Whenever I’m asked, “Where are you from?” I never truly know what the person means and usually respond playfully, “What’s your context?” just in case the question is meant more deeply than simply inquiring where I was born or where I now live. It rarely is. However, the few exceptions have helped form my life, and for these I am eternally grateful.
It’s impossible to thank all those who contributed to the writing of Going Deeper. There are those without whom this book might never have been written. My profoundest thanks to Jack Barnard, who first challenged me to have the courage to commit, then called me every week for months to make certain I hadn’t wavered; to Jean Houston, who taught me that no matter what treasure I sought, it wasn’t nearly enough and who incessantly insisted that we all stop theorizing, roll up our sleeves, and get to work; to Carolyn Bond, a caring, devoted, and totally professional editor who lovingly demanded that I be at least partially responsible for bringing the reader along on my fantastic voyage.
This book flowed through me rather than out of me. I have obviously been assisted by many who came before, on whose shoulders I humbly and gratefully stand. It’s no great feat to see farther when you are buoyed up by the efforts of those who paved the way. The many extraordinary beings who, through their writings, seminars, and discourses added straws to my wondrously tangled pile: Ram Das, Brugh Joy, Verna Yater, Indira, Ra, Buddha, Christ, Lao-tse, J. J. Hurtak, Clif Sanderson, Mae Wan Ho, L. Ron Hubbard, Lefty Willner, and so many others whose concepts and teachings continue to shape my being.
From a very young age, I was blessed by meeting Winkers. These glorious people somehow recognized me and conspiratorially shared their inner delights, letting my little mind know there were vastly more things in heaven and earth than were dreamt of in the collective philosophies of my immediate world. The term “Winker” comes from a science fiction short story I read in my teens entitled, “When Two Soothsayers Pass, They Invariably Wink.” That’s how I learned there were basically two kinds of people in the world, the Winkers and the Wankers. Although I prefer to play among the former and let the latter sort out their own affairs as best they can, I don’t succeed nearly as often as I’d like. Too many times each day, I find myself firmly entrenched in the Wanker camp, arms akimbo, with both feet planted firmly in the mire of judgment. The best I can do is giggle myself out of there as fast as my little Awareness units will take me. Why, after all these years, I still take myself seriously, only God knows.
Toby and Bernie Feinstein, my surrogate parents who lived next door, opened the doors to worlds otherwise unknown to recently arrived immigrants steeped in the traditions of Europe. Toby led me through the bizarre worlds of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and my favorite of all, Theodore Sturgeon. I grew up to the fading bars of Rossini’s William Tell Overture heralding the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver! I fell asleep each night listening to Long John Nebel interviewing self-proclaimed geniuses (I fully agreed), like Lester del Rey and other superminds of the time, as they discussed the world around the corner. Jean Shepherd was my first acknowledged guru. His late-night radio monologues, delivered flawlessly in beguiling, smoothly flowing streams of consciousness, mesmerized my innocence.
If I had a predisposition to be curious before I came to planet Earth, by the time I was thirteen I had so completely swallowed the bait (hook, line, and sinker) that it became part of my living matrix. I no longer sought the Great Mystery, I craved it. I bought an endless succession of books-mostly because their authors or subject matter impressed me. I confess now to having collected far more than I read. It was sometimes difficult for me to get past the first few chapters. Then came Alice! To Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Carroll, I owe the comforting knowledge that somewhere, out in the vastness of inner space, a voice answers. Following shortly behind the tales of Wonderlands and Looking Glasses were the writings of Lao-Tzu and the wondrously unstructured world of the Tao. It has been written (or spoken, or I made it up) that “If one mans asks of the Tao and another responds, neither understands.” I immediately adored the concept, and to this day, if someone were to inquire about my religious persuasions, I would proclaim myself “a born-again Taoist,” relishing the oxymoronic paradox of it all. It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing.
L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology beckoned irresistibly, and I, curious as the proverbial cat, responded. Priscilla, the wonderful lady with whom I was sharing my life at the time, became a full-time staff member and I became a part-time dilettante, receiving and dispensing auditing sessions. I studied the world according to Ron, listening to endless hours of unedited, rambling tapes dating back to Hubbard’s early days in Philadelphia and East Grinstead, England, reading mimeographed memos printed in various colors of the rainbow denoting their office of origin, and practicing TRs (Training Routines) designed to turn me into me a more proficient auditor. Even to this day, I remain impressed by the vast body of work Hubbard produced and the training I received. But in the end, it was simply another stepping stone along my journey, and I found early on that I traveled lighter by not collecting such stones in my backpack.
