In 1980s Santa Fe, this joke was circulating:
“ Y’know how to make God laugh?
Tell Him your plans.”
Like so many ‘jokes’, this one endures as a result of the level of its truth.
By the ‘90s, my plan was to leave New Mexico when I had concluded my studies at the International Institute of Chinese Medicine in Santa Fe. I had, by that time in my life, already experienced some truly remarkable juxtapositions of time and place in the twentieth century CE on this planet: San Francisco and Berkeley in the late sixties; the flowering of Seattle in the early seventies; a golden era of climbing in Yosemite; a global flash of innovative design—from handmade Italian bicycles to a revolution in American outdoor equipment; the Wind Rivers, Antelope Canyon, and so many other graced gems that I enjoyed in utter solitude before the world’s population tripled.
Santa Fe had had its moment for me, but after I was unceremoniously relocated to Corrales, New Mexico somehow no longer held up its end of life’s pleasures. Surely, moving on to the next best, latest and greatest place, would be the inevitable choice.
The inevitable reality is that ‘God’ is so unimaginably far removed from this plane of existence that ‘He’ doesn’t know ‘I’ exist. Rather, the perfect and inescapable system of karma we all live within has been implemented to manage the fortunes of not just Larry Horton, but the countless other mind/egos chained to this eventually disappointing and boring Ferris wheel ride.
Not yet enjoying this level of understanding, I graduated, went into ‘practice’, and periodically noticed I had not yet left New Mexico. Mind still saw little attraction to remaining here: What gives, Larry? Let’s get the hell outta here! We are leaving, aren’t we?
On September 27th, 1997, I arrived early in the morning of my first meeting with the Living Master of the Light and Sound teachings an hour and a half prior to His physical appearance at the meeting place—in Albuquerque. The hall was nearly empty. Perhaps three or four others were seated in the large ballroom. After saying hello to them, I picked a seat, front row, dead center. After all, I had arrived at this hour for the express purpose of getting as close as I could get—not yet understanding that a genuine Master is not limited by space or time.
Silent contemplation seemed the obvious thing to do. I didn’t even know yet that’s what I was intended to do for the rest of my life. This Master Whom I had come to see was the unavoidable subject of this contemplation, as He and His outer and inner forms would be, too, for the rest of my life. Unavoidable because His Presence, expressed so vividly as the Shabda—the Sound Current He so perfectly embodies—was keenly evident to me in the silence of that empty ballroom. I had never before experienced anything like this in this lifetime.
Sri Gary Olsen requires a letter of intention to study these teachings and embark on the Path. Little did I know, I had already embarked. But whatever I was experiencing, it was compelling enough that I knew I wanted more. So, walking out of the still empty ballroom to the hallway, I asked someone stationed there if they had a pen and piece of paper I could borrow. Why waste precious time? After writing my three or four line letter, sitting alone in that front row, I took it back out to the hallway and enrolled.
By its end, this day would be the most full yet of my entire life. Along with the eight or nine hundred devotees who eventually filled the ballroom, I reveled in wonder at the experience, solely my own, that this Master instilled with His words, His Presence, His divine consciousness, and the intoxicating Sound Current I was being absorbed into. A vibration so ultimately and intimately satisfying and fulfilling that anything more was unimaginable. Not intellectually intriguing, not emotionally inspiring, no, nothing like that—only the incomparable fulfillment of pure, living truth.
And who were all these dazzling souls in this room? Why didn’t I know any of them? How was it that they, too, carried the faint aroma of this Master Who was so familiar, yet unknown until now? Physical senses were completely and blissfully overwhelmed. Unable, at that time, to fully give form to what had replaced them, I became aware, as I eased out of the hotel parking lot into the dark of that pinda night, of a palpably throbbing, pea-sized presence at what I took to be my third eye. This day, to me, was my first initiation, the beginning of my intended life. Everything before—both exquisitely beautiful and excruciatingly painful—was simply preparation for this moment. My first perception of perfection.
I had finally encountered my previous master’s living promise for this lifetime. And He was letting me know that, given my request, He would accompany me home, and lovingly remain by my side until we merge together on the doorstep of our true Home. My seatbelt was fastened.
By my second meeting with the Living Master, two months later, He had already verified to me that He was Who He said He was. This knowingness, and the depth of my Bhakti was such that, despite the raw edges of my infant consciousness, I was keenly aware that I would give my life for Him. None of this was anything I pondered, debated, decided, struggled with—and certainly nothing I was asked to do. I simply, spontaneously, became aware of that level of connection.
The pinda mind, the level of mind to which humanity is subservient, arrogantly holds that such devotion to anything other than itself represents weakness, and should be dismissed as unworthy of one’s attention. This is a defense mechanism to ensure that soul remains under mind’s thumb—its delusion, already endured for countless, mercifully forgotten lifetimes. Without mind’s arsenal of mechanical defense mechanisms, truth would suddenly be self-evident to soul. Mind’s false dominion, too, would be forever unveiled, much as in the land of Oz. Even so, the depth of illusion is unbelievably clever, persistent, and diabolical, and soul has accepted this dark, brittle ‘reality’ for so long that waking up can take a very long time. At least that’s yet another characteristic of the illusion, when, in the reality of a grander vision, it’s only the blink of an eye, compared to the eternity of being bound to travel endlessly on mind’s circular railroad track where we repeatedly find ourselves arriving back at the beginning of the circle, when we had expected coming to its end.
There is no end to this circle until truth is unveiled by a Living Master. And while that’s a glorious, singular, and long anticipated event in soul’s sojourn, the sole mission of a Master is to then guide, educate, steward, and escort the soul, in love, step by incremental step, through its infancy, childhood, adolescence, and teen years until the young adult soul eventually finds its footing in its own divinity, having been absorbed into the love, power, and wisdom inherent in the Sound Current, coming face to face with its self, and now, graced through its own matured volition, merging in perfection into its intended home where it, the soul, becomes one with the Master, the Sound Current, and the Overlord of the initial God-plane.
The long ago abandoned, rusty, circular railroad track and the mind which spun around it for eons, like a sightless electron, have not only been left behind, but simply no longer exist.
At least those are the rudiments of the teachings, and in living through my own progression of this sequence of steps so far, they continue to miraculously manifest as promised.
Happiness for no reason is the hallmark attribute of soul. No one experiencing this truth is looking back.
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