The TAT Forum: a spiritual magazine of essays, poems and humor.

TAT Forum

April 2015

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Convictions & Concerns

TAT members share their personal convictions and/or concerns


"Friendship and the spiritual search." Those are the words emblazoned at the top of the home page on TAT's website. The words were carefully selected – not to convey a sense of organizational prestige or uniqueness – but to express a principle that runs even deeper than planet earth's timeless spiritual teachings. Richard Rose said it best: There is no religion greater than human friendship.

It's hard enough walking the edges of life in the search for Reality. With pride, we may feel that "going solo" is simply less messy. But an extraordinary practicality arises when a seeker takes the bold step of befriending a nucleus of sincere, like-minded companions...

First, the basic stuff: assembling together serves as a reminder that we collectively desire similar goals. It's a fundamental understanding among all walks of life and a thread that is weaved through humanity's countless endeavors. In the case of spiritual endeavors, even if we don't all agree on the nuances, we at least know there's something deep in our hearts that brings us together.

Next, working together fosters a bond that may survive well beyond the death of a teacher. The TAT Foundation serves as a shining example of students dedicating their lives to the spiritual search. Following the passing of Richard Rose – TAT's founder and teacher – the group lives on to provide rare opportunities for finding and sharing inspiration. Through the past 40+ years, the depth of friendship among TAT members has manifested in the form of seekers who became Finders, mortar and loose bricks that were forged into a retreat center, and energy that continues to transform into retreats, conferences, and workshops.

A subtler but more powerful aspect of spiritual friendship manifests as the "x" factor. The "x" factor is conditional on one criterion: a deep sincerity for wanting to know our true nature. When seekers gather with such intentions, most feel a palpable something in the air or in themselves. If the bonds run deep enough, we become less selfish by putting the wellbeing of others first. The "x" factor then evolves into the x2 (x squared) factor – and the palpability becomes exponential. If only for a few moments, friends disappear through the vastness of their hearts into something much grander than all our sweat, tears, and confusion. Our friendship becomes Love...

~ Paul Constant has been a TAT member since 1985. Read his essays No Religion is Greater Than Friendship and Spiritual Rapport for more perspectives on friendship.


TAT Foundation News

It's all about "ladderwork" – helping and being helped

TAT Meeting News

Register now for the April TAT weekend, True Perspective, featuring Gary Weber, Paul Constant, Shawn Nevins, and others.

Lakeside Lodge at Penn's Scenic View © Phil Franta

Local Group News

Update from the San Francisco Bay area self-inquiry group:
We increased the meeting length from 1.5 to 2 hours, since we have people coming from a long distance. Also had two people Skype in, which was a first. I wasn't too enthused by that dynamic, though the Skypers seemed quite happy to get to participate. ~

Update from the Denver, CO self-inquiry group:
The Denver PSI group held a meeting last Tuesday. We had 6 participants and it was monitored by Bob Fergeson. He posed the following to set the tone and agenda for our gathering via e-mail:

For something to consider, here's a quote from Richard Rose:

"Experience is a worthless and transient existence unless the experiencer is known."

Do you believe more and more experience, or ever better experiences, will give you happiness or peace? Or does something more fundamental have to happen, such as a change in being or definition?

Our meeting lasted 2 hours, and the discussion touched upon anger, grief, identification (and what hooks us in life) & pride. We plan to meet again a week from tomorrow. ~

Update from the Philadelphia, PA self-inquiry group:
As I always do, I send around a meeting reminder with a request that people rsvp; the last 2 meetings I've not gotten even a single reply. So I've had to cancel these meetings.

Perhaps we'll give it a rest for a few months. Or perhaps we can change the format or someone will be inspired to do some advertising (besides the few posters I put up).

The Tolle group (not an inquiry group) I attend here has more life to it than Philly at the moment. We have Gary Weber coming this Sunday. ~

Update from the Galway, Ireland self-inquiry group:
We started a new technique for getting discussion going in our meetings recently and it is working very well. I made out 100 questions, which I have shared on dropbox, the questions are cut into separate questions and folded up and put in a bowl. One participant takes one, reads it, ponders it and responds to it in their own time. Then the others respond to the participant with the question. Then the next person takes a turn. It is important that only one participant at a time has a question as this focuses the inquiry on one person and one question.

