Slomo and Consciousness

Dr. John Kitchin

This remarkable NYT Opinion Video is a classic. Here is a man who has it all, and to get it all he had to release his definition of “all”.

Gopi Krishna makes it perfectly clear that meditation is simply understood as concentration over a long period of time.

Notes From the Masters Class 2014-05-16

Notes From the Masters Class 2014-05-11

Edited Text.

This is Chuck Robison. Last summer Karen and my sister Alice Weatherby motored out to Burnet, Texas to meet Pastor Willie Monnet and his wife Claudette who is also a minister in his and their church, which is titled Smoking for Jesus Ministry. That interview appears elsewhere on our webpage, I’ll leave a note right underneath here that tells you that, but here’s what we learned with Pastor Monet.

In 2005 he had a dream in January and the dream was that he was going to have to pack up his church and leave New Orleans. The next day he told his parishioners that he had this dream and he was completely dumbfounded by what could possibly mean. In September 2005, when the great storm hit and the Saturday night before it hit on Sunday. Pastor Monet, who had a large church in New Orleans (it was better than a block long and it had a lot of members) was able to get 200 of them into 40 cars to leave New Orleans.

Among those 200 people was a couple with a brand-new five day old set of twins and older people and many of the entire community that were in his church. They expected to be back in four or five days at the most because they had left New Orleans before windstorms came but when they left New Orleans this time they didn’t realize it would be the last time that any of them would ever live there.

They had to go across Louisiana and then they went into Texas all the way up to Dallas and then they looped back and they spent some time here in Austin and then they began in earnest to figure out what it was that they were supposed to do and it took a long, long time.

In the interview which I know you’re going to enjoy seeing, Pastor Monet said at every point along the way, when there is was a decision to be made, as the leader, he simply stopped and prayed and waited. He didn’t give any commands or take any action until such time as he was sure his prayer had been answered with clear direction as to what to do next.

Now to me this was an incredible lesson in patience. Here was a man who was in his late 50s, he had 200 people following him in cars and they were going all over Texas trying to find a place to live. They were able to find a series of apartments in Marble Falls that was very good for them, and other places, but they were looking for a permanent place. They had to let go of the idea that there would be returning to New Orleans.

So finally thru a very unusual set of circumstances they were entitled to ownership of a 56 acre property in the middle of the Hill Country in Texas close to one of the big lakes. It had a chapel, it had dormitories, it had houses, it had an administration building. It was absolutely perfect and these people in this congregation, who came to Texas because of this hurricane, have improved that land and improved that community, so that when you walk into their church it is totally vibrant and it’s all about trusting in God.

This man and his wife and his followers demonstrated incredible patience in the face of daily frustrations about where they were from, where they were going and why they were here. Yet because they kept their belief that the universe was unfolding exactly as it should, they knew that when the time come from for them to find a permanent place it would be better than at their beginnings.

This is true for you and me as well. If you’re going through a period in your life right now, and I am, where you’re trying to be patient and wait for the right things to come at the right time, there are plenty of examples of people out there who said yeah we’ve got a lot to wait for and I guess all we can do is be patient.

So here’s something for you to think about and this is from a Master in Burnet Texas. When you’re faced with a decision of what to do next, it is wise to say a prayer and say “I know you will show me exactly what to do when the time is right”. Even if you have problems believing that God is going to talk to you, and you shouldn’t because he is, but even if you have problems with that, just stopping long enough to gather patience for yourself and to put yourself in a position where you can hear and listen to what’s coming, you might experience what I’ve experienced a number of times in my life and that is: regardless of what you want, you need to ask for it.

Once you’ve done that you need to add one more sentence at the end of what it is you’ve asked for in that sentence. “This or something better.” Because if you do not get what you’re wishing for then God will see to it that the reason for that is something better is coming along. It might not be something better in terms of what your community sees, it might be something better for your soul and your soul came here to learn some very powerful lessons. As you release all your concerns and your fear, you begin to realize that this is fundamentally the experience of your soul in this third dimensional environment and that you came here to learn.

In your case, in my case and most everybody else’s case, some very powerful difficult lessons are resolved and you can relax and say. “ Okay I came here for that. I know that. Bring it on.” And you will never find that you are given a lesson greater than what you can deal with regardless of the size, regardless of who you are, regardless, your lessons are tailor-made for you, just as mine are tailor-made for me. As you look back over your life you may see one day that there’s a pattern here. It appears as though most of my lessons were developed in dealing with patience or power or love or abandonment, whatever the issues were, those issues have been in your life to help your soul. They were custom-made in your life to help your soul learn the lessons you came here to learn.

And the powerful lesson for me is demonstrated all around us and you’ll see that when you watch Pastor Monet. The lessons that you came here to learn are being brought to you right on time.

This is Chuck this is the Masters Class and I thank you for being with us. We’ll see you next week.

Brad Love and The Symphony Awakening

Brad discusses the heart-opening experience that many had after attending this event. Brad has spent countless hours and enough money to keep this production alive and now he is hoping to present this production at the SxSW Eco Conference in Austin in October.

