Apprentice to the Masters: Adventures of a Western Mystic, Book ll
RENDEZVOUS IN MUIR WOODS
RENDEZVOUS IN MUIR WOODS
I was lost. The trail I’d taken through the giant redwoods of Muir Woods just north of San
Francisco was shrouded in heavy ground mist, and I’d wandered far from the well-trodden path that led
through the forest. Not knowing what direction to take, I hiked uphill, my view limited to what lay a dozen paces
ahead of me, beneath the towering sentinels that stretched up towards the heavens. Communing with the
ancient trees, which I felt might possibly hear my thoughts, my heart yearned for contact with some
enlightened soul who would tell me why I was here on Earth. I had gone to India seeking such beings
but had not found one—or, if I had, he remained silent. I had not discovered any personal God, nor did I
believe that beings on other planes, if they were aware of Earth, even knew of my existence.
The year was 1973 and at age 28, my life had been full. I had obtained all the material things the
world had told me were worth pursuing, yet none had brought me lasting happiness. In fact, life’s
temporary pleasures had left me feeling empty. I had been on a journey to the East, hoping to find the
meaning of life, and although I had seen miracles and experienced moments of expanded consciousness,
the holy men of India had not answered my question: Why am I here?
Now I no longer wanted to live this material existence, and I thought about ways I could leave my
body and journey to a higher realm, one of those blissful realms I experienced in meditation where
beings lived in love and harmony. But I didn’t want to arrive in Paradise and be told that I had to go
back, perhaps as an animal, for having taken my own life.
I had lived in the Himalayas with Gangotri Baba, a disciple of Hariakhan Baba, also known as
Babaji, the famous Indian yogi written about by Paramahansa Yogananda, who had maintained the
youth of his body for hundreds of years. When Gangotri Baba first met his guru—who had been visiting
him in dreams for years—on a street in downtown Delhi, Babaji put his arm around him and transported
him in his physical body to the Himalayas. Now Gangotri Baba was getting ready to consciously leave
his body and join his master, who was no longer in a physical body— and I, too, longed for the same
freedom from the cares of the world. For most of my life I had felt like a stranger in a hostile and
unfamiliar place. Let me leave the Earth and go back to the place from which I came, I prayed.
As it began to rain, I sought shelter inside the trunk of a redwood that had been hollowed by fire,
forming a natural cathedral in which I could sit and meditate. Practicing the Vipassana method I had
learned, eyes open and softly focused on the ground, I watched the clouds of my breath arise before me.
As I began to meditate, I observed the rise and fall of my chest, the in-breath and out-breath, a silent
mantra Siddhartha had used to become the Buddha—one who is awake. I felt the silent rhythm carry me into
the stillness, where limitation dissolved as my consciousness expanded. The sense of I, me, and mine disappeared,
thoughts slowing, and I began to dwell in the space between thoughts, where one had ended but another had not begun, a timeless lapse into unconditioned awareness.
Then, like a bubble rising to the surface of a still pond, a thought came to the surface—the thought
of the Ascended Masters I had read about while a guest of the Theosophical Society in India. I
especially thought of the “Wonder Man,” the Master Saint Germain, who was active in the affairs of
Europe for over one hundred fifty years, and whom Voltaire described as the man who knows
everything, but never dies. I had read about him in Unveiled Mysteries; however, being skeptical by
nature, I had dismissed Godfre Ray King’s experiences with the Masters as too fantastic to be true. I
now pleaded, Saint Germain, if you are real, and if you hear this prayer, tell me why I am here.
Otherwise, I will find a way to leave my body….
I had been sitting inside the cathedral of the tree for some time, watching my breath and the rain
dripping on the pine needles of the forest floor, when I became aware of a powerful current flowing through
my body. The energy increased and I felt I was dissolving, everything seeming to shimmer around me.
Two feet suddenly appeared in front of my half-opened eyes, and I became aware of a figure
standing before me. How long he had been there, I didn’t know. I hadn’t seen anyone approach. Because
of the cold rain, the woods were deserted, and no one could have walked toward me without my hearing
a twig snap. Yet, here was a man standing in front of me wearing blue jeans, a suede jacket, and tennis
shoes. It was the white tennis shoes I saw first, planted firmly on the brown forest floor at the spot where
my eyes were focused.
“Do not be startled, Peter,” the stranger said with a calmness I found comforting. “Your prayer has
I looked into the face of someone I took to be a hiker in the woods like myself, who now gazed
steadily into my eyes. Although it was raining, I noticed that neither his hair nor his suede jacket
showed any sign of dampness. I was about to comment on this peculiarity when he spoke again.
“I am the part of the Godhead that has responded to your call. Know that the call compels the
answer, and all sincere prayers are heard. You have prayed so earnestly and for so long, this response
could no longer be withheld. The answer to your question is yes, you may leave the Earth if you wish. I
offer you liberation, for you have cleared sufficient karma and advanced spiritually to the point where
you can leave the realm of humanity without ever having to return, if that is your wish. The choice is
yours. However, before you give me your answer, there is something I wish to show you.”
Before I could recover from the shock, that in spite of his common appearance this was no ordinary
man, the stranger touched my forehead between my eyes, and I found myself free of my body. Standing
now in my etheric form, I looked back at my denser body, still cross-legged within the tree trunk. Then,
before I could express delight at my new freedom, the stranger put his arm about me and we soared
above the Earth.
