Rainbow bdy

You can easily look at what Wikipedia and others say about the rainbow body. It is not ‘rainbow’ coloured but rainbows seem to make an appearance. If you do look you will notice that very few of the Tibetan lamas are thought to have developed one but among the handful alleged to have done so is a woman who lived over 110 years, 50 in a self imposed dark cell and that she instructed a very great lama still living. She died in the 1950s. Another is said to have disappeared. And when these ones die it is thought that they vanish leaving only their hair and nails. One might then wonder about the patriarch Enoch who the bible claims vanished und 3000BC to go and live with God.

(Ayu Khandro (Long Life Dakini), also known as Dorje Paldrön, lived from 1839 to 1953. She was a practitioner, yogini, and terton of Tibetan Buddhism in Eastern Tibet. An accomplished Dzogchen meditator, she is renowned for her extensive pilgrimages throughout Tibet, long periods of dark retreat practice, the gongter of the practice of the yidam Senge Dongma (the Lion-Faced Dakini), various forms of Chöd,[3] and her lifelong dedication to spiritual practice.

The information we have about Ayu Khandro comes from the oral commentary that she personally gave to Chogyal Namkhai Norbu in Dzongsa, 1951. He wrote her namthar, or spiritual biography, which was later published in Women of Wisdom by Tsultrim Allione.

Ayu Khandro met, and was taught by, many great masters of her day ; Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgon Kongtrul the First, Chokgyur Lingpa, Nyala Pema Dündul, Adzom Drukpa, Togden Rangrig and the ninth Tai Situpa, Pema Nyingche Wangpo.

She led the life of a hidden yogini, spending a significant amount of her life in retreat or as a wandering chodma. She was recognised as an emanation of Vajrayogini…..

Yet in 1865, at 77, Togden Rangrig died. The sign of an accomplished meditator his body remained in final meditation posture, tukdam, for seven days. After this period his body was the size of an eight year old. This dissolution of the body into the elements at the time of death is called the rainbow body and is the highest attainment of Dzogchen meditation. At the time of cremation signs of the meditative realization of the practitioner can appear. and at Ayu Khandro was present for this, and she recalled: ” As we were making the funeral pyre and preparing the body to be burned everyone heard a loud noise like a thunderclap. A strange half-snow half-rain fell.”

At the end of the cremation they found that Dronkyi, her aunt and spiritual companion since she was 7 had left her body at the age of 62. Dronkyi remained in seated meditation position for 3 days after her death, a sign of high spiritual attainment. She to was cremated on the same spot as Togden Rangrig. Sounds from the cremation pyre were reported by many people. The close time of death of Togden Rangrig and Dronkyi could indicate that they were a spiritual couple, practicing the highest levels of buddhist meditation known as karmamudra. In Tibetan Buddhism realized beings are often shown in union or yabyum representing the union of wisdom and compassion.

In response to these events Ayu Khandro entered a strict 3 year retreat in Dronkyi’s cave……” Wikipedia

“”Near the twenty-fifth, without any sign of illness, we found that she had left her body at the time she would normally be finishing her meditation session. She remained in meditation posture for two weeks and when she had finished her tugdam, her body had become very small. We put some ornaments on it and many many people came to witness it.

“In the second month on the tenth day, we cremated her. There were many interesting signs at the time of her death. There was a sudden thaw and everything burst into bloom. It was the middle of winter. There were many ringsel and, as she had instructed, all this and her clothes were put into the stupa that she had prepared at the Sakya monastery.”

I, Namkhai Norbu, was given the little statue of Jamyang Khentse Wongpo and a volume of the Simhamukha Gongter and her writings and advice and spiritual songs. Among her disciples there were few rich and important people; her disciples were yogis and yoginis and practitioners from all over Tibet. There are many tales told about her, but I have written only what she herself told me. This is just a little biography of A-Yu Khadro written for her disciples and those who are interested.”

“Namkhai Norbu is a recognized tulku (also trulku), a reincarnate master. At birth two of Namkhai Norbu’s uncles, the Dzogchen masters Palyul Karma Yangsid and Shechen Rabjam believed him to be the reincarnation of their master, Adzom Drugpa Rinpoche (1841–1934). When Namkhai Norbu was two years old, this was confirmed by a senior tulku of the Nyingma school.

Then when he was five years old, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and the Situ Rinpoche together recognized Namkhai Norbu as the mind emanation of the mindstream of another well known teacher, who was in turn the emanation of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the 17th Century Tibetan-born founder of Bhutan.

At a very young age, these recognitions conferred upon Namkhai Norbu a great deal of attention and prestige, as he himself remarks: “As I grew up, I was thus given quite a few names and titles, many of which are very long and grand sounding. But I have never used them, because I have always preferred the name my parents gave me at birth.” Wikipedia

What can we make of that?

Well people say these things but we might also wonder about the many saints in the Christian Church thought to have had incorruptible bodies. Some were paraded around parishes for months after their death or lay in state. They were not embalmed but for some reason did not decompose and indeed a few retained their features for many years and looked as though they were sleeping or had only just died. A bit unlikely you may think or a bit odd. Again it is the subject of an interesting and now very accessible Wikipedia article if you do not have the theological books in which it was long ago mentioned. Note that these ‘saints’ still suffered in life, still died but for one reason or another did not putrify when they did.

The rainbow body is how it is seen by others and refers to a natural phenomenon accompanying the time that a master or mistress acquires full knowledge. The actual Tibetan words that are used are only very roughly translated by this in my opinion as it is knowledge that is free from delusion or indeed illusion and that in my view equates with enlightenment. Whether it equates with a Buddha nature is debateable and it is all rather philosophical without access and direct knowledge of those involved. The information we have is passed to us by their disciples and may in fact be the very illusion we wish to pierce.

I am not saying that my body will not decompose as I have no idea if that will be the case. I doubt it will get the chance as I will be cremated. I know the Ancient Egyptians went to great lengths to prevent decomposition happening to the ones they mummified. They removed the organs and put them in aromatic oils to pickle. They immersed the bodies in a natron salt solution for a month, then dried it and applied many oils and ointments and of course the bandages and bitumen. Modern embalming removes body fluids and replaces them with preservatives. But this horror of decomposition is I believe based in this rainbow body phenomenon and wish to emulate it.

Anyway the rainbow body has some relationship with what are called by some mental bodies, even astral bodies. I would suggest they are closer to our dream selves or some of the ‘bodies’ we have that the Egyptians noted as the ka’, the ’ren’ and the ba’ etc. It may seem meaningless to talk about souls and spirits but there is a difference and it is noticeable in the afterlife. I regularly visit it and I am sure you do too but possibly without realising that. Once it was thought to be very dangerous to do this and the tale of Orpheus is evidence for that. On the other hand the afterlife is thought to be able to visit us especially on certain times of the year like the summer solstice and at certain places like for example Glastonbury Tor. But I will mention something about such dreams. In them the people that I see might be described as souls, people who have died and it would seem died fairly recently (last 20 years?) in most cases. I may see my mother or someone else I knew who died. This is what is left of them in a spiritual sense. I see thousands of such souls if that is what we should call them. They may appear much younger than when they died. Quite what they see when they see me or you is impossible for me to say. I do not see any mirrors there. But I can make reference to various occult theories about developing certain spiritual bodies in ones life that survive physical death.

Ancestor worship through the ages and certainly exemplified by the Ancient Egyptian practice of leaving food and saying constant prayers for the dead was designed to feed one of these other bodies. Statues in the funeral sites were for the dead to occupy. Ghosts obviously are some kind of post death body if they exist. If you spend a lifetime developing muscles you will have them. But some people spend a lifetime, or even lifetimes, developing what might really be called a knowledge body ( a body of knowledge). I speak to myself at the end of my life and very different he is to me as a young man or boy. If it is true that I appeared to the ancients in their camp fires, what appeared? What did they see? How could it communicate with them? If you recognise that the human can develop these spiritual bodies such a thing is less difficult to grasp. But still one needs some personal experience. The proof is in the pudding.

What is Alexanders mirror and how does that fit in?

There are a series of exercises that help us. Probably many exercises do not. The Tibetan woman who shut herself up in a dark cell for 50 years was doing one. We do not need to do that but could try a few hours in our lifetime to see what it is like (at first). She may have done 300,000 hours of meditation. I also used a darkened room and in my case a bath. It helped me concentrate and removed distractions.

I will explain one very valuable exercise as far as creating another body, or recognising it. If you have played some computer games you will know that at first you cannot get up the ladder, but then you can and even make it down the plank but it takes a while to leap through that window. With determination you get better and soon can do it almost effortlessly. In this case if you lose concentration do not worry, just try again until you overcome that.

Like many things I have done I thought I had invented the exercise by following my guidance. However some time later I was with the Pathan Ali who let me use his West End shop for readings. He had a little magic book from his childhood and showed me it. Then we came to this. He was translating the book for me and I told him I knew it so he asked me what happened to me and it was the same as happened to the author. It is called Alexanders Mirror in his book. By the way I googled Alexanders Mirror and found

On this folio from Walters manuscript W.623, Alexander the Great (Iskandar) invents a mirror that, when mounted on a tower, shows everything within a radius of 60 farsangs and thus enables Alexander’s men to attack marauding pirates

This is certainly not about that. I also found a man in Australia who uses a mirror and seems to have taken the name Alexander, it is not really about that. In a book Poetry of the East it is claimed that Alexander the Great used some fabulous mirror for some mystical purpose. That is probably the origin of this name for an ancient meditation, or reflection.

I have done this standing but suggest sitting comfortable with medium to low light at first. I will describe later here what happened to me so will not put that into your head before you try. Place the mirror so that you can see your head, if possible sit back. You may like to have something that means something to you by it, a crystal perhaps or memento. I can think of no reason for that but in my case had a bowl of salted water. In those days I bathed in salty water. I would not suggest bathing in the dark by the way as you can slip and fall when you get out. We had a windowless bathroom so it was pitch black without a light. We are seldom ever in pitch darkness. Turning off the light stopped the wretched fan noise. That Tibetan woman would not have had any idea of the time of day, even that can be a distraction. Nor could she see herself.

So now you are looking at yourself, or a reflection that is not what anyone else sees as the mirror changes left to right. No matter. Have a good look at your eyes as you may see what we are looking for, our inner self. But then start looking at that middle point in your forehead where they say the third eye is based, not for that reason but because it is a good blank spot to concentrate. You may lose focus and that is good. Let whatever happens with your vision happen. As soon as you react it will, probably stop so this is an exercise in allowing your eyes to do what they wish. If you think of the computer game it is just taking that leap into the next dimension without any idea of what is there.

These exercises do not need to go on very long and do not need to be endlessly repeated. When you look in the mirror after this it may remind you of it.

I cannot say that someone in the 21st century can open their eyes better or faster that those loving 2000 years ago. Even if life was simpler then they were still living in a difficult world for this. What we do have on our side now is a certain detachment from the religious thinking that has so long clouded our judgement. One part of that has been to stop people even attempting to do this, another part to insist it is done in a certain way. But against us are the many charlatans who claim to have done it, written the book and opened the ashram. And of course some who really have achieved this state and wish to profit by it or feel that they need a host of followers to achieve their personal aims.

Finally I will return to a subject that I already raised here which now requires a look at a famous man:

“James Braid (19 June 1795 – 25 March 1860) was a Scottish surgeon and “gentleman scientist”. He was a significant innovator in the treatment of club-foot and an important and influential pioneer of hypnotism and hypnotherapy. He is regarded by many as the first genuine “hypnotherapist” and the “Father of Modern Hypnotism”.

“Although Braid believed that hypnotic suggestion was a valuable remedy in functional nervous disorders, he did not regard it as a rival to other forms of treatment, nor wish in any way to separate its practice from that of medicine in general. He held that whoever talked of a “universal remedy” was either a fool or a knave: similar diseases often arose from opposite pathological conditions, and the treatment ought to be varied accordingly.” — John Milne Bramwell (1910)……

Braid was apprenticed to the Leith surgeons Thomas and Charles Anderson (i.e., both father and son). As part of that apprenticeship, Braid also attended the University of Edinburgh from 1812–1814, where he was also influenced by Thomas Brown, M.D. (1778—1820), who held the chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh from 1808 to 1820.

Braid obtained the diploma of the Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons of the City of Edinburgh, the Lic.R.C.S. (Edin), in 1815, which entitled him to refer to himself as a member of the college (rather than a fellow).

Braid was appointed surgeon to Lord Hopetoun’s mines at Leadhills, Lanarkshire, in 1816; and in 1825 he set up in private practice at Dumfries. One of his Dumfries’ patients, Alexander Petty (1778–1864), a Scot, employed as a traveller for Scarr, Petty and Swain, a firm of Manchester tailors, invited Braid to move his practice to Manchester, England. Braid moved to Manchester in 1828, continuing to practise from there until his death in 1860.

Braid was a member of both the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association, a Corresponding Member Member of both the Wernerian Natural History Society of Edinburgh (in 1824), and the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh (in 1854), a Member of the Manchester Athenæum, and the Honorary Curator of the museum of the Manchester Natural History Society.


Braid was a highly skilled and very successful surgeon, educated at Edinburgh University, and a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (M.R.C.S.).

“[and] though he was best known in the medical world for his theory and practice of hypnotism, he had also obtained wonderfully successful results by operation in cases of club foot and other deformities, which brought him patients from every part of the kingdom. Up to 1841 he had operated on 262 cases of talipes, 700 cases of strabismus, and 23 cases of spinal curvature.”


Braid first observed the operation of animal magnetism, when he attended a public performance by the travelling Swiss magnetic demonstrator Charles Lafontaine (1803–1892),] at the Manchester Athenæum, on Saturday, 13 November 1841.

Braid was amongst the medical men who were invited onto the platform by Lafontaine. Braid examined the physical condition of Lafontaine’s magnetised subjects (especially their eyes and their eyelids) and concluded that they were, indeed, in quite a different physical state.


James Braid, gentleman scientist.



The first who investigated the matter [of mesmerism] in a scientific way,

and who deserves more honour than he has yet received, was … James Braid, a

Manchester surgeon. At first a sceptic, holding that the whole of the so-called

magnetic phenomena were the results of illusion, delusion, or excited imagination,

he found in 1841 that one, at least, of the characteristic symptoms could not be

accounted for in this manner: viz., the fact that many of the mesmerized individuals

are quite unable to open their eyes.

Braid was much puzzled by this discovery, until he found that the “magnetic

trance” could be induced, with many of its marvellous symptoms of catalepsy,

aphasia, exaltation and depression of the sensory functions, by merely concentrating

the patient’s attention on one object or one idea, and preventing all interruption or

distraction whatever.

But in the state thus produced, none of the so-called higher phenomena of the

mesmerists, such as the reading of sealed and hidden letters, the contents of which

were unknown to the mesmerised person, could ever be brought about.

To the well defined assemblage of symptoms which Braid observed in patients

who had steadily gazed for eight or twelve minutes with attention concentrated

upon a small bright object, and which were different from those of the so-called

magnetic trance, Braid gave the name of Hypnotism …

W. T. Preyer (1880: address to British Medical Association’s Annual Meeting).


Braid attended two more of Lafontaine’s demonstrations; and, by the third demonstration (on Saturday 20 November 1841), Braid was convinced of the veracity of some of Lafontaine’s effects and phenomena.

In particular, whilst he was convinced that a transformation from, so to speak, condition1 to condition2, and back to condition1 had really taken place, he was convinced that no magnetic agency of any sort (as Lafontaine claimed) was responsible for these veridical events. He also rejected outright the assertion that the transformation in question had “proceeded from, or [had been] excited into action by another [person]” (Neurypnology, p. 32).

Braid then performed his experimentum crucis. Operating on the principle of Occam’s Razor (that ‘entities ought not to be multiplied beyond necessity’), and recognising that he could diminish, rather than multiply entities, he made an extraordinary decision to perform a role-reversal and treat the operator-subject interaction as subject-internal, operator-guided procedure; rather than, as Lafontaine supposed, an operator-centred, subject-external procedure. Braid emphatically proved his point by his self-experimentation with his “upwards and inwards squint”.

The exceptional success of Braid’s use of ‘self-‘ or ‘auto-hypnotism’ (rather than ‘hetero-hypnotism’), entirely by himself, on himself, and within his own home, clearly demonstrated that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the ‘gaze’, ‘charisma’, or ‘magnetism’ of the operator; all it needed was a subject’s ‘fixity of vision’ on an ‘object of concentration’ at such a height and such a distance from the bridge of their nose that the desired ‘upwards and inwards squint’ was achieved. And, at the same time, by using himself as a subject, Braid also conclusively proved that none of Lafontaine’s phenomena were due to magnetic agency.

Braid conducted a number of experiments with self-hypnotization upon himself, and, by now convinced that he had discovered the natural psycho-physiological mechanism underlying these quite genuine effects, he performed his first act of hetero-hypnotization at his own residence, before several witnesses, including Captain Thomas Brown (1785–1862) on Monday 22 November 1841 – his first hypnotic subject was Mr. J. A. Walker. (see Neurypnology, pp.16–20.)

The following Saturday, (27 November 1841) Braid delivered his first public lecture at the Manchester Athenæum, in which, amongst other things, he was able to demonstrate that he could replicate the effects produced by Lafontaine, without the need for any sort of physical contact between the operator and the subject.


Braid’s Legacy.



Modern Hypnotism owes it name and its appearance in the realm

of science to the investigations made by Braid.

He is its true creator; he made it what it is; and above all, he gave

emphasis to the experimental truth by means of which he proved that,

when hypnotic phenomena are called into play, they are wholly

independent of any supposed influence of the hypnotist upon the

hypnotised, and that the hypnotised person simply reacts upon

himself by reason of latent capacities in him which are artificially


Braid demonstrated that … hypnotism, acting upon a human

subject as upon a fallow field, merely set in motion a string of silent

faculties which only needed its assistance to reach their development.

Jules Bernard Luys (1828–1897).

Hugh M’Neile’s “Satanic Agency and Mesmerism” sermon[edit]

On the evening of Sunday, 10 April 1842, at St Jude’s Church, Liverpool, the controversial cleric Hugh M’Neile preached a sermon against Mesmerism for more than ninety minutes to a capacity congregation; and, according to most critics, it was a poorly argued and unimpressive performance.

M’Neile’s core argument was that scripture asserts the existence of “satanic agency”; and, in the process of delivering his sermon, he provided examples of the various instantiations that “satanic agency” might manifest (observing times, divination, necromancy, etc.), and claimed that these were all forms of “witchcraft”; and, further, he asserted that, because scripture asserts that, as “latter times” approach, more and more evidence of “satanic agency” will appear, it was, ipso facto, transparently obvious that the exhibitions of Lafontaine and Braid, in Liverpool, at that very moment, were concrete examples of those particular instantiations. He then, moved into a confusing admixture of philippic (against Braid and Lafontaine), and polemic (against animal magnetism), wherein he concluded that all mesmeric phenomena were due to “satanic agency”.

In particular, he attacked Braid as a man, a scientist, a philosopher, and a medical professional. He claimed that Braid and Lafontaine were one and the same kind. He also threatened Braid’s professional and social position by associating him with Satan; and, in the most ill informed way, condemned Braid’s important therapeutic work as having no clinical efficacy whatsoever.

The sermon was reported on at some length in the Liverpool Standard, two days later.] Once Braid became fully aware of the newspaper reports of the conglomeration of matters that were reportedly raised in M’Neile’s sermon, and the misrepresentations and outright errors of fact that it allegedly contained, as well as the vicious nature of the insults, and the implicit and explicit threats which were levelled against Braid’s own personal, spiritual, and professional well-being by M’Neile, he sent a detailed private letter to M’Neile accompanied by a newspaper account of a lecture he had delivered on the preceding Wednesday evening (13 April) at Macclesfield, and a cordial invitation (plus a free admission ticket) for M‘Neile to attend Braid’s Liverpool lecture, on Thursday, 21 April.


James Braid (26 March 1851)



I shall conclude this [lecture] by a very simple mode of illustration,

as respects the different points of view in which the mesmerists, the

electro-biologists, and myself, stand toward each other in theory,

by referring to the two theories of light contended for at the present time.

Some believe in a positive emission from the sun of a subtile material, or

imponderable influence, as the cause of light; whilst others deny this

emission theory, and contend that light is produced by simple vibration

excitedby the sun, without any positive emission from that luminary. I

may, therefore, be said to have adopted the vibratory theory, whilst the

mesmerists and electro-biologists contend for the emission theory. But

my experiments have proved that the ordinary phenomena of mesmer-

ism may be realised through the subjective or personal mental and

physical acts of the patient alone; whereas the proximity, acts, or in-

fluence of a second party, would be indispensably requisite for their

production, if the theory of the mesmerists were true. Moreover, my

experiments have proved that audible, visible, or tangible suggestions

of another person, whom the subject believes to possess such power

over him, is requisite for the production of the waking phenomena;

whereas no audible, visible, or tangible suggestion from a second

party ought to be required to produce these phenomena, if the theory

of the electro-biologists were true.

There is, therefore, both positive and negative proof in favour of

my mental and suggestive theory, and in opposition to the magnetic,

occult, or electric theories of the mesmerists and electro-biologists.

