(From the Introduction to Second Thunder – Seeking the Black Ishayas)

Civilizations die when they lose their founding visions. Why should anyone try to be great if there is no potential to be great – in this world or the next? If the visible is all there is, why not dedicate life to wealth or possessions? What matter who is harmed in the process? Everyone involved will be dead within a century anyway. Who cares what happens on this strange little planet circling an average sun out of two hundred billion suns, lost near this remote spiral arm of an average-sized galaxy out of a thousand billion galaxies? Surely we are much too small to be significant in any Cosmic sense. Is not life itself merely an aberration, an accident of fate, an inevitable consequence of random gatherings of molecules in a nearly infinite Universe?

Without the supporting infrastructure of visionary Truth, the meaning of life collapses toward the meaningless. Visions are not false, they are not fiction or fantasy. True visions express the highest aspirations of our souls – aspirations impossible to express in any other form. This kind of understanding of vision is vital in today’s world. The invaluable contribution of modern visionary word is to give form to the ideas that no longer conveniently fit into our accepted patterns of belief.

Our reliance on scientific dogma has divested us of our old world-views, profaned our gods, slain our heroes, voided our magic and shrunken to pathetic size all the larger-than-life men and women that freely walked the planet of our ancestors. This has created a life for the average human that is often boring, pointless, dull, frightening or extremely painful.

But every buried Truth will in time grow again through the dark soil of doubt and fear. For there are still (and always will be) true heroes on this planet, just as there are still (and always will be) true gods as well as their Eternal Source – the One that is the inner life of all the gods, the One that is the root of the Hero’s strength, the Magician’s magic, the Healer’s power to heal, the creative genius of the Artist, the supernal wisdom of the enlightened. It does not matter if everyone (or even anyone) remembers this fact. Reality is not democratic.

Who creates visions? No one – visions are an expression of Truth, are therefore never invented, not created in the usual sense of the word. The visionary opens to the underlying continuum of Reality and formulates in language what is discovered there. The spirit of the One enters into the visionary (the visionary respires the breath of life known as Inspiration); the result is a new expression born from the underlying field of the never-changing archetype…

Humankind is vastly older than our histories have recorded, vastly older than our archaeologists or anthropologists have even begun to dream. Since the dawn of creation, there have been individuals throughout the Universe who have been capable of Self-knowledge. This is the only definition of humanity that is consistent or meaningful. There never was a time when human beings did not inhabit this Universe. Nor will there ever be a time when Self-conscious races are absent from created space-time. The form of the bodies, the specific details of anatomies, the size and shape and number of heads or limbs – these are not important. The essential underlying truth – that every human contains within his/her heart a spark of the Divine Fire – is he only important fact.

We are gods in mortal flesh, but by our choices and actions do not live so. There are no boundaries in us but those we artificially create and maintain by our beliefs in limitation and judgments of good and evil. This need no longer be so! Not for even one more instant. Freedom is available for anyone who seeks it, for we are the Myth-makers. We are the Dreamers of dreams. The power of the mind can be forgotten or denied, but its rich brilliance will remain, scintillating like a perfect jewel, just beneath the murky waters of our denial and despair.

And the fortunate truth is that any one – any child, any adult burdened by the cares of life, any aged one, all but broken by the struggles of this harsh, cruel world – any one at any time may suddenly without warning awaken to the underlying Truth of life. And the really good news is that even one is quite enough to transform the world. People are a great deal more like popcorn than they have realized or yet begun to remember. When any one slips through the illusory boundaries of limitation and fear, all will follow.

This is an invitation to share my vision.

Other worlds lie just beneath the surface of our rational minds.

In one, infinite yet unconscious forces interact mindlessly in chaotic patterns, creating and destroying as if randomly, by accident.

In another, gods and heroes struggle against manifest evil in the all but hopeless quest to save their worlds from destruction.

In yet another, every moment without exception unfolds in perfect harmony with the will of the Creator-Of-All-That-Is.

The experience of alternate universes is more often than not repressed in our modern age. This is tragic, for repression leads to confusion, to distorted perception, to fear.