In a moment we reached a place in the heavens where I saw luminous clouds, and in those clouds
were nestled orbs of light. These were the higher selves (Monads) of beings who had once lived on
Earth, I was told, now liberated from the physical plane forever. Like translucent pearls a couple of feet
in diameter, each glowed with scintillating rainbow colors that changed with the meditation in which
they were absorbed.
“Here, in the Great Silence, you can remain in eternal bliss,” my guide said, as though I were
already a resident of this heavenly place. “In the Great Silence you will be one with God, resting here
until some far distant eon when you will again come forth into another cycle of activity.”
I envied these blissful beings, nestled in the clouds of eternity, and felt that at last I had found
home—a Paradise. About to accept this offer to remain, I heard a wailing below me, the anguished cries
of innumerable voices crying out in pain.
“Where is that terrible sound coming from?” I asked my guide. Pointing to the blue sphere below, from
which arose sounds of such suffering and pleading for help that I felt my heart wrench in my chest,
“Earth,” the stranger said. “The Masters hear these cries and prayers for help continually. This is the
condition of humanity, the suffering caused by their separation from the knowledge of God.” He
watched me closely to see the effect his revelation was having.
“You may either stay here or return to Earth,” he said. “The choice is yours.”
I was so moved that I now felt there was no choice. My own liberation could wait. I could not turn
away from those heart-rending cries, and I had to return. In a moment I was back in the forest, within
the body in the tree, the masterful stranger standing before me.
“You have made the right choice, my boy,” the mysterious guide said in a caring voice, as though
he had known me for an eternity. “If you had stayed in the Silence you would not have seen me again
for a long time, but because you have chosen to serve humanity and place the happiness of others
before your own, we will be working together. But before you can be of assistance to me you will need
training, which you will receive in Mount Shasta.”
Mount Shasta? I recalled my visit to northern California the previous year. I’d heard a commanding
voice while meditating high on the slopes of the Mountain. The voice had told me of a mission that at the
time I had failed to comprehend. Was this the presence who had spoken to me then? He took a few steps
backward and, with a twinkle in his eye, said, “Now I will reveal to you who I am….”
He stood motionless before me for a moment, then transformed from a young hiker to a white -
robed Master, whose dark, penetrating eyes sparkled with the love and wisdom of God made manifest. I
began to realize that this was the face in Unveiled Mysteries, the one to whom I had just prayed—none
other than the Ascended Master Saint Germain! “Return to Mount Shasta,” he said, “where your
instruction will begin. The first person you meet there will tell you what to do next.”
With that final instruction, the form of the white-robed Master began to dissolve, then faded
completely from sight, leaving me in a state of exhilaration impossible to describe.
SENT TO MOUNT SHASTA
With heart racing, and barely conscious of where I was, I found my way back to the parking
lot where I had left my van. I got into my vehicle and began driving, almost automatically, sensing that
in some profound way my life had changed, that I’d made an irrevocable decision and nothing would
ever be the same. It was years later when, as a student of Tibetan Buddhism, I took the Bodhisattva Vow
to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, that I realized the significance of the choice I had
made that day—to choose service to humanity over immediate freedom. Paradoxically, I found that
happiness does not always reside where we anticipate it, and freedom is often found in commitment.
I did not remember getting on the freeway, being oblivious of time. Perhaps two or three hours later,
I found myself on the Interstate passing the town of Red Bluff. I saw straight ahead, surrounded by
evergreen forests, the glacial peak of Mount Shasta looming on the horizon, glistening in the distance
like a beacon of light pulling me forward—a sight that took my breath away.
As I drove, the Mountain emanated an energy that filled my heart, and I recalled how I’d first heard
about the mystical Mountain from Christar, an American I’d met the year before at the Kumbha Mela in
Allahabad, India—a festival where millions of spiritual seekers gathered, seeking to find a guru. We had
both been spending time with Ram Dass and his guru, Neem Karoli Baba. Maharaji (Sanskrit: Great
Ruler), as his devotees called him, had given Christar an Indian name, that of a great yogi who had
consciously left his body a century before. We had all assumed that Christar was the reincarnation of
that yogi, but on returning to the West he had taken his current name, invoking the Christ Star that is the
Source of being.
Maharaji had told us that it would be very auspicious to attend the Mela and drink the water from
the confluence of the three sacred rivers, the Ganges and Yamuna which were physical, and the
Saraswati, an invisible river. What he had not told me was that by drinking this polluted water I would
almost die from amoebic dysentery—which suited the ancient name of this city: Agra, place of sacrifice.
However, in order to heal myself I was led to study the healing arts, which would eventually lead to a
career that would bring benefit to others. This sacrificial act of drinking this sacred poison bonded me
with the suffering of humanity, and awakened compassion—the essence of all spiritual practice—and
requisite for a healer.
Christar had told me that Mount Shasta was a focus of the Great White Brotherhood, a group of
enlightened beings who, despite the name, was composed of races of all colors, and of both males and
females, who had once lived on the Earth and Ascended into a higher octave where they worked
unceasingly to guide the destiny of humanity (since renamed the Ascended Council of Light). Inspired
by this vision, I made a visit to Mount Shasta when I returned to the States and camped just below snow
line in an open meadow, fasting and meditating in the hopes of meeting a Master or at least of receiving
guidance in a vision. Every day I plunged naked into a pool of icy, glacier-fed water, and then sat in the sun,
focusing my awareness onmy breath in meditation.