Having used the questions for a few weeks now it is obvious that some questions need tweaking and maybe some should be discarded. I have also made the questions so that simple yes or no answers are not possible. The intention is to broaden out the focus of the reader, by putting several related questions into one question, to help the reader's mind roam around a whole area.

While the questions invite the participant to uncover and inquire into aspects of themselves I find they have also become a way in which to share and explain teachings. So, they work as a teaching tool too.

I don't know how well sharing my questions will work for others. Since I wrote them I know what each question is intended to get at so maybe it is best when each group, or the group leader writes their own questions.

The weekly meetings have between two and seven participants usually. We used these questions in a daylong workshop with about fifteen people recently and they worked well in both settings. ~ Tess Hughes

Update from the Gainesville, FL self-inquiry group:
Gainesville meetings have been fairly low attendance, recently. Some of the things we've done:
- We watched the movie "Closer Than Close." Four of us were there, all veterans :).
- We're ending the "advanced" meetings. Doesn't seem to be encouraging people to come in.
- Two people came, finally, from a poster they saw! ~

Update from the Columbus, OH self-inquiry group:
The OSU Self-Inquiry Group is meeting Monday evenings at 6:30PM at the St. Stephens Episcopal Church on the corner of Woodruff Aveneue and N. High Street adjacent to Ohio State University. For further information, contact or .

New Publication from TAT Press

The TAT Foundation is pleased to announce a second edition of Images of Essence is now available in a new, more affordable paperback version. This beautiful book of poetry and photographs has been likened to "Rumi with a Nikon," and the authors' creative wanderings touch a deep cord of recognition of the profound in everyday life. Now available for $17.95 on Amazon and for $2.99 in a digital edition for the Kindle.

For those die-hard fans of Images of Essence, Bob Fergeson is selling a more unaffordable, but very nice, 13" X 11" large format, hardback edition available directly from NostalgiaWest.com. The link to purchase is: http://blur.by/18CglTW.

Membership Dues

2015 TAT membership dues are now due. For those who have renewed their membership or are new members of TAT, thank you – your continuing support helps TAT remain a place where serious seekers can meet in a spirit of cooperation and friendship in the search for self-definition. The membership of $40 per calendar year includes discounted attendance and lodging fees during TAT meetings. A $20 associate membership is available for those who are unable to attend quarterly meetings but would still like to take advantage of our benefits and make an invaluable contribution. A lifetime membership of $500 is also available. The dues help cover TAT's operating costs, including the TAT web site and TAT Forum, insurance fees, supplies, etc. Most importantly, you will be helping the TAT Foundation to continue offering opportunities for a circle of friends to give and receive help in the spiritual quest. Additional information and payment options are available on the TAT Membership page.

Amazon and eBay

As an Amazon Associate TAT earns from qualifying purchases made through links on our website.

Beyond Mind, Beyond Death is the latest of TAT's books to be converted to the Kindle ebook format. All of the TAT Press books are now available on Amazon in a digital format.

TAT has registered with the eBay Giving Works program. You can list an item there and select TAT to receive a portion of your sale. Check out our Giving Works page on eBay. Click on the "For sellers" link on the left side of that page for details.

There's more background information in the TAT Homing Ground section below.

Your contributions to TAT News

TAT founder Richard Rose believed that working with others accelerates our retreat from untruth. He also felt that such efforts were most effective when applied with discernment, meaning working with others on the rungs of the ladder closest to our own. The TAT News section is for TAT members to communicate about work they've been doing with or for other members and friends. Please your "ladder work" news.



"One thing you must be able to do in the midst of any
experience is laugh. And experience should show you that it
isn't real, that it's a movie. Life doesn't take you seriously,
so why take it seriously." ~ Richard Rose, Carillon

A Riff on Ego?

