THEN... AND NOW

Tom Carey  (1999)



The 1952 transcripts are the literal record of a pretty rare event. Not that no one ever did this before; but here the man was talking about his new situation before he learned that such epiphatic messages must be tailored to the comprehensions of those who hear them. In the first 'interview' he spoke, and 'existed,' as fully and as plainly as was in him to do. I can say, "it was intense," but compared to the actuality, this is like saying that the first light from a nuclear bomb is bright. It was not "emotional" in any conventional modality, though other people there certainly were. Further words I've not found.

A week later he had gotten more insight into the problems of communication, and had learned how not to be quite so overwhelming. By the third meeting he was, in his way, being quite prudent - doing what was necessary, without provoking a hostile response. And by July, in his Postscript, he was - among other things - trying to cope with a difficult situation. All sorts of people, all over the country, wanted to make him into a guru they could follow, a teacher with an ashram they could join. He had no intention of allowing this to happen. And in the end it did not.

I think it is seldom that anyone has had the opportunity to record the first expressions by people who've made this transformation. What comes into 'history', or even into esoteric tradition, has always passed through mutation after mutation. Perhaps by the initiator, as he or she comes to appreciate the limits of the envelope of possibility (which certainly happened quickly in this instance), but invariably by those who later take it on themselves to spread the "Word" as they understood it, or adapted it, whether for other's benefit or for their own. I hope I've avoided that.

So take anything I say about him with a certain amount of skepticism. What I say now about the situation then, and my own responses to it, then and now, is as straight as I can make it, but is inevitably biased. The transcripts themselves are accurate and complete, except as noted in the Introduction.

This encounter, and a continuing association between 1952 and 1959, have been central to me since. Yet I have not done what he made clear we all could do if we chose.

I've had my share of transcendental experiences. So have many other people. But I haven't taken that essential next step. Nor, so far as I know, have any of the other persons in the room that first night. But for a variety of reasons I'm certain that persons unknown to me have taken that step, as will others yet to come. I'm equally certain that none of these had, or will have, so public an introduction. That had its uses then. It isn't needed now.


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