Though exhilarated by my austerities, I didn’t see one of these fabled Ascended Masters of which
Christar had spoken or have the vision I sought—or so I thought. There was no flaming sword in the sky
accompanied by a booming voice telling me where to go and what to do— nothing like Godfre Ray
King’s meeting with Saint Germain on the slopes of the Mountain that I had read about in Unveiled
In my reading, I had learned that Saint Germain was not a saint in the Catholic tradition, but rather the
name by which this great soul, a guiding force for the upliftment of humanity, chose to be known. He had
appeared first during an earlier Golden Age, when people still remembered their God source, as the ruler of
an advanced civilization that stretched across a lush and semi-tropical northern Africa. But as people strayed
from their consciousness of the Inner God, Saint Germain and his family dissolved their physical bodies and
withdrew back to the higher realms from which they had come, in order to allow humanity to pursue its
chosen path of ego development and materialism. In later ages, Saint Germain embodied again and again to
impart wisdom and guidance to those who would heed him, succeeding in guiding at least a few here and
there back to the light, and planting the seed of wisdom in the hearts of others, that would eventually flower
in later lifetimes.
One of these incarnations was as Sir Francis Bacon, the secret son of Queen Elizabeth and the Earl
of Leicester, rightful heir to the throne of England, and the veiled author of the Shakespearean plays.
Under King James the First, Bacon was the guiding light overseeing the writing of the King James
Bible. His literary efforts and later attempts to correct the debauched and corrupt monarchy were
rewarded with false accusations and house arrest. Seeing he could do no more in captivity, he feigned
death, staged a mock funeral, and disappeared to Europe, where, under an assumed name, he taught and
guided various groups of initiates in occult orders.
Continuing in his service to humanity, Saint Germain became a guiding force behind the founding
of America when, in 1636 as Sir Francis Bacon, he wrote The New Atlantis, a book presenting the
possibility of a society based on spiritual principles. His secret writings, including the manuscripts of
the “Shakespeare” plays, were buried in a vault in Williamsburg, Virginia, and later
exhumed—probably taken, according to the Baconian scholar Marie Bauer Hall, and hidden by agents
of those powerful forces from whose influence he had hoped America would remain free.
A true Bodhisattva who refused to forsake humanity, Saint Germain returned as an Ascended
being, appearing here and there in apparently human forms, to play a role in the courts of Europe during
the time leading up to and during the French Revolution. He was regarded as a miracle worker who
seemed as familiar with the future as he was with the past, capable of being in multiple places
simultaneously, and there are diary entries which show that he appeared in widely separated parts of
Europe on the same day. He attempted to awaken the decadent nobility to their responsibility for those
less fortunate than themselves and to save those whom he could. This was prior to the great deluge of
execution by the guillotine that ended the tyranny of the monarchy in exchange for the tyranny of the
masses, the beginning of the rule of bureaucracy, the ascent of mediocrity and socialism.
Today, Saint Germain continues his work of aiding individual spiritual evolution, as well as being a
guiding force in the realms of art, science, and politics—where he is known by different names,
depending on what the occasion requires. He continues to help all who are sincere in their desire to
achieve the mastery and freedom that is their God-given destiny.
In the Ascended Master hierarchy of the Great White Brotherhood (which I have renamed the
Ascended Council of Light), Saint Germain is Master of the Seventh Ray, and his secret quality is Freedom.
He often works side by side with the Master Jesus, another Ascended Master whose work needs no introduction.
In spite of plunging into icy streams on Mount Shasta and meditating long hours, I felt unable to
contact this great Master presence or even feel his energy. About to give up, feeling too insignificant to
be worthy of his attention, the prayed-for contact finally happened. I awoke early one morning as the
sky was becoming light. Lying on my back and looking into the heavens through the branches of the
pine tree under which I had slept, I heard a voice speaking to me. Looking around, I saw no one, yet the
voice continued with the familiarity of someone who knew me intimately, knew where I had been and
where I was going, the voice of whom I now realized was the Master Saint Germain.
But what he told me, I did not want to hear—that from Mount Shasta, I would go east to my farm near
Woodstock, New York, and then return to India, the place where I had almost died from drinking the water at
the Kumbha Mela. Then I would visit the Avatar Sathya Sai Baba and finally return to Mount Shasta, which
would become my new home.
He ended by commanding me to change my name—a request I stubbornly resisted. I had seen many
Americans come back from the East with Hindu names given by their gurus, intended to dissolve the
ego, but which often reinforced it with the feeling of specialness—what the Buddhists called self-
cherishing. I knew old personality traits couldn’t be erased by sweeping them under the carpet of a new
name, so I rebelled when he requested me to do the very thing I abhorred.
“You will use the name of the Mountain as your last name.” “What?” I said, incredulous at this
“You will use Mount Shasta as your last name.”
“You’ve got to be kidding!”
“No, I’m not kidding,” came his reply.
“A mountain for a name?” Even the Eastern gurus rarely named anyone after a mountain.
“I won’t do it!” I said, rebelliously.
“Yes, you will,” the Master said with finality, “Your new name is Peter Mt. Shasta.”