In time, I tried various mind-altering substances with varying degrees of success. I remember my first experience with magic mushrooms. I was with my wife, Arianne, in an almost deserted state park not far from San Diego. We found a totally secluded spot in the woods visible only from passing satellites and the occasional INS helicopter scouring the border for illegal aliens. As the first slivers of altering consciousness radiated through my brain, I panicked, took off all my clothes, and made a serious attempt to burrow back into Arianne. Eventually, unable to maintain control, I submitted totally and relaxed into the experience. What transpired blew my mind! I was connected to some vast pool of Cosmic Consciousness that invited me to explore any aspect of Creation that interested me. We discoursed for hours as I was shown how realities (apparent universes) are created and how we select the role each of us chooses to play in the drama. When I asked how it was permissible for me to be given such intimate knowledge, the voice actually laughed, reminding me that I took part in the original process. It was my first tangible introduction to the Oneness of Creation.
There came a point when my mentor asked whether I would like to see the “next octave of creation.” Might as well ask a starving man if he would like a meal! I was taken outwards (if there was such a thing as direction) into an ever-brighter light. Suddenly the intensity overwhelmed my insatiable curiosity and I recoiled in pain. For the second time the voice laughed, letting me know I had much yet to do before I could enter these refined realms.
I tried ‘shrooms a few times afterwards, expecting to recreate the magnitude of the first experience, but with disappointing results. I will most probably not try them again. There’s actually no need because the connection made with Higher Intelligence that day in the state park has never left me, and we dialogue about this and that often. The Cosmic Intelligence-whom I lovingly call “The Guys,” has been with me every step of the way as this book unfolded. No one is owed a greater debt of trust, love, and admiration. I am truly blessed by having this remarkable source always by my side. As I wrote these last words, I was asked to remind my gentle readers that this powerful ally patiently awaits them all.
Please do not take my personal story as an advocacy of psychedelics. It is not. I tried marijuana only once, with rather unfortunate results. Smoking weed totally blocked my channel of communication with The Guys for thirty days. It was definitely not worth the price of a few bars of mirth, which I can hum any time I choose. My favorite train to ride out of this realm of ordinary consciousness is the breath. I was one of early rebirthers following the techniques of Leonard Orr. My first experience with this remarkable technique of breathing was with Jeremy Burnham, a British expatriate, during one of my visits to Johannesburg. In my very first session I had a clear image of Jesus, Sai Baba, and Baba-ji (the patron saint of rebirthing) standing arm and arm, radiating waves of love to me and the rest of the world. Suddenly, the structured arena of “ologies” and “isms” became wondrously irrelevant, and if not enlightened, I certainly became, at the least, somewhat lightened by the experience.
The weekend of my first rebirthing transported me irrevocably across the Rubicon, and there was no looking back. I have since spent time with Stanislaus Grof, whose holotropic breath work uses carefully selected music and the collective, focused energy of the group to take rebirthing into the very adult realm of psychotropic adventure land. Interesting stuff! The extended breath sessions with Grof were interspersed with deep Buddhist meditations led by Jack Kornfeld-like jumping successively from a steaming sauna into the snow. Definitely a mind bender. Try it sometime.
My road to discovery began in earnest in late 1984, when I left my conventional life in the United States and moved to Australia. I was fortunate to meet two extraordinary South Africans, Brian and Esther Crowley, who welcomed me into their home as a family member (I stayed with them for quite some time as a house guest), and it was they who introduced me to the sacred chants in the five power languages (Ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese) revealed by J. J. Hurtak in his seminal book The Keys of Enoch. A group of us, led by Brian and Esther, meditated every week, intoning the Words of Power while visualizing world peace. I can’t say, given the current state of affairs, that the results are anything to brag about-but at least I now know why.
