TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

January 1959

TO KILL OR NOT TO KILL   …….             2

DIVINE GUIDANCE-EVEN IN PRISON   ……….             4

TOFU   ….             6

MEDITATION: FOUR MAJOR TRADITIONS   ………             7

EXHORTATION!   ……..             8

PRAYER FOR A STYLE   …             9

DANCE IN THE CHURCH   ……..             10

UFOs INTERNATIONAL   ………..             11

UFO-Here?   …………..             12

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING   ……………             12

CONSIDER THE CONCEPT   …..             14

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR   ……             17

Book Review: Poleete   ……             18

Bullet Board   ……             19

——— ♦ ———

THE STAFF

EDITOR …..  DANIEL W. FRY

ASST. EDITOR …………….  kerttu campbell

Assoc. editor ……………  margaret little

circulation manager …….  margaret little

 

SUBSCRIPTION RATES

 

SINGLE COPIES 30c ONE YEAR (10 ISSUES) $2.50

Published by ‘Understanding’, a non-profit organization

Contributions are U.S. Income Tax Deductible

ADDRESS ALL CORRESPONDENCE TO

UNDERSTANDING, P.O. BOX 206, MERLIN, OREGON97532

 

 

UNDERSTANDING

VOLUME XX                               JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1975                   NUMBER 1

Dedicated to the propagation of a better understanding among all the peoples of the earth, and of those who are not of earth.

TO KILL OR NOT TO KILL

(Some of the basic problems of society appear to be insoluble at the present level of earthly intelligence, and so continue to be sources of controversy. The following editorial, with the exception of the updated first paragraph, is reprinted from our issue of February 1959, but is as timely today as it was when first printed, more than fifteen years ago.)

The question of the legality and the propriety of capital punishment has again become a subject of considerable controversy throughout the United States. When the U. S. Supreme Court issued its opinion that capital punishment was unconstitutional in its application, if not in theory, it was at first thought that the matter was settled. Since that time, however, a number of states have reinstituted the death penalty, and more seem likely to follow.

The controversy itself is, of course, as old as history, and the arguments, pro and con, have changed but little as they echo down the corridors of time.

Those who favor the continuation of capital punishment usually begin with the statement that it is necessary as a deterrent to crime. Their opponents will reply with an overwhelming mass of statistics showing that in every state which has abolished capital punishment, the crime rate is lower than in almost any state which continues to kill its criminals. (In medieval England, when the theft of anything having a value greater than six shillings was a capital crime, public executions

3                                                    UNDERSTANDING

 were held on every holiday, and mobs of people assembled to see the fun. The town crier always went through the crowd warning the people to hold tight to their purses because there would be many pickpockets working among the throng.) So much for deterrence.

From the economic standpoint, some will argue that it is cheaper and simpler to kill a criminal than to maintain him in prison for many years, others will point out that conviction is much more difficult to obtain where the death penalty is asked, or mandatory, and the cost of such trials, together with the appeals, reviews, etc., may require many years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

From the moral or religious standpoint some will quote the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” and point out that it is unequivocal, making no provision for ‘legal license.’ Their opponents will counter with the ancient Mosaic Law, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” (A law which was obviously founded upon the belief that two wrongs make a right, or that evil can be cancelled by repetition.)

A few nights ago, a somewhat new approach to the subject of cap-ital punishment came to light. Your editor chanced to be one of the members of a panel discussion group on a local radio program when the subject came up for discussion. One of the members of the panel stated that he viewed the problem simply as one of “garbage disposal,” and was strongly in favor of capital punishment as the simplest and most effective means of disposing of “human garbage.” The obvious flaw in this approach is, of course, that it implies and requires, an infallible ability to determine exactly what constitutes human garbage. Un-fortunately, the most cursory examination of the history of jurisprudence will demonstrate, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the human race does not now have, nor has it ever had, such infallible ability.

The Greek philosopher Socrates, who was condemned to death for teaching his students such nonsense as his belief that the Moon might actually be as large as the entire hill of the Acropolis, was not the victim of mob passion. He had received a fair and impartial trial by the highest tribunal in the land. He was judged to be “human garbage,” and was disposed of with a cup of Hemlock.’

Few people in the world today, regardless of their religious beliefs, would consider that Jesus of Nazareth was human garbage, yet he was tried, condemned and executed by due process of law.

The young woman known as Joan of Arc was given one of the fairest trials possible. She was represented by able counsel, she was allowed to testify in her own behalf, and others were allowed to testify for her. After this fair and impartial trial she was condemned and burned to death. (A sanitary, if not very humane method of garbage disposal.)

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1975  4

In most murder trials today, ‘Expert Testimony’ plays a fairly large role in determining the guilt or innocence of the accused. Let us there-fore take a quick look at the firm foundation upon which the acceptance of expert testimony rests. The first recorded instance of the acceptance of expert testimony in the annals of American jurisprudence is the testimony of Cotton Mather in the Salem witchcraft trials. Cotton Mather had written a book and several technical papers on the subject of witchcraft, and was acknowledged to be the greatest authority in the country. It was largely as a result of his testimony that a number of women were hanged, and at least two were burned to death. Last year the Supreme Court of the United States finally got around to a review of these convictions. After careful deliberation, the court announced that several of the convictions were reversed. Henceforth, the women in question were to be considered innocent of the crime for which they were executed several hundreds of years ago, by a code of law which thought, and unfortunately still thinks, that it has the right, and the infallible ability, to determine whether a given human being should live or die.

