by Joseph Felser, PhD
Far Journeys was Bob’s attempt to communicate the incommunicable: to convey in human language experiences that transcend all of our languages, including the vocabulary of images.
It was one of the most perplexing books I’d ever read. Here I was, almost finished with my doctoral thesis in philosophy, and about to get my PhD, and I couldn’t make sense of many chapters in the book. It bruised my ego!
And yet the sheer strangeness of it spoke to me at some deeper level. It intrigued and challenged me. Ultimately, Bob’s discussion of his experiences and research led me to the most amazing discovery: Hemi-Sync and The Monroe Institute!
... "Into White (again)" comes out of my own experiences in what Bob called "There,” and "Here" ...
I very quickly ordered the first two Waves of the Gateway Experience home study tapes (yes, they literally were cassette tapes in those days) and sent for an application to the Gateway Voyage program in Virginia. I attended the Gateway in 2000 and have been associated with the institute (as participant, Professional Division member, invited speaker, and, most recently, as a member of TMI’s Board of Directors) ever since.
What I realized only much later was that Far Journeys was Bob’s attempt to communicate the incommunicable: to convey in human language experiences that transcend all of our languages, including the vocabulary of images.
My prose/poem hybrid that follows, “Into White (again),” comes out of my own experiences in what Bob called “There,” and “Here, and was written with language and images I deliberately borrowed from Far Journeys, as an homage to his work and its influence on me. Thanks, Bob! (Oh, and for all you Cat Stevens fans, you might remember a song with a similar title …)
Ed. Note: This poem is best read with a quiet mind; the fewer distractions, the better.
Into White (again)
He met her
of the moon
the outer rings
like a summer
as he grinned
“I’m never coming back here again,” she sighed. “Too much pain.” Darkening, she turned inward with a sullen pout. To him she was even more alluring now, just as her human form began to quiver and dissolve its hard edges, like gelatin sliding out of a mold.
“Pain?” he asked innocently. “They mention that in the brochure, but I don’t know what it is. That’s why I signed up for the tour. To experience it.”
“Oh, my,” she enthused, glowing brighter. “You must be a first-timer!”
“Yes,” he admitted sheepishly. “I’m a novice at this human thing.”
“Good luck with that!” she said with a rueful smile. “You’ll know pain when you feel it.” She was more comfortable now; his naivety was charming—attractive, even. She could sure teach him a thing or two.
“Pain,” she began matter-of-factly, warming to her subject-matter, “is having to make choices with no good alternatives. Pain is hurting people you love—betraying them, letting them down. Pain is gaining love, then losing it. Pain is deception; pain is telling the truth. Pain is not getting enough attention, or too much. Pain is wanting what you can’t have, or having what you can’t want. Pain is having magical powers that fail when you need them the most. Pain is—“
“Wow,” he interrupted. “You sure do think a lot about this pain thing.”
“Well, I was a philosopher a few times around,” she admitted with a bright pink flush of pride.
“A philosopher? What’s that?” he asked eagerly.
“And many other things,” she continued, ignoring his question. Her voice took on a deeper, mournful tone. As he stared into her green eyes, he became entranced. They seemed to expand into brilliant starbursts, and he lost all sense of himself and his location. He felt her cool hand take his own right hand and bring it up to the center of her forehead. “Touch me here,” she whispered. “These are some of my favorites.”
He touched her
she touched him
faces and names
born . . .
Bette Davis . . . Diotima . . . Hypatia . . . Mata Hari . . . The Jaguar Princess. . .
Holographic images formed and crystallized in exquisite detail as the names unrolled
but never found
she fled to
"But this one" taking his hand and placing it over her heart, "is my favorite life of all," she said wistfully.
He saw a small rural village in a place called Russia. Peasants were working in small fields and orchards, their homes simple cabins near the forest. A little girl with blonde hair and green eyes toddled alongside an older woman wearing a rough fitting dress with a kerchief tied on her head—her grandma—her small soft child's hand safely clasped in the old woman's rough, gnarled hand, twisted like an ancient tree root. An intense radiation emanated from them both, being directed by the one at the other, forming a solid ring of energy surrounding them. Was this “love?” he thought to himself. The two were picking roots for a tea that the old woman would brew for her granddaughter, an herbal potion to make her strong and well.
“Are you sure I couldn’t convince you to take one last trip?” he pleaded.
She looked deeply into his innocent, welcoming brown eyes, and felt the naivety and enthusiasm of his vibration as if it were her own. Maybe this time it would work, she thought. She would finally get what she wanted—from him.
north attracts south
south pursues north
until they are
She gently slipped her hand into his. They walked together, smiling, hand in hand, out of the white room and towards the bridge between worlds. They would fall to earth, together, and recollect nothing.
Originally published in Issue #1 of The Mystic Blue Review.
Joseph Felser, PhD, is a professor of philosophy at Kingsborough Community College of The City University of New York, in Brooklyn, New York, where he has been on the faculty since 1997.
Joe attended the Gateway Voyage in 2000, the first of many residential programs, and has been associated with TMI’s Professional Division as a researcher and member since 2006 when he was invited to deliver the keynote address at that year’s seminar. In 2015 he accepted TMI’s invitation to serve on the Board of Directors.