In the morning our ears were ringing from the night before
but the Concert had been a tonic and all in all, we were way ahead of the game.
Since yesterday afternoon, we'd gotten our laundry done, found a place to sleep,
scrounged up some money for food, were able to shower and took in a Doobie Brothers Concert.
What more could we ask for?
We walked down the steps and out into the morning
was pleasant and we were optimistic about putting some serious miles behind us.
We cut across the Campus lawn onto 9th Street and started walking.
With the vestiges of hunger stirring we figured we'd better try to drum up some
before hitting the
road so when we came upon a house with two young woman sitting on the front porch, I took the initiative.
"Excuse me, but could you help us out? We're trying to get up some breakfast money."
through, trying to.........get back East......and......"
While I'm talking, one of the girls stands
up and walks down the porch steps.
She reaches into her pocket, grabs a handful of money, a dollar and some change,
and looking me directly in the eye, deposits all of it into my hand as the
words are still driveling out of my mouth.......
".....we......could use......something......to eat......."
I was taken aback.
Not only for the money but because she radiated something I was not used to seeing.
"Oh, wow, thanks, thanks a lot! Now we can buy some Peanut Butter and Jelly!"
"You can buy it right there," she said, pointing to a Convenience Store at the corner."
cool, I appreciate that."
"And then you can come back here and eat."
I said. "Can we leave our bags here for a minute?"
We dropped them at the front steps while we ran to
money, we were able to buy Peanut Butter and Jelly, a loaf of bread
and a quart of milk then returned to the house.
We were invited inside and were provided with plates, utensils
I made a sandwich and poured myself a glass of milk then sat down in the living room in front
of a Coffee Table covered with an assortment of Books.
A Profound, Valuable and Life Changing Moment
I was casually scanning them when one in particular caught my eye.
It was a paperback that read "How Your Mind Can Keep You Well."
Below the title was a picture of a man approaching a tree.
Behind the tree was a light as bright as the Sun or could have been the Sun.
The man had his face buried in his hands appearing frightened as if the Light
was overpowering him.
Instinctively what the picture meant to portray.
It was The Light of Reality and it was shaming him with its brilliance.
Somewhere along the road
of life he had gone wrong and somehow along the way, either through his searching or being sought out, The Light had descended
upon his path.
The image was
nothing short of Profound and the title of the book was provocative.
I already knew that the mind/spirit connection was the key to the Human Condition.....
and I was intrigued.
"What's this?" I asked my
new found friend.
"That's my Road Map," she said matter-of-factly.
I picked up the book and began flipping through the pages.
The words were like hot coals being poured over my head.
I recognized uncompromising Truth in each sentence and it really
hit me were I lived.
I'd spent the last several years of my life investigating every religious trip that
came down the pike
and all of them
ended up being cotton candy.
Everything was flowery and charismatic and I knew instinctively that none of them could ever
When I picked up "How Your Mind Can Keep You Well" it was like someone had been reading
It came right out and
said that our Emotional Responses to the world are making us sick and that hopelessness and depression were caused by improper
reactions, that the world exerted hypnotic pressures and obedience to those pressures enslave us.
dealt with it all, hostilities, resentment, injustice, being lost in thought, anxiety, fear..........
No punches were pulled, everything was on the table and I knew that someone was
telling it like it is.
"Hey, I've been looking for something like this!"
the clincher. It taught a technique for learning a Judeo-Christian Meditation
which was outlined at the beginning of the book.
It was a given that Meditation was a practical path to change.
Without being awakened on a Mystical level you only have religion and not Spirituality..........
I knew all about the Gurus and Yogis that I'd seen come and go.
I'd been to Catholic School and learned all about Saints and ritual.
I smoked dope and done hallucinogens and read books on how to raise one's Consciousness,
but everything I'd ever come across
Whoever wrote this book knew something on a Different Level.
The picture on the cover, the contents and the fact that there was such a thing as
Judeo-Christian Meditation was enough for me.
At the age of 20, I was sophisticated enough to discern what Truth sounded
"Hey, I've got to get a copy of this book!"
"It comes with a record too,"
my friend said, to teach you how to Meditate."
"A record? Really? How can I get one?"
"I'll get a piece of paper and you can copy down the address."
The author was a man by the name
of Roy Masters
and published by The
Foundation Of Human Understanding in Los Angeles.
"Los Angeles?" We just came from Los Angeles."
I copied down the information and stuck it in my wallet.
By this time Alf and the
other girl joined us in the living room,
whereupon, Alf, in his magnanimity, made a comment about the house being "nice."
they said, "we'll show you around."
We were taken on a tour ending up at one of the bedrooms.
Hanging on a bedpost was a hand tooled leather visor, the kind that was popular back
For a long time I'd been thinking about buying one.
"Hey, that's neat, I gotta get one
"Here, you can have it," my friend said removing it from the bedpost. Her kindness
went on and on.
"No, that's okay, I don't wanna take yours."
After being torn from stem to stern, meeting those girls was the most meaningful thing to happen
on our Odyssey and I knew it had something to do with that book.
