[new speaker] Gary
I wanted to start my portion by thanking the man to the left of me. I've been in Louisville for 14 years with Jim, and Carla when she was with us, and that was the single best telling of the L/L Research story I have ever heard. It was really beautiful. [audience agrees]
As somebody else was remarking, Jim used to be a person of very few words, but he's gone through quite a transformation since Carla's passing, so what you're seeing is this new Jim. It's a really beautiful thing.
Jim mentioned that in 1974 was when Carla learned to channel. He didn't mention that that's also the same year when Don Elkins began to preserve the cassettes recordings of the channelings. If you go to Llresearch.org right now, that's when the transcript library starts. Prior to Carla channeling, he would recycle or throw away the cassettes.
[new speaker] Jim
He would recycle.
[new speaker] Gary
So, I am great behind a keyboard, not so much at talking in person. I remember I had to speak at a friend's wedding, I was very nervous, so I used this ancient breathing technique to calm and ground myself. And when that didn't work I took three shots of Jose Cuervo tequila [audience laughs]. That's probably not this community's drink of choice, but it did the trick. I'm hoping to do this more naturally though, and I wanted to start a second time by thanking Janell for having us. And thank you so much. And Zach, and Aaron, they are two people who are as skillful and intelligent as they are authentic and openhearted. We've been forming a relationship with them for the past couple of months. And their partners BJ, and is Iz around somewhere? I'm looking right at you.
So Jim told the L/L Research story and in 15 minutes or less I want to talk about how L/L Research offers its service. But before I do, a quick intro to me. I met Jim and Carla, or rather, I met my living heroes in 2002. A couple years prior to that, I had discovered Book One online and without much preparation or background. I dove right in and my eyes were waterfalls. I had found my philosophical home. In 2003, I moved in with and joined a spiritual community with Jim and Carla. And a couple years later Carla asked me to be her administrative assistant and I started working in the office. And it was a couple years into that that I basically began running L/L Research itself. And today as Jim mentioned I'm its Director, though I get no special jacket or parking space for that.
Don, Carla, and Jim built a library, a massive, an amazing library of information, that is as you know available completely for free on the archive website, and they laid the foundation of an organization. A lot of my own work has been to organically build upon that foundation and grow L/L Research in an organic and gradual fashion by responding to the needs of the moment as they arise, not by following some premeditated grand master plan. This connection in Asheville being another such convergence or synchronicity where L/L Research grows. And, that work ranges from the least fun aspects of legal and financial work to—no, let me correct that, moderating an online forum: that is the absolute least fun aspect of L/L Research—to coordinating a network of volunteers and friends and seekers that become spiritual family to us. In the past few years, that work has been undertaken, I've been with Jim and Carla as I mentioned since 2002, but the past two years that work has been undertaken with the best possible partner in the world, the guy who looks a bit like a young Robert Plant over there. You should see him with his hair down, he has these golden locks that are really - [audience laughs as Austin protests]
And our services, if you're unfamiliar with L/L Research, they include weekly public meditations—our community is not as large in Louisville as your’s obviously in the course of the year is—channeling led by Jim, working with translators and foreign publishers and running a prison ministry, and operating two websites, a community website and an archive website that has over 1500 transcripts and 15 publications, and online forums and an online course, and social media, and creating audio books, and on and on. That may sound impressive and I must admit that I am impressed by that list. We're really really small potatoes, there are literally three of us in Louisville, with support from our local community including my wife Trisha (in the back there), who keeps us fed at the public meditations especially. So three of us in Lousiville but a network of volunteers of friends and family from around the world. But nothing we do is on a large scale. Our largest workshops have, or gatherings rather, have 40 people in attendance, at Homecoming. And we're not... explain?
[new speaker] Person
Oh yeah, no, you explain homecoming. Sorry to interrupt you.
Oh, explain. Homecoming is our annual gathering in Louisville, Kentucky where we don't produce so much, we rather provide the space. And, much like Burning Man, the attendees... and that's where the comparison to Burning Man ends. [audience laughs] In the end it is participant created, nobody is naked and there is no public copulation or displays. I know, maybe in the future. Everybody shows up, we form a circle, and people present throughout the weekend on something that's close to their hearts, something that's preferably spiritual or metaphysical in nature, and it's something we look forward to every year. So everybody is invited. We hold is Labor Day weekend every year.