My theory, moreover, has this additional recommendation, that it is

level to our comprehension, and adequate to account for all which

is demonstrably true, without offering any violence to reason and

common sense, or being at variance with generally admitted

physiological and psychological principles. Under these circum-

stances, therefore, I trust that you will consider me entitled to your

verdict in favour of my MENTAL THEORY.

Yet, despite Braid’s courtesy, in raising his deeply felt concerns directly to M‘Neile, in private correspondence, M‘Neile did not acknowledge Braid’s letter nor did he attend Braid’s lecture. Further, in the face of all the evidence Braid had presented, and seemingly, without the slightest correction of its original contents, M‘Neile allowed the entire text of his original sermon, as it had been transcribed by a stenographer (more than 7,500 words), to be published on Wednesday, 4 May 1842. It was this ‘most ungentlemanly’ act of M‘Neile towards Braid, that forced Braid to publish his own response as a pamphlet; which he did on Saturday, 4 June 1842; a pamphlet which, in Crabtree’s opinion is “a work of the greatest significance in the history of hypnotism, and of utmost rarity” (1988, p. 121).

British Association for the Advancement of Science[edit]

Soon after, he also wrote a report entitled “Practical Essay on the Curative Agency of Neuro-Hypnotism”, which he applied to have read before the British Association for the Advancement of Science in June 1842. Despite being initially accepted for presentation, the paper was controversially rejected at the last moment; but Braid arranged for a series of Conversaziones at which he presented its contents. Braid summarised and contrasted his own view with the other views prevailing at that time:

“The various theories at present entertained regarding the phenomena of mesmerism may be arranged thus:— First, those who believe them to be owing entirely to a system of collusion and delusion; and a great majority of society may be ranked under this head. Second, those who believe them to be real phenomena, but produced solely by imagination, sympathy, and imitation. Third, the animal magnetists, or those who believe in some magnetic medium set in motion as the exciting cause of the mesmeric phenomena. Fourth, those who have adopted my views, that the phenomena are solely attributable to a peculiar physiological state of the brain and the spinal cord.”…..

Although Braid was the first to use the terms hypnotism, hypnotise and hypnotist in English, the cognate terms hypnotique, hypnotisme, hypnotiste had been intentionally used by the French magnetist Baron Etienne Félix d’Henin de Cuvillers (1755–1841) at least as early as 1820.[29] Braid, moreover, was the first person to use “hypnotism” in its modern sense, referring to a “psycho-physiological” theory rather than the “occult” theories of the magnetists.

In a letter written to the editor of The Lancet in 1845, Braid emphatically states that:

“I adopted the term “hypnotism” to prevent my being confounded with those who entertain those extreme notions [sc. that a mesmeriser’s will has an “irresistible power… over his subjects” and that clairvoyance and other “higher phenomena” are routinely manifested by those in the mesmeric state], as well as to get rid of the erroneous theory about a magnetic fluid, or exoteric influence of any description being the cause of the sleep. I distinctly avowed that hypnotism laid no claim to produce any phenomena which were not “quite reconcilable with well-established physiological and psychological principles”; pointed out the various sources of fallacy which might have misled the mesmerists; [and] was the first to give a public explanation of the trick [by which a fraudulent subject had been able to deceive his mesmeriser]…[Further, I have never been] a supporter of the imagination theory — i.e., that the induction of [hypnosis] in the first instance is merely the result of imagination. My belief is quite the contrary. I attribute it to the induction of a habit of intense abstraction, or concentration of attention, and maintain that it is most readily induced by causing the patient to fix his thoughts and sight on an object, and suppress his respiration.”


In his first publication, he had also stressed the importance of the subject concentrating both vision and thought, referring to “the continued fixation of the mental and visual eye” as a means of engaging a natural physiological mechanism that was already hard-wired into each human being:

“I shall merely add, that my experiments go to prove that it is a law in the animal economy that, by the continued fixation of the mental and visual eye on any object in itself not of an exciting nature, with absolute repose of body and general quietude, they become wearied; and, provided the patients rather favour than resist the feeling of stupor which they feel creeping over them during such experiment, a state of somnolency is induced, and that peculiar state of brain, and mobility of the nervous system, which render the patient liable to be directed so as to manifest the mesmeric phenomena. I consider it not so much the optic, as the motor and sympathetic nerves, and the mind, through which the impression is made. Such is the position I assume; and I feel so thoroughly convinced that it is a law of the animal economy, that such effects should follow such condition of mind and body, that I fear not to state, as my deliberate opinion, that this is a fact which cannot be controverted.”

In 1843 he published Neurypnology; or the Rationale of Nervous Sleep Considered in Relation with Animal Magnetism…, his first and only book-length exposition of his views. According to Bramwell (1896, p. 91) the work was popular from the outset, selling 800 copies within a few months of its publication.

Braid thought of hypnotism as producing a “nervous sleep” which differed from ordinary sleep. The most efficient way to produce it was through visual fixation on a small bright object held eighteen inches above and in front of the eyes. Braid regarded the physiological condition underlying hypnotism to be the over-exercising of the eye muscles through the straining of attention.

He completely rejected Franz Mesmer’s idea that a magnetic fluid caused hypnotic phenomena, because anyone could produce them in “himself by attending strictly to the simple rules” that he had laid down. The (derogative) suggestion that Braidism be adopted as a synonym for “hypnotism” was rejected by Braid; and it was rarely used at the time of the suggestion, and is never used today.

Braid’s “Sources of Fallacy”

Braid successfully demonstrated that many of the alleged phenomena

of mesmerism owed their origin to defective methods of observation. He

drew out a list of the more important sources of error which, he said, ought

always to be kept in mind by the operator. These … should be placed in a

prominent position in every hypnotic laboratory:—

(1) The hyperæsthesia of the organs of special sense, which enabled im-

pressions to be perceived through the ordinary media that would have

passed unrecognised in the waking condition.

(2) The docility and sympathy of the subjects, which tended to make them

imitate the actions of others.

(3) The extraordinary revival of memory by which they could recall things

long forgotten in the waking state.

(4) The remarkable effect of contact in arousing memory, i.e. by acting as

the signal for the production of a fresh [state of hypnotism].

(5) The condition of double consciousness or double personality.[33]

(6) The vivid state of the imagination in hypnosis, which instantly invest-

ed every suggested idea, or remembrance of past impressions, with the

attributes of present realities.

(7) Deductions rapidly drawn by the subject from unintentional suggestions

given by the operator.

(8) The tendency of the human mind, in those with a great love of the mar-

vellous, erroneously to interpret the subject’s replies in accordance with

their own desires.

(Bramwell, 1903, p.144.)[34]

Nearly a year after the publication of Neurypnology, the secretary of the Royal Manchester Institution invited Braid to conduct a conversazione in the Institution’s lecture theatre on Monday, 22 April 1844.

Braid spoke at considerable length to a very large audience on hypnotism; and also gave details of the important differences he had identified between his “hypnotism” and mesmerism/animal magnetism. According to the extensive press reports, “the interest felt by the members of the institution in the subject was manifested by the attendance of one of the largest audiences we ever recollect to have seen present”.

In his presentation Braid stressed that, because he had clearly demonstrated that the effects of hypnotism were “quite reconcilable with well-established physiological and psychological principles” (viz., they were well connected to the prevailing canonical knowledge), it was highly significant that none of the extraordinary effects that the mesmerists and animal magnetists routinely claimed for their operations — such as clairvoyance, direct mental suggestion, and mesmeric intuition — could be produced with hypnotism. So, he argued, it was clear that their claims were entirely without foundation.

However, he also stressed to his audience that, whilst it was, indeed, entirely true that these effects could not be produced with hypnotism — and whilst the claims of the mesmerists and animal magnetists were, ipso facto, entirely false — one must not make the mistake of concluding that this was unequivocal evidence of deception, dishonesty, or outright fraud on the part of those making these erroneous claims.

In Braid’s view (given that many of the proponents of such views were decent men, and that their experiences had been honestly recounted), the only possible explanation was that their observations were seriously flawed.

To Braid, these faults in their investigatory processes were “the chief source of error”. He urged the audience — before any of the claims of the mesmerists and animal magnetists could be examined in any way, or any of their findings investigated, or any confidence be placed in any of the recorded results of any of their experiments — that the entire process of the research that they had conducted, the investigative procedures that they had employed, and the experimental design that had underpinned their enterprise must be closely examined for the presence of what he termed “sources of fallacy”.

In the process of delivering his lecture, Braid spoke in some detail of six “sources of fallacy” that could contaminate findings. In 1903, Bramwell published a list of eight “sources of fallacy” attributed to Braid; the final two having been directly paraphrased, by Bramwell, from other aspects of Braid’s later works (see text at right).

In 1853, Braid investigated the phenomenon of “table-turning” and clearly confirmed Michael Faraday’s conclusion that the phenomenon was entirely due to the ideo-motor influences of the participants, rather than to the agency of “mesmeric forces” — as was being widely asserted by, for example, John Elliotson and his followers.

The mono-ideo-dynamic principle

On 12 March 1852, convinced (as both a scientist and physiologist) of the genuineness of Braid’s hypnotism, Braid’s friend and colleague William Benjamin Carpenter presented a significant paper, “On the influence of Suggestion in Modifying and directing Muscular Movement, independently of Volition”, to the Royal Institution of Great Britain (it was published later that year). Carpenter explained that the “class of phenomena” associated with Braid’s hypnotism were consequent upon a subject’s concentration on a single, “dominant idea”: namely, “the occupation of the mind by the ideas which have been suggested to it, and in the influence which these ideas exert upon the actions of the body”. Moreover, Carpenter said, “it is not really the will of the operator which controls the sensations of the subject; but the suggestion of the operator which excites a corresponding idea”: the suggested idea “not only [producing non-volitional] muscular movements [through this psychosomatic mechanism], but other bodily changes [as well]” (1852, p. 148).

In order to reconcile the observed hypnotic phenomena “with the known laws of nervous action” (p. 153), and without elaborating on mechanism, Carpenter identified a new psycho-physiological reflex activity — in addition to the already identified excito-motor (which was responsible for breathing, swallowing, etc.), and the sensori-motor (which was responsible for startle responses, etc.) — that of “the ideo-motor principle of action”. At the conclusion of his paper, Carpenter briefly noted that his proposed ideo-motor principle of action, specifically created to explain Braid’s hypnotism, could also explain other activities involving objectively psychosomatic responses, such as the movements of divining rods:


Thus the ideo-motor principle of action finds its appropriate place in the physiological scale, which would, indeed, be incomplete without it.


And, when it is once recognized, it may be applied to the explanation of numerous phenomena which have been a source of perplexity to many who have been convinced of their genuineness, and who could not see any mode of reconciling them with the known laws of nervous action.

The phenomena in question are those which have been recently set down to the action of an “Od-force”, such, for example, as the movements of the “divining-rod”, and the vibration of bodies suspended from the finger; both which have been clearly proved to depend on the state of expectant attention on the part of the performer, his Will being temporarily withdrawn from control over his muscles by the state of abstraction to which his mind is given up, and the anticipation of a given result being the stimulus which directly and involuntarily prompts the muscular movements that produce it. — Carpenter, 1852, p.153.

Braid immediately adopted Carpenter’s ideo-motor terminology; and, in order to stress the importance (within Braid’s own representation) of the single, “dominant” idea concept, Braid spoke of a “mono-ideo-motor principle of action”. However, by 1855, based on suggestions that had been made to Carpenter by Daniel Noble, their friend in common — that Carpenter’s innovation would be more accurately understood, and more accurately applied (viz., not just limited to divining rods and pendulums), if it were designated the “ideo-dynamic principle” — Braid was referring to a “mono-ideo-dynamic principle of action”:


[The explanation for] the power that serpents have to fascinate birds … is simply this — that when the attention of man or animal is deeply engrossed or absorbed by a given idea associated with movement, a current of nervous force is sent into the muscles which produces a corresponding motion, not only without any conscious effort of volition, but even in opposition to volition, in many instances; and hence they seem to be irresistibly drawn, or spell-bound, according to the purport of the dominant idea or impression in the mind of each at the time.


The volition is prostrate; the individual is so completely monoideised, or under the influence of the dominant idea, as to be incapable of exerting an efficient restraining or opposing power to the dominant idea; and in the case of the bird and serpent, it is first wonder which arrests the creature’s attention, and then fear causes that mono-ideo-dynamic action of the muscles which involuntarily issues in the advance and capture of the unhappy bird …

It is this very principle of involuntary muscular action from a dominant idea which has got possession of the mind, and the suggestions conveyed to the mind by the muscular action which flows from it, which led so many to be deceived during their experiments in “table-turning,” and induced them to believe that the table was drawing them, whilst all the while they were unconsciously drawing or pushing it by their own muscular force. — Braid, Physiology of Fascination, etc., (1855), pp.3-5.

In order that I may do full justice to two esteemed friends, I beg to state, in connection with this term monoideo-dynamics, that, several years ago, Dr. W. B. Carpenter introduced the term ideo-motor to characterise the reflex or automatic muscular motions which arise merely from ideas associated with motion existing in the mind, without any conscious effort of volition.

In 1853, in referring to this term, Dr. Noble said, “Ideo-dynamic would probably constitute a phraseology more appropriate, as applicable to a wider range of phenomena.”

In this opinion I quite concurred, because I was well aware that an idea could arrest as well as excite motion automatically, not only in the muscles of voluntary motion, but also as regards the condition of every other function of the body.

I have, therefore, adopted the term monoideo-dynamics, as still more comprehensive and characteristic as regards the true mental relations which subsist during all dynamic changes which take place, in every other function of the body, as well as in the muscles of voluntary motion. — Braid, (1855), footnote at p.10.


Braid maintained an active interest in hypnotism until his death.


“I consider the hypnotic mode of treating certain disorders is a most important ascertained fact, and a real solid addition to practical therapeutics, for there is a variety of cases in which it is really most successful, and to which it is most particularly adapted; and those are the very cases in which ordinary medical means are least successful, or altogether unavailing. Still, I repudiate the notion of holding up hypnotism as a panacaea or universal remedy. As formerly remarked, I use hypnotism ALONE only in a certain class of cases, to which I consider it peculiarly adapted – and I use it in conjunction with medical treatment, in some other cases; but, in the great majority of cases, I do not use hypnotism at all, but depend entirely upon the efficacy of medical, moral, dietetic, and hygienic treatment, prescribing active medicines in such doses as are calculated to produce obvious effects” — James Braid

Just three days before his death he sent a (now lost) manuscript, that was written in English – usually referred to as On hypnotism — to the French surgeon Étienne Eugène Azam.

Braid died on 25 March 1860, in Manchester, after just a few hours of illness. According to some contemporary accounts he died from “apoplexy”, and according to others he died from “heart disease”.[45] He was survived by his wife, his son James (a general practitioner, rather than a surgeon), and his daughter.





“In the course of his investigations Braid reached the conclusion that hypnotism was wholly a matter of suggestion, which constituted the first attempt at a scientific and psychological explanation. He made a detailed study of the technique of hypnosis and the various phenomena obtained in trances. He was a prolific writer and left extensive treatises which are surprisingly modern in their conceptions. — Milton H. Erickson[46]”

Braid’s work had a strong influence on a number of important French medical figures, especially Étienne Eugène Azam (1822–1899) of Bordeaux (Braid’s principal French “disciple”), the anatomist Pierre Paul Broca (1824–1880),[47] the physiologist Joseph Pierre Durand de Gros (1826–1901), and the eminent hypnotherapist and co-founder of the Nancy School Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault (1823–1904).

Braid hypnotised the English Swedenborgian writer J.J.G. Wilkinson, who observed him hypnotising others several times, and began using hypnotism himself. Wilkinson soon became a passionate advocate of Braid’s work and his published remarks on hypnotism were quoted enthusiastically by Braid several times in his later writings. However, Braid’s legacy was maintained in Great Britain largely by John Milne Bramwell who collected all of his available works and published a biography and account of Braid’s theory and practice as well as several books on hypnotism of his own.

James Braid Society

In 1997 Braid’s part in developing hypnosis for therapeutic purposes was recognised and commemorated by the creation of the James Braid Society, a discussion group for those “involved or concerned in the ethical uses of hypnosis”. The society meets once a month in central London, usually for a presentation on some aspect of hypnotherapy……Wikipedia


Well if you climbed through that you may appreciate that self hypnotism is entirely possible. If you concentrate on removing pain you can, and warts and what else? We do not know. Both practitioners I have mentioned this year here were physicians first and foremost. Now what if you concentrate for 50 years on achieving a rainbow body? Some millionaires have revealed that they had written on pieces of paper that they would make a million and looked at these papers every day, or before sleep. It is a classic exercise in self programming.



Santa Claus, belief and hypnosis

For a long time now I have been troubled by ’belief’ which is not only a poor substitute for knowledge but very often involves some kind of brainwashing that denies truth. It is very apparent at this time of year when so many children are taught to believe in Santa Claus although those teaching this know very well that Santa Claus does not travel across the sky with a big bag of presents. What cannot be denied is that this archetype has been very influential on many generations of children, only for them to discover eventually that there is no Santa. Well there is and he has much to do with this belief system that we all encounter very young. The real story is in fact all about ‘belief’.

St Nicholas (also Nikolaus/Klaus) is also Saint Klaus or Santa. He gave money away, was born in Turkey and served in the monastery of St George. He lived around 300AD and was famous also for what they call the Nicene creed. This masterpiece is still in place. When I was young we had to recite it in church. It was created at the Council of Nicea in 325AD to ensure that Christians did not go the more sensible route and deny that Jesus was a god, just a man. From that time on any person thinking that was a heretic and persecuted. So this is the ‘creed‘ (creed kriːd/noun : creed; plural noun: creeds a system of religious belief; a faith)


WE BELIEVE in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.


I of course recited this many times without a second thought but only because it was part of the services that I was obliged to attend. Anyway it is a matter of some interest how St Nick became Santa Claus with his reindeer. All one can say is that over a period of 1600 years the stories passed down from generation to generation, took many strange turns and created a potent archetype considerably more powerful than the origin. However this also raises a very interesting phenomenon which can be extremely useful. Did you know that:

Hypnosis to Remove Warts

Did you know… that hypnosis and hypnotherapy have been proven to effectively treat warts? YES, the human papillomavirus (warts) responds very well to suggestion, visualization, and expections, that are well-crafted within one’s use of hypnosis.

Here is what Lewis Thomas MD wrote in the chapter, “On Warts” in his book, The Medusa and the Snail.

Warts are wonderful structures. They can appear overnight on any part of the skin, like mushrooms on a damp lawn, full grown and splendid in the complexity of their architecture. Viewed in stained sections under a microscope, they are the most specialized of cellular arrangements, constructed as though for a purpose. They sit there like turreted mounds of dense, impenetrable horn, impregnable, designed for defense against the world outside.

In a certain sense, warts are both useful and essential, but not for us. As it turns out, the exuberant cells of a wart are the elaborate reproductive apparatus of a virus.

You might have thought from the looks of it that the cells infected by the wart virus were using this response as a ponderous way of defending themselves against the virus, maybe as a way of becoming more distasteful, but it is not so. The wart is what the virus truly wants; it can flourish only in cells undergoing precisely this kind of overgrowth. It is not a defense at all; it is an overwhelming welcome and enthusiastic accommodation meeting the needs of more and more virus.

The strangest thing about warts is that they tend to go away. Fully grown, nothing in the body has so much the look of toughness and permanence as a wart, and yet, inexplicably and often very abruptly, they come to the end of their lives and vanish without a trace. And they can be made to go away by something that can only be called thinking, or something like thinking. This is a special property of warts which is absolutely astonishing, more of a surprise than cloning or recombinant DNA or endorphin or acupuncture or anything else currently attracting attention in the press. It is one of the great mystifications of science: warts can be ordered off the skin by hypnotic suggestion.



In fact many odd ’cures’ have been used to remove warts using this technique. Perhaps the most famous case was in 1951:

1951: Dr. Mason’s Hypnotic Miracle

In 1951, a 16-year-old boy whose body was covered in warts was largely healed, apparently by hypnosis… but it shouldn’t have worked.

The boy’s body, excepting his face, back of neck, and chest area, was completely covered by skin that had been overgrown by what appeared to be black warts, and had the texture and toughness of dry fingernails. His skin had very little elasticity, which meant it was always cracking and bleeding in the joints and chronically infected in these areas, leading to a horrible body odor. All attempts to alleviate or cure the condition had failed… and this is when Dr. A.A. Mason suggested that such cases often responded well to hypnosis. He was given permission to try.

On February 10, 1951, Dr. Mason hypnotized the boy in front of a meeting of medical experts, and told the boy that his left arm would heal and become normal skin; just the left arm was specified so that any change caused by the hypnosis would be obvious. Five days later, the black warty skin had become noticeably softer, and had begun to fall off the arm, exposing skin with a normal texture and color… and by the tenth day, the boy’s left arm was clear of the bumpy skin from shoulder to wrist. The hypnosis was repeated several more times — for his right arm, then both legs, and then his trunk — and in the course of a few weeks the boys’ body was 70% less warty than before, and the unpleasant odor had dissipated. The boy was ecstatic, and the doctor was proud… but other medical experts were not so happy.

