I have to laugh. This story is about yeast. This story is about remembering. And most of all this story is about knowing just how much more we are than we often imagine. And it is about how connecting with guidance can help you explore that, as well as to explore what you might do with these tools.

Bear with me a brief while to get there. I need to tell another brief story first for this to make sense.

I spent a large portion of my life in a battle against a rare form of arthritis. I had Reactive Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and a tongue twister – Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis. That last one goes by the moniker DISH. These are terrible and destructive diseases.

These are and were caused both by a genetic susceptibility – an antigen called HLA-B27 and an infection. Scientists love to name things with terrible names. This antigen is one of the “friend and foe” antigens. These antigens are the ones you hear about in medical dramas and at doctors office when they talk about doing a tissue match for organ transplants. These antigens are like flags that cover the surface of cells telling our immune systems – “hey, I am one of us, please don’t kill me”.

My disease is/was an autoimmune disease. It is/was caused by bacteria pretending to be “me” / “us”. The bacteria has a part that looks very much like HLA-B27. When I was infected with one of these as a kid, my body recognized the invader and fought in. But the tricky bugger pretended to be “me” / “us”. And my immune system stopped fighting. This continued as an on again off again war for decades.

The battleground was my body. And the battlefield damage from that war was my spine, my neck, my pelvis, my eyes and more.

In 1997 I cured my arthritis. Doctors say that is impossible. I did it anyway. That story is a long story in its own right, fraught with difficulties, pains and perils. But that is for another time. The story today is about yeast.

A week or two ago I was lamenting to Frank that I was unable to grow yeast in my house. I have tried on and off for the last decade to bake bread, brew beer, make ginger bear, ferment grapes into wine, make yogurt and more. Ever single time that ended with me throwing it all out.

I purchased yeasts of a dozen types tailored to each purpose. I treated them gently. I abused them. I nurtured them. I ignored them. I tried everything I could think of. Yet, not once could I get yeast to grow.

I worried that the water was bad. Perhaps chlorine residual, or something else was killing them. Maybe I even had a bacteriophage (a virus that infects and kills bacteria) that targeted yeast. I tried several types of spring water, distilled water, and others. Nothing. Yeast would not grow.

I borrowed starter from friends. It died. It didn’t seem to matter what I did. The yeast always died.

With the virus and being stuck in the house, I thought again about trying to make bread myself. But my attempts at creating sourdough starter were going no where.

As I talked with Frank about that, he stopped me and asked as he always does – “What do the guys have to say?”

I have been doing my own version of communing with guidance since I was a child. For most of my life I set that aside as I did professional work. In that work, proper “scientists” would reject anything I had to say if they ever thought for an instance that I believed in such ‘nonsense’. My “credibility” would be toast. And so I set it aside for a good long while.

In the past two decades going to the Monroe Institute and getting to know Frank, I have let my hair down again, and returned to my roots. I learned Franks Intuitive Linked Communication version of how to connect.

And so, I asked “the guys” – “What is going on?” “Why is the yeast dying?”

The answer they replied with was immediate and blew me away. They pointed out that I had learned to do esoteric energy work and that I had gotten quite good with it. I knew all of that of course. It is part of my day to day “normal” that most people think is “impossible”.

They went on to say that in using those techniques that I had suppressed the growth of the bacteria that caused my arthritis as a part of the larger battle against it. I knew that played a part of the larger story of how I cured the arthritis.

They said that what I failed to realize is just how powerfully I had invoked that. They said that the reason the yeast wouldn’t grow anywhere around me was because “I wouldn’t let it. I was suppressing it.”

Well, duh! So, right then and there, I changed my energetic pattern so that I would continue to protect my body from a resumption of the arthritis, and at the same time to allow and support the yeast and other beneficial organisms that I grow.

Well that was fascinating. Frank and I continued our discussions and wrapped for the night.

Meanwhile, back in my dining room, I had been trying for a week to get sourdough starter to start with no success. Nothing was growing at all. Before I went to bed I checked on it one last time. It tasted liked flour and water. Nothing. hmmm… Perhaps I can start tomorrow.

Not long after I went to bed. And I thought of a plan for the next day.

I awoke in the middle to the night, as I often do. That too is another long and fascinating story for another time.

I got up and went to the kitchen for a glass of water. Along the way I stopped and checked my proofer where the sourdough starter was sitting nice and warm and had been for over a week. And what do you know, the thing was boiling over.

