By Doug Marman
The real subject of this book is about truth and how we find it. It begins with a public, Internet dialogue about one of the most unique individuals of the twentieth century: The spiritual rebel Paul Twitchell. Digging for the truth behind accusations of cover-up and fraud unravels a pattern of imagined plots arising from rumors that were promoted for more than twenty years.
The story blows open a window onto the spiritual conflicts of our age: It shows the battles that develop over new beliefs because of their power to change lives; the tactics used to sway public opinion against religious groups; and the challenge of finding truth in our modern age of media authorities.
The book then investigates the authenticity of spiritual teachings that are based on personal experience and individuality rather than fixed ways of thinking, and the problem seekers must face with public opinion in their search for truth.
In an age when the Western world has come to expect disillusionment from every public figure, this book tells a different story. It demonstrates how open and respectful dialogue restores confidence and acts as an antidote to the streams of half truths in public criticism. It shows how belief based in personal study and direct experience can be relied upon, while exposés, if we are not careful, can lead us farther from the truth they claim to expose.
The Whole Truth includes archived photos and information on Paul Twitchell that have never been published before.
ISBN 9780979326004 / 521 pages / $19.95
”I finally had time to get at your excellent book. Now and forever, I have the perfect advice for individuals who inquire about Paul Twitchell: READ MARMAN’S BOOK. IT IS THE FINAL WORD. A WORK OF EXACTING SCHOLARSHIP.“ (Steiger’s caps)
—BRAD STEIGER, author of In My Soul I Am Free, first Paul Twitchell biography
”I was very elated to read your book The Whole Truth. I thought, finally, someone got the whole thing right. Eckankar was Paul’s way of life and the way he lived. I loved Paul very much. I believed in him. I embraced everything he did. It was my life too. To my knowledge I have never said anything against Paul or Eckankar. I’m not sure where people come up with this nonsense. The point now is, Doug, you are the one who has taken Paul’s work and put it in the proper perspective. Thank you so much!“
EXCERPT FROM THE WHOLE TRUTH:
Before you can give Truth to others, Truth must be known as the absolute need in your life. We must see Truth and know Truth and think Truth always.
Refuse to see Truth, pretend that it is impossible to know what is true and what is not, distort Truth, seek to mix it with Untruth, attempt to deceive both ourselves and others, give Truth in an unattractive manner, then chaos will reign in our lives…
This is the time for Truth “the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth.” This is no time for half-Truths, for bewilderment and lack of understanding. These constitute the soil in which grief grows. In Truth alone there is comfort, understanding and courage.
Paul Twitchell, The Flute of God
Separating Opinions from Truth
In 1965, Paul Twitchell began lecturing, writing and offering mail-order courses about a teaching he called ECKANKAR, The Ancient Science of Soul Travel. Within a few years, he had published a series of books, expanded his list of monthly discourses, and began holding regional and world-wide seminars that attracted thousands of people.
David Lane wrote in his book, The Making of a Spiritual Movement:
The single greatest factor to Eckankar’s astounding growth, outside of its spiritual message and Twitchell’s personality, was the time in which Eckankar blossomed. The late 1960’s were a time of considerable discontent in American society. Eckankar was born in the very midst of a growing disenchantment within secular society for “orthodox” religions. The rebellious youth were turning toward the East; mysticism, yoga, and Zen were the “in” thing. Eckankar, however, was different. It was unique in that it took from the East teachings regarding karma, shabd yoga, and reincarnation while essentially remaining a Western-based movement…Eckankar offered one such new exploration – an exploration into higher consciousness.
Although not widely known at the time, Eckankar became one of the most popular emerging spiritual movements of the 1960’s and 70’s. It gained more followers than the confrontational new religions of the day, such as the Hare Krishnas, the Moonies (Unification Church), and Divine Light Mission. These groups created a host of antagonistic reactions and public controversy. On the other hand, Eckankar generated little press. The reason was simple: Paul Twitchell never tried to convert people, and his teachings were experience-based rather than faith-based. (continued)
You stated in one of your answers that Paul Twitchell started Eckankar as a path for people to study on their own. Where did you get this information from?
Michael, I just saw your comment. I don’t know why, but for some reason you comment got stuck in the system all these years, so I am just getting a chance to reply now.
In answer to your question, I worked in the Eckankar Office in the early 1970’s. I saw all of the records there, and I inherited files from Patti Simpson who worked closely with Paul in the late 1960’s. I have copies of the ads that Paul ran in magazines, where he offered his mail order discourses. In the early days, discourses would be mailed out every month to each person who was studying. Later on, Paul began writing a series of discourses specifically for studying in groups with others. However, he always described the path of ECK as a path of individual study. Even today, there are plenty who study completely on their own with the discourses.
I should add that in 1970 and 1971, Paul held seminars specifically for younger members. I told lots of stories there about the very early days when he first started teaching. And I had a chance to talk to many of the people who worked closely with Paul. And I have copies of all of Paul early letters that he wrote to students, such as the Illuminated Way Letters and Mystic World articles. A lot of good historical information can be found there as well.
I just have finished your book and I have to admit that your book is one of the best book in my life.
I really appreciate you and Mr. Arman Radnik.
Thank you for writing. It is good to hear that the book was helpful.
And I too appreciate the work that Arman put into translating it.