The boys’ condition was caused by a genetic fault and, therefore, should not have been curable in the least. The evidence as it stood suggested the possibility that Dr. Mason had somehow changed the boys’ genetic code by hypnosis to alter the boys’ symptoms, a circumstance that all agreed was an impossibility; in addition, it was argued that if the hypnosis didn’t cure the boy entirely of the bumpy legions, then the so-called hypnosis ‘cure’ was basically worthless… an accusation that ignored the fact, of course, that no other treatment had caused any improvement in the boy’s condition previously. The case was argued back and forth a bit, and then quietly ignored until it fell into obscurity, no one being willing to investigate enough to determine how the boy was actually healed.

The question remains: how did Dr. Mason successfully treat a genetic malady with hypnosis?

Many times when I investigate these sorts of legends, I find that they are essentially wrong in the details reported… that they are not extraordinary when seen in their original light. Not so in this case; the legend is essentially correct in it’s details… Dr. A.A. Mason did hypnotize a boy with an incurable genetic malady, and the boy did improve noticeably, and in a way that proved the hypnosis was the cause… and I may now know how it worked.

One detail not mentioned in the legend is the fact that one of the previous attempts to help the boy included a plastic surgeon transplanting skin from the boy’s chest (with relatively normal skin) to the palm of one of his hands (which had warty skin). This was in the hope that the normal skin would settle in place and allow for eventual use of the hand. But as the tissue transplant healed and settled into place, the new clear skin started to change… and within one month had become just as black and bumpy as the tissue that had been removed from the boy’s palm to start with. A second attempt transformed into warty skin after being moved to the boy’s hands.

This is an important detail because it proves one thing: the only difference between the skin in the clear areas and the skin in the bumpy areas was in what was the skin was being supplied by the body at those areas. So the problem wasn’t the boys’ skin itself… it was how the skin was being supported and nourished.

Hypnosis cannot change a genetic code, but it can change how your body behaves, both at a conscious level and at an unconscious, or autonomic, level. What seems to have happened in the case of Dr. Mason’s remarkable cure is that, when given the suggestion that parts of his body would clear up, the boys’ hypnotized consciousness arranged for bumpy parts of his body to start receiving the same chemical nourishment and support that the clear parts of his body were receiving… and since it was already shown that the clear skin could be turned bumpy by the failed skin transplants to the boys’ palms, it shouldn’t be too hard to believe that the bumpy skin could then be converted to clear by changing the underlying system of support.

So, NO, Dr. Mason did not change the boy’s genetic makeup… but YES, Dr. Mason did cure the boy’s condition using hypnosis to change how the boy’s body basically treated the skin from the inside, a remarkable result that should have been investigated further but never was.


In fact Dr Mason was very famous and also rather perturbed by what happened:

In 1951, Dr. Albert Mason was a young anesthesiologist at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, who in his practice often used hypnotism to treat pain and cure common ailments. A chance occurrence led to a medical and professional breakthrough: by hypnotizing a young boy whom he believed was covered in hard, black warts, Dr. Mason brought relief – and clear skin – to the child. Yet, as Mason very quickly discovered, the boy did not suffer from warts but congenital icthyosiform erithrodermia of Brocq, a condition that, by all medical accounts, should not have responded to hypnotism. This amazing success was documented in the British Medical Journal and immediately lifted Dr. Mason’s career, bringing him hundreds of patients and worldwide fame.

Faced with a daunting array of patients whose ailments resisted other medical treatments, Dr. Mason became increasingly wary of the limitations of hypnotism as a therapy. More troubling than the patients he could not cure were the ones who believed that his hypnotism had cured their condition, when in reality they still suffered obvious symptoms. Mason expressed some of these doubts, while extolling the possibilities of hypnosis, in his 1960 textbook, Hypnotism for Medical and Dental Practitioners. In the early 1960s, after pursuing neurological experiments with Martin Halliday, Mason came to believe that hypnotic anesthesia did not attenuate pain signals to the brain, as some scientists had suggested, but rather diminished a subject’s conscious awareness of these signals. He became convinced that many of the patients he treated were suffering from psychosomatic conditions and required intensive psychotherapeutic treatment to alleviate their physical discomfort. He trained as a psychoanalyst at the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London. By 1969, Mason had left his career in hypnosis. He moved to Los Angeles with the influential psychoanalytic writer and practitioner, Wilfrid Bion, helping to bring the Kleinian model of psychoanalysis to the United States.”


As a result of such pioneers hypnotherapy is available on the NHS and is used for pain relief and many other conditions and addictions. But no one really knows how it works. We have probably all seen stage magicians and mentalists. Hypnosis can control bleeding and pain and as a result when used before operations surgeons find it very helpful. It speeds up post operative healing. But there has not really been a study on its use with advanced cancer.

Hypnotherapy for symptom control in advanced cancer

In 2005 researchers carried out a review of studies into hypnotherapy for treating symptoms in people with advanced cancer. There were 27 studies but all were small or of poor quality. So it is not possible to tell whether hypnotherapy can help people with advanced cancer. We need research to find this out”

That is from cancer research website and it is a rather extraordinary statement as this is also on that website:

Research into hypnotherapy in people with cancer

Some reports show that hypnosis can help people to reduce their blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and pain. Hypnosis can create relaxing brain wave patterns. Some clinical trials have looked at how well hypnotherapy works for people with cancer.

Research has looked at the following areas

Hypnosis and cancer pain

A report from the American National Institute for Health in 1996 stated that hypnosis can help to reduce some kinds of cancer pain. A large review in 2006 looked at using hypnotherapy to control distress and pain from medical procedures in children with cancer. The review found that hypnotherapy did seem to help to reduce the children’s pain and distress, but it recommended more research. You can look at this cancer pain review on the Research Council for Complementary medicine website.

In 2012, researchers in Spain again reviewed studies of children with cancer and found that hypnosis appeared to help reduce pain and distress from cancer or from medical procedures.

Hypnosis and sickness

A large review in 2006 looked at research into hypnotherapy for feeling or being sick from chemotherapy. Most of the studies in this area have been in children. Overall, the studies did show that hypnotherapy might be able to help with chemotherapy sickness in children. There has only been 1 study looking at hypnotherapy for sickness after chemotherapy in adults, so we need more research into this. You can look at this cancer and sickness review on the Research Council for Complementary medicine website.

One study found that hypnosis can help to reduce anticipatory nausea and vomiting. Anticipatory nausea or vomiting happens when people have had nausea or vomiting due to cancer drugs and they then have nausea or vomiting just before their next dose.

Hypnosis and hot flushes

A clinical trial in America in 2008 found that women having breast cancer treatment who had hypnosis had fewer hot flushes and the flushes were less severe. The women also had less anxiety, depression, and interference with daily activities, and better sleep.

Hypnosis and breast cancer surgery

A study in 2007 in America gave hypnotherapy to a group of women before breast surgery. The researchers found that hypnotherapy lowered the amount of pain, sickness, tiredness and upset that the women had after surgery. Another American study in 2006 found that hypnotherapy helped to lower anxiety and pain during a biopsy for suspected breast cancer.

Hypnotherapy for symptom control in advanced cancer

In 2005 researchers carried out a review of studies into hypnotherapy for treating symptoms in people with advanced cancer. There were 27 studies but all were small or of poor quality. So it is not possible to tell whether hypnotherapy can help people with advanced cancer. We need research to find this out.

Hypnotherapy for stopping smoking

People commonly use hypnotherapy to help them give up smoking. In 1992 a review showed that hypnotherapy was the most effective way of giving up smoking. But in 1998 another review by the Cochrane Collaboration looked again at this. There were several trials of hypnotherapy but there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that it helps people to give up. You can read a summary of the smoking cessation review on the Cochrane website.”


There are many similarities between ’self hypnosis’ and ‘meditation’ and undoubtedly spiritual development uses these resources just as it uses sleep, that state which occupies so much of our lives. Eventually you will find that a bit more is happening during those sleeping hours than you thought and that our spiritual body is using our physical one as its energy source to do its own work.

But for today this really is about Santa Claus and ‘belief’. Do not believe things without any evidence. If some demand that you do, for example in your work or religion, it is worth thinking about. Spiritual development, if true, demands knowledge not acceptance of weird fantasies concocted thousands of years ago by people whose motives and convictions you will never know. But I have seen hypnosis of groups of people at first hand, done by experts who are selling their product is repetition and it is absolutely stunning what can be achieved, or how sensible people can come to believe firmly whatever they are told to the extent that they will cut off their families if they do not agree with them. One certain form of hypnosis uses low light, perhaps candles and ‘repetition’.

Why is it not used more widely for something really useful like healing cancer and heart disease? Think about it.




Bilocation is perhaps the most exciting and misunderstood aspect of spiritual development. Basically it is the capability to be in two places at the same time. It might be considered a trick but it is practised by masters of the occult, those who have become their spiritual self. That may not make sense but is to do with what so many call our guardian angel, our ka and other such terms. All of us have a spiritual body but few of us communicate with it. Most likely we did when we were children and thought it was god or an angel. But as we grow up we become distant from it. We make decisions it does not like and part from our spiritual possibilities. This is why I say that when we die there is a part of us that will testify against us – unless we are that part of us. It is not as impossible as it sounds and I will try to give examples of this. I came across it almost by accident. As a child I did speak to it and heard it speak to me. As the son of a priest I assumed it was Jesus, then I thought it was an uncle who died, then some kind of spirit guide. Eventually I found myself talking to my younger self and realised it was me. Then I did research on this and discovered more about it. It has enabled me to appear in my spiritual self, which to all intents and purposes looks identical. But as you will see there are big differences and as these spirits have been appearing all over our planet since the most ancient times many ‘miracles’ are explained by this phenomenon.

This particular subject – bilocation – is growing and I better make clear why ‘poverty’ is so important to the would be adept. You cannot avoid paying your karmic deficit when you die, enlightened or not. Having more money than you absolutely need to survive is a liability whether you like the idea or not. There are billions without enough money to survive and yet there is enough food and shelter in this world for all – if you have the money required you can have it. Opposite me is a fine house owned by a nice man but it has been empty since I first moved in five years ago and will continue to be empty even though it must have three or four bedrooms and we have a chronic shortage of housing. Many homes are empty while we have people sleeping rough and food banks providing the basics for many families to survive. Our fabulously rich rock stars may have earned their fortunes but will be held to account when they die for having what others lack – in many cases enough to keep a small town alive. Money has a very bad karma – do not fall for its allure and ‘power’. It will deceive you. It is the thing that your spiritual self is quite allergic to and devoting your life to amassing it parts the two of you permanently.

Next I want to mention what is considered one of the highest forms of yoga, but keep in mind ‘bilocation’ because that is what this is really about.

Practice of Khanda Manda Yoga
In Khanda Manda Yoga, the Yogi meditates on burning corpses to force the consciousness beyond all limitations of the personality. The hardest concretions of identity are the most defiant ones and steel-wool penances are required to wash them away. The Khanda Manda Yoga Sadhana destroys everything down to the ground of consciousness and rebuild from the bottom up. The Yogis in this sadhana do not fear to lose their body because the new personality that shall evolve in re-birth will be totally surrendered to the Will of God. Khanda Manda Yoga is a good illustration of Aghora’s approach to personality development.

Khanda Manda Yoga is said to be one of most terrifying and difficult sadhana of all Aghora sadhanas. The practitioner of Khanda Manda Yoga cuts off his own arms and legs with a sharp cleaver, and throws them into a roaring fire. After twelve hours, these limbs re-emerge from the fire and rejoin his body thus giving him a re-birth. Some sadhus can do Eka Khanda Yoga that implies cutting of one part of a single limb, like a foot; a few like Tailang Swami could do Teen Khanda Yoga, signifying three parts, like the foot, the lower leg, and the thigh. However, there are very few sadhaks who can perform the Nava Khanda Yoga, using nine body parts, including the head.

The severe stage of Khanda Manda Yoga comes after the Nava Khanda Yoga, which is called the Agni Khanda Yoga, in which a guru heats his fire tongs white-hot, and then inserts them under his disciple’s skin at the nape of the neck, running them down parallel to the spinal cord. A yogi who has reached the absolute point of spirituality does not even flinch when this act happens…..”


So you must understand that the man cutting off his limbs is the spiritual apparition and this demonstration proves it. Doing something like this should explain to those who witness it that the practitioner is in his spirit body.

Here is one practitioner – a man called Sai Baba that I mentioned in my last post here about the enlightened men.


Sai Baba of Shirdi, (28 September 1835 – 15 October 1918; resided in Shirdi) also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian spiritual master who was regarded by his devotees as a saint, fakir, and satguru, according to their individual proclivities and beliefs. He was revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees, and during, as well as after, his life it remained uncertain if he was a Hindu or a Muslim

…..Sai Baba performed many miracles such as bilocation, levitation, mindreading, materialisation, exorcisms, making the river Yamuna, entering a state of Samādhi at will, lighting lamps with water, removing his limbs or intestines and sticking them back to his body (khandana yoga), curing the incurably sick, appearing beaten when another was beaten, preventing a mosque from falling down on people, and helping his devotees in a miraculous way. He also gave Darshan (vision) to people in the form of SriRama, Krishna, Vithoba,Shiva and many other gods depending on the faith of devotees.

According to his followers he appeared to them in dreams and gave them advice. His devotees have documented many stories….” Wikipedia

You are perhaps a bit confused by this and will be most unwilling to accept that I do this, and indeed am partly responsible for it. It is not exactly a magic trick such as the late Paul Daniels excelled at – sawing someone in half.

When I first appeared to a few ancients in their fires I rubbed hot embers in my eyes. It did not hurt because this was bilocation. My physical body was usually in a bath somewhere but my spiritual body was somewhere else and able to do these things. The only people who can do this are those who have developed such a body and Sai Baba is indeed one of those. If you take time to read about his life you will understand that he worked exceptionally hard at doing this and adopted a life of poverty. Look at the many statements attributed to Jesus on the subject of the ‘poor’. There is another classic case of bilocation – walking on water, resurrecting, ascending etc. Half the children in our world live in extreme poverty and poverty alone enables one to do the work required, to live the ascetic life.

When I first practised bilocation my spiritual half visited various cultures that I was interested in at a very early time. Although I know of quite a few capable of bilocation, appearing even after their death, I do not know of any others who travelled back in time like me. The bilocation ability may explain some of the extraordinary events in human history that have no other explanation but is only really a trick which needs a spiritual body to perform it. Anyone who has achieved this will be using it for karmic work or what I call here a higher form of yoga, not merely to impress. I really cannot explain why I rubbed hot coals in my eyes. The first time was perhaps to see if I could, I cannot really remember. Then it became a trademark or habit. But I note that most bilocation seems to include such actions to identify it.

Here is another life story of a practitioner which is very interesting as far as studying enlightenment is concerned. It rings many bells with me. Note how it also starts with poverty. It is a long read as it was a full and very well recorded life lived in the last century but again look for the clues. I am including this because it is a Christian priest not some Indian guru:

“Pio of Pietrelcina (Italian: Pio da Pietrelcina) O.F.M. Cap. (May 25, 1887 – September 23, 1968) — known as Padre Pio — was a friar, priest, stigmatist, and mystic, now venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church. Born Francesco Forgione, he was given the name of Pius (Italian: Pio) when he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.

Padre Pio became famous for allegedly exhibiting stigmata for most of his life, thereby generating much interest and controversy. He was both beatified (1999) and canonized (2002) by Pope John Paul II.

Francesco Forgione was born to Grazio Mario Forgione (1860–1946) and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio Forgione (1859–1929) on May 25, 1887, in Pietrelcina, a farming town in the southern Italian region of Campania. His parents made a living as peasant farmers. He was baptized in the nearby Santa Anna Chapel, which stands upon the walls of a castle. He later served as an altar boy in this same chapel. His siblings were an older brother, Michele, and three younger sisters, Felicita, Pellegrina, and Grazia (who was later to become a Bridgettine nun). His parents had two other children who died in infancy. When he was baptized, he was given the name Francesco. He stated that by the time he was five years old, he had already made the decision to dedicate his entire life to God. He began taking on penances and was chided on one occasion by his mother for using a stone as a pillow and sleeping on the stone floor. He worked on the land up to the age of 10, looking after the small flock of sheep the family owned. This delayed his education to some extent.

Pietrelcina was a town where feast days of saints were celebrated throughout the year, and the Forgione family was deeply religious. They attended daily Mass, prayed the Rosary nightly, and abstained from meat three days a week in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Although Francesco’s parents and grandparents were illiterate, they memorized the scriptures and narrated Bible stories to their children. His mother said that Francesco was able to see and speak with Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and his guardian angel, and that as a child he assumed that all people could do so.

(rattuos note: very few people retain the ability to speak with the guardian or their older self living at the end of their life but millions consider they speak to ‘Jesus‘ and the ‘Virgin Mary’ whoever they may be)

According to the diary of Father Agostino da San Marco, who was his spiritual director in San Marco in Lamis, the young Francesco Forgione was afflicted with a number of illnesses. At six he suffered from a grave gastroenteritis which kept him bedridden for a long time. At ten he caught typhoid fever.

As a youth, Francesco reported that he had experienced heavenly visions and ecstasies. In 1897, after he had completed three years at the public school, Francesco was said to have been drawn to the life of a friar after listening to a young Capuchin friar who was in the countryside seeking donations. When Francesco expressed his desire to his parents, they made a trip to Morcone, a community 13 miles (21 km) north of Pietrelcina, to find out if their son was eligible to enter the Capuchin Order. The friars there informed them that they were interested in accepting Francesco into their community, but he needed first to become better educated.

Francesco’s father went to the United States in search of work to pay for private tutoring for his son, so that he might meet the academic requirements to enter the Capuchin Order. It was in this period that Francesco received the sacrament of Confirmation on September 27, 1899. He underwent private tutoring and passed the stipulated academic requirements. On January 6, 1903, at the age of 15, he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin friars at Morcone. On January 22, he took the Franciscan habit and the name of Fra (Friar) Pio, in honor of Pope St. Pius I, whose relic is preserved in the Santa Anna Chapel in Pietrelcina. He took the simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Commencing his seven-year study for the priesthood, Fra Pio traveled to the friary of St. Francis of Assisi by oxcart. At 17, he suddenly fell ill, complaining of loss of appetite, insomnia, exhaustion, fainting spells, and terrible migraines. He vomited frequently and could digest only milk and cheese. Religious devotees and hagiographers point to this time, when he was suffering physical illness, that inexplicable phenomena allegedly began to occur. During prayers, Pio appeared to others to be in a stupor, as if he were absent. One of Pio’s fellow friars later claimed to have seen him in ecstasy, levitating above the ground.

In June 1905, Fra Pio’s health worsened to such an extent that his superiors decided to send him to a mountain convent, in the hope that the change of air would do him some good. This had little impact, however, and doctors advised that he return to his home town. Even there his health failed to improve. Despite this, On 27 January 27 1907, he still made his solemn profession.

In 1910, Pio was subsequently ordained a priest by Archbishop Paolo Schinosi at the Cathedral of Benevento. Four days later, he offered his first Mass at the parish church of Our Lady of the Angels. His health being precarious, he was permitted to remain with his family until 1916 while still retaining the Capuchin habit.

On September 4, 1916, however, Pio was ordered to return to his community life. He moved to an agricultural community, Our Lady of Grace Capuchin Friary, located in the Gargano Mountains in San Giovanni Rotondo in Foggia. At that time the community numbered in total seven friars. He went on to remain at San Giovanni Rotondo until his death in 1968, except for a period of military service. Padre Pio celebrated the Mass in Latin, as was the widespread custom of the time.

When World War I started, four friars from this community were selected for military service. At that time, Padre Pio was a teacher at the seminary and a spiritual director. When one more friar was called into service, Padre Pio was put in charge of the community. On November 15, 1915, he was drafted into the Italian army and on December 6, assigned to the 10th Medical Corps in Naples. Due to poor health, he was continually discharged and recalled until on March 16, 1918, he was declared unfit for military service and discharged. In all, his military service lasted 182 days.

On September 20, 1918, while hearing confessions, Padre Pio had his first occurrence of the stigmata: bodily marks, pain, and bleeding in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. This phenomenon continued for fifty years, until the end of his life. The blood flowing from the stigmata smelled of perfume or flowers, a phenomenon mentioned in stories of the lives of several saints and often referred to as the odour of sanctity. Though Padre Pio would have preferred to suffer in secret, by early 1919, news about the stigmatic friar began to spread in the secular world. Padre Pio’s wounds were examined by many people, including physicians.

People who had started rebuilding their lives after World War I, began to see in Padre Pio a symbol of hope.] Those close to him attest that he began to manifest several spiritual gifts, including the gifts of healing, bilocation, levitation, prophecy, miracles, extraordinary abstinence from both sleep and nourishment (one account states that Padre Agostino recorded one instance in which Padre Pio was able to subsist for at least 20 days at Verafeno on only the Eucharist without any other nourishment), the ability to read hearts, the gift of tongues, the gift of conversions, and the fragrance from his wounds.