It is the humble opinion of your editor that, until the reasoning power of man reaches a much higher level than it has yet achieved, we have no right to inflict upon our fellowmen, any act which we cannot undo, or any damage which we cannot repair. It is also his feeling that, although society must take some steps to protect itself, we should approach the criminal, however depraved and vicious, not with thoughts of hate and vengeance, or even with thoughts of garbage disposal, but simply with the sober reflection, “l here, but for the grace of God, go I.”

DIVINE GUIDANCE-EVEN IN PRISON

(From a subscriber comes this material with the note: Here are parts of a letter from the military prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. It’s exciting to see guidance come through wherever we may be.)

Mom and Dad:

Yesterday an interesting thing happened. The background is that a place like this incubates more than normal worry in a person, and CB (a close friend) is now going through especially heavy challenges. Well, we’ve been working on it a lot lately, with not too much apparent success. Yesterday, while working in the cafeteria, I told BB (my “elder brother” to whom I turn to for inner guidance) that I was opening my-self to his voice in case there was something He had to say.

Later on I heard something (about how long Washington takes to process papers, to be specific) which caused a twinge of worry in me,

4                                                    UNDERSTANDING

and my mind turned immediately onto the whole subject of worry and disappointment, wondering about the causes and the cures.

As if he had been reading my mind, CB said, “Have you ever worried?” and “How did you deal with it?” And then, to my great surprise, a dissertation, covering about 3/4 of an hour, (while we wrapped silverware) came from my mouth at high volume (the kitchen is very noisy and one must yell to be heard). But, the strange thing is that I didn’t think the things I said. I was listening wide-eyed to it just as CB was. And, it turned out to be right on target for his dilemma, as well as causing a lot of thought and re-evaluation in my own life. After work we both rushed to write down what “was said.” Here it is:

“Disappointment occurs when The Plan (the perfect plan of your life) unfolds in conflict with your own plans. It means there will unfold in your life something even better than you planned for yourself. Your well-motivated plans will never be foiled unless there is even more good for you in their replacement (i.e. The Plan), even when that ‘more good’ consists merely in the prevention of the unbeneficial plans of your own from manifesting. Therefore, such disappointments signal that something wonderful, unexpected (The Plan) is about to unfold. It’s time to prepare to receive such good. Look for it to come from anywhere-inner voice, messages through others, realizations, beauty, love, etc. Depression or regret, hanging onto your own foiled plans while something better is unfolding, at these times, will only block receptivity to such good as is possible.

“Worry-potential worries are seeds, ever-present everywhere. They will grow wherever the soil is fertile for them. But they can’t grow when you’ve tilled no such soil. When worries sprout they signal that ‘the error’ has set in. That error is: living outside the Eternal Now. Men like to plan the future. The error sets in as we set up expectations, future plans, which can come into conflict with The Plan, and as we hang tenaciously to them. That’s the fertile soil in which worries sprout. If, in-stead, you can accept the Perfect Plan as it unfolds daily, no soil-no expectations-can be created.

When worries or disappointments sprout, follow these steps:

1.         Realize that the worry signals that you are living outside the Eternal Now where The Plan unfolds.

2.         Realize that a perfect Plan exists for your life-go over experiences in your life when The Plan manifested ‘unplanned’ unexpected blessings, ones you might have resisted at the time. This helps you realize the Presence and the unchanging goodness of The Plan.

3.         Identify the parts of your worry: a) your own plans, what ‘future’ you thought best for yourself; b) outer indications which say your plans might not be consistent with The Plan which is unfolding;

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1975   5

c) the actual Plan elements (in the case of disappointment) which have unfolded in conflict with your plans.

4.         In the case of worry, the following steps help focus on the Eternal Now: a) realize now is the only time there is; b) look for as much beauty, love, creative experience, truth, joy, inspiration in each now moment as you can find; c) add as much of these things to that moment as you can.

“True full living can be done only by giving your full self and spirit to each moment as The Plan unfolds it. Worry is but a signal that you are drifting away from that kind of living, drifting toward thinking that you plan your own best possible future from your limited viewpoint. No moment of itself contains bad; it can only fail to produce good for you if you cannot find that good. Each unfoldment is a potential, a framework, from which you may reap your own good, according to your ability to do so.”

Well, that’s all-but it “hit the spot.”

Tom

TOFU

(We would share with you this vignette of another culture. It was written by Richard K. Steiner, and appeared in the July-August, 1974 issue of DOMOTO, Kyoto-fu, Japan)

The one Japanese food that foreigners get used to quickest and eventually love is tofu. Especially in the stifling hot summers it is an intense pleasure to sit down and consume a “cake” of cold tofu, chopped scallions and soy sauce, followed by cold green tea.

Tofu is a pure white, soft, jellied product of the soy bean with a very high protein content. It is made daily by neighborhood tofu families, in the early morning hours, and sits throughout the day in steel tanks filled with very cold water. If not eaten by at least the following midday, however, tofu will go bad.