Hi Doug, have to admit i am curious about your book which surprises me as i left Eckankar many moons ago. I joined up around 1982/3 and by year 2000 had hit the ‘glass ceiling’ where i felt my particular pattern of growth needed a different focus. In the years since i feel i have blossomed, really blossomed and look back at my years with the teaching slightly reluctantly almost as my ‘missing years’. Years where i was trying to fit in with the narrative i was believing about what and how an eckist should be like. There was an immense dearth of authenticity and a complete denial of my heart’s truth. I like what has been stated in your final paragraph of the pdf about this book. ‘It is like the breathing in of the world and breathing out the inner scripture of our heart. We must listen and speak, even if that listening is with our intuition, and that speak- ing is with our actions. This living path of interchange and integration with life is what brings legitimacy to a spiritual teaching and can make it a positive force in our lives.’
Breathing in of the world was IMHO never part of the precepts. It seemed more like we were encouraged to transcend the planet, this dimension, the kingdom Of Kal Niranjan as quickly as possible instead of learning ways to transmute and transform what is present about us. Would you agree with that Doug?
To me, the breathing in and out of life is so much a part of the spiritual path, that I don’t know how it couldn’t be. That includes the life of this world, since that is where we are living, as much as the life of the inner and higher spiritual worlds.
I’ve seen a lot of people who misunderstand the meaning of spiritual detachment, which for me means the ability to love and care, while being willing to let go and follow life wherever it leads. Others have taken it to mean that they should disconnect themselves from the world.
I think this is a holdover from Christian teachings, where desires of the world were considered evil and should be resisted. This probably made sense to people thousands of years ago, who lived under the restrictive thumb of Rome. Their willingness to die was an inspiration for them, creating a sense of spiritual freedom they hadn’t experienced before.
However, true detachment, I believe, is the ability to interact with life at every level, whether the smallest things in our daily lives, or the deep spiritual currents that make the physical universe seem insignificant.
Back to the book on Paul Twichell. You might find it interesting that he started Eckankar as a path for people to study on their own. He only added “satsang” discourses later, for those who learned best through a group.
Even today, there are many who prefer to study alone and find the group experience distracting.
As I wrote about in my book, The Silent Questions, sometimes we need to leave the path to find the Path. It sounds as if this is exactly what happened for you.
I believe the path of ECK is and always has been an individual path. This means that it takes a different form for each person, to match their needs. For some, a group setting is best. For others, the last thing they need is a religion.
Thanks for writing.
I’m more touched by your explanation and insight on detachment. I look forward to read your book one day. I must thank you for coming out with such a book.
Thank you, Simon.
Yes, I plan to produce e-books of my existing books. I will be coming out with my first e-book in the next few months. It will be a new book. It is short, so it is a good project for trying out what it takes to make an e-book.
After that is done, I will turn my attention to converting my other books to e-books. I’ve had requests before. Plus, it is a better solution for those who live in other countries, since mailing costs are getting so expensive.
Check back to the the spiritualdialogues.com web site in the next month or so. You will see a change to the web site, along with the e-book and some new articles.
I agree with you that Inayat Khan played an important role in Paul’s spiritual education. There are a number of surprising connections that makes me wonder, like you, how deeply it goes. One thing is clear: Paul always had an eye for those who could see the deeper truth, and Inayat Khan was one of those.
Thanks for writing.
Hello Doug, i am also one person that bought The Whole Truth 5 or so years ago…has it been out that long? to my memory it was 2007 or so, in any case, i have also been an ARE member for many years, and witnessed a number of your dialogues there with David Lane, as well as many of the posts given in recent years that show further plagiarisms by Paul Twitchell, now, having said that, i also bring the works of Eckankar to a large number of non students, having been one myself for roughly 30 years….i have a site now, run by a friend who has just joined Eckankar, and there are a number of others who have become new students as well, and, at this site we have a considerably large ebook library, showcasing many, if not all spiritual paths, including Eckankar, so, my basic question to you is a very serious one, will you, at any time, be introducing a kindle version of The Whole Truth? in the way that i present Eckankar, i openly include Paul’s usage and collections from other writers, and overall, a great many simply do not care in the way many former students who have decided to take the opposite side do, for these folks, plagiarisms are natural, as they are obviously found in nearly every religion on the face of the earth, having been based in, or a reformation of, one religion or another, and so, in displaying the teachings in this way, i am also able to openly use the wisdom of other writers, for example Sufi Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, who’s writings have an entire chapter on the HU, and who also show a great potential in having been one of Paul’s starting points, in the personage of ECK Master Sudar Singh….i will not openly say that such a Master does not at all exist, nor will i say that this name is a redaction to hide Kirpal Singh’s involvement with Paul early on, but the spots in his writings that speak of Sudar Singh as having been a sort of Sufi, who at some point began teaching Eckankar, is beyond being able to miss, as Inayat Khan’s eldest son is on record saying the very same thing, only without using the name of Eckankar, and instead saying “the path” as opposed to “the Sufi way”….obviously, your own work in The Whole Truth, which shows the different ways that plagiarism has been used and the varying meanings accepted by society at large, plays in this in a very direct fashion (and i DO also use quotes from your book, and give due credit)….so, an ebook version that could be purchased at some point would be a thing I and many others would be willing to pay for, if you happen to be at all considering the idea, and if not, I’d like to suggest it to you so that you might actually consider it, as it would indeed serve a great need that exists in the world of the seeker, and on the internet in general! thank you for your time!
Thanks for the warm note.
It is greatly appreciated.