His stigmata, regarded as evidence of holiness, were studied by physicians whose independence from the Church is not known. The observations were unexplainable and the wounds never became infected. His wounds healed once but reappeared. They were examined by Luigi Romanelli, chief physician of the City Hospital of Barletta, for about one year. Dr. Giorgio Festa, a private practitioner, also examined them in 1920 and 1925. Professor Giuseppe Bastianelli, physician to Pope Benedict XV, agreed that the wounds existed but made no other comment. Pathologist Dr. Amico Bignami of the University of Rome also observed the wounds but could make no diagnosis. Both Bignami and Dr. Giuseppe Sala commented on the unusually smooth edges of the wounds and lack of edema. Dr. Alberto Caserta took x-rays of Padre Pio’s hands in 1954 and found no abnormality in the bone structure.

He was said to be embarrassed by this condition and most photographs show him wearing red mittens or black coverings on his hands and feet where the bleeding occurred. At the time of Padre Pio’s death, his body appeared unwounded, with no sign of scarring. There was a report that doctors who examined his body found it empty of all blood.

There were both religious and non-religious critics who accused Padre Pio of faking his stigmata, saying he used carbolic acid to make the wounds. In 2007, The Telegraph reported on the book, The Other Christ: Padre Pio and 19th Century Italy, by the historian Sergio Luzzatto. He recounted that in 1919, according to one document in the Vatican’s archive, Padre Pio requested carbolic acid from a pharmacist. She said it was for sterilization. The Catholic Anti-Defamation League said Luzzatto was spreading “anti-Catholic libels” and needed to learn more about religion. Luzzatto was awarded the Cundill Prize in History for the book.

The Church did not find this a problem and dismissed charges that he had faked the stigmata. “The boys had needed injections to fight the Spanish Flu which was raging at that time. Due to a shortage of doctors, Padres Paolino and Pio administered the shots, using carbolic acid as a sterilizing agent.”

A strong believer in Christian meditation, Padre Pio stated: “Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him”.

Based on Padre Pio’s correspondence, even early in his priesthood he experienced less obvious indications of the visible stigmata for which he would later become famous. In a 1911 letter, Padre Pio wrote to his spiritual advisor Padre Benedetto from San Marco in Lamis, describing something he had been experiencing for a year:

Then last night something happened which I can neither explain nor understand. In the middle of the palms of my hands a red mark appeared, about the size of a penny, accompanied by acute pain in the middle of the red marks. The pain was more pronounced in the middle of the left hand, so much so that I can still feel it. Also under my feet I can feel some pain.

His close friend Padre Agostino wrote to him in 1915, asking specific questions, such as when he first experienced visions, whether he had been granted the stigmata, and whether he felt the pains of the Passion of Christ, namely the crowning of thorns and the scourging. Padre Pio replied that he had been favoured with visions since his novitiate period (1903 to 1904). He wrote that although he had been granted the stigmata, he had been so terrified by the phenomenon he begged the Lord to withdraw them. He did not wish the pain to be removed, only the visible wounds, since at the time he considered them to be an indescribable and almost unbearable humiliation. The visible wounds disappeared at that point, but reappeared in September 1918. He reported, however, that the pain remained and was more acute on specific days and under certain circumstances. He also said that he was suffering the pain of the crown of thorns and the scourging. He did not define the frequency of these occurrences but said that he had been suffering from them at least once weekly for some years.

These events are alleged to have caused his health to fail, for which reason he was permitted to stay at home. To maintain his religious life as a friar while away from the community, he said Mass daily and taught at school.

St. John of the Cross describes the phenomenon of transverberation as follows:

The soul being inflamed with the love of God which is interiorly attacked by a Seraph, who pierces it through with a fiery dart. This leaves the soul wounded, which causes it to suffer from the overflowing of divine love.

World War I continued and in July 1918, Pope Benedict XV, who had termed the World War “the suicide of Europe,” appealed to all Christians urging them to pray for an end to the World War. On July 27 of the same year, Padre Pio offered himself as a victim for the end of the war. Days passed and between August 5 and August 7, Padre Pio had a vision in which Christ appeared and pierced his side. As a result, Padre Pio had a physical wound in his side. This occurrence is considered as a “transverberation” or piercing of the heart, indicating the union of love with God. (On 8 August, the Allies began the Hundred Days Offensive, which led to the armistice with Germany and the end of the war.)

As a side-note, a first-class relic of Padre Pio, which consists of a large framed square of linen bearing a bloodstain from “the wound of the transverberation of the heart” in his side, is exposed for public veneration at the St. John Cantius Church in Chicago.

The occasion of transverberation coincided with a seven-week-long period of spiritual unrest for Padre Pio. One of his Capuchin brothers said this of his state during that period:

During this time his entire appearance looked altered as if he had died. He was constantly weeping and sighing, saying that God had forsaken him.

In a letter from Padre Pio to Padre Benedetto, dated 21 August 1918, Padre Pio writes of his experiences during the transverberation:

While I was hearing the boys’ confessions on the evening of the 5th [August] I was suddenly terrorized by the sight of a celestial person who presented himself to my mind’s eye. He had in his hand a sort of weapon like a very long sharp-pointed steel blade which seemed to emit fire. At the very instant that I saw all this, I saw that person hurl the weapon into my soul with all his might. I cried out with difficulty and felt I was dying. I asked the boy to leave because I felt ill and no longer had the strength to continue. This agony lasted uninterruptedly until the morning of the 7th. I cannot tell you how much I suffered during this period of anguish. Even my entrails were torn and ruptured by the weapon, and nothing was spared. From that day on I have been mortally wounded. I feel in the depths of my soul a wound that is always open and which causes me continual agony.

On September 20, 1918, accounts state that the pains of the transverberation had ceased and Padre Pio was in “profound peace.” On that day, as Padre Pio was engaged in prayer in the choir loft in the Church of Our Lady of Grace, the same Being who had appeared to him and given him the transverberation, and who is believed to be the Wounded Christ, appeared again, and Padre Pio had another experience of religious ecstasy. When the ecstasy ended, Padre Pio had received the visible stigmata, the five wounds of Christ. This time, the stigmata were permanent. They stayed visible for the next fifty years of his life.

In a letter to Padre Benedetto, his superior and spiritual advisor from San Marco in Lamis, dated October 22, 1918, Padre Pio describes his experience of receiving the stigmata:

On the morning of the 20th of last month, in the choir, after I had celebrated Mass I yielded to a drowsiness similar to a sweet sleep. […] I saw before me a mysterious person similar to the one I had seen on the evening of 5 August. The only difference was that his hands and feet and side were dripping blood. This sight terrified me and what I felt at that moment is indescribable. I thought I should have died if the Lord had not intervened and strengthened my heart which was about to burst out of my chest. The vision disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were dripping blood. Imagine the agony I experienced and continue to experience almost every day. The heart wound bleeds continually, especially from Thursday evening until Saturday. Dear Father, I am dying of pain because of the wounds and the resulting embarrassment I feel deep in my soul. I am afraid I shall bleed to death if the Lord does not hear my heartfelt supplication to relieve me of this condition. Will Jesus, who is so good, grant me this grace? Will he at least free me from the embarrassment caused by these outward signs? I will raise my voice and will not stop imploring him until in his mercy he takes away, not the wound or the pain, which is impossible since I wish to be inebriated with pain, but these outward signs which cause me such embarrassment and unbearable humiliation….the pain was so intense that I began to feel as if I were dying on the cross.

In addition to his childhood illnesses, throughout his life Padre Pio suffered from “asthmatic bronchitis.” He also had a large kidney stone, with frequent abdominal pains. He suffered from a chronic gastritis, which later turned into an ulcer. He also suffered from inflammations of the eye, nose, ear, and throat, and eventually formed rhinitis and chronic otitis.

In 1925, Padre Pio was operated on for an inguinal hernia, and shortly after this a large cyst formed on his neck that was surgically removed. Another surgery was required to remove a malignant tumor on his ear. After this operation Padre Pio was subjected to radiological treatment, which was successful, it seems, after only two treatments.

In 1956, he came down with a serious case of “exudative pleuritis”. The diagnosis was certified by Cataldo Cassano, a professor who personally extracted the serous liquid from the body of Padre Pio. He remained bedridden for four consecutive months. In his old age Padre Pio was tormented by a painful arthritis.

Because of the unusual abilities Padre Pio was claimed to possess, the Holy See instituted investigations of the related accounts. The local bishop, P. Gagliardi, did not believe Padre Pio’s alleged miracles, suggesting that his Capuchin brothers were making a display out of the monk to gain financial advantage. When Pius XI became pope in 1922, the Vatican became extremely doubtful. Padre Pio was subject to numerous investigations.

The Vatican imposed severe sanctions on Padre Pio to reduce publicity about him: it forbade him from saying Mass in public, blessing people, answering letters, showing his stigmata publicly, and communicating with Padre Benedetto, his spiritual director. Padre Pio was to be relocated to another convent in northern Italy. The local people threatened to riot, and the Vatican left Padre Pio where he was.

Fearing these local riots, the Vatican dropped a plan to transfer Padre Pio to another friary, and a second plan for removal was also changed.] From 1921 to 1922 he was prevented from publicly performing his priestly duties, such as hearing confessions and saying Mass. From 1924 to 1931, the Holy See made statements denying that the events in Padre Pio’s life were due to any divine cause.

The founder of Milan’s Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, friar, physician and psychologist Agostino Gemelli, met Padre Pio once, for a few minutes, and was unable to examine his stigmata. According to Agostino Gemelli, Padre Pio was “an ignorant and self-mutilating psychopath who exploited people’s credulity.” Gemelli speculated that Padre Pio kept his wounds open with carbolic acid. As a result, Padre Pio was required to wrap the wounds in cloth. For many years, he wore fingerless gloves that concealed his wounds. According to believers, the bleeding continued for some 50 years until the wounds closed within hours of his death.

A pharmacist sold four grams of carbolic acid to Padre Pio in the year 1919. The archbishop of Manfredonia, Pasquale Gagliardi, reported this as evidence that Padre Pio could have effected the stigmata with acid. This suggestion was examined and dismissed by the Vatican.

By 1933, the tide began to turn, with Pope Pius XI ordering the Holy See to reverse its ban on Padre Pio’s public celebration of Mass. The pope said, “I have not been badly disposed toward Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed.” In 1934, the friar was again allowed to hear confessions. He was also given honorary permission to preach despite never having taken the exam for the preaching license. Pope Pius XII, who assumed the papacy in 1939, encouraged devotees to visit Padre Pio.

In 1940, Padre Pio began plans to open a hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, to be named the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza or “Home to Relieve Suffering.” The hospital opened in 1956. Barbara Ward, a British humanitarian and journalist on assignment in Italy, played a major role in obtaining for this project a grant of $325,000 from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). In order that Padre Pio might directly supervise this project, Pope Pius XII in 1957 granted him dispensation from his vow of poverty. Padre Pio’s detractors used this project as another weapon to attack him, charging him with misappropriation of funds.

Pope Paul VI (pope from 1963 to 1978), in the mid-1960s dismissed all accusations against Padre Pio.

In 1947, Father Karol Józef Wojtyla (later Pope John Paul II), a young Polish priest who was studying in Rome at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, visited Padre Pio, who heard his confession. Austrian Cardinal Alfons Stickler reported that Wojtyla confided to him that during this meeting, Padre Pio told him he would one day ascend to “the highest post in the Church though further confirmation is needed.” Cardinal Stickler said that Wojtyla believed that the prophecy was fulfilled when he became a cardinal (John Paul’s secretary, Stanislaw Dziwisz, denies the prediction, while George Weigel’s biography Witness to Hope, which contains an account of the same visit, does not mention it.)

According to oral tradition, Bishop Wojtyla wrote to Padre Pio in 1962 to ask him to pray for Dr. Wanda Poltawska, a friend in Poland who was suffering from cancer. Later, Dr. Poltawska’s cancer was found to be in spontaneous remission. Medical professionals were unable to offer an explanation for the phenomenon. However, John Paul II, who was the Pope from 1978 to 2005, started the canonization process of Padre Pio; he was canonized by John Paul II in 2002.

Padre Pio became a very well-known priest. Franciscan spirituality is characterized by a life of poverty, love of nature, and giving charity to those in need. Franciscan prayer recognizes God’s presence in the wonder of creation. This is seen clearly in St. Francis’ Canticle of the Sun. Franciscan spirituality is focused on walking in Christ’s footsteps, understanding God by doing what Christ asked, experiencing and sharing God.

Later Padre Pio became a spiritual director. He had five rules for spiritual growth: weekly confession, daily Communion, spiritual reading, meditation, and examination of conscience.

Padre Pio was devoted to rosary meditations and said:

“The person who meditates and turns his mind to God, who is the mirror of his soul, seeks to know his faults, tries to correct them, moderates his impulses, and puts his conscience in order.”

He compared weekly confession to dusting a room weekly, and recommended the performance of meditation and self-examination twice daily: once in the morning, as preparation to face the day, and once again in the evening, as retrospection. His advice on the practical application of theology he often summed up in his now famous quote, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry”. He directed Christians to recognize God in all things and to desire above all things to do the will of God.

The novelist Graham Greene, had two photos of Padre Pio in his wallet after attending one of his Masses. He said that Padre Pio had “introduced a doubt in my disbelief“

Many people who heard of him traveled to San Giovanni Rotondo in the south of Italy to meet him and confess to him, ask for help, or have their curiosity satisfied. Padre Pio’s mother died at the village around the convent in 1928. Later, in 1938, Padre Pio had his old father Gratzio living with him in the village of San Giovanni Rotondo. His brother Michele also moved into the village with their father. Padre Pio’s father lived in a little house outside the convent, until his death in 1946.

Padre Pio died in 1968 at the age of 81. His health deteriorated in the 1960s but he continued his spiritual works. On September 21, 1968, the day after the 50th anniversary of his receiving the stigmata, Padre Pio felt great fatigue. The next day, on September 22, 1968, he was supposed to offer a Solemn Mass, but feeling weak, he asked his superior if he might say a Low Mass instead, as he had done daily for years. Due to the large number of pilgrims present for the Mass, Padre Pio’s superior decided the Solemn Mass must proceed. Padre Pio carried out his duties but appeared extremely weak and fragile. His voice was weak and, after the Mass had concluded, he nearly collapsed while walking down the altar steps. He needed help from his Capuchin brothers. This was his last celebration of the Mass.

Early in the morning of September 23, 1968, Padre Pio made his last confession and renewed his Franciscan vows. As was customary, he had his rosary in his hands, though he did not have the strength to say the Hail Marys aloud. Till the end, he repeated the words “Gesù, Maria” (Jesus, Mary). At around 2:30 a.m., he said, “I see two mothers” (taken to mean his mother and Mary). At 2:30 a.m. he died in his cell in San Giovanni Rotondo with his last breath whispering, “Maria!”

His body was buried on September 26 in a crypt in the Church of Our Lady of Grace. His Requiem Mass was attended by over 100,000 people. He had often said, “After my death I will do more. My real mission will begin after my death.” The accounts of those who stayed with Padre Pio till the end, state that the stigmata had completely disappeared without a scar. Only a red mark “as if drawn by a red pencil” remained on his side but it disappeared.” Wikipedia

I should also point out that the masters suffer with illnesses even more than most. Krishnamurti was always in pain or ill and died with pancreatic cancer. Even Bhagwan was always in pain, enlightened or not. I have endured constant pain in my life – severe migraines from childhood, the dreaded ‘suicide heads’ called cluster headaches, various diseases of my entire system and on Friday was given very bad news about the latest disease afflicting me. I have never had money, my jobs have mostly been menial and few would choose such a life. For some reason the ascetics make life hard on themselves and you may well decide you would rather not. But the modern world deludes itself by suggesting that great spiritual development is possible without a high degree of suffering.

As for the bilocation it can be seen in much of the life of Pio above but is dismissed because it would have seemed even more miraculous than the stigmata which is a sign of it. Here is a bit more on this for any still interested:

“Bilocation and Odor of Sanctity

The phenomenon of bilocation is one of the most remarkable gifts attributed to Padre Pio. His appearances on various of the continents are attested by numerous eye witnesses, who either saw him or smelled the odors characteristically associated with his presence, described by some as roses and by others as tobacco. The phenomenon of odor (sometimes called the odor of sanctity) is itself well established in Padre Pio’s case. The odor was especially strong from the blood coming from his wounds. Investigation showed that he used absolutely no fragrances or anything that could produce these odors. The odors often occurred when people called upon his intercession in prayer and continue to this day.

Among the most remarkable of the documented cases of bilocation was the Padre’s appearance in the air over San Giovanni Rotondo during World War II. While southern Italy remained in Nazi hands American bombers were given the job of attacking the city of San Giovanni Rotondo. However, when they appeared over the city and prepared to unload their munitions a brown-robed friar appeared before their aircraft. All attempts to release the bombs failed. In this way Padre Pio kept his promise to the citizens that their town would be spared. Later on, when an American airbase was established at Foggia a few miles away, one of the pilots of this incident visited the friary and found to his surprise the little friar he had seen in the air that day over San Giovanni.

As to how Padre Pio with God’s help accomplished such feats, the closest he ever came to an explanation of bilocation was to say that it occurred “by an extension of his personality.”

The Testimony of Padre Carmelo Durante

For the good of’ souls, Our Lord gave the Venerable Padre Pio of’ Pietrelcina many gifts, amongst these the gift of bilocation, which enables a person to be present in two places at the same time.

Bilocation, however, must not be confused as some do with ubiquity, which means omnipresence, namely being present everywhere at the same time, which belongs only to God.

With this said, I will relate a few cases of bilocation concerning the Padre.

At the end of 1954 I was the Superior of the religious community that included Padre Pio. With the aim of’ gathering information on the Padre’s first years in San Giovanni Rotondo, from 28 July 1916 on, I decided to question the Padre’s first spiritual children and organised some meetings

First meeting in town: 14 December 1954

At the first meeting we were ten in all. The Ventrella sisters, the Pompilio sisters, Filomena Fini, Rosinella Gisolfi in Placentino, Rachele Russo, Rachelina Gisolfi and Nina Campanile were present

I knew from Mrs. Gisolfi’s friends that she had had the privilege – a well documented fact – of seeing Padre Pio in bilocation from the first years of spiritual direction.

During the meeting, she suddenly announced in a whisper that the Padre was present. “Everyone was happy,” I noted. Like all those present, I believed the announcement, but forgive me if I say so – women are known for their daydreaming. So I wanted to get to the bottom of this. This was my first case of bilocation and I wanted to know how it worked.

The same evening, when I returned to the friary, I asked one or two confrères (naturally without revealing the true motive, which I do today), what the Padre had done in the late evening.

They answered: “The usual: he conducted the evening Benediction, then he received his friends and we chatted together.” I was afraid to ask the Padre himself about the bilocation, being such a delicate matter.

The second meeting: 10 January 1955

The Padre made another appearance. This time when I returned to the friary, after I had questioned my confrères on the Padre’s activities that evening and received the usual answer, I plucked up my courage and decided to question the Padre himself’.

Perhaps some of’ you might wonder why I said “plucked up my courage,” as if I was afraid. If so you certainly have not had the grace or the difficulty of living with an authentic saint!

Because saints (and I have reflected on this so often) are like the sensitive mimosa flower which as soon as it is touched, closes in on itself. More than once in fact, I noticed when I questioned the dear Padre on personal matters that it was a great effort for him to answer! In fact, once when we were alone in his cell I asked him outright: “Padre Pio I would like to see the wounds on your feet and side!” And completely taken aback and mortified, he looked at me with two imploring tearful eyes, like those of a child and said: “But! But you don’t really mean that?” I immediately felt sorry and said: “No! no! Padre don’t worry: I didn’t mean it!” And everything ended there. But how often after that did I regret what I had done.

I had learnt my lesson, and that evening I was afraid. So, I repeat, I plucked up my courage and when I returned I went up to him quietly at the entrance of his cell.

Ah! You’re back!”, he said as soon as he saw me, as if he knew nothing. I wish to note that Rosinella had told me that Padre Pio often accompanied me on my journeys in the car etc., without my knowing. So who knows how often he must have pulled my leg in asking me things which he already knew.

That evening I replied at once, also so as to get the conversation going: “Yes Father, I have returned; everything went well. Your spiritual children are very happy. But I would like to ask you one thing!” And he: “Yes, what is it?” I began: “Padre, Rosinella…” and then I lost courage.

And he, with a strategy all his own (who could ever understand the Padre!): “Rosinella? Is she not well?” If anyone I was the one who felt not well now! “No, Padre, she is well.” “And So?” he went on. I took the plunge: “Padre, Rosinella said that you are always present at our meetings!” And quite untroubled he answered: “Well? Don’t you want me? Don’t you want me to come to these meetings?”

Those were his exact words. I leave you to make up your minds.

The same happened at our third meeting on 26 January. This time when I questioned him he answered: “Yes, of course I was there!” as if to say: “Why, you don’t believe me?”

On another occasion it was he himself who asked me: “Aren’t you going to ask me this time if I came?” Such subtlety! And I answered: “But Padre by now I am certain that you always come, so I don’t ask you anymore!” And with the kindness of a father he said: “Yes, I accompany you always and everywhere!”

In one meeting an unusual thing happened. At a certain point a few members of the group began to speak badly about some people. It got a little out of hand when suddenly Rosinella frightened exclaimed: “Father Guardian, Padre Pio has an angry face!” We were all scared and quickly stopped and not without some embarrassment and self accusation began to speak well of these people. A few minutes later I asked Rosinella: “Now how does Padre Pio look?” And she: “He looks calm!” We were happy again, and had learnt our lesson to not speak badly of people.