“No! I’m not going to be one of those New Agers with a weird name!” “We shall see,” the voice
said, with the annoying certainty of a parent who knows that their child will eventually comply with
their wishes. Then the voice ceased, and the energy of the invisible being dispersed into the air. I was
alone again, watching the sun rise over the ridge of the Mountain. My visit from the Master had been
most unsatisfactory, nothing like the event I had craved. I disavowed my visitation, asserting that I
would not change my name, relegating the voice I had heard so clearly to imagination, the effect of
fasting on my brain. Looking back, I see how ironic my craving for direct guidance was, since I rejected
it when it was given. No wonder the Masters do not appear more often and tell us what to do! Like
children, we want to become adults, but often reject the necessary discipline and resent being told we
have to sacrifice our childish ways.
Now, as I drove north, the white peaks of Mount Shasta, about which there were so many legends,
loomed on the horizon against the azure sky. I sped along in my dilapidated ’62 Dodge van filled with
all my worldly possessions, which consisted of a sleeping bag, foam mat, backpack, and cook stove, and
reflected on the events that had pointed me once again towards this Mountain, that was the destination of
spiritual seekers through the ages. Despite my argument with him, I was returning as Saint Germain had
said I would, to the place for which he had named me—though I had not yet had the courage to tell
anyone this seemingly presumptuous title.
The events that followed my encounter with the voice in the meadow where I’d camped on Shasta were
as the Master had predicted. I went to the first Rainbow Family gathering on Table Mountain in Colorado
and then returned to my farm in upstate New York. From there I journeyed to India a second time, just as I’d
been told would happen. In India, I stayed at the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba, known as the Avatar of our age,
and sought guidance from him about what do with my life. He did not respond directly but gave me an
answer that at the time I did not understand. As I sped towards the snow-capped volcano that seemed to hold
the secret of my destiny, I wondered if the answer Sai Baba had given me that day was about to unfold.
Even though Sai Baba was recognized by millions throughout the world as the full incarnation of God,
embodying all the divine attributes like Rama and Krishna of ages past—I was skeptical of these claims, and
had avoided visiting him on my first visit to India. But after I’d returned and was living on my farm, a friend
sent me a photo of Sai Baba, saying that Baba had told him in a dream to send it to me. Despite my
skepticism, as I looked at the picture it seemed to come to life, and Baba waved at me. A surge of love
flooded through my heart, such as I had never felt before, and I found myself crying—something I hadn’t
done since I was a child.
When I calmed down, I again focused on the photo and was amazed as Baba stepped out of the picture
into the room. He walked up to me and embraced me, charging every cell of my body with love, raising my
vibrating rate, leaving me in a state of God conscious bliss. Come visit me in India, he said playfully, before
dissolving into light and vanishing.
Two weeks after this divine invitation, despite my mortal fear of returning to India, I walked
through the gate of Baba’s ashram, Prashanti Nilayam (Abode of Everlasting Peace). As I approached
the main temple, over which Sai Baba had his living quarters, he appeared on the balcony and waved. Is
he waving to me? I wondered and looked around, but no one was behind me. Soon he will call me in to
meet with him, I thought, expecting a meeting with Sai Baba no less moving than the one Ram Dass
experienced with his guru. In that meeting, Neem Karoli Baba revealed he understood every aspect of
Ram Dass’ life, mentioning the thoughts Ram Dass had been thinking shortly before about his recently
deceased mother—all the while holding Ram Dass’ head in his lap while the young Harvard professor
But that initial wave of Sai Baba was to be one of only a few moments of outer recognition he gave
me for the months I was there. There was no tear-filled meeting. I was only one of thousands at the
ashram, all wanting the same attention. I did receive visits from him in my dreams, and at those times,
he opened my heart once again to the divine love with which he had showered me in New York. Many
said that this outer rejection was so I would find him within, and not become dependent on his outer
attention. Nonetheless, I found that I was constantly aware of his attention inwardly pointing out the
nature of my mind, where the work needed to be done.
I saw Sai Baba work many miracles during my stay and heard of many more from others, including
the healing of the sick and returning a man to life who had been dead for almost an hour. He caused
divine nectar, amrit, to precipitate directly in my hands, and in meditation gave me a mantra that put me
in bliss. I was given a miraculous photograph of him that came to life when I meditated before it, and
through which he spoke to me!
But over time, the photograph became just another still image and the mantra ceased to produce any
effect. Time passed, yet still Baba never told me how I should meditate, nor did he address the question
that was central in my consciousness, of what to do with my life. I was growing spiritually, but at
twenty-eight, I still felt lost, not knowing in what direction to turn. I did not have what the world would
call a career, and it never occurred to me that perhaps achieving spiritual realization was my career. My
mind still clung to the voice of the inner parent that said, Get a job, and find your niche in society.
Finally, it was time for me to leave. My visa was expiring soon and my flight was scheduled to
depart the next day. It occurred to me at darshan— when the guru walks among the devotees—to write
Sai Baba a note and try to give it to him when he came by. Since he couldn’t stop and talk with
everyone, he sometimes took people’s notes and later answered them in his own way, frequently in
dreams or by simply bringing about the changes people desired.
"Baba, please tell me what I should do with my life. Where should I go? What should I meditate on?" I
scrawled these questions on a sheet of paper and, miraculously—for he usually ignored me when I
wanted to hand him a note—Sai Baba walked up to me and took it, touching my extended first finger
with the tip of his.