The most important thing that we do though is to collect and to preserve and to simply make available information to the hopeful and to the interested seeker. And also to reply to spiritual seekers’ emails who write asking questions, or sharing something person about their life; and to reply in a way that respects their path, respects who they are, empowers them, and hopefully helps to give them a vision of hope.
So, how does L/L Research offer this information? We have, rather, Carla, Don, and Jim developed a culture and tradition of getting out of the way, as much as possible, of fostering an environment that creates the most unmitigated relationship between the seeker and the material as possible. We always downplay our own... when people ask us what do we think about it, we don't give these monolithic, imposing interpretations and say, “this is what the Law of One says.” Certainly there are objective things you can say about the Law of One. It is not a body of work that is about a march of penguins in south... in Antarctica, who are, you know, producing their next generation. [audience laughs] (You can see struggle in my eyes.)
My point is, the Law of One is supposed to be interpreted by the individual. It's supposed to be integrated in their path as they need it. Certainly you can be a guide on that path, but we do our best to emphasize the seeker's role in interpreting the material for themselves, and make ourselves secondary.
Another key to how L/L Research offers this material is in a spirit of non-proselytization. We emphasize that it is a very inward journey for the spiritual seeker, and it is their discernment which should choose what is and is not true for them. We try to highlight the authority within each seeker, not within the material, but within the seeker themselves. And obviously we find unquantifiable enormous significance in this material. We three up here have built our path on this information. And we see the world through this lens of this system of thought, but under no circumstance do we ever suggest to the seeker that, or to anybody, that they need to believe or adopt or use it, or that if they just read the Law of One then they would become a better person, or discover the truth, or find enlightenment, or get whiter teeth, [audience laughs], or get laid with the opposite, or same, or unidentified sex.
Dispassion is the key to our passion, and that means that the Confederation shares their message without any sense of urgency. Theirs is a philosophy and a program of activity that is built upon free will. They operate accordingly. There's no encouragement to bound out the front door and to spread the good news. They, as do we, recognize that service can be offered only to the extent that it is requested, but that means service of course requires creativity and interpretation and listening.
L/L Research celebrates and embraces the fact that we live in a pluralistic world and there are many paths to the Creator, which is another way to say many paths to who and what you really are. And it's as I was saying, it's a seeker's own discernment and resonance that acts as a guiding star on that very personal journey.
We offer the material in a way that honors Q’uo's basic disclaimer that prefaces each of their channelings, and I'm going to read one such example.
Q’uo says: We would ask that each be careful to realize that we are not authority figures, but really brothers and sisters who travel the same spiritual road, who are looking for answers to the same mysteries. We are happy to share our thoughts, but as always, we ask that you leave behind those thoughts that may present a stumbling block. Take only those that are useful to you and move on. We would encourage you to practice this discrimination with all sources that you may hear or read, for, truly, authority resides in the resonance between your own nature and that which you need. When you meet your own personal truth, it has a resonance to it that is unmistakable, and we ask you to trust that, and not some outer authority, no matter how persuasive or powerful.
To whom does L/L Research offer its service? Well, anyone that would benefit from it, of course, but we think, at least I personally think that for the most part, it is wanderers who are going to resonate with this material. And wanderers, if you are unfamiliar with the term, have a couple basic definitions. In the stricter sense, a wanderer is someone who feels that there soul has come from elsewhere in the universe.
That doesn't make them less human or better. Wanderers are, for all intents and purposes, human. They became human, they took on a human body and have human lessons and will suffer - or suffer maybe is a word I shouldn't use - they will face a human fate as well. But their journey didn't precisely begin here on earth, they came here because they witnessed and saw the cries of suffering and sorrow on this planet, and determined that they wanted to help, and the best way that they could be of service was to forget who they were and incarnate as a human, and enter this illusion, enter this system with the hope that they would remember their mission.