“I don’t need the permission of the Superior”

It was my habit, in the evening before coming down for the evening meal, to dally around the cell door of the Padre to wish him good night.

On this particular evening the Padre Pio seemed in a hurry, but I did not pay much attention to the fact. Then at a certain point in the conversation he said to me sweetly: “This evening I am in a hurry because I must make a long journey.

Where must you go?” I asked.

And he repeated: “I must make a long journey,” then after a little he added with a smile: “And to make this journey I don’t need the permission of the Superior.”

It is necessary to make clear that every friar according to the Franciscan rule cannot undertake a journey without the Superior’s permission.

But naturally on his journey in bilocation the Padre had no need to follow the common rule because he had the extraordinary permission from the Superior of all superiors, Christ our Lord.

Hence that evening, after he had spoken to me, all I could do was kiss his hand and bid him a good journey!

“When I go…”

One day in the refectory we were talking of this and that.

I remember that in the conversation I was holding forth about a fact then unheard of: an aeroplane – I don’t remember of which airline – had made the journey non-stop between Rome and New York in only six hours. To me and the others it seemed something incredible!

The Padre who until then had kept silent, interrupted in the middle and asked: “How long? How many hours, did you say?”

I answered, with increasing marvel: “Padre, six hours and what is more non-stop!”

The Padre also marveled over the fact but to the side exclaimed: “Six hours! Good heavens, but that is a long time! When I go it takes me only a second.”

We asked him to explain himself, but he would say no more and only repeated: “I told you! I told you!”

Six hours” in contrast to “a second” is indeed a long time.

But his mysterious “second” was that of a man in bilocation!

“I was in America”

From a note from my meetings with the first spiritual children of the Servant of God, I relate the following, mentioning also in passing that they were Padre Pio’s first Prayer Group.

In those first years, before Christmas his spiritual children would meet in the parlour of the friary with the Padre to prepare themselves worthily for the celebration of the feast.

Now, one year – 1918? – while we were there, at a certain point the Padre seemed to go into a sleep.

A little afraid, his spiritual children tried to wake him up, calling him by name and even shaking him, but it was of no use.

After about an hour, he finally came to but a little mortified.

The next day, to a spiritual daughter who asked him: “Where were you?” he simply answered: “I was in America.” And everything ended there without further ado.

Visit to the Holy Land

One evening, while we were both outside the door of his cell as usual, talking about one thing and another, suddenly the Padre confided to me: “I have to make a visit in the Holy Land.” And I quickly responded: “Why don’t you bring me with you, Padre?” to which he replied: “No because you would be poorly impressed!”

At the time I did not understand what the Padre meant wondering what reason there could be for me to be poorly impressed by the homeland of Jesus.

But many years later, I went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and I understood the words of the dear Padre, seeing the medley of religions in those holy places.

For example: to think that the room of the Last Supper is looked after by Moslems! The Last Supper room – the heart of the Catholic Church where the Eucharist and Priesthood were instituted – abandoned in the hands of the followers of Mahomet!

Then on Calvary – the site of our Redemption – an orthodox priest was selling candles close to the site of the Cross!

The Padre, as always, was right: I really was poorly impressed!”

“What about the third at the end?”

As I said elsewhere, during the Second World War I would usually spend the summer holidays from the Gregorian University of Rome in the friary of

San Giovanni Rotondo, close to the beloved Padre. They were especially happy days.

One year on 25 July he asked me if I could go the following day to celebrate Mass in a little Church in the country dedicated to Saint Anne near the Amendola airport.

Naturally I willingly accepted.

The next day I arrived early by bus and began to hear the confessions of the farmers of the area and afterwards celebrated Mass in the little church to everyone’s satisfaction.

When I returned, the beloved Padre asked me what the church was like. I described it to him: small, rectangular with two windows one on each side.

At this point, he interrupted: “Two windows! “What about the third at the end, didn’t you see it.”

I remembered at once and embarrassed said: “But Padre, you who haven’t been there know more than I who have! You are making fun of me asking me what you already know!”

Without fuss, ignoring the insinuation of his bilocation, he said his intention was not to make fun of me, but only to complete the description of the church.

What humility and simplicity in those words aimed at hiding the gift from God of bilocation.

But that “third window” gave him away.

Later in the friary I learnt in fact that that morning of 26 July the Padre had carried out his apostolate as usual.

So here was further evidence of that privilege enjoyed by the Padre of being present in two places at the same time.
[From the Voice of Padre Pio, November 1998, Friary of Our Lady of Grace, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, (FG), Italy. Used with permission of: The National Center for Padre Pio, 2213 Old Route 100, Barto, PA 19504, through which a subscription may be obtained.] “

I remember Papa Pio well from my youth and discussions with my father while both were still living. It was only after he died that I realised my father was a hidden master. Like the others his life was torment – physical pain from a back condition that was constant and likened to being stretched on the rack. Lifelong heart disease born manfully and eventually cancer too. He chose the life of a poorly paid parish priest like Frank Buttle, Christopher Neil-Smith, Padre Pio and others that I met in my youth but all could have been the most successful men in many very well paid jobs. I think now that their spirit selves prevented them exercising that choice. Certainly my dad knew he was going to be a priest when he was 14. He also expected me to follow suit but by 14 I wanted to be a rock star.

After he died he appeared to me in a dream and explained to me that he was in Egypt. He had told me he wanted to go there on his death bed but I assumed that was for a holiday and he said it in response to my suggestion he visit the Holy Land with my mother for a holiday when he got better. In the dream he told me that he was where there are bedouin and fellahin, which is only in Ancient Egypt. For some months after that he guided me. He made me read the bible from end to end which was certainly an education that I would not have chosen and opened my eyes to many things I had better not discuss here. He led me to study Ancient Egyptian and to meet Egyptologists who rid me of many fantasies that I had about that culture and enabled me to find records of my bilocation visits to it. He also led me to find my third eye in the mud outside my home. But I do not know if he ever practised bilocation before he died. He told me when I was in my twenties that he had been a pharaoh and was utterly serious when he said that but I thought nothing of it at the time. He was a very patient man – watched me chase enlightenment, met my guru who misled me about almost everything in the occult that he claimed to have mastered, and stuck with me when I was practising clairvoyance, something that would horrify most priests. He even once that he was a ‘witch’ by which he meant that he was able to make things happen. But he was the last person that I would have considered to be a hidden master. Aren’t they all like that? You find out too late!

If only our world would embrace Karma and Dharma rather than violent injustice hiding behind virulent propaganda. But that is a choice it has made. For your own life you can make a choice too, although it may not be popular. The hidden masters work tirelessly not only to keep humanity alive but to keep its spiritual potential alive as well. It is a thankless task in life. These people have always been persecuted, burned, imprisoned and tortured. That is why they live in seclusion and hide, why they were hermits, monks and nuns or wandering saddhus with nothing worth stealing. Great people have returned to such lives just to keep the work going, to help the poor and vulnerable without using them to score some political point. So if you choose such a path there is no cosy afterlife – you will be back here for more as soon as possible. Like my father watching me make every mistake with my life possible, you will watch patiently as the world inflicts one cruelty and injustice after another and try to clean up the mess after them, comfort the afflicted and bereaved. As you can imagine it is not a job that has many applicants nor are there any perks. You will have to take orders from the most ignorant people in our world and do the work of the untouchables, the brave people that I love more than almost any others:

India’s ‘Untouchables’ Are Still Being Forced to Collect Human Waste by Hand

Charlie Campbell @charliecamp6ell

Aug. 25, 2014

They face violence, eviction and withheld wages if they do not take on the hazardous job of emptying private and public latrines

The practice of forcing low-caste people in Indian communities to remove accumulated human waste from latrines is continuing despite legal prohibitions and must be stopped, says a leading advocacy group.

In a report released Monday, the New York City–based Human Rights Watch (HRW) detailed the practice of “manual scavenging” — the collecting of excrement from latrines by hand. The job is done by those considered to be of the lowest birth. These Dalits, or untouchables, often face threats of violence, eviction and withheld wages if they attempt to leave the trade.

“The first day when I was cleaning the latrines and the drain, my foot slipped and my leg sank in the excrement up to my calf,” Sona, a manual scavenger in Bharatpur, a city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, told HRW. “I screamed and ran away. Then I came home and cried and cried. I knew there was only this work for me.”

Laws exist to curb this form of subjugation, yet it remains widespread across India. Dalit women typically collect waste from private homes, while the men do the more physically demanding, and hazardous, maintenance of septic tanks and public sewers. Many suffer injuries and serious health problems.

“The manual carrying of human feces is not a form of employment, but an injustice akin to slavery,” says Ashif Shaikh, founder of Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, a grassroots campaign to end manual scavenging. “It is one of the most prominent forms of discrimination against Dalits, and it is central to the violation of their human rights.”

HRW’s 96-page report, Cleaning Human Waste: ‘Manual Scavenging,’ Caste, and Discrimination in India, is based on more than 100 interviews with manual scavengers, and documents how these wretched people are coerced to collect human excrement on a daily basis, carrying it away in nothing more protective than a cane basket.

“People work as manual scavengers because their caste is expected to fulfill this role, and are typically unable to get any other work,” says Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at HRW. “This practice is considered one of the worst surviving symbols of untouchability because it reinforces the social stigma that these castes are untouchable and perpetuates discrimination and social exclusion.”

HRW called on the administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enforce existing legislation aimed at assisting manual scavengers to find alternative, sustainable livelihoods.

“Successive Indian government attempts to end caste-based cleaning of excrement have been derailed by discrimination and local complicity,” adds Ganguly. “The government needs to get serious about putting laws banning manual scavenging into practice and assisting the affected caste communities.”


Can you do this work? I have cleaned countless toilets and people who have soiled themselves. It was my job. Nurses and carers do this up and down the UK all day and all night. Do you even notice? Do you respect those who clean up after you? Or the families and children around the world who must live in swamps of sewage and refuse while others live in palaces with servants to attend their every need? If you cannot see it, bear to look at it, bear to smell it then enlightenment is not for you. It was very clear to me when I discovered that my third eye was also the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for ’smell’. I found it in stinking, sewage contaminated mud.



Egyptian hieroglyph: Nose and eye: phonogram khnt;

det/log nose; smell; rejoice; face, front; soothe, breathe, smell; be mild; oppose; disobedient.

Bladelet April2015 014

The thing next to my third eye is a broken flint bladelet. I was on honeymoon and sitting in the sand of the Ramesseum, which is across the Nile from Luxor where I discovered that Amen honeymooned there too. I wanted to bring back a pebble and put my hand in the sand under which this flint was lying. I thought it was a pebble until I got back to London where I discovered it is really a small flint knife from perhaps 4000BC.

This is the other side of both:

Bladelet April2015 013

You may notice that the hieroglyph also means ‘rejoice’ and I certainly do at my work.

Finally I include this which may not have any relevance but is interesting:

Hadith 02: The Hadith of Jibreel

On the authority of Umar (r) who said: One day while we were sitting with the Messanger of Allah (s), there came before us a man with extremely white clothing and extremely black hair. There were no signs of travel on him and none of us knew him. He [came and] sat next to the Prophet (s). He supported his knees up against the knees of the Prophet (s) and put his hand on his thighs. He said, ‘O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’ The Messanger of Allah (s) said, ‘Islam is to testify that there is none worthy of worhsip except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messanger of Allah, to establish the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast [the month of] Ramadan, and to make pilgrimage to the House if you have the means to do so.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully [or correctly].’ We were amazed that he asks the question and then says that he had spoken truthfully. He said, ‘Tell me about Imaan (faith).’ He [the Messanger of Allah (s)] responded, ‘It is to believe in Allah, His angles, His books, His messangers, the Last Day and to believe in the divine decree, [both] the good and the evil thereof.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully.’ He said, ‘Tell me about al-Ihsaan (goodness).’ He [the Prophet (s)] answered, ‘It is that you worship Allah as if you see Him. And even though you do not see Him, [you know] He sees you.’ He said, ‘Tell me about [the time of] the Hour,’ He [the Prophet (s)] answered, ‘The one being asked does not know more than the one asking.’ He said, ‘Tell me about it’s signs.’ He answered, ‘The slave-girl shall give birth to her master, and you will see the barefooted, scantily-clothed, destitiute shepards competing in constructing lofty buildings.’ Then he went away. I stayed for a long time. Then he [the Prophet (s)] said, ‘O Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Mesanger know best.’ He said, ‘It was [the angel] Gabriel who came to teach you your religion.’


Enlightened masters?

If we are to look at enlightenment perhaps we should look at some men who were supposed to be enlightened in our age. Two of these were considered the messiah, one I met others were quite close to people I have known who certainly thought they were enlightened. They are all Indian.

The Krishnamurti I saw in 1974 is not the same Krishnamurti who said this:

“People call me an ‘enlightened man’ — I detest that term — they can’t find any other word to describe the way I am functioning. At the same time, I point out that there is no such thing as enlightenment at all. I say that because all my life I’ve searched and wanted to be an enlightened man, and I discovered that there is no such thing as enlightenment at all, and so the question whether a particular person is enlightened or not does not arise. I don’t give a hoot for a sixth-century-BC Buddha, let alone all the other claimants we have in our midst. They are a bunch of exploiters, thriving on the gullibility of the people. There is no power outside of man. Man has created God out of fear. So the problem is fear and not God.” — U.G. Krishnamurti

So we need to look at that too!

“Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti (9 July 1918 – 22 March 2007), known as U. G. Krishnamurti, was an Indian man who questioned enlightenment. Although many considered him an “enlightened” person, Krishnamurti often referred to his state of being as the “natural state”. He claimed that the demand for enlightenment was the only thing standing in the way of enlightenment itself, if enlightenment existed at all.

He rejected the very basis of thought and in doing so negated all systems of thought and knowledge. Hence he explained his assertions were experiential and not speculative.

Tell them that there is nothing to understand.

He was unrelated to his contemporary Jiddu Krishnamurti, although the two men had a number of meetings” Wikipedia

This next one Jiddu was considered enlightened by many Eastern and Western ‘wise’ people. When I met him I thought he probably was and the meeting spurred on my intentions so was definitely helpful.

“Jiddu Krishnamurti (/’dʒɪduː ˌkrɪʃnə’mɜːrti/;11 May 1895 – 17 February 1986) was a philosopher, speaker and writer. In his early life he was groomed to be the new World Teacher but later rejected this mantle and withdrew from the Theosophy organization behind it. His subject matter included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry, human relationships, and bringing about radical change in society. He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasised that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social.

Krishnamurti was born in British India. In early adolescence he had a chance encounter with prominent occultist and theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater in the grounds of the Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar in Madras. He was subsequently raised under the tutelage of Annie Besant and Leadbeater, leaders of the Society at the time, who believed him to be a ‘vehicle’ for an expected World Teacher. As a young man, he disavowed this idea and dissolved the Order of the Star in the East, an organisation that had been established to support it.

He said he had no allegiance to any nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy, and spent the rest of his life travelling the world, speaking to large and small groups and individuals” Wikipedia

Krishnamurti kindly left us a record of what it felt like becoming ‘enlightened’. So we may as well take a look at that too:

“First I realized that I had to harmonize all my other bodies with the Buddhic plane (the highest plane of consciousness) and to bring about this happy combination I had to find out what my ego wanted on the Buddhic plane. To harmonize the various bodies I had to keep them vibrating at the same rate as the Buddhic, and to do this I had to find out what was the vital interest of the Buddhic.

With ease which rather astonished me I found the main interest on that high plane was to serve the Lord Maitreya and the Masters. With that idea clear in my physical mind I had to direct and control the other bodies to act and to think the same as one the noble and spiritual plane. During that period of less than three weeks, I concentrated to keep in mind the image of the Lord Maitreya throughout the entire day, and I found no difficulty in doing this. I found that I was getting calmer and more serene. My whole outlook on life was changed.

Then, on the 17th of August, I felt acute pain at the nape of my neck and I had to cut down my meditation to fifteen minutes. The pain instead of getting better as I had hoped grew worse. The climax was reached on the 19th. I could not think, nor was I able to do anything, and I was forced by friends here to retire to bed. Then I became almost unconscious, though I was well aware of what was happening around me.

I came to myself at about noon each day. On the first day while I was in that state and more conscious of the things around me, I had the first most extraordinary experience. There was a man mending the road; that man was myself; the pickaxe he had was myself; the very stone which he was breaking up was a part of me; the tender blade of grass was my very being, and the three beside the man was myself. I almost could feel and think like the roadmender, and I could feel the wind passing through the tree, and the little ant on the blade of grass I could feel. The birds, the dust, and the very noise were a part of me. Just then there was a car passing by at some distance; I was the driver, the engine, and the tires; as the car went further away from me, I was going away from myself. I was in everything, or rather everything was in me, inanimate and animate, the mountain, the worm, and all breathing things.

All day long I remained in this happy condition. I could not eat anything, and again at about six I began to lose my physical body, and naturally the physical elemental did what it liked; I was semi-conscious.

The morning of the next day (the 20th) was almost the same as the previous day, and I could not tolerate too many people in the room. I could feel them in rather a curious way and their vibrations got on my nerves. That evening at about the same hour of six I felt worse than ever. I wanted nobody near me nor anybody to touch me. I was feeling extremely tire and weak. I think I was weeping from mere exhaustion and lack of physical control. My head was pretty bad and the top part felt as though many needles were being driven in. While I was in this state I felt that the bed in which I was lying, the same one as on the previous day, was dirty and filthy beyond imagination and I could not lie in it.

Suddenly I found myself sitting on the floor and Nitya and Rosalind asking me to get into bed. I asked them not to touch me and cried out that the bed was not clean. I went on like this for some time till eventually I wandered out on the verandah and sat a few moments exhausted and slightly calmer. I began to come to myself and finally Mr. Warrington asked me to go under the pepper tree which is near the house.

There I sat crosslegged in the meditation posture. When I had sat thus for some time, I felt myself going out of my body, I saw myself sitting down with the delicate tender leaves of the tree over me. I was facing the east. In front of me was my body and over my head I saw the Star, bright and clear.

Then I could feel the vibrations of the Lord Buddha; I beheld Lord Maitreya and Master K. H**. I was so happy, calm and at peace. I could still see my body and I was hovering near it. There was such profound calmness both in the air and within myself, the calmness of the bottom of a deep unfathomable lake. Like the lake, I felt my physical body, with its mind and emotions, could be ruffled on the surface but nothing, nay nothing, could disturb the calmness of my soul.

The presence of the mighty Beings was with me for some time and then They were gone. I was supremely happy, for I had seen. Nothing could ever be the same. I have drunk at the clear and pure waters at the source of the fountain of life and my thirst was appeased. Never more could I be thirsty, never more could I be in utter darkness. I have seen the Light. I have touched compassion which heals all sorrow and suffering; it is not for myself, but for the world. I have stood on the mountain top and gazed at the mighty Beings. Never can I be in utter darkness; I have seen the glorious and healing light.The fountain of Truth has been revealed to me and the darkness has been dispersed. Love in all its glory has intoxicated my heart; my heart can never be closed. I have drunk at the fountain of joy and eternal Beauty. I am God-intoxicated.


an excerpt from Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening by Mary Luytens

“…As a result of her mother’s interest in theosophy, Mary met Krishnamurti when she was a child: she knew him from 1911 until his death in 1986” Wikipedia

* *“Ingram Smith says that in a conversation with him, Krishnamurti told him how one day he had walked through the image of a Mahatma and since then had never seen one again.

Krishnaji went on to say that under Leadbeater’s direction he rose at four o’clock in the traditional manner and meditated, and that sometimes Kuthumi [the Mahatma K.H.] was present and a conversation took place. Then one morning just after sunrise – Krishnamurti was seated in the lotus posture facing east – Kuthumi appeared in the doorway. Until that day, talking with K.H. had been enough. “That day I wanted more than talk. I wanted not only to feel his presence, hear his voice, but to actually touch him, make sensual contact. Until that day he had been a voice, a presence standing in the doorway. It was a morning when the sun came clear into the room. Kuthumi was standing with his back to the light. I got up, walked to him and through him. I turned. There was no one there. He had disappeared. There was nothing there. And … I did not ever see him again.” (Smith 1989: 20-21)”


We will look at that later but here is the next:


Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (born Chandra Mohan Jain, 11 December 1931 – 19 January 1990), also known as Osho, Acharya Rajneesh, or simply Rajneesh, was an Indian “Godman[2] and leader of the Rajneesh movement. During his lifetime he was viewed as a controversial mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher. In the 1960s he travelled throughout India as a public speaker and was a vocal critic of socialism, Mahatma Gandhi, and Hindu religious orthodoxy. He advocated a more open attitude towards human sexuality, earning him the sobriquet “sex guru” in the Indian and later international press, although this attitude became more acceptable with time.

In 1970 Rajneesh spent time in Bombay initiating followers known as “neo-sannyasins.” During this period he expanded his spiritual teachings and through his discourses gave an original insight into the writings of religious traditions, mystics, and philosophers from around the world. In 1974 Rajneesh relocated to Pune where a foundation and ashram was established to offer a variety of “transformational tools” for both Indian and international visitors. By the late 1970s, tension between the ruling Janata Party government of Morarji Desai and the movement led to a curbing of the ashram’s development.

