was the funniest thing of the whole weekend.
After I had been initiated I felt the real power of it, it was amazing. I would put my hand on someone and feel the heat in my palm, my palm would just get very hot. It shows the power of ch'i. But really, you have to be a people person, a hands on touch and feeling person, which I'm not. I have huge emotional blocks and am not at all grounded.
In those days and even for a nother decade I tended to worship people too easily, and so I thought Denise really had it together. Anyway at the Reiki II intensive she raved about some other technquiue, so Rita and I thought this must be something good and so we attended it soon after. But really it was crap, the very most banal of the New Age, a bit of visualisation, positive affirmations, it had no power, no power at all. I don't remember what it was called. How someone so competent at Reiki like Denise could be into it was beyond me. Clearly it worked for her, so I shouldn't judge. Everyone is different and is attracted to different things.
At the time my mother was dying of lung cancer (she had twenty years earlier computely cured herself of breast cancer through natural means, but because she hadn't addressed the underlying emotional issues the cancer returned) and I gave her some Reiki, but it didn't help much, because I don't have that inate personality type.
Much much later I googled "Denise Crundall", and was greatly saddened to learn she had died of cancer back in 2002. Although I only met her over two weekends, I was greatly impressed with how grounded and practical she was, as she would say at her talks during the weekend that she made sure not to let the treating of others affect her, inevitably those who compassionately deal with healing others on a long term basis are very susceptable to taking on their negativity. Especially Realised beings are susceptible because they no longer have narcissistic ego defenses; e.g. Ramakrishna, Ramana, and Sri Aurobindo.
I have always had a bad speech impediment and circa 1997 or so completed the first stage of the McGuire program, which gives amazing results, much better and more natural than the smooth speech technique - and I can strongly recommend it to anyone at all who has a problem with stuttering and associated lack of self-esteem etc. And even though for a number of reasons of my own (I couldn't afford the hotel accomodation, little as it was; there wasn't much motivation for me since I don't work in an office job or anywhere like that where you have to talk to people; and I cannot function in any sort of real life group - good or bad!) I didn't follow it up, my speech now somewhat better than it was. However, since I very rarely socialise, and since most of my communications are on-line, it is no big deal now whether I stutter or not, so it is no longer the issue it once was.
I late 1996 I finally went online, and here was an opportunity to do something with all those incomplete book chapters. It would be some time before I finally posted all my unfinished and half-finished fragments up as web pages. A metamorphosis from static print (or at least wordprocessed) media to dynamic Internet media. This turned out to be a far bigger task then I thought, because the material has to be edited and converted to HTML, and various links chased up. The result was the Kheper website, although some it has been edited or added to since. I had by this time given up the idea of writing a big picture explanation of everything. If you want to read what's here so far, start at the "reality" index page (note that i have since greatly revised my views, here is a current (October 2009) page).
I set up my first website in May 1998; this was the original Kheper site. Over the years this has grown greatly, and branched out into several other sites. I have always had an attraction for really grand projects, and each of the three sites I used to or still currently maintain and participate in are huge innovative endevours; one, Kheper, an encyclopaedic coverage of esoteric knowledge, one, Palaeos, a comprehensive overview of the history and evolution of life on Earth, truely the "greatest story ever told", and one, Orion's Arm, a revolutionary project in hard SF worldbuilding. Originally they were all part of the Kheper website, but as the size of each project increased, and also I could see that my own perspective is just one among many, I ended up going into partnership with like-minded friends, and arranging with them to have seperate servers, so each project is a distinct shared endevour.
Me looking philosophical - 2003
Some of my room, 2003. Books, photocopies, and potted plants. Yep, my room is a mess! I have heaps more books in the hallway and living room, but unfortunately the cable on the webcam (which i used for the screen capture) doesnt extend very far, so for now there are only pictures of my room
For a while I (around 2000 - 2004 or so) I was working on Kheper with Steven Guth, with Palaeos with Toby White, and with Orion's Arm the other folks of the Orion's Arm Worldbuilding Group.