I opened it and smelled – yeasty!! I tasted it. It was doughy, sour and wonderful. It was only four hours or so since Frank and I chatted and since I changed my energy pattern.

In the week that followed, I have started several different sourdough starters. All of them have worked. I also found a very old, undoubtedly dead package of Red fast rising yeast hinting in my cupboard.

I threw that in a jar with some water and flour. Shazam, it went bonkers. And the next day I made bread for the first time in decades.

The tools we have available to us in connecting with guidance are immensely powerful and varied.

My journey, with the arthritis, with the yeast, and with so many other things has been a journey beyond doubt. It is a journey of remembering.

Yours can be as well.


One more manuscript finished


   Last night I finished writing the final version of Papa’s Trial: Hemingway in the Afterlife, a novel I have been writing, working on and off, for an incredible seven years.

It was a shock to realize how long ago the initial idea came to me. I knew it had been a few years, but i wouldn’t have thought seven.

A very interesting arrival it was, too, that idea. I was driving to my friend Nancy Ford’s house, a 17-mile drive. Between the time I left my place and the time I arrived at hers, the idea arrived full-blown, I had the beginning scene and the ending scene, I knew the emotional feel I wanted it to have, and I could see how I could get it. It was a download, in a sense. I say it happened during that half-hour drive: I’ll bet it didn’t take longer than five or ten minutes.  Never had anything comparable happen in any other project.

But of course,  many a slip between the cup and the lip, and i worked though version after version,  trying to get it right. I’d work, give up, put it aside, get a better idea, pick it up and try again, time and again over — as I say, unbelievably, seven years. But now I have it, and i have it as i wanted it, or perhaps I should say as it wanted to be.

The premise is simple. Hemingway kills himself in July, 1961, and naturally enough figures that’s going to be the end. He wakes up to find that he is not only still alive (though not in 3D of course), but that before he can continue his eternal life, he must stand trial, giving an accounting of the life he lived, what he made himself. He is on trial because that is more or less what he expected: to be judged. We would call it a past-life review. Well, they say the essence of drama is conflict. No shortage of conflict in Hemingway’s life! Conflict with others, conflict within himself, conflict against fate, almost. So, scene after scene of him crossing swords with ex-wives, for instance, or finding himself with a new perspective on things he thought he had understood.

So today, I spent time emptying four two-inch binders of previous versions and converting it all to scrap paper. Jettisoning notes, etc. no longer needed.  What a sense of liberation, to be rid of it all! It is as if I was carrying it all on my shoulders, all these years, and now i am free. (Of course, that’s one project down, all the rest still to go, but still.) Now comes the task of finding a publisher. But even if i never succeed at that, I have said what I want to say, i have produced a book that would reveal Hemingway to those who know him only by name. I have paid my tribute without, I hope, falling into hero-worship.

Proving once again that anything can be turned to account. I think if I hadn’t been so sick, these past three weeks, I might not have persevered. But, I was and I did, and I’m very glad of it.


Could consciousness all come down to the way things vibrate?

Should be of interest

Could consciousness all come down to the way things vibrate?

John Anthony West

I learned today that John Anthony West is dying. When I began this blog in March, 2007, he was the subject of only my second post:

It is worth re-reading today. Perhaps these few quotations from his amazing book will tempt you to do so.


“In a world of hydrogen bombs, bacteriological warfare and other progressive horrors, it is self-evident that knowledge is dangerous. It is also self-evident that the ancients possessed no technology capable of unleashing such brutal power. However, if we look more closely at the manner in which we are emotionally and psychologically influenced — which in turn makes predictable the manner in which we will react to given situations — we will see that dangerous knowledge lies behind this curious Pythagorean number symbolism.”


“In the cathedrals and sacred art and architecture of the past, we see the knowledge of harmony and proportion employed rightly, provoking in all men who have not had their emotions too permanently crippled or destroyed by modern education a sense of the sacred. It therefore takes no great leap in imagination to conceive of the same knowledge but to an opposite use by the unscrupulous…. This is but one valid reason for keeping certain types of mathematical knowledge secret.”


“But logic and reason will not account for everyday experience: even logicians fall in love.”


“From time immemorial, scholars, philosophers and thinkers have stubbed their brains against the problem of time and space, seldom realizing that the language in which they hoped to solve the problem was itself ordered in such a way as to support the evidence of the senses.”


