I majored in physics and minored in mathematics at the University of
California at Berkeley until I was just about to receive my diploma. I only
needed one more quarter to graduate. I decided I didn't want the degree because
I discovered something about physicists themselves that turned me off to the
idea of becoming involved in a science that I realized was no science at all.
This in itself could be a book, but the 'why' of it is related to the same
subject that we talk about with archeologists. Physicists, just like
archeologists, will turn their heads to the Truth if it means too much of a
change too fast. Perhaps the real truth is that this is human nature. So I
switched to the other side of my brain and started majoring in fine arts. My
counselors thought I was nuts. "You're going to give up a physics
degree?" they asked. But I didn't need it, didn't want it. Then to graduate
I had to go for two more years majoring in fine arts. Finally, I was in my last
quarter before getting my degree in fine arts, thinking "I don't know if I
can do this. I'm so tired. I just can hardly handle this."
Then Kent State happened. The whole school system across the United States
closed down, and they gave all the students straight Bs and let them go. So I
got my fine arts degree without having to finish the last little bit.
My changing majors makes sense now, because when you study the ancient writings,
you find out that the people of the time perceived art, science and religion as
being interwoven, interconnected. So the programming that I was putting myself
through was appropriate for what I'm doing now.
MOVING TO CANADA
I got my degree in 1970. Then, after being in Viet Nam and looking at what was
happening in our country at that time, I finally said, "I've had it! This
is it! I don't know how long I'm going to live or what's going to happen, but
I'm just going to be happy and do what I've always wanted to do." And I
decided to get away from everything and go live in the mountains, like I had
always wanted to do.
So I left the United States and went to Canada, not knowing there would be ten
of thousands of Vietnam war protesters following me a year later. I married a
woman named Renee and the two of us went way back into the middle of nowhere,
and found a little house on a lake called Kootenay Lake. We were a long way away
from anything. You had to walk four miles from the nearest road to get to my
house. So we were really isolated. And I began to live my life exactly like I
had always wanted to live. I had always wanted to see if I could live on
nothing; so I gave it a try.
It was a little scary at first, but it got easier as time went on, and pretty
soon I became adept at natural living. I lived a wonderful and full life on
basically no money. After a while I realized, hey, this is a lot easier than
holding a job in a city! I only had to work hard for about three hours a day,
then I had the rest of the time off. It was great. I could play music and run
around and have a good ol' time. And that's exactly what I did. I had fun. I
played music about ten hours a day, with lots of friends who came from miles
around. Our place had gained quite a reputation by then. An average of about
eleven people per day showed up to play music and enjoy —
and we just had fun.
And in this act, which is very important to my understanding now, I discovered
something about myself. It was from this —
returning to my inner child is how I
phrase it these days — that my inner child was released, and in that releasing,
something happened to me, which was the catalyst that led into my life as it is
MEETING THE ANGELS
While in Vancouver, my wife and I decided we wanted to know about meditation, so
we started studying with a Hindu teacher who lived in the area. We were very
serious in wanting to understand what meditation was about. We had made white
silk robes with hoods and were very serious about this new endeavor we had
Then, one day, after practicing meditation for about four or five months, two
tall angels about ten feet high appeared in our room! They were right there.
One was green and one was purple. We could see through their transparent bodies,
but they were definitely there. We did not expect this appearance to take place.
We were just following the instructions that our Hindu teacher was giving us. I
don't believe he fully understood as he kept asking us many questions and he
didn't seem to understand either. From that moment on, my life was never the
same. It wasn't even close.
The first words the angels said were, "We are you." I had no idea what
they meant. I said, "You're me?" Then, slowly they began to teach me
various things about myself and the world, and about the nature of consciousness
. . . until finally my heart just completely opened to them. I could feel
tremendous love from them which totally changed my life.
Over a period of many years, they led me to about seventy different teachers.
They would actually tell me the address and the phone number of the teacher I
was to go see. They would tell me either to call first or just show up at his or
her house. So I would do this — and it would always be the right person! Then I
would be instructed to stay with that person for a certain length of time.
Sometimes, right in the middle of a particular teaching, the angels would say,
"Okay, you're done. Leave." I remember when they sent me to Ram Dass.
I hung out in his house for about three days wondering what the heck I was doing
there; then one day I went to touch him on the shoulder to say something and I
got a zap that practically knocked me on the floor. And that was it — the angels
said, "That's it. "You can leave now." And I said,
"Okay." Ram Dass and I became friends, but whatever I was supposed to
learn from him was over within that one second.
The teachings of Neem Karoli Baba, Ram Dass's teacher, are very important to me.
It was his belief that "the best form to see God is in every form".
I've also been exposed to Yogananda's work and cherish who he was. And later
we'll be talking about Sri Yukteswar and some of his work. I've been intensely
involved in almost all the major religions. I've resisted the Sikhs, because I
do not believe that military preparation is necessary, but I've studied and
practiced almost all the rest of them, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Tibetan
Buddhist. I've deeply studied Taoism & Sufism — spent eleven years with
Sufism. Through all this, the most powerful teachers for me, however, have been
the Native American Indians. It was the Indians who opened the doorway for all
my spiritual growth to take place. They've been a very powerful influence in my
All the world's religions are speaking of the same Reality. They have different
words, different concepts and ideas, but there's really only one Reality, and
there's only one Spirit moving through all life. There might be different
techniques to get there, but there's only what is real, and when you're there
you know it. Whatever you want to call it — you can give it different names —
it's all the same thing.