Brad says, “We have submitted a proposal for SXSW ECO to sponsor production of our Symphony Awakening Rock Opera – Tribe Humanity… yes, about 500 of your neighbors have seen it {at One World Theater in 2012), but 900,000 plus in Austin have not… the overwhelming review gave it a big thumbs up… an inspiring and worthy message for our times…”

Brad now asks you to “please help us get chosen to perform at the SXSW ECO EVENT. October, 2014. To vote for us click the above VOTE sign of go to SXSW PanelPicker…, type Symphony in the search box and vote for us (thumbs up top left corner). You may have to create a free login (to prevent double voting cheating). If you use the above link and try to vote(thumbs up top left corner) it will ask you to login, do so and then use the link again… it will take you straight to our Symphony page while leaving you still logged in to vote… or… type Symphony in the search box and vote for us. To have peace on earth, throw a better party. This is a start. PLEASE FORWARD.”

Love….what if it really works?

4x6 B&W Chuck Portrait 6032 Hill Country News, 2014-05-07

By Chuck Robison

We hear a lot about LOVE, from Valentine’s Day to the description of God. We hear so much about love, especially from Churches, that it seems to have lost its usefulness as a life principle or even as a power word.

So perhaps a different slant on the possible meaning of LOVE as a power word is in order. Generally speaking, today’s Christianity does not allow for the possibility that each soul lives many times here on Earth. Prize winning Christianity says that you win the prize for a good life only once….and then you disappear into heaven, plain and simple. Prize losers, of course, after one chance, go straight to hell for all eternity.

The early church had no such understanding. In the early church, many things were espoused that the later church, say after 325 AD and the Council in Nicaea, rejected and prosecuted believers for even discussing. Reincarnation is one of those ideas that was excluded by the 325 AD Nicene Counsel.

Reincarnation, like rabbits biting at your heels, still bites at the ankles of the church, so early on they tried to put a stop to it. The idea that you had more than one chance to win the prize diluted the authority of the church……something that, to this very day, is never permitted. Fact is, the Christian Church, in all its manifestations, wants to be judge, jury and executioner of its follower’s lives. Preaching Hell and Damnation is still on the agenda in many Christian Churches.

Reincarnation, on the other hand, reveals that each soul is eternal, exists at all times, is a cell in God’s body, and arrives on earth to live multiple lives that will eventually result in spiritual growth, also expressed as creating good Karma. This is the big schoolhouse we’re living in and we come here from someplace else and we will return there and come back again and again, until we have learned the lessons and passed the exams.

Karma is understood to be either good or bad, or like deposits and withdrawals in the spiritual bank of life. Kindness, good deeds and compassionate acts toward other souls result in deposits to your Karma account. Meanness, destruction and attacks on other souls results in a withdrawal from your Karma account. At the end of your life, you go through a review and God balances your account and the resulting balance or deficit determines the agenda for your next life.

Those in the know realize that kindness toward all other souls, is a sure way to build up your Karma credits.

Now here is where LOVE comes in. As we realize that every other soul is on the same journey toward learning about Kindness, Love and Good Karma as we are, it begins to determine how we will treat each other. Jesus said, “Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You”……because, not only are you in the exact same boat as they are, but you are ONE with all souls. What we do to another, we do also to ourselves. This is not just a good idea….it’s the law.

With that as an understanding, would we continue to do some of the destructive and mean things we do to each other? Would we allow states to war on each other, build nuclear bombs, or even execute prisoners for crimes that already have an eternal result in the bank of Karma? No. Would we go out of our way to help each other, to be kind to each other, to forgive each other, regardless of the crime, offense or provocation in question? The answer is Yes.

This is the ultimate win-win approach to life. Treating others as you would like to be treated adds to your karma while allowing the other person to see beyond the pain they have created and it opens the door to more positive spiritual growth. We are the each other’s teachers.

Of course, this is not easy and it is made harder still when our Church leaders do not allow us to think about reincarnation or Karma.

However, as Christians we do not have to go along with the crowd. We can show love to every soul with whom we come in contact, because whatever we do to others, we do to ourselves. And a positive Karmic balance in this life, will make the next life so much better.

Notes From the Masters Class 2014-04-29

Chuck discusses some of what he is learning as he and Karen meet weekly with the Ascended Masters and the Archangels for an interview which is then presented on Karen’s Angel Readings by Karen website. (See tab above on right side.)

These audio interviews challenge most of our beliefs and ways of seeing things……and they ALWAYS provide a different way of seeing life and current events…..and one walks away from listening with a deeper appreciation about what is possible in other dimensions.

Father A. A. Taliaferro

Here are two remarkable sermons written by Father Taliaferro and read by Chuck Robison in preparation for the Easter Holy Days.

The first concerns the meaning of Maundy Thursday

The second explains the Symbolism of The Cross

(Copied from the December 1991 issue of D Magazine in Dallas.)

He teaches reincarnation and out-of-body travel. His followers range from Park Cities matrons to Willie Nelson. His message: Everything- including Cadillacs and summers in Carmel-is part of a glorious cosmic plan.

IT’S WEDNESDAY MORNING ON TURTLE Creek, time for these wives, widows and divorcees of Dallas gentry to gather in a lushly decorated Tudor and discuss the Big Questions. Bigger, of course, than who is cheating on whom, or planning the upcoming charity ball. Much bigger, you see, than any of their lives. The day and the hour dictate a deeper agenda: Cosmic consciousness. Life. Death. Reincarnation. Out-of-body travel. Karma.