I wanted to thank you from my heart how much I appreciated the work that you did to bring out “The Whole Truth”. The light that you have shed on Paul’s public persona illuminates a wonderful soul and clarifies much.
While reading the book I had a vivid dream where I was seated in a stand watching a singles sculling race. Out in front was Paul. The person next to me commented “That Paul Twitchell…… he digs deep !” The next day I continued reading your book and one of the first thoughts that you brought forward was that we must dig deep if we are to ever find truth. Thank you Doug for “digging deep”.
I remember seeing the original manuscript for The Far Country. But this was back in the early 1970’s. I remember seeing a few words crossed out and other words written in by hand, with Paul’s handwriting. But I don’t remember seeing Rebazar’s name being penciled in. I think I would have remembered something like that, but it is too long ago to remember this accurately, however.
I don’t remember ever seeing The Tiger’s Fang manuscript. I’ve asked a few people, but none have been able to add any new information.
The closest I’ve gotten to something new came from Patti Simpson Rivinus. She didn’t remember seeing The Tiger’s Fang manuscript, but she did see the original Letters to Gail, since she published them in the early ECK World News publications, back in the 1970’s. She said that she did remember Sudar Singh’s name being added by hand, on some of the letters, but she remembered seeing Rebazar’s name there in the originals. So, she didn’t think Rebazar’s name was added. This is consistent with what David Stewart reported. He was the editor of The ECK World News after Patti. He said he saw Kirpal Singh’s name being crossed out and replaced with Sudar Singh. He thought Gail may have been the one who made these name changes. But no mention of Rebazar’s name being inserted.
Hopefully, one day, we will see these originals and know what happened. I’m not sure it will make much difference, but it is nice to know.
“Since no one has made a copy of Paul’s manuscript public, we don’t know how Kirpal’s name was mentioned in the original Tiger’s Fang.”
“If we take this as representative of Paul’s book, then Kirpal is not necessarily the main character in The Tiger’s Fang. He might only be mentioned. Unfortunately, we simply don’t know.”
For your book, did you talk to anybody who saw The Tiger’s Fang manuscript? Anybody living? Or did you remember – from the time when you saw The Tiger’s Fang manuscript yourself – whether it included the name Rebazar Tarzs?
Thanks for responding. I was unaware of the Manoranjan Bhattacharya story. It certainly adds an interesting twist. I tend to agree with you that there probably would not have been many gurus with the name Sudar Singh in Allahabad.
Your book was certainly an eye opener as to how shoddy Lane’s research was with his book. Your book is a good lesson in how it’s risky to accept anything as the “final word” on a subject, especially when the person has an agenda.
As you may know, back in the late 1990’s, Eckankar made contact with a gentleman in India who claimed he met Sudar Singh and stayed in his ashram in Allahabad, for a few days in 1938. The man’s name was Manoranjan Bhattacharya. He was apparently trying to stay hidden from the authorities for political reasons, in 1938, and Sudar Singh gave him refuge, which is why he remembers him.
Manoranjan was never associated with Eckankar, as far as I know, and he didn’t know Paul Twitchell, so his claims are interesting.
I don’t have all the details. You may have heard about this already. It is the only new information I know of.
His report doesn’t prove this was the same Sudar Singh that Paul was talking about, although there probably weren’t that many Sudar Singhs who had ashrams in Allahabad, in the 1930s. Of course, this is only the word from one man, so it certainly is not conclusive.
I agree with you that parts of the story seem strange. However, I have to admit that I was surprised to find how true many of Paul’s stories were. He lead an incredible life. For example, in one of his early writings he mentioned that he dove for pearls in South America and hunted for gold in New Guinea. I would have said the same thing about these claims – they seemed like a bit of fanciful faction. Then, I found out that Paul was stationed in New Guinea with the Seabees, during his stint in the US Navy, and the Seabees were experts at deep sea diving and underwater construction. His stories didn’t seem so unbelievable anymore.
So, for me Sudar Singh is still an unknown. You are right, there is no objective proof that really proves Paul’s stories about studying with Sudar Singh in India.
In looking back over my notes, I found one other interesting reference that I had forgotten about. It was something Paul wrote in 1961, years before he started talking publicly about Eckankar. It was dated November 21, 1961. He was relating a story about a night in his youth when he rode motorbikes with is sister, Kay Dee, in Paris. They rode “in Paris around the tombs of the sacred field where a saint was buried, and landed in prison.” He says that his sister then realized she had to withdraw from Paul, because his lifestyle was too free for her, and the Master told her to. He doesn’t mention who this “Master” was or his name, but it makes you wonder.
Maybe one day this will be clearer. Or maybe this will always be a mystery, since we don’t have enough facts to say for sure. What I wrote above are the only new tidbits that weren’t included in my book. Hopefully, you find them interesting.
Thanks for writing.
I just read the book and found it fascinating. I read Twitchell’s books when I was a kid (despite being raised Catholic, I was somehow able to sneak Twitchell’s books past my parents). Then when I read Lane’s book, I ended up having a negative impression of Twitchell, until I recently read your book.
However, there is one aspect of Twitchell’s life that wasn’t answered in the book, namely, who was Sudar Singh? Have there been any developments on the search to find out who he was? I have to be honest, this is one part of Twitchell’s life that doesn’t ring true to me. You can’t really prove through any objective means whether the Eck Masters exist, but Sudar Singh was supposedly a living teacher with whom Paul studied. You’d think someone would know something about him.