The wonderful thing about tiggers
Is tiggers are wonderful things!
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs!
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is...
I'm the only one!
~ From A.A. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner

Winnie-the-Pooh & Tigger (www.pooh.wikia.com)

We're hoping to present humor created by TAT members and friends here. Please your written or graphic creations. Exact sources are necessary for other submissions, since we need to make sure they're either in the public domain or that we have permission to use them.


Inspiration & Irritation

Irritation moves us; inspiration provides a direction

Ben Franklin's list of virtues:

A participant in the Oakland, CA self-inquiry group brought Ben's list to a recent meeting. Shawn Nevins, who leads the group, found this further elaboration in Franklin's autobiography:

My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues, I judg'd it would be well not to distract my attention by attempting the whole at once, but to fix it on one of them at a time; and, when I should be master of that, then to proceed to another, and so on, till I should have gone thro' the thirteen; and, as the previous acquisition of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arrang'd them with that view, as they stand above. Temperance first, as it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head, which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up, and guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits, and the force of perpetual temptations. This being acquir'd and establish'd, Silence would be more easy; and my desire being to gain knowledge at the same time that I improv'd in virtue, and considering that in conversation it was obtain'd rather by the use of the ears than of the tongue, and therefore wishing to break a habit I was getting into of prattling, punning, and joking, which only made me acceptable to trifling company, I gave Silence the second place. This and the next, Order, I expected would allow me more time for attending to my project and my studies. Resolution, once become habitual, would keep me firm in my endeavours to obtain all the subsequent virtues; Frugality and Industry freeing me from my remaining debt, and producing affluence and independence, would make more easy the practice of Sincerity and Justice, etc., etc. Conceiving then, that, agreeably to the advice of Pythagoras[67] in his Golden Verses, daily examination would be necessary, I contrived the following method for conducting that examination.

I made a little book, in which I allotted a page for each of the virtues.[68] I rul'd each page with red ink, so as to have seven columns, one for each day of the week, marking each column with a letter for the day. I cross'd these columns with thirteen red lines, marking the beginning of each line with the first letter of one of the virtues, on which line, and in its proper column, I might mark, by a little black spot, every fault I found upon examination to have been committed respecting that virtue upon that day.

What do you think about Ben's list of virtues, his approach to mastering one before moving on to the next, and the method he practiced for daily examination?

What would your list of virtues-to-master look like?


Reader Commentary

Encouraging interactive readership among TAT members and friends

The Celibate Seeker

The Forum staff solicited commentary on TAT Press's second book, The Celibate Seeker: An Exploration of Celibacy as a Modern Spiritual Discipline, by Shawn Nevins, published in September 2009.

My practice of celibacy began after being introduced to it in my conversations with Bob F. I struggled off and on for a couple of years, and now have an extended period of being celibate. I did buy The Celibate Seeker and peruse the contents in the midst of trying to get consistent, and have verified positive attributes that others described in the book. Namely, increased mental clarity and a boost in my attention/awareness. I also feel that my health has been strengthened and I have been fortunate to have very little illness. I also verified the side effects that occur after an episode, namely lack of clarity, lack of energy, and an overall lethargy. Additionally, when not celibate, my decision making is compromised within my relationship; I would (most) often barter for sex and this had an impact on my self-esteem. So being celibate has added a level of objectivity in the relationship and seems to be bringing us to a mutual respect and removing subtle (and not so subtle) manipulations. ~ J.S.

The Celibate Seeker is one of those rare books that speaks to nuances of a key technique for preserving the energy and clarity of mind needed by a seeker. The science of celibacy is not often discussed, but is found explained in practical terms in The Celibate Seeker from the perspective of seekers who have applied it beneficially to their own lives. ~ C.G.

Excerpts from the book

From the author's Summary: "I undertook this project with the desire to help two groups of people: those currently practicing celibacy and those considering the practice. For the first group, I hope you've found inspiration and practical advice that will help you continue. For the second group, I hope you've seen that celibacy is not the purview solely of monks and nuns, or a spiritual anachronism. Celibacy is an experiment rich in revelations about the mind and body and continues to be a part of the path of life for many people."