“When men were less dependent upon their intellects, and in all likelihood had more highly developed intuitional and emotional faculties, they were more susceptible to experiences that transcend time and space, and were able to accept the provisional evidence of the senses at its true value.”

Messenger Epilog

Epilogue. 1994

If my life in the monastery hadn’t taught me about chance and accident, my return to the world would have. I could have gotten to Pakistan at any time, weather permitting. But getting home from Pakistan, without papers, without money, without a coherent story explaining how I’d arrived there, might have been a trick. As it happened, God took care of the problem. It was just a matter of timing.


Mr. Conway set a dozen monks at a time to copying out my memoir, dividing the job among them, so that the monastery would retain my story after I carried the original over the mountains. (The original, I should mention, is considerably longer than this version. Discretion, necessity, and economic constraints have all mandated that I leave out great slices of my experiences there. I particularly regret having to remove many, many of my conversations with Mr. Conway and Mr. Barnard.) Within days of that final, nighttime conference, we—three young Tibetans and I—were on our way over the mountains.

Even after 15 years, I cannot detail how we traveled. Lives still depend on my discretion. The Chinese still rule Tibet. Suffice it to say that together we made our pre‑arranged meeting with members of the Tibetan resistance, and made our way undetected over the border into Nepal. There, after fulfilling a duty laid upon me before I left (a duty that was an honor for any friend of Tibet), we got back over the border into Pakistan. Once safely inside that country, my companions left on their long return journey, and I was on my own. And suffice it to say that getting to Islamabad from the border proved unexpectedly difficult. I arrived November 21, 1979, to find a mob attacking the American Embassy.

Welcome back to civilization, Mr. Chiari.

I stood in the street, dressed as a Pakistani among Pakistanis, watching in dismay and puzzlement as the crowd rushed the embassy I had come so far to surrender myself to. I saw the hysterical mob attack in great surges, beating at the gates. I had a glimpse of a scared young Marine guarding the grounds, and was relieved to see him recalled into the building. Then I realized that, incredibly, the mob meant to burn the building. And I absorbed the fact that there were no police to prevent them from doing so.

I faded out of the crowd, and walked the streets in shock and blankness until I came with great relief to a building flying the Union Jack. This had to be the British embassy; an American would be safe there.

And thus I completed the first phase of my long journey back to the world I had known, and another that I couldn’t imagine. I announced myself to a British sentry, rather than to an American sentry, telling a straightforward and believable lie (that I had been attacked in the streets and had lost my papers and almost my life) rather than the clumsier lie (involving an accident in a river up‑country) I had expected to rely on. Maybe my earlier lie would have worked. I doubt it. In normal times it certainly would have come under close scrutiny. The authorities frown on people who sell their passports and turn up claiming that they lost them in improbable accidents.



Because of the rioting, my story of being set upon and robbed was plausible.

Because the embassy had been burned to the ground, complete with all its records, embassy officials were left with no time, no way, and little inclination to counter‑check my claim to have legally entered Pakistan some months earlier.

Because Washington promptly chartered an airplane to bring home embassy dependents and other U.S. nationals, I had a way home without having to provide airfare in cash and without having to provide identification. Thus I was able to get back into the States (under the name Hugh Conway) without attracting official attention to myself.

Quite a lot of compounded coincidence, if you insist on insisting on them. I don’t. I may not be the brightest guy in the world, but I can learn from experience.

As I said earlier, publishing this memoir is not the only reason I was sent back to this world. However, even though 15 years have elapsed, I must leave the other responsibilities entrusted to me undescribed. All I can say is that they had two aspects: one public, one private.

The first part of the public aspect seems to have been successful to a wholly unexpected degree: The world today is farther from nuclear war than at any time since 1962. But the more difficult, if less immediately dangerous, portion of this task remains before us. It is easier to defeat external threats than internal errors. The private aspect might be described as continual composting. This is as immediate—and as difficult—as it was at Shangri‑la.


There is not a day in which I do not miss that cloistered world. That long shipboard journey on the roof of the world taught me what voyagers always learn: we may fill in for one another in role, but we are irreplaceable in essence. Yet I am fully aware of how much I have, beyond those walls. My life has lost length, not depth. God is as near here as anywhere, and my friends are still my friends, regardless of time and distance. My home, too, is still my home, wherever I may be.