It was probably in mid or late 2004 that the BBC documentary The Secret Swami was shown on SBS TV here. This exposes Sai Baba's sexual abuse and, even more distressing, the murder of four young victims of his previous sexually abuse. If any proof was need that Sai Baba wasn't who he claimed to be, this was it. This was very difficult and contronting for me, as I had a very immature religious belief in Sai Baba. It was the only time in my entire life, before or since, that I ever felt anything like what religious people must feel, that is, a crisis of faith, when it is shown to them that their whole religion was a sham. Nevertheless, superstitous religious belief runs deep, and I continued to retain a small remnant of feeling for Sai Baba for another year or two, until my encounter with several of his extremist devotees showed me the error of my ways.
In 2004 I rediscovered Ken Wilber and was amazed that he had set up an Integral project, and that this had much in common with my own thoughts and feelings about changing the world. He is like me someone who wants to put everything together in a really big picture. So, beginning in 2004 I started working on a new Integral Paradigm (Theory of Everything) that will provide a framework for explaining all possible states of conscious and existence, all phenomena, all things, and so on. This is a very hedgehogish activity.
By June 2005 I still thought highly of Sathya Sai Baba, despite the increasing sexual allegations that were becoming known. I rather stupidly published an email sent to me by a Sai Baba devotee, Lisa de Witt, which mentioned and slandered Barry Pittard, who I had known some quarter of a century ago. As a result I was contacted by Barry, who now is a staunch critic of Sai Baba's sexual abuses against devotees. I had to and have to acknowledge Barry's sincerity and integrality, if he says something there must be something to it. At the same time, a critic of Sai Baba had put up a page attacking me. I was notified of this by one Gerald "Joe" Moreno, a Sai Baba devotee who has created a huge number of webpages attacking and slandering ex-devotees, and who I made the mistake of becoming friendly with (I mean, at the time, how was I to know how things would turn out?). So I was in the position of being on friendly terms with two hostile camps. All I had was my sincerity and wanting to get to the bottom of things to guide me. The result of my investigatiosn are documented on a page now rather inappriately entitled Anti-Sai Baba Deceptions (after the heading of the original email by Lisa de Witt). I have considered renaming the page, but I decided to keep it, with a question mark, as a sort of ironic comparison of where I was and where I am now on this matter.
By November 2005 I thought it was about time I did something about getting some work in print! So I am now giving a much higher priority to my writing. I did intend to start a sci fi novel, classic "hard science" space opera, set in the Orion's Arm universe, but that project fell by the wayside. I did however start Am currently working on an esoteric book, which I tentativeely entitled Towards Esoteric Metaphysics, inspired by my Integral Paradigm ideas. Because of limitations of time, and other reasons, I closed the Kheper forum (or rather renamed it; it is no longer associated with this website), but if at some future time my books are successful and encourage discussion, then I will restart the group (or a new group)
By December 2005 I renamed the book will be entitled Towards an Integral (or Integrative) Metaphysic, or - because it will have more cosmology than metaphysics - Towards an Integral Cosmology. The book, inpired by the "theory of everything" approach of the Wilber's Integral theory (but also pointing out many of Wilber's failings) will present a new paradigm and understanding of reality, beyond both physicalism and religionism, and also rejecting the chaivisnism, sexism, and specism of traditional esotericism
Around May 2006 I started a blog at Zaadz, which I write entries in from time to time.