I read this book completely. First I want to thank Mr. David Lane for his attempt against Eckankar and then thank you very much for your research and attempt to clear reality that happen.
I mix David’s thoughts and yours in The Whole Truth and also with Silent Questions with others book like: Patti Simpsons’ books, In My Soul I am free by: Brad S., Letters to Gail1, 2 By: Paulji, and receive new and better understanding that what is Eckankar.
Thanks. Paul Twitchell had such a deep spiritual life, it is hard for anyone to understand it, but what you say has the ring of truth to me. I suspect, but only suspect, that he wrote the first manuscript with other Masters in it and travels with them but got a bad response to it from Kirpal Singh and others so he switched to his experiences with the Eckankar Masters just by changing names. In other words he went to the same places with many Masters and so just changed names. I really don’t know. I suppose one could say I am trying to give Paul the benefit of the doubt and that is probably true. It is hard not to when you have had a few experiences in Eckankar and you have talked to others who have had many great experiences as outlined in the Eckankar book “Earth to God, Come In Please”. But I have to understand how unbelievable it all sounds to outsiders. Having left Eckankar because I don’t fit in as a good teacher, I am beginning to sense the strangeness of it all again but imagine how the apostles felt with Jesus and St Paul talking about dying daily and going to the 3rd heaven. It is not easy to talk about these spiritual subjects, but you do a good job. More down to earth than Paul and Harold who can really go out there past the point of understanding of almost everyone. I think you have to have some kind of personal experience calling you to Eckankar that allows you to accept a lot of things most can’t. So I don’t blame Lane and others for seeing Twitchell and others in Eckankar in another light and attacking Eckankar as a cult. I don’t agree but understand it. It happened all the time to Jesus and other spiritual greats. It is very good that everybody can talk openly of these different types of religious experiences, and not kill each other.
I will probably buy your book because of your great research on Twitchell. It is like an answer to a prayer or wish of mine I have thinking about for awhile now. It is interesting that my wish came true in time and makes me wonder about Harold’s talks about conciousness and will power. I don’t think it was my wishing on a star that made this dream come true. There seems to be a group or collective conciousness at work here that you may or may not be aware of. When I first starting reading all the cult stuff all over this area of the internet, I wished somebody from Eckankar would write a better biography of Paul Twitchel and the other Masters Klemp and Gross too. The David Lanes of the world sure know how to sling dirt and propaganda. I don’t think I would be up to countering all of it now, but thought differently when I was in Eckankar for 3 years or so. Thanks again. You are a very good teacher.
I’ve learned a few more facts that give a little better picture of those times, since I wrote the book.
The biggest new information has to do with the question of how long did Paul Twitchell actually study with Kirpal Singh. David Lane claimed it was over 10 years. He based this on the fact that Paul started studying Kirpal’s teachings in mid-1955, when Kirpal made his first visit to the US. David says he has personally seen the letters that Paul wrote to Kirpal and they dated from 1955 to 1966. So, that would make about 11 years.
New information suggests that David Lane wasn’t even close. We now have four facts that give us a very different picture:
1. Paul himself said in an article published before he started Eckankar, that the time he spent studying with Kirpal was 1-2 years. David Lane rejected this, but this now seems to be exactly right.
2. I had a phone interview with Roy Eugene Davis, who is the spiritual director at the Center For Spiritual Awareness, and was a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda. He knew Paul back in the 1950’s, and clearly remembered meeting Paul in 1958. Paul told him then that he had left off studying with Kirpal Singh. .
3. Paul wrote his book, The Flute of God, in 1959. He mentions there, again, his time with Kirpal Singh, but mentions that they had parted ways in a friendly way, and thought Kirpal was sympathetic with the work Paul was doing. This suggests, once again, that he had left off his study of Kirpal’s teaching by 1959.
5. A letter has turned up that gives us the most accurate timing. It was written by Paul on July 11, 1957, saying to a friend that he had stopped studying with Kirpal many months before. That would place it around the beginning of 1957, which would have been about 1.5 years after he first met Kirpal, exactly as he said.
The reason this timing is so important is because Paul wrote his book, The Tiger’s Fang, in 1957. Since he was no longer studying with Kirpal by early in 1957, it seems most likely that he wrote the book after this. However, one thing is clear, and that is Paul liked to keep friendly relationships with many people from the many different paths he studied with, long after he stopped studying their teachings. We see this over and over again through many examples. This explains the friendly letters that Kirpal and Paul wrote back and forth to each other up until 1966.
So, this shoots down the whole idea that many followers of Kirpal and David Lane have been claiming for decades, that Paul was a follower of Kirpal up until he split off to start Eckankar. Now we can see this isn’t even close, and in fact Paul only spent barely more than one year studying with Kirpal.
Since no one has made a copy of Paul’s manuscript public, we don’t know how Kirpal’s name was mentioned in the original Tiger’s Fang. Was he mentioned throughout the book, or only in places? Kirpal says he was mentioned in the book, but it isn’t clear at all that he ever read the manuscript. Kirpal makes a number of comments that don’t fit at all. It appears he was mixing The Tiger’s Fang up with something else.