He heard me! He acknowledged my unspoken wish, to have physical contact with him. Before I left,
I wanted some sign from him as the bond between us. I had held his feet in my hands while he was
talking to the person next to me, but that was on my initiative. I wanted him to touch me, even if just in
some small way.
Now, for a second, he touched my fingertip. Then he continued on down the line of devotees, who all
wanted something equally special from him. As I bathed in the bliss of that contact, someone ran up to me
from behind and thrust a small black book in my hand, which was open to a page with an underlined phrase
that jumped out at me: “Meditate on ‘I AM God,’” it said, “and all your other questions will answer
I knew these words were Baba’s answer to me, sent by a stranger handing me a book. Can it
possibly be that simple, my mind argued? I decided to give it a try.
Upon further reading, I discovered that the anonymous author of this book, The Impersonal Life, stressed
over and over that the ultimate guru was the guru within oneself. No outer guru in human form could teach a
person anything until that person found their inner guru first, for one was a reflection of the other. The way
to God Realization, the book directed, was to feel the presence evoked by the statement “I AM THAT I AM,”
and to dwell on that God Presence within one’s heart without ceasing. Repeating the words alone, without
feeling the heart, would merely make one a prisoner of the ego, trapping one in the delusion of “me” and
“mine.” It was the “me” that was the limited, selfish, impermanent ego, while the “I” was the eternal I AM
Presence, the immortal God Self.
The Impersonal Life went on to say that only when the mind and emotions are stilled through
meditation, and the heart surrendered to the presence of the Divine within, can the I AM Presence
truly be felt. Then the guidance being sought would come from within a person’s own heart as a deep
feeling, or simply as spontaneous action.
As I embraced this wisdom, which it seemed Sai Baba had given in answer to my question, my craving
for a guru to give me answers about my life began to dissolve. I would find the guru within my own heart.
I left India, embarked on this simple, yet revolutionary, path. But the transformation to rely
solely on the I AM Presence did not occur overnight. It would take me many years of meditation to
develop that inner Master, of learning to surrender to my own God presence at all times, in all things.
Paradoxically, the stronger my connection with my own true self became, the closer I felt to Sai Baba
and, later, the Ascended Masters I was soon to meet.
Back in the States, I continued to meditate on this Presence within my heart, letting it guide me where it
would, and it led me across the country to San Francisco, to my life-altering meeting with Saint Germain in
Muir Woods. Now he was sending me back to Mount Shasta, which Saint Germain had told me the year
before would be my home.
I pondered as my van carried me closer to my destination: Why was I being brought back to this
legendary Mountain to which I seemed so inexplicably connected?
MEETING PEARL AND MAKING A VOW
MEETING PEARL AND MAKING A VOW
As I pulled off the freeway and entered the small town of Mount Shasta, I realized a circle was completing.
Saint Germain had told me on the Mountain the summer before to return to India. There, Sai Baba had told
me to meditate on “I AM GOD,” the Divinity within my own heart, and the guidance that came from following
that Presence had brought me back to Saint Germain and the Mountain.
After driving all morning, I was hungry and wanted to find a place for breakfast. As I cruised down the
main street, I recalled how Mount Shasta was known for its mystical lore of the Masters, Lemurians, and
UFOs, but that morning the tiny town at the foot of the Mountain seemed quite ordinary. It was like so many
other logging towns in the Northwest at the time, isolated and desperate for business, with neon “open”
signs in every shop window. Yet, despite those illumined invitations, I was about to learn that the local
inhabitants were not as open as the signs advertised.
I parked my van and walked down the street, aware of the eyes of passersby probing me, as though I
had just gotten off a spaceship. My long hair hanging over my shoulders, a mala of prayer beads around
my neck, and the loose white clothes from India must have put me in the hippie category in the eyes of
the local ranchers and mill workers.
Midway down the bleak main street I caught sight of a lurid sign flashing on and off “Breakfast
House,” and I walked toward it with grumbling stomach. In the door I was accosted by a red-lettered,
plastic sign, “We do not solicit hippie patronage.”
I had never liked the term hippie, for many who used that term seemed to feel that by
growing their hair and wearing baggy clothes they were making a leap in consciousness. As a
teenager, I had worn a black turtleneck sweater and hung out in Greenwich Village and read
Kerouac’s Dharma Bums, meditating on Zen koans such as “What is the sound of one hand
clapping?” But I was fourteen then, and now I tried to dissociate myself from both the Beatnik
and Hippie labels and avoid being put in a category of any sort.
Hippie seemed a diminutive of the Beatnik hip, but I didn’t find out until later that the word
comes from an African dialect, meaning one who is aware. I could have lived with that if I had
known the true meaning, but I had rejected the label and now felt that the sign in the door
forbidding hippies didn’t apply to me.
I pushed open the door of the restaurant and stepped inside. The packed room became silent, like
the scene from the film Easy Rider where two freedom-loving bikers enter a restaurant and are
confronted by southern rednecks. Standing in the doorway, I was frozen to the floor by a room of icy
Here’s the part of the movie where the lumberjacks throw me into the street and cut off my long
hair, I thought, knowing how hippies who crossed the line were sometimes treated in rural areas in
those days. Driven by my ravenous hunger, however, I moved into the room and sat down on the only
empty stool, between two burly guys in flannel shirts and logger boots. I could feel them bristle as they
turned their backs when I slid in between them.
