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Encounter #5

There was this incredible graciousness. It didn’t take too long until he put us at ease, an incredible ease. When I first went in my heart was racing.

I told PB that my meditation was very dry. He said, you know for some people to get that devotion back it’s very helpful to go into nature. I knew that, but I had forgotten. He says, the same life force that is running through the trees is running through you.


PB said, “Religions have failed to instill ethical precepts. This is really their one basic function, to educate the masses, but they have not done this. Except for Quakerism and Buddhism, which succeeded in opposing violence, religions have failed to teach the Law of Karma.”

From what we know from mentalism, a thought held repeatedly and intensely enough over a period of time will necessarily lead to an outer explosion. This is how wars start.

[About end-of-life] suffering instead of going ahead and dropping this life and starting the next one. Terrible.

X: It’s a fine distinction between this and euthanasia.

PB: And what is wrong with euthanasia? There is a humane way.

PB: Suffering of different kinds can bring about either a fast or a slow enlightenment. I’m not using “enlightenment” in the highest sense here…Most people don’t gain from suffering. It shakes their faith. They say, “Why does this happen to me?” They become bitter.

“However, there are many people who do get direct, positive benefits from suffering. You’ve doubtless heard of many cases of people who had experiences of higher consciousness. I have material I could gather together for books on persons having experiences out of extreme pain or danger.”

[Re: a math professor]: “He had a serious disease and was to be operated on; there was a strong chance of dying during the operation. As he was going under the anesthesia he suddenly had an experience of pure consciousness. He had been studying this all his life―and now he recognized that he was experiencing the very thing that he’d been intellectualizing for so long. He lived five more years and maintained that state of bliss for the rest of his life.”

“The Buddha was being unfair to the body; it has its dark and its light sides. The body is a source of suffering, but if it were only that there would be universal suicide.”

“When you realize this consciousness you still see the ego. It’s a smaller circle within a larger circle. You see the ego and the body for what they’re worth and how long they will last. You are not the ego but you can use the ego. This consciousness is a part of you and it’s only natural for you to seek it. Part of you isn’t here. The greater part has been left out and it’s just part of the process of becoming fully human to realize this consciousness.”


[While staying at the Center a few months after seeing PB:] Upon completing the regular meditation session, I felt inclined to go upstairs and continue my meditation alone. Not long after I began, I was overwhelmed by a tremendous yearning to “feel” God. I felt that my life from that point on would be absolutely useless and barren without some tangible sense of a Higher Power. My feelings of anguish intensified, until I found myself shaking and sobbing and pleading for some sign of Divinity. Finally, in utter despair, I threw my head down on the ground overcome by the thought that all I wanted to do was serve God.

Slowly, and almost imperceptibly, a sense of calm stole over me. A delightful gentleness wafted through my mind, comforting and reassuring me. In ITS presence I felt that there was never any time that I was not serving God, that God was always there and that my life was inseparable from the Divine Power. A sense of light permeated me. The session ended and I felt very much relieved and blessed.

That night as I lay in bed to sleep, I became aware once again of some force other than my own taking command of my thoughts. Under its influence I felt compelled to vividly and intensely imagine my own death (What would “I” be after this body was no more?). For a few moments I struggled with the urge that was gripping me, but then I suddenly realized that it was my very being that was attempting to communicate with me and I let go. As I did so I felt a soaring sense of expansion. It was as though I was lifted out of my body (although there was no actual imagery to that effect, just an overall feeling of being lifted) and I felt my consciousness grow wider. I knew then that I was not the body and that I could never die. The entire experience lasted only a short while, whereupon I fell into a deep sleep lasting several hours.

When I awoke the state of mind from the night before had “settled” and deepened. Everything had slowed down and become very quiet. I walked outside into the early morning air and it was as if I hovered over myself. I could see that what I previously took to be myself, my ego, was a series of thoughts arising in my mind. Just thoughts. I was a thought and yet I was above the thoughts looking down on them. Even more strange was the recognition of MIND being everywhere. The “world out there” and the mind associated with the body were of the same stuff. There was one essence running through everything like a song. Most of the time we make so much noise we don’t hear it. The world feels separate and different and we don’t see that it is all of a piece. This is how it always is–we experience this all the time.


I was reading PB and I just stopped for a moment and closed my eyes and I was flooded―just absolutely infinite golden light. It was just endless and golden and totally full―and then the phone rang and it was gone. It was one of those things where I just decided to close my eyes to contemplate what I had just read. My intuition knew it before I did. That made a big impression on me.

In the interview, PB said [in response to a question about the meaning of snake imagery for the student], “You’re surrounded by many, many egotistical people. And to whatever extent you have power over yourself, they won’t have power over you.” It feels to me like a lifelong assignment.