There is only one place where Paul ever mentioned Kirpal in relation to The Tiger’s Fang. This was in an article he wrote that was published in the Psychic Observer in November of 1964. He mentions that Kirpal spoke briefly about the Masters when he took Paul through the several invisible worlds, which he recorded in his book, the Tiger’s Fang. However, in this same article, Paul goes on to say that although he had been traveling through the invisible worlds for years, it was only when Rebazar Tarzs took charge that he broke through the barriers and Rebazar took him into strange lands he never believed possible.
If we take this as representative of Paul’s book, then Kirpal is not necessarily the main character in The Tiger’s Fang. He might only be mentioned. Unfortunately, we simply don’t know.
But the whole picture has changed, now that we realize Paul only study Kirpal’s teachings for 1.5 years. The idea that Paul learned everything from Kirpal and that he changed it in a few places to start Eckankar doesn’t make sense. Paul drew on teachings from hundreds of teachers and is open about this. According to his first wife, Paul had been studying with spiritual groups since he was in high school, and as I showed in my book he was writing about it back in the late 1930’s and mentions it in letters to his first wife, in the 1940’s.
He clearly felt an affinity with Kirpal for many long years after 1957, but seeing Kirpal as a friend, not as his teacher. Paul apparently did have inner experiences with Kirpal, but whenever Paul mentions these, he also mentions many other teachers he traveled with inwardly as well. He was sharing these as examples of others who had this same ability he called Soul Travel.
That’s the latest information. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions on what it means.
From what I can see, the more information we turn up, the closer we find ourselves to what Paul was saying all along.
Thanks for your comments and questions.
Doug: Did you ever figure out the truth about Twitchell’s seeming changing of names in The Tigers Fang? I was amazed at all the stories about Twitchell appearing and disappearing through the years to different people and accepted he was a spiritual adept or Master and then I ran into the controversies, especially about the Tigers Fang. Did Twitchell just change names because Kirpal Singh claimed he never had experiences with Twitchell? Is it possible Twitchell had the experiences and Singh never was able to recount them? Or was it really God taking him on these journeys in his imagination and taking on the form of his Master at the time who was Singh? Did he write it was Rebezar Tarz because he had 2 Masters and it could have been God taking on the form of Tarz? Have you ever figured this out? It would be very difficult of course to figure this out. Twitchell covered himself for name changes and all manner of things by saying the story could be taken as fiction about a dream by those who wanted and there was nothing wrong with writing about dreams or something like that. But the many stories about actual experiences like his by others with ties to actual reality led me to think the whole book was true and not fantasy. Having never been to any of these spiritual places, I could not tell if it was true or not but I had a number of interesting experiences at the time I was reading the book that made it seem believable. Like being able to look at the sun through a thick ocean fog and seeing eagles from a vacation boat trip and having an experience with a friendly whale who came up next to the boat I was in seemingly playing with us. Reminded me of the Ocean of Love and Mercy he described God as being. Reminded me that God was like a spiritual Sun or energy source in some higher dimension or something. The book eck perience has stayed with me for years and I still accept Twitchell as a Master but perhaps one who was struggling a little bit to re start a new version of the Varaigi line of Masters. Instead of concentrating on the few mistakes Twitchell apparently made, I look at all the miracles people are reporting about him. That is the striking thing about him and Eckankar. The miracles in turn change your whole point of view and they made me more loving and forgiving and more aware that my actions have consequences so I had better be careful if I want to advance to a better heaven or whatever Eckankar calls them. Please respond. You have gone deeper into Twitchell’s history than anyone I have heard of.
Dear Doug and all:
When I first joined the Eck in December of 1992, I was in the Albuquerque, New Mexico Harvard Blvd. center. One of my dreams was of Paul turning the door knob and opening the door for me. I could not see the person opening the door, but I could sense who it was.
Later, during much doubts about Eck, I was very detracting. I tried to tell everyone of how Eckankar lied and how bad the beliefs were. One night I dreamed of Paul coming to me in a dream in 2000 and saying, “If you don’t like Eckankar, why don’t you leave?”. He was helping to unload a small boat in an area like he described in Stranger By The River. There was greenery around and several natives to the land helping to unload the boat also.
He was busy at that moment getting on with Service. I was not.
I have since come to terms with my doubts. I had another initiation in 2006 and had made up my mind to do the Initiate’s Report, HU sing everyday, and do the Discourse spiritual exercise selection for the month. I felt a feeling of oneness with Spirit and an opening of my heart that I had never known before. The effect of that devotion has lasted. When I saw Sri Harold this year at the 2008 World Wide, I noticed his laughter and how he laughed more. I am so glad that God through Spirit can cause me to love all life. I even felt grief after I had squished a bug on my computer desk last week. I felt like, “It wasn’t doing anything to me. He was alive and you just killed him. Alive one moment and dead the next. I did that to this Soul!” I now realize that Paul loved Spirit very much. Stranger By The River showed me that even Paul had faults that Rebazar Tarz thought needed attention. It was a book of Spiritual Development.
I only wish David Lane had been willing to try Eckankar for a year to see if his experiences would have shown him that Eckankar was Real!
I have met Eck Masters in the flesh here in Salt Lake City, Utah and I can attest to the fact that they are Bubbly, Calm, Peaceful, and have no judgement at all of anyone. Nor do they try to take one’s troubles away from the person except to point the person towards a more happy way.
I love them and Sri Harold and Paul. I would kiss them on the cheek if I could.
So, don’t be afraid to love Eck. It is real.