In 1981 efforts refocused on activities in America and Rajneesh relocated to a facility known as Rajneeshpuram in Wasco County, Oregon. Almost immediately the movement ran into conflict with county residents and the State government and a succession of legal battles concerning the ashram’s construction and continued development curtailed its success. In 1985, following the investigation of serious crimes including the 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack, and an assassination plot to murder US Attorney Charles H. Turner, Rajneesh alleged that his personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela and her close supporters had been responsible. He was later deported from the United States in accordance with an Alford plea bargain.

After his deportation twenty-one countries denied him entry, and he ultimately returned to India, and a reinvigorated Pune ashram, where he died in 1990. His ashram is today known as the Osho International Meditation Resort. His syncretic teachings emphasise the importance of meditation, awareness, love, celebration, courage, creativity, and humor—qualities that he viewed as being suppressed by adherence to static belief systems, religious tradition, and socialisation. Rajneesh’s teachings have had a notable impact on Western New Age thought, and their popularity has increased markedly since his death.” Wikipedia

Now I have put these people first because Rajneesh, or Osho as he is now called claimed that Krishnamurti was his only equal. When Rajneesh arrived in the US he said that he was the messiah the Americans had longed for while Krishnamurti was always saying he was not the messiah that his supporters wanted him to be, thought that he was. Krishnamurti considered Rajneesh to be a charlatan and even called him a criminal which in a technical sense he was. Rajneesh was a valium addict and also addicted to laughing gas which he took through a rubber tube mixed with pure oxygen. Neither was what I would call a hidden master and both lived in the public eye supported by their followers. I will discuss Krishnamurti’s enlightenment experience later here but would point out we all come to it in different ways.

This man was at the Glastonbury festival I attended in 1971 He was still a boy at the time. A nice man I knew followed him and claimed that he enlightened him with a touch of his hand.

Prem Pal Singh Rawat (Hindi: प्रेम पाल सिंह रावत), born 10 December 1957, is an Indian American also known as Maharaji, and formerly as Guru Maharaj Ji and Balyogeshwar. Rawat’s teachings include a meditation practice he calls “Knowledge”, and peace education based on the discovery of personal resources such as inner strength, choice, appreciation and hope.

Rawat is the youngest son of Hans Ji Maharaj, an Indian guru and the founder of the Divya Sandesh Parishad (later known as Divine Light Mission, or DLM) After his father’s death, eight-year-old Rawat became the new “Satguru” (True Master). At age 13 Rawat travelled to the West, soon taking up residence in the United States. Many young adults took interest in the claim that Rawat could impart direct knowledge of God to his followers. News media were nonplussed by his youth and supposed divine status, and he was criticized for a lack of intellectual content in his public discourses, and for leading an opulent lifestyle. Tens of thousands were initiated in Knowledge techniques, and hundreds of DLM centers opened worldwide. Some Western followers took up communal life in dozens of ashrams, guided by DLM “Mahatmas“.

In November 1973, the Millennium ’73 festival was held in the Houston Astrodome, and although this was near the height of Rawat’s media fame, attendance was far lower than expected. When he turned 16, Rawat became emancipated and got married. He cut ties to his mother and eldest brother, and with the original Indian DLM organization. He retained control of the DLM everywhere else (at this point it was established in 55 countries).

In the early 1980s, he began to discard direct references to religion in his speeches and closed the ashrams. The name of the DLM was changed to Elan Vital. From 1980 to the present, Rawat has continued to travel extensively.

In 2001 he established “The Prem Rawat Foundation” to fund his work and humanitarian efforts. Rawat continues to speak for large and/or select audiences worldwide, and on several occasions has received significant recognition for his work and message of peace.” Wikipedia

We need to look at his father who started the sect his son took over. Parents are notorious for stating that their own children are messiahs or enlightened masters. They almost never are although many in the east would say that their followers . even masters or deities may return to be brought up by them.

Hans Ram Singh Rawat, known as Shri Hans Ji Maharaj (9 November 1900 – 19 July 1966), was born in Gadh-ki-Sedhia, north-east of Haridwar in present-day Uttarakhand, India. His parents were Ranjit Singh Rawat and Kalindi Devi. He was considered a Satguru by his students who called him affectionally “Shri Maharaji” or just “Guru Maharaji.”

He had a daughter from his first wife Sinduri Devi, and four sons from his second wife Rajeshwari Devi, later known among followers as “Mata Ji” and “Shri Mataji”.

At the age of eight, not long after starting at the village school, Hans Ji’s mother died. From that time he was raised by his aunt. As a young adult he visited many holy men in the nearby mountains and pilgrimage towns in the area now the Pakistani provinces of Sindh, Baluchistan and Punjab. He was reportedly disenchanted with these and turned to the Arya Samaj, a popular movement formed to remove caste prejudices and idolatry from Hinduism.

The search for work led Hans Ji to Lahore, the capital of the former Sikh kingdom. During this time he made his first contact with Sri Swarupanand Ji, a guru in the lineage of Advait Mat, from Guna. In 1923, Swarupanand taught Hans the techniques of Knowledge or kriyas, an experience of which Sri Hans later said: “I was given no mantra, but experienced Knowledge. I experienced the music and light of my heart. My mind was focused within”. Three years later, in 1926, Swarupanand Ji asked him to start teaching others the techniques of Knowledge, and for the subsequent 10 years Sri Hans travelled through what is today Pakistan and northern India. A strong bond of teacher/disciple was formed between them which Swarupanand reportedly referred to as follows: “I am in Hans’ heart and Hans is in my heart”.

In 1936, Sri Swarupanand Ji died in Nangli Sahib, a village near the north town of Meerut. Reported indications from Swarupanand about Hans’ succession were later contested by a group of mahatmas who noted that Hans Ji had married Sinduri Devi from a neighbouring village in the district of Garwal, making him a “householder”, a status that in their view as renunciates was not acceptable. After the rift, Sri Hans was left with only a handful of people to help him continue his work. Sri Hans branched out on his own with the understanding that he had his teacher’s blessings, and continued teaching throughout the Indian sub-continent.

That same year, he started presenting his message and teaching in the small town of Najibabad, near Haridwar. His talks at the time were strongly influenced by the egalitarian and reformist philosophy of the Arya Samaj, and he reportedly accepted anyone as his student, irrespective of caste, religion or status. This was an unusual stance for an Indian teacher, and it drew its share of criticism from traditional Hindus. During this year he published a book Hans Yog Prakash as a first step to broadening the dissemination of his message.

During the next years, Hans Ji travelled by foot and by train to towns and villages across north India, speaking at small, impromptu gatherings at train stations, or under a tree in the village grounds. By the late 1930s, Sri Hans Ji had begun visiting Delhi, teaching workers at the Delhi Cloth Mills. He travelled constantly between Haridwar and Delhi, often staying at followers’ houses at Paharganj and Connaught Place, behind the new Delhi center.

In 1944, as the number of students grew, Sri Hans Ji purchased a small, two-floor house on the bank of the Ganges canal outside Haridwar, and named it “Prem Nagar” (“Town of Love”). The mahatmas who were helping him in a full-time capacity lived there with him in the tradition of the gurukul. Four years later, he reportedly purchased his first car, a green Austin Somerset, that assisted him in visiting nearby towns and villages in his effort to reach more people.

Sri Hans Ji and his first wife, Sinduri Devi, had a daughter, Savitri, but after that Sinduri Devi was unable to have more children. As a consequence of that, and based on an understanding that Swarupanand reportedly had told him that “one day he [Hans Ji] will have a son who would play an important role”, he took a second wife in Rajeshwari Devi in 1946. Unlike his first wife, Rajeshwari Devi would in time become known as Mata Ji and play a prominent role in her husband’s work. In 1951, their first son was born (Satpal), followed by three more in 1953 (Mahi Pal), 1955 (Dharam Pal), and 1957 (Prem Pal), named affectionately by Sri Hans “Sant Ji”.

As Sri Hans Ji Maharaj’s message was spreading throughout northern India, several initiatives were taken to facilitate his work, including the publishing of a monthly magazine named Hansadesh in 1951, and the formation of the Divine Light Mission (DLM). For nearly 30 years Sri Hans Ji Maharaj disseminated his message without any formal organisation. After resisting suggestions for such an organisation, he finally gave in to growing pressure, and the Divine Light Mission was registered in Patna in 1960, to develop and structure the growing activities across India. The mission aims discussed are that “in principle all religions are one” and that the understanding that “peace is indivisible” and achievable by individuals and that “disgruntled individuals and dissatisfied nations can never promote lasting peace in the world.” It also discusses some humanitarian initiatives.

By the early 1960s there were students in most large cities, towns and villages in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan, as well as within the Indian communities in South Africa. Meetings were still small, and Sri Hans’ close relationship with his students continued. In 1963, the first of many large public programs was held in the Ram Lila grounds in New Delhi, reportedly attended by 15,000. In 1964, an event took place on Gandhi Maidan in the heart of old Delhi that attracted even larger crowds. Several ashrams were opened during that time, including a small one in Rajasthan and another larger one called Satlok (“Place of Truth”) located between Delhi and Haridwar.

In 1965, Sri Hans attended a religious conference in New Delhi’s Constitution Club that was chaired by the then Speaker of the India Parliament, Mr. Ayengar. That year Sri Hans flew for the first time when he visited his students in Jammu, Kashmir.

On 18 July 1966, while visiting a small ashram in Alwar, Sri Hans fell ill, and the same day returned to Delhi by car. It is reported that he died at 3 a.m. the following morning. Three days later, in a procession led by his family and many grieving mahatmas, his ashes were taken to his home in Haridwar.” wikipedia

Enlightenment cannot be passed on by touching someone on the head. But it is a good business teaching that it can. Neither are hidden masters. Nor is the next. Again I knew men who trained under this guru and sincerely ‘believed’ that they received enlightenment through his teachings.


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (12 January 1918 – 5 February 2008) was born Mahesh Prasad Varma and became known as Maharishi (meaning “great seer”) and Yogi as an adult. He developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of a worldwide organization that has been characterized in multiple ways including as a new religious movement and as non-religious.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi became a disciple and assistant of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya (spiritual leader) of Jyotirmath in the Indian Himalayas. The Maharishi credits Brahmananda Saraswati with inspiring his teachings. In 1955, the Maharishi began to introduce his Transcendental Deep Meditation (later renamed Transcendental Meditation) to India and the world. His first global tour began in 1958. His devotees referred to him as His Holiness, and because he often laughed in TV interviews he was sometimes referred to as the “giggling guru.”

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Maharishi achieved fame as the guru to the Beatles, The Beach Boys and other celebrities. In the late 1970s, he started the TM-Sidhi programme that claimed to offer practitioners the ability to levitate and to create world peace. The Maharishi’s Natural Law Party was founded in 1992, and ran campaigns in dozens of countries. He moved to near Vlodrop, the Netherlands, in the same year. In 2000, he created the Global Country of World Peace, a non-profit organization, and appointed its leaders. In 2008, the Maharishi announced his retirement from all administrative activities and went into silence until his death three weeks later.

The Maharishi is reported to have trained more than 40,000 TM teachers, taught the Transcendental Meditation technique to “more than five million people” and founded thousands of teaching centers and hundreds of colleges, universities and schools, while TM websites report tens of thousands learned the TM-Sidhi programme. His initiatives include schools and universities with campuses in several countries including India, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The Maharishi, his family and close associates created charitable organisations and for-profit businesses including health clinics, mail-order health supplements and organic farms. The reported value of the Maharishi’s organization has ranged from the millions to billions of U.S. dollars and in 2008, the organization placed the value of their United States assets at about $300 million.”

There is no doubt that Maharishi did extraordinary things and was responsible for a much deeper understanding of eastern practices in the west.

Sai Baba of Shirdi, also known as Shirdi Sai Baba was a Indian spiritual master who was regarded by his devotees as a saint, fakir, and satguru, according to their individual proclivities and beliefs. He was revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees, and during, as well as after, his life it remained uncertain if he was a Muslim or a Hindu. This, however, was of no consequence to Sai Baba. He stressed the importance of surrender to the true Satguru, who, having trod the path to divine consciousness, will lead the disciple through the jungle of spiritual training.

Sai Baba is known by people around the world. He had no love for perishable things and his sole concern was realization of the self. He taught a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to God and guru. He gave no distinction based on religion or caste. Sai Baba’s teaching combined elements of Hinduism and Islam: he gave the Hindu name Dwarakamayi to the mosque in which he lived, practised both Hindu and Muslim rituals, taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions, and was buried in Shirdi. One of his well known epigrams, “Sabka Malik Ek” (“One God governs all”), is associated with Hinduism and Islam He also said, “Listen to me and your prayer shall be answered”. He always uttered Allah Malik (“God is King”).

Sai Baba’s real name and birth place are unknown. Some people believe that he was born on September 28, 1835, though there are no authentic information to prove it. When asked about his past, he often gave elusive responses. The name “Sai” was given to him upon his arrival at Shirdi, a town in the West Indian state of Maharashtra. The word “Sai” refers to a religious mendicant. In several Indian and Middle Eastern languages the term “Baba” is an honorific signifying grandfather, father, old man or sir. Thus Sai Baba denotes holy father, saintly father or (venerable) poor old man. Some of Sai Baba’s disciples became famous as spiritual figures and saints, such as Mahalsapati, a priest of the Khandoba temple in Shirdi, and Upasni Maharaj. He was revered by other saints, such as Saint Bidkar Maharaj, Saint Gangagir, Saint Janakidas Maharaj, and Sati Godavari Mataji. Sai Baba referred to several saints as ‘my brothers’, especially the disciples of Swami Samartha of Akkalkot.”

Sathya Sai Baba (born Sathya Narayana Raju; 23 November 1926 – 24 April 2011) was an Indian guru and philanthropist. He claimed to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi.[6]

Sai Baba’s materialisations of vibhuti (holy ash) and other small objects such as rings, necklaces, and watches, along with reports of miraculous healings, resurrections, clairvoyance, bilocation, and alleged omnipotence and omniscience, were a source of both fame and controversy. His devotees considered them signs of his divinity, while sceptics viewed them as simple conjuring tricks. He further faced accusations over the years of sexual abuse and fraud, which he rejected as smear campaigns.

The Sathya Sai Organisation, founded by Sathya Sai Baba “to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement”, has over 1,200 Sathya Sai Centres (branches) in 126 countries. Through this organisation, Sathya Sai Baba established a network of free hospitals, clinics, drinking water projects, auditoriums, ashrams and schools”

Baba also did extraordinary things and was much loved. He was a skilled conjuror and used his skills to astound his followers, attracted billions in donations and spent much on helping poor communities. The next one may be mythical.

““Mahavatar Babaji (IPA: [Mahāvatār Bābājī]; born 30 November 203 CE) is the name given to an Indian saint and yogi by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples who met Mahavatar Babaji between 1861 and 1935. Some of these meetings were described by Paramahansa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi, including a first hand telling of Yogananda’s own meeting with Mahavatar Babaji. Another first hand account was given by Yukteswar Giri in his book The Holy Science. According to Sri M’s autobiography (Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master) Sri Guru Babaji, i.e., Mahavatar Babaji was Lord Shiva. In the second last chapter of his book, he mentions Sri Guru Babaji changing his form to Lord Shiva. All of these accounts, along with additional meetings with Mahavatar Babaji, are described in various biographies of those mentioned by Yogananda.

Mahavatar Babaji’s given name is unknown, so those who met him during that period all called him by the title first given to him by Lahirī. “Mahavatar” means “great avatar”, and “Babaji” simply means “revered father”. Some of the encounters included two or more witnesses—discussions between those who met Mahavatar Babaji indicate that they all met the same person.” Wikipedia

Finally I must include the guru of other people I have known.

Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Bengali: অভয়চরণারবিন্দ ভক্তিবেদান্ত স্বামী প্রভুপাদ; Abhoy Charonarobindo Bhoktibedanto Swamy Probhupad; Sanskrit: अभय चरणारविन्द भक्तिवेदान्त स्वामी प्रभुपाद, IAST: abhaya-caraṇaravinda bhakti-vedānta svāmī prabhupāda; 1 September 1896 – 14 November 1977) was a Gaudiya Vaishnava spiritual teacher (guru) and the founder preceptor (acharya) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), commonly known as the “Hare Krishna Movement“. His mission was to propagate Gaudiya Vaishnavism, a school of Vaishnavite Hinduism that had been taught to him by his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, throughout the world. Born Abhay Charan De in Calcutta, he was educated at the prestigious local Scottish Church College. Before adopting the life of a pious renunciant (vanaprastha) in 1950, he was married with children and owned a small pharmaceutical business.

In 1959 he took a vow of renunciation (sannyasa) and started writing commentaries on Vaishnava scriptures. In his later years, as a traveling Vaishnava monk, he became an influential communicator of Gaudiya Vaishnava theology to India and specifically to the West through his leadership of ISKCON, founded in 1966. As the founder of ISKCON, he “emerged as a major figure of the Western counterculture, initiating thousands of young Americans.” Despite attacks from anti-cult groups, he received a favorable welcome from many religious scholars, such as J. Stillson Judah, Harvey Cox, Larry Shinn and Thomas Hopkins, who praised Bhaktivedanta Swami’s translations and defended the group against distorted media images and misinterpretations. In respect to his achievements, religious leaders from other Gaudiya Vaishnava movements have also given him credit.

He has been described as a charismatic leader, in the sense used by sociologist Max Weber, as he was successful in acquiring followers in the United States, Europe, India and elsewhere. After his death in 1977, ISKCON, the society he founded based on a type of Hindu Krishnaism using the Bhagavata Purana as a central scripture, continued to grow and is respected in India, though there have been disputes about leadership among his followers. In February 2014, ISKCON’s news agency reported to have reached a milestone of distributing over half a billion books authored by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, since 1965” Wikipedia

So above we can see some of the most well known gurus of the last century, men who created large followings and inspired many people in the west and in their own country – India. They were all ‘charismatic’, all knowledgeable and all taught. They were all highly successful too and none were ‘hidden masters’. It is much simpler and more effective to do this yourself and not to sell the product. Doing that creates all sorts of problems and you have to take responsibility for the karma or actions of your followers. That is why they do it as they expect the karma to be positive, a credit to them. When or before they die they realise that it is anything but.

So I have said that I will look at what happened to Krishnamurti. As an impressionable youth he had a spirit master he called Master K H. he said that when he walked through him that he never saw him again. Almost certainly he knew why. I used to talk to a spirit master too. Most of us do and we call this one God, Jesus or various other names. The spirit speaks to us and may even guide us. But one day lying in my bath and visualising myself as a small boy in deep trouble, about to be beaten, I involuntarily called to him ‘Don’t worry Johnnie it will be all right‘. That was no my enlightening moment as such but came shortly before it. It was the realisation that I was my own spirit master, that the person at the end of my life spoke to the boy. The one who testifies against us when we die can become us if we allow that. This is what happened to Krishnamurti. He claimed that he received enlightenment before that happened which would not be possible, just an odd experience leading up to it i it came at all. You will note that when becoming enlightened he is still in thrall to Master KH, who is himself but unrealised at that time.

I will record again my enlightening moment as I have deleted it. It was in 1988 shortly after my father died.We were living in a converted warehouse on the Thames next door to the Mayflower Pub from which wharf the Pilgrims had departed for America. On a sparkling summer morning I distinctly imagined my father speaking to me again. He seemed to be saying that I should go down to the Thames foreshore to find a great treasure which would be near something purple. Imagining the word ‘treasure’ I wasted no time and took a trowel and bucket with me just in case. I climbed down the warehouse steps to the beach if one could call the smelly mud shore that and looked around for this purple sign.

An hour later I was still looking, the tide was coming in and I was becoming quite disillusioned with my little fantasy. I then found a bit of lilac coloured plastic, but nothing valuable near it. At that moment some youths caught my eye. With my back to the river and some fifty yards from the steps I saw a gang of young men making their way over to me. Now Rotherhithe is not the safest place to be at the best of times. Even our wreck of a car was being regularly vandalised there and instead of finding treasure I began to suspect that I was to be mugged. In a panic I scooped the plastic and a few handfuls of shingle, in which I could see some lead and an old broken clay pipe covered in stinking mud, into the bucket and ran.

It was some days later that I thought to look in the bucket which I had put under our sink and which was attracting complaints. Apart from the sewage mud which I washed away there was the broken clay pipe, a piece of lead and a few stones. One was white and had sand stuck to it but as I washed this away a nose, an eye and part of a third eye became visible in the limestone. At which point I heard him say ‘this is the day and way of your enlightenment’. This little object is now my greatest treasure. It also has a link with Egypt as I found a hieroglyph that matched it exactly and which means ‘smell’ and ‘be happy’. Here is my ‘third eye’:

2004kodak pics john&kim 152

I am sure your way will be different to mine. But it can be done without sitting cross legged under some tree.








If peace were just the absence of war, silence the absence of noise, death the absence of life, health the absence of disease, darkness the absence of light then enlightenment would just be the absence of illusion and deceit. But they are not.