“What’ll it be, honey?” the waitress said, walking up and standing in front of me with her pad and
pencil, ready to take my order, defusing the bomb of hostility that had been close to exploding. I felt a wave
of gratitude toward her. Once everyone saw the waitress was going to serve me, they all went back to eating
and talking. Is it really that hard for these people, who no doubt think of themselves as Christians, to show
tolerance and compassion to a stranger? I wondered.
Soon the fear in the pit of my stomach was gone, as I began devouring a large stack of buckwheat
pancakes smothered in butter and maple syrup. As I was finishing breakfast, a radiant, blue-eyed fellow
about my own age, whom I had not seen in the back of the restaurant, popped up beside me and thrust
his hand into mine.
“Hi, I’m Stephen,” he said cheerfully. “I own the health food store around the corner. Come on over
when you’re done.” Was this the one the Master in Muir Woods told me to see, who would tell me what to
As soon as I paid my bill, I walked over to Stephen’s store, where I found him busy filling plastic
bags with sunflower seeds. He looked up as I walked in, and without a moment’s hesitation looked me
in the eye and said,
“You’re supposed to see Pearl!”
“Are you sure?” I asked. “Who’s Pearl?”
“Someone who knows….” “Knows what?”
“Knows what you want to know…just call her, you’ll find out.”
Following his instructions, I used his phone to call Pearl.
“Come right up,” a motherly voice spoke sweetly in my ear.
A few minutes later, I was parked at the end of a dead end road, outside what appeared to be the
gingerbread house from the story of Hansel and Gretel, complete with a tall hedge and sheltering pine trees.
Walking through the rose-entwined trellis in the hedge, I felt as though I were entering a temple. A flagstone
path led to the door, which was round at the top, and standing before it, I let the iron knocker fall with a thud.
The door was opened by a kindly woman in her sixties with piercing, hazel eyes. She stood in the doorway,
peering intently at me like an owl.
“Come in,” she said, “I’ve been expecting you,” and stepped aside for me to enter.
“What do you mean, you’ve been expecting me?” I asked, after being shown to a chair opposite hers
in the cozy living room.
“The Master, Saint Germain, came to me this morning and said that he was sending someone to see
me,” she said in a matter-of-fact way, as though used to the daily appearance of this renowned Master,
who had reportedly been guiding the affairs of humanity for centuries, if not longer.
“He did?” I swallowed hard.
“Now, tell me who you are and what brought you here,” she said, drawing her chair closer and
beckoning me to pull forward, trying to put me at ease. I looked at the Reader’s Digest on the table
beside her and the tapestry of deer wandering in the forest on the wall and wondered how, after all my
experiences in India sitting at the feet of dust-covered, often naked, gurus, whose faces were smeared
with ash, sandalwood paste, or vermilion, my wanderings in search of spiritual guidance had brought me
to this ordinary-appearing woman in an ordinary house in a northern California mill town.
I told her of my experience in Muir Woods and of the mysterious stranger who had appeared out of
nowhere and taken me out of my body to the ecstatic realm of the Great Silence, and how I had decided
to return to the Earth to be of service, and how the stranger had transformed himself into a being
wearing a white robe who told me to go to Mount Shasta.
Without skipping a beat, this little grandmotherly lady, who looked like Yoda from Star Wars,
asked, a mischievous twinkle in her eye, “And who do you suppose that was?”
I looked up and saw a picture of Saint Germain on the wall and nodded toward it, still hardly daring
to speak of my encounter with this legendary being only hours before.
“Yes, and he is very close by and is indicating that he wants to help you.”
“What is he saying?” I asked, astonished that Saint Germain was here, too, and showing such a
sudden interest in me. Where has he been all my life, during all my ordeals, and why has he waited only
until now to appear? I wondered. Where was he in the past, when I prayed to God and no one
“I cannot tell you what he is saying, because I do not channel the words of the Masters,” Pearl
responded. “The Masters do not allow their students to channel, except on the rarest occasions, because
the Masters— who are God beings—can convey their wishes directly to you through your own heart.
You may not hear the words they are saying with your ears or your mind—for your mind would only
argue with them and seek to interfere. Instead, they convey information to your higher body, which you
access intuitively as needed, later perceiving that information to come from yourself.”
I remembered now with great embarrassment how I had argued with Saint Germain the year before
when he had come to me on the Mountain and told me to change my name—a name I swore to him I
would never use! He had spoken directly to my mind, words which I had dismissed because I had not
yet met the Master who was their source. Now Pearl was telling me how I could contact that Master and
experience his consciousness within my own field of awareness.
She paused and continued, “If you will go within, turn your attention to the center of your being,
and send love to Saint Germain—affirming his presence within yourself, knowing that his heart and
your heart are one—you will feel his presence, and that will open the way for him to work directly with
you through your heart.”
I shut my eyes to meditate until Pearl ordered, “Open your eyes! You do not need to close your eyes
to meditate. Simply turn your attention within to the center of your being and say silently to yourself, I
AM the presence of Saint Germain! Feel the sun within your heart, and within that sun feel his presence.
You are not claiming to be the Master but learning to recognize the oneness of the Master’s
consciousness with yours.
“The Masters are not separate from you,” Pearl said. “There is no distance or time for them—wherever
you are, they are also. Oneness with Saint Germain is possible because the energy of the Seventh Ray, of
which Saint Germain is Chohan—the master or director of conscious activity—is already within you.