Their teacher, an octogenarian with a comb of white hair, a benign smirk and priestly hands, takes his place in front of them in an antique cane chair. “Everything is great and wonderful.” he once proclaimed in this room. “It always was great and wonderful. It always will be great and wonderful. So if we say something is not great and wonderful, it’s not because it’s not great and wonderful. It’s because that’s the way we think.”

From this vantage, everything this morning is looking great and wonderful indeed: the Chinese antiques and Italian mosaics, the Chagall in the sun room, the smile on the face of the young stewardess getting her “fix” of mysticism. For the next 90 minutes, these two dozen or so women will ask him questions and he will tell them things their old ministers would not: that their bodies are only temporary dwellings that can be left at will, that reincarnation is a fact and that they can change the world by visualizing goodness three times a day. Perhaps best of all, he will tell them that everything-the husband’s indiscretions, the child’s addictions, the terror on the evening news, even their Highland Park addresses-is all part of a divine lesson plan. Many of the listeners, as they bask in the stream of words, wear the expressions of a cat being stroked between the ears. Some close their eyes, placing their hands flat on the legs of well-tailored pant suits.

Albert Achilles Taliaferro (pronounced “Tolliver”), has been their guide for decades. Yes, before the Beatles knew a swami from a synthesizer. Tolly, as his disciples call him, had some of these ladies, chanting “Ohhmmmmmmm” in their Donna Reed dresses. Over the years, he’s been called a wise man and a great teacher, a heretic and a crackpot. To the women in this room he is a great source of light. Tolly is Guru. Indeed, the Guru of Highland Park.

He also is a deposed Episcopal (1) priest, the man who built one of Dallas’ wealthiest churches, only to be toppled and then resurrected with the help and good karma of the late Ann Cox and the power of her family oil fortune. That was 26 years ago. Since then, his connections have allowed him to overcome the protests of other clergymen and go on preaching to hundreds every Sunday at Southern Methodist University. Business execs, real estate yups, computer whizzes, entertainers and generations of the spiritually promiscuous all have been drawn into his orbit. 8.0 restaurant owner Shannon Wynne consults him for advice. Political activist Roy Williams, whose lawsuit forced Dallas to change the way it elected its city council, defers to him as a mentor. And when country superstar Willie Nelson, a longtime disciple, tied the knot for the fourth time this past September. Tolly conducted the private service in his office.

Tolly calls himself a Christian, but his teachings are nothing like what you heard in Sunday school. His main philosophical influence is Rosicrucianism, a four-century old mystical order that Tolly joined more than 50 years ago. The order, whose scholarship is widely considered dubious, claims roots to ancient wisdom stretching back to Egypt in the reign of the Pharaoh Akhnaton. Based in San Jose, California, the group claims 250,000 members worldwide who subscribe to a secret 17-year mailorder course that promises to uncover the truths of life and the universe from “development of personal magnetism” to “thought transmission.”

According to Rosicrucianism, a group of advanced beings from Earth and beyond are dwelling in our midst, invisibly guiding human events-the writing of Shakespeare’s plays (by Francis Bacon, Tolly believes), the design of the dollar bill, the uniting of Europe. But Tolly’s spiritual influences have few bounds. In his cosmic blender, Tolly combines selective scoops of mysticism, Hinduism, Buddhism, astrology, Jungian psychology, alchemy, physics and free-enterprise economics. He throws out the contradictions and flips the switch. Christ equals Krishna equals Buddha. All religions are one, and science is in no way incompatible with belief in the spirit world. “The scientist is the great high priest of the religion of the future.” he likes to say, and, “The Holy Spirit is akin to the speed of light squared.”

Dallas, in Tolly’s cosmic scheme, is a fertile crescent for new thought that will help transform the planet. “Where new approaches to religion are concerned, Dallas is on its way, in the next 25 to 50 years, to becoming a center,” he says. “I think the type of person who is attracted is the person questioning things,” says Jimmy Lawrence, the woman who has hosted Tolly’s twice-a-week classes in her home for a decade. Long ago, she says, her ex-husband, former Braniff International Chairman Harding Lawrence, warned her against Tolly. “This is a dangerous man,” he said. She didn’t believe it then, and she doesn’t now. “I think,” she says, “the people in this class are irritated if someone says ‘You’re not supposed to know that.'”

Tolly has two audiences-an inner circle and an outer. For the wider audiences in his church services at SMU, he discusses his belief system in vague, general terms. He’ll talk about rebirth or deliver an inspirational message on the power of the soul. But it is for the inner circle, those who faithfully attend classes in Lawrence’s home, that Tolly saves prophecies that would make the neck hairs of the uninitiated stand up. He tells them, for example, that one day Christ will pass off administration of the earth to an assistant-in-training, and that for a great period of time, the planet’s less-advanced souls will not be permitted to reincarnate, and that “the day will come when we will all transfer to a higher planet.” Yet, no matter how far out Tolly’s ideas do get, he can’t be dismissed as just another celestial snake oil salesman. He’s not a rank outsider or a mere appendage to Dallas society. He’s part of its very fabric.