Brian coauthored several books with J. J. Hurtak. One title, published in 1986, The Face on Mars: Evidence of a Lost Martian Civilization, has photos I took of murals when I visited Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa (one of the spiritual leaders of the Zulu) while he still lived in the black township of Soweto, just outside of Johannesburg. It was Brian who first introduced me to J. J. and Desiree Hurtak. I was privileged to spend several days with them touring ancient wats (temples) in Thailand, energetically linking these abandoned places of worship with power spots across the planet by intoning the sacred chants-an activity I have never stopped doing. After attending the First (and only) Paranormal Healing Conference held in Baggio City, the Philippines, I returned with J. J. and Des to Sydney, where J. J. took a small group of us through the entire text of The Keys. This experience shaped the course of my life since.
A year later, Arianne joined me in the Land of Oz (Australia), and we explored the outback in a 1972 Toyota Corona with no air conditioning. We made the pilgrimage to Uluru (known to tourists as Ayer’s Rock), southwest of Alice Springs in the center of nowhere. This vast monolith that totally dominates an otherwise featureless plain is still under the protection of the Anangu, the traditional landholders of the region. It is one of the most powerful parts of Aboriginal tjukurrpa (mythology of creation as well as the rules of interaction within society), with many sacred dreamings centering there. It was fitting that our ascent up this hallowed shrine was the starting point of our adventures. For an hour and a half, Arianne and I had the rock to ourselves. The top was deserted, and we were able to meditate without interruption or distraction of any kind. It was there that we both first caught a glimpse of the path we would be following for the rest of our lives.
Our meanderings through the back and beyond of the Australian bush took us through Katherine, Kakadu, and Darwin before bringing us to the small town of Freshwater in Far North Queensland, just outside of Cairns. With our visas about to expire, we needed to leave the country so we could return. Although unintelligible to me at the time, this process makes perfect sense to bureaucrats, and I am eternally in their debt, as it facilitated what came next. We could not go to Indonesia (Bali was our first choice) as they would not recognize Arianne’s South African passport. Our options were to fly to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea (not, according to the locals, the garden spot of the world) or-for almost the same airfare-get a round-the-world ticket. We chose the latter, taking as much time and visiting as many places as the rules of the fare permitted. In short, Arianne and I spent a full year circling the planet.
We began our odyssey in Cairns and went to (among other places) Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Rome, Greece, France, England, the U.S.A., then back to Australia. We returned to Cairns 365 days after we set out. The journey led us from one adventure to another. The teachers along the way are at once too numerous to mention and too important to ever forget.
In our five weeks in Hong Kong (we were provided with a beautiful, rent-free apartment on Wyndham Street, just a short walk up from the Star Ferry), we were privileged to work with Dr. Clif Sanderson, recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarian Service to Medicine for his tireless work with children suffering from the aftereffects of Chernobyl. It was through Clif-a brother and treasured friend-that Arianne and I were first introduced to intentional healing, entity work, and Feng Shui. While in Hong Kong, I was initiated into the Ling Su by Dr. Wilson Wang, a local physician who had discovered several powerful techniques that allowed mere humans to break the manifestation barrier. It was through his tutelage that the world of intentional creation was opened, and for the first time, I was permitted to tap into the processes used by various mystery school adepts in the conduct of their sacred ceremony. It was getting increasingly obvious that there were many beings, in every part of the planet, that could easily pierce the apparent limitations of this world behind the Veil whenever they chose.
Of all our adventures on our round-the-world jaunt, our five months in Israel may have had the greatest impact on me and, ultimately, on this book. Our extended stay there provided the opportunity to appreciate the inner core of the Sabra, as Israelis are often called. The term takes its name from the fruit of the sabra cactus-thorny on the outside but sweet and tasty inside. Nothing describes the typical Israeli more perfectly: on the outside, bombarding each other with the four A’s: arrogance, anger, aggressiveness, and assertiveness; on the inside, displaying a reverence for life unmatched anywhere else in the world. How do these people live, knowing that any day they or their children might be attacked by the Russian roulette mentality of wanton terrorism? To the fullest! Why they greet each other with the traditional “Shalom”-Peace-is beyond me. To my mind, the traditional “L’Chiam”-to Life!-would be better suited. But what do I know?
It was in Israel that another medical doctor changed my life. Dr. Eli Lasch was a pediatrician working in Gaza alongside Palestinian physicians, helping to heal the artificial rift inherited by the whims of birth. One day, Eli arrived at our door with a four-volume set of books. They were almost 8 1/2″ ´ 11″ in size, saddled-stitched (with two staples through the spine), and typewritten rather than set in a conventional publisher’s typeface. The title of each volume was the same: The Law of One. Only the volume numbers changed, denoting the sequence in which they were meant to be read.