That energy is the spectrum of your own inner rainbow you are invoking, the part of yourself to which
the Master corresponds.
“Just as daylight is composed of all seven main colors of the spectrum, so, too, are you
composed of all seven rays of creation. There is an Ascended Master who is the Chohan, the
head, of each ray, though now we are invoking only the Seventh Ray, that of Saint Germain.
“He is watching you, and you should call on him if you want his help, if you want to invoke
him in your life. The same way you would invoke Jesus, to contact Saint Germain, you need only
go within and open your heart. These two are brothers, working together. The Master sees you
not as separate, but as a part of himself, and so you should see him and not hesitate to call upon
him. When you say, I AM here, I AM there, and I AM everywhere, you touch on his
consciousness—the awareness that within the One is the many, and within the many, the One.”
I did as Pearl instructed, repeating over and over to myself, "I AM the presence of Saint Germain."
I felt nothing at first, only embarrassing silence. Then, in a few minutes, I began to feel a spring of
happiness beginning to bubble up in my heart, accompanied by an electrifying presence in the room,
whose atmosphere had begun to fill with violet light.
“That,” said Pearl, acknowledging the shift, “is the Master Saint Germain—and he is very
happy. He has verve—a word that combines vitality and nerve. Verve means ‘Let’s get with
it!’—but with a sense of humor.”
Indeed, I could swear that the Master was laughing, but I questioned incredulously, Do
Masters laugh? I thought they were always serious.
“Yes, Masters do laugh,” Pearl affirmed, hearing my thought, “though, perhaps not
As I let go of that thought, a stream of energy poured down through the crown of my head into the
center of my chest, filling my body with light, and I heard within me the resounding affirmation
repeating over and over, “I AM THAT I AM…I AM THAT I AM…I AM THAT I AM”— and the
consciousness of that source became anchored in my heart. The violet hue of the room intensified as I
continued to look into Pearl’s eyes, watching, amazed, as her physical form seemed to dissolve into a
luminous ball of golden light. In that timeless awareness there was no past or future, only the eternal
now, and I basked in the light of that sun.
As the light faded, I again became aware of my body, and of Pearl sitting across from me. It was
hard to believe that this transformation had happened sitting with a grandmotherly lady in her quaint
living room in the mountains, not at the feet of a saint in India, and I looked at the herd of deer grazing
blissfully in the tapestry on the wall, and the wooden elves staring mischievously at me from their
perches on the bookshelves. She began to speak, commenting on my inner experience as if she were
seeing my mind.
“Even though you heard no words of direction, you have been given guidance, encouragement, and
nourishment, which the Master has imparted to your higher mental body in the form of liquid light. As
the occasion calls it forth, you will be able to access the information he has given you. For him to give
you a more direct message would only cause your mind to question and interfere. Such direct
channeling would weaken you, cause you to look outside yourself, when what the Masters want is for
you to go within for your answers. In that way, you will become a Master rather than a perpetual
follower of Masters.”
No wonder they don’t tell us what to do more often, I thought, remembering with embarrassment
how I had argued with Saint Germain the year before on the Mountain when he had told me to change
Pearl continued, giving me a further explanation of what I could expect if I were to pursue this path
of mastery, “Only rarely does a Master say anything to the human self, and then not through channeled
intermediaries, but directly to the student. The Masters are all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful,
very able to convey their thoughts to you in your waking or dreaming state without having to go through
others. Give them credit for being what they are—literally Gods—well able to communicate to you in a
way that you will perceive. But be prepared, for they will not always tell you what you want to hear,
rather what you need to hear.
“On rare occasions the Masters have given spiritual discourses through highly developed individuals
who have been well prepared over many years, such as my teacher, Godfre Ray King. However, at those
times, the Masters were giving spiritual law and imparting a radiation that strengthened the self-
awareness of the individuals present, not prophecies that fill people with fear or keep them coming back
for ever more information and high sounding initiations that keep them in their heads by making them
feel superior to others.”
I was astounded that Pearl had known and worked with Godfre Ray King, the author of Unveiled
Mysteries. This was the book I first saw in India while a guest of the Theosophical Society, and,
although skeptical at first, I was later to read this amazing account of the author’s inner experiences with
the Masters many times, for the energy I felt radiating from its pages was tangible proof of the Masters’
existence and a validation of their teachings.
“All true contact with a Master takes a person closer to the source within, leaving one feeling
empowered. Only false prophets try to turn attention to themselves or barrage their followers with a
never-ending stream of supposedly essential information and prophesies, addicting them to the need to
come back again and again to get the latest message—which is frequently rubbish.
“As for charging money to hear a Master speak through a supposed channel,” Pearl went on, “no
one who has ever been so graced as to stand in the presence of a Master would ever charge others
money for that same privilege, assuming that the privilege was theirs to dispense. That is one way to tell
if someone has truly met a Master. To charge others for that which they received by grace would be to
fall from grace themselves. When money is charged for spirit, you know spirit is absent. I am not
talking about charging for food, lodging, and the need to pay to rent a hall; but when an individual is
denied access to the Masters and their teachings because of lack of money, or people are pressured to
pay, you know that you don’t need to waste your time there, for the Masters are not there either.