I knew Paul Twitchell and he was quite an enigma. After years of thought on the subject, I see him as a hero; a Robin Hood type hero. Some great truths were locked up in a far away land. Paul discovered those truths and gave them to the world with no strings attached. No longer must one spend years working their way up to the point where they can view these truths. No longer must they give up meat, sex, and money to view these truths. Paul took the treasure of wisdom and in his books gave it to the world. He opened my eyes and despite having traveled a different road and seeing spiritual truths differently than Paul did, I will always love him for opening my eyes.
As Paul Always mentioned in his books , MAHDIS initiators are very important to notice ECK messages to others as MAHANTA channel. So Darwin started With big paces then went through steps of consiousness Quickly. he was one of the members who paul had given him Seminar Duties until he transmitted. secondly ,To becoming as an Eck Master and work with others in inner worlds needs a high Spirit consiousness to give others an Initiation Secret word. So Darwin Must have been a MAHDIS those days. I Look forward you to share with your informations.
In Spirit ,
Just a quick comment, not super important, but related to information in The Whole Truth…i have just re-read Patti Simpson’s Paulji, and i find in there a reference to Darwin being an eighth initiate before he became Paul Twitchell’s successor, but in the book i only saw him referred to as a fifth, then in david lane’s book of course, only a second or third….found this interesting since it is a first hand eyewitness report, and that sort of tears up david lane’s reasoning on that particular issue, being that that was one of the “proofs” of Eckankar having no validity…
That response answered the question very well. Very, very.
Thanks for sharing all of that.
The native language spoken in Iran is Persian, or sometimes called (Farsi). Farsi is a sum of Arabic and Iranian ancient language (Pahlavi, as I know). They got summed after the Arabs invasion to Iran during the growth and power of Islam in middle east. Though it is so combined with Arabic, we still
love it. Our language was not the only thing that was lost by that invasion. I am not so good in Iran’s history. But if you had any other question, I would be happy to answer. 😀
But In fact, Yes, There is another type of language that I have been trying to learn and so far I know a little about.This is the type of language that you posted about in OUR DIALOGUE WITH THE SPIRIT forum.I hope that I will keep on learning, and sure I hope this opportunity to become others as well too.
To become more familiar with your language history, for one.
For example, is there another language, besides English. that people “from Iran” speak? I mean, a native language?
I understand this could amount to a personal question, and if revealing particular dialect might expose specifics about your identity that you don’t (or, might not) want to share. However, I think it could help, with future dialogue, if I understood your “language” better.
From your posts I would say that your English is pretty good. Is this the main language in Iran Today? English? My earlier question (from the other post) was looking for the main language spoken by people in Iran. Whether that is called Iranian, or if there is another (native name) for the common dialect there.
I am interested in foreign language and history of Iran, for another thing. And I seldom ever meet people native to Iran. Especially those who are also familiar with Eckankar.
Why are you asking this?
I am curious, how many other languages do you speak besides English?
But as you wrote, there are advantages like Rumi and Shams-i-Tabrizi and many more that I am grateful of.
Good luck to you too, and thanks for such a warm welcome.
Hello Mohammad, and welcome~! i know that it isn’t easy in Iran to be an Eckist, isn’t it illegal there to pursue this religion? in any case, i would suggest that you do your best to discover the inner path, as that is one thing that is extremely hard for a government to remove from a person…perhaps it would be easy for you to study Rumi’s writings without raising suspicion to yourself, and of course there is Shamus-i-Tabrizi as well~! 😀 good luck to you and welcome, for myself, it is a pleasant surprise to find you here joining in the dialogue with us!
Six months ago, someone handed me your book.
I don’t know if you are aware, but our connection to the temple is very limited due to conditions that everyone knows.Have not read David Lane’s book, I was like: “what is going on?”, but It was a blessing for me. I was not looking for any answer in this book, since I had not read David Lane’s book. But you taught me many things, mostly about dialogue. I have had many problems in that area. and surely I was shocked by knowing what is going on around Paul’s Legacy. And grateful to be knowing The Whole Truth,
before reading David’s book.
So, thank you a lot for this great, magnificent book.
Your response reminds me of a saying that is attributed to Bill O’Brian (former CEO of Hanover Insurance) that: “The success of the intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener.” our state of consciousness is indeed central to our communication. In another thread I touched on this area as well.
Now that may sound easy enough, but in my experience it is full of challenges. There can be many unconscious reflexes that insert themselves into my state, my communication etc. making it less than I intend.
I like your question, Jonathan: how can we present our perspectives in a way that opens space for dialogue?
I suspect we need to allow room for dialogue in our own consciousness first. Perhaps this has less to do with what we actually say, than how we say it. Using Doug’s nice example of the two scientists, if the “I don’t think so” had been delivered with a contemptuous sneer, the second scientist might well have reacted, and off they would have gone down the merry road of “monologues of intolerance.”
However, in this case it seems that the first scientist was able to state his opinion without a strong emotional reaction to his friend’s position. Perhaps he spoke with a quiet confidence that came from knowing his own experience, and it was this quality, permeating his words, that spoke to Soul in his friend and nudged him out of a mental rut.
Maybe part of creating dialogue is to to choose our state of consciousness before we choose our words.
I am enjoying reading these, and from that thought I should contribute as well 😉
I can relate to Scotiaspirit’s experience of being a rural Eckist in Canada. While our distances in the area of British Columbia where I lived were not always quite so far, we were spread out over long distances with mountain ranges in between, making winter travel a real adventure at times.