The books were transcripts of a series of communications received by a small group in Louisville, Kentucky, commencing in mid-January 1981. The channel was Carla Rueckert; the questioner was an Eastern Airlines pilot, Don Elkins; and the scribe was James McCarty. Together these three highly intelligent, extraordinary people made up a group called L/L Research. The information source called itself “RA, an humble messenger of the Law of One.”
I began reading RA’s words the day Eli gave me the books. In short order, they became so perfectly melded into my consciousness that I could no longer speak, act, or think without their influence. To a very large extent, the Universal Myth of Creation and related insights contained in this book flow from the teachings of RA. I am indebted to this earthly/extraterrestrial team beyond measure. Each rereading of their work seems to be the first, presenting me with layer upon layer of fresh, undiscovered information begging consideration. It is through their collective example that I came to appreciate the infinite depth of the journey and the joy it holds for each of us willing to take the risk.
When I first read The Law of One, I felt like Snow White being wakened from her one-hundred-year sleep by the kiss of a prince. I was in psychic shock for nearly two weeks, and it was only through the combined efforts of two remarkably gifted healers visiting Israel from the United Kingdom, Zorika and Pat, that I was once more able to form coherent sentences-although some would still argue otherwise.
On my trip around the world, I stopped in Louisville and spent too brief a time with Carla and Jim. I would have liked to have met Don as well, but he died several years before I got there. I think of them often-especially Don-and the sacrifice each still makes to continue their work.
During our stay in Israel, Arianne and I studied healing with Israel Carmel and visited several times at the home he shared with Phyllis Schlemmer, author of The Only Planet of Choice-Essential Briefings from Deep Space. It was she who indirectly introduced me to Dr. Andrija Puharich (author of several best-selling books including Uri, The Sacred Mushroom, and Beyond Telepathy) and the Council of Nine, whom she channeled. Their story-involving Phyllis Schlemmer, Andrija Puharich, J. J. Hurtak, Israel Carmel, Sir John Whitmore and the Council of Nine-is depicted in a nearly impossible-to-find book entitled Briefing for the Landing on Planet Earth, written by Stuart Holroyd and published in soft cover by Corgi Books. It was also published in a hardcover edition by W. H. Allen & Co. under the title Prelude to the Landing on Planet Earth. Both editions are currently unavailable, and amazon.com does not even list them, though it acknowledges eighteen other out-of-print titles by the same author. I once found a website containing the book’s entire text. As far as I can determine, this web reference no longer exists either.
By the time I arrived in England, where both books had originally been published a few years earlier, they were nowhere to be found. Bookstore personnel recalled that both editions were excellent sellers and seemed genuinely surprised that they were no longer on their shelves. Used bookshops (including most along the Strand in London) had nary a copy. The plot thickened when I called the publishers. Corgi said they had removed all the remaining copies from general distribution and shredded them. No one seemed to know exactly why. W. H. Allen denied ever having published the book in the first place.
Dr. J. J. Hurtak had given me my first copy of the book-a xeroxed facsimile of the W. H. Allen edition. The only edition I now have in my possession-the Corgi paperback version-came from a small collection of spiritual books in a library in the little town of Atherton, Australia. I traded my entire six-volume set of The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East by Baird T. Spaulding for it. Each of us thought we had gotten the better of the bargain-which, in my book, is as good as it gets.
If you ever have the opportunity to read Briefings, you will certainly appreciate why the publishers might have been encouraged to remove it from circulation. By nature, I am not particularly fond of conspiracy theories, not because I think they are untrue but because they distract. I have met too many people along the way who have gotten so caught up in the drama of chemtrails, ELF transmissions, the HARP project, the reptilian puppet masters and their Illuminati, Bilderburg minions, and the like that they have completely lost sight of the larger picture.
I was reminded of the need to maintain perspective some years later when Dr. Eli Lasch gave me a hand-typed piece of paper on which he wrote a poem entitled “The Fetters,” which ends:
We are all like puppets on a string Torn here and there Touching someone to make them “it” As if by winds Where is the puppeteer? I ask I want to pull the strings
Even those pulling strings are but puppets dancing the steps dictated by more distant puppeteers.