He considers himself first a teacher, and as such he helped found some of North Texas’ first schools for retarded children and children with Down’s syndrome. He also founded one of the city’s toniest private schools-Dallas’ first Montessori- where parents (who generally know nothing of his theology) pay college-level tuition for their young to imbibe knowledge with the power lineage of Hunts, Crows and Dedmans.

Last spring. 28 years after he broke with organized religion. Tolly ended another acrimonious struggle when an expanded board of directors of the St. Alcuin Montessori ousted him in a fight over control. Tolly had refused to yield authority to a committee system and be phased out. “There is no in-between with him,” says retired North Dallas accountant C. Lee Connell, the former treasurer of Tolly’s church. Their friendship of more than 50 years was wrecked in the fight at St. Alcuin. “You either love him or you hate him.”

SMU’S SELECMAN HALL. MOTHER’S Day. Everything is as it should be. Light filters though the tall plantation shutters, falling on the women in their puffy-shouldered print dresses and the men in sensible suits. Tolly, in his priest’s collar and vestments, plays the baby grand, leading the congregation in “Amazing Grace.” Tolly reads from the Gospel. The parishioners of St. Alcuin’s Community Church, about 150 of them genuflect (2) on cue.

Then comes the sermon: “Oh wonderful, beautiful kingdom of light, Shed down upon these humble souls thy beam of cosmic consciousness . ..” No one here is surprised by the words, and Tolly, after rambling a bit about organized religion, man’s psyche and the sun, launches into a vivid explanation of his ideas on rebirth. “The soul creates the body. It chooses the parents,” he explains, sounding like a professor trodding familiar ground, “It chooses the place the parents are. It chooses the environment, the people involved in the family as well as in the community-the possibilities of coming in contact with persons and groups of persons in which the various aspects of the development of the incarnation can take place. “On Mothers Day it is very important for us to see this,” he goes on. “The reason for Mother’s Day, from a spiritual standpoint, is that we are reminded of the fact that there is a divine plan behind every birth of a soul in a physical body.”

On the karmic balance sheet, this impresario of the occult has come out ahead in this life. Reared in East Dallas, the eldest son of a postal worker, he now lives in a spacious Highland Park home, drives a Sedan de Ville Cadillac with vanity plates (“Tolly”), carries a country club membership and cools off by summering a month every year in Carmel. Albert was a brooding and sensitive boy who felt trapped in an ultrareligious family that worshiped in the Church of Christ. He spent much of his youth alone, contemplating his parents’ jealous, punitive God -“One of the most cruel concepts I heard of.”

Lucky for him, he was spared a mundane life by his uncanny ability to play the piano and by Dallas society’s willingness to embrace and nourish him. As a youth in the 1920s, Albert played organ at downtown churches and piano for WFAA radio’s The Early Birds orchestra. Music gave him his first glimpse inside Dallas’ worlds of business and art and those contacts would ultimately propel him to Ivy League schools and to music studies that would take him to New York, San Francisco and Paris.

“When the soul works,” he explained to his congregation as he approached his 80th birthday last February, “it works by making contacts psychically. . contacts will be brought into your zone of influence and awareness.”

Albert and his soul began making esoteric contacts early in life. He first left his body, he says, at the age of 9. Bedridden with pneumonia, he heard the doctor tell his mother that he would not live through the night. Suddenly, Taliaferro says, he felt himself rise up, hovering above the doctor, above his weeping mother and father and finally, above the earth, wafting in space. “It was not a dream,” he said recently in his office overlooking Turtle Creek and downtown.

By the time the Rev. C.V. Westapher arrived as an assistant at St. Michael in 1960, word of Taliaferro’s Rosicrucian connections had leaked out, and the church was at war with itself. A group of parishioners appealed to the bishop for Taliaferro to be removed. But before the year was over, Taliaferro resigned to work as a professional psychologist. “If he taught Rosicrucianism, he was teaching something below the sub-Christian level, and that offended many members of the congregation,” says Westapher. “He is a superb man for God-he just didn’t quite fulfill Episcopalian expectations.”

Betty Cone, one of those who followed Tolly into the Rosicrucians, describes the reaction that Taliaferro’s beliefs provoked in blunter terms. “The fit hit the shan,” she says. “They started a witch hunt.” Taliaferro spent the next few years counseling federal prisoners in Seagoville and looking in vain for an Episcopal church that would have him. He divorced his first wife and married Ethel Williamson, a divorcee in his St. Michael’s choir and the daughter of a wealthy Shreveport family.

In 1965, Tolly seemed born again. Ann Cox helped him launch the Montessori school, and she arranged through her husband, oilman Edwin L. Cox, for Tolly to have a place to preach at SMU. Unrepentant, Taliaferro wrote to the bishop explaining his ambitious plans for a new church at which he would once again preach his unorthodox views. An unimpressed committee of his peers advised the bishop to defrock him. Obviously, the Age of Aquarius had yet to dawn on the Episcopal hierarchy.

ST. ALCUIN COMMUNITY CHURCH, named after Charlemagne’s court teacher (Alcuin was never canonized by anyone except Taliaferro)(3) will continue at least until Taliaferro dies. Or, as he would put it, until he moves into his next “transition.” But the arrangement with SMU, which has lasted almost eight years since Ann Cox’s death, has left some of the SMU clergy wincing. SMU chaplain William M. Finnin suggested that the Perkins School of Theology discontinue Taliaferro’s $650-a-month lease on Selecman Hall, but to no avail. This fall, Tolly’s group was permitted to move across campus to the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The lease amount was unchanged.