Following Wilber's rather schoolyardish attack on his critics, I lost interest in him (although I still consider him an important figure in terms of being a catalyst for the Integral Movement, but not comparable to Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard, etc). However I finished an essay I was writing on him, which was posted on Frank Visser's integral world website. The process of writing the essay was very useful because it has helped me clarify my thinking, and move beyond the limited mental sphere that had previously determined my outlook, and more from the spiritual and divine perspective. My book will be based on the the "Integral Yoga" of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, although also bringing in other esoteric systems of thought. For me spirituality has to be about transformation in this world, not a flight to an otherworldly nirvana, which solves none of the Earth's problems. The individual spiritual transformation has to extend out to the collective consciousness and the Earth as a whole (and ultimately beyond that to the Cosmos as a whole)
In July 2006 I started a new blog at Blogger com. (as of 2009 I very rarely blog)
By mid 2006 it was clear to me that there something really dysfunctional and negative about the Sai Baba devotees who were attacking and slandering ex-devotees. Note that this has nothing to do with whether Sai Baba is innocent or guilty of charges of sexual improprietry against young male devotees (and it is pretty clear from the weight of evidence that he is) or of faking his materialisations (again, this seems to be the case, although this does not negate authentic non-physical experiences such as the one I had and the one many - even ex-devotees - have had. These experiences can however be best explained as astral phenomena, perhaps also some intermediate zone phenomena, but not as transcendent spirituality). I was simply considering the way that the ex-devotees responded, and the way that their attackers responded. Moreno couldn't handle the fact that I was no longer supporting him, and began setting up a large number of webpages and blogs to attack and slander me. So, if you ever google my name and notice a lot of weird and slanderous pages, that's why. And it's not just me, try googling Sanjay Dadlani, Conny Larsson, Barry Pittard, Robert Priddy, or Reinier van der Sandt. You will find among the genuine results a cloud of disinformation through a huge number of liabellous pages, blogs, word press entries, etc. It's hard to believe these have all been put up by one guy, but they have, a comparison of the writing style (watch for "exposed", "deception" "anti-Sai extremist") and authorship or pseudonuyms clearly shows.
Despite all this, I genuinely hold no ill-will towards Moreno. Clearly he is someone who is terribly misguided and has been consumed by hatred and shadow projection. I am reminded also of what happened to my old teacher Moshe Kroy, who in 1988 was consumed by darkness and committed suicide (later I contacted him on the astral, where he was happily doing his "burning" - dissolving his psychic negatrivity).
There are people who have been burned by the whole guru experience who then flip and say that every guru is a fake. But to say this is to be just as one-sided as to assume that every guru is genuine. There are both genuine ones and fakes. Even Sai Baba still has something genuine about him (re astral experiencess)
And as it was, not long after I had broken free in my belief in false gurus, I was also encountreing a genuine guru. Perhaps it was necessary for me to understand a fake, that is, an abusive, guru, and the way that devotees of that abusive guru act in their attempt to silence criticism, in order to truly appreciate a true guru. In order to recognise the Light, you need to know the darkness as well. That is how this world of duality works.
Thus it was that from late 2006 to early 2007, a very significant thing happened to me; a spiritual initiation so to speak. The first was seeing Gangaji . In November 2006 I went to two of her "satsangs" - I always feel a bit embarrassed at the way that Westerner's appropriate these Indian terms, a sort of New Age "cultural cringe" - which were held just up the road from me. In her photo I had sensed an amazing light radiating from her, and this was even stronger in person (this is on the subtle level). The teaching didn't do anything for me (I did say some nice things about her in my Zaadz blog, but that's more in relation to her Light); they are very simplistic. I'm not saying they are wrong, just they represent one path, a very simplistic formulation, and not even representative of Advaita as a whole. But what affected me was not the teaching, but rather the light that shines from her. Gangaji didn't do anything deliberately, yet I received something. This Light I assume she received from Papaji, and Papaji from Ramana Maharshi
And the thing is, it was and is Ramana's Light. In this manner, Ramana Maharshi, who is the ultimate source of this Light, became my Guru, along with Sri Aurobindo and The Mother (yes there is no reason why wone cannot have several gurus, and honour all of them equally!).
And Ramana's presence, and the connection with Ramana, has been constant. So I know he is an avatar, a sadguru.
Another important event, although not as important as contating Ramana's Light , was in the start of Februrary, when I did a Theta Magic course led by Simon Rose. This really made me revise all my defeatist beliefs, and understand the way that Thought shapes Reality (and not just our psychological subjective reality, but also objective reality; everything is interconnected). In a way it was a complement to Ramana; Ramana represents the gentle principle of love and non-action, the witness, theta magic, and magic in general, represents the power of action, the shakti, and these two are both equally principles and aspects of the Supreme that have to be reconciled; as they are in Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's path of Integral Yoga
Just as with Reiki, but even more so, I had a "high" for about a week or more after the course, then it receded. Intriguingly, the theta presence is not constant the way it is with Ramana; I have to work at it. This is just another aspect of the polarity. But also I had to make it my own (because it is belief work, so it has to fit with my beliefs if I am to use it). I refer to my own practice with this now as theta work, rather than Theta Healing. I'm just using the term "theta" for convenience, as I tried to merged the technique with the very different and far more profound teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's teachings.