Survey response from Mr. A: "I felt that celibacy was a spiritual necessity for me. I mean, it felt and meant that I was serious and doing something serious with my life. I think when there's nothing ventured, there's nothing gained. Nothing. If you rationalize why you don't need to be celibate, then I say you will fail in whatever grand endeavor you think you are going to try. Try celibacy. Live it. Do it. Then you will have the personal experience to decide whether or not it is still something you should do."

Survey response from Ms. Z: "As a female spiritual seeker I have gained tremendously from periods of celibacy in my quest for truth. I have always been amazed at the clarity, energy, intuition ... that occurred even with just 28 days of celibacy. I highly recommend trying it at least for these 28 days, even if just for the health benefits. If no benefits come to you, or if one feels more troubled or physically ill, then stop of course. But do try again every once in a while."

Survey response from Mr. L: "It works. It is a key practice to increase energy, intuition, and clarify your mind. It isn't prescriptive, but if you wish to catalyze your actions, give it a try. Ignore the derision that greets the mere mention of the subject from those who have not, and likely will not, tread the path of a seeker. Recognize in stories of men and women of accomplishment their periods of creativity and accomplishment were accompanied by avoiding dissipation. Your body and mind generate a limited amount of energy. If your goal is to know the self, celibacy conserves the energy needed to address the question."

Please send us your brief reviews or feedback on something that stood out for you in the TAT Press book The Perennial Way for next month's Reader Commentary.

Richard Rose described a spiritual path as living one's life aimed at finding the meaning of that life. Did you find anything relevant to your life or search in this month's Forum issue?


Photo © Phil Franta


We like hearing from you! Please your comments, suggestions, inquiries, and submissions.

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Founder's Wisdom

Richard Rose (1917-2005) established the TAT Foundation
in 1973 to encourage people to work together on what
he considered to be the "grand project" of spiritual work

Zen Is Action (Part 3 of 6)

Continued from the February 2015 TAT Forum and the March 2015 TAT Forum:


Q. Could you say more about intuition?

R. Intuition is something that I don't find in any books; I don't find an analysis of it. Our thinking is limited to a set of symbols, composed of an alphabet when we speak of it. We examine things interminably, battling back and forth, making graphs and charts, thinking we'll get some mathematical formula.

But I maintain that the human mind has a factor which the whole psychological system has dodged; the practitioners have no knowledge of it, can't use it. And that is, that intuition leads to direct-mind communication. Intuition doesn't come from learning. It comes with the child. The little child has no language. I always said that children are born like gods, angels, and we seduce them with language in order to put them to work. Somebody said way back there, that little children would have access to the kingdom of heaven. He also said the kingdom of heaven is within you. It's through this childish intuition that the road becomes wider. And there are ways and means of developing your intuition.

Q. Care to say what they are?

R. I won't tell you – because it's different for different people. But to give you an example of where it applies, I used to work on the atomic submarine, up in Alliance, Ohio at a research place [a Babcock & Wilcox subsidiary]. They were using atomic isotope power for intense heat. They had NaK, which is a compound of sodium and potassium, a liquid metal that looks like mercury. They were trying to get pipes that would carry that to a boiler, and it burned up everything they put it into. When they put it through copper tubes they immediately melted. So they devised a big pipe with a hole through it about the size of a pencil so it wouldn't blow up, and they had to pump it. But they couldn't escape getting into the impeller of the pump, and the impeller floats on bearings that are greased; as soon as NaK hits water or any water compound it blows up. So they were at a dead standstill on creating a pump.