“I think they have worn out their welcome,” Finnin argues. “First of all, he’s getting a very cheap ride. They pay an obscenely minimal amount, and as far as I can tell he is very well funded.” Tolly’s lifestyle indeed surpasses that of the average priest. St. Alcuin’s budget is simple. The draw from the weekly offering (usually around $500) goes toward rent of the hall and other church expenses, such as Tolly’s Cadillac and the church rectory, his house on Belclaire Avenue. What’s left over is for Tolly’s discretionary use, along with the money he makes from the classes and psychological counseling.

“It’s sort of a play church,” Finnan says in a tone resembling a pastoral sneer. Finnin insists his opposition is mainly for business reasons and principle, but he has little regard for Taliaferro’s theology. “What the group has put together is an eclectic New Age philosophy that has very little resemblance to biblical Christianity and that allows them to be very complacent with the wealth they’ve accumulated, earned or inherited.”

Taliaferro’s intensely protective disciples scoff at any such criticism and shun publicity. “You can not sum up in one did-dly-wa article what impact this man has had on the city,” says Paula Dennard, the widow of a Dallas investment banker. “People are different after they are around him,” she says. “They are saying, ’What is the meaning of life? What is its purpose? How can we link up hearts and souls for building peace?’ But if you put some of this in a magazine, people will think we’re crazy.”

Wanda Shannon, self-made stockbroker, real estate agent and former president of the Children’s Arts and Ideas Foundation, is one of the few working women among Tolly’s longtime female followers in the Wednesday class. She acknowledges that many of Tolly’s followers rely on him as a “crutch.” But she adds, “What he has said many times is that the very rich have the same problems as the very poor and having money doesn’t make you any better than anyone else. He has taught them to be unselfish,” she says. “He has taught them even if they have servants, to help the servants.”

Most of us, Taliaferro preaches, are running around like so many disconnected transistors, squandering our energies. The purpose of life is to learn, he teaches, and most of us are flunking the test. Those who don’t learn do it over in life after life. Meanwhile, he instructs those with money to use it for good purposes or risk losing it all like the Hunt brothers. Karma, he says, is a sort of Robin Hood.

“It always comes back to an individual having a purpose, whether you’re a capitalist or whatever you’re doing,” explains Jim Reid, president of Dallas’ Southern Dallas Development Corporation, who frequently attends Tolly’s church in blue jeans, leather sandals and a necklace made from antique Chinese stones.

The recurring villains in Tolly’s sermons are all organized religions, particularly fundamentalists, right-wingers and whatever Republican administration happens to be in power. “The primary cause of mental illness is religion,” he proclaimed in a feistier moment. Another time, Tolly declared modern abortion “a very great contribution to the human race… It doesn’t make any difference to the soul because the soul that needs an incarnation is going to find another body anyway.”

But there is one point on which Tolly agrees with some of the strictest fundamentalists: His God is a capitalist-an enlightened capitalist, of course. At the top of Taliaferro’s spiritual hierarchy are philanthropists and businessmen, not Mother Teresa. Asked if he’s known anyone who has come close to karmic perfection, Taliaferro shakes his head “no”. But then he goes on to praise the Rockefellers as some of the most advanced beings.

“The capitalistic system is just a system of psychic consciousness brought down to the material plane,” Taliaferro once said. “And it was revealed to the Rothschilds by the masters… The capitalist system is a system of creativeness. It’s not the profit system.”

As for those of his flock who don’t have millions, Taliaferro insists that they can influence the course of history by sending out thoughts of love and peace. It’s a fairly effortless salvation, some of Tolly’s critics point out. “In Christianity,” says Finnin of SMU, “we call that cheap grace-the idea that you don’t have to get your hands dirty.”

ROY WILLIAMS is discussing the divine order of all things and his agenda for “social action” over pasta salad and coffee at Massimo da Milano. Here, in the heart of North Dallas’ boutique belt on Lovers Lane, about 20 Tolly-ites assemble as they do every Tuesday after Taliaferro’s evening class. Williams, holding court at one table, describes his spiritual journey. A follower of Taliaferro for more than a decade and an initiated Rosicrucian, Williams filed the lawsuit that eliminated at-large representation at Dallas City Hall and essentially forced the 14-1 council plan. “The belief system we operate out of in dealing with Father Taliaferro is that you’re drawn to places and to people that you’re supposed to be with and I think through my search for self-realization I came across the most powerful vehicle in my environment, which was Father Taliaferro,” Williams explains. That’s the long way of saying that he was introduced to Taliaferro’s church through a woman he was having a conversation with at La Madeleine, his unofficial office near SMU. In this lifetime, Williams has forsaken steady employment so that he could fulfill his mission-whether that meant berating the City Council, calling news conferences or taking the city to federal court. “It is my belief this is something I set out to do in another lifetime and I’m just finishing up what I left off,” he explains.

Taliaferro is quick to distance himself from Williams. For that matter, he doesn’t endorse all the extracurricular ideas of most of his followers, many of whom have run the mystical gamut from fortune telling to fire walking to peyote rituals. He calls them novices, or simply, “the little children.”
As the night wears on, these aspiring mystics get weary of mysticism, and the talk drifts to other subjects: to Mexican vacations and Chinese food, to movies and automobiles.