Tofu can be heated, in water brought just to a boil and again eaten with onion, soy sauce and hot green tea, in the depths of the Stupidly cold Japanese winter. (I speak principally of Kyoto, where the cold is bitter, gray and foolish.) One can also fry tofu, with ground sesame seeds sprinkled over.

When eating tofu, in the summer, in front of the view of a cool Japanese garden, you can retain and even enhance that view by closing your eyes lightly and not chewing the bite of tofu, but rather absorbing it, melting, as it were, releasing its coldness slowly, in cool sensuality, if you So desire to call it. When you open your eyes, it’s a new garden, greener,

6                                                    UNDERSTANDING

sharper, inviting and vibrant.

Tofu is crumbly; that is, its constitution is delicate, and eating tofu with chop-sticks, especially the rounded ones, may tend to break your magic moment. It is at this point when you call up your Zen training (or Zen potential, if you’ve only read a few books so far) and practice the smiling, slow patience of the Orient, that we’ve all seen in the movies. Your psyche will approach madness at each successive plunk of the tofu back into the soy; but you will continue. Resting a bit, you’ll gaze further at the old stone lantern, the pine and bamboo in unique juxtaposition (so Japanese), your charming hostess and the tofu. You’ll remind yourself silently to carry square chop-sticks always in your in-side jacket pocket, or up your kimono sleeve. Casually, as if in after-thought, you’ll pick up the beautifully simple dish again and lovelingly coax the breaking cubes of pure white, soft, protein on to the chop-sticks and away into your mouth. It does help if you keep your eyes closed, and the impression given to anyone watching is so delightfully misleading.

MEDITATION: FOUR MAJOR TRADITIONS

November 1973, at Yale University, a workshop was held under the sponsorship of the Temple of Understanding, the Yale Divinity School, and the Yale Religious Ministry. From the Spring Newsletter of the Temple of Understanding we report the results of the conference explorations on the similarities and differences of the four outstanding religious faiths on the practice of meditation.

Zen Buddhism -Shimano Eido Roshi presented the Zen approach. “Meditation does not only mean sitting down on a cushion, shutting the door, taking off the telephone, not receiving any visitors and meditating from morning till night. Sometimes I do-but to me meditation means more creation and involvement with worldly things. I did not know how much my meditation in my Japanese monastery would help me in every moment and event as I came to New York and established the Zendo in Manhattan-a difficult job! Zazen-sitting meditation – in a narrow sense-is being absolutely quiet, concentrating on breathing, and allowing thoughts and emotions to dissolve. Sooner or later you will enter a state of mind that is absolutely lucid, as clear as the blue sky in autumn. As your body and mind come together, you will experience a dynamic awareness, increased consciousness in harmony with the consciousness of others, and you will be able to find your relationships with the other beings. Thus, in a broader sense, Zazen is being able to be mindfully attentive under all circumstances and hence to live happily, fearlessly, and joyously.”

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1975 7

Christianity (Catholic)-Brother David Steindl-Rast stated: “In a Benedictine monastery today one might find all kinds of meditation being practiced, including Zazen, Yoga, and Transcendental! However, the traditional Benedictine form of meditation is called “divine reading.” This means reading from some holy writings as slowly as possible. One word may speak to the reader so deeply that he then listens for the remaining time. By this method, you train yourself to develop an inner attitude to listen to everything that happens during the course of the day as God speaking to you in everything you touch, every person you encounter, in every situation you find yourself. The purpose of meditation is to be more fully alive, to act reverently toward all beings and things. Put in religious tenor, it is to be in communication with God, with the life of the spirit. Thus, this meditation, deeply practiced, will overflow into every moment of everyday life.”

Hinduism (Vedanta)-Srimata Gayatri Devi stressed the thought that those who followed the path of meditation and spiritual development can offer so much to those around them by the atmosphere of peace and serenity that they project. “Such a person aims to become fully conscious of himself and of reality and thus to come into harmony with the universe and all beings in it. In India there is a tradition that permits a family member, upon feeling the proper urgency, to leave the family and pursue the spiritual path in a life of seclusion. Of course, one can live a meditative life and be in the practical world, but that is not an easy task. In either case the aim is to cultivate the higher desires and to become ever more aware of God in the form of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. The more one approaches such a state, the more one can relate the inner life to the outer life. Then there is no fear; you know you are, and one experiences an unbounded ness that fills one with bliss. In Hinduism the true seekers set their goal on going all the way to self-realization. Man is potential divinity. We must learn and know this through experience and strive to transmute our gross natures into pure spirit.”

Judaism-Rabbi Herbert Weiner described the Jewish mystics as “the masters of proportions”-of the flesh and spirit, of silence and the word. “One of the ancient Jewish traditions is to maintain an hour of silence before the time of prayer. By this teaching one was only in state to be prayerful when one had been able to attain the attitude of loving one’s neighbor as oneself. Each religious culture has its own song. The melody of Judaism is that of a people in exile, being out of place in a world where things are out of place. The song of Jewish meditation is of in-completeness, of yearning, the song of the broken heart. The Jewish tradition recommends a moving away from the world every seven days,

8                                                    UNDERSTANDING

the Sabbath day. Not a full renunciation of the world; it is rather to renew a sense of perspective and gratitude in what we are given in life. The sense of yearning is very strong, yet despair is forbidden. Joy is what feeds life. And in this way Judaism can harmonize with other traditions.”