For some time I used this to transforming my subconscious, clearing out all the built-up dregs and self-limitations I've imposed on myself and built up throughout this lifetime, and which also would include inherited miasmas and past life samskaras, as well as astral-physical attachments etc. All this stuff has to be cleared out, and can be cleared out. This technique is proof of that. The really interesting thing though is that there are other very similar techniques around. Bruce Lipton bases his book Biology of Belief on something called PSYCH-K which as far as I can see is almost identical to Theta Healing but without the latter's religious element (both use kinesology-type muscle testing, almost identical affirmations (abundance affirmations, which are standard across the New Age movement), NLP type reprogramming of the subconsciousness, and so on). But on the other end of the spectrum, A Course in Miracles represents the religious element of Faith Healing. The Alice Bailey -inspired Rainbow Bridge material also has areas of similarities too. So all this has given me a new insight, respect, and understanding for many different teachings and practices.
|Bonnie and me. Bonnie was a beautiful Rhode Island Red hen who taught me a great deal about the sensitivity if animals. This photo was taken in July 2007|
I have always had a great spiritual love of the animal kingdom which is why I reject anthropocentrism, and are a vegan. And the older I get, the more sensitive I get, and the stronger my feelings are regarding this. Most of all, Bonnie the hen, much loved and much missed, taught me how intelligent, unique, sensitivce and loving every single chicken is. These beautiful creatures suffer horribly at the brutal hands of man. 51 of the 53 billion (not million, billion) land animals murdered every year to feed humanity's monstrous appetite are chickens. There is no difference in capacity to love, in intelligence, and in sensitivity between a chicken and a cat or dog or horse, or a pig or cow or sheep. So, whilst cats, dogs, and horses are given some minimal rights (perhaps about as much as a slave in the 18th century), although still at times treated very cruely (e.g. forcing horses jump at steeple races, which results in them often breaking their legs and having to be put down, or puppy and kitten farms wherre the mother is continually made pregnant until she is totally spent), farm mammals have far far less, and birds almost none at all. Thus I have become a very staunch and uncompromising sentientist - I advocate universal sentient rights for all sentient beings, which includes both human animals and non-human animals, and for that matter non-organic sentients (e.g. A.I., devic etc). A friend who loves animals just as much as I do, said to me, and this makes a lot of sense, that (I'm phrasing it more intellectually here) if we live in a moral and just universe, humanity will inevitably suffer the karma of its treatment of the animal kingdom. The Hare Krishna's say something like this too, but only re individual karma. This is why there will always be wars, famines, natural disasters, terrorism, crime, etc. But even if this wasn't the case, I would still be just as passionate regarding the welfare of animals. This is why I fully and totally support all actions all radical activist groups like Animal Liberation, Animal Liberation Front, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Sea Shepherd, Veganarchism, and others. While in all otehr respects they are just ordinary people, their kindness to nonhuman animals, which has nothing to do with religious or cultural conditioning, but is pure empathy, is more inspiring to me then all the so-called spiritual teachers in all of human history.
I haven't written much about this on my website as yet, because it is still a challange to integrate metaphysics with ethics. It is so much easier to dwell in an abstract mental world, speculate on the nature of reality, the big picture, how everything fits together, etc, then it is to deal with the terrible and distressing things that are happening in the real world. But I do intend to incorporate these ideas more, both in my book and on the website. For one thing, there is the interrelation, which I began writing about in 2009, of empathy and gnosis. True empathy means a personal, I-Thou relationship with and sensitivity to the feelings, both the joy and the suffering, of all sentient beings, not just human beings. The greatest Realizers, such as Ramana Maharshi and Swami Ramalingam, were able to show this in their life and teaching, and this to me a sign of an authentic and true Guru and Realizer.