Which isn't a grandiose world service but is a very humble mission of simply opening the heart and learning how to love. That creates a passive radiation from the self that literally changes the vibration of the planet. Ra said that the wanderer's main primary function was to lighten the planetary vibration.
The other definition of wanderer is broader, and that's someone who has become somewhat of an outsider relative to the main streams of consensus reality on this planet. Among those who consider themselves wanderers, or who just have embarked upon the spiritual path in general, there tends to be a sense of alienation, or isolation, and a profound, often crushing, debilitating pain. So, for the wanderer who discovers this material, it can be very healing to them, and transformative, as I mentioned I was crying when I read Book One, I had found my home. And we see that experience repeated over and over.
This material also tends to appeal to the serious spiritual seeker, not the spiritual seeker who doesn't laugh, but the one's who's in it for the long haul, the long term; the spiritual seeker who understands the value of discipline. I know that discipline in the New Age community can be kind of a pejorative sometimes, a word that people want to shy away from. But how I intend it here, and I hope how I'm speaking to how Ra intends it, is of the seeker who sees the value of discipline to discover and follow your heart, not the discipline of slogging through the mud or forcing yourself to do something that doesn't enliven you, but the disincline to seek healing and transformation and discipline of consistent focus and attention. And that does require that, through intention, you harness and aim your will upon love and acceptance and forgiveness. That requires some measure of day by day discipline.
Why channeling itself? Let me explore that question by asking if anybody has ever asked someone or something outside of themselves for information. That's essentially a rhetorical question because obviously everybody has looked to a book for insight, or attended a class, or asked the oracle otherwise known as Google [audience laughs], or got a recipe from your mom. Nobody exists in a vacuum, isolated, or without need for other people. Nobody is omniscient in and of themselves. I think that this experience was designed so that we would have to rely on one another and interact with one another, whether that be in cooperation upon the positive path or domination and competition on the negative path. And channeling is just yet another source available among the many other sources. It's not the supreme source or final source, L/L never elevates it and says “Here is the holy grail, you've found it!” They try to keep it more on a horizontal level and say it's one source among others.
So what's the relationship of we humans to this channeled information? A metaphor that I came up with goes like this: If you can imagine that you're situated in a terrain, and you're in a village that is surrounded by impenetrable mountains. You have not yet invented a means to get over those mountains. But, you have seen signals and signs that there is an intelligent civilization on the other side of those mountains, outside of your physical reach, and that civilization may have a greater awareness of the world that you're living on. So, you develop a means of communicating with that intelligent civilization on the other side of those mountains—in this case, channeling. You ask them questions about the greater world, about your deepest queries, and you get responses back.
So, how do you evaluate that information? You will measure its veracity using your own criteria, of course. Most important in your criteria being your own sense of resonance, how it strikes you and your own discernment therein. But you can inform your resonance, you can ask questions of the information you receive by asking:
- Is this material consistent?
- Is it empowering and informative?
- Does it call me to my highest and best? Or point to my truer nature?
- Is it speaking of deeper truths (of love, of light)?
- Is there any intent to manipulate or deceive within the information?
- Does it corroborate with reports of those in your village who have (to screw up my analogy) somehow gone beyond the mountains and returned to your village with reports of what life is like out there? Your Jesuses and Buddhas, for example.
- Does what this information say corroborate with the mystics in your historical past who have described the universe at large?
- Is the information intelligent, is it applicable to your life?
- Can it be tested in the laboratory of your own experience?”
And even though you can't, by the strictures of science today, you can't prove that these channeled sources exist, through such means you can evaluate the merit of the information on its own merits. Not because the sources are authorities, but because they pass your test for reasons in ways like I just stated. And in so doing the information does develop its own authority insofar as there is an integrity, goodwill, understanding, and information.
So, to conclude my talk, what is this information saying? Actually, I think I should skip that part, and let you be the judge of that. Though, I think it is worthwhile to sometimes, to act as a, to share what you think its saying to others. I will say that we exist in a world wherein from our first breath outside of the womb, we are relentlessly bombarded with narratives of separation. Not intentionally, but so many of the people we know, society itself, advertising and media, movies, TV, without knowing it they are constantly singing a song and telling the story of separation, separation, separation. And then we are born into that matrix and assume the same viewpoint.