The Yale Colloquium concluded with a joint service in which each of the four spiritual leaders voiced a song or chant that embodied their tradition. It was truly a most moving experience.

EXHORTATION!

Imagine Russia and Europe and the Arab countries and the United States, Japan, China, India, the African states-imagine every nation feeling friendly concern for the well-being of all, as well as for itself, what a different prospect we should face!

There is already ominous talk of possible future trade wars, of oil crises, of confrontations, of sea-power disputes, in short of World War III – the ultimate horror-totally unnecessary misery, death, destruction, were the world but united in seeking for and using its will and brains to work together for the good of all.

Man is capable of using this elemental wisdom, this simple good sense. What deters him? Doubt, fear, suspicion? Lack of concern for others? Yet a modicum of thought must convince him that to show concern and good will for other nations by generous acts and a sincere wish to cooperate, to “reason together,” holds greater possibility for resolving problems peacefully and happily for every nation than would any number of conventional or atomic wars.

Are we men with minds capable of wise reasoning or are we beasts with no powers of thought and judgment? Have we hearts, filled with compassion, generosity, kindness, understanding, magnanimity, courage and faith? Or are we filled with suspicion, selfishness, greed, hatred and cruelty?

Can we realize the dangers that lie ahead should we fail in our efforts to forge a united world of good friends and neighbors,-in which consideration for others, and desire for the health and happiness of all predominates?

Surely such a world is, with God’s help, within man’s power to fashion and soon, before evil prognostications gather power to sway men’s thoughts toward war and death.

Let us act now! and bring to pass a new world based on law, order, and on universal good-will.

-LOUISE KIDDER SPARROW

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1975    9

PRAYER FOR A STYLE

Lord, over the ages people must have prayed to you for just about everything in the old Sears-Roebuck catalogue, plus nowadays for what’s on the moon or in outer space. All I want, Lord, is a sense of style, in a time when everybody talks about “lifestyle” so much that they must not be sure of having one. I pray for a style to make youth less of a blunder, middle age less of a struggle, and old age less of a regret (with due apologies to Disraeli, of course). A style worthy of some of the greats who have gone on.

Someone has said of style, Lord, that a saddle tramp can have it while the most expensively accoutered horseman may lack it. That’s what I’m after.

St. Jerome, the Hermit, who must have been very close to you, Lord, had a lot of it, back in the old Roman times. His was a style that enabled him to move to a cave in Bethlehem but remain very much in the world, even in the news of the world. Either in affection or anger, the world would beat a path to his door.

What a style he must have had, to be able to say-and get away with it: “My native land is a prey to barbarism; in it men’s only god is their belly; they live only for the present, and the richer a man is the holier he is held to be.”

And to others to be able to say at the same time: “There are some who think that to be without culture and to be holy are one and the same thing and who dub themselves ‘disciples of the fisherman,’ as though they were holy simply because ignorant.”

Lord, the man must have had the style of a genius, yet of it he him-self said only: “I do not pretend to a style which soars to the skies, but I hope I can rise above one which grovels on the earth.”

Oh, Lord, let me not be one of those whom St. Jerome would label as “dull in perception, frivolous in expression, sleepy in sense.” Let me instead be one whose life and style are one, and may the adjectives that describe me be closer to “whole, simple and relevant.”

May all my life be learning, all my life proclamation, as it was for him. May I have the style to make sense out of life, as he did.

And as far as my style in writing about him and others is concerned, help me to bear in mind his “in composing, it is more important to erase than to write!”

May I have, Lord, the sense of style of a man unafraid to seem lowly as a worm because he knows himself able to see the stars. May I be able to describe and take myself and him with, as someone said, warts, bumps, hogwash, mush and all, every athlete’s foot of him, armpit

10                                                  UNDERSTANDING

lumps, corns, bad dreams.

I believe I can take him like that, Lord, because he is always able to bow down before something greater than himself. It helps knowing that another one who must have been close to you, Lord, Martin Luther King, could say, “If I believed the world were to end tomorrow, I would still plant a tree today.”

But in case I falter, help me, Lord, in order to keep the picture centered in front of me. Help me to be worthy of a style that harks back to the land, the sea, and the sky.

Help me to be land-worthy, for I shall go back to land. Help me to be sea-worthy, for salt water flows in my veins deep as a river. Help me to be sky-worthy, for I shall go back to the sky.

-ALETA LISTER

DANCE IN THE CHURCH

Ms. Helen Vukasin has for some years presented ritual dance offerings at her own church. Recently she offered a program of religious dance at another church, explaining “Dance in the Church” as follows:

Dance as an integral part of the church is neither new nor far out. From the birth of the Christian church till the 12th Century, dance was a formal part of the Christian service and litany. We tend to associate the religious dance with primitive or pagan peoples. However, it is logical to find that along with the bell, candles, incense and singing which had been taken over by the Christians from pagan religions, dancing was also incorporated into the worship service.