Further, many sincere channels think they are hearing the Masters’ voices, but most are merely hearing
their own minds at best; at worst they are contacting disembodied spirits masquerading as Masters, that drift
about sucking the energy of their followers. Even though the information these channelers give may
sometimes be accurate or inspiring, it may also be largely untrue—giving rise to fear, false hopes, mistaken
expectations, and often outright harm. These earthbound entities know they will catch more flies with honey
than with vinegar, so they often lace misleading information with accurate observations and flattering
comments that appeal to the ego, telling you how great you have been in past lifetimes, or how great you will
be in the near future.”
I didn’t realize at the time that this was not merely theoretical knowledge, but that years later, while
working in the movie business, I would come face to face with one of these dark beings, not merely a
discarnate entity, but a false prophet from another world, seeking to mislead his followers. This
encounter, chronicled later in the chapter “The Battle for Hollywood,” almost cost me my life.
“Getting guidance through signs, omens, dreams, tarot card readings, and Ouija boards,” Pearl
continued, “while fascinating, are all practices that are open to various interpretations, due to the
subjectivity of the human mind influenced by desire. The highest form of guidance manifests as
spontaneous action, free from thought. It flows intuitively from the center of your being, without any
mental interpretation. You simply do what is right! You know what you need when you need it and act
spontaneously from your Higher Self with no interpretation or intermediary.”
Pearl paused, and then continued her explanation of how the Masters work. “The Masters guide and direct,
most of the time without people knowing, allowing their guidance to be perceived as intuition or simply
the spontaneous desire to act. This is because you become a Master by learning to tune in to your own Higher Self,
the I AM THAT I AM, not by getting information channeled through someone else. “How do you think these beings
became Masters?” she asked, and then answered her own question, “By becoming conscious of their Higher Selves,
the same process by which you too become a Master. There is no other way.
“This is not the work of a day,” she continued. “People read a book, attend a seminar, or have a
channeling, and they think they are Masters and want to give workshops and charge money. No, it is not
the work of a day. It takes time and effort to overcome the lower nature, and strict obedience to the
Higher Self and to the Masters for the individual to advance on the path of Mastery. Strict obedience is
the key. Saint Germain told Godfre Ray King, ‘If an individual will give total obedience, I can help
anyone— even a shoe shine boy in the train station—clear his karma and achieve liberation in three
Seeing me sit up in my seat at this offer from Saint Germain, Pearl glanced at me with a knowing
smile. “But let me caution you. Once you embark on this path, you will be severely tested—of that you
may be sure. You must walk the razor’s edge. Woe to the one who once embarks on this path and tries
to turn back, for there is no turning back. To begin and to fail would be to regress many lifetimes,
because the power you accumulate as you advance amplifies your every thought and feeling, so any
discord would be amplified as well, creating negative karma. It is not a path on which to embark
Pearl finished, and I sat very still in my chair. I knew now why I had been brought here. I had been
led around the world to prepare me for this moment. I understood that the Masters were making me an
offer. I was being called to the Great Work, that of self-mastery. The seed had been planted when I read
The Impersonal Life; now I was embarking on the path to which that book had led me, one starting at
my own feet. The book says to forget about Masters, who may be a distraction from the real work of
becoming a Master, and to meditate instead on the I AM— the very message the Masters proclaim.
Replace worship of deities by becoming one.
The words she had spoken resonated so deeply within me as truth that I vowed then and there to
make whatever sacrifice was necessary, to discipline myself in whatever way was needed, so I could
become a being who could help others—like the magnificent being who had appeared before me in Muir
Woods. Little dreaming how difficult this was to be and the startling adventures I would have under the
Masters’ tutelage, I took a solemn vow to give total obedience to them and to the I AM Presence,
through which their guidance would come. Still feeling his presence, I requested Saint Germain to take
me as his apprentice in his great service to humanity. I had vowed only that morning in Muir Woods to
return to Earth to alleviate human suffering. Now I was being offered the training that would give me
A pristine energy that was the essence of divinity filled the room—and I knew that Saint Germain had
heard me. Little did I realize, though, how soon the lessons would begin and how severe the tests were to be,
over the next several years. At that moment, sitting in Pearl’s living room, I felt only elation that after so
many years of searching—for what, I didn’t even know—I had at last found the sacred path to perfection,
and a true Master who had accepted me for training.
I felt a profound gratitude toward Pearl for being a wayshower and opening this doorway for me. I
didn’t realize at the time that Pearl could have Ascended years before but had stayed in her body only to
serve as a teacher to those whom the Masters would send her. She, too, had made the same decision as
I, to stay on the Earth to alleviate suffering and to guide to the Inner Presence all whom the Masters
would send her way.
Pearl concluded our meeting by telling me a parable that hinted at the level of dedication that would
be required of me:
In the remote mountains, a seeker found the teacher for whom he had been searching his whole life.
“Master, at last I have found you,” he said. “I beg you accept me as your disciple and teach me the
path to enlightenment.”
“Come with me,” the Master said, walking to a nearby stream, the seeker following. In midstream,
the Master grabbed the seeker and held his head under water. After what seemed an eternity to the
would-be disciple, the Master raised him, gasping, to the surface.
“Now, tell me,” the Master asked, “when your head was under water, what did you want more than
“Air, air,” the student gasped, filling his lungs gratefully.
“Then go away,” the Master said. “Come back only when you want what I have to teach as much as, when your
head was under water, you wanted air.”
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