Freedom is usually a misleading term. If we are not imprisoned we are thought to be free and certainly for a prisoner freedom represents an ideal which means more perhaps than it ever does to those outside the prison walls. It is one of the terms used for achieving the Nirvana state, the enlightened state and in that language is called liberation.

They are just words for concepts and really we need more than that – we need the evidence of our own eyes to get there. I do not know who invented them but the Ancient Egyptians and almost all other cultures had pots. The Egyptian ones that are 6000 years old and made of hard stone must have taken months to make and are absolutely stunning. You and I could not begin to make them with or without metal tools that they did not have. Later came the earthenware pots, then metal and glass – our supermarkets are still full of glass jars and bottles. In my youth we got money back for some of them which were washed and reused, but now they go in recycling bins, are mashed up and remade.

Anyway the bottle is magnificent. People were able to store and even cook food in their pots and found that although grapes would rot if they took out the juice it kept better, in fact it became wine. And if they boiled up poppies and poppy stalks or willow bark they had a potion that was a potent painkiller. We know that alcohol has been dreadfully abused since then and is the cause of almost all domestic violence. We know that the poppy juice is just as abused but still needed by hospitals. Some bottles contain great wines which improve and some contain polluted rubbish.

Many of us start life as empty bottles. Hindus would say we are reused bottles. In their view to become liberated or enlightened means we need no longer be bottled. For one reason or another the liberated can exist outside their bodies. If we think we are the bottle then we have not reached that stage, or that is the lesson. We all know the stories about the genie in the bottle. But it is what is in our bottle that is important and decides our fate. When we are judged it will be just like the wine we drink. And indeed just as transient. How does the content of a bottle manage to stand out? How can it be so precious that it will be remembered for all time? Some potions, scents and wines are extremely valuable and in our case any value placed on our essence will be for the same reasons.

Hindus will also tell you that if you aim for liberation you will not achieve it as it comes with the abandonment of all desires. It is true. If however you are aware of liberation you may well direct your life towards that goal and in order to reach it must give it up to something much greater than your own liberation. It is understanding what is greater that is difficult. This is not giving your life for king and country. For music or money. It is making your bottle able to hold the most fabulous and invaluable substance in the universe which may be what it was made for. That most bottles are used for alcohol and substandard goods is not the point. Our containers are magnificent and it is hard to put more value in what they hold. If you had taken a year or so to craft from a lump of extremely hard stone a beautiful container like these by using smaller lumps of even harder stone and sand to do so:


you might care more about what it was used for. That is probably why they were buried with the people who cherished them.

Here is an excellent article with many illustrations and items in museums which shows how the Ancient Egyptians made their magnificent stone pots, or stone plates with curled edges:




To make your life worthwhile, let alone special, takes many years. Sometimes it takes many more years than you have. But there are ways to do it and if we can learn what they are from those who have actually done this themselves we may save ourselves a lot of these years, and even make possible something that is so rare that we can safely say it is almost impossible.

Even if you start today you will not be a John Lennon, Bob Dylan or Leonardo Da Vinci. People with that kind of talent are ones in billions. You will not even be a one hit wonder. You will not get into the hit parade at all or probably even into a studio. But even they do not have the most fabulous substance in their bottles and most of them were looking for it for much of their lives.

Look instead at that poor parish priest Frank Buttle who lived the life of a pauper but over it made a million pounds when a million was the equivalent of 100 million now, all for poor children. That man was also a priest. Mother Theresa was a num who gave her life to the poorest of the poor Indians and even washed their bodies when they died and prayed for them. But like Buttle she did more than that, she made sure that her ‘work’ carried on after her death:

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children’s and family counselling programmes; orphanages; and schools. Members must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, as well as a fourth vow, to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor” Wikipedia

Both these people gave up their own lives for poverty and their work. That is what makes them so valuable and special. I would add that even Bill Gates and his wife are devoting much if not all of their fortune to charity and I personally know of two people whose studies are being helped by them. Bill has the capability to change millions of poor lives and has seen the need to do that. But we do not have his talent to make the money he has. I should add that Mother Theresa is not without critics:

“A controversial figure both during her life and after her death, Mother Teresa was widely admired by many for her charitable works, but was also widely criticised, particularly for her opposing both abortion and contraception. She also received criticism for substandard conditions in the hospices for which she was responsible.” Wikipedia

I am only mentioning these last two people because they exemplify the giving up of one’s own life and desires. Perhaps they never gave up the desire to help poor people, perhaps they did not achieve liberation. But the giving up of one’s life to a work that is much greater than any of us is what leads to that. And we must be extremely careful about choosing this work. What is it that we are made to hold? We may not have the talent of many but we can certainly fulfil our potential if we understand it.

In my own case it was by communicating with myself at the end of my life that led me to understand my own potential and the things that I should not serve. I wanted to be a rock & roll star like many my age, then a successful businessman, and many other things but none were what I was really made for and only when I rededicated my entire life from birth to death to that did my enlightenment come and free me from the constraints that I had imposed on myself, and indeed the constraints imposed on me by society. If I was looking for any approval from even one person on this planet I would not find it unless I include my own self at the end of his life. It is a private matter and the real masters are always hidden. If they are not we must beware.

We cannot risk following anyone else. Nor blindly accept what we are told so first we must open our eyes then we can decide what we should do with our lives. Opening your eyes is the easy part but means reworking everything we have taken for granted. I had given examples here of some of this as I see it, not for you to accept but for you to see how one person has done it, someone alive in your own time with exactly the same limitations. However I have now deleted all of that as it is not helpful. I have looked at as many ‘enlightened’ men and women as possible and found almost all not to be! My work is as much to do with after death as it is to do with life but yours will probably be as different as a sunflower is to a melon. My work was about dealing with men and women in our ancient past because I was able to do that. With spirits because they were part of my real life from an early age. That is not what you need to do. If you can sing you are fortunate. I cannot even hear properly let alone sing in tune. What is it that you are uniquely adapted to do? Buttle had a knack for dealing in shares and making profits. Theresa inspired other women to do what she did and was unafraid to deal with death, dirt and disease. We are all capable of holding different substances in our bottles and it is what we do hold that will be judged – that is our karma. We will also be judged on what we could have held but did not, what we could have done with our privileged lives and education.

If you see a man striking a woman or a child or even an animal should you challenge him? Will you allow fear to blind you? I do not suggest you take on big violent people as you will get mashed. We do need to be strong and courageous to open our eyes but also careful. Terrible things are happening in our world and our media seldom report them impartially but opening our eyes to the dread reality does not mean challenging it. The poor are being subjugated and persecuted all around us and our world‘s governments are refusing to help, indeed some are making it worse. It was no different in Buttle’s day, nor for Mother Theresa, but they did not take on the world, just worked to alleviate its suffering and led by example. So if we are made for this it is up to us to help the poor rather than challenge the system that makes this happen. Not to shut our eyes to it as it is not our problem. If we are made for high office we may be working on the system.

It is a fact though that in the 21st century we have not managed to resolve poverty or war and perhaps still use both to create wealth. However the innocents suffering from this clamour in the afterlife and our karma may well bring us down collectively as a hopeless and cruel species.

What can we do to help the innocents? I do not recommend revolutions – they are always worse than what they replace. What we need is awareness. And at least as many lives dedicated to peace and healing as to war and harming. We also need to understand that liberation and freedom often grow out of persecution, seldom out of happy and prosperous lives. Truth and justice emerge from lies, illusion and injustice because it is the experience of the latter that make a home for their opposites. It is a life’s work but as I have discovered is also a hidden work. We are our own judges and will be judged quite harshly by ourselves when we die if we put illusion in a container intended for truth, if we are unjust and created poverty when we could have alleviated it. And that judgement will determine whether we are to be freed or recycled to try again.





You may or may not have had the experience of clearing your parents’ home after their death. It can help one look at one’s own home and collection of memorabilia, junk and the occasional treasure. How important this look at our lives is! But let us start with our parents, indeed ancestors.

Assume that the landlord has given notice that the home is to be cleared within a month and you enter it with a mixture of despair, sadness and nostalgia. Here are things you were brought up with and here in a sense is what an archaeologist would use to make sense of the lives that have been lived in this place – if they were left there to be discovered at some later time.

So for example here is the little jug – oh she always loved that. Here are the letters neatly kept in a folder which meant something at some time. The clothes hanging in a cupboard. The chairs they sat on. And here is the man who will take it all away and dispose of it for you after you have taken the things you want to keep.

When you get home you look around at your clutter and realise that your own children will have this task one day too. Obviously if you are famous they may appear on TV to discuss your legacy, the books you wrote etc. But for most of us there is a quiet funeral with family and friends and that is it.

In my opinion the most valuable legacy that any of us can leave is the result of a lifetime’s work. That might be art hanging in various places, a tidy sum of money or something much more valuable but quite unseen. It might be the good we have done, the kindness we have shown but if any of us are what are called hidden masters it will be something on a much bigger scale.

These hidden masters are men and women living among us quite anonymously. Unlike the gurus and spiritual heads in our world they will have no titles, no followings and usually leave little or no trace of the interventions they have made on behalf of humanity. They might be mythical, not exist and just be an interesting idea but I have been lucky enough to encounter some of them and suggest that they do exist.

The concept of a hidden brotherhood may be ancient but was highlighted by Gurdjieff. We need to take what he tells us with a hefty pinch of salt but it certainly aroused the interest of my generation. In my case back in 1970 we did not have the internet. TV programmes never mentioned people like Gurdjieff. Libraries did not have his books, nor most book shops. I had been trying to find enlightenment ever since I first heard of it and one evening a man I knew told me what he had heard. I had shared a farm cottage near Winchester with him when our wives went to Morocco with our small children while we tried to get vans ready to meet up with them there. The story was unbelievable but unbelievably interesting.

He said Gurdjieff had to cross the Gobi desert to find the secret brotherhood. To do this he had acquired a flock of sheep and erected a platform on their backs which enabled him to be above the level of the sandstorms. He fed the sheep a mixture of mutton mixed with sand and eventually reached this secret place where he met with the brotherhood.

At the time I had met with quite a few people returning from Afghanistan, Kashmir, India and Pakistan. Many had tales to tell of mystical experiences and magical people they had met out there. This was the hippy trail. I did not think too much about Gurdjieff until I met with a very charismatic man a couple of years later. He claimed that he knew all about the man and that I should not waste my time reading his books. Like others he had also been in India, during the war in his case, and claimed to have come across many fakirs and gurus with fabulous powers.

At that time he was a security guard living in a small upstairs flat in Hackney but quite a few people used to meet with him to explore and discuss the esoteric world. I first met his son when a friend of ours suggested we meet. My then wife absolutely adored them all and especially the subjects we looked at – astrology, healing, world history and so on. So we used to meet regularly with his father who seemed to exert enormous power of some kind and also claimed he could answer any question he was asked. He did have an encyclopaedic knowledge but eventually I discovered he had once been an encyclopedia salesman. Like him I adore encyclopedias and especially these days Wikipedia.

Anyway suffice it to say that having started by asking visitors to his flat for money to put in his gas meter, seven years later he was at the head of a large cult and living in a multi million dollar beachside mansion in Florida. But if I put it all in perspective I would have to admit that the evening I was told about Gurdjieff and his journey by my late friend and the years that I met with this man as he founded his sect, these times caused me to develop my own abilities and to learn things that I would not have known existed. My father was much amused watching this and did meet both my friend, and the son and father from the sect. But the fact is that almost everything I was told by them turned out to be nonsense. I don’t think it matters as long as you discover that, do not waste your entire life finding that out and use the experience diligently. Here for example is what Wikipedia has to tell us about Gurdjieff’s journey. Had I been able to read this then I would never have travelled down the path to enlightenment at all. I would have come to the conclusion there was no path:

“What struck us most was the word “Sarmoung”, which we had come across several times in the book called “Merkhavat”. This word is the name of a famous esoteric school which, according to tradition, was founded in Babylon as far back as 2500 BC, and which was known to have existed somewhere in Mesopotamia up to the sixth or seventh century AD; but about its further existence one could not obtain anywhere the least information.

This school was said to have possessed great knowledge, containing the key to many secret mysteries

Many times had Pogossian and I talked of this school and dreamed of finding out something authentic about it, and now suddenly we found it mentioned in this parchment! We were greatly excited” Wikipedia

So Gurdjieff sets the scene and then tells us of an improbable journey he undertook:

“Gurdjiieff’s experiences on these journeys, and a sketchy account of his somewhat mysterious relationship with the Sarmoung Brotherhood, can be found in his autobiography Meetings with Remarkable Men. He claims he made contact with a representative of the Sarmoung through his friend, the Dervish Bogga Eddin (Bahauddin), in Bukhara. The chief monastery of the society was said to be located somewhere in the heart of Asia, about twelve days’ journey from Bukhara by horse and donkey. Once he arrived at the monastery, Gurdjieff discovered that his old friend Prince Lubovedsky was already there. The Prince tells Gurdjieff that he had met a representative of the Sarmoung at the house of the Aga Khan in Kabul, Afghanistan. During his stay at the monastery, Gurdjieff recalls seeing a complex and ancient tree-like apparatus used to indicate bodily postures and train temple dancers.

Gurdjieff’s attempts to establish a link between the Brotherhood, ancient Sumer, and even “pre-sand Egypt“, was an intriguing attempt at acquiring esoteric knowledge that had been passed down from antiquity” Wikipedia

As a result it became something ofa fascination for many of us and some went to the trouble of travelling to some of the most dangerous places in the world in the hope of meeting with these people. Others added to the fascination by recording more of this. I think it is worth copying here too:

“According to Account of the Sarmoun Brotherhood (1966, 1982) by Major Desmond R. Martin, a major centre of the contemporary Sarmoun Brotherhood was in the Hindu Kush mountains of northern Afghanistan. Major Martin was an associate of the writer and Sufi teacher, Idries Shah.

In the account, the motto of the Sarmouni is said to be “Work produces a Sweet Essence” (Amal misazad yak zaati shirin), work being not only work for God and for others but also self-work. In relation to this, it is maintained that just as the bee accumulates honey, so the Sarmouni accumulate, store and preserve what they term “true knowledge” (which is equally seen as existing as a positive commodity and associated with the spiritual gift or energy of Baraka). In times of need this is released once more into the world through specially trained emissaries. He describes a tree-like, multi jointed apparatus, similar to one described by Gurdjieff, and also a “No-Koonja” or nine-pointed figure, similar to Gurdjieff’s Enneagram. The account hints that the central Asian activities of the Sarmoun are to be shut down and the organisation shifted to the west, and mentions an absent chief of the order, the Surkaur, who lives in a place called Aubshaur or “waterfall” (Another account of a visit to a remote monastery, published anonymously in the Times, links the Sarkar to Idries Shah). Martin’s account ends with a description of a symbolic ritual whose theme is the revival of the “dead letter” of traditional teaching.

A lengthy account of an encounter with the Sarmouni is given in Among the Dervishes (1973) by Omar Michael Burke, an associate of (or pen name of ) Idries Shah. He takes the term “Sarmouni” to be synonymous with the Amudaria dervishes. He describes the Sarmouni as a diffuse set of groups, rather than being located in a single monastery. Some groups have no permanent headquarters and meet in the open or private houses. In some cases, whole villages blend Sarmouni practices with their day-to-day lives. He describes them as having a practical orientation, and avoiding mystification and personality-cults. They occasionally display extrasensory perceptions, but do not attribute great significance to them. He reports meeting a nonagenarian with memories of “Jurjizada” (Gurdjieff). He also says they owe their allegiance to the “Studious King” (a literal translation of Idries Shah’s name), and agrees with Major Martin that their teaching has been exported and adapted to the West. (He mentions the Azimiyya, a modern international Sufi order).

Idries Shah himself does not describe any personal contact with the Sarmoung, but mentions the “Sarmouni” several times in his writings. For instance, in Tales of the Dervishes he attributes a teaching story to a Sarmouni called Pir-i-Do-Sara (d. 1790). He also offers a following “Sarmouni recital”, beginning:-

“He who knows and does not know that he knows: he is asleep. Let him become

one, whole. Let him be awakened.

He who has known but does not know: let him see once more the beginning of all.

He who does not wish to know, and yet says that he needs to know: let him be guided to safety and to light.

He who does not know, and knows that he does not know: let him, through this knowledge, know”.


In Studies in Comparative Religion (Winter 1974), it is said that according to the Armenian book Merkhavat, the Sarmoung Brotherhood, also referred to as the ‘Inner Circle of Humanity’, originated in ancient Babylon circa 2500 BC, at around the time the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Ouspensky Foundation state that the brotherhood was active in the golden Babylonian time of Hammurabi (1728-1686 BC) and is connected with Zoroaster, the teacher of Pythagoras (born c. 580 BC–572 BC, died c. 500 BC–490 BC). According to the Foundation, Pythagoras stayed for twelve years in Babylon. (Merkabah mysticism is in fact a form of Jewish esotericism, which Gurdjieff possibly encountered in an Armenian translation).

In The Masters of Wisdom, J.G. Bennett states that the Sarman left Babylon before the arrival of the Alexander the Great (who reigned 336-323 BC), moved up the Tigris and made their headquarters in the abandoned capital of the Assyrian Kings, close to modern-day Mosul in northern Iraq.

In Gurdjieff in the Light of Tradition (2002), the Perrenialist Whitall Perry wrote that Gurdjieff believed that the northern Sufi orders could well be under the hidden direction of the Khwajagan – the ‘Masters of Wisdom’ – themselves in turn delegated by the Sarman ‘Inner Circle’, the ‘Assembly of the Living Saints of the Earth’.

In The People of the Secret, Edward Campbell (writing as Ernest Scott), another associate of Idries Shah, describes studies in extrasensory perception being undertaken in the contemporary Sarmoun monastery in Afghanistan.

The Canadian diplomat and Gurdjieffian James George has speculated, on the basis of the similar name and location, that Surmang, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery currently within Chinese borders may be real basis of the Sarmoung. Surmang has been more recently associated with the renowned and controversial Kagyu teacher Chogyam Trungpa. In 2007, Buddhist priest Rev. José M. Tirado presented a paper to the All & Everything Conference in Loutraki, Greece detailing the probable Buddhist influences on Gurdjieff´s teachings, and linking “Sarmoun” to the Surmang monastery, in “Beelzebub´s Buddhas”.

Mark Sedgwick, the coordinator of the Unit for Arab and Islamic Studies at Aarhus University writes:

Although few commentators in Gurdjieff would put it so bluntly, it seems clear to me that the Sarmoung are entirely imaginary. No Sufi tariqa of such a name is known, and in fact “Sarmoung” is a typically Gurdjieffian fantastical name. It is immediately obvious to anyone who knows anything about regular Sufism that there is nothing remotely Sufi about the Sarmoung Order described by Gurdjieff.

James Moore, in his biography of Gurdjieff, writes

Gurdjieff’s claim to have found and entered ‘the chief Sarmoung Monastery’ is, in effect, a litmus test, distinguishing literal minds from those preferring allegory.” Wikipedia

Now that is a fair summary in my view on the thinking about these hidden masters. Other authors have also mentioned such people. Paul Brunton for example in his ‘Search in Secret Egypt’ claimed to have met a man at least one thousand years old. I daresay that my experiences seem just as over the top and my dismissing the above as nonsense may seem hypocritical. It is certainly based in some truth but some of these men seem to have parted from it for one reason or another. Gurus are very prone to make exaggerated claims which act as magnets for their followings and it does seem as though this was behind the claims of the founders of the sects above.

In my dream time there is certainly what I call a night school. That is a place that one can reach in dreams where any number of men and women that I would call masters meet. As I have no way of proving that and it is not even my intention I might leave it at that. I seem to have a job there keeping it clean, moving things about and other such menial tasks which make me feel that I am a janitor. I do recognise some of the masters, occasionally attend a lesson and find it all hard work. It seems to me that I am there most nights, or many nights and often awake exhausted. Certainly over my life time those dreams have led me to know there is a meeting place for these people. Also that it is hidden. It has at times been extremely hard to find and reach. I cannot say why that is. At other times I just find myself there.

However these are not the hidden masters that I wish to mention. At this point I suppose I should bring up the role of the power of prayer. This is not my way but as the son of a priest it was certainly the way of my father. I cannot remember who told me this but my father was a priest during the war while his brothers were serving in the army, RAF and navy. I know my father was sometimes embarrassed about his role during the war when so many of his parishioners and family were out fighting in terrible conditions. But someone told me that I should never underestimate the role of those who prayed for humanity at that time. Certainly prayer is another power. It is hard to say how powerful it is but my experience of living with someone who had made it the central plank in his profession taught me that it really does move in mysterious ways. Things happen as a result but prayer’s role in these changes is hidden.

So it is with the hidden masters, the men and women who we would call masters if we knew more about them. I would bring up this man in that sense:

“In December 1950, the Sunday Dispatch wrote of him: “People who do not know the Reverend William Francis Buttle feel sorry for him as he trundles his ancient bicycle through London’s East End or shuffles along the grey streets in shoes several sizes too big for him and clothes from which the linings hang in ribbons.