So what happened, there was a man there, a Christian Scientist – I'm not touting Christian Science; in fact I used to needle him all the time because I thought he was leaning too much on belief.[1] But this man had no chemistry or physics. I had majored in physics myself so I knew a little bit about it, but I knew nothing of what was going on, and this man had no education in that field. But he said one day, "Why don't you pass the NaK between the field and the central armature." And they said, "Oh, that will never work, because it's a metal and it will probably wrap around and unite with the copper," and that sort of thing. And he said, "Why not try it?" Of course it seemed like it was doomed to failure because of the heat element. But they did it. They tried it, and that's the reason they're pumping it today, because a man who wasn't even a scientist had an intuition.[2]

Another thing is, you look at these savant-idiots as they call them. You say to the guy, "What's 350,000 times 242,999?" And he thinks awhile and tells you, and they check it out on the computer and he's right. That's intuition. That's an instant knowledge of something that's seemingly unknowable. But he's got some key. All these other doors are shut off, so he can focus on intuition. Also, the animal has intuition: the animals know when to run when they're attacked. But we are very complex beings, we have trained ourselves to be mechanical: "Don't move until you've added up the column and subtracted it correctly, so we know exactly what's going on and we can predict it next time."

Intuition brings up a lot of things, very valuable, that can't be duplicated – because the operator doesn't even know why. When I was in the seminary I was just a kid; I went away when I was twelve years of age. I didn't know anything about religion – except that I always thought God was in the altar. Also I thought the nuns and priests had no intestines, that they had no bowel movements or anything like that. I thought they all had to be saints. Of course I was disappointed in that, you might say; I found them human. But I just sensed that they weren't sincere. And I got out. I left them, just because of that sense. If I hadn't, I'd be a slave yet today. I'd be a slave to a dogma I couldn't prove.

Now I can't prove a lot of things that I know, but I can show them to you. We had a meeting, I think it was in this building, and we were doing experiments in hypnosis. The reason for this is to show that through hypnosis you can see the human mind very clearly.[3] After you get into harmony with your audience you can start to tell which ones are susceptible. There's no reason; you can't say it's the blinking of an eye or what it is. But this intensifies. I used to walk through the audience and point at a person and say, "You have a headache, don't you?" Now a lot of people might say that you're suggesting it, because there's a hypnotic background. But the hypnosis was to remove the headache.

We had a Chautauqua up in Pittsburgh and two doctors were sitting there; one was a chiropractor from Cleveland, Leslie Hauserman, and the other was an MD from Ravenna, Ohio, Fred Bissell.[4] And not only could I see the headache but I could put my finger on it. Then I would take the headache away; I pulled it out the top of their head. Hauserman said, "Something like that happened to me." He said he had a little girl who came in with her mother, and the girl said to the doctor, "You have a sore shoulder." He said, "How'd you know?" She said, "I know, I can see it." And he said, "Can you point your finger where it hurts?" This was a twelve year old kid; she walked over and put her finger right on it.

This is intuition. You don't have to believe this, but you'll run across incidents in your lifetime and people will tell you these things. Now this is without the formula. But there is a formula, and you'll understand it once you see enough of it. In the book The Direct-Mind Experience there's a chapter on betweenness that explains how it happens and the way you hold your head for it to happen. The things that we define by intuition are shouted down by the verbalists, the people who say, "Prove it." But the proof is in the pudding. You can get a scientific doctor who can't cure you, and then somebody like a savant idiot comes along and patches it up [laughs, referring to himself, maybe].

This is very important because when you're into self-definition – the possibility that you have an interior or surviving self, or that there's a dimension that you enter after you die, or you have an experience and come back, and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you lived beyond that experience – this can only be done if you have intuition. Without this, everybody is looking for mundane things, they're not looking for truths. The truths in this line are subjective now: the body's no longer here, the body's no longer conscious.

How many accounts do you hear of it? You'll get them in Moody's book Life After Life. These are starting to come out now. The reason they didn't come out before was that people in the operating rooms, the nurses, the doctors, were told not to repeat the things that they heard in the hospital, because it would lead to arguments or maybe even lawsuits. That feeling is gone now. People are very curious about these things. One of the signs of an impending disaster is when people start getting interested in esoteric philosophy. They've had their religion with them for a hundred years but it didn't answer the question. So, "Let's go down to the witch doctor, see what he says, just for the hell of it."