Our trip around the world also took us to Findhorn, the new-age community established in 1962 in the northern reaches of Scotland. Unlike so many of both its predecessors and its imitators, Findhorn thrives to this day, constantly reinventing itself, finding new relevant forms of expression. I’ll save the extraordinary stories of our misadventures there for another campfire. It was there that I was taught a technique that facilitated intentional encounter with one’s Higher Self. For this alone, Findhorn has more than earned a special place in my memory. And that was but one of its many gifts.
Another gift was the Findhorn bus that transported Arianne and me past Loch Ness, across the Isle of Mull, to the Inner Hebridean Island of Iona. This singular fragment of land is a mere 3.4 miles long and 1.7 miles wide. Yet walking it was one of the most intimate moments I can recall spending anywhere on earth. There’s a sense of timelessness on Iona that permeates those who come seeking her blessing. She is one of the great wise ones, having, for 2.9 billion years, staunchly held her presence against the incessant pounding of the restless sea, who seeks to reclaim her. The wisdom she holds is almost unparalleled on earth. A special debt is owed to two remarkable people, Hal Stone and Sidra Winkelman-Stone, who developed Voice Dialogue, an exceptionally effective, elegant form of therapy that successfully bridges the gap between mundane psychological issues and the cosmological concerns of universal archetypes. Junie’s interaction with Larry is based in large measure on the Stones’ work. So is my relationship with Arianne. It has allowed two otherwise headstrong, singular individuals the wisdom to share without compromise, love without reservation, and laugh at our many selves every step of the way.
My debt list is of course endless. Perhaps like Kefa, the synagogue’s janitor, I should simply recite the alphabet and request all that read these acknowledgments to rearrange the letters to spell out their own names. Even the plants growing outside my office window speak to me of wisdom. I have come to appreciate that all Creation is my teacher. Every person I meet, every animal I see, every tree, every blade of grass informs me. It is said, “When the student is ready, the guru appears.” I ask only to be made ready every moment of my waking and sleeping life-a true chela (student) of the universe. How can any of us look at the stars and not wonder? How can any of us look at each other and fail to see God?
All things said, nothing has impacted me more profoundly than the process of midwifing Going Deeper. May the result-this book-in some small (or large) way do the same for you.
In love and light, and in service to the One Infinite Creator.
I wish you Love,
P.S. There’s always another tale to tell when exploring the infinite ways the universe weaves its magic. For example, take the cover of this book. When it became apparent that Going Deeper was going to be staged in Joshua Tree National Park, I began researching in earnest. Although I had visited the park several times over the years, I knew little about its history and geology. While surfing the Internet for notes to download, I came across the stunning photograph-a juniper tree and a white tank monzogranite boulder catching the last rays of a setting sun-that now graces the book’s cover.
Two hours later, I visited the first annual art show held in my hometown, Rancho Mirage, California. I was stunned to see the very same photo hanging on display. And I met Ellie Tyler, the gifted, sensitive photographer who had captured the magic of the moment. She spent days trying to get the positioning and the light exactly right, to no avail. Then, on a whim, she crossed a few yards to view the rock and tree from the opposite direction. The perfect photo instantly revealed itself. It had been there all the time, waiting for her to shift the point from which she was viewing.
My egoic I didn’t know at the time that the two objects in the photograph would become central characters in the book or that Ellie’s process of discovery would be its major metaphor. There was much else that I didn’t know until I began to let the book write me-like how God would come to contribute the afterword. But that’s another story altogether.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Going deeper: how to make sense of your life when your life makes no sense / Jean-Claude Koven. — 1st ed.
ISBN 978-0-9723954-5-8 (hdbk)
ISBN 0-9723954-5-8 (hdbk)
ISBN 978- 0-9723954-0-3 (pbk)
ISBN 0-9723954-0-3 (pbk)
1. Consciousness–Fiction. 2. Joshua Tree National Park (Calif.)–Fiction. 3. Metaphysics–Fiction. I. Title.
PS3611.O747G65 2004 813′.6
Printed and manufactured in the United States of America
Edited By Carolyn Bond
Book Design by Dotti Albertine – www.dotdesign.net
Cover Design by Lightbourne – www.lightbourne.com
Jean-Claude Koven photograph by Robert Hankins