I was rung a couple of weeks ago by a very old premie friend, who I hadn’t seen since Nottingham 2001. He was fleeting through, so I joined him in a pub.
He asked me what I had been doing meanwhiles, so I told him about EPO. I gave him chapter and verse, and his jaw dropped by inches over a couple of hours.
Towards chucking out time, he studied me and said: ‘Right, so we’ve got drink, fags and drugs; a 7 million dollar yacht; shagging his devotees; alleged homicide; a long-time mistress. Is that the lot, or is there something else you think I should know?’ I thought about it and answered: ‘Well, his wife was allegedy shagging the chauffeur.’
At that point he put his hand over his eyes, shook his head slowly from side to side, and started to roar with convulsive laughter. I couldn’t help joining in, and we decided it was time to leave the pub.
Last week he had a 48 hour furlough from the job, so he stayed over chez moi.
He had been unable to sleep after the last bash, and was keen to know more.
I gave him a conducted tour of EPO, therefore, halting ad hoc at various pages as he wished, and introduced him to Forum 7. I told him I greatly admired and liked most, if not all of the posters, and emailed with some. That they were fantastic guys, very human, and totally committed to the truth, as well as they could ascertain it.
He agreed, that, while confronting, it was extremely useful, if not essential, to have a forum on which people could with all good will explore our mutual and highly intriguing past.
I showed him the Whisker too, explaining that, while they were the ideological adversary, there were various people who I liked, and had considerable amounts of respect for.
We spent a really joyous 48 hours, with endless chat and great food (no drink this time). We’ve always been people of the truth, and non-org oriented, so we chatted and yarned like great old good buddies, with fantastic respect and total trust, telling it all as completely honestly as we knew it, and realising this was all part of the ongoing journey.
He’s an excellent raconteur, so I was pleased to hear and share again all the great chestnuts concerning the Happening, one of these being the story of the man who didn’t jump.
I’m changing now to the first person, as he told it, but this isn’t really to be arty-farty. I couldn’t do it justice anyway. It goes like this, anyway, and may be slightly interesting:
‘As you know, I was a student at Newcastle university in the late 60s. I was on my way to lectures one day, but the C... Building was cordoned off, and people were all asking why. I was told there had been a death, someone having jumped from the top floor. It was apparently a suicide, but another student had been detained by the police. No one really knew the details, and it was hushed up as much as possible over the following days, but the story emerged in fragments.
Two guys were in fact involved. They had shared a flat together and been very interested in Buddhism. They were both pretty disenchanted by the world around, and had formed this suicide pact, deciding to leave it, by jumping from the C... and merging into the Void.
One had gone ahead, while the other, looking down on his friend below, had experienced a total and sudden change of heart. He had now vanished from sight, but I always wanted to meet him, to know what had led him to this.
I was doing a lot of acid at the time, and felt I knew instinctually where he was at, however I would have dearly liked to discuss it all with him.
I came to think of him as the man who didn’t jump. I doubted whether we would actually ever meet, however I couldn’t shake off the feeling we had a certain connection. Over all that intervening period, the man who didn’t jump was never far from my thoughts.
I left university in the early 70’s, and basically just hung around, not having any particular direction. I heard about Maharaji in 1972, when Guru Charanand came to town. I went to see him at the ashram, and received Knowledge, though I didn’t have much idea what it was all about.
I continued to drop acid, therefore, until one day in our flat my girlfriend and I took this mega-trip. I was just peaking, with the walls trembling and moving in and out, when the door opened, this guy entered, sat down on the floor, and started giving me satsang. He was this amazing looking guy, very sensitive, maybe a bit feminine looking too, and very humble.
He was talking about his own time at the university, and the penny dropped. I just pointed at him and said: You’re the man who didn’t jump!
He nodded, and told me the whole story: How he had been arrested, and very nearly charged with murder. They couldn’t make this stick, however, and he had spent time in a psychiatric home. After other stuff, he had travelled to India, seeking truth, and eventually landed with others at Prem Nagar, where he met Maharaji and received Knowledge.
He had been one of that first inner circle of journeyers from the West, who had returned to invite Maharaji over. I just totally loved the guy’s sincerity, he was really beautiful.
After that, I gave up on acid, apart from another couple of trips, and followed Knowledge diligently.
The guy was Nick Seymour-Jones (known fondly to many as Nick See More Light), and he was the local ashram secretary. Subsequently he became side-kick to Glen Whittaker, and succeeded him as Secretary of DLM in the UK for some time.
He was one of the most beautiful and sincere premies I ever knew.
I really feel that it was due to him that I entered seriously on Knowledge, and will always remember him with great affection, for that humility and humanity.
But we were all inter-linked in those days, weren’t we?
It was difficult in those early days not to feel a kinship with one another, as we were all parts of deeply interconnecting circles, all people with the most extraordinary understanding, it seems to me, of the times we were living in, and destined to change things really tangibly through our own lives and actions.’
Narrating this now, I too find it difficult to think that this wasn’t so. Whatever we think now, we were all touched by history in those days, and this gives our memories that greatly strong flavour. We see things through our involvement with Maharaji, but there are many others who probably experienced similar things via other masters of the time, such as Osho (mama mia), Sri Chinmoy, the Children of God, Muktanand, Krishnamurti, the Maharishi and so on.
As a student of history, I feel we were living in a period when the pendulum was swinging away from deepest and furthest materialism towards a re-appreciation of the spiritual. However this may have turned out in the interim, and however much disillusionment has intervened, I believe this to have been so.
However much the icons of the time dissolved into materialism themselves, I believe this to have been true. Whether we reject those days out of hand as a delusion, or hold to something valid spiritually we feel we have experienced, remains our own personal choice.
Incidentally, and as a postscript, my friend also participated in a similar later event, when Ian Rutherford crashed his van through the wall at Woodside Gardens, in an attempt either to test Grace or merge in one fell swoop with Knowledge.
Maharaji continues to tell of this, though without the follow-on details.
The sole casualty of the event being the flag-pole, which did full pranam onto the lawn. My friend was issued with a spade and ordered single-handedly to make good.
How he accomplished this is a story in itself.
best wishes to everyone,