Q. At this point in your life what do you hope to achieve? What motivates you?

R. The approaching death. I'm trying to do something before I die.

Q. When you say, "because of approaching death," do you mean your purpose is more self-caring as opposed to altruistic?

R. No, no. I know what's going to happen to me. I'm just saying I'd like to run across some real people before I die, that's all.

Q. How do you recognize a pure state of spirituality as opposed to intuitive or intellectual development?

R. Spiritual development can't be tied in with physical or mental development. It's invisible. Again, we're going into definition – what you or somebody in this audience would define as spiritual and the way I define it. My idea of spiritual development is a person who is aware of their essence. To merely sit around and declare that God exists because he's in [the Book of] Genesis isn't spiritual with me. That's make-believe. You can't tell a spiritual person from their looks. Because they're like savant idiots. If he's truthful and honest he'll be himself; he won't be a hypocrite. So if he looks like a slug and talks like a slug, you'll think he's a slug. But he may be spiritual; he may understand himself. And that becomes apparent as soon as you start talking to them.

Paul Wood

I met a man one time by the name of Paul Wood[5] from Texas. At this time I was going up to meetings in Akron. We had some people there who had graduated from Alcoholics Anonymous and now were on something of an esoteric or spiritual path. Incidentally, Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was an enlightened man, although he was originally an alcoholic. Anyhow, this group of people had met through Alcoholics Anonymous, and they would get together and were interested in spiritual work.[6]

This man from Texas came up to visit Bob Martin, the fellow I knew real well.[7] And he had been enlightened. He looked like Crazy Guggenheim, the guy who used to be the sidekick for Jackie Gleason. This was a stocky fellow with eyes that sagged down, he was fat, a big heavy fellow, that's the description of him. But that doesn't matter. To look at him you wouldn't have thought he was anything. You'd think he had spent a lot of time drinking, which he did, before he had this experience.

They had brought a bunch over from Firestone or Goodyear or those places. Some of the engineers heard about him being in town, so they came over to look at him through the glass and see if he was crazy or not. And he was telling us about what happened. When the war broke out he was an engineering student, so they made him a pilot or something on a bomber, and his ship bombed Nagasaki or one of those places. Now he was a Bible student before that, and he said it bugged him after he dropped the bombs. So his commanding officer said, "You'd better take a leave, a sabbatical, go home and get some rest." He couldn't see sending him out on another mission.

He said that what troubled him was that he had believed the Bible, and that this wasn't coinciding with his beliefs. In the Bible it says that God observes the fall of the sparrow, and here's a big bomber dropping tremendous eggs and killing people by the eighty thousand. "Where is this God I believed in?" So he came back to Texas, San Antonio I think it was. He was married and had some little children. And he couldn't have any peace; he just became obsessed with finding that answer. He realized that he was troubled and he said, "The reason for my trouble is evidentially spiritual, and if I'm a fundamentalist I ought to go into the Bible and find the answer."[8]

So he got to searching through the Bible and he found where Christ supposedly said (I'm quoting him, because I don't read that much), "If you would have something granted to you, pray thusly," and what followed was the Lord's Prayer. So he meditated, concentrated, analyzed the Lord's Prayer twenty-four hours day. He and his wife were quarreling because he wasn't making any money. He got a job as a car salesman in a dealership but he wasn't doing them much good; he was acting a little buggy. He said that he was just overwhelmed one day and he prayed for God to kill him. And he said he passed out.

When he woke up he was in a hospital. For ten days he traveled in space-time. All the time he was in the hospital he was conscious, while his body seemingly was unconscious. One amazing thing was that his trip doesn't coincide with some of the other incidences of enlightenment. He was more like Swedenborg; he could drop into almost any time category he wanted to. He'd be walking down the street with this friend of mine – Bob Martin used to relay a lot of this stuff to me – and he'd watch the battle of Gettysburg, or he'd watch something going on in Europe. He would describe it accurately, and then brush it aside as though it didn't mean anything. But he somehow had gotten past time as being independent of space – that they are both one so to speak.