Gary Blackburn, a thirtyish real estate broker from Irving, explains to a visitor the power of the mind over not only matter, but over the Mercedes-Benz. Five years ago, before he began his mystical quest, Blackburn, who was driving a Camaro, promised a friend he would soon be driving a Mercedes. The next day, he walked into a dealership, climbed into a sedan and breathed in the scent of factory leather. A year later, he was driving a midnight blue 190E. “Visualization is the way you make things happen,” he said, quick to add that his first concern is with making the world a better place-not acquiring luxury sedans. “I visualize peace on earth before I visualize anything of a personal nature,” says Blackburn. “I don’t think my purpose with Father Taliaferro is to go out and make a million dollars-even though I know I will.”

FOR A MAN WHO PROCLAIMS THE WON-der in everything, Taliaferro is remarkably discontent about the state of the world. While most of the country was celebrating a decisive victory in the Persian Gulf war, Taliaferro lamented, “We haven’t progressed one iota since Roman times.” Such statements have helped Taliaferro gather up many of those estranged from traditional churches.

Shannon Wynne, who runs a temple of Dallas’ art-money-fashion set in the Quadrangle’s 8.0 restaurant, turned to Tolly’s teachings in the mid-1980s after indulging his curiosities in UFOs and “spirit forms.” “I did channeling and everything else-a lot of it was bullshit.” says Wynne. “Father Taliaferro is very hip when it comes to reality. You don’t feel like you’re sitting with your old-time type priest-he’s cynical, and political. Some of what he says I accept, some of it I’m not intellectual enough to accept or I don’t want to accept.”

Even for the open-minded, some of Taliaferro’s ideas can be difficult to fathom. He professes with certainty that the souls of those on earth will travel to another planet, for example, and that one day another “great master” by the name of Koot Hoomi will assume divine stewardship of the earth’s affairs. “He [Koot Hoomi] is slated to be the person who will function in the office of the Christ,” Tolly told one of his evening classes. “Just as when the Queen of England dies her son will take her place, so when the Christ goes to another position, there will be one who will take his place as a human being.”

Later, asked where he gets these ideas, Taliaferro says that it would not be appropriate for the general public to judge him out of context. But when pressed, he explains that such principles are based on “esoteric Buddhism.” Yes, but does he really believe it? “I don’t believe anything,” he answers obliquely. Then he chuckles. “I don’t close my mind to anything either.”

Even at their most absurd, Taliaferro’s ideas seem pretty harmless-with one exception . The most troubling part of his creed has nothing to do with interplanetary travel. It is his notion that karmic law can account for the most brutal of human acts. “The Holocaust was done to the Jews because they, when they were not Jews, did it to others,” Tolly explained last spring, not for the first time, to a group in Jimmie Lawrence’s living room.

Strangely, even the Jews who follow Tolly don’t take offense. Rabbi Jack Bemporad, who led Dallas’ Temple Emanu-El for more than a decade ending in 1983, is a longtime friend and pupil who calls Taliaferro a ‘great teacher’ and says such statements are not anti-Semitic. “He’s a very complicated person,” says Bemporad. “You can’t take it in a literal sense. You have to take it in a psychological sense. In the way that the things you condemn in others are what you have to work on yourself.”

Taliaferro makes no apologies, no matter how cruel his laws of the universe seem- -no matter how close to the heart of his life those laws strike. One morning last May, Taliaferro’s 10-day-old granddaughter, born months prematurely, died of an unexplained tumor. A few hours later, he sat in his office. He was distracted, but there were no tears. He was on and off the phone to his wife trying to make arrangements for a family funeral. Surely, if anyone were an innocent victim, this premature child would be one, a visitor offers. And what of other victims? Rape? Child abuse? Incest? “People are not victims,” Taliaferro says, his voice almost a whisper. “And people are not innocent.”

Tolly, of course, is expected to have an answer for almost everything. The wise man went on musing about the small life and the death, trying to fit the tragedy into the cosmic order he has preached for decades. Perhaps its meaning was to instruct the family. Maybe it would help to educate the medical community. It was even possible, he said, that something great and wonderful could come from it.

Correction Notes to this article in post publication:
1. Tolly was NEVER deposed/defrocked by the bishop. However he did resign his position as an active priest in the Episcopal Church and wrote an article to D Magazine that published the article. It was subsequently printed in their next issue. Once an ordained priest, always a priest.

2.There was never a custom at St Alcuin’s Community Church of genuflection. Those who wished to do so from choice or habit to honor the holiness of communion felt free to do so.