The story you (Doug) told about the two scientists reminded me of some time I spent on a listserve for the Journal of Consciousness Studies. These and other types of experiences were often a topic of conversation. Being new at the game, and learning the ropes of academic conversation, I found myself drawn in to long and deep exchanges that at on one thread lasted almost six months. I encountered many who were like the second scientist and felt duty bound to explain any kind of “transpersonal” phenomenon in terms of material processes in the brain. It often felt like figuring out how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.
My learning from this engagement was twofold. On one level I learned how to play the game their way – not in terms of reducing phenomenon to material explanations – but in being able to use the rules of logic to continually probe the assumptions underlying their perspective. I got quite good at this, but found that it took enormous amounts of time and energy.
The second level I learned on was more in line with the story Doug told. I learned that it is not always necessary to to engage in a direct assault on the other person’ perspective, but that simply presenting one’s own view in a gentle manner and leaving it open for the other to explore or not as they please can be much less effort and much more productive.
This leads me to reflect on one of the core ideas in Doug’s book, that we are not trained today in the art of dialogue. The “Whole Truth” about Paul Twitchell arose from Doug doing the hard work of not taking presentations of Paul’s life from David Lane at face value, and questioning not only the statements of Lane, but also his assumptions and then looking for the evidence himself. There was a lack of capacity for David to “hear” the evidence Doug put forward, thus making “dialogue” a very long a protracted affair.
The question for me then becomes how can we present our perspectives in a way that opens space for dialogue? And when do we just leave the matter alone? Doug points out that the first scientist’s simple response opened up a space for the first scientist to reflect on rather than defend his (what I would characterize as) pre-given reflex response from a set of assumptions about reality he had consciously or unconsciously taken on from the larger “scientific” community at large. That simple act of reflection without a need to defend allowed for another perspective to emerge, that he didn’t really know.
As this forum unfolds, I am curious to see how we can benefit from applying the lessons Doug points out in his book to how we learn from and through each other’s perspectives.
The first ECK book i ever read was The Far Country.Having read The Path Of The Masters soon after i couldn’t help but notice the differences between the two.The book spoke to me,but Johnson’s book was much harder to be interested in,as Doug points out in his book, The Whole Truth.Personally i find it irrelevant whether or not Paul Twitchell plagiarized anything or not, but the ability of the words, and the manner in which they’re spoken or written is important, based upon the truth they are able to present to another.Irregardless of what anyone’s opinion is, i know for myself, that the Ancient One DOES indeed exist, and each of these books, including Doug’s has helped me to recognize that Divine One’s presence in my life, and i greatly appreciate that.Kudos Doug, a fine piece of work~!
Thanks to all for your kind comments and feedback. I appreciate what everyone wrote.
And thank you especially to Scotiaspirit for the wonderful story of your discovery.
Your comment about the doctor’s response – him suggesting that your out of body experience was probably due to oxygen deprivation – raises an interesting question:
What do we say, or should we say anything, to those who try to make it sound as if these experiences are merely tricks of the mind?
For example, not long ago there was a well known scientist who described to his friend a near-death experience he recently had. His friend, another well known scientist, told him that it was likely all a delusion of the brain and then went on at length to explain what he thought had really happened.
The first scientist’s response was simply: I don’t think so.
I loved that answer. There was no need to say any more.
The interesting thing about this is that it was the second scientist who told this story and realized from his friend’s answer, that he really didn’t know what happened.
The Conscious realization that led me on a search to where I found the teachings of Paul Twitchell and ECKANKAR.
A little about myself and how I arrived here.
I grew up in a very conservative family in rural Eastern Canada, where my mother was an organist at three United Methodist Churches in the same pastoral charge. Going to church on most Sunday’s was a repeated experience for me. It was also a boring experience, not so much in the lessons being taught, but by the way they were being presented. There were clergy persons who seemed to lack enthusiasm at doing their job; as if they resented being there in the first place. Of course, this was not ALL of them, but over a period of about 15 years, I can think of three or four separate clergy person’s who could cause people to go to sleep within the hour. There were a few good clergy people that were excited about their jobs and went beyond their call of duty to serve their members of the said churches they ministered to. However, their stays were usually of short duration, sometimes only one year or less. They tended to go to areas that had larger populations after they got some experience behind the pulpit. After all, in these small rural fishing communities that dot Eastern Canada, having a congregation of 30 to 40 people was considered a full church. One could only think, that many years earlier, perhaps that church building had larger congregations, as 40 people would not even fill it (church building) to 1/3 capacity.
Still, the repeated exposure to this type of preaching and integration to the Christain faith did not arouse me in any way spiritually. By the time I finished high school in about 1980, I pretty much felt that I was an atheist, and did not really believe in too much that could not be explained by science and logic, so I thought. My biology teacher did a great job in convincing me that evolution seemed more probably than the story of Adam and Eve as taught in the church that I belonged to as a child. It was always a conflicted inside of me to how would a Loving God, be the same God we should fear? I recall asking our minister that question, and the answer I was given, “you don’t ask questions, you have to accept the written word.” I have always felt, we learn by asking questions. I still think that way today.
My gradual belief changes over the 1970’s and early 1980’s, had brought me to a point I pretty much felt that I was an athiest. I could not believe in a mythic being, especially one that was supposed to love us, but that I was supposed to fear!