Well, the engineers from Firestone and Goodyear were kind of sneering at him. I didn't say anything; I just watched him. And I came to the conclusion that he had been there. I knew it, just from what he was saying. And they started throwing questions at him: "Well, if you know so much, why aren't you rich?" and all this sort of thing. They didn't seem to get the importance of what he had become or discovered. We do not, incidentally, ever learn in this life anything of importance on a philosophic basis. We only become. And you never find God until you are God. That's the simple answer.

But anyhow, they were ridiculing him. And he started telling a story. He had been going around trying to tell people to read the Lord's Prayer, to get this enlightenment. Of course, it didn't work, because not everybody was like him; they hadn't bombed Japan. But he believed that he would be taken care of. He didn't look for food. His wife had left him, the kids left him. So he got a little place by himself out in the country. And he said that every time he'd get to the point of starvation one of the ranchers who lived around there would bring in a quarter of beef or something for him to eat. They seemed to know he didn't care whether he lived or died.

He said that one time he was really down and out and had nothing to eat except an onion and a soup bone of some sort. And there were people there who had come to visit him. So he said, "All I've got is some broth." And they said, "Okay." So he cooks up this big pot of broth, and he said everybody ate it and seemingly they were satisfied. Of course the thought went through everybody's head, "Oh, this fellow's borrowing from the loaves and fishes parable and he's going to capitalize on it." And Bob says to him, "Paul, geez, I wish you hadn't told that story. I've been telling these people how sincere you are." And I looked over at Bob and said, "Bob, shut up. He doesn't give a damn whether they believe it or not." He told it because it was true, that's all; he didn't care if people believed it.

People want words, formulas. When you tell them about any spiritual experience they say, "Here's a thousand dollars, can you do it in fifteen minutes? I've got to catch a bus." And that's the unfortunate direction most people have. But the only way the person can ever experience this is by going the same road and going through the same troubles, if that's what it takes. Whatever it is.

Q. What are you reading those questions [at the beginning of the talk] from?

R. This is the most recent book the TAT Foundation has produced,[9] and in it are some of my writings. That's a talk I gave, "The Lecture of Questions."

Q. I like all the questions but I can't pick out the most significant five.

R. Sure. You'd have to sort through them, I know that.

Q. Your question, "Can you be free and at the same time be aware?" – this is something I have been struggling with.

R. I think you have to be free to be aware. There are a lot of things, once you get to figuring them out: for instance there's humility. When I was in the seminary they were trying to teach everybody to be humble. Do you know what humility can do for you if you ever get thrown into jail? We have to have enough pride; you have to carry yourself with pride and self-protection to a point where you no longer need it. This is a jungle. We have to be realistic. You can't be humble with animals.

Q. The more I try to be aware of what I'm doing, the less I seem to understand what's real. I'm wondering if I'll ever see it.

R. Umm, don't worry about it. Because what you're doing basically is being your own therapist, and evidently not a good one, because it's making you unhappy. By that I mean, whenever we start analyzing ourself we get to hate ourself, by our previous standards. There's no great pride in being a human. If it causes disquiet, hey, when I had my experience I wept for a week. But it was the result of what I discovered. So don't be dismayed if you have some unhappy moments. The happy ones are as much of a mirage as the unhappy ones. Except the happy ones are more deadly because they'll trap you. The unhappy ones will drive you away from the traps.


To be continued....
~ Transcript of a talk given by Richard Rose at Ohio State University, February 1989. Transcription by Steve Harnish. For information on the transcription project .