3. If you google Alcuin of York, IT SAYS ” Alcuin was later canonized as a Saint and remains recognized by the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Eastern Orthodox traditions. “

BIO for Father Taliaferro
A.A. TALIAFERRO was founder and pastor of St. Alcuin’s Community Church in Dallas, Texas. For more than 40 years, he lectured and taught classes on comparative religion and applied modern mysticism. He was an active member of the Rosicrucian Order (AMORC) for more than 50 years, and was also a member of the Masonic Order. Fr. Taliaferro attended Berkley Divinity School at Yale University and Seabury Western Theological Seminary at Northwestern University, and holds an honorary doctorate of divinity from Seabury. In 1945 he founded St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas. He remained as rector of that church until 1962, when he resigned to devote himself to writing, lecturing and counseling. An accomplished musician, Fr. Taliaferro studied orchestral conducting with the great French conductor Pierre Monteux from 1935 to 1938. He studied music at Brown University and the University of Michigan from 1930 to 1935, receiving his master’s degree from Michigan in 1938. ​

The Door is Open – Faith Column

20120220-_MG_Small6032 By Chuck Robison

It’s time for Darwin to retire. In 1859 Darwin published the Origin of the Species and from that point forward, Christians have been threatened by the implications of what he proposed. When I say Christians, I mean that portion of Christians who feel called upon to defend the Almighty. Imagine that……defending God!

That, however, is the crux of the problem. God’s defenders are currently composed of about 46 % of the American population, more in Texas, of course, and they have so misconstrued the issues in our evolution, that it is time to walk away from it and into a future given us through our own experience of personal evolution. Here are some examples.

Darwin did not propose the survival of the fittest. He proposed the survival of the least weak. That’s why you see in the animal kingdom that the sick, the infirm and the damaged animals are the food target of predators. This natural process strengthens the herd. And yet even Darwin’s most ardent detractors actually believe in the survival of the fittest. It is a key component of our current crisis of greed.

Einstein said that God does not play dice….which seems to contradict Darwin, but Darwin was trying to explain a complex system that had no seemingly workable explanation in 1859. Had he been writing today, he would have had a mountain of scientific issues to prove his case, from chaos theory to quantum biology. But the idea that this is a random crapshoot does not work in our world.

Finally, when asked about where did the first cell come from that was dropped into the pond, he replied, “God”.

God’s defenders feel it important to view the Bible as literal, despite the fact that it is filled with one allegory after another, and the meaning of these allegories changes over time, as does our understanding of everything else. But seeing the Bible as literal makes good sense if you are trying to connect with something totally currently invisible and available only through Faith, and you are looking for absolute certainty.

With this short summary, it can be said that Darwin has been so misunderstood that it is time to put him back on the shelf for a while.

But here is the main reason. Science is going to go on regardless of what Christians believe. In a free country, it is perfectly fine to raise children with a belief that the entire world is less than 10,000 years old and was created in 6 days. But not all parents want their children to enter a highly scientific and technical world hobbled from their beginning by a lack of understanding about how things work, and a fear of science.

When we believe that man showed up less than 10,000 years ago, fully developed and fixed for all time, we slam the door in God’s face by saying the creation is all done. By defending God against Darwin, we are not concerned with the past, we are actually trying to control the future. The very idea that man has no more growth or development ahead is dangerous. By losing sight of the fact that the human brain is still in the process of evolution towards a more perfect state in which a still-superior pattern of consciousness is possible, we tell God that He cannot move beyond where we are right now.

Evolution says that there are worlds and states that we cannot even imagine now,
because we are not sufficiently evolved to sense, perceive or understand these worlds. But as our bodies unfold and grow slowly over time, as God intends through an evolutionary process, we will experience new levels of consciousness and understanding that will require new skills and attributes not currently available to us now.

To become that future human, we need to conform our lives to a more simple lifestyle, reject the greed that our society breeds in us and be willing to be open to how God is working today in our world to bring us to a higher level of understanding and consciousness. And Peace.

The Empire Strikes….

20120220-_MG_6032 By Chuck Robison

We normally pledge allegiance to a flag representing a republic which functions as a democracy in a free society! Most of us have been doing that since the first grade. It is so wonderful that we keep doing it at every opportunity! However, the republic to which we pledge allegiance no longer exists.

We now live our lives at the center of history’s largest, most powerful, highest tech, most armed and most dangerous empire. The 21st Century American Empire is run by an oligarchy of global corporations acting, now, as legal individuals, almost tax-free, seeking all the money possible for the “investors” and riding roughshod over 90% of the world.

The American Empire’s leadership has turned what we call the United States Government into The Empire’s Middle Management Team, which now takes its orders directly from the corporate Oligarchs. The American Empire backs up its demands on the world through the world’s largest and most lethal armed force, which today is conducting both open and secret wars in 134 of the world’s 187 countries.

The American Empire has developed a Global Total Information Awareness System and the American Empire can now keep track of at least 90% of the world’s citizens. Soon, new babies will be implanted with computer chips to monitor their entire lives. This is already happening in France. All in the name of security!

In the mean time, you and I are trying to live honorable and satisfying lives, while being informed by the Empire’s propaganda machine, which includes mindless entertainment, the educational systems, mass media, electronic churches, and celebrity spokespersons for how The American Empire expects us to live, dress, eat and behave.

It appears no one here in America or anywhere else in the world will ever prevail against this force. You and I and about six billion other people are the slave work force of this empire, whether we see it or not. No wonder we are so depressed. We used to be the people who worked together to solve problems. Now we cannot even see the damage being done to each other, when the Oligarchs pay the people who deliver our cheap, unhealthy, unnatural, fast chemical food, poverty wages that are then supplemented by Government assistance which is a $280 billion tax break to the corporations thus saving them more money for which they do not have to pay taxes.