The use of dance varied in intensity in different locations and at different times. In the 4th and 5th centuries its use reached a peak as part of the litany. The Bishop of Milan in the 4th Century A.D. wrote:

. . .  the dance should be conducted as did David when he danced before the Ark of the Lord, for everything is right which springs from the fear of God. Let us not be ashamed of a show of reverence which will enrich the cult and deepen the adoration of God. For this reason the dance must in no wise be regarded as a mark of reverence for vanity and luxury, but as something which uplifts to rest motionless upon the ground or the slow feet to become numb.  ‘

But why should we think of returning to the “Dance of David” (2 Samuel 6:14)-to the dance of devotion, to the true refreshment of the Ark? We are quite happy to sit quietly in our pews and worship with our minds.

There are many references to dance in the Bible. One of the best known is Psalm 149:3, “Let them praise his name in the dance and sing him psalms with tambourine and harp.”

The art of dance has a quality that can lift the spirit, not just by

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1975    11

reason (although dance often communicates ideas) but by feelings. Just as music moves us by what we hear, so dance moves us by what we see.

The human body is the manifestation of the soul, and it is beautiful. It is that with which we can express ourselves even as the leaves flutter and whisper in the wind, or the redwing blackbird flashes his brilliance in the morning sun.

Words, music and dance can all evoke response within us as well as communicate ideas. When these three complement each other in a worship service they speak for the whole thinking, feeling being that we are as we worship God.

UFOs INTERNATIONAL

Lights Over Mountain

(Mainichi Daily News, 9/29/74, as reported by CBA International, Yokohama, Japan.)

HAKODATE, Hokkaido- Townsfolk of Sawara, a modest fishing port at the foot of Mt. Komagatake on Hokkaido, have become “insomniacs” for they have learned to be fascinated by unidentified objects that travel over the 1,140 meter high mountain night after night.

Since someone declared them to be flying saucers, many people think they have to see those light-emitting objects for themselves and cannot go to sleep unless they see them.

The “flying saucers” which were seen only on clear nights during the summer, now can be seen on cloudy and slightly misty nights. Many witnesses say the flying objects occasionally land on the mountain.

As a great portion of the 6,800 townsfolk have seen the unidentified flying objects, they have given varying accounts of their shapes, color and flight traces….

Every day after sunset, scores of people, men and women and young and old, gathered in the town’s main plaza to see the flying saucers … this during the midsummer Buddhist All Soul’s Day and festival time.

UFO-Here?

From New Zealand, from Norm Wardell of The Apollo Verein UFO group in Otahuhu, has come a gift copy of the Herald Book — UFO –HERE? written by Terry Bell.

This is a g glossy, magazine type format (8 x 11) book, amply illustrated. The cover notes the contents include: Remarkable Pictures from Around the World; and Hard to Explain Sightings in New Zealand.

The price listed is $1.00 but postage should be included in ordering. However, it might be wiser to write the publishers first as to whether copies are still available. (Perhaps they also carry other UFO material.)

Write: Wilson & Horton, Ltd., 149 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand.

12                                                                                       UNDERSTANDING

UFO News-CBA International

CBA International, Japanese UFO organization, has issued a Special Moon UFO Report in its Spring-Summer 1974 issue (Vol. 6 No. 1). This issue will be of special interest to all UFO researchers for its colored and black and white pictures of NASA’s documentary films of UFOs over the moon. While most of the text is in Japanese there is sufficient English text to explain the moon shots. The large (8 x 11) book has much else of interest in pictures even if the text is foreign to most readers.

Included with this Special Volume is a smaller Special Report in English, with reports on the Moon UFOs as well as a documented study of sightings on October 1, 1971 over northern Japan.

Sorry, no prices given, but if interested do write to: CBA International, Naka P. 0. Box 12, Yokohama 232, Japan.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

(Daily Courier, Grants Pass, Oregon, 9/27/74, Editorial by H. L. Elliott)

Sci-fi buffs – translation: readers of science-fiction stories – have known him for years. He’s as familiar as a spaceship with FTL Drive (faster-than-light) and continuum warps (time-bending devices).

And now he’s coming your way-albeit his trip will be by way of Mars, and it will take some time for him to knock on your front door. He, or it, is none other than the self-contained, autonomous robot, a vision of a sort, wheels to get him around and a brain that will allow independent work.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology are working on an autonomous robot to fit the immediate objective of proving the feasibility of doing scientific exploratory work on a planet like Mars, without constantly having to send instructions to the remote machine to tell it what to do. The work is sponsored by NASA.

It is obvious why such a device is needed on Mars. The minimum time for a radio message to reach Mars from earth is six minutes. That’s a 12-minute round trip. At the planet’s farthest reach, the round trip would be a half hour.

During such a delay, an operating machine could roll into a rock, down a bluff or simply remain totally inactive. None is an adequate answer and even while operating under instructions, the machine could malfunction for six minutes before anyone knew it was fouled up.

So the JPL-Caltech boys are trying to program a robot with “artificial intelligence,” one that can optically scan a scene, extract in

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1975    13

formation from it and then work in a complex, realistic environment and make its own choices. It must be able to pick up rocks, or move around obstructions and travel through rough terrain.

In addition, such a robot would have to be programmed to analyze the situation and relay such important information back to earth.

The work is only in the “breadboard” stages now, but by next July, the JPL bunch hopes to have it moving in a VW-sized flatbed. From then on, it’s a matter of refinement and inclusion of newly-developed abilities, ever shrinking the robot in size and weight until by the mid 1980s, it should be portable enough to go a flying in space.