[1] The Christian Scientist was Lambert Kooistra, director of the lab according to Rose's friend Bob Martin, who also was working there. Rose mentions Kooistra in "Defining the Truth," part 2: http://www.searchwithin.org/journal/tat_journal-14.html#4
[2] For a description of the pump see "The USS Seawolf Sodium-Cooled Reactor Submarine" pdf at http://www.ans.org/about/officers/docs/seawolf_sfr_sea_story_051712.pdf
[3] Rose, from a 1980 talk in Columbus titled Psychology and Metaphysics: "I've always said hypnosis is one of the best ways of studying the human mind because the human mind can be beguiled so rapidly, so quickly, instantaneously. You can put somebody in another paradigm."
[4] Hauserman also spoke at a Symposium at the Rose farm in August, 1978, on "Applied Kinesiology" (see the Autumn 1978 TAT News and Calendar at http://www.searchwithin.org/journal/tat_journal-05.html#10); Bissell spoke at a similar event in 1982 (see http://selfdefinition.org/rose/articles/1982-june-higher-mind-seminar-farm.htm).
[5] See the 1965 newspaper clipping at http://selfdefinition.org/christian/paul-wood-story.htm
[6] Described in Bob Martin's Peace to the Wanderer, p. 95 (p. 101 of the pdf file at http://selfdefinition.org/rose/).
[7] The meeting was in the summer of 1963 – on p. 91 of Peace to the Wanderer (p. 97 of the pdf). Search the book for "Leon Wood" to read about Martin's experience with Wood in Texas.
[8] Wood was born in 1917, the same year as Rose. At the end of WW2 he would have been 28. However, Martin says Wood didn't get serious about the Bible until close to age 40 (see p. 92 of the book; p. 98 of pdf). Martin met Wood in 1959. When Wood visited Akron in 1963 he would have been 46, and he died only two years later, in 1965. (See Wood's obituary at http://selfdefinition.org/christian/paul-wood-obituary.htm).
[9] Profound Writings, East and West (https://tatfoundation.org/profound.htm).

Do you have a favorite quote from Richard Rose? Please it along with how you'd prefer to be identified.


A New Home for TAT

... A spot on earth where people can do retreats and hold
meetings; where the emphasis is on friendship and the search.

For over 35 years, the TAT Foundation met on Richard Rose's farm, where he and the members created "a spot on earth upon which to meet. A homing ground...." TAT meetings, group retreats, and solitary retreats were a regular part of life at the ashram. Rose's desire to help others and to bring people together in a meditative surrounding, influenced two generations of spiritual seekers. Rose's farm was a sanctuary for many years, and a crucible. He once said it was like the desert—where you go to meet God.

In 2011, Rose's heir decided to use the property for another purpose, and TAT's lease was not renewed. We have since rented facilities for our four quarterly meetings. Yet, the desire to provide a greater service has been a frequent topic. Our dream is to create once again a space that encourages honesty, provides a crucible for spiritual development, and produces the next generation of spiritual seekers and finders.

To that end, TAT is raising $250,000 to find a new home. We envision a semi-rural facility, close to a university town, with a meeting hall seating up to 70 participants, kitchen and bath facilities, and a room for a live-in caretaker. Additionally, the facility would have one cabin for solitary retreats. Ideally, the property would border public lands to provide a buffer of quiet and solitude, and have enough acreage to allow for additional cabins, sleeping quarters, and facilities over time. A resident teacher, week-long retreats and intensives, public events and other activities are planned.

Current Status

As of the end of March, we have reached 68.9% of the fund-raising goal. Please keep your small donations coming; they truly add up. One interesting property is on 19.9 acres in Youngsville, NC, only 45 minutes from the Raleigh airport. There is a 1000 sq. ft. house, and several outbuildings, all sold as is. The price is $175,900. (See photo to the right.)

Other News:

Don't forget that every purchase on Amazon helps raise funds for this project. So far this year, we've raised about $70 via Amazon. Each time you want to make a purchase on Amazon, follow this link (Amazon Purchases), or any other Amazon link on TAT's site. Add whatever you want to your cart, and a percentage of your purchase price is credited to TAT. It's easy and costs you nothing.

We've registered TAT with the eBay Giving Works program. Check out our Giving Works page. You can list an item there and can select TAT to receive a portion of your sale. Click on the "For sellers" link on the left side of that page for details.

To invest directly in the "Homing Ground" project, mail a check made out to the TAT Foundation (for instructions on mailing a check, please ). Or you can use PayPal (though we lose 2.2% of your gift to PayPal fees) by choosing the "Make a Donation" button below. TAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization and qualifies to receive tax-deductible contributions.



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