In 2008 I went for an extended holiday up the North coast of Australia, and stayed at places like Murwillumbah in North-East NSW, near the Queensland border. I twice visited Nimbin. The place reminded me of the Confests of twenty years previously. It's as if a ConFest had to borg or blob like, take over a whole town, I mean swallow it up in some surreal science fiction manner, leaving rainbow painted shops and rough hand painted signs were before everything was straight and conservative. The streets were absolutely packed as well. I mean most towns this size are almost deserted, but it was like busy Acland Street St Kilda, or Swanston Street Melbourne. I'd never seen so many people in a small town! Some were locals, full on hippy-alternative types, otehrs were tourists. The hippies have parties at night, just like at confest. I don't know if anyone works, or if the whole twown susbsits on drug money. The first time i walked up and down the street i was literally approached a dozen times by pushers trying to sell me grass. And I couldn't beleive how much marijuana there was; you can't breath without gettinfg a lungful. It is ugly, toxic, narcotic stuff, hydroponically grown; screws with the head something terrible. I hated it, absolutely hated it. The whole experience confirmed my original feeling that the Alternative mocvment has well and truly lost their way; if indeed they ever had a way to begin with, and emphasised the need for an alternative alternative (not there is much interest there)
By 2008-2009 I was no longer involved in Theta Healing. Like Reiki, it is something you have to work on all the time, to keep the power. And I just didn't feel that enthusiasm for it. Sure I want to one day help with healing, but for now my intellectual intersts and disteractiobns are primary.
In mid 2009 a friend, Rick Lipschutz, told me about the Tamil Siddha Swami Ramalingam (also known as Vallalar) as represented in the work of T.R.Thulasiram, a Tamil devotee of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother, Swami Ramdas, and Swami Ramalingam, and resident of Sri Aurobindo ashram. Way back in 1980, Thulasiram wrote a huge two volume book called Arut Perum Jyothi and Deathless Body, which argued that Ramalingam attained the same Supramental realisations as Sri Aurobindo.
The more I corresponded with Rick, read some of the material, and attuned to Swami Ramalingam's presence, the more he affected me in a positive way. He seems to combines elements of Ramana Maharshi's deep compassion for all sentient beings) with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's supramental integral yoga.
As a result by July - August 2009, I had revised my assesment of the Integral paradigm. Before I was looking for scommon themes between Sri Aurobindo and later evolutionary and integral philosphers, and had as the common denominator universalism (manysidedness) and evolutionary spirituality. Now, I consider the integral Supramental transformation primary. This meant a change of emphasis in my book away from the secular integral + esoteric and to the centrally esoteric, with other levels of insight as secondary or tertiary to that. This puts my own work much more in the tradition of Integral Yoga (although it always was, in a history of ideas, ideological, and I guess you could say Aurobindonian religious way; but now it is in a much more conceptual and pragmatic way, so that Integral Yoga, rather than being just one aspect (the original form) of integralism, is the core of integralism past and present as a whole.
By October 2009 I am again interested in Integral Theory, less Wilber himself (although he does have some good things to say) as the possibilities of the movement he initaited. I have correspoonded with a number of guys who have important positions in the mainstream Integral movement, and I find them to be really great, warm, intelligent, open-mided people. I hope that I can help contribute to expanding perspectives and steering the Integral Movement in a more universal and gnostic direction.
Currently (February 2010) I am much more interested in exploring the idea of gnosis in the form of creative fiction and myth-making (mythopoeisis). One just needs to look at books like Celestine Prophecy (very badly written, I tried reading a few pages, it was appalling) and Dan Brown's later books (not his earlier stuff) to see how these are popular in the mass consciousness. Especially from December 2009 onwards I feel much more attracted to the career of being a writer. One of my ideas is a Gnostic allegory/ religious satire about some angels sent to Earth, who become trapped in matter but then work for transformation. I started writing this in January but was puleld away by other work. For my inspiration for this and other stories I look less to novels then to movies and computer game reviews. I've started a new review section on Kheper net, giving my thoughts on creative writing, and esotericist reviews of various movies.
So I am very interested at the moment with the idea of post-modern, or maybe I should say trans-modern, mythology, of getting away from the old standard cyclic-redemptive myth of the hero, which applies to the past, in favour of a new myth for the future, in keeping for example with Sri Aurobindo's redemptive vision. Anyway, we will see what happens.
(March 2010) Especially since meeting "st", have become more intersted in nonduality again. My orientation is still for Integral Transformation, but certainbly nonduality is teh state that has to be attained first.
Have also recently signed on to Twitter and Facebook (Social Networking). See also my new blog Integral Transformations (replaces the three earlier ones).