It is obvious in today’s computer technology that microminiaturization has barely begun. While we now have components that are virtually microscopic, the work in that field has just passed the “crawling” stage, and barring a sudden relapse in scientific mentality, it is bound to gain sophistication as the JPL robot takes shape.

And then think of the potentialities: Once such a robot is shrunk, re-fined and, no doubt, cheapened in cost, it could be available on earth for a lot of now-dangerous or possibly even impossible tasks.

It could be made to work on ocean bottoms, extracting information and valuable raw materials. It could be put in too-hot situations-with proper shielding that a man couldn’t carry-to conduct work.

It might be turned to fighting fires from really close up, or doing the really monotonous jobs that our society requires.

All in all, it is reasonable to expect that this is the first step toward a future when we may find such robots commonplace, making our lives simpler and, probably, more fruitful.

But then, that day still is a long way away. First the robot, then Mars and then, maybe, the home model.

CONSIDER THE CONCEPT

Between the Oriental approach and the Occidental there are vast differences in worship, in dogma, in psychology: on the one hand, the passive receptiveness of the East which tends toward a fatalistic acceptance of one’s lot; on the other, the aggressive, free-willing West with its impatience of all things mystical. Yet beneath every religious expression the ancient ethical pattern essential for growth is identical; the recognition of God in man, the need to transmute the lower by the higher, to bring light where there is darkness, and to reawaken in the soul the will to strive toward that divine consciousness.

J.A.L. (Sunrise, Dec. 1966)

13                                                                                       UNDERSTANDING

Three Years Later

(Journal, Salina, Kansas, 10/13/74)

DELPHOS- It’s been almost three years since Ronnie Johnson stood paralyzed as an unidentified flying object hovered near his sheep and hog pens – on November 2, 1971. In April, 1973, the Johnsons were awarded $5,000 by the National Enquirer for the UFO story “that supplied the most scientifically valuable evidence of extraterrestrial life in 1972.”

On April 27, 1974, Ronnie burst into the house and told his parents that the UFO had returned. “It was the same one, or one just like it,” Mrs. Johnson said. “It circled the spot where it was before, then circled the house and took off east. It moved fast, fast . . . “

Since the original sighting Mrs. Johnson has had a numb spot on her thigh; Ronnie has developed psychic powers which have warned him of imminent tragedies in the family. There have been power difficulties. Mr. Johnson cannot wear the same wristwatch continuously. The soil within the landing circle, contains a mineral-like substance 15 inches into the soil, and weeds grow only outside this area. The soil is impermeable to water even yet. The livestock have not been the same since 1971, all were paralyzed, according to Ronnie, during the visit of the original UFO, and have had breeding problems since.

Ronnie says the UFO will return and he wants to be taken aboard consciously. Mrs. Johnson adds, “I hope it never comes back, but if it does, I want to be on it. I have a right to know why this happened to us.”

Perhaps the saddest story of the many surrounding the episode is the laughter, laughter which the Johnsons say, eventually forced Ronnie to quit Minneapolis High School.

 ♦  ♦  ♦ 

Research on Reincarnation

(Daily Courier, Grants Pass, Oregon, 10/12/74)

By JOY STILLEY, AP News features Writer

NEW YORK (AP)- Sybil Leek, astrologer and psychic who has written and lectured extensively on occultism, is happy to see the bright light f scientific research being focused on the long-shadowed area of rein-

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1975    15

carnation-a theory in which she firmly believes.

“I don’t think the explanation will come through mysticism; I think it will come through science,” says the British-born woman who claims that she herself has led many previous lives.

“Serious research programs are going on now and science will provide all the answers that we have not been able to find,” adds Miss Leek, author of a new book, Reincarnation: The Second Chance, which relates case histories she insists cannot be explained in any other way.

New advances in the study of reincarnation are being made through use of modern methods such as tape recorders and video cameras, Miss Leek points out, adding that her own past lives came out in taped regression sessions with parapsychologist Hans Holzer.

“There is a message of hope in the theory of reincarnation in that people won’t see death as the absolute finish and full stop, nothing more,” she goes on.

She defines this theory as “the indestructibility of the spirit. In short, there is another life through the spirit after death and then a series of lives, the experiences of which will keep on adding to one another. We come into each life with some-maybe only a fragment-of past experiences with us.”

 ♦  ♦  ♦ 

Big Foot Tracks Spotted

(Daily Courier, Grants Pass, Oregon, 10/17/74)

COUGAR, Wash. (AP)- During the summer, loggers in the Lewis River basin said they heard strange, chirping and whistling noises.

Twice the night fire watch reported hearing cattle nearby leap to their feet in the middle of the night and crash off through the brush. In July, a boatyard owner said he saw a Sasquatch near one of the boats. And in August, a logger’s wife said she saw the legendary Bigfoot of the Pacific Northwest cross a road.

Now the leader of a group of scientists who spent the summer searching for a Sasquatch near this Cowlitz County logging community has re-ported finding a sequence of 161 large, man-like tracks.

“It’s the longest string of Bigfoot tracks ever examined by scientists to my knowledge,” said Robert W. Morgan, head of the American Yeti Expedition.