There is nothing in life to fear. Para, the Source Universe which has given rise to all others, floats throughout Eternity as a radiant golden Sphere, bathed in the infinite Light and unending love of the omnipotent One. That Universe is perfect. Apple trees create only apples. Love creates only love. Perfection creates only perfection. It is only identification with the projected dream-worlds that leads to suffering.

Even then, it is dream suffering. Only our age-old yet moment-by-moment decision keeps us bound to our individual dream-creations.

This can end at any moment: Para surrounds, underlies and permeates every particle of the dream worlds. Because this is true, anyone anywhere at any time can experience the One Ascendant Reality. It can be found anywhere, but is most easily discovered inside every heart. It is the essence of every good thing: life, consciousness, joy, and love.

The experience of Para results in a state of consciousness named by various Earth traditions: salvation, nirvana, enlightenment, infinite Awareness, Satori, Cosmic Consciousness, Eternal Freedom, praying without ceasing, the peace which passes all understanding, Perpetual Ascendant Consciousness. The name is supremely unimportant; the content of this experience is everything.

Whatever we choose to call it, no suffering of any kind is possible in this state. Life is lived in permanent joy, in infinite love, in unbroken contact with the Source.

In an instant of frozen time, no longer than the gap between two heartbeats, a being fully and permanently in contact with the Source Universe shared his vision with me. This was a free gift, a wordless joining of his infinite mind with mine.

In the years that have passed since that magical, suspended instant, I have only begun to appreciate what this means to my life, to remember that which I long ago knew fully well but then forgot. I am an Unbounded Being. Living in a human body, I experience the Ascendant continually, twenty-four hours a day. The Thunder books are an attempt to explain this state of consciousness, to describe the Reality of the wonder of this experience.

Words are finite, limited tools, most loved by longing minds. They will forever fall short of the experience of Truth. Truth is lived and can be shared; the best words can do is point the finger of understanding at it. Words can say, “The Moon is there.” They do not and cannot give the experience of the Moon. At their best, they will inspire one to seek the experience they describe.

Seeking the Black Ishayas records a series of visions and experiences I had while studying with the Ishayas in the Himalayas. The total elapsed time was only several days, but the total vision time was of many years.

The experiences flowing through me during this time were far removed in space and time from the reality of this world. They were of a series of other lifetimes that uncannily paralleled the outer occurrences among my friends, particularly Edg and Sharon, at and around the Ishaya’s monastery.

During this period, I fought a life and death struggle with my ego. It nearly mastered me on four separate occasions – not coincidentally, after the instruction in the Second Sphere Solar Technique, the Lunar Technique, the Earth Technique and the Second Cognition. The visions inspired by learning each of these techniques coincided exactly with changes in my personal life that were intense and, in one case, as terrible as I could have ever dreamed possible: the loss of Sharon.

If I had known from the beginning how much I would give up to gain enlightenment would I have continued on? Probably not. Only in hindsight do I see the beauty inherent in my personal tragedy.

Everyone’s path is different. The incredible ease with which some grow under the Ishayas’ care never ceases to amaze me. I look at my life and it seems I have always chosen the hardest path – and yet I know there was no other choice for me. And there are others who have suffered much more greatly.

Whatever it takes. That is the only attitude that is real, the only attitude that works, the only attitude that assists one to reach the goal. Whatever I have to do in order to realize enlightenment, that I will do. This was the viewpoint I adopted in the Himalayas, and the only one that could have carried me through my trials to the end.

For those who seek enlightenment, no other frame of mind can be substituted for this one. No other frame of mind will succeed. One must be willing to give up everything – every belief, every judgment, every attachment – then only can there be progress. For it is exactly where one digs in one’s heels and says, “So far and no farther,” that the ego draws the battle line.

It is not possessions; it is attachments, which cause trouble. What must be given up? Nothing. What must one be willing to give up? Everything. When one is ready to be free from everything, life begins in earnest. The dawning of True Light is never far behind…

Each of us dreams our own world – this means that each of us is ultimately responsible for our own creation. And therefore, each of us can change any of the rules governing our world at any time, resulting in a completely different world-view and a completely different world. Full realization of this simple fact is an acceptable definition of enlightenment. It is the Ishayas’ hope that learning of the different levels of reality woven into this work will assist others to rise more quickly to the recognition of their primary authority in their own worlds. Then the Healing of this Earth will be the sooner accomplished.