But, history tells us that all empires fail and disappear. Like a crumbling skyscraper falling in upon itself when detonated by numerous explosives, empires collapse when corruption explodes in strategic places. The result is the same if the corruptors are individuals or whole societies.

The corruption, now racing at electronic speeds around the world, is caused by our losing sight of the fact that human brain is still in the process of evolution towards a more perfect state in which a still-superior pattern of consciousness is possible. A natural, frugal, healthy life, content only with the basic needs of the body and the mind, free of ego, immoderate ambition, lust and greed for wealth—more ready to serve than to rule, altruistic and compassionate—is the only life aligned with the principles of evolution.

What this means is that as we wake up and realize we are living in a decaying empire, our best and only hope is to stop playing the game. To do this, we need to go back to life’s basics. Simplicity in all things, compassion for the life situations of our neighbors, and a focus on those things that will actually improve the lives of all is the surest way to change the sad course of history in which we find ourselves.

Once upon a time, a small group of young idealists took a successful first step toward ending an unjust war by burning their draft cards. That bonfire of enslavement to the war machine is still smoldering in all of our hearts. It’s time to risk it all and burn the cards that now track and enslave us.

Consider this: if we burned all of our credit cards and decided to live off the credit grid, we would begin a profound global change as powerful as the corruption that now identifies The Evil Empire that has become the 21st century.

Creating a New American Revolution

20120220-_MG_6032 By Chuck Robison

Our current government was visualized and finalized in the years between 1775 and 1787. Twelve years that changed the world. The tenants of the Declaration of Independence still hold profound truth and the Constitution and Bill of Rights are of the highest order of efforts, thus far, to govern fairly.

But that was then. Today, in our failed search for security, we have chosen to sacrifice the rights those documents guaranteed. America since 2001 has allowed the complete domination of Casino Capitalism to conduct an unreasonable search and seizure of the American Dream. (Surely, you do not think the corporations are going to protect us from the NSA.) We now have a government just as unrepresentative as the British Government, which we rebelled against 238 years ago. Today people who we elect as our representatives go to their government offices, not to represent us, but to get rich by doing the bidding of corporate and foreign lobbyist’s that represent ‘the house’ at this Casino. And the house always wins….just like in real life.

It is not in The American Character, as De Tocqueville showed us, to put up with an unjust situation very much longer. We are playing possum just long enough to get all the evidence necessary to make a major change. The Biologists call this instant evolution, or punctuated equilibrium. An organism or a society sends out scouts to its’ perimeters and asks them to report back about what is on the other side of the border, and then the organism’s CPU (Central Processing Unit) computes what changes it will need to make in order to survive what lies ahead. And when it finally acts, it happens seemingly instantly, and effectively, usually to the surprise of everyone.

What lies ahead for us is very different than the inequality created by today’s Casino Capitalism Government, and this new future is now only faintly visible. But we are the CPU of our society and we will be the ones to declare a new independence from the unrepresentative and corrupt government currently ruling our national experience.

Make no mistake. We will not overthrow the current government, we will not engage in a military solution and we will not do battle with the very people who today think they have all the power. That’s the Old Paradigm way of solving problems. Using the New Paradigm, we will create and establish a new form of government so far superior to Casino Capitalism, that people will rush to it and ignore, and thus dis-empower, that 1% of the population who like to think they are calling all the shots. King George thought the same way.  So did the US Government when they decided to attack Syria.

Although it is too early to describe exactly how our new government will look and act, we can safely predict it will have to include a basic lesson from biology. Each of us humans has a body containing more than 50 Trillion cells. In a healthy body, each of those cells has a specific function or job, each is provided adequate housing, complete food and the security of knowing it is focused on the highest good for the life of the whole body. No one cell or group of cells controls our body, and none are allowed to hoard undue riches in the system. And when the body of each of us produces a “profit” it is shared by the whole system. Good health does not belong to a heart or a brain or a kidney, but to the whole body.

Today, there are almost 8 Billion cells in the body of Humankind. The inequality between groups of people all over the world is breathtakingly painful. In addition to the wrenching adjustments we must make immediately to cope with Global Climate Change, the results of this Casino-induced inequality will affect the whole of Humankind. (And by the way, The Casino has dropped more than $8 billion into secret funds to convince you there is no climate problem.) From poor people in Third World countries scouring dumps to salvage minerals and chemicals in discarded computers at the price of ingesting almost certain deadly carcinogens, to ignorant “jumpers” being used by private corporations to “jump” into atomic reactors in an attempt to stop further release of radiation (as in Tokyo Electric Power Company), to fully marginalized American citizens facing a cut-off of food stamps and unemployment support as a result of our leaders worshiping Ayn Rand’s selfish and flawed thinking, we are facing a global crisis that has all the power needed to result in a global disaster that will end up with global de-evolution.

So our new surprise government will have to account for the safety, health and usefulness of all citizens and in equal measure. Just saying that one sentence feels revolutionary and also as old as the Declaration of Independence itself.

Once you and I commit to creating a new government of inter-dependence and equality, like the Puritans themselves, we will cast off from the dark land of Casino Capitalism and will set sail into the New World, destined to become, again, the beacon of light for all 8 Billion cells in the body of humankind.

The New American Revolution is now at hand.