He said the footprints were 18 inches long, 7 inches across at the ball of the foot and 5-1/2 inches across at the heel, with an average stride of more than 50 inches.

Grover Krantz, a physical anthropologist from Washington State University, examined the tracks at Morgan’s request after they were discovered by loggers on Oct. 7. He estimated that the creature that made the

16                                                  UNDERSTANDING

footprints stood more than 8 feet tall and weighed about 800 pounds. Morgan said the expedition was financed by a grant from the National Wildlife Federation.

 ♦  ♦  ♦ 

Some Animals Get “High” on Drugs

(The Auckland Star, New Zealand, 9/3/74)

Star special

LONDON- The first modern hippies on their drug “trips” were only following the ways of animals who have long had their own drug scene, according to science.

Koala bears, for instance, don’t sleep all day long because they are tired. The leaves of their eucalyptus-leaf diet have a narcotic effect. According to an American research scientist, Dr. Ronald Siegel, the koalas taught the aborigines a thing or two.

He said it often happens that the way primitive peoples use drugs for their ailments arises because of their observations of animal usage.

It is in this way the aborigines came to use eucalyptus leaves to soothe their wounds.

Elephants, reindeer, bears, pigeons and mongooses are among other animals which use hallucinogenic drugs.

The elephant, according to Dr. Siegel, has a fondness for tobacco leaves and also enjoys the alcohol obtained from the African umganu tree, from which the natives distill a strong drink. Mongooses go for the root plant, the mungo, which induces a drugged sleep.

Dr. Siegel found 18 animals which get “high” on drugs.

But, as with drug-addicted humans, the animal users eventually under-go social isolation, because being under the drug influence is a solitary experience.

 ♦  ♦  ♦ 

Volcanoes-Energy Sources

(Grit, Williamsport, 10/6/74)

If scientists tinkering with volcanoes in Nicaragua are correct, the giant chambers of bubbling molten rock may become a vast new source of energy.

Geothermic engineers, under the auspices of the United Nations’ Office for Technical Cooperation, are attempting to utilize the steam from volcanoes to run turbines for producing electricity. If the pilot project succeeds, the program will be expanded and electricity used to produce hydrogen as fuel for cars and factories.

“We have been told by scientists that the geothermic energy available for use exceeds the amount of energy available in all the Persian Gulf,”

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1975    17

Anastasio Somoza, president of Nicaragua, said.

Sven Eniarsson, a geothermic engineer from Iceland who is working on the project, is not that optimistic, but he said there “is enormous potential here.”

Four holes will be punched 1,800 to 3,000 feet deep in the valley between two volcanoes. The steam from the wells will run two turbines that will generate at least 50,000 kilowatts of electricity.

Eniarsson said the theory of available steam must still be proven by the project, but that he is confident it will succeed. He estimates that it costs about one cent to produce a kilowatt of electricity with geothermal power, compared to two cents for that of oil.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dear Dr. Fry:

On the warm summer night of July 10 around 10:30 I sighted my first Unidentified Flying Object. The strangest feeling came over me when I realized that I, Mary Ann Guyot, who never believed in U.F.O.’s before, was witnessing one of the weirdest sights displayed in the night sky. It made me feel as though I were looking into another time in space.

This object had a cylindrical shape. Its entire surface emitted a greenish blue pulsating light. The U.F.O. moved away from Perryville in a northeasterly direction, traveling in a slow, wobbling path while it rotated as if on an axis. Suddenly stopping midway in the sky, the U.F.O. flashed once a bright green. Then, changing its course, it shot straight up until it was out of sight.

After it was over I reflected on the reactions of people I told. They felt that they would have to encounter a U.F.O. as I did before they too would become one of the many believers who are now aware of these Unidentified Flying Objects.

MARY ANN GUYOT

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

 ♦  ♦  ♦ 

Dear Dr. Fry:

Here is a great idea to pass along to the other Members of Understanding.

A subscription to the Understanding Magazine would make a long-lasting birthday or anniversary gift to someone who does not belong to Understanding. You know, some people have never even heard of it so

18                                                  UNDERSTANDING

what a great way to get them interested. Every member should send at least one subscription a year.

To start the “ball rolling” enclosed are three new subscriptions. Can’t get any gift with so much meaning for the price.

Sincerely,

A Subscriber (name on file)

Book Review: Poleete

(by Poleete Carabel, Vantage Press, 516 West 34th St., New York, New       York 10001, Hardbound, $4.50.)

Poleete Carabel is a clairvoyant and healer; she is also a professional journalist. This unusual combination of talents has resulted in a most readable book. She recounts many healings made through her, involving dope addiction, TB, alcoholism, and various other diseases. Her spiritual powers, she emphasizes, are not those of her own little ego, but are from a higher source.

One emotion Poleete found was always present when a healing occurred; it was deep, keenly-felt love. “I remember a great, great feeling of love that permeated my entire being. It was not only love for Jean but for the entire world. This was to be the lodestar of my life, this all-encompassing love and overwhelming compassion for all living things.”

A few quotations from the book follow. “The power of God is so great that even I, who have witnessed it thousands of times, stand in awe before it.”