The world had confused and pierced me but I still recognized Truth when I
saw and heard it.
What I encountered in that house on 9th Street in Lawrence, Kansas in March of 1974 was Unassailable
and it opened up a place within me that had remained shuttered because of the treachery
of the world.
polished off the Milk and packed away the Peanut Butter and Jelly,
this time, careful to wrap them up in the blanket.
The road was beckoning and we began the process of saying farewell and thanking the
girls for their hospitality.
"What's the best way to get back to 70 East?"
that way, through town," my friend said pointing. "We can take you there."
"You can take us
"Yeah, let me get my truck."
"You have a truck?"
We stepped outside and waited as the gate opened and a Pick Up rolled out of the driveway.
We tossed our things in the bed and jumped in ourselves as the girls sat in the
cab and began a winding drive through town.
Along the way we passed a Holiday Inn with a Marquee that read, "Welcome,
Alf and pointed and he smiled.
A minute later we were easing to a stop.
The girls got out of the cab to see us off and we all exchanged hugs.
"Don't lose that address," my friend warned.
"I won't. I've got it in my wallet."
We ascended the Ramp as the girls did a U-turn and drove back to town.
"They were nice looking
chicks," Alf said.
"Yeah, they were nice looking," I said, "but I knew there was a lot
more to them than that."
When I least expected it I stumbled on something I knew was of great
And all this
was due to the fact that the jars of Peanut Butter and Jelly had gotten broken.
Had I not gotten hungry
at that moment and not fished the jars out of the bag discovering the mess,
we would have never stopped in Lawrence.
Had the girls not been sitting
on the front porch that morning
had I not stopped to ask for a handout, my life would have gone in a totally different direction.
As it turned
out the Meditation taught in the Book and on the Record would have a profound impact
on my life, restoring me in ways I could never have foreseen.
later I realized that the jars had not been broken accidentally by Alf
but on purpose by the Cops while we slept in the cell.
The jars were just too pulverized
and shattered and the bread too scrunched up to have been an accident.
Ironically, because of their mischief, it ended up changing my life for the better.
The Remainder Of The Journey
From that point on, everything was a blur.....
down on us from the comfort of their Tour Buses as we hitchhiked.......
Snatched up by a young driver who needed someone to talk to because he'd had an
argument with his father........
in Ohio, catching a ride with a guy who was going all the way to New Jersey.......
and finally falling out of the car at exit 148 of the Garden State Parkway........
and walking home from there.........
For a few days I rested, nursing my
sore muscles and wondering where Life would take me next.
It would be a week before I spoke to Alf on the phone and a few more weeks before
did anything together......
For a few days my world appeared new but as I settled
in to routines the newness wore off
realized how little things had changed.
When the month of May rolled around I was living back at my parents house in Glen Ridge.
There had been a lull in the Upheaval which made things somewhat bearable
but my family was still in disarray......
Within a week of my return, I sent away to the Foundation of Human Understanding
for the book and record and was surprised
that the package arrived just a few days later.
On the Album Cover was the same picture of the man walking past
and shielding his face from
was a pamphlet inside saying something to the effect that the world was
"a chain gang of miserable people"
and it cautioned against reacting wrongly to its pressures and cruelty.
Revelation that Most People were operating under various
compulsions was somehow freeing. (maybe that explained people's cruelty )
I now had deeper insight into
the Human Condition and knew that help was within reach
but I was strangely reluctant to sit down and actually try the Meditation.
It meant Commitment and I was too scattered to submit to any kind of
I put it off for several more weeks but wanting to be free of the self defeating thought process
that had made a home in me, I eventually sat down to give it a try.
"You are about to embark on the most wonderful
journey of your life....."
Much to my surprise, the voice on the record had an English accent.
This was an unexpected twist but the voice was soothing and I settled in for the
True to my initial insights, the experience was Vital and New........
It cut through inner chatter (we all have that) like a knife through butter and brought
me to a place where I could separate from it........
My experiences with many other metaphysical intrigues all
rolled into one couldn't hold a candle to the Meditation taught by Roy Masters.
There were admonishments
to "speak with firmness, kindness and patience" when dealing with the world and to "overlook on the spot"
when encountering flaws in other people.
In other words, see things as they are but don't cast judgment.
As I Meditated a door opened.
It was like the shutter of a camera
instead of a split second glimpse I was able to keep it open, allowing Light to enter.......
From birth we are taught to deny the true self and when that happens we start
The recording left no stones unturned and I was amazed at how much this man, Roy Masters "knew."
I was reminded that there are Irrefutable
Truths that the world cannot change
and that there certainly is a God.
I practiced the Meditation for just a few days before stopping.
The problem was that I just wasn't ready for it.
By chance I'd stumbled on it but like any other ego, I wanted peace without
having to change.
was still immature and although I'd suffered greatly in this life, I would have to endure much,
much more before being able to Meditate over any length of time........
By "happenstance" I'd
been given a glimpse into Reality in order to restore my Faith
and now had Irrefutable Proof that that Dimension did exist.............
End of Part I