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October 19

Into White (again)

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.

I first came across Robert A. Monroe’s Far Journeys back in the early 1990s, about ten years after I’d read Journeys Out of the Body, and it wound up changing my life.

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
by chance
in the
white room
on the
dark side
of the moon
the way
where souls
cruising through
the outer rings
cross paths
on their
cosmic journeys
or out

Her radiation
slowly brightening
like a summer
as he grinned
at her
unexpected radiance

“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
inside head
images swirling
dizzying array
faces and names
or yet
to be
known soon
long ago
not yet
born . . .

Bette Davis . . . Diotima . . . Hypatia . . . Mata Hari . . . The Jaguar Princess. . .

Holographic images formed and crystallized in exquisite detail as the names unrolled 


their meanings:


Great artist
played lovers
she sacrificed
real love
for herself
by creating
its illusion
for others

of love
soul mates
but never found

dying for
but truth
is cold

of secrets
dancing around
for lost

Magical shaman
wounded healer
mystic warrior
exiled from
lost world
way down
below the
sunk by
she fled to
new world
heart broken
to mend

            "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.


All true
is remembering
yet never
time heals
no wounds
souls are
north attracts south
south pursues north
until they are
still longing
for two
of congruent
he would
soon discover
the true
of “pain”

            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.


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Joseph Felser, PhD

Monroe Professional member, former Board of Directors member

Joseph M. Felser, PhD, is a Professor of Philosophy at Kingsborough Community College/CUNY in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of two books and numerous articles and reviews