Regarding prayer, she says, “Some people say to me, ‘Oh, I stopped praying long ago.’ Don’t you see why? In every case 1 have found that the person’s interest was all bound up with himself. Only a prayer of unselfish devotion will be answered.”

“We have to . . . impersonalize any evil we think we see. We must know for our fellowman that each one is, or has, the Christ shining within him. Prayer is a bestowing, and not a seeking. Prayer is a means

 

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1975    19

of giving in the greatest way possible … Prayer is outgoing and outgiving, letting the Christ power pour forth from your being onto a hungry world.”

“Truth can only be imparted sacredly to those who are willing to sacrifice for it. It means giving up our old ways, beliefs and thoughts.” Poleete concluded that those who received true healing were changed in their thinking and actions.

These are a few of the serious comments tucked into the accounts of the interesting people who came to Poleete Carabel for help with their problems.

Bullet Board

Contest For A Name

It was suggested at the Annual Business Meeting that our Tonopah Understanding properties deserved a NAME. A prize of Five Dollars will be offered to the person submitting the most appropriate name for the Understanding Center.

Contest entries should reach Merlin by March 1st. The Board of Directors will be offered the privilege of choosing the best name, and the prize winner notified about April 1st. However, with the delays in printing, mailing, etc. you will not know until perhaps the June issue of Understanding magazine. How about that??????

New Subscription Price

For many years now, the Understanding Magazine has been offered to our subscribers under deficit financing. At the Annual Business Meeting it was decided we could no longer afford to continue this policy. It was, therefore, decided that as of March 1, 1975, the subscription price would be $4.00 per year for 10 issues, 40c a copy single issues, and the Annual Christmas Gift Subscription price would be $3.50 per year.

We regret the need for this increase, but we know you know why it

20                                                  UNDERSTANDING

is necessary. Thanks for staying with us.

Books Received

Our thanks to our generous friends for:

Popular Handbook For ESP ( A manual-glossary dictionary) by Middleton A. Potts. Paperback, S3.95, Harbour Publishing Co., P. 0. Box 15004, St. Petersburg, Florida 33733.

Handbook of Homemade Power (alternative energy sources you can put to use now). Special edition, paperback $1.95. Mother Earth News, P. 0. Box 552, Flat Rock, North Carolina 28731.

Gift of Books

Mrs. Angela Kilsby of San Francisco is making a gift to Understanding, Inc. of a limited number of copies of the last book written by the late Col. Arthur J. Burks. We know that the many friends of Col. Burks will be interested in this small volume-EN-DON-The Ageless Wisdom.

The list price of the book is $3.25 but we suggest a donation of $2.50 (which includes postage) to Understanding. Proceeds will further our work which was dear to the Colonel.

CLASSIFIED DEPARTMENT

6c per word per insertion; 3 or more insertions same copy, 5c per word.

WHITE EAGLE CALENDARS for 1975. Printed for 32nd year. This lovely, inspirational calendar features the wisdom of White Eagle, the well-known Indian Guide of English medium, Grace Cooke. An ideal gift for friends-or yourself. Send $1.00 to: Understanding Books, Star Route Box 588F, Tonopah, Arizona 85354.

 ♦  ♦  ♦ 

KOREAN WHITE GINSENG packed 20 natural roots per box (150 grams). $16.00 prepaid. House of Hess, 1465 Aala St. #2204, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817.

 ♦  ♦  ♦ 

AVAILABLE at modest rental, 3 bedroom home for interested volunteer worker at Tonopah (Arizona) Center of Understanding. Write: P. 0. Box 206, Merlin, Oregon 97532.

 ♦  ♦  ♦ 

GUIDE TO OCCULT PERIODICALS-Complete listing of magazines, newspapers, and newsletters on UFOs, mysticism, astrology, witchcraft, spiritualism, pyramid power, psychic phenomena, new age teachings, messages from the masters. Inner Space Interpreter, P.O. Box 1133, Magnolia Park Station, Burbank, CA. 91507. Price $2.00, plus tax for Calif. residents.

NOW AVAILABLE

by Dr. Daniel W. Fry

To Men of Earth &

White Sands Incident

(softbound)     $2.00

Atoms, Galaxies and Understanding

(hardbound)   $3.00

(softbound)     $2.00

Steps to the Stars

(softbound)     $1.50

Atlantean Fire Crystals &

Physical Basis of ESP

(Cassette Tape-90 min.) $3.50

Merlin Publishing Company

P.O. Box 105  Merlin, Or. 97532

Please include postage-20c a volume

DIVINE DYNAMICS PRESENTS PUBLIC CLASSES

Immortality Here and Now

Mysteries of Eternal Life

Stop Dying and Live Forever

Each Saturday & Sunday 3 PM

11706 Ramona Blvd.

Room 207, Fidelity Bldg.

El Monte, California

Also available from the author Brother Stanley Spears-

Mysteries of Eternal Life      $3.00

Stop Dying and Live Forever           $3.00 My Brother Jesus      $1.25

Send book orders to Divine Dynamics

341 N. Ellen Drive

West Covina, CA. 91790

PLEASE ENTER A ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION

TO

UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE

10 Issues        $2.5

NAME _______________

STREET _______________

CITY _______________

STATE_______________

ZIP _______________

Mail Payment to:

Understanding, Inc.

P.O. Box 206

Merlin, Ore. 97532