It is pleasant, in difficult times, to think of the lifeboat’s silent existence. On those nights, at a certain phase of the moon, when Mr. Barnard knows to expect a radio message from me, I can talk, if not listen, knowing my words are bridging the gap opened by experience and geography. Our lives know many endings, but they do not cease to flow along the unending river that is time, and the deeper river that is behind and beneath time.

Of all that cloistered world, what remains to me physically are those companions my friends also see: the sun, the planets, the stars, the moon. Some nights I look up at the moon, as I looked out at it on my long night’s homeward flight eastward over the Pacific, or as I used to look out at it from a particular window or a particular courtyard, and sometimes it seems I can almost smell the strong, sharp smell of Mr. Barnard’s cigars. I take the moon as Noah took the rainbow: as a covenant. It says to me that the force that brought us together once will bring us together again, in its own good time. Better, it says we are apart only physically. I look at the moon and I know that Sunnie was right: I carry them with me.

Yet it is true that the physical distance between us is a dull ache, sometimes only half‑noticed, but never absent. I think, sometimes, of how we parted: Mr. Barnard’s fatherly, surprising embrace; Sunnie’s motherly kiss; Mr. Conway’s warm handshake that, like Mr. Barnard’s, had turned into an abrazo. And I think of other farewells.

Some years earlier, moved by a similar ache for my family (yes, for Marianne), I had sat up half one night putting my longing into verse. Staring out at the moon that seemed to sit so tranquilly, I wrote of the only bodies that my distant friends could see as well as I.




When the silent, watchful lunar face,

From far beyond death‑dark, winter‑dark,

Evening‑dark cloud reaches to your place,

Do you know that I am there?


When afternoon sun descends toward night,

Slowly withdrawing from city streets,

Emptying sky with darkening light,

Do you know that I still care?


When, in strengthening light before dawn,

Pale Venus and other morning stars,

unmoving, remain, though seeming gone,

Know that I remain behind the glare.


Whenever sun, moon, planet or star

Is seen by one, the other is there.

Our earthly distance holds us apart;

No one sees the life we share.


Now I am on the other side of the mountains, in a world that thinks me naive, or superstitious, or merely eccentric. Yet I am back in my native land, the country that shaped and nourished me, that formed my ideals and beliefs, that educated and protected me and opened opportunities for me. If it has gotten so far off the track as to find my way of seeing nearly incomprehensible, that merely underlines the great need, the importance of the effort. In any case, it doesn’t depend on me. Miss Brinklow would understand that thought.

Tomorrow night the moon will be full again, and my eyes will automatically seek it out. It will be there regardless what happens to me or to America or to the human race or to the world. As it always has, it waxes and wanes and waxes again, following its cycle as do the planets and the seasons and life itself. And, like life, it never sails through the same space twice, any more than the earth does, for the earth pulls the moon along as it circles the sun, and the sun pulls the earth, and the rotation of the galaxy pulls the sun, and on and on. All that cyclical motion: No wonder we can’t ever return to where we were.



Messenger Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fourteen.


“Mrs. Bolton,” Mr. Petrov said politely. “Your dream. Mr. Chiari, you will listen inside.”

By now it was night. The table we sat around was illuminated by the two oil lamps on its surface. The room’s walls and ceiling had become shadowy, indistinct. The effect was not one of gloom, but of comfort, the sort of almost luxurious comfort you feel beneath warm covers in a cold room; the comfort comes from the contrast.

In lamplight, people speak more softly, observe each other’s faces and words more carefully, penetrate into their own thought, and the thoughts of others, more deeply. At the same time, they are apt to rediscover a part of their mind they normally ignore. As they listen to what is said, some inner day‑dreamer goes off on its own quests, and the messages from both parts interact, and reinforce one another.

Continue reading Messenger Chapter Fourteen

Messenger Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Thirteen.


Six weeks later. Early evening. Eight of us sat around a polished wooden table in one of the library alcoves. The two senior monks, Mr. Chin and Mr. Petrov; Mr. Conway; Mr. Herrick; Mr. Chang; Sunnie; Mr. Barnard, and myself. I was emphatically in the presence of my betters.

Mr. Barnard occasionally referred to Mr. Conway, humorously, as Shangri‑la’s “Executive Director,” but I had rarely seen him act in that capacity. The few incidents that disturbed our placid routine were handled in their course by a quiet word in the right place. As the high lama had promised, the burden of leadership there was light.

Continue reading Messenger Chapter Thirteen