The Confederation philosophy is holding up a mirror to you and helping to explain that that separation is an illusion. It's not ultimately true. And within the mirror that it holds up to you, it helps to show you, at least this is true in my case, the love that you have within you, the love that you want to share with others, and the service you want to offer others, and the healing and the transformation that you're capable of. That healing and transformation that earth makes available, that the universe makes available to us.
Nobody is trapped. Nobody is a victim of their circumstance. The word catalyst being one of the most empowering words I've ever come across. Ra says that all life is catalyst. What does that do but flip the script? It says that whatever is happening to you is fuel for your spiritual growth and can be used as such.
So this information is holding up a mirror to you and showing you the courage you have inside to live your life and to awaken to who you already are. But this information, back to the theme I keep repeating, doesn't place any credit or authority upon itself, much as the mirror cannot take credit for the content of the image being reflected upon its surface. It's only appeal to authority is that authority within you.
It reminds you that you are the author of your own journey, and no one but you can know what is true for you. But regardless of what I say about it, of course, you have to reach your own conclusions. But people from various cultures from all across the globe have written L/L Research, with, you can see the tears within their emails sometimes, their gratitude for Carla, Jim, and Don, and what they freely gave the world, because they often experience, like I have and probably many of you have as well, they experience an enduring transformation as a result of encountering this information. And the way I came to understand how just words on a page or information could create such a transformation, happened recently.
I came upon, I learned about something that's been dubbed The Overview Effect. It describes the phenomenon that astronauts have undergone when they've left earth's orbit, I don't know if they technically left orbit, they've gone into space and they've looked back at earth. And at that moment they experience a spiritual transformation for the first time stepping outside of the box that they had inhabited and recognizing that earth is one part of a cosmic whole, and feeling their hearts open and feeling the necessity of taking care of this planet and preserving and saving it, and any number of attendant experiences.
Austin turned me on to Edgar Mitchell who is an astronaut who you may have heard of because he's been very public saying that UFOs are real. He was the founder of Noetic Science, and he is one of the most famous examples of undergoing this Overview Effect. He had this experience, returned to earth, and was reading literature trying to find some explanation for what happened to him, trying to describe it, and where he found his answer was in Hindu philosophy. He read a description of Samadhi. And he said, “Yup, that's it! That’s what happened to me when I was above the earth.”
And if we think about that, all that happened was they moved their bodies from the surface to above the planet, and that changed their perspective. That's all it took was a change in a perspective, and suddenly they could see more clearly, more broadly, and more deeply. That’s what information like this can do. it's not the only source in the world that can do it, any inspired mystical text can do the same. But this information offers a perspective, and if you haven’t had that perspective before and you come to this information and suddenly your eyes are open, the lid is taken off the top for you, or however dramatic or nondramatic that may be, and you experience you own transformation simply as a result of change in perspective.
And to conclude, the people who resonate with this may be wanderers, we can't know that, and it's not that important in the end. But, to the wanderer, this material is something of a postcard from home. [audience agrees] So those souls who agree that they are in somewhat of a foreign or alien environment that does not make sense to them, that seems backward and effed up to the nth degree, and then they get this cosmic perspective and they hear that the universe is actually built of love and light and that there's a better way and that better way involves treating one another well and loving each other and existing in a community and being connected to the planet and the universe and finding one's true nature—that’s much like being away from home, and then getting a postcard from your family back at home.
So, thank[s] everybody for having us, Jim has one more talk to give this afternoon, and we, I want to say, are absolutely smitten with Asheville. We've been here less than 24 hours and we're already talking about how do we relocate. [audience laughs]. And finally, Homecoming is called Homecoming not because it's L/L Research, not because it's in Louisville, Kentucky, but home happens whenever two or more spiritual seekers come together and share in the heart, whether its connected to the Law of One or not, there's a space of home that is created and we feel that sense of home with you right now so, thank you. [melts into a love fest]