They do not know that he has amassed a fortune of £700,000, that he dreams of making a million, and that he will never touch a penny of it for himself. Canon Buttle, at 72, is the Church of England’s most fantastic Parson – solicitor, real estate operator and shrewd share speculator – a legendary figure who some call a saint, and some a miser. In 30 years he has built up two fabulous trusts which he claims will one day educate, maintain and send out to life 1,000 children a year who are either illegitimate or from broken homes.” Wikipedia

I could mention another priest too. This one was my parish priest in Hampstead in the 1970’s:

Christopher Neil-Smith (1920–1995) was an Anglican priest who served as vicar of St Saviour’s Hampstead and is best known for his practice of exorcism and his parapsychological interests.

Neil-Smith is credited with performing more than three thousand exorcisms in Britain, starting in 1949. In 1972, the Bishop of London authorized him to exorcise demons according to his own judgement” Wikipedia

No one would have known that from looking at him. He exorcised men and women in and out of prison and had extraordinary success. Perhaps it helps if we look at possession as addiction. In some it is an addiction to rape or murder. In some it may be a mental health condition like schizophrenia. Some live in terror that they are controlled by the devil and will burn in hell. Many are suicidal. These days we may apply all kinds of treatments to these conditions including long term confinement or a life time of treatment with drugs that have severe side effects. But Neil-Smith saw an occult cause to the conditions and wrestled with it, enabling and strengthening the will power in the afflicted to conquer whatever they felt was possessing them. Films about exorcism do not really show what it is about. Certainly I would include both Buttle and Neil-Smith in my list of hidden masters but they are very different from most that I have met, the only real similarity being that they are hidden in many respects and worked humbly for humanity.

It is not for me to say that any of these people lived before and had gained release from the cycle of rebirth but elected to return to work for creation. That is what some would claim however and there may be some truth in it. On the other hand it is possible that they like me did not feel that they had reincarnated, nor that they had any special powers as such. Just a desire to work away in private, like the many hermits who have been here since the most ancient times. Not everybody seeks credit for the interventions they make on behalf of others. It can be reward enough to see the results, or often to sow the seeds of the mighty oaks that will one day dominate the landscape. What these real masters are not are people making a good living out of the gullibility of their followers. Priests like my father, Neil-Smith who went to the same theological college in Cambridge, and Buttle who was a lawyer before he became a priest – all had the finest brains. They could have been a success in any field but chose the least rewarding careers and were all poor parish priests when they died.

I am sure I met a few masters in my youth but missed identifying them. However when I started practicing my clairvoyance I started noticing them. One of the first was a small, elderly woman who came to my shop in Islington for a reading. Or that was what I thought. She came back a bit later at the appointed time with a friend and they sat opposite me listening for a while. Then suddenly she started reading me, alternating sentences with her friend. I had had a similar experience some years before that when I went to see the man, famous in Britain for his clairaudience, in a church hall in Kentish Town. That was Joseph Benjamin who had a packed hall and gave a mesmerising display of his art. He then told us he was a showman for God. All he wanted was for us to realise that there really was an afterlife. Then he stopped, walked forward on the stage and pointed at me while asking the hall to pray. It was an extraordinary and indeed chilling feeling. Then he mentioned a large building in America that some years later I found myself in and immediately recalled his description. And sure enough just as he predicted my life changed that day.

The masters when they came in those days usually told me things when I had finished and correctly identified them as more clairvoyant than me. But when I stopped giving readings I still came across them. Having written that I must add that I have not come across them in the last few years. Perhaps they do not come to Scotland. The later meetings often involved no words at all – just looks. I agree that a look can mean anything and that in this case it could mean nothing but there are other things that speak volumes instead. Knowing they are there before spotting them. Recognition. Occasionally something else coinciding with that – a bird perhaps, a sudden silence in a busy place, a brightness, and almost always an internal dialogue even if it is just saying hello.

The point is that for clairvoyants there is something speaking to us that is behind the person we meet or read. I would say that it is that part of us that testifies for or against us when we die. The Egyptians may have called this the ka. Others call it our spirit. Very few people however are at one with this and that is what I would say about all the masters. That is who they are. And yet they are otherwise indistinguishable from anyone else around them, often the least likely looking characters. I must add that I have been to Psychic and Mystery Fairs and passed many working clairvoyants, met many mediums. Certainly very few would I put in that category although almost all mean well and do a difficult job as well as they can.

Before I deleted the vast accumulation of my writings here I had put something about hidden masters on the site. I also mentioned realising that someone I once knew fitted in that category. I was dreaming and at the night school. We were all trying to find the places where we were supposed to be in this term and I could not find mine which was ‘4C’. But I saw a nice woman who seemed to be a prefect and she kindly guided me to the right classroom. She would have taken me into it but we noted that she would be late for her own lesson and she sped off. Before that however she mentioned to me this website. I was rather surprised, even shocked, that she had connected me with it and was trying to assess her opinion and whether there was any disapproval. It was an immense relief then when she smiled and said ‘It’s not bad is it’ and then repeated that phrase in a London accent that seemed familiar.

If you think about your own dreams you will realise that we do not always dream about things that we know about and are often in surprising and even uncharted territory. Although I know the school well this conversation certainly surprised me. It was only after I awoke and noted the dream sequences so that I should not forget them (otherwise dreams evaporate like frost in the sun only to be recalled in other dreams or on the rare occasions when one ‘breaks‘ a dream) that I realised that I knew this woman.

It was quite a shock for me to realise that the woman in the dream was a master I had missed completely so well hidden was she. But as I thought more about her the next morning I was able to put quite a few jigsaw pieces into place.

I have recently written about ‘influence’ yet here was a major influence on my life that I seem to have failed to notice. I may as well mention what I mean and explain our relationship. It was after my oldest daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumour that I first came across a team of people who installed an alarm in her house so that if she needed help or her small son for example was alone with his mother while she was having an epileptic fit or seizure, which is frightening to watch and the boy was only 7, then he or she could press a button to summon help. Almost immediately a voice would speak to them from a loudspeaker next to the telephone asking what had happened while the team urgently despatched someone with a key to the house who could help. They would call an ambulance if necessary and in most cases within 15 minutes help would be there in the house. Before it arrived someone would be monitoring the situation, listening, speaking through the loudspeaker, advising and reassuring. One morning I arrived at the house just as they were leaving after receiving a call for help and I realised that was exactly the work I wanted to do in my community.

Eventually after serving my time working as a home carer I landed the job and the person who made the biggest changes in me and who opened the doors of my perception was my manager. A small woman who commanded enormous respect from her team and made sure we were doing what we were supposed to be doing. She trained and mentored me but although we got on well at work we never socialised outside it. I have an enormous debt of gratitude to her. After a few years I managed to get the same job that she was doing in an adjacent borough and we met up occasionally when the managers from all the London Boroughs came together to discuss problems and how to improve the service.

On my first day working for her she told me that as there were two people in her team with my Christian name she wanted to call me ‘James’ to prevent any confusion. I was very surprised but for a few years became James, a name by which many came to know me. When many years later I was walking down an Islington street and heard someone behind me call out ’James!’ it was like as a ‘déjà vu‘. There she was, hair a bit greyer but just as commanding. She told me she had left the service which shocked me but we did not have much time to chat as I was running late for some appointment. We intended to meet up some time but I never heard from or saw her again until last night. That was when I realised that she was one of the most important hidden masters and teachers in my life and also quite an important scholar at the night school. Most of the students and teachers that we meet over there at night are long dead. The school is in what I call the afterlife. But so are most of the teachers and friends I have had over here because I am getting old now.

In the dream she called this website my ‘assignment’ which is often a student term for work they have been given to do at home. Knowing that she has read this inspired me to write about her here whether she is still alive or not. And receive some long overdue feedback from me for the lessons she taught me in life.

As for the night school perhaps some who read this attend it too. And who knows who are hidden masters here. Buddhists see these as people who have achieved ‘liberation’ but opted to return to our world to serve creation and help out. I know this woman had a hard life from early childhood but most of us have for one reason or another. That is where the work is and how our karmic debts are paid while we are alive.

The history of a hidden master or deity in fact goes back to Ancient Egyptian God called Amen, which name in Ancient Egyptian means hidden. He and his wife were two of the eight deities who sat in Thoth’s primeval boat. They are portrayed as humans. The others in the boat were Mr & Mrs Infinity, Mr & Mrs Darkness and Mr & Mrs Primeval Waters. We see another hidden deity here:

This is Babaji said to be 1800 years old:

Mahavatar Babaji (IPA: [Mahāvatār Bābājī]; born 30 November 203 CE) is the name given to an Indian saint and yogi by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples who met Mahavatar Babaji between 1861 and 1935. Some of these meetings were described by Paramahansa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi, including a first hand telling of Yogananda’s own meeting with Mahavatar Babaji. Another first hand account was given by Yukteswar Giri in his book The Holy Science. According to Sri M’s autobiography (Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master) Sri Guru Babaji, i.e., Mahavatar Babaji was Lord Shiva. In the second last chapter of his book, he mentions Sri Guru Babaji changing his form to Lord Shiva. All of these accounts, along with additional meetings with Mahavatar Babaji, are described in various biographies of those mentioned by Yogananda.

Mahavatar Babaji’s given name is unknown, so those who met him during that period all called him by the title first given to him by Lahirī. “Mahavatar” means “great avatar”, and “Babaji” simply means “revered father”. Some of the encounters included two or more witnesses—discussions between those who met Mahavatar Babaji indicate that they all met the same person.” Wikipedia

“Legendary powers and age have been attributed to Mahavatar Babaji by the disciples of Lahirī. These stories have led many to believe that Mahavatar Babaji is a legendary person, rather than a real sadhu that was seen by numerous witnesses from 1861 to 1935.

Paramahansa Yogananda, in his Autobiography, described Mahavatar Babaji’s role on earth:

The Mahavatar is in constant communion with Christ; together they send out vibrations of redemption, and have planned the spiritual technique of salvation for this age. The work of these two fully-illumined masters–one with the body, and one without it–is to inspire the nations to forsake suicidal wars, race hatreds, religious sectarianism, and the boomerang-evils of materialism. Babaji is well aware of the trend of modern times, especially of the influence and complexities of Western civilization, and realizes the necessity of spreading the self-liberations of yoga equally in the West and in the East.

In addition, Babaji is reputed to be ageless, according to some accounts, and about 500 years old around the late 1800s, according to Pranabananda. Yogananda reports that, according to the disciples of Lahirī, nobody knows Babaji’s age, family, place of birth, true name, or other details “dear to the annalist’s heart.”

According to Yogananda’s autobiography, he has a sister called Mataji (meaning “Holy Mother”) who also has lived throughout the centuries. Her level of spiritual attainment is comparable to her brother’s, and she lives in a state of spiritual ecstasy in an underground cave. ….Swami Maheshwarananda writes in his book The hidden power in humans, that the Guru of the legendary Babaji is Sri Alakh Puriji.” Wikipedia

But we also find a hidden master in the Book of Enoch, the prototype for the Christian religion that emerged a few centuries after it was written:


  1. And there I saw One who had a head of days, And His head was white like wool, And with Him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of a man, And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels.
  2. And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden things, concerning that Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, (and)
  3. 64

why he went with the Head of Days? And he answered and said unto me:

This is the son of Man who hath righteousness, With whom dwelleth righteousness, And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden,

Because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him, And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in uprightness for ever.

4, And this Son of Man whom thou hast seen Shall †raise up† the kings and the mighty from their seats, [And the strong from their thrones]

And shall loosen the reins of the strong, And break the teeth of the sinners.

  1. [And he shall put down the kings from their thrones and kingdoms] Because they do not extol and praise Him, Nor humbly acknowledge whence the kingdom was bestowed upon them. 6. And he shall put down the countenance of the strong, And shall fill them with shame.

And darkness shall be their dwelling, And worms shall be their bed, And they shall have no hope of rising from their beds, Because they do not extol the name of the Lord of Spirits.

….When they see that Son of Man Sitting on the throne of his glory.

  1. 82
  2. And the kings and the mighty and all who possess the earth shall bless and glorify and extol him who rules over all, who was hidden.
  3. For from the beginning the Son of Man was hidden, And the Most High preserved him in the presence of His might, And revealed him to the elect.”

Amen the ‘hidden god’ is in fact considered in the ‘Theban’ theology as the hidden force behind all things and we might well note that he seems to hide at the end of every prayer. Jews, Christians and Muslims all say the word Amen or Ameen at the end of their prayers and all give different reasons for doing so. Perhaps none of them realise who they are addressing by doing this.

There are a few more examples of hidden masters. We can have no idea how many there are. For a start we need enlightenment to recognise it in others and if it is hidden that may well be impossible. But some people have left a legacy that we can see and deduce that there was something more to them, even though most were hidden during their life times, lived in seclusion or as hermits.

One I will be writing about here has been well hidden for four centuries and remains so however is under his various aliases not only William Shakespeare, but also perhaps the most famous and notorious magician to have lived since Merlin came to Scotland to live in a hermitage in the time of 6th century founder of Glasgow, St Mungo, was also the richest man in Britain and a peer of the realm. But he is someone few have ever heard of, and whose Wikipedia entry is tiny. A classic hidden master.











A look again at the powers. We live in a world of illusion and the powers we think we see are often not powers at all so it is worth looking how the real powers work.

We can start with an extra planetary force – the sun. We know it is life giving and enables us to survive. It seems to be an accident of nature, another power. That is to say if we found another planet with water a similar distance from a similar sun perhaps at a certain time in its evolution we may find life as we know it. We do not credit our sun with intelligence even though it has been worshipped as God since the earliest times and only now a discredited few are beginning to realise that our planet may be intelligent, something the ancients all knew. The sun, earth and nature are three of the real major powers that control us. And they are extremely ‘intelligent’ but to our eyes work very slowly. We cannot see some things that we know happen in our short lifetimes, like mountains being pushed up by tectonic plates, we just see the gradual result and the occasional earthquakes. But that is a huge ’power’. In a sense we are beginning to use the mighty power of wind, tide (one of the moon‘s powers) and solar energy but they are hidden, which is to say occult and we do not talk to them or call them gods.

Another huge hidden power is the afterlife. Up here we have the ‘Glasgow Association of Spiritualists’ in its nice Georgian building. It is 150 years old this year and still going strong. But almost no one in Glasgow really accepts that there is any possible contact with the afterlife. Those that do may well attend such a church and keep the evidence to themselves. Not only is it possible but we the living are certainly subject to it or will be. However as with many other powers the afterlife moves slowly and is hidden and we do not usually meet it until we die, or until those close to us do.

Then there are the universal forces that we call truth and justice or dharma and karma. In our somewhat unreal and illusory world we can only really imagine them or think of them as concepts and not the vast overriding powers that they are. Although they move slowly they mercilessly destroy our lies and illusion as one day we will witness for ourselves. The part of us that will testify against us when we die is their representative in us. That tiny part of us that is actually real.

Numbers and even colours are powers but I do not intend to go into those structures here now. They are wavelengths which we perceive in a somewhat illusory way. As far as Nature is concerned we are unnatural and increasingly dangerous. We would be silly (we are) to think we can win our war with nature but we are certainly waging an almighty battle with a system that supports us. It is like those dreadful auto-immune diseases that so many of us suffer and which leave a trail of havoc and death in their wake. Patently obvious to some of us but quite hidden from so many scientists waging the war on our behalf. Nature also moves slowly as we can see in the history of evolution, but it adapts to meet the challenges it faces to its survival.

We know a bit about the power of the atom, or that energy imprisoned in this smallest thing which we could call the monad. That classic motto of Thoth – ‘as above so below’ comes to mind when we look at these tiny things as so much is represented in the atomic structures that exists in the universe as a whole. We also know now much about that DNA structure on which life is built. We have no sooner found it than are changing it. As soon as we discovered nuclear power we decided to use that too. Both are or may be adapted for war. These are mighty powers which may not take kindly to the use we have in mind for them. But some humans delight in slavery of all kinds. They feel that everything should serve the human who should not serve any other interest except what we call God. We have enslaved nations, animals and now our genes. But this is an un-winnable war.

You need to do your own research on this next one but its power is self evident. It is also about wavelengths and harnessing them and has a fascinating history in the human. In its early human form we see drums. Nature of course uses it in birdsong, and whales sing, even wolves sing. Many species use it. Apollo had a contest with Pan over it, his stringed instrument against Pan’s wind driven pipes. There is even an occult phenomenon they name after it – the ‘music of the spheres’ as it is assumed to exist at planetary level. As space is a vacuum that insulates and contains sound, it does not allow planets to sing to each other in any audible way but most of us have experienced music through radio waves. We use this power in many ways, increasingly subliminally. It sells things to us, comforts and excites us. Nations have anthems. For quite a few generations it has wielded great influence on us, especially our young. One of its powers is in repetition.

Personality or charisma is another power we are aware of and not only in the human. Some have learned how to harness that too and it has at times been used against humans by those who exude it. Hypnosis is found here and if you know anything about that you will understand how those who are hypnotised do not know it. This is one way that enables illusion to be so powerful as the hypnotised cannot see through the illusion that is put around them. We must not think we are immune to this power as we are not.

Writing is a power in itself too, if much abused and used to indoctrinate at times. It has recorded history and inspired humanity since its creation just over 5000 years ago. Amous passage in the bible states that in the beginning was the ‘word’ and the word was God and the word was with God. That sentence alone has had great power and some truth.

There is a power in knowledge, brute force, attraction, food, drugs and so many other things we find in our daily lives yet seldom question as they exert their influence over us. The media is powerful, the internet………………

We also have our laws, police forces, armies, governments, treaties, cultures, customs, superstitions. All are powers set over us in one way or another and should be seen for what they are. We tend to be powerless in the face of all of that if we are unaware of this. It is a great illusion that we are masters of our own lives and destinies. We could be perhaps if we knew what was happening to us, if we were not blind and opened our eyes.

Most of the powers we think control our world are just as blind as we are. The governments and intelligence agencies are just as gullible and that is the biggest problem for us, they must open their eyes fast and indeed first or we will follow them into chaos, which incidentally is another mighty power. All the powers are subject to what we call karma, which is really just the consequence of any action and its inevitable reaction. If the action is planting a seed then the result is a crop, but a crop of what?

Much of our species’ immune system was compromised long ago when a particular parasite entered our systems and took partial control. The toxoplasmosis parasite governs the behaviour of the creature it enters to make it a prey for the intermediate host that allows it to multiply. The mouse which harbours this tiny worm therefore finds itself quite unnaturally attracted to cat urine, and as a result is caught by the cat which consumes both the mouse and the parasite. In the cat’s gut this parasite finds a climate suitable to reproduce, shedding eggs into the grass where the cycle can be repeated when the mouse eats the faeces or whatever eats the eggs. Scientists now know that affected humans (a huge percentage of us – over 80% in France) are more likely to crash their cars. It seems possible that it causes us to dangerous places like the mice – wars perhaps. Or perhaps this is why we have become a species so dependent on eating meat and even undercooking it so that the parasite survives and we consume it.

The human often fears small creatures like bees. They have amazing power for their size and we rely on them to pollinate our crops. But the tiny mosquitoes kill many, many people and are much more to be feared now because of the even smaller parasites they carry – malaria, zika and others. Midges have started transmitting a terrible disease in animals causing them to produce deformed offspring or to abort. The consequences may be the decimating of our herds and flocks as it is a new disease called Schmallenberg and spreading fast. We seem to have many enemies including our own science. Nature of course seems to punish overpopulation in any species with disease, starvation and predators. Perhaps the human population explosion is the power that is causing us so many problems at this level. Balance is another great power which enables much to happen that cannot without it. We can see that when we rise a bicycle. I suppose we can see it in what we call bank balances too. When we lose our balance we fall.

As a sufferer of a couple of autoimmune diseases I am very aware of the power of a normally functioning immune system and the power of whatever virus or poison can cause it to wage war with its host. In our bodies our hearts are the most incredible power but brain power is quite as stunning and potent. Again it is when something goes wrong that we begin to realise the powers on which we depend and pay so little heed to when they are working well.

Small incidents can have massive repercussions. Although not all historians agree on this it serves to illustrate the point. In WW1 it was the assassination of the Archduke, a minor noble in reality which was the spark that started something massive – Europe fighting itself and destroying itself. In more recent history there have also been sparks, protests perhaps, which caused civil wars. Fire is a huge power as are all the elements. But sparks like atoms seem to have the power to start things so much greater than themselves.

Emotions can overpower us too. Look at ‘jealousy ’ A person becomes so suspicious of their partner that no amount of reason will prevail. Their behaviour makes the partner despise them. Jealousy kills and is very destructive to relationships. Where does it come from? No one would say it is a parasite but in occult terms it is. Unfortunately we live in a world where the occult cause of war is ignored. We fight fire with fire in our wars, not with a dampening down that extinguishes them. Patriotism is invoked, nationalism, religious bigotry, hatred, xenophobia, even media which has become such a power in the last hundred years or so.

Science or knowledge seems to be a two edged sword for us. It can instruct and heal us, build and feed us safely. But it can also tear our world apart for us and destroy every species. If however our eyes are open to all of these powers and we can warn of the perils that face humanity then enlightenment may be the only power that can save us from the others. The infected mouse does not want to die but the parasite urges it to visit the place which is frequented by cats, and indeed not to fear the cat. I often think that the human has begun behaving in this way too. We seem to be drifting towards major conflict and not fearing it.