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How I met PB


I t is the early seventies.  I am in Helsinki, Finland and have a couple of hours before the plane takes off for Stockholm.  What to do?  The choice stands between spending the time at a nice nearby cafeteria or visiting the big Academic bookshop.  I choose the latter.

Drawn to the department in the bookstore where spiritual literature is displayed, I read back covers and browse through several books.  There is much of interest here.  Finally a young lady approaches me:

“My name is Miss Reinikka.  [I will never forget her name.]  Do you know an author named Paul Brunton?” she asks.

“No, I have not heard of him.”

“Buy a book of his; he is very good,” she says with a smile.

Why not? I think, and grab a book with the enticing title The Secret Path.  I pay at 
the cashier’s desk and take a bus to the airport.

When we are in the air I start reading here and there in my new book.  Suddenly something totally unexpected happens.  Together with a feeling of deep inner peace there is an absolute certainty in me that my long-held longing for meaning, deepening, and freedom had received an answer.  It is like an immediate intuitive insight.  Tears start to come; I neither can or want to stop them.  I am extremely grateful.

Now, forty years later when I think of this experience, I shiver.  Thirty thousand feet above the 
earth’s surface, at last I had met my much longed for spiritual guide.  And now I knew his name: Paul Brunton.  Later a possibility opened up to meet him personally, which happened on five occasions.  But that is a different story…

The meeting with Paul Brunton and his ideas came in a critical period of my life.  The midlife crisis was not just words—it was a painful reality.  For me, as for many others, it was a matter of the meaning of life, or rather the lack of meaning of it, that I had encountered.  I had lived long on the surface of life without any deeper anchoring, and I felt desperately that life was running away from me.  Was this really all?  Wasn’t there anything more?

The brief interchange with Miss Reinikka in the bookstore was not only the beginning of a development that changed the course of my life completely; it was also a start of my role as a publisher of Paul Brunton.  A translation into Swedish of The Secret Path was the first Brunton book we published.