Letter From The Editors
For April of 2020

Front Page





   Is what we see, hear, taste, feel and experience real? This reality has always had a bit of unreality in the experience and it has seemed that way for a long time for me. I’ve never written about my earliest mentor and role model until now for the simple reason I had no idea that was the case until Karra and I were looking for things to use in this month’s editorial. It came about as an epiphany and it has given me a new mental trick to lift my spirits anytime the news of the world becomes too depressing as is often the case these days. I would like to pass it on to anyone else needing such a lift and the concept came about as Karra and myself were thinking back on my earliest influences. The earliest by far was the author Richard Bach through the guise of a small bird with great ambitions who I would grow to emulate throughout my life. The year was 1972 when I was twelve and my reading was mostly allotted to textbooks or books assigned by my teachers. I thought reading books for fun was a poor substitute for television thus the point was lost on me. My mother, in a moment of inspiration, had heard about a book that had become a best seller that even children my age would enjoy. It was called "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and the moment my mom handed me the book is etched in my memory to this day. It had a lot of pictures of seagulls in black and white as I paged through it which for me was a big draw. Living near the beach had made me appreciate their gracefulness so I thanked my mom and headed off to my room for what was a surprisingly quick read. I knocked it out in about thirty minutes and went back to read it again as I felt I had missed something important. The story revolved around ideas I had never considered before like my own inner power and a justification for feeling apart from society. What I had no idea of at the time was just how much more of a transformation would take place when I read the book’s sequel years later.

   "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" is a book first published in 1970 about a seagull of the same name who was tired of his life as just one of the flock. The daily search for food from the bait trawlers just offshore or whatever could be gleaned from the waterline was the entire focus of his fellow gulls. Jonathan though had dreams, dreams of flight and speed. The constant fighting for scraps held no interest for him and it was only the goal to go faster than any gull prior that drove him to risk everything, even his life in achieving that dream. His love of flying higher and faster was a threat to the required conformity of the flock and the demonstration of his skill only caused him to become an outcast in exile, shunned by his kind. Undeterred by the many backs turned away from him, Jonathan set off to pursue his dream without relying on the support of others. Relentlessly he would climb higher and higher before angling down toward the sea at a speed that made his eyes water. Having reached the abilities of his physical being, he was met by the Elder Gull who transported him to a place where special gulls go to learn to live beyond the limits of the body. It was there he learned that the way to progress is through transitioning from a student trying to learn into a teacher learning to teach. He embraces forgiveness as the path forward which helps him realize that his mind, spirit, and body exist across all of time and space enabling him to master teleportation. He returns to the flock to teach what he has learned where he attracts a group of students seeking self-improvement from his acquired wisdom. One day, he decides he has been successful in his mission but does not want to be seen as the mythical Great Gull. A glow surrounds him and he ascends to heaven to take his studies to the next level but prior to his departure, he leaves his legacy in the hands of his star pupil and friend Fletcher Lynd Seagull who then proceeds to carry that legacy onward. The correlations of my life since the first time I read that book are too many to list. Now the epiphany mentioned above which struck Karra and me while recalling the story was that like a seagull, sometimes you have to soar above the flock if your goals take you to a higher plane. 

   Seven years later in 1977, Richard Bach released "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" and, while not an official sequel, I always saw the protagonist of Illusions to be Jonathan Livingston Seagull’s next manifestation as a teacher. Summarizing a book from memory that is more educational than it is fictional makes for a challenge as there is too much learning to encompass in a single paragraph. The story is told in the first-person of a pilot named Richard who flies a vintage biplane selling rides in the small towns he lands near in the Midwest. One day as he is flying he sees another biplane on the ground taking up some of the local townsfolk for rides. Landing, he introduces himself to the other flyer who is named Donald W. Shimoda, the same name painted on the side of the pilot's nearby Travel Air 4000. The two strike up a friendship that is also profitable for both as they move from town to town giving patrons the time of their lives. In one town the customers include an old man in a wheelchair and his granddaughter. Helping the granddaughter overcome her fear of flying by explaining it was due to a past life, he next is able to heal the old man who suddenly found he could walk through his desire to fly and his belief in Donald's belief he could walk. Richard, fearing the fate surrounding miracle workers and the crowd suddenly gathering, takes off leaving Donald to face the excited mob arriving in cars. Later, Donald finds Richard against all odds in the middle of a field among millions of fields with the explanation that like attracts like. He reveals that Richard is a fellow messiah like himself, a position which comes with a handbook Donald gives Richard full of sayings any messiah in training should know. During this time of learning the ropes, Donald teaches Richard that the reality making up his existence was only an illusion. He proves this through a series of demonstrations such as walking on water before sinking into the shore, walking through walls and creating a physical being through the use of a thought-form. At one point he uses an analogy that life is like the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" in that one must suspend belief to grasp the storyline of the movie. How it compares is that the kind of life one experiences can be its own love story, horror story or even comedy depending on the circumstances taking place. The many lifetimes of a person are just the many movies they’ve stared in where they've forgotten their roles. I won’t give away the ending to the book but the lessons included throughout can shape a life as each page is turned.

   The takeaway of two people unable to walk through walls or walk on water is that we feel both books are about the limits we place on ourselves and our ability to surpass them. This is where parallels can be found between the teachings of those from Ashtar Command and these two books from Richard Bach. Two perfect examples from Ashtar Command, mental shielding, and meta-concerts. With mental shielding, the student strengthens the aura and then adds multiple extensions from there along with enhancements such as a mirror finish. The entire concept is built on imagination so there should be absolutely no effect on the physical self but that is not the case. The same with meta-concerts, five or more people pooling their energies to achieve something positive on a physical level should, in theory, have no effect that would be visible to the naked eye. In actual fact, neither example above is an absolute. A mind is a powerful tool whose abilities have never really been fully tested. Even the simple act of imagining a line of energy extending deep into the ground so any excess energy can be channeled into it has an effect that can be felt. Of course, shielding, grounding, and meta-concerts would be alien concepts to most but it works for aliens so it should work for us. Where the student takes it is in any possible way the imagination can use the energies within and around them to protect themselves and to help those in need. In the times to come, the need may be great so the self-imposed limits of what the mind can do will have to be expanded to include concepts completely foreign previously. In the end, it comes down to the question of what is the purpose of living hundreds if not hundreds of thousands of lives? In our opinion, it's to go through the human experience in every conceivable manner and learn the lessons choice brings. It’s choosing how to live beyond the accepted reality of a majority of the population that leads to that next plane in our epiphany. Richard Bach wrote about setting your own beliefs while letting others set their own limits. He also wrote the messiah’s handbook which is central to the story of Illusions. In it, one of the sayings puts it better than we ever could and it goes, “remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place. You're going to die a horrible death, remember. It's all good training, and you'll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind. Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution is not generally understood by less-advanced life-forms, and they'll call you crazy.”

With love, light, and wisdom as one.

Russ and Karra.