In a matter of a few moments, this all changed on Christmas Day, 1990. This was my second time afflicted with a major medical crisis caused by Pulmonary Embolisms (blood clots in the lungs) and it was also on this day, that I had my first Out of Body realization, to what some would coin a Near Death Experience. I first coined my experience as a “Realization of Consciousness – outside of the boundary of the biological physical body.” It was my first conscious realization with knowing my SOUL being conscious outside of the body. I was 28 at this time. For many months, I told nobody else of what I experienced, with exception to my wife and some close family members. In fact, it took me several years before I even mentioned it to a doctor, and I did so in a third party reference, by telling the doctor I knew of somebody who had an Out of Body experience during a medical crisis, and this doctor first said to me, it was likely caused by oxygen deprivation to the person who was experiencing it. Needless to say, I did not bring up that topic to that doctor again.
But, what those few moments of realization did to me was it opened up my curiosity to start searching for answers. I started by reading books, (many of them) from authors such as Raymond Moody Jr. M.D., Maurice Rowlings M.D., Elizabeth Kubler Ross, M.D., and many other authors who wrote about the NDE, I used to take part in some web based internet chat forums in the mid 1990’s, (1995? or thereabouts) was the year when during a chat with someone in a web chat forum and during a discussion where I mentioned some of my spiritual views, they asked me if I was an ECKist? That was the very first time I heard the word, ECKist, and had no idea what it meant, or what or who it was about. I forgot all about the word ECKist, until years later, when I was at the local book store, I purchased an interesting book called, “The Art of Spiritual Dreaming” by Harold Klemp and I recall purchasing this book about December 1999. As I read this book, there it was: references to ECK and ECKANKAR all through it. Then I had one of those light bulb moments as I like to call it; and soon I remembered that chat I had with someone back in 1995 (+/-) when they asked me if I was an ECKist? And perhaps unknowingly to me, I already was. I will tell you why. Since my NDE in 1990, I started to have very vivid dreams in the years that followed. These dreams seemed “so real” and I could consciously participate in them (lucidity) and to where I experienced seeing folks I would call Dream Masters who would appear. I started to keep a diary about them. When I was well along in reading the book,”The Art of Spiritual Dreaming”, Harold mentioned about keeping a dream diary. I was already about five or six years; perhaps a bit longer into that process already. When I reflect back to the chat room discussion back in 1995(+/-), I believe I mentioned to someone about keeping a dream diary at that time. As I reflect back to the memory of that time; perhaps that could have been the reason why they thought I was an ECKist. Well, I am now an ECKist, both on the inner and outer, as I joined ECKANKAR in 2000. It being something very new to me, and it is not well known in the area that I live, (there are about two dozen practicing ECKIsts) in the entire province that I live in, in population of about 1 million people, so there are no ECK centres and activities are held very sporadically due to the distance we all live apart from each other. Soon after joining ECKANKAR, I started to read many of the books and some of the older books that I really grew fond of was “In SOUL, I am Free” by Brad Steiger about the life of Paul Twitchell.
When trying to find web resources on Paul Twitchell, I was disheartened to see all the negative web sites on this wonderful person. Still, this negativity did not sway me away, in fact, it only proved to me that people must be fascinated by him, to see all the comments that are posted around the web, and of course, those who must have feared what he had to say, seeing some of the revolting things about him.
Then, a few months ago, I happened to come across Doug’s site with the book, “The Whole Truth – The Spiritual Legacy of Paul Twitchell” and thank you Doug for taking the time to research and write this book. Paul’s great work has changed the world. I showed it to a few ECKists in our local area, and one of our members ordered a “six” pack of your book, so it would be less expensive in paying the shipping charges per book with the six pack order.
Your book has been so well received by our local group, I have heard so many wonderful comments. In fact, just yesterday, I traveled with this other ECKist; a three hour drive to go visit one of our more senior citizen ECKist’s in the northern part of our Province, and the last copy out of the six ordered, was hand delivered to the ECKist we visited.
Had I not experienced my NDE back in 1990, I am not sure if would have yet crossed paths with the teachings of ECKANKAR, and all the wonderful writers, wonderful Spiritual Masters and wonderful people that I have been able to meet. I don’t know where this journey will take me into the future, but it has brought me many blessings and many wonderful experiences to this point in the present.
Until next time,
One more voice added to what ought to be a chorus, thanking Doug for this gift. What I appreciate most, each time I read the book or re-read passages, is the spiritual clarity of the writing. It’s like Soul Travel caught on paper–whoosh, a gentle rise on Spirit’s wings and–ah, now we can see with eyes unclouded by fear, and perceptions not distorted by poison pills of negative criticism.
Like others have said, this book has helped bring Paul back to life for me, and deepened my gratitude for his accomplishments and the incredible legacy he left to seekers of Truth. I have also found Doug’s treatment of the tricky issue of differentiating between projection and perception to be immensely valuable (perhaps something to discuss in a future post?). And the final chapter counts among the finest spiritual literature I’ve read.
Many thanks Doug, from the bottom of my heart.
I bought The Whole Truth about 6 months ago and found it to be very informative and enjoyable to read.The part about returning sacred stones really hit me! Mr. Marman did a wonderful job of making this trail of consciousness visible to my eye.
I’m the one who wanted to know the hidden side of previous MAHANTA , Paulji. ECK showed me Doug Marman’s book and this Forum to find my questions. I’m very happy with that. I searched and studied many articles about Paulji and Eckankar early days, but none of them satisfied me until I found this book and your nice website .