[On another occasion] X came to my house and brought a card from PB. It said, “The divine strength is with you.” He said that I was deeply disturbed and that I needed this. That was a very mysterious communication and kind of haunting.


X asked what PB’s relationship was to the group in Ithaca. He said that he was a longtime friend of Tony’s and therefore naturally had an interest in what Tony [Damiani] is doing. He described himself as sympathetic observer. He added that many groups study his books.

I wondered what happened at death for non-yogis. He said, death was quite different for questers, the faithful, and disbelievers. He stressed the differences. Questers went through death more consciously, whether or not their quest was successful in life. Faithful persons get what they believe in, a continuation, and will sometimes get a glimpse of the higher self. Questers, in nearly all cases, achieve what they fail to achieve in life. By that he meant that there was a glimpse of the higher self. After the glimpse there is a prolonged period of sleep, after which the quester wakes up in the after-life to resume the efforts. This is a direct quote: “We spend more time out of the body than in.” It’s easier to make progress after death; both the physical handicaps are removed and sufferings were removed and one didn’t have such obstacles. Things were not so pleasant for the wicked.

He said that each has a spiritual mission in life, so immediately I thought he was talking external but he said no, it was contemplation for most everyone.

The result of the long path is equanimity, calmness.

Ecstasy when experiencing a mystical state is due to its novelty―happens when the state is new.

We were in the beginnings of the Aquarian age, the upward swing of the Kali Yuga.


Anger and desire are two great evils. “One has to understand and control sexual energy.”

“Occult powers aren’t safe to use until you give them up.”

Long path: Despise the world, despise yourself, despise yourself for despising yourself. Short path: glorify world, glorify your Self, glorify lower self. Ignore your negativity. One can do both long and short paths together.

“There is such a thing as ‘higher mediumship:’ it’s the higher self working through you. Ordinary mediumship should be avoided. Those born with mediumistic temperaments should not meditate at all.”

About the quest, “Keep your sense of humor and keep relaxed.” In Zen, they know how to make jokes about the quest. Balance is important: “Feet on the earth though head is in the clouds.”

PB had just received a copy of the Swedish The Secret Path. It has a picture of the sun on the cover. “What’s that?” he said. “A comet? PB is a comet over Sweden.” He added, in a jokey way, that we should tell people that he travels around in a spaceship, lives on another planet, and is just coming down to earth to visit publishers and some students.

PB said, in regard to giving references to a company, that he could give “personal, financial, and celestial references.”

If you are in Eternal Now you have no memory; memory is tied up with ego. The ego is built of memory. If you remove it, you weaken the ego. “Let the past go―forget it. That is one way to weaken the tyranny of the ego.”

PB told me to stop pushing hard on the quest: “The message is, take it easy.”

Anthony [Damiani] sent me to PB for a very specific problem: attacks of sudden, apparently unprovoked anxiety. Not panic attacks, per se, but a cold anxiety. So when I met PB, I was surprised when one of the first things he asked me was whether I had ever used a ouija board. In fact, I had. “You are very mediumistic,” he said. “You must get rid of that.” He said that if one weren’t mediumistic the use of Ouija probably wouldn’t hurt. PB mentioned that he had had some difficulties of this kind as well when he was younger. PB also told me I was under psychic attack―not possession!―and part of the reason was my two uses of LSD. Drugs like this, he said, rip holes in the protective subtle sheath that we ordinarily carry around us.

After a quiet moment, he told me he was not “permitted” to take of care of the attack for me, the implication being that he takes orders, as it were, from…well, some higher source. PB recommended that I stop meditating for a while. When I resisted, he smiled and said, “What’s the hurry?”

Two years later PB gave me an exercise to raise the kundalini; strict celibacy was required. Anthony [Damiani] was alarmed when I told him, and muttered that PB must think that he, Anthony, was up to guiding me through kundalini, but he wasn’t confident that this was so. He warned that there are dangers to raising the kundalini: If the kundalini doesn’t hit the thousand-petal lotus and goes down into the lower three chakras the results will be the opposite of what intended.

On one occasion PB was sitting next to me on a train. He told me I had to help my father get on the quest. I thought to myself, but didn’t say, that my father was already so ethical. PB immediately turned to me, exactly as if I had spoken out loud, and said, “But ethics aren’t enough.”

On another, he told me and X to take a nap right after our lunch with him. We went back to our hotel and sat cross-legged on our beds chatting energetically. Very suddenly it was impossible to stay awake; we simultaneously sank onto the pillows. All I know is that I then “saw” a seed shape―a vesica!–entering my heart. Within it was a timelessness in which my entire future development existed simultaneously ―I saw it all. Then, I popped back into space/time and could retrieve none of the details…so frustrating! Fifteen minutes had gone by. X awoke at the same time and reported being “rocked in a paradisical state.”